A G E N D A http://www.agendamag.com Fashion & Lifestyle Online Magazine (Now in Print) Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:56:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 Hello Summer Skin! http://www.agendamag.com/hello-summer-skin/ Mon, 12 Jun 2017 04:50:50 +0000 http://www.agendamag.com/?p=6432 It’s about that time… to shed all manner of clothing and makeup and dive into the deep waters of Summer. If you’ve been less than kind to your skin to date, there’s still time. Barring a massive makeover that requires the help of a professional, there are solid choices to […]

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It’s about that time… to shed all manner of clothing and makeup and dive into the deep waters of Summer. If you’ve been less than kind to your skin to date, there’s still time. Barring a massive makeover that requires the help of a professional, there are solid choices to help ease your skin into summer in flawless fashion.

The first step is always a good cleanse. Color us highly impressed with the new Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser. It’s gentle enough for the most sensitive skin types, but strong enough to get deep into pores and get out anything that’ll leave you feeling clogged and less than clear. There’s just enough AHA to exfoliate without irritating, and help clear the way for your next step to radiant skin.

summerskin5 summerskin7Glycelene Orange Blossom Oxygen Infusion looks like water but behaves like a serum. The  summerskin4brains behind the operation is a cosmetic chemist, who explains that he sisummerskinmply removed the viscosity associated with a traditional serum, but left all of the healing and moisturizing properties behind. What remains is a formula that leaves your skin more radiant the longer you use it. We found it best when ‘pressed’ into a clean damp face (using a cotton pad will simply waste product). Seal in all that goodness with Moira Cosmetics Atomic Water Balm. What might be most impressive about this product (beyond the $20 asking price) is how highly adaptive the formula is. It turns to ‘water’ on contact, which is welcome news for oily skin types. But it’s hydrating enough to keep dry skin happy as well. That might have something to do with the  impressive lineup of ingredients, which includes Tremella Mushroom, Panax Ginseng, Rosemary, and Chamomile.

Treat the hot spots with Laurel Blemish Treatment. The potent combination of Black Cumin, Tamanu and Thyme targets irritating blemishes and clears them up without damaging surrounding healthy skin. Continued use helps fade discoloration. So bring on the bikinis and the barbeque. With a solid skin care routine and the right products, there’s a good chance you’ll be trading full coverage foundation and concealer for tinted moisturizer and a smile.

 

 

 

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Larry Dunn’s Anthology of Earth, Wind & Fire: The Holy Grail of My Youth http://www.agendamag.com/larry-dunns-anthology-earth-wind-fire-holy-grail-youth-2/ http://www.agendamag.com/larry-dunns-anthology-earth-wind-fire-holy-grail-youth-2/#comments Sun, 30 Apr 2017 06:42:40 +0000 http://www.agendamag.com/?p=6428 Wednesday, April 26, 2017, was a night to remember. With a tip sheet that included Ronnie Laws, Ndugu Chancler, Bunny Brunel, Luenell, and too many more to name, the cast of supportive, celebrity colleagues went on and on as the lights dimmed. Guests finished their meals and the show started […]

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017, was a night to remember. larry-dunns-anthology-flyerWith a tip sheet that included Ronnie Laws, Ndugu Chancler, Bunny Brunel, Luenell, and too many more to name, the cast of supportive, celebrity colleagues went on and on as the lights dimmed. Guests finished their meals and the show started at 9:00 PM. The eagerly anticipated concert titled Larry Dunn’s Anthology of Earth, Wind & Fire was buzzing with excitement, while the staff at Catalina’s Jazz Club in Los Angeles tended to a sold-out concert with a line as far as one could see. I have to tell you, there’s nothing better than great champagne, good food, and the company of 350 or so distinguished strangers—each with the common goal of listening to the magical music by one of the most beloved bands in the country . . . Earth, Wind & Fire.

Luenell
Luenell

The hostess was comedienne/actor Luenell, who warmed us up with her hilariously racy jokes. As charming and outrageously comical as she was, her brand of humor was just the perfect opener. I was still chuckling when the first note reverberated across the packed supper club. (And yes, Luenell, I plan to watch you on the George Lopez Show!)

During the concert, songs such as “The Way of the World,” “Fantasy,” “Reasons,” and other mega-hits were performed to perfection as I reminisced, swayed to the music, and sang lyrics that steered my childhood on through adulthood that evening! Permit me to indulge my upbringing for just one moment. My parents are from the South, and we used to take long road trips that sometimes lasted 2 to 3 days with solid driving. I was just in grade school, but I loved Earth, Wind & Fire. My sister and I would put on our headphones and listen to their music repeatedly until we arrived at our destination. Then in high school, songs such as “Reasons” would play at the dances—I danced with my high school crush to that tune. Larry Dunn and his Anthology took me waaaaay back!  Earth, Wind & Fire was the very first concert I ever attended with my childhood best friend Kelly when I was just 13 years old!

The Show . . .

As Larry Dunn sat behind his keyboards, he commanded and played beautifully the songs he had a hand in creating. The things we all remember about the music of Earth, Wind & Fire are the intense, hooky arrangements, profound, life-changing lyrics, and insane vocals . . . and those chords—wow, the inventive changes and the journey they took us all down back in the day. Well, Larry Dunn’s Anthology was executed with the precision I remembered all those years ago.

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Larry Dunn Anthology of Earth, Wind & Fire (Photo: Sakurai Toshi)

Memorable moments . . . 

Well, without leaving out any of these incredibly talented musicians, let me just say that all the performers were top notch! The horn section was definitely a strong, tight, ensemble.  They played accurately, were solid, and tuned to perfection. If you know the repertoire, it’s of the level of early “James Brown-ish” mind-blowing horns with complicated, and “in-the-pocket” execution; all the while locking with the drums, guitar, and bass.  I had no choice but to dance in my seat.

The keyboards were the blueprint and roadmap for this concert.  Larry did his usual flawless magic on the keyboards, multi-tasking with interlocking, contrapuntal/chordal utopia.

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Luisa Dunn (Photo: Sheryl Aronson)

The vocals:  this was a huge vocal section with a variety of ranges. The lead singers led the way, while the beautiful background vocals anchored the lyrics of each song (with a hint of heaven with Luisa Dunn adding a uniquely female essence). Howard Johnson, the newest member to the Anthology, sang with a broad 5-octave range and a searing tone that resonated to my core; all I could say was “wow!” The other lead vocal performances were equally as impressive.

Special Mention . . . The sax solos were immensely enjoyable and just made the experience all the more hypnotic.

The lineup (Larry Dunn’s Orchestra) was intense and included the following musicians: 

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Ronnie Laws (Photo: Sheryl Aronson)

Luisa Dunn (vocals), Howard Johnson (vocals), Masta Edwards (vocals), and Procton Bonnell (vocals), Leslie Smith (vocals/percussion); Keith McKelley (saxophone), Michael Hunter (trumpet), Duane Benjamin (trombone); Darrell Crooks (guitar), Hilliard Wilson (bass), Ty Fleming (Drums); and Andrew Acosta (guest performer) on Congas.  These musicians captured the spirit of vintage Earth, Wind & Fire.  A special appearance by saxophonist Ronnie Laws (who was a former member of Earth, Wind & Fire in the early years) was a nice surprise as he sat in on the song “Runnin’” on soprano sax.

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Larry Dunn Anthology of Earth, Wind & Fire (Photo: Sakurai Toshi)

About Larry Dunn . . .

Larry Dunn
Larry Dunn

As the youngest and one of the longest members of Earth, Wind & Fire, Larry Dunn was the main composer and keyboardist. He was only 17 when he joined, and Dunn helped cultivate and create the award-winning sound of the band with the late Maurice White, Verdine White, and the other key members of the group. Dunn recently branched off into a solo career. His latest CD entitled N2 The Journey is filled with lush arrangements and beautiful songwriting. Decorated with countless awards, Larry Dunn was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Song Writer’s Hall of Fame, and is the recipient of the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

n2-the-journeyFinal Thoughts . . .  I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a concert this much. It was as if Larry Dunn’s Anthology of Earth, Wind & Fire found my lost time capsule—the holy grail of my youth.  Yes, I’m still singing “September,” “Let’s Groove Tonight,” “Serpentine Fire,” and “Got to Get You Into My Life!”

Who else was there . . .

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Kaylene Peoples, Catalina Popescu (Catalina Jazz Club Owner), Bunny Brunel (Photo: Sheryl Aronson)

Bobby Watson, Allee Willis, Eddie del Barrio, Eloise Laws, The Hollywood 360, Agenda magazine, April Sutton, A. Scott Galloway, Sheryl Aronson, Mikey Adam Cohen, Phillip Guillory, Jermaine Jackson, Jr., Jay King, many friends, family, associates, and most importantly . . . the fans.

To learn more about Larry Dunn’s Anthology of Earth, Wind & Fire, or to purchase his latest album N2 The Journey, visit www.larrydunnmusic.com.

 

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Le Larry Coryell Hommage à the Blue Whale Jazz Club: une promenade de souvenirs. http://www.agendamag.com/le-larry-coryell-hommage-blue-whale-jazz-club-une-promenade-de-souvenirs/ http://www.agendamag.com/le-larry-coryell-hommage-blue-whale-jazz-club-une-promenade-de-souvenirs/#comments Sat, 15 Apr 2017 00:03:29 +0000 http://www.agendamag.com/?p=6359 Par Kaylene Peoples | 10 avril 2017 | AGENDA MAGAZINE (www.agendamag.com) The Blue Whale Jazz Club du centre-ville a Los Angeles est connue pour sa musique organique, avec une variété de styles tels que la fusion, le jazz contemporain, le New âge et ceux qui se développent dans une atmosphère […]

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Par Kaylene Peoples | 10 avril 2017 | AGENDA MAGAZINE (www.agendamag.com)

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Par Firsttakepr.com

The Blue Whale Jazz Club du centre-ville a Los Angeles est connue pour sa musique organique, avec une variété de styles tels que la fusion, le jazz contemporain, le New âge et ceux qui se développent dans une atmosphère confortable et ambiante. Le samedi 25 mars 2017 de 21h00 à 23h45 a été rempli par l’essence de Larry Coryell, et je n’avais jamais vu ce lieu inXme avec autant de monde. Le concert d’hommage a été organisé par le fils survivant de Larry, Julian, qui a prouvé aux fans de son père, que les chiens ne font pas des chats. Après le mémorial de Larry Coryell (qui a eu lieu plus tôt ce jour), le concert devait être une célébraXon de l’homme et de sa musique. La formaXon originale était d’inclure Julian Coryell aux guitares, Bunny Brunel à la basse, Brian Auger sur le piano et l’orgue B3 (il est tombé malade ce^e nuit-là et a été remplacé par le claviériste / organiste Ma^ Rohde); Et les ba^eurs Gerry Brown pour le premier set, et Andy Sanesi au deuxième set.

La liste des morceaux était remplis de la pluspart des plus grandes composiXons de Larry Coryell.
Julian a joué parfaitement ces composiXons, qui comprenaient les éléments suivants: “Spaces Revisited”, “Sink or Swim”, “Treats Style”, “First Things First”, “Low Lee Tah”, “Ader Later”, “Bird Fingers” et ” Good CiXzen Swallow “. À l’image de ces performances, le spectacle a été commémoraXf du style de fusion avec deux composiXons du grand ba^eur fusion / soul Alphonse Mouzon, décédé plus tôt ce^e année. L’ensemble a interprété “The Cover Girl” de Mouzon et “Poobli”; Et au début du deuxième set, Julian Coryell et Bunny Brunel ont joué le duo composé par René Thomas inXtulé «René’s Theme» de l’album Spaces; Extrait du duo original interprété par Larry Coryell et John McLaughlin.

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Le guitarist Julian Coryell avec Bunny Brunel (photo par: David Schwartz)

“Il semblait que Larry était là ce soir, parce que Julian a joué exactement comme son père.” – Bunny Brunel.

Julian Coryell juste avant la chanson finale du concert ce soir-là a dit:”La quesXon qui me concerne est. . . Est-ce une chose unique ou est-ce que nous conXnuons?» Nous reviendrons ici en juin avec la nouvelle ELEVENTH HOUSE. C’est très intense pour moi. Nous avons fait un nouveau enregistrement de l’ELEVENTH HOUSE il y a un an. Et je n’avais aucun moyen de savoir que ce serait le dernier enregistrement que nous allions faire ensemble. Mais cet enregistrement sorXra le 2 juin, je crois., il présentera de nouvelles composiXons par mon père, par Alphonse Mouzon, par le grand John Lee, et bien sûr Randy Brecker. C’est donc une posiXon très étrange, mais nous allons le faire! .”

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Le guitariste Julian Coryell (avec Gerry Brown derrière lui) – photo par David Schwartz

Un grand moment de la soirée est venu à l’ouverture du deuxième set. Julian a commencé par jouer sa guitare acousXque. Sa brillante version de “Bolero de Ravel” était terriblement belle dans son exécuXon et rappelle étrangement le style de son père; Et la touche personnelle de Julian ce soir-là a montré le passage de la torche proverbiale de l’héritage de son père?

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La soirée était remplie d’une incroyable musicalité et de l’affecXon mutuelle que tout le monde avait pour Larry Coryell et sa musique. J’a^ends avec impaXence le 2 juin 2017 et la sorXe du dernier album enregistré du père et du fils ensemble. Peut-être que je vais vous voir là-bas. Je suppose que l’un des membres de l’audience était correct ce soir-là quand il a crié avant le début du concert d’hommage, “Longue vie å Larry Coryell!”

(Toutes les photographies par David Schwartz)

(Source primaire: h/p://www.agendamag.com/larry-coryell-tribute-blue-whale-stroll-memory-lane/)

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Larry Coryell Tribute at the Blue Whale: A Stroll Down Memory Lane http://www.agendamag.com/larry-coryell-tribute-blue-whale-stroll-memory-lane/ http://www.agendamag.com/larry-coryell-tribute-blue-whale-stroll-memory-lane/#comments Tue, 11 Apr 2017 05:52:08 +0000 http://www.agendamag.com/?p=6325 The Blue Whale in Downtown L.A. is known for organic music, featuring a variety of styles such as fusion, contemporary jazz, new age, and those that thrive in a cozy, ambient atmosphere. Saturday, March 25, 2017, from 9:00 PM to 11:45 PM was filled with the essence of Larry Coryell, […]

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Poster for Tribute Concert (Artwork byFirsttakepr.com)

The Blue Whale in Downtown L.A. is known for organic music, featuring a variety of styles such as fusion, contemporary jazz, new age, and those that thrive in a cozy, ambient atmosphere. Saturday, March 25, 2017, from 9:00 PM to 11:45 PM was filled with the essence of Larry Coryell, and I had never seen this intimate venue so packed. The tribute concert was spearheaded by Larry’s surviving son Julian, who proved to his father’s fans, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Following the memorial of Larry Coryell (which occurred earlier that day) the concert was to be a celebration of the man and his music. The original lineup was to include Julian Coryell on guitars, Bunny Brunel on bass, Brian Auger on Piano and B3 organ (Auger took ill that night and was subbed by keyboardist/organist Matt Rohde); and drummers Gerry Brown the first set, and Andy Sanesi the second set.

The song list was filled with some of Larry Coryell’s greatest compositions. Julian played flawlessly those songs, which included the following: “Spaces Revisited,” “Sink or Swim,” “Treats Style,” “First Things First,” “Low Lee Tah, “After Later,” “Bird Fingers,” and “Good Citizen Swallow.” As spirited as those performances were, the show was further commemorative of the fusion style with two tunes by the late, great fusion/soul drummer Alphonse Mouzon, who passed away earlier this year. The ensemble performed Mouzon’s “The Cover Girl ” and “Poobli”; and early in the second set, Julian Coryell and Bunny Brunel did a duet by René Thomas called “Renée’s Theme.”  This was a famous duet originally performed by Larry Coryell and John McLaughlin from the album Spaces.

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Guitarist Julian Coryell with Bassist Bunny Brunel (Photo: David Schwartz)

It really sounded like Larry was here tonight, because Julian plays exactly like his father.” – Bunny Brunel.

A big highlight of the evening came at the opening of the second set. Julian set the stage, spotlit and seated, as he played a lone acoustic guitar. His brilliant version of “Ravel’s Bolero” was hauntingly beautiful in its execution and eerily reminiscent of his father’s style; and Julian’s personal touch that evening helped to pass on the proverbial torch. So what’s next concerning his father’s legacy?

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Guitarist Julian Coryell

The question that is in front of me is . . . ‘Is this a one time thing or do we keep it going?’ We’re going to come back here in June with the new ELEVENTH HOUSE. It’s very intense for me. We made a new ELEVENTH HOUSE record a year ago. And I had no way of knowing that it would be the last record that we would make together. But that record is going to come out June 2nd I believe. And it will feature new compositions by my father, by Alphonse Mouzon, by the great John Lee, and of course Randy Brecker. So it’s a very strange position, but we are going to do this!” – Julian Coryell Moments Before the Final Song of the Concert.

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The evening was filled with incredible musicianship and the mutual affection everybody had for Larry Coryell and his music. I look forward to June 2, 2017, and the release of this father and son’s final recorded album together. Maybe I’ll see you there. I guess one of the audience member’s was right that evening when he shouted before the tribute concert began, “Long live Larry Coryell!”

(All Images Photographed by David Schwartz)

En Français: http://www.agendamag.com/le-larry-coryell-hommage-blue-whale-jazz-club-une-promenade-de-souvenirs/

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The 89th Academy Awards Was Full of Surprises! http://www.agendamag.com/89th-academy-awards-full-surprises/ Mon, 27 Feb 2017 07:51:25 +0000 http://www.agendamag.com/?p=6274 It seems the 89th Academy Awards was full of surprises.  Nobody can complain about the lack of diversity this year!  Compared to the number of minorities (particularly African-American nominees) to non-minority nominees, I have never seen so many holding gold statues – though quite deserving.  It was predicted that La […]

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It seems the 89th Academy Awards was full of surprises.  Nobody can complain about the lack of diversity this year!  Compared to the number of minorities (particularly African-American nominees) to non-minority nominees, I have never seen so many holding gold statues – though quite deserving.  It was predicted that La La Land was going to sweep, and it did, winning several awards, Best Score, and finally Best Actress.  But the biggest surprise was the final category, Best Picture.  Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway presented and (Faye) called out the wrong winner; probably the biggest, most embarrassing blunder in the history of the Academy Awards.

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La La Land and the Acceptance Speech

Seems like 2017 is filled with public humiliations.  Remember the Super Bowl and Mariah Carey?  Or what about the Grammy’s with Adele forgetting her words and having to start a song over again on national TV. And I thought Steve Harvey (2016) calling the wrong Miss Universe was bad enough.  But to have to give back an Oscar for the most coveted category as Best Picture . . .  There are simply no words.  And the Oscar mistakenly went to La La Land when it should have gone to Moonlight.

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La La Land was mistakenly awarded the Oscar for Best Picture, but the Card says Moonlight is the winner.

Let’s talk about the Matt Damon roast. At first I found it funny when Host Jimmy Kimmel gave his acerbic banter by making fun of his acting in his latest film.  Matt Damon tripped Fallon early in the show.  It all seemed lighthearted until Damon came on stage with Ben Affleck, and was announced only as Affleck’s guest.  When Damon tried to announce the nominees, Jimmy Fallon was conducting the “wrap-it-up” music loudly.  It actually looked like Matt Damon was legitimately upset as indicated by his outburst.  It was obvious the industry was paying him back for his recent political musings.  Mel Gibson didn’t escape a backlash early in the show either.  Speaking of politics . . . it appeared as if every non-American chimed in on the Muslim immigrant ban by President Trump. Jimmy Kimmel even did a spoof about Trumps lack of tweets during the award show.  But the presenters, winners, and seemingly anybody who held the microphone for more than a minute used it as an opportunity to point out their political view. Why not . . . they had 25 million captive viewers.

Moonlight - Best Picture Emma Stone - Best Actress Viola Davis - Best Supporting Moonlight - Best Screenplay Casey Affleck - Best Actor The "La La Land" Mistake Moonlight - Best Picture Emma Stone - Prod. Still Zootopia - Poster

See the complete list of winners below.

BEST PICTURE
Moonlight

BEST ACTRESS
Emma Stone, La La Land

BEST ACTOR
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis, Fences

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

BEST DIRECTOR
Damien Chazelle, La La Land

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Zootopia

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Moonlight

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Manchester by the Sea

BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
“City of Stars,” La La Land

BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
La La Land

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Salesman, Iran

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
O.J.: Made in America

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
La La Land

BEST FILM EDITING
Hacksaw Ridge

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Jungle Book

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
La La Land

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

BEST SOUND MIXING
Hacksaw Ridge

BEST SOUND EDITING
Arrival

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIR STYLING
Suicide Squad

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
The White Helmets

BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
Piper

BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
Sing

 

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Let There Be Light http://www.agendamag.com/let-there-be-light/ Mon, 13 Feb 2017 06:33:50 +0000 http://www.agendamag.com/?p=6260 The quest for perfect skin leads many a beauty junkie to seek all manner of treatments, from deep chemical peels to magic formulas that promise to give that ‘maybe we’re born with it’ glow in a single swipe. And with beauty companies from every corner of the globe promising life-changing […]

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The quest for perfect skin leads many a beauty junkie to seek all manner of treatments, from deep chemical peels to magic formulas that promise to give that ‘maybe we’re born with it’ glow in a single swipe. And with beauty companies from every corner of the globe promising life-changing results (but rarely delivering), it’s easy to become overwhelmed. If only it was a simple as flipping a switch…

Maybe it is.

Light Therapy is a regular tool in a professional’s arsenal. Using LED and Infrared therapy isn’t new. But it’s taken a while for the devices to root firmly into the market. The reason is simple: despite the wide range of consumer tools, the price point (Quasar can run $500+) might cause one to pause. Plus, there’s the understandable hesitation about whether such a pricey device is actually effective.

If you talk to a pro, chances are they’ll tell you it’s a worthy investment. According to Skin Therapist Jennifer Christie, a little light therapy can go a long way to clear the way for actual healing with troubled skin. Christie is a fan of the ‘red’ light therapy, which specifically targets inflammation. “I concentrate it directly on the affected area.” she says, “that way I can see the skin change and determine what it needs to heal.”

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Light therapy uses photon and infrared technology to penetrate the dermis. Different colors serve different purposes. For specific acne treatment, blue light will kill p-acnes bacteria. Both yellow and red target inflammation, and an indigo infrared boost goes even further for deeper penetration to heal from within.

Light therapy, like all good skin care regimens, requires consistency. It’s folly to think that one 20 minute session will cure all your woes. Christie prefers to work with the skin by ‘touch’ and use the light whenever the skin needs it. “I like to assess what’s happening with the skin first, before jumping in and recommending light therapy right away.” Christie is a huge fan of moderation, even with light therapy. “You can play with all of your toys in the quest for good skin. Maybe just not play with them all at once.”

jennifer*Jennifer Christie is a licensed Esthetician, with specialized training under Arcona Devan, Epicuren, Skin Medica, PCA and Skin Script. She currently operates in Sherman Oaks, California*

 

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NAMM 2017 – A Lot for Women this Year! http://www.agendamag.com/namm-2017-a-lot-for-women-this-year/ Sat, 04 Feb 2017 05:13:17 +0000 http://www.agendamag.com/?p=6194 I have been attending the NAMM show for years, way before it started exhibiting in Anaheim. And I have to admit that it has always seemed a testosterone-heavy event—very few women; mostly male engineers, male rockers, instrument manufacturers, and gear galore. My visit every year included a few booths that benefited […]

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I have been attending the NAMM show for years, way before it started exhibiting in Anaheim. And I have to admit that it has always seemed a testosterone-heavy event—very few women; mostly male engineers, male rockers, instrument manufacturers, and gear galore. My visit every year included a few booths that benefited me such as Ilio (samples), orchestrating programs (Finale, Sibelius, etc.), flutes, ProTools, microphones; and one year I even purchased a discounted music stand light which I still use to this day. But NAMM this year was a little different. Still filled with wall-to-wall gear, accessories, instruments, and even a few celebrity sightings (Stevie Wonder, George Benson, and others); this was a very special NAMM for women.

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George Benson at the NAMM Show (Photo: Robert Fisher)

First of all . . . this is an unprecedented year, where more women performed on the stages of NAMM, there were women workshops, and meet and greets; but most importantly, recognition for women musicians, engineers, and more at award shows such as the She Rocks Awards, which I would like to highlight.

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Lita Ford & Nita Strauss at She Rocks event January 2017

The She Rocks Awards honored 13 outstanding women: Lita Ford, Ronnie Spector, Shirley Manson, Esperanza Spalding, Monique Boyer, Rebecca Eaddy, Beverly fowler, Lisa foxx, Charyn Harris, Karrie Keyes, Tracy Leenman, Dani Markman, and Leanne Summers. I attended the awards the evening of Friday, January 20, 2017. It was a spectacular show of excellence in the areas of production, the performances, and multi-media. All the recipients were inspiring to watch and to listen to. Here are some of my highlights from that special evening.

Esperanza Spalding: Inspire Award (Multi-Grammy Award-Winner Bassist) and Her Acceptance Speech

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Esperanza Spalding (Photo: Courtesy of She Rocks Awards)

“ . . . Thanks to every woman here who does not raise an eyebrow when she sees a woman playing [music]. A trail has been blazed. What does it mean to be a woman treading that path that has been opened by these courageous pioneers? What do we bring when we become a CEO, a producer, a bandleader, a studio owner, the singer the bass player, the writer, the publishing rep, the A&R rep? What do we bring as women? How do we not become the characters that we have been so oppressed by when we get a little power, a little opportunity? You know there’s something different here. It’s more than how we put out the notes; I think it’s something deeper. We intrinsically understand that what we create lives in this world. It walks. It breathes. It affects the world. What we do with what we create from our body with our notes, our lyrics, our decisions; the way we treat our employees, the contract that we sign, the laws [for which] we advocate—they [our creations] live in this world. We know that intrinsically. And perhaps the women here tonight . . . all of us can offer to the men and to each other a reminder that we’re all creators. What we make, the choices that we make, and what we create, creates the world around us. They have lives. They can change lives. They can destroy lives. So let’s remember to be good parents and foster what we create—to create life, inspire life, and create opportunities for men and women.”

Charyn Harris: Motivator Award (Founder of MuszEd and serves as Conductor of Music Programs for A Place Called Home) and Her Acceptance Speech

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Charyn Harris (Photo: Kaylene Peoples)

“Growing up, my parents hoped that I would have a career in any other sector besides music—as long as I had a job and there were benefits. Becoming a musician was just out of the question. I used to think that I had to ask people for permission; but one thing that I learned is those who are dissatisfied with their choices are the first ones to discourage us from reaching our full potential. If we’re seeking approval, we’ll just listen to anything; we need to stop that. We don’t need approval or permission. There will be mistakes. There will be failure, but without mistakes and failure, you can’t reach success—it’s part of the process. And fear is only a word; and words only have the power that we give them . . . so never let a word stop you. Someone once said to me, ‘a drop of rain that falls on a piece of marble in the same place will eventually make an impression.’ Let’s be that drop of rain!”

More highlights.

Beverly Fowler Shirley Manson Sarah Command Rebecca Eaddy Christine Devine Kerrie Keyes

(Images Courtesy of She Rocks Awards)

There were so many things for me to do this year at NAMM. Aside from the plethora of great entertainers and product demonstrations, something about this year just seemed more welcoming. I even hit my bulleted list of must-dos. I found a great gear bag for my main instrument, and gave in and finally purchased those inner ear monitors (Westone) I’d been coveting for years. I even stopped and listened to some of the musicians that were featured at the exhibitor’s booths. But in spite of all the new additions at NAMM this year, I still managed to get some rock musicians autographs. After all, everybody knows why we come here year after year!

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NAMM 2017 Autographed Postcards from Marten Anderson, Michall Devin, Steve Di Giorgio, Bjorn Englen (Photo: Kaylene Peoples)

Final thoughts . . .

Ronnie Spector: The She Rocks 2017 “Legend Award” (Multi-Grammy Award-Winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee) and Her Acceptance Speech

Ronnie Spector at She Rocks event January 2017
Ronnie Spector at She Rocks event January 2017

“Never stop believing in your dreams. Be yourself. Don’t be anyone else. It’s very important. I always say I’m not better I’m just different. If you don’t love it, don’t do it, it will break your heart. Rock & roll is a disease I had my whole life, and the only chill for me was getting on that stage . . . [she sings] ‘Be my little baby!’ I love it so much. I want to encourage the women out there to keep going. I always tell people sometimes, ‘if you can’t be a superstar or an astronaut, be a pirate.’ Don’t dream so big that you can’t get there. Dream about what you love, and most of all never ever give up control of your life . . . not to your husband, your girlfriends, or your producer . . .”

Check out The NAMM Show 2017 Highlights, photographed by Robert Fisher.

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Independent Beauty http://www.agendamag.com/independent-beauty/ Fri, 20 Jan 2017 14:35:24 +0000 http://www.agendamag.com/?p=6160 The Beauty Industry is packed to the brim with every conceivable miracle broth, super secret ingredient, unparalleled formula and one-pump-cures-all product you can imagine. But that doesn’t stop thousands of entrepreneurs from going back to the drawing board to try and do it even better. The Indie Beauty Expo gives […]

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The Beauty Industry is packed to the brim with every conceivable miracle broth, super secret ingredient, unparalleled formula and one-pump-cures-all product you can imagine. But that doesn’t stop thousands of entrepreneurs from going back to the drawing board to try and do it even better. The Indie Beauty Expo gives them the chance cut out the middle man, and put their wares directly in front of consumers, buyers and distributors.

Now in its second year, the expo breaks away from the traditionally boisterous nature of most beauty conventions. Booths are noticeably neater and thoroughly thought out, with the addition of plants and flowers to set a specific mood. Exhibitors favor their indoor voices with warm smiles and a light touch. The result is a relaxed spa-like environment, which gives shoppers the option to pause and truly consider any given product without feeling pressured to buy. Presenters stand out by sharing stories, ingredient lists, and photographic results.

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Exhibitors are specifically vetted before being accepted at the expo, and it’s easy to understand why. In a frenetic world of social media fame and the fight to push every single product by any means necessary, the expo is a refreshing shift to nurturing products that actually live up to their claims.

The Indie Beauty Expo hosts shows in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas.

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Haute Hijabi http://www.agendamag.com/haute-hijabi/ Wed, 18 Jan 2017 01:10:42 +0000 http://www.agendamag.com/?p=6134 History proves that the waves of change, from traditional standards and beliefs to modern ones, are first manifest in art and expression. None is more true than in the beauty industry, where imagery challenges long held beliefs about skin tones and hair textures. Beauty caught on with people of color […]

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History proves that the waves of change, from traditional standards and beliefs to modern ones, are first manifest in art and expression. None is more true than in the beauty industry, where imagery challenges long held beliefs about skin tones and hair textures. Beauty caught on with people of color in the 90s – with MAC leading the charge to tap into a multi-billion dollar market by satisfying a wide range of skin and undertones.

The change continues with the mainstreaming of Hijabi beauty… specifically Muslim women who are often seen with just their faces, hands, and feet exposed. Gone is the stereotype of kohl-rimmed eyes peeking out from beneath a plain black niqab… now we are regaled with full faces of expertly applied makeup, complete with false lashes and just the right sheen of lipgloss on a full color mouth.

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From Youtube to Instagram, Hijabi Beauties are standing strong and proud in full dress and makeup. It was only a matter of time before mainstream beauty companies caught on. CoverGirl leads the charge by contracting with their first ever Hijabi Beauty Guru, Nura Afia. Presenting as ‘Babylailalov‘ on Youtube, the Sephora employee is known for her soothing voice and light sense of humor. Her makeup application skills are so precise, that commenters often solicit her for advice on the best brands to serve their beauty needs.

Others have gone the clothing route, selling traditional Islamic clothing, head coverings and accessories, all while wearing full makeup and a winning smile. One of the biggest influencers on the fashion side is the Indonesian haute couture designer Anniesa Haibuan. She became the first Muslim designer to present at NYFW ’16. Online-based brands like The Modesta Ink specializes in hand-dyed creations, while Haute Hijab makes clothing and scarves to market around the world. The founder, Melanie Elturk, harnesses the power of social media to encourage customers to link the company to any pictures of them wearing her merchandise. Across the pond in London, the Youtube beauty guru Amena splits her time between reviewing makeup and skin care, selling her Pearl Daisy ‘hoodjabs’ (a hybrid of hijab and hood) and promoting her own line of makeup and false lashes.

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The central thread to all of these endeavors is a distinct pride in being your most beautiful, authentic self. These innovators are unapologetic about their beliefs, and effortless in their style and presentation. This is particularly interesting in an anti-Islamic climate that is fueled with fear and mistrust, in light of international terror incidents in the name of said religion. With the power of mainstream imagery and marketing savvy, Haute Hijabis seek to pull back the curtain and show the beautiful side of a religion that previously left them marginalized and misunderstood in western society.

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Designer Meltem Özbek Introduces “Lady Bird” for Spring/Summer 2017 http://www.agendamag.com/designer-meltem-ozbek-introduces-lady-bird-springsummer-2017/ Mon, 09 Jan 2017 08:20:04 +0000 http://www.agendamag.com/?p=6100 During Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Istanbul, Turkey, October 15, 2017, at Zorlu Center, designer Meltem Özbek presented her Spring/Summer 2017 collection “Lady Bird,” which was inspired by tropical shades and exotic shapes. Meltem Özbek blends her latest collection with silk, denim, metallic fabrics, and an array of other textiles. Wispy […]

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During Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Istanbul, Turkey, October 15, 2017, at Zorlu Center, designer Meltem Özbek presented her Spring/Summer 2017 collection “Lady Bird,” which was inspired by tropical shades and exotic shapes. Meltem Özbek blends her latest collection with silk, denim, metallic fabrics, and an array of other textiles. Wispy silhouettes and sprinkles of the current trends, including off-shoulder sleeves and fashion forward colors – my favorite was the powder blue maxi. A winning combination of “frill meets female” made this show a hit during Istanbul Fashion Week.

(Photo: S. Alemdar)

Playing the “retro” card,  Özbek brought back the spirit of the 80s and modernized the looks. Her collection did not stray from her impeccable feminine silk blouses, well-fitted skirts, and dreamy dresses.  With subtle styling of teased hair and updated, yet vibrant, pastel makeup (and a hint of drama) the focus was definitely on the clothes; creating a fun, upbeat, carefree fashion experience. (Photos by Tim P. Whitby)

Meltem Ozbek - Runway - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul - October 2016
Meltem Ozbek (Photo by Levent Kulu)

Here are highlights from that fashion show.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Meltem Ozbek show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul at Zorlu Center on October 15, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for IMG)

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