Inspired Lashes

I had such a fun time the other evening. I attended a delightful shu uemura cocktail party at their San Francisco boutique. It was a birthday celebration of the first shu uemura boutique that opened in Tokyo 26 years ago. The event featured the stunning new Lashes in Nature Collection. shu uemura comes out with the most amazing false lashes. They take lashes to the next level and then some, with brilliant creativity and high-impact drama.

Lashes in Nature Collection

The Lashes in Nature Collection includes nine sets of lashes designed by four makeup masters inspired by flowers, forests, oceans, and sky. The showstoppers are the four extravagant “premium” sets – works of art that definitely make a statement. Each pair is $79.

Fleur-Ever (top) emulates the tail of a bird with exotic purple plumage accented with white flecking. There are petal-like forms inside the lashes meant to evoke a bouquet of peonies. The designer says these “exude feminity and are the ultimate expression of one’s individuality.” This set is one of my favorites. These reminded me of both flowers and butterfly wings.

Goldglam Leaf (second from top) is handcrafted with real skeleton leaves drenched in glimmering gold (how cool is that?). This set features transparent crystals evocative of droplets of morning dew. This is also one of my favorites. I love how they put the lashes just on the bottom and accented the model’s skin with lots of gold and bronze.

Marine Tide (second from bottom) features a unique curl design to echo the undulating roll of the ocean’s tidal cycle. These lashes are woven with a variety of shades of blue – from sky blue to deep turquoise – and accented with a sprinkling of white foam.

Snow Twist (bottom) includes delicate clusters of tiny, translucent crystals evocative of snow. Each lash is made from thin, milky white wires. There are frosted pink teardrop crystals along the lower lashes.

The five other sets in the collection (three are pictured below) are more affordable ($18-$29) and less dramatic but still highly unique. They include decorative “statement” and everyday “accent” lashes. My favorites are the Lavender Bloom ($29, below on left), which are purple-toned lashes made of soft, fur-like materials, and the Farfallina ($29, below in the middle), which have triple layers of brown and black tones with different levels of curl and longer lashes toward the outer edge. I also love the super cute Mini Star Glitz set ($22, below on right) with its twinkling stars.

The collection is available at shu uemura boutiques and counters nationwide, and at

For a Limited Time

Each year, shu uemura introduces a beauty item to celebrate their anniversary. This year they’ve come out with a limited-edition compact (in center of display shown below) that fits four eye shadows or two eye shadows and a blush, or two blushes.

The compact is complimentary when you purchase the products to fill it. There are 75 shadows and 30 Glow On Blushes to choose from. The special compact is available at shu uemura boutiques in Boston, San Francisco, Costa Mesa, and online at This special appears to be available at other stores. I saw it at a Nordstrom in San Francisco, too.

Do Tell

Do you have any shu uemura lashes? What do you think of the new collection? Where would you wear them? Do tell.

How to Tame Your Wild Bangs

I have fine hair that blows in the wind. Or, even minor changes in the movement of air, my hair will move. I guess that’s great for some things, but for having bangs, wild hair has its disadvantages. For years, I had no idea what my bangs would do as soon as I stepped out the door. So, I talked to my hairdresser about my issue, and he gave me some inspirations. He didn’t tell me to do what I do, but he did make a recommendation that inspired me to try this method of taming my wild bangs.

Hint: It’s all in the roots.


On Career Changes & Sustainability: Amour Vert

When it comes to fashion, we all know about the guilt. No, I’m not talking about spending money we should be saving. I’m talking about sustainability. Now, I haven’t been the best when it comes to only getting sustainable brands, though I’m becoming more conscious about the clothes I do buy over time. Opting for quality as much as possible. But I’m not going to lie, how much something costs does affect my choices as much as anything else (that also goes for buying cheap things that fall apart after a few wears– turning out to be expensive in the end.)

However, there are brands that have sustainability in mind without that extra price tag. That hit that sweet spot between great quality and price that’s not sooo precious ($80-$275).

San Francisco based Amour Vert is a brand that has hit that sweet spot. Amour Vert started  by Linda Balti and Christoph Frehsee in their living room in 2010 to be carried by Nieman Marcus, Shopbop, Bloomingdales and Piperlime, and earlier this month, they opened their first brick and mortar store in Hayes Valley San Francisco.   With a range of every day Contemporary clothes, you can style the label’s pieces into your wardrobe, even if the rest of your clothes aren’t eco-friendly. (Guilty!)

(Linda Balti)

Linda Balti the creative force behind the brand (Christoph is the business savvy) was once a computer science engineer for a defense company. She missed working with people and wanted to do something creative, at the same time Christoph, and entrepreneur just sold a company and they both decided to tour the world to figure things out. During that time Christoph applied to the Stanford MBA program and got in, and Linda upon reading an article in Newsweek about how fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, decided she wanted to change the way she dressed. Back in 2008/2009, the eco-fashion movement was really just starting to get out of their hippie stage, and Linda noticed there weren’t many brands making clothes she liked to wear everyday.

“I started because I had a need, but I didn’t know if anyone else felt like I did. It was super exciting to see retailers responding to her product. Because at the end of the day, who needs another fashion brand?”~ Linda Balti

Sustainability is in the DNA of the brand. Amour Vert’s fabrics are produced in Los Angeles, even the fibers are original in content to the brand. Linda mixes wood pulp and organic cotton and finds low-impact dyes and vegetable based-dyes which create a unique texture to the fabrics. The softness of the fabric, I can attest to, the tee-shirt are stretchy and super soft! The clothes are produced in San Francisco. Not many people realize that this town is home to over 100 sewing factories, once home to  The Gap and Levi’s.

Visit them online at or if you’re in town, visit the shop at 437 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

(Me ogling a cropped trench above, and rocking a look in Amour Vert below.)

Top photo via Racked SF, all other photos by my secret friend

Three Excellent Tinted Lip Balms

I used to be a huge lipstick junky. Wearing bright red, bright orange, hot pink, bold any color. Then, I don’t know what happened, but all I wanted was a perfect “nude” or effortless makeup. I’d like to blame it on the baby, but, it was before the baby.

Being a nude lipstick newbie, I have to say that it wasn’t easy finding the perfect shade of “nude.” All the nude lipsticks made me look sick, or they were boring, or they were just plain “off.” I had found a few lipsticks that I liked ok, but nothing I really loved. Then one day at brunch, Natalie from Coquette showed me her Clarins tinted lip balm crayon. I knew then that lip balm was exactly what I wanted. Something with just enough color to not look sick, but not so much that it said, “Hey, I’m wearing lipstick!”

I went out and bought the Clarins crayon, but wanted more colors, and to try out more formulas. Don’t ask why, I’m just a nerd like that. I went to Walgreens and found the Revlon version of the Clarins crayon, in a more sheer “natural” color. This balm is the closest to nude I’ve ever really liked. It’s barely there, but it moisturizes and stays on really well. I would almost go as far as to say it stays on just as long as the Clarins but at $7.99, a fraction of the price.

Finally, while researching tinted lip balms, the Burt’s Bee’s tinted lip balm kept popping up on the forums. Some were saying that it was a “dupe” to cult favorite Clinique’s Black Honey Almost Lipstick. Do you remember Black Honey? Well, like everything in the 90′s it’s made a comeback, and for a fraction of the price, you can take a trip down memory lane just by using Burt’s Bees. I like this one because it has a dewy texture and sheer color that you can build up. Also, it is great for moisturizing your lips.

Sorry to show you my mug so close, but here are the different lip balms on my face, so you can see the difference..

First up, Clarins Lip Balm Crayon, Delicious Plum ($20): Even color, rich texture. Gentle scent and flavor, so you’re not tempted to lick it off.

Next is the Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm, Rose ($6.99): Ultra sheer color, which I actually really like. It somehow looks more natural.

Revlon Color Burst Tinted Balm, Inguene ($9.49): The most nude lip balm, but actually stays on quite well.

Are you into tinted lip balms? Which are your favorites? Do share!