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Samantha Durbin

Greenhouse Design Studio: Healthy Home, Happy Heart

Beautiful. Affordable. Sustainable. That was Laurie Furber's checklist when she sought to create a web company centered around interior design. Done, done, and done. Berkeley-based Greenhouse Design Studio is dedicated to shopping, learning, and organizing your green home. It's also a resource center and inspiration hub. All the while, a charming user experience makes you want to clean out your home and fill it back up with earth-friendly finds.

Five Festive Treatments at San Francisco Spas

The flavors of the holidays make for many culinary delights. That is a given. Pumpkin, cranberry, apple, vanilla, cinnamon and peppermint are flavors that reoccur every year, yet always seem fresh. At a time when calendars quickly fill up and consumption of all sorts is increased, taking the time to indulge in you should be a priority. And receiving the gift of relaxation and indulgence is one of the best ideas around. Several local spas have tweaked their menus to include seasonal ingredients. We pick five of the most delicious.

Atelier Swarovski's High-Dazzle Holiday

Swarovski is always thinking outside the crystal box. For their ninth Atelier Swarovski collection, they enlisted designers from the worlds of fashion, jewelry, architecture and costume design to create cutting edge collections. You can find some items by Rodrigo Otazu, Arik Levy, and Mary Katrantzou in the Swarovski store on Geary, and you can peruse the others on their website. Here's a selection of some sparkling favorites that would make extraordinary stocking stuffers.

The Art of The Fillmore Poster Collection Keeps the Rock 'n' Roll Dream Alive

Fillmore art is something special to San Francisco. When I saw MGMT there in 2010, I was psyched to receive an iconic promotional poster as a souvenir. In my rock 'n' roll fantasy, the same would have happened at the Fillmore decades ago, but at a Jimi Hendrix show.

Turk+Taylor, Six Years Strong, Party On

Better late than never, says Turk+Taylor of their official launch party this week. The six-year-old San Francisco eco-fashion sweetheart is finally having a party for you to meet, or re-meet, the brand. And they're going big.

One For The Fashion Books: Eleanor Lambert, Still Here

When a woman's uniform consists of a turban, you know she's a force. Once in a while, a notable book comes along providing insight into the life of an influential person in fashion. One of my favorite fashion biographies is about the fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and editor-in-chief of Vogue, "D.V. Diana Vreeland."

This fall, the favorite is a dedication to world-renowned American press agent Eleanor Lambert.

Skin 101 with Hollywood's Leading Skin Health Expert Kate Somerville

Though she only has one medi-skin clinic, in the celebrity hub of Los Angeles, Kate Somerville is a widely regarded beauty guru. Known for her facials, she has over 22 years experience in clinical skincare. Last year, she packed years of experience into her first book Complexion Perfection! Half how-to guide, half case study, and chock full of interesting skincare facts and advice, her book is a hefty skin study. I caught up with Kate and we discussed her book and some of my burning beauty questions.

Four of San Francisco's Most Fabulous Wedding Makeup and Hair Artists

Every bride I've seen on their big day radiates beauty. While utter joy and romance is probably one of the reasons, having personalized makeup and hair helps–especially when cameras are involved. Here are four local artists that range in style and discipline. They are also available for makeup and hair for the rest of the bridal party and non-wedding occasions. Don't worry, you'll look beautiful! 

J.Hilburn Makes Shopping a Habit For Men

It's about time men's fashion got some attention. If the growing number of modern barber shops and menswear blogs is any indicator, soon enough men will be outshining women. Well, maybe not. But it's happening and men can finally shop the way men are meant to shop, which is very different from the way women shop. If anyone knows this, it's Hil Davis, the CEO of J.Hilburn, whose rapidly growing menswear business brings the luxury of the Italian mill to the masses.

Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM: An Adrenaline Junkie's Journey Into The Evolution of Mankind

A few years ago, after seeing Cirque du Soleil's O in Las Vegas, I pronounced the water-based wonderland my all-time favorite Cirque du Soleil show. Now, San Francisco's in luck; for a few months, the traveling TOTEM has set up tent in AT&T Park. In true Cirque du Soleil form, it is a mesmerizing show that delivers everything the company is known for: extreme acrobatics, dramatic music, muscle-ripped talent, majestic sets, terrific costumes and nature themes. TOTEM transports you back to Pandora to explore the evolution of the human species via acrobatic artistry with hints of comic relief.

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