Last night, I stopped by Kiehl’s unveiling of its environmental partnership with Golden Globe winners Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”) and Chloë Sevigny (“Big Love”) in support of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an organization dedicated to preserving and protecting water from polluters. As I’m someone who loves to hang out in the ocean and observe marine life off the coast of California, this is an issue that hits close to home, especially with the abundance of waste, plastic bags, oil pollution and nuclear disaster coverage that have unfortunately become part of our lives. But it’s not just the ocean that needs our attention, it’s the rivers, lakes, streams, even groundwater, that affect us and our health on a daily basis.
To show its support, Kiehl’s USA President Chris Salgardo presented the Waterkeeper Alliance with a giant check for $100,000 at Kiehl’s beautiful Santa Monica store while Sevigny, Hall and Santa Monica Baykeeper/Executive Liz Crosson look on smiling. Chloë’s brother, Paul Sevigny, DJ’d the event while guests sipped on cocktails and checked out stacks of Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, featuring limited-edition label art designed by Sevigny and Hall (see Sevigny’s, left). One-hundred percent of the collection’s proceeds go to the Waterkeeper Alliance.
I’ve been in dire need of some down time and pampering lately, so I headed to the Nail Garden salon in Sherman Oaks for their Indulgent Bliss treatment. The Nail Garden is a chain of four salons in Los Angeles – branches can be found in Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Burbank, and their newest location, Brentwood. It was started by Reham Bastawros and her husband Fady because Reham, an admitted spa junkie, wanted to develop what she calls “an urban retreat,” where people could relax and indulge without paying a huge price tag. (Exactly what most of us are looking for, right?) (more…)
After a week of pre-Oscar parties like Vanity Fair’s and the Sheer Cover-sponsored Dare2Care benefit, tons of celebrities and a few of us lucky beauty bloggers braved the ice-cold, blustery winds on the beach in Santa Monica today to stargaze at the annual Independent Spirit Awards. There, Black Swan took home top awards and celebrity spottings included ISA and Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo (had to take a photo), Nicole Kidman (in a stunning L’Wren Scott red lace pencil dress), a very pregnant and glowing Natalie Portman (in a short yellow Givenchy number), Zoe Saldana (in awesome, vermilion Brian Atwood pumps), and Uma Thurman and newcomer Jennifer Lawrence (both most elegant in all-white Dolce & Gabbana).
Backstage doing touchups for the presenters was sponsor Aveeno‘s official spokesperson and branding consultant Patrick Melville, whose clients includes Demi Moore, Heidi Klum, Tom Cruise and Harry Connick, Jr., to name a few. An absolute sweetheart with an intriguing New York-London accent, Patrick was very calm, cool and collected despite having to touch up so many aggressively wind-blown hairstyles. So calm in fact, he just decided to “go with it” and not “fight nature.” (Beachy waves and messy updos galore!)
Aveeno had quite possibly the most serene lounge set-up in the area, complete with Aveeno Active Naturals product displays (new Nourish + Moisturize Conditioner, Positively Nourishing Calming Body Wash, Daily Moisturizing Lotion and Skin Brightening Daily Scrub). Celebrities like Diego Luna enjoyed drinks and snacks in the chic, Art Deco-inspired, glitter-adorned ELLE Green Room. Other sponsors, some of whom had awards in their name, included Jameson (the official house spirit of the evening along with G. H. Mumm Champagne), Piaget, Acura, Stella Artois, LG Cinema 3D, HTC, smartwater and Netflix. All in all, despite the cold, it was a great, laid-back ceremony filled with tons of humor (thanks in part to host Joel McHale) and stars who seemed like they were in the best of moods — the perfect ramp up to tomorrow’s much-hyped Oscars!
I don’t really have rosacea, but I do get occasional red, patchy areas when my skin gets dry in the winter. And there hasn’t been much I can do about them short of covering them with concealer. I recently heard really good things about Ole Henriksen Black Currant Complexion Oil, $32, and since I’m a fan of essential oils as moisturizers, I thought I’d mix it into my routine and see if it helped even out my overall complexion. Surprisingly, the extra step works!
Simply rubbing three drops (no more!) between my hands and patting on my face before applying moisturizer or foundation has helped even out my skin tone and bolster my usual moisturizer for winter. I dare say I could even go without foundation if I was feeling up to it. Infused with apricot kernel oil, black currant oil, cypress, geranium and lemon, this little potion is engineered to do a variety of things including moisturize (with vitamin E), protect your skin from environmental damage, soothe, sanitize, tone and energize by boosting your skin’s metabolic activity. The only caveat I’d throw out there is the scent; a cross between rose geranium and tea tree oil that I don’t mind, it could be a downside for those who don’t like strong, floral or herbal scents.
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…)
Dry skin might be a winter thing, but my skin feels parched no matter what season it is. If it weren’t for Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream — one of three Ultra Facial products in their new Ultra Facial Cream Starter Kit — it would hurt me to smile for most of the day! The cream, which is the standout product in the kit as far as I’m concerned, contains fancy-sounding ingredients like Antarcticine, “a Glycoprotein extracted from microorganisms sourced from sea glaciers and notable for an ability to protect skin from cold temperatures,” and Imperata Cylindrica, “a plant indigenous to the Australian desert which possesses superb water retention properties in dry conditions.” Translation: This little jar has made me one grinning, instantly hydrated girl this month.
Each kit comes with a gentle Ultra Facial Cleanser and a non-alcoholic Ultra Facial Toner along with the cream. (There’s also an Ultra Facial Moisturizer Starter Kit, $29.50, for those who prefer a lotion.) All the Ultra Facial products are available separately, and depending on the product, make use of ingredients such as olive-derived botanical Squalane, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil and vitamin E to keep skin balanced, hydrated and silky. If dry skin bothers you, getting a starter kit is a great way to try out the regimen; but if you already know what you need, I say spring for the full-sized bottles of individual product. You can order them at kiehls.com or pick one up at your local Kiehl’s store. Happy hydrating!