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Jul 27th
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Obsessive Beauty

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Sew What Part II

Sew What Part II

A while back, Obsessive Beauty featured a sewing blog with several references for where aspiring designers could find inspiration, motivation, and instruction on how to sew. We suggested madebylex.com, a local blog by Alexis Meschi, who posts tutorials on how to make various things like clutches and T-shirts. We also suggested checking out books by Lotta Jansdotter, and visiting the now defunct Santa Cruz Crafter’s Studio.

Since then, we decided to go even more basic, and get to the bottom of things—Sewing 1A so to speak. And for those living in the Santa Cruz area, we’ve found a treasure in our midst—Judy’s Sewing Center on 41st Avenue in Capitola. Currently, this is the only place that we’ve been able to find in town that offers affordable sewing classes for all ages, and all skill sets. At $10 a class, you can sign up for a slew of classes taught by master seamstresses who don’t cut any corners, and won’t allow you to leave your work unfinished. You can learn how to read a pattern, make a pillowcase, create a purse, learn advanced skills, or simply learn how your sewing machine works.

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Kiss Me Kate

Kiss Me Kate

There are a few skin care products that I splurge on. One of them is worth the $65 price tag—Exfolikate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment by Kate Somerville, sold at katesomerville.com and sephora.com, or in select Neiman Marcus stores.

During every winter season my normally oily skin begins some strange shedding process, and becomes flaky, rough, and generally unattractive. At the height of this season’s worst ever attack on my skin, I decided to finally find a solution to this annoying problem. I was looking for the perfect exfoliator that would clear away the flaky skin, and make room for soft, fresh skin. I found my answer one day when I stopped in at a Neiman Marcus. I must have hit the store on a particularly generous day, because I walked home with a nice handful of samples and I had a chance to try out Exfolikate (the gentle version, since my skin is always having problems). Within two days it felt like my skin began to breathe, and young, clear skin began to show through. The dull winter nature of my skin disappeared and the flakes were gone. (Even my husband tried it out and loved it.)

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Win It and Wear It—Stripe Necklace

Win It and Wear It—Stripe Necklace

CONGRATULATIONS to Prima Bolsa, the winner of the Stripe necklace! Happy Valentine's Day.

Fashionistas—it’s that time of the month—a Win It and Wear It contest. This time around, we’re featuring a beautiful necklace from Stripe, with a gold heart, pearl, and ivory carved rose. Perfect for Valentine’s Day, this little ‘charmer’ will melt not only your heart, but the hearts of everyone else who has caught on to the new trend that charm necklaces are all the rage for those with a romantic, stylish aesthetic. To enter the contest, leave a comment at this blog and tell us about something that you’re obsessed with in fashion or beauty. The deadline for the contest is Feb. 13. Winners will be announced Feb. 14, so you have one week to enter the contest. Good luck!

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Botox, Baby!

Botox, Baby!

Of course we’ve all heard of Botox, the wrinkle erasing miracle that every Hollywood actress over 40 has had done but would never admit. But what is getting Botox actually like? I am turning 30 in two weeks and although I am fairly wrinkle free, a recent stressful life event has marred my brow with a single vertical line. Since I am residing in Asia, and plastic surgery of any kind is ridiculously inexpensive, I decided to indulge in this youthful syringe for my birthday.

After a few lost in translation moments, I managed to find a hospital with a plastic surgery wing and a doctor who spoke perfect English. He explained the myriad benefits of Botox to me, including the fact that it lasts about six months. He pointed out the area on my forehead where I would be injected and voila! I was so close to being wrinkle free. After taking a series of “before” photos as though I were on a makeover reality show, they laid me down on a reclining chair, disinfected my forehead and shot me three times between the eyebrows. I have no problem with needles and it didn’t hurt—just a prick. Presto! I was informed that it could take up to 72 hours to become fully activated.

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

A Coat for all Seasons

A Coat for all Seasons

Even though the chilly weather might be starting to fade, a warm, cozy, highly fashionable lightweight coat should always be within reach. Here’s our new favorite: The Elin Coat in “eggplant,” by Juleselin is a one-of-a-kind find. With ruffles, buttons, pockets, a hood, and slightly puffed upper sleeves, this jacket is a stand-alone garment. The color is rich and deep, and the cut is flattering on all body types. Created by Julia Burnbaum, a local designer of California, “the collection is made of organic cotton, bamboo and recycled fabrics,” says the oakandco.com website where the item is currently being sold. (It's also being sold at Saffron and Genevieve in the Oak & Co pop up shop.) Paired with skinny jeans and Greenbees boots, you’ll have an outfit that will catch anyone’s eye. Stroll through the farmer’s market in your new look, take a day trip to the city and watch as passersby give you the once, twice, three times over as they admire your style. Trust us, this is one fine investment, for one fine day.

 


The Elin Coat by Juleselin is $328 and sells at oakandco.com or at Saffron and Genevieve, 901B Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, saffronandgenevieve.com, 462-4506.
Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Bubble Bath Bliss

Bubble Bath Bliss

I’ve fallen in love—with my new bathtub. I recently moved to a new place and it has a bathtub. For the first time in more than 11 years, I now have unlimited access to taking baths, and this has been one of the best things that has happened to me as of late. To top things off, I needed the perfect bubble bath, and let me tell you, that was hard to find. You can pick up any generic, waxy, stinky brand at a local drugstore, but to settle into the finest bubbles and an aroma that will fill your home for hours, you have to do some searching. I did, and found my new obsession—Tokyo Milk Bubble Bath, No. 12. With the scent of “Citrus Zest, Rosewood, Mimosa, and Mandarin,” this is a bubble bath worth trying. I originally found it at Anthropologie at half price, but now the store no longer carries it. But lucky me, I found it locally in Santa Cruz at Saffron and Genevieve, retailing for around $25. You can also find it online at Tokyo-milk.com. Try it out. There’s nothing better, really, than settling into a bath, calming your mind, and enjoying the soothing smells of a luxurious bubble bath.


Find Tokyo Milk Bubble Bath, No. 12 at Saffron and Genevieve, 901B Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 462-4506, saffronandgenevieve.com.
Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

The Perfect Boot

The Perfect Boot

Obsessive Beauty is giving away a secret—this is by far the best boot we’ve seen on the market right now—the Greenbees Erma Boot. You can find it online at various stores, including Santa Cruz’s own oakandco.com, and Saffron and Genevieve in the Oak & Co pop up shop up through March. Selling for $269, here’s why we’re obsessed with it: as an admittedly thick-legged gal, I have a hard time fitting into most boots, as they seem to be made for the skinny leg crowd. But not these—the Greenbees Erma Boot, in the color “coal,” has a wide enough opening to accommodate those with large legs, as well as our pin thin friends. It’s a rare boot that can look lovely on all body types. You can tuck your jeans into these boots, wear them with leggings or tights, pair with a dress or skirt; the options are unlimited. The style is yet another winning factor—these boots are somewhere between a work boot and a western boot—perfect for walking, shopping, dressing up or down, wearing in rainy weather, and so on. According to the oakandco.com description, the shoes have “recycled tire soles,” and “the richly colored leather is processed traditionally, without heavy metals or formaldehyde. … Handmade, fair trade, in Mexico.”

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Ear Candy

Ear Candy

 

Hello from Asia, my fellow fashionistas! I am spending some time in South Korea and will be writing my dispatches from here in the near future.

Since many of us had the immense good fortune of growing up in sunny California, we didn’t get to experience those frigid winters that many of our fellow Americans bravely endure. You know, shoveling snow, frostbite, spit that freezes before it hits the ground? What’s to miss, right? Wrong. After spending a few weeks out of town in a subzero climate, I have found that us warm weather girls are—unbeknownst to us—experiencing a serious fashion deficit. Our sisters in colder climes get to experiment with heavy duty scarves, a kaleidoscopic array of gloves, coats so warm that they could have saved the Donner party and my personal new obsession—earmuffs.

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Beauty Without Cruelty

Beauty Without Cruelty

Feel good about looking good
In the beauty community, “all-natural” has long been considered synonymous with “ineffective.” But, as an “all-natural” kind of girl, I’m here to say that it is officially time to update that notion. Thanks to a growing arsenal of natural, organic and vegan hair, skin, body and cosmetic companies, us eco animal-lovers can stay well-groomed and enjoy getting dolled up without compromising our values. Leading the pack in this growing market is Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC), which started in the early 1960s as the first all-natural, vegetarian line of cosmetics.

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Saffron and Oak

Saffron and Oak

Obsessive Beauty just stopped by the store, Saffron and Genevieve, on Soquel Avenue, for the open house to introduce its three-month pop up shop, Oak and Co (oakandco.com). This was (how embarrassing) our first time ever visiting the lovely Saffron and Genevieve lifestyle store, owned by Scarlett Reed. The store offers an array of goods: candles, Tokyo Milk lotions and perfumes, charming journals, jewelry, antiques, and more. It has a French Country aesthetic, blended with a rustic vibe. Also being featured for the next three months are clothing and shoes from Oak and Co., a local “green” online retailer spearheaded by Deirdre Holbrook. In addition, all of the cowboy boots that went missing when Scout disappeared off Pacific Avenue have now appeared in this store. Combining lifestyle and clothing together in this beautiful retail space presents a store that you should definitely check out. You’ll enjoy all the treasures inside.

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Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

Over the years I’ve mentioned the nine tests of Mars and Scorpio. The tests are given to everyone—unawakened, beginning to awaken, and the awakened. The purpose is to test our strength, courage, ability to adapt, discriminate and have discernment. To see if we are deceived by illusion or are “warriors triumphant, emerging from the battle.”

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 25

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

The Maestra Returns

Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’
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Time is Ripe

Local fruit harvests hit markets, Storrs Winery celebrates ‘Best White’, and a salt fix from heaven

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.