In my beauty bag: Nikki Lovrich
As you'd expect, the beauty bag of top New Zealand makeup artist Nikki Lovrich is overflowing with an expertly curated array of products. Here's a peak into her cosmetics cabinet...
I have sensitive skin that's doesn't react well to highly active products, so I keep my skincare regimen pretty simple.
I wash my face with Cetaphil Cleanser, which is mild and soap-free, plus it has no perfume, which suits my skin. My favorite moisturiser, (which I have used since I was 20!) is Clinique Dramatically Different. This has recently been reformulated, but feels exactly the same as the original version - only slightly richer. A few times a week I use the Clinique Moisture Surge Mask, which is incredibly nourishing without feeling greasy. Occasionally I switch to another old favorite, Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturiser and I love all the Kiehl's Eye Creams. I stay away from toner, but exfoliate twice a week with Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment Boosting Cleanser. It has a very fine grain to it and leaves my skin feeling revitalised.
Every day I use Clinique CC Cream with an SPF of 15+, it provides moisture, colour, coverage and sunscreen all in one. CC and BB Creams have revolutionised the makeup world!
I have very olive skin, but I hate to get burnt, so when I'm swimming at the beach all day I swear by Shiseido Colourless Stick Foundation (which I discovered in Hawaii). It's a highly water-resistant formulation with as SPF of 35. It looks a little white on my face, but the coverage is brilliant and the SPF very reliable.
Recently I discovered Oasis Sun SPF 30+ (from the NZ skincare company Oasis). This chemical-free formula is really effective, plus its great for kids too. Cetaphil also do a mild facial sunscreen that I'm a fan of.
For my body I love Coppertone SPF 30+ as its one of those products I can really rely on; it's waterproof for up to three hours, plus it smells fantastic and takes me back to my tanning days of the 80s! Being a beach bum I'm also very diligent when it comes to wearing a hat and sunglasses at all times for extra protection.
I used to be mad on facials but had a bad reaction to an alcohol based toner many years ago, so I haven't had one since then! My skin became very sensitive and eczema prone in my 30s which was when I pared down my use of active skincare and kept things simpler.
I am lucky to have great genes, as both my parents are in their 70s with fabulous olive skin that belies their ages. Being healthy also plays a huge part when it comes to looking good. I exercise every day, drink loads of water and I have always been a vegetarian. I see a difference in my skin when I'm well rested and hydrated, but I'm certainly not a health freak as I love to drink wine and eat cheese!
I have loved makeup for as long as I can remember. My mum has always been very beautiful and glamorous, so she was my inspiration growing up - along with Cher and Farrah Fawcett! By the time I was 12 I could apply perfect makeup and by the age of 18 I worked on my first magazine cover, so you could say that makeup has been my life.
Having my own website and beauty blog means that I get to test lots of different products, but I only recommend the ones that really work.
For liquid foundation I swear by Clinique, as they have a range that suits all skin types and colours, from alabaster-pale to yellow-based olive tones.
Osmosis has the best Mineral Pressed Bases, along with a brilliant moisturising concealer that I'm currently addicted to.
For loose mineral powder I love the NZ brand Antipodes Performance Plus Minerals.
I highly recommend using a primer, the good ones are: Smashbox Photo Finish, Clinique Super Primer and Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer.
For eyeshadows it's hard to look past MAC for the strongest pigments and most fashionable colour ranges, yet for the everyday woman I tend to recommend Bobbi Brown as her colour palette is ideal for the 40-plus age bracket.
NZ brand World Organics do a great range of pressed mineral eye shadows with strong pigment and Nars do simply gorgeous colourful duos that are worth the high price tag. I have also been highly impressed with The Body Shop's (reasonably priced) Shimmer Cubes - four cubes of metallic shadows with awesome intensity.
The best mascara is Clinique's High Impact Extreme Volume as well as Bobbi Brown's Smokey Eyes mascara, both of these add thickness and volume.
The softest black and brown eye pencils are the mineral ones from Osmosis and Jane Iredale. I also like MAC and Nars pencils for their intensely bright colours.
For the brows, an iconic product that I've had in my kit forever is Elizabeth Arden Brow Makeup in Sable. It suits everyone and creates a perfectly natural brow line using a powder rather than a pencil.
For blusher I have a range of Bobbi Brown matte shades and I love the MAC Mineralize blushers for shimmer and sparkle. Osmosis do fabulous range of bronzers and I'm currently using South Beach.
And lips? Well let's just say the choice is endless... I'm lucky to have a Bobbi Brown professional palette in my kit, which gives me the entire colour range to choose from. I have a huge selection of lipglosses from just about every brand - a makeup artist can never have too many!
I carry around a mirrored Jane Iredale mineral compact for quick touch ups, a coloured eye pencil of the moment, Living Nature Lip Hydrator, Bobbi Brown Buff Lipgloss and Lucas Paw Paw Ointment. I also have a few Kiehl's luxury samples of hand cream and moisturiser as they are the perfect purse size.
Unless I have something special on, I keep makeup to a minimum in the weekends. Just a tinted moisturiser (usually Clinique CC Cream or Oasis BB Cream) followed by a dusting of Osmosis Mineral base, some bronzer or blush, followed by mascara and lipgloss. 90 seconds in the mirror at the most!
My hair is thick, curly and often frizzy, depending on the weather. I generally blow dry it straight every week (so I can pull it into a low maintenance pony!) using Kerastase Elixir Ultime to keep it smooth and cut back the frizzies. I love the Davines range for their nourishing Nounou mask and Love smoothing shampoo and conditioner. Keihl's also do a fabulous olive fruit oil conditioner. I have always used the Paul Mitchel Sculpting foam and leave-in conditioner, as both of these work hand in hand to control my hair when its left natural and curly. My hair soaks up moisture so I love all the new oil-based products, especially the Acacia Oil by Ecru and Redken Diamond Oil.
I don't go to the hairdressers very often but my favourite indulgence is a blow wave at Dry and Tea in Newmarket. I always walk out of there with smooth shiny hair and my blow wave lasts for over a week.
In my working kit I have GHD ceramic irons in three different sizes, plus an extra pair for my own personal use. I always carry my old fashioned heated rollers and I have skinny, medium and large curling tongs as well as a powerful blowdryer. I still have a crimper (for special occasions!) and I recently bought a ceramic conical tong that creates awesome waves.
I admire manicures on other people, but I never get them myself and prefer to leave my nails natural without polish. I always have them at a medium length and I file them slightly square which keeps them strong. I moisturise my cuticles regularly with Orly cuticle Oil and use Kiehl's Extra Strength Hand salve.
I do love to paint my toes in the most unusual colours I can find, especially aquas and greens by OPI (the best quality varnish in the best shades). I get the occasional pedicure - usually before an overseas trip so my feet look good in sandals.
I generally have two or three perfumes on the go. I love the original Marc Jacobs fragrance for the day (a tropical green/gardenia based scent) and for nighttime I love Serge Lutens Cellophane (too divine to explain!)
I prefer light and airy floral fragrances rather than the overpowering musky perfumes of the 80s like Opium.
My first perfume ever was Shalimar by Guerlain, followed by the original Chloe. Escape by Calvin Klein was my one and only for many years. Ive also loved Estee Lauder's White Linen, Lauren by Ralph Lauren and First by Van Cleef and Arpel.
Kiehls do the best range of bath and shower gels, as they are not too heavily perfumed and very gentle on the skin. I use Kiehl's Soy Milk and Honey Body Polish once a week. Palmers Coco Butter is excellent for dry legs (plus only $10) and I also love the Pure Fiji coconut moisturiser and bath gel as the smell is sublime!
Overall I think I am quite low maintenance as I tend to put so much effort into my work as a hair and makeup artist, that I do as little as possible on me! However I love to indulge with a luxury body massage and always promising myself I'll get these more regularly. My top treat is always a professional blow wave and any curly headed girl will agree that there's nothing like having clean smooth hair.
My favourite hair and makeup is always the most simple and classic. I love to look back at iconic images from the 50s and 60s and see a look that could be recreated today and still look modern. I keep this in mind with all my work, as I love to make women look beautiful.
Beauty does come from within, so keeping healthy and fit is key when it comes to looking your best. No amount of makeup can cover extreme stress and fatigue, so if you make an effort to look after yourself this reflects in your face.
When travelling, my tip is to drink as much water as you humanly can, stay away from airline food and don't drink any alcohol on the flight. Boring, but you can make up for it when you reach your destination!
Because I write a regular beauty blog I am constantly being sent new and exciting makeup and beauty products to try. It's a great way to discover them and I often end up with a new favourite that I may have never discovered on a shelf! However when I'm overseas I enjoy the experience of shopping for makeup and if I walk past a Sephora store chances are I'll be there for a while. I also enjoy a browse at Mecca Cosmetica in Ponsonby as their range has a boutique vibe.
My beauty icons are Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Munroe, Natalie Wood and Cher. My idol as a teenager was the incomparable Debbie Harry whose makeup I emulated. Today I admire Jennifer Lopez, Julianne Moore and Sandra Bullock for always getting it right.
The one product I can't live without is Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer (and Johnson's Baby Powder!)
My best beauty quick fix is a lash and brow tint.
A beauty mistake form my past was wearing too much eye shadow, lipstick and big hair, way back in the 80s.
I hate too much thick foundation. Makeup is designed to enhance your features and conceal flaws. It should never be worn as a mask. I also loathe overpainted lips and harshly drawn eye liner. Frosty orange lipstick always looks gross and I have problem with clumpy mascara that has built up over a period of days. My other pet hate is chipped nail polish, its better to simply remove it rather than leave your nails in a shabby state.
If I could wave a magic wand, I'd fix my frizzy hair! I would like to have silky smooth, Scandinavian blonde tresses.
The beauty product I think needs to be invented is a wrinkle-erasing, skin-firming, youth-restoring wonder cream!
Book Nikki for hair, makeup and styling work and check out her blog at www.nikkilovrichmakeup.co.nz.