Friday, January 31, 2014

Daily delight: Julia Stegner and Lou Doillon for Chloe SS14


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Love it: LIAM x Watercolours for A/W 2014



One of the most eye-catchingcooler season ranges I have seen lately is by LIAM, and the gorgeous image above - of Chelsea Jade Metcalf of Watercolours - epitomises the collection’s dark, ultra modern take on beauty.
For Autumn/Winter 2014, Liam designer Emily Miller-Sharma explored “the juxtaposition of two elements and how one influences our perception of the other”. Called ‘Perception’, it was triggered by images of a three-storey curtain that runs down two full sides of a Shigeru Ban house in Tokyo, where the fluidity of the curtain intensifies the way one perceives the inflexibility of the remaining structure.
 Alongside the development of therange, the lovely Emily worked with Liam muse Chelsea Jade Metcalf of Watercolours to create a series of garments for her musical endeavours. Elements from this collaboration are incorporated into the range creating a clean and modern take on a winter wardrobe.
Inspired? Well the Liam Autumn 2014 collection is set to arrive at all RUBY stores this Friday 31st of January - that’s tomorrow! - and to celebrate its arrival, Watercolours will perform at RUBY High St this Friday at 1.00pm. Get in there!

Daily delight: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Harper's Bazaar UK


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Recipe love: Nadia Lim’s Avocado, Pumpkin and Haloumi Quinoa Salad



If you follow my Twitter or Instagram profile, chances are that you know I’m bonkers for avocados. Years ago when there was a “shortage” in New Zealand I was travelling to Los Angeles and on arrival went straight to a market, bought three, made guacamole and scoffed the lot. True story.
I love what they do for the skin and general overall health, and just found out that another benefit of the little treats has been unearthed in a recent study. Apparently, as well as being bloody delicious and one of the most nutritionally complete foods in the world, new international research published in the Nutrition Journal shows that people who regularly eat them weigh 3.4 kilograms less on average and have waistlines around four centimetres smaller, than those who don’t. Avocado consumers also have significantly lower BMIs than non-consumers; significantly higher intakes of important nutrients (such as fibre, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and vitamin K), plus more good fats and a lower intake of added sugars.
Which brings me around to food, and this yum recipe by chef Nadia Lim that helps you get your avocado fix along with a bunch of others. It serves around four with a prep time of 20-25 minutes and a cook time of around the same, and is a feast for the tastebuds…

Roast pumpkin
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon runny honey
500g peeled pumpkin, cut into 2-3cm chunks

Quinoa salad
1 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
Flesh of 2 firm ripe avocadoes, sliced
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup seedless grapes, halved
6-8 medjool dates, stone removed, chopped
Handful of baby rocket or spinach leaves
¾ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley 

To serve
200-250g haloumi cheese, sliced 0.5cm thick
2 grilled chicken breasts (optional), sliced

Dressing
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon liquid honey
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Toss pumpkin with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey in prepared tray. Roast until slightly caramelised, 20-25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. Combine quinoa and stock/water (with a pinch of salt) in a medium-size pot and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce to lowest heat to cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to steam, still covered, for 10 minutes.

3. Fluff up quinoa grains with a fork and toss with roast pumpkin and remaining quinoa salad ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Heat a drizzle of oil in a fry pan on medium heat and cook haloumi slices for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown, and melted on the inside. Mix all dressing ingredients together and toss with quinoa salad.

To serve, divide quinoa salad between bowls and top with slices of cooked haloumi and grilled chicken breast if using. 

Love it: Dermalogica PreCleanse Wipes


I have long been a fan of Dermalogica’s very user friendly PreCleanse, especially when I’ve had a night of it in heavy-ish makeup and just want to get clean fast. A plant based cleansing oil that gently liquefies sebum (oil) and other oil-based debris from the skin’s surface, it is designed to give you a professional clean each night before your usual regime, and a very gentle one at that.
Research by The International Dermal Institute has revealed that women typically spend approximately only three seconds washing their faces, even at the end of the day. In light of the development of long wearing, high performance sunscreens and 24-hour cosmetics, this means that most women unknowingly leave goopy product residue on their skin. This residue may cause acneic outbreaks, the formation of milia (tiny inclusions, which feel like grains of sand beneath the epidermis), and other long-term skin issues. This means if you want clear skin them double cleansing at night is a must, and PreCleanse is a winner in my books.
I’m a huge fan of cleansing oils to keep skin’s natural ph in balance in general, and have used a fair few in my time. PreCleanse goes a step further than most though, as by adding water, the product and any other oil-based debris is readily rinsed away without leaving behind any greasy residue. Magic!
So I was pretty damn excited to hear that the PreCleanse in liquid form is now available in packs of convenient biodegradable wipes, making cleansing your skin while travelling or on-the-go even easier. The new PreCleanse Wipes contain Aloe and Apricot Kernel Oil that attract sebum and instantly dissolve even the most stubborn mascara, waterproof lip stains and sunscreens. The formula, which also contains Apple Amino Acids, gently loosens surface debris, such as industrial pollutants. By melting away these deposits on the skin, cleansers and other products may then work more effectively. 
The product also smoothes, calms, and nourishes skin and in terms of being an extra step, is about as low maintenance as it gets. A few wipes over before your usual cleansing routine and boom - a great base for receiving the rest of your regime.
PreCleanse Wipes come in a handy travel pouch containing 20 pre-moistened towelettes with an RRP of $27.50 and are available now.

Daily delight: Kate Moss for Alexander McQueen S/S 2014


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

All about: the My Food Bag My Summer BBQ Bag




Last year I seriously fell in love with the My Food Bag service, which was a concept new to New Zealand at the time and a total winner.
It was the work of MasterChef 2011 winner Nadia Lim, who joined forces with 2012 Businesswoman of the Year Cecilia Robinson and New Zealand business powerhouse Theresa Gattung to create a gourmet home delivery service with the plan to “revolutionise the way we cook and eat at home”. It’s is a weekly service delivering meal kits comprising quality, free range ingredients, together with nutritious seasonal recipes designed by Nadia with healthy eating and good taste in mind. It offers a Classic bag for families or households of four to five people for five meals that are kiwi favourites with a twist, whilst the Gourmet bag is for couples and contains ingredients for four meals using gourmet produce and products.
I totally fell in love with the food and the whole concept. We cook healthy, fresh food as household anyway, but often get stuck in a bit of rut and rotate the same collection of favourites on a weekly basis. We also waste a hell of a lot of food when bags of greens and whatnot aren’t consumed as quickly as a bigger family, which hits my conscience as readily as it hits my pocket! My Food Bag addressed both of those scenarios from the get go, with bags of each and every ingredient we’d be needing (bar some kitchen staples) arriving fresh on a Sunday night in perfect quantities.
And the recipes - oh the recipes! They were insanely easily followed and healthy to boot, with a real emphasis on fresh flavours and a great balance of protein to carbs and the like.
But anyway, I was intrigued when I heard that My Food Bag was now offering a very handy add-on in the form of the My Summer BBQ Bag ($89.99 and worth every cent).
Each My Summer BBQ Bag has quality BBQ meat options and two vege dishes which could include everything from gourmet salads to modernised old favourites with that special Nadia Lim flair.  It feeds up to five people for two nights – or you could invite some friends around for dinner and be pretty much sorted.
I tried a bag and there was certainly plenty to go around! Options included a perfect beef sirloin with chunky herb vinaigrette (10 minutes’ tops to create), Middle Eastern-style chicken kebabs, premium pork sausages and amazing salad options that included Grilled Baby Carrot with Honey and Mint salad - a new favourite that I am definitely repeating! Everything arrived with full instructions and cooking times, and despite the fact that one ingredient was missed out (Chermoula, which arrived the next day and immediately put to good use!) we had more than enough delicious dishes to chow down on.
If you want to order one for your next barbie - and I highly recommend that you do - head to www.myfoodbag.co.nz.

How to: Lorde’s killer Grammy’s look by MAC Senior Artist Amber Dreadon



M.A.C Senior Artist  - and all round seriously lovely, wildly talented woman - Amber Dreadon has been working with homegrown music phenomenon Lorde for a while now, and has helped define her signature makeup look that has been copied around the world.
Amber flew to Los Angeles last week to meet up with the singer and create more brilliance for her performance at the 56th Grammy Awards, where the Auckland teenager also won two gongs and a million of her peers’ hearts. Amber said the inspiration for her look on the night was “to keep the look fresh and radiant. Modern, a bit boyish and darkly cool with a lip focus”, and it was a joy to behold.
The key M.A.C products she used were a mix of Strobe Liquid and Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Pink for the perfect starting point, followed by Mineralize Moisture Foundation and Pearl Cream Colour Base. For eyes she used Groundwork Pro Longwear Paint Pot and - everyone’s favourite - Blacktrack Fluidline, then that famous Lorde lip was Heroine Lipstick mixed with Cyber Lipstick, atop a perfectly applied Vino Lip Pencil. Call it Modern Goth if you will, but I prefer just bloody gorgeous.
Photo by Jason LaVeris, courtesy of Getty Images

Daily delight: Karmen Pedaru for Isabel Marant Etoile


Friday, January 24, 2014

Giveaway: a Radiance immunity pack of seven must haves


It feels like the summer has barely started but already I’m keeping immunity in mind, with the next few months bringing a mix of social activity, allergy alerts and the lead up to Autumn all in one! It’s the perfect time to start focusing on building your immunity and repairing any damage done over the silly season, and health gurus Radiance have a bunch of supplement on offer to help boost your efforts through the roof.
First up they have a selection of probiotics, which are - in my opinion - an absolute essential. Whilst many of you out there reach for a probiotic to address nasties like bloating and cramping and others like me take them for eczema, having a healthy gut could be more important to our general wellbeing than it’s ever been given credit for. Science has of late recognised that the gut and the beneficial bacteria that inhabit it play a critical role in immune function. In fact, about 80 per cent of immune function starts in the gut, so there has never been a better time to increase your friendly bacteria than right now.
Supplementing a half decent diet with a probiotic can have an amazing effect, and I have a Radiance “complete health insurance pack” to giveaway that contains the former and loads more.
This is all you need to ensure a healthy digestive system and help to keep creepy colds at bay as we move into winter. The specific blend of minerals and vitamins contained in these marvellous products are designed to promote healthy flora in your intestine and support a super strong immune system.
The packs contains Nutralize Peach Flavour and Nutralize Maple Flavour, Pro-B Immune 30, Pro-B Digest 60, Pro-B Antibiotic Support 14, Pro-B Regularity Sticks and Medi Jubes Immunity, which are 100 per cent vegetarian and contain no artificial sweeteners, colours, flavours or added sugar.
To enter email helene@mshelene.com with you name and physical address before 5pm, Friday, January 31 and you’re in the draw!

Daily delight: Daria Werbowy for Balenciaga


Thursday, January 23, 2014

All about: totally transformative Osmosis Facial Infusions



One of my absolute favourite skin saviours is a regular Osmosis Facial Infusion - which along with their killer at home regime has totally transformed my skin. And without the usual trauma associated with marked anti-ageing solutions. The Osmosis Facial Infusion has been called a “revolutionary facial treatment” by both professional therapist and the press, and it will most definitely have you rethinking the peel and its place in your skin’s life. 
Vitamin A is the best anti-aging ingredient currently known for the skin, and the US brand has become renowned for harnessing the properties of the most active, least irritating form: Retinaldehyde. The Osmosis Facial Infusion has 2.0 per cent Retinaldehyde present (the highest amount available anywhere in the world) and is the only non-acid peel that will infuse the dermis with fibroblast stimulators, immune boosters, antioxidants, pigment lighteners, and calming anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredients. It rejuvenates the skin by increasing collagen production, fighting free radical damage, scavenging scar tissue and helping reduce hyperpigmentation, whilst your natural cellular turnover is also gradually increased - amazing. Skin thickens and becomes stronger and healthier - as opposed to thinning - with age, and the intense collagen and elastin stimulation that it delivers into your skin continues for a full 30 days... That means just one infusion per month results in some very impressive cumulative results! They are also tailored to your skin's particular concerns at any given time, so no treatment is ever the same.
I started having these after a month on Osmosis products - and after a thorough once over by my therapist - and each and every time I have one my skin literally sings. Add to that serious glow and little side effects bar - occasionally - a little flaking, and I have sworn off the likes of microdermabrasion, peels and lasers for life. That is a serious call huh? And all true. 
My favourite Osmosis-friendly beauty destinations in Auckland are Lucy & The Powder Room Takapuna and Elle Health & Beauty in Mount Eden, and you can check www.osmosisskin.co.nz for more.

Daily delight: Julia Stegner and Lou Doillon for Chloe SS14



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Love it: Sebastian mini travel companions



I love travel-sized versions of my favourite beauty prods so much that I actually collect the little beggars - and always have a bunch on hand whenever I hit the road or board a plane. To say that this drops the weight of my luggage dramatically would be an understatement, meaning more room for essentials like shoes, magazines and clothes-I-will-possibly-never-wear!
But anyhow, the latest minis that I have added to my collection are by Sebastian, and have been released to celebrate the launch of Sebastian Professional’s new Urban Explorer collection. The brand already had some great mini versions of their best sellers on offer, but this adds another nine to the lineup and prepares you for any eventuality. The range now includes:
Sebastian Professional Hydre Shampoo and Conditioner: both enriched with soy proteins and aloe vera, this duo will create softness even in dry, chemically treated hair – magic!
Sebastian Professional Penetraitt Shampoo and Conditioner: perfect for summer, this duo’s active rescue formula of protein and moisture serves to deeply penetrate the hair shaft, fortifying it against damage and transforming dull, dry cuticles into kick ass soft locks.
Sebastian Professional Volupt Shampoo, Conditioner and Spray: using cushion particle technology to create added volume and increased thickness, this trio will have your locks volumised - and smooth to touch.
Sebastian Professional Mousse Forte: for lift, movement and volume. The addition of heat activators work to maximise shine, while in-built UV protection, creates de-frizzed curls and waves for super light style support. Don’t leave home without it!
Sebastian Professional Whipped Creme: a beautiful creme mousse that includes conditioning ingredients, and adds definition and movement.
So there you go… don’t leave home without them!

Daily delight: Victoria Beckham for Vanity Fair Italia


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Giveaway: a Moochi x Redken 2014 diary


New year, new diary! And how cute is this little beauty, which is out now to celebrate Redken and Moochi’s new working relationship and creative collaboration for the next twelve months.
Redken is officially Moochi’s preferred hair partner for 2014 and will work on all Moochi photo shoots, shows and in-store events, whilst this super slick diary is available at all participating Redken stores nationwide and is complimentary with the purchase of any two Redken product (while stocks last).
I have been loving Moochi’s work of the late (their stores are seriously dangerous) and this diary sums up their unique style perfectly. 
Lucky for you I have a Moochi x Redken 2014 Diary to give away - and it is a stunner! All you have to do is email helene@mshelene.com with your name and physical address and you’re in to win… entries close Monday, January 27 at 5pm x

Daily delight: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Autograph


Monday, January 20, 2014

All about: The Nimue fight against redness and pigmentation


All year round the skin is at war with redness and pigmentation, and even those skin types that seem normal for months on end can fall victim to environmental aggressors at any time. It’s a huge concern for pretty much every woman over 25 that I know, and with global warming and increasingly stressful lives it can only get worse… apologies for the bad news, but there are some amazing brands out there offering killer solutions, NIMUE being one of them.
The key to addressing both issues is to soothe, repair and strengthen over time, and NIMUE has developed several high performance solutions suiting all skin types. Their approach is to prevent excess melanin production by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase. This begins by protecting the skin from harmful elements such as UV-radiation, then controlling and reducing damage caused by free radicals. Last but not least, it works to maintain an environment that promotes overall skin health.
NIMUE Day Fader is a daily use moisturiser that includes a pigment-regulating formula to aid with both fading of the skin and free-radical protection. Its complementary night moisturizer is Night Fader, which has the same pigment-regulating ingredients along with essential anti-ageing and hydration properties. For more extreme cases, Night Fader Plus is also available - a multi-active night preparation to treat advanced stages of hyperpigmentation, in addition to delivering anti-ageing and hydration properties. 
When it comes to redness and inflammation, Reduct Derma Balm is the brand’s anti-redness treatment for delicate skin that has been affected by erythema, couperose, rosacea or telangiectasia. Applied sparingly to cleansed skin it works to reduce the appearance of skin redness and soothes, as well as preventing damage to the skin structure and restoring its invaluable hydrolipid film. Magic!
They also have specialty products that address both problems at once in the form of Melano Fade Mask (above), an active treatment mask for hyperpigmented and environmentally damaged skin that has skin brightening and moisturising properties, and Maintenance Complex, a multi-performing skin rejuvenation booster treatment packed with active ingredients that deliver a multitude of benefits for all skin types.
Too easy - when you know how!

Daily delight: retro beach beauty Kate Moss


Friday, January 17, 2014

Hair how to: Kate Beckinsale at the Golden Globe Awards, by Sascha Breuer



If there is one thing that English rose Kate Beckinsale is know for, it’s seriously great hair. So long! So lush! So… perfect. It’s hair that could easily be over-worked on the red carpet though, so seeing what Celebrity Stylist, Sascha Breuer did with Beckinsale’s hair using Moroccanoil products at this week’s 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards was like a breath of fresh air.
Breuer said the overall Inspiration was “her wholesome English rose good looks… Kate can get away with quite a bit of edginess in her hairstyle, so we went with a punk-inspired diva look that’s a bit different from her usual soft flowing waves.”
To recreate the style at home:
1. Start by using Moroccanoil Volumizing Mouse directly on to the roots of damp hair. The mousse will help add body and hold and it’s a great way to set the style in. It’ll also make hair more pliable and easier to work with. 
2. Begin blow drying the hair using a skeleton brush, and then use your fingers to create texture and additional volume. Once the hair is fully dry, separate into a horseshoe shaped section (the part between both temples and your crown area) and clip the top section away.
3. Pull the bottom section into a low, side ponytail at the nape of the neck and secure with an elastic. Then coil and wrap the tail into a messy bun.  You can even tug a few strands out to create naturally falling bits and to loosen the bun. Secure hair with bobby pins.
4. Take the hair from the top section and backcomb the roots using Moroccanoil Ionic Ceramic Round Brush to maximize the volume at the crown and create a slightly disheveled texture.
5. Secure the top section into the existing, loose bun with bobby pins.
6. Last up, mist the hair with Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Medium to add shine and long-lasting flexible hold. Spray a little product onto fingertips and work it into the single strands to help define the pieces. Secure the final look with a few more pins and you’re good to go! 

Daily delight: Karmen Pedaru and Simon Nessman for Michael Kors


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Beauty news: M.A.C Viva Glam Rihanna - the Q&A



Yesterday I raved about the new M.A.C Viva Glam Rihanna lipstick and lipglass release arriving soon, and here’s a little more to get you excited… a chat with the lady herself about the whys and wherefores of her involvement.

1. Why did you decide to work with M·A·C and VIVA GLAM?
I’ve always been drawn to M·A·C because it isn’t a judgmental brand and I relate to that because I don’t consider myself judgmental. We both love having fun and we’re not ashamed of that.
We’re not afraid to talk about sex and we want to encourage young people to be safe. HIV/AIDS is something that can be avoided. I think people just have to be aware of that. Nobody is protected from it. There’s not any religion or any culture or any race or any generation that cannot get AIDS or HIV. We all have to take responsibility for ourselves and get tested to know our status, and spread the word.

2. Why HIV/AIDS? And why are you focusing on young people?
HIV/AIDS has been a big epidemic for my generation-- it’s been around for as long as I’ve been alive. Nearly half of the new people infected are 24 years old and under, and most of them are females. As a young female I think it’s important that young people know there’s nothing wrong with having fun, nobody is telling us to be square or be boring, but we have to be safe. Young people, we have this thing about us, this invincibility, because we’re young and we’re growing up and we want to have fun, and we want to be crazy, and nothing’s wrong with that unless you’re not being responsible. It’s important for us to open our eyes and take control of our health and our bodies.
I wanted to lend my voice to create something that would truly make a difference. With M·A·C VIVA GLAM, every penny of the cost of the lipstick goes to the M·A·C AIDS Fund, which directly goes to people who are affected by HIV and AIDS around the world. To-date the M·A·C AIDS Fund has raised more than $315 million USD…that’s a lot of lipsticks.

3. How do you suggest people start educating themselves, especially in those countries that don’t speak much about HIV/AIDS?
I think that one of the biggest ways to increase awareness right now on any topic of course is via social media, word of mouth, getting into the communities and really speaking to people. But it starts with you. It starts with your personal status, it starts with your efforts and what are you doing to protect yourself, and what are you doing to protect others, even if you are infected. We all have to readjust our thinking. It’s hard to imagine, but we cant think of HIV/AIDS as being somebody else’s story. It could be any of ours.

4. You started out working with M·A·C as its first ever Creative Partner and created several collections. Did you know then that you were going to be the next VIVA GLAM spokesperson?
After the success of the RiRi Woo and really the reactions to all my lipsticks, we started talking about doing VIVA GLAM. It made so much sense. We thought, if these lipsticks were so successful, imagine how much we could help people with HIV and AIDS. The stars were certainly aligned.

5. How is VIVA GLAM Rihanna different from RiRi Woo?
RiRi Woo was the very first product I created in my partnership with M·A·C - it’s a true matte red. Since my fans really loved it, and I know that women love red lips right now, I knew I wanted create do something in that red tone and just upgrade it a bit. So for VIVA GLAM Rihanna, I added a little bit of frost, so the texture is more shiny- not as matte as RiRi Woo. And because 100 percent of the sales price goes to the M·A·C AIDS Fund, it was very important that this lipstick could work on many different complexions. At M·A·C we like to say, buy a lipstick, save a life.

6. Why is lipstick your favorite makeup product?
To me makeup is a major accessory. It can change an outfit, it can make the outfit, it can be the outfit, and that’s why I like to play with it. Lipstick can glam up a whole look-- especially in red 

Daily delight: Linda and Christy for Vogue UK May 1990


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Love it: the RUBY Pre-Fall 2014 campaign featuring Kelsey (Clyne)



Shot by Mara Sommer Photography, stylist Amelia Holmes, makeup by Angelica Boquiron for MAC Cosmetics and hair by Kath Gould at 62 Models...

Beauty news: M.A.C Viva Glam Rihanna is (almost) here!



Long before it was de rigueur to do so, global make up giant M.A.C were heavily involved in the fight against AIDS, through the sale of their Viva Glam lipsticks and other less high profile support like staff collections and helping out at various HIV/AIDS-related organisations. To say that the brand has made one hell of a difference for those living with HIV and AIDS would be an understatement - they are awesome and totally committed.
The VIVA GLAM campaign is the heart and soul of M.A.C’s fundraising efforts for the cause, and has also spawned a collection of seriously fabulous lipsticks and glosses to boot. The latest celebrity face - and sizzlingly hot bod - to put their name to a Viva Glam duo of lipstick and lipgloss is Rihanna, who has been working with the brand for a while and epitomises its free spirit and rebellious modus operandi.
Viva Glam Rihanna Lipstick is a frosty blue-red (frost) and Viva Glam Rihanna Lipglass is also a frosty blue-red tone, but in the form of a high shine, lacquer-like gloss. SO hot and available in New Zealand on January 31, 2014 at all M·A·C locations. Get in quick!

Daily delight: Daria Werbowy for Balenciaga


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Love it: Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupte



Towards the end of last year I was lucky enough to be given a sneak preview of some of Yves Saint Laurent beauty’s new lineup for 2014, which got me all excited about makeup all over again - the fresh offerings were THAT good. There were no samples to take away to play with at that point- which for an impatient madam like me was excruciating, ha! - but at last one of the first has arrived and definitely doesn’t disappoint!
The one I have finally got my hands on to have a play with is Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupte, which takes a glossy finish and comfort to a whole new level. I’m also not usually a gloss fan due to the precarious application and stickiness factor, but this draws a big bold line through both and has definitely won me over. Referred to as “an invitation to kiss”, it’s a first light weight non-sticky lipgloss that barely feels like it’s on but looks a million bucks.
“Bouche a Bouche” is the name of its revolutionary, lip-shaped 3-D applicator, which envelops the lips when you apply and covers them from every angle. It makes application as precise as it gets, and even the mini reservoir included in its core provides the perfect amount of gloss so there is zero wastage.
It’s available in New Zealand from February 17 in 12 shades and with three types of shine: Gold, Iridescent or Pure. The first is infused with the warmth of gold flecks, the second pearlescent, and the third is totally laquer-like with just sheer, pure colour making a statement. Gorgeous!

Daily delight: Kate Upton for V magazine


Monday, January 13, 2014

Love it: Verité Spa Organics Jojoba & Olive Cleansing Balm


A few months ago I was introduced to the New Zealand beauty brand Verité Spa Organics, and not long after that I fell pretty much in love with a slew of their products - almost at first sight!
Created by aromatherapist Janin Dei-Conti, the Verité Spa Organics collection is a well-edited range of products that are expertly hand blended in New Zealand in small batches in order to “maintain their potency and effectiveness”. Only the highest grade certified organic, wild crafted organic and natural ingredients are used in their production processes, and their violet glass bottles not only look absolutely gorgeous but have a practical function too. By choosing dark violet miron glass bottles, the precious plant essences are preserved for longer - and they recycle beautifully once you’re finished. Also, according to research, violet is the colour that shows the vibration frequency of 720 – 770 billion Hertz, which matches the vibration frequency of a human’s central nervous system. “I have chosen this particular glass to preserve not only the products better, but to enhance and preserve the delicate vibrational energy of the organic plant essences within so they continue to work at optimum performance on the skin until the last drop,” says Janin.
The products are all free of toxic preservatives (but they do use ecocert approved preservatives to prevent unseen bacteria growing), synthetic fragrances, colourants, parabens, SLS, pthalates, oxylates, mineral oils and petrolatum in any of their products. Oh, and they work a treat!
The latest offering that I have fallen head over heels for is their Jojoba & Olive Cleansing Balm, which is a beautifully buttery balm packed with the goodness of skin cleansing oils Jojoba, Olive, Lemon and Eucalyptus to cleanse the skin of impurities and remove make up. It is a favoutite for me in the morning as it smells and feels amazing as well as a rather decadent way to start the day, and daily use will help to balance, oily and dry skin. It is also wonderfully multitasking- it can be used to remove eye makeup, as a masque and as a shaving balm too apparently, although I am yet to test the latter! To use it, I warm a pea-sized amount of the slick balm all over my face and neck and gently massage into the skin for 2-5minutes before removing with a warm washcloth. Heavenly.
Pure luxury and composed of 99 per cent organic ingredients too - love this stuff. You can find out more about Verité Spa Organics here.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Beauty news: new ECOYA limited edition fragrances are (almost) here!



When Antipodean home fragrance and bodycare stars ECOYA launch a limited edition fragrance, you know it’s going to be good (great, even). Many have gone on to be so popular that they have entered the permanent collection whilst others sell out the minute they hit the shelves. To put it mildly, these guys hit the beauty bullseye, every time.
The latest two to land this February are perfect for the trans-seasonal months, and come in the form of Violet, Fig & Cassis and Sweet Apricot & Orange Blossom. Both are created by world-renowned Master Perfumer and Nose of ECOYA, Isaac Sinclair, and reflect his incredible attention to both detail and creating scents that are totally unique.
Violet, Fig & Cassis is the warmer, more intense of the two, with a riot of green notes of violet leaves combined with ripe Mediterranean fig and cassis coupled with a heart of cedarwood and Egyptian musk. Isaac said, “in creating the unique composition of Violet, Fig & Cassis, I looked to the intense green notes of Violet leaves to bring refreshing tones to the sweetness of the nectar-filled Mediterranean fig and the darkness of the cassis berries. The composition's heart was developed around cedarwood and the richness of Egyptian musk”. To say it makes a statement would be putting it mildly, and I fell in love with it at first sniff over breakfast at Mollie’s Boutique Hotel, where the launch of the two was held prior to Christmas.
Sweet Apricot & Orange Blossom is the second option, and one that has most definitely grown on me and now could be my pick for favourite - fickle as I am! It has notes of “nectar -filled apricots and passionfruits entwined with the heady aroma of orange blossoms and freesia, complemented by white musk and vanilla”, and is sweet and beautiful. Sinclair was reportedly inspired by a walk through a Brazilian citrus grove when he created the scent, and it is as evocative as it gets.
Both are soy wax and poured into ECOYA’s Madison Jar sealed with a silver lid, and have a burn time of up to eighty hours.
They are available in store February with an RRP of $49.95 and I recommend you get in quick - these will be solid gold hits!

Daily delight: Penelope Cruz for Loewe


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Love it: new Shiseido Lacquer Rouge shades



Originally launched back in 2012, the Shiseido Lacquer Rouge lipstick collection was a fresh new approach to lips for the legendary brand and it paid off. Big time! It has been a huge hit ever since and I am a long term fan, but thought I’d give it a little love online as they are set to launch five beautiful new shades to add the already eight-strong collection.
It can best be described as a ‘rich’ liquid lipstick that really does leave lips as smooth as lacquer.
Inspired by traditional Japanese lacquerware (which I also love), all you need is one coat of this luxurious, slick formula to get intense colour that seriously lasts. The applicator fits super close against the lips for a totally even application that does not bleed from what I can tell, and it also contains Super Hydro-Wrap Vitalizing DE - a Shiseido exclusive moisture-boosting ingredient. This means that although it is long lasting, Lacquer Rouge improves dry, rough, or peeling lips with continued use, leaving them smooth and pillowy soft… major bonus.
The new shades hit March, 2014, but if you head to your nearest Shiseido counter now you can have a play with the already strong collection and learn to love it as much as I do.

Daily delight: Jourdan Dunn for Aldo


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Love it: L'Oréal Paris False Lash Butterfly Wings



During the summer months makeup is best kept to a minimum in my humble opinion, especially when you’re dealing with major humidity and regular dips in and out of the sea or the pool.
You can still look as polished as all heck however, with judicious use of the likes of bronzer, tinted moisturiser/BB cream, a little nude lip and some serious lash.
The mascara formula that I’ve been loving having a play with over the last few weeks is L'Oréal Paris’ brand new False Lash Butterfly Wings mascara, which has a super innovative ‘butterfly wing’ brush design that is one of the most unusual I have seen. The slightly asymmetrical design makes it way easier to grab each and every lash, all of which are immediately lifted for some serious sass.
The handle design takes a little getting used to but the application is really easy. Once the brush is pulled out of the tube, it is loaded with enough product to use as one full coat on your lashes. Personally, I like to use the smaller bristles first to coat my lashes and then the special butterfly side as a finishing effect, and I do love to load on a mascara when the rest of my face is bare. It has great staying power and even the hold of the curl was great, even after a whole day’s wear. It’s also available in Black or Waterproof Black, making it ideal for poolside wear, how glam-tastic is that?

Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for La Perla



Monday, January 6, 2014

Love it: Sodashi's truly magical Crystalus Body Oil



I have been a huge fan of Sodashi’s beautiful body oils since the moment I discovered the perfectly natural skin and body brand many years ago. Everything that founder and key formulator Megan Larsen creates is immediately added to the list of my most-favourite-things-ever, and her latest release - Crystalus Body Oil - is on there… IN CAPS.
It is aimed to help us all “tap into the magic of Australian Bush Essentials Oils”, and is packed with the likes of sweetly lemony Fragrant Honey Myrtle - which clears the mind, and relieves stress and tension - and Fragonia to calm the body, and relieve emotional blockage (it’s also a wonder when used to treat jetlag, just the citrusy scent enough is a wonderful wake up call).
An essential oil is the ‘life force’ of a plant - a pure plant extract, if you will - and essential oils are 70 times more powerful than the plant from which they come. This makes them super potent and effective, and the aforementioned two are blended with super-softening plant oils like Sweet Almond Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil in Crystalus for one very perfect mix. It has been my go to when it’s time to address dried out summer skin, and I am imagining will be perfect during winter too for the same soothing properties.
I think it’s perfect to use at night to relieve deep physical tension and quieten the mind and body, and is best applied to slightly damp skin following shower or bath. It’s also ideal for body massage as it “assists the release of deep muscle tension and relaxes the mind”, so if you’re lucky enough to have a handy masseuse or two available then pass a bottle to them ASAP as well!
You can buy this beauty online or check for stockists at www.sodashi.com