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November 18, 2016

Rock, Gold and Romance with the Body Shop

Cecilia Xu/0.17




Above: Our pick among the Body Shop’s Jungle Bell Rocks make-up: the Go for Gold look.

The Body Shop never fails to conjure an exciting collection suitable for the festive season. This time, with make-up to amp up your holiday and party spirit, the Body Shop brings you Jungle Bell Rocks, a wild-for-Christmas colour campaign featuring three vibrant make-up collections: Rock the Night, Go for Gold, and a True Romance. Each with their own personality and character in differing colour combos, there will sure be one that fits your party mood.
   These limited-edition looks are carefully crafted to each include nail polish, shimmering eye colour sticks, an eye-shadow quad and the on-trend matte liquid lipstick. Get a completely different look with each set, or mix and match to create your own. My personal favourite is the Go for Gold, a neutral brown-gold eye with a matte, dark plum lip that has been so popular this year. This may be best for the party.
   A True Romance, as the name suggests, is perfect for the evening date: a flirty amethyst-plum eye-shadow palette with light sugar-sweet lips. Rock the Night is the statement look for a girl’s night out: with fierce gal-about-town matching red nails and lips, topped off with gleaming black and metallic eyes, this look sure speaks of a lively night out in loud celebration.
   The Gold Leaf nail polish in the Gold collection is great and extremely appealing, while the colours in the Rock the Night shadow palette have the most dramatic and daring flair, not for the faint-hearted. The début release of their Matte Liquid Lipstick is a great success I believe—the colours are fabulous and fun, and made to last as long as your night.
   Eye quads (with Community Trade sesame and babassu oils) retail at NZ$49·95; the matte lip liquid at NZ$19·95; eye colour sticks (with Community Trade babassu oil and beeswax) at NZ$25·95; and the Colour Crush matte lipsticks (with Community Trade beeswax, Brazil nut, argan oil and organic coconut oil) at NZ$29·95. The products are 100 per cent vegetarian, with no gluten, carmine, petrolatum or mineral oil.—Cecilia Xu

November 17, 2016

Sustainability in brief: Living Nature’s lipstick gift packs; Ümran Aysan introduces fashion label

Lucire staff/11.42



Living Nature’s Colour Me Beautiful lipstick gift packs have become a permanent line, featuring three complementary, certified-natural, organic lipsticks in each pack. They are presented in three themes: Colour Me Natural, Colour Me Romantic, and Colour Me Vibrant.
   Living Nature points out that in a lifetime, we can ingest up to 1·7 kg of lipstick, hence choosing ones with natural ingredients is vital. Living Nature’s lipsticks feature coconut extracts, vitamin E, and nourishing waxes, moisturizing the lips. They are allergen-free, have no synthetic chemicals or preservatives, and are safe for use during pregnancy. Retail price is NZ$75, and they are available through Living Nature’s website.
   Meanwhile, Ægean-raised, London-based designer Ümran Aysan is contributing to sustainability in fashion.
   As a counter to fast fashion, and with a desire to reintroduce craftsmanship and a respect for local and ethical sourcing, Aysan has launched her eponymous label, featuring pieces for resort 2017 using exquisite, natural fabrics. Look closer and you’ll see delicate needle-craft and other details from local artisans. Positive Luxury has deemed Ümran Aysan a ‘Brand to Trust’ for her commitment to sustainability and her support of local communities.

November 16, 2016

Ralph & Russo, Charlotte Tilbury, Anya Hindmarch among Walpole winners; Lucy Hale named ambassador for Casetify

Lucire staff/12.50

Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale has been named as a spokeswoman and creative director for Casetify, a company retailing cellphone cases, Apple Watch bands, Macbook sleeves and clutches.
   The capsule collection of 34 pieces has been launched in time for the new Apple Iphone 7, based around the idea of ‘delicate but daring,’ a motto credited to the actress. The designs reflect Hale’s tastes, including one with the quotation, ‘I like big brows and I cannot lie,’ as well as cheetah, floral and cacti prints, and one featuring her own dog, Elvis.
   Prices begin at US$40, and the range can be found at www.casetify.com/lucy-hale.
   The 15th annual Walpole Awards, presented in London on Wednesday, saw numerous fashion and beauty brands honoured for their contribution to luxury. Ralph & Russo won Outstanding Achievement in British Luxury, presented by Nadja Swarovski (right).
   Other winners included make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury, who won British Luxury Brand of the Year, and accessories’ designer Anya Hindmarch won the prize for Digital Innovation in British Luxury. Burberry and House of St Barnabas jointly won the Champion of British Luxury Sustainability award.

November 14, 2016

Green with beauty: a holistic understanding through Organic Spa Magazine

Lucire staff/11.50




Randall Michelson

Since 2007, Organic Spa Magazine has inspired and informed readers on green beauty and living. By no means limited to the world of day spas, Organic Spa educates and motivates on all aspects of a holistic lifestyle. At the famously posh Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills on a rather balmy October evening, members of the press were learned first-hand how Organic Spa has galvanized the once-niche market into a universally practised way of life.
   In addition to a cool gift bag filled with some of the latest and greatest in organic beauty (we’ll get to that shortly) and a tasting of some deliciously healthy food prepared with good-for-your skin enhancements, the event presented a panel and conversation with some true luminaries in fitness and eco-conscious beauty. These guest speakers included: Tracy Anderson, creator of the Tracy Anderson Method; Kimberly Snyder, nutritionist, yogi, New York Times best selling author; Christie Coleman, Head of Innovation for BeautyCounter; and Louis Schwartzberg, director, producer, and cinematographer.
   What was most impressive and refreshing is that none of them endeavoured to promote their brand or product. Instead, the exchange focused on the future of organic living and perhaps most vitally: a message of beauty from within. What can such an overused cliché mean, you ask? Simply put, ditch the celebrity and media stereotypes of physical beauty that bombard our lives. They are illusory and temporal, and have a tenuous hold on reality. Embrace balance and harmony at a slower pace of life. Remember that your beauty regimen starts from within and by respecting nature. Give back and you will be rewarded. Take it slowly, make a commitment and your beauty will be revealed.
   And now as promised, a peek at some of the hottest trending brands and products that are not merely naturally derived, but results-driven.
   When we say beauty comes from within, we’re not kidding. Neocell is a recognized leader in skin-enhancing nutritional supplements. Their DermaMatrix Collagen Skin Complex is part of their new Platinum Collection, a premium line of nutraceuticals targeting specific collagen systems. Firmer and more elastic skin is as easy as making a fresh smoothie using a scoop of the instantly dissolving powder. Other notable products in the line include berry-flavoured chewable Beauty Bursts, and the Move Matrix Advanced Joint Hydrator.
   A leader in the world of organic skin care, Mychelle Dermaceauticals introduces their most potent mask yet: the Perfect C Pro Speed Peel, a professional-level, one-step, fast-acting 25 per cent citrus fruit purée peel, formulated with 10 per cent L-ascorbic acid blended with L-lactic acid, Plant C-Stem, and retinal to deliver youthful, glowing skin. Also new from Mychelle are the Bio-Firm HydroGel Concentrate and Perfect C Radiance Lotion.
   From the UK, Earth Kiss Face Masks are energized with Himalayan shilajit, a prized ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine. Known as a potent skin rejuvenator, the 100 per cent natural masks are formulated with cherished ingredients from across the globe such as white Thai muds, ancient rhassoul clay and deeply hydrating boabab oil from Africa.
   ‘Slow beauty for a fast world’ is the motto of SpaRitual, a collection of delightfully decadent vegan body and nail products that never compromise on quality. The newest addition is a first-ever CC Crème for your nails, a combination treatment and colour that is infused with beneficial ingredients to help strengthen, smooth, brighten and protect while providing a no-polish-needed coat of sheer tint.
   Quick-drying, non-toxic, non-yellowing and vegan, Dazzle Dry is the fairy godmother of nail lacquers. For extra indulgence to relieve unsightly and itchy cracked skin, Hand & Elbows Cream contains potent bioactive ingredients to hydrate and exfoliate rapidly and efficiently, while allantoin speeds up new skin cell regeneration.—Jody Miller, LA Correspondent






































Randall Michelson

November 6, 2016

Olga Lomaka’s Artefacts: west meets east at Saatchi Gallery

Lucire staff/22.07




ValmonS Photography

For a short period, the Saatchi Gallery has been transformed into a temple with not just one, but a series of Buddhas. Each one of them has been “dressed up” into somewhat inappropriate attire, symbolizing the obsessive consumerist society we live in. From recognizable brands to modern-day icons to symbols instantly recognized by the millennials, the Buddhas silently, without judgement, point out how engrossed we all are into disconnecting from our spiritual selves and consuming more and more physical and digital content.
   Renowned London-based artist Olga Lomaka is presenting her latest exhibition, Artefacts. The leitmotif of the Artefacts is the clash of contemporary western and ancient eastern civilizations. It contrasts the principles of consumer society, its cultural and technological obsession, with the peacefulness and profoundness of Buddhism, the major religion of the east.
   ‘The project is ambiguous: I do not expect the viewer to make a choice, or to draw any dichotomies between cultures and notions,’ says Lomaka. Artefacts is a collision of tradition and spiritualism with what most of us see as being important here and now—the latest gadget, the latest trend. ‘I believe that only a harmonious balancing of these two attitudes can propel us out of the current “confrontation” between them. The wisdom of traditional past will help us advance on the path of our spiritual evolution,’ adds the artist.
   The concept of Artefacts may have surprised many but it certainly didn’t make the guests of Saatchi Gallery leave without questioning their values. Some of the Buddhas have travelled with Olga Lomaka to the prestigious Art Monaco fair where the she has been granted the Best Artist award. Some of the other Buddhas, including Fashion Guru, Miss Universe and Super Buddha were chosen to represent the artist at the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Firenze in 2017, where you could view them and ponder what is important to you. After all, there is never a wrong time to question your beliefs, right?—Elina Lukas, Correspondent



















ValmonS Photography, Erik Erxon, Deivydas Lekavicius

November 2, 2016

Topshop’s halo untarnished as it opens new stores while Sir Philip Green risks losing his knighthood

Lucire staff/11.10


CNN

As Topshop opens its doors in Wellington today, its second store in New Zealand, and in the wake of an announcement of a new flagship store in Dublin, Sir Philip Green, who chairs its parent Arcadia Group, has been under assault by British politicians.
   The most recent controversy surrounds Sir Philip’s knighthood, which was awarded to him for services to retail. However, a damning report published in July 2016 concluded that British Home Stores, which had been bought by Sir Philip in 2000 for £200 million and was formerly part of Arcadia, had been plundered, leaving BHS on life support. The mood in the Commons in October was that Sir Philip should be stripped of his knighthood, passing the amendment, ‘[This House] noting that Philip Green received his knighthood for his services for the retail industry, believes his actions raise the question of whether he should be allowed to continue to be a holder of the honour and calls on the honours forfeiture committee to recommend his knighthood be cancelled and annulled.’
   None of Sir Philip’s supporters were present at the debate, where MPs launched into attacks on the multi-millionaire whilst under parliamentary privilege.
   Also ignored as attacks were launched against Sir Philip was that, for a considerable period between 2000 and 2015, BHS employed thousands and the British establishment fêted the businessman. There were talks of a business venture with Simon Cowell, involving Cheryl Cole; supermodel Kate Moss created a line sold through Topshop. Even in the US, Sir Philip enjoyed a glowing reputation, winning a National Retail Federation’s Retailer of the Year Award. Between 2002 and 2009 BHS had paid £167 million of corporation tax, and capital expenditure had been £421 million while it was under Sir Philip’s control, according to Taveta Investments, his holding company. However, The Guardian believes that £580 million in dividends, rents and interest had been extracted by the Green family.
   While the motion does not mean Sir Philip will lose his knighthood, it will be difficult for the honours’ forfeiture committee, which considers the matter, to ignore.
   Sir Philip sold BHS for £1 in 2015 to investors led by Dominic Chappell—someone whom he now considers to be ‘categorically’ the wrong buyer; by April 2016 it had gone into administration, with the loss of 11,000 jobs and a £571 million pension scheme deficit. Sixteen years before the fund had been in a £5 million surplus.
   By July, the work and pensions’ select committee and the business, innovation and skills (BIS) committee issued a report which placed the blame of BHS’s collapse at Sir Philip’s feet. They accused him and others of extracting hundreds of millions of pounds from BHS, enriching himself and his family, and that he showed little business acumen. The committees further labelled the ‘systematic plunder’ of BHS ‘the unacceptable face of capitalism’, a term once linked to the Lonrho conglomerate in the 1970s and its chief executive Tiny Rowland. The committees also concluded that Sir Philip failed to invest in the business and that he was ultimately responsible for the pension fund’s deficit.
   BHS’s overseas franchises and its website were sold to Al Mana Group, under which they have thrived.
   Earlier in October, it is believed that Prime Minister Theresa May’s reference at the Conservative Party conference to business people who ‘take out massive dividends while knowing that the company pension is about to go bust’ was about Sir Philip.
   The man who chaired the work and pensions’ committee, the Rt Hon Frank Field MP, launched into a further attack on Sir Philip on Channel 4 News on October 18, forcing Taveta to counter the statements. Field said that Sir Philip was now running Arcadia ‘into the ground like BHS,’ and warned that Arcadia staff should be concerned for their pension fund.
   The same week, Sir Philip pledged to find a solution to the pension deficit in an interview with ITV and was ‘very sorry’ for those affected by the collapse. He claimed that he was in discussions with the Pensions’ Regulator to find a solution, though the Regulator stated that it was yet to receive a ‘comprehensive and credible’ proposal.
   On ITV, Sir Philip defended the years during which a dividend was taken out, stating that BHS was profitable at the time, though the committees concluded that those profits were made by cost-cutting and squeezing suppliers. He believes that the support he and his company gave to BHS from 2005 was closer to £850 million.
   Chappell, meanwhile, facing criticisms from Sir Philip, supported the stripping of Sir Philip’s knighthood.
   There is an ongoing investigation into the failure by the Insolvency Service while the Serious Fraud Office has begun looking into the matter.

October 26, 2016

Fashion in brief: Emporio Armani launches smartwatches; Topshop opens in Wellington on November 3

Lucire staff/0.31

Emporio Armani has entered the smartwatch sector with its Connected Hybrid range, mixing the design flair of the traditional watches with the latest technology.
   The watches sync with smartphones via Bluetooth, and have features such as automatic time zone updating, notifications, activity tracking, extended use without charging, easy access to music playlists, sleep-pattern monitoring, alarms, camera, and a lost-phone locator. The watches are available in pink, black, gunmetal and silver, with stainless steel or leather straps.
   Founder Giorgio Armani said, ‘Today, technology influences our daily lives profoundly. There’s an app for everything, and I find that, in many cases, they are inventions that actually improve our lives. I am delighted to introduce the hybrid connected watch that places the Emporio Armani brand at the forefront of innovation in the connected accessories’ market. This line of watches combine sleek design, advanced technology, immediacy and ease of use.’
   The watches are now available on www.emporioarmaniconnected.com and from selected stores and resellers worldwide.
   Meanwhile, Topshop will open its second New Zealand store in Wellington, at 256 Lambton Quay, on November 3, followed by a weekend-long celebration of giveaways and activities.
   The location will have both Topshop and Topman brands. In-store weekend events include DJ performances, photo walls, food, and beauty touch-ups.
   Topshop first opened in New Zealand in Auckland two years ago.



Above: Topshop and Topman make it to Wellington, New Zealand.

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.

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