Photos (clockwise from left): Courtesy of Pretty Parlor, Benefit Cosmetics, Katie Nash, and Beauty Company
Best Makeup Application That Won't Break The Bank: MAC Cosmetics Counter
For that special night, when you want to pull out all the stops there is only one place you need to get your face done right: The famed MAC Cosmetics counter. Pop in looking drab and come out totally fly! Make an appointment, stock up on some makeup, and the artists will provide flawless application in a snap — at multiple locations around the city. If you’re going to do it, go big, right?
MAC Cosmetics, Nordstrom Westfield Centre, 865 Market Street (between 4th and 5th streets); 415-243-8500. 1833 Union Street (between Octavia and Laguna streets); 415-771-6113. 2011 Fillmore Street (between California and Pine streets); 415-885-2966.
Best Bridal Makeup: Katie Nash
If you read R29 San Francisco regularly, you know we have a thing for mega-talented hair and makeup artist Katie Nash. The cool Bay Area native has not only schooled us on chic helmet hair and the best beauty splurges (and their cheapie drugstore counterparts), she's also proven herself a pro at wedding-day makeup. Luckily, starting at $400 (although prices vary), you can have Nash whip up the bridal mug of your dreams on your big day. Trust us, she'll do you right.
Katie Nash, call 530-400-9468 or email.
Best Brow Shaper: Bhavna Patel at Cinta Salon
When choosing how to de-fuzz those arches, threading is the way to go! Threading means less upkeep than waxing (read: four weeks!) and you'll see no more of those accidental burns or red splotches. Some say the pain threshold is a wee-bit higher, but not if you hit up veteran Bhavna Patel at Cinta Salon. For over 20 years in India and the Bay Area, she has the form and ouch-free technique of brow-shaping down pat. After an eye-framing session that didn't even need a spritz of toner, we learned no one touches our brows but Bhavna.
Cinta Salon, 23 Grant Avenue (between Geary and O'Farrell streets); 415-989-1000.
Most Helpful Beauty Team: Benefit Cosmetics
As seen in our recent romp at its S.F. headquarters, Benefit Cosmetics is our beauty-mecca of choice. As a one-stop shop, the Chestnut Street location does the trick when you need a walk-in brow tweeze, spray tan, or makeover-to-go. But, it's the staff's knack for every in-store and upcoming item, and every step in primp-prep routines that we give them major props! So, when you want a crash course in color and product, know that you can head over to Benefit Cosmetics to get schooled.
Benefit Cosmetics, 2219 Chestnut Street (between Pierce and Avila streets); 415-567-1173.
Best Place To Find Cool New Products: Beauty Company
Confession: One of our fave things to do is troll around for new, must-try beauty items. And Polk Street’s Beauty Company is like a product-lover’s Disneyland. Here you’ll find an expansive collection of high-end hair, makeup, skin, and nail goodies from Bumble + Bumble, Mason Pearson, Seda France, and more. It’s definitely worth taking a stroll to (plus it offers nail, hair, and tanning services), but know you will not go home empty-handed.
Beauty Company, 2325 Polk Street (between Green and Union streets); 415-567-8740.
Best Lash Extensions: Pretty Parlor
Ready to make a bold leap and say sayonara to mascara for good? Flutter by Pretty Parlor in the Mission, stat. Lash extensions are a brand-new add to its buzzing menu (which includes out-of-this-world waxing), and we like what we see. The salon's stylists — former Benefit Cosmetics veterans — will slather on the most subtle and natural-looking falsies, the way these extensions were truly meant to be applied. The best part? They pile it on solid, so the upkeep is only every four weeks!
Pretty Parlor, 3150 18th Street (between Folsom Street and Treat Avenue); 415-556-2883.