Monday, May 31, 2010

Daily delight: learning more about Priori

I was recently lucky enough to experience a Priori Coffeeberry High Potency Antioxidant Enzyme Face Treatment at the hands of their key educator in New Zealand, Kim Larsen. I left with a super duper glow, and also an expanded knowledge of the brand, which I’ve written about before but never in depth.
Kim is intensely passionate about working with Priori, saying that in many years in the industry, she’s never seen anything else like it. “There’s plenty out there that smells nice, feels nice and moisturises the surface,” she says, “but this is high performance and it works.”
So where did it come from? Well, for starters, the key men behind the creation of the brand are known as “the two Joes”. The first is Joseph A. Lewis II, who is credited with introducing the likes of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA),Idebenone and CoffeeBerry to your bathroom cabinet. Lewis sourced and introduced these ingredients for some of the skin care industries’ most innovative breakthrough anti-aging products like m.d formulations, MD Forte, Prevage, and many more. They say that he’s the beauty industries’ best kept secret, on a constant quest to find new anti-aging skincare ingredients, often from academic labs completely unrelated to the cosmetic industry, and bringing them into skin-care’s big time. His business partner is Joseph C. DiNardo, also a master product formulator and toxicologist. The two have invested years of scientific research, coupled with large amounts of R&D dollars, to bring new anti-aging technologies to the marketplace.
The brand has several different lines under its umbrella, and Kim says that it is easy to cherry pick from amongst the ranges to get the best results for your skin. “You can really individualise what you’re doing with Priori,” she says, “and that’s what I love about it as a therapist.” She loves to tailor-make a prescription according to the needs of each and every client, and she does the same for me using elements from each.
All of the brand’s skincare ranges are for anti-aging skin therapy, so the first fundamental step in selecting the range best for you involves a personal lifestyle choice - are you the "eco friendly", earth conscious, green planet consumer that is looking specifically for all natural skincare products or are you a consumer that is simply looking for the most technologically advanced bioengineered skincare available in the market today? If you are the former, the right choice for you is Priori Natureceuticals with CoffeeBerry - the first all natural skincare brand that delivers cosmeceutical results with all natural ingredients - no parabens, no petro chemicals, just pure natural ingredients.
On the other hand, if you are looking for the absolute best results science can deliver, and do not mind a few synthetic ingredients or bio-engineered technologies then you are ready to start with the Priori Advanced AHA with LCA Complex range, cosmeceuticals on a pathway that will ultimately lead you to their Superceuticals with Idebenone. It’s best to start with a two tiered approach with Priori, similar to any person just entering a fitness regime… just like you can’t jump head first into a Triathlon, you must first start with basic training - its no different for your skin!
Kim spends time with my skin over the course of my treatment, and sends me home with a prescription that includes the LCA range cleanser, CoffeeBerry Brightening Facial Complex serum to fight pigmentation and the LCA Barrier Repair Complex moisturiser to wear on top if needed. She says that the Idebenone Eye Serum is also a winner, so fingers crossed one day I’ll crack into that, too. Priori is definitely an interesting brand eliciting some incredible results – here’s hoping to join the ranks of the many positive statistics!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chanel will have you feeling mighty blue this Summer...

It seems like every time a Chanel show hits the runway, the buzz about the nail colour sported by the models is almost as great as that surrounding the clothes! Poor Karl might have to start reigning in Chanel Creative Director of Make Up, Peter Philips, before things get out of control! In the meantime, we’ve got their latest as-yet-unnamed shade to salivate over. At Chanel’s recent Cruise collection outing in Saint-Tropez, the always-gorgeous girl of the moment Natasha Poly began the show barefoot and sporting a sure-to-be-a-mega hit duck egg blue polish on her toes which sent a wave of excitement through the beauty industry all over the globe. This is destined to be THE shade for Summer, and I’m guessing that many a pretender to the throne will launch a similar version. The Chanel shade won’t hit the counters for some time now, but in the meantime I’ll be making do with an equally gorgeous turquoise number by the French beauty house, cleverly called Nouvelle Vague. Hitting local counters very soon as part of the pop-tastic Summer 2010 make-up line, it has been described as a mix between the Saint-Tropez blue and “Jade’s pistachio pigment, with a hint of silver sparkle thrown into the manicure mix”. Very gorgeous and very wearable, I am in love with this super fresh shade. Get one ASAP.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Daily delight: Natio Pure Mineral Foundation

A couple of days ago I was happily re-acquainted with Australian beauty brand Natio, who have long been known for their quality, natural products at a price point that’s almost too good to be true. They’ve been around for over ten years now, but constantly update their range and reformulate old faves for better results, and I’m particularly excited about trying their Pure Mineral Foundation, which beauty editors across they Tasman are raving about. A liquid formulation,, it uses light reflecting minerals to bring light to the face and gently illuminates and softens the look of your skin, much like the ever-so-flattering light of candle (LOVE that!). It’s also incredibly natural looking when applied to the skin, cleverly adapting to your own particular tone and texture. Quick and easy to apply with just your fingers or a brush – although fingers are recommended to warm up the product before it touches your face – it’s also long lasting, with a soft and dewy finish. This sounds like a winner for the cooler months round these parts, and the perfect product to off set a strong brow and lip if you want to soften the effect. Oh, and the NZ RRP is a ridiculous $23.00, so you can’t afford not to give it a bash.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sculptra: get ready for the "liquid facelift"

I was recently invited to an afternoon at Ponsonby’s Sapphire Appearance Medicine Clinic, where over champagne and canap├ęs a select group of beauty editor were introduced to Sculptra, the newest girl on the dermal filler block. The host was Dr Garsing Wong, trusted international speaker and cosmetic physician and one of the first doctors to use Sculptra in New Zealand. Now a registered medicine in New Zealand, it works in a rather unique way to smooth out areas of depressed skin such as skin creases, wrinkles, folds, scars and skin aging. It also assists in the restoration and/or correction of the signs of facial fat loss that can be seen in patients treated with antiretroviral medication.
Essentially, Sculptra (marketed as New-Fill in many countries) is a poly-L-lactic-acid-based injectable dermal filler. It has proven to be is very effective when used as a treatment for wrinkles and fine lines on the face, and has been used throughout Europe since 1999. The main ingredient of Sculptra, polylactic acid, has been used for more than 20 years in surgical products, including dissolvable stitches. Polylactic acid is a synthetic substance made to replicate a natural derivative created by the muscles during exercise. Since Sculptra is comprised of synthetic materials, there is no need for allergy testing prior to treatment, which is a bonus for many patients. Since the polylactic acid in Sculptra is biologically inert, there is no risk of patients developing an allergic reaction to treatments.
As with all cosmetic treatments, the cost of Sculptra varies by doctor. It also depends on the amount of Sculptra needed to treat an individual patient or to reach his or her cosmetic goals, as well as the number of visits required to complete the treatments.
So, does it hurt? Of course it does! How much however, will vary from person to person. The treatment process involves the use of thin needles to inject polylactic acid into the skin in a strategic pattern designed to combat the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as facial lipoatrophy. The polylactic acid will then promote the growth of new collagen, which, over the course of four to six weeks, will promote a fuller and more youthful appearance. Prior to a Sculptra treatment, the doctor will apply a topical anesthetic cream to minimize the amount of discomfort the patient experiences, and a typical treatments last roughly thirty minutes.
The positive effects of the treatment include increased skin thickness and improved facial volume, which lead to a healthier, younger appearance. In fact, Sculptra has become known as the “liquid facelift” over the last few years, so dramatic and impressive are its results. Results can also last for up to two years, while the results of other injectable dermal fillers, such as Restylane may only last for a few months. Overall, Sculptra is associated with fewer risks and side effects than many other injectables, but you have to be a little more patient as the results may take four to six weeks to become noticeable.
Sound like you? I recommend a visit to your nearest clinic for a consultation – expect to pay a little more than your usual bill for fillers, but hell, if it lasts for two years who’s arguing?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Daily delight: Oribe Hair Care Dry Texturizing Spray

One of the things that makes living in New Zealand such a fantastic proposition is its remoteness, but this can also be a huge bummer when it comes to grabbing the latest and greatest, the newest and the best. One thing I really miss is being able to buy some of my favourite beauty products, including more than a few by the legendary Oribe. He’s a rather prolific creator of new must-haves as well, and the one I’d really like to get my hands on right now is the Oribe Hair Care Dry Texturizing Spray. An invisible dry spray that builds incredible volume and adds super texture to any hair style, it is a brilliant alternative to dry shampoo, using patented polymers to absorb oil at the roots, leaving you with just‐styled hair for days (and nights). This versatile styling spray can also be used on clean hair to add lift at the roots, texture and volume for bigger, better, full‐on glamorous hair without any powdery white residue. The paraben‐free formula also refreshes any style, protects colour with a multi‐layered UV protection system and leaves hair looking, feeling and smelling beautiful with Oribe’s yummy signature scent.
This sounds like THE perfect product for creating the fuller styles dominating the runways right now, as well as being a welcome addition to your daily arsenal of beauty weaponry. Love it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Daily delight: the hint of a new M.A.C collab!

WWD last week released in their always-essential Fashion Scoops that M.A.C Cosmetics is teaming up with Disney to create a limited edition colour collection, intended to launch globally in September/October in all M.A.C locations.The products will feature four Disney characters, on which the brand is keeping mum at the moment – although with a collection name of Venomous Villains, it is assumed that we’re not talking Donald Duck and Minnie Mouse here. I love a M.A.C collaboration, and this puppy is destined to be epic. Here is a hidden link which shows glimpses of the characters in the collection... check it out eagle eyes out there, and let me know who you can spot!

Discover a future beauty legend: Santo Pyor

Okay, I’m about to have a rave here, but bear with me. I’ve been in Vanuatu for the past week eating a hell of a lot of croissants, doing a little time in the sun and most excitingly, experiencing my first taste of Santo Pyor body oils and fragrances. The nation was pretty much built on the growth and trade of sandalwood, and Santo is awash in tradition and history. Highly prized for its rich aromatic properties, sandalwood is recognised and used by Europe’s top parfum houses to provide depth and character to fragrance, and as a natural fixative to preserve and prolong scent.
Found at the edge of the world, the lush and wild island of Espiritu Santo in the Vanuatu archipelago is home to one of nature’s most rare and treasured species of sandalwood, known to locals as pyor (p-yor). In the 1840’s, Vanuatu’s sandalwood was discovered by Western voyagers who came in search of the exotic essence. Today, Espiritu Santo is a boutique supplier thanks to local community harvesting and sustainable practises. To honour this exquisite essence and its local history, the creators of Santo Pyor (who include the wonderful and ridiculously clever Lucy Marr) have crafted a sophisticated collection of pure fine grade scents and body oils utilising exotic wild harvested ingredients to produce the purest line of fragrance - made from Santo Pyor, with love.
The range uses wild superior sandalwood heartwood, hand harvested by local communities from their Kastom (indigenous) land that is organic and sustainable. The purity of the sandalwood is monitored by sandalwood graders, ensuring only the highest quality oils are created, and Santo Pyor also work directly with their suppliers to ensure each product is free from pesticide and insecticide. All ingredients are pure, unadulterated and natural, meaning Santo Pyor fragrances do not contain any of the harmful elements commonly found in perfume, such as formaldehyde, pthalates, petroleum or artificial colours and fragrance compounds. They use renewable energies to cultivate and process their materials and all ingredients are sustainably harvested, produced and bought at Fair Trade prices. And last but by no means least, after exhaustive research and consultation with environmental scientists, they have chosen to use PET and glass for their packaging. PET is a modern, safe and non-leaching form of plastic, and is the most widely used and therefore recyclable plastic, ensuring nothing ends up in landfill.
Okay, so what about the range itself, as in the beauty bit? Well, I can honestly say that the oils are the best I’ve used in a long while, a perfect combination that mixes sandalwood with pure Vanuatu Fair Trade organic coconut oil, vitamin E and apricot kernel oil to provide a super nourishing, heady blend. Equally as gorgeous, Santo Pyor fragrance contains pure, concentrated sandalwood suspended in fractionated organic coconut oil, making it the perfect companion to a body slick with oil, or as a subtly sexy fragrance all on its own. Each collection comes in three distinct scents: Wild Lime Pyor, Vanilla Pyor and Sandalwood Pyor, and I was lucky enough to also pick up the newest addition to the fragrance line, Ylang Ylang Pyor, which is soon to be available also as an oil.
This brand is set to go far, taking the beauty and purity of Vanuatu to the world whilst staying true to its principles. They don’t make beauty discoveries like this every day, and I feel honoured to have been there at the beginning.
* email to find out more, or if you’re in Vanuatu I highly recommend a tripto meet the fabulous Betsy in their island boutique (pictured above), which can be found in the Cafe du Village Complex on Lini Highway in Port Vila.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The legendary Oribe - in action and on fire!

I just returned from seven days of absolute knock out bliss in Vanuatu, where I virtually bathed in Santo Pyor oils and generally had an incredible time in a very special place. When I got back I had an email from the office of the legendary superstar hair stylist Oribe, with a link to this video of him in action at yet another spot starting with the letter "V", but one with a rather different flavour and a rock n' roll vibe all its own. Here he is: Oribe back and centre stage in Vegas, creating some rather incredible hair... colour me awed.

Friday, May 14, 2010

If you're looking for me, you'll find me in a rather fragrant heaven!

Yes, I'm off away again, this time to the island paradise known as Vanuatu. I'll be there for both business and pleasure, the business part involving visiting the birthplace of Santo Pyor, a new range of high end fragrances and body oils developed by stellar Renaissance woman Lucy Marr. Above you can see an image of her boutique parfumerie, which I envisage as absolute heaven on earth. See you in a week!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

You really have to try this... Shellac

It’s been a while since a beauty product has attracted quite as much excitement and conjecture as Shellac.
The creation of CND (Creative Nail Design), it is the first hybrid nail colour, launched after nearly five years of development in the company’s state-of-the-art laboratory. This revolutionary product applies like polish, wears flawlessly for 14 days of high gloss shine – no chips, no smudges - and is removed in minutes. A hybrid of traditional nail polish and UV gel polish, unlike soak-off gels it comes in a polish bottle and unlike traditional polish it cures/dries under a UV lamp.
Shellac paints on like a normal polish – base coat, colour, top coat – and is cured in a UV light so there is no dry time. And the greenie in me loves the fact that the colours are hypoallergenic and free of nasties i.e. no formaldehyde, toluene or DBP. They are launching with a range of 12 varieties of shades - from delicate, wedding-style pinks and whites, to cherry red and a true noir – but will be adding another 12 to the range come January. The formula is thin and flexible like polish, so looks natural, as well as being so strong that next to nothing will dent it. And the process involves zero buff time, meaning absolutely no damage to the natural nail in the process. The polish dries completely in only two minutes. And I mean completely – you can grab your keys and swipe your charge card without fear of disaster.
For someone like me who avoids manicures due to my amazing propensity to smoosh the damn things in the first hour, this is a godsend. Sure you have to return to the salon to have the colour removed and there is a limited polish range, but for all those women who left the salon because their manicures chipped in a few days like me, Shellac will seduce you like no other. It’s expected that a Shellac manicure will run from $40-$65 too, so is a luxury you can afford. I can’t wait to get the full salon run down for my area… I’ll be in there like a shot!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Daily delight: Dr. Murad's Day Reform Treatment

Another stellar product from the lab of the respected Dr. Howard Murad, Day Reform Treatment is a treatment and repair cream that keeps skin youthful using a Tannic Acid barrier. This helps age-proof the skin by protecting it from environmental assaults, while smoothing its texture and minimising the appearance of pores. Another unique ingredient in this pot of goodness is Tahitian Noni Extract, which improves elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reversing damage and restoring resilience, whilst Red Tea provides top notch antioxidant protection. The good doctor says that including a treatment product in your arsenal is surest and fastest way to see a noticeable improvement in your skin, and this baby is the first step and incredibly simple to use.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Daily delight: the much anticipated INOA

Towards the middle of last week I heard some pretty exciting news, which I have to admit is rare in the beauty world. It seems like every day we hear about a new “must have/can’t live without” product promising a million and one things, but only every so often do I get seriously excited about something new that is set to change the way we look at beauty, and the that way we achieve it. That thing is INOA, a new revolutionary hair colour product from those giants of the industry, L’Oreal Professionel. INOA – short for Innovation No Ammonia – is a hair colour that has been called “hot, not harsh”, and is set to finally make ammonia-free formulas mainstream. I trialled several ammonia-free hair colour formulas when I was pregnant with my son Wolf, and though they looked great from the get go (and set my mind at ease), the colour faded fast. Apparently not so with INOA, which is set to leave the competition eating dust and see a high percentage of hair colour clients convert to its new way of thinking. The upper management at L’Oreal Professionnel have reportedly said that INOA is to normal permanent hair color “what the Iphone is to early archaic cell phones”; if that gives you any idea of what the buzz is on this new colour line. After 15 years of research and development and 14 patents later, L’Oreal Professionnel is finally ready to launch INOA to the Beauty Industry at large, and I for one am seriously excited about the possibilities. The difference between this colour line and everything other colour line? You name it: ammonia-free, no odor, no itching/uncomfortable scalp, no color staining on the skin after application, no fade-age from salon visit to salon visit, 100 per cent gray coverage and most importantly, the hair is in excellent condition - if not better than before the hair was coloured. Ever. That’s a big claim and one that seems to be proving true. I’ll be trying INOA out myself in a few weeks and can’t wait to see the results.

The Triangle of Facial Beauty - rather fascinating stuff...

When I was in Sydney recently I spent an afternoon talking with Dr. Michael Miroshnik – plastic surgeon, creator of high performance skincare brand Elixxir and all round really rather knowledgeable guy.
As well as the likes of surgery trends and the real impact a glass or two of pinot has on your skin, we talked about a theory called The Triangle of Facial Beauty, which I found absolutely fascinating. Historically, the classical proportions for beauty of a face follow these rules:
Vertically, you should be able to divide your face into equal thirds i.e. Hairline (Trichion) to Glabella, Glabella to bottom of nose (Subnasale), and bottom of nose to bottom of chin (Menton). Horizontally, you should be able to divide your face into equal fifths i.e. you should be able to place an eye’s length between the eyes and an ‘eye’ on either side of the eyes.
However, when you consider some of the world’s great beauties right now, they fail to confirm to this often-antiquated theory. Victoria’s Secret angel Adriana Lima is a strong case in point: disobeying the rule of vertical thirds, her lower facial third (notice small chin) is smaller than the middle/upper thirds. Aussie babe Miranda Kerr is another outside the norm, with her face disobeying the rule of horizontal fifths. “Notice how far apart the eyes are,” pointed out MM, “they should be an eye distance apart and you should also be able to fit an ‘eye’ distance on either side of the eyes, which you can’t”.
So… do the classical beauty proportion rules really matter?
A recent study attached a camera to a participant’s eye, tracking where they focus their attention when they are first shown a picture of a face. It found a disproportionate amount of time spent looking solely in the eye area and then the centre of the lips (the cupid bow area of the lips). This area describes what can be called the “triangle of beauty”, and if this area looks good/youthful then the person looks good/youthful. “It is way more important than peripheral proportions,” added Michael, “and there is little time is spent looking outside this inner triangle!”
The aforementioned supermodels - although not having perfect proportions - have amazing eyes, nice noses and full lips/smiles, which immediately make them attractive. “And as plastic surgeons we always spend a great deal of time getting the structures within the triangle right,” says the good doctor, “because we know they are the key to youth and beauty.” So next time you obsess about brow lines and the like take time to focus a little further down – great eyes can let you get away with anything!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Affordable luxury – evolu haircare is here

Previously only found in the drop dead gorgeous bathrooms of such luxury lodges as Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers, highly respected New Zealand brand evolu’s haircare range is now available to all. It consists of a Silkening Shampoo and Enriching Conditioner, both of which are packaged in rather handy family-sized 500 ml pump packs and promise to perform as well as care for your hair. The company’s founder, Kati Kasza calls the Silkening Shampoo a “power smoothie for the hair”, containing pure essential oils of Sweet Orange and Petitgrain along with New Zealand’s famous Manuka Honey, giving hair energy, volume and shine in one delicious, fragrant serve. The citrus smell wafting up from this baby will give you a morning kickstart equivalent to that of a strong dose of java - but without the jitters - and the formula is reportedly great for most hair types. The Enriching Conditioner’s job is to feed those follicles even further, with an extra citrus surge courtesy of Grapefruit, and the natural fortification of Manuka Honey once again. Like all evolu products, both are paraben free, and at $29.95 definitely a little luxury you can afford. Feeling lucky? So you should! Now if only a night at Kauri Cliffs came with every wash…
P.S. To get to know a little more about evolu and the lovely Kati herself, have a peek at the brand's new blogzine here.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My time with acupuncturist Dawn Lucia

"A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of all human blessings." Hippocrates

This is the quote you’ll find on the home page of Grey Lynn, Auckland acupuncturist Dawn Lucia’s website, and for those looking to lead a life with better health in mind, Dawn really is a blessing. Her clinic – know as the Auckland Acupuncture and Herbology clinic - brings to you the 3,000 year old ancient art of Traditional Chinese Medicine for natural health, and all in the most nurturing way possible. Detroit-born Dawn is an experienced acupuncturist who has practiced for years both in the USA and New Zealand, as well as training extensively in the likes of Swedish Massage and Chinese Tuina Massage, nutrition, cupping and moxibustion.
When we met she explained to me that Chinese medicine uses its own unique method for describing disease. As a result, the practitioner doesn’t need to put a Western label to the disease in order to treat it. The benefit of this is that Chinese Medicine is often able to treat conditions that Western medicine has no name or explanation for. You may have an unexplained tummy pain or a strange twitch in the leg, either way; Chinese medicine excels at solving obscure problems. It can also be used to treat the likes of back pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and hypertension, as well as for easing the aches and pains of pregnancy and preparing for birth.
You can expect your first visit to Dawn to last about an hour, and mine was just a little over as I threw numerous questions her way. She begins by asking you to fill out a complete medical history form, which is then discussed in detail. This gives her an overview of your general health and an understanding of the development of your chief concerns, and allows you to bring up any questions you may have about acupuncture i.e. “will it hurt?” (Answer: no!). She then takes time to observe your tongue, feel your pulse and palpate your abdomen. These steps are part of Traditional Chinese Medical diagnosis and help her to evaluate your overall health and to determine which acupuncture points and which Chinese Herbal formulae might be relevant to your treatment. She will then fill you in on the course of treatment she feels will benefit you most, the number and frequency of visits and the relevance of such any added extras such as massage, herbal prescriptions, nutrition and exercise in the overall treatment plan. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative too, so be prepared to embark on a journey involving a few trips to Dawn’s cosy Grey Lynn clinic.
She says that many people come to her with a raft of ailments, but that it’s best to concentrate primarily on the most pressing of those “as you don’t want to water down the treatments. We focus on the worst or most obvious problems first, and then the others often improve as a result”. She also focuses on what she believes is the root of the problem – which could be diet, or stress – “and then the branches i.e. the symptoms, begin to clear”. She also says the sooner you start treating a problem with acupuncture the better, as it will be ripe for intervention and the number of treatments will be less.
Dawn’s passion is encouraging people to return to a state of wellness and working to stay that way, and to indulge in the likes of acupuncture and better nutrition as a lifestyle rather than just a cure. “Come to me for maintenance,” she says, “because when your body is in balance it knows how to heal itself. Be well.”

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The key to recreating Chanel's Spring 2010 Couture look in two easy steps

A key part of the beauty look that came down the Paris runway at Chanel’s Spring 2010 Couture (see, above) was a sexy, subtle eye, as created by Peter Phillips, Chanel’s global creative director for makeup. The two essential products for recreating this look are Chanel’s Ombres Contraste Duo and Inimitable Intense, a truly timeless eye shadow and a sassy yet sophisticated mascara.
The Ombres Contraste Duo comes in six, demure, almost half tones, which can be used in a multitude of ways. Applied on its own or as a base, the creamy texture of the light shade helps smooth and light up the eyelid. Dabbed onto the corner of the eye for a touch of sparkle, it enlarges and lights up the eye. The matte, dark shade is always applied to the outer corner of the eye, sculpting and giving a real touch of depth and a little drama. Depending on the intensity, the eyes can be subtle or subversive, as dictated by your mood.
The other part of the Spring 2010 make up puzzle is Inimitable Intense mascara, which takes the brand’s famous Inimitable mascara that one step further. Think extreme volume, absolute length, bold curl and ever-perfect definition to make your lashes your finest asset. Oh, and this little number comes in four shades of intense black… spectacular.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Daily delight: rather remarkable After Ink

Okay so it’s not strictly a beauty product, but for those of you like me that have a few tattoos, After Ink is an absolute godsend. This nifty product was developed from a desire to provide the tattoo market with a totally home grown and natural alternative to the after care products already available. First step was formulating a simple and effective product, free of petroleum and other nasties that can harm the skin or body as the tattoo heals. When it came to formulation, the guys at After Ink looked for only the best natural and organic ingredients from around the world, starting with a base of Colombian palm oil, well known for its high vitamin E content. With more anti-oxidants than green tea, it helps new tattoos to heal, and breathes new life into older tattoos as an added bonus. Palm oil is a controversial product as much of the world's supply, grown in Indonesia and Malaysia, is resulting in mass deforestation and loss of habitat for Orangutans (one of my fave animals!). However, the clever folk at After Ink used only sustainably sourced organic palm oil from a farm in Colombia that has been growing organic palm trees as a native crop for centuries in their product. Add an easy-to-use, easy-to-transport recyclable tube and you’ve got a winner.
If you’ve got ink you need this product, so rub some on ASAP and your friendly neighbourhood tattooist will thank you for it!
For stockists go here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Daily delight: my silky soft beauty essential!

Whenever I get asked what is the one beauty product I can’t do without, people often have a bloody good giggle at the answer. Next to a decent sunblock I always name my silk pillowcase, which has honestly changed the state of my hair tenfold. Mine is by New Zealand company Peace Pillows – purveyors of posture-friendly pillows designed by practising Osteopath and Acupuncturist Elaine Bennett – and was gifted to me in a goodie bag at a launch for dermal fillers. Ordinary cotton pillowcases – no matter how high the thread count - can create friction and drag, essentially dealing to the hair as well as the delicate skin on the face. Over time this contributes to the formation of wrinkles and tired looking skin, as well as aggravated, damaged hair. The Peace Silk Satin Pillow case, made of 100 per cent silk, allows the skin to glide across its surface, thus avoiding dragging. And for those of us who cherish our rapidly thinning hair or need to nurture dry, brittle or curly, static hair, the Silk Satin Pillow cover reduces the dragging on the hair and follicles. Your hair glides easily over the silky surface, preventing a bad case of the tangles when you wake up in the morning. It has also contributed to the quality and the longevity of my Keratin smoothing treatment, stopping any kinks during the initial 72 hour-long processing time. So giggle you might, but I’m all for championing the silky cause!

Simply gorgeous = Miss Crabb + Belle Du Jour

For the second year running, the terribly clever team at Stephen Marr salon – under the watchful eye of Creative Director Lauren Gunn – have created a series of after hours looks for the ball season under the moniker “Belle Du Jour”. It’s all about turning tradition on its head in terms of fashion, hair and make up, and uses some of New Zealand’s hottest designers to frock the models up. Always in my top two favourite designers list is Miss Crabb, created by the glamorous, unique and beautiful Kristine Crabb. Her designs have the same attributes, and the Stephen Marr crew have created a beautiful hair and make up look to go with a peachy pink off the shoulder frock that they’ve called “Sixteen Candles”. The model picked is a knockout redhead with long, mermaid style waves, which were created using ghd’s Creation Spray and Polishing Serum for an effortless, sexy look. A natural eye was executed using just Becca’s famous mascara in Bronze, with a stronger lip left to dominate – Nvey Eco Lipstick topped by lashings of Becca’s Glossy Lip Tint in Sugar Plum. Last up, a healthy dose of Becca’s Duende Mineral Bronzer for a super duper natural glow. Simply gorgeous.
*photo by Olivia Hemus