Friday, September 30, 2011

New from Curio Noir – the delightfully dark Tubereuse Noir

I make no secret of the fact that I’m seriously mad for Curio Noir candles, and was rather delighted to hear several weeks ago that there was a new scent on the horizon in the Curio Glass range.
Now get ready for the drum roll please, because it’s arrived – and it is outstanding. Joining Chypre Gardenia, Black Spice and Vetyver Bouquet is Tubereuse Noir, a unique scent that is dark, complex and potent, yet unashamedly floral and mystical. Carrying notes of Tuberose, Violet, Iris, Spice and Heliotrope, this beautifully intoxicating candle will linger in the air hours later and yes, it looks as delicious as it smells. Encased in a stunning black hand blown glass inspired by the apothecary of yesteryear, each piece is made one at a time and is unique in its own right. All Curio Glass pieces are designed to carry floras once the candle is at its end as well, so the memory of this beauty can live on.
No home should be without one!

Love it: Sodashi Calming Rose Face Mist

I just returned from a delicious weeklong holiday in Fiji, which included two flights and two very different seasons – one slightly more salubrious than the other! This kind of short trip usually wrecks havoc on my reactive skin, but this time I remembered to take along a very special little secret weapon in hope of keeping sensitivity at bay.
This wee marvel was a bottle of Sodashi’s Calming Rose Face Mist, a bestseller from their CALM range that I recommend for pretty much every skin type but especially those which are sensitive, reactive or irritated. It’s described by the constantly innovative, super conscious company as a “delicate toning mist that cools and calms the skin”, and is designed to be used throughout the day to “refresh and uplift”.
It tones gently and delicately by utilising the anti-inflammatory powers of Rose hydrosol combined with rose plant essence to cool the skin and reduce inflammation and redness. It also enhances the effect of serums, masks or moisturizers.
So how exactly do you use it? After cleansing and exfoliating, close eyes and after shaking well, mist over entire face, neck and décolletage. Follow with your appropriate Sodashi Gel Booster and Moisturizer. It is perfect to use after cleansing or just for spritzing throughout the day to help revive and add a little moisture when your skin needs it.
If any product deserves the term “must have” it’s this one. Get one now, quick!

Daily delight: Erin Fee for Fashion Gone Rogue

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Help Trilogy keep one of our most beautiful creatures alive

Orangutans are one of our closest cousins. These beautiful creatures share 97 per cent of our DNA but are rapidly heading towards extinction due to the destruction of their natural rainforest habitats.
Since its launch in 2009, New Zealand natural skincare company Trilogy’s ongoing campaign to help endangered orangutans in South East Asia has received enormous public support raising $32,000 for the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation - the world’s largest orangutan rescue sanctuary. The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation actively rescues and rehabilitates wild orangutans from oil plantations and releases them into wild, protected rainforest habitats. For further information go here.
Now together with Trilogy you can help, and it’s as simple as one click away.
From 1 October 2011, simply pledge your name on the Trilogy website and spread the word to family and friends. Trilogy will then donate NZD $1.00 for each pledge received to the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. It’s that easy.
Here’s how:
1. Visit and follow the orangutan.
2. Pledge your name and Trilogy will donate NZD $1.00 to the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation.
3. Spread the word to family and friends. Trilogy will donate NZD $1.00 for every person who pledges.
Now DO IT!

Call me Loco for Coco: H2Coco Pure Coconut Water

I first discovered the wonders of coconut water when I travelled to LA on a regular basis several years ago – it cured even the most punishing of jet lags, the odd hangover and kept me going on super sweltering Californian days.
I really fell in love with it however when I travelled to Vanuatu last year. The village I stayed in was abundant in baby coconuts, which were sold with the tops almost lopped off, ready for you to grab a knife and a straw and dive in. It set me off on the road of serious addiction, but with all of the wonders that the rather delicious beverage brings I was all for it. With an electrolyte content completely compatible with the human body, coconut water is nature’s sports drink. It is low in calories and provides five of the essential aforementioned electrolytes – calcium, magnesium, chloride, sodium and potassium – in their natural form, making it the perfect choice for short-term rehydration during summer workouts or even when you’re ill. It’s also beneficial if you suffer from high blood pressure or heart disease, with just one serve (330ml) providing almost twice the potassium of an average banana.
Until now, coconut water has always been difficult – and expensive – to source in New Zealand, so I was rather excited to hear word of the arrival of H2Coco Pure Coconut Water to our fair shores, made from young green coconuts and clocking in at under $3.50 a pack. A powerhouse of nutrition, H2Coco Pure Coconut Water is also 100 per cent natural and boasts a blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and more. It’s available as purely coconut water, or mixed up a little as H2Coco Pure Coconut Water with Pineapple – a true taste of the tropics.
To say I’m fizzing about this product release is putting it mildly – get out there and grab some ASAP… your body will definitely thank you for it!

Daily delight: Barbara Palvin for Elle Hungary

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Love it: ModelCo One Night Tan

I love the look of long, tanned limbs, but the reality is that to maintain this kind of look naturally you have to be either a) a Brazilian supermodel or b) serious about sunbathing, which doesn’t really pay off in the long term for your skin or your health.
Thus a fake bake is hands down the only way to go, and better and better formulas are hitting the market all of the time. The latest to cross my desk – and one I really love – is ModelCo's One Night Tan (pictured), which gives you instant gratification with a warm sun kissed look that’s designed to last the night.
The texture is a luxurious, velvety mousse, and it’s smudge-proof and ultra light on the skin. It also glides on easily and super evenly, making application easy to master for even the novices amongst us. Oh and it's packed with nourishing actives like Aloe Vera, Shea Butter and Vitamin E, so there's no need to moisturise as well.
To use, first start by cleansing and exfoliating your skin and then apply Tan In A Can within 30 minutes of showering. I recommend that you cover the floor area where you intend to stand, and shake the can really well. While holding the can 40 cm away from your body, spray a fine mist evenly over desired areas using a light, even motion or blotching can happen (this is easily fixed though with a little water or moisturizer). Lastly, allow ten minutes to dry before dressing – after which it’s miraculously smudge-proof - and wait four hours before washing.
Obviously being non-waterproof, this is not intended for use in the pool or when you hit the beach, and always apply sunscreen over it if using during the day. You want to be sun kissed, not sun burnt!
I loved this product once I’d nailed the application and reckon you will too. The only thing wrong? It has such a great looking finish that I wished I could keep it for days!

I try: L’Oréal Professionnel's nourishing Mythic Oil

After the launch of Moroccanoil there have been a plethora of treatment oils for the hair launched onto the market, many following its lead by using Argan Oil.
Hair giant L’Oréal Professionnel have been biding their time however, and only now are unveiling their own particular formula, which is refreshingly free of the latter. Called Mythic Oil, it is the brand’s first nourishing oil to treat, nourish and illuminate hair, promising to leave it smooth, supple and infused with condition and shine. Instead of Argan it is enriched with a blend of Avocado and Grape Seed oils – both known for their nourishing properties for many a year now.
Super versatile, it can be used in multiple ways, depending on your hair type and your lifestyle. Use it as a blow-dry treatment by dispensing two to three pumps into the hands and massaging though the lengths and ends of towel dried hair before adding heat, or use one pump warmed gently between the hands on dry hair to control frizz and fly-aways. It’s also a great detangler for fine hair like mine that tends to knot at the slightest gust of wind.
After using it for a while now I can also vouch for the fact that it leaves no greasy residue, and neither does it weigh hair down. It can easily be mixed with other L’Oréal Professionnel products or used alone, and it works a treat on all hair types.
L’Oréal Professionnel’s Mythic Oil has a RRP of $38.00 and is available from L’Oréal Professionnel salons from October 1.

Daily delight: Crystal Renn for Vogue Germany

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Love it: NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

The last time I popped into my local Mecca Cosmetica to have my makeup done by the supremely talented and very charming Chris, one of the products he used to really give my shadow some longevity was the Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base by beauty supernova NARS.
A one-man fight against smudging, creasing and caking, it’s been called an “insider trick of the trade” many a time with damn good reason. Never looking heavy-handed, it’s a super lightweight eye primer that creates a seamless canvas that keeps cream and powder colour looking brilliant, fresh and just-applied, all day - and I can vouch for the fact that it definitely works.
The secret is apparently its unique polymer and mineral powder blend, which creates a firm grip on colour. This is fortified with special deep-sea and antioxidant rice extracts, and it dries on contact so is an absolute breeze to use. The product itself is medium-thick with a beautiful creamy consistency. It comes out white but blends to colourless perfection on the eyelid, and as there is no tint at all it works well without affecting the eyeshadow colour. It blends easily and leaves almost a silicone-based finish on the skin, making for effortless application.
Love this!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Daily delight: Rose Byrne by Will Davidson for Muse

Getting ahead of the action this Spring

Each Spring I get a multitude of annoying afflictions due to my propensity for picking up just about every allergy known to man and running with it, and year round I suffer from the likes of eczema and hayfever. Lately I’ve been looking at whole new ways to treat the latter, and arming myself well before Spring hit.
The latest technology to support your immune system when it’s under attack from spring allergens is Proline-Rich Polypeptides (PRPs) or “immune balancers”. PRPs are very small proteins called peptides that carry information to the immune cells, to support a balanced immune system. PRPs are also the unique ‘secret’ ingredient in Clinicians Pepticol, a natural immune supporter that is derived from colostrum, a natural substance found in human and cow’s milk. Colostrum is rich in nutrients and compounds that build an infant’s healthy immune system. Pepticol comes in the clever form of a handy mouth spray making it ideal for travel, so I’ll be taking it with me when I leave for Fiji.
Another natural weapon to support the immune system against allergens, ills and chills is Clinicians Del-Immune V. Dairy-free, it uses probiotic cell wall fragments or proteins that act as messengers through the gastro-intestinal immune system. It also supports the immune system to respond appropriately. Del-Immune V is especially useful to support gut health, and probiotics are a great defence against eczema, so I’ve been popping these goodies too.
I’ve been on a combination of these puppies for a few weeks now and crossing fingers and toes that I’ll get results. Studies so far have proven both to be super effective, so wish me luck!

I try: Dermalogica Exfoliating Body Scrub

As the weather heats up and the layers peel off, many of us quake in fear of the horrors that may lie beneath! It’s also a time when those that are that way inclined get self tanning, and dry, dull winter skin does not a great fake bake make.
The answer lies in exfoliating and moisturising, and there are an insane amount of products out there on the market claiming to be amongst the best at doing both. One that I have found that does a great job and then some of the former is Dermalogica’s Exfoliating Body Scrub.
Designed for all skin conditions, it's a creamy, lightly foaming body scrub that really does dramatically smooth, polish and energise sluggish skin. It uses pulverized Fig, Date and Olive seed powders to gently remove dead and dulling cells without stripping the skin, whilst Rice Bran and Papaya Enzymes slough off impurities and stimulate cell renewal. Add to that purifying essential oils of Lavender, Orange, Sandalwood and Rosemary to condition and invigorate the body while smelling seriously yummy, and you have a truly killer product.
To use just massage a generous amount over your entire body with wet hands, and work into a light lather. Rinse thoroughly, and pat skin dry. Follow with a hydrating body cream or body butter of your choice. Dermalogica recommend that you use it three or more times a week for optimum skin smoothness, but with my eczema prone skin I’ve stuck to twice for now and I’m still getting great results.

Daily delight: Toni Garn by Mariano Vivanco

Monday, September 19, 2011

Too beautiful: Fornasetti Profumi per La Casa

A Milanese painter, sculptor, interior decorator, engraver of books and a creator of more than 11,000 products, Piero Fornasetti was a serious talent in his time. His son Barnaba Fornasetti has inherited and continued the Fornasetti tradition for the past twenty years, and luckily for fans like me, he has turned his attention towards the notion of home fragrance. The first collection of Fornasetti Profumi per La Casa transcends the obvious and transforms it into the truly magical.
The collection encompasses various home scenting devices from the ubiquitous scented candle – a favourite of mine - and boxed incense sticks through to room sprays and ceramic globe diffusers for incense, perfumed oil or scented rocks. Each object has a clearly defined purpose and can be re-used, given an alternative use, or added to a Fornasetti collection.
A unique aspect of Fornasetti Profumi Per La Casa collection is that it offers only ONE scent, ‘Otto’ that transcends time, season, gender and borders. The customer is then able to select the method or design that is the most appropriate for their house.
The scent was created by master perfumier Olivier Polge, who is responsible for Flower Bomb by Viktor & Rolf and‘Dior Homme amongst many other popular scents. The fragrance for Fornasetti Profumi came out of his love and his personal collection of Fornasetti and is his first home fragrance.
The candles are crafted using a 100 per cent vegetal wax recipe by the manufacturing arm of Historic French Candle maker and huge favourite of mine, Cire Trudon. And, the incense items have been carefully created by renowned Japanese manufacturer Nippon Kodo, purveyor of incense to the Japanese Imperial Court since 430 years ago. Clearly Barnaba has gone to the best to create the best, and this is one home collection that has got me seriously excited.
Fornasetti’s most recent re-invention and creation is available exclusively in New Zealand at WORLD Beauty Stores, and I suggest you pay a visit to check it out ASAP. Just beautiful.

Love it: Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine Spray

I was absolutely mad for Moroccanoil when it arrived on the scene a couple of years ago, it really was the perfect product for my ever-so-slightly –tortured hair at the time and the best multitasker I’d met in a while.
Since then more than a few pretenders have made their way onto the shelves, and the Moroccanoil range has answered this with serious expansion into a collection of amazing products.
The one I’d like to sing the praises of today is Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine Spray, which is essentially an invisible veil of pure luminous shine and will be a perfect product choice in light of the humid months to come. For hundreds of years Argan oil has been used by women in Morocco to treat hair and nails in order to counteract the effects of the hot climate, and this baby contains that and more. It infuses hair with a pretty veil of shine, enhances colour and highlights and prevents hair static, all without weighing the hair down. It also contains UV filters and protects the hair against harmful pollutants. Lastly, it comes in an amber bottle similar to the original Moroccanoil, which protects it from oxidation and degradation.
The directions on the box say to spray it “in a misting motion” from a distance of 10-12 inches, but I prefer to squirt on my hands and lightly rub over my hair so I can control the amount used a little more due to my oily roots.
Love this product and highly recommend, and it has to be sniffed to be believed! Yum.

Daily delight: Sasha Pivovarova for Reserved

Friday, September 16, 2011

Get the look: DKNY at NYFW by Wella's Eugene Souleiman

While I’m on the subject of Wella, how beautiful is this take on Hampton Chic (above) created by Eugene Souleiman, Global Creative Director of Wella Professional, for the S/S ’12 DKNY show at New York Fashion Week this week?
A pretty, contemporary take on New York glamour with a young and fresh finish it saw volume and length exaggerated with natural hair extensions for a blended contrast to the natural hair colour, and is exactly the kind of hair I want this summer.
“I was inspired by the rich colours and prints of the collection which had a kind of French Riviera feel about it, and I wanted to create a contrast against the high glamour of this look,” said Souleiman. “I wanted the girls to be cool, young and fresh, and their hair to look like it has been in the sun all summer long - so it had variation in colour and an arid texture. I wanted the girls to look like they’d be in the Hamptons for the summer and were now back in the City – the contrast of the rich clothes against the fresh, textured hair.”
To get the look:
1. Start with freshly washed and conditioned hair using Wella Professionals Enrich Volume Shampoo and Conditioner for hydration and volume.
2. At the show, Eugene and his team added extensions, but when working with natural hair, roughly blow dry the hair to create volume and body.
3. Spray Wella Professionals Ocean Spritz (a huge stylist’s favourite) onto dry hair. Wind the hair into a low bun and pin in place.
4. Apply heat from a hair dryer with a diffuser to the hair, make sure it’s thoroughly dry, and then change the setting to cool to ‘set’ the hair.
5. Once the hair is cool, remove the pins from the hair to release the bun, and run your fingers through the hair to break it up a little and create some texture.

Love it: Wella System Professional Sun

With a tropical holiday just days away (yee ha!) and summer well on its way, I’m all about products that protect and preserve in light of the coming season’s harsher elements.
So it would be an understatement to say that I’m super impressed by the newest offering from haircare giant Wella: five new products in the System Professional line called simply SP Sun. Together they offer a complete line up of sun protection and aftercare that can be mixed and matched to fulfil your personal haircare needs, as well as your lifestyle.
As well as shampoo and conditioner and an after sun fluid, the range has some super-serious-about-sun new products, two of which are going to be getting an equally serious workout from me over the coming months. The first is SP Sun Concentrate, which can be combined with any daily SP conditioner. Containing a mix of 3 UVA and UVB filters, it reportedly delivers up to 10 hours of UV protection, making any conditioning product instantly sun-protective.
The other pearler I love the idea of is SP Sun UV Spray, which is designed for those times when hair needs an instant, intense dose of sun protection – think an unplanned meander along on the beach or a lunch outside at your favourite café. It has broadband UVA and UVB protection and a light, non-greasy formula, and I recommend you pick up a bottle to keep in your beach bag and your handbag so you’re never caught short!
They also offer an in-salon after sun treatment, which I think sounds like an absolute gem of an idea. Book in for a luxurious personalised SP Sun treatment at your nearest Wella Professionals salon and identify the correct level of protection for your hair while you’re at it. Love that!

Daily delight: Cato Van Ee for Vogue Taiwan

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I try: Priori CoffeeBerry Body Shaping Complex

Not long ago I reported back about a delicious Prior CoffeeBerry facial and my thoughts on their stellar new range of mineral powders and brushes, so I was super excited to hear that they have yet another new release on the horizon, this one nourishing from the neck down.
Yes, you heard right - cosmeceutical powerhouse Priori have focused their R&D efforts on the body and created the 99.1% natural Body Shaping Complex. This lightweight, non-greasy body treatment harnesses the power of super anti-oxidant CoffeeBerry to tighten and tone the body, contouring your curves and effectively decreasing the appearance of cellulite. Other natural/botanical ingredients in there are the ever-popular Argan oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Beeswax, Algae Extract, Pullulan, Mica, Silica and Vanilla Fruit Extract.
Great on those bingo wings, post pregnancy tums and the usual cellulite prone zones, it is suitable for most skin types, dermatologist tested, non-comedogenic and colourant and paraben free Free. Allergy Tested. Paraben Free.
The experts say to apply this twice a day to achieve the most noticeable contouring effect, and to massage it in for around 30 seconds for an added boost. Summer skin-baring here I come!

Let’s make it big: Redken Full Effect 04

“That’s why her hair is so big – it’s full of secrets” – Mean Girls.

I love the quote above, and I seriously love big hair. I’m not ashamed, call me what you will! And even if you’re not into seriously large tresses, chances are you want a little more controlled body in your hair, and the latest addition to Redken’s volume collection – Full Effect 04 – is here to help.
A meringue-like mousse in texture, Full Effect 04 is incredibly easy to distribute when you are looking to boost volume from root to tip. The ultra-light formula works to improve the hair’s condition and detangle matted locks as well, leaving hair soft and manageable without any stickiness or crunch.
Its “Volume Lock Complex” (!) features Styling Polymers for instant shape memory, cotton extract to give extra volume, UV filters to protect from environmental aggressors (love that) and Vitamin E to reduce fading if you have coloured hair like mine. The nourishing formula works to improve follicle condition for healthier looking hair all over, which can only be a good thing.
To apply Full Effect 04, scrunch through towel-dried hair and blow-dry with a round brush. For a seriously great end result, use it in conjunction with other Redken products: Full Effect 04 and Outshine 01 (Anti-frizz Polishing Milk) give you an ultra sleek smooth finish, Full Effect 04 and Layer Lift 07 (Length Elevating Spray-gel) give you effortlessly tousled waves and Full Effect 04 and Wax Blast 10 (High Impact Finishing Spray Wax) work together to create dimension, body and a textured finish.

Daily delight: Vera Farmiga for Blackbook

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I try: ModelCo’s magical Turbo Lash Wand

I’ve been a fan of the ModelCo brand for many a year now, and am constantly amazed at the fact that they seem to meet almost every beauty demand with the perfect product and/or tool. They are a brand that’s gone far with good reason, and I defy you not to find at least one of their creations in pretty much every woman’s bathroom and/or handbag.
Plus, they like to bring their ‘A’ game to the beauty business whenever they can, creating new must haves and constantly reinventing that which is already on offer.
So... it comes as no surprise that after seven years of being one of ModelCo's most popular products, the Turbo Lash Wand has undergone one hell of a makeover… The revamped heated lash curler now has a higher-powered superior heating mechanism, a hot new pink look and added features that help shape lashes without breaking them – magic!
And now for the details: this baby has a double-heating coil that reaches 60 degrees instead of 40 and curls at the root of the lash as well as mid-way, as well as having an ergonomic design that fits easily in your hand and is travel-friendly due to being battery operated. The application process is also incredibly easy: just apply your mascara and then straight after turn on the wand and wait 60 seconds for it to heat up. Next hold ModelCo’s LashWand curler to the base of your eyelashes and proceed to curl from root to tip holding the curler on your lashes between 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat on adjacent eyelashes and then turn of the device. You can also use the inbuilt eyelash comb to comb through and separate your lashes if need be. Lastly, give it a quick clean and then store in a safe place.
Too easy? When I get lashes akin to those above, I prefer “too good”!

Daily delight: Lara Stone for V magazine

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Well hello! Pure Fiji’s newest slice of paradise: Orange Blossom

I’m off to the sunny shores of Fiji in just over a week – much excitement!!!! – so have been getting in the mood by booking a neon-bright pedicure, burning SANS’ Wild Coconut candle and slathering myself in body butter scented by Pure Fiji’s latest island fresh fragrance, Orange Blossom.
Easing me ever so gently into island time one delicate note at a time, it is made up of the zesty sparkle of Fijian orange trees in full bloom combined with a delicate bouquet of sweet florals that will have you dreaming of summer. The oil obtained from the orange blossom flower has been used in perfumes for hundreds of years now, but this scent is totally modern and the perfect pick-me-up after your morning shower.
Speaking of which, it’s also available as a Shower Gel, Sugar Rub, Milk Bath Soak, Hydrating Body Lotion, Bath & Body Oil and Hydrating Body Mist, so you can cover yourself top to toe and keep the love going all day long!
Pure Fiji is available at fine spas and resorts nationwide. To locate your nearest stockist visit Pure Fiji’s website for more information.

Want it/need it: Sodashi’s ultra gentle Eye Mask

Earlier this year I was introduced to the Sodashi brand of all-good, high performing skincare and fell immediately – and hopelessly – in love. Under the tutelage of its creator, Megan Larsen, the Australian beauty company has successfully harnessed the benefits of plant essences and other natural ingredients to formulate luxurious and effective 100 percent natural skincare products and spa treatments that work holistically to nurture the skin in the most delicious possible way. If you haven’t tried it then I suggest that you do, one precious product at a time.
By now I’m a firm fan of their beautiful - and incredibly effective – masks, so was super excited to be given the opportunity to try their new chemical-free Eye Mask – a ‘power product’ to transform and reawaken the super delicate skin around the eyes. As an eczema sufferer, I often shy away from a lot of active eye products due to the fact that the eye area is one where I easily react, but this ultra gentle yet deeply nourishing pot of goodness gave it so much love that I almost didn’t want to take it off! It reduced puffiness (great for the morning after a big night or a night chained to your laptop), alleviated dark circles and over time reportedly dramatically diminishes fine lines. Key ingredients include Rosewood and Gotu Kola help to improve circulation and promote cell renewal, Cistus Hydrosol to firm and tighten the skin and cooling Damask Rose to hydrate while Rosehip Oil provides a potent boost of antioxidants to really feed the skin.
Sodashi founder Megan Larsen is a prolific traveller and tells me that it’s one product she never leaves home without, and she certainly has the perfectly bright peepers to prove it!
The Eye Mask is designed to be used 1-2 times a week following cleansing. Just apply around the eye area - covering both upper and lower eyelid - and leave for 10 to 20 minutes. Remove with a warm, damp face cloth or muslin.
It’s suitable for all skin types and like all Sodashi products, it is not tested on animals and is free from parabens, petrochemicals, GMOs, sulfates, synthetic preservatives and dyes, phthalates and triclosan.
Sodashi’s Eye Mask is available online or via selected Sodashi stockists.

Daily delight: Four hot blondes for Antidote 2

Monday, September 12, 2011

Love it: Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash mascara

When the incredibly affable Chris at Ponsonby’s Mecca Cosmetica store fires a recommendation my way I know that the product will be killer, as well a new addiction.
That’s certainly true of Chantecaille’s Faux Cils Longest Lash mascara, which I left with a tube of the last time he did my makeup. I’d heard of the brand’s now legendary Faux Cils - a high-performance, super-volumizing mascara that many claim to be far superior to even the most delicious of false eyelashes. It instantly lengthens, thickens and accentuates the lashes without clumping, and contains ingredients like rose water (a Chantecaille USP), natural waxes, vegetal polymers and red seaweed to give natural curl and bounce to lashes. A unique filming agent defines the lashes and perfectly adheres the rosewater-based formula to them, making it extremely resistant to high humidity conditions and perfect for use Down Under.
But onto Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara, my newest addiction – thanks Chris! – and one hell of a great discovery. Fusing the newest lash-growth peptide technology with the original, sought-after Faux Cils formula, it’s a tiny tube that packs a hell of a punch when it comes to getting truly beautiful lash length and density. Lashes get a boost with Chantecaille’s own Sym Peptide, which stimulates keratin genes and encourages the strength and length of your natural lashes without irritation or discolouration, a nasty side effect of many formulas in the past. And similar to the original Faux Cils formula, Longest Lash Mascara creates immediate volume with a special combination of natural waxes to thicken and plump lashes.
For those of you unfamiliar with the glorious Chantecaille, it calls itself “natural beauty, as luxe would have it”. Love that! Renowned for its sophisticated, technologically advanced, botanically based formulas, the brand’s proprietary formulas integrate advanced biotechnology with Chinese medicine, aromatherapy and flower pharmacology to minimise the effects of inflammation on the skin. Its range includes skincare and botanical makeup, and it’s as high performance as they get.
If that sounds like you then a recommend a trip to your nearest for a peep – you won’t regret it.

Daily delight: Tanya Mityushina by Rony Shram

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why you need: magical Kevin Murphy Young.Again

One of my absolute favourite beauty names to interview over the years has been Australian hair legend – and the creator of many of my must have hair products – Kevin Murphy. The affable super stylist always has a tip or two to impart, and when I last saw him, tripled the size of my hair in less than five minutes! Love that.
When he visited Stephen Marr’s beautiful salon on the top floor of The Department Store recently I pinned him down for a chat, as well as a chance to hear first hand about some of his latest releases.
The one that really got me excited is Young.Again, which is an anti-ageing product of sorts for your locks that has arrived in my bathroom cabinet just in time for summer. The hot weather brings along with it all sorts of hair “issues” that befall many women I know, including colour changes due to the sun and sea, overprocessing and overstyling once the party season kicks in. What we all need is a product that nourishes and revives the hair while infusing it with shine that doesn’t take precious time out of our day, and it seems that Mr. Murphy really has answered our call.
He starts by explaining to me that the only way to prevent oxidisation (i.e. ageing) happening to your hair – and it happens when the sun hits it, when you colour it or when you use hot tools – is by “putting something onto it to counteract that on a constant basis, because the cells just don’t renew themselves.” This is normally done with a mask of some kind, but in all honesty, how many women have a spare half hour or so twice a week to shower, apply a treatment mask, step out and wait ten minutes to process and then jump back in an wash it out again? Not me, that’s for sure!
Cue the arrival of Young.Again, a treatment oil that offers exfoliation properties that expose fresh, clean hair every time you use it. Key to this incredible product was his discovery of the properties of the herb Immortelle, from whose flower you can extract a water dispersable essential oil that can perform some pretty clever tasks. It is rich in antioxidants to help stop the onslaught of damage to hair, “and really is the ultimate in anti-ageing for the hair.” He’s added to this the likes of Bur Oil to improve hair strength, shine and body and relieve dry, flaky skin, and Sugar Cane Extract, a gentle exfoliant that prepares the hair to receive the nutrients and gives a smooth shiny look to the hair. It’s the perfect choice for those of us who use hot tools as it’s heatproof up to 220 degrees, as well as containing a sunscreen to protect your hair during the hotter months.
Lastly, this magical formula is incredibly easy to use. Simply wash and condition hair, and then evenly disperse Young.Again from mid-length to the roots when the hair is damp as the oil is water disperable. Concentrate on the driest parts of your hair and then watch it do its stuff. And if you have particularly dehydrated, damaged or tortured hair, combine Young.Again with Murphy’s Born.Again for concentrated salon-style conditioning.
I’ve been using Young.Again for several weeks now and in all honesty it really is one of the best hair products I have ever used. My coloured-for-many-a-year locks feel like virgin hair all over again, and I haven’t needed to use any kind of serum to control flyaways and the likes at all. Magic? It just may be!

*LOVE this picture of Kevin’s work in Vogue Australia, above, which can be recreated using his new range of Color Bug Colored Hair Shadows*

Daily delight: Kate Winslet does Liz for V magazine

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Love it: Picture perfect curls from Remington

Just prior to New Zealand Fashion Week 11 I was lucky enough to be invited to an – as always – delicious brunch at Mollie’s boutique hotel, this time by the Remington team. Their events are always worth a “yes” as they without fail have some exciting new tools to show and tell about that get me all excited about using on my hair.
This particular morning was no exception, with a plethora of goodies being rolled out, one more innovative than the next. The one that really took my eye had the very cute name of Perfect Curls, and looks set to be my go-to tool for this coming summer.
I’ve always been a bit of a dunce when it comes to using tools on my hair for anything other tan straightening, mainly because I lack the coordination skills and have a ridiculous amount of hair. When I chopped it off to my shoulders I thought I’d get a little better at wielding an iron but alas, no! Perfect Curls however, is pretty damn near foolproof – the fool in question being myself!
Its innovative form and application is unlike any other styler on the market and is set to send waves through the beauty industry. It essentially takes all the guesswork out of styling due to some very clever features. What makes this tool unique is its protective heat-resistant casing over a conventional curling barrel. This not only ensures that burns and scalds are a thing of the past, but with a spiral path to guide your hair, it creates perfect cascading curls, time after time.
Simply clip hair into place and wind the tong up – the styler guides hair around the barrel of the tong. Let the styler work its magic for 5 to 10 seconds and voilà, you’ll have picture perfect curls – quite literally - without any fuss at all.
To ensure smooth and glossy results, the styler’s barrel features a ceramic infused coating to keep curls moisturised and frizz free, while a fast heat up time of just 30 seconds means you’re ready to style in next to no time. Magic!
I’d use a heat protecting spray with this little goodie myself, and give the curls a good brush out and a mess at the end to achieve a look akin to the lovely’s Elle’s, above. Great summer hair, here I come!
Remington Perfect Curls is available mid-October 11 and comes with the ridiculously low RRP of NZD $79.95.

Daily delight: Jessica Hart for Vogue Australia

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Meet: the latest Eight Hour Cream Limited Edition Collection

A certified legend and skincare classic, Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant by Elizabeth Arden is a timeless beauty must have that can be found on millions of bathroom shelves and in handbags worldwide. It’s the skincare equivalent of a long-time Hollywood icon, and even has the changes of ‘look’ every now and then befitting of that analogy. The latest limited edition version of the classic multi-tasker sees it given the royal treatment, with a ruby red, jewel-like makeover.
Enthroned at the centre of the collection, in a ruby red jar and gleaming embossed carton, is the original “miracle cream” created in 1930 by Elizabeth Arden to soothe and protect skin. Alongside it are the much loved Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick SPF 15 - presented in a bevelled silver tube topped with a jewelled “8” - and Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment, a fast-absorbing gel cream for the hands that really does moisturises for up to eight hours and is a godsend for people that really do “use” their poor old mitts like me.
This super pretty new collection is available at Elizabeth Arden counters from 3 October 2011.

Daily delight: Four beauties for Elle Brasil

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How to: Workshop Denim NZFW 11

New Zealand Fashion Week 2011 saw a triumphant return to the catwalk for the Workshop label, which has sat out the last few years and been sorely missed. An off-site, capacity show was held at the Auckland Town Hall, where the much-loved label presented a collection of utilitarian looks with a 50’s flavour styled by international freelance fashion editor Jamie Huckbody. It was one of my absolute favourites of the week, not just because I could see myself wearing almost every single piece of leather that came down the catwalk, but also because the models looked so damned amazing.
The beauty direction was to be inspired by “Street Gangs of the 60’s”, and Stephen Marr Creative Director Lauren Gunn met the brief with the a sexy yet smart killer look which I absolutely defy you not to love.
For a hint of how to try this at home:
1. Begin with a centre part, then spray Wella Ocean Spritz into the roots at the crown and really ruffle up and back with a hot n’ fast blast from a blowdryer.
2. Cross two bobby pins over each other at the nape to create a sweet little dent.
3. Get some serious volume and guts into your hair by scrunching Wella Ocean Spritz into the midlengths and ends and wave a few pieces of hair by wrapping them around a large hot tong. The trick is to get some different textures going at once.
4. A slick of black eyeliner is a must to complete this look, after which you’re good to go.

Love: Redken Tousle Whip 04’s style

One of the things I most love about summer beauty is how everything is so damn relaxed in comparison to glammed up, perfectly preened winter, which is a godsend for busy types like me. Summer is all about effortless beauty, in particular when it comes to hair. That doesn’t however mean that it’s just plain old, left-to-its-devices nasty however. It’s all about perfecting that care-free lazy-days look while still looking polished.
Redken’s latest styling product Tousle Whip 04 is a good choice if you like lived in yet still controlled tousled waves as it’s a mild control moulding cream with a whipped texture that behaves like a wax. This means your hair still has supple definition along with a looser, dishevelled texture. It includes what is called a “Pearl-Touch Complex” with pearl pigments that adds a lustrous, satin-matte finish while a blend of oils and waxes weightlessly define the style.
To use Tousle Whip 04 to get the perfect “bedhead” just apply it to damp or dry hair and style as usual, then work in more product to build added texture. Layer Tousle Whip with other Redken favourites such as Glass 01 for shine; Rough Paste 12 for movement; Layer Lift 07 for sultry waves and Wax Blast 10 for body.
Now bring on the sun and pass the pina coladas!

Daily delight: Sasha P. for Reserved F/W 11

Monday, September 5, 2011

Love: jewel-like liners from Stila and NARS

It has been said that makeup master François Nars's colour theory can be summarised in one sentence: "vibrant jewel tones make the eyes appear brighter in a beautiful, modern way”, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s also a surprisingly easy way to update your look, and great for the time poor – especially when all it takes to embrace this trend is a slick of vibrant eyeliner!
One of my current favourites – and one that will be perfect when it comes to beach parties and bbq’s come the warmer weather – is Stila’s Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner (above) in Bora Bora, which is the perfect teal-y blue. Just add a nude lip and a dusting of bronzer and you’re halfway to a tropical isle – just add the pina colada! Another goodie from Stila is their Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Peacock for a slightly softer look again.
This winter I’ve been using a combination of purple shades to create a smoky eye with a difference, and it works well in higher pigments too. Think of purple as the beginner's bright liner: it's incredibly flattering and, of all the jewel tones, appears the least shocking when worn in a bold design so is perfect for you shy types out there! My pick of the purples is NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Bourbon Street, although the collection is available in nine dramatic shades. The Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliners are all named after the most iconic streets in the world and this shade is definitely as striking and unexpected as what you’ll find on that (in)famous stretch of road.
NARS and Stila are available exclusively in New Zealand and Australia at Mecca Cosmetica. Get in there ASAP!

Daily delight: Natalia Bonifacci for F.G.R

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Get the look: ghd for LIAM, NZFW 2011

Another of my favourite hair looks for the week at New Zealand Fashion Week 2011 was the very grown up waves created by the ghd team - Hair Director, Sara Allsop – for newly-minted label Liam. Sara says that the brief was to create a sophisticated and glamorous look that made the hair look as healthy and shiny as possible, and it definitely looked soft as silk. “We wanted the hair to move on the catwalk and bounce as the models walked,” she added, “not so much as a curl, more about that bouncy movement”. The end result was hair that you could seriously covet, and it is definitely something I’d like to try for the coming summer season.
Sara’s tips on how to get the look were:
1. Prepare the hair with ghd Heat Protect Spray and ghd Root Lift Spray
2. Create a side parting
3. Start at the bottom of the head taking horizontal sections
4. Slightly backcomb roots
5. Place ghd styler at root area and rotate your styler one full turn (180 degrees) and glide to ends
6. To complete your barrel curl, roll section of hair from ends to roots and then secure with a pin
7. Continue all of the way through to the top of the head
8. Once all the hair has cooled remove the pins
9. Brush hair well starting from underneath to give that loose, bouncy curl
10. Finish with ghd Final Fix Hairspray

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss for Vogue Nippon

Friday, September 2, 2011

Smashbox for Neverblack, NZFW 2011

The beauty look for Neverblack at this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week was described as “romantic and whimsical with a touch of grunge”, and the Smashboz team lead by the lovely Neisha Henry certainly stepped up and met the brief. The emphasis was on perfect, dewy skin and an ethereal bronze eye, and this super wearable look translates well from the runway to the street.
To start off, Smashbox Photo Finish Face Primer and Lid Primer were used to keep the look in place.
Dewy skin was achieved with Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation, followed by Smashbox Photo OP Under Eye Brightener applied for a touch of radiance to the higher planes of the face.
Smashbox Blush Rush in Passion gave cheeks a feminine, flushed look.
Smashbox Lip Tech (one of my all time favourite Smashbox products) in Nude and Maple kept the lips a natural satiny matte.
The perfect complexion was balanced with a more undone yet stronger eye in tarnished bronze tones. Smashbox Eye Shadow colors Brazilian Bronze, Sienna and Ambient were blended across the lid and brought underneath and out. Finally, the super inky Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara was concentrated at the base of eyelashes for extra definition.

How to: Stolen Girlfriends Club at NZFW 11

For Stolen Girlfriends Club’s Winter 2012 offering at this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week, ‘Here Lies the Bones’, the hair look created by KMS California Hair Director Greg Murrell from Ryder salon was edgy yet totally feminine – a lot like the collection.
Greg has worked with the label for a while now and they totally trust him to create something really rather in line with their own way of thinking, and it shows in this clever and completely unique look.
Featuring hair pulled back off the face then fastened at the back with a series of three simple knots sewn to the head, it included ponytails pinned to the knots, the ends of which were allowed to drop towards the nape.
For an insight into how to re-create this look, here’s Greg’s step-by-step rundown:

1. Lightly relax any wave or curl with flatirons.

2. Apply KMS SilkSheen Styling Crème for light hold.

3. Working with any natural partings or growth patterns, take a triangular section of hair from the high recession on either side of the head to the low crown.

4. Tie a knot towards the roots by pulling the ends through to form a small ponytail.

5. Lift the knot upwards and temporarily affix to the head using a sectioning clip to get it out of your way before doing the next knot.

6. Take your next section from the low front hairline on either side of the head back to the occipital. Knot, ponytail and section away as before.

7. Take back the remaining hair and create the last knot at the high nape being sure the leave some hair out at the nape to float freely.

8. Next, take out the sectioning clips and allow the top two knots and ponys to drop.

9. Tension the knots to the head and use hair grips to fix them in place.

10. Take the top two ponytails and affix them closely to the knots using hair grips for effect.

11. Next, take a blunt needle and some linen thread and sew underneath the knots to secure them to the head going from side to side in a figure of 8 pattern.

12. When complete, remove the hair grips and apply KMS California Hairplay Dry Wax to achieve the desired finish with matte surface texture.

M.A.C for Zambesi at NZFW 2011

Daily delight: Georgia May for Vogue Brasil