Cranberry couple make spagoing all About U! |

Cranberry couple make spagoing all About U!

Beauty care giveaways will mark the grand opening next week of Michelle and Tony Banks’ new inner-city hub for head-to-toe pampering.

The Banks, a Cranberry couple, remodeled part of the Park Building, Downtown, for their About U! Salon & Spa, a 3,500-square-foot center.

Available services include hair styling, waxing and tanning, plus massages, body wraps, manicures and pedicures.

“Our daughter was the inspiration,” Tony Banks says about staff cosmetologist Syreeta Lee, 23, a Pittsburgh Beauty Academy graduate.

Tony Banks is former chairman of Optiron Corp., Downtown, and former president of Atlas America Inc., Moon. He says the About U! Salon & Spa is his first retail venture.

Celebration of the salon’s launch is set for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Oct. 3; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 4.

About U! Salon & Spa is on the second floor of the Park Building at 355 Fifth Ave., Downtown. A virtual tour is available at

Details: (412) 227-0332.

Freshman wins Cosmo model search

On most days, you’ll find college freshman Adair Howell wearing workout clothes and a ponytail as she goes from class to volleyball practice at Centre College in Danville, Ky. She does, though, look equally comfortable in a jersey and silk charmeuse tank top and low-rise stretch jeans, the outfit she wears on the cover of the October issue of Cosmopolitan.

Howell, 18, of Atlanta, is the winner of the magazine’s nine-month model search that began with more than 5,000 contestants.

“I didn’t choose my clothes for the shoot; I left that to the stylists and (Cosmopolitan editor in chief) Kate White. We went through dozens of outfits in my hotel room, and I ended up with something that I’d definitely wear. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to keep it,” says Adair, interviewed by phone.

She is, though, enjoying experimenting with all the makeup she found in the magazine’s beauty “closet,” where hundreds of cosmetic products are stored. “Going into that closet is a little girl’s fantasy.”

In the magazine, she describes her beauty routine: “I truly can’t live without ChapStick — I’m kind of an addict. I also love Bourjouis mascara and lipstick, and I’ve started using a lot of I.D. BareMinerals products lately. I like them because they’re mineral-based, so they’re more natural.”

Junior Duos do double duty on face

Delux Beauty’s Junior Duos not only do double duty as a cosmetic product, providing color for lips and cheeks, but from now until December they also help raise money for an ovarian cancer awareness and education campaign.

The company is donating 10 percent of proceeds of these new duos sold on to Ovarian Cancer Research.

Offered in “twinkly pink,” “nibbly nude,” “juicy rose” and “flirty berry,” the dual-ended wands include lip gloss and liquid cheek color.

Delux Beauty co-founder Jillian Dempsey says the company has aligned itself with this cause because there hasn’t yet been a breakthrough in decreasing the disease’s fatality rate.

“Delux Beauty believes that it is our responsiblity to help raise awareness and educate women about this disease,” Dempsey says. “Our mission is to promote education and improve the survival rate through early detection,” Dempsey says.


Eleni’s couture is super sweet

The newest couture collection from Eleni’s New York isn’t made of satin or silk — the primary ingredient is sugar.

Eleni’s, a gourmet bakery, teamed with several well-known designers, including Oscar de la Renta, Anna Sui, Vivienne Tam, Diane von Furstenberg and Betsey Johnson, to create an assortment of “ready-to-eat” sugar cookies to benefit Saks Fifth Avenue’s Key to the Cure charity initiative. All proceeds of the 7th on 6th Couture Cookie Collection go to Women’s Cancer Research.

Each designer submitted an original sketch for their hand-iced sugar cookie: Johnson’s dress is an off-the-shoulder number in black and taxi-cab yellow; de la Renta’s is a silver and green strapless dress; Tam created a red halter dress; Sui’s is a face wearing a heart-charm necklace; and von Furstenberg’s design is a black and white wrap dress, her signature item.


Publication guides viewer on fashionable TV

Looking for a fashion show while flipping channels on your television?

Time Style & Design, a twice-annual publication edited by Kate Betts, formerly of Harper’s Bazaar, lists the new fall TV series that feature the hottest styles as main characters. The shows are:

  • “Miss Match” (NBC), starring Alicia Silverstone as a divorce lawyer who moonlights as a matchmaker. “Think Ally McBeal with a longer hemline,” according to Time Style & Design.

  • “Eve” (UPN), which turns hip-hop queen Eve into a fashion designer. Her wardrobe will include Roberto Cavalli jeans, fitted denim jackets, Louis Vuitton’s Murakami bag and Eve’s own line of urban casual wear.

  • “Rich Girls” (MTV), a reality show with Ally Hilfiger — daughter of Tommy — and her friend Jamie Gleicher who spend much of their time shopping. “Fashion forecast: plastic (Visa, Amex) fantastic,” predicts the magazine.

  • “The O.C.” (Fox), which hopes to create a little closet envy among the Orange County teenagers who star — and watch — the show. Expect to see Diane von Furstenberg styles as well as Juicy Couture, Diesel and Theory.

    SpongeBob inspires fashion designers

    Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan and Giorgio Armani, all known for their elegant fashions, have an unlikley source of inspiration for their newest garments: the very plebeian SpongeBob SquarePants.

    The goofy Nickelodeon character is featured on 16 pairs of one-of-a-kind pants designed by Herrera, Karan, Armani and other top tier designers as part of a fund-raiser for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

    Herrera’s design, for example, is a pair of her typically lady-like cream-colored trousers with miniature SpongeBobs and his pals decorating one cuff.

    The pants will be available for auction on eBay from Sept. 19-30. The online auction also includes SpongeBob T-shirts and boxer shorts signed by celebrities, including Courtney Cox Arquette, David Arquette, Cindy Crawford, Whoopi Goldberg, David Duchovny, Tom Hanks and Ray Romano.


    – From staff and wire reports

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