Harold by Nelle: Known for special-occasion clutches and accessories, designer Laura Nelli has created a new collection of day bags, named after her fiancé, Harold. The art deco- influenced totes and carryalls are made from ribbon with leather trim.
Serums by Galen Labs: This company's popular whipped shea cream is a tough act to follow. However, the locally produced skin care line has added 12 Element Facial Serum, which is supposed to be even more moisturizing. The concoction of soothing oils and botanical extracts includes almond, neroli, jasmine and rosehip. According to the label, you can use just half a pump in the morning to protect skin from dry winter skin.
Monterey Cypress and Quince by Daub and Bauble: This line of soaps is known for its distinctive fragrances and graphic packaging. The latest scent combines citrus and pine for a fresh finish.
You can sum up BlackBlue in one word: Cool. Owner Steve Kang has stocked the primarily menswear boutique with Penguin by Munsingwear cardigans, Dunderdon scarves, Pierrepont Hicks ties, Red Wing Shoes, Bemidji Woolen Mills gloves and mittens, Minnetonka Moccasins and vintage Pendleton plaid shirts. The shop also carries a selection of items for men and women by APC, a fashion-forward French brand that is a favorite of magazine editors. BlackBlue, which gets its name from one of Kang's favorite color combinations, carries a mix of old and new merchandise and aims to provide inspiration on how to pull it all together. "The shop is about the gray line between two things, whether it's gender or color," he said.
BlackBlue, 614 Selby Av., St. Paul, 651-260-5340
Pick of the week
Silver necklace, $78, and earrings, $38
The linked circles of the silver pendant and necklace are simple and classic. The fair-trade pieces were handcrafted by Peruvian artisans exclusively for Ten Thousand Villages.
867 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-225-1043, www.tenthousandvillages.com
SALES AND EVENTS
Stocking stuffer sale: Get 20 percent off select items, including Bliss beauty products, Zobha headbands and Falke gloves. Plus, buy $100 in gift cards and receive an additional $25 gift card.
Through Friday, Steele Fitness, three locations, including 857 Grand Av., St. Paul, steelefitness.com.
Handbag sale: Take 25 percent off all full-priced bags and wallets.
Through Friday, Anthropologie, three locations, including Shops at West End, St. Louis Park, 763-544-2053, www.anthropologie.com.
Cliché clearance sale: Everything in the store is 30 to 60 percent off, including coats, jeans, dresses, accessories and more.
Through Dec. 31, 2403 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-870-0420
Before and After-Christmas Sale: Everything in the store will be an additional 20 percent off the lowest price.
Through Jan. 1, Nine, 1014 Mainstreet, Hopkins.
VState holiday sale: Get 50 percent off everything in the store, except for accessories.
Through Thursday, 3001 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-823-4699
Gift card deals: A few local boutiques are offering bonuses with gift card purchases. At Maha (631 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-873-7001), spend $100 and you'll receive a $25 gift card. When you buy a $100 gift card at Drama (1203 Lagoon Av., Mpls., 612-338-9423), you'll get an extra $20 gift card. At Karma (867 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-291-1997), get a $10 bonus with a $50 gift card purchase, $20 bonus with a $75 gift card and a $30 bonus with a $100 gift card. You have until stores close on Friday to take advantage of the deals.
Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177 • firstname.lastname@example.org