Friday, October 30, 2009

Daily delight: falling in love with SANS

I went for a trip across the bridge yesterday to see Lucy Marr at the new Stephen Marr salon atop The Department Store, a three floor mecca of fabulousness that recently opened in Auckland’s Takapuna. There is everything from Karen Walker and Black Box to Flotsam & Jetsam and Simon James Design there to tempt you, but I was really there to check out the new salon and Powder Room, and Lucy’s very own skin and haircare collection, Sans. She and I have been talking about the brand for over a year, and finally it’s here! Lucy and I have a similar approach to beauty ie. highly active and refreshingly real and pure, and Sans really has blown much of what I have seen out of the water.
Pure, chemical-free and highly active, Sans really is new generation beauty: a collection of products designed to renew the texture and appearance of your skin and hair that doesn’t harm the user or the enivironment. Unable to find products that were highly active but also pure and chemical-free, Lucy enlisted New Zealand’s top scientists to create a range of products unlike any other. Sans products use potent vitamin actives to repair, nourish and protect. These ingredients have been proven in rigorous scientific trials to actually change the appearance of skin and hair, helping it recover from sun damage, skin pollutants and irritants. As I’m always ranting about, many ‘natural’ products today still contain sulfates, silicones, petrochemicals, artificial dyes, artificial colours, artificial fragrances and parabens. Sans contains no artificial chemicals – only sustainably harvested, natural ingredients and organic wherever possible - and in line with the name (Sans is French for ‘without’), the collection is pure, clean and without any unnecessary or harmful ingredients, reducing your daily beauty regime to a concise selection of multi-functional, highly effective products. It even uses PETG for its packaging, a modern, safe and non-leaching form of plastic that is the most stable packaging material available today.
I came way from my trip with a lip conditioner, shampoo and conditioner from the range that I’m amping to use, and have already picked out my next must have: the Activator 7 Body Oil, a reparative oil using active vitamin A to stimulate cell repair, increase collagen production and boost skin thickness and elasticity. Delicious, and guilt-free.

A Greg Murrell how-to: long, loose and braided

One of my favourite hair looks that emerged this year from the catwalks internationally has been the long, loose wave, braids optional. If you have long hair it is often a struggle to look like you’ve actually got a “style” as opposed to just a lot of hair, and this a perfect look that is both easy to achieve as well as super feminine, if that’s your bag. The talented Greg Murrell and his team from Ryder salon in Central Auckland created a perfectly tousled example of this at a recent Stolen Girlfriends Club show, and I got the low down on how it was achieved.
“The look is wavy with a dry, dusty texture and features a braid across the whole of the front hairline. There is some height at the top with the volume through the sides being reduced by the addition of two plaited headbands made from hair which contrast slightly in colour to the natural hair. This is designed to fit the theme of nomadic abandonment.
Hair is sprayed liberally with KMS California Sea-salt spray and twisted in large sections. Then the hair was dried using a dryer, but taking care to keep it in the twists. When dry, repeat the process to build up the product texture.
Take a 1.5 inch wide section just in front of the right ear and start braiding a two strand twist right across the front hairline towards the left ear and ending at the nape. Fasten the end of the braid with a clip to prevent unravelling.
Now back-brush to the roots on top of the head for volume.
Place hair with your hands and then place the first headband in position at the high recession, wrapping it around the head. Take the second headband and place it just behind the right ear and wrap it to the other side. Fix both headbands in position by sewing them in place.
Finish by using KMS California Dry Wax for texture.”

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Smells like heaven: Lemongrass House

I thought I was going quite mad a couple of months ago when I could have sworn that I picked up the sweet smell of Thailand wafting past me on the chilly Winter air. Walking along a Southerly-whipped Ponsonby Road I had to stop for a second sniff, and noticed that it was coming from a gorgeous new shop by the name of Lemongrass House.
The first of its kind in New Zealand, it belongs to a group of fifteen retail outlets worldwide selling Lemongrass House premium grade, fresh handmade spa products. Bought to New Zealand by locals Brett Humble and Blair Haddow, Lemongrass House was established in Thailand in 1996, where their products are still handmade in Bangkok and Phuket, and distilled in various locations there and in Cambodia. Comprising a wide range of pure aromatherapy products, the truly gorgeous Lemongrass House range includes essential oils; bath and shower gels; an extensive children's range; face and body products as well as a highly effective, natural mosquito repellent. Each and every product relies on the quality and concentration of essential oils and specialised hand blending. In addition, all ingredients are derived from safe, renewable resources and importantly, contain no animal ingredients and are not tested on animals. Freshness is the other key ingredient, with the shelf life of any of these delightful goodies limited to just three months. You also know that you've got your hands on the good stuff as the company is also a key supplier of aromatherapy products to major hotel spas in Thailand and around the world. Without realising it you may have sampled their products at such luxurious spots as the Aman Resorts and Spas, Six Senses Resorts and Spas, Chiva Som and Raison D'être and The Sanctuary in the UK. Cheaper than a week-long stay at any of these hot spots in these cash strapped times, Lemongrass House's beautiful collection of scented goodies is definitely a far more affordable option. Pop in next time you're in the neighbourhood, you'll find them next door to Rob's Patisserie - just follow the smell!

Daily delight: Amber Valletta by François Nars

Iconic makeup artist François Nars is set to release a book of celebrity portraits to commemorate the 15th anniversary of his enonymous NARS Cosmetics line, including this piece of gorgeousness featuring supermodel-slash-actress-slash-mum-slash-designer, Amber Valletta. Like Nars’ earlier book, X-Ray, the series of portraits in his new release are intended to transform their subjects into new personas — but the twist this time is that there are two inspirations for each shot, an iconic image, person or emotion and a classic Nars product. The book features 15 well known faces: Marc Jacobs, Isabella Rossellini, Amber Valletta, Dayle Haddon, Naomi Campbell, Amanda Lepore, Daphne Guinness, François Vincentelli, Natasha Poly, Lisa Marie Smith, Olivier Theyskens, Carla Gugino, Shalom Harlow, Tyson Ballou and Jennifer Jason Leigh. “Basically, I wanted people who reflected my taste, friends and people I admired for their look and talent,” the make up maestro told the press. “I love the way Marc looks, but also what he is and does. I tried to pick people not just for looks, but for talent.” A massive movie buff, Nars set out to create a “fun, young interpretation” of French screen legend Catherine Deneuve in the famous Belle de Jour using Valletta, focusing on perfect golden skin, neutral lips and eyes, and statement-making false eyelashes. It’s a look that’s thoroughly modern but with more than a passing nod to a beauty that was revered in the past, and also incredibly user-friendly. Love it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And how Aesop's Marrakech makes me feel?

Talitha Getty in Morocco. Perfection.

Daily delight: Aesop's Marrakech

When I travelled to Sydney to cover Australian Fashion Week several years ago, the one thing that really stood out in my mind from the week of chaos, beauty and plain old insanity was a fragrance oil I bought in the basement of David Jones. Called Marrakech, it was the creation of Aesop, Melbourne-based purveyors of all things beautiful.
Creating quality skincare since 1987, the exquisite scents for which Aesop is renowned are an incidental treat. The company values “all human endeavours undertaken with intellectual rigour, vision, and a nod to the whimsical”, and the scent of Marrakech epitomises this most grand of mission statements. includes a healthy diet, sensible exercise, and a regular intake of good books. For Marrakech, the creators drew inspiration from a city “cloaked in colours of the desert, where artisans work on rugs hewn by hand, and hot wind holds lute music and smells of the spice market. It is a city that has called to traders and travellers for thousands of years, a place where chaos and an ancient stillness coexist…” The result is a spicy fragrance with Clove, Sandalwood, and Cardamom that is quite frankly, bloody gorgeous. Available now as a Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Baume de Parfum, I’m almost out and hoping that it’s available at the just-opened Marr Lab in The Department Store in Takapuna. Fingers crossed, and there goes my pennies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daily delight: my brand new Cire Trudon ‘Ernesto’ candle

In the year 1643 in France, the legacy of Cire Trudon candles began when a wax merchant named Trudon began crafting candles. Originally, he created candles for the many churches in Paris, but as word of the quality of candles spread, the merchant was soon asked into the homes of royalty and nobility to create candles for some of the best households of France. Louis XIV, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette all burned Cire Trudon candles. After the Revolution, Napoleon turned to Cire Trudon candles for lighting and for ceremonies, and now I have one burning too!
Cire Trudon is the oldest candle maker and wax manufacturer in the business, and design houses like Kenzo, Guerlain, Hermes, and Dior all entrust them with creating their candles. The company’s beautiful flagship store is on Rue de Seine in Paris, but thankfully available also online and in Auckland at the World Beauty stores.
Several things set Cire Trudon candles apart. Since Trudon was originally a wax merchant, it’s no surprise that the wax in these candles is of the highest quality. Based on a traditional recipe, it is made with no artificial substances, fillers, or paraffin, but instead uses100% vegetable wax for the purest candle and the cleanest burn. Each Cire Trudon candle also has a pure cotton wick that is woven right in for the longest burn time possible. The company was also green long before environmental consciousness was a trend – all Cire Trudon candles are free of pesticides, allergens, and chemicals and are biodegradable.
The scents of Cire Trudon candles also set the brand apart. My candle is the ‘Ernesto’ fragrance, and inspired by the famous Cuban revolutionary of the same name. According to the accompanying paraphernalia (which is gorgeous too, by the way) it’s inspired by the following scene: “…In a hotel of Havana, sizzling under the stubborn sun of the Revolution, fierce overtones of leather and tobacco meddle with resolution the waxy silence of wood. Breaking out of the cool dimness, sly grimaces emerge, framed by the smoke of cigars and the barrels of guns….” In a word: DELICIOUS. I love this scent to bits, and my husband even more so for buying it for me!

Some of my favourite beauty people VI: senior hair stylist Kate Murphy

One of the nicest, coolest and most talented people I’ve ever had style my hair is Kate Murphy, Senior Stylist and Manager of Stephen Marr Ponsonby. Kate also has added the title of Ambassador to her name for hair care giant Sebastian, and I couldn’t think of a better person for the job!
In her eight years at Stephen Marr she’s charmed all who have met her in salon and impressed those she works with on editorial, which has included look book shoots for the likes of Miss Crabb and Karen Walker and several New Zealand Fashion Weeks.
Her signature style seems to be a beautiful form of natural, with a little bit of an edge thrown in to the mix to stir things up. Her pop culture idols include Blondie’s Deborah Harry and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and their personal style quirks can be spotted in her work.
A few weeks ago Kate and fellow stylist Hannah Petrie collaborated with friends in a creative weekend project. The photographer on the job was Neill Gaddes, Sky Jackson took care of make up and Lydia Lyell and Shanelle Simpson provided the clothes for the beautiful, raw and real series of images. I asked Kate about my favourite shot – pictured here – and she had this to say:
“Creating seamless organic hair is so in this summer, and soft waves and eye-catching tones help enhance your natural features and allow them to really shine.
To re-create this look wash first with Sebastian Light Shampoo and Conditioner to give light hydration and lend control, then when hair is towel dried apply some Sebastian Whipped Cream for protection before drying.
Slowly shake the hair dry from roots to tips to encourage natural wave, then grab your tongs and curl small soft pieces flowing back from the face.
To make it even more contrived, apply a small amount of Sebastian Zero Gravity Spray.
Throw your head back and tousle your locks to complete!”

Friday, October 23, 2009

Well hello there, Vapour Organic Beauty!

It takes a lot to get me excited about a new make up range, especially those that purport to be “green” as they often fall way behind the eight ball when it comes to pigment and performance. Then, along came word of Vapour. The story of Vapour began nearly thirty years ago with an innovative company in New Mexico, USA,
that recognized the need for healthy non-toxic product choices for women. That same company decided there was a way to create natural products that refuse to compromise, and this became their mission.
Focusing on the use of Certified Organic and safe food grade ingredients they consciously chose to eliminate chemical ingredients, and instead focus on the use of botanicals and blends of anti-oxidants found naturally in plant oils and butters. Empowered by experience and visionary creativity, they knew they had the perfect formulas and the time was right. On the other side of the country was an experienced beauty professional, Eric Sakas, who had spent years working side by side with legendary makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin developing cosmetics. He understood colour, and what makes a stellar cosmetic product . To Eric, perfect makeup products not only replicated the look of natural, healthy glowing skin, but also gave nourishing benefits to the wearer, and he just couldn’t seem to track down effective ones anywhere. Fast forward to early 2008, when he received an un-labeled sample of a new formula that he fell in love with. A partnership was born. Vapour Organic Beauty – hailed in the US as being at the forefront of the organic make up revolution – is now open for business and made from food-grade Certified Organic ingredients that have been found to offer twice as much antioxidant potency as their conventional counterparts. Exciting stuff indeed.
I’m amping to try and get my hands on one of their Trick Sticks, which they call a “new concept in skin highlighting and illumination”. This light-reflective sheer tint highlights the cheekbones, eyes and lips with a hint of luminous color, and can also be layered to create depth and dimension on the cheeks, eyes or lips. They claim that the Trick Stick will soon be known as the professional makeup artist’s secret to radiant skin, and it also seems perfectly portable, which is great for glam-loving women on the run.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Daily delight: Frédéric Fekkai Salon Glaze Clear Shine Treatment

Right now I can’t get enough of this clear glossing and conditioning treatment that binds shine, recharges colour and adds a real silky vibrancy for that “fresh-from-the-salon” look that very few of us can replicate at home. A gentle, non-chemical at-home treatment, it also brings out your natural hair color and highlights and has removed some of my fear about taking my hair a few shades lighter no end. Made up of a blend of conditioning and lightweight silicones, Salon Glaze lightly coats the cuticle to condition and add shine to the hair shaft without the heaviness or oiliness of traditional shine serums. It’s also suitable for all hair types, and is a simple rinse-off formula that you chuck on for a few minutes after your conditioner has done it’s thing. I bought a bottle on the recommendation of the fabulous Chris Devlin at Mecca Cosmetica, and I've never looked back. It’s been said many times but I’ll say it again: the man is a genius!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Christmas is officially on its way!

The sun is shining, the weeks are ticking by WAY too fast and my brand new, rather delectable new office has been liberally sprayed with Jo Malone's beautiful Pine & Eucalyptus Living Cologne!

Looking at your hair holistically: a chat with Nigel Russell, I.A.T Trichologist

Earlier this week I was invited to enjoy a treatment and blow wave at Grey Lynn, Auckland salon Gareth & Co, courtesy of the very kind people at Pantene. The occasion was the launch of their Deep Fortifying Treatment collection and featured a guest appearance by Trichologist Nigel Russell. A stylist for thirty years in Sydney and Auckland, he realised the importance of trichology in 1985 and trained extensively to become a certified trichologist in 1992. So what exactly is Trichology? The science or understanding of hair and scalp problems in relation to the whole body and its general health, so a rather interesting field indeed. I took Nigel aside for a chat, and found out some rather interesting stuff about how to keep your crowning glory just that…

What is your position with Pantene, can I call you an ambassador?
Pantene use me in the capacity of a hair and scalp specialist, as they are keen to promote the connection between hair and health. It is not my job to promote their products as such because they do a pretty good job of that already, more so to provide health and wellbeing information and direction in how to keep your hair in good shape.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A chat with Judith White - internationally acclaimed aromatherapist and the mastermind behind JW Organics

Over twenty years ago I first discovered the work of Judith White, back when aromatherapy was just starting to leave behind its “seaweed sandals wearer” type reputation and gaining respect worldwide. Holistic Aromatherapist Judith was at the forefront of that image change, as a teacher, lecturer, columnist, and regular radio and television personality. She was instrumental in setting standards and guidelines for the Aromatherapy industry with the Australian Government, enabling essential oils to be registered as therapeutic goods. Her pioneering spirit introduced Aromatherapy into hospitals, schools and colleges for holistic and allopathic medicine and into hundreds and thousands of households world-wide. She has also studied naturopathy, herbalism, holistic skincare, is a qualified fitness instructor and holds diplomas in aromatherapy, iridology and several forms of therapeutic massage. Author and co-author of 10 books, she is a living legend in the field of natural health. She recently released her own signature beauty range, JW Organics, which includes a range of in-salon treatments that are purported to be akin to heaven on earth. I was lucky enough to track her down for a chat…

Daily delight: Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer

A brand that develops and testdrives all of its products literally on the runway, Smashbox are about to release the Photo Finish Lid Primer, for “creating the perfect canvas for shadow application”. You can wear this universal shade under shadow to increase longevity and prevent creasing, or alone to correct discoloration on lids for the perfect nude eye during the Summer months. You can also try dabbing Lid Primer under eyes to banish dark circles, and it won’t irritate as it’s refreshingly fragrance free, oil free and paraben free. Smashbox New Zealand’s Neisha Henry says that the team “could not have lived without this little gem at Air New Zealand Fashion Week… Just like our face primer, this vitamin-packed formula glides on and instantly smoothes and perfects lids. It gives shadow the staying power to withstand anything…….even the
occasional all-nighter!” High performance ingredients in this all new release include Phytomoist, a plant-based hyaluronic acid for ultimate moisturisation, and amino acids for skin smoothing benefits. Soft focus pearls help diminish the appearance of fine lines on the lids, while the patented Qusome delivery system ensures all ingredients penetrate the skin to deliver effective results.
Photo Finish Lid Primer was one of the key products used by Neisha to create the look above at the ghd New Generation show at ANZFW, photo by the wonderfully talented Guy Coombes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I am loving the new face of Chanel lippy: Vanessa Paradis

I love the fact that the French beauty giant has chosen a foxy lady with a cheeky smile and gappy teeth to promote their future lipstick ranges... now that's what I call beautiful! She's also well out of high school, has a respected CV to her name and is a mum to boot, so the company have clearly put some thought into selecting a woman that is reasonably accessible, as well as hopelessly glamorous with more than a little edge. She has also worked for the company before - back in her teens when she was shot inside a birdcage as the face of Coco - so the actress and the brand go way back. Now it's time to bring on the lippy...

Daily delight: Bad girl chic by Daisy Lowe, as featured in W magazine

I love this photo, part of a 17 page extravaganza shot by the incredible Steven Meisel that appeared in W magazine earlier this year. Daisy sports a Bottega Veneta coat, serious bad girl hair and a perfect winged eyeliner, a look that I'd re-create using M.A.C's now-legendary Greasepaint stick (from the recently released Style Black collection) for a softer line. The other key is fresh, bright skin that has been well moisturised - the proof is often in the prep!

Juice Beauty... the inside scoop from one of its creators, Karen Behnke

“Innovative organic beauty solutions masterminded by a team of women who are passionate about organic and healthy lifestyles and whose organic products are backed by powerful science…” That is the description that the Juice Beauty skincare company give to what they have created and what they do, and after attending the brand’s New Zealand launch a couple of weeks ago I was keen to know more. The company is headed by Karen Behnke (Head Juicer - 25 years pioneering healthy lifestyles companies) and Melissa Jochim (Product Juicer - 15 years pioneering organic beauty formulations), two California women who are on a mission to bring pleasurable organic beauty solutions to people worldwide. For over two decades, Karen's mission has been to build businesses that are health and wellness driven. At 24, she pioneered the corporate wellness industry that revolutionised how health was treated in the workplace. Built on the idea that a healthy workforce is a productive workforce, Execu-Fit (later named PacificCare Wellness Company) provided worksite wellness programs around the country that delivered onsite screenings, health risk appraisals wellness educational and fitness programs, for major corporations. Karen later became an executive at the multi-billion dollar healthcare company that purchased her wellness company. Karen's current passion and mission continues this drive to forge positive health change through consumer safety for women that spurs organic and sustainable farming. Fascinated? I was, so I tracked her down for a chat about what she does and why, and a little about what to expect from Juice Beauty in the future…

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Daily delight: Schwarzkopf BC Hairtherapy & Vada salon

Last week I took the plunge and lightened my hair – a lot. After years of being super blonde and then taking my hair as dark as it gets a few years ago, I was a little freaked – not about the colour (which I love) but about the shiny tresses I thought I’d waved bye-bye to after submitting to highlights. Turns out I was wrong – I can have my cake and eat it too! This revelation came after a trip to Auckland salon Vada, where I had my first ever Schwarzkopf BC Hairtherapy treatment, leaving me with hair that both felt and looked a proper treat. First, stylist Kate dry brushed my hair to stimulate the scalp and bring natural oils to the surface, then it was over to the basin for a shampoo and the application if a protein shot to instantly repair any damage done by the colour and general wear and tear. Then a repair treatment was applied and massaged in for a glorious fifteen minutes, followed by a hot towel wrapped around my hair to help the good stuff penetrate that much more. After it was all well rinsed out salon manager Leonie gave me a fabulous curl or two courtesy of the Kevin Murphy “unicorn” style curling iron. The Hairtherapy collection is pretty bloody amazing and has something for everyone, and even includes an in-salon Color Save Pre-Color Service to equal out the porosity in the hair structure prior to coloration for more even results. I, for one, will be back for more.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Daily delight: Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia

I recently had a sneak preview of some of the murderously beautiful Christmas releases from Jo Malone, which I’ll be putting the details of here very soon. I had to take a moment to celebrate their classic scent Vintage Gardenia though, which is thoroughly Jo Malone with an old fashioned twist, and loved by starlets, madams and artists alike. A heady mix of classic florals gardenia and tuberose which are intricately laced with cardamom, sandlewood, incense and myrrh, Vintage Gardenia is a beauty to have on any dresser, just waiting for that perfect moment when you’re feeling slightly old school glam and in the kind of company that truly appreciates it!

Take five: talking beauty with the queen of heartbroken soul, Adele

21-year-old UK vocal sensation Adele is a girl who knows both her own style and how to rock a decent set of false lashes, and I love her for it. Championed by Perez Hilton early on in her career she cracked the US market with a bang, landing two Grammy awards and more than holding her own at this year’s VH1 Divas Live event, where she wiped the floor with her fellow performers and looked fabulous while she was at it. She was handpicked by US Vogue’s Anna Wintour to star in the magazine’s Shape issue for 2009, and was also styled by the devil herself for her big night at the Grammys. I spent five minutes picking her brain about all things beauty…

What do you think makes a woman beautiful?
Confidence and glamour. I think if someone naturally oozes a bit of both they're stunningly irresistible!

Are you a lip or an eye girl? I keep seeing you with a signature "lash"...
Ha! I love a lash. I love the 60s makeup look - big and bold. If I have my face done I feel naked without a lash. They're my ode to the drag queens. I'm a bit of a lip girl too but sometimes I'm a bit conscious of mine because there quite big anyway so I don't like drawing too much attention to them.

Have you learnt anything clever/unexpected from having your hair and make up done by a professional on a regular basis?
Contour!! Its all about the contouring! And white eye liner to open up the eye! I'm a huge slacker when it comes to my hair, I don't look after it very well!

You were shot this year for US Vogue, did you feel nervous going on to such a prestigious set?
I was nervous but I was a bit oblivious too. I've only in the last few months starting reading glossy mags, so I wasn't really aware of how big of a deal it was at the time. Annie Leibovitz wanted me natural. I was in hair and makeup for about half hour. Annie also asked me to not have my hotel room cleaned for 10 days, so I was pretty relaxed in my own mess!

What is the one product you can't live without - your "weapon of beauty!"?
My Eve Lom cleanser! It makes your face so soft. Its such a treat even when you do it yourself.

Do you have a signature scent?
Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison

What is one thing that makes you feel at your best i.e. a glass of bubbles, a facial, a new set of lashes...?
Definetly a new set of special edition Shu Uemura lashes!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not putting just any old foot forward

If you’re a resident of the Southern Hemisphere like me, I'm guessing that you’ve had your feet bundled up in socks, more socks, more socks again and perhaps some boots, for what feels like one hell of a long time now. Chances are they look pretty rough on it too, unless of course you’ve been on a tropical escape and already had the first pedi of the season. Strappy sandals are all over the shops and will be soon on your feet too, so if they aren’t looking their best it’s time to get to work on them, and fast! Clarins have always had one of the industry’s most-recommended hand and nail treatment creams on the market, and now they have developed a formula to take care of your tootsies too. The all new Foot Beauty Treatment Cream is a godsend, with a creamy rich, non-oily texture that nourishes, smoothes and repairs feet from heel to toe by relieving roguh skin and perfecting toenails too. It’s also quickly absorbed, meaning that you can lather it on in the morning after a shower and not slip down the stairs on the way out the door. Clever ingredients include Myrrh to hydrate and strengthen nails, Arnica to relieve tiredness and swelling and Laponite powder, which absorbs water for an antiperspirant action. Genius! Apply now.

How to: Stephen Marr for Adrian Hailwood, using Sebastian

Adrian Hailwood’s show at the recent Air New Zealand Fashion Week was one of the hottest tickets of the week, and definitely did not disappoint. The hair was created by the team from Stephen Marr, with Lauren Gunn designing a strong look to accompany the collection, which put an irresistable twist on fame and fortune. With inspiration taken from David Hockney’s work ‘A Bigger Splash’, models were clad in silk dresses and sleek turbans. Brushed out and tumbling tresses and luxurious Veronica Lake waves exaggerated the look of the poolside LA screen siren, from an era when stars really were stars. To achieve your own DIY version of this super glam style, dry some Sebastian Mousse Forte into your hair followed by a light spray of Sebastian ReShaper. Put in half a dozen hotsticks for fifteen minutes, then brush them out with a boar bristle brush and add another light coat of ReShaper. Use a beautiful length of silk fabric knotted at the front and back to create your own turban or alternatively a tie on pretty silk scarf.
Hair: Lauren Gunn for Stephen Marr
Make-Up: Kristen Stewart
Photography: Olivia Hemus
Photographer’s Assistant: Evie MacKay

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Glitz and glam for ghd

Already got a ghd? Surely it’s time for a new one, and there’s no better excuse than this little baby. Part of the limited edition ghd IV Precious gift set for Christmas release, this modernistic black and silver designed ghd IV styler will be available from October of this year and is raather more glam – not to mention a little more rock n’ roll – than its younger sister. The set also includes a travel hair dryer (the best I’ve found yet) and ghd heat resistant roll bag in a metallic glitter finish with a black satin tie – to protect and store the styler and styling essentials. It includes detachable styler and hair dryer compartments and heat-proof styling mat. Want.

Daily delight: Stella Maxwell, make up by Margo Regan using M.A.C

One of New Zealand’s “most wanted” on the international runways right now, model Stella Maxwell popped back home to walk at Air New Zealand Fashion Week last month, as well as star in shoots for almost every mag in town. She was shot by Jackie Meiring for REMIX magazine, and one of the country’s hottest make up talents, hot Scot Margo Regan, worked her magic to create a look that highlighted the pale beauty’s best features to perfection. We asked her for a rundown on what she did to whip out such a luminous face…

1. Stella’s face was prepped as always with my own home made face mist, which is a mix of orange blossom water and rose water with my own blend of essential oils added. While her face was still damp I massaged in a mix of M.A.C Moisture Feed and Strobe Cream to really plump up the skin.

2. I like to groom the brows in place, curl lashes and apply loads of lip conditioner to start. Smith's Minted Rose is my fave for the lips but it has the dreaded petrolatum base, so I'm working on my own natural one at the moment. Watch this space!

3. Foundation du jour is a minimal amount of M.A.C Studio Sculpt.... I'm a fan of using as light a colour as I can get away with then sculpting with different shades of Mineralize powders.

4. For the eyes, I used my desert island product - M.A.C cream colour base in Fawntastic -with a light wash of Era satin eyeshadow to slightly set it in place. Hot Poppy Pencil was then mixed with orange Paintstick to contour the eye and used quite heavily on the lower lash line. I then blew out any hard lines and intensified the colour using Texture satin eyeshadow.

5. Lips were blocked out with M.A.C Lip Erase and then I applied Bare Canvas satin lipstick.

Fresh, luminous and bloody gorgeous.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rest assured New Zealand, Elemis is back!

East Day Spa has just become the exclusive spot to experience the exquisite and high performance range Elemis face and body treatments in New Zealand, after the brand disappeared from our shores several years ago. I was fortunate enough to be a guest at the Sky City Grand Hotel branch of East and there was pampered with the ultra refereshing and nourishing Fruit Active Glow facial, which is the perfect pick-me-up after a Winter of stodgy food, a little too much wine and cranked up heating. Designed to “bring back the glow to a lifeless complexion” (i.e. mine), the facial begins with a deep cleanse and then the skin is stimulated using the specialist Eastern massage techniques that the Elemis brand is famous for. Powerful conditioning actives nourish and “renew vital radiance” along the way, whilst East throw in one of their divine head massages and hair treatments for good measure. The Elemis brand has been at the forefront of spa treatments and take home skincare for over twenty years, but each year has introduced new innovations that have kept it always one step ahead of the rest. This is what drew East Day Spa Director Ina Bajaj and her incredibly knowledgeable – and lovely! – Spa Manager Suyin Ginn to the brand, and made them passionate about bringing it back into the New Zealand market. Elemis treatments are also exactly the same all over the world, which means that they only trust the best in the business with spreading the word and the love. The list of facials on offer is also impressive, and use ingredients like Japanese Silk to pamper and repair the skin. I’ve now got my eye on the Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift, which purports to slow down the signs of premature ageing, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and crows feet, using lifting massage techniques and a Japanese silk mask impregnated with Pro-collagen Booster Serum. There are claims that this anti-wrinkle facial is clinically proven to reduce the number of wrinkles by up to 94 per cent and improve skin firmness by up to 57 per cent after just one treatment. Where do I sign up?!

Elizabeth Arden celebrates the 80's: let's go retro!

Elizabeth Arden’s 1980’s Celebration of the Decades Limited Edition Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant and Lip Protectant are the latest incarnations of this awesome idea, which celebrates exactly how damn long this beauty “must have” has been around. With its silkscreen graphics and torn up typography, this collection is inspired by the raw energy of punk, and the design movement that emerged from it (which is still rearing its head in the industry with increasing regularity almost thirty years later). Legendary Eight Hour Cream does it all, from softening skin and cuticles to glossing lips and cheeks, and this just happens to look pretty awesome too. Love it!

Daily delight: Natascha McElhone for YOU Magazine

Californication star Natash McElhone was recently shot by Elisabeth Hoff for YOU Magazine flaunting some seriously to-kill-for hair. The man on the job was UK-based make up artist and hair stylist Michael Ashton, who gives us a quick run down on how to – hopefully – achieve the same…

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday goodness: Juice Beauty is here!

It was with great anticipation that I attended the official launch of Juice Beauty into the New Zealand market last week as I’m a passionate advocate of organics and had heard great things about this Californian brand. Launched in San Francisco by two women with a long history in the area of health and well being, Juice Beauty skincare is up to 95 per cent Certified Organic, which is among the highest organic content available on the market right now. Frustratingly, some brands would like you to believe that all of their ingredients are organic. Unfortunately, they only use a few organic ingredients in a water base that makes up most of the product - making the organic content often less than 5 per cent. Instead of the typical water base that cannot be "organic or pesticide free," the powers behind Juice Beauty created an antioxidant rich organic juice base which is much more nourishing for your skin. All Juice Beauty products (total content) contain up to 95 per cent certified organic ingredients, and when you consider that our skin absorbs up to 64 per cent of what we place on it, it is vital that you be vigilant about what it comes into contact with. What we feed our skin should be organic, healthy, nutritious, paraben-free and naturally toxin-free and this range is all that, and more. Whilst many beauty ranges that are good for your body aren’t that much chop when it comes to real results, Juice Beauty's pure organic ingredients are packed with age-defying potency i.e. powerful antioxidants and polyphenols, essential vitamins, vital phytonutrients and age-defying hydroxy acids. And for optimum age-defying results, the antioxidant technology combines alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, DMAE, peptides, fat soluble Vitamin C and essential fatty acids for healthy, radiant skin. I for one can’t wait to crack into my press kit of goodies, and also have an interview with the makers coming up soon. Watch this space.

Friday, October 9, 2009

One for the weekend: Sam McKnight for Chanel Spring 2010

"It's slightly Brigitte Bardot, slightly Marie Antoinette," said hairstylist McKnight of the dishevelled updo he created to accompany Chanel's Spring 2010 collection, which was very saucy in a "down on the farm" sort of way. "It's sexy and girlie—very coquettish," added the superstar stylist, who prepped the models' hair with texturizing spray before drying and then gathered it into a high ponytail. This was teased and folded at the base, then the ends were folded under and pinned. The finishing touch? A signature Chanel oversized hair accessory. An easy look to pull out for the weekend if ever I saw one.

Finally in New Zealand: Lancome's Absolue Precious Cells

Great excitement within the industry greeted the arrival of Lancome’s brand new Absolue Precious Cells range, their first line utilising the knowledge provided by stem cell research and the way it can help “turn back the clock” when it comes to your skin as well. Over twenty years in the making, this cream targets the tough 50+ market with proven results under its belt along with a bucketload of hype that it has already lived up to internationally. It is the first skincare line from the French beauty giant designed to trigger skin’s innate regenerative potential by acting on the environment surrounding these precious cells. It restores density, reduces wrinkles and regenerates the skin’s own radiance, and it’s proven: within six days, the skin will recover the visible signs of younger skin. There is also significant deep wrinkle reduction in UV damaged skin after four weeks. Sound to good to be true? If all of the reasearch is to believed then it certainly isn’t, and damn impressive it is too. Believe the hype.

A look to brighten a rainy day:Stella McCartney Spring 2010

This was definitely a beauty look that only the truly young and gorgeous could pull off with panache i.e. not much at all on either the hair or make up front! It was a great chance for the models’ natural beauty to shine though, and complemented the collection’s understated, easy style perfectly. The make up look was once again the work of Pat McGrath (I’m starting to see a pattern here – the woman is a modern legend), who started by applying a shade of foundation that was a little darker than the models’ complexions to warm their skin tone up a little. Their inner rims were taken a shade darker too with a beige-toned eye pencil, and then a dark brown mascara was favoured over black. The blush appears to be a rosy tone, with a hint of shimmer also added to give a little extra definition. Last up? Clear gloss and a smile. Eugene Souleiman was in charge of creating super natural, slightly textured hair, working with the models’ own hair type as much as possible so that they all had an individual look. Wella Ocean Spritz was used on the few with dead straight hair to add a little movement and shake things up a little, but the majority of the girls who took to the catwalk were entirely sans product and loving it. It was supermodel Natalia Vodianova’s only appearance on the catwalk for the week, and her au naturel style made her the absolute epitome of the Stella girl.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Good news from evolu that is GREAT news for the environment

When I first started writing about beauty almost ten years ago (for REMIX magazine), I interviewed Kati Kasza (pronounced 'Cottie Cossa'), the face of - and mind behind -evolu Botanical Skincare, one of New Zealand's most highly-respected natural skincare brands. The brand was as new to the industry as I was, but already making a big stir. After ten years, evolu is now able to say that it is a totally carbon neutral company, with the always passionate Kati proud of the fact that “natural balance for healthy skin is the ethos of the evolu brand, and this principle of balance also guides our focus on sustainability”. She adds that “as an ethical company we seek to balance environment-conscious thinking with actions that are practical, progressive and measurable,” and this new development proves that they are more than willing to put their money where their mouth is.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Daily delight: my first HEMA facial

It was with great excitement last week that I finally made an appointment to see Seonaid Lyons, a locally based facialist who has finally bought the Hema facial to Auckland! Created by Wellington based beauty star Margaret Hema, who has a history of over 40 years in the business, the Hema range of hand blended, organic oils are lovingly created with the mantra that “all skin should be treated like beautiful fabric” firmly in mind. Hailed the world over, her products have been available in Auckland for a while (I grab mine from Zambesi on Ponsonby Road) but for those unable to visit her ethereal salon in the heart of Wellington city, her award winning facials have been but a pipe dream. Finally she has trained Seonaid, and it seems that she too, has magic hands. In line with Hema's skin as a “beautiful fabric” philosophy, Hema uses no exfoliants, toners or clay-based masques in the range or in the salon, as well as no water (or “aqua”) - the liquid components in both the day cream and facial spray is organic hydrosol of Pacific lavender. Seonaid massaged my skin into plump, clear goodness using only the purest ingredients, of which 98 percent are home-grown organically in New Zealand. The 'magic' is in the oils and in the blending, and the 'results' are clean, healthy, age-defying skin! The salon-only masque was my favourite new discovery, a luxuriously rich blend of Hema oils and active Manuka honey. Seonaid's Hema facials are all customised according to your skin type and lifestyle, and she also stocks a full range of Margaret's products too.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Daily delight: beauty at Lanvin Spring 2010

Cuddly, utterly charming Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz vacationed in South America earlier this year, and reportedly loved the energy of the women there and the way they move. His new found passion was channelled into the brand's collection for Spring 2010, and the beauty look sported by the seemingly never ending parade of “elegant society ladies” coming home after a great night out. The make up artist behind the look was the legendary Pat McGrath, who began by applying a light foundation and dusting of powder that made the models' skin appear almost bare. Then, in a classic rock-n-roll-by-numbers move, she rimmed the eyes with black pencil and cream liners and smudged the lines with a brush. Black shadow was then applied to the lids (almost to the brow bone), followed by a clear gloss which was then carefully wiped off with a tissue. Left behind was a glossy shade of black similar to that made popular by Aaron De Mey when he applied black lip gloss to the lids of Daria Werbowy for the campaign shots that accompanied his first collection for Lancome. "It's all about this destroyed black eye makeup," McGrath told the beauty press, “we're putting it on, then wiping it off so it looks smeared and lived-in.” Add the on-trend bleached brow and an almost entirely erased lip (the perfect DIY version can be created using M.A.C's Lip Erase) and you have one very distinctive catwalk face. The hair that accompanied the collection was a slightly messy updo created by Guido, who ran thickening lotion through damp hair, blow-dried it straight and then roughly brushed the hair into a ponytail smack on top of the head. The tail was lightly teased and rolled around the top knot, then held in place with hair spray and a finishing burst of spray shine.

Beauty challenge - the bleached brow

A few posts back I blogged about the clear, stick on fake toenails at Prada, a runway trend that was unique and – for some – clever, but one that I didn’t think would really take on in the “real” world of wanting to look glamorous, sexy or at very least, rather pretty. Another trend that has been popping up on the runway with increasing regularity of late that is in a similar vein is the bleached brow, which lends an alien-like haughtiness to even the most commercial of catwalk girls. Aaron De Mey is the latest makeup artist to employ the technique, sending nothing but big old forehead out onto the runway at Givenchy recently, as seen here on IMG’s Bianca Balti. However the extremely talented De Mey added a touch of voluptuousness to the otherwise severe look by employing a simple lip plumping technique that would make Angelina proud. It doesn’t require a syringe full of what the doctor ordered however, just a brown liner traced lightly around the outer corners of models’ lips, with a touch of caramel colour added to fill in the centres and give the illusion of a fuller pout. The flamboyant Stéphane Marais used a similar technique at Zac Posen, using a gray liner and pink gloss. Instant humanity – added to a rather unwwordly look.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rationale - next generation make up

Anyone who knows me has heard me rave about Rationale skincare and its high performance properties, and now the same company that created the cutting-edge cosmeceutical skincare collection have created a make up range that is equally as effective – as well as incrdeibly fool proof and easy to use. A skin-enhancing capsule collection incorporating translucent powders, blush, mascara and lip tints, it goes that one step further than the majority of make up on offer by helping to improve the quality and appearance of skin, lips, and lashes. Its key message is to “enhance rather than conceal”, and it uses active ingredients that work to improve the quality of what is already there. Beautiful Skin, a pressed powder available in six shades, creates a sheer veil of translucent gorgeousness over the skin. With a skin perfecting-protecting formulation containing pure Platinum, Amino Acids, precious lipids and nutrient-rich vitamins and minerals, Beautiful Skin ‘reads’ the skin’s underlying tone, thus allowing the natural skin tone to shine through. Their Beautiful Lashes (my personal favourite) doesn’t just lengthen lashes but actually promotes healthy lash condition and growth through lash enhancing nutrients which nourish and moisturise, whilst their Beautiful Cheeks blush helps prevent the formation of free radicals with its antioxidants-rich formula. It even helps calm natural redness, so you only get a flush where you really want it by repairing rather than camoflaging. Stealth make up at work? You gotta love it...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Daily delight: Idole d'Armani, my new love affair

It takes a lot for a new perfume to truly win me over, especially when I've become such a creature of habit when it comes to spraying myself with Jo Malone's Dark Amber & Ginger Lily cologne or rolling on Aesops's Marrakech perfume oil on a daily basis. But today, I think I found a new love: Idole d'Armani, the new fragrance from Giorgio Armani. A definite floral but will a heavy hint of spice and patchouli base, it is light and summery but also earthy and sensual at the same time - if that makes any sense! Probably not, so come October 19 I recommend you head out and sample it for yourself, as well as have a good squizz at the gorgeous 1930's influenced bottle which has to be held to be believed. Bea-uty-ful.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The wonderful Dr. Libby Weaver

Holistic Nutrition Specialist Dr Libby Weaver is one of Australia's leading nutritionists, and the woman I go to straight away when I’m feeling that something is just “not quite right” with the way that my body is working. A shining, gorgeous example of what good eating, exercise and a positive outlook can do for a girl, she is a veritable minefield of tips on how to lead a more “healthful” life. One of the key minds involved with creating the oasis known as Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat in Queensland, Libby also played a major role at Golden Door's Elysia and works fine tuning the bodies of a broad range of people from stay-at-home parents to prominent sportspeople and Hollywood celebs. Libby completed her PhD examining biochemical and nutritional factors in children with autism, and through this work she came to better understand the role various hormones play in influencing our body shape and size, fertility, our response to exercise, clarity of thought and sleep patterns. For those that have met her and taken her advice, Libby's insights are often described as “life-changing”, and I can definitely vouch for that.  

Versace Spring 2010 – ridiculously DIY

Perhaps for the first time ever, Donatella Versace toned down the make up and hair for Versace’s Spring 2010 runway show in Milan, creating a more user-friendly glamazon look in the process. "This makeup is a big change for Versace," the legendary Pat McGrath told the press. "Donatella wanted to do a natural look, but with a flash of something. So we decided on violet around the eyes, but it's lightly done." McGrath reportedly brushed shimmery violet shadow on the lids, up to the browbones, and under the eyes, extending the color out slightly beyond both the inner and outer corners. Then she traced a thin line of bright purple liquid liner along the upper lash line, finally adding loads of black mascara for that doll-like Versace look, and finishing with a fresh rosy powder blush and soft baby-pink lip gloss. The hair created by Guido was also more easygoing than usual, with the stylist saying, "it's a bit of a Kate Moss rocker chick, but it still has that Versace feeling to it. She's always the Donatella [Versace] girl in some way." For the beachy look, he pulled thickening lotion through damp hair and blow-dried while tossing it with his fingers (brushes were banned entirely from backstage), then he created seeminly random waves from the ears down with a large-barrel curling iron. A little height was added at the crown for a little polish and bingo! Fresh, sexy and ridiculously easy. This is exactly the kind of look I'd use my beloved Sebastian Whipped Creme to create, with a little spray for good measure.