Colors for little girls
The Mary Jane option for little girls this spring is no longer black or white. We're talking color here, lots and lots of color. Just in time for Easter, Stride Rite has dress-up shoes in every color of the rainbow: Consider a fuchsia patent slip-on bedecked with flowers (sizes 10-3, about $42).
Or how about a pair of buttercup yellow or powder pink ankle-strap shoes dotted with beads (sizes 10-3, $38, left).
Of course, there's also the more traditional Mary Jane-style shoe, done in ice blue leather (sizes 7-3, about $42).
Stride-Rite shoes are available locally at Stride Rite shoe stores at the Marley Station and Owings Mills malls, department stores and shoe shops like the Towson Bootery in the Shops at Kenilworth.
For a store near you, see www.striderite.com. -- M.B.
Talbots just wants to have fun
Talbots is a bastion of classic women's clothing. This spring however, the clothes you'll find at Talbots are hardly what you'd expect. Bright colors, fun patterns and airy fabrics invigorate the new line. The store still sells Irish linen trousers, ballet flats and crisp white blouses, but you'll also find items like a stunning fuchsia sheath ($128, right) and a charming black and white toile skirt ($78, left).
For a catalog, call 800-TALBOTS. -- M.B.
Make a clean face
Estee Lauder says it traveled to Hawaii, China and the Rocky Mountains to gather volcanic ash, China clay and fossilized mineral water for its new face masks -- So Polished Exfoliating Scrub, So Clean Deep Pore Mask and So Moist Hydrating Facial.
Needing a late spring vacation in a bad way, we wanted to know: Can using this skin product transport you? We slathered on the So Moist Hydrating Facial and waited eagerly. The thick cream smelled lovely and went on easily. After 10 minutes when we removed it with a tissue, while our skin felt soft and smooth, we were still in gray and drizzly Baltimore, not the sunlit cliffs of Utah.
Estee Lauder's new masks are for all skin types. They cost $19.50 for a 3.4-ounce tube and are available at Estee Lauder counters nationwide.
New products for men in a hurry
Two new beauty products for men who don't want to spend a whole lot of time on their looks (but still care about them):
L'Oreal Casting ColorSpa for Men (left): Tones up natural hair color -- i.e. covers gray -- in 10 minutes. $7.39 at drug stores nationwide.
Super Lift Off! AHA/BHA Face Lotion and Body Lotion from Lab Series for Men: Formulated to moisturize, protect and soothe a man's skin, which is -- no surprise here -- 10 times thicker than a woman's skin. $27.50 for two ounces of face lotion, $18 for body lotion. Both products are available at Lord & Taylor, Hecht's, Macy's and other stores. -- M.B.