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August 19, 2016

Miss Universe New Zealand beauty secrets: how to look like a contestant

Bhavana Bhim/2.24




Alan Raga/www.alanraga.com

Above: Semifinalist Mia Hofsteede and finalists Seresa Lapaz and Elizabeth Lorimer with some of the products Miss Universe New Zealand contestants received.

Have you ever wanted to embody the flair and confidence of a Miss Universe contestant? Well now you can as we have access to some of the beauty products given to the 2016 New Zealand semi-finalists. The finalists, meanwhile, enjoyed the products while on retreat and they’ll be using them as they near the Grand Final on September 3 at Auckland’s Skycity Theatre. All the stress and drama of pageants need not be fretted over when you are gifted with a range of products to rejuvenate the body and the soul.
   Of course all the smiling and speaking will eventually dry out your mouth, so it makes sense to use the Living Nature Lip Hydrator. It is an advanced lip balm in a stick to make it practical and easy to apply to the lips. The Lip Hydrator contains the active ingredient of manuka honey, along with an infusion of  butters and oils to deeply hydrate and condition the lips while mica gives lips a healthy sheen, along with natural sun protection. If you want universal nourishment then give the lip hydrator a go.
   Do you desire the luscious locks of the contestants? Then why not try the Juuce Reviva Cream, in Argan Shimmer and Knot Knotty. These products are bound to nourish the scalp and give your hair some flair.
   The skin of a contestant needs to be primed and ready for the cameras, so it makes sense for them to use the Body Shop’s Pink Grapefruit Body Lotion (60 ml). It is light and easily absorbed into the skin, with a zesty citrus scent to revitalize the senses.
   They also received products from the Samala Cosmetics line, from one of New Zealand’s most respected make-up artists and educators, Samala Robinson, bottles of 1Above—the Flight Drink, which helped finalists stay refreshed on their return flight to the Philippines for their retreat, and coconut water from UFC Refresh, a natural drink that helps keep skin looking good from the inside.
   They relax and unwind with Lipidol oils, designed to purify the skin with natural herbs. After a hard day’s work, it makes sense for the girls to use Lipidol products.
   There you have it, the secret to looking good. When in doubt give these products a go to give yourself a glamour boost.—Bhavana Bhim






Alan Raga/www.alanraga.com


Casey Pattinson

Above: Semifinalist Mia Hofsteede and Casey Pattinson, and finalists Tania Dawson, Seresa Lapaz, Elizabeth Lorimer with some of the products Miss Universe New Zealand contestants received.

July 19, 2016

Beauty potion no. 43

Lucire staff/21.40




Elizabeth Zuluaga

Above: Founder Nicci Levy and VIP guests check out the services at Alchemy 43.

A dash of Botox. A sprinkle of Juvederm. A pinch of Restalyne. No, it’s not a recipe from a sorcerer’s manual. It’s a “beauty compound” that is only part of the magic at Alchemy 43 in Beverly Hills, a revolutionary new beauty lab that merges the concepts of luxury and medical sophistication. Members of the press got an up close and personal look at the future of non-invasive cosmetic medicine at their July 12 media event. Guests sipped blueberry cocktails and nibbled colourful macarons while experiencing the Alchemy 43 recipe for a lifetime of gorgeousness.
   If you think med-spas are all about attitude, think again. The only attitude here is genuine joy: endless smiles and a warm welcome greet you upon entry. The sleek storefront space boasts a well-appointed waiting area with sunny atrium, chic treatment rooms, and a VIP loft for private events. But that is just the beginning. No, this is not a “sign your name at a busy front desk and wait” med-spa. After enjoying a chilled beverage, you will have your photo taken for 3-D imaging. A licensed staff “alchemist” will then discuss your needs and goals, using the enlarged image to show precisely how each treatment will look when finished. This allows you to view countless possibilities and combinations, and to quell the anxiety that often accompanies cosmetic procedures. These skilled practitioners have mastered the art of natural enhancement. No duck lips or frozen, expressionless faces here. The desired result is a subtly enhanced, rested visage.
   Post-treatment, everyone receives a refreshing oxygen infusion for faster healing. Or you can choose from the menu of reasonably priced beauty boosters including serums, peels, and microcurrent therapy. The final stop is the make-up studio featuring Kevyn Aucoin products, where an artist will give you an expert touch-up before you head back to work, home, or a night out. No one will know where you were, only that you look amazing. It`s all included, and their introductory packages make it downright affordable. For even more benefits and savings, “wrinkle relaxing” memberships are available to keep those fine lines far, far away.—Jody Miller and Leyla Messian




















Elizabeth Zuluaga

July 12, 2016

CHI launches an European-inspired tool for ultra-smooth hair styles

Bhavana Bhim/23.37


Audrey Hepburn once said, ‘For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.’
   Farouk Systems Inc. combines European æsthetic with state-of-the-art technology, as it launches the CHI Onyx Euro Shine Ceramic Hair Styler, designed to deliver optimal, salon-quality results as well as facilitating a more efficient styling experience.
   With the introduction of the Onyx Ceramic plates, you have the opportunity to let them glide through your hair. The name Onyx is derived from the Greek word meaning fingernail, as the smooth polished surface of the styling tool resembles that of a nail. Formed beneath the Earth’s surface as a natural mineral, the four-inch ceramic plates combine to promise desired shine and smooth texture.
   The advanced ion generator works with the onyx ceramic plates to produce two times more ions for noticeably smoother and shinier results. The plates are designed with bevelled, rounded tips offering seamless rotation and ease for styling long hair. In addition, an LED neon light bar clearly displays temperature settings for a selection of hair styles and types.
   The sleek black design is convenient in size, resembling the smooth Onyx-based texture. The two-pronged styling tool has accessible buttons to suit styling needs. Now you can experience the relaxation of fingers running through your hair, with the advanced technology in the CHI Onyx Ceramic Hair Styler.—Bhavana Bhim

May 17, 2016

Indie Beauty Expo (IBE): Hollywood’s “independents’ day”

Elyse Glickman/14.23



Clinique, Lancôme and L’Oréal may have been staples on our vanity tables for decades, but there is something about trying the best invention nobody’s heard of yet. The Indie Beauty Expo (IBE), staged at the the Shrine Expo Hall (best known as a venue for rock concerts and award ceremonies) was the place beauty bloggers needed to be to Tweet, Instagram and buzz about the latest and greatest skin, body care, and make-up maverick brands around the globe.
   The Shrine Expo Hall, under the direction of co-founder Jillian Wright (whose client roster includes Kim Kardashian, Ivana Trump and Kristen Wiig) was a feminine garden of delights. The harvest of fresh picks ran the gamut from colour cosmetics to hair care, professional spa lines, anti-ageing remedies, exotic indulgences (of the do-it-yourself home spa variety), vitamin supplements, fragrances and a smattering of gadgets designed to make the daily beauty routine cleaner and more sanitary (Potty Mints, for example, and Spongelle Spongelle Beyond Cleansing soaps, regulars at Doris Bergman’s always fabulous awards season parties).
   While many attendees are not old enough in our estimation to consider and compare the benefits of different anti-ageing remedies, we agree it never hurts to learn what’s out there and start spreading the news!* And with that, we present our picks for the most interesting and innovative goods in this garden among the 150 brands on display (twice as many as 2015, according to sources behind the event).
   Given current beauty trends, we saw a lot of organic oils and locally harvested products, bringing the farm-to-table mood from the restaurant to the vanity table. From argan to moringa, the event was a wellspring of beautifying oil, and with so many new brands vying for our attention, it was inevitable that a few stood out from the pack.

· Be Biotin, bebiotin.com.
· Circ-Cell, designed by a Wyoming entrepreneur for the rigours of mercurial weather: we think this line could be come more relevant in the wake of global warming.
· Cosmedicine: they had us with the rose-flavoured macarons, but we also admired the simply packaged, and user-friendliness of the product designs.
· Crème Collective: move over, Estée Lauder conglomerate! This line brings together definitively 21st century brands including Rituel de Fille.
· Florapy: conceived in California and made in Korea, this line of therapy facial masks (some for emotional well being and others for facial improvements) are made with organic coconut.
· Georgie Beauty: smaller is better, and this line for eyes is as focused as things get, with organic lashes, glues and liners. The founder is now making a portable cream blush, but she knows what she’s looking at in terms of the audience she hopes to reach.
· Glisodin Skin Nutrients: a collection of elaborately well thought-out vitamins and nutritional supplements that stress the importance of beauty from the inside out.
· Kesh: we love argan oil, as well as the direct pitch behind the line’s elegant packaging.
· Meder Beauty Science USA: we admire the way this Swiss line connects the dramatic results of professional in-office treatments with post-treatment home care.
· The Miracle Cream: many companies produce miracles in a jar, but we’re looking forward to testing out this all-body, all purpose cream with its blend of essential oils.
· MSteves: a few years ago, we covered the launch of Mally Steves Chakola’s sweet and simple rose hip oil-focused line, and are pleased she is still going strong.
· Native Atlas Botanical Skincare, handcrafted in small batches with ethically sourced materials gathered from all over the globe. The built-in plant-sourced vitamins and minerals nurture the mind, body, and spirit. Our pick from the line is the Liquid Exfoliant, which helps to refine and restore a clear complexion with blend of black willow and thyme and has been shown to enhance skin cell turnover.
· Nelson J Beverly Hills: one of our favourite local salon owners and colourists launches his own hair care line.
· Pacifica: the packaging is lust-worthy—we admit it. We look forward to trying the to-go make-up removers.
· Patyka, a renowned Parisian beauty house, converted old-school French luxury into exciting new ideas with certified organic formulations, making it the expo’s most elegant offering. The Huile Absolue Skin Booster Serum is the brand’s signature product. The 100 per cent natural serum for face, body and hair is carefully formulated with a powerful concentrate of 12 organic essential oils and plant extracts which effectively help regenerate new skin cells, boost the skin’s youthful resilience and restore a radiant glow.
· Revival Body Care: this collection brings the carefree, feelgood vibes and aromas of the beach anywhere with their collection of scrubs.
· Scentered: many companies are packaging perfectly lovely essential oils, but we love the way this UK company takes the concept to the next level, putting balanced blends into a solid, spill-proof and goof-proof format.
· UnWash turns the shampoo ritual on its head, with the conditioning step coming first.
· Ursa Major: simple, no-nonsense skin care for men and women with bracing aromas.
· Volanté Skincare: many product lines are promising clinic-like results at home, but we were impressed with how well prepared founder Elizabeth Vanderveer was in presenting the befores and afters with her products.
· Yuni is absolute genius. While the line was devised for active people who integrate workouts into their busy day, it is also ideal for transcontinental fliers and workaholics. Pop-up sheets, lotions and muscle relaxers allow you to feel fresh at a moment’s notice. It’s almost like having your entire home bathroom with you. All products combine natural ingredients, modern convenience, and mood-enhancing attributes into some very unique products. The No Rinse Body Cleansing Foam really caught our eye—a waterless solution to instantly refresh and foam away sweat, dirt and odour when you’re in a rush or a shower isn’t available. A blend of neem extract and alœ vera vanishes instantly with no rinse needed. Skin feels pristine and soft. A light aromatic blend of calming essential oils releases stress.—Elyse Glickman, US west coast editor, and Jody Miller, correspondent

* New York beauty sleuths will have their opportunity to survey a variety of emergent beauty brands and products on August 25 at the Waterfront in Manhattan. For more information, visit indiebeautyexpo.com/attend.









March 2, 2016

UAE’s Blowout & Go now offers GHDs, both for its hair services and for sale

Lucire staff/11.10


GHD has teamed up with Blowout & Go, the upscale mobile hair and make-up service in the UAE.
   Since its summer 2015 launch, Blowout & Go says over 4,000 women have used its services, and now its 25 style agents will be armed with GHDs.
   Blowout & Go founder Paria Ghorashi said that GHD was ‘the missing piece of our quest to deliver the highest quality blowout experience in the UAE’.
   The service will carry a full line of GHD products to help achieve the many hairstyles on offer for its clients.
   Blowout & Go will also retail the full range of GHD tools at its website, at shop.blowoutandgo.com.

Filed under: beauty, GCC, hair, Lucire
February 29, 2016

The Secret Room 2016 Oscar suite: the suite where everybody matters

Leyla Messian/5.06



There is something about W Hollywood Hotel that makes every VIP feel special, from the sweeping entrance to the red carpets that lead the way to the ballrooms and other public areas. How everybody else feels once they get to their destination is another matter, especially when it comes to pre-Oscar events. I am happy to report that the vendors appearing at the Secret Room’s Oscar “show” brightened my busy week with their unique and useful products.
   Fake Bake presented their new facial self-tan lotion that imparts anti-ageing properties, along with a golden glow. Fruit stem cells plus other botanicals preserve and repair skin cells that have been abused by the bright lights of flash photography. Cailyn Cosmetics introduced Pure Lust Matte Tint for lips in a variety of waterproof reds, fuchsias and natural hues that enable women to sip cocktails without leaving embarrassing lip marks on the glass.
   It would take damn good soap to wash off this long-wearing lip tint. Dam Good Soap, a hand-made Canadian skin-care-in-a-bar collection, is made from organic olive oil enhanced with raw cocoa butter, honey and pure essential plant essences. Each bar of soap can last up to three months. Wouldn’t you prefer to wash your face with Thai lemongrass, Breakfast in Paris, or pomegranate instead of the aroma of sodium laurel sulphate or petroleum? I know I would!
   Two medical-grade skin care lines shared the stage with another research-based anti-wrinkle fighting system. Dermesse introduced celebrities to their Facelift in a Bottle, a 99 per cent natural collagen serum. Those desiring to stimulate collagen production can try L-ascorbic acid serum, while others concerned with acne or sun damage can strengthen their skin with hyaluronic acid cream. Dermesse also complements their scientific product line with a simple, natural sugar scrub.
   Airelle showcased a hydrating masque made with pure New Zealand manuka honey, as well as a facial serum that delivers more hyaluronic acid to prevent fine lines. Ageoff 90 Second Facelift recommended a two-step fight against wrinkles. Ageoff Glow caplets deliver a 65 per cent increase in collagen levels after 60 days, while Ageoff Instant Serum hides wrinkles immediately for those of us desiring to look our best in a matter of seconds.
   Label M, a professional hair and skin care line, brought their official London Fashion Week hair care products to Hollywood. Gents can prep their hair for the big night with Label Men, which contains New Zealand tea tree oil and Indian sandalwood. Its clean, masculine scent would appeal to ladies as well! Curly girls can enhance their tresses with Label M’s Curl Cream, which contains jojoba extract and an Enviroshield complex that protects sensitive hair against heat and sun. For the finishing touch, Label.M also offers a Diamond Dust Body Lotion that allows you to shimmer in the lights, thanks to black and white diamond and pearl dust in a rose petal oil base.
   Chicago jewellery designer Jan Payser gifted celebrities and press with mixed-metal Crystal Glow necklaces. Her higher-end pieces are inspired by elements of nature—tropical birds and exotic orchids forged in sterling silver and embellished with pastel-coloured pearls. These works of wearable art have a one-of-a-kind feel.
   Amy James, from Grand Prairie, Texas, showed off her Amy’s Social Butterfly greeting cards. Each intricate card is hand made by the company’s owner. She uses tiny scissors and swivel blades to create peacocks, Oscar statues and the Hollywood sign. From a distance, her three-dimensional cards looked like whimsical cake toppers and party favours.
   Representatives from two Australian companies were on hand to introduce taste-makers and trendsetters to something comfortable for everybody. Rashoodz Swimwear keeps babies and toddlers safe from the sun’s harmful rays. They even have a line of sunnies for image-conscious tykes. Kathy Sheeran of Island Trading Co. showed off her set of cotton pillow cases and sheets that assure a good night’s sleep after a night of revelry.
   No Secret Room Style Lounge would be complete without something special for the four-legged fans of Young Hollywood. The Petzi Treat Cam allows pet parents to interact with their furry child from anywhere at any time. By downloading the Petzi app, you can summon your cat or dog in a language they understand (baby talk), dispense a treat, and watch them go wild with delight from the comfort of your own computer or smart phone. The Petzi even lets you photograph your salivating, excited pet and share it on your favourite social media site. Pavlov would be proud.
   During a season when it seems as if only the lives of the rich and famous matter, the Pocket People were there to remind all of us that everyone matters. The Pocket People’s ultimate goal is to spread their message of love, comfort and empathy through their doll collection. Each hand-crafted doll is just a little bit different; their World of Pocketopia “community” is one that truly values diversity.—Leyla Messian, LA Correspondent






















February 6, 2016

Indulge yourself with the Body Shop’s Spa of the World range

Lucire staff/10.57



If there’s a brand you already trust and admire, then it makes perfect sense for it to extend itself further into other areas. In the case of the Body Shop, it’s going into a more lavish, indulgent market, with the release of its Spa of the World line.
   Sampling the Hawai‘ian Kukui Cream (NZ$79·95), the Polynesian Monoï Radiance Oil (for body and hair, NZ$42·95) and the Himalayan Charcoal Body Clay mask (NZ$42·95), you already get the feeling that this is something more special and more premium than the other Fair Trade offerings from the company. The gold labels suggest this is the Body Shop, but with a difference.
   The cream takes its formula from Hawai‘ian tradition itself, using kukui nut oil to nurture and hydrate skin. There’s a pleasant, light scent and the oil itself is easily absorbed by the skin. It has a soft, butter-like texture (thanks to the use of cacao seed butter in the ingredients) when applied to the skin, and it’s a great first step in the Body Shop’s Spa of the World pampering.
   The monoï oil, which traditionally hails from Tahiti, is made from tiaré flowers soaked in coconut oil and follows a formula that has been in French Polynesia for centuries. This version of the monoï oil differs from the Body Shop’s existing Miracle Oil, with the addition of sesame seed oil for skin conditioning, more fragrances (though it still smells light and doesn’t overwhelm at all), and sunflower seed oil as an emollient. There’s a trace of gardenia extract for the scent. It works well in hair, provided you use a small quantity, and, with a larger quantity, leaves a pleasant, healthy glow on skin.
   Finally, the mask uses charcoal powder, giving a dark grey colour, and the 200 ml size, with its fairly thick consistency, means it will last. All you need is a thin layer on skin, focusing on tired areas, and after it’s dried (10 minutes or so), you can rinse it off. The skin feels softer and calmer.
   To complete the ritual experience, the Body Shop offers a twin-ball massager, made by a Fair Trade manufacturer in India that has funded two schools for 700 children, and the luxury facial flannel is soft and a great cleanser.

February 5, 2016

GHD releases Advanced Split End Therapy, for instant repair of split ends

Lucire staff/13.03



GHD has released Advanced Split End Therapy (retailing for NZ$38), a product that nourishes and fortifies damaged ends with what it calls ‘a blend of nutrient-rich ingredients’.
   Activated by the heat of a styler, GHD’s Thermo-Marine Bonding System binds broken hair fibres together, with the company claiming instant repair of split ends. The nutrients contained in the product then prevent future breakage by coating each hair strand.
   With as little as 10 ml, you massage the product through your hair down to the ends, concentrating on areas that show signs of damage. Section the hair, then blow-dry it using a GHD hair-drier, then divide the hair into small sections, passing a GHD styler over each section to seal the product.
   The company recommends its own GHD Platinum styler for best results, and advises you not to condition your hair prior to treatment. Hair should be dried using the lowest heat setting on a GHD Air hair-drier.
   The product is available from this month at GHD salons or, in New Zealand, via ghdhair.com/nz. For stockist information, call 0800 880-2019.

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