Bella Vida Magazine, Issue 3 Lifestyle Edition

Page 1

Award-Winning Luxury Skincare.

On the Cover: BV Magazine Team CEO & Editor-in-Chief: Erin Schmidt Fashion, Beauty and Entertainment Editor: Charis Michelsen Fashion and Lifestyle Editor: Galina Sobolev

Photographers: Tony Duran, Russell Baer, Mikhail Goldenberg, Daniel Weber, Debra Simmons, Jerry Lexion, Stephen Shadrach, Gina Whiteside, Edward Dose

Stylists: Galina Sobolev, Madison Dixon

Contributing Writers: Angela Legh, Michael McManmon, Madison Dixon

LIFESTYLE edition Mrs. Areva Martin (@arevamartin) Photographer: Russell Baer (@russell.baer) Stylist: Galina Sobolev (@galinasobolev) Jacket: Alex Perry Shirt: Single Dress Hairstylist: Mina Winn Makeup Artist: Veronica Clayborne Nail art: Crystal Nails

Bella Vida Magazine 9454 Wilshire Blvd, PH 37 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 Email: Social: @bellavidamagazine Published and copyright owned by Bella Vida Global, Inc. No unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this publication is acceptable.


Summer Wellness to Get Ready for the Beach


Beauty of the Season


A Taste of the Exotic with Seattle Designer Anna Flowers


Rising Star in Modeling: Lilly Ulrich


Bold & Beautiful Summer Fashion


Athens Fashion Week with Bella Paradise Swimwear




Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder: Disrupting Beauty Norms


The New Living the Bella Vida Podcast


Areva Martin: Challenging the Status Quo through Fashion


Eric Roberts: Hollywood Icon on his incredible career, his 30 year marriage with Eliza Roberts


Georges Tomb: Award-Winning Composer and Concert Pianist


Hollywood Premiere: Tacoma movie


Up and Coming Artists: Kiki


New books to read this summer: By Dr. Michael McManmon


The Pink Pump Affair Gala for Special Needs Network with Areva Martin

FROM THE EDITOR Welcome to Issue 3 of Bella Vida Magazine, Lifestyle edition. In honor of Juneteenth, and in celebration of liberty for all, we celebrate all the advances of Civil Rights, and strides women have made to take the lead and challenge the status quo through fashion, attitude and being true to their own inner voice and passions. This issue we are also celebrating the arts and entertainment with actor Eric Roberts and award-winning composer and concert pianist, Georges Tomb. Thanks to Areva Martin for her graciousness and for being a leader women can aspire to be like that breaks the rules and isn’t afraid to take a stand. Her interview will inspire and enlighten both women and men about how far females have come in society and how we can utilize our sense of style and individuality to stand out proudly. I’d also like to sincerely thank Eric and Eliza Roberts for being so wonderful and kind. And thank you to Georges Tomb for allowing me to interview him all the way from Europe. You can see my entire video interviews with each of these incredible celebrities on our YouTube podcast at I hope you enjoy the issue and all the incredible features. May you be inspired!


Photography by Stephen Shadrach

Harvard Trained

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Results Driven

Community Focused

Practice Areas Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Disability, Race & Gender Discrimination Workplace Disputes and Wage & Hour Claims Sexual Harassment Administrative Law Claims Retaliation & Whistle Blower Claims Special Needs Litigation School-Based Sexual & Physical Abuse Bullying & Harassment Police Misconduct & Excessive Force Reparations & Constitutional Violations

(213) 388-4747


Ready for Summer with Inner Wellness by Charis Michelsen

As we roll into the warmer months, it’s time to start thinking about our skin and being ready to show more of it. A healthy mental and physical approach to being “bikini ready” is always the objective, to which positive lifestyle habits, smart self-care, and gentle technological developments can effectively contribute to. Thankfully, it’s never been easier to step up your wellness and beauty game! When you feel better, you look better, and when you look better, you feel better. To aid this vicious cycle in the right direction, one can start with the beauty inside.


Get blooming Thankfully, there are some delicious ways that make getting top nutrition easier than ever, such as travelfriendly Bloom Greens and Superfoods powder (, which comes in individual stick packets, seven fabulous flavors, and supports gut health, relieves bloating, promotes energy, and is gluten-free, dairy-free, plant based, and sweetened with stevia.

Sprinkle magic To maximize mental productivity while decreasing stress and anxiety, boosting mood and immunity, and protecting the body from freeradical damage, start your day with a tasty Magic Mind Productivity Shot instead of coffee (

Get some clarity To age healthier and increase muscle, brain, and heart health, as well as cellular energy and immunity, manage lifestyle stress, take the dietary supplement Tru Niagen (, a patented form of nicotinamide riboside (NR) that cells readily convert to NAD+. NAD+ is vital to DNA repair and resistance to neuronal stress and can help enhance memory and slow agerelated memory loss.

Sip the night away The long-term consumption of alcohol can lead to anxiety, insomnia, bloating, thinner bones, accelerated aging, a lowered immune system, and weight, memory, and organ inflammation issues, particularly with the liver and heart, and can exacerbate diabetes and even prevent you from being able to orgasm. To celebrate your beautiful life and enjoy healthier special events during the warmer months, or any time of year, try Good + Bar ( an exceptional beverage catering service that creates premier, artisan non-alcoholic cocktails to compliment extraordinary, unforgettable social experiences.


HERE COMES THE SUN by Charis Michelsen

When skin is smooth and even-toned, you feel your most confident. Maintain beautiful skin or reclaim it with cutting-edge treatments such as micro-needling. These treatments involve the use of safe, ethically sourced human umbilical-chord exosomes, which are far more effective than adult human stem cells. They can act as a “fountain of youth” by radically reducing scarring, the appearance of aged skin, and restoring hair loss. Celebrity aesthetician Christine Reed ( works directly with scientists for this specialized treatment, and can travel to your home to perform this nonpareil beauty service. For erasing the appearance of scars or lightened areas of skin, see master skin artist Ilona Malygin, owner of Luna Skin Solution (, who’s set standards in the industry and painstakingly mixes skin-matching pigments for her paramedical tattoo treatments. Ilona’s work creates a profound visual change for her clients’ bodies, as eliminating the appearance of pale surgical scars, scars from accidents or burns, or vitiligo, can be life-altering and personally elevating. To tighten lax skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite, see Cristy at Beauty by Cristy (, as she offers a gentle but effective, state-of-the-art treatment called Cyndermology, a pain-free nonsurgical treatment that stimulates the lymphatic system, improves blood circulation, reduces fluid retention and the appearance of cellulite, and activates fibroblast cells to produce new collagen and hyaluronic acid, to thicken and firm skin tone. 10

Vitamin C boost

BEAUTY of the Season

To amp up your glow, brighten skin, and further clarify your complexion, try Nilceutica’s skin transforming anti-aging Vitamin C Punch Face mask. It delivers a high concentration of fresh Vitamin C to the skin at the proper pH and includes soothing extracts, delicately scented rose petals, and clays, to exfoliate, boost collagen, fight sagging, protect against sun damage, soothe sunburns, and support wound healing.

By Charis Michelsen

Chocolate heaven Massage is more fun with Bodyfornia’s (, heavenly, vegan, multi-purpose skin moisturizing Chocolate Massage Oil, that contains organic jojoba oil, for about five minutes each day or night.


Beauty that

EMPOWERS by Charis Michelsen

When skin is smooth and even-toned, you feel your most confident. Maintain beautiful skin or reclaim it with cutting-edge treatments such as micro-needling. These treatments involve the use of safe, ethically sourced human umbilical-chord exosomes, which are far more effective than adult human stem cells. They can act as a “fountain of youth” by radically reducing scarring, the appearance of aged skin, and restoring hair loss. Celebrity aesthetician Christine Reed ( works directly with scientists for this specialized treatment, and can travel to your home to perform this nonpareil beauty service. For erasing the appearance of scars or lightened areas of skin, see master skin artist Ilona Malygin, owner of Luna Skin Solution (, who’s set standards in the industry and painstakingly mixes skinmatching pigments for her paramedical tattoo treatments. Ilona’s work creates a profound visual change for her clients’ bodies, as eliminating the appearance of pale surgical scars, scars from accidents or burns, or vitiligo, can be life-altering and personally elevating. To tighten lax skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite, see Cristy at Beauty by Cristy (, as she offers a gentle but effective, state-of-the-art treatment called Cyndermology, a pain-free nonsurgical treatment that stimulates the lymphatic system, improves blood circulation, reduces fluid retention and the appearance of cellulite, and activates fibroblast cells to produce new collagen and hyaluronic acid, to thicken and firm skin tone.

Dry Brushing

In addition to Cydermology, dry brush the body using a bath brush with short, stiff bristles for five minutes each day to promote circulation and help combat cellulite, which is thought to be a build-up of fat and toxins in the tissues and linked to hormone changes. Focus the dry brushing on problematic areas, and work your brush strokes toward the heart. Body brushing also helps exfoliate the skin to help moisturizing products absorb better and prevents ingrown hairs. Instead of dry brushing your body, you can gently massage problematic areas, using massage oil, such as Bodyfornia’s (, heavenly, vegan, multipurpose skin moisturizing Chocolate Massage Oil, that contains organic jojoba oil, for about five minutes each day. Slapping the skin also helps to promote circulation. To naturally reduce unhealthy body fat, eat plenty of plantbased protein and foods packed with antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and take the dietary supplement ginkgo biloba, as it may not only improve circulation to your brain, which can help with memory function, it can also improve circulation to your entire body, which can aid in breaking down cellulite. Consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplements. To detoxify the body, add two large handfuls of Epsom salt, which contains magnesium sulfate, to your bath, as this is thought to reduce inflammation and rid the body of toxins. Rinse the salt off of the skin after bathing. For deeper detoxification, visit one of L.A.’s most dedicated and passionate holistic therapists, Osa Wrange of Optimal Health ( in Beverly Hills for healing and purifying colon hydrotherapy treatments. Colon hydrotherapy can reduce headaches, increase energy and vitality, alleviate weight issues, and clarify the skin. It also hydrates the body while reducing toxins and bloating and improves the inner ecology for bacteria and microflora for better digestion to support overall health and well-being. In addition to being a seventeen-year veteran of personalized healing therapies, Osa is also an expert cymedics technician. Cymedic treatments are non-invasive and aid in lymphatic drainage, which can encourage the body’s own waste process and speed up its natural removal. They can also tighten skin, reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks, and increase relaxation. Cymedic treatments are also anti-aging and deliver optimal stimulation to tissue for optimal restoration of cell function, which helps to restore and revive the whole body.



Relax and Reconnect Relaxation can boost your immunity, lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and heart and breathing rate, as well as reduce inflammation and aid in better mental health. Relaxation isn’t an option in maintaining good health, it’s mandatory. To take a mental and physical vacation without going anywhere, book a delightful non-surgical face lift + relaxation massage, that uses the Sculptural Facial Lifting Method, natural products, cupping, and lymphatic drainage, with master bodyworker Constance Miller of Dolce Aesthetics ( This service, which can be performed at Dolce Aesthetics or at your home, office, etc., per your request, includes buccal massage for a deep lift and tension relief, promising plump, glowing, and stress-free skin. To not only feel relaxed but also refreshed, enjoy a skin-pampering La Prairie facial at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills with top La Prairie esthetician Summer Spigno ( Summer employs La Prairie’s insider techniques to invigorate the skin while exclusively using La Prairie products, which are known as “the Rolls Royce” of skincare products. Summer, who has a passion for making people feel beautiful and pampered, generously shared one of her secrets: apply skincare products in a downward motion for lymphatic drainage. After visiting Summer, your skin will look plumper, clearer, and glow for days! For additional peace of mind, visit Maryna Yudina, founder of the Pacific Neurocenter (, who combines life coaching, QEEG brain mapping, and ILF Cygnet Neurofeedback with EEG-guided neurofeedback, to assess and treat a variety of different health concerns, such as PTSD, ADHD, addictions, and depression. She can also help increase one’s personal and professional success through VR brain training.


Anna Flowers Designs Custom Couture @annaflowersdesigns Photographer:Edward Dose (


Anna Flowers Designs Custom Couture @annaflowersdesigns Photography: Gina Whiteside (@pixbygg)


Anna Flowers Designs Custom Couture @annaflowersdesigns


Lilly Ulrich (Cannes, France, 30 May 2024) Meet Lilly Ulrich, the 14-year-old German prodigy setting the fashion world alight. With three significant runway shows under her belt in Cannes, France, Lilly is on an unstoppable trajectory towards modeling superstardom. But where did this journey begin? At the Monte Carlo Grand Prix Formula 1 race in Monaco, where Lilly's father, Marco Ulrich, fortuitously found himself sharing an elevator with esteemed fashion designer and event producer, Andres Aquino, and Kelsie McKenna, a high fashion model and production assistant. In the elevator, Marco shared Lilly's aspirations, showcasing photos of the then 9-year-old standing tall at 5'4", and her unwavering determination to model, despite being bullied for her height at school. Lilly was soon graced with an invitation to model at the illustrious Couture Fashion Week New York, courtesy of Andres Aquino. Lilly was the star of the show, opening for Aquino in a dress designed exclusively for her. That day, Lilly's dream became a reality, and she's been dazzling the fashion industry ever since.


lilly ulrich Lilly continues to grace the stage for designer Andres Aquino at the prestigious Global Short Film Awards Gala. This event, coinciding annually with the Cannes Film Festival, is a celebration of the art of short filmmaking and an opportunity for industry stalwarts, VIPs, celebrities, and international media to mingle. Designer and producer Andres Aquino speaks of Lilly with admiration, "Lilly possesses a unique modeling flair. It has been a pleasure to not only work with her but to also form a close bond with her and her family. I anticipate an exciting future for this remarkable young lady and eagerly await our continued collaboration." The fortuitous meeting in Monte Carlo with Mr. Aquino became a turning point in Lilly's life, a testament to how serendipity can pave the way for extraordinary opportunities. Lilly's remarkable journey has been featured in prominent media outlets including RTL, German TV, Bild and Welt. At just 14, Lilly already stands out on the runway with her striking presence and statuesque height of 6'4". Her supportive parents ensure her safety and well-being as she pursues her modeling aspirations. Lilly's academic brilliance enables her to balance her personal dreams with her educational pursuits. Lilly took to the runway alongside other leading fashion models and international beauty queens at the 9th annual Global Short Film Awards Gala. In recognition of her talent and accomplishments, she was honored with the 2024 Top Model award, presented by Andres Aquino, Emmy-winning actor and producer Vincent DePaul, award-winning actress, filmmaker and recording artist Justina Biosah. This was a memorable experience for Lilly, and she eagerly anticipates the next event.

Discover more about Lilly Ulrich: Instagram: @lilly.ulrich Andres Aquino, Couture Fashion Week NY and the Global Short Film Awards:



Bold & beautiful with Charis Michelsen


Charis Michelsen in Custom Couture by Fashion Drug by Anahit, Beverly Hills


PHOTOGRAPHY: Daniel Weber MODEL, MAKEUP: Charis Michelsen @charismichelsen_official HAIR: @hairbysylvie, @brightonsalonbeverlyhills

Anahit Ghazaryan, Founder and Creative Director of Fashiondrug by Anahit, located in Beverly Hills, offers a reminder to take time away from worries and enjoy pampering yourself with treatments and wearing beautiful clothes and accessories, to fully celebrate yourself. She points out, “How can you be unhappy or upset when you’re looking great?” DRESS: Fashiondrug by Anahit ( NAILS: Katerina Abourched, Founder & CEO of Moka Nail Club ( and TheNailBusinessAcademy.Online


DRESS: Fashiondrug by Anahit ( NAILS: Katerina Abourched, Founder & CEO of Moka Nail Club ( and TheNailBusinessAcademy.Online PHOTOGRAPHY: Daniel Weber MODEL, MAKEUP: Charis Michelsen @charismichelsen_official HAIR: @hairbysylvie, @brightonsalonbeverlyhills



Charis Michelsen in Kaos dress ready for summer days ahead.


Ready for hot summer days and nights with fresh accessories by Caroline Svedbom (, elegant footwear by Claudio Merazzi (@claudio_merazzi_brand), and luxury warm weather styles by Kaos ( DRESS: Kaos ( HEELS: Claudio Merazzi (@claudio_merazzi_brand) EARRINGS: Carolina Svedbaum ( PHOTOGRAPHY: Daniel Weber MODEL, MAKEUP: Charis Michelsen @charismichelsen_official HAIR: @hairbysylvie, @brightonsalonbeverlyhills


Charis Michelsen in Catnip + Seaweed swimsuit


BATHING SUIT: Catnip + Seaweed ( ACCESSORIES: Sif Jakobs ( and A Little & Co. ( NAILS: Katerina Abourched, Founder & CEO of Moka Nail Club ( and TheNailBusinessAcademy.Online PHOTOGRAPHY: Daniel Weber MODEL, MAKEUP: Charis Michelsen @charismichelsen_official HAIR: @hairbysylvie, @brightonsalonbeverlyhills


by Madison Dixon



How California brand Bella Paradise Swimwear is making their mark internationally


WELCOME TO BELLA PARADISE After making waves at OC Fashion Week in Orange County, Bella Paradise Swimwear was invited to participate in the Athens Fashion week in Athens, Greece. We got a behind the scenes look at this amazing fashion show that very few American brands get invited to attend. by Madison Dixon Photography by Athens Fashion Week



Athens Fashion Week promoter’s wanted to include an emerging American Designer in their 2024 runway schedule. They reached out to Kathy Marino of Orange County Fashion Travel Week for submissions. Among several other nominees, Kristyn Goddard, L.A. based owner and designer of Bella Paradise swim and resort wear was selected and awarded the prestigious opportunity to showcase one of her collections in the company of famous Greek Fashion Brands. Goddard said, “I was really excited but very nervous because I didn’t know how my American runway presentation would be received in a foreign country. “ Goddard had travelled to Greece with her California Bronze Collection inspired by the California Coast beach scene in the 1970’s. “I was worried about the upbeat music and the unconventional bouncy walk and smiles I asked of my models. “ After the show Goddard was surprised by the enthusiastic reception she received from the celebrity audience and from some of the famed Greek Designers who made a point to introduce themselves and complement her collection and fun unique runway performance. Bella Paradise is a global on line boutique known for its essential mix and match travel ready pieces. The brand offers a variety of unique swimsuits to wear with complementary cover ups, skirts, pants, shorts, shirts, and jackets. Bella’s swim/resort combinations make beach to street styles easy, allowing to travel more and pack less, while looking and feeling fantastic . Celebrated for its one of a kind prints and iconic sand dusters women shop internationally for this brand loved for its less skimpy, but still sexy, classic, and figure flattering coverage.


AREVA MARTIN Written by Erin Schmidt Photography by Russell Baer

Areva Martin Photo: Russell Baer Stylist: Galina Sobolev Jacket: Eduardo Lucero Ring: TrinaTurk Earrings: Forever 21 30


Areva Martin Coming from the North side of St. Louis, Missouri then graduating from Harvard Law School, this powerful woman has challenged the status quo and taken on tough issues to change the world for the better.

As America’s Advocate for social and racial justice, Areva Martin is courageous and unapologetically authentic and real. We explore how using fashion as self-expression and as an agent of change, she has broken glass ceilings for women.

Erin: “Thank you for joining me today. You have had an impressive career as a Civil Rights attorney. What are your feelings on the current state of civil rights in the United States and how are we making headway in a positive direction?” Areva: “We are in an incredibly important moment for civil rights in America. We know from the history of the civil rights movement in this country that progress is always followed by pushback, and we are certainly experiencing that today. But it's also true that we are in a moment of extraordinary possibility. We have a historic opportunity to realize the vision and work of so many who came before us. I am currently one of the lead attorneys on two major civil rights cases involving events that took place in St. Louis, Missouri and Palm Springs, California. These cases are an effort to right past wrongs and make survivors of some of our most egregious civil rights violations whole again through reparative justice. These are people whose families endured unfathomable loss through the actions of our core institutions – government, religious orders, and universities – whether through the enslavement of their ancestors to build one of our storied universities or the tearing down and burning of people's homes in order to seize and monetize valuable property.

The parties involved today, on all sides, are having hard conversations and engaging in real work to try to agree on a just outcome that will allow my clients to begin to heal, and these are historic cases that could set the tone for moving the country toward healing, too. It is very difficult and challenging work, but I am inspired to continue with it in honor of my mentor, the late Charles Ogletree, who took the first reparations case all the way to the Supreme Court. It is an honor to continue his legacy in the the work for reparative justice, which I believe is the most significant civil rights issue of our era. As someone who grew up in a housing project in North St. Louis, I could not have ever imagined that I would end up graduating from Harvard Law School and being in a position to have a voice on issues of such significance and be in rooms with national leaders, such as Kamala Harris, Maxine Waters and Karen Bass.” Erin: Speaking of pivotal cases, we have seen trials of powerful men for sexual assault in the news recently, particularly given the New York appellate court's overturning of the sexual assault conviction of disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein. What impact will that have on the #metoo movement, and how do these cases relate to the issue of civil rights? Areva: “Standing up for the rights of women has always been part of my legal practice. I have been representing women in sexual harassment, sexual assault and gender discrimination cases for more than two decades. I remember in the early days how difficult it was for women to speak up and the backlash they often experienced when they identified powerful men as sexual predators. Victims' determination to continue speaking out brought about a seismic shift in the way Americans view sexual harassment and sexual assault, and powerful men are increasingly being held accountable. The overturning of the conviction of Harvey Weinstein is incredibly disappointing, but it will not stop the momentum of this movement. (continued next page) 31

Areva Martin Photo: Russell Baer Stylist: Galina Sobolev Jacket: Alexander Wang Earrings: Simone I. Smith

Areva Martin Photo: Russell Baer Stylist: Galina Sobolev Jacket: Alex Perry Shirt: Single Dress Earrings: Eduardo Lucero 32

Areva: (continued) “It is noteworthy that I was once speaking about this exact issue on CNN—the shift in how we view and respond to victims of sexual assault and harassment—and after the interview I was I was actually shamed for the attire I wore on air! I’ve always been a person who challenged traditional norms about how lawyers should dress. I started my career at a corporate law firm and tried to play the game of wearing navy suits and crisp, white Brooks Brothers cotton button-down shirts with a strand of pearls. It never felt true to me. My mother and the bonus aunts I grew up with in St. Louis were all what we would today call fashionistas. They loved fashion, and I learned from the Black women around me that your presentation was everything. Even if you didn’t have a lot of money for clothes, what you did wear should always be impeccable-clean with perfect creases. As a little girl, I loved colors and often wore bright oranges, purples, blues, and yellows. I was best dressed in high school—but I also knew from a young age that in our patriarchal society, a well-dressed fashion-forward woman would be seen as a sexual object and not someone who was super smart or accomplished. I defied those norms in high school, and after a year at that corporate law firm, once I started my own law practice, I traded the blue and gray suits for the bright colorful outfits that were true to me.” Erin: “As a change agent, how do you see fashion intersecting with the work of change? “ Areva: “For so many of us, fashion is entwined with identity. It offers us ways to show affinity with a group, to demonstrate individuality, to have an unexpected impact by turning assumptions on their heads. I love when people who are smashing glass ceilings and subverting stereotypes embrace the power of fashion to make a statement—people like Naomi Osaka and Amanda Gorman, who actually hosted the Met Gala together one year. You see the joy in these young women when they have the opportunity to express their individuality, not just through their work as gifted artists and athletes, but also at a photo shoot or on the red carpet. Fashion can also be a powerful tool for breaking stereotypes and promoting narratives of resilience and empowerment. (cont.)

“Fashion can also be a powerful tool for breaking stereotypes and promoting narratives of resilience and empowerment.” - Areva Martin “There was a moment I will remember always, after the death of Trayvon Martin, when the Black students of Harvard Law—my alma mater, posed for a photo while all wearing black hoodies with the caption, "Do I look suspicious?" These are brilliant, accomplished, hardworking young men who know, all too well, the impact of assumptions and stereotypes around dress and appearance. We spoke a moment ago about the civil rights movement. I think it is notable that people participating in the early marches very intentionally wore their Sunday best. They wanted to show pride and command respect while conveying the seriousness of the moment. I once heard someone comment about that, "Black people also just like to look good," and I loved that observation. I had that in mind 15 years ago when I planned my very first Pink Pump event, which is a signature annual fundraiser for my nonprofit organization, Special Needs Network. And we leveled up the idea last year with our Evening Under the Stars Sneaker Ball, when we kicked off our new Center for Developmental Disabilities. People wore these knockout, absolutely stunning, cutting-edge designs pared with these fly sneakers, and they absolutely loved doing it. It subverted traditional expectations and upended gender stereotypes in the most joyful possible way.” Erin:” I love that idea that fashion has the power to change the world! Our individuality is expressed through how we dress and the image we project to the world. Now shifting gears, tell us about your non-profit, Special Needs Network. (continued) 33

Areva Martin cont.

Erin: “Special Needs Network (SNN) has grown so much in 15 years and delivers some vital services to children and families with special needs in California. What sets SNN apart from other special needs organizations?” Areva: “Special Needs Network is filling a critical need because it is the only nonprofit across the state working at the intersection of social justice and disability rights. I'm incredibly proud of my team. We have grown from a single employee operating from a tiny cubicle in my law firm to approximately 500 diverse, profoundly committed employees operating out of five offices across California. Our work is having a tremendous impact as our programs build skills and create jobs and opportunities for individuals with special needs as a way to provide agency.” Erin: “Such a vital service that is needed by so many children and their families! Thank you for being with us today. Are there any words of encouragement you would like to close on?” Areva: “I think for all of us it is so important to find moments of joy wherever we can in our lives, and that can include finding opportunities to express ourselves through what we wear, or how we wear it. It can be harder to find outlets that bring us happiness in these challenging times, but fashion is always there for us to experiment with and lean into. Those little sources of pleasure can have an impact. They can remind us of who we are, and we should appreciate and celebrate that.” To learn more about Areva Martin and her work, visit:


Areva Martin Photo: Russell Baer Stylist: Galina Sobolev Jacket: Eduardo Lucero Ring: TrinaTurk Earrings: Simone I. Smith

Websites: Social Media: @arevamartin, @specialneedsnetwork On TV: CNN On the Radio: KBLA



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by Angela Legh

Societal constructs have long imposed rigid standards of beauty upon women, pressuring them to alter their appearances to conform to fleeting trends and narrow definitions. Throughout history, women have endured extreme measures in pursuit of these ideals, often at great cost to their health and well-being. Beauty is not a monolithic concept dictated by external forces; rather, it is a deeply personal and intrinsic quality that resides within each individual. It's time for each of us to redefine beauty on our own terms, recognizing and celebrating the unique qualities that make each of us inherently beautiful. 39

THE NOT SO BEAUTIFUL HISTORY OF BEAUTY STANDARDS Looking back at the history of female beauty standards may prompt us to question the practices of past societies. However, when we compare these historical beauty ideals to contemporary phenomena such as teenagers receiving Botox injections, we're confronted with a troubling continuity in the pursuit of perfection. While the methods and substances may vary, the underlying motivation remains the same: the relentless pressure to conform to unrealistic beauty standards. Just as women in ancient times subjected themselves to harmful practices in the name of beauty, today's youth are often influenced by societal pressures and media images that glorify a certain idealized appearance. In ancient Rome, lead-based cosmetics were popular among men and women. Lead was used in various forms, including lead oxide for whitening the skin and lead sulfide for darkening eyelashes and eyebrows. However, lead is highly toxic, and prolonged exposure has the potential to lead to severe health issues, such as lead poisoning. Corsets have been used for centuries to achieve an exaggerated hourglass figure by tightly cinching the waist. While they were fashionable during various periods of history, including the Victorian era, corsets could cause significant damage to internal organs, restrict breathing, and lead to longterm health problems including misaligned ribs and spinal issues. 40

During the Renaissance period, arsenic complexion wafers were used to achieve a pale complexion, which was considered fashionable at the time. These wafers contained toxic ingredients such as arsenic, mercury, and lead, which were applied to the skin to lighten it. Sadly, exposure to arsenic could cause poisoning and even death. Foot binding was a practice in ancient China where the feet of young girls were tightly bound to prevent them from growing larger than a certain size, typically to achieve the ideal of small, delicate feet known as "lotus feet." This practice caused severe deformities, lifelong disabilities, and excruciating pain for the women subjected to it. The practices mentioned earlier were all driven by the societal standards of beauty prevalent in those particular times and places. POSITIVE CHANGE FOR THE FUTURE Fortunately, there is a positive shift occurring in the beauty industry. Ethical companies such as Bella Vida Santa Barbara luxury skincare are leading the way by offering women healthier alternatives that enhance their appearance without sacrificing their well-being or ethical values. In contrast to the harmful practices of the past, Bella Vida Santa Barbara luxury skincare prioritizes ingredients that are safe and beneficial for the skin. Their products are designed to enhance natural beauty while promoting skin health and overall well-being.

By embracing this approach, women can feel confident in their beauty routines, knowing they are not compromising their health or values in pursuit of societal ideals. As more companies follow suit and prioritize health, sustainability, and inclusivity, we move toward a future where beauty is celebrated in all its diverse forms, and women can feel empowered to express themselves authentically and confidently. Beauty is often said to be in the eye of the beholder, a blend of both exterior appearance and inner qualities. A woman may not fit conventional standards of attractiveness yet radiate a beauty that transcends physicality through her kindness and compassion. Conversely, someone conventionally stunning may lack true beauty if their heart is filled with selfishness and vanity. When society begins to measure beauty by the content of one's character rather than superficial traits, we will truly value what is good and meaningful. It's kindness, empathy and integrity that truly illuminate a person's beauty, enriching not only their own lives but the lives of those around them. As we progress toward this understanding, we move closer to a world where genuine beauty is celebrated and cherished above all else. Angela Legh is a best-selling author of the Bella Santini Series.


READY FOR THE RENAISSANCE Georges Tomb, Award-Winning Composer & Concert Pianist

by Erin Schmidt



RENAISSANCE Georges Tomb, Award-Winning Composer & Concert Pianist

by Erin Schmidt

Meet acclaimed composer and concert pianist Georges Tomb, the man behind the piano and the genius who first unveiled his composition "A Memorial Bow," at the illustrious Carnegie Hall on Memorial Day, May 25, 2024. This grand performance was brought to life by Tomb's deft fingers on the keys, a symphony of over 300 musicians, and the harmonious voices of a choir, all masterfully conducted by Joanna Medawar Nachef. This piece is a tribute to U.S. Memorial Day and United Against Violence, an elegant salute to the brave souls who pledged their lives to this nation. The performance received a standing ovation at his first, but surely not his last, Carnegie Hall performance. In his 10 year career and at just 31 years old, Tomb has performed with renowned symphonies around the world and has scored 15 movies. He plans to come back to the United States to make his mark in both film and Broadway scoring and already has gained the attention of elite musical artists and directors for his immense talents. You are certain to be inspired by his full interview on the podcast. Watch his entire interview on Living a Bella Vida Podcast on 42

Be sure to follow Georges Tomb as his star rises in Hollywood. Instagram: @georgestomb Website:


The Pink Pump Affair 2024 for Special Needs Network by Erin Schmidt Photography by Debra Simmons and Jerry Lexion, Diamond Dust Photography

Celebrating it’s 16th Anniversary, the Pink Pump Affair Gala benefiting Special Needs Network was an event to remember! Hosted this year at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills, CA, in the grand ballroom with over 500 people in attendance, the even t included a large silent auction with incredible items donated by many high-end retailers, a fun Fashion Show that was entertaining and exciting, as well as a live auction that was part comedy show. It was truly a memorable day!

Beverly Hills, CA (May 19, 2024) –Kym Whitley, Areva Martin , Jackée Harry and Tamera Mowry on the Pink Carpet at Beverly Wilshire Hotel. To left: Kym Whitley auctions off her pink pumps to raise money for Special Needs Network Summer Camp for kids with Autism and Special Needs. Photography by Debra Simmons and Jerry Lexion, Diamond Dust Photography(@diamonddust8) 43 | 18

On the Pink Carpet at the Pink Pump Affair Beverly Hills, CA (May 19, 2024) – Galina Sobolev, Areva Martin and Jenny Lesser at the Pink Pump Affair. Also, in attendance was Charis Michelsen and award-winning actress Natasha Blasick, who stars in the Peacock TV show Paul T. Goldman @paultgoldmanseries Ms. Blasick wears: @rubberduckycouture Photography by Debra Simmons and Jerry Lexion, Diamond Dust Photography(@diamonddust8)


On the Pink Carpet at the Pink Pump Affair

Beverly Hills, CA (May 19, 2024) –Erin and Brady Schmidt with their daughter attended the Pink Pump Affair Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. And Erin Schmidt with Charis Michelsen. Photography by Debra Simmons and Jerry Lexion, Diamond Dust Photography(@diamonddust8) Erin Schmidt is wearing Dress: Ramy Brook Heels: Gucci Brady Schmidt is wearing Suit: Hugo Boss Shirt: Ted Baker Tie: Michael Kors

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Written by Erin Schmidt Photography by Tony Duran

Eric & Eliza Roberts by Erin Schmidt Photography by Tony Duran

Eric and Eliza Roberts

Hollywood icon and ‘the actor’s actor” with over 700 features with Academy Award and multiple Golden Globe nominations, Eric Roberts has earned his right to be called a legend in his own time.

Erin: “It’s really incredible that you guys have been married for over 30 years, which is quite a feat in Hollywood. Tell us a little about how your marriage has evolved over the years.”

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Eric and Eliza Roberts for the “Living a Bella Vida Podcast” (on YouTube and Spotify), and was so impressed with how kind, genuine and truly in love they both were. Here’s some of my interview with Eric and Eliza and you won’t want to miss the full interview at

Eliza: “Great,” she says chuckling. “To be married a long time, no matter what world or what business you are in, is a feat. It’s quite something, and philosophically, hopefully you segway into a friendship. There is something really amazing that happens where you just look up and go . ‘wait , are we at the over half our lives point?’

Eric: “After you (looking at Eliza).”

And, we met randomly, but there were a million things that almost brought us together in the years prior, almost since birth.”

Erin: “Thank you both for joining me today.” Erin: “Oh wow.” Eric: “It’s great to be with you.” Erin:”I was going to say that, Eliza, you have been so wonderful in helping me set this up and I knew I was going to love you because you’re a redhead too. So, I knew you’d be awesome.” Eliza: “Thank you.”

Eliza: “When you are with the same person, all day everyday, for thousands of days, you realize they are as much you, as you are them. And you become so interwoven. You think for each other, you talk for each other and you dress for each other. And you don’t mean to, it just happens. And when it goes well, it’s a nice thing.” (continued next page)


Eric and Eliza Roberts cont.

Erin: “aw. That’s great. And you both have had a long career in acting, but Eric didn’t you start acting very young?” Eric: “I did my first play at four, I did my first TV series at eight, and I did my first movie at twenty-one. And it was all very normal up until they took film away, and then we had digital. So everyone who had a camera became their own studio. So they started calling me directly in the mid to late90's, my wife calls me and says, ‘honey, we’re getting 30 to 50 offers every single day from all over the world. Do you want to go do this?’ and I said, ‘well, ya!’ Erin: “And yeah, that’s how you have over 700 features! Wow. And one of the films I do want to ask you about is “Tacoma.” You shot that with Jigeesh Magar (director) and Antonio Lujak (actor, producer) , who I interviewed recently. Your character in that is a character you play a lot, the antagonist, and you do it extremely well. But that character, I was really struck that you couldn’t move because you are in a hospital bed for most of your scenes. Was that a challenge as an actor since you couldn’t use physicality to relay what a menace you were in the film?” Eric: “To be perfectly candid, it makes it easier. It makes it easier because I have less to think about. I have less I have to worry about, I have less I have to remember, I’m just in a bed. So everybody kind of dances around you. It makes it much less stressful.” Erin: “Yeah and that character in Tacoma was a bit cruel.” Eric “Movie cruelty is the most fun to play because you get to be really awful and then they yell “Cut!” and everyone gets to laugh.“ Erin: “Yes, because you are the opposite of that!” 48

Eric Roberts on the set of hit TV Show “Suits” with Patrick J. Adams

Eric: “So it’s fun. Movie cruelty is the most fun because you can act so intense and then they call cut.” Erin: “I know everyone asks you about ‘Runaway Train’ and ‘Star 80.’ But those roles were so astonishing. You made Paul in Star 80 almost likeable even though the audience knew it was going to be a gruesome ending. How did you prepare for that role and was it, or is it ever, difficult to get out of character when playing those types of roles?” Eric: “Getting out of that particular character, Paul Steiner in Star 80, is like taking off a really ugly suit. You’re relieved.” Erin: “Yeah, I bet!” Eric: “But those kinds of roles, if you have a good leader, and I had Bob Fosse. If you have a good leader, then you don’t have to worry about overdoing it or missing it because they will guide you, and I had that. It’s the kind of part that is easy to overplay, so you have to be careful. You have to overplay it, but not go too far because he was too much. So you have to push reality, but you don’t want to be ridiculous, you just want to make it embarrassing. So he was y thermometer, Bob Fosse. He told me how hot or how cold to be and how to do it. And he honestly guided me and he’s responsible for that performance. I was just his tool." (continued next page)

Erin: “That’s very humble of you. I don’t think any old actor could have done the job you did in that film.” Eric: “Well, I am my biggest fan.” (they laugh) But without [Bob Fosse] that would not have happened. “ Erin: “Hollywood has changed so much and it is a daunting task breaking into major motion pictures. Do you have any advice for those looking to break into Hollywood? Eric: “So I am asked this same question at least once to three times a day everywhere on the street, at the gym. If I don’t have time, I tell them “Get an actor’s access page” because I don’t always have time to explain. So I start with that, but you have to get representation. Although representation isn’t what it used to be because we all have access to each other now. So it’s a whole different world. If I was gonna be kind to any actor, I would say talk to my wife. She knows everyone in the industry and they know her.” Erin: Looking at your career. It didn’t happen overnight for you either. You have to work at it. You have to accept that you might not get every role and that’s ok.” Eric: “I was very lucky. I became an international movie star at 21 years old. The world was my cake and I got to eat it! And it was fun and it is fun. It’s still that way. I go to work around 150 days a year every year and a few years in the past, I worked 250 days. Everyone who has a camera is a studio and they all started calling me. I just got lucky. And it’s not that I am better or worse, or that different, I’m just liked by a lot of people I didn’t know about. And so, I’m thanking them.” Erin: “That’s so great. And finally, I’d love to know your definition of “living a beautiful life,” and you can both answer that if it’s different.”

Eric: “Well, my wife will have something poetic to say, I’m sure. But a life where our kids and our grandkids feel safe and are right to feel safe. If we can pass that on, that place, that feeling, that affection, that understanding, then we’ve done well.” Erin: “That’s beautiful.” Eliza: “I think that if we can dispel the whole idea of success and failure; Of who’s a winner, who’s a loser. There’s always been this idea of ‘abuse as entertainment‘ from the gladiators to the competition shows now. And it’s the opposite of kindness, and I think it makes people doubt their purpose and their right to be here. Unfortunately, the whole idea of success, wealth, status, recognizability, fame, all of that, it really needs to go away. Our friend David Duchovny is doing a podcast called “Fail better.” The fact is we all lose in the most fundamental way, the thing we fight our whole lives, which is that one day we won’t be here. And I think people try to grab for permanence that isn’t real, and they miss the whole point in doing that. And when you look into the eyes of your grandkids, you see the truth, which is we’re really only here to be gentle and kind to each other. There doesn’t need to be anything else. That everything would just spread hopefully right from there. That would be a beautiful life. Eric: sits back and claps. Erin: “I love that answer! Wow, you’re right. That was a great answer.” Eric: “Yeah, that’s why I married her. She gives really good answers.” Erin: “Yeah, if you’re a good human, you’re a success in life. What matters if the life legacy you leave. And I think that the legacy you are leaving behind with the work you are doing and the love you are sharing is wonderful.” Watch the entire interview on YouTube podcasts at when it launches soon! 49

Antonio Lujak Antonio Lujak is making his mark in Hollywood. Originally from Croatia and enduring war torn country and trauma in his childhood from ongoing conflicts and fear, he was name Mr. Croatia and his career began to take off. He then modeled internationally on large fashion campaigns and began to follow his passion, acting. Now after 10 years as an actor in Hollywood, he has just released his first major movie as a producer. In Tacoma movie, Antonio Lujak both acted and produced the film alongside screenwriter and director Jigeesh Magar, who has worked with Hollywood legends, like Francis Ford Coppola. I sat down with them to talk about the film and how they define living a beautiful life.


The movie Tacoma is part thriller, part sci-fi, part mystery and horror. It will keep you guessing and intrigued until the end. Antonio’s character is a menacing hitman hired by the grandson of Eric Roberts’ character, who lurks in the background of the scenes, adding a sense of danger and uneasiness to the film. Be sure to tune in to the Podcast to learn more about Tacoma, Jigeesh Magar and Antonio Lujak. And you can stream Tacoma movie on apple, prime and other platforms. Website: Social media: @tacomafilm Follow Antonio Lujak on instagram at: @antoniolujak_cro

New Artist Spotlight by Erin Schmidt photography by Mikhail Goldenberg

Meet New Musical Artist: KIKI “I consider myself a storyteller and concept artist. I plan to experiment across genres with my light soprano vocals and meticulous vocal production. I grew up singing karaoke on occasion, but most of my background comes from mandatory choir in grade school, then 2 years of choir in high school as an elective class. I overlapped my last year of high school with private voice lessons then stopped for 8 years until I found my current voice coach, Lauren Carter.” Keep on the lookout for her new album launching in 2024.


Books SUMMER READING FOR KIDS: The Mysterious Mermaid: A Girl's Adventure at Fundy National Park is a children's fantasy story about three sisters who encounter a mysterious mermaid. It was written at the Bay of Fundy Park in Canada where the tides are the largest in the world. and escape being trapped in a cave. by Michael P. McManmon

RECOMMENDED POETRY: You Willfully Exist: a powerful book of symbolic free verse exploring coming of age, the meaning of life and sexuality written by a 20 year old college student in the late 60's. by Michael P. McManmon

Michael McManmon is an artist, author, poet, psychologist and speaker. He is on the Autism Spectrum and has founded many programs for young adults with learning differences and on the Autism Spectrum. Art and Book Sales YouTube:@michaelmcmanmon 53

Living a Bella Vida Podcast with Erin Schmidt YouTube Podcasts: @bellavidamagazine

Each episode of our podcast radiates with the motivation and inspiration you need. Entertaining dialogues designed to help you live your beautiful life. join us every Thursday available on YouTube Podcasts and Spotify.

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Creating memorable summers for special needs children and their siblings. This camp offers a range of academic and arts programs, including dance, music, robotics, and sports, for campers aged 5 to 16 with various disabilities and their typical peers. This summer, we're excited to introduce a special program for adolescents and emerging adults aged 17 to 24, aiding their transition into adulthood. Campers thrive in an inclusive atmosphere, building life skills, exploring new interests, and forming lasting friendships. Highlights include a Talent Showcase, field trips, sports with the Lakers and LA Kings, wellness workouts, free onsite medical services, healthy meals, and before/after care. It's a unique summer experience for curious and fun-loving campers!

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