Sunday, November 29, 2009

hotel california

This inspirational post is brought to you via my favorite trade magazine, Beauty Launchpad via KMS California campaign. The theme: Hotel California, hipsters in the L.A. scene. Whether lounging by the pool or enjoying room service, these chic femmes and gents rock their ’dos to the nth degree. After all, beauty is so much more than a passing fad—it’s a lifestyle. These individual interpretations of classic cuts deliver editorial looks with a contemporary edge. Inspiration for the stylist and sass appeal to both the stylist and consumer. Loving the dark bob with bangs. What looks inspire you this season?

hairstyles courtesy of Edwin Johnston, KMS California international artistic director, and Clive Allwright, KMS California international artistic director.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

thankful for you

Today on this day of Thanksgiving I thought of my favorite foods and the various colors, caramels, pumpkin, redwood, cherry, butterscotch, truffle brown, sable. All of these are colors that I am currently using or aspire to use in the salon. Click here for more inspiration. Please enjoy the visuals and most importantly have a wonderful day with your family enjoying the beginning of the Holiday Season, I wish you love and peace.
xo Gina

images: wella usa l.a. times food blog

Sunday, November 22, 2009

together again

This picture of Janet Jackson brings a big smile to my face as well. Watching her performance tonight at the American Music Awards couldn't help but get a little nostalgic as she started out the show with her new single, Make Me then grooved and shuffled through the stream of 20 years of my favorite hits. Watching an interview earlier this month and reading the recent Bazaar magazine article reflects how much the death of her beloved brother, Michael Jackson has affected her. As in life sometimes the heartache makes us stronger and more resilient. So happy to see her smiling as she did on her final number at the American Music Awards. Together Again. As she looked up to the sky is it any wonder whom she was thinking of ?

images: harpers bazaar

new moon birthday

I missed one of my nephews birthday's yesterday. Working on Saturday's is part of the business and I do miss a lot of family parties. However not to be forgotten I decided instead of my personal favorite gifts to give vans sneakers or a gap hoodie my 16 year old nephew would probably enjoy some movie passes for the New Moon movie release this weekend. What do you think?

images taylor lautner cupcakes

Friday, November 20, 2009


My favorite fragrant gift would be Angel by Thierry Mugler, love this scent of season's past with the fragrant memorable notes of Bergamot, , Honey, Red Berries, Vanilla, Caramel, Patchouli, and Chocolate. Have a beautiful weekend!


1| Good Evening
Sonia Kashuk knows what girls want. All six of her sculpted silver makeup brushes are must-haves (particularly the stubby smudge brush), and the sparkly black bag that contains them can double as a nighttime clutch. $19.99; at Target.

2| Blue Angel
The distinctively dessertlike Angel by Thierry Mugler Collector Extrait de Parfum is for true addicts. Not only does the classic fragrance come in ultraconcentrated form, it’s all dressed up in a Swarovski crystal–adorned flacon. $198; at Saks Fifth Avenue.

3| Male Persuasion
There is no olfactory note more carnal than musk. It’s the sultry star of Narciso Rodriguez for Him Eau de Parfum Intense, a riff on the designer’s bold signature cologne. This version balances the enveloping and sensual aroma of musk with iris and pink berries. $59; at Saks Fifth Avenue.

4| Back to Black
At this point, black nail polish is about as shocking as thigh-high boots—which is to say not at all. But Dior Vernis in Black Sequins does warrant a second glance, flecked as it is with a subtle silver shimmer. $20; at Sephora.

5| Chic Spritz
Royal Apothic’s room spray for holiday manages to be both seasonal and stylish. The sleek cylindrical bottle holds a sophisticated scent, dubbed Distillation of: An Edwardian Fireplace, that is reminiscent of warm baked plums with just a hint of spice. $28; at Anthropologie.

6| Give a Fig
In the land of fragrance, fig has a particularly rabid following. The earthy, singular note is difficult to perfect, but Diptyque’s Philosykos is widely considered the consummate example. It’s now available in solid form. $48;

7| Street Smart
In-the-know city slickers will adore Lafco New York’s Avenue candles. Each is named after a famous shopping block, from Via Condotti in Rome to Canton Road in Hong Kong. Stoleshnikov, a white mint and basil concoction meant to evoke the icy conditions on Moscow’s poshest thoroughfare, comes in a weighty platinum-tipped goblet that just happens to be reusable. $48;

8| In the Clear
For the minimalist who likes bathrooms to resemble all-white laboratories, Bath & Body Works Winter White Cool Body Wash fits in seamlessly. There’s block lettering, a simple rectangular bottle and a fresh floral fragrance so light it’s almost imperceptible. $14; at Bath & Body Works.

9| Smoke and Mirrors
Hidden within the stacked layers of Urban Decay’s Smoke Out Kit is a miniature arsenal of makeup chosen for its ability to deliver the perennially sexy smoky eye. Four tiers fan out to reveal an instruction booklet and mirror, four eye shadows, black eyeliner and brush, and a tiny tube of black mascara. $34;

10| Rock Band
It doesn’t get any more romantic than Jennifer Behr’s crystal head wrap. Rows of chunky Swarovski crystals curve across a soft, frayed ribbon of sheer ivory chiffon for a dreamy yet daring look. $725;

11| Dream Cream
Finally, a vanilla-scented body product that doesn’t knock you out with sugar. L’Occitane Shea Vanilla Body Cream uses Madagascar vanilla and African shea butter for a rich moisturizer that is subtly sweet without being cloying. $36;

12| La Lip
There has always been something inherently elegant about a tube of lipstick, but one by Guerlain—with a metallic case designed by Parisian jeweler Lorenz Bäumer—is the most divine of all. And this season it gets festive with a discreet black gem and two new limited-edition shades. $45; at Neiman Marcus.

w magazine

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Seeing the upcoming trailers for the new Bob Marshall Movie, Nine with it's all star female cast I couldn't help but notice how much Kate Hudson reminded me of a certain other blondie in fish nets who also dated A-Rod. What do you think?
images: kate hudson madonna

Sunday, November 15, 2009

beauty changes lives

Just looking at these lovely little totes shown here, made me swoon. I love a little handbag that you can take from day to night. I have my little gold clutch packed up and ready to go but had to leave my little travel bag behind for my big bag to carry all of the hair gear, blowdryers, curling irons, etc. and my high heels of course! Traveling to the Southwest, to a Convention for the AACS. Nothing like working with some of my mentors in the beauty biz to give me a thrill. Looking forward to sharing lots of great new looks for the season when I return. Something fun to do if you are in L.A. this weekend, hop on the party train.

Monday, November 9, 2009

lashes to die for

Loving anything Madonna related and I especially love long lashes. I don't really believe in the mink thing. Here are some options for glitterazzi lashes with out hurting any furry beings on the planet. For me, my daily lash fix comes from Diorhshow with Blackout as seen here.
Good news, according to Madonna's make up artist, the other Gina. No harm done to the minks of the earth. "The animals shed during the winter months, so we take the sheddings and we hand-make the lashes." I remember the same question being asked about certain make up brushes made of sable from horse tail bristle. What do you think?

Images: Madonna
, gliving

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bottega Louie

I just visited this Downtown Diner on Grand ave. Reading Irene Virbila's review I thought I would give her the re-post since its a pretty adequate view of my wonderful lunch experience. A sweet note, my local gelateria is featured at the restaurant. I couldn't resist showing more of the pastries, That little croquet of grilled cheese is a chef's favorite. Yes, that's moi enjoying a glass of pinot grigio during a lunch break. Bon Appetit!

Passersby stand and stare at the spectacle inside the palatial Brockman Building at the corner of 7th and Grand. Floor-to-ceiling windows put the whole shebang that is Bottega Louie on full display: gray-veined marble floors, imposing pillars and a ceiling high enough that Cirque du Soleil trapeze artists could do their thing. Some of the more decorative touches look like a collaboration between Louis XV (Louie?) and Gianni Versace.

Grand? Did I say grand?

In the dining room with its sea of tables, a quilted Chanel bag is slung over a chair next to a baby stroller, with baby. A downtown hipster flashes his fully illustrated arm as he reaches across the table for a slice of pizza. A table of highly styled nerds at the back erupts into laughter, clinking glasses.

Who wouldn't gawk, though, at the sight of so many people eating so much food, arms waving, trying to shout above the fray? Or the expanse of stainless steel kitchen where eight, nine, 10 -- count 'em -- cooks are working furiously, sending out stacked sheaves of romaine (the Caesar salad), butter lettuce freckled with balsamico and stacked and strewn with candied walnuts (the Modena salad), slabs of meaty lasagna and he-man portions of osso buco?

Bottega Louie takes abbondanza to heart with an all-Italian menu served in generous portions at moderate prices -- with plenty of service. The kitchen gets the food out fast, which is why the restaurant can feed 800 on a weekend night. OK, it's not the best Italian food in town, but it's generally fresh and pretty good, and you can't beat the quality-price ratio. Plus, it feels like you're somewhere special, not just stuck at a table in the corner of yet another nondescript trattoria.

Be forewarned: The noise level at Bottega Louie is punishing. It's generally a full house, even on a weeknight. And here that would mean, oh, 150 or so guests, plus more in the bar, and a few urban stragglers checking out the array of take-out food (tired-looking and expensive). Ah, but the pastries look adorable lined up in rows: eclairs striped in minty green, dainty little lemon tarts, berry tartlets. Thimble-shaped canelé, slender cupcakes and croissants glisten in the glass case near the bar.

No reservations

A strict no-reservations policy means there can sometimes be a wait -- maybe 10 minutes on a weeknight and up to two hours at prime time on a weekend. In that case, repair to the bar for a cocktail or a glass of wine, take in the performance in the open kitchen, and look over the large one-page menu.

First of all, order one of the $14 pizzas, each of which must be 14 inches across, not your diminutive dinner plate-size models. They're thin-crusted and spare on the toppings in the Italian style, not particularly inventive but fine. All the usual suspects are available -- Margherita, sausage, pepperoni, even a clam pizza with cheese. I'd give them a solid B.

If you plan on having a main course, don't get carried away with the appetizers. Salads could each easily feed two or three, more if you're sharing several dishes. The Caesar, Modena and Louie salads are all good. The latter isn't a shrimp Louie. It's a tasty mix of chilled iceberg lettuce with hearts of palm, avocado and some cooked shrimp in a Dijon vinaigrette. Some of the other salads, though, tend to be overdressed.

The small plates section of the menu features appetizers and more traditional sides, and at $6 to $8, you can afford to be extravagant in your ordering. Fried calamari is beautifully crunchy and not at all greasy. It comes with a thick marinara sauce for dipping, but I think the basil aioli works much better. You just have to ask. Order burrata and you get a huge piece of the creamy white cheese sitting on a little pesto and crowned with some tomatoes on the branch that have been roasted in the oven. $8? How do they do it?

You can get garlicky sautéed broccolini, meatballs in marinara sauce, wrinkly roasted heirloom carrots in a rainbow of colors, even clams oreganata, more than 30 selections, all pretty decent.

Main courses come in oval dishes and are big enough for sharing too. Classics such as that tall stacked lasagna laced with a rather dry Bolognese sauce, or a bowl of mussels and clams steamed in white wine are just $14. Free-range chicken sautéed with fresh artichoke hearts, garlic and capers in a light white wine sauce or chicken Milanese are just $1 more and taste like real food.

Pastas, though, are merely workmanlike. Avoid the stodgy macaroni and cheese and the penne with shrimp and broccolini: The shrimp are overcooked, the sauce missing in action.

Size matters

Other main courses are almost all under $20, with the exception of a couple of ordinary steaks and, oddly enough, the osso buco, which will run you $40. When you see it, you'll know why: It's huge, easily enough for two, if not three. And actually, it's quite delicious, the meat braised long enough to make it tender and give the sauce some complexity.

Kurobuta pork chops may be the best deal -- three thin, tasty pork chops with homemade apple sauce for $14. At these prices, if you live downtown (and don't have to pay the $7.50 valet charge), it hardly pays to cook.

The wine list is mostly Italian and Californian. Look before you leap at a glass of wine: A bottle is always a better buy if you're planning on having more than one glass. I wish the Italian selections were more compelling, though, given that there's so much good wine around right now.

If you can't pass up a soufflé, then by all means order the chocolate one, which the waiter will tell you takes 25 minutes. It's big and dark and warm, with crème anglaise to pour inside. The hit is more like a cup of hot cocoa than deep dark heart-racing chocolate.

There's a "flat apple tart" with a rather tough crust served warm with a ball of vanilla ice cream. Skip the tart and go straight to the gelato from Altadena's Bulgarini. You can get a trio of flavors -- vanilla, chocolate and a gritty almond. Or try the equally fine sorbet (strawberry, cherimoya and pineapple).

Open all day long, serving pastry and coffee from 6:30 a.m. and breakfast from 10:30 a.m. weekdays, brunch from 9 a.m. weekends, Bottega Louie is listed formally as Bottega Louie Los Angeles, which can only mean that Daniel Flores and partners have their sights set on opening this high-end, moderately priced restaurant in other cities.

Once the new wears off, they've got to keep the crowd coming. With so many restaurants competing for the same customers downtown, that's going to be tough. Bottega Louie's big advantage, though, is price. The place looks expensive, but it isn't. And that may just turn out to be the formula for success in these uncertain times.

images via: bottega louie,flickr, and my own

Saturday, November 7, 2009

hot chocolate before bed

It is so important to exfoliate in the winter time to slough off dryness so that my bath oil absorbs leaving my skin radiantly soft and glowing. Discovered a wonderful new sugar scrub to add to my favorites. Giovanni Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub has a yummy chocolate scent as it exfoliates away dry skin. You can find it here. To leave me with even more chocolate kissed skin, I slathered on my favorite Cocoa Butter. Sweet dreams and a lovely weekend.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

An Inside Look at Oribe

I met Oribe a few years ago at his original location above the Red Door on 5th ave. We were on a business trip hair show hopping. As we entered the lavish Venetian inspired lounge, we looked up in awe at the clouds on the ceiling. He must have known hairdresser's were in the house because he suddenly appeared looking like a movie star himself so nice and welcoming. He gave us a tour of the salon. The female stylists were busy working as they posed for a moment in their kitten heels. The male stylists with trend-setting pompadours worked out of a trunk ready to go to the next runway shoot. Oribe's already growing celebrity clientele had just started to include La Lopez coiffing her for her upcoming CD debut. Watching this video on a recent workshop he conducted reminds me of how much he inspires me.
An Inside Look at Oribe’s Hair Extravaganza

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


B.Glam is an inspirational video I came across while browsing through one of my favorite trade magazines, The looks shown are all about backcombing, and beehive inspired updo's seen here with structure. I had to look twice I thought the blonde beehive updo was Gwen Stefani. Shapes in haircutting this season to look for, The Curve, The Zag, The Halo, Very Vidal Sasson circa 1970. Beautiful work by Emiliano Vitale. Sometimes I come upon inspiration as I am browsing ideas for a different look. In this case, I was doing a little research to make up a client for Halloween, the theme Cleopatra. This look from Vitale is a lovely example of a 2009 Cleo inspired pyramid shape cut with a little crimp to make it new. Make up inspiration: I chose a modest eye. Why? Less is more, and I took into consideration my clients eye shape, much different from Beyonce's as seen here. added some teal blue to the swirl of black and captured a very glamourous, 2009 Cleopatra. Colorful crops shown, Wella Koleston Perfect, Blondor, Magma and Color Touch base shades. Sealed with a kiss with Sebastian Cellophanes topcoat of shine.

images: pixelated pics captured and cropped by me via
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