Friday, April 29, 2016

Daily delight: Jessica Chastain for Modern Luxury magazine

Fragrance Friday: the Jo Malone London Rare Teas collection

We all know that the name Jo Malone London is synonymous with luxury, but incredibly the highly coveted brand has taken that concept to a whole new level. The end result is their Rare Teas collection, devised of six most definitely next level colognes.
In 2010, Jo Malone engaged perfumer Christine Nagel to create a collection of tea inspired fragrances that referenced British traditional teas. This collection however, draws on some of the most desirable brews from the East, ranging from Silver Needle Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Jade Leaf Tea and Oolong Tea to Midnight Black Tea and Golden Needle Tea. Each is utter perfection and completely unique, creating the ultimate essence in refreshment – for your senses.
Each perfume is made with handpicked tea leaves sourced from countries including Japan, China and India that are infused using a method similar to that of brewing tea. From Japanese foothills to China and the Himalayas, each bud has been meticulously hand picked and prepared before being reinterpreted by the ingenuity of the perfumer and infused straight from the leaf into the highly refined fragrances.
Jo Malone London’s Vice President of product development, Céline Roux worked alongside perfumer Serge Majoullier of Mane to create the utterly covetable, new offering.
“Silver Needle Tea was created with leaves traditionally reserved for China’s Imperial family and has hints of musk, mimosa and rose,” she explained upon the collection’s release.  “The fragrance built around Midnight Black tea contains vanilla and labdanum, meant to intensify the tea’s oriental characteristics. Jade Leaf Tea uses leaves from Japan’s Sencha Ariake region enhanced using sesame and pomelo and the Golden Needle Tea, which is now created from a special type of black tea, picked exclusively during the last two weeks of March".
The process of sourcing the teas and creating the six perfumes apparently took an arduous four years. Each fragrance was macerated and matured at a different rate depending on the type: infusion ranged from 10 hours for the lighter white teas to 100 hours for the smoky black teas. The process required an extraordinary attention to detail to ensure the finished products amplified the central notes of each particular blend, and the end result reflects that. For example, to create the Oolong Tea scent, the leaves are left to wither on bamboo racks in the sun, before being oxidised for 15 hours and infused for precisely 68 hours to develop the desired woody notes. The Silver Needle Tea is created using silver tip leaves sourced from the lush valleys of Fujian, southeast China, where they are handpicked at dawn to maximise their freshness. Amazing.
The two I have been lucky enough to have a play with are Golden Needle Tea and Midnight Black Tea. The former is an instantly lovable, woody and spicy blend that oozes warmth and luxury. The latter is a true heady mix that thus far I have reserved – and loved – for night. It’s incredibly sexy and totally exotic, and has garnered more than its fair share of compliments.
Last but not least, a new bottle has also been designed for the limited edition collection. This is the first time Jo Malone London has created a new bottle for its perfumes in 25 years and it is an absolute joy to behold.
These beauties are available in store right now for RRP $550.00 and you guessed it, worth every cent.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Daily delight: Sara Sampaio for Maxim magazine

Love it: Moroccanoil’s all new Dry Shampoo

“What was life like before you discovered dry shampoo?” Allure magazine asked recently, with the reply: “sad, lifeless, and perpetually ponytailed, we bet”. They then went on to name their top buys when it comes to the category, which included a formula I have just started using from Moroccanoil.
First, it's nothing new to rave about dry shampoos and texturising sprays and the like – they are a fixture in pretty much every bathroom cabinet, and with good reason. I’ve long been a heavy user of dry shampoo and hair dusts and powders, mainly because I don’t like washing my own hair (First World Problems, oui?) and also because I have a fringe that necessitates frequent re-booting. I got to the gym six days a week and they are a godsend for a greasy fringe, perhaps the perfect product.
But I digress, back to Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo. It has certainly been a long time coming, but finally the major haircare name has release what they call a “breakthrough solution” to refresh and revitalise your next day style. The seriously powerful, innovative formula has been designed to instantly absorb oil and product buildup without leaving behind any visible powder, and it uses some pretty clever ingredients to do so. Featuring natural volumising and deodorising agents, as well as a UV filter and a hint of the signature Moroccanoil fragrance loved by so many, Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo appears to be quite the winner if my couple weeks’ using it are anything to go by.
Also specifically developed to address different tonality needs, Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo features two, colorspecific formulas: one to preserve the integrity of light and blonde tones and one to maintain the richness and dimension of darker hues like mine. To bring out the best in light tones, Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo Light Tones features subtle violet undertones to help balance brassiness. On darker hair, traditional dry shampoos leave behind a white residue that diminishes natural shine; but Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo Dark Tones is formulated with ultra-fine rice starches that break down and dissipate immediately upon application. As a brunette, I’ve found that most of the powdery white formulas - even the ones that claim to be translucent - leave behind a chalky, way-too-matte cast. This one doesn’t, and even uses subtle, violet-tinged pigments to make brown hair look multidimensional whilst adding volume at the roots. Pretty clever huh?
Like most dry shampoo formulas it’s super easy to use, just position the bottle 15–20cm away from hair roots and generously spritz 5 cm sections of hair. Massage into the scalp with your fingertips to activate the formula and distribute product, and then with a brush or thin comb, gently brush hair to fully work product into strands and deliver extra volume. Too easy. It even comes with a clever stylist’s tip: after application, flash-dry roots with a blow dryer on a low setting to boost volume and set style in place.
This puppy is available now with an RRP of $44.50. A bit of a splurge but highly recommended.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Daily delight: Ana Beatriz Barros for Elle Spain

Love it: M.A.C Matchmaster Shade Intelligence Compact

Matchmaster Shade Intelligence Compact is M.A.C's contribution to the cushion compact trend, and what a wonder it is. It is the brands first foray into this innovative trend of products that delivers true-to-life coverage while not suffocating the skin, and admittedly, it has been a looooooong time coming.
Cushion foundations started in Korea and have been growing in popularity in the Western world for a few years now. I think M.A.C took their time to give us something unique and original because Matchmaster Shade Intelligence Compact Foundation totally delivers in this new category. When they say it offers perfection and coverage, they are not lying.
Its sheer formula offers light to medium coverage - the familiar "your skin but better" foundation – and feels like nothing on the skin. It reveals rather than conceals your personal undertone, and the makeup brand’s Shade Intelligence Technology means it works with it whilst letting your natural skin shine through.

Housed in a sleek, mirrored compact, like all cushion makeup formulas it dispenses its foundation from a pre-soaked sponge. You can apply with the enclosed silicone-sponge, your fingers, or a foundation brush, whichever method appeals to you and gives you the finish you want. I find the sponge tends to soak up more product than I need, so I have been applying mine with the M.A.C 196 Slanted Flat Top foundation brush (above) as recommended by affable and charming M.A.C Senior Artist, James Molloy. This gives me a nice medium level coverage, which needs no re-application during the day apart from the odd dusting of powder if the weather is super hot.
Among the marketing claims is that this formula is sweat- and humidity-resistant, and I found both to be true (although I don’t wear it to the gym, naturally!). It keeps oil in check really well, but still has a nice satiny finish as opposed to the less flattering, matte option that usually comes part and parcel with an oil control formula.
I took my Shade Intelligence Compact to both a steamy hot, humid Sydney and a dry, perfectly warm Honolulu over the last couple of months and it worked its little pants off in both locales. It was also naturally travel friendly, and sweet as for carry on due to its formulation. Bonus!

So, there you have it – M.A.C done good! These foundations are thankfully now part of the year-round M.A.C line and are available now for RRP $75.00. Go forth and glow!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Daily delight: Candice Swanepoel for ELLE China

All about: PHD Cleanse's new wholefood meal delivery

We all know that there is no such thing as spot reduction and that if you really want to “chisel the marble” you have to put more time in the kitchen than you do in the gym, but for many it’s the eating well element that’s the really hard part. We all seem to manage to make time for boot camp/barre class/runner’s club or whatever your jam may be, but without good nutrition to back it up you just won’t see results.
Thank the sweet lord for the fact that PHD Cleanse are now delivering wholefood meals to homes then – you don’t even have to find a park outside your local clean food seller, just meet the courier at the door and whack it in the fridge… too easy!
I first became aware of the work of local delivered juice kings PHD Cleanse a few years ago, when they created a range of easy-to-follow juice cleanse systems that use freshly cold-pressed, raw and unpasteurised ingredients to load your body with all the things that are good for you and make things about as convenient as they get!
Designed to help accelerate the body’s natural processes, PHD Cleanses flood the body with essential enzymes, vitamins and minerals that eradicate and eliminate toxins. PHD Cleanse co-founders Rich Tangney and James Ehau, say, “New Zealand grows some of the freshest and most nutritious raw fruit and vegetables in the world. Unlike most other re-set programmes, we wanted to make the most of our amazing fresh produce. We found a way to deliver it to people’s doorsteps – in no-mess, no-fuss bottles – and leave them feeling rejuvenated, energised and altogether healthier.”  
The fact that Rich and James found a way to deliver PHD to people’s doorsteps – in no-mess, no-fuss bottles –got a big tick from me at the time, as ‘having no time’ is one of the main excuses people give for not giving juicing a go. It’s also available as a 3-Day and 5-Day cleanse system - available in ‘Basic’ and ‘Advanced’ levels – so you can find a way to fit it into your life no matter what.
Each system consists of six bottled juices a day, with the Green Juice – combo of cucumber, celery, kale lettuce, parsley, lemon, apple, cos lettuce and spinach – as the predominant variant. Other faves of mine are the Silver Juice (lemon, cayenne, agave nectar, 'oxygen rich' detoxification water) and Yellow Juice (pineapple, apple, mint). Green juice is widely considered the world’s healthiest juice – jam-packed with green leafy vegetables – and it was my absolute favourite of the bunch. I wish I could have a pack delivered every week as I’d hoover it up, no problem!
Anyway, PHD Cleanse recently announced the launch of a delicious and nutritious range of wholefood breakfasts, lunches and dinners, which can be ordered online at and delivered direct to Auckland doorstep. The new PHD Cleanse wholefood meal options, created in partnership with nutritionist Chantal Dey provide Kiwis with convenient and great tasting food as well as complete dietary nutrition. They also perfectly complement the PHD Cleanse juice and juice cleanse plans which have become a staple health beverage option for thousands of Kiwis over the last four years.  
With functional nutrition and convenience in mind, the current season range offers nine options, including Green breakfast smoothies, Vegan Super Salad, Herby Summer slaw and slow-cooked Shredded Spicy Chicken. “The meals are something we’ve wanted to offer our customers for some time, it just made sense to offer clean eating options as a follow up to our juice cleanse product”, says Managing Director Rich Tangney.
You can pick and choose what you like from their website, or if you’re not sure what is going to work for you there is the option of selecting one of the wholefood plans pieced together by aforementioned nutritionist Chantal Dey. Alternatively they can put you directly in touch with Chantal so she can personalise your option at an extra charge.
PHD Cleanse say there are plans to expand and continually refresh the current range options in keeping with seasonal produce, and to deliver to all regions outside Auckland in the near future. How great is that? 
If you’re in the market for convenience, great food and balanced nutrition then I highly recommend you head here: 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Daily delight: Bella Hadid for W Korea

All about: the new Smashbox mascara collection

I think everyone needs somewhat of a “wardrobe” of mascara formulas, and they needn’t be expensive. Some of the best out there come with grocery aisle price points, whilst others are damn amazing and worth the serious cash you put down to acquire them.
Smashbox has just released not one, not two but THREE new lash-tastic products, and each of them sound more amazing than the last. The first is a Lash Primer, and one hell of a great investment if ever I heard of one. It seems only fitting that as one of the leading authorities on all manner of primers, Smashbox have taken their expertise in the field and used it to create a primer specifically for eyelashes. You can use it for prepping lashes before mascara application or even touching mascara up at lunch, and the Smashbox Photo Finish Lash Primer is even a treat worn alone for a weekend look that gives you defined but not obtrusive lashes. The groundbreaking formula makes any mascara last longer, as well as plumping and conditioning lashes to prevent flaking or smudging throughout the day. The specially designed Two-Timer brush features an ultra-thin comb for defined, clump-free separation and moulded bristles that cover each lash perfectly, ready for mascara application. No more unexpected smudges or lash let-down then, which gets two thumbs up from me.
Smashbox Photo Finish Lash Primer is also one of only a handful of lash primers that actually do make a difference to your mascara, even when it’s a seriously flash formula already. And unlike many others on the market its conditioning formula keeps lashes soft and flexible while at the same time allowing a regular mascara to adhere evenly to already-pumped-up lashes. So good.
The two new mascaras on offer are the rather saucy sounding Smashbox Indecent Exposure mascara and Smashbox X-Rated mascara. They both feature unique lash hugging and lengthening properties as well as some seriously breakthrough brushes, and are jam-packed with limitless possibilities.
X-Rated is what Smashbox has called its “most buildable long wear mascara yet”, and it lets you to build to the lash look you want super easily. Its unique brush isolates, magnifies and mega-coats each lash with an interlocking fibre-loaded formula for hyper-thick, amplified, voluptuous lashes. This gives me the “dolly” look I love after hours with only a few swipes of the brush, and has serious staying power. LOVE that.
Indecent Exposure features a unique brush that has a spiral of wavy-cut bristles and a micro tip, so you can effortlessly capture and highlight every single lash. High-impact "wavelength"
fibres hug lashes and stretch as you apply from bottom to top, making it perfect for those who long for length and love defined lashes without the heaviness factor. This mascara will ensure lashes look their absolute best - think extra long and superbly defined, who doesn’t want that?
So what’s your pick? Or is it all three? As I said, one can never have too many mascaras IMHO… These babies are available now in selected Life Pharmacies, beauty spas, from the Smashbox Concept Store in Ponsonby and at

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Daily delight: Jennifer Lopez for W magazine

Love it: Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Retexturizing Pads

I was initially a little reticent to give pre-prepared peel pads ago when they first came on the market many a year ago, but today, peel pads are better than ever. Now, instead of simply stripping your skin of all of its goodness with the likes of alcohol and BHAs, you get variety of ingredients that do everything from moisturise to add an artificial tan. The world of the pre-packaged peel pad is ever growing and expanding, and even my slightly sensitive, on the side of dry skin is up for exploring what’s on offer.
Which brings me to Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Retexturizing Pads, which have become a regular in my routine since they hit the counters. With active ingredients like glycolic acid, niacinamide and vitamin C, they are designed to the results of a professional spa treatment at home in a single step. And do they? You bet they do – and quite remarkably.
These exfoliating facial pads effectively retexturise and cleanse the skin as well as promote skin renewal. They were developed from the top selling product at Elizabeth Arden's Red Door Spa, and are intended to safely exfoliate the top layers of skin for a clearer, more radiant and even-toned appearance. Infused with a blend of Essential Oil, Amino Acids and 5 per cent Glycolic Acid, these cleansing treatment pads are the perfect pick for a more radiant complexion over time.
For surface exfoliation that targets more than just acne, Elizabeth Arden has kindly given us a luxurious and brightening jar of pads that are safe for periodic use.  Scrubbing away (metaphorically—we’re talking chemical exfoliants here) the surface of dead and discoloured cells, as well as helping to minimise fine lines wrinkles over time, these babies are also insanely easy to use. After cleansing, gently wipe a single pad across yoir face and neck in an upward and outward motion. As the pad wipes the skin, a tingling, warming sensation is likely to occur but don’t be alarmed – used correctly these work a charm. Do not leave the pad on skin for a prolonged period of time, and dispose of each after a single use before following with your moisturiser of choice. Too easy! They are designed to use 2-3 times per week or as needed, and thus far I am utterly obsessed.
These wee gems are on counter now and come highly recommended.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss for Vogue Russia

Love it: Kiehl’s Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque

Having not had a professional facial in what feels like the longest time, I have become a bit of a DIY expert when it comes to at home treats and realised that most of all I love a face masque. Ease of use and real results are the Holy Grail when it comes to this area, a combo that is all too rare when it comes to most new releases.
I swear I’ve used a million products that claim brightening and radiance-boosting properties in particular, and although I’d love to say that in testing all of these creams, gels and whatnot, I’ve found many a secret to a glowing, dazzling complexion, but sadly they are even rarer than the aforementioned combo. Very sadly in fact! So when I meet a product that promises to “recharge skin’s youthful glow” and actually delivers, I am BEYOND excited.
That product is Kiehl’s brand spanking new Cranberry and Turmeric Energizing Masque, which really does instantly brighten dull, fatigued skin – as well as reportedly restore skin’s “healthy, rosy appearance” over time.  Having popped the lid on a sample for the first time this past weekend I can definitely vouch for the former, and if the latter is to be believed I will be popping the lid on a lot more pots to come!
Formulated with Cranberry Extract - an antioxidant packed “superberry” rich in resveratrol - and renowned anti-inflammatory Turmeric Extract, it also contains micronized Cranberry seeds that can be used to gently exfoliate the skin while washing the mask off after use. I absolutely love the turmeric aspect of this formula in particular – it’s an ingredient with a long history of skin loving, having been traditionally used as a botanical supplement in Ayurvedic, Chinese and Egyptian traditional medicine.
I love the fact that it looks and feels like a truly old school, creamy facemask - thick and rich and easy to apply. After ten minutes the mask dries proper to an initially alarming (!) yellow-orange hue that soon softens with lukewarm water, gently washing off as the tiny cranberry seeds very gently exfoliate. An initial radiance check came back with a big tick, and my previously dehydrated and dull looking skin was noticeably brighter and luminous. And amazingly the love continued - my skin was actually better the next day.
Sound like a bit of you? Then get thee to a Kiehl’s counter ASAP – this baby (RRP $65.00 for 75ml) hits New Zealand counters today and is destined to a be a best seller.

Daily delight: Sophie Turner for The Edit