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Buy Smart, Shop Local in the Foothills & El Dorado County

06/25/2015 09:18AM ● Published by Style

Mirror Mirror

Let’s face it: When it comes to shopping for clothes, beauty products, hostess gifts or even pet food, the choices can be overwhelming—we all could use a little guidance on navigating the aisles, getting the most bang for our buck, and making purchases with panache. With that in mind, we collected 50+ tips, tricks and trends from our area’s favorite non-big-box businesses. Ready, set, shop…

by Megan Wiskus


FASHION RULES TO BREAK

Cadence Corner

 “Step outside of your personal box. Try something new—maybe a different color, pattern or texture than what you normally wear. Let someone pick out something for you that you would never pick for yourself. You may find that you love it!”—Ashley Lowe, Cadence Corner Boutique, El Dorado Hills

Mirror Mirror

“The fun part about this generation in fashion is there aren’t really too many rules in place—anything seems to go (with the exception of plumber’s crack of course). If I had to come up with one ‘rule’ to break, it would be open-toed shoes in the winter—it’s OK to have your little piggies out for the world to see (just make sure your pedi is on point, it’s not raining or snowing, your feet are moisturized and your shoes aren’t summer specific). Also leggings are allowed, as long as they’re an afterthought and not a focal point (nobody wants their tush looked at all day). We like to add Nikibiki textured and/or printed leggings to fun tops, sweaters, dresses, etc. They really have a way of spicing up an outfit and stay up all day.”—Nici Dale Mayer, co-owner at Mirror Mirror Fashion, Cameron Park


TIPS OF HIGHLY STYLISH PEOPLE

“Rules are meant to be broken. If you want to clash patterns, wear white after Labor Day, or pair something black and blue—go for it! At FreeStyle Clothing Exchange, we encourage people to be unique and embrace their personal style, because that’s how trends are started. If you decide to try pattern clashing and it isn’t you, don’t worry: You can always trade past pieces for new, fashionable finds. Don’t play by the book; create your own style!”FreeStyle Clothing Exchange Team, Folsom

“Be yourself; wear what you love, and what makes you feel great! The best trendsetters are those who don’t follow everyone else. Be unique—be you!”—Ashley Lowe, Cadence Corner Boutique, El Dorado Hills

“The great thing about today’s trendsetters is they’re not breaking the bank to look fabulous! Fashion-forward celebs like Kourtney Kardashian, Kanye West, Lupita Nyong’o and Kate Middleton are opting for more affordable pieces and mixing them with some more expensive, timeless staples. ‘Street style’ (any offbeat or avant garde fashion inspired by contemporary culture of urban street people) has become the new go-to for ideas, and people are plugging into Pinterest to find ways to get a ‘rich’ look without breaking the bank. With style changing so rapidly and designers evolving by the second, keeping up can get expensive. There’s no shame in finding a great piece that looks like it came from the runway but saved you a dime.”—Nici Dale Mayer, co-owner at Mirror Mirror Fashion, Cameron Park


MUST-HAVE ITEMS EVERYONE NEEDS IN THEIR CLOSET

“A really good pair of jeans.”—Ashley Lowe, Cadence Corner Boutique, El Dorado Hills

Mirror Mirror

“Timeless pieces of any sort are first and foremost! Don’t waste money on expensive items that will go out of style within a season or two. Next is a plain white, V-neck T-shirt that you can dress up or down, followed by a nice pair of jeans that make you feel great (I usually splurge on my jeans because I know denim will never go out of style) and a denim jacket (has your simple denim jacket ever gone out of style?).”—Nici Dale Mayer, co-owner at Mirror Mirror Fashion, Cameron Park


FASHION HABITS THAT MAKE YOU LOOK OLD

“Dark, drab colors in oversized styles. Spice up your wardrobe with some fun, funky colors; try orange and yellow.”—Ashley Lowe, Cadence Corner Boutique, El Dorado Hills

“Wearing something ‘retro’ without pairing it with something modern. This is so easy to do without realizing it. Make sure to wear a ‘vintage’ Boho (Bohemian) style dress (did you know Bohemian was inspired by the early 20th century?) and pair it with a simple pendant and dainty bracelet, or rough it up with a more modern, rustic, chunky necklace and bracelet.”—Nici Dale Mayer, co-owner at Mirror Mirror Fashion, Cameron Park


OUTFIT IDEAS FOR WHEN YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR

Cadence Corner

 “Accessories can really make or break any style—whether it’s a fun handbag or belt. First rule of thumb: Make sure your shoes and belt match. Add some colorful jewelry to an outfit that may seem rather dull or heavily re-worn. Jewelry takes the spotlight, so make it big and bright!”—Ashley Lowe, Cadence Corner Boutique, El Dorado Hills

“A plain white, V-neck T-shirt and a nice pair of jeans can apply to both men and women. It’s all about how you accessorize it. For men, throw it on and add a belt and a watch (if you choose). For women, add either layered metals with some simple crystal/stone wrapable necklaces or ‘chunk it up’ with a long, leather-corded multiple-pendant necklace (don’t forget to throw on your Birkenstocks). Another fabulous way to rock your white tee and jeans look is to make it fancy by adding some Lorie Smith Jewelry ‘Swarovski’ crystal pieces and heels to dress it up. Please don’t forget a belt with any of these looks.”—Nici Dale Mayer, co-owner at Mirror Mirror Fashion, Cameron Park


FAVORITE WORKOUT ACCESSORIES

“The half BOSU ball is one of my favorite workout accessories. You can do so many exercises on it, and it’s good for any fitness level.”—Haley Stamer, personal trainer at Snap Fitness, Shingle Springs

“An iPhone so you can listen to music, a quality pair of headphones so you can turn up the tunes and ‘get in the zone,’ and a good reusable water bottle so you’ll stay hydrated throughout the workout.”—Chris Maberto, fitness director at El Dorado Hills Sports Club

 "A stainless steel water bottle by Manduka (it keeps your water nice and cold on a hot day), a hand towel or yogitoes mat towel.”—Kellee Falkenstrom, owner of Main St. Yoga, Placerville

“A phone (not sure if that’s an accessory). I always take mine with me, as you need a good playlist while working out.”Fitness Solutions Personal Training Studio, Diamond Springs


BEST CLOTHING TO SWEAT IN

“Sportswear clothing, such as Under Armour, helps keep you cool, stays dry, and is light and comfortable.”—Haley Stamer, personal trainer at Snap Fitness, Shingle Springs

“When it comes to workout clothes, ‘cotton is rotten!’ Cotton absorbs more water than any other clothing fiber, which is great for a towel, but not for your workout clothes. Synthetic materials such as polypropylene transport water through the fabric instead of holding it. Therefore, Dri-FIT or ‘sweat wicking’ fabrics are best. Lightweight wool also does a great job of wicking moisture away from your skin, keeping you cool and comfortable.”—Chris Maberto, fitness director at El Dorado Hills Sports Club

 “Victoria’s Secret yoga pants. They’re comfortable, shape to your body and move with it with every exercise done.”—Fitness Solutions Personal Training Studio, Diamond Springs


TIPS TO LOOK STYLISH WHILE WORKING OUT 

“Wearing headbands or sweatbands are fun and keep the sweat and hair out of your face. Wearing bright clothing or footwear is a great way to brighten up your outfit…and your workout. Wear a smile! Even though working out is sometimes painful, smile through the pain. Smiling always makes you look better—no matter how sweaty you are.”—Haley Stamer, personal trainer at Snap Fitness, Shingle Springs

“While you’re not going to a fashion show, there are a few things you can do to look good while working out. Headbands are hot right now and can turn the worst ‘bedhead’ into a fashion statement. Neon colors will brighten up any weight room. Need some motivation? Motivational tanks and tees are all the rage and can give you the inspiration to get through your workout.”—Chris Maberto, fitness director at El Dorado Hills Sports Club

“A seasonal headband, which you can change out to match your workout wear; and a yoga bag to carry your mat, towel, keys and phone.”—Kellee Falkenstrom, owner of Main St. Yoga, Placerville

“Don’t wear a lot of makeup—look natural. Throw your hair up in ponytail (a messy look is a cute look) and wear a fun, fabric headband (Bolder Bands makes some awesome ones). Fun, bold prints are in—especially with leggings—and are a fashionable piece to wear while working out.”—Fitness Solutions Personal Training Studio, Diamond Springs


BEST ITEMS FOR AN AT-HOME WORKOUT 

“A half BOSU ball, resistance bands and a stability ball. These items are easy to store, light and easy to progress and regress.”—Haley Stamer, personal trainer at Snap Fitness, Shingle Springs

“A few sets of dumbbells, a medicine ball, stability ball, resistance bands, a jump rope and TRX.”—Chris Maberto, fitness director at El Dorado Hills Sports Club

 “A Manduka PRO Mat (6mm thick), which will last a lifetime, a cork block, a 10-foot-long yoga strap and a Mexican blanket or buckwheat zafu (cushion).”—Kellee Falkenstrom, owner of Main St. Yoga, Placerville


BEST GIFT FOR THE PERSON WHO HAS IT ALL

 “A Vera Bradley travel bag—either a weekender, tote bag or crossbody. With new, seasonal colors in solids or prints, you can never have enough!”—Wendy Thomas, design coordinator at Robinson’s Pharmacy  Placerville

“For men, either a Yeti Cooler, a set of four steak knives shaped like a saw (for the handyman in your life), lighters in a variety of styles (including one in the shape of a rifle), steak brands to personalize everyone’s meal, beer glasses or decorative beer-style gifts. For women, a miter bread slicing guide for the perfect slice every time, a bread knife in a loaf-shaped cover, cow butter dish and cutting boards in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go toilet spray is fun for everyone, too.”—Melissa Fausel, owner of Placerville Hardware

  


TIPS FOR DECORATING ON A BUDGET

“Put a colorful tray on a coffee table and group items you have in a
new arrangement (books, magazines, candleholder with colorful pillar candle, framed picture, etc.); use a tall vase or large glass jug to hold fresh branches and bring the outside in (change frequently); replace heavy comforters with a light, white coverlet, use a colorful runner at the end of the bed as a bed scarf, and add one or two bright accent pillows to make your bed fresh and summery.”—Wendy Thomas, design coordinator at Robinson’s Pharmacy, Placerville


GREAT SUMMER HOSTESS GIFTS

“A beautiful hand soap/lotion caddy for the guest bath; a cute décor item for the kitchen; or a pack of paper placemats with acrylic tumblers.”—Wendy Thomas, design coordinator at Robinson’s Pharmacy, Placerville

“Thoughtful hostess gifts are always well received. What are her/his interests? What kind of party is it? Summer invites tend to be barbecues or pool parties. Try barbecue and guest towels for the gardener, the cook and the nature lover; the hostess will love Archipelago hand lotions and soaps. One of our most popular gifts is a unique hanging mason jar with LED lights­—it’s perfect for the outdoor table or hanging in a tree. Candles are always nice, too—and if you don’t know the hostess very well, you can’t go wrong with them. For the special host/hostess, try a Bluetooth speaker. Who wouldn’t love a frog sipping wine on a wine barrel playing your favorite music?”—Jennifer Tilson, owner of the Tree House, Placerville

“A melamine serving tray, BPA-free shatterproof wine glasses, a two-glass caddy that fits over a bottle of vino, a variety of bottle openers, decorative bottles for table settings, flowers or beautiful displays.”—Melissa Fausel, owner of Placerville Hardware


BEST ANTI-AGING PRODUCTS & TIPS

 “Sunscreen, moisturizer and fresh blueberries from Apple Hill.”—Edith Bullard, owner of Time Out Spa, Camino


HOT WEATHER HAIR & MAKEUP SECRETS

“Wear sunscreen…always; and wear a hat in the sun.”—Edith Bullard, owner of Time Out Spa, Camino


BEAUTY PRODUCTS EVERYONE NEEDS

“Sunscreen, daily facial cleanser and moisturizer.” —Edith Bullard, owner of Time Out Spa, Camino

 “Four skin care products that everyone needs are cleanser, exfoliator, moisturizer and daily sunscreen. Cleansing twice a day is very important, and selecting a cleanser that fits your skin type is crucial—whether this be a milky creamy cleanser for dry skin or a foaming cleanser for more oily skin. An exfoliant is essential to remove dead skin cells and keep your skin looking fresh and renewed; they also help with fine lines and wrinkles and come in many forms, including alpha hydroxyl acids, scrubs and retinols. Next, you need to replenish that healthy fresh skin with a moisturizer. Moisturizing twice a day is key to avoiding skin from becoming dehydrated, which leads to dull and tired looking skin. Oftentimes when our skin is oily we hold back from moisturizing, but sometimes that’s exactly what our skin needs. Lastly, SPF is the most important thing we can apply daily. It helps protect our skin from daily sun exposure and is crucial in preventing future damage. It’s always important to consult with an esthetician to select which of these products is correct for your skin type and/or skin condition.”—Jessica Arens, spa manager at Asante, El Dorado Hills


 TIPS FOR GIVING THE GIFT OF FOOD

“Giving consumables is one of the hottest and most appreciated gifts you can give, since so many of us already have too much ‘stuff’ or are scaling down. With all of the people who experience allergies these days, as well as those on restricted diets or alternative diets (Paleo, gluten free, soy free, peanut free, etc.), there are some things to be aware of when purchasing gifts of food. It’s very important that you do your homework before your purchase and know as much as you can about the food preferences or needs of the gift recipient.”


HOW TO SPOT A QUALITY “FOODIE” PRODUCT 

“Read, read, read the label—both front and back. As producers of award-winning, certified extra-virgin olive oils, as well as specialty food products, we have seen a lot of products that are deceptive in their claims as a quality product. As an example, we had a vendor come to us with what appeared to be a high-quality food line. After doing research on the product I discovered most of the products were made in China and carried hidden ingredients that were not healthy. We have also had customers bring in bottles of ‘extra-virgin’ olive oils they have purchased and after reading the ingredient label on the back in tiny print, not only was it not extra-virgin, there wasn’t any olive oil of any kind in the product. It was a mix of corn, soy and vegetable oils. We tell all of our customers to buy as locally as they can from providers that can answer their questions about the products. We love questions at Winterhill and do what we can to clear up misconceptions and to answer what we can about food products, especially how to easily know that you’re getting the highest quality extra-virgin olive oils.” 


WHAT TO BUY A HUNGRY HEALTH NUT

“Always look for organic or sustainably produced foods, as well as GMO free and as free of as many additives as possible. Read labels and stay away from foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce, anything with palm oil or vegetable oils, or other highly saturated fats. Locally grown or crafted foods are also the best, since they’re usually fresher and have not created a negative impact on the planet by being shipped from far away places.” —Annette Schoonover, owner of Winterhill, Placerville


BEST PET TOYS FOR YOUR MONEY

 “You can never go wrong with a KONG. It’s a hard rubber cylinder that you can stuff with all kinds of goodies. We recommend things like kibble, soft dog food, chicken, cheese and cottage cheese, then plugging it with a bit of peanut butter. Put it in the freezer and when you leave or put your dog in their crate, give it to them. It keeps them busy and provides you with a little time to get things done.”—Robin Mizell, owner of Bark Avenue, El Dorado Hills


“There are a few factors to consider when selecting the best toy with the most value. For many dogs, destroying the toy is where all the fun is. If you pick a small or low-quality toy it may be gone within minutes. On the flip side, if you pick the most indestructible toy, the dog might not even play with it. Does your pet like to chew and swallow the stuffing inside? If so, a toy without stuffing might be the best choice. Skinneez toys have squeakers, crunchers and other sounds that will keep the dog entertained without making the mess. If your dog is a chewer, there are lots of options—try products made by Nylabone, KONG, Bionic, and JW. Antlers, although not a ‘toy’ helps with plaque buildup and can keep a dog occupied for hours. Natural animal bones—either smoked or filled with softer treats—work well to keep a pet occupied. There are even puzzles and mazes for dogs with the reward of a treat when they solve it. I’ve found that keeping a variety of toys for our dogs works best. We have a basket of toys that they constantly take from, along with chew toys and the durable soft-filled toys. They’re not made to last forever, but they should provide some fun until the end; after all, how can you get mad or upset if they’re having a good time?”—Jeff Lee, owner of Lees’ Feed and Western Store, Shingle Springs


WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN PET FOOD

 “First and foremost, your pet’s food should never contain soy, wheat, corn or by-products. You want to look for foods that start with deboned chicken or some other type of meat-specific meal, such as beef meal, turkey meal, chicken meal or salmon meal. Look for foods that have whole grains in them such as brown rice and oatmeal. Also, if your dog suffers from allergies, look for grain-free options or limited ingredient diets (LID). Raw diets are another option. The best dog food is the one that works for your dog and offers proper nutrition for a lifetime.” —Robin Mizell, owner of Bark Avenue, El Dorado Hills


TIPS FOR DRESSING UP PETS

“Consider the following three things when dressing your pets: comfort (Is your pet comfortable in the type of clothing selected? Does the hood fall in his face? Does his leg fall out of the leg hole? Is the neck too tight?); proper sizing (this is more important in male dogs—if the body is too long, the dog will pee on the fabric.); climate (make sure the dog isn’t too hot or too cold)—you don’t want your dog to overheat, but if your dog is small with very little fur, you need to protect them.”—Robin Mizell, owner of Bark Avenue, El Dorado Hills

“Choose clothing and harnesses that fit well and are well made; never leave clothing on for days, as their fur needs circulation to avoid matting.”—Erin Selover, CEO of Wagger’s Pet Spa and Market, Folsom

 “Show your pet’s personality by dressing them in something that shows who they are. For a female, you can have her put on a cute little dress with a bow on top of her head or even something as simple as a collar with a bit of glitter, diamonds or a flower. For a male, you could tie a bandana around his neck or put a bowtie on his collar. Holidays are always fun for dressing them up for the occasion; put them in a cute holiday sweater or dress them in a costume for Halloween. Another fun thing is to dress them up in your favorite sports team gear.”—Barb Poteet, co-owner of The Natural Pet Tooth Fairy, Folsom

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