Eco & Organic
I’ve been using Parisian hair care brand Leonor Greyl (a rumored celeb favorite that’s gone on tour with both Madonna and Gwen Stefani) off and on for about a year now, and I must say their beautifying oils are not only some of the most glamorous “natural” products I’ve encountered, but the Huile de Palme (for hair) and Huile de Magnolia (for face and body) are quite the little miracle workers when it comes to moisturizing dry skin and hair.
Free of the chemicals and additives found in most hair products (sulfates, parabens, silicones, etc.), Huile de Palme (literally “palm oil”) is an environmentally friendly blend of botanical and vegetal oils that protects hair health from the elements, such as sun, surf and chlorine. It’s a pre-shampoo treatment, so you can apply it to dry hair and leave it on anywhere from a few minutes to overnight, depending on your hair texture and/or conditioning needs. (more…)
Another holiday, another panic attack: What on earth is there left to get for the man in your life? Well, a good home-cooked meal should work, but if that’s not your idea of a special gift, I suggest you say “I love you” with:
… a Hot Shave
I recently got the chance to check out Alexander’s for Hair, a mid-range, family-owned, all-in-one spa and salon in west L.A., and I thought, “What a great place to take my [insert any family member here]!” Formerly the male-targeted Reeder’s Barber Shop, complete with beers and flatscreen TVs, Alexander’s for Hair has undergone a recent makeover to suit its growing clientele base, offering more services for both men and women as well as eco-friendly hair products by Eufora and high-quality GRAM skincare by Dr. Bernard Gramlich (you should see his skin!). Helmed by new owner Krissy Smith and her mom Jeanne Phares, the salon has both a small-town feel and a cosmopolitan flair — perfect for those who want luxurious treatment but find super-high-end salons and spas either intimidating or just not worth the extra dough. Best of all, while you’re loved one is getting his Signature MVP Hot Shave, you can indulge in a Eufora Deep Conditioning and Scalp Treatment (free this month with any color service), a fantastic facial, a mani-pedi or a delightful (and affordable) deep-tissue massage (ask for Barbara!). Ah, the perks of co-ed bliss.
Alexander’s for Hair is located at 11515 W. Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles. Call (310) 473-0462 to make an appointment. Readers, mention the code AFHGO through February and you’ll get 30 percent off your service!
… Custom Kicks
If the love (or like) of your life is a label-savvy jet setter who frequently blends street style and upscale threads (or just likes any of the aforementioned), he’ll appreciate the new G3 collection by Ryz, the brainchild of former president of Adidas America and Adidas Japan Rob Langstaff. (more…)
I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying everyone probably likes flowers, chocolate and/or fragrance as a Valentine’s Day gift. But do they LOVE it? Well, “mind-blowing” might not be the first thing I’d think … more like “predictable, but sweet. I’ll take it.” Leave it to Strange Invisible Perfumes to prove me wrong. Their creative take on the ol’ tried and true is simply eye-popping. (Oh men of our lives, are you reading this?!?)
A team effort with floral designer Holly Flora and San Francisco-based chocolate artisan Cocoa Absolute, SIP’s “ultimate Valentine’s Day delivery” offers four options of drop-dead gorgeous, creative bouquets paired with limited-edition organic, botanical perfumes and a delectable box of hand-crafted chocolates. (Just outside of L.A.? Call and see if they’ll make the trip.)
While pricey ($205–$542), the results are absolutely swoon-worthy. In addition, the flowers can be customized by request (if what you want is available), and since the chocolates are optional, you can always adjust according to your budget.
P.S. If you’re in the neighborhood, drop by SIP’s Venice, Calif., boutique tomorrow (Feb. 5) for a trunk show. There will be champagne, cupcakes, jewelry and plenty of limited edition fragrances to sample before you take the plunge!
Strange Invisible Perfumes is located at 1138 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, Calif. To order a V-Day delivery, call them at 310-314-1505 by February 11, 2011.
If you’re already racking your brain about what to do for Valentine’s Day and all you’ve come up with is “Dinner out or dinner in?,” consider taking pause from all the hustle and bustle at a quiet oasis such as Spa Luce. A seasonal offering on the spa menu, the delightful aromatherapeutic Spa Luce Valentine’s Day Couples Massage, $370, gets my vote for best investment in relaxation. It features massages performed side by side in the couples room, a mineral-salt soak in a hydrotherapy tub built for two, and a complimentary bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries.
I have been craving — yes, craving! — that Anthropologie-esque smell (attributed to Capri Blue Jar Candles) in my apartment. But I was so busy last week, I didn’t get myself over to the store to buy one (and I wasn’t completely sure which candle to get, so I didn’t want to order them online just yet). Luckily, I received samples of luxury candles just in time from lifestyle & home décor expert Baroness Monica von Neumann (wife of the late Austrian Baron John von Neumann), and I really like them!
My favorite in the collection of four soy-based candles (Atlas, Savon, Fete and Modena) is Fete, which combines navel orange, Seychelles Cinnamon, Zanzibar Clove, Norwegian Pine, Indonesian Patchouli and exotic Amberwood to create just the type of sweet yet spicy, tangy scent I wanted. (more…)
So, after all those holiday cookies and hangovers, CLEANSE and DETOX appear to be the buzz words of the month. (And judging by the fact that two local Borders stores were sold out of Dr. Alex Junger’s “Clean” book, I think all of L.A. has jumped on the bandwagon.) Prompted by my curious husband (who despite feeling sluggish after the new year was suspicious of the detox trend), I enlisted us in a cleansing experiment: 5 days of raw-food-eating and 2 days of Lori C. Kenyon and Marra O. St. Clair’s Ritual Cleanse — an Irvine, Calif.-based juice cleansing program designed to “reset” the body.
Now, I know, some people do “Beyonce’s maple syrup diet” for well over a week, and many follow Dr. Junger’s advice (endorsed by Gwyneth Paltrow) for at least three weeks, but honestly, feeling faint, weak, mucus-y and stuck with a headache is not my idea of a good time … no matter how skinny, light or euphoric I’m supposed to feel. One week of abstaining from all the things I love about food — caffeine, all meat, refined sugar, dairy, alcohol, soy, wheat, gluten — was about all I could stomach. That’s why I chose this route. With raw food, we got to eat a bunch of vegetables and feel full; and with Ritual Cleanse, we didn’t have to prepare meals (vegetables are time-consuming!) and worry whether we did so correctly.
Although Glamour’s September issue has declared leopard print back for Fall (at least on J.Lo), as far as I’m concerned, it should never leave! I am obsessed with the sold-out peep-toe Michael Kors leopard-print canvas platform pumps I recently scored at Bloomingdales for under $100 (after lusting over these oh-so-perfect-yet-out-of-reach Manolo Leopard Pony d’Orsays of course), and now I have my eye on Knitwit‘s lightweight, “tofu-cashmere,” animal-print wares: feather-print scarves, tiger- and zebra-print sweaters, and cheetah-print hoodies!
Having tried out one of their cardigans (you may remember it from our March Lust List, I can attest that each 85-percent soybean and 15-percent “cashmere” piece is very well-made, decadently soft and super cozy without being obscenely heavy. Plus they wear well; I haven’t put a run in my scarf (the feather-print one above) yet, and I usually end up doing so on day one. It’s a good thing, too, because Knitwit is a pricey line for casual wear, so definitely look at any piece you buy as an investment purchase. And lucky for both of us, you can take advantage of sales like the current free shipping and $25 off promotions at shopknitwit.com (enter TOFU at checkout). Happy feeding!
As someone who has at least three lip glosses in my pocket or handbag at any given time, I’m always on the lookout for new, tasty lip products. Yesterday I was at my local drugstore and stumbled upon Lip Smacker 100% Natural, the first-ever 100% natural Lip Smacker product! Thinking it would be fun to indulge in the grown-up version of my favorite childhood gloss line, I choose the acai berry flavor, made with olive oil, beeswax, aloe, vitamin E, and pure fruit essence. Even the packaging is printed on recycled paper using soy based ink! The gloss is dye-free and left my with a slight shine, tasting just as deliciously sweet and feeling soft as the original varieties. Lip Smacker 100% Natural comes in other natural-inspired flavors, such as honeydew melon, pink guava, and vanilla bean. Be a kid again and indulge in this affordable, green-friendly, and fun beauty product!
I recently received a bath and body recommendation from a very strange source for a very non-trendy, no frills product. In this specific case, a man. Yes, I am writing about my new favorite body wash, which was introduced to me by my manly friend who has an interest in all-natural bath and body products. Even more surprisingly, this particular product, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Pure Castille Soap has been in existence since 1948, has a very unique product history, and literally has 17 uses other than a liquid body wash!
The soap comes in a variety of scents, but I was most intrigued by the almond variety, which smells deliciously like almond extract. This particular product is made completely from free trade ingredients including organic extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil, hemp oil, and vitamin E, and are certified under the USDA Natural Organic Program. Many natural bath products lack the “foaming” quality mainstream products offer, but just a small squirt of this soap on an exfoliating loofah will lathing unlike any other natural bodywash I’ve used. Plus, it doesn’t hurt (but may expand my waistline) that the almond scent has me running to the kitchen baking almond cookies after my showers!
Dr. Bronner’s has a huge selection of bath and body products I’m itching to try, as soon as I go through my stash of existing soaps, lotions, and balms. I purchased my soap from the terrific Whole Foods Body store down the street for $10, but is also available at Vitamin Shoppe and local natural product stores nationwide.
While I’m a big fan of The Sports Club/LA and the luxuries and amenities that come with such a great (expensive!) gym membership, there’s something to be said for small, independent studios that large chain gyms don’t offer. Continuing my attempt to combine pilates and yoga in my existing exercise routine, I was presented the opportunity to visit OMBE Integrative Health Center in Boston’s Back Bay. OMBE (One-Mind-Body-Earth) offers a full range of integrated services catered towards creating a “better you”, including yoga, pilates, nutritional counseling, acupuncture, and massage. Since I’ve also taken a more recent interest in running, I thought it would be fitting to check out OMBE’s Yoga for Runners class! (more…)