Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Daily delight: Candice Swanepoel for Numéro Russia

Beauty news: YSL creates Rouge Pur Couture The Slim Sheer Matte

Just over a year ago, YSL Beauty released Rouge Pur Couture The Slim , a super-slim, square couture lipstick that delivered Yves Saint Laurent's most luxurious, ultra-full and longwear matte yet. As a formula it’s a marvel - and oh so sexy to hold in the hand. Delivering the aforementioned leather-matte finish via a square tapered bullet, it is a seriously comfortable wear, and the high pigment means that just one swipe goes a verrrry long way.
The tapered bullet also means that one swipe is super precise - the unique shape means that you can really push the colour right into the curves of the lips and angle the cupid’s bow perfectly.

So, in fabulous news for matte lip lovers like me and YSL Beauty fans alike, the couture-focused makeup line has created a fresh new version of Rouge Pur Couture The Slim in the form of the new Rouge Pur Couture The Slim Sheer Matte. Billed as “a light and sensual square lipstick that enhances a natural beauty of your lips”, it is instantly appealing for those that love a just blotted look and slightly washed out, sexy finish. The comfortable new formula leaves just a light veil of colour with a sheer matte finish, and this time the square bullet shape creates precise lines and an elegant airbrushed look. This comfortable matte formula is also infused with blurring technology that softens the look of lips while delivering sheer pigmented colour. 
Obsessed yet? I was after just hearing about the product, and now I’ve had a few days to play with some press samples, I’m even more so! Available in late January 2020 in New Zealand, it comes in 12 couture shades that wear flawlessly all day. There are classic reds alongside essential nudes and super flattering pinks, and the RRP of $69 put them on the pricey side as per a luxury brand, but still affordable enough to grab a few if you start saving your pennies now! These beauties will be in at Farmers stores on January 20, and I highly recommend that you check them out x

Friday, December 6, 2019

Daily delight: Indya Moore for Pirelli 2020

Fragrance Friday: Curionoir unveils two new scents - and a new form

We all have different reasons for stopping to add that spritz of perfume before leaving the house – it’s a tool for seduction, can evoke happy memories and just add an extra element of individualism to the way you approach your day.
The new season doesn't just invite the opportunity to overhaul your wardrobe. With a bounty of new fragrance releases, it's also a good time to reconsider your scent. From the bottles to the base notes, winter's best new fragrances are a celebration of the bold, and I am all for a statement scent.
Coco Chanel once said that a woman should apply perfume in the areas where she would like to be kissed, but the experts generally agree that the "pulse points" are the optimal spot. These are locations on the body where the blood vessels are closest to the skin, and as these spots emanate heat, they help fragrance to travel from your skin into the air.
Experts say to apply your perfume to these points - namely, the inner wrists, the base of the throat, behind ear lobes, in the cleavage, behind knees, and the inner elbows – and this is where I am wearing my latest discovery, the truly enchanting Irtiu Nefertiti from the always-surprising, preternaturally creative Tiffany Jeans at Curionoir. 

The fragrance is inspired by the sacred, primordial and fragrant Nymphaea Caerulea or Blue Lotus, which was reportedly applied to the body of legendary Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. Available as a hypnotic extrait de parfum and candle, and includes notes of Blue Lotus, Fig Wood, Osmanthus Flower, Passionflower, Gaiac Wood, Sandalwood and Musk. It is an intoxicating, heady blend as befitting its namesake, who ruled Egypt alongside her husband, Pharaoh Akhenaten during the 18th dynasty. Nefertiti means ‘the beauty has arrived’, and lift  Tiffany, founder and creative director of Curionoir says, “working on a parfum while using Queen Nefertiti as muse meant using Blue Lotus was important to be included in this creation. Osmanthus Flower has also been added in to this heady floral fragrance to represent the opulent and rare life she lived.” 

Never one to rest on her stylish laurels, Tiffany has also released a second fragrance for the new season called 415AD. I’m yet to have a play with this one, but it is a new extrait de parfum inspired by Hypatia, who was the first known female Egyptian philosopher, mathematician and astronomer and also a Platonist. Tiffany says she has been fascinated and inspired by the story of Hypatia since she was a teenager, and “I challenged myself to create a parfum that is made of ingredients from that time. I only used plants and resins that were found in Hypatia’s homeland and era,” and the end result is another intoxicating, unisex scent.
Also new to the brand is a new medium in the form of Curionoir Clay Relics. Inspired by Ancient Egyptian works of the New Kingdom Period, Curionoir Clay Relics are a range of individually hand crafted carriers for the two new parfums, each made using clay sourced from the South Island of New Zealand.  Curionoir enlisted the skills of Auckland self-trained potter Kirsten Dryburgh to produce these new creations, with Tiffany explaining that “itwas time for Curionoir to delve into working with a new medium. Working with clay on a unique parfum bottle and candle vessel whilst staying true to Curionoir’s ethos of offering an interesting and uncommon experience was a challenge. After two years of development, I am so proud of the outcome. The clay relics are beautifully sculptural and truly rare offerings.” 
The new offerings are available right now at the Curionoir perfumery on Ponsonby Road, which carries Curionoir Parfum and candles alongside jewellery by Zora Bell Boyd and Hera Saabi.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Daily delight: Gemma Ward for Vogue Australia

Holiday gifting: This Works’ Sleeping Partners

They say that one of the best solutions for the ills of modern life is a damn good sleep – so what better gift to get for a loved one – and yourself – this Christmas? And it’s easier than you think with this stellar sleep-tastic duo from the incredible This Works, Sleeping Partners.
In now at MECCA for the holiday season and retailing for a super affordable $64, it effectively allows you to switch up your evening routine and wave goodbye to sleepless nights. Featuring the bestselling Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and Deep Sleep Breathe In, the signature solutions fast track you to the land of nod thanks to a relaxing blend of essential oils.  The calming blend of lavender, vetiver, chamomile and patchouli works to relieve tension in the mind and body, sending you to sleep faster and enabling you to have a more refreshing and tranquil rest. And does it actually work? I believe so, although I’ve long been a fan of their Pillow Spray so am a bit biased anyway!
I first fell in love with the This Works brand when I interviewed its founder, Kathy Phillips. As British Vogue's former beauty director, beauty author and current beauty director for Condé Nast international, for Kathy Phillips launching her own product line seemed like second nature. This Works, like its name, is a simple, hardworking collection of aromatherapy-based skin, bath, home and body products that does what it says it will do, and smells bloody marvellous while doing it. I found Kathy to be a woman who was as witty as she was clever, as well as a fountain of knowledge when it comes to the use of organic, high performance ingredients. Combining superior expertise in blending aromatherapy oil with insider know-how of the global beauty and health industries, This Works is a veritable survival kit for those suffering modern malaises, and looks a treat too with modern but clinical packaging designed by an art director colleague of Phillips' at Vogue.
MECCA recommends that you add This Works Deep Sleep Heavenly Candle (next on my wish list) to this duo for the ultimate bed rest, which sounds like a pretty damn good idea to me! Mist the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray lightly onto your pillow just before getting into bed, the roll Deep Sleep Breathe In onto your pulse points or place some into the palm of your hands before inhaling deeply. Heaven.
$64 and in store now at MECCA stores and online at meccabeauty.co.nz.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Daily delight: Taylor Swift for Vogue UK

All about: FaceWorks’ new Primer SPF30

Finally we’re seeing a LOT sun of late, which for me is a reminder that summer is here and new sunscreen needs to go on the shopping list on the regular. Whenever I’ve asked beauty experts – be they dermatologists, makeup artists or cosmetic surgeons – for their pick when it comes to anti-ageing skincare, they all agree that the most important thing you can do to keep your skin looking good well into old age is wear a sunscreen. Daily. No arguments, no forgetting on a cloudy day, no saying, “my olive complexion is a sunblock in itself”! UVA rays break down collagen and elastin, causing wrinkles, so it is vital to wear a high-performance sunscreen all year round, rain or shine, if you’re serious about great skin.  Most last twelve months max after being opened too, so if you’re still got some sitting around in your beach bag or glove box from this time last year then chuck it - ASAP!
The warmer days also mean I get a few new sunscreen formulas coming across my desk, and one fresh release in particular has got me very excited. The work of top Auckland cosmetic physician and creator of the FaceWorks skincare brand, Dr Teresa Cattin, it’s pretty much a given that it protects and so much more. 
Called FaceWorks’ Primer SPF30, it is a lightweight, all clean little multitasker that applies like a dream and  - as the name suggests – creates the perfect canvas for any makeup application. Dr Cattin says we should be checking the labelling on skincare in the same way we check the labelling of food products, and her newest creation is a safe as it gets. Wherever possible she and her team have chosen high-quality raw materials that are “natural compliant” and GMO-free, and ingredients were sourced from companies with a commitment to environmentally sound business practices. It is also oxybenzone free, so won’t bleach coral or harm marine life, which gets a major tick from me.
The new Primer SPF30 glides easily onto the skin and requires little blending, and just a pea-sized amount covers the whole face. It adds the hint of a glow and nourishes while it protects, and you can even mix it with your foundation if you’re that way inclined! Magic, and an absolute no-brainer for anyone as we head into the long, hot Kiwi summer.
FaceWorks Primer SPF30 ($45) is available at faceworks.co.nz

Friday, November 29, 2019

Daily delight: Charlize Theron for Dior J’adore

All about: the new Aleph Beauty Serum / Primer

About this time last year I was first introduced to the Aleph Beauty brand by its creator, the truly passionate and inspiring Emma Peters. Precisely created from powerful active, natural ingredients, Aleph products work in harmony with skin at the cellular level - and they look and feel amazing, which is often a rarity in the all-natural colour category.
Founded by professional and natural makeup artist Emma, Aleph Beauty is a what she likes to call a ‘conscious’ cosmetics brand – aware and considerate of its impact on people, the planet and animals. Add to that Emma’s many years in the film, television and fashion industries and formulas that seriously deliver, and you have a brand that can only go global in time – it really is THAT good.
With shades that are customisable to all skin types, tones and shades and incredible coverage and staying power, Aleph is one of the fastest growing cosmetic brands in New Zealand’s market with good reason. Less than a year after debuting their natural cosmetics collection, the brand was nominated for Best Natural Makeup at 2019’s Best in Beauty Awards, and if you haven’t tried their beautiful concealer/foundation then you are definitely missing out. 
But enough raving, and onto some great news for Aleph Beauty fans like me. In the works for quite some time now, Aleph Beauty has finally launched its eagerly-awaited Serum / Primer, which Emma believes is “the skincare companion every complexion has been waiting for”. 
It is formulated with the naturally anti-inflammatory Tsubaki Oil, a long-time favourite of both Japanese and Chinese medicinal traditions and a huge benefit for sensitive/rosacea skin types like me. This treasured ingredient is reportedly the secret behind the ancient Geisha’s flawless skin texture, known for promoting a healthy, natural collagen synthesis and improving skin’s elasticity. It is also infused with Bluebird hibiscus plant extracts, macadamia oil and oil-free jojoba, milk thistle extract, Kakadu Plum seed oil and East Indian sandalwood, and works at a cellular level to counter the natural weakening of your skin’s metabolism. A definite player in the skincare as well as makeup category, I have been using it for the past few days and fell instantly for its charms.
The milk thistle extract strengthens the skin barrier, naturally protecting it from external free radicals but also retaining optimum levels of moisture to keep it as healthy looking as possible, for a longer time. It also makes this supercharged primer an excellent prep option, as it absorbs instantly and its benefits last and last. The Northern Australian fruit wonder, Kakadu Plum seed oil is included for its skin brightening properties and for boosting radiance, whilst the delicate yet subtle scent of East Indian sandalwood soothes the skin as much as the mind. 
Finding a formula that is sustainable, stable and performant at the same time hasn’t been an easy task says Emma, and the development of this skincare hero took months of research and testing to ensure the comprehensive formula delivers on many levels. “We crafted the Serum / Primer to be as multi-functional as our other products,” she says, “so no matter where you intend to use it in your beauty regime, it works as a natural collagen production booster, a performant skin cell metaboliser, a deeply nourishing moisturiser, a powerful skin barrier protector, a vitamin C-powered natural antioxidant and a supercharged primer.”
With the brand’s ethos of caring about the world we live in, and sustainability being at the core of everything Aleph Beauty does, the serum contains no water. A real time saver, there is no waiting time before application of make-up and the staying power of the pigments layered on top is strengthened, saving you touch-ups on-the-go later in the day.
Aleph Beauty Serum / Primer has an RRP of $69.00, and a little really does go a long way with this marvel, which I think you’ll love as much as I do x
For more information, or to purchase online, visit www.alephbeauty.com.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Daily delight: Evan Rachel Wood for Number One magazine

Love it: the Kelsey Montague X Dermalogica Holiday Collection

Each year, the Dermalogica brand creates truly beautiful holiday gift sets – in fact, they look after their loyal fans with pretty amazing add-ons all year round, which is why they keep on coming back for more!
This year, they have unleashed some gorgeous offerings featuring the work of street artist Kelsey Montague. Kelsey creates with her hands, and began creating her unique interactive murals as a way to help inspire communities and turn art into a social, uplifting daily experience. Each of Kelsey’s pieces invites members of the community to step into the art, become a part of the picture, and share their experiences on social media – making her work a perfect match for Dermlogica, who formulate #skincarethatliftsyou on a regular basis.
The Dermalogica X Kelsey Montague Holiday Collection is made up of six beautiful kits to choose from, each feature unique packaging artwork derived from the artist’s murals . The sets themselves include a mix of bestselling hero products and new innovations in both travel and retail sizes, and are very reasonably priced from RRP $31 to $159, ensuring there is something for everyone this Christmas. 
#skincarethatliftsyou holiday kit collection is:
be bright $31 RRP : this year’s holiday ornament features a 13g Daily Microfoliant with a super cute, cut-out wing design
get glowing $37 RRP: everything you need to Double Cleanse - their legendary PreCleanse Balm  in a 15 mL travel-friendly size and Special Cleansing Gel in a 50 mL travel-friendly size 
brighten & defend $60 RRP: the brand’s #1 serum and #1 moisturiser to  brighten skin and provide comprehensive broad spectrum protection - BioLumin-C Serum (10 mL) travel-friendly size  and Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 (12 mL) travel-friendly size 
phyto replenish body oil $93 RRP  : part of the new Dermalogica Body collection and an instant fave of mine, this skin-replenishing oil’s unique holiday packaging features a removable sleeve designed by Kelsey. 
the ultimate cleanse & glow trio $150 RRP : a trio of top sellers’ that cleanse, exfoliate and brighten for healthy, glowing skin. - PreCleanse (150 mL) full retail size, Special Cleansing Gel (250 mL) full retail size and Daily Microfoliant® (74 g) full retail size 
be radiant $159 RRP (see, above) : this brightening, firming duo delivers professional-grade results - Rapid Reveal Peel (3mL) 3 individual peels and BioLumin-C Serum (30mL) full retail size 
Dermalogica x Kelsey Montague is available from authorised Dermalogica skin centres, department stores, Life Pharmacies and online at dermalogica.co.nz until 31 December 2019 (or while stocks last)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Daily delight: Arizona Muse for Grazia UK

Fragrance news: Acqua di Parma unveils a fresh new offering

This Christmas sees a wonderful world of new offerings for beauty lovers and those that hold them dear, with luxury fragrance brands putting their best foot forward when it comes to creating extra special must-haves to surprise and delight. Some old favourites come wearing beautiful new attire, whilst the multitude of stunning and unique new fragrance releases mean that there really is a scent out there for everyone. 
Just in time for our own long, hot summer, the iconic Acqua di Parma has added to its much-loved Blu Mediterraneo universe with a new fragrance: Cipresso di Toscana, a new home collection, and much more. The Med is a paradise for the senses, a place where nature’s wonder can be seen in all its glory. It’s the place where Acqua di Parma selects the most precious ingredients and transforms them with master craftsmanship into the fragrances of the Blu Mediterraneo collection, each fragrance transporting you to a sun-kissed Garden of Eden. Cipresso di Toscana is what the brand calls “a fragrance as energising as a walk among the Tuscan hills”, which sounds pretty damn good to me. Acqua di Parma’s newest embodies all the sensorial wonder of a walk in the Tuscan nature parks, where the Cypress tree, with its slender shape and aromatic, balsamic, energy-giving scent, a tree so quintessential and symbolic of the Tuscan landscape, reigns supreme. 
A classic fougère, the fragrance opens with refreshing star anise and elemi, illuminated by sparkling notes of orange and petit grain. It has an aromatic heart of sage and lavender, while woody balsamic base notes of cypress and pine evoke the peace of time spent in nature. The fragrance is available in the 150 ml format and also in the handy 75 ml and 30 ml versions that can be easily carried around. Experience the beauty of the Tuscan landscapes wherever you go. Cipresso di Toscana is enclosed inside the iconic Acqua di Parma Art Deco bottle, this time in a bright blue shade that calls to mind the shimmering clarity of the Mediterranean Sea. It is way too gorgeous to be hidden away, and mine has been on high rotate since I was sent a sample.  
In other news for the brand, the Blu Mediterraneo offering has some exciting new additions.  In 2018, Acqua di Parma enhanced the Blu Mediterraneo universe with hand creams and lip balms. In 2019, the range welcomes body lotion sprays to complete the line-up, which are perfect for travel and available in five scents. You can also trip among the most picturesque landscapes of the Italian Mediterranean without leaving home via five new fragranced candles - Arancia di Capri, Fico di Amalfi, Chinotto di Liguria, Bergamotto di Calabria and Mirto di Panarea - all inspired by the Blu Mediterraneo line.
I recommend a trip to Smith & Caughey in Auckland’s Queen Street to try all of the above x