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January 19, 2015

Scandal in a bottle: the Body Shop breaks conventions with its Red Musk collection

Eleanor Wright/23.56

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The Body Shop’s first official release this year is sure to make its mark on 2015 with the introduction of the scandalous Red Musk collection. A fiery statement to kick-start the New Year will surely shake the foundations of convention and tradition. Following on from the classic 1981 White Musk collection, regarded as the first fragrance with man-made cruelty-free musk, the Body Shop’s latest release is set to challenge conventions by composing a feminine fragrance which men can wear, too.
   The malleability of this scent is immediately captured within the bottle itself. A classically rounded vessel with a minimalist stopper seduces the eye with a gradual blend of tones from black to a zesty red, to a deep orange ending with a clear finish. This visualization perfectly echoes the smouldering scent within. A blend of pepper, cinnamon and tobacco teases the senses with a subtle yet spicy aroma. The pepper immediately adds a sparkling dimension introducing a sensual bite, immediately followed with the sweet yet savoury notes of the cinnamon; finally, the tobacco amplifies a mysterious allure with a smoky finish.
   This suitable combination is unusual for a fragrance specifically for women and, as a result, challenges the tradition of men’s scent as well. The interchangeability of this musk provides a feminine edge whilst soothing the masculinity of the aromas, culminating in a dynamic scent that transcends the traditional label of unisex. The campaign stresses ‘No Flowers, Only Spices’ to emphasize the significance of not merely breaking the rules but making their own.
   This scent has been perfected throughout the collection including a body lotion, fragrance mist and body wash as well as the perfume. The collection will reach stores next week, on January 26. The sensual fragrance makes it the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day and the radical positioning and smouldering scent make it the ideal statement fragrance of 2015.—Elle Wright

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January 12, 2015

GBK and Pilot Pens take off with their 2015 Golden Globes’ extravaganza

Elyse Glickman/11.05

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When Gavin Keilly calls a party, A-list celebrities and press show up, rain or shine, especially when the food is delicious, the goodies are stylish and functional, and the charities are truly doing some worthwhile things to make the world a better place. Once again, GBK’s Golden Globes’ suite took place in the ballrooms of the W Hotel Hollywood with an international array of covetable goodies and worthy causes.
   World Vision is best known for their infomercials and work to benefit children in developing countries through fundraisers and holistic community development programmes. At this event, they went above and beyond timely to present a programme that provides unusual way for groups to give back: a group- or team-building activity involving the assemblage of ebola kits for workers in stricken areas. They also offered hand-crafted tote bags from Thailand whose manufacture benefits rural communities.
   Lambda Legal continued their work advancing civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy advocacy. Yes! Beat Liver Tumors continued to get their message out about providing information, resources and support for people affected by cancer in its advanced stages. Citizen E-Cig, meanwhile, was on hand to help with the cause of encouraging people to quit smoking for the sake of the environment at large and their own personal health with their classy line of e-cigs.
   You could say the fashion offerings were quite “crafty” this go around, and not only because Artisan Group was back with some beautiful one-off pieces on display. The ladies of Samiah Fine Clothing encouraged guests to express their inner rock star through trying on their bespoke jackets and coats, and sending them on their way with hand-made brocade shoulder bags. Sledge USA was all about team spirit with its forthcoming Major League Baseball collection (I was partial to the Chicago-related gear), stunning contemporary silver and brass pieces from Westland Jewelry, a gift card from Canada-based Beyond the Rack (which allows us to select something we really want or need-genius!), empowerment-themed jewels from BraveChick.com and some Canadian-made, chic-yet-homespun hats from Canada Bliss.
   Smart items for the avid traveller included elegantly crafted totes, laptop bags and tablet cases from Solo from their upcoming spring collection, a three-night stay at Puerto Vallarta Beach Club in a private, spacious three-bedroom villa, feather-light headphones in jazzy colours from LG Electronics and the new H2V Eye-tox 3 serum from Burke Williams and a Burke Williams Advanced Eye Lift enhancement (much welcome after 18 hour-flights from abroad and red-eye flights from New York). In at-home pampering, VIPs received home spa products and soaps from Beauty Kitchen by Heather Marianna and a full set of Sheex bedding fashioned from performance fabrics.
   At this suite, nobody went home hungry, with the presence of GBK regulars Barrys Gourmet Brownies and Sabra savouries. Newcomers included Cupcake Fusion LA, a bakery known for delightful and whimsical combinations of sweet and savoury cupcakes, which was on site providing gift cards and cupcakes; kosher sweets from My Candy Basket; and Corazons Custom Catering, a family-owned Filipino business catering yummy Filipino–French snacks and gifting certificates for complimentary food tasting parties. You could wash all this good stuff down with cocktails made with Bare Organic Mixers, which are organic, low-calorie, gluten-free delights made with juice, water, and agave syrup as well as portable and potable Nuvino Wines from South Africa, Argentina, Chile and Australia.
   Pilot Pen not only offered fashionable and exceptional writing instruments, but also a chic Japanese ambiance that covered much of the GBK space, inspired by the centuries-old Japanese art of maki-e. VIPs received the Vanishing Point Fountain Pen, while all guests received FriXion Clicker Erasable Gel Ink Pen 8 Pack Pouch, an entirely new kind of erasable pen that is retractable, has striking good looks and ink that is formulated to write smooth and erase cleanly.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor







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January 11, 2015

Natural skin care, eye-catching style, and animal lovers: Secret Room Events had it covered

Elyse Glickman/13.45

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Winter came to southern California, and with it much needed rain and chilly air. Tents went up, covering the storeyed courtyard of the SLS Hotel, making the Secret Room Events’ Golden Globe Style Lounge an actual room filled with sponsors focused on healthy treats, sustainable and wearable style, natural products and, of course, animal activism and rescue.
   Given many celebrities are vegetarian or vegan, Farm Sanctuary had a fantastic opportunity to turn their message into a cause célèbre. This unique organization operates three shelters in New York and California providing lifelong care for nearly 1,000 rescued farm animals. While the animals are rescued from abuse and starvation, the organizers hope their practices will change the way society views and treats farm animals, and encourage compassionate vegan living.
   Hope For Paws, meanwhile, hopes to accomplish a similar mission with cats, dogs and other homeless pets throughout California, North America and elsewhere via widely circulated videos as well as encouragement of pet adoption events.
   Platinum sponsors Derma E and Big Slice were predictably a huge hit among the diverse talents in attendance. Big Slice, a family-owned company, transforms baked apples into luscious, nutritious snacks, integrating everything from tropical fruits to sesame, chocolate and other healthy indulgences into a healthy packet that goes from the kitchen to practically anywhere. Derma E bills itself as food for your skin, through a series of vitamin-rich, high-performance antioxidant skin care products that are 100 per cent vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free and GMO-free.
   Other natural, and naturally appealing products for body and hair, included Younique, RX Clinical Cosmeceaticals, Body & Soul Natural Haircare, Bellivita Body and Haircare, and Ioma Paris.
   DelGrosso Foods’ pasta sauces and Heat Holders’ thermal socks provided warmth for guests on that chilly Friday while Stella Carakasi allowed VIPs to select a toasty sweater from their current winter and spring lines. There were also some nice little items perfect for the frequent fliers in the room: the B Belt, created by Nelson, New Zealand native Becky Larsen, is the perfect carry-all for women who want their hands free. The sash-like belt holds mobile phone, Ipod, money, ID or even a compact. Though the name Golden Girl may spark memories of the 1980s television show about sprightly and sassy seniors, Montreal, Canada-based Golden Girl Clothing’s jean leggings appear to be designed to flatter women of all ages and shapes.
   While Dallas-based Kathy Fielder is best known and loved for her interior design accents, she’s successfully broken into fashion, with chic faux fur vests, fabric handbags and eye-catching lace infinity scarves with a jewellery-like feel. Australian jewellery designer Jennifer Reeves, meanwhile, showed that natural stones could be as flattering and fashionable as opals and other precious gems.
   Celebrities attending included Adina Porter (True Blood), Ashley Argota (The Fosters), Jason Ritter (Parenthood), Jenji Kohan (Orange Is the New Black), Josh Brener (Silicon Valley), Mark Feuerstein (Royal Pains), Mekhi Phifer (Divergent), Neil McDonough (Suits), Omar Dorsey (Selma), Beau Casper, Ronit Elkabetz and Shlomi Elkabetz (both nominated for Gett: the Trial of Viviane Amsalem).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor


















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January 8, 2015

Fragrance Du Bois recognizes achievements at the Arab Woman Awards

Lucire staff/12.21

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Top Fragrance Du Bois presented a special fragrance set to Dr Shaikha Al Maskari in recognition of her outstanding contribution to society and receiving the Businesswoman of the Year award at the Arab Woman Awards 2014. Above HE Ameera Bin Karam and Emma Henry present the award for sport to Khadijah Mohammed.

Paris-based Fragrance Du Bois, a sponsor of the Arab Woman Awards 2014 in the UAE, presented its Oud-based fragrances to some of the women at the ceremony, it announced this week. Recipients were Dr Shaikha Al Maskari, a businesswoman who has demonstrated that a compassionate leadership style can work in engendering loyalty and commitment; and Khadijah Mohammed, the first female weightlifter to represent the Arabian Gulf region at the Olympic Games, and the first female Emirati athlete to qualify outright. At a previous ceremony in Kuwait, the company had presented an award to Farah K. Behbehani, a graphic designer.
   The Oud used in Fragrance Du Bois’s range is sourced from Asia Plantation Capital. The company says it meets international sustainable standards.
   Explaining the fit between the brand and the awards, Emma Henry, the director of Fragrance Du Bois in the Middle East, said, ‘Fragrance Du Bois is proud to be associated with women who inspire the world to achieve higher standards. We are the brand for individuals who have aspirations for a better society, and we want to continue to encourage the progress that is being made. Dr Al Maskari, Ms Mohammed and Ms Behbehani all stand out as individuals and have the leadership qualities that have improved our world. Whether by making contributions to charity, changing mindsets or opening doors, these are the people who make positive changes in the communities we live in, and they are the people who Fragrance Du Bois will always be eager to partner, in 2015 and beyond.’

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December 18, 2014

Brancott Estate Falcon Encounter opens in Marlborough

Lucire staff/10.37

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The Marlborough Falcon Trust Falcon Valley has opened at the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre this week, a memorable destination for travellers in New Zealand this summer. The result of a partnership between the Trust and Brancott Estate, visitors can check get up close with a kārearea (New Zealand falcon) for a donation. The donations will go toward falcon awareness and rehabilitation at the Trust’s aviary in Marlborough.
   The Trust has two advocacy birds in flight that visitors can see as part of the Brancott Estate Falcon Encounter. The birds help keep grape-eating birds away from the vineyard, and can reach 200 km/h when hunting.
   There are fewer than 3,000 pairs if kārearea in the wild, and they face a number of threats, including loss of habitat, electrocution on power poles, collisions with turbines on wind farms, predation by cats and hedgehogs, and stoats and rats preying on eggs and nestlings. They are listed as a threatened species by the Department of Conservation.
   The Falcon Encounter also includes a tasting of wines from the Brancott Estate Living Land range of organic wines. The range has raised a good deal of the NZ$500,000 that the winery has given to the Trust, where NZ$1 from each bottle is donated to the Living Land Fund. The funds have helped finance a 16-pen rehabilitation and breeding aviary, and the ongoing care of falcons.

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December 14, 2014

Global beauty news: Alive Skin & Hair launches, Living Nature opens Tokyo store, Spiezia Organics rebrands

Lucire staff/11.46

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Above Alive Skin & Hair offers Australian and New Zealand customers a range of 3,000 beauty products.

Alive Skin & Hair has launched, stocking over 3,000 hair care, make-up, beauty and skin care products, targeting Australian and New Zealand customers. The website stocks brands including Alpha H, ASAP Skincare, Dermalogica, Elemis, Jane Iredale, Joico, Matrix, Moroccanoil, Skinceuticals, St Tropez, Thalgo, and Youngblood, supplied straight from the manufacturer, and sold ay 15 to 35 per cent off the recommended retail price. Alive Skin & Hair can ship the same day for orders placed before 12 p.m. AEST, and shoppers earn points with each purchase. There are experts to help with online and telephone enquiries. Alive Skin & Hair also gives shoppers the chance to choose two new samples to try, for free, with each order.
   New Zealand natural skin care brand Living Nature has gained a bigger footprint in the Japanese market with a concept store on the second floor of the Grand Tree Musashikosugi Shopping Centre near Shibuya, Tokyo. Operated by @Star Japan, the Living Nature distributor there, the new store reaches thousands of Japanese shoppers, located a few minutes from the busy Musashi–Kosugi train station, which sees 390,000 commuters per day. @Star Japan, meanwhile, has operated since 2000, and has had a long-standing relationship with Living Nature.
   In a release, @Star sales and promotion manager Ai Takahara said, ‘This development of the concept store provides a way to engage with consumers and enable our highly trained staff to share their experience of the Living Nature range, which offers truly natural products for face and body.’
   In Cornwall, England, Spiezia Organics has rebranded, and is about to launch three new hair and body products, containing 95–8 per cent certified organic ingredients and botanicals. Its Organic Gloss shampoo features ingredients including lemon peel extract, zizyphus joazerio bark extract and dandrilys; its Organic Shine conditioner helps stimulate hair growth with ginger oil and lemon peel extract, and contains royal jelly to strengthen the follicles and prevent hair loss; and its organic hand and body cleanser has aloe vera gel, radish oil and lemongrass oil. Spiezia Organics’ commitment to the environment extends to its 100 per cent sustainable packaging, while it is the first UK company to have Soil Association accreditation across its whole skin care range.

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November 30, 2014

Extra Christmas treats from the Body Shop

Eleanor Wright/23.13

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The Body Shop USA

We couldn’t get enough of the goodies from the Body Shop we looked at in last month’s post. Now we are looking at their new range of Christmas gift sets titled Love, Peace and Joy, each one coordinated to a specific scent including the Frosted Cranberry and the Glazed Apple range reviewed last time.
   Lucire tried out the Schoolbook of Joy: the Vanilla Edition (NZ$65), with a few products from the Vanilla Brûlée line. It features the essentials from soap and shower gel to lip balm and soap, all assembled into this adorable hand-crafted book-shaped package. The packaging, made in Nepal, is inspired by the Children in Education initiative with War Child, which provides children in a country affected by war the opportunity to attend a class. This collection is the perfect combination of essentials products providing an all-round heavenly scented experience.
   The shower gel is soap-free and the natural ingredients, including Fair Trade honey from Ethiopia, effectively cleanse the skin without removing moisture. The gel-based liquid is ideal to use with a loofah or just in your hands, leaving a clean feel with a reminiscent vanilla scent. This can be purchased individually (NZ$24·50) in a larger quantity, however, the gift size is ideal for travelling around this summer.
   The limited edition heart-shaped soap is the perfect addition or alternative to the gel. The little heart contains shell powder to exfoliate your skin leaving it feeling soft and fresh without drying it out along with the rich infusion of the Vanilla Brûlée fragrance.
   The body butter is a definite favourite for the delicate scent and lavishing buttery texture. This particular item contains the Community Fair Trade shea butter which locks in the moisture without leaving a sticky or oily residue. It is perfect for any time of the day and will complement the cleansing and exfoliation of the soap and shower gel. This can also be purchased individually for NZ$36·95.
   Finally, the lip balm, secured in the staple silver tin, is the perfect component to keep by your side throughout the day. It contains beeswax from locally sourced materials in a remote region of Cameroon, which provides a sweet and creamy application with a smooth subtle vanilla scented finish. By itself it retails for NZ$19·95.
   Along with the Body Shop’s organic and fair trade policy this set is an ideal Christmas gift to add a little joy into someone’s beauty régime this Christmas.—Eleanor Wright



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November 23, 2014

Tested: we indulge in the Body Shop’s Christmas 2014 selection

Lucire staff/9.46

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The Body Shop’s Christmas shopping selection has some of its most indulgent products, and Lucire has tried some of them out.
   There are plenty of products in the Body Shop’s Glazed Apple body care line, from the very simple but effective Bonbon Soap (NZ$10·25) to the indulgent bath jelly (NZ$33·95). The soap has a faint apple smell: it’s subtly scented and does not feel “chemical”, thanks to its plant-derived ingredients, such as its moisturizing sodium palmate. The bath jelly is also subtle but the smell gets released in water—don’t be deceived if you take the lid off for a sniff, as it’s quite lovely when mixed.
   The Glazed Apple lip balm (NZ$19·95, above right) is hydrating, and a wonderful addition to gift-giving this season. If you really want luxe, the Glazed Apple body butter (NZ$36·95) is rich with a more noticeable scent—it’s a must if you wish to spoil someone special.
   The Body Shop also has Frosted Cranberry, and Vanilla Brûlée products, which we have sampled in the past. These favourites are back for Christmas 2014.



   When it comes to make-up, the company has it covered there, too. We’ve tried the eyeshadow palettes, namely the Frosted Pastels (NZ$50), which are on-trend with its shades for summer. We love the fact they haven’t been tested on animals, and the cute packaging. If you’re not that sure of how to apply the eye make-up, the Body Shop provides instructions, complete with the order of what goes on first.
   The Sparkler (NZ$50), meanwhile, is a spritzer that gives a fine dust of shimmer for your skin, available in Glazed Apple (which we tried), Frosted Cranberry, and Vanilla Brûlée. You do need to get in the right light to show off the sparkle.
   The Body Shop’s Lip and Cheek Doll (NZ$49·95), a lip and cheek stain, has a limited-edition packaging for the holiday season. It has a natural colour, which you can build on, and it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. As a highlighter on the cheeks, it gives a healthy glow.


   The Glitter Eyeliner (NZ$24·95) is easy to apply, though you do need two layers. However, it lifts the eyes and gives a nice effect.
   Trying the Body Shop’s Colour Crush nail colours (NZ$12·95 each), which are happily free of harsh chemicals, we noted the base went on very well. We sampled Red My Mind, which was a deeper orange, Mint Cream, which we could only describe as very mint, and the Body Shop Green, a very Christmas colour. There was an easy application for all three, with none getting on the skin. For extra embellishments, the Body Shop’s nail art pen (NZ$15·95), with fine and thick ends, proved to be a very effective and precise tool.
   Meanwhile, to remove nail varnish, the Body Shop has an acetone-free formula that uses sweet almond oil, soya oil and Community Fair Trade sugar cane essence. The smell’s still quite strong, but the non-drying formula is effective and worked better than a rival product we compared it to.
   Get in to the Body Shop today for a one-stop location for some great Christmas presents.

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