Best of the City 2011: Fashion + Beauty


Best Affordable Vintage: Minxy Boutique

Chances are good that the ’70s minidress and ’80s bedazzled clutch you’ve been scouting await you at Minxy Boutique. This new vintage vault in the Mission is chock-full of coats, boots, dresses, and handbags from various decades. Owner Tuc Luong—who bought and sold vintage wares on eBay for years—sees to it that all pieces are in top form, mending and laundering each garment herself before it hits the floor. Styles fit easily into a modern wardrobe, and prices are low enough to keep you coming back for more. 3043 24th St., 415-874-9617

Best Team Apparel: Giants Apparel from Victoria’s Secret PINK

Show off your inner cheerleader at home or on the street. The new Victoria’s Secret PINK line of Giants-branded apparel and lingerie in the team’s signature orange and black means that you’ll feel a little sexier while sipping a brew at the next home game. The MLB co-branded collection includes soft baseball T-shirts, cute-but-comfortable cotton undies, form-fitting hoodies, and body-hugging yoga pants that are both flirty and functional. We like to think it’s what the VS angels wear on their days off. 335 Powell St., 415-433-9671

Best Makeup Artist: Painted Ladies

The average SF woman is more concerned with a killer pair of boots than a quality tube of mascara, but when those special events arise, Sophia Coyne of Painted Ladies will answer the makeover call. Coyne learned her trade while working at Women’s Wear Daily and W magazine and perfected her skills backstage at NY Fashion Week. Now that she’s back in the Bay Area, she lends her well-honed eye to local ladies who are looking for a little touch-up. Book an appointment, and she’ll bring her fully stocked arsenal of beauty supplies—including Laura Mercier, MAC, NARS, and Christian Dior—to your house to help you put your best face forward. 415-328-3433

Best Bath and Body Care: Laline's Foam Fatal Body Soap

Shower gel is so early ’90s. These days, opt for Laline’s Foam Fatal body soap. It comes in a shake-and-spray can like whipped cream—tried and true shower fun. The Israeli bath-and-body empire was started by two cousins who recently opened their two U.S. stores in San Francisco. The Marina outpost, with its crisp, white interior and beautifully designed packaging, is a beauty queen’s dream. It even carries a men’s line appropriately dubbed Womanizer. Most scents come from the Provence region in France, but the rest of Laline’s products are made in Israel using ingredients like Dead Sea salts. It’s time to spice up your bathroom routine. 2106 Chestnut St., 415-292-9971

Best One-Stop Man Shop: Welcome Stranger

Anything by the girls behind Azalea and Tobi is going to be great, which is why it’s no surprise that Welcome Stranger has been a smash hit among the stylish set since it opened. The well-curated, men-only shop next to the old Citizen Cake space feels like a sophisticated gent’s apartment, complete with worn-in leather couches and a dartboard. Stocking everything from Topman suits and casual wear by Burkman Brothers to ZigZag shoes and Whillas & Gunn bags, it’s perfect for the man’s man who still wants to look good. Did we mention that they also sell SF underwear label PACT? Done and done. 460 Gough St., 415-864-2079

Best Cozy Boutique: Fiat Lux

There’s something immediately charming about exposed brick, especially when it houses a shoebox-sized boutique like Fiat Lux. The tiny Castro treasure trove offers a stellar selection of jewelry and accessories by local and indie designers, with a sprinkling of tees, hoodies, and one-of-a-kind creations. Look for co-owner Marie McCarthy’s collection of earrings and pendants, Autie Carlisle’s unique clothing designs, and Venus Superstar’s boho-chic feather jewelry. The glass case by the register even stocks vintage Louis Vuitton and Prada sunglasses. 218 Church St., 415-312-8413

Best Store Expansion: Bottega Veneta

Italian luxury goods brand Bottega Veneta is moving from its cramped quarters to a space more than twice its size a few doors down on Geary Street in Union Square. The boutique, which is taking up residence in the old Harputs location (coveted real estate in this expensive shopping district), will feature Bottega Veneta’s signature store concept designed by creative director Tomas Maier. The new, expanded store, scheduled to open later this summer, will carry both a men’s and women’s line, plus a travel section where you can expect to find everything from rolling suitcases and weekend bags to a luxurious braided leather eye mask. 140 Geary St., 415-981-1700

Best Hair Know-How: diPietro Todd

Be prepared to share every detail about your daily maintenance routine because the stylists at diPietro Todd salon are all about the science behind your hair. Where else can you talk pH balance with the guy who gives you a wash? A refreshing alternative to salons that crank out appointments, the staff, which undergoes almost three years of training, takes the time for full consultations before touching your locks. Aside from cuts, diPietro Todd offers color, including the popular ombre highlighting technique and straightening solutions like a keratin complex and cadiveu treatment, godsends for anyone with unruly frizz. 2239 Fillmore St., 415-674-4366

Best Manicures That Last: Cocoon Urban Day Spa

An urban oasis that has become a favorite among the local spa-going set, SoMa’s Cocoon Urban Day Spa offers the popular CND Shellac manicure. For those who want flawless fingers but don’t have the time for weekly touch-ups, this high-shine, gel-based formula dries instantly and lasts two weeks without a chip. All you need is an hour for application, which makes use of a UV3 light to seal the polish, and you’re set. The lasting finish holds you over until you’re ready for your next spa fix. Talk about low maintenance. 330 First St., 415-777-0100

Best Luxury Consignment: Fashionphile

Hidden on the third floor next to the John Varvatos store on Maiden Lane, Fashionphile brings a whole new meaning to consignment. The ultra-chic space features shelf after shelf of luxury handbags—Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chloé, Balenciaga—a fantasyland for label whores. The catch is that everything in the store is pre-owned, only you’d never know it. All the purses (some of which are limited-edition runs) are in mint condition, and because they’re all secondhand, you can nab a $3,000 designer bag for as little as half the retail price. So drop off a bag you’re willing to part with, or simply browse the jaw-dropping collection, and start saving now. 153 Maiden Lane, 415-975-4041

Best General Store: Reliquary

Take a trip to Santa Fe without leaving the city. Opened by a former Old Navy designer who grew up in New Mexico, Reliquary has a decidedly southwestern bent. Stocking everything from handcrafted patchwork quilts and Navajo rugs to turquoise jewelry and beaded wallets, the Hayes Valley shop offers an eclectic mix of old and new. The boutique also carries an assortment of indie labels and trend-resistant vintage clothing. Gauzy tops by LA’s Hazel Brown hang next to Peruvian textiles, making it a well-rounded curiosity shop for all persuasions. 537 Octavia St., 415-431-4000

Best Designer Emporium: Sui Generis Illa

Housed in their former menswear location on Market Street, the new Sui Generis Illa gives women a turn at Miguel Lopez and Gabriel Yanez’s unrivaled collection of designer consignment. Think Burberry’s classic trench and ’90s Versace, as well as pieces by the late Alexander McQueen that are sure to become collector’s items. In addition to the drool-worthy vintage, this boutique also sells originals by Academy of Art fashion grads Sergio Davila, who showed at NY Fashion Week, and Andrew Wedge, who’s currently interning with Oscar de la Renta. 2265 Market St., 415-437-2265

Best High-Tech Fashion: Hlaska

The tech industry isn’t exactly known for its sense of style, but YouTube mastermind Chad Hurley set out to change that perception by launching a smart brand of leather goods, accessories, and apparel for men. He cofounded Hlaska in 2005 with Anthony Mazzei, and the two just launched a modern women’s collection. Structured trench coats and form-fitting biker jackets complement high-end Italian leather handbags lined in boldly patterned prints. As Silicon Valley and San Francisco’s answer to luxury, you can expect top-quality materials and construction along with obsessive attention to detail. Suddenly “geek-chic” has a whole new meaning. 2033 Fillmore St., 415-440-1999

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