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LA (MALIBU/B.H./WEHO): THE BEST WAY TO RING IN SUMMER

By Nora Zelevansky / May 24th, 2010

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If I'm honest, I've been feeling pretty bah humbug about the whole summer thing.  In the last week or so, a few people have mentioned how excited they are for the coming warm weather and mostly I've smiled and nodded insincerely, visions of my un-air conditioned apartment dancing in my head.

But this weekend may have actually convinced me that the coming season, even in dusty dry desert L.A., may be a good thing.  So, if you've been feeling similar trepidation about the coming summer or just want to get into the groove, here are some activities I can recommend:

1. GO BLOND: You'll see above that I threw brunette caution to the wind and lightened my hair up (compliments, of course, of Sheri at Roman Salon), thereby lightening my attitude.  Also, now I look less like a drowned rat.  I was REALLY behind in my grooming.  Next week, Brazilian blowout with Lien, so that I don't have to worry so much about blow drying or frizz when it gets super hot.

2. GO TO REEL INN: Also pictured above, I headed with B.F. and new pal P.C. to everyone's favorite Malibu seafood shack for some fried shrimp and steamed clams and the works!  Just the smell of the ocean and the drive up PCH started to get me excited for beach days!

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3. STOP BY BARNEYS: B.F. & I checked out new summer makeup colors, shoes and clothes (specifically for her upcoming trip to Spain) and stocked up on some of my favorite T. LeClerc concealer.  I fell in love with these Jil Sander mesh shoes. I want them so bad!  Is anyone listening?  Andre??

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4. LIE BY THE FOUR SEASONS B.H. POOL: B.F. was staying at the Four Seasons, so we headed there to lie around slathered in sunblock, drinking peach smoothie samples and wading in the squishy padded bottomed pool.  The whole pool area was recently overhauled.  I think you can also use the pool, if you get a spa treatment.  Now THAT sounds like a good afternoon.

5. DRINK EARLY EVENING BEERS AT SURLY GOAT'S NEW OUTDOOR PICNIC TABLES: I mean, as if trying sour beers (SO GOOD!) and new IPAs for the first time wasn't enough, R.S.'s bar has now introduced a hardcore bratwurst and pretzel cart dude.  I mean, what could be better?  I could be biased since the owner R.S. is my friend, but I don't even need to be!

Just five steps and I'm practically ready for summer.  Now where to find that perfect new one piece … anyone?  Anyone?  Where are my mesh shoes?

xo – N.

LA (WEHO): THE BEST MOMENT FOR A HAIR REFRESH

By Nora Zelevansky / January 12th, 2010

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New Years resolutions are all about self-control, motivation and determination.  That's why I prefer to let someone else do the heavy lifting: namely my frequent colorist, Sheri Roman (who "maintains" me).

So, last week, I motivated myself over to her chair, determined to read some trashy magazines and zone out, while she made me 2010 pretty.  And, of course, I showed self control too (for instance, I DIDN'T stop around the corner at Oscar de la Renta and buy a strapless ballgown and I only ate six sugar cookies at the salon).  Okay, I ate seven.

Yup, I know.  My self-discipline is outstanding.

Anyway, I wound up back to blond(ish) and am now enjoying life as Betty.  Veronica was so last year.  After years of red and copper and all those types of shades, I decided it was time to lighten things up (blond is Sheri's specialty, after all).  And I think she did a really nice, subtle job.

PLUS, it may be 3 degrees in Chicago, but it's 85 degrees here in LA.  Might as well pretend it's summer.

So.  What are you all doing for July 4th?  Beach bonfire?  BBQ?

xo – N.

P.S. Photos by Rachel Leonard.

P.P.S. Not that you can really see it above, but note my favorite navy blue Philip Lim sweater.  Not for any real reason.  Just note it because I love it and it goes with everything (at least I pretend that it does).

This one goes out to you, Sweater.  You know who you are.

P.P.P.S. BTW–Have I posted a pic of me since I chopped my hair off too?  Great cut from new B.H. salon Angus Mitchell (yup, related to Paul).

P.P.P.P.S.  Does it kind of look like I'm surreptitiously giving someone the finger?

LA (LA CIENEGA): THE BEST WAY TO BECOME A LOW MAINTENANCE WASH-AND-GO GIRL

By Nora Zelevansky / November 17th, 2009

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Okay, so there's a really good reason why I'm posting this not so attractive picture of myself on a plan to Mexico (with a random woman sleeping behind me–sorry, lady).  I'll get to the point.  But bear with me.

Every once in a blue moon, I decide to let my hair go curly.  On that first day, for some inexplicable reason (especially if I haven't worn my hair naturally curly in ages), my hair might actually look acceptable.  Most of the time, though, I am not even remotely wash-and-go.  I'm the opposite of wash-and-go.  I'm like wash and stay.  In the bathroom.  Blow drying for the next 50 years.

Now, some of my lovely friends, who shall remain nameless have solved this age old problem with Japanese straightening and it actually looks really great on all of them, but I've not been on board.  See, with really flat, pin straight hair, I look a bit like a drowned rat.

So, I've been relegated to blow drying, though I must admit that my totally genius FHI Heat Nano Salon Pro 2000.  I got it as a gift and was admittedly totally shocked that it made a difference, but it not only dries my hair quicker than average, but it changes the texture to smoother and more moisturized.

ANYWAY . . . the point is that hair stylist at my beloved Roman Salon, Lien Scherr, convinced me to try the Brazilian Blow Out, right before I left for Mexico.  The treatment (which initially got a bad wrap for toxicity, but which has been reformulated several different ways by different companies) is not permanent like Japanese, but basically lifts after a few months.  Also, instead of making you hair pin straight, it takes out the frizz and some of the body and leaves in some wave.

So, this image is of me the first morning I washed and then went (to the airport).  Now, I'm not saying my hair looks the best it ever has in the above picture, but it is TOTALLY acceptable and I literally didn't have to do a THING.  And you know what?  It looked acceptable for my whole trip to Mexico, despite ocean swimming and humidity and no time to style anything.  This is without even product!

Anyway, I'm now a wash-and-go girl, at least for now.  I am just so low maintenance.

xo – N.

LA (LA CIENEGA): CRUMPLED TWENTY

By Nora Zelevansky / April 2nd, 2009

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The Best Link Today:

Anytime free hair treatments are offered, I feel like it's my obligation to report that information to you guys STAT.

So, let me tell you a little story: two and a half years ago, I wandered into Roman Salon's quaint little magnolia tree courtyard to interview the owner of this soon-to-open spot, Sheri Roman.  At the time, I was a blonde and had basically been that way (in some incarnation) since I was about 12-years-old.  A couple years of going from colorist to colorist, researching for articles, had left my blonde a bit yellow. Even low lights only stayed put for a couple weeks, before blending and bleaching out into the mass mustard.

Sheri couldn't even focus, while I talked to her.  In the end, I stopped mid-sentence and asked her what was preoccupying her.  "It's just, you're a redhead," Sheri asserted sweetly.  "I know you're blonde, but you should be a redhead."  It was a risky recommendation, as I was writing an article and going red from years of blonde is no small change (I mean, next to World Peace, what could be more important?).  And Sheri's specialty is all manner of blonde.

But, in the end, I LOVED it.  And I continue to love the color and the vibe of that unpretentious, but ever style-conscious salon.  Sure, they could name drop, but remain respectfully hush hush cause that's just how the classy girls do.

Which brings me to the free hair treatments: From 3pm to 6pm on Thursday, April 9th, Roman Salon is holding a "Client Appreciation Happy Hour," where they'll be offering complimentary Kerastase Conditioning Treatments.  The salon has a special relationship with the brand, which–in my humble opinion–might be the best hair product line out there.  So, RSVP quickly before they fill up.

Cause drinking champagne and having free hair treatments can never be bad; blonde, redhead or what have you.

xo – N.

LA (GUINEA PIG): THE BEST EYELASHES

By Nora Zelevansky / March 19th, 2009

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(Whoa. Close Up. But I Promise There's a Point.  And It's Not Just To Scare You.)

In preparation for my wedding (and in the spirit of research for a Town & Country article), I participated in several rigorous 6-week long "Bridal Boot Camps."  Yup, I'm serious. Kate Somerville gave me glowy skin, Roman Salon conditioned my hair to shampoo ad shiny and Mike D.'s total body training at The Gym on Nemo made me svelte and toned (or at least way more so than before; I shed 4% body fat in less than two months).

So, one of the major K.S. perks (and the final stage in my ultra-grooming mission) was the application of eyelash extensions and, let me tell you, they spoiled me forever.  Now, I wish I had eyelash extensions all the time.  For over a month, I'd wake up each day looking ready to meet the world without so much as a drop of makeup.  And I got compliments all the time.  All the damn time, I tell you!  Ever since, I've been singing the eyelash extension blues.  Or at least my chain smoking, jazz loving, alter ego Peaches has been singing them.  United States of Pocket Lint.  Whatever.  I've lost it.

Anyway, when I heard all this buzz about Revitalash (a conditioner that's applied daily like liquid eyeliner and supposedly thickens one's very own eyelashes), I just had to try.  Apparently, Michael Brinkenhoff, M.D. (an opthalmologist of 25-years) created this product for his wife, when she was recovering from chemotherapy during breast cancer treatment.

I can't say my own motivation is quite so virtuous, but his impetus does at least suggest that the product is non-toxic, as recovering cancer patients need to be careful what they put into their system.  Also, I tend to be a big fan of products that men create for their ailing loved ones: Fenix Cosmetics' sunscreen (created for the founder's wife, who is sensitive due to Lupus) is one of the best sunscreens I have ever used.  It's not heavy, it doesn't clog pores and it works.  But anyway . . . why do I keep sounding like an ad?

So, consider this my "BEFORE" post at the onset of a two month (or as long as I last, let's be honest) experiment in eyelash beautification.  Below are some pretty unattractive pictures of my eyelashes in their current state.  I'm not gonna lie. These pics are not hot.  But it turns out it's hard to take good pictures of your eyelashes, right, Drewser?  My hair looks pretty bad too.  But I don't really have an excuse for that.

Anyway, I tried to take different angles, so we can compare and contrast later.  From here on out, once a week I will be updating you all on the Revitalash Guinea Pig challenge.  And we'll see for ourselves, if there's a change, no?

You're up for the challenge, right?  Of course.  You're a peach.

xo – N.

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