Hordes of beauty junkies turned out for the opening of Mecca Maxima on Auckland's Queen St this morning.
The huge makeup store opened at 9am to a line that snaked down Auckland's premier street and around the block. Some in the queue had been there since 3pm yesterday. Others, braving the cold, arrived at 4am today.
According to customers who had been at the front of the line for 18 hours, the drawcard was being able to get their hands on brands never seen in Auckland before.
"It's just all the new brands that we haven't [seen] here before. We're just so excited to see them," the girls at the front of the queue told NZ Herald Focus.
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Another said: "It's the makeup in the flesh. Usually, you can only find it online and you get the colours and they're not quite right."
As the likes of Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian release sell-out cosmetics ranges and brands such as Mecca and Sephora open huge bricks-and-mortar stores, it's clear the industry is in the middle of a boom.
Local fans believe the increased interest in makeup has been sparked by tutorials from beauty vloggers such as Kiwi makeup star ShaaanXO whose channel boasts three million subscribers.
The new Maxima store, the first of its kind in Auckland, offers cult brands exclusive to Mecca such as Too Faced, Urban Decay and a new store brand Mecca Max, which is sure to appeal to fast-fashion Millennials as it boasts nothing over $50.
Customers who spend more than $90 on opening day can select a mystery prize envelope that could contain a $500 store voucher.
You'd be correct in thinking you've already seen a Mecca store in Auckland. There is a Mecca Cosmetica in Ponsonby. The difference is it offers luxurious makeup and skincare, with a focus on personalised beauty. The Maxima store is an intense experience with loud music, 12 makeup stations and skin consultations and a set-up that means customers can browse the brands at their leisure.
Auckland's newest store is the sixth in the Mecca Cosmetica and Maxima network in New Zealand, including stores in Christchurch and Wellington.