Meet The Viva Team: Ashleigh Cometti, Beauty Editor

By Ashleigh Cometti
Beauty editor Ashleigh Cometti. Photo / Babiche Martens

In this Q&A series, get to know the hardworking members of the Viva team, as they share the highlights of their role, their go-to restaurants and what they do on their time off.

What is your role at Viva?

Beauty editor. I was appointed to the role in 2020 and have been in the hot seat ever since (with a short break in between to welcome my second son into the world!). I absolutely love what I do and can confidently say I’m living out my dream.

Is there a story, issue or project you’ve worked on at Viva that was particularly memorable for you, and why?

There are two that spring to mind! The first was the cover story from our October 2020 beauty issue, which dived into CBD in skincare (the non-psychoactive kind). We paired this with a photoshoot shot by Babiche Martens which featured a 24-carat gold cannabis leaf pendant that a shop owner on Karangahape Rd kindly lent me!

The second was an investigative feature from our Spring 2022 glossy magazine which explored endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in skincare. It was inspired by personal events occuring in my life at the time, so I felt quite emotional during the research and writing process.

The cover shot for our 2020 feature on CBD in skincare, featuring a 24-carat gold cannabis leaf pendant. Photo / Babiche Martens
The cover shot for our 2020 feature on CBD in skincare, featuring a 24-carat gold cannabis leaf pendant. Photo / Babiche Martens

What can people expect from Viva Premium?

Our Premium offering delivers exclusive content across fashion, beauty, food, lifestyle and culture. Here, you’ll find articles, galleries, behind-the-scenes videos and more curated by our talented team of editors, writers and creatives who work tirelessly to bring you elevated content that’s sure to inspire. Plus, it costs less than a flat white so it’s a no-brainer to subscribe and gain access to the many benefits of being a Viva Premium subscriber.

What’s the best thing about your role?

The variety! One moment I’m rushing off to a PR event for the latest beauty launch, the next I’m filing a beauty story for Viva’s print edition, or collating a shoppable gallery for There’s nothing boring or repetitive about my week. I absolutely love my job and I feel very lucky to be able confidently to say that!

Describe your personal style.

In recent years I’ve discovered a formula that works perfectly for my body shape and personal preference. A coterie of maxi dresses, cinched at the waist, paired with leather slides; wide-leg trousers with a crisp white T-shirt, layered with a trench coat or a blazer; and midi skirts teamed with fitted bodysuits and strappy high heels.

I believe colour gives confidence, and bursts of neon yellow and emerald green are equally as at home in my wardrobe as warm neutrals like beige, tan and khaki. I have a hot pink dress in my wardrobe which my husband has teasingly nick-named “The Compliments Dress”. I can’t wear it without someone commenting on its colour.

What are your favourite New Zealand stores or brands?

Ruby, Harris Tapper, Paris Georgia, Maggie Marilyn, Caitlin Crisp, Yu-Mei and Deadly Ponies.

What’s the most special item of clothing in your wardrobe, and why?

My Caitlin Crisp trench. It was a bit of a splurge but I wanted to treat myself to something nice to celebrate returning back to work after finishing my maternity leave.

Onslow's interior boasts small extravagances. Photo / Babiche Martens
Onslow's interior boasts small extravagances. Photo / Babiche Martens

Where’s your go-to spot for dinner and drinks with friends?

I have two! My two favourite restaurants offer unspoiled views of what makes Auckland so special Onslow spills out onto an inner-city rooftop, while Bivacco is situated at the heart of Viaduct Harbour and looks out over the water. The service at Onslow is unmatched, nor is its generous drinks list and sophisticated fare the perfect spot to visit if your aim is to impress. Equally impressive is Bivacco, which has widespread appeal with its unfussy Italian menu and stylish fit-out, designed by Paul Izzard.

And for coffee?

I recently had the best coffee I’ve ever had at Raglan Roast in Raglan, but when I’m in Auckland I can’t go past an oat flattie from Daily Bread.

What’s your favourite meal to cook for company, and for yourself?

We had a dinner party over the weekend I made Kitty’s Kitchen’s Fall In Love Chicken. It follows the same premise as the classic Marry Me Chicken, with chicken thighs, crispy bacon, sundried tomatoes, wilted spinach and lashings of cream. I served it with a crunchy cos salad which called for a buttermilk and creme fraiche dressing which was divine.

Jenny Jackson's novel 'Pineapple Street'.
Jenny Jackson's novel 'Pineapple Street'.

What else do you read, listen to or watch when you’re not reading Viva?

I’m pretty time-poor, so I love a good podcast. The ones I have on high rotation include After Work Drinks, Happy Hour with Lucy & Nikki and On Purpose with Jay Shetty. As far as beauty podcasts go, YouBeauty, Beauty Talk, Fat Mascara, Breaking Beauty and Beauty IQ Uncensored are all excellent.

I recently joined a book club which has reignited my passion for reading. I haven’t yet jumped on the Kindle bandwagon so continue to buy hardcover books. This month we’re reading Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson. I haven’t read Dan, Julia and Emma’s joint review, but will do so as soon as I’ve finished the book!

My toxic trait is scrolling TikTok before bed and I check Instagram frequently throughout the day.

What’s your guilty-pleasure binge-watch?

I’m not even embarassed to say I’m addicted to Love Island. I’ve watched every season since it began and continue to follow some of the cast members today. The season with Tommy Fury, Molly Mae Hague and Maura Higgins was my favourite by far. My other favourite trash TV watch is MAFS.

On your time off, what do you like to do?

Spend time with my family. I have a three-year-old and an eight-month-old so every weekend we find a fun new activity, park or kid-friendly cafe to try. We live five minutes away from the beach so we spend a lot of time building sandcastles or dipping our toes in the water. When I’m not with the kids, I love grabbing a wine with my girlfriends at a local bar or cosying up on the couch watching a movie with my husband.

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