Thursday, July 31, 2014

Daily delight: Laetitia Casta for Madame Figaro

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Love it: Elizabeth Arden’s new Summer Escape Limited Edition Colour Collection 2014

With some of the cutest packaging on the block, Elizabeth Arden’s new Summer Escape Limited Edition Colour Collection 2014 most definitely had me at “hello, sailor!”
Reportedly inspired by “the alluring colours of the ocean”, the Summer Escape collection is nautical but nice and filled with sandy neutrals and vivid maritime hues that will work whatever your style. Actually, the beautiful periwinkle blue nail lacquer will work for every style in my humble opinion, but let’s get onto my faves from the rest…
The Pure Finish Summer Escape Bronzing Powder is definitely a favourite of mine, and will definitely be coming with me when I travel to Bali later this month. It’s a baked mineral bronzing powder with a unique marbled design that instantly brightens skin and soft focus microspheres to blur fine lines, and comes in the cutest navy blue, nautical printed compact complete with a deluxe-sized kabuki bronzing brush. Almost too gorgeous to keep in your handbag, really! There is also a Pure Finish Cool Radiance Highlighter that adds a rosy pearlescent glow to eyes, cheeks and lips and can be used pretty much anywhere you want to add a little je ne sais quoi.
For eyes you can choose from the hues of Pure Finish Cream Eye Shadow, each of which is highly pigmented and long lasting so perfect for days at the beach or nights at the bar. There is also a Beautiful Color Define and Highlight Eyeliner Duo, a dual-ended pencil that features a deep shade to line the upper lash line with intense colour, and a light complementary shade to illuminate the lower lash line - definitely travel-friendly and high performance to boot. Just add the Beautiful Color Lash Enhancing Mascara in a limited edition Ocean Blue 03 (a rich pearlised blue) for a little extra pop and you’re good to go!
Elizabeth Arden Summer Escape Color Collection 2014 will be available at all Elizabeth Arden stockists from 1 August 2014, so make sure you head in and check it out. Summer is most definitely just around the corner!

Daily delight: Miranda Kerr for Harper’s Bazaar China

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I try: Dermaplaning at FaceWorks, Albany

Dr. Teresa Cattin - who I’d heard about for years before meeting her, and always in rather glowing terms – is in my opinion New Zealand’s best cosmetic physician, and a top-notch woman to boot. A Medical Practitioner (MSc, MBBCh, FRNZCGP, FNZCAM) and a member of the Appearance Medicine Society of Australasia, she is also the owner of FaceWorks Clinic in Albany, Auckland, and creator of the stellar skincare range of the same name.
As well as being president of the New Zealand College of Appearance Medicine, Teresa is a national trainer in Botox Cosmetic and Juvéderm, training other doctors in New Zealand and Australia. Needless to say, she is a clearly a woman who knows who stuff when it comes to skin, needles and anti-ageing, and regularly travels to the likes of India and Paris to share her incredible wealth of knowledge.
Teresa has said that “there is no doubt that the results of any treatment that you chose to have, be it Botox or a Juvéderm will be greatly improved if the skin is healthy and well cared for”, and around 14 years ago she developed the FaceWorks range of skincare products with that in mind. Her clinic also offers non-invasive skin treatments that work together with injectables and good skincare to deliver great skin all day, every day. One of her latest offerings is dermaplaning, a treatment that I have to admit I’d heard little about but was gagging to try after a little research.
Have you heard of dermaplaning? More and more peeps have been asking me about it, so here’s the deal. It’s actually not terribly new. It was quietly introduced in the '90s, and is a technique that exfoliates the skin and removes the ‘peach fuzz’ hair on your face.
During a facial, a professional uses a tool that kind of looks like a scalpel or envelop opener and gently glides the blade along your skin to remove layers of dead cells. If you think about how a waiter at a fancy restaurant uses a tool to scrape the bread crumbs off the tablecloth, that’s kind of like dermaplaning. It doesn’t hurt at all, and the visible results are instant. After a session with Kim at Teresa’s clinic my skin really feels as soft as a baby’s, and most definitely does look brighter now that old the old layers are gone. It didn’t hurt a bit - bonus - and the only discomfort post-treatment for me was a little skin redness and tightness straight afterwards, bit of which were gone in a couple of hours.
It is perfect for those who have a lot of peach fuzz that they want to address, is ideal a couple of days before a bit event (the glow factor was through the roof) or as a regular treatment every 4-6 weeks in the same vein as a facial. It has made makeup application an absolute breeze for me - as in way less base used and blending virtually unnecessary, my skin is that smooth.
I’ll be interested to see how things play out over the next week as the hair begins to creep back, but feel confident after doing my research that the experience will only be a positive one! If you’re keen to try this nifty treatment or meet Teresa yourself, head to the FaceWorks website for contact details and to find out more.

Daily delight: Liu Wen for La Perla

Monday, July 28, 2014

Travel essential: Sávar’s Luxury Traveller Set

I’m off to Bali for a getaway in just under a month, and as well as securing an appointment at the incredible new Spring Spa over there I’ve begun curating a set of travel-sized beauty essentials to take on board.
The first in my arsenal is New Zealand skincare company Sávar’s Luxury Traveller Set. As well as being gorgeous enough to get declared gift-worthy, the set is full of beautifully crafted formulas that are deliciously scented and packed with skin-benefiting anti-aging botanical extracts and oils.
Available in three different combinations: normal/dry, combination/oily and all skin types, each pack contains 5 x 30ml individually formulated premium products which vary depending upon your skin type. From the brand’s soap free 100 per cent biodegradable Energising Body Wash that can also be used as a natural shampoo, to their premium natural moisturisers, the variation in each traveller set means you are definitely well covered.
GMP certified, Sávar’s premium natural skincare products work for both men and women’s skins and are suitable for all skin types including sensitive. They are packed with good stuff like New Zealand blackcurrant oil, organic bilberry, marshmallow extract, organic fig, lime flower, lemon balm and organic goji berries, and smell like pure heaven. Bonus!
The Savar Luxury Traveller Sets retail at $89.00 for 5 premium travel size products, are made in New Zealand and come in recyclable packaging. They are available at, leading pharmacies, department stores and beauty therapists and are most definitely an in flight and on holiday essential.

Daily delight: Claudia, Nadja, Stephanie, Linda and Naomi for Vogue Nippon

Friday, July 25, 2014

Love It: Lancôme French Idole Fall Look 2014

Very French, rebellious and oh so chic, Lancôme’s absolutely killer French Idole Fall Look 2014 is inspired by the beauty and style of an urban Parisian woman - and it is sheer perfection.
The beauty equivalent of the perfectly cut skinny jean, grey marle tee and luxe jacket - worn expertly cuffed and elegantly rumpled - it is pure French chic and incredibly wearable to boot.
French Idole features gemstone-inspired colours and shades of lipstick, eye shadow, and nail colour – each extremely wearable and appropriate for a wide range of makeup looks from chic to casual. Lancôme’s makeup artists are recommending you wear a sultry smoky eye in combination with natural-looking, sheer-coloured lips, and be sure to add a definite statement nail from one of Lancôme Vernis In Love’s three autumnal hues: 439 Topaze Rose, 387 Améthyste Brune and 197 Tourmaline Noire (above). All three are on the dark and mysterious side but feature just the right dose of iridescent pigments to keep things pretty in punk.
I’ve been playing with the L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick for the season, which arrives in a barely-there, naturally-looking sheer rosy toned shade named 188 Rouge Agate Sheer that is as subtle as it is sexy. There is also a beautiful eye palette on the range and a very wearable blush, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the Artliner 24H in 01 Black Diamond - a totally rock n’ roll hue that is destined to become a true classic.
French Idole arrives in store August 18 for a limited time - get in quick as this collection is an absolute star and will inevitably be snapped up fast!

Daily delight: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Vogue Turkey

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Meet: Enrich Massage Therapy’s Olivia Van Lierop

I’m a huge fan of massage, and try and indulge in one whenever I can. Swedish, Thai, Ayurvedic or Balinese, you name it and I’ve had a bash at it at least once. In an age of technical and, at times, impersonal medicine, massage offers a drug-free, non-invasive and humanistic approach based on the body's natural ability to heal itself, and that’s what makes it one of my first ports of call when I’m feeling run down.
An absolute gem of a massage therapist that I’ve discovered of late is the wonderful Olivia Van Lierop from Jervois Road haven Enrich Massage Therapy. A recent arrival back in New Zealand, Olivia left the country nine years ago after completing a Bachelor of Therapeutic and Sports Massage.
“I was always super intrigued by the body and the way it works when I was younger,” Olivia tells me, “and I imagined I would go into physiotherapy or something like that but with a more holistic approach. My mother was involved in healing and was a huge influence on me from a very young age.” She started her career in podiatry, but grew frustrated with “only treating problems from the hips down” and wanted to work in a way that encompassed the whole body. Cue: massage, and a trip down South to train in different modalities.
After completing her training in massage she moved to Australia to work as a sports masseuse for a leading Australian clinic working with top athletes. From there she explored the idea of working on yachts in Europe, landing a position just two week’s later in Greece as a private masseuse, beautician and yoga instructor on one of the most prestigious luxury yachts in the world. “I was sent to qualify as a beauty therapist in London and it gave me a whole different approach to my work as a massage therapist,” she explains, “and I added more of a pampering, relaxing aspect to what I do as opposed to just taking a sports massage approach.”
Looking for further challenges she travelled to many beautiful parts of the world, completing her yoga teacher training in Bali and then returning to New Zealand, where she combined her talents to establish Enrich. She incorporates both a therapeutic and pampering aspect into almost every massage that she does, even sending some clients away with yoga poses to practice to keep their bodies in check.
“I’m trying to make my unique combination of the technical and the relaxation aspect of massage integral to what I do,” says Van Lierop, “because it seems like you have to go to a sports massage clinic to get a deep tissue-type massage to treat the likes of chronic pain and a spa to get something really warm and pampering. I think you should be able to go for a very technical, therapeutic massage but still feel like you’ve had some ‘me’ time.” Even if she has to do something “a bit brutal”, she likes to start with a soothing foot massage before moving onto the tough stuff, “and then finish with a facial massage to really release the tension before someone leaves the room. I also like to incorporate some hot stone work if someone is keen on that, it just makes such a difference.”
You'll find Olivia working from Enrich at 37 Jervois Road, Ponsonby, and for booking details head to:

Daily delight: Candice Swanepoel for Forum Brazil

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Love it: Go-To Exceptionoil

When I heard that former Mamamia beauty writer and author of Amazing Face, Zoë Foster Blake has launched her very own skin care line I just knew she would be a goodie. After all, people in the position of trying/reviewing/writing about beauty prods get to experience the worst of the worst and the best of the best, so if you had the power to create your own it would be pretty much bang on what you yourself wanted to use… and the best brands come from personal need.
Anyway, Foster Blake’s line is called Go-To, and is made of a collection of her essentials for a great skin. There are plans for it to grow in time, but for now the small-but-perfectly-formed lineup is made up of some absolute must-haves, the first of which I’ve had the pleasure of trying being the beautiful Exceptionoil. Pretty much a do-it-all-but-the-dishes multi-purpose oil, it is great for everything from dry heels to split ends, ragged cuticles, stretch-marks and even dehydrated faces (hello, winter!). It features over 10 glorious, nourishing, skin loving and healing oils, as well as lush butters and certified Monoi di Tiare for the most beautiful vacation-friendly scent.
From the get-go I lovde the fact that it’s in a tube not a bottle, like many of my fave oils - it makes it so much more travel and beach bag-friendly, and you definitely use less. It’s also insanely easy to use: just massage it into damp skin after a shower and you’re good to go. As it’s an oil and it’s winter I have been warming the tube up under the hot tap a little before I give it a squeeze, and come summer it will be going in the fridge when the temperature rises so none of the good stuff gets lost. It will definitely be in my bag when I travel to Bali next month, as apparently it’s great for soothing “sunkissed bits”, and because of the antioxidants, protects them from free radical damage.
So there you have it - pop online here and check out the rest of this beautiful collection because quite frankly, you’d be silly not to.

News: The Marr Factory returns for 2014

 Over the past few years The Marr factory shows - held at popular Ponsonby hang out spot and my local, Golden Dawn - have been one of the highlights on the local fashion calendar. The venue means 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 2014 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.
The six nights of in-season fashion shows will be happening August 17-23, and this year a very special eve will wrap up the week in true Marr Factory style in the form of a group show providing a platform for five of the country’s most exciting new fashion labels to present their collections. Eugenie, Harman Grubisa, Penny Sage, Glen Prentice and Georgia Alice make up the ‘MF Gatecrashers’ on Saturday 23rd August at in an R18 event that will be completely open to the public.
This year the shows will coincide with naming rights sponsor Viva’s launch of their brand new online shopping portal ‘ShopViva’, whilst guests will be well lubricated by Bombay Sapphire, Hallertau, Quartz Reef Wines and All Good Organics.
All Marr Factory shows are open to the public, with 100 tickets for each of the first five shows on sale now at for $45 each.  The ‘MF Gatecrashers’ show on Saturday 23rd August is R18 and will be unticketed, with capacity filled on a first come, first served basis.

Daily delight: Adriana Lima for LOVE

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Beauty destination: Birkenhead’s Biba salon

Almost two years ago now I took a trip over the Harbour Bridge to a small-but-perfectly-formed salon in Birkenhead Point called Biba. Owner Belinda Watson had created quite the oasis in her beautiful boutique salon, and I loved my time spent there having an INOA colour and sipping on their ginger, lemon and honey signature tea – served with a side of homemade tahini balls – and talking to inspirational stylist about her views on wellness, beauty, business and more.
Fast forward to 2014 and Belinda has opened yet another Biba - just minutes’ from the existing, petite salon but in a spacious, loft-style space that concentrates even more on offering a unique, holistic approach to looking and feeling good.
Fuelled by the desire to offer clients an experience that encompasses mind, body and soul, award winning hairdresser Belinda - who has been cutting and styling for more than 25 years – has opened the new salon as a min-retreat, as well as a place wehere she and her team can focus on creating “beautifil, believable hair”.
In addition to a new look, the salon offers clients yoga and meditation classes, as well as growing her passion for “hair with heart”.
“Meditation and yoga made me feel beautiful in the body, mind and soul,” she says. “Being well groomed from the inside is equally important as it is on the outside. Even if you have the greatest fashion sense and the latest look, these are going to be quickly forgotten if you’re not feeling good about yourself. That’s why a balance of both inner and outer beauty is vital.”
Designed to be a sacred community space, at first glance Biba resembles a typical modern-day salon. What stands it apart from the rest is that everything – the chairs, styling stations and mirrors – have been especially designed to roll away, morphing the light-filled, loft space into a yoga and meditation studio and well-being event space.
I love the fact that her famous Biba tea and Bliss balls are still on the menu, and the salon has also activated a garden-to-glass approach with its home-grown organic veges and herbs infusing the healthy drinks on offer.
Her haircare partner of choice is one of my personal faves, Pureology (a luxury haircare brand committed to sustainability) along with L’Oréal Professionnel using the innovative INOA colour (named INOA for “Innovative No Ammonia”).
The new Biba is most definitely a destination to visit, enjoy and luxuriate in…  with a one of a kind approach that sees you leave with beautiful hair, and maybe even a whole new outlook on life.
For bookings head here:

Daily delight: Lupita Nyong’o for Elle France

Monday, July 21, 2014

All about: Coaqua's damn fine coconut water

I first discovered the wonders of coconut water when I travelled to LA on a regular basis several years ago – it cured even the most punishing of jet lags, the odd hangover and kept me going on super sweltering Californian days.
I really fell in love with it however when I travelled to Vanuatu two years’ ago. The village I stayed in was abundant in baby coconuts, which were sold with the tops almost lopped off, ready for you to grab a knife and a straw and dive in. It set me off on the road of serious addiction, but with all of the wonders that the rather delicious beverage brings I was all for it. With an electrolyte content completely compatible with the human body, coconut water is nature’s sports drink. It is low in calories and provides five of the essential aforementioned electrolytes – calcium, magnesium, chloride, sodium and potassium – in their natural form, making it the perfect choice for short-term rehydration during summer workouts or even when you’re ill. It’s also beneficial if you suffer from high blood pressure or heart disease, with just one serve (or around 330ml) providing almost twice the potassium of an average banana.
Until about a year ago, coconut water has always been difficult – and expensive – to source in New Zealand, so I was rather excited when the market opened up and some damn good varieties arrived in store. Not all were created equal however - and the goodies soon rose to the top.
A newbie that I have been reaching for on a more than regular basis is Coaqua, a company founded by Kiwis Grier and Steve - the former a production designer, the latter a hospitality star, both of whom found major success offshore. Grier had spent a lot of time in Thailand and fell in love with coconut water, as fresh and tasty as he could get it.
He began to wonder why more people weren’t drinking it, so talked to food and beverage specialist Steve, and the pair started taste-testing the products on the market. “We realized the reason was that most consumer coconut water products were just not all that great,” he said, and they set off on an “almost obsessive, months-long journey around Southeast Asia on a quest for the perfect coconut water. It was a journey that ended in Vietnam, where they found the “finest green coconuts, the best coconut water”, and - perhaps most importantly - a bottling plant for the water. Why glass bottles? Well, because they never considered anything else. “We don’t like plastic, we’re not sold on tetrapak, and we felt from the beginning that Coaqua is a drink that should look just as good as it tastes,” says Grier and damn, she does look good.
And yep, she tastes great too - and very different from many of the coconut water options I have supped out there. Keep her chilled and chug whenever you can I reckon - this stuff is an absolute winner that will most definitely be a fridge essential in my house from here on in!

All about: Bird & Knoll

Anyone that follows me on Instagram (mshelene99) would know that I am a huge fan of Bird & Knoll - their scarves are the ultimate in highly practical, beautifully affordable luxe, and I have begun a collection that I know I’ll still be head over heels in love with for years to come.
A truly Trans-Tasman duo, Bird and Knoll are Natalie Knoll and Macayla Chapman, an old work mate of mine from many years ago. The pair is a match made in heaven, and have created some truly original and coveted pieces that seem deceptive in their simplicity. Earlier this year they launched a successful debut collection of luxurious cashmere-blend scarves, and have now followed it up with an equally inspiring Spring|Summer 14/15 collection - 'Tea, Sugar and a Dream'.
Natalie, the photographer in this creative team, says that they have introduced more colour with the new collection, which “drew inspiration from the exotic jewel-like hues that you find in places like the markets of Peru or the bazaars of Istanbul". The collection’s name 'Tea, Sugar and a Dream' is one of Knoll's travel anecdotes. "It's how a local taxi driver in Istanbul taught us to say ‘thank you’ in Turkish" she explains: "Teşekkür ederim ... just like tea, sugar and a dream". The new collection is most definitely an absolutely stunner, featuring more designs for their scarves that have been described by Harper's Bazaar as a “failsafe travel accessory".
The collection also includes a range extension: canvas pouches printed with their iconic photographic images. Like the scarves, the pouches are designed to be a multi-functional accessory, perfect for taking your bits and pieces to the pool, phone and keys to the beach or as a casual evening clutch for those island getaways when all you need is a lippy and cash for a cocktail or two.

I’ve been using my scarves on colder days to keep warm and as for a wrap inside on cooler evenings out, but come late August I’ll be taking them to Bali for an in flight snuggly and rather gorgeous sarong, and I can’t wait. I already have my eye on a few beauties from the new collection too, so chances are my luggage will be at least 50 per cent Bird & Knoll - and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
To order your own piece of Bird & Knoll visit

Daily delight: Andreea Diaconu for FRAME Denim F/W 14

Friday, July 18, 2014

Love it: label.m Texturising Volume Spray

I make no secret of the fact that I am a HUGE fan of BIG hair, and love a bit of texture added in for good measure. I’m also a big fan of dry shampoo and always have at least three cans on the go, so when I heard that label.m had released a sort of hybrid of the two I was beyond excited.
The product in question is label.m Texturising Volume Spray, which the company promises “will see even the finest of freshly washed manes transformed into towering beehive’s á la Brigitte Bardot”. Sounds good to me!
A super versatile styling spray combines the texturising benefits of a dry shampoo with the hold of a hairspray, it is an absolute godsend for those like me who like their hair on the larger side pretty much straight after a wash. I have dark, thick and rudely healthy hair, so a wash sees it super shiny and soft but often unable to get any oomph in there. That’s where this baby - dubbed “backcomb in a can” - steps in, delivering an instant, long-lasting root lift for height, grip or drama - whatever is required.
I find that with this beauty a little goes a long way, and that for winter I’ve been using it a lot for textured updo’s and the like. I can see it really coming into its own for summer waves though, and will definitely be taking it with me to Bali in a month no question.
It’s also a cinch to use - just spray on after a shake approximately 10-15cm from dry hair. Like dry shampoo I’ve been applying it fairly evenly and concentrating on the roots, while massaging it in a bit with fingers to create the desired effect. Perfection!

Daily delight: Scarlett Johansson for Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Mono

Thursday, July 17, 2014

All about: Weleda Nourishing Hair Oil

It appears that this week I am all about the oils - winter will do that to you - and today my rave of choice is Weleda’s luxuriously natural, all good Nourishing Hair Oil.
Designed specifically to treat your hair and scalp with a regular hit of natural, all good nutrients, it is not only a treat to use but also a bit of a steal at $19.90 for a 50ml bottle (and a little goes a long way). A deep conditioning treatment that can be used every day if you need, it is packed with ingredients from biodynamic, organic and wild crafted suppliers. Organic rosemary leaf extract helps to strengthen dry and damaged hair, while organic burdock root extract revitalises and nourishes both hair and scalp. Being Weleda it is free of SLS, parabens, preservatives and artificial essences too, which gets the thumbs up from me.
Like most quality hair oils, it can be used on wet or dry hair and as a pre- or post-styling treatment depending on your needs. It helps to repair dry hair (making it a holiday essential), provides intensive care for split ends, boosts your hair’s natural shine and can be used all over for an overnight treatment when needed. I found that just a few drops was plenty for my hair pre- and post-blow dry, and I’m yet to try Weleda’s recommendation of massaging a cap full of Nourishing Hair Oil into the hair and scalp, covering with a shower cap and leaving on for at least 40 minutes before shampooing out, although I may just do that this weekend!
This multitasking beauty is available right now from a Weleda stockist near you and comes highly recommended.

Daily delight: Anna Ewers for Vogue Paris

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Love it: Murad's new Renewing Cleansing Oil

Anyone that checks in here regularly will know that I’m a huge fan of oils - body oils, hair oils and facials oils - and love the fact that nine times out of ten, they are brilliant multitaskers and are great travel companions too.
Cleansing your face with is a given with me, but for many oil may seem counterintuitive, especially for those who associate it with breakouts and the like. Well it just ain’t true, and there are more and more great oil-based cleansers arriving on the market all the time that are making their way into bathroom cabinets across the globe.
One I have discovered of late is Murad’s brand new Renewing Cleansing Oil, the respected skincare company’s first oil-based cleaners. A super luxurious oil, it can be used to cleanse face, lips and even eyes all in one, reducing dryness and restoring suppleness to dehydrated or oily complexions. The 100% non-comedogenic formula means it won’t leave a greasy film or clog pores either.
The formula - which BTW, smells amazing - contains a powerful combination of natural ingredients including a blend of Olive Fruit Extract, Grape, Pomegranate, and Sunflower Seed Oils that work together to gently remove impurities and makeup. Jojoba and Liquorice Extracts are in there as well to help improve dry, cracked skin, while Sweet Almond Oil provides the perfect amount of moisture for a smooth, youthful glow. Delicious stuff? You bet.
To use this little marvel just pour a little into slightly damp - not wet - hands, rub them quickly together and then massage your face softly for as long as you like. Rub gently into your lashes to get any stubborn mascara and the like off and then rinse with warm water and pat dry (I like to use a muslin cloth at this point, for a little exfoliating action). Et voila! Fresh and clean and good to go with your favourite serums and moisturisers. Love it.
Murad products are available online at or instore at Caci nationwide, Call 0800
438 438 for your nearest stockist.

Daily delight: Gigi Hadid for Tom Ford F/W 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

In love with: the incredible new ghd aura hairdryer

A few weeks ago now I was lucky enough to be one of the first people in New Zealand to be given ghd’s newest innovation to play with: the ghd aura. A hairdryer that totally knocks all the rest out of the ballpark, it was some of the most exciting beauty news in a long time that I’d been able to share… but goddamn it I wasn’t allowed to talk about it until now! So bear with me while I go crazy about how great the thing is!
A salon professional hair dryer that is available to the general hair-loving public later this month, it combines the power of drying and styling to give “effortless styling control with ultimate volume and shine to all hair types”. And does it? You bet, and then some.
Developed exclusively by a team of styling specialists and scientists at the brand’s research and development facility in Cambridge, UK, the aura is the first tool to offer styling benefits whilst it dries, making it easier than ever to achieve salon results at home. I was still head over heels in love with my ghd air hairdryer when I was given this beauty to play with, and honestly didn’t think they could get it any better - but they did.
ghd has created two breakthrough patented technologies to set the aura light years ahead of its competition. Called Cool-Wall™ and Laminair™ technology, in tandem they allow the user to experience a concentrated airflow for expert precision and a super shiny end result. The unique, patented Cool-Wall™ technology also creates a ring of cool air around the hot air, keeping the casing and nozzle cool to touch even after prolonged use, so the user can get closer to the scalp for stunning volume and amazing root lift. In addition, the next generation brushless motor means aura is smaller, lighter and quieter than her peers, which is a major bonus for professionals as well as us mere mortals.
I have hair that can be a nightmare to dry due to its thickness and ability to hold onto water, and this baby has it dry in well under fifteen minutes - ten even, if I use a microfibre towel. It also eliminates much of my hair’s natural frizz, and is so light to use that I don’t mind spending a little extra time if need be on my style. Amazing? You bet, and with extra time in the morning I can confidently call this release a “life changer”. Thanks ghd!
For stockist information call 0800 880 209, and the ghd aura has an RRP of $300.00

Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for Chanel F/W 14

Monday, July 14, 2014

Giveaway: a case of East Imperial’s stellar all-natural Ginger Beer

Late last year saw the New Zealand launch of Singapore-based East Imperial, an all-natural super premium tonic water that tastes an absolute treat. Inspired by the founder’s 1903 family recipe, the delicious formula reflects the rich history and craftsmanship of traditional tonic water that once romanced and enhanced the beauty of exotic botanical gin flavours, and I fell in love at first sip. At the time the company promised the release of the highest quality range of mixers on the market were to come, all designed to perfectly complement premium spirits.
As well as tasting damn fine, East Imperial use all natural and sustainable ingredients that are sourced from as far and wide as Java, Africa and New Zealand, which also gets a major tick from me. The company has spent years building relationships with its growers and their communities, and the company is also a member of global cause, 1% For The Planet - giving back a percentage of its profit to the communities who support them. East Imperial supports Wine to Water, who do work across Asia and East Africa, and delivered 2,000 water filters to the Philippines post the Hiayan typhoon.
Anyway, all of this brings me to the arrival of their spicy and all-natural Ginger Beer - a great companion for winter if ever I saw one. Inspired by stories of the original Mombosa Ginger Beer Plant, it is naturally brewed using a blend of gingers from East Africa and Asia, with hints of spice and refreshing notes of lemon. Mixed as a spicy Moscow Mule, with premium rum for a refreshing take on the classic Dark ‘n’ Stormy cocktail, or simply as a soft drink on its own – East Imperial Ginger Beer is one hell of a tipple and once again, I’ve fallen head over heels.
It’s available from Farro Fresh, Nosh Food Markets nationwide, select liquor outlets and leading New Zealand bars and restaurants, but lucky for you I have a whole case of the stuff (24 bottles!) to give away to a fortuitous soul! Just email with your name and courier address by this Friday, July 18 at 5pm and you’re in the draw!
And for more info on East Imperial, head here:

Beauty news: The Face Place Med Spa is officially a triple threat

First a move to fresh, sexy new premises and now - surprise! - Auckland Medical Spa, The Face Place has become a veritable triple threat with a slew of new awards. The serious beauty destination has recently scooped two top industry awards - the AST Medical Clinic of the Year 2013 and Dermastamp Top NZ Medical Clinic. In addition, it is has also earned a prestigious Diamond status from Allergan, recognising its position as a top level botox clinic - a first for New Zealand and a great start to the journey for its new Britomart premises. 
“We constantly strive to bring our clients the best possible service and we are always finding ways to improve the quality of the treatments we offer,” says The Face Place founder and generally all-round-clever-type Dr Catherine Stone. “The results we see in our clients are very rewarding. To be recognised by our peers and the leaders in our industry is the icing on the cake.”
The awards acknowledge how far The Face Place Med Spa's reputation has grown as industry innovators and game changers in the market offering the best quality, natural treatments. Dermastamp also recognises The Face Place as its number one New Zealand clinic for the much hyped e-Dermastamp treatments, which have become a definite modality of choice for women looking to  age as gracefully as is humanly possible.
Congrats to Cat at the team - I can't wait to see what you pull out of the box next!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Love it: Stila Stay All Day foundation and concealer

I don’t often wear foundation during the day, but when I do I’m super fussy about what I do layer on and have a few different formulas to play with depending on what I need it for.
One that I am loving this winter when my skin is drying the hell out is Stila’s Stay All Day foundation, which has the perfect velvety texture and moisturising properties that I’m looking for when I want something that stays… and stays.
In essence it’s an oil-free, high-definition, high-performance foundation that stays all day and delivers a flawless finish. The creamy formula includes unique “oxygen technology” keeps your skin hydrated and nourished, whilst a combination of botanical extracts have been shown to help enhance circulation and blood flow, resulting in an increase of oxygen delivered to the skin. 
This means that this foundation glides onto skin, immediately going to work to help minimise the likes of blemishes and imperfections. It is also enriched with an array of skin-loving ingredients, and unlike other 
longwearing formulas, innovative extracts help to slow down the onset of premature aging.
It is lovingly formulated without Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Dyes, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, GMOs or Triclosan, so gets a major tick from the cancer survivor me. It also comes with a creamy, full coverage concealer cleverly hidden inside the cap (along with a handy mirror) that you can use to cover blemishes, dark circles and age spots, although I find that the foundation has coverage enough for me to barely use the magical little extra.
The thick consistency of the foundation itself can be a little difficult to work with at first and judging the amount to use takes a bit of practice, but I’ve found that a small amount gives full coverage without being really heavy/cakey and the formula is so beautifully buildable with the right brush that it doesn’t take too much time to master at all.
This beauty is available now online and instore at Mecca Cosmetica - so what are you waiting for?

Daily delight: Irina Shayk for Cosmopolitan China

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Beauty news: Linden Leaves receives NATRUE International Natural Certification

Lots of brands out there spend a lot of time peddling their ‘natural’ claims, most of which involve a little trickery here and there AKA ‘greenwashing’. To be sure that your pick of brands keeps everything above board always look for an official certification - one of the most stringent of which is NATRUE.
NATRUE is an international natural and organic certification body that have one objective - to strengthen the consumer’s trust in Natural Cosmetics. They have a strict criterion to ensure that all certified products adhere to it. The application process takes up to a year as they thoroughly test products for pesticide residues, endochrine disruption chemicals, hydrolates, fragrance allergens and of course are stringently against animal testing, sharing a fundamental belief of harmony between people and nature, joining forces with like-minded organisations to protect nature and our planet’s biodiversity.
So… it is with great fanfare that New Zealand’s own Linden Leaves have announced their own, brand spanking new NATRUE Certification, officially helping consumers to make informed choices about the ingredients of the products they are putting on their skin as well as being a trusted ‘natural’ brand. “Receiving the NATRUE Certification endorses the integrity and care that has been paramount in our product development over the past 20 years,” said Brigit Blair, Founder Linden Leaves.
And what does NATRUE Certification guarantee? The likes of no synthetic fragrances and colours, no petroleum-derived additives like paraffin, PEG, -propyl-, -alkyl-, et al, no silicone oils or derivatives, no genetically modified ingredients (complying with EU organic regulation), no animal testing and loads more. So in conclusion - go forth and fill your bathroom with Linden Leaves people, you know it’s good for you!

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss for Donna Karan Fall 2014