These skin-saving plant serums are revolutionising the beauty industry

Clean beauty is open to interpretation, and with no specific definition many skincare brands who tout the words ‘organic’ or ‘green’ can wind up being misleading. With such confusion, it can be hard to find the brands that cut through the noise and actually deliver, and often we find ourselves in need of a bit of guidance. The Facialist, recent winners of Best Holistic Beauty Destination at the NZ Best In Beauty Awards, has become our trusted source for all things clean skincare, and us here at Denizen can’t get enough of its ever-expanding repertoire of effective, organic, genuine products. It goes without saying, then, that we’ve been waiting with bated breath for The Facialist’s latest brand launch Biologi, the all-natural skincare hero that has cemented itself firmly in the hearts — and beauty cupboards — of the beauty cognoscenti.

Skincare that really is worth its holistic salt, Biologi’s Australian-made serums have revolutionised the industry with their 100 per cent active, water-soluble plant extract formulas — the first of its kind in the world. (Most products have included active ingredients at about 2 per cent.) Each elixir, created by renowned skincare chemist Ross Macdougald, is a multi-purpose wonder, designed to replace your moisturiser, night cream, day cream and eye cream, condensing the wearisome multi-stage regime into one, simple step. The line consists of four main serums, Bd Luminosity, Bk Rejuvination, Bf Hydration and, the latest addition, Bqk Radiance. Each is designed with a specific target in mind but are so multi-faceted in their results that they can be used to cure a variety of skin ailments. The Bf Hydration body serum, in particular, combines a unique blend of fruit acids and vitamin C to create a formula so moisture-boosting that it’s just as beneficial when used on other areas, like the face, lips and hair.

A unique brand that’s offering a radically different approach to skincare, Biologi really is paving the way for a cleaner, safer, far friendlier future in beauty. Once again, it seems, we’re thanking The Facialist for pointing us in the right direction, Biologi is a brand we’ll be championing evermore.

The Facialist

Shed 16
City Works Depot
2-16 Sale Street


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McCleod's Pizza Barn

McLeod’s Brewery has re-opened its pizza barn, giving us the perfect excuse for a day trip

A getaway doesn’t always have to include jetting off to exotic locations or staying in lavish accommodation. All you need to do, is simply escape your regular surroundings and take a breather. One of our favourite places to go for a day of R&R is up North and the re-opening of McLeod’s Pizza Barn and Brewery is giving us all the more reason to go. The scenic drive takes just under two hours and is the perfect distance for a quick road trip.

The renowned McLeod’s Brewery has earned a number of awards, including three gold medals at the 2018 Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand Awards and its signature craft beer can be found both on tap and bottled at its Pizza Barn in Waipu. After a month-long break, the barn is back in full swing with an impressive line up of small-batch brews. With 11 beers on tap, covering from pale ale to stout and a further four varieties offering something a little different, including a Barley Wine and a limited-edition Black Sour, this barn is the place to be for the lovers of a brewski.

The Globetrotter pizza — smoked venison sausage, mushrooms, streaky bacon, roasted garlic, caramelised onion and capsicum

Designed to pair with the pints is a pizza menu that exceeds all expectations. Filled with delicious options that are loaded with the freshest toppings, each pizza is packed full of flavour. Our favourite is hands down, the Cooper which features herb roased chicken, bacon, mushroom, sundried tomatoes and parmesan cheese on a crispy thin crust. The vegetarian pizzas at the barn are also not to be missed, especially the kumara, avocado and brie medley, otherwise known as the Herbalist

The specials change depending on the seasonal availability of ingredients, which means that patrons can rest assured in the knowledge that what they’re getting is nothing but the freshest. The specials offer the chefs a chance to delve into other pub classics such as burgers, wings and fish and chips — and boy do they do a good job of it.

Following your pub and grub session (please be sure to secure a sober driver for the day), combat the carb coma and explore the rest of Waipu such as the Waipu Caves. Or add another hour to the journey by heading towards the East Coast side of Northland and soak in the quaint ambience of Tutukaka to really make the drive well worth it.

McLeod's Pizza Barn & Brewery

2 Cove Rd

(09) 432 1011


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Comet by Colin McCahon (1974)

This striking exhibition celebrates 100 years of preeminent Kiwi artist Colin McCahon

This year marks 100 years since the birth of revered New Zealand painter, Colin McCahon — a man whose distinctive adaptation of modernism rendered his work seminal in the wider landscape of art in this country. Now, Auckland’s Gow Langsford Gallery is celebrating the considerable impact of this cultural figure, with an arresting exhibition called Across The Earth: 100 Years of Colin McCahon.

The exhibition comprises a collection of significant paintings that speak to McCahon’s unique interpretation of the New Zealand landscape — a series of loose canvases from McCahon’s Muriwai period. Expressing the rawness of the environments he depicted by rendering them on canvas that hadn’t been stretched or framed, McCahon’s focus on maintaining textural integrity delivered raw representations of his chosen subject. It also allowed the artist to imbue his works with a sense of urgency and immediacy, where the unrefined edges and simple compositions confronted the viewer with the wild essence of the New Zealand landscape.

Left: Kokowai (1976) | Right: A Handkerchief for St Veronica (1973)

Included in Gow Langsford’s exhibition is McCahon’s Urewera Triptych (1975) an important piece in which the artist captured the Urewera National Park and its people, Ngai Tuhoe iwi. The exhibition also includes pieces like A Handkerchief for St Veronica, McCahon’s 1973 painting in which the subject (a handkerchief) is given added depth via the artist’s choice to depict it on loose canvas; and Comet (1974) which saw the artist depicts the varying shades of a night sky, where a white horizon glows at the bottom of the frame.

Urewera Triptych (1975)

Set to be an exhibition not to miss, Across The Earth: 100 Years of Colin McCahon is on now and runs until 3rd August.

For more information, click here.

Gow Langsford Gallery

26 Lorne Street

(09) 303 9391


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This tranquil São Paolo residence is the perfect place for a spot of quiet reflection

In the São Paolo town of Vinhedo, nestled high within a flourishing canopy, sits a masterclass in the art of escapism. Casa Biblioteca — or ‘Library House’ as it’s otherwise known — was commissioned by a Brazilian philosopher with one particular brief in mind: it had to be a relaxing haven perfect for both thinking and reading in peace. 

The result, brought about by São Paolo-based architects Atelier Branco Arquitetura, was a 200 square metre retreat set within Vinhedo’s lush, forested region, the ‘Mata Atlantica.’ A unique play with dimensions sees the dwelling submerged within a sloping hill, where the roof of the house is level with the street. Uninterrupted floor-to-ceiling glass, held in place by two sandwiching concrete sheets and eight long-limbed concrete pillars, provides perpetual views of the lush, encircling verdure.

Once inside, the home is spacious and minimalistic. Dividing walls have been eschewed in favour of an open, timber clad interior, where wooden floorboards run throughout and ‘rooms’ are separated by three levels, distinguished only by the furniture that sits within. On the second floor, a built-in wooden bookshelf coils around the space, complemented by a variety of sculptural seating finished in a muted colour palette.

Tapping into the notion that sometimes there is nothing better in life than immersing oneself in nature, curling up in a comfortable chair and forgetting the world in favour of a quality read, The Library House sets a new precedent for the humble quiet retreat.


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How to choose the most flattering facial hair according to your face shape

Distinct face shapes call for different styles of facial fuzz so if you’re bewildered by symmetry, consult our guide for some handy tips on hair growth. 

Round Face
Those with rounder profiles who are yearning for a fuller beard should be wary, for a large quantity of hair around a circular face makes the head resemble a fully pumped soccer ball with turf attached. Consider reigning it in with a finely trimmed goatee instead, this thinner style paired alongside a fuller snot mop slenderises and flatters the face while still proving that you can grow some.

Square Face
Recognisable by its strongly defined jawline and even, angular proportions, the square is probably the most easily spotted face shape. At risk of looking like a hard-edged Johnny Bravo, square faces should not sport square beards. Instead, opt for a shorter on the sides, longer on the chin look — shaping and softening it as it grows into a more oval, rounded shape for elongation.

Oval Face
Those lucky buggers who are gifted with an oval face can attempt almost any beard style going. Touted as the most symmetrically pleasing shape, the even features of the face mean that there’s no balancing out necessary. From a simple crumb catcher to a full Forrest Gump, you can switch your style up as often as you like, perfect for those in an identity crisis.

Triangular Face
Like an upside down triangle, those sporting this kind of face shape are broader at the temples, declining downwards into a tapered end. To draw attention away from the fact that your chins sharper than the tip of Madonna’s bra cone it pays to divert with a full and thick moustachio, take cues from OITNB’s ‘pornstache’ or Super Mario for exceptional distraction tactics.

Rectangle Face
Why the long face? There’s plenty you can work with if you sport a rectangular shape, just be sure not to elongate it further unless you’re coveting the BoJack Horseman aesthetic. Growing a fuller beard around the cheek area will give the impression of a slightly wider jawline while simultaneously distracting from the length of the face.

Diamond Face
With wide cheeks paired alongside a narrow forehead and jawline, it’s best to keep the sides short so as not to accentuate the face’s diamond shape. Growing thicker whiskers on the edge of the jawbone help to soften and even out the hard edges face shape, while a lighter nose neighbour will further emphasise the cheeks and jawline.

Image credit: ALASDAIR MCLELLAN via GQ


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Mukbang YouTuber — Stephanie Soo

Food 101: Unravelling the success behind the mukbang video sensation

Anybody who has fallen deep into the YouTube portal would have come across a video of someone sitting in front of a camera and filming themselves eat. Some of the videos consist of regular-sized, some are super-sized portions, but they all include the act of eating. They could be telling a story while they have their dinner, they could be doing a live Q&A or they don’t say a word and just eat with no distractions. These captivating eating videos are called ‘mukbang,’ (pronounced ‘mock bung’) a video category which started in South Korea and here is why they are so widely popular.

The word ‘mukbang’ is dissected into two different words, ‘muk’ short for ‘eating’ and ‘bang’ translating to ‘room’. Together, the words mean ‘eating room’ and the content stays true to its name. Over the years, the concept of mukbang has turned into a source of entertainment where small-framed people feast on abnormally large portions and this holds the audience until they finish the entire meal. However, the reasons for the popularity of mukbangs stem from the idea of using these videos to combat certain customs in Korean society.

Fueled by the economic boom in South Korea, working 12 hour days is not something that is considered unusual. In 2017, it was reported by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that the average South Korean found themselves working a total of 2024 hours per year. To put that into perspective, New Zealanders spend, on average, 268 hours less in the office compared to the employees in South Korea’s workforce. Working over-time has led to the culture of dining alone to become highly prevalent in modern-day South Korea. Instead of eating alone, many people found themselves turning to the computer and eating with the person on their screen.

South Korean mukbang celebrity — Banzz

Dining etiquette is also a significant component of South Korean culture. There are rules to who at the table eats first, who serves, which side to put your rice bowl and which side to place your soup, the list goes on and it can be overwhelming. Mukbangs are an escape for people to relax and eat without having to abide by these strict rules, ultimately becoming a breathing space for many people of the country.

Mukbang videos have become a money-making industry with mukbang celebrities generating an income through viewers donating money via their live streams. However, this industry has also become somewhat problematic. The South Korean government announced that they will be releasing guidelines to regulate mukbangs as the consumption of unrealistically large helpings could potentially promote actions that are harmful to one’s health such as binge eating.

So there you have it. Now the next time you stumble across a video of someone staring directly into the camera while eating their way through 10 bowls of noodles, just know that there’s a reason to your captivation. Embrace it, continue to watch or better yet, fix up your own plate and join the person on screen.


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Xi wears: Alliance Plume ring and Joséphine Eclat Floral ring by Chaumet from Hartfield
Xi wears: Joséphine Aube Printanière ring and Les Eternelles de Chaumet bracelet by Chaumet from Hartfield
Xi wears: Joséphine Aigrette bracelets, Liens Evidence bracelets and Joséphine Aigrette rings by Chaumet from Hartfield
Xi wears: Bee My Love ring, Bee My Love solitaire ring, Liens Evidence ring and Bee My Love bracelets

I spent an afternoon trying on diamonds and this is how it made me feel

It’s fair to say that most women are passionate about jewellery. And behind every sparkly gem, is a moving story. So it was with much excitement that I decided the other day to venture into Hartfield Jewellers on Parnell Road, to discover the latest Chaumet pieces that had just landed in store.

Xi wears: Joséphine Aigrette rings, Joséphine Aigrette bracelets and Liens Séduction pendant (left); Liens Séduction pendant and Les Eternelles de Chaumet bracelet (right) by Chaumet from Hartfield

The renowned house of Chaumet was founded in Paris, in 1780, and as such, has a storied history. The brand has endured through eras that saw the likes of the French Revolution, the first Republic of France, the first Empire of France, and the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty. Many of its designs have been inspired by the regalia worn by royal dynasties of the past, and its settings and stones are of a quality that render its modern-day pieces fit for such lofty associations.

Xi wears: Joséphine Aigrette and Liens Evidence bracelets by Chaumet from Hartfield

The story of Chaumet is intricately tied to that of the love between Napoleon and Empress Joséphine and its three collections, Joséphine, Liens and Jardins each carry associations of love, deep emotion and timeless beauty. Owner of Hartfield, Margaret Foley, told me that many young customers visit the store for the first time when they are about to get married, and the pieces resonate so emotionally with them then, that they often become customers for life.

Xi wears: Liens Séduction pendant (left; Joséphine Aigrette rings and Liens Séduction pendant by Chaumet from Hartfield

From the breathtaking workmanship of the Joséphine rings to the symbolic links that represent deep connection in the Liens collection, to the dainty, honeycomb-shaped Bee My Love pieces, every sparkling diamond that makes up Chaumet’s impressive repertoire seems to have a story, and every piece its own poignant meaning.

Hartfield Jewellers

327 Parnell Road

(09) 373 2472


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Skiing etiquette 101: How to behave when hitting the slopes

Indulging in a lavish Ski escape? Heed our handy advice for slope-side behaviour.

This winter, make the most of your alpine adventure with an unwavering indifference to others. Today’s mountain etiquette can be simply employed through blatant disregard. Follow our foolproof guide to slope etiquette to guarantee a season to remember.

Right of way
While it’s true that the skier in front has the right of way, it may also be true that they are in the way. As the better skier, show your dominance via your skill by confidently extolling your intended line of passing as you approach to overtake. Ideally navigated at a distance no greater than one metre (at speed) from the other person, alert them of your presence with phrases such as “better skier passing” and “professional coming through” in languages other than your own, thus displaying courtesy for their unknown origins, while simultaneously displaying your own worldly experience. Remember, much like driving, in the case of a collision, the skier at the back is always the responsible party. Any such incident should be met with a swift retreat back to the comfort and privacy of the café for a heartening glass of red before you can be held accountable.

Assisting others
It’s incredibly amusing when someone physically eats snow on the mountain. A ballet of head, over heels, over poles, over skis. But while these masses of meat, metal, pine and plastic can be a real traffic jam, it must be noted that yard sales of this variety can happen to the best of us. Next time you approach such a mess with the intention of gliding by laughing, pause to consider that this very pile-up could be the local mayor, or even Kate Hawkesby. As such, always provide assistance if their equipment and attire point to affluence or power.

Lift line cutting
Lift lines can be notoriously long at even New Zealand’s less popular ski fields. Save time through ignorance, maintaining a steady pace towards the chairlift cutting into any gap made available in the pack. Should comment arise simply respond with shock and confusion that you thought they were all waiting for someone. Aides to ignorance during lift line cutting include; headphones, cell phones, iPads, crying children or fiddling with your Go-Pro.

On the lift
Pull the safety bar down immediately, as your health and safety are much more important than any potential risk of injury to a pesky stranger in your vicinity. Be sure to avoid and ignore any attempts at conversation from said stranger, chair lifts can have a habit of stopping, at which time you’ll have plenty of time to chat. Aides to ignorance on the lift include; headphones, cellphones, iPads and searching for something that isn’t there… every pocket.

Exiting the lift
Directly after your exit from the chair join your fellow skiers in a communal cluster. This is the perfect place for idle chat, business calls and selfies. Less experienced skiers and snowboarders who become easily frazzled at the sight of the gathering crowd, promise to wobble amusingly and often times fall over providing added entertainment.

Don’t waste time on the nursery slopes, you’ll progress more swiftly by skiing alongside those you wish to emulate. Only black runs will expose you to the challenges you need in order to become as good as your idol. If you’re having trouble keeping up, try skiing in a perfectly straight line and remember to always feign complete composure – at any cost.

Lesson awareness
Much like a pat on the backside for the waitress, exerting your superior skills over plebs gathered in a lesson formation with a genial spray of snow is a given. However do take particular care with spray management around the train of children zig-zagging their way down piste behind an overzealous instructor, as spray above waist height could be considered child abuse.

Pausing on piste
At times you may be affected by fatigue or come across the perfect photo opportunity while on piste. Stop directly in the middle of the slope and take your time to do whatever you need to. In this position your pictures will have fantastic symmetry and, unless incompetent, other skiers will be able to see and avoid you with ease.

Going off piste
Telling others you’ve been skiing off piste is much easier than actually skiing off piste, and will do wonders for your on field respect. Use phrases such as “traversed a little in search of fresh powder” and “a few drops and a bit of biff but nothing extraordinary”.


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Lernert and Sander

The inspirational events you need to be making time for at this year’s Semi Permanent festival

People of Auckland, prepare to be inspired. Semi Permanent, the annual creative symposium, is coming back for another year, bringing with it some of the worlds greatest, most influential thinkers in the world. To spice things up for the 2019 iteration, there will be a slight shift of focus from design and creation to a more business aspect, and the event will now cover three days as opposed to two — meaning even more opportunity for guests to revel in workshops, talks, book launches, film screenings and panel discussions.

The festival will kick off on Thursday 15th August with Future For The Future, an all-day affair brought together by Semi Permanent and New Zealand design studio Alt Group. Rousing from beginning to end, the event will unite some of the biggest movers and shakers in the business sphere, including Charles Adler of Kickstarter, Carla Cammilla Hjort from Space10 and, perhaps most notably of all, Ivy Ross, the Vice President of Design at Google.

The succeeding two days will veer more towards a celebration of creativity, with an array of industry heavyweights descending upon Aotea Square to share their imaginative stories and ideas. The entirety of this year’s line-up is set to be incredible, but there are a few names that we’re particularly looking forward to. Media artist Refik Anadol, for example, will have us questioning the relationships between space, media and architecture, while Creative Director Hazel Baird is set to inspire the crowd as she delves into her intruiging life experiences — the Emmy Award-winning star has worked at Nickelodeon, Sony Computer Entertainment, and Prologue, where she designed the main titles for the likes of Rouge One: A Star Wars Story.

Refik Anadol

We’ll also be scheduling in a visit to see the Chair of the Design Department & Professor of Graphic Design, Erik Brandt, to understand more about how type and typography links with the meaning of words and their political power, in addition to making time for a talk by Lernert and Sander, the artists and filmmakers renowned for their cheeky sense of humour, eye-catching installations, high-conceptual art films and sharp fashion drive. The last on our list — for the moment — is Jesper Kouthoofd, founder & CEO of Teenage Engineering. One talk you won’t want to miss, Kouthoofd has made it his mission to create universal, engineering products adaptable for all languages, and his work has been highlighted in the likes of Vogue, Wallpaper, GQ and New York Times.

Three days chock-full with stimulating entertainment, it seems as though this year’s Semi Permanent is really set to blow the minds of eager creatives, dedicated techies and promising businesspeople more than ever before. For those whose interests are piqued, a full rundown of the agenda, alongside access to ticket purchases, can be found here.

Semi-Permanent will be taking over Auckland from the 15th-17th of August 2019.


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Concrete takes centre stage in this arresting Point Chevalier home — but not in the way you might think

Concrete is a material long favoured for the way it imbues a building with a kind of stark modernity — and as such, is often used to lend a striking finish. Usually, this means that it stands at odds with the concepts of warmth or cosiness, which has historically rendered it tricky to incorporate into residential homes.

But when approached by a client who was a builder with a love for concrete, architects David Ponting and Matt Fitzgerald (of Ponting Fitzgerald Ltd) decided to undertake a project that reimagined the way concrete could be used in the residential space — and it was a risk that paid off in spades.

Standing stoically on the shore-front of Point Chevalier beach, its statuesque, sculptural form offering intriguing contrast to its surrounding nature, the eight-metre-tall Point Chevalier house is a study in innovative architecture. Despite its greyscale finish and prolific use of concrete (not something one would usually align with nature) this house seems, in many ways, to reflect the ruggedness and raw power of its surrounds via its angular edges, its textural exterior and the way it feels like it has been stripped back in the same way that waves might strip back a rock they continually lap against over time.

But to get the concrete to its final form was no easy feat. Created using rough sawn, timber moulds — that rendered the home’s expressive surface texture — into which was poured concrete coloured in Peter Fell SuperBlack (via the companies innovative colouring process), the whole exercise demanded an astonishing amount of energy and attention to detail. Once poured, the SuperBlack black concrete had to sit for around seven days before the moulds could be removed, at which point, it was a matter of simply hoping that nothing had gone wrong — concrete is notoriously unforgiving.

Thanks to the unique finish the Peter Fell SuperBlack colour lends the concrete, the typically stark material is given a degree of rich warmth. Take the living room, for instance, cosy and inviting, it’s a space that you wouldn’t typically associate with concrete, and yet, in the walls and on the ceiling, concrete takes centre stage as a striking shell.


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