Thursday, March 31, 2011

Meet: Dr. Hauschka’s newest recruit, Melissa

Legendary holistic skincare brand Dr. Hauschka aren’t ones to release a brand new product every other week, crowing about how it’s the new “must have” and essential to every woman’s beauty arsenal. They take their time creating beautiful, high performance new products with integrity, and word of a new release is always cause for excitement.
Jennifer Aniston has said of the brand, "this natural skincare range really suits my skin. It’s very soothing and smells exquisite”, and although she’s a dedicated fan of their Rose Day Cream, these attributes also apply to their all new, very exciting Melissa Day Cream. Developed in answer to their customer’s demands for a dedicated day cream that addresses combination skin, Melissa Day Cream meets the conflicting needs of sensitive combination skin by stimulating the skin’s natural activity. Combination skin unites two very different skin types with contradictory needs. It requires moisturising for the dry areas and regulating care for the oily areas that result from overactive sebum production. By providing both moisturising care for dry areas of skin and moisture-regulating care for oily areas, Melissa Day Cream effectively treats and balances skin, and smells absolutely incredible. The hero ingredient, Melissa (AKA Lemon Balm), is a medicinal herb, which has the unique ability to regulate different moisture levels, and help skin regain a natural, healthy balance. Oily, dry and sensitive complexions are harmonised, and irritable or reddened skin is soothed and softened. Also included are Anthyllis and Carrot extracts, which together with Melissa help clear oily zones with their shine reducing properties. If you’re a Combination girl then I totally recommend getting to know the lovely Melissa, who really could become your new best friend!
*For a little more about Melissa and the “real” women that feature in Dr. Hauschka’s campaign shots, visit their cute micro-site here.

Daily delight: bronzed beauty Kate Moss

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Loving: Kevin Murphy’s new Surfer Girl Kit

It’s not often that you get to have an internationally acclaimed hair stylist – and creator of your favourite haircare line – in your bedroom, especially when he’s taking you step-by-step through some of the hottest looks he’s created backstage at the international shows and on the set of shoots for the likes of Harper’s, Vanity Fair and Vogue. Of course I’m talking about the incredibly charming and very funny Kevin Murphy, whose website now includes handy podcasts taking you through the essential steps to achieving some of his many completely fabulous hair looks.
His haircare line also includes a number of super helpful “kits”, which contain everything you need to pull off a truly great hair day. One that is great for almost every hair type year-round is his Surfer Girl Kit, which contains all the tools you will need to unwind and recreate your own version of the iconic summer messy beach or winter bed hair look that defines all hair types and is one of Murphy’s personal faves. The kit includes a full size bottle of his yummy smelling Hair.Resort styling cream, a Texture Comb and Texture Net and a few Curl Clips to help you keep things in place while you’re working. Take your laptop into your room while you get to it, making sure that you’re watching and learning as Kevin shows you how to use each product in the Surfer Girl Kit as he styles a model’s hair and talks you through each step to ensure each product is used at home as it would be in the salon.
You’ll find the Kevin Murphy – Surfer Girl Kit - Podcast tutorial here.
And for those of you not yet familiar with the affable Mr. Murphy and his eponymous line, KEVIN.MURPHY is a super on trend range of salon only, professional, hair care products created by Kevin to meet his needs as an editorial hairstylist. Born from the same philosophy as skincare (LOVE that) and inspired by nature's best, Murphy’s range of shampoos, conditioners, treatments and styling aids perform incredibly well, smell amazing and cater to every hair type. And if that doesn’t get your motor running, all KEVIN.MURPHY products are made from renewable and sustainable resources whenever possible, using pure essential oils, plant extracts and natural antioxidants. They are also sulphate and paraben free.

Daily delight: Amber V. for Vogue Italia

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Loving: when ghd goes and strikes gold

The biggest name in straightening by far, ghd have been around for ten years now and are upping the ante yet again when it comes to technological advancements in this now must-have hair tool. Over the years they’ve shown us an impressive range of super cute colours and celebrity partnerships, but of late they have gone back to the basics – as in performance – and are once again re-defining hair styling with the launch of a new generation of hair stylers - the ghd Gold Series. After the successful launch of the ghd Gold Classic Styler in late 2010, they have now added the Gold Max Styler (with wider plates) and Gold Mini Styler (with thinner plates) to complete the luxurious range, meaning that lucky ladies of all hair types and lengths can achieve a salon-finish in seconds.
New features of the ghd Gold Series Stylers include:
* An improved outer body casing making the Stylers cooler to touch and lighter to handle for easier and faster styling
* A new protective plate guard to safely cover hot plates for those on the go
* Golden contoured ceramic plates with a high gloss finish to glide through the hair for smoother, snag-free styling and ultimate shine
They also feature all the winning features of the ghd MK IV styler like universal voltage, a sleep mode (saving those panicked trips home that seem to happen just as you’re about to hit your destination), fixed temperature setting and a swivel cord for ease of use.
So there you have it – when the going gets hot, get ghd!

Daily delight: Gisele B. for Vogue Paris

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Loving: Pai’s all new Rosehip Regeneration

Rosehip oil has been a beauty buzz ingredient for a few years now, with quite a few natural skincare companies launching their own versions with varying degrees of success. Some are “purer” than others, but only one has been sourced from both the seed and the “flesh” of the hip – UK organic beauty brand Pai’s brand new organic Rosehip BioRegenerate.
Rosehip’s naturally high concentrations of Vitamin A, Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9, as well as antioxidants like Vitamin C work together to regenerate damaged or lacklustre skin, which can have been caused by a multitude of factors. If you’ve ever had sunburn, a baby, eczema, been dehydrated, had a scar or gained weight then chances are your skin needs a helping hand from Rosehip, and Pai’s latest release is the most goodie-packed on the market from what I can tell. It’s the only Rosehip oil out there to blend extractions from both the seed and flesh (or ‘fruit’) of the hip. Concentrated Rosehip fruit oil contains twice the regenerative sterols and five times the skin protecting carotenoids as the commonly used seed oil. So why hasn’t this been done before? It’s generally overlooked as it is difficult to work with in its raw form, but the clever types at Pai believe that it’s worth the effort!
And if that isn’t enough to convince you to give this beautiful formula a whirl - in addition, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate:
• Is certified organic by the Soil Association.
• Utilises a superior extraction method whereby sourced CO2 gently extracts the oils while preserving the complete natural properties of the plant.
• Contains 100% natural Vitamin E (from sunflowers), which reduces the photo-‐ageing effects of UVA light on the skin and keeps the oil in optimal condition
So, what are you waiting for?

Daily delight: Arizona Muse for Dazed

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Meet: Smashbox’s super hot new Lip Beam

Make up artists that I speak to are always raving about highlighters and the wonders they can do for your face, but using them can often be a little daunting to us laywomen and a bad application can be beyond disastrous. Lucky for us then that our old friends Smashbox have demystified this rather vital of beauty tools with some very cool new products for contouring, highlighting and masking all manner of feature flaws. My pick of the bunch is the Lip Beam Double-Ended Pout Perfector, which is a godsend if you need a little more definition in the lip area or just want to maximise what you’ve got. The all-new multi-tasker delivers just the right amount of luminosity to draw attention where you want it, and is essentially a double-ended highlighter and gloss stick in one. Super easy to use, this ultra-creamy product adds fullness and pout to your lips while drenching them with vitamin-packed moisture and shine. Apply the highlight side to the Cupid’s bow and just under the lower lip to add contour and depth, then apply the pout side to the centre of lips to create the illusion of fuller lips. The result? Instantly plumper looking lips without needing fillers, plus high-shine polymers and antioxidant Vitamins C and E to nourish and protect.
The Smashbox pro tips that comes with this baby is:
For instant plump and pout, darken the area beneath the centre of the bottom lip with your favourite shade of Nude Lip Pencil. Then apply a barely-there pink gloss like Lip Enhancing Gloss in Baby Pout. Finish by using the “highlight” end of Lip Beam to accentuate the Cupid’s bow.
The result? Instantly hot smackers!

Daily delight: Elizabeth Taylor by Avedon

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Meet: Kiehl’s Double Strength Deep Wrinkle Filler

Over the past 18 months I’ve seen a raft of face freezing/wrinkle filling-type products flooding the beauty market in the form of everything from primers to foundations to sticky serums, some giving better results than others. They can be applied anywhere you want – usually that means to eye wrinkles, forehead, frown lines and around the mouth to cover pucker lines. Most wrinkle fillers currently on the market work in two ways. Firstly when dabbed on the skin they plump up the skin – much like a conventional anti aging moisturizer does. The difference is that – unlike a moisturizer – topical fillers usually contain silicone, which fills in the line or crease – a bit like filling the cracks in your walls! Many wrinkle fillers also contain optical pigments – tiny light reflecting particles that bounce light away from the shadow caused by the wrinkle and make them much less visible to the naked eye.
However, if you want the best wrinkle filler you need to make sure that it also contains active anti-aging ingredients, which provide longer-term benefits to your skin. Some products really just do a cosmetic job and don’t offer any anti aging benefits at all, whilst some like Kiehl’s brand new Double Strength Deep Wrinkle Filler so both – and without the need for silicone.
This clever little number has been clinically demonstrated to immediately diminish the look of lines and wrinkles* and has been shown to minimize the number of facial lines over time, in as little as four weeks. The latest addition to the Dermatologist Solutions line, it was developed for optimized precision and efficacy against signs of skin-ageing such as forehead lines, crow’s feet, naso-labial folds, and lip-area lines. Engineered specifically for targeted, daily application, Double Strength Deep Wrinkle Filler is a gentle, yet potent blend of two types of extremely bio-compatible Hyaluronic Acids, plus polymers, peptides and silica to help provide double-action, visible skin-smoothing immediately while minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and visibly improving skin’s elasticity over time. It also does not contain fragrance or parabens, which is a huge bonus in such an active product.
An East Village native for over 150 years, the Kiehl’s of today blends its history and old world charm with some amazing cosmetic innovations, and this product is the perfect example of that. If you’re got cracks to fill give it a bash – I pretty much guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

Daily delight: V magazine's Glam Slam

Monday, March 21, 2011

Love: MOR’s lush Cucumber and Casaba candle

I’m an absolute fiend when it comes to scented candles, and right now I’m seriously crushing on Australian luxury beauty brand MOR’s Cucumber & Casaba fragranced candle from their Emporium White collection. The scent is described as “fresh cut melon and green nuances blended with white jasmine, muguet and rose petals”, with undertones of beige woods and white musk to soften and keep things beautifully understated. And it looks at good as it sounds: think a fine soy wax blend hand poured into a glass vessel gilded with 24 carat gold… gorgeous! The Emporium White Collection (which also offers a library of five other glorious scents) is filled with other small-but-luxurious indulgences with which to brighten your day, including hand wrapped triple-milled soaps, rich creamy body butters that are amongst the best available right now, and opulent hand creams that are destined to end up in your car, by your desk and on your bedside table. Beautiful stuff!

Daily delight: Alexa Chung for Pepe Jeans

Happy Monday! Win Maybelline New York

As the nights cool down, make-up trends are all about being bold – whether you choose the eyes or the lips, or on a particularly fierce day, both. For a look like Maybelline New York spokesmodel Anna Wang here, vamp up lips with a colour that’s not for the faint hearted – think deep plum, dark purple and classic reds – and keep colour on the eyes light. Add a little extra with a little bronzer to highlight the cheek bones or a deep blush worn low on the cheeks. Lastly, pump up the look with dark nails - blacks and metallic colours will add the drama you need to keep the winter blues away. To achieve these looks, Maybelline New York have a great collection of very wearable, easy to use products (some of which can be seen on Anna) including:
• Maybelline New York Color Sensational Lipstick in ‘Mauve-ulous’
• Maybelline New York Color Sensational Lipliner in ‘Plum’
• Maybelline New York Color Sensational Crème Gloss in ‘Plum-tastic’
• Maybelline New York Expert Wear Blush in ‘Dusty Rose’
• Maybelline New York Expert Wear Bronzer in ‘Salsa Sun’
• Maybelline New York Cosmos Baked Duo shadow in ‘Ivy Icon’
• Maybelline New York Colorama Smoothies in ‘Dark Chocolate’

I have a Maybelline New York pack to give away which contains all of the above products to help you achieve a look a bit like Anna’s here, along with a bunch of your own.
To win email me at ASAP!
*image of Anna supplied by Maybelline New York*

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

In love with: Inika’s Romancing the Storm

I’m a huge fan of all-pure make up brand Inika, and count my interview with its creator Miranda Bond as one of my beauty writing highlights of 2010. I was super excited therefore to get my grubby little mitts on their newest colour story for Autumn 2011, the incredibly wearable Romancing the Storm. A small but perfectly formed offering, it follows this year’s jewel-like trend for purple tones for the eyes, but makes it all its own with one seriously beautiful cream eye shadow – the rose gold Rose Gold Crème de Cassis – and Autumn Plum Mineral Eye shadow, a loose formula that can be used either wet or dry. Add to that their ultra-gentle-on-the-skin Black Caviar Eye Liner and Naked Ambition, a long-lasting, creamy nude lip colour, and you have everything you need to get started when it comes to a look that will carry you through the cooler months and beyond. The Romancing the Storm limited edition gift pack includes the complete colour story and is a steal at NZD$89.00, or you can buy all of the elements separately. Beautiful.

Daily delight: Rihanna for US Vogue

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I’ll have lashings of lashes please QVS!

I have a friend who works as a celebrity make up artist internationally and swears by the power of a great false lash. His clients are some seriously high profile ladies and he never lets them leave the house without a strip on each eye, making for some rather gorgeous paparazzi shots. And hey – if it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for me!
Lashes are a staple in every L.A. girl’s beauty routine – see Ms. Megan Fox, above - and surprisingly easy to use once you’ve had a few practice runs. They aren’t just a failsafe way of adding drama either, working equally as well during the day for a super pretty no-make up look with just a dusting of bronzer. If you’re getting ready for a big event and want to make sure they’re on securely, M.A.C makeup counters will sell and apply false lashes for a special occasion look and their selection of styles and lengths is huge. For an at-home application – and cheap enough for a few practice runs – my pick are QVS’ range of lashes that are a steal at around $10.00 - $12.00. These lashes are handily pre-glued and tapered for an easy fit, and there's even extra adhesive included in each pack for when it’s time to re-use. They can easily be cleaned with a little eye make remover, then left somewhere safe to air dry. My favourites are the natural look lashes that are crossed at the base for extra volume where you need it, so I reckon grab a pack ASAP and have a go!

Daily delight: Lara Stone for Paris Vogue

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Brighten up: Olay’s Definity Eye Illuminating Treatment

A brand synonymous with exceptional performance at a beyond affordable price, Olay have added yet another stellar anti-ageing offering to their much applauded Definity range. The all-new to New Zealand Definity Eye Illuminating Treatment fights the elements that age eyes the most - dark spots, discolourations, lines and wrinkles. I’m always harping on about how much care needs to be paid to this area due to its fragility and the fact that it’s one of the first parts of the face to show your true age, and most of the best performing creams on the market to target them are the priciest. Until now.
This clever formula combines breakthrough – and pretty! - “dual-swirl” technology with an intensive clear gel and an inner spiral of concentrated serum. The gel hydrates to help strengthen the delicate eye area and visible reduce wrinkles, whilst the concentrated serum helps diminish the look of under eye darkness. The talented team at Olay promise that after using this baby the eye area will appear brighter and smoother, and darkness and shadows diminished, which is no small claim. The treatment is also fragrance-free and Dermatologist tested so it’s gentle on the delicate skin around the eyes and won’t interfere with contact lenses. Its key ingredient is the brand’s Essential Glucosamine Complex, which combines two powerful skin-enhancing ingredients - Niacinamide and N- Acetyl Glucosamine – to great effect.
The groundbreaking product has been so successful internationally thus far that US Allure magazine – my bible - awarded Definity Eye Illuminating Treatment both their prestigious Editors Choice Award (for best eye cream for dark circles) and their Readers Choice Award (for breakthrough product) in the 2008 Best of Beauty Awards.
Lastly, it’s super easy to use morning and night. After cleansing, pump the product onto the tip of your ring finger (a little goes a long way) and place small dots around the eye area - under eyes, outer corners, brow line and eyelids. Gently massage until the intensive clear gel and serum combine and are thoroughly absorbed into your skin.

Daily delight: Abbey Lee for Flora by Gucci

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Love: the stellar return of the natural brow

Natural brows – seen here at Christopher Kane and also during Paris Fashion Week on the runway at Jean Paul Gaultier – are a trend that has become much more than that, and it’s here to stay. International make up star Rae Morris told me recently that a great strong brow is the one accessory that we all need in our lives, and after a few years of skinny brows it’s fabulous to see them back in business. Nothing says natural, youthful beauty quite like a full brow, and designers and make up teams at the A/W 11-12 shows celebrated by swapping discreet and groomed looks for practical, grown-out brows. Balenciaga really cemented the trend with their Paris showing, banishing the slim-line, barely there, almost alien bleached brows of the previous season in favour of a full and most definite arch. Follow Aussie model-of-the-moment Bambi Northwood Blythe for a guide to where your brows should be sitting right now, and opt for a tidy and some brow gel over the tweezers of the past. Love this look!

Daily delight: Elisa Sednaoui for Armani

Monday, March 14, 2011

A vital boost from Nimue Skin Technology

I’ve spoken a lot on this blog about leading high performance skincare brand Nimue, which is based out of South Africa but quickly conquering the world. One of the leaders in the derma-cosmeceutical field, they have an amazing array of scientific research backing up each and every product in their arsenal, as well as one of the beauty world’s most fast-paced R&D teams. This all points to some pretty innovative new releases on a more than regular basis, the latest being Vita Boost. A targeted treatment for the eyes and lips, it contains light reflecting diamond dust particles that decrease the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and who am I to argue with that? It is especially suited to environmentally damaged, hyper-pigmented and problematic skin (of which there is plenty in the Southern Hemisphere), and also contains a plant active which helps to increase adipose tissue and skin replenishment, creating a plumping effect on the skin. Applied around the lips and eyes morning and/or night, Vita Boost aims to hydrate, revitalize and soothe your skin, while antioxidants counteract the signs of ageing. A very attractive package!
For a full list of Nimue stockists in New Zealand visit here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

In love: Tom Bachik's Artistic Nail Design

The brainchild of US celebrity nail artist Tom Bachik (pictured), Artistic Nail Design is one of those things that beauty freaks like me get ridiculously excited about.
Touching down soon in New Zealand thanks to the team at Switch Funky – who also gifted us the magical Minx – it is the latest Gel Polish manicure system to hit the market, and quite possibly the best.
Tom is one of the world’s top manicurists, working on a daily basis with celebrities and fashion industry leaders at the coalface of what’s hot right this minute, as well as the man responsible for introducing those in the know to some of Chanel’s fiercest shades. Needless to say, he’s on the cutting edge of the trends emerging in colour as they happen, and his nail shades reflect that.
Artistic Nail Design’s Colour Gloss Soak-Off Gel Polish is launching with an incredible 38 shades, to be followed up seasonally with the most on-trend colour collections you’re likely to get. I tried the system myself this week – starting with a deep red that is destined to stay put for up to three weeks – and can honestly say that this wipes the floor with the competition thus far. Its high gloss finish is incredible, and with an application and curing time that sees a full, glossy, touch dry manicure achieved in around 20 minutes is a godsend for busy types that love to rock a painted nail but often don’t have the time nor the patience. A quick soak is all that is needed for removal, and unlike its competitors Bachik’s system can apparently be rebalanced with no damage to the natural nail. It’s also a great option for a pedicure – it’ll stay put and look fabulous for weeks on end, and won’t stain your nails like many other polishes. For super healthy nails keep applying cuticle oil twice a day, every day, and you’ll have no problems post-soak off.
For enquiries within New Zealand about where you can get your hands on this fabulous nail system for yourself talk to super manicurist Leah Light, 021 640690 or

Daily delight: Carolyn Murphy for V mag

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Learning about: KMS California’s curlup

I haven’t got curly hair myself, but have friends that do who are often asking me what the hell they can do to tame their mops. I love the look of curls on a girl, but they are incredibly high maintenance if you want to stay looking groomed as opposed to the wrong side of crazy.
Curls and waves come in all shapes, sizes and textures—from fine to coarse and from loose waves to tight spirals – so it’s will great fanfare that the clever people at KMS California have announced the arrival of their curlup collection, which offers products that control and condition for all types of curly hair.
Curlup products enhance, control and create, offering customized style whatever your flavour of curl. Together, the products in the curlup collection - shampoo, conditioner, Curling Balm, Control Crème and Bounce Back Spray - keep curly and wavy hair moisturized, bouncy and shiny, while providing flexible hold, definition and that essential crunch-free finish. The product I love the sound of is curlup Control Crème, which is ideal for inconsistent curls and coarse, frizzy textures. It pretty much “bundles” hair into soft, touchable curls, while calming unruly frizz and flyaways. And like all of the curlup products, it features a fusion of patented IOPS technology with orange and mint to deliver superior product performance and smells delicious. Get in there curly girls – this stuff sounds amazing!

Daily delight: strong brows at Gaultier, PFW

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Love: Sacred Nature bio-certified Gommage

I first became familiar with Italian skin and bodycare brand Comfort Zone after a trip to the now-closed Spa de Serville on Auckland’s waterfront many years ago. The treatment I experienced – and the spa – was totally incredible, and it was a sad day when they closed their doors and Comfort Zone disappeared from my life.
I was rather excited then to receive word of the luxurious brand’s relaunch into the New Zealand market, which is to be accompanied by the introduction of Comfort Zone’s newest collection, Sacred Nature in May of this year. Lead by a strong commitment to the environment, Comfort Zone’s research laboratories developed the range with the phrase “organic” top of mind, as well as addressing depleted, sensitive skin in need of renewal and protection. The small but perfectly formed range features a slew of active ingredients from nature, including certified organically grown:
* Buriti oil (from the Brazilian tree of life) for antioxidant defence
* Butterfly bush extract for DNA cellular protection
* Shea butter and jojoba oils for nourishing and elasticizing
* Distilled orange water for remineralising
In addition, the products and packaging are all made in Italy from renewable resources, and even the boxes that each product comes in is printed with dissolvable, watercolour ink.
The first product from the range that I’ve had a serious try of is the face and body gommage, which uses jojoba particles to smooth the skin, making it perfect for skins which are depleted and sensitive. The formula also includes buriti oil, butterfly bush extract, shea butter and distilled orange water, which has a remineralizing action. It is incredibly gentle on the skin yet rather effective, and is applied to cleansed, dry skin and then delicately massaged to help the breakdown of the jojoba particles. Leave for a few moments and then simply remove with warm water for super soft skin. Too easy! I’m dying to try the range’s bio-certified body oil next, and if it’s even half as good as this I’ll be in heaven!

Daily delight: Arizona Muse for YSL

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Love: Leighton Denny’s Opulence collection

Leighton Denny is a nail name that is synonymous with all things seriously fabulous, and is always a cut above many of the rest in terms of colour, performance and sheer style – see the campaign shot for his latest collection, above for a perfect case in point. This collection is one that is seriously covetable, and goes by the name The Opulence Collection AW11. The six limited edition nail colours are inspired by the key statement catwalk looks of the coming season, and were designed to effortlessly compliment and accentuate the sumptuous and decadent trends moving into Autumn and beyond. The too-gorgeous shades that make up the Opulence Collection are:
Indulgence – a classic, scarlet red that will work with everything from New Gothic to Old Hollywood Glam
Prim & Proper –an icy nude shade that is totally contemporary and super wearable
Timeless – a sophisticated, feminine coral shade that will pop when worn with darker tones
Captivated – a totally electric shade that is perfect for toes
Embellish Me – an indulgent aubergine that will work day or night
Graycious - a strong, metallic shade that is on-trend and straight off the runway
It goes without saying that Leighton Denny polishes last and last, so grab a few of these now to extend your winter wardrobe.

Daily delight: Leighton Meester for L'Officiel

Monday, March 7, 2011

Daily delight: retro Faye Dunaway as Bonnie

Love: spending time at the House of Angel

The minute you start talking to House of Angel’s Dora Ban you see what sets her apart from so many other beauty therapists. Her USP is herself, and her incredible passion for genuinely connecting with her clients. She is also passionate about the use of sunscreen (her mother experienced skin cancer first hand) and organic beauty, two things that I myself am equally as obsessive about.
Her skincare brands of choice include Ilcsi, a 100 per cent organic brand that she worked with extensively in Hungary, where she was born and lived until four and a half years ago. After moving to New Zealand and deciding to exchange her career – as an art teacher – for her passion, she began working full time as a beauty therapist. She started the New Zealand leg of her beauty career – she had previously practised part time in Hungary – at the now-closed organic salon House of Radiance, before becoming one of the most sought after therapists at Mount Eden’s Body Tech Spa for several years. There she was schooled during many training sessions on what New Zealand had to offer in the way of beauty brands, and soon discovered what she did – and didn’t – like. “In Europe I worked with lots of amazing French, German and Swiss brands,” explains the internationally trained cosmetologist, “alongside Ilcsi. I couldn’t believe it when I discovered that I could get it in New Zealand as well.” It was the first brand that she selected when she opened House of Angel in a space in Grey Lynn health and wellbeing studio re:ab on November 1 last year, and Environ was soon to follow.
“I love Ilcsi because it has such a great history and has been around since the 1950’s as a reputed organic brand,” she explains, “and Environ really is one of the best professional ranges available right now.” She loves both brands for their all-natural approach as well as the way that their products can be customised to create the perfect facial for each client’s skin concerns. She says that the 2011 approach to professional skincare analysis is “treating skin conditions as opposed to skin types, and I ask all of my clients about their lifestyle, diet, stress levels and any hormonal issues that could be behind what’s causing the condition in the first place”. All of her facials include a free eyebrow tidy and scalp, hand or foot massage too, which is a fabulous added bonus.
When asked about the differences between New Zealand and Eastern European women when it comes to beauty she immediately says how amazed she was at how “low maintenance” we appeared to be when she arrived in the country all those years ago. “Here women are so outdoorsy and relaxed about their looks,” she explains, “and sun damage and pigmentation are definitely the biggest beauty concerns.” Having said that, she adds “even after spending years in the sun they still look younger to me than Eastern European women, it really is amazing! It must be something in the air!” She does wish they would care for their skin a little better though, “in Europe women have a facial every month as it helps keep their skin clear and at home products work even better”.
Also a trained make up artist, the petite brunette works exclusively with another great good-for-you brand, Jane Iredale mineral make up. Her favourite product – and mine – is the PurePressed Mineral Powder, a micronized mineral base that is all concentrated pigment and no fillers. Because of this concentrated pigment, a minimum amount gives incredible coverage and becomes a foundation, powder and concealer all in one. It also gives high sunscreen protection without the need for synthetic ingredients, which for Dora – and for me - is a huge thumbs up.

This story first appeared in the fabulous Ponsonby News, you can read it here.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Love: Oscars red carpet style, by Mana Dave

One of the country’s most talented and charming hair stars, Redken Artist and Auckland’s Blaze salon co-owner Mana Dave picked his hottest red carpet hair from this week’s Oscars, and gave me the rundown on the stylists’ secrets to achieve the looks.

Michelle Williams (above) – the stylised urchin cut:
1. On damp hair, layer a pea sized amount of Redken Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blow Dry Lotion and a walnut sized amount of Redken Blown Away 09 Protective Blow Dry Gel to create sleek hair with natural body.
2. Using a small paddle brush together with a hairdryer and nozzle attached, begin to blow dry the hair starting in the nape area and then moving to the sides, completing the front last.
3. Work through the head, brushing the hair from side to side, with the hairdryer nozzle following closely behind - this side-to-side motion enables you to create some body while also smoothing out any natural kinks.
4. Once the style is dry, then comb in a diagonal side part to finish the look.
5. Smooth over a very small amount of Redken Water Wax 03 Water Based Pomade to give light hold and natural shine.

Natalie Portman - old Hollywood glamour:
1. Lightly spritz Redken Iron Silk 07 Ultra Straightening Spray through dry hair, ensuring to spray from at least 30cm away from your hair (this will avoid making the hair too damp).
2. Place large heated rollers into the hair, taking quite large sections; this will create more of a soft wave instead of definite curls.
3. Once these have cooled off, remove the rollers and brush through with a small paddle brush.
4. Comb in a side parting; brush hair in the back to wrap around so that it sits over your shoulder on the opposite side.
5. Spray Redken Forceful 23 Super Strength Hairspray over the entire look to hold in place (you can also secure the back area with a few small bobby pins to match the colour of your hair).
6. Finish with Redken Wax Blast 10 High Impact Finishing Spray-Wax for lightweight shine.

Jennifer Hudson – the ultra modern glamour up-do:
1. Use heated rollers on the hair just through the top area to create body and wave using very large sections. Spray each section with Redken Fabricate 03 Heat Active Texturiser to give more grit to the hair and some heat protection as well.
2. While those are cooling down, spray Redken Fashion Works 12 Versatile Working Spray through the remainder of hair to add texture and grit for ease of styling.
3. Pull hair from the sides toward the centre back and clip up with bobby pins into a pleat that sits flat against the head.
4. Take out the heated rollers and stretch out the wave. Comb in your clean crisp side parting.
5. Under the parting, discretely place in some backcombing for added volume.
6. Use a small paddle brush and mould the hair into the soft quiff shape. Push the remaining lengths around to the back area and then tuck in to the pleat you've created and secure with bobby pins.
7. Complete with Redken Quick Dry 18 Instant Finishing Spray for lasting hold and shine.

Daily delight: Kate Moss for Vogue Eyewear

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Daily delight: Britney Spears for V magazine

In love with: Wella System Professional

Wella System Professional – or SP as it’s more commonly known – is one of the world’s top salon brands with damn good reason. It really is the one brand that excels when it comes to total personalization, with a vast collection of products to choose from that target the needs of your hair and beyond. They recognise that not only does each individual have slightly different hair; but that your hair undergoes numerous subtle and serious changes over time that necessitates an evolving approach to your haircare system.
As well as a line up of truly awesome products, Wella SP has just launched a series of In Salon Infusions that help take your hair to whole new heights, and I was lucky enough to experience one recently at Kensington Hairdressing in the Auckland suburb of Remuera. There are five different infusions available – Smmothen, Hydrate, Repair, Volumize and Colour Save – that when combined with an SP treatment mask offer an incredible range of 35 personalised hair care prescriptions – which is no mean feat! The stylist in charge of my treatment at Kensington was Manju, who gave my hair a good old wash and then took me to a table covered in magazines to begin my treatment. This was a seriously amazing thing to offer – how many times have you found yourself head twisted back over a basin for up to thirty minutes while a treatment is applied and processes? She began by applying an emulsion to my often-oily roots – this has a foam-like consistency, so acted on my hair but didn’t weigh it down. This was followed by the richer, protein-based Repair Mask applied to the mid lengths and ends, and a hydrating infusion was added for an extra boost. She then gave me a gorgeous head massage and then sat me under a heat lamp for five minutes while the treatment penetrated further and did its work.
After the treatment was washed off – although the effects will last for an incredible five washes – my silky smooth hair was blow dried by Wella Trend Vision Silver Award winner Terry Whaitiri, just to top off a truly gorgeous experience. Wella SP and Kensington Hairdressing – I love you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In love with: M.A.C's new Sheen Supreme

Launching any day now, M.A.C’s new Sheen Supreme collection of lipsticks adds 14 new shades to their line. Sheen Supreme lippies are created using an essentially new formula for the brand that combines saturated color with a light feel, clear vibrancy and the see-through sheen of a gloss. The shades are high pigment, yet they are also quite moisturizing, giving them a slightly sheer appearance that is insanely flattering on pretty much any skin. They are also quite “buildable”, so you can get more opaque with the colour by applying it layer by layer with a good quality lip brush. Perfect for someone like me who shuns gloss but isn’t always totally ready to rock a matte lip, these sit perfectly in between the two. A brand new essential is born!

Daily delight: Gisele does V magazine

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hair I love: the soft and sexy, floaty wave

Popular at the recent Oscars (think Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson to name two), the soft and sexy floaty wave is an incredibly wearable look that is surprisingly easy to achieve for most hair types. It is absolutely amazing how much the hair industry has evolved in the attempt to shorten the hair styling time while maintaining the same level of beauty created by greatly styled tresses. The new hair styling tools and products can do wonders when it comes to your hair, so obtaining a look like this isn’t that difficult at all. Soft, gentle and glam looking hair waves can be styled on all hair lengths and the waves can be set with just a little bit of hairspray. Waves add movement and life to hair no matter the length or texture and in a few easy steps, you can master modern waves for any occasion.
The team at TRESemmé gave me a few tips on how to achieve this look with a little effort and some wave-friendly products:
* Start with TRESemmé salon Silk Shampoo & Conditioner and blow dry with a round brush.
* Spray TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray on sections of hair and curl hair away from the face starting at the mid-shaft.
* Once cool, apply TRESemmé FRESH Start No Frizz Créme to add shine and tame flyaways.
Set the style with a soft hold hairspray such as TRESemmé Salon Finish Hairspray and voila! Instant femme fatale…

Daily delight: Miss Crabb lingerie shoot