Friday, August 31, 2012

Giveaway: New Zealand Weddings magazine NZFW show and seminar

For the third year in a row, New Zealand Weddings magazine will be presenting a show at New Zealand Fashion Week, which is great news for all brides to be out there.
The collection will be filled to its glittering rim with beautiful frocks, sharp suits and pretty accessories, and this year also sees the much-loved magazine present a Bridal Beauty Seminar.
Over $250,000 of bridal wear will be hitting the catwalk, with star pieces from top wedding designers such as Vinka Design, Alma J, Anna Schimmel and John Zimmerman on show. The menswear side of things will be more than ably taken care of by the wonderful Crane Brothers, crafters of New Zealand’s finest suits.
Shows will take place on Wednesday September 5 for media and international buyers, and Sunday September 9 for the public.
The Beauty Seminar will also take place on Sunday, and will involve a panel of pros sharing their secrets for creating the perfect wedding look plus ideas for the bridesmaids and mother of the bride. There will be ample time for asking questions and every attendee will leave with a bag packed with the newest must haves from Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Joico and Jo Malone – fabulous!
I have two tickets to the New Zealand Weddings Magazine Collection show on Sunday, September 9 at 10.30am, at Fashion Weekend in Auckland and two tickets to the Bridal Beauty Seminar (at 1.30pm) to give away. Email your name and postal details to and you’re in the draw.

Love it: Dr.Hauschka's Toned Day Cream

Jessica Alba – seen here at Lanvin, Paris Fashion Week – is a huge fan of natural products, and recently named Dr.Hauschka's Toned Day Cream as one of her top beauty picks.
The delicious, all-good-for-you formula features plant extracts and nutritional oils to nourish and moisturise the skin, as well as titanium dioxide, which provides some natural sun protection. Its ingredient list also includes extracts of quince seed, anthyllis and St. John's wort, beeswax and rose wax to moisturise and protect the skin. Perfect for times of seasonal change - like right now - it visibly calms red, blotchy, irritated skin, and soothes and blends signs of eczema, rosacea and the like whilst helping to maintain the ideal oil and water balance.
It has a transparent warm beige tint to it to soften skin tone, and reportedly works rather well with a huge number of skin types.
You can use this little marvel alone as a day cream or applied on top of your usual moisturiser, and I add a little mineral powder and concealer where needed for an all-over dewy look that is perfect for those ‘no makeup/makeup’ days.

Daily delight: Kate Moss for ELLE France

Thursday, August 30, 2012

All about: OPI's very cool Pure Lacquer Nail Apps

With all the nail wraps flooding the market over the past year or so – some way better than others – it was inevitable that industry giant OPI would eventually release a collection of their own.
Called Pure Lacquer Nail Apps, the key difference is that they are 100% pure nail polish strips, and are called OPI Nail Apps. They come pre-cut and pre-sized and stretch to fit, and are embellished with various designs, ranging from intricate to simple, and come in both crème and shimmer/glitter finishes.
There is no drying time – they instantly dry as soon as they're applied – and reviews coming in so far talk about their longevity and super high gloss finish.
Each pack contains 16 strips to ensure perfect sizing for all fingers and toenails, and they can be removed super easily with an acetone nail polish remover. Just like that!
To make your Nails Apps last even longer – I’m thinking tropical holiday – ask your manicurist to cure them with an OPI GelColor Top Coat and get up to two weeks of gorgeousness out of them. Hallelujah to that!
Pure Lacquer Nail Apps are available in New Zealand at Farmers, Professional Salons, Life Pharmacies, Kirkcaldie & Stains Nail Spa,
Smith & Caughey’s, Ballantynes and Arthur Barnette and have an RRP of $22.90.

Giveaway: Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Luminous Crème Blush

Last week I had a bit of a rave about Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics’ beautiful new releases, in particular the Luminous Crème Blush.
A cream textured blush that combines a shimmering glow with sheer, longwearing colour, it can be worn as a cheek colour or highlighter depending on the shade, or layered with your own favourite powder blushes for extra colour and staying power. In a word: essential!
The beautiful formula contains Vitamins C and E in a nourishing blend that works together to help protect against oxidative stress, the moisturising botanical Allantoin and Jojoba Esters - an excellent emollient. It’s also oil-free, meaning that you can use these little pots of joy even if your skin is on the shinier side.
Lucky for you I have three of these crème blush pots to giveaway to readers. Email me with your postal address and ‘Youngblood’ in the subject line before Monday 5pm and you’re in the draw!

Daily delight: Natasha Poly for Vogue Turkey

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Love it: the unstoppable Carine Roitfeld for M.A.C

The legendary French fashion powerhouse – and true proof that dynamite comes in small packages - Carine Roitfeld has been a busy woman. Not only is she launching a new magazine, CR Fashion Book, any day now, but the former Vogue Paris editor is also launching a new cosmetics collection with M.A.C. – which I’m finally able to have a play with and talk about!
The diminutive Ms. Roitfeld elevated the smoky eye to an art form, and for her M.A.C collaboration, Carine edits her signature look into a collection of chic colours and tools for recreating her aesthetic. It’s a look that I absolutely go la-la over, and the new 20-piece collection is focused on products that pay homage to her classic nude lip, strong brows, and dark eye. Roitfeld was involved in the palettes, product names, and packaging of the new line, with the products housed in sleek black cases with “CR” in script font, which is the same logo as CR Fashion Book.
The collection has eyeliner, shadow, mascara, brow gel, and false lashes, and tools like tweezers and eyelash curlers for the perfect ‘after hours’ peepers. It also includes foundation, nail polish, and even star-shaped stencils for quirky beauty marks.
The campaign was shot by Mario Sorrenti and features a sultry looking Roitfeld wearing a black slip dress and sitting on top of a black box. And yep, she wears the Good Luck Star stencil, as mentioned above.

The limited edition collection is available in New Zealand October 1st, 2012 for six weeks – get saving now, you will want it ALL!

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss for Harper’s Bazaar Russia

Monday, August 27, 2012

Beauty destination: Spa at The Pullman, Auckland

I must admit that when I attended the launch of Spa at The Pullman at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel it had been a seriously a long time since I had entered the hotel. Possibly back when it was in a former incarnation, and boy, things have changed. The space had a similar layout but the arrival of a simply delicious spa cuisine menu and a highly innovative treatment menu were evidence that this spa was one to be reckoned with, and the treatment I had there a few weeks later seriously blew me away.
I came by for a Spa Pedicure, which was one of the few treatments I could handle comfortably post-surgery. It sounded absolutely wonderful when I read about it online, and it exceeded my expectations and then some! My time began with an added on treatment – the Ultimate Milk and Honey Foot Ritual. This involved immersing my feet in a beautiful smelling mixture of warm soy milk and rich New Zealand Manuka Honey, and then having them gently buffed with a homemade sugar scrub. Then I was taken to lie down completely on the treatment bed (a rarity when you’re having a pedicure) and my feet seriously tended to. You have no idea! It began with a toenail cut, file and a cuticle tidy, before my legs and feet were moisturised and massaged with an invigorating ginger lotion.  At this point I have to admit that I fell asleep (typical!), but woke up to shiny, beautifully polished nails.
As well as this treatment – which I highly recommend for yourself or as a totally decadent gift – the spa works with leading luxury spa brands Elemis and Thalgo and offers some unique treats. There is soothing massage therapy, sensuous oils and scrubs, heated stones, exotic wraps, facials and beauty treatments, all taking place in an atmosphere of serene calm. Sound like you? I can’t wait to go back!
To find out more have a peek here.

Daily delight: Linda E. covers Vanity Fair Spain

Friday, August 24, 2012

Beauty news: East Day Spa introduces Clarasonic and James Read Tan

I already spend up large in there on BLISS and Nature Girl products, and now East Day Spa have expanded their already stellar lineup of international beauty brands to include even more heavy hitters… God forbid!
Luxury beauty brands Clarasonic and James Read Tan are now available for the first time in New Zealand as part of East Day Spa’s growing selection of exclusive top of the line beauty products, to which I say a big fat “hurrah!”
Every local beauty freak I know has been hankering to get their hands on one, so the fact that Clarasonic has landed at East Day Spa will be huge news. For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past few years, Clarasonic is a sonic skin cleansing system that helps reduce the signs of ageing by providing the equivalent of a mini facial every day, and it works. A favourite of the likes of Gwyenth P., the clever tool removes makeup six times better than ordinary cleansing, with the added benefits of softer skin, reduced pores and even skintone. In a word: you need it.
 James Read Tan was a name I didn’t know, but on further research it seems like pretty serious stuff. It’s is the signature brand of the UK’s leading tanning expert, James Read, whose clientele includes mega bodies like those belonging to Lady Gaga and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. I’ve got some samples to have a play with and will report back soon, but everything online points to rave reviews.
East Day Spa founder Ina Baja says that her is for East to become a true beauty destination, “and we are working to bring to New Zealand the best that the international beauty market has to offer. In addition to receiving our luxurious spa treatments, East Day Spa patrons can browse and buy some of the world’s most coveted beauty brands.”
Both of these brands are also available at East Day Spa’s younger sister in Queenstown, Spring Foot Spa.

Beauty destination: the heavenly new Dry & Tea

“Not a style, a tea, a wave or a wash – but a moment.
A moment of the utmost attention.
A moment of sensual stimulation, of taste-bud tantalization, of a style defined. Inspiring inner beauty, confidence elation and delight.”

This is a quote taken from the website for boutique grooming bar Dry & Tea, which I can now acknowledge as my new Happy Place. That is not a title I bestow on a location lightly - and certainly not usually after just one visit! – but this serene spot quite literally blew me away.
As soon as you set foot into its tranquil Newmarket, Auckland premises you feel welcome, as well as lulled into a sense of peace by it’s wonderful shades, smells and furnishings (a fur rug gets me EVERY time!).
Dry & Tea the brainchild of Louise Pilkington, former owner of Servilles Ponsonby and designer and co-founder of Loumina jewellery, and is described as “a boutique blow wave bar and teahouse”.
It’s the ideal place to spend a few hours of quality ‘me’ time, or just to drop in for a professional ‘up do’ or nail paint. They also apparently apply false lashes for you with a true expert’s touch, and offer vouchers for that special someone who needs a treat. I experienced one of the best blow waves I’ve had in recent memory, and also left with a set of perfectly painted nails using the company’s own brand of polish.
Pureology and Redken hair products grace the shelves along with Dry & Tea’s aforementioned very own nail colours, as well as Butter London Lippy Gloss, Davines products and Cloud 9. On the tea side of things, they serve the highly respected – and delicious - T2 range of Organic teas and tisanes, which are free of anything artificial. If you haven’t tried them before then I highly recommend that you do as they've carefully sourced outstanding raw ingredients from certified growers who uphold the most rigorous set of organic standards through every stage of production, including growing storage and processing. And they taste bloody amazing!
Last but not least, another reason for my visiting Dry & Tea was to become acquainted with Pureology’s new family range that takes the brand’s sustainability reputation to an even higher degree.
Precious Oils from Pureology consists of a shampoo, conditioner, masque and treatment oil. Delivering the utmost respect to colour-treated hair and the environment, Precious Oil contains 100% biodegradable ingredients. The paraben and silicone free formula has already earned it the prestigious Green Seal certification, which is no mean feat. To be awarded the aforementioned Stamp a product must reach rigorous requirements designed to reduce its environmental impact from the beginning of production to the end of its product life in the home. Pureology were honoured to receive this for Precious Oil, and for me even more reason to pick this beautiful brand.
Each product works to replenish the hair’s natural lipids, working on hair experiencing brittle, rough and dull colour, but Precious Oils Versatile Caring Oil is the star product of the range. It combines four botanical oils that work to provide nourishing benefits to the hair’s cuticle including coconut oil to reduce hair’s fragility and increase its flexibility and Jojoba seed oil to lock moisture into the hair for improved elasticity. Oh, and it quite literally smells like summer!
So Happy Friday everyone, and get your butts down to Dry & Tea ASAP – you’ll find it located on Kent St in Newmarket, or have a peep online here

Daily delight: Nicole Kidman for V magazine

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Love it: Leighton Denny Castaway Collection

When it comes to nails one of my favourite brands is Leighton Denny, created by the original Buff Daddy himself. Each season the UK Celebrity Manicurist releases some seriously covetable collections, the latest of which is the limited edition Castaway Collection for Spring/Summer.
Inspired by warm sandy beaches, crystal blue waters and desert islands, it’s a treasure trove of on-trend, high performance, professional nail colours that are simply beautiful and have me hankering after a holiday ASAP!
The fresh assortment of cool, beachy tones have been seen on the catwalks of Aquascutum, Haider Ackermann and Christian Dior, whilst the eye-popping, tropical shades were inspired by the recent collections from Diane von Furstenberg, Bottega Veneta and Salvatore Ferragamo.
There are six shades in all, and my absolute favourites are:
Message In A Bottle: a subtle sandy grey that is warm enough for every skin tone
Blue Lagoon: as seen left, a fusion of teal and turquoise reminiscent of a Tahitian lagoon
Coconutty:  a mouth-watering milk chocolate hue infused with subtle gold shimmer.
The Castaway Collection lands this October at Leighton Denny stockists nationwide. For your nearest spot to pick up one of these beauties call 0800 223228.

Giveaway: Maybelline New York Natural beauty

We all know that ‘natural beauty’ can be the hardest to achieve, but it’s such a flattering look for the majority of us that knowing how to work what Mother Nature gave you is an absolute essential!
The right tools and a few tricks of the trade make life a whole lots easier, and this season Maybelline New York has released a clever collection of products that showcase luminous skin, bold brows and bright lips – a look that flatters everyone.
For a flawless canvas start with Maybelline New York Dream Smooth Primer (RRP$19.99) and then apply Maybelline New York Dream Nude Airfoam Foundation (RRP$33.99) for 100 percent nude perfection.
Trade in your tweezers and embrace your own gorgeous natural brows with their Master Shape Brow Pencil (RRP$18.99). To really open your eyes, apply the Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24Hr Eyeshadow in Too Cool (RRP$13.99) to the inner corners.
Finally, to complete the look, you can’t go past a luscious pink pout. Try Maybelline New York Color Sensational Pinks in Fifth Ave Fuchsia (RRP$20.99).
I have one Maybelline New York Natural Beauty pack worth over $100 to give away which includes everything you need to out your best face forward come spring. To enter email me at with your courier address, skin tone (light, medium, dark) and hair colour (deep brown, soft brown, blonde) and you’re in the draw!

Daily delight: Natalia V. covers Vogue Russia

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I try: Smashbox Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Eyeshadow

You always know that a new release from Smashbox has been tried and tested in their own studio and on set literally hundreds of times before it hits the counters, and that it will most likely do exactly what it says – and more.
That is definitely true of the amazing new Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Eyeshadow, which I have fallen head over heels in love with. Specifically developed in studio to stand up to hot studio lights, this super creamy formula provides vibrant, highly pigmented colour that lasts up to 15 hours with no creasing, caking or flaking. And because it's transfer, sweat and humidity resistant, your look will last long after the shoot – or day, or night - is over.
It’s super easy to apply and doesn’t set as rigidly as some creamy formulas – I’ve been using Stone and Iris and both have been very blendable and beautiful on their own and as a base for powder shadows when I really want to amp the colour up a notch.
The pot looked a bit familiar to me when I first cracked into it, and upon further inspection it seems the pots are almost identical to M.A.C Paint Pot pots. The only real difference is the lid. If you love those you will definitely fall head over heels in these, and the colour selection could even be much better as it is permanent rather than being full of limited edition shades.
A killer release from a great brand, I want them all!

Monday, August 20, 2012

All about: The Body Shop Foundation Dragon Fruit Lip Butter

The Body Shop has a wonderful new initiative – complete with gorgeous product – that invites you to “become a beauty activist”, to which I say hear, hear!
The Body Shop Foundation has been out there helping grass roots charities all over the world since 1989, and they have taken the awesome new step of releasing a brand new product that allows you to support the charity of your choice.
A rather yummy Dragon Fruit Lip Butter is the product of choice, and 100 per cent of the profits from its sale will go to your pick from three worthy charities within your own country. 
The three chosen charities for New Zealand are:
Connected Media: promoting sustainability through media
Look Good Feel Better: transforming women with cancer
Project Jonah NZ: campaigners for whales and rescuers in times of stranding

So pop in and grab a tub of Dragon Fruit yumminess for RRP $13.25 and then simply circle your chosen charity’s logo on the spot and drop your voting strip into the designated box.
Too easy!

Daily delight: Lara Stone for Calvin Klein Underwear

Friday, August 17, 2012

I try: Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Luminous Crème Blush

I have to admit that I wasn’t hugely familiar with Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics when I received a couple of their beautiful new releases across my desk this week, but I’m definitely impressed! Especially given that one of them is a crème blush, a formulation I’m all about the older I get.
Called simply Luminous Crème Blush, it is a cream textured blush that combines a shimmering glow with sheer, longwearing colour. It can be worn as a cheek colour or highlighter depending on the shade, or layered with your own favourite powder blushes for extra colour and staying power.
Perfect for skin that is a little older or on the dry side especially, the beautiful formula contains Vitamins C and E in a nourishing blend that works together to help protect against oxidative stress, the moisturising botanical Allantoin and Jojoba Esters - an excellent emollient. It’s also oil-free, meaning that you can use these little pots of joy even if your skin is on the shinier side.
It’s available in six shades super versatile shades including two I’m currently giving a whirl: Taffeta (a delicate bubble gum pink) and Tropical Glow - a peachy-pink tone with golden shimmer that will be in high rotation come summer.
To use, apply a little with your fingertips until you have your desired hue and then blend quickly before the colour sets – this formula is designed to stick around!
For stockists visit

Daily delight: Penelope Cruz for W magazine

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Giveaway: Charlie Brown at New Zealand Fashion Week

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to attend a pre-Australian Fashion Week show by designer Charlie Brown at a club in Sydney’s King’s Cross and it was a serious lot of fun. Beautiful models, super glamorous hair and make up and – naturally – some rather luxe pieces on display.
So I was pretty happy to hear that the popular Australian designer would be making an appearance at this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week in September, and I have three double passes to give away to her runway show!
As well as the chance to win a double pass to Charlie Brown’s debut New Zealand Fashion Week runway show; one reader will also receive a candle from Charlie's beautiful homewares collection.
The show will be in The Westpac Shed at the Viaduct Events Centre, 161 Halsey Street, Auckland, on Thursday, September 6 at 4pm. If you’d like to be a part of the fun and see what is promising to be a very fun show, email me with your name and address and you’re the draw! Entries close Friday, August 24 and winners will be notified one week prior to the show (August 30th).

Daily delight: Laetitia Casta and Choupette for V

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Beauty & wellbeing destination: Aroha Healing

A while ago I wrote in my Ponsonby News column about spending time with Rosanna Marks, the principal therapist at Mind Body Institute, which she opened at the West Lynn end of Richmond Road back in 2008. 
Fast forward to August 2012 and she is now firmly ensconced in a new location that she describes as “pure heaven”, at the top of Maidstone Street by Great North Road. Her business now goes by the name Aroha Healing, after a key programme within her realm of teaching that she believes truly sums up what she and her life’s work are all about.
A “facilitator of transformational processes”, working as a holistic therapist, Reiki master, belly dancer and advanced teacher of ancient philosophies, Rosanna practices the likes of mirimiri (traditional Maori massage), Hawaiian Ka Huna bodywork, Egyptian undulating heart breath, chakra balancing, kundalini massage techniques and organic facial therapy (with French skincare range Phyt’s), as well as Aroha Healing, which is a true fusion of her work. Internationally trained in many indigenous healing modalities, the vivacious therapist uses a fusion of ancient traditional practice combined with a modern twist. 
The new, two-level space on Maidstone Street is absolutely beautiful, and totally devoted to Aroha Healing. When we catch up for a cup of tea one cold morning the front treatment room is a cosy haven, and Rosanna still buzzing from the belly dancing class held the night before in a room upstairs. “It was amazing,” she says, “and so much fun. I’m planning to hold a class on Fridays soon as well as the demand has been overwhelming.” Having the new place completely to herself means that she can finally indulge in planning some of the classes and courses that she’s long been wanting to teach, “and as it’s all my own my clients don’t have the disruption of traffic noise and other people’s energy passing through and disturbing their treatments.”
Upcoming at Aroha Healing is a Tantra for Women workshop, which will encourage women to view their sexuality from a holistic point of view “as opposed to purely scientific, or what a magazine tells them. I’ll also be holding some non-residential Reiki and Reiki massage workshops, which people have been asking me to do for a while.”
All new Aroha Mama treatments and programs are also now available at Aroha Healing, which will be great news for mums, mums-to-be and those looking to conceive. They offer an array of natural fertility options and a variety of pregnancy relaxation massage and postpartum healing massages from many cultural influences, the perfect combination of ancient wisdom with modern knowledge. 
Rosanna says that she is passionate about the unique Aroha offerings for women seeking a nurturing, non-invasive and pure holistic approach from 'down to earth' therapists.  The Aroha Mama Fertility program combines unique and powerful ancient spiritual philosophies, holistic methodology, meditation, dynamic bodywork and dance with a modern, earthy twist to assist in increasing your chances of conceiving naturally without invasive intervention. Hawaiian Ka huna massage, Aroha Healing Miri miri creative floor work, Reiki energy healing, herbal consultations and fertility assisting herbs, healing mudras and meditation to release anxiety and focus your intention to conceive, whilst holistic nutritional advice and belly dance (the ancient spiritual dance of fertility and birthing) allow the systems of the body to swiftly unblock and clear the way both physically and mentally to support a more balanced and fertile you.
She is also still offering her full range of facial therapies, “but I want to really focus on de-cluttering the mind as well. I want to be able to move the energy through and really relax the mind for the hour that someone is receiving a facial, I think that’s really important.” She says that a lot of us spend so much time seeking treatments that massage and relax the body that we sometimes forget that there is a lot happening above our neck too, something I know I’m definitely guilty of!
Lastly, Rosanna will still be drawing on her previous career as a head trainer and artist for the likes of Chanel and Estee Lauder to create and teach makeup application, “but with a focus on self esteem and making the best of what you’ve got… as opposed to pure glamour and trying to look like someone else.”
Hallelujah to that, and hallelujah for Aroha Healing.
To find out more visit Rosanna's website:

Daily delight: Daria, Kate and Lara for Vogue Paris

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What a steal: Nivea Pure & Natural Body Lotion and Hand Cream

I applaud any mainstream skincare brand that makes a step towards the natural realm as it’s a scary prospect, especially when they have as many fans all over the globe as Nivea.
With over 100 years of skincare expertise under their belts they have indeed made the move however, using the finest natural ingredients they could find to create the Nivea Pure & Natural range, which now includes a new Body Lotion and Hand Cream.
Harnessing up to 95 per cent natural ingredients and free from parabens, silicones, mineral oils and artificial colourants, these two new formulations are absolutely delicious to use – and a total steal as they come with supermarket aisle price points.
The Pure & Natural Body Lotion has Argan Oil as a key ingredient and offers long-lasting comfort for your skin. Your skin will drink up the big dose of moisture after just one application, and it smells yummy too. The new Pure & Natural Hand Cream also has the antioxidant power of Argan Oil, and is a super handbag-friendly size as well as fast absorbing for application on the run.
These are both on shelf come October, so keep an eye out!

Daily delight: Lady Gaga for US Vogue

Monday, August 13, 2012

Love it: all new, all good Bestow Beauty Powder

When people ask me to name one beauty product that will nourish and transform their skin, 9 times out of 10 I will direct them to a bottle of Bestow Beauty Oil. One of my favourite beauty discoveries ever, it is rich in nutrients, makes a dramatic difference to my skin and – importantly – is easy to add to almost any meal at any point in your day.
So, I was pretty damn excited when I heard that Bestow’s creator Janine was working on another product, and even more so when it hit my desk!
The new little marvel is Bestow Beauty Powder, which she describes as “a delicious, beautifying blend of nutrient-rich plants, designed to bestow health and radiance to your skin.” Like Bestow Beauty Oil, it’s an edible cosmetic, packed full of minerals, vitamins and amino acids, all of which are beneficial for skin, body, hair and nails.
The super-nourishing blend of flaxseed fibre, kelp, spirulina, wheatgrass, alfalfa, coconut, blackcurrant extract and pumpkin flour is highly nutritious, leaving skin feeling incredible, and with a mild, slightly sweet flavour, it tastes as beautiful as your skin will look and feel.
I’ve been using it for a few weeks now in conjunction with its sister oil, and so far I’m really impressed.  Alone it provides a source of all of the nutritional building blocks your body needs to produce good quality collagen and elastin - your skin’s natural, anti-ageing fibres – and when combined with Bestow Beauty Oil it can also help support the protective film of the skin. This is great during winter when harsh conditions can really dry out your skin, especially when you are as eczema prone as I am. As a bonus, the vitamins, minerals and amino acids in Bestow Beauty Powder are also beneficial for the growth, maintenance and repair of your hair and nails.
I’ve even been using it on my three-year-old son Wolf’s cereal – he already loves the oil – to help with his dry, delicate skin, and he hasn’t turned it down yet!
It’s also super versatile, try blending it with smoothies, juice or yoghurt, or sprinkle lightly on other foods such as cereals, porridge, stir-fries or soups. It’s also apparently delicious added to baking such as cakes, loaves or savoury muffins, which I’ve yet to try.
Too easy huh? And so good!
For more about Bestow and where to buy it, head here.

Daily delight: Cindy Crawford for Tatler

Friday, August 10, 2012

All about: Sam Corban Acupuncture & Patyka

They say that if you stay positive the universe will help out its own in times of need, and when I got a call inviting me to meet with acupuncturist Sam Corban the timing could not have been better.
I’d been feeling run down and in need of a tune up for a while, and have found that acupuncture can work real wonders when it comes to everything from back ache to sinusitis, to immune support and back again.
A TV producer in a past life, father of two Sam works out of a pristine clinic on the border of Grey Lynn and Westmere and spends a lot of time treating fertility issues and helping boost his client’s immunity. Sam worked in film production for many years but an interest in acupuncture arose after he himself was treated successfully by acupuncture for an injury. He was officially bitten by the bug and wanted to know more.
After graduating from the New Zealand College of Chinese Medicine, he established Sam Corban Acupuncture in 2006. He treats a wide variety of conditions in his clinic, and is currently working with the research team at North Shore Hospital on a study trialling acupuncture for pain relief in the emergency department. As well as a National Diploma in Acupuncture he holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biology from the University of Auckland and is definitely a man who knows his stuff.
One area of acupuncture that he is really enjoying working in over the past year is cosmetic acupuncture, to which he takes quite a different approach to many others I’ve interviewed. To start with, he uses the Medik8 skincare range in conjunction with a derma-roller alongside his acupuncture needles for the majority of his facial treatments. “The standard treatment I recommend is cosmetic acupuncture with a shallow derma-roller,” he explains to me, “which helps absorb the serums I use with treatment. I can do a deeper derma-roller treatment if needed as well, but it’s better to start off gently for most skins.” A standard course of treatment is around six sessions long - one treatment per week for 6 weeks – and each treatment is $135.00. However if patients wish to pay for the course of treatment up front there is a 10 per cent discount off treatment making the total cost of $729, alongside materials. For smokers or people who have had a lot of UV related sun damage 8-10 treatments is recommended, but every skin is different and Sam likes to customise each treatment program accordingly.
The Medik8 skincare collection is super high performance and often known as the ‘Green Cosmeceutical’ brand as it is kind to the planet and able to be tolerated by even the most sensitive of skins. He also stocks a range I hadn’t heard of before called Patyka (pronounced Pa-ti-kah), from France. After a little research I discovered that it’s a cult classic Parisian beauty brand, and that Sam is stocking it exclusively here. It combines natural and organic ingredients with cutting-edge cosmetic technologies, and incorporates hundreds of rare botanical extracts and traditional herbal formulae, some of which date back more than 100 years (Patyka is Hungarian for apothecary).
Patyka’s line of organic skincare products are certified organic by ECOCERT, and the company strives to incorporate the finest organic ingredients, while paying attention to Fair Trade practices. The result is an organic range that looks gorgeous and feels luxurious, and the packaging would definitely do any bathroom cabinet proud! I love the sound of the Huile Absolue Serum, which is a bit of a multi tasker. A combination of 12 plant oils, it can be used as a makeup primer, a frizz tamer for hair, a cuticle healer or an after-shave serum as well as a killer boost for dehydrated skin. It can be used 2 to 3 time a week as special intensive mega dose of plant power delivered to your skin, or as a night restorative treatment. Although this serum is primarily designed as a face care treatment it is also ideal after shaving because of its healing and soothing properties, when travelling to sweep away the signs of jetlag, on nails and hair and pretty much anywhere that needs it. Very cool and perfect for getting skin through one rather cold winter! 
Check out Sam's website here:

Daily delight: Katy Perry by Ellen Von Unwerth for ghd

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Beauty destination: Ecoya’s Woollahra, Sydney store

Creators and purveyors of all things exquisitely scented and unashamedly eco luxe, Ecoya have just opened their second Sydney store in two months, and what a beauty she is!
The new store is in Sydney’s Woollahra on opulent Queen Street and close to Paddington. It houses the complete Ecoya range, including everything from bodycare to the extensive range of soy wax candles. 
Renowned Sydney stylist Megan Morton designed the must-visit beauty destination; even installing a sensory “sniffing wall” so customers can experience the company’s amazing fragrances through hand crafted glass bell jars that were made especially for Ecoya by design duo Sarah K and Ben Blackebrough.
Hanging from the ceiling are flower-filled test tube chandeliers consisting of 180 test tubes, and the overall feel is one of warmth, beauty and luxury.
To celebrate the opening, Ecoya is offering a bespoke service with ‘Hilda’, a mould featuring a woman’s topless torso that stands at 46cm high.  Shoppers can select their favourite fragrances from the Ecoya collection and walk away with their own bespoke wax sculpture – reason alone to pay them a visit!
The ECOYA Woollahra Flagship store is located at 74 Queen Street, Woollahra, Sydney.

Love it: M.A.C’s first permanent nail collection

If you’re a nail colour freak like me the words “M.A.C”, “nail polish”, “30 colours” and “three finishes” will have you fair jumping for joy!
And all that excitement comes in the form of M.A.C’s first permanent nail polish collection, which is an absolute joy to behold. You can go deliciously dark and cool with Deep Sea and Nocturnelle. Dark Angel and Formidable!, or pick shades like Fiestaware and Morange to match an on-trend orangey red lip. Screaming Bright and Discothèque go big with glitter, whilst the likes of Skin, Saint Germain and Faint of Heart make sure that there is a perfect nude for all skin tones.
My favourite at the moment is Coffee Break, a creamy, mid-tone cool taupe that is the ideal pick for winter and my reflective mood.
Pop by your nearest M.A.C counter and start stocking up now – one will not be enough!

Daily delight: Nadja Bender for Balmain Fall 12

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I try: M&R Essentials Repair Tonic

Following my surgery a couple of weeks ago I was on the lookout for a product that could aid with healing, but also not interfere with the medication I was on at the time. In the past I’d fallen back on good old Arnica, but over the past few years some interesting alternatives have also hit the shelves at the chemists and health stores in my neighbourhood.
M&R Essentials Repair Tonic is one which I’m trying right now, and is a pretty worthy contender. A special combination of homeopathic remedies that are an effective treatment to support the body, cells and organs recovery from pain, injury, and surgery to ensure a speedy recovery, it is easy to take (drops popped directly under the tongue, or diluted in water) and can be used on bubs and children too. 
It goes to work quickly to initiate the healing response and restore good health, and because it’s 100 per cent natural, it’s safe for everyone including pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
M&R Essentials Repair Tonic stellar line up of ingredients includes:
Arnica - Promotes healing of all injuries.
Bellis Perennis (Daisy) - Goes to work quickly on deep tissue, and is the first ingredient to go to work after major surgery.
Calcium Phosphate - One of the most important tissue remedies and great for babies who are teething.
Chamomilla - helpful to relieve stiff or restless muscles and numbness.
Magnesium Phosphate - Known as the “Homeopathic Aspirin”, relieves spasmodic             pains, and teething problems in children.
Rhus Toxicodendron - May help those who wake with morning aches and pains.
Comfrey - Facilitates the healing of fractured bones.

As I said – one pretty serious contender, with all of the good stuff in there to help you heal.
For M&R Essentials Repair Tonic stockists or to buy online head to

Daily delight: Natalia Vodianova for Stella McCartney Fall 2012