All posts by Amy Scalia

Beat the Winter Beauty Woes

Well, it happened for the first time this year. I pulled on my favorite sweater and my whole head of hair started to magically levitate. ‘Tis the season’s static greetings!

Conveniently, I spent a good majority of my day at Tuscany Spa and Salon in Montgomery covering an upcoming makeover story we’re doing for Cincy Chic. So, while I was there, I asked the GM, Liz Reaney how to tame my tresses during the winter months.

Here’s what she said:

  • Always use a Leave-In conditioner during the winter months.  Choose a conditioner with a thermal protectant to help with static.
  • When you have trouble with fly-a-ways, take a very small amount of pomade, rub it in your hands thoroughly before putting in your hair.
  • Use a hydrating shampoo during the winter months to add moisture to your hair.
  • Try a hydrating hair masque once a week to keep your hair in great condition.
  • When you schedule your next hair appointment, add on a deep conditioning treatment to help prevent your hair from drying out.
  • For your hands and feet, paraffin treatments are perfect in the winter.  The oils in the paraffin help with cracked, dry nails and leave your skin soft and smooth.
  • Use a hydrating facial mask once a week in the winter to combat the harsh elements.

I thought these were great tips so I wanted to share! : ) Oh, and I go in for a haircut/color on Monday… wondering what to do. I feel like I need a change, but I’m not sure what to do. Suggestions are welcome!

UPDATE: Here’s the new (shorter) ‘do!
shorter hair

The Eyes Have It

I swear, a few minutes every week with a makeup artist can really open your eyes. Literally.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting in a weekly dose of Nancy at Brideface because I just love all the fun little pointers I pick up when I spend time with her.

I recently participated in her “Brows for a Cause” brow-shaping event she’s doing. Every Wednesday in December, she’ll shape your brows for $15 and 100% of the proceeds go to the American Heart Association.

I thought it was such a great idea that I blogged about it last week before I went. I knew I’d learn a ton, so I recorded it for you so you can see what “Brows for a Cause” is like and pick up all Nancy’s tips so you can DIY at home! (e-mail her at nancy@brideface.com if you want to sign up for a Brows for a Cause appointment)

Watch the video below to see how Nancy expertly shaped my brows, the tools she used and products she loves!

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FB’s and Fake Blinkers

FBs
My Girlfriends and I at FBs

When I asked the owner of the new FB’s bar downtown what “FB” stood for, he just smiled and said “whatever you want it to stand for.”

I was intrigued with the ambiguity and creativity. But I couldn’t come up with anything fitting. The first thing that came to my mind was Facebook,  because we shorthand “FB” for Facebook at work all…the…time. So, I asked some of my Twitter friends what they thought. My favorite ideas were from @begleyh who suggested Fancy Boots, Funny Bones and Falling Boobs. : )

Falling boobs or not – whatever it stands for, I think it’s a fun concept, and it adds a little character and spontaneity to Cincinnati’s bar scene. Another thing I like about FB’s is their Alice in Wonderland “with a Twist” atmosphere. Remember the Twist Lounge that was next to Pigalls? I loved that place. I loved the feel of the space and the mix of people. There were people of all ages there, and everyone got dressed up to go. I liked that and I couldn’t find it again after it closed.

FBs
FB's cocktail lounge area on the main floor

Even though Twist reopened as Tonic – and I do really like Tonic – it just feels different. They now serve food there (which changes the atmosphere), they added more furniture (which changes the flow), and a bunch of other things changed like the music/clientele/drinks/etc. I like it, but it’s different than before.

I found out this new place called FB’s would be opening up and I heard they wanted to attract the Twist demographic. That caught my attention. Then I saw the space. It’s fantastic. Bold patterned wall paper, over-sized furniture, and a funky color scheme. There are some hints of Mad Hatter/Alice in Wonderland inspirations speckled throughout and I think that’s fun to look around and pick those out. Like a blue old fashioned telephone on a coffee table, a huge yellow chair, and a checkerboard table in the middle of the lounge.

The main floor is a cocktail lounge that caters to the casually upscale (not snooty or hoity toity at all). Downstairs, aka the “Rabbit Hole,” is a nightclub on weekends (not my scene). Anyone can get in the nightclub or on the main floor, but only those on “the list” can get upstairs. I’ve never been on this mysterious list, so I don’t know what it’s like up there. But I do really, really like the main floor. It fits the bill for what I was looking for in a sophisticated but not stuffy, refined but relaxed downtown happy hour hangout.

FBs
FB's downstairs club area

I especially liked the crowd – very urban chic. I talked to a couple in their mid-40s. He had just moved from NYC and got a job here in the arts. She was a dental hygienist on the West Side. They live downtown.

I also talked to a few other YPs, ranging from 25-45ish, who lived in the suburbs and were there for our friend Monika’s birthday party. It’s a very suburb-friendly place because there’s a $1 for 2 hours lot literally 10 steps away, right across the street, from FB’s.

You do have to know where you’re going though. The owners want the place to be discreet and only be known by those who need to know about it. On the upside, there aren’t cheesy neon signs flashing outside. On the downside, that means you need to get your eagle eyes out to spot it. For future reference, it’s at 126 W. 6th Street, about 50 yards down from Walgreens.FBs

One of the cool things I suggest you splurge on is their “TSM” service. It’s tableside mixology, which means you essentially get a private bar and tender for an evening. This isn’t the “table service” which basically means they slop a couple bottles of booze on your table and say “make it yourself” but charge you out the wazoo for it. TSM is a great way to get the attention you want and need for a special night out without fighting a crowd or wasting time waiting in line at a bar.

The owners said they’re going to have an incredible New Year’s Eve party there. I didn’t get many details because I will be out of town, but I hear it is sponsored by a huge champagne company and will be tres tres chic. Sounds like a place we’d definitely be if we were in town (I’ll be in a Gatlinburg cabin with my hubby and puppy though!). If you’re interested, I’m sure you can call FB’s and get more info.

And just because I’m on a makeup kick this week, I’ll throw in a little NYE makeup trend to end this post since we’re on the topic of the big ball-dropping night (already, seriously, can you believe it’s almost 2010?!). So, here’s my prediction…. EYELASHES. The funkier the better. Feathers, sparkles and lace (yes, even lace). The more elaborate the better. Make them too lush to be true. Here’s some inspiration for your FBs (Fake Blinkers)! : )
eyelashes
eyelashes
eyelashes

Images courtesy of Robot Nine

Brows for a Cause (and 2010 Makeup Trends!)

In my short 27 years on this Earth, I’ve seen eyebrows change more than Chad Johnson/Ocho Cinco/Esteban changes names.

Dita
Dita Von Teese - dark brow, blood-hued lips

It all started when Brooke Shields threw away her tweezers in the 80s. Women eventually got tired of brushing back their bushy brows, and they started penciling in super skinny brows like Pamela Anderson. We went au naturale for a while and now we’re trending back to a bold brow.

To help us keep up with the tweezing trends, one of my favorite local makeup artists – Nancy with Brideface – is hosting “Brows for a Cause” each Wednesday in December from 11am-6pm. Make and appointment via email to nancy@brideface.com and get flawlessly shaped brows for a $15 donation. 100% of the proceeds go to The American Heart Association! What a great idea, huh? : )

And in light of this fun event, I’m going to report on what I think are going to be a few big eyebrow/makeup trends in 2010.

rhianna
Rihanna - light eye color, glam lips

What can brown do for you? It can get you en vogue with this season’s trends. The whole spectrum – everything from hot cocoa all the way to light dusty brown – is on trend, and should be on your eyes.

Also, in terms of colors, you have to take into consideration the impact of trends like Twilight saga.  Check out the Cincy Chic feature story on Nordstrom’s exclusive Luna Twilight beauty line, which is an entire line of bloody lipsticks that are flying off the shelves.

Thick black and brown eyebrows are a makeup trend for 2009-2010. They brightly contour the eye shadow and draw attention to the eye.

Fall-Winter 2009/2010 makeup mixes up colorless eyes and bright lips, glam eyes and pale lips supplemented with cheeks and eyebrows hues. It’s a time where we’re testing limits, so have fun with it!

Photos: from People.com

Thanks, Giving and Getting Great Black Friday Deals

This month has been one for the records. It all started two weeks ago when, on my morning jog, I was literally hit by a pick-up truck. The driver didn’t see me when I crossed the street – luckily only resulting in some bumps and bruises. A week later, our upstairs toilet malfunctioned, overflowed, kept running and poured water throughout three stories of our home while we slept. We are now in the process of tearing out one bathroom and repairing the other two floors (yay home ownership). And the third in this terrific trifecta happened last week when my Grandma took a serious tumble and is now left with two black eyes – what she is affectionately calling her “broken face.”

Baby Sara Paige
Baby Sara Paige

But, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m trying to see the positive in all of this. The truck incident will make me more aware of my surroundings when I run (and look both ways 18 times before crossing!), the bathroom issue is actually resulting in a brand new bathroom (we were planning to repair anyway) on our insurance’s dime, and the third gave me the excuse to bring my Grandma lunch today to make her feel better.

Someone once told me “You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights” and it’s so true. While none of those things happened to me, I experienced my own variation. And now, instead of being sad they happened, I’m actually…. thankful.

I have another thing to be thankful for, too. I’m officially “Aunt Amy”! My brother and his wife, Erin, had a beautiful baby girl named Sara Paige last Monday night. She’s beautiful and perfect and I love her so much already.

Maybe the new addition to the family got me in the giving spirit, or maybe I just love shopping, but I’m almost completely done with my holiday shopping! I wish I could tell you what I purchased, but my friends and family frequent this blog too much for me to not let the cat out of the bag.

All I’m going to say is that I’m completely in love with Stop Traffick Fashion. A local woman (with a fabulous fashion sense) started an online shopping site where you can get the latest and greatest handbags, jewelry and skin care, and proceeds benefit victims of human trafficking.

Stop Traffick Fashion
Stop Traffick Fashion Handbag

Click here to check out an upcoming shopping event they’re having at The McAlpin downtown on 4th St on Dec. 5. She has some gorgeous products, and they look even better in person, so I highly recommend you come to this event!

But there’s lots of goodies to gobble up in the meantime with all the price-slashing going on this Friday! Below are my top picks for the Tri-State’s best Black Friday Sales!

Black Friday Sale at Missy & Jack!
Friday November 27, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Take 25% OFF the entire store! Enjoy pastries and apple spritzers all day long while you shop and check out their latest collections, which include: Citizens of Humanity, LA MADE, Hudson Jeans, Michael Stars, Paige Denim

Missy & Jack
5861 Deerfield Blvd. Mason, Ohio 45040
(513) 770-0512
www.missyandjack.com

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obsess boutique – 20% off!
At obsess boutique, mention “Cincy Chic” and save 20% off retail on any item! Sale ends Nov. 27! Click here to see a recent fashion show we did with obsess boutique clothing and Stop Traffick handbags!

obsess boutique
9393 Montgomery Road
Montgomery, Ohio 45242
(513) 793-4777
www.obsessboutique.com

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Cincy Designer Shoes Holiday Sale
Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 – Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Cincy Designer Shoes is having one heck of a holiday sale. More than 40% of its inventory has been reduced 15-35%. In addition to those mark downs, they’re offering an additional 15% off this week only! While you’re there, register to win a free pair of Dezario Boots!

Cincy Designer Shoes
2717 Erie Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45208
(513) 321-1924
www.cincyshoes.com

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La Silhouette Lingerie – Anniversary Sale
This isn’t a Black Friday sale, but it’s a sale nonetheless. La Silhouette is celebrating two years in the Tri-State! To celebrate, they’re offering 20% off today through December 5, 2009 on non-sale merchandise.

La Silhouette carries the world’s top lingerie brands like: Bagley Mischka, Betsey Johnson, Cass and Co., Chantelle, Cosabella, Elle Macpherson, Feraud, Foxers, Hanky Panky, Huit, Jane Woolrich, La Perla, Millesia, Natori, Oscar de la Renta, Prima Donna, Simone Perele, Verena, and Wolford.

La Silhouette Lingerie
6914 Miami Ave., Madeira, OH 45243
(513) 272-8100
www.lasilhouettelingerie.com

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Richter and Phillips Second Annual Watch Trunk Show
Want to get the man in your life a timeless holiday gift this year? Skip the Black Friday rush and head to Richter and Phillips second annual Watch Trunk Show will on Friday December 4th from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. and Saturday December 5th from 10 a.m. to 5p.m. Special pricing on all Major Swiss Watch Brands Omega, Tag Heuer, Tissot, Rado, Movado, Michele, Philip Stein, Hamilton and others.

Richter & Phillips
202 East Sixth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 241-3510
www.richterphillips.com

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And while we’re on the subject of Thanksgiving, and giving thanks, please stop by this page to share your thoughts on what makes you thankful this year.

To check out more Black Friday deals, click here!

All Made Up and Some Place to Go!

Martinis and MakeoversMy friends and I love to have spa nights. We do our own manis and pedis, and have even hosted spa parties where a consultant comes in and does facials, skin peels and makeup applications.

We look fabulous when we’re done, but we usually just sit around in our sweats drinking wine and watching Sex and the City.

That’s where the idea to have a “Martinis and Makeover” Cincy Chic ladies night came from. How fun would it be to have an event where you can grab a cocktail after work, get dolled up with your friends and paint the town for the rest of the night sporting your new look?

That’s what you can do this Wednesday as we bring some of the best and brightest experts in town to show you some of the latest and greatest trends … with a twist… we asked them to show you special holiday glam tricks and trends to look hot for the holidays!

So, come on down to the Havana Martini Club this Wednesday (Nov. 18) from 5-8pm, grab a happy hour martini and enjoy your free holiday glam makeovers from experts like Nancy at Brideface who is giving you some eye-popping advice in the video below as a sneak peek for this Wednesday’s event! Enjoy!

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Oh So Soho

Amy Maynard
Cincinnati's Couture Cutie, Amy Maynard, owner of Soho Boutique

I love it when I can get a taste of big-city life without leaving the comfort of my hometown. And every time I step into Soho Boutique in Hyde Park, I feel that way… from the off-the-beaten path boutique location and hand-painted stairs into the boutique, to the floor-to-ceiling gold encrusted mirror and daily changing floor displays. I absolutely love it.

Amy Maynard, the new owner of Soho, and I have become good friends since she purchased the boutique this summer. She is so friendly and down-to-earth, but the girl knows what she’s talking about when it comes to fashion. Especially fashion for the local lady (let’s be honest, not everything on the runway looks right at Skyline).

One of the best perks of her job is that she gets to write off her trips to Soho for “research and development.” (smart girl!) : ) She just got back from one of these trip to the Big Apple. That got my wheels turning on how my Cincy Chic readers can learn from experts like her. I came up with this concept where we can build off our popular lunch ‘n’ learn idea (where once a month we bring in one expert and invite our readers to enjoy lunch and learn about the topic for free), but this time bring in several experts from several industries to talk about trends in their specific niches.

So, on Nov. 20 from 12-1 at the Chamber of Commerce downtown (3rd floor of Carew Tower) we will have Amy from Soho Boutique talking about clothing trends, Rick Fehr from Richter & Phillips talking about jewelry and Rhonda from Missy & Jack talking about scarves and pashminas. From 1-2, there will be a trunk show where you can snag any of the items you just learned about! It’s free to attend and it includes a free boxed lunch. But we can only let the first 80 RSVPs in, so reserve your spot quickly! Send an e-mail to RSVP@cincychic.com or call (513) 721-2445 if you’re interested in attending! Hope to see you there! : )

Check out the video below where Amy from Soho gives you a sneak peek into a few of the biggest trends she’ll be talking about on Friday!

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On the (Holiday) Market

My husband and I visited the Holiday Market at the Cincinnati Convention Center today. It was our first time going to this event, so we didn’t quite know what to expect. But I am SO glad we went though! I highly recommend stopping by if you haven’t yet! (It goes from 10am-5pm tomorrow, FYI!)

I decided to do a little recap of our experience at the Holiday Market on this blog because I had so much fun with the variety of vendors there. It was dangerous though, because for every unique gift item I found for someone else, I found something I’d like to give myself for Christmas! : )

We made two purchases. One I can’t disclose because my father-in-law frequents this blog. But I can say that “MILL-CLIFF BOOKS & GRAPHICS” has some awesome authentic memorabilia for music lovers. I almost bought myself an authentic Life Magazine with Marilyn Monroe on the cover – it was perfectly preserved! But I somehow refrained. It was tough, I’m a huge MM fan! The second gift we did buy was from one of the many food vendors there. They had some great seasoning packets for party dips and dishes. Sorry, I know … that was kind of a boring purchase. But the dips were delightful, and I ate so many samples I felt bad not buying! haha!

The rest of our fun Holiday Market trip I’ll explain in photos…

Cutest Snowman EVER
Cutest Snowman EVER
Adorable Baby Hats! (PS: I'm going to be an aunt on Monday!)
Adorable Baby Hats! (PS: I'm going to be an aunt on Monday!)
A Fishtank Frame! How cool!
A Fishtank Frame! How cool!
My Husband, Pete, in a cool hanging lounge chair! (Complete with beverage holder!)
My Husband, Pete, in a cool hanging lounge chair! (Complete with beverage holder!)
Incredible Hand-Made Inlaid Wood Mirror
Incredible Hand-Made Inlaid Wood Mirror
Fur-Topped Socks to Add Flair to Your Boots!
Fur-Topped Socks to Add Flair to Your Boots!

To Heaven in a Handbag

DeGroot Handbags
DeGroot Handbags Fall 2009 Collection

Handbags are the ultimate accessory in my book. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry because my bag is usually loud, large and in charge.

I also don’t like to change my handbag much. I find it time consuming and annoying. And I usually forget things like my wallet or lip gloss in the rushed bag change-over. So, the whole handbag debacle has been a thorn in my side for a while.

How can I find a bag that meets my form and function needs… and happens to look fabulous with everything?

Miche Bags are a good option. Especially their hobo style because I tend to lug everything but the kitchen sink with me in my bag. But even changing the shell is too much hassle for me.

But then I met Missy DeGroot. She’s beautiful, ambitious, talented, successful – but still Cincinnati’s best kept secret. She’s a local handbag designer who started her own company (DeGroot Handbags), designs all her own lines and manages relationships with retailers such as Kitson, Fred Segal, Saks and Bloomingdales to get her bags on their shelves.

I met her about a year ago and got a white Isis Tote. I wore it every day for a year and a half (yes, I snubbed the “don’t wear white in winter” rule, and it felt good!). To work, out with friends, on weekend getaways. That bag went everywhere, through everything with me. It carried computers, doggie treats, coffee mugs, water bottles, notebooks and champagne bottles.

I consistently got compliments on it. It went with everything. It was exactly what I needed. So, when it started to fray and look a little worn out, I gave Missy a call. She said I had perfect timing because she just got in her new collection. So, naturally, I told her to bring her wares to the office and I’d do a little blog on her!

Check out the video below to see my new white grommet hobo bag, learn about all the new colors/prints/styles she’s introducing with her new collection, and virtually meet the amazing Missy DeGroot!

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This Week on Cincy Chic: Imagine, Create, Inspire

Imagine, Create, InspireImagine, Create, Inspire

Six ways to tap into your creativity

The last time you unleashed your inner artist, your mom smiled awkwardly then stored your work for “special” occasions. That masterpiece might not have seen the light of day, but a local “chief imagination officer” gives six simple steps to rediscover your inspired side and make your decorative dreams come true.

Create Your Own Wardrobe
Tailors can alter an existing creation to fit your body, but read on to learn how three local companies offer products that you can customize from the start to fit your form and style.

Motivating Your Assets

Boot camp might get your booty in shape, but it probably won’t keep your attention for the long haul. Get creative with your workout with this local studio that will keep you coming back.

The “Custom-her” is Always Right
Your ideal beauty routine should be as individualized as your face shape and expressions, and this Cincinnati company works with customers to discover that ideal routine and put it in action.

Sip, Sample, Create!
Whether you’re a connoisseur or a beginner, grab your regular cocktail crew and head to this local wine bar/winery to create and enjoy something different — sippable art!

I Saw the Sign
Ace of Base would sing the praises of this Cincinnati man and his company. His signs, banners and other products stand out from the crowd with the creative approach behind them.

Chic Spotlight: Marketing Art Director Kim Wehby
The world’s always more interesting with creative concepts. Learn how this Tri-State woman taps into her imagination to help throw that twist in the mix and how you can do the same.

Sensible Fitness:  Flair and Flavor for Dishes to Savor
Whether you excelled in art or majored in math, you can conquer your lackluster meal routine. Our fitness guru offers ways to put two and two together for a delicious equation.

Cents & Sensibility: Creative Ways to Save Money
When it comes to tight budgets, you have to tap into your creativity to keep your bank account happy. Our financialista has new tips for saving a couple dollars while saving your lifestyle.

Ask Patty: Just Friends?
Real life “When Harry Met Sally”: When is it OK to cross the line of friendship and step into something more? Our relationship expert offers some advice on the relationship possibilities with friends.

Photos:
10.28.09 – Sacksteder’s Interiors Kenwood Place Grand Opening

Upcoming Events:
11.18.09 – eWomenNetwork “Holiday Extravaganza” Event
11.18.09 – Martinis and Makeovers
11.19.09 – Chemistry for Charity: Single Scavenger Hunt
11.20.09 – Unique Boutique Lunch ‘n’ Learn
11.20.09 – Gifts Glam and Girlfriends