Nicky Park

Editor of Life & Style.

New Zealand catches Eva fever (+video)

The first thing Eva Longoria did when she touched down in New Zealand this morning was turn to Twitter for touristy tips.

"Just landed in New Zealand! Sooo beautiful here! Can't wait to see everybody for the launch of The Shopping Channel New Zealand!" she tweeted.

She followed it up: "Now that I am here in New Zealand what must I see in Auckland? Suggestions Kiwis??"

The 37-year-old former Desperate Housewives star flew to Auckland to help launch The Shopping Channel. She was due to arrive on Sunday but was dining with US President Barack Obama, part of her new role as co-chair of the president's re-election campaign.

At lunchtime today, press gathered at the Langham Hotel for an all-in press conference with the petite star (though some news journos were caught up out the front trying to get the scoop after a bus collided with a truck on the main road out the front).

There were strict rules for the press pack- submit questions for approval (apparently so there was "no double-ups") and a bus ride to a secret location (for security reasons).

This might be fairly standard practise in America, but the tame New Zealand media were flummoxed by the seemingly cagey star treatment. They were barred from asking about her favourite Kiwi designer or what she might like to get up to should she have the chance to visit NZ again.

"When they [celebrities] actually get here they realise life's different [to the US]," said The Shopping Channel CEO Alistair Duff when asked about rules. He wouldn't reveal how much the star would be paid for her appearance ("I don't know, I'm just the CEO") but said there were more ways to lure a celebrity over than with money.

Longoria greeted waiting media in a firm-fitting, oyster-coloured dress and black embellished heels. Her long metallic silver nails were a stand-out feature, as was her token brunette mane, cascading down her shoulders.

The first thing Longoria said was: "You can ask me anything," perhaps in response to this article, exposing PR firms for vetting questions.

Longoria's role presenting on The Shopping Channel is an easy fit - her Desperate Housewives character ended up with a similar gig, plus she said she's a "fanatic" for home shopping.

"I own every kitchen appliance that's ever been on TV," she said (although our question about her biggest shopping regret was barred).

The Latina beauty's role lending her voice to the Democrats in the election dominated most of the hour-long press conference.

"I love all of this Obama stuff! We should sell Obama t-shirts on the show," she laughed.

However, there were other Longoria lines that were worth a mention.

* On Fifty Shades of Grey: "The people in that book are way too young to be doing what they're doing!"

* On diversity: "I think it's important as a woman to diversify. I've always been ambitious and driven to have an empire. I never thought I would have the global reach that I have today."

* On perfume: "How does Eva smell? I knew for my first fragrance, Eva by Eva, I wanted something clean, I wanted it light and for day time and it's really fun and flirty and easy and you can wear it every day ... The second fragrance is a little sexier, it's a little muskier, it's for night time, it lasts longer, so that was another side of my personality."

* On what's in her purse: "Maybe some nuts, I always have nuts or trail mix of some sort."

* On her most loved purchase: "My parent's house, it was like the first thing I bought when I had money. And a leather jacket, that was like my big splurge. But I brought my parent's house before I brought my own ... I moved them to the city to be closer to medical care for my older sister who has special needs."

* On a Desperate Housewives movie: "I think we've fully explored every affair and trouble and child rearing, divorce that we could possibly take."

* On her best beauty advice: "Hair colour's probably the most important thing that could evolve your style and your mood."

* On the secret to her skin: "Ah, make-up! The make-up team! You know, I have really good genes and I think being Latin helps, I don't know if that helps in New Zealand or not. I moisturise every night and every day and always use sunblock."

* On skin treatments: "I do a lot of facials... it's painful, it's not a relaxing thing, getting out all the bad, getting peels and masks and extractions and ... hydrating, laser light treatment ... there's different things you can do to plump up your skin ... I get them every two weeks."

* On buying a present for a girl: "I always say stay clear of clothes because you can offend a woman by size, you know like, 'why'd you get me a large?!?'."

Longoria will do some shopping before attending a V.I.P. event for the dedicated retail TV channel. She will appear live on air at 7.30pm Thursday, launching her new perfume.

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