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September 18, 2014

Rachel Millns crowned Miss Universe New Zealand 2014, in front of a live, global audience

Lucire staff/16.33

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Alan Raga

In front of a live global audience, and a full house at Sky City Theatre in Auckland, Rachel Millns of the Kapiti Coast was crowned Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 on Thursday night.
   Millns beat out Monique Cooley of Queenstown and Becky Hingston, originally of Dunedin, after a combined judges’ vote (with the panel consisting of Colin Mathura-Jeffree, Megan Alatini, Jo Holley, Stephanie Charles of Starnow, Emma McLachlan of Diamond Entertainment, and special guest judge Chalita Yaemwannang, Miss Universe Thailand 2013), and a public vote (through Miss Universe New Zealand’s online I-vote and SMS voting).
   Alatini did double duty as she and Joe Cotton, Erika Takacs and Keri Harper reformed TrueBliss—the original Popstars band—for one night, performing both one of their earlier hits and a new song.
   Russell Dixon, back from performing lead roles on the British stage, Michelle Varte, and Lavina Williams also entertained the crowd at the Theatre.
   Miss Universe New Zealand executive director Nigel Godfrey announced the Miss New Zealand Consortium Ltd.’s intention to hold a Mrs New Zealand competition in 2015, and registrations of interest are being taken on the nextmissnz.com website.
   He and Lucy Gallaugher MCed the event, which was streamed at nextmissnz.com, livestream.com, virtualticket.co.nz and right here at Lucire. The grand final will air on Face TV in New Zealand as a delayed telecast.
   Both Yaemwannang and Holly Michelle Cassidy, Miss Universe New Zealand 2013, crowned Millns on stage at the conclusion of the show.
   Other awards were given to Alyx Pivac (Miss Congeniality), Monique Cooley (Miss Photogenic) and Brenna Watson-Paul (World Miss University representative for 2014, as judged by Alex Lee).
   Golden Gowns, Antique & Modern Jewellery, Jewels by Aqua, Jucy, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand were platinum sponsors for the evening.
   Millns will head off to Doral, Florida, in December, to participate in Miss Universe 2015 on January 18.

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September 13, 2014

Napoleon Perdis creates an exclusive look for Miss Universe New Zealand 2014

Lucire staff/23.34

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Napoleon Perdis is the exclusive make-up provider to the grand final of Miss Universe New Zealand 2014, which will be held at Sky City Theatre on September 18. The show will also be live-streamed at nextmissnz.com as well as Lucire.
   The company has provided prize packs for the finalists (including lip gloss, a complimentary makeover, samples of BBB cream, primer and serum) as well as VIPs, plus grander prizes for the top five place-getters, whom the public and the judges decide on, fifty–fifty. They’ll also be behind the scenes: on Thursday night, viewers will see a make-up look created by Napoleon Perdis’s head office in Sydney.
   The products Napoleon Perdis’s team, along with the Samala Robinson Academy, will use include Auto Pilot pre-foundation skin primer, Peep Show in Madame Beyond mascara, Stroke of Genius Liquid Cashmere foundation, the One concealer and the Camera Finish powder foundation for prep and base; the Camera Finish powder foundation, Matte Bronze fine powder for that beautiful sun-kissed look, Mosaic Flushing powder, Color Disc in Blushing Bride and Pale Rider or Chocoholic eye brow pencil for contour, blush and brows; and the Chocolate Genache Color Disc, Golden Peach loose eye dust, Mosaic Flushing powder, Color Disc in Skinny Dip, China Doll eyeliner, the One concealer in light, Mesmer-Eyes mascara, faux lashes in Zinnia, Mattastic lipstick in Audrey, Witty in Pink lip pencil and Clearly Glam lip lacquer for eyes and lips. All are aimed to give the finalists a glamorous, film-star look—exactly in line with Napoleon Perdis’s own vision of democratizing make-up. The best looks shouldn’t just be available to celebrities, they should be available to women from all around New Zealand.
   Tickets are available from Iticket, and, due to demand, Miss Universe New Zealand has opened up the dress rehearsal on Wednesday, with proceeds going to the Father Ray Foundation, which the finalists visited on their Thai retreat in August.






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Living Nature’s Skin Steps: all you need in a natural, single package to look after your skin

Lucire staff/2.18

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We have to take our hats off to Living Nature for constantly innovating—and staying true to what it stands for, as the world’s purest and most natural skin care brand. (Remember, it’s not what they put in, it’s what they leave out, that makes Living Nature the brand that’s certified natural by BDIH and the safest skin care range by the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.)
   We’ve had a chance over the last few weeks to try out its newest release, the Skin Steps pack featuring five Living Nature products: the nourishing day cream, vitalizing cleaner (both with active manuka honey) and extra-hydrating toning gel (with harakeke), each in 50 ml bottles, plus a sampling of the nourishing night cream (again with manuka honey) and firming flax serum (with harakeke). It’s one of three packs that Living Nature offers depending on your skin condition—we had the normal skin one, but the company also offers one for oily skin and another for dry and mature skin.
   The pack is a particularly handy size, and each of the 50 ml bottles makes the beauty rĂ©gime all the simpler. There’s no colouring, no artificial fragrances—if there’s a scent associated with natural goodness, you’ll find it here. The cleanser actually leaves your skin feeling softer and smoother thanks to a moisturizing effect and its mild kumerahou, while the nourishing cream has a pleasant, gentle scent that we noticed had a positive effect on the skin throughout the day. The toning gel, with harakeke flax gel and Totarol feels lighter than the creams, and helps restore your skin’s natural pH balance while repairing dehydration, ideal for the warmer months ahead, and very gentle on the face.
   Living Nature has made looking after your skin such a simple process, and it’s well worth the NZ$69 retail price. For more information, head to www.livingnature.com or freephone, in New Zealand, 0508 548-464. It’s available at selected salons, pharmacies and health stores nationally.

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September 12, 2014

Being a VIP at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York this season

Lola Cristall/7.42

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What were the happenings around Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York, beyond the catwalk shows? Off-site events and suites—including one from Gavin Keilly of GBK, which we usually see out west—kept New York Fashion Week vibrant and enjoyable.

Ugg Sanctuary
Upon ascending the stairs to the Ugg Sanctuary, overlooking crowds waiting in endless queues to watch a show, you enter a new world. The small space is cozy with a home-like feel. White leather couches, comfortably cushioned chairs draped with tasteful, soft blankets adorned with matching pillows—everything came together. A large flat screen television featured the live fashion shows. The international brand is recognized for comfort at every step, with fun and stylish shoes as well as boots, adding chic to each ensemble. Ugg is widening its sphere, presenting attractive home dĂ©cor with a snug atmosphere and neutral shades.

GBK and Pilot Pen’s Celebrity Gifting Suite
As the tents at Lincoln Center glistened with a slew of runway shows as well as a few private lounges, the spotlight also shone on the Empire Hotel where GBK and Pilot Pen’s Celebrity Gifting Suite took place. While the hotel’s lobby was calm and peaceful with a number of fashion week attendees, a flight of stairs led to a more spirited space filled with a number of brands in the beauty, fashion and accessory domains. The charity of choice, Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, serves to develop treatments to improve the quality of life of patients diagnosed with various cancers including lymphoma and leukemia.



Kris Connor/Getty Images

Top Teresa Aprea and Nicole Napolitano at the GBK lounge. Above Emma Myles and Gavin Keilly.

   As we continue to explore the lounge, with floral creations from Floral Heights, uplifting music by DJ Max Power kept the mood upbeat. Pilot Pen introduced new designs that came in various colours to suit the writer’s preference. Michael Todd True Organics presented the Soniclear Brush, the world’s first antimicrobial sonic skin cleaning brush, which is easy to transport and gentle to the touch, permitting the outer skin to glisten.
   Hard Candy cosmetics’ intense shades come with a dose of fun and appeal, intended for a girl of any age that appreciates the use of colour. Skinny & Co. presented their 100 per cent raw skinny coconut oil, which can be used in teas, coffees and smoothies—helping you glow inside. Brow Art 23 is a top-notch boutique focused on brow shaping and skin care services, while EMK Beverly Hills, whose clientĂšle includes A-list personalities, dermatologists and high-end plastic surgeons, uses a fascinating plant placenta formula for its anti-ageing skin care products that rejuvenate the skin.


Kris Connor/Getty Images

Above Katherine McNamara at the GBK lounge at New York Fashion Week.

Other events
The Home Shopping Network (HSN) was back with their lounge. The one-day event incorporated a wide range of clothing, skin care and jewellery pieces all under one roof. Invitees took the time to look around, touch, feel and experience the pieces on display.
   For the second year, the Fashion Kitchen event proved how food and fashion complement each other. Trina Turk, inspired by California’s vibrancy, is known for her vivacious style, with boutiques located nationally, hosted, alongside celebrity restaurateur and award-winning chef SĂ©amus Mullen, who showed off his simple, elegant cuisine. Along with Turk and Mullen, Corning Ware presented the event. A select few could view arranged dining tables on display at Hauser Patron Salon at Alice Tully Hall, a short walk away from the tents.
   Other fashion week escapades included the Vogue Lounge, conveniently tucked away across the street from the tents, at French restaurant Boulud CafĂ©. Urban Decay cosmetics featured their natural make-up; Toms displayed an array of styles for their shoe collection and reminded attendees of their Toms coffee roast. Brahmin, focusing on leather goods, showed off a number of jewellery and bag pieces. In a separate room, attendees could work or simply read Vogue to catch up on the new season.
   One of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week sponsors, Pandora (left), put on an exclusive event on the rooftop of the Empire Hotel. Pink roses adorned the walls, reminding us of their flawless creations. While loud, catchy music vibrated within the venue, the afternoon stretched into the evening as invitees mingled, viewing the gorgeous pieces on display. Tous, too, hosted an event in a pink wonderland on the 12th floor of a tucked-away building in New York, showing its summer 2014 collection. The company, with its recognizable bear trade mark, began as a watch repair workshop in 1920 before transforming into the jewellery business decades later. Currently Tous is an international brand with more than 400 boutiques spotted in 45 different countries.




Above Tous showed off its jewellery at an exclusive location in New York.

   The Panasonic Beauty Bar took place only blocks away from the tents, at the SCK Salon, for two days. The atmosphere did not focus much on sophistication or luxury—it had a more amusing feel in the midst of it all. Various stations were dedicated to hair, manicures by Jamberry Nails, or make-up by Giella custom blend cosmetics, the by-appointment-only opportunities fulfilling delegates’ beauty needs.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor











Above Scenes from the Panasonic Beauty Bar. Below Louise Roe at the Samsung Galaxy Backstage Lounge.


Donald Bowers/WireImage

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September 1, 2014

Miss Universe Thailand 2013, Chalita Yaemwannang, gets guest judge role at Miss Universe New Zealand

Lucire staff/13.40

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Miss Universe Thailand 2013, Chalita Yaemwannang, will be guest judge at the grand final of Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 at the Sky City Theatre in Auckland on the 18th.
   Yaemwannang will join both returning and new judges on the panel, to be publicly announced later this month by the Miss Universe New Zealand organizers.
   The invitation to the Miss Universe Thailand organization was made by executive director Nigel Godfrey during the finalists’ retreat for the top 25, which took place in Bangkok and Pattaya in July.
   Godfrey presented his opposite number in Thailand, Surang Prempree, a framed invitation for a Miss Universe Thailand titleholder to be a special guest at the New Zealand grand final.
   The public vote continues with the online i-vote, and with the text voting—see nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details.
   Tickets for the final are available through Iticket, through this link, or via the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook page.

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August 29, 2014

Paws for the cause (of pet adoption)

Elyse Glickman/22.08

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Dogs once again took centre-stage at the Secret Room’s pre-smash bash for the 2014 Emmys, but cats and kids grabbed the spotlight with a flourish.
   In the ballroom at Beverly Hills’ Montage hotel, there were a lot of well dressed children in tow enjoying the latest toy trends from the US and Germany, and a lot of large, beautifully groomed dogs walking their people. Many dogs who came with Emmy-nominated celebrities and top-drawer stylists were treated royally with designer dog food, grooming gear and even doggy first aid. However, as an owner of a rescue cat, I was please that the I Love Pet Head line by Tigi had some special things for my Pepper (a majestic American short-haired cat) as well as Nico, Leyla’s rambunctious Maine coon who delights in getting his fur matted. Inventor Linda Jangula noted her Wiki Wags included variations for cats in development.
   Even better, I was even more delighted to see that the Humane Society of the United States was back with their message as was the Adopt/Shelter Pet Project, encouraging people to look first into their hearts and then into shelters with memorable commercial spots by the Ad Council (an organization producing public service announcements).
   Another thing that was rather quaint was that there were two companies promoting different kinds of shapewear for women (Rago, upscale and ultra-glam v. Skin Eez, practical, comfortable and therapeutic) and two artisanal chocolate companies (US-made Chuao chocolate, and Belgium’s Guylian).
   Some clever chocolate sushi was located right next to the booth of Dr Sam Saleh, who was not only a proponent of the Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush (‘the Porsche of dental care’) but also the founder of the ORA Dentistry Spa, who counts Tyra Banks as a client and whose expertise has been featured on Extra! and turns to the latest dental technology in restorations, bleaching, veneers and cosmetic contouring to address irregularities, dental stains, dental gaps, metal restorations and altering tooth form, tooth shape and tooth colour.
   There were lovely water bottles from Faucet Face to encourage more home filtering and less plastic, emotional wellness aids from Atlanta-based Vanda, mast and beauty drinks from Ashieda and a fantastic smoothie cookbook and products I cannot wait to try out by Healthy Happy Life that’s 100 per cent vegan by food blogger and photographer Kathy Patalsky.
   On the fashion front, celebrities were treated to futuristic sunglass and prescription frames by Yoshinori Aoyama, creator of Factory 900 eyewear. While most of his goods were pure statement, I found myself lusting after the cool and sleekly classic clear Model 208 and will have them on my holiday wish list. Speaking of holidays, the nice folks from the tourist board of St Kitts were on hand to spark interest in winter getaways to spots of endless summers (minus LA pollution and humidity).
   A highlight of the Red Carpet Style Lounge for the Ă©lite talent were vacation holiday packages to “trip of a lifetime destinations”. These included Alila Villas, crafted luxury in spectacular locations, served-up stays in oceanfront villas at their Uluwatu and Soori Indonesian properties with personal butler, spa services, dining and more; ITC Hotel Maurya New Delhi India gifted eight nights in a luxury suite, airport transfers, luxury buffet breakfast, dinner each night and spa services; Brewery Gulch Inn in Mendocino, California, Travel & Leisure’s winner of World’s Best Awards 2014, will gift a two-night escape in a suite with breakfast and dinner daily featuring locally sourced ingredients prepared by their executive chef. Riviera Resort and Spa Palm Springs is gifting a two-night stay in a one-bedroom suite, dinner for two at Circa 59 and one 50-minute spa treatment at Spa Terre. Lucky recipients included Lena Dunham, Michael Madsen, Taylor Schilling, Lizzy Caplan, Michelle Dockery, Jeff Daniels, Jon Hamm, Peter Dinklage, Sarah Paulson, Kristen Wiig, Jane Lynch, Mark Ruffalo, Cat Deeley, Paul Giamatti, Jimmy Fallon, Joan Cusack, Robin Wright, Anthony Bourdain, Melissa McCarthy, Jessica Lange, Amy Poehler, and Jeff Bridges. Other celebrities spotted include Ashley Argota, Christian Madsen, Colm Meaney, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Cary Fukunaga, Danny Zuker, Caitlin Carmichael, Jamie Brewer, and Mia Talerico.
   Kudos to Amy Boatwright and Rita Branch for putting animals first and healthy living very close behind (and yes, chocolate is good food—antioxidants)!—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor


















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August 28, 2014

New Zealand Fashion Week autumn–winter 2015, day three: Hailwood and Kate Sylvester up the standard

Sopheak Seng/15.11

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Lucire’s fashion and beauty editor Sopheak Seng and photographer Matthew Beveridge look at day three’s mixed bag of shows.

New Generation
   Vibe: Four up-and-coming designers showcasing what they have to offer the fashion world as the voices of the future.
   Clothes: Like a pick-and-mix bag of lollies, there were some dud and then some great pieces. Overall, the collections seemed forced and not polished enough. Construction of the garments left something to be desired, as there were twisted seams and puckering on most trousers and dresses, and a lack of cohesion in ideas, novelty and innovation. Stand-outs, which were few and far between, were Itzme, with their androgynous take on soft tailoring and sportswear. A bright colour palette of fuchsia, purple and orange showed great potential but was let down by shoddy construction and finishing. Nomsa Mabuto showed a good collection of predominately separates of coats, pants and shell tops in a colour palette of varying shades of green.


Trish Peng
   Vibe: Sportswear for ready-to-wear, gowns and party dresses.
   Clothes: Laser-cut bomber jackets and circle skirts with anoraks and ’80s ruffled off-the-shoulder tops and bright multi-coloured striped pieces. The collection then diverged into party dresses in bright pop colours. This was where the collection was let down: poor fabric and construction choices meant that under the glare of the lights, the gowns didn’t feel luxurious enough—and this was viewed between people’s heads in row B. Also the fits of the gowns on some of the models were not great, either. It is the little details that are often overlooked that add to the polish of a collection.
   Look: directed by L’OrĂ©al Professionnel New Zealand ambassador, Michael Beel, who created an origami-inspired criss-cross weave pattern in the models’ hair, then gathered into a low ponytail. Simple and elegant.

Designer Selection
   Vibe: In-season showcase to consumers. Fun, commercial fashion.
   Clothes: All in-season summer pieces from the 30-odd designers that were showing as part of New Zealand Fashion Week. Think bright, fun, commercial pieces that you could buy off the racks the moment you walked out of the show. The middle section of the show was presented by Woman’s Day, who showed a selective range of garments in red and white styled by Lulu Wilcox, featuring models in turbans and carrying red heart-shaped balloons, reminiscent of a Banksy street art piece. Closing the show was Jockey, who set hearts a-flutter with five All Black players, including Victor Vito, showcasing the spring–summer 2014–15 underwear looks for men, and model Nikki Phillips showing the women’s range.

Hailwood
   Vibe: Wearable streetwear with a glamorous edge. Rock concert chic.
   Clothes: Streetwear-oriented, the collection was denim-heavy but moved into Hailwood’s take on his draped velvet gowns that work for every body shape. The dĂ©vorĂ© silks and velvets were great, as were the sequinned jackets and dresses that closed the show. Stand-outs, however, were his denim range and the oversized unicorn motif ponchos. Super-cool, relaxed dressing.
   Look: Dirty, gritty, but pretty. Messy and textural.

Kate Sylvester
   Vibe: Romantic, literary geek chic, celebrating nonchalant luxury and refined classics.
   Clothes: Vintage-inspired with references to menswear and long days in an English countryside, tucked up in your boyfriend’s clothes, his pyjama bottoms or boxers with his robes and shirts. Great masculine-inspired tailoring in regatta stripes and polka dots. Sheer dresses and blouses added a soft romantic air to the collection as did the long Isadora Duncan-style fringe scarves casually draped around the models’ necks. Loved the return of males on the Sylvester runway and stand-outs were the camel trench, open shirt, and striped trousers casually rolled up with brogues. All this romantic vision was helped along by a cascading shower of ripped pages from a book.
   Look: Just rolled out of bed, slightly textural hair with just flushed make-up.—Sopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor

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August 26, 2014

GBK’s garden party: primping for the 2014 Emmy Awards

Elyse Glickman/2.34

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On two hot, sunny afternoons at Beverly Hills’ L’Ermitage Hotel, Gavin Keilly and his intrepid team were blending pre-Emmy Awards’ primping and wellness, exotic post-awards escapes and down-to-earth charity fundraising, transforming a small ballroom and courtyard into a colourful canvas of food for thought.
   In the spotlight were the GO Campaign, a grant-making organization addressing problems faced by orphans and vulnerable children around the world by partnering with local celebrities and role models to deliver local solutions; Cops 4 Causes, the first non-profit organization to be created to collectively highlight the philanthropic efforts of law enforcement; the Environmental Media Association, a non-profit dedicated to harnessing the power of the entertainment industry and the media to educate the global public on environmental issues and motivate sustainable lifestyles; Mutt Match LA K-9 Rescue Ranch & Sanctuary, which rescues neglected and discarded dogs from LA’s high kill shelters to rehabilitate and place in loving homes; and StarPower, providing fans backstage access and one-on-one engagement straight from their favorite celebrities via social media while supporting the causes they care about.
   In terms of featured wellness products, the star of the show was featured sponsor Michael Todd True Organics, which introduced their new Soniclear Antimicrobal Cleansing System, the world’s first antimicrobial sonic skin cleansing system. What sets this product and its skin care line apart from the competitors is the care put into the rotary and sonic systems, according to company president Lewis Hendler. He added that the dermatological team at Michael Todd set out to create an effective cleaning system without the worry of bacteria that can affect the performance of the tool and the products. After extensive research, the result was a revolutionary sonic cleansing brush that thoroughly cleanses the skin and then protects itself against microbial contamination leaving the brushes cleaner, fresher for longer.
   The strong supporting cast in the wellness act of the show included the Kind soap company, serving up bath and body care products in gorgeous earthy packaging; Brow Art 23, offering press an overview of their product line and make-up touch-ups; and Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil Company, providing their skinny coconut oil, 100 per cent raw and hand-pressed, and poised to be the next great super-food.
   There were also stylish and affordable sunglass frames from Foster Grant, LG’s Tone Infinim bluetooth headset, developed in collaboration with Harman/Kardon to deliver amazing sound quality and comfort in a range of pretty metallic pastels and an Intuition Blueprint Reading from Joanna Garzilli as well as a copy of her second edition of Unleash the Psychic in You.
   As most GBK parties would not be complete without a goody bag of surprises, the Artisan Group was on hand with their welcome surprise packages full of original costume and semi-precious jewellery, photography, stationery, soaps and other eye-catching and crafty accessories. Certainly, the stylists from top nominee shows and ratings hits such as The Voice, Scandal, Parenthood and The Vampire Diaries think so! My bag was particularly delightful this go round with beautiful jewellery from Benee Rubin, Rock and Hardware, Designs by Diane (Sowers), ImagiNature Art Glass, Nineteen Seventy-Four by Pamela Roskin, BkdSignature, Jewelry by Lucinda de Castro, Nan Gates Designs cosmetic bags, Specifically Random head wraps. Charities the Artisan Group supports includes the Animal Rescue Fund and Let’s Move Together–the Arthritis Foundation.
   Celebrities snapped at the event included Alicia Witt, Angela Bassett, R. J. Mitte, Sam Trammell, Selenis Leyva, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Viola Davis, Edie Falco, Vanessa Marcil, Madeline Brewer, Corbin Bleu, Dascha Polanco, Gary Cole, Joey King, Mariel Hemingway, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Bob Eubanks, Teyonah Parris, and Shanola Hampton.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor
















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