March 18, 2014

Beauty Products Good Enough to Eat

Lush's shower scrub is one of its most popular products.

By Kellye Crocker 


When Lush touts its bath and beauty line as "fresh," it's no joke. The company yanks products after six months, but many are only weeks, days or hours old when sold. Now you can check out the products for yourself, as Lush's first Iowa store is set to open at Jordan Creek Town Center April 1 (date is subject to change). Founded in England in 1995, Lush--a sort of beauty deli with attitude--operates more than 700 stores in 44 countries.

Its products, which include hair and skin care, perfume and makeup, are crafted from whole, ethically sourced fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs and essential oils--and about 80 percent are vegan. All 300-some items are handmade, aren't tested on animals and contain little or no preservatives and packaging.

An industry leader on environmental and social issues, Lush doesn't separate its politics and products. In fact, the company sees its stores as a platform for change. Huge "blood-splattered" placards protested the Canadian commercial seal hunt, for example, and the company donates 100 percent of sales from one of its hand and body butters to grass-roots organizations working for the environment, animal welfare and human rights. Since 2007, the company has given $4.75 million to 400 organizations in 35 countries.


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Unleash your inner metal head
at "Power Balladz."
Photo courtesy of the show.

'Don't Stop Believin' '


Tease your hair, wiggle into those pleather pants, dust off your air guitar and get ready to rock and wail when "Power Balladz: The Ultimate 80's Sing-Along" unleashes its scorching musical fury at the Temple Theater April 10-12.

The show is described as a sort of a Wayne's World/game show/karaoke situation. Plus: the lightning-fast guitar licks and scale-tripping vocals celebrate the metal life/love/lust songs of the '70s, '80s and '90s (despite the show's peculiar insistence on using only one decade in its name).


Here's the thing: Even if you weren't into Whitesnake, Poison or Mötley Crüe back in the day, it's likely several of these tunes provided the soundtrack to many of your Important Life Moments. (Nazareth's "Love Hurts" gets us. Every. Time.) You might find yourself humming along at the show--or even unleashing your own scorching musical fury. Bring a lighter--or download the app here. Tickets are available at the Des Moines Civic Center ticket office, Ticketmaster locations, charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000 and online here.  -K.C.

Chefs Battle It Out

Michael Bailey with 
Embassy Club West will compete
in "Battle of the Chefs."

By Wini Moranville


In its first three years, Iowa Public Radio's (IPR) "Insight Series" has engrossed audiences with speakers ranging from famed foodie Lynne Rossetto Kasper to radio veteran Scott Simon, host of National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition." This season, however, the focus of the series has shifted. "We decided to move beyond speakers and try to give people more of an experience," says Amanda Acton, IPR's communication manager.

Case in point: Rather than listening to a speaker talk food, those who attend this season's final event will get to taste food. Guests at IPR's first-ever "Battle of the Chefs" March 27 at West End Architectural Salvage will sample the wares of chefs from Tacopocalypse, HoQ, Le Jardin, Embassy Club West and the Cupcake Emporium. Each guest will then cast a vote for his or her favorite, and the winner will receive $1,000.

What's on the menu? "Chefs are playing it pretty close to the vest," says Acton; however, the anything-goes nature of the event will surely be part of the suspense. How will a taco stack up against a cupcake, and how will both fare against the French-focused cuisine of Le Jardin, the painstakingly locally sourced food of HoQ and the detailed and precise artistry of Michael Bailey, chef of the Embassy Club? I imagine there will be some surprises.

The happy hour party starts at 5 p.m. The cost is $27.50, which includes samples from all the chefs and one drink ticket (craft beer will be served). IPR's Studio One will provide the music, and the station's "Talk of Iowa" host, Charity Nebbe, will be on hand to chat with guests. Proceeds from the event will go to Iowa Public Radio. Buy tickets online here or by calling 800-861-8000.

And be sure to listen up: The participating chefs will be on IPR's "Talk of Iowa" on March 20, at 10 a.m. Listeners in Des Moines can tune in on 90.1 FM or 640 AM.

P.S.: Read my story about Embassy Club chef Michael Bailey in a past issue of dsm.

Create wedding vignettes
by mixing vintage items.
Photo by Geno Photography.
Vintage Vows
Something old is something new. Vintage weddings offer a fun, relaxed atmosphere that feels nostalgic yet modern, says Cynthia Betts, who owns Special Events and several other wedding-related companies, including Vintage Love, Rentals and annessi. Betts, an event planner for 35 years, added vintage services about four years ago but only a few couples were interested. This year she's planning more than 300 vintage weddings. Some hallmarks:
  • Unexpected spaces. Couples seek intimate and architecturally interesting settings, from rustic barns to the opulent World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.
  • Mood lighting. "You can't go wrong with a chandelier," says Betts, who even hangs them from trees. More brilliance: string lights and candles, candles, candles.
  • Eclectic décor. Mix vintage items together, such as weathered doors and window frames, furniture and area rugs (even grouped into "rooms" outdoors), Mason jars, empty picture frames, bird cages, old books, suitcases and trunks, and mismatched chairs and china. "A lot of people think we just throw things together," Betts says, but a good designer creates a cohesive plan "so it doesn't look like a circus."
  • Personal touches. From displaying family photos and heirlooms to serving Grandpa's famous apple pie alongside the wedding cake, personal touches make memories.
Intrigued? Attend a free vintage wedding show March 30, from noon to 3 p.m., at West End Architectural Salvage, 22 Ninth St. A similar show last year drew 500 people. For information and to register, click here.   -K.C.
Clothes for a Cause
Get dressed to the nines for less than 10 bucks at Dress for Success Des Moines' first pop-up sale March 27-29. Spend a bit more, and walk away in Kate Spade heels. You'll feel even more fabulous knowing that proceeds help disadvantaged local women move toward financial independence (more than 200 were served last year).

"Shop for Success," 6223 S.E. 14th St. (at Army Post Road, behind Applebee's), kicks off 5-9 p.m. March 27 with VIP Night, highlighting new and lovingly worn designer items from Armani, Prada, Stuart Weitzman and more. DJ Mark Zimmerman rocks the shop, which includes cocktails and a Trixie's Salon makeup bar. Advance tickets are required ($25 here). A limited number of personal shopper sessions also are offered for $100.

The sale opens to the public with free admission and parking March 28 from noon to 9 p.m. and March 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. At these prices--$5 separates to $20 coats--you almost can't afford to stay home. (Designer togs are priced separately, such as Eileen Fisher pieces for $20.) From 4 to 6 p.m. March 29, you can buy a bag for $5 and fill it.

Save the date: Dress for Success Des Moines' "Passion for Fashion" show, May 2, 5 p.m.-7 p.m., at Drake University.  -K.C.
Kellye Crocker

Kellye Crocker lives in Clive and writes fiction for teens and nonfiction for adults. A former Des Moines Register senior reporter and current dsm contributing writer, she's also written for Parents, Better Homes and Gardens and Glamour, among other national publications. Connect with her on Twitter: @kelcrocker.
Wini Moranville

Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm magazine. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.

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