Friday, February 27, 2015

Hair how to: Ralph Lauren FW15 at New York Fashion Week

On the runway at New York Fashion Week designer Ralph Lauren showed a collection that was so true to the label’s design aesthetic and yet also totally modern. It was textured, creamy and super luxurious, the little tribal flourishes from as close as his home town in Sante Fe and from as far away as Bali.
Redken Global Creative Director Guido created a sense of ease on the runway to match with a natural, luxurious hair look that just oozed luxury. The stylist started by washing the hair with Redken’s new Frizz Dismiss Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner (not available until July in New Zealand) and then let it air dry to achieve a rich, beautiful texture. After creating a natural part with his fingers, Guido used a curling iron to bend then hair and then finished the look with Redken’s Signature Look Wind Blown 05 Dry Finishing Spray for an easy feeling.
“This season, the Ralph Lauren girl is easy, luxurious and beautiful with a little bit of western-prairie inspiration,” he said, “she’s very easy-going. I created this very natural, rich look by parting the hair with my fingers, and letting it air dry so it has that richness to it. Then, I used the curling iron to put a little bit of bend in the hair and sprayed Redken Signature Look Wind Blown 05 Dry Finishing Spray all over to texturize it a little bit and emphasize that naturalness. It has that cool kind of look, but it doesn’t feel over product-y. It has ease, richness and shine with just enough body to get that feeling of luxury.”
To recreate the look at home:
1. Start with clean hair by washing with Redken Frizz Dismiss Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner
2. Allow hair to air dry and then use fingers to create a natural part
3. Bend small sections of hair around a 1-inch curling iron to add body and movement
4. Spray Redken Signature Look Wind Blown 05 Dry Finishing Spray all over hair to enhance the natural texture


Friday, February 20, 2015

Hair how to: Coach FW 15 at New York Fashion Week

I love the recent reinvention of the Coach label, which these days is all about the tough girl who sports a plaid and shearling coat over her leather mini. Adorned with pink, rough edged scarves, brass pins and chain-strapped purses, this girl looks punk but also perfectly groomed, and I was enamoured with the new FW15 collection from the New York staple.
I also fell in love with the hair look, which was created by Redken Global Creative Director, Guido. It was an ode to each model’s individual personality and style, whilst emphasising the innate coolness of the fresh new collection.
He washed the hair with Redken’s new Frizz Dismiss Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner (arriving in New Zealand in July, hurrah!) and then let it dry naturally for a clean, frizz free and shapely texture. He then applied Redken’s Flex Move Ability 05 lightweight defining cream-paste near the part for a smooth finish with natural shine.
“At Coach this season I left the hair as natural as possible, and really played up the individual personalities of the girls,” explained the super stylist. “A lot of the shows this season want to keep the girl’s personalities – they don’t want armies. So I started with clean hair, washing the girls’ hair the night before to get rid of any frizziness or wildness, and then let the hair dry naturally to get that great texture.” He created a part that’s just off-centre “so it feels not very thought about, and then applied a bit of Redken’s Flex Move Ability 05 with my fingers to take any frizz away. There’s this sort of coolness about natural hair, and we’ll probably see a lot of it this season because it feels very modern.”
To re-create this heavenly look at home:
1. Start with clean hair by washing with Redken Frizz Dismiss Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner (not available until July in NZ)
2. Allow hair to dry naturally and then create a slightly off-center part
3. Using fingers, apply Redken Flex Move Ability 05 light weight defining cream-paste to the hair near the part to add smoothness and natural shine

Photos by Lucas Flores Piran for Redken

Daily delight: Candice Swanepoel for Maxim magazine

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Love it: Jo Malone’s new Rock The Ages collection

“Great Britain. Proud. Illustrious. A little Eccentric. A nation renowned for its distinguished history and defining eras...”
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be privy to a sneak peek at – and sniff of – Jo Malon’s newest fragrance collection, inspired by the above.
Called Rock The Ages, it launches on March 2 and is strictly limited edition… and to die for! The aim of the collection is to depict different periods of British history through the inspiration of drama, atmosphere and characters of each of the periods. The collection is made up of: Tudor Rose & AmberLily of the Valley & IvyGeranium & VerbenaPomegranate Noir (reissued) and Birch & Black Pepper. Each are totally unique and absolutely perfectly blended, and I’m in love with the whole lot.
Tudor Rose & Amber evokes the bloody and turbulent Tudor era. The fragrance contains Damask and Tudor rose as well as ginger in the heart, a spicy beginning of pink pepper and clove and the base of golden amber, patchouli and white musk.
Lily of the Valley & Ivy is inspired by the Georgian era of pastel tenderness, green landscapes, gardens and ivy-covered fences. The fragrance opens with green ivy, pink grapefruit and sparkling black currant, with a delicate floral heart of lily-of-the-valley and narcissus and the base of beeswax, amber wood and white musk.
Geranium & Verbena is a fragrance inspired by the aristocracy of the Edwardian period. The fougère fragrance of garden parties contains notes of bergamot, basil and verbena in the top, geranium, neroli and coumarin in the heart, and vetiver, patchouli, vanilla and cedar in the base.
Pomegranate Noir evokes the Victorian period and decadence, and contains notes of pomegranate, raspberry, plum, watermelon and rhubarb on the top, Casablanca lily, jasmine, clove, frankincense and pink pepper in the heart, guaiac wood, musk, amber and patchouli in the base. This used to be a huge favourite of mine, and a re-sniff has reminded me why – it’s absolutely beautiful.
Last but by no means least, Birch & Black Pepper (my fave) is the scent of modern Britain with contrasts between tradition and punk culture. It opens with accords of mandarin, cardamom and black pepper. Patchouli and birch are in the heart, followed by the base of gurjum, vanilla and ink.
In true Jo Malone fashion I’ve been wearing a mix of the latter and Tudor Rose & Amber on a very regular basis and have had nothing but compliments – from strangers and friends alike! Tudor Rose & Amber is the one scent that combines well with each of the others, and I’m dying to try it with Lily of the Valley & Ivy next for a really earthy scent.
As aforementioned, the Jo Malone Rock the Ages Limited Edition Collection will be available on March 2, 2015. Each cologne is 30ml and costs $110.00. I think this collection will appeal to so many people –hardcore Jo Malone London fans, British patriots, the fan of the ‘mother country’ and romantic historians alike. I love it!

Daily delight: Selena Gomez for V Magazine

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

All about: 1000 Tees For 1000 Women & The NZBCF

Last week I was privileged to be invited to the official launch of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation’s (NZBCF) unique new fundraising campaign, 1000 Tees For 1000 Women.
The clever name of the campaign was chosen as a tribute to the 1000 New Zealand women who by the end of summer, will be diagnosed with breast cancer - an average of eight women diagnosed every day.
This time two years’ ago I was one of those women, and despite being surrounded by well meaning friends and family, I felt horribly, indescribably alone. I struggled to find someone to talk to who didn’t come out with platitudes like, “well at least it’s not a death sentence these days!” (actually it can be, for some women), or felt completely helpless in the face of my distress (which is fair enough).
In response to the alarming statistics above, the campaign aims to raise funds to create a new, tailored counselling service for women with breast cancer, which is exactly what I needed in my time of diagnosis, and during treatment, and afterwards. I have never seen a counsellor and still think about  - and obsess over – my cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment, and whether or not it will come back and threaten my life again. Six monthly checks mean that I am one step ahead of many, but that often does little to allay my fears of the disease’s return and my own mortality. My scars are healing but my mind still needs work!
But enough about me and back to the campaign. 1,000 t-shirts numbered one to 1,000 will be available to purchase for the dollar value of their individual number. The NZBCF aims to raise $500,000 from the initiative, and with tees already being snapped up I believe that they will.
The programme will complement the existing support framework provided by the NZBCF, which includes funding of one-on-one and group physical rehabilitation services, practical support services for women with advanced breast cancer, online and printed materials and a free breastcare nurse advice line, as well as assisting breast cancer support groups around the country.   
Most importantly, the service will provide counselling and support that meets the specific needs of each individual woman, depending on her personal circumstances. Counselling has been shown to significantly improve prospects for women going through treatment. In fact, a meta-analysis in the United States showed mortality rates were as much as 39 per cent higher in patients who had been diagnosed with major depression.
The NZBCF’s personal approach to its new counselling service is reflected in its campaign. With just 1,000 one-off tees available for sale, there is only one opportunity to purchase each number, meaning each tee is limited edition and entirely unique – touching on the individual and personal journey each women undergoes. In addition, each individual tee has been designed using a bespoke font, which was originally designed for the highly acclaimed Wallpaper* magazine and donated by New York-based company, Commercial Type. 
As well as raising funds, the tees will also raise awareness of breast cancer in New Zealand, act as a symbol of support by the wearer, and encourage others to lend their own generosity. “Each tee is a tribute to one of the 1,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer this summer, a sign that those women are receiving the support they need, and a symbol of the generosity of the wearer”, says Evangelia Henderson, CEO NZBCF. 

New Zealanders can show their support for 1000 Tees for 1000 Women and New Zealand women with breast cancer by purchasing a t-shirt and wearing it proudly. Visit to purchase and find out more.

Daily delight: Rihanna in Dior for W Korea

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Love it: Aspect SMC Super Moisturising Complex

Thinner, duller, less vibrant skin is what you expect as you get older, and I for one am doing all I goddamn can to fight it every step of the way! This is mainly due to collagen and elastin diminishing, cell turnover coming to a grinding halt and environmental damage: i.e. sun exposure catching up with you, and so the more goodness you can put back in, the better.
Over the years skin becomes thinner and more translucent, so capillaries show. Wrinkles, age spots, uneven pigmentation may also develop - especially if you weren’t diligent about sun protection from childhood into your 30s – and your skin produces less oil in your 40s, leading to dryness. But the news isn’t all bad!
As well as top-notch masks and serums and regular facials, a great moisturiser really is one of your best friends. Moisturising skin morning and night is always a must, and when you find a good one it really will make a dramatic difference to the outward appearance of your skin.
My latest love is Aspect SMC Super Moisturising Complex, which is a super nourishing, anti-ageing cream with stem cells that has been designed especially to support a dry, dehydrated skin with ageing concerns.
It is packed full of cell targeting ingredients like:
* Hyaluronic Acid
* Sodium PCA
* Peptides
* Stem cell extracts
* Green tea
* Oil soluble Vitamin C
* Canadian Willow herb
* Sea Buckthorn Fruit oil
The unique SMC formula provides protection against free radical damage while supporting the barrier function and bathing the skin with superior hydration, and it absorns super fast despite the richness of its general ‘feel’. Magic – and totally sweet to massage in before applying makeup.
The perfect option for dry, dehydrated skin and anyone with ageing concerns, it has made a huge difference to the comfort factor of my usually dehydrated skin. Love that.
Last up, I love that this beauty comes in a pump form that is super hygienic and dispenses exactly the perfect amount of product for me every time. Amazing! Now if only I could find a product this good for the fine lines around my eyes I would be over the moon – just putting it out there universe!

Daily delight: Miranda Kerr for LOVE Magazine

Monday, February 16, 2015

Beauty news: Simple launches Micellar Cleansing Water in New Zealand

Models swear by them, every make-up artist I know has one in his or her kit and with their no-rinse, three-in-one formulas they're perfect for travelling and late nights. What are they? Micellar waters, and I for one have been a looooong time fan.
Micellar waters first gained momentum in Paris, whose skin-conscious inhabitants welcomed the opportunity to swerve the bad effects that the city's famously hard water had on their skin. I have always picked a couple of bottles up when I visit family in France, and love the way they work. Designed to be swept away with a cotton pad rather than rinsed off, micellar waters use tiny micelle particles to draw make-up (including waterproof mascara), sebum and impurities from the skin. Depending upon how much make-up you wear you may prefer to remove eye make-up separately, but since micellar waters are free of soap and alcohol they are a way more gentle alternative to harsh face wipes, making them perfect for when you're in a rush or on the go.
Last month Simple Skincare launched into the New Zealand market what I believe this is the very first micellar water to hit locally.
Featuring Simple’s triple purified water, the non-rinse cleanser gently removes make up and impurities for beautifully clean and hydrated skin, and it really is a joy to use. Thank god this is available in New Zealand now is all I can stay, not that will stop me visiting Paris, obviously!
Simple Senior Brand Manager, Jana Karatasas says “this is the go-to product for those wanting to thoroughly cleanse and hydrate. Simple Micellar Cleansing Water leaves no residue, so skin is left feeling fresh, revitalised and able to breathe – helping skin to look its natural, healthy best!”
Simple's hydrating Micellar Cleansing Water has been developed for even sensitive skin, and can be used as a daily cleanser by simply applying it to a cotton-wool pad and gently sweeping over the face, eyes and lips.
Convenient to use and kind to skin, it harnesses the power of Simple’s aforementioned triple purified water, which acts as a carrier of skin-loving ingredients – working together to hydrate and reduce potential for irritation by eliminating particles that can aggravate skin. Love it.
Last up, Simple Micellar Cleansing water is available from supermarkets nationwide and has a RRP of $11.99.  Now THAT is a steal.

Daily delight: Robyn Lawley for the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Friday, February 13, 2015

Beauty news: essie sets up camp at New York Fashion Week

One of America’s leading nail salon experts and colour authorities, the essie brand has long been associated with fashion and trend forecasting and works creating runway looks for designers from New York to Tokyo. For this year’s Fall/Winter 2015 shows, essie will once again bring its renowned expertise and colourful shades to the runways of New York Fashion Week.
Nails still remain the ultimate finishing touch for every collection, and this shows no sign of letting up in the near future. This year essie is partnering with nineteen of the season’s top talents, from established names such as Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, Carolina Herrera, Costello Tagliapietra, Delpozo, DKNY, DVF, Jenny Packham, Naeem Khan, Nanette Lepore, Proenza Schouler, Rebecca Minkoff, Sophie Theallet, and Yigal Azrouël, to well as up-and-coming talents like Brock, Heimstone, Dion Lee, Veronica Beard and Wes Gordon. To say the essie teams of nail gurus will be busy is a vast understatement, and I for one can’t wait to see what beauty they whip up.
Fresh from working the haute couture shows, essie teams will be led backstage by three of the most sought-after manicurists in North America: Michelle Saunders, Julie Kandalec and Rita Remark. With amazing editorial portfolios and an A-list clientele, each of them will work their magic to create killer runway looks using essie's huge range of shades.  
For instant coverage on essie’s adventures during fashion week, check out #essieNYFW where there will be live reports from backstage and #essielook for details of all the designer nail looks. 
Stay tuned and join essie in the front row on the following social media channels:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Beauty news: make friends with a faux glow

I’m a confessed connoisseur of the faux glow, and have tried pretty much every formulation out there - with varying degrees of success. It is still the safest tan out there for tanning at any time of year, and with New Zealand skin cancer rates constantly on the rise it’s time to pick a formula that works for you rather than baking under what are some pretty damn dangerous rays.
At the moment my absolute favourite spray tan is St Tropez’s Rapid Tan formula as applied by the wonderful Bianka from Mollie’s Spa in Auckland, and I’m always on the lookout for anything new that the global tanning brand has on offer. The latest I’ve heard about is their Self Tan Sensitive range, which is specially formulated to be gentle on skin without compromising performance. The genius yet gentle range has been designed with the more sensitive skins in mind, using natural-based ingredients that won’t irritate the skin. As someone who ticks the ‘sensitive’ box more often than not this is a major revelation - and well worth the wait.
Hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested, it also has no added colours - meaning there’s no residue on towels, sheets or clothing. It also includes several options like the Self Tan Sensitive Bronzing Face - specially created for the delicate skin on the face and infused with a “gentle iridescence”, Grape and Blackcurrant Seed Oil, Pomegranate and melon extract and the Self Tan Sensitive Bronzing Mousse, which is a lightweight nourishing mousse that easily absorbs into the skin to match the user’s skin tone. It’s a great range to recommend to first-time tanners who want a fool-proof and subtle-looking colour, and can be used up to three times a week for a really golden glow.
If you’re as rubbish at applying self-tanners as I was when I first made a foray into the faux, then it’s high time you made a gradual tan your friend – the best of the bunch are pretty much foolproof, and great for your skin to boot. One of my favourite gradual tanners is by Australian beauty brand ModelCo, who signed up model-of-the-moment Rosie Huntington-Whitely (above) as their spokesbody and make cracking good formulas. They are a brand known for high performance, no-nonsense, innovative products, and ModelCo’s Gradual Tan is an everyday triple action self-tanning moisturiser for all skin types that acts as a self-tanner, tan extender and moisturiser all in one, allowing you to build or prolong a natural-looking, streak free tan gradually and easily. It helps to improve and even out skin tone, prevent the visible signs of aging and protect the skin all while delivering a gradual golden glow. It’s also scented with what they call “delicious summer fruits”, so there are no tell tale signs of tanning, just a fresh, yummy scent.
One product I make sure to pack when I travel is Kate Somerville’s Somerville360° Tanning Towelettes. The creator and director of her own renowned skincare clinic on Melrose in Los Angeles, Kate Somerville has devoted her life to creating flawless faces. Every product in her range began life in her clinic, including the Towelettes, which contain a paraben-free self-tanning formula to give you a quick and even application with no streaking. Incredibly easy to use and perfect for travel as they come individually sealed - no need to stress about bottles or tubes busting out en route - each Towelette is concentrated with a self-tanning formula to give you a quick and even application. The brand is available at Mecca Cosmtica, who also stock Somerville’s self tanning pads formulated especially for the face.
Last up, I’d like to give a shout out to a product I’ve recently discovered by Xen Tan. Elle UK said of Xen Tan’s Transform Luxe: “it is one of the easiest gradual tanners to apply - it won't streak and it smells remarkably good too,” which is no faint praise. We they right? You bet, and I have fallen totally head over heels for the product. The luxurious lotion goes on clear and develops into a wonderfully natural-looking tan after just a couple of applications– and boy they last and last. As well as a gradual tanner it’s an ideal ‘tan extender’ that can be used in between tanning with any of Xen-Tan’s other professional products, which I haven’t tried as yet but am gagging to now.
It is a great transitional product from winter to spring too, as it’s packed with nourishing moisturisers for skin that's deeply hydrated after being bundled up in woollens for a few months. It’s suitable for all skin types for those who prefer to build their tan gradually, and the fact that it’s refreshingly Paraben free means that it is ideal for face and body use. Bonus! And as with so many of their products it comes with a wonderful scent of fresh vanilla – not the ‘wet dog’ smell that so many faux glow products come part and parcel with. To use just apply in a circular motion, blending evenly onto your skin. Wash your hands after application with soap and water and wait three hours before showering or swimming…. Et voila! Great, glowy skin.