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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

July 11, 2016

Lane Bryant announces collaboration with Prabal Gurung, launching March 2017

Bhavana Bhim/15.49


Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Above: A design from Prabal Gurung’s spring 2016 collection. This is the sort of easy design that Lane Bryant fans might expect in the New Year.

Lane Bryant, the iconic label catering for sizes 14–28, has announced the exciting new collaboration with the celebrated American ready-to-wear designer Prabal Gurung. Gurung will be creating a limited-edition line of women’s fashion with his signature style exclusively catering for the 14–28 customer.
   Linda Heasley, CEO of Label Bryant, noted in a release, ‘Prabal is a master at mixing materials, fabrics and textures—he pulls it off in such a way that each piece becomes its own artistic statement. His ingenuity at mixing sporty ease with unabashed glamour has made his label a huge success. We are delighted to welcome him to Lane Bryant and offer his innovative fashions, spirit and unique styles to the Lane Bryant customer.’
   Gurung grew up in Nepal, and worked with Indian designers before moving to New York, interning for Donna Karan while studying at Parsons School of Design. His diverse background and eye for modern luxury and glamour is possibly why he is appealing to a range of clients around the world. Gurung has dressed a range of celebrities and dignitaries such as Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Priyanka Chopra. He brings a modern and unique vision to the collaboration.
   Gurung will be the fifth designer collaborating with Lane Bryant joining the successful Christian Siriano, Lela Rose, Sophie Theallet and Isabel Toledo collections. Gurung’s brand recognizes the importance of domestic production, particularly in respect to the quality of the finished product, and he aims to bring this awareness to an international audience.
   Gurung shared, ‘Designing clothes for the modern woman, one who is fashionable and unafraid of how she feels about herself, has always been my source for inspiration. I truly believe that confidence is the key and I continually strive to create clothing that allows women to look and feel their absolute best. I am thrilled to be working with Lane Bryant on this collaboration and look forward to dressing this bold and fashionable customer.’
   Lane Bryant will document the design process for the first time, making it available to a web-based audience on Lane Bryant social media sites.
   The collection is set to hit stores March 2017, and will be sold under the Prabal Gurung Exclusively for Lane Bryant label.—Bhavana Bhim

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 30, 2016

Letter from Venezia: a survival guide for summer ’16

Lucire staff/22.13




Paula Sweet

Above, from top: Venezia has legendary picture-perfect palaces all along the Grand Canal. Cruise ship departs, photographed from San Marco Square. Luna Hotel Bagioni’s Canova Restaurant.

Greetings from La Serenissima, where the sultry days of summer have descended as the lanes grow thick with eager visitors. It’s late June, and temperatures already read in the low 30s (high 80s for our US readers), humidity hovering around 65 per cent. By midday, as the sun burns through the Adriatic haze, gelato sellers enjoy a thriving business. Lucire has some insider tips to make your visit a happy one.
   1. Arrive mid-week to avoid the extreme crowds. The city has finally limited the number of cruise ships—at one time 15 a day were allowed—now held to three a day. The behemoth vessels arrive on Friday, depositing 15,000 extra day-trippers loosed into the ancient city on weekends. The city can be more navigable on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
   2. Expect higher prices. Venezia is old and delicate, and tourists a captive audience. There’s an old maxim for travellers, ‘Take half as many clothes as you think you need and twice as much money.’ This holds true for Venezia. As an example, a friend and her daughter sat down at one of the outdoor tables facing the Grand Canal, ordered two small pizzas and two bottles of water. Cost €50. Don’t be surprised!
   3. Wear a hat and keep hydrating. The heat is deceptive, so cover your head and don’t overdo it. If you want to help preserve Venezia, buy an Italian-made straw fedora from a street vendor in support of the local economy. It’s the most functional headgear for the weather and you won’t regret the stylistic flourish you take home. You may also find an afternoon siesta in your hotel room another strategy to beat the heat.
   4. Have a meal at an outdoor restaurant on via Giuseppe Garibaldi. Venezia’s best-kept-secret neighbourhood, where prices may be lower than Rialto or San Marco. A very typical quarter where you will see real Venetians going about their daily business. An easy 15-minute walk from San Marco, along the waterfront, just beyond Arsenale, facing the Lido and the open sea.
   5. Visit the Ghetto. 2016 commemorates the 500th anniversary of the founding of the historic district, located very near the train station. There on March 29, 1516, Jewish residents were granted exclusive sanctuary and permitted to live and do business. While no official celebrations are planned, the area has fascinating architecture, shops and exhibits.
   6. Explore fine dining at Venezia’s great hotels. During the summer, reservations at Venezia’s well known restaurants can be difficult to score. But many of the five-star hotels have great kitchens ready to show you the best of the lagoon’s catch, and new twists on classic preparations in their signature restaurants.
   There’s good news in this category from the Luna Hotel Baglioni, a favourite property located just off San Marco, which upholds an incomparable standard of hospitality and comfort. The hotel’s outstanding Canova Restaurant will soon have outdoor tables adjacent to the entrance, where lunch and dinner can be enjoyed on a quiet passage facing a little-known gondola landing. Fine cuisine, prime location and impeccable service are the hallmarks of this great restaurant.
   While we’re on the subject of the Luna, another new addition to the service package is the introduction this season of dedicated butler service, included with Junior or Senior Suite bookings. Maurizio, a career hospitality professional, brings the full complement of high-grade personalized service and acts as your primary contact to the Luna’s team and the outer world. His mission in life: to make any request come true.
   Hot tip: at the Luna, request Room 407, smaller in size, but with a balcony view of the Grand Canal and Doge’s Palace and a light-filled white marble bathroom. Highly recommended.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor



Paula Sweet

Above: Butler Maurizio adds to the Luna’s premium package.

June 29, 2016

Oh, pretty woman!

Elyse Glickman/21.06



It’s hard to believe that it’s been 27 years since Julia Roberts’ career and her character in the film Pretty Woman were transformed in the confines of the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. It also speaks volumes that Julia Roberts and this storied Beverly Hills property (now under the Four Seasons umbrella) still turn heads after all these years.
   Just as Julia Roberts has kept herself up to date, so has the hotel’s spa with some new additions. It was only fitting that the crowd-pleaser movie was playing in the background as beauty bloggers and journalists made the rounds to experience sample treatments including products from just added lines Évolué (officially styled in all lowercase, évolué) and Elemis.
   Évolué, created by Beverly Hills-based Jean Seo, features products integrating nourishing and luxurious ingredients sourced from around the world that mimic what the body naturally produces and loses with age. Besides her bubbly personality, Seo’s other top selling point is that her products are tested actresses and models rather than animals. Although Elemis is one of the UK’s top spa skin care brands, the Spa at Regent Beverly Wilshire will be one of the few US spas to feature the new Elemis Biotec system into several treatments. The focal point of the spa experience is a machine combining five technologies that are scientifically proven to increase cell energy for optimum skin function.



   With the event staged from 5 to 8.30 p.m., we could not think of a better way to spend happy hour, with beauty indulgences replacing food. However, as there were so many treatments in so little time, we each had our own differing sets of treatments. As there are usually drinks during happy hour, this event did not disappoint. Invitees were offered champagne or cold pressed juices by LA Juice to stay refreshed (though water consumption was also recommended.)



Elyse: After starting the evening with a manicure where I went outside my comfort zone, colour-wise (a robin’s egg blue by Creative Nail), I signed up to have a practitioner give my face a workout with a light, effervescent Brightening Antioxidant treatment. Next, I balanced things out with an oxygen facial with Natura Bisse products from Spain, and an indulgent Time Reversal Facial using a cocktail of products from Évolué. Between each 15-minute facial session, I enjoyed experimenting with essential oils by Dõterra (officially, dõTERRA) and had a blissful foot massage expertly handled by a cheery member of the spa staff. The practitioner at the Dõterra display claimed that the nose is a conduit to the psyche. After she guided my nose to the right scent suiting my mood and personality at the moment, she handed me a book and turned it to a page that explained how the aromatic oil could put me in a happier state of mind.

Leyla: I enjoyed the Time Reversal Facial, which uses Évolué’s simple, organic formulations. After removing a day’s worth of foundation, powder and eyeliner with their pure jojoba oil cleanser, they gently exfoliated my skin with a natural and less invasive alternative to microdermabrasion. The Évolué Resurfacing Grains, made with oat and milk powder, gently softened my skin without creating unsightly red patches. The treatment was topped off with a mask of face-plumping elastin and collagen. Next, I treated my face to the Biotech Firm-a-Lift by Elemis, which uses a combination of plant stem cells and hyaluronic acid to nourish the skin and reduce fine lines.
   The æsthetician also used an ultrasonic device to oxygenate the skin and stimulate cell growth. I appreciate the fact that Elemis’s products are steeped in scientific research. They do not make any claims without clinical trials. I followed this with a mini-version of the spa’s Elemis Amber and Orchids body wrap. The æsthetician massaged sweet orchid oil into my tired hands, and wrapped them in warm towels. The fragrance stayed with me for several days. For the final touch, I went to the Lea Journo Hair Salon adjacent to the spa for a lesson in contouring my face, “Kardashian-style”.

Jody: After already indulging in a couple of lovely mini-facials, I pondered whether I should sample another. OK, twist my arm! And lucky for me I did, because the Hydrafacial was my favourite. In a nutshell, it is a soothing hydra-dermabrasion procedure that combines deep cleansing, exfoliation, extraction (that’s right—it replaces painful extractions), hydration, and infusion of antioxidants. The result is skin that is clearer and more luminous without the discomfort or down time. It is an all-in-one facial wonder suitable for all skin types, and the cool mist topping it off is a perfect summer pick-me-up.

   Although the schedule was tight for all the guests, everybody found time to be treated to deliciously cool under-eye “gold” or “diamond” masks by Knesko. Better still, they sent everybody home with a gift bag that itself was the spa “to go”. The care package included a generous envelope with Knesco masks for face and neck, full-sized products from Évolué (Resurfacing Grains and Cleanser) and Elemis’s Biotech Skin Energizing Cleanser and Day Cream, featuring electrolytes and minerals our skin thirsts for. Of course, to maintain those benefits, it’s always good to provide incentive to return and leave it to the pros to work their magic.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor; Leyla Messian and Jody Miller, LA Correspondents

June 28, 2016

Keira Knightley to front Chanel Coco Crush campaign for autumn 2016, directed by Mario Testino

Lucire staff/1.48


Mario Testino

Keira Knightley is the new face of Chanel’s Coco Crush haute joaillerie campaign, directed by Mario Testino and scheduled to break in the northern autumn.
   In 2011, Knightley became the face of the Coco Mademoiselle perfume, and she also fronts the company’s Rouge Coco collection.
   Chanel describes its Coco Crush collection as ‘euphoric’ and ‘hedonistic’, featuring pieces that are ‘voluptuous, sensual and timeless’.
   Knightley’s upcoming film is Collateral Beauty, directed by David Frankel, where she co-stars alongside Will Smith and Kate Winslet.

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