Friday, April 29, 2011

I get acquainted with the beautiful Sodashi

Considered by many to be “the purest skincare brand in the world”, Sodashi is an Australian skin care company that has successfully harnessed the benefits of natural ingredients to produce effective, chemical-free skin care products and spa therapies since 1999, and I for one was very excited to know more about them after receiving some of their delectable goodies in the mail to trial.
The extensive range of Sodashi products are formulated using a unique combination of biochemistry, aromatherapy and Ayurvedic principles, and are all produced at the company’s own laboratory in Fremantle in Western Australia. A Sanskrit word, Sodashi translates to ‘wholeness, purity and radiance’ – the values on which the company and its products are based. As well as producing beautiful, desirable products, their absolute commitment to working in harmony with nature is reflected across all areas of the business, a factor you can’t help but admire. Not a single synthetic chemical, preservative or fragrance is used in the Sodashi manufacturing process. Products are never tested on animals and Sodashi packaging is recyclable and printed with natural vegetable dyes, and they must be doing something right as the range is available at many of most exclusive resorts and spas worldwide.
Sodashi have a slightly different way of doing things to many skincare brands I’ve tried, so I enlisted the help of facialist Keely Watson to show me how to get the best results from my prescribed products. She told me that she knows I will fall as much in love with Sodashi as she has, saying “it’s effective, synthetic-free skincare and I’m so excited to have found it. I’ve been playing with the products for a few months now and am very impressed with the quality of ingredients and results.”
First up I asked her about my Clay Cleanser with Lavender, which she says is a magic formula. She recommends to always cleanse in the morning because the skin has been hard at work during the night secreting oils and shedding dead skin cells. Start by emulsifying a small amount of product with water and then apply to your skin. “With a cleanser like this you can really spend the time working it into the skin, then remove with a damp facecloth,” Keely says, adding “I prefer using muslin cloth if you have any skin sensitivities.” At night she recommends doing a double cleanse – the first a quick one to remove any pollutants, products and skin debris, then the second cleanse to actually clean the skin and spend some time with facial massage, which is great for micro-circulation and lymph drainage.
Next up was the Rejuvenating Serum, which she advises me to use just one pump of after cleansing, warmed between the hands and pressed onto the face. This can be followed by my Rejuvenating Face & Neck moisturiser, using the same application technique(not forgetting to press over lips too). Keely says that it’s a really nice idea to ‘press’ products into the skin rather than rub, as it helps to calm the skin and the warmth from your hands help to infuse products (especially oils). “Listen to your skin and use this only when required – perhaps just the evening, maybe only a few times a week, possibly every day,” she says, adding “I like to think of skincare in the same way I do my wardrobe – what should I dress it with today? It’s wonderful to have a bathroom cabinet full of products you can choose from, but you don’t need to wear everything all at once.”
Lastly we talked about the product whose use puzzled me the most, the Rejuvenating Concentrate. The concentrates within the Sodashi range approach exfoliation in quite a different way to other ranges. Keely tells me that it’s more about helping the skin to regenerate itself, rather than stripping it with hydroxy acids or aggressive scrubs. A woman after my own heart, she adds that she strongly believes “a lot of problematic skin conditions out there are caused by over-exfoliation, and I teach clients to banish that terrible skin habit! Skin is an amazing organ and will do what it needs to do once it’s healthy.” She tells me to use the Sodashi concentrate once or twice a week after cleansing (“it makes for such a lovely mini facial ritual”). Simply add 10 drops to approx 1 litre of warm water, then use a muslin cleansing cloth to compress the face, and repeat this process times. Follow with serum and/or moisturiser. It’s an interesting approach to exfoliation for sure, and I’m intrigued!
So after all that, let’s just say that I am SUPER excited about this new discovery and can’t wait to crack into it ASAP. Oh and in case you haven’t yet glanced above, the packaging is to die for…

Daily delight: Michelle Williams for Interview

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another Mother’s Day post: East Day Spa!

I’m dropping another heavy hint to my nearest and dearest here as I just adore East Day Spa, who have put together some rather luxurious pamper packages in the name of mamas everywhere. There are a few to choose from too, so definitely something there for even the most hard-to-buy-for mum!
They are:
Mum’s the Word, $160.00
After huge success last year, East Day Spa is welcoming back the popular Mum’s the Word package. Treat your mum to 90 minutes of sheer relaxation, where East’s trained therapists will gently restore balance to the body. Beginning with a 15 minute East Foot Ritual, her feet will be bathed in warm milk and personalised East Day Spa oil before being gently soothed with a raw sugar and warm oil scrub. Continuing the journey of relaxation, mum will drift into a state of complete calm during one of East’s 60 minute Signature massages. Choose from an array of five carefully ritualised massage options, from the gentle, relaxing strokes of the Shanti to the deep tissue and stress-relief of the Veda there’s something to suit everyone. The package ends with either a 15-minute Scalp Massage or Reflexology treatment.

Marvellous Mum $85.00
Those on more modest budgets can still give their mum a Mother’s Day to remember with this beautiful package. While treating her feet with a luxurious pedicure, your Mum can enjoy the soothing effects of a perfectly brewed cup of Harney and Sons Mother’s Day tea. To top it off, each mum leaves with her choice of a Spa Ritual nail polish. I love these eco-friendly lacquers that are made using vegan ingredients and are naturally coloured, keeping the body free from synthetic dyes.

East & Dom Perignon $85.00
Nothing says luxury like a glass of premium champagne! Following 45 minutes of either an East Reflexology or Express Pedicure treatment at the Spa, mum will head upstairs to SKYCITY Grand Lobby Bar for a taste of world-class champagne. Dom Pérignon Vintage 02 champagne is not usually available by the glass, and normally retails at $430 a bottle. East Day Spa and The Lobby are offering this unique taste of luxury at the special price of $85 per person.

For bookings, gift vouchers and further enquires, call 09 363 7050 or go here.

Must visit: NARS' flagship on Bleecker, NYC

Daily delight: backstage beauties, red lips

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Goldwell's Colour Campaign 2011: “The best colour only happens in salons”

Internationally-renowned hair colour company Goldwell believe so strongly that a salon colour is far superior to a home colour system that they are giving away a year’s worth of colour services at a Goldwell professional salon to ten lucky women just to prove that point!
I happen to agree with them: not only is the experience better, the advice on the right colour, the professional application and results speak for themselves. If on the rare occasion you’re not happy with the result, you can always return to your stylist to make it right, generally at no expense. Not so from a bottle purchased at the supermarket. What looked good on the packet, may turn to disaster on the hair at home and often needs urgent rescue at a painful cost, by a professional in the salon!
To enter for a chance to one year of free hair colour services, visit a participating Goldwell salon anytime between 1 May and 30 August to try a Goldwell colour service and you will automatically go into the draw to win one of the 10 colour services valued at $1,500 each.
To win this year long, totally fabulous experience, call 0800 567 465 ASAP to find your nearest Goldwell salon and get colouring!

Love: Ecoya’s beautiful candle for mamas

As a mother and a lover of scented candles, there’s one particular goodie that I’m crossing my fingers to receive this coming Mum’s Day - Ecoya’s limited edition Mother’s Day candle (pictured). Along with looking absolutely beautiful enclosed in a luxurious satin pouch, it sounds like it will smell amazing too – think a fragrance reminiscent of pink champagne and you’re pretty much there! The Ecoya Mother’s Day candle has an RRP of just $49.95, and includes a free “I Remember” Ecoya giftcard so that’s one less thing to have to tick off the list! Love it.

Daily delight: Naomi for Vogue Nippon

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Try it: Kevin Murphy’s BODY BUILDER

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a raving fan of Australian hair guru Kevin Murphy, and I’ve recommended more than a few of his products on this blog just because they’re so damn good. I was getting a cut last week from the lovely Lauren Gunn at Stephen Marr when she introduced me to Murphy’s latest styling baby, the appropriately named BODY BUILDER. It’s a mousse but not as we know it, giving sexy but smooth volume with zero “crunchiness” – the con associated with using mousse since it first hit the scene in the eighties.
BODY BUILDER is a very clever product that you can layer onto the hair to create smooth, big shapes, or just a little lift where it’s needed. Don’t be afraid to use quite a lot of it as well as it is weightless and moisturising so you can go for it without fear of crunch. The benefit of mousse is that it makes the tiny spaces between the hairs greater, so essentially it makes the hair thicker and fuller. BODY BUILDER can be used to define waves on just about any hair length, type or texture, but is particularly effective on fine hair and hair that is a little dry or damaged. Check out a podcast of how the master himself uses it to create beautiful hair here in combination with his handy TEXTURE COMB, which is also a great addition to any bathroom cabinet.

Daily delight: Arizona Muse and son Nikko

Monday, April 25, 2011

Love: Kiehl’s Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion

I’m not a big fan of Micro-Dermabrasion per se – it makes my sensitive skin totally freak out and I’ve had more than one cosmetic surgeon tell me horror stories of its cons – but Kiehl’s key exfoliator with the popular process in its name is an absolute star.
The epidermal skin-texturizing treatment is an advanced formulation that has a highly effective abrading quality on skin's surface, but is also gentle enough for use on skin like mine. It gives an immediate skin-smoothing effect that leaves you with a feel akin to a baby’s proverbial, and with regular, tri-weekly use, helps to visibly minimize discolorations and small marks on face, hands, and décolleté. Over time, it’s promised that the look of facial lines will be reduced and skin texture significantly smoother and clearer, while the appearance of pore size is diminished. I like the fact that you can use it as little as you like if you have sensitive skin, but still feel its effects and facilitate the absorption of topical skin treatments to maximize their efficacy. The non-nonsense “polishing” cream is formulated with "diatomatious earth"- crushed microshells derived from ocean sand - as well as a powerful ingredient used by dermatologists to perform micro-dermabrasion procedures. The formula further helps to soothe skin with a blend of Willow Herb and nurturing sea algaenates, so any redness remaining afterwards doesn’t hang around for long. I used this at night before a hydrating mask with awesome results, but if you use it in the morning make sure you apply a decent sunblock before heading outside to protect your skin from even limited exposure to the sun.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Daily delight: Kate Moss for Vogue Paris

Falling in love with evolu all over again

Yesterday I was very lucky to have the chance to experience my very first evolu facial at the hands of the brand’s creator, Kati Kasza. The beautiful, all natural New Zealand skincare brand was one of the first beauty discoveries I wrote about many years ago, and they really have gone from strength to strength whilst remaining totally true to their original vision. Kati is still as hands on today as she was over ten years ago as well, which amps the integrity factor up even farther in my eyes. But enough raving, let’s get on to my hour of unadulterated bliss at her rather marvellous hands!
The facial began with a double cleanse using evolu’s Crème Cleanser, a mild yet super effective formula that is a huge help when you have eczema prone skin like mine. Next up the brand’s Renewing Facial Exfoliator – a beautifully scented, ultra gentle formula – was used to give my skin a gentle polish before a spritz of their Facial Toner, which is definitely more than just a cursory skincare step. Formulated to gently balance the skin back to its natural pH level, this naturally hydrating mist uses botanical actives to leave the skin soothed, refreshed and balanced. A key ingredient is Rosa Gallica essential oil, which promotes capillary repair and moisture retention, especially assisting dry, inflamed and mature skin. Delicious stuff. Next up a Kaolin-based mask was applied and left to dry, then removed and another spritz of Facial Toner misted over my now-glowing skin. Called the Purifying Mask, it deeply cleanses and smells incredible, thanks to the likes of pure essential oils of Lavender (balancing, regenerative), and Sweet Orange (rejuvenating, renewing). A massage followed using the product that Kati calls “liquid gold”, the power packed Facial Serum (pictured). For skin that needs its appearance rejuvenated and natural balance restored, this facial serum is the perfect antidote and can be added to any skincare regime. Ideal as an overnight treatment, its heavenly scent reflects the purity and potency of the vitamin-rich bioactives. These antioxidant essentials work to promote cell renewal and boost skin suppleness, helping to diminish visible signs of aging – love that! Vitamins A, C, and E (Rosehip Oil, Jojoba oil, Rose Absolute and Neroli essential oils) scavenge free radicals and assist the process of skin regeneration, whilst Omega-6 fatty acids (Evening Primrose Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil) reinforce cell membranes and Vanilla soothes and protects while you sleep. Told you it was power packed, and absolutely gorgeous stuff. Last up is an application of a daily moisturiser and a double dose of goodness for the eyes in the form of Decrease Eye and Lip Line Serum with De-Stress Soothing Eye Gel (which absorbed immediately, bonus) applied over the top.
Definitely a delicious experience all round, this facial reinforced in my mind what a great brand evolu is, and how dedicated Kati is to delivering high performance, all natural products to the world at large at ridiculously good price points. Check out her blog here for some great how to videos and an introduction to how evolu sees the world.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

On trial: Beauty Society's Brow Doctor

Internationally acclaimed makeup artist Rae Morris recently told me that her single most important beauty essential is a “full, strong brow”, which for some can be difficult to achieve. This could be due to anything from age to over-plucking to genetics, and if you want your brows to be suitably in vogue then you have quite a battle ahead. At the opposite end of the spectrum, unruly brows can be almost as much of a pain in the neck, and a good brow gel is hard to find. Many are as stiff as an eighties hair product, whilst others have a tendency to flake which always ends in disaster. But ladies, there is a solution! And I’m trialing it right now – the very clever Brow Doctor by Beauty Society. Brow Doctor is a clear formula that you can use to tame your unruly brows into beautiful submission. The best part is that in about four weeks Brow Doctor also enhances your eyebrows, with the intention of reversing as much damage as possible – hooray! With the help of amino acids, peptides and conditioners Brow Doctor coaxes your brows to reach their full potential without using the harmful parabens or prostaglandins often found in lash and hair stimulating products. Thus far what I love about this baby is that it did not leave my brows feeling stiff and/or sticky or looking unnatural. My trial is in its early days but I’m excited about the potential results when it comes to the overall condition of my brows. Fingers crossed for that “full, strong” look that Rae – and many makeup stars – are touting right now, but for now I’m loving my perfectly groomed brows. Brow Doctor is available right now at Mecca Cosmetica, so get in there!

Daily delight: Natalia V by Bruce Weber

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why you need: a WISH candle this winter

The weather is really cooling down at my end of the world and the nights are steadily growing longer. The novelty factor is still firmly in place though, and I’m loving the idea of a few months of hibernation with a few little tricks to make things that much cosier. One of these things is of course a tidy glass of red wine, and the other is a selection of simply gorgeous scented candles. I burn them all year round, but find that winter is so much more conducive to really enjoying them thanks to lots of drawn curtains and closed windows so the scent is at its purest. A range that I’ve just fallen in love with of late is by WISH, who have created a collection of super delicious candles hand-poured in the USA using a unique soy wax blend, cotton wicks and carefully chosen premium botanical scents. Each candle is hand-jewelled as well, meaning they look as good as they smell. Right now my office is filled with the scent of Angel – think a heavenly, dream-like floral with subtle notes of exotic tea. Delicious! Next on my “wish” list to buy (pun fully intended) is Thank You, which is a creamy vanilla with a hint of roasted chestnuts – perfect for winter or what? You need these yummy goodies in your life, and they make a beautiful gift too.
For New Zealand stockists go here.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Falling in love: the Kjaer Weis collection

Mecca Cosmetica has some beautiful new goodies in store, including their newest makeup brand, Kjaer Weis. The eponymous cosmetics line by Danish-born, New York based makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, this collection of essential products is fast changing the face of organic makeup. Fusing high fashion and “green living”, Kjaer Weis' colour range features 95 per cent organic formulas, classic colours that transcend all trends, and luxe compacts that you just won’t want to give up. The popular makeup artist felt there was a gap in the market for a brand that uses green ingredients paired with modern design and packaging, and what delicious packaging it is (see above)! Enlisting the help of legendary designer Marc Atlan - who has created iconic packaging for the likes of Comme des Garçons and Helmut Lang - Kirsten briefed on refillable packaging that was built to last and looked amazing. The result is packaging made of Zamac (zinc, aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloy) that is heavy, weighty, and praised by design aficionados worldwide. Housed inside is a range of lip tints, cream blush and eye shadows that are organic, refillable and beautiful to wear. The well-edited collection pulls off the near impossible: fusing the very best in organic ingredients with gorgeous textures and always-flattering shades. I’ve been using the Cream Blush in Blossoming and can vouch for the longevity of this formula as well as the sheer gorgeousness of the shade – yep, it really does tick all of the boxes. If green and gorgeous is your bag then I definitely recommend that you check this line out.

Daily delight: legendary Uschi Obermaier

Thursday, April 14, 2011

First look: Katy Perry by LaChapelle for ghd

Whatever you think about Katy Perry, there’s no denying how criminally glam she looks in this shot by the King of Fabulous Photography, David LaChapelle. The collaboration came about thanks to ghd, who are celebrating their 10th birthday this year and as part of the celebration signed poptastic superstar Perry as the new global ambassador for the brand, She’s the first ever celebrity to be aligned with ghd, and as such gets the job of appearing in their beautiful new campaign ‘Iconic Eras of Style’ photographed by legendary fashion photographer, LaChapelle. The campaign images depict Perry in a sleeping beauty-style scenario waking up in three different iconic eras of style – 50’s glamour, 70’s boho chic and 80’s new wave (see above). I reckon it’s the best Perry has ever looked, an honour ghd bestows upon millions of women worldwide every day. Where would we be without them?

Daily delight: Daisy Lowe for Peackocks

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Love: Weleda’s Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil

I make no secret of the fact that I’m seriously obsessed by using oils, whether they’re on the face, the body or the hair. My latest discovery is a beautiful little number by Weleda, meaning that’s it’s all pure and natural too.To Weleda, oiling the body is a luxurious and skin-rewarding indulgent art, a philosophy that I can totally agree with. And when it comes to their antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil, they don’t put a foot wrong. This lavish oil intensively nurtures and assists with the skins own natural cell regeneration process, whilst smelling absolutely divine.
The key to this replenishing intensive oil is the hero ingredient, Pomegranate Seed Oil, derived from the seeds of Pomegranates grown under biodynamic cultivations from Weleda’s own contract projects in Turkey. Here seeds are cold pressed and filtrated to maintain a powerful complex of mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids (with a minimum of 60 per cent punicic acid), Vitamin E and Flavonoids. Brushing the body with the enriching oil from these fruits helps improve skin firmness and enhances natural radiance, whilst protecting skin against skin-damaging free radicals. For a real power punch they’ve also included subtle composition of high-quality plant oils in the mix, including organic Macadamia Oil and Jojoba Oil, which protect the skin from moisture loss and help optimise absorption.
I seriously recommend that you explore Weleda’s entire collection of delicious, all-good-for-you oils, which also offers:
* Birch Cellulite Oil - fordetoxifying and encouraging the movement of fluids and congestion. Birch is well known for its anti-aging skin rejuvenation properties.
* Rose Oil – which has a harmonising action that supports the rhythmic system of the heart and lungs on a physical and emotional level. Weleda rose oil is very warming, nourishing and therapeutic to the skin and also is good for relaxation and sleep.
* Hypericum Massage Oil - this is warming and soothing. It has an all round healing ability, bringing balance back to an over active nervous system. This may include stress and depression especially related to soul or physical shock.
* Melissa Oil - great supporting women’s reproductive health. It brings rhythm, warmth and calm, strengthening and regulating the menstrual cycle.
* Prunus Oil – to assist with recovery from illness and to increase vitality. It is excellent for those who are exhausted and physically or mentally drained, particularly after viral illnesses or surgery.

Daily delight: Reese W. by Peter Lindbergh

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Love: Natio’s all new Mineral Correctors

Natio is a great Australian brand that always delivers on performance at a ridiculously reasonable price, and their make up collections have just gone from strength to strength of late. That said, it comes as no surprise that they’ve branched out into a brilliant range of Mineral Correctors (above) to solve all your every day coverage concerns. This small-but-perfectly-formed collection of light-reflecting, liquid mineral imperfection fighters instantly tackles redness, dark circles, dull looking skin and makeup slip with ease, and at some truly amazing price points. The 'no edges' formulations contain a unique blend of plant extracts to ensure impeccable coverage every time, meaning the application of these babies is easy even for those new to the use of primers or correctors. Oh and as an added bonus, they are free from nasties like talc and parabens.
My favourite of the bunch thus far is the Pure Mineral Redness Corrector, which is the perfect product if you’ve got sensitive skin like me going into the colder months. Luminous minerals deflect light to help even out your skin tone and reduce the look of redness, and it’s a lot nicer to use than the green and yellow based cover sticks of old. Ideal for customers with redness or rosacea prone skin, it’s also super easy to use. Apply a small amount to redness prone areas and blend with fingertips, and then apply your favourite foundation over the top if that’s your bag. Flawless! And last but not least, this baby retails for a an almost ridiculous NZD $18.50. Love that.

Daily delight: Christy Turlington in b&w

Monday, April 11, 2011

Love: Ecoya’s bath and bodycare collection

We all know someone who has fallen shamelessly in love with an Ecoya candle – I know I have with about four of them, and show no sign of giving up yet. All six of their scents have been instant hits all over the world, and now fans like me can take their relationship with Ecoya that much further with the release of four new bath and body products that follow those fragrances. The new releases – a hand cream, body exfoliator, lip balm and luscious body nourisher – are absolutely killer, and proof that the New Zealand-owned company is determined to be thought of as “more than just a candle company” and set to truly take on the world.
In line with the company’s environmentally conscious ethos, all of their bath and body products are free from Parabens, Sulfates, Propylene Glycol, Silicone and Artificial Colour and are hypoallergenic. The products feature all natural fragrances and are created using natural bases, with Macadamia Oil featuring most prominently. Macadamia Oil is a wonderful natural emollient that is particularly gentle on sensitive skin. It has a few exceptional properties that make it perfect for use as a cosmetic base, the major one being that it is high in Palmitoleic Acid, a substance which resembles some of the cells in human skin. The high Palmitoleic content promotes softness, elasticity and what is termed the “cushiony” feel of young, healthy skin. It’s also non-greasy, despite being rich in skin nutrients.
The four new products all feature the locally designed, eco luxe packaging that Ecoya has become known for, making them impossible to hide in the bathroom cabinet. The Body Exfoliator and Body Nourisher are designed to work in harmony together, and both come housed in beautiful heavy glass jars. The Lip Balm is a little luxury for your handbag. The hypoallergenic formula soothes and replenishes even the most sensitised lips, locking in natural moisture to help calm and protect from the elements. It also contains New Zealand’s very own super ingredient for the skin, Manuka honey. Last but not least, Ecoya’s new handcream is a barrier-forming hypoallergenic cream that protects, nourishes and moisturises your hands, leaving no residue behind.
Vanilla Bean Body Nourisher has already won for the company “Best New Product” at the recent New York Gift Fair and the others are sure to be as well-received by everyone who gives them a whirl. So what are you waiting for? Get in there, you won’t be disappointed.

Daily delight: retro beauty Nathalie Delon

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Get it: M.A.C Prep + Prime Vibrancy Eye

I never apply serious make up without using a primer, as not doing so makes about as much sense as painting a house without applying an undercoat first. For starters your colour pigments will be seriously diluted by moisturiser and the skin’s natural oils, and any product’s longevity is totally compromised. It may be an added step but it’ll do wonders for your make up down the track and once you’re hooked, you’re in there for life. M·A·C say that they “own the primers category” and I am starting to think that they really do. Their Prep + Prime range is full of essentials that benefit both professionals and consumers, and lucky for us it just got bigger! The new releases include three beautiful highlighters, as well as a product I’m super excited about - Prep + Prime Vibrancy Eye. A lightweight, quick fix AND long-term solution for puffy, tired-looking creases and bags, this little wonder targets the three main causes for dark under eye circles – pigmentation, visibly weakened capillaries and shadowing – while illuminating the eye area with optical effects for instant luminosity. Think of it as rocking pick-me-up power and moisturisation, making it an essential addition to any kit. I popped some on today after an early start due to a grizzly two year old and can report that the “instant” claim made by M.A.C really is that – my dark circles seriously disappeared within minutes of this baby doing its stuff. I have yet to track the long-term effects of its use but if after a single application it does major good then I’m super excited about the possibilities!

Love: Shiseido’s high performance Bodycare

Shiseido is one of those legendary brands that I’ve only ever associated with skincare and make up, but lately that’s changed. I’ve been trying out a few beautiful products from their high-performance bodycare range and have to say that I’m super impressed. The range includes a gorgeous Body Cleansing Milk, which has a very luxe feel and foams up but doesn’t strip away the skin’s natural moisture barrier like many of its ilk. It also smells pretty damn delightful thanks to the inclusion of Kuroho, an ancient Japanese fragrance that Shiseido have re-imagined for modern times in the delicate way only they can. This fragrance also carries through to the Firming Body Cream (pictured), which is just far too beautiful to hide away in your bathroom cabinet as well as proven to hydrate and get to work refining body contours and improving circulation. A lighter alternative is the Body Emulsion, which is my pick for the more humid months when you need something that works hard but doesn’t linger too much on the skin. This formula really does absorb in seconds, going to work on your skin just as fast. Last up in the range is its newest addition, the Advanced Body Creator Aromatic Sculpting Gel (what a mouthful!), a spicy smelling little number that tingles on application as it fights the appearance of cellulite and refines as it moisturises. Gorgeous stuff, and definitely proof that Shiseido are as serious about addressing concerns below the neck as well as from the neck up!

Daily delight: Kristina Salinovic, Vogue Italia

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Love: Trilogy’s Botanical Body Wash

When you really stop and think about it, we spend one hell of a lot of time in the shower. Some of that time is at the most challenging part of the day – the morning hours – and anything that can make the whole experience that little bit easier gets the thumbs up from me.
Using a great body wash is one of the best ways to start the day off right, and one of my absolute favourites is Trilogy’s yummy smelling/all good for you Botanical Body Wash. With its totally unisex scent it doesn’t offend my husband, who also gets to leave the house with skin that’s soft, smooth and impeccably clean. A favourite of the UK’s Green Beauty Bible and many in the greenie blogosphere, Botanical Body Wash is bursting with a delicate blend of non-drying cleansers, aroma-therapeutic oils, and invigorating pure plant extracts including Kawa Kawa from the leaves of the native New Zealand Pepper Tree. Also included in the heady, uplifting mix is Rose Geranium to help soothe your senses while the combination of French Lavender oil, Cucumber and Chamomile soothe your skin.
Delicious stuff to wake up to all round!

Daily delight: Cate Blanchett for Harpers

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Get excited about Smashbox HALO Yellow

I didn’t think it was possible, but lately I’ve fallen even more in love with Smashbox’s cult HALO Powder. The reason? Its stellar formula has become even more tailormade to my skin type with the addition of a colour-correcting yellow tone.
This probably isn’t that exciting if you’ve never suffered from sensitivity, rosacea or redness, but if you have? With its ability to reduce the appearance of redness and minimize the signs of aging in one simple step, you need to get this ASAP!
A colour-correcting version of the brand’s revolutionary HALO powder (which was last year also released as a killer bronzer), HALO Yellow boasts a formulation of gold, 48 minerals and a powerful peptide to perfect the skin. Not only does the advanced powder even out your skin tone, but it also provides all-day moisturization with a patented hydration system. And don’t get me started on the brilliant packaging system - the innovative shaver ensures that you always get the perfect amount of powder for a single application - just twist and get dusting! It’s also a handy travel size, so there’s no excuse for leaving it at home when you’re flying somewhere seriously fabulous. The formula is also oil-free, talc-free and paraben-free, which is a definite bonus given the amount of fillers added to many powders and mineral products out there in the marketplace. Smashbox HALO Yellow can be worn alone, with your favourite foundation or on targeted areas to even out skin tone. For sheer-to-medium coverage, apply it lightly with a Fan Brush, or for medium-to-full coverage, apply with your favourite fat blush/bronzer brush and you’re done.

Daily delight: backstage, Michael Kors SS11

Monday, April 4, 2011

Up close with: NZ Hairdresser of the Year finalist Danny Pato

The Hair Expo held every year in Sydney is always a huge deal for those in the industry, and a win there can mean great things for a stylist or salon in terms of brand awareness and kudos from their peers.
One of the awards presented at the glittering yearly event is New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year, for which the competition is seriously fierce. For a little country we have a truckload of talented stylists, and the finalists are definitely amongst the best of the best. Last week the 2011 final four were announced, being: Sara Allsop (Dharma, Mount Eden), Mana Dave (Blaze, Newmarket), Danny Pato (d&m Hair Design, Ponsonby) and Jock Robson from Dharma in Mount Eden.
The collection that immediately caught my eagle eye was Danny’s, which is awash with the uber glam aesthetic that I always associate with his work (see my favourite look, above). Shot in collaboration with celebrated photographer Craig Owen with styling by Barry Betham and makeup by Aimie Fiebig, the collection is titled “Avant Goddess” and is as strong as the title suggests. When I asked Danny for his inspirations he cited “iconic women (who were/are a goddess of their time), astrology and Greek mythology” as key pointers, as well as - of course! – “glam!”. Essential to each look was the use of Schwarzkopf’s OSiS+ Session Fix hairspray, which is famed for its ultra long lasting hold, strong control power and ability to dry super fast, and non-sticky. The results speak for themselves!
Danny has won multiple accolades over the years for both himself and his salon team, and has collected gongs from major name competitions held by Schwarzkopf, L’Oreal, Wella and Sebastian. Here’s to a hearty dose of good luck for this one, the winner of which will be announced at a red carpet gala dinner in Sydney’s Darling Harbour on June 13.

Daily delight: Emmanuelle Alt's fresh chic

Luxe! At WORLDbeauty stores this Thursday

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

A look at EVEOLUTION, A/W 11 from L’Oréal Professionnel

The release of a new colour collection by L’Oréal Professionnel is always a cause for celebration, and the latest, EVEOLUTION is no exception. Renowned Dutch stylist Ward Stegerhoek has created three unique styles reflecting what the haircare giant calls “the merging of architecture and art with technology that protects and respects nature”. On international runways and in the world’s leading fashion mags the hair styles reflect the themes of deconstruction, three-dimensionality and graphic effects, and Stegerhoek, inspired by these trends, interprets them across three beautiful and unique looks using the latest ammonia-free INOA shades.
My favourite look is ASTREE (above), a new take on the bob cut, fastened tight by hair pulled back at the sides. Two black panels underline the contrast of textures and give energy to the luscious brunette colour. The technique used consists of two dark triangles, one placed on each side of the head to create a 3-D effect on the hair.
I asked Belinda Watson of Auckland’s Biba salon to give me an idea of how to translate this super fashion forward look for every day, and she was more than happy to oblige saying, “while this style may be a little out there for most, you can definitely adapt it for everyday life”. Her personal interpretation for this style would consist of strong external lines with lots of what she calls “crazy beautiful” texture within the shape to create body and fullness. Imagine a Sassoon-inspired bob messed up with lots of texture. She says this can be achieved at home by either working with your natural curl or creating curl with the use of hot styling tools, conical tong or hot rollers. “Once you achieved some movement in your hair, flip your head upside down then spritz with hairspray - think messy/dressy!”
She adds that texturizing products are definitely your friend when trialling this style, and recommends trying L’Oréal Professionnel’s play ball beach fizz or curl memory up spray, “and my personal favourite - the new Infinium Lumiere Hairspray - to finish”.
Finally, she says that colour is also a great way to work texture into your style and this can be achieved with L’Oréal Professionnel’s ammonia-free colour INOA. “I would recommend this as a way to achieve cool depth and luminosity to enhance the strong shape of the style.”

Daily delight: Abbey Lee by Hedi Slimane