Friday, September 28, 2012

All about: Pai Skincare Systematic Stretch Mark Solutions

Stretch Marks are one of those things – like cellulite – that plagues every woman at some point in our lives and by god, we hate them!
They are the unwanted reward for everything from weight loss to having a bub, and so many of the products released to treat them are often amongst the most toxic on the beauty shelves. I’ve heard of one in particular that pharmacy staff won’t recommend on principle to mums-to-be, and others that have left skin looking worse than before application.
One I’ve just heard about which is all good however is also Natalie Portman’s pregnancy skincare of choice – Pai Skincare’s Pomegranate & Pumpkin Seed Organic Stretch Mark System.
It’s a dynamic, all good product duo, made up of an organic oil and cream to be used in a two-step system to prevent and improve the visible effects of stretching on the skin.
The rich and replenishing oil (applied in the p.m.) intensively conditions skin to keep it soft and supple, while the deliciously buttery cream (applied in the a.m.) drives water deep into dry and tight scar tissue to minimise damage. An expert combination of Vitamins E & C, plus Omegas 3,5,6,7 & 9 protect skin cell structure and enhance elasticity, helping skin to stretch and bounce back into shape without showing signs of damage.
Both products are certified organic by the Soil Association and 100 per cent fragrance-free, making them ideal for use during all three trimesters of pregnancy and beyond. Understanding cosmetic fragrance dos and don’ts during pregnancy can be a minefield, so Pai’s founder Sarah Brown wanted to take this headache away by creating an Essential Oil-free formula, while also ensuring that their Stretch Mark duo was irritant-free at a time when women often find their skin more sensitised.
So, if you’re in the market for a stretch mark solution or know anyone who is then I highly recommend you check this magical little duo out – it’s definitely a serious contender for one of the best out there right now. Find it online here.

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss for Numéro #137

Thursday, September 27, 2012

All about: COOLA suncare

I recently returned from eight days in Fiji –I know, lucky me! – and just before I left received some samples of COOLA suncare products. It was a name I wasn’t familiar with but after a little digging thought it was definitely worth a bash, and my gut instinct was SO right!
A beautifully packaged collection of organic sun essentials produced out of Southern California, the COOLA range includes a plethora of yummy products that are high performance yet delicate and luxurious enough to compliment any skincare regimen - no matter how fussy, and even after cosmetic procedures – and are kind on the environment. It is produced in limited quantity batches in California (where the company is based), meaning that the range can be reformulated often, taking advantage of new developments in sun science and labeling regulations almost as they happen.
The COOLA range has three distinct organic sunscreen collections to choose from: Plant UV, Mineral, and Classic, each based on different active ingredients. The Classic Sunscreens use organic active ingredients (commonly referred to as “chemicals”), while the Mineral Sunscreens use mineral (“physical”) active ingredients like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to scatter and reflect UVA/UVB rays. The mineral sunscreens are effective right after application, making them perfect for the whole family. The Plant UV collection protects the skin with naturally protective plant cells that contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. All are blended into luxurious, moisturising bases which make up about 90 per cent of the product, and 70 per cent of this includes certified organic ingredients. 
One of my favourites on holiday was the SPORT SPF 35 Piña Colada Sunscreen Spray, which offers Broad Spectrum SPF 35 protection along with the ability to nourish, repair and hydrate skin with 97 per cent certified organic ingredients. These include Aloe, Cucumber, Algae and Strawberry Extracts; and Red Raspberry Seed Oil, a natural sunscreen and anti-inflammatory rich in Omega-3 and 6.  Oh and it’s also available in a Citrus Mimosa scent if Piña Colada is not your bag!
Sound like a bit of you this summer? Find your nearest stockist by calling 0800 223 288 – I promise you won’t regret it!

Daily delight: Joanna Jonsson for ELLE Mexico

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Giveaway and a bit of a rave about: Lester’s Oil

Over the years I’ve tried a number of omega-type supplements, mainly as I don’t eat enough oily fish and know how good it is for my skin and joint health. During winter I embarked on a heavy dose of fish oil to help with joint pain I was getting in my knees (the legacy of an early career in dance) but found that the high doses meant I was bruising incredibly easily, which wasn’t ideal!
So I’ve been on the hunt for an alternative for a while now and was lucky enough to get to try Lester’s Oil. A new generation Omega-3 based oil, vitamin and antioxidant complex from About Health, it contains all the benefits of a double strength Omega 3, but unlike other Omega 3’s, it also has the benefits of five other key ingredients - Vitamin D, Co-Enzyme Q10, Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Astaxanthin, expertly combined to address the common problems associated with the aging process.
In the clever cocktail you’ll find:
  • Omega-3 fatty acids - Supports the nervous system, vision, brain functions, mood balance, cardiovascular health and joint mobility.
  • Co-enzyme Q10 - Supports heart health, immunity, brain health and energy levels.
  • Astaxanthin – antioxidant that is 550 times more powerful than vitamin E and at least 800 times stronger than CoQ10 and vitamin C. Take daily to help combat premature skin aging, skin dryness and the appearance of freckles and age spots. Also supports eye health, joint mobility, cardiovascular and neurological health.
  • Vitamin D - Supports immune system responses; heart, prostate, breast and colon health, blood sugar balance and works with calcium to support bone health.
  • Lutein & Zeaxanthin - Work together to support eye health, in particular the problems associated with the aging process.
Best of all you only need to take 2 capsules daily - that's half as many as your standard fish oil capsules, which gets the big tick of approval in my book! You can order Lesters Oil online at or phone 0800 999 309, and if you’re very lucky you’ll win a six months’ supply by emailing with your name and courier address before Monday 5pm. Get typing!

Daily delight: Barbara Palvin for Harper’s Bazaar US

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

NYFW: Guido for Redken, Victoria Beckham SS13

 Another hair look – and collection! – that got me giddy from the recent New York Fashion Week was the simple, chic hairstyle that Redken Creative Consultant Guido created for the always-fabulous Victoria Beckham.
For the Victoria Beckham Spring 2013 show he went for a look that was more natural than in past seasons with textured lengths that dried naturally. Insanely wearable, it left the collection to do its thing and was pretty in the extreme.
"The centre part and shine on top creates a strong, even dramatic look on the Victoria Beckham girl today,” said the hair maestro, “but the overall style is still very youthful and American. The style is minimal, yet done - it's very wearable." He wasn’t kidding!
To create the look:
  1. Create a clean centre part on damp hair.
  2. Blow dry just the top section of hair to just behind the ear, then spray water on the back to re-dampen and let dry naturally.
  3. Spray the hairline with Redken Forceful 23 hairspray to smooth & hold.
  4. Apply Redken Shine Flash 02 glistening mist on the top of head.
  5. Use lots of Redken powder refresh 01 dry shampoo on the bottom third of hair to get a light fluffy  effect. 

Beauty destination: Pony Professionnel by Mana Dave

The affable and preternaturally stylish Mana Dave has always been one of my favourite local hair stylists - with talent and vision and lashings of charm and generosity to boot. Visits to his salon Blaze are always a treat, one that I wish I could afford to indulge in more often! Along with winning awards all over the globe he’s also helmed many of New Zealand’s top salons, so the fact that he is about to unleash a new concept is marvellous news.
Called Pony Professionnel, it’s in the heart of Newmarket and has been called “an oasis of expert advice, industry authorities and the finest product range, catering to men and women who love healthy hair.” Sound pretty damn good to me.
The award-winning team at Blaze Hair, spearheaded by Mana and Kate Smith, are the driving force behind Pony Professionnel, the ethos of which is based on the love of, care for and ongoing improvement of healthy hair. Brands on sale at Pony Professionnel will comprise a handpicked selection from Mana and his team that will include: Kerastase, LʼOreal, Pureology, Redken, Matrix, Biolage, Phylia de M (exclusive to Pony Professionnel), Morrocanoil, Davines, Kevin Murphy, Sebastian, ghd and Sans.
The in-store experience at Pony Professionnel will also offer premium Kerastase spa treatments for hair ($87 - $185 for 2hrs). This spa services use massage techniques designed for specific needs of the hair and scalp and having had one many years ago I can say that are incredible.
Pony Professionnelʼs on-the-go styling services are priced from only $40 - the dry-style and blow-dry services aimed at offering walk-in customers relaxation and nourishment for their hair amidst busy lifestyles.
I can’t wait to see the space as well - the interior concept for Pony Professionnel was designed by the seriously talented Katie Lockhart and promises to be beautiful.
Pony Professionnel opens on Thursday 11th October at 290b Broadway, Newmarket (oppositeMorrow Street). Can’t wait!

Daily delight: Georgina Stojiljkovic for Vogue Portugal

Monday, September 24, 2012

NYFW: Antonio Corral Calero for Moroccanoil, The Blonds SS13

With inspiration listed by The Blonds (David and Phillipe Blond) as “Madonna meets Esther Williams”, the hair look created for their recent NYFW was always going to be MAJOR.
The man responsible for meeting that brief was more than equipped for the job however  - namely Antonio Corral Calero, Moroccanoil’s Artistic Director. He created fierce, glamorous hair looks that were dripping with the sultry sensuality of million-dollar mermaid Esther Williams and the early 90s “Sex” Madonna. Energizing the face with blasts of colour, each model’s hair was hidden under vivid, red latex hoods that edged around the hairline and neck. Barbie-like synthetic hair overflowed from the caps, elevated at the crown and cascaded down the back. Strands were high-gloss smooth with the ends waved for movement. This was serious hair, and I loved it.
How the look was created, in Antonio’s words:
  1. “I started by steaming the synthetic hair pieces completely straight, then used Moroccanoil Treatment as a primer to give a boost of shine and soften the texture.”
  2. “Next, I placed the models’ hair into the latex hood and attached the hair pieces.”
  3. “I then backcombed the crown for structure, height and volume, and brought the hair back down and smoothed its surface. I used a curling iron to create waves and volume from mid-hair to ends for movement and bounce.”
  4. “I sprayed the entire look with Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Medium for a hold that allowed freedom to move, and added shine.”
  5. “I finished with a misting of Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine Spray for a blast of additional shine so the hair would shimmer in the lights as the models walked.”

NYFW how to: Guido for Redken, Marc by Marc Jacobs SS13

The Marc by Marc Jacobs’ show is always one of the hottest tickets at New York Fashion Week, and this season was no different with a celebrity scrum well in evidence from the front row back. Whilst the Marc Jacobs show was a stripped-back, no-nonsense and novelty-free affair set against a backdrop of mirrored doors. The Marc by Marc Jacobs SS13 collection was bright, colourful and fun, and the hair look by Redken Creative Consultant Guido created a carefree, youthful style to complement the patterned turban-like head scarves atop models’ heads. The loose, playful updo was without real shape, as if each girl had quickly pinned it up herself. Guido called it “a very easy, simple hairstyle. We wrapped these bright fabrics around the head, and then pinned the hair up into a very messy chignon. It feels very young, lighthearted and nonchalant. It's a mix of inspiration from the 70s and 80s and almost has a punky feel to it."
To create the Look:
1. Start with damp hair and spray Guts 10 root targeted spray throughout, this will give it some texture and ensure that when it's pinned up, it will stay. 
2. Rough dry hair brushing straight back with a boar-bristle brush. 
3. Wrap fabric headband around head tying at the nape of the neck.
4. Gather hair into a loose ponytail and secure with elastic 4 inches from the ends of the hair.
5. Fold the loose ponytail up into a messy chignon and pin with open fasteners.
6. Mist entire style with Fashion Work 12 versatile working spray.

Daily delight: dreamy Fei Fei Sun for Vogue China

Friday, September 21, 2012

I try: ordering my contact lenses online - at last!

Having worn glasses from the age of three to the age of 33, being able to finally order contact lenses in my – rather high – strength was an absolute joy! It opened up a whole new world of sunglasses, serious eye makeup and enjoying spending time in the water to me, but damn they are pricey. I usually just order my lenses from my optometrist and gulp quietly when I hand over my card, but lately some really good online options have opened up that are quick, easy and trustworthy to boot. One I’ve just had the pleasure of trying is a local website called who let you search for the best prices for a box of your preferred lenses (and any delivery charge) and then send your prescription straight to the supplier. Just days later they arrive by courier, no hassles, no struggle to find a park – and you’ve saved money. To say that this made my day would be an understatement – for someone who spends such a huge amount of time online I can’t believe I haven’t done it before! Check out if they have your faves here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Beauty news: Freja for Maybelline New York

In the latest news from Maybelline New York, uber model and generally cool cat Freja Beha Erichsen has just signed on to join the brand’s stellar line up of spokeswomen. Discovered on the streets of her hometown Copenhagen, Denmark, Freja is known in the modelling industry for her edgy, urban looks and preternaturally awesome style. She appeared in 64 shows during her breakout runway season, and she has walked the runways for the likes of Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, and Zac Posen. Known also as a muse for Karl Lagerfeld, Freja has been in almost every Chanel runway show since 2006. Freja has also starred in major advertising campaigns for Chanel, as well as Balenciaga, Jil Sander, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Emporio Armani, Chloe and Gap, just to name a few. The lady is a natural in front of the camera and on the catwalk, and the brand are pretty pleased with themselves for snapping her up as one of their fabulous faces. “Freja is an incredibly beautiful and confident woman,” says Damien Bertrand, Global Brand President, Maybelline New York. “Not only is she a top model for a new generation, but she is also a modern style icon off the runway. She truly captures the catwalk-to-sidewalk spirit of Maybelline New York.”

Daily delight: Candice Swanepoel for Numéro Tokyo

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Beauty discovery: Vede & Crede facial serums

Okay so this post is technically about two wonderful beauty discoveries: the dynamic duo of Michelle and Jeanine at Elle Health & Skincare and Vede & Crede Skincare. The former introduced me to the latter when I visited their serene Mount Eden, Auckland premises, where I had one hell of a great facial and left with a bottle of Vede & Crede’s Soothing Facial Serum. I’d never heard of the brand before but have become a raving fan almost overnight, using their stellar product to bump up my skincare regime no end. Vede & Crede Skincare calls itself a “gorgeous, sensual, organic skincare range”, and its formulas feature highly prized, time-tested botanical ingredients, essential oils and perfumes from Morocco, the Middle East and Ayurvedic India. It’s definitely different and definitely a joy to use if my serum is anything to go by, and the all-made-in-New Zealand is a true beauty discovery if ever there was one. 
Literally translated, Vede & Crede is Latin for "see and believe", and their reason for being is to create and celebrate luxurious, organic and botanical skincare that positively impacts your appearance, lifts your spirit, is gorgeous to use and benefits the grass-roots, local communities from whom they source most of their ingredients. Hallelujah to that. But on to the product itself, which - for optimal protection – comes bottled in glass that has been especially designed to protect essential and precious oils by filtering and controlling light absorption. Light and readily absorbed, their serums are based around the much buzzed about ingredient known as argan oil, which is exceptionally high in tocopherols (including Vitamin E ) and powerful essential fatty acids including Omega-6 (Linoleic and Oleic acids). The company use far greater quantities of argan oil than most, and it is premium certified organic, virgin, cold-pressed argan oil that they quality test in a laboratory. This is blended with virgin, cold-pressed, certified organic Prickly Pear Seed Oil that has even higher levels of these compounds plus extra antioxidants that are proving so important in the fight against ageing. I am absolutely in love with my Soothing Facial Serum, which is also enriched with superior Bulgarian rose essential oil to soothe and moisturise sensitive and mature skins. It feels incredible when patted on and absorbs pretty much instantly, making it fine for night or daytime use under sunscreen and makeup. If you haven’t already then I highly recommend you check out both Vide & Crede and Elle Health & Skincare – I guarantee that you’ll be impressed.

NZFW: Stephen Marr for Hailwood A/W 2013

Another of my favourite collections at the recent New Zealand Fashion Week was by Adrian Hailwood, whose Hailwood label is always a standout and never fails to impress. Like Cybele, he’s developed a real relationship with Lauren Gunn and her team from Stephen Marr over time, and it shows. The beautiful hair looks they work together to create for shows and campaigns are always incredibly sassy and luxurious looking, as well as super wearable.
Lauren says that the luxe European influence of the looks hitting the runway for Hailwood this year lead to a hair look “that could capture the simplicity and polish usually reserved for that elite class of beautiful people with nothing to prove”, and this understated glamour came in the guise of a stunning blowout with a hint of 1970’s wave.
“ When I saw all the rich layers of colour and texture Adrian had injected into the collection I really wanted to let the clothes speak for themselves,” she says, “with hair that had luxurious shine yet was beautiful in its simplicity.”
Isn’t that what we all want, really? I know I do, and here’s a super simple how to:

Step 1. Apply Sebastian Trilliant Shimmering Spray throughout your hair from roots to ends and blowdry to an off-centre parting.

Step 2. Spray a natural bristle brush with Sebastian Zero Gravity hairspray and brush your hair thoroughly, respraying your brush as you go.

Step 3.  At eye level, bend the front side-parted section over a hot tong until the hair is hot. Clip the section bent to itself for a few minutes to cool then take it out and give your hair another brushing.

Hot Tip: Keep a natural bristle brush tucked in your bag to keep your hair shiny and full all night long. One of Lauren’s favourite tools working on runway shows is a baby Mason Pearson - pocket sized and perfect for backstage touchups.

** all photos by Jessica photography **

Daily delight: Lara Stone for The Last Magazine

Monday, September 10, 2012

Giveaway: TOMeTTe delivered for lunch for a week!

After my recent surgery I had the chance to dine on TOMeTTe on a more than regular basis, which is a new range of ready to heat and eat, fresh French cuisine that I can honestly say is damn delicious! The collection of five meals boasts a host of traditional French delicacies – each as yummy as the next – in the form of Le Boeuf Bourguignon, Le Poulet Basquaise (Chicken Basquaise), Le Saumon à l'Aneth (Salmon with Dill Sauce), Le Coq Au Vin (Chicken in Red Wine) and L'Agneau à la Provençale (Provencale Lamb).
Priced from 12.99 to $15.99 each, they are a steal for lunch or dinner and a right treat to boot. And this is coming from someone who usually shuns ‘fast’ food!
You can find TOMeTTe stockists online by visiting and now you can also order online to have your lunch delivered if you live or work in the Auckland CBD (soon to be extended to greater Auckland). A great reason to forget ‘le lunchbox’ if ever there was one!
I have a week of workplace lunches to giveaway to one of you lucky people out there, just email with your work address and you’re in the draw…
** the winner must be located in the Auckland CBD for delivery, and one delivery of all 5 meals will be received **

NZFW: Stephen Marr for Cybele Autumn/Winter 13

Every year at New Zealand Fashion Week the team from Stephen Marr – under the guidance of their preternaturally fabulous Creative Director, Lauren Gunn – are responsible for the Lion’s Share of the best hair on the catwalk, and their talent and creativity never ceases to amaze me.
Lauren once told me “each designer we work with has quite a different look when it comes to hair, and some are more wearable than others. All are adaptable though”, meaning that with a few easy steps their look could be transformed from the runway to the “real” way with little effort.
She has always maintained that the beauty of the salon team having long term relationships with designers – helping them solidify their identity, if you like – means that “each time we get together during the year for a show or a campaign shoot we are working on refining their style, and the hair looks that work with it”. She cites the look that her team creates for the Cybele show each year, which loosens a little for mini campaigns and lookbook shoots in terms of wearability and softness. “I suppose you could say that the work that we do for Fashion Week is very aesthetically pure and conceptual,” explains Lauren, “and then we take that and morph it into various other versions for the designers during the year. It’s important that you approach hair and make up for a show with a very strong idea in mind, to give it the drama and the wow factor that you need for a runway show.”
This year Cybele’s hair look combined a strong silhouette with quirky detail. Much like her collection for Winter 2013, the lines of the hair were clean and fluid without the stiffness of retro references. The real bang of this hair look comes in profile, with hair swept up and away from the cheekbones into a double loop and falling into a ponytail down the nape. “We tried to create a style that reflects both the otherworldly, haunting nature of Cybele’s signature print and the modernity of her collection as a whole,” said Lauren, and it’s surprisingly easy to recreate a real way look at home:

Step 1. Prep your hair by brushing through a few generous blasts of Kevin Murphy Session Spray to give it a clean static texture, split your hair into two sections, taking one section in the top, from temples to just below the crown.

Step 2. Sweep the lower section back into a ponytail, leaving a loop of hair big enough to fit two fingers, when you last pull through the tail.

Step 3. Sweep the top section into a ponytail just above the first, again leaving a loop of hair when pulling the tail through for the last time.

Step 4. Wrap a clear plastic hairband around both loops so that they become a double bun and the tails sit snugly at the nape.

Hot Tip: To get a fresh youthful finish, spritz some Kevin Murphy Texture Master in the roots of your front hairline and press it into your temples to smooth flyaways and add some shine, leave all the other wisps and wayward strands alone to do their thing.

* all photos by Jessica photography *

Daily delight: Candice Swanepoel for Brian Atwood

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Talking beauty with Steel Panther's Lexxi Foxx

 On October 2 one of my favourite bands will be hitting New Zealand to play a show at Auckland’s Powerstation – the phenomenon known as Steel Panther.
The Panther hark back to an earlier, simpler time when men with big hair and unfeasibly tight trousers ruled the Strip – think 80s glam metal, complete with wailing vocals, inane guitar riffs and reckless use of hair products.
Last year saw Steel Panther support Def Leppard, Motley Crue and Guns 'N' Roses and they really do have to be seen to be believed, so if that’s your bag then I recommend you go get a ticket ASAP.
I spoke to bass player Lexxi Foxx (AKA Travis Healy) a few weeks before they touched down to talk – naturally – about beauty.

Do you travel with a makeup artist?
I actually do it all myself, I worked in a salon for a while and developed my own style of makeup and the way that I like it applied. When we have photo shoots or are shooting a video we all have makeup artists, but personally I prefer to do my own as I don’t really like anyone else working with my face. I express my true ‘art’ through my face and hair and I like that.

Do you have a signature look that you pull out all the time?
Oh yes. I like to call it ‘Totally Bitchin’’ because that is how I look when I’ve done it.

How long does it take you to get ready?
A pretty long time if I’m really honest about it. At least an hour and more if I decide to tan myself. I have my own spray tan machine that I travel with in case we’re playing somewhere and it’s raining or winter and I can’t lay out in the sun. I never tan my face though – you put your face in the sun for too long and eventually you’ll end up looking like a catcher’s mitt.

How do you cope with on stage sweating, it gets hots up there. Any tips or secret products to share?
I actually have a fan in front of me at all times on stage, which helps a lot. It keeps my foundation in one place and it keeps my hair big – it’s an onstage essential. I also use cans and cans of Aquanet hairspray – it keeps my hair looking bitchin’.

I notice you thank Aqua-net, Bobbi Brown, Maybelline and the like in the album liner notes, do you ever do shout outs to your favourite brands, the way rappers do with liquor brands?
I don’t, but maybe I should start. I have some amazing endorsements in terms of guitars and amps but the most important one for me - if I were ever lucky enough to get one – would be an Aquanet endorsement. I pay like three bucks for a can and go through so many of them every week it’s insane. The other guys in the band use my Aquanet too. It makes me so angry sometimes when they don’t ask beforehand but normally I don’t mind sharing my can. I’m singlehandedly bringing that stuff back though and would really appreciate some kind of acknowledgement from Mr. Net or whoever.

Do you ever experiment with your look, like going brunette, adding a little colour?
No way, I stay as blonde as I do because I like to stand out. I just wouldn’t stand out if I were a brunette. I really look after it too, I am so careful with how much I colour it, don’t wash it too often and have regular treatments done. I’m actually having a perm done before we leave on tour for New Zealand, it should have relaxed nicely by the time we arrive.

According to the bio on the Steel Panther website, it was you that turned Michael and Stix onto make up; is that true?
Someone said I was bio? I like girls okay – apart from the time I was in jail and had to be bio because I’d run out of cigarettes.

Okay, Lexxi. Nicely done. On that note, is it hard to strike that balance between looking like a dude and a lady?
Well I like the way really lean women look and try to aim for that, but with a few muscles and a penis – obviously. I do like to blur that line.  The more that you look like a girl, the cooler it is I think.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Why you need: dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF50

I’ve got a tropical date with a sun lounger in Fiji booked in for the end of next week, so I’ve been thinking all about sun protection – naturally. It’s something we all should think about year round however, and there are a few products out there making that just that little bit easier.
The marvellous dermalogica have always been known for their high performance sun products, one of my faves being the Solar Defense Booster SPF50, which now has that much more grunt! For those of you unfamiliar with Solar Defense Booster SPF50, it’s pretty much a sunscreen supplement specifically formulated to add full spectrum protection to your favourite moisturiser or make-up.
The new improved formula includes Smart Booster Technology for enhanced photo protection against harmful UV rays via free radical antioxidants, which is pretty impressive stuff. This technology captures essential antioxidants vitamins C and E (which are released when exposed to UV rays), delivering a greater level of photo protection when it’s needed most in a totally non-chalky, non-oily formula. Needless to say, being dermalogica it is totally without artificial fragrances and colours – a bonus for sensitive skins.
Super easy to use, you just apply it evenly and liberally to your face, preferably 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. Or, mix it in equal parts with your moisturizer or foundation, then apply. For continuous coverage, remember to apply it regularly and reapply as needed after swimming and exercise.

NZFW: M.A.C for Stolen Girlfriends Club A/W 13

Daily delight: Natasha Poly for Vogue Turkey

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

All about: evolu's new Regulating Gel Cleanser

I love a beauty brand that likes to celebrate, and in the past few months evolu has done that twice!
The first occasion was a party to celebrate 15 years in the business of creating bloody gorgeous natural beauty products, and the second was a very special ‘Supper for the Skin’ in aid of a new release.
The evening of Wednesday, August 22nd saw two very passionate and motivated women come together to celebrate creating the perfect blend – dynamic evolu founder Kati Kasza and Master Chef New Zealand runner-up Ana Schwarz. They put their heads together to create a special series of tasting plates at Auckland’s Main Course that utilised key ingredients from evolu’s newest release, the beautifully formulated Regulating Gel Cleanser. Both women spend a lot of their time dreaming up perfect combinations, and the results were outstanding when it came to feeding both the skin and the body – the plates were small-but-perfectly-formed but I went home more than sated!
The new cleanser has as its key actions oil control and the refining of pores, and uses some unique ingredients to achieve that. One is lentil, for which Ana created Mint and Cumin Lentil Cakes, which were served with rare venison and another of the cleanser’s key ingredients – cucumber jelly. A palate cleanser used rose and spring water  - another two from the cleanser’s line up – which were added to champagne in the form of a granita. Other ingredients featuring in the Regulating Gel Cleanser include Pomegranate, New Zealand Manuka Honey, Cypress Oil and Kumerahou – AKA “Gumdigger’s Soap”.
The cleanser has a delicious consistency, and although it is most definitely ‘regulating’, it won’t dry out your skin like many cleansing products for oilier skins do. And – like many of evolu’s releases – it smells incredibly and actually works. Love it!
The evolu Regulating Gel Cleanser will be available from October 1, 2012.

NZFW: M.A.C for Zambesi Autumn/Winter 2013

NZFW: M.A.C for Hailwood Autumn/Winter 2013

Daily delight: Bianca Balti for Interview Germany

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

NZFW: M.A.C for Cybele Autumn/Winter 13

Love it: Yves St Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat

To say I was ridiculously excited to be invited to a one-on-one new season collection brief by Yves St Laurent beauty would be something of an understatement, mainly because I’m such a fan of the brand – and have been for a very long time. I also knew that it would involve a chance to play with the much-anticipated Le Teint Touche Éclat foundation, which has finally hit counters. After years and years - 20 to be precise - of YSL Touche Éclat being a constant in my make-up bag, I couldn’t wait to see what the foundation was really like.
With one reportedly sold every 10 seconds, Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Éclat highlighter has been a beauty icon ever since its launch in 1991, and YSL's creative director of make-up, Lloyd Simmonds has said that he wanted to create a foundation that gives the entire face the same “lively, vibrant light”. "Natural, feather-light, but with a touch of very Parisian, very Saint Laurent sophistication that beautifies the skin and makes the complexion expressive. I like to call it a dewy luminosity, as fresh as dew on the complexion - and definitely not shiny."

 The wonder formula incorporates oils and moisturising agents so that it nourishes the skin as well as concealing imperfections - whilst illuminating the skin in the same way as the original Touche Éclat. And Simmonds says that the two products work together for even better results. “They are the perfect duo,” he told Vogue.  “The foundation unifies the entire face, whilst Touche Éclat reinforces the light effect, especially on dark under-eye circles, and to unify the area around the lips and to attract light on the temples and cheekbones."

Having had the opportunity to play with it over the past few days, I can say that it really leaves skin looking healthy, and with a glow that's visible, but not on the too-shiny side. It lasts well and contains a 'soft focus gel' to ensure it has a weightless finish and I believe also stops it settling into fine lines as the day goes on.
This really is a wonder, and could possibly go on to match the success of its glamorous originator! Check it out on counters now... let there be light!