Friday, November 27, 2015

Daily delight: Romee Strijd for Mario Testino’s ‘Towel Series'

Beauty news: Oribe arrives in New Zealand at last!

One of the things that makes living in New Zealand such a fantastic proposition is its remoteness, but this can also be a huge bummer when it comes to grabbing the latest and greatest, the newest and the best. One thing I have really missed isbeing able to buy some of my favourite beauty products, including more than a few by the legendary Oribe Canales, hair stylist to the stars.
Oribe, the eponymous product line from one of the most influential hairdressers of all time, defines luxury in hair care. The man has been one of the most sought after hairstylists for fashion, editorial and advertising work for the last 30 years and his product range reflects just how in love with what he does he really is. His collaborators include countless photographers, like Bill King, who introduced him to the fashion editor Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, a co-conspirator during his Steven Meisel years. Then there was the meticulous Irving Penn, who Oribe still refers to as Mr. Penn; and Helmut Newton, who shot Cindy Crawford for American Vogue with hair that Oribe teased to infinity; and others like Richard Avedon, Patrick Demarchelier, Annie Leibovitz, Herb Ritts, Francesco Scavullo and Horst. He’s a man that loves making women look gorgeous, and his signature is super luxurious locks.
Anyway, I was overjoyed when a couple of weeks ago I was invited to Mollie’s boutique hotel to see (almost) the entire Oribe line, which is now available in New Zealand at D&M hair design, Stephen Marr and Ryder, with more salons to be rolled out next year. D&M co-owner Danny Pato was out in chanrge of using Oribe styling products to give a little life back to my shockingly sad looking locks, and in 15 minutes (or less) the transformation was extraordinary. I also had a consultation to determine which Oribe shampoo and conditioner would suit my needs best (check out the packaging, above!) and sent home with a duo as well as one product that I have been dying to get my hands on for perhaps, forever.
Oribe a rather prolific creator of new must-haves, and the one I’d been obsessing about is Oribe Hair Care Dry Texturizing Spray. An invisible dry spray that builds incredible volume and adds super texture to any hair style, it is a brilliant alternative to dry shampoo, using patented polymers to absorb oil at the roots, leaving you with just‐styled hair for days (and nights). This versatile styling spray can also be used on clean hair to add lift at the roots, texture and volume for bigger, better, full‐on glamorous hair without any powdery white residue. The paraben‐free formula also refreshes any style, protects colour with a multi‐layered UV protection system and leaves hair looking, feeling and smelling beautiful with Oribe’s yummy signature scent. This sounds like THE perfect product for creating the fuller styles dominating the runways right now, as well as being a welcome addition to your daily arsenal of beauty weaponry.
Right now getting to finally have a play, I am one very happy woman! Welcome Oribe... at last.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Love it: Kiehl’s X Peter Max holiday collection

Each year US skincare brand and modern beauty icon Kiehl’s unveil limited edition versions of some of their best sellers as reinterpreted by some of the world’s most unique and innovative artists. Over the years they have become collectables, and are always far too awesome looking to hide away in the bathroom cabinet!
This year is no different with the release of the super colourful, whimsical and fun Kiehl’s X Peter Max collection. Peter Max is a German-born, world-raised, and New York-based artist who rose to fame and prominence in American pop culture when his art captured the imagination of the ’60s generation.  His designs have adorned everything from a US postage stamp to a Continental 777 super jet and more, and his work fits the Kiehl’s aesthetic like a glove.
Inspired by the art legend’s acclaimed work “The Cosmic Runner,” this season’s limited-edition Kiehl’s packaging will impart smiles and a spirit of celebration amongst Kiehl’s customers all over the world. From a wide range of subjects, Max captures the beauty of nature with sunsets over mountains, rolling landscapes, and puffy clouds, accented by his iconic “Holiday Flyers” that dance across the sky through his signature vibrant colour palette. The bright, imaginative design - which perfectly embodies Kiehl’s energetic spirit - is sure to burst through traditional holiday landscape, making for exceptionally unique and joyful holiday gifts that I for one would be more than happy to receive!
The whimsical design will adorn a selection of Kiehl’s most beloved formulas, including Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream and Calendula Toner, as well as a new collection of scented Richly Hydrating Hand Creams (below) in Lavender, Coriander and Grapefruit. Inspired by the cult classic Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, the new Ultimate Nourishing Hand Creams are formulated with Shea Butter, which protects skin from dehydration and restores skin’s suppleness, and Vitamin E, which is known as a strong anti-oxidant and helps to protect the skin. Want them all!
The Kiehl’s X Peter Max holiday collection is on counter now.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Daily delight: Julianne Moore for Modern Luxury's Angeleno magazine

Beauty news: Maybelline New York signs Cris Urena

Maybelline New York has announced that Cris Urena, the stunning Dominican-American model has become the brand’s newest spokesperson.
She joins Maybelline New York’s prestigious roster of multi-racial, inspiring women including Christy Turlington, Adriana Lima, Jourdan Dunn, Emily DiDonato, Gigi Hadid and a host of others.
“Cris was an obvious choice for us, not only because of her striking natural beauty but also because she is much more than just a beautiful woman,” says Leonardo Chavez, Maybelline New York Global Brand President. “Cris embodies Maybelline New York’s brand values. She has New York’s energy, edge, and style and has the ability to inspire all women to define their personal beauty. We are excited to have her as part of the Maybelline family,”
Cris is thrilled to be joining Maybelline New York because of her early memories of the brand, which was one of the first cosmetic products she had ever used. “The first time I used Maybelline was in high school to get ready for my prom. It was my first time wearing foundation! I wore Dream Matte Mousse which was a favorite of all of my friends at the time and is still a favorite of mine today."
Cris has recently appeared in campaigns for Uniqlo, Topshop, Gap and many others as well as being one of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2014 Rookies. She has also collaborated with the world’s most renowned fashion photographers including Mario Sorrenti, Bruce Weber, Alasdair McLellan, Sebastian Faena, and Santiago & Mauricio.
You can follow Cris on Instagram @crisurena

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Love it: the Jo Malone London Christmas collection

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be briefed in all that is new at Jo Malone London for the upcoming festive season and let me tell you - you are all in for a treat or two! It’s a brand that never, ever disappoints, and with new, exiting products and the return of a beloved favourite you might like to get hint dropping early to avoid disappointment.
Most exciting is the news that the exquisite Jo Malone London advent calendar (see below) will be back, and available only from their Britomart, Auckland boutique. It is definitely the prettiest and most luxurious of its ilk that I have ever seen, and filled to the brim with all manner of Jo Malone London gorgeousness.
Another comeback is the divine Roasted Chestnut candle. The beautiful, robust and aromatic scent will be back not only within a candle gift set with two other candles: Blackberry & Bay and Pine & Eucalyptus but also as a stand alone deluxe candle that will fill your home with the scent of Christmas from first light. I have never owned a Jo Malone London deluxe candle but it is on my list for when I am a ‘woman of means’ – they are the ultimate in luxe home fragrancing, seriously.
Next up, if like myself you love Jo Malone London colognes (and who doesn't), then you have two cologne collections to choose from - the Intense Cologne Collection containing petite 9ml bottles of : Tuberose Angelica, Velvet Rose & Oud, Amber & Patchouli, Dark Amber & Ginger Lily and Oud & Bergamot Cologne. The second option is the slightly more affordable Cologne collection which again includes 9ml bottles of: Pomegranate Noir, English Pear & Freesia, Peony & Blush and breakaway hit, Wood Sage & Sea Salt.
A super luxe gifting option is the Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Bath Salts, which are $65.00 for three sachets. Not only do they smell incredible, but they come nestled in the most divine packaging, a house-shaped box that is a nod to the iconic Jo Malone London Town House.
There is also the return of the Jo Malone Christmas Ornament and Jo Malone Christmas Cracker, as well as plenty of their famous Pine & Eucalyptus products too.
Oh, and all are in store now so get in there and get festive!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Daily delight: Cate Blanchett for W magazine

Fragrance love: Lancôme La Vie Est Belle and Alaïa Paris

I personally don’t need any excuse to indulge in the purchase of my favourite fragrances, and have quite the “wardrobe” to prove it! I love updating it each season, and there are a handful of absolute beauties floating around at the moment that I wholeheartedly recommend for yourself – or for (god forbid) Christmas gifting.
First up on my new favourites list is the latest from international beauty house Lancôme, and takes the form of the beautiful La Vie Est Belle Eau de Parfum Intense. The new fragrance for women is a deeper, more gourmand variation on 2012's original La Vie Est Belle Eau de Parfum, as was last year's La Vie Est Belle L'Absolu. Like the others it was developed by perfumers Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo though, and notes include bergamot, orange, pear, blackcurrant bud, pink pepper, iris pallida, tuberose, ylang ylang, jasmine, orange blossom, and a nut accord. The bottle is also an absolute delight, and a hand-finished couture bow around the neck makes every one a little bit unique.

Another fragrance I’m loving at the moment is the heady, sexy Alaïa Paris, the first release ever from the legendary, diminutive designer Azzedine Alaïa. As you’d expect from ‘The King of Cling’, the scent has been created to go on like a sexy, second skin - just like his designs. It has animalistic tones of musk, blended with notes freesia and pink pepper, and is as provocative as any of the Tunisian-born, Paris-based designer bust-hugging, waist-cinching dresses. "Above all, Mr Alaïa did not want to be able to recognise a single ingredient individually," explained perfumer Marie Salamagne (she’s popular!) of the enigmatic scent. "Every time we were able to isolate an ingredient, we had to change something. In particular he didn't want to be able to recognise any flowers, and definitely not white flowers. The idea was not to be able to tell a "story" through fragrance, just to capture something of Alaia's vision." Misty, and mysterious, are definitely apt descriptions.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Beauty destination: Local haven, WHITE Spa

“WHITE is positive and mindful beauty, tailored treatments and restorative floats…”

There are a plethora of beauty therapists in our neighbourhood doing amazing work  - think high performance, effective and brilliant facials that leave skin looking as smooth and clear as a baby’s proverbial.  There are not many that provide that within a truly relaxing, spa-style venue though, an element that many of us need from time to time alongside skincare that does what it says.
Add the mantra “mindful beauty” to all of the above however and you have the very unique WHITE Spa, situated down an unassuming arcade in suburban Herne Bay.
Led by the knowledge and passion of both Lani Allard (owner and senior therapist) and Emma Robins (owner and Holistic Health Coach/Healer), WHITE believes in positive mindful beauty therapy solutions and in taking a holistic approach to inner health and beauty for all of their clients. All beauty therapies are adapted and tailored for what they term as “each client’s truth”,
because “the truth is, the condition of our skin reflects the condition of our whole selves, not just our beauty products. Our levels of stress mirror what we allow ourselves to hold onto,” says Lani.
After careful analysis, one of their skilled therapists will create a treatment – either as a one off or as part of a programme – that will best effect positive change in your skin. Floatation therapy is an exciting addition to the range of treatments available, and further evidence of the team’s mindful contribution to their clients’ wellness.
All of the products used at WHITE  - from anti-bacterials to body butters and even cleaning products - are as organic and as clean as they can source.  Beautiful refreshments have also been chosen with great care, and are available for enjoyment in the WHITE lounge, including ionized Water, Kombucha tea and tea infusions. The place is also awash with some of the most beautiful crystals I have seen in a long time if that’s you’re thing – I know it is mine and I got serious gem envy at every turn.
I had my first WHITE Spa experience in the form of a one-hour facial with Kosha Richardson Johnson, Senior Therapist/Senior Facialist. I was told that Kosha’s knowledge of skin and its response to WHITE’s bespoke therapies is inspiring, and I was definitely in magic hands.
After listening to their clients over the years, and learning what’s best for their skin, Lani and her team made the call to remove the jargon and over-the-top adjectives from WHITE’s menu of facials, and they are merely advertised in increments of time i.e. WHITE 30, WHITE 45, WHITE 60 et al, up to the WHITE 100 super facial at an amazing 110 minutes in length. This means that once you’ve chosen the time your schedule and budget allows you, your WHITE therapist will create a bespoke facial just for you.
They also offer body treatments incorporating beautiful NuMe coconut body butters, lotions oils and sugar rubs straight from the islands that are both natural and paraben free, and manicures, waxing and spray tanning to tick the more traditional beauty boxes.
Salon owner Lani says the new Herne Bay location gave her a unique opportunity to reset, and create a more holistic approach to beauty and body care in an environment more conducive to restoration and relaxation. When we speak I ask if the spa is always as busy as it was on the Saturday morning I visited, when the place was humming with clients well before the clock had even hit 9am! “It actually has,” she says with a laugh, “I guess we have been around a while in Three Lamps and people love the new space even more.” The move was motivated by a need for more space and a more atmospheric feel, as well as a need for ground floor space as the recently arrived float tanks are so heavy.
They new space also allows Lani and her team to stock only products that they truly believe in, which are free of nasties and able to deliver results without any necessary trauma to the skin via microdermabrasion and the like. “We are getting amazing results with Osmosis and Environ and we’re all about reversing damage and ageing,” she says, “and I love getting reports from clients of people quizzing them about what they’ve done to their skin, because they look so great!”
She is also really excited about getting the float tanks up and running seven days a week, “as for me it brings together the whole mind/body relationship in such a perfect way. It de-stresses, replenishes the body’s magnesium levels and works incredibly on a restorative level.” I for one can’t wait to try one – bring on a summer of floating!
Last up, Lani says, "WHITE has been a long time coming for me. I’ve watched the market and seen a gap appear. People need more to believe in. A facial isn’t enough to affect the kind of change they’re seeking. And they need to be an active part of that change.  We can do that now”.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015

Love it: Chantal Organics Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

I am mad for the benefits of apple cider vinegar, and have been having my dose of it a day since I was a little girl. My parents had an ancient book about the stuff that they had first bought in the 1950’s, and we all took it religiously every day – without fail.
You can use it in dressings, marinating or consumed on its own, making it a proper pantry essential that I just can’t live without. It also boasts a myriad of health benefits in its most natural, unprocessed form, and my favourite brand is Chantal Organics Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, which is a full-bodied nutritional vinegar that contains beneficial probiotics and can assist in relieving health issues.
While all vinegar provides a tasty tang to meals, not all vinegar carries nutritional benefits like this baby. Through processing and distilling, clear vinegar becomes stripped of beneficial nutrients and lacks any living probiotics. Chantal Organics Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is unpasteurised, unfiltered and naturally fermented, allowing it to preserve what is called the ‘Mother of Vinegar’, which contains nutrients and bacteria. Chantal Organics use the same ‘mother’ batch across their Raw Apple Cider Vinegar production, allowing them to ensure the same consistency and probiotic count across the range.           
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are numerous – it has been credited as a natural remedy for heartburn, easing digestion, bowel irregularity, improving blood sugar levels, as well as flushing toxins from the system and clearing skin blemishes. Apple cider vinegar can also be used to assist in weight loss as it can help to suppress appetite and break down starches, helping ensure fewer starches are turned into calories in the bloodstream. In other words, if you’re already a convert then I suggest you become one quick – and as for the tangy taste? You’ll get over it – I promise – and properly diluted you’ll hardly know it’s there.
Last but not least, a bottle of the stuff will set you back just $6.49 (500ml) – most definitely cheaper than a visit to the doctor and much more fun!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Daily delight Naomi Campbell and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Burberry

All about: co-washing, and Pureology Cleansing Conditioners

So, it's time we talked co-washing and cleansing conditioners. Chances are you've probably heard of them at one point or another, as they've gained mass popularity internationally over the past couple of years but have yet to really break through in the local market. What started as a process mainly embraced by those with curly or textured hair is expanding to a wider range of strand types, and the first that I know of has just hit New Zealand.
But what is a cleansing conditioner, exactly? Well, it's not a shampoo, but not yet a conditioner. Confused? Let me simplify matters for you… It's made for cleansing (obviously), just like shampoo, but without the harsh sulfates, detergents, or chemicals typically found in one. It's formulated in a way that leaves the hair and scalp feeling clean, but not stripped, and with an added moisturising element. Co-washing – or conditioning washing – is haircare using these delicate wonders, preventing colour fade and not stripping hair of its natural oils. Love that!
The first v ersion that I know of to hit our shores is from Pureology, who has delivered its first co-washing collection designed to fight hair aggravations while preserving colour vibrancy.
Pureology Cleansing Conditioners provides 25 per cent cleansing and 75 per cent conditioning in three gentle cleansing treatments for sensitive colour-treated hair. Each combines a low-lather gentle cleansing base with rich conditioning ingredients, meaning they are perfect for dry, fragile and coarse colour-treated hair.
The Pureology Cleansing Condition collection gently cleanses as it softens the hair, improves elasticity and helps preserve colour vibrancy in three targeted formulas:
Hydrate – for dry colour-treated hair, infused with rosemary extract to deeply nourish and soften hair
Strength Cure – for micro-scarred or damaged colour treated hair with Asta-Repair™, which fortifies and restores hair fibre
Smooth Perfection – for frizz-prone colour treated hair, infused with Camellia Oil to smooth and control frizz
I think these will be an absolute godsend over the holiday period in particular, making weekend getaway bags lighter and treating sun-faded summer hair with utmost respect. If you’re a Pureology fan like me you’ll know how awesome these will be, and if you’re yet to check the brand out, then I highly recommended a trip to the world of co-washing as a great place to start.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Daily delight: Karlie Kloss for Vogue UK

Love it: Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color

“Lipstick is one of the simplest makeup steps and great way to instantly change your look.”
Bobbi Brown

I love the quote above, and the work of the legendary makeup artist who said it. Lipstick is my absolute beauty essential, and has been for as long as I can remember. When I travelled to London as a 19-year-old it wasn’t a suitcase full of shoes I bought back, it was over 20, then-unavailable-in-New-Zealand lipsticks!
But back to the subject of Bobbi, who changed the way many women looked at makeup back when she first hit the scene. Back in 1991 she found herself discouraged by the lack of flattering lip colours that were available at your average beauty counter, so she went off and created ten beautiful lipstick shades that had a brown base, which was in her opinion the most natural complement to a woman’s skin tone. 
Fast forward to 2015, and Bobbi is still making lipstick an absolute essential, and creating even more beautiful shades and formulas to ensure that we all stay hooked. The latest is Luxe Lip Color, which is one of my most favourite Bobbi Brown lip incarnations yet.
To Bobbi, luxury is all about things that are timeless, and of the very best quality. With this in mind, she has combined the most nourishing ingredients with her keen eye for colour to deliver an incredibly luxurious, rich new formula in the form of Luxe Lip Color. Effortless to apply, it really does have the most ultra-luxurious feel, and gives bold, maximum-coverage colour in just one swipe. Too good!
It also has treatment benefits, helping visibly reduce the appearance of fine lip lines and relieve flaking while a blend of moisture-boosting ingredients work to help keep lips soft and conditioned. It’s also housed in a chic, crest-embossed gold tube, so every time you whip it out you get a major hit of glamour.
Last up, it is offered in an amazing 30 shades, which Bobbi reportedly developed in consultation with makeup artists around the world to create the ultimate line up for all skin tones. I’ve been wearing a popping red, and my only problem being narrowing down the list of shades I want next… Neutral Rose, Baby Peach, Your Majesty… the list is endless.

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color is in store now.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Daily delight: Adele for i-D magazine

Beauty news: OFF Wax adds Laser to the lineup

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, over a year ago 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.
Fast forward to November 2015, and Nicky has now unveiled OFF Wax & Laser - bringing an exclusive laser service to Auckland in partnership with Candela, a global leader in advanced aesthetic solutions. Taking more than a year to develop, OFF Wax & Laser now provides high-tech laser hair removal at all three of its Auckland locations.
 “By focusing on the best energy-based solution purely for hair removal, it has been easy for us to address the most important areas for our clients – effectiveness, safety and eliminating the ‘ouch’ factor,” says Nicky. “In an unregulated market it can be hard for clients to make educated decisions on the best offering for them. Laser is the best option specifically for hair removal but unfortunately there is a lot of confusion and misconceptions surrounding energy-based hair removal. IPL and VPL and are not categorically the same as Laser, despite what some beauty providers will claim.
“We feel a responsibility to not only deliver the best solution, but also to educate clients to make the best choice for them and their specific needs.”
Nicky says the machine is the first of its kind in New Zealand and provides the most effective, fast and safe service for all skin types. “For the first time we have the ability to treat all skin types with one machine, something that was not possible before.  The dual platform of the Candela Gentle Max Pro means we can switch from lighter to darker skin tones safely at the touch of a button. 
“The results are second to none.  This is the Rolls Royce of laser hair removal,” says Shore.  “We were never going to just dabble in this and have committed to the very best.  The difference in power, results and client comfort between this and other machines is phenomenal.
“Thanks to the patented Dynamic Cooling Device™ which sprays cryogen cooling gas on to the skin before the laser, the service is now virtually painless for most, with the majority saying it is far less painful than waxing,” she says.
The second critical element to success is ensuring all OFF laser technicians have the true clinical understanding of the hair removal process.  All OFF Laser specialists are certified Level 3 Advanced Laser Hair Removal Technicians - the highest standards possible in New Zealand – and are certified to the Queensland regulations in Australia (the only state in  Australia have regulations). Each branch has its own laser safety officer, inhouse laser trainer and local Candela consultant.
Additionally, OFF has partnered with NZ LASER TRAINING – the leading impartial body in NZ laser safety, training and education – to ensure the highest standards and ongoing training and upskilling of staff throughout its branches.
I tried laser on my bikini line and legs several years ago and had fair-to-middling results, so I for one am dead keen to check out what Nicky and her clever team are up to!