Needed a pick-me-up. Picked me up some nail polish.
Kester Black is an environmentally friendly and cruelty free nail polish brand from Australia, started by New Zealand-born designer Anna Ross. When I was last on their website several months back they had jewellery, but there’s no longer any listed in their online store. Shame, I liked it.
Peony’s formula is on the thick side, and dries a shade or two darker than in the bottle (which, by the way, is a little pinker in person than in the photos; I’m awful at colour correction). I love the bottle design. There’s something so chic about the shape and logo.
Taylor stocks Kester Black in their three Auckland stores, but the range isn’t very big — there were only five shades in the Newmarket store. They sell for $20NZD, and $17AUD online. Unfortunately they only ship to Australia and New Zealand, but they appear to have a couple of European stockists.
Ingrid Starnes, purveyor of delicate and immaculately tailored womenswear, has to be one of the most generous labels around.
They have a great loyalty scheme, and are always doing giveaways via Facebook and their mailing list. Just last week they announced that they had 100 soaps, the companion to their recent perfume release, to give away to anyone who referred a friend to their mailing list… which is how I came by this little beauty.
Ingrid Starnes released their Vetyver and Bergamot perfume and complementary soap last year after two years of development with perfumer Yves Dombrowsky, who’s also the nose behind Antipodes, Trilogy, and Ecostore — some of my favourites. I’ve been sneaking surreptitious sprays whenever I’ve visited a stockist since.
I won’t write about the perfume as I haven’t spent enough time with it, but the soap has the fragrance infused into a base of organic goat’s milk, shea butter, and organic J. Friend manuka honey (previously seen on the blog here). There is only a very subtle scent left on the skin when I use it; I detect mostly a hint of incense, and can’t pick up much on the bergamot at all.
What I really appreciate is the attention to detail. The perfume bottle features a wooden top, which is apparently handmade in France. The Ingrid Starnes logo on the soap wrapping is letterpressed onto gorgeous paper, and you can tell it’s been handwrapped — the ends are sealed up by bits of double-sided tape.
Take a look at the mysterious wee film they made to promote the perfume. It was shot in the famed Ayrlies Garden, and inspired by the imagery of Sir John Everett Millais’ Ophelia.
That poor model.
Vetyver Bergamot is now being stocked by Monocle internationally. I’m thinking I’ll spring for a bottle before I leave for London. (Will’s friend is just started working at the magazine. How cool is that?)
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MAC Smith & Caughey’s Newmarket has had a refit, launching their first lash bar in New Zealand. They invited customers to a premiere of their Playland range — I went along after work to try stuff on and creepily take some photos.
I’ll spare you the swatches — check out Temptalia’s and MUABB’s. My favourite shade of lipstick from the Playland range was Head in the Clouds. The gold shimmer was a bit too much for me in person, though.
Wow. Such bright. Many fluoro.
Two of their makeup artists demonstrated a couple of campaign looks on models. Look at that crease work! And the highlighting! (Achieved with Cream Colour Base in Hush, and the Prep and Prime Highlighter pen in Light Boost.) The models basically had flawless skin. It was ridiculous.
I fell for the Casual Color in Hi Jinks ($48NZD), a beautiful peachy colour — photos and swatches coming tomorrow (or, let’s be honest, whenever I can remember).
They fed us candy floss and marshmallows; I’m sugar-crashing.