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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

Gigi Hadid helms Tommy Hilfiger’s The Girl fragrance campaign

Bhavana Bhim/15.18

Tommy Hilfiger has announced the launch of The Girl by Tommy Hilfiger, a new eau de toilette, with a campaign featuring Gigi Hadid, the company’s global ambassador for womenswear, accessories and fragrance.
   Launching at the end July 2016, the new scent is anchored in a dynamic digital campaign, which reflects Gigi’s optimistic attitude, confidence and effortlessly cool style. As part of her ambassadorship, Gigi has also teamed with the iconic American designer to create her first capsule collection, which further celebrates her modern take on style fused with Hilfiger’s signature “classic American cool” heritage.
   Hadid explained, ‘The Girl means being true to yourself and having fun while you’re at it. For me, that’s appreciating every moment, laughing at myself and surrounding myself with everything that makes me feel happy.’ Her influential attitude and fun-loving personality is encapsulated in the campaign.
   The scent opens with a burst of green pear, violet leaf and green figleaves before moving to the heart of velvety jasmine petals and silky muguet. Cedarwood and cashmeran envelop the fragrance for its signature finish that captures Hadid’s sense of individuality and confidence.
   The Girl by Tommy Hilfiger eau de toilette will be available at exclusive retailers.—Bhavana Bhim

July 16, 2016

Launch of John Varvatos’s new fragrance, Bad-Boy Biker, at New York Men’s Fashion Week

Bhavana Bhim/2.56

John Varvatos introduced his newest fragrance, Dark Rebel Rider, during a celebratory concert featuring Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown at his New York City Bowery store.
   The event was held immediately following the John Varvatos spring–summer 2017 fashion show on July 14. The night featured a special performance by Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, a band specially selected by John Varvatos. There to support the Dark Rebel Rider launch were musicians Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Mills, as well as actor Corey Hawkins and athlete–model Dale Moss.
   ‘Dark Rebel Rider is an extension of the Dark Rebel fragrance collection, which originally launched in 2015. The fragrance is inspired by the bad-boy biker, who walks to his own beat and has an edge but also doesn’t try too hard,’ said John Varvatos. ‘Just like my clothes, the Dark Rebel Rider fragrance is iconic, timeless and represents a courageous attitude. It is a clear expression of a personality that defies the norm.’
   The alluring scent features bitter orange, saffron with black violet and Somalian frankincense amongst the heart of the fragrance. The fragrance is the result of a long-standing collaboration between Varvatos and Givaudan vice-president of perfumery, Rodrigo Flores-Roux. ‘Dark Rebel Rider captures the heart and soul of rebelliousness and bad boy idols through ultra-sexy leather and ambery notes,’ said Flores-Roux. ‘It is luminous but has incredible gravitas and depth; it is supple and sensual but delivers a punch. It is voluminous but never heavy, it is an extraordinary olfactive chiaroscuro.’
   The fragrance is available now exclusively at Bloomingdale’s, and other retailers beginning August 2016, with an MSRP of US$89 for 4·2 fl oz.—Bhavana Bhim

July 13, 2016

Ellen DeGeneres launches eyewear line in collaboration with Modo

Bhavana Bhim/17.04


Ellen DeGeneres has launched her own range of eyewear in collaboration with Modo, a contemporary lifestyle brand.
   The eyewear range features both sunwear and optical collections. With a mix of seriousness and fun, DeGeneres’s personality and vision is showcased through the variation of designed lenses in a mix of colours and shapes.
   With a passion for interior design, architecture and fashion, DeGeneres brings her unique vision to this beautifully designed, high-quality collection.
   ‘I am excited to partner with Modo on my new collection of ED eyewear,’ said DeGeneres. ‘We have regular opticals and sunglasses in some amazing designs that will have you shouting, “I wear, you wear, we all wear ED eyewear!”‘
   Sunwear styles are available at US$155 at EDbyEllen.com as well as Eyefly.com, in 17 styles in stainless steel or acetate. The optical collection will be available for purchase in September at additional retailers.
   ‘We are thrilled about the launch of ED Ellen DeGeneres eyewear on EDbyEllen.com,’ said Alessandro Lanaro, CEO of Modo. ‘Modo appreciates this partnership with Ellen and the ED team, and we look forward to this collaboration.’—Bhavana Bhim

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

July 11, 2016

Lane Bryant announces collaboration with Prabal Gurung, launching March 2017

Bhavana Bhim/15.49


Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Above: A design from Prabal Gurung’s spring 2016 collection. This is the sort of easy design that Lane Bryant fans might expect in the New Year.

Lane Bryant, the iconic label catering for sizes 14–28, has announced the exciting new collaboration with the celebrated American ready-to-wear designer Prabal Gurung. Gurung will be creating a limited-edition line of women’s fashion with his signature style exclusively catering for the 14–28 customer.
   Linda Heasley, CEO of Label Bryant, noted in a release, ‘Prabal is a master at mixing materials, fabrics and textures—he pulls it off in such a way that each piece becomes its own artistic statement. His ingenuity at mixing sporty ease with unabashed glamour has made his label a huge success. We are delighted to welcome him to Lane Bryant and offer his innovative fashions, spirit and unique styles to the Lane Bryant customer.’
   Gurung grew up in Nepal, and worked with Indian designers before moving to New York, interning for Donna Karan while studying at Parsons School of Design. His diverse background and eye for modern luxury and glamour is possibly why he is appealing to a range of clients around the world. Gurung has dressed a range of celebrities and dignitaries such as Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Priyanka Chopra. He brings a modern and unique vision to the collaboration.
   Gurung will be the fifth designer collaborating with Lane Bryant joining the successful Christian Siriano, Lela Rose, Sophie Theallet and Isabel Toledo collections. Gurung’s brand recognizes the importance of domestic production, particularly in respect to the quality of the finished product, and he aims to bring this awareness to an international audience.
   Gurung shared, ‘Designing clothes for the modern woman, one who is fashionable and unafraid of how she feels about herself, has always been my source for inspiration. I truly believe that confidence is the key and I continually strive to create clothing that allows women to look and feel their absolute best. I am thrilled to be working with Lane Bryant on this collaboration and look forward to dressing this bold and fashionable customer.’
   Lane Bryant will document the design process for the first time, making it available to a web-based audience on Lane Bryant social media sites.
   The collection is set to hit stores March 2017, and will be sold under the Prabal Gurung Exclusively for Lane Bryant label.—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 20, 2016

News in brief: La Roche–Posay shows Anthelios and My UV Patch innovations; stand-outs from ISPA press event

Lucire staff/19.38



While summer may be just around the corner in the northern hemisphere and folks Down Under are heading toward cooler temperatures, French dermatologist-based skin care brand La Roche–Posay is spreading the word about the importance of year-round sun protection with their SOS, Save Our Skin, campaign. Atop a high-rise overlooking bustling downtown Los Angeles, media attendees enjoyed a breakfast seminar while discovering their most recent Anthelios sun care innovations and the new pioneering My UV Patch. Available in stores in June, the patch is the first stretchable skin sensor designed to monitor UV exposure. The Patch has photosensitive dyes that change colour when exposed to UV rays. Using a scanner-equipped cellphone and La Roche–Posay’s app, you can find out your personalized level of exposure and get advice on what to do to protect your skin this summer.
   La Roche–Posay’s Skinchecker 2·0 video (see below) takes full advantage of our culture’s love of viral animal videos to get an important message across.
   Just a few miles down the road at the ultra-posh Montage Beverly Hills, the International Spa Association hosted their annual press event showcasing spas and resorts that not only pamper the body, but nurture the spirit and promote holistic health and wellness. While indulging in selected mini-treatments, attendees learned about each brand’s latest offering and unique philosophy. Though too numerous too mention, we thought there were a few stand-outs.
   The raw grandeur of Crystal Lake is the setting of Reno’s Atlantis Resort Spa, which features a Brine Inhalation Light Therapy Lounge and a whole body healing Rasul Ceremonial Chamber.
   On the banks of a sacred river in Wisconsin, the Aspira Spa takes guests on a quest of mind and spirit. Their spa is a place of profound harmony with customized light and sound therapy and bathing experiences. You can even get a mani-pedi beside a crackling fire gazing under a starlit sky.
   Débuting a sleek new logo, updated colour scheme and an organic body care line, national chain Massage Envy shows that wellness can be affordable and accessible.—Jody Miller, LA Correspondent

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