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September 1, 2014

The Eco-Luxe Suite: a penthouse with a view

Elyse Glickman/14.31

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Debbie Durkin’s Eco-Luxe Suite at the Beverly Hilton, Hollywood’s go-to property for all civilized award show shindigs, truly lived up to its name and purpose, offering up an engaging range of products and equally impressive inventors or coordinators. Also moving was the fact that the focus charity was Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, whose programmes encompass community-based mentoring, school-based mentoring and vocational programmes for children and teens in need of positive role models. The organization also matches the right mentors to the right kids and teens down to a science with thorough application and interview procedures.
   Immediately after our arrival, we were greeted by Bill Schultz and his associate promoting his company, AlignMed. While the shirts they were distributing to guests looked like sleek, high-end fitness-wear, it’s what we didn’t see that makes this line special. They sporty way it is sewn actually helps the wearer self-correct posture and back issues. Another design in the collection helps spinal curvature at night while the wearer sleeps or works on the computer, when the spine is most vulnerable, according to Schultz.
   On the more formal end, we were quite impressed with the men’s ties and women’s couture dress selection displayed by Chicago-based Mark Roscoe. Every dress on the rack, perhaps not by accident, seemed to evoke different eras and different television shows up for nomination (e.g. silk brocades of the Mad Men era; the gauzy beaded bias cut flapper dresses of Downton Abbey; a special, sexy mermaid gown that would be as fabulous on a womanly form as it would be on Mitzi Gaynor or Jane Russell in their ‚Äô50s prime). Roscoe and his team welcome clients of all shapes and sizes, which is refreshing to hear, especially as not every designer can create something special for women with curves.
   Serengeti showed off its forthcoming collection as well as raising funds and awareness for a US veteran’s organization. The styles, in contrast to other collections, were timeless and clean, as well as wearably lightweight, yet substantial and flexible. The Isola and Sophia frames were our favourites, but you really could not go wrong with many of the wire, wire‚Äďplastic hybrid or plastic lenses crafted with photochromic technology.
   We love products that multitask, and Kellyann Novak, creator of Youth Eternal serum, immediately had us at “hello” and (her tagline), ‘You don’t have to lie about your age‚ÄĒyour skin will do that for you.’ The Vegas-based entrepreneur (who can ship her product internationally), takes pride in the fact that her potion is made up of 24 essential oils that work equally well for daytime under-make-up primer moisturizing and night-time rejuvenation. She also mentions it can be used to take off make-up and remedy stretch marks and discolouration, and soothe redness. It smells like an herb garden with sage, lavender and rosemary. It’s a perfume, too! What it doesn’t have are preservatives or artificial emulsifiers.
   OC Hair and Makeup not only touches up celebrities and media at fabulous events like Durkin’s gatherings, but also makes house calls. While founder Stacy Mealin worked the celebrity crowd, Bridget Hight offered us some touch-ups and tips. She suggested bringing your highlighter or concealer up to the temples to make eyes more prominent and reduce the appearance of dark circles. If your concealer looks too light, pat on some slightly darker foundation powder for a customized look‚ÄĒbut never use a concealer that’s the same skin tone. The company is also good with body make-up to conceal scars, and blemishes on arms and legs.
   Across the way, J. Andr√© introduced her line of hypoallergenic, Latex-free make-up applicator sponges and puffs packaged in sensual lotus-print boxes. She also demonstrated Natural Vibe, a vibrating applicator that stimulates collagen and elasticity during use as well as helping create a pore-free appearance.
   Guys in attendance truly appreciated the fact that Fresh Body‚Äôs Fresh Balls product was very self-explanatory and got right to the bottom of a man’s problem with pesky chafing, itching and sweating. Other Fresh Body products on the horizon include Fresh Pits for men as well as women’s personal hygene products for the “other down under”.
   Jiff the Dog, the teddy bear-like canine (who appeared at the Teen Choice Awards) and other celebrity dogs were also treated to fine luxury gear ranging from blankees and bedding from Baylee Nasco to customizable the Rein Coat pet harness for dogs of all sizes, to Canine Caviar and Feline Caviar Holistic pet food.‚ÄĒElyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor, and Leyla Messian, Los Angeles Correspondent







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Filed under: Lucire
August 29, 2014

Paws for the cause (of pet adoption)

Elyse Glickman/22.08

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Dogs once again took centre-stage at the Secret Room’s pre-smash bash for the 2014 Emmys, but cats and kids grabbed the spotlight with a flourish.
   In the ballroom at Beverly Hills‚Äô Montage hotel, there were a lot of well dressed children in tow enjoying the latest toy trends from the US and Germany, and a lot of large, beautifully groomed dogs walking their people. Many dogs who came with Emmy-nominated celebrities and top-drawer stylists were treated royally with designer dog food, grooming gear and even doggy first aid. However, as an owner of a rescue cat, I was please that the I Love Pet Head line by Tigi had some special things for my Pepper (a majestic American short-haired cat) as well as Nico, Leyla‚Äôs rambunctious Maine coon who delights in getting his fur matted. Inventor Linda Jangula noted her Wiki Wags included variations for cats in development.
   Even better, I was even more delighted to see that the Humane Society of the United States was back with their message as was the Adopt/Shelter Pet Project, encouraging people to look first into their hearts and then into shelters with memorable commercial spots by the Ad Council (an organization producing public service announcements).
   Another thing that was rather quaint was that there were two companies promoting different kinds of shapewear for women (Rago, upscale and ultra-glam v. Skin Eez, practical, comfortable and therapeutic) and two artisanal chocolate companies (US-made Chuao chocolate, and Belgium‚Äôs Guylian).
   Some clever chocolate sushi was located right next to the booth of Dr Sam Saleh, who was not only a proponent of the Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush (‘the Porsche of dental care’) but also the founder of the ORA Dentistry Spa, who counts Tyra Banks as a client and whose expertise has been featured on Extra! and turns to the latest dental technology in restorations, bleaching, veneers and cosmetic contouring to address irregularities, dental stains, dental gaps, metal restorations and altering tooth form, tooth shape and tooth colour.
   There were lovely water bottles from Faucet Face to encourage more home filtering and less plastic, emotional wellness aids from Atlanta-based Vanda, mast and beauty drinks from Ashieda and a fantastic smoothie cookbook and products I cannot wait to try out by Healthy Happy Life that‚Äôs 100 per cent vegan by food blogger and photographer Kathy Patalsky.
   On the fashion front, celebrities were treated to futuristic sunglass and prescription frames by Yoshinori Aoyama, creator of Factory 900 eyewear. While most of his goods were pure statement, I found myself lusting after the cool and sleekly classic clear Model 208 and will have them on my holiday wish list. Speaking of holidays, the nice folks from the tourist board of St Kitts were on hand to spark interest in winter getaways to spots of endless summers (minus LA pollution and humidity).
   A highlight of the Red Carpet Style Lounge for the √©lite talent were vacation holiday packages to ‚Äútrip of a lifetime destinations‚ÄĚ. These included Alila Villas, crafted luxury in spectacular locations, served-up stays in oceanfront villas at their Uluwatu and Soori Indonesian properties with personal butler, spa services, dining and more; ITC Hotel Maurya New Delhi India gifted eight nights in a luxury suite, airport transfers, luxury buffet breakfast, dinner each night and spa services; Brewery Gulch Inn in Mendocino, California, Travel & Leisure‚Äôs winner of World’s Best Awards 2014, will gift a two-night escape in a suite with breakfast and dinner daily featuring locally sourced ingredients prepared by their executive chef. Riviera Resort and Spa Palm Springs is gifting a two-night stay in a one-bedroom suite, dinner for two at Circa 59 and one 50-minute spa treatment at Spa Terre. Lucky recipients included Lena Dunham, Michael Madsen, Taylor Schilling, Lizzy Caplan, Michelle Dockery, Jeff Daniels, Jon Hamm, Peter Dinklage, Sarah Paulson, Kristen Wiig, Jane Lynch, Mark Ruffalo, Cat Deeley, Paul Giamatti, Jimmy Fallon, Joan Cusack, Robin Wright, Anthony Bourdain, Melissa McCarthy, Jessica Lange, Amy Poehler, and Jeff Bridges. Other celebrities spotted include Ashley Argota, Christian Madsen, Colm Meaney, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Cary Fukunaga, Danny Zuker, Caitlin Carmichael, Jamie Brewer, and Mia Talerico.
   Kudos to Amy Boatwright and Rita Branch for putting animals first and healthy living very close behind (and yes, chocolate is good food‚ÄĒantioxidants)!‚ÄĒElyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor


















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August 26, 2014

GBK’s garden party: primping for the 2014 Emmy Awards

Elyse Glickman/2.34

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On two hot, sunny afternoons at Beverly Hills‚Äô L‚ÄôErmitage Hotel, Gavin Keilly and his intrepid team were blending pre-Emmy Awards’ primping and wellness, exotic post-awards escapes and down-to-earth charity fundraising, transforming a small ballroom and courtyard into a colourful canvas of food for thought.
   In the spotlight were the GO Campaign, a grant-making organization addressing problems faced by orphans and vulnerable children around the world by partnering with local celebrities and role models to deliver local solutions; Cops 4 Causes, the first non-profit organization to be created to collectively highlight the philanthropic efforts of law enforcement; the Environmental Media Association, a non-profit dedicated to harnessing the power of the entertainment industry and the media to educate the global public on environmental issues and motivate sustainable lifestyles; Mutt Match LA K-9 Rescue Ranch & Sanctuary, which rescues neglected and discarded dogs from LA‚Äôs high kill shelters to rehabilitate and place in loving homes; and StarPower, providing fans backstage access and one-on-one engagement straight from their favorite celebrities via social media while supporting the causes they care about.
   In terms of featured wellness products, the star of the show was featured sponsor Michael Todd True Organics, which introduced their new Soniclear Antimicrobal Cleansing System, the world‚Äôs first antimicrobial sonic skin cleansing system. What sets this product and its skin care line apart from the competitors is the care put into the rotary and sonic systems, according to company president Lewis Hendler. He added that the dermatological team at Michael Todd set out to create an effective cleaning system without the worry of bacteria that can affect the performance of the tool and the products. After extensive research, the result was a revolutionary sonic cleansing brush that thoroughly cleanses the skin and then protects itself against microbial contamination leaving the brushes cleaner, fresher for longer.
   The strong supporting cast in the wellness act of the show included the Kind soap company, serving up bath and body care products in gorgeous earthy packaging; Brow Art 23, offering press an overview of their product line and make-up touch-ups; and Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil Company, providing their skinny coconut oil, 100 per cent raw and hand-pressed, and poised to be the next great super-food.
   There were also stylish and affordable sunglass frames from Foster Grant, LG‚Äôs Tone Infinim bluetooth headset, developed in collaboration with Harman/Kardon to deliver amazing sound quality and comfort in a range of pretty metallic pastels and an Intuition Blueprint Reading from Joanna Garzilli as well as a copy of her second edition of Unleash the Psychic in You.
   As most GBK parties would not be complete without a goody bag of surprises, the Artisan Group was on hand with their welcome surprise packages full of original costume and semi-precious jewellery, photography, stationery, soaps and other eye-catching and crafty accessories. Certainly, the stylists from top nominee shows and ratings hits such as The Voice, Scandal, Parenthood and The Vampire Diaries think so! My bag was particularly delightful this go round with beautiful jewellery from Benee Rubin, Rock and Hardware, Designs by Diane (Sowers), ImagiNature Art Glass, Nineteen Seventy-Four by Pamela Roskin, BkdSignature, Jewelry by Lucinda de Castro, Nan Gates Designs cosmetic bags, Specifically Random head wraps. Charities the Artisan Group supports includes the Animal Rescue Fund and Let‚Äôs Move Together‚Äďthe Arthritis Foundation.
   Celebrities snapped at the event included Alicia Witt, Angela Bassett, R. J. Mitte, Sam Trammell, Selenis Leyva, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Viola Davis, Edie Falco, Vanessa Marcil, Madeline Brewer, Corbin Bleu, Dascha Polanco, Gary Cole, Joey King, Mariel Hemingway, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Bob Eubanks, Teyonah Parris, and Shanola Hampton.‚ÄĒElyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor
















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August 13, 2014

Wild kingdom

Elyse Glickman/2.16

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Elyse Glickman


Red Carpet Events LA

Red Carpet Events LA teamed up with the PETA2 organization to use the 2014 Teen Choice Awards as a platform for positive messages: starting the school year right and embracing a cause teens and young adults can, literally, make their own. Glitz and glamour met with common sense in mid-August in the SLS Beverly Hills’ now fabled ballroom.
   PETA2, the little sister of cause c√©l√®bre organization PETA, was born in 2002, when PETA realized there were young people as eager to support animal rights and take on a vegetarian lifestyle as their adult counterparts. PETA2‚Äôs birthplace was the 2002 Warped tour, featuring the likes of Fall Out Boy and Rise Against. Young concert attendees took on the now iconic ‚ÄėI Am Not A Nugget‚Äô slogan (complete with cute chick graphic) as their first battle cry, and committed to steering clear of fast food giants and designers using materials sourced from non-ethical means.
   Humanely made grooming products offered to the young trend-setters in attendance (snapped here are Brendan Robinson, Hunter King and Joey King, Mia Talerico, Paris Berelc, Samantha Logan, Simonna, Lexi Noel and Kathryn Newton) included Rock Your Hair by Michael O‚ÄôRourke hair products (love the tastefully bejewelled bottles), Joy and Mario Footwear (beautiful and sturdy espadrilles crafted with colourful fabrics and styles that caused a near riot among the attendees); Worx Toys, bronzers and brushes from celebrity favourite Ofra cosmetics, the space-saving Hot Iron Holster, closet space-saving glam from the Diva Box, Artwear Designs Ts and tanks, and adjustable Hipsy Headbands for Women. Some celebrities snapped up breezy late summer fashion from Nredom Snoitome.
   Dermalogica (the Clear Start Line) and Tikkun Spa were on hand to provide young attendees with perfect skin care solutions for acne and complexion issues, while internal nourishment was offered via Zico coconut water and SoyJoy bars.‚ÄĒElyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor





Red Carpet Events LA





Elyse Glickman

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August 7, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists bid farewell to the Cape Dara Resort, Pattaya

Lucire staff/13.32

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Alan Raga

It’s always hard saying goodbye, especially in tropical temperatures in the 30s, and facing a prospect of the remainder of winter back in New Zealand‚ÄĒbut that’s what the top 25 finalists at Miss Universe New Zealand had to do today. The last breakfast of the tour at the Cape Dara Resort was a fitting farewell to the five-star treatment given by the property. There was a brief moment for some shopping, before the afternoon transfer to Subarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok.
   The finalists began checking in at 3.45 p.m. local time, with their flight arriving in Auckland on Friday morning NZST.
   From there, they will continue competing in the entrepreneurial challenge, raise funds for Variety, the Children’s Charity, and head to the countdown to the final at the Sky City Theatre on September 18, 2014.
   The public can vote for their favourite contestant, either through an online i-vote or text voting: see nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.






Alan Raga

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Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 Ô¨Ānalists visit Pattaya’s orphanage on last full day in Thailand

Lucire staff/3.54

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Alan Raga

On their last full day in Thailand, the Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists remained in Pattaya for their official events, visiting the Sanctuary of Truth, regarded the most beautiful temple in the area and still under construction using timber, and the Central Festival shopping district.
   Five contestants had their photo shoots with Alan Raga, wearing Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co. swimwear.
   The afternoon programme saw a visit to the Pattaya orphanage, possibly the most moving experience of the tour.
   The Father Ray Foundation, which looks after 850 orphans, disadvantaged and abused children, and children with disabilities, played host for an event which saw two of the young speakers move the finalists to tears. The Foundation’s policy is that no child is turned away. Its website accepts donations in US and Canadian dollars, euros, pounds sterling as well as baht.
   The finalists were greeted by Fathers Peter and Michael, the president and vice-president of the Foundation, and watched three performances. The first was from children from the Father Ray Day Care Centre, who performed a routine about a caterpillar turning into a butterfly; the second was from a student group using wheelchairs from the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities, and the third was from the choir at the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind who sang ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘You Are My Sunshine’.
   They laid flowers at the statue of Father Ray, the founder of the NGO, who passed away 11 years ago this month.
   The final, beachside dinner in Pattaya was hosted by Damrong Puttan, a former senator and proprietor of KS Magazine. Afterwards, the finalists returned to the Cape Dara Resort for their final night.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.





















Alan Raga

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July 29, 2014

Pandora launches Hearts of Today programme to reward charitable causes

Lucire staff/11.23

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Scott McDermott

In true Scandinavian fashion, jewellery brand Pandora continues to be engaged in corporate social responsibility, launching its Hearts of Today programme on Monday.
   Pandora plans to support charitable causes, beyond the ones it is already engaged in now, such as those for breast cancer awareness, and is asking the public to nominate the ones it feels are the most deserving.
   Hearts of Today is for the US only at this point. Pandora has appointed five women who will form the jury that will pick from the public entries, narrowing them down to 20 semifinalists. The public then votes on the top 20, bringing the final number to eight, who will be honoured at a luncheon in November. Each of the eight receives a US$25,000 donation to help their organization.
   The jurors are Penny Abeywardena, human rights advocate; Shaun Robinson, Emmy Award-winning journalist; June Sarpong, philanthropist; Dr Pepper Schwartz, sociologist and author; and Andrea Alvey, member of the Pandora A/S board of directors.
   The jurors will look at health and well-being, community development, and professional and social empowerment, says Pandora.

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July 23, 2014

News round-up: Dilmah hosts high teas in New Zealand; Trish Peng searches for new face

Lucire staff/22.50

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Dilmah Tea New Zealand

Dilmah Tea hosted a series of high teas around New Zealand, promoting its socially responsible message along with the rising interest in tea mixology.
   Its Wellington stop on Tuesday, hosted by Dilmah founder Merrill J. Fernando and his son, Dilhan C. Fernando, the company’s chief marketing officer, and in the presence of Her Excellency Zodwa Lallie, South African High Commissioner, was a particular treat, with a menu designed by Dilmah Real High Tea Gold Medallist Laurent Loudeac, executive chef of the Museum Art Hotel.
   Held at the hotel’s famed Hippopotamus restaurant, guests were treated to everything from ora king salmon sashimi‚ÄĒwhich we would label as our favourite of the afternoon‚ÄĒto lap sang souchong yoghurt panna cotta and a lychee-infused jasmine tea and rosewater caviar, complemented by various Dilmah teas.
   The selection included Dilmah’s Ran Watte Single Region Ceylon tea, its green tea with jasmine flowers, and its rose tea with French vanilla.
   The highlight was the address given my Merrill J. Fernando, after a video looking back through the history of Dilmah and how his famed catchphrase, ‘Do try it,’ was created by a New Zealand agency.
   He spoke of how Dilmah goes beyond the requirements of Fair Trade with its ethically made tea, because those who grow the tea share in the equity. The value-added components of Dilmah are not done by international traders, but by Sri Lankans, and the company constantly puts money back into the community, funding education, health care, cultural and even business activities.
   Some rivals force down the prices that tea farmers can sell at, keeping them poor, while profiting from the value-added components in the marketing and production chain.
   Mr Fernando also stressed that Ceylon tea is the finest, and that Dilmah, to preserve that integrity, does not mix its teas with those from other countries.
   Through a Trade Me auction, the Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation is also raising money for a culinary centre in Sri Lanka which will train people living with disabilities or have been disadvantaged, so that they can find employment to support themselves.
   They can be found on Trade Me, with the auctions closing on July 27. Items include Parawa Estate Ingalalla Grand Reserve 2007 wine, valued at over NZ$1,250; an individually numbered caddy of a very rare tea, FBOP 1, from the Dilmah Opapa Estate in Sri Lanka; a night for two at the Langham Hotel in Auckland; and two nights for two at the Museum Art Hotel in Wellington.
   In other New Zealand news, new label Trish Peng is running a Fresh Face modelling competition as part of her New Zealand Fashion Week d√©but next month, with the help of L‚ÄôOr√©al Professionnel and Vanity Walk.
   New Zealand women are invited to enter via the Trish Peng Facebook page. Peng and Vanity Walk, a modelling agency, will judge from the uploaded photo and details.
   Entries close August 2. The winner becomes the face of the next Trish Peng campaign, opens Peng’s fashion week show, receives a modelling contract with Vanity Walk, and wins a year’s supply of L’Or√©al Professionnel products.‚ÄĒJack Yan, Publisher, with Lucire staff


Felicity Anderson/Trio Communications



Dilmah

Top Dilmah founder Merrill J. Fernando with Lucire publisher Jack Yan. Centre Dilmah chief marketing officer Dilhan C. Fernando and South African High Commissioner, HE Zodwa Lallie. Above Museum Art Hotel proprietor Chris Parkin with HE Zodwa Lallie.

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