Best Of :: Shopping & Services
It's big, and isn't that all that matters? Well, it's comfortable and easy to find, and it's ready to fill your needs at any hour. Plus, the staff is nice. And other penis puns. The three Dallas New Fine Arts locations (and their sister stores Paris Bookstore and the gay-friendly New Fine Arts Alternatives adjacent to the Mockingbird Lane store) pack an impressive array of toys, lubes and DVDs (which people who haven't heard of the Internet still buy, apparently). They also have private viewing booths with dollar-fed previews, locking doors and couches that are surprisingly clean. There are even smoking rooms in case you and whoever accompanies you need a cigarette after you get done ... um, previewing a title.
Seeing as how the skin is the human body's largest organ, we feel a little funny about slathering ours with a bunch of weird, barely pronounceable chemicals. The Healthy Living department at this foodie mecca stocks everything you need to take a more natural approach to hair and body care, from sliced-to-order slabs of soap and organic lavender-scented shampoo to pricey vitamin C eye cream and mineral makeup — as if you needed more stuff to add to your cart that's already full of artisanal gelato, chanterelle mushrooms and fresh-pressed mango juice.
Just how many shades of lipstick does one woman need, exactly? For a certain beauty-obsessed sector of the population, the answer to that is "more than you could possibly imagine." Just when we think we've acquired every shade of vampy deep red available on the cosmetics market, we stumble into this veritable candy store of a makeup boutique and find five more that need adopting. If lipstick's not your thing, there are also a bazillion shades of lip gloss, eyeshadow, glitter, fabulous fake lashes and more practical items like waterproof foundation and concealer, and since the line is geared toward professional makeup artists, it's all super high-quality. Need help mastering the art of the perfect cat eye? The store also offers makeup lessons, and they'll even record it for you on a USB drive so you can perfectly recreate the look at home.
OK, so real hipsters probably get their clothes from thrift shops (or Brooklyn), but when you need to get your jorts and Wayfarer game up to par quickly, trek on over to Lower Greenville's beloved used clothing store, where the selection is carefully curated by painfully hip buyers. You're guaranteed to find plenty of old band tees, pearl-snap Western shirts, broken-in skinny jeans, faded Keds and cool vintage purses sprinkled amongst the racks full of so-five-seasons-ago Forever 21 rejects. The glasses section is also on point, from those obnoxious neon shutter shades to the ubiquitous oversized black plastic frames. Now all you need is a bike and a six-pack of PBR.
The ladies of the little purple house on Bell Avenue hand-make their candles and their dozens of herbal remedies and oils. Plus, they teach classes in magickal candle-making to boot, all of which makes it a one-stop shop for your energy-correcting needs. Need to banish negativity? Attract money? Get your ex to stop friend-requesting you over and over on every social media platform known to man? They've got what you need. It's also, we're pretty sure, the only place in Dallas where you can buy a giant penis-shaped candle, in case you need a baby shower gift. (And we're sure if you ask them they can tell you all about its proper, non-gag-gift use.)
Preparing for the playa is serious business: It takes a lot more planning and preparation than you'd think to run around naked in the desert for a week. Before you hit the road, it'd be wise to hit up this Mockingbird Lane emporium that stocks a glorious combination of outdoorsy essentials (think hydration backpacks, space-saving super-absorbent towels, water bottles with built-in filters and bandanas in every color of the rainbow, for protecting your mug from those pesky dust storms) and weirdly awesome stuff you never knew you needed, from octopus kites and faux-fur tails for your iPhone to metallic Birkenstocks and furry trapper hats.
The act of having hot wax applied to your most private of nether regions is a thing that requires some careful forethought; while a nail salon on any random corner can generally do a capable manicure, a Brazilian bikini wax should be trusted only to the utmost of professionals. Enter Waxing the City, where the cerologists — that's their fancy word for waxers — are just that: professional, efficient and chatty enough to keep you gossiping about your latest online dating nightmare so intently you'll hardly notice the hair being ripped from your ladyparts. (Sort of.) Best of all, they have a no-tipping policy, because when you're already spread-eagle on a table you definitely don't need any more potential awkwardness.
Most of us are more than capable of doing our own nails at home, so when we decide to splurge on a mani-pedi we want to be treated like the Disney princesses we aren't. With that in mind, it makes sense to go to a place called Castle Nail Spa, where the friendly nail techs will ply you with the booze of your choice (red or white wine or margaritas, if you're feeling especially festive) and plop you in a massage chair while they get to work scrubbing, rubbing, filing and painting your claws in that perfect shade of glittery chartreuse. The slightly cheesy gold cherub decor and pillows emblazoned with blinged-out crowns only serve to enhance the pampering experience, especially if you've splurged on the aptly named Royal Pedicure that includes a green tea soak and paraffin dip.
You're the type of person who has no trouble dropping 40 bucks on fancy cheeses and organic mangoes, so why would you subject your four-legged child to generic food from the big-box pet supply stores? For the most extensive selection of specialty and hard-to-find pet foods around, head to this friendly store, where you'll find everything from freeze-dried raw food imported from New Zealand to a display case of elaborately decorated dog cookies. There's even a pet nutritionist on hand to help you figure out what Fido (or Fluffy) needs to look and feel his very best, plus an extensive selection of treats, toys, supplements and accessories from blinged-out collars to cushy dog beds.
The thrill of the hunt is what drives us to shop at thrift stores over, say, the mall, and this massive thrift emporium on Forest Lane is one place we rarely leave empty-handed. While items from well-known, mainstream brands are often way overpriced, there are plenty of designer and vintage gems to be had — think a brand-new with tags BCBG dress for $12, or perfectly worn-in cowboy boots for seven bucks. Different colored tags are discounted daily, so check back often to snag some killer deals. Be forewarned, though: This place has no actual dressing room, so come outfitted in minimal clothing you can slip that vintage beaded cocktail dress over.
Gallery owner Jason Cohen and his antiques dealer mother, Terry Cohen, teamed up several years ago to create a venue where all of the really cool stuff from junk and antique stores has already been eyeballed, culled and collected in one convenient location. The inventory ranges wildly from decapitated doll heads to religious icons. The bottom line is that an hour spent prowling these aisles will produce better finds than a whole day at an antiques mall.
You need a dresser. And maybe a sidebar, plus some glassware to stock it. And you've really, really been wanting a fancy, ornamental backgammon set for your coffee table. So you head to Lula B's because what you want is something with some character to it, and a little age and a little attitude. What you weren't looking for was the armchair made entirely out of steer horns. At least you didn't know you were looking for it until you saw it. And the same for that taxidermy fruit bat mounted in a shadow box, the one that looks like a weird mix of a toy and a still-living thing. And the silk-screened painting of Master Chief from Halo. Forget the dresser — just grab as many of those sugar skull-shaped goblets as you can.