Monday, February 29, 2016

Mind the P's & Q's, Roger Neal Style Hollywood Oscar Viewing Dinner, the New Hollywood Classic.

By Laura Medina

To celebrate twenty-years in pioneering the ever-popular Roger Neal Style Hollywood Oscar Suite style and gifting suites that attend to every nominee's last-minute Awards Season grooming needs, Roger Neal finally threw a bash to thank those who had supported him and paying homage to the epitome of Hollywood Elegance, the Oscars.

Paying homage and conveniently diagonally across the street from the Academy Awards itself at Hollywood and Highland, Mr. Neal threw his Oscar Viewing Dinner at the historical Max Factor Headquarters/Factory, which is now the Hollywood Museum.

Not only it houses the largest Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, it holds a pivotal point in cosmetic history.  This used to be the Max Factor Headquarters and factory, the man who pioneered movie makeup then re-packaged it to the masses as "celebrity cosmetics."  Since he was the man responsible for making stars look their best, Mr. Factor put color theory in action by painting a star's makeup room a certain, soft-glow pastel that coordinates with skin complexions and hair color then naming these color-specific makeup rooms as "Brownettes, Brunettes, and Blondes."

This is where you get that "Old Hollywood Vanity Room Style," a mid-Twentieth Century pastel room that bathes a person in their best ambiance, way before smartphone filters.

HOLLYWOOD MUSEUM founder, Donelle Dadigan said” We are thrilled to have Roger and his Oscar Viewing Dinner, we are right in the middle of all of the Oscar night activity and we know that the guests and stars coming to this dinner will have an incredible time.”

As Hollywood's Gentleman, Roger Neal was considerate enough to hold a press/media buffet room for the starving photographers and tv news anchors stuck on the red carpet, leading up to the real dinner banquet room upstairs.

The press/media buffet room has a wine table and a buffet holding hearty "stick-to-their-ribs" chicken pasta casserole and meatball sauce pasta.

The press/media buffet room was also the receiving area for celebrity guests  to collect and recharge before entering the red carpet clamor.

The guests also had a wait staff serving them hors d'oeuvres in the press/media buffet room.

Considering this was a factory, Roger Neal and the Hollywood Museum had a cool idea...

Stuck with a freight elevator?  It's spacious enough to toss in a full-sized, fully-equipped bar and a booth to sit and sip as you go up to the real dinner banquet.  Roomy enough for wait staff to serve you appetizers as you go up.  How's that for Hollywood ingenuity?

Once guests arrive up to the fourth floor banquet room, they go to their assigned table where a gold chocolate Oscar statue, by Glamour Bombonier Brazilian Sweet, and an Oscar Nominee voting (Hollywood's idea of bingo) sheet awaits them.

Hollywood has a sweet tooth and they like it sparkly and bubbly.  

Lorimar Wines catered the formal dinner with their 2010 Grenache Rose and Rose Sparkling.  For a pure cocktails, Savile Premium Rumtini was a delicious guzzle of alcoholic pineapple juice.

As a veteran Hollywood publicist, Roger lined up Hollywood classics, such as Dawn Wells ("Mary Ann from "Gilligan's Island), Amy Yasbeck, and the amazing Paul Sorvino serenaded the guests.

Mr. Neal's Oscar Viewing Dinner was an authentic formal sit-down five-course dinner.  Don't worry, everything was well-portioned as was everything was succulent.

There were two salads for the diet/anti-oxidant conscious.  The first salad was grilled vegetables tossed with fresh salad leaves.  The second salad was heaving with bay scallops, clam, and crab.

The main entree was the classic surf and turf of tender steak and salmon accompanied by corn, roasted potato, and stuffed tomato, filled with steamed spinach then topped by grilled cheese.

The finale dessert was a pound cake trifle, dolloped with mocha mousse and whipped cream.

The real dessert was Glamour Bombonier Brazilian Sweet's gold-dusted chocolate Oscar statutes that everyone took home as a souvenir.

This scribe was thankful for the Oscar Viewing Party and hopes this will become a new Hollywood tradition.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Oscar Beauty for All Budgets, from the Upscale to Next Door Approachable.

By Laura Medina

Just in time and very canny and keen of Mr. Zac Posen, the contemporary gentleman couture designer knows the right makeup has to coordinate with Hollywood's most formal awards show, based on years of dressing and designing A-List actresses.

Him releasing his Zac Posen for MAC Cosmetics Collection matches his timeless yet contemporary gown designs.  Zac knew there was a need to fill in the makeup gap.

The color palette is neutral to vanity table classics yet the vibrancy of the pigmentation makes the eyeshadow palette and the lipstick youthfully "pop of color."  It's makeup for the upcoming ladies on the horizon.

Your clothing brings a certain type of fantasy to women’s lives. What do you think fantasy shows us about reality?
Fantasy is essential to reality. It helps us escape, dream and to actually create reality itself. For me, nature is as abstract as it gets — it is a primary source of inspiration for me. Women as well, their character, fantasies, neuroses and desires are all elements that continuously inspire me.

You live and work in New York City, but how do you keep your inspiration globally relevant?
I try to think about what moments are going to hit people viscerally. There are unifying factors that women and people are drawn to. Beauty is obviously very subjective, but there are references that become ingrained on a larger global scale. There are forms that humans are drawn to, shades and colours we are chemically turned on by. So, I try to make things that are approachable but still surprising. Instead of trying to chase ways of fitting in, being what I call the “chic banal.”

You grew up downtown…how has that shaped you as an artist?
I grew up three blocks from where we are right now, on Spring Street, in SoHo. My parents moved there in 1972 because they could afford the rent and there was great light for painting. Half our household was my dad’s studio, so I was immersed in the creative process, learning how to give privacy and respect to the process — that’s something that’s ingrained in me. You can’t just knock on the door and yell, “Dad!” There were things that were not allowed so he could concentrate. My friends growing up, all their parents were creative in some aspect.

You were surrounded by visual artists, but what about fashion?
My first love of fashion came from film and from theatre — my dad recorded everything on VHS. My first day of school — I was really nervous, a really big nerd, dressed like Charlie Chaplin — and I had done all of my homework and there were some really beautiful, interesting-looking girls in the room. They looked very fashionable and were working in fashion at the time, as models. They were like grown-ups, and I was certainly still a kid. That was the beginning — I said no more musical theatre summer camp. And so I got a job on Seventh Avenue, an internship sketching, and from there I started working in fashion. Then, I went to Parsons and interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art every day after school, working with fashion and costume designers. I’d skip school when John Galliano and the Dior team came in and help research with them. And when Alexander McQueen and his team would come in, I’d be there. I learned the importance of art and fashion, and how they work together. That idea was very foreign.

I know you have a real love for food. How are food and fashion similar?
To me, there are a few essentials in life. Family first, food second, friends, and then we put fashion last. It’s not a mystery that what you put in your body is how you feel. I love the creative process of cooking — my detox and meditation is getting in the kitchen and cooking. It’s tactile and I’m using my hands, but it’s such a great way of showing love, creativity and emotion. It’s like imagination science. I used to want to be a baker, but I wasn’t allowed to use the oven, so I’d make everything out of clay next to my mom who was baking.

What do you think is better — a great dress or a great meal?
If it’s a great meal, you probably won’t be able to fit into the great dress.

What goes through your head when you see a moment of fashion gone wrong?
The first thing that goes into my head is they better stop following trends.

Why are trends bad for fashion?
Trends aren’t necessarily bad for fashion; they keep it evolving and changing, but trends are to be interpreted personally. I believe that everybody, pretty much, has some form of creativity. They have to find it and have the confidence — that type of expression has to be nurtured internally. Some people don’t like potatoes, and that’s a form of creativity, a form of personal choice. You just have to evolve that into other aspects of your life.

This is your first foray into makeup — what excites you about that?
I’m so excited for people to have a new way to experience my brand and our vision through elements that are more accessible than our top line. Beauty is a sensory experience. It’s not about fit, although you do have colours, it’s the essentials so you can have that wonderful red carpet moment every day — when taking your kids to school, you put on your lipstick. When you’re taking a selfie, you put on your invisible powder. I’ve worked with so many actresses, performers and superstars over the years that I know the things they need. You need everything able to be carried in a clutch, or in your date’s pockets, which is usually what happens with my date’s lipstick.

Tarte's Double Duty Beauty Collection only at Ulta.

Just released last Sunday night on, Tarte must had been thinking about this glam slammed scribe, dashing from one glam event to another.

  The collection literally says it all, "Double Duty Beauty;" and it doesn't skimp on Tarte's trademark vitamin-rich but durable Amazonian Clay that will last you from afternoon to night.

 The plum, lilac, and black Star Power eyeshadow and blush kit doesn't disappoint, for that Oscar evening party in that simply but smokey kit.  Take your full face of fabulous from day to night with this full face eye & cheek palette. With two separate versions for neutral and smokey looks, each palette includes a full size blush and five shadows in mattes and lusters to create a range of looks to flatter any complexion. The pigment-packed formulas are powered by Amazonian clay to help balance skin so your makeup stays put, and each travel friendly palette includes a special message to inspire you to take on the day or night with confidence.

 Each limited-edition palette features a mix of lid, liner, crease and highlight shades and a step-by-step guide to create classic courage looks for day or sultry star power looks for night.

If you want something even more simplified because you need something for stash & dash touch-ups, can't go wrong with double-ended. 

 Double Duty Beauty The Lip Sculptor Double Ended Lipstick & Gloss sculpt and seal a perfectly contoured pout with this 2-in-1 longwearing lip essential. It's a full coverage, satin matte lipstick and a coordinating, pigmented lip gloss in one double-ended tool. Powered by nutrient-packed coconut oil, it helps condition and reinvigorate lip volume, smooth the look of fine lines and deliver decadent hydration with a lightweight, non-sticky texture. Ideal for on-the-go tartelettes, this travel-friendly lip essential delivers a dose of color and high-definition shine in a range of complementing shades with a sweet vanilla finish.


  • Coconut oil: Delivers intense moisture and known for its conditioning properties
  • Maracuja: Rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin C for firmer, brighter, smoother skin and maximum hydration
  • Vitamin E: Natural preservative that also acts as an emollient and antioxidant
Double Duty Beauty The Eye Architect Double Ended Liner and Shadow in Black/Slate has your powdered sponge in plum-silver pewter eyeshadow then you can line your lids with the no-fail classic black eyeliner.  Master a stunning stare with this 2-in-1 eye essential featuring a waterproof twist-up liner and cream shadow in one versatile tool. Ideal for on-the-go Tartelettes, the silky, blendable formulas come in a portable stick for brush-free applications and are powered by Amazonian clay and essential oils to help smooth and condition skin, while locking pigment in place. The crisp liners and creamy shadows are available in three complementing shades to take the guesswork out of creating complete eye looks.

Double Duty Beauty Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara & Waterproof Bottom Lash Mascara is a Swiss Army Knife of mascara.  Lengthen, strengthen and volumize the appearance of lashes from top to bottom with this 360 degree lash tool. It includes the best-selling Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-In-1 Mascara and Tarte's Bottoms Up Bottom Lash Mascara with a lower lash-targeting formula to make even the tiniest lashes go from blah to bombshell. The custom targeted wand separates and coats the hard-to-reach lashes on the lower lashline and inner corners with a quick-drying formula that's waterproof and smudgeproof. This travel friendly tool includes a lash-loving blend of natural waxes, vitamins and conditioners to help nourish, treat and protect lashes anywhere.

Tarte's Double Duty Beauty Collection is clutch-friendly when you need touch-ups and when you need to advance your makeup from Girl-Next-Door Afternoon Look to Amped-Up Night Glam.

So far, until March 6th, it's only available on but will hit Ulta stores on March 6th.

Now that you're in the home stretch and the Oscars are the finishing line, you probably already spent the most of your budget on the Golden Globes and the recent Grammys, can't forget Christmas.

You might be in a mood for something chic and cheap but you refuse to skimp on healthy makeup.

Don't stress, Palladio has always have botanicals  and vitamins in their makeup, all under $10.

 Palladio's Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick are rich as they are durable, long enough to last a whole Oscar night, kissing cheek-to-cheek but your smackers will still stay soft while sipping wine after champagne.

Palladio's Dreamy Matte Lipcolor in Velvet Wine is traditionally deep enough for eveningwear but in Aloe Leaf Extract and Safflower Oil,  Vitamins C and E,  Coconut and Palm Leaf.

 If you're really busted your budget and you're short on time and money, you can pick Milani Makeup at any drugstore (24 hour ones are the best) and snap up Milani's Fierce Foil Cream Eyeliners that come with a nifty liner brush.  They shimmer as they are rich and deep.

Milani's Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss are a fast slick when you need it the most at $5.99.

There, from high to low, you can get red carpet ready for the Oscars. 


Exclusive Oscar Viewing Parties on the Day & Night of Oscar Sunday.

By Laura Medina

The only Oscar party unto-itself, within walking vicinity of the official Oscar Awards and the official 2016 s Oscars Governors Ball , is Roger Neal Style Hollywood Oscar Viewing Dinner, also on Highland Avenue, at the Hollywood Museum, where cinematic makeup was invented and developed, the Max Factor Building.

HOLLYWOOD MUSEUM founder, Donelle Dadigan said” We are thrilled to have Roger and his Oscar Viewing Dinner, we are right in the middle of all of the Oscar night activity and we know that the guests and stars coming to this dinner will have an incredible time.”

At the Roger Neal Style Hollywood Oscar Viewing Dinner, you can rub elbows and shoulders with top production, post-production, and visual effects company, Desert Rock Entertainment, and Datang International Entertainment,the Asian distributor for the Oscar winning movie "Dallas Buyers Club."

Tim Lowry, of Desert Rock Ent, Alice Wang’s American partner on a $100-million-dollar slate of films said that he cannot wait for Oscar night, and is very excited that the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health will be involved, Lowry said I was a big fan of John Ritter and I am looking forward to meeting his wife Amy Yasbeck on Oscar night.

The beautiful sit down, white glove service dinner will be catered by presidential Chef Kurt Erhlich.  Guests will be sipping wine and champagne from Lorimar Vineyards and Winery.  They'll also be nibbling on Chocolatier Glamour Bombonier Brazilian Sweets' miniature chocolate award statues covered in edible gold.  How appropriate.

Speaking of appropriate, the style sponsors will be ball gown and evening clutch and jewelry designers:  Sonjja Baram's evening gown, Esther Eyre Jewelry and DePaula Designs jewelry, and handbag designer Marcelo Calabrese

All these style sponsors will have informal modeling during the commercial breaks.  How's that for an Oscar Viewing Party?  IC Trends,, (they represent Esther Eyre Jewelry and handbag designer, Marcelo Calabrese) president Ivonne Camacho said “ We are looking forward to this spectacular evening.”  Entertainment within Entertainment.

The beneficiaries of this Oscar Viewing Dinner are John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health,, Andy Transplant Foundation  and Safety Harbor Kids,

Obviously, an Oscar Viewing Party isn't an Oscar party unless there are celebrities.  Here are a list of some of the celebrity guests:

There are other Oscar Viewing parties on the horizon.

Charmaine Blake's Red Carpet Viewing Gala and After-Party.  Sorry, can't say exactly where but it is at a private location.

Beverly Hills Haute Couture will also do a fashion show at the party.

Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" Mark Steines, Tony Potts, Eric Benet, and Netflix's "Fuller House" are planning to celebrate and chill while watching the Oscars at Charmaine Blake's Red Carpet Viewing Gala and After-Party.

The beneficiaries for this event are: Mission SAVE HER and Los Angeles County Education Foundation.

Trust this scribe, there are many, many more of upscale Oscar viewing parties that aren't shabby at all.  Since the Oscars Awards Show itself and the Governor's Ball are packed to the gills with nominees, you might actually bump into a real celebrity at these Oscar viewing parties. 


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Dave Stewart's "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" Anecdotes & Jokes from Dave Stewart.

By Laura Medina

Half-jokingly and partly seriously and warily, former Eurythmics front man, video pioneer, and producer, Dave Stewart quipped anecdotes and life lessons on his autobiography book tour, "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" at a Baby Boomer/Gen-X heavy audience.

Guided by the host and KCRW DJ, Gary Calamar, Dave spin tales of him and Annie Lennox forming the Eurythmics in the midst of Britain's Punk Rock scene.  Because the punk rock scene was so guitar-saturated, they decided to zag and switch to synchronizers and  a proto-drum machine to stand out.

How them enjoying filming "vignettes" helped get their start on MTV because they already had three music videos under their sleeves.  Their early music videos are what got them their early paychecks and record label deals.  Dave has this quip, "It's one thing to get screwed and liking it.  It's another to get screwed and hating it," his insight on today's music industry.

To prove he came from a Memphis Blues background, he did "Missionary Man" sans electronics but simply him strumming  blues notes and a growling singer.

After an injury jammed his dreams of playing soccer, he decided to take up the guitar then copy and learned from imported Memphis blues records a friend had shipped him from there.

Because of his ground-breaking music videos, Dave was the go-to innovator among established rockers.  In the Eighties and Nineties to now with Gwen Stefani, Dave is producing and composing legends he always admired.

He can't get over he composed and produced Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan.  When Bob Dylan took him to a Mexican-American underground club, he decided to shoot Bob's video right then and there.

Dave came up then gave "Don't Come Around Here Anymore" to Tom Petty after hanging out with the ephemeral Stevie Nicks.  He also conceptualize the video for Tom Petty.

When you buy his biogrpahy, read his experience his first and last experience with Manhattan Clam Chowder.

Oh yeah, he makes a mean Martini.


Fable Cry, There's More to Nashville than Country & Bluegrass. Nashville's Hidden Gem.

By Laura Medina

Fable Cry

Digging deep beyond Country-Pop and Bluegrass revival, Fable Cry is a locals' insider secret.

Representing Nashville's alternative scene, this Tim Burton-sque band, consisting of a cellist,a violinist, and an accordionist with a typical guitarist and drummer, proves there's more to Nashville than corporate, mainstream Country and Bluegrass.

The multi-talented Zach Ferrin, banjo-player, guitarist, and accordionist, proudly informed this cabaret fan, that there are pockets of Nashville people who rebel against the Country & Bluegrass cliche; and they want something local that is different and good.  Otherwise known as "breaking out of the box."  Nashville's alternative scene takes to Fable Cry very well.

Fable Cry certainly do that.  

Describing themselves as a "theatrical scamp rock quintet,"  they see themselves as reviving Victorian Americana Vaudeville in regards to the costumes and the instruments they play.

Their deep-seated fans like them for "breaking out of the box," performing zany but gallow humor in their videos and concerts.  Fable Cry is mining the same vein as fellow cabaret performer, Amanda Palmer.

It's timely when Fable Cry's lead performer spoke with this scribe because Zach's main influencer was the iconic David Bowie, who put theatrical in every stage of his metamorphose and development as he evolved as an artist. 

Zach Ferrin developed his signature "Victorian" Full-Mustache persona at a Clue-themed costume party in which he went as “Mr. Mustache” (an original character he had invented just for the party).  Soon, the kindness of strangers were giving him fake mustaches and mustache paraphernalia.  Since that time, his upper lip has never been lonely.  The hair around it has migrated - beards, chops, goatees, all have come and gone with the changing of the seasons, but the handlebars have remained. 

They're pretty recent, having formed six year ago in 2010.  Paying their dues while building their fan base as an house band for a puppet show.

Their current fan base stretch as far as Portland, Oregon.  Zach added, "Nashville and Portland are very similar.  Their biggest fan base are in Atlanta, Asheville, Portland, and Seattle.  They're going to tour New York, Boston, and Biltimore for the first time. 

After watching their Victorian, Danny Elfman-sque/Tim Burton-sque music videos, this scribe affectionately recommend to Zach, that he should give avant-garde festivals, such as Spoleto USA, a try, because they're hungry, fertile ground for their theatrical, throw-back cabaret-rock band persona.

When they do hit Los Angeles, Zach was quite taken when this scribe also recommended Los Globos and Satellite to get their feet wet, so Fable Cry can hit the ground running.

Go to Fable Cry's to discover Nashville's hidden, burgeoning gem.  There's more to Nashville than country and bluegrass.  Once you get over the wacky, gothic image and realize these kids have musical chops, Fable Cry is the next generation of theatrical rock that Alice Cooper and David Bowie had formed.