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A few of Kennedy's favorite products

Anytime someone asks to peer intently at our skin, we get a little icked out.

That was not the case with Dara Kennedy. If anything, we invited her to stare. After all, this is a woman who knows about complexions and all of their, well, complexities. She worked in product development at Elizabeth Arden and helped launch Marcia Kilgore?s Soap & Glory before starting her own skin-care company, Ayla.

The website, which Kennedy launched a few years ago, is devoted to helping women find the right beauty products--and not just any products. Kennedy ruthlessly edits her selection of hard-to-find elixirs based on her intimate knowledge of what really works and is completely toxin-free. Customers answer a set of questions and are sent a sample kit of lotions and serums to try before they buy.

Now, lucky San Franciscans can get a free consultation with Kennedy in person at what she?s calling her ?mini shop? in Pac Heights. Just make an appointment and fill out the same questionnaire, and she?ll suggest your customized regimen. For us, she prescribed Dr. Macrene Skin Results 37 Extreme Actives ($195) for our pesky forehead lines and Medik8?s BetaGel ($80) for our--shh!--adult acne.

Ayla, 1825 Bush St.; 415-520-7320 or

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