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Friday
Dec132013

Shu Uemura Lip & Cheek Fun-tasy

Based on the 6 Heart Princess animation film, the Lip & Cheek Fun-tasy makeup tint is part of the Shu Uemura holiday 2013 collection by Takashi Murakami. A tiny squeeze, about 1-2 pinhead drops, is all you really need for proper coverage. The Fuchsia Fun-tasy shade looks like neon pink out of the tube but it will be a much gentler shade once you blend it on your cheeks. As a lip color, it will enhance your natural lip color with just a tinge of fresh pink. 

Easy to blend and long-lasting (5-6 hours), you can tuck this in your clutch or jean pocket for quick emergency touch-ups. It's also available in four other shades: Dream Pink, Heroin Rose, Princess Coral, and Magical Red. 

$25 each. Available for a limited time at www.shuuemura-usa.com

For editorial consideration, review samples were provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Thursday
Dec122013

Yosh Han Appearance at Barneys New York

Artisan parfumeur Yosh Han will be making a few special appearances at Barneys New York to debut KÖNIG, her latest men's fragrance. Scented aura portraits will also be tailored for each lucky client — if you haven't experienced it yet this is your last chance for the year. Call and book your 15-minute appointment soon!

Yosh's tour schedule: 

Friday, December 13 – Scottsdale store; 1-6PM
Tuesday, December 17 – Beverly Hills store (call for appointment times)
Thursday, December 19 – Seattle store; 1-6PM 
Friday, December 20 – San Francisco store; 1-6PM

 

To learn more about Yosh: www.eaudeyosh.com

 

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Tuesday
Dec102013

San Francisco Chef's Table

My friend and award-winning food journalist Carolyn Jung just debuted her new book, "San Francisco Chef's Table" (Lyons Press, $24.95). A stunning collection of mouth-watering recipes from the SF Bay Area's finest chefs, this is one cookbook you'll want to refer to again and again. 

I had the pleasure and honor of testing several recipes from the book so I know Carolyn's book is a keeper. It's also a fabulous gift for any home cook or gourmand in your life. As a native San Franciscan I couldn't be more proud to see 50 notable restaurants represented in this stellar collection of recipes. For example, you'll discover culinary magic from the likes of State Bird Provisions, Absinthe, Cotogna, Town Hall and Kokkari.  

I'm including the amazing Hazelnut Semifreddo recipe from Oliveto below. It's a bit more work than a typical semifreddo recipe, but trust me, your eyes will roll backward in heavenly bliss when you taste the results. 

Hazelnut Semifreddo

(Serves 8–10)

For the semifreddo:

11/2 cups hazelnuts
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 cups heavy cream
6 egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt


For the bourbon whipped cream:

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 pinches salt
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) bourbon

 

Image credit: Craig Lee

 

To make the semifreddo: Toast the hazelnuts in a 375°F oven for about 6 minutes. Remove from oven and, when cool enough to handle, remove as much of their skins as possible. 

Place a silicone baking mat or greased sheet of aluminum foil on a baking pan. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over high heat, heat sugar and water until a light amber color is reached,
6–7 minutes. Stir in hazelnuts, then quickly spread the mixture out on the mat or greased foil. Let mixture cool and harden, about 15–20 minutes. Then grind the mixture in a food processor until a medium-fine texture is reached.

Line a standard-sized loaf pan with enough plastic wrap that the edges hang slightly over the sides. This will make unmolding the semifreddo much easier. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whip 2 cups heavy cream to a stiff peak; refrigerate. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites to a soft peak. Slowly add sugar as you continue to whip the egg whites until a stiff peak is reached. Gently fold nut mixture into the meringue. Then fold in the whipped cream and a pinch of salt. Spoon into the lined loaf pan, filling it nearly to the top. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. (If the semifreddo mixture doesn’t all fit into the loaf pan, the excess can be put into a small freezer-safe container and eaten as an extra treat.) Carefully cover the loaf pan with another sheet of plastic wrap. Place pan in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight. (The semifreddo will keep in the freezer for 3–4 days.)

To make the bourbon whipped cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat 2 cups heavy cream until a soft peak is reached. Add sugar and salt. Continue to whip until the stiff peak stage is reached. Fold in the bourbon. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

To serve: Remove semifreddo from the freezer. Peel plastic wrap off the top. To unmold, carefully flip the semifreddo onto a serving plate. Remove plastic wrap lining. Cut into slices, placing each on a plate and dolloping with bourbon whipped cream. 

To buy Carolyn's book, head on over to Amazon. Be sure to check out her blog at www.foodgal.com.

Recipe used with permission from Lyons Press. Photography credit: Craig Lee. 

For editorial consideration, a review book copy was provided by a PR representative.

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Thursday
Dec052013

Luxury Beauty Gifts

Need something luxe for a beauty maven? We have the ideal gift ideas for the special lady who has it all.

Partnering with Swarovski Elements, the iconic SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is housed in a sparkly limited edition Xillion cut bottle. Containing at least 90% pitera essence, this famous skincare ingredient will make the visage shine with renewed radiance. $195; saks.com.

Dolce & Gabbana has a fabulously silky The Eyeshadow Smooth Eye Colour Duo in Laguna 150. The gorgeous matte aqua and satin forest green combination is extremely blendable with a minimum 8-hour wearing time. Wear each shade alone, or combine for a fun look. $42; sephora.com.

The Shu Uemura Basics Set is perfect for any Shu Uemura makeup fan or for introducing a friend to the cult brand. The set includes an Eyelash Curler, Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine, Painting Liner, Hard Formula brow pencil, and Ultimate Natural Mascara. $95 ($126 value); www.shuuemura-usa.com.

Sensai by Kanebo offers a luxurious The Lipstick, an anti-aging color treatment. Fantastically creamy and moisturizing, the shine formula contains Golden Phyto Extract to firm and refine the delicate lip area. $55; www.neimanmarcus.com.

Aftelier has an exquisite and rare collection of antique compacts, watch cases, and patch boxes, all of which can be filled with the Aftelier perfume solid of your choice. $150-$580 (prices include perfume solid); www.aftelier.com.

Long-lasting with a natural and semi-sheer finish, the Dolce & Gabbana The Blush Luminous Cheek Colour in Provocative 40 (cool bubblegum pink) adds a bright and youthful freshness to the cheeks. The soft cheek brush also deposits the right amount of product to the skin. $45; www.saksfifthavenue.com.

For editorial consideration, review samples were provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Wednesday
Dec042013

Holiday Gifts for Men

Don't know what to get your man for the holidays? Keep your special guy handsome and well-groomed with these thoughtful gifts:

An amazing new blend that's fit for kings, Konig by San Franciscan parfumeur Yosh Han is sure to astonish the most discerning fragrance connoisseur. Aroma notes include aromatic bitters, sage, cypress, red apple, smoky papyrus, snow flowers, bois des landes, vetiver, white musk, saddle leather, amber and firewood. 1.7 oz eau de parfum, $130; www.eaudeyosh.com.

 

AMI Alexandre Mattiussi designs well-tailored clothing at reasonable prices and this Micro Stripe Button Down Shirt is no exception. The red felt patch pocket makes it a bit whimsical and cheerful for the holidays. $260; www.barneys.com

 

Produced in San Francisco, this gorgeous slim-fit Shetland pea coat from Golden Bear has a standup collar and leather detailing. $625; unionmadegoods.com.

 

This wool blend UN-IT-Y Plaid Scarf has a fun graphic print pattern, making it stand out from a sea of dark plain scarves. $154; man.totokaelo.com.

 

Need another fragrance option? The fresh and woody Chrome United by Azzaro will be a crowd pleaser. Notes include bergamot, coriander, Ceylon black tea and cedar wood. Available in 1.7 and 3.4 oz eau de toilette. $56-$76; Macys.com.


Step out in style with these Camper MIL shoes. The deep turquoise sole offers a fun splash of bright color. $180; www.camper.com.

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Tuesday
Dec032013

Holiday Fashion Gifts

For the gal who loves luxury and style, these fashionable gifts will enhance her winter wardrobe. Read on for our drool-worthy gift ideas:

Need something adorable yet refined? These Twig & Thorn Pine Gold Drop Earrings provide whimsical elegance for all sartorial looks. $165; twigthorn.com

 

Keep hands toasty with these Etre Touchy Hand-stitched Leather Gloves. The missing thumb and index fingertips give you the freedom to easily use your cell phone. Made from Cabretta leather, it is available in olive, navy, and navy with red contrast stitching. $408 USD/£250 GBP; http://www.etreshop.com.

You can never go wrong with one of James Perse's body-skimming jersey dresses. This Colorblocked Skinny Dress will be great year-round for almost any occasion. $225; /www.jamesperse.com.

 

Love hats? Consider a custom-made one from Behida Dolic. You can choose any color, style, threading, and buttons to match any need and occasion. This classic green cloche is especially chic for cold weather outfits. $335; www.etsy.com/shop/yellowfield7

 

This metallic gold Il Bisonte Chain Strap Clutch is ideal for all evening soirees. Made in Italy with premium leather, the gold chain strap is removable. This style also comes in red and natural options. $410; www.millmercantile.com.

 

For statement jewelry try this hand cut Virginie Millefiori Peter Pan Collar Necklace. Available in silver or gold-plated brass. $140; www.butterhomeseattle.com.

 

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Monday
Dec022013

Gourmet Holiday Gifts

Tired of giving the same food gifts for the holidays? The following suggestions below will make any recipient excited.

San Franciscan chocolate artisan Recchiuti Confections has an irresistible Christmas Stocking Box. Sixteen assorted pieces of their popular chocolate truffle flavors are included, such as the signature Burnt Caramel truffles. $45; www.recchiuti.com.

 

Clifford Bay's Marlborough 2010 Pinot Noir is an affordable selection to bring to any dinner party. Bright and velvety with dark cherry notes, it's also great for cooking. $15.99; www.wine.com.

 

Wild Ophelia chocolate bars make fun party favors or snacks for any upcoming holiday soiree. All featured ingredients are sourced from reputable farmers and artisans from around the nation and there are no preservatives. We recommend the Peanut Butter & Banana and Sweet Cherry Pecan flavors. $4.99; to find retailers: www.wildophelia.com.

 

Aftelier creates the most amazing teas. The tea connoisseur will swoon over Mandy Aftel's Organic Rose Ginger Oolong Tea. Also, don't forget to try her indispensable Chef's Essences. $25; www.aftelier.com.

Wooden Table Baking Co. makes the best alfajores and Buenos Aires native Andrea Ozzuna offers them in traditional, meringue, chocolate and gluten-free options. For a limited time, try her pumpkin spice alfajores. $22-$30 per box; www.buenosairesalfajores.com.

 

One can never have enough chocolate! La Boite of NYC has a stunning trio of Hot Chocolate & More blends that will tantalize any gourmet palate. The 54% cacao set includes Yemen (ginger and cinnamon), Orchidea (orchid root and Szechuan pepper) and Reims (honey, star anise, cinnamon, and ginger). $54; food52.com/provisions.

Credit: James Ransom

For editorial consideration, review samples were provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Thursday
Nov282013

Beauty Gifts For All Budgets

Have a beauty junkie on your gift list? She'll appreciate these gift options below — read on for some great skin care and makeup inspiration for all budgets:

Eminence has two limited edition gift sets for skin care lovers. The Clementine Spice Gift Set ($30) features a silky Clementine Spice Hand & Cuticle Cream and a deluxe size Clementine Spice Body Lotion while the Pear & Fig Gift Set ($34) contains a luscious-smelling Pear & Fig Cleanser and a decadent Pear & Fig Whip Moisturizer. Each gift set also comes with an entry ticket to their holiday contest — the grand prize is a spa getaway to the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa. To find a retailer: www.eminenceorganics.com

 

O&M (Original Mineral) offers a full-size It's In The Bag hair care travel kit to replenish and protect your tresses. It comes with the mild Maintain The Mane Shampoo and Conditioner to moisturize, maintain and detangle hair. It also has the ultra-hydrating No Knott Conditioning Detangler. All formulas are free of sulfates, parabens, propylene glycol, triclosan and phthalates. $65.95; originalmineral.com.

Inspired by ancient botanical recipes from a convent in Provence, the Le Couvent des Minimes Rose Skincare Trio (Soin de la Roseraie) kit features full-size products of the non-greasy Complete Moisturizing Cream, 3 in 1 Micellar Water, and Gentle Cleansing Milk. All formulas are infused with three different rose extracts for extra healing and nourishing benefits. $52.50; usa.lecouventdesminimes.com

Create the perfect complexion with the Dr. Jart+ The Original BB Cream Set. It includes four 0.5 oz tubes of four popular BB Creams. Brighten, protect and hydrate with the Renewalist BB Beauty Cream SPF 40, Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm SPF 25, Water Fuse BB Beauty Balm SPF 25, and the Premium BB Beauty Balm SPF 45. $34; Sephora.com

Caroline Chu offers a deluxe Anti-Aging Starter Kit that contains travel-friendly versions of her Anti-Aging Serum, Anti-Aging Day & Night Cream, and Anti-Aging Eye Cream. $59.95; www.carolinechu.com.

 

Pacifica's "It's a Beautiful Life" Natural Skincare Collection contains four travel products for naturally flawless skin: Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes, Dreamy Youth Day & Night Face Cream, Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream, and Natural Color Quench Lip Tint in Blood Orange. $19; www.pacificabeauty.com

Votre Vu Lip Luster lip glosses make fun stocking stuffers. We love the moisturizing Tempting shade, and for every purchase a $1 donation will be made to pediatric cancer research. $22; www.votrevu.com.

For editorial consideration, review samples were provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Wednesday
Nov272013

em michelle phan Shade Play Makeup Palettes

Last week I reviewed em michelle phan's new Arched brow pencils and today we'll look at the Shade Play cheek and eye palettes.

I am a fan of the Shade Play Artistic Cheek Color Palette. The Rosy Baby palette features a bright raspberry blush, which has great color payoff and staying power. There is a minute amount of shimmer but it's barely noticeable once it's on your skin. The bronzer, however, is a surprise favorite. It's not that dark so you won't be screwing up if you accidentally add an extra layer or two. And, it's super natural-looking. Both shades blend beautifully and the no-nonsense palette design also comes with a tiny brush for on-the-go applications. At $28, this is a great everyday blush set to consider.

If you like purple as much as I do, then the Shade Play Artistic Eye Color Palette ($38) in Shanghai Lavenders will make you smile. From day to evening, you'll end up with a myriad of pretty combinations to suit every occasion. Some light purple eyeshadows can look washed out on my skin, but this palette manages to nail the formula so it's actually very flattering. 

Available at www.emcosmetics.com.

For editorial consideration, review samples were provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Tuesday
Nov262013

Home Design Gift Ideas

Need a hostess or housewarming gift for the holiday season? Our suggestions below should bring plenty of smiles. Read on to peruse our shopping ideas:

Simple yet utterly festive, this handmade two-piece burlap banner from Yellow House Company will bring plenty of holiday cheer. $38; food52.com/provisions.

Credit: James Ransom

Riess has an adorable pale blue enamel measuring jug that can be used for many things. Use it for cooking, storing milk, or set a bouquet of wildflowers in it. Made in Austria, this high-quality piece will last for a long time. $42; ancientindustries.com.

Nell & Mary has some neat upcycled tea towels — this one with a group of umbrellas will jazz up any kitchen. Handmade and designed in Portland, OR. $20; www.butterhomeseattle.com.

Too busy to get the perfect holiday wreath or tree? Green Valley Christmas Trees will carefully select, cut and ship your gift selections within a day. There is a 20% sale through 11/28 and free shipping is offered on all orders. $49.99-$209.99; www.greenvalleychristmastrees.com.

These laser engraved birch doily coasters from Uncommon are super cute and functional. They're awesome as hostess gifts, but don't forget to get some for yourself to dress up the coffee table. $20 for five; www.etsy.com/shop/uncommon.  

Bee's Wrap created an ingenious way to wrap your food. Fragrant beeswax-coated muslin sheets are malleable for just about anything (except raw meat). Start with a packet of three different sizes, or get the large bread wrap size for your freshly baked loaves. $15-19; www.beeswrap.com

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