Beauty brands brought to your doorstep

For Ohio University students, the nearest free-standing Sephora store is more than an hour away.

“A makeup store would be sweet (in Athens) — like a Sephora,” Gina Rossi, an OU senior studying strategic communication, said.

But now, people have the ability to get luxury designer brands delivered to their doorstep with the click of a mouse.

Makeup subscription services have become a new trend in beauty. Offering sample and full-size products, these services allow people to sample an array of products — without ever having to go to the store. 

Rossi said she has tried Mary Kay delivery service, and she would be interested in trying a new one if she likes the product.

Until buying makeup in Athens is no longer “awful,” as Rossi said, here are four services students can sign up for right now:

BirchBox

Probably one of the most well-known of the beauty subscription services, BirchBox boasts samples in either a “beauty box” catered toward women, or a “grooming box” for the men. The kits can be personalized based on categories like hair type, style and more. Boxes can also be gifted to another and include products from brands like Benefit and Smashbox.

Cost: $10 a month, or $110 for a year  

Ipsy

Brought to you by YouTube-celeb Michelle Phan, Ipsy sends “four to five deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products” each month, according to its site. Ipsy calls this a Glam Bag and it does in fact come with a reusable makeup bag every go-around. Glam Bags are personalized and include brands such as NYX, Smashbox, IT Cosmetics and Urban Decay.

Cost: $10 a month

PLAY! by Sephora

Sephora is a little late to the game, but is now offering up its products through another monthly subscription-box service. Six product samples are sent each month along with a PLAY! BOOK with tips and a PLAY! PASS “for a free one-on-one learning session with a beauty expert,” according to its website. Products are chosen by employees and include brands like Marc Jacobs, Sephora, and Bumble and bumble.

Cost: $10 a month. This service is only available in certain cities and by invitation-only sent via email.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqHIdJ8ApjU

Glossybox

Glossybox may be more expensive, but members receive five deluxe-size products each month from an extensive list of high-end brands. In a pink-and-black reusable box, products are picked by employees. Brands working with Glossybox include Fresh, O.P.I. and Oscar de la Renta.

Cost: $21 a month, $21 6-month plan ($122 paid upfront), $18.50 12-month plan ($222 paid upfront)

The Cotton Hunt: My search for men’s clothing in Athens

Since the beginning of time, men have hunted, and no good hunt would be complete without an elusive target. My prize, however, doesn’t walk on four legs or even two. It’s much trickier to find. My goal was to track down a store that actually sold men’s clothes in Athens.

“You’ve got to be willing to look for a while if you want to find anything good,” said Ethan Grant, a freshman sympathetic to my cause. I was inclined to agree.

After a day of searching, I came to one conclusion — if you’re trying to find a good selection of men’s clothing, good luck.

I started off close to campus. A short walk down Court Street revealed a few prospects. Stores of all sorts fill in the gaps between local eateries and bars guaranteeing the best drinks in town. If you need new guitar strings, they have a store for you. If you’re looking for a new dress, Athens can provide one.

However, if you’re looking for a new sweater or maybe a pair of khakis, your patience will be tested.

My first choice was the University Bookstore. I thought of this as a store filled with clothes for prideful Bobcats, with an OU emblem on every piece of clothing. My memory was correct. I appreciate school spirit as much as the next guy, but I’m not a billboard.

This seemed to be a running theme throughout Court Street. If they sold men’s clothes, a Bobcat or an OU logo was on it somewhere. Both bookstores, The House and Universitees, marched to the same drum. Also, it seemed their selection began and ended with athletic and casual wear.

Onward I trudged, determined to find something. As I closed in on the end of the street, I saw a faint glimmer of hope. Signs advertising several men’s brands drew my attention towards the Import House.

Once inside, I was not entirely disappointed. They too had the apparently mandatory selection of Ohio University clothes but also offered other things. Band t-shirts hung here and there, and it was also the only store I found on Court Street where you could buy men’s shoes.

According to some employees of the stores on Court Street, the reason they offer only OU clothing is obvious— it’s what people want.  

“We get [the clothes] people ask for, and they keep asking for the same thing,” said Linda Hancock, who works at Import House

I decided to expand my search. I headed to East State Street, far enough away that students without a car would have a hard time making it to any of the stores. Biking there is possible but not for the faint of heart. My heart, being faint, chose to catch a ride from a friend.

The selection in Elder-Beerman and Sears was more diverse. Finally, I had found somewhere that offered formal wear. The prices at Sears were fair, but Elder-Beerman hovered close to being too expensive for a college budget.

These stores, however, were not at the top of some student’s list of desirable places to shop.

“I don’t know anyone my age who shops there,” said Dylan Sterling, a sophomore who thought Athens could do better.

Wal-Mart faced a similar problem. While it has a wide variety of clothing, it’s notorious lack of quality had both Sterling and Grant, who said they did not like to shop at Wal-Mart, wishing for more options.  

The only store left was rue 21. This store did sell men’s clothes geared towards people our age. In all of Athens, I had found one store that sold clothing specifically for my demographic. If you aren’t a fan of rue 21, you’re short on options.

As my hunt came to end along with the day, I come to the conclusion that there indeed places for men to shop. The problem, however, was what few choices we have are out of reach for anyone without a vehicle.

In short, you might be better off waiting until Thanksgiving break to buy that new coat for the coming winter. Happy Hunting.

10 reasons to visit Athens’ newest shop: Honey Lingerie and Sex Store

Honey's walls are lined with a diverse collection of lingirie, varying in sizes, colors, and fashions.
Honey’s walls are lined with a diverse collection of lingerie, varying in sizes, colors, and fashions.

13 West Union St. of Athens, Ohio is sexier now than ever before. Honey Lingerie and Sex Store is owned  by Meredith Allan, former store manager of Kismet, a fashion boutique lost in the fire that struck West Union Street this past November. According to an article published by The Post, Allan opened the store with her boyfriend as a start to a new chapter in life, and to provide an empowering and comfortable environment for women to explore their sexual sides. These are only 10 of many reasons to stop in and experience what Honey has to offer.

1. Body Positivity

Empowering her customers and promoting body positivity is very important to Allan and her store’s image. In fact, every time a customer looks in the mirror she receives an encouraging message painted on the mirror frame  – “Hello, gorgeous!”

2. Style Variety

From vintage high-waisted lace pin-up panties to contemporary chic, Honey caters to the fashion needs of all honeybees.

3. Internationally Made Products 

Allan special orders product from all around the world to sell in her store. Just in, the best of Polish bras and lingerie.

4. Green Goddess Friendly

According to an announcement on the company’s Facebook page, Honey also provides its earth-loving customers with panties made from all organic cotton, handmade in the United States.

5. Jewelry

Nothing steps up someone’s fashion game, lingerie style or not, like accessorizing. Honey knows this far too well and has a display full of jewelry just waiting to be paired with any purchase.

6. Hooping Honeys

Honey supports other local business and the inner hula-hooper of all Honeybees by selling locally and handmade hula hoops that will accompany any outfit put together there quite nicely.

7. Wild Honey

Honey encourages all customers not to be ashamed of their inner wild honey, but to embrace it by checking out all the adventurous sex toys that are available at its location. Of course, Honey maintains a classy boutique environment by keeping the adult toys behind the wild honey partition.

8. Unique Fashion Selection

Shop Honey not only for nighttime attire, but for the little black dress every woman needs as a part of their wardrobe. Beyond the racks of corsets and lace panties are some classy fashion pieces that any woman would love to add to her closet.

9. Customer Service

It is important to Allan that women of all body types are able to shop at Honey and feel confident and sexy in anything they might purchase. With that being said, Allan is more than happy to specially order any size or design of lingerie for her customers if they can’t be found in store.

10. Comfortable and Safe Environment

Most importantly, Honey strives to be a place where women don’t have to be ashamed to shop for their sex life. Furthermore, Allan encourages women to shop for lingerie out of love for their own bodies. “It should be something that you can shop for and not feel shameful,” The Post said.

Since opening in July 2015, Honey has sparked an interest in many students and Athens locals alike, and continues to do so. Allan and her co-owner are still working on a set schedule for the hours of operation, but for now, don’t hesitate to join the honeybees Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 to 6 p.m. as well as Friday and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 8.

Honey is located at 13 West Union St. next to Uptown Grill.
Honey is located at 13 West Union St. next to Uptown Grill.

Court Street shopping hours and addresses

College Bookstore

50 S. Court Street

Hours
Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The House

45 S. Court Street

Hours
Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Cross Court

45 S. Court Street

Hours
Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Other Place

43 S. Court Street

Hours
Monday – Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Mountain Laurel Gifts

25 S. Court Street

Hours
Monday – Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Artifacts

2 W State Street

Hours
Monday – Sunday: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

The Christmas shopper’s guide to Court Street

Christmas is right around the corner, and there isn’t much time left to find perfect gifts for each special person in your life. Luckily for Athenians, we live in an area that’s rich with one-of-a-kind shopping destinations. Court Street is dotted with small stores that offer great holiday shopping experiences.

Each store on Court Street has a different personality, which means there’s a good chance you can find a gift for everyone on your list. The lack of a formal shopping mall near Athens provides the perfect opportunity to check out locally-owned stores and find that gift that your mother, brother or uncle never even knew they wanted.

But where do you begin?

“I really like shopping on Court Street because it’s easy to find something everybody will like. The House has a lot of good gifts for my brothers. I can shop at The Other Place for my sister. College Bookstore has great T-shirts for my parents, and then there’s Mountain Laurel for my grandparents. I can do all of my Christmas shopping uptown,” said Sara Bechtel, a senior.

This Christmas Shopping Guide offers a quick rundown of the atmosphere and items found in many Court Street shops. Use the descriptions to decide which stores will have the best fit for the people on your gift list this year.

mountainlaurel

For the eccentric friend: Mountain Laurel Gifts

Of all the shopping destinations on Court Street, Mountain Laurel Gifts is the store that least conforms to mass-manufactured product lines. Instead, the store has paved its own way with merchandise.  Upon entering the store, shoppers are immediately presented with a large Christmas tree that’s decorated with many ornaments. Picking a new ornament from the tree each year is a part of many people’s family traditions. Mountain Laurel Gifts is home to a plethora of other gift items as well. The lavender table is full of wonderfully-scented neck pillows, lotions, and socks that would make any lady swoon. Pair that with some of the delicious USA-made truffles on the checkout counter for an extra special gift. If shoppers are searching for that perfect children’s gift, it may also be found there. Directly across from the checkout counter is a large toy shelf that’s full of great gifts for kids, which is a rare find in Uptown Athens. Within the store, there is also a back room stocked with fine leather goods and jewelry. Celia Summers, a long-time employee of Mountain Laurel Gifts, boasts about the store’s wide variety of inventory. “I think there’s a little bit of something for everyone in here,” she said.

Gift Idea: Although the store carries a wide variety of gift-worthy items, I think the line of Athens Block art pieces would be a really great gift for any Bobcat. Made by local artist James Robinson, the pieces are intended to look like the actual bricks that pave many streets of Athens, so that students may want to treasure them instead of stealing an actual Athens Block brick. Many pieces of his artwork are featured in a large glass case in Mountain Laurel Gifts and include mugs, trivets, coasters, coin banks, trinket boxes and corked bottles. This is a great unique gift to deter your Bobcats from stealing the coveted Athens Block brick on their own.


solivis

For the homemaker: So…Livi’s/Interior Concepts

Shoppers who enter So…Livi’s/Interior Concepts will experience home décor that is much more sophisticated than the popular college trend of Marilyn Monroe posters and empty alcohol bottles. Gifts found there are perfect for someone who takes pride in her living space and strives for an attractive home. Many different types of figurines and decorative knick-knacks can be found within the store. Other merchandise found at So…Livi’s/Interior Concepts includes seasonal items such as ornaments and festive spreader sets for holiday parties, keepsakes for babies and Pandora beads, just to name a few.

Gift Idea: A very popular item sold there is the black and white chalkboard-esque signs that are proudly displayed all over the store. The look is always the same, but the size and saying varies with each one. The quote featured on the signs may range from sweet to snarky or somewhere in-between, but they’re always worth reading. The locations of the signs aren’t narrowed to one spot in the store, however. The owners have strategically arranged the merchandise to be reminiscent of a home, which means you may do a little searching to track down the perfect one for the person on your list.


artifacts

For the funky friend: Artifacts Gallery

Located one block from the end of Court Street, Artifacts Gallery is the perfect place to find great small gifts for stocking stuffers or classic games of White Elephant, among many other things. The gag gifts there are sure to delight any jokester on your gift list. One of the most creative gag gifts found there are “handerpants,” which are a type of glove that looks like underpants for hands. As the name suggests, however, Artifacts Gallery does not subscribe to just one merchandise category. The store also sells clothing, jewelry and locally made pottery. “Artifacts is a unique and funky boutique. We really carry things for everyone,” said Cassi Spires, an Artifacts employee of four years.

Gift Idea: One of the greatest things about Artifacts’ inventory is the large selection of jewelry. Recently, a new shipment of colorful, locally made jewelry was stocked at Artifacts Gallery. The jewelry features many large, colorful stones that have been incorporated into necklaces and earrings. This would be the perfect gift for that special lady that likes unique things and avoids run-of-the-mill items.


collegebookstore

For the OU student, alumnus, or parent: College Bookstore

The ultimate shopping destination for the enthusiastic Bobcat is College Bookstore. Shoppers are sure to find men’s and women’s OHIO gear for students and family members alike. Gear ranges from T-shirts and sweatpants to hats, backpacks, baby clothes and more. College bookstore also has gifts specifically for alumni. The store specializes in diploma frames, car decals, key chains and stickers for alumni to proudly display their Alma Mater. College Bookstore also has a dedicated department for Greek attire. The bottom floor of the bookstore is home to the biggest selection of Greek memorabilia in Athens. One of the most popular Greek items from College Bookstore is custom made Greek letter t-shirts, which make the perfect gift for any sorority girl on your list.

Gift Idea: Could there be a more appropriate Christmas gift than Christmas decorations? College bookstore has a selection of ornaments that would satisfy any Bobcat’s inner elf. The ornaments range from the classic bulb shape to gnomes and even snowflakes. Some ornaments are available in light-up versions as well. An ornament would be a great gift for the OU student that would like a small Christmas tree in his/her dorm, the Bobcat that just got his/her first full-size christmas tree for their apartment, and even the alumnus who is spending his/her first Christmas away from Athens and needs a little bit of OU spirit on the tree.


house_cc_op

For the athletic male: The House

Connected to Cross Court and owned by College Bookstore, the House is Ohio University’s Under Armour headquarters. Mostly male-oriented, the merchandise at The House includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, jerseys, socks, backpacks and water bottles, among many other things. Few items are tailored specifically for females, but there are super stretch underwear and multicolored headbands as well as some clothes, if those things are on your shopping list. The House is perfect for the man who wants the OHIO gear with Under Armour quality.

Gift Idea: Depending on your budget, an OU/Under Armour gift pack would be an awesome gift for a special fella on your list. An Under Armour drawstring backpack filled with and a T-shirt and water bottle could be enough to keep you on the nice list until next year.


For the crafty female: Cross Court

A wide variety of unique girly gifts can be found at Cross Court. It is one store on Court Street that doesn’t specialize in clothing, but it offers myriad other options for gift ideas. One entire wall of Cross Court is dedicated to scrapbooking supplies, so if there’s a crafty girl on your list, you don’t want to miss that store. Other great gift ideas include posters, photo frames and albums, inspirational mugs, candles, and a selection of Athens t-shirts that are sure to get people talking. For gift recipients that are of age, Cross Court has a nice selection of wine goblets, shot glasses and drinking games as well.

Even if your list doesn’t include a crafty female, be sure to stop in Cross Court to peruse the huge greeting card and gift-wrapping selection.

Gift Idea: A scrapbook starter kit or refill set would be a great idea for any girl in your life who is a bit crafty. Girls are sentimental, and giving them a way to capture and record their memories from a special time period in their lives is a great way to get on their good side. Stroll through the scrapbooking wall at Cross Court, and find pieces that have a coordinating theme. Pair that with a scrapbook album, and you’re sure to put a smile on any crafty girl’s face.


 

For the trendsetter: The Other Place

The season’s hottest trends can always be found at The Other Place. Located right next to Cross Court, the store’s merchandise consists mostly of clothes, shoes and accessories. Many obscure brands are featured in The Other Place’s inventory. Clothing from there is the perfect gift for a gal who’d like to stay warm and fashionable this winter. April Almond, manager and buyer for The Other Place, describes the store as a “fun, eclectic, fashion-forward clothing store.” A lot can be said for the wide selection of Vera Bradley products that the store offers, as well. The back right-hand side of the store is dedicated to Vera Bradley purses, backpacks, lanyards, in addition to desk accessories such as pencils and stationery. The Other Place is also a major retailer of TOMS shoes, for anyone that’s looking to give gifts that give back.

Gift Idea: Most college females would love to have any Vera Bradley item she can get her hands on. Shopping for Vera Bradley gifts at The Other Place is great because you can inspect each print and pick out the one you like in the store rather than trying to do it online. If the girl you’re shopping for already has some Vera Bradley merchandise, just make sure you buy her gift in the same print or a coordinating one. Nobody wants clashing Vera.


For the hard-to-please Athens resident or frequent visitor: gift cards

If making a choice among all of the incredible shopping options on Court Street becomes too difficult, the perfect gift for someone who lives in or frequently visits Athens is a gift card. That allows the person to pick out a physical gift that they love, or opens up the options of stores to choose from. Gift cards to places like Attractions Hair Salon, Court Street Diner or Outer Glow Tanning Salon allows the recipients to treat themselves whenever they feel the need.

Athens is the perfect place to find unique Christmas gifts. The shops featured in this guide do not exhaust even all of the options on Court Street, let alone all of Athens. Sometimes the best way to find that perfect store is to wander in and let the gifts find you.

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Kasi Reed is a senior at Ohio University studying magazine journalism. She enjoys searching Pinterest for new recipes and then trying them, reading dystopian novels, and watching chick flicks in her spare time. Her dream job would be to run her own bakery/photography studio.

Basics go brick hunting

Upon entering their senior year, most Bobcats create an Athens bucket list. It’s almost guaranteed that liberating an “Athens Block” brick from Court Street or College Green will be on that list.

Athens Block by Erin Nekervis
Athens Block” by Erin Nekervis is licensed under CC by 2.0.

This has been a tradition for years, and many alumni proudly display bricks in their offices or homes. Brick liberation generally occurs in the dark of night and as quickly as possible.

But what happens when two #basic best friends decide to get their own bricks? Erica Frank and I — the most basic of basics — were determined to find out.

But first, we need to discuss the basics of #basic. Most college students are both familiar with and annoyed with the term due to its recent spike in popularity.

When you think basic, picture a 20-something white girl wearing leggings, Uggs, a puffer vest and a Kate Spade cross-body while clutching a venti Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte with her perfectly manicured hand. But this “basic” image is used for stereotyping and demeaning insults. So I have to ask: What is so wrong with any of that? What is wrong with liking Starbucks or being comfortable in what are basically a giant hug for your feet (yes I’m talking about Uggs).

Quite frankly, I think the basic life is the best life to lead. Joining me in that belief is Erica, a Ohio University senior and my basic best friend.

When we began our journey to get Erica her senior year brick, we really didn’t think things through. From parking mishaps (which thankfully were not caught on video) to not being able to find a true Athens Block brick to forgetting any sort of tool that might have helped us extract the brick, we failed on every level. As a result, no bricks were liberated and we gave up to both escape the foul stench that plagued us all evening (Court Street will never smell like roses) and to meet our friends to play pool — poorly.

Despite the stereotype, basics take their homework and professional work very seriously so it was a few days before Erica and I could regroup to plan our next clandestine outing to search for bricks. But during that time, I had received some intriguing information from James Robinson, CEO of Athens Bricks LLC.

I had begun the interview thinking he would say it’s wrong to steal bricks and that you shouldn’t do it out of principle. Instead, he shared some hard facts that would make anyone (basic or otherwise) rethink carrying out this tradition.

“The only problem with this tradition is when they tear out one brick, it creates damage to the whole area,” Robinson said. “The bricks will shift even after just four days. You can’t just replace one brick with another. Each street is hand fitted together. You pull out one and pull out a string in a ball of yarn. The city has to tear up the entire area to replace even just one stolen brick. The whole area can begin to sag and it’s like a domino affect. The bricks will move to fill in the gap. The city has to spend a lot of money and man hours to fix all the areas it affects.”

His story opened our eyes to the damage even a small action could inflict. We were beginning to realize that maybe stealing a brick wasn’t a very basic thing to do …

Because in the end, basics don’t steal … they go shopping!

Guide To Brick Shopping
Athens Block Official Website
Featured product: Authentic Athens Block Brick – $30.00

Mountain Laurel Gifts
25 S. Court St., Athens
Featured product: Athens Block Brick Vase – $40.00

Ohio University Alumni Online Store
Featured product: Athens Block Key Chain – $15.00

 ***

Sarah Rachul is a junior majoring in strategic communications and minoring in sports management and visual communications at Ohio University. She is a self-described basic who would die without always having a Starbucks within a 2-mile radius. Her other interests include Disney World, playing golf in all black (because it’s slimming) and trying new recipes she finds from hours of surfing through Pinterest. You can check out some of her other work on her website and professionally stalk her on LinkedIn

Athens Farmer’s Market: good food, good for you

One Saturday this semester, I decided to go to the Athens Farmers Market, 1000 E. State St.,  to check out what they had to offer. I didn’t realize how large it actually was. They have more than 70 vendors, allowing for a very nice assortment of food. From fresh fruit to different cheeses to baked goods, the Athens Farmers Market left me with my mouth watering.

In addition to the Farmacy, the Athens Farmers Market is a great way to buy healthy and fresh foods. They are open every Saturday year-round, and during the warmer months they also are open on Wednesday The market is pretty far from campus, but Athens Public Transit can get you there and back for a buck each way.

Here are some of the different vendors that were set up when I went!

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