All made up and someplace to go


September 09, 2001|By Tricia Bishop | Tricia Bishop,Sun Staff

It's as if your ultra-hip big sister went off to college and left all her coveted off-limits stuff (the makeup, the CDs, the fashion mags) behind for you to play with.

"It's designed to be the ideal girl's bedroom; that's the whole goal," spokeswoman Georgina Gomez says of the concept behind SkinMarket, a new interactive cosmetics store opening in The Mall in Columbia. "It's a place where girls can hang out and loiter and try on all the products."

Everything's fair game -- the 161 shades of lip color, the 60 different nail polishes, the glitter hair spray, tattoo pens, face masks. Go ahead and try it. If you don't like it, just wash it off in one of the in-store sinks stocked with makeup remover and try again. And if you don't trust your taste, get a makeover from an on-site expert, or have a personalized face mask whipped up at the face-mask bar. Or scrap shopping altogether for a while and chill with the fashion mags and videos set up in the lounge.

The first SkinMarket opened in Los Angeles in March of 1999 (the founder came up with the idea after checking out all the goods in his teen-age stepdaughter's room), and the chain, which sells makeup from its own label, is now spreading eastward. More than 30 stores have been opened thus far, and they're drawing big-time celebs like Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Drew Barrymore and even Flea, though he doesn't quite meet the target-shopper profile of a Gen-Y girl.

The Columbia store opened quietly at the end of August but is throwing itself a grand opening party Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. with a fashion show, makeovers and a DJ spinning live. 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway; 410-730-3300.

Personal care for the pregnant

Ahhh, pregnancy -- that joyous time when a woman's body betrays her in every possible way: mood swings, weight gain, swollen feet, backaches. Just thinking about it is enough to make you want to call your mother and beg her forgiveness, but soon-to-be moms can get some relief with the new Personal Care Line by imaternity. It's a collection of products designed specifically for the pregnant and cranky. Here's a look:

* Vanish -- Stretch-mark minimizing and deterring cream ($10)

* Rejuvenate -- Moisturizer that reduces breast discomfort ($10)

* Indulge -- 60-second, moisturizing hair-mask treatment ($8)

* Revival -- A cooling gel for relieving tired legs and feet ($8)

* Tranquil -- "Itchy belly cream" for hydrating expanding tummies

The products are available separately or as a kit ($38) online at -- T. B.

Pinning down aid to the needy

You can give and get at the same time when you buy a handmade Designs by Lucinda house pin. For every pin sold, $6.25 of the $13 price goes to help GEDCO, a Baltimore-based nonprofit providing aid to homeless and needy people in the Govans area. Locally, the pins are sold at Brendann Art Gallery in Towson (834 Kenilworth Drive; 410-825-0585), Favorite Things in Hereford (corner of Monkton and York roads; 410-343-0400), Need Ice Cream in Roland Park (506 W. Coldspring Lane; 410-261-5555) and Ten Thousand Villages in Fells Point (1621 Thames St.; 410-342-5568). -- T. B.

Intense eyes

Nars' new liquid eyeliner is all about drama and control. Available in six intense shades (shimmering turquoise, burgundy and the requisite black among them), the cream-based fluid comes packaged with a precise, fine-line brush for exact application that's as opaque -- or transparent -- as you want it to be. Smudge the line a little for the dark, smoky effect that's so big this fall. Available online at; $27.

-- T. B.

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