Glitter: Tattoo you

If you don’t already have a piece of permanent skin art, it’s not like you haven’t thought about it. After all, it was well over a decade ago that indelible inks found their way from the shoulders of post-punks to the lower backs of virtually every college girl on campus.

Nowadays, your boss is just as likely to be sporting some sort of inked adornment as is the biker from the bar downstairs. But just because tattoos have migrated from the fringe to the mainstream, does that mean you have to have one to be hip? Not anymore. Enter Tattooed Steel.

This new type of jewelry comes from a California-based collective of artists that uses the fine lines of tattoo technique to imprint tattoo-inspired themes onto stainless steel. Yes, you heard right. Steel, not skin. These cutting edge creations are the most sophisticated “temporary tattoos” you'll find. The art is impeccable and the designs are as beautiful as they are edgy.

A bonus? You can remove them easily by, well, taking them off and thereby skipping the painful laser surgery. Not that laser surgery is a bad thing. After all, if it’s good enough for Johnny Depp (who had to contemplate changing “Winona Forever” to “Wino Forever”) or Angelina Jolie (who evicted Billy Bob from under her skin in more ways than one), then it’s only a matter of time until that procedure goes mainstream too.

But before people start gathering around the water cooler comparing the faint scars from tattoos they used to have, consider this for a slap on the wrist: Tattooed Steel’s cheetah pattern cuff bracelet is cool to the bone and (now that the cool weather is upon us) will be a smash accessory peeking out from the sleeve of your favorite vintage-inspired coat. The interplay of the wild pattern and the negative space makes a dramatic and individual statement.

If you're a fan of the ever-popular neo-tribal styles, the brocade pattern bracelet is the perfect balance of feminine and fierce. Try it on and if you don’t ever feel like taking it off, EVER. Then maybe go for the real deal. But until then, it’s Tattooed Steel.

Treat yourself: Cheetah cuff bracelet, starting at $65; brocade-style cuff, starting at $65, tattooedsteel.com, (714) 848.6202

—Judy Ann Olsen

Fabulous finds under $50

Karyn Cantor's retro "True Love" silver-plated choker pendant captures the charm of the authentic Sailor tattoo style, which began in the 1700s and was made famous in the '40s and '50s.

Treat yourself: Karyn Cantor True Love Tattoo Pendant Necklace, $44, ClassicHardware.com, (323) 876-7080

Judy Ann Olsen is a noted jewelry expert specializing in diamonds and couture. A graduate of the Gemological Institute of America, Judy Ann is an accomplished metalsmith whose work has been recognized by the Platinum Guild International. She offers jewelry consultation for private clients.
Website: JudyAnnOlsen.com
: JudyAnnOlsen[at]msn.com

This month, one lucky Four Weeks subscriber will win a Karyn Cantor "True Love" pendant necklace!

See a full list of this month's giveaways here.

Have you subscribed yet? It's free!



Goods: 13 things that will impress the hell out of your holiday guestsall for under $50!

It's not that you want your holiday houseguests to be consumed with envy when they come to your home. But knocking their socks off so much that they leave wishing their home could be half as impressive as yours isn't too bad either.

We've rounded up the 13 of our favorite products—all for under $50!that are sure to get your guests' faces turning a gorgeous shade of green.

For even more (and practically cost-free!) envy-inducing tricks, check out our sister "Impress Your Guests" article in the DIY department).

In the bathroom

Don't you just love those automatic hands-free faucets in the bathrooms of upscale restaurants? You guests do, too. Now they can love it in your home right nowand you don't need a pricey plumber to install it. All it takes is attaching the infrared adapter to any faucet. It's simple, fast and, best of all, impressive!

Treat yourself: Touch-free Faucet Adaptor, $49.99, Amazon.com

Replace your usual bar soap with delicate handmade honey-scented single-use soap leaves. Made by pouring a Thai soap formula over real dried mango tree leaves, these soaps are a guaranteed scene stealer. They measure about 1.25" x 2.5" and are available in white and green.

Treat yourself: Soap leaves, $9.95 per box of 20, CocoonOnline.com,  (800) 842-4352

When your guests go to dry their hands after using their own personal soap leaf, you get another shot at impressing the hell out of them if you leave out guest towels by Bamboo. Consumer Reports just named these the softest towels around. The reason? They were the only towels to stay plush after being machine washed. Turns out, all towels are super-soft when you touch them in the store because manufacturers put hand softening agents on them. One wash, however, and it's back to scratchy. All except the Bamboo towels, that is. Choose from four colors including English lavender, beachwood, sage and white.
Treat yourself: Bamboo hand towel, $15, LandsEnd.com, (800) 963-4816

Fill the bathroom with the seasonal scent of pine while baffling your guests who'll never realize where the delicate aroma is coming from. They'll look for stick-ups and incense and oils, but only you need to know the aroma really coming from the bowl of beautiful scented ceramic potpourri. These Paris-made micro-porous pieces are infused with a slow-release fragrance that give off a delicate scent all day long.

Treat yourself: Esteban Pin (pine) Scented Ceramics Potpourri, $29, AromatixNYC.com, (888) 755-0003

In the kitchen

Don't you just cringe when a guests ask you, "Where's the garbage?" The last thing you want them to experience is the stench emanating from your trash can. (You're not alone—we've all got'em.) Luckily, you can let your guests believe that yours is the only trash can that doesn't smell—no matter what stinky garbage it's holding. All you need is this discreet odor-absorbing carbon filter that attaches conveniently to the inside of the lid using a self-adhesive strip. A plus: You can continue using the filter long after the guests have gone, since it recharges by simply placing it in sunlight.

Treat yourself: Activated Carbon Filter, $2.99, SimpleHuman.com,  (888) 988-8880

If the holiday spirit sways your guests to offer to help you with the dishes, accept the extra help. Then use it as another opportunity to wow them by switching from your usual dish detergent to Method liquid soap. It's deliciously and robustly scented (meaning its incredible scent will fill an entire room), derived from natural ingredients, moisturizes as you scrub (which your helpful dish-scrubbing guests will soon learn) and promises to be never tested on animals. Choose from cucumber, mandarin, lavender and mint.

Treat yourself: $5 for a 25-ounce bottle, MethodHome.com

In the dining room

When whipping up holiday beverages, surprise your guests by serving their drink in their own personalized mugs from CafePress.com! You can add a photo, funny saying, heartfelt holiday message or any other artwork. To do it is easy: Simply head to CafePress.com, upload your image and purchase it straight from the site. Let your guest take it home as a reminder of just how cool their visit with you was. And how much they need to step up their game the next time you go to visit.

Treat yourself: Personalized mugs, $10.99 each, CafePress.com

While you've got their personalized mug out, here's another way to amaze your houseguests: when serving cocoa forget boring old whipped cream and instead top it off with a Plush Puffs all-natural gourmet marshmallow. They're also delicious (and impressive) on top of a slice of pumpkin pie or as a garnish to spice up a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Choose from 10 knock-their-socks-off flavors including caramel swirl, chocolate chocolate chip, maple pecan, cinnamon, peppermint, orange honey, toasted coconut, vanilla bean, Kona coffee crunch and pumpkin praline.

Treat yourself: Plush Puffs gourmet marshmallows, $5.49 for four, $7.99 for six, $14.99 for 12, PlushPuffs.com, (818) 784-2931

With all these hot mugs of cocoa being passed around, you're gonna need coasters to protect your furniture. (Okay, who are we kidding? It's to look sophisticated.) When handing out coasters to your guests, you can make a bigger  splash when you give them spiced mug mats, which give off a delicious aroma when a hot beverage is placed upon them, adding an extra indulgence with every cup of tea, coffee and cocoa. Choose from spice, apple and coffee scents and a wide variety of designs.

Treat yourself: $3 for one, $11.50 for a set of four, AlicesCottage.com, (800) 288-7977

Your guest a tea or coffee drinker? Then hang an artful heart-shaped sugar cube on the edge of their mug. With a built-in notch for over-the-side hanging, it's an easy way to add a special touch to your guest's hot beverage. The assortment includes a collection of white, amber and ebony sugar hearts.

Treat yourself: French heart-shaped sugar, $24.95 for a box of 64, SurLaTable.com, (800) 243-0852

In the living room

The holiday-themed accent pillows from Winterberry Cottage are truly special—not only do they help your guests get comfy, they bring the wintry pine scent of the outdoors in thanks to their sweet-smelling filling, which consists of real Maine Balsam Fir. Available in a variety of patterns and sizes, ranging from 6" x 6" to 11" x 11".

Treat yourself: Balsam Fir-filled pillows with holiday themes, $9.50 to $32, BalsamFirCreations.com, (207) 454.7404

Wish you could treat your guests to the romantic crackle of a roaring fire, but don't have a fireplace? You're in luck: WoodWick aromatic candles have a natural wick made from organic wood that crackles just like the real thing. Choose from 24 scents including amaretto latte, gingerbread, fireside, pumpkin butter and sandalwood clove.

Treat yourself: WoodWick Candles, $16.95 for 11.5 ounces (lasts 100 hours), $22.95 for 22 ounces (lasts 180 hours), OldVirginiaCandle.com

Show off your ingenuity and resourcefulness  with a lush, sweet-smelling potted rosemary bush that's been pruned into the shape of a Christmas tree (or Hanukkah bush). Decorate it for the holidays, then use its clippings for your favorite recipes (or tell your guests you do). Arrives at about 14" tall from a California grower in a gold-painted terracotta pot and can reach as high as four feet.
Treat yourself: Rosemary Tree Topiary, $49, Williams-Sonoma.com

This month, one lucky Four Weeks subscriber will win a
6-piece box of Chocolate Chipetta
Plush Puffs Gourmet Marshmallows!

One lucky Four Weeks subscriber will win a bottle of Method's Cucumber liquid dish soap!

One lucky Four Weeks subscriber will win a SimpleHuman activated carbon filter!

See a full list of this month's giveaways here.

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