Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In love with: Gareth Pugh for M.A.C

Around the middle of this year I first heard word that uber talented British designer Gareth Pugh was doing a makeup line with his long-time runway collaborator, M.A.C, but it seemed almost too good to be true. But come December 16 it will be more than just real, it’ll be in store for your purchasing pleasure!
“With a collection that goes from strong, deep and mysterious to light, fragile, and ethereal, I think we’ve created a truly versatile collection that hopefully you’ll be inspired by and want to wear,” Pugh said in a release, and if the samples I’ve just had a play with are anything to go by? You’ll want to wear it all!
Infusing his trademark esoteric experimentation into Beauty Powders, Metal-X Cream Shadows, Technakohl Liner, Pigments, Lipsticks, Lipglass, Studio Fix Boldblack Lash, Powder Blushes, Nail Lacquers, a Buffer Brush and a Makeup Bag, Pugh has delivered a seriously full collection that has his aesthetic stamped all over it. Imagine an assortment of futuristic yet primal shades in custom geometric packaging and you’ll pretty much nail it on the head – this collection is seriously fabulous.
The designer has said that he was inspired by everything from a hematite rock to butterfly wings, and the brutally angular lashes in the collection (pictured above) are the result of him snipping away at a bunch of fake lashes that MAC sent him with the goal of making them non-lash-shaped.
In my humble opinion the jewels in the crown of this collection are a mix of the unique and the wearable. They come in the form of a Beauty Powder called Elude – a translucent, neutral beige – and the two Metal-X Cream Shadows in Obscura (a frosty gunmetal grey) and Ardent (a frosty blackened burgundy).
Just beautiful!

Daily delight: Masha Tyelna for Harper’s Singapore

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Joico K-PAK Color Therapy: why not have it all?

Getting your hair coloured on a regular basis is for many of us a necessity as opposed to a treat, but a lot of the time it’s not too kind on the hair, especially if you like things on the lighter side like I do right now.
And until recently, we had to make a choice when it came to haircare, opting for products that repaired damaged strands, or formulas that protected our colour. Let’s say a big thank you then to those lovely people at Joico, who have created a new product range that let’s people with chemically treated and damaged, coloured hair have the best of both worlds.
Called the K-PAK Color Therapy collection, it is a dual-benefit system that strengthens strands while at the same time doubling the life of colour’s vibrancy. The secret to its success is called QuadraBond Peptide Complex, a formula that resurfaces and reconstructs hair to ensure that damaged strands maintain colour intensity twice as long when compared to ordinary shampoo and conditioner. At the same time, even the weakest, most fragile or structurally impaired hair feels and looks softer, silkier, and healthier. It’s the perfect choice for those who decide to lift their hair more than two shades lighter for the summer months, as this is where key hair damage can take place.
The collection has three parts, made up of:
K-PAK Color Therapy Shampoo, which gently cleanses while enhancing elasticity, strength, colour vibrancy and shine. The rich lather won’t disrupt the surface B-Layer, meaning colour molecules are discouraged from escaping.
K-PAK Color Therapy Conditioner, which is a daily formula that fortifies, reconstructs and strengthens as it protects colour integrity. It calms surface disruptions, and helps smooth, detangle and eliminate frizz.
K-PAK Color Restorative Styling Oil
This weightless formula is equally effective as a treatment and as a styling product. Rich in an exotic blend of Manketti, Argan and Evening Primrose Oils, it seals and nourishes the hair cuticle, which discourages premature colour fading.

Get the look: Jourdan Dunn’s yellow nails for i-D

A while ago I posted an i-D magazine cover featuring the stunning Jourdan Dunn as a ‘Daily Delight’, and was inundated with queries about how to get her popping yellow nails.
A few weeks – and a lot of Googling – later, I discovered that they are the work of Sophy Robson, a London-based luxury nail artist with her own salons. The very clever lass has created nails for campaigns by Bvlgari (pictured above) and YSL, and for the likes of Kylie Minogue and Kate Moss, as well as a slew of seriously prestigious editorial shoots.
She says that the i-D shoot with Dunn “was pretty much a dream shot for any nail artist working in fashion—a whole hand of colored nails on the cover, all in shot!” She explains that on the shoot day the theme for the pictures was to be “retro, part rockabilly, part Sade in the '80s, but slick and sophisticated,” and the makeup by Lucia Pica and hair by Anthony Turner fell in line with that. Robson thought about the nails and a cover image of Madonna from 1984 came into her mind, so she decided to re-create the nail look and drag it into the 21st century.
She mixed an American Apparel neon yellow she had with Mimosa by Chanel to get the pigment just right and everyone agreed that it worked! Beautiful stuff.

Daily delight: Bianca Balti for Dolce & Gabbana Jewelry

Monday, November 28, 2011

All new skincare: MOREISH

While I’m on the subjects of oils today – I know, I know, I’m rarely OFF the subject of oils! – I thought I’d give a bit of a love to MOREISH, a new, locally created skincare range to the market that contains argan oil as its core ingredient.
Argan oil is internationally renowned for its remarkable nourishing, regenerative and anti-ageing properties. Rich in Vitamin E, Omega-9 and antioxidants, the rare oil has been used for centuries by the Berber tribeswomen who harvest it to nourish their skin, hair and nails in the dry desert heat. It’s also rather hot right now, and more and more product ranges are popping up that harnesses its unique attributes.
What sets MOREISH apart is that it also contains New Zealand oils and plant extracts - known for their amazing skin enhancing benefits - including Pohutukawa extracts, grown wild and hand-harvested in the East Cape. Other key ingredients include a unique blend of antioxidants naturally extracted from kiwifruit skins and grape seeds, which help to brighten the skin, reduce redness and improve elasticity.
MOREISH also employs a ‘natural products’ approved preservative system - using no chemicals such as parabens or phenoxyethanol – and the range contains no petrochemicals, synthetic colours or synthetic fragrances, has recyclable packaging and is not tested on animals.
The MOREISH skincare range comprises 15 facial products to suit all skin types including night and day creams, cleansers and masks, but the one that takes my fancy is the Salvation Balm (pictured), a multitasker that can be used all over the body, on the face and in the hair. Love that!

I try: Dr. LeWinn’s impressive Bio-Care Oil

I’m mad for oils – I could go on for days about my favourites, the whys and wherefores – and always love hearing about a new, petrochemical-free one that promises results. In this instance that would be Dr. LeWinn’s Bio-Care Oil, which is damn impressive thus far.
Formulated with what the highly respected skincare company call ‘Bio-Sensi’ Complex, it’s a specialist, intense treatment oil that “replenishes, regenerates and delivers deep nourishment to the skin”.
The key ingredient in this clever ‘Bio-Sensi’ Complex is Echium Oil, cold pressed from the seeds of the Echium Plantagineum. This highly unique oil contains all the essential fatty acids (EFA’s), along with significant levels of one particular Omega-3, known as Stearidonic Acid. This fatty acid promotes skin regeneration along with the formation of collagen and elastin - the structural elements responsible for keeping the skin plump, firm and supported. Echium Oil is one of nature’s very few sources of this wonder ingredient, and also has the tremendous advantage of being derived from a naturally renewable plant source.
Other skin-loving ingredients in this magic formula include Tea (Camellia) Oil, for its rejuvenating and moisturising properties; Calendula Oil for its soothing, healing and anti-microbial benefits; Olive Oil, to provide a vitamin and antioxidant boost; and Coconut Oil for its excellent skin softening and smoothing effects.
And just as important in my opinion: Dr. LeWinn’s Bio-Care Oil contains absolutely NO parabens, paraffins, lanolin, dyes, fragrances, synthetic or petrochemical ingredients that can cause irritation, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin or pregnant, or pretty much anyone who cares about what goes in that which they put on their skin.
A great multitasker – like many quality oils of note – you can slap this goodie on pretty much whatever ails you, including stretch marks, scars and damaged skin, or skin dehydrated by the sun. It also reportedly offers much-needed moisture relief to dry skin conditions, including Eczema and Psoriasis, and I love it rubbed into my legs after shaving for a soothing, sassy gleam.

Daily delight: Kelley Ash for Foam Magazine

Friday, November 25, 2011

Want it now: Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche and Eau Tendre layer up

The Chanel Chance family now spans three generations of flirty, gorgeous and ultra feminine fragrances, and the youthful trio is loved by women all over the world.
They’ll definitely be queuing up to get their favourites in their newest incarnations, with Chance Eau Fraiche and Chance Eau Tendre now available in twist and sprays, foaming shower gels and body moisturisers for the ultimate in fragrance layering.
Chanel want you to “choose your favourite interpretation and let yourself be swept up in the olfactive whirlwind that is Chance”, as well as smelling absolutely heavenly day and night.
These beauties will be available from 31st January 2012 from major department stores and selected pharmacies…

Scarlett & Greene's magical Zit Zapper

No matter how great your skin is, we all experience a break out or two every now and again, at any age. They certainly suck and usually arrive at very inconvenient times – hello photo shoot/date/event – and with very little warning.
A lot of the flash treatments out there for pimples are effective on the spot itself but unusually harsh on the skin, so it’s always good when one comes along that is a little kinder all round. Cue the arrival of Scarlett & Greene’s charmingly named Zit Zapper: an all-natural, fast-acting drying solution that effectively eliminates pimples, naturally. The Zit Zapper is the fourth product to be developed and released by Scarlett & Greene, a New Zealand-based skincare company (their "face" is my friend’s beautiful daughter Jaime, above) specialising in natural products for younger skin. The newest release can be used at any age however, and is refreshingly free from nasty chemicals too. It has been formulated instead using a mix of natural goodies like sulphur (absorbs oil), zinc oxide (reduces inflammation) and tea tree (antibacterial), together with salicylic acid (unclogs pores) to effectively heal those blemishes.
They say that the natural, New Zealand made formula is “scientifically designed to penetrate deep into your skin, blasting your zits, not your face,” which can only be a good thing!
To use, give the tube a good shake and then apply directly to the affected area after a good cleanse. Leave overnight and let it work it’s magic…
For stockists or to buy online visit here.

Daily delight: Laetitia Casta for The Lab Fall 11

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The very berry Lifestream Acai Supreme Antioxidant

Acai berry it appears, has truly taken the world health market by storm. Predominately a powerful antioxidant, it reportedly has a strength 30 times that of red wine because of its Polyphenols properties and everyone from Dr Oz to Oprah Winfrey is singing its praises.
There have been claims that you can loose weight from taking Acai but other benefits that I like the sound of include:
*Increased Healthy Energy
* Increase alertness, concentration, and mental sharpness.
* Higher Antioxidants than pomegranate and green tea!
I’ve recently got my hands on a bottle of Lifestream Acai Supreme Antioxidant, which takes the berry content to a whole new level. Rather than just being purely made up of acai, it is a unique blend of seven nutrient-dense berries, including the South American super berry. It is bursting with vitamins and minerals and is naturally rich in antioxidants to help protect us from DNA damage, oxidative stress, free radicals and cellular breakdown.
Other berries in this potent little charmer are Noni, Pomegranate, Cherry, Blackberry, Blueberry and Raspberry, all of which contain a wide range of natural vitamins, minerals and unique berry phytonutrients such as anthocyanins, which provide antioxidant activity to help protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Think anti-ageing, energy giving and all the rest besides. Powerful stuff!
It’s also 100 per cent Vegan, and free from wheat, gluten, milk derivatives, nuts, yeast, added sugar, artificial colours or binders, synthetics and artificial preservatives. Can’t wait to tuck in.

I try: The Murad IP5 Facial

I have to confess that I’d never been to a Caci Clinic before setting foot in their High Street branch yesterday, so I was a little excited and nervous all at the same time. I’d heard of their no-nonsense approach to treatments and was rather impressed, and that their new IP5 Facial was the ultimate in anti-ageing and then some.
A 60 minute treatment, the Murad IP5 60 minute facial is Caci’s most comprehensive and advanced anti-ageing facial, using Murad’s Professional range of products. Your skin is essentially “re-programmed for youthfulness” with their immune cell-stimulating Immuno-Skin Complex, while five high performance exfoliators, hydrators and brighteners rapidly resurface and rehydrate your skin. That’s a lot going on! In reality, it happened very quickly and for a peel, and came with very minimal discomfort. The delicious Vitamin C cleanser that was used to prep my skin probably helped – I definitely have to try that again, it was gorgeous – as well as the minty, Cooling Recovery Mask that was applied immediately afterwards to rehydrate, rebalance and protect my newly bright skin.
And lest I forget, whilst the peel was on an eye mask was also applied that was full of hyaluronic microspheres to plump and hydrate. The info that cam with the facial tells me that this clever formula has been proven to increase skin firmness by up to 75 per cent in just 15 minutes, which is no mean feat! While you will see immediate results after just one treatment, my therapist Taryn recommends a series of three treatments a week apart to really get the best from IP5’s results-driven technology.
Last but not least, I left the clinic completely makeup free but with not an ounce of redness to be seen, and just an hour later my skin was glowing. I’ve heard the phrase flung around many times before, but the ultimate “lunchtime facial” this may be!
The Murad IP5 is exclusive to Caci and costs $175, to book call 0800 458 458 or visit their website here.

Daily delight: Scarlett Johansson for Interview

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The importance of oils in beauty... & why you need them now!

Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis will know how obsessed I am by using oils on the skin, on the hair, on my salad… hell, not a day goes by when I don’t grab one from my substantial arsenal and urge someone to start using it! There are a plethora of goodies out there, but a lot of people don’t know exactly which type of oil will suit them.
Different oils are suitable for different skin types and different ailments, so I’ve written a little rundown on some of the most popular ones and – in a nutshell - what they can do for you.
Drum roll please…
Argan Oil
Argan Oil is one of nature's best-kept beauty secrets, used for centuries by the women of Morocco in their skin, hair and nail-care rituals. These days, this precious oil is becoming more and more renowned for its incredibly nourishing, regenerating and anti-ageing properties. It is rich in Vitamin E and Omega-9 EFA's, antioxidants, polyphenols, carotenoids as well as squalene, a unique and rare component. Argan Oil has a proven anti-free radical and anti-ageing effect and is rich in proteins shown to tighten the skin and protect skin's elasticity. Argan is ideal for use on the likes of stretch marks and scars as it's high in Vitamin E, which regenerates skin and accelerates healing. Popping up in almost every range out right now, Argan is also ideal for haircare, as it soothes the scalp and strengthens hair.
Jojoba Oil
Jojoba is a good option for most people prone to blemishes as it has antibacterial properties and closely resembles the skin’s natural sebum. Because of this, Jojoba is readily absorbed into the skin, is non-pore clogging and helps balance production of your natural sebum. It contains linoleic acid, which accounts for its anti-inflammatory, acne reduction and moisture retention properties. Jojoba is great for all skin problems - including psoriasis – and is great for hair. My favourite mutitasker, I use it on everything from dry cuticles to mosquito bites!
Rosehip Oil
Rosehip Oil is healing, nourishing and protective. It’s great for fading scars and is suitable for sensitive, dry or ageing skin. It is rich in anti-oxidants, Vitamin C and E, improves moisture, is cell regenerating and increases elasticity. Rosehip oil also contains linoleic acid that has anti-inflammatory, acne reducing and moisture retention properties. Rosehip Oil has also been cited as helpful in the treatment of dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and hyper pigmentation.
Almond Oil
Almond Oil is ideal for use as massage oil and is both nourishing and protective. It is high in linoleic acid and is a commonly used ingredient in beauty products as it treats and prevents dry, chapped and irritated skin. In addition to skin, Almond oil is another one that is great for hair. It helps condition, nourish, and soften hair while stimulating growth.
Pomegranate Oil
From a nutrition standpoint, the virtues of the pomegranate fruit have recently been pushed into the limelight. Pomegranate oil is high in linoleic acids and anti-oxidants, and a great age fighter. A saviour for mature, irritated, and dry, cracked skin, this oil stimulates cell regeneration, increases elasticity and lessens wrinkles over time.

Want: everything Daphne Guinness for M.A.C

I always love the news of a fresh M.A.C collaboration, mainly because they are often unexpected and always seriously cool. Everyone from Gareth Pugh to Lady Gaga and Miss Piggy is having a bash over the next twelve months, and the latest name to add to the list is the seriously FASHION Daphne Guinness (pictured).
The British aristocrat and uber-muse has created a 21-piece range for the makeup powerhouse, featuring pigments, lip cremes, eyeshadows, two ombré blush palettes and a beautiful trio of nail polishes that will be hopefully landing in New Zealand by February next year. Inspired by “classical art, watercolour washes and the mysteries of outer-space”, the collection includes dramatic, almost gothic shades like deep plums, browns and burgundy, along with some very wearable rose pinks and greys and a beautifully nude nail shade.
Guinness was reportedly very hands-on during the formulation of the line, mixing the shades for each product herself. M.A.C Creative Director – and generally amazing talent - James Gaeger told the press that it was the brand's "couture moment" and I have to agree. WANT. IT. ALL.

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss for Vogue Germany

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rodney Wayne's Richard Kavanagh today on hair: prep it, shape it, finish it

I try: Grown Wheatgerm, Gingko & Cranberry Facial Masque

If you check in here often you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Grown Skincare, and love to recommend their products for reasons that rage of the ingredients to the methodology and their beautiful retro-fabulous packaging.
Their latest release to catch my eye is their Wheatgerm, Gingko & Cranberry Facial Masque, which is a deeply purifying clay masque, specially formulated to detoxify skin, improve firmness and replenish lost nutrients. After just a couple of weekly applications my skin started to show some serious love, and the formula is just delicious to use.
What makes this puppy so spectacular is its ability to cleanse and purify skin using a range of bio-active ingredients, which help the natural repair mechanisms in skin to function optimally. The stellar line up includes:
• Superfine white clay to draw out deep impurities, removing excess sebum and dead skin cells. Due to it’s high mineral content, clay has the ability to absorb excess oils, dirt and harmful toxins to unblock and clean pores, while rejuvenating skin and stimulating blood circulation.
• Powerful antioxidants, gamma-tocotrienols and asta-xanthin from cranberry seed to help protect skin against oxidative stress, preserving the dermal layer and collagen network
• Ginkgo and centella, rich in bioflavonoids and free radical scavengers to help purify the skin and protect it against premature ageing
• Wheatgerm rich in vitamins A, E, D, and essential fatty acids help restore skin elasticity, reduce pore size and improve delicate facial skin firmness and tone.

It left my skin with a serious glow on after just one try, so imagine what this can do for you over time! It would be especially beneficial for teenage and oily skins too, as it’s gentle but super effective. Like all clay masques, this should be applied with soft circular motions to help it get into the pores – then sit back, relax and watch it do its work.
To locate your nearest stockist or for further information visit their very cool website here.

Daily delight: Abbey Lee Kershaw for Vogue Russia

Monday, November 21, 2011

Let's think about: controlling your alcohol intake

I know it’s the wrong time of year to be addressing the amount of alcohol many of us are imbibing – hello, Christmas parties! – and I love a glass of bubbles as much as the next woman, but we can all do with reminding about how it can have an effect on both your health and your waistline.
One of my marvellous trainers, Monique Jackson recently discussed with me the problem that many women have: your alcohol intake may be what is standing between you reaching your weight loss goals. “Alcohol provides 27kj per gram which makes it almost as energy dense as fat at 37kj per gram,” she explained, which is scary stuff! This means alcohol can be a significant contributor to you daily energy intake while providing few valuable micronutrients.
Then add up that a standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol:
A 330ml can of 4% beer
A 100ml glass of wine
A 30ml spirit shot
… and that fact that for many of us, an average pour is a LOT larger than a standard drink!
She advises that if you want to address your alcohol intake and the effect it is having on your waistline, try some of the following:
* Aim to cut out drinking during the working week and save it for weekends only. The best way to achieve this is not to have any wine in the house or that is visible.
* Drink a low kilojoule, non-alcoholic beverage out of a wine glass during the week. Herbal teas that have been chilled in the fridge are the best option. Brew 4-5 teabags of herbal tea and pour into a water jug (or a washed out empty wine bottle for extreme effect!), place in the fridge and use that evening.
* The best replacement for white wine is green tea, chamomile and peppermint, and for red wine any of the dark fruit and berry herbal teas (the Twinings cranberry, raspberry and elderflower is a goodie!).
* Choose drinks with a lower alcohol content and avoid sugary mixers (go for tonic and soda waters).
And if you’re at a very jolly Christmas party then try my trick – alternating every alcoholic drink with a glass of sparkling water or watered down juice. Your waistline will thank you for it, and the next day, so will your head!

Love it: Sodashi Vanilla Body Butter

In my humble opinion, Megan Larsen and her team at Sodashi really can do no wrong, and every one of their products that I try quickly becomes a firm favourite.
I’m also a huge fan of vanilla as a fragrance – done well it can be classified as truly heaven-sent – so it’s no surprise that my newest obsession is Sodashi’s truly delicious and decadently creamy Vanilla Body Butter.
Rich plant essences and natural butters are beautifully blended to create this luscious body crème, which absorbs well while offering prolonged hydration for the skin. Jojoba -known for its superb skin softening properties - and coconut oil are combined with shea and mango butters to smooth and soften the skin and protect against environmental damage, whilst grapefruit stimulates circulation into the deeper layers of the skin, toning and tightening with every stroke. Last but not least, patchouli aids with cell renewal and aromatic favourites vanilla and ylang ylang add a sweet fragrant note that’s subtle whilst still remaining totally dreamy.
The application of this beauty butter is totally painless as well – warm it slightly between your hands and it blends in perfectly, leaving nary a trace of greasiness just moments after.
It goes without saying that like all of Sodashi’s products, the Sodashi Body Butters are completely chemical free, made from the highest quality plant extracts and essences sourced from around the globe. Based on the knowledge and wisdom of ancient philosophies and natural healing traditions, products are designed to work holistically to nurture the body. No chemicals, artificial preservatives, mineral oils or synthetic fragrances are used in the manufacture of the range and products are never tested on animals.
Sodashi products are also packaged in unique violet glass, with light filtering properties that protect and enhance the product held within, and look totally gorgeous on your shelf. You won’t want to hide this heavenly treat away, that’s for sure!

Daily delight: Lakshmi Menon for Elle UK

Friday, November 18, 2011

I try: Benefit Erase Paste

I was lucky enough to be in the chair this morning getting a manicure at the marvellous Magic Tan in Newmarket, when owner Petrina showed me the latest and greatest addition to the beauty hot spot – some absolute must haves from Benefit.
One that really caught my eye is Erase Paste, which I have heard about for months now but haven’t been lucky enough to try. Well now I am and I most certainly have, and it is a real wonder!
A cult product in the blogosphere, it’s a brightening camouflage for the eyes and the face. A very concentrated, creamy concealer, it brightens and camouflages in one easy step, targeting the likes of dark circles, discoloration and imperfections. It comes in three shades with brightening melon undertones to suit every complexion, and also a fully illustrated, step-by-step lesson and mini-spatula for easy application. It’s a product that will take a few goes to get right as it is quite heavy at first glance, but once mastered is an absolute life changer!
For under eye concealing and brightening for dark circles, start by using the
spatula to scoop out a tiny amount. Place the paste on the back of your hand then using your ring finger, take erase paste and make a dot on the inner and outer corners of the eye. Delicately blend or for complete under eye concealing, connect the dots. For blemishes and spots of discoloration use the side of your finger to draw an “X” on top of the imperfection then pat and blend with your ring finger. It’s a good idea to run your fingertips under warm water to heat them up before blending as well, and start off light – you can always add more.
This baby is definitely a wonder product when it comes to concealing, and is great for clean up after eye shadow application as well… go forth and erase!

Daily delight: Dakota & Elle Fanning for W Magazine

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Beauty destination: Mod's Hair at The Langham

Many of you will know that one of my favourite places to while away an afternoon – or evening, or night – is The Langham hotel, perhaps in their truly incredible Chuan Spa or over champagne and teeny tiny cakes in The Winery. I need no excuse really, and the fact that it’s just a ten-minute drive from my home is positively criminal!
Now I’ve got even more reason to hit this perfectly appointed venue with the arrival of a blow wave bar in house, just in time for glamorous hair over the Christmas party season!
The five-star hotel is partnering with the international Mod’s Hair Paris group, which is installing a ‘pop up’ blow dry bar in a Chuan Spa suite at the hotel in time for the festive social whirl. Mod’s Hair Paris at The Langham will run from Saturday 19 November through to Saturday 10 December and will provide guests and visitors with a top notch coif for evening events.
Mod's Hair at The Langham will be open for hotel guests and visitors every Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 10 December from 2pm - 8pm. The cost will be NZ$75.00, and payment can be made with EFTPOS, cash or charged back to your room if you’re lucky enough to be staying at The Langham.
Bookings are essential and can be made directly with Mod's Hair Ponsonby by telephoning (09) 378 8998 or emailing

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss by Mario Testino for Allure

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Love it: Stila One Step Complexion Brush #33

Whenever I get my makeup done by Mecca Cosmetica maestro Chris, I marvel at the speed and dexterity of his foundation application and the cleverness of his tools. One I had my eye on for a while was Stila’s One Step Complexion Brush #33, which I fell in love with so much over time that I just had to have one of my own.
Since I took it home I have used it religiously pretty much every day, and have to say that it is a true marvel. A dual-ended foundation and concealer brush, it allows you to blend both liquid and powder products seamlessly for effortless makeup application and a flawless finish every time.
One end beautifully blends liquid, creams and powder foundation into your skin, while the other delivers precision concealing for a perfected, polished complexion.
The synthetic bristles are shaped to imitate application with your fingertips, but are firmer and more flexible for quicker, easier makeup application, and as the bristles are synthetic, the transfer of oils and bacteria is pretty much zilch. The tapered brush tip can burrow into tiny, hard-to-reach crevices, and is also great for eye shadow colour.
The ultimate in double-duty, there is very little this brush can’t do, so it’s no surprise it is an Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner and the ultimate must have in my kit!

Love: Tom Ford talks to about makeup

What a steal: Qsilica Skincare and Capsules

I’m a big fan of taking supplements, and despite the fact that someone is always waving a new study saying that they’re unnecessary in this day and age I know that the ones I take give me results. In an ideal world we’d eat organic for breakfast, lunch and dinner, get adequate exercise and experience zero stress, but we’re not all in nirvana unfortunately, and often need a little help.
I’ve known about the importance of silica for quite a few years now, and the fact that all livings beings need it to survive. It’s vital for the developmental, structural and functional requirements of the body, and a great addition to your daily supplement regime for a number of reasons. Qsilica Colloidal Silica capsules are a great option, being high-potency internal supplements that conveniently provide mineral silica to your body and work to strengthen healthy growth and functioning of connective tissue, skin, hair, nails and joint cartilage. It can also help support strong teeth and bones by helping facilitate the incorporation of calcium into the bone structure, and as the capsules are gluten, yeast, dairy and soy free they are suitable for vegetarians. Popping 1 to 2 capsules a day is all you need to do, which isn’t hard by any stretch of the imagination.
The clever people behind Qsilica have also now introduced a way to effectively include silica in your beauty regime by creating a range that utilises the natural mineral Silica; with botanical-based ingredients to deliver anti-oxidants and nutrients to protect and renew the skin. The range is based on the principle that the secret to glowing and youthful skin, hair and nails, lies in supporting the body’s internal healthy cell renewal processes, by protecting and gently treating the skin with the powerful natural ingredient, Silica. Silica is essential for the production of collagen in the skin. The level of silica in our bodies is naturally highest in infancy and declines with age. When silica is used both internally and topically it is clinically proven to assist skin’s turgor, thickness and condition by as much as 30 per cent.
Impressed? I was, and even more so by the price point which sets the majority of the products at under NZD $40.00. Love that!

Daily delight: Gisele for Harpers Bazaar Brazil

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Megan Fox for Armani 'Designer Lift' foundation

Love it: Absolute Essential's magical Eye Soothe

If you’re anything like me, then Spring and Summer bring with them itchy eyes and serious sneezes as well as blooming buds and warm evenings. It’s a cross I’m happy to bear – the trade off is pretty good! – but finding a magic potion to help with either is always a bonus.
My main problem is my eyes, especially given my eczema prone skin, computer time and contact lenses. Relief usually comes in the form of some rather dodgy sounding drops, so imagine how excited I was to discover the truly amazing Eye Soothe by Absolute Essential. Totally organic, this little bottle of goodness is made up of hydrosols Lavender Floral Water (organic), Rose Floral Water (organic) and Chamomile Roman Floral Water (organic) and is a joy to use.
The gentle blend of pure distillates has soothing, cleansing properties that are naturally effective for the delicate waters of the eye. When the eyes become irritated it is important to avoid rubbing the eyes, and the soothing action of a gentle therapeutic mist can help to minimise discomfort and aid effective healing. Eye Soothe is formulated to soothe itchy, dry and irritated eyes and supports natural healing. It is especially useful for eye infections or allergies, or for people who wear contact lenses. Just spray directly into the eyes or apply to cotton wool and rest on eyes for 10 minutes. Oh, and it’s safe for babies and children – and even pets!

Daily delight: Shu Pei in Fendi, Harper’s Singapore

Monday, November 14, 2011

I try: O&M Surf Bomb Sea Salt Spray

I’ve been a huge fan of Australian all-natural haircare brand O&M – Original and Mineral – for quite a few years now, and urge you to check it out. They are true pioneers when it comes to creating hair products that care for your body and the planet, as well as actually bloody working – a surprisingly rare combination! I was introduced to the brand by Lucy Marr when I was pregnant with my son Wolf and looking to truly 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 the best in the business. The O&M product range is available at selected O&M salons across Australia and New Zealand, and 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.
The latest new addition to their styling range is the fabulously named Surf Bomb. The ultimate weapon in achieving tousled, sexy, after-the-beach hair, Surf Bomb is a shot of the sea without getting sand in your knickers, and it’s a joy to use. Ultra refined Australian sea salt puts a defined kink in your tresses without drying it out, and the scent is just exceptional.
It’s also ridiculously easy to use and perfect for going from daytime to night. Just toss your head upside down, spritz a little and scrunch a lot and then flip your locks back up and style as you see fit. You can also shake well and spray through damp locks to add instant texture whether left to dry naturally or with help from a wave-enhancing diffuser. Unlike many of the sea spray-type numbers I’ve used this won’t leave your hair “crunchy”, which I also really love. Now what are you waiting for? Grab a bottle of this baby and get messed up!

Want it, need it: Chanel’s Spring Harmony

Chanel makeup is one of those brands that really do get it right every time – innovating and surprising as well as keeping things effortlessly flattering… it really does do no wrong!
The newest Chanel Spring makeup collection for 2012 – titled Spring Harmony – is no exception, the perfect mix of prettiness and polished perfection, with a certain street-wise je ne c’est quoi thrown in for good measure.
Inspired by the brilliant colours of the sky at sunrise and sunset, the legendary Peter Philips, Creative Director of Chanel makeup has designed a collection of pinks, peaches and corals with a touch of garnet red to sit beautifully on the lips, cheeks and eyes.
As usual the limited edition pieces are the ones I covet the most, including the Poudre Universelle Compacte Jasmin and the Ombre Essentielle Tigerlily. My absolute favourite however must be the Blush Horizon de Chanel (seen here at work backstage at the S/S 12 Chanel runway show). Emulating the colours at dawn and dusk, Blush Horizon de Chanel is a palette of shades that can be blended into a rose-hued blush or a sun-kissed coral bronzer, making it multipurpose as well as absolutely lust-worthy.
Spring Harmony is on counter 19th February 2012. Get dreaming now!

Daily delight: Jourdan Dunn for i-D

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's Summer: go forth & tan!

First we need to get something straight: I’m not talking a weeklong fry in the sun, but rather a fake bake at the spraygun of a trained professional. Or perhaps an expert application by your own hands if you’re that way inclined, especially given the high quality products hitting the beauty market on a more than regular basis that make that sort of thing easy for even the novices amongst us. And as for the shade du jour? It’s known as Royal Mocha – the name the beauty press gave royal sister-in-law Pippa Middleton’s particular hue - as opposed to the Fierce Fanta more associated with the likes of Katie Price.
Applied well, a fake tan makes even the greyest of days – I’m talking to you, Auckland city – feel festive and summery, and does wonders when it’s time to peel the layers off. Not only do you look like you’ve just had a week in Fiji, you also have a beautiful even skintone and don’t even need a smidgen of make up – although a matte coral lip looks pretty damn perfect if you’re like me and just can’t leave the house with a slash of my favourite M.A.C shade.
For at home bronzing, you can’t go past St Tropez’s Gradual Tan for Body ultra rich moisturiser. An enriched, nourishing body moisturiser, it cleverly combines serious skincare benefits with a healthy touch of bronze – and the sun need not apply. Infused with soothing aloe vera, this lotion helps give you smoother, yummier skin while building a gradual golden tan, every day. Like all St Tropez products, it uses their innovative Aromaguard fragrance technology to eliminate that musty smelling telltale self tan aroma by a minimum of 70 per cent, and instead has a beautifully subtle fragrance that won’t cancel out your perfume. Exfoliate well in the shower before massaging this luxurious lotion in from top to toe, and it doesn’t matter if you go over the same area twice as it’s only the missed areas that’ll look uneven. Wait for the lotion to be absorbed before getting dressed. And as with any instant tanner, wash hands after use.
One of the best professionally applied spray tans I’ve tried recently was at Ponsonby Road’s Love My Look, where I experienced a Norvell tan for the first time before a trip to Fiji and was hugely impressed. While I was there I heard all about their newest offering, which takes the sometimes eight-hour long wait for your tan to develop and slashes it to an incredible one hour before showering. This means you can pop in after work and hit the town that night, rather than having to spend a night waiting for it to dry and avoiding water like the plague! After application, warm water rinse after just one hour to achieve a natural bronze, two hours to achieve medium bronze and three hours for darkest bronze. Just like that!
Another product with near instant tanner’s gratification that I’m in love with is from Mecca Cosmetica. Part of the ByTerry range, it’s called Soleil Terribly and is a sunny tinted serum with a “self-radiant” effect for a natural tan without overexposure to the sun or DHA. An alternative to bronzing powders; it’s a great choice if you have a talc allergy (which more and more people have due to the stuff being in so many of our damn products) and gives your face a healthy glow.
And last but not least, I’ve just seen a true multitasker from 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. As well as some great unscented sunblocks and a kid’s range called Oy! (As in Organic Young), Green People offer a very clever product known simply as the Sun Lotion SPF15 with Tan Accelerator. This contains an extract from the carob tree that naturally stimulates melanin; speeding 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!

Daily delight: Kristen Stewart for Vogue Italia

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Want: St. Tropez Naturals Radiance Self Tan for Face

I’ve been obsessing for some time now about the St. Tropez Naturals range, which I first saw in the UK this time last year. Since then it’s traveled to Australian shores, but not as yet to poor old New Zealand! Hugely frustrating, but if all rumours are true – well worth the wait!
One product from the range that I’m constantly hearing good reports about the Radiance Self Tan for Face, which the perfectly bronzed people at St. Tropez call a “luxurious and deeply hydrating crème with added radiance for instant luminosity.” How delicious does that sound? The subtle hint of tan it gives comes courtesy of VEGETAN, a 100 per cent naturally derived active ingredient. Skin-loving benefits include instant hydration and skin-plumping results with the addition of pomegranate extract.
For best results when you give this baby a whirl, massage it into clean, dry skin and blend in carefully up to your hairline. It soaks into skin, plumping instantly, and leaving you looking seriously fabulous if reports are to be believed. It can be worn alone, or under make-up, and for a more enhanced look, they recommend applying 2-3 times a week. And don’t forget: always wash palms after use.

Love: the Supers for Duran Duran, "Girl Panic!"

Daily delight: Helena Christensen for Un-Titled Project

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sweeter than sugar: the all new Prada Candy

The beautiful press kit that accompanied the arrival of Prada’s new fragrance Candy tells me that “the pure indulgence and enjoyment of Prada Candy lies in its excess”, which is a philosophy I absolutely love! I’m not usually a fan of perfumes created by fragrance houses, as they often don’t embody the spirit of their namesake as much as I hope they would, but this treat from the House of Prada is clearly an exception.
It’s a fragrance with a novel olfactory balance combining exceptionally high-quality ingredients in excessive proportions, think magnified White Musks, noble Laotian Benzoin and lush modern Caramel in one heady combination. For those that love their scents addictive and sensual, this has warm, sweet, balsamy notes evoking delicately vanilla-scented honey. Sweet, indulgent and totally delicious.
The bottle is inspired by vintage flacons, and bears the refined Prada logo in sleek gold lettering. Equally as gorgeous is the box it comes in, which uses a cartoon-type illustration by iconic illustrator François Berthoud that evokes the packaging of 1950s beauty products. Love that!
And last but not least, the advertising campaign for the fragrance stars the equally sweet and playful Léa Seydoux, rising darling of French cinema, and is directed by the legendary Jean-Paul Goude.
Perfectly polished and playful, and totally Prada.

Daily delight: Lady GaGa for Visionaire 61

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Want: Perricone MD Super Body Sculpting Serum

I’ve been a fan of Perricone MD cosmeceuticals for a few years now, with a select edit of products available locally at Mecca Cosmetica that are about as cutting edge when it comes to beauty as it gets.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone, MD, FACN, is an absolute wonder at creating products for the body as well as the face, and I’ve heard that Super Body Sculpting Serum is one of his most incredible releases yet.
An anti-aging serum for the body that helps to tone, nourish and tighten the skin, it is the perfect product for anyone looking tone, firm and hydrate their body. The super powerful formula includes olive leaf extract - which offers anti-aging benefits to the skin, helping to reduce redness and irritation for a smooth appearance – as well as polyphenols extracted from olives, which help increase skin's moisture retention while guarding against free radical damage. DMAE included in this formulation helps to provide the ultimate firming benefits as it diminishes the look of sagging skin on thighs and arms.
One of the few effective glycolic-acid body lotions around, Super is truly antioxidant-loaded, exfoliates and hydrates at the same time and has a light texture, so suits normal to dry types. Want this right now, so fingers crossed it arrives at my local Mecca store soon!

Beauty sleep: Dermalogica Overnight Repair Serum

The importance of a good night’s rest can never be understated as it affects many parts of the body, including the skin. The several hours you spend in quality sleep each night are a time of dynamic, system-wide repair and healing, and there have been proven links between the likes of lack of sleep and obesity, amongst other modern day issues. And I for one know how rubbish I look after far too many late nights, so I can see the direction correlation between good sleep and great skin too.
This way of thinking inspired Dermalogica’s newest treatment-product for mature skin, Overnight Repair Serum, which has been designed to firm the skin and restore its capacity to maintain suppleness and moisture. How we treat our skin today will impact how healthy and youthful looking it will be in the future, and even if you don’t see the apparent need for anti-aging and repairing products now, you can begin to use them as a preventative measure to ensure your skin is taken care of by the time we hit 50.
The all new Overnight Repair Serum "delivers stimulating peptide action and anti-aging benefits in a soothing, aroma-therapeutic base of botanical oils", and for starters, it smells amazing. Ingredients include the likes of Rose oil, Jasmine, Sunflower Seed oil and Carrot Seed oil, as well as Rosemary, Curry Leaf and Sesame Oil, which is deeply antimicrobial (works against bacteria). Current buzz ingredient Argan Oil is also in there to shield the lipid barrier, and it also inhibits the production of enzymes which break down collagen, and thus the underlying structure of skin tissue.
Formulated for application to freshly cleansed skin before you bed down for the night, this highly active serum comes in a 15mL white glass bottle with a silver cap, which help to preserve the active ingredients. Recommended usage is four to six drops, however dosage can be customised based on your own preference. It can also be applied directly or mixed in withyour prescribed Dermalogica nighttime use moisturiser.
Overnight Repair Serum has a recommended retail price of $148 and will be available wherever Dermalogica is sold and online at from 1st December 2011.

Daily delight: Daphne G. for V The Models Issue

Monday, November 7, 2011

Love: East Day Spa’s ‘Eat, Shop, Spa’ Luxury Retreat

There comes a time in every woman’s life – if you’re lucky a few times – when a retreat is just what the doctor ordered, and visiting the right one for you can be life changing in the extreme. I’ve been lucky enough to have been a guest at Gwinganna Health Retreat on several occasions, as well as Chiva Som, and simply can’t recommend enough the feeling of absolute pleasure a true “getaway” brings to your mind, body and soul.
I’ve just heard about a truly incredible experience taking place in Bali next March, called – very cleverly! – ‘Eat, Shop, Spa’. The weeklong retreat will be hosted by East Day Spa’s Managing Director Ina Bajaj at her stunning East Residence and Spa in Canggu, Bali. It will be a journey of pampering, fine dining, shopping and sightseeing, a true “insider’s guide” to the magical island destination.
For a little history, in 2008 bought land amongst the emerald rice fields on Canggu and set about building her dream home – the luxurious East Residence and Spa. The beautifully decorated, super opulent property boasts five double bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms and private balconies overlooking the lush tropical gardens. The always-fascinating Ina has a real knowledge of Bali’s most heavenly spa treatments and was also a successful restaurateur for a decade, so she is a walking encyclopaedia of where to dine and how to relax, and her inside knowledge is invaluable. The itinerary features everything you could possibly need to do when you’re spending a week in heaven, including shopping expeditions, temple visits, yoga and meditation. Oh and lest I forget – numerous, incomparable spa treatments!
The retreat has also been timed to coincide with Bali’s New Year festivities including Nyepi - Bali’s sacred day of silence, contemplation and renewal – making for one very special experience.
East Residence and Spa’s ‘Eat, Shop, Spa’ Luxury Retreat costs AUS$2850.00 per person, but if you’re travelling with a friend or partner and sharing a room that cost lowers to AUD$2000.00.
The package includes five nights’ accommodation at Ina’s incredible property, freshly prepared gourmet meals, coconut water and fruit platters to enjoy by the pool, five private spa treatments, airport transfers, entry to Tanah Lot Temple and Dreamland Beach and a fortune-telling session with a Balinese Shaman.
A truly incredible experience all round really!

Meeting WORLD makeup master James Leuii

Key to helping designers make a major impact on the catwalk at fashion weeks around the world are some seriously talented and hardworking hair and make up teams, which are more often than not lead by inspirational artists who share the label’s vision for what they want to achieve.
Makeup artist James Leuii is one such figure, whose work with Shiseido on the runway for WORLD at this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week cemented his reputation as one of the country hottest and most unique talents. Every year Shiseido's creative team looks forward to the WORLD show, which always means serious drama calling for some serious makeup looks to match. The New Zealand label’s collection for Winter 2012 came with the title “Good Vs. Evil” so was always going to be big, and the makeup looks that James created with help from Hiro Nemoto fitted in perfectly with the knockout, theatrical glamour of the show.
I caught up with James to talk about his work with World over the years and on the show, which is no mean feat given how busy the Grey Lynn resident is. A designer, makeup artist and DJ, my first question to him was – how on earth do you fit everything in? “I don’t know really, it just happens!” says the talented multitasker with a laugh, “I guess my DJ happens in the weekends so isn’t a big deal the rest of the time, and my makeup work is mostly seasonal so comes all at once and allows me to design when I have something in mind to work towards.”
James started out training as a clothing designer then – as many a creative has done over the years – quite literally “fell” into doing makeup after being put on the spot at a shoot. “I was helping a friend at a shoot and when the makeup artist didn’t turn up,” he explains, “so I took one look at what makeup was there and just had a go. It was terrible if course, but still ended up in print!” From there he started to teach himself on the job, and with extra help from very talented friends like New Zealand-born, internationally renowned hair stylist Brent Lawler he started to develop his own style.
In his early years he had an association with beauty giant L’Oreal before teaming up with Shiseido, with whom he still works closely today. This year was James’ first time leading the makeup team backstage at the WORLD show, and the label have nothing but high praise for his extraordinary work. “James is an absolute unknown and unrecognised genius, he is the single most extraordinary high end and directional makeup artist - stressing the word artist - that is currently working in New Zealand,” WORLD’s Benny Castles tells me. “He is a quiet visionary whose technical ability and design aesthetic are of the highest quality, and an essential part of any WORLD show or shoot because he has an innate understanding of the brand and its personality and for that we are lucky!”
The looks he created had a touch of drag queen drama but were still incredibly feminine, with lashings of lashes and gallons of glitter that still made the models’ own unique features shine.
James has worked with WORLD for almost a decade now, after being pulled into the fold by Lawler and WORLD show producer Harold Samu who he grew up with. As well as keying their show James completes all of the makeup looks for their campaigns and editorial work, and speaks the same language as the label when it comes to defining their key aesthetic each season. “They give me a lot of freedom to create,” he says, “and I really appreciate that as it’s so rare these days in the industry. There is so much going on in a WORLD show that they only work with people they totally trust to be able to get the job done, so they can focus on what they do best.”
“It’s a lot of work… but I love it.”

Daily delight: Julia Saner in Fendi for Grey #5