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September 13, 2014

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 rĂŠgime 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 11, 2014

Phoenix commemorates its Love Project with three limited-edition pop-art bottles

Lucire staff/3.14

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We fell in love with these limited-edition pop art bottles from Phoenix Organics ever since they arrived at the office—so much so that we’ve been saving them for a special occasion.
   But they’re much more than a fleeting fancy. They signify Phoenix’s commitment to the environment, launching its Love Project, where it has teamed up with Sustainable Coastlines and Tangaroa Blue Foundation to help clean up New Zealand’s beaches.
   Over 1,015,884 litres of rubbish has been collected from New Zealand beaches since 2009—equivalent to 31 shipping containers of waste. Phoenix is asking Kiwis to visit its Facebook page to vote for the beach they love the most and would like to keep clean. The company will contribute to beach clean-up projects this summer.
   The artwork has been inspired by the love of our planet, and appears on Phoenix organic cola, lemonade and ginger
beer. The artists are Mica Still of Wellington, Meghan Geliza of Auckland, and Mulga of Sydney.
   In late October, Geliza and Still will create a live art installation in Auckland, in which the public can participate.



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September 9, 2014

Jaguar launches XE in London, with David Gandy, Stella McCartney, Eva Herzigova, Laura Whitmore

Lucire staff/1.28

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Jaguar has launched its most important car in years with the brand-new XE, a saloon that sees the Indian-owned company tackle a segment dominated by the BMW 3er and Audi A4. The XE also marks a new generation of Jaguars powered by the company’s new series of Ingenium engines, and features a first-in-segment aluminium-intensive monocoque structure for lightness and strength.
   Jaguar Land Rover, which has seen its profits soar in recent years, spared no expense with the XE’s launch in London, bringing celebrities including Stella McCartney, David Gandy, Eva Herzigova, Sir Stirling Moss, JosĂŠ Mourinho, Laura Whitmore, Damian Lewis, Ruben Cortada, David Blakeley, Sam Riley, Sienna Guillory, Steve Redgrave, Brian Johnson and Gary Lineker together at an event that saw Emeli SandĂŠ, the Kaiser Chiefs, Eliza Doolittle, the Royal Ballet, Max Milner (The Voice), and members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform, and John Hannah narrating.
   While many saw the helicopter delivery of the red XE into London on Monday, Jaguar formally kicked off the launch event that evening at Earls Court with its VIP audience, with the performances evoking models from the company’s past, including the SS100 of 1935.
   SandĂŠ composed a ‘Feels Like’ track for the event that had been inspired by the public via social media and the hashtag #FeelXE. The song received its première live on a floating stage on the Thames in a 45-minute set later in the evening, with the London Eye and County Hall as a backdrop.
   The performance was complemented with a projection-mapping show on London’s County Hall, showing the public’s messages that inspired the composition. Red flares lit up the London skyline in red to match the hero colour of the new car.
   McCartney will reveal her Parisian Feel XE experience later this month, while Idris Elba will reveal his Feel XE project afterwards.
   Earlier in the day, employees at Jaguar’s Solihull plant—where 1,700 jobs are expected to be created—formed an XE shape as the Red Arrows flew past, and the car was airlifted by helicopter toward London. It was placed on a high-speed landing craft on the Thames to Chelsea Harbour.
   In another nod to its past, Jaguar then had the new XE escorted by two 1960s Mk II police cars from Battersea Bridge to Earls Court.
   The “delivery” was intentional: Jaguar wanted to signal that the XE is the spiritual successor to the Mk II, still considered by many fans to be the quintessential Jaguar close-coupled sporting saloon, and the car that arguably pioneered the segment in which the new model now competes.
   One car from Jaguar’s past that was not mentioned was the X-type, the company’s turn-of-the-century attempt to tap into the compact executive market. Younger buyers rejected that model partly because of its unadventurous styling, overseen by Jaguar’s then-parent company Ford. The X-type was also hampered by its front-wheel-drive transmission on cheaper models, something that Jaguar has avoided repeating by giving the XE rear-wheel drive. It is also the most aerodynamic Jaguar made, with a drag coefficient of 0,26.
   The cab-backward fastback look of the XE takes styling themes established by the XJ and XF, and features a short front overhang and a low driving position. The car looks more aggressive and taut than the larger models, which should appeal to buyers in the segment.
   â€˜Our mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE’s positioning as a serious driver’s car. The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it’s standing still. It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-type and will stand apart in the crowd,’ says Jaguar’s director of design, Ian Callum.
   The aluminium components also mean more effective recycling, and in a world first for cars, Jaguar has specified RC5754, an aluminium alloy made from recycled material.
   The high-tech features extend to Jaguar’s new electric power steering, which is more efficient than a traditional hydraulic system, and what the company calls All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), which works as a low-speed cruise control that can control the brake system and powertrain for the best traction in slippery conditions. The XE also features a laser head-up display, nearly a third lighter than existing systems. Jaguar also dĂŠbuts a new InControl infotainment system, which is claimed to be more intuitive, especially with a pioneering plain-speech voice control. The car is also a wifi hotspot for internet-enabled devices, and both Apple Iphone and Android users can control various functions remotely.
   Full details of the XE range will be released at the Salon de Paris on October 2. The range will be topped by a supercharged V6 delivering 340 PS, while the two-litre Ingenium diesel is claimed to deliver 75 mpg (Imperial) with carbon dioxide emissions of 99 g/km. Prices are set to begin at ÂŁ27,000.















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August 20, 2014

Audi’s new TT is leaner and greener, with whole-life environmental impact reduced

Lucire staff/14.24

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Audi’s third-generation TT, which goes on sale later this year, is greener and lighter than its predecessor, something which Lucire readers will applaud.
   The iconic sports’ car, which came on the scene in 1998 with its Bauhaus, geometric looks, carving its own niche, continues similar themes for 2014, but looks sleeker, with Audi’s hexagonal grille, and wider. However, it is virtually the same length as the outgoing model, while having a 37 mm longer wheelbase.
   The body is stiffer by 25 per cent and the centre of gravity lower by 10 mm, aiding handling. Power is up 14 per cent, while greenhouse gas emissions are down 11 per cent. The monocoque shell is a mixture of steel and aluminium, with the weight dropping by 50 kg compared with the second-generation model which Lucire tested in 2007. The weight, in fact, is only close to that of the original TT, which is no mean feat considering how much more modern cars pack, with the front-wheel-drive 2¡0 TFSI model tipping the scales at 1,230 kg. By comparison, a 1998 1¡8 front-wheel-drive TT weighed 1,240 kg.
   Audi has also reduced the whole-life impact on the environment, with each car saving 5¡5 tonnes of greenhouse gas (not just carbon dioxide, but methane, nitrous oxide and halogenated organic emissions) in its lifetime. The construction sees a saving of 800 kg of greenhouse gas emissions (nine per cent) compared to the earlier model.
   UK deliveries commence in December 2014.


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June 7, 2014

Destination datelines: Catalina, Paris, Gurgaon, Punta Ala

Lucire staff/13.57

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Š1964 Bettmann/Corbis


©1966 Hulton–Deutsch/Corbis

Top The Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night, 1964. Above George Harrison marries Pattie Boyd in 1966.

Catalina Island, California
Hard to believe it’s been a half-century since the première of A Hard Day’s Night. To commemorate the date, the Catalina Island Museum will mount a special 50th anniversary screening of the legendary movie starring the Beatles on Sunday, July 6 in Avalon’s Casino Theatre at 7 p.m. Lucire loves the vintage déco interior. On hand to take questions will be author Pattie Boyd (right), who you can surely interrogate about her life and times as wife of George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and her best-selling memoir, Wonderful Tonight. Pattie exudes energy and personality, and loves to laugh. Watch for her in a famous scene which takes place on a train: she’s the blonde girl in a school uniform, who flirts with George.


Paris, France
A new website has launched this week which could simplify the task of finding lodging in this capital city: www.myboutiquehotel.paris/fr/. It looks like a pretty cleverly designed and attractive site, listing over 250 boutique hotels. You can select by price, star rating, location, nearby landmarks, areas of interest, but the kicker is the promise of a real live human being person available on the phone to assist you. We’d be interested to learn of anyone’s experiences with this site. Good luck with your launch!

Gurgaon, Haryana, India
While the city, population 20 million, stews under a layer of world-class pollution (mostly the by-product of wood fires), the problem of traffic compounds the subject. Gurgaon excels in congestion, and this week some like-minded technology companies are rolling out Folksvagn, a cheekily-named ride-sharing solution in the Palam Vihar and Sector 22–3 area. It’s also a vote of support for Gurgaon start-ups like our friends at Nagarro, one of a group deploying modern mindsets in the interest of transforming urban mobility with programmes like this. If you’re looking for a sustainable and socially responsible ride to work in Gurgaon, this may be your answer.

Punta Ala, Italy
This week, Baglioni reopens La Vela, a classic architectural monument originally known as a swinging disco in 1965. You can see its signature roofline on the very exclusive beach here. A glorious renovation transforms the space into a 160-seat restaurant and spa. Ideally situated among a cypress grove, with astounding views of the nearby islands Elba, Capraia and Pianosa, the airy infinity terrace promises to be an ideal location for sunset beverages and prime people-watching. GM Luigi Magnani promises ‘a soft club’ experience for evenings.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor


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May 24, 2014

The 2014 Prix Pictet awarded in London

Lucire staff/5.17

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Paula Sweet

Top Michael Schmidt’s winning installation. Above Stephen Barber and Kofi Annan during the award announcement.

A gala presentation ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on the night of May 21 named Berlin-based photographer Michael Schmidt as the winner of the eighth annual Prix Pictet. The award endeavours to promote the message of sustainability to a global audience via the medium of photography. This year’s theme, Consumption, had a record number of applicants and was decided from a shortlist of eleven finalists. Schmidt’s assemblage of 60 photographs arrayed in a huge grid (finalists are given 21 m² of exhibition space), entitled Lebensmittel, engaged the tensions of food production and transport with a range of provocative images.
   The SFr100,000 award (US$112,000) was presented by Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the UN, and Honorary President of the Prix Pictet. Pictet Group, founded in 1805, is based in Genève. The award for Mr Schmidt, unable to attend due to illness, was accepted by Tate Modern director Chris Dercon.
   The finalists remain on exhibit at the V&A through June 14.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor



Paula Sweet

Top The reception before the award announcement. Above Chris Dercon, Kofi Annan, Jacques de Saussure, Stephen Barber.

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May 14, 2014

At Cannes: Nicole Kidman in Francesco Scognamiglio; and our other highlights

Lucire staff/13.45

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The hijinks of the Festival de Cannes begin today and we’ve already caught actress Nicole Kidman in a Francesco Scognamiglio dress (above) on the Riviera. We’ll have more highlights later today as we begin filing our reports from the world’s most famous film festival.
   In the main part of the Lucire site, don’t forget we’ve been serializing travel editor Stanley Moss’s novel, The Crimson Garter, now up to chapter 16. If you enjoy a good period yarn set in European locales, Crimson is very enjoyable and we will be publishing the final parts shortly. Meanwhile, in the real world, Stanley also goes in search of black truffles in France.
   Emma and Denis Merkas, a real-life Australian couple, believe in massage as a way to bring greater intimacy and trust in relationships. Their new online course, Melt: Massage for Couples, is very accessible, and you can find out more about it in our beauty feature here.
   We have Paris editor Lola Saab’s New York Fashion Week diary, along with her show reports; while publisher Jack Yan talks to Sheryl McPherson of Salisbury Boutique in Dunedin, one of the city’s most cutting-edge fashion retailers.
   Guest correspondent Peter Jobes test-drives the BMW i3, the pioneering electric car from the German brand. And you can order your copy of Lucire issue 32, in print and for tablets, here.

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May 13, 2014

News in brief: Orly’s Miss Universe New Zealand treat; Oakley goes retro; Living Nature’s winter anti-ageing

Lucire staff/22.35

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Adding to the goody bags at Miss Universe New Zealand’s Dunedin Stiletto Camps were handy Mini Cuticle Oil+ packs from Orly. The Orly brand is already well known to those who know their nails and want to keep them strong and healthy—and Orly’s colours are DBP-, formaldehyde- and toulene-free. The Mini Cuticle Oil+ nourishes dry cuticles and neglected nails, ideal for nail maintenance on the go.
   Oakley is celebrating its 30th anniversary with its Heritage Collection, with 1980s styling from its vault that, interestingly, doesn’t look out of place in a more tech-savvy 2014.
   Oakley’s Eyeshades, Razor Blades and Frogskins have a total of nine classic, retro offerings this season, with some contemporary touches.



   Living Nature’s anti-ageing range will help skin this winter, with its natural ingredients. There’s the Nourishing Night Cream (NZ$58 for 50 ml) with antioxidant-rich totara extract to fight skin damage caused by free radicals and rejuvenating active manuka honey; the Firming Flax Serum (NZ$52 for 13 ml) with active manuka honey and harakeke, the New Zealand flax plant, to hydrate and nourish skin; the Radiance Night Oil (NZ$90 for 10 ml) with calendula, jojoba, rosehip, rose petals, frankincense, and vitamins A and E to rejuvenate skin; the Rich Day Cream (NZ$39 for 50 ml) with active manuka honey attracting moisture and locking it in, and totara extract to reenergize skin; and the Firming Eye Cream (NZ$45 for 10 ml) to hydrate the skin around the eyes.
   What draws these together is their purity, certified natural by BDIH Germany, with no greenwashing or false environmental claims. Breast Cancer Network New Zealand has also endorsed the range. Visit www.livingnature.com or call 64 9 407-7895, or in New Zealand, 0508 548-464, for stockist info.

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