Monday, April 20, 2009

Steals and Deals

From time to time I’ll let you in on what I consider to be the best retail buys. It won’t always be the cheapest stuff around, but nevertheless the items I’ve scoped out are what I feel is worth spending your hard earned bucks on.

Renee Stern Cosmetics is an extremely affordable boutique line that right this minute consists of (with some of the best staying power) a comprehensive range of powder eye shadows and blushers. In Manhattan, the collection is available exclusively at Clyde’s at 926 Madison Avenue. You can also call toll free at 800 RX CLYDE. At a nicely priced $16 for the shadows and $22 for blushers, the company has garnered a devoted following. Ms. Stern is on hand most Thursdays to offer her expert advice and answer questions. It’s also worth buying her $18 eye shadow brush and the $26 blush brush. These two are all you’ll ever need and definitely a bargain. Trust me, I’ve checked out the outrageous prices some other makeup brands are charging. Why pay big bucks for some designer name when you can get the same top quality at much lower prices?

Also at 980 Mad is a wonderfully quirky but definitely upscale boutique, Clearly First. The store sells everything from men’s and women’s apparel to footwear, and items for the home, etc, primarily manufactured by top Scandinavian designers. The ambiance is great, with interesting music playing and a friendly sales staff – no hard sell here. Sure, most of the prices are high (and for the most part, worth it) but Clearly First has come up with a great alternative. Every week the store puts a few fab items on sale at 50% off, and alerts shoppers to the deals with window signage. Last time I looked, Tretorn sneakers were a steal, but next week it could be something equally worth getting. You can call the store at 212 988-8242 for updates on the latest deal.

This next item, while not exactly bargain priced should appeal to anyone looking for an unusual one-of-a-kind item either for themselves or for a special gift. The HBO Shop in New York commissioned Natalie Chanin, creator of clothing label Alabama Chanin (founded to preserve American craft traditions and a community-based culture), to design an exclusive, limited edition collection of embellished tee-shirts. The kicker – each tee is hand made and recycled from previous HBO collections featuring logos and key themes from hit programs like Sex & the City, The Sopranos, etc. The collection consists of men’s and women’s tees with Chanin’s signature hand stitching, embroidery and appliqué details. The prices, while not a steal at $65 and $85 (approx.) are on target for the unique quality of the pieces. In addition to the HBO store at 1100 6th Ave in Manhattan, the line can be bought online at It’s worth checking out.

Ms. Chanin, HBO, and clothes... it's fashion wearing TV

True Blood - Tasty!

Sex and the City - Carrie Bradshaw Wishes She Had These!

Flight of the Conchords and the Sopranos - Hipsters and the Mob Agree on Tees!

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Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row