Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Daily delight: Lara Stone for Frame Denim SS16

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Beauty news: M·A·C donates $148,301 NZD to Positive Women Inc via The M·A·C AIDS Fund

Today the M.A.C AIDS Fund – M.A.C Cosmetics’ philanthropic foundation – presented Positive Women Inc. with a $148,301 NZD grant to support their efforts in working with women and families living with HIV and AIDS in New Zealand.
This donation will aid in the administration costs of the organisation which provides a support network for women and families living in New Zealand with HIV or AIDS.  The grant will also provide direct assistance to improving the lives of New Zealand women and their families affected by the virus through the Seminar Program initiative, which provides latest information on HIV for the wider community and women living with HIV.  The program helps to reduce the isolation that many women living with HIV experience due to HIV relate stigma and discrimination.  This donation comes directly from the New Zealand sales of M·A·C’s #VIVAGLAM lip products. 
This is the eleventh year that Positive Women have received funding from the M.A.C AIDS Fund, with 100 per cent of the selling price of M.A.C’s #VIVAGLAM line of lip products going directly to the fund to benefit grantees. To date, the company has raised more than $235 million (USD) to fight HIV and AIDS internationally. Locally, M.A.C has raised over $2 million (NZD) for the MAF and has donated the majority of those funds locally to New Zealand non-profit organizations fighting the epidemic here in New Zealand. 
“Just like the first million raised in New Zealand, our $2 million milestone is due to the enormous commitment from our VIVA GLAM spokespeople, M·A·C Makeup Artists, and dedicated customers,” says M·A·C Brand General Manager, Tanya Jackson.  “The M·A·C team are driven to set and reach our next fundraising goal and continue our grant-making to support New Zealanders affected by HIV and AIDS.”
The grant presented today to Positive Women also marks another momentous milestone as it means that the M·A·C AIDS Fund has to date donated just over $1 Million NZD to Positive Women Inc.  M.A.C New Zealand has been working with Positive Women since 2004.  Past grants to Positive Women have included funding projects such as their Digital Storytelling initiative where courageous NZ women living with HIV found their voice and shared their story, their De-stigmatisation Campaign encouraging people to forget the stereotypes of the virus, and the making Altered Lives, a short film about four New Zealand women living with HIV.
M·A·C New Zealand also works closely with other local HIV organizations to provide them with financial support to service people living with HIV and AIDS in New Zealand.  Grants have funded other projects such as Body Positive’s Rapid HIV Testing campaign encouraging people to get tested for HIV and the setup of the INA HIV and AIDS Foundation whose goal is to improve the quality of life for those affected by HIV and AIDS within the Maori, Indigenous and South Pacific communities in New Zealand. 
Helping to drive fundraising for the M·A·C AIDS Fund have been a cadre of celebrity spokespeople.  Each connected with a specific shade of VIVA GLAM Lipstick, these spokespeople have made public appearances and appeared in advertisements to raise money and awareness for the fight against HIV and AIDS.  The inaugural VIVA GLAM spokesperson was performer, RuPaul. Since then, others have joined the ranks, including k.d. lang, Mary J. Blige, Sir Elton John, Shirley Manson, Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Boy George, Linda Evangelista, Chloë Sevigny, Christina Aguilera, Pamela Anderson, Debbie Harry, Lisa Marie Presley, Eve, Dita Von Teese, Fergie, Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus. Currently the face of the M·A·C AIDS Fund is glam girl, Ariana Grande pictured below. How beautiful is that lip?
“The celebrities who have joined us over the years embody the spirit of M·A·C and the M·A·C AIDS Fund – 
Every Race, Every Sex, Every Age,” says M·A·C AIDS Fund Chairman and Estee Lauder Companies Group President, John Demsey. “By bringing these new faces to VIVA GLAM, we have been able to keep not only the brand but the cause fresh 
for consumers, helping to drive the M·A·C AIDS Fund to new levels.”
Above, Tanya Jackson, Brand General Manager M.A.C New Zealand, presents $148,301 NZD  to National Coordinator Positive Women Incorporated, Jane Bruning.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Monday, February 8, 2016

Why I love: Aspect's pretty amazing Fruit Enzyme Mask

Beauty writers/editors always rave on about the perils of dull winter skin, but in my humble opinion it can be just as bad – if not worse – in summer. I find it is mainly down to a hell of a lot of reapplication of sunscreen (a good thing) as well as using dry shampoos and the like on your hair that can have a trickle down effect on the skin making it a little more congested than usual. Add in the humidity and oil production in overdrive and BAM – lacklustre summer skin at its worst.
This means that regular exfoliation is key – like once a week religiously, rather than overdoing it and aggravating an already touchy situation. Finding the right product is key too, and I’m very picky when it comes to that.
I’m not a huge fan of harsh, granular manual exfoliation due to the stresses it can put my often-sensitive skin under, but love using a great enzymatic-style exfoliator that gobbles up dead skin cells like Pac Man for an instant glow when and where I need it.
High performance but super lightweight to use, Aspect’s Fruit Enzyme Mask one I have tried and become a huge fan of. Not only does it smell bloody lovely, but it’s a power packed, potent antioxidant-rich exfoliation mask that has been carefully formulated to gently digest and eliminate dead skin build up without irritating or harming sensitive – and even post-procedure - skin.
The blend of powerful antioxidants in the delicious formula include Coffee, Green Tea, Pomegranate and Acai Berry, all of which are beauty “buzz” ingredients with very good reason. Also in the “plus” column, Aspect Fruit Enzyme Mask is free of pesticides, parabens, perfumes or dyes so you know it isn’t bringing any nasties along with the good stuff.
I’ve been using it once a week for a few minutes at a time, applying it sparingly and then gently rolling it in using circular movements with my fingertips and so far, so awesome. It’s so gentle that it can be used post peel and post all in-clinic procedures to address flaking skin, and the calming, soothing and hydrating properties mean that it heals as well as gently sloughs off all in its path. You can massage it in and leave it on for anywhere between 10 – 15 minutes depending on your skin type – I usually go for the former and have nothing but amazing results. The Best Enzymatic Exfoliator on the market in my humble opinion – and that is no small call!

Daily delight: Daria Werbowy for Marie Claire France

Friday, February 5, 2016

Love it: Benefit They’re Real! Tinted Primer

I love a good lash, and some of the best mascaras out there come from the beauty think tank that is San Francisco-based Benefit Cosmetics. Their newest release aims to take their lash offering to a whole new level, and when a tube of They’re Real! Tinted Primer came across my desk I couldn’t wait to give it a whirl.
They are calling it their best selling They’re Real! Mascara’s perfect “partner in crime” and if you ask me, the almighty Benefit Cosmetics aren’t wrong when it comes to this one! They’re Real! Tinted Primer is a new permanent mascara primer that does what it says and more – making it a beauty tool as well as a great multitasker.
The little tube of goodness works in one of two ways. You can either use it alone for fuller but natural lashes, or you can use it as a primer to add depth, definition, and fullness to lashes prior to mascara application.
While most mascara primers are white, Benefit’s They’re Real! Tinted Primer delivers seriously eye-opening results with a high-performing mink-brown gel formula, along with a rather clever custom ExtraFlex brush. This makes it perfect to wear on its own for a natural-but-better look as it separates lashes at first application and adds a flattering tint.
The formula is also super lightweight on lashes, so you don’t have to worry about breakage if you like to layer it up for a true faux lash effect. It allows for building and layering very easily with another mascara so there is no chance of clumping or fallout if you are a contact lens wearer like me. I’ve been wearing mine with my favourite Roller Lash by day, and the effect and longevity are pretty damn impressive.
“This is a life-changing primer, because you can actually wear it two ways,” says Julie Bell, EVP of Global Marketing and Product Innovation at Benefit Cosmetics. “Wear it by itself for feathery separation that’s beyond natural-looking for when you want your lashes to look dressed but not too made-up. Or layer it under They’re Real! or Roller Lash mascara or even other brands’ mascaras. For me, my lash dreams have finally come true!”
The primer’s high-performing gel formula is also water-resistant and conditions lashes with Provitamin B5, so it is as nourishing as it gets. To quote Benefit: “you’ll wonder how you (and your lashes) ever lived without it…honest!” 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Daily delight: Kaia Gerber for Chrome Hearts SS16

All about: why you need to visit Studio Red yoga

I think of myself as somewhat of a connoisseur when it comes to yin yoga – I have seriously tried what is perhaps every class of its type in Auckland, with varying degrees of success.
So when I make the call that I may have found the city’s best yin class, I am not messing around. Where did I find it? At a brand new Auckland yoga destination that is committed to “shaking up the yoga scene” with its quality hot yoga experience, masterful teachers and retreat-like setting.
It’s called Studio Red, and it is located in Auckland’s City Works Depot, making it super central and an absolute bonus for the plethora of people who are now working in that area. It opened its doors at the end of last year but I have only recently been wooed by its charms, in particular the aforementioned yin offering hosted by the amazing Erica Davis.  Her super soothing, mellifluous tones coupled with one of the best uses of music in a yoga class make it top notch, not to mention the completely gorgeous surroundings.
Those surrounding are the work of award-winning “it” architects Cheshire Architects, who have created a light, airy and totally contemporary space featuring elegant fittings and little luxuries that make it hard to leave. Coupled with its sophisticated temperature and ventilation control system, which filters fresh ventilated oxygen continually throughout the room, Studio Red is far from your average yoga destination. And definitely far from most hot yoga studios, which can be a little challenging not on the bod but also on the senses – if you know what I mean!
“We want Studio Red to be more than just a place to practice yoga,” says owner Vicky Cullinane. “It’s designed to be a modern sanctuary that feels more day-spa than fitness studio - and a real experience in itself.” That it is, and with a team of hand-picked, kick arse teachers (see above) hosting a range of classes it can only succeed.
Teaching contemporary, yet authentic, yoga is at the very core of Studio Red’s mantra, and the variety of classes embody this vision, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin Yoga and Vinyasa flow to music. While yoga is celebrated worldwide for its compelling effects on physical wellbeing, the team at Studio Red are also inherently focused and passionate about the holistic benefits of yoga, and how practising can improve all aspects of life, including confidence, focus, and direction.
 “The benefits of yoga transpire well beyond what you see on the outside,” Vicky says. “It’s about wellness as a whole, and the positive effects are unlimited and different for everybody.”
“At Studio Red, we have worked hard to create a truly inclusive studio and welcome anyone and everyone looking for an amazing yoga experience to come and try it out. Yoga can truly benefit people from all walks of life, and we want to help them discover it,” says Vicky.
Check out the space and the class offering at - you won’t fail to be amazed!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Daily delight: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Paige Denim SS16

Love it: YSL Touche Éclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation

With one reportedly sold every 10 seconds around the world, Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Éclat highlighter has been a beauty icon ever since its launch in 1991, and suffice to say it has never left my makeup bag. It has officially been the global weapon of choice for bringing a wide-awake glow to the complexion for an amazing 23 years and they don’t call it “eight hours of beauty sleep in a click” for nothing! 
YSL Beauté toiled to create a foundation that could match the illuminating prowess of the little wonder wand, and in 2012, Le Teint Touche Éclat was born. YSL's creative director of make-up, Lloyd Simmonds said at the time that he wanted to create a foundation that gives the entire face the same “lively, vibrant light” as its namesake. "Natural, feather-light, but with a touch of very Parisian, very Saint Laurent sophistication that beautifies the skin and makes the complexion expressive. I like to call it a dewy luminosity, as fresh as dew on the complexion - and definitely not shiny." It was an instant hit.
Now the bestselling foundation is available in an advanced formula that reduces the look of fatigue and creates flawless coverage, and after having a good old play with it I have to say that I am smitten. Called Touche Éclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation, it is enriched with something called Ruscus Extract, an anti-fatigue formula that energizes skin by stimulating microcirculation and targeting dullness to instantly improve the look your skin’s brightness and luminosity, while the Vitamin E protects against free radicals. It is also formulated with SPF 22 to provide sun protection, feels totally weightless finish and promises eight hours of a “refreshed, radiant look”. I’m sold!
Promising the aforementioned “eight hours of beauty sleep” in a drop, it has translucent hybrid semi-spheres added to golden pigments to capture light and diffuse a continuous, controlled, soft radiance all day long - without any shine. The latter is a huge bonus in this humidity especially, and has made wearing it an absolute joy.
YSL Beauté offers the new foundation in an amazing 15 shades (22 in other markets). Organised in families, they range from beiges to golden and rosy beiges, from the lightest to the darkest tones, including four brand new additions for a larger-than-ever shade spectrum:
BD 25 Warm Beige
BD 30 Warm Almond
B 45 Bisque
BR 45 Cool Bisque
Along with the new formula comes an amazing new foundation brush, which is as cute looking as it is highly efficient. Called the Y Brush, it buffs and distributes product evenly across the skin for a seamless, flawless finish every time. Developed with an exclusive Y-shape reservoir, you pop one or two drops of Touche Éclat Le Teint in the well and lightly buff the face for the perfect application. That is the correct starting measure, but from there, extra drops can be added at will, depending on the level of coverage desired.  Simmonds says, “the Y shape reservoir is deep enough to withstand a few drops, but don’t fill it all the way up immediately. Add just one droplet at a time - less is always more when it comes to foundation.”
Begin by making circular movements on the face with the brush, massaging the foundation into the skin, starting from the centre of the face and moving outwards, spreading it evenly. For any areas that need a bit of extra attention, tap into the skin with a stippling motion to deliver more product where you need it – like around the nose, chin and forehead. Keep the layer as thin as possible to help unify the colour.
Both are on counter 21 March and I can’t recommend them enough!

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss for Diane Von Furstenberg SS16

Friday, January 29, 2016

All about: Les Mills' newest experience, THE TRIP

“THE TRIP is a cycle class, but not as anyone knows it…”

So says that ever-growing Les Mills Tribe, who recently unleashed the all new THE TRIP fitness class to their incredible range of fitness friendly options.
I am a HUGE fan of spin classes, especially if the instructor and the music are so top notch that I don’t notice my legs turning to jelly. So when I was invited to try Les Mills’ new cycle-centric class THE TRIP featuring virtual reality technology that takes you to a whole other place, I was intrigued. And post-class? Most definitely impressed!
Based around the idea of “immersive fitness”, the concept is the brainchild of Les Mills Jr (pictured above), grandson of Olympian and founder of the world's largest provider of choreographed exercise-to-music group fitness classes, Les Mills International. Les Jnr. Was on hand to chat to the class beforehand, and explained how the new programme was created in response to a Future of Fitness paper, which along with themes of connection, personalisation and convergence, explored the blending of technology into fitness and activity as a game.
Mills Jr says this new concept ‘exergaming’ highlighted the blurring lines between the real and the virtual and he and friend Adam Lazarus saw an opportunity to create a fitness experience that would appeal to the dynamic needs of the millennial generation. They drew inspiration for the concept from immersive tents at music festivals and the video innovations brought to life at big name concerts, which can alter your mood when done well and make your experience that much sweeter. It was also a direct response to the younger generation’s entry into gyms all over the world, and the way that those establishments have to adapt to compete.
“Younger consumers - or millennials - now represent almost 50 per cent of the global fitness market,” says Mills. “This demographic thrives on technology rich experiences - many already bringing their own devices and customised content to the gym with them, integrating it into their fitness routine.
“We know they thrive on technology rich experiences and we wanted to create something that met this need by combining exercise with social connections and entertainment,” he says. “We wanted to reinvent everything people expect from exercise and create a place without time, one that’s removed from the day-to-day, where people can feel inspired.”
I know I left inspired, and totally energised – and well distracted! – by the visuals throughout the 45 minute class, which were the handy work of a team of Kiwi audio and visual creatives and a local animation team. You ride through futuristic cities, new galaxies and virtual worlds, guided by an instructor encouraging you to power through those hill climbs and let loose on the sprints. The room is dark with the focus not on the instructor, but rather on the visual wonder before you.
 The time goes by so quickly that I hardly knew I’d done a full 45 minutes on the bike, but MAN can I feel it today! You enter several “worlds” along the way and when I go again I’ll be keen to ask if these worlds change with each month or season, along with the soundtrack.
Mills says the company goal is to have 20 million people enjoying a live Les Mills experience every week by the year 2020, and I don’t doubt that they will hit that.
The world’s first permanent Immersive Fitness studios have opened internationally and The Trip is a permanent fixture in Santa Monica, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Stockholm. New Zealanders can experience the technology at the beautiful new Les Mills Newmarket, Auckland for now, at $2.50 per ride, and bookings are essential. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Daily delight: Olga Kurylenko for Glamour Italy

Love it: L'Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Lip

As anyone who dips in here regularly would know, I’m always on the search for a bright shiny new lipstick love. 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 and was lucky enough to this week is L'Oreal Paris’ incredible new Infallible Matte Lip.
It’s a powdery, long-lasting matte look in high impact colour that just won’t quit, and has a super unusual applicator that actually lets you “design” your matte i.e. gradient to full bright, from ombre to sombre and much more.
These are not your classical lipstick, nor are they even in liquid form. What they are more like is some of the eye shadow pens I have used of late, created out of a powder product texture. You press a button and the lipstick comes forward, the soft sponge at the end helping you apply it on. This means super high pigment with just a few strokes and a velvety finish that you would not get with a classical tube. Furthermore, the oils in the product leave the lips hydrated for over 8 hours, soft and supple to the touch – no chalky, flaky dry smackers round here!
The experts at L’Oreal say to create the appearance of fuller lips in an instant, use two tones to highlight and give depth. As in, apply your favourite shade to the outer edges of your lip and blend gradually into the centre, creating a gradient from dark to light. Leave the inner cushion of your lips lighter or bare to reflect where light would naturally hit for a true ombre effect. Amazing! Another hint is to apply concealer onto your lips before applying Infallible Matte Max for an ombre look with a stronger gradient effect. I am obsessed!
They arrive in store next week with an RRP of $23.99, and come in six shades:
001 Silencio – pale pink
002 Virgin – pink
004 OOPS! I Pink it Again – hot pink
006 Disturbia – orange-based coral
007 Say My Name – red
008 I Gotta Feeling – purple
I want them all!