Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Daily delight: Emily Ratajkowski for DKNY Intimates

Love it: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil

Anyone that checks in here regularly will know that I’m a huge fan of oils - body oils, hair oils and facials oils - and love the fact that nine times out of ten, they are brilliant multi-taskers and are great travel companions too.
Cleansing your face with one is a given with me, but for many oil may seem counterintuitive, especially for those who associate it with breakouts and the like. Well it just ain’t true, and there are more and more great oil-based cleansers arriving on the market all the time that are making their way into bathroom cabinets across the globe.
Cleansing your skin is one of the most important parts of the skincare regimen, and it’s always a good idea to track down a richer, heavier cleanser when the temperature plummets. It can definitely help address the dryness that comes with the cooler air and when used correctly can make a real difference to your skin’s health and wellbeing. Cleansing removes makeup, dirt and debris from the skin. It also helps to cleanse pores (hair follicles actually) of dead skin cells and sebum to help prevent acne. For aging skin, a cleansing oil can be a great way to help remove makeup, dirt and debris and also to help fight off free radicals that actually cause skin to age quicker. 
Which brings me to my latest great love affair, which is with Kiehl’s newest release – an absolutely heavenly cleansing oil. An extension of their cult-favourite Midnight Recovery Concentrate, it is a super duper lightweight yet highly efficacious face oil. Non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic and joyfully free of mineral oil, it gets its slip from squalane. Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil not only efficiently washes away skin impurities such as dirt, oil and sunscreen but also is also effective on stubborn makeup, which Kiehl’s say eliminates the need for double cleansing. “Using oil to clean one’s skin may seem contrary to what consumers have historically been taught, especially those with oily skin,” says Cammie Cannella, Kiehl’s Vice President of Global Education of the new release. “However, cleansing oils like Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil are a most effective way to gently cleanse skin. Our formula offers the distinct benefit of not only cleansing gently but also maintaining the skin barrier.” 
Super gentle yet completely effective, this baby removes all traces of my make-up with ease (even heavy foundation and waterproof mascara), leaves my skin feeling super hydrated and doesn’t pull or tug around the eyes. It also smells amazing and feels absolutely delicious on the skin, and is reportedly suitable for all skin types - even oily and dry complexions.
As well as being gloriously un-messy – the pump dispenser helps - it doesn't have a tendency to leave behind any residue, so even if you’ve had a bit of a late night, using it is a breeze. I’ve still been using it before a cream cleanser for a double cleanse at night, and have found that even long-wearing formulas and lip stains come off in seconds. Amazing! I love that the juicy botanical oils in the formula like Evening Primrose oil nourish skin and maintain the skin barrier, leaving it feeling soft, healthy and hydrated. 
Kiehl’s recommends the following, super simple 4-Step Oil Cleansing Method to get the most from this beauty: 
Step One: Dispense 3-4 pumps into dry or wet hands. 
Step Two: Massage into dry skin, including eye area. 
Step Three: Add water and massage skin to emulsify the oil, creating a gentle cleansing milk. 
Step Four: Rinse your face thoroughly and pat dry with a soft towel. Follow with your existing nightly skin regimen. 
For long-wear and waterproof eye makeup, first dispense two pumps onto a cotton pad and gently press on the eye area for 10 seconds. Gently wipe outwards and repeat if necessary. Follow with the 4-Step Oil Cleansing Method. 
Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil is on counter now, RRP $65.00. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Daily delight: Priyanka Chopra for Marie Claire

All about: Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant

One of the most exciting skincare releases of the year thus far has to be Dermalogica’s Daily Superfoliant, which has joined the ranks of innovative skin solutions harnessing the power of a very topical, buzz-worthy ingredient.
The Daily Superfoliant, which is not to be confused with its rice-based, best-selling and award-winning predecessor, the Daily Microfoliant, is the brand's answer to the emergence of “anti-pollution” beauty products that have been appearing of late. "While similar in form, the Superfoliant and Microfoliant couldn't be more different," Diana Howard, vice president of research and development for Dermalogica told Allure. "Daily Superfoliant resurfaces skin and helps prevent premature signs of pollution-related ageing, while Daily Microfoliant is known for its smoothing and brightening capabilities."
The aforementioned buzz-worthy ingredient that you’ll find in the formula is activated charcoal, which is undoubtedly the beauty ingredient of the moment. A carbon that has been treated to increase its absorbency, it isn't actually new. It's been used in hospital emergency rooms and vet surgeries for years to treat toxicity, alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses and works by attaching to toxins in the stomach and absorbing them before the bloodstream can. The theory behind including activated charcoal in beauty products follows similar lines – it will hopefully act like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt (i.e. “pollution”) and oil. I have seen it added to everything from cleansers to masks and even tooth whitener, but Dermalogica’s new lil' beauty is quite something again.
Differentiating it from other anti-pollution products on the market, the new Superfoliant delivers three key functions: resurfacing, purifying and protecting. It resurfaces via an advanced powder formula that activates upon contact with water, releasing powerful enzymes and skin-smoothing alpha hydroxyl acids (we love those!). Activated Bionchotan Charcoal is the goodie that purifies the skin, helping to adsorb environmental toxins from deep within the pores. Rice bran gives the powder its fine-but-effective grit, anti-inflammatory Niacinamide helps protect and lactic acid sloughs off dead skin cells. Amazing, yes?
So, how do you use it? After cleansing, pour out about half a teaspoon of the powder into wet hands (they must be wet, or forget about it) and slowly rub formula together until it forms a paste. When it starts to foam a little you know it has been properly activated, so then apply it – avoiding the eye area - in gentle circular motions for about a minute before thoroughly rinsing. The result? Glowing, even skin. Who doesn’t want that?
It is designed to be used daily, but if you have more sensitive skin like mine, apply on alternate days or twice a week. This beauty is available now, RRP $109.00.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Daily delight: Zayn Malik and Adwoa Aboah for Versus Versace

Love it: Lonely Lingerie AW 17 featuring Mercy Brewer

A couple of months ago when I interviewed Lonely lingerie designer and co-founder Helene Morris, talk naturally turned to the brand’s incredible Lonely Girls Project. The photographic phenomenon was launched not long after the lingerie label, and has become one of the key identifiers of the brand. It shows real customers and lovers of the brand wearing the lingerie, and was a direct reaction to traditional lingerie imagery. Helene has said in the past the goal was to "empower women, make them realise that they don't have to be a certain way to feel beautiful”, and it has been a consistently glorious, runaway success. More women are being discovered and photographed all the time, and Helene tells me “it’s incredible how it has connected the brand with women from all over the world. We are really proud of what we have achieved with it so far.”
The Lonely Girls are body confident and amazingly diverse, but often still quite young. When I asked if there are plans to feature older Lonely fans too, I got a definite “yes” from the designer. “We tend not to define age as a boundary for our customers,” said Helene, “but often we do find younger women more eager to come forward. Continuing to define our version of diversity is something we are passionate about.”
Well that was all very much about keeping the cat firmly in the bag as this week they unleashed the beauty you see here – images of the devastatingly gorgeous muse Mercy Brewer (56), as shot by Harry Were.
Originally from Scotland, Mercy was a punk in the 80s, lived in squats in London and then hit the runways with the likes of Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell in the 90’s, before moving to New Zealand with her husband in the early 2000s. Having lived such a rich and interesting life, Mercy perfectly embodies the Lonely spirit that celebrates strong, confident women who challenge societal norms and aren’t always represented in mainstream media.
“At Lonely, we feel that it is important to challenge what we see in our media with a more authentic reflection of beauty and hope to grow people’s visual vocabulary,” said Helene this week as the images were released. “The beauty and fashion industries are so obsessed with youth, but the reality is we are all ageing, and there are so many wonderful things about growing older. So often the primary message around age is intervention, which is a frustrating response to such a natural, inevitable process.”
Mercy, who first started modelling in the 1980s, is hopeful that these standards will continue to evolve as time goes on. “Perceptions of beauty have and always will change, therefore I think we can conclude its standard is not set in stone, and new beauty is always waiting to be discovered,” she said. “I believe we are in a moment in time where older women's beauty has been a startling revelation. If we don't recognise it, we, every one of us, deny ourselves a future to look forward to.”
Hallelujah to that! Now where’s my credit card? I think this collection is Lonely’s strongest yet…

All photos by Harry Were 
For more information about Lonely, visit www.lonelylabel.com

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Daily delight: Rihanna for Paper magazine

Beauty news: Olympia Le-Tan partners with Maison Lancôme

If you remember how much of a hit designer Olympia Le-Tan’s beautiful, limited edition makeup-filled minaudière for beauty giant Lancôme was a few years ago, then this news will come as no surprise… Maison Lancôme has just released a press update saying it is delighted to announce another, new collaboration with Le-Tan that will undoubtedly also be equally as gorgeous! 
This September, the cerebral Parisian fashion designer will join Lancôme in disclosing a “sexy, vintage and glamorous” make-up collection that will definitely appeal to lovers of Gallic style out there. 
The limited edition collaboration marks the latest chapter in Lancôme's long history of partnering with names in the fashion world, all of which have been completely unique. After Alber Elbaz, Yiqin Ying, Alexandre Vauthier, Jacquemus, Anthony Vaccarello and, more recently, Sonia Rykiel, it is Olympia Le-Tan's turn to express, for Lancôme, her feisty vision of women. 
Tremendously retro yet far from nostalgic, Olympia Le-Tan's fashion celebrates a free, sexy and original femininity. This technicolour, surreal, poetic and iconoclast universe is symbolised in her hand-embroidered minaudières, the definite must-haves for Parisian women and those seeking inspiration from them. 
"Olympia Le-Tan designs combine poetry and joie de vivre. A bridge between different eras, they reflect the spirit of our time, celebrating the free and personal beauty of each woman—a take on happiness shared by Lancôme," says Françoise Lehmann, General Manager of Lancôme International. 

This exclusive collection will be available at points of sale from September 2017 and I for one, am pretty damn excited.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Daily delight: Emma Watson for Vanity Fair

Love it: Jo Malone London’s The Bloomsbury Set

Each year Jo Malone London releases a Brit Collection, a limited edition line up of scents inspired by something special and something uniquely British. Last year’s offering was titled The Herb Garden Collection, and I fell in  love with it almost immediately. A limited edition collection of five fragrances inspired by "the aromatic artistry of herbs", it was completely unlike anything else being released at the time and was an unequivocal success. I’m predicting the same for the latest incarnation of the Jo Malone London Brit Collection, which takes the form of The Bloomsbury Set.
The  Bloomsbury Set limited edition fragrance collection celebrates the creative non conformists of the early 20th century known as the Bloomsbury Group, and their unconventional and bohemian lifestyle. The influential London collective of free thinkers included the likes of Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, E. M. Forster and Lytton Strachey, and their work and their motives were a step beyond the traditions of the Victorian era. Alongside their literary and artistic endeavours came new ideas on things such as sexuality, and the numerous romantic affairs (some homosexual, some bisexual, mostly very enthusiastic) between the men and women who made up this fluid set of friends were the stuff of legend.
The Bloomsbury Set fragrance collection consists of five scents as unconventional as the subject matter upon which they were based, composed by perfumer Yann Vasnier. They were designed to capture the intoxicating essence of the group’s aforementioned unconventional life in their legendary country house in Sussex - the lily pond at dawn, bold blue hyacinth, absinthe afternoons and golden linseed on paint-stained hands - and Jo Malone London sent the master perfumer to soak up the home’s atmosphere and surrounding gardens. The end result is carefully considered and really quite beautiful, and bound to fly off the shelves with much haste.
I always new that I would find something  - many things! – to love about the collection given Vasnier’s creative portfolio, which includes some of my all time favourite fragrances like Tom Ford’s Oud Fleur, Plum Japanese and Velvet Orchid and Arquist’s The Architects Club. There was always going to be something a little sexy in there, a little louche, as well as the unexpected. The final line up is the finely fragranced Blue Hyacinth, the evocative Garden Lilies, sexy Leather & Artemisia, heady Tobacco & Mandarin and complex Whisky & Cedarwood. My personal favourites are the last three due to their warm, unisex appeal, which I think will add to the collection’s success.
The Bloomsbury Set collection is on sale now from Jo Malone London Britomart and select department stores. Individual 30ml colognes will cost $114 and yes, you need them all!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Daily delight: Gigi Hadid for Vogue Arabia

All about: Ultraceuticals’ RVR90™ Campaign

In my position you get to try some pretty amazing, super high performance skincare products that actually work, and often they come at a considerable price point. For every hugely efficacious formula however, there are at least five “feelgood”, pretty looking duds, some of which also cost an arm and a leg. But how do you know which one works you, without shelling out a pretty penny to find out? Testers are a good start but often don’t contain enough product to really notice a difference, so I love it when brands release decent-sized, well-priced options to give their formulas a damn good go.  Ultraceuticals are so confident that you will fall in love with their products that they have done exactly that, and backed up some well-priced - $229 –skincare packs (see above) with a very honest campaign.
For those unfamiliar with the brand, Ultraceuticals was founded by Dr Geoffrey Heber, a cosmetic physician who opened one of the first non-surgical cosmetic medical clinics in Australia, Heber Davis Cosmetic Medicine, in 1988. It was there he recognised his clients’ needs for high performance skincare products that were more effective than those generally found in department stores and pharmacies, and started trialling various ranges from around the world. In 1998, determined to improve upon imported skincare ranges on the market, he formed a powerful team of Australian and international chemists charged with the goal of creating potent, effective and affordable cosmeceutical skincare products – and Ultraceuticals was born.
Almost twenty years later, Huber and his team are still in the business of creating potent, effective products, and use only the latest available ingredients and technologies to consistently release new products and improve existing ones. With a combination of sophisticated, patented delivery systems and potent, proven anti-ageing stars like Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), each product is formulated with maximum safety and effectiveness, so you get results which you can actually see.
Ultraceuticals are so confident in their creations that they have launched a campaign called RVR90™ - Real Visible Results in 90 days. The campaign runs across New Zealand and Australia with a vision to “empower people and boost inner-confidence by achieving their best skin yet”. The program is designed to restore people’s faith in an industry with often over-hyped claims by experiencing a high-performing, cruelty free, paraben free and scientifically proven range; giving Ultraceuticals 90 days to transform their skin.
Each year from February to April, the RVR90 program drives awareness around the effectiveness of Ultraceuticals and helps customers understand the treatment journey and commitment it takes to achieve desired results. A person’s skin journey is made up of a combination of homecare and in clinic treatments. They believe 70 per cent of outstanding skincare results are created through a great homecare regime, while the remaining percentage is accomplished through clinic treatments. 
The program involves a simple 3-step process: 
Step 1: Ultraceuticals skin technician identifies clients' core skin concern and selects the treatment serum to treat this concern from four categories: Fine Lines & Wrinkles, Loss of Firmness, Acne & Congestion, Coarse Texture & Dull Skin tone. 
Step 2: Skin technician then selects a skincare pack to suit clients' skin type (oily/normal or dry/normal). 
Step 3: Skin technician then prescribes a complete treatment plan to accelerate the client’s journey. 
Each $229.99 skincare pack contains three FULL-SIZE products, and customers who take part in the program are also given a promotional offer that also includes a free bonus serum. Ultraceuticals want to see a chain reaction of believers get the conversation started about how effectively they have changed their skin, encouraging those who take advantage of the campaign to share their skin journey and how they feel about it with the hashtags #ultraceuticals #RVR90. This is a pretty admirable move in my opinion, and further shows how much the team believes in their range.

If you’re keen to give it a go, Ultraceuticals stockists and clinic locations in New Zealand can be found here. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Daily delight: Angelina Jolie for Mon Guerlain

Love it: YSL THE SHOCK Volumising Mascara

I think everyone needs somewhat of a “wardrobe” of mascara formulas in their makeup arsenal, 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.
I personally love a fabulously luxe lash, and when I look for mascara I look for big, bold, lush and sexy. I love the power a great wand can wield over your eyes, and I have to confess that not many of the formuals in my wardrobe are of the “natural look” variety. I love a false lash and really layering it on, mainly due to the fact that I wore glasses every day for around thirty years and a pumped up lash was never an option for me. Now I’m able to wear contacts I do go a little crazy at times, but hey – humour me!
Mascara is also one of my favourite beauty products to test - the end results always vary greatly, and it’s the source of instant gratification when you’ve lucked onto a good one. The latest I’ve been using – and falling in love with – is a lot sexy and a little rock n’ roll, and comes from the amazing minds at YSL Beauté. Called THE SHOCK Volumising Mascara (AKA Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking) it is a volumising formula that does that exceptionally well, and a whole lot more. It seriously coats each lash with maximum volume in just one stroke and without clumping, making it super quick and easy to apply and damn, she lasts and lasts. 

The hourglass shaped brush allows more of what YSL call “the exclusive shock formula” to grab hold of lashes, and it is definitely not for the faint of heart. An amazing four reservoirs of mascara – two at each end – fully coat the brush with colour, whilst the creamy texture means it goes on like a dream. The aforementioned texture also lets each coat pretty much melt seamlessly into the one before it, so if you want your lash look to go big this formula will definitely let you do that.
With brilliant, high intensity colour and a serious wear time, it gives you dramatic lashes that don’t smudge, and at $66.00 is seriously in the affordable bracket for a luxury brand. I love that!
On counter March 20, it arrives along with several other beautiful products that help make up the YSL The Shock Eye Collection, including an eye gloss smudger to take that rock n’ roll effect to a whole new level of messy sophistication again. Start saving your pennies now, because this one is a goodie…