AP file photo of NYC nail salon.
If you read the New York Times' damning May investigation of NYC nail salons — where many workers are paid below minimum wage or nothing at all, among other health problems and humiliating circumstances — you may find yourself worrying, like me last week, whether your favorite nail salon treats its employees fairly.
I can't tell you whether some workers in Tampa Bay nail salons face remotely similar conditions. But I can pass on a few tips from the Times and Allure that a friend recently passed on to me that can make your mani search more socially conscious.
The sources offer similar advice, except on whether you should straight-up talk about wages with your manicurist during the service.
One constant is to be willing to pay more. Exceptionally low prices could present a red ethical flag.
The Times quoted Yale Law School lecturer Nicole Hallett, who has worked on some nail salon wage cases in court. She said, “We, as consumers, expect to have low prices and to be able to go to nail salons often, but the more prices are pushed down, the more employers are cutting costs. They’re cutting costs somewhere, and in many cases it’s coming out of the pockets of the workers themselves.” …Full Story
Stephanie captured a bunch of candids outside of Times HQ instead of one glamour shot, like this...
Welcome to October. It's been waiting for us!
Yes, I have a birthday-month bias, and yes, it's rainy today, but you have to admit that it feels plain awesome.
With the weather turning crisp, I'm turning down summer's bright hues (yellow Target purse excepted) in favor of toned-down, moodier wardrobe choices that match my midnight pedicure.
That doesn't mean the fun's over. With mixed patterns, the fun never stops.
I inherited this floral blouse with billowy sleeves for free from Deal Diva Alumna Kameel. There's something about tucking baggy blouses into fitted pencil skirts that leaves me inspired and happy, so that's where I took things with this navy Target skirt (also from Kameel).
I could have stuffed my toes into reliable maroon pumps for a look that made polished sense. But I wanted to give a shoutout to my pedi, and these low wedges from DSW came to mind as a neutral but playful surprise. Or are they actually bonkers?
I texted Stephanie a photo with the usual question (with usual lazy punctuation). She provided the usual answer.
She blessed this, so I went with prints on prints. …Full Story
Infinity Headbands is one of more than 40 vendors at the boutique sale.
You mean to tell me it's the first day of October and you haven't even started your holiday shopping?
Don't panic. One of the first shopping events of the season is tomorrow.
The Chic Boutique at LCC Day School in St. Petersburg is open to all from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday. It's at 4400 Chancellor St. NE. near Snell Isle and 38th Avenue NE.
The school's fifth and biggest holiday shopping market features local vendors, including one of our favorite Central Avenue boutiques, Ashe Couture. Infinity Headbands offers everything from cute bows for kids to beaded bands for the older, hipper set.
Expect clever home goods, designer children's and adult apparel, hand crafted jewelry, handbags and more.
Vendors include: Knits by Cheryl, Huntington Street Glass Art, Caydyn & Charlie Jewelry, Beyond the Needle, Boaters Republic, Dolly & George Boutique, L. Wood Athletics, Noonday Collection, Thirty-One Gifts, Usborne Books, Younique, Tone it Tampa, Stella & Dot, Enewton Designs and several more.Full Story
Pinup Girl Clothing
You will not look bad in this. It's on sale for $50, link below.
Oh gosh, oh me, oh my.
I've always loved pinup culture, and have the Alberto Vargas coffee table books to prove it. Still, I tend to incorporate pin-up style into my own look in half-committed ways. A red lip here, a flutter skirt there.
Deal Diva Lydia commits fully to the pin-up aesthetic on the reg, and we're always in awe of how she pulls it off. It's no surprise that she was the one to alert me to this sale today. The aptly named Pinup Girl Clothing (or PUG, if you're in the know) is having its famous "online yard sale, with prices up to 70 percent off, with most items coming in less than $60.
Obviously loving this can't-miss Dames dress in Red Bengaline, but I might be more interested in these purses (!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!11!!!!!). I will take one of each, please. If that's not sale enough, check out the final sale section of the site, with deep discounts on discontinued items.
Can't wait to buy one moderately-stylized item and then be totally blown to bits by Lydia when she shows up in full victory rolls and fishnets. Full Story
Don't leave us, Blake.
It is with great sadness that we bring you the news that Blake Lively is giving up on Preserve — for now. The good news: There are major deals to be had.
The actress and new mom is shuttering the lifestyle site until she can rebrand and, basically, just do a better job.
Preserve, which was created to connect users with makers “of things, of experiences, of stories,” opened to great fanfare last summer — Lively, 28, seemingly became BFFs with Martha Stewart just seconds after the launch — but it was soon criticized for issues with everything from site design to product descriptions to prices. …Full Story
In the spirit of continuing this week's theme of Where to Get Free Food and Beverage in Tampa Bay, we bring you this heartwarming news from Tampa restaurant Datz and its sister bakery next door, Dough:
Our sister, @DatzDough is giving out FREE #doughnuts on this Friday to celebrate winning 'Best Doughnuts'! #BOTB25 https://t.co/ghV2LWwLwC
That's right, free doughnuts will be available to all on Oct. 2, while supplies last. The restaurant, located on McDill Avenue in South Tampa, opens at 7 a.m. They're celebrating their recent win in the category of "Best Dougnuts" in Creative Loafing's Best of the Bay contest. We'll take it!
More doughnut wisdom: Deal Diva Lisa told me this morning about a miraculous deal over at St. Pete Bagel Co. (seriously great bagels) in which customers who buy any size latte get a free doughnut. The hole-in-the-wall up on Fourth Street in St. Petersburg hand-makes their own bagels and dougnuts in house.Full Story
Tuesday is National Coffee Day, and lots of retailers are offering free (or very cheap) coffee in honor of the holiday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Don't be like me, coffee fiends. I made the awful, unforgivable mistake this morning of bringing my own coffee into work from home.
ON FREE COFFEE DAY.
I should have consulted the Times' helpful guide on where to get free coffee today. Check it out. There are deals at Kahwa, Wawa, Whole Foods, Dunkin' Donuts, Nature's Food Patch and Krispy Kreme (+ a free donut, whaaaaaaat).
I should mention there's a double bonus in play. Take a picture of your coffee and your Tampa Bay Times and tag it #TBTCoffee. Our social media team will be choosing their favorites to feature on Twitter and Instagram.
Free coffee + instant fame? That's a happy Tuesday.
Photo by Katie, who helped me find the light.
$6 outfit in action, Charles and Di mug full of steaming hot java.
Today in the category of Practice What You Preach:
I present to you an outfit I got for $6 total from the Dress for Success Excess Inventory Sale over the weekend. Remember the one we told you about, where suits were $10 and clothes were $5? Yeah. I couldn't get there until the final hour, and it turned out to be a major boon because just as I started shopping, the organizers announced that everything was being reduced to $2. YES, EVERYTHING WAS $2. My heart started racing and all the women at the sale started scooping up more and more armloads of stuff, not unlike rabid wolves.
I had exactly $40 in cash in hand to keep myself within a budget, and it turned out to go way farther than I could have imagined. I left with 18 items for $36 ("You couldn't find two more things?" my boyfriend asked. I donated the last $4). I scored dresses and skirts and all kinds of stuff, items by INC, Lilly Pulitzer, Jones New York and so on. I even found a pair of Michael Kors sandals that look to be just about brand new. …Full Story
YouTube screen shot
Scrunchies peaked in the 1989 in the dark comedy "Heathers."
Twelve years ago Sex & The City's Carrie Bradshaw proclaimed to her soon to be ex-boyfriend, Berger that: "no stylish woman in Manhattan would be caught dead wearing a scrunchie," unless maybe she was in the bathroom washing her face. He had written a novel about a N.Y. fashionplate and mentioned she wore one of the '80s trademark fabric-covered elsastics.
Carrie a.k.a. S.J.P was right. The scrunchie was long past the peak of its fashion lifespan when it was so prominently featured in the opening credits of the 1989 dark comedy "Heathers."
But even nails pounded into a coffin by Sarah Jessica Parker can be removed it seems allowing scrunchies by the thousands to flow back into the fashionsphere.
I've seen them at American Apparel for $3. A great vendor with a lot of throw back stuff sells them for about $5 at the St. Pete Indie Market.
But what's much more surprising than a scrunchie comeback is what some retailers have the nerve to charge for them.
Missoni sells crocheted scrunchies for $100. Nordstrom sells silk ones for $24 to $54. I mean, please tell me, who is paying that much money for a SCRUNCHIE? On second thought. Please don't tell me. I don't want to know. …Full Story
Life took me today, as it does most days, to Groupon.
I've already mentioned my affinity for Groupon vacation deals. Just last week, my guy and I scooped up a long weekend cruise for $99 on Groupon. Now, I'm in the market for a few home services, chief among them a cleaning service. I don't want a regular maid (well, I DO, but I live in reality), just someone to come once and clean the grout and the windows and that kind of thing. In the words of Groupon's effective marketing campaign, I "checked Groupon first."
While exploring my grout options, I saw a tab I never really noticed before marked "clearance," and like a moth to the flame, I clicked.
Whoa. There's some good stuff here, and some weird stuff, and some stuff that defies category (Arizona Cardinals coasters?).
These Chanel watches can be yours for only $8,459! Before you scoff and stomp away, consider that the previous price was $16,250. Ok, now you can scoff and stomp away. I think this is something people who aren't buying a once-a-year grout cleaning on Groupon can consider, but not the rest of us. …Full Story
Hillary Clinton posted this on Instagram today, and my curiosity about what else exists like this took off.
As Deal Diva Lisa pointed out, we write for Deal Divas on the side of our usual beats at the Times. I work for PunditFact, which fact-checks pundits like PolitiFact does politicians, and today I'm reporting about Ronald Reagan's record of tax increases and cuts in the '80s.
Today I'm also taking a moment to point out something not so serious, because what's life, and politics, without some whimsy?
Like election manicures.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton today posted, in her view, a "100" emoji-worthy manicure (presumably from a fan, and not her own, though that would be different), on her Instagram. The fingertips asked "Who run the world" on one hand and answered with her cartoon likeness on the other.
At this writing, the other candidates have not embraced this brand of candidate loyalty. But hey, if you're into one of them — and I think this could be pulled off at a party convention next year, especially — the Internet can fill the void.
I found a lot of nail wraps for the other candidates, plus President Barack Obama, on the website Zazzle (specifically the Minx store). …Full Story
Elisabeth Moss had one of my favorite looks last night, in no small part because I feel like this is exactly what I would have chosen for prom in 1999 (Time Of Our Lives) had I unlimited budget and resources. Something about hot pink and black together has a solid place in my heart, right next to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Vitamin C's graduation song.
Happy Monday to the tired masses! It has been a Monday to top all Mondays here. How about in your life? It has to happen this way. You can't have so much good fortune on a Sunday night and also have a smooth Monday. The universe would implode.
What good fortune is that? Where to begin? You can read a full recap from Brittany Volk and Jay Cridlin here, but, highlights:
Viola Davis made history as the first African American woman to win a Lead Actress Emmy, and she delivered a gut-punching, emotional speech for the ages. And our nation's boyfriend, Jon Hamm, walked away with the Lead Actor in a Drama Emmy last night at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, something he's been chasing the way my Cleveland Browns have been chasing a Super Bowl win since the dawn of time. I'm a giant Mad Men nerd and watched it faithfully, though I admit freely that I see why Hamm's nuanced, dead-inside thing was passed up time and time again in favor of more dynamic performances. It felt great to see him finally recognized after a strong body of work (NO PUN INTENDED, LADIES).
But wait, there's more! THE FASHION. …Full Story
Executive producer Don Mischer, left, host Andy Samberg, center, and Television Academy Chairman/CEO Bruce Rosenblum roll out the ceremonial red carpet during the 67th Emmy Awards Press Preview Day on Wednesday in Los Angeles. The Emmy Awards will be held on Sunday at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.
It's a holiday Hamm! A Hamm dunk! A grand Hamm!
It's Hamm time, ladies and germs. The 67th Emmy Awards are Sunday, and we're prepared to step in as Jon Hamm's date at a moment's notice (he's had a hard year, you guys). Will Hamm and Eggs finally win his Emmy for being stoic, embattled sad widdle lothario Don Draper on Mad Men all those years? Will Amy Schumer come away victorious in what has been the year of her life? Will an African-American actress finally win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress? Will Modern Family win yet again, becoming that kid everyone resents who is on student council, wins homecoming queen and somehow even gets to hang out with the cool kids who smoke behind the trash bay?
AH, but even more questions remain. Chief among them, what will everyone wear?
The Deal Divas will be posted up on Twitter to capture the red carpet action starting at 6 p.m. Sunday. Join us at @dealdivas, follow along, chime in. Use the hashtag #tbtemmys to appear in our Times Scribble Live. And by all means, tweet us pictures of what you're eating during the show. Bonus points if it contains any Hamm.Full Story
A look ahead at some of this week's fashion and shopping events. For the remaining Tampa Bay Fashion Week schedule, click here.
Photo by Lydia Harvey
Rhonda Shear Couture at Tampa Bay Fashion Week
Never have I had a more satisfying excuse to make my way through the design palace that is Neiman Marcus than I did last night on my way to Tampa Bay Fashion Week at International Plaza.
Let’s get right to it and talk about this year’s changes.
You may have read here or here about Fashion Week’s new format. The main runway show has been replaced by several trunk shows and fashion installations, the idea being that designers will have a better opportunity to sell their pieces. Organizers are calling it PURE Haus. PURE stands for Pop-Up Retail Experience.
If you don’t know what a trunk show is, it’s a more intimate, interactive look at a designer’s collection. You can order items for yourself, and buyers show up to scout the looks. At the trunk show I attended last night, models walked a small, elevated runway and rotated around the venue for about 15 minutes, giving guests ample opportunity to view each piece up close. Afterward, customers and buyers were able to touch and inspect gowns they were interested in.
Now, about the fashion: