Style File


February 13, 2005|By Tanika White | Tanika White,Sun Staff

A better brush

Clinique's new makeup brushes are sleek and professional looking. They also feature a patent-pending anti-microbial technology that's intended to protect the brushes from mold, fungus and bacteria.

The brushes include three for eye makeup -- shader, shadow and contour -- and one each for powder, blush and concealer.

They sell for $16.50 to $30 each and will be available next month at Clinique counters nationwide and at

Hand-sewn handbags earn a big hand

Some years back, when Deborah Foland would get dressed to go out with her husband, she often discovered that the perfect handbag she needed to go along with her outfit just didn't exist.

So she'd make her own.

A swatch of fabric here. Some silk flowers there. Sequins, a few beads.

Voila! She'd create something that turned heads and drew unsolicited customers.

"Wherever I went, people said, 'Where did you get that bag? I love it!' And I'd say, 'Well, it's for sale,' " said Foland from her Pikesville home.

Foland had once tried her hand at teaching and helping out in her husband's insurance business, but had settled in nicely as a stay-at-home mom to three daughters and grandmom to seven grandkids.

About three years ago, after hearing so many positive comments about her craftwork, she decided to turn her creative bug into something more serious.

Since then, creations by "Deborah" have been seen in several small upscale boutiques, shops and galleries -- including Furs by Octavia, Synchronicity, Betsy Robinson's Bridal Collection, Hannah Elizabeth and Radcliffe Jewelers. She's even sold items in shops as far away as Florida.

In addition to gaily decorated handbags, Foland has created embellished pillows, napkin rings, centerpieces, picture frames, floral arrangements, bassinets, parasols, wall mirrors and other household items and accessories.

"Almost everything I make is one of a kind, originals," Foland, 66, said.

At Betsy Robinson's Pikesville salon, brides love Foland's hand mirrors decorated to look like wedding bouquets.

"You hand it to them so they can see the back of the dress, but then it's fun, because when you hold it in front of the dress, it looks like a bouquet," said Betsy Robinson, the owner. "Sometimes people even give them as bridesmaids' gifts."

Foland's great love is flowers.

Most recently, she created floral-inspired handbags that were used in a fashion presentation for the Heart Ball.

The bags, mostly red for Valentine's Day, are delicate and fanciful. Some are adorned in soft, satin ribbons or feather boas. Others are beautifully layered in velvet rose petals or done up with appliques, beads and sparkly things. Some look like round balls of dainty red roses.

It takes Foland "hours and hours and hours" to create her bags, usually working in her bright and airy kitchen. She uses no pattern, and eyeballs her work for days for balance and perfection before giving the bags up to sell. She has no sewing machine, and stitches everything, slowly, carefully, with a needle and thread.

Most of her bags retail for about $300.

"I've always done things in a creative way," Foland said. "I've never been schooled for it. Maybe it's just in my soul."

Deborah Foland can be reached at 410-653-7673.

Tame those unruly tresses

Just in time for spring, L'Oreal is adding three new formulas to its popular Studio Line of hair products.

Absolute Wet Gel gives hair a "wet-look" gloss. Quick-drying Mega Glue is "ultra-hard-holding." Anti-Frizz Cream leaves hair shiny and soft.

These products sell for a suggested price of $3.59 each, and will be available this spring at pharmacies, supermarkets and mass-market retailers.

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