Short hair, like this cut Guido Palau styled for Redken at Ralph Lauren, is so in for spring. All we can say is that it's about time. Aren't we all a tad tired of styling long hair? —M.D.

Long hair takes a backseat for  spring now that short hair is showing up on the runway.
Long hair takes a backseat for spring now that short hair is showing up on the runway.

Ragtime Revolution


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Ten years before the flapper look of the 1920s took hold, dancer Irene Castle bobbed her hair and shed her corset. Vernon and Irene Castle's Ragtime Revolution (The University Press of Kentucky, 2007), by Eve Golden, recounts the story of Castle and her husband and dance partner, Vernon, who popularized ragtime in the years preceding World War I. Trendsetters who traveled with an African-American orchestra and had an openly lesbian manager, the Castles founded the Castle House, a club and dancing school in New York City that attracted young people from all social classes during the mid-1910s. 800/839-6855 —L.A.

Seeing Red

E! Essie Live From the Red Carpet nail lacquer is a high-wattage shade of red with a hint of shimmer inspired by E! Entertainment Television's signature Live from the Red Carpet programming. A collaboration between Essie Cosmetics and the network, the limited-edition polish is the same shade as the red carpet the stars walk during awards season. —M.D.

Crème de la Crème

Durance en Provence Hand Cream relieves dry, chapped skin. The paraben-free cream is enriched with olive oil—a natural source of essential fatty acids—olive tree leaf extract and powerful antioxidants to soothe damaged skin and regenerate the epidermis. —L.A.

On Our Radar

Caramel, the first film by Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, debuted at Cannes last March. The film tells the story of the lives, loves and troubles of five Lebanese women, four of whom work in a salon and one who works as a tailor next door. It was shot in the trendy Beirut neighborhood of Gemmayze, in an old clothing shop that was transformed into a salon. Look for it in theaters later this month. —C.W.

Butter Fingers

The dry winter weather can wreak havoc on the skin. Treat it with THE BUBBLE ROOME's three Butter Creams, which soothe the skin and leave it soft all day. Available in four essential oil blends—Lavender & Geranium, Grapefruit & Tangerine, Spearmint & Eucalyptus and Clementine & Cedarwood—these Brooklyn, NY-made creams are infused with shea, cocoa and mango butters, mixed with calendula and rose distillates and extracts of chamomile, green tea and oatmeal. —N.P.

Fit for a King

Curly hair expert CHRISTO now has a new passion: designing cuff links. His new line, called Maniketokoumba, which means cuff links in Greek, was inspired by the royal jewels that were made centuries ago for kings and princes. Each one is handcrafted with such precious stones as diamonds, sapphires, citron, smoky quartz and Swarovski crystal, set in a sterling silver mounting. For wholesale inquiries, contact 212/997-8800. —L.A.

Go wild in a fashion-forward leopard-print head wrap from Jennifer Behr. 917/597-4870
Go wild in a fashion-forward leopard-print head wrap from Jennifer Behr. 917/597-4870

Eye Pleasers

The only circles you want around your eyes are the eye-brightening EyeTea bags from Tracy Stern SalonTea. EyeTeas are filled with organic chamomile, angelica, lavender and witch hazel. Perfect for traveling, simply soak the bags in their portable container and apply to eyes to avoid a fatigued, jet-lagged look. —A.L.

Show Time

NBC's critically acclaimed series Heroes is a show about ordinary people who discover they have extraordinary powers. Head hairstylist Vicky Phillips, who's been working in television and movies for almost 30 years, sees to it that the hair always fits the part. "Subtle changes in the actors' hair can help depict the different things they're going through," says Phillips, who won an Emmy Award for her work on the HBO show Earth to the Moon. When Hayden Panettiere's character, Claire, moved to California from Texas at the start of this season, Phillips began using a flat iron to straighten her hair and give her a sophisticated look. FHI flat irons and blow-dryers are Phillips' tools of choice. "I use FHI Hot Sauce to blow-dry Hayden's curly hair, and then I work a flat iron through it," says Phillips, adding that she is not only the show's hairstylist, she's also one of its biggest fans. —C.W.

Pass the Bar

The creamy, moisturizing, long-lasting soaps from Acca Kappa are triple cold-milled and naturally formulated with rich, vegetable-based ingredients. The Pear scent, shown here, is just one of the 18 tempting choices available, which include orange lily, lavender, avocado and olive oil. —L.A.

Arboreal Scents

Part of a collection of fragrances that pay tribute to three sacred trees of life, Fruits & Passion's Baobab Eau de Toilette is a captivating scent derived from the essence of Africa's venerable baobab tree. Housed in elegantly curved glass bottles, the fragrances are also available in Buriti, an Amazonian tree, and Tamanu, a tree from Polynesia. —L.A.

Grip Tight

The unique, double-spring design and super-grip teeth of the new Jaws Sectioning Clips from Product Club hold even large sections of hair securely during coloring, cutting and styling. The stainless-steel springs and rivets are rust-resistant.; 800/308-3588 —L.A.

Going Brazilian

The J. Sisters salon (New York City and South Beach, FL), famous for its waxing services, is now offering all salon professionals the chance to enhance their waxing menu. Several J. Sisters products are now available for professionals to purchase, including the original Natural Brazilian Hot Wax, formulated to remove unwanted hair and leave skin smooth; the Tranquility Cream, which helps soothe skin before and after waxing; and Aqua Azul, which contains anti-inflammatory azuline oil and can be used on the bikini area, face, eyebrows and under the arms. —N.P.

Aromatic Cleansing

With Ted Gibson's new Empowerment Series of Body Shampoos and Conditioners, showering has reached a heightened level of luxury. The Body Shampoos offer a gentle cleansing experience, while the Body Conditioners, an entirely new concept, moisturize and hydrate the skin while in the shower, and are also perfect for shaving. The products contain radish root to enhance elasticity, and silk proteins and wild orchid extract to revitalize dry skin, and are available in three aromatherapeutic formulas: Prosperity, a calming rose fragrance; Affirmation, an uplifting geranium-water scent; and Transformation, an energizing citrus aroma. —L.A.

Cheeky Clean

Who says men's grooming has to be serious? Certainly not the folks at Mensgroom, a new line of products with witty packaging and natural ingredients, like mannetake mushroom and birch sap, from the company Professional Hair Care Products, founded by Gerd Schwarzkopf. Firmly Rooted Shampoo, Iron Grip Strong Hold Hair Gel, Shave the Males Shave Cream and Sore No More Muscle Cool Down Lotion are just a few of the offerings in this comprehensive line of men's products for the hair, face and body. Each carton includes a humorous description and a cartoon rendering of how to use the product. After all, some men do prefer pictures to words. 800/859-4029; —L.A.


Tom Julian, senior vice president and director of trends for ad agency McCann Erickson, kicks off the New Year in New York City's newest art-inspired neighborhood.

Go modern in 2008! Not a bad resolution while spending time Downtown in New York City this January and February. Forget SoHo and head east to the Bowery. This street's heyday dates back to the 18th century, when it was lined with regal shops and mansions, but it secured a skid row reputation during the Depression, becoming home to the "Dead End Kids" and "Bowery Bums." In the 1970s and '80s, it became an alternative and affordable area, and the infamous nightclub CBGB helped to fuel the rock world.

Tom Julian
Tom Julian

Modern condominiums and structures with glass towers and designer facades have helped to gentrify the area in the past few years. The neighborhood continued to shift as Whole Foods unveiled a 70,000-square-foot store on East Houston Street at Bowery last year. The eco-friendly, two-story complex boasts a culinary center, a European fromagerie and a large Whole Body department.

Here are two additional notable projects on the Bowery that have piqued the interest of critics and world travelers alike:

New Museum of Contemporary Art (235 Bowery). The silver, shimmering stacked boxes of this iconic tower designed by Kazuyo Sejime and Ryue Nishizawa of the Tokyo-based firm SANAA Ltd. stand seven stories tall. This 30-year-old museum expects to attract more than 250,000 visitors and has become an architectural landmark supporting a mission of "new art, new ideas." Unique attractions include a new media center, the "black box" theater, a bookstore and a café. Industry estimates place the cost at $50 million.

New Museum of Contemporary Art
New Museum of Contemporary Art

Bowery Hotel (225 Bowery). Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson (known for creating the Maritime Hotel) unveiled 130-plus luxurious rooms within 17 stories in 2007. The lobby combines rich, dark wood with antique furniture and Moorish influences. Constructed like a residential building, with a brick facade and industrial windows, the rooms are loftlike with hardwood floors, flat-screen HDTVs, marble bathrooms and iPod stereos. Gemma is the hotel's hip trattoria.

Bowery Hotel
Bowery Hotel