While Manhattanites grudgingly haul themselves onto Jivamukti's mats or strap themselves into a Pilates machine, their L.A. counterparts are taking a more unorthodox approach to fitness. Crunch L.A. in West Hollywood is appealing to the stars (celestial, not Hollywood) with Darryl Gaines's new "Astro Ride" spinning class. Each session combines astrological-chart readings, constellation video projections, and strenuous spins in an attempt to, as Gaines puts it, "harness the force of the planets." For those left stranded after the Est wave ebbed, Crunch has also unveiled "Attitude Adjustment." Featuring guest speakers and creative-writing assignments designed to help "break through mental blocks and negative beliefs," instructor Doug Sharp's class is conceived as a motivational tool -- with strength training and aerobics to tone your muscles while you . . . think. No word on whether writing a screenplay treatment counts as homework.
It's Oscar time, which means Tinseltown is readying itself for primping, parties -- and goodies galore. Cosmetic companies get in on the action by setting up camp in hotel suites, offering products or treatments to stars heading to the awards show. This year, Bobbi Brown (which has beautified starlets like Minnie Driver in the past) is offering customized makeup palettes to its glam clientele. Each palette will be filled with the star's choice of products, including foundation, blush, and lipstick. And for those of us not walking the red carpet, the palette -- empty and waiting to be filled with colors of your choice -- is now available for $22.50 at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman.
Visitors to Beverly Hills have a new reason to avoid the freeway and stay in their hotels: a spate of ultra-pampering spa treatments. The Four Seasons has just opened a luxe spa, which, in typical Hollywood style, features massage tables equipped with DVD players below the neck cradle (pictured above), allowing clients to watch soothing scenes of waves and beaches as they are kneaded into an alpha state. Not surprisingly, we hear some type-A locals have been smuggling in their latest rushes. At the Peninsula Beverly Hills, the in-house spa now offers a "silver ion mask" facial to its golden clientele. A damp cloth infused with silver is placed over the face, which purportedly draws on the skin's magnetic charge to relax muscles and reduce wrinkles and inflammation. Just don't try to lift it out of the spa and into a pawn shop. The Regent Beverly Wilshire is taking the spa theme in a new direction, offering clients treks into the area's canyons. So you can actually walk in L.A.?
Editor's Pick: Chanel No. 5 Hair Mist
Give those pulse points on the wrists and behind the ears a rest -- the latest place to harbor your perfume is in your coif. Next month, Chanel will introduce No. 5 Hair Mist, the classic scent delivered in a spray that doesn't dry out your hair or affect color. Chanel calls it a "weapon of seduction," but it's a boon for those who don't want to wash their hair every day, working to get rid of smoke and other telltale scents from the night before. Now, that's a French concept if we've ever heard one ($25 at Bloomingdale's, Barneys New York, and Chanel Boutiques).