Monday, October 20, 2014

Love it: Verité Spa Organics Vanilla & Moroccan Rose Multivitamin Body Serum

Earlier this year I was introduced to the New Zealand beauty brand Verité Spa Organics, and not long after that I fell pretty much in love with a slew of their products - almost at first sight!
Created by aromatherapist Janin Dei-Conti, the Verité Spa Organics collection is a well-edited range of products that are expertly hand blended in New Zealand in small batches in order to “maintain their potency and effectiveness”. Only the highest grade certified organic, wild crafted organic and natural ingredients are used in their production processes, and their violet glass bottles not only look absolutely gorgeous but have a practical function too. By choosing dark violet miron glass bottles, the precious plant essences are preserved for longer - and they recycle beautifully once you’re finished. Also, according to research, violet is the colour that shows the vibration frequency of 720 – 770 billion Hertz, which matches the vibration frequency of a human’s central nervous system. “I have chosen this particular glass to preserve not only the products better, but to enhance and preserve the delicate vibrational energy of the organic plant essences within so they continue to work at optimum performance on the skin until the last drop,” says Janin.
The products are all free of toxic preservatives (but they do use ecocert approved preservatives to prevent unseen bacteria growing), synthetic fragrances, colourants, parabens, SLS, pthalates, oxylates, mineral oils and petrolatum in any of their products. Oh, and they work a treat!
The latest offering that I have fallen head over heels for is a beautiful Multivitamin Body Serum with Vanilla and Morrocan Rose Absolute that absolutely makes my skin sing. The velvety smooth serum's star ingredient is Chia Oil, which is a veritable powerhouse of vitamins, omega 3 and antioxidants. Add to that other high performance, skin-loving ingredients such as Sea Buckthorn oil, Jojoba and Vitamin E and you have one gorgeous cocktail that nourishes and restores moisture balance to the skin and then some. Add to that a delicately feminine fragrance courtesy of Rose and Vanilla and you have an absolute beauty ‘must have’. Love this serum and highly recommend!

Daily delight: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Coca-Cola Life

Friday, October 17, 2014

All about: Sarah Tanner of all new greenleaf organics

I first met health and wellness expert/blogger Sarah Tanner many, many years ago, when she was at the top of a very different career trajectory as the owner of Sarah Priddy Nails. Her approach to her life then - as now - was focused and full of passion for the task at hand, so it came as no surprise to me that she was set to add another string to her bow with the arrival of greenleaf organics.
Kicking off with a delivery service offering “organic, superfood smoothies and little drops of positivity right to your work, home or event to help you nourish, flourish and glow”, it is destined to be a huge success if the early excitement around Sarah and what she does is anything to go by. Add to that the aforementioned dedication and passion and you have a winning formula! I put some questions to her about the new venture, and can’t wait to get ordering myself….

You moved from years in the business of beauty to a profile as a health and wellness blogger, which with what was happening in your life seemed an (pardon the pun) organic progression. Is that how you feel about the transition from STIL to greenleaf organics?
Well, the business greenleaf organics actually existed before the blog! It was just in a different form. Originally I was working with another businessperson in the beverage industry to launch chlorophyll water for the retail market. This is where the name comes from - chlorophyll is a Greek word which actually translates to green leaf!
Anyway, it was in a meeting with Dr Libby Weaver that we were talking about the importance of knowing how the chlorophyll is extracted before moving forward. I received the extraction process certificate from the manufacturers in Germany and was shocked to discover that acetone was used in much of the extraction. That was it for me. I didn’t take it any further. So this then led me to start the blog to document health and wellness as well as going onto creating a greenleaf organics that has total transparency in its ingredients, processes and purpose. So more a synergy than a transition if that makes sense? I feel like this concept has been waiting to come out of me for years!

Why smoothies?
So many reasons, but if I had to narrow it down, the convenience of maximum nutrition in minimum time. Whilst I do love a tall glass of cold-pressed carrot and ginger juice, smoothies provide me with everything I need, without the spikes in insulin levels that juice can bring. With the added benefit of fibre and healthy fats, smoothies, especially g.o. smoothies, are the ultimate in nourishment.

What is the story behind the smoothies’ beautiful names? Did you name them all yourself?
Yes! Everything you see about the brand, from the labels, to the website and trucker caps, is my doing. I am so lucky to work with a very patient designer who puts up with all my demands and brings them together beautifully.
At the risk of sounding naff, the names just came to me as I created and finalised each blend. This is when I know I’m on the right track, when things come easily! I just always knew I wanted the business to have a spiritual feel to it, and I think the names reflect this along with the affirmations.

Where are they made?
I make them all by hand in a shared commercial kitchen in Auckland. I’m on the hunt for my own space though! Any suggestions let me know!

Do you deliver them all yourself?
The first couple of weeks I have been doing the deliveries personally, and as of next week, they will be going out on urgent couriers. I really wanted to have that personal connection for the launch, plus it’s really nice to actually see and meet the greenleaf organics customer rather than knowing them just as an email address.

You have smoothie cleanse options, were they developed solely by you or in collaboration with a naturopath or similar?
Again, it’s all my doing. At the beginning of March I had double foot surgery and was flat on my back in bed for 6 weeks. This time, with the gift of a laptop and the internet, was so valuable for me to research for hours and hours on end. I would look at what companies were doing in New York, U.K. Sydney and even Sweden! Because of my time spent blogging as well, I feel I have pretty good knowledge of what works and the approaches to take. When we introduce a longer cleanse option, I would like to work with a naturopath to ensure the ultimate process for the desired outcome.

Will they be available outside Auckland?
With small beginnings, I have very big plans for greenleaf organics. Yes, eventually I see multiple locations, however, I am also very conscious of taking one step at a time. I think if growth becomes the main focus rather than how to make the current operation the best it can be for the customer, then compromise can start happening and I’m not into that.

Your business has just launched but already you have some great branding items out there like caps and super cute tees. Does this mean that the GO name will grow with more and more offerings adding to the existing smoothies, like food and...?
The caps and tees are pretty self-indulgent really. I wear them every single day! Turns out other people really love them too, so it’s a nice accessory to the brand I think. Whilst I am focused on keeping the business unique and specific, yes, there are range expansion plans, it’s hard for me to keep my kite strings tight so I don’t get carried away with wanting the business to fly!

Who or what inspired your business, and your everyday wellness journey?
My daughter Stella. She is my total drive for this path. I want her to be proud of her mum as she grows up. I want her to see what good health looks and feels like. I want her to see that when you follow your passion…the most amazing things happen!

Last up, what is your favourite smoothie?
My fave at the moment is jade, especially as it’s getting warmer, the mint is so refreshing. 

Daily delight: Poppy Delevingne for Chopard

Thursday, October 16, 2014

All about: Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème

I am incredibly fussy when it comes to foundation, and it takes a pretty special product to get me hooked - I’d rather go makeup free than wear something that is akin to a mask, if you get what I mean!
My heart strings have definitely been tugged by Becca’s Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme however, an absolutely beautiful formula that is on counter now at Newmarket beauty boutique Apotheka and feels like heaven on the skin. The clever formula combines excellent full coverage in a very lightweight, breathable formula, which is a definite rarity IMHO. I have always felt that the words ‘lightweight’ and ‘full coverage’ in the same sentence has to be an oxymoron of some sort, but this baby provides excellent coverage in a formula I’m completely comfortable wearing. I often opt for sheerer coverage by day as I don’t require usually full coverage, but if all full coverage products were as weightless as this I’d have no issues switching to a fuller coverage foundation product.
Ideal for any skin type, Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème contains a balance of 21 percent pure pigment and 22 percent water, which work in synergy to completely conceal imperfections, redness, hyperpigmentation, and uneven texture - but in a breathable, weightless cream. It is free of the likes of Parabens, Sulfates and Phthalates so as safe as it is beautiful to use, but requires a little extra attention for a really seamless application. Apply just one pump of crème (a little goes a long way) to a well-hydrated face after moisturiser or primer is fully absorbed, using a brush to blend flawlessly. If you are between shades, choose the lighter shade because of the formula's high pigment concentration and blend, blend, blend. The texture is a thicker cream but as I mentioned above it does prove a little hard to blend out. Dampening a makeup sponge or beauty blender of some sort helps with this as it sets SUPER quick, so be prepared to work fast and efficiently to get this puppy on. For more buildable coverage, apply a pump to the back of your hand, sweep bristles or sponge over foundation, and apply to face, adding as necessary.
Love it! Becca’s Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème is available now from Apotheka, in store and online here

Daily delight: Penelope Cruz for Esquire magazine

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Love it: L’Oréal Paris' new Glam Matte Lips

Yes I know I harp on a bit about how much I love a matte lip, and how averse I am to the average lip gloss. So you can imagine I was quite perplexed - and intrigued - when I was given a chance to try a fusion of the two in the form of L’Oréal Paris’ new Glam Matte Lips.
Glam Matte is the latest innovation in the Glam Shine franchise for the beauty mega brand, promising what they have called “an outrageous matte effect”. The collection is made up of some seriously intense shades that are perfect for summer, with an on trend matte finish that makes them right up my alley.
I’m not usually a fan of lip-gloss because I can’t stand that sticky feeling – and these definitely aren’t sticky, which gets the first tick from me. And although technically a lip ‘gloss’, these don’t have that wet, glossy look you’d get with a lot of similar products, and unlike the traditional gloss are long lasting and as high pigment as it gets. The colour comes out as intense as it looks in the tube, which is not something that most lip glosses can claim. You’ll actually be hard pushed to remove all traces of Glam Matte from your smackers after a big night out - the colour stains the lips in much the same way a lipstick would hold and is definitely in it for the long haul!
The formula combines 30 per cent ultra-fine powders and 70 per cent light dry oils, which gives a soft feel on lips as well as a long wearing comfort factor that isn’t always part and parcel with the average matte lip. Your lips feel good and moisturised long after initial application, which is another major for me.
So, the verdict? I love these and they will definitely be on high rotate with a dash of bronzer come the summer months. The only bummer? There are only a few shades available right now, but hopefully more will come soon - the beautiful Fuschia Flare is pictured here.
These beauties are in store now, with an RRP of $23.99.

Daily delight: Wang Xiao for Yue magazine

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Love it: Osmosis Hydralift Firming Gel Mask

One of my absolute favourite skin saviours is a regular Osmosis Facial Infusion - which along with their killer at home regime has totally transformed my skin. And without the usual trauma associated with marked anti-ageing solutions. The Osmosis Facial Infusion has been called a “revolutionary facial treatment” by both professional therapists and the press, and it will most definitely have you rethinking the peel and its place in your skin’s life. 
Vitamin A is the best anti-aging ingredient currently known for the skin, and the US brand has become renowned for harnessing the properties of the most active, least irritating form: Retinaldehyde. The Osmosis Facial Infusion has 2.0 per cent Retinaldehyde present (the highest amount available anywhere in the world) and is the only non-acid peel that will infuse the dermis with fibroblast stimulators, immune boosters, antioxidants, pigment lighteners, and calming anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredients. It rejuvenates the skin by increasing collagen production, fighting free radical damage, scavenging scar tissue and helping reduce hyperpigmentation, whilst your natural cellular turnover is also gradually increased - amazing. Skin thickens and becomes stronger and healthier - as opposed to thinning - with age, and the intense collagen and elastin stimulation that it delivers into your skin continues for a full 30 days... That means just one infusion per month results in some very impressive cumulative results! They are also tailored to your skin's particular concerns at any given time, so no treatment is ever the same.
Having said all of that, I haven’t had one for a while but as an Osmosis obsessive make sure that I both use their products morning and night and indulge in a little at home pampering from time to time using their home care treatments. I’ve long been a fan of their Repair Healing Mud, but a new addition to my arsenal that I have fallen head over heels for is the brand new Hydralift Firming Gel Mask.
A hydrating and firming mask that promotes soothing and tightening benefits for all skin types, it goes to work pretty much instantly and feels like pure heaven on the skin. Powerful ingredients in the formula add hydration to the skin and aid in plumping and firming where its needed, whilst soothing and calming Cucumber extract provides a cooling and healing effect that will calm even super irritated skins. Last up, Aloe Vera is in there to help speed up cell renewal - reportedly by up to eight times faster! - and quickly penetrates the epidermis for intense, immediate hydration. It is the perfect choice for dehydrated, ageing skin and also - IMHO - post-procedure due to its ultra soothing qualities. Love it.
Osmosis Hydralift Firming Gel Mask has an RRP of $82.35 for a 30ml and you can get it online or find your nearest stockist here

Daily delight: Ondria Hardin for Jimmy Choo Cruise 2015

Monday, October 13, 2014

Love it: the new M.A.C The Matte Lip Collection

I have worn matte lipstick for as long as I can remember; even when it was devastatingly uncool for the average beauty nerd I was still all over it like a rash. I just like the way it feels and love the way it looks, and IMHO M.A.C definitely get the golden gong for the best collection of matte shades out there.
So… I was ridiculously excited to hear that they were adding some pretty daring new shades to their iconic matte lipstick collection, and having played with a couple I am totally in love. The fresh new lineup includes vibrant hues like fuchsia-meets-violet Heroine and bright orange coral Le Vie En Rouge, which are a bold contrast to the rich raspberry of Fashion Revival and sultry, dirty nude of Styled in Sepia. There is also Nouvelle Vogue Soft (a blue pink) and Pander Me Soft (a peachy mocha), and the collection is rounded out with the beautiful Damn Glamorous - a bright pink red - and Living Legend, a glamorous, deep plum.
To amp up the colour intensity use a complementary Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in a number of super-saturated shades that make a classic, modern statement.
LOVE these news shades and yep, want ‘em all. M.A.C new The Matte Lip Collection is on counter today.

Daily delight: Charlize Theron for Harper’s Bazaar China

Friday, October 10, 2014

Love it: ghd's extraordinary curve collection

Summer is my favourite season hands down, with long days at the beach, time spent swimming in the sea (and any pool that will have me) and sun-drenched afternoons on the horizon… all of which are not so kind on the hair as they are on the spirit. It really is the worst time of the year to keep your locks looking remotely top notch, so I am all about tools, treatments and products that will make your hair’s journey through the warmer months that much easier.
Lucky for me then that those lovely people at ghd - who have been in the business of making life easier for some time now - have just raised the bar with the launch of their first ever range of curling tools. Called the ghd curve collection, its aim is to give every woman gorgeous, shiny, healthy curls and waves that are insanely easy to create.
The four product range features two wands and two tongs that use the company’s own patented tri-zone™ technology. Six quick-thinking sensors in the barrel heat the tools to the optimum styling temperature of 185°C and maintain this heat, constantly and evenly, delivering long-lasting, healthier-looking curls - that last. They also have rapid heat-up, the ability to load more hair onto the barrel and a quick set time so fabulousness can be achieved in minimal time with maximum results and without compromising hair health. The four wonders are the curve soft curl tong for big, bouncy, beautiful curls, the classic curl tong, the creative curl wand for natural looking curls and waves for a beautiful beachy style (hello, summer!) and the classic wave wand for Hollywood-style waves. They are all available in store now from approved ghd salons at the rather reasonable price of $250. Get one, get ‘em all!

Daily delight: Joan Smalls for Chanel Cruise 2015

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hair how to: Valentino S/S15 by Guido for Redken

Feel like getting the crafting basket out and re-creating the whimsical look that Redken Global Styling Director Guido created for the Valentino show at Paris Fashion Week? Well you’ve come to the right place!
For Valentino SS15 creatives Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpalo Piccioli presented an escapist collection that was a collision between Roman classicism with psychedelic florals. Evoking the idea of a “carefree girl being in the sun for the first time”, Redken Global Styling Director Guido created a soft beach look that complemented the collection perfectly. Using both his hands and a curling iron throughout the styling process, Guido created movement and textured waves which he enhanced with the combination of Redken’s Signature Look Fashion Waves 07 sea salt spray and Redken’s Signature Look Wind Blown 05 dry finishing spray. Finishing the look with a gold Valentino hair accessory adorned with gold seashells, Guido achieved a light, sunkissed style that captured the romance of the Italian coast.

“Valentino has a way of conjuring up what women want and this look is about this girl in the sun and in the sea, emphasizing the femininity of the classic Valentino girl,” said Guido. “We have this very soft, wavy style and a beautiful tiara in the back of the hair with gold shells to conjure up the spirit of the summer. I used Redken’s Signature Look Fashion Waves 07 sea salt spray to create the waves and then used an iron to add additional movement. Redken’s Signature Look Wind Blown 05 dry finishing spray makes the waves look a little bit deconstructed and imperfect. This beautiful gold tiara, with the gold being the Valentino signature look, is placed in the back with the hair wrapped around the band to cover it and really emphasize the shell adornments.”
To re-create the look:
1. Apply Redken Pillow Proof Express Primer to damp hair, layering with Redken Signature Look Fashion Waves 07 sea salt spray.
2. Create a centre part and blow-dry hair with hands, twisting hair section by section to create movement.
3. Curl hair section by section using a 1-inch curling iron.
4. Loosen the curls with fingers and spray hair once again with Redken Signature Look Fashion Waves 07 sea salt spray, layering with Redken Signature Look Wind Blown 05 dry finishing spray to provide added texture.
5. Apply gold headband to back of head, taking hair and wrapping around the gold headband in-between the shell adornments to hide the band. Secure with open fasteners.