Several leading New Zealand department stores are bringing out their own makeup line, including Smith & Caughey and Kirkcaldies. Called The Makeup, the range is pitched at customers who like to self-select their cosmetics, but want the assurance of an association with a brand name they trust.
Smith & Caughey's cosmetics buyer, Lynda Grant, said the initiative was meant to complement rather than compete with existing brands. "The thinking behind it is that for some women it is quite scary going to a counter."
The Makeup is a quality alternative range with a choice of around 160 items, from eye shadows at $32 through lips, cheeks, plus foundations and the top-priced item being a primer at $59. Self-select cosmetics are mostly in the budget category. Though it is common overseas for department stores to commission their own ranges, they are often made cheaply and look cheap, so are usually not on displays with the store name. The Makeup differs in that it is sourced from Canada, a well-regulated country used as manufacturer of choice for a number of high-end American brands. It is manufactured to order by a clever company which specialises in creating private label cosmetics, essentially branding generic products that have a familiar upscale look.
Peter Fahey a cosmetics industry veteran with an eye to opportunity, who for many years headed Yves Saint Laurent's beauty business in Australasia, has worked on the department store deal. Since going it alone with his Viscorpe company, Fahey has also brought to market an invisible lip liner called No Bleeding Lips. This has just received a rave review in the influential American online Huffington Post, handily while he is in the process of securing a wider overseas distribution deal. Other products are in the pipeline.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand is bringing out its own range of sunscreen this summer. The items are rated SPF50, so for those looking for heavy duty protection check out the range trusted by our beach guardians. Buying the sunscreen also contributes funds for beach patrol and rescue services.
The sunscreens are a joint venture between Surf Life Saving and Auckland beauty distributor BDM Grange.
BDM has ensured the specially developed products comply with tough Australian regulations (New Zealand is party to a joint Australia-New Zealand Standard, but also accepts the ratings that apply in other markets). It's priced from $9.99 (for a clip-on 75ml bottle) up to $24.99 (for a bumper-sized 400ml pump bottle). $1 from each bottle sold goes to Surf Life Saving NZ. Available from selected supermarkets, pharmacies and Farmers stores.
To mark the end of Breast Cancer Awareness month - and the beginning of the first Pink Ribbon campaign 20 years ago - a special lunch function was held in Auckland last week.
The origins of one of the world's most recognisable fundraising campaigns were recounted and its driving force, Evelyn Lauder, daughter-in-law of cosmetics company founder Estee Lauder, remembered.
Breast Cancer Foundation trustee and Estee Lauder Companies general manager (NZ) Marie-Ann Billens told guests that Auckland had a special connection with the campaign, being the first city in the world to illuminate a designated landmark with pink lighting.
"I thought this was just a matter of finding a pink bulb," Billens joked, explaining that getting the Sky Tower to change colour back in 2000 turned out to be rather more complex than she had expected. The cajoling was worth it when it became the first of 26 landmarks - followed by the likes of the Empire State Building and the Leaning Tower of Pisa - to be symbolically lit.
This October more than 120 significant buildings turned pink, all showing their softer side to help raise awareness of the Pink Ribbon campaign. Most of the landmarks, now including Kensington Palace in London and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, are lit up for just one night. The Sky Tower stands out still in that it goes pink for a month.
Evelyn Lauder would doubtless have approved.
On holiday here once she insisted on scheduling a breast cancer meeting. The determined woman who came up with the Pink Ribbon symbol with an American magazine editor died nearly a year ago, aged 75.
Her legacy was to see the American Breast Cancer Research Foundation she began raise more than $350 million and the Pink Ribbon campaign go global. It is now in more than 70 countries, growing from the Lauder brands to include many other companies donating a percentage of sales towards breast cancer work. In New Zealand focuses are on encouraging mammography and funding research. This year the Pink Ribbon campaign was dedicated to her memory, its theme: "Courage. Believe in a world without breast cancer, know we are here until it is true."
The fundraising focus shifts to men's health this month, with Movember putting two big issues of prostate cancer and depression in the spotlight. Attendant merchandising is well short of Pink Ribbon proportions, but we like that men's online skincare company, Bread&Butter will give $20 from its $49 and $69 packs of skincare into nominated Movember fundraising accounts.
Another beauty backer is Geoskincare which is giving $5 from each men's product sold on its website. The certified organic company has an additional 25 per cent discount offer on all men's products sold online in November, bringing per item prices down to $29.90.
If your man insists on breaking out in bristles this month, or is already in the half of men worldwide whom shave specialist Philips says style their facial hair, then keep him tidy with a purpose-designed shaving tool. The new Styleshaver is a two-sided device which combines trimming, styling and shaving mechanisms.
Trimmer setting lengths can vary from 0.5mm to 1cm, with the dual-foil shaver able to create straight edges or clean shave. The waterproof rechargeable Styleshaver costs $249 from major electrical retailers and department stores.
Trust the French to have been in on any beauty act early. Hair rituals and treatment fragrances may sound like recent arrivals, but two innovators are already celebrating their 25th anniversaries. Kerastase launched its nourishing treatment masque for thick, dry and sensitised hair in 1987 and Masqueintense ($65) is still going strong in salons. It is currently available for home use in a special birthday pot.
Clarins has dressed its Eau Dynamisante in festive red glitter for the silver anniversary of this revitalising fragrance containing essential oils and skin-conditioning plant extracts. The limited edition bottle costs $81 from Clarins counters in selected department stores and pharmacies.
Bobbi Brown is the latest cosmetics house to launch a Facebook page in New Zealand. It allows fans to find out more about the makeup artist and company founder who now also offers lifestyle and empowerment advice, along with the expected makeup how-to videos and tutorials. Find out also about local events, promotions and launches.
Seal of approval
Trilogy has gained New Zealand's first natural cosmetic certification under the internationally recognised Natrue standard. This is one of a number of internationally credible certifications available, but stands out in being certified locally by BioGro NZ Ltd. Trilogy says in the decade since it began, the natural skincare sector has grown rapidly, but it is hard for consumers to determine if what they are using is indeed natural as there is no legal definition of this. With Natrue certification, consumers have an assurance its claims are valid.
Moisture Mist Beauty Cake has brought out a limited edition Beauty Cake set featuring a blue floral 70s-inspired design, recalling that the popular makeup was especially developed for New Zealand women in that decade. The annual compact promotion offers a foundation and sponge for $35. Find it in Farmers and selected pharmacies.