It's almost Labor Day weekend -- the last weekend of summer, one last chance to get to the pool, hit the beach and take another blah gift to your weekend hosts.
Give your hostess or host something they'll treasure instead of something they'll unload in their next yard sale. Event designer Matthew David offers the following tips for toting that perfect something to this weekend's getaway:
Bring the party. A pitcher and some cool margarita glasses from Crate and Barrel, margarita mix, limes and salt all wrapped up in a neon green acrylic suitcase says it all. Calypso glasses and pitcher, www.crateandbarrel.com.
Be nostalgic. Don't know what to bring to a gathering of your friends' friends? Evoke childhood with a portable s'mores maker and all the fixins'. Everyone will be so sticky and gooey, they'll seem like old friends in no time. Portable s'mores maker, www. wishingfish.com.
Be thoughtful. If the Boss invites you to his beach house, bring him a beach tote and towel he'll use again and again. Package it up with some luxe sunscreen and a couple of pairs of flip-flops and you're headed for Thanksville. Tote and towels from Lands' End, www.landsend.com.
Expect to feel beautiful
Ah, pregnancy. Glowing skin ... and acne. Rubenesque forms ... and stretch marks. Aching feet ... and aching feet.
Pregnancy isn't always pretty, but Belli cosmetics help ease an expectant mom's way along. The physician-formulated line combines tried and true treatments with the holistic benefits of aroma, taste and massage therapies. All ingredients have been screened for prenatal safety.
Try Belli's Elasticity Belly Oil, which contains pure plant extracts, to prepare skin for stretching and its Stretchmark Minimizing Cream to help skin return to normal after the baby. Belli's Comfort Cleansing Body Wash moisturizes as it cleans skin and includes green tea and cucumber extracts to minimize swelling. And Belli Soothers are lemon and peppermint drops that help soothe upset stomachs. There's also sunscreen, moisturizer, exfoliator, foot relief cream and nursing cream.
Belli Cosmetics cost $5-$60 and are available individually or as gift sets. The line is available at Bath & Bodyworks in Towson Town Center or at www.bellicosmetics.com.
Colors in the bag
We don't usually gush. But when it comes to the MAC Printouts bags ($45) and compacts ($30-$32) we just can't control ourselves. Here are five reasons why you need to get yourself to Nordstrom and buy these hot little numbers:
1. The design is mod, graphic and comes in hot pink, aqua blue and chartreuse green.
2. Handles on the makeup brushes inside the bag match the bag colors perfectly.
3. Eye and lip compacts contain six -- count them: six -- warm or cool shades.
4. The bags and compacts are in a limited edition to celebrate Nordstrom's anniversary.
5. Are you still here? We told you to go!
We were skeptical at first when blue eye shadow made a comeback last season, but we liked it so much we're here to sing the praises of chartreuse, jungle moss, orchid purple, pale berry, intense orange and vivid gold. The shades, available in the six-color Glamazonian compact by Diane von Furstenberg, are bold and provocative, shimmery and brilliant. Apply them with your fingers, like hip war paint, and you won't be disappointed.
Add to that a little philanthropy -- sales of the $45 compact help support the survival of tribes in the Amazon -- and we're hooked.
The DVF Beauty Glamazonian compact is available at select Nordstrom stores, www. sephora.com and www.dvfbeauty.com.