Saturday, June 30, 2012

Baby, it's Cold Outside - Winter Skin!

Winter & pregnancy is playing havoc on my poor parched skin, so lately I have been rifling through my makeup stashes to find the best & most nurturing & moisturizing products I can find. In Winter, switch from lightweight moisturizer to something heavier and more protective barrier from cold and wind. It is a myth that oily skins like mine (with an oily T zone) can't use thicker, oily moisturizers. I need them in Winter! Moisturizer containing glycerin, aloe, and vitamin E are good.
I am a fan of most Estee Lauder products. My friend Owen Allison is the National Makeup Artist for Estee Lauder. For Winter skin, Owen's fave is Estée Lauder Triple Creme Skin Rehydrator for Winter skin, a 10 minute super hydrating masque including sweet almond oil that boosts moisture levels and revitalizes dry skin.

Owen and I are also fans of Estee Lauder's ReNutriv, which I was lucky enough to try a sample of recently. This is a luscious luxuriant cream. From the Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Collection, this cream feels like velvet on the skin and decadent, and seems to brighten and soften skin overnight. My skin feels silky smooth using this product.
Another thick luscious cream is this Karin Herzog Additional Sweet night cream which was a gift once. I used it during a frosty Winter and it was one of the best Winter creams I've ever tried! The thick cream really sinks in to dry skin, and  it's packed full of Vitamin C, E, Wheatgerm and avocado oils that make your skin feel plump & hydrated.  
I received another handy gift recently in Dr. Hauschka's Rose Day Cream and I love it for Winter! It has a thick slightly oily consistency, yet doesn't make my skin feel greasy (You can get a Light version also). I apply it after the shower in the mornings and then apply my makeup. It has a luscious rose scent. Including rose oil and avocado, this cream is also kind to skin and non-irritating.
Owen also recommends hydrating foundations and you can also mix moisturizers with your foundation, to add extra hydration during Winter. I wear Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear in Winter and Summer for a lighter coverage but it has SPF and is thick & feels protective against the elements - both sun, and wind & cold.
For cold Winter nights I love thick, beautifully scented moisturizers.  Origins Night A Mins is smooth & smells delish! It includes Vitamins C, E & H & a gentle exfoliate to slough of dead skin overnight - a double whammy! 

Owen also advocates Retinol creams: " No skin cream will improve your skin more than Retinol. Try Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream-Night - with multi vitamins - approx $26 . This well packaged product produces better results than 99% of all other Retinol products as most are packaged in the incorrect format to keep the Retinol stable e.g. jars/tubs are a disaster for keeping the creams active after they have been opened. Retinol works by the Vit A contact of Retinol reprogramming the skin to operate in a youthful manner and reorganizes the collagen into a youthful pattern...worth it's weight in gold! Don't forget to use this product on hands/neck and chest as these areas all get over exposed and show lots of aging.

I also often use an oil or serum on dry patches. It is recommended you apply a serum to dry areas underneath your regular moisturizers. I like Antipodes Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenish Serum which has oils of Blackcurrant, Goji Berry, Raspberry oil & Hibiscus flower. New Zealand blackcurrant is a rich source of essential fats like gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
I also used to like Clarins oils when I worked for them at Harrods. The Blue Orchid Treatment oil was a massive seller. It contains 100% pure plant extracts including Rosewood, Patchouli, Blue Orchid and Hazelnut oil. I must say I am a sucker for nice fragrances ,which natural oils create, but as Paula from Beautypedia says, they can often irritate the skin, so be cautious. While my skin is fine with these, others may be more sensitive, so patch test plant extract products on your skin first before purchasing.  
I might try L’Oréal Paris Youth Code Luminosity Extraordinary Serum next, which has been blogged about here by 

Masks are another way to inject moisture into your skin. She of my dream skin, J.Lo, apparently uses honey as a natural mask. As did Queen Cleopatra, history tells us! Honey has vitamins like vitamin B and C, minerals and amino acids and is a humectant so is hydrating. 
Avocado is another great natural skin moisturiser, which is rich in oil, vitamin A, steralins (which purport to reduce skin spots) and a soothing amino acid called glutamine.  so slap on some honey and avocado for a nice gentle moisturizing mask treatment.  Owen says that you can put a drop of honey into any of your moisturizers and skin products.
Using a mild exfoliate 3x a week helps slough of dry dead layers. 3 x with a gentle scrub is enough and will not damage your epidermis. BEWARE of peppermint scrubs - they will dry out your skin, and have the potential to irritate. Also steer clear of most natural scrubs (eg. apricot stone shells) - use man made, as these will be spheres that will not rip your skin like natural products might do. I like gentle Microfoliant from Dermatologica which uses a fine rice powder, which feel soft and non abrasive on the skin.
My other fave is Antipodes Reincarnation, both finely ground grains. Reincarnation includes avocado oil, marigold flower, tonka bean, calendula oil and sandalwood and uses round jojoba beads to exfoliate.

Cleansing is also your friend. In Winter I switch to creamy lotion cleansers and to be honest, I am quite happy with cheapies such as Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser or Boots Soft & Soothed cleaner - if you are lucky enough to be in the UK with access to Boots fantastic range!
I also adore Kiehl's cleansers. Check out one of my fave store Superette's spiel on Kiehl's for Winter Skin here. All 3 of the above cleansers get a thumbs up from Beautypedia.
Lush Rose Jam Bath Bombs are my bath time treat! I love rose scent, and these are the best. They are sandwiched together like a pink fudge with pink coconut oil, which melts into your bath with the rose scent to envelope skin in rosy goodness. I also adore Lush's rosebud encrusted Tisty Tosty - so pretty!
Baths are also great, but topical water on skin can ironically have a drying effect. Top Bath tips are:
Dita Von Teese
* Keep water warm, not too hot or it can strip the natural oils of your skin
* Don't stay in the bath or shower too long - as above
* Blot or pat skin dry gently with your towel, rather than scrub your skin dry
* Remember to moisturize straight afterwards on damp skin, to lock in moisture, or your   skin will dry quickly.
Try one of the lush emollient body cream below to lock in that moisture post bath or shower. 
Body Shop Body Butter in Brazil Nut. This luxuriously thick, super absorbent cream leaves skin saturated in good oils.  For parched bodies and legs, I highly recommend thee gems.

Kiehl's cult Creme de Corps is another fave skin quencher! With with Squalane and Beta-Carotenethis is a super rich, absorbent have this cute Ksubi version. I also love the Soy Milk & Honey whip version.

I'm in love with Monoi Tiare Tahiti Coconut Oil in Vanilla, which combines vanilla orchids and vanilla bean. I buy it in Rarotonga, however it is widely available online as well. I slather it all over in Summer, and Winter. The delicious vanilla scent is divine and it melts into the skin. The oil will harden in the cold though. Another good tip from Owen - in Auyrveda practice they would recommend massaging sesame oil from the toes towards the heart  - same for from the fingers to the heart daily after or even before you shower to trap moisture in the skin. This apparently really works and you will never have dry winter skin again!  
 Avoid too hot rollers & tongs near the scalp
At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for skin is to eat healthily and avoid ;skin hazards', especially in Winter! Owen advises to be wary of the following Winter skin baddies!

* As above, hot water on skin is the biggest no-no. A shower or bath that's too hot will not only fry the skin but also the scalp. People always complain of dandruff in winter - it's not dandruff, just too hot of water is frying the scalp.

* The same goes for hot tools. Blow driers on too hot & straighteners too close to the scalp will cause the same issue and the scalp peels in layers. If this is a problem, exfoliate with a facial scrub then press sesame oil into the dry areas to rehydrate the scalp. 

 * Avoid getting to close to the fire, fan heater or car heater as they will all fry your skin, and cause redness and sensitivity 

* Watch out for extreme heat changes e.g. hot indoors vs freezing temps outside ....this can wreak havoc with blood vessels and cause broken capillaries. Protect the skin by with a good protective barrier in day moisturizers
Also remember that  good skin starts firm being healthy on the inside. Keep hydrated with water and amp up on foods such as fruit and nuts, deep sea fish (e.g. tuna, sardines, mackerel), eggs, flax or sesame seeds are all great for tour skin. I also take Omega 3 oils, which Elle MacPherson swears by for her youthful glow. Apparently Omega 3 can also combat fat - win-win! Also a good idea is Vitamin D - after years of being told to avoid sun, we are now  suffering. Latest research advocates a 15-25 mins of unprotected time a day in the sun - something most of us get nowhere near, and we have been schooled on the dangers of UV rays. But in frequent short small doses, unprotected sun is good for you - just don't stay out too long, or get sun burnt!  Check out Gwyneth Paltrow's recent Blog on Vitamin D deficiency it here.
For more from Owen, check out his Blog here and regular columns in FQ and Mindfood mags.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Styley Friends

 Courtney Love & Amanda DeCadanet 

"Many people will walk in and out of your life, 
but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart." (Anonymous)

There's nothing like a BFF. Friends come and go, but true friends are rare. They're the ones who always have your best interests at heart. They're the ones who don't disguise subtle jabs and bitchy comments as jokes (ususaly clumsily executed). They're the ones that are there for you without agenda and genuinely & celebrate with you in your wins. And it works both ways. Here are a few of my favorite styley friends!
 Alison Mosshart & Kate Moss
 Liv Tyler & Stella McCartney
 Naomi & Kate
 Theodora Richard & Lizzie Jagger
 Supers Yasmin le Bon & Gail Elliot
 The Veronicas
 Kate & Naomi again
Eva & Posh
 Amanda de Cadanet & Demi Moore
 Jennifer Aniston & Courtney Cox 
 Kate Moss, Rihanna and Stella McCartney
Drew & Cameron 
 Penelope Cruz & Salma Hayek 
 Kim K and Lala Vaquez 

Drew Barrymore and Kristen Wiig

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Still Lace Loving

In 2010 it was all about Christopher Kane's neon lace. In 2011, it was goth black lace. This year it's lace in every colour - I'm loving it! Valentino has some beautiful lace-looks for Spring 2012 in lolly shades. Designer Pier Paolo Piccioli says of the collection of lace confections "Fashion is a dream, and in this moment we need dreams."
As the lace trend continues. I'm definitely not growing bored of this look. I adore LOVER, the Australian designers. Their lace dresses are absolutely divine, beautifully and tailored to fit like a glove with a flirty, sexy edge. Following are some of their SS and Winter 2012 looks.

Lace looks from LOVER Australia

Latest celeb looks in lace! 
  Lily Collins in Valentino
  Katy Perry in Alexis Mabille
 Jessica Biel in Elie Saab

Miranda Kerr in LOVER
Katy Perry in Dolce and Gabbana at Coachella
Cameron Diaz in Lanvin
Florence Welch in LOVER
 Jordin Sparks in Diane Von Furstenberg 
Guiliana in Kardashian Kollection
 Kourtney K in Kardashian Kollection
 Sarah Hyland in Dolce and Gabbana
Scarlett Johansson in Dolce and Gabbana
Kate Hudson in Ann Taylor
Diane Kruger in Erdem
Cameron Diaz for In Style in Valentino
Bar Rafaeli in Pucci
Anna Della Russo in Dolce and Gabbana
Katy Perry in Elie Saab
Candace Swanepoel in Rag & Bone
Jessica Gomes in blue lace
Geri Halliwell in Lipsy
Kristen Stewart in Stella McCartney
Jess Hart in Nicola Finetti 
 Nicki Minaj in Oscar della renta
Marc Jacobs cray cray creation
Erin Wasson
Rooney Mara in Givenchy
Sonam Kapoor in Alexander McQueen
Kim in Pucci
Kim in Valentino
Miranda Kerr in LOVER
 Stacey Kiebler in Marchesa
Michelle Williams in Erdem
Alexa Chung in Miu Miu and Carven for ELLE UK

Abby Lee Kershaw for Vogue Russia
Heidi Klum in plum Escada
 Bella Heathcote in Pucci
Taylor Momsen in Marchesa
Beyonce in black & electric violet Givenchy
Scarlet Johannson in  Dolce and Gabanna
Jessica Stam in Tom Ford
Katy Perry in Tom Ford
Katy Perry in Dolce and Gabbanna
Fergie in Jean Paul Gaultier
Kate Hudson in Ann Taylor
Julia Sarr-Jamois in Christopher Kane
Scarlett Johnasson in Dolce and Gabbana
Amber Rose in mint lace
Solange Knowles
 Emma Stone in Dolce and Gabbana
Fried Pinto in Dolce and Gabbana


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