Thursday, May 31, 2012

Love it: Clinicians fighting dry skin with supplements

A long time eczema sufferer, in the past I always took a ‘topical’ approach to fighting the issue, which is part of the allergic triad – along with asthma and allergies - that plagues so many people, many of which tend to rotate through the three at various stages in their life. 

I’ve tried all sorts of creams – both professionally prescribed and natural – and use some great oils like Sans’ Activator 7 Body Oil to keep the itches at bay. In light of the recent drop in temperature (and turning on of my heat pump) I asked
Debora-Dale Young, pharmacist and one of the natural health experts at Clinician’s for some advice about how supplements can help protect my skin further, and got some great advice.
I’d heard that probiotics can make a huge impact on eczema, and Debbie pointed me in the direction of Clinicians MultiFlora Digest (pictured) - taking 1 capsule twice daily for 4 - 6 weeks, then going to 1 capsule daily to support the balance of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Approximately 70 per cent of the immune system is in the digestive tract, in an attempt to protect us from what we eat, drink and breathe. There is a constant interaction between the gut flora, the lining of the digestive tract and the immune system, and as any naturopath will tell you: it all starts in the gut. 

Next up she recommends adding some EPO into my life, which can be easily done with Clinicians Evening Primrose Oil (take 3 capsules daily for at least 3 months). Depending on how much oily fish you eat, you may like to pop 2 capsules daily or Clinicians Krill Oil with NZ Salmon 500mg at a dose of 1 capsule daily. EPO contains GLA, which helps to down-regulate inflammation in the body and is especially good for moisturising skin. It is also a form of Omega-6 and works hand in hand with Omega-3, but both need to be balanced in the body for best effects. 
You could say that having the right balance of Omega's 3 and 6 effectively moisturises us from the inside out as the are both critical for the healthy cell membrane function. Most of our biological processes occur either in, on or near a cell membrane, and healthy cell membranes mean healthy cells which helps support organ health, and correspondingly every day health. 

Lastly, she says “if the eczema has flared up recently, consider checking if any of the following has changed recently: stress levels, sleep patterns, cleaning products, washing products, use of chemicals at work or during recreational time, skincare and personal products.”

She also says to consider food intolerances – “what have you been eating more of recently, that you were not before, do you feel tired after eating certain foods, get stomach pains, diarrhoea or constipation?
Do you have half moon shapes on all your finger nails and not just your thumbs?” If the answer is no you need to support stomach acid production, as this is key for optimal digestive and immune health. 

For further information on the products mentioned above go to the clinicians website 
- it is seriously a mine of information!

The perfect match for a cold winter’s night: Waipara Hills Pinot Noir

When I think of winter I think of Pinot Noir, which – when done well – is my absolute favourite style of wine.
Southern vineyard Waipara Hills make some of the most beautiful Pinots out there in my humble opinion, and their 2010 Waipara Hills Central Otago Pinot Noir has been hailed as “the perfect companion for completing a fine dining experience”. Love the sound of that!
It has a wonderfully rich and rustic nose of earth, chocolate, spice and dark cherry aromas, making it the ideal tipple to indulge in as the temperature drops.
Waipara Hills Central Otago Pinot Noir ($29.90) is distributed by Hancocks (free phone 0800 699 463) and available from specialty wine outlets, - and online at
Luckily for you I have six bottles of the 2010 Waipara Hills Central Otago Pinot Noir to giveaway! Just email by Friday, June 8 with your address and date of birth (you have to be over 18 years of age to enter) and you’re in draw…

Daily delight: Doutzen Kroes for Vogue China

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Falling in love with: Dr. Dennis Gross skincare

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be amongst the lucky few to have experienced a Dr. Dennis Gross professional peel outside of New York City, and at the very talented hands of David Fainer.
Incredibly charming, David is the Director of Sales & Special Events for Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare (formerly MD Skincare), which is in store exclusively in this part of the world at Mecca Cosmetica. Personally trained by Dr. Dennis Gross, brand founder and formulator, David has worked side by side with him for the past six years to conduct skin evaluations and perform cosmetic facial treatments for clients across the US, and now the world. The Chicago resident was loving his chance to travel Down Under, and told me that the brand’s skincare approach was definitely in line with repairing the damage that the sun has wrecked on so many New Zealand and Australian skins.
The hero of the take home range is the legendary Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel, a multi-award winner and “must have” for pretty much everyone who tries it. Naturally milder than the professional peel that Dennis performed on me (he recommends that patients only ever have three or four a year), it is famous for a reason. The beauty of this product is that it tackles pretty much every skin woe, whilst caring for the skin all along the way.
It’s also a little marvel in that it gives visible results instantly. Honestly; results with just one use. Plus, its two-step process takes only two minutes a day! So, how do you use it, I hear you ask?
Step one is the powerhouse, a combination of five Alpha and Beta Hydroxy acids (each chosen to provide specific benefits) along with more soothing, yet powerful ingredients like Green Tea extract.
Step two neutralises all of the hard work that was being done in the previous step. Coming in at just the right time too, so that even though the product is strong, it’s just strong enough. Plus, it leaves behind some good ingredients that will continue to help and soothe your skin. And despite my sensitive skin, I’ve experienced very little redness- as powerful as it is, it also helps calm and soothe any skin irritation you might have. My skin quite literally glows after every use. And for an added “just been on holiday” glow, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare also have on offer the Alpha Beta Glow Pad – an anti-aging exfoliating self-tanner with active Vitamin D. Yep, you heard right - an anti-aging self tanner that takes the form of a single step pre-soaked towelette containing Active Vitamin D, Microencapsulated DHA and Soy Proteins. It delivers the colour deep into skin to prevent fading through surface exfoliation.
I’ve only used one of these babies but am definitely going back for more, especially as it’s so simple yet effective. Apply the towellete to face, neck and décolleté in circular motions, blending evenly AM or PM. To customise the colour, increase the number of repetitions to achieve a deeper glow. Perfection!
Check both out now on counter at Mecca Cosmetica

Daily delight: Ana Beatriz Barros for Elle Brasil

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beauty destination: Lucy & The Powder Room for a winter treat

All about: Redken’s revolutionary Chromatics colour system

 You’ve heard of calcium to fortify your bones and exercise to fortify your muscles…but what about a simple hair colour system keep your hair strong and healthy? Sound too good to be true? Well it isn’t – meet Redken’s new Chromatics!
Called a “revolutionary professional haircolour” that fortifies every strand, this new type of colour aims to give you shinier, healthier-looking hair and amazing colour after just one salon visit. Yep, you read that right – just one visit.
I got the low down on Chromatics from the insanely effervescent and knowledgeable Lori Zabel, a New York-based colourist Lori Zabel (pictured right) who travels the globe educating and inspiring stylists everywhere. Originally from Canada, Lori is a Redken Master Stylist at Dop Dop Salon, SoHo, where she lights up the floor when she’s not traveling.  Her work has been featured in educational DVDs and publications like Color Generation, Education on Demand and the Hairdressers Journal Australia, and she has worked backstage at NYC Fashion Week with designers like Cynthia Rowley, Proenza Shuler, Patricia Fields and Armani. In a nutshell – lady knows her stuff.
She set about giving my hair a glossing treatment and talked to me about the main reasons you should give Chromatics a jolly good nudge, and what makes it such a bonus for pretty much all hair types. Here’s a summary of sorts, although I recommend a chat with a Redken salon for the full rundown:
1. The breakthrough formula features protein extracts that penetrate deep into every strand, leaving hair twice as “fortified” as uncolored hair. 
2. The Zero Ammonia formula means no odor, no discomfort—just amazing color.
3. Your stylist can cover gray flawlessly while leaving hair shiny, conditioned and fortified.
4. It gives a multi-dimensional look to your hair i.e. your colour is never dull or flat.
5. Chromatics features an incredible range of shades including brunette, red and blonde, and your stylist can custom blend a Chromatics colour that’s perfect for you.
After my Chromatics service, my hair felt so soft and conditioned, and the colour looked ultra vibrant and got me a truckload of compliments from all walks of life! The fact that it helped fortify my hair is a huge bonus, and a a key reason why you should give it a whirl.

Daily delight: Nicole Kidman for Harpers Bazaar Australia

Monday, May 28, 2012

Event alert: for some expert advice or just a refresher course on ageing

Beauty discovery: Pure Inventions liquid goodness

A few years ago I was lucky enough to spend a solid few hours at one of the best Bliss Spa locations in San Francisco, where part of my package involved a series of hot drinks containing high performance vitamins and antioxidants in a liquid form. It was a concept that I totally fell for, and I felt a bit gutted that I couldn’t get a similar product back in New Zealand.
Fast forward a few years and I’m getting all excited about the arrival on our fair shores of the Pure Inventions range of liquid supplements, and damn they’re good!
A pioneer in the industry, Pure Inventions has created a selection of antioxidant-rich products that taste great and have no caffeine, no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no preservatives, no alcohol, no gluten and no calories...! Just add water for a slice of nature’s protection powerhouse. Too easy huh?
Antioxidants fight free radical damage, boost our immunity, and keep skin healthy, and science has shown that antioxidants may help protect our bodies from stress-related illness and the effects of stress and aging on our bodies. The combination of proper hydration (water!) and the free-radical fighting properties of antioxidants is a virtual powerhouse for your immune system. Green tea is one of the most powerful antioxidants known, with up to 10 times the amount of antioxidants found in some fruits and veggies. Pure Inventions have a range of Green Tea Extracts that have in a single serving the benefits of 100mg of green tea or 11+ cups of brewed green tea, which is quite mind blowing when you think about it! They also have Fruit Antioxidant Extracts, a weight management option, a stress relieving blend (Tranquillity, pictured, a blend of Chamomile, Passionflower and Magnesium) and some heady Nutritional Supplements like Healthy Liver which I’m currently taking, a proprietary detox blend for liver, skin and immune support.
I’m totally in love with this range and its method of delivering goodness into my system, and I think it will be an absolute godsend over the winter months. If you want to find a stockist near you email, I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

Daily delight: Xiao Wen covers Numéro China

Friday, May 25, 2012

All about: Pureology's all new Perfect 4 Platinum

I’m a huge fan of the Pureology haircare range, which was the first to take colour protection seriously and one of the first “green” offerings in its industry.
It was pretty exciting when they released a range of styling products that also worked to enhance and protect colour vibrancy, and now the rather smart powers that be at Pureology have supplied the answer for perfect platinum locks by unveliling a collection that cares for highlights and repairs fragile blonde hair.
Called Perfect 4 Platinum, it contain’s the company’s own Antifade Complex to ensure long-lasting colour results but is also enriched with Keravis - a vegetable protein that revitalises and fills in gaps in strands of hair. Keravis is the star ingredient that features in all four Perfect 4 Platinum products: shampoo, conditioner, strengthening masque and leave-in lotion. In addition to Keravis, all of the yummy products in the range contain chamomile, lemon extract and coriander oil.
The hero product in the Perfect 4 Platinum collection is the Miracle Filler (pictured), which works to protect bleached hair against heat and mechanical stress. A leave-in lotion, it increases hair strength and shine. Enriched with 15x more Keravis, hair reportedly recovers up to 78 per cent of its strength after just one application – definitely no mean feat 
So there you go blondes, get out there and have more fun!

Daily delight: Tilda Swinton for Candy magazine

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Love it: Matrix Design Pulse Clean Remix Dry Shampoo

Looking at this picture of a baby-faced Cindy Crawford at a benefit at Bloomingdale's in New York back in 1988 makes me fall in love all over again with relaxed, healthy and just plain gorgeous hair.
Hair this clean and shiny looking takes some maintenance however, and a hell of a lot of time and energy for the average woman. Having said that, I’ve found that the dry shampoo craze of a few months ago has been a godsend for combination hair like mine - I don’t have to wash it as often and its condition has improved vastly. That fact that it gives my day an extra 20 minutes is just an added bonus!
Not all dry shampoos are created equal however, and the huge number of options flooding onto the market have to be tried and tested before you choose the perfect one for your hair.
My current favourite – hands down - is Design Pulse Clean Remix Dry Shampoo, a new offering from Matrix. The clever formula refreshes hair by lifting oil, dirt and product residue from the scalp and root area, and its scent is about a million times better than many of its peers with a sharp, yummy citrus undertone.
A brand new essential for the gym bag, hand bag or when you travel, it’s also super easy to use. Spray evenly 10 to15cm from the targeted root area, leave to dry for 10 seconds and comb through your hair with fingers. That’s it! Oh, and at just NZD $21.00, it’s a total steal.

Beauty discovery: Bodyism BodyBrilliance goodness

I’ve been following the work of trainer and general exercise guru-type guy James Duigan for a few years now, and absolutely love his philosophy about creating “a long, lean, healthy body” as opposed to a taut, stressed and underfed one. I see too many women around my age training too hard and hitting the pavements every day, which usually results in the dreaded “Runner’s Face” that looks as strained and overworked as their poor bods!
James calls his modus operandi the “Bodyism” system, and says that a great body can be achieved “by building health through our customised nutritional protocols and exercise programs”, which can be further helped along with their bespoke range of supplements and health drinks. I already follow his "Clean and Lean" diet program and the idea of having an added boost in the form of supplements is right up my alley.
The integrative approach inspired James and his business partner Dalton Wong to create the ultimate in body health supplements, which are specifically designed to strip fat, enhance health, increase performance and promote all-over well- being. Each supplement in the range is the result of years of intensive research based on cutting-edge nutritional science, and the end result should be a glow - and a bod – akin to James’ Brazilian-Australian wife Christiane (pictured) or that of his clients Elle Macpherson and Rosie Huntington-Whitely, to name but two!
I’ve just started on a journey with the BodyBrilliance supplement, which is a mega powerful blend of protein, antioxidants and fat burning elements that has been specifically designed to detoxify your body and spark the fat-burning process for the day.
The ingredient breakdown includes a phyto-antioxidant blend of minerals, super-greens, herbal adaptogens, fruit and vegetable concentrates that are combined with pre & probiotics supporting detoxifying, circulatory, immune, digestive, anti-inflammatory and energy metabolizing. It starts working the minute you take it, reduces cravings and it tastes good too! I’ve been throwing two rounded teaspoons in my morning smoothie and so far, so good. Combined with exercise of all kinds (apart from running, natch) and a pretty healthy daily intake of yummy food and I’m hoping for great things – watch this space!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Love it: MOR’s Destination Cosmetic Bag Collection

I’ve been spending rather a lot of time on planes of late, and have really appreciated having a damn good selection of cosmetic bags to choose from to transport my beauty arsenal in the most sensible – and stylish - way possible.
One of the most luxe range I’ve seen in a while is the brainchild of those very creative types at MOR, and is known simply as the Destination Cosmetic Bag Collection.
There are a range of styles for you to choose from, all of which are named after popular travel destinations and executed in a beautiful and totally timeless geometric print and a see through mesh that is perfect for jetting through Customs at top speed.
The super cute New York Pencil Case will help to keep all your beauty necessities within quick reach while you’re on the go, whilst the London – a very cool hanging fold-out case - ensures that your goodies are neatly organised and easily accessible.
Ideal for storing all of your can’t-live-without beauty items, the Rome deluxe standup case will add a touch of glamour to any hotel bathroom, whilst the Barcelona deluxe train case takes it that much farther – gorgeous!
The Melbourne Cosmetic Purse Trio is the perfect choice for your carry on as it’s see through, as well as being pretty damn sturdy for a long haul.
Very cool and available right now, if you’re jetting away anywhere soon I recommend you take one (or more) of these along!

Daily delight: Candice Huffine for S Moda May 12

Monday, May 21, 2012

In love: NARS Galapagos Shimmer Eye Shadow

I popped into my local Mecca Cosmetica store on Saturday to have my makeup done for a friend’s 40th birthday (a Masquerade Ball, no pressure!) and left with a seriously fabulous ‘eye’ and a brand new eye shadow to obsess about, NARS Galapagos Shimmer shadow.
A seriously gorgeous bitter chocolate infused with gold, it can be applied dry or with a dampened brush for stronger intensity, and used for shading, highlighting and lining the eyes. It’s incredibly longwearing as well (the party was a good test!) and didn’t crease or smudge all night long. I love the fact that it kept its “true” colour all night, and Francois Nars has said of the product line, “I always push our chemists at NARS to saturate my eyeshadows with pigment so that the result on your eye is the same as you see in the compact,” and he wasn’t kidding!
An absolute beauty, I’m so in love with this shade!

evolu – celebrating 15 years of beauty & celebrating life

I was lucky enough to be a guest at New Zealand skincare company evolu’s birthday celebrations last week, during which they toasted an incredible 15 years in the business of natural beauty and a celebration of life with a very special charitable intitiative in the form of their first limited edition fragrance – adolescent.
Unveiled for the first time to guests at the party, adolescent represents the “shift in years for evolu, and brings evolu's cheeky side into play,” founder Kati Kasza told me. “For me, fragrance is all about feeling good – it's the last thing you put on before you head out into the day and is something that lingers with you,” she adds, “and releasing our own is the ultimate celebration of evolu coming of age.”
A fresh oriental fragrance that is incredibly easy on the nose, it has everything from sharp peppery notes to spices mixed with sensual jasmine and rose flowers, with warm undercurrents of amber, vanilla and tonka bean. Kati has been dreaming of the end result for some time now, finally and collaborating with a French perfumer to create the final beautiful product. She also handpicked the very fabulous bottle and handmade box (pictured) to complete the fragrance’s journey.
As for the special initiative, the company will donate all of the profits from the launch of adolescent to the charity Sweet Louise, who work on a daily basis helping improve the quality of life of those battling secondary breast cancer. “We'd like those who purchase adolescent to feel good not just by spritzing the fragrance on,” says Kasza, “but also by knowing that they are giving to Sweet Louise to help those who may not be feeling quite as good about the days ahead.”
The fragrance is in store June 1 at the very special price of $79.99 (usually $139) for an 100ml eau de toilette for a limited time, and I recommend you pop into your nearest evolu stockist and have a sniff. It does good and smells great – and it doesn’t get much better than that!

Daily delight: Kristen Stewart for M le Monde

Friday, May 18, 2012

Beauty destination: Ecoya’s fabulous fragrance lab, Auckland Airport

Departing passengers from Auckland Airport can now get a fragrant bon voyage with the opening of Ecoya’s new fragrance lab in the airside international departure area, which is just wonderful news in my book!
I’m a mad raving fan, and feel like booking a flight somewhere glamorous ASAP just so I can stop in and buy some goodies to burn in a foreign land.
It’s the first New Zealand retail space ever for the renowned fragrance and body care brand, and it’s filled with everything from small travel candles to life sized human busts in a multitude of fragrance offerings. Pick up something for yourself or loved ones when you’re en route, and take your favourite scents everywhere you go. Ecoya CEO, Geoff Ross has hinted at opening a similar store in Sydney later this year, so you can grab goodies on your way home from trips across the Tasman too.

In love with : Chanel 2012-13 Cruise Show beauty

The recent Chanel Cruise Show was as beautiful and star-studded as ever, and naturally there was a seriously incredible makeup look created to go with it by the legendary Peter Philips, Creative Director of Chanel Makeup.
I loved every single touch, from the strong-but-not-too-strong brows to the distinct lack of mascara and statement rose pink on the eyes. There was soft matte skin, a hint of shadow carried along the middle of the lower lashline, a slightly rosy cheek… and all topped off by a low sheen lip that kept things from looking too clown-ish and totally now.
The official product run down is :
Skin preparation: Hydra Beauty Serum
On skin: Vitalumiere, Eclat Lumiere, Corrector Perfection, Poudre Universelle Libre, and Mouche de Beaute Highlighting Powder (part of the collection Versailles de Chanel available in December 2012)
On eyes: Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eye Shadow in Rose Favorite (another from Versailles de Chanel); Le Crayon Khol in Clair (N°69) to brighten the waterline
On brows: Crayon Sourcils brow pencils
On cheeks: Joe Contraste Powder Blush in Rose Pétale (N°99)
On lips: Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine in Evasion (N°48)
On nails: Le Vernis Nail Lacquer in Tendresse (N°507)
*** All backstage photos by Vincent Lappartient and © CHANEL 2012 ***

Daily delight: Gertrud Hegelund for Eurowoman

Thursday, May 17, 2012

In love with: Weleda One-Step Cleanser & Toner

If you pop by here often you’ll know I’m all sorts of mad for a multi-tasker, especially one that comes from the clever types at one of my favourite beauty companies.
Weleda’s One-Step Cleanser & Toner is exactly that: a multi-use skincare product with the ability to remove makeup, deeply cleanse, clarify and perfect skin with absolutely zero nasties and the credibility of coming from one of the world’s oldest all natural brands.
As the active ingredient, Witch Hazel extract goes to work immediately on all skin types (bonus!), soothing and caring while refining enlarged pores. Witch Hazel (AKA Hamamelis Virginiana) is high in tannins and known for its astringent, anti-inflammatory and strengthening properties, and when used correctly definitely won’t dry your skin out. When applied directly to the skin it can help reduce swelling, repair broken skin and fight bacteria, and this beautiful product is the perfect example of how great it can make your skin feel when it’s present in the right combination. This baby also smells absolutely delicious, which is a real bonus when it’s one of the first products to hit your senses at some ungodly hour of the morning!
Designed to be the cornerstone of the Weleda range, the company say that in an ideal world the One-Step Cleanser & Toner would be followed up by the correct skincare path for your skin type using the Weleda Facial Care range best suited to you - Regenerating Pomegranate, Smoothing Wild Rose, Soothing Almond or Hydrating Iris – but I’m already reaping the benefits using it all on its own. Love this!
To locate your nearest stockist visit the Weleda website here.

Daily delight: Audrey Tautou for Marie Claire Russia

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beauty news for the man in your life: the arrival of Triumph & Disaster

Taking its name from Rudyard Kipling’s poem of the same name and its aesthetic from Brooklyn’s rock n’ roll dandies, Dion Nash’s men’s skincare and grooming range Triumph & Disaster is one impressive beast. Despite the fact that the company is still in its infancy it’s making some serious waves in the industry, and not long after sitting down for coffee with its creator I was soon a raving fan.
The former New Zealand cricketer and 42 Below alumni is passionate about decent skincare for men that looks good and actually does what it says, and the high performance ingredients in his small-but-perfectly-formed offering would put many a women’s skincare brand to shame.
"It's about doing things right to set you up for the day,” he has said of the range, “The idea is you should clean, shave and protect your face in the morning. If you do those things before leaving the house, you'll give yourself every chance of dealing with triumph and disaster over the course of the day." Products like his soon-to-be-released daily moisturiser will more than set you up to face whatever the day will throw at you, and the tester pot I got to have a play with points to an offering that is set to turn the men’s skincare market on its head. Serious skincare it most definitely is, as well as giving a healthy nod to tradition in the form of an old-fashioned shave cream designed to be used with a brush and a shearing soap modelled on what they used after a hard day in the woolshed.
 The Old Fashioned Shave Cream is my husband’s go-to product right now and he’s a hard man to impress. Lanolin is its key ingredient – giving it some serious glide – and a few citrus notes thrown in for good measure give it a scent that is reminiscent of old school barber shops and the secrets held within their walls.
The products were created in collaboration with a chemist named Phil, who has a history that includes creating fragrances in France for major names like Christian Dior as well as developing consumer-focused products after a move to Australia. “His experience in the industry has been invaluable,” Dion tells me, “and he really ‘gets’ what I’m hoping to achieve. He’s an amazing find.”
Oh and if all of this isn’t enough to convince you to give the range a second look, it’s refreshingly paraben, petroleum and silicone free. In Dion’s words: “derived from nature, engineered with science,” and I strongly suggest you check it out now.
Have a closer look at Triumph & Disaster here.

Daily delight: Lara Stone for Vogue Netherlands

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In love with: brand new Ecoya Metro fragrances

I’m always excited when Ecoya releases a new fragrance, mainly because I know how much time, energy, effort and testing goes into each and every one. It really ain’t no simple thing! My absolute faves are always in the headier realm - think Vanilla Bean and Elizabeth from their Decadence collection - but pretty much anything they do gets my tick of approval.
So it is with great fanfare that I’d like to announce my first taste of two special new candles for Autumn that come as part of their beautiful Metro collection, Coconut & Elderflower and Pink Poppy & Peony.
The former is definitely the one to unleash on a cold, miserable day as it’s a real trip to the tropics with its cocktail of fruity ingredients. A riot of white coconut and caramel combined with elderflower and immersed in a rich background of lime, bergamot, lemon and pineapple, it is warm and enveloping and seriously my favourite of the two. Pink Poppy & Peony is for those that love things a little more delicate, with a sweet vanilla and woody base, topped off with floral notes of rose, lavender and violet for a fresh, sweet scent.  
So there you have it – take your pick and get burning now!

Daily delight: Edita Vilkeviciute for H&M magazine Summer 12

Monday, May 14, 2012

Beauty destination: my trip to heavenly Chintamani

By the time you read this I have most definitely bid the beautiful island of Bali goodbye, but after discovering a very special new resort run by a wonderful ex-Ponsonby local, you can be sure that I’m already dreaming of coming back. Savings goal, here I come!
I’ve made a point of making my way to a spa and/or wellness retreat on a regular basis if I can over the past ten years, and have been lucky enough to experience the likes of Thailand’s Chiva Som, the Evason Hideaway at Zighy Bay in Oman and Queensland’s Gwinganna, amongst other beautiful properties. The chance to relax, re-focus and rejuvenate that these kind of spots offer are pretty much second to none, so when I had the opportunity to visit the fabulous Chintamani Bali Retreat & Spa I was on the plane before you could say “Eat, Spa, Swim”!
Just opened in April, Chintamani is set on a hectare of landscaped hillside gardens, alongside the Laing River Valley on the west coast of Bali, about 30 minutes from Ubud and 45 minutes from Seminyak. It's the brainchild of fellow Ponsonby resident Wendy Matthews, whose vision was to combine the pleasures of a luxury resort with a carefully planned wellbeing program. There are only six bales - or villas - catering to a maximum 12 women, and the all-inclusive, week-long packages offer daily scheduled activities like yoga, meditation and spa treatments, but guests set their own agenda and there’s always time for a trip round the shops or a gin by the pool! Self-improvement, perfecting the art of doing nothing or a clever combination of the two - the choice is all yours, and the venue purpose-built for one hell of a relaxing time.
Set amidst sprawling tropical gardens, lush paddy fields and lotus ponds, Chintamani even has its own purpose built yoga centre (the perfect way to end the afternoon), a beautiful swimming pool (that I found it hard to tear myself away from) and a smaller pool set in a private courtyard alongside an authentic Balinese Rice Barn. To say the place is heaven on earth would be an understatement – and the feeling of serenity that washes over you the minute you cross its threshold truly has to be experienced to be believed. The seemingly endless massages of course help, and the fruity cocktails… but I digress!
Wendy has been coming to Bali on and off for 15-20 years and told me that it has been “a long love affair - the gorgeous food, the fabulous climate, the lovely people all combine to make it a fantastic place to spend time in. It's hard to put a finger on what exactly it is that makes people keep coming back for more but once you've come, you'll know.”
Sitting down to a meal of chicken larb and mahi mahi with red curry sauce one warm evening at Chintamani and contemplating a day ahead that includes a coconut body scrub, aromatherapy massage and yoga, I can’t help but come back to one of Wendy’s previous statements again and again. “It's hard to put a finger on what exactly it is that makes people keep coming back for more but once you've come, you'll know.” Watermelon mojito in hand, I think I’ve just had my own revelation, and feel all the better for it. I’ll most definitely be back!

Get yours now: M.A.C Fashion Sets mini-collection

I never need an excuse to pop into M.A.C’s Britomart PRO store, or any excuse to spend up large there on bits and bobs that I want/need/just must have! My reason for being there last Friday however was on “official” business, as in chatting with M.A.C’s Asia-Pacific DOMA, Hong Kong-based James Molloy.
I’d spent the week before in Sydney at MBFWA with the charming Brit, watching him in action backstage and at a Master Class in East Sydney, taking notes all the way. Come Friday we were talking about M.A.C’s rather fabulous new initiative, the 3-piece mini-collections of Lipstick, Lipglass, and Nail Lacquer known as Fashion Sets.
It’s no secret that one of the largest emerging beauty trends right now is the matching lip and polish, so naturally M.A.C have stayed one step of the pack by making this that much easier for all of us by packaging up some of each region’s most popular picks.
Think top shades like Rebel in New York, Russian Red in Dubai, Snob in Sao Paulo, Saint Germain in Tokyo and Morange in Paris for starters, and then add six more that are so-hot-right-now in those countries. Perfectly coordinated and regionally inspired, Fashion Sets are the quickest way to “colour block” your beauty look in three quick steps.
The Asia-Pacific collection on counter in New Zealand right now is made up of:
Saint Germain: Light cool pink (amplified)
Peachstock: Light peachy nude (satin)
Angel: Light warm pink (frost)
Ravishing: Mid-tone neutral peach (cremesheen)
Razzledazzler: Light cream peach (lustre)
Morange: Bright cream orange (amplified)
Impassioned: Bright warm pink (amplified)

Daily Delight, Viktorija for Elle Mexico May 12

Friday, May 11, 2012

Giveaway: two bottles of Dusky Sounds delicious Sauvignon Blanc

I've always thought the Dusky Sounds range was one of the best value tipples on the market, and their super yummy 2011 Sauvignon Blanc certainly proves the point. The fruit for this wine was carefully selected from vineyards in the Wairau and Awatere Valleys of Marlborough New Zealand, and it’s definitely a Classic Marlborough on the nose with lifted notes of guava, grapefruit and a touch of green apples.  A little tropical and a little citrus-y, it’s as crisp as they come and for a wine lover like me, a little slice of heaven!
Luckily for you I like to share, and have two bottles of this delightful little number to give away to readers over the age of eighteen. To enter email with your name, address and date of birth before Friday, May 18. Go to it!

Daily delight: Julia Restoin-Roitfeld for i-D magazine

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beauty news: Pure Fiji’s first skincare range AKA “paradise for your skin”

For many a year now, the kind people at Pure Fiji have been creating absolutely beautiful bodycare that transports you to their sunny shores in minutes without even needing to board a plane. Each and every product in their collection smells incredible and works a treat on your bod too, so it’s no surprise that they have at long last expanded their range to included a simple but rather special skincare offering as well.
Called Pure Fiji Face Care Solutions, it is fair bursting with a bounty of fresh and natural ingredients like exotic drift nut oils straight from the tropical isles, and is designed with century old Fijian beauty traditions in mind. It also uses hydrosols rather than water as a base, which enhances the performance of the products and means your skin is absorbing the benefits rather than just water.
The three core products included in the range are a simply magical Purifying Cleanser (my favourite at the moment), a Balancing Toner that uses cucumber, passionflower and witch hazel extracts enriched with green coconut water to re-mineralise, nourish and energise cellular exchange, and a Multi-active Day Crème (pictured) that is power packed with essential nutrients, vitamins and powerful plant actives.
Like their bodycare, Pure Fiji’s skincare range is definitely more than just a collection of pretty products with a yummy smell – it’s designed to actually “work” for your skin, and work it does. Well worth a try in my opinion, you won’t be disappointed.

Daily delight: a brunette Lara Stone for Vogue Turkey

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Love: Sodashi’s Brightening Marine Mineral Mask

It is clearly obvious that I’m in awe of pretty much everything that Sodashi skincare’s Megan Larsen creates, so I was pretty damn excited when I heard that the brand would be launching a new mask that inevitably would end up in my list of ‘must haves’. They definitely aren’t a company that throws out something new on a weekly basis, so for a new product to be ready for release it will have to have been trialled and perfected for a very long time.
In the case of Sodashi's new Brightening Marine Mineral Mask it has most definitely had a fair whack of testing in the spa arena as it was created in response to repeated requests for a pre-blended version of their professional Brightening Marine Mineral Mask, which is a truly amazing beast. I couldn’t wait to give it a whirl and wow – was I impressed!
The mask is a powerful detoxifying and firming treatment, making it ideal to apply to my skin after a few weeks of air travel and not-ideal nights sleeping in air-conditioned hotel rooms. The vitamin-and-mineral- packed mask plumps up skin, evens skin tone and restores a healthy glow, and re-energises dull or stressed skin such as mine is right now. This makes it perfect for use in the winter months, during periods of travel or before a special event to restore radiance, and its key actives include:
  • Australian Yellow & White Clay to improve skin colour & vitality 
  • Australian Zeolite (an ultrafine clay derived from volcanic mineral ore) for a powerful detoxifying action 
  • Seaweed to help maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance and improve skins elasticity 
  • Spirulina, which is rich in phytonutrients and has excellent skin firming properties 
  • Rosewood Oil to support skin cell renewal and strengthen collagen
All in all a powerful punch, and a perfect choice for a weekly treat that will help you get your glow back. After cleansing and moisturising, apply a small amount of the mask to the face, neck and décolletage area and leave on for 10 to 20 minutes. Remove with a warm, damp face cloth, step back and marvel. 

Daily delight: Charlotte Gainsbourg for Elle France

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Beauty news: the legendary ghd IV Styler gets a super glossy makeover

When it comes to a good old-fashioned glamover, it’s all about making something already seriously great just that much more vibrant, and ghd have done just that with their original styler.
The professional hair styling brand has just released the very covetable ghd IV Gloss Collection, which is as gorgeous as it is high performance – like pretty much everything that comes out of ghd’s creative hub.
Available for a limited time, the ghd IV Gloss collection sees the ghd IV Styler available in two glossy finishes: patent black and - my personal favourite - a sassy poppy red. Both are retailing at an affordable recommended retail price of $279, and come with the usual essential features such as curved barrels for ease creating curls and movement, a sleep mode, universal voltage and temperature control.
If you’re thinking of updating your hot tools then I sincerely recommend a trip to your nearest ghd salon for a set of these beauties, your locks will love you for it!

Love it: ByTerry's magical Hyaluronic Face Glow

Most days I wear minimal makeup – if any – but still recognise the need to look a little ‘polished’, even when I’m just taking the dog up to the nearest café for a coffee! (High maintenance, moi?)
I love products that work well when it comes to the above, especially weightless skin savers that subtly even out tone whilst letting any natural glowiness shine through. And do it fast.
Recently, ByTerry introduced a new Hyaluronic Face Glow, a tinted primer which aims to provide an alternative to foundation by creating the illusion of perfectly bare skin, correcting skintone and leaving skin toned and plumped thanks to its whipped hyaluronic molecules.
Somewhere between a ‘foundation base’ and ‘extra-light foundation’, it’s an extra-toning Hyaluronic Acid mousse that “offers total complexion correction without residue”. The ultimate “makeup when you’re not wearing makeup” this may well be, and luckily available just up the road from me at my local Mecca Cosmetica store!
Its high-tech formula, the result of Hyaluronic Acid fragmentation technology, creates a kind of ‘water jet’ that gels with the epidermis to guarantee lines and wrinkles are instantaneously filled. If you’ve got older skin like mine this is a total bonus, as your skin feels extra plump and hydrated no matter what you put over the top. It also has a slightly matte look without being chalky, which gets a big tick in my book.
Available in three shades (No. 1 Fair Glow, No. 2 Nude Glow and No. 3 Warm Glow), it’s also easy as to work into your daily routine as you just smooth it on after your moisturiser and be done with it. By Terry recommend that you add their Hyalauronic Eye Primer to your eye contours for an extra boost, and both can be stored in the fridge for a real pick me up.