In my beauty bag: Ingrid Starnes

05:35, Apr 08 2014
BUSY WOMAN: Ingrid Starnes is a mum of three and has her own business so keeps her beauty routine pretty simple.

It's safe to say fashion designer Ingrid Starnes is a busy woman. The 31-year-old is a mum of three as well as the brains behind her eponymous fashion label that's all about classy and demure yet fun and wearable pieces (perfect for a duchess?). 

Born in Gisborne, Starnes came to Auckland to study fashion at AUT and still lives there today.

Having one child home sick from school didn't stop her from talking to us about beauty - it's hard to say whether the child or the interviewer was more fascinated by her answers!

"I wear pretty light makeup most weekdays. In the weekend, not really, nor if I am exercising. I quite like beauty products because they make me feel good. Plus, there is a purpose to the makeup I wear: my tinted moisturiser has sunscreen and I love lipstick for the colour - it works in so beautifully with outfits and makes them complete. 

In the morning after a speedy shower I use (French brand) Nude cleanser. It's a beautiful, gentle, foaming organic cleanser, not too harsh. My skin is too sensitive to use an exfoliant - I get eczema so I have to be pretty careful.

I use Nars tinted moisturiser - I love it, it's like not wearing makeup. I really hate foundation not matching your skin - it looks like you are wearing a mask. I use Nars mineral blusher.


For mascara I alternate between YSL and Elizabeth Arden. I wear eyeliner depending on whether I can be bothered or have time - it's Lancome. I groom my brows myself - they don't require much because they are fair.

On my lips I use Sans Lip Aid - as a gloss, under lipstick or over it.  How I am feeling determines whether I wear lipstick or not.  I alternate between Nars velvet matte lip pencil colours - Red Square and Dragon Girl. When I wear lipstick I feel really elegant, beautifully dressed up.

If I'm going out I wear liquid eyeliner - a little flick in the corner if I have time. I aim for a fairly simple and elegant look.

I wear my own eau de toilette - Ingrid Starnes Vetyver Bergamot. The vetyver is a smoky, dried-down note - it's an all-natural perfume. As it wears during the day you smell in turn the smokiness, citrus, grass green-ness of it. It doesn't overpower you - I love being not owned by a smell. 

We developed the fragrance to suit my own taste, which is also that of the Ingrid Starnes brand. I love the idea of joint fragrances. Both me and my partner Simon love Comme des Garcons fragrances (I wear his). Lots of our male friends have bought Vetyver and Bergamot, though I wouldn't call it unisex, but it's not a real floral.

On my body I am testing an all-natural perfumed body lotion we are developing go alongside the fragrance. So I am testing it to make sure it's perfect.

I play indoor netball every week and you have to have your nails cut so I don't bother with nail polish. I have some Nars and some Butter London polish that I use on my toenails every now and then.

I wash my hair every day or every second day because I have such fine hair. I use Sans shampoo and conditioner - we stock it at our store, and I love it. I love the smell, it's a real treat.

I do colour my hair - I have foil highlights at Ryder. I keep it fairly natural, I am a natural blonde. My go-to hairdo is a side pony, yes - the practicality of a pony plus a little bit of fashion - I've always worn lots of side parts.

If I could wave a magic beauty wand? I'm actually pretty happy! I'm pretty content. I even quite like getting my hair coloured! It's a total treat to read magazines and have a coffee."

- As told to Julie Roulston