Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cult product: Elixir Ultime gets the royal treatment

I’m a huge fan of Kérastase’s famed Elixir Ultime, which lends some serious luxury to the often-mundane task of treating your hair. It already comes in some rather fabulous packaging befitting of its super-charged formula, but that has been ratcheted up a notch after it received a luxurious makeover from Parisian jewellery designer Yazbukey.
Available only for a limited time only – hint, buy in bulk – the new packaging draws on the heritage and grandeur of the Egyptian empire, echoing the history and mystique surrounding the use of oils within ancient Egyptian haircare rituals.
Elixir Ultime contains four precious oils – Argan, Maize Pracaxi and Camellia – so this makeover is a perfect fit.
Elixir Ultime limited edition has an RRP of $48 and is available from all Kérastase salons while stocks last.

Love: Cindy Crawford for French Revue de Modes

Daily delight: Cate Blanchett for Interview Russia

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In love with: Pure Fiji Coconut Milk Shower Gel

If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere like me then chances are you’ve had a decidedly average summer, hyperventilating at the mere whiff of a warm breeze and going into the foetal position at the sight of a grey cloud.
With less than a week left of “official” summer I’m all for dragging it out into March just so I don’t feel ripped off, and am amassing the perfect arsenal of products to do just that! One that I’m using to harness the warm, tropical feel of a proper Down Under summer is Pure Fiji Coconut Milk Shower Gel.
The only way to wake up, it is packed full of deliciously creamy coconut milk which instantly feeds your skin while you mind is transported to a dreamy island holiday - whether it is a memory or fantasy.
Hero ingredient coconut oil gently forms a soft moisturising protective barrier over the skin without upsetting the natural pH level, while the inclusion of natural cleansers, derived from Fijian coconut and sugar cane, ease away skin impurities. Think clean, delicately fragranced skin that feels like silk.
As well as my favoruite fragrance Coconut, Pure Fiji Coconut Milk Shower Gel can also be found with the scent of Passionflower, Pineapple, Starfruit, Frangipani, Mango and White Gingerlily.
Oh and if that’s not enough to get you lathering up with this puppy by tomorrow a.m. - Pure Fiji Coconut Shower Gel is free from sulphates making it the perfect product for self tanners as it won’t strip away the skin’s natural oils.
Pure Fiji is available in treatment and retail at fine spas and resorts all around the world. To locate your nearest stockist visit their website here.

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss for Numero 131

Monday, February 27, 2012

Love it: ghd’s limited edition, pretty as Peacock Collection

To say I’m a fan of my ghd stylers would be an understatement – I’m lost without them – and I love the way that the world famous heat styling brand constantly unveils them in new incarnations.
It can get a little frustrating when I find myself coveting one new colour way after another, and the latest that I’m crushing on is their most eye-catching limited edition collection yet – the jewel-toned Peacock Collection.
This sees the professionals’ favourite tool - the ghd Gold Classic styler- given an iridescent injection of sapphire blue, amethyst purple and emerald green, and by golly they look gorgeous.
Each limited edition styler from the ghd Peacock Collection features the high performance technology that has made the brand a modern day beauty legend, and sees it sitting pretty in a shimmering, Peacock feather embroidered roll bag with internal satin pouch. So pretty! SO need one!

Why you need: Sara Happ’s ultra luxe The Lip Slip

When I was whiling away a delicious hour at Auckland’s East Day Spa recently I spotted an exciting new addition to their retail offering of beautiful boutique brands – Sara Happ.
Like me you may know Sara’s from her extensive line of lip scrubs that are pretty much good enough to eat (Crème Brulee anyone?) but she also has an equally delicious product entitled The Lip Slip.
A truly luxe balm, The Lip Slip has no colour, just the richest, glossiest hydration possible and a touch of subtle sparkle. Worn day or night, you’ll see results immediately with ingredients such as Sweet Almond, Jojoba and Macadamia nut oils nourishing and conditioning the skin.
Reportedly inspired by “the supple feel of a shimmery gold YSL calfskin bag, a bottle of Coco Chanel Mademoiselle or your favourite camisole,” it is super soft, sweet, nude, girly and grand and I love it. Happ has said of the Slip, “my sole purpose was to create the greatest lip product imaginable. The world didn’t need another lip balm. It needed the perfect one,” which is quite a mission statement to keep to!
It is very thick and deeply moisturising, so if you’re a lipstick fan like me apply it a while before you’re due to go out and really let it sink in, or keep it as an amazing overnight treatment. At the moment it’s made itself at home on my night stand and is set to stay there as the temperature drops and Winter’s icy hand starts making it’s mark, and I reckon it’ll be there perfect way to keep chapped lips and cracking at bay. I love this stuff and you will too!

Daily delight: a B&W Penelope and Monica Cruz

Friday, February 24, 2012

Celebrating: Estée Lauder’s iconic Advanced Night Repair

A true beauty history maker if ever there was one, Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair was the first serum ever created, as well as the first skincare product to use Hyaluronic Acid – an absolute essential in almost every anti ageing product to hit the market these days.
In 2012 its celebrating 30 years of innovation and groundbreaking DNA Research, and Estée Lauder has just unveiled some breakthrough results from the brand’s unprecedented Clinical and Sensory research on Advanced Night Repair conducted around the globe. Tests were carried out on over 500 women of all ages and ethnicities, and their research included an unprecedented 12 Month Clinical Study, which yielded extraordinary results proving women continued to experience a dramatic reduction over the 12 months in major signs of visible aging with use of the contents of the famous “little brown bottle”.
The extraordinary clinical results revealed at the conclusion of the study demonstrated the following skin improvements (as compared to control panel) with the use of Advanced Night Repair:
Skin Tone – 75% improvement
Skin Clarity – 76% improvement
Lines/ Wrinkles – 68% improvement
Barrier Strength – 62% improvement
As the anti-aging benefits continued to improve, skin looked smoother, younger, more radiant and healthy-looking, demonstrating why so many women around the world simply wouldn’t trust their skin to anything else. And in a society were brand loyalty isn’t what it used to be and there is a plethora of anti ageing elixirs on the market, these are some pretty impressive results.
To commemorate the product’s 30 year anniversary Lauder have also unveiled a limited edition bottle featuring a beautiful golden foil front panel and the celebratory words “Estée Lauder 30 Years of Innovation” on the signature dropper. If you’re a fan then this is an absolute must have, and if you haven’t tried this little wonder yet… why on earth not?

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss for Vogue Paris

Thursday, February 23, 2012

News: it's true, M.A.C really is a girl’s best friend

I just had confirmed one of the most exciting beauty-focused rumours I’ve heard in a while – that those legendary types at M.A.C will be celebrating Marilyn Monroe’s legacy and iconic beauty look with a limited edition colour cosmetics collection, due to hit all worldwide M.A.C locations in October!
Launched in partnership with Authentic Brands Group LLC, which acquired the intellectual property of Marilyn Monroe LLC in January 2011, the collection will feature about 30 custom-designed pieces, including eye shadows, lipsticks, nail lacquers and eyeliners. Given that Marilyn had such an iconic and totally timeless look I’m guessing that this collection will be ultra wearable, super flattering and essential buying! Hallelujah and long live Monroe…

Daily delight: Crystal Renn portrait by Seth Sabal

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

All about: the LashFood Eyelash Enhancing System

Over the past 18 months all manner of lace enhancing/lengthening/stimulating products have flooded onto the market, and only now are the potentially “odd” (for want of a better word) side effects are starting to show. I’ve heard horror stories from makeup artists about eye colour changes and lashes growing out of cheeks (I kid you not!) so it’s great to hear about an ultra safe, natural option that comes as four revolutionary treatment products
Called LashFood, it is safe, natural and effective with no side effects – i.e. prostaglandin and paraben free – as well as clinically-proven to enhance the length, thickness, colour and volume of lashes and brows.
Safe and effective for those who have lost lashes and brows as a result of chemotherapy and ideal for use by contact lenses wearers or those with eyelash extensions, it is also gluten-free and synthetic fragrance free.
In the product range you’ll first up find the Nano-Peptide Natural Eyelash Conditioner – a powerful and natural eyelash conditioner with Nano-Peptide Technology. This breakthrough, powerful formula is clinically proven to provide the appearance of longer, thicker, lashes and to transform frail and brittle lashes to become healthy and stronger in 3-6 weeks – love that! They also have a formula clinically proven to nourish over-plucked, thin, and uneven brows.
Conditioning Drama Mascara is next up, giving volume and length to lashes for a dramatic, long lasting finish. Semi Waterproof, it’s also a No Smudge Formula and is infused with LashFood’s Nano-Peptide Technology conditioning serum and available in both Black and Brown.
Lastly, the product that’s got me excited is the Conditioning Liquid Eyeliner (pictured above) - which is precise, long lasting, quick drying and lash loving! Infused with LashFood’s Nano-Peptide Technology conditioning serum, this eyeliner conditions the root of lashes to transform frail and brittle lashes to become healthy and strong every day. Available in both Black and Brown, this is also a steal at $35.00.

Daily delight: Jessica Stam covers Harper's Spain

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In love with: The Monica Lipstick Collection

I make no secret of the fact that I love lipstick, and I also absolutely adore Italian actress Monica Bellucci – in my opinion one of the foxiest women in the world today.
I was very excited to learn that she is the latest face for Dolce & Gabbana, joining Scarlett Johansson and Felicity Jones.
 Bellucci, an incredible 47, is a friend of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, and they have created a beautiful lipstick line named for her—the Monica Lipstick Collection—which will hit stores on May 12.
 With six shades, the Monica Lipstick Collection celebrates 'her remarkable magnetism' according to a press release, and will be available for a limited time only.
Explaining the collaboration further, the release states: “With her famed fulsome lips, impeccable complexion and daring, expressive eyes she exudes the irony, mystery and charm that comprises the very essence of the Dolce & Gabbana woman.” Domenico Dolce enthused, “we love Monica and have worked with her many times over the past 20 years. Her beauty is timeless,” with Stefano Gabbana adding, “she expresses perfectly the Dolce & Gabbana woman. She is ravishing - a true Italian icon.”
Famed for her killer curves, Bellucci also posed for her fellow countrymen in the Spring 2012 campaign for their ready-to-wear collection, whilst this image for the lipstick campaign was shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and was inspired by Italian cinema. Love it.

Daily delight: Iselin Steiro for Vogue Russia

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hot stuff: Liv Tyler does INXS for Very Irrésistible Givenchy Electric Rose

I try: Inika Certified Organic Liquid Foundation

I’m an avid fan – bordering on obsessive – of skincare with a strong organic bent, but struggle to find foundation that follows that same modus operandi but also seriously performs. And I’ve tried a lot of them – believe me!
So I was very pleasantly surprised by what I saw when I slapped on Inika’s Certified Organic Liquid Foundation, which the fantastic Aussie company says is “guaranteed to feed your skin with a balanced and healthy diet while providing your complexion with flawless coverage.”
The ingredients included in the beauty award winning liquid foundation are like a roll call of feelgood ingredients with punch – and its great end result is testament to how well they work together. The foundation is built on a base of certified organic Aloe Vera - well known to be rich in vitamin C, E and even contains traces of Vitamin B12. Aloe Vera is a source of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, chromium and the antioxidant selenium, and contains fatty acids and 20 of the 22 amino acids needed by the body. You’ll also find Tamanu Oil in there – often called the secret to rejuvenated skin. Derived from the Tamanu Tree, the greeny gold oil is considered sacred in the Polynesian islands, and has been used on the skin for centuries because of its incredible rejuvenating capabilities.
The end result for me was a foundation that evened out and primed my skin for whatever the day would throw at it, with a natural luminosity that hung around all day long. And when it was time to take it off? My skin felt like it had been treated to a nice drink of water, as opposed to feeling stifled by a heavy base. This is a great choice if you like a more natural look, kind of like you – but better!
I have been trialling beige which is probably a little light for me in summer, so I suggest before you buy to visit Inika’s website and click on the ‘Beauty Room’ button. Here, you will find the Shade Finder, the perfect tool designed to find the shade of Inika Certified Organic Liquid Foundation for your exact skin tone, ensuring flawless coverage and a perfect complexion.

Daily delight: more Kate Moss for Liu Jo Spring 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

How to: Guido for Victoria Beckham F/W12, MBFW

Named one of fashion's top 25 most influential people by the British Fashion Council, Redken’s Global Styling Director Guido Palau was – as always - a prominent fixture in the backstage hustle of the recent New York Fashion Week, styling some of the week’s most prestigious shows.
One of my favourites was the Victoria Beckham show, which always wows in terms of its signature take on totally modern elegance. The ultimate in carefully studied chic, Victoria Beckham’s Fall/Winter 2012 show was held at the New York Public Library and featured models’ hair cut to a blunt, uniform finish that fitted perfectly with the label’s ultra-modern polished look.
Guido said “this is a simple style that becomes very glamorous when worn with Victoria’s sexy clothes, working to both highlight the collection and even ‘tone down’ the look a bit. We work to get each girls’ hair flawlessly smooth and straight - you can make hair this straightforward stylish if you do it perfectly. The hair in New York always reflects what I like to call American minimalism - the styles, like this one, aren’t often complicated, but they reflect a simple beauty that I think works wonderfully here.”
Get the look at home by following these super easy steps:
1. Starting with hair trimmed very straight with a blunt finish, add Redken satinwear 02 ultimate blow-dry lotion to protect and soften hair, and blow-dry.
2. Create a deep side part and flat iron hair until perfectly straight.
3. Add a generous amount of Redken shine flash 02 glistening mist for a glossy finish, and tuck hair behind the ears.
4. Use a dollop of Redken rough paste 12 working material to slick down the front of the style for an extra wet finish and added texture.

Why you need: Skindinävia Makeup Finishing spray

When the Skindinävia Makeup Finishing range burst onto the US retail market last year, it was discovered by more than 1 million women, made the Top 10 in US Vogue, and was used backstage at the Oscars – quite the debut year in beauty circles!
Used backstage and on shoots by beauty professionals since 2005, it is now officially one of the entertainment world’s worst kept secrets. Their original “Makeup Finishing Spray” was first used on movie sets in Hollywood so makeup artists could have fewer touch ups through long days of filming. Unlike makeup settings sprays of the 1970’s and 80’s - essentially “hairspray for the face” - Skindinävia mists are virtually weightless and look and feel pretty damn natural.
The secret behind it is their patented Temperature Control Technology, which prevents makeup from melting, drying out, becoming shiny, or creasing.
By keeping the makeup surface at just the right temperature, they hold everything in place while giving you a healthy, natural glow. Think never too dry or too oily, with zero touch ups or blotting.
Sound too good to be true? I thought so, until I started using their Original Makeup Finishing Spray, which seriously stopped makeup meltdown even on some of the incredibly sticky, humid days we’ve been having Down Under recently. The lightweight mist helps to keep makeup just as you applied it for up to 16 hours, and as well as keeping makeup from melting in summer, it promises to stop it drying out in winter – magic! I find it best applied before mascara, in a kind of “X” formation. Too easy, and perfect for all skin types!
They also have an Oil Control formula on offer, along with Madonna and Gaga’s favourite - Dance! Makeup Finish, which was – unsurprisingly - created for the partygoer or performer.
And if all that doesn’t make you want to get your hot little hands on this goodie, all Skindinävia products are hypoallergenic, paraben free, sulfate free, non-comedogenic, not tested on animals
and Vegan… so, what are you waiting for?

Daily delight: an ethereal Nimue Smit for W Korea

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How to: DKNY F/W ’12 at MBFW New York

Called “The New Realism”, the look created by Eugene Souleiman - Global Creative Director of Wella Professionals - for the DKNY show at New York Fashion Week F/W 12 was a beautiful study in simplicity and ultimate wearability.
Souleiman said, “For me, the DKNY collection is always a great barometer on New York style and this season the collection is very elegant, almost like evening wear, so I wanted to create a hair look that was rich and refined but also with a hint of youth to bring the evening feeling back to a fresher day look”.
The look requires a little prep, but the end result – including a custom made classic barrette – is SO worth it.
To get the look:
1. Start with clean freshly washed and conditioned hair, using Wella Professionals Enrich Shampoo and Conditioner, to ensure hair is in perfect condition.
2. Prep wet hair with Wella Professionals Velvet Amplifier then add Wella Professionals Perfect Setting before blow drying with a round brush to create a smooth sleek finish.
3. Section your hair at the front and create a deep side parting. Smooth hair down and spray very lightly with Wella Professionals Stay Styled hairspray to add shine and keep the ‘flyaways’ down.
4. Pull your hair back behind your ears and use straightening irons through the back section of the hair. Using a wide barrette clip, secure your hair into a low pony tail at the nape of your neck. The ponytail should be wide and flat with straight edges.
5. Finish with another soft spray of Wella Professionals Stay Styled hair spray to hold the look in place.

Love it: the new Max Factor Colour Elixir collection

I’m a HUGE lipstick fan – to put it mildly – and have pretty much tried and tested every brand on the market. And it’s a love affair that’s hung around for a while now too, first becoming serious when I was in may late teens and travelled to London, returning with no less than seventeen of the little magic bullets!
Needless to say, it takes a lot to impress me, but Max Factor’s brand new offering known as Colour Elixir Lipstick does just that. Each little tube of goodness moisturizes and cares for lips for ultimate hydration in just seven days, leading to rich colour that looks and feels good on your lips.
The secret is apparently in its 60 per cent Elixir treatment, which includes the active ingredients of shea, avocado and aloe butters, as well as anti-oxidant white tea. This formula actively improves lip moisture to achieve a smoother surface in a week - like a perfectly prepped lip canvas - meaning the high pigment lip colour glides on effortlessly.
Colour Elixir‘s shade palette is divided into four colour families to suit all complexions and preferences – pinks, mauves, reds and browns; - and is perfectly complemented by Max Factor’s new Colour Elixir Lip Liner, which offers the same rich colour and 60 per cent moisturising ingredients to nourish and define the lips.
I’ve been using English Rose and Burnt Caramel for a good while now and I am just loving the oomph in these nudes – they really do look like my lips, but better!

Daily delight: Kate Upton for V magazine

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Want right now: the debut collection from Jo Loves

I’ve been a huge fan of Jo Malone for years now, buying up their goodies whenever I was in the UK long before they hit New Zealand shores.
I was worried when Jo Malone left her eponymous brand that it’s essence would be diluted, but clearly it hasn’t and I love it still today. Having said that, the lady herself is back with a new fragrance brand called Jo Loves - five years after departing her original business – and I am gagging for a sniff!
It’s been five years since she’s produced fragrances and she has described the new venture as “about who I am right now - the person I've turned into. It's also about vibrancy and colour, which you can see in the red packaging. We're approaching things in a different way - we're launching the fragrances one by one in very limited numbers - so I feel like we're walking through a doorway to what will hopefully be a very exciting future.”
She told UK Vogue that she regards her new Jo Loves brand and her former brand - now owned by Estee Lauder - as "like two children who love you very much". 
How cute is that?
The Jo Loves brand launched in the UK at the end of 2011, with new fragrances released over the course of four days from a pop-up store in Selfridges. The first fragrance - Pomelo – has been called fresh and fizzy, whilst Malone describes the others thus: Green Orange & Coriander ("a battered leather armchair and New York rain"), Orange Tulle ("a ballerina's tutu fluttering up and down"), and Gardenia ("it's Mary from Downton Abbey. In the red dress, do you know the bit I mean?"). They were released in limited quantities of 12,000 bottles each.
What I wouldn’t give to get my hands on one of those! Fingers crossed the delicious goodies will reach us Down Under soon… or that I’ll be winging my way to the UK before it does!

Daily delight: Doutzen Kroes for Harper's Bazaar US

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why you need: Clinicians Super Family C

Wherever you are in the world, chances are you are dealing with stress and unpredictable weather, yes? Both wreck havoc on your immune system, meaning that you need to give it all the help it needs to keep strong and healthy.
Easier said than done however, and I’m a huge fan of taking supplements to work with my diet and exercise resolutions at keeping illness at bay.
Key to keeping well are Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which are essential antioxidants that are found in nature together in many fruits and vegetables. The human body is unable to manufacture either of them however, and relies on daily dietary intake to meet its needs. They work best together too - for best results Bioflavonoids enhance the absorption and action of vitamin C in the body and they also helps reduce inflammation.
Vitamin C’s main function in the body is its role in producing collagen, the substance that makes up ligaments, tendons and connective tissue that connect and support the human body. Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to enhance the immune system; promote wound healing; support neurotransmitter and hormone production and promote the health of all cells in the body.
Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants in the body, working both inside and outside the cells where it provides front line antioxidant protection. Vitamin C deficiency can result in a diminished immune response, susceptibility to infection and slow wound healing.
But never fear, because there is a great supplement containing both Vitamin C and bioflavonoids on the market in the form of Clinicians Super Family C, which provides three forms of Vitamin C, calcium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid, working together with a citrus bioflavonoid complex to support immune, circulatory and everyday general health 24 hours a day. So really, there is no excuse for not taking a Vitamin C supplement with this little baby around – it’s just too easy!
Now come on stressful changes in season… give me all that you’ve got!

Get the look: Peter Som F/W ’12 at MBFW New York

Eugene Souleiman - Global Creative Director of Wella Professionals – can always be counted on to create some of the most beautiful, unique and feminine hair each year at fashion weeks around the world, and this beautiful look for the recent Peter Som show in New York was no different.
He told the press, “the Peter Som collection this season is very pared back and led by strict shapes and colours, so I wanted to create a graphic look that worked with the collection but at the same time was not too harsh.”
“This look is all about tension,” he continued, “tension from the contrast of the small sleek head shape against the full wildness and texture at the back of the hair, and tension between the shine and precision of the top section against the arid rawness of the longer lengths.”
All I know is that I love it, and especially how easy it is to translate into everyday life. He gives us the rundown…
1. Wash and condition your hair with Wella Professionals Enrich Shampoo and Conditioner to give hair a freshly washed look, with perfect condition.
Prep hair with Stay Brilliant Lotion and blow dry hair with a round brush to create texture, while keeping hair lustrous and shiny.
2. Take a large section of hair at the front of your head, creating a deep side parting. Smooth this down and spray with Perfect Setting Blow Dry Lotion to create a smooth and sleek finish.
3. Comb through so that the hair is flat to the head and finish with Stay Styled Hairspray – spraying close to the hair to give a ‘gel like’ finish.
4. Pull the rest of your hair back behind the ears and create a low, tight ponytail at the nape.
5. Spray the ponytail with Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Spray to add texture, then twist hair into a bun and secure with hair pins. ‘Set’ hair by applying heat from a blow dryer. When hair is completely dry, remove the pins and pony tail and allow the bun to come undone so that the hair falls on the back of the head in matte, textured waves.
6. Create more volume and texture by lifting random sections of the hair, back brushing and spraying with Stay Styled Hairspray to finish.

Daily delight: a triumphant Adele for US Vogue

Monday, February 13, 2012

Nicki and Ricky for VIVA GLAM: what’s not to love?

“It is important for our young generation to understand that HIV/AIDS will continue to be a global issue unless we work together to fight the disease. Awareness leads to education, education leads to empowerment and empowerment leads to change.
I am honoured to be part of this movement with the M.A.C VIVA GLAM campaign”
Nicki Minaj, M.A.C VIVA GLAM spokesperson

I love a poppin’ lip, and they don’t come much bolder and brighter than Nicki Minaj’s creation with M.A.C for the VIVA GLAM campaign. An ultra bright, yellow-toned pink with a satin finish, it is the perfect choice for a statement lip and just a hell of a lot of fun.
The VIVA GLAM campaign is the heart and soul of M.A.C. The global makeup giant has set itself a goal of rainsing $250 million by July 2012 to lead a new generation in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Nancy Mahon, Global Executive Director M.A.C AIDS Fund and Senior Vice President, M.A.C Cosmetics has said “if more young people are educated about HIV, the number of new infections will steadily decline. If we reduce the shame and stigma often associated with HIV, we can expand access to HIV prevention programs as well as treatment and care. This year‘s VIVA GLAM campaign is committed to building awareness among young people everywhere to ensure that they know the facts about HIV/AIDS and can come together to increase education to prevent the spread of HIV and expand access to care for individuals affected by this disease.” Hallelujah to that!
As part of this year‘s global campaign, part of Ricky Martin and Nicki Minaj‘s efforts will be in focus on the regions of Latin America and the Caribbean. At the end of 2008, two million people were living with HIV in Latin America, accounting for more infections than the U.S., Canada, Japan and the UK combined. And, the Caribbean is the second most affected region of the world. Young people aged 15-24 account for approximately half of all new infections in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is a deeply depressing statistic.
Do your part by rocking Nicki’s pink this season – I know I will be.

Can't live without: my brand new, all good ghd Air

Any hair stylist that’s ever worked on my hair will tell you that it is an absolute b**ch to dry. Sometimes they call in the cavalry and have two extra pairs of hands on the go, whilst at other times they give their upper body an extreme workout flying solo.
Needless to say I hate drying it as well, and employ lashings of dry shampoo on a regular basis just to avoid getting it wet!
Well that all changed for me this past weekend when I christened my brand spanking new ghd Air – the now-legendary styling brand’s first salon strength hairdryer that “guarantees to blow all other dryers away”. Developed in conjunction with professional styling experts, the new ghd Air features a powerful professional motor and advanced ionic technology, delivering even my troublesome locks exceptionally fast drying and styling while reducing frizz like you wouldn’t believe.
As well as working like a total trooper, its specifically designed ergonomic shape looks pretty damn fine and it is insanely lightweight to use, meaning that the unintentional upper body workout is now a thing of the past. Using a combination of the highest heat setting and fastest speed setting, my hair dries in around minutes with this puppy, which is most definitely a first. It’s also a lot quieter than the majority of drying tools I’ve come into contact with (a bonus for those that spend their days in salons one would think) and the buttons on the reverse side of the hair dryer means that it’s totally ambidextrous. How thoughtful is that?
Arriving in New Zealand mid-March this is one styling tool I can no longer live without. The speed at which I can actually get my hair dried and styled in the morning is a massive bonus given how damn busy I am even at the best of times, making it a new-fangled beauty product I can honestly say has changed my life!

Daily delight: Kate Moss covers W mag

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine’s Day treat: The Body Shop's Chocomania

A couple of weeks ago I attended one of the most fun beauty launches in a while courtesy of The Body Shop. The venue was cooking school Main Course and the activity du jour was making truffles – oh and hearing a little more about their delicious new Chocomania range!
Timed to arrive just in time for Valentine’s Day, the collection includes the usual (and excellent) Body Shop bath and body treats like a body scrub, body butter, body lotion et al, all sinfully scented with the smell of milk chocolate. Yum.
My favorite piece in the collection is the heart-shaped, pink Chocomania soap – a non-fattening treat for your skin with hydrating cocoa butter and exfoliating coconut shell. If you’re going to exfoliate this Valentine’s Day, this is definitely the most delicious way to do it!
What is nice about this collection is that the chocolate scent isn't too artificial and sickly sweet either, just subtly yummy. Love it.

Daily delight: Kate Moss for Liu Jo Spring 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

28 Day Challenge: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye

On the tube, Kiehl’s all new Midnight Recovery Eye promises “fresher, younger looking eyes by morning”. Ambitious claim yes? Does it live up to it?
Well I’m soon to find out as I embark on the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye 28 Day Challenge, which if all reports are to be believed will have my tired old peepers totally popping!
But first, a little rundown on what this puppy contains – and promises. Following the successful introduction of Midnight Recovery Concentrate, Kiehl’s chemists set to formulating Midnight Recovery Eye – paraben-free, fragrance-free, and mineral oil-free – with the active ingredient Butcher’s Broom, a root extract known to increase microcirculation. Butcher’s Broom (Ruscus aculeatus), used for centuries by old-world pharmacists, is high in bioflavonoids, and is said to improve cutaneous microcirculation and reduce inflammation. It has been traditionally used to combat edema – a swelling of skin due to water retention caused by weak blood circulation - by strengthening blood vessels. Midnight Recovery Eye utilizes these properties of Butcher’s Broom to soothe and calm under eye skin to reduce morning puffiness. 
Other active essential and botanical oils in the Midnight Recovery Eye formula like Squalane, Evening Primrose and Lavender help to strengthen the thin skin under the eyes, which is only 1/3 as thick as other facial skin. This under-eye area has the fewest sebaceous glands on the face, and is therefore highly susceptible to dehydration, resulting in a weak barrier, a factor in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The unique blend of oils – made up of Fatty acids (Omega 3, 6 and 9) – has a restructuring benefit that also helps to reinforce the protective barrier and slow the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles…
I like the sound of that!
Kiehl’s recommends a nightly regimen as much of the skin’s energy during the day is used to protect itself, with less energy to spare on repair. Therefore, the primary activity of the skin during the night - when one is sleeping and not exposed to as many damaging free radicals - is to repair itself, especially in the fragile eye area, which is prone to puffiness and early signs of wrinkles.

root extract which is known to increase microcirculation. When combined with other tried and true powerhouse oils, the extract helps to reduce puffiness and strengthen the delicate eye area overnight.
The product has already been a big success for Kiehl’s internationally and has won quite a celebrity following, so I’m very keen to see the results.

Daily delight: Candice S. for Harper’s Bazaar US

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I try: Davines’ new OI/OIL

I’ve known about Italian sustainable beauty company Davines for a few years now and have always admired both their modus operandi and their careful edit of products. The latest to arrive in their impressive arsenal is known as OI/OIL, and is a killer multitasker after my own heart.
The company calls OI/OIL “a refined, multi-functional product that offers the perfect combination of treatment and styling for all hair types”, and they aren’t kidding. A true beauty potion, it’s designed for immediate results via some high performance ingredients, speeding up drying times without weighing down hair, and adding shine and softness. It detangles and fights the frizz while providing a restructuring, anti-radical and anti-oxidant treatment.
Key ingredients include fair trade Roucou oil from the Amazon - rich in beta-carotene, which reduces cell damage from UV radiation - and Ellagic acid, known for its neutralising power against free radicals. And it’s ridiculously easy to use, just apply a couple of pumps onto your mid-lengths and ends and comb through if you’re using on wet hair, or slightly less if you’re using it as a finishing product.
Last but by no means least, Davines has always had a strong focus on sustainability and environmental protection, and in the case of this product participates in the LifeGate Zero Impact project to reduce and offset the carbon dioxide emissions from its manufacture, creating and protecting new forests in Puerto Rico and Madagascar. Love that.
So as a recap – a high performance formula, sleek packaging (as per above) and low environmental impact…. What are you waiting for? Grab some OI/OIL now!

10 minutes with: the lovely Marise Henry, Cosmetic Acupuncturist

When Marise Henry began training as a physiotherapist many years ago, she always knew that she wanted to combine Traditional Chinese Acupuncture with her newly acquired skill set, and today she is passionate about what the two can achieve. “My interest in acupuncture and eastern philosophy began in the late 1990’s when I began studying martial arts,” she tells me, “and I became fascinated in the way that Traditional Chinese Medicine approaches healing the human body.” After studying acupuncture through the AUT postgraduate programme in 2008 she became even more passionate about traditional Chinese acupuncture as a way of promoting health and wellbeing. “The holistic approach to health aligns well with my personal view of how body and mind are integrated; the practice of acupuncture facilitates treatment or restoration on just so many levels.”
Over a year ago she travelled to Australia to study the art of Cosmetic Acupuncture, which is how I first came into contact with this very special woman and her work. Cosmetic acupuncture utilises traditional Chinese acupuncture techniques to rejuvenate your appearance, and studies have shown that it can have a real impact on fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, dry and dull skin, skin damage, drooping eyelids, sagging jowls and dark circles. It will even out skin tone and texture and can reduce the appearance of scars, which is what I have been seeing Marise for.
The treatment is natural and safe, and uses ultra fine acupuncture needles in targeted areas to stimulate the body’s natural healing response, encouraging it to heal and repair. The quality of connective tissues is improved, and collagen production and alignment is optimised. With the increase in qi and blood to the area, a super radiant, glowy look starts to take over, and you feel a million dollars to boot! In Marise’s words: “Cosmetic acupuncture is a holistic approach to health and beauty. The whole person is treated using appropriate points in the body to improve vitality and restore balance. The treatment incorporates the body, mind and spirit, and therefore encourages other health benefits, such as improved sleep, better digestion, less stress, and an increased sense of wellbeing.” And who doesn’t like the sound of that?
If you’re keen on a consultation and to give cosmetic acupuncture a try, you’ll start by detailing your health history for Marise who will then diagnose your face using Ruri facial diagnosis. This system reads the face to reveal an internal health report. People’s faces age according to corresponding problems in the body, so it’s important to correctly diagnose your face before treatment gets underway.
The needles are left in place for approximately 20 minutes, and I strongly advise that you take a couple of Panadol thirty minutes before in case of any pain. You can also have ‘plum-blossoming’ afterwards, which is another special technique that maximises the results. “The needles reinvigorate the qi and stimulate collagen, and then plum blossoming takes it that much farther,” she explains, “creating a little cascade of healing.” The last step is a relaxing facial massage using 100 per cent pure, organic Rosehip oil.
To really see results Marise recommends a course of weekly sessions for 10 to 15 weeks, and you’ll definitely start to notice a different in your skin texture and a sparkle in your eye a little more with every treatment. The softening of lines generally begins after 4 to 5 treatments, as this is how long it takes for new collagen to be produced and for your skin cells to be renewed.
There is a small risk of bruising and for this reason, cosmetic acupuncture is not recommended for those on blood-thinning medications. It is also not recommended for those with very high blood pressure, if you suffer migraines, or are pregnant.
I love the fact that I leave feeling like I’m walking on air after a treatment, and that can last several days. “People get the cosmetic benefits of acupuncture but often comment on the systemic benefits as well,” she says with a smile. “People look better so they feel better, and they feel better so they look better… and wellbeing is a pretty nice side effect to have!”

For bookings phone 09 378 0156 or email

(This article first appeared in the rather fabulous Ponsonby News)

Daily delight: Linda Evangelista covers LOVE

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine’s Day: my favourite fragrance finds

If you’re planning on investing in a possible romantic entanglement this Valentine’s Day, gifts don’t come much better than a beautiful, unique fragrance. With an emphasis on the “beautiful” and “unique” you’ll definitely be likely to impress, rather than appearing like you’ve run screaming through a department store ten minutes prior to picking up your date, arriving with a generic fragrance clutched in one sweaty paw.
There are a plethora of truly original scents out there if you really look for them, so I've come up with a few examples here of some that took my fancy, and just may grab your loved one’s attention too.
If you are looking for the ultimate gift for yourself or the fragrance fiend in your life, you can’t get much more luxe and fabulous than one of Puredistance’s three scents. Created by Master Perfumers in London and New York and available as perfume extrait only (that’s 25-32 per cent perfume oil), Puredistance really is one of the most exclusive perfumes in the world. Currently you can choose from just three exquisite fragrances, which are sold in a very limited number of luxury stores and perfumeries worldwide. In New Zealand and Australia they are stocked exclusively by WORLDbeauty, where they retail for $479.00 for 17.5ml.
My personal favourite us Puredistance M, which is an oriental, leather chypre in an insanely chic bottle. Created in London by Roja Dove, the world’s only Professeur de Parfums and one of the biggest fragrance authorities, M is inspired by “the stylish comforts of the interior of a grey Aston Martin”, and has elements of excitement and danger, which is just how it should be, in a fragrance inspired by Bond’s car. The composition purrs softly along, weaving the leather accord into the road map of spices, woods and resins. Seriously fabulous and incredibly luxe, this fragrance is quite honestly to die for.
Just up the road at Mecca Cosmetica you’ll find some absolutely beautiful fragrances that walk a little on the edgy side, as well as some cult favourites that you just can’t beat – think brands like Byredo and Serge Lutens, as well as those by Parisian legends Diptyque.
Lutens’ Un Bois Vanille is a truly sumptuous, all embracing parfum composed with Mexican black vanilla absolute, Sandalwood, Black Liquorice and Coconut milk. It really has to be sniffed to be believed, and is a truly heady beast that will have you looming in for more.
Mecca Cosmetica also has the Antonia’s Flowers range for something rich and floral, and it has a sweet backstory that I love. As a student, a young Antonia Bellanca studied art in Boston and then in France. It was in France, the markets of Aix and Paris, that she discovered all the wonderful varieties of flowers that she had up until then only seen in pictures - anemones, poppies, mimosa, freesia, and many more. After returning to New York she opened her own florist in East Hampton in 1982. She named it "Antonia's Flowers" and "it was a tribute to all the special gardens of my life." Wanting to recreate the scent that hit her customers when they walked in her doors, she worked with a parfumer to create her first fragrance, and soon others followed. Tiempe Passate is the jewel in the crown, and at $450 plus is definitely at the luxurious end of the spectrum. Extremely decadent and sensual, the unique, feminine fragrance is named after a love song Antonia's grandfather wrote, and is a deliciously musky, floral scent with it's key notes being Cedarwood, Amber, Clementine, Bergamot and Montauk Rose. It comes packaged in a custom made bottle and hand made box with stopper and pump, and is sure to impress.
Keep an eye out for something different than a celebrity scent this Valentine’s Day people – you know you want to!

Daily delight: Uma Thurman for Vogue Italia

Friday, February 3, 2012

I try: The Stephen Marr Blow and Go

It seems a lifetime ago that the Keratin Treatment/Brazilian Blowout treatment first hit the beauty headlines, and boy the process and the time involved has come a long way since then.
You can now get a completely safe, ultra luxurious treatment that won’t cost you the earth and involve hours of your time, and one I’ve recently tried – and fallen in love with – is the Blow and Go at Stephen Marr.
This baby promises silky smooth, well behaved, shiny, wavy or straight hair every day, all done and dusted in your lunchtime! Their Keratin formula is not only safe and non-toxic but will make your hair sleek and smooth in no time at all - think 45 minutes to an hour… including a killer blow wave!
I popped in to see my favourite blow out guy, Ivan at the Ponsonby branch of Stephen Marr, where the treatment was kick started with a cleansing Greens & More smoothie shot. Next, a relaxing pre~treatment wash was applied to prep my hair, followed by the Keratin formula expertly applied section by section and then dried in. Finally, the aforementioned killer blow out completed the picture and I was on my way in - you guessed it! – an hour. Magic.
The Lunchtime Keratin – AKA The Blow and Go – is available now for just $99.00 (with a value of $170.00) at Stephen Marr Ponsonby, Newmarket and Takapuna. So, what are you waiting for?

Daily delight: Karolina Kurkova covers Vogue Turkey

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Valentine’s delight at East Day Spa

This Valentine’s Day I heartily recommend you take your nearest and dearest to East Day Spa for a Hot and Cold Stone Ritual – a slice of pure heaven that I experienced a few days ago at their Auckland location.
It starts with a super relaxing 30-minute hot stone back massage using basalt rocks. East use basalt as the volcanic rocks help balance the body and just one stroke with a hot stone is worth an amazing FOUR hand strokes! The warmth really takes relaxation to another level.
Next up you’ll have a thirty-minute Snowberry facial incorporating rose quartz crystals, which are chilled before being placed on the face. The combination of hot and cold on the face helps blood vessels to dilate and constrict – this means increased circulation to the skin, removal of toxins and help with lymphatic drainage. The Snowberry soothing massage oil used is made up of passionflower, rosehip and soothing azulene from the German chamomile flower. It’s great for all skin types and especially sensitive skins like mine as it’s soothing, anti-inflammatory and luxurious too.
Rose quartz crystal - like all crystals - vibrate at a certain frequency that helps us resonate at similar one. Rose quartz, when placed near the skin gives a feeling of love, wellbeing and better self-esteem, making it the perfect choice for Valentines!
To finish, come back to the real world with a delicious warm cup of Harney & Sons Valentine's Tea Blend, which is made up of Chocolate and Rosebud. Too gorgeous!
You can book in alone or as a couple, and this beautiful treatment will cost you $160.00. What a great price for bliss, huh?

Daily delight: Zuzanna Bijoch for Alexander McQueen Spring 2012