Thursday, March 14, 2019

Daily delight: Winnie Harlow for Harper's Bazaar Taiwan

All about: the all-new, all-good Clean Beauty Collective

I first met beauty industry expert Fleur Insley (above) many years ago, when she was working her way up the local managerial ranks at one of the biggest beauty conglomerates in the world. It was clear from the get go that she was ALL about beauty, and when she resigned a while back I was intrigued as to what she would do next.
Well that question was answered when I met her for coffee last week at Auckland’s Kokako cafĂ©, where she introduced to her seriously exciting new endeavour - Clean Beauty Collective. Recognised as the fastest growing beauty category in the global beauty market, clean
beauty is rapidly becoming a huge area of interest for many consumers looking for a safer, non toxic version of some of their must have products. Researched over the past couple of years in New Zealand and the US, the line up that Fleur is offering on her Clean Beauty Collective site is effectively making clean beauty more accessible to New Zealand beauty freaks, and I for one couldn’t be happier. Stocking both local and international brands, Fleur and her team has researched and tested the best of the best, to ensure ‘going clean’ is easier than ever before.
Committed to natural, non-toxic beauty products Clean Beauty Collective is passionate about the ingredients you put on your skin. All products steer clear of a list of ‘dirty' ingredients, including the usual suspects (parabens, silicone, sulphates) along with an extensive list of others. Artificial colours or fragrances, parabens, petrochemicals, paraffin, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, sulphates, silicones, triclosan, carcinogens, neurotoxins, PABA, PEG, or DEA are all on the ‘dirty' list for the company, and any product containing any of these ingredients will not be available. As 70 per cent of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream, what we put on it is hugely important for our own health and wellbeing.
With more than 20 years’ experience in the cosmetic and skincare industry, Fleur is an advocate for quality ingredients and – like me - believes harmful chemicals shouldn’t go anywhere near the skin. She has done all the research and hard work, so you have peace of mind knowing what you apply to your body, is clean, safe and free from harm.
Products using ‘safe synthetics’ (like Mecca Cosmetica-stocked favourite, Drunk Elephant), which uses green chemistry as a way to reduce or eliminate the use of nasty ingredients, also feature on the site. These synthetics can imitate nature and, in some cases, even provide more effective results than the raw ingredient. 
The site is already filled with incredible brands like Plant Apothecary (my new obsession, reviews to come), non gender specific, Suntegrity, the beautiful Aether Beauty, nailcare stars Kester Black, Bawdy Beauty (butt masks for all!), Hynt Beauty, Bristol & Sussex and Salt & Stone, as well as local industry leaders – Ethique, Essence of Humanity and Skin Deep. Fleur tells me that she is constantly being approached by and discovering new brands too, so more will be added to the line up if they pass the Clean Beauty Collective test.
Visit here for more information and to keep on top of the ever-expanding product range – you seriously won’t be disappointed.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Daily delight: Ashley Graham for Harper's Bazaar Australia

All about: Antipodes Blessing Anti-Pollution Light Face Serum

I fell in love with the Antipodes skincare collection from the moment I met founder and creator Elizabeth Barbalich back in 2006, when the Wellington-based brand was still in its infancy. With a background in pure science, she's a firm believer in the importance of scientifically validating her organic beauty products so that they don’t just feel delicious and are kind on your system and the planet - they actually work. Like, really work! Their Grapeseed Butter Cleanser is a godsend for
dry, tight winter skin woes, and I’m a shameless repeat buyer year after year.
But on to the latest big news for the brand, which is the release of their latest product, Blessing Anti-Pollution Light Face Serum. Designed to counter a new threat to ageless skin – ‘urban pollution’ – it is the kind of product that wouldn’t have been necessary fifty years ago, but is an absolute essential now when urban environments are becoming ever more polluted. Industrial waste, coal burning, traffic fumes, dust and wind blown particles, internal air conditioning and UV sunlight… they are out there and they take a serious toll on the skin.
Certified vegan, the new Blessing Anti-Pollution Light Serum has been created to protect, improve  and brighten the skin, and the formula is super light yet also oil-based. This means that it provides a barrier against pollution particles, while bioactive ingredients target pigmentation and oxidative stress while brightening and strengthening skin.
“This product changes the game for anti-pollution skincare”, says Antipodes CEO and founder, Elizabeth. “No other natural anti-pollution product has the weight of scientific validation behind it like Blessing Anti-Pollution Light Face Serum.”
In independent tests, Blessing was shown to inhibit or completely stop free radical damage in human skin cells by up to 52 per cent after just one hour – it most definitely means business! 
Blessing is developed, sourced and produced New Zealand, and includes the revolutionary antioxidant Vinanza® Grape (common to many Antipodes products) and Asian ginger. They help neutralise free radical damage and counter pollution’s effects by encouraging vibrant skin. The Vitamin C superfruit kiwifruit lends its regenerative power with kiwi seed oil, whilst nutrient-rich avocado oil combines with jojoba oil to improve and strengthen skin weakened by cell damage. The pure essential oil fragrance of white jasmine is used therapeutically to calm and soothe, even when life gets a little crazy.
Calling itself “a true blessing for urban life, this super-light face oil also comes in a recyclable glass bottle, packaged in 100 per cent biodegradable cardboard from sustainable forests. To us, apply  at daylight before your favourite moisturiser, sweeping upwards with your fingertips across the exposed skin on your face and neck. Consider yourself blessed!
This beauty has an RRP of NZD$59, and is available here right now.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Daily delight: Taylor Swift for ELLE US

All about: Dermalogica’s new Redness Relief Essence

I’ve had all manner of sensitivity when it comes to my skin over the years, culminating in full blown rosacea about 18 months ago. Thankfully that nasty business seems to be a thing of the past (*touches wood*) after some serious changes to my skin routine and stress levels, but redness and sensitivity still rear their ugly heads on a regular basis.
And for people with redness caused by sensitive skin like me, finding products that don’t aggravate the redness and sensitivity further can be a complex task – especially when anything can kick it off. One product that I have been using since being given a sample a week ago HAS made a significant difference though - Dermalogica’s new Redness Relief Essence.
Redness Relief Essence is part of Dermalogica’s super soothing UltraCalming line, which has been expressly designed to soothe sensitive skin’s most painful and embarrassing symptoms, from redness and dehydration to discomfort, burning and compromised barrier. I love that it also lets you get to the bottom of skin sensitivity and guard against future flare-ups by restoring the skin’s own protective barrier, which is where a lot of the problems lie.
Available in two sizes - RRP $80 for 150mL and RRP $35 for 50 mL travel size – it lands at authorised Dermalogica stockists and on 3rd May 2019, and I think it will be an instant hit. It’s super lightweight like a toner so feels like nothing on the skin, but is concentrated like a serum and as powerful as one, too. The formula visibly reduces redness right away – and I’m not exaggerating - and strengthens the moisture barrier with regular use.“No one is immune from sensitivity and redness, it affects every skin type, from dry to oily – and causes vary from genetics to triggers like stress, diet, cosmetic ingredients, allergies and pollution,” says Caroline Parker, Head of Education for Dermalogica New Zealand. “The beauty of this product is that it calms, visibly reduces the redness AND helps reduce the sensitivity by strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier.”
So what’s in there that does all these amazing things? The ingredient deck includes:
• Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice Root) Extract to soothe irritation.
• Propanediol and Piperonyl Glucoside to help reduce redness.
• Naturally-antioxidant oat-derived Avenanthramides and Beta Glucan, which along with Vitamin E help soothe and relieve skin irritation, redness and discomfort.
• Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Extract to boost recovery of the skin’s protective lipid barrier.
• Aloe Vera Leaf Juice to hydrate skin to help relieve irritation from dryness.
A pretty heady brew! To use the Redness Relief Essence, shake the bottle well before use and then after cleansing, dispense a small amount into palm and pat gently over a cleansed face, neck and chest. It can be used twice a day for continuous relief and in conjunction with other prescribed products too, which is a major bonus.
If you’re a sensitive type like me then I highly recommend this beauty – it’s the perfect add-on for when the weather turns, and seriously makes a difference.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for Dior Addict Stellar Shine

Hair how to: Jimmy Paul for ghd at Moschino

One of the standout shows at last month’s Milan Fashion Week was the Moschino Game Show - where no one leaves empty-handed! Masterminded by campy cool creative director, Jeremy Scott, it was fun from start to finish – and that included for the models. 
The game show concept has long been an unabashedly joyful exercise in super-camp fun - a bold, technicolour escape from reality that you look forward to at the end of the day. “There’s a reason that game shows are beloved by millions of people around the globe,” said Scott, “with as much variety as there are people”.
From cleaning materials to breakfast cereals - with artisan-applied panels and stripes of sequin and crystal – the dresses that hit the catwalk were “designed to make you feel like you’ve won life’s jackpot”. Then there were the fabulously cut and draped silk jersey dresses in bold colours that came heaped with jewelled necklaces and cut-out panels - finery fit for daytime TV or after hours extravaganza.
Legendary makeup artist Tom Pecheux created the perfect game show host face to match, whilst Jimmy Paul and the ghd team pulled off some seriously dramatic bouffants. “I am so happy I can work with Moschino and Jeremy Scott here at Milano fashion week for the first time,” said Paul backstage, “this show let me and my team really get our creativity juices flowing and create unique and unforgettable hair looks.”
Three words used to describe the hairstyles in the show were “funny, sexy and humorous”, added Paul, who created a series of hairstyles inspired by the game shows of the 80s and interpreted using super sized wigs. “Big and sexy hair became a sort of signature look for me,” he said.
Fancy giving the fabulous look a go yourself? Read on…
Before applying wigs, the hairstylists prepared the models by creating sectioned braids to ensure wigs could easily fit and been fixed to the head. 
Next, the wigs were cut and then dried using the ghd air® hairdryer together with ghd ceramic brush to add volume and movement to the final look.
Then, wigs were teased using the ghd narrow dressing brush and brushed with the ghd oval dressing brush to smooth.
To finish the look, Jimmy used the ghd final fix spray. “We used tons of this hairspray to freeze the looks and make the hair hard and very shiny,” says Jimmy. “It’s a great product because it’s very flexible and it can be used just to fix the hairstyle or to make it more.” To set the hairspray, the ghd team used the ghd air® hairdryer to freeze the look.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Daily delight: Cindy Crawford for ELLE Italy

Beauty news: Viktor&Rolf announces Anya Taylor-Joy as the face of Flowerbomb

In the latest high stakes beauty move by a major brand, avant garde luxury fashion house Viktor&Rolf has announced that actress Anya Taylor-Joy will be the face of its iconic Flowerbomb as well as new fragrance for women, to be launched worldwide from March 2019. 
“Anya Taylor-Joy is the epitome of our new feminine fragrance,” say Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, “she is at once sensual, mysterious and powerful, and uniquely multi-dimensional as she weaves a tapestry of roles that often juxtapose one and other. Our creative collaboration flowed so easily and naturally - working with her was a joy.”
At 22, the American-born, British-Argentinian’s raw, edgy performances have her poised to make the transition from emerging young actress to Hollywood star. In 2019, she appears in no less than five films - Glass, Radioactive, Playmobil: The Movie, Here Are The Young Men and upcoming X-Men spinoff The New Mutants - as well as joining season five of Peaky Blinders and voicing a character in the upcoming Netflix adaptation of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. In 2020, she will appear in the title role in a new production from Working Title of Jane Austen’s Emma, as well as Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho. Determined and self-aware, the strength of the woman behind the actress mirrors the female-driven films she brings to screen. 
As Taylor-Joy says, “I was born with a little bit of fire in me” – and this fire is palpable in the upcoming powerful Viktor&Rolf fragrance campaign. The evocative imagery that the duo has created with Inez&Vinoodh features the enigmatic Taylor-Joy as the exclusive and inaugural female face for the brand. A burgeoning tour-de-force artist, she embodies a modern, empowered floral goddess archetype.
 “It was completely humbling and felt like a dream to be approached by Viktor&Rolf for this incredibly special partnership,” says the preternatural talent. “I greatly admire Viktor&Rolf for their artistry and feel we share the same aesthetic – and I’ve always been obsessed with fragrance. Our partnership was so fluid and Viktor&Rolf empowered me to feel incredibly confident. When I first saw the image from our shoot I thought ‘I look strong…I look incredibly strong and fierce.’ It was magical. ” 
“We are thrilled to work with Anya on the brand new Viktor&Rolf feminine fragrance,” said Guillaume de Lesquen, International General Manager, Designer Brand Fragrances. “She is truly a creative force, a modern artist honing her craft, and such a dynamic, confident female representation of the new upcoming fragrance. This marks an exciting new chapter in the Viktor&Rolf olfactory narrative as they continue to build on their iconic scents and reach new heights.” 
The new fragrance release that Taylor-Joy will be fronting is that of Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb Midnight, the latest incarnation of the fragrance phenomenon. An ethereal, floral explosion that sits firmly in the well-rounded Chypre-Floral-Fruity olfactory family, it was created in chorus by Viktor&Rolf and four esteemed perfumers. Flowerbomb Midnight is a precious combination of two seamlessly blended distinct accords: mysterious, Night-Blooming Jasmine Living and second-skin Patchouli and Musk. The end result is floral and sensual, sparkling and intimate. 

Monday, March 4, 2019

Daily delight: Taylor Swift for Elle UK

Hair how to: Eugene Souleiman for ghd X Preen AW19

The AW19 collection that Preen presented at London Fashion Week last month was eclectic, vibrant and full of life; a simultaneous celebration of colour, pattern and fabric that perfectly conveys the array of cultural influences that inspired them. Originally inspired by rave culture, techno music, and the late ‘80s dance revolution, Preen’s vision for the collection centred on an interest in the history of dance within the British Isles, and the way that dance is able to unite communities, bringing joy as well as release. This took them on a journey of nostalgia, calling up memories of music and nights spent in the effervescent Hacienda nightclub, which worked as the creative catalyst for their energetic outing. 
Almost as if an ode to the British Isles, the collection featured statement fabrics such as Irish and Welsh traditional woven textiles, tartans and nods to both English Morris and Irish Dancers. Florals were given a modern makeover with glitter prints and natural treebank pleating, and earth tones run through the entire collection, harking back to the collection’s literal and metaphorical roots. 
The hair look crafted to complement the collection by ghd fashion week ambassador, Eugene Souleiman, was a perfect translation of these themes, using texture, movement and raw, natural beauty to convey the love of historical British dance that inspired Preen. Textural bobs and ponytails were made even more chic through wispy pin curls at the temples and nape of the neck – the effect of which is feminine, artfully nuanced and perfectly imperfect. These looks were curated to represent the strength and refinement of the Preen woman; a woman who, in Eugene’s own words, is “beautiful, sophisticated and tough” all at the same time.
Each look was constructed by Eugene with “movement and an organic feel” in mind, making each an artful balance of natural, unpolished beauty and refined catwalk perfection. “The key is to be as easy as you can with them,” said the super stylist. “If you overwork the style, it will look overworked and even tortured. This is a look that is minimal but special, with subtle nuances and softness. The hair should feel touchable – it is not stuck in place just for look’s sake… and though it feels contained, there is so much life to it.”  
The key to recreating the ponytails:
For the ponytails, Eugene generously spritzed Wella Professionals EIMI Root Shoot to lift the hair at the roots and prepare the hair for styling with the ghd curve® classic curl tong. The hair was then brushed back roughly, to encourage the hairline to have volume and movement.
Next, Eugene injected texture into the front sections of the hair, using the ghd curve classic curl tong. Eugene ensured that each section of hair was the same width as the curler (to ensure the curl was not super tight) and curled from the root, with the ends of the hair left out of the tongs slightly to loosen the curl along the lengths. 
“The whole point is to be relaxed when styling. It feels like you’re not doing a lot when you curl the hair, but when you pull all the hair back, you’ll be surprised at how strong the look is.” 
When crafting the ponytail, there wasn’t a brush or comb used and instead hair was scraped back roughly with fingers to create a wonderfully messy medley of textures. “What I like to do is just get the girl to tip her head back and really get your hands in there,” Eugene says, “this is about the hands, not your brush. The looks aren’t combed or finished… they’re raw and that’s what makes them so special.” 
Wella Professionals EIMI Dry Me was then sprayed over the hair to loosen the roots up and dry out any oils, before the hair is secured in a ponytail just above the nape of the neck, to give an elegant, feminine feel and to ensure that the baby hairs at the nape are visible. 
Lastly, the look was finished with pin curls that sit at the temples and nape of the neck. These were the definitive detail that join the ponytail and bob styles together, and were what Eugene called an “artful nuance” to otherwise minimal looks. A very small tendril of hair was twisted around a hair pin and secured with Wella Professionals EIMI Dynamic Fix, before being unravelled and fixed in place with a ghd air® hairdyer and diffuser. 

Daily delight: Miley Cyrus for Vanity Fair

All about: Davines's all new The Let it Go Circle

When I first started writing about beauty, finding natural products was near impossible, especially at a time when online shopping for green goodies wasn’t that easy and New Zealand was woefully under resourced. Since then, the genre has grown leaps and bounds, and that includes conscious, eco-friendly products for your hair.
A name that is above reproach when it comes to caring for the planet and its humans is Italian beauty brand, Davines. The environmentally conscious house offers a fantastic colour service in the form of A New Colour - which utilises the likes of melanin, Vitamin C, quartz powder and vegetable vaseline to provide velvety, multifaceted results – and their product offering is vast, and flawless. 
I’ve been using their range of foolproof scalp and hair masks known as The Circle Chronicles since its launch last year, and love the combos one can cook up depending on your needs. Each mask is unique and dedicated to a specific hair and/or scalp issue and you can also use them to “multi mask” according to where your hair is at on any given day. Formulated with a high percentage of natural ingredients such as clays, charcoal and seed oils, they are created using 100 per cent renewable energy sources and feel and smell incredible. Vegan, silicone-free and without parabens, they also contain no artificial colours – it is the natural-origin active ingredients that give each mask its own unique hue. They come in cute little packets that are single-use and highly portable, and the packaging is CO2 neutral, fighting climate change by offsetting 100 per cent of their carbon emissions through reforestation. My favourite has always been The Spotlight Circle, which delivers serious shine and is perfect if you’re preparing for a party or important event, but it might just have some serious competition from the recently unveiled sixth mask added to the line. 
Created with relaxation in mind, the Let It Go mask is perfect for those of us who like to sit back and take a moment to unwind, either at home or in the salon. It's packed with anti-inflammatory and hydrating ingredients, and is a super speedy way to transform stressed, post-summer tresses. Resembling skincare for your hair, it’s enriched with Ayurvedic Brahmi Oil to relieve stress, relax the mind and intensely condition hair; sweet orange essential oils to further moisturise and impart a beautifully balancing scent and, finally, 100 per cent natural grey clay to absorb impurities and further nourish strands. It’s brilliant alone or combined with another of Davines’ The Circle Chronicles Masks for a multi-masking benefit, and I am properly in love. This little packet of goodness comes in at under $20 for at home use and honey – you’re worth it.