Friday, November 30, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Last week I was lucky enough to be a guest at a very special Dr.Hauschka Customer Event, The Secret of Natural Fragrances with Jorg Zimmermann, Dr.Hauschka Perfumer. The setting was the Member’s Lounge at Auckland’s Art Gallery, and the occasion was the launch of their newly formulated, absolutely beautiful body moisturiser collection.
Jorg was an absolute delight to hear speak, as well as a mine of information about all things fragrance. He also described in great detail how he went about creating the fragrances for each of the moisturisers, and I just couldn’t get enough of playing with the various ingredient combinations and falling in love with the formulas.
The first fragrance that I fell in love with was the one that accompanies the Lavender Sandalwood Body Moisturiser, which is packed full of ingredients to promote harmony and relaxation, as well as “maintain, replenish and balance” your skin’s moisture levels, leaves your skin feeling smooth and protected. The lotion is rich but non-greasy, and the fragrance perfect for times when you need to de-stress and unwind (hello Christmas!). Extracts of Lemon Balm and Wood Sorrel balance and renew, while fine oils of Macadamia nut, Apricot kernel and Avocado support and fortify your skin's own protective barrier. Your skin looks and feels soft, supple and smooth.
Speaking of Christmas, the Almond Body Moisturiser smells just like it, and is the perfect choice to fortify dry, sensitive skin. They say it’s the pick for people “that truly love being cuddled up with a blanket and a good book, who enjoy good music, good company and good food”, and it has an aroma that's reminiscent of Jorg’s own occasional Saturday morning treat, an almond croissant!
The divine Rose Body Moisturiser strengthens even sensitive skin, providing intensive care and highly suitable for even children‘s delicate skin. Rose wax, Rose essential oil and sumptuous extracts of Wild Rose hips and Rose petals restore harmony, whilst Shea butter from the Dr.Hauschka initiated organic wild harvesting project in Burkina Faso combines with Almond oil and Jojoba oil to provide intensive, nourishing care. It is definitely the pick for when you’re wanting to feel cared for, and would make a great gift.
Last but not least, the Lemon Lemongrass and Quince Body Moisturisers are a great choice for summer as they are light, invigoration and sunny, and are perfect for post-gym and anytime you’re feeling like a tropical escape.
But enough raving – you really have to try these. Get into your nearest stockist and get lathering now!
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
People who know me well also know that I’m a Mecca Cosmetica freak, and that pretty much all of my Christmas and birthday shopping can be done there. It’s full of some of my absolute favourite brands ever – hello Diptyque! Nars! Byredo! – and they always have the most perfect edit of gift packs in town.
They are also the exclusive stockists of the very cool – and affordable – Stila brand, one of who’s bestsellers is the Smudge Stick, a sleek waterproof eyeliner pencil known for its long-wearing abilities. For holiday 2012, Stila have offered up a gift set of these famous pencils and yep, Mecca has it in stock!
Called the Seeing Stars Smudge Stick Set, it is a collection of Stila’s bestselling Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liners in five shimmery metallic shades. Perfect for creating a day or evening look, these waterproof and long-wearing shades, packaged in a convenient propel pencil, won’t smudge, budge, or fade through holiday cheer or seasonal weather, and are super portable for travel as no sharpener is needed. The formula glides on effortlessly as well, meaning no drag on the delicate skin around the eyes.
The set contains:
Stargazer — black with gold and silver pearl
Angelfish — metallic champagne beige
Tetra — deep shimmery purple
Moray — golden olive shimmer
Oscar fish – warm brown with gold pearl
Smudge Sticks are also blissfully free of Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Fragrance, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, GMOs or Triclosan, which gets big thumbs up from me.
They are only tiny but you can get pretty creative with them, layering a couple of colors next to each other or as eyeshadows or even highlighters by applying loads on the back of your hand then dabbing the product onto specific areas. They key is to work quickly, as the liners do dry fast and once they set, they will not budge!
And this set definitely will not break the bank at an amazing $78.00. Pop into your nearest Mecca Cosmetica and grab one ASAP – or head online to www.meccacosmetica.co.nzTweet
Earlier this year 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 still 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 extremely 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!).”
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. 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. To say this brand gets a lot of ticks is an understatement, and their products are very easy on the wallet to boot.
Yes To Cucumbers Daily Calming Moisturizer is the latest from their product line to cross my desk, and it’s a little wonder. A gentle, spring-water based moisturiser formulated specifically for normal to sensitive skin types, it contains organic cucumber, Dead Sea minerals, aloe vera, green tea and spirulina to calm and soothe the skin. The Dead Sea minerals also work as a natural exfoliate, helping to detoxify and rejuvenate the skin. Because of the minerals’ molecular structure, this exclusive blend allows for easy penetration to fortify cells and increase skin’s ability to retain moisture.
It also has an RRP of $29.99 for a 50ml pump bottle, which is definitely a steal in my book. If you’re feeling sensitive and are looking for a solution that won’t break the bank then I highly recommend that you check this little wonder out.Tweet
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
At this time of the year, if you haven’t booked in a date with your colourist pre-Christmas then you’re pretty much out of luck. The same goes for chancing an appointment around mid-January, when you’re easing yourself back into work and roots left that little bit too long can look seriously neglectful.
Thank the sweet lord then for Clairol’s Nice’n Easy Root Touch Up, which if you have high maintenance hair is a true gift from on high. Root Touch-Up lets you give your hair colour a boost when you need it most (and your salon is booked solid), covering roots and greys anytime between regular colourings. Super easy to use, it also works in just 10 minutes and lasts up to three weeks.
With more shades (eight) than any other root product you'll be sure to find your match, and the instructions look simple enough for even a novice like me. Start by applying colour to roots after a quick mix. Make sure your hair is dry, then gently brush or comb it into your preferred style. Use the Precision Color Brush to apply colour to your most visible roots at the hairline around the face, part and temples, making sure to saturate your most visible roots with colour. Once you’re done, set your timer for 10 minutes and let it do its thing. Rinse with warm water until the water runs clear then style as usual - there's no need to shampoo, and bang! You've got natural-looking colour that will last for 3 weeks.
Oh and now for the ‘steal’ part of this little rave - Clairol Nice’n Easy Root Touch Up has an RRP of $12.26! You’d be stupid not to pack this baby in your luggage if you’re leaving town this holiday season, and grab another for your bathroom at home while you’re at it.
A little over a year ago now I started using Sodashi’s absolutely in-cred-ible Samadara as my night cream, and have to say that my skin had never looked better. And the results have been cumulative – it still glows!
Called their “Ultimate Age-Defying Crème”, it is the highly respected, ultra eco-luxe brand’s most powerful anti-ageing treatment to transform and reawaken the skin. A truly transformative number after just a few weeks’ use on my skin, it uses a unique alchemy of pure plant ingredients and rose quartz crystal water to promote the skin’s own natural healing abilities from within. Regular use dramatically boosts skin cell renewal to tone, firm and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and the velvety-smooth crème comes even with two rose quartz crystals to massage the treatment into the skin for maximum benefit.
Needless to say, I was incredibly excited to hear that the Samadara line was expanding, with the second release - launched at the Four Seasons George V in Paris, no less – being the Ultimate Age‐Defying Eye Crème.
Sodashi’s most powerful de‐ageing formula to transform and reawaken the delicate skin surrounding the eyes, it is both beautiful to use and designed for results. A unique alchemy of pure plant ingredients blended with rose quartz crystal water, it dramatically restores the skin’s luminosity and natural resilience after just a few weeks, apparently delivering exceptional results and visibly smoothing fine lines and wrinkles.
The delicious ingredient list includes Centella Oil to increase collagen production and enhance microcirculation, Rose Oil to soothe the skin and repair broken capillaries and Rosewood Oil, a powerful cell stimulant, to boost skin’s elasticity. Like Samadara it comes with it’s own rose quartz crystals, which are used to massage the eye area and increase the product’s efficacy.
As I mentioned before, in my opinion the original Samadara is truly transformational on the skin - with almost instantly visible results that you have to see to believe – and this baby points to being no different. At AUD$280.00 for a 15ml jar it certainly ain’t cheap, but if you’re serious about investing in your skin – without chemical intervention – then this is the best option out there, by far. I’ve been using mine – like Samadara – only at night, and am already starting to see results after just two weeks. Treat yourself I say – your skin will more than thank you for it!Tweet
Monday, November 26, 2012
I love collecting tiny versions of great skin, hair and body prods, and always keep a stash in a box in my office for when the time comes to hit the road or board a plane and packing space is at a premium.
Perfect for travel or a great chance to try before you invest in full size versions, lots of my favourite beauty brands offer smaller versions of their products and one of the latest to cross my desk is The Organic Skin Co. Travel Kit Essentials. The beautifully packaged box hosts a line up of 15ml essentials that you can’t leave home without, including their luxurious Juniper Berry Face Wash, Brightening Almond Seed Facial Exfoliant and day and night moisturisers. There’s also a tube of their multitasking Calming Calendula Cream and a hand cream to through in your carry on.
If you haven’t come across the brand before, all of The Organic Skin Co's products are certified organic by ECOCERT and utilise the power of supercritical extracts of plants, herbs and flowers. They are super well priced – this kit is just $95.00 – and their formulas are high performance as well as delicious to use.
I’ve also just been sampling their new range of Ecocert organic lipsticks so look out for a review soon – this is definitely a brand on the rise if ever I saw one!Tweet
Friday, November 23, 2012
The New York brand has collaborated with iconic East Village Pop Surrealist Kenny Scharf – contemporary of the likes of Warhol, Basquiat and Keith Haring – who put his design hat on to create limited edition labels for the holiday season to raise $200,000 for children’s causes around the world.
Having raised an amazing $600,000 through previous holiday initiatives, Kiehl’s invited Scharf to design its 4th Annual limited edition Crème de Corps Collection, with 100 per cent of net profit from each item sold going toward benefitting more than 40 children’s causes around the world.
Scharf’s design for Kiehl’s 4th Annual Limited Edition Crème de Corps Collection is a vibrant, surreal work called ‘Globo Mundo’. Customised for Kiehl’s, Scharf describes Globo Mundo as “representing the whole world or globe; this application of my art was inspired by Kiehl’s, its patrons and their work in communities around the world.”
“Collaborating with Kiehl’s to benefit children’s charities around the world is a dream come true,” he added, “it is extremely gratifying to know that our project will affect young men and women in more than 40 countries worldwide. Together, we are making a difference one bottle of Crème de Corps at a time!”
The three-piece collection with the limited edition Scharf-designed label includes Crème de Corps classic formula in a 250ml and 500ml size, and my favourite – the truly decadent, light-as-air Crème de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter in a tub. I can’t go through a summer – or a winter, actually! - without this stuff, which is the ultimate happiness for dry, dehydrated skin.
All are on counter right now so get shopping – for your own good and the good of children’s causes all around the world!Tweet
Thursday, November 22, 2012
A couple of weeks ago I popped into Parnell beauty spot Blink Boutique for a spray tan using VuTan, a brand I hadn’t tried before. I’m a huge fan of the faux glow and it’s a pre-holiday essential for me – it seems to miraculously make me appear an inch taller and five kilograms lighter, in my mind at least!
Blink Boutique have what must be the prettiest spray tan booth I have ever seen, and also the finest attention to detail when you are being sprayed (I was even buffed with a kabuki brush to blur the edges). This all served to definitely put my mind at ease when I was trying a new formula, but it turned out that VuTan was a winner anyway!
Available in two unique ranges and six varied colours, VuTan Original and Vu2Tan are both derived from quality organic ingredients such as Kakadu Plum Extract (one of the richest natural sources of Vitamin C), Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and Creatine, a natural form of protein which has excellent skin rejuvenation and anti-aging properties. Throw a bunch of botanical herb extracts enhanced with the likes of Green Tea in as well, which are blended to nourish the skin whilst producing a natural looking, longer lasting tan.
The company is Australian made and owned, not tested on animals and is alcohol and paraben free with organic DHA, which is super important to me as a cancer survivor – the least nasties in there the better, and the more likely I am to come back for more!
They also offer a range of take home prods that I haven’t used but have heard good things about, including a Tan Extender, Spray on Tan in a Can, Shimmering Bronzer and Tanning Mousse, the latter of which is enriched with Kakadu Plum Extract, Creatine, Geranium Oil and Mango Extract and is suitable for all complexions. Great stuff!
By the end of my holiday (a week) my rich tan faded evenly and beautifully, requiring just a top up with a gradual tanner to drag it out even longer. If you’d like to try one yourself – I opted for the four hour version, but there is an overnighter available too – head to www.blinklash.co.nz for details.Tweet
The shower is where many of us start the day, and if you’re anything like me, the products that you lather yourself with in there are chosen with care.
Scent is hugely important – and a major boost when it’s still dark out and you’d much rather be horizontal – and if you can find a nice looking product that smells great and does the job then you’re pretty lucky. Add to that the fact that it is an absolute steal in the wallet area ($2.49!!!) and you’ve got Health Basics rather good looking new-look range.
Inspired by a variety of landscapes found around our beautiful country (and named after them), the Health Basics personal care range - including body wash, hand wash, and bar soap - is made up of new product formulations that include New Zealand-based ingredients such as manuka honey, kiwifruit, pohutukawa extract, harakeke, and avocado oil.
Also included in the overhaul is revamped, minimalist packaging, which was “designed for greater functionality, but also for its ability to integrate seamlessly into modern bathrooms”. One example is the hand wash, which features a simple white bottle with clean lines and an easily removable front label (see above), so you can opt instead for an understated debossed image if that’s your style.
The new range includes the likes of Opito Bay Summer, Wanaka Day Break, Akaroa Sun Shower, Rakino Island Escape and Kaimai Rainfall, so pick your favourite destination for the summer and each morning in the shower you’ll be that much closer to being there! Well, a girl can but dream…Tweet
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Two of my favourite ever brands from the fashion and beauty sectors have teamed up together, which makes me very excited! It’s a total win-win situation for everyone who comes into contact with the marvellous collab of sorts too, so I’m loving the opportunity to spread the word.
The fashion side of the excitement is the work of the wonderful Lonely Hearts brand, who are partnering with the equally fabulous Dr Hauschka on a giveaway. The Lonely Hearts online store is live as of today, and the first 100 customers to buy a Lonely lingerie set receive a Dr Hauschka Daily Face Care Kit (while stocks last, offer exclusive to NZ customers) as a gift to say thank you for stopping by and saying hi.
The online store is home to the biggest offering of Lonely Hearts and Lonely lingerie (now available up to a D-cup, hurrah!) around, with each purchase delivered to your door in beautiful packaging.
There is free shipping available within NZ (no minimum order) and to Australia with a $100 minimum spend, which with a range like these cats have will be easy to achieve!
So what are you waiting for? Hit www.lonelyheartslabel.com now and get shopping!Tweet
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
One of the most underrated skincare products is hand cream – we all know they are the first place to show your age, so keep ‘em looking young and you’ll have them fooled!
A good hand cream is always hard to find however, and if you’re like me and love a combination of great fragrance, high performance and a non-greasy feel (I keep them in the car) then it’s that much harder again.
Having said that they do come around every few years, and New Zealand skincare company Savar’s Advanced Hand Repair is most definitely one that ticks all of those pesky boxes. The press release that company founder Vicky sent me begins: “A good hand cream is a luxury. One boosted with anti-ageing ingredients and natural non-inflammatories is not only a treat, it’s a necessity”, and I have to agree! Does her product deliver? Absolutely, and the slick, clean and very portable packaging is an added bonus.
It contains a wide range of premium botanical extracts and oils to help soothe the skin and protect it against damage, including New Zealand avocado oil, organic violet and lime flower, and the premium ingredient line up makes not only makes this top-rated hand cream a balm for dry and sensitive skins, it also helps to soothe conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Being an eczema sufferer this gets major thumbs up from me, and means that it will be an absolute saviour once the temperature drops.
This beauty is available at www.savaronline.com and from selected leading retailers and beauty therapists for RRP $38.00. So worth it!Tweet
Monday, November 19, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012
Dermalogica are all about creating serious skincare with no mucking around involved, and now they’ve turned their attention to coverage with – naturally – pretty damn impressive results.
This move comes in the form of a newly reformulated Dermalogica Sheer Tint SPF 20 (one of the first tinted moisturizers on the market that actually worked) and the new Dermalogica Cover Tint SPF 20 foundation systems.
The new foundation system offers you two levels of coverage - either a subtle wash of sheer color with the Sheer Tint, or greater and more defined coverage with Cover Tint - both come in three skin tones, light, medium or dark.
They utilise natural mineral iron oxides and light-diffusing Hydrolised Pearl Powder (also found in the stellar Dermalogica Primer that was released a few months ago) to even out the appearance of skin texture and create a glowy finish. Add to that the concealing properties of velvety silicones, which give skin a smooth appearance without a caked-on (read: ageing) look.
The Sheer Tint SPF 20 is a reformulation of Sheer Moisture SPF15, which now has added skin treatment benefits and a higher SPF. This provides the lightest coverage of the two product ranges, moisturising deeply whilst inhibiting what is know as ‘Tyrosinase’ activity - the process that triggers hyperpigmentation.
The new Cover Tint SPF 20 offers a long lasting, “buildable” level of opacity in a beautiful to use, seriously featherweight formulation. It replaces the brand’s Treatment Foundations and as well as delivering lots of yummy stuff to your skin, is completely non-comedogenic.
So, in a world of BBs and now CCs, isn’t it nice to have someone out there making things a whole simpler? Thanks Dermalogica!Tweet
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Created for the Lacoste show at the recent Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week, this gorgeous, soft and oh-so-feminine fresh-faced look is perfect for any occasion during the hot summer months to come. You can easily dress it up with a maxi and heels for a night out or keep it casual for a day at the beach, and it’s one of those universally pretty looks that will suit a lot of women out there with a few careful tweaks here and there.
You can get the look using a range of currently on-counter Maybelline New York products, and I have a makeup pack worth more than $140 to give away which contains more than a few of them!
In it you’ll find:
Dream Smooth Primer RRP$19.99
Dream Nude Airfoam Foundation RRP$33.99
Fit Me Powder RRP$19.99
Dream Lumi Touch Concealer RRP19.99
Eye Studio Master Shape Brow Pencil RRP$18.99
Illegal Length Mascara RRP$24.99
Baby Lips Pink Glow Lip Balm in Baby Pink RRP$4.29
To enter, email me firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and skin tone (light, medium, dark) and you’re in the draw!
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
To say that I was excited about reviewing the new Cloud Nine Micro Wand would be putting it mildly. The minute the already-a-modern-beauty-legend brand released their original irons the hype was huge (and they lived up to it) so any news from them could only be good.
The catchphrase for the new Cloud Nine Micro Wand is “professional salons swear by it, and you will too”, which is no small claim. Does it live up to it? Hell yes, and much, much more.
Incredibly easy to use even for an idiot like me (there is a reason I have salon blow waves), it really is all you need for loose, bouncy and tight curls at the touch of a button. It has been designed to give you professional curls - whatever your hair type, whatever your style - incorporating all the technology and innovation you’d expect from the company that bought you those wonderful irons. This conical curling wand can create all sizes of curl from tight ringlets to loose beachy waves, I’ve gone absolurely mad having a play with it.
The surface of The Wand reportedly contains a type of Korean rock mineral that is unique to Cloud Nine, and imparts so much shine to your hair you won’t believe it has been touched by a hot tool. The fact that it has adjustable heat settings (there are low and high options) mean it won’t overcook fine hair either.
I have tried in the past to create curls/waves with irons and have always made a real hatchet job of it so pretty much gave up. The conical shape of this baby means you won’t end up with kinky or crooked curls though, and to create soft beachy waves you just take large sections of hair and wrap them further up. Too easy!
It’s also super safe to use, and even comes with a heat-resistant glove to protect your fingers. And as soon as you’re finished using your Cloud Nine Micro Wand, you can slip on the protective heat guard and allow it to cool down, knowing that you’ve left it safely resting.
Another important safety feature on the Micro Wand is the hibernation mode. This intelligent sleep technology automatically kicks in when The Micro Wand has been switched on, but not used, for 30 minutes. It will then cool down, and only reheat once you’ve switched it off and on again. Magic!
This little wonder retails for $250.00 in New Zealand, which I believe is well worth the money. The only downer about the one I have is that I have to give it back – I’m going to be saving my pennies starting now!
** For stockists call Boutique Brands on 0800 25 25 30 **Tweet
Monday, November 12, 2012
Being a D cup-sporting lady myself I know how bloody hard it is to find beautiful lingerie that fits, so I was very excited when Bendon launched their Evollove range.
Cheeky, sassy and very wearable lingerie in size D to G, Evollove’s offerings include colourful bras, briefs, camis, chemises and more, and I for one can’t get enough of their pretty prints and stellar fit.
So much so that I’d like to share the Evollove love in the form of a giveaway - five Bendon Evollove Birdsong chemises (pictured above). To enter LIKE the Evollove facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/evolloveDtoG and then email me your name, address and size (small, medium or large) to email@example.com and you’re in the draw!
Just like that… so get clicking, go on!Tweet
A few weeks ago I made a wonderful new skincare discovery in the form of Dr.Hauschka’s Rejuvenating Mask. Called a Dr.Hauschka 2012 “Hero” product - Hero products are all highly-revered, award-winning products that produce brilliant, beautiful skin – it was recommended to me as a bit of a medical kit in a tube, and it turned out to be all that and more.
After five weeks’ of daily radiation therapy my skin was in dire need of some serious TLC, and this little tube of wonderful was its saving grace. It is the ideal intensive care choice for the skin - regardless of its current condition – and has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties and promotes the healing of wounds. It brings life and vitality to pale, dry skin and helps improve the elasticity of pores, and can even help with the healing of scar tissue over time. It does pretty much everything bar the dishes, and it is a top choice whatever your skin type (sun-stressed and couperose - dilated capillaries - skin conditions in particular benefit from regular use apparently).
You can use it once or twice a week as an intensive skin care treatment after a thorough cleanse and tone, leaving it on for about 20-30 minutes then removing with a warm, moist cloth. In severe cases of post-acne scarring, just apply a very thin layer of Rejuvenating Mask to the affected areas, before applying your usual moisturiser and make-up. Then it can work on your skin all day.
Amazingly, my skin felt even better the morning after I used this incredible mask, and continued to do so throughout the day. Regular use will definitely help it get its mojo back, and when I pack tonight for my trip to Byron Bay tomorrow morning it will definitely be going in my bag.
So what are you waiting for? Get this ASAP – you skin will most definitely thank you for it!Tweet
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Friday, November 9, 2012
Earlier this week I took a trip over the Harbour Bridge to a small-but-perfectly-formed salon in Birkenhead Point called Biba. Owner Belinda Watson has created quite the oasis in her beautiful boutique salon, and just walking through the door felt like a right treat!
After I placed an order for their ginger, lemon and honey signature tea – served with a side of homemade tahini balls – I had a consultation with Belinda about my reason for travelling over: to try the newest version of INOA colour.
Back in 2010, L'Oréal Professionnel launched the revolutionary colour experience with an Oil Delivery System (ODS) known as INOA, and I was one of the first in the country to try it out. I was immediately impressed by the fact that it was ammonia and odour-free, and the end result was pretty damn good too. Fast forward to 2012 and INOA has been reformulated to deliver even more performance, with the new technology boasting low levels of alkaline agents resulting in optimal respect for the hair while maintaining maximum colour results. The new baby works by fusing colourant and oleo gel into a two-step process which makes it simpler and easier to use, and it still delivers the same odourless formula with optimised scalp comfort, sublime shine, ultimate respect for the hair and great colour results. Belinda tells me that it also delivers six weeks’ worth of intense hydration and nutrition, and leaves hair feeling softer and shiner than before the colouring service.
One look at my ratty ends and I seriously disputed that last claim, but I happily sat back and enjoyed the rather luxurious Biba experience anyway, only looking up once my blow wave was almost complete. What I saw was a serious load of shine on my rather worn out looking locks, and - incredibly – it extended right to the tips! It also felt incredible all over, and the edges of my balayage-style colour were beautifully blurred for the first time. It looked bloody amazing, even if I do say so myself!
The biggest test however was this morning, when I washed and blow-dried my hair post-Biba for the first time… and the shine and the softness were still there. Amazingly, the already damn good INOA has got even better – and my hair just soaked all the goodness up.
*Biba is at 148b Hinemoa Street, Birkenhead Point, Auckland. To book in to see Belinda or one of her lovely team, call (09) 480 0099 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgTweet
Thursday, November 8, 2012
If you travel on a reasonably regular basis like me you’ll know that carrying nail polish remover en vacances is a serious pain in the derriere. It usually comes in giant bottle and there is always the fear of a leak that will destroy your smalls, making it something that gets purchased whilst on holiday and then tossed before you board your plane home.
Not so Revitanail’s Conditioning Remover Wipes, which are the first polish removing wipes that I’ve ever used that actually do the trick. Just a few swipes see them quickly and gently remove nail polish while conditioning nails and cuticles on the go, and they are acetone free.
They come in a little black tub with 30 pre-soaked nail polish remover wipes, which makes toting them around and using them very easy. I have previously used wipes in little tubs and after I have used just a few, the rest have dried out. These babies on the other hand, have an additional clear plastic lid in the tub that tightly seals in the wipes, to prevent them from drying out. Clever!
The actual wipes feel a little greasy at first, but once you get your head around that remember that the greasy feeling is actually doing your nails some good, as they are soaked in vitamin E oils to re-hydrate and repair nails that are damaged from constantly wearing nail polish. And despite the absence of acetone, they instantly removed every trace of nail polish with minimal fuss.
Oh and last but not least, a tub of these babies will set you back the sum total of NZD $7.79 – how great is that? Grab some now… in fact, grab a few!Tweet
Hitherto renowned for his kitchen skills on hit TV series, New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker, Herne Bay resident Grayson Coutts is also one hell of a clever makeup artist – and a lovely bloke to boot. I’ve had my makeup done by him several times over the years at Ponsonby’s Smashbox retail store, but now he’s launched a seriously luxe home-based makeup studio all of his own.
Super serene and very private, he tells me that it was created specifically to offer “flexibility, comfort and privacy”. “The studio allows me to offer a more comprehensive and streamlined service,” he explained further, “it’s a unique professional space, where my clients can relax and unwind during their appointment, with no interruptions.”
Fresh from working backstage at New Zealand Fashion Week for the fourth consecutive year this September, he’s gearing up for a busy summer with wedding and party appointments already in the book. He also now offers a range of makeup courses to suit all skill levels from beginner to pro, with no more than four students per class guaranteed, and many options totally private. They start with a one and a half hour Masterclass, which I’ve done with Grayson before and can highly recommend. It’s totally private and one-on-one, and involves having your chosen ‘look’ applied to one side of your face step by step, during which you repeat the process, step by step. It’s great if you love doing your own makeup but often have one element that you haven’t quite nailed – such as perfect concealer application or every woman’s old friend, the Smokey Eye.
He also offers a one day Intensive Private Course, which Grayson says “is for the beginner or already pro artist wanting to learn from the basics, refresh, or build on their already proficient makeup skills. You’ll learn two makeup applications, as well as colour matching, contouring and lash application.” All products and tools are included for use during the class, and a model is provided so you can give things a whirl with an expert looking on.
Last up, he offers a three week long course that covers everything you need to know - skin care and tools, foundation and concealing, a day look, an evening look, lash application, and some theory on makeup for photos - run over three weeks, with one three hour class per week. Numbers are restricted to no more than four students per class to ensure maximum attention can be provided to each student, and I think this would be great to do with friends.
“I’m passionate about my work and I take pride in making people feel great about themselves,” he tells me, “my courses are about having respect for the individual in the makeup chair and catering directly to their needs”
Summer make up is about keeping it light and sheer according to Grayson, but there are still ways to add a little of your own personality to your look. “My key tip to look fresh and youthful is to start with a perfectly groomed brow. Fill them in with eyeshadow or a pencil and you instantly look younger and draw more attention to your eyes.”
For a classic and casual day look, he says to try a clean winged liner – which is about as low maintenance as it gets, whilst still looking groomed. “Use a cream or gel liner to line the eyes as you normally would, thickening up the outer corners of the liner. Extend the line past where your lashes stop and thin it out to a point. The flick should more or less follow a line from your bottom lashline to the edge of your brow.” Oh and it goes without saying: pair with lashings of mascara of course!
Find out more at www.graysoncoutts.com
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Not long ago now I attended the official launch of Moth&Dane’s first collection of beautiful jewellery, and left having fallen head over heels in love with several pieces.
It was the first I’d heard of the brand, which is created by talented friends Sally Dodson (moth) and Jodie Scantlebury (dane). The lovely pair create unique handmade in New Zealand pieces, using beautiful materials sourced carefully from New Zealand and abroad.
The Moth&Dane range caters for many a judicious jewellery wearer, with unique, feminine pieces that you can wear as elegant or as edgy as you like.
Prices range from $50 for simple bracelets, up to $1000 for solid gold pieces, and their new website offers free shipping throughout New Zealand and Australia for all orders placed online www.mothanddane.com. Due to the hand made, made to order nature of the pieces, delivery will take between three days and up to three weeks for some of their more intricate designs.
Their new collection for Spring/Summer includes some fun and statement pieces utilising organic, tactile materials like leather and beautiful gemstones in lots of vibrant colour. "We love working with beautiful materials and a lot of our inspiration has come from our own shared sense of style and very simply from playing with the various materials we have sourced locally and abroad,” said Sally of the collection, which is pretty damn gorgeous.
And best news yet - I’ve got one of their new Moth&Dane Deerskin Wraps (pictured) to give away! Soft deerskin and a brass skull combine to make this gorgeous leather wrap a lusty piece for summer. Choose from neon yellow or soft bone, and email your choice along with your delivery details to email@example.com (entries close this Friday at midday).
And have a peek at more of what they have instore here.Tweet