Lucire: News


August 31, 2016

Mumm showcases Grand Cordon, delivering by drone; Anna White launches; Karl Lagerfeld débuts autumn campaign

Bhavana Bhim/19.24

Karl Lagerfeld

On August 30 and 31, the new Mumm Grand Cordon champagne was exhibited at Croatia’s Hula Hula Beach Club. For each order of champagne at the Club, a bottle was flown over the sea by a drone. Music accompanied the delivery—those receiving the champagne would get a particularly special experience, emphasizing Mumm’s current ‘celebrate’ theme, and its taste for daring innovation.
   The new bottle was created by Ross Lovegrove and has no front label. The G. H. Mumm signature and emblem are printed directly on to the glass, while the Cordon Rouge sash is actually a real red ribbon indented in the glass. The new design meant changes to the traditional champagne production process.
   Karl Lagerfeld Paris has launched its autumn 2016 advertising campaign, Love from Paris, Karl ××, coinciding with the label’s launch in North America. Lagerfeld himself art-directed and photographed the campaign, which was styled by Charlotte Stockdale, and modelled by Joan Smalls and Hailey Baldwin. It’s a predominantly black-and-white collection with colour splashes, featuring prêt-à-porter clothes and accessories.
   Also on the theme of new and luxury: a new leathergoods label, Anna White, has launched in New Zealand, with a contemporary line consisting of the AW1 tote, Liberty shoulder bag and Protagonist clutch. Right now, Anna White is also offering a limited-edition Classique tote, retailing at NZ$650. The range has simple lines with a quality look. It’s the ideal chance to own stylish bags before others jump on board—Anna White’s off to a good start.—Bhavana Bhim with Lucire staff

July 19, 2016

Beauty potion no. 43

Lucire staff/21.40

Elizabeth Zuluaga

Above: Founder Nicci Levy and VIP guests check out the services at Alchemy 43.

A dash of Botox. A sprinkle of Juvederm. A pinch of Restalyne. No, it’s not a recipe from a sorcerer’s manual. It’s a “beauty compound” that is only part of the magic at Alchemy 43 in Beverly Hills, a revolutionary new beauty lab that merges the concepts of luxury and medical sophistication. Members of the press got an up close and personal look at the future of non-invasive cosmetic medicine at their July 12 media event. Guests sipped blueberry cocktails and nibbled colourful macarons while experiencing the Alchemy 43 recipe for a lifetime of gorgeousness.
   If you think med-spas are all about attitude, think again. The only attitude here is genuine joy: endless smiles and a warm welcome greet you upon entry. The sleek storefront space boasts a well-appointed waiting area with sunny atrium, chic treatment rooms, and a VIP loft for private events. But that is just the beginning. No, this is not a “sign your name at a busy front desk and wait” med-spa. After enjoying a chilled beverage, you will have your photo taken for 3-D imaging. A licensed staff “alchemist” will then discuss your needs and goals, using the enlarged image to show precisely how each treatment will look when finished. This allows you to view countless possibilities and combinations, and to quell the anxiety that often accompanies cosmetic procedures. These skilled practitioners have mastered the art of natural enhancement. No duck lips or frozen, expressionless faces here. The desired result is a subtly enhanced, rested visage.
   Post-treatment, everyone receives a refreshing oxygen infusion for faster healing. Or you can choose from the menu of reasonably priced beauty boosters including serums, peels, and microcurrent therapy. The final stop is the make-up studio featuring Kevyn Aucoin products, where an artist will give you an expert touch-up before you head back to work, home, or a night out. No one will know where you were, only that you look amazing. It`s all included, and their introductory packages make it downright affordable. For even more benefits and savings, “wrinkle relaxing” memberships are available to keep those fine lines far, far away.—Jody Miller and Leyla Messian

Elizabeth Zuluaga

July 12, 2016

CHI launches an European-inspired tool for ultra-smooth hair styles

Bhavana Bhim/23.37

Audrey Hepburn once said, ‘For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.’
   Farouk Systems Inc. combines European æsthetic with state-of-the-art technology, as it launches the CHI Onyx Euro Shine Ceramic Hair Styler, designed to deliver optimal, salon-quality results as well as facilitating a more efficient styling experience.
   With the introduction of the Onyx Ceramic plates, you have the opportunity to let them glide through your hair. The name Onyx is derived from the Greek word meaning fingernail, as the smooth polished surface of the styling tool resembles that of a nail. Formed beneath the Earth’s surface as a natural mineral, the four-inch ceramic plates combine to promise desired shine and smooth texture.
   The advanced ion generator works with the onyx ceramic plates to produce two times more ions for noticeably smoother and shinier results. The plates are designed with bevelled, rounded tips offering seamless rotation and ease for styling long hair. In addition, an LED neon light bar clearly displays temperature settings for a selection of hair styles and types.
   The sleek black design is convenient in size, resembling the smooth Onyx-based texture. The two-pronged styling tool has accessible buttons to suit styling needs. Now you can experience the relaxation of fingers running through your hair, with the advanced technology in the CHI Onyx Ceramic Hair Styler.—Bhavana Bhim

June 29, 2016

Oh, pretty woman!

Elyse Glickman/21.06

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 27 years since Julia Roberts’ career and her character in the film Pretty Woman were transformed in the confines of the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. It also speaks volumes that Julia Roberts and this storied Beverly Hills property (now under the Four Seasons umbrella) still turn heads after all these years.
   Just as Julia Roberts has kept herself up to date, so has the hotel’s spa with some new additions. It was only fitting that the crowd-pleaser movie was playing in the background as beauty bloggers and journalists made the rounds to experience sample treatments including products from just added lines Évolué (officially styled in all lowercase, évolué) and Elemis.
   Évolué, created by Beverly Hills-based Jean Seo, features products integrating nourishing and luxurious ingredients sourced from around the world that mimic what the body naturally produces and loses with age. Besides her bubbly personality, Seo’s other top selling point is that her products are tested actresses and models rather than animals. Although Elemis is one of the UK’s top spa skin care brands, the Spa at Regent Beverly Wilshire will be one of the few US spas to feature the new Elemis Biotec system into several treatments. The focal point of the spa experience is a machine combining five technologies that are scientifically proven to increase cell energy for optimum skin function.

   With the event staged from 5 to 8.30 p.m., we could not think of a better way to spend happy hour, with beauty indulgences replacing food. However, as there were so many treatments in so little time, we each had our own differing sets of treatments. As there are usually drinks during happy hour, this event did not disappoint. Invitees were offered champagne or cold pressed juices by LA Juice to stay refreshed (though water consumption was also recommended.)

Elyse: After starting the evening with a manicure where I went outside my comfort zone, colour-wise (a robin’s egg blue by Creative Nail), I signed up to have a practitioner give my face a workout with a light, effervescent Brightening Antioxidant treatment. Next, I balanced things out with an oxygen facial with Natura Bisse products from Spain, and an indulgent Time Reversal Facial using a cocktail of products from Évolué. Between each 15-minute facial session, I enjoyed experimenting with essential oils by Dõterra (officially, dõTERRA) and had a blissful foot massage expertly handled by a cheery member of the spa staff. The practitioner at the Dõterra display claimed that the nose is a conduit to the psyche. After she guided my nose to the right scent suiting my mood and personality at the moment, she handed me a book and turned it to a page that explained how the aromatic oil could put me in a happier state of mind.

Leyla: I enjoyed the Time Reversal Facial, which uses Évolué’s simple, organic formulations. After removing a day’s worth of foundation, powder and eyeliner with their pure jojoba oil cleanser, they gently exfoliated my skin with a natural and less invasive alternative to microdermabrasion. The Évolué Resurfacing Grains, made with oat and milk powder, gently softened my skin without creating unsightly red patches. The treatment was topped off with a mask of face-plumping elastin and collagen. Next, I treated my face to the Biotech Firm-a-Lift by Elemis, which uses a combination of plant stem cells and hyaluronic acid to nourish the skin and reduce fine lines.
   The æsthetician also used an ultrasonic device to oxygenate the skin and stimulate cell growth. I appreciate the fact that Elemis’s products are steeped in scientific research. They do not make any claims without clinical trials. I followed this with a mini-version of the spa’s Elemis Amber and Orchids body wrap. The æsthetician massaged sweet orchid oil into my tired hands, and wrapped them in warm towels. The fragrance stayed with me for several days. For the final touch, I went to the Lea Journo Hair Salon adjacent to the spa for a lesson in contouring my face, “Kardashian-style”.

Jody: After already indulging in a couple of lovely mini-facials, I pondered whether I should sample another. OK, twist my arm! And lucky for me I did, because the Hydrafacial was my favourite. In a nutshell, it is a soothing hydra-dermabrasion procedure that combines deep cleansing, exfoliation, extraction (that’s right—it replaces painful extractions), hydration, and infusion of antioxidants. The result is skin that is clearer and more luminous without the discomfort or down time. It is an all-in-one facial wonder suitable for all skin types, and the cool mist topping it off is a perfect summer pick-me-up.

   Although the schedule was tight for all the guests, everybody found time to be treated to deliciously cool under-eye “gold” or “diamond” masks by Knesko. Better still, they sent everybody home with a gift bag that itself was the spa “to go”. The care package included a generous envelope with Knesco masks for face and neck, full-sized products from Évolué (Resurfacing Grains and Cleanser) and Elemis’s Biotech Skin Energizing Cleanser and Day Cream, featuring electrolytes and minerals our skin thirsts for. Of course, to maintain those benefits, it’s always good to provide incentive to return and leave it to the pros to work their magic.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor; Leyla Messian and Jody Miller, LA Correspondents

June 24, 2016

Jameson’s Caskmates launch in New Zealand, blending whiskey and stout; Stadler Form launches art-déco fan

Lola Cristall/23.23

Jameson Caskmates has launched in New Zealand, after its successful run in Ireland last year. Jameson loaned some of its Midleton Distillery casks to the Franciscan Well brewery in Cork to see what would happen to the brewery’s Irish stout, after a plan was hatched by Jameson Master Distiller, Brian Nation, Master of Whiskey Science, Dave Quinn, and Franciscan Well founder and head brewer, Shane Long when they met in Cork. The casks were then returned to the Distillery and filled with Jameson Irish Whiskey.
   The result was a Jameson Caskmates: a triple-distilled, ‘once stouted’ whiskey with a distinctive taste that features notes of coffee, cocoa, butterscotch and gentle hints of hops.
   Jameson expects that those who enjoy craft beer and whiskey will take to the blending of two disciplines, with a particularly versatile drink. Jameson Caskmates is bottled at 40 per cent ABV and goes on sale in New Zealand from July 2016, with an RRP of NZ$55·99.
   Stadler Form’s art-déco Q Fan is a stunning work of art that looks gorgeous in any part of the home. While it’s a considerably quiet fan, the strength of the three blades projects plenty of cool air. Whether the simplicity of silver or the boldness of bronze, each colour flawlessly complements its surroundings. Weighing as light as 4 kg (slightly less than 9 lb) the fan comes in three distinct speed levels, adapting according to the environment. Despite the intensity of the hot temperature, it rapidly releases cool air in a minimal amount of time. Designed by famous designer Carlo Borer, the fan is in the form of the letter Q, its stainless steel shaped into an absolute work of art.
   The brand was founded by Martin Stadler in 1998 in Zug, Switzerland. Stadler Form collaborates with renowned Swiss-based designers including Kurt Zimmerli, Fabian Zimmerli and Mathias Walker. Stadler Form has become an internationally distinguished brand, distributing its array of inventive products to more than 40 countries, including humidifiers, fans, air purifiers, heaters, dehumidifiers and aroma diffusers.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor, and Lucire staff

May 27, 2016

Brooklyn Decker stars in new video for Chrysler Pacifica minivan, alongside the ‘PacifiKids’

Lucire staff/21.51

Former Lucire model Brooklyn Decker, now better known for her role in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, stars in Chrysler’s new campaign for its 2017 Pacifica minivan.
   The campaign sees Decker along with the ‘PacifiKids’, Miles (aged 11), Izzy (10) and Harper (8), explain the new model to her, which is Fiat Chrysler’s replacement for both the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan (the latter remains in production for the time being).
   A series of videos will début in advance of the US Memorial Day weekend on Facebook, according to the company. The first video can be found here.
   The PacifiKids understand technology in the way modern children can, and take the viewer through features such as the Pacifica’s tri-pane panoramic sunroof and voice-activated infotainment system.
   Decker is a new mother, having given birth to a boy on September 30, 2015.
   The Pacifica is reputed to be the best in class, keeping Fiat Chrysler ahead in the large MPV segment which it created back in the 1980s.
   Fiat Chrysler says there are two additional videos featuring the PacifiKids. The campaign was created with Chrysler’s social media agency, Society.

April 26, 2016

The big reveal for HTC’s 10 smartphone in New York

Lola Cristall/10.59

New York rolled out the red carpet for the big reveal of HTC’s newly and much awaited 2016 flagship smartphone earlier in April. Weeks before, the industry were enthusiastically anticipating the state-of-the-art HTC 10. Its sleek look, elegant structure and slightly oblique curves radiate with sophistication.
   The aluminium unibody Android stores up to 27 hours of power, thanks to the company’s PowerBotics component that enhances battery life. The up-to-date Qualcomm Snapdragon processor accelerates speed and connectivity with impressive graphics. Other innovations include their BoomSound Hi-Fi edition for stunning sound quality. Additional features include a rough textured power button, a concealed SIM card slot and volume control. A dual-tone LED flash, a laser autofocus, a back-illuminated sensor (BSI), front and back UltraPixel cameras with optical image stabilization (OIS) for pictures and selfies, permitting the photographer to evade the unwanted blur. The 12 Mpixel camera can capture moments in a flash (literally) in a speed of 0·6 seconds. Other features also include face detection and a self-timer. The scratch and damage-resistant glass covers a high-resolution 5·2-inch screen with 2,560 by 1,440 pixels, a whopping pixel density of 564 ppi. The metal body and rigorous glass front beautifully complement each other to provide a robust handset that can withstand scratches and scrapes.
   It is a delicate, elegant gadget with a fingerprint sensor, which can speedily detect the user unlocking the device in 0·2 seconds, and an easy-to-navigate touch-screen, all in the comfort of one’s hand. HTC 10 will officially be released in May and will be available in two shades, including grey and silver.—Lola Cristall, Paris editor

March 28, 2016

The Apple Iphone 7: what it could have, and what I’d like it to have

Lucire staff/12.29


Above: Apple launched its Iphone SE last week, but what could be in store for the Iphone 7 in September?

It appears that 2016 is going to be a seminal year for Iphone.
   Not only is 2016 expected to be the first year where growth in Iphone sales does not increase, we have seen the release of a smaller four-inch Iphone SE (where for the first time Apple’s Iphone line will feature three phones, not merely keeping around older models for a lower price point). Now we are expecting to see the Iphone 7 released around September, which may even result in four different phones, as there are rumours of an even larger phablet than the current Iphone Plus model, a possible Iphone Pro.
   But what would I like to see for the Iphone 7 release?
   We are expecting to see a phone that doesn’t markedly differ in outward appearance from the Iphone 6 and 6S (in much the same way as the Iphone 5, aside from a screen size increase, didn’t differ too much in design from the Iphone 4 and 4S).
   There will be some design changes, but from the rumour blogs, the appearance won’t be overly different, especially after a year that saw the change from the Iphone 5S to the Iphone 6. It does appear that Apple will be removing the analogue headphone jack, forcing us to either go Bluetooth, have a Lightning connecting headphone set, or have a converter.
   We’ll get the usual processor increase, possibly a RAM increase (which I consider important—see below as to why), and naturally improvements in camera performance.
   It is this latter item that is on the first of my wish-lists: the camera. The rumours have suggested a dual-lens system, which allows a range of different camera effects to occur—amongst them having multiple focal lengths in the same image, and better performance in low light and multi-light situations—possibly in the Iphone Plus (or Iphone Pro) models as a point of distinction. But there is one area in particular I’d like Apple to make some a profound change: zoom.
   One of the major ways smartphone cameras differ from even most point-and-click ones is the lack of an optical zoom; all the zoom function in smartphone cameras is digital. This means rather than using all the pixels to capture a narrower field-of-view, what digital zoom does is zoom in on those pixels covering that narrower field. Consequently, a digitally zoomed image will have a lower level of quality to it than an equivalent image that has been taken with an optical zoom.
   Apple does a bunch of great software improvements to compensate for this. As a general rule, it is the software that makes an image great, not merely the number of pixels. This is why Apple has maintained a lower pixel count than most smartphone manufacturers, but yet produced better photos for the most part. However, at a certain point you run up against the constraints of physics.
   For instance, Apple introduced optical image stabilization into the camera of the Iphone 6 Plus, where previously digital image stabilization had been present (and still is in the 6 model).
   The dual-lens system may allow for a zoom function somewhere between an optical zoom and a digital zoom, where the dual focal lengths can be manipulated to produce a zoom effect. But regardless of how it is done, I think this is something that Apple really could put effort into as a point of differentiation.
   There are third-party optical lens attachments that you can naturally purchase that, amongst other things, have optical zoom. But, to be honest, how many people want to fiddle with such things on a regular basis? Apple put quick access to the camera on the lock screen for a reason.
   My second wish for the Iphone 7 is something that is quite a departure from prior Iphone development, development that includes such things as progressive camera improvement to include zoom. It’s inspired by something that, believe it or not, comes from Windows Phone.
   When Windows 10 was launched, Microsoft released a number of products alongside it. These included such things as the Surface Pro 4 and the new Surface Book, both of which are excellent machines. They additionally released a couple new phones, one of which was the Microsoft Lumia 950.
   Among the features of the Lumia 950 was the ability to (via a rather ugly dock) connect the phone to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. When the phone detected the dock, it ran a version of the desktop Windows 10 (I say a version, due to the fact that not all desktop apps could run as phone versions, and you were restricted as to what you could install on the phone—primarily, it was Office you could run).
   However, this got me thinking, what if we could do this with an Iphone 7 Plus?
   But rather than running IOS expanded to the screen of the external monitor (which would be silly, as most external monitors are not touch-compatible), the Iphone would detect the dock, and turn on a copy of OS X—the operating system that runs on Macs—that is stored on the phone.
   Given the current maximum disk space on the Iphone is 128 Gbyte, there is space to have OS X stored and running (though I would say 256 Gbyte would then not be out of the question, especially since Apple this week released a 256 Gbyte option in the new 9·7-inch Ipad Pro). I would recommend that RAM be increased, too, which would be possible as a marker of difference on the premium Plus (or Pro) models.
   But, just imagine being able to arrive at your office, plug your phone into the dock, and have a fully functioning version of OS X available to you as your PC? A fully functioning computer that you can keep in your pocket, in small purse, in a jacket, transitioning from location to location without the need to bring multiple devices with you. You will be bringing your phone, so why not make it the only thing you need bring?
   Now, naturally, this machine wouldn’t be anywhere near as powerful as a MacBook Pro, or even a MacBook Air, but it could be equivalent to the 2015 MacBook, for instance, or at least in the ballpark.
   It would also allow Apple to perhaps address an identified issue in OS X.
   OS X is a “mature” operating system. It gets tweaks, appearance and feature improvements now in each release, but the days of the rock-your-world OS X release is behind us. The current iteration, El Capitán, is very and refined. The dynamism in development and boundary-pushing is in IOS, and particularly the IOS App Store. A lot of IOS apps are now arguably better than their OS X equivalents. And one of the things IOS apps can’t do is run on OS X.
   But what if they could?
   I’m not talking about an IOS emulator on OS X (though that might be an interim option certainly), but rather have the ability to run IOS apps natively on OS X, with tweaks that allow it to function better within OS X, in much the same way as different versions of IOS apps run on the Ipad and Iphone. It would really inject some needed energy into OS X.
   A phone that could do so for you, to really be your one-stop shop for your computing needs, would be a point of massive difference for the Iphone.
   Apple would certainly design a less ugly version of the dock than Microsoft did at least.
   Do I honestly expect Apple to do this with the Iphone 7? To be realistic, no, I don’t. It’s too radical a development, but it could be something they could do in the Iphone 7S. And it is something I would like, and use.
   The future of computing is portability (power users aside), as the success of smartphones, tablets, and ultra-portable laptops attest. Such a thing could certainly be in Apple’s bailiwick.
   Though Apple, could I also ask for an OLED screen on the Iphone 7? Always on live-updating widgets on the lock screen that OLED would allow for would be amazing.—Sarah Bickerton

See Sarah Bickerton’s review of the 2015 MacBook here.

Filed under: design, living, Lucire, technology
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