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April 18, 2014

MAC Cosmetics launches first lash bar in New Zealand

Lucire staff/12.00



MAC Cosmetics’ lash bars have made it to New Zealand. The lash bar features a range of lash wands, where a customer can hold up each lash style—there are 14 to choose from—to see if it will enhance their look. Customers then work with a MAC make-up artist, who will provide them a complimentary lash application. The lashes retail for NZ$26.
   The first lash bar is at Smith & Caughey at 225 Broadway, Newmarket, Auckland, at a newly refurbished MAC counter.
   MAC offers individual, half- and full lashes, securely packaged with left and right easily identified. MAC lashes will last through approximately three to six wears, according to the company.
   When removing, gently lift one end and peel off slowly. Lashes should be stored in a cool, dry area. They should also be used with a safe adhesive, such as MAC’s own Duo Lash adhesive.

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April 14, 2014

We still want our MTV: the Secret Room celebrates the great outdoors

Elyse Glickman/9.35

A decade ago, the MTV Movie Awards was Young Hollywood’s kick-off party to summer. In more recent years, it became the unofficial Oscar season “after-party” with its strategic move to April. That said, the pre-MTV Movie Awards festivities planned by Rita Branch and Amy Boatright of the Secret Room (which made the SLS Hotel’s Garden Terrace a ‘Secret Garden’, for all intents and purposes) ended up being a great summertime kick-off anyway, thanks to a myriad of fantastic, healthy and environmentally friendly must-have products for the forthcoming summer months.

   It is also fitting that their cause célèbre this time around was California Wildlife Center (above), a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife. The Center fulfils this environmental operative by providing expert medical and rehabilitative care, community outreach and education, habitat protection for animals running the gamut from bobcats and mountain lions to birds and reptiles. Since 1998, CWC has experienced a steady increase in animal patients, caring for more than 32,000 wild animals, and in the process, educating communities, homeowners, teachers, students and businesses about protecting California’s environment.
   While requisite awards’ show glamour was provided by Terani Couture and coloured diamond jewellery from Leibish & Co., and 2Xist was back with its wildly popular upscale watch collection and colourful summer socks, there were also many stylish and sensible products for wardrobe and home sure to keep celebrities, trend-setters and even their pets cool throughout the summer—figuratively and literally.
   With sunglasses and the perfect summertime bag being on the top of everybody’s shopping list, it was impossible to miss the vibrant bags from Lola Blue, beautifully crafted from upholstery fabric in colour combinations that ran the gamut from neutrals with pops of colour, to more daring bags that captured a variety of moods, from a southwestern colour palette to eye-catching pastel hues. Which one to pick? That’s a tough one, but I opted for the Shea, a hobo style just big enough for an Ipad, camera and wallet. Long Beach-based Kahoy, created by Ralph P. Santos, offers a small but stunning collection of sunglasses and prescription frames hand-made from bamboo, textured wood and tasteful plastics. It was challenging to select among the line’s 12 retro-chic styles. While I went with the aviator-inspired Boracay with in tortoise, I wavered between those and the prescription Makati frame.
   Baylee Nasco offered pet beds and blankets that would probably have dogs and cats in a similar quandary, with their soft fabrics and beautiful colours. And while foodies would agree the Takeya Flash Chill Iced Tea Maker is an attractive accessory for summertime home entertaining, picking a flavour of tea is another thing, or six to be exact (Classic Black, Tropical Black, Fresh Green, Green Mint, Hibiscus Pomegranate and Coconut Lime Rooibos).
   So much to choose from. However, Rita and Amy also made sure they featured plenty of great products that stood on their own. These included Aviva Hair revitalizing supplements, tank tops from the new LATS clothing line launching May 9 in Los Angeles, SteelSeries Professional Gaming Gear (after all, there were boys in the room!), Shame on Jane jewellery by Kimberly Pauly, Coquette Lingerie and Herbalosophy Shampoo.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor











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April 5, 2014

Hairstylist George González gives blow-out tips for Cindy Crawford’s look on Oprah’s Lifeclass

Lucire staff/8.28

Hairstylist George González, of George the Salon, worked on supermodel Cindy Crawford’s hair for her guest appearance on Oprah’s Lifeclass on April 2.
   Says González, ‘I made sure to round brush starting at the bottom to build weight. Then, I finished the blowout by styling the sections at the top to minimize volume. The result is soft and natural.’
   His tips for blowout include:

  • • hot tools are often the number-one culprit for frizz, especially if a heat protectant is never used while styling;
  • • for a blowout, women often put the drier directly against the hair because they think that’s the way to get it straight. This why there is damage and frizz, especially when paired with a metal brush;
  • • the worst thing we can do is use old blow-driers or not cleaning out their air vents. Due to lint or hair build-up, air cannot flow through; therefore, the pressure goes down and too much heat is used to style;
  • • if one part does not look good, spray it with water and redo it. Never keep going over it dry. This will make it worse. Not re-wetting hair could be the reason most women have bad hair days, because they try too hard and then over-dry their hair;
  • • a dusting of dry shampoo at your roots will really kick-start the staying power of your blowout;
  • • to further preserve your style, sweep tresses up and use large bobby pins to create loosely sculpted pin curls before you go to bed. Four to six large sections will do the trick. When you release and shake out in the morning, you feel like you just left your stylist’s chair.

   González’s salon prides itself on the idea of balance, and as part of its social responsibility efforts, helps victims of domestic violence.

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March 23, 2014

Former Miss Universe New Zealand titleholders feature in upcoming Lucire editorial

Lucire staff/23.20



Two former Miss Universe New Zealand titleholders will appear in an upcoming feature in the printed edition of Lucire, with New York-based photographer Jon Moe travelling to Los Angeles to capture the pair for the magazine.
   Laural Barrett (2007) and Samantha Lochhead (née Powell, 2008) both live in the LA area, with Barrett pursuing her musical career and Lochhead recently arriving with her husband, footballer Tony Lochhead.
   In addition to Moe, the crew consisted of Jamie Dorman on make-up, Carina Tafulu stepping in at the eleventh hour for hair, Lei Phillips on styling (assisted by Janice Gonzalez). The venue, Riviera 31, is a cocktail lounge at the Sofitel luxury hotel in West Hollywood, arranged through Pivotal PR.
   Lucire publisher Jack Yan and fashion editor Sopheak Seng guided and coordinated from head office in New Zealand, with the aid of US west coast editor Elyse Glickman.
   The current issue, no. 32, is on sale now and features a cover shot by Claire Harrison in the UK.
   Entries are open, meanwhile, for Miss Universe New Zealand 2014, after the new consortium put the event back on television in New Zealand after two decades.




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March 8, 2014

Top of the world and top of the Beverly Hilton with top beauty finds

Elyse Glickman/8.29

So many suites, so little time. However, one that was literally head, shoulders and eight storeys above the rest was the TMG International Red Carpet Ready Luxury Suite, which was very international in its products and its welcoming vibe for a carefully curated guest list of celebrities, VIPs and media. The set up atop the Beverly Hilton Hotel had a funhouse feel—albeit a most glamorous funhouse for sophisticated fashionistas—with each room having its own set of surprises that popped out at you.
   TMG International’s pre-Oscar thrill ride started off in a front room of a penthouse suite set up almost like a velvet-lined jewellery box focused on the dazzling and highly covetable gold accented sterling silver pieces from Ariva, a Rhode Island-based company focused on reconciling the look and craftsmanship of fine jewellery with the prices of silver “investment” pieces that could be worn every day. Though these precious items were there for the trying and the borrowing, the company’s representatives couldn’t have been nicer or more genuine about the enthusiasm about their collection.
   You could say the second room was the “family room”. Moms and Moms-to-be received a lovely care package from Rockabye Mommy, a “Mommy concierge” that puts together personal and customized shopping for the selective prospective parent. Their nifty package was geared toward girly glam, with baby jewellery, barettes and bib for baby, and leggings, camera strap and organic fruit and vegetable wash for Mom. The affiliation from Kitson brought more Hollywood Mommy-and-me street cred to the charming bundle.
   Grown-up men and women could protect and accentuate their personal bundles with shapewear by Rounderbum. Made in Mexico, these underpinnings feel cotton-soft on the skin, with some pieces adding stylish flair while holding the essentials in place. Adding extra ambiance was LifeNSoul’s candy-coloured line of high-performance earphones, high-tech ear buds and speakers.
   Although we were breezed past the hair salon room, which was packed to the rafters with VIPs hoping to salvage their rain-soaked tresses, our lovely escort led us to the next room, which took the form of a luxury day spa with Montana-based skin care line Sevique prominently featured. As celebrities were pampered with treatments such as the ‘Eye Relaxation with Anti Aging Benefits’, ‘Facial Massage with Deep Cleansing & Protection’, and ‘Neck & Décolleté Hydration & Anti Aging Massage’, Sevique’s founder Susan Nickell and other reps highlighted step- by-step benefits of their natural, cruelty-free products while focusing on guests’ red-carpet ready concerns such as close-up interviews and strapless gowns.
   From the serenity of the Sevique spa, we then thought we landed in Barbie’s Dream House, awash in pink. However, it was a showcase for Cocoa Brown Tanning, devised by Irish inventor Marissa Carter, who, with her doting mother, showed how her three products used together could add a very convincing and realistic glow even to the fairest Irish rose (as opposed to US House Speaker John Boehner orange). A short passage to India concluding our journey, with a room that featured the Icandy Salon from San Francisco, and SHAPES Brow Bar, which brings Indian threading to many locations through southern California, including Sherman Oaks Fashion Square. The teams in that room would not rest, or let us get up, until we were looking our very best (at least under rainy circumstances).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor



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March 7, 2014

A Montage of luxury, invention and indulgence

Elyse Glickman/4.53


The venue (the Contessa Ballrooms at the lavish Montage Hotel Beverly Hills) may be new for the Secret Room, but the approach to pre-Oscar Primping is the same. In the case of the event, that’s a very good thing, as far as successful Hollywood formulas go. The headlining charity, once again, was the SPCA LA, focused on animal rescue, adoption and medical attention throughout Los Angeles County. One animal rescue story underscoring the SPCA LA’s mission is Sadie, whose fight for life has captured the nation’s heart.
   Celebrities were not only out in full force, but there fluffy friends were also welcome, as were vendors focused on the well-being of dogs and cats. Sadie herself is a fan of GooFurr, a cat medication delivery system that is also safe for dogs, developed by pastry chef and cat rescuer Barbara Cappelli. Real salmon and other natural ingredients mask the odour and taste of the pill, making medicine and vitamins a treat and a reward for the pet, rather than a chore for the human owner.
   The most buzzed about device (literally!) was Voyce, a collar that in some ways allows a dog to “talk” with a monitor that tracks its vital signs and current health situation. The inventors note a version for cats is in the works, given the strong reaction the dog version is currently receiving. It’s fitting the launch is timed with the Oscars, as the whimsical notion of a collar allowing a dog to talk was first introduced in Oscar-winning animated feature Up!.
   Toys for kids ran the gamut from the German-made Hape Toys to the eco-friendly Jetson Bike that’s apparently as easy to learn to ride as the one you had as a kid—but much faster. There were also exclusive vacations to Timbers Collection, which have second home properties throughout the world, from the American Rockies to Mexico, the Bahamas, Italy and Ireland.
   There were also household essentials that allow people to transform their homes to a paradise of their own. Exotic offerings included Divine Design’s Indian-made home accessories and Pacific Green Furniture’s palm-based wood pieces from Fiji to Rocket Farms’ fresh potted orchids, which all guests received on their way out of the suite. The icing on the cake was a coffee and bar outfitted by Wolfgang Puck (down to its sassy, Oscar-themed signage), which paired nicely with pastries from LaBrea Bakery.
   Of course, the Secret Room would not be the top draw it is without handcrafted jewellery and new beauty products hitting the market-place.
   Louisville’s Ronaldo, the wizard of wire, was back in Hollywood after a turn at the Grammys, charming guests with his 14 ct and sterling wire bracelets. The featured Love Knot is made up of undulating flat wires Rolando says represents melding together of a woman (depicted with smooth gold wires) and a man (diamond cut silver wires). The metaphor of the design reflects the strong bond between couples because the textures and colours work together. La Corza’s collection of sterling silver pieces is inspired by nature and architectural details that were at once bold and streamlined. Dallas-based Betty James Jewelry, meanwhile, showed chunky, earthy pieces could also be feminine and formal. An outfit with Betty James’ hand-wrought stone pieces would be nicely finished with hand-made rope sandals from Nomadic State of Mind.
   The brand 2xist has marked time by evolving from a small line of men’s underwear to a full-blown sportswear collection that includes a just-launched line of watches designed in tandem with award-winning industrial designer Jason Wilbur. The architectural timepiece (which looks great on many women, too!) features a unique, three-hand movement that floats freely between a transparent case and delivers in a selection of fine finishes and colours.
   Beauty products included high-tech skin care from Atzen, Biodara to cause-minded Curology Shampoo (raising awareness and funds for Breast Cancer) to Lipinc which keeps pouts perky and polished all day.
   Celebrities in attendance included James DuMont (Dallas Buyers’ Club) as well as cast members and crew from Oscar-nominated American Hustle (Alan Baumgarten, Judy Becker, Crispin Struthers), 12 Years a Slave (screenwriter John Ridley), The Artist (Ken Davitian), Captain Phillips (Chris Mulkey, Chris Burdon), top athletes (from the NFL and NBA, and talk show presenter John Salley) and Stephen Kramer Glickman from the TV series Big Time Rush (no relation).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor











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The Body Shop plays with colour

Christine Min/1.43


The Body Shop has become bolder with its the Colour Up collection for 2014. Now there is make-up—or should I say chalk—for your hair. The limited-edition Hair Chalk (NZ$25) is available in two shades, Tickle Me Pink and Falling for Blue. You can play with your hair colour by simply chalking with the colour pad, sealing with hairspray to finish and easily wash everything off with shampoo when you’re done. Sounds like fun? Sounds like a bright way to dress up for the weekend, without having to commit to the colour permanently.
   The new collection also launches sheer colour lip gloss (NZ$23) and Shimmer Cubes (NZ$42·50) to mix and match colours. Available in store from March 10. For details, check out www.thebodyshop.com.—Christine Min

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March 3, 2014

WOW-ing them at the Luxe

Elyse Glickman/11.01


Elyse Glickman

The rooftop of the Luxe Hotel is a genius spot to plan a pre-award show event. Once again, veteran event planners Mark and Matthew Harris of WOW! Creations and Roger Neal booked the space hoping to continue their respective winning streaks with celebrities and VIPs against a 360-degree backdrop of Beverly Hills. However, when storms blew through town, a suite with an open roof patio may not be the most inviting. That said, these event planners’ past track records are so solid that their events are still going to be must-dos on the pre-Oscar week party circuit.
   Matthew and Mark Harris had a clever edge, bringing out the kid in everybody. The entry to the suite at the Luxe Beverly Hills’ entrance in itself was an event, with balloons, a pre-packed goody bag of treats and a greeting from Hollywood clown and author Jason Lassen, opening out to a “circus” theme that was three rings of beauty, wellness, and good taste on the roof (in the literal sense, with several artisanal spirits being poured to take off the winter chill) and a sideshow in a second-floor suite showcasing more sensory delights: Vance Family Soy Candles (de-light-ful, delicious and calorie-free bon-bons), a set of Pamper Me Organically skin care products from Toronto, Canada, and for the sports fan, BubbaGlove pom-pom gloves with all Los Angeles sports teams represented.
   Melissa Fego’s delicate natural stone droplets in earring, necklace and bracelet form brought a touch of elegance and formality to the occasion as did floral-scented Brville candles, medical-grade skin care from Love My Body and sweet-smelling travel kits and a beautiful tote bag from Florida-based Pura Botanica, which raises money for the Loggerhead Marine Life Center. You could also start your post-Oscar health resolution with a month’s supply of vitamins from GliSODin Skin Nutrients.
   The setting may have been celebrities under the Big Top, including Miss California, USA and Miss California, Teen USA, legendary NASA astronaut Dr Buzz Aldrin, Steven Rice, James Dumont (my former high school classmate), and Zacary Heinz-Erg, all tied to major Oscar-nominated projects, but there was a grown-up aspect to it via the wonderful artisanal liquors, from ParaVi’s dessert wine in chocolate-covered bottles, to Four Roses Whiskey to Bainbridge Organic’s gin, to delicious cinnamon bun and vanilla vodkas by Five Wives from Ogden’s Own Distillery to a blissful sip from dairy-free Kkada Sutra Caramel Liqueur.
   With everybody in high spirits, the next logical step was to head to the Luxe Beverly Hills’ restaurant for a brimming bowl of Chef David Padilla’s tangy and soothing tomato soup and truffle fries.




Elyse Glickman

Earlier in the week, Roger Neal and his team treated VIPs to a variety of on-site treatments such as SunLounge Studios spray tans, designer gowns by the Netherlands’ Addy van den Krommenacker and loans of red carpet jewellery by Erin Fader. VIPs were sent home with a bag of skin care product by G. M. Collin and hair styling tools by ISO Beauty. There were also hair care products by Olez Hair, integrating apple stem-cell technology in all their products, Muchachomalo hand-painted underwear and leggings, and pants and camis by Marena made with medical grade compression fabric. A former presidential chef was on hand with comforting German and Austrian fare. (Who knew a knish could be so gourmet, or so welcoming on the eve of a big storm?)
   Although her suite was moved from Circa 55 (where we later enjoyed an incredible dinner) to the Bar 210, the unflappable and ever resourceful Debbie Durkin charged forward with a more intimate version of her stalwart “eco” Oscar event. While Voss Water and Maya Tequila provided liquid refreshment, New Zealand-based lighting company WakaNine (with US distribution through its Austin, Texas office) set the tone and the cool mod-style for the space. The soul of the event was the Say Yes to Hope charity. Vendors showing their wares included local boutique LA + Jo, classic Will Leather bags, Eye by Panoptx glasses, and to bring it all home, BeautiControl skin care and a handy tote bag with millions of pockets (love!).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor



Elyse Glickman

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