Friday, October 30, 2015

Daily delight: Jourdan Dunn for Vogue Japan

All about: Kevin.Murphy KILLER.CURLS

I don’t have curly hair myself, but know many women who do and they are always battling with it. Whether they are straightening it (usually verrrry temporarily), trying to dry it, tame it or just diminish the frizz, it seems super high maintenance but always looks beautiful.
These friends are alsoalways on the hunt for the next curl-containing product too, and one that I have recommended to a few with amazing results is Kevin.Murphy’s new KILLER.CURLS.
KILLER.CURLS is essentially a leave-in anti-frizz crème designed to provide curl definition and style, and uses new technology to pair weightless ingredients with the ideal balance of strong hold and elasticity. The product’s styling properties activate curls while adding moisture and eliminating frizz, for a natural look and feel.
So what are these awesome ingredients? First up, natural Brazilian Carnuba Wax was chosen for its superior holding properties under high heat and in humid environments, and has the added benefit of creating a glossy sheen finish. Six Australian fruit extracts were then chosen for their ability to thrive in harsh climatic conditions help to hydrate the hair and scalp. Yerba Mate, containing Vitamins A, C, E, B1, and B2, is also in there to strengthen hair follicles and adds lustre and shine to the hair.
“Traditionally, strong hold curl products provide a stiff look and feel, leaving hair dull and flat. Products touting a more flexible hold typically are low-performance or provide a weak hold,” explains Kevin.Murphy stylist and founder Kevin Murphy. “With this information in mind, we set out to create a new curl product for women looking to embrace their natural texture. Killer.Curls defines curls while smoothing and strengthening hair. Plant extracts and oils benefit both the hair and scalp, adding hydration, improving elasticity, and encouraging hair regeneration.”
To use it, just apply to damp or towel-dried hair and scrunch to activate curl. Too easy! It’s also paraben and other nasty free, like all of Murphy’s brilliant products.
Kevin.Murphy KILLER.CURLS is available right now, RRP NZD $70.00

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Daily delight: Ariana Grande for M.A.C Cosmetics' Viva Glam

All about: Redken Diamond Oil Glow Dry

I happily admit to the fact that I hate blowdrying my own hair. Loathe it. Will do anything to avoid it in fact, which is why I have an extensive collection of dry shampoos.
I do however also have a collection of blowdry-related products – anything that will make the process faster and less painful gets a major tick in my book.
The latest that I’ve heard about comes from haircare giant Redken, and promises to deliver “what every woman on the go desires; less blow dry time; more shine time…” So where do I sign up?
Following on from the success of Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine, it’s Diamond Oil Glow Dry, which promises a mix of instant illuminating shine with style and control, and reduced blow-dry time. Inspired by the mechanics of Redken’s Pillow Proof Express Primer (again which I haven’t tried but heard is amazing), Diamond Oil Glow Dry features heat-responsive oil technology with a blend of two heat-transforming silicones. The silicones evaporate when heat is applied - to add instant shine and style without the weight. It sounds like the answer to many a woman’s prayers in my humble opinion, and if it gives me a ‘do like Redken brand muse, British-born model and actress Suki Waterhouse (pictured above) then I am all for jumping on the bandwagon!
Redken Diamond Oil Glow Dry (RRP $45.00) is available from November from all leading Redken salons and Rodney Wayne Shampoo ‘N’ Things.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Beauty news: Sodashi launches into Japan

Anyone who reads this blog would know that I’m a huge fan of ultra pure Australian skincare brand Sodashi and its perfect collection of exquisite products and natural therapies, and also that I do like to while away the hours on a treatment bed at a seriously beautiful spa. 
Considered by many to be “the purest skincare brand in the world”, Sodashi is an Australian skin care company that has successfully harnessed the benefits of natural ingredients to produce effective, chemical-free skin care products and spa therapies since 1999, and I for one was very excited to know more about them after receiving some of their delectable goodies in the mail to trial.
The extensive range of 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 - as aforementioned - at many of most exclusive resorts and spas worldwide.
And Sodashi continues to expand globally, with news just in that its pure botanical range has just launched into The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo.
Sodashi Founder – and all round awesome and inspiring woman - Megan Larsen says she is delighted to be partnering with the exquisite property to unveil the Sodashi brand in the sophisticated Japanese skincare market. The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo after much anticipation has just completed a multi-phase transformation. The introduction of Sodashi at the Tokyo Spa, is part of the new luxury offering.
Situated on the 46th floor, The Ritz-Carlton Spa & Fitness offers guests the ultimate pampering, rejuvenation and restorative experience in a tranquil sanctuary. The soothing Tokyo day spa features an indoor lap pool, dry sauna, steam sauna, nine treatment rooms, a spa suite and fitness studio. Take me there, ASAP!
Other prestigious properties recently added to Sodashi’s global spa portfolio include Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre at Hotel Café Royal London, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental London Hyde Park, COMO The Treasury in Perth, St Regis Hotel Dubai and Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Dubai.

Daily delight: Daria Werbowy for Anthony Vaccarello X Lancome

Thursday, October 22, 2015

All about: O Cosmedics Youth Activating Oil Balm

I love the fact that after years of using oils on my skin – some harder to source than others – a lot of the big beauty names are jumping on the bandwagon in the coolest way possible. It’s interesting to see the way some brands have reinterpreted the facial oil as well, the latest being O Cosmedics who have recently released their Youth Activating Oil Balm.
If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, O Cosmedics is a medical-grade, professional skincare line, which “utilises highly concentrated active ingredients to rejuvenate your complexion and achieve
optimum skin health”. Like the sound of that? Me too. They have created some pretty great – and proven – products over the years, but this newbie has to be one of my favourites thus far.
Youth Activating Oil Balm is essentially a corrective treatment serum that utilises super rich vitamins and fatty acids to increase skin’s lipid levels and restore skin barrier protection whilst continuously treating, nourishing and repairing skin from the appearance of ageing. To me this means that it’s perfect for times of seasonal change and travel, as well as post-procedure if you’re someone who loves to use lasers and peels.
It features three new key active ingredients to the O Cosmedics range, a blend of active botanicals and a luxurious feel, so it feels beautiful on the skin as well as doing some majorly good stuff.
Klotho is a protein that is part of every person’s biological make up and is scientifically proven to relate to signs of ageing. As we grow older, this protein begins to deteriorate, and signs of ageing become more visible. Lakesis (AKA Crystal Tears) is a key ingredient in the new balm, and is actually an oil derived from the sap or ‘crystal drops’ of a native Greek tree that contains youth-activating properties. This incredible ingredient stimulates the youth protein Klotho, which in turn, reactivates cellular activity and supporting fibres in skin and acts as an anti-ageing treatment –amazing!
Youth Activating Oil Balm also features a new super-ingredient, L22, which is composed of Jojoba and Macadamia Oils that are combined with olive-sourced squalene – an oil renowned for its anti-ageing properties - plant sterols and sterol esters to create a product with a similar lipid composition of a healthy 22-year-old.
Lastly, third super ingredient Camellia Japonica has many therapeutic, cosmetic and medicinal qualities and has been a huge feature of Asian beauty preparations for some time now. A natural seed enriched with powerful antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-wrinkle
properties, this ingredient also helps to keep skin supple and hydrated.
If O Cosmedics Youth Activating Oil Balm sounds like a bit of you – it was definitely a bit of me! – then call 0508 776 232 or visit for a stockist near you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Daily delight: Beyonce for Beat magazine

What a steal: L’Oreal Paris Superliner Smokissime

I have long been a fan of the smoky eye – who isn’t, really? – but when I do one myself I often have to allow for extra time to get it right or just give up and do a bright, popping lip. I’ve longed for a Smoky Eye 101 for dummies, and have tried my fair share of products that aim for that but fall pretty short.
One that has definitely taken my fancy however is from L’Oreal Paris’s recently released seasonal collection and is known as the Superliner Smokissime. It calls itself “the first powder eyeliner pen”, and seriously works a charm when effortlessly delivering that ultimate smoky eye look in – seriously! - one stroke! With the precision tip you can line your eye, whilst the rounded foam helps blend the colour across your lid.
It isn’t quite an eyeliner but more of a concentrated powder, and comes housed in a chubby pen and with a smudger sponge for application. The sponge is slightly pointed and has eyeshadow or eyeliner powder (which ever you want to call it) inside the cap. When you replace the cap the sponge becomes saturated with the powder so with each use, when you want to reload the sponge, simply put the cap back on and more powder gets loaded onto the sponge. Too easy!
With the precision tip of your Super Liner Smokissime you draw a line around your eye, then using the rounded foam, blend and blend again. Make sure you use smooth movements for an even smoky blend, and there is a little fallout if you are building the colour up so I recommend waiting til after to apply concealer etc.
The colour is marketed to wear for 14 hours and I got around 12 hours the first time I tried it, which is no mean feat. The colour remained intense through the wear.
I think this will be a great travel product going forward as there is no need for brushes or messy palette meltdown, and at $22.99 is definitely a beauty steal in my books.
It also comes in three colours (for now), which are Black Smoke, Taupe Smoke and Brown Smoke. Love it.

Monday, October 19, 2015

All about: the new Lancôme Absolue L’Extrait Ultimate Essence

I love a truly luxe beauty item – it stirs the senses and the emotions like you wouldn’t believe, and at every turn you feel like you are allowing yourself that little bit of time for extra pampering i.e. true ‘me’ time in every sense of the word.
I also love the feel of using oils on my skin – face and body – so when I heard that Lancôme were introducing Absolue L’Extrait Ultimate Essence and that it was a mix of both, I was seriously intrigued.
But first, a little background. When he developed Absolue, his ultimate creation for Lancôme, in 1965, the legendary Armand Petitjean reprtedlty aimed to capture “inspired, authentic and serene beauty” in a skincare product: the art of beauty à la française. 50 years later, the range continues to represent Lancôme’s high standards of excellence and sheer fabulousness, hitting its peak (I thought) in 2012 with the launch of Absolue L’Extrait. The company’s most complete regenerating collection, it draws two exceptional active ingredients from the heart of the Lancôme® Rose: Lancôme® Rose native cells and the Pressé of these native cells. It was the ultimate holistic beauty experience – high performance and high sensoriality in one delicious swoop.
This year however, they have unveiled what they term a “sensational trompe l’oeil texture” that offers women in search of sensoriality a product that feels like an oil but isn’t one. Yep, that’s right – all of the nourishing benefits of an oil, but in the ease of a lotion. That’s Absolue L’Extrait Ultimate Essence, and what a marvel it is.
For thousands of years, oils have held a singular place in cosmetics and the art of living. For women in search of all the sensorial benefits of oils but who do not use them, the Lancôme laboratories have reinvented oils and dream up a new-generation texture. The idea of an oil that develops a sensation identical to oil on the skin, but without being an oil or containing a single drop of it. Rather, it is formed using an extremely high percentage of humectants cleverly combined in an ultra-fresh emulsified gel texture. This gives the enveloping, comforting and nutritive sensation of oil, combined with the lightness and freshness of a lotion. And it comes with a proven record - after the very first application the Ultimate Essence reportedly strengthens the skin’s barrier function by over 31 per cent.
The whole Absolue L’Extrait range has always emphasised a holistic, sensorial experience when it comes to the usage of its products.  The same applies to this new essence, for which it has also devised a ritual meant to awaken all of the senses and having tried it, I can vouch for the fact that it feels amazing!
It goes thus…
Step 1: Pour equivalent to 1 pipette of Absolue L’Extrait Ultimate Essence into the palm of your hand.
Step 2: Apply the formula to five points on the face and blend it with fingertips over the forehead, cheeks and chin, using long gliding strokes, working from the centre of the face outwards.
Step 3: Finish with light downward strokes on the T-zone, around the lips, along the jaw line and down the neck.
Step 4: Briskly rub hands together to warm them then press palms on the forehead, cheeks and chin.
Step 5: Repeat this movement on the facial contours. 
Just gorgeous, and a reminder to stop and care for yourself at LEAST once a day. Halleljuah to that.
Absolue L’Extrait Ultimate Essence is available right now, RRP NZD$498.00

Daily delight: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Vogue Korea

Local beauty: yoga teacher Constanza Causa

Every Sunday evening(all going to plan) you’ll find me on the mat at The Centre, taking part in one of yoga teacher Constanza Causa’s Sunday Bliss classes.
The perfect way to seal the week and prepare for another, it is an absolute joy and she a living treasure. The Chilean-born instructor’s lilting voice takes the pain away during more challenging poses, whilst her beautiful tales and anecdotes to accompany the more restorative series of moves lull you into the perfect Sunday evening vibe. To say the classes come highly recommended would be an understatement, and I fear I’ve just given away my best kept secret!
When we meet on a Monday to talk about life, yoga and the universe, it’s the day of the Great Auckland Hailstorm, and we are hunkered down in Wilder & Hunt sheltering from the weather bomb. As always, Connie is calm, collected and cool as a cucumber, relishing an afternoon watching a movie with her three-year-old daughter, Luna.
She begins by telling me that as well as her classes at The Centre she teaches aerial yoga at a studio in Ponsonby (which I have since tried and am hooked on) and hot yoga in Britomart, and she is a qualified Bikram yoga instructor. She says she began with Kundalini practice when she was really young, “followed by Astanga before my sister forced me to go to a Bikram class. I thought I wouldn’t like it but I absolutely loved it, really, really loved it!” She says that the first thing that hooked her on the style was “the simplicity, and the fact that it works. Whatever is your reason for being at that yoga class, it works. My sister was right – she is my inspiration still today.” She was then sponsored to do her teacher training, and then moved into the aerial yoga arena, “which I then started teaching at festivals. It is so much fun…” I make a mental note to try it myself, despite a fear of being turned upside down and instability in general. “That is why you need it,” she says with a laugh, “we go easy on you!”
The most recent training she undertook was in Bali, and involved studying the art of sequencing. “It was all about how to create a sequence with your teaching practice, and move from a hatha style to a viniyasa, or perhaps a more restorative style,” she explains. This directly informed her Sunday Bliss class, “but I still allow it to be a little spontaneous as well because it is sometimes full of people all at different levels of fitness. I have a sequence in mind but then I tailor it a little as well, it was a co-creation with (The Centre founder) Rebecca, and it was always designed to be very flexible and go with the flow.”
She says that the pair wanted to create a Sunday late afternoon practice that was still based around energy, as opposed to “just coming in and saying ‘it’s Sunday, I am done with this week’!” says Connie. “I wanted to give people energy for what is coming next, like a transition that helps raise their energy levels and then gives them some restorative practice at the end. It will keep evolving, I am sure.”
As a person she is also constantly evolving as well, arriving in New Zealand originally in the role of a canyoning instructor. “I was sponsored to stay here by a canyoning company in the Waitakeres and I love it, but now yoga is my path,” she explains. When I say that the two professions seem quite opposed she says no, “they are actually very similar. When you are working with people canyoning for the first time you are telling them physically what to do but also to think about mentally the best space they could be in. Both can be physically challenging but you give people the technique to be safe and then remind them to breathe and consider the quality of thoughts they might have… they really are very similar.”
She teaches private and group classes, and says that most of all people seem to come to yoga seeking some peace of mind, as well as space for themselves. One of her favourite statements is “I don’t get what I want from a class, I get what I need”, and she describes yoga as “like a magical recipe, it has given me abundance. It keeps me grounded and connected. If I’m injured, it gives me healing. If I’m confused, it gives me clarity. I surrender to the class because I know it will give me what I need.” She says that witnessing the growth of yoga within the New Zealand community has been incredibly invigorating, “especially when I see people who have had a busy, crazy day maybe and instead of just going home they are saying ‘I just want to be on my mat…’” She loves the fact that Kiwis are up for practising all styles of yoga as well, “and I think they all great as they each give you something different. I am pro all kinds of yoga and won’t say one is any better than any other, and I think a lot of other practitioners in New Zealand support variety too.”
She asserts that with yoga, you become more aware of what your body wants. “Sometimes your body wants water when your mind wants coffee. The body always talks, and with yoga we can listen to it.”
You can find details of Connie's wonderful classes here: and and

Friday, October 16, 2015

Daily delight Toni Garrn for H&M lingerie, Winter 2016

Beauty news: M.A.C X Zac Posen to hit February ‘16

I know it doesn’t take much to get me excited when I hear the word “M.A.C”, but their collaborations of late have been above and beyond awesome. News of the Charlotte Olympia collection really got me dizzy with delight, but I think the announcement of Zac Posen X M.A.C has officially pushed me over the edge!
After dazzling women with his modern but timeless designs on the runway for 13 years, New York designer Posen is presenting his debut colour collection for M.A.C. x Zac Posen is one of their most perfect, makes-total-sense partnerships yet. The designer has never been shy about his love of old Hollywood glamour, which takes the form of the red lips, winged eyes and sparkly shadow that M.A.C. makeup artists have created backstage at his shows each season. Come February, the wait for the collaboration between the two is over and you can stock your bag with inky liquid liner, deep red lipstick, a purple eye palette, a bronzer/blush duo and more.   
"Over the past 15 years I have learned a great deal from M.A.C. about beauty,” says Posen. “Fashion and beauty go hand-in-hand and I have always wanted to create a makeup collection to complement my designs and brand. It was only natural to work with M.A.C. to create my first ever signature collection. I wanted to keep it luxurious, a little mysterious and clean with a large dose of star wattage.” Hallelujah to that!
M.A.C Senior Vice President/Group Creative Director James Gager is also clearly pretty damn excited about the whole thing too, saying: "Zac Posen has been a part of the M.A.C family for over 15 years, as we’ve been supporters from his first very first collection in 2001.  Zac’s classic designs and deft hand in draping, textures and overall femininity evoke a kind of throwback glamour that still feels modern. This collection is the perfect encapsulation of both of our worlds, with something sophisticated and sexy for every woman out there.”
Bring on February 2016, huh?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

All about: La Mav Nourish Hand Crème

I love a good hand cream, and am always hunting for new ones that care for the skin AND smell delicious – an amazingly rare thing! Some smell beautiful but do little more than a cheap moisturizer, whilst others are as high performance as it gets but lack a little on the sensory front.
One that ticks both boxes is La Mav’s Nourish Hand Crème, a rich, non-greasy moisturising crème that’s specially designed for all skin types and comes in a perfect pump bottle. The formula is a heady mix of hyaluronic acid, coenzyme Q10, vitamin E and shea butter, along with sweet almond, jojoba and macadamia oils to provide long lasting moisture. They also enable the crème to penetrate deeper into the skin’s layers promoting natural radiance, while aloe vera leaf juice restores hydration. Oh and did I mention that it comes with a deliciously citrus-y scent?I also love the handbag-friendly bottle and the price, which at RRP $36.95 won’t break the beauty bank.
La Mav Nourish Hand Crème is available at participating Health 2000 stores and other selected retail outlets, to find one near you visit

Monday, October 12, 2015

Daily delight: Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton 'Spirit of Travel'

Beauty destination: local beauty haven, The Villa

It was serendipity when the leaseholder on the iconic villa at 37 Jervois Road decided to move, for tenants Olivia Van Lierop (above) and Romy Grbic it was like the universe had answered their call.
The inspiring pair had been looking to find premises of their own for a while, finding that having just one small space each was limiting the experience for their clients looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. “We wanted more space to really let our businesses grow,” says massage therapist Van Lierop, “and back in June when we found out that we could take on the whole space at number 37 the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.” Beauty alchemist Grbic adds that the pair wanted to create more of an “experience for clients”, and they THEN set about finding complementary businesses to help fulfil that vision.
The newcomers include hair stylists Gray & Olsen, made up of experienced industry names Katherine Gray and Craig Olsen. Both have had a wealth of experience both here and internationally, and wanted to create their own boutique-style salon in the Ponsonby area. Olivia found out about the pair through an existing client of hers, and this was also the way they found skin specialist Caroline Hailstone, who takes a different approach to beauty to Romy with treatments like microdermabrasion and peels. Rounding out The Villa lineup is naturopath Twyla Watson, who attended Wellpark College with Romy and treats many clients with chronic conditions and the like.
“It all happened really quickly and really organically,” says Romy, “we needed to decide whether we’d take on the lease by a Monday deadline and had everyone lined up by the Sunday before. It couldn’t have been more easy!” Van Lierop says the mix of personalities within The Villa is also a bonus, especially Katherine who she describes as “so warm and grounding, she’s almost like a mother figure and makes us all feel so good”.
Romy’s business is redox Facials + Beauty, and she is one of the most enthusiastic and passionate therapists I have met in a long time. She absolutely exudes a love for what she does, and her passion is definitely infectious. The self described “beauty alchemist" qualified as a beauty therapist in 2007 and since then has worked in many areas of the beauty industry including managing a spa on Waiheke Island, contributing to many magazines with articles on beauty and health and working in clinic in both Auckland and Melbourne. She is also a Clinical Nutritionist, graduating with top in her class from Wellpark College in 2014 after completing a two-year diploma in Clinical Nutrition.
Her redox holistic facials are her specialty, always bespoke and designed for what your skin, body and mind need on the day. “I believe that beauty shines through and shows on the outside only when we have a healthy inside,” says Grbic. “Stress, improper diet and skincare regime, and lifestyle choices all show through your skin, and some choices dull our beauty where others nourish it.” She uses a range of organic, biodynamic and natural skincare products on clients depending on their needs, and makes her own facemasks using clays and superfood powders to suit your skin. Recent additions include an Enzyme Peel and a 70 minute Bespoke Facial with Collagen + Vitamin C booster, which is what I think everyone’s skin needs right now!
Olivia is an absolute gem of a therapist who works under the name Enrich Massage Therapy. She arrived back in New Zealand last year after nine years working internationally as a sports masseuse working with top athletes in Australia and on yachts in Europe. At one point she held the position of private masseuse, beautician and yoga instructor on one of the most prestigious luxury yachts in the world, and her experience – and caring approach – speaks for itself.
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 has 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. She also teaches yoga classes out of The Villa and is planning massage workshops in the near future.
Olivia is also now actively supporting a charitable initiative by Oxfam that was set up to stop gender inequality and violence in Papua New Guinea. “Every person that sees me for their own self care, health and wellness is also giving to this project as I give a percentage of all my earnings per week to this amazing cause,” she explains. “I have always wanted to create a charitable company and I hope the busier I get the more I can give. The philosophy is in the name really - Enrich.  Enriching your own life while enriching the lives of others who really need it.”
I recently spent an afternoon at The Villa that began with a massage, followed by a bespoke facial and then blow wave with the energy-packed Craig, and the collective are hoping that more and more people will take the time to indulge in that way from here on in.

I for one can’t recommend it enough!

Make up how to: Cara Delevingne at the Women in the World Summit

On October the 9th Cara Delevingne spoke at the Women in the World Summit held for the first time in London, wowing the audience with her candour and  - naturally – her preternatural style.
Created in 2009, Women in the World is a summit gathering international women on the front lines - activists, artists, CEOs, peacemakers, entrepreneurs, and firebrand dissidents who have saved and enriched lives. These inspiring women were all invited to tell their compelling experiences. Among them, Cara told her story. She eloquently spoke about mental health issues, and revealed how she craved an 'intervention' at the start of her career.
Speaking at London event, the 23 year-old detailed how she suffered stress-induced psoriasis as a result of her schedule - which doctors merely treated with cortisone injections. The supermodel said she eventually received help from Kate Moss, who stepped in. The vignette was a fitting one given that the annual conference is designed promote sisterhood and mutual support among women.  
She said: “At that point I started writing and found yoga. At first I just did it superficially because I wanted to be flexible, but when I first started seeing my tutor I broke through something. We were both chanting and I suddenly burst into tears. I looked at him [the tutor] thinking he was a monster - an evil man – for making me cry. But he just laughed. See, it wasn’t him at all, it was me. Now, we still practice together and I've evolved as a person.”
For the occasion, she – naturally - wore makeup by Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, applied by the clever hand of Fred Letailleur, Northern European Makeup Artist for YSL Beauté. She looked strong and beautiful, and the look is surprisingly easy to re-create using products on counter now (eyebrows not included). The inspoiration from Cara was a natural look that was fresh buit still suited the seriousness of the event, and Fred created a flawless look that was fresh, bright and age appropriate at every turn.
So, here goes:
  1. Fred started by applying the Touche Éclat Blur Primer as a bas for flawless skin, before creating a light and fresh skin using Le Teint Touche Éclat B 30 and the iconic Touche Éclat #1 pen to add light.
  2. He then used the amazing Touche Éclat Blur Perfector Finishing Compact for longevity and even tone.
  3. He next applied Blush Volupte #7 to the cheeks for a subtle pop of colour.
  4. On the eyes the makeup artist kept things natural but also took care to define Cara’s eye shape with a combination of Grey #5 and Brown #11 Couture Mono Eyeshadow, followed by three coats of the Luxurious Mascara for False Lash Effect # 1 – a product I have become obsessed by after playing with a travel sample week ago!
  5. He then shaped those signature brows with Couture Brow #2 to add colour and definition.
  6. Last up, on lips he use Nude Rouge Pur Couture in #70 Le Nu for a subtle, flattering finish.

All products used in Cara’s makeup look are all available for purchase in New Zealand right now. 
Picture credit: Benjamin Madgwick for YSL Beauté

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Daily delight: Gigi Hadid for Vogue Netherlands

Makeup how to: Stella McCartney SS16, by Pat McGrath for Max Factor

Backstage at the Stella McCartney SS16 Show, Max Factor Global Creative Design Director, Pat McGrath, created a look that was designed to “embrace fresh, modern glamour for powerful and individual women”, and perfectly encapsulated the spring/summer mood that we all aim for.
Think healthy, luminous skin, champagne highlights and eye contouring – all designed to bring out the best in each individual’s features.
"We wanted to reflect and compliment the explosion of colour, energy and movement within the
collection by celebrating a true summer beauty look that is fresh and natural,” said designer McCartney, “while also embracing the individuality of women."
To get the look at home:
1. Backstage, Pat first created a fresh, luminous base, allowing some translucency to softly enhance models’ skin. To achieve this, Pat applied a few drops of Max Factor Miracle Match
Foundation (dropping soon), a next-gen shade-matching foundation that blurs and nourishes the skin. “Use fingertips to dab on to the centre of the face, blending it out towards the ears and hairline over moisturised skin”.
2. Pat then applied a tiny amount of Max Factor Mastertouch Concealer to any areas that needed a little extra coverage, such as under eyes, blemishes and redness.
3. Using a powder brush, Pat then swept a sheer amount of Max Factor Crème Puff Pressed Powder, layering over the foundation to cover the t-zone, preventing too much shine in any unflattering areas.
4. To finish, Pat layered further, adding softness and light to the cheeks: applying Max Factor
Creamy Blush in Soft Pink followed by delicate dabs of Max Factor Masterpiece Colour Precision Eyeshadow in Pearl Beige to the very top of the cheekbones.
5. Using a brush, Pat applied the light champagne colour from the Max Factor Smokey Eye Drama
Kit in Sumptuous Golds to the eyelids, “working the colour across the lids to create shape and
subtle eye-contouring”.
6. Top lashes were then wrapped in a single coat of Max Factor False Lash Effect Velvet Volume Mascara in brown; enhancing the lashes with “beautifully soft to touch yet wonderful, big lashes.” 7. For brows, fill in only any gaps where any hairs are missing with little feathery strokes using Max Factor Eyebrow Pencil in Hazel.
8. For polished, sheer pink spring/summer lips, Pat used Max Factor Lipfinity Long Lasting Lipstick in Evermore Sublime, subtly swiping a sheer coat of the colour – that will last.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Love it: Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm

I am mad for a good cleanser – give me gentle yet effective and I am happy as a clam. Add a luxurious experience to that and I’m fair over the moon, and the very kind people at Trilogy have done exactly that with the release of Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm.
It is a new, powerfully natural way to melt away make-up and leave your skin feeling cared for, and the formula is pure bliss. I love to cleanse with oils and balms, and my dry skin just lapped up this beauty the moment I first warmed it and smoothed it on.
A rich blend of pure plant oils, certified natural Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm melts on contact with warm skin, removing foundation, mascara and lipstick like nothing else, even stay-put and waterproof formulations. If the air is cool it takes a little warming up in the hands first I’ve found, then massage into the skin and watch it do its stuff:  dissolving away every trace of make-up, along with any impurities and the remains of the day.
Extra ingredients include skin-soothing mango butter and pure oils of coconut, sunflower and rosehip, so you are left with skin that is softened and hydrated too. If you’re a Trilogy fan then you’ll be well-versed in the joys of certified organic rosehip oil, whilst coconut oil, another multi-tasking wonder oil, is rich in essential fatty acids and has natural antibacterial properties to heal and repair. Sunflower seed oil delivers yet more essential fatty acids, along with antioxidant Vitamin E and minerals, and has calming and soothing properties to maintain balance in the skin.
It comes packaged with its own organic cotton cleansing cloth to remove every trace, and is delicately scented with a natural fragrance: a blend of ylang ylang, freesia and cedarwood. Heavenly!
To put this beauty to work:
Using your fingertips, apply ¼ - ½ teaspoon to a dry face and massage in light circular motions (or warm in the hands first as I mentioned above).
As the balm melts, gently massage into eyelashes and areas where heavy make-up needs removing.
Wring the organic cotton cloth out in warm water and gently wipe away make-up and balm.  Repeat as necessary to remove any excess balm.
Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm (80ml) has an RRP of $38.90 and is available right now. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Celebrating Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Called a benchmark wine that “redrew the global Sauvignon Blanc map and rearranged a few boundaries in the world wine atlas”, Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc is a wine that needs little introduction. To say that I am a huge fan would be an understatement, and with the 2015 just released it is already my favourite spring tipple.
Applauded around the world since it exploded onto the European wine scene many years ago, Cloudy Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc was once so hard to secure that even the sight of the calm greys and misty whites of its label caused a shiver of anticipation amongst fans of the wine everywhere. It was the wine that forged New Zealand's glittering ­reputation for sauvignon blanc with food reason,
Fast forward to October of this year and Cloudy Bay have launched their 2015 vintage on the 30th anniversary year of the famous vineyard. Back in 1985, Cloudy Bay captivated the wine world with its aromatic and vibrant Sauvignon Blanc, and there is much to celebrate given that thirty years on, they are launching their flagship wine’s 30th vintage.
Cloudy Bay invited myself and nine other VERY lucky media (that's me, Rosie Kelway and Amber Peebles in Blenheim, below) to their Blenheim property to taste, enjoy and celebrate the latest vintage, whilst honouring those past along the way. Thoughtful and luxurious activities included a wine matched lunch at the Bay of Many Coves Resort following a boat ride accompanied by a pod of dolphins, a viticulture tour by helicopter, a five course degustation at Cloudy Bay’s beautiful venue The Treehouse, a range tasting at Cloudy Bay’s Barrel Shed and more. It was a trip full of delight and revelation, and the opportunity to pick the brains of winemaker Tim Heath and viticulturist Jim White was beyond compare. In White’s words, “we simply cannot turn out a bad Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc”, and the pressure is on the entire team – and the terrain – to perform year in, year out. Cloudy Bay can only be produced in a specific part of the world, specific to a precise location within New Zealand, meaning every vintage is unique and scarce, and that is most definitely also key to its charm.
So to the new vintage – is 2015 in sticking with the winning formula or uniqueness, freshness and consummate drinkability? Well, with the 2015 season providing one of the driest summers on record and an official drought declared in Marlborough, the Cloudy Bay team watched the weather with baited breath, waiting for even a hint of rain. Just as they had, years before, they triumphed over the drought-like conditions of 1998 and 2001, and have succeeded in producing a fresh and vibrant 2015 Sauvignon Blanc “another excellent example of our 30-year history of premium wine,” says Heath. “The 2015 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc is intense, concentrated and focused with mouth-watering acidity that gives structure and textural intrigue to the palate, it is a hallmark expression of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.”
Designed like its predecessors to be enjoyed with 36 months or less when  - to quote Tim Heath once again – “it’s doing its job”, the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is destined to be loved by fans of the brand young and old, and its freshness pretty damn evident for a 30-year-old brand. Here’s to another 30 year then, and keep up the incredible work, Cloudy Bay.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

All about: Minicami, my new favourite everyday luxe essentials

Designed “to assist the awkward bra showing moments under semi revealing tops”, I have recently discovered the Minicami collection and am totally head over heels for it.
It is the beautiful brainchild of Justine Connolly, a long-time New Zealand fashion industry face who moved to the Coromandel community of Whangamata three years ago and started creating a few pieces as a hobby of sorts. Fast forward to 2015 and the brand has a bit of a cult following, with orders flying afar afield as the United Kingdom and New York, where a private customer picked up on their presence via social media and fell in love with what she saw.
Connolly says, “proudly made in New Zealand, Minicami is an essential element in any woman’s wardrobe. They are perfect when worn under semi revealing tops, as well as adding a delicate lace line to a lower cut garment”. As well as several exquisitely hand finished styles, the collection also includes matching frenchies for each bralette and the pieces come in glorious shades like antique nude and French navy as well as basic black and white. New additions to the collection include the amazing BraletteT, a delicate wee lacy number that is surprisingly functional too: it has a t back for under racer back tanks et al, whilst looking absolutely gorgeous when revealed. The Strap Me Bralette performs a similar task, and I love that the designs are often available as short and longline, and there is also the option of soft cup inserts to minimalise nipple factor!
I can see a Minicami mini-wardrobe making its way into my lingerie drawer, and love that they are super travel friendly and each piece comes in a pretty organza bag for washing and portability purposes. Love it!

If you’re in Auckland pop into Goodness in Herne Bay to check them out, and you can also buy online and follow their pretty Insty at @minicaminz

Daily delight: Zoe Kravitz for C magazine