For 30 years Lisa Chappell has been a familiar face on screen and stage. But her latest role may be cause for a case of mistaken identity. Soon to appear as Nurse Carrie Burton in the Auckland Theatre Company's premiere season of Shortland Street – The Musical, this versatile performer didn't actually play that pivotal role in the TV soap's early days.
But like many other New Zealand actors she did pop up on the programme, in a smaller role in its first year back in 1992. It was a stepping stone for the Aucklander, who came to notice playing a spoiled brat on TV series Gloss in the late 1980s; acted in movies, including period drama Desperate Remedies with Jennifer Ward-Lealand; and then headed across the Tasman, where she found fame as the award-winning lead in top-rating TV series McLeod's Daughters.
After three years of playing Claire McLeod she wanted change and her popular character was killed off. Since 2004, Lisa has alternated screen roles here and in Australia with making music and appearing in theatre productions.
The latter talents will be well exercised in ATC's comedic take on Shortland Street, which has a number of other big names popping up in the all-singing, all-dancing tribute to Shorty. After its Auckland season at the ASB Waterfront Theatre (Saturday November 17 until Saturday December 8), the show will tour other cities in March and April, 2019.
Luckily Lisa who these days sports a youthful pixie cut claims to be a bit of a gypsy with a liking for change. One thing she has sorted, however, is a down-to-earth approach to looking good.
Pretty low maintenance (aka lazy), but I am consistent. I always wash my face at night and take makeup off and apply my skincare. My make-up is pretty simple, unless it's for work or a special occasion.
I would say my most memorable look would be Dorothea in [the film] Desperate Remedies at the ball. I wore a stunning period wig and a full ball gown with a metal handmade carved bronze corset with matching forearm bands. It was truly spectacular, not the most comfortable of costumes, but definitely one of my favourites. And/or I shall never forget my Peer Gynt look where I wore a see-through body suit, fake tattoos and an extremely lifelike prosthetic penis.
When I was five I would go next door to the Collins' house and watch my neighbour Helen who was 16 get ready to go out and I would raid her makeup. I LOVED it.
Tricks of the trade
I usually ask the makeup artist what they recommend as they are more up to date and educated than me. But a good nude lippy works well for tele and auditions and my favourite is still a M.A.C used on me in The Cult, called Tawny.
Daily beauty routine
I use all Janesce products and have for most of the last two decades. It's an organic skincare range created by a naturopath from Adelaide and I discovered them while doing McLeod's Daughters. I have super-sensitive skin and this range really works for me. I cleanse with Avocado and Sesame oil and then put on a few drops of the Janesce SK1 concentrate then a couple of sprays of their lavender soothing mist mixed with their lavender facial aromatic oil. I do the same morning and night. It hydrates my very thirsty skin and feels great.
Hair and its care
I'm always on the lookout for the miracle cure for fine, thin hair. I think my hairdresser, Sam at Stephen Marr, is really the only reliable answer. Currently, I'm using O&M shampoo and conditioner and O&M Atonic Thickening Spritz and finish with a tiny drop of Love Perpetua shine drops by Evo. For in between washes I use the ever trusty Batiste dry shampoo or Dust Up by Juuce. Now that my hair is in a pixie cut I take a lot more care of it as I can do the whole works in about three minutes.
Best and worst fashion looks
My favourite outfit at the moment for real life is a super comfortable, second hand Marks & Spencer's tartan twin set. The top has a boat neck and three quarter sleeve top and the bottoms are tight capri pants. It's just a subdued kind of dark blue but for some reason, it has literally stopped traffic. Go figure. Least favourite, anything without stretch.
A red lip. It's instant glamour. I use Nars satin lip pencil in Golshan. It's like a crayon for adults, super easy to apply and settles into a nice matte but not too matte finish.
Five favourite products
1. Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue is my favourite foundation. I love its dewy look and light feel, but it has the ability to build coverage if you need it.
2. Chantecallie cheek gel called Happy. Then I dot this on. I love the glow it gives.
3. Stila Huge mascara. I finish off my day look with this, because I LOVE mascara and a lot of it. With this mascara you don't need to do multiple coats, it's a sweep on once and you're done number.
5. Janesce SK1 Concentrate. These last two are my favourite skincare products. (The concentrate is a naturopathic-strength version of Janesce's sensitive dehydrated concentrate).
Treatment to try
I'd like to try microblading on my eyebrows as they've been plucked for so many roles I've lost a fair chunk of them and I miss my Brooke Shields eyebrows. I'm just trying to find the time and courage. Watch this space.
Taking care of yourself in whatever way that makes you feel good.