Monday, July 28, 2014

Travel essential: Sávar’s Luxury Traveller Set


I’m off to Bali for a getaway in just under a month, and as well as securing an appointment at the incredible new Spring Spa over there I’ve begun curating a set of travel-sized beauty essentials to take on board.
The first in my arsenal is New Zealand skincare company Sávar’s Luxury Traveller Set. As well as being gorgeous enough to get declared gift-worthy, the set is full of beautifully crafted formulas that are deliciously scented and packed with skin-benefiting anti-aging botanical extracts and oils.
Available in three different combinations: normal/dry, combination/oily and all skin types, each pack contains 5 x 30ml individually formulated premium products which vary depending upon your skin type. From the brand’s soap free 100 per cent biodegradable Energising Body Wash that can also be used as a natural shampoo, to their premium natural moisturisers, the variation in each traveller set means you are definitely well covered.
GMP certified, Sávar’s premium natural skincare products work for both men and women’s skins and are suitable for all skin types including sensitive. They are packed with good stuff like New Zealand blackcurrant oil, organic bilberry, marshmallow extract, organic fig, lime flower, lemon balm and organic goji berries, and smell like pure heaven. Bonus!
The Savar Luxury Traveller Sets retail at $89.00 for 5 premium travel size products, are made in New Zealand and come in recyclable packaging. They are available at www.savaronline.com, leading pharmacies, department stores and beauty therapists and are most definitely an in flight and on holiday essential.

Daily delight: Claudia, Nadja, Stephanie, Linda and Naomi for Vogue Nippon


Friday, July 25, 2014

Love It: Lancôme French Idole Fall Look 2014




Very French, rebellious and oh so chic, Lancôme’s absolutely killer French Idole Fall Look 2014 is inspired by the beauty and style of an urban Parisian woman - and it is sheer perfection.
The beauty equivalent of the perfectly cut skinny jean, grey marle tee and luxe jacket - worn expertly cuffed and elegantly rumpled - it is pure French chic and incredibly wearable to boot.
French Idole features gemstone-inspired colours and shades of lipstick, eye shadow, and nail colour – each extremely wearable and appropriate for a wide range of makeup looks from chic to casual. Lancôme’s makeup artists are recommending you wear a sultry smoky eye in combination with natural-looking, sheer-coloured lips, and be sure to add a definite statement nail from one of Lancôme Vernis In Love’s three autumnal hues: 439 Topaze Rose, 387 Améthyste Brune and 197 Tourmaline Noire (above). All three are on the dark and mysterious side but feature just the right dose of iridescent pigments to keep things pretty in punk.
I’ve been playing with the L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick for the season, which arrives in a barely-there, naturally-looking sheer rosy toned shade named 188 Rouge Agate Sheer that is as subtle as it is sexy. There is also a beautiful eye palette on the range and a very wearable blush, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the Artliner 24H in 01 Black Diamond - a totally rock n’ roll hue that is destined to become a true classic.
French Idole arrives in store August 18 for a limited time - get in quick as this collection is an absolute star and will inevitably be snapped up fast!

Daily delight: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Vogue Turkey


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Meet: Enrich Massage Therapy’s Olivia Van Lierop


I’m a huge fan of massage, and try and indulge in one whenever I can. Swedish, Thai, Ayurvedic or Balinese, you name it and I’ve had a bash at it at least once. In an age of technical and, at times, impersonal medicine, massage offers a drug-free, non-invasive and humanistic approach based on the body's natural ability to heal itself, and that’s what makes it one of my first ports of call when I’m feeling run down.
An absolute gem of a massage therapist that I’ve discovered of late is the wonderful Olivia Van Lierop from Jervois Road haven Enrich Massage Therapy. A recent arrival back in New Zealand, Olivia left the country nine years ago after completing a Bachelor of Therapeutic and Sports Massage.
“I was always super intrigued by the body and the way it works when I was younger,” Olivia tells me, “and I imagined I would go into physiotherapy or something like that but with a more holistic approach. My mother was involved in healing and was a huge influence on me from a very young age.” She started her career in podiatry, but grew frustrated with “only treating problems from the hips down” and wanted to work in a way that encompassed the whole body. Cue: massage, and a trip down South to train in different modalities.
After completing her training in massage she moved to Australia to work as a sports masseuse for a leading Australian clinic working with top athletes. From there she explored the idea of working on yachts in Europe, landing a position just two week’s later in Greece as a private masseuse, beautician and yoga instructor on one of the most prestigious luxury yachts in the world. “I was sent to qualify as a beauty therapist in London and it gave me a whole different approach to my work as a massage therapist,” she explains, “and I added more of a pampering, relaxing aspect to what I do as opposed to just taking a sports massage approach.”
Looking for further challenges she travelled to many beautiful parts of the world, completing her yoga teacher training in Bali and then returning to New Zealand, where she combined her talents to establish Enrich. She incorporates both a therapeutic and pampering aspect into almost every massage that she does, even sending some clients away with yoga poses to practice to keep their bodies in check.
“I’m trying to make my unique combination of the technical and the relaxation aspect of massage integral to what I do,” says Van Lierop, “because it seems like you have to go to a sports massage clinic to get a deep tissue-type massage to treat the likes of chronic pain and a spa to get something really warm and pampering. I think you should be able to go for a very technical, therapeutic massage but still feel like you’ve had some ‘me’ time.” Even if she has to do something “a bit brutal”, she likes to start with a soothing foot massage before moving onto the tough stuff, “and then finish with a facial massage to really release the tension before someone leaves the room. I also like to incorporate some hot stone work if someone is keen on that, it just makes such a difference.”
You'll find Olivia working from Enrich at 37 Jervois Road, Ponsonby, and for booking details head to: www.enrichmassageponsonby.co.nz

Daily delight: Candice Swanepoel for Forum Brazil


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Love it: Go-To Exceptionoil


When I heard that former Mamamia beauty writer and author of Amazing Face, Zoë Foster Blake has launched her very own skin care line I just knew she would be a goodie. After all, people in the position of trying/reviewing/writing about beauty prods get to experience the worst of the worst and the best of the best, so if you had the power to create your own it would be pretty much bang on what you yourself wanted to use… and the best brands come from personal need.
Anyway, Foster Blake’s line is called Go-To, and is made of a collection of her essentials for a great skin. There are plans for it to grow in time, but for now the small-but-perfectly-formed lineup is made up of some absolute must-haves, the first of which I’ve had the pleasure of trying being the beautiful Exceptionoil. Pretty much a do-it-all-but-the-dishes multi-purpose oil, it is great for everything from dry heels to split ends, ragged cuticles, stretch-marks and even dehydrated faces (hello, winter!). It features over 10 glorious, nourishing, skin loving and healing oils, as well as lush butters and certified Monoi di Tiare for the most beautiful vacation-friendly scent.
From the get-go I lovde the fact that it’s in a tube not a bottle, like many of my fave oils - it makes it so much more travel and beach bag-friendly, and you definitely use less. It’s also insanely easy to use: just massage it into damp skin after a shower and you’re good to go. As it’s an oil and it’s winter I have been warming the tube up under the hot tap a little before I give it a squeeze, and come summer it will be going in the fridge when the temperature rises so none of the good stuff gets lost. It will definitely be in my bag when I travel to Bali next month, as apparently it’s great for soothing “sunkissed bits”, and because of the antioxidants, protects them from free radical damage.
So there you have it - pop online here and check out the rest of this beautiful collection because quite frankly, you’d be silly not to.

News: The Marr Factory returns for 2014



 Over the past few years The Marr factory shows - held at popular Ponsonby hang out spot and my local, Golden Dawn - have been one of the highlights on the local fashion calendar. The venue means that things felt a little more cool and underground than your usual local fashion affair, and the amazing hair and makeup looks could be glimpsed up close and personal, which for a beauty fan like me gets two thumbs up.
It’s a good thing indeed then that The Marr Factory is back for 2014 and once more at Golden Dawn, where a series of in-season runway shows will happen curated by Stephen Marr, and partnering with some of the sharpest labels in New Zealand: Karen Walker, Zambesi, Nom*D, Helen Cherry, Workshop and Kate Sylvester.
The six nights of in-season fashion shows will be happening August 17-23, and this year a very special eve will wrap up the week in true Marr Factory style in the form of a group show providing a platform for five of the country’s most exciting new fashion labels to present their collections. Eugenie, Harman Grubisa, Penny Sage, Glen Prentice and Georgia Alice make up the ‘MF Gatecrashers’ on Saturday 23rd August at in an R18 event that will be completely open to the public.
This year the shows will coincide with naming rights sponsor Viva’s launch of their brand new online shopping portal ‘ShopViva’, whilst guests will be well lubricated by Bombay Sapphire, Hallertau, Quartz Reef Wines and All Good Organics.
All Marr Factory shows are open to the public, with 100 tickets for each of the first five shows on sale now at www.iTicket.co.nz for $45 each.  The ‘MF Gatecrashers’ show on Saturday 23rd August is R18 and will be unticketed, with capacity filled on a first come, first served basis.

Daily delight: Adriana Lima for LOVE




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Beauty destination: Birkenhead’s Biba salon




Almost two years ago now I took a trip over the Harbour Bridge to a small-but-perfectly-formed salon in Birkenhead Point called Biba. Owner Belinda Watson had created quite the oasis in her beautiful boutique salon, and I loved my time spent there having an INOA colour and sipping on their ginger, lemon and honey signature tea – served with a side of homemade tahini balls – and talking to inspirational stylist about her views on wellness, beauty, business and more.
Fast forward to 2014 and Belinda has opened yet another Biba - just minutes’ from the existing, petite salon but in a spacious, loft-style space that concentrates even more on offering a unique, holistic approach to looking and feeling good.
Fuelled by the desire to offer clients an experience that encompasses mind, body and soul, award winning hairdresser Belinda - who has been cutting and styling for more than 25 years – has opened the new salon as a min-retreat, as well as a place wehere she and her team can focus on creating “beautifil, believable hair”.
In addition to a new look, the salon offers clients yoga and meditation classes, as well as growing her passion for “hair with heart”.
“Meditation and yoga made me feel beautiful in the body, mind and soul,” she says. “Being well groomed from the inside is equally important as it is on the outside. Even if you have the greatest fashion sense and the latest look, these are going to be quickly forgotten if you’re not feeling good about yourself. That’s why a balance of both inner and outer beauty is vital.”
Designed to be a sacred community space, at first glance Biba resembles a typical modern-day salon. What stands it apart from the rest is that everything – the chairs, styling stations and mirrors – have been especially designed to roll away, morphing the light-filled, loft space into a yoga and meditation studio and well-being event space.
I love the fact that her famous Biba tea and Bliss balls are still on the menu, and the salon has also activated a garden-to-glass approach with its home-grown organic veges and herbs infusing the healthy drinks on offer.
Her haircare partner of choice is one of my personal faves, Pureology (a luxury haircare brand committed to sustainability) along with L’Oréal Professionnel using the innovative INOA colour (named INOA for “Innovative No Ammonia”).
The new Biba is most definitely a destination to visit, enjoy and luxuriate in…  with a one of a kind approach that sees you leave with beautiful hair, and maybe even a whole new outlook on life.
For bookings head here: http://www.biba.co.nz/

Daily delight: Lupita Nyong’o for Elle France


Monday, July 21, 2014

All about: Coaqua's damn fine coconut water



I first discovered the wonders of coconut water when I travelled to LA on a regular basis several years ago – it cured even the most punishing of jet lags, the odd hangover and kept me going on super sweltering Californian days.
I really fell in love with it however when I travelled to Vanuatu two years’ ago. The village I stayed in was abundant in baby coconuts, which were sold with the tops almost lopped off, ready for you to grab a knife and a straw and dive in. It set me off on the road of serious addiction, but with all of the wonders that the rather delicious beverage brings I was all for it. With an electrolyte content completely compatible with the human body, coconut water is nature’s sports drink. It is low in calories and provides five of the essential aforementioned electrolytes – calcium, magnesium, chloride, sodium and potassium – in their natural form, making it the perfect choice for short-term rehydration during summer workouts or even when you’re ill. It’s also beneficial if you suffer from high blood pressure or heart disease, with just one serve (or around 330ml) providing almost twice the potassium of an average banana.
Until about a year ago, coconut water has always been difficult – and expensive – to source in New Zealand, so I was rather excited when the market opened up and some damn good varieties arrived in store. Not all were created equal however - and the goodies soon rose to the top.
A newbie that I have been reaching for on a more than regular basis is Coaqua, a company founded by Kiwis Grier and Steve - the former a production designer, the latter a hospitality star, both of whom found major success offshore. Grier had spent a lot of time in Thailand and fell in love with coconut water, as fresh and tasty as he could get it.
He began to wonder why more people weren’t drinking it, so talked to food and beverage specialist Steve, and the pair started taste-testing the products on the market. “We realized the reason was that most consumer coconut water products were just not all that great,” he said, and they set off on an “almost obsessive, months-long journey around Southeast Asia on a quest for the perfect coconut water. It was a journey that ended in Vietnam, where they found the “finest green coconuts, the best coconut water”, and - perhaps most importantly - a bottling plant for the water. Why glass bottles? Well, because they never considered anything else. “We don’t like plastic, we’re not sold on tetrapak, and we felt from the beginning that Coaqua is a drink that should look just as good as it tastes,” says Grier and damn, she does look good.
And yep, she tastes great too - and very different from many of the coconut water options I have supped out there. Keep her chilled and chug whenever you can I reckon - this stuff is an absolute winner that will most definitely be a fridge essential in my house from here on in!

All about: Bird & Knoll



Anyone that follows me on Instagram (mshelene99) would know that I am a huge fan of Bird & Knoll - their scarves are the ultimate in highly practical, beautifully affordable luxe, and I have begun a collection that I know I’ll still be head over heels in love with for years to come.
A truly Trans-Tasman duo, Bird and Knoll are Natalie Knoll and Macayla Chapman, an old work mate of mine from many years ago. The pair is a match made in heaven, and have created some truly original and coveted pieces that seem deceptive in their simplicity. Earlier this year they launched a successful debut collection of luxurious cashmere-blend scarves, and have now followed it up with an equally inspiring Spring|Summer 14/15 collection - 'Tea, Sugar and a Dream'.
Natalie, the photographer in this creative team, says that they have introduced more colour with the new collection, which “drew inspiration from the exotic jewel-like hues that you find in places like the markets of Peru or the bazaars of Istanbul". The collection’s name 'Tea, Sugar and a Dream' is one of Knoll's travel anecdotes. "It's how a local taxi driver in Istanbul taught us to say ‘thank you’ in Turkish" she explains: "Teşekkür ederim ... just like tea, sugar and a dream". The new collection is most definitely an absolutely stunner, featuring more designs for their scarves that have been described by Harper's Bazaar as a “failsafe travel accessory".
The collection also includes a range extension: canvas pouches printed with their iconic photographic images. Like the scarves, the pouches are designed to be a multi-functional accessory, perfect for taking your bits and pieces to the pool, phone and keys to the beach or as a casual evening clutch for those island getaways when all you need is a lippy and cash for a cocktail or two.


I’ve been using my scarves on colder days to keep warm and as for a wrap inside on cooler evenings out, but come late August I’ll be taking them to Bali for an in flight snuggly and rather gorgeous sarong, and I can’t wait. I already have my eye on a few beauties from the new collection too, so chances are my luggage will be at least 50 per cent Bird & Knoll - and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
To order your own piece of Bird & Knoll visit http://www.birdandknoll.com/

Daily delight: Andreea Diaconu for FRAME Denim F/W 14



Friday, July 18, 2014

Love it: label.m Texturising Volume Spray



I make no secret of the fact that I am a HUGE fan of BIG hair, and love a bit of texture added in for good measure. I’m also a big fan of dry shampoo and always have at least three cans on the go, so when I heard that label.m had released a sort of hybrid of the two I was beyond excited.
The product in question is label.m Texturising Volume Spray, which the company promises “will see even the finest of freshly washed manes transformed into towering beehive’s á la Brigitte Bardot”. Sounds good to me!
A super versatile styling spray combines the texturising benefits of a dry shampoo with the hold of a hairspray, it is an absolute godsend for those like me who like their hair on the larger side pretty much straight after a wash. I have dark, thick and rudely healthy hair, so a wash sees it super shiny and soft but often unable to get any oomph in there. That’s where this baby - dubbed “backcomb in a can” - steps in, delivering an instant, long-lasting root lift for height, grip or drama - whatever is required.
I find that with this beauty a little goes a long way, and that for winter I’ve been using it a lot for textured updo’s and the like. I can see it really coming into its own for summer waves though, and will definitely be taking it with me to Bali in a month no question.
It’s also a cinch to use - just spray on after a shake approximately 10-15cm from dry hair. Like dry shampoo I’ve been applying it fairly evenly and concentrating on the roots, while massaging it in a bit with fingers to create the desired effect. Perfection!