Thursday, October 20, 2016

Daily delight: Lady Gaga for T magazine

Love it: Clinique Superbalanced Silk Makeup SPF 15

“Slip on a silk-enriched makeup. Feel naked, yet covered to perfection. Control oil, yet hydrate where needed. Protect with SPF. Oil-free…”

Does the above sound too good to be true? Well it’s not! Let me introduce you to Clinique’s NEW Superbalanced Silk Makeup SPF 15, a clever little makeup-lite that has been formulated to “balance it all”.
Set to be THE foundation of the upcoming sticky, New Zealand summer IMHO, this beauty feels weightless on your skin, yet covers to perfection and is effortlessly buildable depending on your needs. It controls oil, yet hydrates and provides a fluid, silky texture, yet protects with an SPF.
Clinique is calling Superbalanced Silk Makeup SPF 15 the epitome of “no makeup, makeup,” and it leaves skin with the kind of natural matte finish that we all want when the temperature starts to rise.
Its smart, totally intuitive formula balances your skin’s ever-changing concerns throughout the day by mattifying oily areas and hydrating dry patches when needed. Despite housing many clever qualities it is incredibly light on the skin and oil free, so is perfect for everyone from dry combination to combination oily and oily skin types. Even if you’re traditionally dry over winter, an oily T zone can creep in as the layers start to peel off, and that’s where this beauty steps in once again to save the day.
Light polymers and real silk (hence the name) are included in the formula to diffuse the look of pores, lines and wrinkles and means the fluid almost “becomes one” with skin upon application, a factor that I think is further enhanced by applying it with a beauty blender. You can also use your fingers or a brush of course, but so far I love using a damp blender for a super natural look.
The foundation’s sun protection formula has a 3:1 ratio of UVB to UVA protection with a blend of chemical and physical sunscreens, so it helps prevent future ageing from occurring due to UV exposure as well as protecting upon application.
I think the kind of coverage you get with this magical little number depends on how you apply it and how much product you personally like to use. I find Superbalanced Silk is a bit thicker and feels like it has a bit more slip to it than the original Superbalanced foundation that I first tried a few years ago. The finish is natural matte to begin with but I find that by applying a little loose powder after a few hours I get that same look to continue throughout the day. Lovely!

NEW Superbalanced Silk Makeup SPF 15 foundation is on counter now at Clinique counters nationwide and online at and for a suggested retail price of $65. I highly recommend you pop on in for a peek.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Daily delight Alicia Vikander for Louis Vuitton 'Spirit of Travel'

All about: SkinMedica Redness Relief CalmPlex

Skin sensitivity is unfortunately constantly on the rise these days, with more people than ever before seeking advice to help alleviate sensitive or sensitised skin. If you’re one of those people who always tick the “sensitive” or “reactive” box when you’re visiting your favourite beauty professional then please,  read on!
There are two primary contributors to common skin redness. Immunogenic inflammation is where the immune system launches a cascade of inflammation and involves the activation of white blood cells, and neurogenic inflammation is triggered by the nervous system. In both cases, the person experiences pain, redness, itching, swelling and heat associated with inflammation.
Our skin is designed to respond to trauma or bacterial invasion by initiating an inflammatory response, and it’s this acute response that allows the skin to heal and repair itself. When the assault on the skin is persistent or repeated however, the inflammation becomes chronic and the effect on the skin is devastating – including the loss of skin strength and support. The term currently used by some to describe this destructive process is “inflammageing”, but that’s another story! We’re talking redness and irritation here, and a product I’ve recently discovered that is the perfect salve for both.
An Allure Best of Beauty Winner in 2013, SkinMedica Redness Relief CalmPlex provides clinically proven results when counteracting the effects of skin conditions like overall sensitivity and rosacea that can cause redness and irritation. Soft  and deliciously non-sticky, SkinMedica Redness Relief CalmPlex is a gentle formula that can help comfort and alleviate redness in all skin types.
The little pot of goodness’ proprietary ingredient, CalmPlex, helps to calm and soothe, while niacinamide helps to minimize inflammation, strengthen the skin barrier and facilitate repair. The CalmPlex formula essentially reduces the skin’s redness and irritation by inhibiting the release of prostaglandin E2 so it instantly soothes the skin, and reduces the visual effects of minor skin irritation Hydrating ingredients like glycerin, squalane and jojoba seed oil are also in there to help balance the complexion. This lightweight cream-meets-lotion will also never clog pores, making it great for everyday use.
Amazing! If - like me - you’ve been battling sensitivity of late then I can’t recommend this enough. SkinMedica Redness Relief CalmPlex has an RRP of $156.40 and is in salons now. For New Zealand stockists telephone 0800 238 754. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Daily delight: Taylor Hill for Alexandre Vauthier SS17

Why I love: Kérastase dual action Bain Divalent

If you’re anything like me, you love your long tresses but face a rather annoying hair problem come the warmer months: combination hair… and yes, that is an actual thing. This means you have oily roots and super dry mid-lengths and ends, and the longer you grow the more you have to deal with. Brilliant!
Age and environment can all play a part in this too. With chronological damage, hair becomes brittle and dry on the ends as it grows out, and at the same time new hair growth encourages a build-up of oils on the scalp. Environmental factors like sun-damage over the summer months or time in pools and the sea just make matters worse, while our country’s ever-increasing humidity can produce extra oil on the scalp. It could feel like a lose-lose situation if you think about it too hard, but after being recommended Kérastase Bain Divalent as part of my hair prescription a few months ago I think I may have the answer!
Finding the right products to deal with your combination hair is no easy task, but this gentle wonder will neither strip the hair of its oils nor weight it down with greasy residue. In fact, it is the ideal daily balancing shampoo for combination hair, with a soothing formula that leaves the scalp and hair feeling re-energised, clean and nourished, but also like it’s had a proper wash.
Specially formulated with Systeme Bi-Active, Kérastase Bain Divalent is what is called a dual-action shampoo, in that it eliminates excess oil at the roots, but also conditions dry, sensitised hair at the ends. This innovative formula helps to purify the scalp and hair, leaving it feeling lighter, softer and shinier than ever before and yep, it works.
Key ingredients include Salicylic Acid to gently exfoliate and purify the scalp, Vitamin B6 to regulate sebum production, two Cationic Polymers to detangle the hair and a cooling agent to give a fresh sensation on the scalp. It also smells and feels amazing; unlike many of the “detox”-style shampoos on the market that smell medicinal and get your locks a little too squeaky clean.
If you have the oily roots and dry ends combo of hair like me, apply shampoo through the roots of the hair to begin with rather than simply slapping it on all over. I use about a dollar coin-sized amount of this beauty on very wet hair, giving my scalp and mid-lengths a good massage and rinse. If needed, I do the whole thing again and leave in for 2 to 3 minutes before rinsing out thoroughly, and seriously, I noticed a difference in my hair from the first time I switched to this magical mix.

If you’re a combination person like me then most definitely go here to find a Kérastase salon near you.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Daily delight: Emma Stone for Vogue US

Beauty news: M.A.C Cosmetics launch all new M.A.C Technique

M.A.C Cosmetics have long been known for their amazing approach to education – both the continuing education of their artists and increasing the knowledge base of their loyal customers so they can do more with their favourite products.
The M.A.C Technique classes are essentially educational seminars offered in store, where beauty customers are taught by certified M.A.C  artists, under topics of makeup looks, techniques and trends, delineated by class type. Catering to both new makeup users and seasoned artists, each curriculum offers an intimate setting for participants to interact directly with M.A.C Makeup Artists to learn makeup tips and tricks.
As of now however, M.A.C Technique classes will offer an even broader range of workshops and seminars, with 13 technique focuses - from beauty basics to glam chic – and one very special new technical innovation.
Called the M.A.C Technique app, it is being touted as the first of its kind, and is used in conjunction with the classes to give clients the ability book classes in their area and search for the classes they want via the appropriate face charts. Once booked, the client is given a class code, which leads them to an interface where they can make comments, put products into a wish list and save the necessary images and videos during the session. This ensures the student can recreate the look away from the class, at home, backstage or on set. The app also allows the user to share these techniques and looks across all social media platforms. Amazing!
Having been given a crash course (see above, middle in class with M.A.C Senior Artist Kiekie Stanners) and played with it myself, I can honestly say that even a luddite like me can master this baby, and have a hell of a lot of fun with it.
The M.A.C Technique app features are:
1. FIND - Explore the 13 technique focuses and locate the closest M.A.C Technique class
2. BOOK - Once the class is booked, a face chart with interactive tips and tricks, along with an outline of the workshop will be sent
3. LEARN - During class, use the App to take photos and videos of each step, add notes and tips, and list favourite products
4. SHARE - Refer to saved notes and list of products to recreate new looks at home. Looks are shareable across all major social platforms

Official descriptions of the new workshop offerings are:
Master the “No Makeup-Makeup” trend. Learn tips from prepping and priming to choosing the right shades to create the perfect, flawless looking skin.
Double duty looks - makeup that can be taken from day to night. Learn how to amplify features to give an instant refresh to the skin, or go for a whole new look.
The styled eye covers all types of eye makeup look - sultry, smoky, glossy, and graphic. Learn techniques from shading to highlighting, lining to defining, blending, lashes and brows – this workshop has it all.
Makeup application is all about technique - this workshop is good for both beginners and artists looking for an update. M.A.C Artists show how to enhance features and learn a fresh new perspective on beauty.
Keep makeup looking fresh all day - M.A.C Artists give tips on creating looks with staying power. From longwearing formulas to secret techniques for achieving extended wear. 
Makeup should feel comfortable and be good for the skin. In this class learn application tips on mineral-rich textures for looks that are fresh and luminous.
Learn how to create clear, even, radiant skin using M.A.C ‘s Lightful C collection.
Proper contouring can completely change the face shape. Learn how to emphasize flattering angles by creating dimension, symmetry and definition through shading and highlighting.
This class is all about makeup with maximum impact. Learn techniques tried and tested by M.A.C Artists on the runway and in the studio.
Create celebrity inspired looks – personalized with tips from M.A.C Artists.
Find out the season’s latest looks from the artists creating the trends backstage, at over 500 shows each season. Play with new techniques and learn more about makeup’s current direction and products.
This class teaches techniques for creating standout looks for special occasions.
Learn about all the ideal products, tools and techniques for flawless grooming for men and women - from skincare and priming, to tone and texture and brows. These simple tricks can refine any look.

The popular M.A.C Technique education program costs just $120 for a class, with $100 redeemable on product. Click here to get the app for Android and for iPhone.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Daily delight: Hailey Baldwin for sass & bide Resort

Love it: Kiehl's new Apothecary Preparations

The iconic Kiehl’s brand launched in New Zealand way back in 2010 at Smith & Caughey’s Queen Street and since then has grown with the opening of counters in Newmarket, Christchurch and Wellington. It’s such an iconic brand that it had long been crying out for a place to spread its wings and celebrate its New York origins when its flagship store in Britomart’s Atrium on Takutai opened its doors in 2013, providing a true feast for the senses for all those lucky enough to stop by. The boutique’s authentic brick wall, vibrant gallery of historic images and neon artwork all pay homage to Kiehl’s rich history, and Kiehl’s resident “Mr. Bones” is also there as a nod to the brand’s pharmaceutical heritage. Unique to the Britomart boutique is an inviting consultation space where store patrons can unwind and discuss their skincare needs, which leads me to their latest offering - Kiehl's Apothecary Preparations.
As if there wasn't already enough to love about Kiehl's, the brand is getting back to its roots with Apothecary Preparations, a completely personalised approach to skin care that is going to make you frequent your closest Kiehl's location more than ever.
Back in the early days of the company, Kiehl's was known for their personalised skin and hair remedies for customers, using high concentrations of natural ingredients blended with pharmaceutical actives that took place in the brand's flagship store all the way up until the 1980's. By the time I had made my own beauty freak’s pilgrimage to the store ten years ago, the service had come to an end. That is set to change however, with the launch this month of the legendary brand’s new Apothecary initiative, which offers customers the opportunity to meet with a representative who can walk them through a personalised consultation to address their specific skin concerns. This will help each clever Kiehl's staffer determine which two Targeted Complexes are best suited for combating key issues your skin may be facing, like redness, rough texture, wrinkles, and large pores. Once this has been determined, the Targeted Complexes will be mixed with a Skin Strengthening Concentrate to create a small sample for the customer to feel, ensuring that it's exactly what they're looking for.
From there, if the mix is right a box is made for the customer of three components. I love that the service includes beautiful finishing touches like personalised labels that are issued for each bottle, with the trio then packaged and sent home with the customer to mix up at prior to their first application. All very bespoke and authentic feeling, and thus far the combo I have been using has elicited great results. You just apply your very own blend like a serum before moisturiser, and it is definitely compatible with most.
Inspired by 165 years of apothecary expertise, Kiehl’s Apothecary Preparations are destined to be a winner, and are available in store this coming Monday for $158. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Daily delight: Milla Jovovich for Vogue Ukraine

All about: Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex

I swear in my life I have tried about every single ‘hope in a jar’ for my eye area out there, spending god knows how much on eye creams, serums and whatnot as I (fruitlessly for the most part) battle the creeping signs of ageing. There’s certainly no way to escape them, but a little softening here and there is more than welcome, and if I can find a product that gives my skin that extra boost then bring it on.
In the skincare world there is one thing that we know absolutely delivers the goods however, and that’s retinol. Some are so potent that can completely change your skin overnight, but not all are created equal. There are a lot of misconceptions about retinol too, with good reason. Also there is the fact that there are ‘Retin-A’ products, and ‘retinol’ products… and both are ‘retinoids’. It’s all vitamin A, but the first kind is pretty heavy duty (i.e. you need a prescription) and the second type you can buy over the counter. Unlike standard exfoliators, retinoids work at the cellular level to increase collagen, smooth-out annoying fine lines and even-out the tone, all of which are on my shopping list thank-you-very-much.
Retinol is a key ingredient in Dermalogica’s newly reformulated Age Reversal Eye Complex, which features new microencapsulation technology and a unique firming complex to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, puffiness and dark under eye circles with minimum disruption to the skin. Available in New Zealand from authorised Dermalogica stockists and right now, it has been researched and developed by The International Dermal Institute (IDI) and is now a major part of Dermalogica's incredibly efficacious AGE Smartsystem.
"The skin around the eye orbit is the thinnest on the human body, and has fewer oil glands than the rest of the face, making the area more susceptible to environmental factors such as UV exposure, that, combined with frequent movements like smiling or squinting, leads to fine lines and wrinkles," Caroline Parker, Head of Education, Dermalogica New Zealand says. “Thanks to the new technology and ingredients in the Age Reversal Eye Complex, the cell turnover process is speeded up, stimulating collagen production and thickening the cell layers around the eye. This makes the skin appear plumper, fuller and smoother, with fewer wrinkles and consistent pigmentation distribution!"
The new, much improved Age Reversal Eye Complex boasts the following new ingredients and technologies:
* Microencapsulated Retinol 0.1% - Studies have shown that retinol significantly restores the structural integrity of the skin, accelerating cell turnover and renewal, stimulating collagen production, improving epidermal thickness, and increasing elastin biosynthesis. This 0.1% concentration of pure Vitamin A has the power to trigger epidermal cell proliferation while new microencapsulation technology ensures maximum potency, stability and controlled-release delivery deep within the skin layers.
* Microencapsulated Niacinamide - Antioxidant Vitamin B3 controls inflammation, reduces the appearance of dark under-eye circles due to hyperpigmentation, inhibits glycation (the process in which sugar molecules react with proteins such as collagen and produce harmful molecules that weaken skin, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles), and reduces trans-epidermal water loss. Microencapsulation ensures optimal potency and penetration.
* AGE Reversal Firming Complex - anexclusive formula that includes Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 to strengthen collagen and firms tissue, wonder ingredient Hyaluronic Acid and Dunaliella Salina Extract, an algae extract that stimulates epidermal cell renewal.
Like any product containing retinol, this formula requires some care to begin with and then you are good to go. Apply it on alternate nights for the first two weeks as skin builds up a tolerance to the retinol, then as skin acclimates, build up to applying nightly. I have found with some retinol products that after a few months’ of use my sensitivity may return, so if it does with this baby just pull back a little and start the process over again. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Age Reversal Eye Complex is available in a 15ml tube with a recommended retail price of $115 from authorised Dermalogicaskin centres nationwide and, right now.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Daily delight: Victoria Beckham for The Edit

All about: Estée Lauder Micro Essence Aquaceutical Mist

Created with the Asian market in mind but also particularly applicable as New Zealand’s own seasons ramp up in terms of humidity and general unpredictability, Estée Lauder Micro Essence Aquaceutical Mist has been a go-to of mine since it came across my desk. I love a good facial mist at any time of year, and this is essentially the brand’s Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion, but in a very user friendly misting form. The former is an Allure Best of Beauty winner so I had a feeling this would be amazing and yep, it is.
Designed to help “reactivate” skin for that elusive, healthy glow, it is ideal for people who have tired skin or want a smoother skin, and seek to combat dryness and dullness instantly on the go. 
The nature of modern life means that skin is constantly challenged throughout the day by shifting environmental conditions – hot to cool, dry to humid, indoors to outdoors – and it suffers as a result. These “micro-climates” can lead to dehydration, irritation and dullness, which is where this vapour-light micro-mist steps in to give it a burst of goodness – whenever and wherever needed.
Like an invisible, protective veil, each micro-droplet in the mist releases a burst of nourishment, powered by the collection’s exclusive Micro-Nutrient Bio-Ferment and an innovative new Climate Conditioning Complex to help protect skin against the drying effects of the aforementioned changing environmental stressors.
But wait, there’s more. Not just your average, every day facial toning mist, Micro Essence Aquaceutical Mist features a unique delivery system that makes it different to conventional pump sprays. The patented, breakthrough atomiser pump delivers the potent formula in an ultra-fine (you have to feel it to believe it) micro-mist that penetrates the skin that much easier than most. These micro droplets also help by providing a substantially drier application, so it applies well over makeup at any time of day. Amazing.
This beauty leaves skin feeling nourished and comfortable for hours in any environment, and I have been using it during cooler times and now well into times of increased humidity. When I left hospital my skin was a goddamn trainwreck, and this spray immediately calmed and soothed it down after I came home.
All Micro Essence formulas are also non-acnegenic, dermatologist-tested and ophthalmologist-tested, which is a major bonus.
Estée Lauder Micro Essence Aquaceutical Mist is on counter now, RRP $102 for 75mls.