Fast facials at Skin Laundry

IMG_1630Skin Laundry is an apropos name for a new breed of salon that offers the latest laser technology facials. As the name promises, the treatments clean the skin, at a deeper level than possible by other traditional  facials, and without the downtime of redness and breakouts. The treatments take about 15 minutes and are done by a facial technologist who zaps your face with a laser, while you lie on a memory foam padded lounger – which by the way is stylish enough I wouldn’t mind it in my home – in a small brightly lit treatment room, that looks part doctor’s office part massage room.

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My only hesitation about this treatment came upon confirming my appointment online, when I received a number of health forms to review, including a laundry list, pun intended, of contraindications. While I did not have any of the contraindicated health concerns listed, such as precancerous skin, facial scarring recent Botox or tanning bed use, it did give me pause to think that some of these common things could cause a predisposition to a complication. The fact that I was asked to review the contraindication list at least three more times before the treatment further made me nervous, but as I said, I had none of the conditions, so I proceeded with the treatment.

The therapist was thorough in explaining the procedure, and she started slowly and told me each step what she was doing. She explained, “I am starting here in the middle of your four head, and I will move to the right.”

She explained that if I smelled any unpleasant odor it might be the debris from under my skin vaporizing. She assured me it was not my skin burning. As she began to move the laser across my face I felt a hot pin prickly feeling, similar to if you were frying oil on a pan and small amounts of oil were popping and landing on your skin.

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The therapist did one side of my face, then began the other. I asked for a short break before she completed the other side, to momentarily rest, because of the slight discomfort. The therapist explained that most people tolerate the procedure very well, though a few do not. Being a pretty big wimp myself, who fainted when I got my ears pierced, I figure if I could tolerate this procedure, then most people can.

After the laser treatment, the therapist did a second treatment, where she spread a gel across my face and used a very large flashing light laser to treat all areas of my face. Under the goggles I could see about 10 bright flashes of light as she went all over my face.

After the treatment, an assistant took over to clean the gel off my face and apply a toner and moisturizer. She also explained to me all the other products skin laundry carries that would be suitable for my skin.

In the end I felt no pain as I left the salon. I looked in the mirror and saw my face only slightly pink, as if I was flushed from a brisk walk. I noticed one small reddish blemish on my cheek that I had not noticed before, but it was very slight. Otherwise I did not notice any change to my skin. The therapist told me to avoid harsh cleansers and the sun for the day. Otherwise, she said I could carry-on as usual.

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My skin is in the normal range, and I don’t have any major skin issues, so I didn’t notice a significant improvement. I could see how this treatment would be beneficial for those with acne and blotchy skin. In fact the slideshow on the large TV screen in the lobby area showed the before and after pictures of women with severely damage skin who, after a number of treatments, had remarkable results.

I left with a number of products as recommended by the therapist, including a hydrating mask and an antiaging mask, as well as an advanced protection daily moisturizer with 35 SPF, a gentle washing foam with green tea cucumber and chamomile extract, and a nourishing cleansing oil that the therapist highly recommended. All of the products are carried at the salon under their own brand name of Skin Laundry.

While for myself this is not a treatment I would need very often, I can see the benefits for those with more severe skin problems, and it is great for busy women like myself who need a quick facial don’t have and hour or more for a treatment, because we are all pressed for time, and we hardly have time to do our jobs, meet family commitments and of course housework, including regular laundry!

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Lady Gaga’s Born this Way Foundation gives youth an outlet for expression with Channel Kindness

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New Digital Platform Empowers Young People to Document Stories of Kindness in Their Communities

Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation has launched Channel Kindness, a new digital platform featuring stories of kindness as documented by young people from around the US. These youth reporters, ages 16 to 24, have been recruited to identify and document the acts of generosity, compassion, and acceptance that define their generation and shape their communities. This content – which will include videos, first person essays, interviews with youth leaders, and more – will serve as a counterbalance to a media landscape that often underrepresents or misrepresents today’s young people.

“Channel Kindness is a call to action for young people to make their voices heard. This is a diverse, passionate, and collaborative generation who are leveraging their creativity to solve problems in their communities,” said Lady Gaga, Co-Founder of Born This Way Foundation. “They understand our world will be stronger when we value one another and live with compassion. Channel Kindness will be a platform for youth to transform the narrative, highlighting the people who are changing the world one act of kindness at a time.”

Young people are often excluded from media coverage entirely or represented in a negative light. One study found that nearly half of stories about young people are about crime, with African American and Hispanic youth even more likely to be included in such coverage. Unsurprisingly, a survey of young people themselves found that 81% feel they are unfairly represented in the media.

“Young people want more than to be told to be active participants in their communities. They want practical resources and genuine opportunities to empower themselves and each other,” said Cynthia Germanotta, Born This Way Foundation President and Co-Founder. “Today’s young people are passionate about driving change in the world and we’re excited to launch Channel Kindness as a tool they can use to showcase that commitment and inspire everyone – regardless of age – to follow their example.”

An inaugural class of 50 Channel Kindness reporters were selected through a competitive application process and are receiving training and support to equip them to find, document, and share stories from their peers and communities. The content will be distributed on ChannelKindness.org as well as through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The program has been made possible with generous support from the Find Your Grind Foundation.

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Sophisticated sushi at ROKU

DSC_1228Traditional and modern sushi in an elegant setting

 

ROKU restaurant on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood dashes the belief that you can only get authentic sushi at an underground, insiders’ sushi bar. While there may be a certain romanticism about dining at an dive sushi bar, there is much more to be said about enjoying the ambiance of a fine restaurant while also indulging in the highest quality sushi, and that is what ROKU offers.

I am not a regular eater of raw seafood, but I have tagged along on plenty of sushi excursions with dining partners who are connoisseurs of this category of food art. I have been to the hole-in-the-wall sushi bars where there was no sign on the door, where you have to duck under a noren to get in. While one may find interest in the cultural experience, I much prefer the comforts and upscale environment of a modern sushi restaurant, especially one that offers an extensive menu of cooked food, like ROKU.

As with their décor and atmosphere, ROKU challenges traditional sushi menus with inventive, modern preparations, as well as traditional style sushi for their old-school sushi enthusiasts. At the sushi bar, Chef Jiro Kobayashi prepares his recommended chef’s choice Omakase along with a variety of fresh fish daily, including Roku signature style sushi of warm rice with an innovate touch for their Ume six-piece selection or their Matsu eight-piece selection. Specialty rolls include hand rolled baked crab, Shima shrimp wrapped spicy tuna, with cilantro and avocado, and Ebi Tuna shrimp tempura topped with tuna, jalapeno vinaigrette and eel sauce.
For those who enjoy the communal and interactive dining experience of Teppanyaki, at the grill table Teppan chefs prepare A-5 Japanese Wagyu, Matsuzaka beef, Santa Barbara spot prawns and other high-quality ingredients at interactive grill tables. This dining style is offered for dinner, generally for groups of two to eight.

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On days when the weather is pleasant, which is most days in West Hollywood, the patio is open for dining; or for a serene and elegant dining experience among a garden of bonsai trees and the glow of votives, the dining room offers an environment conducive to a relaxing business lunch for dinner, or of course a date night.

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ROKU has a delicious twist on the Bento Box, traditionally a take-home or carry-out meal, but at ROKU these eat-in delights include an executive Bento Box of shrimp and vegetable tempura, tuna and yellowtail sashimi, baked miso cod, chicken yakitori, green salad, and rice.
Other entrees include kobacha and butternut squash and grilled octopus with kimchee vinaigrette , and pickled vegetables and toro tartare are prepared tableside with pomp and circumstance. The bar at ROKU also serves up progressive fare, with many Japanese whiskeys, sakes and creative cocktails, like the Matcha Mule with green tea infused vodka, ginger root, fresh lemon and honey.

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ROKU answers as the sushi restaurant that has outstanding and authentic Japanese food, personal service and an inviting atmosphere. If you are seeking the casual and dressed-down sushi experience, you will need to go elsewhere. In fact, beachwear, athletic wear and flip flops are not allowed, so wear your business causal and bring your appetite for a satisfying, new LA-style sushi scene.

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ROKU is located at 9201 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. Call for reservations at (310)278-2060

Spring skiing and shredding must-have gear


Trew-Chariot-Back-640x471This year’s epic snow sports season is likely to go strong into late spring and even early summer months. Some North American resorts have reported on high-snowfall years that their slopes stay open as late as the Fourth of July. So gear up in style for spring skiing and riding with these slick head-turning fashions and take advantage of some great near-the-end-of-season sales prices.

Pull on your big-boy/girl bibs

Bibs are back in a big way. The sister of the full-on zip-up onesie snowsuit of the 70s, ski bibs are rising up as the nouveau chic on the slopes. Not only do they look stylish and sassy, they are the far better choice for snow wear than traditional ski or snowboard pants. Bibs are perfect when you want a bit of extra warmth over a fleece pullover or under layer, but you don’t want to wear a vest. For aggressive riders and steers, the bibs come up high under the arms to prevent snow from getting in your waistband. They also stay up, so you don’t find yourself constantly tugging and adjusting your waist band, which is especially a hassle with gloves on.

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A hot and hip company, Trew, is leading the revival of bibs, with their high-performance bibs, that style spotters are seeing all over the best resorts this season, like the Trewth ($399) men’s bibs that set the standard for tit-to-toes coverage, or Trew’s already legendary women’s Chariot bibs ($399) that tackle the biggest complaint about bibs for women, with its “she pee” side zip (check it out here https://trewgear.com/trew/trew-updates/article/bathroom-break-in-your-bibs), that makes bathroom breaks easy and fast.

They also have beaucoup pockets for stuffing glasses, digital lift tickets, lip balm, wallets and other necessaries for the slopes. The styling of the Trew bibs, with bright colors and water repellent materials and fashionable bright colored zips and trims, will make you stand out in the snow. When it’s time to chill out in the lodge, you can roll them down to the waist, but they look pretty cool anyway you wear them.

Who wears the pants?

All that said about bibs, if you choose to go traditional, Trew has perfected snow pants, with the plentiful pocket design and fashion forward colors and trim, with an adjustable Velcro strip to keep the waistband snug. The pants for a little larger opening at the leg for heftier snowboard boots. For women, the Tempest ($349) features an adjustable waist, long legs, and three-dimensional articulated panel design that fits all shapes of physiques.  For guys, the Eagle ($349) pant is articulated and ventilated for sidecountry stash runs, with durability for long days hot-lapping your local mountain, and relaxed for comfort.

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As with all the Trew stormproof wear, their technologically advanced proprietary material, Dermizax®NX, is tops in breathability and toughness. The water-repellent membrane keeps you dry after fall, and next to the skin the material keeps you warm yet it is breathable, with ventilation openings.

As someone who has gone through many snow pants due to rivets popping, zippers tearing off we’re getting stuck, and seems tearing open, Trew has impressed me with its durability, looking and wearing like new for an entire season.

Top it off

For spring shredding, pair bibs with a lightweight water-repellent cold breaker like Trew’s Stella ($190) women’s fly freeride shell that has set the standard for the industry with its tailored-to-flatter, articulated-to-shred, and built-to-last design.

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Layer up

Underneath it all, Trew’s women’s lightweight Nuyard Merino ¼ Zip (sale priced $109) is ultimate hi-tech baselayer, woven with NuYarn merino, a  warmer, softer, better thermal-regulating and more mobile wool than its traditional merino brethren.  For warmer days, the Merino Sweater ¼ Zip (sale priced $55) keeps out the chill and regulates as you move, and it looks sharp and stylish for hitting the lodge apres ski.

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Hot mitts

Serius Heat Touch Torche component gloves ($394.99) may be the first gloves you have to read a manual to use, but hands down you will be wearing the smartest gloves on the mountain with these on your mitts. These three-in-one gloves have a battery-heated component glove that slips inside an insulated shell. They can be worn together or separately and with or without the heating batteries. The heat can dial down for spring skiing or up when you are at the top of the peak and the temps drop. Charge the batteries for about three hours, insert the batteries into the wrist cuff and press the button to the desired heat level.  What’s even smarter, and you can swipe away on your smart phone screen while wearing these gloves.

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Pack it up

Nothing’s more of a drag on your travels than hauling a bulky duffle around stuffed with all your gear.  You don’t have to lighten your load and leave stuff behind, instead get rolling with the massively spacious Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 36 ($419) or ORV Trunk 30 ($359).  This bag fits all your winter adventure gear plus the kitchen sink, with lots of pockets and compartments to keep wet stuff separate from dry and all your gear easily accessible. Some extra bells and whistles include an Equipment Keeper Porter Key with bottle opener, exterior and interior compression straps, and an external pocket for easy grab items. All that and a waterproof boot bin, to boot.

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Serius heated gloves – smart and seriously warm

DSC_1377Serius thermal gloves are the first gloves for which I’ve had to read a instruction manual. That said, the instructions were pretty simple. Charge the batteries for about three hours, insert the batteries into the wrist cuff and press the button to the desired heat level. Oh yeah, and don’t forget, you can swipe away on your smart phone screen while wearing these gloves.

Within 30 seconds, the gloves were toasty inside, and on cold mountain tops these are a hand saver. After all, cold hands is a major reason that I have to head back to the lodge earlier than I wanted to.

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The gloves are attractive, and of course they will work with or without the batteries to stay warm, but the battery-powered system is what makes these gloves truly unique.

The gloves come with an interior liner, which could work alone and may be an option for less frigid days. When you truly need the extra warmth, the liner gloves slip into the exterior glove, which has a metallic like lining inside.

When put together, it is rather snug fit, and you must be careful when tucking in the cables that are used to charge the batteries and to connect them to the heating mechanism with in the glove, because if the cables are not tucked in correctly on the outer side of the battery, you will feel the hard plastic connectors, about the size of a small AC adapter connector, pressing into your wrist, which could be uncomfortable.

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One other design issue is that once the temperature selection is made on the inner glove, and the outer glove is slipped on over it, it’s possible if you’re not careful to hit the button on the outside and change the setting unintentionally. Also, because once the outer glove is on you cannot see the setting, you would have to remove the outer glove to check it.

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Lastly, the care and laundering of these gloves is a bit different from others, whereas you can toss most gloves into the dryer you cannot do that with these, which should be wiped off if dirty and let dry naturally if wet. If you have any other questions, there’s always the manual, which you can access on your smartphone, wearing your gloves of course.

Trejo’s for Taco Tuesday, or any day

DSC_1244The badboy of tacos expands into Hollywood and soon Santa Monica serving up edgy eats

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If treking to Trejo’s tacos was too much of a task except for Tuesdays, there’s good news, Taco Tuesday can be today, as Trejo’s now has two locations and a truck.

All alliteration aside, Trejo’s tacos is one of LA’s best taco stops, and with more locations to serve Trejo’s fans, the restaurant is becoming as famous as its namesake, Hollywood bad boy Danny Trejo.

Traditional tacos like the Pulled Beef Brisket Taco remain favorites among patrons, but for those who don’t want their meat in a tortilla, there’s the hearty bowls, such as the Steak Asada Bowl. For variety there’s also tostado’s like the generously portion Shrimp Tostado, or appetizers like the Grilled Jidori Chicken quesadilla.

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Trejo’s has also just introduced big burritos that are several meals for person of average appetite. Not your topical taco joint, Trejo’s has unique offerings like an artichoke with two dipping sauces, and Street Corn, with spicy chipotle cream.

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For desserts, they keep it simple with a cooler of gourmet ice cream sandwiches from Cool Haus.

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Despite Trejo’s being open many months now, still each day after they open for business the lines winds around the restaurant to the street. To accommodate their plentiful patrons, Trejo’s has opened Trejo’s Catina on Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood and soon will open Trejo’s Coffee and Donuts on Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica.

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Good thing Trejo runs such a badass operation, and the line moves swiftly, and the place is swarming with servers who constantly cart away done dishes and keep customers coming back, here and also at their new hopping Hollywood hotspot.

 

World-famous Santa Monica Pier Ferris wheel goes dark to observe Earth Day

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Standing 130 feet over the Pacific Ocean, the iconic Ferris wheel in Santa Monica, Calif., joins world-famous landmarks including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, Sydney Opera House in Australia, the Parthenon at the Acropolis in Greece, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London, and the Great Wall of China, among others at 8:30 p.m. local time on March 25

 

SANTA MONICA, Calif., (March 21, 2017) — Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier joins Earth Hour in its “Shine A Light On Climate Action #ChangeClimateChange” campaign as the world-famous Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel, will go “Dark” except for the wheel rim safety lighting, from 8:30-9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 25. The Pacific Wheel is the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel.
In 2017, WWF and Earth Hour teams around the world will be using the movement to shine a light on the climate issue most relevant in their country or region. In Europe, as the European Union negotiates on crucial climate and energy policy for the period leading up to 2030, WWF will use the Donate Your Feed platform to mobilize public support- and their Facebook posts – to call for a clean, renewable energy future for all. In Brazil, people will be invited to join forces to protect one of the country’s many biodiversity hotspots from climate change while citizens in South Africa will raise their voice for renewable energy and in China, WWF is working with businesses to encourage a shift toward sustainable lifestyles.

“From Europe to Brazil to China, we can all make an impact from a global to local scale. In Santa Monica, Pacific Park is home to the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel and each year we look forward to participating in Earth Hour to further demonstrate our support for climate awareness and action,” said Jeff Klocke, Vice President and General Manager at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. “We work hard to be a leader in our community and industry for sustainability and green initiatives to help our environment.”
Starting in 2007 as a single-city event, Earth Hour is now celebrated across all continents. In the past decade, as global climate efforts gained momentum, Earth Hour has helped bridge the gap between the grassroots and the corridors of power, taking climate action from conference rooms to living rooms. It has empowered millions to support and participate in critical climate and conservation projects led by WWF and many others, helping drive climate policy, awareness and action.

From the shores of Argentina where Earth Hour helped mobilize public support for the creation of a 3.4 million hectare-wide marine protected area, to the heart of Uganda where local communities and businesses helped create the first Earth Hour forest, the movement’s impact has been a game-changer for popularizing climate action.
Through its own grassroots efforts, Pacific Park received the “Excellence in Stewardship of the Natural Environment” award at the 15th annual Sustainable Quality Awards presented by the City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and the nonprofit Sustainable Works.

Standing 130 feet above the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Wheel’s 174,000 LED lights are mounted on the Ferris wheel’s structure including the 40 spokes and two hubs. The world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel’s lighting system features 16.7 million color value combinations while the new programming and display software upgrades increase imaging to 24 frames per second to display dynamic, custom, computer-generated lighting entertainment. The eco-friendly, enhanced LED lighting provides 81 percent greater energy savings than most Ferris wheel’s traditional incandescent bulbs.
The nine-story tall Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel first debuted in May 1996 with the opening of Pacific Park and was adapted as the world’s first solar-powered Ferris wheel in November 1998.

Pacific Park also introduced the world’s first wind-powered amusement park game, the High Striker, in October 2011. All components of the High Striker were completely wind-powered including the chaser lights with more than 100 bulbs, multiple spotlights and sound system.

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, LA’s only admission free amusement park, offers 12 amusement rides, 14 midway games, an oceanfront food plaza and retail beach shops. In addition to the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel, the Pacific Wheel, Pacific Park’s signature rides include The West Coaster, a steel roller coaster that races 55 feet above the Santa Monica Bay; and Inkie’s Air Lift Balloon Ride, the high-flying, family-sharing kids’ ride. For additional information and hours of operation, call 310-260-8744, visit http://www.pacpark.com, follow on Twitter: @pacpark and Like at Facebook: facebook.com/pacificpark.

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