Wednesday, August 24, 2016
In what must be the dream collab, two of my absolute favourite brands have come together to create something very special.
Luxe scarf brand Bird & Knoll has collaborated with fellow luxury brand Zoe & Morgan, to bring you three lightweight travel scarves that are the perfect accessory for your own adventures.
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 has created some truly original and coveted pieces that seem deceptive in their simplicity.
I’m also obsessed by the preternaturally fabulous Zoe & Morgan jewellery collection, and own more pieces of their work than I’d care to name (sorry bank manager lady!). Their latest collection is inspired by a recent trip by two of the siblings behind the label – Ruth and Zoe – to Morocco, which is top of my bucket list and the most lust-worthy travel destination. The end result is sheer perfection, and yep, I already have a piece from it.
But back to the collab. A true meeting of creative minds, the Bird & Knoll X Zoe & Morgan capsule collection features the intricate ethnic shapes that inspire Zoe & Morgan’s jewellery, captured through the lens of Bird & Knoll’s own personal Moroccan travel archives.
“We loved the idea of using our images to work alongside the divine jewellery created by Zoe & Morgan, with a Moroccan connection in a functional yet playful way. We decided that beautiful 100 per cent organic cotton was the best ‘canvas’ for this fun and fashionable visual storytelling,” explains Bird & Knoll’s Macayla. The versatile scarves present a myriad of wearable options, from bohemian headscarf to sarong, summer neck scarf to beach cover up.
Zoe & Morgan shot their latest campaign, ‘Castles Made of Sand’ in the exotic mecca that is Marrakesh, using the collaboration scarves as turbans and headscarves to accompany the inspired jewellery. “Poetic Moroccan doorways have been translated into ring stackers, and tile patterns have been reimagined as earrings,” explains Zoe of Zoe & Morgan on how the landscape and intricacies of Morocco hinspired her latest collection.
The idea to collaborate came about when Zoe and Macayla were introduced by a mutual friend who felt that the synergy between the brands and the personalities was too great to ignore and thus a friendship started. After a coffee date and exercise class the pair dreamed up a way to merge their passions and create pieces to be worn to the beach or yoga class that tell a tale of travel and inspiration.
A celebration of wanderlust, creativity and collaboration, the Bird & Knoll X Zoe & Morgan capsule collection represents the ultimate travel and adventure accessory, and comes in three exquisite forms:
new zealand | aotearoa to marrakech – The inspiration starts early - An image of clouds from above on a journey from New Zealand to Morocco
morocco | luna lantern – The beauty is in the details - An image of the intricate craftsmanship of a lantern in the Medina in Marrakesh
medina | architectural inspiration – Focusing on the local characteristics - An image of the architectural details and patterns of an archway in Morocco, jeweled tones and adorned beauty.
Needless to say, I want them ALL.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
The flashiest week in New Zealand fashion has just kicked off in Auckland with last night's opening of New Zealand Fashion Week, and opening proceedings were new generation superstars, Harman Grubiša.
The dynamic design duo's show was a hit as was expected, and Kiekie Stanners, Senior Artist M.A.C Cosmetics, New Zealand created the perfect makeup look to complement the label’s "a little louche and a lot glam", super sexy charm.
Kiekie said that the makeup was inspired by “the elegance and ornateness of the Baroque period… Super luxurious with delicate touches on the face,” and for me it was a look to die for. Super wearable too for most, in my humble opinion.
It can be re-created using the following products:
Face: Strobe Cream with Cream Colour Base in Pearl as a base, with Studio Waterweight SPF 30 Foundation and Cream Colour Base in Tint and Improper Copper to contour.
Eyes: Paint in Bamboom applied to eyelids, before pigment in Tan was buffed over the lids with Rose Gold pigment (one of my favourites) used as a liner over the lash line. InstaCurl Lash completed the look.
Lips: Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Ms Diva with Lipstick in Sin, topped with Clear Lipglass.
Nails: M.A.C Studio Nail Lacquer in Sour Cherry.
PHOTO CREDIT: Olivia Hemus for M·A·C Cosmetics @oliviahemusphoto @maccosmetics
Monday, August 22, 2016
A few weeks’ ago I was lucky enough to be invited to the official New Zealand launch of Jo Malone London’s latest fragrance, which involved a carefully curated lunch at Auckland’s Seafarer’s private members club and a riot of highly covetable scent.
Now, the scent being celebrated on the day is almost set to land: arriving in September 2016 is the absolutely flawless Basil & Neroli. After Lime Basil & Mandarin from 1999, this is the first fragrance from the collection that contains basil as the main ingredient and it is destined to be a runaway success for the beautiful brand.
Master perfumer Anne Flipo calls the latest offering “a fresh, sophisticated, sensual floral with green facets - stunning in its simplicity,” and I can’t help but agree wholeheartedly. Dubbed the “London Lark” by the brand, the Basil & Neroli cologne is concocted with the fashion forward youth and fun of good old London town in mind. It’s a scent that is fresh, playful, and — most importantly — quintessentially British.
Basil & Neroli was born through a working collaboration between Fragrance Director Céline Roux and Master Perfumer Flipo. Roux says the inspiration behind the fragrance was the chance to “celebrate our heritage. To create a fragrance anchored in London’s vibrant spirit and inspired by the botanical gardens and leafy squares hidden within the urban spaces”. She adds that it “felt right to return to a signature ingredient basil, a fragrance rule breaker when we included it in Lime Basil & Mandarin”. Basil & Neroli was created with some of the iconic brand’s most-loved ingredients, “which have become an integral part of our olfactive signature,” said Roux, “and I have to give credit to our Master Perfumer, Anne Flipo – it was her idea to combine it with neroli.”
The new scent comes as a cologne, hand and body wash, body crème and home candle, and like all Jo Malone London scents, is built to be played with. Flipo says her picks for Fragrance Combining with Basil & Neroli are English Pear & Freesia Body Crème for a sparkling floral fragrance that is mellow with touches of fruit, and Black Cedarwood & Juniper, “as the combination creates a fresh woody scent, green with fresh basil and resinous juniper”. I have been playing with the latter and have to say I once again agree – it has anchored Basil & Neroli’s freshness firmly into a deeper, slightly woodier zone for winter, which I highly recommend.
Friday, August 19, 2016
“I created these products to make skin look retouched - naturally”
I am a huge fan of Bobbi Brown, both the woman and the brand. Both are beautiful yet practical, with the end goal being making every woman look the best she can be. The latest highly covetable releases from BB most definitely do that, and incredibly effortlessly.
Grouped under the name “Retouching Franchise”, the two new marvels are instant skin-perfecting formulas: Retouching Face Pencil (above) and Retouching Wand (below) . As the story goes, as an aspiring makeup artist, Bobbi studied magazines to learn how to recreate the look of retouched skin using makeup. This technique set the foundation of her beauty philosophy and inspired a new generation of retouching products. As a result, these artistry-inspired tools naturally retouch skin, creating a flawless, even complexion with a natural skin finish. No fierce contouring and crazy shading here – just beautiful, you-but-better skin. Designed for all skin tones, they are most definitely in the category of quick-fix sticks and transform skin with undetectable, all-day coverage. As the brand says: no filter required!
The Retouching Face Pencil is the first to land in New Zealand, and the one that I have had the most fun playing with. Multi-use – I love that! – it can be used to highlight favourite features and retouch imperfections. Available in 9 skin-tone correct shades, the creamy-matte formula blends seamlessly into the skin with ease, and is used to cover redness, dark spots and dark shadows. The lineup also includes universally flattering Illuminate Pencil to highlight your favourite features, and it’s also perfect for areas like the brow bone, cupid’s bow and inner corner of the eyes. You can use them on bare skin as an all-in-one skin perfector on weekends, or layer them over foundation for added coverage where needed. Magic!
Now, how to use…
* To highlight and enhance: apply the Illuminate shade on the top of cheekbones, the inner corners of the eyes and on brow bones.
* To brighten dark, recessed areas: use a pencil 1-2 shades lighter than skin tone. Apply on recessed parts of the face like the inner corners of eyes, around the nose and corners of mouth.
* To erase sun spots and age spots: choose a pencil 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone, then layer with a pencil that matches your skin tone.
* To correct redness and discolouration: use a pencil that matches your skin tone, applied before or after foundation wherever redness is seen.
The Retouching Wand lands in September in nine shades, and is a unique cover-up and foundation hybrid that erases imperfections, neutralises redness and evens out skin for a retouched yet natural finish. Sounds pretty good to me! It comes as a weightless, liquid formula that comes in a clickable pen with a sponge tip applicator that dispenses only what you need—whether you’re touching up or applying all over the face. I haven’t had a chance to have a good play with this yet but think it will be an absolute must have for travel, leak proof and effective to boot!
Now, how to use…
* To even out bare skin: apply around the nose and mouth - where redness is usually seen - and blend outwards with fingers.
* To get a nude glow: apply tinted moisturiser all over the face, then use the wand for added coverage over redness or unevenness.
* To perfect your foundation: after applying foundation, lightly sweep the wand over skin to smooth, enhance and create the most polished look.
Just gorgeous. The Retouching Face Pencil has an RRP of $60.00 and the Retouching Wand, $76.00
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
I am all about a quick fix in the name of beauty, but unfortunately they are few and far between. Lots of promises are made with very little follow through, but a few stars pop out every now and then that really do what they say on the box – and pretty damn quick smart!
The latest I have been lucky enough to play with comes from the Murad Professional range, a collection of highly concentrated, professional-strength formulas originally developed exclusively for use in the venerable Dr. Murad’s dermatology office. With the highest levels of performance ingredients and the most advanced proprietary anti-aging technologies, Murad Professional formulas give the likes of you and me a powerful alternative to in-salon procedures for dramatically more youthful skin. Love that!
The first formula to launch in this professional-strength collection is Murad’s Eye Lift Firming Treatment, and by golly she’s good. It is one of Dr. Murad’s most sought after anti-aging treatments and features highly efficacious concentrations of Hyaluronic Acid, one of the most popular skincare ingredients out there that really delivers.
Thetreatment infuses the delicate eye area with an exclusive, proprietary surface-filling and firming technology that instantly lifts, firms and tightens and visibly reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Like, really does. In a Murad study, users instantly saw 2 x visibly firmer skin and 93 per cent noticed their skin was smoother – and I second that. To say this will be my go to over New Zealand Fashion Week and beyond is putting it mildly – it is a lifesaver.
Formulated with a potent blend of maximum strength ingredients that are safe enough to use at home, just one go will see a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The aforementioned Hyaluronic Acid is a big reason for this, and it is an important ingredient in many high-end moisturisers for its ability to provide lasting hydration. Murad creates a proprietary blend of this all-important Hyaluronic Acid, plus firming polymers and oak kernel extract to lift and tighten, rounding out the mix with myrtle extract, Vitamin E, Zinc and various amino acids to also contribute to plump, healthy skin around the eye. Vitamin E, Zinc and Amino Acids in particular enhance resilience and condition the skin for a more youthful appearance – and who doesn’t want that?
To use this eye treatment the instructions say to apply 3 pumps of product under each eye. However, I've found this is a little too much product for me so I only use 2 pumps. Then you lightly press in one of the supplied, crescent shaped eye pads and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. The use of the eye pads helps to boost the penetration of the powerful ingredients for optimal performance and results. After the time is up, you pat in any residual product.
This beauty can be used 2-3 times per week and I would highly recommend it for a quick fix that works. Oh and it’s available right now for $140, so what are you waiting for?Tweet
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
I’m off to Rarotonga in just a few weeks’ time, and one thing I will definitely be stocking up on in advance is some the COOLA brand’s consistently kick arse products. COOLA is the name that I recommend to anyone who asks me advice on sun protection for their whole family, and that fact that their products are a seemingly effortless mix of high performance and beautiful to use formulas makes them loved by everyone who tries them. A beautifully packaged collection of organic sun essentials produced out of Southern California, the COOLA range includes a plethora of yummy products that are high performance yet delicate and kind on the environment. It is produced in limited quantity batches in California (where the company is based), meaning that the range can be reformulated often, taking advantage of new developments in sun science and labelling regulations almost as they happen.
The COOLA range has two distinct organic sunscreen collections to choose from: Mineral, and Classic, each based on different active ingredients. The Classic Sunscreens use organic active ingredients (commonly referred to as “chemicals”), while the Mineral Sunscreens use mineral (“physical”) active ingredients like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to scatter and reflect UVA/UVB rays. The mineral sunscreens are effective right after application, making them perfect for the whole family.
It’s important to note however, that COOLA doesn’t just do straight suncare – and one of their newest releases is pretty much already packed in my bag. It’s the really rather amazing COOLA Rōsilliance SPF 30 BB+ Cream, which is best described by the brand as a “skin perfecting tinted moisturizer to help boost your naturally luminescent glow and support fresh, healthy-looking skin”.
A mineral-centric, broad spectrum SPF 30 formula that applies like a dream, it offers a barely-there feel but does a lot. The sheer, tinted coverage blends and perfects your skin tone, whilst a proprietary bouquet of Rose Stem Cells offers an advanced bio-complex to smooth, moisturise and replenish your skin's natural resilience. Amazing, huh?
On top of all that, it is water resistant for up to 80 minutes (perfect for in the pool or the sea), is created from 70 per cent plus Certified Organic ingredients, is vegan and has a subtle rose scent. Naturally – because it’s COOLA - it is formulated without parabens, sulfates and phthalates – hurrah for that!
This beauty is available right now in two shades – light/medium and medium/dark – with an RRP of $95.00. For stockist enquiries head to www.beautycare.co.nz.Tweet
Monday, August 15, 2016
An eight-hour wear, liquid makeup and pro tool in one? "C’est impossible!" you say... Well actually it’s not, and it comes in the elegant form of Estée Lauder’s pretty damn amazing, all new Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup.
My latest go-to foundation and one that will be tough to knock of its perch, this beauty is insanely easy to use and out performs many of the latest releases on the market. Just a little touch and buff and Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup polishes and evens your skintone for a genuinely gorgeous glow, and it hydrates like a trooper so is perfect for mid-winter skin that has lost its lustre. Despite its name it is a very different formula than the original Double Wear Stay-in-Place liquid foundation, with a much softer, more natural finish than its full coverage big sister.
Available in shades for every skintone, the instantly hydrating, weightless formula seamlessly blends away imperfections and even reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles instantly. Taking the cushion compact sponge to an even more user friendly level, it is perfect for your handbag and travel and even lets you know when it’s about to run out.
Clever ingredients coming into play include:
SkinSync Complex: A potent blend of highly emollient lipids and butters such as nourishing Brazilian Muru-Muru butter and Linoleic Acid that melt on contact with skin creating an ultra-natural look and comfortable, soft feel
Quench Complex: Enriched with Sodium Hyaluronate and naturally derived plant and fruit extracts to help skin attract and hold moisture immediately and all day
Glow Enhancing Optics: A luxurious mineral that includes Gold and South Sea Pearl helps to energise the look of skin, immediately revealing a radiant complexion
Soft notes of Jasmine and Rose for a fresh, clean scent
In a word: amazing, and with more than a few skincare benefits to boot.
To use, pull off the cap and slowly twist the base of the stick until the first drop appears. If too much makeup is released, just twist the base back to conserve. Next, touch the sponge on your skin using a gentle tapping motion; dotting foundation on where needed. Then buff in a circular motion as you would with a foundation brush, followed by a little light blending if needed. Too easy!
I think the key thing to know about the Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick is that you can detach the applicator for cleaning, how amazing is that? Especially for a clean freak like me. Just twist the gold ring at the top to remove the entire sponge unit, then wash it gently with mild soap and warm water. Pat dry with a tissue and reattach to the stick, twisting the gold ring tightly to secure. Allow the sponge to dry before recapping and you’re good to go.
This beauty is on counter now, with a verrry reasonable RRP of NZD $69.00