What We’ve Been Crushing On This February

One thing we love right now? This heart-shaped pillow from Sophia Frances Studio. Photo / @sophiafrances_studio

We lay all our love on a range of things this month, from comfy bras to olive oil.

February’s list of things we’re loving right now runs the full gamut of wants and will-buys: An extra-virgin olive oil to glug generously, a comfy bra as verdant as new shoots, a

Etoile Collective large twin cosmetic case

A recent trip made me realise just how scaggy and impractical my toiletry case is. I don’t have enough room for the 10,000 products I tote with me when I travel (I’ve never been one to pack light). And so began my search to find a dual-compartment case to fit my needs. I found that (and more) in the Large Twin Cosmetic Case from Etoile Collective, which boasts two generously sized compartments that completely zip apart. The clear window on the front of each makes it easy to see what you’ve stashed where (I’d use one side just for makeup, and the other for skin and hair care), while the stain-proof lining repels everything from foundations and powders to creams and lipsticks. The only downside? It doesn’t have pockets for makeup brushes, but it can adequately fit the brand’s Clear Circular Holder, $22, which I’m also keen to invest in. $163, from Etoilecollective.co.nzAshleigh Cometti, beauty editor

Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance

I implemented a casual rule at the end of last year to only buy books written by authors from Aotearoa, to minimise and localise my collection’s expanse. I’ve been enjoying the focus of this approach, following specific authors or subjects in a certain direction. After borrowing Jumping Sundays from the library over the summer break, I’ve found a few more studious and historical examinations of New Zealand protests to sink into. Next on the list is Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance. It’s an illustrated and photographic history of protest in New Zealand, which collates important artefacts and objects from moments of mobilisation. It looks to be a vivid exploration of vital historical moments, which have clear ties to the ongoing action we’re seeing across the country now. This book also won the award at the 2020 Ockham NZ Book Awards for Illustrated Non-Fiction Book. $70, from Moana Fresh. — Madeleine Crutchley, multimedia journalist

Hender Scheme Chameleon Crog sandals

On a recent hunt for some decent fisherman sandals, I took a detour and came across these instead. A smart leather clog with a strap is the kind of shoe I can imagine wearing comfortably as we segue into cooler months with a pair of chunky socks. The strap is a clever mechanism too; you can switch between a natural or a red heel strap. $855, from Henderscheme.com Dan Ahwa, creative and fashion director

Al’Ard Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tin 10L

I started buying olive oil by the can a couple of years ago — after reading Samin Nosrat’s book Salt Fat Acid Heat — and being able to glug generously has improved my cooking. I prefer a robust flavour (mild seems like a waste of time and money to me) and it transforms dressings, confits, and even a simple drizzle elevates even the most rustic of slops that I dish up. Locally, you can find varieties at Middle Eastern grocery stores; I visit Pita House in Pakuranga a few times a year to stock up. Looking further afield, however, Al’Ard extra-virgin olive oil is on my wish list. Palestine produces some of the best olive oil in the world, and Al’Ard was established to support farmers and secure a fair price for this high-quality, handpicked product. The smaller volumes are sold out, but this 10-litre can would be a good investment and surely last a long time. $403, from Alardproducts.com Emma Gleason, deputy editor, lifestyle audience

Ohen Balconette bra

It’s the newest member of newish local lingerie label Ohen’s tight edit of underthings, and it’s at the top of my wish list. Everything about it is sultry and sophisticated — the lace scalloped, the cut square, the internal sling for support, the green as bright and fresh as new shoots. I have the brand’s Contour bra in a lovely biscuit shade, and it’s the comfiest one I’ve ever owned. $129, from Ohenunderwear.comJulia Gessler, multimedia journalist

Sophia Frances Studio cushion

February is, for some, the month of love, and although (thankfully) February 14 came and went, I can’t help but feel my heartstrings tug at, well, a cushion. This frilly and sickly loveable piece is from the British-based fabric design label Sophia Frances Studio. It specialises in cute and quaint fabrics that have a heritage look and feel, and are all designed in-house. About $195, from Sophiafrances.comAnnabel Dickson, fashion assistant

Deadly Ponies Caballo mule

I’m crushing on the Caballo mule from Deadly Ponies, which I spotted in fashion assistant Annabel’s excellent roundup of the latest mules. The leather upper has been crafted into a chic pleated effect and the heel has a pleasing curve to it. They remind me of a pair of woven tan leather wedges I used to steal off my mum constantly because they perfectly suited all kinds of outfits. I can see myself wearing the Caballo exactly as they’re styled in this image, which means maybe I need the bag too? $549, from Deadly Ponies. — Johanna Thornton, deputy editor, lifestyle premium

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