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On-the-Go Extensions

21 Feb
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(L) Hair after hiking; (R) With Dark Blonde Secret Extensions

Up until my 20s I got natural blonde highlights from the sun. But as I’ve gotten older and started paying attention to every freckle, sunblock and hats have become a regular thing. Goodbye natural blonde halo.

Now my hair is bronde – or as Mom used to call it, “Mousy Brown. If I have any highlights, they’re usually paid for. Up until a few weeks ago, my hair has always been a few inches below my shoulders. When it gets any longer, it gets stringy.

Mom has wanted me to get extensions for decades. Meh. I’ve got other things to spend a paycheck on. But when Secret Extensions reached out, I decided I had nothing to lose.

Plus I like the idea of not having to clip hair in. The idea of exposed clips or seams has always made me anxious. Secret Extensions are worn like an adjustable headband. They can be taken on and off in seconds. You just slip them on over your head and pull your natural hair out over the thin band. Instant on-the-go length and volume!

I wore the extensions out a few times and no one noticed anything, which was good. I loved the added volume and color gradient – but the length (16”) and curled ends honestly felt a bit too Disney Princess. If I wear them again, I will attempt cutting the length first.

Actress and company spokeswoman Daisy Fuentes says you can cut, style, or wash these just as you would your own hair. There are 11 shades to pick from, and they’re really affordable compared to professional applications.

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The Secret Extensions are also perfect for trying out highlights, low lights, or even ombre and balayage looks – before committing to permanent color. I test drove Dark Blonde and Light Brown (swatched above).

See all the different fun colors at secretextensions.com.

xo

💋NEW Instagram! @cityofglossangeles

The Beauty of Adele

12 Feb

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I’m a longtime Adele fan. But when she demanded a do-over LIVE on-air (and dropped a few F bombs!) at the Grammys, I completely fangirled out. She was not about to deliver anything but perfection for her friend George Michael.

Total respect.

And while I’m paying homage, I’ll bow down to Michael Ashton, too. He’s the artist we can credit for Adele’s glowing skin and signature cat eye tonight.

Before Ashton even applied color, he primed her face with Ole Henriksen skincare products. First he let a few dots of Ultimate Lift eye crème absorb under her eyes. Then he mixed a few pumps of Pure Truth Vitamin C Youth Activating Oil with a bit of Nurture Me crème and thoroughly worked it into her skin, blending outwards from the center of her face.

Ashton used the following Marc Jacobs Beauty products to create Adele’s gorgeous Grammy look.

FACE

  • Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut face primer (warmed up in hands first, then pressed into skin)
  • Genius Gel Super-charged oil-free foundation 26 bisque medium
  • Remedy concealer pen in 2 wake-up call (under eye, t-zone & high plane areas)
  • #instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder in dream filter 20 (under cheek bones, around hair line)

BROWS

  • Brow Wow defining longwear eyebrow pencil in taupe 2 and ashbrown 4
  • Brow Tamer grooming gel

EYES

  • Twinkle Pop Stick eyeshadow in volver 402 (lid)
  • Style Eye Con no 7 plush eyeshadow palette in the lolita 206 (contours)
  • Magic Marc’er precision pen waterproof liquid eyeliner in blacquer (starting at inner corner and thickening as line extends outward to a fanned cat eye)
  • Velvet Noir major volume mascara (top and bottom lashes)

LIPS

  • Le Marc Liquid lip crème in slow burn 458 and fawn over me 452 (blot and clean up edges before applying second coat)

To set the look and give it extra vitamin-packed staying power, Ashton added a light mist of Ole Henriksen Nurture Me facial water to Adele’s entire face. And it worked. It ALL worked! Shop Ole Henriksen and Marc Jacobs Beauty on their respective sites or Sephora.

Congrats to Adele for 5 huge Grammy wins!

xo

Next: I’m after what products are used on Bruno Mars. His skin always looks flawless. Or maybe he’s born with it…

 

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

9 Feb
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Clarins

I wouldn’t presume to know what gift you should get your Valentine this year. Aside from some really good generic suggestions anyway.

But if you’re shopping for your friends or sisters …or basically anyone you aren’t sleeping with…I’ve got some not-s0-ordinary gift suggestions sure to make them smile.

 

ONE FOR ME, ONE FOR YOU

Clarins’ Daily Energizer Lovely Lip Balm creates a subtle flushed pink on everyone and smells like red currant. This nourishing balm is made with cocoa and shea butter, so it feels great on dry lips or under long-wear lipstick.

 Clarins’ Skin Illusion Blush is purse-friendly and comes with a mirror, packed powder, and sponge all in one. It comes in three universal shades but I like Luminous Pink for a sweet blushing cheek.

Both the Clarins blush and balm come in exclusive Valentine’s Day packaging and are limited editions.

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Milk+Sass

 

NOT SO KNOTTY

I like these macarons better than the real ones! These brand new Milk+Sass compact brushes are adorable – plus they take out every knot and tangle. Perfect right out of the shower on curly or straight hair, these detanglers fit snug in your palm and even have a built-in mirror.

Such a cute surprise gift for any friend who loves a functional accessoryand French pastry!

 

BRING A BOTTLEpink-pop_0-copy

No matter what the plan is, mini-sized bottles of bubbly make the night more fun. They’re also extra festive tied to a balloon… or packed with a pint of Choctál Madagascar Vanilla!

Try a sweet festive Stella Rosa (Stella Berry!) or delicious Pommery Champagne Pops Rose. Rosé all day, amiright?

 

LYFT HER UP

Don’t feel like driving on Valentine’s Day? Here’s one more reason to take Lyft. A select number of riders in Los Angeles will be offered a pretty greeting card from their driver, courtesy of Lovepop. I love these 3D popup cards. They’re based on the Asian art form Kirigami and are actually frame worthy…which isn’t an awful idea if you don’t plan on giving it to someone else.

The cards retail for $8 to $15 each, so make sure to thank your driver.

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Lovepop Kirigami cards

 

THE SYMBOL OF FRIENDSHIP

Show your best friend how much she means to you with a gift she can wear every day. The symbolic crossed arrows say that no matter what paths your lives take, yours were always destined to cross.

These hand stamped necklaces from The Silver Wren look perfect with the friendship symbol nestled between you and your bestie’s first initials.

GOLDEN GIRL

Lately I’ve been obsessing a bit over these gold chain earrings by Gabriela Artigas. The people at You’re So Baby in Echo Park are probably getting sick of seeing me swoon over them. I love how the delicate chain drapes down off of the mini 14kt staple.

Grab these luxe earrings for a truly deserving girl this Valentine’s Day – even if that girl is you!

 

xo

**NEW Instagram: @cityofglossangeles

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Makeup Sneak Peek: LORAC

1 Feb
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LORAC’s I ♥ Brunch Collection

To know me is to know that I love brunch. Brunch is my jam. Literally. So needless to say I was a little excited to check out LORAC‘s latest color collection: I ♥ Brunch.

And it’s as charming as it sounds. Candy-colored pastels create a makeup ode to brunch in Los Angeles. Shades like Foodie, Eggs Benny, Smoothie and Avocado Toast make these products even more fun.

If you want a full-coverage pastel, go for the lipsticks. If you prefer a sheer wash of sorbet color, try the glosses… and the rest of the collection. Shadows can be layered for a denser look. Or use a damp brush for a girly dose of watercolor.

I’ve swatched the lipsticks (left) and glosses (right) in natural afternoon light below.

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The I ♥ Brunch collection consists of:

  • 4 highly-pigmented Alter Ego Lipsticks
  • 4 corresponding Alter Ego Lip Glosses
  • 1 Pro Palette
  • 2 Color Source buildable blushes
  • 1 Light Source highlighter

Look for these new products at Ulta Beauty and Kohl’s later this month!

xo

💋NEW Instagram! @cityofglossangeles

Umberto: A Hair Institution

30 Jan

img_2861Hair salons go in and out all the time in Beverly Hills. But along the way, a few of them stick and become the holy grail of hairstyling. Umberto is one such salon, and the man behind it has become an icon in his industry.

I went in yesterday for a simple blogger blowout. Speaking freely, I always appreciate the little perks of being a beauty writer but a blowout is a blowout. Not that I take it for granted. Sign me up!

But this was on a whole ‘nother level.

I hadn’t been inside the Canon Drive salon in at least 10+ years. My hair doesn’t have much style. It’s always been baby fine, not really straight, not really curly, no bangs. It styles easily enough, but stays perfect for about 5 minutes. It moves from middle part to top knot on an hourly basis. It’s basically lazy. It likes to go to the party, but is ready to go after one round. I guess it’s on the right head.

Anywayyy. Apologies for all that dribble. The point being, my hair has been in the same non-style for about 30 years. I get it trimmed twice a year (if that) but rarely expose it to a luxe cut because… well it just isn’t worth the time and money. Color is a different story. I don’t mess around with a questionable colorist!

The people at Umberto greeted me like I was family. Such a happy vibe in this bright, airy salon. No uppity attitude. No staring at the messy nest that was my bun. Have ya seen Trolls? Nothing but people chatting and laughing and styling and coloring, all in a common hair love affair.

At the helm of the salon is Umberto Savone – the charismatic owner, respected stylist, img_2859and all-around revered entrepreneur. When they say a company’s culture starts from the top, it’s so true.

As the assistants got me settled in, I apologized for my long stringy hair and was assuring them my blowout would be easy… when Umberto himself walked up and introduced himself.

The consummate stylist, he took a quick tour of my hair. When I said I was only there for a blowout, he wasn’t having it. Umberto grabbed his scissors and went to town on my messy locks. He cut my hair while dry, with all the rhythm and smooth precision of a Bruno Mars mix.

Soon I was whisked over to the shampoo bowls, and then back for a blowout. His team used the Umberto Volumizing products (Thickening Spray and Lifting Powder) to give my hair extra body and weight. I highly recommend checking out the entire product collection – available at his salons or Target. Super reasonable prices!

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What many people don’t know is that Umberto has a beautiful salon a few miles south, on Olympic Blvd. It’s not as grand as the original salon, but neither are the prices. You can book a cut, color, manicure, and more. Many of the Canon Dr. assistants work at the Olympic salon on their days off to build up their clientele. This salon is a fabulous option for those who are watching their wallets.

Though you’ll find Umberto primarily at the Canon location, both salons are full-service and will even offer you a smoothie or sandwhich. I walked away with a fresh new cut, sweet products, a smile on my face, AND my favorite chopped salad packed to-go from Porta Via next door.

It’s encouraging to know that some Beverly Hills beauty institutions still live up to their reputations after all these years.

  • Umberto | Canon Dr | 310.274.6395
  • Umberto | Olympic Blvd | 310.274.2139

 

xo