Zoe Foster-Blake is known not only for her hilarious chick-lit novels but her always witty beauty editor expertise (check out her book Amazing Face). She's even launched her own skincare line, Go-To, which has just landed on our shelves.
Read on for Zoe's tips and tricks on everything beauty...
Why did you decide to launch your own brand?
I just suddenly realised there were no decent moisturisers or cleansers out there. Kidding. I did it because I am in the privileged position of having been a beauty editor for a decade, and having met tonnes of experts, and having tested and tried a zillion products.
On top of this I've had genuine, candid feedback from women on beauty products and routines and their likes and dislikes. So I thought, maybe I could combine this expertise with what women actually want (and need) in skin care, to make products that work, but are also a delight and a breeze to use.
What is the philosophy behind Go-To?
It's confidently simple. There's no bulls**t and no confusion - just essential, effective products that are easy and enjoyable to use.
One of the key things I learned from women is that while they're incredibly curious and excited to try new things and get great skin, they are bamboozled by all the skincare brands and products and how to use them and when and why, which often leads to them retreating and just sticking to the same stuff they've been using forever.
Go-To answers to this need by offering fool proof, failsafe products with potent ingredients (AHAs, antioxidants etc) that give results, but are also a bit fun to use. Also, and quite selfishly, I created products that I wanted to use. Mutant hybrids of existing products to satisfy my fussy needs.
What led you to producing it here in New Zealand?
Half our team are Kiwi! Including our genius biochemist who's based in Auckland. I'm a proud Aussie, (with a deep crush on NZ) but I was incredibly happy for it to be created in NZ in lieu of how strong your natural skin care market is.
Lastly, can you share the ins and outs of your beauty regime:
AM: I wash with Go-To Properly Clean, followed by a brightening serum then a physical sunscreen plus moisturiser in one.
PM: Wash with Go-To Properly Clean, use a hydrating serum and a brightening serum, then finish with Go-To Very Useful Face Cream. (NB: I use Go-To Exfoliating Swipeys 3x a week.)
I'm evangelical about sunscreen. Always have been. My friends hate holidaying with me because I'm always on their case about sunscreen. (I expect flowers from them when they're 60 and look 45.) I go for physical sunscreens, like O Cosmedics Mineral Pro.
I love facials. I alternate between lovely hydrating, nourishing ones (such As Sodashi's Thermal Infusion from Made beauty space in Hawthorn, which is stunning) and strong, results-driven ones, like a lactic or glycolic peel followed by Omnilux.
My secret to good skin? Using Go-To. (Come on. You walked right into that.)
I'm an enormous fan of CC (and some BB) creams. They bridge the gap between tinted moisturisers and foundation, and perfectly cover up my pigmentation while maintaining a radiant finish.
Also love crème blush, tubular mascara, soft, waxy eyebrow pencils with spoolies on the other end to fill in and groom my brows all at once, and under eye brighteners. Balmy-stainy-lipstick lip crayons are also a lot of fun, in particular Revlon's Colorburst Crayon in Rendezvous.
In my handbag there's a creamy concealer for touch-ups, Go-To Lips! and a bright lipstick which doubles as crème blush (Tom Ford Ginger Fawn).
Because I'm a stay-at-home writer and now a new mum (both known for their full makeup and snazzy outfits), I don't really have weekends per se, so my makeup remains uniform throughout. (Which is a CC cream, concealer, mascara, brows, blush, bronzer and lips. Fresh, minimalist, and awake-fakey.)
I use Pantene Colour Therapy shampoo and conditioner, then O&M Rootalicious before blowdrying for texture and volume. In the days after I use Batiste dry shampoo for lift, and Aveda Hair Potion volume powder for grit and texture.
I go to Barney Martin in Sydney and see Barney or James Pearce. They're magnificent.
For styling, I use a wide barrel Babyliss tong with no clamp, and a Parlux hair dryer.
I get manicures and pedicures wherever is convenient and fast, unless it's for a big event, in which case Jocelyn Petroni in Sydney cannot be beat. I like nudes with some attitude like OPI Samoan Sand, or jubliant orange-reds. Every now and then for fun I get nail art, but mostly I like neat, short, polished (zzzing!) nails.
FRAGRANCE & BODY
I love several Jo Malone scents, but generally fall back to Michael Kors, Tom Ford Black Orchid and Escentric Molecules.
For body lotions or bath bath gels I love Aesop, Jo Malone, Trilogy and Molton Brown. I lead by scent usually, not brand.
I treat myself with facials and massages. I get a bit antsy with long salon pedicures and manicures and getting my hair done.
My beauty philosophy is: You, but better. I like the idea of achieving your best possible skin so that you can minimise covering it, understanding the natural texture of your hair and working with (not fighting against) it, and accentuating things that are already in place (freckles, thick brows etc).
That said, I'm all for bright or dramatic makeup and big, fancy hair every now and then, too.
When travelling, if it's possible, my tip is to get a facial the day before you leave, and the day you return. (Even a DIY one with some AHAs and a nourishing, deep hydrating masque will help.)
On the plane I often slather on a hydrating mask as my moisturiser overnight, then remove with gentle face wipes, pop in eye drops, and slap on CC cream, concealer, flesh-toned eye liner for the lower lash line, and blush to leave the flight looking zingy.
The one product you can't live without is Go-To Exceptionoil - its does eeeeeverything. I even use it on my sweet baby's little face.
My best beauty quick fix is bright lipstick, clean eyes and bronzer. It detracts from tired eyes and makes you look instantly groomed.
A beauty mistake from my past - Just the ONE? Goodness. Okay. How about rainbow eye shadow - aqua and purple and green - washed over the entire lid. And this wasn't in 1970. It was in 2005.
I really hate overuse of black eye liner. I think a lot of women start wearing it as teens and never revisit their makeup routine. But outlining the entire eye in black liner is wildly unflattering on most women. It makes the eyes look small, the face look older, and suits very few eye shapes. Much better to use brown or plum if you're an addict, or keep it all on the top lash line, which is much fresher and prettier.
If I could wave a magic wand, I'd fix everyone's brows.
I'm a brow purist. They frame the eyes and face, they influence how young you look, how balanced your face is, and, to be frank, how beautiful you look. Spend your cash on getting a professional shape and tint each month, then fill them in and groom them every day. And remember: THICKER IS ALWAYS BETTER.
- As told to Melissa Williams-King
What's your fave grooming option?