Give Me a Break!
Stress-relief advice from body-beautiful insiders.
BY ELLEN FAGG
If anyone knows spa treatments, it's the professionals who perform those rubdowns and facials every day. We asked around to collect some tips from the body-shop workers whose job it is to help Portlanders relax.
Day job: Aesthetician at Wild Oats Spa and Salon (3535 NE 15th Ave., 281-3173).
For relaxation: I would go to Von Natur (137 SE 28th Ave., 252-9639) to get a mask. It's affordable, the people are friendly, and the products are locally made--all natural. And they offer classes, ranging from pet massage to the biblical roots of aromatherapy.
Insider tip: Try the charcoal facial cleanser for oily skin--it's unique.
Day job: Massage therapist at Ruby Violet Skin Body & Spirit (2641 NE Alberta St., 282-8877).
For relaxation: I go to Du Bois Salon & Spa (700 N Main Ave., Gresham, 618-1020) and get a Vichy shower treatment, then sit in the outdoor whirlpool.
Insider tip: Try the Sweet Feet treatment at Barefoot Sage (1844 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 239-7116). You get a foot bath, massage, salt exfoliant and hot-stone treatment for $65.
Day job: Massage therapist at Meridian House (2015 NE 39th Ave., 248-4799).
For relaxation: If we want to splurge, we go to Aequis (1306 NW Hoyt St., Suite 201, 223-7847). I'm saving up to go there. Generally, what I'm looking for is a massage to help the aches and pains, and one place to go in town is Common Ground Wellness Center (2917 NE Everett St., 238-1065).
Insider tip: Try HealthQuest (1330 SE 39th Ave., 232-1200). The majority of their therapists are really, really good, and they have same-day, last-minute appointments available.
Tan This Way
Getting a glow on--salon style.
BY ELLEN FAGG
Forget baking in the sun or sweating through sessions trapped inside a tanning bed. In the new, instant-gratification era of flesh frying, if you weren't born with skin of a certain color, you can buy it at a salon.
If you're a do-it-yourself type, you can step into a private booth for what is often referred to by the brand name of "Mystic Tan." Cover your hair, press a button, and whammo, you get two 14-second sprays of tanning dye--one for frontsies and one for backsies. If pushing a button is too much for you, let someone else do the work. An aesthetician will scrub and wash your skin before slathering your whole bod with tanning lotion.
So what is this magic summer potion? "It's a pigment that stains the skin," says Dr. Frances Storrs, a dermatology professor at Oregon Health and Science University. "You could pull it right off with Scotch tape. The sun goes right through it." That's right, it's paint. Sexy paint.
Here's the skinny on salon tans in the Portland area:
Where: There are about 15 locations in the metro area, according to Jim George, a sales representative for the Mystic Tan company. Local chains include Tan Rio (1235 W Burnside St., 224-2665, and other locations), Suns Up Tanning (9220 SW Barbur Blvd., 977-2949, and other locations) and Club Tan (10041 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Beaverton, 520-0444, and other locations).
Cost: Expect to spend about $25 to $30 for the first visit, with cheaper rates for repeated bronzings.
Failure rate: Avoid streaks by applying a thick coat of "barrier" lotion to protect your hands and other joints from the tanning spray--unless you enjoy looking like a black-handed spider monkey.
Ease: The first time out might feel complicated, but "it's really difficult to mess up," says George.
Where: Most larger salons offer a full-body tanning treatment, which includes exfoliation and shower. Try Rejuvenation Day Spa (6333 SW Macadam Ave., 293-5699), Nirvana Day Spa (736 NW 11th Ave., 546-8155) or Wild Oats Spa and Salon (3535 NE 15th Ave., 281-3173).
Cost: $50 to $85, with super-luxe treatments ranging from 30 minutes to an hour.
Failure rate: The evenness of your tan depends on how carefully the stain is applied around the palms, elbows, knees and feet. Even experts can miss tricky spots.
Ease: Added bonuses like the spa scrub and shower are as relaxing as a good massage.
The Hit List
Don't leave home without these.
BY ELIZABETH DYE
Keep a light bag packed with these essentials so that you're cocked, rocked and ready for any summer fling, be it a last-minute surfing trip to Costa Rica or a thrift-trolling adventure down McLoughlin Boulevard.
Kiehl's Blue Herbal Astringent Toner ($9.50, Kiehl's Since 1851, 712 NW 23rd Ave., 223-7676). This elixir has been sopping up excess shine since 1964. Formulated as a skin-balancer for those with oily complexions (pretty much all of us during the sebum-stimulating summer) and packed with übercooling ingredients such as camphor, menthol, witch hazel and aloe, it's the ultimate balm for your sun-slapped epidermis.
Keep your hot side hot, and your cool side cool. The Lorac Hot Flash Cheek Duo ($28.50, Blush Beauty Bar, 513 NW 23rd Ave., 227-3390) is a clever two-tone compact, with
one side devoted to a sparkly bronzer that's 110 percent Rio de Janeiro, the other to a pink blush that'll out-Pepto any tint in your makeup arsenal. Wear them together--bang bang.
Billabong "Charmer" bikini ($64, Exit Real World, 206 NW 23rd Ave., 226-3948). The pretty split-heart design in shades of rose, orange, fuchsia and khaki is half Snoopy-cute, half Alexander Girard-clever. A perfect fit for your own dual nature.
Bright light! Bright light! After months of wan Nord-Ouest sunshine, your eyeballs are in no shape to go naked. The Paul Frank "Mary Quaint" sunglasses ($95, Reynolds Optical, 625 NW 23rd Ave., 221-6539) have whip-smart, slightly mod styling without being "novelty," quite fitting for specs named in tribute to the inventor of the miniskirt (don't tell Courrèges).
Rocket Dog kitten heel thong sandals ($28, Urban Outfitters, 2320 NW Westover Road, 248-0020). They were the screamin' rage last summer when Sigerson Morrison introduced them--with a scream-inducing price tag to match. Now they've trickled down to the mass market, and guess what? They're still cute! Get 'em, in more colors than you can shake a mai tai at.
Don't go anywhere without a chilled beaker of something sweet, lychee-succulent and slightly boozy. But don't get cited for an open container, either. This fetching cherry blossom flask ($4.99, Cost Plus, 10108 SW Washington Square Road, 968-2060, and other locations) puts a tight seal on your refreshment--at least until the fuzz passes by.
Sand and surf will do a number on your combed-cotton, nine-million-thread-count spa
towels, so reach for a stylish stand-in, like this Field Gear beach towel ($15, Target, 10775 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, 626-8345, and other locations). The generous 40-by-70-inch
surface is printed with terrifically trendy hibiscus blossoms, surfboards and other tropical tropes in smart, pre-faded colors.
Some girls are bigger than others, but this terrycloth tube top loves them all ($18, Galore, 827 NW 23rd Ave., 279-8946). Generous elastic smocking makes for sexy comfort, while the terry fabric gives you that just-out-of-the-shower fresh feeling. The white one is so very Chrissy Snow;
the green is so very...uh, the other girl on Three's Company.
Sunhats are corny by nature, but they are ladylike--and they beat the bejeezus out of Coppertone for sun protection. Don a CC Crushable paper straw hat ($24, Monkey Wear, 811 NW 23rd Ave., 222-5160) and pretend you're Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof--sultry, fragile, a
little bit sweaty around the edges. OK, maybe you won't have to pretend that part.
If you have an Eeyore streak, you like Things to Put Things In. The Tag woven nylon tote bag ($14.49, Pharmaca, 2334 W Burnside St., 226-6211) is tough and waterproof, but its jaunty, sawtooth styling says, "I am an unserious, summer sack." Perfect for all the unserious summer sacking you'll do in the coming months...did I say that out loud?
A primer for first-timers.
BY AARON SCOTT
You have the God-given right to get naked, right? Wrong. Both the state and the city have laws
governing public showing of your privates. For you summertime naturalists who would like to get NAKED!, here are some handy tips.
City law states that it is unlawful to expose your genitals in or in view of public property that is open to the opposite sex. "Genitals" isn't defined, but it's safe to assume they are talking below the waist, as the annual Dyke March has shown that women may go shirtless in public. That said, acting in any way that impedes the flow of traffic, be it car or foot, is illegal. Further, it is illegal to expose genitals with the intention of arousing others. Don't be a perv: sexual acts in public view--not a good idea.
If getting naked in public is your thing, you have only two designated nude beaches in Oregon where you can let it all hang out.
Collins Beach in the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area: Take Highway 30 west to the Sauvie Island Bridge. After crossing the bridge, stay on Northwest Sauvie Island Road, go about two miles, and then turn right on Reeder Road and follow it another 10 miles. Look for signs to Collins Beach just after the road become gravel. There is a $3.50 parking fee (pick up a pass at one of the stores you pass on the island). Follow the signs to the clothing-optional area.
Rooster Rock State Park: Drive east on Interstate 84 about 23 miles to Exit 25. There is a $3 parking fee. Follow the signs to the clothing-optional portion of the beach.
Insider tip: Don't forget sunscreen! Your pasty ass is that way for a reason. It's better to err on the side of a lighter tan than wrinkled skin and melanoma.
Rainy Day Pranks
Four tricks to brighten up gray days.
BY MARK BAUMGARTEN
On a rainy day, nothing dispels the clouds of boredom like a good prank. Here are a few suggestions to get a good friend's/lover's/ roommate's panties in a twist.
Fill your victim's room with something. Anything, as long as it spills out when he or she opens the door. Balloons are fast. Foam is fun. Feces is mean. Dildos are weird.
Send your victim on a treasure hunt. Think of something essential to your roommate's everyday life, hide it and leave a trail of notes with clues. Hiding all his or her underwear might be a good start. If you're feeling ambitious, hide his or her computer monitor. Don't hide insulin.
Convince your victim he's going crazy. This one takes some strategy and a little luck. Tell your roommate you're running an errand and will be back in a couple of hours. Leave the house, but spy through a window. When your roommate gets up to go to the bathroom, quietly and quickly go into the house and turn all the furniture upside down. Then write "Your Turn" in red lipstick on the wall.
Get your victim some attention. Spend your day making a unique T-shirt for your victim (a plain tee with the phrase "Hot Cheese," or some other such nonsense puff-painted on it will do). Run "Chance Meeting" and "I Saw U" ads that read something like, "You: Hotty in 'Hot Cheese' T-shirt. Me: Hairy Phil. That bathroom was dark. Would love to see the light again." Encourage your friend to wear said T-shirt as often as possible in public places. Tell friends to comment on how awesome "Hot Cheese" T-shirt is. Fun for the whole gang.
Yoga + the outdoors = pure enlightenment.
BY ROBIN MUNRO
Portland is a city for healthy people who don't like cities. It's green and lush. It knows no smog, tolerates no grit. Nonetheless, sometimes you have to get out. Yet organizing a camping trip or weekend getaway is anything but stress-free. And besides, you'd have to interrupt your yoga practice.
Or would you?
The following two outfitters are brilliant and Pacific Northwesty enough to combine an outdoor weekend trip with yoga (and a pleasurable level of pampering).
Healing River Journey: What do you get when you throw a yoga instructor, a massage therapist, gourmet meals, river guides and a cleaning crew into a raft for three days? The perfect weekend, courtesy of Ouzel Outfitters. Float down 44 miles of the Deschutes River, breaking only for yoga and massage, as five staffers satisfy you and 11 other guests. How can you beat those odds? Sure, $615 per person sounds pricey, but look at all you get. Ouzel Outfitters, 1441 NW Chandler Ave., Bend, 800-788-7238, www.oregonrafting.com.
From Mat to Mountain: Prefer to be inside a bit? Hood River's Flow Yoga & Health Studio offers packages that combine hiking, biking, rafting, white-water kayaking and glacier skiing with (breathe) yoga and spa services. One group weekend retreat (starting at $80-$95 per person) includes yoga sessions, a hike with yoga stretches, and a choice of a guided mountain-bike ride or a spa treatment. Flow Yoga & Health Studio, 118 3rd St., Hood River, (541) 386-9642,
It's a Dog's Life
Pamper your pets this summer.
BY JUSTIN NIESSNER
It's hard to get first-class service when you're unshaven, naked and drooling. But when you're covered in fur and the mercury is rising, pampering is just what you need.
Swanky Fifth Avenue Suites (506 SW Washington St., 222-0001) serves food, bottled water and vet-approved bones to tail-wagging guests of the hotel. After sampling the complimentary treat basket, sophisticated top-dogs are welcome to converse with local pet psychic Faye Pietrokowsky, appearing in the lobby the last Friday of each month. Yes, a pet psychic.
When room service is unavailable, Contech Electronic's new gadget, WaterDog ($79, waterdoginfo.com), keeps the little monsieur hydrated. A motion-sensitive nozzle on an outdoor spigot provides much-needed aqua and cuts off after each drink.
Frisbee excursions to the park are more dignified than ever with Poop-Freeze ($9.99, www.poop-freeze.com). The spray cools droppings to minus 62 degrees Fahrenheit for easy scooping and bagging. A stylish tote is also available to holster the ozone-friendly canister.
Knit Your Own...Swimsuit?
Yes, you can!
BY MARGARET SEILER
I thought of it as off-season training. Knitting a bikini would be a good way to keep my fingers limber and my fledgling skills (both of them: knitting, purling) intact over the summer. With a scarf under my belt, I was sure I could do it. There were some concerns: what happens when it gets wet, lining it (or getting waxed), the possible need to Band-Aid over protrusions. An email from a fellow knitter soothed one fear: "Elke Sommer is on The Love Boat wearing a knit lavender one-piece suit. As of right now, four scenes when she's been on, I haven't seen a stray nipple."
With that assurance, I set off to knit and purl my way to the most delightfully trashy summerwear I could imagine. It might be smarter to sew something with properly stretchy material. But you can't sit on a beach, patio, barstool, bus or MAX train (or watch Love Boat) while operating a sewing machine.
An Internet search for "knit bikini" brought up several options. I went for one from Bust magazine (almost identical to one in the Bust-y book Stitch and Bitch)--its "fuller coverage" would surely preserve my modesty. How wrong I was. I thought a size-6 tush would be safe with the "more room in the seat" instructions, but I still had a four-inch plumber's crack and had to improvise an extra back panel. A good thing about knitting is that you can always knit more. Look for a generous pattern, and if the pieces are tight when you stitch them together, unstitch them and knit a few more rows, or knit a new panel and stitch it on. A dark color helps hide the seams.
The top went more smoothly. To make the halter cord, I had to acquire a third skill, crocheting. A couple of bucks for a crochet hook and a couple more for a beer at Nocturnal's Wednesday craft night, where a friend gave me a lesson, were all it took.
My first handknit item that isn't just a long rectangle is as trashy as I hoped it would be--something I'll wear proudly. In my back yard. Alone. On a very, very dry day.
Insider tip: You can just break down and have a professional whip up a custom suit out of more opaque material. Alice Dobson will do it at her Sofada studio, starting at $110 (4623 NE Fremont St., 445-2006).
Show Us Your Tats...
Except in the heat of summer!
BY DAVID WALKER
It's that time of year where the sun comes out, the temperatures rise, and people begin to expose their flesh. Seems like the perfect time to get a tattoo, right? Wrong!
The worst thing you can do to any tattoo--especially a new one--is expose it to the sun, which will cause it to fade. Rather than risk possible exposure and fading, the best thing to do is wait until after summer to get inked. Meanwhile, if you already have a butterfly on your ankle or your biceps plays host to a guitar-straddling naked woman with a flaming skull for a head, make sure you take proper care of your art. Before you go out during the day, cover any tattoos that may be out in the sun with a high-powered sunblock--SPF 50 is best. Now you know.
2004 SUMMER GUIDE TABLE OF CONTENTS: