Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Daily delight: Lily-Rose Depp for The Face

Christmas countdown: new from Ashley & Co

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I have a veritable fetish for scented candles, and they are the perfect accompaniment to winter days and nights spent indoors as well as balmy summer nights. I have a “wardrobe” of candles that I like to choose from, dependant on mood and time of day, and am constantly on the hunt for new additions. I am known to drop major coin on my candles at times (shhhhhh), and so take caring for them pretty seriously, and love a new seasonal scent to accompany Christmas in particular.
One of my favourites for this year has been a key player in the Christmas Collection by Ashley & Co, who aim to present a modern, contemporary take on scent- ing the festive season with two new products that epitomise the brand. They refer to their candle offerings as ‘Waxed Perfume’, and the limited edition Christmas offering for 2019 is The Caroler, a melodic wee number made up of sweet tart Citrus, flowering Orris and a base chorus of Cedarwood and White Musk.
“The lead up to Christmas is crazy and busy, and be honest, at times a little stressful,” says founder Jackie Ashley, “but I still love it. That’s why I wanted to create a fragrance to lead you into Christmas, and product that you could light and take a moment. The scent may be unpredictable, but with a mix of woody base and light florals, it will blend in sweetly to ones surround and festivities on this side of the world, or the other.”  Crafted to perfection and individually hand poured in New Zealand with 50 hours burn time, it is defiantly different from the usual Christmas offerings and I absolutely love it.
The clever company has also created great gifting options in the way of Holding Aces — the Ashley & Co hydrate & nourish Hand & Lip Kit.  Available in two different fragrances, each kit contains a Soothe Tube and a Lip Punch, neatly packaged together in a paper canister. The latter is an Air New Zealand long distance travellers’ favourite, and I always make sure to pop the complimentary one in my handbag for the journey on. A rich buttery balm with natural beeswax, arnica and essential oils, it nourishes like a charm, and a little goes a long way. For the hands, Soothe Tube is a rich, yet non– greasy aromatic natural blend that combines shea butter, camomile extract and vitamin E to create an intensive hydrating cream. 
The two Soothe Tube fragrances to choose from include Blossom & Gilt, a floral bouquet of Tuberose and Jasmine, and Mortar & Pestle, a 100 per cent natural parfum with notes of Exotic Elemi and Black Tea. 
The Caroler has an RRP of $54.95 and Holding Aces RRP $29.95, refer to ashleyandco.co/stockists for a list of stockists nationwide. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Daily delight: Kaia Gerber for Vogue US

Beauty news: Dose & Co launches Beauty Blends

A while back now I first heard word of Dose & Co, a forward-thinking health and wellness supplement range by New Zealand-born, US-based naturopath and nutritionist, Libby Matthews (above). I was immediately intrigued and now I’ve tried some of their offering – totally in love and an absolute raving fan.
I first met Libby when she and her sister began the Julia & Libby brand, which became known around town for creating deliciously decadent recipes free of refined sugar, as well as often dairy free, gluten free and vegan. Libby herself has always been the ultimate picture of health and wellbeing, and clearly well qualified to do her own thing when the right time came about.
That ‘thing’ is the aforementioned Dose & Co, which began as a range of clean, sustainable probiotic protein powders and bio-available collagen powders that were designed with good health and great taste top of mind. Focused on improving health from the inside out, each product has been developed to improve gut health through nourishing, high quality ingredients free of fillers and artificial flavours – and the one I’ve been taking tastes pretty amazing too.
The range features two New Zealand ‘firsts’ – the first probiotic protein powder and first collagen creamer (specifically designed to be added to coffee).  These are formulated using only clean ingredients that have been sustainably sourced (an absolute must when it comes to collagen supplements), and what they come in has been just as carefully thought out. Alongside spending a huge amount of time sourcing sustainable and clean ingredients that taste great, Libby took the upmost care when considering the packaging, which is fully biodegradable - the carton, spoon, packaging (even using paper cellotape).  
In Libby’s words, “the range has been designed with simplicity in mind - the easier it is for you to adopt, the more likely you are to use it and the longer you’ll feel the benefits. Whether it’s the addition of the Collagen Creamer to your morning coffee, a scoop of the protein powder into your post workout smoothie or swapping out flour for protein powder in baking.”
So with all that in mind, I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard that Dose & Co was launching a new multi-tasking vitamin powder called Beauty Blends, which boasts high dose Vitamin B, C, probiotics and marine collagen. Luckily for me I got my hands on some not long afterwards, and I am seriously impressed. 
The perfect addition to your water over the summer months, the blends come in two flavours – Original, which is flavoured with cinnamon and Citrus, a lemon/lime flavour, which has been my refreshing go-to since it arrived. Developed in response to numerous requests from fans of the brand, Beauty Blends is Dose & Co’s first water-soluble and marine collagen product, formulated with taste at the forefront. Ever the perfectionist, Libby sought out the most pure and most premium form of marine collagen to avoid any fishy taste, and the anti-ageing ingredients have an added probiotic which means there are over one billion cultures in each serving. These probiotics help to support gut health, immunity, protein absorption, treat digestive conditions and repopulate the gut with good bacteria. Simply add three scoops to a glass of water and sip throughout the day – I guarantee you’ll love the taste!
A three-in-one vitamin powder that will suit people of all ages and life stages, it really is for anyone wanting to support and nourish their skin, hair and nails from the inside out. I particularly love that it does that with natural, clean, sustainably sourced ingredients formulated by qualified, holistic nutritionists, and that it is proudly made here in New Zealand. 
The whole Dose & Co range is available online at www.doseandco.com, with the new Beauty Blends coming with an RRP of $89.90 (350 grams or one month’s supply if taken as recommended).

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.