Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Postcards of Beauty: Hong Kong

Last week I posted about the new feature I am introducing to Beautyzest, a monthly post in which I'll introduce readers from across the globe & provide a peek into their beauty routines. I am so excited to announce that we have our first...let's begin!

Our first international beauty is the gorgeous & insanely talented Kavita from Hong Kong....

Name: Kavita Devi Faiella

Lives: Hong Kong

I fill my days with: Wine. I am the wine director for The Press Room Group - a restaurant group with 12 different restaurants throughout the city, so my days are filled with all things vinous.

But if I wasn’t working, I would: Be at the beach. Having been born in Sri Lanka and growing up in the southern beaches of Sydney - it is my favorite place, no matter where in the world. There are lots of great secret beaches in Hong Kong - its one of the things I love most about the city.

Describe your skincare routine…I use Aesop products - I am addicted to them and completely infatuated with the way each product smells. At the end of the day I use their make up remover, Parsley Seed Cleansing Oil, B & Tea Balancing Toner, and then their Anti Oxidant Face and Eye Serum. Once a week I use their Primrose facial cleansing mask and once a month I spoil myself by having a facial at their concept store in Soho.

When do you feel most beautiful? After a day at the beach. Skin glowing, tanned and moisturized with body oil. It makes me wish it were the weekend everyday.

My couldn’t-live-without product: Blush! i can't leave the house without blush - even when I'm exercising.

Favourite fragrance: Oh - there are so many. I am a fragrance freak. As a sommelier I am obsessed with the way things smell and I collect perfumes from all over the world.
At the moment - as it is summer here in Hong Kong I am wearing Bal D'Afrique by Breydo a Swedish perfume house. It smells of Bergamot, Lemon, Neroli, African Marigold, Violet, Jasmin, Petals, Cyclamen.

For me, happiness is: Sitting around a table with my favorite people eating good food and drinking good wine.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Favourites

Three snippets of loveliness from the week that was...
We spent a blissful Saturday in Bowral, country NSW {my 'happy place' & also the town in which we'll be married later this year} attending to wedding appointments, meandering through bookstores & sipping hot chocolate. We couldn't help ourselves & headed up to Centennial Vineyards, our reception venue, for a glass of bubbles on the lawn before returning back to the frenetic pace of Sydney. 

I took a break from bright & went soft, sweet & ladylike instead with Chanel's Peche Nacrée...

After much anticipation, the postman arrived with my brand-new copy of Cupcakes & Cashmere - author, blogging superstar & all-round genius Emily Schuman's first foray into print. The source of endless inspiration & divine prettiness, this book is every bit as lovely as her famous blog. As suspected, it's already a best-seller! Pick up your copy here

Wishing you an amazing weekend!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Product Review:: Kitoko Oil Treatment

Ever noticed your hair colour fading or changing tone in the weeks following your salon appointment? Perhaps you've felt it become heavy with product build up & concerned about it's brittleness when using your GHD?! Well, I'm excited to share that I have found the remedy...

My discovery came when I was chatting last week with the amazingly talented Maret Beare from TONIC Hair (not just an expert colourist, Maret is also an incredible stylist - you should see what this girl can do with a pair of scissors!). We were discussing the best treatment for locks tortured with heat styling & colour-processing as my (faux) blonde, dry hair was needing a little TLC. Her unparalleled, absolutely-can't-go-without recommendation? Kitoko Oil Treatment.

Formulated with a unique blend of Karite & Argan Oil and enriched with a cocktail of omega oils, antioxidants and Vitamins A & E, this hair elixir is ultra nourishing. Just a few drops of the heavenly-smelling product before blow-drying is all that's required for smooth, moisturised, shiny hair. I found it was instantly absorbed & didn't feel at all greasy. It's lightweight nature means it is suitable for all hair-types, including fine & damaged hair. Unlike many other oil treatments, Kitoko is not silicone based, meaning that there is no danger of product build up - the perpetrator of dull, limp tresses & sworn enemy of hairdressers everywhere. This also means it's safe to use with heat styling, so don't hesitate to hit it with the curling irons! If all of this isn't enough to have you running to your nearest salon & you're looking still looking for an added bonus...Kitoko is created with an in-built UV filter, which works to prevent hair discolouring as a result UV exposure, leading to longer-lasting colour lustre!  

After just two wash-&-blowdry rounds, my hair feels softer, smoother & generally looks healthier. The ends are sealed & the lengths bouncy with renewed elasticity. Despite it being a new crush, Kitoko has indeed been gladly welcomed into my beauty essentials hall of fame. 



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Postcards of Beauty

I don't know about you, but I always love reading about other people's beauty routines; seeing their favourite products & hearing their tried-&-tested beauty tips. Growing up, my favourite features in magazines were always the ones where women shared the contents of their bathroom cupboards & make up bags. So many of my favourite products & best-loved tricks are with me as a result of these features. Perhaps this explains my love affair with beauty blogs...which are essentially a curated collection of other people's favourite things!

In the spirit of continually exploring & expanding beauty horizons, I'm introducing a new monthly feature - Postcards of Beauty. This will be a regular post where I introduce Beautyzest readers from across the globe & ask them to share a peek into their own beauty routines.

If you'd like to be featured, wherever in the world you are, please email me at jacquiehocking@gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!



Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Favourites

Three small pockets of joy from the week...

The new season nail lacquer collection from Chanel. 
Available in three delicious new shades; Vertigo, Frenzy & Suspicious 

Pretty climbing roses in full bloom

Salted caramel, strawberry & vanilla bean macarons from Lindt. Three little mouthfuls of heaven!

Wishing you a beautiful weekend


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Amazing Base

When it comes to creating the illusion of flawless, perfect skin with makeup, it's all about the base. While others love flexing their creative muscles with clever eyeliner tricks & fancy shadow application, for me there is nothing more beautiful than a perfect base application. Here are the simple steps to guarantee a beautiful, natural-looking complexion (& have them begging to know your skincare secrets...)


1. Preparation is key - invest a little time preparing your skin & you'll notice the difference not only in how your make up sits, but in how long it lasts throughout the day. Of course great preparation starts with quality skincare, but that's a conversation for another day! Prep your skin for make up application with a quality primer - one that hydrates & refines your skin's texture so that product that follows sits on an even, smooth canvas. My pick...Lancome La Base Hydra Glow Primer, which not only plumps, but injects a little radiance too.

2. A match made in heaven - perfect-looking skin doesn't automatically equate to full coverage. Select the foundation finish best suited to your skin's colouring, condition & needs. Blessed with an even, healthy complexion? A dusting of mineral make up or a veil of tinted moisturiser will suit you perfectly. Concerned with pigmentation or uneven tone? Select a foundation formulated with particles designed to illuminate, even skintone & fade dark spots. With the multitudes of foundations available on the market - your perfect match is out there! Spend a little time tracking it down & you'll find it's a happy relationship. Currently, I'm loving...NARS Sheer Glow Foundation for it's silky finish & light-to-medium coverage. 

3. Blend to perfection - we've all seen it; poor foundation blending leads to unsightly, uneven coverage & dirty-looking tide marks (never a pretty look!). Give yourself enough time to blend your foundation well up into your hairline and down your neck & décolletage. And when you think you've got it? Blend a little more. 

4. Keep your secrets -  a good concealer is akin to a cosmetic secret weapon. We all have imperfections we'd rather not advertise, be they dark under-eye circles, sun spots or blemishes. With a little handiwork they are easily disguised! The perfect choice...Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, an iconic two-tone palette that allows you to customise the perfect concealer colour.

5. Glow! Nothing screams healthy skin like a little luminosity. Be warned though, there is a big difference between shine & glow...apply your highlighter to the top of your cheekbones, brow bone & collarbone for a natural, beautiful look. Benefit High Beam is glow-in-a-bottle perfection, a pinky, liquid highlighter just perfect for raising cheekbones & complementing brows.

Together, these wonder products work to create a natural, beautiful complexion!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Meet My Sweetheart


This furry little face contributes so much beauty & happiness to my life, it seemed only right that she made a cameo appearance. Since coming into my life almost 18 months ago (when she was just 6 weeks old!), Audrey & I have the best of friends. I was warned pugs were clingy, but this little girl takes it to a new level; she sits in my lap any chance she gets & each day her face at the window is the first thing I see when I get home. 

Audrey loves:
  • Sunday morning snuggles 
  • Watching movies
  • Stealing socks from the laundry
  • Sleeping in front of the fireplace
But doesn't care for:
  • Supermarket dog food (you can actually see her turn her squishy little nose up at it)
  • Bed time
  • Other little dogs - she much prefers the company of big breeds!   
A complete little personality in a bundle of fur & love, she makes every day beautiful.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Favourites

Three little things that made this week sweet...

Yet another addition to the ever-expanding collection, I discovered this delicious book in a beautiful little book shop when I was away over the weekend. With amazing photos & illustrations, it walks you through the arrondissement's of Paris, sharing secrets of the best, most inspiring boutiques, markets, tea salons & stores. 

I've fallen head over heels for Loving Earth's Organic Mylk Chocolate. This one is made with organic coconut nectar & is melt-in-your mouth phenomenal. 

A pretty pastel mani using sweet, soft shades of OPI's Mod About You & Done Out In Deco. 

Wishing you an amazing weekend!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pretty Pout

Lipstick Queen Poppy King was in Australia last week, visiting from New York for Kit Cosmetics where she was running in-store events & playing match-maker, uniting woman with their perfect lipstick shades all across Australia.

I have long been a fan of Poppy's - I loved her book Lessons of a Lipstick Queen, which gives a backstage peek into the phenomenal story of how she created & built a cosmetics empire, starting when she was just 18 years of age! I love her entrepreneurial spirit, her creativity & most of all, her passion.

Following the phenomenal success of her Poppy King lipsticks in the nineties (there wasn't a single glamazon that didn't own at least one of her legendary matte red bullets), she has now re-launched with a newly formulated range of lip treats. Part of this range is the Saints & Sinners collection. As their names suggest, they offer two widely different options. The Saints collection features sheer, semi-glossed lipsticks with just a wash of colour (10% pigment), while the Sinners are rich in colour & intensity, perfect for making a statement. Both offer a wide selection of shades, ranging from subtle nudes, through pretty pinks & corals to daring, punchy reds. Each equally gorgeous, it's purely a choice of how you like to wear your lip colour.

My perfect match? Prescribed by the Lipstick Whisperer herself - Saint Rose for subtle daytime prettiness and Saint Red for a pop of sheer colour, perfect for nights out with the girls drinking cocktails...or days that just demand a little glamour, Poppy-style.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Perfect Match: The Findation Project

Exciting news for online-shopping-addicted beauty queens (you know who you are!)...the Findation Project has launched!

The clever invention of Adore Beauty founder Kate Morris, Findation is a genius new site that offers a multi-brand, international database of foundation shades equipped with in-built technology to allow perfect shade matching online! Allow me to explain...

This brilliant concept offers an elegant solution to a modern-day beauty dilemma. While many have discovered the joy that is online shopping & spent numerous evenings tucked up in their PJ's, eating ice-cream in bed while gleefully getting their retail therapy fix from the comfort of their own home, until now shopping for the perfect foundation online has been a little tricky. With the introduction of Findation however, you can now confidently purchase foundation online & be assured that the shade you've selected is right for your complexion. The site allows you to input details of two foundations you know to be your correct shade & will then automatically create recommendations for you in numerous other brands, based on your best colour matches. It even provides a percentage rating for each 'match', indicating how compatible it is!

So, if you know that you're a Medium Beige in bareMinerals & are dying to try Nars Sheer Glow foundation, simply pop your details in &....voila! Findation will advise you of the correct shade. Simple really, & fun (if only online dating was as easy!)

Be sure to visit & play along - the more data the site obtains, the more accurate it will be...leading to more perfect foundation shade matches across the globe! 


Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Favourites

Three little snapshots of things that made me happy this week...

A trip to my favourite florist. Creative superstars Naomi & Esther from The Sisters are hugely talented & have the most divine store, brimming with beautiful blooms & buzzing with the kind of energy that can only be created from people who truly love what they do. 

Wearing my heart on my wrist: my two favourite pieces of arm candy are etched with meaning that focuses me each time I see them. Opa Designs created the silver disc bracelet, inscribed with the mantra I live my life by {a potent reminder that only we can create the life we wish to live}.  The rose quartz one is Thomas Sabo; a gift from a dear friend, it carries my initials (including my soon to be new married surname). 


I couldn't go past these delicious Coconut Almond Bars when I saw them on Camille Styles recently & immediately set out to recreate them. Super easy to make, ultra delicious & naturally gluten free? They had me at hello. 

Wishing you an amazing weekend!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Little Luxuries

Spoiling yourself needn't demand a lavish expense or months of detailed planning. So often, it's the little gifts we give ourselves that are the sweetest. Here are ten simple ways to bring a little indulgence to your days, each with a 'luxury upgrade' for those who need the extra TLC!


1. Pouring a glass of bubbles ... to be sipped from a chilled champagne flute

2. Treating yourself to a mani/ pedi ... then paying a little extra for an extended foot massage

3. Giving in to sweet tooth cravings & not feeling guilty for a second! ... Make it a truly decadent choice like Haighs Nougat Dark Chocolate Bars

4. Running a deep, relaxing bath ... & adding luxe scented bath oil like Jo Malone's Blue French Lime Blossom 

5. Spending an evening watching your favourite movie ... with a face mask on & a big bowl of salted popcorn by your side

6. Putting fresh, clean sheets on the bed ...washed with a capful of eucalyptus oil in the machine for an ultra-clean, fresh-linen fragrance

7. Starting your day with a milky morning latte ... savoured with a side of salted caramel macarons

8. Donning chunky- knit winter bed socks from Peter Alexander before bed ... slathering your tootsies in rich moisturiser before slipping them on. Hello baby-soft feet the next morning!

9. Placing pretty, fresh blooms on your desk ... arranged in your best crystal vase

10. Spritzing your favourite fragrance ... layered over a matching body cream for extra aromatic intensity


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Little Skin Therapy

Being the skincare lover that I am, I was thrilled last week to see Adore Beauty offering the chance to purchase a curated sample kit containing six of their favourite 'super serums'. While cleansing & hydrating is de rigour in even the most low-maintenance skincare regimes, it's the step in the middle that excites me most. 

The serums, masks, exfoliants, oils & specialist treatment correctors that follow cleansing offer the greatest opportunity to treat skin. Often highly concentrated & specifically designed to address a targeted skin concern, they are the magical elixirs of skincare. When used consistently & as advised, they have the power to transform & often can be the critical difference between good skin & truly great skin. 

The Adore Beauty Super Serums sampler contained trial-sized versions of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, Lancome Genefique Youth Activator, Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster, Trilogy Rosehip Oil, Antioxidant +, Alpha-H Liquid Gold Prep & Prime & Subtle Energies Facial Blend. I cannot wait to get into trialling each & every one of them and seeing how my skin reacts!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Musing

Always remember...your thoughts become your reality {make them pretty ones!}