Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Daily delight: Charlotte Casiraghi for Gucci

All about: Yes To skincare

A few weeks ago now I was lucky enough to spend an inspirational morning with Lance Kalish and Ido Leffler, the creators of Yes To skincare who were visiting from San Francisco.
A brand new to the New Zealand and Australian market but breaking all sorts of records internationally, products from the Yes To ranges have won awards from names as diverse as PETA and Allure magazine – and with good reason.
In 2006, Lance and Ido were two average guys who had made a conscious decision to eat healthier and buy more eco-friendly products, much like many of us do at a certain point in our lives. They found the food part was easy, but were shocked at the high priced, low quality and “negative marketing” surrounding the natural beauty products they saw out there on offer. So they came up with a rather big idea: “let’s create a line of natural skincare that actually works (no more compromising!), is affordable and guilt-free (no more breaking the bank!), eco-friendly and made from organics fruits and veggies and clean ingredients only (no parabens, petroleum, SLS or phthalates), and most importantly, will make you SMILE! It needs to be all about positivity (no more anti this and anti that!).”
A big call! But from here, Yes To was born. Fast forward to 2012 and Yes To is a global leader in natural beauty, with nearly 70 Yes To products available in 28,000 stores in 29 countries. The next place it will land in New Zealand this October, which is exciting stuff!
Their skincare combines high quality organic fruits and vegetables with a special mineral elixir derived from the Dead Sea to nourish and hydrate naturally. It is made up of five unique collections - Yes To Carrots, Yes To Tomatoes, Yes To Cucumbers, Yes To Baby Carrots and Yes To Blueberries – that have something for everyone and are created with a variety of skin types in mind.  You can mix and match within ranges and use many of their products on the whole family – with more products reportedly set to drop in early 2013.
They do not test on animals, their packaging is recyclable and all of their products are at least 95% natural, and free of parabens, SLS, petroleum, and phthalates. Yes To also fund a non-profit organisation helping to make a difference in people's lives through sustainable agriculture, a portion of all Yes To proceeds has been dedicated to the Yes To Carrots Seed Fund.
I’ve been battling breast cancer of late and have become even more obsessive about what goes on – and in – my body – to give myself the ultimate fighting chance. It tales a LOT to make it into my bathroom cabinet at the moment but Yes To Carrots Nourishing Super Rich Body Butter has done just that.
You could almost eat this pot of goodness, which is formulated with Carrot Seed Oil, Carrot Juice, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Dead Sea Mud. It is super hydrating and absorbs incredibly well, and is rich in Beta Carotene - a natural form of Vitamin A found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. Its antioxidant and anti-aging properties reduce damage caused by the sun and other environmental aggressors, making it a worthy skincare essential. Oh and last but not least, a tub of this wee marvel will set you back no more than $19.99 (250ml), and will be available exclusively at Countdown supermarkets nationwide come October. Hooray for that!
My next Yes To product wish is their Cucumber Cleansing Wipes - a totally iconic beauty tool I can't wait to try.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Beauty discovery: New Zealand made Oxygen skincare

One of the coolest things about the beauty industry is just how many lovers of greats skincare have the courage and the confidence to give creating their own range a go, as well as the fact that so many pioneering natural and organic brands have been created in New Zealand (think Antipodes, Snowberry, Evolu, Hema and more) or by inspiring New Zealanders (Sodashi).
Eighteen years in organics led Oxygen skincare's owner, Alana Riley, to develop and produce a very special skin care range from her home base in beautiful Nelson. Alana and her husband Colin Oldham have been pioneers in the organics business for over 20 years, so setting up her own natural skincare range, Oxygen, was a pretty inevitable step.
I’ve been having a play with the Botanical Intensive Oil, which like most of the range is recommended for all skin types (there are some specialty products for teen skins as well). It’s a beautifully crafted, highly concentrated formula created using blackcurrant seed oil, marula oil, pomegranate seed oil and vanilla oil and seriously feels like heaven on the skin. I haven’t been using it quite long enough to see the long terms results but am predicating that they will be seriously impressive if first impressions are anything to go by.
Other goodies in the collection include the yummy sounding Purifying Honey Masque, which hydrates, repairs and calms the skin using the local Nelson active manuka honey. The masque also contains soothing and healing botanicals that absorb into the skin and help to combat moisture loss. I also love the sound of the pH Mist Toner, a hydrating and regenerating mist that allows the skin to reach its natural PH level and puts a zing in your senses with the aroma of mandarin essential oil. Beautiful stuff.
Check out more about Oxygen here

Daily delight: Dioni Tabbers for Goldbergh Spring 2013

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

All about: La Mav Cranberry Bio Exfoliating Scrub

I’m not a huge user of manual exfoliants, mainly due to my sensitive skin and adherence to the rule that “skin is like delicate fabric, and should be treated as such”. Having said that, I have come across a few scrubs in my time that do just that, and are super delicate as well as pretty damn effective.
One of these is the rather beautiful La Mav Cranberry Bio Exfoliating Scrub – a heavenly beauty pick-me-up that is designed to be used daily, and is perfect for those with normal to oily and combination skin.
The power-packed formulation includes Bamboo Powder and Cranberry Seeds to exfoliate while improving circulation and overall skin health, whilst natural fruit acids from Bilberry, Sugar Maple, Lemon, Orange and Sugar Cane and natural Lactic Acid exfoliate and purify by removing excess oil and traces of impurities. Add to that Wheat Amino Acids, Kakadu Plum Extract and Goji Extract for long lasting anti-ageing benefits, and
Cassia Alata Leaf Extract to protect cellular DNA from UVA and UVB. The end result: one heady little beast.
If that sounds like a bit of you then I highly recommend you give this a whirl, and for more information or to find your nearest stockist visit www.lamav.com

Daily delight: Kate Upton for The Sunday Times Style

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Beauty destination: Spring Foot Spa, Queenstown

I was lucky enough to find myself in stunning Queenstown this past weekend – I swear it’s like looking at a chocolate box photo every corner you turn – and spent a wonderful hour at the newly opened Spring Foot Spa.
Spring is the stroke of genius of the always-charming and ridiculously clever Ina Bajaj, the creator of the world-renowned East Day Spa. So despite the fact that they are quite a different beauty destination to East, they provide the same high standards of treatment and superior levels of service East is famous for, but with what they call “a Spring spin”.
Even my therapist – Ketut – was a face I knew from East at SKYCITY Grand, and from the minute I sat down for their signature treatment I knew I was in good hands.
As the name suggests, feet are the main focus at Spring, and they offer everything from massage to reflexology and pedicures - as well as a whole bunch of add-on's so you can customise your treatment to your needs. They also offer stellar manicures, threading and waxing as well as packages to remedy your jetlag or help you recover from a hard day on the slopes, and Snowberry facials that sound seriously good.
My signature treatment involved a foot soak and scrub and then 30 minutes of reflexology followed by a 30 minute neck and shoulder massage, finishing with tea and a good five minutes of blissing out! I also had an oxygen treatment while having my feet massaged, and an iPad to play with so I could check my emails if need be. They encourage a social atmosphere with groups more than welcome, or you can draw your curtains and zen out by yourself. They even provide in-room treatments at your hotel, if you're not in the mood to talk to a soul – love that!
Open seven days, Spring is also a worthy stop for a bit of retail therapy – I left with a tube of my favourite BLISS body butter and had to stop myself from grabbing more. In fact, I only found one thing wrong with Spring, and that’s the fact that it isn’t five minutes’ walk from my house in Ponsonby! Ina if you’re reading this – please fix that!
If you’re in Queenstown however then I sincerely recommend you pop into this haven at least once. Spring Foot Spa is on the corner of Earl Street and Church Lane, and you can check out their menu of treats here.

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss for Elie Saab

Monday, July 23, 2012

What a steal: Weleda Iris Hydrating Day Cream

When it comes to natural skincare brands, they don't often come more honest than Weleda, a brand I have known and loved for many years now.
It's also an incredibly affordable brand that uses beautiful ingredients - another rarity!
So I was super excited to receive a sample of Weleda's rather delicious Iris Hydrating Day Cream, which is a rich and skin-rewarding day cream specially formulated to infuse parched skin with intensive hydration, whilst helping to regulate the skin’s own activity to balance its natural moisture levels.
The moisture regulating day cream is based on the stimulating and hydrating qualities of the precious Iris plant, which has the unique ability to adapt to extreme environmental conditions, surviving in both desert and wetland areas. In line with the physical make up of this plant, the Iris extract, derived from the rhizome (root), first moisturises the outermost epidermal layer of the skin.  This process produces keratin, giving the skin resilience and melanin, thus assisting to protect the skin from sunlight. How amazing is that?
Included with this hero ingredient are mild jojoba oil, shea butter and coco butter. These work in synergy on the skin to soften, provide extra protection and strengthen the skin's natural protective barrier. Skin is left ultra hydrated and looking and feeling healthy, soft and supple!
Oh and now for the  “steal” part of this post - Weleda Iris Hydrating Day Cream has an insanely good RRP of just $26.90 for a 30ml tube… veritable daylight robbery, and no excuse not to try!
To locate your nearest stockist visit the Weleda website; www.weleda.co.nz

Daily delight: Gisele for Vogue Paris

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Love it: all new Pureology Colour Stylist releases

Last year I had a big old rave when one of my favourite haircare brands - sustainable brand Pureology - introduced Colour Stylist, a collection of styling products designed to address the needs of people like me with coloured hair.
Fast forward to July 2012 and the range is set to get a boost, with three brand new products added to the array of damn fine goodies that are kind on your hair and on the environment.
They are: Illuminating Curl, Radiance Amplifier and Anti-breakage Twist, each playing a different role depending on how you like to style your hair.
Illuminating Curl is a lightweight fortifying lotion that works to shape curls and waves while delivering 24 hours of definition and moisture, whilst Radiance Amplifier is a feather-light mist that amplifies shine and colour with concentrated lipids and Cameline extract for a humidity-resistant barrier to control frizz and protect from environmental damage.
Last but by no means least, Antibreakage Twist is the product to reach for when you’re in the mood for creating dishevelled looks with hold and shine, with zero impact on your sharp, shiny colour.
The 100 per cent vegan formulas all include unique reflective lipid extracts that deliver maximum radiance and free radical damage protection, whilst all Pureology products contain their exclusive Anti-Fade Complex (a combo of antioxidants and sunscreens) to maximise colour retention.
Good stuff.

Beauty destination: Studio by East Day Spa

When the Rugby World Cup store left the rear of the lobby at Auckland’s wonderful SKYCITY Grand hotel, there was a seriously cool space left behind that just begged for a new resident. East Day Spa founder Ina Bajaj spotted its potential and after a little research and some beautiful tweaks the Studio by East Day Spa was born.
Studio by East Day Spa is a technically a pop-up salon, but one which I definitely hope will stick around. An ultra luxe hybrid of a boutique, a beauty salon and a spa, I spotted it when I was coming in for a facial at East Day Spa below and didn’t want to leave. It offers exclusive products and a range of treatments, and is open from 10am to 6pm but can accommodate appointments as needed. It’s the perfect answer for time-poor beauty fiends working in the CBD as well as hotel and spa guests, and is like a treasure trove of gift ideas for yourself or your nearest and dearest.
The goodies within include products by bareMinerals, Snowberry and Ecoya, the incredible beautyblender, butter LONDON nail polishes, Harney + Sons teas, Nature Girl scrubs and body products and Sara Happ lip treats. In short: one hell of a lot of fabulous stuff!
The Studio was launched as a temporary pop-up but I for one think that it needs to stay! Get in there and have a look around, it’s a seriously worthy Auckland beauty destination.

Daily delight: Kerry Washington for Vogue Italia

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

All about: Savar natural New Zealand skincare

A few weeks ago I came across Savar, a New Zealand made 99 per cent natural premium skincare range that is pretty impressive… and I’m a hard one to impress!
It was launched by a rather clever woman called Vicky Woolford late last year, and since then has gone great guns both in New Zealand and farther afield. Sold through leading retailers and online, the still-young company ship worldwide and now have loyal customers in the UK, US and Australia as well, of course, as New Zealand.
Vicky told me that Savar has been a labour of love for her. A huge fan of natural beauty products, “I started developing it because I felt there was a gap in the market for a natural range that was the whole sensory experience. From the stylish packaging to the beautifully fragranced, well-absorbed formulations…” The end result is a range that combines nature, style and sustainability, and I was super impressed by the beautiful packaging before I’d even popped the caps! Vicky is also a contemporary artist, “and it was important to me that the high end packaging suited my modern aesthetic as well as being kind to the planet.”
The twelve product-strong collection boasts an ingredient list that pretty much encompasses an entire plant catalogue, and sounds good enough to eat. You’ll find in there New Zealand blackcurrant oil, organic bilberry, marshmallow extract, organic fig, lime flower, lemon balm and organic goji berries – and much more.
I’ve just started using their Essential Cleansing Lotion, which is a real beauty and perfect for dry and sensitive skin over the winter months in particular. Super luxurious and yummy to use, its ingredients include New Zealand calendula to soothe the skin, organic sunflower (moisturising, conditioning and great for dry and sensitive skin) and sweet orange to refine pores and remove excess oil.
 As well as smelling like heaven it actually works hard, removing most mascara in  afew swipes. Their Instant Boost Multi Toner is perfect for popping on after or just spritzing on throughout the day, and works at refining pores, reducing shine and setting make up.

Savar are also consciously committed to sustainability, with low carbon-emission practices, recyclable packaging, and 10 per cent of our profits going straight to charitable organisations, “making us one of the most generous donors of any skin care company in the world.” Now THAT is something to be proud of!

If you haven’t yet then I recommend you check this brand out at www.savaronline.com ASAP.

Daily delight: Eniko Mihalik for Vogue Italia

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Giveaway: beautiful Épices Émoi from Pier Auge

You may not be able to pronounce the name of this delicious – and uniquely formulated – oil-gel the first time around, but you just may fall in love with Pier Auge Épices Émoi even before you do!
Pier Augé was a new name to me when I first heard about this product, but it was a brand that was founded in 1961 in France and is now all over the world. Their mantra has always been ‘give the skin what belongs to it. Respect the skin and it’s natural functions and provide it with the most advanced molecules to defend itself against free radical damage, thus maintaining its function and integrity’, which sounds pretty good to me.
Épices Émoi is a new release into the brand’s body care range and is rather a special product that is the perfect answer to dried out, worn out skin in winter or summer. An oil-gel with a yummy nutmeg and green tea fragrance, it brings an amazing feel of softness and suppleness to skin while protecting against dehydration.
Its key ingredients are:
Wheat Germ Oil: Rich in essential fatty acids it stimulates cell regeneration and improves healing. It helps to repair damage caused by sun and fights against the loss of elasticity.
Vitamin E: Naturally contained in Wheat Germ Oil, it is antioxidant and protects against free radicals. Moisturizing, it softens the skin and fights against dryness.
Sunflower Oil: Famous for its softening, moisturizing and nourishing virtues, it is rich in essential fatty acids.
Vitamin F: (Linoleic Acid) Essential for the formation of lipid barrier of skin, it brings softening properties and limits the loss of water in the skin.
All good stuff! I’ve had a play with it over the past few days and have found that it’s best applied after a shower or bath, as with most oils. It’s reportedly also perfect as a night before preparation treatment for a spray tan, and an after tan treatment to keep skin moisturized and your tan even. There is also no greasy oily after feel, so it can be used after a day in the sun too.

I’ve got three bottle of Pier Augé Épices Émoi (RRP$79.99) to giveaway to some of you lucky people too, just email your name and address to helene@mshelene.com and you’re in the draw! Entries close Friday, 20th July at 5pm.

For Pier Auge stockists nationwide visit www.beautysense.co.nz

Daily Delight: Miranda Kerr for Harper's Bazaar UK

Monday, July 16, 2012

Love it: ghd's beautiful Pink Cherry Blossom styler

In a display of intense cuteness coupled with great philanthropy, ghd have launched this beautiful Pink Cherry Blossom styler as part of its continued support for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation (NZBCF).
A limited edition beauty, the ghd Pink Cherry Blossom styler retails for $329.00, of which $20.00 from every sale will be donated to the NZBCF.
I couldn't wait to share this pic the minute it landed in my inbox, and I for one think its ghd’s prettiest styler to date – hands down! It has all the fantastic features of the ghd Gold Classic styler, and come with the most gorgeous heat resistant carry case for easy travelling and safe storage options at home.
It arrives in approved ghd salons in August 2012 and I highly recommend you pick one up for yourself or a lucky friend ASAP!
For stockist information visit www.ghdhair.com/au

In praise of: Dr. Hauschka Pure Care Cover Stick

Since they were first introduced, Dr. Hauschka’s Pure Care Cover Stick has been a staple in many women’s beauty booty. A personal favourite of Hauschka fan Naomi Watts (Rose Body Oil being her other essential, pictured right) and the first Hauschka product that I ever purchased, Pure Care Cover Sticks are a godsend on abad skin day when a double whammy – care and cover – is what’s needed.
Now available in three shades, they work best when used at the first sign of a pimple and applied several times per day to the affected area and gently blended. The faster a pimple is healed the less likelihood of scarring, so a product like this is essential to have on hand when one strikes – which be honest, is usually at the most inopportune moment!
They are created using the highest quality ingredients like anti-bacterial Manuka and Tea Tree oils and extracts of Anthyllis and Calendula to support the healing process. Tapioca Starch extracted from the roots of the cassava plant is also in there to help control shine and absorb from the pimple, whilst the smooth base made from natural waxes provides optimal care for the skin, preventing it from drying out and consequently, becoming more active.
A winner all round really – have you got yours yet?

Daily delight: Naomi Campbell for Schön

Friday, July 13, 2012

In love with: Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm

On a thoroughly miserable, very grey Auckland day yesterday I was lucky enough to step into the serene surrounds of White Studios, where the lovely ladies from Clinique were declaring an early spring! The room was awash in hot pinks and tangerine, and the atmosphere was definitely festive. Winter, what winter?
The occasion was the release of some beautiful new shades of Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm, which is a sunny wee product if ever I saw one. Now Clinique’s number one lip product worldwide, the colourful crayons are a beautiful product to use and one is never enough.
The super-nourishing balm is loaded with mango and shea butters - just what dry, delicate lips need to feel comfortably soft and smooth. And Chubby Sticks leave a subtle gleam on my lips - but aren't overtly shiny - and they are insanely travel friendly and built for multi tasking to boot.
Clinique has introduced eight new shades of Chubby Stick, which brings the total colour collection up to sixteen available. Who doesn’t love variety?
The full line up is:
Mega Melon – a muted mauve and Japan’s favourite shade
Oversized Orange – a fresh orange (New)
Curvy Candy – a dark pink (New)
Mighty Mimosa – a dirty pink (New)
Two Ton Tomato – an orange-red (New)
Woppin’ Watermelon – a pretty pink and the UK, China and Korea’s favourite shade
Super Strawberry – a strawberry pink and the USA’s favourite shade
Pudgy Peony – a soft fuchsia (New)
Voluptuous Violet – a rich plum (New)
Graped-up – a brownish plum
Heaping Hazelnut – a soft beige brown (New)
Whole Lotta Honey – a plum brown and Brazil and Russia’s favourite shade
Bountfiul Blush – a brownish pink (New)
Fuller Fig – a warm, dark brown
Richer Raisin – a plummy brown
Chunky Cherry – a deeper pink and Spain, France and Italy’s favourite shade

Every one of the shades is gorgeous, and because they are so sheer, you can wear colours you might not have expected to work with your skin tone. You really can't lose, so pick a few!
The new shades are on counter in New Zealand on August 6.

Daily delight: Mila Kunis for Elle UK

Thursday, July 12, 2012

All about: Dermalogica and Mandela Day 2012

Dermalogica are a skincare brand known all over the world for their charitable efforts, which are far reaching and make a real impact in the communities that benefit from there.
One I didn’t know about was their support of the Mandela Day campaign, which has a simple message: Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life as a prisoner to fight for the rights of all humanity. This Mandela Day, July 18 2012, Dermalogica worldwide is asking for everyone to give 67 minutes of their time, whether it’s supporting a chosen charity or serving their local community – with the single purpose to change our world for the better.
To do their bit, Dermalogica New Zealand is hosting 67 auctions on Trade Me.  From the 8th July until 18th July 2012 these auctions will raise money for Dermalogica’s philanthropic initiative, joinFITE (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship). 
 The items to be auctioned off to the public on Trade Me are a mixture of 60 minute treatments, which have been donated by Dermalogica Skin Centres throughout NZ, and Meet Dermalogica Kits (RRP $90) which include four of Dermalogica’s top selling products. Dermalogica New Zealand is also contributing a year’s supply of Dermalogica valued at NZD$2,000 to be auctioned off on the day as the 67th auction. All proceeds earned from the 67 auctions will be donated to joinFITE.
I’ve written about Dermalogica’s amazing global empowerment initiative, FITE, before. It was established in 2011 to do something positive to change women’s lives and focuses on helping women gain access to microfinance capital by providing small loans to help them start or grow a business. Pretty good stuff, and well worth your support.
You can find the auctions here: Dermalogica Auctions
Live dates: 8th-18th of July

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss for US Vogue

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Giveaway: Antipodes Hosanna H20 Skin Plumping Serum

A Harpers Bazaar Beauty Awards winner, Antipodes Hosanna H20 Skin Plumping Serum plays a big role in my nightly skincare regime, and is a perfect choice for caring for winter skin.
Scientifically shown to stimulate optimal synthesis of type I collagen production in human fibroblast skin cells by up to 72 per cent, it plumps like you wouldn’t believe whilst doing all manner of other goodness too. A water-charged, oil free bioactive serum, it immediately quenches thirsty skin and helps intensively improve skin appearance over time and uses some rather amazing ingredients to do so.
Vinanza Grape antioxidant from New Zealand sauvignon blanc grapes helps powerfully protect and build resistance to damage caused by environmental aggressors and pollutants, whilst extract of mamaku black fern helps foster cell renewal, making for an everyday essential item for plump, healthy, youthful skin. It’s also perfect for all skin conditions - especially water-deprived – and can be used once or twice a day according to your needs. Apply to face, neck and decolletage before your favourite Antipodes face oil or moisturiser (I use 3-4 drops at night), and keep it up daily for the best long-term results.
And lucky for you lot I have six of these little marvels to give away! Email helene@mshelene.com before Monday, July 16 with your name and postal address and you’re in the draw x

I try: Dr. Dennis Gross Active Vitamin D Serum

After a barrage of tests I was recently diagnosed with a severe Vitamin D deficiency – thank you very much, crappy New Zealand summer! – and subsequently found out how prevalent it really is. It can seriously dangerous too, so I for one am all about chasing some sunshine.
With Vitamin D deficiency on the rise, I found it rather interesting that the esteemed Dr. Dennis Gross was addressing the problem in a skincare sense with his Active Vitamin D Serum-Oil. The clever formula is the first-ever product to include active Vitamin D to help with symptoms of deficiency, and as a large added bonus, Vitamin D also has cosmetic benefits such as skin hydration, skin radiance, anti-aging, and helps hyper-pigmentation.
However, in order for the body to synthesize Vitamin D, it must be converted from UVB sun exposure or through supplementation and/or a Vitamin D-rich diet. Therefore, this product is truly the first and only skincare serum-oil that provides sufficient levels of Vitamin D to skin through topical application. In short, your skin receives all the sun's "good" without any of the "bad!"
Packed with Vitamin D and other reparative antioxidants and botanicals, it helps improve the appearance of skin elasticity, hydration and minimises the appearance of pores—all immediately visible upon application.
So who is this wee goodie for? Anyone who wants to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, enhance radiance and luminosity, alleviate dry, flaky skin and help reverse the visible effects of past damage through the nourishing (healing) benefits of Vitamin D. In short, it’s great for all skin types and ages, including combination/oily.
Available Down Under at Mecca Cosmetica – AKA my happy place – it is seriously easy to use and to add to an existing skincare regime. Just give the bottle a good shake and then massage 2-3 drops into the face, neck and décolleté. You can use it morning and/or night, and if you’re on the good Doctor’s skincare regime already use it after the Alpha Beta Peel and follow with moisturiser by night and moisturiser and makeup in the morning. Easy as that!
Now, to plan that tropical mid-winter break… 

Daily delight: Elza Luijendijk for Versace F 12

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

All about: Dr. Lewinn's new Skin Perfect collection

Dr. Lewinn's is one of those quiet achievers of the beauty industry down this part of the world, not creating too much of a hoopla on the hype front but gradually building up an incredible number of loyal users, and that number is growing.
Much of that is due to their high performance formulas and reasonable price points, as well as the fact that many of their skincare offerings actually do what they say – rare in the beauty world at the best of times!
A new release by the brand that I’m sure their loyal customers will lap up – as well as many new ones given how good they are – is the Skin Perfect range of products, which includes the Dr. Lewinn's Skin Perfect Anti-ageing Primer, the Dr. Lewinn's Skin Perfect Anti-ageing Foundation SPF 15, the Dr. Lewinn's Skin Perfect Anti-ageing Concealer, the Dr. Lewinn's Skin Perfect Anti-ageing Illuminator and the Dr. Lewinn's Skin Perfect Anti-ageing Pressed Powder!
The Skin Perfect range is based around three key ingredients, being Alpine Rose plant stem cells (to reduce wrinkles and assist with skin cell rejuvenation), Matrixyl Synte'6 (a pro-collagen peptide that will combat signs of ageing), and tourmaline, which will micro-circulate the skin to boost overall radiance.
I did a little research on the collection and it seems that it can be mixed and matched to your individual needs as well, for example you can combine the Skin Perfect Anti-ageing Concealer with the Skin Perfect Anti-ageing Illuminator to conceal wrinkles, or Dr. Lewinn's ToneUp Body Moisturiser with the Anti-ageing Illuminator to illuminate the skin on your body. This product combination reportedly also looks fantastic when applied on top of a fake tan, as this way it will appear more subdued, and therefore a little more natural. Something to think about come summer, or that mid-winter tropical escape (I can but dream, huh?).
The range of six foundations still holds the essential Dr Lewinn’s philosophy of anti-ageing yet combines it with modern and well thought out makeup technology. It offers you the best in anti-ageing skincare ingredients in a very reasonably priced foundation and I reckon it will be a huge hit.
My fave after having a little play is the concealer, which is rich and moisturising. For smoothing and covering, it is a creamy liquid that is perfect for camouflaging discolouration, dark under eye circles, dull sallow eyes and puffiness reduction due to its light illuminating finish. The texture allows for easy adjustable coverage from sheer to medium to full coverage, and the formula is smooth and light and doesn’t – thus far – settle into any lines it shouldn’t... Nice work!

Daily delight: Karolina Kurkova for Vogue China

Monday, July 9, 2012

I try: Antipodes rich 
Grapeseed Butter Cleanser

It’s always a good idea to track down a richer, heavier cleanser when the temperature plummets, it can definitely help address the dryness that comes with the cooler air and when used correctly can make a real difference to your skin’s health and wellbeing.
I was lucky enough to pop into East Day Spa last week for a facial at the hands of the always-kind and gorgeous Stephanie from Antipodes, and she introduced me to a right little wonder called Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser.
The perfect answer to dry, tight winter skin woes, it feel super luxurious on the skin as well as working hard to deeply cleanse and moisturise.
Certified organic (yay!), it is suitable for most skin types, especially oil prone skin as pure plant oils can help balance and regulate your own oil production. A unique smelling preparation that truly feels like butter, its key inregient list includes nourishing cocoa butter, soothing olive and harekeke oils to soften, and calming lavender and blue chamomile for sensitive skin. Add to that Antipodes’ fave Vinanza Grape extract - a quintessential antioxidant from New Zealand's sauvignon blanc grape seeds - to revitalise your skin and Hibiscus flower to exfoliate and you have a pretty damn special product.
Using dry hands gently massage a scoop of this beauty in a circular motion into your face, neck and decolletage at sunrise and sunset, removing impurities and softening skin. Watch your makeup – and stress – melt away and then rinse off with warm and pure water. Bliss, and a brand new favourite in my arsenal of delicious cleansers!

Daily delight: Natalia V. for Guerlain Fall 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

I try: Eye of Horus - one serious eye makeup collection

When I think of seriously graphic eye makeup, my first thoughts are of the iconic Elizabeth Taylor playing the equally legendary beauty Cleopatra. We all associate Ancient Egypt females with seriously exotic and glamorous eyes, and the contribution of ancient Egyptian makeup tools to the world of beauty was definitely significant. They were the first to discover the wonders of beautification and makeup, mainly created using natural waxes and oils.
Fast forward to 2012 and two charming Australian women - Amy Lennane and Holly Spierings  - have created an eye makeup collection that gives more than a nod to our Egyptian ancestors, under the name Eye of Horus. Their first releases are the Eye of Horus Mascara, Eye Pencil and Liquid Eyeliner – products that allow you to recreate the full visual impact of the Ancient Egyptians, without the chemical constituents contained in many makeup brands. I like it! 
The mascara is formulated to soothe and nurture your natural lashes as well as eyelash extensions, and the non-irritating formula is designed for sensitive eyes and ideal for contact wearers like me. It’s made with plant based ingredients and waxes including Carnauba wax, Beeswax, Rice Bran wax and Candelilla wax, and yep, it’s paraben-free.
I’ve been having a play with the Eye of Horus Natural Smokey Eye Pencil – complete with built in smudger – and have to say that it’s a winner. The easy to apply pencil has been uniquely formulated using natural ingredients like Jojoba wax, Mango Seed oil, Coconut oil, Candelilla wax, Shea Butter, Macadamia Seed oil, Carnauba wax, Vitamin E and Vitamin C, which enables the pencil to glide on without tearing or stretching the delicate skin around your eyes. And it’s 100 per cent waterproof!
Lastly, there is a liquid liner in the collection called Eye of Horus Liquid Define Liner, which is also waterproof and a breeze to use.
If you like giving good eye then I suggest you check Eye of Horus out – give old Cleo a run for her money!
To locate your nearest Eye of Horus stockist visit www.eyeofhorus.net.nz

All about: me and Dry July

Last month I decided to do what is called "Dry July" (in short, not drinking for July to raise money for cancer treatment).
I first heard about the initiative when I wrote about it for Grazia Australia last year, and lamented the fact that we didn’t have a New Zealand-based equivalent. Well be careful what you wish for because… come 2012 we do – and I’ve committed!
I didn’t drink while I was pregnant with my son Wolf and definitely don’t go out and get hammered (for want of a better word) of a weekend, but I’ve been aware of the amount I do drink more than ever lately and decided that it just had to stop. I tried cutting down after my doctor lectured me on the danger of sinking a few two many reds over dinner every night, but failed miserably as – I guess – no one was ‘counting’ on me and I simply didn’t have to willpower to do it for myself. This time there is, and the amazing sponsors I have thus far clearly have enough faith in me to put money on it!
For those of you who don’t know much about it, Dry July is a non-profit organisation determined to improve the lives of adults living with cancer through an online social community giving up booze for the month of July. Whether joining as a part of a team or as an individual, DJ's (Dry.July.er [dee-jay] noun: a person or team actively sponsored to participate in Dry July) take on the 31 days of July to raise funds and directly help adults living with cancer and their families to improve their quality of life.
Dry July is also a chance to raise awareness of individual drinking habits, the value of a balanced healthy lifestyle, a personal challenge, encourage positive change and an awareness of a healthy attitude to alcohol consumption. I see too many women in particular taking on the lads when it comes to drinking, and in New Zealand the attitude to “girls getting pissed” is such that it’s the only way to truly have a good night out. I know women who set DVDs up for their kids the morning after they’ve been hitting the turps with their friends so they can lie in bed a few extra hours, on at least a weekly basis. And don’t get me wrong - I’m all about having a wine or two (or maybe three or four!), but the advertising catchphrase “it’s not the drinking, it’s how we’re drinking,” seems to be happening around me on a more than regular basis.
I also want to be a good role model for my son and not raise him thinking that a glass of wine clutched in the hand is the only way to cope with what the day throws at me, but that raising one is all about celebration and everything that comes with it.
Anyway, that’s my rant over. I just bought a stellar bottle of KAH tequila and have some Veuve Clicquot and Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir at the ready to congratulate myself come August, because I know I can do this. If you want to follow my progress or – thanking you in advance – sponsor me, the link to my Dry July profile is:

Thanks for listening x

Daily delight: Lauren Rippingham for KAREN

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Love it: Chanel Miroir Miroir and new Rouge Allure

Peter Philips, Creative Director of Chanel Makeup was never going to let a launch around the brand’s Rouge Allure line happen quietly. Instead, the modern beauty genius got to work creating yet another beautiful short film in celebration of the new high intensity formula and shades – ‘Miroir Miroir’.
He said, “I wanted to do a film, a teaser, to announce the forthcoming lipstick launch that Chanel is doing around our Rouge Allure line, and I also was very inspired by the Paris-Bombay show that we did last December.”
The end result sees model Inguna Butane wearing pieces of crystals and mirrors individually applied to her face in a look reminiscent of an editorial makeup that Philips did several years ago. “It was a composition of pieces of crystals and mirrors that I applied on a girl’s face. We did some amazing pictures, but I always felt a bit frustrated that we never captured this makeup in movement. I loved the sparkling, hypnotizing effect, which, unfortunately, you partially loose in a still image. When the idea of doing a film around the lipsticks and Paris-Bombay started growing in my head, I realised what a perfect opportunity it would be to recreate this mirror face. The concept complimented the shades and the hypnotizing, psychedelic aspect fitted well with the Indian theme.”
He kept the model’s eyes in the film almost naked, purely curling the lashes and then applying Ombre Essentielle “Ivory” and Crayon Khôl “Clair”. On the lips he applied new shades of Rouge Allure (hurrah!) like Pimpante (a beige), Enjouée (an orange), Exaltée (a pink) and Palpitante (a red).
The end result? Sheer gorgeousness as per. For Mademoiselle Chanel an intense vermillion red was her signature lip colour, and the new Rouge Allure range includes no less than six, which gets big thumbs up from me! A shade of red to suit every mood and every complexion… it doesn’t get much better than that!
The new collection of Rouge Allure shades is available September 2, 2012.

Daily delight: Kate Upton for Vogue Espana

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Giveaway: all new Maybelline New York goodies!

At this time of the year I’m all about the winter warmers and creative ways of getting through the cold months, and they don’t come much better than new makeup to play with.
With that in mind I’m giving away three gorgeous make-up essentials packs from Maybelline New York containing three killer new releases.
The first is Maybelline New York Dream Nude Airfoam Foundation (RRP$33.99), which is not a liquid, not a mousse nor a cream, but an amazing new formula that gives you flawless skin. Add to that Maybelline New York Illegal Length Mascara (RRP$24.99) with 4mm black fibres that act as extensions on your lashes, and lastly, a tube of the brand’s new Super Stay 14Hr Lipstick. Available in 12 luscious shades, this lippy will give you a pop of colour that lasts, no matter what the day brings!
I have three of these Winter Warmer packs worth over $80 each to giveaway. To enter email me at helene@mshelene.com with your postal address and your skin tone - dark, medium, light – so I can match the new Maybelline New York Dream Nude Airfoam foundation to your colouring. Competition closes this Friday so get in there!