Category Archives: beauty

Don’t Cover it Up

Back when I was in grad school, I did my final project on domestic violence.  At the time, I had recently worked as an intern at a local facility for court appointed, domestic violence offenders (the abusers) doing intake.

It was a difficult job.  You’d meet these men (during my time, there was only one woman), that we charming and funny and sometimes even good looking, and you’d hear their stories.  During all my intakes, I never got the bitter guy that said “she deserved it”.  No, I always got the charming ones.

So of course, there was also this teeny, tiny part of me that kinda believed that it was an accident.  I mean, the logical part of the brain knew that they were just telling a story.  But the naive, young woman in me sometimes thought that maybe this one was telling the truth.

Which, I must say, make it difficult for this single gal to trust the men she was dating…Were they telling me the truth? were they making up stories? Were they lying through their teeth?

That is, until the day my former boss came in for his intake.

Just to clear the air, he wasn’t my direct boss, but he was the owner of the salon I was working for.  So when I answered the phone, so I recognized his name.  I scheduled his intake and told my boss that I knew him so someone else would need to take the meeting.

When he showed up, he said that he was fine with my doing the interview (clue one he’s convinced he did nothing wrong).  During the whole interview, he went on and on about how it was an accident.  How his wife called the police but it was just to “get back at him” during an argument.  Et cetera, et cetera.

Thing is, I knew him.  Personally.  I was there, both inside his salon as an employee and outside his salon when I worked across the way.  I’d seen the short tempers.  I’d heard the yelling.  I’d seen the rampages.

I didn’t believe a word he said.  I knew better.

That day I decided that I could no longer work with this population of individuals (or substance abusers – domestic violence and substance abuse tend to go hand in hand) and quit.

My heart goes out to anyone that has suffered any sort of abuse…physical, sexual, financial or emotional.  I know they must feel trapped and they don’t realize that there is a way out.  And just as importantly, that they’re not alone and there is support out there.

Which is why when a friend shared this video from YouTube sensation, make-up artist, Lauren Luke I had to share it.  I later realized that it’s a fictionalized account, but it looks so real (especially the fear in her eyes at the end).

It’s a short one (under two minutes)…watch it.

And if it moves you, do whatever you feel you can do to help the cause and support other women in similar situations.  And if you need help, please, know you’re not alone and help is only a phone call away (800-799-SAFE).

This particular campaign is with – if you’re in the US and need help you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-SAFE)

Calling All You Sassy City Chicks!

Click to Make Larger

One of my favorite fashion events is the Sassy City Chicks event.  And lucky for us, there’s another one coming up on November 3rd.  There’s shopping, there’s cocktails, there’s even spa treatments and goody bags!  It’s a fun night with your girlfriends.

And you can WIN FREE TICKETS: the first 25 fashionistas who enter LAGAL at checkout will win a Sassy Tote Ticket!

*Ticket includes: admission – swag bag – cocktails – spa treatments

And I’ve yet to leave empty handed.  So definitely check it out!

WHO: Sassy City Chicks

WHAT: Los Angeles Fall Fashion Bash

WHERE: 6060 Wilshire Blvd. (@ Fairfax)

WHEN: Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 from 5 – 10PM

Major discounts on Fall apparel & accessories- just in time for the holidays! Featuring deep discounts on major labels like Free People, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Elie Tahari, Denimocracy, Members Only, and LNA. Complimentary cocktails will be served, courtesy of Pinnacle Vodka and Qream Liqueur. Guests can also enjoy FREE mini spa services from a selection of LA’s hottest salons.

Green and Gorgeous in LA

Last night was PrettyCity and Shape Magazine’s Green and Gorgeous event here in LA. A business acquaintance of mine, Golden Alchemy were there performing facials, so they made sure to let everyone on their list know about the event.

The event was held at Environment Furniture Showroom off of Beverly Boulevard.  I had fears that maybe combining women, beauty products, food and drink might wreck some havoc on the gorgeous furniture, but they really did a great job.  At no time did you feel like you were in a furniture store.  There was not only plenty of room to move about, but there were tables full of vendors as well as beauty treatment booths all around.

I got there early enough that I was able to try out a few different treatments.  From the folks at Bliss Hollywood I received a brief, but oh so delicious and much needed chair massage from Rosie (I can still feel the work she did in my shoulders) and a quickie Triple Oxygen Treatment.  My skin absolutely LOVED all that oxygen!

I also decided to go a little curlier than usual and spent some time with Brigitte from Orange Berlin, a European-inspired, eco-chic Pureology concept salon (okay, I’m not 100% certain on the officialness of their Pureology concept-ness, but that’s the line they use…and I love it!).  Of course, slave to the ponytail that I am, I just pulled it back today before heading to teach.  But it did make for a fab ponytail!

They also had chair massages available (which I didn’t get to try) from Tikkun Spa, an holistic spa with integrative services in both the healing arts and holistic medicine.  I’d love to check this place out, they have every cool thing you’ve ever read about: a jade room, an ice room, a clay room, a salt room, infrared therapy, and mugwart soaks.  How cool does all that sound?!?

In the back of the store, ROB|B OPI Concept Salon (the only OPI concept salon in the US – and where I have a mani/pedi waiting for me thanks to Groupon!) was offering up polish changes. And sadly, I wasn’t able to spend any time getting facials from Golden Alchemy.  I have to say, they were using some odd, tribal-looking wand and rubbing it over some gals face and all I could think while getting my curl on was “I so want that! Whatever it is.”  It looked totally relaxing.

I have to say, these past couple of years, I’ve been to a few different fashion and beauty events.  This event was my favorite by far.  We were also given an amazing goody bag full of tons of eco-friendly, full-size products!  I look forward to trying all the scrubs, lotions and potions.  And the lippies!!  I’m a very happy girl whenever lip balms (this one is super yummy), glosses and lipsticks are involved!

Great job Pretty City!!

I was hoping by now that someone would have posted photos or video from the event, but no such luck.  You’ll just have to trust me that it was a great event.  If I find anything over the next couple of days, I’ll be sure to post it up.

Sassy City Chicks L.A. Fashion Bash

Earlier this week I was invited to attend the Sassy City Chicks LA Fashion Bash (did you win a pair from my giveaway?) at the Peterson Automotive Museum. Whew, what a mouthful that is!  But oh, it is so worth it!

This was actually my first visit to the Peterson.  I wish I’d taken a moment and walked around the museum floor a bit more.  Did you know they have a Hot Wheels hall of fame?  I had other obligations and just wasn’t able to commit to a longer visit this time around (hello, I had some shopping to do!).  Maybe next time.

Basically, SCC is a shopping Lalapalooza for women.  There are racks and racks of clothes and accessories for deeply discounted prices. In some cases, the designers are there (met a lovely purse designer), in other cases, you just get the killer deals.  I manged to walk away with only a little damage: two cocktail rings and gorgeous Swarovski crystal sterling chain.

This particular LA event was co-sponsored by Chevy and I was lucky enough to be invited by Chevy to attend as a VIP. This got me early access to the Chevy Lounge and some personal time with the new cars along with some live music and a post-drive chair massage. The coolest part, this time around, I was able to actually drive both the new Malibu and the Equinox Crossover.

Now I’ve been lucky enough to ride in both of these cars recently for the Best of Tours/ CraveLA event when I participated in the Best of Women Owned Businesses in Los Angeles.But this is the first time I got to drive…both vehicles!  And both are quite cool for different reasons –  I love the pick up in the Malibu, but it feels a bit large to me.  But I have a huge crush on the Equinox and would love to talk my husband into getting me one of those for my birthday next month (it won’t happen, but a girl can dream, right?).

I wish I could say that my personal pictures came out well enough that you could get a good idea of what the event was like.  But sadly, the lighting was too dim for anything to show up (even with the annoying flash).  So instead, I’ll let the video below to fill you in on what the event looked like.  And next year, make sure you check out the Sassy City Chicks event here in LA (they have gift bags!!)

Disclosure Policy

Dermalogica & Clarisonic Unite: Free Micro-Zone at Dermalogica in Santa Monica

Who wants a free Micro-Zone treatment at Dermalogica on Thursday, March 11th in Santa Monica? I know I do!

When I was invited to the reopening of the Santa Monica Dermalogica last October, I really didn’t know what to expect.  That said, I’ve been back three times since.

I love, love, love their Micro-Zone treatments.  It’s a quickie (twenty minute) facial targeting just what you need to target.  For me that used to be acne and extractions.  For my girlfriend, it was this amazing, super-sensitive, cooling treatment that did something amazing to the redness that her face is prone to.  They have specific treatments or you can just let the ladies that work there work their magic.

This time around, the Dermalogica gang are uniting with Clarisonic to get rid of the pollution that you mucks up your complexion here in LA. I have heard some amazing things about the Clarisonic and you know I love me some Dermalogic (if you haven’t yet tried it, be sure to pick up their Soothing Eye Make-Up Remover).

Lucky you, they let me invite you all!!  Just RSVP to to [email protected] and I hope to see you there*!

Dermalogica Spa
1022 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 260-8682

PS – I know the image muddles on over into my sidebar there, but I wanted to make sure you had all the info to participate, so I kept it large. I’m sure you’ll forgive me 😉

*I’m not 100% certain that I’ll be able t attend this time around as I’m hosting a networking dinner in Woodland Hills later that night and well, I’m just not sure an hour to get from Santa Monica to Woodland Hills in the middle of rush hour is just possible.

I Love Supporting Women-Owned Businesses

So a while back, I mentioned the awesome LA Cupcake Tour I was lucky to go on thanks to the Best of Tours folks and GM/Chevy.  This time around, the Best of Tours/Chevy gang were partnering with CraveLA for their take on the Best of Women Owned Businesses in Los Angeles.

A little full disclosure before we even get started…1) I know Nicole, the gal in charge of creating the Crave LA book and 2) I’m actually one of the featured Intelligentsia in the upcoming LA book.

Now that that little bit of clarification is over with, let’s get on with it.

For starters, we have the vehicles: Camero, Avalanche, Equinox and Malibu. Luxury all the way.  I wasn’t able to ride in all of them, but I was able to check out both the Avalanche and Equinox.  And if I didn’t say it last time…I’m loving that Equinox.  And chauffeur driven shopping, who could ask for more (unless we were maybe getting paid to shop too…that would be just too good to be true.).

Onto CRAVE (twitter): It all started in Seattle in 2001 when Melody Biringer realized that she was missing spending time with her friends.  Many were being pulled in different directions due to the work, family and social lives.  Melody thought a new way to connect was in order and CRAVE was born.  To put it in their own words, “CRAVE innovatively connects urban gals to the sassiest, gutsiest, most inspiring people they need to know in town. Soirees, gatherings and online networking—we are your guide to everything you CRAVE in your city.” What a fun concept!

The gang at Best of Tours/Chevy and CraveLA did an amazing job of picking our locations.  Of course, out of the possible 125 women owned businesses to be featured in the book, we wouldn’t be able to visit each and every one of them.  We started with just four this time around: Calleen Cordero, The Dry Bar, Studio Beauty Mix and Valerie Confections.  And what a fantastic group to start with.

I would like to spend a little more time on each business, so for now, I’m just going to keep it short and sweet.  That plus, I’d really like to visit each of them another time where I can maybe spend a little more time chatting with the fab women in charge as well as their products and services.  Well, that and I don’t want this post to be forever long with photos and rambling.

So until then we’ve got this…

First up, Calleen Cordero (website | twitter) on Beverly.  Calleen makes some of the most amazing and fabulous looking shoes and bags you’ve every seen.  Everything is made by hand, from the carved wooden soles to the rivets in the design.  Just gorgeous.


Onto The Dry Bar (website | twitter) in Brentwood.  The Dry Bar is not a bar at all…it’s better! It’s perky salon that only does blow outs.  No cuts.  No colors.  Just a wash and style for $35.  What this concept so long to come to be?  Definitely worth checking out when you want that fantastic blow out…I was eying the Cosmopolitan, big-curl style myself.  I will be back.


Next up, Studio Beauty Mix (website | twitter) at Fred Segal in Santa Monica.  Why have I never been to this store before?  It’s like Sephora meets Lucky Magazine meets Nordstrom with your own personal shopper…but better!  This boutique has everything from hair products, skincare, bath products, make up, candles and perfumes (I can’t wait to play around with creating my own fragrance at the Memoire Liquide counter) and even JimmyJane vibrators (I’m sure you’ve heard about their “FU*K LIMITED” 24k gold and stainless steel vibes).  I could get lost in this store.


And our final stop after a long drive through the city was Valerie’s Confections (website | twitter) located somewhere between Koreatown and Silver Lake. It may have been a long drive, but it was so very worth it. Valerie let us sample a couple of her handmade chocolates and all I can say is wow!  You heard each and every one of us ooh, ahh, mmm or exclaim in delight over how amazing her chocolates were.  I can’t decide which I liked best, the caramel, the champagne truffle, the salted toffee or the rose chocolate.  I do know that I came home with some toffee bites and two caramels and neither lasted the night.  Yes, they were that good.


The day lasted quite a bit longer than I think anyone expected.  But I have to say, it was so worth it.  All I can say is I sure hope that CraveLA and Best of Tours decide to do a couple more of these tours supporting local women owned businesses.  With 125 women in the book, there’s bound to be more stores and restaurants to visit.

Did I shop? You better believe it.

Will I be back to visit each and every store on the tour?  Oh, hell yes!

Will I tell everyone about how I spend my weekend?  I think I just did. 😉

CraveLA, thank you for introducing me to some fabulous new places to spend my hard earned money.  Best of Tours/Chevy, thanks for helping to put it all together.

By Lauren Luke’s Valentine’s Promotion: A Sony VAIO Giveaway

I’m not doing a giveaway here myself, but I just thought I’d share the info.  I mean who wouldn’t want a chance to win a free laptop, right?  And did I mention that it’s PINK??

During February Lauren Luke is partnering with Sony for a special giveaway. Valentine’s Day is all about making someone feel special, and that’s just what Lauren aims to do through her makeup line, video tutorials, and social media outreach. Coming right off the heels of her “Inspiration Nation Tour” and to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Lauren is giving away a pink Sony VAIO laptop through a contest on her website ByLaurenLuke.

Contest starts February 12th and ends February 28th.
The winner will be announced March 7th

To Enter
Lauren’s friends and fans should visit ByLaurenLuke to tell us what they LOVE and how it has inspired them to do something unexpected. Their love story can be between them and anything from a significant other — spouse, mother, a child or best friend – to… well, makeup even. Whatever it is, Lauren wants to hear about it. A winner will be selected by the Lauren Luke team based on their level of passion, originality, and inspiration.

For more information on Lauren, her makeup line or the Valentine’s Day promotion, visit ByLaurenLuke

What Folks Are Say About Lauren Luke
“It’s amazing to see someone using YouTube to change not only their own life, but the lives of so many others.”
– Chad Hurley, YouTube Founder

“It’s that voice of every woman looking in the mirror and fantasizing what they can do with makeup. She demonstrates it step-by-step and makes you think you can do it too.”
– Linda Wells, Allure Editor in Chief

“Her appeal is that she is the Everywoman. She connects on an emotional level, and her quirky honesty is infectious.”
– Ed Burstell, former Vice President at Bergdorf Goodman

“She seems an unlikely candidate to shake up the beauty world. And yet it appears she is doing just that.”
– Ruth La Ferla, The New York Times (Styles section

PS: seems like mis-spoke before and it’s not sleepy pugs that she has (thought all that snoring could only come from pugs – LOL)

Escape From Antibiotics

Yikes, in the past three years, I’ve written 25 posts about having sinus challenges.  Now imagine how many of posts in the past three years (too many to reread in my book) were written while I was feeling crappy with sinus issues and didn’t bother mentioning it.

Now that’s a whole helluva LOT of antibiotics.

So much so that most of the time last year, I was one some pretty heavy duty stuff.  And yes, this was starting to worry me (and my doctor) so we started talking surgery.  Right about that time, I started doing a little research.  I remembered reading about Wil Weaton’s sinus surgery a while back and it was sounding a bit scary.

Then I found Sinus Wars.  Basically, they offer up various homeopathic formulas to help to alleviate if not reverse the symptoms.  They had rave reviews and I figured what the hell, I’ll give it a shot.  Not much of an investment…forty bucks.  And if it worked, it would save me plenty.

And I am so glad I did.  For the most part, my symptoms are nearly gone.  All my symptoms.  And I’m one happy camper.

So for the past six or so months, I’ve been free of antibiotics and any sort of sinus pain, pressure or annoyance.  Woohoo!!

Until yesterday, that is.


Seems my acne has been acting up again and has started getting cystic.  So off I went to the dermatologist to see if we could change up my topical perscription.  I figured it would be a simple change up.

Imagine my surprise when she put me on antibiotics.  And not just any antiobiotics mind you. Nope. I’m back on the heavy duty shit for the next two months.

So now I wonder (besides why I’m a 40 year-old still breaking out) if it was all the antibiotics from the sinus infections that maybe kept my acne in check.  Or if I’m just made that way.

“Dr. M. Alan Menter, chief of dermatology at Baylor Medical Center in Texas, says the problem is worse in women than men, with more than half of women between ages 25 and 58 getting some degree of adult acne.”

That’s insane.  But also my saving grace…knowing that I’m not alone.  But I’m more than ready for clean skin again.  So if I must take antibiotics, then I will.  I’ll just be sure to supplement any other antibiotic-related illnesses with colloidal silver and nutrients.

FREE Micro-Zone Treatment at Dermalogica Ends Friday

Calling all you local readers, time is running out for your chance to win…


I didn’t want you to forget to enter for your chance to get a free treatment at the Dermalogica on Montana location in Santa Monica (the contest ends Friday – that’s tomorrow!).  I received my microZone® treatment Tuesday night and it was beyond heavenly.  Who knew that a quick, twenty minute treatment would leave me feeling so relaxed.

Typically you can either choose which 20-minute, microZone® session you’d like to have, or you can let the estheticians do their job and offer you the treatment that you need most.  I had the basic blackhead relief complete with everyone’s favorite…extractions and my personal favorite the high frequency wand.  Luckily, there were only a few extractions.  And yes, I left forking over a goodly amount of money for some new, much needed products.

My friend had an awesome soothing treatment of some sort (not on the standard microZone® service menu).  She’s typically prone to some red blotches (and like me, the dreaded adult acne), so this treatment was just what she needed.  It was amazing how non-red (guess that’s not really a word, but I’m sure you get what I’m trying to say) her face looked when we left there.  These ladies really know what they’re doing and they know how to squeeze it into a 20-minute session to give you exactly what your face (or hands) need.

And if you’re a bit of an architectural geek, I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of the storefront.  It’s their original “concept space” (one of only six worldwide) and very futuristic and spacey.  It reminds me of something out of that Woody Allen movie, Sleeper that I saw as a kid.  Very cool vibe.  And I love that your treatments happen in pods and you don’t have the standard new agey music.

I certainly wouldn’t want you to miss out on this fantastic opportunity to win, so be sure to enter NOW!!

And while you’re in the entering contests mode, be sure to enter for your chance to win $60 in NORMS food!

Disclosure Policy

Giveaway: FREE microZone Treatment at Dermologica in Santa Monica (closed)

Win a FREE microZone® treatment at Dermalogica on Montana in Santa Monica!

Bothersome breakout?
Tired eyes?
Dull skin?

This quick skin fix gets you in, gets skin repaired and gets you out the door in a snap!

Expert skin therapists and amazing products will provide the solution on the spot in just 20 minutes with treatments like flash exfoliation (great for shaping up before events), extractions and even eye revitalization (perfect after long travels). That means no changing out of your clothes, no fuss and big results! They’ll even show you step-by-step how to identify your concerns and treat them effectively at home to maintain results.

through the window

HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment below telling me why you could use a free microZone Treatment (or any spa treatment for that matter) and you’ll be entered.  I’ll even double your entry if you tweet or blog about this giveaway (just leave a comment with the link to your tweet or blog post). The contest ends Friday, November 6th at noon (and is only open to local SoCal folks).

If you don’t happen to win, you can stop by Dermalogica on Montana (Santa Monica) any time for a FREE Face Mapping®, which includes diagnosis, treatment, recovery and prevention. A licensed Dermalogica skin therapist analyzes your skin from forehead to collarbone, identifying potential problems, unique needs, and how to treat them professionally.

Spread the Word!!

AS A SIDE NOTE: I love Dermalogica’s Soothing Eye Make-Up Remover (best ever at getting the eye gook off and doesn’t sting or burn), Multivitamin Thermafoliant (love how it exfoliates, then heats up when you get it wet) and the Daily Microfoliant (no, I don’t use it daily, but it’s still a great exfoliant).  That said, I wasn’t such a fan of their Exfoliating Body Scrub – it just didn’t seem to do much for my bumpy arms and scaley elbows.

Disclosure Policy



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