A Labor-Free Labor Day in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park

Published in: Daily Beauty

The Salmon Ochazuke at B Star Restaurant in San Francisco

The Salmon Ochazuke at B Star restaurant, 127 Clement St. in San Francisco

Yesterday I was in the mood to get out of dodge for a while, otherwise known as Novato, so we left Tabs in charge of the office and headed to the city.

We ended up in one of my favorite San Francisco neighborhoods, Clement Street in the Inner Richmond. I lived right around there when I worked in downtown SF, and I’ve always had a soft spot for the area (El Hub and I actually met for the very first time on the sidewalk in front of a great local bookstore on Clement St. called Green Apple). It’s a very old and diverse neighborhood, with lots of mom-and-pop stores and a big Asian population.

And a TON of great restaurants.

We were craving rice and turned to Yelp, which directed us to B Star restaurant’s Burmese-Asian fusion.

The Salmon Ochazuke at B Star Restaurant in San Francisco

I had the Salmon Ochazuke — Japanese style comfort food with pan fried rice, green tea broth (yup, they poured the tea over it right in front of me), poached egg, pickled mustard green, lotus, hijiki, green onion and pickled plum.

The Tuna Don from B Star Restaurant in San Francisco

El Hub had the Tuna Don.

The Tuna Don from B Star Restaurant in San Francisco

Tuna Don — seared tuna, gingered rice, scallions, pickled ginger, hijiki, daikon sprouts, sunny-side egg, furikake and avocado

Lychee Iced Tea at B Star

Lychee Iced Tea

Lychee Iced Tea at B Star

With actual lychees, yum!

After lunch and a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood, we zipped over to Golden Gate Park and Stow Lake, where we rented a paddle boat for an hour.

Incidentally, it was about a million times easier than the 4-hour kayaking adventure on Lake Tahoe last month, OMG!

If you’re ever in Golden Gate Park when the weather’s nice, oh! — you gotta try it. It’s easy enough for people of all ages (we even saw an older gentleman with a walker getting his paddle boat on), and they have boats for 2-6 people, as well as canoes (which are a little harder to maneuver).

Paddle boating on Stow Lake in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park

Paddle boating on Stow Lake in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park

Paddle boating on Stow Lake in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park

A turtle chillin' on Stow Lake in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park

Turtle power! A hero in a half-shell…

Paddle Boating Stow Lake

Haaaay!

Three LUSH Bestsellers Get a Makeover: Introducing the New Self-Preserving Dream Cream, Ocean Salt and Mask of Magnaminty

Published in: Lush, Skin Care

Lush Ocean Salt

The new LUSH Self-Presrving Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub ($35.95 for an 8.8-oz jar), one of three newly reformulated LUSH best-sellers

Next time you happen to pass within 100 yards of a LUSH store and catch yourself breathing deeply of its fragrant aroma (“ah…”), I encourage you to follow your nose and stop by.

The company just reformulated a few of its most popular products, making them from hence forth “self-preserving.”

LUSH Dream Cream Hand and Body Lotion, Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub and Mask of Magnaminty Face and Back Pack are now all “self-preserving.”

New Lush Self-Preserving Products

The new LUSH Self-Preserving products

Lush Self-Preserving Ocean Salt

Self-Preserving Ocean Salt

Lush Self-Preserving Dream Cream

Self-Preserving Dream Cream

Lush Mask of Magnaminty

Self-Preserving Mask of Magnaminty

So — self-preserving — what does that actually mean?

Well, it’s LUSH lingo for “We reformulated a few of our bestselling products to make them more natural.”

LUSH removed the synthetic preservatives, which were already pretty minimal (small amounts of methylparaben and proplyparaben), according to LUSH product trainer Jeff Brown, and replaced them with preservatives that the average person can actually pronounce, like honey, clay, cocoa butter, vegetable glycerin and sea salt…and tofu (say wha?!).

They also reduced the water content in the products, which they did to discourage bacterial growth. Less water means less space for microorganisms to multiply.

Dream Cream is $26.95 for an 8.4-oz. jar; Ocean Salt is $21.95 for a 4.2-oz. jar and $35.95 for an 8.8-oz. jar; and Mask of Magnaminty is $12.95 for a 4.4-oz jar and $24.95 for a 11.1-oz. jar. All three products are available now at LUSH counters, stores and online at lushusa.com.

(read more…)

Sonia Kashuk’s Chic Defining Contour Stick, a Near-Dupe for the NARS Cappadoce Matte Multiple, Saves Dollars While Defining Cheekbones

Published in: Sonia Kashuk

Sonia Kashuk Chic Defining Stick

The new $10.99 Sonia Kashuk Chic Defining Stick

Ring-a-ling! Ring-a-ling!

I’ll get it! That’s the sound of the NARS dupe alert. :)

In this case, it’s chiming for Sonia Kashuk’s new $10.99 Chic Defining Contour Stick, a near dupe of my beloved (but MUCH more expensive) $39 NARS Cappadoce Matte Multiple.

Sonia Kashuk Chic Defining Stick

The Sonia Kashuk Chic Defining Stick ($10.99)

Both baked golden brown cream sticks have a matte finish (here are swatches of NARS Cappadoce), and both of them can quickly sculpt cheekbones that would rival Johnny Depp’s circa the O.G. 21 Jump Street era.

Both of them are also easy to blend on bare skin or atop foundation — probably due to how lightweight and thin they are, which is great, because it keeps my skin from feeling like it’s suffocating under an inch of plaster.

Sonia Kashuk Chic Defining Stick Swatch

Where the two differ, most obviously, is price ($10.99 versus $39), but also in the shape of the tip. The Multiple’s is huskier, wider and flatter, and it covers more surface area while sitting flush against the skin, whereas the tip on Sonia’s Chic Defining Stick has a slightly smaller (but still husky), rounded, more precise tip that seems to fit the space under my cheekbones a bit better.

Sonia Kashuk Chic Defining Stick Before and After

Sonia’s Chic Defining Stick on bare skin (just under-eye concealer, brow filler, mascara and gloss)

(read more…)

How Old Were You When You Got Your First Makeover at a Counter? Tell Me About It.

Published in: Just For Fun

Time for a trip down memory lane

Time for a trip down memory lane…

The year was 1989.

Saved by the Bell was in its inaugural season (Zack and Kelly 4 ever!), and I was just a wee lass of 14, but because I was a freshman in high school, of course I thought I was all grown up and mature.

LOL!

Little did I know…

That fall my mom took me on my very first trip to a makeup counter. It was Clinique.

It’s one of my fondest makeup memories, and one of my favorite memories with my mom, because she’s never been a real makeup person at all, but she did it for me.

I was devouring teen magazines at the time and scouring them for makeup tips and stuff (oh, to live in the time before beauty blogs) when one day, on the drive to school, my mom asked me if I was interested in going to get some makeup.

Uh…of course I said yes. :)

So, that weekend we went to a Clinique counter at the Newpark Mall. I picked out a blush, an eyeshadow (’twas pink and blue… So late ’80s!), a lipstick and a foundation.

No mascara, though, because my mom deemed it “too mature.”

Not to be overly dramatic…but that trip kind of changed my life. Before that trip to the Clinique counter, I was forced to sneak and wear makeup on the down-low because my parents were very strict.

Finally, I didn’t have to sneak around anymore, and it was pure joy. The makeup floodgates opened. I could finally express myself without hiding.

Your turn! How old were you when you got your first makeover at a counter? Tell me about it.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

P.S. I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day, babe. Ours was nice. We spent the afternoon in the city at Golden Gate Park, and I did something new, too. El Hub and I rented a paddleboat and tooled around Stow Lake, which I don’t remember ever even seeing before (and I lived right next to the park for a couple years!). It was quite a fun day.

Feed Parched Paws Rhubarb & Roses: Molton Brown London Rhubarb & Rose Replenishing Hand Cream

Published in: Daily Photo

Molton Brown London Rhubarb & Rose Replenishing Hand Cream

Surprise! — Molton Brown London’s Rhubarb & Rose Replenishing Hand Cream ($15) smells neither like roses nor rhubarb, even though it does contain the extracts of both botanicals.

That said, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the brand had attempted said wacky scent combo and managed to pull it off. They are, after all, the gang behind Paradisiac Pink Pepperpod, which seemed to me like it would smell, I dunno, funky and spicy, but somehow — don’t ask me how — it totally worked.

To my basset hound-like sense of smell, Rhubarb & Rose hand cream evokes fancy fizzy citrus cocktails. It has notes of yuzu (a citrus fruit originally from East Asia), grapefruit and mandarin. My schnoz also picks up a hint of sweet champagne. The concoction is very crisp and invigorating.

Quite the pick-me-up when I wear it.

The moisturizing cream also doesn’t coat my claws with an annoying sticky or greasy film, and it’s always quick to absorb.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the pink tube is cute. :)

There’s even a matching hand wash which, not gonna lie, I’m kind of obsessed with.

“Why?” you may ask.

Well…because it comes with a pink bow.

I’m a hand cream junkie (I always, ALWAYS, have one in my purse, and another one on my desk) and this one is my current crush. A 1.4-oz. tube of Rhubarb & Rose Replenishing Hand Cream will set you back $15, and you can find it now at Neiman Marcus stores and online.

Molton Brown London Rhubarb & Rose Replenishing Hand Cream

Molton Brown London Rhubarb & Rose Replenishing Hand Cream

Molton Brown London Rhubarb & Rose Replenishing Hand Cream

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