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Samantha Durbin

Pop Outerwear: Snow Tested, City Approved

Pop Outerwear: Snow Approved, City Approved

In the Bay Area, the lines between outdoor gear and city wear are blurry. There aren't many other places where you see an abundance of North Face jackets at bars and Lululemon pants on the bus. Come winter, when weekend warriors take a powder to get to powder in Tahoe, their clothes must be snow tested and city approved. Enter Pop Outerwear, a San Francisco-based company that designs for “the 9-to-5'ers that dream of snow.”

Capacitor: Art and Science Dance to Save The World

Capacitor: Art and Science Dance to Save The World

Always looking for new ways to help save the ocean, here's one I hadn't heard of. Capacitor is a San Francisco-based interdisciplinary dance company known for mind blowing, visually stunning performances. Think Cirque du Soleil, on a smaller scale. Aerial dancers and contortionists are regular performers, but it's their involvement with members of the scientific community that makes non-profit Capacitor something to watch and listen to.

Five Cold Weather Skin Solutions From Bay Area Brands

Winter has arrived. And though San Francisco winters are moderate, and usually warmer than SF summers, skin could benefit from some special attention after a brisk commute home. Upping moisturizer and lathering lip balm are quick solutions, but several Bay Area companies boast divine dry skin products.

Department 17 Moves its Menswear to Hayes Valley

Department 17 is starting 2012 with a fresh coat of paint. The indie menswear store is moving from Nob Hill to Hayes Valley, into a larger space, large enough to integrate some womenswear into the mix.

CRAVE's Sensual Technology Brings Titillation Into Modern Times

San Francisco is a hotbed for technology. But technology is sizzling at CRAVE, a luxury pleasure start-up assembling sensual products for women in SOMA. Led by two product designers combining smart design with quality and environmentally aware materials and manufacturing practices, CRAVE is upgrading sexy time. As co-founder and lead designer, Ti Chang, puts it "If anything deserves good design, it's the things we bring to bed with us."

Hipline Fitness & Belly Dance: Fight Club For Women

There is a place in Berkeley where women congregate and dance their asses off. What began as a belly dancing studio three years ago, is now a thumping, sweating, smiling mecca for women who want to let loose and get down. Hipline takes the fear out of exercise and puts the fun back in. Weekend classes book a week in advance, evening classes are illuminated by a disco ball and glow jewelry and Shimmy Pop Ninjas teach their hearts out.

SF-Based StyleVISA Curates The World

For those with perpetual wanderlust, a new SF-based website, StyleVISA, can provide a temporary travel fix. The site features finds from France, Sweden, New Zealand, Japan, Africa, Mexico, Tunisia, Canada and across the US, ranging from home goods to skincare to accessories. Each product has a story and a complimentary Tumblr blog extends the StyleVISA trip via inspirational world photography.

Shop and Snap San Francisco with New App Snapette

Come holiday shopping, you mean business. And post-holidays, when retailers have their deepest sales, shopping isn't a pastime; it's an art. If this is you, your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad can guide and entertain you with Snapette, a new location-based photo-sharing shopping app. With GPS technology, Snapette allows users and retailers to share current finds and inventory and where to get it, right there, right then.

Tom Ford Beauty's Top San Francisco Sellers

Tom Ford world domination. That's the way I see it. Fashion rejoiced when the designer remerged with a women's ready-to-wear collection, while his menswear and sunglasses had already been brewing success. Then, there was a bold line of scents. And now, Mr.Ford continues to seed his provocative brand with an extension into the most feminine segment of all: Beauty.

Berkeley-Born Artist Aaron Nagel: Figurative Bad Boy

"I just have a preference for dark and somber, rather than light and serene." The perfect precurser for local artist Aaron Nagel's aesthetic. Nagel's moody oil paintings are created within a small bedroom in the charming area near Grand Avenue in Oakland yet his work speaks volumes. Or rather, whispers in your ear in a sultry voice.

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