These are a few of our favorite things….

Nothing I love  more than getting a great recommendation, whether its a new restaurant…the latest album (from a previously unknown artist) or a miracle product that will turn back time (I call it hope in a bottle)

With the nature of my job and the amount of travel I enjoy, I am always finding something new and exciting to talk about and so with that in mind, I thought I would share…a few of my favorite things

This week its all about accessories…the little extras that make you feel great when you get dressed (or dressed up)

There are 3 ‘must haves’ I need for any outfit to be complete…no matter how dressed up or how casual, if I have taken the time to think about my shoes, my jewelry and have a great lipstick, I am complete

Shoes…glorious shoes!

Everyone who knows me, knows my love of shoes!

To me, shoes are art…a well designed perfectly balanced functional be piece of art that I can take to the street. I am always on the lookout for the perfect shoe, something eye-catching, comfortable and most importantly affordable. So I asked around and got a few recommendations

Here in New Zealand

Local designer, Kathryn Wilson‘s passion for shoes is apparent in her innovative and stylish designs.
Using top manufacturers in Italy and China with quality components sourced from Europe, combined with Wilson’s design talent, a range of exceptionally high quality versatile and affordable footwear has been achieved On-line and in store

Chaos & Harmony  With a passion for shoes and design, Rebecca Anderson studied at the covetable Instituo Europeo di Design in Roma, Italy and after graduating formed Chaos & Harmony. Her to shoe design is apparent, seen in the attention to detail and traditional craftsmanship of all Chaos & Harmony product ranges.

Minnie Cooper is a New Zealand icon! With stores in Auckland Wellington and Christchurch (plus on-line) this is an institution in New Zealand shoe making with generations loyal fans…in saying that the shapes and styles are still current but with an emphasis on quality and comfort.

On-line (if you know your shoe size and are not too hard to fit)

Shoes of Prey  Four words: design your perfect shoes! The process is fun: with their 3D designer you choose the shape, colour and height of your shoes. They custom make them to your specifications and ship anywhere in the world in around four weeks….and most importantly if you don’t like them for any reason they have a money back guarantee. Not cheap, but when do you get to play shoe designer!!

Soul Struck have the best tag-line in the world “To rid the world of ugly shoes, one pair at a time” with over 80 different shoe brands this is my favorite on-line shoe go to!

Topshop (on-line) FREE shipping (which you have to love) UK giant have an amazing collection of completely ‘on-trend’ shoes, but more importantly they are generally well constructed and easy to wear

ASOS now shipping out of Australia (which means they deliver free within 6-12 days ASOS have over 50 different labels from trainers, to stilettos to chunky platforms – all at an affordable price

Shoe bloggers to follow…Sea of Shoes,  The Shoe GirlShoe Tease

PS…the latest trend in shoe shape…Pointytoed shoes and heels are back in style!

Eek – after seasons of comfort I don’t think I am quite ready  for this one!

Diamonds are a girls best friend…even if they aren’t quite real!!

A great friend of mine introduced me to Esteem designed by local entrepreneur, Pauline Kelly.

Pauline (literally) grew up in a jewelry store surrounded by pretty sparkly things (her mum was in the industry)  and like any good magpie she was always on the lookout for shiny glittery gorgeousness. At that time there was a lot of top-end precious metal precious stone manufacturers in New Zealand, but no one was really catering to women who wanted ‘on-trend’ pieces that could be changed every day and coordinated with your mood or your outfit.  The gap was in high quality ‘fashion’ or for lack of a better work ‘costume’ jewelry (think Dyberg Kern, Thomas Sabo) and this is where Pauline found her passion

Together with her husband and a couple of like minded friends (over a few wines) they dreamt  up an idea and a collection and after a lot of research, hard work and trial and error, in 1996 Esteem was born.

Designed and finished here in NZ, manufactured through the world, with Austrian Cubic Zirconia & Swarovski crystals – the collection is affordable enough to own the whole range and cool enough to layer them all together or wear a single piece

One of the girls here at M2 through a quote at me recently – Coco Chanel’s advice on accessories was to always take one thing off before leaving the house. I usually think the woman had a point, but I have to say of late with my Esteem jewels, it has been more like “put 3 things on…and then add 2 more!

Lipstick is magic…no I mean literally!!

I confess…I love lipstick!!!

My grandmother used to say, “A lady is better dressed with her earrings and lippy on”

For a while there (during a period I call the dark ages of lip-gloss) this was a really uncool thing to confess… but its true, I love lipstick!

I love the lasting power, I love the texture, the moisture but most importantly I love that even at my most tired a nice bright pink, orange or red lipstick will brighten my day. Lipstick can change how you feel, how you look and how other people see you!

Don’t even get me started on the hours (and money) I have spent in search of the perfect beige (not too brown, not too pink) or the sheer plum that looks like I’ve eaten a raspberry ice block (which was my obsessive colour last summer)

But recent news regarding lead in lipsticks has added to the precautions of chemicals in the skin care products I use.
A woman consumes an average of nearly two kilograms of lipstick during her lifetime through drinking, eating and kissing – so keep lipstick natural!

Anyway, a while ago I was introduced to New Zealand’s natural lipstick queen, Karen Murrell

For those who haven’t met Karen Murrell, there are two things you need to know about this beauty: she is passionate about natural products, the protection of the environment, and like me she is a huge lipstick fan!

Combining these two passions, she proudly introduces her new and all-natural trend-setting lipstick colors.

The new colors include four hot new hues’, which compliment her already internationally successful lipstick color palette. Each rich in natural high pigment, ensuring each lipstick has intense color, is long wearing, and does not feather. Taking direction from trends in fashion and seasons, the new hues have vibrant personality and are designed to be easy and fun to wear.

Her range includes carnation mist, a rose petal pink, which would attract hummingbirds to nectar and touches your lips with a healthy pink natural glow.

fuchsia shock, a delicious, flamboyant fuchsia pink, which will brighten any gloomy day with an injection of head-turning color.

coral dawn, tangerine orange shade projects onto your lips a richly exotic reddish orange, backed with lemon notes. This color has been dubbed as the ‘new red!

sand storm, inspired by the rugged natural beauty of highway 1 usa. Sand storm is nature at its finest which envelopes the lips in a subtly sandy brown shade.

Other shades include Cordovan Natural, Pink Starlet, Red Shimmer, Violet Mousse as well as Moisture Stick Lip Balm

KM Lipsticks are made totally of natural ingredients. They do not contain any mineral oils, animal-based material, parabens or preservatives. And because of the fusion of Mother Nature’s miracle ingredients, the more you use KM Lipstick the better condition your lips will be in. The high-quality formulation means KM Lipsticks last long on lips, and smell and taste great.

Hailed as ‘vegetarian lipsticks (with the catch phrase “nothing nasty touches my lips”) key ingredients include Avocado oil to provide moisture, nourishment and hydration, Cinnamon for fuller, plumper lips, Evening primrose oil; rich in omega 6 to soothe and moisturise and, Carnauba wax; renowned for its high melting point, ensuring it’s hard-wearing in even the roughest handbag.

Expert lipstick tip: “to apply brighter shades to your lips, use your fingers to press in the color. The heat of your fingers fixes the pigment onto your lips and creates a more natural finish” – karen murrell, creative director, karen murrell lipsticks.

Available now from Morgan & Morgan