Super Lash Stylists

Each month the team at Xtreme Lashes will nominate a top stylist who will be given the title of Stylist of the Month. Their profile and story will be featured on the Xtreme Lashes website and social media pages – recognising their talent.

“This sought after position becomes a perfect promotional opportunity for our clients. They love being in the Xtreme Spotlight for a month,” said Louise Weston, marketing and creative director of Xtreme Lashes.

The chosen lash stylist must fit these criteria: they are certified, use the correct application techniques and offer up-to-date products and supplies to their customers.

The winning stylist from each month will receive a dedicated listing on the ‘Find a Lash Stylist’ page on the Xtreme Lashes website, helping to promote their business. Their listing will include everything from a list of services, accompanying images and a Google map to pinpoint their location.

The ‘Find a Lash Stylist’ page receives 3000 hits per month and features an email enquiry form via the main website – perfect for those who do not have their own website.

On top of all this the Stylist of the Month will also complete a questionnaire that sits on the Xtreme Lashes blog (you can check out some past winners here). “These blog posts are tweeted and shared on Facebook as well. We see it as a valuable advertising opportunity for our stylists to create a name for themselves in the industry,” said Louise.

This program began in August 2012 and is still going strong. Over the past year it has encouraged other lash stylists to complete the formal certification process. “We have had clients complete our certification process in order to compete for the title,” Louise said.


Get glowing on a beauty detox

Kick-start the New Year with a face and body overhaul. Lisa Haynes reveals how to look and feel tip-top for 2014

If December is all about over-indulgence, January is payback time with some deep cleansing – inside and out.

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Put some sparkle back in your step with a beauty detox. Go au naturel and blitz your body with potions to make you feel wholesome again.

“The buzzwords for gorgeous skin are hydrate, nourish, sleep, repair and detoxify,” says make-up artist Jemma Kidd.

Time to glow on a beauty detox…


Give your complexion some New Year radiance by ditching the sugar and alcohol and going to town on raw foods and water.

“Like a mirror, our outer skin reflects the state of our inner skin – the gut lining,” Kidd explains.

“If it’s functioning properly, our skin will be balanced and healthy, which is why we talk about beauty coming from the inside.”

Green vegetable juices will give your body a powerful shot of minerals and energy in a few glugs. Avoid adding fruits and vegetables that are naturally high in sugar, like bananas.

Some essential skin-boosting compounds, like antioxidants, can be difficult to absorb through diet alone, which is where beauty supplements come in. Try Functionalab for pills with beauty-boosting objectives for face and body.


Alcohol and too many festive seconds can leave your system feeling sluggish and your body looking bumpier than Santa’s present sack.

The trick to flushing out toxins is stimulating blood circulation, drinking plenty of water and sticking to a daily regime.

“My top tip to start your New Year skincare regime is daily dry body brushing,” advises Jo Parker, spa director at Champneys. “It’s a great way to stimulate circulation, improve skin texture and banish cellulite.”

Use a body brush daily on dry skin before your morning shower, starting at the ankles in upwards movements towards the heart.

Look for products with energising ingredients that will kick-start your circulation, like seaweed extract and caffeine, to make your skin look instantly more toned.


Take a breather from your cosmetics bag and give your complexion a detox by going au naturel for a few days over the festive break.

“When you are planning to detox your skin, you must begin by resting it,” says skin therapist, Nataliya Robinson.

“We are all guilty of overusing skin care products, including make-up, which is full of chemicals and irritants.”

Even minus make-up, the daily grind can cause a build-up of pollution and bacteria so seek out a killer clarifying cleanser that purifies the skin and gently exfoliates.

Robinson recommends going back to basics: “To truly detox the skin, put away all of your commercial creams and serums and turn toward organic natural ingredients such as banana, avocado and yoghurt for a weekend, or longer if you can.”


For a quick detoxifying treatment, try Nataliya Robinson’s recipe for a banana face mask that’s suitable for all skin types. Use once a week to help nourish the skin naturally.

:: 1 ripe mashed banana

:: 1tsp of honey or maple syrup

:: 10 drops of lemon juice

METHOD: Mix thoroughly. Apply this to clean skin and allow to set for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

In my beauty bag: Polly Gillespie

Pauline ‘Polly’ Gillespie has hosted the ZM Morning Crew radio show for over 20 years alongside her husband Grant Kereama.

The funny lady also spends a lot of time interviewing international celebrities around the world, and is presently writing a book about ‘the many and varied imperfections of being a female’.

“I told my male publisher that I wanted to call it ‘My Vagina is Trying to Eat Me’, because once during my period I told a girlfriend that if I had owned salad tongs at the time I would have used them to rip out my vagina,” she tells us in her distinct manner. “He tactfully replied, “I don’t hate it”, so we shall see what it ends up being called!”

Polly spends most of her time in her hometown of Wellington, but frequently flies around the world interviewing interesting and famous people. “I am used to flying or recovering from flying, but you can do radio from anywhere, so doing the show at 2am in America is no problem,” she says.

“When I first started interviewing celebrities, they were all stunning and like a size 2 and tiny – next to them I felt like Hagrid (from Harry Potter), and I wasn’t even that chubby back then.  I was astounded by the beauty of Nicole Kidman. Her skin was just translucent, like it glows from the inside as if it has a light beneath it.

But eventually I realised that it is their job to be beautiful and that it’s really tough job: I don’t think that level of beauty is real or achievable for the average woman. Eventually it all becomes quite relative. I used to dress up to interview them but now I wear jeans and a ponytail, because that’s me.”

Different water, temperatures and time zones while travelling have an impact on her skin and hair. Polly says the flipside is that it also provides her with an opportunity to shop for beauty products we don’t really get in New Zealand, like SKII or Sephora. She tells us about how she fits a beauty routine into her busy life:

“I am really particular about my skin and wish I had started caring for it a long time ago. When I was in my 20s I did all the right things like cleansing and toning, but after a while I was like ‘whatever, my skin is awesome’ and gave up.

Now I have a renewed interest in skincare, but suspect that it might be too late!  I have odd skin, it is quite oily but still needs moisture, so my routine now is mostly about ensuring it is well nourished.

I enjoy makeup, and it would be hypocritical of me to say otherwise. It’s fun. What I don’t like is the pressure on young women to look constantly glamorous and overly sexualised.

I wear makeup every day without fail, even though I get up really early for the show. People are really surprised when they come in and meet me that I am wearing nice clothes and have a face on. I am not the type to go to work in a scrunchy, pyjamas and wet hair. Wet hair, yuk!

I am up at 4.40am and into the shower to wash myself and use an Estee Lauder Foam Cleanser on my face. Once out of the shower I pop on a Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Toner, and a lovely RHEIN product so my skin is matte but still moisturised. My foundation is Estee Lauder Double Wear in Cool Bone.

I don’t generally use eye shadow if I am not going out, I like to save up looking dramatically different for special occasions and if it is really special I get a makeup artist to do my face, because despite watching numerous YouTube tutorials, they do such a gorgeous job that I couldn’t possibly recreate it. On my lips I find that M.A.C stays on the best, I love their pinky brown shades like Twig or Hug Me.

I choose a M.A.C blusher depending on my mood, they are just so lovely and powdery and soft! I use Estee Lauder Lash Primer and Sumptuous Extremes on my eyelashes and tend to my eyebrows with a Benefit Brow Kit. So many women over 30 write to me about over-plucking their eyebrows.

A makeup artist once told me never to get permanent makeup because over a lifetime the face changes so much that you never know where they are going to end up! I would never do that myself because I always notice how severe it can look on other women, but I never judge people if they want to tattoo their makeup – I am a Botox girl, which people can be very judgmental about.

My sister died when I was in my thirties, and the terrible grief formed this giant line down my forehead.  It was just a premature line that I could see every time I looked at a photo of myself.

Now I look happier, and whatever other people think, I no longer carry the weight of my sister’s death on my face. I’m okay with women altering their look in any way they want to in pursuit of being happier, be it breast implants, plastic surgery or dying their hair blue.

I am lucky with my hair – because I have it Kera-straightened every three months, I only need to wash it with L’Oreal Professionnel every couple of days for it to be straight and healthy.

Over my lifetime I have learned that I don’t always know what foundation colour I am. For years I wore Estee Lauder in Sand, until I went to the counter to get some more and the beautician pointed out that shade was usually used by Asian women. She gave me some samples to try and they were amazing, so my best beauty advice is listen to experts!”

Unghie oro e nere: la nail art raffinata per Natale 2013

Unghie oro e nere, è questa la proposta della redazione di Beauty News per farvi avere mani very chic a Natale. Le tendenze unghie cambiano stagione dopo stagione, nei mesi invernali si assiste ad un’egemonia delle tinte dark e quest’anno non fa differenza. Il nero é uno dei colori protagonisti della stagione, intenso e cupo esalta mani curate rendendole estremamente chic. Per le feste il suo allure cupo viene illuminato con un tocco prezioso. È l’oro il colore da combinare con il nero per una manicure raffinata e chic capace do trasformarsi in un accessorio cool.

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Oro e nero si sposano tra loro alla perfezione per la realizzazione di manicure raffinate e decorazioni unghie preziose. L’accoppiata più semplice da realizzare prevede una manicure total black rischiarata solamente da un’unghia oro in contrasto. Perchè questa spicchi sulle mani come un gioiello vi suggeriamo di scegliere uno smalto metallizzato in una tonalità chiara e luminosa d’oro. Un’altra combinazione semplice da realizzare prevede unghie tutte nere e very dark accesse da piccolo glitter oro. L’effetto cielo stellato è assicurato e le vostre mani saranno irresistibili.

La french manicure più trendy e innovativa prevede la combinazione di colori diversi dal classico bianco e nude. Noi vi suggeriamo di provarla unendo tra loro l’oro e il nero, il risultato sarà sorprendente. Le modalità di realizzazione sono diverse, noi suggeriamo due stili. Una base nera con lunetta oro per in twist chic della french o una decorazione very cool, l’half moon manicure declinata in oro e nero per un effetto ancora più sorprendente.

Amazon’s Luxury Beauty Store Is Exciting News For Cosmetics Lovers

Get ready to drop a whole lot of cash on cosmetics — has just received a shipment of Burberry, NARS, Deborah Lippmann and more as it officially launches the Luxury Beauty Store today.

Click on over to the site, and you’ll find a sleek, more streamlined design than your typical Amazon page along with a slew of top-notch hair, skin and makeup offerings. “We have heard very clearly from our customers that they are looking for luxury brands,” Chance Wales, Amazon’s director of beauty and health & personal care, told Women’s Wear Daily. “The flipside is we also needed to do something on the brand side, so we put a lot of time and effort into refining the experience.”

That time sure paid off. The 24 brands featured on the site, which include the aforementioned labels as well as Stila and Dr. Brandt Skincare, are certainly not the drugstore staples already found on the site or the discounted high-end fare we’ve come to expect from Amazon Marketplace. Rather, the e-commerce giant has enlisted a team of 12 editors to curate the page, spotlighting an “On Trend” category for shoppers to peruse and purchase runway-inspired looks like “Bold Lips” and “Metallic Nails.”

Though Amazon is already known as the “world’s largest online retailer,” we think this is a wise move for the site. Just last March,, high fashion’s own little Amazon, expanded into luxury beauty. Clearly, there’s a market for ladies who want their $30 lipstick and $150 perfume without all of the pestering of a department store beauty counter or the madness of the aisles at Sephora on a Saturday.

When you factor in free shipping with a $25 purchase, can you blame them? Check out the look of Amazon’s newly launched Luxury Beauty Store below and tell us if you’ll be shopping.

Haute Off the Press: Mom Cuts Off Willow’s Critics

The girl who rose to fame for whipping her hair back and forth is in the news for making another bold move with those legendary locks.

Twelve-year-old Willow Smith, daughter of Hollywood power couple Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, recently posted a photo online of her newly shaved head. Critics immediately sounded off on the look, questioning the parenting skills of a mom and dad whose youngest child is already well-known for her alternative grunge-meets-punk sense of style characterized by hot pink hair, funky nail art and platform combat boots.

In response, mom took to Facebook and posted this powerful reply:

The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be.

Over 40,000 likes and shares later, it’s clear that Pinkett Smith’s message resonated with a lot of women. After all, how many of us have been told how to do (or not do) our hair, makeup and nails, whether during our girlhood days or as adults? Why do young women who experiment with untraditional expressions of beauty experience such backlash?

In reading through the online commentary, it seems there are two overall reactions. In one camp are those who feel that while girls should be free to explore their identities as they grow and mature, parents need to set boundaries of guidance. Too many parents are primarily concerned with being friends, they argue, and need to remember to be parents, too.

Wendy, a reader on my Facebook page, agrees with the above stance, but has her own wisdom to add: “That being said, it’s all about what is important enough to fight. If it doesn’t harm them or anyone else, I say go for it! Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

I’m guessing there’s more harmony in Wendy’s home than in most with young kids!

In the other camp are folks who don’t understand what the big to-do is over a girl shaving her head. They believe the social boundaries that make this choice of style appear odd aren’t fair to begin with, and only serve to support outdated gender notions of what it means to be a girl. To them, there is nothing outrageous or even questionable about Smith shaving her head.

Beauty to die for: health hazards of cosmetics and skin care products revealed

Your medicine cabinet is one of the most dangerous areas of your house, and not for the reasons you may think. Lurking just behind your bathroom mirror, where all of your favorite beauty products are housed, is a virtual toxic nightmare. The growing list of synthetic ingredients manufacturers add to their products is turning the most innocent-looking shampoos and moisturizers into cocktails of toxins that could cause cancer or reproductive damage over years of sustained use. Modern cosmetics contain a host of dangerous ingredients, which would be more at home in a test tube than in our bodies.

Like most people, you probably assume that the ingredients found in beauty products have been thoroughly tested for safety well before they land on your grocery store’s shelves. After all, the government has regulations in place for the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe. One would assume that the FDA would also be overseeing the cosmetic industry to ensure the health and safety of consumers. Unfortunately, the FDA has little power when it comes to regulating the ingredients found in your beauty products. In fact, the only people ensuring the safety of personal care products are the very people who govern the industry: The Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA). Scientists paid by the CTFA make up the Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel (CIR) and are charged with regulating the safety of the industry’s products.

In 2004, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released the findings of a study it conducted regarding the safety of beauty care products. Comparing approximately 10,000 ingredients found in 7,500 different products against lists of known and suspected chemical health hazards, the research revealed that the CIR was falling tragically short of ensuring consumer safety.

Of the 7,500 products tested by the EWG, a mere 28 had been evaluated for safety by the CIR. The EWG found that one in every 120 products analyzed contained ingredients certified by the government as known or probable carcinogens and that nearly one-third of the products contained ingredients classified as possible carcinogens. Astoundingly, 54 products even violated recommendations for safe use that the CIR had put in place, yet these products are still available for sale today.

Of the products tested, the worst offenders were those containing the cancer-causing ingredients coal tar, alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids, and those containing the hormone-disrupting ingredient, phthalate.

Coal Tar
Seventy-one hair dye products evaluated were found to contain ingredients derived from coal tar (listed as FD&C or D&C on ingredients labels). Several studies have linked long-time hair dye use to bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

A research study conducted in 2001 by the USC School of Medicine found that women using permanent hair dye at least once a month more than doubled their risk of bladder cancer. The study estimates that “19 percent of bladder cancer in women in Los Angeles, California, may be attributed to permanent hair dye use.”

A link between hair dye and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was established in 1992 when a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute found that 20 percent of all cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may be linked to hair dye use.

While the FDA has not stepped in to prevent the use of coal tar in beauty products, it does advise consumers that reducing hair dye use will possibly reduce the risk of cancer.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) & Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA)
Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids are commonly used in products advertised to remove wrinkles, blemishes, blotches and acne scars. With consumer complaints of burning, swelling and pain associated with AHA and BHA flooding into the FDA, the regulatory body began conducting its own research about 15 years ago. The findings linked the use of AHA and BHA with a doubling of UV-induced skin damage and a potential increased risk of skin cancer.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, skin cancer has reached “epidemic proportions,” with 1 million new cases occurring each year and one person dying every hour from the disease. The agency estimates that, at the current rate, one in five people will develop skin cancer over their lifetime.

The FDA’s study findings were presented to the CIR, but the panel approved the continued use of AHA and BHA “in spite of serious safety questions submitted by a consumer group and a major manufacturer,” according to an FDA spokesperson.

Even though one out of every 17 products analyzed by the EWG study contained either AHA or BHA (with nearly 10 percent being moisturizers and 6 percent sunscreens), the most that the FDA could do was suggest that products containing the ingredients carry a warning to use sunscreen and to limit sun exposure while using the product. A puzzling solution, since some of the products containing the dangerous ingredient are designed specifically for use in the sun.

Phthalates are industrial plasticizers widely used in personal care products to moisturize and soften skin, impart flexibility to nail polish after it dries and enhance the fragrances used in most products. Studies indicate that phthalates cause a wide range of birth defects and lifelong reproductive impairments, targeting every organ in the male reproductive system and causing problems ranging from low sperm count to serious genital deformities that can lead to an increased risk of cancer.

While the EWG only found four products with phthalate listed as an ingredient (all nail care products), there is no telling how many products actually contain it. The industry is not required to list fragrance ingredients or “trade secret” ingredients on products, and phthalates often fall into one of those two categories.

In September 2004, the European Union implemented a ban on all beauty products containing phthalates. California Assemblywoman Judy Chu has proposed a similar bill (AB 908) to be voted on later this year that would implement the same ban in the United States. Opponents of the bill, mainly the CTFA, argue that changing labeling processes would present a huge economic burden and could infringe on trade secrets. A similar bill failed just last year.