The golden age of Hollywood glamour is alive and well at celebrity-makeup artist Ashley Ann Harris’ new The Starlet Studio (thestarletstudio.com) in Westlake Village. Taking inspiration from her grandmother Marilyn L. Riess—a dancer and background actor who appeared in films starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra—Harris says, “The studio was designed to emulate a starlet’s dressing room, but with a modern twist. It is a lush, old Hollywood atmosphere, where you can escape from the everyday and feel like a star with your own personal makeup artist in your private dressing room.”
Harris, who has worked with Brooke Shields, Anna Kendrick, and Hilary Duff, among others, says, “Just like your favorite celebrity getting ready for a red carpet event, you can now enjoy personalized makeup services.” Book early to glam up for the season’s holiday celebrations.
Don’t miss the grand opening of the new Seaside Makers Funk Zone location on Thursday, Nov. 29. This is a great opportunity to support 15 of the best local artisans in one amazing spot—209 Anacapa St. The newly transformed space (formerly Youth Interactive, which moved to a new State Street location) is a curated collection of local art and gifts for bath, body & home, put together by Kristin Fraser of The Grapeseed Co. and Jules Kramer of Jules by the Sea.
Other artisans at the collective include Asher Market, Sarka Photography, Jess Conti Leather Goods, Meadow Rose Photo Art, Blue Planet Eyewear, Whimsea, Mission Canyon Collective, and a beautiful collection of art by Karin Shelton, Pedro De La Cruz, Alana Clumeck, Katie Kramer, Anthony Barbaria and Kelly Clause. In addition, other artists, makers and pop-ups will rotate in and out, starting in December with some amazing one-of-a-kind handbags, jewelry and other special treats.
“This is a dream come true to land in the heart of the Funk Zone with this extremely talented group of makers and artists,” explains Jules Kramer, who will be managing the Santa Barbara store.
“The collective will highlight and celebrate the amazing artisans in our community by offering much more than a great place to shop… we will tell the stories behind the makers, and also look forward to hosting Scent Bar parties, pop-ups, live-painting and workshops in our event room space and parking lot,” says Kristin Fraser.
Fraser opened Seaside Makers flagship store in Carpinteria (961 Linden Ave.) in September 2018. Response from the community was so positive that she partnered with Kramer to open a second location in Santa Barbara.
The shop will host a Grand Opening Celebration on Nov. 29 from 4-8 p.m. to give the community a chance to “meet the makers” in person. Seaside Makers Collective is located at 209 Anacapa St. in the Funk Zone, with parking available in its own lot.
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on November 28, 2018.
Looking for a way to “buy local” and support artisans at the same time. Check out Poetics of the Handmade, the third annual local makers market where you can find unique gifts for the whole family.
The market takes place on Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Lower Lodge, local artists’ Hannah Vainstein and Nathan Hayden‘s cool 1920’s carriage house studio between the Mission and the Natural History Museum.
The theme for this year is “Plant, Animal, Mineral,” says Vainstein. “Our makers include Jalama Dyes which makes naturally plant dyed clothes and bags, Poco Farms goatmilk soap, Shepherdess Hides, ceramics by Polka-Dot-Pottery, Jennifer Morris, Jos Ceramics and Churchill Ceramics. Lindsey Ross will be doing old fashioned tin type photography portraits, plus vintage clothes, handmade homewares and more. This years market will also include a children’s section will an singing circle, and crafts such as wreath making, ornament making and holiday card painting.”
Trust us, you’ll want to go check this one out.
The Lower Lodge is located at 609 Mission Canyon Rd. For more information, visit www.thelowerlodge.com.
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on November 25, 2018.
GraySpace hosts a pair of interesting new exhibits, both of which open on Friday.
Erik ReeL : Zero Point is the first local solo exhibition in a decade for ReeL, an improvisational non-objective painter. Featuring major new paintings and studies never shown before, GraySpace has coupled ReeL’s solo show with an exhibition curated by Rhonda P. Hill, ReeL’s wife, titled Blurred Boundaries: Fashion as an Art, which will introduce a group of exciting, young, international fashion designers to Santa Barbara.
Two talks, one with Erik ReeL on non-objective painting, and a panel featuring Rhonda Hill and Erik ReeL, will be held during the exhibition (dates to be announced).
Blurred Boundaries: Fashion as an Art spotlights selected work by fashion designers, Tingyue Jiang, Alena Kalana, Susan Tancer and Hera Zhou, who blur the distinction between art and fashion. Hill makes a strong claim for fashion to be considered as a cultural phenomenon that can, in certain forms, be called art—on par with any other visual art. Hill points out that fashion can, in the right hands, consciously work on deeper levels that deal with our consciousness, identity and sense of place within our culture.
There will be an artists reception for both shows on Friday, September 21, from 5-8 p.m.
GraySpace Gallery is located at 219 Gray Ave., in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. The gallery is open Friday-Sunday from 1 – 6 p.m., and both shows will remain on view through November 11.
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on September 20, 2018.
Still struggling with what to buy your mom for Mother’s Day (or her birthday, or just to say “I love you” any time of the year, for that matter? Stress no more, here are a few things she’s sure to appreciate.
Put a new twist on her summer reading with a monthly subscription to Once Upon A Book Club! I loved this gift so much I bought it for both my mom and my mother-in-law (don’t tell …). The way it works is you sign up for a monthly box to arrive at her front door. You can do it once, or multiple times, it’s up to you.
She’ll open the adorable book-shaped box and find the selected book, along with 3-5 perfectly wrapped gifts with page numbers. They even have shredded book pages for stuffing. It’s so cute! Want to know what is in the gift? They are carefully curated to enhance the book. For example, one of the characters in the story pulls out a magical stone from a leather bag at a heightened moment in the book. As mom reads this, she is signaled to open one of the gifts: a replica of the described stone (that’s actually a bar of soap) inside a useful/trendy leather purse! You get the idea. It’s really fun!
Yummy Cupcakes are another favorite recent find. These are not your ordinary cupcakes (which she also probably loves), these are delicious gourmet cupcakes that come stacked four in a jar. The packaging is adorable (almost too pretty to eat), with flavors ranging from brown sugar cinnamon to French toast, nutty red velvet, Snickerdoodle and more. They even have a vegan version. I tried the Vegan Chocolate/Vanilla which was very tasty. And they deliver everywhere!
Dear Heart Designs is a beautiful way to give your loved one with a necklace that will remind her how you feel about her every time she puts it on. The company is faith-inspired jewelry brand whose feminine yet minimalist pieces have garnered the attention of celebrity designer Joanna Gaines, among others. The You’re a Gem necklace (pictured) is one of my favorites, and they also have customized versions with the names of your children inscribed, or special messages with scripture verses just for mom.
For moms on the go, the PediPocket blanket is great for travel. These lightweight and easy to pack fleece blankets are nearly 6 feet long, so it covers her shoulders and her feet at the same time and a special 20” pocket keeps her feet extra warm and snuggly. With 10 different colors and patterns to choose from, these are actually great gifts for everyone in the family and are perfect for tailgate parties, beach barbecues, and outdoor concerts as well as on her next trip.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Originally published on May 11, 2018 in Santa Barbara Seasons.
To everything there’s a season, and in the California style scene, Coachella musical festival marks the beginning of warm weather style inspiration. Sure, it’s a ginormous music festival—but it’s also the place where performers, celebs, and concert-goers alike debut their super-stylish looks.
Here’s a little bit of Coachella spring/summer inspiration:
The Jewelry Junkie is female-operated, 100% handcrafted in the U.S. brand offering jewelry pieces that are unique, stylish and affordable. Boho meets elegance with these handcrafted, southern-inspired collections. Whether you prefer statement pieces or dainty touches, The Jewelry Junkie collections have earrings, necklaces, chokers, rings, bracelets and more. Plus, each piece has a unique touch of leather, gemstones, and beads. In addition, The Jewelry Junkie donates more than 10% of all net proceeds of every sale to local and international charities.
We love these empowering charms from Agabhumi’s hip, designer collection of impeccably-crafted jewelry imported straight from Bali. Each piece evokes the Indonesian island vibe and collaboration with the artisans of Bali. Co-founder Regina Kirshbaum created this collection to remind us of our power within, these Agabhumi charms provide a perfect message for the feel good festival.
Warmer weather means getting your hair off your neck, which is even easier—and prettier—when you have a stack of By Lilla designs on your arm. A brilliantly simple idea, hair ties that double as beautiful bracelets, these babies are functional yet fashionable. And you can easily stack them up to share with your friends.
Every thread matters at tonlé, a zero-waste fashion brand that is one-of-a-kind. The reduce, reuse and recycle ethos makes its way into the fashion world with this Cambodia-based clothing line. The sustainable styles of tonlé use remnants discarded by large manufacturers and create beautiful, comfortable clothes, without wasting a single scrap in the process! In just one year, this bold brand has saved 10,000kg of textiles, 70,000kg of CO2, 200kg of pesticides, and 42,296,600 gallons of water—and they’re just getting started. Check out the calf-length vest, hand-woven from a curated mix of remnant cotton jersey and cotton yarn for a great warm weather throw on piece. No two pieces will be exactly the same, making your look truly one-of-a-kind.
Keep your hair in tip-top condition and lay the foundation for healthy, nourished hair with Renpure products, like Coconut Water Replenishing Treatment Mist, a great portable option for adding softness and shine. Part of their Black Label Coconut collection, this mist utilizes the innate properties of rich and creamy coconut oil to give sun and product damaged hair the hydrating drink it needs to appear healthier and younger, while controlling frizz and preventing breakage and split ends.
Outdoor music festivals are the perfect place to let your natural beauty shine. When chemical and toxic ingredients just aren’t gonna cut it—keep it green and clean with Naked Truth Beauty products. This socially responsible beauty, the eco-friendly line takes the guess work out of choosing safe products by using only simple, high quality ingredients that are from the earth—stripped down for your skin. Stylish lip and cheek all-in-one colors like “as if,” “promise me, rose,” and “Beauregarde” offer great versatility, as well as products you can feel good about using.
The 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival begins on Friday, April 13 and ends on Sunday, April 22, with headliners including Beyonce, The Weeknd and Eminem, among many, many others. For complete details, click here.
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on April 9, 2018.
Developed by former Hollywood makeup artist Galit Strugano, Girlactik cosmetics are designed as an affordable luxury brand that will make you look great. Plus, the products will actually stay on, so that you can get on with your life and not worry about continually retouching your makeup.
We tried an assortment of products—including pigmented, shadows, blushes, glosses, eye shadows, moisturizers and more—I particularly liked the Long Lasting Matte Lip Paint Liquid Lipstick in Playful and Posh shades and the Tinted Moisturizer, as well as the Soft Powder Eyebrow Pencil.
Cosmetics shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, and this line of products has grown since it was founded in 2000 to become a true affordable luxury cosmetic with a customer demographic ranging from women in their early 20’s up to their 50’s and beyond. Girlactik has even attracted a celebrity following from people like Eva Longoria, Britney Spears, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Cindy Crawford, Paris Hilton and more.
Check out this video for the lip paint colors:
Look for the pretty packaging (a soft pink chandelier pattern decorated on shimmering pewter boxes) at local drug stores. As Galit explains, “I wanted a woman who was sitting at Barney’s for lunch to feel comfortable touching up her lips with a luxury gloss vial and I did just that.”
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on November 18, 2017.
Now that summer is in full swing, here’s a round-up of our absolute favorite can’t-leave-home-without-them products for the season. Take a peek inside our beach bags before you hit the sand.
Just when you think you’ve seen everything under the sun in the sunscreen, along comes yet another format: Supergoop! SuperPower Sunscreen Mousse SPF 50 is the first ever sunscreen in a mousse formula! The light as air, quick absorbing, water resistant formula delivers broad spectrum SPF 50 with a smile. Blue Sea Kale provides antioxidant protection, while a blend of Shea butter, olive and avocado oils leaves the skin nourished and moisturized. This complex blend of natural oils acts as a daily moisturizer to rehydrate skin. Available exclusively at Sephora (in Paseo Nuevo) & Sephora.com.
If mousse is not your sunscreen preference, what about powder? Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen offers powerful SPF 30 UVA/UVB protection, alone or over makeup. You can use it instead of makeup for natural-looking coverage and SPF in one simple, on-the-go application and water-resistant, sweat-resistant sun protection.
Protect your hair from the sun and even undo some of the damage caused by heat styling, humidity and sun with Art Naturals Argan Oil Thermal Shield. This blend of natural extracts provides deep layers of moisture while providing a barrier against heat. Spray it on before outdoor activities and it also works as a natural detangler for unwieldy and thick hair. Key Ingredients include: Anise, Rosemary, Peach, Thyme, Sage and Ginseng.
Keeping your nails looking pretty and healthy is even more important during the summer, when toes are exposed much of the time. Surya Brasil’s Exotic Animals Nail Polish Collection is a unique nail collection is inspired by nature’s wonderful colors—and each shade is dedicated to a specific exotic animal from all over the world.
The summer sun can dry out your lips, but butter LONDON’s Sheer Wisdom LUSH Lip Oils will protect, firm and restore your lips with a blend of amino acids and a fusion of botanicals that saturate your lips in lush, sophisticated color for a sheer wash of neutral color in one quick swipe. Available online at www.nordstrom.com.
A day at the beach is great, but it’s easy to leave feeling less than fresh. Want to run errands on-the-go without stopping for a shower? Purequosa Organic Cleansing Body Spray is a unique product that you spray on the skin to hydrate and help to neutralize odor. The ingredients include Colloidal Silver which has antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Plus, it’s available in three light scents: Coastal, Desert and Rain.
Sometimes you want to have that beach look without actually getting a tan. True Natural Self Tanners offer safe, non-toxic alternatives to tanning that avoid the dangers of UV rays, tanning beds and spray tanning. These award-winning self-tanners use natural ingredients, including vegetable-derived DHA and Erythrulose, to give your skin a gorgeous, natural tan without sun exposure, resulting in a gorgeous tan after only 3-4 hours that lasts up to a week!
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on July 24, 2017.
If you, like me, are part of the one in two women who put down their blow dryers in favor of air dried hairstyles (source: 2012 US Beauty Track Report Women), you’re going to be excited about Pureology’s new Hydrate Air Dry Cream. This is a great post-shower product for easy, low maintenance styling, and is specially formulated to enhance body and natural texture by locking in moisture while simultaneously delivering a faster air-drying time, frizz control, and hair color protection.
Plus, Hydrate Air Dry Cream can be applied to hair the night before or directly after shampooing to achieve an effortless yet pulled together look perfect for all occasions.
Hit snooze and now running late for work? Apply a quarter-sized amount of Hydrate Air Dry Cream to damp, freshly shampooed hair and twist strands back on each side of the face and secure. Once at the office, shake hair out for a naturally textured look.
Need a quick style that only looks like it took hours? Before bed, apply a quarter-sized amount of Hydrate Air Dry Cream to damp, freshly shampooed hair and separate hair into four large sections. Twist each section in a tight rope bun and secure with an elastic. In the morning, remove elastics and tousle hair for easy waves.
Love a braid but hate flyaways? Run a dime-sized amount of Hydrate Air Dry Cream through clean, dry hair before styling to keep wispy strands in place without the crunch.
Ready to ramp up second day hair? Apply a dime-sized amount of Hydrate Air Dry Cream to only the ends of dry hair to liven up limp or smooth frizzy ends.
Made with soy, oat and wheat proteins to strengthen, rebuild and repair, and with jojoba, green tea and sage to add condition, Hydrate’s signature aromatherapy blend includes ylang ylang, bergamot, patchouli and grapefruit scents. The company also has a whole line of Hydrate products specially formulated for dry, color-treated hair, including shampoos and conditioners and other styling products.
Visit Pureology.com for more information.
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on June 28, 2017.