A-List: November 2009

Lush Life

For true vegans, it’s not easy finding cosmetics free of animal products, but Lush fills the void. Oatfix Fresh Face Mask ($7.95) smells like banana-nut bread, a concoction of vanilla, ground almonds, oatmeal, and bananas. The lemony None of Your Beeswax Lip Balm ($6.95) is made with carnauba wax instead of beeswax. And Coco Lotion ($19.95) is a blend of pineapple, mandarin, and natural oils and butters. At Lush stores at Twelve Oaks Mall In Novi (248-348-0791) and Somerset Collection in Troy (248-458-1690), as well as inside Macy’s stores at Lakeside and Twelve Oaks malls, lush.com.

A Dash of Ash

Women have enjoyed the beauty benefits of volcanic ash for centuries. Now, cosmetics company Mac is embracing that age-old tradition with its black ash thermal mask. Strive for a clearer, younger, and healthier-looking complexion with weekly applications for normal or oily skin. $19.50. At Mac counters or maccosmetics.com.

State Style

Troy native Jenna Kator looked to her home turf for inspiration when designing her latest purse collection. “I am paying tribute in honoring Michigan by naming my designer handbags and accessories after places that reflect great beauty, character, and charm,” she says. The styles bear the names of Michigan communities, including Adrian, Caledonia, Petoskey, Detroit, Birmingham, and Bloomfield Hills. The purses are made of “vegetarian” leather. All retail for less than $100. Pictured: Adrian handbag, $79, at jennakator.com.

Holiday Respite

In between the parades, leftovers, football, socializing, and shopping, consider taking a literary time out during the long Thanksgiving weekend. For a short read, try Truman Capote’s The Thanksgiving Visitor, often considered a companion to the better-known A Christmas Memory. It begins with the memorable words, “Talk about mean,” and tells a tale of compassion through the eyes of a young boy in the 1930s. New and used through most booksellers.

Out of the Woods

As we cheer every tidbit of good news from Detroit automakers, we also applaud former workers who succeed at post-automotive careers. Such is the case with Gregg Palm, a one-time engineer who creates wood products in his Walled Lake workshop. He says the pleasure from refinishing a wooden staircase inspired him to begin fashioning pepper mills, chopping blocks, bowls, lamps, clocks, and pens. Visit G3studios.net for area retailers.

Twirl Time

Gucci has reintroduced its Twirl watch. The limited-run edition — a redesign by Gucci’s Frida Giannini — honors the company’s partnership with Mary J. Blige and her foundation, the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN). Because the watch face can be “twirled” to aim in or out, it doubles as a bracelet. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the timepiece, made of PVD and black diamonds, go to FFAWN. $1,895 at Gucci, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 249-643-7630.

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