Why Working at Sephora is Fun

Today I felt like sharing a little snapshot into my work day. This beautiful assortment of new “La Laque Couture” nail lacquers  from YSL, launching on Sephora.com next week, just landed on my desk.

I’m fully on board with the hot-as-ever nail art trend and obsessed with all the intense, bright colors for summer I’m seeing everywhere–from the runway to our office. These quick-drying formulas are strengthening, the colors are pigment-rich, and they go on easily with the wide brush. Plus, these golden bottles look so lovely and luxurious, I am compelled at the moment to use them as cubicle installation art.

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Best SF Financial District Beauty Deal: Robert James Color Salon “Happy Hour, Happy Hair” Fridays

Summer and Friday Happy Hour seem to go hand in hand, and this season that ideal time of day has gotten even sweeter. For the beauty buff seeking the ultimate in efficiency—gal-pal bonding, something bubbly, and much-needed after-work pampering—Robert James Color Salon in San Francisco has launched a new “Happy Hour, Happy Hair” promo.

Robert James Color Salon. Photo by Moanalani Jeffrey.

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Summer Beauty Obsession: Laline’s Exfoliating Dead Sea Salt Body Scrub

Despite the pending change of seasons and sunnier skies ahead, my hands and cuticles seem to be perpetually stuck with the winter blues. Rough and dry from my obsessive hand-washing habit and battered from my constant tapping on the keyboard, my dehydrated digits could use some serious TLC.

Laline’s Dead Sea Salt scrubs. All photos by Alex Akamine.

Laline’s Beauty and the Beach Summer Kick-Off event in San Francisco couldn’t have come at a better time, if only to introduce me to the boutique brand’s signature Dead Sea Salt Body Scrub—now my go-to product for soothing parched and flaky skin.

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New Beauty Obsession: Julep Nail Polish

It’s Friday and close to the magic happy hour, which prompted me to paint my nails at my desk at work. This isn’t as radical as it sounds when you work as an editor at Sephora, where I’ve witnessed coworkers curling each other’s hair with the latest Sultra hot tool in the aisles, or applying Paperself paper eyelashes in the conference rooms. The nail lacquer fumes wafting from various cubicles seems downright normal around here!

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New Beauty Obsession: L’Oreal Professionel Mythic Oil

With the sheer number of new beauty products that land on my desk at Sephora each day, something has to have that total wow factor to get me excited enough to blog about it. There are plenty of new products, and plenty of very good new products. But then there are those rare products that I fall in love with, obsess over, and must share with everyone I know.

L’Oreal Professional’s new Mythic Oil is one of those amazing newcomers—and it’s not even sold at Sephora (though I really wish it was!). I first discovered it covering backstage beauty in September at the Jenny Packham show during New York Fashion Week and have been using it daily ever since.

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For trendy lush eyelash look, the options abound

As seen in the San Francisco Chronicle September 18, 2011

Lashfully Lounge in Cow Hollow district, SF. Photo courtesy of Lashfully

Nerissa Pacio Itchon, Special to The Chronicle

 
Call it the Kim Kardashian effect.

National mascara sales are on the upswing; salons specializing in lash extensions are hitting critical mass; doctor’s offices and cosmetics companies are finding big business in lash growth serums; and semi-permanent mascaras are picking up steam, proving that women are willing to try almost anything to achieve the lush, defined, cheek-grazing lashes that the reality TV stars have helped usher in as the beauty standard for the Tinseltown set.

“It all started with the media and celebrities endorsing prescription Latisse,” says Liv Contreras, a veteran licensed aesthetician and co-owner of Lashfully beauty lounge in the Cow Hollow district. “Then the Kardashians were the ones to really bling out lashes, making strip lashes, extensions and the whole lash trend even more popular.”

As Hollywood-averse as San Franciscans may seem, city dwellers have been quick to jump on the lash bandwagon. Lashfully, which Contreras opened almost 10 months ago with former client Matana LePlae, is one of at least a dozen lash-centric salons that have popped up recently in San Francisco, feeding the growing demand for lash enhancements.

Since the opening of Lash Lab nearly two years ago, bookings at the Cow Hollow salon have doubled to an average of eight to 10 clients per day, says 31-year-old owner Judy Anderson. Her team of five full-time licensed aestheticians focuses solely on lash extensions, and appointments fill up nearly four weeks in advance.

Although lash extensions have been around for decades, the service is starting to go mainstream with increasingly more options available. For women willing to spend the time and the money, it remains a popular, if not a downright luxurious, service.

When done properly, the painstaking process requires a licensed aesthetician to use precision-point needle tweezers and medical-grade glue to attach synthetic, animal or real human hair extensions to each lash. Devotees say the results are worth it.

“I love getting a look I can’t get by simply using mascara,” says Elena Greco, director of brand relations at San Francisco-based online beauty community Beautylish, who visits a salon for lash extensions every two to three weeks. “Also, I like the option of waking up and walking out the door without having to apply eye makeup.”

To read the rest of this story, go to the Sunday Style section on sfgate.com.

Parachuting into New York Fashion Week: Backstage and Beyond

I parachuted into New York Fashion Week on Saturday, with the Spring/Summer 2012  shows already under way. So far, the collections I’ve seen have proven to be playful, exciting, and colorful—all that you’d expect from the season.

Backstage tonight at Marc by Marc Jacobs.

 

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Elie Saab’s Le Parfum Sneak Preview at Vogue Party

On Tuesday night, I got a sneak preview of haute couture designer Elie Saab’s debut women’s fragrance at an elegant launch party hosted by Vogue. The private event at the Clift Hotel drew an intimate crowd of local fashion, beauty, media and PR reps who sat down in the Spanish Suite to view a 20-minute film about the Lebanese designer’s behind-the-scenes work on the runway and the making of his first parfum.

After the film, in dramatic form, models accessorized in Elie Saab statement jewelry unveiled oversized bottles of “the juice” and presented each guest with a white grosgrain ribbon spritzed with the signature scent. Two lucky guests also walked away with the jewelry, which was raffled off as prizes.

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Melissa and Catie Grimm grow boutique from the ground up

In addition to running Carrots in San Francisco, sisters Melissa (left) and Catie Grimm write the blog Carrot Talk, where they mix their passions for fashion and food. Photography by Russell Yip / The Chronicle

As seen in the San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nerissa Pacio Itchon, Special to The Chronicle

One look at the Grimm sisters’ blog Carrot Talk, and it’s obvious that their love of food and fashion go hand in hand.

As scions of the Central Valley Grimmway baby carrots empire and co-owners of Jackson Square’s aptly named Carrots boutique, Melissa and Catie Grimm pepper posts about their latest designer discoveries with ebullient food musings – from restaurant raves to gourmet recipes they’ve tried at home.

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Beauty Product Giveaway: John Frieda’s New Full Repair Collection

Courtesy of John Frieda

I’ve been a loyal user of John Frieda haircare for years. As much as I love my salon brands, and, of course, the exclusive hair launches we have at Sephora, nothing beats the thrill of finding a budget-friendly product at the drugstore that actually works.

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