Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bethenny Frankel's Skinnygirl Launch in Chicago

Reality star/entrepreneur/author/natural foods chef/mom Bethenny Frankel came to Chicago last Thursday to promote her new line of Skinnygirl vodkas. The star of "Bethenny Ever After" and "The Real Housewives of New York City" launched her company Skinnygirl Cocktails in 2009 and sold it to Fortune Brands' Beam Inc for a reported $120 million. An enthusiastic crowd of her fans (mostly stylish women including moms, a few men) came to pose for pictures with her

(they're on Skinnygirl's Facebook page). She talked about her life (daughter Bryn, her upcoming talk show "bethenny" on Fox, her apartment renovation) while making cocktails using Skinnygirl vodka.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Gourmet Chocolates at Walgreens

Chocolate fans visiting downtown Chicago have another choice beyond Macy's State Street lower level which carries a full line of giftable chocolates including its famous Frango mints. Walgreens on State and Randolph has a chocolate wall featuring gourmet chocolates like Chuao panko and firecracker bars, a chai bar, and Wild Ophelia New Orleans Chili bar. In the next aisle are the Hershey and Mars chocolates.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Das Fleur de Sel Caramels

Katie Das of Chicago started her company Das Foods to introduce gourmet and finishing salts such as the Hawaiian black lava salt. She still sells the gourmet salts but has branched out into Fleur de Sel caramels in unique flavors such as chili pecan, ginger pistachio, and orange & honey. Her company exhibited at the Good Food Festival in Chicago in March.

Wild Ophelia Chocolate

I had the chance to meet and talk to the founder of Vosges Haut-Chocolate and its new sister brand Wild Ophelia at the Good Food Festival in Chicago in March. Unique flavors in the Wild Ophelia line include Beef Jerky, New Orleans Chili, and Sweet Cherry Pecan. While Vosges is targeted for the gifting (and self/gifting) market with its gorgeous truffles in beautiful purple boxes, Wild Ophelia is geared for grocery stores and everyday snacking with its bar format. The company exhibited at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in May 2011 and is scheduled to be there again next week in Chicago.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Teen Beauty at Ulta

Ulta is adding more products for teens. The other day I saw displays of Bella Boo natural teen skin care line. Had never seen this line before. Below Bella Boo is the geoGIRL color cosmetics line that had its debut at Walmart stores. GeoGIRL uses recyclable packaging and ingredients such as chamomile, cucumber, ginseng, and she's butter. You can see the QR code at the bottom right of the display.

Behind this display you can see a glimpse of Burt's Bees gud line of fragranced natural bath, body, and hair products. Given the youth-targeted nature of the line, gud features QR codes on the back of its bottles where teens can get more info about the brand.

NYX Dark Shadows Palette

NYX Cosmetics has introduced a limited-edition Crimson Amulet Collection palette inspired by the May 11 launch of "Dark Shadows". The movie from Tim Burton stars Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Helena Bonham Carter.

The palette contains 24 eye shadows, 4 lip colors, 4 blushes, and more. Inside the palette are photos of three actresses from the movie and how to achieve those looks.

I found this for $25 at Ulta.