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April 20 2014

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Feast On This: Organic Avenue’s Fall Menu

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crystal-rennWith the social blitz of the holidays almost upon us, it’s an apropos time to think about purifying your diet. But if you’d rather not cleanse—or exist on fumes and liquids alone—Organic Avenue’s new autumnal food menu is an appealing alternative. Made from wholesome, local, and seasonal ingredients, the raw dishes are loaded with beneficial nutrients to help detox the body and aid digestion, but thankfully, not at the expense of taste or food-y pleasure. After munching my way through the new arrivals, a few palette-boosting winners emerged: the Roasted Squash and Beet Salad is a generous portion of beta-carotene-rich (and deliciously sweet) kabocha squash along with roasted shallots and earthy fennel. It made for a surprisingly hearty meal that sustained me through the afternoon without sugary, hunger-spiking candy. The side of Roasted Brussels Sprouts was cooked to perfection (not to firm or falling apart) and packed with skin-brightening vitamins C and antioxidants for a burst of energy later in the day. But I could write a love letter to the Japanese Sweet Potatoes: they were delicately whipped and flavored with fermented chickpea miso, chives to boost circulation and Nigella seeds to eliminate toxins. Afterward, I felt entirely satiated but without an ounce of heaviness. For someone who has never been much of a whiz in the kitchen, O.A.’s menu was a vast improvement over take-out or Seamless delivery, and opened my eyes to flavors I didn’t know existed. It’s a holiday temptation worth giving into.

See www.organicavenue.com for more information.

Photo: Vogue Paris

L.A. Beauty Collab: The Doable Detox

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Paleta-Sonya-Dakar-Beauty-DetoxTwo is the magic number for Los Angeles wellness duo Sonya Dakar (skincare kingpin) and Kelly Boyer (executive chef and founder of farm-to-table meal-delivery service Paleta). The pair met while collaborating on charitable events at Dakar’s Beverly Hills clinic and then became each other’s clients. “Sonya keeps my skin looking young and beautiful, and I keep her nourished,” explains Boyer. “We decided, why not put the two together to truly address the complexion?” The fruit of their labor: A shippable two-day, two-pronged Get Glowing! Beauty Detox, which aims to purify and balance—both inside and out.

Dakar contributes products from her newest collection, NutraSphere Detox, which harnesses the power of Marrubium and Buddleja (botanical stem cells that fight free radicals and purge toxins). Included in the face-saving plan: a two-week supply (Dakar says it takes that long to really see results) of Detox Wash, Detox Micro Scrub, and Detox Hydrator. As a bonus, she added two days’ worth of Organic Omega Booster (a moisturizing serum), Daily Face Shield SPF 30, and Perfect Women Multi Vitamins. “It’s not uncommon to break out when doing a juice cleanse,” Dakar explains. “We wanted to keep skin clear during the detoxification process [with an] ingestible and topical approach.”

For her part, Boyer—a health-conscious survivor of late-stage cancer—overnights two days’ worth of tasty cold-pressed juices, “magic milkshakes” (gourmet nut milks), handmade energy bars, bath salts, smoothies bolstered by Dakar’s Ultima Power Protein Powder, and special “boosts” that fuel regeneration and skin repair. The standouts: A pumpkin pie milkshake with antioxidants and nourishing coconut, and prickly pear juice—a blend of healing cactus and cleansing chlorophyll that help keep inflammation at bay. Drink (and wash) up!

Available in L.A. now and nationwide September 1, at SonyaDakarSkinClinic.com and Paleta.com; $229.

Photo: Courtesy of Sonya Dakar and Paleta

Basic Instincts

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kat burki raw beauty

Interior designer turned beauty-brand founder Kat Burki, knows how to dress up a room—both with her keen eye for decor and her signature collection of aromatic candles and soaps. (It all started when Burki created Tuberose-scented soaps and candles to leave as gifts for her clients, which quickly developed a cult following.) Now she’s stripping away the frills and fragrance (along with parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, and dyes) and focusing on high-quality, natural ingredients with her new collection, Raw Beauty. “I’ve always emphasized the usage of raw materials, even as an interior designer,” says Burki. Comprised of four products—hand cream, body scrub, body butter, and a lip treatment—the line is laced with an organic herb blend (consisting of gotu kola, chamomile, arnica, and lavender) designed to soothe, soften, and improve the skin’s elasticity. Even better: All the products smell clean and elegant, not crunchy like other green goods I’ve tried. My personal favorite: the Glossy Lip Treatment. Never a fan of plumping lip glosses (the discomfort that goes hand in hand with the bee-stung look just isn’t worth it), I’m happy to report that Burki’s balm boasts moisturizing vitamin-E, organic beeswax, coconut, and castor-seed oils, along with cinnamon essential oil to subtly pump up your pout (minus the pain). Going back to the basics never felt so luxe.

Available at katburki.com and, later this month, Space NK.

Photo: Courtesy of Kat Burki

Neal’s Yard Gives Us a Boost

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Neal's YardWellness has never been a passing trend for Neal’s Yard—really, it’s at the core of every product the British apothecary-style brand has been dreaming up since opening its doors in London’s Covent Garden neighborhood back in 1981. For years, my own bathroom cabinet has been permanently stocked with an array of the company’s remedies: the Wild Rose Beauty Balm, for wintertime dry skin; the Rehydrating Rose Toner (formerly known simply as Rose Water), for a refresher and sun-sensitized skin soother during the throes of summer; the wonderfully aromatic Seaweed & Arnica Foaming Bath, for serious relief from muscle strains; and the surprisingly effective Beauty Sleep Concentrate, for bouts of insomnia. The brand has already delved into the world of inside-out beauty products, and now it’s supplementing its collection with four new Boosts: Vitamin C Boost with Rosehip for Immunity; an antiaging (and skin-, hair-, and nail-strengthening) Beauty Boost with Frankincense; a Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Boost; and a Super Antioxidant Boost. All are made using 100 percent natural and organic ingredients, and are free of gluten, yeast, preservatives, and synthetic fillers. Considering I could use a boost in all of the aforementioned areas, I’m planning a daily cocktail of supplements starting now.

For bottles with sixty capsules, $21.50 to $29.50 each, see nyrorganic.com

Lip Balm From a Swiss Jardin

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Jardin-des-Monts-a--Fabrice-WagnerMany summers ago, I spent a few months living abroad in Rougemont, Switzerland, at a French-language school. It was a lot like boarding school, set in the Alps. While I didn’t retain much French beyond on y va!, I did return with a Swiss appreciation for all things outdoorsy and natural. So a rush of memories came back when I recently discovered Jardin des Monts, a company based in the Pays-d’Enhaut valley, a district in the foothills of the Swiss mountains that’s stocked with top-notch spas such as the Gstaad Palace. Founded by horticulturalists Charlotte Landolt and Laetitia Jacot, the range includes herbal teas, fruit- and herb-infused syrups, and wild-crafted skincare goods, all made with 100 percent organic plants and botanicals grown in the lush pastures that surround an eighteenth-century chalet the duo restored in 2006.
JDM-Edelweiss-Baume-LevresA favorite in the collection is the Edelweiss Lip Balm, a magical formula that’s intensely hydrating yet non-sticky in texture, composed of an edelweiss herbal tincture, chamomile, healing beeswax, and cold-press plant oils, including sunflower, apricot, lavender, and rose geranium. Thanks to its nourishing capabilities, the lip balm works especially well as an overnight lip treatment to rid dry skin, or as a matte base. While it’s hard to find the line in the States, you can pick it up online or, better yet, in person. The founders allow full-day visits to their idyllic headquarters, which include a tour of the gardens and pastures, where a flock of goats roam (love!), and a lunch made with seasonal ingredients and goat cheese. On y va, indeed.