Saturday, August 29, 2015

Makeup how to: M.A.C for Hailwood at NZFW 15

The Hailwood show is always one of my absolute favourites at New Zealand Fashion Week every year, for a multitude of reasons. First up, the designer is a dear friend of mine and one of the best a girl could have, and secondly because he is just so damn talented. He knows how a woman wants to dress and feel, and is one of the strongest names in New Zealand fashion because of it.
This year’s show – and collection – was no different, full of everything from beautiful gowns and must have denim to wearable, perfectly draped day-to-night dresses. The makeup look created to complement the collection was created by long time Hailwood collaborators M.A.C Cosmetics, with artist Sarika Patel in the role of key.
Sarika said that the brief was to create “perfect glowing skin accentuated with tones of apricot and gold, and this was done by starting with M.A.C Prep + Prime Fix + and M.A.C Studio Moisture Cream to prep the skin before an application of M.A.C Studio Face and Body Foundation.
Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Groundwork was used on the eyes as a light contour before Mid-tone Sepia and Bronze Cream Colour Base were softly blended over the eye and Pearl Cream Colour Base applied to the centre of the eye.
Lips were created using Spice it Up! Lipstick pressed onto lips for enhanced natural colour, with Clear Lipglass to finish. Nails were a mix of M.A.C Studio Nail Lacquer in Skin and Anti-Fashion.

** photos by  Olivia Hemus for M.A.C Cosmetics **

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Makeup how to: M.A.C for Stolen Girlfriends Club at NZFW 15

The Stolen Girlfriends Club show at NZFW 15 last night was a riot of celebration – the boys have been ten years in the biz and it was all about the party (there was even a confetti cannon, uh huh).
The show was fun and fresh, and the key makeup artist was the always amazing, utterly sassy Kiekie Stanners, M.A.C Senior Artist. KieKie has worked with the brand for a few years now and definitely ‘gets’ the Stolen girl and all that she signifies. She said that this year “the Stolen Girl impossibly hot. To die for skin, juicy lips, and a wash of innocence over the eyes, as if she has done her own makeup to fit in with the ‘stolen gang’…”
The result was pretty damn impressive, and the skin was sheer perfection. The almost-to-market, brand new M.A.C Studio Waterweight SPF30 Foundation was applied with the #196 Slanted Flat Top Foundation Brush before M.A.C Pearl Cream Colour Base and Bonjour, Spring SS16 Trend Forecast Lip were used to highlight cheekbones using the #159 Duo Fibre Brush. M.A.C Vintage Rose Cream Colour Base was then added as a low flush on cheeks.
When it came to eyes, M.A.C Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly was buffed on to eyelids with a #217 Blending Brush before Tomato, Tomahto SS16 Trend Forecast Lip was applied as a soft wash over the eyelids. Clear Lipglass was slicked on for a glossy finish.
Lips also used the powers of the beautiful Tomato Tomahto SS16 Trend Forecast Lip as a stain, and for nails a drop of M.A.C Studio Nail Lacquer in Impassioned was mixed with Studio Nail Lacquer in Overlacquer.

** photos by Olivia Hemus for M.A.C Cosmetics **

Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for YSL Rouge pur Couture

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

All about: Lancôme's new Miracle Cushion foundation

With a waiting list already a mile long and sold out in many markets, the new Lancôme Miracle Cushion foundation is a modern beauty legend in the making. There hasn’t been THIS much hype around a beauty product in a long time, and the fact that it’s in the makeup category as opposed to skincare makes this fact even more impressive.
Like many great things beauty, the basic idea for the unique miracle cushion delivery that it uses comes from Korea. Back when I was a wee one and they didn’t have self-adhesive stamps, post offices kept a little round sponge sitting in water in a little round dish so you could moisten your stamp without having to lick it. Sometime back in 2007, Korean beauty brand AmorePacific, were reportedly inspired by the idea of putting a "stamp of approval" on a new must-have concept, and developed the first cushion compact. They released the IOPE Air Cushion in 2008 and since then, the use of cushion compacts has become so popular that apparently 75 per cent of Korean women have used/are using a cushion compact. Pretty amazing, huh?
So fast forward to the present and Lancôme have unleashed what is one of the first cushion compacts outside of Asia on the rest of the world. And the Miracle Cushion foundation most definitely lives up to the hype – since trying it for the first time just a few weeks ago I have become completely obsessed.
The packaging is an absolute winner, of course. Not that you can't carry a bottle or tube around, but the cushion format means a sponge impregnated with liquid foundation and set into a case that includes a mirror and convenient applicator pad, plus a hinged cap that creates an airtight seal over the sponge and provides a nice resting spot for the applicator. This makes it incredibly portable and travel-friendly, with no need for brushes or extra sponges making a hot mess in your handbag. The cushion and applicator are made of polyurethane; so they don't absorb the product as much as “hold” onto it until you apply pressure to transfer the liquid to the applicator and then to your skin. When it starts to run low you just flip the cushion - use tweezers to remove it carefully and reposition. The packaging also means that the Lancôme Miracle Cushion compact is refillable, making it earth and credit card-friendly too.
As for the makeup itself, it is a beautifully formulated airy foundation with a gorgeous, sheer-to-medium buildable coverage. It gives a dewy but not too dewy finish, and added skincare benefits include improved hydration and ingredients such as soothing adenosine and pigment-targeting pine needle extract. 
Normal to dry and older skin will love the feel and the finish it gives, and I think if you’re skin is on the oilier side it can work too – with perhaps just the lightest dusting of a mattifying powder over the top. Made with water and volatile oils that flash off the skin soon after application, the foundation is actually cooling on contact with the skin too - it temporarily reduces the skin's temperature by 2.3ºC as the oils evaporate and calms down any irritation like you wouldn’t believe.
So, what are you waiting for? The Lancôme Miracle Cushion foundation is available in four colours right now, with an RRP of $69.00. 

Daily delight: Carla Bruni for Bulgari Spring 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Love it: the Kérastase Résistance Thérapiste collection

I am lucky that I have very healthy, strong hair, but I have put it through a lot over the years and every so often it cheerfully reminds me of that.
After playing with a little balayage a couple of months ago it hasn’t been so happy, with split ends appearing and a little too many flyaways for my liking. So a couple of weeks ago I finally broke into my samples of the new Kérastase Résistance Thérapiste collection and to say my hair is transformed would be putting it mildly – it is like my poor old locks have been officially born again!
Key to the new collection is an understanding of Keratin Associated Proteins (KAPs), which represent half of all hair fibres. When the hair is damaged these KAPs diminish or disappear entirely, leading to damaged hair structure. Gradually the hair fibre is destroyed if these aren’t tended to, resulting in split ends, frizz and worse.
Kérastase’s new formula contains the sap of the Myrothamnus Flabellifiola – an amazing ‘resurrection plant’ that is able to come back to life after even 10 years near death. During lengthy scientific testing, damaged and over-processed hair that had been treated with the product came out stronger than ‘virgin’ undamaged hair that has never come near it. The results were pretty incredible, so I thought ‘why the hell not?’ and cannot be more amazed by my current hair situation. Even professionals who have blow waved it have immediately asked me how on earth I manage to keep it in such incredible condition, and that’s after around five washes or less with the new Résistance Thérapiste lineup!
The full collection is made up of:
Kérastase Résistance Soin Premier Thérapiste 
This is like a lightweight conditioner that has been designed to use before the shampoo to improve the general texture and thickness of the hair. It protects the hair during cleansing, which seems like an added step but gives the silkiest result.
Kérastase Résistance Bain Thérapiste
The first balm-in-shampoo, this has been designed for hair with an erosion level of 3-4 and helps renew the appearance of fibre quality. The unique “jellified texture” repairs the hair while shampooing, and you only need the smallest amount for a great lather. And unlike other nourishing products it doesn’t weigh the hair down or leave it feeling greasy afterwards, bonus!
Kérastase Résistance Masque Thérapiste
A masque created for extremely damaged thick hair that again, you only need a little of for an amazing result. A must have!
Kérastase Résistance Serum Thérapiste
Designed for both fine and thick hair, this is a leave-in serum designed to repair damaged hair and protect it against heat up to 230 degrees, so great for use before blow drying and/or styling tools. It is an essential for treating split ends, and made a difference to mine after just two washes.
So what are you waiting for? This superb collection in salon now. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Cake from carbs by numbers

I was recently sent a copy of the book carbs by numbers recipe options 15g carbs or less per serve by Sandra Dunbar and Meg Pell.
Delicious to look at as well as about as handy as they come, it makes carb conscious meal planning easy, without the need to get too paleo or restrictive on it. For example, four seed crackers (1g) with guacamole (1g) followed by pork and sage rounds with cauliflower mash (4g) and finishing with tiramisu (7g), adds up to a meal of just 13g of carbohydrates per serve.
 Easy and easy to enjoy, with no rules and regulations.
Plus, the book is unique by providing readers with extensive nutrition details for every recipe. Every recipe has the following information: energy kilojoules and calories, protein, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, carbohydrate, sugars, dietary fibre, vitamin C, total vitamin A, sodium, potassium, calcium and iron. All the recipes are also colour coded according to the level of carbohydrates per serve: 0-5g carbs is colour coded green, 6-10g carbs is colour coded blue and 11-15g carbs is colour coded magenta.  The recipes are also gluten free and there is a good cross section of hot and cold recipes, vegetarian and non vegetarian, and all are family-friendly and use ingredients that are readily available at supermarkets. I love that!
It’s available instore and the eBook can be purchased from iBook or Kobo either direct or through the website. The softback has a RRP of $24.95 while the eBook can be purchased for $9.95.
Anyway, now for the yummy stuff, one of my favourite recipes:

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
5g carbs per serve
(prep time 15 mins; total time 65 mins; serves 8; serve weight 73g)

110g zucchini
2 tablespoons (8g) instant coffee
200g hazelnut meal
62.5ml milk, reduced fat
45g cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 teaspoon (3g) baking powder
3½ tablespoons (70ml) sugar free maple flavoured syrup
2 eggs
20g hazelnuts, whole
2 tablespoons (40ml) water
20g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
¾ teaspoon (3.75ml) coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Grease and line a loaf pan unless using a silicone one (we used a 10cm wide x 21cm long x 5.5cm deep silicone loaf pan)
Grate the zucchini and set aside to drain. Warm the water and dissolve the coffee.
Set aside the dark chocolate, coconut oil and the whole hazelnuts to decorate.
Mix all the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
Pour mixture into the pan and cook for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for at about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and the coconut oil together.
Plate the cake and drizzle the chocolate mixture in bands across the cake and the plate.
Scatter with the hazelnuts.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

All about: the Oral-B PRO5000 Power Toothbrush

I once read a great beauty piece in the UK edition of ELLE magazine, which talked about how few people realise that your teeth “age” along with your skin (and other bits and pieces). It talked about gradual discoloration and general shrinkage all round, including the gums. When I was in my teens I was diagnosed with the beginnings of gum disease (rife in my mum’s extended family) and it gave me such a shock that I got obsessed by reversing any damage and keeping my teeth looking their best and lasting the distance!
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to slow down the process above is pretty damn simple to achieve – floss once a day and brush twice with a quality brush and you’re that much more likely to hang on to a great set of pearlers.
Enter the Oral-B PRO5000 Power Toothbrush – a step up from the Oral-B Triumph with SmartGuide that I have been using (and loving) for a good couple of years now. Recommended by dentists all over the globe, an Oral-B power toothbrush is like having your very own dentist in your bathroom - for that "dentist clean" feeling every time you brush. I am BIG on having a quality brush and this one does pretty much everything bar the dishes.
The sleek looking new brush boasts patented Cross Action bristles, perfectly angled at 16 degrees to reach deep between teeth to lift and gently remove plaque. It also offers Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, connecting to your smart phone to record brushing activity to optimise your daily routine. The SmartGuide provides real-time guidance as you brush, helping to ensure you brush for the dentist-recommended two minutes and guiding you towards the four different quadrants of the mouth. It also lets you know if you're applying too much pressure (something I’ve been guilty of many times), and the brush features five different cleaning modes: Daily Cleaning, Deep Clean, Whitening, Gum Care and Sensitive.
And with its handy, compact travel case, the Oral-B Triumph is also a perfect gift idea for summer - at home, or away. So what are you waiting for?

The Oral-B PRO5000 Power Toothbrush (RRP $299) and Cross Action Brushhead Refill (RRP $16.99, 2pk) are available right now.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Talking to: Marta Maria Camara of Martina Organics

It’s not often that I fall in love with a skincare brand from the get go, usually it takes trial and error and a little more trial and error, then things start to fall into place.
This was not so with the near-flawless Martina Organics brand, which I used once and immediately fell for. Hard.
Hand blended in small batches; Martina Organics describes itself as “an artisanal skincare range” using certified organic ingredients. Selected from both New Zealand and more exotic locales like Morocco, Japan, Africa and Israel, their botanical oils harness the power of plants that have been used for hundreds of years and they feel like heaven on the skin.
The range is unisex and comes packaged in unassuming glass bottles with minimal labelling, which is then easily peeled off so the bottle can be re-used for whatever you fancy.
Its creator is Marta Maria Camara, and the range is named after the name her parents called her as a child. Born in Lisbon, Portugal, she moved to Wellington with her family when she was two and grew up living above the iconic 90’s café Cuba Cuba on Cuba Street, but is now based in Auckland.
She lives and works in a big warehouse-style studio home in Britomart, where all of her oils are hand blended in small batches. “Most of my stockists are in Auckland so I thought it would be great to be closer to everything that was going on with the brand,” she explains, “that way I could participate in shop events, meet everyone and train up staff when needed.” Plus her “partner in crime” Tamzin, owner of Mavis and Osborn had decided to move up, so the pair thought it would be cool to get a studio home together and focus on their businesses full time.
Her oils are expertly blended from some pretty amazing ingredients, so I ask: where does she source them? “From all over the world, and of course New Zealand,” she tells me. “The Oil Cleanser and Oil Moisturiser contain eleven different oils each, including Camellia Oil - which is what the Geisha use in Japan, oils from Morocco, Africa and Israel, to name a few.”
When asked to name a favourite blend she says that she loves using the Oil Cleanser, “As it's your base and sets the tone for your skincare routine. But the Oil Moisturiser stays on for much longer so the benefits are stronger, so I'm going to have to say the Oil Moisturiser even though I love them both!”
Marta trained as a beauty therapist and had a small salon in Wellington, but says that she doesn’t have the space to set up shop in Auckland again and probably won’t,
“As my main focus is on the products now”. She is happy to offer a consultation to anyone that is interested in having a bespoke oil blend created especially for themselves though, an idea that gets me particularly excited.
We talk about the amount of people who are still afraid of using oils on their skin and she says that first of all, “don't worry about feeling greasy. Dry botanical oils have a molecular structure similar to the skin’s own natural oil, so they don't clog your skin and are easily absorbed”. She adds that they're rich in skin essentials such as moisturising fatty acids, including omega-3 -6 and -9, which strengthen the skin’s lipid layer, preventing water loss, plumping the skin and stopping the signs of aging.
 Her products can be found in some beautiful, design-focused stores, and I am guessing that the beautiful packaging and bottles help immensely getting in the door. She says she spent months trying to find the perfect bottle. “I really wanted packaging and a brand that was minimal and that wasn’t intrusive in your bathroom or bedroom, and that also looked beautiful, had style and an edge to it,” she says. Everything about the brand was selected with the environment in mind, “so that’s why the bottles are glass and all the printed collateral like the boxes and booklets are made from recycled eco stock. My talented designer Becca O’Shea then designed the branding, boxes and labels, and she made it all come together perfectly, I knew she would understand my vision for the brand right from the start.”
Next up are some refill bottles that will be out very soon, and Marta is also working on a Face/Beard Oil for men. As well as slowly completing the range without over complicating it, she is also finalising the details of a Cream Moisturiser and a Face Mask, and potentially a scrub.
When I ask if she plans to take the company internationally it appears that she has already got there, having recently picked up boutique stockists in New York and Canada “which is really exciting for the brand. I have a few stockists in Australia already too. But I’d love to be stocked in other boutique stores around the world, it’s definitely something that I’ve wanted for the brand right from the start.”
Lastly, who inspires her most – as a creator, a businesswoman? “So many, like Gosia from Kowtow and Megan from Little Bird Organics. I rate anyone who has integrity, is ethical, and has environmentally friendly products with a real focus on craftsmanship.”

Daily delight: Sharon Stone for Harpers Bazaar US

Friday, August 14, 2015

How to: Workshop / Helen Cherry at Marr Factory by M.A.C

Wednesday night’s Workshop / Helen Cherry show at Marr Factory was another absolute stormer of an event, with the perfect hair and makeup looks to go with both collections created by teams from Stephen Marr and M.A.C.
The key makeup artist was Caitlin Lomas for M.A.C Cosmetics, who had as her inspiration ‘Glitter glam with a touch of rock n roll’ – seriously, what’s not to love about that?
The key products used for face were M.A.C Strobe Cream and M.A.C Face & Body Foundation, and M.A.C Pearl Cream Colour Base was used to create a natural highlight.
For eyes, one of the looks used M.A.C Silver Pigment applied as a base with M.A.C 3D Silver Glitter pressed over top of eyelid, whilst look two used M.A.C Dazzleshadow in I Like 2 Watch applied to the eye as a base then M.A.C 3D Brass Gold Glitter pressed over the top. Lashings of M.A.C In Extreme Dimension Mascara in 3D Black Lash was applied for both looks, then for lips M.A.C Medium Nude Lip Mix was pressed onto lips for a soft, natural tint. Last up, M.A.C Clear Lipglass was generously applied for a full glass finish and truly luscious lips.

** photos by Olivia Hemus **