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Cheap Shiatsu

Plus: ethnic toothpaste, and spa products for your baby


Apparently, you're never too young to start indulging in spa products. Parents who have gotten hooked on essential oils and botanicals are eager to pass on the benefits to their offspring. Burberry is introducing a new line in pastel packaging called Baby Touch, with such ingredients as wild spearmint, rhubarb jelly, and tree moss. The range includes a milk-based Gentle Baby Balm ($24), Foaming Baby Wash ($24), alcohol-free eau de toilette ($32), and, of course, massage oil ($24), all available at Saks Fifth Avenue and Burberry boutiques. The Healing Garden also has a new line, Zzztheraphy for Baby (pictured above), which is equally herbaceous -- it contains chamomile, vanilla-bean extract, and orange blossom -- if somewhat less label-conscious. Each item, from Calm & Cuddly Gentle Baby Bath to Tender Touch Soothing Baby Powder, retails for $6.95 at Kmart and Duane Reade. And don't think ol' Johnson & Johnson is too staid to ride the trend: It's introducing baby powder, baby shampoo, and baby lotion in purple versions, made with lavender.

Here's the Rub
With general anxiety and financial stress still percolating through the city, it's tough to find anyone who doesn't need a massage. But shelling out $100 plus tip every time you feel the need can actually add to your monetary woes. Five-month-old Graceful Services (1097 Second Avenue, near 58th Street; 212-593-9904) offers a full hour -- not the usual 50 minutes -- of a variety of Chinese modalities, including qigong and acupressure, for just $60. The rooms are decorated simply with flowing curtains, and the massages are some of the strongest and most thorough around, and finish with a hot-towel rubdown. Graceful is open every night until 10:30 -- perfect for those of us whose muscles get even tighter after we eat dinner in our cubicles.

Pastes With Taste
In response to the current obsessions with sparkling-white teeth and minty breath, there are now an unprecedented number of status dentifrice products on the market. Pharmacy shelves are lined with exotically flavored toothpastes in bold packaging, imported from countries as disparate as India and France. Among the more interesting are Doctor Burt's Lavender Mint, a purple paste that contains cranberries ($4.99 at Whole Foods Market, 250 Seventh Avenue, at 24th Street; 212-924-5969); Euthymol, a dentifrice from Ireland with the taste of anise ($6.95 at C.O. Bigelow, 414 Sixth Avenue; 212-533-2700); the French-made Denblan, with fennel, parsley, and pineapple-stem extract ($17.95 at Zitomer, 969 Madison Avenue, near 76th Street; 212-737-2016); Monkey Brand, a clove-and-eucalyptus-flavored powder from India ($6 at Bigelow); Planta Pura, from Italy, infused with fresh sage ($9.95 at Cambridge Chemists, 21 East 65th Street; 212-734-5678); and Paradise Fruit Mint from another Italian company, Marvis ($10 at Barneys New York). Kind of makes plain old peppermint seem boring.

Editor's Pick
Sheer Luck
Bold red or intense pink lips are a bit strong for this season's demure white lace and peasanty fashions. A better choice is new shades that look vibrant in the tube but go on with only a hint of color. There are 23 glistening shades of YSL's Rouge Pur Transparent ($24.50 at Bloomingdale's), and Chanel's Infrarouge Nature (available in May; $21.50 at Saks Fifth Avenue) comes in three stains. Lorac's Sheer Luck in a natural rose arrives in stores this month ($17.50 at Henri Bendel and Sephora), as does Clinique Moisture Sheer Lipstick ($13.50 at Bloomingdale's), available in twelve tints.


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