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Online and in stores, use the long weekend to save on style. By Caroline Cunningham
Image via Shutterstock/MediaGroup_BestForYou

The sun is shining, you’ve got a long weekend ahead of you—it’s time to make plans. Take advantage of these sales around town to get your spring wardrobe in shape, your patio furniture prepped, and to keep your inner shopaholic smiling.

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Posted at 01:23 PM/ET, 05/22/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Page Castrodale opened her shop, Curated, on May 16.  By Caroline Cunningham
Image courtesy Page Castrodale.

While Christmas shopping last year, Page Castrodale ran from store to store, trying to find unique, interesting gifts for all the ladies in her life. But she’s putting an end to her gift-buying dilemma by filling her new boutique in Old Town Alexandria, Curated, with accessories and home goods for every woman.

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Posted at 12:40 PM/ET, 05/20/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Vicky Theodorou keeps to an easy but classy look while working out of her Capitol Hill loft. By Caroline Cunningham
All photographs by Andrew Propp.

Who: Vicky Theodorou, 31

Founder and Style Director, Heirloom Catering and Event Design

What I do: “In the early morning, you’ll probably find me at my Capital Hill loft writing custom proposals. From there, I might jet over to Rosslyn to setup a VIP luncheon or work with my culinary team to develop and taste new, fresh, and exciting dishes. Days are also filled with visiting local markets for in-season produce and sustainable meats and seafood and working in our creative space to design new tablescapes for events such as themed weddings and parties. In the evenings, I come home and walk the pups, then dash over to events like ZooFari or Capital Foodfight.”

My work style: "Timeless, yet progressive, meets functional."

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Posted at 03:27 PM/ET, 05/19/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Blowdry Taxi founder Sona Sut shares her insider tips. By Caroline Cunningham
Blowdry Taxi Sona Sut gets ready for her day with the help of a professional stylist. Images courtesy Sona Sut.

Sona Sut had worked for eight years at the front desk of her husband’s Georgetown salon, when during one rare moment of peace, she looked around the room at all the women getting blowouts. She thought to herself, “I work at a salon and I don’t have time to do my hair!”

To help other women juggling their careers, families, and need to be presentable, Sut launched Blowdry Taxi in June 2014, with the accompanying app out the following fall. The “taxi” part of the name refers to the team of stylists that will meet women wherever they are in the DMV—an accessible power outlet being the only stipulation.

“We are designed for the professional woman who wants to squeeze in that morning jog before heading to the office and needs a good blowout that will last all day,” says Sut. “A lot of our clients are busy reporters and policy officials who appear on morning television.”

Many clients also book the stylists to meet them at home after work, making sure that they’re appropriately done up for their evening networking events and galas around town—whether that means getting a full face of makeup, a blowout, or a glam updo. Since many Washington women are constantly making the transition from home to work to evenings out, Shop Around got in touch with Sut to get her best tips on getting ready on the run.

1. Keep heels on hand. “Investing in a great pair of comfortable heels is a simple way to liven up any look for an evening,” says Sut. Can’t handle wearing heels all day? Pack them, or leave a spare pair in your office for nights out.

2. Don’t start from scratch on your makeup. “Instead of redoing all your makeup, just add mascara, some fresh powder, and gloss,” says Sut. Keep these three items in your bag, rather than your whole makeup kit, to cut down on how much you’re lugging around town.

3. Blowouts aren’t the only option. “If you didn’t use Blowdry Taxi to get your hair event-ready, slick back your hair with a little water and wear a sleek ponytail,” says Sut. If Katy Perry can rock it on the red carpet, it can work for your rooftop cocktails.

4. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. Want to distract from the dark circles under your eyes or the fact that you’ve only washed your hair once this week? Do it with something sparkly. “There are great, reasonably-priced statement pieces almost everywhere these days,” says Sut.

5. Fake it ‘til you make it. “Put a smile on and have some fun,” says Sut. “Even if it’s a stuffy work obligation, enjoy yourself—that always looks great.”

Posted at 10:33 AM/ET, 05/18/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Bostonian landed in Clarendon in January. By Caroline Cunningham
Images courtesy McKenna Bleu.

Washington is very comfortable with its neutrals. Whether it be black, white, cream, taupe, or grey, conservative DC dwellers love to stick to the basics. That’s why when we saw the fashion and lifestyle blog of McKenna Bleu, we flipped for her use of bold, bright colors.

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Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 05/15/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Pick up Shinola accessories for your pooch and support artisans around the globe. By Caroline Cunningham
Shop Hanuel's pop-up shop this Saturday. Image courtesy Hanuel.

Head To The Market

The Covington Reception Space at CityCenterDC is hosting a shopping event on Friday with To The Market, a retailer that partners with survivors of abuse, conflict, or disease. The handmade goods are created by artisan survivors around the world, and To The Market assists them with raising awareness and getting their goods before consumers to help create a base of financial independence for them. Attendees will hear from To The Market’s founder, Jane Mosbacher Morris, and human trafficking survivor and advocate, Margeaux Gray, during the evening of shopping. The event will take place at 850 10th St., NW, on May 15 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. RSVP by emailing events@citycenterdc.com.

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Posted at 08:39 PM/ET, 05/13/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Read this and weep (tears of joy), UMD students. By Caroline Cunningham
The TargetExpress will be located at 7501 Baltimore Avenue. Photograph by Caroline Cunningham.

Last July, the first of a new line of mini Target stores, called TargetExpress, opened in the retailer’s hometown, Minneapolis, right off of the University of Minnesota’s campus. In early July 2015, University of Maryland students in College Park will get a TargetExpress of their own, filled with products selected specifically with the college consumer in mind. Though we’ve criticized College Park for not being a very good college town, the addition of this store on Baltimore Avenue seems to be a step in the right direction.

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Posted at 11:19 AM/ET, 05/12/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
What to look for and how to wear your second-hand finds. By Caroline Cunningham
Image via Shutterstock/LoloStock

Buying vintage clothes and accessories can be a great way to transform a bland look. Take a basic outfit, throw on a chunky vintage accessory, and bada-bing-bada-boom: you've got style. To help local women find their way in the world of vintage, on Sunday, May 17, DC Style Factory owner and chief stylist Rosana Vollmerhausen is hosting a workshop called “How to Glam Clothes from Past Decades into a Modern Wardrobe.” The two-hour workshop will cover everything from how to shop for vintage goods to what pieces work best with a modern wardrobe.

Shop Around got in touch with Vollmerhausen to find out her top tips for a savvy vintage shopper.

Look for jewelry.

“Jewelry is the easiest and most fun way to bring vintage into your wardrobe, in my opinion. Vintage jewelry is often higher quality than a lot of modern costume jewelry, and it's also often much less expensive.”

Check for quality.

“What we are really looking for is clothing from eras past that feels high-quality, stylish, and special. We do recommend inspecting vintage clothing for any fading, stains and rips to make sure it is in good condition.”

Don’t overdo it.

“Pick one vintage garment for your look and pair with modern pieces. For example, I just bought a psychedelic pink, mint green, yellow print short-sleeve jacket that could easily go very wrong. But I have worn it with a white t-shirt, army green cargo pants and nude peep-toe heel booties--it’s grounded by the boyishness of the rolled cargo-style pants and brought into 2015 with the nude peep-toe booties. The key is, you don't want to look like you stepped out of a time machine."

Start small, and add as you go.

“Try some vintage jewelry and work that into your wardrobe. One of my first vintage pieces was a large copper square pendant necklace from the 1970s that was etched and had tassels hanging off it. I wear it with a simple t-shirt, boyfriend jeans and metallic sandals. The outfit would otherwise feel very blah, but I slip that vintage necklace on and all of the sudden it's a look.

Pass on the pumps.

“Avoid vintage shoes. Shoes today have better comfort and construction.”

Wear one vintage piece per outfit—unless you can get away with more.

The rule of thumb is one piece of vintage per look, but some vintage garments really do look like they could be bought today. Modern designers borrow from the past all the time. If a vintage piece is simple and has a classic silhouette, then there is no reason you couldn't pair it with another more statement-making vintage piece.

Ready to start shopping? Start here.

“Amalgamated Classic Clothing and Dry Goods in Del Ray, Legendary Beast on U Street for jewelry, and PollySue's in Takoma Park for party dresses.”

The vintage styling workshop will take place at Amalgamated Classic Clothing and Dry Goods, 1904 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, on May 17 from 2 to 4 PM. Purchase tickets here.

Posted at 03:39 PM/ET, 05/11/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get yourself an "express eyelid lift" starting May 8. By Caroline Cunningham
All photography by Joy Asico.

The Sanctuary Cosmetic Center is a new project for local plastic surgeon Dr. Soheila Rostami, who studied ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery and the University of Maryland before moving into oculo-facial plastic surgery. The 4,000-square-foot center, which opens May 8 in Tysons Corner, is a “medical beauty spa,” a venue for surgical and non-surgical skincare treatments that looks more like a high-end salon than a doctor’s office.

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Posted at 12:17 PM/ET, 05/08/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Did someone say "Swedish massage?" By Caroline Cunningham
Image via Shutterstock/LuckyImages.

Mom spoils you all year, and for one day in May, it’s your time to return the favor. Here are nine salons and spas that have got your back—or hers, covered with massage oil--to ensure she has a relaxing, pampered Mother’s Day (which is this Sunday, May 10, kids). Go for a single service, or buy her a whole Mother’s Day special spa package—either way, even just an hour to relax on her own will be appreciated.

Aura Spa

The four area Aura Spas, located at Vida Fitness gyms around town, are offering up a discount on their facial and massage package. Give mom the best of both worlds with a 30 minute Swedish or deep-tissue massage and a 30 minute nourishing facial for $120.

Blo Blow Dry Bar

Blowouts are on Blo this Mother’s Day. Schedule mom an appointment at Blo’s Dupont salon on Sunday, May 10, and she’ll receive a free blowout and glass of champaign. Call 202-293-2256 to make a reservation.

Hela Spa

Mom can get the royal treatment this May with a three-service package at Hela Spa. The package includes an aromatherapy cleansing facial, a 50-minute hot stone massage, and an eye contour treatment for $220.

Nusta Spa

Pamper mom to Nusta’s “Polished” package: a two-hour session that includes an aromatherapy body butter treatment and a mani-pedi ($136), the “Head to Toe” three-hour session that includes a facial, massage, mani-pedi, and even lunch with champagne ($354), or the “Queen for a Day” five-hour set that includes a facial, marine wrap, alchemy massage, mani-pedi, and lunch with champagne ($556).

Red Door Spa

The Elizabeth Arden spa is offering spa dollars in return for $100 gift certificates purchased. Receive $15 bonus bucks for a $100 gift certificate, $30 for $200 spent, and $45 for $300 worth of spa services.

Salamander Resort and Spa

Send mom on a short-distance getaway to Salamander’s spa in Middleburg. Book her a two-night stay, and she’ll receive $100 resort credits per night to be redeemed on a cooking class, yoga, or Mother’s Day brunch, as well as a gift to be redeemed at the spa.

Serenity Day Spa

Help your busy mom find inner peace with Serenity’s “Mom on the Go” package, including a massage and facial ($130), or take it up a notch with “Mom’s Time to Relax,” which provides her with a brightening facial, a 50-minute aromatherapy massage, and lemongrass body lotion ($250). If you want to make a mother-daughter day of it, book the “Ladies of Luxury” package for 50-minute massages for mother and daughter ($190).

The Fountains Day Spa

There’s four deals on the menu for mom: Sweet Beginnings, which includes a pregnancy massage, foot and hand exfoliation, a HydraClean facial, and lunch ($215); Day of Lavender, which gets her a lavender body polish, a mini massage with lavender essential oil, and a Beaute Neuve peeling facial ($249); Mother’s Day Retreat, involving a rose mud wrap, a 50-minute combination massage, a ultra Hydradermie facial, and a catered lunch ($399); or The Un-Fougettable Experience, which gets her a four-hand massage, a Hydradermie facial, 55-minutes of reflexology, and a catered lunch ($422).

The Still Point

Get a two-for-one gift for mom at The Still Point—through May 10, recieve a free Chavez for Charity bracelet with the purchase of a $100 gift card. And it’s a win-win-win, since a portion of the proceeds will go towards the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Posted at 05:09 PM/ET, 05/06/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()