[HYALURONIC ACID]

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Hyaluronic acid – if I had no prior knowledge, it wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice of ingredients to swathe my skin in! It sounds scary. Really scary. What first comes to mind for me – especially when I hear acid – is burning, drying, peeling or intense exfoliation… But hyaluronic acid does almost the exact opposite to this!

Without getting too complex or scientific, it’s actually an ingredient already found within the human body – that acts as a hydrating, cushioning and lubricating agent for joints and tissue. Hyaluronic acid has the ability to absorb 1000 times it’s weight in water… HELLO hydration!

So how and why should you use this ingredient in your skincare routine? Think of it as a hydration booster; not necessarily as a moisturiser but as an additive to your skincare regime to plump skin, boost hydration levels in the skin, smooth skin and boost and prevent moisture loss. You know how glowy, dewy and amazing your skin looks when you’ve been really [really, really] diligent with ensuring you drink enough water everyday? Think of it as a topical alternative to that.

I find hyaluronic acid best used as a serum applied to clean skin underneath moisturiser or as a ‘boost’ to my skincare regime by simply adding something new when my skin starts to feel a little dry; or in weekly treatment cycles while changing nothing else at all, such as a weekly mask.

‘The One’ serum by CR Formulations is jam-packed with essential ingredients – it’s a serum that I’ve recommended before that focuses on plumping, tightening and fortifying the skin. One of the key ingredients within this serum is hyaluronic acid. It’s a perfect ‘all-in-one’ serum and amazing for those who want a hit of HA daily, with this serum; pair underneath your favourite moisturiser and you are good to go, hence the name The One! This is an amazing serum that provides all the benefits of hyaluronic acid skincare products; a great one if you haven’t already refined your skincare routine or simply don’t know where to start.

BABOR’s Hyaluronic Collagen Booster Fluids claim to be an “effective alternative to wrinkle injection fillers”. They are a highly concentrated dose of hyaluronic acid complex in individual ampoules; that also feature marine collagen. These little ampoules are miracle workers; they are designed to be applied after cleansing; before any other product. I find they work beautifully when applied at night-time right before bed. Use them as a little boost on a weekly basis and you will wake up with the dewiest, most hydrated skin; and it’s just an extra little step that takes no more than a minute. The ampoules are sold as 28ml ampoules in a set of 12, they are glass and the consistency is just a little thicker than water, so it does suggest that they are a ‘one-use’ product; however I think you could get 2, perhaps 3 uses from each ampoule if you store it safely.

Thalgo’s Hyaluronic Mask is one of my favourites. It is a professional grade at-home facial treatment that smoothes and plumps skin in a flash. The mask is ever so quick and easy to apply due to it’s clear gel-formula. 20 minutes is all it takes, and you can really see results. Whenever I haven’t been eating as well as I should, haven’t drunk enough water or have been spending too much time in the sun; I can see fine lines on my face, especially in delicate areas; in less than half-an-hour, I can return my skin to it’s former glory with this mask. I love using it before special occasions for a smooth, hydrated complexion and a serious radiance boost!

CR FormulationsThe One | BABORHyaluronic Collagen Booster Fluids | ThalgoHyaluronic Mask


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[Introducing the AERIN Fragrance Collection – Launching March 29]

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The Aerin Fragrance Collection

Do you have a signature scent? Perhaps a wardrobe of fragrances that have become your go-to for specific moods or occasions? If not, well it’s about time you did!

Scent has the ability to say so much about you; it can reflect or change your mood, epitomize your personality or simply complement your outfit, and Aerin Lauder has created a collection of fragrances that allow you to do just that, through seven stunning new scents.

Aerin Lauder is the epitome of understated glamour and sophistication; she’s that woman that you want to ask a thousand questions; from her beauty secrets to her go-to cocktail for entertaining guests; and if she had a signature scent, well, I personally, might even be persuaded to see if it could work for myself!

The AERIN Fragrance Collection, which launches late March  [the 29th to be exact – so hold off on investing in your latest scent!] – is a careful curation of the finest ingredients that comprise seven distinct scents; Aerin worked with iconic fragrance house Firmenich to create the AERIN Fragrance Collection – a Swiss company that is family-owned has been producing fine fragrances for over a century; with different perfumers and master perfumers contributing to each scent within the collection.

The collection features scents including, Iris Meadow, Waterlily Sun, Gardena Rattan, Amber Musk, Lilac Path, Ikat Jasmine and Evening Rose. In a day and age where scent is so highly standardized; each scent is as special as the woman wearing it or the occasion she’s celebrating.

Each bottle is a chic, rectangular, crystal-like stature, adorned with a precious gem-like stone on its lid – so they’ll look just as gorgeous on your vanity as they smell!

THE AERIN FRAGRANCE COLLECTION WITH FLORAL

Iris Meadow is a fresh, crisp floral scent with notes such as mandarin, blackcurrant, jasmine and cedarwood; it’s a scent that I’d wear to brunch with my best girlfriends; the perfect finishing touch to a floral dress.

Waterlily Sun is another gorgeous floral scent; one that was inspired by Aerin’s visit to Claude Monet’s garden in France. It’s a soothing scent that could be worn everyday from workday to weekend; it’s in no way overpowering but fresh and feminine; it features fresh notes of Sicilian bergamot, dewy greens and sweet musk.

Gardenia Rattan is defined by Aerin as “the perfect Summer day – warm sun, beautiful sea and fresh flowers” – it features wet marine notes, gardenia, tuberose and tiare Tahiti finished with amber. Gardenia Rattan is the type of scent you’d want to define your Summer; one that you’d want to take on on a European holiday with you, to wear from breakfast right through to lush evening soirees.

Amber Musk is creamier, richer scent that’s velvety yet not too heavy; it features notes of rose, coconut water, warm musk and of course, amber. It’s the type of scent you’d want to wear in the evenings or to a romantic dinner or to warm you up when it’s dreary and miserable outside.

Lilac Path is a delicate floral scent that still smells a little creamy and velvety while being undeniably floral; it features jasmine, angelica seed oil and orange flower; it’s another scent that could be worn all year-round as your go-to scent.

Ikat Jasmine is described by Aerin as “a modern woman – effortless style and intriguing femininity” – it’s a scent that I could envisage Aerin wearing herself; it’s a scent that could sit on your desk or vanity across all seasons. Jasmine is so universal, it could suit almost anyone; yet it’s such a distinctive, feminine scent. Ikat Jasmine features honeysuckle, tuberose, sandalwood and of course – jasmine!

Evening Rose – an undeniably feminine scent; highlighted by notes of juicy blackberries and rich cognac. I always remember people that wear scents that feature rose for some reason! It’s a little bit romantic, exudes luxury but always smells familiar. The love of Rose is a Lauder family tradition; and this scent is incredibly special, it could even be layered with lighter, fresher, floral scents.

Which scent will be your favourite!? Or will you create a wardrobe of your very own?


Each eau de parfum within the AERIN Fragrance collection is 50ml and retails for $165, the collection is available as of March 29th and will be available at David Jones and MYER stores.

Phone 1800 061 326 to find your nearest stockist.


 

 

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[FEBRUARY’S HOLY GRAIL]

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The holy grail. It can take many shapes and forms – it’s those products that you can’t like without; the ones that you fall in love with from application uno; the ones that, god forbid, if they ever decided to discontinue; you’d be clearing the shelves and stocktaking for a rainy day.

With February in full swing, holidays are well and truly o-v-e-r, no more facials on a Wednesday or laying on the beach on Monday afternoon or getting as much sleep as you desire; so this month, it’s all about the glow. Specifically, those legendary little products that keep you looking Victoria’s Secret-glowy and radiant all year round. For me, this particular golden bronzed, healthy, slightly-flushed look a-la Natasha Poly above; is my go-to all year round. I never like to look ‘too’ overdone; thick, matte foundation or super dark smokey eyes just aren’t my thing…

From trying hundreds of bronzers and primers-a-plenty, we’ve curated five easy-to-use, universal products.

If you have not heard of Laura Mercier’s primers, either you’ve been living under a rock or perhaps you haven’t discovered the power of the primer. Well, they are legendary. Laura Mercier’s Radiance Primer is a lotion-based primer that is a neutral hue with a subtle shimmery sheen through pearlized particles. The primer should be applied after your skincare routine; it hydrates skin and keeps any makeup you apply after last ALL day long. On many occasions I’ll use this primer as a base on it’s own instead of applying foundation on-top as the light-reflecting particles blur any imperfections and also impart a dewy, radiant glow, it also works wonderfully underneath sheer tinted moisturizer.

I first discovered BY TERRY Hyaluronic Summer at Barney’s in New York – the BY TERRY artist was applying it to a woman who was, well, New-York-fabulous; it gave her a warm, radiant glow without looking at all Jersey Shore bronze. Lucky for us, it’s now available at MECCA in Australia! As a girl whose go-to has always been a compact bronzer; I’ve recently made the switch. This product is a mousse-like liquid bronzer that promises to deliver a ‘sun-kissed’ glow all year round. It has hyaluronic acid so it plumps and hydrates the skin while blurring any imperfections; it also never looks cake-y or powdery like some bronzers can.

Ah, Tom Ford, if not the epitome of holy-grail in the beauty world, I don’t know what is. His products exude luxury and are worth every penny; you can always count on Mr. Ford to deliver products you never knew you needed but now can’t live without. Tom Ford’s Contouring Cheek Colour Duo are one of the latest releases from Tom Ford; the duo creates sculptured cheekbones; through using the darker, matte shade to contour and the pearlescent lighter, peachy-champagne shade to highlight. This cheek-duo is highly pigmented, buttery soft and ever-so-fine, it can be layered and layered to create a look as contoured as you wish. It delivers a radiant, healthy flush of colour and lasts all day; never sinking into pores. It’s the perfect compact to keep in your handbag as a desk-to-drinks pep-up to give your complexion warm and a shimmering glow.

If contoured cheeks  or powder blush’s aren’t for you, Josie Marian’s Argan Colour Stick is the perfect crème-blush; neatly and conveniently packaged into a stick. Swipe onto cheeks and dab onto the brow-bone or lips for a pop of colour and natural glow; it’s free from parabens and made entirely from organic ingredients while being infused with avocado, mango seed and shea butter; so it hydrates and nourishes too, it also smells like passionfruit – bonus! It’s available in 5 different shades with my pick being “pink”.

And for your lovely lashes, say hello to the Little Black Primer by Estee Lauder. A hard-working 3-in-1 product that’s only just been released. I live and swear by face primer and I even use a hair primer, so it only makes sense that you’d use a primer for your lashes!
Little Black Primer is a long-lasting, smudge proof lash-tint and a water resistant lash top-coat – you can wear it alone which will give a lash-look that leaves you looking like you’ve had your lashes tinted and curled and are wearing clear-mascara. This is perfect for an off-duty “I’m wearing no-makeup” look. Or, you can wear it underneath your favourite mascara, to prevent flaking, clumping while making your mascara ‘work it’s hardest’ OR you can use it as a lash top-coat, to seal your mascara, making it water resistant and adding a subtle sheen to lashes.

Laura Mercier – Radiance Primer | BY TERRY – Hyaluronic Summer | Tom Ford – Contouring Cheek Colour Duo | Josie Maran – Argan Colour Stick | Estee Lauder – Little Black Primer


 

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[BEAUTY SLEEP]

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While the weather around the country might be a little temperamental at the moment, we are very much still celebrating the season of Summer.
The UV is high, you might be spending a little more time in the sun, you might have had one or two evenings when you’ve forgotten to remove your makeup [sin!!] or perhaps you’re not drinking enough water as you should be [and let’s not even mention the one-too-many Champagne toasts over December and January…]

All signs are pointing to the need to show your skin a little TLC – and with our ever-busy schedules throughout the season, lights out is the perfect time to nourish your skin and return it to it’s former glory; and what’s better than waking up looking [and feeling] like a million dollars.

These are some of my favourite products that do all the hard work while you get all the beauty sleep you need.

Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex is the ultimate holy-grail in overnight serums; it is proven to reduce and reverse signs of visible aging – from fine lines under your eyes to dull, lifeless complexions. This serum is one that you will notice the effects of most when you stop  using it. Just a few drops smoothed over your cleansed face before bed will leave you waking with plumper, more glowy skin, reduced fine lines and a more hydrated complexion.

Danne Montague King’s Micro Peel is actually a powerful yet gentle exfoliator that removes dead skin-cells while hydrating new skin cells; it’s a unique gel exfoliator that features no granules or texture at all. It can be used as a rinse-off masque; being left on for 5-20 minutes then washed off; but if you’ve been preserving your tan all Summer, avoiding exfoliation like the plague and have missed a proper cleanse even once in the evenings, you’ll be amazed by what this does to your skin if you apply a very-thin layer before you hit the hay. You’ll wake to the smoothest complexion; and as all your dead skin-cells will be rid off, you’ll be left with a fresh, radiant and dewy complexion.

For me, when I’ve had one too many nights of not enough sleep or one too many hours in the sun, I really notice it under my eyes; fine line that I never knew I had appear. Not ideal!
Danne Montague King’s Eye Tone is a one-stop shop for any under eye concerns; it features beta glucan, hyaluronic acid, squalene and seabuckthorn oil – it tackles puffiness, fine lines, dark circles, redness and delivers ultimate hydration – wake up to instant pretty peepers with this essential serum-like cream.

Another eye cream that I love is Ella Bache’s Crème Speciale Yeux. It’s a rich crème that is incredibly nourishing; the alleviates any signs of dehydration or dryness and minimizes and plumps fine lines; given it’s rich texture; it may be a little too heavy to use during the daytime, so evenings are the perfect time to reap the benefits of this luxurious crème. If you’ve spent too long in the sun, have not been drinking enough water or feel as though the skin around your eyes isn’t as smooth as it should be, this is perfect. A little bit goes a very long way.

Calling all bronzed babes, I don’t know if you’ll be excited as I was when I discovered Sleep Mask Tan by James Read. An overnight serum-like masque that hydrates you pretty little face while it TANS it. Yes, seriously! Sleep Mask Tan features cucumber, aloe vera and hyaluronic acid to plump and nourish skin overnight while adding colour to your complexion. You’ll want to make sure you have a smooth, even base by using some of the products listed above before you wear this tan mask to bed. It’s also very subtle, so will work perfectly for pale gals, but for those with an olive or darker complexion, you might need to use this one a couple of nights in a row to see a real glow.

No ultimate beauty queen’s evening regime would be complete without a luxe night cream. Night creams offer restorative properties to nourish and repair the skin while you sleep, my pick of the crop at the moment is Crème Absolute by CR Formulations; it features beta glucan, marine collagen, elastin, Vitamin B3, Vitamin A, Seabuckthorn and hyaluronic acid to nourish, plump, hydrate and protect the skin. It’s perfect to layer over your favourite serum; and ensures you’ll wake up to a refreshed, nourished and plump complexion.

A little TLC in the evenings goes a long-way, so if you’re not getting your 8-hours of beauty sleep on the regular, ditch the 3 different concealers you’ve been layering to try and mask those dark circles and try one [or all!] of these super-hard-working products to get you one step closer to waking up looking like Beyonce.

Estee Lauder – Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex | Danne Montague King – Micro Peel | Danne Montague King – Eye Tone | Ella Bache - Crème Speciale Yeux | James Read – Sleep Mask Tan | CR Formulations Crème Absolute

 


 

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[GROWN UP GLITTER]

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I remember a time where holidays, the festive season and well, celebrations in general went hand-in-hand with glitterfar too well. No New Years Eye was complete without glitter eyeliner and sparkly nails.

Every now and then, I’ll get a manicure and see someone opting for ombre-glitter tips or a sparkly accent nail; I’ll coax myself into considering it for 20 minutes and then play-it-safe with a light blush-pink or taupe. Truth be told, I still love a bit of glitter and while we’re still in the season of Summer and all about all things sparkly, radiant and bright – there’s no better time than to give glitter another chance.

These products celebrate shine and subtle-glitz, without leaving you looking like you’re off to a 90’s-themed soiree.

Bling Brow by Benefit are a grown-up version of the diamantes you used to stick in the corners of your eye – they come in hues such as rose gold or greige and are tiny self-adhesive Swarovski crystals that are designed to be worn under the brow. For a special occasion, add a little bling to a bronzed smokey-eye and voila!

The 2014 Holiday Collection from Bobbi Brown offers the perfect infusion of subtle shimmers to leave you shiny and bright, sans glitter. Such as the Warm Glow Eyeshadow Palette that features gorgeous shades of frosted and pearlized bronze and champagne tones. Bobbi Brown shadows are ever-so highly pigmented and glide on to last for hours and hours, so you can don a shimmery, smokey eye without smudge for a special occasion.

Also a shimmery stand-out from the holiday collection from Bobbi Brown is the Highlight Powder a stunning powder highlighter that gives skin a metallic luminous glow, through pearlized particles; perfect to accentuate your cheek brows, brow bones, centre of your nose and cupids bow – it’s a powder that’s very finely milled so it sits on top of skin as opposed to sneaking into pores – and it lasts for hours.

Also for your pretty peepers – a very-fine shimmering mineral-powder shadow, by The Balm is Overshadow in ‘You Buy, I’ll Fly’ – a very shimmery bronze, copper shade. Best applied with an angled eyeliner brush and used as a liner, Overshadow can be used dry and blended for a soft shimmer with reflective glittering particles or applied wet for intense, metallic colour.

If your makeup look is all-matte, perhaps a little shimmer in your locks will fill your glitter void; but I’m not talking crunchy glitter hairspray.  Joico has a finishing spray that has very-fine gold glitter and shimmer particles in it! Joico Gold Dust Shimmer Finishing Spray is a fine-mist spray that is to be used once your hair is styled and set; it delivers subtle hold and gold, light-reflecting particles. It’s perfect for evenings or for special occasions; it makes hair appear amazingly glossy and healthy; especially in photos!

Benefit – Bling Brow Kit | Bobbi Brown – Warm Glow Eyeshadow Palette & Highlight Powder  | The Balm – Overshadow in ‘You Buy, I’ll Fly’ | Joico – Gold Dust Shimmer Finishing Spray

 


 

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[COORDINATING SHADES OF RED]

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Some things never go out of style, like bronzed limbs or face-framing highlights.Colours of the season are ever-changing, but a perfect red manicure complimented with a bold red lip is without question, timeless. It’s also the perfect way to revamp your favourite LBD for the festive season.

OPI have recently released a fabulous trio of nail polishes – the ‘Red Over Heels VIP Set‘ features Cajun ShrimpBig Apple Red and Malaga Wine.

If you’re like me and can never decide between a luxe deep berry red or a super bright pop red – you’re in luck – because you can have them all!
The best part? The set is only $39.95, that’s essentially 3 for the price for 2 polishes. One for you and one for your each of your girlfriends.

As for your lips, the choice between gloss, lipstick or a clever new hybrid is all yours.

If matte, bold colour is your pick – MAC’s lipstick in Relentlessly Red is the perfect shade that sits between a classic red and a bright pink, its’ matte finish means it has great staying power.

If you’re all about the gloss, Laura Mercier has you covered with their Lip Glacé in Poppy. The perfect ruby red shade with an ever-so-subtle-shimmer, this gloss can be applied sparingly to give a rosy tint or generously applied to create a perfect red pout. It’s incredibly nourishing but not at all sticky. It’s also perfect to layer over the top of your favourite red lipstick shade to prevent drying.

If you want the best of both worlds or perhaps you’re on the fence, Dior’s Dior Addict Fluid Stick is the answer to all your [lip] prayers. Pictured here in Pandore – a bright coral-red, it is a revolutionary lip formula that has all the benefits of your shiniest gloss, with the pigment and staying power of a lipstick. The fluid stick is lightweight, not one bit sticky but packs a serious punch in the colour department, with just one swipe of your applicator, you’ll have perfect red lips. The packaging is also incredibly beautiful – the perfect addition to your evening clutch!

Clutch | Saint Laurent
Hero image via | Elele Magazine Turkey, shot by Firat Kocak


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[SUMMER HAIR MUST-HAVES]

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Summer. It’s all about sunshine, salty water  and relaxed glamour, and even though it’s aptly coined the silly season – keeping your tresses looking worthy of that amazing new dress you spent your last pay cheque on should be anything but [silly] – be it in time spent, money spent and or the amount of products you have to use.

When you think Summer hair – you think sea salt spray and highlights – well I am all for sunkissed locks – but as for the sea salt spray, it’s never worked for me.

To keep things short and sweet – because you’ve probably got your hair to tousle and drinks in 35 minutes – here’s why you should never be without these 5 hair products featured above.

 

ONE copyJOICO - Heat Set – Blowout Perfecting Creme
Let’s be honest, who really enjoys blow drying their hair? So when there’s one product that does about nine things you ordinarily would pay your hairdresser for, it sure sounds like a winner to us. This product is a genius – it’s heat protectant, detangler, frizz-smoother that almosts cuts your blowdry time in half. Unlike many other ‘blowout creams’ definitely speed up styling time but leave your hair so dry and lifeless in the process – this perfecting creme does anything but – it’s a secret weapon that can be layered with other products until your hearts content. An extra 15 minutes up your sleeve to perfect those un-done curls, yes please.

TWO
Kerastase
 – Lift Vertige [from the Couturing Styling range]
A little volume goes a long way, sexy Summer hair should never be lifeless and pasted to your scalp, no matter how fine your hair.
Kerastase’s Lift Vertige is a gel formula that should be applied to the roots before styling, a quick blast upside down with your hairdryer and the product is instantaneously absorbed, leaving absolutely no sticky or heavy residue – but leaving hair full and bouncy. Think of the effect that this product has like applying a volumising/texturising spray to your hair – but without all the residue that leaves hair needing to be washed in a matter of hours.

THREE
Schwarzkopf Professional
Moisture Kick Beauty Balm [from the Bonacure Range]
We all love a multi-tasker, especially when time is of the essence! This Beauty Balm is a moisturizing cream that tames frizz and protects hair from heat and humidity. Just like a do-it-all serum for your skin, this balm smooths strands and leaves them looking lush and frizz-free, no matter what style you opt for.

FOUR
Living Proof –
Prime – Style Extender
Just like you prep your face to make your makeup last longer, yes, they make a primer for your hair too! So why should you use it? It keeps your hair cleaner for longer by repelling dirt and excess oil, it also preps the hair for styling and is proven to make your style last at least twice as long. You only need a small 20c piece dollop of product – apply to damp hair before anything else.

FIVE
JOICO –
Flip Turn – Volumising Finishing Spray
Once your style is good-to-go, you’re going to need to set it so it lasts as long as possible. You want to steer clear of traditional, heavy, sticky hairsprays that leave your fringe without.any.movement or leave your curls looking like Debutante-curls from the late 90’s. Not cute! I don’t even care how long you spent styling your tresses.
I love this product for many reasons, the ridiculously super-fine mist of this finishing spray is near the top of the list. It’s also weightless and will never leave hair without movement. You can layer it and restyle and it never goes crunchy, it’s also volumising so whether your hair is styled straight, tousled or curled – it will always look full of life.
It also claims to hold any style for 72 hours, protects hair from frizz and delivers shine - I don’t even know how I lived without this super-styler!

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