Browsing Tag

glamour

Britney Jean
Posts, Reviews, Travelog

Oh baby baby: Britney Spears in Vegas

The first thing you notice when you go to see Britney Spears’s live Vegas show is the young-but-getting-slightly-older fans queuing up for the best standing-room-only tickets hours before the show.  From all accounts this is a nightly occurrence.  I, on the other hand, was enjoying the fine dining and wine Vegas has to showcase–but that’s another story.

In fact Piece of Me still draws the same crowd it’s just that the girls have grown up a little and they’re in their 20s and early thirties (at a stretch). They’re still squishing into tight little dresses barely covering their bottoms and they’ve learnt how to walk in their massive heels.  (Don’t get me wrong, there are still young girls and their parents … and the likes of me).

Like all the other shows around Vegas Britney is telling a story.  And that’s exactly what it was–a show. I was expecting a concert. At a concert you expect the act to interact with the crowd.

With all the glitz, staging & lighting of a Vegas residency the only thing missing was Britney herself. I heard that the show is somewhat disappointing and she merely goes through the motions as she sings and dances her way through the night. The night we were there that statement wasn’t entirely true. This night she danced her way through popular numbers, strutting down the stage and running backstage for her many costume changes.

Piece of Me is well choreographed and executed, has all the bells and whistles in terms of lighting & effects, and Britney’s stamina is admirable.

But with all the glitz, staging and lighting of a Vegas residency the only thing missing was Britney herself. It’s hard to sing and dance–especially when you’re dancing with your all–but I thought I was going to see Britney sing. Or did I think I was going to see her perform?

Perform she did. Sing she did not. And that was disappointing. You didn’t just notice it for one or two moments, you noticed it over and over again. There were times when her moves were such that she could not have possibly been singing, and she didn’t make an effort to cover that up.

And she didn’t really interact with the audience. All we really got was a “Hello Vegas”. I wanted more. I wanted to hear from her, to have a chat, to get to know her a bit better–to get a piece of her.

But maybe Britney’s not ready to give us a real piece of her. I think Britney is trying to tell us something.

Britney was the epitome of success with hit after hit and teenage girls crying at the sight of her long before we even knew who Taylor Swift was. She was the original.

Piece of Me seems to be a tongue lashing, a message not by way of a song or an album but a Show. She’s reminding us what fame has done to her. We’re shown images of her career at the height of her popularity yet most of those successful songs were not on the playlist. Instead she chose songs like Piece of Me and Circus to tell her story. I wonder if anyone noticed?  Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t depressing, there were good songs too.  A highlight for me was Iggy Azalea up on the big screen duetting Pretty Girls with her.  Having said that it did seem that Iggy was more “present” than Britney.

She may have been down but she’s not out. She may prefer to ask her fans to come to her instead of touring around the world but she’s definitely changed. We changed her. Fame changed her. And for a while the world turned on her. Good for her as she has the last laugh because we’re lapping her up once again as she plays to packed shows, night after night, week after week. She deserves it, no one deserves to have a meltdown let alone one so public.

I’d recommend going to see Britney. I’m not sure if she’s going to sign on as there’s talk she may stop soon.  The Show is worth it–especially if you’re a fan. Just go to enjoy her perform, don’t expect her to sing.

Hit me Britney one more time.

xx It Started in LA xx

Vibiana
Posts

School Charity events 90210 style

There are two trends starting to emerge in the titles of my posts: “90210 style” and “Hollywood”.  This one is definitely 90210 style.

I have to fess up. It’s Spring break & the kids and I are away for a week. So I thought I’d pull up an old story idea from our school’s Gala Event last month.

I posted a few pics on Instagram and references to the evening if you were following along at home.

The venue was stunning…Vibiana in Downtown LA.  A former catholic church the designers had captured its essence and re-purposed it without fail. While the venue was stunning not many people venture downtown and I see why; it was a bit of a trek.pp

It was a fun night though, always interested in meeting the families from school–especially when you hit a jackpot and meet someone you’ve heard a bit (ok a lot) about.

One of the highlights of my night was seeing–and being at the same event as a mega-star A-lister & her spunky hubby.  She looked truly stunning and was just “one of us”.  I was a little disappointed Our English rocker wasn’t there but at the same time I wasn’t really expecting to see him.  Of course part of the fun of the night for me was looking around the room to see who else you could spot that you didn’t already know were parents at the school (there were quite a few).

Apart from some of the jewels hanging off some of the very elegant women (yes I did look around for their bodyguards) the obvious thing to talk about was the amount of money raised.

As usual at many of these events when you’re trying to catch up with people it’s hard to hear what’s going on.  They didn’t give us long to chat before the proceedings were underway.  I don’t know how much the American Idol final tickets went for nor the Vegas package featuring tickets to Rod Stewart and Brittany Spears or the five-night New York “experience” featuring first-class accommodation donated by one of the families plus tickets to Dr Oz and Saturday Night Live and; The Late Show tickets.

They finally got my attention when a Golden Retriever puppy came out.  I have to say I was a little shocked that a puppy gets auctioned off.  Too often dogs are purchased by families giving no thought to the concept that a dog is for life.  It’s a pretty big gamble that a family is going to want a dog let alone pay big bucks for it.  But, it’s something they do every event so I guess the word spreads (but you still have to hope someone in the community is in the market for a dog). As it was there were rumours the highest bidders changed their mind and donated the money and the runners-up got the dog.

Anyway, the reason I bring up the auction is not really all about questioning the dog but to mention the biggest money spinner of them all: a private dinner with the headmaster.  That’s right (??!) One dinner was available catered by the owners behind the fabulous “Lemonade” but three were sold for the grand total of … (are you ready?)

$13,200 each.

They made $39,600 from auctioning dinner with the headmaster.  People were buzzing the week later with news of the money raised; people were questioning why on earth they’d need a private dinner with the headmaster or what they had to get off their chests to warrant the need to secure the winning bid.

Personally I think it was a donation–albeit a very large one.  Two of the three families are Hollywood celebrities and I can’t imagine them needing to get too much off their chest.  I think it was meant to be a nice gesture to make the headmaster feel popular and wanted.  Might I add he is an extremely charismatic guy so I’m sure the dinner wouldn’t be boring.

It’s funny how all the amazing prizes and opportunities are put before us but the biggest winner is the simplest prize of all.  A bit like life really; despite living among the rich and famous it’s the simple things that are still the best.

Apart from setting eyes on the big A-lister two surreal things happened to me that night that to make the night worthwhile. One was when a former Felicity co-star & I were waiting outside for our respective Ubers. I don’t know how the conversation started but it ended with me trying to get him to pronounce our surname with gusto in an Australian accent. It took at least 20 goes & we were cracking each other up (perhaps you had to be there).

The next was ending up at some actor’s house (I didn’t recognise him but I did get the ok to post a selfie & a pic of his view on Instagram) when we met up with Mr H’s workmates at an awards night after-party. Despite having no idea who he was like I said to him, who cares? he must’ve been doing all right thanks very much because his Hollywood Hills pad with views over Hollywood was pretty amazing. How do I land me that gig? I tried to see if he knew anyone who might sign up my Blog for a sitcom but I can’t remember what he said. (Besides I’m waiting for Chuck Lorre &/or some parents at school that are the creators of a mega-successful sitcom).

Yes I was smashed, yes we’d landed in Hollywood & yes we’d only just been to the Golden Globes after party but I never expected my simple normal life to have a chapter like this in it. So forgive me if I frequently have to re tell the story to make it seem real then pinch myself to make sure it isn’t a dream after all. I joked about stuff like that happening when we moved. It we never, ever expected half of those things to come true. Yet here we are.

I heart LA.

xx It Started In LA xx

PS: A little “where are they now?” Felicity trivia for you:
http://earlynerdspecial.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/where-are-they-now-felicity-edition/

BHH
Fact or Fiction, Posts

Fact or Fiction: Beverly Hills was named after the Beverly Hills Hotel

I’ve got an appointment to check out my much-visited Beverly Hills Hotel next week so in that vein here’s this week’s Fact or Fiction.

 

Meanwhile, the answer to last week’s Fact or Fiction.

I met Robbie Williams at our local Starbucks.

Clearly everyone is starting to get the hang of this game and is starting to get the picture that we’re being exposed to some crazy scenarios. Yesterday my daughter and I were on our way home from a doctors appointment and we witnessed a very “possessed” pap clearly with his eye on his prize.  It’s everywhere here you just have to know what you’re looking for and be out and about to see it.  (Actually I think it was the same pap who told me I looked like “someone” the other week at my favourite restaurant.)

I digress … again …

66.67% of you thought that I had met Robbie (my wildcard) at our local Starbucks and 33.33% of you thought it was made up.

Well… only 33% of you were right.  Sadly I didn’t meet Robbie at our local Starbucks.  I don’t think he lives in LA anymore.  Bugger because he only lived up he road and apparently was often spotted at my local Starbucks so there was a chance I could’ve very easily bumped into him.

In fact, what spurred this Fact or Fiction on was a very vivid dream I had where I was coerced (by Robbie himself) into ‘fessing up that he was my wildcard celebrity shag.  I woke up in a cold sweat.

Enough dreaming, happy weekend & happy voting!

xx It Started In LA xx

 

NP Elle Beauty
Posts

Top four make-up trends for Spring 2014

Put your best face forward

Those of you that know me well might be thinking, “What does Gwen know about Spring 2014 Make-up trends?”  Well you’re right, except that if you follow me on Facebook &/or Instagram you might have seen my pics at the recent Napoleon Perdis / Elle Beauty Trends event as a VIP guest (shameless event-drop!) here in Hollywood.

It’s true I never really did the whole make-up thing.  I subscribed to the “natural look” long before it was invented.  And mine was more the vintage natural look rather than today’s drop-dead gorgeous natural look.

Frankly I’m not sure why I never really got into make-up.  I would sit for hours watching mum put her make -up on as I was growing up starting from when I was really young.  I remember her favourite shade vividly when I was little was green.  Very Charlie’s Angels.

My mum sent me on a deportment course where we were taught how to apply make-up (and yes walk and pluck eyebrows).  This was a big call because we were living in FNQ at the time  (Far North Queensland for you readers outside Australia and land of the thongs–ahem, flip flops).  When we returned to Melbourne from FNQ she took me on the obligatory trip to the Clinique counter at Myer to once again learn how to apply make-up, stock up and look my best.

Yet it didn’t stick.  Until now.

I was treated to a make-over session by Napoleon Perdis just before Christmas last year and I marvelled at how little make-up was used to make me look (& feel) a million dollars.  Yes, I asked for the natural look (to continue my perpetual fear of all things make-up).  Baby steps peoples, baby steps.

I was also surprised as to how much prep work went into creating my look and provide tone and creates angles on your face which were invisible to those looking but made all the difference in the world.  They’re so bloody clever!  So I became hooked, and slowly I started (and am continuing) to get more adventurous with the hues and colours and every excuse to get to Napoleon Perdis’s flagship Hollywood store I don’t hesitate!  But enough about me …

Top four trends

I believe Napoleon has just been over in Australia running a couple of sessions so you have been lucky enough to attend.  If not you’ll have to rely on me.  No drumroll, here are Napoleon Perdis’s top four make-up trends for (our-LA-our) Spring 2014.

  1. Art Pop–a pop of very dramatic colour usually around the eyes (blue, green & purple are your friends not your enemies)
  2. Natural–as the name suggests
  3. White Lines–fabulous look creating white lines around the eyes
  4. Flaming Lips–embracing bold, flaming lips.

My favourite is Natural with a touch of White Lines (I’m going back to see if it will work on me), a pop of colour and finished with Flaming Lips.  Well there’s no rule about not being able to dabble in each and every one!

This post wasn’t meant to be confessions of a make-up shy Princess but I rarely wore lipstick (I thought it made my lips dry) let alone wear anything bright.  I was given “Hara” (a flaming orange that’s to die for) to try and it’s my new go-to colour.  Not bad for someone who rarely wore lipstick or wore it as brown or nude could be.

If you’re in doubt over whether this translates in “real life” take a closer look at the make-up at the Oscars, in fact here’s a run-down of some of the best looks again at NP’s blog.  (I couldn’t agree more with the best look of the night who I gave an honourable mention to for her whole “package” in my own blog).

http://blog.napoleonperdis.com/2014-oscars-top-5-beauty-looks/

http://itstartedinla.com/the-two-things-we-talked-about-in-la-last-week-rain-the-oscars/

It’s always so much better to see what you read in Blogs and in mags translate into the real world and I think that’s what Napoleon Perdis does so well.

Anyway, I’m no Beauty Editor so if you want to see more and learn more about the night check out NP’s very own blog at:

http://blog.napoleonperdis.com/elle-magazine-masterclass/

If you click on the video you’ll be able to see me in the front row (hint: it’s at exactly the 0.27s mark)!  The blog shows examples of each of the looks.

Let me share three things with you I learnt from the night.

  1. Start with mascara.  And add a coat of mascara last.
  2. Apply lipstick from the outside coming in–and don’t forget to go all the way into the “join” of the lips
  3. Add lipliner after the lipstick.

It was such a treat to see Napoleon at work (probably even more so for me because I’ve never appreciated the art of make-up).

A flick of the brush here, a bit of concealer there, contour there, colour here … and voila! you’re transformed into a beauty.  No exaggeration, they make it look so simple.

In fact since I’ve been putting more effort into my make-up my friends have been saying I’m looking good often saying that LA suits me.  Well I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with the fun I’m having here and everything to do with the special things I’m doing to my face.  So thank you Napoleon Perdis!

BTW here is a link to the official pics on the night:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152299782426654.1073741846.22076326653&type=1

These pics are waaay better than the ones I took.

Why not treat yourself?  Even if you’re “good” with make-up there are always trade secrets the Napoleon Perdis team is happy to share.  As Napoleon says, even if you only walk away with one thing it’ll be worth it.  Couldn’t agree more!

Have a good weekend everyone!

xx It Started in LA xx

Psst … the irony is not at all lost on me that I’ve come all the way to Hollywood to be introduced with one of Australia’s best loved brands.  Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!

Beauty editor tip: if your lips are dry from lipstick use a lip scrub (there are how-to recipes on You Tube & Lush does a good one) and get some Lip Service from Napoleon Service, it soothes and moisturises your lips.  Oh, also pop it on before your lipstick.

West Gate, Bel Air
Celebrity, Fact or Fiction

Fact or Fiction: Bel Air

Fact or Fiction?????

Welcome back to this week’s Fact or Fiction.  It’s good to see voting increased by more than 15% this week.  Get on board, it’s a bit of fun.

This week’s item drifts away from me being centre stage to an LA Trivia question.  And the statement is …

Bel Air is a suburb of LA with its own postcode.

 

Thanks to the people who responded to last week’s Fact or Fiction.  The answer to:

Rod Stewart’s son is in my kids’ swim team.

was: Fact.

66.67% thought it was Fiction
33.33% thought it was Fact.

I am unashamedly a Rod Stewart fan.  I remember when I was younger we were on holidays staying at my uncle’s house in Wales.  He used to get The Sun daily and one week it had a Rod Stewart spotlight–a series about him, his life, his loves, his career etc.  Well I was hooked from that minute on.

So, when we turned up at the end of last year to one of the kids’ swimming finals and I glance up at the bleachers and see Rod Stewart–complete with hair and pastels–I did little to stay cool.  I couldn’t take a photo, I wouldn’t go talk to him and I was a mess.  (So much for the motto of staying cool).  I couldn’t get my words out–I was standing a few metres away from the one and only Rod Stewart. Ahhhhhhhhh indeed!

His wife, BTW, is gorgeous.  We did talk to her.  That was surreal in its own way because (apart from being a former famous model herself) she was talking about the upcoming holidays and their plans like they were normal people.  Of course they were–are–but it was totally surreal.

I heart LA.  And that’s how this blog started with simple everyday, surreal stories like that.  I can’t wait for the swimming season to start.  I just hope he’s not in Vegas for most of it!

Answer to this week’s post will come next week as usual.  Happy Friday Australia (and Asia).  UK and Europe you’re somewhere in between so happy weekend eve!

I’ll keep the link up to his Vegas concerts (and others for that matter) in case you want to fly over and see Rod Stewart live in Vegas.  I’m certainly going to try to get there.

http://www.rodstewart.com/events/

xx It Started in LA xx

 

Posts, Reviews

Loving Trina Turk designs

That’s right, I’m loving Trina Turk.  And we’re not talking in a sexual way.

Founded in 1995 by Trina and her husband, photographer Jonathan Skow, as a women’s contemporary clothing line, Trina Turk has evolved into an iconic lifestyle brand, celebrating California style with eleven annual collections of chic women’s ready-to-wear and accessories, plus swimwear, recreation/activewear, a Mr Turk menswear line, and residential décor and textiles. Joining the lineup in 2014 will be innovative footwear, handbag and jewelry collections.

Her stuff is gorgeous and the prints that inspire her ranges are nothing short of stunning. Check out the gorgeous interior of her store (if you look carefully you can see me!).

Trina Turk

Trina Turk’s Palm Springs store (shop!)

Don’t you love these macrame chairs that are featured in this post?  Trina please, please, please can I have one???

I just want one so bad. I didn’t leave empty handed though, I love my my new vintage-inspired ice-bucket? It goes beautifully with my retro drinks trolley.

ice bucket on trolley

Don’t they look like they belong together??

Check out Tina Turk either virtually or find out if she has a shop near you. http://www.trinaturk.com/ (Tip: she doesn’t have one in Australia but she has a few around California. The Palm Springs store is the best though!)

Psst … Tell her I sent you and hopefully enough of you do so she notices me & puts me on her VIP list. LOL.

xx It Started In LA xx

RKOBH
Posts, Soapbox

Parties 90210 style

I started watching “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills” the other day.  Seriously?  I don’t know what to think.  Apart from being hooked I don’t why on earth these kids would subject themselves to “starring” in this show.  I’m sure they think they’re so much better than everyone else and that people want to be them.  (No one is denying they’d like just a little bit of their money).  It’s really sad.  For me it always comes back to, “what do their parents think?”  Are they so far removed from the real world that they think the same way (after all the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree?).

So it got me thinking about my kids growing up in Beverly Hills. Thankfully, we’re not in the flats so our worlds are vastly different and (it feels like) the only real thing we share is a postcode.  Having said that the kids have friends that live there and they seem normal too.

I’ve mentioned that my kids go to an exclusive private school and there are a large number of uber wealthy families there.  The school is a lovely nurturing community that has welcomed us with open arms, both as a family and for the kids.  Not for one minute does this warm welcome feel put on in any way either.  So, to me my reality doesn’t fit with the premise of the Show.

In the episode I watched they were planning a party (one that hardly anyone attended I might add!).  When planning their list they named people from outside their clique “groupers” (pronounced by them groopers–as in “groupies”) yet they were planning to invite them.  I guess they need the groupers as much as the groupers need them? (Groupers are bottom feeders in fish terms lowest on the list, when translated to #RKOBH speak means those who want to get invited to the “cool” parties .  I thought things like that finished in high school, no wonder these girls don’t have jobs.

Recently my son went to a birthday party at the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  It was on Saturday night and the hosts had cordoned off an area for the party guests.

It was a pretty swank affair for Year 8 kids (same in Australia; Yr 9 in UK)–actually it’d be a pretty swank affair for me I have to say.

The party gave everyone lots to talk about and the girls had to decide what to wear: to get really dressed up or play it down a little and just look “nice”.  The party girl wore a designer frock and from all accounts the girls went all out to look glam.  I would’ve loved to have hosted that Red Carpet event for this blog now I think of it.

Luckily for my son “what to wear” wasn’t a big deal for him.  The big deal for us what what on earth do you buy a girl who has everything?  We decided on Pink (by Victoria’s Secret) Body lotion & matching scent plus threw in a packet of Tim Tams with instructions on how to eat them.

Maybe they’re a bit young but I’m sure none of the people at that party were thinking of whether they were an “it” crowd or “groupers” or whether their friends are uber wealthy, slightly wealthy or just rich (or heaven forbid normal!).  Sure, there’s some jockeying of positions and the size of people’s houses get talked about and where they holiday in the summer but I hope these kids don’t make it to future series of “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills”.

Maybe I’m already localised but I’m hoping these kids ham it up for the cameras.  I’m sure they do.  It’s just like none of my friends are anything like the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”.  I think they’re more like Brandon & Brenda, Dylan, Kelly, Donna & Steve.

xx It Started in LA xx

Postscript: I saved this article to draft and went to lunch at my favourite Cabana Cafe at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  Who should walk in but the two “stars” Morgan & Dorothy.  Get out of town.  Too funny.  Only in LA!

Palm Springs
Posts, Travelog, Visiting LA

Palm Springs Heaven

If you’re visiting LA and have a couple of days up your sleeve, seriously consider a trip to Palm Springs, a couple of hours out of LA.

The view of a golf course from the mountain I hiked on.

The view of a golf course from the mountain I hiked on.

How gorgeous and stylish can a desert be?  Really?  Well Palm Springs proves it can be.  It is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  It has its own look and feel: a cross between 1950’s/1960’s vintage glamour and a classic movie set.  Those coffee-table books you see depicting that quintessential California style brings images of Palm Springs to the forefront of your mind don’t just pick out the best of the best–it’s all like that.

A weekend feels like a week and the feng shui–with the mountains surrounding you, protecting you–brings a sense of tranquility and well-being to the place.  Why aren’t all the rehab clinics here?

Add to that its history as a place where Hollywood’s A-listers came to play and you’ve got yourself a magical recipe of gastronomical proportions.

OK, it probably helps that I was invited by a friend who has the most divine house.  OOzing Palm Springs style I was not only cast as a leading lady in a vintage movie (or Slim Aarons coffee table book) but I was treated to one of the most gorgeous weekend experiences ever.  From sightseeing to shopping, lunches and dinners to hiking and a foot massage thrown in in-between she knew how to host so her guests felt like royalty.

At least I’ve known Palm Springs the luxe destination.  When I return it’ll still be amazing but it makes a difference where you stay.  So, I’m going to save my pennies and stay in one of the many hotels that also look like they’re out of a Hollywood movie.  Maybe by then they’ll be hosting me! Share my blog and let’s see where I can stay!

Check out my Pinterest board for all things Palm Springs & some of the hotel suggestions I’m going to consider for my next visit.

The view from the mountain I hiked on.

The view from the mountain I hiked on.

The view from the mountain I hiked on.

The view from the mountain I hiked on.

Part of the hike trail.

Part of the hike trail.

The country club in Palm Springs.

Escena in Palm Springs.

xx It Started in LA xxx

 

Updated Jan 24, 2014 @ 8:42 (LA time)

BHH
Posts

Pinch me. Now. Before I wake up.

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be living here. In Beverly Hills.  This time a year ago I was blissfully happy living life in Sydney (Australia) with the most fabulous friends and loving the Australian lifestyle.  Yet here I am. Still having fun but surrounded by all things surreal.

Welcome to my blog–It started in LA–where I’ll talk about everything from celebrity to fashion to style to movies to TV to life. (I’ll throw in shopping & restaurants in between).  I’ll poke some fun at myself (because I do some stupid things).  Plus it wouldn’t be me without a soapbox moment.  Please be prepared to join in!

Above all … I’ll share with you the sights, sounds and experiences Beverly Hills, Hollywood, LA and beyond … have to offer.

It all started right here … in LA. Lala land.

xx It Started in LA xx

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