True Botanicals - Pure Radiance Oil



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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:

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

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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;

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;

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;

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;

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;


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;

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

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Galison Stationery Gifts

Designed for the stationery lover, Galison has a new fall lineup that would be great for stocking stuffers. These Sticky Notes ($10.99) by Lena Corwin and Fawnsberg will brighten up any office desk. Each portfolio contains 480 stickers. 

Don't forget the pens. These black ballpoint Pen Sets ($9.99) by Cooper Hewitt and Fawnsberg make a colorful splash in any setting. Plus, they're totally budget-friendly. 

The hardcover Clothbound Journals ($12.99) are well-made. Available in three styles, each one contains 160 lined pages.

Available at

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

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Ascona Chocolat Suisse

My chocolate karma must be high as I recently stumbled across Ascona Chocolat Suisse in Madison Valley. Owner Hans Riechsteiner features the renowned Laderach truffles, which are flown in each week for optimal freshness. 

You'll get to choose from about two dozen flavors. I just love the Hazelnut Crunch Praline, Raspberry Heart Praline, Caramelized Nut Praline, Lemon, and Passion Fruit Truffle. Hans also carries baking chocolate chips from Felchlin. I never leave the shop without a bag. 

Perfect for the holiday season, you can call in your gift box orders in advance. Local shoppers can even use curbside service via the FlyBuy app.

To order online:

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Aftelier Vanilla Smoke Perfume

As commercial fragrances often use synthetic vanilla in their formulations, I've never liked anything made with it. However, the new Vanilla Smoke from Aftelier Perfumes totally changed my mind about the inclusion of this precious spice.

The unisex fragrance opens with the bold smokiness of lapsang souchong, but it soon tempers down to offer up the lusicious Madagascan vanilla. A seductive invitation in itself, the masterful addition of Siam wood, yellow mandarin, saffron and ambergris balance it out, resulting in a sexy perfume like no other. Like a true love affair, the more I indulge in it, the more I fall in love with it. All in all, another thoughtful and elegant creation from the amazing Mandy Aftel. 

Available in Liquid Perfume (1/4 oz, $180), Eau de Parfum (1 oz, $180) and Miniature Perfume (2 ml, $50) at

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

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SK-II Power Brightening Specialist

SK-II skincare devotees will be interested in the new Power Brightening Specialist. It's designed to suppress melanin that's both visible and underneath the skin surface. Along with their signature Pitera essence, this serum includes a proprietary combo of YPC, oats and dipotassium glycyrrhizinate to prevent future age spot formation. Brightening agents De-melano P3C® and inositol are also included to break up stubborn existing melanin areas. 

The non-tacky lotion goes under your preferred day cream perfectly. As I have mild pigmentation, I feel one dropper is enough even though the instructions say to use two. Used day and night, I'm sure my complexion will be extra gorgeous in no time.

Available in 1 oz and 1.7 oz sizes ($140-$205) at, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom.

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

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Seven Beef

Seven Beef, the newest restaurant from Sophie and Eric Banh, opened last month with great fanfare. The gorgeous steakhouse specializes in dry-aged beef from local producer Heritage Meats as well as a modern version of Bò 7 Món, a Vietnamese seven-course beef dinner ($35/person). 

Image credits: Geoffrey Smith

Steak is the main star but the seafood dishes are worth a try. The oysters with green apple foam ($12) is a light and refreshing way to start the evening. Depending on what's available, you'll get select Penn Cove or Kussi oysters. In fact, if you like seafood the majority of the appetizer selection is geared towards the fruits of the sea.

Steamed clams with turmeric, coconut milk, galangal, chorizo ($12).

Large parties can partake in the 48-ounce Côte de Boeuf ($120) or the 38-ounce Porterhouse ($99). The menu also features a Seven Seas Stew ($24) and Grilled Half Chicken ($21) if you're not in the mood for red meat.

Burnt acorn squash with goat cheese, mint and arugula ($12).

Definitely make room for dessert. The signature Valrhona 72% dark chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting will tempt your sweet tooth, as well as an assortment of French macarons (special order only, $2-3 each). We tasted the foie gras, nutella and caramel flavors and all are equally divine.

For reservations and more info, go to

For editorial consideration, a press visit was provided by the restaurant.

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Immunocologie Eye Contour Serum & Exfoliating Lotion

I haven't tried Immunocologie in a long time and it looks like the skincare line has reformulated their entire product line. I was interested in their Eye Contour Serum ($145) as I needed major help to pep up the tired-looking eye area.

Ulva Lactuca, a potent seaweed, provides a slew of amino acids to synthesize collagen production. Within minutes of application I can feel a tightening effect, lifting up the skin contour. The serum also contains their Vital Oligo Complex and nourishing oils of baobab and dessert date. 

I also tried the Exfoliating Lotion ($150), which totally replaces my need to use an exfoliating mask. Suitable for all skin types, the gentle lactic and glycolic acids remove dead skin without stripping the top skin layer. I have fairly sensitive skin and the reaction wasn't too bad. I only got mild redness for about 20-30 minutes so I'd only use it at night. You can also leave it on if you want extra exfoliating benefits. If you use it in the morning be sure to use sunscreen!

As there aren't yucky preservatives in their products, Immunocologie products should be used up within six months. To learn more:

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

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TATCHA Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 35

TATCHA skincare launched their much-anticipated SILKEN Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 ($68, 60ml) earlier this summer and I have to say it's pretty fabulous as a makeup primer. Ilooks thick when you squeeze it from the tube, but fear not — the creamy formula spreads out smoothly and evenly. The lightweight, non-greasy texture didn't have the noticeable slip like most silicone-based primers and you don't need much product either. I also didn't see white streaking nor a pale cast, which is another bonus.

Fortified with healing extracts of Japanese wild rose, loquat leaf, licorice root, silk, algae, and green tea, the light moisturizing finish is ideal for those with normal skin. There is a light sunscreen scent so if you're really sensitive to that you should try the travel size version before fully committing. So far I'm enjoying this latest Tatcha offering and it makes sunscreen application a pleasure instead of a chore!

Available at

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

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Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2015 Makeup

Dark purple and light pink seem to rule the Dolce & Gabbana #dglovesfall makeup collection, but you also get glimpses of classic red, blue grey, golden brown and royal blue within the seasonal palette. 

The star product, the Smooth Eye Colour Quad ($62) in Fall Harvest 172, is a colorful way to celebrate autumn. A combo of matte and satin textures, each shade provides 8-hour wear. The purple-red shade is actually flattering as an accent but I'd also double it as a blush; the purple and blue grey go beautifully together.

The Perfect Mono Cream Eye Colour ($37) offers three new eyeshadow shades: Zambia Beige 125, Antique Rose 35, and Leo Brown 47. Zambia Beige is an intense chocolate brown with micro gold shimmer; it's gorgeous for a quick smoky eye but you have to work quickly before it sets in. I also like soft creaminess of Antique Rose—this one will also double nicely as a blush. The formula offers up to 12 hours wearing time and it even held up nicely when I was stuck in a rainstorm. 

Perfect Mono in Zambia Beige 125.

Perfect Mono in Antique Rose 35.

Three new shades of the Classic Cream Lipstick ($34.50) are available in Antique Rose 232, Purple Passion 317, and Red Royal 622. The Antique Rose looks more like a cool pale pink with a hint of violet while Purple Passion is great for those who want to rock a gothic lip, which is so ideal for Halloween.

Classic Cream Lipstick in Antique Rose 232.Classic Cream Lipstick in Purple Passion 317.

To add more purple on your lips, the Intense Colour Gloss ($32) comes in Purple Passion 157. 

As for nails, four limited edition shades of Intense Nail Lacquer ($27) are available in Jaipur Blue 716, Tahitian Grey 712, Antique Rose 222 and Red Royal 640.  

Intense Nail Lacquer in Jaipur Blue 716.

Intense Nail Lacquer in Tahitian Grey 712.

Royal Red 640.
Available at, Nordstrom and other D&G Beauty counters. 

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

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