Soothing tips for feet
It's not easy putting your best foot forward during sandal season.
More than half the women in America admit to willingly sacrificing their feet for fashion, according to the American Podiatric Medical Assn.
Dr. Robin Ross and Dr. Kathleen Stone, podiatrists and members of the APMA, recommend the following compromises to maintain foot health and style:
Choose thong flip-flops made of natural material, such as leather, and ensure the foot doesn't hang off the edge.
Flip-flops are known to cause irritation between toes where strap fits and callus and dead skin buildup around the heels because of friction.
Moisturize feet at bedtime instead of the morning if you're likely to be wearing mules or slides. This allows the cream more time to absorb into the skin. Then use a pumice stone in the shower to gently slough away dead skin.
The back edge of these shoes rub excessively against the heel, causing skin to thicken, which leads to calluses.
Pay particular care to fit when buying slingbacks, which can cause blisters, toe pain, and twisting of the heel and ankle. The tight strap chafes the back of the heel, and the foot slides forward in the shoe, cramping the front of the foot.
Well-fitting, low-heeled shoes with a wide- or square-toe box may alleviate some of the problems.
Going retro with Rit
To turn a thrift-shop find into a retro work of art, a little color goes a long way, says L.A.-based designer Alicia Lawhon, whose clients include Christina Aguilera, Winona Ryder and Mick Jagger.
"I've always loved working with vintage clothes," she says, "but for me, the original piece is just the starting point. I love the bright, invigorated look you achieve after hand-dyeing recycled fabrics."
And where does she turn for her dye? Some chichi art store? A designer supplier? Nope her corner drugstore. Lawhon uses Rit Dye ($2 to $3) in creating her collection, which she first launched five years ago with hand-dyed vintage cashmere sweaters. This year's collection includes dyed gauze dresses, recycled sweater shawls and ruffled vests.
For tips on how to make your own creations with Rit, which has also been used by costume designers for movies including "Titanic" and "The Mummy Returns," go to www.ritdye.com.
It might be an American thing, but toothpaste is supposed to be minty just minty. And, frankly, these Italian imports are a little disturbing: They're available in flavors of Paradise Fruit and Ginger. They both have mint undertones, but is that really enough? What madness.
The Marvis pastes are available online at www.bigelowchemists.com for $8.95.
A quick-change artist
TV's undercover CIA agent Sydney Bristow, the protagonist in ABC's "Alias," changes her look the way some people change their mind: by the minute and we're not just talking clothes. Bristow's a brown-eyed brunette in one scene and a green-eyed redhead in the next.
The show's makeup artist, Angela Nogaro, says Fresh Look contacts account for the eye-color switch, but the consistent va-va-voom of star Jennifer Garner's normally brown peepers is the result of some creative cosmetic tricks.
Here are some of Nogaro's best tips for bringing out your baby blues, or greens or browns:
Blue Taupes and light browns bring out blue the best. Stick to matte shades and concentrate most of the color along the lash line.
Green A bronze metallic shadow across the lids and beneath the lower lash line will make green eyes sparkle.
Brown For an evening look, swipe pearlescent white shadow across the upper lids and shade the crease with a medium taupe. Use black liner along the top lash line for drama.