Thursday, June 27, 2019

Daily delight: Olivia Munn for Women’s Health

Beauty destination: the Heyday difference

One of the first dates I had when I arrived in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago was with Heyday, a beauty destination with a difference that I just WISH was on every street corner back here in little old New Zealand!
Heyday, which allows you to pop into stores for a super affordable, customised facial, boasts five locations in New York City and is now also in Los Angeles, where I popped into their incredibly convenient outpost not far from where I was staying on Beverly and La Brea (see below).
At Heyday, they employ a team of over a hundred Skin Therapists to “tap the power of expertise and human touch to demystify skincare and make it the approachable self-care and wellness routine it should be”. They believe everyone should have the chance to put their best face forward, a mission statement that I can fully get behind.
Amidst all the product hype, influencers, and skincare noise, they proudly bring alive the human touch of true skincare professionals, and have done since 2015.
Up until then they explain, facials happened in lavish spas, where you might be in a robe, listening to whimpering spa sounds and giving up two hours of your day and a significant chunk of your wallet. Professional skincare felt like a special occasion splurge instead of ongoing self-care, not to mention the slew of pricey product lines that most spas draw from as they try to convince you that a complicated, ten-step routine is the path to skin enlightenment. Not so at Heyday, which is a refreshing change.
My trip to Heyday Beverly began with filling out a form listing my concerns and regime on an iPad, meaning it could go straight onto record and be easily accessed by my therapist. Their skin analysis includes tools that help determine your skin type and areas to focus on, and my therapist Nori definitely took her time talking to me about my skin and having a good look at its state of affairs on that particular day.
After this analysis, she personalized the products and methods to use to get the most out of our session together. The treatment plan was joyfully multi-brand, with Heyday saying that they “don’t fear nature or the lab”. They believe in intentional, effective, and non-toxic products that harness the power of nature and the advances of science, and I loved discovering multiple brands that I’d never heard of before. Some were from the natural realm and others as aforementioned, closer to the lab, and I left with a glow that belied the 12 plus hours I’d recently spent on a plane.
Heyday offers a 30-minute facial option, which is great as a boost or to tame a skin freak out when the going gets tough. I went for the 50-minute, $95 option, which was a comprehensive, deep-cleansing facial that included extractions and some seriously gentle but effective exfoliation.
A big part of the Heyday experience is product curation, and not long after I left I received a comprehensive email detailing the products that Nori had used that I loved, and those she recommended. I am still kicking myself for leaving without Naturopathica’s Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm, which was a revelation! If anyone knows how to get it in New Zealand, please share!
Lastly, when you are asked to hand over your email address to most companies they then bombard you with pointless and dull EDMs – not Heyday. Their missives are super informative and just a damn good read, love that.
If you’re heading to – or live in – New York or Los Angeles then I sincerely suggest you jump on the Heyday train, you won’t be disappointed.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Daily delight: Georgia May Jagger for Sorbet mag

Beauty news: the “Bring Sephora To Your Town” Beauty Bus' final locations

Sephora today announced the final locations of the ‘BRING SEPHORA TO YOUR TOWN’ competition, with the double-decker Sephora Beauty Bus set to touch down in Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland from 6 July 2019.
To celebrate the global beauty retailers first New Zealand store opening in Auckland later this month, beauty fans from across the country were invited to vote for the chance to have the Sephora Beauty Bus (full of samples, complimentary makeovers and more) come to their hometown. 
Showcasing a curated assortment of exclusive products to explore and custom-built makeup stations manned by skilled Sephora makeup artists, the buses are set to literally be mobbed due to the sheer weight of beauty treats and expertise on board.
Brands on-board will include Sephora Collection (of course), alongside the likes of Fenty Beauty, tarte, Huda Beauty, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Zoeva, Ouai and more. They won’t be available to buy, but expect plenty of time to have a play and you can always order them straight after online. 
“The Sephora Beauty Bus is all about the Sephora Experience,” said Sephora National Artistry Lead Alphie Sadsad. “We have an online presence in New Zealand via our online store and app already, so this tour is all about letting our customers swatch, try and play with the products they’ve never seen in person. Come in, try something new and then shop the full Sephora assortment online if you liked what you tried. It’s a whole new way of shopping, and we are excited for New Zealand to be the first to experience it!”
The 14-metre double-decker bus wrapped in Sephora’s iconic black and white striped calepinage will visit each of the following towns for two-consecutive days, along with Sephora makeup artists available advice and colour-matching. • Cathedral Square, Christchurch – 12-4pm, 6th July
Northlands Mall, Christchurch – 12-4pm, 7th July
Oldins Plaza, Wellington Waterfront – 12-4pm, 10th & 11th July
Garden Place, Hamilton – 12-4pm, 13th July
The Base, Hamilton – 12-4pm, 14th July
Sylvia Park, Auckland – 12-4pm, 17th July
The Viaduct, Auckland – 12-4pm, 18th July

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Daily delight: Joan Smalls for Paper magazine

Love it: ILIA's new True Skin Serum Concealer

I’ve been largely forgoing concealer of late, mainly due to the fact that most formulas settle most unattractively into the fine lines under my eyes, and I’m lucky enough (*touching wood*) not to be prone to blemishes. So many concealers mask the darkish circles (mainly hereditary) under my peepers but crease like all heck, and honestly? I’d rather look tired than old any day!
However since having a decent play with it, I can officially declare the new ILIA True Skin Serum Concealer (RRP $52) as my cover up of choice, and it’s available right now at Mecca
Designed to cover dark circles in literally one step, it's a highly concentrated, densely pigmented concealer that visibly brightens stubborn under eye darkness and softens hollows and tired lines in literally an instant. Super cleanly formulated like all ILIA offerings, it is silky and lightweight but pulls major punches, and it comes with skincare benefits to boot.
Enriched with stabilised vitamin C and albizia julibrissin bark extract (try saying that fast!), ILIA’s True Skin Serum Concealer protects the skin from free radicals and environmental damage while helping to firm, soothe and nourish the skin’s surface. And that’s on top of the coverage benefits, which as aforementioned are pretty impressive. Mastic, a resin from a tree that grows on the Greek island of Chios, is also included to mattify and refine skin throughout the day, but this doesn’t mean it looks dry or chalky. Your skin will staying hydrated-looking and plump, and it really does last.
Available in 12 shades, this beauty really does work like a dream – and I’ve tried a LOT of concealers. You only need a very small amount and it provides natural and non-drying coverage, and the applicator doesn’t drag the delicate skin under the eye. I mostly use it under the eyes but I’ve found that it works elsewhere too, depending on your shade of choice.
Like all ILIA products, this baby is also free from fragrance, silicone, gluten, soy, nano particles, sulfates, parabens and phthalates, and is Vegan-friendly. So if you’re looking for a concealer that works effectively and is cruelty free and a clean makeup product, look no further. Highly recommended, it’s in store now at

Monday, June 24, 2019

Daily delight: Suki Waterhouse for Elle Croatia

All about: Skin Fasting, with the creators of Biologi

A couple of months ago I met the extremely passionate pair behind Australian skincare brand Biologi, chemist Ross Macdougald and skin specialist Lucy Kuper (above).
Proud disruptors of the industry, they see Biologi as revolutionising the skincare landscape with their unique range of serums, offering the only 100 per cent active, water soluble plant extract range in the world. Each of the Biologi serums is extracted from a single native plant; finger lime, Davidson plum, Kakadu plum and Quandong. Using a revolutionary extraction system, their method mimics the plant’s internal closed process to extract serums that work in the bottle as they do in their unique cellular environment. Biologi's unique extraction process delivers the highest concentrate of active botanical ingredients to your skin. No additives, fragrances, or even water, just plant extracts that are literally pure enough to drink.
The Biologi plant serums were created by renowned skincare chemist Ross Macdougald, who was sick of the conventions of the industry and set out to prove that natural and organic can be more effective than synthetics. He is a mine of information and then some, with some controversial and very believable views about where the industry – and its formulators – went wrong.
The Biologi team is most definitely behind the concept of Skin Fasting, a new beauty trend that is fast gaining recognition for its no fuss approach to skincare. Coming up against some of the popular theories spruked by movements like K Beauty or 10 step routines, Skin Fasting is all about ‘less is more’. Shunning the need for layer upon layer of ingredients, Skin Fasting is like a diet for your skincare routine, saving you time, money, bathroom cabinet space, and your face. 
 “We’re all guilty of buying too much and having a bathroom cabinet full of half empty products that don’t actually work,” says Biologi’s Dermal Specialist, Lucy Kuper. “Consumers are continually searching for products that live up to their promises and the sad reality is that many do not. What’s even worse is that we’ve been led to believe that we need a plethora of different lotions and potions to get the results we want, but this kind of skincare routine can actually be doing more damage to your skin.” 
The way Skin Fasting works is by stripping your entire routine back until you use only a couple or no products (!!!) at all. This might sound scary for a lot of people, but it can be done in stages. The Skin Fasting trend will not only save you time and money, but will give your skin a chance to breathe. A lot of us have don’t realise that the skin is actually quite powerful in being able to rejuvenate itself, however we often interfere with this process with excessive cleansing or applying too many products.
The trend encourages less product use, no layering of products, less cleansing and exfoliation and the introduction of high percentages of active ingredients. Less product usage minimises or eliminates the number of synthetic ingredients in your skincare routine and avoids the common mistake made by many – layering ingredients that actually then cancel each other out (thus removing the active ingredient that is needed for your skincare product to work). Minimising cleansing protects the skin’s acid mantle and works towards balancing the skin’s pH. As a rosacea sufferer I am all about this modus operandi, and have pared my routine back dramatically over the last couple of years with some great results. It also makes travel a lot easier – the huge sack of products I used to travel with is no more, leaving more room for shopping and a whole lot more!
 “Unfortunately we’ve become so accustomed to buying a whole range of products because marketers have led us to believe that we need them,” says Lucy, “however your skin doesn’t need a whole range of lotions and potions – it simply needs active ingredients that work. Forget about all those ‘hope in a jar’ remedies or 10-step routines, and remember that your skin is a natural organism that actually works hard to repair itself. You’ll not only feel liberated by stripping it all back – you’ll save time and money and might find that you get your best skin yet.”
One practice that I’m a fervent believer in is cleansing and exfoliating less – and Lucy agrees.
“There actually has been substantial research into the benefits of cleansing less which also examines the effect that over-cleansing has on the body. Cleansers often contain harsh ingredients which can dry the skin out and then make it overcompensate by producing more oils. Then it can become a vicious cycle, where your natural tendency is to try stripping away those oils again.”
The skin is home to a complex ‘skin microbiome’ or ‘skin flora’ which refers to the microorganisms that reside on the skin, comprised of trillions of bacteria that are part of the immune system and keep the skin healthy. In the skincare industry, the skin microbiome is often referred to as the ‘acid mantle’, which is made up of a mixture of sweat, oils and dead skin cells. Its job is to protect the skin from bacteria, environmental pollutants and moisture loss by neutralising contaminations and holding cells tightly together (which make it harder for viruses to penetrate and moisture to escape). When we cleanse too much we essentially affect how effective our acid mantle is, thus throwing it out of whack. You really don’t need to reach for a cleanser in the morning, water and a cloth is just fine.
Ultimately you want products that will do a few things at once - hydrate, radiate, reduce blemishes, target fine lines and protect the skin. “Biologi’s Bd Face Luminosity Serum was created with this purpose in mind,” Lucy tells me, “not only does it detoxify the skin, it moisturises, helps blemishes, reduces fine lines, nourishes and protects the cells.”
So, next time you look at your skincare routine and recoil in horror at its multi-step approach, consider a Skin Fast, or just taking a more pared back approach. Your skin will thank you for it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for Vogue Korea

All about: ghd's incredible new Oracle

It could never be said that the clever types at ghd ever rest on their laurels – when they create a new tool they really do go hard, and that’s why their offering is amongst the world’s best. They research, research, test, test and test again – and I love them for that.
Their latest big unveiling is the world’s first professional tool that creates endless curls in one simple stroke – the truly magnificent (especially for inept tool users like me) ghd Oracle. Developed by ghd over six years and with over 675,000 hours of testing (told you they do a lot), ghd Oracle is quite the marvel. After being gifted one and having ample time to play with it I can only say that I’m hooked – and determined to master it and its endless possibilities. 
Available only in salons and recommended to be accompanied by a demo from a stylist, the Oracle really a game-changer, and for many reasons. The first is that the product features what ghd call “Curl-zone technology”. After you clamp it in, your hair passes through a unique U shaped barrel, made up of four different ceramic plates. As hair glides through the heated zone, it is shaped into the curl Cool zone – as hair continues to glide out of the unique U shape it hits the cooling system that quickly cools the hair and sets the curl. Immediate cooling means long lasting results, and is the reason why your stylist usually blasts your waves and curls with cool air at the end of a blow wave. In addition, the cool zone means the tool is cool to touch and allows the plates to be placed directly at the root for a more comfortable styling experience. One of the reasons I’ve been hesitant to use the curling iron I own is due to the burn factor – once bitten, twice shy!
Secondly, the Oracle is set to the optimum temperature of 185°C. When hair is styled at 185°C it enters what is apparently called the “glass transition phase”. The glass transition phase means the temperature at which a material goes from a hard or brittle state to a malleable or plastic state - so in hair styling, this is the temperature at which your hair can be styled, without damage. 
No matter which section of hair you are styling, or which angle, the hair will always pass through the same U shape for the perfect curl effect. By tilting the Oracle at slightly different angles you can create a variety of different curls and waves, from loose beachy waves, to a more uniformed curl. So far I’m all about beachy due to its relative ease, but I’m committed to learning more over time.
Steve Elstein, ghd Vice President of product development and research has said of the tool: “ghd Oracle is the culmination of many years of research, resulting in a versatile professional tool that combines heat to shape the hair, with a cooling system to set the hair. This innovative tool heats hair to the optimum temperature of 185°C and then curls and sets the hair by crash cooling it with a temperature differential of over 100°C to ensure the style is set and that the curls last.” If that doesn’t sound pretty damn amazing then I don’t know what does.
You can experience the new ghd Oracle in selected salons right now, RRP $380. To find out your nearest stockist, head here now.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Daily delight: Rihanna for Savage x Fenty Summer 19

Love it: RevitaLash Cosmetics’ new Aquablur

Some beauty insiders call them an afterthought, but I believe that a skincare regime isn’t complete without a great eye serum, gel or cream. The skin around the eyes is the thinnest you’ll find on your body as well as having fewer oil glands than the rest of the face, so needs extra special care when and where it can get it.
Most good eye creams and serums are formulated specifically for the skin around the eye, so tend to be a little richer and packed with active ingredients aimed at issues associated with that area. It is more fragile, more prone to dryness, and quicker to show age and fatigue. Squinting can hasten the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and fluids collect under the eyes and cause puffiness and dark circles. 
A good eye-specific product can address at least some of these issues, but first make sure you are applying it for optimal effect. First, don’t over do it. Follow instructions and go gentle - patting in with your ring finger is the best forms of application for this most fragile of areas, and allows your chosen product some time to sink in. 
Which brings me to the newest formula that I’ve been lucky enough to have a play with: Revitalash Cosmetics’ beautiful new Aquablur, which is incredibly simple but oh so effective. A super light yet hydrating eye gel that can be used with or without makeup to moisturise, protect and smooth, it is oil-free and antioxidant-rich and applies like a dream. And it does all of the above whilst blurring imperfections - creating the perfect foundation for under eye makeup application. I particularly love the simplicity of the formula and the fact that it offers a multifaceted approach for the eye area – it’s a dual-purpose eye gel and pre-makeup primer, and it seriously makes a difference. 
Key to the gel’s effectiveness is the fact that it contains Hyaluronic Acid, which a rockstar ingredient for intense hydration as it holds over 1000 times its own weight in water, whilst also firming and plumping skin. Black Tea Ferment - AKA Kombucha – is in there to provide antioxidants, vitamins and repairing organic acids to freshen and improve skin tone, whilst the more familiar Green Tea Extract (and Sea Kelp) brings antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that work to instantly refresh the eye area.  
Designed to be used morning and evening, Revitalash Cosmetics’ Aquablur is ophthalmologist and dermatologist reviewed and formulated free from phthalates, oil, parabens, and fragrance. It is also cruelty-free and vegan friendly, which gets a major tick from me. A pro tip is to apply Aquablur to the brow, eyelid and lash areas for a hydrating and antioxidant boost, and I’ve been doing that every morning so my concealer and eye makeup glides on like a charm. I haven’t found it quite rich enough for my dry eye area at night, so have been swapping it out with a thicker formula most nights for now. It is quite possibly the best eye primer I have ever used, so I highly recommend it just for that – and the fact that it’s a great eye gel as well has definitely got me hooked.
Revitalash Cosmetics’ Aquablur has an RRP of $99 for 15ml and is available right now from selected beauty therapy clinics nationwide and online at

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Daily delight: Kaia Gerber for YSL Beauty Spring 2019

Beauty destination: Auckland's new SO/ SPA

I’m a huge fan of taking time out for a little pampering every so often, and a little self care on the regular. For me this involves the likes of meditation and quiet time, as well as regular massage and reflexology sessions when I can afford it. The feeling of wellbeing I get when I indulge in the latter is beyond belief, and I love finding beautiful new venues to hit up when I’m in need.
Which brings me to the newest Auckland spa that I have been lucky enough to visit, which calls itself “the answer to your beauty, wellness and relaxation prayers”. Called SO/ SPA, it is the indulgent spa offering from Auckland’s latest boutique hotel, SO/ Auckland in downtown Auckland.
The menu is vast and unique, which I always appreciate. Rather than just the usual Swedish massage the treatment menu includes innovative offerings like Himalayan detox therapy, Tibetan sound healing, chakra balancing and peeling Chlorella masks. Recognising that the spa experience is not a one-size-fits-all model, SO/ SPA has put together packages for every type of spa-goer and the menu isn’t yet available anywhere else in the world. Whether it’s been a big night and you want to pop in for a quick morning-after eye treatment to get you through, or you want to invest hours in your relaxation – there’s this, that and everything in between.
There’s an Urban Detox Facial for the hectic city-dweller, an Antioxidant Recovery Facial for the party people, Body Strategist Therapies for those wanting to shape up, Immune Boosting sessions if you’re feeling low and so much more. Massages, facials, wraps, peels, scrubs – the list is endless, and I’ve heard it’s always evolving, which will keep me coming back for more I’m sure.
For my first visit I tried the ‘Tibetan Beats’ experience, which included a beautiful sound bowl healing element that left me walking on air. Next up I’d like to try the 60-minute Frequent Flyer Recovery Treatment, which acts on various sensorial pathways to renew and refresh. It sounds like just the ticket after my upcoming trip to the US, which will undoubtedly involve a little overindulgence.
If you’re lucky enough to be staying in the hotel, you don’t even have to leave your room. A Bath Butler is on site to help you choose an in-room aromatherapy package to suit your needs. Each of the hotel’s 130 rooms have a bath and the package includes a specialised drink and products from handmade New Zealand aromatherapy and skincare company, Verité Spa Organics.
Last but my no means least, if like me you’re a local dropping in for some time out, every treatment over 60 minutes’ will give you free valet parking. How great is that?
To find out more head here.