April 24, 2014

Sneak Peek: Elizabeth Street Cosmetics Launches Spring Hues

Continuing the brand's love affair with San Francisco street names, new Spring hues from Elizabeth Street Cosmetics include a creamy violet named Lilac St (top) and a sheer fuschia gloss dubbed Poplar St.

A fresh batch of lip colors from Elizabeth Street Cosmetics means all new, seasonally-savvy hues from a local source. You can sneak peek them this week during the company’s spring show, and, in the meantime, brush up on your lipstick know-how with expert advice from founder Kelly Crispen.

Five new colors named for Mission streets are out this month from the company, which garners fans with its paraben-free formulas and personalized service (Crispen does house calls, where she helps clients choose colors and dishes out beauty knowledge culled from her 20+ years in the industry).

Expect juicy brights in sheer, glossy formulas.

“It’s an accessory, like a clutch or like a bracelet,” says Crispen of her lipsticks, balms and glosses.

You’ll find Crispen and her spring collection on view this Friday evening at Pixie Hall Studios in Noe Valley during a spring show featuring special guest stylists from Harper Paige Salon (details on the calendar). We recently caught up with Crispen to get her take on wearing spring’s exuberant colors.

We’re seeing bright lip colors everywhere this season. What advice do you have for women who’d like to try out a brighter hue, but usually opt for nude lips?

Bright colors are actually highly wearable, they just need to be “sheered out.” Try a glossy formula. Avoid anything matte or opaque. Use a lighter hand when applying or opt for a lip brush when applying brights, but don’t be afraid to go for a pretty pop of color this season.

Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping lip color on longer, making it last?

The best trick for making your lip color last is to dab a hint of concealer or transluscent powder on first. Avoid pencil liners, as they can look drying and accentuate tiny lines and imperfections.

Are there colors you’d recommend for any skin tone? Sometimes it’s fun to give lip color as a gift, but hard to pick out a color for someone else.

Most skin tones do well with a neutral rosy brown such as Church or Noe Streets from my line, Elizabeth Street Cosmetics. Church is a creamy satin with more color payoff, as opposed to Noe, which is a super sheer tint or glaze.

How can we use lip color to complement what we’re wearing, but without looking matchy-matchy?

Staying in the same color family works but vary the hues. For instance if you’re wearing an orange silk top, try a fresh peach or apricot sheer lip color like ESC’s new Linda Street. If you’re wearing a pale rose top, opt for a bolder fushcia lip color like ESC’s new Rosemont Street. Think of your lip color as another accessory in your wardrobe, one you can change up on any given day.

You’ll find Elizabeth Street Cosmetics in San Francisco stores such as Mira Mira, Two Birds and Rare Device.

More San Francisco beauty

How to Apply Nail Foils + Unique Designs from a Local

Black and white dots in an all-over graphic print

Nail foils are gaining traction as a quick, not to mention cheap, way to get a wildly patterned mani at home. Selections can be small at local drugstores, meaning you might end up with the same print as the chick next to you on Muni. To the rescue: limited edition non-metallic nail foil sets from Mariposa Allure in designs that range from graphic dots to Halloween-themed ghosts and ghouls.

Launched in September, the San Mateo-based company offers European-made foil sets ($9.99 for hands, $12.99 for toes) in over 30 designs. Yes, there’s animal print. And python, as well as girlie flowers and sporty soccer balls. Each comes with 20 foils sized for different nail beds, a cuticle stick and a file to shape them into place.  A less expensive, just-for-teens line made to fit smaller nails is in the works.

For those new to the nail foil process, it’s pretty simple, but there are a few key tips you can use during the application process, which takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Mariposa Allure founder Veronica Maldonado gave us a few tips:

“Make sure the nail is completely clean of old nail polish. Then apply a clear coat. I find this helps a lot to ‘glue’ the foils together with the nail bed. Apply the product as close as possible to cuticle without touching skin. File off the excess and apply another coat of clear, and you are done,” she advises.

To view designs, visit the online shop.

Sets for your toes let you match hands and feet.

This Halloween set featuring skulls and stars - like all sets - comes with 20 different foils in different sizes. You choose the foil that best fits each finger and file into shape.

More San Francisco beauty

Fox & Doll Makeup 101 Series at workshop

You can learn makeup basics – with a welcome amount of edge – during the Beauty School Rebel Makeup 101 series from San Francisco makeup artist team Fox & Doll. Even better: classes are starting this week.

We’ve gabbed about Fox & Doll makeup artists Shana Astrachan and Elizabeth Fox and their before makeup magic before. Check out the video below for a few quick tips from these ladies.

For the full treatment, find them starting this week at workshop.

More San Francisco beauty...

Makeup in Minutes: Makeup Gourmet Launches How-To Video Series

San Francisco beauty expert and Makeup Gourmet Founder Chris Scott has toured with Chanel, authored the Cosmetic Counter Survival Guide and prettied many a face at his SoMa studio. Now he’s offering anyone with a computer access to his expertise through a recently launched online video series. Why we like it: access to beauty how-tos, guides and tips from an expert makeup artist 24 hours a day.

The site offers an extensive number of HD videos which are broken down by age groups ranging from Teen Something to 50 Something, as well as an online store featuring Scott’s favorite products.

“I wanted to create a content rich delivery system that fulfilled the two most repeated questions—how to apply and what to buy. I wanted to put the consumer in control, so I broke down the content into sections to help people find the exact answers they require as effeciently and as effectively as possible,” says Scott, who has been working on producing the videos for over two years.

Since the opening of his SOMA studio about a year and a half ago, Scott has also launched his own line of Makeup Gourmet products, which are manufactured locally and available on the website.

Below, a few of our favorite tutorials.

5 Minute Makeup:

First Date Makeup:

Professional Look Makeup:

More San Francisco beauty

Heavenly Hair: A Trip to Palo Alto’s Halo Salon

Dryers suspended from the ceiling, white chairs, ample mirrors and tangerine hues set the stage for stylish 'dos at Palo Alto's Halo.

With six hairdryers strung from the ceilings, Halo, a blow dry bar located in Palo Alto, is one of many such locations opening around the nation. For a relatively affordable $35 (compare that to $50 and up at traditional salons) hair can go from boring and lifeless to sleek and sexy without an accompanying cut.

Like many, the best my hair ever looks is after a trip to the salon, when all the crunchy ends are cut off and nicely curled. When I leave, I feel like Farrah Fawcett in her feathered-hair glory, but a couple of days later, when I attempt to recreate the look at home, I end up with the wild mane of Jessie Spano in Saved by the Bell. I know I’m not alone. For the other hair-challenged who just want to feel like Farrah more than once every few months, there is hope, and it’s popping up in more and more Bay Area places.

“It’s fun, it’s fast and it’s affordable,” says Halo’s Manager Tashina Torres. “And we can pretty much do whatever you want.”

There are four menu items at Halo designed to cover all hairstyles: Give it to me Straight, Pretty, Please, Me, Only Better and Glam-A-Rama. Customers also have the option of ordering an up-do, wedding hair, prom hair or a Brazilian blowout.

“Most people want Kim Kardashian hair,” says Amanda Ellenwood, the stylist who performed my first blowout. “People don’t realize she has a ton of extensions.”

After I told Ellenwood that I had no specific events to attend, she spun me around in the salon chair and decided on giving me a cross between the Glam-A-Rama and Pretty, Please. What followed felt like a manicure for the head: my scalp was massaged, my hair washed and in 45 minutes every follicle on my head appeared shiny and new. Farrah was back.

Know before you go: Insider Tips from Torres

  • Don’t wash your hair before you go—that is part of the experience.
  • If you’re looking for the best time for walk-in appointments, try Monday through Wednesday. Weekends are the busiest.
  • Blowouts typically last two to three days with the use of a shower cap.

Multiple brushes are part of the magic at Halo.

Photography by Lindsay Harte