Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christine Mayer

Today's favorite find is German designer Christine Mayer. She is a costume and fashion designer. For her clothing lines she looks for vintage fabrics that carry some of their history, and she remakes them into modern pieces with echoes of the past. 
"My passion is the constant quest for fabrics, which carry a breath of the past" Christine Mayer


Christine Mayer's winter collection 2012/13 is made completely from of SeaCell which consists of a hundred percent seaweed.  The line has the same vintage fabric look of her previous collections but this time is completely made from an innovative cutting edge fabric.

 She also has some great menswear and denim looks that I was not able to get off her Adobe Flash site.  Do by all means visit her site for more goodness. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hair Oil Smackdown Postscript

Just after carefully comparing hair oil ingredients, I bought myself some of Lady Gaga's Black Fluid perfume for a Christmas present.  (Shhh, it's a surprise.)  I'm glad the ingredients are secret.  The Lady said she wanted it to smell like blood and sperm.  'could be a lot of natural ingredients, but I don't want to know.  Hey, I'm not going for consistency here, just a general upward trend.

Also got this from my brother: "I checked on Google and it's official: you are the first person in the history of the language to use the phrase 'hair oil smackdown.'  I hope you're awed by yourself."  Isn't he the sweetest?

From "My Thrifted Closet"

Here's some more on better beauty products from SheDel of "My Thrifted Closet."  Check her out on her facebook page or blog.

 'love her banner pic:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

So Charmed!

I always love to see what Jodi Bloom is up to.  Her current flights of fancy include some of the best refashioned ties I've seen:
From the "Boredroom" Series
Some gorgeous clothing items in a variety of styles:

This from Howlpop and...
....this from London in the 60's?

Plus some of her off-the-chain jewelry.  (Just stop trying to put her on the chain already!)
 Bones and Candy Necklace

Do stop by her "So_Charmed" world.  She's local, so you might be able to snag a last-minute-but-favorite-Christmas-gift-ever.  Ciao, bellas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


The lack of a winter here in DC is making me uneasy.  I was going to do a blogpost on lighter winter coats, but I think I shall do one on woolens anyway because I love them.  You can take the girl out of Michigan....  (I shall shelve the post on upcycled life rafts altogether for now.)  Locally I look for hats, mittens and scarves at Ten Thousand Villages, ArtSpring, thrift stores and at Whole Foods (get that fair trade on the fly!), but Etsy has some really great original things.  Here are a few current favorites.  Each caption has a link to the Etsy Seller's page.  Here's hoping you get that Etsy gift card as a holiday gift!
This one is a BootWarmer Pattern by BellaMcBride

Fingerless Gloves by homelab

Scarflette by mmmfiber
Chunky Cowl by ozetta
Mantelet by The JaneVictoria 
Felted Wool Slippers by mommyaya
Newsboy Hat by TepperWear

Crocheted Scarf by Elena Rosenberg

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hair Oil Smackdown

(Part of the Continuing Saga of the Search for Better Beauty Products)

Well, I have been using LUSH Revive & Balance Hair Moisturizer for a couple of weeks now. I gave the ingredient list a thorough going over, and it holds up much better under scrutiny than Moroccan Oil's (See previous blogpost scrutinizing Moroccan Oil, and see somewhat boring LUSH R&B ingredient review at bottom of this post.) The knowledgeable manager at LUSH told me to use just a tiny bit of their hair oil, but the first two times I used too much. The effect seemed a bit greasy to me. Finally I dialed the amount WAY back, and got a good result. I prefer a more forgiving product, though. And I didn't love the smell. So, I went in search of organic argan oil. (Argan oil is a main ingredient of Moroccan Oil.) At Sephora, I found the Josie Maran line of cosmetics, which has organic and natural ingredients. The Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil was $48 for 1.7 ounces. I balked at that price. Perhaps because I am a sucker and certainly because I like to place my vote with some cash, I did buy a $22 lip gloss. It contains many natural oils including argan and is very moisturizing.

   But I digress.
I found cheaper organic argan oil online at for $9 per ounce plus shipping. I thought I'd check my local Whole Foods too.
Voilà. There it was for $14.99 per ounce and a convenient part of a trip I would make anyway. Also! I met a great staff person named Mary Ramos who raved about the neighboring organic rosehip oil. It had been recommended to her years ago by Dr. Encarnacion in the Dominican Republic, and she said it really makes her skin glow: $12.99 for the rosehip oil.
Both the argan oil and rosehip oil can be used for skin or hair according to the bottles. I have the argan oil at home for hair and the rosehip oil in my purse for my hands. They come in glass bottles with a plastic pump top-- no box. The plastic pump is less eco-friendly but far more convenient than the Moroccan Oil packaging. So enough already. I'm settling in with my organic oils from Whole Foods, though I will miss the lovely engineered smell of the Moroccan Oil.

LUSH Revive and Balance ingredient study:

Most of the ingredients-- including the five most prevalent-- are natural.  Two of the ingredients are organic and one fair-trade-certified. 

Oat Milk(?!)  (Aqua, Avena sativa)  This seems to be oats mixed with water. - natural

Glycerine-  a naturally occurring alcohol compound and a component of many lipids.

Organic Avocado Butter (Persea gratissima)-

Fair for Life Olive Oil (Olea europaea) - fair trade-certified olive oil

Glyceryl Stearate  A naturally derived fatty acid, most often used as an emulsifier

Polyethylene Glycol  100 Stearate-- synthesized  emollient.  The Environmental Working Group lists this as a "moderate"  (3 out of 10) hazard based on "limited" data.

Perfume - a big unknown

Cetearyl Alcohol- a stabilizer and emollient mixture of cetyl and stearyl alcohols that can come from vegetable or synthetic sources.  The FDA lists it as food-safe.  It may be irritaing to those with sensitive skin.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (Cocos  nucifera) - natural

Cold Pressed Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis) - natural

Bay Oil (Pimenta racemosa)- natural

Orange Flower Absolute (Citrus Aurantium amara)- orange flower extract fragrance

Jasmine Absolute (Jasminium grandiflorum)- jasmine flower extract fragrance

Cupuacu Butter (Theobroma grandiflorum) moisturizing derivative of the Cupuacu plant

Candelilla Wax(Euphorbia cerifera)- plant-derived wax

Benzyl Alcohol- a naturally ocurring and synthetic ingredient used as a solvent and preservative; it has been associated with contact allergy.

Phenoxyethanol-  a naturally-occurring but usually synthetically-derived preservative that is often used to replace paraben, but may have some of its own problems.

* Benzyl salicylate



*Benzyl  Benzoate


*Package note states that these occur naturally in essential oils.  They are scent compounds that may be an allergen for some.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Trip to Georgetown part 2: Buffalo Exchange


'stopped in the new Buffalo Exchange location in Georgetown. Buffalo Exchange is  a resale boutique that offers reasonably-priced, stylish, second-hand clothing, shoes and accessories.  They have 46 stores nationwide including one on 14th Street, NW between N Street and Rhode Island Avenue  and a one on M Street, NW, west of Wisconsin Ave.   (It's in the basement space beneath the space where Annie Cream Cheese used to be.) The store's business model seems to be to focus on keeping prices low and counting on high turnover, so you're bound to see new things whenever you go.  When you bring clothes in, the store staff immediately decides how much each item will be sold for and offers you 30% of that amount in store credit.  Of special note is their large men's section, which features a full range of second-hand clothing and shoes along with some new fedoras.  




Buffalo Exchange also donates to charity every time you bring your own bag.

Upstairs and a few doors down, consignment store Second Time Around features styles targeted more toward professional women. There are a few more sustainable outlets in Georgetown that I hope to visit before long.  Patagonia has a store there, and Tari Boutique is an upscale consignment boutique for men and women.  So Georgetown has some good shopping opportunities this holiday season.  Let us know if you find any other good outlets  there that we should know about.