Sometimes you find fabulous things in the most unlikely places….
A few months ago, I was shopping at A Market in Newport and noticed Acure Skin Care was on sale. Curious about the organic skin care line, I picked up the Brightening Facial Scrub, a gentle exfoliator made with organic sea kelp, French green clay and organic lemon peel. Organic Chlorella Growth Factor (protects collagen and elastin fibers) and Argan Stem Cells help stimulate new cell growth while providing a deep cleansing, brightening experience. The exfoliating scrub is the perfect natural alternative to those plastic micro beads found in so many mass market products that are harmful to the environment and can transport the chemicals to marine life.
I also picked up the Oil Control Facial Moisturizer with lilac stem cells and chlorella growth factor featuring an easily absorbed blend of organic botanicals that improves texture and tone while minimizing fine lines.
Both score tremendously well on the Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep Cosmetics Database” which is basically a Google search of personal care products to see which are clean or loaded with chemicals and toxins. Both were clean, light, refreshing and effective—and a little went a long way.
Pleased with the line, I had to try the Acure Unscented Cleansing Towelettes for face and body with Argan Oil. The handy little all-natural biodegradable towelettes are ideal for traveling. They’re easy to stash, effective and the perfect quick refresher (recycled airplane air wreaks havoc on the skin).
The best to way to get the most bang for your buck is to get a free A Market Rewards Card because every dollar spent is equal to one point and every dollar spent on A-Market brand supplements is equal to two points. Members receive a $25 reward towards future purchases for every 500 points earned. THIS MARCH 20 IS A DOUBLE REWARDS DAY, so if you’re looking to try a new all natural line, here’s your best chance.
When my husband’s grandmother gave us an early 1900s Cogswell chair she no longer wanted, there was no question it deserved the royal treatment. It was in impeccable condition, had a classic shape, was super comfortable and most importantly, had come from someone we love. It’s tired fabric was the only thing holding it back. Knowing nothing about how much fabric would be needed to reupholster it, I brought the chair to Bill at Patriot Upholstery in Portsmouth who had come highly recommended (even though from the outside his shop looks like it specializes in car and truck upholstery).
Reupholstering is a serious commitment. If you’re going to spend a few Benjamins on reinventing a piece, you better make sure 1. It’s in excellent condition, and 2. you choose a fabric pattern you are good with “from this day forward,” because for what you’ll pay, you’ll be together forever. Told I needed 5-6 yards, I headed to a local fabric store but sadly, no one assisted me (which in my experience was a pattern there — no pun intended), so I helped myself to some of the swatch books. I searched for something that evoked “Coastal Living” sans your typical ships, shells, lighthouses or starfish. The fabric I liked best was a jaw-dropping $75 a yard (at six yards we’d be looking at $450…and that’s before the upholstery costs!). I noted the maker and shelved the project. Months later, I was motivated and after some research (i.e. Google search), learned you can order large scale fabric swatches at little to no cost, so I was able to see more clearly exactly how the pattern would look on the chair, not to mention experience the feel and quality of the fabric. By the time I pulled the trigger, the fabric I chose had been marked down considerably — around 60%.
I dropped the chair and the fabric off at Patriot Upholstery. Here’s the result:
Bill took it upon himself to cover the arms and the bottom section of the chair in a divine navy blue and trim both sections with the fabric, which I think came out amazing. also He restored the wood on the arms and legs. I asked him to save any extra fabric so I could perhaps make a throw pillow. Instead, he made three of them featuring a different sea creature on each. The Octopus Chair now has a new century to add to it’s history–along with a new look.
Patriot Upholstery is located at 2580 East Main Road in Portsmouth, across from Clements Market. http://www.patriotupholstery.com. Special thanks to Bess Walker of Walker Interiors who kindly took my call and answered my questions about what kind of fabric I would need for this project.
Since last summer, metallic body art has been in demand, probably because these gilded temporary tattoos are inexpensive, eye-catching and decidedly non-committal. Though shimmery in the summer sun, this time of year the delicate gold and silver body stencils in the form of rings, bracelets and necklaces are a whimsical if unexpected accessory pick me up. Seen on celebs including Beyonce, Alessandra Ambrosio and Vanessa Hudgens, the look can be tailored complement a red carpet ensemble or casual night out.
Metallic jewelry tattoos, also known as “flash tattoos,” are available locally at ReNew Salon on Thames Street. A full packet is $44 which includes two full sheets of a variety of tattoos ($22 sheet) or $4 per tattoo and they last around two weeks before fading. Apply yourself with just a dab of water or the gals at ReNew can apply for you.
RaNew Salon is located at 580 Thames Street, Newport, RI
(401) 619-4848, www.ranewsalon.com
How overdone are the headlines screaming “New year, new you!”?? But why do you have to be “new?” Why not, instead, simply be your best self, inside and out?
I checked in with Sara Schieff-Ross, founder of Archbeauty Skin Care Salon & Boutique in Newport for her advice on five doable goals to make you look and feel your best in 2015.
1. Mask it!
GM Collin Stem Cell Mask: This mask gives you the most bang for you buck with three different ways to use this product all with gorgeous results!
2. Wash your face before 💤
Archbeauty stocks an easy to use cleansing water that breaks up make up and dirt for those late nights when you barely have energy to wash your face. This product is your go-to if you’re in a pinch for time.
3. New look for make up
With all ages, style changes and gets better with time. Spiff up your make up routine and learn a few tricks while you’re at it with a make up lesson.
4. Beautiful Brows
A new brow shaping/tinting can do wonders for your face. Archbeauty has a collection for your at-home maintenance in between visits.
Archbeauty is located at 18 Memorial Boulevard West, Newport. (401) 619-5885, www.archbeauty.com
Three more shopping days til Christmas–stay calm. If you’ve been watching any of the news coverage about “last minute shopping” or “panic shopping,” you’d be led to believe that a great many of those last minute shoppers are men…and that’s probably the case. (But anyone can find themselves in a last-minute sprint to get those few remaining friends and family the perfect little something.) Soap + Water in Newport has a ton of treats from stocking stuffers to treasured finds to pamper ones you care about, but especially ladies who, like so many, always put so many others first and forget to pamper themselves.
While fragrance can be challenging to gift some one with because scents are a personal preference, sets like Meet the Girls by TOCCA are fabulous because they offer a little bit of everything. The 10 .15 oz sprays, which come in a beautiful tin, “embrace every aspect of femininity,”with each boasting a girly name: Cleopatra, Stella, Florence, Giuletta, Colette, Bianca, Violette, Liliana, Margaux, Simone.
NEST Fragrances for body, bath and home set the luxury bar high with a cult-like following for their reed diffusers, liquid soap, body wash, body cream, and Body & Soul Eau De Toilette Spray.
Build Your Own: at Soap + Water you can build your own gift for that someone special. Include some:
Molton Brown–Soap + Water is the only place you can get the London-based bath, body & beauty goods.
Pretty You London Slippers–Cheerio to another fabulous London brand (The men’s version? “Ugly Me” slippers, naturally)
PJ Harlow Women’s Loungewear–Designed for women by women, made in the USA and on Oprah Winfrey’s 2013 Great Gifts list. Need we say more?
Crabtree & Evelyn--this line’s local loyalists will remember when Newport had it’s own Crabtree & Evelyn storefront until it closed a few years ago. Today, Soap + Water carries some of Crabtree’s most popular collections, including Jojoba Oil and Gardeners divine (and famously lauded) 60 Second Fix for Hands and more.
Nautical-themed throws and pillows (perfect for a snuggly night in)
Soap + Water Newport is located on Bowen’s Wharf, Newport. www.soapandwaternewport.com
Follow them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/soapandwaternpt
With just seven days until Christmas, some might be feeling the last minute pressure to find the perfect something. Luckily, Newport is home to so many charming, one-of-a-kind shops. Among them, Chateau & Bungalow on Thames Street. Stocked with unique finds, Chateau & Bunglow offers a well-edited array of offerings–the only problem is you might find it difficult to not shop for yourself!
Here are some gift suggestions from owner Sarah O’Neill Fernandez:
A peek inside the shop:
Chateau & Bungalow is located at 80 Thames Street, which is situated before crossing over Marlborough Street. Though parking is not provided, you can usually find a spot right on the street. 401-619-1966
This summer, I was honored to receive an advance copy of Bettie Bearden Pardee’s Living Newport: Houses, People, Style, the third release from the accomplished hostess, community leader and former contributing editor to Bon Appetit.
I eagerly paged through the chapters, which “showcases both the heirs of the old guard who contribute a contemporary continuity to traditional Newport and the ‘new’ Newport social set, all of whom bring a vibrant energy to their life here year-round.” More simply, the pages are like peering through the windows of some of Newport’s most legendary homes including Oakwood, Clingstone, The Ledges and arguably the most famed, Hammersmith Farm, known as the “summer White House” during the Kennedy administration. (Considering the number of journalists I have worked with who have unsuccessfully hoped to cover, feature or visit Hammersmith during their stay in Newport, I know what a coup it for Living Newport to feature the home.)
Just last month, following the official release of Living Newport, I was delighted to be invited by Bettie to join her at her Bellevue Avenue home, “Parterre,” for tea and conversation. Amiable and elegant, the author and former host/creative producer of the PBS series The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House, shares an indisputable enthusiasm for the City-by-the-Sea. Knowing readers have a keen curiosity in how private Newport entertains, decorates, celebrates, gardens and dresses, Bettie showcases 17 properties in Living Newport alongside lively personal anecdotes. As one might expect, the book is aesthetically beautiful and exceptionally intriguing—a perfect Christmas or holiday gift. Suffice to say I came to Bettie’s for a casual interview and left with a new friend!
Living Newport: Houses, People, Style, with 224 pages and 188 four-color photographs, is available for $65.00 at Preservation society of Newport County shops ( located at The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms and on Bannister’s Wharf in downtown Newport) and online at NewportStyle.net
Take a peek inside the book with the images below or by CLICKING HERE.
Follow Bettie on her blog by CLICKING HERE.