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January 7, 2017

GBK puts the ‘lounge’ back into its Golden Globe Century Lounge

Elyse Glickman/22.23




Elyse Glickman

For GBK’s last several award show-outings, Gavin Keilly and his troupe went high volume and high production, complete with backdrops at such larger-than-life places as the W Hollywood. The sampling, gifting and revelry went on for days at these things (well, two, to be exact, but you get the idea, based on our coverages from the past). This time, Gavin went back to basics, staging his 2017 Golden Globes pre-party in At the P (a delightfully pared-down and intimate space not far from Paramount Studios, yet far from the maddening crowds of past parties).
   With excess stripped away, guests could give their undivided attention to marquee charities, American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) and Lambda Legal, whose contributions to the world will be especially welcome and needed in the changing (and more challenging) social climate brought on in force during 2016. Lambda Legal is a non-profit US organization whose members, since 1973, have worked tirelessly to attain and protect the civil liberties of gays, lesbians, transgender people and those affected by HIV through impact litigation, public policy work, activism and education. The MDA, Israel’s national emergency medical response agency and Red Cross affiliate, is a global pioneer in mass casualty response, sharing its knowledge with governments throughout the world.
   The comfy, gallery-like space also provided a nice backdrop for some wonderful bites and drinks from 4 Copas Tequila, IXIB DimSum Eats, and SuShe Art. The former put on quite a show, starring female sushi chefs doling out handrolls and cut roll pieces atop leaf-covered models. Napa Technology, meanwhile, demonstrated its Genesis Perfect Pour wine dispensing system that not only dispenses perfect glasses but extends the shelf life of uncorked bottles.
   GBK regulars were there to the delight of guests, including Tweezerman with its men’s grooming sets and metallic travel sets for women; Babar Hair Tools (including the Babar Mini Max cordless and rechargeable flat iron and its new hair-drier release); and the always welcome Artisan Group with their grab bags. Highlights from my surprise bag reflected that small jewellery items are big again. They included delicate semi-precious stone necklaces from Little P’s, Creations by Kristel and CY Designs, and earrings from Fizz Candy. BeezKneez is still buzzing with modern paper products that beg to bring back the art of handwritten notes.
   There was something for the sports fan (NIMA Sports college football helmet speakers), the amorous (virtual “toys” from SenseMax), savvy designer-brand shoppers (TemptBrands.com, offering guests Street Affaires sunglasses); Drew Barrymore followers (super cute Flower sunglasses) and shoe fanatics (guiltysoles.com). However, we really liked the new line of stylish, pet-feeding pieces from OnoFriends.com that mitigate food and water over-spill as well as the EZPZ all-in-one sectioned food dish and placemat for infants and toddlers.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor







Elyse Glickman

January 6, 2017

A Golden mine of beauty finds, as the Secret Room honours 74th Globes nominees

Elyse Glickman/22.42




J. C. Olivera

Among the celebrities attending: Rénée Oldstead, Amara Karan, Katie Leclerc.

Anyone attending a Secret Room event during an award show weekend can count on discovering cutting-edge, kind-to-the-environment beauty products. However, the Secret Room Events honouring 74th Golden Globe Awards nominees and presenters focused almost entirely of skin care and wellness products made with medically or environmentally sound ingredients.
   Thanks to the product displays and the æsthetic finesse and artistic skills of platinum sponsor Anne Neilson of Charlotte, NC’s Anne Neilson Home, the SLS Hotel main ballroom in Beverly Hills felt like the ultimate hotel spa reception area. Neilson’s candles, coffee table books and spa beverage dispenser greeted guests after having their red carpet photos taken. However, not many hotel spas admit pets. Here, pets were not only welcomed with open paws, but also Paw Works, the event’s official charity. The non-profit animal rescue organization is dedicated to partnering with county and city businesses to provide abandoned animals through rescues, adoption services and other services.
   Like a good spa, there was a world of skin care products at one’s fingertips with tempting displays and open testers. First, the Pacific Ocean side of the world: South Korea was represented with UrbanHeal’s soon-to-launch line of home facial masks, while Japan’s McCoy Ltd. returned with a new post-workout body care marvel called Non F Expert designed to further advance a sleeker appearance with stem cell extracts and rice-based components. Australia-based Auspect Skincare International introduced its all-purpose line with some products made in the US that includes everything from anti-ageing serums for fine lines and wrinkles and eye cream for dark circles to solutions for rosacea and acne-prone skin. Aromababy touted its Australian-made ranges of pure and gentle aroma-free or therapeutic grade (essential oil) aromatic products for babies and young children.
   There was much to discover in the world of European beauty. Crossing over the Atlantic, guests encountered Storm Rejuvenate Pro, which proved powerful do indeed come in small packages. A tiny box with 50 little packets contains a few drops of a gel serum that instantly diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and loose skin, creating the perfect canvas for one’s make-up. Russia’s Splat encouraged smiles with its prolific line of ultra-premium dental care as well as Heya balsam shampoos. Bioderma was not only back with its popular Sensibio H2O micelle solution but also representative products from its Sebium (acne remedy) and moisturizing Hydrabio lines. European Skin and Massage Studio introduced Woda European Natural Skin Care products from Poland.
   It is no surprise that there were also several made-in-California remedies on hand, from spa equipment supplier Martinni Beauty’s cooling at-home masques to Beverly Hills-based Serumtologie, featured on CNBC’s business programme, showcasing Cserum 22 and Pure Whipped Chiffon moisturizer. The ultra-luxurious CelleCle Skincare, based in Orange County, builds its niche on products tackling skin problems brought on by urbanization, environmental stress, technology and pollution with ‘unique plant flavonoids’ and other ingredients that penetrate several dermal layers. Cote Hair Care, hailing from Las Vegas, rolled out its professional vegan hair care products replacing such nasty stuff as parabens, GMOs and gluten with quinoa oil and plant-based complexes.
   Speaking of plant-based, there were some edible and nutritious treats offered by Barlean’s and Julie’s Real. The real Julie (Fox) behind Julie’s Real was handing out samples of her grain-free granola and almond butters while reps from Barlean’s got us excited about their superfoods with omega-3 fish oil, flax oil and vegan greens powders that make everything from salads to smoothies more nutritious and delicious. All one tastes in the key lime fish oil, straight or mixed with a smoothie, is creamy tropical goodness.
   Many celebrities were on hand to sample and compare, but the most interesting spotting was comedy legend Elayne Boosler, who spent her day behind the tables promoting her Tails of Joy and supporting the inventor of Mighty No Bitey, Inc. insect repellant. I had the privilege of interviewing Boosler when she performed in Chicago back in my college newspaper days, and was delighted to see that face to face, many years on, she’s as passionate, politically astute, progressive and feisty as ever. Here’s hoping she continues to speak out, whether it’s for animal rescue or human rights in America as a new presidency approaches.
   The lone fashion-oriented sponsor was Forever in My Heart Jewelry by Mira, whose founder was also devoted to animal welfare. Her eclectic collection contained mix of special lockets (holding ashes from departed pets), statement pieces and everyday jewellery. The Happiness Box, meanwhile, was something that would be inside a spa reception area. The cylindrical can contains 365 statements of affirmation one can select to ensure every day of the year starts with a positive thought.
   There was also a handy gadget of note, the Dripo Japanese-style ice drip coffee maker, which brews potent and flavourful iced coffee without any electricity. If you have access to ice and 25 g of your favorite coffee on hand, follow the directions, go and do something else for 90 minutes, and return for a warm weather pick-me-up. The packaging for the gadget, a large cardboard carton that would normally contain prefabricated stuff, is also genius.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor







J. C. Olivera

Above, from top: Peter Mackenzie and Graham Beckel. Sara Rue. Kevin Dillon. Priyanka Bose. Annie Funke. Saniyya Sidney.















Elyse Glickman

November 24, 2016

Art Lewin Bespoke: when crowd suits the occasion

Elyse Glickman/20.30






Above, from top: Art Lewin with Daniel Simons. Interior at Art Lewin’s Santa Monica store. Eugenia Kuzmina. With Kelsey Scott. Patrika Darbo.

Whether you’re going for an audition or a job interview, the first impression is critical. With a guest list that included actors, attorneys, and LA power-brokers, nobody understands this better than Art Lewin. In mid-November, he opened his sixth store in Santa Monica, which like the other locales, is outfitted with everything needed for the perfect custom suit: an extensive library of world-class quality fabrics from internationally renowned mills in England, Italy, France, Switzerland, and Germany; and canvas that is hand-padded and artisan-stitched (as opposed to machine stitching).
   Lewin has long been a go-to tailor for Hollywood celebrities, including Jon Voight, Ernie Hudson, Jason Ritter, William Shatner, Lou Ferrigno, Esai Morales and Robert Wagner, to name a few. Art Lewin Bespoke is also preferred by a cadre of stylists. He also offers sleek suiting for women with the same attention to detail, and Sofia Milos is counted among the roster of loyal clients.
   The invitation-only red carpet opening was a mix of 100 loyal fans and new converts, including 2016 Primetime Emmy winner Patrika Darbo, Kelsey Scott (12 Years a Slave), and model–actress Eugenia Kuzmina. All guests parted with a Mario Masotti hand-made silk neck-tie to start the process of making a statement at their next court date, boardroom meeting, or audition.
   Co-sponsors BuyWine.com offered guests the best of the best including gourmet cuisine, scrumptious desserts with other treats including Napa Valley wines from Sparrow Hawk and Highway 12 vineyards, Hint Water and Rekorderlig Cider from Sweden.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor






























November 20, 2016

Celebrity Connected: a platform for the “green party”

Elyse Glickman/6.20




Elyse Glickman

After an intense, divisive US presidential season, and its controversial aftermath, Californians were ready to kick off award show season. Celebrity Connected not only got the party started, but provided some much needed pre-Christmas comfort and joy to greet the Hollywood creative community. The W Hollywood became a Garden of Eden, filled with a bumper crop of organic vegan goodies, non-dairy frozen treats, comfy weekend wear, interesting vaping inventions, yoga goods, and plants that could be planted in yards to further green up one’s neighboUrhood.

The Children’s Hour
Bears for Humanity founder Vijay Prathap spread a little early Yuletide cheer, distributing US-made Santa Bears to get his point across about the company’s multi-tiered charitable efforts. The 100 per cent certified organic, global Fair Trade elements of the bear are brought together by at-risk women looking to expand their career opportunities through the welfare-to-work programme. With every bear purchased, another bear is given to a child in need in communities throughout the country.
   There were also all-ages fashion and skin care (with lots of mother-and-daughter teamwork) served up by Royal & Reese, Swag-Eez and Sistah Buttah, as well as yoga hear from Karma and Soul. Pre-teen entrepreneurs Angels & Tomboys showed off their Shark Tank-winning, rock-inspired body sprays (including Purple Rain, a tribute to Prince reminding one of the grape soda we all loved as kids).

Green days
Although the overall progressive agenda now hangs in the balance with a conservative government coming to power in 2017, the fight to make cannabis legal in several states—including California—has moved in the right direction. Adults over 18 could sign up with MediCann doctors on the spot for paperwork that provided three months of access to dispensaries. In the immediate, they could sample several innovative products incorporating medical marijuana, cannabis, and hemp.
   Hemp Kitchen offered a Medicine Chest package through their delivery service with a variety of foods and treatment products addressing pain relief, headaches and other ailments. Chef Mike was on hand to explain how enjoy the products and the nutritional components of the goods. The Art of Edibles Cannabis Collective and To Whom It May provided chocolate aficionados with gorgeously wrapped gourmet truffles, and generous gifts from VQase and Hawaiian Vape provided extra flavour and fun for those partaking in the popular cigarette alternative.
   Souly Vegan of Oakland served substantial sustenance, while Justin’s nutty goodies added sweet relief to mid-day hunger pangs and Cocorilla had coconut water as nature intended—in its original shell. Pure indulgence was doled out by Street Churos (a food truck with a charitable element), Kokolato gelato and Yoga-urt.

Other things that rocked
Stand-out items included hand-crafted natural stone statement jewellery and minaudière handbags from Ann Ong, Rocking the Clock’s repurposed musical instrument home décor clocks and accents, and Cordcruncher, which promises to eliminate tangled earbuds once and for all. A great travel essential I look forward to trying is MAI Couture’s passport case, which can be filled with easy to use, unbreakable, and mess-proof papers with blush, bronzer, and foundation.

Finds beyond the suite
Around the same time as this suite, we found some other good products worth noting. Eufora Curl ’N is one of the best curl-defining sprays for finer hair texture going. All the definition and spring without sticky stuff weighing down hair.
   EC/BC recently rolled out its TSA-friendly backpacks and briefcases. Though the designs are unisex, these carry-on items make a statement in terms of fuss-free travel that help sort out (literally) anything that may stop a law-abiding citizen in the security line. The Barceló Hotel Group (known for its Caribbean and Mexican resorts) is also expanding its reach into Cuba, Costa Rica and other hot destinations, figuratively and literally.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor
















Elyse Glickman

November 16, 2016

Ralph & Russo, Charlotte Tilbury, Anya Hindmarch among Walpole winners; Lucy Hale named ambassador for Casetify

Lucire staff/12.50

Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale has been named as a spokeswoman and creative director for Casetify, a company retailing cellphone cases, Apple Watch bands, Macbook sleeves and clutches.
   The capsule collection of 34 pieces has been launched in time for the new Apple Iphone 7, based around the idea of ‘delicate but daring,’ a motto credited to the actress. The designs reflect Hale’s tastes, including one with the quotation, ‘I like big brows and I cannot lie,’ as well as cheetah, floral and cacti prints, and one featuring her own dog, Elvis.
   Prices begin at US$40, and the range can be found at www.casetify.com/lucy-hale.
   The 15th annual Walpole Awards, presented in London on Wednesday, saw numerous fashion and beauty brands honoured for their contribution to luxury. Ralph & Russo won Outstanding Achievement in British Luxury, presented by Nadja Swarovski (right).
   Other winners included make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury, who won British Luxury Brand of the Year, and accessories’ designer Anya Hindmarch won the prize for Digital Innovation in British Luxury. Burberry and House of St Barnabas jointly won the Champion of British Luxury Sustainability award.

November 14, 2016

Green with beauty: a holistic understanding through Organic Spa Magazine

Lucire staff/11.50




Randall Michelson

Since 2007, Organic Spa Magazine has inspired and informed readers on green beauty and living. By no means limited to the world of day spas, Organic Spa educates and motivates on all aspects of a holistic lifestyle. At the famously posh Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills on a rather balmy October evening, members of the press were learned first-hand how Organic Spa has galvanized the once-niche market into a universally practised way of life.
   In addition to a cool gift bag filled with some of the latest and greatest in organic beauty (we’ll get to that shortly) and a tasting of some deliciously healthy food prepared with good-for-your skin enhancements, the event presented a panel and conversation with some true luminaries in fitness and eco-conscious beauty. These guest speakers included: Tracy Anderson, creator of the Tracy Anderson Method; Kimberly Snyder, nutritionist, yogi, New York Times best selling author; Christie Coleman, Head of Innovation for BeautyCounter; and Louis Schwartzberg, director, producer, and cinematographer.
   What was most impressive and refreshing is that none of them endeavoured to promote their brand or product. Instead, the exchange focused on the future of organic living and perhaps most vitally: a message of beauty from within. What can such an overused cliché mean, you ask? Simply put, ditch the celebrity and media stereotypes of physical beauty that bombard our lives. They are illusory and temporal, and have a tenuous hold on reality. Embrace balance and harmony at a slower pace of life. Remember that your beauty regimen starts from within and by respecting nature. Give back and you will be rewarded. Take it slowly, make a commitment and your beauty will be revealed.
   And now as promised, a peek at some of the hottest trending brands and products that are not merely naturally derived, but results-driven.
   When we say beauty comes from within, we’re not kidding. Neocell is a recognized leader in skin-enhancing nutritional supplements. Their DermaMatrix Collagen Skin Complex is part of their new Platinum Collection, a premium line of nutraceuticals targeting specific collagen systems. Firmer and more elastic skin is as easy as making a fresh smoothie using a scoop of the instantly dissolving powder. Other notable products in the line include berry-flavoured chewable Beauty Bursts, and the Move Matrix Advanced Joint Hydrator.
   A leader in the world of organic skin care, Mychelle Dermaceauticals introduces their most potent mask yet: the Perfect C Pro Speed Peel, a professional-level, one-step, fast-acting 25 per cent citrus fruit purée peel, formulated with 10 per cent L-ascorbic acid blended with L-lactic acid, Plant C-Stem, and retinal to deliver youthful, glowing skin. Also new from Mychelle are the Bio-Firm HydroGel Concentrate and Perfect C Radiance Lotion.
   From the UK, Earth Kiss Face Masks are energized with Himalayan shilajit, a prized ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine. Known as a potent skin rejuvenator, the 100 per cent natural masks are formulated with cherished ingredients from across the globe such as white Thai muds, ancient rhassoul clay and deeply hydrating boabab oil from Africa.
   ‘Slow beauty for a fast world’ is the motto of SpaRitual, a collection of delightfully decadent vegan body and nail products that never compromise on quality. The newest addition is a first-ever CC Crème for your nails, a combination treatment and colour that is infused with beneficial ingredients to help strengthen, smooth, brighten and protect while providing a no-polish-needed coat of sheer tint.
   Quick-drying, non-toxic, non-yellowing and vegan, Dazzle Dry is the fairy godmother of nail lacquers. For extra indulgence to relieve unsightly and itchy cracked skin, Hand & Elbows Cream contains potent bioactive ingredients to hydrate and exfoliate rapidly and efficiently, while allantoin speeds up new skin cell regeneration.—Jody Miller, LA Correspondent






































Randall Michelson

September 25, 2016

Turned on, tuned in: Doris Bergman’s seventh annual Emmy Style Lounge & Party

Lucire staff/21.48




Elyse Glickman

Above, from top: Art Lewin works the room with celebrities on hand. Fibrum’s revolutionary virtual reality technology. We fell in love with True Love Skincare.

It just goes to show that you can’t stop progress. A decade ago, everybody in Hollywood was marvelling about how cable television was drawing some of the spotlight away from the Big Four networks with ground-breaking concepts that just couldn’t be shown on ‘regular TV’. Today, Netflix, Hulu and other streaming networks have eclipsed cable television with topical takes on social issues and nostalgia. Heck! It took a lot for us to pull ourselves away from binge watching The Get Down, Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, Bloodline, and Narcos to attend Doris Bergman’s seventh annual Emmy Style Lounge & Party.
   After a decade of covering pre-awards events, we have noticed there is a similar shift in how Hollywood event planners are picking and choosing their participants. In 2006, it was all about glamour, luxury and fun touches of excess. This is, after all, how we got turned on to vacuum cleaners that double as sculpture.
   Today, the suites reflect our evolving tastes as well as those of the taste-makers around Hollywood. At Doris’s event inside the swanky Fig & Olive restaurant, we found a balance between the practical and the luxurious. There was plenty to please male attendees such as Jason Ritter, John Savage, Marsai Martin (Black-ish) and Charlie Koontz (CSI: Cyber). Art Lewin, a long-time Doris favourite, handed out silk ties and discussed his bespoke suiting services for special occasions. Single’s jewel-toned boxers for men would look and feel comfortable under these custom-tailored suits.
   A few high-tech products made their début. Dioo Audio’s pink, champagne, and black ear buds and headphones were designed for women, according to company rep Mike Kahn. However, with the sleek metallic, guitar-pick-inspired accents and comfy memory foam in the headphones, most guys would snap up the black accessories. Speaking of sound investments, celebrities were the first to get their hands on Fibrum Mobile Virtual Reality headsets, which takes smartphone gaming experience to the next level. Event sponsor EinDrink.com introduced its app, which helps users locate hot bars and cool cocktail or craft beer events anywhere in the world.
   Grooming goodies were also front and centre. Spongelle added wonderful new things to their line, including lasting pedicure bars, metallic soap sponges that leave behind a subtle shimmer, and their new all-in-one Super Buffer for men. Other products focused on those unmentionable grooming challenges that we all face: the FootMate System by Gordon Brush, a marriage between a shower mat and a pedicure brush, gently scrubs away sand, dirt, and dead skin from tired, calloused feet. Even the most follicly endowed man wouldn’t mind a little boost from Pura d’Or’s hair-growth-enhancing shampoo. Celebs and civilians who suffer from warts, age spots, and skin made crackly by the sun all found remedies within the True Love Skincare line. Essential oils, honey, and other natural ingredients gently exfoliate, disinfect, and moisturize inflamed skin, even in intimate areas. As for their True Love Private Paste, don’t be shy—go ahead and ask!
   There was enough sparkle for our favourite style stars including Jane Lynch, Kimberly Elise, Patricka Darbo, Dot Marie Jones, and Tasha Smith (Empire). Doris’s good friend Sue Wong had her camera-ready dresses waiting in the wings. The international designer–grande dame showcased eveningwear that evoked a long-gone time and place; women of all shapes could be sexy and modern with a nod to silent film era. Twisted Silver showed up with more repurposed chic costume jewellery for men and women, and My Saint, My Hero was back with an expanded range of cool faith-oriented bracelets and bangles. Celebrities seeking the real deal in jewellery were drawn to Andrea Gutierrez’s nature-inspired statement pieces. Dresses, jumpsuits, rompers, scarves, and tops by Kaya di Koko are wrinkle-free and practical, yet sexy enough for the club or resort.
   Rekorderlig’s fruit cider from Sweden and cocktails made with Royal Élite Vodka from Uzbekistan helped guests quell the late summer heat. However, the star of the show, beverage-wise, was chef–coffee importer–home entertaining maven Bryan David Scott. With assistance from LA mixologist Flairin Farron, Bryan rocked the house with his luxurious iced espresso drinks spiked with Somrus, a cardamon- and rose-scented cream liquor from India. If you insist on top-quality coffee to really wake you up in the morning, check out his news and brews at his aptly named website, cupofluxury.com.
   In the spirit of giving back, guests and sponsors donated unwrapped gifts for young adults (ages 13–18) for a Pre-Holiday Gift Drive benefiting ‘Wednesday’s Child’, a weekly segment airing on KTTV Fox 11 News, Los Angeles, with anchor Christine Devine. ‘Wednesday’s Child’ highlights harder-to-place children in the LA County foster care system who are in need of adoptive families. ‘In Los Angeles County, alone, there are over 35,000 children receiving child welfare services,’ says social worker, Prof William Wong. Doris always invites two foster children to join in on the festivities and experience what it feels like to be treated as a VIP.
   A decade ago, we just couldn’t get enough of the next big things in designer handbags and shoes, studded tank tops and embellished designer denim for the very young and thin starlet. Leave it to Doris to keep things fresh every awards’ season. This go-round, men got the royal treatment.—Leyla Messian, Correspondent; and Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor






Courtesy Doris Bergman










Elyse Glickman

Above, from top: Edyta Sliwinska with Dioo Audio. Jane Lynch with Sue Wong Couture. Jason Ritter with Ein Drink. Kimberly Elise with Personal Touch lingerie. Patrika Darbo with Footmate. Strong enough for a man, designed for a woman: Dioo’s glam audio innovations. Royal Élite Vodka quells the late summer heat. Foot Mate puts its best foot forward. Hollywood haberdasher Art Lewin. My Saint, My Hero puts its faith in gold and silver and a variety of styles. Chilling out with Rekorderlig cider. Coffee chef extraordinaire Bryan David Scott. Legendary designer Sue Wong in top form.

September 20, 2016

Taste of the Emmys: Celebrity Connected’s crafty suite

Elyse Glickman/10.26



Elyse Glickman

Imagine being immersed into the Food Network world for a day—that’s what VIPs and select press experienced when they entered the Great Room of the W Hotel Hollywood when Celebrity Connected took it over and transformed it into an unusually crafty Emmy suite.
   The space was awash with samples, sips, and all kinds of wonderful aromas—so many of them, in fact, that it was hard to walk around as tote bags carried by celebrities expanded and one demonstration was more eye-catching than the next. In many cases, one small space and a galaxy of celebrities cramming into it could be a recipe for disaster. However, there was just something about lively product demos, delicious bites, friendly inventors and vendors, and a few cheeky items (Clone-a-Willy; Chakrubs—let their sites do the talking) that brought out the most cheerful demeanour in the guests.
   If you could sum up this event with a popular movie quote, it would be ‘Life is a banquet.’ Celebrity Connected took that concept to heart with such intriguing offerings as the Original New York Seltzer (yup, it’s back and in tons of flavours), the Real’s Fair Trade sugar, basmati rice and himalayan salt; a world of flavours from Corine’s Cuisine’s line of hot sauces; gorgeous, hand-painted Mora Estate wines from Sonoma; One and Done seasoning replacing salt and pepper with Texas-sized flavour; fruit and veggie chips from Seneca Foods; and superfood grains from Weeds & Seeds that can be used for cooking or eaten straight. And just in time for the upcoming holiday season, Unstick offered guests cooking demonstrations and convenience all rolled up and ready to save home cooks time with their non-stick reusable surfaces that are as easy to use as aluminum foil—but much better for the environment and safer for the body.
   On the other side of the food pyramid, Canada’s the Pie Hole and Florida’s the Cake Zone offered single serving cakes in perky Ball jars, while Sheppard’s Sweets offered samples of soulful indulgences for the holidays. Several brands of ice-cream-related treats competed for guests’ attention. However, Blast Ice Cream put on quite a show and Curious Creamery just may have revolutionized the artisanal ice-cream movement by putting the creativity and decadence of gourmet flavours into the hands of consumers—and all without an ice-cream machine. The ice-cream, as well as ice-cream cakes, can be brought to life with a whisk or blender, along with one’s preference of liquid (dairy, coconut milk, almond milk, coconut water and so on). Stirrings offered a full kit that could allow home entertaining mavens to stir up craft cocktails for their Emmy or holiday party with their most popular mixers, lemon drop Martini rim sugar, and more.
   The wearable items were mostly unisex and did make a definitive statement–‘I care about Fair Trade and the planet.’ The Casery was locked and loaded with adorable protective gear for the Iphone 7 (though cases for earlier models were available). Japanese designer Akiko Shinzato offered the right mix of retro-chic and modern Asian edge with her streamlined, universally flattering Vivon eyewear collection. Uashmama, meanwhile, epitomized Italian form and function with its unisex line of cross body bags and home accessories made from high-grade paper that looks and wears like leather.
   Although there were glamorous royal jelly lipsticks launched by Los Angeles brand Jafra, most products were wellness-driven, from Theramu’s restorative cream and sublingual pain remedies, to Haiku Organics’ soaps, DeP’s two-month face mask treatments (with reusable chic leopard print mask), Elyptol hand sanitizers, the UK’s PureSkin by Vanessa Blake, French company Bioderma, and Washdolly’s reusable make-up remover towels. However, we were moved by the story behind Vancouver-based the Pink House, a compact line of natural products founded by sisters Tracy Olesen and Karen Sjöberg. Sjöberg had been diagnosed with breast cancer and realized there was a need for simple but luxurious beauty products crafted without hazardous chemicals.—Elyse Glickman, US west coast editor






















Elyse Glickman

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