November 2009: What's New

November 2009: What's New

C’Ville Entremom, the brainchild of local photographer Angie Brement, features working moms with business sense.

Blog fresh, blog local

It’s definitely tempting to surf the web way, way out beyond what’s local, but don’t forget there’s a crew of local women blogging Charlottesville’s best.

With a keen eye on the doings of Charlottesville Renaissance women like themselves, Angie Brement and Susie Matheson are a great source of “by locals, for locals”-reporting. Highlighting area businesses, from artisan hula hoops to professional meeting spaces, Angie’s C’Ville Entremom ( and Susie’s Scout Charlottesville ( are dedicated to getting you in the local know.

Look out for an insider’s scoop on the latest Mudhouse incarnation (courtesy of Angie’s long-time friendship with the coffeeshop’s proprietors), camera tips, tea party planning, and more. Sharing a passion for locating the latest and greatest of what’s around, these ladies are just part of a wave of bloggers hitting the web to bring Charlottesville to your desktop.—Lucy Zhou


Worth a thousand words: After painting a portrait, Eliza Evans snaps a picture of the artwork and its subject.

Pretty as a picture

It’s very hard to sit still. Portrait artist Eliza Evans—whom you can often find set up with her paints and canvases on the Downtown Mall—knows this firsthand, which is why, when you sit down to have her paint your portrait, you can expect speed and efficiency. (Not to mention a charming painting at the end of the process.)

You might also expect to see yourself in an edition of her handmade calendar. Created with her best friend, calligrapher Virginia Reiley, the calendars boast one holiday a day, invented entirely by Evans and Reiley. For instance, on the day this article was written, we celebrated Elegance Day.

The calendar also includes original artwork from both women. “The 2009 edition has a portrait for every day, so when we made it, it was basically a catalog of the portraits I’d done so far,” Evans says. If every day is a holiday, then perhaps the perfect gift is a self-portrait, no? Find your copy wherever you find Evans on the Downtown Mall, or e-mail—Caite White


Get a perfect pucker

Choosing a lip color can be tricky as you face literally thousands of shades lining makeup aisles in any drugstore or department store. With names like “Cinnamon Spice” and “Intrepid Rose,” how do you know which color best complements your complexion? We called on Emily Swinson, a color specialist at Charlottesville’s Sephora, to tell us how to choose wisely.

For daytime, she suggests choosing bright hues. “Glosses are great for daytime as well,” she says. Subtle pinks or sheer beiges complement any lip during the day—try a shade or two darker than your natural lip color. Going out on the town at night? Swinson recommends “darker and bolder” colors after dark. Look for names of lipsticks that sound like something delicious to eat: Dark berry colors, plums or cherry red work for most skin tones at night.

If you’re still at a loss standing in a drugstore aisle, try visiting a makeup counter where you can try on different colors. Swinson says, “Lip colors tend to be the most
personal makeup choice for anyone.” She strongly suggests trying on the colors before you buy them. Finally, regardless of what color you decide suits your look the best, give your color some pizzazz: “To add depth and shine to any lip look, you can apply a clear gloss only to the center of the lips,” Swinson says.—Locke Hughes

Kate Barton says her “Grown Your Own Roots” t-shirts are “about self-awareness.”

Green thumbs, green tees

If you’ve made Charlottesville your home turf, it’s time to advertise your pride for what our town has to offer—and we’re not just talking veggies. The “Grow Your Own Roots” tee, brain-baby of local artist Kate Barton of Skylight Studios, is a stylish salute to our favorite sprouting ground for everything leafy, local and living.

While the shirt’s message is up to interpretation, Kate says it had to do with finding out for herself how to live by what inspires her. “In the end it’s about self-awareness,” she says. While for Kate this meant setting up shop in Skylight’s collaborative studio space, she finds Charlottesville to be a ripe place for all forms of inspiration to thrive.

We can’t help but agree that there’s something inspirational about the shirt’s garden-scape. Sure, they’re deliciously soft (dig that Alternative Apparel) and art nouveau-chic, but there’s another reason to feel good about slipping into one of these tees: Part of each shirt purchase goes to help feed local families, with plans for expansion. Look out for the shirts at Feast!, Bittersweet, and June and Ruby, or stop by Skylight Studios at 108 Second St., next to Nicola’s Veggies. For more info or to see more of Kate’s work, check out—L.Z.

Skin care, made easy

We know, “less is more.” But wouldn’t it be nice—with all the scrubs, cleansers, toners and moisturizers available—if that cliché applied to skin care, too?


In her new book, Simple Skin Care: Less Is More, dermatologist Dalia Kalai says women can get excellent results from “affordable and effective products.” She even highlights the benefits of drugstore brands over expensive prescriptions. “More expensive,” she says, “does not necessarily mean better.” Among Kalai’s favorites? Dove and Cetaphil rank high on her list of best drugstore finds, and she recommends affordable moisturizers such as Aveeno, Olay, Eucerin and Neutrogena.

Local UVA dermatologist Julie Padgett agrees that when it comes to skin care, simple is better. “Mild products like Dove and Cetaphil are just fine for most people,” she says. “If someone likes a more expensive brand and it suits their skin type, I don’t discourage it, though, and tell them to use what they like.”—L.H.


November 2009: What's New

November 2009: What's New

Leather gloves with fur trim by Floriana from T.J. Maxx ($49.99; 1850 Rio Hill Ctr., 974-7410)

Glove love

No, it’s not a novel concept: When the weather turns cold and your paws feel frosty, you turn to your mittens for comfort. But what if, instead of your plain old knit hand warmers, you threw on something with a little more flair? Here, see four pairs we think are the season’s best.—Caite White


Green “Phoenix” gloves from Pearl ($46; 201 E. Main St. #A, 296-1115)





Steven Alan wool gloves from Eloise ($120; 219 W. Water St., 295-3905)





Katie Mawson fingerless gloves from O’Suzannah ($54; 114 Fourth St. NE, 979-7467)




November 2009: What's New

November 2009: What's New

Dyeing to know

Among the many rotten things about dyeing your hair—the risk of dripping a little on the bathroom rug, the pain of holding your arms up to get those hard-to-reach spots—there’s the nagging fact that what you’re putting on your head just isn’t good for you. So you turn to the experts. But, in Charlottesville, there are no experts to be found.

Now hair this: When it comes to your dye job, go organic.

“There really isn’t a place to go for people who don’t want those fumes and toxicity in their hair,” says Jean Rinaldi, who travels to Buckingham County to visit Radha Metro’s Yogaville salon, Tirtha.

At Tirtha, Metro uses only ammonia-free organic dye. Not only does the dye smell good, it prevents hair colorists (and customers) from being “toxified.” “Ammonia is what causes allergies, migraines or even problems with Eczema,” Metro says.
An added benefit of using organic dye? The color lasts longer. As Metro explains it, ammonia is used to open up the hair cuticle, but often it never closes back up, leaving hair color to fade. “With organic dye, I’ve found, hair color stays a lot longer.”

With current beauty regulations (as in, there are none), it’s hard to tell what “organic” means. “I’ve been trying, in my own little way to people in my sphere, to educate people,” Metro says. “It frustrates me that there’s so much information people aren’t getting.”

For more information about Tirtha or to set up an appointment, call 607-4899.—Caite White


Lindsay Ashmun leads a multilevel yoga class at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

…And yoga for all

We know all your excuses for not going to a yoga class (because we use them ourselves), and it looks like the Guerrilla Yoga Project knows them too. Since January, this group of five certified yoga instructors has been offering a class schedule that’s as excuse-proof as possible.

“Yoga’s really something that should be a basic health right, as opposed to a privilege for folks who can afford it in a studio environment,” says instructor Kate Hallahan. “A lot of people just would love to get the health benefits, mental and physical, without paying $15 a class.”

If cost is your barrier, then, hear this: All GYP classes operate on a donation basis. “We would much rather have people come and pay nothing than miss their yoga class that week,” Hallahan says. “Even if all you can afford is $5 or a head of lettuce.”

Willing and able to pay, but nonplussed by the standard venues? GYP classes, most of them designed for all levels, take place in community centers and churches, and many are in rural places like Schuyler and Batesville. I attended an evening session taught by Hallahan in Nellysford, and found it easily stacked up to any studio class. Check out the Guerrilla Yoga schedule at—Erika Howsare



According to The New York Times, the order of alcohol from greatest number of congeners to lowest goes as follows: brandy, red wine, rum, whiskey, white wine, gin and vodka.

And, the more expensive the alcohol, the more rigorous process of filtering and distillation it endures, sifting out more congeners. In other words, spend a couple extra dollars to reach the top shelf. Your wallet may not thank you, but your liver will. We’ll drink to that!—D.R.

Lighten up and drink

Hangovers are the worst, but if you must imbibe, arm yourself with a little liquor know-how before signaling the barkeep. 

First, understand that all alcohol contains congeners, organic molecules created in the fermentation process that have a toxic effect in your body. The highest concentration of congeners is found in dark alcohol, so you might want to ditch your usual bourbon on the rocks in favor of something a little lighter. (And we mean that literally—Champagne, for instance, has a lower concentration of congeners and a lower calorie count!)—Daven Ralston


See for yourself

When Michele Bigness gives a psychic reading, there are no crystal balls, or dark rooms with incense. Actually, the Richmond-based psychic medium can tune in right over the phone.

“I meditate to clear my conscious chatter away,” Bigness says. “The saying for me is true: Prayer is to communicate with God, and meditation is to get the answer.”

During our hour-long reading, she answered relationship questions, career questions (“You have nice teeth,” she told me, and suggested I think about going into television) and even explored the idea of contacting a deceased relative. Seeing a loved one in a dream, she told me, is itself a psychic impression.

Bigness says anyone can be psychic and, indeed, everyone is psychic. “Just depends on the degree,” she says. “Some are born with this ability right off the bat and others develop it later.”

Still skeptical? To schedule a psychic reading, contact Ananda Wellness Center at 245-6940. Hour-long readings are $125 and half-hour readings are $60…Just be sure to keep an open mind—literally!—C.W.


Let the sun shine in: Just opening your curtains may combat side effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Don’t be SAD

Why so glum, chum? If it’s shorter days and chillier temps that are getting you down, you might have SAD
to blame.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, a mood disorder which hits otherwise stable people with a mood bomb once the seasons shift, might not seem like a big issue—who gets their jollies from freezing their face off, after all? But when symptoms include sleeplessness, listlessness and general fatigue, SAD might mean a serious hit to your productivity come winter, and can grow into bigger problems like withdrawal, issues with school or work, substance abuse or worse.

Fall-onset SAD usually starts at adulthood (age 23 is the average) and, according to the National Mental Health Association, affects about one in four of the population. Available treatments include light therapy and a variety of antidepression medications, so if gray skies are getting you more than a little blue, don’t write it off as a funk.

Even if you don’t think you’re at risk, we recommend the D.I.Y. approach to anyone who feels the bad weather bug biting: Throw open the curtains, get outside, and drink in some sun to make those days just a little less dark.—Lucy Zhou


Sip and shine

Stressed? Do a little good for yourself and steep up a cup of wellness.

Thyme for tea: Special blends from Hillside Herbs are meant to soothe.

At Hillside Herbs, Deborah Davis and Hope Wood work herbal magic to create a six-tea medley of infusions which, while not “tea” in the strictest sense, are brewed just like your average oolong. Instead of tea, each blend contains a mix of plants and herbs from the sisters’ own garden or other certified organic sources. From peppermint and nettle (key to Green Planet blend’s antioxidant zip) to Sweet Nothing’s cinnamon and chicory, the blends are crafted to have both tonic properties—key for daily wellness—and an undoubtedly tasty side which will keep you sipping.

The sisters first opened an aromatherapy business in the ‘90s, but turned their focus tea-ward when they started designing tea gardens filled with everything necessary for a soothing brew. “We would cut a lot of fresh herbs and make a pot of tea in the morning with whatever was fresh,” Deborah says. When clients raved, the sisters decided to start selling their blends, making their infusions available both online and at the Nelson County Farmer’s Market. Their website ( also offers spice blends, bath products and aromatherapy products for complete destressing.—L.Z.