Sonia Gray is a TV presenter who you probably know from Lotto or Big Wednesday, or Wheel of Fortune prior to that, and she's soon to be front row at Trelise Cooper and Huffer at the upcoming New Zealand Fashion Weekend.
We met Sonia in her home and discovered that the warm and articulate mother of four-year-old twin girls is only too happy to talk about her 'beauty bag'.
"I wear makeup every day. If I’m not doing much or it’s the weekend I won’t wear a lot, but I can honestly say, even if I am just going to be home all day, I put something on. I love cosmetics!
In the shower in the morning I cleanse with an Eve Lom cleanser that I get from Mecca Cosmetica. It’s outrageously expensive and I get it from time to time when I feel like treating myself - otherwise I use anything. I exfoliate with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant and I moisturise with Radical - it’s brand new to Mecca. I switch all the time, though. I use Radical Age Defying moisturing pads at night.
For my makeup I start with Thin Lizzy concealer - it’s the best. All the makeup artists at TVNZ use it, it’s industrial strength. I get most of my ideas about makeup from the TV makeup artists. Then I use Garnier BB cream and a bit of Laura Mercier loose powder.
My Dad is from Zimbabwe and my Mum is a Pakeha. In the 90s and 00s people didn’t understand brown skin - they always reached for the darkest foundation in their kits. But the colour you need to match my skin colour, is not actually a lot darker than standard. I blend to get the right shade.
I always wear blusher, it’s very under-utilised. It’s my desert island product! I own many M.A.C. blushers as well as NARS ‘orgasm’ and I choose on the day. I have a basic Stila lip and cheek stain that makes your lips look naturally coloured - that no-makeup makeup look.
I use Stila eye primer and Benefit ‘They’re Real’ mascara. For my brows I’ve been using M.A.C ‘Stud’ pencil for 10 years. My lashes (and their curl) are my own but I do use Lillash eyelash serum: it’s amazing, they have grown about 20% - you’ve got to be religious about it though.
I have difficult hair that I have to straighten. I have it chemically straightened and I also use straighteners - I really like Cloud 9 and I also use ghds. I don’t wash my hair often - about once or twice a week - or it gets frizzy, and I use L’Oreal Professionel shampoo and conditioner. I love to have a salon blowout, like at Dry & Tea. I have some subtle strands of colour that TVNZ put in, to avoid a block colour look.
I use Le Tan Fast Tan in ‘deep bronze’ when I am working. I love all the Comme des Garcons fragrances - my current favourites are No 2 and Playback. I do my own fingernails with Mecca nail polish and I do have a pedicure, just at any old nail bar in the mall.
If I’m going out I like a bright lip - a M.A.C red or a Stila gloss - they are so long wearing that you really have to work to get them off and they have a lovely velvety texture. I’ll do a strong eye too, with NARS black eyeliner or Stila liquid eyeliner. I use either the M.A.C. eyeshadows or a Stila palette. I used to find it very difficult to do my eye makeup but I’ve had a lot of tips from makeup artists and I’m getting a lot better.
I really enjoy the whole process of researching cosmetics - I’m just someone who really enjoys that side of being a woman. Wearing makeup makes me feel more confident and I enjoy the process. It’s a way of expressing yourself - some people have nice cars, I don’t care for cars, they’re not my thing. I like beauty. I appreciate beautiful skin or a great lipstick when I see them on someone else in the street - they make me happy.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Women, would you stop shaving your armpits?Related story: Writer's hairy armpits shock nation