Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Beauty news: Karen Murrell Lipstick Pink Starlet named #1 selling lipstick in NZ

In a triumph for the indies and homegrown beauty, Karen Murrell Lipstick’s Pink Starlet has been named the official number one selling lipstick colour in New Zealand Pharmacies*.
Pink Starlet was the first pink lipstick hue that Karen Murrell designed as an ultimate tribute to the much-loved colour pink. Its ‘day-to-night’ versatility can be put down to its delicate yet strong, blue-gold base colour that means it is effortlessly suited to all skin, eye and hair colour types. Love that!
If you haven’t worn Karen Murrell Lipsticks before you have been seriously missing out, as they are both high performance and seriously created with a conscience. Hailed as ‘vegetarian lipsticks’, they are made with no animal-based materials and are not tested on animals. Instead, they contain Avocado Oil for hydration and protection, Cinnamon to plumps lips to make them look fuller, Evening Primrose Oil (naturally rich in Omega 6) to soothe and moisturiss dry lips, and Carnauba Wax. Renowned for its high melting point, the latter ensures Karen Murrell lipsticks do not melt in handbags and is quite the revelation!
Karen Murrell Lipstick in Pink Starlet is available right now with an RRP of $29.95.

* #1 Lipstick colour for New Zealand is Karen Murrell Pink Starlet (Aztec MAT National Pharmacy 07.12.2014) The Aztec data reference MAT 7/12/14: 7/12/13 to 7/12/14

Friday, April 24, 2015

Mother’s Day: Spa at the Pullman’s ‘Mind, Body and Sole’ treatment

Stuck for a Mother’s Day gift? As a mama I can fully vouch for how much time at a spa will be appreciated, and lucky for us a few great spas out there are offering some beautiful – and inspired – Mother’s Day treatments.
Spa at the Pullman has what you need with their Mother’s Day ‘Mind, Body and Sole’ treatment, a 75 minute journey into bliss that I can pretty much guarantee will be heaven and then some.
Specially created to balance the main flow of energy and encourage inner peace and harmony, the 75 minute treatment includes a raw cacao and honey foot ritual, a soothing back neck and shoulder massage, and an Elemis inspired scalp treatment using luxurious coconut and frangipani oil. 
For the full rundown: the treatment begins with a raw cacao and honey foot ritual with feet immersed in a luxurious mixture of warm milk and rich New Zealand Manuka honey. The therapist (and Spa at the Pullman most definitely have some of the best) will then buff away rough weathered skin with an invigorating sugar chocolate scrub to leave feet feeling revitalised.
Next, continue into a deeper sense of relaxation with a soothing back, neck and shoulder massage personalised to your specific requirements. After this the journey ends with an Elemis inspired scalp treatment using their luxurious coconut and frangipani oil.  The oil is massaged over the scalp, releasing built up pressure and tension.  Left on post treatment, the oil will deeply nourish the scalp so your hair feels silky, smooth and shiny.
This treatment is priced at only $139 (incl. gst) and can be booked throughout the month of May, with gift vouchers redeemable for 6 months from purchase. After a shared experience for maybe you and your mum?  Spa at the Pullman has six treatment rooms available including their exclusive duo room. Book your treatment for May and you will enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbles post treatment.
Bookings for Mother’s Day weekend will sell out in advance, so if you are after treatments specifically for this time they suggest making a booking as soon as possible.

Contact the spa directly on (09) 355 1242 to book or visit their website (www.spaatthepullman.co.nz) and book online.

Daily delight: Joan Smalls for Lucky magazine

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Beauty news: Poppy Delevingne named the first Jo Malone London Girl

Last week Jo Malone London announced Poppy Delevingne as the inaugural Jo Malone London Girl, the brand's first ever global ‘face’. As with any good partnership, it's the quintessentially British similarities between the two that make the partnership work - ultimately they're very English, very chic, and always immaculately presented.
Known for her cool style credentials, and quirky Britishness, Poppy Delevingne is the quintessential Jo Malone London Girl embodying, as she does, the globally renowned fragrance and lifestyle brand’s spirit of sophistication, originality, wit and hospitality.
“I’ve been wearing Red Roses since I was 22. The first thing that drew me to my husband James was his scent, and when I asked him what it was he said, Amber & Lavender. My home is overflowing with Jo Malone London candles and I scented my wedding with Orange Blossom, which still gives me butterflies. Jo Malone London is woven into the fabric of my life and I couldn’t be happier to be working with a brand I love so much,” says Jo Malone London Girl, Poppy Delevingne.
With her international career as a model, designer and fashion ambassador, Poppy is a perfect choice to represent Jo Malone London globally. Brimming with ideas, she will offer her expertise and dynamism to a wide spectrum of projects over the next year. To begin with Poppy will curate and host a series of special events – both grand and cosy – and will actively share the brand with her many friends the world over.
“Poppy is such a dedicated, vivacious character, with huge international appeal. As a long time Jo Malone London devotee, and true English rose, this feels like an incredibly natural appointment. Poppy’s personality is infectious, she is a joy to be around and brings a sense of celebration to everything she does,” says Global General Manager, Jean-Guillaume Trottier.
To which I say – a match made in fragrance, fashion and fabulousness heaven.

Daily delight: Matilda Jo Price for Bower swimwear

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Love it: Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil

I obsess about good brows, and have to say that when I let mine go I get one HELL of a shock when I get my bangs trimmed – the horror! I like to get them tended to by a professional, but in between dates I always keep things looking tidy with an array of brow-related beauty products, and am always on the lookout for interesting (and useful) new finds.
The latest I have fallen in love with comes from the hand of a veritable Brow Queen – Bobbi Brown. Called the Perfectly Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil, it is an automatic brow pencil with a unique slant tip for ultra-precise definition and a handy spooley brush at the other end. Oh and it’s rather conveniently formulated for 16-hour wear and is sweat- and humidity-resistant and waterproof, making it a daily essential and then some. Formulated with a combination of waxes and emollients, this long-wearing formula won’t smudge or fade, so brows look fresh and polished from sun up to sun down – how brilliant is that?
The slant tip means a super easy and versatile application that you can customise to your own preferred brow style - use the flat edge for a softer look and the pointed tip for a more defined, bold look. For a bold, super-defined look, use the pointed tip to define the entire length of the brow. It’s all very easy to navigate even for a brow-amateur like me, so for those of you who truly known what you’re doing the possibilities are endless!
The attached spooley brush lets you comb brow hairs into place, and it’s also available in a wide range of shades, so you can find the right shade for your individual skin tone and hair colour.
Bobbi Brown really does know how to do long wear well, and this new baby is absolutely spot on. The perfect texture, a handy spooley brush, and a formula that’s life-proof… what is not to love, seriously?
These beauties are available May 4 at a Bobbi Brown counter near you.

Daily delight: Carey Mulligan for Vogue US

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Talking to: Xtend Barre’s Viv Gallagher

I have loved watching the growth of ballet barre-inspired fitness classes in my neighbourhood of late, mainly because it’s something new that everyone can have a bash at, and it’s lots of fun whether you have a dance background or not. Having tried a few I have most definitely come to the conclusion that not all barre classes are created equal, and each offers their own benefits that may or may not work for you.
The latest to arrive is Xtend Barre, which brings in elements of dance, ballet and Pilates to create an adrenaline-fuelled workout that strengthens, lengthens and chisels the body. Each class features an elegant yet energetic combination of movements that enhance flexibility, improve balance, and challenge the core, and on the timetable at their boutique studio in Grey Lynn you’ll find all manner of class types for those that like to mix it up.
After meeting owner Viv Gallagher and hearing about what they offer, I’ve personally tried the traditional Xtend Barre class as well as Xtend Stick, which works a whole different set of muscles and was a lot harder than I imagined.  “We are the only place in New Zealand where you can take a Stick class,” explains the ex-dancer with the body (seriously) of a woman half her age, “and there are ten teaching programs available in the Xtend Barre stable so we are very much more than just about the barre.”
A class I am looking forward to trying when it’s up and running is Xtend Suspend, which utilises TRX Suspension Training, one of my favourite fitness tools to play with. There is also a Pilates Fusion Class and Xtend Yoga Flow, where traditional yoga is integrated with Xtend Barre creating a dynamic sounding class with just the right amount of strength and Zen.
Viv‘s own passion for dance started at age five when she began classical ballet, and developed over the years as she studied various styles of dance, gymnastics, yoga and pilates. Previously a key figure at some of the country’s most high profile gyms, she has more than 20 years’ experience in the fitness industry and is a fully certified Personal Trainer, Pilates Mat and Reformer Instructor, Group Fitness Instructor and former National Trainer in her previous role.
She discovered Xtend Barre whilst teaching in Dubai and saw straight away the possibilities of taking a dance inspired, strength workout home to New Zealand with her. After opening her first studio in Newmarket a couple of years ago she saw a gap in the Ponsonby/Grey Lynn/Herne Bay market for what Xtend Barre offers, and classes have been growing since they opened their doors a couple of months ago.
She says that she’s keen to emphasise that Xtend Barre isn’t just for the young, lithe and extremely bendy, saying: “I have women in their fifties like me and even older coming to class and absolutely loving what we do. I started teaching Barre at my Newmarket studio two years ago and have a very diverse clientele there, the oldest being a 74 year old woman who never ceases to amaze us.” Also an ex-dancer, the latter has studied Pilates for over twenty years to boot “and still has the flexibility and the strength to take on anything that we throw at her”.
She also cites an extremely lovely email from a 61 year old student at her Newmarket studio, who decided not to renew her gym membership, “which I was finding tedious and uninspiring”, and to try something new instead. “I have renewed my interest in Ballet Barre and Pilates and have renewed vigour and vitality,” she says. “After a fall five years ago I have a total hip replacement. Post recovery I had a limited range of movement and weakened muscles but now attend barre classes 3-4 times a week and have regained strength, balance and posture once again.”
“It really gets people moving again,” emphasises Gallagher, “and we’ve had great results with people who have disc issues and things like that. It improves core strength as well as posture, both of which can affect the lower back directly.”
Xtend has also just launched a Babies on Board class that is designed for up to ten new mothers at a time with their babies in frontpacks. “It’s designed as a class to ease new mums back into exercise after their six week check,” explains Viv, “and it’s an interactive class that goes at the pace of the mums and babies themselves. If a mum needs to stop and feed her baby she can, she can just come back in when she’s ready.”
“We are getting a whole cross section of the community through the doors in the Grey Lynn studio,” she says with a smile, “and we’re really proud of that. I have a great team of teachers and classes to choose from and offer something for all levels and ages.”
“We just want to see people come in and have a good time, and leave feeling good and with a feeling of success,” she adds, which sounds good to me.

Daily delight: Jordana Brewster goes naked for Allure

Monday, April 20, 2015

I try: KEVIN.MURPHY’s TREAT.ME in salon treatment

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to Ryder Salon to try one of Kevin Murphy’s new TREAT.ME range of treatments, and boy did my locks love me for it!
Murphy says that he saw “that women’s hair was not responding to a generic “one size fits all” approach to treatments and masques,” and he began researching ingredients and found that a serum type treatment, like the ones found in skincare can be very effective due to the high concentration of active ingredients. These ingredients were found to be more potent or active at the onset of mixing and had very effective long lasting results, so he set about applying their modus operandi to haircare and boom – TREAT.ME was born.
By using skincare ingredients like Moringa Oil and Gardenia Extracts in the structure of a serum he and his R&D people were able to work with a smaller molecular structure where the ingredients can absorb into the cortex giving instant and lasting results. They used an all vegetable and plant protein system with over 26 amino acids alone coming from plants. These plant “Super Proteins” are very close to the hair’s structure; therefore they penetrate easily and strengthen the hair shaft by depositing themselves in the gaps created by heat styling and chemical services, making the surface supple more elastic and smoother.
Research has shown that the regular use of AHA or fruit acids on the hair has a really beneficial effect. By gently removing dead cells on the surface of the hair it allows the hair to receive all the essential ingredients, and regular use of AHA has been shown to strengthen the outer surface of hair making it stronger and shinier. Hair that has been treated with AHA (Fruit Acids) or Sugar Cane Extracts (Glycolic Acid) can also tolerate higher heat so therefore the hair can hold moisture at higher temperatures for longer.
Sound good to you? The texture of my hair felt even better!
The TREAT.ME range of products are designed for an in salon experience and were designed to be totally customised for each and every client, so you might get a different cocktail of goodies every time you have one depending on your hair’s needs at the time. They work to combat all kinds of problems and have long lasting results on even the most damaged hair.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the treatment range’s gruntier ingredients and what they do:
Sugar Cane
Sugar cane is a rich source of glycolic acid and contains antiseptic properties.
The extract will remove dead skins cells and broken cuticle from the hair making it able to accept moisture and protein from other sources better. Glycolic Acid is also thought to reinvigorate collagen and Sugar cane extract will also help to deeply cleanse oily hair but will not strip the natural oils away.

Nettle Extract
Extract of nettle is high in anti-oxidants. This will keep the free radicals under control.
It also has anti-inflammatory and astringent qualities.
This ingredient will improve the appearance of the hair and create optimum scalp health. It can even relieve conditions such as dandruff and act as an antibacterial agent. Studies have also shown that nettle extracts can inhibit DHT; a major cause of hair loss.

Glycolic Acid
Glycolic Acid has an excellent ability to penetrate the cuticle layer of the hair shaft. This enables it to attach itself to the keratin to make hair more manageable and give a healthy appearance.
Glycolic Acid can be used to deliver important benefits to hair – enhancing the protection and manageability of hair by, conditioning, moisturising, strengthening and preventing breakage.
Hair treated with Glycolic acid can tolerate higher heat so therefore the hair can hold moisture at higher temperatures for longer.

Mongongo Oil
Mongongo oil extract contains a high percentage of linoleic acid and offers a unique protection from UV and environmental pollutants in both skin and hair applications.
Mongongo oil gives hydrating, regenerating and restructuring properties for the hair. The oil is very stable and does not react to heat therefore offering protection.

Gardenia Flower Extracts
The extract has powerful anti-oxidant power due to ferulic acid. This, in turn, will aid with collagen maintenance and support the hair infrastructure resulting in improved condition and strength.
Functions as an anti-oxidant and to leave the hair smooth and manageable. It will moisturise, soften and treat to control frizz.
And much, much more… I highly recommend you give one of these babies a test drive ASAP – believe me, it can only be good for you!

Daily delight: Alyssa Miller for GQ UK

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tanning how to: St. Tropez X We Are Handsome Activewear at MBFWA

The inspo for the We Are Handsome Activewear collection at last week’s MBFWA was “The strength of active lifestyles interpreted into strong, clean lines and striking figures… The movement and vitality of bodies in motion, flexing, stretching and free to take on any challenge.” The natural tanning partner for the label was most definitely St. Tropez, who have worked with the brand for some time now and always create something beautiful to go with their shows and editorial.
Set under the lights of the White City Tennis Courts and starring Insta-Fit girls and athletes (amongst models), the show celebrated strong women who are driven and motivated to live in a fresh, inspiring and powerful way – and yep, all were glowing with St.Tropez! “St. Tropez is the perfect partner for accentuating our girls natural hues,” said WAH Designer & Director Katinka Somers, “they have a deep understanding of their craft and using their superior products they translate healthy glowing skin beautifully.”
The tanning brief was “Sun-kissed Sport Luxe” - a natural deep glow earned while pushing the body to the max. “Think days spent having fun and living fit lifestyles - whether they are out swimming, surfing, running or practicing yoga,” said Somers. “Our girl is a natural fitness warrior.”
Of the tan, St.Tropez Skin Finishing Expert Michael Brown said, “This year for We Are Handsome we are bringing the active glow to the ‘runway’ using skin finishing techniques to create a very healthy, 'lit from within' look. Adding warmth, depth and then highlighting all brings a touch of the outdoors to the skin - and it’s achievable for people at home too. With St.Tropez everyone can achieve the covetable, on-trend Active Wear look, everyday.”
To recreate the tanning look at home:
1. Exfoliate the skin the day prior with St.Tropez Prep & Maintain Tan Enhancing Body Polish ($29.95) and hydrate with St.Tropez Prep & Maintain Tan Enhancing Body Moisturiser ($29.95) to plump and even the skin tone for tanning.
2. Buff St.Tropez Instant Tan Lotion Medium/Dark ($23.95) into the skin using the St.Tropez Tan Applicator Mitt ($14.95) to create a deep, even, warm tan. ‘Buffing’ blurs the line between skin and tan - the tan won’t sit ‘ontop’ of the skin, but instead, appear to be one with the skin.
3. Sweep St.Tropez Gold Illuminator ($34.95) down limbs and across the collarbone to highlight and elongate the limbs and give an extra golden glow.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Love it: Osmosis Colour's new Long Lasting Lipstick

As anyone who dips in here regularly would know, I’m always on the search for a bright shiny new lipstick love. And I’m hard to please! Sometimes I’m all about the nude and sometimes I’m all about the pop, with a distinct preference for matte and a love of luxurious.
I must have tried almost every brand under the sun - and often have around 15-20 ‘favourites’ on the go - but one formula I hadn’t tried was Osmosis Colour Long Lasting Lipstick. Until now, and I’m hopelessly in love with these little round tubes of fabulous from here on in.
With an irresistible creamy texture and almost cashmere-like finish, these long-lasting lipsticks gives your lips a true wash of colour that stays put all day long.  I knew that my favourite skincare company wouldn’t disappoint when it came to applying their killer intell to a lipstick formula, and this one contains advanced mineral and organic pigment technology that gives these lipsticks their incredible vibrancy and feelgood texture. The formulation also contains silica, a natural ingredient derived from sand which absorbs excess moisture, helping to affix the pigment on the lips for long lasting wear and no feathering.
The tube they come in is pretty sleek and sassy too, and a little goes a way making the RRP of $52.00 pretty damn generous.
They come in eight incredible shades (above) that run the gamut from fresh nudes to warm spicy shades and popping pink, and I am finding that having one is most definitely not enough!
Go to www.osmosisskin.co.nz for stockists or to buy online…