Friday, July 29, 2016

Daily delight: Kim Kardashian for Balmain

Love it: Specsavers launches exclusive ELLERY eyewear collection

Specsavers has again delivered on its commitment of making high-end fashion accessible to everyone, announcing a new collaboration with luxury womenswear brand ELLERY. Exclusive to Specsavers and available in stores nationwide RIGHT NOW (!), the collection includes 14 optical glasses and six prescription sunglasses. The campaign is fronted by iconic supermodel Gemma Ward (see below) and it is goddamn gorgeous.
For those not so familiar with the brand, Perth-born designer Kym Ellery (above), 33 started out in the industry in 2007, and has gone on to do major things. Ellery has turned her brand into an exclusive label known for its exceptional cut, innovative use of textiles and signature billowing silhouettes, and she is only the third Australian label in a century to be granted official recognition by the Federation Francaise de la Couture du Pret-a-Porter des Couturiers et des Createurs de Mode – the body that controls Paris Fashion Week. The Federation has previously invited only two Australians onto its official schedule, Collette Dinnigan and the Paris-based Martin Grant. 
Celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian West, Cate Blanchett, Chrissy Teigen, Rihanna and Solange Knowles to name but a few, are also lapping up her treasured designs, and she recently established a base in the French capital as well as at home in Australia.
Fierce, fabulous and definitely fun, Kym told Elle Australia of the new partnership with Specsavers, “ it was about working with Specsavers to create a collection of eyewear that would both embody the Ellery DNA and be really well-received by the Specsavers clientele. Eyewear is such an important part of personal style - it’s the only item you wear on your face, so you want it to be really well-suited and well made”.
That was abundantly clear at an intimate dinner held last night at an Auckland CBD loft-style space, where the designer introduced the range and then regaled the room with anecdotes about its inception. Guests were invited to try on the collection, and I didn’t see one person who didn’t find the perfect pair. Several styles are even unisex, so the men in the room were more than happy to get amongst it all as well.
The range features strong, architectural silhouettes that are both dynamic and innovative. With an eye for aesthetics, the ELLERY collection expresses a sophisticated signature style, brought to life through an exploration of exaggerated shapes and rich textures. The collection has been designed for the wearer looking for masterful design, quality and unexpected details.
The fresh wearable styles with a retro edge include; playful twists on the modern cat’s eye, graphic oversized square and round shapes. A gold eye insignia, set with a crystal stone can be found on every frame and each pair of ELLERY glasses is branded with a gold foil logo.
A colour palette of black, marbled charcoal, tortoiseshell, cobalt blue, bottle green, gold and brushed gold was chosen to offer the wearer a selection of classic, yet modern and avant-garde glasses to complement and enhance their individual style.
Kym said designing the new range presented an opportunity to explore the sartorial role that eyewear plays in the style of its wearer. “For me eyewear is a crucial part of personal style and I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to create a collection of frames with Specsavers. When designing, I focus on creating modern classics for intelligent women and this eyewear collection is no exception.”
 “For the range, I was inspired by cinematic personas throughout the decades. I looked at archetypal roles such as Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, Susan Sarandon in Thelma and Louise and of course, Woody Allen as himself, Woody Allen. The aesthetic of the ELLERY collections is to combine masculine with feminine, and the ELLERY eyewear collection is a natural extension of this,” said Kym.
From Specsavers’ perspective, Head of Frames at Specsavers, Juan Carlos Camargo nailed it when he said: “There is no other item which is as immediately noticed or as frequently worn, so giving people the choice of beautifully-designed, genuinely cutting-edge eyewear is an exciting and important part of what we do.”
Thanks to Specsavers’ affordability my own wardrobe of frames has expanded exponentially (my lenses have to be custom made so cost a bomb on their own), and this range is at the amazing pricepoint of $299-$369.
The range is in store now at Specsavers stores across New Zealand
For more information, visit

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Daily delight: Kristen Stewart for Elle UK

All about: the amazing new PREVAGE City Smart

When PREVAGE first hit the beauty scene all those years ago, the roar of excitement it created could be heard around the world and showed no sign of letting up. A few years later the brand could have happily been sitting back on its laurels enjoying the success of those first few product releases, but instead it’s stayed at the head of the pack in terms of research and constant innovation.
Since then it’s expanded from a single killer product to a few essentials and then an impressive line, always innovating and adding to its portfolio. The latest addition to the family aims to fight environmental aggressors and protect your skin, with the company citing the statistic that 80 per cent of all signs of skin aging are due to environmental aggressors such as UV rays, pollution and smoke. Scary stuff, yes? Recognising the global epidemic of pollution, Elizabeth Arden has created a first-of-its-kind invisible skin shield: new PREVAGE City Smart + DNA Enzyme Complex™ + Anti-Pollution + Antioxidants Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA++++ Hydrating Shield. PREVAGE City Smart, for short.
The formula was developed in partnership with leading scientists, chemists, and dermatologists to be a daily use product that combines pollution and UV protection with a DNA Enzyme Complex to strengthen the skin. By neutralising the impact of environmental and oxidative stress on the skin, it aims to keep it looking younger, smoother, brighter and protected. Love that!
The Elizabeth Arden Research & Development team used an innovative method to show how City Smart protects against Urban Dust, a time-integrated sample of atmospheric PM - including exceptionally harmful nano-sized pollution particles - that typifies the type of pollution found in major global cities like New York, Los Angeles, Beijing, Mumbai, London and Paris.  In-vitro testing showed that when protected with City Smart’s Anti-Pollution Complex, the viability of cells exposed to Urban Dust was improved by 5 times versus unprotected cells. If that is not reason enough to lather this puppy on then I don’t know what is.
City Smart’s patent-pending formula features advanced Triple Action Protection technology, which delivers younger, healthier, more resilient looking skin in three phases:
PROTECT: Anti-Pollution Shield Technology forms an invisible protective barrier to help prevent harmful toxins and pollution particles from penetrating skin. 100 per cent Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen (micronised Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide) filters out UVA and UVB rays.
PREVENT: A potent, patent-pending Anti-Pollution Complex is comprised of an exclusive antioxidant blend of Idebenone, the world’s single most powerful antioxidant, Green Tea, Thiotaine, Ferulic Acid and L-Carnosine, to neutralise free radical damage caused by pollution and UV exposure, including both oxygen-based and nitrogen-based free radicals.  In addition, City Smart also helps to prevent the appearance of future signs of skin ageing, including lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. 
STRENGTHEN: A DNA Enzyme Complex formulated with purified enzymes derived from Plankton, Arabidopsis Thaliana, and Ocean Bacteria extracts helps protect against free radical damage and supports skin’s natural repair process against oxidative stress.  Skin’s elastin and collagen matrix are protected and its natural recovery process is strengthened resulting in healthier, more resilient looking skin.
Pretty impressive stuff IMHO, and it feels amazing on the skin to boot. Once on, City Smart also contains an effortless to blend, universal tint and optical diffusers that work well with all skin tones and makeup products. The formula comes in a polyfoil airless pump, and is non-comedogenic, paraben free and dermatologist tested.
PREVAGE City Smart has an RRP of $110 for 40 ml and the most exciting part – it lands on Monday at Elizabeth Arden counters nationwide. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Daily delight: Adriana Lima for Vogue Brazil

Love it: ECOYA’s new summer limited edition fragrances

Everything that home fragrance house and bodycare brand ECOYA do is absolutely flawless in my opinion - from killer scents to beautiful events and gorgeous and surprising imagery, they seriously hit the nail on the head. Every time.
They are also always updating and refreshing what they do - which I equally love - in the form of delicious limited edition scents and gifting ideas, with their latest releases for summer being Sweet Papaya & Melon and Citrus & White Magnolia. When the Antipodean home fragrance and bodycare stars launch a limited edition fragrance, you know it’s going to be good (great, even). Many have gone on to be so popular that they have entered the permanent collection whilst others sell out the minute they hit the shelves. To put it mildly, these guys hit the bullseye, every time.
Sweet Papaya & Melon comes in the iconic ECOYA Madison jar, and sitting pretty in a pastel mint Limited Edition carton. It’s clean and fruity but never cloying, tempered with leafy greens from gardenia, jasmine and rosewood. Citrus & White Magnolia is a muskier proposition, with sweet citrus notes blended with a floral heart of white magnolia and patchouli water. Just gorgeous and also it comes in Madison jar, encased in a fruity orange-toned carton.
Both are also available as Mini Reed Diffusers, which ECOYA now offer as alternatives to their full size versions. These are perfect for smaller spaces and make wonderful gifts, and are available in all seven of the iconic ECOYA fragrances.
ECOYA - who reportedly now sell a product around the world every 29 seconds - are set to be the scent of summer I reckon, and these two are in store now for a limited time so be quick!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Daily delight: Taylor Hill for Topshop SS16

Love it: St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion

I’m a confessed connoisseur of the faux glow, and have tried pretty much every formulation out there - with varying degrees of success. It is still the safest tan out there for tanning at any time of year, and with New Zealand skin cancer rates constantly on the rise it’s time to pick a formula that works for you rather than baking under what are some pretty damn dangerous rays.  All of which brings me to one of the most recent releases from St Tropez, who most definitely know their stuff when it comes to tanning.
I feel I need to be completely honest here: at first I was verrrry sceptical about St. Tropez's Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion, how the hell would THAT work? Especially given its unusual application method… Fast forward a few weeks though and by damn, I’m obsessed. Not only is it less prone to streaking than the usual self-tanning body formula, but it has plenty of extra positives to rave about that give it an edge over the competition.
The directions state to shower as normal, then shut off running water and generously apply the product in circular motions with your hands to wet skin to create an even coverage. I was a little freaked out at first about the “generously” part of that statement as I’m usually used to building up colour, but in the name of science I went for it. Doing so gives you a super silky lather that glides over skin and makes the formula less prone to streaking, and applying the product while your skin is wet means the product doesn't grab on to dry patches – magic!
Wash your palms carefully after this to leave no telltale tanning signs, whilst waiting three minutes before rinsing the product off your body. At the end of three minutes, rinse with warm water (no soap), and then gently pat yourself dry with a towel. No more waiting, you are seriously good to go!
The result is a light, golden tan that can be deepened with successive applications. It is described as a gradual tanner, which means you can keep applying it day after day to build the colour until your desired tan level is achieved. This makes it great for those with fair skin who like to go easy on the glow, but does mean a little more work if you have a medium skin tone and are headed off on a tropical holiday. I found the ideal colour for me developed after the third time using Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion – and it lasted.
Last up, I love that the formula includes sweet almond oil for added moisturisation – your skin feels silky and looks glow-y to boot. Love it. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Daily delight: Kaia Gerber for LOVE magazine

What a steal: Maybelline New York Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Colour

One of a swathe of new releases from the always-innovative Maybelline New York is the Colour Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Colour collection, which comes in eight very wearable shades. I love a matte lip but know of many who don’t, mainly because they haven’t tried the army of new gen mattes that are as comfortable as they are long-lasting. This newbie from Maybelline New York is both of those things, and actually creamy to boot.
Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid comes in a leakproof, square tube with a flat sponge applicator that saturates well with the colour inside. Vivid matte pigments give you high-impact colour for a velvety matte finish with just a single swipe, so you need very little of this baby to take things a loooooong way. The flexible, slanted tip applicator with ultra-soft bristles also makes it easy to contour and shape your lips, making it perfect for applications on the go.
What amazed me about this formula was its creaminess. It is thick, creamy, and applies with a soft, velvety glide on lips that feels almost too good to be true. When I first used it I kept checking the mirror that it wasn’t moving around! I get about four to five hours of wear out of the nude shades that have become my go-to (see, above), and the colour remains very fresh and even without cracking or migrating. The pigmentation is perfect and the formula applies opaque on a single layer but never sets dry, so you can build or reapply easily.
So, how do you use it? Apply your Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Colour by starting in the centre of your upper lip, then working from the centre to the outer edges, following the contours of your mouth. Glide the matte liquid colour across the entire bottom lip in one fell swoop and you’re good to go.
Last but not least, Maybelline New York Colour Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Colour is a true steal given its quality and colour payoff, at just RRP $19.99 per tube.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Daily delight: Gigi Hadid for Tommy Hilfiger fragrance, The Girl

Love it: Lancôme's incredible new Grandiôse Liner

Many a person thinks that liquid eyeliner is a mug’s game — it can feel impossible to perfect if you're not a makeup artist. It’s a look I have been wearing since I was a teenager and one of the few eye makeup looks that I can actually nail, but for many it’s just one for the ‘too hard’ basket. But if anyone can fix this, it's everyone's favourite makeup brand Creative Director, Lancôme’s Lisa Eldridge. 
Like many in her profession, Lisa could sees that one of makeup artists’ best kept secrets is the angled brush, which gives you extra agility and easy access to the root of the lashes when applying a liquid liner. So, she and the team at the French mega brand set about creating what has now been unveiled as Grandiôse Liner, an amazingly innovative pivot eyeliner with its own bendable wand, giving effortless access to both eyes. Incredible! It also helps adapt to your unique eye shape, and comes with ultra thin tip so you can create everything from the most simple of looks to the wildest.
Eldridge determined the exact angle of 35 degrees, whilst the dense, super opaque, matte finish of the formula means that it is joyfully transfer resistant and long lasting. It glides easily on the skin and dries quickly, whilst a polymer forms a protective film that sets the product and protects it throughout the day.
Pretty damn amazing, huh? I love how smoothly it glides on  - no drag on the delicate skin around the eyes – and the intense colour payoff that means minimal product needs to be used to create major drama. And despite its long-lasting nature it’s damn easy to remove with warm water and a little cleanser. Love that.
This beauty just landed on counter with an RRP of $70.00, and alongside a plethora of other new goodies like the incredible new Grandiôse Extreme mascara and the classic Hypnose Palette but in a killer, ultra on trend new matte finish.
Get thee to a Lancôme counter NOW.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Daily delight: Winona Ryder for The Edit

All about: Oribe Airbrush Root Touch Up Spray

I have been insanely busy of late… rushed off my feet with work, school holidays, hospital appointments and every damn thing in between. This has lead to a serious bout of “letting oneself go”, and that at times includes my hair.
I have been long overdue for a colour in what seems like the longest time, and going as dark as I do when my hair is actually a wildly unflattering shade of “light mouse” can prove problematic. My hair has reached that point when I really, really, REALLY should’ve gotten my roots done a week ago (TBH, a month ago), but even trying to think about booking a salon appointment is most likely still two weeks away. Thank the sweet lord then for the invention of Oribe Airbrush Root Touch Up Spray, which has been a godsend since the moment it arrived on my desk.
Already the creator of what feels like a never-ending number of ‘must have’ products, Oribe has now invented the perfect solution for covering up mismatched roots when you’re in-between colour appointments. An ultrafine mist, it uses natural microfine mineral colorants to instantly conceal your true colour, be it silver, grey or black, while soaking up excess dirt and oil. So if you also happen to be in-between shampoos, shhhhhh… because no one has to know. You pretty much spray it on and watch your hair revert back to its former glory before your very eyes… it’s magical. Seriously magical!
Once sprayed on it dries instantly, and hardworking ingredients in the mix include the likes of watermelon, lychee and Edelweiss Flower to protect the hair from photo-aging. Rice starch is in there for mopping up dirt and oil, whilst Copolymer smoothes any coarse grey hairs that may be lurking. It is naturally also fragranced with Oribe’s signature scent, so your hair smells as good as it looks!
Now onto the ‘how to’ part, which is insanely easy. Shake the little bottle well, then lightly spray on your roots until completely concealed. Let the formula dry for one minute, then you are good to go. Perfection. I am not ashamed to say that I hate to wash my hair, and I have gleefully watched this formula stay put on my roots for two days or more. It doesn’t transfer onto clothes or pillowcases either, and to remove, you simply wash it away with your usual shampoo. Too easy huh? And an absolute essential.
Oribe Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray is available now, NZ RRP $49.00. Call 0800 2525 30 for stockist details. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Daily delight: Liu Wen for Grazia China

Beauty news: Maison Lancôme announces Taylor Hill as its new brand ambassadress

In a major coup for the iconic French beauty brand, Maison Lancôme has announced American model  - and serious young ‘it’ woman - Taylor Hill as its new brand ambassadress, joining a list of seriously beautiful and inspiring women.
At just 20, American model Hill has already participated in campaigns and runway shows for the most famous fashion houses. Not long ago, she joined the very private circle of “Angels” of a certain famous American lingerie brand, which instantly made her one of the best-loved young women of her generation. Her charm and freshness have won over the most prestigious fashion magazines, which all want her for their covers. Shot by the greatest names in fashion photography, including Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, the winning photographer duo in charge of Lancôme visuals for the last three years
While Taylor’s definitely a star in the fashion world, she’s caught the attention of beauty lovers on more than several occasions, too. Her over 4 million social media followers can’t get enough of her thick power brows, which have convinced girls around the world to step away from the tweezers – a move with which I totally agree! From backstage at runway shows and the most acclaimed red carpets to hanging out at Coachella, Hill shares the most exciting moments of her life with fans all over the world and they just lap it up.
She’s all about positivity and independence, so naturally, Hill has found her place amongst the strong, inspiring women who have been writing the story of the beauty house from the very start.
“We are delighted about this new collaboration with Taylor, who represents a modern Lancôme, in harmony with its time, with a subtle mix of sensuality, ingenuousness, and sweet yet striking beauty,” explains Françoise Lehmann, Lancôme’s international general manager. “She is a very inspiring young woman for her generation: she is immensely curious, open-minded, and has a positive outlook on life.”
“I am very excited and honoured to join Lancôme. I love the vision behind this feminine brand,” said a seriously excited Hill of her newest accolade. “The new role of ambassadress is a major step in my career, a dream that has become a reality.”
Nice work Taylor and most definitely a great move, Lancôme.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Daily delight: Gisele Bundchen for Givenchy Jeans

All about: GO Healthy GO LYPO-C Vitamin C

Wherever you are in the world, chances are you are dealing with stress and unpredictable weather, yes? Both wreck havoc on your immune system, meaning that you need to give it all the help it needs to keep strong and healthy.
Easier said than done however, and I’m a huge fan of taking supplements to work with my diet and exercise resolutions at keeping illness at bay. Down Under Winter is definitely here, and we are feeling the symptoms of ills and chills that come with dark, cold and wet days. Add school holidays to the mix and my home is a veritable petri dish – with all of the joy that brings! (not)
Key to keeping well is taking regular Vitamin C, sometimes loads. The human body is unable to manufacture it though and relies on daily dietary intake to meet its needs.  Vitamin C’s main function in the body is its role in producing collagen, the substance that makes up ligaments, tendons and connective tissue that connect and support the human body. Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to enhance the immune system; promote wound healing; support neurotransmitter and hormone production and promote the health of all cells in the body. It is one of the most important antioxidants in the body, working both inside and outside the cells where it provides front line antioxidant protection. Vitamin C deficiency can result in a diminished immune response, susceptibility to infection and slow wound healing. In other words: yes, you need it.
A few years ago now local beauty powerhouse Lucy Vincent-Marr told me one of her wellness go-to’s was Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C, and I got on the bandwagon immediately. Back then it was still a relatively new form of Vitamin C, that is made by encapsulating Vitamin C 
in tiny spheres of essential phospholipids known as Liposomes. This innovative technology of encapsulation helps to protect the Vitamin C, while the phospholipids are easily absorbed by our cells, increasing bioavailability and transporting it directly into the bloodstream and cells. This superior absorption offers powerful antioxidant protection and enhances the immune benefits that Vitamin C can offer. “It’s in a gel form and works faster than any Vitamin C I’ve ever tried,” Lucy told me, “it’s incredibly potent and behaves in a completely unique way in your body that gets rid of a sore throat in literally, half a day.”
I sourced my own supply locally, which was pricey and came in little sachets that had to be emptied carefully into small amounts of water and quite literally, “shot” back. This meant that an amount was inevitably wasted, and at over $50 a box that wasn’t ideal. Other versions later arrived that involved taking the gel directly from the sachet into your mouth but again, less than ideal.
So…. It is with great excitement that I announce that GO Healthy have decided that it is about time that they release the hero of Vitamin C with GO Healthy GO LYPO-C! The rock star of vitamin C is this time in a capsule form, meaning zero fuss and zero waste – magic!
During this time of year, our body tends to require more Vitamin C than usual, so taking GO Healthy GO LYPO-C during this time is recommended and outrageously easy. High doses of Vitamin C can be a great natural support to the body in response to pollen too, making it great for allergy sufferers.
GO Healthy GO LYPO-C Vitamin C is just RRP$29.90 for 60 Soft Gel Capsules and RRP$49.90 for 120 Soft Gel Capsules. Take two soft gel capsules daily -  best taken on an empty stomach – and reap the rewards.

GO Healthy products are available at major pharmacies and Health stores nationwide.  For further information or to locate your nearest stockist visit, or call GO Healthy’s toll free information line to speak to a GO practitioner; phone 0508 466 9327

Monday, July 11, 2016

Daily delight: Kate Moss for Calvin Klein

All about: Arbonne Intelligence CC Cream

Arbonne is most definitely one of those brands that I heard a hell of a lot about way before it hit New Zealand. This was mainly due to countless Instragram spam messages from sellers all over the world asking if I wanted to start flogging the product within my local market, too. They were like a flock of new gen, green smoothie supping Avon ladies, clad head-to-toe in Lululemon and insanely positive about “creating the lifestyle you’ve always wanted… thanks to Arbonne”.
To be honest the whole thing creeped me out a bit, and when I was finally given the chance to try some of the brand’s products I was naturally dubious. Was it all hype and sales figures, or could it actually deliver? I was becoming increasingly curious. When the opportunity came up to test-drive Arbonne's Intelligence CC Cream, I decided to go for it and preconceived notions be damned.
Sold online and through the aforementioned independent consultants, Arbonne’s products are all botanically-based and mostly free of nasty ingredients like formaldehyde, triclosan and parabens. Everything is vegan, made without gluten and allergy-tested too, getting many a ticked box from me. Their range is also vast, and the CC cream is just one of a few Arbonne products I will be test-driving over the next few weeks.
Their Intelligence CC Cream is described as a 10-in-1 "complexion control cream" that provides lightweight, buildable coverage in one time saving product. Like me you’ll be wondering what the ten benefits are, so here you go: it primes, protects the skin's moisture barrier, conceals discolourations, hydrates, mattifies, brightens, covers blemishes, refines pores, soothes and helps perfect your overall complexion. The only thing missing is an SPF - making it really suitable for those with a sunscreen allergy or sensitive skin. Personally, I prefer a built in SPF in my BB/CC options but then I don’t have super sensitive skin and it is already in my moisturiser, so mustn’t quibble.
So, how did it perform? Well it most definitely makes my skin look better – in fact, way better. It evened out redness and pigmentation, smoothed out fine lines with a subtle blur and didn’t highlight any dryness. Love that! It reportedly contains film formers for a longer wear, so after settling in nicely stayed semi matte on my skin for quite a few hours. I found I needed a little bit of powder over my T zone but then again I often do with CC/BB creams, and the dewy finish is super youthful on a not-so-youthful skin.
I have been using the medium shade (it comes in four) and have found after a few applications that for me, less is most definitely more with this product. A little goes a long way, and when applied with a beauty blender the end result is flawless.
So, this beauty from Arbonne comes highly recommended – check out for more.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Daily delight: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Bulgari Serpenti

Talking to an expert: Dr. Sarah Hart on the power of retinols

I swear in my life I have tried about every single ‘hope in a jar’ out there, spending god knows how much on moisturisers, eye creams, serums and whatnot as I (fruitlessly for the most part) battle the creeping signs of ageing. There’s certainly no way to escape them, but a little softening here and there is more than welcome, and if I can find a product that gives my skin that extra boost then bring it on.
In the skincare world there is one thing that we know absolutely delivers the goods however, and that’s retinol. Some are so potent that can completely change your skin overnight, but not all are created equal. There are a lot of misconceptions about retinol too, with good reason. Also there is the fact that there are ‘Retin-A’ products, and ‘retinol’ products… and both are ‘retinoids’. It’s all vitamin A, but the first kind is pretty heavy duty (i.e. you need a prescription) and the second type you can buy over the counter. Unlike standard exfoliators, retinoids work at the cellular level to increase collagen, smooth-out annoying fine lines and even-out the tone, all of which are on my shopping list thank-you-very-much.
This is where the experts come in, and in my humble opinion you shouldn’t embark upon the use of a retinol without first consulting one. My choice is Skin Institute Ponsonby’s Dr. Sarah Hart, who is a fountain of knowledge (and then some) when it comes to all things skin. What this woman doesn't know about how to transform and take years off your visage is just not worth knowing, and when I first met her I was immediately struck by her incredible knowledge base and her approachability. When it comes to the kind of patients Sarah sees discretion and a caring approach is key, and she has both in spades. A Fellow of the New Zealand College of Appearance Medicine, Sarah is one of only two New Zealand doctors on the international Botox Advisory Board and trains other doctors around the country in facial rejuvenation techniques.
“It is so important that you talk to someone before trying retinol,” she says of the proven skin rejuventor, adding “for some people even the weakest retinol can cause havoc if they haven’t first restored the barrier of their skin.” She says the first thing to do when you want to try one is look at your cleanser, “as so many people are using ones that are just stripping their skin with ingredients like sodium laurel sulfate. The trend towards just using oil to cleanse your skin is much preferable, and really effective.” Adding Vitamin A to a non-prepped skin can be “a recipe for disaster, with redness, irritation and flaking that can put you off for life,” Sarah tells me. If your skin is particularly sensitive you can also wait ten minutes after cleansing before applying your retinol, to allow your natural oils to start appearing again.
She says that once your skin is ready, adding small amounts of Vitamin A is the way to go, and it can take up to twelve weeks to work your way up to the level that will start making a real difference to your skin. “Then you’ll start to get that elusive dewy look,” says Sarah, “and your skin will feel thicker and pigment will be fading.” She likes to use a moisturiser before or after applying retinol, and this is again when your skin expert will step in and advise which of the two is the best for you.
Often called “the perfect entry level retinol”, Aspect’s Retinol Brulee is one of the names that does what it says, and is a great place to start. Unlike some of the more questionable so-called ‘Retinol’ products out there it promises to deliver the results you want day after day, week after week, month after month, and you get the long-term results accordingly. It is the first Australian developed cosmeceutical to take advantage of what is called “Tocoretinate” technology, a non-irritating variety of "true" esterified Vitamin A acid that is guaranteed to maintain its potency and superior performance even under the most adverse of conditions. To further enhance the aforementioned Tocoretinate, the clever clogs at Aspect have now literally turbocharged Retinol Brulee with the addition of Lanablue, a remarkable Blue algae extract that clinically mimics the topical cosmetic effects of pure retinol without any of the side effects.
Sarah is a huge fan of the Skin Medica range’s retinol offerings, which are three depending on which level works with your skin, and are practitioner only. “I love Skin Medica and the Aspect Dr. range as they have true clinical data behind them,” she tells me. “They have tested them and they work. I also have incredible support from both companies in terms of education and asking advice on my clients.” See, even the experts consult with the experts!
So if you are looking at adding a retinol to your skincare arsenal then please do, but ask advice beforehand and always, always use a sunscreen. You will reap the benefits!

(this article first appeared in the always-awesome Ponsonby News)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Daily delight: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Vogue Thailand

All about: Bobbi Brown's Instant Confidence Stick

Laughter lines. Frown lines. Cry lines. Just-all-too-much lines. All manner of lines. Embrace them, don't fight them I say… but if you can do a little something, something here and there then why not?
You can go down the injectables and retinols route, or the totally cosmetic route in the case of Bobbi Brown’s new Instant Confidence Stick. In the brand’s words: “confidence is everything, but a little skincare can't hurt”, which I think is so very true!
Called “Bobbi’s magic eraser”, this little stick may not look much but it does plenty, and is conveniently portable to boot. The colourless, breathable and ultra-lightweight formula instantly blurs the look of fine lines and wrinkles for a smoother, more lineless look, gliding on easily with zero disruption even over quite heavy makeup. It also feels pretty much weightless, making it comfortable for all-day wear. It’s essentially a new, super lightweight primer that comes at you in a stick. Swivel it up, smooth it on, reap the benefits!
Upon application, the matte (but not chalky), colourless formula helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while creating a natural-skin finish. Its formula includes a triple suspension, peptide complex that creates a soft, breathable blurring layer that helps to instantly smooth the appearance of skin’s texture whatever your skin type. It also has spherical powders in there to diffuse light and help minimise the appearance of fine lines and imperfections, so it works pretty much instantly – and lasts. Oh, and as an added bonus, it works over time to absorb excess oil and control shine. Magical.
You pop it on in the morning after all of your other skincare steps – it really is like a primer – or gently blot on throughout the day as needed to smooth, mattify and absorb oil. Blurring products are nothing new, but until now they've mostly been tricky to use and get right and can only really be used under makeup. This stick makes the concept portable and multi-faceted too, which I love.
I was half expecting this to remove makeup when applied as a touch-up, but I was surprised to find it leaves much of it in place, even more so when I am super careful with the application. I love the fact you can use this under and over makeup, as well as touching-up throughout the day thanks its handbag friendly attributes.
At $76.00 this little guy doesn’t come cheap but by god it works.
Available: 18 July 2016 at all Bobbi Brown Cosmetics counters and at 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Daily delight: Alexa Chung for AG Jeans Fall 2016

Beauty news: Weleda Skin Food turns 90

One of the world’s greatest beauty ‘steals’ and applauded by everyone from Julia Roberts to Adele and Victoria Beckham, the marvellous multitasker known as Weleda Skin Food is always at the top of any beauty freak’s ‘essentials’ list.
Amazingly, the product was first formulated in 1926 and remains largely unchanged today, which is when it celebrates its 90th birthday. That is serious longevity right there, and with good reason. 
Naturally delicious for your skin, Skin Food is a deeply nourishing, intensely hydrating and super multitasking, being essentially a whole-body moisturiser that restores and protects dry and rough skin. The enriching balm contains a mixture of organic plant actives to soothe and comfort skin battered by daily stresses. It is 100 per cent certified natural, and a yummy blend of organic chamomile, calendula, rosemary and wild pansy, in a thick base of sunflower seed oil, sweet almond oil and organic beeswax - no wonder skin loves it!
In celebration, the brand recently listed their top ten uses of Skin Food as being:
1.   Apply as a primer to boost your complexion and help makeup last throughout the day
2.   Protect and nourish lips to keep them smooth and moisturised
3.   Protect and replenish skin affected by intensely air-conditioned in-flight environments
4.   Massage in and around the nail area for a revitalising and restorative nail and cuticle treatment
5.   Protect your extremities against the ravages of wind, weather and chafing during outdoor activities
6.   Treat a chapped nose due to cold or flu with wild pansy’s healing properties
7.   Intensely hydrate to restore and protect hard-working hands. For a nourishing treatment smooth onto hands, cover with cotton gloves and leave overnight
8.   Soften and soothe slow healing scars
9.   Moisturise stubborn, dry patches of skin such as elbows and knees
10. Use delicately under the eyes and on the outer corner to hydrate, smooth and reduce puffiness
So there you go… Weleda Skin Food is out there right now waiting for you to pick it up and celebrate at RRP$22.90 for a 75ml tube and RRP$13.90 for 30ml. So what are you waiting for?