1) Shelf Improvement
Judging a book by its cover can be a good idea if (A) you want to avoid political fights at your beach house (no Anne Coulter) or (B) seek to pick up artsy chicks at Tryst (not so much for the Robert Ludlum, dude). Still, titles in the Penguin 75 ($13-$20) — a sort of greatest cover-art hit list from the paperback publisher’s last 10 years — will inspire admiration/hours of reading. Highlights include a tattoo-inspired reissue of “Bridget Jones’s Diary” ($15) and “Eat, Pray, Love.” They’re all shown in the companion book “Penguin 75″ ($25, Penguin).
2) There’s The Rub
DuWop is touting its Flight Stick ($28) as an instant cure for the dry-yet-somehow-greasy, saggy skin bestowed by long plane rides. Or the Metro in June! The concealer-esque substance is somewhere between solid deodorant and a candle in consistency but goes on non-waxy and clear. It both mattifies and adds a touch of moisture, and affords quick touch-ups without breaking out the whole makeup bag.
3) Graphic, Novel
Silhouettes of women in Victorian bonnets or George Washington in his ponytail might’ve decked your grandmother’s walls. But the age-old craft vaults into the 21st century, thanks to Pennsylvania artist Mike Miller’s new collection for West Elm. Miller’s stark outlines of what seem to be Brooklyn hipsters — and their dogs — skitter across neutral ground in framed prints (shown, $19) and silk pillow covers ($19-$34) that scream downtown loft, not creepy exurban antique mall.
4) Open Seasoning
Salt and pepper, though perfectly adequate substances to scatter on burgers, chicken breasts or tofu slices, won’t win you any “king of the grill” titles. You’d better start flinging Fairfax County-made Dizzy Pig Seasonings, new at Whole Foods, to pump up the flavor in foods from fish to fowl, often using little or no salt. Our favorites include Tsunami Spin ($10), which put a gingery, spicy spin on our seafood stew, and Pineapple Head, meant for fruit on the barbie, gets its powers from cinnamon and chilies. Red meat-centric varieties include coarse-ground Dizzy Dust that brings a Kansas City crust to ribs.
5) Twinkle Toed
Blinging up your feet might mean getting the pedicure decals at Ye Olde Manicure Hut. It could also entail scooping up some of Mod Cloth‘s new — but retro-spirited — shoe clips. Styles included ruby slipperish red rhinestone hearts ($14 per pair), real compasses ($24) and oversized silk flowers in hot pink or orange. Any would transform plain black pumps into something far sexier than, say, a Playboy Bunny toenail gem.