Thursday, April 17, 2014

Beauty news: M.A.C launches New Zealand’s first Lash Bar

As well as launching a much-awaited 30-minute express makeup service of late, the always-amazing M.A.C also recently unveiled New Zealand’s first Lash Bar - and what a bar it is!
Situated within Smith & Caughey’s Newmarket’s just-refurbished M.A.C counter, the Lash Bar is one of the coolest and niftiest beauty set ups I have seen in a while. You can see the entire M.A.C lash collection (which is impressive, seriously) on an amazing navigation panel, as well as access the range of very clever ‘lash wands’ that let you hold up each and every lash to your own eye to find the perfect match - genius! When you’ve made your choice you can work one-on-one with a M.A.C artist to transform your peepers with a complimentary lash application. Options include 14 different lash ‘styles’ to choose from, as well as individual lashes for the ultimate beauty customisation, half lashes for a more natural ‘daytime’ look and full lashes for those that like to see a total transformation.
I have always viewed faux lashes as the ultimate beauty pick me up, almost like a killer stiletto for the eye - taking glamour levels through the roof. M.A.C make the best that I have tried, and at just $26.00 a pair are a very affordable indulgence (especially when you consider that with care, they can last three to six wears).
If you love a lash as much as I do then I highly recommend a trip into the new M.A.C Lash Bar, one of the coolest new beauty destinations I’ve hit in a long time.

Daily delight: Lily Adridge for Elle US

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Beauty destination: the truly wonderful Room Nine

Room Nine’s Amelia Story calls herself a “Progressive Skin Specialist”, and her approach to keeping skin looking its optimum best is one of the most enthusiastic I’ve ever come across. This woman truly lights up when she talks about skincare and its possibilities to transform and heal, and her current area of specification demonstrates her warmth and compassion beyond belief.
That area is caring for the skin of women preparing for, going through or recovering from a cancer battle, and as a cancer survivor myself I find her passion and commitment so inspiring. She recently began following the work of Mórag Currin, the author of “Oncology Esthetics: A Practitioner’s Guide” and veteran of 17 years of aesthetic, product development and training experience.  She has been educating aestheticians on clinical Oncology Esthetics throughout North America since 2008, and is a sought-after speaker, both nationally and internationally. Oncology Esthetics focuses on the individual who needs a gentle, safe, light touch and approach to skin care treatments that assists in easing the discomfort that the body - including the skin - endures due to cancer therapy. Health challenges, medications and the side effects of cancer therapy as well as our environment can cause irritation, dryness, and fragility of the skin, and it’s all about bespoke treatments to help soothe, hydrate balance and calm the skin. Balanced happy skin, deep relaxation, tension and stress that melts away... a much-needed escape at a much-needed time during an individual's journey and recovery.
Amelia was hoping to organise a trip for Mórag to New Zealand to train therapists here in her way, but that isn’t looking like happening so she herself will be travelling to Australia to attend a course there. “It will involve a lot of work as it’s targeted almost at a nurse’s level as opposed to a therapist’s,” says the petite blonde, “and there will be a lot to take in. I’ll be getting a lot of theory to go through ahead of the trip though, so I’ll be ready!”
Her interest came about after seeing clients battling cancer, and wanting to know more about the way to treat their skin  - and their spirit - with knowledge and compassion. “In the last three years I’ve see five clients go through cancer,” she says, “and I saw how important it was to keep them feeling comfortable and good about themselves. Because I really specialise in skin I wanted to make that type of treatment a real part of what I do.”
It also lead to her changing her skincare option to Osmosis, “because it really gives me the support I need when dealing with skin going through all manner of changes. It is great for anti-ageing and keeping your skin looking it’s best, but is also brilliant for customising and supporting troubled skin.” After twelve years experience in the beauty industry in New Zealand and internationally she’s tried a lot of brands, but in her Grey Lynn clinic she can’t get enough of what the US-based skincare range has to offer.
One of my personal favourite skin saviours is a regular Osmosis Facial Infusion - which along with their amazing at home regime has totally transformed my skin. It’s one of Amelia’s most popular treatments, and has seen her take a whole new approach to ageing solutions for the skin. The Osmosis Facial Infusion has been called a “revolutionary facial treatment” by both professional therapist and the press, and it will most definitely have you rethinking the peel and its place in your skin’s life. I have sworn off the likes of microdermabrasion, peels and lasers for life and Amelia is the same, saying, “I just treat the skin so differently now and my clients trust what I’m doing. I’m all about transformation - in all areas.”
After experiencing time  - and an infusion - with Amelia I can honestly say that Room Nine has shot straight into my list of beauty destinations that come (extremely!) highly recommended. If you’re in need visit and make an appointment - I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Monday, April 14, 2014

All about: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial

Beauty giant Elizabeth Arden claims that their new Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial will let you “achieve a spa-facial glow at home in two simple steps,” which is no small claim. If it’s true then this puppy will fair fly off the counters and out the doors, and internationally it’s done just that!
The latest addition to the company’s range of Ceramide “youth-restoring” skincare products, it is one of those products that could blind you with science if you read too far into the ingredients list but is refreshingly simple to use. It is essentially a two-step, bi-weekly system that includes a luxurious-to-use Self-Foaming Mask and Replenishing Serum. The two high performance products work in harmony to treat and pamper the skin for a brighter, more even appearance and the pair is designed to be used 1-2 times per week for the ultimate result.
Step one is the Self-Foaming Mask, which glides on like a dream and after just seconds starts to foam and - on some skins - tingle a little. This means that it’s activating chemical and enzymatic exfoliators to gently cleanse as well as a purifying system to help detoxify surface impurities and promote skin cell turnover. After the mask is fully activated (around two short minutes), rinse it off with lukewarm water and gently pat dry. Skin is left cleansed and primed for the next step, which is the silky serum designed to deliver Arden’s Ceramide Triple Complex (a combination of Ceramides 1, 3 and 6) deep into skin’s surface. A skin-identical, replenishing lipid complex, it helps reinforce your skin’s protective barrier, plumping up the moisture factor and giving it a smoother texture as it soothes sensitive skin. It also includes Retinyl Linoleate and Tropical Fruit Extracts to help firm, strengthen and re-texturise the skin’s appearance, whilst soothers like Aloe Vera and Rice Kefiran have been thoughtfully added to calm any sensitive types down. ‘Optical Diffusers’ are yet another bonus -a blend of mica, silicone, silica and pearlescent pigments that provide a soft focus effect, blurring fine lines and wrinkles. Love that!
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial kit is housed in two sleek, cylindrical airless pump components and has an RRP of $165.00. Oh and best yet? It’s available right now!

Daily delight: Poppy Delevingne for Talento jewelry

Friday, April 11, 2014

Beauty news: Bobbi Brown re-formulates the iconic Skin Foundation Stick

She calls it the “ultimate nude foundation”, and when you’re as involved in makeup development and application as much as Bobbi Brown is… you know to take that call seriously!
The formula she is referring to is her iconic Skin Foundation Stick, which debuted in 1992 and revolutionised the humble base. Now over twenty years later it’s back - with new packaging and a killer new formula that I was lucky enough to have a play with over soda and delicious snacks with Kai Vinson, Bobbi’s main man in Hong Kong and Director of Artistry and Education for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.
Kai told me that it was one of the most popular launches of the year for him, and I have to agree. The new formula features a multi-layered translucent base that allows for optimal skin tone matching - there are 24 shades to choose from that are completely ‘colour true’.
I’ve been wearing the older formula and absolutely adore it due to the fact that it is designed for portability and adjustable coverage. It’s so easy to apply it’s ridiculous - just pop a few dots on and blend all over the face or just where you need it. You can use fingers, a sponge or - my pick - a foundation brush to blend, meaning it’s perfect for the handbag or on holiday. It melts into your skin in seconds with an almost ‘soft focus’ effect, and it’s super long wearing unless you’re doing major exercise or sweating more than normal in the heat.
The new formula is oil and shine controlling as well as sweat and humidity resistant apparently, but has the likes of shea butter included to form a protective barrier to lock in moisture. This means that it controls shine but won’t dry you out, whilst Olive Squalane helps moisturise your skin and supplements the essential fatty acids that occur naturally. Amazing.
Could this be the perfect foundation? So far, sounds incredible - I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
The new formula hits stores on May 12, 2014.

Daily delight: Jessica Hart for Louis Vuitton Summer ’14

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Beauty news: Marloes Horst for Maybelline New York

It feels like almost every other day that the world’s beauty brands are signing up new spokesmodels, with many a savvy decision being made. Maybelline New York is a brand up there in the top five when it comes to most killer stables, and the beauty mega brand announced today that model Marloes Horst is their newest face. The Dutch model joins a roster of prominent spokeswomen including Christy Turlington, Emily DiDonato and a host of others.
“Marloes embodies the Maybelline New York woman with her passion for makeup and her New York City energy and ambition,” says Jerome Bruhat, Global Brand President of Maybelline New York.
The Dutch model has lit up the runway for Prada, bared her best bits for the infamous Pirelli calendar and is a Victoria’s Secret regular. Currently, she is the face for the DKNY ‘Be Delicious’ fragrance and has also recently posed for the Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary issue. Marloes has also been featured on the covers of iconic magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, L’Officiel and Jalouse and has been seen in advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Carolina Herrera, H&M, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger Denim, and Kenzo.
Well done MNY, and can’t wait to see the end result when Marloes makes her Maybelline New York debut in print and television advertising campaigns later this month. 

Daily delight: Anne Vyalitsyna for Marie Claire Italia

Love it: St Tropez for We Are Handsome MBFWA 2014

Every year at MBFWA I look forward to the We Are Handsome  swim show. You can pretty much guarantee that you’ll see the cutest suits, the hottest bods and - most importantly - the best tans. The label has had an association with faux tan specialists St Tropez for a few years now and it shows, with models sporting the perfect glow for their individual skintone.
“We wanted to have fun with the makeup,” said Maybelline’s Nigel Stanislaus of the popping colour look on the model’s faces, which was reportedly inspired by the tropical prints in We Are Handsome’s resort-ready collection. Stanislaus looked back to the colours of 1950s and ‘60s – and makeup of stars such as Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren - to come up with three coloured eye looks, and lips got the colour treatment too in a shade of coral, orange or pink. KMS Hairplay Dry Touch Up gave hair a matte effect rather than the wet-look hair so popular at the moment, and the overall effect was killer.
But about the tan. Michael Brown, working for St Tropez, created a look that was inspired by the much-anticipated St Tropez Self Tan Luxe Dry Oil, which launches in Australia in August. “We weren’t actually allowed to tan the models’ skin, so we faked it,” he said. Models were coated in St Tropez Instant Tan Wash Off Lotion in Medium/Dark, while the Skin Illuminator in Gold was daubed along shins, arms, collarbones and shoulder blades. “The girls are mostly wearing high-cut swimwear,” noted Brown. “A tan helps.”
How To: Michael Brown, St.Tropez Skin Finishing Expert
1. It's crucial to prep the skin, especially in a show like this - it's swimwear - there is nothing to hide behind, so the skin needs to be perfect. The models have all been sent the 'St.Tropez Tanning Commandments' before the show, so today we just needed to use the St.Tropez Tan Enhancing Moisturiser on the dry areas of the body like the elbows, feet, hands and of course the knees.
2. St.Tropez is all about customising your colour and so the Instant Tan in Light/Medium and Medium/Dark are perfect for layering and tailoring shades. For the lighter models we used the Medium/Dark to bring up their overall colour, and for the girls and guys with a natural base colour and more olive tones we used the Light/Medium Instant Tan.
3. To even out the skin while adding a little extra warmth and healthy glow we finished with St.Tropez Illuminator in Gold. I used this to highlight, define and sculpt the bodies - following the lines of the muscles to create definition and shape. The show was outside so the Gold Illuminator also worked perfectly to catch the light.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Love it: the Essie Fall 2014 collection

It’s hitting New Zealand shores a while after its release in the States, but Essie’s Fall collection is well worth the wait and simply delicious.
There are a number of beautiful shades on show but my absolute favourite is Cashmere Bathrobe (pictured), which is a dark grey with a pretty silver shimmer that I didn’t pick up on at first. The shimmer is a touch on the hidden side, I could see it indoors and in the shade but it wasn't as in your face as many, which gets the ticks from me. Like all of the Essie shades I’ve tried the formula has a nice even consistency and the opacity was great.
Vested Interest is my next pick, a dusty green crème that is perfectly greyed out for lovers of warm, unique neutrals like me. It too is a perfect pick for Autumn and in store now - so what are you waiting for?

Daily delight: Natalia Oberhanss for Forget Them magazine

Monday, April 7, 2014

Beauty news: Lupita Nyong’o announced as the new face of Lancôme

The darling of the Oscars, the red carpet and the international front row, it was only a matter of time before someone swooped in and signed up Academy award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o as its brand new face, and that clever company was iconic French beauty house Lancôme.
With her incredible talent and one of a kind beauty, the stunning 31-year-old has taken the world by storm over the past twelve months. She received an Academy Award in the category of “Best Supporting Actress” for her portrayal of Patsey in Steve McQueen’s acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave – making her the fourth Academy Award winning Lancôme ambassadress. She has also received a swag of other prestigious awards worldwide, including the Screen Actors Guild Award, the Independent Spirit Award, NAACP Award, and 2013 Hollywood Film Awards' "New Hollywood Award.”
The Mexican-born, Kenyan actress is a multi-talented star as well, having performed on stage and screen as well as having directed the award-winning feature-length documentary, In My Genes, about the reality of living with albinism in Kenya.
"I am truly honoured to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history and that I have always loved. I am particularly proud to represent its unique vision for women and the idea that beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman's freedom to be herself,” said Nyong’o, who is joining Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Penélope Cruz and the recently appointed Lily Collins in the brand’s stable of international beauties.
She will be seen later this year in campaigns shot by star photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, and I for one can’t wait to see what the trio dream up!