Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Daily delight: Margot Robbie for Harper’s Bazaar US

Christmas wish list: the Hourglass Ambient® Lighting Edit Unlocked

Yes I’m talking Christmas, because we all need ample time to select the perfect gifts for our nearest and dearest and also of course, excellent gifts to self!
Mecca stores  - online and bricks and mortar – always serve up and insane plethora of incredible options for any beauty freak, and I’ve been wading through some of the latest for my ultimate picks.
The first must be the Hourglass Ambient® Lighting Edit Unlocked palette, a limited edition beauty that the brand describes as the “next generation of the coveted Ambient® Lighting Edit”. Beautiful to look at and an absolute joy to use, the Unlocked edition features six new exclusive shades of powder, bronzer, blush and metallic strobe powder, making it a must-have from the get go.
Inside it you’ll find brand new, exclusive shades in the formof:
Ambient® Lighting Powder - Soft Light
Ambient® Lighting Powder - Filtered Light
Ambient® Lighting Bronzer - Golden Bronze Light
Ambient® Lighting Blush - Nude Glow
Ambient® Lighting Blush - Mood Flush
Ambient® Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder - Champagne Strobe Light
All six powders are formulated with pure Photoluminscent Technology to capture, diffuse and soften surrounding light for skin that appears softer, younger and lit from within – literally, a wardrobe of filters for your face. The travel friendly palette is designed to be used with the brand’s double-ended Ambient® Lighting Edit Brush, which I haven’t personally used but have heard is amazing,
The 100 per cent vegan palette also features the Hourglass symbol representing their commitment to being a cruelty free brand, and a portion of profits from this palette will go to support the Nonhuman Rights Project – the only civil rights organization in the United States working to secure legally recognized fundamental rights for nonhuman animals. How great is that?
Last up, this beauty comes without parabens, fragrance, talc, nanoparticles or gluten, and as aforementioned, is proudly vegan.
Head into your nearest Mecca store or here to find out more, and while you’re there check out all of the other amazingness on offer from Hourglass like the super cute limited edition gifting packs of their stellar lipsticks like the one below, and another limited edition palette.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Daily delight: Felicity Jones for S magazine

Beauty news: Trilogy’s SPF Moisturisers now have Blue Light Protection

If you’re serious about preventing premature ageing and keeping your skin looking its best well into your golden years, you’ll know that protection from UVA and UVB rays is no longer enough. Evolving research confirms that blue light – emitted from the sun and our digital devices – is also a major downer for our skin, and as we’re increasingly attached to our digital devices, its effects are already making themselves known.
With millennials checking their phones an average of 150 times a day, and a 2016 report finding that the average US adults clock up more than 10 hours of screen time daily, we’re getting significantly more blue light exposure than we used to from the sun alone. Blue light (also referred to as High Energy Visible or HEV light) poses potential skin harm via free radical generation, as it induces oxidative stress in live skin. Even worse, blue light has the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin compared with both UVA and UVB light, all the way to our dermis, where our collagen and elastin live. In addition, it also compromises our beauty sleep by way of disrupting our natural circadian rhythm.
All of this has meant that many conscious beauty brands have started addressing the issue of Blue Light, the latest being New Zealand natural skincare pioneers, Trilogy. Their improved SPF moisturisers now come with the breakthrough Blue Light defence super-ingredient PEPHA®-AGE, designed to deliver everyday hydration, with the added benefit of shielding all skin types from light aggressors inside and out.
PEPHA®-AGE is a breakthrough natural super-ingredient scientifically proven to protect and support the skin’s natural barrier of defence against natural and artificial Blue Light damage. Naturally derived from freshwater Algae, it is rich in Vitamin B3, zinc and amino acids which work at both the epidermal and dermal layer of the skin to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin to improve the skin’s overall appearance. Pretty clever, huh?
The two Trilogy formulas that now come with this technology are Trilogy Multi-Shield Moisturiser SPF15 - a high-performance day cream – and Trilogy Age-Proof Multi-Defence Moisturiser SPF15, a richly textured, high-performance moisturiser that nourishes and softens skin while helping to smooth fine lines. 
So if you love natural, efficacious skincare and also want to increase your defence against the effects of Blue Light, these two definitely come highly recommended. Oh and before you tweak your skincare regime – check your tech use. Night mode on your phone is a better option, and the best is that digital detox you know you should be doing on the regular.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Daily delight: Lily Aldridge for Levi’s Made & Crafted

Talking with an expert: Kat Burki, Founder of Kat Burki skincare

A few months ago, the highly coveted Kat Burki line landed at Mecca stores, and yep, beauty freaks went mad for it. 
Kat Burki’s revolutionary approach to skincare stems from her early disciplined training in nutrition, and it's a thread that runs through every product. Her passion for health and wellness led her to a Health Law degree and a Masters in Health Policy, ultimately joining scientists and epidemiologists researching regional diseases around the globe and their link to nutrition. 
Understanding the connection between skincare and healthcare, Kat was inspired to create her eponymous beauty brand, with some incredible results. 
Ever-inspired by science and its possibilities for amping up the efficacy of natural ingredients, she implemented the first certified Cold Processing Technology to ensure that all vital ingredients and antioxidants retain maximal effectiveness. In addition, ‘super’ ingredients are created through proven co-factoring relationships to maximise outcomes, and Vitamin C features heavily due to its incredible, skin loving capabilities. The Kat Burki line is also refreshingly GMO free, cruelty free and chirally correct, and all products are manufactured in the USA, which has some of the most stringent rules around labeling and false claims. To put it simply: the line is proven effective, beautiful to use and backed by science. What’s not to love?
I spoke with Burki about the collection, where she came from and what drives her forward…

Your tagline is “Raw Beauty”, how do you define that?
Our tagline is actually now “Powered by Nutritional Science”. The way we formulate and produce our products is based on translating the concept of nutritional science to the world of skincare. We implemented the first certified Cold Processing technology to ensure that all our ingredients maintain maximum efficacy. In conventional production processes high heat is used but this degrades vitamins, oils and anti-oxidants just as cooking your vegetables at high heat degrades their nutrients.

You have been a facialist for years, what originally made you go into the beauty industry?
My background is actually in the arena of health and wellness. While early on I received training in nutrition, my passion for health and wellness led me to pursue a Health Law degree as well as a Masters in Health Policy. I then went on to work with scientists and epidemiologists and travelled the world to research regional diseases and their links to nutrition. 
With this experience, I developed the understanding that the same nutritional concepts can be applied to skincare. What you put on your body’s skin is as important as what you put in it. Feeding the skin with nutrients, combined and delivered in the most efficacious manner will result in healthy, younger looking skin. This was a new approach that would change the landscape of conventional skincare.

And how many years was it before you created your own range?  
I worked in healthcare for twenty years before starting working with formulations in 2011.

Were you always leaning towards a natural, clean approach, or was that something that came with experience? 
My approach was always to create formulas where every ingredient has a purpose. All of our products are formulated to deliver bio-diversified nutrition, meaning we provide the skin with a well-balanced diet including ocean blend, kingdom funghi and superfoods. 
Essential to our unique approach is the concept of creating Super Nutrient Complexes that are created by combining two or more ingredients through proven strengthening relationships. Once combined, these complexes become super ingredients – more potent, effective and deeper penetrating than if used alone. It’s the same nutritional concept as combining Calcium and D3. We use no binders or fillers, so you won’t ever see water or alcohol in our ingredient decks. All our ingredients are chemical-free and void of potential toxins.

I’ve read that your Vitamin C Cream is a ‘cult’ buy. As someone who has never tried it, can you let me in on why? It sounds amazing!
I think it is simply because it delivers on its promise – people see and feel the results! It provides a lightweight yet deep nourishment and an instant glow to the skin. The Super Nutrient Complex which is at the heart of this formula is the combination of 15% Stay C (Vitamin C) powered by Reishi Mushroom.

And you have a ‘pressed serum’ in the collection, how did that come about?
Yes, our Bio-Correcting Face Crème is actually a pressed serum – a very potent treatment with our most complex ingredient deck to date. I created a complex of 5 B vitamins which help the body tap into its own healing process to repair skin and reverse damage and give name to this collection, which we call Complete B Repair. This crème is extremely rich in skin fortifying bio-nutrients, neuropeptides and corrective amino acids.

You offer oils and creams as moisturisers, how do you choose which to use?  
Often, it’s a matter of preference.  However, our 5-step protocol recommends using the oil as a seal after your AM/PM regime, it is a great way to lock in the nutrients and moisture from the Vitamin C Cream.  

As someone who has never used Kat Burki products, how would I start?  
The Vitamin C Cream is a great way to start.  You will instantly recognize many of the qualities we are known for, such as rapid absorption, radiant brilliance and you will see your skin instantly respond as a flower to rain.

Your influencers seem to span ages, races and genders, was that always the end goal – for Kat Burki products to be available to any skin type? 
Yes, most of our products are formulated to work for all skin types. We don’t target a particular group of consumers. Our clients do span a broad spectrum of ages – female and male.

What are your daily go-to products personally, your must-haves?   
I love cleansing with our Vitamin C Cleansing Balm.  I have seen great improvements in my skin’s appearance since I’ve been using our Goji Essence, and I regularly slather on our Vitamin C Intensive Face Cream.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Daily delight: Freida Pinto for Vanity Fair Italy

All about: ageing 'better' with Tru Niagen

Ageing is an inevitability, but what if there were a way to start ageing better? A few weeks’ ago I went to the launch of a newly-released supplement that promises exactly that, and if its background is anything to go by, it delivers. And then some.
Called Tru Niagen, it is a scientifically backed super supplement that has been specifically created to fight ageing at a cellular level, allowing you to age naturally, whilst feeling – and looking – like the best ever version of you.
At the centre of its power is the active ingredient nicotinamide riboside (NR), a vitamin that is a building block for the molecule nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD is a central regulator of metabolism that is found in every cell in the body of every living mammal. It is crucial to all sorts of vital functions such as converting food into cellular energy, keeping your brain sharp, and supporting normal circadian rhythm. 
Maintaining a regular sleep and work schedule, exercising, staying out of the sun, and limiting alcohol can all help retain and increase the levels of NAD in our systems. But because NAD levels decline with age and the inevitable stresses of life, better lifestyle choices aren’t always enough to produce the amounts of NAD we need for healthy, strong cells. And to be honest, how many people do you know that adhere to all of the above, all the time? And in the lead up to the silly season, its even harder.
So why are we only hearing about this now? Well although biochemists have known about this critical molecule for over 100 years, they didn’t focus on studying it because NAD was so prevalent in the body. They also didn’t have the knowledge we do now that NAD declines with age. By the age of 60, a person’s NAD levels are approximately half of what they were just twenty years before – and they feel this loss of energy and vitality more and more each year. Our cells still manufacture NAD, but as we age our bodies can’t replace the cells that die as quickly with new ones. This is precisely why some of world’s leading neuroscientists, biochemists, and researchers are paying attention to it, and why experts in the field came together to create Tru Niagen.
Tru Niagen provides NR in a form that is nature-identical to NAD; meaning it restores your own personal levels of the vital molecule, each and every time you take it. Creator Professor Charles Brenner says that unlike a stimulant such as caffeine, when you boost energy at a cellular level, “it’s more like the steady background energy your smartphone uses to execute its many functions.” This means that you won’t be bowled over by a sudden rush of energy, but rather, well supported in everyday life.
Proven scientific benefits of increased NAD include anti-ageing, an increased metabolism, improved cardiovascular health, improved cognitive function and improved endurance, among others. The practical benefits of increased NAD that daily users of Tru Niagen have reported are better sleep, increased energy, improved memory and an increased ‘healthspan’ - an increased period of time unaffected by serious illness – and after a month of taking it religiously, I can confidently say that I am dealing with the likes of stress and an unpredictable workload much better. Am I ageing better? I sincerely hope so, as ageing is inevitable, how you age isn’t.
Grab some Tru Niagen and see for yourself here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Beauty news: East Day Spa and Spring Spa win big at World Spa Awards

One of my all time ‘happy places’ is East Day Spa in Auckland’s five-star SKYCITY Grand Hotel - along with its sister spas under the name Spring Spa in places like St. Heliers and Queenstown, New Zealand and Seminyak, Bali. I’ve had the pleasure of whiling away an afternoon in one of them several times over the years, and often actually didn’t want to leave! To say I was so relaxed/transformed that I almost had to be peeled off the floor would be an understatement – these places are transformative, and then some.  A beauty destination that is definitely top of my bucket list is East Day Spa’s five-star East Residence in Bali. I have heard nothing but amazing things about the seriously heavenly spot, and photos of it don’t look real – the stuff of dreams for sure.
And it is clear that I am not the only person that thinks this way, with East Day Spa winning the prestigious award for New Zealand’s Best Hotel Spa at the World Spa Awards 2018, marking the third year running that they have taken the category title.
Alongside East Day Spa’s award, hip sister spa and lifestyle brand Spring Spa in Seminyak Village, was crowned Asia’s Best Day Spa 2018 in the hotly contested category, also for the third year running.
The awards were announced on Friday evening at a gala ceremony in the Maldives following a record number of votes that were cast by leading spa and wellness tourism professionals, as well as hundreds of thousands of spa consumers from across the globe to determine the winners.
East Day Spa and Spring Spa are the brainchild of founder and CEO Ina Bajaj, who is naturally delighted to add two more awards to her impressive collection.
“We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 16 years. To see both East Day Spa and Spring continue to impress on an international stage and receive the ultimate recognition for operating to the highest standards is a remarkable achievement,” says the astute businesswoman and spa connoisseur. “The categories we have won at the World Spa Awards are highly competitive and reflect the strength of our world-class and independent spa brands that have been founded right here in New Zealand.”
As an innovator in the spa industry, Ina’s spa brands have seen enormous success through her focus on creating unique spaces that appeal to the target consumer. While the East Day Spa brand appeals to a luxury consumer housed in a 5-star location that is a calm haven of East and West, the Spring brand brings a contemporary touch to the traditional spa environment with an effortless fusion of beauty, design and lifestyle, situated in vibrant locations.
If you haven’t visited one of these stellar destinations in a while then I highly recommend that you do – you definitely won’t be disappointed. And remember too that Christmas is coming - a gift voucher to any of these stunning locales will make you the most popular gift-giver on the block!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Daily delight: Keira Knightley for Chanel 'Coco Crush'

Love it: Hair by Sam Knight Easy Up-do

The name Sam McKnight is pretty much synonymous with great hair. Be it retro-tastic disco curls, effortlessly tousled beach hair, elegantly sleek ponies, top knots or sharp as a knife bobs, chances are he’s done it all – and superbly. 
It is said that the super stylist’s signature “done, undone” look owes much to his early days working at groundbreaking London salon Molton Brown in the late seventies. “They taught us to work with our hands and not to rely on hair dryers, tongs and tools,” says the Scottish-born stylist, whose big editorial break came with his first cover for British Vogue in 1977. “It’s something I’ve carried with me ever since.” At 24, he went freelance and went on to make beauty history with collaborations and covers that have been deemed iconic and rule breaking in turn. He was even Princess Diana’s most trusted hairstylist in the nineties, and was responsible for the cropped pixie style that became one of that era’s most iconic looks. He worked with the princess for seven years, helping her prepare for public appearances, charity events, even humanitarian missions. “I was incredibly privileged to be part of her world,” he told W magazine.
“Sam’s work has a special sensual expression,” says Karl Lagerfeld in the foreword of Hair By Sam McKnight, a dazzling and comprehensive career anthology of McKnight’s work since the very beginning. Published in 2016, it also formed the basis of a spectacular retrospective at Somerset House that same year. “As a photographer and as a designer you feel more gifted if he is around,” Lagerfeld wrote.
Now the man who has worked with a bevy of supers like Kate, Cindy, Gigi, Bella and Adwoa can lend us all a little of his signature style in the form of Hair By Sam McKnight, a must-have capsule collection of four essential hairsprays that help busy girls on the go achieve the same finesse he creates so effortlessly behind the scenes. And lucky for us it’s available at your local MECCA and online at www.meccabeauty.co.nz, so wherever you are you can have a little McKnight in your day (or night).
When it came to creating his own collection of simple, clever hair care solutions, McKnight says he wanted it to be “ easy to use, lightweight and ‘brushoutable’,” so it’s easy to use backstage and at home. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to play with his Easy Up-do of late, which was used at Fendi during couture and is great for backcombing and giving hair extra grip. Affectionately referred to as ‘hair grips in a can’ by McKnight himself, the spray makes it easy to style and hold everything from braids and buns to fancypants chignons, all while giving locks an enviable movement and texture. Perfect for use during the upcoming party season, the texturising hairspray is also a delight to be around as it’s lightly scented with fresh, botanical green leaf, herbs, watery flowers and pepper, against a backdrop of frankincense, cedar and juniper wood. Too delicious, and it works a charm! At $55.00 it’s not cheap, but a little goes a long way and hey, you can’t put a price on having a little McKnight in your life, can you?
Next on my ‘must try list’ is Cool Girl, a very light texturiser that the stylist uses on Kate Moss to “mess her hair up a little bit,” and Lazy Girl, a dry shampoo that gives some volume and hold as well. If you haven’t tried this line then I highly recommend that you do.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Daily delight: Kaia Gerber for Vogue Japan

Beauty news: Environ named Top Medical Skin Care Company

In huge news for the well-respected, multi award-winning brand, Environ Skin Care has been named the “Top Medical Skin Care” company in the prestigious and highly revered Aesthetic Everything Awards.
Voted on by consumers, the 2018 Aesthetic Everything Aesthetic and Cosmetic Medicine Awards is a global competition run from the USA that recognises excellence across a range of categories. This year’s competition saw more than 30 000 votes cast between September and October 2018 to battle it out for the sought-after aesthetic industry titles. The announcement of Environ’s prestigious win was put up in lights in New York City’s famous Times Square: “We are honoured to be named the Top Medical Skin Care company by the Aesthetic Everything Awards. This award recognises our mission to future-proof skins across the globe and the efficacy of our products, which help create the appearance of more youthful, healthy-looking and beautiful skin,” said Dr Des Fernandes, Founder and Scientific Director at Environ Skin Care.
Since 1990, the brand has used the science of beauty to change the way the world sees skin care. Cape Town based, it has received over 100 other recognitions for outstanding products worldwide. It was also awarded the Swiss Vitamin Institute seal, verifying the strength and effectiveness of their vitamin A moisturisers and serums. 
Today the brand has over 140 products in more than 70 countries. “We have a track record spanning more than thirty years using science to change skin and transform lives. Because I have seen incredible results using vitamin A, I believe that, with this ingredient, everyone can have beautiful skin,” says Fernandes, also internationally acclaimed plastic surgeon.  
Today Environ continues to build the legacy of scientific innovation, which is celebrated and respected globally, through the launch of new innovations and powerhouse product formulations. It recently unveiled its most targeted approach to the specific skin conditions of ageing, sensitive and dry skin, through its Focus Care™ Ranges, respectively, Focus Care™ Youth+, Focus Care™ Comfort+ and Focus Care™ Moisture+. It also unveiled the new Focus Care™ Skin Tech+ Electro-Sonic DF Mobile Skincare Device, a revolutionary and convenient hand-held device designed to make a lasting difference to the skin’s overall appearance.