Thursday, July 24, 2014

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!

Daily delight: Scarlett Johansson for Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Mono


Thursday, July 17, 2014

All about: Weleda Nourishing Hair Oil


It appears that this week I am all about the oils - winter will do that to you - and today my rave of choice is Weleda’s luxuriously natural, all good Nourishing Hair Oil.
Designed specifically to treat your hair and scalp with a regular hit of natural, all good nutrients, it is not only a treat to use but also a bit of a steal at $19.90 for a 50ml bottle (and a little goes a long way). A deep conditioning treatment that can be used every day if you need, it is packed with ingredients from biodynamic, organic and wild crafted suppliers. Organic rosemary leaf extract helps to strengthen dry and damaged hair, while organic burdock root extract revitalises and nourishes both hair and scalp. Being Weleda it is free of SLS, parabens, preservatives and artificial essences too, which gets the thumbs up from me.
Like most quality hair oils, it can be used on wet or dry hair and as a pre- or post-styling treatment depending on your needs. It helps to repair dry hair (making it a holiday essential), provides intensive care for split ends, boosts your hair’s natural shine and can be used all over for an overnight treatment when needed. I found that just a few drops was plenty for my hair pre- and post-blow dry, and I’m yet to try Weleda’s recommendation of massaging a cap full of Nourishing Hair Oil into the hair and scalp, covering with a shower cap and leaving on for at least 40 minutes before shampooing out, although I may just do that this weekend!
This multitasking beauty is available right now from a Weleda stockist near you and comes highly recommended.

Daily delight: Anna Ewers for Vogue Paris




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Love it: Murad's new Renewing Cleansing Oil


Anyone that checks in here regularly will know that I’m a huge fan of oils - body oils, hair oils and facials oils - and love the fact that nine times out of ten, they are brilliant multitaskers and are great travel companions too.
Cleansing your face with is a given with me, but for many oil may seem counterintuitive, especially for those who associate it with breakouts and the like. Well it just ain’t true, and there are more and more great oil-based cleansers arriving on the market all the time that are making their way into bathroom cabinets across the globe.
One I have discovered of late is Murad’s brand new Renewing Cleansing Oil, the respected skincare company’s first oil-based cleaners. A super luxurious oil, it can be used to cleanse face, lips and even eyes all in one, reducing dryness and restoring suppleness to dehydrated or oily complexions. The 100% non-comedogenic formula means it won’t leave a greasy film or clog pores either.
The formula - which BTW, smells amazing - contains a powerful combination of natural ingredients including a blend of Olive Fruit Extract, Grape, Pomegranate, and Sunflower Seed Oils that work together to gently remove impurities and makeup. Jojoba and Liquorice Extracts are in there as well to help improve dry, cracked skin, while Sweet Almond Oil provides the perfect amount of moisture for a smooth, youthful glow. Delicious stuff? You bet.
To use this little marvel just pour a little into slightly damp - not wet - hands, rub them quickly together and then massage your face softly for as long as you like. Rub gently into your lashes to get any stubborn mascara and the like off and then rinse with warm water and pat dry (I like to use a muslin cloth at this point, for a little exfoliating action). Et voila! Fresh and clean and good to go with your favourite serums and moisturisers. Love it.
Murad products are available online at www.murad.co.nz or instore at Caci nationwide, Call 0800
438 438 for your nearest stockist.

Daily delight: Gigi Hadid for Tom Ford F/W 2014