Lucire: News


October 12, 2016

With clear night skies, Tekapo Springs to offer Star-Gazing package from early ’17

Lucire staff/2.46

Astrophotographer Mark Gee (@theartofnight)

The summer is a perfect time for stargazers to head to the South Island of New Zealand, with its clear night sky within the world’s largest dark-sky reserve (of 4,144 km²), and Tekapo Springs is the ideal place for travellers.
   Known for its pools and spas, Tekapo Springs in the MacKenzie Country will offer a Tekapo Star-Gazing package from early 2017 to complement its existing offerings.
   Tekapo Star Gazing is a unique tour, which allows guests to see the stars and constellations from Tekapo Springs’ hot pools from 9.30 p.m.
   Relaxing music plays in the background while qualified ‘star guides’ point out the night sky’s features and answer questions from guests. The sessions will run between 1¼ and 1½ hours long.
   Tekapo Springs has added two new 9·25 aperture Celestron telescopes at its Tahr Bar & Café for guests to check out after their hot pools’ experience.
   Its location by Lake Tekapo means some of the country’s most stunning views, often seen in photographs promoting New Zealand tourism.
   Bookings can be made via its website at, or call 0800 2353-8283 within New Zealand, 64 3 680-6550 internationally.

October 7, 2016

Beauty in brief: Environ launches Youth EssentiA for healthy skin; Madam C. J. Walker launches new oils for hair

Lucire staff/23.25

Environ has improved on its Ionzyme range, with new ingredients (retinyl propionate and BHT) and a longer shelf life, and has given it a new name: Youth EssentiA. It’s positioned as a more premium offering, aiming to reduce visible signs of ageing and creating healthier, smoother-looking skin.
   The new range comprises the Hydra-Intense cleansing lotion, Vita-Peptide toner, Vita-Peptide eye gel, four-step Vita-Peptide C-Quence serums (£89·95 each), an Antioxidant Defence Crème (£66) designed to work with the serums, a Focus frown serum, Focus hydrating serum and Energising Masque.
   Environ’s Kirstin Kruger noted, ‘What people don’t know is that the skin needs to gradually become accustomed to increased levels of vitamin A. The Youth EssentiA range of Vita-Peptide C-Quence serums is based on Environ’s industry-leading Vitamin Step-Up system, which is designed to help skin become gradually more comfortable with increased levels of vitamin A and other ingredients that keep skin looking healthy and beautiful for life.’
   Meanwhile, for hair, Madam C. J. Walker Beauty Culture’s Scent & Shine Oil collection has been launched, with three silicone-free and antioxidant-packed lightweight oils retailing for US$26 each. The brassica seed oil helps smooth and silken heat styled hair; the coconut oil adds shine and protects against humidity; while the Jamaican black castor oil hydrates extra-dry hair and scalps. Each has a subtly scented formula, and can be used whether the hair is wet or dry. The new products are cruelty-free and do not contain parabens, sulphates, phthalates, artificial colours or fragrance, mineral oil, or alcohol.

October 3, 2016

Summer indulgence: the Body Shop’s Piñita Colada range

Bhavana Bhim/23.24

Summer is just around the corner—why not get yourself ready with a cocktail of coconut and pineapple for the skin? The Body Shop’s Caribbean-inspired Piñita Colada body range is ready to burst your skin with summer freshness.
   The range includes Piñita Colada exfoliating cream, body butter, shower gel and Fresh Body Sorbet. All these products smell divine with the hand-harvested coconuts from the Antilles region of the Caribbean, combined with zesty pineapple from the Santo-Domingo area.
   The Exfoliating Scrub (250 ml, NZ$47·50), smooths and refines the skin with real shredded coconut and pineapple extracts.
   Wash away the heat of the day with the shower gel (250 ml, NZ$17·50). The refreshing lather cleanses the skin.
   The skin-quenching body butter (50 ml, NZ$17·50; 300 ml, NZ$38·95) hydrates the skin in the heat of summer. The butter glides onto the skin without any sticky residue. Immediately the skin is invigorated with the fresh cooling scent.
   Finally, we sampled the Fresh Body Sorbet (200 ml, NZ$27·50). This lightweight product feeds the skin with the cooling moisture of Caribbean extracts.
   Treat yourself this summer and let the happy hour come to you with this limited-edition range. All products will be available in-store in New Zealand beginning October 3.—Bhavana Bhim

September 23, 2016

Gillian Saunders takes top honours at 2016 World of Wearable Art Awards’ Show, with Supernova

Lucire staff/11.00


New Zealand designer Gillian Saunders has scooped the Brancott Estate Supreme Award at tonight’s World of Wearable Art (WOW) Awards’ Show. Saunders, who had entered 15 garments before her winning entry, Supernova, has won eight awards prior to 2016, but this is the first time she has taken out the top prize.
   Saunders, who was born in England, has been involved in television and theatre for most of her working life. She was trained in Yorkshire, and went on to Christchurch, New Zealand, where she worked as a props’ maker for the Court Theatre.
   â€˜I had been making stage props for theatre and TV for years. WOW was the perfect challenge—could I make props for the body as well?’ she said.
   Supernova was inspired by ‘Thierry Mugler’s Chimera dress [from the autumn–winter 1997–8 collection], … the iridescent spiny fins of the Hippocampus from the Percy Jackson movie The Sea of Monsters, and some incredible NASA images taken by the Hubble Telescope,’ she noted. ‘Once all these elements were combined, Supernova was brought to life.
   â€˜The large gems represent new stars being born and the dark shadows represent deep space. Each scale has been individually cut, shaded with marker pens and then hand-sewn on to the garment. Each gem has had its sticky backing removed and then glued on by hand.’
   Saunders also won the Avant-Garde section in this year’s competition, judged by WOW founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff, Zambesi’s Elisabeth Findlay, and sculptor Gregor Kregar.
   Dame Suzie said, ‘Supernova has the design innovation, the construction quality and vibrant stage presence in performance to win WOW’s top award.’
   Saunders’ 2013 design, Inkling, won the Weta Creature Carnival Award and an internship for her at Academy Award-winning Weta Workshop. It is currently part of the WOW international exhibition, touring around the world, and presently at the EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington, where it will be displayed till January, after which the exhibition will head to the Peabody Essex Museum in Boston, Mass.
   She also won the Avant-Garde section in 2007 with Equus: behind Closed Doors, while in 2009, Tikini was second in the Air New Zealand South Pacific section.
   Designers from New Zealand, China, India, England, Australia, and the USA won awards in each section.
   The American Express Open section this year saw Renascence, by Yuru Ma and Siyu Fang of Shanghai take first place. The Spyglass Creative Excellence section was won by Mai (I), by Pritam Singh and Vishnu Ramesh of Gujarat. Queen Angel, by Adam McAlavey of London, won the MJF Lighting Performance Art section.
   Baroque Star, by Natasha English and Tatyanna Meharry of Christchurch, won the Weta Workshop Costume and Film section, netting the duo a four-week internship at Weta Workshop, plus travel, accommodation, and prize money.
   The Wellington Airport Aotearoa section was won by Maria Tsopanaki and Dimitry Mavinis of London, with their creation Princess Niwareka. The World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum Bizarre Bra section was won by Julian Hartzog of Tarpon Springs, Fla., with Come Fly with Me.
   Of the special awards, Dame Suzie chose Incognita, by Ian Bernhard of Auckland, as the most innovative garment, giving it the WOW Factor Award. Renewal, by Alexa Cach, Miodrag Guberinic and Corey Gomes, won the First-Time Entrant Award. The Knight by Jiawen Gan of the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology won the Student Innovation Award. The Sustainability Award, recognizing the protection of our environment and the use of materials that would otherwise be discarded, was won by Bernise Milliken of Auckland, for Grandeer. Digital Stealth Gods, by Dylan Mulder of Wellington, won the Wearable Technology Award. The Wellington International Award, given to the best international entry, was won by Daisy May Collingridge of Woldingham, Surrey, England, for Lippydeema. Collingridge also won the UK–Europe Design Award with this entry.
   Khepri, by Miodrag Guberinic and Alexa Cach of New York, NY, won the Americas Design Award. Yu Tan of Shanghai won the Asia Design Award with The Renaissance Happens Again, while Cascade, by Victoria Edgar of Geelong, Victoria, won the Australia and South Pacific Design Award.
   The David Jones New Zealand Design Award was won by Voyage to Revolution, by Carolyn Gibson of Auckland.
   The Cirque du Soleil Performance Art Costume Award, chosen by Denise Tétreault, Costumes Lifecycle and Creative Spaces Director of the Cirque du Soleil, was won by Digital Stealth Gods, by Dylan Mulder. Mulder receives prize money, flights and accommodation for a one-month internship at Cirque du Soleil’s headquarters in Montréal, Québec.
   WOW runs in Wellington, New Zealand, through to October 9, and will be seen by 58,000 people live during its run. It employs over 350 cast and crew.
   This year, 133 entries by 163 designers (some worked in pairs) were received, competing for a prize pool of NZ$165,000.


Renascence, by Yuru Ma and Siyu Fang, Shanghai.

Mai (I), by Pritam Singh and Vishnu Ramesh, Gujarat.

Queen Angel, by Adam McAlavey, London.

Baroque Star, by Natasha English and Tatyanna Meharry, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Princess Niwareka, by Maria Tsopanaki and Dimitri Mavinis, London.

Come Fly with Me, by Julian Hartzog, Tarpon Springs, Fla.

Incognita, by Ian Bernhard, at AUT, Auckland.

Renewal, by Alexa Cach, Miodrag Guberinic and Corey Gomes.

Grandeer, by Bernise Milliken, Auckland.

Digital Stealth Gods, by Dylan Mulder, Wellington.

Lippydeema, by Daisy May Collingridge, Woldingham, Surrey.

Khepri, by Miodrag Guberinic and Alexa Cach, New York.

The Renaissance Happens Again, by Yu Tan, Shanghai.

Cascade by Victoria Edgar, Geelong, Victoria.

Voyage to Revolution by Carolyn Gibson, Auckland.

September 7, 2016

The Body Shop’s new eye shadows, foundation, masks—either 100 per cent vegan or vegetarian

Bhavana Bhim/6.40

The Body Shop welcomes the southern spring with 100 per cent vegan and vegetarian products to improve skin instantly, with ingredients from all over the world.
   Its new Down to Earth eye shadow quads and Down to Earth palettes feature blendable, highly pigmented earthy hues that throughout the day. The shades are blended with babassu and sesame oils, which prevent creasing. The formula of the pigment is enhanced to bring out natural beauty. Functionality is key, as each individual shade clicks in and out of the palette casing, so you can mix and match to your own taste.
   The earthy theme resonates as the products are 100 per cent vegan, suitable for sensitive eyes with no traces of petrolatum and mineral oil. The Down to Earth palette (NZ$64·95) contains eight shades inspired by the Earth’s pale sands, cool metals, warm clays and deep gemstones. The shades are named accordingly: Sahara Dune, Aztec Gold, Provence Ochre, Bengal Granite, Peru Clay, Kilmanjaro Rock, Zawar Zinc and Black Canyon Onyx. These allow you to create looks ranging from smooth mattes, glossy satins and glimmering consistencies.
   To accompany the eight-shaded palette, the Body Shop have released new Down to Earth Eye shadow quads (NZ$49·95). The quads are available in five colour combinations, each designed to flatter every eye shade. We sampled Down to Earth quad 3, which contains the shades India Rose Quartz, Atlas Rhassoul, Cerro Rico Silver and Siberia Anthracite. The earthy rose quartz works well as a base, with seamless application. The three grey–metallic tones complement the rose quartz shade to give a statement smoky eye.
   To apply the eye shadow is the 100 per cent cruelty-free double-ended brush (NZ$33·95). The lightweight dual-purpose brush eases application: there is a buff brush to easily blend in the shadow, accompanied by a blunt-angled brush to quickly tight line the eyes. The handle is made from FSC elm wood and cruelty-free bristles. You can dampen the blending brush for a wet vibrant look, or apply dry.
   For a frantic lifestyle, the new Fresh Nude Cushion Foundation (NZ$53·50) is perfect for make-up coverage on the go. Made with 100 per cent organic Community Trade alÅ“ vera and English rose water, the foundation gives the skin a semi-matte texture and a natural yet even tone to the skin. Spare yourself time in the morning with the easy-to-blend cushion applicator which softly massages the foundation onto the surface of the skin. You simply push the cushion down to release the formula to a desired amount. This product is dermatologically tested, non-comedogenic, 100 per cent vegan-formulated, without petrolatum and mineral oil.
   You can bring the spa to your door with the new range of Superfood face masks (NZ$39·95). Superfoods are known to help the body, so why not treat the skin with the Body Shop’s new range? The masks are made from 100 per cent vegetarian ingredients from around the world, inspired by traditional beauty remedies. Formulated without parabens, silicone, mineral oils and paraffins, theses naturally made products feed the skin with goodness.
   The Amazonian Açai Energizing Radiance Mask is 100 per cent vegan and inspired by the rituals of Amazonian tribes. The mask contains ingredients from South America. Açai berry extract is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C which fights off the appearance of fatigue. Guarana extract from Brazil is known for its energy-boosting properties; Community Trade organic babassu oil from Brazil smooths and revitalizes the skin. Apply a generous amount to the skin leave it on for 10–15 minutes and, soon enough, your skin will have its energy back.
   The Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask is made from Community Trade honey, marula oil from Namibia and hydrating organic olive oil from Italy. This indulgent mask nourishes the skin, inspired by African healing and soothing rituals. The product is easy to apply to the skin; instantly, the surface appears replenished and rested. After the facial, the skin is softer and smoother in texture. The honey sourced from Ethiopia is rich in nutrients to revive skin. Marula oil from Namibia improves the skin’s elasticity, while the olive oil from Italy is rich in Omega 3 to help prevent dryness. All three ingredients work well to nourish the skin.
   The Chinese Ginseng and Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask brightens and removes unevenness from skin. The mask balances revitalizing ginseng, moisturizing rice extract from China, and Community Trade sesame seed oil from Nicaragua. The result is a creamy exfoliating mask which softens, evens, and reveals the brightness of the skin. Ginseng extract from China has been known for its skin-enhancing properties, while rice extract has traditionally been used to moisturize the skin. The mask smells divine, tingling the skin upon application. After application, skin imperfections are immediately reduced.
   The Body Shop’s British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask enhances the skin’s natural glow. Infused with rose petals, moisturizing rose essence from the UK, toning rosehip oil from Chile and Community Trade organic alÅ“ vera from México, this refreshing gel mask restores the skin’s moisture and gives it that petal-like smoothness. The mask is fragrant with the scent of roses, inspired by European bathing rituals. The ingredients gently calm the properties of the skin for a dewy youthful glow.
   Inspired by Ayurvedic traditions, the tingling Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask shakes up the skin’s senses. The mask combines powerful bamboo charcoal from the Himalayan foothills, exfoliating green tea leaves from Japan and potent Community Trade organic tea tree oil from Kenya. These ingredients cleanse impurities and excess oils from the skin, while the green tea leaves exfoliate the surface. This invigorating mud mask gives your skin an exhilarating new lease of life. Apply a generous amount; once the mask hardens and draws excess oil from the skin, gently remove with warm water.
   All products go on sale on September 12.—Bhavana Bhim

August 18, 2016

Stoneleigh’s right on trend with its Lighter wines, with 25 per cent less alcohol

Lucire staff/1.11

Can you have a wine lighter in alcohol yet still with the sumptuous flavours that the original is known for? Stoneleigh has cracked it with its Stoneleigh Lighter range, with grapes from the Rapuara vineyards, yet it has content that’s 25 per cent lower in alcohol compared with the original Stoneleigh range.
   The secret is in the sunstones at the vineyards, coupled with the sunlight and low rainfall—these allow grapes to develop their full flavour while their sugar content is lower. The wines retain the lifted aromatics and vibrant flavours that Stoneleigh is known for.
   â€˜To create these new wines, we looked at how we could best capture the characteristics of early ripening grapes in the Rapaura subregion. We identified grapes with the fullest flavour profile and harvested them early in the season to capture each varietal’s signature characteristics in the final wine,’ said Jamie Marfell, Stoneleigh’s winemaker (below).
   The Stoneleigh Lighter Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 has an ABV of 9·6 per cent, with pink grapefruit and capsicum notes with hints of passionfruit on the nose, and a palate of fresh citrus, stonefruit and passionfruit. Stoneleigh Lighter Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016 has an ABV of 9·8 per cent, with aromas of apple and nashi pear, complemented by tropical guava and pineapple notes. Finally, Stoneleigh Lighter Marlborough Rosé 2016 has an ABV of 9·9 per cent, with notes of wild strawberry, yellow flesh plum and summer berries.
   The range is available now in New Zealand through leading liquor retailers with an RRP of NZ$17·29.

August 11, 2016

A renewed energy for the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Giselle

Jack Yan/14.51

Stephen A’Court

Every opportunity to see the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Giselle is a renewed pleasure. First performed in 2012, and garnering a great review from this publication for its outstanding choreography and production. Conceived in Wellington four years ago by then RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel, with Johan Kobborg, Giselle has become one of the company’s signature ballets, performed in China, the US, the UK, and Italy.
   What was astonishing was being able to enjoy Giselle as though we had never seen the 2012 première: there was a freshness about the latest performance, despite our being familiar with the story. On opening night, Qi Huan, who had retired from the RNZB to teach at the New Zealand School of Dance, returned to take up the role of Albrecht, which we saw him perform in 2012. The years since his 2014 departure haven’t diminished his skills one iota: the ballerino still has a star quality that places him a cut above so many, and his entrechats in the second act showed the power and grace that we have come to expect from someone who has mastered his craft. Also performing Albrecht on other occasions is Daniel Gaudiello, former principal dancer of the Australian Ballet, who is similarly acclaimed.
   Lucy Green took the title role on opening night and it was her youthfulness that gave Giselle a fresh take; the drama of Giselle descending into madness in the first act was so well done that one couldn’t help but sympathize with her character’s pain. Her pas de deux with Huan were exquisite and romantic.
   Also of note was the extensive pointe work by the Wilis in the second act, which demonstrated that the RNZB remains on top of its game.
   Jacob Chown’s Hilarion and Mayu Tanigaito’s Myrtha deserve mention in supporting roles: the dancing by both performers was integral to the story and Chown’s battle with the Wilis was emotionally done; Tanigaito kept the pace of the less plot-driven second act going with intricate skill till we saw what had happened to Giselle and Albrecht. Tanigaito also plays Giselle in performances where Gaudiello is Albrecht, and it’s not hard to see her take on the role with aplomb.
   Stiefel returned to Wellington to fine-tune the production, working with his successor, Francesco Ventriglia, who was responsible for the casting of Huan and Gaudiello.
   Marc Taddei conducted Orchestra Wellington, also giving the performance a new energy, performing the full-length score by Adolphe Adam. He will also conduct the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra when Giselle reaches those cities.
   Giselle opened in Wellington on August 11, before touring to Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland, Rotorua, and Palmerston North, where the season concludes on September 9. Full details are at the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s website,—Jack Yan, Publisher

July 8, 2016

The Body Shop débuts Drops of Light and Drops of Youth—healthy solutions for younger skin

Bhavana Bhim/7.32

The Body Shop has created some new gems in their latest releases. The new Drops of Light Pure Healthy Brightening range contains  red algæ extract sourced from the waters of the North Atlantic sea. Combined with vitamin C, the products help to improve the skin by correcting dark spots and brightening the skin’s natural glow.
   The first product that we sampled is the Drops of Light Pure Healthy Brightening Serum (NZ$81·95). This product has a convenient oil dispenser which distributes a drop of cooling oil when applied to the skin. It rubs in easily, instantly refreshing the skin’s surface. There is also a subtle aroma of the red algæ and vitamin C which is pleasantly invigorating. Apply twice a day, morning and night, to achieve desired results.
   The second product sampled in the range is the Pure Healthy Brightening Day Cream (NZ$63·95). This tub is incredibly nourishing: it definitely melts into the skin, without feeling heavy and sticky. The product is light with an aroma of red algæ extract, promising to reduce the size and intensity of dark spots while hydrating the skin 24 hours a day. You should apply this liberally to reap the rewards of dewy skin.
   The Body Shop may not have found the fountain of youth, but claim to have found a few drops of it in its new Drops of Youth range. Inspired by the regenerating cells from plants, the team used stem-cell technology to harness the active ingredients sourced from the globe into their products. Cells from edelweiss, sea holly and criste marine have been sourced for the youthful skin care range.
   The edelweiss plant is known for its protective properties, originating from the high alpine mountains of Trentino-Alto, Italy. Sea holly is known for its firming properties, originating from the shores of southern Bretagne, France. Criste marine is known for its skin-renewing properties. The products are infused with these stem cell properties to hydrate and regenerate the skin.
   The first product sampled is the Drops of Youth Lotion (NZ$58·50). It is infused with all the stem cell power to prepare and activate the skin. The product activates the senses with a fragrant aroma of the triple infused plants. It glides on to the skin effortlessly, softening the texture.
   To further enhance the skin’s appearance, the second item sampled is the Drops of Youth Youth Cream, (NZ$59·95). When placed on top of the lotion, the cream revives the nature of the skin, giving it a soft dewy complexion. The dual power of the lotion and cream works well to enhance the youthful cells of the skin.
   Try the complete Drops of Light and Youth range, available in New Zealand from July 11.—Bhavana Bhim

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