Saturday, July 30, 2011

Daily delight: beautiful, effortless Chloe

Friday, July 29, 2011

Love it: new Argania Hair Oil Light


After the launch of Moroccanoil into the country, we soon started to see more and more argan oil-based products flooding the market, some better than others. One which beauty editors – and beauty lovers everywhere – fell in love with was Argania Oil, arriving just in time for summer 2011. Made in New Zealand, Argania hair oil is created using the now familiar – thanks to the worldwide popularity of Moroccanoil - fruit of the Moroccan Argan tree. This antioxidant rich oil is harvested using traditional methods and formulated in New Zealand to create Argania Oil, which is a beautiful hair treatment that creates brilliant shine whilst smoothing and nourishing even the most tortured of hair.
It’s suitable for all hair types, but recently its creators launched the equally nourishing Argania Hair Oil Light specifically for use on blonde, highlighted, fine and silver hair. It still contains – naturally – Certified Organic Argan Oil, which is blended with Sweet Almond, Jojoba, Macadamia Nut, Vitamin E and Evening Primrose oils to create a nutritious, fine hair-friendly mix.
Argania Light can be used either as a leave in treatment or as a styler. To use as a treatment, simply massage a small amount into your palms and work through damp hair, starting at the tips and working towards the roots. For best results do this before blow-drying, and give it a minute or so to absorb before applying heat. Alternatively, applying it to dry hair will instantly create smoother, shinier hair. But beware: because of the concentration a small amount will go a long way, so start light and build up the product if need be. I have oily roots – especially when the humidity is peaking as per today – so only use this baby on my mid-lengths and ends, who happily drink it up. Argania Light is available now from selected pharmacies and Farmers stores nationwide.

Try: Dr.Hauschka Trend Colours Teint Powder


Naturally derived makeup can be a little hit and miss, so I always get pretty excited when I find and example that performs just as well as the less-healthy-to-use options. When it’s easy to use and looks pretty too it’s an added bonus, and that’s exactly why I’m falling in love with Dr.Hauschka’s Trend Colours Teint Powder.
This little compact of goodness does exactly what it promises; it evens out minor blemishes and flaws in your complexion to achieve a beautifully smooth appearance, quickly and effortlessly. It is formulated with real silk powder, which is incredibly well tolerated by the skin and has antibacterial properties, making it a great choice for even very sensitive skins. The silk powder is responsible for the soft, velvety feel left on the skin after application, and it also contains natural silica, known as the building block of skin, hair and nails. Another key ingredient is extract of anthyllis, the balancing medicinal herb for the skin and witch hazel.
The sleek compact contains three neutral-toned colours to help create individual looks that you can have a play around discovering, and it includes a powder puff and mirror, making it a good option for travel and touch ups during the day.
To locate your nearest stockist visit Dr.Hauschka’s website or call toll free 0508 423 737.

Daily delight: Kate Moss for UK Vogue

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beauty destination: M.A.C PRO Britomart


It’s with huge excitement that I’d like to announce the arrival of the new flagship M·A·C PRO Store at the Britomart Precinct, which opened its doors today. The move from its old location in Chancery Square to Britomart in the heart of downtown Auckland means the M·A·C PRO Store boasts the latest in store design from New York – complete with a PRO Store-only Paint Pot Wall that has to be seen to be believed.
The stylish 80 sq metre setting reflects the M·A·C attitude that is artfully irreverent, and will continue to exclusively house M·A·C’s line of PRO Products in New Zealand alongside the brand’s myriad of colour collections, artistry tools, accessories, and skincare. For those of you that haven’t had a chance to play with them yet, M·A·C PRO Products are a line of cutting-edge, performance-tested products developed exclusively for professional makeup artists. Consisting of more than 250 different products, the M·A·C PRO collection provides makeup artists with the high-quality formulation, colours, and finishes needed to unleash their creativity at fashion shows, photography shoots and on television and film sets.
M·A·C Britomart will serve as a destination for M·A·C PRO products, a hands-on resource for professional makeup artists, an educational training facility, and a retail store open to industry pros as well as the M·A·C customer expecting the core M·A·C lineup and excellent artistry service.
To celebrate the move, Nicole Thompson – Senior Artist, M·A·C Australia, is in New Zealand this weekend to work alongside M·A·C New Zealand Senior Artist, Amber D next week. Both Senior Artists have recently worked on Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks at shows such as Vivienne Westwood, Marni and DSquared2. Customers wanting personalized makeup advice can book in with either Nicole or Amber D for one-on-one 90 minute Featured Artist appointments at the new store.
Featured Artist appointments will be available with Nicole Thompson on Monday 1st August and Thursday 4th August 2011. Featured Artist appointments will be available with Amber D on Thursday 4th August only. The 90 minute one-on-one appointment is $180.00 fully redeemable against products purchased the same day. Appointments are limited and bookings are essential. To book, contact M·A·C Britomart on 0800 MAC SHOP or macbritomart@macstores.co.nz GET IN THERE!!!

Daily delight: Elle Fanning for LOVE mag

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What a steal: new Pantene Nature Fusion


There’s a plethora of damn good haircare products with great price points to match hitting the shelves right now, and the latest is Pantene’s foray into the world of naturals. Combining cutting edge technology with nature’s best to achieve hair with fullness and shine, the Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion conditions and strengthens your hair against breakage, so you can kiss dry and damaged hair sayonara and get the glossy locks you’ve always wanted.
The Nature Fusion collection features Pantene’s signature Pro-V science combined with essence derived from the Cassia flower – a natural ingredient proven to help deliver healthy hair. Cassia is an ancient botanical renowned for its medicinal benefits, along with its detoxifying and purifying properties. Nature Fusion utilizes this powerful combo along with avocado oil, grapeseed extract and bamboo, which work together to add resilience and fullness to your hair, without weighing it down.
As well as a great shampoo, the collection includes Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Conditioner. The innovative dual-surfactant technology creates a special ‘airfilm’, working to separate your hair strands for effective and even distribution of conditioning ingredients, so even on your most frantic mornings you can make sure that your hair is getting all the love it needs.
You can also enjoy a little indulgence with Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Rinse-Off Treatment, which contains a rich concentrate of conditioning ingredients to give you beautiful hair this season. The rinse-off treatment forms a protective layer over your hair to repair damaged strands underneath with minimal effort from you. In addition, you can also choose the Nature Fusion Leave-On Intensive Treatment to give your locks that extra boost, a rich creamy formula that provides an additional protective coat for dry, damaged hair – lightly conditioning your hair anytime it needs an extra dose of moisturisation.
The new Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion range is available right now nationwide and retails from just NZD $5.10 – now THAT is a steal!

Want: M·A·C Cine-Matics Face Brushes


Okay so it would be fair to say that I’ve been obsessing about this brush set since first seeing it in the pages of Allure magazine, and won’t stop til I get my hands on it! A limited edition from those makeup masters at M.A.C, the Cine-Matics Face Brushes have so far just been available at Nordstrom from what I can ascertain, but rumour has it that they may be coming Down Under too. Travel sized versions of some of my favourite – and essential – M.A.C brushes in eye popping colours, they come in a cute grey bag that is perfect for popping in your carry on. The fabulous foursome is short-handled with technicolor bristles, and the set includes:
- 187 SE Duo Fiber Face Brush (half synthetic fibers, half natural sable hair).
- 190 SE Foundation Brush (synthetic fibers).
- 168 SE Large Angled Contour Brush (natural goat hair).
- 194 SE Concealer Brush (synthetic fibers).
- Brush bag.
Seriously WANT!

Daily delight: Karen and Raquel for Lanvin

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

KEVIN.MURPHY Hair.Resort Spray, a beach in a can!


When it comes to hair, what could be more liberating than embracing your natural texture and really letting your hair down? Textured, beachy waves are sexy and relatively effortless, and continue to be a hot trend in the world of hair year after year. Hooray for that! But what happens if you aren’t lucky enough to be frolicking in the sea off some tropical isle? You get your mitts on a texture product like Kevin Murphy Hair.Resort Spray, recently released and already on my must have list.
The original Hair.Resort was a liquid, and although it smelled totally tropical and was a joy to use, I often put in a bit too much at first once my hair was dry and was left with a stickiness that soon drove me mad. I use it now in damp hair to get the beach texture look, but this brand new non-aerosol spray version is pretty much foolproof used either way. Part-foundation and part-finishing product, it gives you a great natural look with the minimum of time and product. The scent of tangerine makes this spray essential for when you’re missing summer days, and it’s ideal for fine to medium textured hair. It doesn’t contain any fluorocarbons or hydrocarbons and utilises essential oils of tangerine and honey, amino acids, hydrolysed silk and panthenol for body and strength, giving medium hold to your style.
“Living in Australia, I see women with soft, natural-looking surfer-style hair year-round,” says Kevin Murphy, international session stylist and founder of the brand. “I love the look and wanted to create a product that would transform hair to look like you’ve been to the beach, even if you haven’t.”
All Murphy’s products are biodegradable, paraben and sulphate-free and contain essential oils that act as bio-catalysts with natural regenerative, moisturising and strengthening properties. The packaging is 100 per cent recyclable and the range is based on an environmentally friendly Australian philosophy – KEVIN.MURPHY supports the Australian Conservation Foundation, which works with the community, business and government to protect, restore and sustain the environment.
The super stylist – and one of the funniest men I’ve every interviewed – was recently selected as a Climate Connector by The Al Gore Climate Project, a non-profit making organisation dedicated to educating the public about the harmful effects of climate change. In this role Kevin shares advice with the stylist community about adopting sustainable measures that will help the industry to reduce its carbon footprint and make a difference to the planet. Ya gotta love that!

Daily delight: Lara Stone for Paris Vogue

Monday, July 25, 2011

Style does good: the ghd Pink Orchid set


Now in its eighth consecutive year, the ghd Pink campaign continues to raise awareness and support for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation with its newest doing good/looking great initiative, the ghd Pink Orchid limited edition set. This year’s limited edition, too-gorgeous-for-words set features the new ghd Gold Series Classic styler with a pink twist – a vibrant shade of hot orchid pink styling plates - and a beautiful pink and black lace, clutch-style bag to match. Taking inspiration from the world’s style capitals and Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, the limited edition heat resistant clutch is almost too cute to use.
The Pink Orchid Limited Edition features all the new technology of the ghd Gold Series stylers, it is cooler to touch and lighter to handle with contoured pink plates that glide effortlessly through the hair for smoother, snag-free styling. And as well as the matching clutch, the set includes a protective plate guard to safely cover hot plates, a step by step hair guide and two ghd sectioning clips.
Over the past eight years, ghd has raised nearly $2.5 million between Australia and New Zealand through the release of a limited edition pink ghd styler each year, so as well as being rather fabulous, this baby is definitely a worthy indulgence.
The new ghd Pink Orchid limited edition set is available from approved ghd salons from 25 July, 2011. For stockist information call 0800 424 744 or go here.

Love: M.A.C Golden Gaze Mineralize Shadow


From the minute I first started seeing swatches hitting the internet, I knew that M.A.C’s Semi Precious was a collection I would simply HAVE to have a piece of. It’s all rather gorgeous, but my favourite – and one of the standout hits of the collection – is the Golden Gaze Mineralize eye shadow, above.
Incredibly versatile and rather delicious just to look at in the pot, Golden Gaze is a beautiful charcoal black infused with a brassy golden glimmer. It is described on the M.A.C website as simply Gold & Black, but it is definitely so much more. It has a medium pigmentation and applies evenly really evenly, with a true gold sheen when applied dry. My favourite way to wear it however is applied wet, when it becomes a true blackened gold. At its full effect it's a great shade for a statement smokey eye, and also makes for a nice, softened black eyeliner for day.
This is only a limited edition shade so if it sounds like your bag get into your nearest M.A.C store now before it sells out!

Daily delight: Sasha P. for Armani Prive

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Introducing: Orly’s pretty Birds of a Feather


Orly have just released a rather cute, small but perfectly formed limited edition collection of polishes that goes by the name ‘Birds of a Feather’. It definitely has something for everyone, and is also totally trans-seasonal to boot. Inspired – obviously – by some pretty spectacular plumage out there in the natural world, it has a hint of old world glamour about it that I love. My pick of the bunch must be the sparkly purple Fowl Play (far left, horrendous name, beautiful shade!), which is a perfect choice for long winter nights as well as adding a touch of sophistication to more casual summer styles. As well as Fowl Play, the Birds of a Feather collection also includes (L-R) Lucky Duck (a teal-green crème), Nite Owl (a shimmering, totally modern nude), Peachy Parrot (a coppery coral), Sea Gurl (a very on trend gunmetal grey) and Sweet Peacock (a metallic blue). Like I said, something for everyone, and the usual Orly long wearing formula too.

Try: Pureology’s new ColourStylist collection


I’ve used Pureology shampoos and conditioners over the past two years with very good reason. It was the first ZeroSulphate and 100 per cent vegan range that also cared for coloured hair, and the range smells and feels as good as it performs. And I’m not the only person who thinks so: in the first seven years of sales Pureology had generated more than US$61 million in more than 16,000 salons America-wide, making it the Number 1 colour care range in the US. It launched into New Zealand in 2009 and has gone from strength to strength, and has finally expanded into styling products – exciting stuff! Needless to say, they too are good for the planet, good for you and work hard to give you seriously fabulous hair.
It’s the first styling range for flawless, lasting colour-brilliance that strengthens while it styles, targeting the specific styling needs of colour-treated hair like mine. Also 100 per cent vegan, it includes a blend of olive, camelina and coriander lipid extracts that penetrate the hair fibres for overall enhanced brilliance, lustre and shine.
There are six offerings in the new collection, and I already have a couple of favourites that I highly recommend. The Nourishing Nectar is a lightweight gel that perfect for using pre blow dry, with zero dulling residues and concentrated Keravis to strengthen the hair fibre. Enhanced with plant cellulose it delivers volume with control, and works hard at detangling difficult hair like mine as well.
My other pick is the Cuticle Polisher (pictured), which is a humidity-resistant, lightweight, non-drying serum with concentrated lipids. It cleverly accentuates both high and low-lights of coloured hair, and coriander extracts provide mirror-surface shine wherever you need it. It’s a great finishing product after you’ve blow dried your hair, helping keep your style for longer as well as adding that extra polish. Beautiful stuff!

Daily delight: Arizona Muse for Uniqlo +J

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Try: Dr. LeWinn’s Revitalising Hand & Foot Polish


A couple of years ago I had a pot of Dr. LeWinn’s Revitalizing Hand Polish, which lasted for months and gave me the softest hands around. The pot was a little unwieldy though, and always ended up in the “too hard to pack” basket when I travelled abroad.
Fast forward to this month however and I have my mitts on the polish in its newest incarnation - Revitalising Hand & Foot Polish, in a tube! This baby is a delicate yet incredibly effective natural exfoliator and moisturiser, and finally acknowledges that this product is as effective on the feet as it is on the hands.
Rich in minerals and moisturising oils like macadamia nut, this ultra luxe sea salt treatment softens, smooths and exfoliates hands and feet, over time improving circulation and stimulating skin cell renewal. The result is seriously smooth, refreshed and revitalised skin that will be far too pretty to hide.
To use, massage a generous amount in circular movements onto slightly damp hands and feet, then rinse with warm water. It’s gentle enough to be used daily as well, so start now and by summer you’ll have the best looking hands and tootsies around!

Meet: Dinah Bradley & The Slow Breathing Movement


The first time I paid a visit to nutrition super hero – and now author – Dr. Libby Weaver many years ago, she told me that in many cases, the key to weight loss is as simple as “learning how to breathe properly.” After meeting Dinah Morrison (nee Bradley) I’ve discovered that it’s the key to many things, and essential to having true quality of life.
I first became aware of Dinah’s work around twenty years ago; when as a university student I had an ongoing series of seemingly unexplainable ailments. I was finally referred to a physiotherapist, who diagnosed me with a breathing disorder. She handed me a book to read called Hyperventilation Syndrome/Breathing Pattern Disorders, the author of which was Dinah. After “re-learning” how to breathe over a series of months my symptoms disappeared completely, and I became aware of exactly how much a simple breath in – and out – affects me.
When I meet Dinah many years later it’s at Breathing Works, the first independent Breathing Pattern Disorders clinic in Australasia, which she founded along with Tania Clifton-Smith. Before assessing my own breathing, she confesses that she sees bad breathers everywhere, blaming everything from stress to the gym - the cult of clenching in the abs 24/7 – but says that habits are really quite easy to break when you know how.
She asks me to assume “beach pose” – on my back, hands on my head – which isn’t as easy as it sounds when you get as tense as I do. My neck stiffened and I raised my head to meet my hands, which is hardly the approach I would hope to take if I was on a towel in Fiji! With practice though this can improve, and by my third visit I’m quite the dab hand and feeling all the better for it.
She also talks about how to get in the habit of doing a “neck check”: watching out for forward loading of your head (chook neck) while you’re at your keyboard. Feel the muscles on the front of your neck, then release tension by sitting up straight then gliding your head back until your ears are in line with your shoulders. Sit with your hands behind your head for 30 seconds and breathe through your nose low and slow before feeling the release of tension as you lower your arms. Check this every hour if you can, you’d be surprised at how tight you get.
Breathing is a tool we all have, one of such simplicity that its power is easily overlooked. This tool doesn’t cost a thing, is simple and available to everyone and can be accessed anytime and anywhere. It is, without a doubt, among the most effective antidotes to stress and a key component to wellbeing that we human beings possess.
Not breathing properly equates to stopping or slowing down the flow of energy through our system. The body no longer receives the oxygen it needs to function properly, to eliminate toxins and mobilize the internal organs. The Chinese Daoist master Yu Wen once said ‘Energy being like water, stagnation leads to decay.’ In other words, if we stop the flow of oxygen through our body, inevitably stagnation and illness ensue.
I wholeheartedly recommend a trip to see Dinah to see if you’re breathing tool is on track - she’ll see where you’re at, give you the tools and then it’s up to you how – and if – you use them.
I saw Dinah at her clinic in the fabulous re:ab on Selbourne Street, and you can find more about her work here.
Now… have you been breathing while you’ve been reading this? No? Then get to it!

Daily delight: Ginta by Nars, Vogue Nippon

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Want: Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eye Shadow


Lately the buzz has been all about Chanel’s almost-delicious-enough-to-eat nail polish releases, but I just want to give a big shout out to their killer new shadows as well. The Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eye Shadow collection isn’t going to stay on the shelves for long I’ll bet, but they will stay on your eyelids for as long as you need them to. The come in six different long wearing shades for Autumn/Winter 2011, and are super versatile to use. The texture is beautifully soft and light to touch, and add a sophisticated shimmer to the lid, even when just a small amount is used. One wash creates a delicate sheen, while several applications look sexy and most definitely make a statement. Love them, want them all.

Why you need: your very own HEMA oil


I’ve had a marvellous email relationship with the wonderful facialist Margaret Hema (pictured) for many years now, and am constantly lamenting my lack of trips to Wellington where she is based. What I wouldn’t give for the chance to experience one of her facials!
Margaret has a history of almost forty years in the business of beauty and a reputation that spans around the globe. Although she is based in New Zealand, a trip made to the UK several years ago saw the Hema brand cement its rightful place in the eyes of the often cynical beauty media, with Tatler awarding her signature facial a 10/10 and hailing her as “beauty's new heroine”. Rave reviews in Harpers Bazaar, UK Vogue and Australian Vogue were soon to follow, and word was soon to spread to the US with similar results.
For those that can't visit her ethereal salon in the heart of Wellington city, she thankfully sells a range of hand blended, organic oils that she creates herself with the mantra that “all skin should be treated like beautiful fabric” firmly in mind.
She originally created a range of only seven skin care products - including a recently added day crème - purely for her facial clientele, her compelling concept being the non-use of exfoliants and skin tightening clay masks in both studio facials and home skincare regimes. In those formative years, clients, after they had their facials with Margaret, would take home hand-blended oils in a plain brown bottle with a handmade sticker describing what was in the oil. The product had no name. The Hema branding came three years later due to demand - word of mouth had spread the message and people wanted to stock her hand-blended products.
The world-renowned facialist's objective from the outset was to give her clients “a minimal method to obtain maximum results”, with each product representing excellence and skincare integrity. Good skin depends on a compact pore structure, so the Hema range is fortified with moisturising ingredients that both nourish and condition the skin. In line with her skin as a “beautiful fabric” philosophy, she still has no exfoliants, toners or clay-based masques in the range or in her salon, as well as no water (or “aqua”) - the liquid components in both her day cream and facial spray is organic hydrosol of Pacific lavender.
As well as restoring the skin to a texture akin to velvet, Margaret's creations also proudly lead rather than follow when it comes to performance, and were the first to include organic Totarol in hand-blended oils as an antioxidant and antibacterial ingredient. Hema Organic Floral Facial Spray was also the first to contain manuka honey as a humectant moisturising ingredient, and has received numerous accolades honouring both its formulation and proven results.
After that history lesson I get to the real reason for my rave, which is the fact that I recently received my own, customised blend of oils from Margaret – huge excitement! Housed in a glass bottle, the blend includes pure rose essential oil, organic NZ borage seed oil, organic NZ avocado oil and organic NZ olive oil. And yes, it smells like heaven. I’m also treating my eczema – which never fails to rear its ugly head come mid-winter – with her Organic Millennium Face and Body oil, which is her personal favourite product to use.
If you haven’t used a treat from Margaret’s range before then I urge you to give it a try now – and promise you won’t be disappointed.

Daily delight: Coco Rocha for Elle UK

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Want: the new Dior Mitzah Collector Palette


As seen in my previous post about Dolce & Gabbana’s new leopard bronzer, I’m a sucker for a good animal print. So imagine my excitement when I spotted yet another fabulous example, being this beautiful offering from Dior called the Mitzah Palette. It was directly inspired by Dior Muse, Mitzah Bricard who was well known in social circles for her love of red lipstick and animal print. The palette has been made in a very similar way to that of the Renee Gruau palette - it's expertly handmade and handfinished, and the attention to detail is sublime, whilst the super playful print is almost too pretty to use. I said almost! The trio of brown, nude, and caramel shades can be applied separately or layered for a luxuriously rich, matte eye.

Daily delight: new Lara S. for Calvin Klein

Monday, July 18, 2011

What a steal: COVERGIRL’s Natureluxe


The COVERGIRL name is inextricably linked with getting a damn good bang for your buck when it comes to updating your makeup kit, and they are always releasing new and innovative products that have been well-tested by their Global Creative Design Director and makeup artist extraordinaire, Pat McGrath.
The latest is a luxurious-to-use line called Natureluxe (the face of which is the luminous Taylor Swift, above), which includes a Silk Foundation, a Mousse Mascara and a Gloss Balm. The products were inspired by a “new definition of luxury seen in both beauty and fashion that moves away from overstated, heavy opulence to simple, high-quality experiences”, and it’s the perfect choice for a natural yet totally polished look.
Key to the new range is the brand new foundation formulation, NatureLuxe Silk Foundation. This is for the woman who wants a full-coverage foundation that looks polished, yet feels like it isn’t even there. Available in six shades, the formula contains hints of natural jojoba and rosehip extracts along with cucumber water - which is a lighter, more luxurious alternative to heavier feeling emollients that are often used in foundations. The lightweight feel of this baby makes it suitable for oily, normal, and sensitive skin types, and it is also oil free, paraben free and dermatalogically tested.
I also love the sound of the NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara, which exchanges a select few synthetic ingredients for natural beeswax, carnauba wax and tapioca polymers, which are lighter-feeling alternatives. This provides some serious volume while leaving lashes feeling light and lifted, whilst the moulded brush has perfectly placed bristles for lash separation for no clumping. Love that!
This range hits stores in New Zealand in August, and all of the elements are under $25.99.

Meet Ben Johnson MD, creator of Osmosis


Towards the end of last year I heard word that Osmosis skincare had arrived in New Zealand at last, and swiftly booked myself for an Osmosis Medi Facial at Lucy & The Powder Room to check out what the fuss was all about. It was a great facial with the promised luminous result, and I left with some products to establish my own homecare regime. I continued this right through the New Zealand summer, before changing to Sodashi once the weather turned and the cooler temperatures began creeping in and my skin became very tight and dry. I’m a fan of changing my skincare regime along with the seasons, and loved the results that Osmosis gave me but felt my skin needed more nourishment.
Osmosis has a different focus than most skincare lines, and creator Dr. Ben Johnson (also of Cosmedix fame) believes in building a “partnership with the skin”. This partnership includes utilizing ingredients that the skin recognizes, maintaining the epidermal barrier while focusing most of the attention on the dermis, virtually eliminating inflammation during repair and feeding the skin through increasing blood flow. The combination of these strategies and the ability of the products to penetrate the skin without harming it make this line one of the best in the world at restoring skin health and restoring its youthful verve.
Most skin care goes only about 5 per cent into the deeper layers of the skin, where signs of aging originate. Osmosis' liposomes are proven to increase penetration by 1000 per cent (yep, that’s one THOUSAND times more) as well as protect against sun damage and environmental toxins. Rather than the traumatic exfoliation common to many high performance skincare ranges, Osmosis stimulates and feeds the skin from the bottom up to “restore a more youthful appearance” by naturally nourishing and stimulating the skin. And like everything else you’ll find at Lucy & The Powder Room and The Marr Lab downstairs, Osmosis products are all natural with no artificial colours, preservatives, fragrances or other artificial irritants, no sodium lauryl sulfate or propylene glycol. They are simply plant-based and are not tested on animals.
Last month I was invited to meet Dr. Ben Johnson in person during a whirlwind trip that he made to New Zealand. Over coffee and cookies I put a few questions to him about the line and innovations on the way, and came away hugely excited about the possibilities out there on the anti-aging frontier.

You had medi spas for a long while, was that your product testing ground – on human guinea pigs if you will?
In a way they were, but not in the sense that you’re talking about. I often feel like we are all guinea pigs at some point and have been for so long – I mean how many philosophies have we tried out over the last 30 years? I consider Retin A to be a failure, and I’ve met a lot of doctors and aestheticians who agree with me when I say that a lot of people look older after five years on it. Treating my patients using the likes of that was testing for me.

You started the Cosmedix line when you still had your spas, is that right?
I did, but it was more of a business strategy and wanting to do my own thing. It turned out to be a really good line and well received – and it still is today – but it was dealing with an old school philosophy. After I left the brand I spent a couple of years looking at the research and trying to work out what made sense to me – and not going just the usual path of exfoliation and hydration, things we’ve already learned. I looked at why we do those things, and somewhere in that process Osmosis emerged. And over the last couple of years we bought in some pretty remarkable technology that’s given us the tools we need to reverse ageing.

Daily delight: Rosie H-W for Burberry Body

Friday, July 15, 2011

Try it: Perricone MD's Acyl-Glutathione


Earlier this year, Dr. Nicholas Perricone introduced Acyl-Glutathione, a new super charged treatment moisturiser that has been nicknamed “the crease cure” by consumers in the US who have gone mad for it.
The key worker here – as well as the unpronounceable part of the product name – is Acyl-Glutathione (pronounced ay-sil gloo-ta-thigh-on), which addresses the accelerated signs of aging, including severe dryness, extreme loss of elasticity, deep lines and wrinkles, and fragile, thin skin. Used as both a preventative and corrective moisturizer, this treatment reportedly helps create visibly improved skin in just 30 days.
The name Acyl-Glutathione, comes from the patent-pending molecule created to replenish glutathione, an antioxidant, in our skin cells. If you experience a decrease in glutathione, your skin could appear fatigued, wrinkled, and/or dehydrated, or change in texture. Acyl-Glutathione works to fix those deficits by bringing your skin back to life and defying aging. After just 30 days of continued use (just a almond-sized amount, twice a day, says Perricone), you’ll notice a decrease in the appearance of fine lines, creases, and wrinkles and a boost in hydration. It’s been said many times that often the best ingredients are the ones that are already present in the skin as that way, we know that they are compatible with the body and effective. One antioxidant that the body produces on its own is Glutathione, which starts to deplete with age, the environment, stress, poor diet, certain drugs, illness, etc. This then lowers the skin’s ability to repair and protect itself, and signs of ageing start to appear.
Perricone MD Acyl-Glutathione has produced impressive results by restoring what’s been taken away. It’s really ingenious because as we know, nature often supplies us with the best defenses. Perricone MD Acyl-Glutathione is simply giving nature a little boost.
Want some tried and tested facts? In a 30-day consumer research study, after application every morning and evening:
85% saw a reduction in the appearance of horizontal forehead creases;
90% saw a reduction in the appearance of 11 vertical creases;
85% saw a reduction in the appearance of smile creases; and
88% saw a reduction in the appearance of marionette creases above the chin, but below the mouth.
Impressive! Dr. Perricone recommends following the application of Acyl-Glutathione with a moisturizer if necessary, but many have found that it is just as effective alone.
You can purchase Acyl-Glutathione at the ever-wondrous Mecca Cosmetica, where it’s in store and online.

Want: Dolce & Gabbana's leopard bronzer


Only the super luxe and very fabulous Dolce & Gabbana would - and could - release an animal print bronzer, just released as part of their Animalier collection of beauty goodness. I want this just to leave lying around on my dresser, it's far too beautiful to actually use!

Daily delight: Liv Tyler for Givenchy Beauty

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What a steal: the Wella Pro Series collection


Already known in the industry as Europe’s No. 1 salon brand, Wella are famous for their incredible collections of high performance haircare products, and with good reason. I often recommend them to people asking me what to use on their hair, especially due to the fact that their range is so vast and easily customized. I often get the reply that it’s a little pricey though (for us beauty freaks, money is no object!), but now Wella’s expertise is available at a supermarket near you, and their new collection is an absolute steal!
The new collection has been designed to meet the changing needs of women, with a range of products inspired in salon, using trusted technologies in a compact line-up. My own stylist, the fabulously clever and damn nice Lauren Gunn (pictured), Creative Director of prestigious Auckland hair salon Stephen Marr, has also been named the Wella Pro Series New Zealand Ambassador, a role not given lightly.
Working across local and international magazines, backstage at runway shows both here and in New York and on the locks of many famous names; Lauren knows the right products can make all the difference to creating a great look. “Every professional knows Wella is synonymous for world class salon style, so it’s really exciting that Wella Pro Series will give you the tools to help create your own salon looks at home,” she says. “I work with women every day to help them achieve the look they want and I know my clients are going to be as excited as I am about trying Wella Pro Series for themselves!”
With its sleek, red packaging, Wella Pro Series gives you all the professional care of the salon range in an easily accessible collection for use at home. The shampoos and conditioners also come with pump dispensers, just like the salon bottles, so you can monitor your usage and apply the products with ease. It also has a delicious, fruity, floral fragrance. With top notes of Egyptian pear, aloe and peach, middle notes of rose, jasmine petals and chamomile and base notes of cashmere, amber, sandalwood musk and coconut milk – the range is a treat for your senses!
The collection includes products for everything from fine hair to damaged and coloured, as well as styling products like a great hairspray available in three variations.
Wella Pro Series is available now, starting at an RRP of NZD$7.99

Daily delight: Anna Paquin for V magazine

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Love: Elizabeth Arden’s Pure Finish Mineral Bronzing Powder


I know I seem to be getting a little TOO excited about spring and summer makeup releases at times, but damn, this crazy Auckland weather can get a girl down. Thank the sweet lord then for the prettiness arriving across my desk, including a truly beautiful bronzer from Elizabeth Arden’s Bronze In Bloom collection.
An all-new multi-colour skin illuminator, Pure Finish Mineral Bronzing Powder highlights cheekbones, décolletage and shoulders and is a joy to behold (including the box it comes in!). Think triple the colour, triple the glow, triple the illuminating effects as – with a quick turn of the dial - this multi-colour illuminator grinds three microlight mineral shades into one sunlit bronze glow. Getting glowing with a sweep of the mini folding kabuki brush (perfect for travel), treating your skin to minerals, mica, seawater complex, aloe and vitamins A, C and E. Perfect for humid conditions, it’s oil free as well as talc and fragrance free. Love it.
Bronze in Bloom will be available for a limited time from all Elizabeth Arden stockists from mid August 2011.

Daily delight: Crystal Renn, Vogue Espana

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

M.A.C’s Fashionflower: fleur meets couture!


I’ve been so busy complaining about New Zealand’s totally nutso – not to mention freezing – weather of late that I almost didn’t even see a little bit of lovely coming my way from those makeup masters at M.A.C. And the all-new Fashionflower collection is indeed all kinds of lovely – from the imprinted eye shadows and Beauty Powders, to the wearable range of light springtime colours that have me yearning for a warmer time – this is one gorgeous, mostly limited edition collection.
The lipsticks are an absolute wonder, and will look perfect on someone with a milky white complexion who usually can’t wear nudes. Mlle is a light white pink, whilst Growing Trend is a mid-tone taupe nude that will be universally flattering on all skintones. Ever Hip is a bright creamy coral for those that love a statement lip, whilst the beautiful Summer Shower is a surprisingly wearable light blue.
Glitter fans will go crazy for the Lipgelees, which have a subtle dazzle and look great alone or over a more highly pigmented lipstick.
And last but not least, my favourite eye shadow shade from the collection has to be Bows & Curtseys, which had be putting my excited trousers on from the moment I saw it’s extreme blackened green beauty. It’s one beautiful charcoal with a deep green shimmer, and will be perfect for creating our old friend Smoky Eye, but with a twist.
The abundant and glorious Fashionflower will be on counter from July 18 for a limited edition-style six-week run.

Daily delight: Poppy Delevigne for Willow

Monday, July 11, 2011

Try it: BECCA Boudoir Skin Mineral Powder Foundation


I adore using mineral foundation, which when it’s good, is absolutely brilliant. The latest that I’ve tried is by the always-impressive BECCA, and goes by the gorgeous name Boudoir Skin Mineral Powder Foundation.
A pressed powder that uses only pure mineral pigments, it is designed for a silky, sheer, weightless finish to suit all ages and skin types, including those with sensitive or acne prone skin. With adjustable, natural looking coverage, this water-resistant mineral marvel is both easy to apply and super duper long wearing.
Some of its many benefits are:
• It’s infused with natural anti-oxidant vitamins A, B, C and E for anti-aging benefits
• Mineral complex from red algae supplies minerals to the skin and improves circulation resulting in a healthier skin
• Aloe Vera and Honeysuckle flower provide a skin soothing and moisturizing effect
• Vegetable lecithin treated mica provides optimal skin compatibility
• Feels weightless and is non-drying on the skin
• Protects the skin with natural SPF pigments including zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
• Free of parabens and phenoxyethanol, oil, fragrance, alcohol, chemical dyes, talc and other fillers, making it perfect for even the most sensitive skin
• Water-resistant formula lasts all day
• Does not accentuate fine lines
• Portable pressed formulation in a perfectly sized compact to reduce wasting
A lot of people get put off mineral makeup because they initially use too much, leading to a super matte effect that can be really ageing. This is pure “operator error” at its best, but you can remedy it preety easily when you know how. If your skin looks dull, you've likely applied too much. To fix it, take a clean powder brush and whisk it over your face. If certain areas still look heavy, apply a tiny drop of moisturizer or primer to your fingers, press them together, then tap that area gently to remove some of the excess without ruining your makeup. Alternatively, spray the face with a fine mist of water to reduce the powder effect. Magic!
I also recommend that you use BECCA’s delicious Rejuvenating Primer before applying your mineral foundation, making sure to give it a few minutes to dry before you get buffing. Luminous skin? You bet.
** Get yours now at Glamorpuss!

Beauty destination: fabulous Amica Boutique


When it comes to doing things exactly the way they like it, Petra Rijnbeek and Kirstin Lloyd (pictured) can definitely call themselves experts. The co-owners of Grey Lynn’s latest and greatest beauty destination, Amica Boutique, they are truly inspirational as well as a hell of a lot of fun to be around.
Empowering women and the importance of friendship was the combined mantra that started the latest venture for the two old friends, who previously worked together 12 years ago. When I ask them why now was the time – of any point in their fairly impressive careers – for them to finally go into business together, Kirstin says that it was “just the right time… it was the right time for me to get back into the industry after having a while off, and when I called Petra for some advice on what to do she confessed that she was looking to start something of her own too.”
They met up for a coffee and a chat and two months later had a simply beautiful, small but perfectly formed salon in which to showcase their considerable talents. “I’m definitely not one to muck around,” laughs Petra, “and in my previous role at L’Oreal not only did I open businesses but saved businesses and grew businesses, so I knew the inside information on achieving what you want in a really short time.”
With more than 35 years’ experience between them, Petra and Kirstin have combined their talents to establish the European-inspired hair salon, which promises to deliver top-to-toe beauty indulgence, and then some. Previously a make-up artist for TVNZ as well as creative director for L’Oréal NZ and national make-up artist for Lancôme NZ, Petra has had an unbelievable amount of experience making over some of New Zealand’s most famous faces. Combined with Kirstin’s Servilles salon background and extensive styling experience, this duo is a force to be reckoned with.
“Auckland is humming with successful women who don’t have the time to pamper themselves and be immersed in current style trends,” says Petra. “We’ve created a friendly space where women feel comfortable to be themselves while enjoying specialist guidance on the latest looks to bring out their natural beauty.”
Kirstin agrees. “It was so important for us to create an indulgent yet friendly salon offering an holistic approach to beauty. Our services range from cut, colour and make-up to lash extensions, botox and will even give plastic surgeon recommendation. No matter what your beauty desire, we promise to take you there!”
The two were in full agreement when it came to the ethos that surrounded their new venture, “which was not just about what was going in the till but how a woman would feel from the moment she opened our gate,” says Petra. Salons can be intimidating places to enter at the best of times, “but we wanted women to instead feel really empowered and enlightened after their time here, and comfortable enough to kick off their shoes and have a glass of wine with us. We want it to be a home away from home.”
This relaxed feel even extends to their salont menu, which has some absolute treats on offer but can also be customised to exactly what you need. “Tell us what you feel like, how much you want to spend and how much time you have and we’ll work something out with you,” says Kirstin, “and don’t be afraid just to drop in for a coffee or a glass of wine, we’d love to see you.”
I did just that one wet and windy afternoon prior to a night out to experience their signature Dolce Vita treatment, which involved a truly spectacular blow wave followed by Petra unleashing her considerable talents with a makeup brush on my poor old face. I left feeling like a million bucks and sporting a stellar ‘do and a seriously sexy eye, and only wish is that I could drop in every day for the same!
My recommendation, get in there ASAP… I promise you will fall in love with it just as quickly as I did.

** Amica Boutique is located in Sommerfield Villas, Grey Lynn, and you can read more about it and how to book here.

Daily delight: Megan Fox for Armani Beauty

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

Love it: Senna Cosmetics' HD Hydra-Cover


I was recently introduced to the Senna Cosmetics brand at a launch in Central Auckland, and was struck by the sheer size of the range along with all of its clever tools. I particularly liked the sound of their HD Hydra-Cover trio of concealers, and after wearing them daily since am pretty much in love.
Called the “Beauty Editor’s choice high tech flaw fixer”, it is the perfect, very compact answer to undereye circles and puffiness, and other evidence of too many late nights, long flights and early morning meetings.
The sleek, travel-friendly compact packs three blendable, neutral tones of concealer, each with its own particular function. High tech HD light diffusing pigments, Hyaluronic filling spheres and collagen stimulating Malachite work together to create a silky, light as air formula that uses light reflection instead of opacity to diminish flaws as it brightens skin, fills in wrinkles, and boosts skin renewal. Licorice extract is included as well to aid with firming up puffiness.
Each corrective shade has a function or two, and you can even mix a couple to customize your own shade. The peachy colour is used to cover any blueness under the eye area. It can also be mixed with the dark beige colour to cover pigmentation on the skin.
The dark beige colour is used to cover blemishes or puffiness around the eyes, and can be used for extra coverage wherever needed depending on your skin colouring.
The light beige colour is used to highlight points on your face e.g. tops of the cheekbones, jawline - anywhere you want to draw forward and draw attention to. This colour can also be used for extra coverage again depending on your skin colouring.
This concealer does not creep into lines, goes on smoothly and easily and also comes with its own rather handy little brush if you prefer to apply with that rather than warmed fingertips. I’ve been applying it before my foundation, but if you don't wear it then HD Hydracover can be used for the undereye area and over blemishes, or wherever you want a little coverage. Oh, and it comes in two shades – 01 for Fair to Light/Medium skintones and 02 for Medium to Dark. Love it!

Daily delight: Penelope Cruz for V mag

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Try: a facial at Louise Gray Skin Care NOW


As well as being a truly delicious place to while away an hour or two, Ponsonby Road beauty spot Louise Gray Skin Care is one of the few places for a facial treatment in the ‘hood that truly embraces new technology.
When I had my first visit there during summer my therapist introduced me to their truly innovative bt-micro machine - a factor unique to LGSC as far as I know and one that never ceases to amaze me. It is essentially a hand held, battery operated tool that can perform a myriad of tasks, including acting as a moisture analysis meter by utilising 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 on my first visit. The clever little device means you can actually see whether or not your treatment worked, but it has many other talents too. But more on that later!
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. As well as dealing to my skin with a customised facial I was booked in for an eye-focused package, which included an eyelash tint, brow tint and brow shape for $55.00. It was amazing the difference the use of a blue-black (as opposed to standard black) tint on my lashes gave me – my baby blues really popped - and my therapist Alison was an absolute wonder when it came to shaping my brows to the perfect arch. She was also incredibly diligent when it can to my lash tint and avoiding any transferral of product to the skin – an eyelash tint shouldn’t sting, but all too often they do.
The perfect mix of high performance and relaxation element, my facial included a double cleanse using dermalogica’s Special Cleansing Gel, dermalogica face mapping (a thorough examination of the 14 sections of the face), a customised treatment masque and the most deliciously relaxing pressure point face massage that I’ve experienced in a while. Prior to the masque Alison once again whipped out the bt-micro, this time on a “peel” setting to use on select areas of my face where the change in season had contributed to some clogged pores. Also the perfect setting for extractions (kinder on the skin and making the therapist’s task an easier one) it made an incredible difference to my forehead in particular, and with minimal discomfort.
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.
Recent award winners, the team at Louise Gray Skin Care were the recipients of the Top Dermalogica Skin Care Centre 2011 title not long ago, and also the Commitment to Education Award for the third year in a row. The awards not only recognise that the team at Louise Gray are leaders in their field but that they also offer outstanding performance as a skin care provider, and I have to agree. This place really is the home of high performance treatments with real results… and even have a that “feelgood” thrown in for good measure.

Dr. Hauschka and the gentle art of relaxation


I love a good, long bath, especially when the weather turns and evenings get as rotten as they have been of late down in lil’ old New Zealand. I’ve even been known to draw a bath during the afternoon for a super indulgent treat, and love getting some beautiful candles going and added a cupful of something special to my water.
The ancient Greeks and Romans valued their spas as a sumptuous place to retire for physical and mental relaxation, with good reason. During winter a nurturing bath can work wonders, stimulating body functions, easing strains and soothing the soul. Baths are the ultimate in at home relaxation, and done well won’t leave you unpleasantly flushed and with prune-like extremities.
I’ve recently been adding a couple of capfuls of Dr.Hauschka Sage Bath to my water, which is particularly good after a day that began with a boot camp or early Pilates class. It’s part of the great organic brand’s bath range of products, which contains precious essential oils extracted from the roots, flowers and fruits of medicinal plants. The outstanding quality of the biodynamic, organic or wild-harvested ingredients included unleashes a valuable treatment to harmonise the body, spirit and soul, making for a welcome addition to a true winter-wellness care programme.
The range includes:
Rosemary Bath - warming and invigorating
The essential oil of the rosemary bush is the carrier of intensive warmth qualities. Its stimulating fragrance invigorates the senses as it warms, vitalises and refreshes the entire body, inside and out.
Spruce Bath - harmonising and warming
When winter knocks on the door with icy fingers, a bath in the essential oils and resins of spruce spreads a feeling of warmth and calmness. The fragrance relieves the respiratory tract, promotes deep breathing and warms the body, making it the perfect choice when suffering from colds or flu.
Lemon Bath - refreshing and uplifting
This refreshing bath will awaken the spirit, stimulate the body and give new vitality. Essential lemon oil revitalises the skin, and activates the elasticity of connective tissue to help reduce cellulite.
Sage Bath - nurtures and revives
Sage is especially beneficial after sports and over-exertion. A Sage foot bath is fantastic for soothing tired, itchy and burning feet.
Lavender Bath - soothing and relaxing
When used regularly Dr.Hauschka Lavender Bath can strengthen the nervous system, as the fine oil composition included unfolds a soothing effect through the body. It also helps to relax the spirit and soul to induce a restful sleep.
To locate your nearest stockist visit Dr.Hauschka’s website or call toll free 0508 423 737.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Try it: Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain & Colour Seal Balm


I’m a huge fan of lip stains, but they can be a bit hit and miss when executed by even the most respected of brands. This is mainly because even though they give a beautiful, long lasting effect and strong colour, I have often found that they leave my lips rather dry looking and feeling. Not the ideal result! However, Smashbox seems to have solved that issue with the launch of their rather clever Limitless Lipstain & Color Seal Balm. This innovative two in one product has a stain on one end that delivers highly pigmented, feather resistant eight-hour colour, and on the other end an emollient balm that can be worn alone or on top of the stain for a super-sized burst of hydration. The vibrant tint of each colour – there are six - is designed to mimic the look of photo gels on set in Smashbox’s LA studios and really does pop.

For optimal results, I recommend that you use a lip exfoliant first to slough off dry dead skin – I love the ones by Sara Happ - then to ensure the colour lasts for up to eight hours, make sure your lips are dry and clean of any other products. Next up simply fill in your lips with the stain and allow it to dry completely. Finally, apply the balm to refresh the colour. For a less saturated look, simply apply the balm alone for a sheer wash.
To get the most use out of this product, be sure to cap the stain immediately after use – too easy! I’ve been trialling this is the super vibrant Guava shade and am now dying to get my hands on Nude, because when you get a stain this good one is simply not enough!

Daily delight: Kate's black & white beauty