Monday, May 2, 2016

Britweek 2016 Rocks!

By Laura Medina
 


Of course Britweek stalwarts, Harry Hamlin and Joely Fisher, showed their moral support for the midway point for the two-weeks Britweek cultural love fest, the Britweek Gala.

"Dancing with the Stars" Mark Ballas made the red carpet with his new music duo, Alexander Jean, with his fiancee,  singer-songwriter, B.C. Jean.

Hollywood's latest break-out starlet is veteran character, Timothy Omundson, from ABC's hit song-and-dance fairy-tale farce, "Galavant."

After whipping up desserts for Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana, Chef Darren McGrady finally got his due on the red carpet.

He served Princess Diana's favorite Bread & Butter Pudding (it's creme burlee topped with caramelized toast) as the official Britweek Gala dessert.  Boy, did folks devour that up!


One of the many Brits spearheading Britweek is Nigel Lythgoe.

He jumped up on the media riser, among the photographers, to chat with ole friend, talk show host, Ross King.


Britweek's Gala, through the mid-way point, at Santa Monica's Fairmont Miramar Hotel was transformed into a dream British garden party where full-fledged sofas, couches, ottomans, and coffee table were presented and used as a lush patio furniture.


Last night's refreshers were "The Queen's Cup" where you have your choice of Premium Ginger Ale or Light Ginger Ale or Sparkling Lemonade then use either one of them to splash it on top of The King's Ginger Liqueur and cranberry juice, an equally viable choice to Pimm's No. 1 Cup, in a highball glass.

Mixing stronger Fever Tree's Ginger Ale with The King's Ginger Liqueur is good what ails you when you're dealing with a lingering bout of Coachella Cold/Flu.


At each and every table is a mini kettle pot of English potatoes chips, instead of bread baskets.

Last night's dinner was a taste of home, a banquet buffet of uniquely British cheeses, Cornish pasties, fish and chips (fried chunks of cod and french fries), bangers and mash-sausages and mashed potatoes, drizzle over with onion sauce.


With the passing of David Bowie, this year's Britweek theme is Britweek Rocks!, celebrating the British Rock and Pop, highlighting the best, spanning fifty years, beginning with The Beatles.


Last night did more than celebrate nostalgically about the past, but of what's current in British Pop Music, like hip-hop artist, Fiction.


Always a pop star in the UK, Chesney Hawkes headlined the concert with an acoustic guitar set...

Then, legendary music producer and manager, Pete Asher, tied up the concert gala with hits from the Sixties.  

Britweek Rocks!




Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tanning for Spring & Summer, Vita Liberata.

By Laura Medina

Burning epidermis while sizzling in sticky sunscreen during Coachella, got this scribe thinking, "There gotta be a better way to tan to look and feel fabulous.

There is...and there are.

Vita Liberata expanded their line-up into products that you can immediately use.

Their SPF Collection offers natural skincare extracts combined with high quality broad spectrum SPF for natural sun protection and a skin treatment in one. With fast-absorbing formulas that don’t leave any residue but offer intense protection from sun exposure.

Vita Liberata's Neroli & Argan Milk SPF 50 is a soothing non-greasy broad spectrum SPF milk protecting against UVA and UVB rays.  It has antioxidants that fight free radical damage and photoageing in lightweight silky smooth formula.

Their broad spectrum sunscreen is the latest addition to sunscreens with benefits, skin-boosting benefits:

Neroli Oil for anti age skin regeneration, repair and balancing .

Argan Oil to repair skin with anti-oxidants that neutralize free radical damage and fight photoageing.

Reforcyl nourishes skin and improves firmness and elasticity.

Proteolea gives younger looking skin in just four weeks
.

Olive Leaf Extract delays cellular skin ageing and promotes cell detoxification, and has anti viral and anti microbial properties.

Jujube Extract strengthens and revitalizes skin, supports the ant oxidative system and encourages healing.

Plant Fructanes moisturises and soothes skin. Creates protective film to skin and helps balance. 


Miracle grass improves skin surface and epidermal lipid synthesis. 

 

During Vita Liberata's Sports Illustrated tanning seminar, this scribe was quite impressed by their brand new 3-in-1 Self Tan Dry Oil SPF 50.  It's complete.  It's a self-tanning dry oil that also protects the epidermis while it promotes tanning, the best of two worlds.

Simply put, it's a tanning oil with skincare that doesn't feel greasy.  More bronzing water with skincare ingredients.

The world's only self tan with with SPF 50 broad spectrum protection.This luxurious self tanning dry oil applies with a subtle tint for an instant color boost and no missed spots. Gives a gradual tan for up to 10 days with buildable colour so you can choose your perfect tan shade. Unique macro molecule chemical SPF won’t penetrate the skin layers while anti age extracts repair and nourish skin.

3-in-1 Triple Action Formula - Marula Oil treats skin, eco-certified DHA tans skin and broad spectrum SPF 50 protects skin.

East African Marula Oil - 4x more hydrating than Argan Oil with 4x more Vitamin C than Oranges Tahitian Monoi Oil - For healing, skin repair and additional moisture locking
pHenO2® Technology - For the longest lasting tan result.

Cucumber - Contains fisetin flavonol for anti inflammatory benefits and calm skin.

Neroli – Worth its weight in gold - literally! For toning, cleaning, and tightening Lemongrass - Minimizes pores and provides a temporary skin-firming treatment Coconut - Keeps skin smooth to the touch and eliminates moisture loss.

Broad spectrum SPF 50 - For the ultimate perfect and protect combination.

Moisture Locking System - For 72 hour skin hydration.

What's even better, not only it's 3-in-1 saving you space in a your suitcase, you can dab it on as a bronze eyeshadow and lips and smear, blend, and contour as blushing bronzer on your cheeks.

This is a real stand-out. 


 
Today's tanning products go beyond mere appearances.  They actually improve the skin while making you look hot.

Vita Liberata's Trystal Minerals Self-Tanning Bronzing Minerals goes beyond powdered bronzers.  They're powdered self-tanners, great for oily complexions and sticky skin coasted in sunscreen residue.

Trystal3™ Technology combines instant pure mineral bronzing with lasting gradual tan results Unique formula interacts with your moisturizer or liquid foundation base to tan the skin.  Application after moisturiser will give the best result.  Oil-free formula.

Crystal technology allows DHA to be activated from a dry crystalline form when it comes in contact with skin.  Micronized crystals reflect light to create a smooth skin finish.  Ecocert Dihydroxyacetone tans the skin for a lasting radiant glow.

Wondering where you can get all these?  Sephora has them.  

 
 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Ioan Gruffudd & Joely Fisher hosts “MURDER, LUST & MADNESS,” Passages from Shakespeare on BritWeek’s Tenth Anniversary.

By Laura Medina

 Joely Fisher & Ioan Gruffudd hosting Britweek's Opening Night, always celebrating The Bard.

This scribe covered Britweek far longer than Coachella, guess this scribe came in at the right time for the mega-festival.

Coming back to covering the Opening Night of this year's Britweek is like returning home.

Yes, it is a Britweek tradition to kick off the fourteen-days celebration with the Bard.  Then again, there wouldn't be a Britweek, British acting, or Hollywood historically economically supporting Shakespearean actors that formed the backbone of Hollywood, without William Shakespeare.

If it weren't for his prose, Iambic pentameter, and his witty Double entendres and winky limericks (in fact, there wouldn't be any Prince if it weren't for Shakespeare's groundbreaking Double entendres and limericks regarding risque subject matters and dirty jokes), there wouldn't be oratory as we know it.

Here's to William Shakespeare on advancing the English language and culture to what we know it, taking something common and even, dirty then making it special and eloquent.

This is why Britweek always start off with celebrating The Bard on Opening Night...at The Wallis Annenberg Theater in Beverly Hills.


The perennial hosts, Ioan Gruffudd and Joely Fisher, showed their love and admiration for The Bard, alongside Anglophile Americans, such as...


Harry Hamlin and Michael York...


Stacey Keach...


Joan van Ark...


"Ms. Pattemore from "Downton Abbey, " aka Lesley Nicols...


There was more to “MURDER, LUST & MADNESS,” British and American actor orating Shakespearean passages and lines.

Shakespeare was so lyrically iambic pentameter that Broadway songwriter, Stephen Sondheim and American conductor, Leonard Bernstein, took Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet" and turned into "Westside Story," the Americanized "Romeo & Juliet."

Ballet dancers, Jim Nowakowski and Isabella Seo danced to "Romeo & Juliet" while operatic singer and a soprano, Randy Guiaya and Jen Lee sang "West Side Story."

The modern jazz take didn't end there.

R&B/Jazz singer, Sherry Williams sang excerpts from the Shakespeare Songbook, "O Mistress Mine; It Was a Lover and His Lass; and Dunsinane Blues," accompanied on piano by Derrick Lowe.


It wasn't all so dignified and stiff.

The panche-y pun of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" comedy finished off the celebration.  It's Shakespeare doing slap-stick for the working class Renaissance audience during his day.  Still silly-dilly today as it was yesterday.

 
The real celebration didn't happen until 11pm, Saturday night, when Macallan Whiskey kicked off the AfterParty.  The whiskey, not the tea, was free-flowing.

Cheers to the Bard!


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tarte Must Had Coachella in Mind for their Rainforest of the Sea & Double Duty Beauty Collections.

By Laura Medina




Tarte must be hearing the buzz from their die-hard Tartettes wishing and wanting during Coachella.

Well, Tarte did listen and has come out with, not just one, but two awesome collections that meet the needs of a healthy, green, jet-setting Tartette.

Only at Ulta and from Ulta, Tarte's Double Duty Beauty Lip Sculptor Double Ended Lipstick and Gloss in Intoxicating and Double Duty Beauty The Eye Architect Double Ended Liner and Shadow in desert-friendly Bronze Liner and Gold Eyeshadow are included in PopSugar's haute and hot Coachella Gifting Beauty Bag.


Whatever wasn't in Ulta's Coachella Swag Bag, this Coachella Carpooling Chick tossed, in a last-minute, the much-necessary Tarte's Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation SPF 15.  Tough as it is light as it is healthy, this sweat and heat-proof and marine/algae (the same stuff that Creme Le Mer is made of ), sunscreened foundation is what every Coachella chick has dream of.

Hydration-boosting coverage with tarte’s 12-hour water foundation. The concentrated, full-coverage fluid formula features 20 percent water to quench dry skin as it covers and masks any redness, dark spots, and uneven skintone while softening the look of pores and fine lines. The custom dropper applicator delivers the perfect level of moisture-rich coverage in an array of shades to match any skintone. Powered by tarte’s antioxidant-packed Rainforest of the Sea™ complex and non-chemical SPF 15 sunscreen, the hypoallergenic formula helps restore, brighten, and defend skin from free radical damage and early signs of aging for a smooth, soft, radiant complexion. 

Rainforest of the Sea™ complex (a proprietary blend of algae and marine flower extracts): Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while smoothing and softening the skin’s appearance. Vitamin E: Acts as a natural preservative, emollient, and antioxidant.



Matte not drying, moisturizing not sticky, Rainforest of the Sea™ Drench Lip Splash Lipstick in Beach Bum can double as lightweight, matte lipstick, cream matte blush, and cream, nude, matte eyeshadow with:

Rainforest of the Sea™ Complex: A proprietary blend of algae and marine flower extracts that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while smoothing and softening skin. 

Sodium Hyaluronate Filling Spheres: Deliver and retain moisture for optimal hydration and smoother-looking lips.

Jojoba Seed Oil: Natural soothing extract that leaves lips soft, supple, and smooth.Pomegranate Oil: Helps brighten lackluster skin and fight free radical damage.

Cupuacu Butter: Rich in essential fatty acids and sterols that help firm while drenching lips in moisture.

Murumuru Butter: Rich in essential fatty acids and ProVitamin A to help restore elasticity and soothe lips.


Oh to lighten the load, spritz on four-in-one Rainforest of the Sea™ Marine Boosting Mist
primer, makeup setting spray, hydrating mist, and skin refresher as spray-on serum before you crash or before you hit post-Coachella concert Neon Carnival or Nylon or CK Midnight After parties then right before you hit the sack.

Rainforest of the Sea™ Complex: A proprietary blend of algae and marine flower extracts that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while smoothing and softening skin. 
Orange Peel Oil: Helps promote collagen production and reduce puffiness for youthful-looking skin.
Sea Water: Provides intense hydration and minerals to quench and nourish skin.
Lentil Seed Extract: Helps minimize the appearance of pores.
Caffeine: Helps improve microcirculation while reducing the appearance of redness and puffiness.
Coconut Oil: An antioxidant-rich oil that helps smooth and nourish skin.
Lavender Oil: Soothes and tones skin.


If you must, must have a old-fashion traditional powdered blush and eyeshadows, please do it in a glamorous, modern compact, such Double Duty Beauty Day/Night Eye & Cheek Palette in desert-rose, coppery Classic Courage.


Since you want to bring a tradition powder compact, you have to bring these Rainforest of the Sea double-ended brushes, again to lessen the load to make room for necessary sway like juices, water, and protein bars so you can party all day and all night...while you look good, thanks to Tarte.

The Actual Coachella Trends Coming Out of PopSugar's Style Suite.

By Laura Medina


Real trends occur at Coachella's under-the-radar, super-exclusive, but complimentary to social media-izers who help spread the word and the pictures on what Coachellians really do need and want.

Many a trends were popping up at PopSugar's Coachella Style Suite when they conquered Avalon Palm Springs' motorcourt motel.

The most popular trend was the most sensible, cooling and cool gladiator laced-up sandals in metallic silver.  At their motor cottage, DSW Shoes converted their cottage into a sandal shop and workshop where you can decorate your Indigo Rd. Gladiator sandals or your Teva sandals any way you want to.

Pretty darn hot popular.


Thank God, there's always a DSW Shoe cottage for all three-days of PopSugar Style Suite.

For each and everyday of PopSugar's Three-days Style Suite, there was a different gift bag to go with each day.

First Friday, the gift bag of the day was Henri Bendel's cute and chic canvas handbag with button-snaps and an interior pocket.

Not only does look bicoastal, Coachella to Hampton appropriate, it was loaded with equally bicoastal Cargo makeup case, a bracelet, rose water mist spray, and a pair of earrings.


So haute that they can't keep them in stock, which was pretty obvious, was Second Saturday's big Ulta Haul Canvas Stowaway Bag.

Yes, Ulta Beauty also had their own cottage that they transformed into a pop-up beauty salon where the bedrooms were turned into a makeup and hair salon and a candy bar.

These Ulta Haul bags were so desirable that late-comers were pouty and bummed out that they were late to the party when these bags run out.  Hate to break to the late-night party owls who slept in, it's the early birds that get the worm..;and it was a nice worm...

Pacifica's Travel Wipe Variety pack, When sheet face mask, a nozzle of sunscreen, Too Faced's Chocolate Bronzer, mini cooling eye stick, Buxom mauve pink lip gloss, hand sanitizer, and Smashbox Primer Water, everything you need underneath the sun and the moon for Coachella. 

This scribe can't wait for PopSugar's Third Sunday gift bag next year. 

What Do PopSugar & StyleSmith Have in Common? Pacifica for Coachella...and Some Other Additional Skin Help During the Trip.

By Laura Medina


What do Kelsey Smith's/ StyleSmith's Coachella Style House has to do with PopSugar's Coachella Gifting Suite together, other than catering to Coachella skin care needs while adhering to Coachella's eco-Earth Day ethos?

They both had Pacifica handy-dandy wipes.  What trend-setters they are.




Of course, the usual makeup remover and cleansing wipes were out in full display to wipe the desert dust-encrusted cakey makeup and sunscreen.
What really got this skin-picky scribe are Pacifica's innovations on what it means to be a wipe, their take on sheet facial masks.

This scribe loves that Pacifica infused their tissue wipes with much-needed Moisturize Energize Serum and Underarm Deodorant wipes.  Things you need the most when you need them the most, at the exact amount and disposable without bulky bottles and tubes weighing you down as you're "Coachella Carpooling" in the last-minute.

Since Kelsey Smith, a.k.a. StyleSmith, did more Coachella mileage than this Coachella late-comer, she knows exactly what people need while they party, socialize, and rock out in the desert, morning, noon, and night, she finally gave what people need when elevated to throwing her very own gifting and style suite.

Unlike PopSugar Gifting Suite which handed out Pacifica Travel Wipe pack as the part of Ulta's Coachella Beauty Bag,..


Kelsey one upped them with dispensing mini, travel-friendly tubes of Pacifica's CC Cream to lighten the load and the sun spots, Dream Youth Day & Night Cream to soothe around the clock in one little tube, and mini tube of foamy facial cleanser to foam away the grit and the grime.

Lusting after Pacifica? You can fulfill your travel beauty desire at Ulta, Target, and Sprouts.

https://www.sebamedusa.com/

At own personal need and hospitality, this scribe finally got around hauling and sharing a mega-big pump bottle for all four to share of Sebamed Paraben-Free Liquid Face and Body Wash, generous enough and gentle enough for all four Coachella chicks to use as shampoo, face, and body wash for one night and one bathroom...and still have enough leftover for one single scribe to use for another month...for herself.

All four Coachella girls loved the gentle soap-free Sebamed 1 Liter Liquid Face and Body Wash's ultra-mild formulation, compatible with the most sensitive of skins. It works to deep-clean pores without causing dryness or irritation as regular soap can. Fortified with a natural moisturizing complex of vitamins and soothing allantoin, it rinses away completely for naturally healthier, smoother skin. 

If you want a shampoo, face, and body wash all for your own needs, you can use the smaller, more personal sized Sebamed Spa Shower.  
 
Water lily extract is known for its relaxing fragrance and hydrating capacity. Combined with mild wash active ingredients, a balanced skin care complex and allantoin the skin is moisturized and refreshed during cleansing, leaving it soft and perceptibly smoother to the touch. Adjusted to the physiological pH value of 5.5 the skin is safeguarded from lipid erosion, offering a high level of skin tolerance and protection against dryness and irritation. The pH value of 5.5 strengthens and stabilizes the ecological balance of the skin's acid mantle promoting its vital barrier function.

http://www.lather.com/sea-kelp-ginseng-all-over-mask.html

If you want to leap beyond cleansing and you need all in one major repair, look to the under-represented Lather Sea Kelp & Ginseng All-Over Mask.

Not just healthy and all-natural, it's good for soothing you from head/hair to toes or wherever is sun burnt and needs healing and oil-free moisturizing.

Slathering on this miracle gel, that goes beyond standard aloe vera, it as a miracle in a jar.  Styling and conditioning your strands, refreshing and healing your face and body without breaking your back or budget.

Keep our eyes for Lather Sea Kelp & Ginseng All-Over Mask and Pacifica's Serum and Deodorant Wipes for your Summer Wanderlust and festivities.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Coachella's Gifting Suites Give You What You Really Need, Fresh Boho Clothes & Shoes, Snack, and Desert Skincare and Las Vegas BBQ.

By Laura Medina


Truth be told, the true trip to Coachella started when The Hollywood Reporter/Billboard's Coachella Kick-Off party ended at 3am in a Friday morning.

Eight hours later, this scribe set off in a Coachella Carpool, zipping through the carpool lanes, embarking on another adventure.

But, what an hip and chic adventure...


Let's begin with this scribe's favorite Coachella gifting party, PopSugar at the Avalon, what used to be The Viceroy of Palm Springs.

PopSugar's sponsors had their own designated motor court cottages unto themselves.

People loved the DSW Shoes gladiator and Teva sandals cottage, very much desired.
 


NetFlix Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cottage was the official candy cottage, honoring Kimmy's love for candy, taffy and Gummi Bears galore, all for the grabbing.

Each day of the three-days PopSugar Gifting Party was a different gift bag.

First Friday, they were handing out Henri Bendel's cute and chic striped cloth striped mini tote clutches you can double wear for a preppier garden party.

The Second Saturday, PopSugar Gifting Party doled Ulta's sturdy orange canvas, loaded with desert-ready makeup and desert-recovery skincare.  They were so desirable that the majority of folks were bummed when Ulta run-out.  Not even, the free makeovers at the Ulta Makeover cottage can make up for low-amounts of Ulta goody bags. Bummer.

Second Saturday at PopSugar was major. First Friday, the Avalon passed trays and trays of bbq and prawn skewers.

It was a salmon buffet, washed down by popsicles and snowcones, drenched in fresh fruit purees, on Second Saturday.

However, the Kimmy Schmidt cottage made up for it by passing out white back packs and crafting tables to personalize your back pack.

PopSugar Gifting Party even hanged on for the Third and Last Sunday of the First Coachella Weekend, imagine what goody bags they had for Third Sunday...

Guess which Coachella gifting suite this scribe is coming for more, next year.


This scribe was pleasantly shocked to find Las Vegas, yes that Las Vegas, throwing a BBQ pool party, next door to PopSugar, in Coachella for Coachella.  Guess they missed the boat the first time; and now, they're chasing after the Coachella money/economy like everyone else.


What Happened Here, didn't happen in Vegas.  It happened next door to PopSugar.  Las Vegas debut their own brand of beer, #WHHSH Beer, a light pilsner/ale that guest happily guzzled down in the burning Palm Springs sun.

The BBQ Buffet had the best meals, hands down.  It was stuff that starving, penny-pinching people want to eat, after spending all their money on the real $1000 Coachella concert packet.

This scribe chowed on BBQ spareribs then nibbled on the bacon-wrapped scallops, all grill on the Q.
 

Of course, it ain't Coachella unless there's Millenial celebrities like Joe Jonas, Kellan Lutz, Ed Westwick, and Amber Rose.


Yes, fresh and free sneakers....




Naturally, Coachella parties are desirable because they give stuff you need, like brand new sneakers and hair braiding to release the heat from your neck.


But, the gift suite this scribe is most proud of, is by a fellow blogger who moved up the ranks, Kelsey Smith of StyleSmith's eco-minded gifting suite, #TheGreenHousePS @ConsciousCollective.


In Los Angeles, she calls herself just another blogger but during Coachella, she's a blogger done good that emerging instragram bloggers look up to...

Housed in a classic Fifties Mod bungalow, outfitted with a water-saving astro-turf and a kidney pool, Kelsey knows exactly what desert-burnt Coachellians need.
 

The coffee tables were strewn with Pacifica serum, lotion, deodorant, and makeup remover wipes, efficient and travel-friendly and green.   There were also mini-tubes of CC Cream, scrubs, and washes from Pacifica.


Sticking to the "green" ethos, StyleSmith offered a salad buffet and collagen chocolate-almond protein bars by Primal Kitchen for socializing sustenance.


Taking advantage of the desert heat, eco tees and tanks were tie-dyed and quickly cured under the desert sun.


Kelsey knows people needs refreshments.  Her Califia Almond Milk Coffee Bar was a happy chug.  People sipped on gourmet cocktails built on Glossop's bar syrups.


She even offered Amy's new candy bars as one for the road...with coupons.


This scribe and her Coachella Carpool buddies ended the day with a free concert at the exclusive #THEDIP16 at Saguaro Hotel.  It was one of the few events, outside of the Coachella Music Festival itself, that offered live entertainment and live hip-hop singers...for free.  Yes, hot young things grooved in the pool.  You have to.  It was a burning hot concert.

That's a wrap for now but expect more, expect better, later.