Monday, October 29, 2007

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios Getting Green

Text, Vivian G. Kelly and Laura Wood

Runway Images of Ecoganic runway show, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Images of Beau Soleil courtesy of Beau Soleil.
Images of Eco Gem jewelry, courtesy of Hovey Lee

The big news at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios [October 14-18] was the strong green initiative. Three months prior to the shows, a press release went out [from IMG Fashion] announcing that “the twice yearly event in Culver City, CA will be ‘greener’ in October, with a focus on sustainability, eco-friendly fashions and designers.”
Below, we highlight jewelry, cosmetics, and two eco collections.

Jewelry: Designer Hovey Lee’s Eco Gem collection at the Design Suites

The Eco Gem collection is under the umbrella of the designer’s larger Eco-Jewelry Collection.
We met Ms. Lee in her booth at the Design Suites, drawn in by her colorful gumball cocktail rings. Ms. Lee is committed to sourcing her raw materials from Fair Trade and ethical vendors who pay fair wages and protect workers’ rights. The entire Eco Gem collection is made of Fair Trade natural sustainably harvested, untreated gemstones, coral and crackle painted nuts. [Some of these same materials are also used in her premier Eco-Jewelry Collection].
Ms. Lee’s biggest challenge is to get enough eco gems from her suppliers in Thailand, China and Mexico. We admired her coral bracelet an especially rare sight in light that coral reefs are one of the most endangered eco systems on the planet.
Laughs, Ms. Lee, “So, if you love something, snap it up because there won’t be another one exactly like it ever again!”

Cosmetics: Smashbox Cosmetics supports charity initiative

Just like Eco Gem’s Fair Trade Initiative, Smashbox’s contribution to Trees for the Future helps both people and the environment.
Smashbox Cosmetics debuted the GREEN ROOM SPRING 2008 COLOR COLLECTION at the LA shows. With the purchase of every GREEN ROOM product, a Moringa tree will be planted in a developing country by Trees for the Future. The leaves of the Moringa or "Miracle Tree” are actually edible and provide
nutritional value and a self-renewing food source. More trees also mean a healthier planet for everyone. All GREEN ROOM packaging is biodegradable or recyclable and all products are made with environmentally friendly formulas so it's beauty you can feel good about.

The Beau Soleil Eco dress collection at the Design Suites

Designer, Anne Salvatore Epstein, launched her eco-friendly dress collection
after she and her husband recently adopted an eco mindset. Upon discovering she was pregnant the couple morphed their glamorous NYC lifestyle into one that is "Simple. Modern and Organic.”
Vincent Lucas, from Earthaware Organics, the fabric manufacturer for Beau Soleil, had us touch the incredibly soft fabric made out of bamboo, which is a sustainable material. Ms. Epstein also uses vegetable-dyed organic cottons and vintage tencel, as well as recycled leather trims. In the past, the costliness of eco fabrics has deterred designers. Happily, the price at Beau Soleil is lower than you might suspect because bamboo grows quickly, replenishing itself at a rapid rate. This new mindset, coupled with Epstein’s career experience at Marc Jacobs and IISLI, opened her eyes to how harmful standard manufacturing processes can be to the environment.
There were just a few shapes, but the one we loved most, the sweatshirt dress, [v-front with dolman sleeves and patch pockets] was sold out and on reorder.

BEAU SOLEIL is available at Intermix and

Also of note, next door to Beau Soleil, we checked out Alternative Apparel’s new Alternative Earth Collection. Highlights were eco heather hoodies for adults and children using organic cotton and recycled polyester.

The Ecoganik Spring 2008 show
Designers Genevieve Cruz and Mallary Sante took us on a trip back to the early seventies, with accompanying music by the Doors and models dressed as flower children complete with headbands and wildflowers strewn on the runway. The collection itself was right in line with the theme, soft pigment dyed colors: mauve, gray and rust looked well with the hippie sandals that accessorized the looks.
What worked: a cotton strapless top and pant and a quintessentially seventies number, the bell sleeved V-front mauve dress.

Look to Ecoganik for some great lounging outfits. The cream shirred waist mini dress would be a good choice if you lived in Miami or LA. The jumpsuit with spaghetti straps looks new again as an option to the hostess patio dress that’s predicted to be the rage for spring 2008.
Best in show:
Showing that eco can look modern, not just hippie: the high waist double-breasted shirt with super snug khaki shorts and high heel sandals.
The hair and makeup, particularly the hair evoked the late Janis Joplin, wild and frizzy and topped with wreaths made of flowers and silk butterflies. The makeup was a tribute to Mother Earth – grass green shadow, flushed cheeks and frosty pink lips.
Ecoganik is an active member of the Organic Trade Association which certifies all aspects of the manufacturing process to ensure that the consumer is buying a truly Earth friendly garment.

Note: For more great eco fashion, see the Evidence of Evolution collection available at Barney’s this spring.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Furla 2008 Spring Summer Collection

Feminine Innovation By the Masters of Italian Leather

Text, J Ecochard
Images, Richard Spiegal

An airy showroom on lower Fifth Avenue, NYC was the setting for Furla’s elegantly simple display of genuinely timeless handbags, shoes and accessories.

There were several distinct collections for the ladies. We loved the go anywhere semi-structured bags in vibrant colors (sunflower yellow, dahlia orange, geranium red) that featured distinctive zips, fastenings and shoulder straps in polished calf or croc leathers. Given the powerfully colorful flower printed fabrics set to dominate summer wardrobes, these handbags should fly out of Fural's numerous retail outlets.

Another line of larger, unstructured bags in soft plush hides had a bit of bling going on…with studs and chains adding edgy drama. These bags came in summery pearlized and metallic leathers in pastel and natural palettes including soft pink and pearl…and would add a bit of punch to the neutral toned garb we saw on the New York/LA runways.

The elite glamour of polo and sailing worlds inspired another luxe sophisticated line of unstructured handbags and satchels- in polished and greased exotic skins of leather and croc. Sporting satin and grosgrain details, these carryalls came in springy pastels as well as in bold black and white.

Our favorite bags and shoes were found in the new Furla Talent Hub collection. Polished highly textured shiny black leather in the posh wedges and unusual large shoulder bag by Max Kibardin were particularly fetching. The satin, patent leather and/or shiny calfskin mary janes and t-strap, open toe and platform shoes (in warm and natural shades) are exclusive to the Nicole Brundage for Furla collection.

Naturally the high standards of Italian craftsmanship are obvious in this everything done in-house line. And with the inclusion of young fresh talent…Furla is set to create some celebufabulous buzz.

Tiffany & Co. Opens the 37 Wall Street Store

Timestamp: October 10, 2007
Location: 37 Wall Street

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

We arrived at the tail end of the opening festivities in which Tiffany brass rang the NYSE opening bell and the Founding Ceremony, attended by Dignitaries including Chairman and CEO Michael J. Kowalski and Deputy Mayor Doctoroff. Also in attendance a gaggle of Wall Streeters who looked on while enjoying coffee and Tiffany Blue-and-white cookies dispensed from coffee carts with Tiffany Blue ® umbrellas no less.
The ceremony kicked-off the opening of Tiffany’s 11,000 sq. ft. store, a great addition to the downtown area that’s still in the process of revitalization, post 911.
The 25- Story Beaux Arts-style building was constructed in 1907 and underwent extensive restoration prior to the opening. Tiffany kept to the original classic setting and commissioned the architectural design firm, Yabu Pushelberg, to design a modern environment of glass and light. A focal point is a 75-feet –long floating sculpture by renowned lighting designer Ingo Maurer.
Once inside, we turned our focus to some limited edition statement rings housed on the ground floor, each one individually registered. The very affable, Marvel Chung, G.G. [Graduate Gemologist] gave us the specs on the spectacular 19.22 carat orange colored garnet, [an extremely rare stone] nestled in a diamond and platinum art deco basket in which there were 94 oval diamonds totaling 0 .92 carats and round diamonds totaling just over 0.50 carats.
Price: $37,500.

Just behind the statement ring and earring case was one of the company’s Wall Street Grand Watches, only sold at the Wall Street location. The rose gold watch is a limited edition piece and [you guessed it] only 37 of them were made. Each watch is numbered, as is a limited edition print or photograph.

The Wall Street Grand – Vital statistics:
- The automatic watch is a derivative of the " Tiffany Grand™ "
- Face has a unique ' pin-stripe' design meant to evoke the Pin Stripe suits of the stereotypical Wall Street billionaire immortalized by Michael Douglas as “Gordon Gekko” in the Oliver Stone classic “Wall Street”.
- Front side has the "Wall St " moniker and unique watch number engraved on it
-Packaged in a sleek black jewelry box with the name and number fastened right on top. The box resembled a very chic toolbox with a decidedly Tom Ford aesthetic.
At the time of this post, 14 were still up for grabs.
To inquire: tel: 212-514-8015

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hugo Boss Spring 2008 Fashion Collection

A Fashion Show That Deserves To Be A Harvard Business School Plan On What To Do

Text, Images by J. Ecochard

American photographers hanging around the media riser got a few chuckles during the pre-show models’ run thru for Hugo Boss’s Spring 2008 Collection in the magnificently ornate, former booking hall of the Cunard Line (at the Cunard Building, 25 Broadway, NYC) The October 17th fashion show was strictly choreographed by a headphone wearing German Producer…who’s heavily accent English brought back memories of Colonel Wilhelm Klink of TV show Hogan’s Heroes. However, this guy directed a show…with results of polished perfection… impressing jaded editorial fashionistas returning to the States after the season's European runway jaunts.

Entering the dramatic, high ceiling, marine themed marble lobby, guests were greeted by straight-backed waiters wielding Moet Chandon Champagne poured from appropriately chilled Jeroboams. This being a European show, all were encouraged to keep their glasses full and able to carry the delicious beverages with them into the Renaissance Revival giant Hall outfitted with stadium metal seating. How civilized –and the bubbly banished any negative thoughts over the WAIT.

The men’s and women’s line itself served up a sparkling cocktail blend of updated classics mixed with attitude in the precise tailoring and premium fabrics Hugo Boss is known for. A man’s slim cut single breast dark gray suit with black silk tie, and a broad shoulder, white double breasted woman’s suit jacket, with a crisp soft gray shirt with wide spread white collar and gray narrow pants cropped at the ankles, were standouts. A shimmery silver metallic blouson with deep square neckline that would flatter many body types stood out on the model sporting short slicked back hair. The top was ideal symmetry for the Hugo Boss signature low waist, flat front, side pocketed slim fit pants, again hemmed to reveal ankles and sculptural patent leather high-heeled pumps. Frankly, it was a relief to see this flattering silhouette as so many Spring 2008 looks from other designers- seemed derivative with the high waist, pleated front, flared legged pants typified by the 70's Annie Hall clones. Lastly, a deep V necked belted or one shouldered gowns in flowing black and deep purple jersey silks, boldly ended the show.

Afterwards, guests were led to a darkened side hall, imaginatively set with black leather couches, chairs and curios that would have made Edgar Allan Poe or Oscar Wilde- feel right at home. Open bars featuring German beers (yeah!), a lavish buffet spread including a fresh, just off- the- boat succulent raw fish bar, and most amazingly of all, a twenty minute musical set by clarinetist Woody Allen (yup, the director/actor/writer) and his New Orleans jazz band …all were an unbelievable finish to an evening where the fusion of fashion, art and commerce was authentic and not pretentiously forced.

Fratelli Rosetti- for La Dolce Vita

Timeless Elegance For Spring 2008

Text: J. Ecochard
Photos:Rich Spiegal

We love the unseasonably warm autumnal weather (though, naturally- we're terrified as to WHY).

So previews of Spring 2008 luxurious clothes, handbags and shoes…made us want to reach out and touch (grab, wear) everything RIGHT NOW.

At the stately Italian Consulate on Park Ave. NYC, Fratelli Rossetti -, a decades old, family owned/managed Italian manufacturer of luxe leathers- displayed sophisticated gear for the resort and spring 2008 season. Quality driven Europeans, as well as clued in Americans, already flock to the company’ stores throughout Europe, Monaco, NY etc -for the well made, hand-stitched wing tip, and loafer shoes for men (in brown black, deep beige), and go with everything neutral/black patent leather or sumptuously detailed Swarovksi crystals’ strappy sandals- that ladies can actually walk in. New for Spring is the expansion of the more casual line of driving mocs and stylish not really sneaker, sneakers. Also destined for chicette shoulders are structured, shoulder strapped or sturdy hardware handled handbags in soft pastels or dark brown, of polished python and croc skins. Plush buttery leather oversized totes with tasteful outside pockets and subtle buckle flourishes will also find favor with a refined set. Fratelli Rossetti was never about the bling and has always stayed true to its upmarket image…a reason why the accessories will forever work with bejeweled cocktail dresses, elegant tailored silk linen suits… or simple crisp denim daywear.

OUR FAVORITE: A flat, ivory beige patent leather thong sandal with luminous creamy white shells-which we envision adorning the sunseekers along the glam Italian coastline.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

BOULE – the pit stop of choice in LA for the sophisticated palette in search of hand crafted chocolates and pastries

Timestamp: 11:40am, Tuesday, October 15, 2007

Text, Vivian G. Kelly and Laura Wood

Images, courtesy of Think Public Relations

Is your palette jaded? Even the most discerning foodies will be sure to love the delicacies at Boule, modeled after the traditional French patisserie but with a modern edge. The walls are painted in “Boule blue”, a color that was custom created just for them, which matches their signature gift, the Boule hatbox. The box makes a great gift, very couture in nature, as you choose precisely what goes in the box. It makes an ideal gift [especially for the upcoming holiday season] just about anyone on your list would enjoy. It's rare to find a gift that's suitable for business associates, teachers and friends.

In addition to year round pastries are seasonal offerings purveyed from local farmers’ markets, which help to promote LA's local food movement. The ingredients to goodies such as the macron [a meringue cookie with creamy puree in the middle] vary seasonally. We sampled the scrumptious pumpkin macron available during the Halloween to Thanksgiving period.


- Boule hatboxes filled with your choice of sweet treats [for her]
-Boule hatboxes filled with savory treats [for him]
- Signature Fleur de Sel caramels – they made Oprah’s “O List”
- Pyramid shaped chocolate macaroons that achieve the perfect balance between chocolate and coconut.

In addition, there is a wide selection of handcrafted varieties such as lichee nut and lavender infused chocolates.
If you’re not in the mood for sweets, there’s the Boule Blend coffee by Intelligencia from Washington State It’s so popular that the 1 lb. to go bags were sold out. You can also pick up a handsome cup and saucer by Frances Palmer pottery [$48 for the cup and saucer].

If you’re lucky enough to be in the LA area, Boule’s caterers can bring the Boule experience to your home. They’re available for private parties and wine and chocolate tastings. Celebrities love their sweets too. Regulars include Bruce Willis, David Beckham, and Oprah. Rail thin Hollywood types have been spotted sneaking more than a few of the bite sized versions at these catered events.

Coming soon: a monthly calendar of special in store classes to learn the art of chocolate and pastry making from the chefs themselves.

If you’re not in LA visit their website, and indulge yourself or send everyone on your Christmas list a box of these unique temptations packaged in a chic Boule box.
Boule LA tel. 310-289-9977
*Boule’s Location as of November 1st: 413 North Bedford Drive, Beverly Hills

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mark your calendars! Designer Reem Acra is making a personal appearance to sign her Platinum Label™ version of the Reem Acra Bride Barbie®

Time & place: Friday October 26th between 12:00 and 2:00 pm, at FAO Schwartz, Fifth Avenue

Text, Vivian G. Kelly

Image of doll, courtesy of Mattel
Image of Reem Acra, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

A Platinum Label™ version of the Reem Acra Bride Barbie® doll featuring Barbie as a blonde, will launch on Friday October 26th at FAO Schwarz’s Fifth Avenue Flagship. Renowned bridal and Ready-to-Wear designer, Reem Acra will be on hand to sign the doll between from 12:00 – 2:00pm.
This is not Ms. Acra’s first collaboration with Barbie® and Mattel. There’s already a Reem Acra Bride Barbie® doll available for collectors who know and appreciate Ms. Acra’s stunning bridal designs The earlier brunette version wears a gown with a dramatic bustle trimmed with ribbon bows and faux pearl details. A delicate embellished print bodysuit, ending in a three-quarter sleeves, adds to the sophistication of the dress. Accoutrements include pearl-like earrings, a “faux diamond” engagement ring and a garter with blue ribbon worn under her dress.
The wedding gown design is an authentic replica of a wedding gown design created by Ms. Acra.
The new eagerly awaited Platinum Label version features Barbie in the spectacular gown but sporting her iconic platinum blonde hair.
If you’re interested in snagging one of the blonde collectibles, be sure to call FAO in advance to
secure one. They’re selling out fast!

Retail price: $179.95
For further information, contact FAO Schwartz, telephone: (212) 644-9400

Monday, October 22, 2007

LA’s Master Evening Wear Designers : Randolph Duke, Kevan Hall, Joseph Domingo

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Randolph Duke and Kevan Hall are LA’s undisputed masters when it comes to designing a to-die-for evening dress that keeps them on red carpet celebrities’ must-call list year after year. As Matthias, a freelance makeup artist who touched us up at Smashbox Cosmetics' makeup booth remarked, “celebrities can’t take too many chances, their primary fan base is in Middle America, and anything TOO radical just won’t fly with their fans.”
He was talking about makeup, but his observation could also apply to a celebrity’s choice of red carpet attire. Neither Mr. Duke nor Mr. Hall eschews ornamentation entirely in their collections, but whatever they come up with, it’s always tasteful, count on it. Both deliver glamour and sophistication, each and every season.
This season, Randolph Duke kept to a mostly black and white palette with some stylish navy blue thrown it. He kicked off the show in true larger than life Hollywood tradition. The lights went on and there was a dramatic tableau of half a dozen or so models posed on the runway, half in white, and half in black. It was reminiscent of the theatricality of the late Mr. Blass’ shows and brought a lump to our throats.
Kevan Hall demonstrated his social conscience, rather than giving everyone in attendance a goodie bag, he created 5 handsome celebrity gift bags valued at $13,000 each, loaded with goodies such as a 2 night stay at the Intercontinental hotel with all the extras thrown that included tons of pampering at the hotel spa. Another gift was a 6 months of fine wines, delivered to your door.

The auction will begin on Oct 22 and will run for 5 consecutive weeks on Proceeds will go to benefit the African Millennium Foundation. Hurry up and put in your bids!

The show itself was titled, “Africa: a Safari” and the theme extended beyond the fact that he showed a wonderful zebra tunic with Swarvoski crystal trim and dresses whose colors evoked the spectacular African sunsets. Mr. Hall used fabrics that were designed and created by artisans in Africa. In doing so, he has aided in supporting their villages. The artisans as Mr. Hall are truly skilled; the palette of rich colors [deep red, turquoise, amber, peridot, and jade] was breathtakingly beautiful. The front row as usual was filled with celebrities including Rebecca De Mornay, Jessica Beals and Vanessa Williams, actors who actually wear Mr. Hall's clothes.
Then there are women who are willing to take a little more of a risk for a big soiree.
Women of this ilk should turn to San Francisco based Joseph Domingo .
Liz Taylor sometimes turned out in some real “look at me!” numbers in her day. Neither Liz nor modern day goddesses will be able to resist the piece to resistance from his latest collection - a stunning pink organza and ostrich feather gown. White was the glue that held together the soft baby pink and statement making gold pieces. He accessorized with some terrific Daniel Swarovski sunglasses that added the perfect finishing touch. While he is clearly able to deliver some jaw droppers, that’s not to say that the affable Mr. Domingo doesn’t do understated as well. The designer's favorite ensemble from the men’s line was a crisp pair of white English cotton capris and a blush pink suede tee shirt. If Mr. Halston had ever considered designing for men, he would have designed an outfit such as this one.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Chick by NICKY HILTON Spring/Summer 2008

Sunday, October 15, 2007

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Location: Smashbox Studio, LA - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

The Pre-show – Different station, different city, but it was the same good vibe that was present in Miami at the Ashley Paige for Girls Gone Wild show held during Mercedes Benz Miami Fashion Week back in July, Then, the DJ played the soundtrack from “Urban Cowboy”. Now the DJ played a lot of Johnny Cash, getting crowd in the right mood to remark favorably on what was to come.

The Chick by Nicky Hilton runway show
The DJ matched the pretty college co-ed theme with tunes like the Jackson Five’s “ABC” and Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely?”
Although this Hilton sister is not nearly as much in the limelight as her sister Paris the photo pit was as packed as at a hot Bryant Park show, which is not really standard issue in LA or Miami. Pre-show, one photographer shouted into the pit, “Where’s Paris?” Another shouted back, “In another country!” just before the lights went off.
Ms. Hilton’s show itself was short and sweet, both lengthwise [only 28 looks] and hemline wise. She could well have been designing for herself; the models wore their hair in the long and touseled sexy babe look favored by starlets and personalities in LA and Miami. Add to that the pretty makeup skillfully executed by Lori Taylor and the Smashbox Cosmetics Team - classic ingénue. The boldest feature was a red lip.
The dresses were sugary sweet, short little confections the color of Brachs sugar coated almonds. Best were the blue swan print dresses, worn with skinny black patent belts, right in step with the continuing trend of showing a defined waistline. Another highlight was the bitten apple tank and white short shorts, perfect for a Saturday afternoon spent sunning on the Sorority house bench. Like Marc Jacobs, the classic sailor pant inspires Ms. Hilton, she showed one in red and another in denim.
For evening, Chick girls can play it daring, in a hot coral jersey minidress or in a demure black “snow white” dress with a Peter Pan collar, a good choice for a meet-the –parents attire.
Purse alert:
Clutches are hotter than ever, we loved Ms. Hilton’s red lip shaped version. . It reminded us of artist Tom Wesselmann's Mouth #2 (1966), which depicts two smiling, softly painted, luscious red lips and a row of perfect white teeth. Ms. Hilton came out to take her bow, looking exceptionally svelte; she could easily have filled in for one of the models in her show.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

LUTZ & PATMOS – art and fashion meet at the spring 2008 collection

Location: Green Naftali Gallery, 516 W. 26the St., the Forbidden Zone

Timestamp: New York Fashion Week

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, J. Ecochard

Designers Tina Lutz and Maria Patmos' motto is “no five minute trends”. This translates into the fact that this duo creates some wonderful tops and dresses that you’ll never get tired of and donate. The season they were showing was spring, but the clothes are seasonless, which makes them a favorite with the fashion cogniscenti. They use exquisite fabrics and textiles such as cashmere made in Italy and silk and cotton blends. The designers pride themselves on making knits that are constructed like wovens. Some designs are even reversible.
We love that the designers of this hot indie label have a reputation as social activists and collaborate with world-aid groups The indigenous women of Bolivia, who have an ongoing association with the label, made the macramé pieces in this collection.

On the art side, the installation at the gallery included some pieces by guest designer, Richard Meier and Jim Drain’s colorful macramé sculpture was the perfect backdrop for the black, cream and gold clothes displayed on the groupings of mannequins. While it’s nice to see clothes on living breathing models, these clothes are best viewed in still life format, allowing us to examine them in detail and marvel over the beautiful knits at leisure.

Star items:

-The black knee length coatdress
-The macramé gold lame bolero
-The black mercerized cotton macramé bolero

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Intelligent Aesthetics™

“The End Of False Hope™”

Text by J. Ecochard
Oct 16th 2007-NYC

We’re always intrigued by start-up skincare lines…that tend to garner cult followings amongst professionals, before they hit the big time. Kiehl’s for example.

And so, we were delighted with our group tête à tête with the flawlessly peau-ed Leila Bell and Sharon Brown McEntee, co-founders of the five years in the making (!) Intelligent Aesthetics™ ... a “TruthBased Skincare™ scientifically sound, natural treatment line. Highlights of our hour-long meeting included sampling and sniffing the collection of cleanly packaged products smartly aimed at major visage conditions like oily or dry (or both), aging skin concerns, rosacea, acne etc.

What separates Intelligent Aesthetics from other brands is that the entire line blends “medical grade ingredients with personality, quality and efficacy…” according to Leila Bell. “The scents are not artificial…and all ingredients have a purpose.”

Indeed, good-for-you goodies like willow bark and tea tree oil (anti-inflammatory/anti-bacteria) and oatmeal, chamomile, algae, lavender (soothing) are prominently featured in heavenly scented cleansers, scrubs, toners/primers and treatment mask products-all grouped in categories appropriately labeled Enlighten, Clear, Quench, Nourish, Balance and Soothe.

Naturally we tested a cleanser as soon as we got home because our skin was feeling a bit clogged from a long day of exposure to less than fresh, NY air. We fell in love with the Refreshing Pore Cleanser-that left our face fresh clean, not stripped dry...and noted that much touted Green Tea Extract (as well as gloriously smelling Lemon and Grapefruit) are key ingredients. We almost felt like drinking it!

Luckily, an interactive, user friendly web site will help consumers figure out exactly which products will work on their skin. And unlike ridiculously priced, slickly packaged beauty treatments, Intelligent Aesthetics is really, really reasonably priced, given the purity of the ingredients.

Photos courtesy of Intelligent Aesthetics™