Thursday, April 30, 2015

Beauty destination Leah Light Nails & Beauty, Parnell

When celebrity nail artist and industry educator, Leah Light opened her first salon in Auckland the bookings flew in thick and fast, such is the amazing reputation of Light and her super talented staff.
Leah’s own clients have included Pamela Anderson, Taylor Swift, Rita Ora, Lorde, Eva Longoria, even Bruce Springsteen when they travelled Down Under, and her nails are currently gracing television screens across New Zealand on XFactor judge Mel Blatt, where nail art is considered to be as important as the outfits that are chosen each week.
She is insanely clever when it comes to nails and also a wonderful mentor, and her constantly expanding team is always guaranteed to create beautiful, long lasting manicures and pedicures every time. I love the fact that the quality amongst her staff is totally consistent – not a dud nail in sight in my personal experience, which gets two thumbs up!
I have to say driving out to her Westgate, Auckland location has always been a bit off putting for me, mainly because I’m usually running around like a headless chook in between jobs and the less time I spend on the road, the better. Thus, when I heard about the opening of her second salon – in the central city suburb of Parnell – I was beyond excited.
Last week saw the official opening of Leah Light Nails & Beauty in Parnell, with a celebration that I was lucky enough to have been a part of.  Leah said of the move “I couldn’t be more excited about opening the new Studio and taking the Leah Light experience to the next level,” and the beautiful new studio features their signature manicure stations, a designated spray tan/beauty room and a dedicated pedicure room where clients can relax with the team and be pampered either solo or as a group.
Leah has been an E! Channel ambassador working on events leading up to some of the biggest award shows on televison, and even has her very own in-store mani-cam red carpet runway! In October shewill be traveling to London after being invited for a second year to judge at the Olympics of the nail world - “Nailympia”.
Leah and her husband Geoff have plans for nationwide and international expansion, additional to her online academy where nail artists from all over the world can learn from Leah’s “best practise” standards and a following of almost 100,000 fans across her social media channels. “We can’t wait to expand our brand, giving women everywhere the chance to enjoy the Leah Light experience,” she says, and I for one couldn’t agree more.

To find out more and book in at either salon go here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Beauty news: Karen Murrell Lipstick Pink Starlet named #1 selling lipstick in NZ

In a triumph for the indies and homegrown beauty, Karen Murrell Lipstick’s Pink Starlet has been named the official number one selling lipstick colour in New Zealand Pharmacies*.
Pink Starlet was the first pink lipstick hue that Karen Murrell designed as an ultimate tribute to the much-loved colour pink. Its ‘day-to-night’ versatility can be put down to its delicate yet strong, blue-gold base colour that means it is effortlessly suited to all skin, eye and hair colour types. Love that!
If you haven’t worn Karen Murrell Lipsticks before you have been seriously missing out, as they are both high performance and seriously created with a conscience. Hailed as ‘vegetarian lipsticks’, they are made with no animal-based materials and are not tested on animals. Instead, they contain Avocado Oil for hydration and protection, Cinnamon to plumps lips to make them look fuller, Evening Primrose Oil (naturally rich in Omega 6) to soothe and moisturiss dry lips, and Carnauba Wax. Renowned for its high melting point, the latter ensures Karen Murrell lipsticks do not melt in handbags and is quite the revelation!
Karen Murrell Lipstick in Pink Starlet is available right now with an RRP of $29.95.

* #1 Lipstick colour for New Zealand is Karen Murrell Pink Starlet (Aztec MAT National Pharmacy 07.12.2014) The Aztec data reference MAT 7/12/14: 7/12/13 to 7/12/14

Friday, April 24, 2015

Mother’s Day: Spa at the Pullman’s ‘Mind, Body and Sole’ treatment

Stuck for a Mother’s Day gift? As a mama I can fully vouch for how much time at a spa will be appreciated, and lucky for us a few great spas out there are offering some beautiful – and inspired – Mother’s Day treatments.
Spa at the Pullman has what you need with their Mother’s Day ‘Mind, Body and Sole’ treatment, a 75 minute journey into bliss that I can pretty much guarantee will be heaven and then some.
Specially created to balance the main flow of energy and encourage inner peace and harmony, the 75 minute treatment includes a raw cacao and honey foot ritual, a soothing back neck and shoulder massage, and an Elemis inspired scalp treatment using luxurious coconut and frangipani oil. 
For the full rundown: the treatment begins with a raw cacao and honey foot ritual with feet immersed in a luxurious mixture of warm milk and rich New Zealand Manuka honey. The therapist (and Spa at the Pullman most definitely have some of the best) will then buff away rough weathered skin with an invigorating sugar chocolate scrub to leave feet feeling revitalised.
Next, continue into a deeper sense of relaxation with a soothing back, neck and shoulder massage personalised to your specific requirements. After this the journey ends with an Elemis inspired scalp treatment using their luxurious coconut and frangipani oil.  The oil is massaged over the scalp, releasing built up pressure and tension.  Left on post treatment, the oil will deeply nourish the scalp so your hair feels silky, smooth and shiny.
This treatment is priced at only $139 (incl. gst) and can be booked throughout the month of May, with gift vouchers redeemable for 6 months from purchase. After a shared experience for maybe you and your mum?  Spa at the Pullman has six treatment rooms available including their exclusive duo room. Book your treatment for May and you will enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbles post treatment.
Bookings for Mother’s Day weekend will sell out in advance, so if you are after treatments specifically for this time they suggest making a booking as soon as possible.

Contact the spa directly on (09) 355 1242 to book or visit their website ( and book online.

Daily delight: Joan Smalls for Lucky magazine

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Beauty news: Poppy Delevingne named the first Jo Malone London Girl

Last week Jo Malone London announced Poppy Delevingne as the inaugural Jo Malone London Girl, the brand's first ever global ‘face’. As with any good partnership, it's the quintessentially British similarities between the two that make the partnership work - ultimately they're very English, very chic, and always immaculately presented.
Known for her cool style credentials, and quirky Britishness, Poppy Delevingne is the quintessential Jo Malone London Girl embodying, as she does, the globally renowned fragrance and lifestyle brand’s spirit of sophistication, originality, wit and hospitality.
“I’ve been wearing Red Roses since I was 22. The first thing that drew me to my husband James was his scent, and when I asked him what it was he said, Amber & Lavender. My home is overflowing with Jo Malone London candles and I scented my wedding with Orange Blossom, which still gives me butterflies. Jo Malone London is woven into the fabric of my life and I couldn’t be happier to be working with a brand I love so much,” says Jo Malone London Girl, Poppy Delevingne.
With her international career as a model, designer and fashion ambassador, Poppy is a perfect choice to represent Jo Malone London globally. Brimming with ideas, she will offer her expertise and dynamism to a wide spectrum of projects over the next year. To begin with Poppy will curate and host a series of special events – both grand and cosy – and will actively share the brand with her many friends the world over.
“Poppy is such a dedicated, vivacious character, with huge international appeal. As a long time Jo Malone London devotee, and true English rose, this feels like an incredibly natural appointment. Poppy’s personality is infectious, she is a joy to be around and brings a sense of celebration to everything she does,” says Global General Manager, Jean-Guillaume Trottier.
To which I say – a match made in fragrance, fashion and fabulousness heaven.

Daily delight: Matilda Jo Price for Bower swimwear

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Love it: Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil

I obsess about good brows, and have to say that when I let mine go I get one HELL of a shock when I get my bangs trimmed – the horror! I like to get them tended to by a professional, but in between dates I always keep things looking tidy with an array of brow-related beauty products, and am always on the lookout for interesting (and useful) new finds.
The latest I have fallen in love with comes from the hand of a veritable Brow Queen – Bobbi Brown. Called the Perfectly Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil, it is an automatic brow pencil with a unique slant tip for ultra-precise definition and a handy spooley brush at the other end. Oh and it’s rather conveniently formulated for 16-hour wear and is sweat- and humidity-resistant and waterproof, making it a daily essential and then some. Formulated with a combination of waxes and emollients, this long-wearing formula won’t smudge or fade, so brows look fresh and polished from sun up to sun down – how brilliant is that?
The slant tip means a super easy and versatile application that you can customise to your own preferred brow style - use the flat edge for a softer look and the pointed tip for a more defined, bold look. For a bold, super-defined look, use the pointed tip to define the entire length of the brow. It’s all very easy to navigate even for a brow-amateur like me, so for those of you who truly known what you’re doing the possibilities are endless!
The attached spooley brush lets you comb brow hairs into place, and it’s also available in a wide range of shades, so you can find the right shade for your individual skin tone and hair colour.
Bobbi Brown really does know how to do long wear well, and this new baby is absolutely spot on. The perfect texture, a handy spooley brush, and a formula that’s life-proof… what is not to love, seriously?
These beauties are available May 4 at a Bobbi Brown counter near you.

Daily delight: Carey Mulligan for Vogue US

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Talking to: Xtend Barre’s Viv Gallagher

I have loved watching the growth of ballet barre-inspired fitness classes in my neighbourhood of late, mainly because it’s something new that everyone can have a bash at, and it’s lots of fun whether you have a dance background or not. Having tried a few I have most definitely come to the conclusion that not all barre classes are created equal, and each offers their own benefits that may or may not work for you.
The latest to arrive is Xtend Barre, which brings in elements of dance, ballet and Pilates to create an adrenaline-fuelled workout that strengthens, lengthens and chisels the body. Each class features an elegant yet energetic combination of movements that enhance flexibility, improve balance, and challenge the core, and on the timetable at their boutique studio in Grey Lynn you’ll find all manner of class types for those that like to mix it up.
After meeting owner Viv Gallagher and hearing about what they offer, I’ve personally tried the traditional Xtend Barre class as well as Xtend Stick, which works a whole different set of muscles and was a lot harder than I imagined.  “We are the only place in New Zealand where you can take a Stick class,” explains the ex-dancer with the body (seriously) of a woman half her age, “and there are ten teaching programs available in the Xtend Barre stable so we are very much more than just about the barre.”
A class I am looking forward to trying when it’s up and running is Xtend Suspend, which utilises TRX Suspension Training, one of my favourite fitness tools to play with. There is also a Pilates Fusion Class and Xtend Yoga Flow, where traditional yoga is integrated with Xtend Barre creating a dynamic sounding class with just the right amount of strength and Zen.
Viv‘s own passion for dance started at age five when she began classical ballet, and developed over the years as she studied various styles of dance, gymnastics, yoga and pilates. Previously a key figure at some of the country’s most high profile gyms, she has more than 20 years’ experience in the fitness industry and is a fully certified Personal Trainer, Pilates Mat and Reformer Instructor, Group Fitness Instructor and former National Trainer in her previous role.
She discovered Xtend Barre whilst teaching in Dubai and saw straight away the possibilities of taking a dance inspired, strength workout home to New Zealand with her. After opening her first studio in Newmarket a couple of years ago she saw a gap in the Ponsonby/Grey Lynn/Herne Bay market for what Xtend Barre offers, and classes have been growing since they opened their doors a couple of months ago.
She says that she’s keen to emphasise that Xtend Barre isn’t just for the young, lithe and extremely bendy, saying: “I have women in their fifties like me and even older coming to class and absolutely loving what we do. I started teaching Barre at my Newmarket studio two years ago and have a very diverse clientele there, the oldest being a 74 year old woman who never ceases to amaze us.” Also an ex-dancer, the latter has studied Pilates for over twenty years to boot “and still has the flexibility and the strength to take on anything that we throw at her”.
She also cites an extremely lovely email from a 61 year old student at her Newmarket studio, who decided not to renew her gym membership, “which I was finding tedious and uninspiring”, and to try something new instead. “I have renewed my interest in Ballet Barre and Pilates and have renewed vigour and vitality,” she says. “After a fall five years ago I have a total hip replacement. Post recovery I had a limited range of movement and weakened muscles but now attend barre classes 3-4 times a week and have regained strength, balance and posture once again.”
“It really gets people moving again,” emphasises Gallagher, “and we’ve had great results with people who have disc issues and things like that. It improves core strength as well as posture, both of which can affect the lower back directly.”
Xtend has also just launched a Babies on Board class that is designed for up to ten new mothers at a time with their babies in frontpacks. “It’s designed as a class to ease new mums back into exercise after their six week check,” explains Viv, “and it’s an interactive class that goes at the pace of the mums and babies themselves. If a mum needs to stop and feed her baby she can, she can just come back in when she’s ready.”
“We are getting a whole cross section of the community through the doors in the Grey Lynn studio,” she says with a smile, “and we’re really proud of that. I have a great team of teachers and classes to choose from and offer something for all levels and ages.”
“We just want to see people come in and have a good time, and leave feeling good and with a feeling of success,” she adds, which sounds good to me.

Daily delight: Jordana Brewster goes naked for Allure

Monday, April 20, 2015

I try: KEVIN.MURPHY’s TREAT.ME in salon treatment

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to Ryder Salon to try one of Kevin Murphy’s new TREAT.ME range of treatments, and boy did my locks love me for it!
Murphy says that he saw “that women’s hair was not responding to a generic “one size fits all” approach to treatments and masques,” and he began researching ingredients and found that a serum type treatment, like the ones found in skincare can be very effective due to the high concentration of active ingredients. These ingredients were found to be more potent or active at the onset of mixing and had very effective long lasting results, so he set about applying their modus operandi to haircare and boom – TREAT.ME was born.
By using skincare ingredients like Moringa Oil and Gardenia Extracts in the structure of a serum he and his R&D people were able to work with a smaller molecular structure where the ingredients can absorb into the cortex giving instant and lasting results. They used an all vegetable and plant protein system with over 26 amino acids alone coming from plants. These plant “Super Proteins” are very close to the hair’s structure; therefore they penetrate easily and strengthen the hair shaft by depositing themselves in the gaps created by heat styling and chemical services, making the surface supple more elastic and smoother.
Research has shown that the regular use of AHA or fruit acids on the hair has a really beneficial effect. By gently removing dead cells on the surface of the hair it allows the hair to receive all the essential ingredients, and regular use of AHA has been shown to strengthen the outer surface of hair making it stronger and shinier. Hair that has been treated with AHA (Fruit Acids) or Sugar Cane Extracts (Glycolic Acid) can also tolerate higher heat so therefore the hair can hold moisture at higher temperatures for longer.
Sound good to you? The texture of my hair felt even better!
The TREAT.ME range of products are designed for an in salon experience and were designed to be totally customised for each and every client, so you might get a different cocktail of goodies every time you have one depending on your hair’s needs at the time. They work to combat all kinds of problems and have long lasting results on even the most damaged hair.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the treatment range’s gruntier ingredients and what they do:
Sugar Cane
Sugar cane is a rich source of glycolic acid and contains antiseptic properties.
The extract will remove dead skins cells and broken cuticle from the hair making it able to accept moisture and protein from other sources better. Glycolic Acid is also thought to reinvigorate collagen and Sugar cane extract will also help to deeply cleanse oily hair but will not strip the natural oils away.

Nettle Extract
Extract of nettle is high in anti-oxidants. This will keep the free radicals under control.
It also has anti-inflammatory and astringent qualities.
This ingredient will improve the appearance of the hair and create optimum scalp health. It can even relieve conditions such as dandruff and act as an antibacterial agent. Studies have also shown that nettle extracts can inhibit DHT; a major cause of hair loss.

Glycolic Acid
Glycolic Acid has an excellent ability to penetrate the cuticle layer of the hair shaft. This enables it to attach itself to the keratin to make hair more manageable and give a healthy appearance.
Glycolic Acid can be used to deliver important benefits to hair – enhancing the protection and manageability of hair by, conditioning, moisturising, strengthening and preventing breakage.
Hair treated with Glycolic acid can tolerate higher heat so therefore the hair can hold moisture at higher temperatures for longer.

Mongongo Oil
Mongongo oil extract contains a high percentage of linoleic acid and offers a unique protection from UV and environmental pollutants in both skin and hair applications.
Mongongo oil gives hydrating, regenerating and restructuring properties for the hair. The oil is very stable and does not react to heat therefore offering protection.

Gardenia Flower Extracts
The extract has powerful anti-oxidant power due to ferulic acid. This, in turn, will aid with collagen maintenance and support the hair infrastructure resulting in improved condition and strength.
Functions as an anti-oxidant and to leave the hair smooth and manageable. It will moisturise, soften and treat to control frizz.
And much, much more… I highly recommend you give one of these babies a test drive ASAP – believe me, it can only be good for you!

Daily delight: Alyssa Miller for GQ UK

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tanning how to: St. Tropez X We Are Handsome Activewear at MBFWA

The inspo for the We Are Handsome Activewear collection at last week’s MBFWA was “The strength of active lifestyles interpreted into strong, clean lines and striking figures… The movement and vitality of bodies in motion, flexing, stretching and free to take on any challenge.” The natural tanning partner for the label was most definitely St. Tropez, who have worked with the brand for some time now and always create something beautiful to go with their shows and editorial.
Set under the lights of the White City Tennis Courts and starring Insta-Fit girls and athletes (amongst models), the show celebrated strong women who are driven and motivated to live in a fresh, inspiring and powerful way – and yep, all were glowing with St.Tropez! “St. Tropez is the perfect partner for accentuating our girls natural hues,” said WAH Designer & Director Katinka Somers, “they have a deep understanding of their craft and using their superior products they translate healthy glowing skin beautifully.”
The tanning brief was “Sun-kissed Sport Luxe” - a natural deep glow earned while pushing the body to the max. “Think days spent having fun and living fit lifestyles - whether they are out swimming, surfing, running or practicing yoga,” said Somers. “Our girl is a natural fitness warrior.”
Of the tan, St.Tropez Skin Finishing Expert Michael Brown said, “This year for We Are Handsome we are bringing the active glow to the ‘runway’ using skin finishing techniques to create a very healthy, 'lit from within' look. Adding warmth, depth and then highlighting all brings a touch of the outdoors to the skin - and it’s achievable for people at home too. With St.Tropez everyone can achieve the covetable, on-trend Active Wear look, everyday.”
To recreate the tanning look at home:
1. Exfoliate the skin the day prior with St.Tropez Prep & Maintain Tan Enhancing Body Polish ($29.95) and hydrate with St.Tropez Prep & Maintain Tan Enhancing Body Moisturiser ($29.95) to plump and even the skin tone for tanning.
2. Buff St.Tropez Instant Tan Lotion Medium/Dark ($23.95) into the skin using the St.Tropez Tan Applicator Mitt ($14.95) to create a deep, even, warm tan. ‘Buffing’ blurs the line between skin and tan - the tan won’t sit ‘ontop’ of the skin, but instead, appear to be one with the skin.
3. Sweep St.Tropez Gold Illuminator ($34.95) down limbs and across the collarbone to highlight and elongate the limbs and give an extra golden glow.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Love it: Osmosis Colour's new Long Lasting Lipstick

As anyone who dips in here regularly would know, I’m always on the search for a bright shiny new lipstick love. And I’m hard to please! Sometimes I’m all about the nude and sometimes I’m all about the pop, with a distinct preference for matte and a love of luxurious.
I must have tried almost every brand under the sun - and often have around 15-20 ‘favourites’ on the go - but one formula I hadn’t tried was Osmosis Colour Long Lasting Lipstick. Until now, and I’m hopelessly in love with these little round tubes of fabulous from here on in.
With an irresistible creamy texture and almost cashmere-like finish, these long-lasting lipsticks gives your lips a true wash of colour that stays put all day long.  I knew that my favourite skincare company wouldn’t disappoint when it came to applying their killer intell to a lipstick formula, and this one contains advanced mineral and organic pigment technology that gives these lipsticks their incredible vibrancy and feelgood texture. The formulation also contains silica, a natural ingredient derived from sand which absorbs excess moisture, helping to affix the pigment on the lips for long lasting wear and no feathering.
The tube they come in is pretty sleek and sassy too, and a little goes a way making the RRP of $52.00 pretty damn generous.
They come in eight incredible shades (above) that run the gamut from fresh nudes to warm spicy shades and popping pink, and I am finding that having one is most definitely not enough!
Go to for stockists or to buy online…

Daily delight: Zoe Kravitz for Marie Claire

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tanning how to: St Tropez and Bec & Bridge at MBFWA 15

Yesterday afternoon St.Tropez followed iconic Australian designers Bec & Bridge into the golden age at MBFWA; setting off an amazing 120 piece collection with a shimmering, deep bronze glow reminiscent of 70’s glamour and days and nights in exotic locales.
The brief was raw, evocative and inspired by a confident free spirit. “Think shimmer, gloss and iridescence. We created gorgeous, warm and healthy skin that is perfect for the brand’s first foray into swimwear,” said St. Tropez Skin Finishing Expert, Michael Brown, backstage at Carriageworks, Sydney.
Buffing St.Tropez Instant Tan Lotion Medium/Dark into well hydrated skin created an even, honeyed warmth, finished off with highlights of St.Tropez’s famed Gold Illuminator to illuminate and extend the limbs. Creating glistening skin against jewel tones and metallic accents.
Of working with St.Tropez, Bec & Bridge designers Becky Cooper and Bridget
Yorston said - “It's such an iconic brand, we have always loved the products and feel as though the alignment is so organic! It works for every skin tone, and we knew if would be the perfect partner for the new swim pieces – really, the whole collection.”
To recreate the golden girls’ gleam:
1. Exfoliate the skin the day prior with St.Tropez Prep & Maintain Tan Enhancing Body Polish and hydrate with St.Tropez Prep & Maintain Tan Enhancing Body Moisturiser.
2. Buff St.Tropez Instant Tan Lotion Medium/Dark all over the body using the St.Tropez Tan Applicator Mitt to create an even, caramel tone.
3. Sweep St.Tropez Gold Illuminator down limbs and across the collarbone to lend skin a gorgeous, jewel-like gleam.

Daily delight: Kate Upton for Marie Claire

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Love it: Jo Malone London Blue Skies & Blossoms

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Jo Malone London has unveiled Blue Skies & Blossoms – a collection of the brand’s most popular blossom scents. The limited-edition line will be available at Jo Malone London stockists from May 4 and I defy you not to fall in love with one of the exquisite, ultra feminine trio.
Created by three different Master Perfumers chosen by the Jo Malone London Creative Studio, each fragrance was designed to “encapsulate the light, carefree attitude of the Spring season as well as gentle nod towards the season of growth and renewal”.
I am not typically a light, floral fan and yet I find Jo Malone Sakura Cherry Blossom Cologne pretty irresistible, and think many of you will too. Created by Christine Nagel, Sakura Cherry Blossom is a delicate floral blend of rose and bergamot, whilst the second fragrance Osmanthus Blossom – composed by Marie Salamagne – combines peach and petitgrain. The third in the line up is Plum Blossom, which I haven’t worn myself but have heard is beautiful Nosed by Fabrice Pellegrin, it opens on top notes of yellow plum, building to a plum blossom heart.
“Floral scents have always been some of the most popular among women, but today they’re looking for a 
different kind of floral expression,” noted Jo Malone London Fragrance Director Celine Roux. “We associate traditional heady bouquet scents with our grandmothers while blossoms are fresh, natural, authentic and much easier to wear.”
They are most definitely all designed to be spring scents, but I think they will work at any damn time of the year! Start saving now…

Daily delight: Candice Swanepoel for Max Factor

Monday, April 13, 2015

Beauty news: Soo Joo Park announced as latest face of L’Oréal Paris

The incredibly good looking L’Oréal Paris spokesmodel family has expanded once again, with Soo Joo Park announced as the new face of L’Oréal Paris Cosmetics – the first Asian-American to represent the brand in its 106-year history.
Park adds ethnicity mixed with the girl-next-door to the ever-expanding pool of glamorous L’Oréal Paris ambassadors such as Karlie Kloss, Barbara Palvin and Naomi Watts.
Born in Korea, Park moved to California when she was 10 years old and didn’t start modelling until she was 26 and had finished an architecture degree.
She may have been a late-comer to the model scene, but Park was embraced in the fashion scene by the likes of Carine Roitfeld, who immediately recognised her potential while shooting for her namesake publication, CR Fashion Book.
Park was introduced to the fashion world by Roitfeld, going on to appear on the runways of Karl Lagerfeld and Tom Ford, subsequently becoming the starring face in their campaigns. Park quickly featured on countless leading fashion magazine covers, her status, unique features and commanding presence hugely popular with many fashion titles. 
Stepping in to the modelling world at the relatively late age of 28, Park is excited about what the L’Oréal Paris opportunity represents. “L’Oréal Paris represents everything I want to stand for, by inspiring and empowering women to be the best versions of themselves," said Park.
 “This brand has revolutionised the way women feel by showing them ‘you deserve the absolute best of everything’. I couldn’t agree more with this, that’s why it is a real honour for me to become a L’Oréal Paris’ spokesperson."

Daily delight: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Violet Grey

Friday, April 10, 2015

Giveaway: x 2 double passes to see The Age of Adaline

The Age of Adaline is a beautiful looking new movie starring Blake Lively that is soon to hit cinemas.
It’s the story of Adaline Bowman (Ms. Lively), who has miraculously remained a youthful 29 years of age for nearly eight decades, never allowing herself to get close to anyone lest they discover her secret. However, a chance encounter with a charismatic philanthropist named Ellis Jones (a verrry sultry Michiel Huisman) reawakens her long-suppressed passion for life and romance. When a weekend with Ellis' parents threatens to expose the truth, Adaline makes a decision that changes her life forever.
A true timeless romance in every sense of the word, it also has its wardrobe and beauty department nailing it when it comes to Lively’s changes of look according to the era (see a couple of examples, above). Throughout the film, Adaline’s wardrobe features prominently as it evolves through the times, from the 1920s until present day, and I for one think it will be a veritable visual feast!
If you agree then you’re in luck – I have tow double passes to see The Age of Adeline up for grabs. If you’d like to enter email with your name and postal address before Wednesday, April 15 and you’re in the draw! 

THE AGE OF ADALINE opens in New Zealand cinemas on April 16.

Love it: Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation

As a beauty brand, over the past couple of year YSL have been absolutely killing it. Their packaging is sheer perfection, they have the most ‘it’ of the ‘it’ girls as their spokesmodel and most importantly, they are developing and releasing some of the most unique and exciting formulas to hit the market.
The latest of which is Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation, a most definitely revolutionary, fine-as-ink foundation with broad spectrum SPF 18 that perfects the skin while it wears weightlessly for 24 hours. 
Reviews have said it is a ground breaking response to a modern beauty demand; the call for trustworthy, perfect coverage and long-wear, but without compromising with a heavy or cakey texture. It’s a cutting-edge, high-efficacy formula, which combines patented advances in texture, colour and active ingredients.
Fusion Ink Foundation contains a combination of volatile oils that upon contact with the skin, actually evaporate away – leaving only a veil of pigment behind. These oils also make application an absolute, and definitely keep the ‘luxe’ in a most luxurious brand. It stays feeling good all day too, and the broad-spectrum sun protection is a bonus as well as a necessity in the New Zealand sun.
It gives the skin the kind of soft-matte finish that flatters older skin as well as young,  and its hybrid stain technology means that it’s a lightweight yet high-coverage formula that doesn’t ‘crack’ or ever look chalky. Special sweat and sebum-controlling agents allow for 24-hours of coverage even through humidity or heat, and its oil complex allows it to set in seconds.
As an Allure Best of Beauty winner you know this foundation is going to be a star from the moment that you pop the lid, and it is incredibly easy to use as well.  Give the bottle a shake and then unscrew the cap and let the first drop fall back into the well (no waste!). Using the flat side of the applicator, apply the desired amount to your forehead, bridge of nose, cheeks and chin, and then use the edge of the applicator to add any extra to dark circles and the like – magic! Use your fingers to blend well, or the brand also recommends using their YSL Polisher Brush in a circular motion for a really professional result. Repeat for medium coverage, or repeat two times for full coverage.

This beauty is on counter from April 20, with an RRP of $97.00. Highly recommended!

Daily delight: Sofia Vergara for Vanity Fair

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Love it: Aspect Post Treatment Balm

This is the time of year when my skin starts to get grumpy with me – seriously grumpy. The mornings and evenings are cooler, heaters are about ready to start getting warmed up, hot baths are run… and my skin doesn’t like it one bit.
It’s also the time of year when many of us choose to go down the route of some more serious skin treatments, especially laser, peels and IPL. All of these are better suited to the winter months given that we spend less time outside in the sun, as well as the time we can spend under the duvet if our outward appearance is a little less polished than usual!
This is where treatment balms come in, comforting and soothing distressing skin and giving it a little TLC as well as protection. One that I’ve discovered recently is Aspect’s Post Treatment Balm, and I can pretty much guarantee that it’s going to get well used as the temperature drops.
A luxurious blend of Hyaluronic Acid, Olive Oil, Aloe Vera and Shea Butter, the skincare experts say it is” like a safe haven for distressed skin” as well as the perfect occlusive barrier post laser or peel treatment. It has been designed specifically to support compromised skins and protect the skin as it heals, keeping it super hydrated and soothed while at the same time protecting its compromised barrier as it heals.
Aspect advise anyone undergoing their own peels to use this for at least three days afterwards in place of their normal skincare routine, but I reckon it will be an ambulance in a tube all year round for those of us with sensitive or sensitised skin no matter what the cause.
It can be applied to the entire face or to a specific treated area as often as is needed once the heat has gone out of the skin, and then watch it work its magic!
Aspect Post Treatment Balm is available right now for $59.80, check to find a stockist near you.

Daily delight: Emilia Clarke for Vogue UK

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

KMS X Ryder at the Britomart Fashion Sessions 2015

The annual Britomart Fashion Sessions event on March 20 and 21 featured a series of runway shows from some of New Zealand’s top designers.
Showcasing the 2015 Autumn/Winter collections from the likes of Zambesi, WORLD, Kathryn Wilson, Trelise Cooper, Taylor and others, the shows were held at Britomart’s Atrium on Takutai and included work behind the scenes by Ryder salon for KMS California. 
Three of Ryder’s top stylists were given the task of keying several shows, with owner Greg Murrell heading the Ryder X KMS California team.
Senior stylist Candace Cole created the two looks for the Mindfood Style show, one of which she describes as a “slick wet look with side a parting” and the other “a slick pony tail with a textured side part over the forehead”. She created the former using KMS Gel and KMS Hot Flex Crème, “taking small sections and working up towards the parting and then directing each section down and behind the ear. I kept the back straight and natural, finishing with KMS Playable Texture”.
The second, pony tail look was created by “taking triangle sections from the side part to recession, spraying with KMS Sea Salt Spray which was dried into the hair. I then took the ponytail section and applied small amounts of gel with my hands and secured tightly. I then pinned the triangle section around the pony elastic band and sprayed KMS Playable Texture to finish the look.” 
Senior Stylist Fraser Foulagi created the looks for the always-colourful WORLD show, using two key products: Free Shape Hot Flex Spray and Hair Play Dry Retouch Spray. “WORLD wanted some movement in the hair,” said the stylist, “so instead of doing your standard curl, I decided to do more of a non conventional wave”. To set the hair he used Free Shape Hot Flex Spray, “as this product provides heat protection for blow drying and hot tools, and also has a mouldable flexibility to re-work the hair.” 
To achieve the wave he used straightening irons, taking sections below the cheekbone and working off the face outward then inward in a “C” shape. “After setting the hair, Hair Play Dry Retouch Spray was the perfect finishing spray as it has a zero hold but adds a nice shine to the ends.” 
Lastly, Senior Stylist Jannine Jones was responsible for the hair look at Zambesi, which was a textured ponytail with a bit of height through the front to keep the hair soft, but still incorporating strength and structure to fit the strong Zambesi aesthetic. 
She began by making a diamond section from the front of the head, working back to the crown. Next she sectioned from the temple to the occipital bone, and “pulled the hair into a slick ponytail using KMS Medium-hold hairspray”. She then dampened the remaining hair with water and applied KMS Sea Salt Spray, “drying the product in and repeating the process to really layer the product up in the hair. Using a Mason Pearson brush, I gently brushed the hair back off the face and folded each side of the remaining hair over itself and pinned to secure”.
To complete the process, she took the hair in the diamond section and sprayed very lightly with KMS Sea Salt spray before backcombing to create height, and then brushed all of the hair one thick, beautiful ponytail that was sewn into place for a seamless look. “I finished the look with KMS Hair Play Playable texture.”

** photos by Sam Lee for Ryder salon **

Daily delight: Jourdan Dunn and Naomi Campbell for Burberry eyewear

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

All about: D&M hair design’s new collection, Beatnik

I have dabbled with blonde over the years, but one campaign that makes me want to go all out, no holds barred platinum is the beautiful new campaign from Ponsonby’s D&M salon, entitled Beatnik.
It’s salon co-owner and creative director Danny Pato’s latest collaboration with photographer Mara Sommer, and celebrates an era of rebellion chic, paying homage to the Beatnik. The official word talks of “calm, composed, intellectual mod-girls” and recalls a “time of scooters, bikers and smoky late night speakeasies, where the inner-circle is shared with thinkers, writers and poets like Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs”.
The Beatnik - essentially a 50s/60s stereotype – has a style all its own that like many, has become fashionable again. “For our collection and where trends heading this winter, the Beatnik styles - including mods, biker-girls, rebels and screen sirens - have been given a roughed-up, contemporary twist,” says Pato.
Pixie cuts are soft and frayed around the edges, while shorter bobs are accented with choppy fringes. Shoulder length hair - AKA lobs - are textured and layered, and styled with grit. Long hair is kept glossy and styled with loose, glamorous waves. And everyone is rocking a fringe! If you’re about to go get yourself a fringe, ask your stylist about what type will suit your style and face shape, and get something soft and sweepy, choppy or dramatically dead blunt.
Solid colours and full head bleaches were definite trends of the Beatnik era, something that the salon team say we’re seeing a resurgence of for winter 2015. “Baylayage and ombre have been fading out of fashion for a while, becoming softer and more blended. We are now heading back toward more solid colour looks with subtle shimmers of light and depth.”
So yes, full-on blonde is back, while darker tones are rich and shiny.  Whether hair is light or dark, “a client’s natural colouring should be taken into account to determine if a warm, cool or neutral reflect would work best,” says Pato. “Everyone is unique, so make sure you work in tandem with your colourist to selects shades that truly compliment you.”
And if you’re going for the full-on blonde that I am so tempted by, try to find a colourist who’s using Olaplex (coming to New Zealand later this month), a new miracle product from the US that magically prevents hair breakage.
The Beatnik collection has earned D&M a top-four finalist placing for Australasian Salon Team of the Year at the 2015 Hair Expo Awards, A.K.A. the hairdressing Oscars. D&M is the only New Zealand salon to have ever been a finalist for this award. Danny Pato is also a finalist for New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year at the same competition.

Photographer: Mara Sommer
Art Director: Danny Pato @ D&M
Hair: Danny Pato, Michael Sisaengrath and the D&M creative team
Styling: Rachel Morton
Makeup: Virginia Carde
Models: Grace and Kizzie @ 62, Lydia and Jesse @ Red 11, Danielle @ Unique

Daily delight: Kristen Stewart for Chanel eyewear