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Wednesday
Dec232015

label.m Organic Shampoo & Conditioner

label.m has some fantastic organic haircare. Gentle enough for daily use, their Organic Orange Blossom Shampoo ($26.95) feels like you're shampooing with a splash of juicy oranges. The Organic Lemongrass Shampoo is also lovely as it's fortified with quince seed and oat extract to nourish damaged hair. Both are suitable for all hair types but the orange blossom is tailored for fine hair while lemongrass is for dry hair. They're also free of sulfates, parabens and sodium chloride.

The corresponding organic conditioners ($28.50) are also terrific. The light texture is less viscous than most conditioners so it's much easier to distribute it around the hair. It's pretty hard (at least for me) to choose between the two scents but you can't go wrong with either one. 

Available at labelm-usa.com.

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

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Tuesday
Dec222015

Frankie Rose Cosmetics

I only learned about Frankie Rose Cosmetics recently and was invited to try their products. The LA makeup company launched two years ago by pro makeup artists and since then they've garnered a lot of fans. Their price points are also quite affordable, making this a great draw for those looking for superior quality without burning through their budgets.

The most popular item from their lineup, the Matte Perfection Foundation ($32) gives natural-looking coverage without feeling like you're wearing a ton of product. In fact, you can barely feel it. The shade Neutral worked really well on me, which is great for light-medium skin. Folks with dry skin should really moisturize or exfoliate before application. It works so well I don't even need their Our Lil' Secret Concealer ($24), another product with great coverage. Paired with their Prime Addiction Face Primer ($42), you get flawless makeup that'll last all day. 

I'm also really impressed with finely-milled silkiness of the Powder Foundation ($30). Lightweight and buildable, it totally rivals the quality of luxury brands. The compact comes with a mirror and sponge underneath, making it super convenient for touch-ups.

Last, but not least, their Lip Gloss ($16) is pretty darn amazing. I loved Pressed Flower, a shiny neutral pink that should flatter most skin types. Non-sticky and moisturizing, it's almost like a lacquer since it's so pigmented. In other words, it's a pleasure to use! 

Available at www.frankierosecosmetics.com.

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

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Friday
Dec182015

Hiram Green Voyage

A natural luxury perfume that's quite different from commercial scents, the new Voyage is a heady and exotic creation from niche parfumeur Hiram Green. The handcrafted eau de parfum highlights citrus, spicy amber, suede and sensual vanilla. 

 

Citrus notes are expertly weaved in so it doesn't grab at you with an obvious intention. Rather, it's a subtle gesture, requiring some careful attention. It soon opens up to the warm, sweet elements of amber and vanilla. Suede dances around languidly in the background, adding an extra layer of coziness.

Voyage has stong lasting power, which is always wonderful to experience in a natural fragrance. If this modern-day Oriental scent speaks to you, go snatch at bottle as Green only made 250 limited edition bottles.

Available in a 5 ml spray ( €25/$27) and 50 ml bottle (€135/$146) at hiramgreen.com.

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

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Tuesday
Dec152015

Amedei Crema Toscana All'Olio Extra Vergine Di Oliva

Amedei is back with another amazing product to tempt your taste buds. Their new Crema Toscana All'Olio Extra Vergine Di Oliva is a rich, gorgeous hazelnut chocolate spread that's mixed with extra virgin olive oil. Founder Cecilia Tessieri selected a special olive oil from the Tuscan area of Bagno a Ripoli. You can taste a hint of it, lingering in the palate for just a bit. 

With the healthful benefits of olive oil, there's no guilt in indulging in this sumptuous treat. You can serve it with your morning brioche or toast, or if you're like me, just spoon it straight out of the jar!

The 7.05 oz jar (200 gr) is available for €15,50 (about $17 USD) at www.amedei.it.

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

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Friday
Dec112015

Tarte Holiday Makeup Gifts

Christmas is just two weeks away, so if you haven't found any beauty gifts for your makeup friends now's the time to do so. The Tarte Holidaze Deluxe Amazonian Clay Blush Set is a great value at $35. You get four flattering limited-edition shades: Sincere (golden mauve), Supreme (melon), Surprised (cool rose), and Stellar (peachy pink).


The Amazonian Butter Lipsticks make perfect little stocking stuffers. At $17 each, you're not breaking the bank. Creamy and rich, these come with a minty flavor that tingles with each application. The floral cardboard tubes are so adorable! Favorite shades include Plummy Rose, Poppy, and Angelic Nude.

Holy moly, the new Lights, Camera, Lashes Double-Ended Lash Primer & 4-in-1 Mascara ($20) might be the best eye product of the year. The new Opening Act Lash Primer does WONDERS for wimpy Asian lashes. Add the amazing 4-in-1 Mascara and bam—crazy long, volumized lashes. The duo has a combined weight of .32 fl oz, which is a better value than buying each product alone. 

Available at tartecosmetics.com.

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

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Thursday
Dec102015

Aftelier Organic Blood Orange & Cardamom Black Tea

I already love Mandy Aftel's matcha chai so I was eager to try her new Organic Blood Orange & Cardamom Black Tea. The rare Mao Feng tea leaves are sourced from the Fujian province of China.  

Warm and toasty, this slightly smoky tea is tinged with a comforting, mild sweetness—a direct result of the full oxidation and pan-fired processes. Hints of cardamom and blood orange dance around the palate, elevating your afternoon tea to a new gourmand experience. If you're lucky enough to dine at COI and Alta in San Francisco, both restaurants serve Mandy's beautiful teas. 

Available for $20 (30 grams) at www.aftelier.com.

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

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Tuesday
Dec082015

Dolce & Gabbana Holiday 2015 Makeup

Classic shades of red, antique gold and black are the foundation of the Dolce & Gabbana The Essence of Holiday 2015 collection. 

Red lipstick lovers can check out their Classic Cream Lipstick ($34.50) in Dora 628

Nails get the shiny gold treatment with the Intense Nail Lacquer ($27) in Antique Gold 813. Micro gold particles give it an understated shimmer.

As for the eyes, get the tried-and-true smoky eye with Perfect Mono Cream Eye Colour ($37) in Extreme Black 150

Available at Saks Fifth Avenuen and Nordstrom. 

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

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Friday
Dec042015

SK-II Holiday 2015 Facial Treatment Essence

SK-II is back with holiday versions of their bestselling Facial Treatment Essence. Available for a limited time throughout the holiday season, you get to choose from three festive designs. If you already use this cult skincare product, now's the time to restock with a pretty patterned bottle!

This year's theme is "Wings of Change." Images of the butterfly and hummingbird are featured prominently in three color motifs, signifying different meanings. Red butterflies are an emblem of boldness while pink ones symbolize encouragement. Blue hummingbirds represent perseverance. 

Available in 7.7 oz/230ml ($229) at all SK-II counters (Nordstrom, Macy's) and online at www.sk-ii.com.

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

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Wednesday
Dec022015

Little Shop Artisan Box

Sometimes I get a little homesick, and when I do, I'm constantly craving treats from San Francisco. That's where Little Shop Artisan Box comes to the rescue. Founder Maricela Yee personally curates each Holiday Gourmet Foodie Box with goodies made by local food artisans, giving you a taste of the SF Bay Area culinary scene.

Vegan coconut caramels from Sweetdragon Baking Co.

You get to nosh on handmade products from Feve Chocolates, The Candy, Chromatic Coffee, Sweetdragon Baking Company, Her Coconess, Friend in Cheeses Jam Company, and Il Morso. I especially liked the vegan coconut caramels from Her Coconess and the pate de fruit from The Candy. 

Pate de fruit from The Candy.

You can get either gift box or basket for $52-$119. To order: www.littleshopartisanbox.com.

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

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Tuesday
Nov242015

2015 Beauty Gift Guide

The holiday madness is literally days away—are you ready for it? The following gift ideas will make any beauty lover in your life smile with delight (you can thank us later!).

True Nature Botanicals is offering a limited edition collection of Dead Sea Salts. These luxurious and highly fragrant bath salts contain a potent amount of minerals and essential oils to heal and relax the senses. Available in three scents: Bliss, Tranquility and Vitality. $48; tnbotanicals.com.

Eminence has two fabulous options to start your holidays in style. The Must Have Minis Gift Set contains travel-size versions of Eminence bestsellers (Stone Crop Whip Moisturizer, Bamboo Firming Fluid, etc.) while the Tropical Body Bliss Gift Set features the luscious Coconut Sugar Scrub and Coconut Firming Body Lotion. $40-$79; eminenceorganics.com.

The label.m Diamond Dust collection proves that diamonds are indeed a girl's best friend. Conflict-free black and white diamond dust (sourced from Belgium), Champagne extract, white rose oil and pearl powder are infused into their shampoo, conditioner and body lotion for optimum nourishment. $24.99-$36; labelm-usa.com.

Orlane lets you perfect your pout with the Magnificent Lip Balm. Micronized hyaluronic acid plumps and redefines the lips while alaria esculanta (brown algae) nourishes and protects the delicate skin. $45; www.orlane.com.

Skin & Co. Roma has curated a myriad of Mediterranean-themed body care gift sets, including the Dolce Winter Skin Set and the Beautiful Hands set. With each purchase Skin & Co. Roma will make a $1 donation to Citymeals on Wheels during the holiday season. $30-$45; www.skinandcoroma.com.

 

Votre Vu's popular Bebe Duette Luxe Lip Balm & Hand Creme duo is back with a new and zesty grapefruit (pamplemousse) scent. And, the vanilla lip balm smells amazing. The small size is great for stocking stuffers! $18; www.votrevu.com.

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

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