New Year New Mind?

At the most recent International Dermalogica conference, held annually in Los Angeles, Dermalogica New Zealand’s Head of Education, Caroline Parker, take part in a mindfulness seminar.

Here, Parker shares her favourite tips for including mindfulness in your daily life.

•       Waking up: while you are still lying in bed, before you do anything else, notice your breathing.

•       Showering: open yourself to your senses during your shower, do you feel warm or cool? Notice the scents and textures of your skin and hair products.

•       Breakfast: pay attention to the food you’re eating, noting all that went into its creation. A piece of fruit for example required sunshine, fresh air and rich earth; workers to pick it and transport it. Then look closely at the food, put it in your mouth and taste it.

•       Walking: slow down. Pay attention to the movement and skill of walking.

•       Driving: when stopped at a red light, notice your body. Loosen your hold on the steering wheel. Relax your shoulders.

•       Arriving at work: spend three minutes doing a practice like ACE – Awareness of your breath, Collecting your breath, Expanding your awareness to your body – before you start working.

•       Lunch: eat alone in a quiet place once a week, paying mindful attention to your food.

•       End of work: reflect on your day. What was good about it? What could you have done differently? Imagine how you would like to be tomorrow.

•       All day: sprinkle mindfulness throughout your day. Set reminders for various times on your phone or calendar. Change these times occasionally so these moments don’t turn into meaningless habit.

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Face the future

A few months ago we asked MiNDFOOD readers what their favourite technological invention was. It will come as little surprise that most answers centred on smart devices and mobile technology.

We invited some of these readers to join us at the beautiful new Clinique counter in Smith & Caughey’s Newmarket store in Auckland to test-drive a few exciting new technological innovations. First up were some great smart devices recently launched by Samsung.

  The slim new Tab S wowed everyone with its vivid display of colour and clear images, while the new Samsung GS5 appealed to everyone thanks to its waterproof feature – it can be submerged to a depth of one metre for up to 30 minutes – a bonus for those of us who’ve dropped phones into the toilet. The clarity of the photographs was also a highlight, showing the multi-tasking we expect of modern devices. So why were we playing with smart devices in a beauty department?

“My smart phone is my alarm, diary, the ability to communicate with family and friends, my GPS, online shopping, music player, recipe finder, newspaper, magazine articles, weather. I can’t live without it,” says reader Tracey Drinkwater (pictured, top left), a wellness coordinator and personal trainer. “I definitely need a smart face treatment to match.”

 In keeping with all these high-tech gadgets, Clinique has just launched a new device aimed at offering the skin a deeper level of cleansing. Designed to work in partnership with Clinique’s 3-Step Skin Care System, the new Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush uses gentle sonic technology with thousands of vibrations a minute to lift away impurities such as dirt and pollution.

Deep Impact

“The brush has five patents pending on it, so it’s truly innovative and has technology that hasn’t been done before,” Clinique associate consultant Jacqui Callaghan (pictured, top row, centre, left) tells us. “Babies’ bottoms have nothing on this because it leaves your skin feeling so soft.”

Trainee chiropractor Sara Luscombe (pictured centre), is the first to try the Clinique Sonic. “It’s so soft – it feels funny, like I’ve got my electric toothbrush on my face.” After the 30-second deep clean is over, she exclaims, “Is that it?” then touches her face. “Wow, it feels really clean,” she adds.

  Callaghan advises that it’s best to start off using Clinique Sonic three times a week, increasing to one minute twice daily.

“At Clinique we believe in treating skin gently, so we advise people to not overdo it.”

  Callaghan says users should first remove any make-up, then apply some foaming face wash directly to the brush before using on the skin to ensure they get the deepest clean.

“It feels very nice,” says virtual executive assistant Natalie Berle (pictured, top row, centre, right), who’s next to try the brush.

“I love the feeling of all the little bubbles,” adds Jacqui Watson, a stay-at- home mum (pictured, bottom right, far left). “The skin feels really nice almost from within, not just to touch with your hands, but from the inside-out.”

  While dermatologists came up with the concept, the Clinique Sonic was created by a team of Swiss engineers. A tilted head and two types of bristles allow for precision cleaning, with soft bristles for delicate areas such as cheeks. Shorter, firmer green bristles at the tip are designed for the T-zone.

  Brush heads are replacable, and Callaghan says members of the same family can each have their own brush head (she advises putting a dot of nail polish on yours so it’s easy to recognise).

Drinkwater also likes how the Clinique Sonic can conveniently be plugged into a USB socket to recharge. “I like the fact you can charge it in your computer because the bathroom gets so cluttered with toothbrushes, hairdryers and shavers.”

This is one beauty gadget you’ll want to make room for. It may not have built-in GPS, email or phone technology yet, but who knows what the future holds for this smart new device.

Samsung Tab S Titanium, $599-$899; Samsung GS5, $1049. Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush, $165, and $31 for a replacement brush head.

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