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beauty

Interview with Madonna's Make-up Artist

Madonna hits the stage at Oakland’s Oracle Arena this weekend on the Bay Area stop of her Sticky & Sweet world tour. In between unpacking her beauty arsenal and getting the Queen of Pop camera ready, Gina Brooke, Madonna’s longtime make-up artist, will be teaching a master class at the Fillmore Street Shu Uemura boutique on Saturday. We caught up with Brooke, who was still touring in Canada, for the inside scoop of life on the road, how she keeps Madonna looking fine, and her best, stress-free beauty tips.

TipToes Nail Spa Opening in Potrero Hill

With the holidays just around the corner—and seemingly endless shopping to do and parties to attend—I’ve been on the look out for a reliable neighborhood spa where I can get groomed in a hurry, without sacrificing quality and without breaking the bank.

New Year’s Spa Treatments

For Glamwatch’s end-of-the-year posting, guest blogger and 7x7 editorial assistant Sydney Pfaff has scoured the city for her post-New Year’s-partying relaxation picks. Check out these 7 sweet spots that will help you look and feel like a whole new you.

Among all the streamers and sparkles, the new year brings something we all dread: bills, bills and more bills. Instead of stressing out, pay a visit to Kabuki Springs & Spa for a quick session of acupuncture ($80), an ancient Chinese treatment that is guaranteed to release your post-holiday stress. 1750 Geary St., 415-922-6000

Beauty Back-Up

New Year’s Eve parties are the perfect excuse to go completely over-the-top glam. And that includes your make-up. But if your creative coloring skills cause passersby to wonder if you’ve just come from your performance under the big top—not, by the way, the desired effect—turn to Shu Uemura. On December 28, the Japanese cosmetic company’s Fillmore boutique will be hosting one-on-one consultations with celebrity make-up artist Gina Brooke, who’s created looks for such glamzillas as Madonna, Naomi and Giselle. Here, you can go for a pre-party test run with those foxy cheek-grazing faux fur diamante lash extensions or a dramatic red-hot lip with beauty back-up on hand.

In Sore Knead

I’m all for the relaxing spa getaway for a sumptuous, lingering massage, but sometimes, especially during the workweek, I’m aching for a quick fix. I gave Zubio Massage Studio in Crocker Galleria a whirl the other day, despite prior reservations about the seemingly random “seated massages” I’ve spotted people getting on their lunch breaks at a mall kiosk or inside an airport terminal. My gut instinct is always a) I doubt I’d feel very relaxed getting massage so out in public like that and b) hmmm, what exactly are the credentials of these people selling Mc-Rubdowns at the bargain rate of a dollar a minute?

A Shu In

Shu Uemura, in my mind, equates with my simply-can’t-live-without 18K gold lash curler and my wanna-be Madonna faux mink false lashes— so I was a little skeptical when I heard the hubbub about the Japanese cosmetics brand venturing into hair care. I definitely have my preferences when it comes to hair products (whatever I try, I end up going back to Paul Mitchell’s lightweight Super Strong Daily Shampoo and Conditioner, and Bumble and Bumble’s styling lotion for a smooth and shiny finish). Still, as a beauty editor, I’m probably more adventurous then the average person when it comes to using myself as a product-testing guinea pig.

A Moment of Bliss

So this is what happens at 7x7 when you’re on deadline, holed up late at the office, bottle of wine cracked open with coworkers equally fatigued and still attempting to do serious brainwork at the 11th hour:   

Cocoon Urban Day Spa

Some people gorge on chocolate, others hit the gym. Me? I head straight for a mani-pedi when I need to de-stress after a killer week. (Remember that scene from Legally Blonde where Reese Witherspoon, aka Elle, comes to a screeching halt in front of a nail salon after finding out the traumatic news that her ex has a new fiancée?). I’m always down to scour the city— from luxe spas to mom-and-pop shops—in search of an excellent, not to mention sanity-saving, nail job.

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