Wednesday, August 31, 2011

M.A.C for Ruby & Liam, NZFW 2011

Get the look: Ingrid Starnes NZFW 2011

Ingrid Starnes is one of my favourite designers, and her show at this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week made me love her even more. Each piece from the Arcadia collection that came down the runway had “buy me!’ written all over it, which is great for my wardrobe come next winter yet crippling for my bank account!
But enough about the clothes already! I was equally as enamoured of the hair and makeup look at the show (pictured above), the former created by Greg Murrell, Hair Director for KMS California and the owner of the seriously fabulous Ryder salon.
“Ingrid’s look is quite feminine but there’s a real strength behind it,” said Greg, who created a hair look for the models that fell in line with that aesthetic. He created an off the face, messy chignon at the nape of the neck, starting from a ponytail base, with a loose surface texture. The overall feel is sculptural, with a sense of freedom to the hair texture.
To achieve Greg’s “Strong but Sensual Chignon” for Ingrid Starnes, try this:

1) Prep the hair by first applying KMS California Add Volume Volumizing Spray liberally throughout, before blowdrying with a round brush for volume. Lightly back-brush the surface of the hair if necessary to create a slightly imperfect texture.

2) Pull the hair back into a ponytail at the nape using an invisible hair elastic.

3) Take a fine section of hair and wrap it around the hair elastic to disguise it. Fix in a place with a fine hair clip.

4) Take the ponytail in one hand and start rolling it under from the end towards the head.

5) Next, start pinning the hair so that the chignon is attached to the head.

6) Keep pinning until it feels very secure. Make sure the shape does not look too wide from the back.

7) Now pull at the chignon to loosen the surface texture and create a dis-sheveled feel.

8) Lightly brush against the hair on the surface of the head to create a loose slightly fly- away texture.

9) Finish by lightly spraying the style with KMS California Hairplay Dry Wax for a flexible matt hold.

Daily delight: Red lip for Zambesi S/S 11/12

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

M.A.C for Hailwood, NZ Fashion Week 2011

10 minutes with Junji Hamano, Perfumer

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge fan of beautiful fragrance, and in my world, scent is definitely one of the most important senses.
I love great fragrance on the skin and in the home, and was intrigued when I was told about Procter & Gamble engaging the talents of Creative Perfumer Junji Hamano (pictured) to help create their Ambi Pur Air Effects range of home fragrances.
These scents are designed by Junji and the same team behind some of the world’s most successful perfume houses - including Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Hugo Boss – and are designed to go beyond just ridding your home of the proverbial bad smells. I spent some time having a chat with him about his work, and how he goes about creating beautiful fragrances that work for the bedroom as well as the boardroom.

I’ve read that your mother was a collector of fragrances, was one of those your earliest fragrance memory?
Yes, I still remember my mother wearing fragrances in special occasions like before she went to Kabuki (Japanese traditional drama performance). With Kimono, she looked very elegant and it looked like her excitement radiated through her fragrance.

You first trained as a Chemical Engineer; did you have an interest in fragrance even then?
A dream to be a perfumer has been always with me. In Japan, I was not able to find a university which had a fragrance science faculty so after obtaining my chemical engineering degree I went to France; capital of fragrance. There I learnt fragrance science in Le Havre University where I obtained Master’s Degree.

What made you decide to re-train as a perfumer?
After mastering the scientific part of fragrance, I started to be interested in the art and magic of fragrance, especially the experiences that fragrance can deliver to people and how it influences human emotions. I was trained in one of the house in Grasse and then joined the P&G Perfume group.

Would you call yourself a “nose” as such?
Yes… The nose stands the highest on your face and therefore it is the very first sensor out of our five senses that detects signals the quickest. I want to be like a nose in the company who is always on the lookout for anything happening around the region and trends in the world so as to incorporate new things into fragrance creations.

How different is designing a perfume for wear from designing a home fragrance?
There are similarities and differences. We are using a similar creation method of fine fragrance for wear when designing Ambi Pur fragrances whereby we construct the fragrance by top, middle and bottom notes. By doing this, fragrance becomes complex and changes its face gradually over the time as if it is living. What is unique about the creation of a home fragrance is that you have to make sure that the fragrance conveys a level of comfort and makes the consumer feel peaceful as it is used in their home.

Do you follow fragrance trends, or develop new scents from scratch?
While monitoring fragrance trends globally, we always develop new scents from scratch as fragrance needs to comply with technical and regulatory requirements for home care products.

A lot of home fragrances are very floral, why do you think that is?
As I’ve said before, home fragrance is expected to deliver comfortable and pleasant feeling. Floral notes always give us these feelings because of the association with nature or unforgettable memory where somebody gave you a bouquet of flowers.

What is the secret to creating a fragrance that doesn’t overpower its environment?
If a fragrance is singular, meaning that it is comprised of very simple notes -for example, only lemon - it is easy for the fragrance overpowers the environment and you get tired of it. Ambi Pur fragrances are complex and alive so that depending on your mood, they show different aspects and you never get tired of them. Nitrogen propellant - which gently disperses fragrance into the air - also helps to change the scent of the environment more naturally.

Lastly, what is your favourite scent – synthetic or natural?
Scents in nature are always my source of inspiration and something people feel comfortable with. Among the scents in nature, I love gardenia for its elegance and sophistication yet it also has a touch of spiciness behind.

Daily delight: Scarlett J. for Vogue China

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bigger, better! Evolu Smoothing Body Lotion

New Zealand natural beauty powerhouse Evolu’s Smoothing Body Lotion has often been called “a botanical smoothie for the skin” with good reason. A heady mix of natural ingredients and goodies like avocado, lime and New Zealand native kanuka, it was recently reformulated for even faster absorption and now comes in a bumper 200ml tube – that’s 75 per cent more than before, but still retailing for only NZD $29.95. Love that!
If you don’t know this product already then I strongly suggest that you make its acquaintance ASAP, as it’s a true wonder. The active botanical ingredients in the super nourishing body lotion act in combination to hydrate, refine surface texture, and promote healthy circulation. Especially suitable for dry skin and targeting problem areas such as elbows, knees and heels, the lightweight lotion is easily absorbed, meaning no oily after-feel and year-round use. Come the heady, warm days of summer you’ll still be able to slap it on after a day at the beach, and soak up its delicious scent. But don’t wait til then – grab some now!

Daily delight: Abbey Lee for Versace Yellow Diamond

Friday, August 26, 2011

Love: Lancôme's 29 Rue St Honoré Collection

Last night I was lucky enough to visit the wonderfully airy new offices for Lancôme New Zealand, in order to quaff some Pinot Noir, nibble on some treats and hear all about the French luxury beauty giant’s plans and releases for the rest of the year.
There was so much to take in that I’m still digesting all of the information imparted on the night, but I have had time to have a play with some of the elements from their beautiful new collection for Fall 2011, 29 Rue St Honoré.
Named after the address of Lancôme’s headquarters in Paris (29, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris), the collection is once gain the creation of New Zealand-born makeup wunderkind Aaron de Mey, the artistic director of the brand. The incredibly wearable – not to mention versatile - collection pays homage to the timelessness of Parisian chic and elegance, as well as the discerning French women (‘les femmes en vogue’) who patronise the establishment.
The one product that I know will become a firm favourite in my kit is the eye and brow palette Les Oeillades in Blondette Fatale, which is a beautiful collection of neutrals that can be used for both eyes and brows. The quad came be combined in numerous different ways, and the texture of the powder is perfect. It goes on so smoothly that it almost feels like a cream, and gives a look that seamless without creasing or that “dry powder” look that can be really ageing if you’re over 21.
The collection also includes three gorgeous red lipsticks that are modernised versions of Shaker, which was Lancôme’s very first lipstick. The current versions come in incredibly glamorous tubes that are almost identical to the weighty gold bullets of times gone by, and are far too beautiful to keep hidden in your purse.
The collection has a distinct nod to the 1940’s beauty look that has been popping up in editorials around the world and will be a favourite the world over due to its versatility and elegance. Love this!
*** This beautiful collection is on counter October 25 ***

Why you need: The Beauty Pod, ASAP

Whenever I make a trip to Magic Tan & Beauty for a Color Gloss pedicure or manicure I leave with not only seriously flawless nails, but also a new beauty tip or two courtesy of the owner, Petrina. She is a seriously beauty bible, and so I was super excited to hear about the products that took her eye at the recent Beauty Expo in Sydney, Australia.
The first she told me about is the Beauty Pod (left), an innocuous looking wee item that is reportedly taking the beauty world by storm. And after using it for the past week, I can definitely see why! The Beauty Pod looks like just a rather oddly shaped sponge, but I can now swear by the pretty-damn-near-to professional airbrush finish it gives when you’re using a liquid foundation – it’s seriously a marvel! The Pod is not a typical makeup sponge, but a non-latex, ergonomic, hygienic beauty tool that will save you serious time in application right through to full coverage just by varying the amount of foundation that is squeezed onto it. I must admit, my personal makeup routine is pretty basic, and this is a lifesaver when you’re a time poor, working mama like me. I often opt for a mineral foundation for day as it’s so damn quick, but this little Pod is definitely giving it a run for money in terms of speed and finish.
To use it, dampen the Pod until it swells up, then firmly squeeze out excess water, squeezing again in a towel to expel remaining water.
 Apply your foundation to the wide end of the Pod, then gently work in a patting motion onto the forehead, cheeks and neck area. Using the pointed end, the Beauty Pod is also perfect for applying concealer and it’s extremely easy to clean - just wash with warm soapy water, rinsing and air drying.
Love it!

Daily delight: Scarlett Johansson, Dolce beauty

Thursday, August 25, 2011

You need: a Breathing Warrant of Fitness

A few weeks back I posted about my experiences with both good and bad breathing, and the great work done by the marvellous Dinah Bradley at Breathing Works.
I had a lot of feedback on the piece, and a lot of people confess to me that they know they are bad breathers, and would love some help finetuning one of the body’s greatest tools for relaxation. Well you’re in luck, because Dinah is now doing a half hour Breathing Warrant of Fitness appointment at Breathing Works’ re:ab clinic for just $70.00.
Breathing badly is a major stress in and of itself. In a recent newspaper article Grant Amos - who runs Fear of Flying courses - stated 100 per cent of his clients are chronic hyperventilators, and that New Zealanders in general are a nation of terrible breathers. The term hyperventilation means moving far too much air through your chest - no wonder it aches.
Acute hyperventilation is easy to spot – rapid mouth breathing, sweaty palms, rapid anxious speech and frightening mental and physical symptoms, and it goes away. Chronic over-breathing is much more subtle with frequent sighing and chronic tiredness to the fore. And it stays.Do either of these sound familiar to you?
If they do, join the Slow Breathing Movement and treat yourself to a half hour Breathing Warrant of Fitness at Breathing Works’ re:ab clinic with Dinah.
This limited offer is open until September 21st – the beginning of Spring. Get in there!

Love: Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Mineral Makeup SPF 15

“This makeup actually looks like skin – it’s mineral makeup reinvented.” – Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown is famous for her belief that foundation should look like skin – and that’s why she has created various formulas that achieve a natural finish no matter what your skin type or skin tone. Her foundations are legendary in beauty circles for their incredible finish, and so it’s no surprise that her first foray into mineral makeup - Skin Foundation Mineral Makeup SPF 15 – is an absolute winner. Highly anticipated and long awaited, it uses an innovative blend of mineral powders to provide a unique translucency, while counteracting dullness – a factor that has often been exacerbated by mineral formulas in the past. Think shine-free coverage that glows, and you have a fair idea of how clever this little gem really is.
The formula consists of an exclusive vitamin and mineral blend that is triple coated with vitamins, moisturizers and conditioners, and film formers. It is then triple milled into fine particles that create a smooth, silky finish that absorbs excess oil on the surface of the skin but gives you a totally natural, healthy finish. It contains Sodium Hyaluronate, a powerful moisture magnet that keeps skin’s moisture balanced and prevents caking, whilst a unique complex that bonds Vitamins C and E together provides prolonged activity and a slow release of broad spectrum antioxidant protection. Phew, smart stuff!
The right tools are essential when getting mineral makup right, and Bobbi is renowned for her superb brush collection. The ideal pick to go with Skin Foundation Mineral Makeup SPF 15 is a kabuki-style Face Brush, which is one of the best I’ve tried. For light to medium coverage, apply with the Face Brush in a circular motion that allows the powder to be buffed and seamlessly blended into the skin. For medium to full coverage, use a powder puff as it picks up a greater amount of the product and allows it to be worked into the skin. Start by pressing the product into the skin with a powder puff and then blend it in by sweeping over it with a face brush.
Skin Foundation Mineral Makeup SPF 15 is available in nine skin-tone correct shades:
Alabaster, Extra Light, Light, Light to Medium, Medium, Medium to Dark, Dark, Deep, Rich

Daily delight: Eva, Helena & Claudia for Vogue Espana

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

You need: a trip to Glamorpuss this Monday!

This coming Monday, 29th August is the SPCA's 3rd annual Cupcake Day with all proceeds raised going directly to the SPCA. The wonderful ladies at Glamorpuss are going to be selling cupcakes at their Newmarket store, and they will also be on sale throughout New Zealand, raising much needed funds for the SPCA. If you're in Newmarket on Monday I highly recommend a trip to Glamorpuss to pick up a sweet treat as well as get a beauty fix (think BECCA, Mario Badescu and more), and I can't think of a tastier way to support the wonderful work of the SPCA. Get in there!

Want: a piece of Print Collection Stella

Years ago when the Stella McCartney fragrance Stella was released, it was a true standout in an ocean of overpowering florals. I quickly became a fan of its understated prettiness, and the bottle was equally as unique for its time. Come 2011 and Stella McCartney has revisited the brand’s signature scent Stella, and added a stunning twist that makes me want to wear it all over again. The all new, limited edition Print Collection features new packaging inspired by the botanical prints straight from the Stella McCartney spring/summer 2011 runway. The range is available in a trio of 30ml bottles, each sporting a different – and very beautiful - eye-catching floral print from the mainline collection. Arriving just in time for Christmas, these lovely wee bottles will be just the thing to treat yourself or another Stella fan with, the only issue being which one to pick! Adorable.

Daily delight: Olivia Wilde for Nylon US

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New from Priori: Anti-Ageing for your lashes

I’ve been hearing for a while now about all manner of lash stimulation and recovery products, including some horror stories involving lashes growing out of the cheeks and all manner of madness! The cream is certainly rising to the top though, with some of the better products hitting the stores garnering an incredible response worldwide and travelling via some serious word of mouth recommendation.
One of these is by the creators of Priori - Joe Lewis and Joe DiNardo, AKA the “two Joes” - who introduced Alpha Hydroxy Acids to the beauty world in 1983, Idebenone in 2004 and CoffeeBerry in 2008, and now have developed Priori Lash Recovery Serum with Triple Lipopeptide Complex.
The unique aforementioned Triple Lipopeptide Complex in this little tube of goodness promotes and enhances the appearance of length and thickness of eyelashes and has been clinically tested to show enhanced lashes in only two weeks. Clinically studies have revealed up to a 27.75 per cent increase in eyelash density after two weeks of use, and up to 56.01 per cent after six weeks. That’s no mean feat!
This serum also helps fight the effects of premature ageing, environmental factors and premature eyelash fallout along with helping transform brittle, short, sparse lashes into fuller, thicker-looking lashes and brows. Each hair is nourished and the lash line energised, and it is formulated specifically to reduce the potential for irritation that is the problem of many eyelash products on the market today.
To use this wee marvel just apply one stroke with the applicator brush to the base of upper eyelashes, from the inner to outer corner at bedtime. The eye area should be clean and free of makeup and/or creams prior to application. Follow the same procedure for brows, covering the entire eyebrow area... then watch the magic unfold.

Try it: Lifestream Advanced 200mg Resveratrol with Tart Cherry

Anyone that knows me well knows that I love a glass or two of good red wine, both for the warm, silky sensation that washes over me from the minute I have the first sip and the antioxidants within that are doing me good!
The key ingredient in grapes that gives us the aforementioned antioxidant boost is Resveratrol, which you can get an even bigger hit of by popping a couple of Lifestream’s Advanced 200mg Resveratrol with Tart Cherry every day. It uses Resveratrol sourced from the Japanese Knotweed herb, which has approximately 1000 times the Resveratrol content of grapes, making it one hell of a punch. Japanese Knotweed helps protect cells in the body from oxidative damage, and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for supporting respiratory health and menstrual balance. Research suggests that Resveratrol has many benefits including support for metabolic health, weight management and cardiovascular health. It might not stop you ageing – but it will address the scourges and infirmities that come with it!
Tart Cherry is also included to provide additional antioxidant support. Tart Cherry contains high levels of anthocyanins, which along with giving cherries their bright healthy colour, also provides strong free radical protection and free radical scavenging properties.
Lifestream Advanced Resveratrol with Tart Cherry is also 100% Vegan and gluten free and free from all artificial additives, colours, binders, synthetics and preservatives.
We all try and get the good stuff we need from great diet and exercise, but sometimes we need a little extra help along the way and taking a supplement like this will help you keep on top of whatever life happens to throw at you. Modern lifestyle stressors on the body include smoking, processed food and alcohol, chemical based skin-care and environmental pollutants, which can all contribute to an increase in free radical damage to body cells and tissues. Think accelerating ageing, less energy and more… not a great place to be! Just popping a few choice supplements can make all the difference, and this one is a great place to start.

Daily delight: Charlotte Casiraghi, Vogue

Monday, August 22, 2011

Love it: Kiehl’s 160th Anniversary Musk EDT

I’ve been a long time fan of Kiehl’s beautiful Musk Lotion, which sadly isn’t available in New Zealand but bought by me in bulk every time that I travel where it is. A little retro whilst being thoroughly modern in style, every time I wear it I garner comments from near and far – it’s a seriously sexy scent.
I was super excited therefore to get my hands on a bottle of the legendary New York beauty brand’s 160th Anniversary Limited Edition Musk Eau de Toilette Spray, which is one of three products that make up the New York Heritage Collection. The oil – along with Ultra Facial Moisturizer and Calendula Toner – was chosen to celebrate the brand’s history due to the fact that it was an early offering that is still a customer favourite today, and they come with limited edition black and gold packaging inspired by Kiehl’s New York roots.
Reportedly developed in the 1920’s by a distant cousin - a Russian Prince! - of the founding family, Original Musk Oil was originally deemed “too sensual” for the times. Discovered in a vat in 1958 labelled “love potion”, Kiehl’s now-signature scent was reintroduced to their patrons in 1963 to a rapturous response.
Original Musk is, of course, a synthetic musk fragrance; it has “body” but it’s still a light version of musk — not heavy in the least. Kiehl’s lists Original Musk’s fragrance notes as bergamot nectar, orange blossom, lily, rose, ylang-ylang, neroli, tonka bean, white patchouli and musk, and it is a unisex, totally original scent.
If that sounds a little like you then I recommend you give this beautiful fragrance a whirl, and be ready for the deluge of questions in the vein of “wow, what fragrance are you wearing?” Marvellous stuff.

Want and must have: Les Jeans de Chanel

I’ve been obsessed by nail colour for quite a few years now, not helped by my frequent visits to see the clever darlings at Magic Tan & Beauty for manicures and pedicures, who get me even more excited about the latest and greatest developments in the industry.
They were the first people I thought of when I read about the colours above, which tickle my fancy like you wouldn’t believe. Launching on September 8th (Fashion's Night Out), it’s the latest collection by the nail polish gurus at Chanel, simply called Les Jeans de Chanel. The collection is inspired by - you guessed it! - blue jeans, and from left, the shades are called: Blue Rebel, Blue Boy and Coco Blue. A limited-edition run, these nail polishes will be sold at Chanel boutiques and on from September 8th through the end of the month, after which they'll be no more. Get in there fast ladies, these to die for shades will definitely not hang around!

Daily delight: Ralph Lauren by V magazine

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bold & beautiful: Jo Malone Wild Bluebell

Before I have even taken a whiff of the newest Jo Malone fragrance, Wild Bluebell, I had seen the campaign image all over the Internet and fell in love with it at first sight.
The advertising features a model instead of a flacon, which is unusual for Jo Malone, since we are used to seeing flacons surrounded with main ingredients that make up their compositions. Instead, we see a somewhat outré and very gorgeous Wild Bluebell character, who sports a lilac wig and reclines quite comfortably with some rather fluffy bunnies.
The absolutely adorable, incredibly arresting campaign image was the brainchild of Jo Malone’s new Creative Director James Gager. Gone is the safe, serviceable (though very successful) “product as hero” visual, and instead we have this edgier, more fashion forward fairytale shot. Love it!
In short, this new fragrance heralds a fairly radical change of direction for the brand, and Gager comes with quite a history of helping brands cement their places in the marketplace as both clever and cool. Gager was formerly Senior Vice President Creative Director for MAC Cosmetics Worldwide, and rightly described by the Lauder group’s John Demsey as a “game-changer”. He began conceptualising all creative activity for M.A.C in 1999; and is the man responsible for the likes of Barbie for M.A.C, Hello Kitty for M.A.C and Lady Gaga for Viva Glam. He is considered to have been instrumental in growing the brand to be the number one makeup artist brand in the world, which is definitely no mean feat.
But on to this glorious fragrance! Light and fresh as well as complex and original, the creator of the perfume is Christine Nagel who presented a new version of bluebell, composed of various notes, including green fresh notes, flowers (lily of the valley, rose hip) and what has been called a “spicy chord of cloves”. Bluebell is a wild forest flower and the English bluebell is an endangered species, so Jo Malone gave a donation to Woodland Trust in thanks for using its name. Genuine bluebell does not take part in the composition, but its recreation composed of various notes. The full line up is:
Top notes: bluebell and cloves 

Heart: lily of the valley, jasmine, rose hip 

Base: white amber and musk
Jo Malone Wild Bluebell arrives on the market in sale from September 12, 2011, as 30 and 100 ml Cologne accompanied by bodycare products and a scented candle.

In love with: Nars Delphi eyeshadow trio

If you like your eyeshadow cool in tone and easily blendable, then they don’t come much better than Delphes, a limited edition piece from the NARS 2011 Fall collection.
The ruins at Delphi, where the ancient Greeks worshipped the god Apollo, inspired Delphes, which is best described as a cool-toned trio of sparkling, sheer peach, matte dove gray and frosty sage. Incredibly wearable and super versatile, I fell in love with this trio the minute that I first had a play due to its easy blendability – a bonus when you’re not a makeup pro, just a great pretender like me!
Breaking down the shades, this is what I recommend for each:
Sparkling Peach — This shade contains large pieces of silver glitter, so go easy with the application if that’s not your bag. I think a sheer wash of this looks a treat for day, and although it’s part of a Fall collection, it’ll be a great shade for the upcoming Southern Hemisphere summer.
Dove Gray — This shadow is as matte as they come, and works really well when applied wet as a liner. A great day time alternative to black or brown liner in particular, and a nice compliment to blue eyes.
Frosted Sage — This member of the trio is quite intensely pigmented, but still very blendable due to the quality of the powder. This shade is incredibly flattering on all colours and skintones, too.
Love this trio, love NARS, enough said really!
*** NARS is available exclusively in New Zealand and Australia at Mecca Cosmetica ***

Daily delight: Anna Hathaway for Interview

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Try it: all new Fudge Dry Conditioner

After the release last year of their now cult-status Fudge Dry Shampoo, the team at Fudge went back to the drawing board and created yet another must have, “great hair in an instant” product that I’m clearly going to become addicted to:
Dry Conditioner!
This new baby is a waterless, weightless conditioner that is perfect for maintaining condition and shine between washes. It refreshes your hair and reduces flyaways and frizz, and is small enough that it can be dropped into your tote or gym bag for easy access when you need it. It also has the most delicious apple and coconut fragrance, so your hair smells briefly like particularly tantalising baked goods!
It’s a super effortless product to use, you can use it after a dry shampoo or just when you feel like your hair needs a little shine or a boost of freshness. Spray it generously from midway down the hair right to the ends and brush through for instant results.
Fudge is available from selected salons and shampoo shops. In New Zealand call 0800 457 426 to find your nearest stockist.

Daily delight: cool retro beauty Bo Derek

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What a steal: Natio Colourful Smokey Eyes

A beauty brand that has become synonymous with clever products at amazing prices, Natio never fail to disappoint in the “what a steal” category.
Their newest makeup collection goes by the name Colourful Smokey Eyes, and it includes two very cool new universal eyeshadow quads that each house four individual tones: a Base shade, Colour shade, Dark shade and Liner shade. They come complete with a dual ended eyeshadow/eyeliner brush, and cost a ridiculously low $21.00.
The palette called Golden Sunset is a riot of soft gold-tinged tones, and is made up of Cream (a milky crema), Gold (honey gold), Bronze (metallic brown) and Black (metallic ebony). At the other end of the spectrum, the Midnight
Sky palette channels an alluring lavender smokey eye with plum accents for a softer effect. Hues in this baby are Cream (a milky crema), Lilac (pearly lilac), Plum (deep plum liqueur) and Charcoal (ashen grey). Adding more than simply a pretty wash of pigment to your eyelids, Vitamin E and Silk Powder are infused throughout the palettes. The Vitamin E helps to protect against environmental stress and enhances skin smoothness, while Silk Powder, which is rich in silk amino acids, helps retain moisture in the skin to prevent any dryness and provides a light, silky skin-feel.
The suggested how-to for these palettes from those clever types at Natio is:
1. Firstly open the eyes by dusting the Base shade (Cream) over the entire eyelid up to the brow bone.
2. Cover the eyelid with the Colour shade (Lilac or Gold) to the crease to highlight the colour of your eyes.
3. Define the shape of your eyes by applying the Dark shade (Plum or Bronze) along the upper and lower lash lines and through the crease of the eye. Blend thoroughly.
4. Accentuate the definition of your eyes by applying the Liner shade (Charcoal or Black) in a finer line over the Plum or Bronze colour.
Too easy!

Sebastian Professional ignites your colour

With pretty much every woman – and man – and her dog colouring their hair these days, there’s been a plethora of colour-protecting products flooding the beauty market to help keep your locks looking fresh and bright.
The latest to cross my desk is from those clever people at Sebastian Professional, and come in the form of Color Ignite Shampoo and Conditioners. It’s the first line of colour care products specially designed to read and respond to the unique care needs of coloured hair, and it goes above and beyond the call of duty by coming in two very different formulations for mono-toned and multi-toned hair. This means that your colour stays vibrant and shine remains brilliant – and retains the individual colour created for you by your hairdresser for longer.
Both contain “Smart Colour Complex”, which “intelligently recognizes, responds and reacts to the varying conditions of single tone or multi-tonal and lightened hair for individualised results”. MONO Shampoo and Conditioner for single tone hair colours contains a ‘Smart Colour Seal Complex’ to seal the cuticle, balance the hair structure and smooth the hair surface, reflecting light across the hair and taking silky shine to a whole new level of fabulous. MULTI Shampoo and Conditioner for multi-tonal or lightened hair like mine uses a ‘Smart Colour Moisture Complex’ to target damaged hair strands, restructuring them to unleash colour vibrancy and shine. The “Smart Colour Moisture Complex” searches for the specific hair coloured areas where higher moisturisation is needed and helps to repair and restructure the cuticle. Told you it was clever!
The conditioners are also pretty amazing to use as they come in a “whipped” formula, meaning that they really spread throughout your hair while they work their magic. As well as looking pretty cute, the whipped formula has thousands of micro bubbles, which create a super thin veil of colour protection polymers that reach and wrap each hair fibre to efficiently seal in colour and create extended vibrancy results.
Whether your colour is from the “natural” family like mine or a little quirkier like Sebastian muse Maja Ivarsson (from the band The Sounds) above, this range is definitely one to give a whirl to keep your colour for longer.
Sebastian Professional is available from selected salons nationally – for stockists call 0800 800 128 or have a look here.

Daily delight: Kate's wedded bliss by Testino

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Discover: your very own Colour Riche match

Now officially the number one selling lippy in the world, there is no denying that L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche has gone beyond just a lipstick and can be called a beauty phenonmenon! It’s worn by everyone from red carpet strutting stars to fashion cool kids and young-at-heart grandmothers, and with an insane 270 shades to choose from worldwide it definitely has a colour to suit any style, age and complexion.
To help you find your exact match L’Oréal Paris have kindly set up a super clever website to narrow down your options in just ten seconds, which you’ll find here.
I got the match Laetitia – named after spokesmodel Laetitia Casta (pictured above) – which was 377 Perfect Red when I’m feeling like rocking a more intense lip and 236 Organza for a nude option. Love it.

NZ’s Snowberry wins Discover Beauty Award

New Zealand’s only premium anti-ageing skincare brand Snowberry received the Discover Beauty Award at Cosmoprof USA this month, which is huge news for the brand and its inspirational founder, Soraya Hendesi. For those of you – criminally! – still unfamiliar with the glorious Snowberry, the natural, but highly functional anti-aging skin care line is full of peptides, antioxidants, super fruits, and the finest herbal oils, including extracts from New Zealand rainforest plants cultivated on the company’s own plantation. It started with a basic – but very effective – line but recently expanded into the area of brightening and sunscreen. I’ve used it on and off for many years now and have never been disappointed – it really is high performance stuff.
But back to this well-deserved award and a few congratulations! Cosmoprof USA is the largest cosmetics trade show in the US calendar and just 17 new brands from around the world were selected to be part of Discover Beauty, a Cosmoprof programme to identify the most innovative brands most likely to succeed in the highly competitive US market. The selected brands were judged on creativity, innovation and market readiness by buyers from specialty retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, C.O. Bigelow, Henri Bendel and HSN as well as various beauty bloggers including, and
Receiving the Award, the lovely Soraya said she believed it recognised a brand that is visually appealing as well as one that does not stint on offering women extraordinarily rich skincare products. “We have customers all around the world who say how much they love the Snowberry brand. But it is much more important to me when they tell me how much their skin has improved. I have never been interested in skin care that compromises or pretends. I want the finest known anti-ageing bio-actives, and I want all of them. I want Snowberry to benefit every woman’s skin, every single day, for her lifetime.”
The award is testament to Soraya's passion for skincare, science and the planet, and I couldn't think of a more deserving brand!
The Discover Beauty Award is Snowberry’s third international award in two years. Last year the brand won the prestigious Silver Dieline for best packaging and branding in Chicago, and was Runner Up Favourite Brand at Beyond Beauty at Cosmeeting in Paris.
If you haven't tried this incredible skincare collection then I suggest you do now - and ASAP!

Daily delight: Kristen Stewart for W mag

Monday, August 15, 2011

Try it: Clarins all new Gentle Beauty Soap

The word “soap” has appeared regularly on lists of beauty “don’ts” for some time now, and often with good reason. Many options that have clogged the toiletries aisle of supermarkets worldwide for many years now are dehydrating and responsible for stripping the skin of its essential oils, not to mention full of chemical nasties that have been linked to detrimental effects on the environment and the human beings who live within its delicate walls.
But Clarins are set to change all of that with the release of their Gentle Beauty Soap, a product for the face that is far more interesting than its simple name implies. And yes, you heard right – A SOAP. For your face!
Billed as suitable for all skin types and for daily use, this delicate soap gently cleanses while maintaining pH balance so your skin isn’t left dry or tight but nicely hydrated. It foams up as any soap would, and I suggest that you use an eye makeup remover as well for the delicate eye area to get things really clean.
The destined-to-be-a-sellout new baby from Clarins has gained EcoCert organic certification thanks to its 99.9% natural ingredients, and it is not like the soap of old: instead of containing harsh, drying ingredients, Gentle Beauty Soap includes organic shea butter, citrus essential oils of lemon, bergamot, orange, grapefruit and mandarin (it smells amazing) and hazelnut for its anti-dehydrating properties.
Lastly, this soap is a very large size, making it perfect for multi-tasking cleansing of the face and body to save time and energy, as well as money if you're on a beauty budget!

Love: M·A·C Matchmaster Foundation SPF 15

After around two weeks of sitting on my hat when it came to revealing some of the amazing new M.A.C releases I learnt about at their recent trend presentation, I can finally lift the lid and start getting excited publically – hallelujah to that!
The first product I’d like to spill about is a brand new foundation formula that sounds right up my alley - Matchmaster Foundation SPF 15. I’m a huge fan of the Canadian makeup giant’s Studio Sculpt foundation, but the all-new creation sounds so good I just may be tempted to stray – especially as the weather gets warmer and my skin’s needs start to change.
More than two years in the making, the fabulously named Matchmaster is a breakthrough innovation in foundation pigment technology. It reportedly offers medium buildable coverage that reveals rather than conceals skin’s natural undertones, all the while providing a seemingly undetectable demi matte finish.
It gets its power from patented pigment technology, which encapsulates micronized pigment particles in translucent spheres. The technology gives true-to-life shade perfection and unprecedented coverage while allowing the skin’s natural shade to show through so you look polished but not overly “made up”. The end result is a customized shade with the aforementioned demi matte finish (love that), giving skin the natural colour without looking ashy or chalky. It limits oil production so will be the best ever foundation come long summer nights, and also softens the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Matchmaster comes in14 shades, and as with many of M·A·C’s products, it was trialed by makeup artists backstage during International fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris.
In the business of giving you skin that “still appears to be bare, but better”, it also provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection with SPF 15 and is longwearing for up to eight hours. Damn I can’t wait to try this!

*** Matchmaster lands in NZ on October 10 at all M·A·C locations ***

Daily delight: Julia Saner for Prabal Gurung

Friday, August 12, 2011

C’est chic! Essie’s French Affair collection

The minute Essie’s French Affair collection hit my desk; my office began to feel a little more summery, in spite of the promise of a cold snap and the grey clouds still ominously lurking outside.
Inspired by 1960s glamourpusses, the nail polish shades are as flirtatiously coquettish as the names. However, all of the ultra feminine tones offer opaque coverage - unlike most of the sheers we see come the warmer months – giving them a thoroughly modern edge. "I think every woman has a little Brigitte Bardot in her, and this palette coaxes her out," says Essie Weingarten, founder of the eponymously named brand, and it’s up to you exactly how much of a minx you choose to be.
The shades that make up the collection are:
The shades from the collection are:
French Affair – a deliciously soft pink
Nice is Nice - a wearable, cool lavender
Coat Azure - blue with a touch of shimmer
Kisses & Bisses – a softly pearled ivory
Topless & Barefoot – an ultra pretty, pinky nude
Sand Tropez – a must have pale, sandy grey taupe

Although this collection has a retro pastel feel it is still totally modern in its approach, and the opacity of each shade is absolutely killer. Definitely something for everyone in there too!

Daily delight: Naomi for Givenchy FW11

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I try: Priori Natural Perfecting Minerals

I was lucky enough recently to experience a Priori CoffeeBerry Yoga Facial at the hands of the brand’s New Zealand education manager Kim, which was followed by an introduction to their all-new Perfecting Minerals collection.
Expertly formulated and totally eco-friendly, all of the Perfecting Minerals makeup range contains CoffeeBerry extract, which protects and nurtures your skin without negatively impacting our environment. It’s also beautifully packaged in eco-friendly packaging made from biodegradable plant plastics rather than oil, meaning that you can feel fabulous as well as rather virtuous when indulging in its seamless mix of high performance and sustainability!
The first and only skin caring mineral line that contains CoffeeBerry extract – revealed to be nature’s most potent anti-aging botanical - the range includes foundations, an enhancer, a concealer (pictured) and a “finishing touch”. The foundation comes in six shades that cover most of the skintone spectrum, and can be applied lightly for a natural sheer cover, or layered for full coverage that looks naturally flawless. The unique properties of the minerals, with their concealing coverage, is ideal for skin conditions such as acne, Rosacea, hyper-pigmentation, broken capillaries, freckles, sun damage, blemishes, scars, birthmarks, varicose veins and dark circles. The foundation works to instantly perfect your skin’s appearance, and within two weeks, clinical results have shown a reduction in skin redness, dryness and an overall improvement in the appearance of the skin, which is pretty damn cool.
The ingredients are so pure that they can also cover and reduce redness after treatments such as chemical peels and laser resurfacing. The foundation feels weightless and is incredibly comfortable to wear, and it contains light-diffusing minerals that reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles too.
And for those of you unfamiliar with Priori’s CoffeeBerry line and the benefits and properties of this outstanding beauty discovery, here are a few facts:
• Unlike traditional coffee bean extracts which have been used in cosmetics for many years, CoffeeBerry is the patented anti-aging extract of the whole coffee fruit which has been clinically tested and proven, pharmaceutically validated and medically endorsed.

• CoffeeBerry extract is the most potent form of natural antioxidants of any fruit, vegetable or tea so far tested by the USDA ORAC method – with a minimum ORAC value of 15,000 – it’s three times more potent than green tea!
• Combined with its potent depigmenting properties, CoffeeBerry extract delivers superior anti-aging skincare benefits including a visible reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and a dramatic reduction and evening of irregular skin tones.

Daily delight: Natasha Poly for Paris Vogue

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

In love with: all new Curio Noir 'Entwine'

I’ve long been in love with the special little oddities created by Tiffany Jeans under the moniker Curio Noir, many of which have made themselves at home within my four walls.
Jeans says that she has long been “intrigued and inspired by the mystique that fulfilled old fables and fairytales”, and her curios are equally as intriguing, as well as unsettling in their beauty at times and utterly addictive.
Having worked in the world of fashion, art and advertising creating stunning award images for print and film for over a decade, the petite brunette applied her interesting sense of style into creating this exquisite collection of pieces for the home, which recently expanded to include a selection of beautiful new goodies under the name 'Entwine' to lure me in.
Her earliest efforts – and permanent features in my home – are The Lilith Doll and The Skull, which are made using only the finest materials and ingredients sourced near and far. Made and packaged one at a time by Jeans herself, you sense the care and appreciation that has gone in to each piece, and even the packaging is to die for. Her next release was The Noir Glass, a Vetyver Bouquet scented candle in a hand blown glass candleholder that is now available in two new scents – the amazing Black Spice (my favourite) and Chypre Gardenia. Once the candle is at it's end, you can use The Noir Glass as a vase, just pour some boiling water in and watch the wax slide easily out.
Also new are beautiful linens created in collaboration with artist Richard Orjis, who also photographs the Curio Noir imagery and has an eye for the unusually beautiful that is definitely a match for Jeans’ own. Orjis’ hand printed designs – sitting somewhere between the mystical and the botanical in a landscape of floral tangles, burning candles and gold discs – have been created exclusively for Curio Noir Cloth.
I got to get up close and personal with the new pieces at a launch event yesterday at Simon James’ space at The Department Store, and they’ll also be appearing soon closer to my home at Miss Crabb.
Curio Noir has been designed expressly “for those with a fascination for the interesting and uncommon”, so if that sounds like then I urge you to enter its world – ASAP.

Daily delight: Beyonce for Harpers Bazaar

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why you need: Osmosis Yellow Diamonds

When I interviewed Dr. Ben Johnson MD of Osmosis skincare recently I came away with a head full of – often mindblowing – knowledge, a fabulous book telling me more (Transform Your Skin Naturally) and a bottle of Yellow Diamonds, the brand’s first supplement.
Reportedly the capsule you need – three times a day – to dump toxins, burn fat and boost energy, they work to improve your blood circulation and are especially beneficial to those with high cholesterol, poor circulation, insomnia and migraines. Often called a “wonder pill”, Yellow Diamonds also curb your appetite by stabilizing blood sugar while allowing your adrenals to rest.
It does all of the above by combining a proprietary blend of beneficial nutrients that activate your cells to stimulate the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the fuel for our metabolism and all cellular activity. Yellow Diamonds take free fatty acids (fat) and converts them into energy while allowing your adrenals to rest. Think consistent, healthy energy without stressing the adrenals, which is pretty much how I started to feel about a week after I started popping the little devils. Some people are affected by a “niacin flush” and itching for around 15-30 minutes after taking them but I haven’t experienced anything of the sort, and am in love with how much extra energy they are giving me – a working mum of a toddler who does a fair share of exercise and feels it!
I’m taking one tablet twice a day with food, but for an added boost and increased stamina during fitness training you can take up to three capsules 30 minutes prior to exercise. Summer, here I come!

Daily delight: Jake & Amber, Burberry Brit

Monday, August 8, 2011

Want: my own Kevin Murphy Sewing Kit!

A couple of weeks back I spent an informative and convivial evening at Stephen Marr and Lucy & The Powder Room’s Urban Health Retreat, which was held at The Department Store in Takapuna.
Alongside some yummy wine and snacks I learnt a bunch of new bits and bobs about skin and hair, including new trends and innovations in both fields of beauty. Part of the evening involved a hair demonstration by some of the salon’s brightest stylists, including a “hair sew” by senior stylist Matt Huckstep. This basically involved adding some texture to the model’s hair and then an updo of sorts using a needle and thread, as opposed to the usual elastics and bobby pins. The end result was super sexy and “lived in” looking, as opposed to the stiff and regimented look that an updo can have. It reportedly can last for days, getting better and better with time. When it’s time to come out you just cut the thread, meaning there is minimal damage done to your locks. I like it!
It’s definitely something to try if you’ve got longer hair, and if you ask your stylist for a little demo it is apparently pretty easy to master. Having the right tools always helps, and I’ve just seen this cute Kevin Murphy Sewing Kit online – seriously cool! Kevin is the master of beautiful, slightly “undone” hair so this will be the ideal starter kit if you’re looking to achieve the same.