Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday essential 1: Borne Naked Liners

The website for Borne Naked Handbag Liners claims that it clearly organises and de-clutters your handbag, "making it quicker and easier than ever to transfer your essentials from your Gucci tote to your Chloe clutch... not to mention keeping your handbag clean and neat". I say take that one step further and use them all Summer long, especially considering the multitude of bags one carts about at this time of year ie. beach bag, handbag, weekender, suitcase etc etc.... the list is endless. It stops the all-too-familiar disasters that occur when sunblock tubes leak or lipsticks melt and essentially fester up your bag, whichever little favourite it may be. These are a definite "no regret" buy that you really just can't live without. Rave over.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Daily delight: Beyonce turns up the Heat

The diva certainly turns it up in this advertisement for her new fragrance, Heat, but what I love most is her easy, undone hair and killer nude make up look... the woman should go for this look more often - god knows what Heat smells like, but Ms. Knowles is absolutely gorgeous!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Too pretty! M.A.C Crush Metal Pigment - stacked gorgeousness!

I just received a look into M.A.C's newest colour forecasts for the Northern Hemisphere Spring, and have fallen in love with yet another limited edition cutie - Crushed Metal Pigment in the Set known as "Stacked 1". A set of four gorgeous shades that stack together and help create the look seen above, it includes Pale Pink Frost, Light Lilac Frost, Mid-Tone Rose Frost and Dark Purple Frost, which can be worn alone or layered as much as you can handle. Definitely a pretty party look if ever I saw one, it just begs you get creative. Love it.

Daily delight: in praise of Hissyfit...

I had my first proper weekend away in the sun this past few days – sad, I know – and grabbed the sunblock nearest to me when I left the house. This happened to be Hissyfit’s Body Double, and it’s wonderful smell reminded me immediately why I spent all of last Summer lathered head to toe in the stuff. A luxurious body lotion that pampers, protects and hydrates the skin, it is about as effective as it gets as well as doubling as one hell of a gorgeous body lotion. With pure botanical extracts of aloe vera and Australian daisy cehami, the silky smooth formulation provides long lasting hydration, while the high protection sunscreen guards against environmental damage and the effects on UVA/UVB rays.
That super duper fragrance is a subtle cocktail of vanilla, almond, orange and grapefruit, and makes you want to use it, as opposed to just knowing you have to. I’m also a fan of Hissyfit’s Handy Work, which is a luxe hand cream and SPF 30+ broad spectrum sun protection in one with soothing aloe and vitamin E. The fragrance this time around is orange & mint. Both products are proudly Australian made using the finest ingredients, including powerful botanical extracts such as the Australian indigenous daisy 'cehami' (centipedia cunninghamii). If you haven’t tried this range then I suggest you do with some haste – it looks like Summer is finally here to stay!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Daily delight: Aaron De Mey's Ô My Rose!

When I first heard that New Zealand-born make up artist Aaron De Mey had been named as the Artistic Director for Make Up of French mega brand Lancôme, I was beyond delighted. I’ve always loved his punky, sometimes DIY aesthetic as an artist, and knew he would bring a whole new set of tricks and definition of beauty to the much loved brand. His first collection was all strong lips, black nails and a fresh look at 80’s sensuality, but his latest – titled Ô My Rose! – is at the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to its key look, and demonstrates a softer side to the make up maestro himself. An ode to the grace of the Sixties Nouvelle Vague woman and fresh French beauty, the collection is full of pop shades, coral tones and a brand new joie de vivre. My personal faves include the gorgeous Pop’ n’ Cheeks - a fresh, glowing blush that works on any skin tone - and Le Khol Gloss in Pop Petrol, a high shine eye pencil in a beautiful aqua green. The image of Elettra Wiedemann above, surrounded by roses like a flower in bloom, reveals the spirit behind Ô My Rose! and is the epitome of pop sensuality and just plain loveliness. The original visual was photographed in Paris by Ruven Afanador, who is famous for his ultra feminine portraits of beautiful women. The collection is on counter on March 23 (my birthday!) and is all set to breathe a touch of sexy Spring attitude into the Southern Hemisphere Fall.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Delight delight: an ode to my Maia - don't leave home without it!

A few posts back I mentioned the new Dr LeWinns Medic range, which is designed to help eczema sufferers everywhere – and there are a lot of them. Between 10-25 per cent of New Zealander’s have eczema (Atopic Dermatitis), and the number has risen dramatically over the past 50 years. Eczema has a tendency to run in families. If both parents have eczema, there is an 80 per cent chance that their children will too with 90 per cent of eczema sufferers are diagnosed before the age of 5 years.
A recent study undertaken in New Zealand on the benefits of reducing the effects of chlorine on the skin of Eczema patients has been published in the NZ Medical Journal. The findings of the research showed that the respondents - whilst maintaining their regime of topically applied prescriptions - who used a Maia shower attachment on their usual showerhead containing the Vitamin C filter noticed a reduction in exacerbations or flares in their Eczema for the eight week duration of the research program. Historically, Dermatologists have also recommended that Eczema sufferers shower rather than bathe simply to reduce the amount of time bathing in chlorinated bath water. While chlorine is an important part of the water purifying process to eliminate bacteria, the chlorine, chloramines and the gases generated from chlorine in the shower have some detrimental effects on our body. Anyone who has ever swum in a chlorinated pool knows how harsh chlorine is on the skin and hair. Chlorine is known to strip the skin of its natural protective barrier and is thus drying to both the skin and the hair; not to mention altering hair colour too – think the green tinged blonde who is all too familiar come Summer!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Daily delight: Lady GaGa and Cyndi Lauper for M.A.C... a first glimpse

The first image released of the blonde-tastic, super glam duo...

More than welcome: Dr. LeWinn’s Medic

I was an eczema baby and my son Wolf is heading down the same path – albeit a milder one, fingers crossed – so I was immediately interested when I was given a sample pack of products from the new Dr. LeWinn’s Medic range. Primarily a range of skincare products suitable for very dry/sensitive and acne-prone skin, it is dermatologist and allergy tested and developed with the support of the Eczema Association of Australasia and can be used to help treat a raft of skin conditions including chronic dryness, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne. It sources high quality, scientifically tested active botanicals that are used at optimum concentration to allow the products to work faster and with higher efficacy, and importantly, the products are free from soap, SLS, SLES, steroids, parabens, paraffin oil, lanolin, artificial colours and fragrances. Two that caught my eye in particular were the Protective Bath Oil and Relief Cream, both of which can be used on bubs. The Protective Bath Oil is a water-dispersible emollient bath oil to soothe, moisturise and protect dry, irritated skin. It is free from paraffin oil (hallelujah) and features a blend that includes St. John’s Wort oil, olive oil and tea oil. It is suitable for sensitive skin including those prone to eczema, psoriasis and chronic dryness. You can add it to a warm bath or massage gently into wet skin after showering and pat dry. The Relief Cream is a nourishing cream that soothes irritated skin and helps provide immediate relief by rehydrating the skin and forming a protective barrier against dryness. It contains no steroids and features a blend that includes Canadian willowherb extract and modukine (milk protein, a traditional skin soother), known for their skin-calming properties. Lather it on as liberally as you like and you’re good to go. Thanks Dr LeWinn’s for creating skincare with a purpose other than keeping us looking young, namely treating an all-too familiar condition!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Daily delight: BIO ACTIVES, a different view on skincare

It takes a lot to get me excited about a new “natural” skincare range, mainly due to the fact that there are so many pretenders to the label, with many of them being about as natural as a latex mini skirt. When someone with a huge knowledge of the industry pints a new one in my direction however, I do sit up and take notice.
Lucy Vincent-Marr was impressed by the BIO ACTIVES range so much that she decided to stock it in her brand new Marr Lab venture at The Department Store in Takapuna, and is also offering a range of facial treatments using the products in her beauty spot, Lucy & The Powder Room. Not just puffery and fancy packaging, the BIO ACTIVES range of cosmeceuticals has been expertly engineered with the latest cutting edge optically pure actives from medical science and nature to protect, nurture, revitalise, and cosmetically restructure your most precious asset. Whether it’s the look of imperfections that’s marring your appearance or the lines of time that announce your age, BIO ACTIVES promise to deliver the youthful glowing skin and complexion that we all so desire in no time at all. A perfect mix of nature and science this just may be, and they have the scientific data to back it up. They claim that their Extreme C 20 can give you firmer less wrinkled, brighter looking skin and wipe up to 4.58 years off your skin’s appearance in just 84 days, which is no small call! Working with mother nature and never against her, the range is always free of parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, propylene glycol, petrochemicals, artificial colours and synthetic fragrances, because they believe - and quite rightly so – that skin in need should be nurtured and never tortured. And naturally BIO ACTIVES is never tested on animals. I’m off to have a look at the products myself later this week, including the charmingly named Jungle Brew Problem Skin Serum and Retinol Brulee Retinol Serum (for skin resurfacing without the trauma!), whilst the EXFO L L 15 Exfoliating Serum sounds right up my alley as I usually shun the use of scrubs whenever I can. All verrrry interesting stuff, and I haven’t even looked into their in-salon treatments yet!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Daily delight: SANS Activator 7 Body Oil

Back when I first looked into Lucy Vincent-Marr's brand new hair and body care range SANS, I mentioned that I was dying to try the Activator 7 Body Oil (I'm a freak for a great body oil, and they are surprisingly hard to find). Well I've been washing and conditioning my hair of late with the new to-kill-for brand's shampoo and conditioner with great results and - finally! - I got my hands on the body oil mid-way through last week. So what's the verdict? BEYOND worth the wait... This beautiful formulation hydrates and feels gently healing, as well as leaving not a trace of grease or residue on my skin post-shower. Ingredients include Vitamin A, Omega 3, 6, 9 and Vitamin E, which means that as well as being a welcome addition to your daily routine it also addresses sun damage, scars and stretch marks. Oh, and did I mention it smells good enough to eat, in a very unobtrusive way? Killer product, new must have. Bang!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fabulous Friday: 10 minutes with Lipstick Queen creator, Poppy King

After I tried Lipstick Queen’s Invisible Liner a few days ago – a magical discovery if ever there was one – I remembered how much I loved Poppy King’s lipsticks back in the 1990’s, and how much I am loving what she is doing now. She is truly devoted to the task of creating the perfect lippy, and executing that task with sass, smarts and style.
Feeling inspired, I decided to try and track her down via the big dirty beast known as Facebook, and what do you know? Within 24 hours we were having a quick chat about her reincarnation of sorts as Lipstick Queen, and delving a little into her life-long obsession with lipstick.

What is your very first lipstick memory, Poppy - a teacher's devotion to a cherry red, your own early efforts?
Playing dress ups with my mum’s Biba lipsticks and feeling like I was a superhero female as soon I put it on.

Did you ever envisage that you would make your love of lipstick your career, your life even?
Only in my wildest dreams did I think I could make my living from the exploration of what defines female glamour, and my devotion to the icon of that, which I think is lipstick... So in other words no, I never envisaged it - I just hoped for it, and somehow that hope came true and has been coming true ever since.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Daily delight: Joico's Colour Endure Restorative Styling Oil

This may well be the answer to repairing damaged hair this Summer (or post-Summer if you're a Northern Hemisphere dweller) - a featherweight combination of three oils designed to nourish and repair. Called the "elixir of life for dull, lifeless colour-treated hair", Joico's K-PAK Colour Endure Restorative Styling Oil uses African Manketti, Argan and Evening Primrose oils to seal the hair's cuticle, locking in both colour and shine. As a more than welcome by-product, it also makes hair super soft and reducing drying and styling time. And don't be put off by the word "oil" if your hair is fine - this works on all hair types with equally great results. For fine hair, evenly distribute a small amount into the lengths and ends and then blow dry and style. For thicker hair, distribute evenly in dry hair and style.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Daily delight: M.A.C Mineralize Foundation... in a compact!

I'm a huge fan of M.A.C's Mineralize range of foundations with SPF, but have always found the packaging a little hard to use and not as portable as I'd like. I prayed, and the good lord of beauty must have heard me - they are available from 2010 in a handbag friendly, easily dispensable compact! A rich, luxurious solid cream compact at that, with a liquid mineral infusion and essential SFPF. Hooray! Thank you M.A.C, my day has officially been made...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Daily delight: the truly amazing Lipstick Queen’s Invisible Lip Liner

I had to try it to believe it – finally, a lip liner that matches every lipstick and every lip tone! And endures! Surely one for every woman’s make up bag – and another in the bathroom at home, the car glove box etc – is Lipstick Queen’s Invisible Lip Liner. A silicone based mechanical liner, it invisibly creates a defining lip edge to prevent dark colours (in my case, Lipstick Queen’s Red Sinner) from bleeding. It’s even self sharpening! The creation of Australian beauty star Poppy King (pictured left), I secretly knew it would be a winner. I started wearing Poppy’s lipsticks and glosses back in the early 1990’s, when the then-teenager launched her fledgling brand under her own name, Poppy. She has said, “I did this because I couldn’t find any lipsticks I liked. They were all thin, slimy and too greasy feeling. Plus there were no deep colors or browns and most reds went pink. I wanted lipsticks that gave me the look of the 1940’s. Rich, opaque and filled with pigment...”, and clearly a lot of other women wanted that too. A runaway success internationally, the brand was around for twelve years

before she was approached in 2002 to move to New York and join a large cosmetic company. Fast forward a few years and the entrepreneurial spirit was still as strong as ever, leading to King launching the wonderfully named Lipstick Queen collection. If you haven’t checked out this brand then I urge you to do so, ASAP.

Heidi Klum: ridiculously good looking hair

Not many celebrities can be papped looking like an ad for a hair care range, but Heidi can! Now if only they could bottle it...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Servilles Summer lovin'

Summer is always my favourite season for hair, a time when you can get away with beachy waves and can lock your straighteners away in the cupboard for at least a few months. Unfortunately, it's also the season when hair can sustain the most damage, leading to faded out colour and split ends that all too often get left to your hair stylist to sort out come the cooler months.
I spoke to Louise Pilkington, owner of Servilles Ponsonby, about how to deal with the fallout that comes with post-Summer hair and she said that first and foremost, prevention is key. “The main trend for this Summer is having your hair in top condition,” she explains, “and that means using great product that is tailored to your hair type. We don't want our clients to destroy their hair over the Summer months and there are so many great products to care for colour and general condition.” She says that the sun is always going to do its bit, but using luxurious products with a UV filter will minimise the damage it causes, and cost you less in the long run. Her picks for some great brands that will do the trick are Pureology (which has zero sulphates, protecting the colour from fading) and the Kerastase Soleil range, which has a UV filter in every product in the range.
She says that in terms of hair style, the look for Summer is “bouncy, sexy, wavy, beachy hair” and what she calls “Mermaid Waves”, which are waves that extend back from the face and are flattering on just about anyone. Think the signature Victoria's Secret long and lustrous look, which Louise says can be quite simple to achieve if you know how. “You can pretty much come out of the sea and shake dry your hair, letting the salt bring in your natural curl,” she says, “then using tongs curl the pieces of hair around your face back a little, to add some polish if you're off out at night. Leave the rest as natural as possible, Summer hair should be easy hair.” If you're hair is of the shorter variety, the key trends are equally as low maintenance, with lots of “cute and structured shapes that you can play with”. She says that a messed up version of the classic Vidal Sassoon bob is a popular, “which you can also slick back off your face for a more androgynous look”. She says that in terms of colour it's popular to go with what is happening to your hair naturally, meaning “enhancing your hair using blondes, but with a smudged in effect that is really natural”, and it's also the one time of the year you can go crazy with accessories like clips and flowers.
Her final tip? A weekly blow wave at your favourite salon, which will keep your hair looking great that night and for a few after. “We have the Hotness Ticket at Servilles,” she explains, “which is a card that costs $100.00 and gives you five trips to the salon for a finishing touch. Show up with clean, dry hair and we'll do the rest!”

Daily delight: wake up to Rootalicious!

Original & Mineral are an Australian hair care brand that are true pioneers when it comes to creating hair products that care for your body and the planet, as well as actually bloody working – a surprisingly rare combination! I was introduced to the brand by Lucy Marr when I was pregnant and looking to truly steer clear of anything with an ingredient list that read like a science project, and O&M was the brand she held up as being the best in the business. The O&M product range is available at selected O&M salons across Australia and New Zealand, and is proudly free of sulphates, parabens, MIT, phthlates, Triclosan and Proplene Gycol. The range also contains a UVA protectant, helping to keep hair healthy and happy. Even their award winning packaging is both recyclable and ridiculously good looking, and their product list is growing by the day. The latest new addition is the fabulously named Rootalicious, which is a must have mousse designed to bring body and texture to even the finest hair. The lightweight formula creates fullness and allows natural movement whilst leaving hair soft and shiny, and definitely not weighed down with sticky build up. Rootalicious adds volume by forming an invisible barrier around the roots giving them both support and lift while an Australian trifecta of natural actives Kakadu Plum, Lilly Pilly and Quandong combine to protect and add condition. If you’re in the market for bouncy, Summer hair then this is the product for you – I can’t wait to rip it mine!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Daily delight: some fabulous news from Snowberry

In some very exciting news for the company, New Zealand premium anti-ageing skin care brand Snowberry opens this week in the prestige UK department store Harvey Nichols. Snowberry will be in Beyond Beauty in stores in Knightsbridge in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin. This follows Snowberry’s entry to the Hong Kong market, also in partnership with Harvey Nichols. Congratulations to Soraya, Greg and her team - and to UK lovers of beautiful skincare, you lucky ducks!

Proof that you CAN do a strong lip and eye... well if you're Penelope Cruz in Interview mag, that is

Celebrating a legend: Orly

I was going to call this post “The Return of Orly”, but the internationally-acclaimed nail care brand has never really been away. It has been below my radar though, until I saw the latest colours and was reminded just what a great, category-leading name it is. When Jeff Pink founded Orly in 1975, he was motivated by what seems a very simple idea: to innovate natural nail care. So, he set about creating leading-edge products and tools designed not only to make nails look incredible, but to respond to the needs of the professionals i.e. those thousands of manicurists around the globe who have our hands quite literally, in their’s. What I didn’t know however, was that clever Jeff was also the creator of the now-legendary French manicure, a look that has endured for over 30 years and is still in vogue with everyone from brides to the hip and the haute. “The idea of the French manicure look came to me while I was starting Orly back in 1975,” he has said, “movie and television directors wanted a versatile nail style to compliment a Hollywood star’s entire onset wardrobe. They were looking for a singular look that would coordinate with the numerous wardrobe changes actresses had to make in one day. Once I started having the movie star stylists paint the nails with a white tip and a sheer, the celebrities loved it! I realised the most elegant, universal nail look is a natural nail look”. Jeff took his look, at the time dubbed the “The Natural Nail Look”, to the runways of Paris where the models and designers also lapped it up. On the plane ride home to the US, Jeff decided to rename his creation The French Manicure, in honor of his new friends in Paris. And the rest, as you say, is history.
Fast forward to the now however, and Orly is still here and still creating some of the hottest colours each season that are free of DBP, toluene, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin. My pick for Summer is Green Apple – a little brighter than Chanel’s Jade, it’s guaranteed to add a little sunshine to any old pedicure.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And for a slightly more user-friendly version of the GaGa 4 Elle cover...

Daily delight: WORLD Beauty's cachet of classics for Christmas...

If you live in Auckland City and have got more of a leaning towards the classics when it comes to fragrance, the WORLD Beauty store is one of the best stockists I've found of the tried and true legends of the perfume world. On the shelves of its two branches – Ponsonby and Vulcan Lane - you'll find YSL's Paris, Joy by Jean Patou, First by Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier Must, 4711 and even the first Boucheron fragrance - the first ever fragrance created by a couture house. They also have an exclusive on three Robert Piguet fragrances - Cravache, Fracas and Bandit. The most famous of the three, Fracas was launched in Paris in 1948 and has been a cult smash among the hoi polloi for decades. Dubbed "one of the five fragrances that changed the world", Fracas is a necessity, to say the very least. This Christmas might be the time to go classic, or to gift the unforgettable.

Haute haute haute: Lady GaGa does Elle

The January issue of US Elle has just slammed the internets, and features a beautiful shoot (including a cover) of Lady GaGa looking her most glamourous best. The make up and hair in this shot is my absolute favourite though, and is a fantastic interpretation of the modern bombshell - the perfect arched brow, statement lip, winged eye and porcelain skin... coupled with a super sexy Studio 54-style wave. The perfect New Years' Eve look, for those that are game enough to rock it. Maybe with pants though.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

One of my favourite beauty people: Soraya Hendesi, creator of Snowberry

The creation of Soraya Hendesi, Snowberry is New Zealand's first all natural, premium skincare brand. For those of you unfamiliar with the brand, it's a carefully crafted mix of the two pillars of “natural beauty” and “authenticity” by which the Persian-born New Zealander lives her life, a collection of beauty products that is “as gentle but enduring in its effect as possible, seeking to enhance rather than intervene”. Passionate about her creation, trained cosmetician Soraya explained to me when we first met that the delicately scented range supports rather than attempts to replace wellness and good health as the source of naturally beautiful skin, and uses only pure resources to create its specialised formulas.
Her quest for “authentic” skincare began many years ago, but Snowberry first became a reality when she recruited the expertise of New Zealand-based Bio Chemist Dr. Andy Lavrent in 2003. With an illustrious track record working in product development for companies like La Prairie, Dr. Lavrent is also a highly skilled chef and likens the creation of beautiful skincare to “the creation of an excellent dish - it requires real passion and flair. It is a fusion process, where we take the most interesting active ingredients from around the world to create something very special”. Soraya knew straight away that she had found a kindred spirit on a similar wavelength to her own, whilst Dr. Lavrent was excited that for the first time in his career he would be free to formulate skincare without regard to the cost and quantity of ingredients. The man she calls her “Alchemist” had only two important limitations on the ingredients that could be used - that they must be sustainably derived, and with the exception of such ingredients as honey, silk and cultured marine extracts, were not to be derived from animals. Come 2007, and the exquisite and natural creature we now know as Snowberry is born.

Hair to kill for: supermodel Helena C returns for UK Elle, January 2010

Daily delight: Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream – the perfect choice for your skin right now?

If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere right now like me, chances are you’re drowning in a heavy bucket of sticky humidity. Yuck. As well as giving you hair that can only be termed as er, mildly interesting in texture, the humidity is playing havoc with skin everywhere I look too, and it’s hard to know just how to adjust your skincare choices to fit. I recently came across Dermalogica’s Skin Smoothing Cream, which just may be the answer for some of us. Designed to smooth your fine dehydration lines as well as relieve tightness, it helps maintain your skin's moisture and improve its texture whilst toning and restoring suppleness. It is also super light, meaning that it does all of the above without leaving you with a face that looks like it’s collided with the wreck of the Exxon Valdez. Lecithin and Aloe Gel will maintain your skin's moisture, whilst Cucumber and Arnica soothe and hydrate your skin and help to restore its tone and suppleness. Antioxidant Grape Seed Extract and Vitamins A,C and E reduce free radical activity, whilst the light, emulsive protection helps shield your skin from pollution and dehydration. Like all of Dermalogica’s no-nonsense products it is fragrance free, whilst this cream is most suitable for normal to dry skin conditions. And luckily for the low maintenance amongst us, it can be used morning or night. Perfect for packing on Summer hols, therefore.
No frills, no fanfare, just a bloody good moisturiser.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's time for a new Viva Glam, people!

It's World AIDS Day, so get in the spirit and buy a new M.A.C Viva Glam lippy or lip gloss... all finds got directly to the M.A.C AIDS Fund and there is a shade for everyone... no excuse!

Monday, November 30, 2009

First hit: my encounter with Restylane Vital

A few weeks ago I had my first encounter with Restylane Vital, a variant of Restylane, the global number one dermal filler that has been manufactured in Sweden for the past 12 years. I’ve been a fan of Botox for the past two years but hadn’t dabbled in the world of fillers as yet, and I was understandably a little on the nervous side. The venue was the Ponsonby branch of New Zealand industry leaders The Skin Institute, and I was in the more than capable hands of my regular nurse, Sally.
The reasoning behind the use of the original Restylane is thus: while youthful skin is rich in Hyaluronic acid (a naturally occurring sugar), over time the distribution and function of the sugar in the body gradually diminishes, causing skin to age. Restylane works by replenishing the skins own stores of Hyaluronic acid, adding volume, softening the signs of ageing and enhancing your features. It treats wrinkles around the eyes, between the brows, forehead and from the nose to the mouth, and is also used to shape the cheeks and chin, restoring volume lost during the aging process. Done badly, fillers like Restylane can make you look like an absolute fright – Lisa Rinna, anyone? – but done well it can make you look like a pleasantly relaxed version of yourself, maybe not a lot younger but definitely a little flasher. I also did my reading and liked the fact that Restylane is natural, containing no toxins, animal proteins, allergens or chemicals.
The area I wanted treated was my lower neck and décolletage, and the Restylane variant known as Restylane Vital seemed to be what the doctor ordered. While creams pamper your skin on the surface, Restylane Vital will take care of your skin from within, improving its elasticity and tone and hopefully creating what all of those in the know call “a naturally fresh and youthful appearance”. It is a pure, crystal-clear gel, and when introduced into the skin -in tiny amounts with an extra-fine needle - it lightly plumps it out, and also stimulates collagen over time. It can be used in all skin areas that 'give away' your age, including your face, as well as your neck, décolletage and the backs of your hands. It’s also suitable for all skin types - whether your skin is dry or oily, it will visibly respond to the natural benefits of improved hydration. It releases hyaluronic acid gradually over a period of time too, so the benefits generally last for several months.
My first treatment was more painful than I at first imagined and I did have a fair bit of bruising – hello scarves and mineral make up! – so for my touch up treatment in two weeks’ time I’ll be popping the arnica tablets and turning down the Christmas party invites for a few days’ at least… interesting stuff!

Daily delight: you can forget all about Jade... Chanel’s all gone grey

Despite the fact that your average manicure junkie hasn’t even got her hands on a bottle yet, I’m sad to say that Chanel’s Jade nail polish is already so over when it comes to fashion forward nails. It seems like nails are only just now getting their first taste of the perfect green hue, but after the legendary brand’s Spring 2010 show, grey is the new jade. On the runway, Kaiser Karl not only brought the barn indoors and made a day down on the farm look chic, but Chanel Beauty Creative Director Peter Philips cheekily unveiled the new hue, and I immediately fell in love with it. Want now!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Daily delight: it’s a cracker!

Forget plastic jewellery, paper crowns and desperately unfunny jokes in your Christmas cracker this year, and request a This Works Bon-Bon from your loved ones instead! Containing two of the must-have products from Kathy Phillips’ cult aromatherapy brand This Works, the cute as a button Bon-Bons come themed for “Lips” or “Eyes”. The former contains This Works’ bestselling Turbo Balm, a cocoa butter and rose oil-enriched multipurpose balm that brings a burst of moisture to lips, and is ideal for other dry areas (cuticles, heels and elbows). The second features their Stay Cool Eye Serum, a soothing, cooling eye cream which helps to banish dark circles and tired eyes- perfect for the morning after the Christmas party. These are also available in silver or gold for those fussy pups amongst us, and are available in New Zealand and Australia at Mecca Cosmetica.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Living Nature’s Radiance Night Oil – going beyond your standard rosehip oil

For years now we’ve heard about the benefits of Rosehip Oil for the skin, but lately it’s emerging that the famous beauty add-on may need a little help. Living Nature seem to have hit on that winning formula with Radiance Night Oil, the product that the company calls its “jewel in the crown”. The key is its unique combination of oils: Certified Organic Rosehip Oil to stimulate cell renewal, repair fine lines and reduce the appearance of scars; Calendula to soothe, calm and heal the skin; Jojoba which closely matches the skin’s natural sebum and creates an excellent affinity to nourish and feed and Frankincense Oil, to prevent wrinkles and improve scars and wounds (also helping to restore dry and mature complexions). In addition, Carrot Extract revitalises and tones the complexion and is a healing skin aid for irritant skin conditions; Vitamin E fights environmental damage and the free radicals that cause ageing and lastly, Rose Flower Oil, which is high in Vitamin C and assists the quality production of collagen produced by the skin. Rosehip combined with these creates an exceptional beauty product that really does stand apart from generic Rosehip Oils. It has also been tested and proven by internationally recognized ABICH Laboratories in Italy to repair, restore, and rejuvenate - boosting the skin’s natural regeneration through naturally increasing the hyaluronic acid synthesis to improve firmness and protection against moisture loss by 43% within 72 hours, naturally.
I suggest you add this to your bathroom cabinet ASAP, you won’t regret it!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Daily delight: Comme des Garçons’ Glitter

If you want a bit of sparkle this Christmas and tinsel just won’t cut it, then I’d like to introduce you to this limited edition stunner, Comme des Garçons Glitter. A holiday season-only release, it sees the iconic fragrance Comme des Garçons 2 - an eau de parfum - housed in a Limited Edition sparkling purple glitter bottle. The scent itself is a gorgeous powerhouse of a fragrance, an exotic and unusual blend of incense, ink, amber, patchouli, Chinese cedarwood, cumin, vertiver and fresh magnolia. If you fancy a bottle yourself or think it would fit perfectly beneath a loved one’s tree, it’s available now from Mecca Cosmetica.

Bumble and bumble – doing big the best?

As many designers trended toward the traditional this year when it came to what they put on the catwalks, Bumble and bumble’s team of stylists took a few risks; taking some all-too-familiar looks and give them that extra push. From ponies to pompadours, braids to buns – no hairstyle was spared an overhaul for the Fall collections. Remember the New Pony, Modern Big Hair, The Updated Updo, and the Power Pompadour as trends that are not only worth noting, but also worth wearing. I’m a big fan of big hair, and Bumble and bumble do it best in my opinion. Their Modern Big Hair look stole the show at Erin Fetherston, Ohne Titel, Lacoste, VPL and Vivienne Westwood (see Pam Anderson strutting her stuff for the punk doyenne, right), with some interpretations textured and teased, others soft and flowing. Some even had the dual-effect that is emerging as a trend that is super hot right now, slicked in front and mane-inspired in the back. The products used by the team of course included their Thickening Hairspray (by the case), as well as Bb.Gel, Thickening Serum, Bb.Shine and Surf Spray.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In praise of: My Smashbox Master Class

I thought I knew a whole lot about make up prior to my visit to my local Smashbox store in Ponsonby, but after a 90 minute long Master Class with the devastatingly handsome Grayson, it was clear that I had plenty to learn! One of the best beauty-related experiences I have had in a long time, the lesson covered the “six steps to a perfect canvas” as well as my perfect day look, and how that can translate in to night. Grayson would work on one side of my face with each step, and then I’d copy on the other – with varying degrees of success. I found out I was doing pretty good when it came to priming, foundation and concealer, but was akin to the village idiot when it came to appplying more than a very basic eye. I also learnt a plethora of tips to try and remember next time I’m hard at work on my face, many of which I’d never tried before but that made a world of difference to looking polished, enhanced and just that little bit better than my usual efforts.
The main ones I’m going to try and make a regular part of my routine are:
1. When applying primer, concentrate most on lines, large pores and creases, to prevent the foundation applied on top sinking in and making a hatchet job of the rest of your efforts.
2. When applying the aformentioned foundation, dab it on using a brush in short, stippled strokes, before buffing in. This way you can control where it goes, adding more or less depending on your flaws.
3. Remember to take your under eye concealer to the inner and the outer corner of the eye, and blend upward so that the delicate skin in that area isn’t dragged and/or damaged.
4. Powder should always be buffed down, not up. This stops any fine hairs sticking out and looking waaaaaaaay more obvious than you’d like them.
5. If you press eye shadow in before blending you will minimise fall out, and the risk of smooshing the foundation under the eye and on top of the cheeks.
6. The best way to see what you’re doing when smudging your lower lashline is to tilt your head down, and look up into the mirror. You’ll look ridiculous, but it really works.
There was plenty more I learnt in my short time with Grayson, and I highly recommend a Master Class if you’re looking for a new make up for Summer, or just want a reminder about what you should have been doing all along. I also was amazed at the difference a good brush makes, so invest if you can. A Master Class at Smashbox in Ponsonby Road is a steal at $70.00, and definitely dosh well spent!

Daily delight: Eva Green’s nude lip – and body – in Tatler, December 2009

Actress Eva Green is a habitual wearer of the reddest of red lips, which lend her a vaguely gothic air when paired with her chocolate brown, flowing tresses and often dark attire. For a cover shot and photo series in the December issue of style bible Tatler however, the Bond girl and generally kooky chick is sporting a fresh nude lip, and looks all the more sassy for it. The photos – shot by Ricardo Tinelli – are a homage to Helmut Newton, with one recreating a classic Seventies portrait of British actress Charlotte Rampling. Sitting on a polished antique table in front of an ornately gilded mirror, the Casino Royale star has only a glass of wine for company as she mimics photographer Newton’s memorable image from 1973. I’m a passionate fan of red lipstick but have to say that this shoot is pushing me towards a near nude for Summer, and is a great look for Green. My picks for how to recreate this lip are a thorough going over of the lip with Smashbox’s super neutral lipliner Light, and Velvet Teddy, my favourite M.A.C matte skin tone shade. Delish.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Daily delight: the new Stephen Marr salon at The Department Store

I will be there this Friday for a colour with the gorgeous Donielle and can't wait! The "living wall" separating the room seems to have grown exponentially since I was there, so am expecting lushness of both surroundings and follicles to close my week... Love it.

Get the Look : Dolce & Gabbana Trunk Show

When I saw the backstage shots from the recent Dolce & Gabbana Trunk Show in London, I seriously fell in love with the ladylike hair and make up. Like an elegantly put together prom queen, it was immaculate and flawless in execution, but with that famous D&G hint of sexy thrown in for good measure. Plus, it can be as youthful or grown up as you please.
Make up and hair stylist Michael Ashton was responsible for the magic happening from the neck up, so I asked him for a run down on how to get the look…
1. As always, I start by preparing the skin using Bio Derma cleansing water, and then moisturize with a mix of Weleda Skin Food and Prescriptives Vibrant-C. Lastly, I slick the lips with Lucas Paw Paw ointment.
2. The secret to creating picture perfect skin is massaging Chanel Pro Lumiere foundation into the skin and buffing Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage where needed for extra coverage. Add a sheer veil of Bobbi Brown Under Eye Brightener near the inner tear ducts.
3. Roll and press the t-zone with Chanel loose powder using a large powder buff, and then dust the under eye area with Laura Mercier brightening powder.
4. Using an angled blusher brush, sculpt and shape the cheek bones/jawline using a combination of M.A.C sculpting powders Lightsweep and Bone Beige, and then with a foundation brush apply MAC crème colour base in Hush to the top of the cheekbone.
5. Brows are a major part of this look, so brush them into place with clear brow gel before sweeping through a coloured brow wax, lifting the arch and extending with an angle brush/shadow combo.
6. Eyes are subtle yet striking. To start, apply M.A.C Painterly to the brow bone and all over the eye lid, extending into the inner corner. Buff Dior Nude Pink on top, following with M.A.C Eye Paint in Bamboo through the crease and under the eye (just near the lower lashline) as a base for a Chanel bronze from their Sequoia eye shadow palette.
7. This backstage secret gives eyes the finishing touch – apply Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Black with an angle brush underneath and into the upper lashline, for an invisible yet dramatic way of doubling lash density before lacquering lashes with Dior Show Off mascara.
8. The lip is reminiscent of a Royal Russian Goddess, a rich ruby red that looks most expensive and sophisticated. Erase the lip colour using concealer before lining the entire lip with MAC lipliner in Redd, and then apply a mixture of Chanel Passion and Estee Lauder Blackberry to finish.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Daily delight: Living Nature Rescue Gel AKA Mother Nature’s First Aid Kit!

Seasons they are a-changin’, and whether you’re going from cold to hot or vice versa, your skin is not going to love you for it. In fact it’s probably freaking out just a little right about now, which can lead to break outs a plenty, whatever your age. Add a few pre-Christmas parties and a New Year’s Eve showdown and it’ll seem like there is no end in sight. A product that’s long been hailed as a solution to a bad case of Random Silly Season Spots is New Zealand skincare legend Living Nature’s Rescue Gel, which does some pretty amazing stuff. Formerly known as Manuka Oil and Honey Antiseptic Gel, is known amongst its devotee’s as natures First Aid for the skin. Manuka Oil is distilled from Manuka tree leaves and flowers, and in its concentrated form is known for strong anti-microbial properties, stronger than the more commonly use Tea Tree oil. Add to this strong antispeptic the Manuka Honey derived from sustainable New Zealand honey producers to maintain moisture levels in the skin, and you have a little wonder on your hands. A natural humectant, Manuka Honey is scientifically recognized internationally for its UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) levels, and is used in hospital wound dressings around the world. Living Nature Rescue Gel is recommended for application to blemishes for a fast repairing antimicrobial antiseptic healing aid, and can also be applied to skin conditions such as Eczema and Psoriasis without fear of aggravation. The 30ml bottle is perfect in the First Aid cupboard, whilst the handy 10ml tube is perfect for the handbag… you never know when those uninvited guests are going to appear!

M•A•C giving back for World AIDS Day

Long before it was de rigeur to do so, make up giant M•A•C were heavily involved in the fight against AIDS, through the sale of their Viva Glam lipsticks and other less high profile support. Each year their global team also give time to the cause, starting this year on Friday, November 27. Here in New Zealand, a local volunteer team of 45 is part of the worldwide global initiative of nearly 1,000 M•A•C employees in 23 countries who will be rolling up their sleeves and taking off their brush belts to participate in volunteer efforts in a company-wide effort to commemorate World AIDS Day. The volunteer initiative—part of a worldwide effort including nearly 1000 M•A•C employees in 56 North American cities and 23 countries—is being organized to complement the artists’ commitment to the global fight against HIV and AIDS and to strengthen their connection to the company’s philanthropic arm the M•A•C AIDS Fund and its grantees. M•A•C artists here in New Zealand will donate their time by partnering with the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) and hitting the streets of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch collecting donations by selling the iconic Red Ribbon. All donations will go to the Wellness Fund, which can be accessed by several HIV support groups in New Zealand to support men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS. The Wellness Fund Red Ribbon collection buckets will remain on all New Zealand M•A•C counters from Friday 27th November until Wednesday 2nd December 2009, so get in there and give PLENTY!
In addition to the volunteer initiative, M•A•C will mark World AIDS Day on December 1st by presenting a cheque at their flagship Chancery store for $21,000NZD to Body Positive to support their free rapid HIV testing campaign ‘Take Control. Take the Test’ to encourage those who are sexually active to get tested. Well known New Zealand personalities will also be volunteering their time on December 1st World AIDS Day by working in M•A•C’s Chancery store to help raise funds for the Red Ribbon collection buckets as well as selling M•A•C’s Viva Glam lipsticks and lip glasses.

Friday, November 20, 2009

In praise of OFF Wax/Brow Bar

You know how sometimes a place becomes so familiar to you that you forget how great it is? That is how I got with the stupendoulsy good OFF Wax/Brow Bar, where I head every six weeks for a wax and a brow shape, so I’ve decided to stop and celebrate exactly how damn good Nicky Shore and her team really are. They are a specialist waxing destination as opposed to a beauty therapy business – think no white coats, no whale music, no serenity water fountains – and women all over Auckland love them all the more for their dedication to the task at hand. They tailor your waxing treatment and/or brow work specifically to you, and take into account anything you may have going on in your life – say pregnancy, stress – and treat you accordingly. They also stock a huge range of aftercare products and brow and lash kits etc, and are more than happy to show you the ropes and make sure that you’re taking care of things in the best possible way. In a way they make the relatively painful as painless as possible, and even have the latest hag mags in stock so you can indulge in your guilty pleasure away from the intrusive gaze of your partner! They also now have two waxing destinations - Newmarket and Takapuna - so as long as you're quick, you can get a spot before Summer hits. Love you OFF Wax/Brow Bar xxox

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beauty tips from the neighbourhood lovelies

A while back I talked to some of the local lovelies – AKA the fashion designers working in my neighbourhood - about what makes them feel beautiful, and I thought I’d give you some of their hot hints here. Fashion and beauty have always been inextricably linked, and just as a designer has an aesthetic that defines them, so too do they know what to slap on their faces to match their signature style.
A recent inhabitant of the area after finally moving up the country from her home town of Dunedin last year, the gorgeous Tanya Carlson has her flagship store at 122 Ponsonby Road. The die hard surfer is a devoted fan of M.A.C's array of soft peach and nude toned glosses, and if banished to a desert island would leave the life boat clutching a tube of Light Expert Foundation No. 5 By Terry, which she grabs regularly from nearby temple to all things beauty, Mecca Cosmetica. The best beauty secret she's heard of late can be found in the same spot - time spent in the presence of Mecca's charming manager, Chris - whilst the one thing that makes her feel truly gorgeous is the dusky oriental scent of Arabie, by Serge Lutens Fragrances.
Walking past Juliette Hogan's flagship store at 170 Ponsonby Road is almost like being hit by a breath of crisp Spring air on a Winter's day, and her beauty style is equally fresh, light and girlish. She never leaves the house without lip gloss, her pick being the most fruity variant of Lancome's Juicy Tubes, Melon. The one beauty product the pale-skinned blonde can't function without is Chanel mascara, “as my eyelashes are pretty much non existent without a really good coating!” And what makes her feel beautiful? “Getting my make up done by the girls at M.A.C Chancery - they are so great there and they know exactly how I like it done. Not to mention how amazing it is when they put false eyelashes on me - I feel so beautiful when they are on and get so much attention, I love it”.
Jaimie Boutique at 270 Ponsonby Road is where you'll find the latest collections from the lovely Jaimie Webster (pictured above), who also stocks some of the most covetable international brands on the strip like Vivienne Westwood, Pour la Victoire and Petit Bateau. By day you'll find the fresh faced beauty wearing just a slick of gloss or balm, but she does love “a classic read if I do wear lippy… and this Winter I have been eyeing up a rather beautiful deep plum shade too.” She's also a long time fan of the legendary YSL Touche Éclat (“my wonder stick”), pure almond oil and Dr Le Winns Instant Beauty Cream, whilst the one thing she can't do without is “a lot of sleep, it is the only thing that really works for me out of all the beauty secrets I have been told!” Finally, what makes her feel truly beautiful? “Firstly sleep, then a good foundation and equally good blush… and of course, a fabulous outfit!”

Daily delight: Natalie Portman on the cover of V Magazine

The quiff, the winged, heavy eye, the strong brow and the soft pink lip... never has one magazine cover sported so many HOT current beauty trends in one superfantastic package. Love it. Want more.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Craving right now: Nasomatto's China White

One of my favourite things to do when visiting the WORLD Beauty Store – dangerously situated just a few minutes’ walk from my house – is try a new scent, which inevitably becomes a new craving. I had that experience last week when I took a whiff of Nasomatto’s China White, from the range designed by Alessandro Gualtieri. The result of a “quest to reveal the strength of fragility, ” and following the concept of “overdosing” on the power of a scent, the deadly China White is unlike any other. Controversially named after the strain of heroin popular in the 1980s and with an opaque white ceramic top, this heady concoction stands out even amongst the other scents in the kooky and beautiful Nasomatto collection. Powdery and slightly floral, China White breathes with a strong and indefinable element that will leave you unsure exactly what you’re sensing. If you haven’t tried it yet, Nasomatto is a very Italian brand, creative and very unique – a range of strong perfumes with crazy ideas and a lot of references to forbidden "pleasures". There is also no olfactory description of any of the perfumes, which are usually very strong, opulent and almost brutal in their beauty. Go on and take a sniff – I dare you!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Give me more at More Than Skin!

More Than Skin Spa and Beauty, Ponsonby has been in my neighbourhood for three years, but it was only last month that I finally made my way through its doors. Boy, was I missing out! Originally opened on Queen Street 16 years ago, the day spa and salon moved to its present location at the top of College Hill in September 2006, offering a great range of treatments from the gorgeous Decléor of Paris and legendary Joyce Blok. They specialise in facial treatments and I was fortunate enough to be left in the very capable hands of therapist Claire to trial the Decléor Aroma-Expert, which was customised to match my skin's needs. The “Hydra Force” version of the facial - which I was in dire need of - targets dehydration, intensely replenishing the skin's natural moisture levels using fruit and floral extracts and active essential oils. The treatment began with a delicious 15 minute long back massage to really get me in the mood to relax and let Claire work her magic, which included a cleanse, thorough exfoliation, draining facial massage and lastly, a thick hydrating mask. It smelled as great as it felt and the 90 minutes that it took to complete flew by way to fast for my liking! I left feeling utterly blissed out beyond belief, and with skin that looked akin to my nine month old son's bottom. The Parisian Decléor brand was started an amazing 34 years ago by a team that consisted of a beautician, a doctor, a shiatsu teacher and a fantastic aromatherapist and physiotherapist, and all of the company's treatments for face and body utilise their combined knowledge base. This means that Decléor take a totally holistic approach to the business of beauty, and it showed in the overall feeling of wellbeing that I carried with me out the door. Sensational - quite literally! They are now the largest cosmetic aromatherapy brand in the world, and More Than Skin certainly are experts in administering their plethora of treatments, and then some.
The Ponsonby branch of More Than Skin - there are four around Auckland - has a talented team that includes three full time beauty therapists. There is also a professional make up artist, Megan, on site who is an expert in the application and background behind the make up line they stock exclusively, SLA Creations. I'd never heard of SLA Creations prior to popping in to More Than Skin, but am sure glad I have now. It is the signature cosmetic line from internationally recognised French make up artist Serge Louis Alvarez, and is reportedly amazing. Their treatment list is long and offers pretty much something for everyone, including a great range of options for men. They also take care of all of the essentials like waxing, pedicures and manicures, as well as electrolysis and treatment programmes such as a Non Surgical Face Lift and Lymphatic Drainage. They also regularly have promotions running that give you lots more bang for your buck, and often work with the seasons and what your skin and body might be needing heading into Summer, say. Check out their website for what's on offer at
The salon boasts five treatment rooms - including a spacious 'couples' room so that you can enjoy your treatment in tandem with a friend or partner - but in the lead up to Christmas their appointment book is filling up quick so I recommend that you get on the blower now!
*This article was first published in my column in the wonderful Ponsonby News.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Daily delight: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

The recent winner of Allure Magazine's Best of Beauty Award for Best Primer, Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer really is the best in the business and has taken home this accolade several years in a row. The highly regarded beauty mag said of the winning product something to the effect of “primers often promise a lot, but only this one delivers it all”, and they were right. The 
oil-free, 60 per cent water based primer is ideal for oily, acne-prone or sensitive skin, and several variations on the original are available depending on your concerns (i.e. with a stronger “line filler”, colour correctors etc). The silky blend of vitamins and antioxidants helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores for visibly softer skin and can be worn alone or under foundation to increase its longevity. The revolutionary formula has oil absorbers for a smooth matte finish all day, light diffusers to minimize the appearance of imperfections, and vitamin C and peptides to help even skin tone and promote collagen production for a flawless future. A must have that you really must have.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Victoria B – the barometer of hair to come?

Love her or hate her, you can’t deny that Victoria Beckham is also a style barometer when it comes to future hair trends. From the WAG-esque extensions to the “pob” to her elfin crop, she always seems one step ahead of the rest and is copied all over the world. But what’s this - courtside at a Lakers game she had a wavy new do, that almost looked like the classic “in between style” you get when you decide to grow the whole thing out. Elle spoke to her hairstylist, Jessica Galvan of Neil George Salon, who said “she came into the salon earlier that day and told me she wanted to try something different. That’s all she said. She’s very easygoing and always lets me play around a bit.” They went for some loose, sexy waves “because her hair is always straight”, opting for a flat iron over a curling iron for a more relaxed, romantic style. For bounce and lift, she misted Beckham’s roots with Neil George Volumizing Spray, then placed pieces of hair inside a flat iron and started an inch away from the base. “I ran the flat iron down the length of the hair and twisted as I went,” she said, and it’s a technique that once mastered, is hugely useful whatever your hair length. Lastly, Galvan took a couple of face-framing pieces and straightened them, and after using Neil George Indian Gooseberry Oil on the ends for shine, she sprayed Davines Defining System Glam Power Spray all over to finish. Easy - and most definitely coming to a salon near you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hot summer nights: Soleil Noir by D&M hair design

In the third of three exciting creative collaborations, Danny Pato and Michael Sisaengrath of D&M hair design in Auckland and photographer Craig Owen have created Soleil Noir, an ode to long summer nights and sexy, dressed down hair. A collection featuring model Grace Owen in three very different looks, it was shot on a balcony one balmy night overlooking Auckland Harbour as it reflected the city lights. My favourite look from the collection - seen here - is a direct nod to old school Hollywood style, but with a thoroughly modern re-interpretation. The middle parted hair falls in Rita Hayworth-style waves which have been crimped and loosened to create a wearable, easy style, with Schwarzkopf’s Elastic Flexible Hold Hairspray used to keep the look in place. The hair was protected from the heat of styling tools using Schwarzkopf Osis Flatliner, a serum which also reduces frizz and counteracts humidity. Incredibly wearable and just way too sexy for its own good, this look is the answer to the whole "I have long hair but don't feel like it's a style" conundrum.
Owen is extremely proud of the collection, after wanting to do a night time hair shoot for some time, with the model shot in a highly filmic style. “I used just the one model and the night light’s ambience to create a number of caught moments,” he told me, adding that he treats a hair shoot in a similar fashion to the way he does fashion, “drawing on the mood and emotion of the location and light, as well as the model’s own personal style”. This is the third collaboration for the trio – the first two being 2008’s Lightness of Being and 2009’s Noughts and Crosses – and Soleil Noir for Summer 2010 is my favourite yet.