Friday, July 28, 2017

Daily delight: Angelina Jolie for Vanity Fair


Fragrance Friday: Tom Ford Noir Anthracite

I go giddy for pretty much anything Tom Ford-related, so when a bottle of the designer’s new Noir fragrance for Fall 2017, NOIR ANTHRACITE arrived on my desk this morning it was always going to be a true ‘Fragrance Friday’. 
Mr. Ford’s latest icon of seduction, TOM FORD NOIR ANTHRACITE is said to “reflect the light in the dark”, and features the brilliance of bergamot and spice against rich black woods such as cedarwood, macassar and santal Sri Lanka. A heady mix? Most definitely, but in the way of all things TOM FORD, it’s perfectly balanced.
In terms of notes, the fragrance opens with top notes of bergamot, while a spicy cut of cool pepper sichuan and warm ginger tease the tone-on-tone dualities to unfold. The luminosity of the fragrance exposes a rich floral heart composed of tuberose and jasmine sambac, which I think makes it all joyfully unisex. The humid green of galbanum captures the purity of nature, whilst patchouli intertwines three woods with resinous strength. Fine cedarwood and santal create textural warmth, making for the perfect icing on the fine fragrance cake.
Shot by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, the TOM FORD NOIR ANTHRACITE ad campaign seen above is pretty damn glorious, and the bottle is packaged in a signature rectangular Noir Collection bottle made of glass covered in a metallized anthracite colour and finished with ribbed sides debossed with the initials T and F. The Tom Ford Noir logo is stamped in matte black and the rectangular matching cap ribbed on all sides and stamped with the TF logo. Just perfect.
TOM FORD NOIR ANTHRACITE is available in 50mL (RRP $200) and 100mL (RRP$296) flacons and will be on-counter in New Zealand from August 14 in Auckland at Smith & Caughey’s Queen St and Newmarket, in Wellington at David Jones and in Christchurch at Ballantynes.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Daily delight: Lily James for My Burberry Blush

Beauty news: M.A.C celebrates National Lipstick Day!

This Saturday, 29th July in New Zealand is National Lipstick Day – a day where we can all celebrate the magic and power that one little lipstick bullet holds. It’s a celebration that I can definitely get behind, owning more lipsticks than I would care to own up to, and proud of it!
The go-to for pin up girls, screen stars and Parisennes for decades, a delicious slick of red lipstick is the timeless weapon of choice for the femme fatale, and with good reason. Scientists at Manchester University have used eye-tracking software to prove that men are hopelessly drawn to a bright red mouth. When shown photographs of a women for 10 seconds each, men spent 7.3 seconds looking at red lips compared to only 0.95 seconds on the eyes. Pink lipstick held the gaze for just 6.7 seconds.
And perhaps it’s because that flash of Chanel Rouge Allure or M.A.C Russian Red is nothing less than a glimpse into a lady’s knickers. Naturalist Diane Ackerman, author of A Natural History of the Senses, espouses the leading anthropological theory on lipstick thus: “The lips remind us of the labia, because they flush red and swell when they’re aroused, which is the conscious or subconscious reason women have always made them look even redder with lipstick.” TMI!
A perfect red lipstick is something every woman needs in her arsenal, and once she’s experienced her power its purchase will be something she will never forget. Like the little black dress of beauty, it's absolutely timeless, and finding the right fit for you may well be your makeup holy grail.
Now the new dilemma is – which rouge to choose? Many makeup artists would say to typically go with shades based on complexion rather than hair or eye colour, as in cool skin with cool shades and warm shades matched to warm skin tones. The adventurous amongst us could benefit from trying the opposite approach however: for a more powerful pout, try working against your skin's natural undertone. If you have cool undertones, try a more orange-based red, and if you have golden undertones try a blue-based red – and remember, when it comes to les rouges you can never have too many!
Which brings me to the almighty M.A.C, who are celebrating National Lipstick Day in store with one hell of a promo that I reckon we will all be jumping on board for. Everyone who visits a M.A.C counter on Saturday 29th July and signs up to the brand’s database will receive a FREE iconic red lipstick, while supplies last. Yep that’s right, FREE!
So clear your diary now… and literally, where do I sign up?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Daily delight: Emily Ratajkowski for Glamour UK

Love it: Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Eye Serum

Legendary skincare name Aesop opened its first New Zealand store last year in Newmarket, Auckland, and I for one could not have been happier. I make frequent visits just for a gander and a sniff (not creepy, promise!) and have several of their products on my wish list pretty much all year round.
I love the fact that Aesop manages to be both beautiful and practical, a hybrid of old school and new tech disciplines, and they don’t release products in a gung ho style at all. Each creation has been researched and tested until perfection is attained, and their legions of fans around the world are testament to the fact that the brand truly does get things right.
One of their most popular ranges is the Parsley Seed collection of products, each of which were designed to perform to the highest standard. They can be used together or in combination with other classics from the Aesop range, and they smell delicious. The Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser is a richly foaming formulation that removes surface impurities and offers mild exfoliation using Lactic Acid, whilst the Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner – one of my top picks for the summer months - soothes and balances skin and prepares it for hydration. There is also a Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum to hydrate, soften and fortify skin, and the Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Eye Serum that I’m going to talk about today.
Although I like my eye products to be high performance I don’t like them to be heavy, finding that thick creams and whatnot end up giving me milia and irritating my contact lenses on those days when I swap out my glasses for a few hours. Thus, the idea of an eye serum is very attractive to me, and the potent parsley seed-based number from Aesop is a little wonder.
Although its super lightweight to the touch, the vitamin-rich serum delivers targeted hydration and nourishment from concentrated fortifying anti-oxidants and fatty acids to the delicate skin surrounding the eyes. It smells pleasantly herby like many of Aesop’s products, and the dropper dispenser means that things stay pristine and bacteria free, which is always a win for me. A little also goes a long way, and I find the best way to apply it is by putting two or three drops on the back of my hand first, then lightly tapping it around the eye area with my ring finger. Too easy!
You can use this baby morning and evening or as often as you like really – I find a drop dabbed in mid-afternoon brightens up the under eye area and softens any concealer like a charm, too.
So there you have it! This beauty is in store now with an RRP of $90.00.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for A|X Armani Exchange

All about: Weleda's new 24hr Roll-On Deodorants

I’m lucky that I’ve never been a particularly ‘sweaty’ person (even after a spin class I just have a little shine), so I’ve never had cause to use some of the more heavy-duty deodorants and anti-perspirants out there. They are known to contain all manner of nasties in the quest to stop sweat and smell, and have been linked to many disorders by the wellness community.
Sweating is our body’s natural and necessary thermoregulation process. Many mainstream of the aforementioned deodorants and ‘antiperspirants’ use chemicals such as aluminium salts to block sweat glands and pores, reduce or even stop the essential sweating process completely. Instead of blocking sweat, Weleda's collection of new 24hr Roll-On Deodorants naturally protect the wearer by inhibiting bacterial enzymes that decompose sweat and consequently prevents the formation of any unpleasant body odour. Body odour comes from the destruction of sweat by skin bacteria and depends on the substances in your sweat, the special flora of bacteria in the area, and by metabolites of food or medicines. It also differs by gender. By halting the work of these bacterial enzymes that decompose sweat but not the act of sweating itself, Weleda's new 24hr Roll-On Deodorants let your body do its thing, and smell good too!
Instead of aluminium salts, Weleda uses clever ingredients like Liquorice Root, for its antioxidant, calming and antimicrobial effects, combined with Witch Hazel, to calm, tone, and nourish skin. Together with essential oils, like Litsea Cubeba, for natural fresh fragrance, the new roll-on deodorants have been dermatologically proven to protect against body odour for an amazing 24-hours. Plus, Weleda’s Roll-On Deodorants can be used directly after all kinds of hair removal, something that deodorants with aluminium salts are not recommended for (ouch!).
100% certified natural by NATRUE, they come in a Citrus or Men’s version, and have a very reasonable RRP of $15.90 for a 50ml tube. The brand has also reformulated and repackaged their super popular 100ml deodorant sprays. Wild Rose, Citrus and Sage have been reformulated to improve protection from body odour from 4-6 hours to 12-24 hours, and come in smart new modern packaging. They remain the same great price, still in glass bottles, still with no aluminium salts and are also perfect as a room spray, to uplift your mood, or to disguise unwanted household smells.
Weleda products are available from, selected online retailers, health stores and pharmacies nationwide.  To locate your nearest stockist or for further information visit

Friday, July 14, 2017

Daily delight: Jessica Biel for Marie Claire US

Beauty news: here comes the new MECCA MAX

The makeup edit at any MECCA store is always so perfectly curated, with amazing brands being added all the time that you pretty much fall in love with at first sight. It comes as no surprise that being surrounded by all of that mastery has rubbed off on MECCA founder Jo Horgan and her talented team, who are set to launch a new signature brand of makeup, MECCA MAX.
On August 1, the super exciting new brand will launch with an INSANE 206-strong product line-up across skin, complexion, eyes, lips, nails, lashes and beauty tools, and from what I have seen it will be mind-blowing. And let’s not forget that being made by beauty junkies, for beauty junkies, every product is designed for experimentation, personalisation and play.
The first drop will include a collection of 25 ‘MAXimiser’ products that hero the range, with stand-outs including eye and skin primers, a strobing stick, an artistry palette and a double-ended mascara. Plus the absolutely nuts, entry-level price point means items range from just $5 to $45, making MECCA MAX accessible to beauty novices and devotees alike. Go forth and play!
MECCA Brands founder and CEO Horgan says MECCA Max underscores MECCA’s commitment to delivering the ultimate beauty experience to its customers. “The launch of this new signature line is one of the most important milestones in our business and has been three years in the making. MECCA MAX was born out of our community of in-store hosts and MECCA beauty junkies who delivered their ideas, inspiration, expertise and passion to create this collection.”
MECCA Brands Creative Director Marita Burke says the new MECCA MAX brand is a game-changer in the beauty retail space. “MECCA MAX has been created for the girl who is as obsessed with beauty as we are. Our innovative products are smarter, work harder and will do more for your look than anything else in your beauty arsenal. Think the perfect nude, the best lash, the boldest lip, the brightest illuminator and everything in between. It’s MECCA’s beauty obsession, bottled.”
I for one, cannot wait.
MECCA MAX launches exclusively into Mecca Maxima stores and at on August 1, 2017.

Daily delight: Gigi Hadid & Zayn Malik for US Vogue

Beauty news: Trilogy’s unveils new and improved Sensitive range

Skin sensitivity has become a bit of a catch-all term for three distinct types of skin problems: rosacea, contact dermatitis and skin that burns and stings. The common link is inflammation, which is often worsened by chemicals and yep, fragrance. That beautiful, possibly all-natural range awash with essential oils that you love could be the reason your skin is reacting, and the environment also plays a major role. 
The US-based Environmental Working Group recently revealed that modern women are exposed to a daily average of 126 chemicals from cosmetics, cleaning supplies, pollution and even the food they eat. The list of potential skin irritants is a long one, and we are exposed to more and more of these with our changing lifestyles and environments. 
Sensitive skin needs specialised care to help provide relief and reduce redness and inflammation, and Trilogy have thoughtfully considered the sensitive types among us and our changing needs by reformulating their newly repackaged Trilogy Sensitive range. The introduction of three new innovative products completes the regime of certified natural, dermatologically tested skincare especially crafted for highly reactive and sensitive skin types. 
Trilogy Sensitive is designed to bring comfort to even the most fragile, intolerant and reactive complexions, and the new formulations include skin-rewarding maqui berry and sea buckthorn which are combined with the current range hero ingredient SyriCalm® to offer added repair, nourishment and protection. 
“The goal with sensitive skin is to protect the weakened skin barrier and rebuild the skin’s own natural protective defence function,” says Trilogy beauty guru, Corinne Morley. “It’s important to choose products rich in gentle moisturising and emollient ingredients, and free from essential oils, fragrances and irritating alcohols and chemicals. Trilogy Sensitive is a great natural alternative to traditional synthetic skincare, allowing you to care for sensitive skin while also protecting from some of the more unwanted signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles.”
So, what more can be revealed about the ingredients included in the newly reformulated Trilogy Sensitive range?
Maqui Berry: this is a new super-oil high in antioxidants that helps to target free radicals which can cause skin irritation. With 80 per cent essential fatty acids to protect and reduce cell damage and disintegration, it naturally helps reduce redness and inflammation. 
• _Sea Buckthorn: containing nature’s richest source of Omega-7, this beauty is vital for collagen production, healthy skin and to protect against oxidative damage. It restores skin cells and helps reduce fine lines and winkles for smooth, soft and comfortable feeling skin. 
• _SyriCalm®, a natural active that contains a blend of two naturally occurring ingredients (phragmites kharka, a reed extract, and poria cocos, a pine tree derived fungus). SyriCalm® has been clinically proven to reduce inflammation and strengthen the skin’s barrier, making it more resilient all round. 
My pick so far of the new releases is Trilogy Very Gentle Restoring Oil, which is a deeply nourishing and restoring pure plant oil that has gone straight to work on my Winter weather-battered skin.  Combining essential fatty acid and antioxidant-rich new super-oil maqui berry and Omega-7 rich sea buckthorn, the certified organic beauty oil is especially formulated to help nourish, repair and protect even the most fragile and intolerant skin against free radical and oxidative damage. Apricot oil containing vitamin A and E is also in there to soothe the skin and help slow the signs of ageing. Perfectly suited to sensitive and highly reactive skin, Trilogy Very Gentle Restoring Oil is fragrance-free and dermatologically tested. 
Also new is the Very Gentle Hydra-Mask that I’m going to try this weekend, and Very Gentle Eye Cream, a lightweight and easily absorbed formulation that contains antioxidant-rich maqui berry to target free radicals and reduce redness and inflammation, SyriCalm® to strengthen the natural skin barrier function and provide relief and comfort to stressed skin, and aloe vera to help maintain moisture balance while soothing sensitivity and irritation. 
The new range is available right now from selected Farmers, pharmacies, department and health stores nationwide. For more information, visit 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Daily delight: Miranda Kerr for ELLE France

Beauty news: MECCA Maxima to open in Auckland

MECCA Cosmetica founder Joanna Horgan once told me that every day feels like walk into what can only be termed a “beauty wonderland” for her and her team, and she’s not kidding! Her vision for a retail beauty experience that  “brings together under one roof, the most comprehensive and unique selection of cutting edge brand names in colour cosmetics, skincare, haircare, fragrance and body care, paired with the in-depth expertise of resident makeup artists and skincare specialists” now occupies numerous amazing stores across two countries, and its progress shows no sign of slowing down in a hurry. I for one can’t walk through the door of a MECCA without discovering something new and unusual that I simply must have, and when the first New Zealand store opened many years ago just minutes’ from my house, I knew I was in trouble!
Now its time for Auckland to get it’s own MECCA Maxima store - a beauty superstore that already has glamorous incarnations in Wellington (pictured below) and Christchurch. It’s been a long time coming but as they say, good things come to those who wait, and patient beauty junkies in Auckland will soon be rewarded when the one-stop-beauty-shop opens at 191 Queen Street on Thursday, August 3.
Filled with over 50 of the best global beauty brands, the 263 square metre beauty emporium will be New Zealand’s biggest store yet, offering all the latest lust-have products and trends in makeup, skin, hair and fragrance. First Christchurch, then Wellington and now Auckland, the opening is highly anticipated by upper North Island beauty junkies far and wide, and boasts 12 stations for makeup applications and skin consultations.
These beauty lovers will for the first time will be able to get their perfectly manicured hands on MECCA Maxima exclusive brands such as Urban Decay, Too Faced, Mario Badescu and Drunk Elephant, plus well-acquainted favourites from NARS, By Terry, Stila, Hourglass and GlamGlow. K-beauty staples Mizon, Chosungah22 and 16Brand will also be available to lovers of something different.
Horgan says it will be the first of many to open in the region. “New Zealand, you have embraced us with open arms. I have been nothing but humbled by your response to MECCA Maxima and I am very much looking forward to opening more of our stores in this beautiful part of the world and delivering more of our inimitable beauty experiences to you,” says Jo.
Taking wake up and make up to a whole new level, from 9am on opening day there will be celebrations aplenty with offerings for all to enjoy, including the iconic MECCA-mazing Envelope Wall that sees shoppers who spend $90 or more reveal a beauty surprise.
MECCA Maxima Auckland is the sixth in New Zealand’s MECCA store network of Cosmetica and Maxima beauty destinations, with the company planning on significantly expanding its footprint over the coming years.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Daily delight: Robyn Lawley for Cosmopolitan Lithuania

All about: Sally Hansen Moisture Rehab Serum

I recently had to have the gel polish removed from my nails prior to surgery and damn, they were in a bit of a state. Despite daily – and nightly – cuticle oiling they weren’t very happy with me at all, and the cooler weather didn’t help. They looked shocking, to put it mildly!
So I chopped them all as short as still aesthetically pleasing and then started applying a clever new product that had come across my desk that works as a bedtime boost designed to treat nails and cuticles to hydration with nutrient-rich actives, all in one luxe formula. 
Overnight moisturising treatments work wonders for skin and hair, and now nails and cuticles can benefit from the rejuvenating results over a little night time love with Sally Hansen Moisture Rehab, the brand’s our first overnight nail serum that contains moisture and nutrient rich extracts for intense nail and cuticle restoration. 
This treatment gave me visible results after just one week of use and I was pretty much immediately sold. My nails were extremely dry and brittle, and then the dryness leads straight to peeling and breaking, and this has absolutely turned them around. According to Sally Hansen, the formula contains a blend of black orchid, a├žai and algae actives and humectants and  "helps hydrate and rejuvenate severely dry or weak nails". Sound like you? It certainly sounded like me, and it worked.
“Based on my expertise, Moisture Rehab is a great product for delivering moisturisation overnight to address issues of dryness and dehydration,” says Madeline Poole, Sally Hansen Global Color Ambassador. “This improves the overall manicure, enhancing smooth colour laydown, increasing nail flexibility to avoid chipping and making the finished product more beautiful,” Despite its super nourishing properties the brush-on, luxurious formula is a lightweight serum, and absorbs super fast whether you’re applying it to bare or coloured nails. It sinks straight in so no messy pillowcase etc, and goes to work pretty much immediately.
To use, apply the serum to bare fingers and toenails or over a dried manicure and gently massage. I apply a good amount to each nail, let it soak in for a minute, and then massage the rest into my nails. It really sinks in and provides immediate relief. Amazing!
Sally Hansen Moisture Rehab Overnight Nail Serum is available now at Farmers, The Warehouse and selected pharmacies. RRP: $18.99. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for Glamour

Love it: Kevin Murphy LEAVE-IN.REPAIR

One of my absolute favourite beauty names to interview over the years has been Australian hair legend – and the creator of many of my must have hair products – Kevin Murphy. The affable super stylist always has a tip or two to impart and when he releases a new product, you know it’s been tried and tested by the man himself until absolute perfection has been achieved.
One of my favourite haircare launches over the last twelve months or so was Murphy's REPAIR.ME line (pictured above). The Kevin Murphy brand is founded on a philosophy that you should treat your hair with the same care that you treat your skin, and the original REPAIR.ME trio, consisting of WASH (shampoo), RINSE (conditioner), and RE.STORE (repairing treatment), was very aptly named and designed to repair dry, damaged strands with nourishing superfood proteins and unique natural ingredients that bind to the hair.
The WASH and RINSE are used together anytime you would normally shampoo and condition your hair, then perhaps once a week, swap out the duo for RE.STORE to give your locks a bit of a break. Now he’s added to the line with LEAVE-IN.REPAIR (below), which is nourishing leave-in treatment to repair and restore damage where it is most needed. It has been designed for all hair types, and I have been using it mainly on my mid-lengths and ends where my hair is a little more damaged due to its length. The results? Amazing, and I have even been able to go without any sort of styling products to smooth out frizz afterwards, which is definitely kind on the wallet.
Key ingredients in the super luxe formula include Hydrolysed Keratin to promote strength and re-build the hair, Jojoba Seed Oil for its moisturising properties, Hydrolysed Green Pea Protein to repair, strengthen and moisturise and Rose Geranium, which contains antioxidant benefits and enhances the fragrance. Beautiful!
So how do you use it? Just apply to damp or towel-dried hair and either leave to dry naturally or style as desired.
LEAVE-IN.REPAIR is in salons now, RRP $70.00 and yep, worth every cent.