black beauty

As I have said, I am a bit of a creature of habit when it comes to my beauty routine and I tend to keep using the same products if the choice was left up to me. Occasionally I get to test drive new products, that I wouldn’t normally try, and I have decided that this is a good thing.  Otherwise I would probably still be wearing the same make up that I wore in the 80’s…

All the things we are looking at for this post are all black (to some degree or another) so I thought best to start with the one that started it all off. I like to have things as concise as possible in my makeup kit (what there is of it).  My ideal is to just have one compact that can take you from day to night and everything in between.  I have that with my Carine Roitfeld for M.A.C. compact.  It has four colours – a soft cream to use as a base on the entire eye area, two colours for the lid – one day one night, and a black to use instead of a pencil. That way you have things as smokey or as sharp as you want. I use it every day.  But it is fast running out sending me into a mild panic. Luckily Smashbox has released their Fade To Black Collection.  I love the Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette for $85 which comes in two versions either Fade In which is a mix of soft pastel pink, vivid purple or earthy brown, and Fade Out a fusion of warm ivory, chocolate brown, deep khaki and of course black!  This one is my pick of the two – just love it.  The Fade To Black line was used to create two looks for the Designer Selection Show during New Zealand Fashion Week. Available from selected Life Pharmacies, beauty spas and the Smashbox Concept Store in Ponsonby or online at smashboxcosmetics

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My own particular aesthetic is particularly feminine, but I have a complete obsession with all things perfumed.   I love candles, lotions and creams, and hand/body washes.  Weirdly those are the things that make me feel feminine when I am dressed top to toe in my de rigueur black. At the moment one of my favourites is MOR’s new marshmallow collection. I love the black packaging with the lovely key-note fragrance of English Rose.  With Madagascan Vanilla as a base note – I am happy. It feels like such a treat. MOR Hand and Body wash retails for $44 and a little goes a long way. We all like that! MOR marshmallow hand and body lotion-1 Seriously, this is one piece of hair equipment that throws me instantly back to the 80’s. Diffusers have gone out of the public conscienceness a bit, but really should never have left.  They are such a practical thing!  Having always had short, curly hair – a diffuser has always been a god-send when it comes to drying my hair as it makes sure the hair dries exactly where I put it instead of blowing it one way or another.  It keeps the curls better (if that is what I am wanting) or not as the case may be. So now ghd has released their ghd air professional diffuser for just $30.  For stockist information, please call 0800880209

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I actually have to put my hand up to say I sometimes I am shallow enough to choose the way a product looks, as much as what a product does.  I LOVE the packaging for the MEDoFLOWERS series.  Simple, sleek and of course, all black. So at present this is sitting on my bedside table so I actually remember to use it each night.  If there is one thing I could say about maturing skin, it is that it needs moisturising as religiously as possible.  I had oily skin in my youth, and never had any trouble with it feeling/being dry.  At nearly fifty, this isn’t the case any longer. MEDoFLOWERS uses cold-pressed Meadowfoam Oil, Rosehip and Sweet Almond Oil which are rich in Omega 3 and 6 to improve elasticity as well as essential fatty acids which smooth and soften your skin. It is also fragrance, paraben and sulphate free, as well as being free of synthetic dyes, triclosan and Phenxyethanol.  So you are just getting the stuff you actually need rather than the stuff you actually don’t! The older I get, the more particular I am about what goes on my skin. To view the entire range go to MEDoFLOWERS where the Replenish Night Cream retails at $69

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I am a compete sucker for a manicured nail. Unfortunately I can be a bit remiss at times about repairing damaged polish until I end up having to hide my hands when I am out in public as they look so ratty. I loved the advent of gel nails, and got to test the CND Shellac system when it first came onto the New Zealand market.  I was hooked!  Perfect nails until you just go back to get them removed and re-done!  Simple… except that meant I often left it to the last minute to get them taken off as I was never organised enough to make an appointment. So I was VERY pleased to hear that CND have gone a step further and returned the power to have beautiful nails back to us at home.  Instead of having to make it to a salon (which is still a fabulous treat), we can now do our nails at home with the VINYLUX Weekly Polish System.  ‘The system’ part makes it sound hard, tricky and expensive but it is none of those things.  It is just $20 for the polish, and just $20 for the top coat needed to make it work.CND have changed the formulation of nail polish after 60 years of us doing essentially the same thing.  Now this self adhering Colour Coat doesn’t even need a base coat! And the more time you spend out in natural light, the more durable the Top Coat becomes.  I have test driven the new CND colours Black Pool (of course) Scarlett Letter (deep red) and Dark Lava (deep browny purple which I just love). They stayed on for a full week with just the tiniest bit of wear on one finger tip that you could hardly notice.  It goes on easily, so easily that even I couldn’t mess it up!  And it was dry in about 10 minutes.  It can easily be removed at home with an acetone-based polish remover. Go to vinylux to find a stockist.

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Vinylux Bloodline

YOUNGBLOOD Mineral cosmetics have extended their range to include a highly pigmented, gel eyeliner formula which goes on like a liquid liner, but with the precision of a eyeliner pencil.  ‘Lagoon’ is an amazing teal colour with an ‘irridescent golden sheen’ making it suitable for all skin types. It contains natural iron oxide to help the colour last a long time. I am not one to wear a lot of colour on my eyes but with red lips, just the lightest touch of other eye colour and with a bit of practise – this just looks amazing. Youngblood ‘Lagoon’ Incredible Wear Gel Eyeliner is $49 and for stockists visit beautysense

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The thing that often annoys me about compacts is the choice of colours is predetermined.  Living Nature now have single mineral eye shadows that come in a small reusable compact.  And with the colours retailing for $20 and the compact just $10, it is not an expensive exercise for natural (uses mineral and plants) makeup that is completely lead-free also. With a collection of classic colours, my compact has Blossom, Shell, Sand and Tussock in it – and all the colours reference their name, just think a softer, warmer version of it! Go to livingnature to see the full range of colours and to find stockists.

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Lastly I will finish with all the sparkle of this Company of Strangers nail polish.  With the splendid name of DISCO, this glittery number is just fantastic with an all black outfit.  Of course. Available for $20 from Company of Strangers With four other colours rounding out the collection that goes with Love and Rockets SS2013, Lime (lime obviously), Wisteria (sugar sweet pink) Periwinkle (soft mauve) and Vamp (black red), what is not to love?

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