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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

July 5, 2016

Look Good Feel Better ups the ante for Feel Better Month; buying beauty products donates to the cause

Lucire staff/14.25



Look Good Feel Better, the charity that helps those diagnosed with cancer experience transformational workshops so they can feel normal and treated as an individual, has its Feel Better Month in July.
   The month, which seeks to raise funds to host workshops for thousands of women, men and teenagers, aims to help Look Good Feel Better increase the number of workshops it can hold. Last year’s campaign raised funds which added three in Auckland, plus additional workshops in Kapiti, Hawera, Taumarunui, and Kerikeri.
   Those wishing to support the cause can donate online at www.lgfb.co.nz/donate/ or offline at Farmers stores, add NZ$1 to purchases at Unichem or Life Pharmacy, buy selected lipstick or nail varnish from Farmers (for each lipstick sold, Farmers and the cosmetic brand will donate NZ$1), indulge in a mini-facial or purchase Look Good Feel Better merchandise, including nail files, butterfly bracelets and bookmarks, host mini-fundraisers on Fridays, or gift their time.
   ‘Our aim is that nobody should have to travel more than 30 minutes to attend a class, and we are determined to extend our programme to ensure we deliver on that,’ said Clare O’Higgins, Look Good Feel Better’s general manager. ‘To imagine putting somebody on a waiting list because we cannot provide a class for anybody is heart-breaking when you consider what they are going through. We never want that to happen. That means we need to provide more locations, more tutors, more make up volunteers and cosmetic products—and more funds.’
   The charity believes there is an immediate need for more workshops in Christchurch, Rangiora, Queenstown and Wanganui.
   An estimated 1,800 people will be diagnosed with cancer in July in New Zealand, and they will face 36,000 medical appointments during their treatment.



July 4, 2016

Sponsored video: in the spirit of Jurassic World, Energy Online launches its latest spot

Lucire staff/10.31


Energy Online has launched a sequel to its viral video from 2015, which showed door-to-door power company salespeople get scared off by an angry door-knocker.
   The message from the Genesis Energy brand is that door-knocking is so 20th-century, and it’s far easier and less threatening if you went to a website to make up your own mind.
   Even though the ad proved a hit, Energy Online has decided to do a follow-up for 2016, with the action dialled up considerably in a post-Jurassic World era.
   The salespeople are more international this time and have a range of accents, although the surprise guest who greets them only has one: scary.
   A house with a sign, ‘Doorknockers Beware’ and an illustration of a dinosaur tells the sellers just what to expect. The connection between a prehistoric creature and door-knocking being old-fashioned might not be that subtle, but it makes for a very humorous spot.
   The real kicker is that the dinosaur is called ‘Mr T’, though it’s not as big as a tyrannosaurus rex.
   And while filmed in a “hidden camera” style, don’t fear: the salespeople are actors and, like the 2015 spot, there’s some clever computer-generated imagery involved.
   Energy Online says that, on average, people spend nine minutes a year interacting with their power company, so they wanted something fun to cut through all the messages and media people get these days.
   As a challenger brand, they wanted things to be more fun and light-hearted, and hired Contagion, the agency, to create the various spots for them.
   You can sign up to Energy Online with the button in the video below.


Post sponsored by Energy Online but all thoughts and statements are our own

Filed under: New Zealand, TV
June 24, 2016

Jameson’s Caskmates launch in New Zealand, blending whiskey and stout; Stadler Form launches art-déco fan

Lola Cristall/23.23


Jameson Caskmates has launched in New Zealand, after its successful run in Ireland last year. Jameson loaned some of its Midleton Distillery casks to the Franciscan Well brewery in Cork to see what would happen to the brewery’s Irish stout, after a plan was hatched by Jameson Master Distiller, Brian Nation, Master of Whiskey Science, Dave Quinn, and Franciscan Well founder and head brewer, Shane Long when they met in Cork. The casks were then returned to the Distillery and filled with Jameson Irish Whiskey.
   The result was a Jameson Caskmates: a triple-distilled, ‘once stouted’ whiskey with a distinctive taste that features notes of coffee, cocoa, butterscotch and gentle hints of hops.
   Jameson expects that those who enjoy craft beer and whiskey will take to the blending of two disciplines, with a particularly versatile drink. Jameson Caskmates is bottled at 40 per cent ABV and goes on sale in New Zealand from July 2016, with an RRP of NZ$55·99.
   Stadler Form’s art-déco Q Fan is a stunning work of art that looks gorgeous in any part of the home. While it’s a considerably quiet fan, the strength of the three blades projects plenty of cool air. Whether the simplicity of silver or the boldness of bronze, each colour flawlessly complements its surroundings. Weighing as light as 4 kg (slightly less than 9 lb) the fan comes in three distinct speed levels, adapting according to the environment. Despite the intensity of the hot temperature, it rapidly releases cool air in a minimal amount of time. Designed by famous designer Carlo Borer, the fan is in the form of the letter Q, its stainless steel shaped into an absolute work of art.
   The brand was founded by Martin Stadler in 1998 in Zug, Switzerland. Stadler Form collaborates with renowned Swiss-based designers including Kurt Zimmerli, Fabian Zimmerli and Mathias Walker. Stadler Form has become an internationally distinguished brand, distributing its array of inventive products to more than 40 countries, including humidifiers, fans, air purifiers, heaters, dehumidifiers and aroma diffusers.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor, and Lucire staff




June 2, 2016

Karen Walker Eyewear releases campaign for limited-edition 2016 Superstars range, including Parris Goebel video

Lucire staff/15.00



Mikhail Gherman

Above: Karen Walker Eyewear’s Cosmonaut style (NZ$409), part of its limited-edition Superstars releases for 2016.

Karen Walker Eyewear has just released its campaign imagery for its limited-edition Superstars range.
   The campaign has been photographed and art-directed by Walker’s husband, Mikhail Gherman.
   An additional video, called Karen Walker Dancing Heads, featuring choreographer–rapper Parris Goebel, has also been released, a collaboration between Goebel, Walker and videographer Barnaby Roper.
   The brand releases a limited-edition Superstars line each year, which takes its most famous styles and re-releases them with new colours.
   The Superstars line for 2016 comprise favourites Harvest and Super Duper, with new shapes dubbed One Orbit, Moon Disco, Cosmonaut and Star Sailor.
   The company says this year’s range has ‘astronaut-inspired colourways’, with classic black, Crazy Tort (Karen Walker Eyewear’s popular tortoiseshell style), and yellow and rose-gold mirror with metal detail.
   Superstars is available from Liberty in the UK (from May 5), Barney’s (from May 16), Karen Walker stores (from May 23) and other global partners (from June 1).








Mikhail Gherman

Above, from top: Super Duper, in gold (NZ$349). Harvest (NZ$349). Moon Disco (NZ$349). One Orbit (NZ$369). The remaining three photographs are of the Star Sailor style (NZ$409).

May 20, 2016

An extensive Scope: NZ School of Dance blends Choreographic Season pieces into thoughtful, cohesive work

Jack Yan/14.13





Stephen A’Court

Above, from top: Connor Masseurs. A scene from Scope. Kent Giebel-Date and Christina Guieb. Christina Guieb.

The New Zealand School of Dance’s Choreographic Season for 2016, Scope, blended its 10 performance so seamlessly, and with related themes, that it worked well as a single, larger piece, despite the many talents and styles involved in choreography, music and dance.
   Each time we attend an NZSD performance, we’re always impressed by how they mix things up. Sometimes, it’s in the style of dancing or the changes to the venue. This time, they’ve surprised us yet again by not having breaks between each work, allowing them to flow naturally. Other than at the beginning, when half-dressed dancers emerged on stage in a row, only to have their neatly folded outfits fall from the sky, there were also no costume changes.
   Scope’s notes hint at the related themes, all centring on the energies that drive life on Earth, and how humanity can be destructive, but also how it can unite and bring people together. The flow did mean it was sometimes difficult to see when one performance finished and another started—this is not meant as a negative criticism, because the effect is that the audience became particularly engrossed.
   The performances flowed so seamlessly thanks largely, we believe, to the collaborative processes by the 10 graduating students of the New Zealand School of Dance, who created and performed their own works, cooperating with lighting and sound designers as well as fellow students in following years. It was particularly immersive, more so than the 2015 season that Lucire thought very highly of.
   In a release, the show’s coordinator, Victoria Colombus, herself an alumna, noted, ‘This year the New Zealand School of Dance students and Toi Whakaari students are cultivating a very collaborative working process. They have been working together to investigate overriding themes and how they can utilize different elements of stagecraft and performance to sew together these common threads.’ It worked.
   ‘Trophics’, choreographed by Tristan Carter with music by Te Aihe Butler, involved the entire cast, essentially evolving. The first scene showed them essentially running on to the stage but as they progressed, their moves became more complex, as though they discovered they had more limbs and abilities. This evolved into the next performance, printed in the programme with a blank box and the cubed sign as its title, with the introduction of white boxes as props but signifying that we can find peace among our busy lives. Christopher Mills’s ‘Box Cubed’ (for ease of typesetting here) concluded with female dancers calling out to others scattered among the audience, the matriarchy evolved into the patriarchy with ‘Obelus’, a male-exclusive performance that mixed martial arts with the flow of dance, examining themes of rivalry, the toppling of leadership, and the resulting power vacuum. There was thoroughly enjoyable choreography by Jag Popham.
   From here the performances became more otherworldly—and one can see the evolutionary theme continue into a more technical arena. ‘The Private Sphere’ introduced themes of contrast: ‘Plastic fruit and tending flowers. Air freshener and painted landscapes,’ read the programme, but we saw it as humanity’s attempt to introduce technology, but not always in a pleasant way. Dancers mimicked robotic movements as they portrayed artificial materials; could the theme have been the draining of humanity from our everyday lives? From Isaac di Natale’s ‘The Private Sphere’, we moved into Breanna Timms’s ‘Atlas of Intangible’, where the movements became fluid again, almost to show that advancements can see us claw back our humanity. Timms’s idea was to show the connections between all life through energy, how the actions of one influence another, and this was done with great beauty and more tradition in the choreography, helped with music such as Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s ‘Summa for Strings’.
   Samuel Hall’s ‘Come along and Feel the Kairos’, a reference to that perfect moment, involved audience members in the front row (Lucire’s second-row seat meant the note-taking continued), who became part of a mass performance. Dancers in the centre connected while one remained outside the lines formed by the audience and their guides; and despite the presence of amateurs on stage there was a flow that held our attention.
   ‘Blight’, choreographed by Tiana Lung, had many layers that tied back to earlier themes of technology and humankind’s attempts to quell nature as a result; a dancer representing new life is controlled and quashed by existing life forms. ‘Shaving a Cactus’, choreographed by Holly Newsome, again introduced a technological theme (helped by Crooked Colours’ ‘Step (Woolymammoth × Tsuruda Remix)’ as the soundtrack) and synthesized voices which dancers. Te Aihe Butler’s music editing for Jessica Newman’s ‘XXX’ took us back to the start thematically, with sound effects that were basic and raw. The whole cast returned for an energetic finalé in Isabel Estrella’s ‘Temenos’.
   Scope, the New Zealand School of Dance’s Choreographic Season for 2016, runs from May 20 to 28 at Te Whaea, the National Dance and Drama Centre, in Newtown, Wellington. Tickets are priced from NZ$12 to NZ$23; bookings and further information can be found at the NZSD’s website at www.nzschoolofdance.ac.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher


Stephen A’Court

Above: The third-year contemporary students at the New Zealand School of Dance for 2016.

May 12, 2016

A Billion Lives has world première in New Zealand, revealing powerful forces aiding the tobacco industry

Jack Yan/11.16


Jack Yan

Above: The team behind A Billion Lives, and Doc Edge organizers Dan Shannon and Alex Lee.

Those of us outside the vaping world have probably looked at e-cigarettes, wondering why on earth these could be better for your health. Or we may have thought they were a fad, since the only people I knew who vaped were tech hipsters, who enjoyed vaping as though it was a matter of course, and nothing to be curious about—thereby keeping their habit a closed shop. But then, perhaps they were tired of repeating themselves, and had settled into being comfortable with their e-cigs.
   A Billion Lives is a documentary that takes a look into this world, but it does so much more. The title refers to the number of people who can be saved if they give up smoking, but there are powerful forces at play to ensure that people don’t. And those forces have ensured that there is misinformation about vaping and the potential for the technology to save lives.
   Filmmaker Aaron Biebert, who directed and narrated the film which had its world première in Wellington as part of the Doc Edge Festival, journeyed to 13 countries on four continents to find similar patterns worldwide: here is a life-saving technology of e-cigarettes, but governments were banning them or fining citizens over their use, ignoring the science and deciding to be complicit with the tobacco industry in keeping people addicted to a harmful product. Instead, governments spend money spreading lies about e-cigarettes, calling them a gateway to cigarettes, or that one could get formaldehyde poisoning, claims that the film demonstrably refutes. E-cigarettes are not completely safe, and the film acknowledges that, but they have proven to be a successful tool to help those giving up smoking, especially where mainstream solutions have failed.
   In his own country, the US, Biebert points out that governments collect far more revenue from cigarette taxation than from several industries combined, and have no real incentive to cut off the flow of dollars. E-cigarettes, which were invented by pharmacist Hon Lik in China, were conceived as a way to give up smoking, and have been successful for 30 million people around the world. A Billion Lives points out that nicotine is not what causes lung cancer, and that the US Surgeon-General has said as much. What are harmful are the tar and 4,000 chemicals in modern cigarettes. It equates nicotine with coffee in terms of addictiveness, and the figure of 95 per cent less harmful than a typical cigarette featured prominently in the film. Vaping essentially allows one to get the pleasure of nicotine without the harm of the tar and toxins.
   Yet as a society, we have come to equate nicotine as being the evil, addictive substance, and that’s no accident.
   This point is made halfway into the film, with a good part of the first section looking into the history of cigarettes (Flintstones sponsor announcements for Winston cigarettes elicited laughs from the audience), and David Goerlitz, the Winston male model from the 1980s, being a particularly effective interviewee, discussing how he went from a smoking advocate earning millions to having a crisis of conscience when his brother developed lung cancer and died. Goerlitz went to the other side, and became a high-profile spokesman who was able to talk in plain language just what governments, Big Tobacco, and Big Pharma (which sells patches and gum, and would like to continue doing so) were doing. Health professionals were being marketed to far more than the public, permitting Big Pharma to continue to sell its products, the film notes.
   Biebert was able to get other interviewees at a very high level, including Dr Derek Yach, the former executive director of the World Health Organization, and Dr Delon Human, former president of the World Medical Association, among others, speaking plainly about how lives could be saved through vaping e-cigarettes, a tool which could get smokers to kick their habit.
   Meanwhile, the pro-smoking side was represented through historical clips—you get the feeling that we had only touched the surface of what was out there, with corporations spending thousands of millions to fund biased studies and get on to our airwaves.
   Beautifully shot and scored, this independently funded feature tells a story about our times and just why so many citizens today are wary of their governments and multinational corporations. Those who oppose global trade agreements, for instance, do not do so in isolation—and while A Billion Lives takes no political side, it does tap into the Zeitgeist of our modern suspicion about what is on our airwaves and what are the motives behind it. Like Adam Curtis, whose documentaries seek to explain the complex in simple terms, Biebert has done the same, narrating and directing, although he appears on camera as well when narrative gaps need to be plugged. He is an honest, frank speaker, and gives the film a personal touch.
   Young smokers who tried e-cigarettes were often people who already smoked and saw them as a way to give up their addiction, and most, Biebert pointed out in a post-screening Q&A, were not even using nicotine in their e-cigarettes.
   Yet the state of California, where Biebert is based, spent $75 million telling us about the evils of e-cigarettes, said the director in his Q&A; while in the film, he points out that US federal funds were being illegally used for lobbying activities. The American Lung Association had deceived the public, too, notes Biebert, who told the audience, ‘If you get powerful charities on side, you can do anything.’ The increasing restrictions on e-cigarettes in the US, the subject of federal lawsuits, was equated to ‘Prohibition II’.
   Dr Marewa Glover of End Smoking NZ, who introduced the film at its première, said that young people were using e-cigarettes as a way round peer pressure, when people in their circle smoked.
   However, Australia has already banned e-cigarettes, with one interviewee, Vince, who sold them, telling a story about being raided by authorities and now faces losing his home as he fought the government on principle. He believed firmly he was saving lives. There are massive fines for vaping in Brunei and Hong Kong. There were restrictions in New Zealand, too, noted Glover, although those who sought to misinform were technically in breach of the country’s health legislation.
   Biebert says he is neither a smoker nor a vaper; but all good documentary-makers, he had a commitment to get the right information out there. He acknowledges that vapers have not given themselves the best image, either, and that A Billion Lives can only be one small part of getting the truth out.
   ‘We need to cut the head off the monster,’ said Biebert, ‘and the monster is being funded by big business. We need more than the movie. People need to get the right information.’
   He added, ‘The truth ends up winning. Even condoms were illegal in the US at one time.’
   A Billion Lives will begin making its way to other countries. The website is at abillionlives.com, while the movie’s Instagram is at abillionlivesfilm.—Jack Yan, Publisher


Above: The author (centre) joins Aaron Biebert, director (left) and Jesse Hieb, producer, for a photo.

May 1, 2016

New fashion retail locations: Swarovski in Covent Garden, and Sills & Co. in Wellington

Lucire staff/13.29

Swarovski will open on May 7 in St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden.
   The new 141 m² store will be situated on Long Acre alongside Barbour, L. K. Bennett and COS, and will stock the company’s jewellery and watches.
   ‘We are delighted to be opening our Swarovski boutique in St Martin’s Courtyard. By positioning ourselves at the heart of one of London’s key shopping scenes, our unique store concept and beautiful displays will hopefully inspire and introduce a new set of fashionable customers to the Swarovski brand,’ said Hayley Quinn of Swarovski UK and Ireland.
   Meanwhile, last month, Sills & Co. opened its flagship store in Wellington’s Old Bank Arcade, with its labels Caroline Sills, Sills and Isaac & Lulu.
   The newest label of the three, Isaac & Lulu, is a more fashion-forward brand, named for head designer Ange Todd’s daughter Lulu and Caroline Sills’ grandson Isaac, and is described as being feminine and youthful.


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