Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Daily delight: Daphne Groeneveld meets Tom Ford, Paris Vogue

Monday, November 29, 2010

Why you need: an Osmosis Medi facial

New season often means new skincare for me, even if it’s just a few products added or changed out here and there – it needn’t be a big expensive overhaul, just a careful re-think. I’ve recently started using a serum called Mend from the Osmosis line, which I picked up last week on the recommendation of Nora at Lucy & The Powder Room at The Department Store.
Osmosis has a different focus than most skincare lines, and creator Dr. Johnson (of Cosmedix fame) believes in building a “partnership with the skin”. This partnership includes utilizing ingredients that the skin recognizes, maintaining the epidermal barrier while focusing most of the attention on the dermis, virtually eliminating inflammation during repair and feeding the skin through increasing blood flow. The combination of these strategies and the ability of the products to penetrate the skin without harming it make this line one of the best in the world at restoring skin health and restoring its youthful verve.
Most skin care goes only about 5 per cent into the deeper layers of the skin, where signs of aging originate. Osmosis' liposomes are proven to increase penetration by 1000 per cent (yep, that’s one THOUSAND times more) as well as protect against sun damage and environmental toxins. Rather than the traumatic exfoliation common to many high performance skincare ranges, Osmosis stimulates and feeds the skin from the bottom up to “restore a more youthful appearance” by naturally nourishing and stimulating the skin. And like everything else you’ll find at Lucy & The Powder Room and The Marr Lab downstairs, Osmosis products are all natural with no artificial colours, preservatives, fragrances or other artificial irritants, no sodium lauryl sulfate or propylene glycol. They are simply plant-based and are not tested on animals.
To kick off my new Osmosis regime I had an hour long Osmosis Medi facial, once again at the truly wonderful hands of Nora. Customized according to your skin’s own particular needs, it works to replenish the nutrients that repair and protect the skin by increasing delivery of antioxidants, lipids, proteins, enzymes, growth factors and more. Essentially, it helps to restore an ample supply of potent antioxidants and immune boosters by delivering them to the deep layers where they are needed. It also repairs the epidermal barrier, which increases hydration as well as reducing aging and skin cancer risk.
My own particular Medi facial included elements like whey and hylauronic acid, but my favourite part was the antioxidant rich berry mask, which was made up of the likes of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries in one delicious formula. Osmosis treatments are all super natural so smell very “real”, and this summery hit of berry was to die for. For a corrective-type facial it was all too relaxing as well, so I left with a boost to both the skin and the mind. Nora also spotted some dehydration happening in my skin (possibly post-travel) so I took home some Osmosis Immerse – a yummy lipid-y addition to any skincare regime – which I’ll be adding to my morning and evening application of Mend. Next on my shopping list is Catalyst – one of the pricier numbers in the range, so sending my request to Santa right now! – a super serum that is supposed to be the Osmosis star product according to Dr. Johnson.
If you’re looking to invest in seriously great skin I recommend a trip to meet the Osmosis range now – I am seriously impressed.

Daily delight: Vanessa Paradis for L'Oreal

Friday, November 26, 2010

Daily delight: Natio's Mineral Lip Butter

Super cute and super affordable, Australian natural brand Natio’s new Mineral Lip Butter Pots are my pick for a conscious beauty stocking filler this year. They come in six very wearable colours that span the pink-to-neutral spectrum, and have a delicious fresh minty scent that wafts up at you when you pop open their cute little pot. Infused with pure mineral pigments, they give a sheer natural colour to your lips and are very moisturizing due to the all-good formula containing sweet almond, jojoba and Vitamin E for an antioxidant boost. And even better, some of the options give a matte finish that is perfectly on trend for this summer. My pick is Tender – a deep pinky mauve that makes my lips look my lips, only better! You can apply these babies with your fingertips or use a lip brush for a more even application, and they come with a New Zealand RRP of just $12.00. Try them all!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I try: FaceWorks Green Tea Eye Serum

I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I’ve been getting regular Botox shots over the past few years, but recently shifted my focus to my crow’s feet after a realisation that I was wasting both time and energy treating my brows – I have a heavy fringe, duh! Anyway, I went to see Dr. Teresa Cattin at FaceWorks for a top up, and she recommended that I also treat the area with her Green Tea Eye Serum for an added boost and to repair as much as possible any damage already done. FaceWorks’ Green Tea Eye Serum is essentially an intense, rehydrating and anti-ageing treatment for the delicate skin around the eyes. It contains pure squalane (derived from Spanish olives) for deep tissue rehydration and green tea extract, the popular potent antioxidant, to reduce the appearance of dark circles and fine lines. The formula is both fragrance and preservative-free, and is super light to apply when the time comes every night. Teresa has said that “there is no doubt that the results of any treatment that you chose to have, be it Botox or a Juvéderm will be greatly improved if the skin is healthy and well cared for”, and 12 years ago she developed the FaceWorks range of skin care products with that in mind. Made in New Zealand and designed specifically for our harsh climate, FaceWorks is a firm favourite with beauty editors and has a loyal following amongst women and men wanting an effective and affordable cosmeceutical skin care range purchase. This is my first foray into the range and so far so good – if crow’s feet are your main concern then I definitely say to give this a bash.

Daily delight: Rihanna for Interview mag

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Daily delight: Karl Lagerfeld for Pirelli 11

10 minutes with: Inika creator Miranda Bond

Most of you would have heard me rave about all organic, mineral make up range Inika in the past, both for its high performance colour (rare in the field) and its kindness to your skin and the planet. A favourite with the likes of Stella McCartney and her fellow advocates of eco luxe, it’s one of the best on offer in the natural market today. I spent ten minutes talking to its co-creator, Miranda Bond, about where Inika grew from, her continuing passion for the planet and her natural beauty faves.

Have you always had a passion for beauty with a conscience?
I have always had a passion for green living and looking after the planet, however this was elevated by my personal experience with endometriosis and a move to toxic free living. My interest in this area then expanded to pure, organic and natural products. I used to give free community workshops spreading the news about toxic free living, good nutrition and care of the environment. One of my main goals in life is to change the world – I know it sounds huge but I really am passionate about educating people and inspiring people to choose a natural and organic lifestyle – and that can be eating organic foods, using natural hair care, using natural and organic cosmetics, reducing their carbon footprint – really any small step that helps people to lead a healthier life, environmentally aware life.

When did you first think about the possibility of releasing a make up range?
Myself and co-founder Jenni Williams were looking for a more natural alternative to traditional makeup, and natural and mineral makeup was the most compatible makeup that met our strict criteria. It was pure coincidence that mineral makeup was beginning to boom in Australia at the time Inika launched (2006). It worked very much in our favour! Our main motivation for starting our own line of natural makeup was because of both mine and Jenni’s history of battling with health issues. We established Thriving Healthy Women to educate, inspire and empower women to deal with their own health issues and with those of their families. Thriving Healthy Women became a one-stop resource for women around the world not just in terms of information, but also in terms of products where every woman could be confident they were buying safe and completely natural goods. We also wanted to use resources in Australia, hence our tagline – ‘Made of Australia’. We went searching and could not find an all-natural Australian make-up company that met our strict ingredients criteria so we decided to create our own. That’s how Inika was born.

How did you start on your journey - by working with a chemist, a make up artist?
What Jenni and I know more than any other female on this planet is what NOT to put in make up. There has been a huge amount of R & D invested in the Inika products and we’ve worked with top formulators and chemists to achieve what we believe is the best natural make up on the planet.

How did you ensure that the pigment in the colours etc were so strong? A lot of organic and mineral make up brands often struggle with performance.
Performance is something Inika prides itself on – we are absolutely up there in terms of performance when comparing ourselves to mainstream brands. Inika are very strict in terms of ingredients and will not add cheap fillers to bulk out products because we want to show the world that natural cosmetics can be as good as if not better than, mainstream cosmetics. Inika has a Product Development department that scrutinises all products as well as testing them and we also have professional makeup artists use the products to see how well they perform. Plus, Inika also have a whole company of women who are more than happy to ‘product trial’ and give honest feedback!

What is behind the name, Inika?
Inika in Hindi means ‘small earth’, which has two meanings for us. We are an environmentally conscious company and the ‘small earth’ to us means we only have limited resources on this planet, so we have to think carefully about how we use them. The second meaning for us is that Inika was born out of a network of women sharing information with other women and when women reach out and support each other in that way, it really isn’t such a big world after all.

You have some big name fans like Stella McCartney, how did they come in contact with your brand?
We have great PR companies who represent the brand around the world and we are always sending our products out to celebrities, models and make up artists. We are very fortunate that they end up falling in love with the brand!

What is your must have, "desert island" product from the range?
My favourite product is the certified organic Liquid Mineral Foundation, which has won a number of accolades such as the ACP magazine award for Best Foundation and was also nominated as the Marie Claire Best Product for 21010. It is full of sumptuous organic ingredients like tamunu oil, shea butter and rosehip oil, basically it is food for your skin and provides all day coverage! My skin has a tendency to be a bit dry so it would be a must for me on the desert island.

Who are some other brands you respect, perhaps a skincare name that you love?
One of my favourite skincare brands is actually a New Zealand brand – The Herb Farm. I’m so strict when it comes to ingredients and The Herb Farm formulations are so clean, no hidden nasties and really powerful formulations. LOVE THEM.

Finally, is it easier these days than when you started for women to find great beauty brands with a moral compass that are also great for the skin?
In some ways it is easier, but there are now lots of brands jumping on the ‘green wagon’. It sometimes creates more confusion because some brands say they are ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ but may only contain a very small percentage of these ingredients. When in doubt, I always recommend that people read the ingredients list and look out for the obvious nasties like parabens, talc, bismuth oxychloride, mineral oil or artificial fragrances and dyes. Inika is one of the few brands in the world to be certified vegan or certified organic or both and in addition we are certified Halal and Cruelty free.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Daily delight: finally meeting Thin Lizzy

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I’ve seen the infomercial-style ads for Thin Lizzy mineral make up on the telly and just dismissed as another “gift with purchase” type brand that would never stack up against the make up gods I regularly worship at the altar of. However, when I received an invitation to try the product for myself and have a makeover at the hands of the Thin Lizzy make up artists I didn’t hesitate to RSVP “yes”, and was really rather intrigued.
And that intrigue soon turned to surprise, and then delight, as I discovered a beauty secret that I may never have known about, had I not gone to the Lily & Louis showroom that evening. To put it mildly, Thin Lizzy is a wonder, and I am seriously hooked!
What reeled me in was not their famous 6-in-1 Professional Powder – the top selling cosmetic item in New Zealand for some time now – but their absolutely amazing SPF 15 mineral foundation. On sale for around NZD$40.00 for the compact and brush and instructional disc, it is free of chemical preservatives, perfumes and fillers, and comes in a handy pressed compact that you brush on. I’ve tried and then passed on a lot of mineral foundations in the past as their loose packaging is too messy to be used on the go, but this little baby is tiny and can fit in even the smallest clutch. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties so is perfect for those with sensitive skin like me, and also contains Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide for a natural broad-spectrum sun protection. Consisting solely of micronised minerals, what makes this such a revolutionary foundation is what’s NOT in it.
Another brand new favourite of mine discovered on the night is the ultra light, ultra blendable Thin Lizzy Concealer Crème (pictured), which has a consistency to die for. The beeswax formulation makes it water resistant, smudge resistant and long
lasting, and the ginger extract will help calm and soothe irritated skin. You can use it under a foundation, as your foundation or as a spot fix, with a perfect and natural finish every time. And you can layer it up depending on what you want to hide – including birthmarks, scarring, under eye darkness, vitiligo, acne and acne scarring, age spots, rosacea, redness, bruising, tattoos, varicose and spider veins. In a nutshell, this is serious concealer in very user-friendly packaging that I just can’t get enough of.
Lastly, unlike many of the aforementioned make up gods that I regularly bow down to, Thin Lizzy doesn’t come in sexy packaging or with supermodels singing its praises – because it doesn’t need it. This is just seriously great stuff.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

London beauty must do: BLOWW salon

One of the most outstanding beauty stop offs I made when I was in London a couple of weeks ago was at a salon called BLOWW, which is tucked away in a serene little lane just off insanely bustling Regents Street called Regents Place.
Featured in the likes of ELLE and Tatler – both of whom sing their praises – the outrageously talented team at BLOWW believe that working with hair goes “ hand-in-hand with style, glamour, fashion, innovation and skill”, and they’ve pooled their resources to create an exquisite salon experience in the heart of London’s West End.
BLOWW was launched in December 2005 and was received with a great deal of excitement from the industry, winning the British Hairdressing Business Award for Salon Design in 2006 and Hair Magazine’s London Salon of the Year in 2007 and Destination Salon of the Year in 2008. The beautifully spacious spot – a rarity in a city as densely packed as London – features the likes of a lengthy granite catwalk, bespoke soundtrack, super flattering lighting, art and a shampoo massage area which is tucked away for ultimate relaxation, making for one fabulously relaxing experience. Their signature is what they like to call “couture hairdressing”, which is all about finding a superlative style for each individual using a distinct combination of skills, knowledge and intuition. Their stylists regularly work on photo-shoots for magazines, TV, fashion shows and major fashion campaigns, and with clients that include Nick Knight and Givenchy are one decidedly hip bunch.
My stylist for the day was the extremely charming and dapper Charley McEwen, who an industry insider told me gives “THE best blow dry in London”, which is no small call. He certainly has the client list to back it up though, regularly taking care of the tresses of Cate Blanchett, Heidi Klum, Sienna Miller and Lily Allen when the red carpet calls. When he gets to work on my hair it is totally transformed – from fairly thick, slightly distressed locks (thanks a month in France with no salon treatments) to seriously big, bouncing natural waves that are everything I wish my hair would be on a daily basis. And the best thing? They still looked bloody amazing four days later, when I was sadly forced to wash them and return to my former less-than-glory. The whole experience was a super luxurious one too, from the Redken treatment and serious head massage to the sparkling water and time taken over the blow dry, I was in heaven. If you are ever in London then I suggest the first thing you do is give Charley a call – it will set you up well for a seriously great trip.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Daphne Groeneveld & Tom Ford, Paris Vogue

I try: an Ergoline Collagen Beauty Bed

Over the years I’ve tried light therapy on several occasions as an add-on to my usual skincare regime, and found it to be a great way to make my favourite products work harder and a nice boost to my skin’s health in general. The treatments have been solely restricted to my face and decolletage, but now Collagen Beauty Beds have arrived in New Zealand I’m more than ready to for all over great skin this summer.
Loved by beauty editors worldwide and extensively used by medical professionals for some time now, they are a ridiculously easy way to address the likes of fine lines and wrinkles, sun spots and pigmentation, as well as aid wound healing. This clever tool for full body skin rejuvenation is now available here in New Zealand at Solaris Tanning on Ponsonby Road and Botany, and is definitely worth a bash if you’re in the market for seriously good skin.
The beds work by emitting visible light between 600 and 700 nm, which contain no UVA or UVB rays and is highly beneficial to the skin. Studies have proven that light within this part of the spectrum penetrates to the bottom of the dermis, stimulating fibroblasts that produce collagen and repair elastin fibres to help keep the skin firm and plump, which is what gives young skin its glow. While you’re lying down having 20 minutes of “me” time, the lamps shining all around you are working hard to improve tone and texture, control and diminish pigmentation and age spots and reduce pore size, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. As if that’s not enough, the light also stimulates blood circulation aiding in detoxification, while increasing oxygen and nutrients to the skin. This reduces inflammation and enhances the wound repair process as skin cells renew from 150 -200 per cent faster when exposed to this light wavelength. Used by doctors to reduce healing time, these benefits can be utilised to speed up the natural healing process in which your skin regenerates, aiding in a quick recovery if you’ve had more invasive treatments such as IPL. If you’ve just had Botox or fillers however, it’s recommended that you wait at least 24 hours before hitting a Collagen Bed.
When I spoke to Alicia Berridge, the Director of Solaris, she recommended a course of Collagen Bed sessions to really address any issues you have with your skin. “Skin rejuvenation is a dynamic process. Commitment to light therapy is key, and a course of 20 light treatments is what is recommended for really great results.” She added that your skin will continue to improve for up to six weeks after your course has ended, and said that popping in once or twice a month for maintenance after that is the perfect way to keep your skin looking its best. She said results can be seen after just two treatments, and then great skin really kicks in at around ten. The beds have no down time or side effects and a treatment last just twenty minutes, so you can pop down to Solaris in your lunch break for a top up whenever you need one.
This type of light therapy is suitable for all skin types and is only contra-indicated for those with a photosensitivity disorder, and not recommended if you’re pregnant (or claustrophobic!). Also, certain medications can cause photosensitivity, so check in with your beauty therapist or doctor if you think this might apply to you. If you decide to pop along and try this future beauty tool for yourself, exfoliate the night before and be sure to wear no make up or lotions containing sunscreens. However, Alicia tells me that if you have a favourite serum then slap it on as the light will help it penetrate deeper.
Oh, and before I forget - Solaris have a special on right now whereby you can buy a 20 session course for just $199, which is less than half the price of a luxury skin cream! I must admit it took me some time to get used to walking into a tanning salon after years of banging on about how bad they are, but don’t let that put you off a collagen bed – they can only be good for you!

Daily delight: Olivia Wilde for Vanity Fair

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In praise of: Dermalogica's UltraCalming relief masque

I just came home from a holiday that involved eight flights – and three climates – in just over six weeks. I have very reactive skin and normally this would have caused a serious beauty meltdown to happen right there on my face, but I cleverly avoided this with the use of several rather amazing Dermalogica UltraCalming range. The one that I really couldn’t have lived without was the relief masque, which was created for sensitized, reactive and recently resurfaced skin. A powerful, ultra-calming treatment masque enriched with Colloidal Oatmeal to soothe enraged skin and provide lasting relief from sensitized skin flare-ups, redness and rosacea, it was the ideal thing to apply post-flight, and keep my skin looking seriously great despite the chaos around me. It was also super easy to use, I just applied a layer generously to a cleansed face and throat as well as key areas with or prone to sensitivity (e.g.; cheeks or eye area). I left it on to process for at least ten minutes to fully activate, then gently rinsed with warm water to remove all traces. I followed it up with UltraCalming Mist and UltraCalming Serum Concentrate, and was definitely in beauty heaven. You can use it 2-3 times per week or whenever skin requires a soothing remedy, and it has definitely become a new staple in my bathroom cabinet. If you’re the sensitive type then I highly recommend this, and ASAP.

Daily delight: classic Vintage Cher

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Daily delight: oils by Alexander Sprekenhus

One of the many beauty discoveries I made whilst tripping around London was Alexander Sprekenhus’ Argan Oil Styling Elixir, which is composed of the same oil as the famous Moroccanoil, but with a few added extras. Also available in a Light formula, this beautiful product softens thick unmanageable hair and restores shine and softness to dull lifeless hair. It also strengthens and conditions, eliminates frizz, speeds up styling time by 40 per cent, and provides long-term conditioning to all hair types. The much respected company has become one of the pre-eminent manufacturers of argan-based natural body and skin care products, which also have super unique scents which make them that much more luxurious again. Each Alexander Sprekenhus fragrance is chosen carefully - a unique blend customized with a variety of earthy, spicy, floral, sweet perfume, and/or citrus essential oil notes. All of their fragrances are also phatalate-free, and their formulas use all natural ingredients - no mineral oil, dyes, sulfates, propylene glycol, phthalates or parabens. They are also 100 per cent Vegan, drug-free and cruelty-free, even making PETA’s coveted and highly regarded “No Test List.” Now if only this beautiful elixir was available in New Zealand! If you’re out there Alexander, please send some our way fast!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Why you need: Sebastian Hydre Deep Moisturizing Treatment

If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere right now like I am, then you’ll be well aware that summer is – almost! – officially here. It’s my favourite season by far, but one that can prove to be a shocker on your hair, especially if it’s colour treated like mine. The best way to be prepared is by finding some great products to introduce into your regular routine as the weather heats up, and one I’ve just started using on my hair is Sebastian’s Hydre Deep Moisturizing Treatment. It’s an added extra for your usual hair regime but one that’s super easy to incorporate, as you just slip it in instead of your usual conditioner a couple of times a week. Leave it on for 3-5 minutes after a good old shampoo, and your hair will get a big fat hit of intensive, long lasting moisture. Normal or damaged hair will feel conditioned, silky, moisturised and healthy. And most importantly, it’s colour safe, meaning your blondes will stay blonde and your brunettes dusky and glossy. Get this baby on your radar ASAP and you’ll feel the impact of salt water, sea air and chlorine that much less this summer.

Love: Spa Ayurda’s Vishuddi body treatment

When I rolled up to Ponsonby Road’s peaceful beauty oasis known as Spa Ayurda, I was desperately in need of a bit of a “tune up”, as my mother would say. I’d been working insane hours on top of being a mum, and I’d just done time in the trenches at New Zealand Fashion Week, which is not as glamorous as it looks when you’ve got your working hat on!
What I needed most was to commit to a good old-fashioned detox programme, but I just hadn’t had the time to prepare fully, or to withdraw from society in order to do one well. I’d been told that Spa Ayurda’s Vishuddi body treatment would definitely be a step in the right direction though, so one sunny Wednesday afternoon I dropped in to make it happen.
Spa Ayurda co-owner and director Rippan Sandhu told me that the treatment was “a wonderfully detoxifying and rejuvenating experience”, which sounded like exactly what my poor old body and mind needed. Named after the throat chakra, it’s also especially good for runners and gym goers as well as it really lubricates the joints and makes the body feel ready for anything. And - like all of the treatments at Spa Ayurda - it has a strong emphasis on wellness, but luckily when the body and mind are soothed, looking great is a wonderful by-product.
To begin with, selected powdered Ayurvedic herbs and fresh ingredients like coconut and lemon are cooked together and tied to form a bolus – or poultice –which is prepared earlier by your therapist (in my case the gorgeous Jane). These are then dipped in warm medicated herbal oil and applied to the body with rhythmic strokes that run up and down the legs, arms, back, chest and stomach. Packed with the goodness of the aforementioned herbs, this warm poultice massage has the ability to penetrate to the nerves and bone tissues, helping to release toxins from deep within the body. As a by product, it also leaves you feeling blissfully relaxed as well as slightly invigorated, and ready to once again face the world. This wonderful treatment is then followed by a seven minute long herbal steam session that happens while you are enclosed from the neck down in a purpose built wooden box, and is designed to help open the channels and flush the toxins that have been dredged up from the body. Every little detail is attended to in true Spa Ayurda fashion, including a cool towel placed on my head during the steaming process to stop headaches or my body overheating. Sandalwood paste is also applied to my head and body at key spots to aid the detoxification process and ensure that a pleasant equilibrium is maintained all round.
The Vishuddi treatment leaves your body absolutely slick with oil, so you are given the choice of either going straight home (bring a pair of old clothes to wear if you take this option) or having a shower in the bathroom next to your treatment room if you have somewhere to be. I recommend scheduling a session late in the day and heading home to dinner and bed – you will sleep like a baby. Last up you are given a cup of herbal tea whilst you contemplate leaving the spa, and I spent a full five minutes or so trying to get the motivation to actually go. Given half the chance I would have jumped onto the nearest treatment bed and settled in for the night!
* This article appears in the latest issue of Ponsonby News. Check it out here!*

Friday, November 12, 2010

Facial Radiance: the no-product facial

As a beauty writer I’m always keen to give a new treatment a bash, but a lot of women I know are scared of facials due to the likes of allergic reactions to the products used, resulting in a week hiding indoors with a scarf over your face! Some will also only stick with one particular type of facial as they like the products used and would rather not try another brand – and I’m sure that I’ve personally missed spending some quality time enjoying the skills of some very talented facialists, purely because I don’t fancy the snake oil that they’re pedalling.
One way to avoid all of the above is by having a facial of sorts executed without the use of any products at all, which you can do with Lynda Davenport. She and her magic hands go under the name Facial Radiance, and can be found one day a week inside the fitness and wellness centre known as re:ab on Selbourne Street. Lynda has been immersed in the field of Natural Beauty and Energy Healing for over 14 years. With an intense belief in the balance and flow of energy and how it contributes to our overall wellbeing, she has combined these principals into Facial Radiance for one very different beauty treatment.
The technique was first introduced many years ago by Stanley Rosenburg, who called it “Face-lifting Massage”. He was a firm believer that “your face is the mirror of your soul”, and that through the process of releasing our old facial tensions, we free up new reserves of physical, mental and emotional energy. Lynda has added some of her own flourishes to create Facial Radiance, which is essentially a treatment for your face, head and neck that reduces and prevents the ageing process, releasing stress dramatically and bringing your whole self “back into radiance”. She says that the main reason that your face will be really rather transformed after a few sessions is that “around 80 per cent of stress is held in the face and neck, which adds to the ageing process and interrupts the other processes in your body”. In other words, the likes of lines, furrows and sagging are the consequence of muscles that retain accumulated stress from a lifetime of events and emotions. When this stress is worked on and somewhat released, the blood flow to your face, circulation and lymphatic flow are increased, making for increased collagen production (the thing all of those wonder creams promise to do but don’t often deliver) and super clear skin.
The delicious treatment lasts an hour, and Lynda explained to me that it will complement any skincare range and facial treatments, including the healing process post cosmetic surgery. It also helps Botox and fillers like Juvaderm go that much farther, with clients reporting that they can often give them up once they start of a regular Facial Radiance programme.
So what will you see after a Facial Radiance Treatment? I only had one, but I did notice immediately how plump and toned my skin looked, which is amazing considering not a single cream or serum was applied. After a series of treatments – Lynda recommends five over a five-week period – she says that the area around the eyes will look more toned, fine lines will be minimised, lips will appear fuller, cheekbones more accentuated, your jaw line sculptured, neck muscles tightened and skin rejuvenated. Definitely no small call! “My clients always leave feeling so relaxed and that feeling comes out through the skin,” she adds, “it’s almost like looking great is just a very nice added bonus!”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I seriously need: Lash Stiletto Voluptuous!

I’m en route to my hometown of Auckland in the next hour or so, typing this blog entry from the airline lounge at London’s Heathrow airport. I’m looking at a seriously long flight – try 26 hours on for size! – and already have a glass of pinot noir in my hand just to cope with the journey. I’m going to leave this flight in a serious state of beauty emergency, but have a few products on hand to ease my return to everyday life and hopefully detract from the sorry state of my skin! One of these is a great new mascara that comes courtesy of beauty giant Maybelline New York. They are the brand that brought you the first ever mascara and iconic classics such as Great Lash, and revolutionised the market with the breakthrough Lash Stiletto mascara just a year ago. After taking the world by storm with its revolutionising length and becoming the #1 lengthening mascara worldwide, Lash Stiletto now has a glamorous, curvier new ‘sister known as Lash Stiletto Voluptuous (pictured), and it’s destined to work wonders once I land. It promises to provide the skyscraper length of the best pair of stilettos along with amazing curvaceous eye-catching volume, meaning you don’t have to choose between ‘long and skinny’ or ‘plump and voluminous’ lashes. The innovative “Plump & Stretch Brush” simultaneously lengthens and volumises as its unique S-shape provides two reservoirs: the first to lift and lengthen and the second to add fullness. Thanks to the criss-crossed bristles each lash is grasped and extended, creating 70% more length and 80% more volume. I suggest you upsize your measurements now – I know I’m going to!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ready for Escentric Molecules: The Third?

I know I’ve been banging on an awful lot about fragrance recently, but there are just so many damn good ones out there making appearances of late that it would be rude not to. The newest on the block – and available exclusively in New Zealand via Karen Walker stores – are the third pair of scents from Escentric Molecules, which take the runaway success story of the niche fragrance world back to its roots – literally. The “pyramid” on which celebrated nose Geza Schoen has based Escentric 03 has ginger root at its top, orrisroot at its heart and vetiver root at its base. As with the first two pairs, launched in 2006 and 2008, Schoen has designed two scents as homage to a single scent ingredient, or aroma-chemical. The aromachemical this time is vetiveryle acetate, a refined vetiver note that is gleefully celebrated at its purest in Molecule 03. Escentric 03, on the other hand, is a tribute to the more familiar side of vetiver: its dark, slightly exotic woodiness. MeCompany’s packaging of the Escentric scents has always been a huge part of their charm and desirability, and this time round the story is no different. To reinforce the “rootsiness” of the latest additions to the range, the packaging for 03 has a mood that keeps things organic but also delightfully mysterious. As the press release says, the design suggests “something dark moving just below the surface of things, something you can’t quite put your finger on”. And once again, both are built to look absolutely brilliant on your dressing table or spilling out of your tote. Christmas gift? Yes please!

Daily delight: Comme des Garçons Incense Avignon

I was back in London for a whirlwind 24 hours again a few days ago, and this time remembered to pop into the Liberty fragrance hall and grab me a bottle of my favourite scent by Comme des Garçons, Incense Avignon (a very favourable exchange rate helped, too!). A fragrance that definitely pulls no punches, Incense Avignon is powerful and intense, to say the least. The recognizable smells of frankincense and myrrh open the high mass of Avignon, giving way to the almost eye-smarting, gloriously smoky and resinous heart. Other notes include Roman Camomile, Citsus Oil, Elemi, Incense, Vanilla, Patchouli and Palisander, making for one heady, sexy beast. Now god help me when it runs out!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's Burlesque: and OPI Steals the Show!

This summer more than a few of my friends are gagging to get along to see what promises to be one of the campest movie releases in a while – and possibly one if the most entertaining – Burlesque. A musical, it has an all-star cast that includes Cher and Christina Aguilera, and if the trailer is anything to go by, has some of the most fabulous hair and make up looks to be seen on the big screen in a while! Inspired by the film’s outrageous costumes and bold choreography, OPI are launching twelve limited-edition Nail Lacquers for Holiday 2010. Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director, has said that “the colours were modelled off the majestic glamour, over-the-top costumes and mesmerising cabaret that are typically seen in Burlesque performances. The resulting bright, dazzling shades are perfect for the summer season.” My pick of the shades includes:
Bring on the Bling – a gold glitter that’s “beyond dazzling”.
Sparkle-icious - multi-colour glitter-iciousness!
Rising Star – a lustrous glimmering gold.
Tease-y Does - It a tempting burgundy shimmer.
And like all OPI nail lacquers, the bedazzling new shades contain no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde, and all feature OPI’s exclusive ProWide™ Brush for the ultimate in application.
Love it!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

10 minutes with dharma’s Jock Robson, L’Oreal Color Trophy 2011 finalist

The New Zealand leg of the L’Oréal Colour Trophy Awards returns in 2011, and the 22 finalists for New Zealand’s Oscars of hairdressing have been announced. The country’s leading stylists vie for four major titles in a live recreation session in Auckland next April before the winners are announced the same evening. There are three major individual awards including the Supreme Award: New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year, the Next Generation Award and the Men’s Colour Award, as well as a team award for the Salon of the Year.
A finalist in the latter is dharma salon from Auckland’s Mount Eden, a hotbed of creative talent that is renowned for its super friendly and super talented team. The salon is co-headed by the extremely affable Jock Robson (pictured), who has worked backstage at both New Zealand and New York fashion weeks, and has been on the cutting floor for over 13 years. I had a chat to Jock about future hair, his sources of inspiration and how his salon’s entry came about.

How many years have you been involved in L’Oréal Colour Trophy in some shape or form now?
Approximately 15 years. I cut my teeth on it as a Young Colourist finalist many moons ago.
How do you keep things fresh - do you look for inspiration in areas like pop culture, or people on the street?
You can’t force inspiration, so I like to take notice of what is happening around me. I take inspiration from print and other media and let it evolve organically, and on set I try to step back so that I can “see” the look. Chatting to other creatives for their opinions helps as well.
Was your whole salon involved in your entry for the upcoming event, or just a core number of stylists?
We have a very strong, fantastic team at dharma, so we listed the “core team” on the entry even though everyone was involved in some way or another. I really took a back role in the development of the look and let some of the new talent take the reins so they can improve on their photographic hairdressing. I was also responsible for taking the photographs.
Without giving too much away, can you give me an inkling of what went into the entry or its theme?
I would love to spin a great yarn as to how it was put together with hours of brainstorming and experimenting with different aspects, however the truth is it was an organic process that evolved with very little planning. One of our regular clients (who does modelling work) was booked in the day before our shoot so the team took this opportunity and decided to create an entry for the Salon of the Year award. It was a last minute decision and we’re thrilled it worked out so well!
In terms of the upcoming season, what are some key hair trends coming through for Summer 10/11?
For me the hair will be more simple - simple shapes, simple colour placement, lived in texture with nothing too forced.
So will it be the usual return to "easy" hair for the summer months?
I wish! It will appear easy, but it takes so much consideration for us hairdressers to create “easy” hair. It is somewhat like achieving nude make-up or a balanced simple flower arrangement.
Summer hair is usually quite hard to keep in great condition, what are some products you recommend for keeping hair looking great?
I think number one is a Mason Pearson brush to distribute natural oils and smooth down the cuticle. From there you could use any number of leave in conditioners; however you must use the advice your stylist offers to avoid ones that may be too heavy or light for your hair type.
And last up, what is your desert island product, the one you can't live without?
A professional shampoo for my hair/scalp type, at least it will be feeling great.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Daily delight: high performance Olay Definity

Olay is a name synonymous with great products that are beyond easy on the wallet, and their huge global success is largely due to that winning formula. Never content to sit back on their laurels they are always on the research trail, finding the next great skincare innovation that delivers premium results to every woman, and their newest release, Olay Definity, is no different.
But first for a little background. Groundbreaking research from the skincare expert has revealed that there’s more to the war against ageing than just fighting the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Insight from behavioural science suggests that in fact discolourations, dark spots, dullness and uneven skin tone are the new perception of “old” and having an even-toned, luminous complexion actually helps to reduce perceived age like magic. In essence, to look your best you need an anti-ageing range that goes beyond lines and wrinkles to fight dark spots and discolouration, and Olay have answered that need with its most innovative and highly defined anti-ageing range yet – the Olay Definity Tone Correcting Anti-Ageing range. In just eight weeks, Olay Definity helps visibly transform the appearance of skin and fights what ages skin the most: dark spots and discolourations, along with lines and wrinkles. Olay Definity, with Olay’s Essential Glucosamine Complex, is designed to help go beyond wrinkles to also improve the appearance of dull, uneven and discoloured skin tone. With daily use, it hydrates the skin to visibly reduce the appearance of past damage, as well as reducing the appearance of discolourations and wrinkles to reveal more flawless looking skin – and who doesn’t want that?
So then, what’s the secret? It lies with Olay’s Essential Glucosamine Complex, which contains two powerful skin-enhancing ingredients - Niacinamide and N-Acetyl Glucosamine. One of the most vital skincare additions to your daily routine in some shape or form, Niacinamide is scientifically proven to help boost skin’s collagen levels, restoring your skin’s inner glow. And, because collagen also happens to be important for keeping away the lines and wrinkles, Niacinamide can help provide smoother, firmer skin. Olay’s combination of Niacinamide and N-Acetyl Glucosamine is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of dark spots and skin discolouration, resulting in a more even, luminous skin appearance.
And as per Olay’s usual modus operandi, the New Olay Definity Tone Correcting Anti-Ageing line-up is priced at an incredible RRP of NZD$39.99, and includes a
Foaming Moisturiser with SPF15, an Anti-Ageing Cream and a Lotion, an Anti-Ageing Serum and a Night Cream as well. The accompanying Illuminating Cream Cleanser is just NZD$19.99.
Olay Definity is available in stores now.