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Nature knows best


For 25 years, Canterbury born and bred Linden Leaves has been transforming New Zealand’s natural plant-based goodness into goodness for our skin. We caught up with founder Brigit Blair about why we should nurture beautiful.

Brigit Blair with daughter Juliet Blair, photo by BeautyEQ

Can you tell us about how the Linden Leaves story came about?
It came from a mother desperate to help two of her children who had endless days and nights of being uncomfortable with allergies, rashes, eczema, asthma and extremely sensitive skin.

I thought a lot about the huge use of steroid creams and highly chemical prescriptive medicines they were using on a daily basis. It inspired me to think back to my granny, who was born and raised on the Chathams with no doctor and a healthy, natural lifestyle.

I thought how nature often knows best and how we have lost that deep connection to simplicity, a more gentle way of caring for ourselves and a healthier way of living.

I became interested in plant-based ingredients and the natural goodness when oils and extracts are taken from them carefully.

Plants also have a natural beauty and often a delightful fragrance – so different from the acrid smell of coal tar cream!

I wanted to develop the beneficial feeling that I find in beautiful nature and fragrance, and our freeze dried botanicals and bespoke fragrances add to the sensory experience of our products.

While not being a miracle cure, my children’s skin improved and the use of synthetic, chemical ingredients was drastically reduced, making me feel much more comfortable as a mother.

Over time the story has continued to evolve.

My daughter Juliet joined me in the business along the way and she has now taken the reins, driving the creative direction of the company and our beautiful new branding and new product ranges.

A passion for natural products, strong ethics, pride in New Zealand and a nurturing family-oriented approach have remained our guiding values.


You’re celebrating an incredible 25 years this year! Why do you think people have connected so strongly with Linden Leaves and your products?
I think many people believe in our quality ingredients and their benefits, in our integrity and honesty and in our story of caring not only for the skin, health and welfare of our customers and our team, but also for our planet.

We are staunchly Kiwi-made and have upheld our principles; we have not put profit before standing against animal testing, microbead use, mineral oils and plastic wrap.

We use recyclable containers and packaging and embrace a no waste and no excess philosophy.

I cherish the holistic approach of our company, creating a lifetime of value, care, respect and gratitude.


Your skin looks incredible! What does your beauty regime look like and what are your own favourite products?
Oh thank you! I think I am like all mothers and grandmothers – too busy and time poor! I think a beauty regime has to have simplicity and flexibility otherwise it will not work.

That’s the philosophy I had in mind when creating our natural skincare range – I wanted something simple to use that women could tailor to their age and skin type.

For my face and neck, I make a custom blend of essential facial moisture, miraculous facial oil and porcelain brightening serum, depending how dry, thirsty or nourished my skin is – every day can be different.

At night, I cleanse with the skin refining cream cleanser and use our beautiful marshmallow regenerating night cream.

As for my body, I have been using the same daily routine for 25 years – applying Linden Leaves natural body oil after my shower!

My skin has always stayed hydrated until the next morning.


What does 2020 have in store for Linden Leaves?
To celebrate 25 years we are rolling out a fresh new look for the brand with beautiful crisp navy, white and rose gold accents.

We have always used the best quality natural ingredients, but as the choices in this area explode, we are slowly but surely moving all our products to be 100 percent natural, which is why we had to say goodbye to our much loved Bathtime range.

Our Miraculous Facial Oil was the first New Zealand made NATRUE certified organic cosmetic last year and our skincare range is 100 percent certified NATRUE natural.

What’s more we launched two 100 percent natural home fragrance ranges this Christmas.

We want to provide women with a luxurious yet natural choice of lifestyle and skincare products.

I believe beauty comes from within, so it’s important we present a positive approach to beauty.

We have introduced the strapline ‘Nurture Beautiful’ representing caring for yourself, one another and the environment.


 

Add natural vitality to your family’s health


Now taking its rightful place in the global spotlight as a ‘cannonball of goodness’, the humble blackcurrant was once known mainly for its high vitamin C values and as the basis of the free wartime children’s drink, Ribena. Turns out, vitamin C was only a small part of blackcurrants’ superpowers.

After extensive clinical research blackcurrants, and more specifically New Zealand blackcurrants, have been found to contain a key nutrient vital to brain and whole body health – enhancing cell growth and slowing age-related cognitive decline.

The nutrient is a neuropeptide called cyclic Glycine-Proline (cGP).

When available to the body in high enough quantities, cGP regulates the availability of an essential hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1).

With New Zealand’s proud tradition of biotech innovation, Associate Professor Jian Guan of Auckland University discovered cGP in the early 90s.

Research shows our levels of cGP decline as we age.

If cGP is in short supply, then IGF-1 cannot function sufficiently, and neuro-degenerative illnesses are more likely to occur and be severe.

Sufferers of Parkinson’s disorders and stroke have been observed to have low levels of cGP.

Administering cGP to stroke patients within 12 to 48 hours after a stroke greatly reduces brain damage and speeds up recovery.

Our bodies’ need for cGP is beyond dispute, with benefits for all ages, from babies in utero, to infants, children and adults.

Anecdotal evidence from large numbers of people suggests cGP improves not just neuro degenerative disorders, but symptoms of Angelman’s, Autism and ADHD. In a published paper on Rett Syndrome, administration of natural cGP showed significant and ongoing body and cognitive function improvements.

North Canterbury’s own Vitality NZ has captured cGP from blackcurrants in capsule form and, for obvious reasons, named it Brain Shield™.

Director David Eder is one of the most long-standing growers of blackcurrants in New Zealand, while Managing Director Jim Grierson, an agronomist with 38 years in the blackcurrant industry, knew there was something special about the health benefits of NZ blackcurrants.

“We know what goes into Brain Shield and it is in a very natural form,” Jim says.

The blackcurrants are grown, processed and made into the capsules here in Canterbury.

“Brian Shield delivers an average daily dose of cGP via your brain signalling pathways and whole of body function. New Zealand blackcurrants are truly a superfruit when you understand the benefits you get from them,” David says.

Brain Shield is the only product in the world marketed with cGP under a full Novel Patent.

“There is no pharmaceutical equivalent or alternative, it is unique to the blackcurrant species,” Jim says.

“Each capsule delivers an average daily dose and it is very safe – you cannot overdose,” David adds.

Vitality NZ has five further products in their health and wellnes product range – Active, Digestive, Eye, Omega, and Women’s Health.


 

What’s happening North Canterbury?


 

Waitangi Day in the Waimakariri
Make a beeline to Rangiora for a full day of affordable fun with the family, which promises action aplenty this Waitangi Day, Thursday 6 February.


Inflatafest
All things inflatable in a kaleidoscope of colour will be bouncing about at Victoria Park in Percival Street, Rangiora, on 6 February.

Jump for joy among the obstacle courses, paddle boats, water walkers, bouncy houses and castles, carnival games, cliff jumps, slides, mini golf and more.

Refreshments after all that action will be on-hand at Food Truck Alley and Mr Whippy – and some special guests will surprise the crowd.

Tickets are $15 per child for a wristband which will give access to all the crazy, amazing activities for up to five hours.

Adults will only have to pay if they join in and play! Presented by Fun HQ and friends.

Bookings can be made through Eventbrite or phone 021 191 0103 for information.


Interislander Summer Festival Rangiora Harness Races
This Waitangi Day it’s Rangiora’s turn to saddle up for race day.

It is tipped to be a relaxed family day out at Rangiora Raceway in Lehmans Road, starting at 10:00am.

The setting is an unsurpassed casual country atmosphere, with fantastic live music and fun entertainment for the kids, in between the nail-biting racing action.

Feast from the food stalls or unwind in the sunshine with a picnic on the lawn.

To book a range of packages for groups and other options visit www.theraces.co.nz for more information.


Outstanding Oxford
Celebrate the new decade in the charming town of Oxford with its word-class backdrop of the Southern Alps.

Only 40 minutes from Christchurch – it’s a relaxing summer’s day drive to a special spot of North Canterbury countryside.

With its museum, divine cafés and unique boutique shops, Oxford just gets more enchanting by the year – and staying overnight is even quite tempting.


Oxford Farmers’ Market
The Oxford Farmers’ Market is a country farmers’ market where the stallholder is very likely to be the grower and producer.

Main Street in Oxford, from 9am to 12 noon, transforms with the sights, tastes, textures and smells of artisan and locally grown produce.

There is an appetising range of meats, cheeses, fruit, vegetables, flowers, preserves and sauces more than 15 stalls.

Don’t forget to grab brunch and a coffee while you’re there! The market is burgeoning, so the increasing diversity of local artisan craftspeople makes it a must to discover, while supporting local businesses.

Visit the Oxford Farmers’ Market on Sunday mornings, all year round, come rain, hail or shine.


Arts in Oxford
Catch the last few days of Oxford Art Gallery’s biggest exhibition, running until Saturday 26 January. Over 20 artists’ work are showcased, with local artist Amy Hoedemaker among the talent.

The gift shop is full of original handcrafted artwork such as pottery, jewellery, cards and books.

The gallery is open Tuesday to Thursday from 11am to 2pm and Friday to Sunday 10am to 4pm.

Phone 03 312 1639 or email artsinoxfordgallery@gmail.com.


 

What’s on in Kaiapoi?


Whether you’re local, new in town or looking for a day trip for the family, there’s something for everyone in this bustling township.

 

 

  1. Kaiapoi Fun Run
    Date: Sunday 8 March
    Location: Kaiapoi Borough School
    (Raven Quay)It’s time to get your run on! The Kaiapoi Fun Run is a community event that you can run or walk two distances – 5km or 10km.

    Just $10 for adults (16 years and over) and $5 for children (under 16 years), there’s even spot prizes on the day.

    Find the event page on Facebook


  2. Wellbeing Festival
    Date: Saturday 29 February
    Location: Kaiapoi Food Forest on
    Cass Street KaiapoiIt’s time we start looking after ourselves. The Wellbeing Festival is back and, it’s bigger and better than ever!

    Check out a wide range of activities and stalls, healthy foods, herbal teas, herbal remedies, skincare, massages, reflexology, plus lots of demonstrations i.e. cooking classes, pilates, tai chi, yoga and so much more.

    www.kai.net.nz/event


  3. Kaiapoi Waitangi Day Family Celebrations
    Date: Thursday 6 February
    Location: Trousselot Park Charles StreetThere really is something for the whole family at this enjoyable community celebration.

    Live entertainment, Kaiapoi High School hangi fundraiser (pre order from the Kaiapoi i-site, $10, cash only), market and food stalls, bouncy castle, pony rides, face painting, airbrush tattoos and flip out air tracks with free entry.

    www.eventfinda.co.nz


 

Creative Catering


Family business Twentyfour Catering Co has a strong commitment to providing a personal experience for every client, ensuring the highest quality cuisine and service.

 

 

From catering for everything –from an intimate anniversary dinner to a corporate event or grand wedding of over 200 guests – no event, size or location is too challenging.

Owner/executive chef Chantelle Quinn works closely with clients to ensure their event features the tastiest fare, all with that trademark exemplary service she is well-known for.

While previously running a restaurant and coming ninth in the third season of MasterChef New Zealand, starting a catering company was a natural progression for Chantelle.

After being asked to cater for a wedding seven years ago, her services became so sought-after that she started focusing purely on catering, quickly building a loyal following of return clients.

“We meet with our clients and create a menu perfectly tailored to their event and unique preferences. We don’t just turn up and serve food, we ensure all bases are covered and every event runs smoothly.”

Using the freshest and best local produce, the company specialise in classic New Zealand fare.

Whether you’re after beautiful canapés or a three-course menu for your wedding, birthday lunch or corporate event, TwentyFour Catering can create a truly sublime feast bespoke to you, using locally sourced, natural ingredients.

Check out their sample menus at www.twentyfourcatering.co.nz or phone Chantelle on 027 356 1212.