To newbies, the fine art of lash enhancement can seem downright confusing. Extensions, lifts, tints—where to begin? Thankfully, Cori Kurker is here to break it down for you in her cozy Beacon Hill studio, then deliver the goods, whether you decide on a classic full set with come-hither appeal, an on-trend curl, or simply a darker lash hue to accent those twinkling eyes. 135 Charles St., Boston, MA crkbeauty.com.
Happy birthday to this multimedia pioneer, who turns 83 this month with plenty to celebrate. After decades of medium-defining work—not to mention a Tate Modern retrospective in London and a Kyoto Prize last year— the MIT arts professor emerita continues to leave her mark on Boston. Between her recent light-and-crystal installation Ice Drawing at the MFA and her Isabella Stewart Gardner exhibit of evocative animal drawings, Jonas just may be having her best run yet.
Project Runway winner Erin Robertson and designer Nicole Fichera’s pretty pink boutique filled with feminist art from local creatives, colorful dresses, and handmade jewelry was so popular that it popped up in two different Fenway locations over the past year alone. Where will it sprout next? Until we know, you’ll find us shopping the collection online. N/A, hourglass.boston.
The brunch at this record shop/tapas bar caters to savory seekers—and hangover chasers. Here the "put an egg on it" philosophy reigns supreme, evidenced by dinner-menu staples like the lamb bocadillo, which gets the morning-after huevos treatment come brunch. While you're waiting for your table (there will be a wait), browse the back bookshop for fiction, art books, vinyl, and a broad collection of food magazines that will surely whet your appetite. 470 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130, tresgatosjp.com.
Owner Leslee Shupe Korff believes in reviving the lost art of feminine dressing—tailored skirt, statement coat, and well-paired heels (always heels)—and her immaculately edited shop follows suit. The best looks from upscale labels like Narciso Rodriguez, Versace, and Bottega Veneta mingle with obscurer gems, most recently from shoemaker Joey McMakin and French dress designer Sophie Theallet. 134 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 2116, serenella.com.
When Kitchen Arts closed last year, homechefs lost a good friend—a hardware-store-like shop stocked with culinary tools. Thankfully, Jennifer Hill (co-owner of Blackstone's of Beacon Hill) revived the place, enhancing it with great gift ideas for hosts and hostesses of all stripes. With a focus on locally sourced wares, she offers handmade knives by LamsonSharp and cheerful aprons by Lynne's Whim, as well as any cook's gadget you can think of. 215 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, kitchenwaresboston.com.
Outshining the competition is serious business at Italian Design, where high-wattage style emanates from futuristic floor lamps, funky ceiling fixtures, and warm, colorful bedside sconces. Everything on display is a modern work of art. Don't fret if you're unfamiliar with lighting science; the knowledgeable staff can help you with projects of all sizes. 82 Boylston St., Brookline, MA italian-design.net/.
The Peabody Essex, the Gardner, and the MFA may have all raised unprecedented funds lately, but this year tireless MassArt curator Lisa Tung proved you don't need a massive budget to turn out thought-provoking shows and a fine lecture series. Her exceptional connections around the country have enabled Tung to lure big names—and big ideas—to her modest gallery.
A wedding cake is more than just flour, eggs, and sugar — it's an expression of your personal style. And Amesbury baker Jenny Williamson, whose breathtaking designs are informed by 14 years of experience, can execute just about any vision. Need a gluten- and dairy-free cake with art deco flair? No problem. Want your grandmother's vintage handkerchief pattern turned into a four-tier masterpiece? Consider it done. jencakes.squarespace.com.
Getting married in today's world just isn't what it used to be—it's much better. Thank the gay community if you want, but we're also grateful for the designer bands that line the cases at Alpha Omega's flagship store. From Carelle and Art-carved to Tycoon and Simon G., the world-class selection is as epic as it is beautiful. Leave it to a jewel of a store to throw down one of the most compelling reasons to get married—right behind that whole love thing, of course. 1380 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA .
Katrina Hess treats the face as a blank canvas and with her expert brushwork, transforms it into a work of art. Eyes become luminescent as the moon, skin shimmers like just-fallen snow, and cheeks take on a rosy hue. Best of all, Hess starts off the application with skin-smoothing massages, scrubs, and exfoliation treatments that rival those of even the best aestheticians in town. 105 Newbury St., Boston, MA katrinahess.com/.
We don't like those awkward B&B breakfast-table moments with fellow guests any more than you do. Porches' six restored Victorian row houses have 47 comfortabl—and privat—'industrial granny chic' rooms. The hotel also has a pool, spa, and free WiFi (no small thing out here in the country). Another bonus: The modern art of Mass MoCA is a short walk away. 231 River St., North Adams, MA 1247, porchesinn.com.
Few hotels can boast politicians, dignitaries, and celebrities among their clientele. The Charles can. The Harvard Square hotel houses jazz and martini bars, a renovated presidential suite, a multimillion-dollar art collection, and two award-winning restaurants. The J. Crew—uniformed staff is discreet and efficient, while the down comforters, lavish minibars, and Origins bath products in the rooms are simply the icing on the cake. One Bennett St., Cambridge, MA charleshotel.com/.
Chasen likes to compare eyebrow grooming to the art of bonsai, and her disciplined approach to creating perfect shapes is why skin-care pro Brad Duncan tapped this standout makeup artist and clinical aesthetician to join his staff last fall. After deploying the gentlest of hard waxes, she draws on a decade's worth of eyebrow-refining experience to tweeze away strays and smooth contours. All this in less than half an hour. 530 Tremont St., Boston, MA 2116, bradduncanskincare.com.
Brookline Booksmith is dedicated to the art of browsing. This cozy store allows book lovers to curl up on the wood floor and thumb through their favorite tomes. Friendly staffers are eager to make suggestions—unlike the aloof or harried help you find in some of the superchains. Booksmith's Writer and Readers series brings the community face-to-face with authors, who've included Grace Paley, Alice Hoffman, and other literary luminaries. The store also encourages bibliophiles to get their noses out of their books and support local charities. 279 Harvard St., Brookline, MA .