I recently travelled to the beautiful Gold Coast in Australia, and naturally, I had to replenish my makeup kit while I was there. While online shopping has improved vastly in the last few years, there are still quite a few brands that we are unable to purchase in New Zealand. I do most of my makeup shopping overseas and online so I can source these coveted items for myself and my professional kit.
My first stop was Mecca Maxima, the sister to Mecca Cosmetica (which we do have in NZ). Mecca Cosmetica has a high-end, luxury feel, while Mecca Maxima is much brighter, flashier and colourful (similar to a Sephora store).
To my absolute delight, as I exited Mecca Maxima I spotted the famous black and white stripes of Sephora. As it turns out, Sephora Pacific Fair had opened the week prior, just in time for my arrival. Rejoice! While we're lucky to now an online Sephora store in New Zealand, we still lack a lot of their brand offering, so this was a great chance to explore and stock up on some goodies.
I prefer a tactile, in-store shopping experience when it comes to makeup, so I can feel textures, smell formulas, and check colours before I make the decision to purchase.
Now on to the good stuff: What I bought.
Born This Way foundation is a dream to apply, lasts well, and has a gorgeous natural finish. The shade range is excellent too - I picked up three new colours to add to my professional makeup kit.
This blendable, buildable formula gives a medium to full coverage. It has a satin/dewy finish that makes skin look super flawless - to mattify just add powder. Perfect for all skin types and makeup looks. This is fast becoming my new favourite.
Too Faced products are cruelty-free.
AUD$60 from Mecca Maxima and Sephora stores overseas. Not available online for NZ yet.
Kat Von D is the Queen of tattoos, so it's no wonder longevity and precision abound in her gorgeous makeup range. I rushed to her stand and immediately tried the Tattoo Eyeliner on the back of my hand. It did not disappoint. The applicator makes liquid liner almost easy, and the result is a super crisp, clean line - perfect for beginners.
The Brow Tattoo comes housed in the same sleek tube with an even finer applicator, designed to draw tiny brow-like hairs for a very natural finish. I love this, but it's quite fiddly and not for everyone. I will be using it professionally on clients who have very sparse brows.
I was also drawn to the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in a fawny-nude shade called Bow and Arrow. Thank the sweet baby Jesus that I found this. It's a DREAM. Highly-pigmented, silky-smooth, fast-drying, long-wearing lip goodness with a matte finish (add a hint of gloss on top for a different look). This shade is everything, and the whole range is to die for.
Kat Von D products are all cruelty-free, and Kat is making the whole range 100% vegan over time.
Liners $37 / Lipstick $40 from Sephora. Shop online here.
Urban Decay is an edgy brand from the States that is known for their colourful, unique offering. I've long been a fan of their eyeshadow palettes and setting sprays.
All Nighter has been a staple in my makeup kit for years now, and I swear by it. As the name suggests, it locks makeup into place for the night. I use this on all my makeup clients.
Spray liberally onto your face after makeup application, or spray onto your Beauty Blender for budge-proof foundation.
AUD$49 from Aelia Duty-Free at Auckland Airport, Mecca Maxima, and Sephora (not online yet sadly).
Brushes are essential for beautiful makeup, and I recommend you view yours as an investment.
The Zoeva brush offering is extensive and gorgeous. I nearly treated myself to one of their Rose Gold brush kits.... So covetable. Instead, I selected three eye brushes and one face brush to add to my professional brush roll, and I'm very excited to test these out on clients. They are well-made with soft bristles - perfect for blending and for beginners.
If you want beautiful makeup, you need brushes. If you don't know where to start, the two eyeshadow blending brushes I have purchased are ideal (and very affordable).
- 114 Luxe Face Focus - Use to apply powder highlight.
- 228 Luxe Crease - Use to apply light/medium tones through the eye crease or over the lid.
- 225 Luxe Eye Blender - Use to blend out eyeshadow and to apply medium/dark tones into the crease.
- 238 Lux Precise Shader - Use to apply and blend powder to the lash line (upper and lower).
From NZD$17 on the Sephora website. Shop here.
If like me, you spend your free time watching YouTube makeup tutorials, you've probably developed a healthy obsession with highlighting. I would choose highlight over contour any day - adding a glow to your skin instantly brightens the face and gives radiance. And it's easy.
Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfecter Powders have reached cult-like status, and I am a huge fan.
However, a cream highlight is my new go-to. Cream formulas look so natural, and can be patted on quickly over a tinted moisturiser for a dewy everyday look. The Becca Poured Cream highlights are phenomenal. I will be buying every single shade. TAKE MY MONEY.
Application tip: Blend on to the high points of the face with fingers, brush, or Beauty Blender - tip of nose, bridge of nose (between the eyes), cheekbones, above the brow, and the cupid's bow.
NZ$72 from the Sephora website. Shop here.
I spotted the ever-gorgeous Desi Perkins using this on her YouTube channel and thought it would be worth a try. While I adore primers, sometimes they are too heavy-duty and slippery for my liking.
This silicone-free coconut water enriched formula is light and refreshing while providing some much-needed hydration before makeup application. It's ideal for normal to oily skin types, and it has a gorgeous coconutty scent. Makeup glides on over the top with ease, and while I wouldn't say it promotes longevity, it's a lovely light option for me to carry in my makeup kit.
AUD$48 from Mecca Maxima and Sephora store (not available online yet unfortunately).
This purchase is my first foray into the IT Cosmetics line, and I'm rather happy with this little gem.
While powder has its place, I find myself using less and less of it, both on myself and my clients. Too much powder will make you look older! Keep it fresh.
Bye Bye Pores is a super fine, completely invisible powder that gives an incredibly natural finish. I will be using this on all my clients to set concealer under the eyes (used very sparingly), and to mattify where needed - usually around the nose, chin, and forehead areas.
AUD$44 from Sephora stores (not available to New Zealand yet).
I love Anastasia. The Brow Queen from Beverly Hills has the most incredible makeup range and was one of the first to jump on the contouring craze with her blendable contour kits.
I have her powder contour kit in Light/Medium, and I enjoy using it. When I spotted the cream contour kits in Sephora, I couldn't resist picking one up in the Medium tone range. I will be using this not only to contour but also to give some warmth and colour to my client's faces. I'm obsessed with cream bronzers at the moment, and this palette has three deep tones that I can custom-blend for the perfect bronzed look.
The pale shades are perfect for subtle colour correction and highlighting. If you're not sure what the hell to do with a contour kit, get on YouTube and look at some tutorials, OR just keep it simple with a quality highlight.
NZD$70 from Sephora online. Shop here.
No holiday is complete without the acquisition of a fragrance. In true consumerist style, I was sucked in by the adorable mini rollerball perfumes by the Sephora checkout. If you haven't been to a Sephora store before, beware of the clever placement of gorgeous minis for last-minute impulse buying! Gets me every time. Well played Sephora, well played.
I picked up an old favourite, Marc Jacobs Daisy. Light and floral, with notes of strawberry, violet, gardenia, and jasmine. It's playful and girly.
Elizabeth and James is the fashion label created by the Olsen twins, and I was surprised to see they have fragrances. I was even more surprised when they were good. Nirvana White is feminine with a bit of depth - think delicate peony and a musky base for a sophisticated touch.
AUD$15-$35 from Sephora stores only.
Do you have any overseas beauty spots that you love to visit?
I'd love to hear about your cult products.