Monday, December 24, 2012

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss gets the chop for Vogue US


Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Countdown: 'you' time at the Spa at Mollies


I was very happy to hear that the Spa at Mollies in Tweed Street, Herne Bay is under new management, and that the new team is headed by a woman that I’ve since learned is a bit of a New Zealand beauty industry legend – Sam.
I’ve always loved a trip to Mollies for its ease of parking and discrete location – no chance of bumping into any walking to your car post-facial on one of Herne Bay’s prettiest back streets – and now the spa offering is equally as exciting.
As well as offering an extensive Spa menu using products from Thalgo, St Tropez, Sparitual, Lilash and the like, Sam has launched a new concept called “Mollies Time”, which I experienced a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved the idea of.
You are essentially buying dedicated treatment time of either 1 hour for $150.00, 1.5 hours for $225.00 or 2 hours for $290.00, during which you and your therapist will determine what you need most on the day. This could include traditional treatments and massages ranging from specialised facials, tinting, waxing, tanning, manicure, petite pedi and other packages, which can be customised to suit your individual needs at the time of your appointment. It can be a combination of all or some of the items on the menu and means you are never left, being looked after from top to toe ensuring true relaxation and value for money.
In my 1.5 hours I experienced everything from a beautiful back massage to a facial, brow tint and shape and nail and cuticle treatment, emerging feeling like a million bucks. You can also do group bookings of this time if you have something – or someone – to celebrate, and they will take care of your every whim. Their team of lovely and very affable expert therapists will work with your group so that you all enjoy a play day at the Spa, trying a little of whatever you might fancy!
Reservations at Spa at Mollies Auckland are essential, so give them a bell on (09) 376 3489 and buy some time to enjoy for someone you love this Christmas!

Daily delight: Kate Moss for Stuart Weitzman Spring 13


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Countdown: Karen Murrell's pretty Christmas Lips Gift Packs


“I think that lipsticks are like flowers, they have an instant feel good factor that will brighten anyone’s Christmas day,” says Karen Murrell, Creative Director of Karen Murrell Lipsticks, and I couldn’t agree more. Karen’s lipsticks have even more to feel good about than most as well, being hailed as the ultimate ‘vegetarian lipsticks’ as the range has no animal based materials or testing. Instead, they contain Avocado Oil (to provide moisture, nourishment and hydration), Cinnamon, Evening Primrose Oil (rich in Omega 6 to soothe and moisturise), and Carnauba Wax; renowned for its high melting point, ensuring they are hard wearing in even the roughest handbag.
She has also released two very cute Limited Edition Christmas Lips Gift Packs especially for the silly season, containing two lipsticks and a Karen Murrell Moisture Stick – a handbag beauty essential for long summer days at the beach.
Gift pack one (above) is made up of Red Shimmer (a true fiery red) and Carnation Mist (a pretty pink), whilst gift pack two has the warm and gorgeous Coral Dawn and flattering neutral Cordovan Natural.
Karen Murrell Limited Edition Christmas Lips Gift Packs have an RRP of $49.90 and are available right now. Get in there!

Beauty news: Eco Tan arrives in New Zealand...


When I first heard about new Australian tanning product brand Eco Tan I must admit I became pretty damn excited, and then after a little more research, even more so! And now it’s available in New Zealand I’m pretty damn ecstatic!
Eco Tan founder, Sonya Driver is one rather inspirational woman. She developed the range after her sister was diagnosed with melanoma – thankfully caught the in time – and the pair began getting regular spray tans. They loved the feeling of having a golden glow, but despaired about the amount of synthetics and toxic ingredients that lie in many popular products. Sonya consequently threw herself into creating a true organic tanning range from her Gold Coast kitchen and eventually, the range known as Eco Tan was born.
It is the first of its kind, made with 100 per cent natural ingredients, 70 per cent of which are certified organic. The warm, golden colour comes from cacao (chocolate) and the active ingredient is Eco Cert Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a certified natural non-toxic type of sugar.  And since launching just over a year ago Eco Tan has made Australian history by becoming the first and only tanning company to be certified organic by the Organic food chain – definitely no mean feat!
Having played with the products a little I can honestly say that they are thus far pretty impressive. As aforementioned, the colour is made from cacao so there are no green or orange tones, and there is no tell tale, “wet dog” self tan odour to give the game away. The signature product is also an organic nourishing moisturiser that dries quickly, and with its colourless lotion it means there are no staining sheets and clothing. Hurrah!
It goes without saying that there are no parabens in the Eco Tan formula, and also no Propylene Glycol, an ingredient that often pops up in popular ranges. It’s actually a common anti-freeze (brake fluid) and has a bad rap sheet too long to mention. In a nutshell it is a petrol chemical that penetrates the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. The EPA considers PG so toxic that it requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles and to dispose of any PG solutions by burying them in the ground.
But enough bad news, here are the goodies you’ll find in the Eco Tan collection, and hopefully their professional spray tans will be popping up here soon too:
Organic Invisible tan – a certified Organic Tan with no hidden nasties than comes in the form of a luxe moisturiser that gives you a long lasting chocolate tan within hours.
Organic Winter Skin  - the Winner of the 2012 Shop Till You Drop ‘Genius Award’, this is a gradual tan with a yummy rose scent. I’ve just started using it and so far, so awesome!
Extreme Exfoliant Glove – a soft but effective glove that is perfect for pre tanning and post-tan removal that can be used without products and just rinsed and hung in the shower. Genius.
To find out more have a read here... I definitely recommend that you check this baby out!

Daily delight: Gwen Stefani for Vogue US


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas countdown: a trip to Jo Malone’s fragrant wonderland


No Christmas countdown would be complete without a shout out to the wonderful Jo Malone, whose stores and fragrances fill me with utter delight every time!
As well as being purveyors of simply beautiful, luxurious fragrances, Jo Malone is also the place to go for a very special experiential treat – one I experienced earlier this year at their Britomart, Auckland store. They offer complimentary personalised Fragrance Combining consultations all year round at their in-store Tasting Bar, which include a luxurious hand and arm massage and fragrance samples. It’s the perfect introduction to the brand for those who haven’t experienced its unabashed gorgeousness, as well as a treat for their customers and a chance to explore the possibilities of fragrance combination. The combos I discovered in just under an hour were inspired and totally original - it was like walking out with a wardrobe of new scents, just by playing with my existing favourites! The store can host up to three customers at a time at the Tasting Bar (bookings essential) – making it the perfect outing when celebrating a birthday or special occasion – and also offer parties of up to 15 a private evening in the store complete with canapés and champagne upon arrangement. To say the whole process would be a true treat would definitely be an understatement – these need to be experienced to be believed!
But back to the seasonal tip - their Christmas gift options are always coveted, and early 2013 will also see the launch of Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne (a very popular Limited Edition which is returning permanently) and English Pear & Freesia Body & Hand Lotion, so gift vouchers are also a brilliant idea. I think I can safely say that no Jo Malone gift was ever unappreciated - so get in there and get shopping! 

Daily delight: Jessica Biel for US Elle magazine



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In love with: Bobbi Brown Extra Hand Cream



A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to official opening of tiny beauty powerhouse Bobbi Brown’s Australasian flagship store (above), which sits very pretty amongst Britmart’s Pavilions. 
It’s the most gorgeous site to behold, and once you’re over the threshold you feel like a kid in a candy store – there is seriously so much makeup magic at every turn that you just want to get stuck in and never leave! I’m still trying to make time to go back to have an official session with Senior Artist Sarahlee at the very cool brow bar as I’m in dire need of some help in that area at the moment, but that’s a whole other story…
I’ve also been playing with the brand’s new Extra Hand Cream, which was launched in time for the Northern Hemisphere winter but is destined to be used by me all year round.
Formulated with Bobbi’s Extra Repair Complex and superior emollients like Shea Butter and Avocado Oil, the new release helps diminish the signs of aging and provides intensive, long-lasting moisture to the skin. It was specially developed to target key concerns by helping to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots, with Yeast Extract and Licorice Extract helping even and brighten skin tone and lessen the appearance of discolorations. It also strengthens hands’ natural moisture barrier and reduces the appearance of thin, crepey skin. Amazing!
Oh and last but not least, it’s scented with a unique blend of essential oils – Geranium, Grapefruit, Rosemary, Chamomile, and Bitter Orange – that mean that it smells delicious, while making the hands feel exceptionally soft, smooth and healthy.
Sound like a bit of you? Well what are you waiting for? This baby is on counter now!

Christmas countdown: BLISS Reflexology goodness


Voted The Best Massage in the annual Best of Auckland campaign run by Metro magazine for the second year in a row, BLISS Reflexology is one of my absolute favourite beauty destinations.
BLISS – which has branches in the central city, Newmarket and Takapuna - offers the ancient Chinese art of reflexology and deeply relaxing traditional massage, and I pop in as often as my wallet allows for the former, which is one of my ultimate ‘self love’ gifts.
For those that have never experienced it – shame on you! - reflexology is a natural therapy working on the principle that different areas of the feet and hands are related to different areas of the body and helps to restore and maintain the body's natural equilibrium and encourage healing. Following illness, stress, injury or disease, it is in a state of "imbalance", and vital energy pathways are blocked, preventing the body from functioning effectively. Reflexology treats the whole person, not just the symptoms of disease, and it can be used to address everything from anxiety to depression, digestive disorders and sinusitis.
 After a reflexology session you generally should feel extremely relaxed, and your sleep may be improved and any physical symptoms that you may have been feeling may subside. And there is frequently a sensation of 'walking on air' on leaving, together with the lightness of spirit that this feeling brings. How good is that?
And as well as offering the above they also have therapists who specialise in the aforementioned Traditional Body Massage and Chinese Traditional Pedicure
 (which I love), and a Japanese Stone Spa on site that has to be experienced to be believed.
For Christmas they are offering a “buy four get one free" voucher deal, so I highly recommend you race in and grab some for yourself or a loved one. A Bliss voucher will never go unused, I promise!!!

Daily delight: Jessica Chastain for Vogue Germany


Monday, December 17, 2012

Why you need: Aroha Healing's Reiki facial


Considering the fact that she has an extensive background in beauty and skincare and that I’ve been seeing her for massage and Reiki for over a year, it’s actually amazing that it took me until now to have a facial with Rosanna Marks at Aroha Healing. And boy, after an hour on that table all I could think about was what I had been missing!
She uses in the main products by Phyt’s, a brand name that I first became familiar with after journeying to Gwinganna Health Retreat in the rainforest above Australia’s Gold Coast. They are Certified Organic facial products from France and smell incredible – the sensorial experience of a facial using Phyt’s is a joy in itself.
The brand was created in 1972 by its founder, Jean-Paul Llopart, a French Naturopath and Biologist. He set about developing a unique and original concept in perfect harmony with his ecological and ethical philosophy, but dedicated solely to beauty. The philosophy of Phyt’s is simple and natural: their products cater to a modern holistic need that prefers natural skincare methods, and demands outstanding results. Phyt’s products contain herbs, fruits and vegetables in very high percentages; therefore they infuse significant organic active ingredients straight into your skin. They also use ecological and environmental manufacturing practices, and can only be found at locations around the world that are in line with that modus operandi.
In 2003 they became Certified Organic with the COSMEBIO Label by ECOCERT. To be certified with this logo, a manufacturer must adhere to the highest standards developed by ECOCERT. This means that each product must use a minimum of 95 per cent or more certified organic plant ingredients in their manufacture, and only observe Ecological and Environmental manufacturing practices. They also must have complete traceability of the finished organic cosmetic and its raw materials, which is no easy task. Amazingly, Phyt's goes beyond this certification and insists 100 per cent of all ingredients are of natural origin, making for some pretty powerful products that my skin just loves!
But back to Rosanna’s facial work, which is just that little bit different from much of what is available out there. It involves not only a deeply relaxing facial contouring treatment that leaves your skin glowing, but also works on your head as well.
All of Rosanna’s Aroha Healing facial therapy treatments incorporate the healing energy of Reiki to promote healthy, balanced and rejuvenated skin. If you haven’t experienced it before, Reiki is a spiritual healing art form. It is subtle yet powerful form of energy healing that leaves you with an energized, healing, soothing inner warmth and glow – and is exactly what most of us need in our lives in my humble opinion. I always feel like I’ve had a solid 10 hours sleep after a session, so for that to be added to a facial is utter bliss! The idea is to open the upper chakras (energy centres) and heal and clear your headspace while the Phyt’s products do their stuff.
Rosanna used the Phyt’s Cleansing Creme on my skin followed by a liberal application of their delicious smelling Orange Toner, then used organic rosehip oil to give my entire face a lovely long massage. Once that was complete Phyt’s Masque M2 – a soothing mask for dry skin – was left one for a while to do its work, and then cleansed off before their ultra hydrating Creme Ylang was used to seal the deal.
“I view the whole idea of most facials as just following a routine or a structure,” Rosanna says to me as I leave, “and I prefer to work holistically so like to think of it more as a feeling. So many women who come to see me for facials are so in their headspace that I felt my approach needed to be more healing, and it seemed that the massage was always their favourite part of the whole experience.” She adds that she likes to think, “I’ve created a perfect mix of all of that”, and I for one couldn’t agree more.
Learn more about Rosanna and what she does here.

Christmas Countdown: Ecoya’s beautiful new Madison Jar


As well as releasing some very ‘seasonally influenced’ beautiful new candles in the form of the Christmas Three City Limited Edition collection and a Caramelised Fig fruity blend, ECOYA have even more gifting ideas now available for holidays with the introduction of the gorgeous Madison Jar.
Beyond luxe to look at, the soy wax Madison is housed within an elegant and refined glass jar and sealed with a shining silver lid. It gives you an amazing burn time of up to 80 hours, and comes packaged in a cleverly designed box with the signature ECOYA Pantone hues.
The Madison Jar is available in ECOYA’s six signature fragrances as well as three new limited edition fragrances that have to be sniffed to be believed: Mimosa & White Nectarine, Pomelo & Cocoa Butter and Coconut & Elderflower, which was released as a Limited Edition candle in early 2012 and after great reviews has made a triumphant comeback.
I’ve been burning the beautiful Mimosa & White Nectarine by day and definitely plan on getting a Pomelo & Cocoa Butter (above) for after the sun goes down – I haven’t smelled it yet but it sounds like the scent of summer all wrapped up in one fragrant beauty!

Daily delight: Miranda Kerr for Mango Spring 2013


Friday, December 14, 2012

Why you need: FaceWorks' ultra rich Moisture Serum


Dr. Teresa Cattin - who I’d heard about for years before meeting her, and always in rather glowing terms – is in my opinion New Zealand’s best cosmetic physician, and a top-notch woman to boot. A Medical Practitioner (MSc, MBBCh, FRNZCGP, FNZCAM) and a member of the Appearance Medicine Society of Australasia, she is also the owner of FaceWorks Clinic in Albany, Auckland, and creator of the stellar skincare range of the same name.
As well as being president of the New Zealand College of Appearance Medicine, Teresa is a national trainer in Botox Cosmetic and Juvéderm, training other doctors in New Zealand and Australia. Needless to say, she is a clearly a woman who knows who stuff when it comes to needles and ant-ageing, and recently travelled to the likes of India – and soon to Paris – to share her incredible wealth of knowledge.
Teresa has said that “there is no doubt that the results of any treatment that you chose to have, be it Botox or a Juvéderm will be greatly improved if the skin is healthy and well cared for”, and around 14 years ago she developed the FaceWorks range of skincare products with that in mind. Made in New Zealand and designed specifically for our harsh climate, FaceWorks is a firm favourite with beauty editors and has a loyal following amongst women and men wanting an effective and affordable cosmeceutical skin care range purchase.
An incredible product from the range that I’ve just begun using is FaceWorks’ Moisture Serum, an intense rehydration treatment for dry skin that utilises the excellent hydration properties of pure squalane (derived from Spanish Olives).  Rose hip oil (10%) aids the repair of skin damaged by sun and wind while the potent antioxidant properties of vitamin E (1800 units) help reduce the signs of premature ageing. To say it’s a bit of a powerhouse for dry, dehydrated skin would be putting it mildly, and the fact that it is preservative-free is an added bonus.
My skin has been pretty damn parched post-radiation therapy and just applying this sparingly to my face and neck every evening has elicited some amazing results. Fine lines and dryness, be gone! If your skin needs a little extra something then I highly recommend this baby, which you can purchase from Teresa’s website here.

Christmas countdown: the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardine


Yes, it was just a week ago that I had a Christmas Countdown featuring champagne but by Jove I’m going to do it again! One can never have too much champagne, right?
This time I’m shining the seasonal spotlight on Veuve Clicquot, a champagne name I’m always very partial to and enjoyed in its sassy rose form at the opening of the first Bobbi Brown store in Australasia last week.
For Christmas the legendary house is offering a humorous take on their signature drop in the form of a gift box that mixes quirky design with a clever reference to their rich history – and isn’t she pretty? 
The Ponsardine Giftbox is a clever conversation starter as it begins with a tongue-in-cheek reference to the family name Ponsardine. Veuve Clicquot has revisited the family crest of Barbe Nicole Ponsardine, Madame Clicquot, the woman charged with guiding the modern success of the company. Born into a family with a penchant for wit, Madame Clicquot’s father was named a baron of the Empire by Napoleon I in 1813 and honoured with a Coat of Arms. In choosing this symbol, Nicolas Ponsardine took a satirical twist on his name, selecting a coat of arms that depicted a bridge (“Pont” in French) beneath a sardine.  Pon(t)Sardin(e)
The Ponsardine giftbox thus takes its styling cues from that of a sardine tin, with a cute twist and pop tab opening – and it’s reusable!
She’s available at Glengarry stores in the North Island and Ballantynes in the South at a RRP of $79.99, so pop in a grab one or two for your favourites this summer.

Daily delight: Saskia de Brauw for i-D magazine


Thursday, December 13, 2012

In love with: Chanel’s Paris-Edinburgh Métiers d’Art Show makeup


It goes without saying that the makeup look that Peter Philips, Creative Director of Chanel Makeup designed for the label’s recent Paris-Edinburgh Métiers d’Art Show would be beyond amazing, but I always love to hear more about his technique, product choices and general inspiration.
“A soft, fresh look with a subtle edge,” is what he named as the goal for the uniquely beautiful look, with a focus that “lies on both the skin and eyes. I wanted the fresh, crisp glow of a pure skin and an eye that stands out without overtaking the look.”
Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld asked for a look that would complement the hair, “avoiding it to become too ‘costume’”, and the end result  was both fresh faced and unashamedly on trend.
For the base Philips used Vitalumière Éclat or Mat Lumière, depending on the models’ own skin. Preparation was also key, as when applying makeup in rough weather conditions, it’s important to use a good moisturiser – in this case Hydra Beauty. He added that he needed to use a foundation that would “hold and cover enough to stand in this cold, windy outdoor environment”, and he added just the right amount of Joues Contraste "Rose Initial" to create a luminous peach/pink blush that looks like the girls were just back from an hour or two walking on the moors.
On the eyes he used Les 4 Ombres "Raffinement" to do some soft shading and highlighting, “and I used no mascara, to keep a fragility in the look”. He added a touch of edginess by applying a black line under the eye and on the outer upper corners to create a look that he says is “between a dancer’s makeup and a punk”. By combining a beige Crayon Khôl "Clair" and the "Noir Intense" Stylo Yeux Waterproof he also kept the fragility delicately in place.
On the nails he used a dark blue/violet with a touch of sparkle called "Taboo" that I seriously want right now, and to finish the look put a sheer layer of Lèvres Scintillantes "Plaisir" on the lips.
Beautiful huh? And surprisingly wearable come the cooler months.

Christmas countdown: East Day Spa instant gift certificates


Every year we all have the best of intentions when it comes to Christmas gift buying, anticipating having the list ticked off at least three weeks’ in advance of the day and extra time available for all of the ‘finishing touches’. And yet every year - without fail – every person know seems to be racing around like a red-faced, headless chook come Christmas Eve, tears in their eyes and credit card straining painfully at the seams!
Online shopping and vouchers do make things a whole lot easier however, and the very clever types at East Day Spa have launched a new instant online voucher service that is the perfect combination of the two!
The new service means that customers purchasing gift certificates via the website can have a pdf voucher delivered instantly to their inbox – or someone else’s – absolutely free of charge. No more pulling up outside and running screaming in, no chasing couriers that have gone missing… just easy, quick smart shopping from the comfort of your own desk. How amazing is that? Not to mention the incredible line up of treatments and beauty lines you can purchase using their vouchers, which are amongst the best in the country.
East Day Spa gift certificates can be purchased in any value, and even include a space to write a special message to the recipient if you like. They are available from all East Day Spas – Auckland, Wellington and Melbourne – and you can still buy a physical voucher via their website to be couriered to you if you so wish.
So what are you waiting for? Pick up gift certificates for your nearest and dearest here.

Daily delight: Cindy Crawford for Madison magazine



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas countdown: the Living Light candle collection


I first became aware of the Living Light candle range several years ago, when it was quite hard to find but well worth the effort. I instantly fell in love with the very gift-able collection, which is sitting pretty here as a high point on my Christmas Countdown for 2012.
For starters Living Light candles are New Zealand-made, as well as all-natural plant, beeswax and soy-based and completely luxurious – clicks all round! And now they are a heck of a lot more accessible too, with a brand-new online shopping website and reportedly stunning new flagship store in Auckland’s Takapuna that I’m yet to poke my nose into.
There are lots of options to choose from if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for the scented candle-lover in your life as well, from the Bell Lantern (crafted from the top of a recycled wine bottle) to the Granite Rose (a beautifully handcrafted candle that burns out through its petals) and the Mini Globe Lantern, which emits a soft glow when the tea light is burning and is also floatable, making it perfect if you love a candlelit bath like me.
As the signature range, their Granite Pillars are long burning, soot-free and have great fragrance throw, and are my pick for on the outdoor Christmas table once the sky starts to dim.
And last but not least - for the eco lover in your life you can’t go past the Living Light New'd range, which combines recycling with sustainability. The New'd Soy in Recycled Wine Bottle boasts 100 per cent soy wax in recycled wine bottles, and is available in four gorgeous fragrances and three shades of recycled glass.
Check out the full range of Living Light candles at www.livinglight.co.nz or pay a visit to the beautiful new flagship store at 60B Hurstmere Road, Takapuna, Auckland. I know I will be very soon!

Daily delight: Jessica Chastain for YSL Manifesto


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In love: Vede & Crede's Facial cleansing tonic


A while back now I had an – extended – rave about my discovery of Vede & Crede facial serums, which I’ve recommended to all in sundry ever since.
A boutique New Zealand beauty company, Vede & Crede Skincare calls itself a “gorgeous, sensual, organic skincare range”, and its formulas feature highly prized, time-tested botanical ingredients, essential oils and perfumes from Morocco, the Middle East and Ayurvedic India. It’s definitely different and definitely a joy to use, being high performance and luxurious to boot.
Literally translated, Vede & Crede is Latin for "see and believe", and their reason for being is to create and celebrate luxurious, organic and botanical skincare that positively impacts your appearance, lifts your spirit, is gorgeous to use and benefits the grass-roots, local communities from whom they source most of their ingredients. Hallelujah to that. The company use far greater quantities of argan oil than most, and it is premium certified organic, virgin, cold-pressed argan oil that they quality test in a laboratory. This is blended with virgin, cold-pressed, certified organic Prickly Pear Seed Oil that has even higher levels of these compounds plus extra antioxidants that are proving so important in the fight against ageing.
But aside from these wonderful serums they also offer a Facial Cleansing Tonic, which is also beautiful to use and deliciously different. It’s a delicate formula created using French Rosewater, Date and Red Sandalwood Extract, Soapnut extract and a tiny amount of preservative allowed under the organic schedule. It’s a super light, refreshing cleanser that you simply spray on to cleanse, and I’m loving using it in the morning to freshen my skin up after sleep. Apparently it will even remove light makeup, although I’m more of a double-cleanse-before-bed kind of girl.
If you haven’t tried Vede & Crede yet you can have a wee taste of what they do by picking up a travel-sized pack of their four products (above). It includes Soothing facial serum, Nourishing facial serum, Replenishing facial serum and this wondrous Facial Cleansing tonic, and I highly recommend that you do!
Have a look at their website for stockists here.

Christmas countdown: three treats from Orchid Boutique


If anyone knows had to add a bit of sauciness and style to the sill season it’s Hayley Mowday, the founder of Orchid Boutique, an online business she describes as New Zealand's first "seduction boutique".
The mother of two launched Orchid just over a year ago, with a clever idea and a strong head for business thanks to a background in the beauty industry here and overseas, including time as marketing director for Jo Malone in London. Her edit is pretty perfect too, from phthalate-free, medical-grade silicon toys to the most beautiful Parisian lingerie and Ines de Castilho stick-on tattoos.
Hayley also runs parties and blogs using an alter ego called Orchid du Bois, and has always maintained that it’s “about the tease, not the sleaze."
I asked her for some picks for the holiday season whereby one can "take pride in being the cause of his torment, and she gave me the following gift ideas:
“The following from Orchid Boutique would be my three favourite picks for a naughty weekend or seductive break:
YesForLov Weekend Kit $60
Because you always forget something when you go away this little black box contains everything you really need for a sexy and playful tryst. It includes Titillating Massage Oil, a cherry flavoured Body Pencil, Excitement Gel, Intimate Moisturising Lubricant and a Black Satin Blindfold or Restraint.
Maison Close Le Sublime Eye Mask $70
Hide seductively behind this exquisite lace eye mask and unleash your inner seductress or sexy alter ego. Accessorise with a playful whip or crop to live out your dominant fantasies.
LELO Flickering Touch Massage Candle $60
Once lit, not only does the warm liquid create a spine tingling sensation when it is poured straight from the candle but you are guaranteed a sensual massage and fabulous smelling sheets. Choose from three delicious fragrances; Snow Pear & Cedarwood, Vanilla & Creme De Cacao and Black Pepper & Pomegranate.”
So there you go, Happy Christmas indeed! For more ideas have a wee peek here

Daily delight: Natalia Vodianova for W Magazine


Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Countdown: Summer Savers at Lucy & the Powder Room


It goes without saying that beauty haven Lucy & The Powder Room always do a wonderful line in seasonal packages and promotions, and they are also constantly on the lookout for clever new product lines and making conscious choices for the good of their clients and the planet.
They also do a damn fine pamper when you need it most, and the lead up to Christmas is the perfect time to get in there and submit to their therapists’ healing hands. It’s lucky then that they have just launched two new 75 minute “Summer Savers” in the form of a Face Saver and a Body Saver.
I popped in last week to the Takapuna Powder Room to experience the former with the wonderful Hannah E., a package that kicks off with a super powered skin treatment using Osmosis products. Focusing specifically on pigmentation, the plan is to safeguard against aging and give your skin a much deserved boost using key ingredients such as Vitamin C and the powerful ceutical booster Vital Skin Nutrition, a customised combination that left my skin absolutely glowing. Next, Hannah applied the finishing touches – a blue-black lash tint “to enhance the sparkle in your eyes”, and an application of Coola Mineral Matte finish SPF, an incredible product that I have raved about many times in the past. She also applied a little of the new Osmosis Colour mineral make up, which I have to confess that I didn’t even know existed! It seems like a clever little collection that does wonders for the skin so I hope to be able to have a play with it one days soon.
I have the sort of hair that doesn’t work well with a facial (the one time when bangs are a curse), but Hannah whipped me upstairs to the Stephen Marr salon see the always-affable and preternaturally stylish Trish, who transformed my greasy locks into a stellar updo in less than ten minutes flat! Face AND hair officially saved!
The other Summer Saver focuses on the neck down, specifically “tan and toes”. You start with their new Medi Pedi then experience their brand new one hour organic spray tan, which sounds seriously amazing. Lucy’s talented team of experts will select the most natural of tones for your skin type and carefully apply – it takes just 15 minutes to spray and dry, and you can shower within the hour (or two if you want a deeper tan).
The Summer Face Saver and Body Saver both come with a great price tag of $100 (value $160), or if you’re just in the market for a tan mention Ms Helene when you book and get it for $50 instead of $65!
To book your Summer Face or Body Saver Package or a tan, call Takapuna 09 488 0585 or Newmarket 09 524 6702. You definitely won't regret it!

Daily delight: modern super Kate Upton for Vogue UK


Friday, December 7, 2012

What a steal: Sukin Wellbeing Body Oil


I love a good body oil, and one that is at an absolute steal of a price is even better! It’s the perfect thing to keep on hand at any time of year, in particular when the cold starts to hit or – at the opposite end of the seasonal spectrum – when you’ve seen a little too much sun and your skin really needs a drink.
Sukin have just released a limited edition Wellbeing Body Oil, which is a 100 per cent natural and luxurious blend of botanical oils helps to “soothe skin and balance the mind”… sounds like exactly what I need this silly season!
Its yummy formula includes a combination of Rosehip oil that offers the skin an instant hit of hydration, while antioxidant rich Marula seed oil is in there to soothe and improve skin texture. Also included is Soybean oil (rich in EFA's for deep skin conditioning), along with calendula flower extract, which is rich in beta-carotene to soothe and help regenerate damaged skin. This sounds like the perfect after sun treatment to me, and one I’m hoping to bust out once we actually get some sun.
Suitable for the body or the face, you can use it for massage or as bath oil, post shaving or waxing and as a hand or foot treatment as it leaves no oily residue.
Oh and here’s the ‘steal’ bit: Sukin Limited Edition Wellbeing Body Oil has an RRP of $28.99 for 100ml, which given the luxurious mix of oils makes it a damn good buy.
To locate you nearest stockist call toll free on 0800 118 311 or visit www.sukinorganics.com

Christmas Countdown: Moët & Chandon limited edition Rosé Impérial


A celebration just isn’t a celebration – in my humble opinion – without a glass or two of champagne, and if you’re going to pop a cork then I think it should be a stellar one! They don’t come much more sparkly than a bottle of Moët & Chandon, whose new limited edition Rosé Impérial has sassy, very cheeky Christmas cheer written all over it.
Rosé Impérial is available by the bottle exclusively at Auckland’s Britomart Country Club, and there are all sorts of reasons to add one to your evening. Moët has partnered with renowned Portuguese graffiti artist-slash-club-mogul André Saraiva - aka Monsieur André aka Monsieur A - to create a fun pink bottle featuring the ever-stylish Andre’s own graffiti art and trademark character. It also gives you the perfect amount of space to customise the bottle with a personal message for that special someone, which makes it a must on my Christmas Countdown! Each bottle purchased is served with a special Moët Pink Rosé pen, ready to adorn the bottle with a personal message – how seriously fabulous is that?
You can also go online at www.moet.com/rose or with the Moët Pink Rosé app for a super interactive experience with André as he helps you create and share your own breed of romantic gesture or ultimate “love mark”. So pink… so luxe… and  just beautiful!

Daily delight: retro beauty Marianne Faithfull


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas giveaway: a natruél gift pack from Mossop’s


Mossop’s is a family-owned honey company based in New Zealand’s beautiful Bay of Plenty that happens to have some great little Christmas gift ideas on offer this silly season. From various wrapped gift sets of their delicious naturally-processed honeys (like their Gourmet gift pack, which contains Pohutukawa, Honey & Ginger and Honey & Chocolate flavoured honeys) to beauty options for products created using some very special ingredients, they are definitely worth checking out at www.mossops.co.nz.
One of my picks is a gift set of Mossop’s own 100 per cent natural honey-based skincare range natruél, which nourishes and feeds skin with a cocktail of UMF manuka honey, rewarewa honey, extra virgin olive oil and cold pressed flaxseed oil – products developed by Mossop’s after they saw the amazing nourishing, healing effects that UMF Manuka honey has on skin.
natruél’s “lip, face, body” range contains either manuka honey or rewarewa honey. The lip balm, honey mask, and hand & body lotion are made up of unique ingredients to help maintain healthier lips, moisturise your face, and nourish your body.
The natruél lip, face, body gift pack is a chance to sample all three items from the range, or buy it for someone special as it comes in a prettily wrapped gift box.
I have one to give away to one lucky person out there, just email me your name and delivery address to helene@mshelene.com before this Monday, December 10 at 5pm and you’re in the draw!

Daily delight: Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss Star for Interview Russia




Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Why you need: Original & Mineral in your life


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 has been available at selected salons across Australia, the US and New Zealand for some time now, 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.
It has always been a little hard to track down in New Zealand though… until now! After a new distribution deal was struck, Original & Mineral is now available at top salons nationwide - including Servilles and Stephen Marr – so more of their good-looking, great feeling love can get out there. O&M has developed a cult following with celebrities like Miranda Kerr, Rachel Zoe and Cameron Diaz over the years, as well as with fashion designers such as Bianca Spender, Samantha Wills and Camilla with good reason – the stuff really works.
Two of their products I haven’t tried but am keen to get my hands on are the Seven Day Miracle - an intense moisture masque for damaged hair – and Frizzy Logic (pictured), which uses a unique blend of native Australian ingredients like cold-pressed certified organic Argan Oil and Macadamia Oil to calm and smooth your hair, protect it from humidity, and add shine. A great duo for the Great Humid New Zealand summer if ever there was one!