Thread Best in Beauty 2012

Here are Megan’s top picks of the best in beauty products across make-up, hair, nails, body, and skincare in the Thread Best in Beauty Awards 2012…

Here are Megan’s top picks of the best in beauty products across make-up, hair, nails, body, and skincare in the Thread Best in Beauty Awards 2012…

These beauty products featured below I can vouch for as having used personally and that I rate them highly.

When you’re in your teens you get away with the bare minimum, and are less discerning. In your twenties you have more discretionary income and go for the latest and greatest brands you see advertised and endorsed. In your thirties many women are having children and start to lean towards using the natural brands, and have found their groove for their favourite brands – but are open to trying something a friend recommends.

I adore trying new products. Here are the ones I use myself and enjoy; by no means a definitive list – there are many more I like, but these are my faves. I’ll do it again next year and let you know what new things I’ve found and love, and what I would stick with and not let go.


M.A.C lipsticks are my go-to and here are my top favourites. Pictured left to right: Russian Red, Love Forever, Lady Danger, Please Me, Satiate. About $40 each.
M.A.C Lipglass in Lust is my favourite ‘thick gloss’ when you want a decent coverage and colour depth.
M.A.C Lip Conditioner takes away chapped lips, and can be worn by itself.
Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain & Color Seal Balm in Nude is a great brown-nude felt-tip and gloss balm stick. About $44
Clarins Gloss Appeal 02 is the only slightly shimmery pink gloss I wear. Non sticky. Around $48 from Farmers and Clarins counters.

Best orange lipsticks: (I slightly surprised even myself by how many orange lipsticks I owned…)
L’Oreal Paris Color Riche in Neonic Orange is the new Claudia Schiffer colour collection; my brightest orange and a great colour. About $26.
Karen Murrell Coral Dawn is the best natural lipstick and a beautiful bright coral orange, with EcoCert certification ($30). Karen Murrell does my favourite nude too, called Cordovan Natural. $30
Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Melondrama is a lighter sheer coral and very comfortable to wear, with a buttery balm texture. About $46
Napoleon Perdis Protege Lip Gloss gives a sheer coral wash and smells of peppermint. It is available exclusively from Farmers beauty counters.
Bargain Beauty Buy: Topshop lipstick pencil in Hedonist ($20) is a matte and long-lasting vibrant orange.


Best brushes: vegan makeup brush by INIKA, Bobbi Brown eye liner brush, Phoenix cosmetics angled eye liner brush.
Best liquid eyeliner: MAC Rapidblack Penultimate Eye Liner
Best natural mascara: Eye of Horus, the Cleopatra-inspired line from two Australian girls, is so gentle and perfect for sensitive wearers.
Best mascara: MAC Haute & Naughty Lash, with its two brushes for thick or thin coverage.
Best palettes: Smashbox does great palettes which are very good value too, such as this Shades of Fame palette retailing at $73 for nine eyeshadows, two cream liners, and a double-ended brush, which works out at only six bucks per colour (and eyeshadows are usually $36 for a single full size.)
Bargain Beauty Buy: the Australis 10Hr Waterproof blue eye pencil in Aqua Attack ($10) that never fails to get comments.


A great beauty look starts with great skin. Which I don’t have. So I start with great foundation…

M.A.C Prep + Prime highlighter light boost
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 ($64) – the best BB Cream I have ever tried
Fave liquid foundation: Clarins Everlasting Foundation SPF 15 $81
Fave pressed powder foundation: BECCA Boudoir Skin mineral powder $72
Fave illuminating face powder: Clarins Cotton Flower face palette about $70
Fave illuminating liquid: Dr Lewinn’s Anti-ageing illuminiser $30
Fave primer: Smashbox Photo Finish luminizing foundation primer $76
Fave creme blush: Youngblood Tropical Glow luminous creme blush ($60) and also M.A.C Ladyblush.
Fave facial spray: Sodashi Rejuvenating Face Mist
Bargain Beauty Buy: L’Oreal Paris True Match foundation $42 and Maybelline New York SuperStay 24 HR Makeup $34


Fave smoothing creams: ghd Obedience Cream is a white frizz-free styling cream I use before using my ghd straighteners. evo Easy Tiger Smoothing Fluid is a natural brand that has the funniest witty slogans; available from Pony Professional in Newmarket and selected salons (about $34). Miracle Hair Treatment from Eleven Australia is a multi-tasker that does, as the name suggests, eleven things including smoothing, heat protection, and repairing dry hair, and costs about $28 from salons including Dry&Tea in Newmarket.
Fave hair range in general: The American brand of sulfate-free hair products Pureology really works. I rate their Hydrate shampoo and conditioner (about $48 each) and all their Colour Stylist hair styling products, they are just great.
Also, NaturalTech is a high performance natural range from Italian brand Davines. I like the Nourishing Vegetarian Miracle Conditioner tub and also their Authentic Moisturing Balm. Redken do a lot of great hair products (about $36 each) and I particularly like blowdry lotion Satinwear 02 and their new dry shampoo, Powder Refresh 01. The numbers after the names just reflect the level of hold.
Fave haircolour: For wash-in, wash-out fun I like Kevin Murphy color.bug which is a coloured chalk ball you rub on your ends for a burst of colour. About $25 at selected salons.
Fave dry shampoo: John Freida Anytime Volume Refresher (about $18). I’ve tried the cheap supermarket dry shampoos but wasn’t impressed.
Fave for kids: I use a children’s natural hair product for detangling curly hair on my daughter; it’s made4kids Spray In Knots Out De-Tangler & Conditioner in watermelon. The brand was started by an Auckland mother and now includes a made4baby line as well and it retails for $18


I use and would recommend a variety of natural skincare, and my top brands would be Dr Hauschka, Weleda, Grown, Trilogy, Antipodes, Linden Leaves, Sodashi, Osmosis, Tebe Olive, Geoskincare, Pai, La Mav and evolu. It’s obviously a lucrative and growing market of late as consumers become increasingly aware of what they’re putting on their skin. This is just a tiny snapshot. These brands aren’t that expensive either, often around the $50 mark and all under $100 unlike some of the international beauty counter brands that are now hundreds of dollars for a jar.

The Jojoba Company is an Australian made, animal-friendly skincare brand with a few products I really like, including their jojoba oil as a face oil, and a leave-on jojoba face mask, and this 100% natural makeup remover ($30) which both works and feels nice.
Antipodes is the first New Zealand natural brand to be on Selfridges famed beauty floor which is a big deal and well deserved. I love everything I’ve tried from them – they do amazing facial oils – and this Grapeseed Butter cleanser ($46) and their new Immortal SPF15 natural sun protection moisturizer ($49)
Grown is an Australian made bio-active brand started by the two (New Zealand-born I think) Muijs brothers who are also cousins of Auckland fashion designer Sherie Muijs. The product and the packaging are divine. Grown Facial moisturiser $48.
I really, really like facial oils. Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate facial oil ($45) from Pai, a top London skincare brand (which is named for the Maori word for good) and is available from one of the BEST beauty stores in the country which is now online for those of you not in Auckland to visit them in Osborne Street in Newmarket, at (note: no u in ‘glamor’)
Weleda are so well priced for what they do. The German natural skincare brand has a fabulous Skin Food cream at $21 and this Pomegranate firming eye cream at $38. I like the comfortable feel of fellow German brand Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream but the brand is in the higher price bracket. Linden Leaves, the Christchurch skincare brand famed for its dehydrated flowers bottled in fragrant body oils, also do great masques.
Bargain Beauty Buys: the Nivea new release for the paraben-free market, Pure & Natural. Their facial wipes are actually really mild even on sensitive skin. Available from supermarkets for a few dollars. Also, Red Seal baking soda toothpaste is fantastic. It’s a paraben-free herbal and mineral toothpaste with a fizzy baking soda taste and is about $3.40 from supermarkets.


Best nailpolish for long lasting: essie (also Leighton Denny but this brand is harder to find.)
Best range of colours: OPI (also Revlon)
Best nail care oils: Orly
Best nailpolish removal papers: OPI expert touch nail wipes
Bargain Beauty Buy: Revitanail conditioning remover wipes $8.


Best body oil: Trilogy aromatic body oil. There are a wide varirty of excellent body oils from all the natural skincare brands I mentioned above; particularly the Dr Hauschka body oils ($46)
Best shower gel: Grown Body Cleanser makes me want to get up and go shower.
Best spray on tan: Modelco One Night Tan is a great wash off tan.
Bargain Beauty Buy: Primal Earth, a New Zealand made paraben-free natural range that has recently re-branded, and has a few unisex products out too. It is priced around $9.


I use a LOT of balms and here are my top picks, and they are all New Zealand brands:
Trilogy Everything Balm, Moreish Salvation Balm, Mossop’s Daily Aid (from the Tauranga-based manuka honey brand), M&R Certified organic skin balance balm (designed for eczema but I use it on everything), and Pot of Gold (not pictured) which I used on the babies and still use on everything.
Bargain Beauty Buy: The Greenhouse first aid balm ($9) from the Hamilton-based creators of Geoskincare (which is my bridesmaid’s fave skincare brand.) I also adore their The Greenhouse household natural cleaning spray as I don’t like to spray a lot of chemicals around the house.

Megan Robinson 30 December 2012


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