An #ad free zone: These editors *promise* that they spent their own cash on these beauty recommendations.
Zeenat Wilkinson, founder and creative director of Sauce
“Working in the beauty and lifestyle space means that I have some of the most luxurious and coveted beauty products sent to me daily. Very grateful. However, only a few products end up in my bathroom on the same day as it arrives on my desk. Last year, during my pregnancy, I was introduced to the Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil by a PR agency, and I knew I had to give it a go right away; I’ve since purchased three bottles of it. The body treatment oil is a miracle worker for expecting mommas. I used it every time I felt that annoying itch, and every night before going to bed after a shower. I have very dry skin and this product saved me from getting stretch marks. Smells divine. 100 percent worth every penny.”
Emily Simpson, editor of Sunday and YW magazines
"You know those articles that warn you to change your makeup style or become a chalky old Miss Havisham frozen in yesteryear? I ignore them. I do my makeup the same way I have for the past 20 years: a whack of light foundation with a high SPF, a brush of mascara, stroke of eyeshadow and light serving of eyeliner. Year around, eyeliner is either smoking hot or shamefully basic, but Chrissie Hynde and I remain loyal. Then, on an extravert day, I’ll add a smudge of almost-red lipstick, like this one in Cherry by Bobbi Brown, an online lockdown purchase that really did brighten my trips to Countdown. Back in the office I needed something mellower, hence Karen Murrell’s Bordeaux Red which is not as intense as it sounds. I love that KM is a local brand using natural ingredients - I bought this from a wholefoods shop with a sack of quinoa and walked out with a virtuous glow."
Ataria Sharman, creator of Awa Wahine and Kaiwāwāhi Kaupapa Māori at The Pantograph Punch
“My skin has been super dry lately, and I’m not sure if it’s the dry heat here in Te Tai Tokerau or the recycled air of the office air conditioning. I always think dry skin equals wrinkles, so when my skin feels taut, it’s a bit disconcerting! Lucky for me, there is a local pop-up store here and online called InnoNative that stocks eco-friendly and natural Māori-made products. I prefer natural products with native ingredients, and supporting local is such a bonus - so I was excited to find Organic Tamanu & Marula Face Oil by Green Aura, a whānau-owned rongoa Māori business. With antioxidants and anti-aging properties, the oil feels so light on my skin. It doesn’t leave that greasy feeling, and it’s super affordable. Every morning, I pop a bit on and instantly feel more confident and ready to step out into te ao marama.”
Alice Lines, editor of Homestyle
“My makeup game has been pretty low-key this year. Most days it involves a 10-minute routine - mascara, SPF with primer attributes, lip balm and bronzer. I picked up the Chantecaille Radiance Gel Bronzer from Mecca recently and it's the dream product for the lazy girl’s summer beauty kit. I dot it on my cheeks and blend with my fingertips. I often dab a small amount on my eyelids to do double duty for colour there too. If I am feeling a little extra, it goes on really smoothly with foundation for a glowy sun kissed vibe.”
Zoe Walker Ahwa, co-founder and editor of Ensemble
“Recently I’ve been targeted with various TikTok videos of people cutting open their beauty blenders only to be horrified at what they find inside. With that in mind, I quickly binned my old blender and visited Chemist Warehouse for a fresh one. I left with the Flower Beauty 3-in-1 Blending Sponge - if I’m honest, the only reason I gravitated to it was because of the Drew Barrymore factor (Flower Beauty is her on-brand beauty line; and I love the Drew Barrymore show). My review: it’s okay but the original Beautyblender is definitely better, especially for undereye concealer. I also bought a replacement bottle of the very good Glam by Manicare’s Purifying Foam Brush Cleanser - I was sent a PR sample last year, and it was also recommended to me by very discerning and knowledgeable beauty editor Megan Bedford.”
Qiane Matata-Sipu, editor and founder of NUKU Women
“I keep the Dark Bouquet 4ml pocket parfum by Tiffany Witehira of Curionoir in my bag. The fragrance reminds me of a specific childhood memory with my mum, so when I'm feeling like I need some aroha, some courage, or just some feel good vibes, I dab a bit behind each ear. I’m not really a makeup wearer but I love the MAC Veluxe Brow Liner (in deep dark brunette shade) to help thicken, define and shape my brows. I will sometimes use it as an eyeliner over the top and outside corners of my eyelashes too, to give a subtle definition to the eye.”
David Farrier, editor of Webworm
“Look I'm extremely basic and the last thing I acquired was an Aesop hand moisturiser, the pink one - it has some mandarin and rosemary in it. The thing is, I like the smell so much I usually rub it on my face, too, as it smells so good. I use it like an aftershave. Ridiculous.”
Leonie Hayden, editor of The Spinoff Ātea
“The last beauty product I bought was Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence sunscreen from Hikoco – it’s super light and non-greasy. Here’s a two-for-one, I also bought a tube for Metro editor Henry Oliver - he showed some interest on a recent holiday and I’m always ready to convert people to the cult of Korean beauty. Sunscreen is literally the only beauty secret I possess – every day, summer, winter, rain or shine. The other thing I know is that K-beauty does the best face sunscreen at the best price point. The range is huge, made for a large population so it's priced to scale. Many brands have active beauty ingredients – I have another sunscreen with tea tree in it for when my skin is iffy. The Klairs is very good for oily and combination skin though, there's no white-cast, and it’s vegan and cruelty free (I also use their Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop and Freshly Juiced Vitamin E mask). Slip slop mfkn slap everyone.”
Emma Clifton, co-editor of Capsule
“As I get older and descend into the hippy, scarf-wearing, barefoot persona I was born to inhabit, I’ve become a natural, perfume oil kind of lady. The AYU perfume oil in Ode is the only fragrance I’ve ever worn where people have smelt me and exclaimed ‘WHAT PERFUME ARE YOU WEARING?’, which is a beauty narcissist’s dream! It smells like rose, amber, saffron and sandalwood, and is inspired by Ayurveda medicine, with this particular blend said to be calming and energising to the heart chakra. I will smear myself with anything that promises to be calming, although I will say, use just a tiny, tiny, tiny couple of drops of this because it is very strong (but that also means a bottle will last you a long time).