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Friday
Mar272015

NARS Last Resort Collection

As part of the NARS Last Resort Collection, the limited edition Tahiti Bronzer ($59) features the cult classic Laguna shade with a mini Ita brush. This is a beauty combo that can't be beat — you get an amazing iconic bronzer with an equally fabulous makeup brush. I wish all their bronzers came with the soft Ita contouring brush! It's the perfect tool for sculpting the face. 


Need some tropical inspiration? The summery capsule collection also features a set of Temporary Tattoos ($35). You get to play with four sheets of Tahiti-inspired designs, which you can apply on your arms, hands, ankles, or anywhere you desire.  

The Last Resort Collection is now available at all NARS boutiques and www.narscosmetics.com. It will be available at all NARS counters by April 1. 

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Thursday
Mar262015

Sweet Treats for Easter

I'm such a sweet tooth. I could never resist the confections and pastries that are offered around this time of the year. If you're planning an Easter party, these these lovely cakes and candies will bring a smile to each guest:

The Lavender Rose Cake ($59.95) from Williams-Sonoma is a showstopper. Sourced from a family cake boutique in Florida, this stunning centerpiece dessert also comes in shades of pastel blue, pastel green, pink (chocolate cake), yellow (raspberry/lemon) and white (strawberry). Available at www.williams-sonoma.com.

 

These cute marshmallow Skipper Bunnies ($3.49) from Sweet & Sara are vegan-friendly. Pair it with the Sunny Chick marshie and you've got the most adorable Easter duo. sweetandsara.com.

Recchiuti Confections always has something elegant with a fun twist. This year they're offering the Hopster Bunnies ($20; 8 pcs.) chocolate truffles in the signature burnt caramel flavor. Four hipster rabbit illustrations are featured in their seasonal truffle collection. www.recchiuti.com.

If you're a vegan living in Seattle, you're in luck. Violet Sweet Shoppe offers all kinds of vegan candies and cakes for Easter, so I'd order in advance before they sell out of their fabulous chocolates, caramels, Easter bunnies and cupcakes. Even if you're not vegan, everything is excellent. Trust us — you won't miss the dairy! violetsweetshoppe.com.

Portland-based Quin makes the best candy and their seasonal Gummy Eggs ($8) are a great addition to any Easter basket. They often use local fruit in their gummies and they're available in strawberry, lemon and cherry flavors. quincandy.com.

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Friday
Mar202015

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence - Eye

SK-II fans have a new eye cream to try. The Facial Treatment Essence - Eye ($95) contains the prestige brand's signature Pitera essence along with the Eye Albus Complex, which is composed of white lupine and alfalfa extracts. The eye complex is designed to reduce dark circles and fine lines in the delicate eye area, giving it a healthier and more supple appearance.

I find that a half pump is enough to provide adequate hydration. It feels creamy but absorbs quickly, making it easy to layer under makeup. Another great aspect is that it's scentless, which is perfect for those who are sensitive to fragrance. 

Available at all SK-II counters and www.sk-ii.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Thursday
Mar192015

Bayco Turkish Delight

Ever since I tried the Turkish delight I had stumbled upon at a confectionery store in San Francisco, I've been obsessed with this candy. After a long search I found that Bayco Confectionery makes the best version I've tasted thus far.

Soft and not too chewy, Bayco offers the traditional flavors or rose and lemon as well as pistachio. You can also get a package of assorted fruit flavors (strawberry, lime, orange, pear, etc.). I love the rose flavored ones — they're not cloyingly sweet and the aroma is just perfect, not perfumey at all. One piece is usually enough to satisy a sweet tooth, but I find myself eating more!

Prices range $5.75-$9.50 (minimum $20). To order, go to www.turkish-delight.com.

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Tuesday
Mar172015

HyJewelry

I first discovered HyJewelry on Etsy. Jewelry artist Hyun Yu's geometric chain necklaces and dainty earrings were too pretty to resist. In fact, I wear her gold chain tassel earrings all the time. I was very happy to learn that her new designs are now sold exclusively on Food52. 

Images by James Ransom for Food52.These lightweight brass and wood necklaces ($55) are available in two color schemes (natural and walnut stain). They're elegant enough to wear on its own, or you can layer both designs together for a bolder statement. 

I'm also coveting this gold honeycomb necklace ($45). I've been eyeing this for many months so I might just break down and get it!

Available at food52.com.

 

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Monday
Mar092015

Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution SPF 50

The Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($42, 1.7 fl oz) is the latest incarnation of their popular UV Plus HP sunscreen. The SPF level is higher (previously SPF 40) and the refreshingly lightweight formula includes a matrix of plant extracts (organic sanicle, organic blackcurrant, cantaloupe, white tea and lampsana) to fight free radicals and environmental stress.

It looks like regular sunscreen when you squeeze it out of the bottle, but amazing enough it sheers out instantly. And, there's no white streaks at all. For those who don't like the thick texture of conventional sunscreens, this oil-free formula is excellent under makeup. I don't wear sun protection diligently but this product will encourage me to do so. 

Available at www.clarinsusa.com

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Wednesday
Mar042015

Darphin Hydraskin Intensive Skin-Hydrating Serum

With the sudden freezing temperature we're having this week, Mother Nature is still wreaking havoc with our skin. I needed to combat the perpetual dryness and the Darphin Hydraskin Intensive Skin-Hydrating Serum ($76) locks in moisture with excellent results.

Pomegranate, imperata cylindrica extract, sodium PCA, and hyaluronic acid are the main ingredients in the results-driven formula. Depending on how dry my skin is I use 1-2 pumps before layering on a face oil. It softens and plumps up fine lines instantly and the light texture is similar to a facial toner (just a bit thicker). I can still feel soft skin 8+ hours later and the serum lets my moisturizer last longer and absorb more efficiently. If you don't already use a serum in your skincare regimen, this is definitely one to consider. 

Available at www.darphin.com

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Monday
Mar022015

Charm School Vegan Chocolate

I discovered Charm School Chocolate when I was browsing at my local vegan candy store. I've been searching for artisanal vegan chocolate and this brand makes the most delicious bars. Smooth, creamy, and not too sweet, the chocolate comes from fair trade cocoa beans that are roasted and refined for up to 5 days. Founder Joshua Rosen has trained in top restaurants in SF and NYC, so naturally his confections have the gourmet pedigree. And, his Coconut Milk Chocolate Bar is a 2015 Good Food Awards winner. 

I absolutely love the Coconut Milk Chocolate with Maple Candied Pecans bar ($7.99). Crunchy bits of candied nuts are generously folded into the 49% cacao bar, making this quite addictive. The Vanilla Bean White with Caramelized Rice Crisps is a brilliant white chocolate alternative — toasted brown rice and French sea salt add such great texture. Both bars are soy-free and made with organic ingredients. I'm going to stock up the next time I visit the candy shop!

Available at www.charmschoolchocolate.com.

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Wednesday
Feb252015

Kiehl's Precision Lifting & Pore-Tightening Concentrate

The latest skincare launch from Kiehl's is promising a lot. Firmer skin, minimized pores and improved facial contours can be yours with their Precision Lifting & Pore-Tightening Concentrate.

Micro-filtered yeast extract and geranium essential oil are the main players behind the formula. The light gel cream can also double as a makeup primer. Amazingly enough, my pores do look smaller and the overall skin texture seems more refined, especially after 2-3 weeks. No, your pores won't disappear completely but it will make them look less conspicuous. The retail price is appealing considering the results and it's a far better deal than luxury skincare brands promising the same thing.

Available for $64 (1.7 fl oz) at www.kiehls.com.

For editorial consideration, review product was provided by the brand.

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Monday
Feb232015

Uslu Airlines Nail Polish

Uslu Airlines, an edgy cosmetics company from Berlin, offers a vast array of unusual fashion-forward nail polish colors. The five-free formula provides a durable glossy finish and I often find it lasting about a week with minimal chipping. Fun fact: each shade is named after an airport. 

I'm obsessed with the NIM Niamey and WIC Wick shades from the main collection. NIM is a greyish green while WIC is a muted lilac. An alternative to NIM would be QBC Bella Coola from the USL collection, which would be very fun for spring and summer. 

Uslu Airlines nail polish in NIM.

Uslu Airlines nail polish in WIC. WIC swatch.

Available for $12-$16 at beautyhabit.com. To see the entire makeup range: usluairlines.com.

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