Friday, June 23, 2017

Daily delight: Halima Aden for Allure magazine

All about: the Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm AD range

Eau Thermale Avène is a legendary French skincare brand that creates of some of most gentle and calming products out there. It is centred around the use of thermal spring water for its soothing properties, and all Avène products are created to heal and soothe even the most sensitive of skin types, including babies and kids.
A pharmacy-only brand that often flies a little under the radar, it is one of the most recommended skincare brands by French dermatologists and works to fight against irritated skin, intolerant skin and allergic skin. Its most famous offering is its Thermal Spring Water, which has calmed my skin over the years even when it’s been at its most eczema-afflicted. A naturally soothing source for sensitive skin since 1743, Avène’s Thermal Spring Water's unique composition is clinically shown by over 150 studies to calm, soothe and soften the skin. Ideal for red, sensitive or irritated skin and perfect for post-workout, travel, outdoor activities or to freshen up makeup, it is incredibly reasonably priced and a must in every bathroom.
With the colder weather meaning skin is getting a bit of a hammering at the moment, I have added two more of Avène’s products to my arsenal with some amazing results. The first is Avène XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil, and you know how much I love an oil! This one won Allure magazine’s Best of Beauty 2014 award for Best Breakthrough product in the bodycare category, and was also voted Best Cleanser for Sensitive Skin by the US National Eczema Association. A daily cleansing oil that can be used in the shower or the bath, it calms, soothes and alleviates itching associated with atopic dermatitis and eczema, and is generally a brilliant choice for winter skin of any type. And although it is an oil it gently lathers up well, working the whole time to seal in moisture and restore the skin's barrier. Suitable for infants, children and adults, its ingredient list includes I-Modulia, a complex derived from Avène Thermal Spring Water that calms itching while helping to support the skin's own defense system, and Cer-Omega, which is derived from evening primrose and rich in omega-6 and ceramides to provide exceptional hydration and help restore the skin's epidermal barrier. Amazing.
After that I have been lathering on XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cream when I feel my skin needs it, which is another Allure Best of Beauty Winner – 2016’s Best Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin. A replenishing cream that directly targets itching, redness and irritation for skin prone to atopic dermatitis and eczema, it is formulated without any preservatives, parabens or fragrances, and its clever delivery system keeps the cream completely sterile and safe for its entire use. Suitable for infants, children and adults, it has a super rich texture that feels beautiful on the skin, and also contains the aforementioned I-Modulia and Cer-Omega for their super restorative properties.
So if sensitivity is your issue then I highly recommend that you check these two wonders out. Both come in at around the NZD $40 mark, and as a little goes a long way are a more than justifiable gift to self.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Daily delight: Gisele Bundchen for Loewe FW17

Beauty news: Estée Lauder signs major MUA Violette as Global Beauty Director

One of the first people I followed when I joined Instagram was beautiful, talented and super creative makeup artist Violette, not just for her skills but also for her personal style. Girlfriend has it ALL, and in spades.
It was only a matter of time before the big guns in the beauty industry began to take notice of the super chic Parisienne - who likes to think of what she does as like “fashion design for the face” – and last night Estée Lauder announced it had officially signed Violette as its Global Beauty Director. What a coup, and what a match made in heaven.
Violette will collaborate with the beauty giant’s team on product development, digital content creation, education and training, and public relations initiatives. Content created through this partnership will be leveraged across Estée Lauder's digital and social channels as well as Violette's You Tube channel violette _fr and Instagram handle @violette_fr. Violette will also star in how-to videos for the brand, sharing her point-of-view on her favourite makeup looks and beauty products. I for one will be watching them like a hawk!
“We are thrilled to welcome Violette to the Estée Lauder brand and look forward to an exciting collaborative partnership,” said Stephane de La Faverie, Global Brand President, Estée Lauder. “As a talented makeup artist and lifestyle influencer with a passion for art and colour, Violette brings a unique voice and perspective to beauty. We are excited to partner with Violette on innovative new product ideas and engaging digital content that creates a dynamic new beauty conversation with women around the world across all touch points.” 
“I am so honoured to work with the Estée Lauder brand,” said Violette. “Estée was such a visionary and is still an inspiration for women today. She understood beauty is a way of expressing yourself, a way to celebrate femininity. And that is also my philosophy. I can’t wait to connect with women everywhere as part of this brand and take them on this journey with me.” 
It would be all too easy to describe the effortless beauty as chic and French and simply leave it at, she is so much more, that. One of the most creatively inclined MUAs working today, her CV includes gigs with Dior, Sephora and, La Mer, plus experience in editorial and runway makeup working alongside names like Patrick Demarchelier, Camilla Akrans, Mario Sorrenti and Mert & Marcus.
She began painting and studying art at the age of three, and, since childhood, has connected with others through the use of colour. After grade school, she enrolled in the prestigious École du Louvre in her native Paris, and also studied fashion and costume design. Her YouTube channel, where she shares French girl beauty secrets and helps women connect to aspirational beauty in an accessible way, was an instant success and is the perfect place to start learning more about this extraordinary woman. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Daily delight: Paris Jackson for Vogue Australia

Love it: PREVAGE City Smart Double Action Detox Peel Off Mask

There is nothing better than a beauty product that delivers instant gratification, a role usually reserved for makeup rather than skincare for its transformative properties. Every so often though, an amazing game changer comes along from the world of high performance skincare, and the latest to land is from the might PREVAGE.
Called PREVAGE City Smart Double Action Detox Peel Off Mask and landing on counter in New Zealand next week, it is a skin resurfacing mask that instantly lifts and removes impurities and promotes skin’s natural detoxification system for a brighter, smoother, virtually poreless complexion. Like the rest of the PREVAGE collection it is formulated with the power of Idebenone, and also like its other family members: it works. And then some.
The “City Smart” and “Detox” part of its name comes down to its focus on fighting the effects of pollution, an unfortunate side effect of modern life living in a big city. Pollution’s dirty little secret is that it can enter every pore, every day. Some pollutants can even be 20 times smaller than the average human pore, and with thousands of them exposed on your face alone, your skin is incredibly susceptible to its harmful effects. To date, 80 per cent of the world’s population is exposed to particulate matter that exceeds the World Health Organization’s recommended level. Add to that the fact that age impacts the rate in which your skin can naturally combat the impact of pollution and you see how much of a difference products targeting that can make. In your 20’s skin cell turnover is happening at a rate of about every 20 days, but by age 45 those same cells are taking an average of 40 days to renew themselves. In other words: you need a little extra help, and that’s where this tube of amazingness steps in.
Using powerful ingredients including antioxidants, a smart polymer and a botanical blend, the super easy to apply mask helps to perfect your complexion by removing accumulated surface toxins, peeling away dirt, oil and pollutants from the skin – supporting skin’s natural detoxification system by gentle exfoliation. The smooth, super lightweight, gel formula delivers both immediate and long term detoxifying results, and after just one use, 95 per cent of women tested agreed skin looked clearer and 91 per cent agreed pores were visibly reduced.
I’ve used it only twice since it arrived across my desk last week and already I have noticed a new clarity to my skin - it works that fast, no exaggerration! The brand recommends that you use it twice a week, and that feels about right to me. You apply a generous layer to cleansed skin - avoiding eyebrows and hairline - and wait twenty minutes while it does its work. When it is completely dry, gently peel off from edges to reveal your brightest complexion yet. The first time I used it I didn’t apply a thick enough layer and found removal a bit of hassle, but second time round it came off like a charm!
For the ultimate PREVAGE detox and defend ritual, the brand recommends that you pair PREVAGE City Smart Double Action Detox Peel Off Mask with their City Smart Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Hydrating Shield. PREVAGE City Smart Double Action Detox Peel Off Mask will be available at all Elizabeth Arden counters next week, for RRP$126 (75ml tube). If you can afford it then I say go forth and grab one - it’s that good.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Daily delight: Heidi Klum for Harper’s Bazaar Singapore

All about: Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate

Skin feeling a little parched now the mercury has dropped and the aircon has started cranking the heat? Lucky for you then that Clinique have kindly added to it Moisture Surge collection of super-hydrating products with a new water-gel hydrator that feels like heaven on the skin. 
The latest addition to the moisture quenching range is the Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate, and it’s an intensely hydrating formula that boosts skin’s moisture levels for a full 24-hours, and how. The pretty pink bottle delivers a surge of hydration to help increase skin’s moisture reservoir with an immediate 179 per cent moisture boost for starters, and that is retained for 24 hours at 65 per cent. Amazing.
The ultra light water-gel includes water-binding agents that are in there to lock in hydration and strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier to better resist environmental aggressors, delaying the signs of aging. It works to prevent dryness with its clever “Liquid-Sphere Technology”, which combines water-binding ingredients with encapsulated antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin E, and absorbs instantly so anything added on top will glide on as normal. I particularly love that the water-based formula has an almost instant cooling effect on the skin that is pretty damn delicious and will mean that it’s still a great option come summer.
Like all Clinique products, the Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate is allergy tested, and 100 per cent fragrance free. It comes in a see-through airless container, and apparently the pink-y shade of the gel is due to the presence of skin-enlivening, peachy-pink pigments designed to make the complexion look fresher and more radiant. Clever.
You apply Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate as part if the brand’s 3-Step Skin Care System to lock in hydration, and I have found that a single pump will cover your entire face. If I’m feeling particularly dry I add a moisturiser over the top, and foundation glides on like a charm. The end result? Super soft, hydrated, and plumped up skin – instant gratification if ever I saw it! 
Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate is available right now at Clinique counters nationwide and at and for a suggested retail price of $99.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Daily delight: Zendaya for Vogue US

All about: 16Brand Peach Soda Cleansing Balm

It's no secret that Asian beauty products have finally earned a major following all around the world, and with good reason. For the past few years we’ve been looking to South Korea in particular for some much-needed skincare inspiration, and as for the super stylish nation’s obsession with sheet masks and cushion delivery? Both are now ALL over department stores all around the world, with new formulas always in development by some of the Western world’s biggest beauty brands. "Koreans are serious about their skin care," Charlotte Cho, the founder of, an online store specialising in Korean beauty products, told Allure last year. "They also know what they want — innovation, gentle ingredients, pleasing packaging—and they definitely don't want to pay a fortune for it."
All of those qualities can be found in the 16Brand makeup and skincare lineup, which is one several great K-Beauty offerings now available at Mecca Maxima and online at
Two years ago Chosungah– the famous K-beauty makeup artist and beauty innovator seen at work, above - launched 16Brand as a little sister to her mainline, Chosungah22, which is also now available at Mecca. 16Brand has a little less in the way of skincare than the other Chosungah lines (Chosungah22 and Original Raw), but is all about big, bold colour and super glow-y results, and the price point is amazing.
The first product I’ve had a play with from the line is Peach Soda Cleansing Balm, which is an absolute revelation. I have long been a fan of balms for cleansing the skin (especially during the cold months), and regular have a few on the go. This one is different however in that it literally melts on contact with the skin – like almost zero massaging in or around to spread, and makeup disintegrates before your eyes. Crazy! Bursting with juicy peach extract, this solid formulation delivers deep hydration to leave skin super soft and comfortably clean without any associated tightness, and can be tissued off or rinsed thoroughly before patting dry. It goes without saying that it smells amazing, and that the packaging is K-cute.
Also in the range is the awesomely named Donkey Milk Cleanser, which actually harnesses the intensely nourishing properties of donkey milk! Ultra-gentle and conditioning; this cleansing solution is mild but also mega mighty. The foaming action deeply cleans and dissolves impurities from the pores whilst nourishing properties moisturise, soothing and soften skin. 
There is also Donkey Milk Cream, which was formulated with 10 per cent donkey milk and reportedly instantly quenches parched skin for 24 hours whilst brightening dull, fatigued areas and shielding from environmental aggressors. And what's more? Sensitive, stressed skins need not fear, as the decadent cream is enriched with soothing calamine to calm any irritation and restore skin to its glow-iest state.
All of these goodies are under $40 – the Donkey Milk Cleanser just $12 a tube! – and thus very affordable in true Korean beauty fashion, and are available now exclusively at Mecca Maxima and online at 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Daily delight: Hailey Baldwin for Vogue Japan

Beauty news: the Trilogy commitment to saving our oceans

One of my biggest beauty bugbears is the use of plastic microbeads, which are present in a wide range of personal care products such as scrubs, shower gels and shampoos around the world.
These tiny, non-biodegradable pieces of plastic get washed down the drain and out to sea where they are ingested by marine life and disrupt the natural balance of our oceans. One study found that around 35 per cent of fish examined had microplastics in their stomachs, and as activists push for a ban on microbeads, cosmetic companies - and consumers – are on the search for environmentally friendly substitutes
This seriousness of this problem led to an international campaign a few years ago called Beat the Microbead, which has seen California recently banning microbeads in cosmetic products. For years, research has shown that beauty products made with tiny microbeads, gritty cleansers that scrub off dead skin cells, have been damaging water supplies, marine life and the ecological balance of the planet.
Beat the Microbead reports that marine species are unable to distinguish between food and microbeads. According to the campaign, "over 663 different species were negatively impacted by marine debris with approximately 11 per cent of reported cases specifically related to the ingestion of microplastics". Just hideous, and to make things worse, microbeads can act like tiny sponges, absorbing several other dangerous chemicals, including pesticides and flame retardants. As they ingest microbeads, marine animals also consume these other poisons and then often we eat them.
The seriousness of this problem has led to several countries taking a stance against microbeads - the United States and Canada have already begun the process of banning microbeads, and Australia has threatened a ban if companies do not voluntarily remove them from their products. The New Zealand government likewise announced in January of this year that cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned in July 2018. 
These bans are all small but monumental steps in the right direction, and while there is more progress to be made, local brand Trilogy are proud to say they have never and will never use plastic microbeads in their products. They proudly strive to minimise their impact on the environment and be ethically and environmentally responsible with every choice they make, and have had an association with the international Beat the Microbead campaign since its inception 2013.
So, it is with great joy that I can repot that Trilogy’s Gentle Facial Exfoliant features in Fauna & Flora International’s Good Scrub Guide, identifying products that use safe, natural alternatives. Trilogy’s products have always been and will continue to be free of plastic microbeads, and the formula is top notch too. Formulated with natural, biodegradable and non-abrasive jojoba wax spheres, Trilogy’s exfoliant gently polishes the complexion, refining its texture and improving clarity without irritation or compromising the skin’s natural barrier function. It is gentle enough (when used properly) for even a reactive skin like mine, and it nourishes too.
Also joyfully free of microbeads is Trilogy’s Exfoliating Body Balm, a NATRUE certified natural body polisher that leaves skin silky-smooth, hydrated and glowing. This buttery-textured balm is a luxe treat, and I for one have been a huge fan of it since its release. The natural exfoliant in Trilogy Exfoliating Body Balm is finely ground rosehip seed powder, another example of an innovative, biodegradable, ocean-safe alternative to plastic microbeads. The powder is ground from the solids which remain after the seed oil extraction process, making good use of a by-product and thereby reducing waste. Amazing.
Oh and in further love and support for our oceans - for the month of June, Trilogy will contribute $2NZD for every product sold worldwide, to the NZ Whale & Dolphin Trust, committed to the conservation of NZ’s whales and Dolphins. Love that!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Daily delight: Gal Gadot for Grazia China

All about: Good Health Immuno-Biotic PRE+PRO Biotic in One

Whilst many of you out there reach for a probiotic to address nasties like bloating and cramping and others (like me) take them to keep eczema at bay, having a healthy gut could be more important to our general wellbeing than it’s ever been given credit for.
Probiotics are in my humble opinion essential to wellbeing, so it was great to hear that is being backed up by science, which has now ascertained that the gut and the beneficial bacteria that inhabit it play a critical role in immune function. In fact, about 80 per cent of immune function starts in the gut, so there has never been a better time to increase your friendly bacteria than now when the flu season is well and truly about to hit.
Supplementing a half decent diet with a probiotic can have an amazing effect, and one of the latest to cross my desk is Good Health's Immuno-Biotic - a PRE+PRO Biotic in One, which helps promote healthy microflora in the gut and support the body’s natural immunity through the colder months to combat ills and chills. 
Probiotics are well known for helping to increase the number of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract, restoring gut flora balance and promoting optimal digestive and immune health. This formula also kindly includes a PREbiotic, creating a new way to care for your gut and immune health. The PREbiotic provides the food for the PRObiotic and other beneficial bacteria to feed on and multiply. In other words, the PREbiotic increases the effectiveness of the PRObiotic. Confused? Let’s just say it’s a super biotic of sorts, and the PRObiotic even has a naturally resistant coat to provide protection from heat, moisture and gastric acid. This means the bacteria survive the acidic conditions of the stomach and only activate and multiply once they reach the digestive tract. The unique PREbiotic in there is a natural ingredient called EpiCor, which is highly effective in strengthening the immune system and works as an antioxidant. 
Unlike many probiotic formulas, Immuno-Biotic PRE+PRO Biotic in One is shelf stable so doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge (where I usually forget them!) and just one a day will keep your gut in tip top shape. It is also derived from natural sources, containing no added gluten, dairy, egg, crustacea, soy or wheat and is suitable for vegetarians. Love that.
Good Health naturopath Vanessa told me a handy gut health life hack that I personally will definitely be putting to good use, which is carrying a bottle of these babies around in your handbag for post-big meals and rich food. They will help your stomach settle itself down a little faster, which when winter comfort eating is afoot can only be a good thing!
Good Health Immuno-Biotic PRE+PRO Biotic in One is in store now, RRP $29.90 for 30 vege capsules.