Friday, December 13, 2013
Thursday, December 12, 2013
A few weeks’ ago now I friend of mine lamented the use of cheap as chips tonic water when you’ve laid down $100 or more for an absolutely stellar bottle of gin, citing the inferior tonic’s sweetness dulling down the beauty of a superior drop of Mother’s Ruin and much more. Consequently, I was pretty excited to hear about the New Zealand launch of Singapore-based East Imperial, all-natural super premium tonic water that tastes an absolute treat.
Inspired by the founder’s 1903 family recipe, the delicious formula reflects the rich history and craftsmanship of traditional tonic water that once romanced and enhanced the beauty of exotic botanical gin flavours. In collaboration with the best bartenders from across Asia and the most skilled distillers from all over the world, the company set out to create the highest quality range of mixers - yes, there are more on the way - on the market to perfectly complement premium spirits.
As well as tasting damn fine, East Imperial is crafted using all natural and sustainable ingredients that are sourced from as far and wide as Java, Africa and New Zealand, which gets a major tick from me. The company has spent years building relationships with its growers and their communities, and the company is also a member of global cause, 1% For The Planet - giving back a percentage of its profit to the communities who support them. East Imperial supports Wine to Water, who do work across Asia and East Africa, and who have recently delivered 2,000 water filters to the Philippines post the Hiayan typhoon.
This week I spent an informative and fun evening at 1885 Basement Bar in Britomart, where East Imperial partnered with Hayman’s, Botanist, West Winds, Waiwera, Gabriel Boudier Saffron and Martin Miller’s to create the ultimate gin and tonic masterclass, resulting in a brand new appreciation for this most summery of drinks! The sun is shining and I will most definitely be polishing up my skills again soon.
East Imperial is available at Nosh Food Markets, select liquor outlets and top cocktail bars around the country. To learn more visit www.eastimperial.net.Tweet
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The legendary Max Mara recently held a beyond grand runway show, staged at the famed Ryōgoku Kokugikan arena in Tokyo and featuring over 50 models. It attracted over 1000 celebrities, VIPS, and press from all around the world, who saw looks from the Max Mara Resort 2014 and Spring/Summer 2014 collections - previewed in Milan - and concluded with a series of cocktail and party dresses from the Max Mara Elegante collection.
Runway stylist Peter Gray for Moroccanoil was called upon to create hair looks that would work effortlessly with the beautiful show pieces, and the end result was elegantly beautiful, simple, sleek, and luxurious, with subtle, refined waved movement flowing down the back and accenting the ends.
Here’s a run down on how the look was created:
1. “I first started by prepping damp hair with a cocktail of Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream and Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse throughout the full length of hair.”
2. “Next, I created a diagonal side part above the left eye and loosely blow-dried the hair using my fingers and a Moroccanoil XLPRO Paddle Brush.”
3. “I then took a horizontal section through the nape area and sprayed each section with Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong, and curled vertically using a 1 and 1/4 inch curling iron. Each curl was pinned and set in the same direction.”
4. “To ensure that hair on the top and front stayed flat, I pulled the curls slightly downwards. Then I placed a card held with an aluminum clip on the front hairline will ensure that this area sets as flat and smooth as possible. “
5. “After the set cooled, I brushed out the hair using a cutting comb and directed behind the ear and downward. This ensured a narrow silhouette on the front and sides, with an elegant, waved movement below the shoulders and into the ends of the hair.”
6. “For a final touch, I misted a small amount of Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine Spray on my palms and then lightly smoothed them on the surface of the hair for a luminous look and maximum shine.”
* photos by Takashi Murata for Moroccanoil *Tweet
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
From the Rod McDonald stable of wines comes Te Awanga Estate, who have released some absolutely beautiful new vintages that are perfect for summer.
The vineyard itself was planted 25 years ago by a group of friends in one of Hawke's Bay's oldest winegrowing areas, where they make a range of single estate wines that are “rich, mouth filling and long-lived” i.e. absolutely a treat on the tastebuds and most definitely made to be shared.
I was lucky enough to try a glass of the stunningly simple Te Awanga Estate Rosé at designer Ingrid Starnes’ perfume launch at The Department Store in Takapuna on Saturday, and then on Sunday popped the top on the Gewurztraminer, which winemaker McDonald says “might be my favourite”, as well as fantastic with summer salads, coriander, ginger, chilli and Asian spices. The perfect summer food wine for darn near-perfect summer food choices? I love that.Tweet
Monday, December 9, 2013
At almost 40, Kate Moss is currently gracing the cover of the 60th anniversary issue of Playboy, surely one of the most talked-about moves in the fashion and beauty industries this year. She looks absolutely incredible going bare for the iconic magazine, and the shoot has been expertly lensed by her good friends - and legends in their own right - Mert & Marcus.
Another professional bought it to make sure that Ms. Moss looked her absolute killer best was St.Tropez Tanning & Skin Finishing Expert Nichola Joss, who gave the St. Tropez ambassador and supermodel's skin a camera-ready glow at all times - including in the shots where St. Tropez was just about all she was wearing!
To create Kate Moss’ luminous Playboy look, Nichola started moisturising and exfoliating treatments with Kate a week before the shoot to make sure that her skin was hydrated and radiant. She used the St. Tropez Tan Enhancing Body Polish and Body Moisturiser, both of which are favourites of mine and definitely help even the dullest post-winter skin take on a whole new glow.
Five days prior to the shoot Nichola used the classic St.Tropez Spray Tan formula to give Kate a head-to-toe skin finishing treatment, creating an even, bronzed base for further application.
Two days before the shoot Nichola applied the St.Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse with their Applicator Mitt to keep the skin looking fresh and perfectly finished, then to add dimension and accentuate Kate’s best features she applied an extra layer of the St.Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse around the inner thighs, waist, cleavage and then down her back and arms.
As a final touch, Nichola used the St.Tropez Gold Illuminator on the lengths of the limbs to make them appear longer and leaner, plus on the décolletage to accentuate her bone structure. The illumination and contouring made sure the light hit the right curves and now I am desperate to get my hands on some of my own! Surely the perfect tan-friendly product in the lead up to Christmas and summer party season and hey - if it’s good enough for Kate then it is most definitely good enough for me!
Now to work out how to get Nichola to do the same routine for me every time I hit the beach this summer... hmmmm.Tweet
Friday, December 6, 2013
One of my favourite discoveries of the wine variety over the past year has been Q Wine, which is definitely the tipple of choice for those that go for the artisan and boutique.
Grown and crafted in the Waitaki Valley in North Otago, they are been garnering rave reviews both locally and internationally for their quality and individuality, part of this being due to this particular - and particularly beautiful - region. Still quite remote, the Waitaki Valley has been described as having one of the most viticulturally significant soils in New Zealand, as well as one of the most extreme climates. The home of many artisanal growers, the location produces wines that elegantly express its terroir, and Q Wines continues this boutique, individual approach by hand harvesting all of its grapes and crafting each vintage with the utmost attention to detail.
The vineyard’s first grapes were planted in 2005 with a first vintage released in 2010. The vines are densely planted with low yields to produce exceptional wines with a truly distinct flavour profile, and the 2010 Pinot Gris was immediately hailed by those within the industry for its dryness, texture and body. The 2011 Pinot Noir went out and did the same - already gaining recognition beyond the band of the deep blue Waitaki River – and a small release of the 2012 Rose was equally praised.
Every drop of Q that I have been lucky enough to taste - at everywhere from SPQR and Andiamo to the comfort of my own couch - has been a total pleasure, so in a particularly festive mood I’ve decided to give a twin pack containing Q Wine 2012 Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir away! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and courier address, as well as your date of birth. You must be over eighteen to enter so if you, get to it! Entries close Thursday, December 12 at 5pm.
For more about Q head to their website, here.Tweet
Thursday, December 5, 2013
My vow to take it easy on the treat front in the lead up to Christmas went totally out of the window yesterday with the arrival of a pot of The Collective’s Xmas Edition Vanilla Bean Custard premium yoghurt - thoughtfully accompanied by the most delicious of mince tarts. I was powerless in their grasp!
Thankfully, it is far lighter than your traditional custard and contains all of the goodies that come with their wonderful yoghurt such as probiotics like acidophilus, bifidus and casei cultures, and it’s also gluten free, gelatine free and preservative free. Hurrah for that! I can see pots of this getting a serious workout around our house as long as it’s in stock as it can be used on just about anything, and the fact that it tastes like pure heaven just makes things that much sweeter. Oh and it’s available now, RRP $5.99.Tweet
Although it’s a product that today would be more suited to a run in the rain than a dip in the sea, the new Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liners from Smashbox Cosmetics are an absolute godsend for the summer months as well as touch ups on the go and on overseas jaunts.
They have a handy sharpener built right into the lid so will stay sharp anywhere and everywhere, as the new patented technology from Smashbox works to tidy the tip every time you screw it shut - magical!
The formula is also creamy and glides on easily for minimal drag on the delicate skin of the eyelids, and is long lasting so a great choose for all day wear (or all night). The liners are available in eight shades: Raven – a signature black, Sumatra – a cool shade of dark brown, Storm – a soft smoky grey, Penny Lane –light brown with a subtle shimmer, Cabana – aqua green, French Navy – the perfect go-to navy blue, Violetta – a warm prune hue, and Bare – an eye-brightening nude that is great for using on your waterline when you need to look bright eyed and bushy tailed but really don’t feel it. In can honestly say that these last and last, and the waterproof factor is a real bonus for when it’s time to hit the pool… and the weather starts behaving!Tweet
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Despite today’s dismal weather, my mind is still on the upcoming summer months and I really am a lady that likes to tan. Mostly faux but a little of the other too - with a super strength sunblock, naturally - and love any product that makes quick work of any of the above.
The latest new whizz bang number that I’ve laid my hands on is Thalgo’s Bronzing Activator Lotion, which “treats and prepares the skin and makes your tan last longer”. The clever clogs formula contains a melanin booster Insitol Derivative, a natural plant substance derived from the carob tree that activates, intensifies and prolongs a tan. It can be used pre-sun to minimise the time in the sun you need to achieve your perfect colour and can be used after sun to intensify and prolong a natural tan. I have been popping it on over the last week or so and spent some time in the sun this past weekend and was seriously impressed - the beginnings of a golden glow achieved relatively safely through my SPF45!
It is designed to be used once or twice a day two weeks before sun exposure to accelerate your tan, as well as during and after sun exposure to intensify and prolong your natural glow. For a tanned complexion all year round, this super light cream-gel can be used on the face and body as a form of gradual tanner too, and the addition of some subtle iridescent pearls lends a rather sassy sheen after a day on the beach or by the pool.
I’m totally in love with this little number, and given the seriousness with which the French approach tanning it’s no surprise that this cult beauty brand from France does it very, very well.Tweet