Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Daily delight: Rihanna for Savage x Fenty Summer 19

Love it: RevitaLash Cosmetics’ new Aquablur

Some beauty insiders call them an afterthought, but I believe that a skincare regime isn’t complete without a great eye serum, gel or cream. The skin around the eyes is the thinnest you’ll find on your body as well as having fewer oil glands than the rest of the face, so needs extra special care when and where it can get it.
Most good eye creams and serums are formulated specifically for the skin around the eye, so tend to be a little richer and packed with active ingredients aimed at issues associated with that area. It is more fragile, more prone to dryness, and quicker to show age and fatigue. Squinting can hasten the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and fluids collect under the eyes and cause puffiness and dark circles. 
A good eye-specific product can address at least some of these issues, but first make sure you are applying it for optimal effect. First, don’t over do it. Follow instructions and go gentle - patting in with your ring finger is the best forms of application for this most fragile of areas, and allows your chosen product some time to sink in. 
Which brings me to the newest formula that I’ve been lucky enough to have a play with: Revitalash Cosmetics’ beautiful new Aquablur, which is incredibly simple but oh so effective. A super light yet hydrating eye gel that can be used with or without makeup to moisturise, protect and smooth, it is oil-free and antioxidant-rich and applies like a dream. And it does all of the above whilst blurring imperfections - creating the perfect foundation for under eye makeup application. I particularly love the simplicity of the formula and the fact that it offers a multifaceted approach for the eye area – it’s a dual-purpose eye gel and pre-makeup primer, and it seriously makes a difference. 
Key to the gel’s effectiveness is the fact that it contains Hyaluronic Acid, which a rockstar ingredient for intense hydration as it holds over 1000 times its own weight in water, whilst also firming and plumping skin. Black Tea Ferment - AKA Kombucha – is in there to provide antioxidants, vitamins and repairing organic acids to freshen and improve skin tone, whilst the more familiar Green Tea Extract (and Sea Kelp) brings antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that work to instantly refresh the eye area.  
Designed to be used morning and evening, Revitalash Cosmetics’ Aquablur is ophthalmologist and dermatologist reviewed and formulated free from phthalates, oil, parabens, and fragrance. It is also cruelty-free and vegan friendly, which gets a major tick from me. A pro tip is to apply Aquablur to the brow, eyelid and lash areas for a hydrating and antioxidant boost, and I’ve been doing that every morning so my concealer and eye makeup glides on like a charm. I haven’t found it quite rich enough for my dry eye area at night, so have been swapping it out with a thicker formula most nights for now. It is quite possibly the best eye primer I have ever used, so I highly recommend it just for that – and the fact that it’s a great eye gel as well has definitely got me hooked.
Revitalash Cosmetics’ Aquablur has an RRP of $99 for 15ml and is available right now from selected beauty therapy clinics nationwide and online at http://www.revitalash.co.nz/

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Daily delight: Kaia Gerber for YSL Beauty Spring 2019

Beauty destination: Auckland's new SO/ SPA

I’m a huge fan of taking time out for a little pampering every so often, and a little self care on the regular. For me this involves the likes of meditation and quiet time, as well as regular massage and reflexology sessions when I can afford it. The feeling of wellbeing I get when I indulge in the latter is beyond belief, and I love finding beautiful new venues to hit up when I’m in need.
Which brings me to the newest Auckland spa that I have been lucky enough to visit, which calls itself “the answer to your beauty, wellness and relaxation prayers”. Called SO/ SPA, it is the indulgent spa offering from Auckland’s latest boutique hotel, SO/ Auckland in downtown Auckland.
The menu is vast and unique, which I always appreciate. Rather than just the usual Swedish massage the treatment menu includes innovative offerings like Himalayan detox therapy, Tibetan sound healing, chakra balancing and peeling Chlorella masks. Recognising that the spa experience is not a one-size-fits-all model, SO/ SPA has put together packages for every type of spa-goer and the menu isn’t yet available anywhere else in the world. Whether it’s been a big night and you want to pop in for a quick morning-after eye treatment to get you through, or you want to invest hours in your relaxation – there’s this, that and everything in between.
There’s an Urban Detox Facial for the hectic city-dweller, an Antioxidant Recovery Facial for the party people, Body Strategist Therapies for those wanting to shape up, Immune Boosting sessions if you’re feeling low and so much more. Massages, facials, wraps, peels, scrubs – the list is endless, and I’ve heard it’s always evolving, which will keep me coming back for more I’m sure.
For my first visit I tried the ‘Tibetan Beats’ experience, which included a beautiful sound bowl healing element that left me walking on air. Next up I’d like to try the 60-minute Frequent Flyer Recovery Treatment, which acts on various sensorial pathways to renew and refresh. It sounds like just the ticket after my upcoming trip to the US, which will undoubtedly involve a little overindulgence.
If you’re lucky enough to be staying in the hotel, you don’t even have to leave your room. A Bath Butler is on site to help you choose an in-room aromatherapy package to suit your needs. Each of the hotel’s 130 rooms have a bath and the package includes a specialised drink and products from handmade New Zealand aromatherapy and skincare company, Verité Spa Organics.
Last but my no means least, if like me you’re a local dropping in for some time out, every treatment over 60 minutes’ will give you free valet parking. How great is that?
To find out more head here. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for Tag Heuer

Love it: the Āether Beauty Crystal Grid Gemstone Eyeshadow Palette

You may be familiar with sustainable beauty brand Āether Beauty’s Rose Quartz palette from Instagram and beyond - their first ever zero-waste eyeshadow palette that was almost too gorgeous to use. Now they have dropped a highly anticipated sequel to it in the form of the Crystal Grid Gemstone Palette, which is made up of twelve cosmic-inspired shades in shimmer and metallic finishes that just may be your new go-to for the winter months.
Āether founder, Tiila Abbitt created a unique concept in sustainable beauty when she launched the brand just over a year ago, and she comes with some serious pedigree. A passionate, highly creative product development professional with 11+ years' experience, Tiila has a BFA in sculpture and an MFA in fashion design. She worked in the fashion industry for over five years before transitioning to beauty, spending the next seven years of her professional life at Sephora in charge of product development for makeup collaborations and accessories. Her obsession with sustainability lead her to become the lead R+D for sustainable materials while also being on the sustainability leadership council for the retailer. She quickly learned that in the USA, there are only 11 banned chemicals in colour cosmetics while in the European Union, there are over 1300. Because of this, she learned how to formulate colour cosmetics with a very large chemical ban list and how to substitute for cleaner alternatives. Her creations are seriously high performance as well as seriously clean, which is no mean feat.
But back to the new Crystal Grid Gemstone Eyeshadow Palette, which truly impresses. Each of the crystal-charged pigments that create the shadows in the palette are infused with diamond, amber, sapphire, topaz, amethyst, and tourmaline to illuminate the skin with their light-reflective properties. They are also formulated with coconut oil and shea butter to create a super smooth, almost-buttery texture for one swipe application, and the palette is sustainably packaged. After removing the eyeshadow pans and elastic, the paper palette is fully recyclable and zero-waste - the first of its kind in the industry.
The full shade line up in the palette is:
Diamond – Sand shimmer, infused with diamond
Vibration – Taupe metallic, infused with topaz
Amber – Golden sunset metallic, infused with amber
Energy – Rust metallic, infused with amber
Amethyst – Violet shimmer, infused with amethyst
Sapphire – Teal shimmer, infused with sapphire
Intuition – Saddle brown shimmer infused with topaz
Tourmaline – Rust red to emerald green duo-chrome, infused with tourmaline
Moonlight – White silver metallic, infused with diamond
Recharge – Charcoal gray metallic, infused with topaz
Topaz – Antique gold metallic, infused with topaz
Manifest – Bronze shimmer, infused with topaz
The sheer breadth of the shade range means that the palette is huge fun to play with, and it’s also pretty damn handy for travel too. The colour payoff is huge so a little goes a long way, and the lustre shimmers without looking at all glittery, so its elegant as well as cute as a button.
Oh and last but by no means least, 10 per cent of proceeds from the sale of this baby go to The Rainforest Foundation, which works on-the-ground to secure land rights for indigenous people. They strengthen indigenous land security and train indigenous communities to use technology to protect their forests. Pretty cool.
The Āether Beauty Crystal Grid Gemstone Eyeshadow Palette is available right now from the amazing, New Zealand-based Clean Beauty Collective. Click here to get one now.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Daily delight: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Autograph Lingerie

All about: Lancôme’s brand new 360° eye routine

Lancôme have really been hitting all of their balls out of the park lately, with one stellar release after another in both the skincare and makeup fields. They have also been busy reformulating and refreshing some of their strongest releases, the latest from the eyecare category.
A true skincare pioneer, Lancôme launched the much-loved (especially by me) Génifique Light-Pearl in 2012. Today, the iconic product has been unveiled with a new formula and regime, as well as a patented 360° massage applicator (see above) that really means business. Not only does it brighten and illuminate the eye contour, it also effectively “widens the gaze” by firming, contouring and strengthening the lashes too!
The new formula includes a duo of carefully selected probiotic fractions derived from bifidus and yeast. These probiotics have been fermented, fragmented and filtered in order to obtain small-calibrated fractions that are better suited to the skin’s needs. They help reinforce the upper skin barrier and improve the skin structure, whilst the addition of caffeine extract fights bags and dark circles as efficiently as your morning cup of joe. On the lash front, the new formula has been supplemented with a new complex composed of arginin, madecassoside and citric acid, which work together to strengthen lashes.
Meanwhile, the unique new 360° pearl-like and flexible massage applicator refreshes the eye contour sand allows for an easy and even application wherever and whenever you need it. It also feels fantastic to use, and is a right treat when you’re completing your morning routine.
There is also a new addition to the family in the form of the Advanced Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl Hydrogel 360° Eye Mask, which is a powerful little beauty that I played with on the weekend. Perfect for ramping up your skincare when you are on the go and particularly for long distance travel, the new mask contains as much as bifidus extract as half a bottle of Advanced Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl, so it really takes care of business in just one use. The mask's pioneering technology includes a hydrogel matrix that literally melts when applied to the skin, providing a lovely cooling effect while delivering a high amount of moisture and visible results in just 20 minutes. I used it before a night out and seriously felt like my concealer and eye makeup went on so much better, and stayed looking fresh long after the rest of me did.
The brand recommends that you use Advanced Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl twice a day, every morning and evening, to refresh your eye area, then the Advanced Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl Hydrogel 360° Eye Mask once a week or as a one-shot to give your skin an instant refresh.
Lancôme Advanced Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl has an RRP of $131, whilst a four pack of Advanced Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl Hydrogel 360° Eye Masks will be $116. Both are available at selected Farmers, pharmacies and department stores from 17th June, 2019.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Daily delight: Emilia Clarke for Allure magazine

All about: Avène's all new PhysioLift Smoothing, Plumping Serum

My obsession with French beauty may have started with a red lipstick, but it's French skincare that really turned my head and reeled me in. Packing for Paris means leaving room in your suitcase for one heck of a lot of beauty-related purchases - after all, the city’s legendary pharmacies and perfumeries are impossible to resist.
And it’s not just the products - the philosophy that goes alongside their most famous brands is equally as alluring. French women are very much concerned about looking after their skin and their body in the long term, as opposed to the mainly-US and UK-based beauty approach that looks for results, NOW. This attitude permeates into the New Zealand Australian psyche a lot these days as well – women expect products to work over night, and if they don’t get the results they desire straight away they opt for harsh chemicals and exfoliants that may provide the wow-factor in the short term, but will irreparably damage their skin over time.
Which brings me to Eau Thermale Avène, a legendary French brand that is available in New Zealand, and one of most gentle and calming skincare out there. A brand centred on the use of thermal spring water and its soothing properties, all Avène products are created to heal and soothe even the most sensitive skin types. Even children.
One of the most recommended skincare brands by French dermatologists, it works to fight against irritated skin, intolerant skin and allergic skin. Its most famous offering is its Thermal Spring Water, which has calmed my skin over the years even when it’s been at its most eczema-afflicted. A naturally soothing source for sensitive skin since 1743, Avène’s Thermal Spring Water's unique composition is clinically shown by over 150 studies to calm, soothe and soften the skin. Ideal for red, sensitive or irritated skin and perfect for post-workout, travel, outdoor activities or to freshen up makeup, it is incredibly reasonably priced and a must in every bathroom. 
So, the brand is famous for its gentle formulations that soothe even the most sensitive of skin, but also for its anti-ageing line, Physiolift, that addresses the needs of mature skin without drying it out or irritating it. Physiolift Day Smoothing Cream is surprisingly basic but works a charm. It contains sodium hyaluronate to hydrate skin, backed with shea butter to add extra moisture and create a barrier on the skin that prevents moisture loss for at least 8 hours. It also absorbs super quickly and creates a plump, even surface for your makeup – bonus! If you have oily skin they have the option of Physiolift Day Smoothing Emulsion, which has a lighter touch.
Physiolift Eye Crème is designed to smooth wrinkles and firm the skin around the eye area whilst helping to diminish puffiness and dark circles, whilst the heavenly-feeling Physiolift Smoothing Regenerating Night Balm takes a very French, slow but steady approach to results.  A cross between a balm and a gel, it sinks in quickly, without leaving a greasy residue on your face, or your pillow. It contains the likes of sodium hyaluronate to plump up skin and dimethicone to fill in fine lines, but also pulls out one of the bigger guns in the form of retinal. Also known as retinhaldeyde, retinal is a form of vitamin A that can be converted by the body into retinoic acid or retinol in just one simple step. Once that happens, retinal boosts the production of collagen and increases skin’s thickness and elasticity. It’s less immediately effective than retinol, but also gentler, which is why it’s a much better choice for those with sensitive skin. It’s also a great starting point for those of you who want to try retinol but are too afraid to take the plunge.
But on to the reason for my post, which is the release of the latest addition to the PhysioLift range – the Smoothing, Plumping Serum. Enhanced with two sizes of Hyaluronic Acid, this serum helps visibly smooth and plump the skin and is formulated with a patented combination of ingredients to visibly reduce the appearance of pronounced wrinkles and furrows for skin that looks firmer and more luminous. Straight away! Over champagne and treats (bien sûr!) I heard all about its incredible ingredients a few weeks ago at a beautiful launch at The Glasshouse, and I was seriously impressed. They include Ascofilline, which is derived from the moisturising agents found in brown algae and supports collagen in the skin and reduces the appearance of pronounced wrinkles. HAMO (Hyaluronic acid mono-oligomers), at the optimal molecular weight of Hyaluronic Acid, penetrate into the skin to visibly plump and firm the skin, whilst Hyaluronic Acid Microspheres, at a high molecular weight for ideal diffusion at the skin's surface, visibly plump the skin, smoothing the appearance of pronounced wrinkles furrows and lines instantly.
Patented Pre-tocopheryl, a photo-stable form of Vitamin E, provides antioxidant protection, and last but by no means least, Avène Thermal Spring Water soothes, softens and calms the skin.
With an RRP of $80 this serum is a little pricier than some of the brand’s other products, but all signs point to it being a game changer. If you’re in the market for a fresher, brighter and more hydrated skin as we head into winter than I highly recommend that you give it a whirl.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Daily delight: Sophie Turner for S Moda

Love it: Curionoir's newest creation, Orpheus Incarnate

We all have different reasons for stopping to add that splash of perfume before leaving the house – it’s a tool for seduction, can evoke happy memories and just add an extra element of individualism to the way you approach your day.
The new season doesn't just invite the opportunity to overhaul your wardrobe. With a bounty of new fragrance releases, it's also a good time to reconsider your scent. From the bottles to the base notes, winter's best new fragrances are a celebration of the bold, and I am all for a statement scent.
Coco Chanel once said that a woman should apply perfume in the areas where she would like to be kissed, but the experts generally agree that the "pulse points" are the optimal spot. These are locations on the body where the blood vessels are closest to the skin, and as these spots emanate heat, they help fragrance to travel from your skin into the air.
Experts say to apply your perfume to these points - namely, the inner wrists, the base of the throat, behind ear lobes, in the cleavage, behind knees, and the inner elbows – and this is where I am wearing my latest favourite, the truly enchanting and beguiling Orpheus Incarnate, from Curionoir.
Curionoir’s latest Extrait de Parfum and Glass Candle (next on my list) fragrance, the truly seductive Orpheus Incarnate is an alluring, heady fragrance that embodies the darkness and musical lyricism of the Greek God from which it gets its name, Orpheus. A legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth, Orpheus possessed the ability to charm all living things - even stones! - with his music. As an archetype of the inspired singer, Orpheus is one of the most significant figures in classical mythology, portrayed or alluded to in countless forms of art and popular culture including poetry, film, opera, music, and painting. He was quite the character, and his legend most definitely lives on.
But back to the scent at hand. Available right now at selected boutiques, Curionoir’s flagship store and curionoir.com, Orpheus Incarnate is a unisex fragrance, with all of the realms of play and possibility that implies. Immediately arresting from first whiff, it is a riot of herbaceous and spicy notes that tells a story of reconnecting with the beauty of nature. Carnation, Fig, Blond Tobacco and Pimento Leaves also merge with Iris, Tonka Bean Absolute, Heliotrope, Licorice Root and Musk.
Tiffany Jeans, Curionoir Creator says, “I wanted to create a modern-day story for the senses that evokes who Orpheus can be for us today. With his utter appreciation for nature, song and words, we can choose to channel these emotions into our everyday living. “Orpheus Incarnate as a fragrance quietly draws you in and takes you on a journey through the wilderness, to the depths of the ocean.”
Curionoir celebrated the launch with a film featuring stellar beauty Georgia Pratt – a New York-based New Zealand model - wearing a custom silk Melancholia dress by Kristine Crabb of Miss Crabb (RIP). Pratt is the perfect ‘face’ for the scent, and her performance a joy to behold.
Orpheus Incarnate comes as both Parfum and CN Glass as follows:
Orpheus Incarnate Parfum - 4ml Pocket Parfum for $50; 50ml bottle for $265; and at the flagship store, in a hand- blown bespoke vessel from $550.
Orpheus Incarnate CN Glass Candle - beautiful violet classic CN Glass candle for $210, inspired by apothecary of yesteryear. 
Every piece is crafted by hand and is finished with a Curionoir stamp reminiscent of a wax seal of the past.
Orpheus Incarnate is available right now from exclusive New Zealand and International boutiques, the Curionoir flagship store, 76a Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland, and curionoir.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Daily delight: Indya Moore for Calvin Klein #mycalvins campaign

Hair how to: Alice McCall at 2019 MBFWA using EIMI by Wella Professionals and ghd

This season marked a 15-year milestone for the Alice McCall brand, and the highly respected Australian designer created a show for 2019 MBFWA that referenced the heart of all that her iconic label embodies. 
The unashamedly pretty collection, called Cosmia, had all the flirt, drama and flair that one has come to expect from McCall, but with a super cool futuristic twist. There was the soft, feminine detailing like frills, feathers and fluted-sleeves that are so McCall, but also a bold use of metallics in the form of lustworthy cocktail dresses. 
The vibe of range had a definite nod towards the sixties, and Wella Professionals Guest Artist, Keiren Street created a hair look with a mod-style wink towards the sixties using full fringes and sectioned hair. “The Alice girl this year was a nod to the 60’s with a teddy girl vibe,” said Street. “She’s a cool girl and knows what she wants. A slight grunge vibe with the hair having a little sweaty edge.”
The look was lived-in without compromising on glamour; a sixties eye with a slept-in touch. The texture in the back channelled a playful sixties vibe, and the choppy fringe added a doll-like finish to the fresh, porcelain faces of the models.
To Get the Look using EIMI by Wella Professionals:
 1. Prep hair with EIMI Perfect Me from mid-length to ends, avoiding any product at the root to ensure the hair appears healthy and hydrated
2. Apply EIMI Body Crafter just below the crown (avoiding the root) to create 60’s inspired lift at the base
3. Use EIMI Perfect Setting from mid-lengths to ends (avoiding the root at all times) to create texture in the main bulk of the hair. Flat blow dry, over directing forwards on each side
4. Keep at it until the hair appears thick, dry and almost wig-like to create the ‘bedded’ effect at the crown.
5. Take vertical sections in the same pattern as the blow dry and tong. Over-direct down, staying away from the root, and prep each section with EIMI Mistify Me 
6. Section the front of the hair into a ‘fringe’ section. Part down the middle and create a small braid on either side to anchor the fringe hair piece (if adding).
7. Take a ghd platinum+ styler and straighten random pieces to create a ‘grungy’ look amongst previous the tong-wave sections
8. Whilst keeping the hair flat (using slide-clips) diffuse both the fringe and sides.
9. Finish the look with EIMI Glam Mist to add hydration and a finishing gloss.