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Allison Kaplan

Savvy Shopper Column

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March 27, 2007

Goof-proof make-up

As mentioned, I missed Monday's "Beauty Summit" for stylists and fashion types at the Walker Art Center. But I heard the highlight, aside from the frequent fire alarms (make-up is hot!), was Cover Girl make-up artist B.J. Gillian - a.k.a. "The Guru of Goof-Proof Make-Up," who has painted the faces of Jennifer Aniston, Teri Hatcher, Christie Brinkley and Janet Jackson, to name a few. So I promptly called -- he is indeed hilarious -- to book him on this Saturday's Shopping Show on FM107. BJ will bring us up to speed on spring beauty trends (so it's wrong that I've been wearing the same eyeshadow since 2002?), and, most importantly, steer us toward drug store deals as well as products that are truly worth the splurge. Tune in at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 30.

March 26, 2007

Thick skin on the beauty beat

While most Twin Cities stylists spent their Monday off at the first P & G sponsored "beauty summit" at the Walker (if your hairstylist is singing the praises of Pantene, you'll know why), I was at Root Salon in St. Paul orchestrating makeovers for the three "real women" (as opposed to models) who are posing for my spring fashion spread in the St. Paul Pioneer Press (see it on Sunday, April 15). It's amazing what a fresh cut and color can do for a girl's self image.

But let's talk about me.

As I was complimenting Root owner Jim Koktavy for his brilliant work on one of the girls, he said to me "You're next." And here I thought I was having a decent hair day. I had to dash, as I was scheduled to speak to a women's group. "Not until I get rid of that fuzz," Jim retorted. Fuzz? My hair was fuzzy? Five minutes under his hair dryer and round brush and my hair looked entirely sleeker, which was, frankly depressing. I can never get it to look like that, no matter how long I spend and what products I use. Jim's suggestion: one of his stylists does an amazing blow out for $20. He's the second person this month to tell me I should consider regular blowouts, which could last a week on my dry hair.

What am I, my grandmother? Come to think of it, maybe Gram had the right idea.

March 08, 2007

What do you wear to a fashionista shopping party?

If you're feeling depressed about the Macy-ization of your favorite 'Dale department store, take a trip to Minneapolis. The downtown Macy's store looks great -- inviting, energetic and downright fashionable, packed with dozens of designers you won't find at the suburban stores. While I'm annoyed that the convenient mall locations are looking like neglected step children, it's nice find a reason to shop downtown. I was at the store Thursday night for the Fashionista Shopping Party in the third floor women's contemporary department. Even in my Urban Outfitters dress, tights and kick-ass buckle boots (that might not have been the precise name on the Cole Haan box, but that's what I call them), I felt ancient -- the average age had to have been 23. Of course, it's a lot easier to stop for cocktails and shopping at 6 p.m. on a Thursday when you don't have any kids to schlep to hockey practice. Still, the crowd made me feel like dressing up -- or at least, dressing better. Lots of girls in dresses, cropped sweaters with longer layers beneath, slim jeans, great boots and big handbags. Good thing I had a photographer with me. You can get a look at what the best dressed were wearing in the Pioneer Press on Wednesday, March 14. Who knew so many girls in town were shopping at Bebe...

March 06, 2007

Martin + Osa

It's always a good sign for the local shopping scene when national retailers pick the Twin Cities to test new store concepts. The latest to land at Mall of America is Martin + Osa. It's American Eagle's answer to everyday luxury for thirtysomethings. (I walked out empty handed, but my seventysomething father bought a khaki jacket. He's an unusually stylish grandfather.) To me, it's American Eagle meets J. Crew -- slightly preppy basics in finer fabrics with a few twists, like a nylon trench coat in pale yellow and "chino sweats," with the fit of khakis and the softness of your coziest sweats. Saw a hooded sweater I liked, but $98 seemed a bit much for it. Still, it's worth trying something on. The fitting rooms are a zen oasis in the middle of the mall.


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