Fragrances with mystery and history: L’Heure Bleue, Givrine, Parfum de Therese

My favorite perfumes by Esme Vos on The subject of perfume is a difficult one to write about because it’s very personal, like religion. A scent can transport one to the Garden of Eden, but send another hurtling down into the depths of Hades. The reality is that each person’s skin reacts differently to […]

Favorite Fall 2009 eyeshadow palettes

It seems a bit early to be thinking about autumn makeup colors, especially if you’re still baking in the sun. But August is the month when we get the much awaited September issues of our favorite fashion magazines and they’re filled with clothes and accessories, as well as makeup suggestions, for the upcoming season. This […]

Recession special: top 5 affordable cleansers for the face

Although economists and politicians keep pointing to “green shoots” of joy spreading through the economy, few of us are feeling optimistic enough to begin splurging on beauty products. I have trimmed my beauty budget and searched for drugstore alternatives to the expensive department store brands. It was a very illuminating search. For one thing, I […]

Contouring the Face

  Looking at the Fall/Winter fashion shows, one of the beauty trends that came out was the return of facial shaping using makeup. The contoured faces at Marc Jacobs and Chloe may seem extreme, but they give direction to new trends in make-up. When you think of contouring your face with make-up images of 1980s […]

Recession-friendly beauty: Almay Pure Blends

For many women, the days of spending $40 on a bottle of foundation or $25 on blush are over, at least temporarily. Many of us are discovering the joys or horrors of shopping for cosmetics in the local drugstore. Unfortunately, the average American drugstore is hopeless: the choices are bewildering and the displays are utterly […]

Cottage Garden Therapies: affordable luxurious bath and body products

The hardest things to give up during these difficult times are your favorite luxury bath and body products. If you used to think nothing about dropping $65 on Fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Polish, which is a favorite among many women. But what if I told you that you could buy a sugar body polish that […]

Space NK opens mini-shop in Bloomingdales SF

Space NK, one of my favorite beauty stores in London, has just opened a mini-shop in Bloomingdales’s downtown San Francisco location. Space NK was founded by Nicky Kinnaird in the mid-1990s in London. They specialize in hard-to-find skin care products and fragrances (including candles). I’ve been to Space NK’s lovely Nottinghill Gate spa many times […]

Recession special: my Clarins night cream 50% off on Ebay

In the winter, I like using Clarins Raffermisante Nuit (Extra Firming Night Cream) because my skin is drier. The cream sells for $85 at Nordstroms. So on the advice of a good friend, I decided to shop for it on Ebay. I bought it on Ebay for $38.50 including shipping. That’s 50% less than the […]