Los Angeles Preview: Woodley & Bunny

Despite laying claim to the most adorable moniker in hipsterdom, fashion fave Woodley & Bunny is actually a rather sophisticated Brooklyn salon. Now sisters Erin and Misha Anderson have brought their “Culture & Curation” beauty concept to the West Coast with this sexy new WeHo salon and apothecary.

A full range of services is on offer, including brow shaping and a mini facial bar. The apothecary carries such chichi international beauty brands as Christophe Robin and Herve Herau, as well as Cousu de Fil soaps and Gascoigne & King candles. Oh, and in case you were curious, Woodley and Bunny are their childhood nicknames. Cute. 

Toronto Preview: Quartz Crystal Spa at Trump International Hotel and Tower

With the political aspirations put behind, The Donald is back to what he does best: erecting dazzling, monumental, skyward towers. His debut Canadian hotel will soon be unveiled, and one of its centerpieces is this glorious new 15,000 square foot Quartz Crystal Spa.

Dramatically located 31 floors above the buzzing Toronto streets (with a swimming pool one floor up), it eschews all that trendy zen, being decked out instead with a touch of old Hollywood Glamour. Fittingly for a shamelessly decadent hotel, there’s even a Spa concierge on hand, to guide you through all that luxurious pampering. Treatments have appropriately poshie titles like the Cinque Stelle Diamond Manicure and La Dolce Vita For Two, for lovebirds. Swank-eeee. Opening January 31st. 

Paris Opening: Spa My Blend by Clarins at Le Royal Monceau-Raffles

In the high-stakes hotel spa wars, there are no shortages of ethereal and glorious sounding treatments and interiors. However, Raffles has introduced a whole new plateau by employing Philippe Starck to design their sleekly sexy new Spa My Blend by Clarins, the latest addition to the chic new Royal Monceau hotel. Starck has created a sea of striking white, awash in neutral light, offset only by the deep blue of the 28-meter swimming pool.

True to its moniker, Spa My Blend offers a personalized health and beauty concierge service, with staff sporting titles like “My Body Coach” and “My Pool Coach”. Dr. Olivier Courtin’s My Blend by Clarins customizable skincare products complete the individualized experience. Located on cloud number nine.

Industry Insiders: Russel Manly, Lock and Load

Russell Manly, owner of Tommy Guns Salon, started out in the early ’90s with a small shop in Brighton, England, which he filled with five repurposed dentist chairs. “Straight away,” he says, “our salon looked different from any other.” By 1994, he had moved his business to London’s Soho neighborhood, opening the first TommyGuns there with an authentic, old fashioned aesthetic – leather upholstery, marble floors, and vintage lighting – and a team of talented stylists with a gift for creating unique looks for both men and women.

In 2008, Manly entered the U.S. market with a salon on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, which, with its cinematic appeal, quickly became the favorite of such luminaries as Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone. “Back then, we were the only salon to offer wine and beer to clients, but now it’s the norm,” he says. “Eclectic music, good wine, and – most importantly – great haircuts have been our trademark ever since.” With a collective of stylists from other the world, and Russell at the helm, Tommy Guns continues to expand, with a new location opening soon in LA’s Ace Hotel.

New Images From Tom Ford’s Expanded Beauty Line Revealed

Back in June, it was announced that Tom Ford would be expanding his cosmetics line beyond his cult-favorite fragrance Black Orchid and small collection of nail and lip colors. Early ads for the new collection featured richly-colored hues, a Studio 54 vibe, and high drama, and starred the man himself (he told WWD that sales are better when he appears in a campaign) next to Lara Stone. As we get closer to the fall launch, more images of what we can expect from the expanded line have been released.

The collection will include 132 pieces and a full range of skin care that includes a serum, primer, and cleanser. “The approach is practical, architectural, and I use the same vocabulary whether I’m designing clothing or color cosmetics,” Ford told WWD.

Apparently, Ford has always had his eye on doing a line of cosmetics. With Estee Lauder as his partner, he first created Black Orchid , followed by lipstick, which, as the designer notes, sold out “again and again,” proving his marketing know-how. “My intention was to do color cosmetics out of the gate, but not everyone else was convinced.” The lipstick line will expand from 12 to 18 colors and two new scents will be added: Santal Blush and Jasmin Rouge. For an image-maker like Ford, who’s always relied on heavy doses of fantasy, his approach to make-up is surprisingly practical. “You need to understand the face and compensate for the architecture of the face. A nice thick brow is the key to a youthful look.”

Formaldehyde-Free Alternatives to Getting Stick-Straight Hair

No one can deny that formaldehyde, used in Keratin and Brazilian Blow Out formula, does magic for straightening even the frizziest of hair, freeing women from short-lived blowouts and straightening irons. However, as users are becoming more aware of the potentially harmful effects of the toxic chemical—there’s a reason why people who apply the treatment wear a gas mask, and it’s toxic—brands are beginning to take note, coming up with less dangerous, alternative versions.

Bumble and Bumble and L’Oreal Professional will both be launching in-salon, formaldehyde-free hair smoothing treatments this fall, as reported at Beauty High.

In October, Bumble and Bumble will debut Concen-Straight Pro Treatment, which promises to last up to 30 treatments and can be customized to match clients’ preferred level of straightness. Fadi Mourad, the lines product developer, told WWD that they are using “a technology that consists of a gemstone blend designed to vibrate and loosen the hair’s inner S-bonds, which give it a natural curve.” An at-home treatment is also being released, called Bumble and Bumble Straight, which will include a shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in styler.

L’Oreal’s answer to the frizz dilemma is called Xtenso Moisturist. The brands director of marketing, Laurie Lam, says “We don’t compare ourselves to keratin, because keratin is a surface treatment, where you don’t change the hair. Xtenso Moisturist is indeed a chemical service.” The verdict is still out as to whether these new options will give the same super-shiny straight results as the Brazilian. But at last, it will be guilt free.

Guerlain Spa Reopens at the Waldorf Astoria

A year ago, the Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria shuttered its doors for major revamping. This week it finally re-opened, now with a promise to take the luxury day-spa experience to the next level: the Art Deco-inspired interior remains pristine and elegant as ever (it’s worth the trip just to hang out in the space); the service and quality of treatments have been re-created to match the highest level of pampering; the new management team is from the Mandarin Oriental and the chef is from the Four Seasons. But most importantly, the classic French beauty line is being used by expert aestheticians for innovative treatments, like the two-hour Waldorf Imperiale.

The Imperiale includes a full-body massage and facial – all in one session – using Guerlain’s Orchidee Imperial line. The Abeille Royal Expert Treatment, their firming, lifting and anti-aging facial, is 90 minutes of massage, masks, peels, foot rubbing, and exfoliating to leave the skin smooth and glowing. This is not the place for a quickie pore cleansing — or a deal: facials range from 180.00 to 360.00. But it is the place if you want to disappear for a day and indulge.

Beloved By Brits, Soap & Glory Launches at Sephora in the US

Beauty titan Marcia Kilgore’s bath and body line Soap & Glory has been a massive hit in the UK since she first launched it back in 2006—her Righteous Butter Body Butter was voted Britain’s Best Body Butter. Now, after a short-lived initial run at Target stores in the US, the products, which combine Kilgore’s trademark humor and high quality, are finally back in the States. Kilgore also founded the hugely popular Bliss Spa, so Soap & Glory’s cheekily-named offerings will come as a welcome addition to the fans who already covet the Bliss phenomenon.

Soap & Glory is aimed at women who don’t take their toilette so seriously. As she tells the HuffingtonPost, “while beauty absolutely matters, it doesn’t matter absolutely.” To wit: Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plump, Hand Food Hand Cream, and Glow Job Daily Radiance Moisture Lotion. “Besides there being three times more beauty-loving people in America as there are in Great Britain and that being the opportunity that it is, I’d simply love to make a big success of it in America, and spread my new brand of bubbly back where I first cut my teeth in the world of cosmetics” says Kilgore. Soap & Glory is available exclusively at Sephora.com and in stores in September.

Australian Beauty Line Aesop Readies Their Manhattan Takeover

The opening dates of beloved Australian beauty line Aesop’s three new upcoming stores in downtown New York – two of which were slated to open in early August – are still TBD. So until the brand from Oz completes its long-awaited invasion of the NYC beauty scene, you’ll have to make do with the Aesop kiosk that opened this summer in Grand Central Station. The kiosk is built by the design team at Tacklebox, and takes inspiration from its commuter location by creating structures using 1,200 back issues of the New York Times. The brand’s Nolita store will have a similar design. The other new shop locations are on University Place and a Bleecker Street flagship that will open in December.

The line has always been straight-forward in its design and ingredients, while also remaining high quality and low-key. There’s never a gimmick or miracle elixir being pushed in the organic- and chemical-free line, which was established in 1987. And if the New York City stores look anything like the highly-designed Aesop spots around the world (one Adelaide store has a ceiling made of bottles; a Singapore location has a ceiling draped in string), it will be a refreshing addition to the often sterile-looking Manhattan retail scene. Here are two stand-out Aesop products that I’ve been devoted to for years. You might want to try them out, as it looks like we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Aesop in NY.

Rose Hair and Scalp Moisturizing Mask – A thick and intense mask that perfect for end-of-summer hydration. Great for dry scalps as well.

Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste – Also great for getting skin ready for fall by removing dead skin surface. And deeply cleanses to allow for more moisture to absorb.