Thursday, December 24, 2015

Love it: my best of beauty, 2015 - the short list






I love the chance to look back over my favourite products and discoveries of the past twelve months, as well as give them a little love whenever I can! So here they are - a list of veritable ‘must haves’ if ever there was one, in no particular order…

1. “Beautifuly crafted, locally produced face oils that actually do what they say” is how I describe my favourite products by Tribeca Skin Tonics. The small collection is the creation of holistic facialist Ashleigh Scott, and hand-blended in small batches in New Zealand. This artisanal skincare approach means quality ingredients with a hint of luxury, and feeding the skin with the best plant botanicals to promote healthy, balanced skin. They are created with 100 per cent natural ingredients (certified organic where possible), and without nasties.

2. Micellar Water
Models swear by them, every make-up artist I know has one in his or her kit and with their no-rinse, three-in-one formulas they're perfect for travelling and late nights. What are they? Micellar waters, and I for one have been a long time fan. Designed to be swept away with a cotton pad rather than rinsed off, micellar waters use tiny micelle particles to draw make-up (including waterproof mascara), sebum and impurities from the skin. Depending upon how much make-up you wear you may prefer to remove eye make-up separately, but since micellar waters are free of soap and alcohol they are a way more gentle alternative to harsh face wipes, making them perfect for when you're in a rush or on the go.

3. Pureology Cleansing Conditioners
Co-washing and cleansing conditioners - chances are you've probably never heard of them but soon will. 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 and is from Pureology. But what is a cleansing conditioner, exactly? 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.

4. White Spa flotation tanks
When someone told me that floating in a tank could possibly be the ultimate in relaxation and healing, I admit I was sceptical. Hopeful yes, but still suspicious! That was until I tried it, and discovered the wonders that a good float in a great pod can do. Floatation Therapy is based on a scientific approach to deep relaxation called Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique or REST. Floatation REST restricts or eliminates all of the external stress-factors or stimuli that normally affects us every day. Floating in complete darkness and silence liberates large areas of the brain devoted to processing sensory information, further increasing the depth of mental relaxation. While floating the brain slows down into theta waves, the brain wave state of tranquillity, creativity and very deep relaxation. Check out the float tanks at White Spa – put aside the scepticism and I reckon you’ll love it.

5. Martina Organics
Hand blended in small batches; local skincare company Martina Organics describes itself as “an artisanal skincare range” using certified organic ingredients. Selected from both New Zealand and more exotic locales like Morocco, Japan, Africa and Israel, their botanical oils harness the power of plants that have been used for hundreds of years and they feel like heaven on the skin. The range is unisex and comes packaged in unassuming glass bottles with minimal labelling, which is then easily peeled off so the bottle can be re-used for whatever you fancy.

6. M.A.C Studio Waterweight Foundation SPF 30
When it comes to foundations, it's fair to say that M.A.C is all about that base, and its latest launch raises the bar that much higher. M.A.C Studio Waterweight Foundation was the cover up of choice in the kit bags of many a makeup artist during the past season's Fashion Weeks, and with good reason. As legendary makeup artist Terry Barber so wonderfully puts it, “the product is especially perfect for those who want perfect skin but don’t feel comfortable wearing a lot of foundation”. It’s now my little airbrush in a bottle for days when my skin needs a bit of a pep talk, offering natural looking, lightweight coverage that makes it look even, radiant and well-rested.

7. The Beauty Elixir
The Beauty Elixir range has been created by Holistic Facialist Romy Grbic, who works in Jervois Road under the name redox beauty. She has chosen to use only pure, organic and cold-pressed oils in her boutique range of skincare products, giving you a powerful dose of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other vitality-boosting ingredients for your skin in every drop. No fillers, no preservatives and no added chemicals. Simply pure, luxurious, botanical ingredients that love your skin. How great is that?

8. Jo Malone London Incense & Cedrat
Jo Malone London’s Incense & Cedrat Cologne Intense line, which tend to take more masculine notes as their base and are gloriously unisex as a result. Incense & Cedrat was inspired by Omani incense, which is harvested from the Boswellia sacra tree. Marie Salamagne, the perfumer who created Incense & Cedrat, said that Omani incense has never been captured before. She used the NaturePrint™ technique to help it make its way into the perfume, and it comes surrounded by lemon, pepper, elemi, labdanum and benzoin.

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