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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Livin' Green: 'Soaptopia'

It was a lazy Sunday morning on my way to my local farmers market when I stumbled upon this really cute store, ‘Soaptopia’.  Wait a minute, a whole store about soap?  Can soap really be all that?  Curious to find out, I strolled in to check it out.  

Whoa, Nelly! It was ALL THAT and a bag of “baked kale chips!”  Soaptopia wasn’t just a soap store -  it was so much more!  As I browsed the shop I realized, Eureka!  This store is for me.  It’s a mom and pop “junk free” all natural bath and body product store and I’m in heaven. 

In the past few years, I’ve been slowly moving towards a more “green” existence.  Now, I wouldn’t call myself a “granola” or “a tree huger” (not that there's anything wrong with that) but I am a believer in living and taking care of myself in a “green fashion” - -  as much as I possibly can at least.

Hi Jolie
make myself comfy, why don't I? - LOL!
Jolie, the owner of the shop, greeted me as I walked in. And in front of her were these two giant racks of natural handmade bars of soaps.  All made out of plant-based ingredients, essential oils and wild-crafted raw shea butter from Senegal in western Africa.  


All of the 40+ handmade soaps have really cute and fun names like “Chocolate Makes Me Thorny”, “El Jabon de Mi Corazon” and “Chai and Catch Me”.  And they all smell scrumptious to boot. 

I also found lotions!!  I need to live off of lotions for my dry skin type and I use tons of the stuff but have you seen how much icky ingredients store bought lotions have?  They are laden with man made chemicals and parabens (a known carcinogen).  But not here, everything in the store is made with pure and natural ingredients. 

Isabelle, a friendly staffer, helped me pick out a face lotion called “Lavender Like No One’s Watching” 50/50 Body Balm.  You heard right, body balm.  It’s a body lotion that can also be used on the face, Whaaaat? 

I was VERY skeptical of her claim asking her a dozen times “are you sure I can use this on my face?” she assured me it was and shared with me that she also uses it for that purpose.  Her face and skin is beautiful…so in went the 50/50 body balm into my recyclable shopping bag (am I gullible?).  Anyway, I justified it by telling myself it was only $15.00.

Along with the body balm, I also bought a Lemon Rosemary natural bar of soap for $6 or 5 for $25 and a Secret Agent face wash soap bar also $6.00.  {I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that since all bars of soap are all natural, they are all face friendly}

Me shopping but look - I blend into the walls! Not planned at all. Too funny!

I could have kept on shopping and spending $$ because all the great products and the prices are super reasonable.  But, I am a girl on a budget and besides, I can’t go crazy spending unless I know this stuff is worth it, Right?

"Kikey Castillo's Consumer Report"
So, I’ve been using the products for a month now and here’s what I say...

Lemon Rosemary natural bar soap: Made with essential oils of lemon and rosemary which smells terrific, the smell actually lasts as long as the bar of soap does (can you say power of nature?).   The essential oils leave my skin feeling soft and the smell invigorates me.  The bar has lasted a reasonable about of time and I’m left feeling clean and happy.  

Secret Agent Soap: This soap is made with tea tree, willow charcoal, oatmeal, rosewood and green clay.  All perfect ingredients for your face.  The oatmeal gives it just the right touch of exfoliant.  This face soap does the trick removing all my make up including mascara, leaves my face feeling soft and clean -- not dry or taut.  I like that!

Lavender Like No One’s Watching 50/50 Body Balm: Although called a body balm this can be used as a face lotion.  Crazy right?  So, that's what I did.  And I have to tell you, I really, really liked it!  It works great.  It keeps my face soft and moisturized without the feeling greasy or heavy.  There's a subtle smell of lavender which is nice.  No unusual breakouts and the lotion in the jar has lasted a super long time.  A little goes a long way with this one.  

Kikey’s Verdict...

Definitely shop at Soaptopia!  

This store gives fancy brands a run for their money as far as quality, price point and shopping experience.

All of Soaptopia's products are B.A.T.H. (Bathe in All Things Healthy) Certified Junk Free, animal friendly, vegan, synthetic-free and petroleum-free.

Soaptopia has so much more than handmade soaps and lotions they also make: natural perfumes, massage candles, oil slathers, bath salts, shea lip balm, bath accessories, liquid soap, shea butter, shaving soap, gifts and so much more.  

Soaptopia’s motto, aren't they awesome?
12228 1/2 Venice Blvd. | Mar Vista, CA  90066
310.398.8333 (phone) - 310.398.7949 (fax)
M-F 10am-6pm | Sat 10am-5pm | Sun 10am-4pm (PST)

for all my international readers, they do ship international as well as domestic
Shop Away :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

BOOM! BAM! KA-POW! Mild Mannered Entertainment Reporter Kikey Castillo….

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
Kikey Castillo get’s the scoop on the Latin Grammy Nominations for 
‘The Scoop LA’

Likening myself to Clark Kent and Peter Parker who are unassuming nerdy reporters/photographers by day but by night they are the city’s 
vigilante super hero’s stopping crime.  

I too have joined their ranks of double identities getting my nerdy on (and proud of it) 
as an unassuming entertainment reporter by Day and by Day/Night 
(depending on the acting project) 
I am
Hollywood’s Actress Extraordinaire Super Hero for hire 
making TV and Movies safe from bad acting (phew, I'm winded from saying all that).

"Mild Mannered Entertainment Reporter"
at the Latin Grammy Nomination Announcements

in Awe of these Music Legends - see told you I get my nerdy on

Interviewing Desmond Child he wrote 'Livin' on a Prayer' and tons more hits!

BUT...BY DAY/NIGHT...whatever my role happens to be...
 "Actress Extraordinaire Super Hero"

Kikey Castillo's 'Blue Lynxx' character. photo: Vince Gonzales

Here to make your project safe from ....
Yeahhh, Yeahhh, Yeahhh, Okayyy, you get the point

Here's my article!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kikey goes to the ALMA Awards: 'Red Carpet'


TUNE IN Friday
September 16, 2011
8/7C on NBC

~ ~ Photo Blog ~ ~

So you saw how I got ready for the ALMA Awards in my previous blog 
 Kikey goes to the ALMA Awards: 'Behing the Scenes'

Now, not only see the results but also...

Take a journey down the red carpet with me before the show! 

Kikey Castillo 
photo by: Christopher Lozano

But first...
Ta-da!! Finished Starlet Look

Dress by Dina Bar-El, Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti, Purse: Heather Belle, 
Accessories: Tarina Tarantino
Styled by: Steve Galindo

Kikey Castillo and Bel Hernandez 
photo by: Christopher Lozano
Let the Red Carpet Begin!
Bel and I at the red carpet arrivals area waiting on Dyana 
to walk down the red carpet together. 
Naibe, our other 'Let's Talk!' co-host, is working the red carpet interviewing celebs for 
CNN en Espanol. 
We will stop by say hi

Ah there she is! 
Naibe is CNN en Espanol's entertainment reporter.  
Here she is waiting for all the action to begin.
We'll be there in a sec Naibe :)

Clark Russell and Kikey Castillo 
photo by: Christopher Lozano
Clark already turned our arrival photo into an ad for 
'be Clarked'!
What I tell you?? His drive and energy is unstoppable!

Kikey Castillo 
Photo by: Christopher Lozano
Having a great time.  
I don't know what Clark said but somehow I channeled 
Britney Spears...
I have gum in my mouth and I'm laughing really wide mouthed LOL

Dyana Ortelli, Bel Hernandez & Kikey Castillo
Let's Talk! hosts: Dyana, Bel and Kikey
paparazzi photo of us on the red carpet

Kikey Castillo & Target Dog

Me and the Target dog.
They always have this beautiful Target dog on the red carpet and you walk up to him and take pictures!

See.  Eva and Target Dog

Now Demi and Target Dog
Look at this Lucky Dog.  What a life!

Naibe Reynoso, Bel Hernandez, Kikey Castillo & Dyana Ortelli
Here we all are! The 'Let's Talk!' hosts.
We catch up to Naibe where she interviewed us on CNN en Espanol!

Kikey Castillo 
photo by:  Christopher Lozano
Solo red carpet time 

Eva Longoria & Kikey Castillo
Look who is over Eva's left shoulder!
I took a picture of Naibe interviewing Eva Longoria with my iPhone

Here's the picture I took.
Guess I was in the shot - Ooopsie : ) 

Kikey Castillo & Latin Heat
Being interviewed by Aaron Sanchez who covered the event for Latin Heat 

Bel Hernandez, Kikey Castillo & Latin Heat
Ms. Latin Heat herself, Bel Hernandez and I


Dyana joins us 

 One last paparazzi photo of us before the show starts, Dyana, Kikey, Bel with Actor Enrique Castillo The 'Let's Talk!' team co-hosts and exec prod/dir

Clark Russell & Kikey Castillo
Had to take a red carpet photo with Clark who made me look fabulous!!!
What I'd tell you about the hair, right?

Now time to head into the show...

Kikey Castillo & Fernando Vargas
But wait, look who I find on my way into the show I spot boxer Fernando Vargas.  I played his sister in 'Alpha Dog'.  Haven't seen him in YEARS! So I go up to him and say "Hi Fernando, I don't know if you remember me but I played your sister in Alpha Dog" he was like "Whoa! Yeah"  
We chat for a bit :)

Danny Trejo and Kikey Castillo
Now look who I run into!  
Gosh so many people to say hi to before getting to my seat!  
I have to say hi to sweetie pie Danny Trejo.  
I played his girlfriend in '513' an indie film (in post production).  So he and I are best buds LOL :)

Finally in my seat and the show is about to begin 
*That's how a red carpet happens* 
First, it's a bit stressful when you're getting ready for the award show as you want to look and feel your best on the red carpet, 
next, it's a mad dash ON the red carpet,
but loads of fun 
because your running into your friends and colleagues 
then you rush to your seat because the show is about 
to begin
And finally the show starts and you are within feet of these phenomenal performances and artists!  
Quite an amazing time and memory.  

Thanks for coming with me on the Red Carpet!

Don't forget to watch the ALMA AWARDS, 
Friday, September 16, 2011 at 8/7C on NBC

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kikey goes to the ALMA Awards: 'Behind the Scenes'

How exciting!  The ladies of ‘Let’s Talk!’ were invited to walk the red carpet at the 2011 ALMA Awards.  So how am I going to get red carpet ready for the biggest Latino award show of the year?  Well you know that old adage, “It takes a village to raise a child”?  I say, “It takes a team to get Kikey Castillo red carpet ready”! 
Because let me tell you, No Way, No How do I wake up looking or feeling red carpet glamorous!  But with the help of some of my makeover guru’s, I can strut the red carpet like any other Hollywood Starlet.  Wait till you see my before and after look!  

~ Meet My Team ~

Clark Russell, 
Celebrity Stylist, VIP Make-Over Artist and Beauty Expert
My friend and famous celebrity hair and makeup artist, Clark and I go way back.  I was doing entertainment reporting for Latin Heat, and he made me over for a makeover segment back in 2008, awe, memories Clark :)  

I’ve since transitioned from covering the red carpet to being on the red carpet. And Clark has also been making his mark in his industry.

He's been growing his celeb clientele, increasing business at his Clark Russell Salon and even launching his very own product line called 'be Clarked'His energy and drive is unstoppable!  And he is a sweetheart of a guy who is always such a joy to work with!

Before: Definitely not Red Carpet Ready
A man in demand, Clark Russell made a house call to do my hair; turning my locks into a big ol’mane Roaaarrr, I’m a lioness.

My hair was one of my best accessories on the red carpet (wait till you see it), Clark is a genius!

Then as quick as he arrived, he was running out the door to Richard Glass Salon in Venice to do a 'Makeover' on Dayana Falcon, a contest winner that held click here for details.
I later met up with the crew at Richard Glass Salon so that Clark could apply my makeup.  

Dayana Falcon, Clark & Kikey at Richard Glass Salon

Thanks Richard being such a great host to us! xoxo Btw, Richard has worked with Oprah!!

Richard Glass, Bel & Kikey photo: Christopher Lozano

Follow Clark Russell on Facebook or visit him at

Steve Galindo,  
Celebrity Stylist & T.V. Personality

aka “TheStyleGuyde” is the stylist for our talk show, 'Let’s Talk!' so he was more than enthused to give me a fabulous red carpet look for the ALMA’s.  

His blog is the city of Beverly Hill's sponsored lifestyle and luxury blog. Way to go Steve!  He is a burgeoning talent and I am so happy to work with him now because he’s going to blow up. Watch out Rachel Zoe!

A little behind the scenes gossip, I had some dress drama!! I almost ended up with nothing to wear hours before the event!  My heart sank.  Let’s just say that through a series of unfortunate events I ended up with no dress in hand.  But TheStyleGuyde at the 11th hour pulled off finding me yet another perfect dress, shoes, purse and accessories!

Friend Steve on Facebook or follow his Beverly Hills Sponsored blog

Stay tuned for my next blog (out tomorrow) 
 "Kikey goes to the ALMA Awards: Red Carpet"  
You will see me hair and make-up ready and wearing the fabulous designer duds! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

When You Got It…Pay It Forward

August was one of my best months this year, hands down.  There were some really great personal achievements, some amazing career successes and just as important as my personal and career highs - - - was my continued commitment to philanthropic endeavors.  This month, I was ALL OVER Los Angeles, ‘paying it forward’.    

Stephanie’s Day

On August 13th my ‘Let’s Talk!’ family (co-hosts & creative team) went out to the CBS studios in Studio City to support ‘Stephanie’s Day’.   

Stephanie’s Day is a resource fair to provide families with children impacted by autism and other special needs, one place to gather valuable information, enjoy fun activities and more.   

The event was started by Steve Mauldin, General Manager of CBS2/KCAL9 fifteen years ago in Dallas in honor of his daughter,
Stephanie, who has autism.

LtoR: Gissel, Naibe, Steve Mauldin, Stephanie, Bel and me
And I got to meet Stephanie! She is a doll and she loves purses; making sure all of our purses were zipped up! Good looking out Stephanie. She has a bright playful spirit and you can just tell she is a very sweet and loving young lady.  As a past national spokesperson for ‘What’s In Your Lunch Box?’ a non-profit for autism awareness, I was proud to be supporting a cause I love and believe in.

 For information on Stephanie’s Day visit

A Place Called Home
It was a chilly day but that didn't stop the kids!

I got to spend a whole day at Will Rogers state beach on Aug 17th with 200 kids ranging in age from kindergarten to high school and boy was that an awesome day!.   
Most of these amazing kids who came from the south central LA area had never been to the beach in all their lives.  Makes you appreciate the little things that’s for sure. 

And guess what they wanted to do the minute they hit the beach? Swim, of course! They turned into little mermaids and mermen out there. Seeing all these cute little faces giggling and laughing all day was so heartwarming.   

At the end of the day, one of the mentors from ‘A Place Called Home’ thanked us and told us how much this meant to him personally. As he tried to hold back tears he told us that he’s been working with some of these kids for months and he had never seen some of them smile or laugh until today, and for that, he was deeply grateful.   

click photo: see the long line of kids :)
A Place Called Home is a safe haven in South Central Los Angeles where underserved youth are empowered to take ownership of the quality and direction of their lives through programs in education, arts, and well-being; and are inspired to make a meaningful difference in their community and the world.

For A Place Called Home volunteer information: Email:

Strike Out ALS

Juan Quintero in picture
Play Ball! Did someone say softball? Bring it! This wonderful event brought out my competitive spirit but more importantly it brought out a whole community out to support one of their own…Juan Quintero. 

Juan is Rick Quintero’s brother.  You know Rick as the CHP traffic cop who also reports the traffic for the number one rated morning news show “Good Day L.A.” But on Saturday, August 27th the spotlight was not on Rick but on his wonderful brother, Juan. 

The Ringer's or Ragamuffins, one in the same :p
Five years ago, Juan was diagnose with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS–what most of us know as Lou Gehrig’s disease and his loving family has been there every step of the way.  Their family bond and spirit is amazing and full of strength in light of their brother’s health.   

This year marked their 5th fifth annual fundraiser “Strike Out ALS” to cover the continued medical needs of Juan and to also share some of the proceeds with other ALS patients in need. 

Madeline, Lorena, Rick Quintero, Gisset, and Kikey
In solidarity of the Quintero’s family plight a group of my friends formed a team consisting of Let’s Talk! co hosts, Encounters web series creative team, a PR pro from Terry Hines & Associates, a Univision employee, a Hollywood makeup artist and more.  We played hard and came out the winners!!!   

Oh did I forget to mention we played a team of mainly kids who nearly kicked our butts???  Well played young opponents… well played…

I will definitely be there again next year and will recruit more of my friends to come out and play. Watch out, I could be recruiting YOU on my team next year!

To form a 2012 “Strike Out ALS” team visit

Share your "Paying It Forward" story 
in the comment section

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