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True Nature Botanicals - Pacific Face Oil

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Intraceuticals Opulence Daily Serum

Summer is in full swing here in the PNW and I often fret over the blotchiness and hyperpigmention that will inevitably pop up over the next three months. Intraceuticals anticipated this seasonal skincare conundrum by introducing their new Opulence Daily Serum ($149).

A welcome addition to their reformulated Opulence Collection, the Daily Serum addresses sun damaged and hyperpigmented skin with skin brightening peptides and plant extracts (ginger root and rumex occidentalis). I layer it with the Opulence Hydration Gel ($89), which contains an intense dose of medium-weight hyaluronic acid. Using these two products together, you'll definitely have a brighter, beautifully hydrated complexion.

If you're traveling, the Opulence Brightening Wand ($49) is a great spot treatment to tuck into your purse or cosmetic bag. In need of a new cleanser or cream? The sulfate-free Opulence Cleanser ($49) and Opulence Moisture Brightening Cream ($69) also contain brightening ingredients to combat sun damage. I can't promise the results will be as dramatic as doing their famous Oxygen Facial but you'll still end up looking gorgeous. 

For more information:

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

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Darphin Exquisage Beauty Revealing Serum

Darphin's latest skincare launch, the Exquisage collection, includes the Exquisage Beauty Revealing Serum. Featuring their CelluVie Complex, their new anti-aging potion is designed to firm and smooth the skin's texture.

The complex contains laminaria digitata, a brown algae harvested off the coast of France, and acetyl hexylpeptide; both ingredients help increase collagen production, which is key in any worthwhile skincare regimen. Artemia and artichoke leaf extracts are added to soothe the effects of environmental stress and 94% of the ingredients are from natural origin.

There is a noticeable floral scent but it will fade away after about 5 minutes. Those sensitive to fragrances should try it out at the Darphin counter before splurging on it. That said, it layers nicely with other skincare products. I love how soft my skin becomes and the fine lines around the forehead area are vastly diminished. Even the dry stubborn patch near my cheek area softened up after a week. Depending on how dry my skin is, I use about 1-2 pumps.

Available for $155 (1 fl oz/30 ml) at, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. 

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

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True Nature Botanicals Pacific Night Serum with Retinol for Sensitive Skin

True Nature Botanicals already has a great night serum with retinol, but they just launched a new Pacific Night Serum with Retinol for Sensitive Skin ($150). Tailored for the most delicate complexions, you can now use retinol without enduring the irritation that's often associated with retinol-based skincare.

My skin works very well with the new formula. Whenever I use the serum I always wake up with unbelievably petal-soft skin. I don't get red blotches (finally!) and it's keeping my complexion super healthy and smooth. I'm also quite relieved as I don't have to worry about sensitized skin during the upcoming summer months.

Available at

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

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Eminence Rice Milk 3 in 1 Cleansing Water

Eminence has a new multi-purpose cleanser that works well for the warmer months. Their refreshing Rice Milk 3 in 1 Cleansing Water is an all-in-one facial cleanser, toner and makeup remover. The formula is light and gentle, making it suitable for all skin types.


Rice milk adds moisture and refines pores while pomelo supplies antioxidants and improves collagen production. Use it as a regular cleanser or wipe off with a cotton pad if you're in a rush. It can remove light makeup, but I'd use something heavy duty for waterproof makeup. I also love the delicate fruity scent — it makes me feel like I'm in Hawaii, sipping on a tropical drink. 

Available for $42 (4.2 fl oz) at all Eminence spa retailers. 

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

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Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is zooming around the corner! Don't just give Mom a card and the same old bouquet of flowers. If you're having a tricky time choosing the right gift, the following ideas will keep things fresh and original.

Designed for the radiant, confident woman, STELLA Eau De Toilette is a light floral scent that features top notes of mandarin, lemon and freesia. Elegant heart notes of Bulgarian rose, violet, peony are grounded with sensual tones of ambergris. Available in 1-3.3 oz ($48-$87) at


These gorgeous Moss Aquamarine Acid Rain Drop Gold Earrings from Twig & Thorn will make Mom feel extra special. The hammered gold adds great texture and dimension to the briolette earrings. $218;


How precious is this Whitney Smith Art Deco Rose Mini Ceramic Dish? The Northern California-based artist makes each one by hand and it's available in red, yellow, pink and black. $38.00;


Bee Raw offers exquisite raw single-floral varietal honey and their Molto Mediterranean set includes one jar each of the Honey Fig Conserve, Mount Olympus Herbal Tea and the amazing Florida Orange Blossom Honey. $42;


The Tovi Sorga Leather iPad Mini/Tablet/Kindle Cases are a great choice for tech mamas. Each one is handmade and the Bird on Branch with Butterflies design is especially lovely. $77-$100 (£50-£65);

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

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The 58th SF International Film Festival

The 58th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 23 - May 7, 2015) is starting tomorrow, so plan ahead for this annual star-studded event. 181 films will be screened over the next two weeks, representing recent cinematic work from 46 countries.

Winona Ryder and Peter Sarsgaard in "Experimenter." (Photo credit: Jason Robinette. Courtesy of the SF Film Society.)

Opening with Alex Gibney’s documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, SFIFF will also showcase The End of the Tour, James Ponsoldt’s portrait of David Foster Wallace. Acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro will receive the Irving M. Levin Directing Award and the festival will close with Michael Almereyda’s Experimenter, starring Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder.

Here are a few festival picks:

Bota - Iris Elezi and Thomas Logoreci's intimate look at modern Albania is haunted by the legacy of its Communist regime. Juli, Ben and Nora work together in a cafe located in a remote village. The quirky regulars add color and drama to an otherwise stagnant environment, which is already suffocating under the weight of the former dictatorship. The protagonists desire a better life, but each must deal with individual problems as they face an inscrutable future.  

"Bota," playing at the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival. (Courtesy of the SF Film Society.)

Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere (Dap cánh giua không trung) - Diep Hoang Nguyen’s provocative debut is an unflinchingly honest look at life in the slums of Hanoi. 17-year-old Huyen, a pregnant college student, struggles against a multitude of obstacles to obtain an abortion. Her irresponsible boyfriend tries to raise funds with illegal cockfighting but soon leaves town to evade debtors. Huyen's desperation quickly results in escort work and she falls for her client, further complicating her increasingly troubling situation.

A scene from "Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere." (Courtesy of the SF Film Society.)

Fidelio: Alice's Odyssey (Fidelio, l'odyssée d'Alice) - Set in a gritty backdrop of cargo ships, Lucie Borleteau's feature brings us the story of a female naval engineer as she navigates a love triangle. Alice is in love with her artist boyfriend but is having a tough time resisting her captain, all the while juggling a grueling career at sea. Independent and sexually confident, she firmly establishes her place in a macho, male-dominated world while examining her emotional and physical desires.

A scene from "Fidelio: Alice's Odyssey." (Courtesy of SF Film Society)

For more info and tickets:

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Amala Body Care

Amala is a coveted brand of organic luxury skincare that I can't resist. In fact, I splurged on two of their body care items and love them.

Their Rejuvenating Hand Cream ($34; 1.7 fl oz) is a decadent treatment that eases fine lines and discoloration. Licorice helps brighten the appearance of age spots while inca inchi seed and cocoa bean provide essential fatty acids and a rich veil of moisture to dehydrated hands. It absorbs instantly, leaving no greasy residue whatsoever. The light cocoa scent makes me want to inhale a chocolate bar.

The Detoxifying Body Polish ($26; 1.7 fl oz) has a very gentle exfoliating texture (from olive seed) for those who don't like rough body scrubs. Myrtle, hyssop, cardamom, Mediterranean juniper, cypress and bladderwrack are added to help remove impurities from the skin. The tube is not large at all, but you don't need that much and I only use it whenever I need something extra special for my cleansing ritual.

To learn more:

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Clarins Everlasting Foundation+ SPF 15

Clarins is back with a new Everlasting Foundation+ SPF 15. The mineral-based formula lasts up to 18 hrs and offers a non-oily, matte coverage. Organic quinoa is added to nourish the skin throughout the day while bamboo powder extends the wear of the foundation. White tea and succory dock-cress are also included to fight pollution.

The light-as-air foundation wears beautifully on the skin, making it luminous without screaming full coverage. You can also use less product to make it medium coverage. Shade 105 Nude seems to be the best match for me, but I'm sure 107 Beige would be a better one when I get a tan. 

Available for $40 at all Clarins counters and

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

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Purity of Elements Skincare

Santa Fe skincare company Purity of Elements just relaunched a brand new collection that features their proprietary Copper 5 Complex. All five products contain the potent anti-aging complex, which features copper, green tea, white tea, grapeseed extract and vitamin E. 

The Radiance Face Serum ($60) provides a soothing layer of nutrients and hydration. It's also packed with tons of plant extracts like sweet almond seed, pomegranate, goji berry and watermelon. If you have normal skin this might be enough for warm weather but I'd I find it perfect under a light moisturizer.

The Renewing Eye Cream ($45) is a very good value for a 1 ounce jar. The light texture makes it easy to apply and there is barely any scent. The formula includes rose hip, honey, wild cherry bark, wild pansy, fennel seed and mugwort extracts to help revive the eye area and soften fine lines.  

Available at Nordstrom and

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

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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 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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