To conquer Wellington, a girl must have the right mascara...
Wellington is a city of four seasons in one day (or sometimes, 44 seasons in one day!). Since I've been living here all my life, I've become used to battling the elements. One thing you HAVE to get right is your makeup. It simply is the WORST to get to the office after gale-force wind-and-rain have hit to find that all your eye makeup has run down your face and your colleagues are all laughing at you, calling you Gene Simmons for the rest of the day (trust me, it's happened. KISS FOREVER!)
In the last 10 years, for makeup technology has truly advanced. Of course, these days it can also be overwhelming with all the beauty products on the market. I for one constantly feel the need to buy more and more so I like to get my basics right. Over my 27 years, through dodgy foundations (remember Maybelline Dream Matte Mouse?) and the worst eyeliner of all time (I still have my very chiselled down pharmacy kohl), I've learnt that if you find good 'cult' beauty products that deliver, STICK TO THEM! A product that exceeds expectations is vital for me - and when I find it I hug it and never let go.
"A product that exceeds expectations is vital for me - and when I find it I hug it and never let go"
After years of testing and trialling loads of different makeup, I've gone the ABSOLUTE essentials down pat if you are a Wellington woman. Usually, I find such products at good old MECCA, Welly. Since my friends Amelia started working there many years ago, Mecca Maxima is where I turn when I want truly reliable products that I can trust to work. Also, I love that they have a Wellington store because I like to test products in person and don't really shop for makeup online (I like to know what I am getting). Everyone has a different view, but in my opinion, if you want to survive Wellington's weather and mad lifestyle, here are the 6 basic items you need. Hold onto your hat!
1. A GREAT SUNSCREEN (FOR THE EVER CHANGING WEATHER)
Sunscreen is the most important part of your skin regime, whether it is Winter or Summer (don't pretend you haven't heard this one before!). In Wellington, just because the clouds are over the city doesn't mean that the sun isn't burning your skin. In New Zealand, NZ hs especially harsh UV rays, so we really should be wearing sunscreen every single day, particularly as we get older. Also, sometimes the day starts grey and overcast but by lunchtime is bright and sunny!
If you're like me, that makes you want to shriek when you think of the sunscreen you'd wear at the beach as a kid. Oily, white and smelling of strong chemicals, it was hardly a joy to apply. The thought of having to put that on under my foundation makes me want to shudder (#whitepeopleproblems).
To Save Face Mineral SPF 30 provides broad spectrum protection against UVA + UVB rays in a hydrating, lightweight gel cream. I really love how the formula absorbs quickly into the skin and wears super-well under makeup. It has a lovely 'glowy' look when applied and feels more like a moisturiser than a sunscreen. With its high SPF, it will protect you all year around.
If you want a great sun defence to wear in Wellington, grab a bottle of this (yes, it is a bit pricey for a sunscreen at $42 than your normal Cancer Society number, but it really lasts for ages AND will save you money of wrinkle creams in the long run! BOOMSHAKALAKA). I tried this for 2 weeks under my makeup and it really didn't feel like wearing sunscreen at all - would def reccomend to everyone Wellington Woman!
2. A PERFECT PRIMER (FOR THE LATE NIGHTS ON CUBA ST)
This primer has cult status and for a VERY good reason. My fav YouTuber's, Lily Pebbles and The Anna Edit, rave about Too Faced 'Hangover' Primer. With a delightful coconutty smell and a super easy applicator, everything from the packaging to the slip on your skin is done with meticulous attention to detail. This primer is great for under all makeup and will help it last longer, through those late nights at Cocktail bars on Cuba Street, when you stumble out of Havanna Bar in the wee hours. If you find that you've had one too many, simply apply the next day to return that glossy, glowy "Why yes, I had a full 8 hours thank you!" look to your face.
I used to try and follow the mascara and eyeliner trends, but now I know there is one non-negotiable factor: In Wellington, it has to be waterproof - everytime. Honestly, what is the point in wearing something that instantly slips off your face when a drop of rain hits (which is a frequent problem living in wild Wellington)? I've had some really bad experiences with running mascara and it truly can ruin your day!
Enter Eyeko: Eyeko products are newish to Wellington, but this London-based/Korean made brand really won me over recently, when I picked up some of their products at the Mecca Maxima launch. I simply love this brand's amazing eye focused beauty buys, from their brow pen to their incredible waterproof mascara, 'Eyeko Sport Waterproof Eyeliner'.
This is a great day-to-day mascara, which is easy to apply from a squeezable tube. This fibre-enhanced mascara gives lashes beautiful curl and length. Enriched with collagen to plump and nourishing fruit extracts to condition, trust me - they stay on like GLUE.
Also coming up strong is their Sport Waterproof Eyeliner. This jet black liner glides onto lids with ease, staying put for hours. Formulated with nourishing coconut oil and in a twist-up applicator with built-in sharpener for ease of application, this a real winner. Of course, I love a flicky wings like Stila 'Stay All Day' as much as the next girl, but for when I want more simple vibes, creating a sooty effect on my lashes, this is my new go-to!
5. SALTY-COOK STRAIT STYLE SEA HAIRSPRAY (BECAUSE IF YOU CAN'T BEAT EM, JOIN EM)
Sometimes, you just have to go with the weather! There is no point in doing anything too fancy with your hair day-to-day in Wellington so you really just need to embrace the hair-drying properties of the windy days. While 'the salt spray look' as you walk around the waterfront to work in the morning can be nice, it probably isn't quite the look you can depend on to deliver on demand.
Thank god for 'Bumble & Bumble' salt spray. This is perfect for my hair, which is a bit wild at the best of times. This product just lifts your hair the right amount and gives it a nice lived in look. It is perfect for anyone with flat limp hair to those who want beachy waves in their mane.
Simply spray on dry or damp hair, tousle a bit with fingers and leave. The more you play with it the less hold it has. Another trick I like to employ is turning my head upside down and spraying it over my upside-down locks. The hair falling forward will lift from the roots, giving you even more volume when you want to Dolly Parton-esque height to your hair! Yee haw!
To Sum Up!
So there you have it! The absolute basics covered when it comes to survival in Wellington, beauty-wise. It's a fight against the elements ladies, but someone's gotta do it.
"It's a fight against the elements ladies, but someone's gotta do it"
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. I'd love to know whether you'd like a follow-up story focusing on makeup bases and eye, cheek and lip products which I recommend for Wellingtonians (or just anyone generally). Leave me a comment if you have a favourite product that saves you every time in Wellington. I'd love to know what you recommend too!