Monday, February 28, 2011

Daily delight: Daisy Lowe for ASOS Feb 11

Eight Hour Cream does serious sun protection

Pretty much every woman I know is familiar with Elizabeth Arden’s world famous Eight Hour Cream, which now has a skincare collection built around it that regularly gets good reviews. The latest tool they’ve added to the Eight Hour arsenal is the Targeted Sun Defense Stick SPF 50 Sunscreen PA+++, which combines the legendary benefits of Eight Hour Cream with intense sun protection in its sleekest, most targeted form. Whether you’re on the beach in the summer or on the slopes in the winter, its fast-paced application and handbag or pocket-friendly portability make it a must own if you’re out and about a lot enjoying the fresh air. A slim little beast, it lets you target sensitive, over-exposed areas such as lips, nose, earlobes - even scars - to help shield from the burning and aging effects of UVA and UVB rays for healthier looking skin It also glides on smoothly and invisibly so you’ll never know it’s there. Small but powerful, it contains a powerful SPF 50 sunscreen as well as hydrating ingredients that soothe and smooth for up to eight hours. It’s also oil-free and PABA-free and water perspiration-resistant, making it a great choice in the water or when things start heating up. Suitable for all skin types and available in March, it’s also ophthalmologist, clinically and dermatologist tested and non-comedogenic. Clever stuff.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hair I love: when bigger is definitely better

No matter what hair length I have – currently just on the shoulder, for the record – I love a lot of volume, and for evening, I like to go BIG! Wearing my clip in extensions is always fun and gives great hair thanks to the fact that they were cut to expertly match my hair’s shape and colour thanks to Lauren Gunn from Stephen Marr, but even without I like a bit of size and movement.
The best way to get loads of volume is run mousse through damp hair, then pick up your blow dryer and a decent sized round brush. Start blow-drying to the side straight away, then wrap sections of hair around the brush, holding each in place for a few seconds so that you're using the brush almost like a Velcro roller or curling tong, heating the hair on it instead of pulling it smooth. You can even pin these in curls with a few bobby pins if you have a little extra time, letting them cool and then carefully releasing them. When you're finished drying, rub a dab of pomade such as L'Oréal Professionnel Lumi Contrôle or similar over your fingers, then use them to break up the ends and keep things from looking too “done”. Voila – awesome va-va-voom hair that’s touchable to boot!

Daily delight: Kirsten Dunst for Bulgari

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Daily delight: Amanda Seyfried for Interview

A new essential from magical Dr.Hauschka

The neck and décolleté are two of the most neglected areas on the bodies of a lot of women I know, yet they are also two of the first spots to really give away your age. So many of us stop our skincare at the jawline and treat the legs and the arms with a body moisturiser and be done with it, then face the possibility of laser treatment or similar to hopefully “fix” any damage once it becomes impossible to ignore.
Thankfully for us then that the internationally acclaimed team of scientists at Dr.Hauschka have created Regenerating Neck and Décolleté Cream, which is the newest edition to Dr.Hauschka’s hugely successful Regenerating Range, which was launched in 2008. I started using this beautifully rich cream recently and can honestly say that the results are already starting to show. Despite the fact that I’m a religious user of sunscreen on the neck and décolleté the dehydration after several months in the sun was starting to show, and it was the perfect time to get things healing. The luxurious new cream works by unleashing a potent and unique combination of precious natural ingredients to help retain moisture and firm the specific neck and décolleté area, which loses elasticity and becomes prone to wrinkles and discolouring as the skin matures. The super rich, creamy moisturising texture includes Field Horsetail containing silica, which quickly absorbs into the skin and has a firming effect on the neck and décolleté connective tissue without leaving behind a greasy feel. Add to that moisture-balancing Marshmallow, Birch Leaves and isoflavone-rich Red Clover extracts to help enrich the skin with moisture, while eight plant oils, including Macadamia Nut oil and Argan oil, also provide an extra boost to help counteract the signs of aging. After just a few days’ use my neck and décolleté looked and felt softer and firmer, and any crepiness that was starting to creep in had totally disappeared. If that sounds like your concern then I recommend you grab a tube of this magic stuff, and it goes without saying that its formula is all natural and good for the planet too.
Dr.Hauschka Regenerating Neck and Décolleté Cream is best suited for mature skin and is also suitable for sensitive skin types, and you can go here for more information about the rest of the brand’s beautiful Regenerating Skin Care range.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In love all over again with Snowberry

Everyone who knows me well – especially the facialists I see regularly – knows that I love using oils on my face, my body and my hair. I’m always on the hunt for the next great one on the block, and my latest great affair of the heart is with Snowberry’s Soothing Facial Massage Oil.
Snowberry is a brand that I met and fell in love with when it was launched in New Zealand almost five years ago, and to this day I stand by the statement that it is our country’s best – and most luxurious – all natural brand. And we certainly do natural and organic well, which further illustrates just how great Snowberry is. It is still relatively boutique in its home country, but in Europe is a runaway hit – a key ingredient in the facials carried out all around Europe is the aforementioned oil – and can be found in some of the finest spas and department stores. A few weeks ago I applauded the release of Snowberry’s first sunblock and they have some exciting new releases coming out this year, but more of that later - I’m here to sing the praises of this marvellous oil!
A rich and easily absorbed blend of precious plant oils and anti-aging plant extracts, it is especially suitable for dry and sensitive skins, helping to reduce inflammation and irritation. It can also be worked into virtually any skincare regime when you feel like your skin needs a boost, which is why I’m using it right now in place of a night cream to great effect. It’s also super simple to use – I gently massage the oil into my face and neck as required and if necessary, pat dry with a soft tissue.
Regular facial massage is a very important part of a good skin health and this luxurious formula feels just amazing when gently smoothed into the skin. It is a superb blend of Azulene (the Chamomile extract that gives the Oil its beautiful colour), Inca Inchi, Passion Flower, and Rose Hip Oils that together provide anti-inflammatory properties as well as a rich complex of Omega fatty acids and Vitamin C. Add to that Pomegranate oil extract - a powerful anti-oxidant that is able to restore the skin’s natural water circulation - and Bisabolol and Ginger Extract to boost the oil’s anti-irritancy properties and you have pure, unadulterated refreshment for the skin! Add to this the fact that Snowberry products do not contain Lauryl Sulphates,Petrochemicals, Propylene or Butylene Glycols, Volatile alcohols, artificial colours , Silicones , DEA or MEA ingredients and that the company is carbon neutral, and you have one very desirable product. Love this.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hair I love: the really rather clever ponytail

This is a style that’s equally worthy of a Greek goddess or a high street princess. Start by creating a deep side part with a tail comb, then use it to lightly tease the hair underneath the nape of the neck for extra volume and grip. Pull all your hair into a ponytail at the nape, secure it with a hair band, and then slip in a couple of large bobby pins near your ears to hold back any cheeky bits. To make it look as if you tied your hair in a knot, take a large chunk of hair from the tail and wrap it around the rest of the hair a couple of inches from the base, sticking the ends into the elastic. A messed up version of this was seen on the runway not too long ago – as in the Fall 11 collections at New York Fashion Week – on the models at Proenza Schouler. Super stylist Paul Hanlon explained the look he was going for to Allure magazine, saying: "She’s still fallen asleep on that bus, and it’s like she threw her hair up and forgot about it and we’ve caught it as it’s falling out." To achieve this look, he and his team clipped in 22-inch extensions to give the hair a long, even silhouette, then ran Fekkai Coiff Strong Hold Volume Mousse (one of my favourites, and available Down Under at Mecca Cosmetica) through the hair to blend the real and fake pieces together. After creating a middle part that was "clean but not perfect," he pulled the hair into a low ponytail that covered the ears, then loosely braided it. Using his fingers, he then roughed it up a little, undoing some of the braid, then securing the ends. To finish, on the third go-round of the elastic he didn't pull the hair through the whole way, so it formed a loose mini-bun that makes this look totally modern. Love it.

Daily delight: eyes, 3.1 Phillip Lim, NYFW 11

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why you need: Dermalogica's Sponge Cloth

By day my usual modus operandi is to go make up free bar some mascara and a soft matte lippy, but when it’s time to go out I love to go mad with the tar black liner and shadow topped off with lashings of mascara. Come home time this can often turn pear shaped as I struggle to get the whole thing off, and my husband can vouch for the amount of bathroom towels I’ve trashed in the process. Luckily for me – and my homewares budget – I’ve recently discovered Dermalogica’s Sponge Cloth, after a very strong recommendation from therapist Jasmine at Louise Gray Skincare. The perfect companion product for their incredible PreCleanse cleansing oil(a huge favourite of mine and an essential for make up wearers everywhere), it is essentially a super-soft cleansing cloth made from bio-degradeable, bacteria-resistant fabric. Gentle enough for even the most sensitized skin, it lets you give your skin a really good rub without aggravating it in the slightest, and feels soft as a baby’s proverbial. Like a chamois, its hardness disappears when dampened with water to remove all cleansers, and it pretty much lasts forever. Rinse it thoroughly after each use and allow it to air dry, and just throw it in the washing machine once a week to get any stains out. Magic? It just may be!

Daily delight: Rosamund Pike for Interview

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why you need: Kérastase's Elixir Ultime

I know women who have been using oils in their hair for years now, but it was the now cult product Moroccanoil that really bought the traditional treatment to the mainstream’s attention and assured us all that - used correctly – oil can be your crowning glory’s saving grace.
It took global haircare giant Kérastase to take things into the luxury arena however, with the release of the truly divine Elixir Ultime onto the European and American markets last year. I was lucky enough to have some rubbed gently through my locks at a salon in Europe whilst on holiday there in November, and loved it so much that I came home cursing that I hadn’t added a few bottles to my luggage. Fast forward to February however and it’s finally been released in New Zealand, thank god! And upon first use it really is as great as I remembered.
As one of the key innovators in haircare, Kérastase pioneered oil technology a while back with the launch of the hero range Oléo-Relax, designed specifically
to help smooth, nourish and control fine, dry, rebellious hair. Drawing on its heritage, expertise and experience Kérastase then created the truly wonderful Elixir Ultime, which harnesses the collective powers of four precious oils. These are:
Pracaxi Oil - Originating from the Amazon (home of many an amazing beauty and health ingredient) Pracaxi oil is known for its benefits on skin. It’s a powerful cocktail of emollient and active anti-oxidant ingredients that work to bring shine, nourishment and condition to the hair.
Argan Oil - One of the rarest oils in the world, Argan oil originates from Morocco and is the base of the now famous Moroccanoil. It is prized for its reparative and regenerative properties and helps to restore the vibrancy and strength of the hair.
Maize Oil - A Kérastase heritage oil, Maize oil was the star ingredient in Kérastase’s first ever hair mask “Masque Maïs”. Rich in vitamins A, E and Omega 6, it offers the hair advanced emollient and active anti-oxidant ingredients for shine, suppleness and protection.
Camellia Oil - Drawn from camellia flowers from Central and Eastern Asia, Camellia oil is the most fragrant and luxurious of the oils. It is also a source of Vitamin F and fatty acids Omegas 3 and 6, helping to smooth the hair fibre and give shine and suppleness.
That is one potent formula! Elixir Ultime is also a must have for your haircare arsenal due to it’s multiple uses – and you know how much I love a multitasker. Firstly, you can use it as a pre-cleanse product to prepare the hair before shampoo as it helps to remove impurities while adding deep nourishment (this is ideal for fine or thick hair types). When applied to lengths and ends before blow drying it nourishes the hair, whilst it also makes a great finishing product to control flyaway hair and frizz and reapplied if need be throughout the day. Love this product, and bet you will too.

Daily delight: Dita Von Teese for InStyle

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hair I love: The Mini Pompadour/Quiff

Not all poufs are created equal—and this one is definitely more sophisticate and less Jersey Shore. For this half-up/half-free flowing style, grab the section of hair on the top of your head between the temples and tease it with a tail comb at the roots to create some height. You can go as high as you like but I recommend keeping things subtle (especially for day), and if you need some extra grip due to having shiny, just-washed locks spray on some dry shampoo or sprinkle on a little of Kevin Murphy’s latest wonder product, Powder.Puff. Next up smooth it out with your fingers and pin down the hair at the centre of your crown; leaving the rest loose and lovely. Tong the loose locks a little for a look similar to this beautiful shot from Allure, and then watch this style get better as the day goes on.

Daily delight: Abbey Lee's off-duty style

Monday, February 14, 2011

Keeping things simple: Philosophy wipes

One of the nicest cleansers I’ve ever used was one a Philosophy one picked up a while ago now from Sephora when I was in Los Angeles, called Purity Made Simple. An award-winning daily facial skin cleanser, it is formulated to gently cleanse, tone and melt away all face and eye makeup in one simple step, while lightly hydrating the skin. I was very excited then to hear the good news that this gorgeous formula is now available as a cleansing wipe too, for all of those late nights, post-gym visits and early starts that necessitate a bit more haste than the usual cleanser allows. Called – naturally - Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleansing Cloths, they come as a resealable pack of 45 ultra-soft, oversized cleansing cloths that take simplicity to a new level.
The convenient, disposable cloths deliver everything you love about the original Purity Made Simple cleanser in a mess-free, travel and handbag-friendly format, quickly swiping away dirt, makeup, and oil for perfectly clean skin - with no need to rinse. Incredibly kind on the skin as well as getting off all of the nasties in one fell swoop, these propylene-glycol-free cloths are even gentle enough to use around the sensitive eye area, without causing any irritation. There are also no Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Fragrances, Synthetic Dyes, Phthalates, GMOs or Triclosan
on board, and they feel incredible on your skin. These magic little numbers are available right now in New Zealand and Australia at Mecca Cosmetica, and also in their online store.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

The perfect eye palette for right now from Smashbox's In Bloom collection

If you travel fairly regularly like me, you’ll know how tough it is deciding which shadows to take that will give you a spot on eye wherever you go. I’ve had one go-to palette – an old Bobbi Brown number – for a couple of years now, but it’s officially been put out to pasture now I’ve got my hands on Smashbox’s brand new In Bloom Eye Shadow Palette & Brush. Part of the LA-based make up brand’s incredibly wearable In Bloom collection of soft florals and earthy neutrals, it contains ten shades of soft shimmers and mattes that are even arranged in vertical pairs to make things super easy for the end user. And unlike all-too-many palettes out there, it has a rather decent brush so you can get mixing and blending with the help of a proper tool. This is definitely my go-to palette for an easy eye right now, and will accompany me on many trips away to come!

Daily delight: Kate Moss for Longchamp

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Keeping an eye out for: brand new SANS!

I’m a huge, unabashedly raving fan of new generation, all good skin and haircare range SANS, and find any excuse to push it onto everyone I meet. I was super excited to get my hands on their new pH Perfect Body Wash earlier this year – heaven in the shower at any time of day – and just heard that yet another product is poised for release by the boutique brand, Goji Cleansing Oil. I haven’t managed to lay my hands on a bottle yet – it’s mid-production right this second – but they describe it as an “invigorating new-generation cleanser” with ancient Japanese origins. A unique formulation retains the delicate pH balance of the skin and provides a powerful Goji Berry antioxidant boost, and as a huge fan of using oils as a cleanser I for one cannot wait to slap this on once it hits the shelves. It will retail for $70.00 and look like the piccie on the left, and will be available exclusively at Stephen Marr, Lucy & The Powder Room and the Marr Lab.

Daily delight: Aishwarya Rai for Vogue India

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Daily delight: finally getting my Minx on!

I’ve had some great manicures in my time, but none that has elicited such a huge reaction from strangers as my first encounter with Minx! Within five minutes of leaving my appointment with the lovely Hayley at Magic Tan & Beauty I had not one but two women stop me in the street and saying, ”wow… I love your nails!” Admittedly the Minx nails I had chosen were pretty eye catching – the animal print Golden Lightning Cheetah, the top seller worldwide – but when having nail art applied I don’t see the point in doing subtle!
Magic Tan & Beauty applied Minx nails for recording artist MIA when she was in town for the Big Day Out, and she was already familiar with this super cool product. My cheetah-print nails were applied in less than 45 minutes, mainly because - despite its perfect finish – Minx is not nail polish at all! Instead, foil appliques are applied to each nail and sealed in by a heat lamp after a thorough prep of your nail bed and cuticles etc. They are then filed to fit your natural nail shape and length, which for me is a reasonably short “squoval” i.e. a squared off oval. For me a long nail with this type of treatment can look a little too “Jersey Shore” – not that I’ve got anything against Snooki and pals, but I’m just not that exciting! Minx nails don’t chip and last for about a week and a half to two weeks, and when you’re ready to take them off you just heat them gently with a hair dryer until they are soft and floppy, then peel them off with zero damage to your nails. A hairdryer can also be used if they start to lift, fusing them back to your nail.
Minx is seriously a lot of fun, and if you’re going to have fun with your beauty look then playing with your nails is definitely a safe place to start. Hey, if it’s good enough for Gaga (sporting Minx nails, above)… then it’s definitely good enough for me.

So... it's 2011, are you ready for a makeover?

Just launched today, this has to be the ultimate competition for anyone wanting to start 2011 off with a brand new you. All of the details can be found above, so go to the Caci website and enter now!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Daily delight: a bold, bright Vogue Italia

Shot by Steven Meisel, the cover of February's Vogue Italia is all about a bright, bold future and a sexy make up look that references the early 90's perfectly. Perfecting Cover Foundation, a light cream, lays the base for a flawless complexion and lends a clear, natural look. On the cheeks, the velvety translucent touch of Blush Me! in pêche tendre is the epitome of pretty. The indispensable, intense graphic detail of black Long Lasting Eye Liner underlines the eyes, which are finished with a faux cils effect thanks to Full Action black mascara. Lastly, create the perfect nude lip with Cream Lip Stain, no. 5, for a very elegant, matte look. All by Sephora.

Hair I love: big, bouncy, beautiful curls

Nothing says "bombshell" like a flowing heap of cascading, healthy curls - ask any supermodel or Venezuelan Beauty Queen! The key to keeping this look pretty and modern is to avoid the overuse of spray and keeping things as touchable and soft as possible. To get this look you need hair that's at least a little past the shoulders, to which you apply mousse when it's damp, followed by a little serum on the ends if you need it. Blow-dry without using a brush if you can get away with it, then use a one-inch curling iron to roll hair sections up, from the ends to the scalp, and hold each there for a second. After sliding out the iron, pin the curls to the head for extra stickability, especially when you're in humidity-heavy climes like the Southern Hemisphere right now. When they've cooled, release the curls and fluff them with a brush, then add a LITTLE spray to keep things tidy, but not solid. Sexy? You betcha!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Daily delight: old school Stephanie Seymour

Introducing: The Louise Gray Skin Care Way

When I made an appointment to see Jasmine at the newly opened Louise Gray Skin Care on Ponsonby Road my skin was in dire need of some TLC. It was immediately post-Christmas holidays and a few long and lazy weeks of a little too much sun, Chardonnay and what I like to call “extreme eating” had most definitely taken its toll. I was determined to start the year on the right foot though, and a 75-minute treatment at the hands of the talented South Afrian-born therapist was destined to be just that. It was also a Sunday, which is my favourite day for a treatment - nowhere to go, no make up to wear! It’s the one day of the week that sees many spas and the like shut for business at a time when many of us can actually spare a few hours to really pamper ourselves, which is a huge shame. Lucky for us then that Louise Gray and her team are there to help.
Louise Gray Skin Care has a unique approach to beauty therapy in that there is no prefabricated selection of services on offer – each treatment is totally customised to your lifestyle and your skin’s needs, using dermalogica products and only after a highly detailed consultation. The treatment you’ll then receive will focus on “ensuring maximum benefits, optimal skin health and complete relaxation”, and mine was no different. The perfect mix of high performance and “feelgood” facial, it included a double cleanse, dermalogica face mapping (a thorough examination of the 14 sections of the face), electronic modalities, a treatment masque and the most deliciously relaxing pressure point face massage that I’ve experienced in a long time. If you have some extra time you can even further customise your treatment with one of their “touch therapies” – a back massage, foot massage etc. - for 15 minutes of extra attention where you want it most.
A factor unique to LGSC is the use of a bt-analyze machine - a hand held, battery operated moisture analysis meter that utilises bioelectric impedance technology with a skin membrane sensor. When placed on the skin, a low level of electrical current is used to measure the conductivity, resistance, and the time in which it takes to obtain the reading. These measurements are calculated against an internal database of statistics to determine the exact final numerical result, which is your skin’s hydration level. This can then be checked before and after your treatment, during which time mine doubled in several key areas. The clever little device means you can actually see whether or not your treatment worked – a factor that is vital when you’re time poor or even when funds are tight and you’ve scrimped and saved in order to give yourself a bit of a treat.
Speaking of time poor, the talented team at LGSC also offer dermalogica’s Microzone “quick fix” treatments that give you skin solutions in 20 minutes. They cost just $50.00 and include flash exfoliation (to resurface, smooth and brighten), hydration (to revitalise dull thirsty skin), age management (a yummy firming vitamin infusion) and spot and blackhead relief for those in need. They also have special treatments targeting men’s skincare concerns.
Educated as well as pampered, I leave with great skin, a fabulous new attitude and a product recommendation that I’m gagging to try – the highly respected skincare brand’s Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque, which is part of their AGE smart range. Jasmine calls it “an ambulance in a tube”, and after a season in the sun that sounds like exactly what the doctor ordered!
*this article first appeared in the fabulous Ponsonby News, you can read it here.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hair I love: more than a little rough & ready

Ever since I cut my hair off into a long, 70’s style bob – complete with heavy bangs – I’ve been having a lot more fun playing with different looks on a more than daily basis. I’ve discovered that sleek and shiny isn't the only way to play things straight when it comes to my hair, and that a slightly dishevelled, carefully ‘undone’ finish is super cool and super low maintenance. This look works on quite a few lengths too, but always start by spritzing roots with a volumizer (try the Sebastian Volupt range for volume and care), then blow-dry using a paddle brush or just by pulling hair straight with your fingers if it’s already half way there. For a real touch of rock n’ roll, don't dry it 100 per cent, as a little moisture left in the hair to air-dry will coax some movement and natural curl. Use your fingers to tousle your roots and then finish with a shine spray if you’re so inclined. Think effortlessly cool French it girls like Julia Restoin-Roitfeld and Lou Doillon and add a careless slick of kohl and a touch of pouty self-assurance and you’re good to go.

Daily delight: Rosie H-W for UK Vogue

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Learning more about: organic Pai Skincare

I recently made a very exciting skincare discovery – often few and far between – in the form of the rather gorgeous UK-based Pai Skincare. Rated the number one organic skincare brand by Grazia UK – definitely no mean feat – it was developed by founder Sarah Brown after years of battling skin allergies with seemingly no solution in sight. “I couldn’t find anything on the market that was truly natural and worked for me,” she says, “and I was also exasperated by the number of beauty products claiming to be ‘organic’ that weren’t certified and contained a list of chemicals as long as your arm.” It was only natural (pardon the pun) therefore that the Pai organic range was designed with sensitive and allergy-prone skin in mind, and all of the products on offer are made from only the purest plant extracts and are free from chemical irritants such as Alcohol, Propylene Glycol and Phenoxyethanol. They are also all certified organic by the Soil Association, and all ingredients are listed in plain English on the label so you know exactly what is in the bottle – a huge relief after years of being blinded by science by many a skincare brand!
My first foray into the world of Pai is via their long-awaited new Fragonia & Sea Buckthorn Instant Hand Therapy Cream, which is a right treat for the mitts if ever there was one. I’m hugely fussy when it comes to hand creams – there are far too many smelly, greasy, runny ones on the market IMHO – and this one is an absolute winner on all fronts. Perfect for those in the Northern Hemisphere battling cold weather and central heating, it is suitable for all skin types, but particularly effective for dry, chapped and sensitive skin. Fragonia is famed for its anti-inflammatory properties, while Seabuckthorn, Rosehip and Grape Seed extracts promote cell regeneration and skin restructure over time. Your hands will be soothed, hydrated and conditioned after just one application, and I loved the way that it also hydrated my cuticles and was fast absorbing with zero greasy residue. Oh and did I mention the beautiful packaging? Adore this stuff! Check out more about this wonderful brand by visiting

Daily delight: Haute Couture beauty, Chanel

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In love with: Mario Badescu's Enzyme Revitalising Mask

Mario Badescu is a beauty name that has long been synonymous with celebrity – and I’m not talking household faces with million dollar contracts to shill mascara, but rather genuine, raving fans. The Romanian skin care guru is the man behind the skincare 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. Names like Charlize Theron and Liv Tyler come for both the incredible results that his treatments produce and the no-nonsense approach that he takes when it comes to creating damn good products, and loyalty amongst his fans is fierce. 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 as well as addressing all manner of issues such as acne and rosacea.
I recently started playing with a number of his star products – available in New Zealand at Newmarket beauty haven Glamourpuss – and have grown to love one clever little puppy in particular. It’s the Enzyme Revitalising Mask, whose main goal in life is to hydrate and revitalize skin up to three times a week. This pot of goodness is a moisture intensive Alpha Hydroxy mask that is ideal for dull, dry or mature skin, or even skin that’s feeling the effect of the Southern Hemisphere’s high humidity and reacting with congestion and the like of late. Papaya and Grapefruit Extracts are the natural exfoliants that you’ll find in the still gentle formula, which have been blended with antioxidant-rich Vitamin A and E oils to give the skin a refreshed, glowing appearance.
Ridiculously simple to use, just spread a thin layer of the mask onto clean skin – avoiding the eye area – then sit back with a magazine for twenty minutes and let it do its stuff. Gently wipe off with tepid water and follow with your usual routine and you’re good to go!

Daily delight: Haute Couture beauty, Dior

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Daily delight: more Lea T for LOVE magazine

Hair I love: the sexy, easy Bumped Up Crown

I recently chopped a serious amount of length off my mop, and have a renewed interest in all things hair as a result. I thought I’d introduce a new category to Pretty Beautiful – in the vein of “daily delight” etc – with a regular shot of “hair I love”. The first look I'm all over is the Bumped Up Crown, which is a trick that can be applied to almost any hair length for a little bit of something new. Allure magazine said it best when they instructed us all that “a smidgen of height at your crown adds a whole lot of sex appeal”, and it’s surprisingly easy to achieve. For the classic, sex kittenish Brigitte Bardot look, blow-dry your hair using a round brush, then set it in hot rollers if you have them – loose tonging will also work - to further amp up the volume. After taking out the rollers, part your hair in the middle then lightly tease the underside of the crown with a fine-tooth comb to give it a bit of lift. You can also add a texturising and/or volumising product like Kevin Murphy’s POWDER. PUFF at this point if your hair is a little too “clean” to get any decent grip. Lastly, skim a paddle brush over the surface of your crown to smooth any fluffy bits, fire up your smoky eye and you’re good to go!