Award show season may be over, and the Coachella fashion parade has run its course. However, Los Angeles’ first heatwave provided a convenient excuse to play hooky from pressing writing assignments to hit Charmed PR’s friendly little showcase of beauty products and a pick-me-up pedicure or manicure. The backdrop of the Mondrian Hotel’s ever-so fashionable and busy rooftop pool provided extra incentive to try out the goodies to prep hair and skin (feet in particular) for sandals, swimsuits, and shorter skirts.
The Better Skin Cream Company not only came armed with its multitasking Mirakle Cream, but also its new, triple-threat Lava Magik (cleanser, exfoliating scrub and revitalizing mask). Volcanic lava from France is enriched with calendula, sweet orange and grapeseed oils, cucumber, parsley, and chamomile for radiant clean that goes a little more skin deep, with its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-yeast properties.
Hair La Vie’s continued the multipurpose beauty theme with a less-is-more line developed by hairstylist and cancer survivor Carla Rivas. She introduced media and web influencers to her philosophy with travel sizes of the shampoo and conditioner, and full-size hair serum and vitamins, all formulated without harmful chemicals or additives. Greater value is added to customer purchases with users knowing 10 per cent of profits will go to charities such as Save the Children, Heifer International, National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Global Fund For Women.
Even the smiles on people’s faces got a little extra love, not just from Lucy B’s lip glosses, but with Popwhite dental products. This simple system of toothpaste and mouth rinse works along the same lines as colour-correcting foundations and make-up. FDA-approved purple pigments sourced from plants and herbs cancel out yellow residue on teeth for a whiter smile naturally. Coconut oil and xylatol make the process pleasant tasting, to boot.
Schique Skin Care by Jacqueline Schaffer, MD showcased her beauty how-to book, Irresistible You, as well as her anti-ageing product line built on sulfate and paraben-free formulas, integrating elements from daisy plants known their natural sun protection and vitamin complexes. This back-to-basics line includes a refreshing mist, colour-changing specialty beads, face mask, eye cream, sumptuous moisturizer and creamy firming serum.
The centrepiece of the festivities was a trio of foot-beautifying items, including LVX Luxury Nail Lacquer, Baby Foot Exfoliant Foot Peel and an anklet from Sterling Forever. LVX lives up to its branding, thanks in part to its gel-like formula that’s seven-free, vegan and cruelty free. Many of the fashion-forward shades have their origins with past collaborations with designers such as Mara Hoffman, Tadashi Shoji, Tracy Reese, Rodebjer and others. I was particularly excited about Baby Foot, as Leyla Messian and Jody Miller raved about the effectiveness of this product, which was featured at Charmed’s beauty event a year ago. A formula of 17 natural extracts makes one’s feet look scary at first, but this is an assurance the product works. Glycolic acid and citric acid peel away dead skin cells softened by alcohol. Salicylic acid, lactic acid and isopropyl stimulate a flaking effect, and although your feet temporarily look haggard, healthy skin is ultimately undamaged and a fresh layer beneath reveals itself.
A couple of weeks ago, Biolage launched its new RAW collection at Beverly Hills’ Brighton Salon. Although reality television personality Ali Fedotowsky was crowned the face of the brand, the concept behind the products is pretty stellar: a sustainable, green hair care line packaged in fresh-pressed juice bottles that are themselves made of sustainable materials. While the salon itself has all the earmarks of a Beverly Hills salon, from luxury brands (Kérastase, Shu Uemura, and Oribe), it is an oasis of neighbourhood salon friendliness and sanity, amid designer labels and celebrity stylists. The laid-back, multicultural staff are more committed to steering clients towards flattering styles than of-the-minute colour and cut trends. Veteran cutter Dani Faraj and colorist Walid Chaya took a less-is-more approach with me that looked fresh and current without leaving me shorn and shell-shocked—no small feat.
This tiny salon that could offers hair extensions, Brazilian blowouts, bikini-wax and everything else needed for a fresh look. However, they are also big on community outreach, including a wig bank sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Brighton Salon supports the cause by giving a 50 per cent discount to customers who commit to donating their hair for the cause. They also offered a sneak peak at the recently opened Prestige Skin Care (9435 Brighton Way) a few doors down, featuring locally produced luxury lines and an owner who worked at such prestige salons as Christophe before going the “friendly neighbourhood” route.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor