Monday, March 31, 2014

Hip & Haute, CoverGirl's & Ebony Magazine's "Lipstick on the Mic."

By Laura Medina

Dead Right.

Searching and nurturing rising women talent in R&B and Hip-Hop, CoverGirl teams up with Ebony Magazine in promoting the freshest female talent in R&B and Hip-Hop for their "Lipstick on the Mic" tour.

Smacked dabbed in the middle of Lower East Side-sque Hollywood's shopping center/concert venue Urban Outfitter's Space 15Twenty, this concert attracts the creme de la cream of fashion and beauty, such as celebrity makeup-artist, AJ Crimson.

The three acts hitting the stage, Dead Right, Andra Day, and Maad Moiselle all wore CoverGirl's new COVERGIRL 'truBLEND' Collection.  The fellows for that night's concerts are: Durango Boots, Indique Extensions and VitaFrute cocktails.

First up was the electronic dance music duo, Dead Right.  Recent transplants to LA from Atlanta, Graham and Alex popped dance tones while warming up the crowd to...

The soulfully sultry but elegant Andra Day, a Southern Californian from San Diego.   

Ellen DeGeneres called and offered to help the singer get recognized. Day is now signed to Warner Bros. Records through Buskin’ Records, which will release her debut album later this year.

Because she's reminiscent of by-gone but still legendary Nina Simone and Billie Holiday,  the crowd was respectfully composed through her performance.

As the finale, the crowd went mad for MAAD Moiselle, a wild model-turned-Hip Hop phemon who definitely spent time in Europe, earning her stripes, touring Europe with German-based pop group MADcon, being featured on two of their hit singles, "Outrun the Sun" and "Helluva Nite", working with Drake and super producers Just Blaze, Kwame, and Jonas Jeberg, featured on A$AP Ferg's album Trap Lord, and currently seen as the leading lady in R&B crooner Luke James's latest video, "Oh God".

It shows in her set, swinging to British dancehall reggae one minute to European electronic dance music next.  She used her long, lean, and lanky frame to full-effect, bumping and grinding into this scribe's face.

Currently seen as the leading lady in R&B crooner Luke James's latest video, "Oh God". Currently, MAAD is gearing up to release her debut EP, INDIGO, which will be released at the top of 2014. Her first single “Take Me”, was co-written by R&B singer Ro James and produced by Lehkz of #ProducedByTheVamp. 

What a way to finish off a night.  Bumping and a grooving to the fine, young ladies of "Lipstick on the Mic" was a great way to burn off Vine Vera's antioxidant-rich, 6-course Wonder Woman/Gal Gadot's Dinner. 

Hip, haute, and healthy.

Be Healthy, Be Sexy like Wonder Woman, Vine Vera Dinner for Wonder Woman aka Gal Gadot at Sadie's Kitchen

By Laura Medina

Would it be nice if we all can get the skin radiating benefits of Resveratrol, wine's and grape's antioxidant without getting drunk, a pounding hangover, or a sugary bloat?

The kind folks at Vine Vera were clever enough to isolate Resveratrol into their oily-skin friendly serums, nurturing creams, and indulgent but functional masks that sinks into your skin overnight.

In honor of Gal Gadot's new-found role as Wonder Woman in the "Man of Steel" sequel.  This lady knows what it takes to be a kick-ass heroine.  This ex-Israel Defense Forces soldier with weapons training who did her own stunts in Fast & Furious films, knows that physical beauty comes from being healthy inside that radiates outward.

During an interview with Yahoo!'s Ken Choy, Gal said that everyone needs nice skin, not just super-heroes, "The skin is the mirror to our health.  For me, this is what I do."  While duking it out as action heroine, "I rather have silky, smooth skin actually."  Other than the routine advice of guzzling gallons of water since she travels all over the world, Gal uses one of Vine Vera's masks to even out her skin tone and smooths out her skin texture.  Her favorite Vine Vera product is their serum, twice a day.  She loves that it's light and not greasy and filled with vitamins and healthy oils.  Gal also loves their night cream so much that she uses it for morning and night.  "It's very light and absorbs into the skin very fast." Answering Ken's last question, "What's tougher, fighting bad guys, bad skin, or competing in beauty pageants?"  Gal said "beauty pageants."  Just kidding.  She said she enjoys her time with tough guys, taking care of her skin, and participating in beauty pageants.  "Being positive, that's good for your skin."

For Gal Gadot, Vine Vera's products really work...that's the thing.  She was sold on the wine/grape antioxidant, Resveratrol.  Notably, the light-weight and oil-free serums.  They leave her skin silky and glowing.

So, instead of drinking wine, she's wearing wine...exactly! Resveratrol Merlot Refining Peeling is another one of her favorites,  She always uses it in prepping for a big event to even out her skin tone and to get her face an extra boost.  Gal also loves their Resveratrol Cabernet High-Potency Cream, day and night for quick hydration,

To watch Yahoo! Ken Choy's and this scribe's interview, go to

Seeing that Vine Vera's power-packed antioxidants and nourishing oils are derived from food ingredients,  it makes common sense to use Vine Vera's skin-friendly ingredients in their dinner toasting Gal Gadot as both their new spoke lady and as the new "Wonder Woman" in the "Man of Steel" sequel.

Sadie's Kitchen's Executive Chef Jonathan Moulton looked over Vine Vera's skin care ingredients then pulled them out as basis for the 6-course dinner.

As usual, Chef Moulton explained he used the almond oil from one of Vine Vera's skin care products in the White Gazpacho with toasted almonds and vanilla oil.  Taking in account that a wine-based skin care company is sponsoring this dinner, Sadie's Kitchen's general manager, Patrick Doherty paired wine with each course.  For the White Gazpacho, he used Chateau Tertre de Launay Vin de Bordeaux Entre-Deux-Mers, France 2012.

With the antioxidant-nature of Vine Vera,  Chef Moulton constructed a girly Salad of Young Lettuces out of edible flowers with soft herbs dressed in champagne vinaigrette, paired with Famille Perrin Reserve Rose, Cotes du Rhone, France 2012.

This scribe noticed that Chef Moulton put in some crunch for texture.  The Mole Rubbed Scottish Salmon provided a crunchy surface as this scribe sank her fork into the moist and succulent Salmon.  Chef Moulton selected salmon for it's skin-plumping omega-3 oils which is further reinforced by the salmon roe dotting the meat.  The avocado's omega-3 oils only makes this scribe's skin glow even more for the night.

Eventually, Chef Moulton has to do something with wine for this wine-based skin care company's dinner.  He drizzled red wine demiglace for a tender nugget of a Braised Beef Shortrib nestled in a bed of celery root puree, the lower-calorie version of mashed potatoes, with brussels sprouts.  Since Vine Vera uses Malbec Wine in their Malbec DNA Collection,  Patrick Doherty respected that angle by pouring Trapiche Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina 2011.

Even the desserts, yes you heard this scribe right, the two desserts were skin-benefiting.

Chef Moulton used skin-calming chamomile in creamy, vanilla emulsion for this fancy French Toast, what they call Crunchy Tres Leches Cake.  Again, it was a crunchy caramelized French Toast.  Something this scribe would wish for a Sunday breakfast or brunch.

The finale was a skin-cleanser as it was a palate-cleanser, the Green Tea Panna Cotta with a shortbread of a candied sesame-nori tuile cookie.

The powdered green tea that Chef Moulton used in this custard provided a much-needed skin-boost and energy zing for this bar & club-hopping scribe who needed to head off to a CoverGirl's/Ebony Magazine's "Lipstick on the Mic" R&B women's concert immediately, which was a short hop-and-a skip at Space15Twenty event venue.

The surprisingly treat was the candied sesame-nori tuile.  It was more of a nutty shortbread cookie, rich in butter.  This scribe would be just as satisfied nibbling on a box of this.  Considering Chef Moulton was clever in mixing collagen-building nori seaweed and sesame in a cookie, this super-sweet scribe wouldn't have any problems on snacking on a platter of these "collagen cookies."

Not only did this scribe's skin was subtly radiating at night, the Green Tea Panna Cotta gave this scribe the much-needed boost to run over to CoverGirl's/Ebony Magazine's "Lipstick on the Mic" concert soon after...

Like Gal Gadot a.k.a. Wonder Woman said, healthy is sexy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Sweet Life in the Suite 100 in Beverly Hills, this year only.

By Laura Medina

This year, the tony town of Beverly Hills is celebrating its 100th birthday.

To toast, Beverly Hills' five best hotels have decorated their 100th Suite representing the best of Hollywood Glamour through the Forties through the Nineties, transporting the visitor back in time.  Each of the Suite 100 in the five hotels celebrating Beverly Hills' 100th birthday evokes a time and an era.

Beverly Hills, a city known for its bespoke luxury experiences and services will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding on January 28th, 2014. While a series of year-long festivities will pay homage to the city's history and culture, one event in particular promises to commemorate the special occasion with Beverly Hills' signature, iconic style.

Running through the end of the year, the Suite 100 program will consist of five of the most luxurious hotels in Beverly Hills: The Beverly Hills Hotel, The Beverly Hilton, L'Ermitage Beverly Hills, Montage Beverly Hills and The Peninsula Beverly Hills. Each participating property will redesign a suite to capture a moment in time from the last 100 years.

Inspired by celebrities, fashion and lifestyle trends, all suites promise unique, era-specific experiences for guests. Each property will guarantee a unique, exhibiting experience with inspired furnishings, d├ęcor and accessories carefully selected down to the finest details. From the fun-loving style of the Studio 54 era to the classic flair of the Marilyn Monroe age, the event offers visitors an opportunity to uniquely experience the legendary style of the city and the glamorous life of icons of eras past.

The time-traveling party tour kicked at the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows.

A Marilyn Monroe impersonator sashayed into the hotel's Suite 100, where guests were greeted by a crooning Dean Martin/Frank Sinatra singer accompanied by pianist.

They represented the "Golden Age of Hollywood."

The Suite 100 at the Beverly Hills Hotel was redecorated into a Fifties living room with curved fireplace and marble coffee table.

Of course, it wouldn't be Marilyn Monroe or the Fifties unless the bathroom sink counter was decorated by her beloved Chanel No. 5 and a bottle of champagne by the tub.

Tihany Design drew inspiration for The Beverly Hills Hotel's Suite 100 from the glamorous lifestyle of Marilyn Monroe, a frequent hotel guest, and the "understated elegance" of Paul Williams, the celebrated architect who designed the hotel's Polo Lounge, signage and iconic pink-and-green color scheme. Gracefully curved furnishings in rich hues of green and blue complement the existing architectural details of the suite's curved ceilings and walls. Quintessentially Californian, the design features black lacquer finishes, tropical prints, shag carpets and a bar made of rich sycamore wood that speaks to the era's modernist influence

The guests had no idea this was a tour of the best 100th Suites of Beverly Hills' participating hotels until the "party trolley" rolled up.

Thank god, the guests were allowed to board the "party trolley" carrying their cocktails with them, a swanky field trip for adults.

The second stop was a real time flip, the "Studio 54" Suite 100 at L'Ermitage Beverly Hills.

Hot on the heels of "American Hustle," L'Ermitage's Suite 100 re-done in Andy Warhol Polaroid portraits dotting the hallways.  The actual Halston and Diane Von Furstenberg actually worn by Jennifer Lawrence were stored in the closet.  The bathroom was wallpapered in '70's "Interview" magazine covers.  Guests nibbled on lamb chops and sipped Harvery Wallbangers staring at real Halston on the mannequins.  

It is the mid-1970s. Halston and disco reign the scene. Imagine Bianca Jagger breezing through the red-velvet rope at Studio 54. Flashbulbs are popping and buss is thumping. Legendary designer Ken Fulk has created Suite 100: an homage to Andy Warhol's Factory and Halston, the era's favorite designer. High-gloss lacquer, mirror finishes, orchids and vintage fashions in the closet balance delicately against the use of Ultrasuede, throughout the expansive suite. Other elements that evoke the decade include a powder room papered in Interview Magazine covers, a "Do Not Disturb" sign that plays on Warhol's celebrated silk-screen portraits and an interactive iPad photo booth mimicking the allure of the paparazzi adjacent to the room's elevated catwalk

The third stop was a true switcheroo, the 1940's Montage.

Piping hot, fresh-out-of-oven Oyster Rockefeller, dripping in cheese and spinach greeted the guests, along with the mini Lobster Thermidors.

Hurried up to Montage's Suite 100, it was drenched in Femme Fatale Film Noir.  The script of "The Maltese Falcon" and a vintage 1940's typewriter decked the desk.  A closet stored vintage 1940's fashion.  A room service buzzer just for champagne.

The "party trolley" did a time warp again, leaping twenty years ahead to the "swinging" Mad Men Sixties Suite 100 at Merv Griffin's Beverly Hilton.

Oyster Rockefeller re-appeared again but this time with Betty Draper's Pigs-in-a-Blanket.  The Beatles debuting on the Ed Sullivan Show was on constant loop on a Sixties TV console.

Inspired by the sophisticated yet rebellious attitude of the 1960s, when The Beverly Hilton epitomized the era's Jet Set glamour, this Suite 100 embodies the elegance of actress Audrey Hepburn and the free spirit of her character in Breakfast at Tiffany's; the sophistication of Tipi Hedren, star of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds; the interior design bravado of David Hicks, who was noted for using bold colors and mixing antique and modern furnishings for his star-studded clientele; the musical innovation of Brazilian singer-songwriter Gilberto Gil; and Tom Ford Design showcase furnishings that evoke the revolutionary times of the 1960s along with the panache of the then-popular Hollywood-Regency style

Each stop, on the trolley tour, signals a twenty years leap in time.  Going from Beverly Hilton's Swinging Sixties to the Nineties Peninsula Hotel Beverly Hills was a thirty years different.

Re-done in bold, masculine black lacquer and bold primary red, the Oyster Rockefellers were replaced by mini bowls of mac n' cheese and chili and a fresh fruit bowl of lychees, white grapes, and dried apple slices.

It's fitting that the Peninsula Hotel Beverly Hills represented the Nineties since it was born in 1991.  Design firm Forchielli Glynn has transformed a suite into the embodiment of modern Hollywood glamour. 
The bedroom features mirrored walls accented with silvery finishes, ideal for couples getting dressed in their finest for a night on the town.

"Forrest Gump" was on constant loop instead.

The suite's living room walls are clad in photographic murals of a red carpet Hollywood gala event. 

Their inspiration is the style and excitement of Awards Seasons - The Golden Globes, The Grammys, The Oscars - when The Peninsula Beverly Hills plays host to Hollywood VIPs and celebrities, representing the rise of entertainment news and glossy tabloids, pre-dating social/celebrity media.

Each one of the Suite 100 are available for booking reservations right now at

Remember, you got a year to soak yourself in your favorite eras: The Forties, The Fifties, The Sixties, The Seventies, and the Nineties.