Friday, July 26, 2013

Love it: Clinique’s new Chubby Stick Intense

Not a fan of the original Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm for night because they just weren’t pigmented enough for after hours? Well feel free to rejoice because the US beauty brand’s #1 selling lip product has just gotten a little more…INTENSE. The absolutely killer Chubby Stick Intense is a newly formulated balm with a more intense colour pay off - but one that still keeps lips soft, supple, and hydrated. Good news!
I’ve been a fan and lover of Clinique Chubby Sticks since their original launch, but by night often layered them over slightly darker lip pencils for a little extra oomph. Now I’m layering no longer as come August, Clinique is releasing eight new shades of this popular formula but that extra bit of pigment you might be craving. I wouldn’t say they are completely opaque when slicked on but do meet somewhere in the middle, and they still come in the awesome swivel up pencil design that allows you to easily tote them around for applying on the go.
They have a smooth, creamy feel sans shimmer or glitter of any kind, and from the play I’ve had they are very true to tube. What you see in the pencil is what you get on your lips, which gets the big tick in my book and that of anyone who doesn’t like to take a gamble when they buy a new lippy. Great stuff. 

Beauty news: Say hello to a Good Night sleep

I’m usually a good sleeper but I have my ‘moments’, and I live with a man who has serious sleeping troubles that cause more than a few moments of grumpiness come morning light. We’ve both also tried all manner of natural sleep solutions, most of which seem to make little impact but hey, we tried!
One new experiment that has worked - and quite nicely thank you - has come in the form of a can, and I admit that at first I was a little skeptical. A relaxation ‘drink’, housed in what looks like an energy drink can? Surely you jest! But no - it actually works.
Called “the premium European relaxation drink”, it’s called - naturally - Good Night. It has been specifically developed to help relieve feelings of stress and support overall quality of sleep, and has the calming affects of valerian, lavender and rose hip extract in each tiny can.
Valerian has been used for centuries to ease sleep problems, whilst Lavender has a legendary reputation for assisting with anxiety and sleep disturbances. Rose Hip has been used to combat stress and is renowned for its restorative and antioxidant properties. Also on the plus side, Good Night contains no preservatives, artificial colours or sweeteners.
The best time to drink Good Night is 30-45 minutes before going to sleep, and the creators say that some people also use Good Night after work as a means to combat stress.
Sleep is an absolute essential - for your mind, your body and your skin. Over 50 per cent of all New Zealanders say they never wake up feeling refreshed, while 25 per cent will report having a chronic sleep problem. In the last financial year, Pharmac recorded that close to 680,000 sleeping pill prescriptions were doled out around the country, which in a country of just over four million is far from ideal.
Enter Good Night then - which gets the big tick from me. 

Daily delight: retro beauty Jane Birkin

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Love it: Kevin Murphy’s new SHIMMER.SHINE

I fall in love with pretty much every product that the very clever Kevin Murphy releases, and the latest is definitely no different - and perfectly suited to my hair... Bonus!
The first product in the brand’s new Treatment and Styling segment, SHIMMER.SHINE is a repair mist - and much more besides - that provides a gorgeous, luminous look while simultaneously treating damaged hair. It’s an absolute godsend for long locks in particular, and will be a huge hit come summer for sure.
SHIMMER.SHINE contains the same type of Mica as found in eye shadow, which reflects light and adds a brilliant shine to hair without leaving an oily residue. Immortelle - one of Murphy’s most unique ingredients - and Baobab extracts are also in there, which are rich in antioxidants to moisturise and add elasticity to the surface of the hair without a greasy feel.  SHIMMER.SHINE also contains Bamboo extracts and Vitamins A, C and E that are instantly absorbed deep into the cortex, nourishing and thickening the hair as you apply.
To use this little wonder, spray SHIMMER.SHINE into damp hair then blow dry to receive the full treatment benefits or spray onto dry hair for a shimmering finishing mist (see you later, flyaways) and leave-in treatment - perfect for after a day at the beach or by the pool, where I’ll be using it this time next week in France. The one thing to remember is to shake the bottle well before each use to activate the ingredients - and make it look really rather gorgeous too!
SHIMMER.SHINE is available right now at all leading salons for $48.00.

Daily delight: Karen Elson for Lover

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Beauty news: The Marr Factory returns for 2013

Last year The Marr factory shows - held at popular Ponsonby hang out spot and my local, Golden Dawn - were one of the highlights on the local fashion calendar. The venue meant that things felt a little more cool and underground than your usual local fashion affair, and the amazing hair and makeup looks could be glimpsed up close and personal, which for a beauty fan like me gets two thumbs up.
It’s a good thing indeed then that The Marr Factory is back for 2013 and once more at Golden Dawn, where a series of in-season runway shows will happen curated by Stephen Marr, and partnering with some of the sharpest labels in New Zealand: Karen Walker, Zambesi, Nom*D, Helen Cherry, Workshop and Kate Sylvester.
This year The Marr Factory will run from August 25th-29th, and the schedule is:

Sunday 25th August: Karen Walker
Monday 26th: Zambesi
Tuesday 27th: NOM*d
Wednesday 28th: Helen Cherry & Workshop
Thursday 29th: Kate Sylvester

All designers will be showcasing their spring/summer 2013/14 collections and the hair looks created by the Stephen Marr salon team are in association with my favourite haircare brand, O&M Original Mineral. M.A.C Cosmetics will also join Stephen Marr as make-up partner for The Marr Factory, and will fly M.A.C Senior Artist  - and generally all round mega babe - Amber D back from Sydney to lead the M.A.C Artists backstage.
Tickets go on sale today through and are priced at $50.00 each. All events are R18, and you’ll find The Golden Dawn at the corner of Richmond Rd and Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby, Auckland.

Love it: M.A.C's So Supreme collection for lips

Landing August 19 is the killer new So Supreme Collection from the ever wondrous M.A.C, which brings six new shades of MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick and eight shades of MAC Sheen Supreme Lipglass Tint.
Inspired by the global trend of lipgloss with tint, So Supreme sees the triumphant arrival of Sheen Supreme Lipglass Tint in popping corals, pinks, berries and nudes. It’s a lightweight formula that packs moisturising, conditioning goodness with every application, and gives gloss fans that little bit more punch and longevity than their usual faves. Quite amazingly, PH pigments in the formula work with the body’s natural temperature for fresh, custom colour, and it’s all happily housed in a clickable, pen-style brush applicator that was born handbag-friendly. Nice!
Also premiering in the collection are new, limited-edition shades of Sheen Supreme Lipstick.
The full line up is:
Sheen Supreme Lipstick:
Prêt-a-pretty -Soft Warm Pink

Gotta Dash! -Pale clean coral

Playtime -Bright coral pink

Sweet Grenadine -Bright Orange

Pleasurefruit -Bright Warm
Candy Apple -Mid-tone warm plum

Sheen Supreme Lipglass Tint:
Bubble Gum -Soft warm pink

K-Wow -Soft cool pink

Simply Wow -Mid-tone cool mauve

Heart & Seoul -Warm peach

Kiss, Kiss -Cool peach cream

Blushing Berry -Mid-tone cool red

Gwi-Yo-Mi -Mid-tone raspberry

Glorious Intent -Warm Plum

Daily delight: Elsa Hosk for Elle Sweden

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Beauty news: ModelCo and ECOYA for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Two of my absolute favourite Australasian beauty and lifestyle brands, ModelCo and ECOYA, have joined forces this year on a very special collaborative candle to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All funds raised from the Limited Edition Metro Jar candle will be donated to The National Breast Cancer Foundation in a bid to raise both awareness and funds during the month of October.
The pair has created an exclusive collaborative label representing the unison of the brands on the iconic ECOYA Metro Jar, with the wee beauties available to purchase from and with the full $29.95 being donated to Australia’s National Breast Cancer Foundation. This last fact was a major to me - as a breast cancer survivor who regularly sees brands jumping on the “pink” bandwagon with less than a fraction of the price going to fight the good fight this most definitely made me smile. And hopefully inspire more brands to do the same rather than just clipping the charity ticket!
ECOYA CEO Stephen Sinclair said of the collaboration: “ModelCo have a very strong brand presence and a similar clientele to ECOYA. Individually, both companies have supported Breast Cancer Awareness Month previously and we felt that together the brands could assist in creating further awareness and raise some much needed funds for NBCF through our networks of loyal customers.”
The handmade natural soy wax candle is fragranced in the iconic ECOYA Sweet Pea & Jasmine scent - so come September get out there and buy one! Hell, buy three!

Marvellous multitasker: Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge

Lately I’ve been hoarding a pretty cute collection of travel sized prods and stellar multitaskers for my upcoming trip to France, discovering new products and ensuring I have all of my old faves on hand if at all possible!
I wanted something I could take with me and use on my lips and cheeks that was portable and flexible, and it was important for me that they work well on the lips because you can technically use any cream blush on the lips (and I tend to do so) but some work better than others.
I certainly found that with my perfect little compact of Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Rose, which is a multi-award winner and one of the brand’s best sellers. It was named Best Cream/Gel Blusher by InStyle for 2013, Best Blush Range in Harper's Bazaar’s Beauty Hot 100 in 2012 and was an InStyle Beauty Hall of Fame Winner in 2012, and it’s already shot to the top of my list for its wearability alone.
Pot Rouges are super creamy, pigmented, and they wear for a long time. I prefer cream blushes over powders a lot of the time because they last longer and look more natural. The drawback is that they usually take more time and care to apply and blend, but after a couple of trials I had this nailed. Pot Rouges "set" so they last all day, but also retain a little dewiness that looks super natural and pretty.  On the lips they work like a very soft stain, are comfy to wear and last and last - especially with a liner underneath. If your lips are dry I would recommend a little balm first, but let it sink in well before adding your pot rouge.
As of a year ago this best-selling, multi-tasking cream colour got even better by abandoning its old packaging - pretty much a ‘pot’ - and taking up residence in a mirrored flip-top compact for on-the-spot application and perfect for travel.
So far I’ve only tried the Rose shade from this killer collection but let’s just say that I will be back for more!

Daily delight: Marloes Horst for DKNY Be Delicious

Monday, July 22, 2013

Where the facial meets Craniosacral Therapy: Elle Health & Skincare

I wrote about the marvellous Elle Health & Skincare in Mount Eden almost a year ago, after having a beautiful facial and trip into their Infrared Sauna that kept me smiling for days. I was lucky enough to finally get back through their beyond-serene doors a couple of weeks ago to experience a very special double treatment that I think is set to truly put them on the beauty map.
This treatment is where the facial meets the ultra restorative properties of craniosacral work, and it is a joy to submit to. The magician in charge is Elle’s Senior Beauty Therapist Jeanine Chell, who has worked at some of Auckland’s most well known clinics and is a former National Trainer for well-known French skincare giant, Guinot.
Through her intuitive nature and curiosity for Natural Healing Jeanine decided to further her studies and completed a two year Diploma in Craniosacral Therapy, and now she is known and loved for her “magic hands”, according to Elle’s Michelle Ackerman. The pair decided to combine facials and craniosacral therapy to showcase the best of Jeanine’s talents and also as the two modalities work so well together. By doing a facial first, the client starts to relax and it puts them into the rest and repair mode much faster (parasympathetic state), therefore making the cranial more effective, and there really is nothing else quite like it out there.
I love the fact that at Elle they aim to treat more than the temporary fix and rebalance the body from the inside (they even have a resident Naturopath), and the mix of facial and cranial was exactly what I needed that harried - and hurried - Tuesday afternoon. Products chosen for the facial option are completely customised to your needs, so I opted for an Osmosis medi facial to heal and repair my weather-sensitized skin. This was just what the doctor ordered as I felt my stress melt away under the trademark Osmosis series of hot, lightly fragranced towels, after which I experienced a once again completely customised cranial treatment. If you’ve never had it before, craniosacral therapy (CST) is a non-manipulative treatment that relieves and releases deep tensions within the body.  CST also releases restrictions around the brain and spinal cord to enhance nervous system performance and allow the body to relax and self-correct, while strengthening the body’s natural healing processes to enhance resistance to disease and overall health. It is all about deep relaxation, greater well-being and pain relief, and is a great option for the cooler months or stressful times like the lead up to Christmas when our immunity is at its weakest. You remain fully clothed and kept warm and comfortable as the therapist contacts different parts of the body with a light touch and through various holds such as; feet, pelvic, abdominal, diaphragm, shoulders, head and neck.  This hands on technique allows the therapist to monitor your body’s fluid rhythm around the central nervous system to locate areas of weak fluid flow or tissue movement.  By locating the weak areas the practitioner can trace through the body to the original source dysfunction - easy as that!
My experience at Elle was definitely a magical one - I left with glowing skin and a feeling of complete relaxation that carried on for days. To book one in of your own go here for all the details, an initial consultation and treatment (75min) will cost you $80, with repeat treatments (60-75min) $75.00 and a trio $180.00. I for one know already that I want MORE!

All about: BioBalance Organic Coconut Oil

I’ve been using coconut oil for all manner of things for a good long while now with good reason - it is an absolute wonder ingredient and an essential for every pantry, bathroom, first aid kit and more! It is often referred to as “nature’s miracle oil” and the people of Asia, Africa, South America and the Pacific have believed in its medicinal values since time began. Coconuts are full of rich vitamins, minerals and beneficial oils that we can eat as well as nourish our bodies with, inside and out, and it is definitely the unsung hero of the beauty cabinet in my humble opinion.
The latest brand I’ve been using is BioBalance Organic Coconut oil, which I have been using for everything from scrambling eggs to soothing my son’s eczema - and that’s just for starters! It is the perfect hair ‘fix’ in a jar as it enhances shine and works to preserve the hair’s natural proteins, and as it’s rich in antioxidants is makes for an amazing moisturiser. Its small molecular structure allows it to easily absorb into the skin and penetrate the connective tissues to make them strong and flexible, and its antibacterial properties make it a great choice for tending rashes in animals and children too.
BioBalance have some good tips for using their wonderful product, which include:
* Apply directly onto your scalp. Massage hair from roots to ends. Leave on for at least 30 minutes before washing. For best results, leave on for as long as you can and apply at least three times per week.
* For deeper penetration, leave on overnight (cover your head with a cap or towel, or lay a towel across your pillow). Shampoo and rinse well in the morning.
* Add to the bath! Add a few drops of coconut oil to your bath water for beautifully soft, smooth skin! This is great if you have eczema or dermatitis, which is rife in our family.
* Coconut makes for a great massage oil, the scent is warm and instantly transports you to the Tropics!
* For an instant stress reliever, try massaging just your temples with a little coconut oil.
When you’re done in the bathroom, take BioBalance Organic Coconut oil to the kitchen and get cooking - it’s perfect for frying as it is able to resist the heat-induced damage that affects other vegetable oils, and its lightly nutty flavour is seriously addictive.
Last up, BioBalance Organic Coconut oil is sourced in Sri Lanka, cold pressed and unrefined, and is not bleached, deodorised or hydrogenated - love that. You can buy it and many other goodies here.

Daily delight: Christy Turlington for Calvin Klein

Friday, July 19, 2013

Giveaway: Johnson’s celebrates Royal Baby Fever

With baby North West making her mark in the world (god help that child, seriously) and a new royal Windsor expected anytime now it’s no wonder baby fever is spreading… and shows no sign of slowing down!
I remember being a new mum and totally awash in a sea of advice on all manner of unfamiliar subjects, including what I should be doing/thinking/feeling and the like, all before Wolf was even born! One familiar name in all of this chatter however was the Johnson’s Baby brand, which was used on my chubby newborn body and the bodies of many bubs before - and after - me. A name in baby care products for more than 100 years, Johnson’s Baby has all the necessities to keep precious additions feeling and smelling delicious - while helping to nourish from head to toe - and in honour of the impending birth of the royal bub they have given me 3x Johnson’s® Baby Starter Packs to giveaway. These contain:
Johnson’s Baby Powder Pure Cornstarch & Aloe
With the aroma of magnolia petals, this powder preserves and protects baby’s soft skin by gently absorbing excess moisture - leaving skin feeling dry, fresh and smooth.
Johnson’s Baby Shampoo
The classic NO MORE TEARS formula means Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is as gentle to the eyes as pure water. This mild, tearless formula rinses quickly and easily, leaving hair smelling fresh and looking beautifully healthy and shiny.
Johnson’s Baby Lotion
With that unmistakable baby fresh scent, this lotion will be your best friend, and will help protect baby's skin from dryness. The ultra-gentle formula softens and nourishes for unbeatably smooth skin.
Johnson’s Baby Top-to-Toe Bath
Bath time is the perfect time for bonding, so bathe your newborn in pure gentleness with this ultra-mild cleanser for skin and hair. Gently massage in with a soft washcloth and enjoy the special moment together.
Johnson’s Baby Wipes Skincare Fragrance Free
Enriched with moisturising lotion, these extra mild wipes help nourish and leave a protective layer on baby’s skin to keep it feeling soft and smooth. Clinically proven mild, alcohol free, and fragrance free, these are still always in my handbag now - and Wolf is just over four!
To go in the draw email with you name and courier address and you’re in the draw! Entries close Thursday, 25 July at 5pm - hopefully that’s after the new royal has arrived!

Daily delight: Carla by Terry Richardson for Bulgari

Thursday, July 18, 2013

In love with… Lancôme's beautiful Gloss In Love

I haven’t heard much from the Lancôme camp in a while, but they have a seriously beautiful new collection landing next week in New Zealand that I’m getting rather excited about - and if you’re a lippy fan, you should be too!
Ever since it launched last year, the brand’s Rouge in Love lipstick collection has been a major hit with fans of the product type all over the world. Beautifully pigmented, long lasting and in a plethora of essential shades, it was always going to be a winner, and now the In Love universe is expanding with the arrival of a shiny, fresh new baby - Gloss In Love.
An instant handbag must-have, it combines high gloss with ultra comfort and a very clever applicator that has a side for each lip, and is set to send gloss lovers bonkers. It launches with twelve beautiful shades from nude to popping, as well as an ultra iridescent white (Just Strass) to layer on or use as an undercoat to transform any of the other shades - magic! Oh and it’s completely non-sticky - a factor that’s put me off many a gloss in the past.
Last but not least, while you’re at the Lancôme counter, take a moment or two to have a peek at the nine new saturated shades just added to the Rouge In Love collection - they are absolutely killer and on my list of Things I Really Need Right Now. Totally beautiful and in store July 22 - hurrah!

I try: a 3 day PHD Cleanse for a winter kick start

The idea of “spring cleaning” your body a couple of times a year has always been a favourite of mine, be that overhauling your diet or exercise regime, cutting back on alcohol and sugar – or a combination of the whole lot! I’ve also long been a fan of juicing, and for year would have a one day juice fast a week to keep my bod feeling good. I’ve got out of the habit over the last few years though, and although I juice up the likes of carrot, ginger and orange every afternoon, it’s been a while since I experienced a proper fast.
When I decided to take on the Dry July challenge I thought it would be a great opportunity to get a juice fast in there to help things along, but I’ve been super busy with work so the idea of juicing five or six times a day - and cleaning my juicer in between - seriously didn’t appeal. So… enter the work of local juice kings PHD Cleanse, who have created a range of easy-to-follow juice cleanse systems that use freshly cold-pressed, raw and unpasteurised ingredients, load your body with all the things that are good for you and make things about as convenient as they get!
Designed to help accelerate the body’s natural detoxification process, PHD Cleanses flood the body with essential enzymes, vitamins and minerals that eradicate and eliminate toxins. PHD Cleanse co-founders Rich Tangney and James Ehau, say, “New Zealand grows some of the freshest and most nutritious raw fruit and vegetables in the world. Unlike most other ‘detoxes’, we wanted to make the most of our amazing fresh produce. We found a way to deliver it to people’s doorsteps – in no-mess, no-fuss bottles – and leave them feeling rejuvenated, energised and altogether healthier.” I was pretty excited then to be embarking on the three-day version of PHD, and despite a worry that I would get “hangry” (hungry + angry!) at various points during the cleanse I knew that it was manageable and the end result would be all good.
The fact that Rich and James found a way to deliver PHD to people’s doorsteps – in no-mess, no-fuss bottles –gets a big tick from me too, as ‘having no time’ is one of the main excuses people give for not giving juicing a go. It’s also available as a 3-Day and 5-Day cleanse system - available in ‘Basic’ and ‘Advanced’ levels – so you can find a way to fit it into your life no matter what.
Each system consists of six bottled juices a day, with the Green Juice – combo of cucumber, celery, kale lettuce, parsley, lemon, apple, cos lettuce and spinach – as the predominant variant. The others are Silver Juice (lemon, cayenne, agave nectar, 'oxygen rich' detoxification water), Yellow Juice (pineapple, apple, mint) and White Juice, which is made up of cashew nuts, vanilla, agave nectar, cinnamon, 'oxygen rich' detoxification water.  Green juice is widely considered the world’s healthiest juice – jam-packed with green leafy vegetables – and it was my absolute favourite of the bunch. I wish I could have a pack delivered every week as I’d hoover it up, no problem!
I think it’s important to know about pre-cleanse protocol before starting a three or five-day journey as apparently the transition is easier if you observe it, such as sticking to meals that are predominantly made up of leafy veges and loads of water in the 48 hours preceding your cleanse. Having already started Dry July I was all good with the no alcohol factor, which definitely made things easier.
I found the first two days to be an absolute breeze, and as I said – I couldn’t get enough of the Green Juice! – but by day three did cheat a little and had a small salad. This was most likely in part due to the fact that the temperature dropped dramatically and I was imagining I needed something extra - who knows? After the cleanse I felt amazing though, and committed once again to good, mindful eating and keeping tabs on any cravings. Result!

Daily delight: Daria Werbowy for Isabel Marant

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Beauty news: Kate Moss opens up to Allure magazine

She’s a living icon and a cover star many times over, but rarely do we get to hear The Fashion Oracle that is Ms. Kate Moss speak - let alone share beauty and style tips and hints.
Lucky for us then that she has opened up to the equally iconic Allure magazine, with an issue covered by - and featuring a lengthy interview with - Kate appearing very shortly on the stands. They have placed a few key teasers here and there, with my favourite thus far being how to get that effortlessly cool hair:
"Even at her most glamorous, Kate has a natural ease," says hairstylist Sam McKnight. To convey a sexy, unfussy feeling, he raked a palmful of volumizing mousse from roots to ends and dried Moss's hair with a round brush, then pinned it into 12 sections. After the hair cooled, McKnight smoothed it with a Mason Pearson brush. He finished by misting a texturizing spray all over for shiny, undone bends. On her own, says Moss, "I use that Moroccanoil stuff, and then I blow-dry it upside down and brush it. Maybe I'll give it a back-comb at the top." And her one cardinal hair-care rule? "Always clean hair. That's a must. If in doubt, wash it."

Daily delight: Barbara Palvin for Cosmopolitan Hungary

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

All about: Certified Organic Cosima Skincare

I have to admit that when’s wonderful founder Jenna contacted me about Cosima Skincare I was completely unaware of it, which was a big mistake! Australia’s first Certified Organic Cosmeceutical range, it has some serious research and reviews to back it up, and I was very excited to hear that Jenna would be stocking it exclusively in New Zealand and sending me some samples to have a play with. It’s a fabulous job but someone’s gotta do it, huh?
Manufactured in Australia, Cosima Skincare is certified organic under the Organic Food Chain, and the first Australian cosmeceutical brand to hold this accreditation. By ‘cosmeceutical’ we’re talking clinically proven results, and active ingredients that go way beyond just the surface of the skin.
I was intrigued by the sound of the Cosima Flawless Range, which features what they call ‘Natural Alternatives to Botox” and has been getting some great customer and media reviews. At the moment I’m trialling the Flawless Eye Cream, which is a multi-functional eye cream with clinically proven actives targeting the signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles, loss of elasticity, firmness, tone, dark circles and vascular (vein) imperfections. It is definitely an expert de-puffer in the mornings and feels beautiful on the skin, although you have to remember not to touch it or try and move it around for a couple of minutes to allow it to really do its thing. Apparently results continue to improve the longer you use it too, so I’m going to keep at it with zero hesitation!
I’ve also fallen in love with their Firming Body Lotion in the lead up to a trip to France in less than two weeks’ time - it smells absolutely wonderful and if it can get my winter bod in more of a summer mode then I’m all for it.
The Cosima Skincare range is available online from, and I highly recommend that you check it out!  

Daily delight: Mariacarla Boscono for Giorgio Armani Fall 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

All about: Savar Essential Cleansing Lotion

I’m a big fan of New Zealand skincare company Savar, not just because their products actually work and their packaging is sleek and beautifully understated, but also because of the totally non-nonsense modus operandi behind the creation of each of their releases. They do what they say and they do it well - with minimal frippery or overblown ad campaigns.
Their latest offering - Essential Cleansing Lotion - is no different, and a brilliant multitasker to boot. For a start, it gently and effectively removes all traces of makeup - including mascara - and feels like heaven on the skin, making it perfect for dry or sensitive types. In addition, it does double-duty as an exfoliant - making it a new must-have in my travel bag. Just combine two tablespoons of instant oats (the go-to natural ingredient for gorgeously buffed skin) with two tablespoons of Essential Cleansing Lotion and you have an inexpensive, easy as gentle exfoliator. Magic!
Ingredients include premium New Zealand calendula, organic sunflower and sweet orange, and it’s 99 per cent natural and comes in a recyclable pump bottle.
This little wonder is available now at, so what are you waiting for?

Daily delight: Kate King for Harper’s Bazaar Latin America

Friday, July 12, 2013

Love it: Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids lipstick

It’s winter round these parts and in my opinion there is no better time to rock a bright lip - the punchier, the better! You can leave the rest of your face as bare as you please, and if you’re sporting a duller than usual winter outfit it is the perfect pick me up.
One of the brightest and best formulas for bright, colourful lips I’ve come across lately is Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids lipstick. I don’t know who is in charge at the global beauty giant these days, but they’re coming out with collections that look and feel fun and youthful, and the Vivids range is no exception. An eight-shade collection of insanely bright lipsticks, they are created using special patented pigments that help the colour stay true and sit on your lips for high coverage as well. Unlike many lipsticks, they’re also not drying at all - which is super-important when you’re wearing bright shades that accent any crack or feather.
Aside from the classic red (On Fire Red), I think the most wearable brights in the range are the Shocking Coral (bright coral) and Vivid Rose (a classic fuchsia). Pink Pop  is definitely for the braver amongst us, but gorgeous nonetheless!
Oh and the price? Pretty much a steal at $20.99 so no excuse not to!

All about: Radiance's magic Ageless Beauty capsules

A couple of weeks ago I was reintroduced to one of the first products I actually discovered upon starting this blog - Radiance Ageless Beauty capsules. I spent an hour with the lovely and very knowledgeable Rachel Dawson, Radiance Naturopath, who tested the likes of my skin’s lipid and hydration score (I got top marks, yay!) and got me all excited again about their star product.
I’m all for nourishing the skin from the inside as well as the outside, and these little bullets of beauty-giving goodness are an excellent way to do that, with the eventual result hopefully being as agelessly beautiful as the fabulous Ms. Lauren Hutton, above.
At the heart of the unique formulation is the pure, unadulterated goodness of New Zealand marine and agricultural offerings, blended to nourish the body from within so that our largest organ (our skin) can look its best and stay as strong as it can as we get older. Ingredients on board include New Zealand Marine Collagen Complex - Collagen is the most abundant structural protein in the body that helps give strength, resilience and form for all connective tissues - and Vinanza Skin Performance Plus, a super antioxidant duo of pure extracts of New Zealand grown kiwifruit skin and grape-seed that provides improved elasticity and more even skin tone. You’ll also find Pine Bark Extract (Enzogenol) from sustainable New Zealand forests in there, along with liver and hormone balancing schisandra, Vitamins A, E & C, plus the essential skin supporting minerals selenium, silica and zinc. A true cocktail for the skin if ever I saw one!
Like any internal supplement for the skin, with Radiance Ageless Beauty you have to be a little patient. Because the skin is constantly renewing itself, this process takes time.  For best results, it is recommended that 2-4 capsules of Ageless Beauty be taken either with or without food for at least 12-16 weeks.  After desired results have been achieved you may find that you can maintain that all-important glow with just one capsule per day.
Radiance Ageless Beauty has an RRP of $79.99 (60 capsules) and is available right now.

Daily delight: Sofia Vergara for Harper’s Bazaar US

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Beauty news: Kokomo is bringing back the ‘90s

Ponsonby salon Kokomo are celebrating almost twenty years chopping, colouring and styling locks on the iconic Auckland strip with a trip back in time - in the best way possible.
Since opening in 1994, Kokomo’s crew have seen a few changes to Ponsonby Road with neighbours coming and going, as well as a move across the road to fresh new premises in 2011. Being part of the scene for so long is no small feat in this day and age and an achievement salon owner Richelle Gott is extremely proud of with good reason.
To mark its 19th birthday in July, Kokomo is bringing back the ‘90s with iconic visuals from the era visible in salon (you absolutely have to check out the gems they have unearthed), together with vids of popular movies that symbolise the decade. Kokomo is also encouraging customers to reminisce on their ‘90s hair and redeem a cut and style at ‘90s prices - an absolute steal by today’s standards. Customers who bring in a photo of their ‘90s hair disaster pay only what they would have 19 years ago, and I’ve been assured that they definitely won’t leave with a ‘Rachel’ (see above), as iconic as that particular cut may be!
“Kokomo has always been known to have a bit of fun so we thought there would be no better way to celebrate our birthday than to bring back the ‘90s,” Gott told me when I popped by the salon for what was definitely a 2013-and-beyond blow wave yesterday with stylist Lauren. I can’t say I left with the waistline I had back in 1994, but by god I had great hair!
Kokomo is located at 51 Ponsonby Road, Auckland.  To book your new look at ‘90s prices contact the salon on (09) 378 9225.

Daily delight: Bianca Balti for ELLE France

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

All about: Snowberry Simply Delicious Moisturiser

New Zealand-based skincare company Snowberry has been on my radar for many years now, and it is one that never fails to disappoint. I met and fell in love with it when it was launched in New Zealand almost seven years ago, and to this day I stand by the statement that it one of our country’s best – and most luxurious – all natural brands. And we certainly do natural and organic well, which further illustrates just how great Snowberry is. It is still relatively boutique in its home country but in Europe - and now the USA - it is a runaway with good very reason.
They are also one of the most innovative brands on the natural block, and lately have been unveiling a flurry of beautiful new additions to their line. The latest I’ve been happily playing with is Snowberry’s Simply Delicious Moisturiser, which the company describes as “a delectable blend of Cupuacu fruit, snow-loving Lingonberry, Macadamia seed oil, and rare New Zealand forest honey (Rewarewa)” and is an absolute godsend for parched winter skin in particular due to its anti-oxidant nature and the Shea Butter that has been added to the mix.
Suitable for the face and neck, it helps to restore the natural moisture balance in dry skin; actively helps to combat reactive oxygen species to reduce inflammation and damage to the cellular matrix; and assists to maintain even skin tone. And like all Snowberry skincare, this gorgeous formula utilises potent, natural actives including:
Cupuacu - rich in polyphenols that combat free radicals, and containing phytosterols and fatty acids to protect and moisturise
New Zealand forest honey (Rewarewa) – a superb natural humectant also possessing anti-microbial activity
Lingonberry – from far northern latitudes, this very special oil is rich in Vitamins A, B and C and Omega-3 fatty acids
Macadamia seed oil – very similar to skin’s own natural oils, Macadamia is extremely regenerative and healing
Honeysuckle, rosemary, tomato and sunflower – extracts that combined with powerful Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10) work to neutralise free radicals.
New Zealand rainforest Totara tree extract – works together with anti-inflammatory Polydecene and tomato extract (Solanum Lycopersicum) to help lighten, brighten and reduce skin discoloration

You can use it alone or with one of their super active serums, and the price is a very affordable $59.00 for 50ml. If you haven’t used this brand before then I highly recommend that you do - and this little beauty is a great place to start. 

Daily delight: Julianne Moore for Reed Krakoff

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What a steal: new NIVEA In-Shower Body Lotion

Not only a steal at a crazy $9.49, NIVEA’s brand spanking new In-Shower Body Lotion is one heck of a multitasker to boot.
A simple, easy way to moisturise while you’re in the shower for those that often forget/do away with that essential pos-water step and watch their skin suffer for it, it’s a range that features two products - one for normal skin and one for very dry skin – and works in a very unique way. Definitely not a moisturising shower gel/wash, it instead has a unique formula that activates on wet skin after your regular wash with a shower gel and provides long lasting moisture to leave skin feeling hydrated and super duper smooth.
Now, to get the application exactly right, you:
WASH – Cleanse with shower gel as usual and rinse off.
APPLY – Stepping back from the shower stream apply a generous amount of NIVEA In-Shower Body Lotion and rub in - it definitely doesn’t take long to do its stuff.
RINSE – The goodness should soon be absorbed and you can rinse off.
READY– Dry off and go to it!
The best thing is that you can dress straight away, so it’s a bonus on cold mornings and busy ones alike! This product lands this September, so keep an eye on the shelves.