Friday, January 28, 2011

Loving: Shiseido’s new Shimmering Rouge

It’s midway through summer where I am and the humidity is higher than ever. It’s definitely too hot to rock my usual full colour matte lip during the day most of the time, and I find gloss just a little annoying and teenage for my particular tastes. The perfect answer has been a selection of shades from Shiseido’s new Shimmering Rouge lipstick collection, which give a pretty sheer colour to my lips that just lasts and lasts. They are super moisturising and come in incredibly flattering shades that will work with pretty much every skin tone, although my favourite is Brocade – pictured third from the left – which is an ultra wearable rose. I defy you not to find one that suits you, so get down to your nearest Shiseido counter now!

Daily delight: Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In love with: Snowberry’s Everyday SPF15

This year I’ve already discovered a treasure trove of fantastic, non-chemical and moisturising sunblocks, but I’m particularly excited to crack open a tube of Snowberry’s new Everyday SPF15. I’ve followed the flawless New Zealand skincare brand since its inception, and their founder – Soraya Hendesi – first told me that this particular product was in the works several years ago. It’s taken this long to get it absolutely perfect, and what a little wonder it is! Luxurious and 100 per cent natural, it has a deliciously light, clear texture that you will love smoothing on your skin. It is also a certified broad spectrum sun protection product, which means that you are being protected against both UVB and UVA light.
When it comes to giving the product an SPF of 15, Soraya’s R&D team found that the higher the SPF rating, the less product most people use (you may not know that SPF15 provides about 93% protection against UVB, and surprisingly, SPF30 provides just 4% more). So, it is more in how you use your product, than its rating that is important. You should also know that ‘SPF15’ means you have protection against UVB only (the rays that cause sunburn), for 15x the burn time if you weren’t wearing a sun product. Because ‘SPF’ is not a measure of protection against the more dangerous UVA light, Snowberry’s Everyday SPF15 is also certified under the internationally recognised Boots Star system to provide good UVA protection (see the 3-Star logo on the box).
Key ingredients in the product include:
* ZinClear IM50 CCT 
- A homogenous dispersion of micron-sized zinc oxide particles which provides transperancy on the skin, and full-spectrum UV protection
* Olivem 900 - 
A natural emulsifier derived from olive oil with high moisturising properties
* Montanov 82 -
A natural plant ingredient with emulsifying properties
* Shea Butter -
A natural emollient from the fruit of the Shea tree which provides fast-acting, long-lasting moisturisation and improves skin softness
* Coffee Bean Oil -
A natural ingredient from coffee beans with moisturising and sun protection properties. It provides natural protection from ultraviolet light and is rich in phytosterols which promote excellent moisture retention
* Glycerine - 
A natural water-binding agent derived from coconut, providing moisture to the skin
I find this whole product release super exciting, mainly due to how honest and trustworthy the brand is, coupled with the fact that their products’ performance levels are always stellar. This is being slapped on right now, and shows no sign of disappearing for a long time yet!
Now if only they’d release a body version…

Daily delight: Anna Hathaway for Elle UK

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All new: Olay Definity Tone Correcting Anti-Ageing Foaming Moisturiser SPF15

I’ve seen my fair share of foaming cleansers and exfoliating formulas in the past, but for the first time today saw a foaming moisturiser, which must surely be a beauty first! It’s part of global skincare giant Olay’s anti-ageing Definity range, and is known as the – wait for it - Olay Definity Tone Correcting Anti-Ageing Foaming Moisturiser SPF15, what a mouthful! A unique aerated serum foam, it absorbs super quick for a smooth, weightless feel – perfect for underneath make up – but its active foaming action feels as rich and luxurious as some of its pricier counterparts. It’s a pretty clever little number too, made up of a unique formula that targets lines and wrinkles whilst also actively combating the look of skin discolourations to ensure beautiful even tome all over your skin. This is mainly thanks to its hydrating Glucosamine Complex (which contains two powerful skin-enhancing ingredients - Niacinamide and N-Acetyl Glucosamine), and Olay claim that in just over eight weeks the appearance of dullness, brown spots and uneven skin tone diminishes. Love that!
Olay Definity Tone Correcting Anti-Ageing Foaming Moisturiser SPF15 (RRP NZD $39.99) and the rest of the Olay Definity range is available in stores nationwide.

Daily delight: Erin Wasson for Elie Saab

Monday, January 24, 2011

Daily delight: new Megan Fox for Armani

Love: dermalogica’s age reversal eye complex

Boasting a high-impact formula that fights pretty much every eye-area woe in existence, dermalogica’s new age reversal eye complex is THE product you need when you want to pull out the big guns in the war on wrinkles. Not just for mature skin, it’s also the answer for prematurely aged skin around the eye area, which I see so much of in New Zealand in particular. The skin around the eyes is the thinnest you’ll find on your body as well as having fewer oil glands than the rest of the face, so it needs extra special care from the get go. This new wonder formula targets pretty much all of the concerns of the eye area, primarily wrinkles and crow’s feet plus puffiness, dark circles due to hyperpigmentation and skin sensitivity due to dehydration. It works hard due to a number of super ingredients, and includes a solid dose of the following:

* Retinol - to help minimize lines around delicate eye area, reverse photoageing and chronological ageing of skin tissues
* dermalogica’s AGE Smart active ingredient complex - to help prevent further free radical damage, as well as fight bags and under eye dark circles while strengthening blood capillaries and increasing blood mircrocirculation.
* Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate – a stablised Vitamin C derivative that serves as a powerful antioxidant to protect tissues from further assault from UV and other free radicals.

The formula is pretty strong stuff, so the clever clogs at dermalogica recommend that you start using it on alternate nights for the first two weeks. As skin responds and increases tolerance, build up to using nightly – and never twice a day. After cleansing, smooth and pat it around the eye area working from the outer corner, inward… then lie back and let the magic happen!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You need: Pure Australian Golden Jojoba

If you’re Down Under like me then you’ll be all-too-familiar with the sunburn, kooky rashes and mosquito bites that are just part and parcel of our fabulously unpredictable – yet currently awesome – weather. My son and I are both allergic to mozzie bites and suffer truly hideous reactions to them that really are a pain in the neck when you’re hot and ready to bare! I’ve tried all sorts to try and soothe them, including wacky clicking machines (don’t ask) and OTC medications that unfortunately contain low levels of steroid. NOT ideal when you’re trying to live life as purely as possible. It is with great fanfare then that I present to you the one product that has helped us both: The Jojoba Company’s incredible Pure Australian Golden Jojoba. Rubbed on immediately after a bite to stop scratching (my son is two) or later to prevent infection or scarring, it is an absolute godsend and has saved our skin. I urge anyone out there that loves using oils to grab a bottle of this little goodie, which is also an effective treatment for acne, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, cradle cap, nappy rash and other skin conditions when applied topically to affected areas. Apply it to the face, body, hands and feet to smooth skin and nails, reduce cracking of dry skin, and improve skin elasticity. When pregnant, apply the golden goodness to stomach and breasts to improve skin elasticity and help avoid stretch marks, or even chuck it in your hair as an intensive overnight hair treatment to leave hair strong, silky and shiny while minimising split-ends.
Must I go on? No argument, you NEED this!

Daily delight: Abbey Lee for Versace

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Daily delight: Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia

Love it: Mario Badescu Oil-Free SPF30 Moisturiser

Romanian skin care guru Mario Badescu is the man behind the skin care range that Hollywood’s It girls rely on to stay fresh-faced and fabulous, and his elegant salon on Manhattan’s East Side remains the spa of choice for savvy New Yorkers and celebrities alike. His creations incorporate natural ingredients based on soothing botanicals, essential vitamin oils and fruit extracts, which combined with advanced technology mean an end result which rejuvenates and protects the skin.
Many of his products are multi purpose – which I love – and one in particular is the perfect answer to the crazy weather happening right now. It’s simply called Oil-Free SPF30 Moisturiser, and is a godsend for anyone with oilier skin who is truly suffering in the Southern Hemisphere’s high humidity and unpredictable weather patterns. The intense antioxidant property of green tea is the secret behind the moisturizer as it helps protect the skin against aging. It doesn’t clog your pores, and it’s free of parabens whilst UVA and UVB protection prevents sun damage and acne scarring. Aloe Vera locks in your skin’s moisture and makes it soft, while St. John’s Wort sooths and repairs. It can be used on combination, sensitive, oily or acne-prone skin, and is also an ideal supplement to protect skin against the side effects of acne medicine. Its RRP is just NZD$59.00, and it’s available locally at Nuffield’s Street’s Glamorpuss Cosmetics and online right now. What are you waiting for?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Golden Globes delight: Scarlett Johansson

Golden Globes delight: Angelina Jolie

Get excited : M.A.C meets Wonder Woman!

I’d heard rumours of the latest M.A.C collaboration a few months ago, and fell in love with the idea to such an extent that it just HAD to be true. And it is! The Internet has suddenly starting buzzing with details about the soon-to-be-released M.A.C Wonder Woman collection, which the seven-year-old me is fair fizzing over. The overall feel looks to be true to WW’s blue, red and gold metallic theme, but there is one vital difference between this and the usual M.A.C release: "Since Wonder Woman has this amazing strength," says a spokesperson from the beauty giant, “everything's oversized!” Products include everything from fake lashes to "a brush set with its own metallic utility belt," (fabulous!) and are expected to fly off the shelves the minute they hit in the Northern Hemisphere Spring. Can’t wait!

Friday, January 14, 2011

TRESemmé’s Fresh Start for great hair

I’ve been a champion for the use of dry shampoos for quite some time now, and am always trying any new one that hits the market as it’s the perfect product for my combination, coloured hair. It also makes a blow dry last an extra day or two, which isn’t to be sneezed at! High performance supermarket haircare brand TRESemmé has just added not one but four dry shampoo-style options to their product line, which surely must be a record. They address different hair types and needs, and are all an absolute steal at under NZD $15.00. Fresh Start Dry Shampoo is my pick as it volumises oily/straight hair as well as adding volume.
It zaps oil and odours, and is easily absorbed before you know it. Fresh Start No Frizz Crème is for curly or very dry hair that needs taming, eliminating frizz right when you need it and keeping hair smooth. Fresh Start Waterless Foam Shampoo is also for curly girls, adding moisture and shine. Lastly, Fresh Start Refreshing Mist can be used on any hair type after a dry shampoo for an added freshness boost, adding more shine again and neutralizing odours with a quick spritz. All of these products are an absolute godsend for the high humidity happening around these parts right now, and I can’t recommend giving them a go enough.

Daily delight: Rebecca Hall for Harpers UK

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hair today, gone tomorrow? The E>One

A few months ago now I was contacted by the company behind The E>One, which is a beauty innovation that has been taking the world – latterly Australia – by storm. Intrigued, I said yes to a trial and it wasn't long before the streamlined unit was sitting in my office, begging to be used.
The E>One was developed in France by Yves Vincent Brottier, and is the first and only medically approved professional hair removal device certified for personal use at home. It has passed rigorous safety standards in Europe, where they take the likes of beauty ingredients and procedures exceptionally seriously. It’s been designed for those who are looking for a revolutionary hair removal solution, offering to save both time and money as well as permanently reduce hair on any part of the body. Be it hair on the arms, legs, bikini line, armpits, back or even the facial area, it’s safe to treat with the E>One.
So how does it work? Using cutting edge technology, the E>One utilises Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology similar to that found in hair and skin treatment clinics. The main difference is, it’s designed to be used in the privacy of your own home.
For those unfamiliar with IPL, this means that the E>One works by delivering a short but intense pulse of light onto the skin surface, with the hair being the only part reacting to this light. The light emitted from the E>One is absorbed by the melanin contained in the hair, which is then converted to heat. This heat then destroys the root of the hair - the hair will fall out and regrowth is minimised.
Thanks to its ultra-precise photo-thermal technology, the E>One doesn’t damage any peripheral tissues and is not painful to use, and it has been carefully engineered to combine safety and efficiency whilst protecting the skin.
It can be used by both males and females, with skin colours ranging from pale to olive and hair colours from blonde to black. The creators also say you can use this on tanned skin – even fake tanned skin - as the IPL isn't affected by the colour of the epidermis. Those familiar with laser hair removal may find this confusing, but remember- this isn't laser, it's Intense Pulsed Light, which works a different way. This is a bonus for those who want to use it all year round, as you won’t have to wait for even the slightest hint of a summer tan to fade.
The E>One is already well established in France, where it is gradually eradicating the need to wax or shave, one painless treatment at a time. I’ve experienced in salon IPL, and to me this at home number looked like a smaller version of the equipment used there. Previous at hair removal systems I’ve seen and read about have a cheaper, more lightweight feel, whilst this definitely felt – and behaved – like the real deal.
To begin using it you log in to the machine, each time completing a short safety questionnaire, and then select your sex, skintone, and hair type. Once selected, you place goggles on your face and put the head to your skin. Press and release and a flash of light is emitted. Repeat the process over the area, and then it’s a wrap. The first treatment should be repeated after four weeks, the next after around 6 weeks, and then at a 6-8 week frequency – essentially to try and get your hair in all its various stages of growth.
The creators of the E>One say that repeated use will lead to permanent hair loss, rather than the hair reduction which is more common with other devices. This is a big claim, and one that you’d think would discourage people from buying it – as in, why would you need it after that? It’s definitely a worthy beast though, and was so easy to use it was ridiculous. Get yours now and be hair-free next Summer!

Daily delight: Blumarine by Terry Richardson

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Crushing on SANS pH Perfect Body Wash

I was lucky enough to get a SANS Luxury Skin Kit from Santa this past Christmas, which including the boutique beauty brand's all new pH Perfect Body Wash which I was gagging to try. And try I have! And totally fallen in love! Its star ingredient is Lychee extract, and the formula is as sweet smelling and lush as it gets, as well as being 100 per cent free of chemical nasties. Simply add a cherry-sized dollop to your loofah or buffer when you hit the shower and you will be in Happy Skin heaven. It seems that this brand can do no wrong, and right now I'm wishing that they would create a hand lotion - planet and health friendly ones that actually work are hard to find, but if anyone can do it SANS can!

Daily delight: Freja's ultra retro lip & eye

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You need: LiLash Purified Eyelash Stimulator

The last year has seen an avalanche of “all new, improved!” versions of older, tried and true products hit my desk, as well as some revolutionary new goodies that have taken the beauty world by storm. Lash growth stimulators have been around for a few years now, but none of them have quite lived up to the claims that they make or aren’t always created using the safest of materials.
One that has truly impressed all who have tried it however is LiLash, which came recommended to me by my therapist Nora from Lucy & the Powder Room, who has some seriously fabulous lashes! LiLash claims to be “the highest quality, fastest-acting eyelash stimulating formula ever developed”, and if all the reviews are anything to go by it’s the winning formula in its class by far.
Used daily, LiLash will grow the appearance of the longest, fullest lashes you have ever had. Guaranteed. Applied daily in the same way as you would liquid eyeliner – and only on the upper lash line - you notice LiLash begin to change your lashes in several weeks. After 4-6 weeks you’ll be sporting some serious length, and saving a bundle on mascara! Physician formulated, the no salt, non-irritating formula is just one more benefit that sets LiLash apart. It is the purest and least irritating eyelash stimulating and conditioning product available and reportedly safe for even the most sensitive eyes.
I don’t sport them myself – they are too high maintenance even for me! – but apparently LiLash is an absolute godsend for eyelash extension wearers who notice better support and less lash breakage when they use it daily. There is also LiBrow – a version of the product specially formulated for the brows - which has been specifically formulated to thicken, fill-out, and darken eyebrows that may have been over-plucked or lacking in fullness. Magic in a tube it just may be!

Daily delight: Crystal Renn for Jimmy Choo

Monday, January 10, 2011

Love: Murad Waterproof Sunblock SPF 30

As I’ve mentioned before, over the last few weeks I’ve been lapping up the spectacular weather in a big way. And as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been trialling a bunch of sunblocks, not all of which are created equal. One I have absolutely fallen in love with not long after popping the tube is Murad’s Waterproof Sunblock SPF 30, which is a deliciously easy to use, long-lasting, high SPF waterproof formula that protects skin with three active sunscreens. The star ingredient here is Pomegranate Extract, which enhances sun protection and prevents free radical damage. It has been proven to boost sunscreen effectiveness by up to 20 per cent, which is no mean feat! Additional ingredients that are working hard to keep your skin looking and feeling fabulous are the good Doctor Murad’s own Patented Skin Repair System - which protects elasticity to maintain skin firmness - and Hyaluronic Acid and phyto-lipids to preserve skin's moisture barrier. It also smells and feels a treat – like a super luxe body lotion – and although it may not be as “natural” as some of my other favourite sunblocks, it is waterproof – a feature that the former haven’t really managed to nail yet and vital if you’re a water lover like me. I recommend you pick up the bonus size 200ml version of this baby – you will definitely not be disappointed.

Daily delight: Salma H. & Karl L. for V Spain

Friday, January 7, 2011

Love: Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

I love liquid eyeliner, which suits my low-maintenance make up routine down to a tee. Flick of a brush or pen, a touch of bronzer and just add lippy – sheer bliss, especially when you’re as time-poor as I am. I’ve tried more than a few out there, and for a great budget buy you can’t beat Maybelline New York’s new Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. This new revolution in eyeliner combines all of the important elements an eyeliner should have – it is more intense than the usual liquid eyeliner (the oil-free formula can hold highly concentrated pigments in a clear gel base), has more build-ability than a felt tip and has precision equal to that of a pencil eyeliner. It’s also smudge-proof and waterproof, and about as longwear as they come. It’s available in black and brown, and removes easily at the end of the night with soap and water or Maybelline New York Expert Eyes Eye Makeup Remover Towelettes. Too easy!

Daily delight: Freja for Tom Ford eyewear

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Kevin Murphy delivers a little love n' luxury

Whatever the season and wherever you are, your hair can always do with a little extra loving. Mine is suffering in the New Zealand heat and high humidity of late, which coupled with my lightened ends makes for some serious frizz. I’ve also got fine hair but a lot of it, making it pretty damn high maintenance at any time of the year. Oh woe is me! I’d like to give thanks then for the gift of Kevin Murphy Luxury Rinse and Luxury Wash. Both products are ideal for anyone with thick hair, or hair that just needs its thirst quenched big time. Both were created early on in Murphy’s luxuriously planet and health-friendly line of stellar haircare products, but have recently undergone a bit of a makeover. The reinvented Luxury Wash is a richer, smoother, ultra rich shampoo with ingredients specifically suited for the needs of thick, coarse hair. Ingredients like Mango Butter and Shea Butter have excellent moisturising properties to counteract the effects of permanent colour and chemical damage, as well as making it smell delicious. The reinvented Luxury Rinse is a richer, smoother, ultra rich conditioner with ingredients specifically suited for the needs of thick, coarse hair or sensitized hair as well. This conditioner has the ability to make the hair more supple and improves flexibility on hair that is naturally course, and is also an absolute joy to use. Get a little luxury in your life right now – your hair will thank you for it!

Daily delight: Elizabeth Olsen for V magazine

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sunscreen – arm yourself this summer!

Happy New Year! I’ve spent the last couple of weeks doing some serious NOTHING, most of it outside and with very little on. I’m never far from a hat though, and some serious sun protection.
Whenever I’ve asked beauty experts – be they dermatologists, make up artists or cosmetic surgeons – for their pick when it comes to anti ageing skincare, they all agree that the most important thing you can do to keep your skin looking good well into old age is wear a sunscreen. Daily. No arguments, no forgetting on a cloudy day, no saying, “my olive complexion is a sunblock in itself”! Oh, and last year’s model won’t cut it either – most sunblocks don’t last more than 12 months after being opened, so always reinvest.
Finding the right sunscreen to fit your skin type and your lifestyle is vital, and many more of us are option for all-natural versions due to the fact that many chemicals found in your average supermarket brand sunblock can be more harmful to your health than the sun. The most controversial is Oxybenzone, which can change the way hormones work in our bodies. The result could mean something as relatively benign and not life threatening as fertility issues, and then something as potentially life threatening as hormone sensitive cancers, like breast, prostate, ovarian cancers. In Europe, sunscreens with oxybenzone must carry a warning label on the bottle. Still, others say that wearing sunscreen laced with oxybenzone is better than wearing none at all.
When choosing a sunscreen, it is important to select a reflective, non-absorbent formula, as the UVA and UVB chemicals are less likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream and are easier to wash off. Zinc and Titanium seem to be the best and safest on the market. Local beauty expert Lucy Marr tells me that second up, “look for a sunscreen high in antioxidants - ingredients such as Vitamin E. They protect the skin from damage by UV rays, help keep the formulation stable on the skin and "mop up" any free radicals”. She recommends Cosmedix Reflect, a titanium, non nano formulation in a spray form that provides excellent protection.
I recently travelled to the – very sunny –South of France, and before I left made the trip out to buy a new sunscreen for my son. He’d previously worn one by Dr. Hauschka that is now impossible to find, so I asked for the next best thing and was presented with one by Soléo Organics, a name I’d never heard of previously. Their sunscreen only contains natural and organic ingredients, so it is ideal for young children, people with sensitive skin and those who are simply health conscious. The brand’s formulations use zinc technology combined with antioxidants and plant extracts to provide comprehensive sun protection, without leaving your skin a rather unattractive ghostly white. The zinc oxide is the only non-organic ingredient in there, only because minerals cannot be certified as organic. Another super popular option is Invisible Zinc’s Face and Body Sunscreen SPF 30+, which is an easy-to-spread natural sunscreen that provides high broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. It’s very low irritant and is perfect for outdoor activities and beneath make-up.
A great way to ensure you wear sunblock everyday is to choose a moisturizer that already contains a more than decent one. I currently use Ultimate Zinc, which is the creation of Sydney cosmetic surgeon Dr. Michael Miroshnik. It is moisturising, anti-inflammatory and healing, as well as harbouring a super high protection factor. Another goodie is Osmosis Shelter from The Marr Lab, which is like a treatment and sunscreen in one. Like Ultimate Zinc, it’s only good for your skin as well as having a high level of protection built in. It’s also the perfect make up base, so there’s no excuse for ranting and raving that sunblock messes with your base.
Anyway… whatever your pick, a good sunscreen is a must this summer – don’t leave home without it!