Game, Set, Match

Retailers have remembered our demand for comfy and cute during the pandemic by flooding the stores with tons of loungy, matching short sets this summer that are perfect for post-pool, post-beach relaxation. The T-town choices are everywhere, from Target to TJ Maxx. Online options, on Steinmart.com (yep, it’s still alive online) and boutiques such as Red Dress Boutique are even more stylish. Definitely a trend to stock up on!

Scent of a Woman…in 100 Degrees

It’s impossible to smell like a daisy when it’s 100 degrees in the desert.

You try, right? A shower in the morning, you’re feeling good. Then, working out and running errands in your car because it’s so much easier to get your stuff done all at once and then go home!! Before you know it, you’re sitting in a den of hot and sweaty and smelly. So, I was so excited to find these fragranced body sprays at Walgreens, ranging in price from $6.99 to $11.49. (I’m highly partial to the Ariana Grande Moonlight)

I not only spritz it all over before heading into the Tucson oven, but then pop one into my bag for touchups. Just have to say, highly effective!

Charming Charlie at La Encantada

Charming Charlie, the fun jewelry, accessories and clothing boutique that left Tucson Mall a few years ago, has found a new landing spot at La Encantada in the former home of J. Crew. In the past, Charming Charlie was known for its clothing by color sections, which was super helpful for UA and high school sports events — hope that continues!

Hey CeraVe, Where you at?

Photo by Linda Prebreza on Pexels.com

Has anyone else noticed that CeraVe products are in short supply here in T-town? After visiting CVS and Target looking for the body lotion and other products with no luck, I googled “CeraVe shortage” and I’m still torn on why this is happening? Last year, the company said its launch into Australia had forced a shortage of product availability, due to it being SUPER POPULAR! Um, so now is it Covid? What gives? When a girl needs the ceramide body lotion, where is she to go? If you have a secret spot here that you know about to find these products, please chime in below!

The Joy of Blind Product Faith

In a time when things are still uncertain and weird, there is nothing better than the everlasting pursuit of a product we believe will make us more beautiful, more youthful and that perhaps, is an undiscovered treasure.

Recently, this has been the Avene product line for me. It’s funny to note that I had just discussed succombing to Botox for the very distinct forehead lines and “11s” between my eyebrows with my friends when I came across an article on Instyle.com about Avene products. “Cures canyon-wide wrinkles” the article said. Women in their 70s and 80s claimed they didn’t even need to wear makeup anymore because the Avene products diminished their wrinkles to such an extent, the article said.

I have since been completely hooked. I read all about the mineral-rich thermal waters from which Avene creates its products, using a sacred spring in France that legend says, cured a horse of alopecia in the 18th century and has since been thoroughly researched for its healing properties for the last 300 years. In fact, the water was sent to help soothe victims of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. You can read more about it here.

So far, I haven’t seen super-incredible improvement in my own canyon-sized wrinkles, but I’m completely willing to believe the narrative. At the very least, the products feel incredibly luxurious to use.

A Cuff Above

There’s a certain bravery to wearing a large cuff when the current bracelet trend is clearly more delicate and stacked. But, it was Coco Chanel, by the way, who confidently asked the Italian jeweler, Duke Fulco di Verdura, to redesign her jewelry collection and he presented her with what would become the most iconic cuff of all time. Chanel would wear her Verdura Cuff constantly and it’s a piece still coveted today.

In that spirit of fearlessness and breaking the rules, ChicAcrylicCuffs on Etsy is offering its own take on the bold cuff, with jeweled emblems on smooth, crystal-clear acrylic. From the Three Rams Cuff, seen above, to versions with jeweled crowns, horses, and flowers, they range in price from $35 to $55. The quality is stunning and each piece arrives in a cute black and white box with cleaning instructions.

Your inner rebel would be proud.

Pretty in Pink at Francesca’s

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Some pinkalicious pieces are now front and center at Francesca’s at La Encantada!

Blush hued-dresses, blouses and tops are featured throughout the store, with some especially cute versions for Valentine’s Day! The Foothills store also has constant sales, alternating between percentage-off days and BOGO days during this pandemic winter. If pink is not your thing, there’s also a lot of camo clothing right now.

Piece by Piece Wear: From Street Chic to Luxe Lounge

Walking into Piece by Piece Wear in St. Philip’s Plaza is nothing short of walking into your stylish best friend’s amazing closet.

And, according to owner Julie Penny, that’s entirely by design.

“It should be like shopping with your best friend,” said Penny, the engaging force—you meet her and you love her—of this Tucson boutique since the 90s. “I want it to be a great experience!”

And because Penny has customers ordering items from Piece by Piece from as far as New York and Louisiana, it’s clear that experience has cemented an incredibly loyal fan base. Her Facebook and Instagram feeds are not only filled with her luxe new arrivals, but also genuinely ecstatic reviews from first-time and longtime shoppers alike.

“My goal is whenever you get something from me, it becomes your go-to piece,” said Penny. “I want it to be like, ‘What did I wear before this?’”  Ultra-soft lines such as Sundry, Tart Intimates and sumptuous tees by JET John Eshaya are just the start. “I want it to feel soft. I touch everything. It has to be soft to start, and then I look at it.”

“It all starts with what I want to wear and what my friends want to wear,” she said. In fact, every single piece of clothing at Piece by Piece is handpicked by Penny.

A science major at DePaul University, she credits a stint at a designer consignment store for her fashionable fate. “I just fell in love with fashion.” She and her husband moved to Arizona after she joked that frost began forming inside their apartment windows in Illinois. Though they initially thought Phoenix, Tucson’s inclusive community and charm won them over. “Everyone here says hello and smiles at you.”

Penny has since been a devoted promoter of all things local. She is the exclusive carrier of Tucson designer Annie Hammer’s jewelry line and mosaic stones by Rox, another talented local artist.

When the pandemic hit and closed so many Tucson businesses, she made sure to continue selling her items online and personally delivered them to her loyal customers. “It’s what kept me alive,” she said. Even now, when she can’t travel to her usual markets because of COVID-19, she treasures her designers and representatives who come to her, even customizing their lines for what her shoppers want.

“I love shopping at Julie’s store,” said Mindy Thomas, a frequent Piece by Piece shopper. “It’s my favorite place in Tucson to get cute, on-trend pieces. I always leave with a smile on my face, spending my money locally and looking fashionable.”

Oh, and right now, there’s a rare 50% off sale going on–the perfect time to discover your new favorite store!

Fashion, Beauty News around Tucson

A few things heard around T-town:

Do you like Burberry? Check out Posh Boutique on Instagram, @shopposhboutique, for some awesome, pre-loved, luxury finds, and grab them before they’re gone! Recent arrivals include Burberry rain boots and stylish shoulder bags!

Until tomorrow, Bluemercury is offering a complimentary wellness bag of eight samples with any purchase over $120. For more info, click here

Did you know W Boutique offers closet edits? Inquire about styling services at its St. Philip’s Plaza digs.

The Green Monkey Boutique has re-located to Plaza Palomino, leaving its previous spot at River Center.