Carol Hirschfeld, 51, is as warm in person as she appears on television, and is powerfully articulate to boot. You probably remember her from her years of reading the evening news - from 1998 to 2005 - on TV3. Well, we had the mother of two teens and General Manager of Production at Maori Television tip out the contents of her beauty bag for us so we could see what keeps her looking so amazing.
"I wear makeup most days except Saturday, I'm pretty slack unless I'm going out. Generally Saturday is for walking the dog, and if I can I drag myself to the gym: definitely no makeup. It's a day of brutal honesty.
I have a terrible admission to make. I do my makeup in the car! I normally catch a cab to work and I always think of that as the time to put my makeup on. It's not a very clever time to put my makeup on but more often than not I do it there nonetheless.
In the morning I give my face a quick rinse, just with water - I never use soap on my face. I will use a Dermalogica cleanser, or rub a M.A.C wipe over my face and if I'm really good I'll put a moisturiser on. I've been loving trying out different primers - lately I've been using a great Revlon one and sometimes I have a Bobbi Brown primer, a brightener they have which is gorgeous. I think Bobbi Brown is a good brand for brown skin, and it's very good quality makeup that lasts for ages.
If I am getting into doing my makeup I have a Bobbi Brown concealer in 'honey' that I pop onto bits and bobs of my face. My foundation is Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk #9. I have a Bobbi Brown bronze eye palette, so generally on a day to day it's a bit of Bobbi Brown bronze eyeshadow and a sort of rich caviar under my eye - I like a lot of eyeliner. I've been enjoying Revlon Lash Potion mascara. It's a fantastic mascara, really lovely.
My favourite Bobbi Brown lipstick is called Carolina, which is easy for me to remember because it's a bit like my name. If I'm looking for much stronger lips I might go elsewhere. When I was down at iD Dunedin I was given three of these incredible Revlon Colorburst Crayons which I've merrily been using to brighten my lipstick palette a little bit, I've really enjoyed them. And that's pretty much it makeup-wise.
If I am very, very good I might put some sunscreen on but otherwise I unwisely trust that my foundation is going to have enough in it to ward off the sun... I try to tell my daughter to put some sunscreen on but I should practice it more wisely. In my early 40s I did see my own skin change. A lot of people think that because you are brown skinned you are not going to have changes, but in fact you get hyper-pigmentation and I'm pretty sure that's the effects of sunlight on your skin, so my skintone is not quite as even as it was, which is a shame.
I usually get my brows waxed and I've threaded over the years but as I've gotten older they tend to be pretty low maintenance. I wish they were a little bit thicker even! They're not too bad, but they are thinner than I had when I was younger and I look at my daughter's lovely dark, quite thick brows and say to her DON'T go too thin - hers are magnificent.
This is another big admission - I never look after my own hair. I have it washed and blow-waved twice a week. I have a natural afro which I have got under control over the years because I have it washed and blow-waved in the salon. I want to say I go to VADA - I love Guy Roberts at VADA - but I usually go to Servilles and sometimes Dry & Tea in Newmarket.
I love the fact that everybody now offers Express blow-waves when you need them... I can probably get by doing my own makeup, but I can't get by doing my own hair, so I am going to make the investment.
The great joke is, when I go on holiday I have to give up! But I have found people all over the world, from Dubai to Bangkok I've tracked them down - it's an international language. When we are on family holidays the kids wonder when I will put my head under the water and have a swim, because I have to time it out for when I will get my next blow-wave. Every morning they say 'is this the day?'
I have everything you need for your hair just in case - ghds and an industrial strength hairdryer. I have my hair coloured by the lovely Bonita Thomas who is a makeup artist at Maori TV - I usually wander to her place after work and she'll do it there.
I never bother about my fingernails. When I go to Tahiti on holiday later this year I might have a beautiful, subtle French polish - that'd be my favourite manicure. Pedicure - I go to The Pampered Bar in Surrey Crescent. I like a deep deep dark red for my toes, or sometimes navy blue.
I really love beautiful body lotions and something truly fragrant and bubbly for the bath. I spend far too much time at Isabel Harris in Newmarket which has the most beautiful potions and lotions. Just recently I have a particular obsession with Royal Apothic body cream in Terra Firma, it's quite a woody fragrance, I love it. They also have a bubble cream - I only have this with me today because I went to the gym and I bought my bubble cream with me! You can never have too much bubble bath and shower gels and all of these things, they make me feel much better.
My latest fragrance is Acqua di Parma Arancia di Capri - it's very citrussy. My friend bought my son a bottle - they are really unisex - and I thought, 'I can't steal his,' so I went and got myself one. For evening my favourites are Tom Ford Black Orchid and White Patchouli - I like those at night because they are big, rich fragrances.
If I could wave a magic wand I would look a lot more rested, most of the time.
I feel passionate about beauty products, I like them a lot and I feel lucky because I have had the privilege of being made up many times over the years so I've been in the hands of experts and I've seen the changes they can wreak with their strange and powerful magic.
I think makeup can be incredibly uplifting, it doesn't need to look overdone or artificial in any way, it can be truly and wonderfully enhancing.
- As told to Julie Roulston