Friday, November 17, 2017

Daily delight: Kate Moss for Vogue China




All about: the Earth, Wind & Indigo collection



I am mad for crystals, and have been since I was a little girl. Before they were mainstream they were big news in the slightly-hippy community that my parents ran in, and as long as I can remember I’ve always had some on hand.
Inspired by the unmistakable energy and beauty of one of nature’s most precious resources, the first collection of wearable crystals from Earth, Wind & Indigo was unveiled a few weeks ago, and I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to see the lineup. Was I impressed? You bet, not just with the stones but also with the love behind the brand.
Earth, Wind & Indigo is the brainchild of Megan Sanders, former advertising executive turned entrepreneur who just exudes great energy. The collection is reportedly the realisation of Megan’s own belief in the life-altering potential of crystals to help centre, revitalise and realign an individual’s everyday living, and if I can even get half of the sparkle in my eye that woman has, I’m winning!
“From ancient Eastern medicine and Cleopatra’s crushed crystal eyeliner used for empowerment, to crystals being used to build technology and improve scientific space exploration, crystals can hold the key to really improving everyday living,” said Megan. “I have surrounded myself with crystals for a long time and witnessed the incredible power and beauty of them to make my own life better.”
“Women in particular are excellent at giving energy out but not great at bringing energy back in to their lives. Earth, Wind & Indigo is all about recognising where you need a bit of help and simply adding something small but powerful to your life to realign where your energy is out of whack.”
An avid student of internationally acclaimed crystal gurus Robert Simmons and Judy Hall, Megan has launched Earth, Wind & Indigo with seven beautifully crafted ‘Power Packs’ and 22 energy bracelets that feature crystals sourced from the world’s best mines in Brazil. Free from uniformity or over-processing, each crystal is a totally unique shape and size, just like the wearer, and finished by hand to preserve the integrity of the crystal.
The Power Packs contain a wearable crystal on a chain, accompanied by a pocket-sized Buddha crafted in Bali and an affirmation card. Presented in the most beautiful box (hint: perfect Christmas gift alert) they are available as:
Bright Eyes: a Lapis Lazuli for the third eye chakra to boost mental clarity and ability to reflect.
Time of Your Life: an Amethyst for the crown chakra to improve physical energy and mental drive.
Let’s Hear It: a Blue Lace Agate for the throat chakra to reboot the nervous system and self-expression.
Every Beat of Your Heart: a Rose Quartz for the heart chakra, to get the love flowing in and out.
You Got This: a Yellow Citrine for the solar plexus chakra to realign self-confidence and willpower. 
Bring Your Sexy Back: an Orange Calcite for the sacral chakra, to nurture sex drive and fertility.
Find Your Feet: a Red Garnet for the root chakra to help you slow down your pace and stay grounded.
The Earth, Wind & Indigo collection also features occasional limited edition pieces, including clear quartz on leather necklace exclusively for men, available at launch. 
Absolutely unique and totally up my alley, Earth, Wind & Indigo pieces are available exclusively online at www.earthwindandindigo.co.nz 


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Daily delight: Bella Hadid for Marie Claire China



Love it: James Read Coconut Melting Tanning Balm


A few years ago when I was visiting London, a very respected makeup artist friend gave me some sample bottles of his favourite self-tanning products – James Read Tan. He's an incredibly fussy sort so I knew they would be good, just how good pretty much blew my mind.
James Read himself is a self made "tantrepreneur" whose products now regularly sell out on Net-a-Porter and whose skill at creating honey hued limbs is legendary. The go-to guy whenever a celebrity or model needs to take the pallor out of her skin, Read’s client list reads like a Who’s Who of the red carpet, from Mariah Carey to Lady Gaga and Lara Stone. It was inevitable that he would go on to create his own self tanning range, and in 2012 it launched in the UK and in 2015 Down Under thanks to Mecca Cosmetica. Hurrah! 
"I have dreamed of having my own product range from the very first day I started working in the self-tanning industry 11 years ago," he told UK Vogue back at the time of the James Read Tan collection’s release. "I wanted to create a range of luxury products that give the skin a natural, healthy-looking colour, but also protect the wellbeing of the skin by using anti-ageing ingredients in the formulations."
Read worked on the range - which includes fragrance-free liquid, gradual and wash-off tans, as well as an innovative gradual tanning pen - for two years, with the help of former Vogue beauty director Anna-Marie Solowij and her business partner Simon Turnbull. The end result is a carefully curated collection of essentials that are beautifully formulated, highly effective and – most importantly – super easy to use. Read has formulated his products with conditioning ingredients to suit every skin tone in one universal shade, and the possibilities really are endless.
The company is always revealing incredible new innovations, the latest of which is a deliciously moisturising Coconut Melting Tanning Balm. The first of its kind, the balm melts upon contact with the skin to create a natural golden tan. Enriched with 100 per cent organic coconut oil, it is the company’s most natural tan yet, and an absolute winner for those with drier skin like me. There is no need to moisturise like mad and then wash it all off prior to application as the organic coconut oil in the formula gives your skin all the nourishment it needs, and the patented Tantone Technology™ ensures the most natural result for your skin tone. 
As with any self tanner, it is recommended that you exfoliate thoroughly prior to application, and wear the gloves supplied to avoid any staining on the palms. Open the pot and using the spatula provided, give the balm a really good stir to soften. Continue stirring until the balm is smooth, thick and creamy. Then, carefully scoop a little of the creamy balm into the palm of the hand and apply to the skin. Starting at the ankles and working your way up, apply to the body in circular motions. The balm will transform into a super-hydrating oil upon contact with the skin, then leave it to develop for 6-8 hours. 
Over summer it is recommended that you keep the product in the fridge, and if it’s too firm to use let it soften in a bowl of warm water before you get your stir on. Easy, and the end result is subtle but really quite magnificent! 
James Read Coconut Melting Tanning Balm has an RRP of $58.00 and is available at www.meccabeauty.co.nz


Monday, November 13, 2017

Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for Jimmy Choo Resort 2018



All about: INIKA Certified Organic Lip Serum


Most of you would have heard me rave about all organic, mineral make up range INIKA in the past, both for its high performance colour (rare in the field) and its kindness to your skin and the planet. A favourite with the likes of Stella McCartney and her fellow advocates of eco luxe, it’s one of the best on offer in the natural market today as well as 100 per cent certified organic or vegan (or both) and also 100 per cent certified Halal and cruelty free. Major round of applause!
One of the latest additions to the brand’s line up is especially for the lips, which are oft-ignored until one day your lipstick starts feathering and you run screaming for something to sort them out. I’m all for looking after them all day long, and the new INIKA Certified Organic Lip Serum is a great little product for exactly that.
Created with an incredible 91 per cent Certified Organic ingredients, the new Lip Serum has been specially developed to detoxify, heal and condition lips for long-lasting and natural softness. The perfect pick for popping in your handbag over party season, it is packed with high performance ingredients like Vitamin E, Certified Organic Jojoba, sunflower and rosehip oils. Sea Buckthorn, one of the beauty world’s biggest buzzes, has also been added because of its high-nutrient, phytonutrient and vitamin content. It is also formulated with Certified Organic mandarin extract and orange essential oil to detoxify, as well as to add a yummy citrus scent. 
The Lip Serum has no added colour but does add shine and seals in moisture when applied alone or on top of your favourite lip colours, and is the ideal remedy for sore, chapped lips, morning and night. Love it.
INIKA Certified Organic Lip Serum has an RRP of $45.00, and is in store now. Check out where you can pick one up here.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Daily delight: Gal Gadot for ELLE magazine




Love it: Avène Hydrance Optimale Aqua cream-in-gel


A few weeks’ ago I was invited to the most beautiful dinner at a super chic, inner city location that was held on what truly felt like the beginning of summer. The sun shone and the Perrier-Jouët flowed, and the cause for celebration was the release of a new moisturiser by French brand Avène that is destined to be a true go-to as the days heat up.
Called Hydrance Optimale Aqua cream-in-gel, it is a new addition to the Hydrance Optimale collection that absolutely nails hydrating multi-benefit care for the skin. Its exclusive, melty and aqua-gel texture texture hydrates like a cream, but feels super light and refreshing like a gel, and its multitude of benefits includes protection for the skin against the daily environmental aggressions that come with city life.
At the new moisturiser’s heart is the famous Avène Thermal Spring Water, and you’ll also find ingredients like squalene, Vitamin E, pumpkin seed, and avocado oil. Meiboserine and Lipomucine – two ingredients that have been patented by the legendary brand – help with distribution of the famous water and to ensure its goodness doesn’t escape.
Tested on the most sensitive skin, the formula was reportedly specially formulated in Japan for Asian sensitive skin, but its ability to fight environmental aggressors coupled with a unique texture adapted to humid weather makes it absolutely perfect for the New Zealand summer. I love that it absorbs almost instantly, making it a brilliant base for makeup as well as sleeping on hot, steamy nights.
For an added moisture boost or to use it at any time of year, layer this new beauty over Avène’s Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum. Maximum moisture and plumped up, perfect skin!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Daily delight: Zendaya for FASHION magazine



 

I try: a Kérastase Diagnostic Camera and Specifique Masquargil


Key to getting the most out of what can be an expensive haul of hair products is the correct diagnosis for your hair type. You need the right prescription for hair and scalp, and Kérastase has taken out the guesswork by offering their technologically-advanced Diagnostic Camera (above) to get things right, every time. 
I was lucky enough to make a visit to the wonderfully serene Oblique hair spa in Auckland’s Birkenhead a few weeks’ ago, where Senior Stylist Elise worked all manner of wonders on my slightly droopy locks. First up she bought out the aforementioned camera, to see exactly what was going on with my hair and scalp. Zooming into the scalp and hair up to 600 times, the camera enables the consultant to create an ultra-precise prescription based on what they find, and it was fascinating – and admittedly, a little gross – to get a really good look. The camera identifies haircare concerns such as excessive oiliness, dandruff and dry scalp, and has the ability to save and compare the clients results to track improvements over time, reinforcing the fact that bespoke hair care really does work. My hair seemed to be in pretty decent shape, but I could see a product build up that Elise set to sorting out using the next step in my appointment.
That involved trying a Kérastase Specifique Masquargil before my next blow wave, a treatment that purifies the scalp, allowing the active ingredients to penetrate and perform at the highest level. The salon-only clay mask removes impurities, unclogs pores, eliminates oil and polluting particles and is suitable for all hair types, and as an add on is a definite must-do if you have the time.
The end result was an even bouncier than usual blow wave, which last a decent four days and just wouldn’t quit! Part of that was Elise’s natural talent, but a large part as well must be attributed to having totally “de-greased” (for wont of a better phrase) hair that took products and direction even better than before.
Check out www.kerastase.com for more about the camera and the treatment, and I highly recommend a visit to Oblique - http://www.oblique.co.nz - before your next event.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for Burberry Holiday 2017



Christmas gifting: the Hourglass Confession Lipstick Archive



Part of the Mecca brand’s Holiday 2017 offering and an instant sellout when it hit Net a Porter, Hourglass' beauty immaculate, limited edition Confession Lipstick Archive is a lipstick lover's dream. 
Packed with covetable, wearable colours ranging from deep plum to the perfect nude, the archive is filled with 30 highly pigmented shades from the brand's iconic 'Confessions' collection and is only available online for those of us in New Zealand. 
For those unfamiliar with the seriously amazing formula, Ultra Slim Lipsticks are creamy, saturated and long-wearing with an always-flattering satin finish that won’t smudge or feather. Each ultra-slim lipstick in the archive is designed to be used with the two sleek gold applicators to provide the ultimate control and precisely accentuate, contour, and define the lips. The two gold applicators can be used interchangeably with the full collection, which is made up of:
I Wish, One Day, The First Time, I Lust For, I’ll Never Stop, I’ve Never, I Want, I Woke Up, If Only, I’m Addicted, No One Knows, I’ve Kissed, My Favorite, You Can Find Me, I Always, I Believe, I Can’t Wait, I Live For, I Desire, I Crave, My Icon Is, Secretly, I Can’t Live Without, At Night, I’ve Been, One Time, When I’m With You, When I’m Alone, If I Could, and I Hide My.
Like all Hourglass products, the collection is formulated without parabens, sulfates or phthalates, and is a joy to behold. This beauty retails for NZD$1038 and is available from November 9 at www.meccabeauty.co.nz along with the rest of the limited edition holiday collections and own-brand goodness. Get saving and get gifting!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Daily delight: Nicki Minaj for T magazine



Love it: all new Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color

Bobbi Brown has always killed it when it comes to lipstick formulas, with a huge shade range that caters to a vast number or skin colours and undertones. I’ve long been a fan of their matte formulas, but have recently fallen in love with a whole new category – the stain/lipstick/balm hybrid that is Crushed Lip Color.
The brand calls Crushed Lip Color a “stain-lipstick”, and it definitely leaves a stained flush of colour that doesn’t dry out and feels almost balm-like at first swipe. Inspired by the effortlessly cool and easy beauty routines of the company’s girl crushes, it pairs a beautiful soft, matte pigment with a blotted down finish for a lived-in look that lasts all day.
The perfect weekender, the new formula glides on comfortably, and leaves lips hydrated, soft and smooth with Vitamins E and C and beeswax. As it’s super-pigmented, the balmy texture easily covers lips in a single swipe, and it comes with the promise of eight hours of “feather-free, fade-proof” wear. I have found that fading – or at least, a little diffusing - does happen after a long day going about my business, but it fades evenly and beautifully in time for another swipe.
This beauty is in store now with an RRP of $58.00, and in twenty beautiful shades like Bitten, Crush, Blackberry and Grenadine. Just gorgeous. 
You can pick up your own Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color at all Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Counters and online at www.smithandcaugheys.co.nz/BobbiBrown and www.farmers.co.nz/BobbiBrown.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Daily delight: Gigi Hadid for Glamour magazine



Beauty news: Hourglass pledges to go 100% vegan



Yesterday, in celebration of World Vegan Day, high-performance cosmetics brand Hourglass Cosmetics announced its goal to become fully vegan by the year 2020. 
If you’ve been hiding under a rock, Hourglass – available in New Zealand at Mecca stores and online at meccabeauty.co.nz - was established in 2004 when founder and CEO, Carisa Janes, set about developing a luxury cosmetics brand that had a true focus on active ingredients, modern design and exceptional functionality. Debuting first at Barneys New York, the brand has since expanded into Bergdorf Goodman, Sephora, Nordstrom, and Space NK in the US and more than 500 stores worldwide including its flagship in Venice, California. Hourglass products are free from parabens and sulfates and never tested on animals, which always gets a big tick from me.
But back to yesterday’s news, which will be pretty damn exciting for fans of ethical beauty everywhere. Hourglass already has a predominantly vegan beauty offering, but have launched plans to source alternative ingredients – free of animal by-products – to replace frequently used animal-derived cosmetic ingredients such as beeswax and carmine. This commitment aligns with its existing 100 per cent cruelty-free platform and dedication to the protection of animal rights. 
The amazing Carisa Janes, founder and CEO of Hourglass, has been instrumental in creating trends through ongoing innovation and scientific discovery. From creating the lighting powder category by transforming photographic lighting into the cult favourite – and must have for every kit - Ambient Lighting Powder, to completely revolutionising complexion products with Veil Mineral Primer, Hourglass has quietly become a true force to be reckoned with in the industry. 
“At Hourglass, we believe that luxury is a combination of innovation and integrity,” says Janes. “This begins with our commitment to creating cruelty-free products and ultimately being the first completely vegan luxury cosmetics brand in the world. It is not a simple solution, but we are dedicated to putting in the time and effort it will take to find vegan alternatives for our product formulas.” 
In addition, Hourglass is calling upon other beauty brands to join in their commitment to finding vegan-alternative cosmetic ingredients and cruelty-free testing methods. Inspired by emerging technologies and a growing demand for vegan products, Hourglass hopes to spark a movement of beauty professionals that support replacing animal-derived ingredients as a new, industry-wide standard. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Daily delight: Rihanna for Vogue Arabia


Love it: Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Stick

One of the first foundation formulas that I fell in love with – and used slavishly for years – was a stick, and I swear I went through hundreds of them. As liquid foundation improved with the addition of serums and the like and then cushions arrived, I somehow forgot about my old favourite… until now.
I am officially obsessed with the new Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Stick, and since having one to play with, have barely worn anything else. The versatility of a stick is one of its major pluses, and the portability when it comes to travel and touch ups on the go is equally as awesome. I have been using Teint Idole Ultra Stick for just a light slick of coverage on the cheeks over the weekend, as a full coverage at night, and it’s travelled to Australia with me where it more than performed in temperatures that were a heck of a lot warmer than over here. It really is a little miracle.
In terms of specifics, the Teint Idole Ultra Stick boasts a 24-hour wear, and the highly pigmented formula provides high coverage in a super-gliding, weightless texture for a natural matte finish. Oil-free, it can be used as a foundation, for touch-ups, as a spot concealer, and even to contour., which having only one shade in my kit I haven’t been able to try as yet – but want to!
Its ultra-lightweight powder-crème texture blends smoothly for a traceless, second-skin result, and porous polymers absorb excess oils without leaving a chalky, unflatteringly too matte finish - if you know what I mean. Plus, with ambora extract, it helps to reduce the appearance of redness. It is transfer-resistant and smudge-resistant, and also suitable for all skin types, even sensitive. Amazing. 
In New Zealand it’s only available in eight shades thus far, but they are quite universal in spectrum and think they will cover a lot of complexions depending on how thick you like your coverage.
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Stick is available right now in store, RRP $70.00. What are you waiting for?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Daily delight: Taylor Hill for Vogue Japan




Beauty news: two New Jo Malone London boutiques open in Auckland

With a yearly advent calendar that comes with quite the price tag yet sells out before it’s even hit the shelves and a plethora of goodies to obsess about, it’s safe to say that the Jo Malone London brand owns Christmas. No Christmas countdown would be complete without a shout out to the wonderful brand, whose stores and fragrances fill me with utter delight every time!
As well as being purveyors of simply beautiful, luxurious fragrances, Jo Malone is also the place to go for a very special experiential treat – one I first experienced at their Britomart, Auckland store. They offer complimentary personalised Fragrance Combining consultations all year round at their in-store Tasting Bar, which include a luxurious hand and arm massage and fragrance samples. It’s the perfect introduction to the brand for those who haven’t experienced its unabashed gorgeousness, as well as a treat for their customers and a chance to explore the possibilities of fragrance combination
So it with great excitement then that I can share the news that Jo Malone London has announced two new pop-up boutiques open this week in Smith & Caughey’s Newmarket, Auckland and Westfield Albany, Auckland on 30th October 2017. The openings are perfect timing with the rush towards Christmas for fans of the brand, and for those who love fans of the brand (hint, hint!).
The two new destinations, solidify the brand’s popularity with New Zealanders, with Marie-Ann Billens, General Manager, Estée Lauder Companies saying: “We are excited to be opening in Smith & Caughey’s Newmarket; an iconic department store characterised by style and history, as well as Westfield Albany, a landmark retail destination on the North Shore.We are looking forward to opening our pop-up boutiques and introducing The World of Jo Malone.” 
Quintessentially British, Jo Malone London is a name synonymous with style, and these two new spaces will absolutely nail that brief.
To celebrate, they will even have their master hand engraver, Dene Gilmore in store to add complimentary engraving with any purchase of a Jo Malone London cologne or candle - with a maximum of three letters per product so no excuse to stay away. Dene will be at:
Smith & Caughey’s Newmarket, 225 Broadway Newmarket:
Saturday 28th October
11-4pm
Westfield Albany, Level 2 (Beside Farmers), 219 Don McKinnon Drive, Albany
Thursday 2nd November
6.00pm - 8.30pm
Head in and get shopping!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Daily delight: Gigi Hadid for GigixMaybelline



Fragrance news: Curionoir unveils Cellar Feels


Midway through last year, luxurious home and beauty brand Curionoir unveiled a range of exquisite handmade perfumes, while simultaneously celebrating the opening of their flagship store on Ponsonby Road. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Curio Noir was founded in 2011 by local creative talent Tiffany Jeans, and has grown into one of Australasia’s most luxurious perfumery and candle ranges. Tiffany crafted a series of hand-cast skull candles individually wrapped in tulle for each guest at her wedding, and it was from this labour of love that the idea for Curio Noir grew.
Darkly alluring and reminiscent of a Parisian atelier, Curio Noir's flagship store is in the space formerly occupied by Wunderkammer at 76a Ponsonby Road, and is a veritable feast for the senses. Within its walls you’ll find the sought after line of Curio Noir glass candles, CN Absolute Parfum, Curio Noir hard soaps and leather coasters, exclusive Zora Bell Boyd jewellery and more.
The Absolute Parfum perfumery line has to be played with to be believed, and is currently made up of several unisex fragrances crafted by Jeans and mixed by perfumers in Grasse, France. Called Opia, Diaphanous, Tobacco Night, Dark Bouquet and Pūrotu Rose, they are now joined by the heady and beautiful Cellar Feels, which may be my most favourite yet.
Inspired by the humble winemaking days of the past, Cellar Feels, is a fruity, leathery fragrance and is in store now. With notes of apple, black tea leaves, orange, Lavendin Super, Mate, nutmeg and grape leaves and undertones of Virginian Cedarwood, Tree Moss and Atlas Cedarwood, Jeans says it was designed to take your senses “to the dark, musty cellar where wine was made with simplicity and memories captured”. It definitely takes me back to my Croatian grandparents’ fragrant basement, and Tiffany says it was her own grandfather that inspired the scent. “I would watch my grandfather spend hours in his cellar under the house concocting different wines,” she says, “and by no means was he a purist. He would experiment with different fruits, skins and techniques. This new scent reflects this tender process; picking the vines; squashing the grapes and other fruit underfoot; pouring the wine into French hand-blown carboys, and tasting of course.”
Made – like all Curionoir parfums - from the finest notes mixed in Grasse, then bottled in store, it is available as both a Curionoir Parfum and Glass Candle fragrance.  The Parfum is available in a 4ml pocket size for $40, a 50ml bottle for $240, or at the flagship store customers can select their own hand-blown, bespoke refillable glass bottle made in collaboration with Monmouth Glass Studio. In the CN Glass candle range, Cellar Feels is presented within beautiful rich copper red hand-blown glass vessels in two sizes, the Classic Glass 390g for $149, and the Demi Glass 85g for $85.
Cellar Feels Parfum and CN Glass are available from exclusive New Zealand and international boutiques, the Curionoir flagship store, 76a Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland, and curionoir.com now.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Daily delight: Priyanka Chopra for Vogue India




Beauty news: the return of the M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick collection


When I first heard word about M.A.C Cosmetics’ Liptensity Lipstick collection around this time last year, I was in awe. For starters, at the time I was many stories above Auckland city in The Sugar Club dining room during a storm. And for seconds, I was totally bowled over by the amazing collaboration behind it.
It was developed in association with Maureen Seaberg, a writer on sensory experience and a tetrachromat, which means she has the genetic ability to see shades of colour that the rest of us cannot (to put it mildly). To put a vague number on it, tetrachromats can see up to 100 million colours, estimates suggest, which is 100 times that of the average human. Most people have three cells, or receptors, in their retinas, but tetrachomats have a fourth receptor, which may be what allows for their heightened colour perception. They are usually female, and it’s estimated that about 12 per cent of women carry the gene for this fourth receptor. Carrying the gene doesn’t guarantee that you’ll wind up with heightened colour vision, but those who both have the gene and who are immersed in a wide range of colours from a very young age appear to be more likely to develop the ability. Amazing!
The 24-piece lipstick collection was a revelation, and hugely popular with fans of the brand. As well as being an absolute joy to behold, the shades were totally void of over/undertones and stayed true and rich for up to eight hours with no fading. My favourite is Smoked Almond (below), a shade that just won't quit.
Fast forward to October 23 and the collection is back in nine new and three bring-back shades! It can also now be paired with their new Liptensity Lip Pencils, which are available in 18 equally vivid permanent shades. Amazing. Start saving your pennies!
Liptensity Lipsticks retail for $50.00 and Liptensity Lip Pencils, $48.00.
Image supplied by M·A·C Cosmetics