Monday, December 22, 2014

Marvellous multi-tasker: Smashbox’s new Telephoto Brush

It’s holiday time, so I’m more passionate than ever about making beauty options faster, easier and more-on-the-go. The latest tool that I have been lucky enough to have a good old play with – and fall in love with – is from the Smashbox stable, and comes in the form of their brand spanking new Telephoto Brush.
Whether it’s full coverage, medium coverage or a sheer swipe of colour that you’re after, this multi-tasking brush will help you apply your powder and liquid foundation like a pro. With one swift twist, you have a full-coverage tool for sweeping on an almost airbrushed-looking layer of foundation for evening. Click it a second time if you prefer to let your natural complexion shine through. Give the tool a third and final twist for the full Kabuki brush, which is perfect for applying loose powder. Magic!
The first setting stops the brush at a pretty dense setting, which allows you to use the brush like a kabuki. Whether it be for powder or liquid foundation, this setting will buff the product into the skin, giving you the most flawless coverage possible. I’ve been using this a lot for Christmas parties and the like, but come days off in the sun and I’ll be dialling this baby all the way out I reckon for Sheer Coverage. This setting is great for finishing powders, or powder foundations. I don’t recommend using this setting with liquid however, because it really just moves the foundation around, and ends up eating most of the product into the bristles.
The middle setting is for Medium Coverage. This one is great for again liquid and powder foundations, and also works for blush application, if you are travelling and need to do double duty.
This brush is super soft, and I love that it comes with a cap. Super travel friendly, and it can stand in for your Foundation, Powder, Blush and Bronzer.
This will be an awesome brush for the Summer time, when everything always just gets thrown into a massive tote bag, and brought all over the place. The beach, the bach, the city… everywhere!
The people at Smashbox recommend that to keep your brush clean, rinse every two weeks if using to apply powder, or every week if using to apply liquid foundation. I always carry a bottle of on-the-spot brush cleaner when I travel either way, so I can swap in between formulations no problem.
Smashbox Cosmetics are available from selected Life Pharmacies, beauty spas, the Smashbox Concept Store in Ponsonby and and this awesome little baby has an RRP of $89.00.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Countdown: the M.A.C Keepsakes collection

For the M.A.C fan in your life (and we all have at least one, most likely more) my pick for a Christmas gift that will be loved and much cherished is absolutely anything from the makeup mega brand’s Keepsakes collection. A little bit posh and a lot wearable, the collection is made up of a number of beautiful gifting options whether your M.A.C is all about eyes or lips, or just needs a new set of brushes.
The M.A.C Keepsakes Face Palettes have everything you need to create the perfect party face and are available in two colour palettes, Natural and Smoky. Each features three Eye Shadows, one Iridescent Pressed Powder, a Cream Colour Base, and two Lipsticks housed in glittering cameo medallion-accented compacts.
The M.A.C Keepsakes Eye Kits are three limited-edition compacts that each contains an amazing eight coordinated shades in palettes of Plum, Smoky and Beige. The sleek, mirrored compacts sparkle in glittery grey, black and white, each accented with a chic cameo, and are perfect for travellers as they really do cover it all.
For something smaller but still perfectly formed, M.A.C Keepsakes Lip Bags feature posh shades of Lipstick, Lipglass, and Lip Pencil in two colour palettes: red and nude. As an alternative, M.A.C Keepsakes Eye Bags are made up of Eye Shadow, In Extreme Dimension Lash and Eye Pencil in three majestic palettes: smoky, plum and brown.
For a little extra sparkle, the Keepsakes Gold Lip + Eye Bag and Keepsakes Silver Lip + Eye Bag feature quads of four Mineralize Eye Shadows accented with Mineralize Rich Lipstick and frosted Mineralize Glass, packaged in a sleek glittery grey clutch with a cameo-embossed zipper pull. There are also three M.A.C Keepsakes Brush Kits in Mineralize, Studio and In Extra Dimension for the most practical but still fabulous gift of the bunch.

Daily delight: Naomi Campbell for Agent Provocateur

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Love it: Ashley & Co’s beautiful Soothe Tubes

Both the perfect stocking stuffers and a product I know that I will seriously go through multiple tubes of, Ashley & Co’s Soothe Tubes are beautifully crafted, luxe feeling, intensive hydrating creams from the stellar New Zealand brand.
A rich, yet non-greasy aromatic natural blend designed for giving some love to parched hands and cuticles, Soothe Tubes come in a convenient 75ml size, making them perfect to take anywhere and highly qualified handbag essentials. The formula is packed with pampering natural ingredients like chamomile, shea butter, borage oil and Vitamin E, and the tubes are available in Ashley & Co’s own captivating signature scents: Tui & Kahili (Wild Ginger, Lily), Blossom & Gilt (Costa Rican Tuberose, Wild Jasmine), Mortar & Pestle (Exotic Elemi, Cedar, Black Tea) and the newest kid on the block, Once Upon & Time (Fig & Black Gardenia).
With an RRP of $22.00 and available right now these make the perfect stocking stuffers and cheeky gifts to self, and smell and look amazing. Love it!

Daily delight: Jennifer Aniston for Allure magazine

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hair how To: Sara Donaldson of Harper and Harley’s signature wave

One of the most impeccably groomed Southern Hemisphere blogstars must be brunette beauty Sara Donaldson from Harper and Harley, whose take on monochromatics has many a reader enthralled on a daily basis.
As well as a sweet take on the perfectly put together outfit for pretty much every occasion, she has fabulous hair – which for once took centre stage on Fashion Bloggers TV, a new reality TV show now showing on E!. Sara recently demonstrated how she creates this go-to style on the show, and I bet the demo was just as eagerly lapped up as her regular flatlays.
The show’s official hair sponsor is ghd, and the always-awesome team there sent me some instructions on how to create the look at home using their stellar tools and products: 
1. Prep hair with ghd total volume foam and dry in with ghd aura professional hairdryer
2.  Section hair in half with clips and spritz with ghd curl hold spray
3. Using the ghd curve classic wave wand take small sections of hair and gently wrap the hair around the barrel, starting from the base towards the cool tip
4. Hold for 5-8 seconds then gently release the hair and leave to cool
5. Once the entire head is complete loosen curls by brushing hair with the ghd detangling comb for a shiny softer look
6. To finish, spray hair with ghd final shine spray 
And if you still haven’t got it nailed go a step further and check out Sara’s how-to video here or steps on her blog.

Christmas Countdown: the Jo Malone Frosted Fantasy collection

No one does Christmas like Jo Malone London, and this year’s seasonal offering is, as expected, absolutely stunning! Want it all, must have it all, they can do no wrong, etc etc… A stellar line up as per has been released for this year, and I’ve named my picks from what is a very lengthy and gorgeous bunch of gifting options.
The hero of Jo Malone Christmas 2014 is Frosted Cherry and Clove, which comes as a beautiful deluxe candle – gorgeous in both appearance and fragrance. The new Christmas scent, which Jo Malone describe as 'rich with winter spices' is guaranteed to please, and also available is the Pine & Eucalyptus home fragrance , which includes the candle option so popular in my house for the past couple of years.
Another fave of mine is the Cologne Collection, which is perfect for those that travel due to the diminutive size of the beauties that make it up. This little set is such a perfect gift and absolutely amazing for Jo Malone pros and newbies alike, and includes 9ml bottles of Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne, Blackberry & Bay Cologne, Peony & Blush Suede Cologne, Amber & Lavender Cologne and the heavenly Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne. I was so happy to see Wood Sage & Sea Salt in there as it’s my favourite of the new launches from the past few years and an absolute winner as a unisex scent too. There is also a Cologne Intense collection That is absolutely to die for if you’re a fan of heavier, muskier scents like me.
Last up, the Incense and Embers Home Candle is on the top of my personal wish list, and is one of my all time favourite scents. I have heard whispers that Jo Malone will be bringing out a Cologne version of this in time and I for one can’t wait.

Daily delight: Sienna Miller for Vogue US

Monday, December 15, 2014

Love it: Elizabeth Arden’s Ltd Edition UNTOLD Colour Collection

One of the prettiest colour collections to have hit for the holiday season is Elizabeth Arden’s new Limited Edition UNTOLD Colour Collection. Inspired by the brand’s newest fragrance, UNTOLD, the collection celebrates the multi-faceted, ever-complicated beauty life of the typical modern woman with a versatile range of highly pigmented, long wearing products that can be used created a look for every occasion and an ever-changing mood  – from soft and subtle to intense and intriguing, you name it, you can do it!  The collection includes two limited edition Beautiful Color Eye Shadow Quads, two limited edition shades of Beautiful Color Luminous Lip Gloss, as well as new Beautiful Color Natural Eye Brow Pencils and Beautiful Color Precision Glide Eye Liners.
The quads are infinitely wearable and unabashedly pretty as usual, but my favourites from the collection have to be the two offerings that are almost purpose built for the holiday season. The first is the Beautiful Color Luminous Lip Gloss shade collection (RRP$49), the shades from which are both universally flattering and built for long, hot evenings outdoors. Multi-dimensional and moisture-rich, they feature a lip-plumping, long-lasting formula, with a hint of vanilla scent, for a pillow-y pout that’s drenched in high pigment colour and lasts and lasts. They are infused with the company’s “Maxi-Lip” ingredient, which has been clinically proven to increase the appearance of lip volume by 40%, reduce the appearance of furrows by 30% and increase moisture by 60%. Love that! They also contain conditioning and hydrating ingredients that soothe and comfort lips like a balm, so are great when you’re feeling a bit battered by sun and long days. The limited edition Beautiful Color Lip Gloss for the UNTOLD collection is available in two shades, Glamorous Gold and Intriguing Violet. A soft tip paddle applicator deposits the perfect amount of gloss and a built-in mirror allows for convenient on-the-go application and makes it beyond teeny tiny handbag friendly.
My other fave is the collection of Beautiful Color Precision Glide Eye Liners (RRP$46), which are long wearing (up to 14 hours), slide on like silk and come in beautiful, strong hues. Featuring an ultra-fine tip, the waterproof, smudge proof and transfer proof formula seamlessly glides along the lash line and can be easily blended  - bonus! - for a more dramatic look. Shades available are Black Velvet, Slate, Java, Sapphire, Blackberry and the absolutely bewitching Emerald.
The UNTOLD collection is available right now at Elizabeth Arden counters nationwide.

Daily delight: Georgia May Jagger for Vogue Russia

Friday, December 12, 2014

Beauty news: today is Clinique Happy Day!

From the minute it hit the counters in the late 1990’s, the fragrance Clinique Happy was a hit. Created in 1997 by Jean Claude Delville and Rodrigo Flores-Roux, it received a 1998 FiFi award and iconic images from their advertising campaigns (like the ones from 1999, above) defined a generation.
Clinique Happy is still hugely popular, and still is the epitome of “a fragrance of joy, the essence of a sunny, happy morning”. Wear Happy and be happy was the goal from the get-go, and the fresh apple, plums and bergamot mixed with the likes of freesia, lily, rose and morning orchid still make people smile every day.
Which brings me to today - Clinique Happy Day, a global initiative and an opportunity to focus on making people happy in small but meaningful ways. This year New Zealand Clinique counters have partnered with Look Good Feel Better, and will be offering women who have benefited from the Look Good Feel Better program with special skincare and makeup experiences on counter all day long. They will also be gifting a 15ml Clinique Happy Body Lotion in return for any donations made towards the organisation, which is the perfect chance to fall in love with Happy, if you haven’t already.
From Clinique employees working in store, to Clinique Happy Helpers providing Random Acts of Happiness, the aim is to bring a piece of happiness to as many people as possible. Love that – get thee to a Clinique counter ASAP!

Daily delight: Taylor Swift for Billboard Magazine

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Love it: Bobbi Brown Extra Rinse Balm cleanser

At this time of year I’m sporting more slap on my face than probably at any other, so a double cleanse at night is essential. I’m always aware of over-cleansing my face however, so always make the first step a cleansing oil or balm, for the emollient and comfort factor.
When I first declared love for cleansing oils and balms a while ago I had people telling me “Try the Bobbi Brown one! Beautiful to use! Smells amazing!” So one day, when I was given the opportunity to try the Bobbi Brown Extra Rinse Balm I couldn’t wait to break it out and see how I felt about it.
And I loved it. Immediately. A super soft, conditioning cleanser, it removes all traces of makeup and impurities quickly and completely. I leaves your skin feeling plump and amazing, and was designed to be used daily for dry skin, or as a nighttime treatment when skin needs more hydration.
The yellow balm is as the name implies, a balm texture. You will notice that the texture is slightly sticky. Warming it up in your palms makes it easier going on your face and minimizes any tugging at your facial skin, and as you massage it in, the balm will feel softer and it gets easier to handle. It stays as a balm too – unlike a few that turn into oils or milks when warmed up. Then when you’re ready, it is easily washed off without using a face cloth. You can just rinse it off after emulsifying it a little with warm water. I prefer to use a muslin face cloth but that’s just me – it is top notch either way. Oh and I love the scent, which is citrus-y and clean.
Sold usually in a jar, it now comes in the generous 50ml tube that I have - perfect for travel and especially at this time of year. If you haven’t tried this beauty then I highly recommend that you do – love it.

Daily delight: Lizzy Jagger for MCM Spring 15