Friday, July 19, 2019

Daily delight: Kate Moss for Alexander McQueen AW19




Beauty destination: The NOW Massage, LA




If you read my post on the amazing Heyday a few weeks ago you’ll know that I was recently in Los Angeles, where I did a kind of Tour of Beauty so you don’t have to! Well you’ll probably want to given the amazing places I checked out, one of which was the massage and good vibes-giving marvel known as The NOW Massage.
In LA, your spiritual and emotional maintenance is as crucial as blowouts and facials, and thanks to the drop-in massage studio The NOW, the holistic benefits of massage—better sleep, lower anxiety and more—have become as accessible (and affordable) as having a professional help give you great hair on a Friday night.
Since they opened their first studio in 2015, The NOW  studios have become an Angeleno go-to for high-quality massages in a calm and chic space that won't break the bank. Co-founder and Creative Director Gara Post was responsible for helping create the look and feel of each relaxation destination, and you feel the bliss wash over you from the moment you walk through the doors. I visited the West Hollywood location and began snapping for Instagram the minute that I crossed over the threshold, envisaging creating a similar vibe at home as soon as a landed back in New Zealand. Post’s vision was always to embrace a 'minimalist, soothing aesthetic' to whisk away the stressors of daily city life, creating an oasis in the city and an escape from the fast-paced, digital overload we experience on a daily basis. The idea was to bring nature indoors, and incorporate raw elements and natural materials that conjure smells and scenes from exotic destinations, and it most definitely works. All wood surfaces, whitewashed walls and kilim pillows, the spaces ever have hand-made crystal grid installations to give positive energy to each boutique.
Like Drybar and Heyday, The NOW has taken an indulgence and made it more accessible every day, with a price within reach for many looking to incorporate regular massage into their lives. We booked in advance but they also welcome drop ins, with several beds on the go at once in their blissful locales.
For a place offering such affordable services, The NOW’s menu is impressively broad. I went for the signature massage known just as “The NOW”—a blend of Swedish and Thai techniques – with a CBD balm and gua sha add-on. I felt like I was walking on air when I left, and took home my own rose quartz gua sha and pot of balm that I have used more than a few times since returning home. They also offer their own body oil to buy, and a range of beautifully curated body and wellness-focused products that are well worth a browse through.
With four locations now open in LA, The NOW is most definitely a place to book into the minute you hit the city. Beat the jet lag and ease yourself into the Californian way of life, one smooth stroke at a time.
For bookings and pricing head here.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Daily delight: Yara Shahidi for Harper’s Bazaar US




Love it: Kérastase's new 8H Magic Night Serum



Continuing on their quest to create high performance haircare with the kind of careful approach more akin to next level, luxury skincare, the amazing team at Kérastase has unveiled what is quite possibly the missing step in your bedtime routine.
You wouldn’t dream of hitting the sheets without completing your night time beauty routine, but what about your hair? Is it just a matter of pulling it all back in a ballerina bun and be done with it? Known for serving up the most luxe of haircare products, Kérastase's new 8H Magic Night Serum has arrived to enable you to seamlessly bring haircare into your nightly routine and redefine the term ‘beauty sleep’ when it comes to your locks.
An overnight leave-in serum that is in salon now, 8H Magic Night Serum gives a nourishing boost to all dry hair types – be they wavy, straight or curly.  Super lightweight to use and quickly absorbed, it tackles the likes of dryness, dullness, damage and breakage with aplomb, going to work and delivering real results while you sleep.
Key ingredients in the formula include Iris Root Extract – which continually nurtures and coats hair fibres over eight hours, while reversing loss of nutrients – and a Five Vitamin Blend that seals nutrients and anchors roots to leave the hair with a truly satin finish. And not only does the product replenish the nutrients and moisture lost from factors such as hot-tool styling and environmental elements during the day, but it also takes into consideration the challenges hair meets when you're sleeping. How so? I use a silk satin pillowcase, but other types can lead to hair cuticle damage. 8H Magic Night Serum works to protect your strands from pillow friction and provides hydration to combat the drying effects brought on by any heat or AC in your bedroom.
The easy-to-use serum's process is made up of two simple steps, so although it is an extra step in your routine, it’s not an arduous one. First, spread the product in your hands, and then disperse it evenly throughout your hair lengths and ends. The milky-gel like cream literally melts into the hair and is quickly absorbed, leaving behind a soothing lavender essence to help with deep sleep.
The next morning there is no need to get up early to rinse, just roll out of bed with lightweight, shiny strands.
Kérastase 8H Magic Night Serum has an RRP of $70 - which isn’t cheap, but think about how much you spent on your last moisturiser! And you wouldn’t dream of hitting the sheets without completing your night time beauty routine, would you?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Daily delight: Ariana Grande for Givenchy Fall19




Love it: the Living Proof Colour Care Collection




I have been obsessed by the cult US haircare brand Living Proof since it first launched, buying up bits and pieces from the collection whenever I passed through the States. I have their travel minis on hand for whenever I’m lucky enough to be boarding a plane (their dry shampoo just may be the Holy Grail of its ilk), and have used their shampoos and conditioners over the years whenever I have enough space in my luggage to stock up.
So, when the brand landed locally at Mecca Cosmetica I was over the moon, and basically said goodbye to ever having spare cash again… ha ha! The latest specialist release from Living Proof is one I am lucky enough to have been gifted, and have been putting to the test since it arrived on my doorstep. Called the Colour Care collection, each product features a silicone-free system that effectively helps stop colour fading and improves the health of hair over time, without any trade-offs. When you consider how often you need to tone and or refresh your colour to keep it looking flawless this is a huge bonus in terms of hair health (as well as your wallet’s), and I could not have been happier to give it a whirl.
The breakthrough Colour Care system in the line that makes hair colour last an amazing two times longer is powered by the newest patented technology, the Locking Molecule (CPULA), which helps lock in colour - even after your hair has been rinsed. There is even a UV filter in Colour Care Shampoo that is positively charged so it’s substantive to hair and actually limits wash-off. Amazing.
The collection features a Shampoo, Conditioner and two shades of Whipped Glazes, all of which are formulated without the silicones typically used in colour care ranges. Additionally, it is sulphate-free and includes other ingredients that provide benefits for colour-treated hair, and I’m totally in love. The Colour Care Shampoo protects against hard water as well as UV, whilst the Colour Care Conditioner forms a protective layer to help lock in colour and helps replenish the outer layer often damaged during the colouring process. The latter has been an absolute godsend for my damaged ends, eliminating frizz and keeping my tone super fresh. The Colour Care Whipped Glaze comes in Light and Dark, and essentially deposits temporary colour to instantly boost vibrancy, counteract fading and rebalance tone and/or brassiness. You apply them to clean, detangled towel-dried hair by applying a small amount through sections, from roots to ends. Comb through to evenly distribute - applying more as needed – then drying and styling as usual. Too easy. You can reapply your glaze as needed to maintain your desired colour, and it’s recommended that you begin using your glaze when you first start to see a shift in your tone. 
The Living Proof Colour Care collection is available right now in New Zealand exclusively at Mecca Cosmetica, Mecca Maxima and online at meccabeauty.co.nz 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for Puma Nova



All about: new Dose & Co




A few months ago I first heard word of Dose & Co, a new health and wellness supplement range by New Zealand-born, US-based naturopath and nutritionist, Libby Matthews (above). I was immediately intrigued and now I’ve tried some of their offering – totally in love.
Also the co-founder of Two Islands Co. (although no longer with the company), I first met Libby when she and her sister began the Julia & Libby brand, which became known around town for creating deliciously decadent recipes free of refined sugar, as well as often dairy free, gluten free and vegan. Libby herself has always been the ultimate picture of health and wellbeing, and clearly well qualified to do her own thing when the right time came about.
That ‘thing’ is the aforementioned Dose & Co, which is a range of clean, sustainable probiotic protein powders and bio-available collagen powders that have been designed with good health and great taste top of mind. Focused on improving health from the inside out, each product has been developed to improve gut health through nourishing, high quality ingredients free of fillers and artificial flavours – and the one I’ve been taking tastes pretty amazing too.
The range features two New Zealand ‘firsts’ – the first probiotic protein powder and first collagen creamer (specifically designed to be added to coffee).  These are formulated using only clean ingredients that have been sustainably sourced (an absolute must when it comes to collagen supplements), and what they come in has been just as carefully thought out. Alongside spending a huge amount of time sourcing sustainable and clean ingredients that taste great, Libby took the upmost care when considering the packaging, which is fully biodegradable - the carton, spoon, packaging (even using paper cellotape).  
In Libby’s words, “the range has been designed with simplicity in mind - the easier it is for you to adopt, the more likely you are to use it and the longer you’ll feel the benefits. Whether it’s the addition of the Collagen Creamer to your morning coffee, a scoop of the protein powder into your post workout smoothie, or swapping out flour for protein powder in baking.”
I haven’t tried the plant- based probiotic protein powder, but it sounds like a definite winner. As well as containing easily-absorbed GanedenBC30 probiotics, it has been made up of European GMO-free yellow pea protein, which has been mixed into three flavours: Chocolate Fudge; Creamy Vanilla and Salted Caramel Toffee. “It was really important to me to use natural, clean ingredients,” says Libby, “so instead of the usual sweeteners used in protein powders and supplements, we have used Monk fruit extract. Monk fruit extract has high antioxidant properties, contains zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and it does not affect blood sugar levels making it suitable for diabetics.” 
The Collagen Creamer I have used, both in my coffee and smoothies. It uses German Bovine collagen which helps improve digestive health as well as skin, hair, nails and bone health. With a base of coconut milk, it is packed with MCT fats, so is perfect for those following the KETO and Paleo diets, and it’s available in two flavours: Vanilla and Mocha. 
Available from doseandco.com, the Protein Powder comes in two sizes, $54.90 for 500 grams, and $94.90 for 1kg, whilst the Collagen Creamer comes in a very pretty 350 gram tub for $54.90. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Daily delight: Kim Kardashian for Vogue Japan




What a steal: Rimmel’s new Wonder’Full Brow



There has been a full focus placed on brows over the last few years, with brow styles now ever evolving and a slew of products you can use to create your ‘best brows ever’. Many of these products are unnecessary IMHO, and often wildly overpriced considering how little they do.
One product that I do think is an absolute no-brainer however is a great brow gel, and when they come complete with a tint it’s even better. Some of the luxury brands have released their own versions that are insanely sub-par given the price point, but one high street brand that has absolutely nailed a truly high performance brow gel is Rimmel – and it’s less than $18 a tube!
Called Wonder’Full Brow, it is a seriously impressive, 24 hour wear, waterproof brow gel with fibres that ensure daily arch perfection that lasts and lasts. The key element is the aforementioned 2mm flower-shaped fibres, which impart major volume and fullness and make it perfect for between brow services as well as doing a very admirable job all on its own. With three shades on offer it is officially an all-in-one marvel, as it colours, fills and tames brows in a single stroke to easily build full, perfected arches that wear all day and night. 
It also comes with a mistake-proof application factor as the tiny tapered brush accurately grabs and coats each and every hair. With three carefully selected shades to choose from – Blonde, Medium Brown and Dark Brown – it’s easy to find the right flattering hue for you, and it’s easy to remove at the end of the night. I highly recommend this truly magical formula, and the price makes it a serious beauty steal if ever there was one.
Rimmel Wonder’Full Brow comes with an RRP of $17.99 and is available right now from Farmers, The Warehouse, Kmart, and Chemist Warehouse stores. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Daily delight: Kristen Stewart for Vogue Korea




All about: Kaia naturals’ takesumi detox deodorant



When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago, I went hard on eliminating any sort of unnecessary chemical use from my daily routine – and that included my deodorant. The aluminium found in many mainstream deodorant formulas has been what most has been cited in the headlines more than anything else, with claims that using deodorants or antiperspirants increase your risk of breast cancer floating around now for several years. As yet no convincing link has been established between the aforementioned aluminium content and cancer but hey, the less a chemical load I can put in my body, the better.
Over the years I’ve tried a few deodorants from the natural world, with varying degrees of success. I’m lucky that I’m not the sweatiest of people, because I have to say that since they first started arriving on the scene, most natural deodorants literally reeked of issues. They weren't particularly easy to use, nor were they able to keep you smelling fresh until the end of the day. But after years of research, cosmetic chemists kept chugging until they found formulas that are just as good as the other deodorants you know and love. 
One brand that is new to New Zealand and a major player on the natural deordorant scene is Kaia naturals, who created the first ever bamboo charcoal deodorant stick, the takesumi detox®. Takesumi (activated bamboo charcoal) is a time-honoured Japanese secret for odour control and detoxification and yep, it works. Charcoal acts like a magnet to pull toxins from sweat glands and neutralises underarm bacteria to eliminate odour, and their beautiful formula also comes with a range of natural scents. I took a mini-sized, Sakura scented version to California with me recently and it most definitely performed – even in 43 degree Palm Springs heat!
The takesumi detox is 100 per cent non-toxic, cruelty-free and vegan, and the high performance formula stays away from traditional natural deodorant ingredients, which often include irritating baking soda and coconut oil. There is no Aluminum, Propylene glycol, Parabens or Phthalates in there either, making it a no brainer if you’re looking to make the switch.
If you’re new to natural deodorant, you may go through a period of ‘detox’, which if you persevere with will deliver a great end result. A two to four-week transition period can be expected when changing from antiperspirant to natural deodorant, during which time underarm odour and moisture levels will normalize as your body adjusts. Studies show that antiperspirant users experience an increase in odorous bacteria in the underarm area when they stop using antiperspirant, as well as a little additional moisture, which is temporary. Fight on through and your body will thank you for it – I promise!
With an RRP of $39, Kaia naturals’ takesumi detox is available in six artisanal blends, depending on your taste. Sakura Blossom is pretty and spring-like, whilst Cold Pressed Rose is a delicate floral. Nordic Frost is cool and considered, whilst English Lime Mint is fresh and summer-y. Last up, Mandarin Pomelo is perfect for citrus lovers, and Black Oak & Bourbon is rich and woody.
Kaia naturals also offer The Underarm Bar, a handy add-on for sports lovers that transforms any natural deodorant into extra strength odour protection. Formulated with apple cider vinegar and charcoal, it basically eliminates bacteria on your skin BEFORE applying natural deodorant and has an RRP of $39.
To find a stockist near you, email info@beautycare.co.nz 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Daily delight: Gigi Hadid for Michael Kors Wonderlust




Beauty news: ghd’s new ink on pink collection



As a two-time breast cancer survivor, I always appreciate it when a beauty brand decides to “go pink” for the cause and actually commits to it year after year. A lot don’t, believe me! Many a brand will jump on the bandwagon to leverage a few sales, then disappear the following year when a newer, shinier charity takes their eye.
This is vastly unlike ghd, who have been in it for the long haul. This is the fifteenth (seriously, fifteen!) year that ghd New Zealand has served up an amazing fundraising initiative for the Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand, having already donated an over $1,000,000 to the charity through sales of their annual, highly coveted ghd pink stylers. The work done by the BCFNZ is vital for people like me, and their services that I have accessed over the years have made an incredible impact at a very difficult time.
But on to this year’s limited edition styling tools at hand, which were unveiled on July 1 and are available now. To date the ghd brand has helped raise over $15 million for breast cancer charities globally, and this year they have partnered with Chicago-based tattoo artist, David Allen to create perhaps their most beautiful – and thoughtful – offering yet. 
For almost ten years now, David has made his mission to help women reclaim their femininity after breast cancer by concealing their mastectomy scars with beautiful floral design. He is widely recognised within the medical community, working with oncologists for advice when creating these intricate designs. As the only editable design, flowers are used as they symbolise life, rebirth and femininity, empowering women and giving back the control over their bodies. 
 “I had open heart surgery when I was 9 months old,’ explains David, “and so I was aware of scars and markings on the body. You start to know your good and bad angles – what is and isn’t comfortable. I had a woman in New York keep getting in touch about my tattoos. She had had a single mastectomy and construction and wanted me to tattoo where her scarring was, but no - I hadn’t ever done this kind of tattoo before and knew that the skin would have healed differently. She was so persistent that I ended up flying to Baltimore to meet her and discuss with her further. During this process I was hands on with someone and watching them heal. I was using my craft and work, which overwhelmed me – I had to take a break and weep.”
He posted it online once the work was complete and it went viral. He suddenly had an influx of demand from other women who had seen it and wanted something similar, and now he does between 6 and 8 mastectomy tattoos a month – it’s a long process and takes a whole day to complete. Each design is totally different and they look amazing – I wish that I could have David help with covering mine, one can but dream!
Collaborating with David Allen for the designs of the stylers, ghd brought in two women to be the muse of this year’s limited edition collection - Grace Lombardo and Molly Weingart. Grace is 38 year old mother of three, living in Chicago.  In April 2016, Grace was diagnosed with breast cancer, going through a bilateral mastectomy. A year later, she trusted David to conceal her scars. Molly is a 33-year-old woman living in Philadelphia training to be a Physical Therapist. Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32, Molly was tattooed by the Chicago-based tattoo artist on the shoot of the ghd pink campaign. She came to the shoot with her mum Deborah, who survived breast cancer herself 20 years ago.
The end result is just beautiful – see the pics above and below – and the fact that the design is featured on ghd’s award-winning ghd platinum+ and ghd gold stylers makes it even more covetable. 
The ghd ink on pink collection is available right now, with $20 from every pink limited edition styler sold going to the Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand. So what are you waiting for?