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May 11, 2015

News in brief: Karma Feeling bracelets; Rose & Willard’s eco-friendly fish-skin fashion; Black Robin gin scoops top award

Lucire staff/23.01

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There’s always been an interest in the energy of crystals, and Karma Feeling’s bracelets use natural crystals, each embodying what the company believes to be healing energies. At the very least, you can choose something to fit your own emotions—Karma Feeling’s website guides you through it. Its owner, Gaynor Osborne-Lawn, explains: ‘The gemstones are used to create a unique look and to create energies that benefit the wearer. The healing properties of our crystals have been tried and tested and we encourage our customers to give themselves and others the powerful gift of Karma Feeling. It’s not only about how stylish our bracelets look but how incredible they make you feel.’ They are available at karmafeeling.co.uk with prices beginning at ÂŁ35; the Dreaming of Ibiza bracelet, available at this price, is pictured.
Lucire is the United Nations Environment Programme's first fashion industry partner   Rose & Willard has shown a new collection using fish skin from a sustainable producer in Iceland. The designs are machine-washable and environmentally friendly, and has anti-tear and anti-scratch properties, according to the company. Rose & Willard has attacted the likes of Michelle Dockery and Charlotte Riley, as well as two Bond girls, Naomie Harris and Gemma Arterton.
   Finally, online guide The Fifty Best has awarded New Zealand’s Black Robin Rare Gin (left) a Double Gold medal in its Best Gin Awards for 2015. After blind-tasting 57 gins from around the world, Black Robin gained a Double Gold, which meant it received top points across the board. Black Robin notes that it was inspired by the endangered black robin, and a percentage of profits goes to the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand. It is described as a spicy, citrus gin, with a soft floral note and a dry finish.




Above, from top From Rose & Willard, the Qasida panel leather dress. The Niella salmon leather skirt. The Zitella fish leather top.

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April 16, 2015

The Body Shop’s Fuji Green Tea range: satisfying at every level, from bath tea to cologne

Lucire staff/12.55

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Top The Body Shop’s Fuji Green Tea range. Above The pièce de rĂ©sistance of the range: the bath tea. Below left The huge bargain of them all: an eau de cologne that’s comparable to something twice the price.

The Body Shop’s latest Fuji Green Tea range, on sale in New Zealand from Monday, April 20, is one of the best the company has offered, and we’re not exaggerating. For starters, the full, fruity smells that we’ve become accustomed to with its earlier special editions is gone, replaced by a pure, healthy, subtler green tea scent. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the fruity and even chocolatey approaches of the Body Shop, but it’s great to see they have more secrets up their sleeves that they are gradually showing off to the public. Secondly, the methods the Body Shop has taken with the Fuji Green Tea range are very different: it has taken a uniquely eastern approach, combining tradition and authenticity with the Body Shop’s socially responsible aims.
   Green tea has antioxidant qualities, and we’re used to drinking it for its health benefits, but the Body Shop takes this idea further. Going into Japanese tradition, it found that women even bathed in it, and it’s believed to tighten pores help skin retain moisture, and have anti-ageing qualities.
   Sourcing authentic green tea from Mt Fuji, the Body Shop has developed an entire range featuring just what its customers expect: body scrub (250 ml, NZ$44·95); body butter (200 ml, NZ$36·95); body lotion (250 ml, NZ$24·95); body wash (250 ml, NZ$16·50); eau de cologne (100 ml, NZ$39·95); and exfoliating soap (100 g, NZ$19). However, the pièce de rĂ©sistance has to be the bath tea, 300 g of goodness for detoxing and cleansing for NZ$64, allowing you soak those stresses away in Japanese fashion.
   With a metal container evoking a traditional tea tin, the bath tea comes with an infuser. Pour in the mixture of crystals and tea leaves, and let the water run over it. The water turns a nice green hue, and it smells great. A soak is indeed calming and soothing, leaving skin feeling healthy. You know the ritual—as fun as it is going through it—has a practical side, too.
   We sampled the body scrub as well, which is particularly effective, and only requires small quantities to work its magic.
   That feeling continues afterwards with the body butter for 24-hour hydration—the Body Shop suggests that the body lotion would be ideal for lighter hydration, and the Body Sorbet (200 ml, NZ$26) is a fresh alternative.
   The bath tea may be the pièce de rĂ©sistance, but the surprises don’t stop: the eau de cologne is the icing on the proverbial cake. It’s actually a light, fruity floral, although you can detect the green tea mixed in among the top notes; the floral heart is very memorable and fresh. The Body Shop says it’s bergamot, lemon and mandarin that we detect there, and camellia, jasmine and violet in the middle. It’s actually a very elegant scent, something you would expect wearing a far more expensive label, and, like the rest of the Green Tea line, it’s a bargain. It’s not often a $40 scent smells like something that’s commonly twice or thrice the price.
   As a range, it’s one of the most complete and satisfying the Body Shop has offered.
   The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea range will be available online and at New Zealand retail outlets from next week.

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News in brief: Living Nature revives skin; Desigual, Alexa Meade team up; Cole Haan searches for the American Dream

Lucire staff/7.51

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From issue 34: Living Nature’s Skin Revive Exfoliant is a wonderful addition to the range that’s known for its 100 per cent certified natural ingredients (by BDIH in Germany), its safety on skin, and its ban on animal testing. There’s a nice scent here—as with Living Nature’s products, it’s not overbearing—along with gentle jojoba and candelilla beads that lift dead cells from the skin, stimulating renewal. Being natural, there will not be any damage to the skin and they’re biodegradable, unlike the plastic microbeads that make their way into the oceans. The hero ingredient, kumerahou, is rich in phytosaporins and provides antimicrobial protection. More at www.livingnature.com.
   Celebrating World Art Day on Wednesday, Desigual teamed up with artist Alexa Meade, who has painted on to the set of a photo shoot, including the models and the bags themselves. The company says it chose Meade as a collaborator because of her unconventional, edgy approach. She has painted on three scenarios as part of the collaboration.
   Another recent collaboration has been between Cole Haan and Happy Marshall Productions, on a film production called The American Dream Project. It partnered with FilmBuff to première the series on April 15, with Amazon, Dailymotion, Google Play, Apple Itunes, Ora TV, Vessel, Vimeo and YouTube, examining whether the American Dream still exists across the US and what it looks like today.
   British-born, New York-based filmmaker James Marshall and American photographer Todd Williams were armed with $250, travelling from New York to California through 15 states on Indian motorcycles, exchanging their work for food and shelter, and getting to know the people on the way. They stopped in eight towns and cities en route. ‘The generosity and kindness of the complete strangers I met has stuck with me the most. We are constantly told how dangerous it is out there and how different we are from each other. My experience was that people are mostly generous, kind and we have more in common than not,’ said Marshall.
   The trailer can be found at ColeHaan.com/americandream; the entire series can be found here and each episode also appears embedded below.

Episode 1: Braddock, Pa.

Braddock: Courage & Rebuilding from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 2: Rendville, Ohio

Rendville: Working Together from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 3: St Louis, Mo.

St Louis: Equality, Appreciation from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 4: Iowa, part 1

Iowa: Part 1, Live to Fight Another Day from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 5: Iowa, part 2

Iowa: Part 2, American-made, American Pride from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 6: Wyoming

Wyoming: Faith & Resilience from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 7: Taos, NM

Taos: Innovation from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 8: Los Angeles, Calif.

Los Angeles: Life Philosophy from FilmBuff on Vimeo

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April 1, 2015

Jaguar launches second-generation XF saloon: lighter, roomier, more class-leading tech

Lucire staff/13.10

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A week after previewing the new XF in a high-wire stunt over Victoria Docks in London, Jaguar has released images and details of the car as it enjoyed its official début at the New York Auto Show.
   The second-generation XF is recognizably Jaguar, stylistically an evolution of the 2007 X250 model that brought the company’s saloon car range into the 21st century. Prior to the XF, Jaguar saloons had been stuck in a sort of time warp, reminding customers regularly of the 1968 XJ6. The original XF changed that, with its fresh, fastback styling and, in the interior, the rotary dial gear selector, which helped give the cabin a feeling of airiness.
   But underneath the svelte styling, the XF did not share the aluminium-intensive construction methods of the larger XJ, something which the second-generation model remedies. Now up to 190 kg lighter than the outgoing model, the use of aluminium has allowed Jaguar to create a more rigid, refined car that’s also more fuel-efficient, according to the company’s figures. Jaguar cites carbon dioxide emissions of 104 g/km and the new four-cylinder Ingenium diesel gets 71·7 mpg (Imperial) in fuel economy, though it remains to be seen just how well it will fare in the real world.
   The weight saving means that the new XF is cleaner, and Jaguar claims it is 80 kg lighter than the competition, using the base model for comparison. In terms of environmental impact, Jaguar Land Rover uses a form of aluminium alloy called RC5754, which is predominantly made from recycled material, for its pressings.
   The body is also more slippery, helping with efficiency, with the drag coefficient dropping from 0,29 to 0,26 on the new model.
   The company is emphasizing its leadership in aluminium usage, especially extending it from the large XJ saloon down to its entry-level XE, launched last year.
   By increasing the wheelbase by 51 mm while cutting overall length, Jaguar has increased the interior room, and with the sixth light added in the design, the car now appears lighter and roomier inside.
   The cockpit is dominated by a configurable 10·2-inch touch-screen, while the maps for the sat-nav are stored on a 60 Gbyte solid-state hard drive.
   The front suspension is modelled after the F-type sports car’s, with the company claiming segment-leading handling for the new model.
   Other goodies include parking assist for bay and parallel parking, adaptive cruise control, and even reverse traffic detection, to warn drivers of fast-approaching traffic. The laser head-up display is also sharper than comparable TFT systems, with higher contrast; the unit is also a third lighter, which helps the XF save weight.




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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 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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