.made with love in san francisco – be.spoke apothecary.

bespoke2Last week was the launch party for the new be.spoke modern apothecary sold exclusively at Beauty Company. Made with love in San Francisco, this paraben-free bath & body line boasts amazing fragrances (lemongrass is my absolute favorite), stellar results (silky smooth skin) and customizable labels –  which are simply beyond.

bespoke3Pick your potion – hand soap, body wash, bath salts or body lotion – and choose from three fragrances. The friendly staff will whip together your customized label. Perfect for “Happy Birthday!,” “Congratulations!” or simply, “Thinking of you, so-and-so,” these hand-written touches are such to please.

20130616-211039.jpgAs we all know, no party is complete without handmade, gourmet, fresh delicious waffles, right? Chrissy concocts the best batter in town, and his fresh waffle with whipped cream and apricot jam melts in your mouth.  Follow him here (seriously, you will want to know where he’s popping up next).

bespoke4Have you swung by Beauty Company for a sample of be.spoke yet? I”d love to hear your thoughts! Tell me in the comments below. In the meantime, I’ll be soaking with these new bath salts….

.forests are beautiful, and so are you.

Pacific Forest Trust, an SF-based nonprofit dedicated to preserving our country’s forests, is having a fundraiser! There are so many fabulous prizes to be won, but this ah-mazing deal at Benefit on Chestnut Street deserves a special mention on my blog (given all the beauty buffs who I know are reading).

Bid here on this beauty bash party, complete with champagne, services (including their infamous brow shaping) and enough spots for 8-10 of your best friends. Not only are you scoring a major discount (typically a $500 value!), but you’re also donating to a phenomenal cause – sustaining our nation’s beautiful wooded areas. Click here for the entire auction page (along with this spa day there is also art, dining, sporting equipment, weekend adventures and so much more).

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Click here to place your bid for this amazing deal!

.colored pencil dreams.

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Immediately stepping out of the salon today I felt the need to share my darling manicure. The creative nails pictured above are the result of a profound pin I discovered last night, though they were brought to life by the magic touch of nail technician Amy at Beauty Company on Polk Street. Not only did I fall nearly comatose during my warm lotion/warm towel arm massage, but Amy did a fab job of studying the pins on my phone and recreating the delicate look on my fingers.

Though the original pin served as inspiration, I incorporated my personal favorite nail shades (including Where’s My Chauffeur and Cheeky Chops among others). The result in what I coin “colored pencil” nails. The retro-chic throwback makes me smile, and the trendy-but-tame style slips perfectly into the workplace. Explore the beauty of Pinterest and share comments on the looks you recreate!

.vintage baubles.

moi contre la vie & sasha maks vintage, upper right corner

It’s no secret that I love me some Sasha Maks Vintage. Her hand-picked collection of vintage baubles is absolutely massive – seriously, she has something for every style. Sasha has an impeccable eye for vintage jewelry. While she has pieces from all throughout the 20th century, her eclectic selection is heavily focused on 60’s-70’s Pop and Mod styles (think YSL, Chanel and Dior).

Last week SMV hosted a trunk show at Mike Page Style Lab, which is a beautiful salon downtown on Post and Jones. I’ve collaborated with owner Michael on a couple different fashion events and I simply love working with him – and his amazing space! BTW, if you’re craving some beautiful hair, he is definitely the man to see.

stunning jewels & lovely shoppers

The event also had makeup styling and rockstar giftbags  from another fabulous local business, Beauty Company. It was a night filled with all my favorite things! When you check out Sasha’s website remember she also does views by appointment: meaning you get one-on-one time with the expert herself. I promise you, there is NO better selection of vintage jewels in the Bay Area!

.fashion bloggers connect @ jyjz.

Carmen, Kyle (owner), Arleen

Carmen, Kyle (co-owner), Arleen

Tonight I attended the Fashion Bloggers Connect event at retail space JYJZ (located inside Westfield Mall on the 4th floor near Bloomindales under the dome). It was my first time in this shop and I loved it! The event was well attended by local San Francisco fashion bloggers and the buzz in the store sparked my interest in their concept.

"Puurfect" cardigan

“Puurfect” cardigan

JYJZ (which are the intials of the twin brother owners) is an Asian/European fusion boutique with a dash of California style. Their designs are sourced largely from their own line Franco. Franco is a collaboration of independent Korean designers and the talented team of JYJZ, who all work together to tweak the Korean designs for an American market.

Funky print + bead sweater paired with jacket

Funky print + bead sweater paired with jacket

Merchandising Manager Arleen mentioned that oftentimes customers may ask for particular styles: sheer tops, printed maxis, cropped jackets, etc. JYJZ make these recommendations to the Asian designers for inspiration. Sometimes they take new Korean designs and change them slightly (increase the length, etc.) until they achieve perfection.

JYJZ staffer Joy in their label Franco

JYJZ staffer Joy in their label Franco

JYJZ also sources clothes from the major Asian label Lily. With 400 stores in Asia (holy Toledo!) and 10 in Europe, think of it as the Forever21 of on these continents. JYJZ is the first USA store to carry Lily, which is a major milestone.

Fall in love...

Fall in love…

Lucky for the customer, Lily does not have the huge following in America as it does across the globe – meaning JYJZ sells their Lily frocks at major discount. I spotted darling cocktail dresses for $36, trendy beret-style winter hats for $28 and patterned leggings for $16. Score!

Sequins + fringe purse, swoon!

Sequins + fringe purse, swoon!

Another Asian brand carried at JYJZ is Saba, whose designs were some of my particular favorites. American & European designers also exist in the shop including in LA-based company Teenplo and Europe’s Only Clothing, Vera Moda and Max C, all three of Asos fame. The combo of primarily Asian/European influence with an American twist provides a great selection of clothing and accessories for all types of fashionistas.

Sewing machine jewelry display

Sewing machine jewelry display

JYJZ also contains accessories (note the delightful hats and hairbows below) including slightly-naughty gifts: suggestive wine stoppers, bottle openers and piggy banks line the back counter. The eclectic mix of these reasonably-priced items are make adorable, unique gift ideas.

Love the burnt-orange hat!

Love the burnt-orange hat!

The more I browsed around JYJZ the more gems I discovered. I highly suggest making a trip to Westfield to stroll around and see what goodies you come across. Leave your comments below and tell me what you found!

.sparkling ‘tree of life’ inspiration.

Bright colors, unusually-shaped stones and crisp lines are prevalent themes of high-end costume jewelry. Often evoking a Far East sentiment, this jewelry was largely inspired by the Indian Moghul “Tree of Life” designs from the 1920’s & 1930’s. Cartier was especially well-known for recreating these colorful designs. Oftentimes called the “Tutti Frutti” or “Fruit Salad” style, Cartier’s style contained bright gemstones and flower/leaves engravings. Click here to see more images.

The beautiful demi-parure pictured above (meaning two coordinating pieces intended to wear together) is inspired by the Tree of Life design. These vintage pieces were sourced in Madrid, and the bracelet is exceptionally flexible (each two-leaf segment accented with a pavé marquise design is a separate link).

Both the earrings and bracelet contain an intricate leaf pattern, similar to Cartier’s Tutti Frutti style. Each red and green leaf is colored glass and each gold leaf is carved. These pieces are believed to be from the 1960’s and are undoubtedly one of a kind. Find these pieces at Sasha Maks Vintage’s trunk show this Wednesday, November 14th at Mike Page Style Lab 664 Post Street (at Jones), San Francisco from 6-9pm. Click here to view the invitation.

This sparkling set is absolutely perfect for the holidays. Amp up your Yuletide cheer with these (and many other) unique, beautiful vintage pieces at the trunk show. I look forward to seeing you there – I will certainly be stocking up on baubles (and bubbles!) myself. Come say hi and tell me what you think of this blog…and the beautiful jewels!

.cutest eye glasses, ever.

I’ve been a specs-clad gal for 23+ years. I’ve tried every imaginable frame: starting with large, bright red frames in kindergarten; followed by round, silver Tommy Hilfiger (claim to fame at the time!) glasses of junior high; ending with Warby Parker hipster/nerd thick-rimmed goggles I’ve sported in the 21st century.

There are many advantages to wearing glasses: sexy librarian look, instantly assumed intellectual look, exasperated pushing-up-your-glasses-and-rolling-your-eyes expression; added accessory when your jewelry just ain’t cutting it.

Unfortunately the disadvantages include constantly needing eye wear to perform everyday tasks. Often your glasses get foggy, or sunlight blinds you, or you try to go for a run and they bounce so horribly you become nauseous. On top of that, some outfits just look better without frames.

Being nearly blind myself, I love my contacts for the reasons above. Either I’m working out, spending the day in the sun or I’m dolled up for the night and want to ditch the specs. Other than that, you’ll find me wearing glasses.

The good news about the list above – modern technology has solved 99% of these problems. Check out these simply adorbz prescription sunglasses (above) from SEE eyewear. You’d never guess they came with an RX! Additionally you can get transitional lenses (great for us runners going from sunshine to shade), anti-glare technology (can’t recommend enough!) and the prescription sunnies. One of SEE’s best features is their  hip culture; you know whatever you choose is going to be trendy (and a perfect compliment to any dressed up outfit).

I was thrilled to nab a pair of frames from SEE eyewear on Market Street in San Francisco this week. I learned of the shop through the event with Mondo from Project Runway All-Stars, and as soon as I stepped foot in the door I was in love.

Their frames are *truly* unique as a limited number of each pair is produced. This is so exciting to a glasses wearer; the fact I won’t see a dozen other people in San Francisco running around wearing my glasses is swoon-worthy. I went in for a consultation, and Lindsey and Leo (pictured above) were simply amazing in helping me pick out the perfect pair of glasses. I wandered towards many different pairs, but they each brought an expert eye and broke down the vision for me. Tips included: watching where the frame hits your brow arch; paying attention to where to the bridge of your glasses hits your nose; minding shape of the frames verses shape of the eye.

I ended up with the purple frames above. I am obsessed with them!! Since receiving them less than a week ago I have worn them nearly every day. I have learned to plan my outfits around my statement frames, and they way they fit my face makes them a flawless accessory. They came in just a couple days, which was perfect because I was impatient! I am so happy I went with the anti-glare lenses because these glasses are so clear and crisp.

SEE eyewear’s slogan is “Hip Without the Rip” and it couldn’t ring more true. Their frames are reasonably priced, shamelessly trendy and the customer service is phenomenal. In 6 days I have recommended them to friends, family…and random strangers who come up and tell me how cute my glasses are. Now run, don’t walk, to Market Street. Your eyes will thank you!