Monday, June 30, 2014

Love it: getting my blueberry fix frozen or fresh



I buy frozen organic berries from the marvellous OOB, defrost them in the fridge and add them to my porridge and/or smoothies every day, and it seems that I am not alone as a lover of great frozen fruit
Kiwi supermarket spend on frozen fruit has apparently risen 21.5 per cent in the last year and this winter looks like upping the ante even further as research demonstrates that some fruits are just as packed with health benefits frozen or fresh.
The hero of the bunch is my fave the blueberry, with new studies making it clear they can be safely frozen without doing damage to their status as phytonutrient superstars. Blueberries feature many delicate antioxidant nutrients, including several different anthocyanins, the pigments that give many foods shades like blue, purple, and red. Fresh or frozen these superstar nutrients continue to flourish, making frozen blueberries a winter freezer essential for baking, sauces, smoothies and more.
Blueberry anthocyanins feature complex nutrients, including malvidins, delphinidins, pelargonidins, cyanidins, and peonidins. In addition to their anthocyanins, blueberrries also contain hydroxycinnamic acids (an important source of antioxidants linked with the prevention of various diseases associated with oxidative stress, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases), hydroxybenzoic acids (helping to protect our cells against oxidative damage), and flavonols (active antioxidants that may protect your health through their ability to fight inflammation and neutralise free radicals).
These little blue balls of awesomeness also pack a powerful punch of unique, phenol-like antioxidants pterostilbene and resveratrol, which are currently generating buzz in the health and beauty industries, as well as vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, fibre and copper.
After freezing blueberries at temperatures of -17°C or lower for periods of time between 3-6 months, researchers have discovered no significant lowering of overall antioxidant capacity or anthocyanin concentrations. These findings are great news for anyone who has restricted access to fresh blueberries at certain times of the year but can find them in the freezer section of the supermarket, meaning whole body antioxidant support all year round. Hurrah!

Beauty news: Pureology celebrates its 5th birthday by giving back



I could go on all day about why Pureology is one of my favourite haircare brands, and they just keep pulling more and more amazing products - and initiatives - to grow the love even more.
I’ve been using the brand in some shape or form on my locks pretty much since the day it launched into the New Zealand market, which I just found out was an amazing five years ago. To mark the anniversary, the eco-conscious brand (which was founded in California in 2001) has decided to build on its commitment to environmental causes worldwide by announcing a new partnership with New Zealand’s Sustainable Coastlines programme.
Pureology product manager Kristin Borley says the brand and Sustainable Coastlines have a shared purpose of working to reduce human environmental impact and “preserve what matters”. “We are proud to be associated with such a great organisation,” she said, adding “it is important as we celebrate our 5th year in New Zealand that we commit to a long term cause that has benefits for the wider New Zealand community.”  
As a brand, Pureology promotes a long-term commitment to minimising its environmental impact through water conservation, waste reduction and sustainability education. Sustainable Coastlines coordinates and supports large-scale coastal clean-up events, education programmes, public awareness campaigns and riparian planting projects. The work that Sustainable Coastlines does – in both clean-ups and sustainability education – ensures our beaches and waterways are protected for the enjoyment of future generations. My five year old son’s school have been pushing the need to preserve our oceans for the wellbeing of his own generation, and if we all follow that example then the oceans of the future will be assured a special and protected place.
The partnership kicks off in July with $1 from purchases of selected Pureology Sustainable Coastlines-stickered bottles going to the charity. The donations will help to fund education events and clean-up days to keep our coastlines beautiful for future generations. This year the charity is gearing up to clear our coastlines of litter through organised coastal clean-ups and clean our waterways with nationwide planting projects. Last year, the Sustainable Coastlines team and volunteers removed 105,000 litres of rubbish from Kiwi coastlines - insane really.
SO, it goes without saying that this is an important cause for all New Zealanders, and what better way to support it than combining the initiative with giving yourself great hair?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Love it: M.A.C X Lorde feat. Pure Heroine




Landing in stores tomorrow - and destined to immediately fly out the doors - is the M.A.C collection with whimsical pop goddess Lorde, which has been a long time coming but is WELL worth the wait.
A limited-edition collaboration debuting online and in select stores, its star product is the deep, plum Pure Heroine (pictured above), the signature lipstick shade of pop’s coolest ingénue. She started off as a fan of the original M.A.C cult matte Heroine, but this new version - named after Lorde’s debut album - is a beautifully creamy, Amplified formula that goes on like a charm and lasts the distance. It is super flattering to wear due to its creamy as opposed to matte consistency, with the hint of shine keeping things soft and sultry as opposed to the edgier-side-of-edgy.
M.A.C’s legendary Penultimate RapidBlack eyeliner in true black completes the picture, and the pair is all you need - apart from great skin - to rock an amazing day or evening look. Love it.

Daily delight: Langley Fox Hemingway for Bazaar China



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Beauty news: Supermodel Adriana Lima rejoins Team Maybelline New York


Maybelline New York has just announced that Brazilian supermodel - and social media superstar - Adriana Lima is returning to the brand.  She was a global spokesperson from 2003 to 2009, and in her career has graced the covers of the Italian, Turkish, Spanish and Brazilian editions of Vogue, American and Spanish editions of V Magazine, American, Spanish and Brazilian editions of Harper’s Bazaar, and American Elle among others.  She has worked with the likes of esteemed photographers such as Steven Meisel, Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Peter Lindbergh, Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, and Mario Testino, and reportedly has the largest social media footprint of any fashion model online.
“It’s wonderful to be a part of the Maybelline New York brand again,” said the foxy mother of two. “I am proud to say I am a Maybelline girl, and I look forward to the work we will do together. The imagery is always beautiful and positive which is what I admire most about the brand. To be a part of that again is a dream come true.”
Adriana will make her Maybelline New York return in print and television advertising campaigns this summer and I can’t wait to see the results.
   

All about: Jack & Olive Retreats’ Fiji's Hidden Paradise Escape



If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen my feed flooded a few months ago with the most heavenly images of Queenstown and Glenorchy - think chocolate box perfect landscapes, incredible sunsets, healthy fare and mucho exercise. The reason was a week spent in the loving embrace of the amazing Claire Robbie and Luke Sniewski (above) of Jack & Olive Retreats, and it all took place in breathtaking Queenstown.
I was lucky enough to be a participant in the week-long getaway, which included everything from Power Vinyasa yoga classes to early morning metabolic fitness sessions, kayaking, hiking, restorative work and the tools for transforming your life. Incredible food and fine wine were also a factor, and our home base at the luxurious property known as The Rees apartments meant that once you’d hiked, down dog’ed and press upped your way to exhaustion you had a front row view of glassy Lake Wakatipu to read a magazine or fall asleep to. Our group was kept small-but-perfectly-formed as per Claire and Luke’s general modus operandi, and there is already a follow up with yoga and fun in the sun on its way this November in Fiji.
Located in what Claire calls “Fiji’s best kept secret”, Savusavu is a lush and beautiful paradise on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s other big island.  Located either a plane ride or overnight ferry from the mainland, Savusavu is off the sunset strip of commercial vacationland and the perfect spot for a little restoration and relaxation. Its beaches are fringed with coral reefs, for incredible snorkelling and with so many places to explore around the island it’s the perfect location for a Jack & Olive retreat, South Pacific edition.
The retreat combines the magic of Fiji with yoga, wellness and fitness. You’ll stay at the vintage and boutique-style resort of Daku, located on a one hundred year old coconut plantation, a short distance from the main town of Savusavu and overlooking its beautiful bay. The day will start with power yoga or a fitness class in the hilltop yoga shala over looking turquoise waters, then it’s up to you how you fill in your time - exploring nearby beaches, hiking in the forest, fishing, snorkelling or scuba diving… or just reading a book. Before dinner there are relaxation yoga or restorative classes to get you ready for your traditional Fijian meal. Nutrition seminars, yoga and meditation workshops are on each evening’s itinerary too.
Pricing starts at USD$2,895 per person, depending on room type, either Ocean View Bure or Family Ocean View Bure, and includes:
Seven night stay at Daku Resort, rooms are twin shared unless otherwise specified
Fijian welcome lunch
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at Daku resort.
Morning classes - either metabolic workout with Luke or power vinyasa yoga class with Claire
Evening classes  - either restorative muscle self-care classes with Luke or yin yoga class with Claire
Evening activities: Lifestyle Transformation Workshops
Forest hiking excursion
Tapa cloth demonstration
Visit to Vuadomo waterfall
Fijian village visit
Beach excursion day
Transfers to and from Savusavu airstrip

You can also add on the likes of deep tissue massage, private yoga clases, scuba diving and whatnot for an additional cosy.
Sound like a bit of you? For more information on flights to Savusavu from Australia, New Zealand and Los Angeles email the wonderful claire@jackandoliveretreats.com.

Daily delight: Georgia May Jagger for Thierry Mugler “Angel”


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

All about: The Dressing Room's Bespoke Wedding Open Day



An unabashedly feminine haven where things are definitely ladies-only, Lucy & The Powder Room  and the adjoining Dressing Room at The Department Store in Takapuna  make for the perfect destination in the lead up to - and on - your big day, or any celebration for that matter. It’s where you can be coached onto the road to the healthiest version of you, refining, rehydrating and reconditioning hair, skin and nails whilst being pampered as only The Powder Room knows how.
If you’re celebrating or prepping before a special occasion as a group, Lucy & The Powder Room’s iconic Girls Parties - catering for groups between three and fifteen - are the ideal wind-down and ramp-up on the beauty and indulgence front. They can be booked for anytime on Tuesdays to Saturdays, and services on offer include the Powder Room’s stellar manicures and pedicures, mini facials to get your skin glowing and the signature ‘Runway Touch Up’ - a basic hair up, lips, eyes and nails to get the party started right. Soho wine, artisan teas and top notch, fair trade coffee are all complimentary, or you can add on catering for $30.00 per person to enjoy the likes of Pink Gin cocktails and mouth-watering sweet treat from Little & Friday. 
You can also check in with the Powder Room’s skincare gurus to make sure that you have a beauty plan in place in the lead up to your big day, from nutritionals, hair, skin and makeup tips to the top products to add to your arsenal to look your absolute best.  You can schedule in everything from a facial regime to spray tan practice runs as well as explore hair options like extensions, keratin treatments and protein and moisture-boosting infusions.
Beneath every beautiful outfit is the perfect lingerie, and The Dressing Room is where you’ll find an impeccable edit of international and local designers’ interpretation of exactly that. On the racks you’ll find everyone from Lonely lingerie to Stella McCartney and Ingrid Starnes, as well as favourites like Miss Crabb and Kate Sylvester. You can choose from edgy, bold colours in rich satins or the softest muted tones of delicate lace, pieces that are for show or just shown a little. Find your perfect piece for your style and dedicated occasion.
They are also stockists of cult bridalwear and accessories label Bo & Luca - dresses and headwear for the ultimate free spirit. Each of their collections is designed through a creative process without rules, their unique design aesthetic inspired by a love of travel and shaped by people and cultures from around the world. Totally feminine and completely unlike anything else available in New Zealand, the Dressing Room have a rack of their designs ready to be played with and enjoyed, then tailored to meet your needs.
But anyway... if you want to check out all of the above at an event specifically devoted to all things wedding, pop into their in-house Bespoke Wedding Open Day, happening this Sunday between 10am and 4pm. Expect much gorgeousness, gems from Love + Object to coo over, free makeup touch ups and even a goodie bag to take away... just beautiful.

Daily delight: Gisele Bundchen for Isabel Marant Fall 2014


Monday, June 23, 2014

I try: Goldwell’s Kerasilk Keratin Treatment



I first tried a Keratin “smoothing” treatment on my hair years ago, when they first hit the salons in New Zealand as an alternative to chemical hair straightening. The early versions often had rather varying results, and when it was revealed that they too could potentially contain all manner of ‘nasties’ they soon went out of favour apart from with diehard fans. Since I first wrote about the process of infusing the hair with Keratin to give it a super shiny, just-out-of-the-salon look every day, it seems that literally thousands of practitioners have popped up. With seemingly every man and his colourist giving Keratin treatments a bash, some have been of dubious efficacy, effectively tarnishing the good name of the real thing
A few great alternatives started showing up not long after, but they required putting in some serious salon time, a factor that the time-poor amongst us weren’t always that keen on. I soon found out after one treatment that my time in the salon is only half the treatment's processing time, too. You weren’t able to get your hair wet or let any moisture into it for 72 hours as it could effect the ongoing process of the keratin “attaching itself” to your hair. This means no getting caught in the rain, washing your hair or gym workouts. Once the 72 hours are up you are free to wash and style your now spectacular hair however you desire though, and for many, the initial inconvenience was well worth it.
Anyway, fast-forward to 2014 and you have Goldwell’s Kerasilk Keratin Treatment on offer, which takes half the time (or more) of the original offerings and has the ability to last up to five months! You also leave with washed and blow dried hair, and are free to hit the spin class immediately if you are that way inclined. For many women I know, countless products are used in the time consuming process of blow drying, straightening and smoothing their locks post-wash and yet, the desired result stays unreachable. Despite spending substantial amounts of time, money and effort, long-lasting smooth, soft hair remains but a dream.
Goldwell’s Kerasilk is the first customizable, long-lasting Keratin Treatment Service too, as its two-component system means that it can be perfectly adjusted to every client’s hair and lifestyle needs. Regardless of whether your hair is frizzy and unmanageable or very curly, damaged and wavy, Kerasilk will get the perfect level of smoothness for you.
So how does it work then? The Goldwell KeraShape Technology, which includes glyoxylic acid and smoothing ingredients such as keratin and silk proteins, penetrates into the hair where it creates new keratin bonds and stabilises the new hair shape for up to five months. Kerasilk Keratin Treatment is also 100 per cent formaldehyde free (bonus!), with no emissions or offensive odours (double bonus!), meaning you won’t be reaching for the smelling salts while it processes. Due to the unique formulation, colour can also be applied at the time of the service too, cutting down your in-salon time even more. It’s not affected by sulfates - including salt water - either, so you can go forth and swim or use your favourite shampoo without worrying about it altering the end result.
When I went into Goldwell’s training space to have one myself I was amazing at how quick the whole process was, despite the fact that it was rather involved. My hair was washed, product applied, blow waved and ironed, and then after processing I had a good old wash and a wonderful dry all over again. The end result was silky smooth hair that has been an absolute joy to wash and wear, and the shine factor has been out of this world. Perfect hair everyday? Yup, it can be yours!

Daily delight: Camille Rowe for Madame Figaro



Friday, June 20, 2014

I try: an Evo Fabuloso Pro Temptress Shine Treatment



What seems like eons ago (but was probably only a month or two) I was given an invitation to pop into Pitt Street, Auckland salon Vada to try an Evo Fabuloso Pro colour boosting hair treatment. I dithered and dithered, finally booking in a week ago when my colour was most in dire need of a ‘boost’, and wondered immediately why it had taken me so long!
An absolutely amazing experience all round, it took my dull, desperately in need of a colour locks and totally transformed them - and the whole experience is totally about customisation.
Last year, Evo launched Evo Fabuloso, a range of seven colour-intensifying conditioners that make beautiful, rich hair colour as easy as a trip to the shower and a few minutes reading a mag. The off-the-shelf conditioners deepen browns, de-brass blondes and reinvigorate reds, extend the life of salon colours, and make hair softer, shinier and “more fabulous in general”. Now, they’ve taken things to the next level, with Evo Fabuloso Pro.
The potentially three-stage system – which can include an in-salon colour treatment; an in-salon shine treatment; and a customised take-home conditioner – lets you create your ideal semi-permanent hair colour with your stylist, seal it in and repair hair with the Evo Temptress Shine Treatment, and maintain it magnificently at home with a conditioner mixed by your stylist to exactly match your salon colour.
There are eight mixable shades of peroxide- and ammonia-free semi-permanent colour to play with, and you can create the ideal Evo Fabuloso Pro Colour for your hair – a blazing copper, a beige New York blonde, a delicate lilac… the possibilities are endless. The treatment is applied and is ready to rinse out within 15 minutes tops; no sitting around for hours… and it conditions while it colours.
Next, the Evo Fabuloso Pro Temptress Shine Treatment - which I had -  seals the deal with a deep nourishing treatment that helps lock on the colour, increase shine and repair hair. Finally, you go home with your own individual, one-of-a-kind Evo Fabuloso Pro Customised Conditioner, which is mixed to match your colour and hair type. This lets you give yourself a genuine colour refresh once a week, and the shine factor is through the roof.
So get in there - and don’t wait as long as I did, seriously!

Daily delight: Christy Turlington for Elle US


Thursday, June 19, 2014

All about: Bras n Things Curvessence 3D bra



After being diagnosed with - and successfully treated for - breast cancer almost two years ago, I have been on a constant search for truly great, underwire-free bras. Seriously, they are hide to find - that perfect mix of good looking, comfy and supportive of my girls? Harder than you think!
I still wear underwires for short periods of time and can’t give up some of my favourites, but one that meets all of the criteria above is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Lonely lingerie do some superb versions (all of which I own) and one I have just heard about and am gagging to try is Bras n Things’ Curvessence 3D bra.
Reportedly “the world’s first 3D bra”, it has been created with engineered nylon ribs that act as a replacement to the underwires.  The ground breaking and completely wire free innovation has been engineered in partnership with industry expert Kay Cohen, who I met many times years ago and is an absolute legend with over twenty years experience in lingerie design. ‘’Some 50 years ago the underwire bra was introduced to women’s apparel,” said Kay. “An innovation of its time, modern technology has now passed it by. I decided there was a need to create a truly comfortable, supportive and feminine bra to replace the archaic underwire bra and Curvessence is the realisation of this vision.”
And where does the 3D bit come in? ‘’By capturing thousands of 3D body scans, Curvessence studied and learned from the shapes of real women’s bodies and used these findings as the basis of creating this industry first invention,’’ said Natalie Lenton, General Manager of Product at BNT. ‘’Not since the invention of the underwire has the lingerie industry witnessed such a revolutionary breakthrough in design.”
Amazing huh? The Curvessence™ collection is exclusive to Bras n Things and will be available in push-up and contour styles and in a range of colours and sizes from 10A to 16DD, with an RRP of $69.99.  

Daily delight: Miranda Kerr for The Edit



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I try: Te Awanga Estate 2011 Syrah & Merlot


Nothing says warm winter nights in our house better than a truly exceptional Pinot Noir, usually teamed with and equally wonderful meal and a soft, cosy rug. It is my favourite wine variant by far, and I’m super fussy about my favourite tipples so when a winner comes my way I am fast a loyal fan.
It takes a lot to turn me onto another style of red, but I have to say that just a few sips of the Te Awanga Estate 2011 Syrah and I was hooked. What a juicy, warm, lovely drop indeed, with white pepper and thyme aromas that lead into a palate that is full and rounded. Plum, cassis and smoky flavours give way to the attractive savoury character so often seen in good Syrah, and this one was opened, sipped, shared and much loved.
I was also lucky enough to try the Te Awanga Estate 2011 Merlot, once again a wine variant that I wouldn’t opt for first time but absolutely loved. This one has ten year cellaring potential but lasted all of an evening with a couple of friends at mine, a riot of currant, cassis and spice characters and a full palate rounding the whole shebang out.
Sorry Pinot Noir to have gone behind your back, but I’m so glad that I did…

Daily delight: Milla Jovovich for Marella Fall 2014


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I try: a PRP treatment at The Face Place MedSpa


It’s been all over the glossy magazines of late with celebrity endorsements to boot, and it was only a matter of time before I buckled and gave it a go - Platelet-Rich Plasma  - AKA PRP - is most definitely having a ‘moment’ right now! It’s something that Dr. Catherine Stone from The Face Place in Britomart and her team are exceptionally excited about, and they have been trialling the treatment in their clinics for some time now with some great results.
So what is PRP? Essentially, it’s a treatment that uses your body's own tissue repair systems to genuinely achieve skin rejuvenation at the cellular level. Completely safe, it uses your own platelets and plasma to signal that repair is needed at the site injected. These significant advances in regeneration research were presented at an international medical conference in Venice earlier this year and immediately had the appearance world buzzing.
PRP can be a stand-alone treatment for the likes of scar reduction, hair loss and skin texture improvement - especially around the eyes, neck and décolletage, areas that have been traditionally more difficult to treat. Those looking to take things up another level can use it in combination with other cosmetic treatments like dermal needling and dermal fillers to improve their results. I decided that my under eyes were where I needed it most, so I bowled up one rainy Friday to give it a go.
A treatment starts with a nurse - in my case the lovely Summer - taking a small sample of your blood - similar to a blood test - that is then centrifuged in a special tube that separates out the blood cells. Your own platelets and plasma are then injected back into the body - in my case under my eyes - and the platelets release growth factors that are part of the natural signals to your body that it needs to repair that area. Because your own blood is used there is no risk of allergic reaction, transmission of infection or rejection of the product - a huge bonus.
The process took around an hour and was completely painless due to a local anaesthetic cream being applied to my under eyes well in advance. This was the only part that felt a little weird for me as my eyes went more than a little numb, but it was all for the best! Immediately after the treatment I could see and feel swelling from the injected fluid, which went down gradually over the next 24 hours.  By Sunday my peepers looked totally normal, and felt it too.
Within one week of treatment neocollagenesis (the creation of new collagen in the skin) kicked in and within 3 weeks neovascularisation of the treated area will start to give it a more vibrant glow. Results often start to be seen at 3-6 weeks and continue to slowly improve for about 3-6 months apparently, and I’m still in the early days. There is a cumulative effect with repeated treatments too, and 3-4 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart is said to give the best results for skin.
Once tissue has been regenerated and remodelled, that benefit may even be permanent (although everyone is different), making this a serious contender for hottest new treatment on the block.
If this sounds like a bit of you, give The Face Place a call on 0800 COSMED - it’s pretty impressive stuff!

Daily delight: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Violet Grey



Monday, June 16, 2014

All about: Lifestream's Ginger Syrup super tonic


I’ve long been aware of the benefits of including ginger in one way, shape or form in my diet, and it’s an absolute essential at this time of the year or whenever immunity is dropping and you need an extra boost to get you through a hard time.
As well as being a strong antioxidant, it contains two natural antibiotics and is antimicrobial, working internally and topically as an antiseptic. It also contains anti-inflammatory agents and helps eliminate congestion, as well as nailing cold viruses and combating the chills and fever right when you need it most - all round amazing stuff!
If you don’t have access to the fresh stuff or need a solution fast, Lifestream’s Ginger Syrup is one of my new discoveries and one that I reckon will be invaluable as the temperature drops. Essentially a gentle, warming and soothing digestive and circulatory tonic, it promotes faster relief from the discomfort of coughs and colds by warming the body, increasing circulation and enhancing absorption of nutrients into the blood stream. A delicious, high-powered blend of ginger, manuka honey and apple cider vinegar, it is an ideal tonic to drink when feeling cold, tired and sluggish and tastes as good as it sounds.
To use mix a dessertspoon of Lifestream Ginger Syrup into a cup of hot water to make a soothing and tasty ‘hot toddy’ - I add a little fresh lemon or lime juice for taste and extra Vitamin C, and thus far I am officially addicted!
To find out where to pick up a bottle near you, head to www.lifestream.co.nz

Thursday, June 12, 2014

All about: THE BODY Elle Macpherson Intimates



One of the first lingerie ranges I ever truly fell in love with - and bought by the bucketload - was Elle Macpherson Intimates, and I still regularly slip into pieces by the same brand on a more than regular basis. Their collections have always had some absolute standout stars, and some of my long term favourites have shown up in the brand new THE BODY Elle Macpherson Intimates range, an innovative and uniquely merchandised collection of intimate apparel.  
Created and designed by the inimitable - and always inspiring - Elle Macpherson, the collection is made up of four key silhouettes that draw inspiration from much loved (and not just by me) Elle Macpherson Intimates collection, which is right now celebrating 25 years in the business of beautiful lingerie. For a brand to have lingered that long you know it is doing something right, and in the case of EMI, it’s doing a LOT right.
Says Elle of the new collection, “I created THE BODY Elle Macpherson Intimates because I believe that a strong silhouette is the foundation of a great body shape, both under clothing and undressed. I wanted to address everyday bras at accessible pricing with unique and easy to find merchandising in a crowded market." Let me just say that it’s bloody gorgeous, and made up of the following four distinct silhouettes designed to suit needs and body shape:
- THE BODY BOOST is an ultra-sexy maximum lift and plunge and is ideal for those looking for a sexier silhouette.
- THE BODY FIT is a sporty, sexy demi-cut bra featuring a customised lift for your shape and size. 
- THE BODY NATURAL collection is unlined for a natural lift for when you want nothing between you and your bra.
- THE BODY SMOOTH moulds to the body for a smooth fit and is lightly lined for a subtle lift for when you want your bra to be smooth and invisible.

It’s all pretty desirable really, and in store right now at Bendon Lingerie stores and Farmers department stores nationwide. Get in there and get in there FAST.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Giveaway: three sets of Antipodes Anti-Ageing Minis



“Nature’s nurture by night, beautiful skin by day”
I fell in love with the Antipodes skincare brand from the moment I met founder and creator Elizabeth Barbalich back in 2006, when the Wellington-based brand was still in its infancy. With a background in pure science, she's a firm believer in the importance of scientifically validating her organic beauty products so that they don’t just feel delicious and are kind on your system and the planet - they actually work. Like, really work!
But on to the latest big news for the brand, which sees the release of several of their best products as minis - travel and tester friendly and good to go. The most recent pair to debut is the Anti-Ageing Mini duo, which aims to help more women discover the brand’s outstanding skin enhancing benefits.
Containing an estimated two weeks’ supply, the Anti-Ageing Minis are the perfect antecedent to their full size versions and the ideal travel companions. Antipodes devotees can slip these convenient mini sizes into their luggage and even their carry on, whilst those keen to sample their efficacy can do so without taking any major skincare purchase chances.
The first in the duo is the Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenish Serum (10ml), which is a vegetarian-approved powerhouse of anti-ageing goodies in a wee glass bottle. It’s an intensive oil-based night serum that showcases a trio of Himalayan goji berry, red raspberry seed and blackcurrant oil – all rich natural sources of essential fats (gamma-linolenic acid or GLA), which restore life and hydrate the skin.
Completing the set is a 15ml tube of the New Zealand skincare brand’s award-winning Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream, which has long been a favourite of mine. Hero ingredients include Vinanza Grape - a potent antioxidant extract from New Zealand’s Marlborough sauvignon blanc grape seeds - and world famous manuka honey Active 20+. It has been scientifically shown to stimulate optimal synthesis of type I collagen production in human fibroblast skin cells by up to an impressive 92 per cent - pretty impressive stuff.
Anyway! I have three sets of the above to give away to three lucky people, just email helene@mshelene.com with your name and postal address by this Friday, June 13 at 5pm and you’re in the draw.

Daily delight: Natalia Vodianova for Guerlain beauty


Monday, June 9, 2014

All about: the new Dermalogica AGE Smart Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50


One of Dermalogica’s best selling and most loved, medium weight moisturisers, AGE Smart Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50 has recently had a makeover - it seems that one of the best CAN actually get better!
The new version of Dermalogica’s peptide-powered moisturiser will be available from June 16 2014, complete with increased sun protection and skin-calming benefits that make it an option for even more skin types.
The new formula upgrade accelerates the medium-weight moisturiser product’s SPF from 30 to 50, which has been made possible thanks to the brand’s very clever, ‘Oleosome’ technology. Oleosomes are naturally occurring spheres of emollient oils and Vitamin E found in Safflower seeds that are used to deliver active ingredients such as sunscreens directly to the skin surface, where they release them over time to ensure maximum skin benefits. Oleosome technology also prevents unwanted oiliness or chalkiness in the product, meaning that it’s a sunscreen-packed formula that you will actually use every day as opposed to leave in the bathroom cabinet for trips to the beach. It also uses 50 per cent less chemical sunscreen agents due to Dermalogica’s encapsulation formulation process, and has the added bonus of Liquorice extract, a calming agent, working hard to reduce the risk of irritation that can come with chemical sunscreens.
And if that isn’t enough to get you excited, it also reduces hyperpigmentation and contains a patented polypeptide which helps to stimulate collagen synthesis along with its trademark combination of Hyaluronic Acid and Algae Extracts for long lasting hydration. Oh, and it also has a skin smoothing complex to stimulate natural exfoliation - amazing.
Landing this time next week, Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50 has an RRP of $114 for 50ml.

Daily delight: new Kate Moss for Kerastase


Sunday, June 8, 2014

All about: Britomart’s VIP Winter Shopping Spree



One of my hands down favourite beauty destinations in Auckland city is the Britomart district, where I’m in heaven perusing the likes of Bobbi Brown, M.A.C and Jo Malone. I’ve been also known to drop a little dosh in the precinct’s boutiques from time to time, and I’m a regular at several of the dangerous dining spots in the area to boot. Mexico, Hanoi, Ostro… bring it on!
So I was pretty excited to hear that on Wednesday, 18 June from 4-7.30pm they would be holding a VIP Winter Shopping Spree event, which sounds like one hell of a great evening out. During that time many of Britomart’s 30-plus fashion, beauty and specialty boutiques will be offering in-store deals and events, with plenty of treats and giveaways and lots of little luxuries to keep you smiling.
On the music front there will be tunes from Britomart FM’s best DJs in the Atrium from 3.30-7.30pm, and a “Post-Spree Soirée” happening at Ostro’s scenic City Terrace Bar from 7pm, with complimentary champagne and canapés. Entry is via an invite to be collected from any of Britomart’s stores between 4-7.30pm on the day, and the first 100 people to arrive at Ostro will be treated to a goodie bag - bonus! Also, all guests at the Ostro soirée will be invited to enter to win a
prize made up of:
A year’s supply of hair product
A $100 Karen Walker voucher
A signed copy of the FOUREYES street style book
A $100 Nike Britomart voucher
Two BoConcept ceramic candlesticks
A stash of Cadbury and Green & Black’s chocolate
 A box of Joiy aromatic sparkling wine
A case of Otakiri water
 A MOR pamper pack
A voucher from The Personal Concierge Company
 Jewellery by Love and Object

If all of that isn’t enough to get you there here is another sweetener: there will also be complimentary parking for shoppers at Britomart Valet between 4-10pm so that you can park with ease before hitting the stores. Simply drop your car off at Britomart Valet – at the Britomart Place entrance to Britomart Car Park – from 4pm onwards and tell staff that you’re parking for the VIP Winter Shopping Spree. You’ll then need to collect a voucher (which will double as your Ostro invite) from one of Britomart’s stores, which will entitle you to free valet till 10pm. Take your voucher to Car Park Reception when you’re ready to collect your car – et voilà! Free valet.
So what are you waiting for? Get that date in the diary ASAP!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

All about: Clinique’s Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush



Just days ago, Clinique unveiled a key new addition to its skincare portfolio the Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush. It’s not often that you hear beauty editors gasp when a product is revealed but gasp they did - before jaws hit the floor.
Described as a “skin-changer” by the highly respected brand, the new brush has been designed to work in tandem with Clinique’s best-selling 3-Step cleanse/exfoliate/moisturise system.
The Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush was developed in partnership with dermatologists from the Orentreich Medical Group – which helped to develop the brand’s original 3-Step system – and a leading Swiss toothbrush manufacturer, well versed in the field of sonic technology. The result, claims Clinique, is a gentle yet effective cleansing innovation that will transform skin and leave it better prepped and primed for subsequent treatment products. To say I want one would be putting it mildly - this is a veritable MUST HAVE.
The oval-shaped, angled brush head incorporates two strengths of rounded bristles: the green brushes are stiffer, shorter and denser, for cleansing the T-Zone, whilst the white brushes are softer and less dense, for the more delicate cheek area.
Each brush contains around 35,000 fibres, with domed tips, to gently dislodge dirt from skin without any scratching. The device delivers around 10,000 sonic movements per 60 seconds, loosening stubborn dirt and oil more effectively than hand washing. An integral timer automatically turns the brush off after 30 seconds. The brush fibres have also been mixed with silver, which acts as an anti-microbial, and it’s recommended that you replace the brush head every three months.
Lastly, it has a super light, compact, portable design, complete with an ergonomic handle that allows the brush to lay flat to dry. A single charge ensures a three-hour battery life, making it a brilliant travel companion if ever I saw one.
I’ve been a little shy of using many of the cleansing brushes on the market due to my sensitivity issues but this baby is most definitely different - it is so gentle it can be used on the petals of a flower with zero damage, for instance. I’m totally excited about trying one as soon as they land, which will be on September 1, 2014. Oh, and the Clinique Sonic Cleansing System Purifying Brush will have an RRP of $165.00 - much cheaper than many of the quality competitors - and $31.00 for a replacement brush head. 

Daily delight: Charlize Theron for Esquire UK


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

In love: Lonely’s AW14 Hirschy collection




One of the best pick-me-ups I’ve found when you’re having a rough time of it - or a treat at any time of the day, to be honest - is new lingerie, and Lonely make amongst the most unique and covetable on the block.
I have been a fan since their first collection (some of which is still in my lingerie draw, albeit looking a little worn after much use!) and their newest for AW14, titled Hirschy, is packed with a beautiful gaggle of new must haves and essential pieces that will take you through the season and out the other side into the summer months.
It includes my favourite elements like Lonely’s signature lace, alluring straps that are too pretty to cover and totally unique cutout details, rendered in a beautifully offbeat colour palette that is pure Lonely. It’s also made up of both lingerie and loungewear of the sort that you’ll never want to leave home!
Dusty rose, deep ink, rich teal and mulberry shades are the palette of the season, along with classic black and essential nude. Their lingerie is always too beautiful to hide, and I love the idea of pops of colour peeking out elegantly from “beneath a cutaway tank and pairing with boyfriend jeans, to layering seamlessly under diaphanous garments”, as they suggest.
Vintage-spirited lace is at the heart of the Hirschy collection, including the Sabel styles in delicate Chantilly-like floral, the sheer wavy lines of the Bonnie sets, the soft-touch, densely-woven Cyd pieces and the bewitching spider-web like lace of the Blair styles. Offset with gossamer panels, contrast straps and velvet touches, this covetable collection is quite seriously to die for.
They also have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into providing styles for more than just the smaller breasted amongst us, with the addition of sizes 32E, 34DD and 36D to the range that now caters for 30A-E, 32A-E, 34A-DD and 36A-C in both soft-cup and underwire styles. This came about largely due to demand from their customers, some of whom can be seen photographed in the label’s Lonely Girls Project celebrating their size, shape and sass.
Last but by no means least, this season’s Lonely loungewear features luxe basics and original prints that are their loveliest yet, plus soft silk-knit separates that are most definitely finding their way into my closet ASAP. Just beautiful and totally essential!

Daily delight: Lily Allen for S Moda


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

All about: Schwarzkopf Essence ULTÎME and Schwarzkopf Blonde ULTÎME



It’s not unheard of for big beauty companies to align themselves with iconic supermodels, but rarely do they two ever properly meet. The former is usually involved in the likes of R&D, branding and marketing, whilst the latter shows up, smiles and leaves. Bang - a fresh new campaign!
So with that in mind it is pretty damn impressive that two new hair cosmetics brands have been exclusively developed with beauty icon Claudia Schiffer: Schwarzkopf Essence ULTÎME and Schwarzkopf Blonde ULTÎME. They work together to “combine the insider know-how of one of the world’s most famous and successful models with the hair expertise of Schwarzkopf”, and the result is a pretty damn fine product line up, and a bit of a steal (most products are around $14.99) at that.
“I’ve always wanted to design and create hair cosmetics products and Schwarzkopf has given me the opportunity to finally develop my own signature hair line,” said the relatively reclusive of late Schiffer, who has been in the modelling business for more than 25 years and knows exactly what kind of aggressions hair is exposed to when it comes to washing, drying, styling and styling again. The genuinely collaborative affair has created Schwarzkopf Essence ULTÎME; a haircare range for incredibly strong and amazingly shiny hair.  Each high performance formula contains the ULTÎME-4-Complex, a combination of pearl essence, panthenol, refined protein and keratin. This extra creamy consistency surrounds each hair strand enveloping and nourishing all dimensions of the hair structure: repairing the hair in the cells and restoring the natural elasticity. Hair surface is refilled and the protective lipid film is rebuilt, meaning serious strength and killer shine. To complement the ranges, Schwarzkopf and Schiffer created a signature fragrance consisting of 135 carefully selected ingredients including white musk, sandalwood and vanilla. Yum!
Elements I love include the BB Beauty Balm and an Intensive Mask, as well as the Diamond Color with Diamond Gloss Serum and UV filter to protect coloured hair against fading.
Last up, Schwarzkopf Blonde ULTÎME is a collection of beautiful, high performing blonde colours including Claudia’s own personal shade (10-1 Cool Light Blond). The formulas include pearl essence to make hair super soft with multi-faceted shine.