A question I am often asked is where I’d recommend to go and get some kind of ‘thing’ done in Wellington.
After years of research, I think I’ve finally found the ideal mix of places I trust for top to toe and everything in between in the city. Now sorry to disappoint: there will be no botox, no extensions, and no crazy procedures (sorry guys, I’m not the blogger for you if that’s what you’re after!), but I do know what I personally like, and after a long time searching, I’m happy. I have tried LOTS of places in Wellington and after years of trial and error. Finally, I am at peace with my beauty experts.
Watch my my visiting Matt Forsman & Elderberry + Kate
Matt Forsman Hairdresser
Oh, my word - moving to Matt Forsman has changed my hair! I was at work the other day and a colleague who had been away for 6 weeks commented that my hair had grown so fast it felt unreal. I can only put that down to David from Matt Forsman and the team, who carry an amazing range of products and know how to treat hair well.
While I was seeing David at another salon, his approach evolved when he got to Matt Forsman and he began to colour my hair as well. I love that David takes into account my personality and has been gently encouraging my hair to grow, grow, grow for the past 8 months. If you want some kind of before and after, take a look at these two photos. The first photo was just as I arrived at Matt Forsman. The second was a few weeks ago when David had most recently cut and coloured my hair. He also helped me with a beautiful ponytail undo recently which looked stunning.
Before and After
Matt Forsman carries a great line of hair products that ACTUALLY work. These include top-shelf Oribe (I am recently obsessed with this brand) and Sansceuticals (also obsessed). Using the products from this range, especially Sansceuticals, has changed my hair and made it stronger, shinier and need to be washed far less frequently. I will send anyone and everyone to Matt Forsman and was lucky enough to be able to write about the new salon on Marion Street for Urbis Magazine earlier this year. Isn’t it gorgeous?
Elderberry + Kate
I get almost EVERYTHING done at Elderberry + Kate, including gel nails, eyelash lift and tint, brow shape and tint, occasional fake tan and anything that requires a bit of relaxation. I have called myself a fan since not long after it opened and love it because everything they do, they do to the highest quality! Mary-Kate Cole, the owner, is a wonderful, warm person. You can just tell she puts her whole self into her business and the result is consistent service, high-quality treatments and innovative technology which stands her salon out from the crowd.
Elderberry + Kate is an oasis in the city. From the moment I arrive at the spa, I am overwhelmed by a feeling of peace and calm. There are always so many great skin products and other goodies to inspect when I come in, such as Dermaviduals Skincare (I LOVE the High Classic moisturiser), Coola Sunscreen (this stuff is really really great), Triumph and Disaster and Clean Mixes bliss ball mix. After being taken down the corridor, and seated in the lounge, one of Mary-Kates experienced and professional beauticians brings a lovely up of Libertine Tea and a yummy bliss ball to settle me in.
Recently, I also discovered a line of beauty products which (as far as I am aware) only Elderberry + Kate stock, Curtis collection. I was fortunate enough to meet the founder, Victoria Curtis, a few weeks back when Elderberry + Kate held a fab evening about the brand, and become better educated about the mineral-based makeup line. Wanted a piece of the action, I bought myself a brow pencil to fill in my big and bushy brows. The tip is precise and delivers just the right amount of product, neither too light nor too dark. I really love this pencil and will absolutely be repurchasing it. It also inspired me to buy some other products from Curtis Collection - top of my list is their primer!
Strip Wax Boutique
Not so glamorous, but necessary, is waxing. Personally, I don’t want rock salt crystals or whale music when I am having my pubic hairs yanked out of my lady parts. I like it quick, no-nonsense and affordable. In a little room in the James Smith, is my waxing hero: Strip Wax Boutique. They only take direct debit or cash. You’re in and out in 20 minutes and there’s zero faff. I LOVE THESE GUYS. They are literally the best! So professional, so quick and they use a special chocolate wax. My absolute top pick.
Although I’ve covered Margaret and her products on The Residents many times, I can’t write this blog post and exclude Margaret Hema and her little pink room where I get a facial every six weeks.
I love beauty and am often trying new products for The Residents, but at the end of the day I’ll always go back to using her products on my face as the basis of my skincare and they’re super amazing quality. I just love her facials - and always leave with a feeling of being healed, both in face and spirit!
While Margaret used to perform other beauty treatments, nowadays she is specialised in facial massage solely. At $140 a pop, they’re an indulgence but anyone who has visited her will assure it it is worth it. Reducing redness, puffiness and any impurities, hers are the best. She’s an incredible presence, and her facials need to be felt to be believed.
I’ve written about her skills and her products in the past and truly would recommend facials with Margaret to anyone. Current and previous clients include Elijah Wood, Liv Tyler, Gaylene Preston, Miranda Otto, Chelsie PrestonCrayford and Carolyn Enting.
I love going to pop into Float Well, owned by lovely Sam and Kevin, when I know it is time to leave my phone behind and drift away for an hour in a pool of salt water. Why try floating?
Floating has many benefits, both physical and mental. It sort of feels like being in space! However, personally, I love the fact floating is a time where I can take time out for myself, and not talk to ANYONE. It is so pleasing to leave the world behind and just examine your own thoughts - a real treat - and get stuff 'sorted' in my head. Floating is great if you have sore muscles because the water has high magnesium content. It will relax your body and brain! I try to float every six weeks to three months.