Eco & Fashion Friendly Reusable Bags

Everyone is going green these days.  How about making your friends green with envy by carrying the most amazing reusable bags instead of landfilling plastic bags?  According to reusablebags.com, Each year an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide.  Luckily, there are fashionable solutions to this dilemma.

Reusablebags.com makes a few great points about making the switch.  Purchasing inexpensive, low-quality reusable bags will ultimately end up in the trash.  Thus creating more pollution and wasting money.  The site suggests quality over quantity, bettering the environment and wallet.  Furthermore, avoid logos on your new bags.  Stores sell their own bags with large logos that diminish the aspect of re-usability. Shoppers may be afraid to reuse these bags at other stores, which defeats the entire purpose!

Instead try something that is not being sold at your local superstore.  Look for something that is cute, durable, and practical.  These bags are a great way to accessorize an outfit, have fun, and make you feel good about going shopping!  Simply Green Solutions offer a myriad of eco-chic reusable shopping bags in cherry, bicycle, chihuahua, and more prints.  For the same price, many charities offer a free reusable bag with a donation.  Joining the NRDC with a $10 donation will get you a polar bear tote that actually helps fight a cause.

Also, check your closets for any canvas tote bags.  Decorate your plain totes with ribbons, buttons, glitter, tie-dye, etc.  Opting for a simplistic tote is fine too!  The most important thing is that we stop relying on plastic bags that harm our environment.  Also, we must choose bags that we are really going to use, or we won’t make a difference.  Armed with the perfect excuse to go shopping- go out and feel good about using bags that are eco and fashion friendly.

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Top Nine Must-Haves for Fall

In honor of 09/09/09, Pretty Robotic presents the Top Nine Must-Haves for Fall:

Pretty Robotic's Top 9 Must-Haves for Fall

Pretty Robotic’s Top 9 Must-Haves for Fall by prettyrobotic featuring Dorothy Perkins

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Tips on Cleaning Out Your Closet

Cleaning out your Closets

Call it Autumn cleaning.  Call it “I gotta get this mess out of my life!”  Call it “fugly clothes that gotta go!”  Regardless, call it quits on keeping old garments that you never wear, never will wear, and are clogging the fashion arteries of your closets!

There are many reasons to organize your closet.  Getting rid of old items, can make you realize what items truly fit your style mentality.  Put some cash in your wallet by selling undamaged items.  And of course, make room for new purchases!

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Jewel Tones

Dearest Pretty,

I find myself wearing black a lot because it is so slimming, but am finding myself in a style rut during the summer months because I should be wearing bright colors!  Do you have any tips on how to make bright colors slimming?

Love,
Bored in Black

Dear Bored in Black,  this is such a great question.  Sometimes, I feel really bored in black too!  Black is such a great go-to color in your wardrobe, but there has to be better ways to look slimming à la bright mode.  So, what’s the shimmering answer to your bleak boredom??  Jewel Tones.

Jewel Tone

Jewel Tone by prettyrobotic featuring Marc by Marc Jacobs dresses

Jewel tones are deep, rich, and sensual colors that will slenderize your fine frame!  Picture the most exquisite gems that you would love to drape yourself in–rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.  Jewel tones are impeccably opulent, making the wearer look and feel affluent without all of the affluence.  Amethyst (purple), topaz (yellow), turquoise, amber, and tourmaline green are some other distinctive jewel tones.  Naturally, gemstone tones are richly luxurious looking.

Choose romantic fabrics like satin to embody the essence of jewel tones.  Sites like Marie Claire state that mixing jewel tones looks “more harlequin than romance.”   True statement, Marie!  The most important part of dressing in jewel tones is to choose silhouettes that are complimentary to your body shape.  Keep in mind what colors work best with your skin tone, eyes, and hair.  It seems that there is a jewel tone that is perfect for everyone!

Jewel tones are classic, distinguished, and fiercely radiant.  Now it’s your time to shine!

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Ruffles, Ruffles, Ruffles

Ruffled Feathers

Ruffled Feathers by prettyrobotic featuring Christian Louboutin shoes

Ready to ruffle some feathers?  Ruffles are this summer’s most scorching trend.  Other than your hot date, there is nothing better to have on your arm than ruffles.   Both feminine and pretty-ruffles are the perfect antidote for any summer soiree.

Just like you, ruffles evoke many different moods.  An off-the-shoulder ruffled frock will make you feel like a disco diva.  A patterned tank with ruffles down the front summons your inner naughty secretary.  Asymmetrical ruffles educe an ethereal edge.  Whether you would like to feel sultry or poetic- ruffles do the trick.

Choose simplistic ruffles that are not fussy.  Pick light, breathable layers that best suit the summery air.  Stick with one ruffled garment, versus pairing ruffly separates.  Wearing too many of these layers will out date an entire look.  Instead combine a ruffled garment with a classic pencil skirt, cute pair of shorts, or your fave dark denim jeans.

For those Pretty Robotic readers that are living cheap chic- check out Target’s Xhilaration and Mossimo’s collection of ruffled garments.   Hello under $20! Charlotte Russe offers many ruffled looks for just under the $25 range.  Now looking this pretty- is as easy as a summer’s day.

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Jim Spiker’s Kidney Transplant Benefit Party (JC, TN)

Jim Spiker's Kidney Transplant Benefit Party 6/13/09 @ 7PM

“Rock Out & Support a Good Cause”

Come one, come all– to Jim Spiker’s Kidney Transplant Benefit Party, hosted at Little Chicago Kustoms on June 13 at 7 PM.  Hamburgers, hot dogs, cold beer, and live music will be provided and sponsored by:  Little Chicago Kustoms, Bang! Hair Salon, and Stay True Tattoo.  “Sons of Apollo” and “Issac & His Random Band” will be rockin’ the crowd.  Donations will be accepted at the door and all the proceeds will benefit the medical costs for Jim’s kidney transplant in August 2009.

Benefit Party Details:

What: Jim Spiker’s Kidney Transplant Benefit Party

When: SATURDAY, June 13, 2009 @ 7 PM

Where: Little Chicago Kustoms @ 118 LP Auer RD, Johnson City, TN

Sponsored by: Little Chicago Kustoms, Bang! Hair Salon, & Stay True Tattoo

RSVP/Directions Call (423) 914-1753 or 914-1751 or Penny , Jim, or Pretty Robotic’s Myspace

jim007In February ’09, Jim Spiker was diagnosed with Poly-cystic Kidney Disease.  Since the diagnosis, he has been hospitalized several times and his kidneys are functioning at 10%.  Hopefully, his upcoming kidney transplant in August will go smoothly-allowing for him to have a bright future with his beloved wife, child, family, and friends.  Even though Jim has not been feeling his absolute best, that has not stopped him from getting on his skateboard, listening to loud punk music, and playing with his adorable son, Izzy.  Jim’s diverse family and friends are begging you to come out, party, dance, and have some good grub/drink– for a great cause.  See you this Saturday night!

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Sizzling Summer Nail Polish

Sizzling Summer NailsGet ready for Summer by brightening up your digits.  Nothing makes you sizzle more than a hot-hued manicure/pedicure.  Don’t fret about spending money at the nail salon, go to your local nail polish aisle at the drug store.

The hottest lacquer colors for summer ’09 are feverishly fun!  Bright and balmy oranges take tropical to a new level.  Electric purple is striking.  Navy and Glittery blues make nautical naughty.  Hot pink and fuchsia is fearless.  Black shines like a black- hole sun.  Buttery yellows are sunny.  Lemony limes are lucious.  Try Sally Hansen Hi-Definition nail color in cyber, blu, pixel pretty, three d, and more.

Considering a new nail polish bottle should cost around $5, home mani/pedicures are frugally fabulous!  Paint up your hands and toes, slip into that swimsuit, and make the “No Diving” zone your new catwalk!

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Interview with “Hair Beater Upper” Extraordinaire: Laura Altizer of Bang! Salon

Laura Altizer, Bang! Salon Owner, Johnson City, TNWith a vintage car parked out front of Johnson City’s Tree Streets district,  Bang! Salon will rev your engine.  Pretty Robotic takes a look into the creative mind of salon owner, Laura Altizer.

When Laura called the only phone number for fashion school she could find, the price was far too high.  That’s when she traded the infamous Parsons School of Design for the rockin’ world of hair.  Today, Laura surrounds herself with the likes of Marie Antoinette, vintage pin-up girls, and those willing to hop in the driver’s seat of awesome hair.

Bang! Salon and Bettye Jane’s Vintage Clothing teamed up for the ultimate fashion show at the Chrome club in Johnson City.  Pretty Robotic gets a behind-the -scenes look at the fashion show, summer hair tips, and the fabulous career of Laura Altizer.

PR: What were some of your inspirations for the hairstyles on the catwalk at the fashion show?

Laura: Looking at the ladies modeling, I tried to add a sense of class to the new age…and giving a sophisticated look we don’t see.  We went with ‘cheesecake, pin-up hair from the 1940′s:  feminine, sexy, and sophisticated.  We went with more of a modern style with the 1980′s ‘rocker’ hair–ultimate sleeze-tastic.

PR: How can we style our hair like this at home?

Laura: Hairspray.  Hairspray.  Hairspray.  We used a crimping iron for the rock n’ roll hair.  Accessories for the 80′s: crimper and hairspray.  Dirty hair works best for crimping.  For the 40′s look, use a 1.5 inch barrel curling iron and bobby pins.  Don’t forget a solid holding spray!

PR: What is the process for deciding the hairstyle looks for a fashion show?  Are the outfits chosen first?

Laura: We worked together (with Bettye Jane’s) on that and worked to pick outfits for models during fittings.  I helped with the fitting, and in doing so, we decided the looks for the models.  Depending on the length of the model’s hair…the wardrobe just came together.

PR: How long have you been a hair stylist?

Laura: I’ve been beating up hair since ’96.

PR: What made you want to be a stylist?

Laura: I have always enjoyed anything fashion.  From your toes to your top–it’s all about being a lollipop.  It’s about the beauty and art going into hair.  It is wearable, movable art.  After 12 years, I’m still excited about it…even more excited about it!

PR: Speaking of excited…what are some modern hair styling techniques that excite you?

Laura: Color, color, color… and the right cut that makes the color shine, and the right color that makes the cut shine.  Also, just like the old coming back to the surface and becoming new again.  It gives us the right opportunity to recreate hair the way it used to be worn…where the old and new clash.  It is very exciting.  Tweak it up.  Make it your own.

PR: What are your “can’t live without” hair products?Laura Altizer, Hair Beater Upper

Laura: Super-skinny serum, scissors, color brush, color bowl, and my flat iron.

PR: What was one of your worst hair moments in history?

Laura: 1987.  Home perm.  Yes, on an existing bobbed haircut.

PR: Have you dyed your hair every color of the rainbow?

Laura: Every color of the rainbow? ……not yet.  I haven’t done green yet.

PR: What is one look that you would love to rock, but never have because you are not sure it will look good on you?

Laura: A mohawk.  I would love to rock it, but I have a Mayan Indian head…I don’t have the right shaped head.

PR: What music gets you in the mood to do hair?

Laura: It depends on what type of hair that I’m doing that day or hour.  In the mornings, I love some hot jazz and rockabilly.

PR: What is the hottest hair color for Summer ’09?

Laura: Rich, rich colors: coppers, blondes, bright-lights, and chocolaty rich hair.  Strawberry, chocolate-dipped hair equals good times.  I place the colors in different positions with block coloring.

The sky is the limit with hair care.  It is the cheapest, high-fashion, and most stated art that you’re going to put on your body.  When well stated, it says a lot about your confidence and who you are.  The color and clothing you like shows you what color to dye your hair.  This is something that you’re not going to find at the mall; you’re not going to find those types of services.  If it is that important to you–time and money…find a place that will work for you.  But there could be a whole other soul in there without cut and color.

PR: What are some good tips for Summer hair care?

Laura: Summer hair care?  Leave in conditioner is always good.  Never submerge hair in chlorinated water.  It fries it, dyes it, and leaves it on its’ side.  If you use a tanning bed, use a good conditioning conditioner and wrap a towel around your head.  This hydrates hair and is a great conditioning treatment.  Try using sunscreen for your hair.

PR: Pretty Robotic loves the look of your salon!  What was your decoration inspiration?

Laura: Just the love and admiration for vintage barber shop equipment and furniture.  It has a very nostalgic inspiration with a splash of rock n’ roll.

PR: Who are the paintings of?

Laura: Nikki Six of Motley Crue, David Bowie, Gene Harlow, Veronica Lake, Claira Bowe, and Marie Antoinette.  Memorable people with memorable hair through the eras.  I mix the old with the new.  Each one of them were their own rock star, pretty much.  They were all done by a good friend of mine, Allen Brown, from Bristol.

PR: Is this your first salon that you have owned?

Laura: Yes.

PR: As a strong, independent, female, business owner–what is some advice that you have for young women that are in or are looking to be in the workforce/a business owner?

Laura: Follow your dream.  Set goals.  Be consistent.  Make it happen.  Then, call it an execution.  You can’t just say that you’re going to do it.  At the end of the day, it’s because you have a goal.

PR: When you styled my hair, I felt so great and loved it…How does it make you feel when your clients are pleased?

Laura:  It makes me feel like I’m doing exactly what I set out to do.  You can’t win everybody, but you can try.

PR: How would you describe your personal style?

Laura:  Eclectic to say the least.  Classic at times and, other times, over the top.

PR: To someone who is covered (beautifully) in tattoos, do you think hair is a better expression of self than tattoos?

Laura: With hair color and cut, you don’t have to commit for life.  You can change it, cut it, dye it, and grow it back out.  There’s no commitment there.  I want tattoos from my neck to my toes.

PR: What is your philosophy?

Laura: Try new things, mix it up with the old–you’ll never know unless you try the next.  It’s not about getting your hair done–but it’s all about the experience.  I’m always wanting to try new things, so that I can offer it to everybody else.  I’m not trying to be stagnant.  I’m a student everyday.

PR: What is your greatest achievement?

Laura: Everything for myself on my own–that’s it.  It’s like the best thing.  Even just being independent and making it happen for yourself.  It gives you confidence, stability, strength, and keeps you out of jail.  If you’re not getting up and making it happen, no one will do it for you.

PR: Can you see yourself doing anything else at this point?

Laura: Well, I have done a vintage clothing store, but right now I’m fired up about hair.  I can take it anywhere in the world!  It’s a great place to be, when you feel liberated!


To get  a “Bang! Kustom Color & an Innovative Cut” contact Laura Altizer and the crew at Bang! Hair Salon at

(423) -926-2264, located at 700 Buffalo St., Johnson City, TN 37604.

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Fur, Teddy Bears, & Wavy Hair and “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus” Film Review

teddy landI recently watched “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus” featuring Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey, Jr. from 2006. The film, directed by Steven Shainberg (of “Secretary”), is a dreamlike and exaggerated portrayal of Arbus’s (Kidman) life, mind, and photography career. The plot details Diane’s longing to start her own career, desire to break out of the confines of a lack luster marriage, and her affair with a neighbor that has hypertrichosis (accelerated hair growth.)

Diane Arbus’s photography style was considered disturbingly different than the perky images of the 50′s and 60′s. Perhaps this is why it takes her so long to make the decision to begin her photography. Her photography showcases twins, trannies, elderly people, and other social “outcasts”.

Lionel Sweeney (Downey) is an eccentric character–befriending dwarves, transvestites, giants, and like-minded others with artistic sensibility. He is a wig-maker, creating them from his own ever-growing hair from hypertrichosis. Covered in hair, he still manages to make Arbus fall madly in love with him (at least in the movie). This bizarre match made me realize how love can grow dramatically when you choose the person that truly makes you happiest.

Was her view too strange and unacceptable? These are the questions that we still constantly ask ourselves everyday, whether it is about the way we look, what we wear, how we think, what we have said…the list continues. The most important thing is to be comfortable with who you are and to go after your dreams. Too often do we stay at a dead-end job or relationship, get in a style rut, or spiral into depression when we are not doing the things we really want to do.

This film also had me feeling more comfortable with my own ‘fur’. Like Sweeney, I have long, wavy, brown hair. It just happens to grow out of the top of my head at a normal rate.Furry Friends I usually try to straighten my locks, if wearing them down. But, if I want to feel more relaxed, I let my hair do its natural wavy thing. There is something very comforting about wearing your hair the way it is supposed to lay naturally (even if it is dyed an unnaturally!) The experience of watching the film inspired my own photo shoot consisting of child-like teddy bears, vintage fur coats, and my naturally wavy hair.

Watch “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus” to get inspired about your personal dreams and to watch true love blossom on screen.

Check out Diane Arbus images at fineartphotography-online.com.

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