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Friday
Nov152013

Laura Mercier Colour-To-Go Palette in Smoky Violet

Looking for a complete makeup set? Laura Mercier has a fantastic limited-edition Colour-To-Go Portable Palette for Eyes, Cheeks & Lips. The Smoky Violet color scheme is extremely flattering for brown eyes. It includes three gorgeous eyeshadows along with their smudge-proof Tightline Cake Eye Liner to create an easy purple smoky eye. I was very pleased to see them last over 8 hours without any creasing and fading was minimal. I also didn't use any primer so I can only imagine how much longer it would last.

The double-decker palette also has a warm Bronzing Pressed Powder and a light pink Second Skin Cheek Colour. The long-wearing blush and bronzer are finely milled — the silky texture is very easy to blend. The bronzer can be rather dark for fair skin so use sparingly and blend it out completely. A light peachy-pink Lip Glacé is included to finish the look. If you want something more neutral, the brand also offers the palette in a Natural Nudes option. 

This Colour-To-Go Portable Palette ($50) has sold out on LauraMercier.com, but you can still get it online at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Macy's. 

For editorial consideration, a review sample was provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Wednesday
Nov132013

Dior Diorific Lipstick in 045 Royale

The holidays just aren't festive enough without a lipstick from Dior's Golden Winter Collection. Their Diorific Long-Wearing True Colour Lipstick in 045 Royale is a great alternative if you don't want to do a bright holiday red. Infused with a light rose scent, the full coverage neutral pink will last through several hours of normal wear. The gold glitter adds a shimmery glint, but it's not too obvious unless you get real close up.  

Available at all Dior counters and Dior.com

For editorial consideration, a review sample was provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Monday
Nov112013

Dior Diorific Vernis for Holiday 2013

As part of the Dior Golden Winter holiday 2013 collection, the long-wearing Diorific Vernis nail polishes will please everyone. 995 Minuit is an elegant deep plum with gold sparkles. Shown in brighter lighting, it almost has burgundy tones. Two thick coats are needed but it dries pretty quickly. 

Need something more toned down? 128 Winter is a clear polish with pink and white sparkles. You can use it on top of Minuit for amplified shimmer but it's suitable for the understated gals. Pretty on its own, you can layer it on top of any other polish for a glistening holiday effect. These are also chip resistant and the formulas do not contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, nor camphor. 

Available for $26 at all Dior counters and www.dior.com

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

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Thursday
Nov072013

Clarins The Essentials Eye Palette 

I've always raved about the great quality of Clarins makeup and their new The Essentials Eye Palette ($45) is a natural winner. Ten neutral mineral eyeshadows in universally-flattering shades of beige, taupe and brown are beautifully presented for all your beauty looks. The color combinations are endless, taking you day to night. To make things super easy, it includes a useful eye makeup chart with application tips.

All ten shade formulas are buttery soft, making blending a breeze. I can get a gorgeous smoky eye within 2 minutes. They last for many hours without any primer and there's not much fading. The double-ended eye brush is made with sustainable birch wood, recycled aluminum and cruelty-free pony hair. At $45, it's a fabulous bargain as their regular Eye Quartets go for $42 (4 shades). I would snap one up soon if I were you. 

The brand is also committed to preserving the Kuntanawa Indian culture and ecosystem in the Amazon. By purchasing this palette you'll support Clarins in planting 10,000 trees with PurProject. You can learn more about this reforestation initiative here

Available at all Clarins counters and soon on www.clarinsusa.com.

For editorial consideration, a review sample was provided by the brand's PR representative.

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Wednesday
Nov062013

Tarte Holiday Makeup Gifts

Each holiday season, Tarte comes up with some of the best beauty gift sets. This year, I had my eye on the following:

For the fashionable blush addict, the Off The Cuff Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette & Bracelet ($42 at Sephora) set comes with five generously-sized blush shades: Dollface (light pink), Dazzled (soft rose), Darling (nude melon), Crave (pink peach) and Park Ave Princess (bronzer). The sparkly clutch-style palette also comes with a cute bow cuff bracelet. If you haven't tried their awesome blushes, this is a great chance to do so. A $110 value, this is something all makeup lovers will covet. 

Fans of Tarte's eye makeup will love The Best For Lash 4-Piece Deluxe Eye Set ($25). You'll have everything you need for stunning eyes. It includes deluxe travel-sized versions of their multiplEYE™ Lash Enhancing Primer, the popular Lights, Camera, Lashes™ 4-in-1 Mascara, the new Lights, Camera, Flashes™ Statement Mascara, and the Lights, Camera, Lashes™ Waterproof 12-hr Inner Rim Liner. 


To see more beauty gift options, go to tartecosmetics.com and Sephora.com. 

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

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Monday
Nov042013

Four Seasons Seattle Celebrates 5 Years

To commemorate the fifth year anniversary of the Four Seasons Seattle, a group of talented chefs from their West Coast properties gathered to create a special menu for ART Restaurant. We got a chance to taste a few dishes from their collective repertoire:

Chef Alessandro Cartumini of Bella Vista (Four Seasons Santa Barbara) made a sumptuous gnocchetti sardi with melt-in-your-mouth lamb sugo, chanterelles, ricotta and Meyer lemon. Seriously, I could eat this dish every day during the fall and winter! 

Credit: feteafete.comChef Alessandro Cartumini doing his magic (Credit: Gio Nakpil).

Chef Mark Richardson of MKT Restaurant (Four Seasons San Francisco) created a playful rendition of cioppino with sourdough toast, a delicious homage to SF. 

Chef Gilles Arzur from The BLVD (Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire) expertly prepared local salmon with berries, Point Reyes blue cheese, mint and raspberry vinagrette. 

Chef Gilles Arzur from The BLVD, Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov012013

Stila Holiday Makeup Sets

It's not too early to stock up on holiday gifts! Stila has a wide array of makeup palettes and sets for all beauty lovers. Their holiday collection ranges $16 to $185 to fit all budgets so you can choose the right present for your girlfriends. 

Lip Glaze fans will drool all over the Color Me Glossy Lip Glaze Set ($28). It contains three scented lip gloss trios of red, pink and neutral shades (nine total) to gift to one special friend, or break it up into three separate stocking stuffers. Shades include Cranberry, Dazzleberry, Passion Fruit, Persimmon, Wildberry, Kaleidoscope, Melon, Strawberry Cream, and Amaretto. Their regular Lip Glaze trios run $12-$15, so this is a great price. 

Not a fan of lip gloss? The handy and portable Portrait of a Perfect Blush ($16) palette will make any blush lover beam. Three flattering shades are included, along with a light bronzer and highlighter — everything you need for perfect glowing cheeks.  

Available at www.stilacosmetics.com

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

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Wednesday
Oct302013

French Cinema Now (November 7-10)

Presented by the San Francisco Film Society, the sixth annual French Cinema Now will take place November 7-10 at Landmark's Clay Theatre. New works from notable filmmakers Claire Denis, Nicolas Philibert and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi will be celebrated, as well as those from emerging talents Sébastien Betbeder and Axelle Ropert.

A Castle in Italy (Un Château en Italie) — Director, actress and writer Valeria Bruni Tedeschi returns with a realistic look at the lives and crises of the European bourgeoisie. Louise (Bruni Tedeschi), an actress longing for parenthood, engages in a new affair with Nathan (Louis Garrel), a much younger actor. As she deals with her new relationship, she's pulled into the financial drama from her wealthy Italian family. An excellent supporting cast and nuanced writing make this a compelling dramatic feature to consider. 

Louis Garrel and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi in "A Castle in Italy." Image courtesy of SF Film Society.

2 Autumns, 3 Winters (2 Automnes 3 Hivers) — With an indie charm of a Wes Anderson film, "2 Autumns, 3 Winters" (Opening Night film) traces the lives of thirty-somethings Arman and Benjamin. Quirky and offbeat, the two close friends navigate new romances and their subsequent complications, as well as facing the vagaries of modern French life.

Sébastien Betbeder's "2 Autumns, 3 Winters."

Miss and the Doctors (Tirez La Langue, Mademoiselle) — While attending to a young diabetic patient, sibling doctors Boris and Dimitri meet Judith, her attractive mother, and a love triangle ensues. Set in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, the film deftly addresses family devotion and the fragility of the human heart with humor and grace. 

Louise Bourgoin in Axelle Ropert's "Miss and the Doctors."

Rendezvous in Kiruna (Rendez-vous à Kiruna) — A Parisian architect is suddenly called to northern Sweden to identify the body of a son he's never known. He picks up a young Swedish hitchhiker along the way and as they pass through the idyllic Scandinavian countryside both driver and passenger confront each man's respective truth on familial ties, loneliness and forgiveness. A quiet, finely-crafted story from Franco-Swedish director Anne Novion, this one is worth a look. 

Anastasios Soulis and Jean-Pierre Darroussin in "Rendezvous in Kiruna."

For more info and to purchase tickets: www.sffs.org.

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Monday
Oct282013

Sunday Riley Blush & Prismasilk Eye Color

I heard lots of buzz about Sunday Riley's Blush and now I know why. The Blushing shade, a light nude pink, is exceptionally flattering on many skin tones and is long-lasting, even after a vigorous lindy hop dance class. Now, that's staying power. I'm surprised at how pigmented the formula is, even for a neutral shade like this one. You don't need a lot for a youthful effect but you can build it up for more contouring. I almost wore too much product as it looked paler in the compact. 

Like their blush, the Prismasilk Eye Color goes on like silk and has a smooth, finely-milled texture. Little Black Dress, a rich satin black, is so easy to use for a stunning smoky eye. I sometimes find black eyeshadow to be either too chalky or tough to blend with but this one melds beautifully with other colors. I can't wait to try other shades as this relatively new makeup line is showing tons of promise. 

Available at Sephora.com and Barneys New York. 

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

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Friday
Oct252013

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass just launched their Ambient Lighting Palette, a gorgeous trio of finishing powders for the holiday season. For an optimal application, a sample of the Veil Mineral Primer is included. The powders are free of parabens, talc, fragrance, nano-particles and gluten and the palette features a new limited-edition shade as well as two popular ones:

Incandescent Light (New): A pearlescent powder that highlights cheekbones and brightens the complexion. It's not too shimmery and I like to use a light layer under the eyes for a beautiful glow. It helps to mask dark circles and gives the eye area a brighter, vibrant look. I really hope they will make this color a part of the regular Ambient Lighting Powder collection after the holiday season!

Dim Light: A matte neutral peach beige that creates a radiant, warm complexion. This is a wonderful everyday powder to maintain a healthy visage, even under fluorescent lighting. It even helps to blur slight imperfection and reduce the appearance of large pores. 

Radiant Light: A golden beige powder that enhances the overall complexion with natural, subtle warmth. Ladies with fair skin can even use this as a contouring powder, but I love to use this as a light blush. It's my favorite of the three shades. I don't use finishing powders on a normal basis but I adore this color and formula so, so much.

Usage tips by Hourglass Makeup Artist Moani Lee:

“Using the Hourglass Ambient Powder Brush, dust Dim Light over the complexion but focus on the center of the face to soften imperfections. Follow by adding Radiant Light as a contour under cheekbones, on temples and on either side of the bridge of the nose to add a subtle warmth. Finish off with a light dusting of Incandescent Light on the tops of the cheekbones, under the brow, on the center of the eyelids, the bridge of the nose and the cupid’s bow to brighten the complexion and create a celestial glow. For deeper skin tones, test the product on your skin and make adjustments by mixing Radiant Light to add warmth.”

Available for $58 at www.hourglasscosmetics.com and www.sephora.com

For editorial consideration, a review sample was provided by the brand's PR representative.

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