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Thursday
Sep182014

Finds of the Week: Beklina

Fall is a great time to jazz up your wardrobe and inject it with some new finds. Maybe you've always been shy of prints, or color was never your thing. Maybe you need a new sweater and you don't want it to be black or white. We've taken some guess work out of your fall fashion shopping trip this season and found four of our favorite new items. These are all from Beklina.com, an online shopping destination located in our hometown of Santa Cruz, Calif. And, if you're passing through the Bay Area and have the time, you must make a stop at the studio to visit and check out all the goods that owner Angelina Rennell has so finely curated. Just shoot her a note here to swing by.

Here are some of our favorite things for fall from Beklina.com: Edith A. Miller Polka Dot Tee, $70 / Collaged Bar Necklace, $180 / Apiece Apart Sweater, $490 / Apiece Apart Trouser, $390.

Wednesday
Sep172014

Skin Deep

Parabens, bithionol, formaldehyde, oh my! The ingredient list on some of today’s cosmetics can be harder to read, let alone understand, than a college exam. I saw a quote floating around the web recently that encapsulated the problem with the complexity of ingredients: “If you don’t recognize an ingredient, your body won’t either.” Enter The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. This handy online portal takes all of the overwhelming information and distills it into a user-friendly, navigable guide to what to avoid and why. You can search by product (they have rated more than 69,000), scan quick tips on skin safety, or learn the truth behind some prevailing cosmetics myths. Now with a smartphone app, Skin Deep is easier than ever to consult while perusing the beauty section at your local store. Healthier choices mean healthier bodies—skin is, after all, the body’s largest organ. Skin Deep makes the task of caring for this all-important organ much less stressful.

Tuesday
Sep162014

An eyeliner You can't look away from

For a long time, I've been buying cheap eyeliner at the drugstore, but it always crumbled apart or was just plain ineffective. After doing some research on finding a good replacement, all I could track down were pricey eyeliners from designer brands.

It has always seemed to me that of all makeup products, you just shouldn't spend that much money on eyeliner. So, I took a field trip to Sephora to find an affordable, effective, pretty new eyeliner. After rummaging through many options, I found my match: Sephora's own Nano Eyeliner that sells for just $5 per pencil. Since they were affordable, I purchased two, in order to try out some new shades: chocolate (instead of my typical black) and plum to bring out the green in my hazel eyes. Bottom line: excellent eyeshadow at a more than affordable price.

Monday
Sep152014

Indie City: Dealtry

Indie City is a monthly column featuring unique independent designers and artisans, and written by Sydney Pfaff, owner of LEGION in San Francisco.

There are a handful of lines out there that feel more like fine art to me than just clothing or accessories. One that never ceases to amaze me is Dealtry. An artist at heart, Helen Dealtry hand paints beautiful designs, mixing abstract shapes with geometric patterns, and then digitally prints them on scarves. And these aren't just any scarves—they're an ultra-lightweight blend of cashmere and modal. Though they're light in weight, they're large enough to wrap two or three times, making them suitable for any season (especially in places like San Francisco, where women are more than likely to stash a scarf in their purse on any given day, no matter the season). 

Helen's new fall line is the most amazing yet, in my opinion. She gravitated towards black or beige backgrounds with pops of neon pink and yellow, and hints of red, purple, and blue. A couple of them have floral motifs, but she manages to mix in lines and grids to perfectly balance the abstract and geometric themes. There are four new designs for fall and we're lucky enough to have each of them at Legion.

Sydney Pfaff is a San Francisco-based shop owner (www.legionsf.com) and freelance writer (www.sydneypfaff.com). 

Friday
Sep122014

Our New Must-Have Lipstick

Lipsticks are like the shoes of the makeup world. They're easy to put on and instantly make an outfit. So after happily wearing my fuschia balm stain all summer and enjoying the power of the hot pink pucker, I was ready for a new shade when I felt autumn approaching.

I wanted to go in a completely different direction and as my 4-year-old played with nail polishes at Whole Foods, I quickly scanned the lip items. I narrowed it down to a few brands that come in a stick and I settled on Mineral Fusion Sheer Moisture Lip Tint in Flicker. It's a soft pink that's a bit deeper than my own natural lip color and it goes on smooth with just the right amount of slip.

It's moisturizing, stays on and has a pleasant taste. At $10 it's an easy bet I will be going back for more shades. The only negative is the cap is not strong. It broke almost immediately in my pocket. (Yes, I carry my lipsticks in my pocket most of the time, and they should be able to withstand body heat and being somewhat battered by keys.)

This lip tint passes most of my tests with flying colors. Bonus points for being vegetarian, gluten free, cruelty free, and having no artificial colors. Available at Whole Foods and mineralfusion.com