jen schefft

Sage Advice:
“I’ve seen girls in tears at the end of the night because they haven’t met anyone-it’s ridiculous!” After breaking one televised engagement and turning down two other offers, Jen Schefft, the Bachelorette vet and local PR exec, has written Better Single Than Sorry (HarperCollins), due out in January. In it, she urges 20- and 30-somethings to revel in their singleness. What, exactly, is the best part of going solo? “Being able to eat cereal for dinner.”

b ow w ow

Oh, Wow!
Every January, we hear raves about the Young Playwrights Festival (1145 W. Wilson Ave.; 773-878-9761, pegasusplayers .org) , a monthlong showcase of plays by local teens. This year’s participants tackle everything from dating to traveling cross-country to meet hip-hop star B ow W ow . Cool stat: In the fest’s 21 years, a third of the teen writers have gone on to work in theatre. Nearly 97 percent go to college. Through Jan. 28th.


For New Year’s:
Craig Cooper, director of spirits for Pops for Champagne, which has a new retail store (601 N. State St.; 312-266-7677), offers three ideas on three budgets. For the economical toast, try Bisol Prosecco “Crede” ($18). “With the flood of uninteresting Prosecco on the market today, this is a welcome exception.” In the $40 price range, try Henri Billiot Brut Reserve. Or splurge $125 for the Philipponnat 1996 Clos de Goisses-“an extraordinary under-the-radar wine.”

J Lo

JLo Knows:
What’s bringing everybody in to The Lashe Spot (908 W. Armitage Ave.; 312-932-0163), one of a handful of “eye” spas in the U.S.? Eyelash extensions, a set of semipermanent, nonsurgical falsies. “They’re totally natural looking,” says owner Melinda Rodriguez, who adds that Jenifer Lopez, Lindsay Lohan, and Sandra Bullock all fake their flutter.

Judge This:
“There is even a word for unconscious plagiarism-cryptomnesia. . . . Psychologists have investigated the phenomenon and have found no evidence that people can recite entire passages written by someone else yet believe they are their own-no evidence of a photographic memory that forgets the act of photographing.” From The Little Book of Plagiarism (Pantheon), a new treatise from federal appeals judge and U. of C. lecturer Richard Posner. In it, he takes Harvard student Kaavya Viswanathan to task for claiming she unconsciously plagiarized another chick-lit author.

lip balms

Pucker Up:
On a blustery day, a lively cubicle debate erupted over the best balm for soothing chapped lips. An office-wide taste test ensued, spanning everything from Sugar Lip Treatment by Fresh ($22.50) to good old Cherry ChapStick ($1.99). The winner: a tried-and-true basic, Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. Testers raved over its pepper-minty-fresh taste, non-greasy texture, and value (about $3 at drugstores). A close second: C. O. Bigelow’s vanilla-infused Lip Formula No. 1053 ($7.50, at C. O. Bigelow Apothecary, 835 N. Michigan Ave.). The big loser: Call us snobs, but ChapStick’s waxy consistency drew low marks. According to one tester, “the smell is so recognizable that people will know you’re a cheapskate.”

Illustration: John Ueland Photography: BowWow – Steve Granitz/, JLo – John Scuilli/