Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fabulous news for those of us with botanical babes!

Like many mamas-to-be, I became even more obsessive about the products I put on my skin when I was pregnant with my son Wolf, and what goes on to his skin now. So, I was super excited to hear that Nature Baby is set to release its new botanical skincare range, formulated specifically for the intricate needs of mothers and babies. Inspired by traditional botanical ingredients that have stood the test of time, the new range includes certified organic sweet almond oil, an all purpose mum’s butter, belly stretch oil, baby massage oil, the ubiquitous baby bottom balm and soaps. Great care has been taken to ensure only the finest active botanical ingredients have been selected, utilising organic methods cultivating, harvesting and processing to guarantee potency and purity, because naturally only the best will do for bubs. Organic Sweet Almond oil has been used as a premium base oil, selected for its nourishing and hypoallergenic properties and suitability for the most delicate of skin. Nature Baby has then infused the range with the botanical oils of Rosehip, Rose, Chamomile Bud, Lavender flowers and Organic Shea Butter. These plant oils act both to protect and encourage the growth of healthy skin cells in conjunction with the power to relax and soothe the mind, promoting a calm and restful state of being. In line with the overall ethos of Nature Baby, this mother and baby skincare range is naturally free from harmful chemical additives such as parabens, petrochemicals, sulphates, synthetic fragrances and colours and is proudly and ethically made in New Zealand. Baby skin is at least three times more sensitive and absorbent than adult skin, and deserves to be treated as such – and this beautiful new range is one that can definitely be trusted.

Daily delight: evolu’s new exfoliating body polish

If you’re down this end of the world where Summer is rearing its gorgeous head, then you’ll be starting to think quite seriously about showing a little more skin. Chances are, that very skin is looking a little dull after a winter of woollies, so you better get ready to bare ASAP. I’m a bit of a connoisseur of body scrubs and the like, and haven’t found a really great new one in years. Some feel like they’re doing sweet F.A., whilst others make a right mess of the shower and leave your skin feeling like you’ve been dragged along a gravel road. So it was with great joy that I treated myself to a few minutes in the shower with New Zealand brand evolu’s new Exfoliating Body Polish, finding it to be one of the best that I’ve every used. It uses crushed walnut shells and kiwifruit seeds to do the rough stuff, whilst eucalyptus and menthol really get your skin zinging. Next, a big hydration boost in the form of New Zealand lavender and chamomile botanical actives helps to balance the effect of the aforementioned zing, making the skin feel nourished as well as thoroughly polished. And the ingredients are all impossibly good for you too, naturally. I swear, once you try it you won’t be able to contemplate going through summer without it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And Mary-Kate Olsen, as always totally on-trend

BUT... it's STILL all about the lip - Natasha Poly for Dolce & Gabbana SS10

Daily delight: Gordon Espinet & the make-up the models didn’t want to take off

Moving on from New Zealand Fashion Week and its Pam-tastic finale, I’ve been trawling the net for beauty trends emerging from the runways of Europe, where apparently it’s “all about the lip”. The much-travelled Amber D. from M.A.C New Zealand was – as usual – on trend with her look for Trelise Cooper at ANZFW detailed in an earlier post, and it comes as no surprise that she was also on the job for M.A.C earlier in the year in Milan for the AW09 collections. But the look that has been hailed by all in sundry as “the make up that the models didn’t want to take off” was the slicked, smoky eyes and sexy pale pink mouths created by Gordon Espinet at DSquared2 for AW09, which has a different point of focus and is a look that I’m well into right now. Not only is it perfectly on-trend (the smoky eye has of late swapped powdery textures for a glossy finish) but also incredibly flattering, and the way we all wish we looked when we woke up in the morning. Well I do anyway… So how is it done? ‘I started by lining the inner rims of models’ eyes with Kohl Power Pencil in Feline (from the new DSquared2 Collection),” Espinet told Vogue UK, “as it’s the blackest pencil I’ve found”. Apparently Gordon loves Feline so much he has 7,000 of them stored at home, if the rumours are to be believed! Next, he blended Greasepaint Stick in Intense Black on the sockets, smudging it a little underneath the eyes as well. “Then to add depth and interest to the black, I added a little Greasepaint Stick in B [a blue, also part of the DSquared2 collection] to the inner half of the lower rim and in V [a purple, ditto) to the socket.” For the lips, he used Lip Erase all over the mouth, then dabbed Lip Conditioner in Fuchsia Fix in the middle. Once again, too easy! Can’t wait to get my hands on the collection now.

Monday, September 28, 2009

When beauty goes a bit mental?

Backstage at Prada in Milan it was all about an eye-popping lip, beautiful girls galore, corridors as an inspiration and um... transparent, stick on toenails. Now I love a runway-inspired new beauty trend as much as the next woman, but somehow, I don't think this will catch on in a hurry. But I have been known to be wrong before! If it does, here's hoping that only those with the most impeccably groomed of tootsies (see: left) break out the plastic... or we'll all be doomed to a summer of constantly averting our eyes. I still find it hard to find the "acrylic French pedicure" look of a few years ago even remotely attractive on the majority of wearers, so fingers crossed this doesn't catch on!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Meet Yoshi!

Last week I stopped off at a suite at The Westin Lighter Quay to have my hair “done” prior to an evening of Moet and Pamela Anderson, courtesy of Kate from Maxted Thomas PR and the team at Sebastian. There I met the wonderful – and incredibly serene given the madness of New Zealand Fashion Week – Yoshi Su, a stylist from Wellington salon Buoy who had flown up for the week. By all accounts Yoshi is a true visionary; he has only been working for the salon for six years and in a short period of time has accumulated a number of rather impressive accolades that surpasses his years in the industry. His many talents include being and an accomplished photographer and make-up artist, and all of Yoshi’s latest looks have had the Yoshi touch from hair make-up to even the photography and retouching! He’s represented New Zealand at Wella Trend Vision in Barcelona and in 2008 was New Zealand Catwalk Hairdresser of the Year, travelling to Salon International and working behind the scenes on shows for Jane Wild. As well as giving me a “do” that lasted long into the night, he also reassured me that my near obsessive application of Sebastian’s Whipped Crème light conditioning style whip was a step in the right direction, and introduced me to a few new tricks as well. Now if only he lived in Auckland, huh?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekend delight: Peaches Geldof for Italian Grazia

I was completely blown away by this shot from the latest issue of Italian Grazia of Peaches Geldof, shot by Julian Marshall with hair and make up expertly in the more than capable hands of her session stylist Michael Ashton. The rest of the series is exquisite too, but this particulr image is great because the make up can be glimpsed up close.
Ashton gave me a rundown on the “how to”, with his choice of products also detailed:
1. Prep skin using Bio Derma cleansing water and moisturize with a mix of Weleda Skin Food and Prescriptives Vibrant-C, as well as slicking the lips with Lucas Paw Paw ointment.
2. Create a picture perfect, luminous complexion by 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 brighter near the inner tear ducts.
3. Using a large soft powder brush, dust the t-zone with Chanel loose powder and the under eye area with Laura Mercier brightening powder.
4. Contour the face to give a more 3D effect - shade the temples/underneath cheek bones/jawline using M.A.C paint stick in Deep Brown and then make high planes POP by blending M.A.C creme colour base in Pearl onto the high points.
5. Well placed blush gives a youthful yet elegant abundance to the face, my favorite is a super sexy product by NARS called Orgasm, which works on absolutely any skin tone.
6. Beautiful brows can make any eye, brush them into place using clear brow gel and then using feather strokes fill and define with Givenchy eyebrow pencil.
7. Create a modern take on the classic sultry 'Monroe' bedroom eyes by higlighting/contouring the socket with Dior’s Parisian Lights palette, then extending the eyeline with Bobbi Brown gel liner in black before party pumping the lashes with Dior Showoff Mascara and a fluttering set of Shu Uemura Smokey Layers lashes
8. Finally, for decorated but understated lips, fill using M.A.C Subculture and finger press in Hush creme colour base before another sneaky slick of Lucas Paw Paw… you will be sizzling with timeless elegance and raunchy luxe!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Backstage at DVF

A week ago I blogged my favourite look at New York Fashion Week - namely the golden goddesses at Diane Von Furtsenberg. Allure just released some amazing backstage shots of the week-long feast of fashion, faces and beautiful places, including this "before" shot of the hair Orlando Pita created for DVF's girls. At the time I said it "seemed too easy" but quite clearly, it was!

Daily delight: Smashbox Reign Collection, the Monarch Palette

I’m not one to wear a lot of make up – despite the fact that I love the stuff – let alone carry it in my handbag, but doing the hard yards at Air New Zealand Fashion Week for the next few days will definitely mean paying more than a little attention to the state of my slap. Luckily for me, a knock on my door at an ungodly hour this morning delivered a real delight and possibly my best buddy for the week ahead: Smashbox’s Monarch Palette for the eyes, part of the Reign collection. A trio of eyeshadows housed in a leather flip top palette, it can go natural or nighttime, depending on how you combine and/or layer the shades. Each eyeshadow has a shimmery outer ring with a matte centre, and the the outer rings are more pigmented than the centre counterparts. The look is very warm-toned and perfect for perking up a tired old face come the-morning-after-the-night-before, and the mattes aren’t chalky so won’t settle unattractively into fine lines. The formula in general is smooth and silky, making blending easier for an amateur like me. Thanks Smashbox!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Daily delight: Chanel goes white out

I recently heard about this brand new opalescent nail lacquer from Chanel and can't wait to get my hands - literally - on to it for the coming Southern Hemisphere Summer. This is not like the white "correction fluid" look some brands are peddling, but Chanel’s version of a rich classic ivory. As well as looking thoroughly modern, some of the advantages in going with a colour like this are that you don’t have to worry about it clashing with your makeup colours, and if the polish starts to chip, it’s less noticeable than if you were wearing a vampish black. Also looks great with a tan or on just your moons, and works on fingers and toes.

Get brushing, please!

There is nothing worse than seeing someone with impeccable style, glowing skin and – wait for it – appalling teeth. It’s so damn easy to take care of them and yet women I know who spend literally hours per week on their face and body seem to forget their smile – one of the most immediately noticeable things about a person. And taking care of your teeth is a lot cheaper than replacing them, all it takes is ten minutes a day and a good toothbrush. I was recently sent an Oral-B CrossAction Pro-Health toothbrush, which is reportedly superior to your average manual toothbrush, offering a unique combination of three features including “CrissCross” bristles, gum stimulators and a textured tongue cleaner to provide seven oral care benefits to help leave your mouth clean and healthy.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Daily delight: M.A.C Style Black

I’ve raved about this collection until the cows come home, but when more and more images like this appear to accompany it I just can’t stop. From “Back to Black” beehive and eyeliner to Steven “80s” Sprouse-in-the-House kohl and fringe to Gareth Pugh London New Goth, black is never wrong, and as a teen goth I knew that is was always going to be the colour I come back to again and again. When M.A.C announced this collection I was all over it like a rash, and unable to choose a favourite between hot items like Blackfire Glimmerglass, Rapidblack Penultimate Eyeliner, Greasepaint Stick, and Baby Goth Girl Nail Lacquer. Style Black is quite simply a beautiful piece of make up artistry, as this image proves.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream: results, not just hype!

Regenerist, the renowned penta-peptide skin care range from leading skincare brand Olay, launched its first ever luxury super-cream, Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream recently amid a buzz of amazing claims. Called the “$50 dream cream that outperforms the world’s most expensive creams”, it is already winning beauty awards from some of the industry’s toughest media to crack, and I’ve been watching its hype with interest. An anti-ageing facial moisturiser which targets the three hardest to treat areas - the eye, jaw line and neck - the cream helps visibly firm the skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps restore elasticity and suppleness, as well as being simply beautiful in texture. In an independent study conducted by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute in the US*, Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream was blind trialed against twenty four other prestige face creams that were priced between $100 and $350 and Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream outperformed them all – even the $350 one. Clearly not just hype, but proven results. I’ve just got my hands on a pot so will give it a whirl – and watch keenly for the latter.

* Based on US Good Housekeeping Research Institute test of several $100+ face creams, 2007. Testing assessed hydration levels and length.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The charming Dr. Michael Miroshnik, the man behind Elixxir

Based in Sydney’s Double Bay, the charming Dr Michael Miroshnik is a plastic surgeon specialising in cosmetic plastic surgical procedures and the man behind high performance skincare brand Elixxir. After completing six years of medical and surgical training at the University of Sydney, he was awarded the Sidney B Clipsham Memorial Prize in Operative Surgery and then embarked on his journey into the world of plastic surgery. After a further 10 years of training amongst all the major hospitals in Sydney, Dr Miroshnik was awarded his FRACS (PLAS.) degree. Over this 10 year period, Dr Miroshnik performed over 5000 surgical procedures involving every part of the body.

Oh desperation! In want of A.P.C's newest fragrance, Sustain.

This is precisely the kind of product that makes me curse New Zealand’s splendid isolation – look at that bottle design! Sustain is the new perfume from the A.P.C. brand, and all reports I’ve heard are that it is as beautiful and unique as it looks. They took inspiration from a Ray Davies's song, 'Waterloo Sunset', and the scent is composed of 12 essences, like the 12 guitar chords used to play the song.

The wooden bottle is the numeric reproduction of the song based on the concept of the pedals used to prolong song chords, whilst the wood is there to symbolise the wood of a guitar.

For now, they've created only 300 bottles all over the world, so I very much doubt any of them will make it Down Under.

Jean Touitou, founder of the brand, was reportedly captivated by the scent, created by Haley Alexander Van Oosten, and I’m more than obssessed by getting a sniff myself.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Some of my favourite beauty people V: Chris Devlin - Manager, Mecca Cosmetica, Auckland

Designer Tanya Carlson described him to me as her “best kept beauty secret”, whilst those in the know tout him as one of its most knowledgeable sources about all things skin – he’s Chris Devlin, Manager of that Auckland temple to beauty known as Mecca Cosmetica.
Born in Northern Ireland, he worked as a make up artist in London and then Barcelona for five years before being lured to New Zealand seven years ago by love, “and the next thing I knew I’d found myself in Hawkes Bay!” After a few years of the quiet life he was lured to Auckland and a job with M.A.C, working on Air New Zealand Fashion Week and as assistant manager in their Chancery Lane flagship store. Then when he saw Mecca was coming to New Zealand he jumped at the chance to apply for the manager’s position at their flagship store, “and I’ve never looked back. I think that make up artistry starts with great skin, and I love having the chance to work from the ground up with great beauty brands on a daily basis here in the store.” He explains that when a customer comes in asking for a makeover he starts with a close examination of their skin and daily routine, “and nine times out of ten that will change their appearance the most – beyond what lipstick or blush they use.”
With such a huge range of boutique brands in store he says that he and the staff undergo constant training on a fortnightly basis, and new staff on the floor aren’t allowed to advise on skincare until they have worked with the company for six months.
When asked if he has favourite brands from the multitude of highly desireables on offer he is adamant that “Zelens (created by Dr Marko Lens, an acclaimed plastic surgeon and international authority on skin cancer) is the way to go, for me anyway. In terms of make up I can’t go past Nars, with Prescriptives for foundation now that we have their Custom Blend system that can make a match for any skin tone”.
He says that the essential every woman must own is a good sunscreen, “preferably with an SPF 30 or over… I see so many customers with really bad sun damage who don’t know they have it because it has become the norm in New Zealand.” He also stresses that every woman needs a great blush and “anything from out ByTerry collection of highlighters and concealers – it creates the perfect ‘no make up’ make up look that so many women want to achieve.” The two brands that he just can’t keep on the shelves right now are UK beauty editor Kathy Phillips’ aromatherapy skincare range, This Works, and Nude, a luxury “green” brand created by eco-entrepeneur Bryan Meehan and investor and muse Ali Hewson, wife of U2’s Bono. The walking wealth of knowledge adds that New Zealand women have been “controlled by the world’s big beauty brands for too long and are really ready to try something unique at last”, and if you’re ready to embrace change too, then he’s the man for the job.
* This interview first appeared in my column in Ponsonby News*

Daily delight: golden goddesses at Diane Von Furstenberg’s Spring 2010 NYFW show

New York Fashion Week has been throwing out a plethora of beautiful looks over the past few days, making it hard to pick one favourite amongst all of the sheer gorgeousness that abounds! My favourite so far though must be the seemingly endless parade of golden goddesses at fashion icon Diane Von Furstenberg’s show, which was also one of the most wearable beauty looks of the week. The collection - and the overall vision for the show - was influenced by a mélange of golden ages such as Greek, Roman, ...and disco wonderland Studio 54. "The clothes are very Bohemian, seductive, and adventurous," makeup artist James Kaliardos told Allure, so the makeup was "colorful and glittery to also reflect Diane at Studio 54”. The legendary makeup artist also did his time in the New York clubs in the eighties where he mixed with the likes of Warhol, as well as being a co-founder of cult art and fashion publications Visionaire and V Magazine and an ex of Nicolas Ghesquière, so he knows his stuff. Kaliardos applied a metallic copper shadow to the eyelids and metallic, soft rose blush to the upper cheekbones, near the eyes, “to keep the girls looking healthy, vibrant, and young”. Hairstylist to the stars Orlando Pita created goddess waves by braiding, reportedly looking “back at antiquity to create flawless beauty, and since braids are one of the oldest hairstyles, that's what we're doing”. His method seems almost too effortless - he created five to seven braids on each model's damp head, then after they were dry flat-ironed them, and left them to set until right before the show, when he undid them. Too easy.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Daily delight: beautiful Bianca

This photo of a Halston-era Bianca Jagger is ridiculously beautiful as well as being a great snapshot of some of the hottest trends emerging in beauty right now. The Nicaraguan beauty has the strong, arched and careful brow we’re all trying to replicate this season, along with a clear red lip* that is slightly glossed and a little undone – pair with naturally tamed hair and clean, fresh skin and you have one rather grown up and unashamedly sexy picture.

* Perfect match for this that I've found: Chanel Aqualumiere Sheer Colour Lipshine in Porto Rotondo

Nicely needled

Many of those with a bent for beauty and advancements in the world of all things appearance have experienced the power of the needle - be it botox, dermal fillers or some other such sacrifice made in the interest of good looks. They will be well versed in the power of a few needle pricks to change their appearance - for better or for worse - but how about all jammed in at once?
Enter Acupuncture Facial Renewal (A.F.R.), otherwise known as 'acupuncture facelift' or 'cosmetic acupuncture'. Whilst most people wouldn't mind looking a few years younger, the notion of allowing a surgeon to take a knife to your face is more than a little off-putting. As a non-surgical alternative, cosmetic acupuncture is proven to deliver a “fresh faced radiance” whilst addressing the underlying causes of ageing as an added bonus.
The roll call of appearance-related afflictions that A.F.R. can treat is seemingly endless - wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness, age spots, discolouration, enlarged pores, jowls - whilst it also acts to balance hormone levels in the body and moisturise the skin. A multifaceted treatment that can include a  mask, scrub and other modalities, it also takes into account the client's overall well being and factors such as gender, age and lifestyle.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Daily delight: Christy's Madison cover

Madison isn't my favourite mag on the block, but I am seriously in love with a fresh faced, polished and just plain beautiful 40-year-old Christy Turlington on the cover of its latest issue. Ridiculous gorgeousness and the kind of hair that's made to covet. A passionate yoga advocate, she's also heavily involved in women's health and famously detached from the supermodel status. “Now I’m 40 and getting this degree, I might be on the cusp of the career I always wanted,” Turlington said recently of her master’s studies in public health and her work as an advocate for maternal health with the relief agency CARE.
“Maternal deaths mean there are very serious things going on under the radar about women’s status.” So passionate is she about the cause, she has self-funded a documentary No Woman, No Cry scheduled for release in 2010.

Take five: Peaches Geldof

Whether she’s test driving potentially dodgy denim in the pages of Nylon magazine or wowing the international press with an old school glamover on the red carpet at Cannes, tattooed girl about town Peaches Geldof is clearly a woman who knows what she likes when it comes to beauty and to fashion. The sometimes-TV face, sometimes-journo and sometimes-model is one extremely busy but definitely intriguing girl, so here’s a peek into her beauty must haves and dos:

1. Lips or eyes?
I never look at a person’s eyes, unless they have tiny eyes or huge oversized boggle ones. I think full lips are really sexy.

2. Earliest make up memory?
I remember wearing waaaaay too much foundation when I was about fourteen. It was like five shades darker than my skin tone and looked like I had streaky dirt all over my face.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Daily delight: nature at work

One of the originators in the natural beauty industry, New Zealand’s Living Nature have just taken out a double header at the prestigious Green Beauty Bible Awards 2010, named after the must-have-don’t-shop-without-it book of the same name. The Keri Keri-based, boutique beauty pioneers’ Conditioning Mascara – created using Manuka Honey and Halloysite Clay - has been named Best Mascara, whilst their Eye Make-Up Remover – featuring Calendula, Manuka Honey and Kumerahou (a natural foaming flower) – took out the category Best Eye Make-Up Remover for the second year in a row.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Living Nature plant in New Zealand’s Far North and was amazed by how incredibly “hands on” and real this globally recognised company is, still picking many of their ingredients - quite literally when it comes to Kumerahou – by the side of the road. Their journey has been a long and amazing one, and their accolades all the more deserved for it.

10 minutes with Ryder's Greg Murrell

An integral part of the fashion scene in New Zealand as well as one of the country's most loved hair stylists, Aucklander Greg Murrell is the owner of Ryder salon. Also well-respected outside of New Zealand, earlier this year Greg was honoured by the Australian Fellowship of Hairdressers with a Master's Award celebrating his 25 year career at a function at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney. Greg is also the Hair Editor of the wonderful Black magazine – of which I am Beauty Editor – and a generally brilliant, witty and charming guy all round.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gwinganna goodness

For many people – including myself - a week spent in the Queensland rainforest paradise of Gwinganna is both one of the hardest in their lives, and the most rewarding. A Lifestyle Retreat in every sense of the word, Gwinganna nurtures as equally as it punishes, and helps set you up with the essential tools needed to take your health to its optimum level of well being.
Only twenty minutes from Gold Coast airport, Gwinganna is a real elysium of health, wellness and beauty, and a place that really deserves the accolade “this changed my life”. I travelled there to spend a week completing a programme that goes by the name “Optimum Well being Plus”, which is a six-night long journey that gives you the space to breathe, relax, revive, nourish and reenergise.
It involves motivational lifestyle workshops, blissful spa treatments, exercise classes that begin at 6:00 am (holy hell!) and some of the healthiest yet most delicious food you have ever eaten, all experienced in a breathtaking bush setting that is so close to a city yet light years away when it comes to peace and isolation.

Pomegranate power

Over my way the Summer is finally creeping in, the temperatures are rising along with the hemlines and the sun is doing what it does best – shine its white hot hear out. Those of us with my than a cursory interest in the health of their skin will have never stopped slapping on sunscreen, but sadly we are in the minority. New Zealand has one of the highest melanoma death rates in the world, with over 300 New Zealanders are dying from skin cancer every year. The vast majority of skin cancers are preventable - it has been estimated that over 90 per cent of melanomas in Australasia are attributable to sunlight exposure. And most sun damage occurs from incidental exposure during day-to-day activities, not at the beach.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Some of my favourite beauty people IV: Michael Ashton

As well as being my favourite make up artist and the only person I'd trust with my face on my wedding day, London-based Michael Ashton is one of my best friends. A constant inspiration and all round fabulous man to have around, I appreciate having Michael so much in my life that this could just be filed as a "Daily Delight" as well! Here's 10 minutes with the man you NEED to have your face "done" by ASAP...

How would you describe what you do?
I work across the celebrity/music/fashion and entertainment mediums as a hair/make-up artist. Some of my clients include Adele, Peaches Geldof, Bianca Jagger, Martine McCutcheon, Elle Macpherson, Jade Jagger and Michael Sheen.

How long have you been in the industry now?
I started my career 11 years ago training as a hair stylist and working in one of Auckland’s leading salons, before moving into make-up and beginning my session styling career. I shot editorial for leading New Zealand publications and I was key artist for numerous ANZFW shows. These experiences were a springboard for my international career and before I knew it I had moved to New York to work alongside the M.A.C Pro team at New York Fashion Week. I have now settled in London, which is my home away from home.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Judith White and a heavenly brush with JW Organics

Many years ago – back when it was still filed next to seaweed sandals and wheatgrass juice – I first became a fan of aromatherapy, a natural science that has grown rapidly over the past few years in both method and respect in equal measure. These days it’s de rigeur to include essential oils in all number of beauty products, from moisturisers to mascara and almost everything in between. One of the first aromatherapy names that I followed was that of Judith White, an Australian born, internationally acclaimed Holistic Aromatherapist who has devoted a large part of her life to the study of natural plant extracts.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Daily delight: D.L. & Company

A while ago I was given a D.L. & Company "Voodoo Lily" candle as a gift, and it is so gorgeous I just can't bring myself to light it!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Some of my favourite beauty people III: Smashbox's Neisha Henry

Neisha Henry is the Educator and Brand Manager for Smashbox Cosmetics NZ and oversees the day-to-day running of Smashbox Cosmetics in New Zealand. She also works internationally with the LA-based make up giant, travelling around the Asia-Pacific region as a Smashbox International Pro-Artist. On a local level, Neisha has provided creative direction for the looks seen on the runways at Air New Zealand Fashion Week, and this year her team will be working on the Nom*D show, which is always one of my absolute favourites.

Neisha travels to Los Angeles four times a year, usually to meet with Davis Factor, co-founder of Smashbox and the great-grandson of make up legend Max Factor. As the company's HQ - Smashbox Studios - is also the venue for LA Fashion Week and hundreds of shoots a year, the petite brunette gets to see trends in make up as they happen.

Declaring Aaron De Mey a magician, and creator of a very fine lipstick

This morning I was introduced to the new colour collection from Lancome, Declaring Indigo. The creation of Kiwi-born make up visionary Aaron De Mey, it is awash in the deepest of blue with gold shimmer and black accents, and features three new MATTE lipsticks - yes, matte!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Daily delight: Zelens

Today I received a pot of the legendary Zelens Skin Science Intensive Triple-Action Eye Cream, in packaging that it seems a crime to abuse i.e rip into! The Zelens design concept, jars and outer packaging are all designed by Anouska Hempel, the internationally renowned designer and hotelier behind Blakes hotels in London and Amsterdam and The Hempel hotel in London. Beeeeaautiful.

Some of my favourite beauty people II: Kathy Phillips

As British Vogue's former beauty director, beauty author and current beauty director for Condé Nast international, for Kathy Phillips launching her own product line seemed like second nature. This Works, like its name, is a simple, hardworking collection of aromatherapy-based skin, bath, home and body products that does what it says it will do, and smells bloody marvellous while doing it.
I was lucky enough to talk to Kathy last year when she was travelling Downunder for the launch of the brand in Mecca Cosmetica, and found her to be a woman who was as witty as she was clever, as well as a fountain of knowledge when it comes to the use of organic, high performance ingredients. Combining superior expertise in blending aromatherapy oil with insider know-how of the global beauty and health industries, This Works is a veritable survival kit for those suffering modern malaises, and looks a treat too with modern but clinical packaging designed by an art director colleague of Phillips' at Vogue.

Snowberry goodness

The creation of Soraya Hendesi, Snowberry is New Zealand's first all natural, premium skincare brand. A carefully crafted mix of the two pillars of “natural beauty” and “authenticity” by which the Persian-born New Zealander lives her life, it is a collection of beauty products that is “as gentle but enduring in its effect as possible, seeking to enhance rather than intervene”.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Daily delight: Stellanude by Stella McCartney

I've just come home from the launch of the new Stella McCartney fragrance, Stellanude, a delicate floral that's a little deeper and more musky than its elder sister, Stella. The delight was definitely leaving with a bottle of the fragrance's limited edition Linen Scented Mist, and the cutest pair of Stella McCartney nude-toned knickers.