Thursday, October 28, 2010

November 12 is HAPPY KIEHL’S DAY!

The much loved US brand Kiehl’s may be still relatively new to New Zealand, but it has a colourful history packed with beauty goodness and innovation that dates back to 1851. It’s such a New York institution that on November 12 they celebrate Kiehl’s Day, and we’re going to be doing the same this year with an almighty song and dance at the Kiehl’s counter at Smith & Caughey’s Queen St which is well worth a visit. As a little background, Kiehl’s Day was proclaimed by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2003 and a pear tree was planted at the same location that was dubbed “Pear Tree Corner” come centuries earlier. Bloomberg saw this as a way of honouring the community and marking the northeast corner of the intersection once more as Pear Tree Corner. Way back in 1647 the governor of New Amsterdam (later proclaimed New York) Peter Stuyvesant had planted a pear tree on his farm, and this very location would later form the intersection of 13th St and 3rd Ave – home of Kiehl’s flagship store. For 220 amazing years the tree survived sprouting fruit, blossoming flowers while also providing shade for Kiehl’s customers. The beloved tree was declared the oldest living thing in NYC in 1862 and bore fruit until its demise five years later when it was struck by a wagon. If you’re heading to New York I strongly recommend a trip to see the pear tree and to visit the beautiful Kiehl’s store – the staff there are incredible and you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to snapping up some goodies to take home.
But back to the Auckland Kiehl’s Day, which will see a hell of a celebration taking place as well as appearances on counter by Kiehl’s celebrity endorsers as part of the global Kiehl’s ‘Shop for a Cause’initiative. Maintaining the long standing tradition of supporting community charities, money raised on Kiehl’s Day through the sale of Kiehl’s products will go towards local charity Garden to Table – a programme educating children in schools about growing and harvesting their own produce. 100 per cent of net profit achieved on Kiehl’s Day will go straight to the charity, so put November 12 in your diary now – like you need any excuse to buy more Kiehl’s!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Daily delight: Phoenix’s brand new Eye Dust

The upcoming festive months are busy ones come the twilight hours, and are more than enough of a good reason to get a bit celebratory with your make up, too. This needn’t mean a total overhaul of your usual kit, just a few added extras that’ll give your look a little sparkle and drama where you see fit. Lucky for you then that Phoenix – House of Makeup have just released their new Eye Dust shades, so sparkle you shall! A brand new arrival for the Auckland-based make up name, Eye Dust is a one of kind shimmer for the eyes, in a stunning pigment that is full of spirited, glimmering colour. With a fine and silky texture that’s super easy to use, the 25 brilliant different shades can go soft or subtle or as vibrant as you like, depending on their use. There is a broad palette of colours – sure to meet all needs –pinks, flesh nudes and shimmering corals, a palette of turquoise, green and aqua shades, then a range of lilacs, purple and magenta violets, a combination of neon oranges, melons and tangerines, and a collection of rich navy, cobalt blues and crystal sparkles. “Eye Dust is so easy to use; it creates an instant sparkle and attraction for the eyes in one easy swoop,” says Phoenix Renata, the founder & MD for Phoenix – House of Makeup. “The powder is fine in texture, soft to apply and easily to blend. With its smooth metallic and shimmering texture, Eye Dust is so versatile – for day and night makeup. Used alone it’s striking, or you can have fun combining various shades for a dramatic colour effect.” For strong dense colour, Eye Dust is best applied with a firm eye shadow brush, like Phoenix’s own Fluff Brush. For a softly blended and subtle result, use a larger more tapered blending brush, like Phoenix’s Blender. Now go forth and shine!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Power of PREVAGE to the rescue once again

When PREVAGE first hit the beauty scene all those years ago, the roar of excitement it created could be heard around the world and showed no sign of letting up. A few years later the brand could have happily been sitting back on its laurels enjoying the success of those first few product releases, but instead it’s stayed at the head of the pack in terms of research and constant innovation.
The latest two additions to the highly sought after range are their brand spanking new PREVAGE Eye Advanced Anti-aging Serum and PREVAGE Eye Ultra Protection Anti-aging Moisturizer SPF 15, which target one of the first places on the face to show their age. All the cumulative effects of genetic, lifestyle and environmental influences seem to play out in this small and fragile area of the face, from fine lines and crow’s feet, to dark circles, puffiness, crepiness, discolourations, redness and irritation. When it comes to eyecare, Idebenone – the key ingredient in PREVAGE – has been show to really make a difference. The new PREVAGE Eye formulas deliver their exclusive advanced Idebenone technology straight to your eye area, to protect skin from all three types of damaging free radical reactions. They help reverse visible signs of aging in the eye area, reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet and sun damage, target puffiness and dark circles and lastly, brighten the look of skin as they soothe and moisturise. Elizabeth Park, Executive Vice President Global Marketing and General Manager Elizabeth Arden USA has said that the new PREVAGE eye formulas have been developed to be targeted and highly effective skincare treatments as individual products, as well as used together in a regimen. “The textures and formulas have been developed specifically so that they work together synergistically to combat the signs of aging around the eyes, but also address different needs and concerns of the eye area.”
The Advanced Anti-aging Serum is for those who want intensive visible correction to their skin’s appearance, and help fighting those pesky aging signs. The powerful anti-aging serum combines advanced Idebenone technology with a complex of highly restorative ingredients to transform the look of skin around the eyes, providing intense environmental protection and visible correction to skin’s appearance. Next up, the Ultra Protection Anti-aging Moisturizer SPF 15 is a multi-defense eye cream that provides serious environmental protection, all day intensive moisture and encapsulated sunscreens. The nourishing, emollient formula is the first ever eye cream with both broad-spectrum SPF protection and revolutionary Idebenone. For optimal results, the creators of the two super products recommend that you use them together. Slap the Advanced Anti-aging Serum morning and night on cleansed skin, and then in the morning, follow with the Eye Ultra Protection Anti-aging Moisturizer SPF 15 to moisturise and protect skin from sun and harsh environmental aggressors that can damage and dehydrate the delicate skin around the eyes. And if you’re a sensitive skinned, contact lens wearer like me, you’ll be pleased to know that both products have been ophthalmologist and dermatologist tested.
Congratulations PREVAGE, you’ve done it again!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CND and Jason Wu – a collection to die for

In some pretty damn exciting news for fans of fashion and beauty, it has just been announced that fashion superstar designer Jason Wu is collaborating with runway manicure leader CND to introduce a limited edition Jason Wu Collection that honours iconic women with a range of wearable, timeless shades. One of the new breed of Hot Young Things alongside the likes of Alexander Wang, Wu is a favourite of Anna Wintour’s (pictured with the designer, here) and a master of the modern neutral. The set he has created with CND will come with four Colours and one Effect that can be layered to achieve some very wearable, effortlessly elegant nail looks. "Every season I play with different ways of using colour in my collection,” said Wu at the launch of the collaboration in New York, “so it was a natural choice to collaborate with CND on a capsule of nail colours that reflects my aesthetics.” Jason and CND have joined forces on the runway for the past eight seasons, and the colour collection marks Wu's first foray into nail products, and CND's first designer product partnership. The full collection will be introduced at the designer’s Spring 2011 runway show, where audience members will receive a complimentary set.
The fabulously femme colours on offer are:
Miss Wu - Jason's signature limestone, warm gray that dries matte with a subtle chrome sheen.
Brigitte – a voluptuous warm pink that perfectly channels the French screen siren, Ms. Bardot
Sophia – a gorgeous mushroom taupe named after Italian superstar Sophia Loren
Veronica – a totally decadant, blue-based, oxblood red that channels the iconic Veronica Lake
Anna Effect - layered over any of the four colours, this effect named after Ms. Wintour provides a tweed finish via microscopic fibrous pieces that create cool, subtle texture.
The Jason Wu Collection will be available for purchase in salons and via in May 2011.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Daily delight: a bagful of La Roche-Posay

One of the best beauty brands on the block according to Allure magazine – who constantly sing their praises – is France’s La Roche-Posay. I know I’m going all Francophile of late, but one of the top things on my to-do list after arriving in France was to get my hands on some La Roche-Posay of my own as it’s not yet available in New Zealand. I did that a couple of days ago in the little mountain town of Lectoure, where it held pride of place in the local pharmacy next to Avene, another top notch French beauty star that’s equally as kind on the wallet. The first product I grabbed was La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Extreme Fluid, which Allure recently named the best facial sunblock on the market. I’m getting a lot of sun of late in these warmer climes, so it was a no brainer to reach for this first. As well as being a beautifully light formula on the skin that sits effortlessly with any moisturiser, this super fluid is fragrance-free, paraben free. non-comedogenic and water resistant, making it perfect for the upcoming Great New Zealand Summer. It’s been designed with “skin subject to sun intolerance, commonly known as sun allergies” in mind, and is the perfect choice for women wanting to avoid pregnancy mask or pigmentation, or suffering from drug-induced photosensitivity. It offers optimal SPF 50+ protection reinforced against UVA rays (in a formula that is stricter than the European recommendation) thanks to a new filter system that combines Mexoryl® SX and XL and Senna Alata extract, a natural cell protector.
It also has the bare minimum of chemical filters and is deliciously non-greasy for such a hardcore sunblock. It’s just one element in the Anthelios range, which covers face and body, women, men and bubs too, and is growing by the day. This stuff is pure gold – I just may have to fill my suitcase before I go!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Too beautiful: Lara Stone for Paris Vogue

Daily delight: Guinot’s Time Logic Age Serum

Sitting in a hotel in the South of France, it’s appropriate that my topic du jour is the newest release from a highly respected French brand, Guinot. Time Logic Age Serum is Guinot’s new luxury night treatment, which not only smoothes the skin and evens out the complexion, but also tones facial contours by stimulating cellular renewal. Trialed by me right now, it’s the serum of choice for those who are serious about anti ageing, and aren’t afraid to pay for the privilege. Beauty fact-wise, Time Logic Age Serum stimulates metabolic energy for a remarkable 24-hours. This wonder-serum has a double-action benefit: it repairs by night and protects by day, so you can sleep tight and wake up feeling fresh and radiant. During the night, active ingredients penetrate the skin more thoroughly, increasing both the skin’s collagen and elastic fibre density. By day, this rich serum acts as a protective shield against external aggressors, such as harmful UV’s and pollution. Essentially, it rejuvenates at night for beauty all day long. Key active ingredients that go into this clever little baby include Actinergie, which supplies oxygen to the cell, and encapsulated ATP or adenosine triphosphate. This clever number slowly releases energy into older cells over 24 hours.
Okay, so how do you use this wonder serum? After cleansing, apply it in the evening over your entire face and neck. Massage it well into your face using light movements until it has completely penetrated the skin, and lastly, apply your preferred night moisturizer, which in my case is Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. With an RRP of NZD$385.00, Time Logic Age Serum ain’t no cheap steal, but Guinot is a name you can trust with your skin’s health no questions asked, so if you have the money then I suggest you do invest.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Daily delight: Rebecca arrives at The Powder Room

It doesn’t happen often, but luckily for us just has – one of the best just got better! In fantastic news for those that love a good rub down, Lucy & The Powder Room now has a resident massage specialist in the form of Holistic Body Worker Rebecca Greenough.
The super clever, super nurturing Powder Room team are proud to invest heavily in specialty education and training, and don’t believe that one therapist fits all. When it comes to massage you need an expert who 
knows the body, can offer knowledgeable advice “and will make you feel revived and young again”, says Lucy. They certainly found that in Rebecca, whose work is based in Eastern principals and the human 
body’s innate ability to function and heal itself. Rebecca’s career kicked off working with cranial osteopath Jon Henderson in Mt Maunganui, studying nutrition, movement, bodywork and meditation. She also has 
a degree in Integrative Body Work from the Australasian College of Natural Therapies, and her chosen modalities include medicinal 
herbs, nutrition, anatomy and physiology, shiatsu, aromatherapy, remedial massage, exercise therapy and NLP.
To book your appointment with Rebecca call Lucy & The Powder Room Takapuna on 09 4880585, and I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

Must visit London beauty spot: Aqua Sheko

I’m writing this from a tiny village in the South of France, so please bear with my sporadic posting – I’ve covered a lot of ground in the past week! I may have left the city of London far behind me, but am still fizzing about some of the great beauty finds I discovered there last week. My second hot London beauty spot can be found in Kensington, and is Aqua Sheko - London´s first fish therapy concept spa. The idea is to submerge your feet into a warm pool of finned therapists for an exotic exfoliation by the team of tiny mouths. The fish are Garra Rufa, and are found naturally in hot springs near Kangal, a small town in Turkey, where they have reportedly been softening and cleansing the skin of bathers for centuries. It was a pair of brothers who finally brought these helpful little guys to the world´s attention. Having chanced upon a hot spring they dipped their feet into the pool, to find a school of small fish offering a gentle, tingling massage. Word has it that they enjoyed the sensation so much they returned, day after day, until one of the brothers who suffered from skin problems noticed the symptoms disappearing, and the word spread about their unique healing powers. Now we have more definitive science, and it is believed that Garra Rufa fish secrete an enzyme - diathanol - that improves skin regeneration. Our dead skin cells may sound like an unappetizing diet (to put it mildly), but for fish that thrive in hot water up to 43 degrees centigrade - where nothing of much nutritional value can survive - a bather dipping in a toe is a welcome feast. In an unusual reversal of the food chain, the fish spa treatment is mutually beneficial to you and the fish. They feed while you have your skin exfoliated. Their teeny tiny suction-cup mouths are perfectly shaped for gently lifting dry skin away, without damaging the healthy new cells underneath - revealing incredibly soft, supple and smooth skin.
So what exactly happens at Aqua Sheko, then? In preparation for the treatment your feet are carefully washed, before being submerged in the Garra Rufa tank for a good gnawing by your new finned friends. Over the next 30 minutes you’ll feel a light tickling – which I admit took some getting used to - as the fish gently suck and nibble your heels, toes and soles, removing dead skin which is already softened by the warm water. While it has reputed medical benefits for the likes of psoriasis sufferers, I discovered it is also a very effective beauty treatment, and my feet were left the smoothest and softest they have been in years, hands down. Aqua Sheko’s eight state-of-the-art tanks are filtered and fed by a constant oxygen supply to ensure clean water and a healthy environment for the fish, and in addition, they are sterilized using ultra-violet lights to minimize bacteria growth. And lastly, how much will a fish pedi set you back? A Deluxe treatment lasting 45 minutes is £45, and involves
30 minutes of fish pedicure and 15 minutes of feet wash and foot massage. An Express treatment is 25 minutes long and costs just £30, and is a great option for a lunchtime pedicure that won’t leave your feet oily for the rest of the day.
Aqua Sheko can be found at 14 Holland Street, Kensington and of late in super store Selfridges as well.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Loving: Hershesons Blow dry bar, London

Yesterday I arrived in London and within an hour hit Hershesons Blow Dry Bar in Topshop Oxford Circus. Definitely one of the best ways I can imagine to kick off your day the right way, it’s an absolute hive of activity and is hugely busy with good reason. There are eight different looks to choose from and each look is trend led but incredibly wearable. All you need is a decent amount of hair for the stylists to play with and you’ll leave looking a hell of a lot better than you when you walked in, for the very fabulous price of £24 for a 30 minute appointment with no advance booking necessary. The staff at the Blow Dry Bar is made up of second and third-year apprentices from the Hershesons’ Conduit Street and Harvey Nichols salons, and Evie who styled my hair was definitely a talent to watch. The concept of the Blow Dry Bar was inspired, in part, by coffee bars, so after each purchase you have reward card and after your 7th styling session your 8th is free. This is where Auckland’s Pony Express in Glassons definitely nicked its idea from, but the Hershesons version is definitely more fashion forward and experimental. Styles on offer include the Ragabilly – pictured – which they describe as “one part rockabilly to two parts raga girl”, and is definitely a style with attitude for girls who like to leave the house looking a little ‘‘undone.‘ They hint that perhaps this is where updos are headed in the future, and although I went for a fairly traditional round brush look, I reckon this little number is hot.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chanel’s dark outing at Le Grand Palais

Often a barometer of what’s to come in beauty circles, Peter Philips gave the models at Chanel’s Paris Fashion Week outing dark-eyed smoky stares and porcelain-perfect skin using a collection that’s set to fly out the doors once it lands Down Under in February 2011. Called Les Perles de Chanel make-up collection, it includes the sooty eye palette, Les 4 Ombres Regard Perlé, which Philips applied from models’ lash line to the brow bone, blending until he could blend no more. Poudre Lumiere Perlée, a fine finishing powder with mico shimmer particles gave skin its ethereal, rich texture, whilst Joues Contraste blush in Espiègle offered a fresh flush to cheeks. Last but by no means least, the show also debuted not one but two essential new nail shades: Le Vernis Black Pearl, a dark metallic charcoal with a hint of green worn on hands; and Le Vernis Pearl Drop, a creamy opaque white polish used on toes. Want both, NOW.

Daily delight: Diptyque arrives exclusively at Mecca Cosmetica!

I am a sucker for a beautifully fragranced candle no matter what the price, and Diptyque are one of the brands I’ve been known to talk about in hushed, unashamedly fawning tones. For those of you who know the candles but not much of their history, the Diptyque story began in Paris, at 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain, with three friends driven by the same creative passion and a love for fragrances. The inspired trio, Christiane Gautrot, interior decorator, Desmond Knox-Leet, painter and Yves Coueslant, theatre administrator; employed a keen sense of beauty, first with candles, before launching their to-die-for eau de toilette collection. Their current range also now includes body care with coveted soaps and sought-after lotions and scrubs that are impossible to resist. The good news is that the celebrated scents, sweet and spicy, light and dark, are now available in New Zealand exclusively at Mecca Cosmetica. I’m gagging to get my hands – quite literally – on a tube of their Emulsion Velours (Velvet Hand Lotion). It’s a truly beautiful formula, which uses organic immortelle floral water and sesame seed oil to provide a sheer, protective buffer for the hands to combat ageing properties, while properties of acacia honey, licorice extract and sweet almond milk soft and satiate even the thirstiest of paws.

Monday, October 4, 2010

In love with: Gothic glamour at Galliano

Daily delight: Pureology Hydrate Light Conditioner

I love the Pureology range of “good for you, good for your hair and good for the environment” range of high performance haircare products, which are amongst the best on the market for those that like their beauty with a conscience. Jim Markham created the Pureology haircare line in Irvine, California in 2001. The very clever chap revolutionized colour care and gave it a moral compass, launching the first 100 per cent Vegan formulas and ZeroSulfate shampoos for colour-treated hair to an eager audience of consumers much like myself. Jim identified a need among professional colourists and their clients for gentle, naturally based products that deliver superior performance and keep your colour looking great for longer, and today, Pureology is the number one colour care brand in the USA. And as an added bonus, the company are committed to delivering superior hair colour care through the most indulgent products and services, while preserving and promoting environmental sustainability. 
The core values of Jim and his team have led the company to become one of the first prestigious haircare brands that embraces and pioneers sustainability. “We continuously strive to achieve the most decadent experience while preserving our environment with sustainable practices,” they say, which is about as eco luxe as it gets! They have several systems on offer depending on your hair type, and right now I’m all over their new Hydrate Light Conditioner, which is thus far a winner. Its aim is to replenish and detangle fine, colour-treated hair with lightweight conditioning while keeping colour vibrant. For daily use, it delivers natural extracts of jojoba and shea butters to weightlessly moisturize and restore suppleness without weighing hair down. It also contains the brand’s exclusive AntiFadeComplex, which maximizes colour retention and ensures your shade keeps looking great in between salon visits. Oh and did I mention the yummy, soufflé-like formula that smells and feels as good as it looks? Delicious!

Sunday, October 3, 2010