Stretch: It's a Good Thing
Perhaps it's a case of yin finding yang. Into the Starrett-Lehigh building -- home to the aggressive perfectionists at Martha Stewart, the chic staff at Comme des Garçons, and 5,000 other edgy West Chelsea workers -- has moved a Zen-inspired center with yoga classes, massage, Pilates, gyrotonics, and a juice bar. Stretch (601 West 26th Street; 212-366-1003), opened two weeks ago by Pilates instructors Michelle Peperone and Jessica Natale, occupies a sixteenth-floor, 5,700-square-foot space, and the yoga studio has two-way mirrors, so that students can be watched performing their asanas without being distracted. That is, if they can tear their gaze away from the huge windows looking out at the Hudson.
The Hands of Time
Wisdom has it that you can tell someone's age by looking at his hands. So in a city with a manicurist on every corner -- and as many plastic surgeons -- it's no surprise hands have become the focus of high-tech anti-aging treatments. Plastic surgeon Stephen Bosniak and dermatologist Fred Brandt laser off spots and use acid peels to smooth fine lines, dermatologist Steven Victor diminishes the size of veins by injecting them with saline, and plastic surgeon Sydney Coleman plumps away boniness with fat injections. Cosmetics companies, too, are rallying to the cause. Clinique's Stop Signs Hand Repair ($15.50 at Bloomingdale's) contains green tea and apple extract to combat discoloration and caffeine to reduce irritation; in the Wellpath spa's new Anti-Aging Hand Formula ($45 for two ounces), avocado oil softens while pigment-inhibitor lightens; N.V. Perricone's Phosphatidyl-E with Tocotrienols Hand and Body Cream ($85 at Henri Bendel) moisturizes and fights irritation, and Estée Lauder's Re-Nutriv Hand Creme ($45 at Saks) has fruit acids for resurfacing. And don't forget the upkeep: Just like on the face, says Bosniak, "use sunscreen on your hands every day."
So your clothing budget has been slashed: You can still make an entrance wearing designer . . . perfume. Just as spring fashions are hitting the racks, couturiers are launching a slew of new scents. Oscar de la Renta's Tropical, a lush mix of exotic fruits and florals, will arrive at Bloomingdale's and Macy's on March 21 (3.3 ounces for $45). Vera Wang will release her first perfume at Saks Fifth Avenue this week (1.7 ounces for $60). On April 1, Creed will introduce Spring Fling; the flask comes wrapped in pink Hermès leather (1.7 ounces for $250, at Bergdorf Goodman). Costume National's first two eaux de parfum, the musky Scent (1.7 ounces for $64) and Scent Intense (3.4 ounces for $120), have just arrived at Barneys, and Givenchy's new wood-tone scent, Hot Couture, has just been released at Sephora (1 ounce for $45). Our fashion suggestion? With these designer creations, it's better not to mix and match.
-- NINA JUDAR
Forget the smudgy charcoal ring around your eyes. Bright, early-eighties-style colored eyeliner showed up on the Versace and Ungaro couture runways last month, and those of us who watch Sex and the City for the fashion couldn't help but notice Carrie's striking powder-blue liner in recent episodes. Several companies are hopping on the bandwagon: Nars has new liquid liners in shimmery lilac and blue-violet ($27 at Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys New York), Revlon's latest come in jade and royal blue ($7.25 at Duane Reade), and Tony & Tina's hot pink will be available next month ($18 at Bloomingdale's). Feel like pastels and neons are crossing the line? Try Lola's more subdued (but still colorful) liner in aubergine or navy ($20 at Henri Bendel), or Yves Saint Laurent's in moss, burgundy, chocolate, or steel ($25 at Saks).