Beauty Insider: Launch Of Aesop Ponsonby; Hana’s New Mother’s Day Treatment; Two Vibrant Hair Tools To Halve Your Styling Time

By Ashleigh Cometti
The design of the new Aesop Ponsonby signature store is as considered as the formulas which line the shelves. Photo / Ash Cometti

Come with us to the opening of Aesop’s new Ponsonby store; Hana’s newest body treatment is a must for mums everywhere; Kosas reveals its newest gel-based foundation; These two new hair tools promise to achieve salon-worthy results, fast; Shiseido revamps one of its most popular skincare collections.

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Read on for every important beauty announcement worth knowing this week.

Inside the opening of Aesop’s new Ponsonby store

A contemporary beauty oasis in the heart of Ponsonby’s bustling shopping precinct, Aesop’s newest signature store offers brand loyalists and newcomers a personalised journey when shopping the shelves for its selection of skincare, hair care, body care and home fragrance.

Last night, a handful of local media, content creators and tastemakers were invited to celebrate the store’s official opening (despite having been open since February). Quietly opening doors without making a fuss felt inherently true to form for the brand — so while the launch party was months in the making, the slick end result was worth the wait.

The effervescent and chatty Newmarket store manager explained to me how every Aesop store reflects its neighbourhood by incorporating elements of heritage buildings or drawing on historic practices of the area to inform its design.

For the Ponsonby store, this meant drawing on the industrial trappings of the 1960s working class — as reflected in the exposed metal pipes, silver pendant lights, generously proportioned stainless steel tubs and polished limestone bricks.

Many of the materials used further emphasise Aesop’s commitment to sustainability — the reclaimed kauri shelves ran almost the entire length of the store, framing either side of the textural stone testing bench which sat proudly in the centre.

Crafted by Stone Living, the bench is derived from greywacke — a material typically used in concrete chips or road chips. Characterised by its deep colour, it’s the first time greywacke has been utilised in this way, Stone Living director Ivan Salic told ArchiPro. The multi-layered bench also includes outlets for oil burners, with 49 holes drilled into the stone to allow scent to diffuse throughout the store.

I was intrigued to see one of the cupboards was completely bare. “It’s the armoire,” I was told — or the space to which shoppers can bring a piece of clothing like a scarf to be spritzed and infused with one of Aesop’s signature scents.

As someone who prefers the privacy of a consult room over a sink-side demonstration, I was delighted to learn of the private room at the back of the store designated for one-on-one consultations away from prying eyes.

Shop 5/130 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby.

Hana’s new treatment is sure to be a godsend for tired mums

Urban sanctuary Hana has teamed up with premium pregnancy body care brand Pure Mama on a new signature massage treatment, which is sure to remedy any aches and pains of pregnancy, or to offer a moment’s peace for a new mum.

Launching just in time for Mother’s Day, this bespoke relaxation massage is tailored to mums in either that pre- or post-natal stage of life, and is designed to alleviate muscle tension, boost circulation and reduce swelling.

For Hana founder Sara Higgins, this new treatment is a welcome addition to Hana’s existing wellness experiences, which include massage, infrared saunas, red light therapy and ice baths.

“As a new mother myself, I understand the importance of nurturing both the body and mind during and post-pregnancy,” she says. “Our new collaboration with Pure Mama is a way to honour and support mothers on their journey, providing a tranquil escape where they can be cared for.”

Pure Mama is known for its cosseting, plant-based formulations to care for both mum and baby and founder Lara Henderson catapulted the brand on to a world stage with its Pregnancy Paradox campaign (which aimed to unpack how two things could be true of pregnancy at once, like being tired and at the same time grateful), and after gifting the product to Kourtney Kardashian and being featured on her website, Poosh.

Treatments are priced at $175 for 60 minutes, or $225 for 90 minutes, and are available at Hana’s Grey Lynn studio with a second studio set to open in May. Optional extras include an exfoliating belly scrub or magnesium body rub to leave skin feeling hydrated and nourished.

These clever (and colourful) hair tools are some of the most intuitive yet

Bored with black? The new Ghd Colour Crush collection reimagines five of the brand’s best-selling hot tools in four vibrant new hues — sure to inject a little fun into your morning routine.

The limited-edition autumn/winter hot-tool collection comprises cyber lime for the Ghd Helios and Chronos, radiant red for the Ghd Max, apricot crush for the Ghd Gold and elemental blue for the Ghd Duet — the brand’s latest wet-to-dry styler which blow dries and straightens hair in one fell swoop.

The Ghd Colour Crush collection is priced from $380 and is available from selected salons, department stores and online at

Equally as bright is the new Dyson Supersonic Nural hair dryer.

Highlighting a see-through drying head to reveal the oodles of tech inside, Dyson positions this newbie as its most intelligent hair dryer yet, created with automatic Nural sensor technology to protect the health of the scalp and ensure maximum shine (minus the heat damage that often comes with blow-drying hair).

Its scalp-protect mode reduces the heat to 55C, which is reflected by a light colour change to show which setting your air. Like AI but for your hair, each attachment is trained to remember your styling preference (don’t ask me how).

The new Dyson Nural Supersonic hair dryer is priced at $799 and is available from

Shiseido reimagines it’s best-selling, age-defying skincare line

Last Wednesday, beauty media and influencers were invited to join the Shiseido team at Auckland’s Park Hyatt for a morning of skincare, fine food and drinks in celebration of the newly revamped Shiseido Vital Perfection line.

Overlooking Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour, the group enjoyed five light bites inspired by key ingredients loved and used by the brand, which included bottomless safflower tea.

Hosted by Rise & Shine PR and with a presentation by the head of marketing at Cosmax Prestige, Chris Kennedy-Grant, five new formulations were unveiled — the Uplifting and Firming Advanced Cream, Uplifting and Firming Advanced Cream Soft, alongside the Concentrated Supreme Cream.

For lotions and emulsions, the Bright Revitalizing Lotion and Bright Revitalizing Emulsion sat proudly on low, custom-made tables for an experience that points back to Shiseido’s Japanese roots.

Every product harnessed the revitalising powers of proprietary ingredient SafflowerRed, which aims to lift, firm and brighten skin, while ReNeuraRed technology works overtime to revitalise skin and address the visible signs of ageing.

The new Shiseido Vital Perfection line is priced from $115 and is available from selected department stores and pharmacies including Farmers or online at (Editor’s note: the creams are available now, and the lotions and emulsions will be available from April 15).

New, Now: Kosas reveals its newest complexion holy grail

Once, in a desperate attempt to find a sold-out-everywhere Kosas Revealer Concealer, I traipsed through three Mecca stores in Sydney to find my desired shade. My search was fruitless, but it hammered home just how popular Kosas complexion perfectors truly are.

Now, the brand has revealed its new BB Burst Tinted Gel Cream, a new take on tinted moisturiser that couples active skincare into its buildable, your-skin-but-better foundation formula. It highlights hydrating copper peptides, saccharide isomerate and zinc to visibly plump and firm skin, support the skin barrier and reduce sensitivity and redness, all while creating a smooth, even-toned finish.

The new Kosas BB Burst Tinted Gel Cream is priced at $74 and available now at Mecca or online at, and if my concealer story is anything to go by, you’ll want to be quick.

Ashleigh Cometti is an Auckland-based beauty journalist with more than 12 years’ experience in the industry. After joining the Viva team in 2018 and being appointed as beauty editor in 2020, Ash has fine-tuned her skills at sniffing out new fragrance launches, discovering the next generation of talented makeup artists, and writing about all things that feed her obsession as a skincare fanatic.

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