Monday, October 31, 2011

Love it: Kevin Murphy travel-friendly JET.PAKs

I always have an arsenal of travel-sized beauty products on hand for when I go away, and it makes life that much easier when my favourite brands like Sodashi and Kevin Murphy whip them up for me!
I’m a huge fan of Murphy’s JET.PAK sets of travel essentials, which also make a great gift for a loved one who is always on the road or in the air. They have recently expanded the collection to include a few more hair types too, making giving the gift of great hair that much easier. There is now a JET.PAK for pretty much every hair type, and they come in a chic travel purse that can be used again and again - essentially a "gift that keeps on giving". Love that. My choice is the Smoothing JET.PAK, which includes 40ml-sized pots of Luxury.Wash, Luxury.Rinse, Born.Again and Motion.Lotion. There is also a Hydrating and a Volumising option, if that’s what your hair needs require.
I’ve also just heard word of a special gift pack that the affable Mr. Murphy has created based around his simply amazing Young. Again formula, which includes a 100ml bottle of the aforementioned good stuff along with a limited edition Born.Again Masque. The ultimate regenerative combo!

Time to get smart: Sensible summer snacking

I had a great response to my post from a short while back about exercise and taking time to invest in your fierce in the lead up to Christmas, and always love spending time and getting advice from trainer Monique Jackson at re:ab. Alongside general "getting out there and getting into it" info, I recently quizzed her a little on diet and she gave me these - relatively painless - tips for cutting down on portion sizes, which is always an issue for me.
Here are a few of her recommendations:
* Downsize! Use smaller plates at dinner, cups instead of bowls for breakfast, teaspoons instead of spoons.
* Drink 2 large glasses of water before every meal and snack. This helps our body to feel fuller, faster. Great to keep hydration up also. Avoid drinking wine or water with dinner, however.
* Take time to chew your food rather than gobbling it. Take small bites and chew thoroughly (approximately 15-20 chews per mouthful). Put your utensils down between mouthfuls. Eat at the table and avoid watching TV or standing and eating, our brain becomes distracted and doesn’t register that we are full. It takes approximately 20 minutes for bodies to register that we are full so become aware of this and allow a longer time to eat your meals.
* It may seem extreme but measure and record everything you eat for a week. Measuring your food intake with scales, metric cups, tablespoons and teaspoons is a sure fire way to expose the truth about how much you’re eating.
* Aim to eat 5 smaller meals/snacks every 3-4 hours during the day as opposed to 3 large meals. Remember the key word here is ‘smaller’. Many fall into a trap of eating their 3 main meals with snacks in between and wonder why they gain weight! Reduce the size of your main meals and add a few snacks – for example for lunch if you finish with yoghurt and fruit, save this part of the meal for your mid-afternoon snack.
* Beware of grazing – this can easily become continuous eating throughout the day without you ever really feeling hungry or satisfied. Schedule your snacks for the longest stretches between meals and stick to the plan with no kilojoules in between.

Daily delight: Marion Cotillard for Lady Dior

Friday, October 28, 2011

Love: Sodashi Samadara Ultimate Age-Defying Crème

I have to confess that I’ve tried my fair share of seriously luxurious anti-ageing lotions and potions, many costing more than an airfare across the Tasman and some doing little to nothing at all bar looking pretty in an over-designed jar. Some are of a higher price but with the results to back them up and more however, and Sodashi’s absolutely in-cred-ible Samadara is definitely in that category.
Called their “Ultimate Age-Defying Crème”, it is the highly respected, ultra eco-luxe brand’s most powerful anti-ageing treatment to transform and reawaken the skin. A truly transformative number if just a few weeks’ use on my skin is anything to go by, it uses a unique alchemy of pure plant ingredients and rose quartz crystal water to promote the skin’s own natural healing abilities from within. Regular use dramatically boosts skin cell renewal to tone, firm and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and the velvety-smooth crème comes even with two rose quartz crystals to massage the treatment into the skin for maximum benefit.
The ingredient list – as with all of Sodashi’s products – is blissfully and proudly chemical free, and includes treats like organic Damask Rose, lavender and sandalwood that also give it the most beautiful-yet-delicate scent.
As I mentioned before, in my opinion Samadara is truly transformational on the skin, with almost instantly visible results that you have to see to believe. At AUD$495.00 for a 50ml jar it certainly ain’t cheap, but if you’re serious about investing in your skin – without chemical intervention – then this is the best option out there, by far. I’ve been making mine go farther by only using it at night with a complementary Sodashi moisturiser during the day, despite the fact that I’d like to bathe in the stuff! Oh and I’m going to start saving now for the rumoured expansion of the super-luxe Samadara range coming in the form of a serum and eye crème that are reportedly soon to be released.

Daily delight: Natasha Poly in Gucci for Vogue Spain

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I try: Osmosis Shelter SPF 29+ Sunblock Moisturizer

I’m obsessive when it comes to applying sunscreen every day – as should you! – and I’m often asked to recommend a good one that a) won’t clog pores, b) is good for your wellbeing as well as your skin and c) works well with makeup or tinted moisturiser. To get all three right seems like a big ask, but after having Osmosis Shelter recommended to me by Lucy Marr and finally getting to try it myself I can raise my glass to the fact that this baby really does do it all!
Osmosis Shelter provides significant broad spectrum sunblock protection (SPF 29+) by utilizing silica-coated micronized zinc. This is the safest sunblock ingredient available because it does not break down like uncoated zinc and it does not absorb into our system like micronized titanium. Reaserach has suggested that both titanium and zinc will oxidize in the skin and create inflammation above and beyond the sun exposure unless the particles are coated with silica. It has also been said that there may be toxicity associated with micronized and specifically nano-sized titanium and zinc as their penetration into the blood is possible, but Osmosis have cleverly added a silica coating to make the particles inert and therefore inactive/non-toxic in the serum (if any should reach that far). Micronized zinc reflects light significantly better and has a broader UV protection spectrum than any form of titanium, and with a feel just like a light cream, this sunblock is ridiculously painless to apply.
So, along with being chemical-free and with zero chalky residue to mess with your makeup, Shelter is quite possibly also by far the most moisturizing sunblock on the market due to its inclusion of some seriously active antioxidants. Love that! Trust Osmosis creator Dr. Ben Johnson to get it right, huh?
I recommend you go out and grab a bottle of this stuff ASAP, apply liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure and watch it do its work.

Daily delight: Freida Pinto for Grazia India

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Meet: Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture

Murad is one of those skincare brands that live in the “quiet achiever” category in my mind, consistently releasing well-considered, high performance products that never fail to get results. They don’t crow about it, but their growing legions of fans are testament to their constant innovation leading to huge customer loyalty.
Their latest release (pictured) is definitely one that will be lapped up by many a happy client, due to its versatility as well as its unique properties. Called Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture, it's an uber-rich, intensely hydrating, all purpose cream that provides instant and long term relief from dryness, and is reportedly the most hydrating moisturizer Murad has ever offered. Gentle enough for sensitive skin, it has a non-greasy, velvety formula that locks in optimal moisture for around eight hours – clever stuff.
If you’re looking for a face cream that delivers lashing of rich moisture and instant relief from dryness, than this is the facial lotion that you’ve been searching for. Suitable for day or night moisturiser use and thus perfect for those that don’t like to cram their bathroom with too many products, it utilises the likes of Avocado, Sunflower and Olive Fruit oils to leave your skin soft, smooth and polished as well as feeling hydrated and healthy.
Dr Howard Murad - founder of Murad, which was the first doctor skincare line - has championed what he calls The Science of Cellular Water for years: a comprehensive approach towards achieving beautiful, youthful skin based on improving and maintaining the ability of skin cells to hold water. Through his research, he has shown that the better hydrated cells are, the better they can defend against internal and external aggressors that contribute to skin aging. Thus, the development of super moisturisers just like this baby.
To use it, every day after cleansing and toning, massage a small amount evenly over face, neck and chest. For optimal results, first apply your recommended Murad treatment and always follow with a sunblock during the day.

Daily delight: Chrissy Teigen for Vegas magazine

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pour some sugar on me: talking Sugaring with Keely Watson

Sugaring must by one of the world’s oldest beauty tricks, with evidence that it popped up as early as 1900BC! Something that’s been around that long must definitely be deserving of a jolly good go so it’s amazing that I only experienced it for a the first time a few weeks ago!
I guess it took the right person to suggest that I give it a try, and in this case it was the wonderfully talented and incredibly affable Keely Watson, a popular beauty professional who works from her home by the beach on Auckland’s North Shore.
First up, I asked her why - after so many years in the industry - did she just decide to embark on the sugaring route now? It appears that it all came down to product…
“I've actually had my eyes on a particular brand of Sugaring hair removal for about five years now,” she tells me, “after I got a heads-up from an American beauty therapist who was working in NZ who couldn't believe that Sugaring wasn't popular down here.” She gave Keely the name of the brand that she’s now working with, Alexandria Professional, and just raved about it for both results and hygiene. “My passion for skin health extends to safe and effective hair removal,” adds Keely, “so I researched it and talked to other business owners overseas working with it. I was really impressed with what I found BUT because the technique is just as important as the product itself, it wasn't feasible at the time to go any further with it. So, reluctantly, I shelved the idea.”
Fast forward to July this year and AP finally made its way down under, so Keely jumped at the chance to be one of the first in New Zealand to train with it, “which also gave me the priceless opportunity for one on one training with the Sugar Queen herself, Lina Kennedy.”

Daily delight: Arizona Muse for Vogue Paris

My pick from L’Oréal Professionel’s Summer Illusion: Sunset Horizon

L’Oréal Professionnel recently unveiled their newest colour collection for Spring/Summer, and as per usual, it is pretty damn gorgeous.
Called Summer Illusion, it was conceptualised by the global beauty giant’s top colourists from around the world, who developed three commercial looks that can be tailormade to suit any lifestyle, hair length and texture. The team from Servilles recreated each of the looks a couple of weeks ago as part of a rather beautiful local trends presentation, and I asked Sarah Anwar from Servilles Albany for the lowdown on my favourite from the collection, called Sunset Horizon (pictured).
Sunset Horizon is a sleek look that’s a more refined take on the current balayage hair trend, with more than a bit of a nod to the ‘colour blocking’ movement in fashion as well. The top layer’s ends are lightened in a block while the base layers remain a medium brown, adding depth to the look. I put a few q’s to Sarah about how to and who for, as well as how to keep Sunset Horizon looking sleek:
What sort of colour process do you have to go through to get this look?
This type of colour can be very easy to achieve and is great for people who have never coloured their hair as the change isn’t overly dramatic. The process requires less time in salon as colour is applied to the ends only, and not the full head like most colour applications. The colour is applied by hand (without the use of foils) and painted directly onto the hair in order to achieve a more natural/lived in look. The colour is then left to process with the application time depending on how light you wish to go.
Does it require a lot of work to maintain, lots of regular visits to the salon?
No not at all. This look is very low maintenance colour because the lightness is on the ends, not at the roots like regular highlights. As the lighter panels are halfway down the length of the hair, you won’t get a regrowth line like you do from regular highlighting. It is always best to talk with your stylist about maintenance so they can tailor the colour to your individual needs.
How do you care for hair like this outside the salon?
Generally long hair always needs more moisture than shorter lengths. With coloured hair it is recommended to use a product such as L’Oréal Professionnel absolut repair. This range is not too heavy on long hair and adds moisture and strength. It does depends on your individual hair needs and it is always best to ask your stylist about home hair care. If you are using heated styling tools you must always use a thermal protector such as L’Oréal Professionnel absolut repair thermo cell repair cream.
What sorts of hair does it suit and not suit?
This look does require a decent amount of length. It looks best on longer hair but can be altered by your stylist to a similar, softer look on slightly shorter hair. It is not only great on hair that is already at a medium base but on blondes wanting to tone down a bit without completely losing their blonde. Alternatively, if you have darker hair and want a few lighter pieces without the maintenance of traditional highlights – this is the look for you!
Do you see yourself doing a lot of this come summer?
We're already doing a lot of this type of look in salon and I'm sure that will only increase come summer. It's a great summer look, especially for girls who are using it to tone down lighter hair for a softer look through summer.
What is your favourite product at the moment, given the change in season?
My new favourite product right now is the new L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil, a nourishing oil which is fantastic on all hair types is the results are soft, shiny hair without feeling heavy or a sticky residue. I am also loving the newly reformulated L’Oréal Professionnel serie expert absolut repair range. It is light while still being extremely nourishing and leaves hair feeling silky and strong and it smells gorgeous too!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Love it: Trilogy’s award winning Hydrating Mist Toner

It seems that I’m all about the “toner love” this week, and one that I can’t help but give a big shout out to is the wonderful formula created by New Zealand all natural brand Trilogy (pictured) – called simply Hydrating Mist Toner.
Recently voted ‘Best Facial Refresher’ by UK Cosmopolitan Magazine, it is a delicious-smelling, gentle, aromatic, hydrating mist that combines delicate flower extracts from the likes of soothing Lavender, revitalising Geranium and calming Rose Petals. Perfect for whipping out mid-flight en route to some exotic locale, it helps to tighten pores while balancing and supporting the skin’s natural pH level. It is – thankfully - free from alcohol to ensure skin is not irritated or stripped of natural oils, and is a must have if you work in an air conditioned atmosphere.
This goodie is also a bit of a steal price-wise, coming it at under NZD $30.00 a bottle. Love it.

Packs with a punch from Sebastian Professional

I love a clever pack of goodies that give you the goods to cure what ails you, and Sebastian Professional have unleashed some in time for Christmas that will have you rocking some seriously wonderful locks this summer.
They all retail for a very reasonable NZD$78.00, and come in the following flavours:
Vibrant Colour
If your colour has turned a little more brassy than blonde, or your chestnut brown has lost its g listening shine, then your locks are in need of a colour care intervention. This is where Sebastian’s Unleash Relentless Vibrancy pack comes into play. Two separate packs containing either Color Ignite Multi or Mono Shampoo and Conditioner, provide a customised formulation for multi-tonal or single toned hair. To help lock in moisture and boost shine, the pack also includes thermal shield and shimmer complex, Trilliant. Sebastian’s number one shine enhancing product, this baby delivers polish, body and heat protection all in one.
Uncompromising Volume
If you’re in the market for big, bold, hair then look no further than the High Impact Volume Meets Softness pack, containing volume boosting Volupt Shampoo and Conditioner, plus Volupt Spray.
Volupt differs to traditional volumising products in that it gives a real softness to the hair – usually it would be a trade off to achieve such great body. The unique micro-particle technology provides an extreme volume boost without any roughness, meaning you can add inches without compromising on softness.
Hydration Plus
Summer humidity can often cause an attack of the frizz, but the main reason hair turns frizzy is because it’s dehydrated. Here is where Sebastian’s Thirst Quencher, can help, combining the intensively hydrating Hydre Shampoo and Conditioner with smoothing cream serum, Taming Elixir. This combo adds moisture while providing heat, UV, salt water and chlorine protection – perfect for the summer months. It’s also great for curlier hair types, which tend to be more frizz prone no matter what time of year.
Effortless Shine
There’s nothing better in my humble opinion than naturally beautiful, super shiny hair and Sebastian’s Revitalised Weightless Shine pack provides the option for just that. Made up of the featherlight, shine enhancing Light Shampoo and Conditioner along with the treatment styler, Potion 9 Lite, this pack provides the essential tools to cleanse and purify your hair, while leaving it with a healthy, weightless and radiant shine.
Damage Therapy
If your locks are in need of some serious TLC then the Stress Free Shine pack is for you. Consisting of Penetraitt Shampoo, Conditioner and Masque this pack will help nurse even the most chemically treated hair back to health.

For stockists call 0800 800 128 or visit here.

Daily delight: Edita Vilkeviciute for Vogue Nippon

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Love it: ByTerry Soleil Terrybly serum

I fall in love with pretty much every product I walk out the door of Mecca Cosmetica with, mainly due to the fact that owner Jo Horgan’s edit is pretty much perfect – every time.
The latest product to steal my heart is from the ByTerry range, which was created by legendary French makeup artist, Terry de Gunzburg, the woman behind cult must have Touche Eclat. It’s called Soleil Terrybly, and is described by its maker as a “Hydra-Bronzing Tinted Serum” and the “new-generation in bronzing care”.
A natural alternative to self-tanning DHA, it is essentially a featherweight tan-activating and extending colour care product that stimulates your own melanin and keeps sunny radiance in sight at all times. The active ingredient, Helisun, rich in jasmine flavonols, ensures endogenous protection by reinforcing the skin's natural defense system whilst Vitamin E fights against free radical assaults caused by UV rays, pollution and ultra stressful lifestyles. And on a purely cosmetic level, this little tube of goodness also has soft focus pigments, matte prisms and reflective micro-minerals to add to your glow. As it stimulates the melanin in your own skin it conforms to your own particular shade of tan, and is pretty much foolproof to use.
To apply, just smooth onto your face, neck and décolleté with your fingertips and wait for it to work its magic. Adjust the application until you get your shade and you’re good to go!
This beautiful product is great for the increasing numbers of women with talc allergies out there – due to the fact that the stuff is in damn near everything these days - who can no longer use bronzer, as well as a great alternative to tinted moisturisers and the like on down days and weekends. Love it!

Beauty destination: all new M.A.C Botany Town Centre

M·A·C opened the doors of its eighth store in New Zealand for the first time this morning, and doesn’t she look hot! The new M·A·C Store is located at Botany Town Centre in Auckland and is situated within Botany’s Fountain Lane North precinct, which has just undergone a NZD $6.5 million upgrade. The new 89 sq metre store will boast the latest New York designed M·A·C fit-out and as with M·A·C stores around the world, the new store will be home to well trained M·A·C artists and their epic lineup of colour collections, artistry tools and brushes, skincare, foundations, powders, blushes and concealers. Hoorah!

M·A·C Botany’s opening hours from today are:
Monday – Wednesday: 9.00am – 5.30pm
Thursday & Friday: 9.00am – 9.00pm
Saturday: 9.00am – 5.30pm
Sunday: 10.00am – 5.30pm

M·A·C Botany’s contacts are:
Phone: (09) 273 4284

Daily delight: Anna Laryn for C Magazine

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I try: AUM Ultra Hydrating Rose Facial Toner

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to meet Julian Markin, who along with his mother Susan founded the Australian organic skincare line known as Aum back in 2008.
A tightly edited collection of incredibly well priced certified organic skincare products to cleanse, tone, moisturise and more, each little slice of Aum contains anti ageing plant extracts clinically proven to even out skin tone promote a more radiant complexion, protect skin against UV damage and significantly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Julian explains that their skincare only uses “certified organic skincare ingredients that are pure and potent. They contain highly concentrated antioxidants and skin nourishing agents whilst also being very gentle on skin.” No small claim, but their growing success speaks for itself. “You can be certain that our products contain no parabens, no sulphates, no mineral oils, no silicones, no petrochemicals, no artificial colours and no animal testing,” he adds, which always gets a huge tick in my book.
One of the products I tried on the day that really impressed me was the Ultra Hydrating Rose Facial Toner, which is one potent little number. Toners have been out of favour for a few years now mainly due to the fact that those found in most skincare lines were either ineffectual or – at the other end of the spectrum – akin to paint stripper in their modus operandi, but more and more outstanding examples have been emerging. This is definitely one of the latter, a bio skin tonic that instantly hydrates, tones and freshens and feels amazing on the skin. It is certified organic with 95 per cent organic content, and its key ingredients include Hyaluronate (the most hydrating ingredient known to cosmetic science) to enhances cell activity and plump and firm, and Rose Damascena Floral Water to aid skin clarity, balance pH,
refresh and soothe. You can use it morning and evening after cleansing, as well as throughout the day for radiant skin and a moisture boost. I only wish this were available as a spray though – it would be a great addition to the handbag!
Definitely a fabulous example of a toner done well, I can’t wait to get my hands on this baby!

Going for gold: the L’Oréal Paris L’Or collection

The party season is creeping up on us, and if you’re not in the market for a whole new makeup kit then judiciously selecting some key new products to spark up what you’ve got is a great option.
One collection of goodies that won’t burn a hole in your credit card is the latest limited edition set range from L’Oréal Paris, known as L’Or. The L’Oréal Paris “Dream Team” of Karim Rahman (France), Billy B (USA) and Rie Omoto (Japan) created the collection to be used on some of the world’s most beautiful women hitting the Red Carpet at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, and now you can get your mitts on it too.
As per its moniker, the collection draws on the aforementioned precious metal’s own unique qualities, with artist Billy B telling the beauty press: “Gold is flattering; it reflects light beautifully and makes you immediately luminous and radiant”. The collection thus comprises five Color Infallible Eyeshadows, four Colour Riche Lipsticks and four Resist and Shine nail polishes - each made from rich colour pigments flecked with gold. The limited edition shades are made with an ultra-sophisticated combination of nine golden pearlescents, exclusive because of both their rarity and power to sparkle. The L’Oréal Paris Research Laboratories have customized the look of each pearlescent by carefully choosing the type and thickness of the coating. The result is a base colour that stays true, but shimmers with varying intensities of gold from Nude Treasure on the lips through to Goldmine on the nails.
The best plan of attack say the L’Oréal team is to choose a focal point of colour – focus on a gold lid, or a shimmering red lipstick, or highlight your cheeks with a touch of gold. I personally love Sahara Treasure applied to the lids for a neutral shimmer during the day, whilst Emerald Lame really amps things up for night.
A very versatile, super well priced collection, L’Or hits the counters mid-November – just in time for your first round of Christmas parties I’d say!

Daily delight: Natasha P. by Hedi Slimane, Vogue Russia

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I try: Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning

French beauty brand Clarins always does things with a little extra je ne sais quoi, and their foray into the perfect self-tanner for the face is no exception.
Called simply Instant Smooth Self Tanning, it combines the magic of Clarins' iconic and always-popular Instant Smooth with the gorgeous glow of a self tan, giving you the glow of a holiday in the tropics and a fine line-free, good skin day every day.
A caramel-tinted complexion perfector and self tanner all in one, it also instantly tints the skin so that you can see where you've already applied the tan, and go heavier or keep it light depending on your complexion. It then progressively develops into a gorgeous, semi-permanent, sun-kissed glow in just 1-2 hours.
Quick to apply and even quicker to dry, its air whipped mousse texture is an absolute delight to apply and feels like heaven on the skin, as opposed to an extra layer of product clogging it up. It really does glide on, and works almost like a primer to even out your skin’s texture. And like many a Clarins product, it comes in a subtle yet luxurious, heavy pot and has a fruity fresh peach fragrance with just a hint of almond to it.
Apply it using the fingertips, stroking the velvety-smooth product evenly over your face and – to keep things natural - décolleté. Apply it daily until you reach the colour intensity you crave, and then reapply every 2-3 days as a top up. Oh and for best results, lightly exfoliate before application and always – without fail! – wash your hands well afterwards.

M.A.C unveil Prep +Prime Future Length Lash Serum

With all of the lash growth serums, lotions and potions flooding onto the beauty scene over the past 12 months, it was only a matter of time before those smart, sassy R&D types at M.A.C would unveil their own version… which would inevitably be an instant hit with their legions of loyal fans.
Well wait no more people, because it’s here: Prep +Prime Future Length Lash Serum (pictured above) is instore NOW.
The latest addition to the incredibly successful Prep + Prime family, it is a new patented formula that promotes natural lash growth for longer, thicker, stronger-looking lashes, with dramatic results reportedly visible in eight weeks when used twice daily. Designed to enhance over time, this breakthrough patent-pending treatment delivers a measurable, visible difference and the advanced future-forward formula does more than just coat and cover; it promises healthier-looking, altogether longer and lusher appearing lashes. And who doesn’t want that, hmmm?
So, how does it work? Simply apply a thin line of serum on clean, dry skin to the base of the upper and lower lashes, morning and evening, and watch what happens. I’ve heard that it dries quickly and clearly for mistake-proof application; and it won’t interfere at all with your eye makeup when used accordingly. Non-irritating, M.A.C call this a gentle giant for those who want to go to the next level, and I for one think it sounds amazing.
Count me in!

Daily delight: Megan Fox for Armani beauty

Monday, October 17, 2011

I try: Smashbox Photo Set Finishing Powder SPF 15+

When the humidity starts rising I’m all for products that keep shine away without leaving skin looking too powdery and cakey, and there are more and more hitting the market that do the job well and then some.
The latest to hit my desk – and one I’m loving thus far – is by LA-based beauty powerhouse Smashbox, and it’s simply called Photo Set Finishing Powder SPF 15+. The brand’s Halo Powder is the stuff of modern day legend, and this looks to follow suit with its velvety finish and ability to mattify as well as blur fine lines.
It’s one of the newest releases in Smashbox’s Photo Set family, and is what their pro artists use to prevent makeup from melting away under the hot lights of a photo shoot. Silica blurs the fine lines, while SPF 15 guards against harmful UV rays to protect and help makeup last all day. It also comes in a nice wide pot, meaning that even your fattest powder brush will be able to fit in and grab product with ease.
If your skin needs a little matte effect then I highly recommend this clever new formula, which is available right now.

Beauty destination: The Sanctuary Day Spa at Mollies boutique hotel

Anyone who reads this blog would know that I’m a huge fan of ultra pure Australian skincare brand Sodashi and its perfect collection of exquisite products and natural therapies, and also that I do like to while away the hours on a treatment bed at a seriously beautiful spa.
Now I can combine the two at one of my favourite destinations: Sanctuary Day Spa at Mollies boutique hotel, which you’ll find sequestered in Auckland’s leafy St Mary’s Bay. An incredibly relaxing place even if you’re just grabbing breakfast, I’ve raved about the “staycation” attributes of this very special property and now I can combine that experience with my all-time fave skincare brand to boot as they now treat only with Sodashi.
Launching the new range of therapeutic, pampering treatments at Mollies, their fabulous general manager Joanna Bourke commented on the rare philosophy that attracted this Relais & Chateaux hotel to choose Sodashi. “As soon as I felt the touch of Sodashi, totally free of chemicals, mineral oil, synthetics or animal-based ingredients, I knew this would take the spa experience at Mollies to a new level of luxury.”
The first treatment I ticked off my list of must-tries was the Sodashi Thermal Infusing Facial, which is an intensive boost of all nature’s vitamins and minerals. A very clever Warm Infusing Mask maximises the penetration of the good stuff into the deeper layers of the skin, and leaves you with incredibly hydrated and toned skin. To put it simply: this 90 minute treat is more than just a facial; it’s Nature’s Face Lift! An absolute treat to experience, this is the perfect answer when you and your skin need a little extra TLC – you really will see the difference.
The Sodashi Signature Facial features some of their signature products used at their optimum, and includes aromatic warm facial compresses that soften and exfoliate and the application of a nurturing face mask, rich in herbal extracts to purify and hydrate the skin. The whole shebang is enhanced with Sodashi’s signature facial massage and clocks in at a blissful 75 minutes. There’s also a facial for the boys using products from the brand’s hugely popular Mankind line and incorportaing a Himalayan salt therapy back massage.
There are also a few body-based treatments that I’ll definitely be saving up for, especially the Contouring Marine Body Wrap and Refining Body Toner, which uses Sodashi’s Jojoba body polish to exfoliate and cleanse the whole body before a full body mask is applied. Sodashi’s Refining Body Mask is rich in French Pink Clay and herbal extracts, and is extremely beneficial in the treatment of renewing scar tissue and stretch marks. Oh, and this treatment is safe and effective before, during and after pregnancy. Perfect for that mama-to-be in your life!
And last but not least, as a Vanilla fiend I have to mention the Vanilla Body Bliss treatment, which will be top of my Christmas list this year. It involves a highly fragrant and gentle all over body exfoliation containing the active ingredient Sandalwood Powder, making it the perfect tonic to relieve tired aching muscles and leaving the aromas of Vanilla and Coconut infused in your skin. HEAVEN!
For more information, visit their website or call Joanna on +64 (0)9 376 3489.

Daily delight: Crystal Renn for Vogue Japan

Friday, October 14, 2011

I try: Grown Body Exfoliant

For an exfoliant to really make its mark in the world of beauty, it needs to have an edge. Too many out there have the performance level of a handful of salt, and about the equivalent in nutrients.
One that I’ve been trialling that truly stands out from the pack is by Grown Skincare, whose yummy formulations are as antioxidant and nutritionally rich as they are delicious to use. They utilise organic ingredients certified by the internationally recognised organic certification body, Ecocert as well as the ACO [Australian Certified Organic] and there are no chances of contamination from chemical sprays or preservative treatments.
Recently they added to their range of premium natural skincare Grown Body Exfoliant with Reviving Ylang Ylang, Pearl and Peppermint, and what a glorious beast it is. Formulated with a nutrient-rich blend of botanical and pearl bio active ingredients, it gently removes dead skin cells to leave your skin feeling noticeably softened, smooth and deeply cleansed, and in optimum condition for moisturising.
It combines a bunch of “do gooding” Bio Active Ingredients to ensure an amazing result, like Aragonite and conchiolin proteins from pearl - to remove dead skin cells and help improve cell turnover - and
Ylang Ylang and Geranium to remove excess sebum, visibly improve skin texture and reduce skin discolorations. The end result is skin that looks clearer, more even-toned and soothed, and more than ready to bare this summer!
This tube of goodness is instore mid-November, to locate you nearest stockist visit here.

Falling in love with: M.A.C Pro Longwear Lip Pencil

I’m a huge connoisseur of lipsticks and lip pencils, being an avid obsessive for more years than I’d care to mention. I’ve tried pretty much every brand known to woman, and it takes a hell of a lot to impress me in the lippy department.
But impressed I am – and ridiculously so – with M.A.C’s all new Pro Longwear lip pencils, which play a key role in their on-counter-right-now Styledriven collection.
Most definitely a fresh and new generation of longwearing lip pencil technology, these babies glide on fluidly and adhere instantly. And for a hell of a long time! They are also transfer proof, and glide effortlessly and painlessly along my lips without skipping or tugging. They do cost a little more than the lip pencils in M.A.C’s permanent collection, but after giving them a jolly good go, I am of the opinion that they deliver a smoother texture, less drying formula and more pigment, to boot.
I’ve been wearing Staunchly Stylish on an almost daily basis because I wanted one that would match my lip shade and work with a lot of my daytime lipsticks (like my favourite, M.A.C’s Velvet Teddy) as my default "neutral". Etcetera and Morning Coffee look like fantastic options that I’d like to get my hands on too, and Kiss Me Quick worked really well when paired with Lady Danger to deepen it out a little.
Love these! You need to get to your nearest M.A.C counter now and join the Longwear revolution.

Daily delight: Bambi in Miu Miu for Metal

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The great summer shape up

The hotter the weather gets the more likely we are to start peeling off the layers, and there are more than a few of us out there who are living in fear of what we’ll find beneath! It’s that time of year when new exercise goals start being set, and there is a multitude of ways to get yourself on the right track.
I personally am a long-time advocate of a varied fitness routine, and found that when I stepped up my Pilates classes at Re:ab in Selbourne Street and added some cardio and circuit classes into the mix I started to see some real results. A lot of people ask me: ‘but will Pilates help me lose weight?’ and speaking from personal experience and observation over the course of a few years, I can say with some certainty that anyone who commits to Pilates workouts will create a trimmer appearance, and most will lose significant weight. It creates lean muscle mass, so is of the best ways to increase your calorie-burning potential, but how much one applies oneself to their Pilates session determines how much weight they will or will not lose! The media has touted Pilates as a wonderful weight loss regime, but if people do not apply themselves to their workouts when exercising (be it Pilates or any other workout regime), results just won’t happen!
I sat down one afternoon to get the low down on shaping up for summer from an expert: Personal Trainer Monique Jackson, who I met at Re:ab and has worked in the industry both here and in the UK. Monique is a walking billboard for fitness and good health, and has the kind of effervescent energy and toned bod that we’d all love to achieve.
She begins by saying that “it’s good to have a goal – be it a holiday, a wedding or anything you’re looking forward to – and to be committed to it.” Depending on your fitness level you could start with three sessions of exercise a week she says, “then build it up week by week when you’re body starts getting used to it. And variety is essential to stop yourself getting bored and to challenge your body.” She says that my combination of Pilates, strength training cardio is a good one, “and because a lot of women worry about bulking up, increased reps of lighter weights and strength work like Pilates and yoga that stretches your muscles is a great thing to do.”
She says that “core focus” is essential, and working that area in some way every day to make sure that it stays strong. “And cardio of all kinds is really beneficial,” adds Monique, “be it walking the dog or going for a run. And as the weather gets warmer it’s ideal to get outside to exercise, or even join a boot camp for some seriously fast results and a whole new challenge again.”
She says that hiring a trainer is a great way to get motivated if you’re just starting a fitness regime or want to ramp yours up, “and seeing them twice or three times a week really helps you commit. They’ll also look at your diet and make you keep a food diary, so you feel responsible for what you’re doing when you’re not with them too.” After you’ve reached your goal “seeing them maybe once a fortnight is a good idea to keep you interested and energised with new workouts.” She’s also a strong advocate of Power Plate workouts, “which give you amazing results when you do them correctly.”

Hair: all natural, all good

I am a passionate advocate of beauty products that are as kind on the environment and my body as possible, but am definitely not of the seaweed sandal, “I make my own moisturiser in the tub” sector of the society, preferring to leave that side of thing to the conscious experts out there. There are quite a few rather clever types around, especially in the area of haircare.
One of these experts is Jim Markham, who created the Pureology haircare line in California in 2001. The very clever chap revolutionized colour care and gave it a conscience, launching the first 100 per cent Vegan formulas and ZeroSulfate shampoos for colour-treated hair. Jim identified a need among professional colourists and their clients for gentle, naturally-based products that deliver superior performance and keep colour looking great for longer, and today, Pureology is the number one colour care brand in the USA. As an added bonus, the company are committed to delivering superior hair colour care through the most indulgent products and services, while preserving and promoting environmental sustainability. That’s about as eco luxe as it gets! It launched here in 2009 and has gone from strength to strength, and has finally expanded into styling products. Needless to say, they are good for the planet, good for you and work hard to give you seriously fabulous hair. There are six offerings in the new collection, including Nourishing Nectar - a lightweight gel that perfect for using pre blow dry, with zero dulling residues and concentrated Keravis to strengthen the hair fibre.
Another favourite haircare range that is good for you and the planet is by Australian super stylist Kevin Murphy. A new offering of his that really got me excited is Young.Again, which is an anti-ageing product for your locks. Summer brings all sorts of hair “issues”, 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 but doesn’t take precious time out of our day, and it seems Mr. Murphy has answered our call. 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 and wash it out again? Not me! Young.Again is a treatment oil with exfoliation properties that expose fresh, clean hair every time you use it. Key to this incredible product is the herb Immortelle, from whose flower you can extract a water dispersable essential oil that can perform some pretty clever tasks. He’s added to this the likes of Bur Oil to improve hair strength and Sugar Cane Extract, a gentle exfoliate that prepares the hair to receive nutrients and gives a smooth shiny surface to the hair. It’s also heatproof up to 220 degrees and contains sunscreen.
Original & Mineral is another Australian brand that are true pioneers when it comes to creating hair products that care for your body and the planet, as well as actually working. I was introduced to the brand by Lucy Marr when I was pregnant and looking to steer clear of anything with an ingredient list that read like a science project, and O&M was the brand she held up as being one of the best. The O&M product range is proudly free of sulphates, parabens, MIT, phthlates, Triclosan and Proplene Gycol. The range also contains a UVA protectant, helping to keep hair healthy and happy. Even their award winning packaging is both recyclable and ridiculously good looking, and their product list is growing by the day.
And last but not least – and with Lucy Marr in mind – is the SANS range created by the aforementioned super stylist, passionate greenie and mum of two. Constantly expanding and a definite contender when it comes to purity and performance, this range is one of the best out there and proudly New Zealand made.

Daily delight: Lara Stone for Tom Ford's Violet Blonde

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Love it: the ModelCo Blend Buffing Mitt

The “tandoori-tan-hand effect”, the “telltale tanner's mitt”… call it what you like, if you’ve tried fake tanning then chances are you’ve had the bad luck of forgetting to wash your hands well after, leading to some seriously stained palms. It has happened to the best of us, and is always a dead giveaway that you’re wearing a fake bake.
We all love the look of a tan a la Ms. Moss (above) though, so those endlessly impressive masterminds at ModelCo have sorted us a solution to the aforementioned affliction – the Blend Buffing Mitt. This clever tool is soft touch, velour re-usable buffing mitt that blends your favourite self-tanner and instant bronzer to perfection for a streak-free finish and totally even coverage. Love that! Oh - and no more mad dash to the sink to wash your hands post application!
Specially designed and tested by beauty experts, it helps you achieve that professional salon finish in the comfort of your own home, whilst the handy water-resistant barrier ensures hands stay clean & dry.
Simply hand-wash the mitt with mild detergent in between uses and you’re good to go!

Get ready for all new Prevage

When it launched onto the beauty market all those years ago, Prevage changed the face of anti-ageing products – and of the millions of women who rushed out to buy it after hearing word of its unapologetic effectiveness and high performance formula. Since then it’s expanded from a single killer product to an impressive line, always innovating and adding to its portfolio.
Hitting the counters on October 31 are the latest additions to the family, Prevage Night Anti-aging Restorative Cream and Prevage Day Intensive Anti-aging Moisture Cream SPF 30. Designed to work with your skin’s needs and natural rhythms day and night, they are two new high performance moisturisers with high powered antioxidant Idebenone to help combat the visible effects of environmental stress and repair the look of skin.
In this dynamic duo Idebenone is delivered in a targeted and highly effective way through an innovative delivery system that fuses it with a skin compatible ester to provide a time-release reservoir of Idebenone on the skin. This means that it not only helps to protect skin from the damaging effects of environmental assaults, but also helps to support the skin’s natural repair process.
Perfect for dry and dehydrated skin, the day cream is intensely moisturising and diminishes the appearance of aging signs and existing sun damage like fine lines, wrinkles and discolourations. It has broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreens to help shield from the sun and an SPF rating of 30. Used alongside Prevage Face Advanced Anti-aging Serum it promises some serious results.
The night cream is all about correction - helping to fight the visible effects of environmental damage from the day and optimise skin’s natural moisture and repair capabilities. It works to minimise the appearance of lines, wrinkles, discolourations and the visible effects of sun damage whilst replenishing moisture reserves with Advanced Moisture Complex, Glycerin, Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter. Its intensive hydration system works to attract and bind moisture to skin, and it comes in an innovative airless jar with a one touch dispensing system to keep the product sealed and fresh. Once again, pop it on after your serum and watch it do its magic!

Daily delight: Daphne & Lindsey for Versace for H&M

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In love with: MOR Emporium Collection Blood Orange Body Butter

Two of the things that make life that little bit sweeter are a good quality body butter and a glass of blood orange juice, so how excited was I to hear about a combination of the two! It comes courtesy of those wonderful people at MOR and is part of their incredibly luxe and really quite fabulous Emporium Collection.
A set of wonderful small indulgences, the range includes hand wrapped Triple-Milled Soaps, rich creamy Body Butters, aromatic Soy Candles and opulent Hand Creams, in an alluring library of unique warm fragrances like Snow Gardenia, Tonka Bean Musk and Lychee Flower. I’m currently all about Blood Orange though, and have been incredibly impressed by this little jar of goodness since the moment that I first popped the lid.
The formula is rich and creamy yet still easily absorbed, and contains goodies like Vitamins A, C & E to moisturise and Shea and Cocoa Butters to give the skin an even further boost of hydration. The likes of Avocado, Olive, Wheat Germ, Sesame Seed and Rosehip oils seal the deal, making for plump, happy skin that feels good around the clock.
It also makes for seriously good gifting, with divine packaging that includes individual papers with patterns inspired by historical items such as global textiles, jewellery and ceramics that date between the 16th and 19th Centuries. Each sleeve is secured with a gold screen printed, hand tied satin-like ribbon, with a wax like seal pressed into position for a finishing touch. Beautiful stuff.

Meeting Sodashi’s Megan Larsen: natural wonder

Considered by many to be “the purest skincare brand in the world”, Sodashi is an Australian skincare company that has successfully harnessed the benefits of natural ingredients to produce effective, chemical-free skin care products and spa therapies since 1999. As a lover of those rare moments when all natural-meets-high performance in the world of beauty, I for one was very excited to find out that that their products and treatments have arrived in New Zealand – with facialist Keely Watson, at the Sanctuary Day Spa at Mollie’s boutique hotel, and soon also at Lucy & The Powder Room.
The extensive range of Sodashi products are formulated using a unique combination of biochemistry, aromatherapy and Ayurvedic principles, and are all produced at the company’s own laboratory in Fremantle in Western Australia. A Sanskrit word, Sodashi translates to ‘wholeness, purity and radiance’ – the values on which the company and its products are based. As well as producing beautiful, desirable products, their absolute commitment to working in harmony with nature is reflected across all areas of the business, a factor you can’t help but admire. Not a single synthetic chemical, preservative or fragrance is used in the Sodashi manufacturing process. Products are never tested on animals and Sodashi packaging is recyclable and printed with natural vegetable dyes, and they must be doing something right as the range is available at many of most exclusive resorts and spas worldwide.
Kiwi Megan Larsen (above) founded Sodashi, and is an absolute joy to spend time with. She has never lost sight of the fact that wholeness, purity and radiance cannot be attained via products alone, but requires a genuine balance between mind, body and spirit. Megan practices what she preaches, too. Her staff are given time to meditate every day and people are hired for their passion as well as their expertise.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to run a few curly questions by her recently, and got some inspiring results back…

When you first started developing Sodashi, what were the three key principles you were determined to stick by?
I wanted to create chemical-free skincare that really worked. I had tried many natural skincare ranges, and whilst they were lovely to use I did not personally see great results. I decided to create my own range. My key principles were that they were high performance, chemical-free and made using the finest therapeutic grade essential oils and plant actives.

Did you ever envisage that it would go all over the world?
Not at first, but then I got very excited when I realised there was a global demand for my products. Within two years of establishing Sodashi we signed our first international client in Thailand. Today, Sodashi is stocked in over 60 luxury resorts and spas in over 25 countries, and our global footprint continues to grow.

What do you think of the green washing that happens in beauty today, which I'm sure has gotten worse and worse in the last twelve years?
Whilst the green washing in the beauty industry is huge, I think we are now talking to an increasingly savvy customer base who demand authenticity from beauty brands. A growth of the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) demographic is testament to this. People are questioning ingredients such as parabens, GMOs, petrochemicals and phthalates in their skin care products and are becoming aware that around 60 per cent of what is applied to the skin is absorbed into the bloodstream. More and more consumers are experiencing sensitivities to synthetic chemicals and are seeking chemical-free alternatives.

Daily delight: Anja Rubik's hippy luxe, Vogue Paris

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Miranda Kerr for Harpers Bazaar Australia

I try: Hypnôse Doll Eyes Mascara by Lancôme

It may go in and out of vogue, but I’m all for dolly lashes all the time, and I love the way they look with a totally clean face as much as a popping coral lip. Finding a mascara that perfectly creates this look can be a challenge, but from the minute I heard that French beauty giant Lancôme had released a version I knew it would be a winner.
When it comes to mascara, Lancôme takes the honours; Définicils is THE best selling luxury mascara in the world, and they put a lot of time, effort and research into their mascara formulations. Needless to say, Hypnôse Doll Eyes (in some markets called Doll Lashes) is a perfect formula, and the brands most flirtatious lash look yet. Just a couple of coats give you a volumized, extended and full lash fringe for a wide-eyed look, and it’s incredibly easy to use. 

The secret behind this clever little tube of high wattage glamour is a new, unique, cone-shaped brush that provides an extremely smooth and clean application, as well as precisely defining even your hard-to-reach corners and lower lashes. Combined with their exclusively developed FiberShine formula, it sculpts, curls and loads each lash for the ultimate shiny lash fringe without weighing it down.
This new favourite takes its inspiration from every bombshell’s dream of separated, thick, long lashes with that ‘nylon shine’ just like a doll’s, and it definitely does that and more.
Super cute tube too!

Love it: Green People gives all natural sun protection that cares

It’s getting easier and easier to make the natural choice when it comes to sunscreen, with lots of stellar, high performance and user friendly new products hitting the market each year.
The latest to hit our shores is Green People, a new range of award-winning organic sun lotions that use effective natural and skin-friendly ingredients to efficiently protect against UVA and UVB rays. They also have a line for the kids, Oy! – as in Organic Young – to provide high-protection natural suncare for young and sensitive skin.
Their main range includes an unscented Green People Sun Lotion SPF25, which is water resistant and offers broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection with antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E to help support the skin’s immune system and protect against cell damage. Made without essential oils, this sun lotion is perfect for sensitive skin and those prone to prickly heat, which is a killer when you’re trying to enjoy yourself on a tropical holiday – and that’s from someone who has been there!
Other clever products in the range include a Sun Lotion SPF15 with Tan Accelerator, containing an extract from the carob tree that naturally stimulates melanin. It speeds up the tanning process by 25 per cent and reduces the tan-fading rate by almost 50 per cent. Spend less time in the sun, tan, and protect your skin all in one! I’m dying to try this one, it sounds like a great idea and I do love a smart multitasker.
But how do they work? By using some rather clever ingredients. Titanium Dioxide mineral, cinnamic acid (from cinnamon oil) and edelweiss extract sit on the surface of skin to naturally bounce UVA and UVB rays, offering more effective broad-spectrum protection. Edelweiss grows at high altitude, where UV rays are very strong, so it has evolved to give a natural defence against UV light.
Add to that avocado oil - rich in fatty acids - and vitamins A, C and E to plump the skin, help prevent wrinkles and deeply nourish. Green Tea, Olive and Rosemary Oils are there to offer natural antioxidants to help support the skin’s immune system and protect against cell damage and fight premature ageing, while Berry Wax from the Japanese sumach tree offers natural water resistant properties without blocking the pores.
And if this isn’t enough to convince you to give these formulations a whirl, the range is also safe on our precious ecosystem, as none of the ingredients have a polluting effect on oceans and sealife. Research studies have reported that the UV filters used in chemical sunscreens may be contributing to coral bleaching, and as a 20-minute dip in the sea is enough to wash off 25 per cent there is a hell of a lot of the stuff floating out there. Scary stats.

Daily delight: Miranda Kerr goes nude for Harpers Australia

Friday, October 7, 2011

Love it: L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze One Day Tinted Gel

I know it seems like I’m all about the tan at the moment, probably because I am! I look better with one like you wouldn’t believe, and I love that there are so many options these days for getting a glow on without the need for frying oneself in the sun.
The latest formula I’m giving a whirl is from beauty giant L'Oréal Paris, and it’s known as Sublime Bronze One Day Tinted Gel. It contains unique bronzing technology that combines caramel, tinting agents and pearl particles to give the skin a magical glow for one day, or until you’re ready to wash it off using just soap and water. It pretty much acts like a translucent veil of colour on your skin for a sheer bronzed effect, and as it enhances the natural colour of the skin, it’s suitable for almost all skin tones.
Love that!
Also on the plus side it has no self-tanning agents so comes with a super sunny fragrance rather than the odour of a wet dog, and it is incredibly quick-drying. Smooth on one layer for a sheer look or add more for deeper colour, and allow the product to dry well before getting dressed. Oh and as always, make sure that you wash hands well with soap after application – just because you can’t see colour on there doesn’t mean that you won’t very quickly after!

Daily delight: Marloes Horst for Vogue Mexico

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I try: a good old-fashioned dose of Reiki

I’ve written before here about the wonderful Rosanna Marks, ex-beauty industry maven turned holistic therapist and purveyor of very delicious massages! She is the principal therapist at Mind Body Institute, which she opened at the West Lynn end of Richmond Road back in 2008. From her beautifully appointed rooms Rosanna practices the likes of mirimiri (traditional Maori massage), Hawaiian Ka Huna bodywork, Egyptian undulating heart breath, chakra balancing, kundalini massage techniques and organic facial therapy (with French skincare range Phyt’s), as well as Aroha Healing, which is a true fusion of Rosanna’s work. Internationally trained in many indigenous healing modalities, the vivacious therapist uses a fusion of ancient traditional practice combined with a modern twist and is also passionate about Reiki..
One of her favourite treatments – to give and receive – is a four handed Reiki Energy Healing session, which I experienced at the very capable hands of Rosanna and her partner Ben. For those that have never experienced reiki, it essentially involves the practitioner(s), who has been attuned to the reiki frequency, using a series of hand positions on the fully clothed body through which to channel the healing energy. The energy comes from all around us, and as with the kind of energy that provides us with heat and light, we don't have to think about where it comes from, we just flick a switch and there it is. The reiki practitioner has a "switch" and they act as channels through which the energy flows. People experience reiki in a variety of ways. Some feel heat coming from the practitioner's hands; some feel tingling and some feel a sensation akin to a cool breeze. Some people fall asleep almost immediately. The procedure is very simple, but also very effective, and the benefits of one session can last over a long time. I felt in a state akin to dreaming, but fully awake and totally relaxed. And I can definitely vouch for the results lasting – I floated on air for days! Another wonderful thing about reiki is that anyone can learn how to do it, and Rosanna often holds retreats teaching just that.
If you’re in need of a tune up or just some “enforced” relaxation, then I highly recommend a trip over her way.