Monday, August 25, 2014

All about: Lancôme's magical La Base Pro Pore Eraser + Hydra Glow


Just like when you’re painting a house, a perfectly applied face of makeup works that much better when you’ve done a little prep. That could be a little sanding (as in, gentle exfoliation) and most definitely priming, and complexion primers are now an essential step in the routine of every woman looking to precisely control her complexion and what she throws at it. Used alone or under a foundation, primers have become an essential means of evening out, correcting and illuminating skin and are pretty much a beauty ‘essential’ if ever there was one.
In 2009 those clever - and helpful - experts at Lancôme created La Base Pro, a killer unifying primer and now one of Lancôme’s most popular products in New Zealand. Super light, easy to apply and suitable for pretty much every skin type, it makes foundation application a breeze and an added bonus I’ve found as the great ‘slip’ that it gives means less product gets used in the long run - love that!
Now, as of September 22 Lancôme is dropping a brand new perfect complexion duo that work alone or perfectly in conjunction with La Base Pro for even more flawless results: La Base Pro Pore Eraser to “perfect targeted areas” and La Base Pro Hydra Glow to “illuminate, hydrate and revive radiance”.
I’ve been playing with the former, which targets the T-Zone and will be a bonus come summer.
It is essentially a phenomenally fine balm that is applied locally to weightlessly blur pores with a matte finish you can control. It leaves skin feeling insanely soft and the end result lasts all day - seriously!  The Hydra Glow gives you added moisture and comfort, and is made up of 14 powerful skincare-derived active ingredients like rose, apricot kernel and musk rose oils, alongside beeswax and Shea Butter. It has white pearl pigments for a boost of luminosity while pink pearl pigments create a subtle blush effect for an instant healthy glow. Once again it works instantly - and lasts all day long!
Both arrive on counter in time for summer on September 22, and have an RRP of $79.00 - get both I say!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Love it: Jo Malone's new Wood Sage & Sea Salt



Sitting just last week in the British fragrance brand’s Britomart boutique, I was introduced to Jo Malone’s exquisite new limited edition release, Wood Sage & Sea Salt. Nibbling a little too enthusiastically on bespoke salted caramels created especially for the occasion, I was given a signature Jo Malone hand and arm massage (pure heaven) whilst experiencing the cologne alone and in combination with my current JM fave, Velvet Rose & Oud. The result? To die for, on both counts.
Composed of ambrette seed, sea salt and sage, along with red algae and grapefruit, Wood Sage & Sea Salt cologne arrives on the market in September, accompanied by a matching perfumed body care collection. Master perfumer Christine Nagel, who was tasked with the job of bottling the smell of the English coastline for the company (even the social media hashtag is #englishcoast), thinks it smells of "the sea air, mixed with salty spray and the mineral texture of sand and rock”, whilst I think it’s just divine.
Speaking about when she was first asked to dream up the beside-the-sea scent, Nagel said she knew "it was something unusual; another great challenge. I was given photographs of the English coast and old postcards to look at with rugged cliffs and moody skies. It was sepia photography and the colour was very emotive. When I looked at these pictures I instantly felt the sensation of sea spray, romantic but natural."
Which brings me to the moody and evocative campaign shots that accompany the release, which fit perfectly with the alluring images conjured up by the uniquely beautiful scent. Photos for the advertising campaign were taken in Northumberland by British fashion photographer Tim Walker, who has shot several fragrances for the brand over the past couple of years and nails it, every time.
The Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt collection includes flacons of 30 and 100ml Cologne, 250ml Body & Hand Wash, 175ml Body Crème and 200g Home Candle and is available from September 1 online and in store at their aforementioned Britomart, Auckland boutique. Get saving now.


Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for Tom Ford's Black Orchid


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Love it: Sodashi's Samadara Ultimate Age-Defying Elixir



A new Sodashi product always takes time to come to fruition, mainly due to the absolute quest for perfection constantly adhered to by the company’s inspirational founder, the wonderful Megan Larsen.
Considered by many to be “the purest skincare brand in the world”, Sodashi is an Australian skincare company that has successfully harnessed the benefits of natural ingredients to produce effective, chemical-free skin care products and spa therapies since 1999. As a lover of those rare moments when all natural-meets-high performance in the world of beauty, I fell in love with it pretty much on sight, and have never looked back.
Sodashi products are formulated using a unique combination of biochemistry, aromatherapy and Ayurvedic principles, and are all produced at the company’s own laboratory in Fremantle in Western Australia. A Sanskrit word, Sodashi translates to ‘wholeness, purity and radiance’ – the values on which the company and its products are based. As well as producing beautiful, desirable products, their absolute commitment to working in harmony with nature is reflected across all areas of the business, a factor you can’t help but admire. Not a single synthetic chemical, preservative or fragrance is used in the Sodashi manufacturing process. Products are never tested on animals and Sodashi packaging is recyclable and printed with natural vegetable dyes, and they must be doing something right as the range is available at many of most exclusive resorts and spas worldwide.
One of my all-time favourite beauty products is the brand’s absolutely in-cred-ible Samadara
Ultimate Age-Defying Crème, which is the ultra eco-luxe brand’s powerful anti-ageing treatment to reawaken the skin. A truly transformative number, it uses a unique alchemy of pure plant ingredients and rose quartz crystal water to promote skin’s own natural healing abilities from within. Regular use dramatically boosts skin cell renewal to tone, firm and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and the velvety-smooth crème comes even with two rose quartz crystals to massage the treatment into the skin for maximum benefit. The ingredient list is blissfully and proudly chemical free, and includes treats like organic Damask Rose, lavender and sandalwood that also give it the most beautiful-yet-delicate scent.
An accompanying Samadara eye cream joined the pack a couple of years ago, and now the heavenly pair has been joined by Samadara Ultimate Age-Defying Elixir, a wee bottle of amazingness that I have been lucky enough to be trialling for the past week or so.
An intensive overnight repair treatment to diminish lines, reduce pigmentation and refine pores, it is made up of “a unique alchemy of the purest botanical ingredients enlivened with Rose Quartz Crystals” that boosts the skin’s natural renewal cycle with some pretty serious results. 
A super fine, exquisitely scented oil that is an absolute pleasure to use each and every time you unleash a few drops into your palm, it seriously makes the night time ritual just that - a sensorial experience that also happens to result in beautiful skin. The results are immediate too - the oil is absorbed into the skin immediately and gives you a glowy, soft and velvety look and feel that is almost impossible to believe until you’ve tried it.
So try it you must! This beauty is available online at www.sodashi.com and via selected stockists of the brand, who you will also find details for at the same address. RRP $274.00 and IMHO, worth every penny.

Daily delight: Diane Kruger for H. Stern


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beauty destination: ON Browhouse, Britomart




You know how sometimes a place becomes so familiar to you that you forget how great it is? That is how I got with OFF Wax/Brow Bar, where I have often headed over the years for a bikini wax and a brow shape. They are a specialist waxing destination as opposed to a beauty therapy business – think no white coats, no whale music, no water features – and women all over Auckland love them all the more for their dedication to the task at hand. Experts at their three Auckland destinations tailor your waxing treatment and/or brow work specifically to you, and take into account anything you may have going on in your life – say pregnancy, stress – and treat you accordingly. They also stock a huge range of aftercare products and brow and lash kits etc, and are more than happy to show you the ropes and make sure that you’re taking care of things in the best possible way.
The creator of OFF, the preternaturally fabulous Nicky Shore (above), has recently expanded her business with the ON Browhouse brand - a beautiful inner city destination in Auckland’s Britomart specialising solely in bespoke browography services. Nicky spotted a gap in the market for long-lasting brows that didn’t involve the frightening looking cosmetic tattooing many out there were offering, and catering for clients who are in need of personalised eyebrow rejuvenation. She researched the globe for the best and most innovative ideas on brows so that ON offers a collection of techniques, hand selected from the best methods out there. From colour and tone to balance, proportion and shape, to problem solving and correction work, ON Browhouse has a proven modern solution for brows that can now last the long term.
When I popped into the loft-like beauty destination last week Nicky showed me around, including a look at the tools used to etch fine, detailed, lifelike hair strokes on clients’ brows that blend in with any existing brow hair. Browography differs from traditional tattooing in that it does not penetrate as deep in to the skin’s dermal layer, and rather than a tattoo machine, a calligraphy-like pen with fine needles is used for the softest and most natural result. Everything from ethnicity to skin type is taken into account, and building great brows really does appear to be quite the science!
A one hour consultation session is complimentary, then a two hour ‘foundation’ session and two hour final session will set you back $895 and $195 for a two hour annual refresh. Results are totally individual though, so it’s best to pop in for a thorough consult if this magical offering sounds like the thing for you.
Visit www.onbrowhouse.com for bookings, FAQs and a full before and after gallery - I guarantee that you’ll be seriously impressed!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Love it: Murad's new Essential-C Sun Balm


I’m off to Bali in a few weeks (I know, I keep harping on about it - indulge me) and I’ve been building quite the arsenal of beauty essentials to take with. As well as effectiveness size has been a factor when I’m choosing what to take, especially when it comes to bigger items like sunblock, oils and body lotion. Lucky there are some amazing compact little wonders out there, the latest of which I’ve discovered is Murad’s brand new Essential-C Sun Balm.
A lot of women I know use portability as the reason they don’t carry a sunscreen with them at all times (no excuse in my opinion, but oh well), so for them this has the added bonus of being about as leak-free and handbag-friendly as it gets. The perfect protector for burn-prone areas like the nose, ears, shoulders and décolleté - all of which often need a top up of sun protection - this baby from Murad is a compact hands-free, SPF 35 sunscreen-stick that is ideal for keeping on hand everywhere you go - whether it be touching up on the ski lift, replenishing after a quick dip or shielding shoulders when dining al fresco.
Part of the Environmental Shield range, it features MuraSol™ Antioxidant Defense, which is award-winning Murad’s own antioxidant shield that creates a protective barrier of free radical neutralisers. It contains a trio of Vitamins A, C and E that work together to renew skin health, providing antioxidant protection while smoothing the skin’s texture so your skin is protected and looks and feels great too.
It has interesting ingredients like Broccoli Extract in there to stimulate the skin’s natural defence against UV damage, while Tangerine Butter glides across the skin to deliciously deliver lasting hydration. It feels good, smells great and is a cinch to use - just apply liberally to exposed skin on your face, neck and chest before going out in the sun, repeating every two hours - so ladies, there is zero excuse for letting your delicate skin burn from here on in.
Murad Essential-C Sun Balm is available right now with an RRP of $54.00.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Love it: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Liquid Foundation


When a sample of the new L’Oréal Paris Infallible Liquid Foundation arrived across my desk I immediately gave it a second look as: a) it claimed to last 24 hours and b) it was in a shade that was an exact perfect match to my skin tone, how rarely does that happen first off?
Both conspired to encourage me to test it straight off, and pretty much immediately I was impressed. Easy application using just the smallest amount? Check. No obvious need for a concealer? Check. Good coverage but not chalky? Check. Stay-ability? Well I haven’t worn it for more than nine hours’ to be honest but damn, it really does require zero touch ups! It has the added benefit of Hyaluronic Fresh Complex in there too, so your skin is kept feeling fresh and hydrated and looking flawless but it never cakes or dries out.
Infallible really does last throughout the whole day and you don't need to add a powder, but you can use it with Infallible Compact Powder applied dry for a matte and powdery finish if that’s more what you’re after.
I haven't gone lower budget on foundations in years, but at RRP $39.99 this is definitely cheaper than many equivalent formulas in terms of performance from the so-called ‘luxury’ brands and I will totally buy it again. It’s available in seven shades too, so if you don’t find your ‘perfect match’ from the get-go like I did you can be sure that it’s never far away.

Daily delight: Missy Rayder for Agent Provocateur


Giveaway: a Bombay Sapphire VIP experience at The Marr Factory



A couple of weeks ago I announced the return of the Marr Factory shows - held at popular Ponsonby hang out spot and my local, Golden Dawn - which have been one of the highlights on the local fashion calendar for years. 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.


But onto MORE good news, in the form of a giveaway involving fashion, fabulous gin and a truly VIP night out.  I have one Bombay Sapphire Experience at Marr Factory for two to giveaway, which involves quite the prize package: a double pass to the Nom*D show on Monday 18th August, an UBER private driver to and from the event, a Bombay Sapphire goodie bag, access to the Bombay Sapphire VIP lounge and complimentary Bombay Sapphire Cocktails. Hoorah! All you have to do is email helene@mshelene.com with your name, address and date of birth (you have to be 18 years or older to enter) buy this Friday, August 15 at midday and you’re in the draw!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Beauty destination: Loxy’s Hair Boutique, Ponsonby


When Loxy’s Hair Boutique owner - and generally inspirational, wonderful woman - Kate Jarrett (left) opened her first ‘official’ salon premises on July 1 last year in Grey Lynn last year, little did she know that she would be doing exactly the same thing precisely one year later - albeit on a very different scale. 
Recently moved to premises that are bigger and brighter than ever before at number four Ponsonby Road, she says that if someone told her she’d be not only moving her salon but also expanding her staff, renovating her home and getting married in the space of one year she would have told them they were completely mad. 
With a background in account management and advertising agency work, up until a few years ago the successful salon owner didn’t even have any training in the area of hair, full stop - just a love of her own hair extensions and a growing desire to take the best of what was on offer and make it available to women all over Auckland. “When I was about 18 I had clip in hair extensions,” she says with a smile, “which were actually totally horrific and I could only get away with them because I was so young! My partner at the time (now her husband) pointed out to me how ridiculous they were on a regular basis, and one day surprised me with a visit from a woman who gave me a proper weave - a set of sewn in extensions that were a hundred times better!” She says that began her love affair with extensions, and six months later she started to train in how to apply them herself, whilst still working in offices and agencies. “I had some great jobs over the next couple of years but wasn’t fulfilled,” says the petite pocket rocket, “so about four years ago I put a rent-a-cabin on my front lawn and started doing extensions for a living.” Within a year she’d outgrown that space and her partner built her a purpose-built studio at the back of their home, which she also soon outgrew.
Next it was a move to her aforementioned salon on Richmond Road, where she also bought on board hair stylist Amy Phengsavath. A veteran with over eight years experience in the business, Amy worked on all three cycles of ‘New Zealand’s Next Top Model’, backstage at New Zealand Fashion Week and in one of the city’s busiest and largest salons. “She was a godsend as she meant we could offer cuts and colours as well as extensions,” says Kate, and the business soon outgrew its Grey Lynn space and a move was inevitable.
The new premises means even more staff members coming on board, including a salon manager to take the pressure off Kate. As well as an expert in extensions, Kate loves spray tanning “for the same instant gratification factor I think! Both can really transform a person and how they feel about themselves, and I love that.” Loxy’s are New Zealand's exclusive supplier of the amazing range of Vita Liberata organic spray tanning products, which Kate believes are the best in the business. For hair they also stock the fabulous range of Davines and O+M haircare, which are both pure and natural in line with the Loxy’s philosophy.
When I ask her about the reputation for error that many styles of hair extensions have acquired over the past few years she says, “they have got a really bad rap recently, and with good reason. Most applications have a gluing or braiding aspect, and if you see photos of celebrities with bald spots then it’s usually due to the former. My own hair couldn’t handle the braiding technique after a while as it’s so fine, and the method just added too much tension for it to handle.” The method that Loxy’s offers and Kate trained in (amongst others) involves no gluing and no braiding, but rather wide wefts - or rows - of hair - being attached using a silicone banded micro ring that holds it in place. “This means that the hair can be put in without gluing or braiding your hair -which can be very painful,” says Kate “and it significantly decreases the chances of damage to your own hair. We work with 100 per cent human remy hair to ensure a natural look too, and the technique is perfect for giving length or adding volume.” It’s also quicker and easier to put in “because we're not putting in 100-150 individual clusters of hair, a lot of time is saved! You shouldn't need to sit in a chair for 4-5 hours to achieve a look you can get in one.”

Kate says that she and her team are always fighting to change the “stigma of hair extensions, which when they are done well should be totally undetectable. I love it when people are shocked that I have them and saying ‘that’s the whole idea!’”
“It’s a rare kind of job where you get to make people happy every day,” she adds with a smile, and I for one think that she is perfectly suited for the position.



Daily delight: Penelope Cruz for Harper's Bazaar US


Thursday, August 7, 2014

All about: Aspect Fruit Enzyme Mask


I’m not a huge fan of harsh, granular manual exfoliation due to the stresses it can put my often-sensitive skin under, but love using a great enzymatic-style exfoliator that gobbles up dead skin cells like Pac Man for an instant glow when and where I need it.
High performance but super lightweight to use, Aspect’s Fruit Enzyme Mask is the latest I have tried and I’m an instant fan. Not only does it smell bloody lovely, but it’s a power packed, potent antioxidant-rich exfoliation mask that has been carefully formulated to gently digest and eliminate dead skin build up without irritating or harming sensitive - or post-procedure - skin.
The blend of powerful antioxidants in the delicious formula include Coffee, Green Tea, Pomegranate and Acai Berry, all of which are beauty “buzz” ingredients with very good reason. Also in the “plus” column, Aspect Fruit Enzyme Mask is free of pesticides, parabens, perfumes or dyes so you know it isn’t bringing any nasties along with the good stuff.
I’ve been using it once a week for a few minutes at a time, applying it sparingly and then gently rolling it in using circular movements with my fingertips and so far, so good. It’s so gentle that it can be used post peel and post all in-clinic procedures to address flaking skin, and the calming, soothing and hydrating properties mean that it heals as well as gently sloughs off all in its path. Great stuff!
Aspect Fruit Enzyme Mask has an RRP of $57.50 for a 40g jar and is available now. For stockists telephone 0800 238 754.

Daily delight: Olivia Wilde for Glamour Magazine



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hair how to: Danny Pato for Moroccanoil at Kathryn Wilson Summer 2014



Whenever the artistic team from D&M hair design collaborate with shoe designer Kathryn Wilson, you just know the end result is going to be sexy, feminine and just plain fierce. From equine ponytails to big round blow waves they always come up with something special, and for their outing together at Kathryn’s Clicquot in the Snow catwalk show in Queenstown in the weekend the locks definitely didn’t disappoint!
"Summer 2014 showcases a lot of primary bright coloured heels in cobalt blue, cerise pink and acid yellow; seeing the return of the 90’s point stiletto heel,” said Wilson, and the resulting hair look to match created by D&M artistic team leader Danny Pato was equally as punchy.
The hair is always the main feature of Kathryn Wilson catwalk shows, as the silhouette of the model’s body and legs are kept simple so the shoes stand out. Bridgette Bardot was the muse and super stylist Danny mastered volume, shine and glamour using Moroccanoil Volumising
Mousse and Moroccanoil Ceramic Round Brushes. “It’s playful and glamorous, feminine and fun,” he said. “This fem-luxe style perfectly suits Kathryn’s latest collection and the glamour of Clicquot in the Snow.”
How the Look Was Created:
• “I started by applying Moroccanoil Treatment to the mid lengths to ends of slightly damp hair, as this is the perfect foundation for styling.”
• “Next, I applied the new Moroccanoil Volumising Mousse from root to tip to add texture and lift.”
• “Then I died the hair in sections using 35mm Moroccanoil Ceramic Round Brushes, working the blow dryer away from the face. Each section of hair was wrapped around a brush and left in
the hair as it cooled.”
• “Once cooled, I unwound each section, and backcombed the hair gently at the roots.”
• “I shaped the style using the Moroccanoil Paddle Brush and set it with Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Medium for lasting flexible hold.”
• “To give the hair a glamourous burst of shine, I created a cloud of Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine
Spray and wafted it onto the finished look. The versatile product protects colours from UV damage – a must in the snow!”

Daily delight: Lady Gaga for Harper's Bazaar US


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Love it: Therapie Roques O'Neil Joie Uplifting Bath Infusion


Therapie Roques O'Neil is a brand that was completely new to me before I was contacted earlier this year by New Zealand stockist Clemency Alice, but one I soon realised that I wanted to know more about.
After having a play online, I started to hear so many good things that I knew the range had to be something very special. When a Discover Me mini home spa-type kit arrived from the wonderful Clemency I couldn’t wait to get stuck in, and getting stuck in was what I most certainly did!
The range was developed by aromatherapist Michelle Roques O'Neil, who was voted one of the top ten aromatherapists in the world by Vogue. The range centres around helping us all to deal with our stress in today's hectic world by harnessing the magic of plants and minerals. When combined they become so much more than just the sum of their parts, transforming into aromatherapy elixirs that can calm, soothe and heal. The philosophy that underpins the brand clearly comes from over 25 years worth of experience that Roques O'Neil has as an aromatherapist, and when I tried her Therapie Himalayan Detox Salts for the first time I was blown away.
The most recent addition to the Therapie line-up is the Joie Uplifting Bath Infusion, which unlike the salts is a powdered bath soak and you just need a small handful to fill the bath. The blurb that accompanies it says “we all need a little Joie these days...  this blissful aromatherapeutic infusion offers a valuable lift when your feeling a little flat and down in the dumps, wafting a bit of aromatic fairy dust to lift your spirits whilst indulging your body in a lush combination of traditional powders that tone, soften and protect.” All sounds pretty good to me, and this little jar of goodness doesn’t disappoint!
It doesn't leave any kind of colour in the bath but fills the room with a similar scent to the salts. The Frankincense soothes stress and eases anxiety, the Himalayan Cedarwood is to quell nervous tension, the Jasper Crystals are to absorb negative energy and the Rose Quartz restores faith and provides reassurance. As crazy as it might sound, it works... It was created as a “nod towards ancient traditions of spiritual bathing in which body and mind are nourished in equal measure,” and the fragrant powder is made of organic Buttermilk, renowned for its moisturising properties and rich in lactic acid, helping to soften and brighten the skin. Also in there are magical ingredients like Mysore Sandalwood powder, protective Frankincense resin hand ground to a finest dust, sacred Himalayan Cedarwood and organic Rose powder, a mineral infusion of pink clay to skin soothe and soften-a dusting of powdered jasper to protect and promote security. Last up, there’s heart comforting Rose Quartz, delicately infused with an uplifting blend of wild rose, tangerine, geranium and honeysuckle. TOO gorgeous for words.
You can find out more and grab a jar of your own via Clemency’s website, which you’ll find here

Daily delight: Lara Stone for Vogue UK




Monday, August 4, 2014

Love it: M.A.C's all new A Novel Romance collection




 When I was first sent samples and imagery for M.A.C new - and vast - collection A Novel Romance all details were still strictly under embargo, and it was killing me! It’s all just so damn awesome I wanted to share and share alike forthwith, but had to hold firmly onto my hat… until now.
M.A.C’s newest colour collection, it’s called “A Novel Romance” and is described as a “…collection teeming with deep, luscious shades that will have you overwhelmed with desire.” Obviously. The visuals (a sample of which I’ve popped up here) are pretty fabulous you have to admit, and according to the very descriptive press blurb, the collection will include everything from metallic and darkened purple eye shadow quads to plum and burgundy lipsticks to blush. But not just any blush, ladies. No. This blush is a product of when “irresistible forces collide and cheeks flush in shimmering powder blush, as you turn the page towards a powerful climax…leaving you utterly breathless.” Love it!
A super cool part of the collection is the myriad of new shades that have come out of M.A.C’s amazing fluidline pencil. The jewel-tone shades have been described as “arousing,” and ideal for when you “set sail for secret shores of pleasure,” which is not usually something I associate with applying liner but hey, what the heck? My fave is Deep Blue Sea, a deep ocean blue that will really come into its own come the Southern Hemisphere summer.
There are also some beautiful new lipstick shades in there, including: Myself (a soft shimmery nude beige lustre), Good Kisser (a mid-tone fuchsia matte), Hearts Aflame (a mid-tone brick red matte) and the cremesheen Yield to Love, a mid-tone rose that is an online exclusive.
Also for eyes are a bunch of beautiful Quads, with my pick being the An Amorous Adventure Quad, which features Sable, a gold plum with bronze pearl (frost), Sex & The Oyster, a mid-tone seafoam green (veluxe pearl), Brawn, a mid-tone plum brown (satin) and Black Tied, black with silver sparkle (velvet).
So to conclude, once you get past the hilariousness of both the descriptions of the makeup (I would have killed to have been given the job of writing that!) and the imagery, then what we’re left with is some really killer new products for the coming months. Plum and burgundy lipsticks? Charcoal nail lacquer? Sign me up. These beauties are available September 1, 2014 at all authorized M·A·C locations.


Daily delight: Charlotte Rampling for NARS Fall 14


Friday, August 1, 2014

All about: the all new, all good Nike Pro Bra collection



A couple of days ago now I was lucky enough to be invited to the official New Zealand launch of the Nike Pro Bra collection, and couldn’t agree with its creators more when they say, “the sports bra is at the heart of every female athlete’s workout. It’s often the first thing she puts on and is arguably the most important.”
Being a bustier woman and also a lover of daily exercise, the search for a great sports bra often feels like diving into a haystack on a regular basis to look aimlessly for the proverbial needle. Often a nightmare up there with bikini and general lingerie shopping, I have often opted for the best of a bad bunch and been done with it. The eventual purchase has often resembled some kind of apparatus for the attachment of a parachute, and is usually a bloody nightmare to put on. Never ideal but hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
It’s true that a sports bra that doesn’t fit right is motivation not to work out for many, and Julie Igarashi, Vice President of Global Design for Nike Women’s Training put it very well when she said: “We have a saying here, ‘No bra, no workout, no run’. The majority of women are wearing the wrong-sized bra. This is something we needed to fix.”  This inspired Nike to devote more than two years of research, testing, design and development to creating a new sports bra solution, and resulted in a collection of several very different but equally awesome products.
The centrepiece of the collection is the Nike Pro Rival Bra, which delivers the highest level of support and is offered in 25 sizes to help the female athlete find the right fit. I am yet to try it myself but those that have reportedly love it, including my friend Claire Robbie - a yogi and generally amazing super fit new mum - who has given it two thumbs up from the get go, even whilst breastfeeding. The collection also features the new Nike Pro Fierce Bra, as well as the updated Nike Pro Classic.
The Nike Pro Rival Bra features a fabric constructed from fine nylon yarns for a soft-hand feel, which is a staple of lingerie construction. Incredibly soft to the touch, it is the only part-encapsulation style bra in the collection, with separate fully molded cups to help deliver shaping and support where the female athlete needs it most. The contoured foam inserts in the cups and racerback design provide additional support. It is available in an amazing 25 sizes, ranging from 30B to 38E. It looks seriously great too - with zero annoying catches and a matte finish.
The lightweight Nike Pro Fierce Bra offers medium-to-high support and has Dri-FIT material in the bra’s cups to help provide “one-way moisture transport” and its chest band is brushed for an ultra-soft feel, while also featuring the appropriate amount of stretch and recovery. The Nike Pro Classic Bra features a new racerback design for increased support and an updated chest band, which is brushed for a soft feel. The Nike Pro Classic Bra is positioned as a medium support bra and is offered in a padded version for modest coverage. This is the bra I wore for the launch - which involved a Tabata-style workout, hip hop dance (thank god there wasn’t a mirror!) and Power Vinyasa yoga - and was so comfy to wear that I actually kept it on for hours afterwards. Normally I wrench the damn things off post-workout, but this baby I wore all afternoon with ease, and one of the fashion editors who was at the launch as well confided to me yesterday that she did exactly the same - and was in a state of pure bliss.
So anyway… if you exercise on a regular basis (you should!) then these babies are the best I’ve tried. Get yours now.