Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Daily delight: Kylie Jenner for Kylie Cosmetics Holiday 2019

Beauty destination: Tonic Room, for facials and so much more

Before I was lucky enough to visit, I was well aware of Tonic Room, a modern day apothecary, beauty and wellness clinic and home to an elite family of Auckland's’ leading natural health practitioners. In the heart of Kingsland village, their reputation has always been one of beautiful brands, holistic solutions and a super knowledgeable team, and I knew that they were one of the few places in New Zealand where you could buy two of my favourite brands: Tata Harper and Agent Nateur.
Inside their doors you’ll find the most heavenly space, as well as practitioner-only supplements, customised blended herbal tonics and teas, and even more premium organic beauty brands. To say the space is flawlessly curated would be an understatement – it’s a veritable wonderland for the likes of me, and I fell instantly under its spell.
Owner Heidi Billington was behind the counter when I stopped in for what was to be a very special beauty experience in the form of an MV Organics facial. It is abundantly clear that she is extremely passionate about the brands and treatments that Tonic Room offer, which have to meet her strict criteria. “The brands we choose to showcase are the best in their categories and we require they must be fully transparent in their ethos and ingredients,” she says. “We are constantly searching for the best products from both around the world and from within our home shores. Our products must be clean, honest and respectful to the people who buy them and the beautiful planet we live on. New brands are thoroughly trialled and tested by all practitioners”.
Clients seek out Tonic Room services for help with both physical or emotional challenges, to transition to a more natural, toxin-free lifestyle or to simply find a quality organic beauty product or range that doesn’t muck around. I was there to submit to the hands of Tonic Room's holistic facialist Milly Hart, who is one of only 5 MV Master Facialists in the world and has been trained exclusively under the guidance of Sharon McGlinchey, founder of MV Skincare. With ten years of experience in the beauty industry, Milly’s own skin journey and background in holistic philosophy has developed her practice into becoming one of Auckland’s top Holistic Facialists. Also a qualified yoga teacher, she has a mindful approach to her treatments and definitely took me beyond having ‘just a facial’, and further towards a truly restorative experience at the end of a super busy week.
It has been said that MV Radiance Therapy is ‘so much more than a facial’, and as aforementioned, this is definitely the case. Harnessing the power of essential oils and their incredible products, the beautifully aromatic experience left my skin radiant and dewy, whilst a massage mid-treatment helped support my body’s own healing response. Tonic Room say that this particular facial treatment is perfect for those who find it difficult to relax or are suffering from stress or fatigue, and it’s ideal if you’re recovering from illness. If I’d known about it back when I was having treatment for cancer I would have been there in a heartbeat – it would have been just what the doctor ordered! It’s also meant to be good for those suffering from rosacea, PCOS, acne or eczema, possibly due to healing responses being so perfectly stimulated.
At $160 for a 60 minute treatment, MV Radiance Therapy is definitely not a cheap experience, but it is a thoroughly amazing one with so many benefits. I loved that it didn’t end with someone telling me I had to spend hundreds on loads of products, though given how unique and beautiful MV Organics is, I possibly will! I’m also keen to head back for a naturopathic consultation as my system still needs a lot of support, and it seems like a wonderful excuse.
To find out more and book in for yourself (highly recommended!) visit here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Daily delight: Liu Wen for ELLE China

All about: the delicious Kerzon at The Luxe Edit

Kerzon is a family-owned, always inspiring French company that creates subtle yet beautiful, fragranced products for the home, laundry, and body. Available exclusively in New Zealand at The Luxe Edit in Auckland’s Orakei Bay Village, it’s a brand that begs to be explored, so if you haven’t experienced it then I highly recommend a trip in store, and ASAP!
The Kerzon adventure began in 2013 when two brothers, Étienne and Pierre-Alexis Delaplace, decided to transpose the memories, travels, family moments that left an olfactory trail in their minds, into a collection of scented mists for textiles, or scented sachets to leave in a drawer or a handbag. Now their collection includes liquid soaps, detergents, mists, and boxes of matches, each of which offers a new and exciting sensorial experience.
The fragrances are both subtle, familiar and mesmerising. You’ll find scents of mint tea, waxed wooden floors and clean linen in their line up, and all the Kerzon products are handmade in France. Each collection is created using quality natural ingredients and employs environmentally conscious French production methods without any animal testing. Composed in Grasse by one of France’s oldest living heritage companies, their scents are an effortless mix of inspiring stories and the patience of its craftsmen, and if you’re ever in Paris you must drop by their boutique to see all of their fragrant creations in situ.
In store now at The Luxe Edit, Kerzon’s newest collection is called Traces of Summer and is so perfect for right now. Inspired by the brothers’ favourite memories of family holidays, it is made up of fragranced mists L’EAU (WATER), LA PLAGE (BEACH), and LE SOLEIL (SUN), as well as the intriguing and delicious LA WAX. The latter picks you up and drops you straight onto a surfboard, whilst LE SOLEIL is a warm blend of coconut and frangipani that sends you straight to the tropics. L’EAU takes inspiration from a vintage cologne, embodying
a fresh take on the nostalgic pairing of violet and orange blossom, and LA PLAGE is subtly smoky and invigorating, capturing the unforgettable sensation of warm sand beneath your feet on a summer’s day. 
The four fragrances in this collection are also available as yummy natural soaps, which are created using coconut and olive oils and are guaranteed to keep your skin super silky smooth. Their natural almond oil base cleans and soothes hands and bods, and they make gorgeous Christmas gifts, too (hint, hint). 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Daily delight: Daisy Ridley for Marie Claire US

Love it: RMS Beauty "Un" Cover Up Cream Foundation

Celebrity makeup artist and the organic beauty mogul behind rms beauty, Rose-Marie Swift (pictured above, centre) has been a make-up artist for over 35 years, so when I was given the chance to get up close and personal with her a couple of years ago I was beyond excited. 
Swift’s work has been featured in Vogue (French, Italian, American, Japan China, Russian) W, Harper's Bazaar, I.D., Self Service, V, Allure, Numéro, Marie Claire, Glamour, Interview, and Elle. Her make-up has appeared in ads for the likes of Diane Von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton, and her photographic partners over the years include Mario Sorrenti, Peter Lindbergh, David Simms, Annie Leibovitz, Arthur Elgort, and Patrick Demarchelier. The words “industry legend” have been bandied about, and with good reason.
She visited New Zealand for the first time when we met as a guest of Mecca Cosmetica, who stock her products exclusively Down Under. After us she was flying to Australia and then on to Los Angeles, where she was to be a guest at supermodel Miranda Kerr’s wedding to tech mogul Evan Spiegel. I spent a morning speaking to her about her unique approach to makeup, which has that ever-elusive “glow” as its end goal, and came away with so many beauty hacks I felt like my brain was going to explode!
Clearly one smart cookie, the ageless beauty also gives some great insight into natural and organic beauty solutions, stressing that we mustn’t be so affected by marketing, product claims and brand names: “just get cleaner makeup”. All of which bring me to her line, rms beauty. It is essentially an original, pure, organic colour cosmetic line that performs and then some. Based on living and organic principles, each product is created to hydrate and illuminate vital, radiant skin and is the perfect choice for your best ever ‘natural’ look. rms beauty  is dedicated to transforming the way women use makeup, creating a product that is not only non-toxic, but actually heals and nourishes skin. Consider it skincare with mineral colour - giving make-up a whole new meaning.
RMS beauty already makes the most beauty editor-approved highlighter on the planet in the form of the legendary Living Luminiser, which I have been using in various shades since meeting its creator and absolutely adore. A subtle and shimmery highlighter, it  has reached cult status among beauty freaks, editors, and celebrities, thanks to the supremely dewy effect that it lends to the skin. Since then, I've used many products from the collection and have loved them all, so  when news reached me that RMS Beauty was launching its first designated foundation, called the "Un" Cover Up Cream Foundation, I was immediately intrigued. This is the second "Un" Cover Up product; the first being the original "Un" Cover Up  concealer and foundation hybrid that I have ploughed through numerous pots of. Would this new "Un" Cover Up Foundation be better, or different, and in what way? 
Well it’s safe to say that it is a winner in my books, a long-wearing cream foundation that offers the kind of light but buildable coverage with a luminous finish that so many of us desire. Suitable for all skin types, the formula features a blend of cold-pressed oils like Buriti, Jojoba and Meadowfoam Seed to improve skin tone, texture and overall hydration levels, and it has been an absolute godsend for my trans seasonal, unhappy skin that has been plagued by rosacea and dryness. 
The new foundation is much bigger than the original "Un" Cover Up, which makes sense, considering it's a true foundation. I love that a sleek little silver spatula comes with it, which is the perfect tool for scooping the perfect amount of product out of the jar. It keeps the formula bacteria free, and is small enough to pack in the tiniest kit.
My first impression of the new formula was how creamy it is, which as aforementioned, is amazing for drier skin. It offers a similar medium-to-full coverage finish to the concealer, and a little most definitely goes a long way. I have used a blending brush and a sponge to apply it, the latter delivering a more subtle finish that I think will be amazing for summer. I recommend that oilier skin types use a dusting of the brand’s “Un” Powder over the top for all day wear, and it also helps minimises the appearance of pores and reduces any unwanted shine on more humid days.
Being RMS Beauty, the new foundation formula is free of alcohol, gluten, sulphates, synthetic preservatives, synthetic vitamins, GMOs, nano-particles and soy, and most definitely gets the ‘clean beauty’ tick of approval.
RMS Beauty "Un" Cover Up Cream Foundation is available right now in store at MECCA and online at, with an RRP of $89.00.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Daily delight: Adriana Lima for Vogue Arabia

Beauty news: get yourself prepped for party season

For some of us with more energy – and time! – than others, party season appears to last all year long, but for most of us, it really starts to kick in about now. Your first day or night out could be at one of the city’s many racing-related affairs, a simple catch up with friends now the weather is warming up, or the annual work Christmas party. Whatever your reason for celebration, it’s good to be prepared for whatever invites might swing your way.

If you’re a beauty freak like me, more excuses for nights out means more chances to play with some seriously fun makeup looks, and new product lines are arriving in stores like MECCA just in time for summer. At this time of year I love makeup that goes the distance, mainly because I’m not the type to be bothered lugging around a kit for touch ups on the go. Exclusively available at MECCA and is the NARS brand, one of my absolute favourite celebrity MUA brands from way back. François Nars is quite simply a master of transformation, and his products are as premium as it gets. The brand’s holiday collection for 2019 is all about having a great night out, as evidenced in its name – Studio 54 – referencing the legendary New York nightclub. Think disco, decadence and some seriously glittering packaging, of which the Inferno palette is most definitely my favourite. It offers multiple looks and the chance to get as fruity or as fresh as you like, and just looking at it brings a little extra disco ball shimmer into your day. Westman Atelier Eye Love You mascara is my pick for your lashes after hours, for a number of reasons. Makeup artist Gucci Westman created her 'Eye Love You' mascara because she struggled to find a non-synthetic option that looked natural and didn't smudge or crumble. Consciously made using 96 per cent natural ingredients, it has a dense brush that volumises, defines and curls in one sweep, and it lasts, and lasts. Pair all of the above with a nourishing, longwearing base and gloss or lip stain in a nude shade for the ultimate low maintenance option, and avoid having to find a mirror all night long.
When it comes to hair over the silly season, in an ideal world there would be a professional on hand to take care of your ‘do every single time. Not an option for most, but often springing for an in-salon blow wave and then dragging it out for a few days with clever use of a dry shampoo and texture spray can make it a little more justifiable. Commune is a new salon on Westmoreland Street West in Grey Lynn that has been opened by much loved stylist and creative director, Leigh Keepa. Years of working on editorial shoots both here and in the UK has meant that Leigh has every trick in the book down pat when it comes to creating something pretty special in the shortest time possible, and he’s offering a service that does exactly that in his new location. Updos, waves, braids and more are what you’ll get when you book in for their Express Service, which involves turning up with clean, dry hair and letting the pros do their work.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Daily delight: Angelina Jolie for Harper’s Bazaar US

Beauty news: Gucci unveils Rouge à Lèvres Lunaison

In great news for fans of the brand – and a strong lip look for party season, everywhere - Gucci Beauty have launched the limited-edition Rouge à Lèvres Lunaison lipstick duo for the holiday season. The duo is made up of the best-selling 25* Goldie Red and 710 Fay Turquoise shades, but in to-die-for, exclusive new lipstick tube designs.
According to the brand, the lipstick duo is a celebration of “imperfect beauty” and highlights Gucci’s “come as you are” beauty mantra. Its iridescent formula is enhanced with three different types of glitter, creating a three-dimensional shimmer effect that is almost too gorgeous to sully with actual well, use.
Conveying a new message to the industry and those who wear makeup by Alessandro Michele, the launch of Gucci Makeup has spurred a union of voices behind authentic, imperfect beauty. The Creative Director began Gucci Beauty with lipstick collections: Rouge à Lèvres Satin, Rouge à Lèvres Voile and Baume à Lèvres, and the world was instantly hooked.
Rouge à Lèvres Lunaison is as much for collectors as for beauty lovers, and as aforementioned, are perfect as objects of desire all on their own. Delivering vivid and vibrant colour with one swipe, the glittery formula is coated with iridescent and sparkling pearls to create a velvety-looking shimmering bullet, while the formula is infused with a combination of three different types of glitter to create a three-dimensional sparkly, lustrous layer of intense colour on the lips. Rich and creamy, the texture swipes on like a charm and literally melts into your lips, with an ultra-fine layer of glimmer and iridescence keeping things interesting at all times. 
The two shades of Rouge à Lèvres Lunaison are symbolic of the Gucci Beauty line and the Creative Director’s passion for true, brilliant colour. 25 * Goldie Red is the classic red hue chosen by Alessandro Michele, while 710 Fay Turquoise is an unexpected shade of blue intensified with a glitter formula. The Art Deco inspired patterned and etched gold tubes of the Rouge à Lèvres Satin lipstick collection are given a coloured coating, a fuchsia cap for 25 * Goldie Red, and a green cap for 710 Fay Turquoise. 
Naturally, the campaign to accompany the release is also absolutely unique, with a look into the worlds that influence Alessandro Michele’s creative vision. Rouge à Lèvres Lunaison is photographed by Colin Dodgson on a frost covered antique table, in between lit candles and curious objects and trinkets. Icicles frame the still life images which also show lipsticks from the other collections, Rouge à Lèvres Satin, Rouge à Lèvres Voile and Baume à Lèvres. Just gorgeous and so very, very Gucci.
Gucci’s Rouge à Lèvres Lunaison $69 is a limited-edition duo of lipsticks for the holidays that will be available from David Jones Newmarket from 21 November, 2019. Not long now!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Daily delight: Emma Watson for Vogue UK

Love it: Guerlain's divine new Mon Guerlain Intense

The Guerlain fragrance house has created over 700 perfumes, several of which are considered masterpieces. It’s safe to say that when it comes to a stunning fragrance, they most definitely know what they’re doing. Released in 2017, the original Mon Guerlain was considered a Guerlain fragrance for a modern generation: a luxurious, elegant and enveloping fragrance that wears like a dream. Mon Guerlain Intense EDP, the newest incarnation, is a blend that is more unique than ever. A tribute to the modern woman and inspired by the brand’s ultimate muse - actor, activist and mother, Angelina Jolie - the first Mon Guerlain was as enigmatic as the fearless brunette who starred in its campaign. With the Eau de Parfum Intense, Mon Guerlain continues to explore the many facets of femininity but with a focus on individuality. Mon Guerlain Intense reveals itself differently on each and every wearer, making it so easy to translate into your own signature scent. Created by legendary noses Thierry Wasser and Delphine Jelk, the fragrance is warm, spicy and unabashedly sexy. A distinctly fresh oriental, it delivers yet another masterpiece scent for the house of Guerlain.
And last but by no means least, it looks spectacular. Your Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum Intense fragrance is shown off to perfection in its distinctive “quadrilobé” bottle. Created in 1908, the bottle established itself as one of Guerlain’s iconic shapes and I love its elegant simplicity. Clean and graphic, it echoes an alchemist’s bottle and owes its name to its stopper, which is crafted from one piece to obtain a shape resembling four lobes. A century later, beautifully enhanced by a luxurious glass weight and a deep copper gold, this bottle offers a contrast between strong taut lines and sensual curves, expressing contemporary femininity.
This beautiful scent and its glorious vessel are on counter now, and most definitely get my tick for Christmas gifting and gifts to self...

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Daily delight: Stella Maxwell for Harpers Bazaar Singapore

Love it: Beuti Skincare Pomegranate Glow Enzyme Mask Cleanser

A few months ago now I wrote a bit of a rave on here about a supremely clean and elegant facial oil that I’d fallen in love with that went by the name Beauty Sleep Elixir. It was created by UK aesthetician Leila Alaam, under the moniker of Beuti Skincare, and was introduced to me by local natural solutions powerhouse the Clean Beauty Collective. I still recommend it to everyone I meet as it really is quite the wonder (and not just for use prior to sleeping).
Before launching Beuti Skincare, Leila says she found herself constantly on the search for results driven, healthy and affordable skincare. After personally experiencing a severe allergic reaction to a luxury eye cream, she was inspired to take matters into her own hands (which seems to be the case for many creators of seriously great, clean skincare brands). She was determined to develop a luxe skincare line without the hefty price tag, that helped heal, nourish, and treat common sensitive skin issues leaving skin supple, smooth and glowing. Her first creation was the Beauty Sleep Elixir, which hit the industry in 2015 with a bang. 
Thankfully, over the years she has added to the Beuti Skincare family, and my newest obsession takes the form of the Pomegranate Glow Enzyme Mask Cleanser. I usually stick to oils for cleansing as my skin is so sensitive, but this wonder is the most amazing every-other-day addition to my regime due to its kindness on even the tetchiest of skin. A gel balm hybrid, it features fermented Pomegranate as a key ingredient, which acts like a gentle glycolic acid to exfoliate and cleanse the skin. Rose clay is included in the delicious-smelling mix to cleanse and refine the skin’s texture, while Copaiba Balsam soothes and protects against inflammation. For added goodness for sensitive skin, it features a three-flower essence of Iris, Laurel and Myrtle to heal, soothe and keep skin glowing.
So, it calms and soothes inflammation, whilst decongesting and refining skin tone – how great is that? It can also be used as a facial mask if left on for 5-10 minutes. The enzymes, honey and nourishing ingredients work to decongest and refine, for a blank canvas onto which to project your favourite skincare solutions. As an everyday cleanser (amazing for oilier skin types), just gently apply a pump or two to the face, massage a little and then rinse with cool water.
Last but not least I have to mention that Kate Middleton swears by this magical little number, which may appeal to the royalists out there and those in admiration of her near-flawless skin!
Beuti Skincare Pomegranate Glow Enzyme Mask Cleanser is exclusively available in New Zealand via the wonderful Clean Beauty Collective, with an RRP of $105 for a (very generous) 100ml bottle. Oh and if you're reading this today, CBC have quite the little deal going on, so if you're keen on picking one of these up then I highly recommend you scoot over there now!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Daily delight: Bella Hadid for Dior Halloween 2019

All about: Emma Lewisham’s all natural game changer

A few weeks ago I was invited to the launch of New Zealand’s newest skincare brand, Emma Lewisham, and to meet Emma (pictured above) herself. I have to say that sometimes it feels like every other day a new, all-local skincare collection comes to market, with most focusing on the natural and organic. They don’t usually offer anything particularly new or ground breaking however – just lovely products in pretty packaging that are nice to use but don’t exactly change the game. I went along guessing that Emma Lewisham was going to be delivering more of the same – but dear god how wrong was I! This brand is indeed clean, natural and very pleasing to the eye, but it comes with some serious scientific background and a true USP – targeting pigmentation in a whole new way.
The journey started with Emma herself, who like many women I know has long been a fan of soaking up the sun whenever and wherever she can. Growing up in New Zealand, she spent too much time in the sun without understanding the impact it could have on her skin later in life, especially the consequences of not wearing sunscreen.
By her late-twenties, she was starting to see an increasing number of visible brown spots and uneven skin tone – hyperpigmentation at its best. The main trigger, the sun. Like many others before her, Emma set out to cover the problem with the best that makeup had to offer, but seriously – who wants to spend hours every day trying to camouflage an issue that was clearly not going away?
Like myself, Emma's “moment of realisation” about what she was putting her skin came around the time she became pregnant. “I started to adjust my lifestyle and become a lot more curious with what I put on my skin. I was learning about reducing the toxic load in the body – through the products we use every day.”
She looked firstly at the product she had started using to reverse hyperpigmentation and tried to decipher what the ingredients were. Researching and speaking to her doctor, she discovered that it had controversial and toxic ingredients a plenty– including one that was commonly used to clean sewage pipes (seriously!).  Emma wanted to replace this high performance but potentially toxic product with something that would be safe, but still delivered results. But it didn’t exist. Throwing all of her energy into that, she says she wanted to “set a new standard of beauty”, and set about assembling a team of professionals that could help her do exactly that.
Emma and her team dedicated two years of research in their pursuit to solving hyperpigmentation naturally. Working alongside a team of green chemists and scientists, they meticulously researched and stringently tested the most potent and proven natural and organic ingredients out there to perform as highly as anything on the market but without a drop of anything unclean.
The result is Skin Reset, which Emma calls the ultimate 'hero' serum for an even, glowing complexion. Made from 24 of the world's most targeted active natural ingredients, it is clinically proven to be as effective as anything else out there when it comes to repairing and preventing hyperpigmentation. As well as visibly minimising the look of brown spots and uneven tone, it goes one step further by preventing further discolouration from appearing on the skin. It essentially works by shutting down hyperpigmentation in two different biological pathways. Firstly, plant extracts are included in the formula that contain active ingredients that interfere with an enzyme in your cells called tyrosinase. When UV light from the sun comes into contact with this enzyme, it is usually activated to produce pigment (melanin) which travels to the upper layer of the skin to form dark spots or hyperpigmentation. These plant actives inhibit tyrosinase, stopping the metabolic process that creates pigment dead in its tracks.
Secondly, if any pigment still manages to form, a complementary active (vitamin B3) is in there to work further downstream to deter the pigment from transferring to your skin’s surface.  Pretty amazing, huh? Skin Reset also combats the signs of everyday collagen degradation, minimises fine lines and wrinkles and boosts the skin’s plumpness, making it a true no brainer for most of us.
In addition, Emma has also created Skin Shield SPF 30 – a broad spectrum sunscreen that meets the highest of international testing standards and truly is a joy to wear – zero stickiness, and makeup goes on over the top like a charm. Skin Shield also locks in moisture with nine ingredients for intense hydration, six ingredients to fight pollution and free radical damage from the sun, and seven sources of vitamins and minerals for a healthy protected complexion. I’ve been using this daily since I was lucky enough to be given a tube, and have absolutely fallen in love with it. It’s definitely not just a sunscreen, and is a must-have this summer and at any time of year.
Intrigued? You can find out more about the brand and get your hands on these wonders yourself by visiting here.