Tips to Present a Better You

Tips to Present a Better You

More than ever, we are communicating online—via Zoom, Skype, Viber, even FaceTime. While reality is a good thing, it can always be improved upon. We reached out to legendary Los Angeles photographer John Skalicky for some tips on how to make ourselves look better in the time of lockdown.

Ask the Experts: Relationships

Ask the Experts: Relationships

One of the hardest roads to navigate is relationships. But as Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us we decided to reach out to an expert for some advice on love, relationships and everything in between. We turned to Dr. Gregory Canillas, Ph.D., who provides couple retreats. You asked, we have some answers…


"For many, “inappropriate text messages” are considered a form of cheating. Even though it sounds like there has been no physical contact, engaging in that kind of flirting is still a breach of trust."

Dear Doc

My boyfriend broke up with me more than a year ago and I find myself still not over it—any advice on how to get past this?


Dear John,

Break ups are never easy. The “grieving process”  is different for everyone. For some, they move through it quickly, and for others it may take longer.  You are not alone.

The end of a relationship is an opportunity for growth and renewal. It offers us a chance to work on improving ourselves and reflect on what worked and what did not work in the relationship, so that we are better equipped for a new relationship.

 A shift in your mental energy away from the old relationship would be most helpful.  Take up a hobby that you have always wanted to engage in, volunteer with a favorite charity or re-connect with old friends. Think of it as a chance to create new experiences and possibilities. When considerable time has passed and the end of the relationship is still painful, some choose to engage in therapy so that they can process their feelings and gain more clarity.

Dear Doc,

My girlfriend has cheated on me in the past and swore she would never do it again, but recently I found some inappropriate text messages—am I jumping to conclusions,  should I say something?


Dear Angela,

Your admission that you were going through your girlfriend’s phone is a major red flag!  It speaks to a deep level of distrust in your girlfriend’s promise to be faithful.

For many, “inappropriate text messages” are considered a form of cheating. Even though it sounds like there has been no physical contact, engaging in that kind of flirting is still a breach of trust.

You need to have a conversation with your girlfriend. Express your concerns and how her behavior has impacted you.  Talk about issues of trust and faithfulness.  Why does this issue keep surfacing? And determine as a couple how you should move forward.  Keep in mind that there are many psychological studies that support the notion that if a person has cheated once, it is likely to happen again.

I am a 36 year old male. I have been dating my girlfriend for five years. When we first started dating we had sex several times a week. Sometimes we had several sessions in the same day!!! She began a graduate program a few months ago and often says she is “too tired” whenever I initiate foreplay.  Lately, our sex life has significantly declined.  I like sex and want it more frequently.  How can I get my girlfriend to have sex more regularly?


Dear David,

Have an open discussion with your girlfriend about your concerns.  Listen to her concerns.  Some couples agree to schedule a “sex night”, which is similar to the “date night” concept.  They agree to make time to have sex regularly and put that on their weekly calendar.  The planned sex night can create a sense of excitement and anticipation.  Because it is scheduled, many couples will make it special: they play mood music, light candles and other special touches.

For couples who have been together for some time, sex often becomes boring or routine.  Sometimes changing up the routine will ignite the passion that you had when you first met.  Visit an adult sex shop. It can be a fun and “naughty” field trip.  These stores often carry items that range from the mild to wild.  Decide as a couple how far you want to go.


GREGORY CANILLAS, Ph.D. currently serves as President & CEO of Soul 2 Soul, a company that provides couples and parenting retreats.  He is an Associate Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Los Angeles campus).  Dr. Canillas also currently serves as a member of the American Psychological Association’s Joint Task Force to Revise the Professional Practice Guidelines for Working with Sexual Minority Clients.

Dr. Canillas is a frequent presenter at regional, national and international conferences on LGBTQ issues,  relationship issues, intimate partner violence, substance abuse and psychological treatment of ethnic minority populations.

Previously, he served as a Program Director at several nonprofit organizations, overseeing the child and adult therapy programs and pregnant/parenting teen programs.  Dr. Canillas has also previously served as a Clinical Psychologist with the Department of Mental Health, and later as the Clinical Director of a family preservation program. Additionally, he served on the Commission on Youth and Families (Long Beach, California) for six years, a body that advises the Mayor and city council on issues of importance to children, adolescents and families in that city.

For more information

Ask the Experts: Beauty

Ask the Experts: Beauty

​Because it’s winter, what can I do about dry, flaky skin?

The best way to combat winter skin is to replenish lost moisture, as a result of cold weather and central heating etc..
I recommend using a hyaluronic acid serum. Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the skin, an important lubricant and an integral part of tissue regeneration, holding up to a thousand times its weight in water.
Apply serum to clean skin morning and night before moisturizer. In the cooler months of the year, I recommend replacing lighter summer moisturizers & adding richer more emollient products into your skin care routine.
Facial oils are also an excellent way to soften and smooth dry flakey winter skin… warm the oils with your fingertips, press & lightly massage into skin to improve circulation.
My Pro tip:
For an extra moisture boost, add a few drops of hyaluronic acid serum to moisturizer, & massage into skin before applying an SPF or make-up or simply as an extra night time ritual before bed.
Exfoliation is equally as important as moisturizing to keeping skin hydrated and smooth.
Using an exfoliator 1-2 times a week (depending on skin type /sensitivity) buffs off old dead skin cells brightening the complexion and making product absorption much more effective.

My mascara always clumps. What’s the best remedy for that?

Before applying, I recommend wiping off excess mascara from the wand back into the tube (to save wasting product). this prevents a thick clumpy application.
Layering several coats of mascara & building up length & thickness slowly will produce gorgeous lashes & reduce flaking.
After applying mascara, gently run a clean spoolie/mascara wand over the lashes to separate & remove any clumps or flakes…
 The older a mascara get the drier & flakier it will become. If you are taking your make-up from day to night I recommend keeping the lower lashes mascara-free for the daytime which minimizes those pesky flakes through out the day.
When bumping up the look for evening, apply mascara to the bottom lashes for a wide eyed glam.
My Pro tip:
Always wipe clean the top of the mascara tube after use and make sure the lid is tightly screwed on. exposure to air will cause the mascara to deteriorate & dry out.

Can you recommend a good moisturizer that isn’t too expensive?

Depending on your individual skin care needs. Here are my selects of good quality affordable moisturizers.
Acure -seriously soothing SPF 30 Day cream (sensitive skin) $18.99

Meet Yolanda Price

Yolanda Price is a professional Hollywood make-up artist, she has been working in the entertainment industry for over 15 years . on commercials, promos, print, tv & film.
She has a passion for skincare and beauty. “My obsession starts with the canvas of skin and that’s just where the fun begins and the process of creating a look unfolds.
 Making people look & feel beautiful is such a rewarding part of my job”

Send it over!

Ask the Experts:Travel

Ask the Experts:Travel

If you’re travelling with a budget in mind, KAYAK offers a great service: find locations for travel based on location and price worldwide. Here’s how it works: Go to the flight section, under “anywhere” click and you wil find explore your options with anywhere search. Click on any price and it will give you the current price AND a forward look at upcoming prices. Deal of the day would appear to be Kahului, Hawaii. Also known as Maui, a roundtrip today would coast $338, roundtrip. If you like adventure and can afford it, you might take an expensive flight to Tolinaro in Madagascar for $3343.


Meet Zuke Oshiro

Zuke Oshiro was born in raised in Hokkaido, the north island of Japan, and moved to Los Angeles in 1999. While he had his own educational agency business, Zuke has continuously traveled around world, and writes for numerious publications and journals.

Ask the Experts: Real Estate

Ask the Experts: Real Estate

How many Open Houses does it take to sell a home in Los Angeles?

 For the past several years Los Angeles has been in a sellers’ market and homes have been selling in 30 days or less. In this kind of market, it might only take 1 or 2 open houses to sell a house. On Average, I would expect 4 – 6 opens houses to sell a house.

Open houses are a great marketing tool and help sell homes faster, but I would look at this question from a different angle, not as the number of open houses it takes, but the number of showings with qualified buyers.

In my experience, about half of open house visitors are not real buyers. You will get a few neighbors who want to see what is going on in the neighborhood, or homeowners looking for ideas on their next renovation project, and I know some folks that just like to go look at open houses on the weekend as a fun thing to do.

In a normal market, it takes about 40 showings with real buyers to sell a home. I find keeping track of showings is a better way to monitor marketing activity than the number of open houses. Only count the real buyers that attend the open houses.

Meet James Campbell

James grew up in a California Bungalow north of Beverly Blvd in Hancock Park. For most of his formative years, he lived in Minnesota until graduation, whereupon he packed his bags and moved west! James has been living in sunny Los Angeles for the past 10 years and sells real estate. In addition to helping clients Buy, Sell and Lease, James is active on the web with his real estate website Thebirdstreetblog. James is a guest contributor about real estate for SoCal Magazine’s new series “Ask an Expert”. Have a real estate related question? Send it over!