If it looks like a duck, and vibrates like a duck, it must be…a green sex toy.
Sexy time with your honey may not be a prime occasion to think about toxic chemicals and carbon footprints, but you can be greener when you’re buying your sex toys. That’s the idea behind Holistic Wisdom, an Internet vendor of dildos, vibrators and other toys that the company says are kinder to your body and the earth.
What makes the difference? First, a lack of phthalates in the plastics used to make the toys—the chemicals are potential hormone disruptors. Instead of phthalate-laced PVC, Holistic Wisdom recommends materials like silicone, latex and even glass. Then there are paraben-free lubricants and natural membrane condoms.
Enough sexy talk—just check out the Holistic Wisdom website, holistic wisdom.com, and browse pages full of toys and accessories, keeping an eye out for the “Safety Features” line below each product. Buy green, and then you can relax and focus on…well…other things.—Erika Howsare
What moves you
Christie Savage teaches a client to tap her bear energy.
If you think that acupuncture’s just about getting stuck, think again. Local practitioner Christie Savage may have you moving as well as taking the needles. Savage integrates qigong (chee-gong), a Chinese system of exercise, into her treatment, sending clients home with exercises and teaching goup classes, too.
How’s it work? In “Five Animals Frolic” form of qigong, which Savage teaches, the exercises correspond to five different animals and elements. For example, one “water” exercise asks you to let your body feel heavy and grounded, like a bear. Then you twist and stretch your ribcage to activate energy in your kidneys, “which in Chinese medicine is where we store the energy we receive at birth, considered a foundation energy,” Savage explains.
Overall, says Savage (242-8305), qigong practice—like its relative tai chi—helps you feel more relaxed and energized at the same time. “It just feels good,” she says.—E.H.
Hang ‘em out to dry—after a careful hand wash.
Step away from the dryer, people! When washing and drying your lingerie, heat is the absolute worst thing, says Derriere de Soie’s general manger Abby Clarke Cook. “They’re called delicates for a reason,” says Cook, who explains that bras, camis and other underthings are made with small stitches and thinner fabrics that don’t respond well to being thrown about on fast spin with your jeans and gym socks.
Silks require a special silk wash, of course, but Cook says to wash even everyday cotton underpants by hand with a mild detergent or soda-based cleanser such as Forever New made especially for delicates. Here’s Cook’s routine: “I fill my kitchen sink with cold water and cleanser and swish everything around gently for a few minutes. Then I let it soak for 15 minutes before rinsing.”
Cook says to wash special pieces such as sequin-adorned bustiers separately so they don’t snag, and darks separately in case they bleed. To prevent pieces such as memory-foam bras from getting misshapen, care must be taken when air drying as well. “The rule is if it wouldn’t fall that way, don’t lay it that way,” says Cook.—Katherine Ludwig
We see a pattern
Bag lady: Mindy Goodall shows off her wares.
Buying local isn’t just for foodies any-more. Accessory hounds should check out the locally designed and made wares of Ivan & Mary, which include fabric belts and tote bags for adults, belts and headbands for children and even dog leashes and collars. They’re available at local boutiques such as Novel, Petit Bebe and Sammy Snacks and at ivanandmary.etsy.com.
Ivan & Mary’s founder, Mindy Goodall, discovered she had a budding profes-sion after raves about a homemade diaper bag (“I couldn’t find anything I liked available, so I made my own,” she says) turned into what the former Accenture consultant-turned stay-at-home mom now calls a “slightly profitable hobby.”
We love that Ivan & Mary’s styles run from Lily Pulitzer-like preppiness to bohemian-chic selections employing cultish Amy Butler fabrics. There are appropriate options for cinching your demure sundress at Foxfield, but also for toting your vegetables around the City Market. And we love that Goodall makes all the accessories with her very own hands on a vintage sewing machine that she got for, get this, $5!—K.L.
Looking good for longer days
Kore Russell and her crew at Oasis will polish you for spring.
Feeling a little pasty and pale after your long winter’s nap? Skin that’s been under layers of wool since November will likely need a boost to get ready for the sundress season just around the corner. One option: the golden hue body and face treatment at Oasis Day Spa (244-9667), which owner Kore Russell says is great for these late-winter days “when you feel like you want to shed some old skin, and perk up the skin that you have.”
The program for the hour-and-15-minute, $100 treatment: First, you’ll get an allover exfoliating salt scrub and a gentle exfoliation for your face. Then you’ll shower to prepare for the self-tanning cream, a Yonka product that Russell calls “a healthful option,” when compared to a tanning booth or too much actual sun exposure. Overall, she says, the golden hue “has a therapeutic value and more of a cosmetic value”—just right for driving away the cold-season blahs, and maybe even steeling your nerves for swimsuit shopping.—E.H.
The bad guys
Feeling squeamish about chemicals in cosmetics, but also fuzzy on the science? Go shopping armed with a little knowledge, and you’ll be able to make smarter choices. One resource we like: a downloadable, portable guide to nasty chemicals from The Ideal Bite, which you can keep in your wallet and whip out whenever you’ve got a drugstore quandary.
The guide lists five major types of synthetic chemicals that lace everything from shampoo to mascara, and helps you recognize them in the ingredient lists on packaging. Example: Parabens can disrupt your hormones and are linked to breast cancer. The guide explains that any ingredient with ethyl-, methyl-, butyl-, or propyl- as a prefix is a paraben, and a red flag. Keep on moving down the shelf, shoppers!. And what the heck’s coal tar doing in hair dyes? We don’t know, but we’re glad this little card can help us remember to avoid them. Download your way to natural beauty at idealbite.com.—E.H.