“There’s an app for that.” It’s a phrase we hear just about every day. And, well, it’s kind of true; there’s seemingly an app for everything from haircuts to drug paraphernalia delivery. It got us wondering: What shopping apps are out there? Answer: a ton. So we did a little sleuthing to find out the best and most worthwhile (no one wants a battery-sucker) apps out there. Whether you’re finally ready to find the right bra size, or you’re looking to sell the loot from your spring cleaning sesh, as much as we hate to say it … yes, there’s an app for that.
We’ve all tried them: corny websites that let you virtually “try on” celebrity ‘dos. It’s like the paper dolls of hairstyles. Anyway, they never look quite right: The hairstyles always seem weirdly overwhelming, and we certainly aren’t taking the images to the salon.
While making my internet rounds this morning, I stumbled across a clip shared by beauty blog Into the Gloss of a North Texas ABC Affiliate news channel hawking the benefits of Cynthia Rowland’s Luscious Lips Lip Pump. Available for $49.95, the pump is intended to replace injections, creams and glosses for women in pursuit of pillowy pouts. How it works: Position the cylindrical tube on your mouth (stifle your teenage-boy-esque giggles), suck, then pump slowly for about two minutes (seriously, keep biting your tongue) to bring blood to the skin’s surface. I guess we kind-of-sort-of-maaybeee saw an increase in the model’s lip size (to be fair, the product is said to be more effective over time), but the ridiculousness dampens any initial intrigue.
The verdict is still out on the long-term effects of attaching an air pump to your pucker, but in the meantime, may we suggest one of the—admittedly more discreet—17 lip plumping varieties available at Sephora?
Just when you thought ugly Christmas sweaters were limited to attached jingle bells and fuzzy candy canes, there’s this: A sweater by Digital Dudz that has an inner pocket for a smartphone, which—once you download a free app—will actually animate the sweater (the options are surprisingly vast: there’s a caroling kitty, a crackling fireplace, a snowglobe). Watch the video and prepare to dominate your Ugly Christmas Sweater parties.
For the audiophile who also appreciates good design, the tabletop HiFi speaker by Symbol Audio is perfection. Let’s get tech-y here for a minute, shall we? The single-input speaker cabinet packs two four-inch, full-range drivers, a built-in Class D amplifier, and a mini jack for adaptable audio input. In laymen’s terms: You’ll get rich sound, and you can hook up an iPod, iPad, iPhone, turntable or streaming audio to it. The HiFi might look diminutive, but it weighs in at 30 pounds, and measures 28.75 inches long by 9.5 inches high and 8.5 inches deep. Thankfully, the streamlined design is completely unobtrusive: All knobs and controls are tucked away in the back. In short: It’s a purist’s dream.
The Details: Symbol Audio Tabletop HiFi, $1,800 at Studio 882, 882 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford. (Psst: Shoppist readers can purchase this in-store or over the phone for $1,499! Mention Philly Mag to score the exclusive deal.)
Give To: Dad.
MISSED PREVIOUS GIFTS? SEE WHAT YOU MISSED HERE.
Day 1: A weekender for him.
Day 2: A geometric ring for her.
Day 3: A posh nail polish set for the teenager who hates everything.
You will not get a new iPhone or iPad today, but it’s possible you’ll get the new iOS 7 operating system that makes it feel like you’re getting a new iPhone or iPad. My friends at Macworld (full disclosure: I’m a contributor there) review the new iOS. Dan Moren says the new system distills Apple’s mobile operating system down to its essence:
I’ve spent a decent amount of time with iOS 7 since its debut earlier this year. I like it. There. I said it. I’m pro-iOS 7. To me, the new interface looks sleek and clean and modern. It smacks of purpose-driven design. Whenever I returned to my iOS 6 reference devices, the interface seemed funny and cartoonish—the same way I think the early Aqua stylings of OS X would look from the vantage point of Mountain Lion. The world has moved on, and a smartphone OS today doesn’t need to do the same thing that it did six years ago when the market was still brand new.
In my opinion, there’s a lot to love about iOS 7, even with its rough edges. As third-party apps start to be built around its new capabilities and embrace its new design, I think there will be even more to recommend it to users. But for now, it’s clear which way the wind is blowing, and even if you hold off upgrading to iOS 7 today (or this week), its arrival on your iOS devices is inevitable.
So, kick back and relax. Pump some jams from iTunes Radio, fiddle around with Control Center, browse through your photos and relive some memories. Because iOS 7’s greatest triumph is making the familiar feel a little unfamiliar to us, affording us anew that joy of discovery and wonder—and you rarely get a chance to experience something again for the first time.
Macworld also has a Frequently Asked Questions video about iOS 7, an overview of the system’s new features, and advice on how to install the new software on your iPhone and iPad.
Go West, young men. Because West Hollywood, Calif., is the most promiscuous city in the country, according to a poll by hookup site Seeking Arrangement. Of the thousands of gay men asked where they like to get their groove on, most seemed to agree that the California sun and celebrity-soaked culture makes them especially randy. In fact, three California cities made the list. But Washington, D.C., comes in a close second – do you think the election had anything to do with it?
“Online dating websites offer men the immediacy of meeting singles that is more efficient than traditional dating,” says Brandon Wade, the founder and CEO of Seeking Arrangement. “According to our study, more gay males utilize online dating for ‘hooking up’ compared to heterosexual males. While there is always potential to fall in love, online dating makes it very easy to find singles who are similarly looking for something less serious.”
Here’s the list:
Do It: Not So Strictly Ballroom
Learn how to dance like a star at the Society Hill Dance Academy (409 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, 215-574-3574; 4401 Cresson Street, Manayunk, 215-482-1611). The studio offers gay-friendly open ballroom and Latin dance lessons in both Society Hill and Manayunk for couples—and if you’re shy, you can even book a private class for you and your partner. Because with a little help with those two left feet, you could easily outdo Carson Kressley—or Chaz.
Fix It: The Right Call
Does your iPhone screen have more cracks showing than the scene at Club Body Center? Or if you’ve dropped it more times than you can count, fear not the two-year contract and skip the long lines at the Apple Store. The tech geniuses at Philly iPhone Repair (1358 South Street, Philadelphia, 215-385-5242) will have your trusty smartphone back to its bad self in no time. You can even scope out pricing online (starting at $50) to find out if a quick fix trumps an upgrade.
Read It: Masterpiece Theatre
The Wilma Theatre revisited Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play this season. And now the 20th-anniversary edition of Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes ($16.95) not only brings us face to face with the early years of AIDS, but explores everything from identity and sexuality to monogamy and government. Kushner offers a fresh new foreword aboutwhat it means three decades after the disease was first given a name.
You’ve heard the old adage – the longer you date someone, the more you end up looking alike. Well, one new dating website really does think that facial features can dictate the perfect love match.
Christina Bloom, the founder and CEO of Find Your FaceMate, is helping LGBT singles find love based on similar facial features. Using facial recognition software to match couples, she thinks that chemistry can be ignited when we spot someone whose facial features are similar to our own. The website pairs prospects after examining 67 different points on the face from an uploaded photo.
She’s serious about it – and even points to a few famous gay and lesbian couples as proof, like Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his partner Justin Mikita, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and her spouse Kim Catullo, and Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka. She even argues that Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi are facially matched (though this one’s a stretch, if you ask us).
Even if you aren’t necessarily looking your LGBT wonder twin, Bloom offers a few tips for that first date:
We may know Grindr best for its ability to sniff out the nearest (and hottest) guys looking for a little action, but Grindr for Equality has been spending this week reeling from the election results. This comes after creating an awareness campaign for LGBT equality issues nationwide. Not only did the app deliver important political messages directly to its users during this election season, but it helped brings awareness to out and LGBT-friendly candidates and marriage equality fights in several key states.
All told, Grindr says it reached 1.5 million users in the U.S. alone with as many as 135 in-app messages with specific calls to action that accrued 40,000 click-throughs. And according to a post-election survey conducted by Grindr for Equality, 91 percent of users saw the in-app messages, and more than a quarter of those users – we’re talking hundreds of thousands of gay and bisexual guys – did something about it, like vote, volunteer, sign petitions and even donate money.