metropol » Archives for Jess Murray

Author: Jess Murray

Skin City

Avoid dull and dry skin this winter, and look out for your head, shoulders, knees and toes with these skincare superstars. Metropol has your winter routine must-haves whether it’s for added Vitamin C or pre-ski, stay hydrated this chilly season.




Always remember to stay hydrated. Weleda 24h Hydrating Facial Cream


Sun care for ski season. Bondi Sands Fragrance Free SPF50+



You can’t argue with science. Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask


Get your daily dose of Vitamin C. Sol de Janeiro Bom Dia Bright Cream


Goodbye dry skin! Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Dream Body Cream


Before the (ever) afters

Now you’ve said, “I do”, it’s time to get onto the to-dos. Because nobody turns up to their wedding looking flawless without a little bit of preparation. Metropol has pulled together your beauty checklist leading up to the happily ever after.

Six months
Your skin is the canvas on which makeup artists will do their magic. Many brides opt to prepare their skin for the big day by going on a professional plan which addresses any concerns like acne, pigmentation or fine lines and wrinkles.

Three months
Check in with your skincare specialist to see how any products and treatment are working. Now is the time to get the low down on injectables, and to try out anything new like brow tints or microblading, fake tanning and lashes.

Most injectables start to look their best a few weeks (up to six) after the treatment, so you will want to time this just right. Hair conditioning treatments should be done about a month before the big day, and colour about two. Teeth whitening is recommended three weeks prior.


Going north

Without a doubt, North Canterbury is largely known for its delectable wine and food yet its rich array of experiences deserves some time in the spotlight, too. Metropol has collated some of the region’s must-dos.




Travel back in time on the historic Weka Pass rural railway. Spanning over 12km, take in the stunning views as you’re being hauled by both vintage steam and diesel-electric locomotives. Make a family day of it with tickets for the Cottontail Express Easter Special still available.


Experience the infamous wineries from a new perspective; on wheels. The Waipara Valley Vineyard Trail, 14.5km and roughly one to
two hours in length, allows trekkers to get a glimpse of the producing vineyards such as Ataahua Wines, Greystone and Black Estate.


Forget the van Goghs and Picassos of the world, see where Aotearoa’s art started at the Weka Pass Walkway resplendent with Maori rock drawings. The 90-minute return walk starts at 20 Weka Pass Road and requires sturdy shoes for the steep terrain. But the end result will be worth it.


Choc-tail masterclass

While the Easter holiday means different things to everyone, there’s no doubt the long weekend as we know it is about indulging with loved ones. So, Metropol has gone on an Easter egg hunt for the chocolatey cocktails to try this long weekend.



The ultimate adult chocolate egg is here, thanks to culinary writer Sara McCleary’s Easter egg shots. All you need is 30ml Kahlúa, 30ml vodka, 30ml Irish cream liqueur, 30ml full cream milk, one cup of ice. Blend ingredients until smooth and serve immediately in hollow Easter eggs with the tops sliced off.

Put that chocolatey spin on a cocktail classic. Add 60ml vanilla vodka and 30ml crème de cacao into a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake in a Bond-like fashion (not stirred) and serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an Easter egg, and “salt” the rim with sugar and cinnamon (or chilli for an extra kick).

If you’re not so chocolate inclined, try a tipple inspired by the other Easter treat, a hot cross bun. Shake 40ml spiced gin, 15ml cinnamon and saffron spiced syrup, 60ml pressed apple and a lemon twist together. Pour into a martini or rock glass, leaving the lemon twist in, and garnish with star anise.


Seasonal wellbeing made easy

The seasonal shift to autumn is in full swing, and with it brings chillier mornings, darker evenings, and the looming flu season. If all these changes are making you glum, Metropol looks at ways to help you stay on top of your wellbeing. So while the leaves are turning red and orange; you’re not feeling blue.




Adieu to the flu
We are sick (get it?) of hearing about viruses! There is nothing worse than having or hearing a runny nose. But according to the Ministry of Health, the time to get ahead of it is now as peak influenza season usually begins in late May or early June. The vaccine is available from your family GP, accident and medical clinic or workplace occupational health service.

It’s hibernation season
No one needs telling twice how important a good night’s sleep is. Science has proven time and again it is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert. This transitional season is the best time to clock in your seven to nine hours of shut eye; it’s cooler but not cold and it gets darker earlier.

Beachy keen
Autumn may not be providing those over 30-degree days, but it is still sending a bit of sunshine our way. Don’t shy away from your summer spots just because the season has changed, plus there are fewer beachgoers than those scorching summer days. So, whether you’re there for a swim, sprint or scenic views; make full use of the natural anti-depressant. Ease your mind, take that extra breath and just pause for a moment.

No “I” in team
But there is a me… and that’s okay. Joining a team sport is a great way to stay on top of your mental and physical wellbeing. It holds you accountable and sparks new friendships, says exercise physiologist Franci Cohen. Pre-season training for winter sports often starts in autumn, acclimatise to those chillier mornings now.


Boy meets world

A combination of talent and passion for mountain biking is what led New Zealand professional cross-country mountain biker Anton Cooper to be a world champion and a two-time Commonwealth Games medal winner. Metropol chats with the 26-year-old Cantabrian to find out happens when a pandemic shuts down your global stage.




Canterbury is well known as a cycle city, producing a growing number of big names in the sport. And Anton Cooper is one of those which stands out.

His impressive resume includes winning the U19 World XCO Championship making history as the first Kiwi to win a world championship in cross country cycling; win the U23 UCI Moutain Bike & Trials Championship; hold five straight New Zealand cross country mountain bike national championships (seven overall) and over 60 race wins.

Not to mention his recent second place in the hotly contested Christchurch to Akaroa Le Race.

Anton has been largely based outside of New Zealand, training from Europe and competing in countless international competitions.

“Having a good base in Europe is one of the biggest parts about have consistently strong performances at the world cups,” he says.

So, what happens when someone who is so used to being on the move was forced to press pause with a global pandemic cancelling or postponing races?


“It was great! I hadn’t been at home during April, May or June for over 10 years. I really enjoyed laying low for a bit, spending more time with my family and just taking life day by day.”

In fact, it’s far from the first time something outside of his control has derailed his sport. In 2016, he missed out on his shot at the Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro due to a diagnosis of chronic fatigue.

“I had my adenoids removed as they were constantly inflamed and causing me to have a lot of upper respiratory infections.”

Now more in tune with how much his body can handle, he’s hungrier than ever and has sights set on the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics in July.

A training schedule which involves a lot of time on the bike and in the gym.

“I’m on the bike six times a week and in the gym twice a week,” he says.

“An average of around 18 hours per week on the bike and about three hours per week in the gym. A big week for me might see me close to 25 hours on the bike and a light week around 14 or 15. It all depends on the intensity of my training and time of year.”

While the sport does require a lot of hard work and determination; being the fastest and the fittest isn’t what’s going to get you to the finish line.

“Being mentally strong kind of goes hand in hand with that,” says Anton. “You also need a good combination of natural talent and a huge will to succeed and work ethic.

“But, purely having that is not enough to become the best in the world. You need a good amount of everything.”


And that is something he says he learnt at a young age. The Christchurch Boys’ High School alumnus competed in various sports as a teen and after some encouragement from his parents, he gave competitive mountain biking a go.

“From there I climbed through the national ranks and then went on to compete internationally.”

There’s not many teens who had to balance NCEA with a professional sporting career!

“My parents were the ones who fought hard to create opportunities for me to succeed and I had a lot of support from generous sponsors and financial backing from some very kind people along the way,” he says.


Work out your workout

They say the early bird gets the worm… but sometimes it can be hard to leave the nest in the morning. Maybe you’re struggling to find the motivation to go to the gym – again – this week. It’s all about working out the workout that best fits you.

Swimming is a great cardiovascular activity that works your whole body. If you’re heading to a pool, a good starting point is three times a week for around 20 minutes. Naturally, it will be easier to get in the water during the warmer months, but indoor pools allow for year-round swimming. The best part? Exercise with no sweat!

Pole dancing is a topic often danced around in conversation because of the industry it derives from, which seems ironic considering that’s exactly what the exercise consists of. Making it’s way into the mainstream, pole fitness is another complete body workout (particularly your upper body, core and thighs) that requires dancers to hold up their own body weight.

Whilst it’s always great to exercise outdoors, we’re not going to pretend like lockdown didn’t happen last year. Using a fitness video game can be a fun way to switch it up, games like Just Dance, Wii Fit and Nike+ Kinect Training. Not to mention it can be an inclusive, hilarious way to get the whole family moving indoors.

It may not be possible for everyone to run away to the circus. But there is a way to live out your Cirque du Soleil fantasy – ariel arts classes. Whether you opt for silks, hoop or the trapeze, these are all full body workouts that will build strength in your arms, shoulders, upper body and core.

Fitness boxing is a great way to punch out your weekly recommended physical activity, without having to take the hits from an opponent like in traditional boxing. It improves endurance, strength, gets your heart going and not to mention there is the hidden benefit of learning some form of self-defence.


The great outdoors

Just because the cooler days of autumn are closing in, doesn’t mean that you have to. Make the most of your outdoor area this season (and all seasons), whether you’re adding that extra bit of warmth with an added layer or a pop of colour, Metropol has got you covered so you can enjoy the great outdoors year-round.


BoConcept Rome Outdoor Sofa



There is nothing quite like wrapping yourself up in a snuggly throw as a way to cut through the cold. A hot tip; have a blanket basket by the door to the outdoor area. That way dirt and leaves aren’t dragged inside.

Bunnings Warehouse Fiammetta Matt Black Outdoor Area Gas Heater


Urban Eden & Co Love Boat Trio – Fog Grey, Pink Lemonade, Hot Mustard

Adding warmth doesn’t have to resort to heat. Often what makes you feel cosy inside is the aesthetic of a room. Pops of colour can come in the form of planters, cushions, garden features and even lights.

Urban Eden & Co White Vertical Garden

But naturally if there is a bit of chill in the air, sitting outside will be made a whole lot easier with heating. Gas fires and fire pits are an awesome autumn edition. Not to mention, toasting marshmallows always goes down a treat.


Sheridan Naville Mango Throw


Pillow Talk Molly Candle Holder


Local Gems

Both household names in their own right, Anika Moa and Boh Runga are two of Canterbury’s most loved local gems. And their lastest ‘boh-laboration’ could be adorning the necks of your near and dear. Metropol talks with the women about their jewellery range, a successful friendship and what the next 12 months have in store.



Congratulations on the beautiful collaboration! Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration and significance behind the design?

Anika: I had just had my beautiful baby and I wanted a locket to put her hair in and searched everywhere online and couldn’t find anything that caught my eye. So, I texted Boh and said, ‘Oi! kotiro, we need to Boh-laberate on a Marigold locket’ and she text back straight away and was like, ‘When do we meet?’ So cool. I love Boh’s energy and enthusiasm for new, fresh and crazy ideas.

Boh: Thank you, such a fun thing to do. Anika’s wee girl was the inspiration with her name Marigold lending itself to a floral motif, naturally. The end result with the locket is a nod to a classic flower design with a bit of a modern twist.

Initially you planned to release the locket on Mother’s Day 2020 but opted for the end of last year instead. Can you tell us a bit about the serendipitous launch and the decision to release when you did?

Boh: Covid-19 put a stop to everyday life let alone launching a new range with Anika. I think when we did eventually launch, the realisation of what we were all going through really brought home how much we are sentimental at heart and a locket to hold a treasure really resonated with people.

In an age where it’s so common to capture and keep memories online, in your opinion, why is it important to have tangible mementos as well?

Anika: When I am holding something that is dear to me in my hands it sends me back to those times of love, loss, a memory of a parent who has passed or in my case, the birth of my daughter. Something that I wished for for so long. I feel like she is a treasure and I feel grateful she chose me as her mama! It’s a very real, long lasting love.

Boh: They are the markers of your life. It’s nice to have those special things to pass down to your family too or share with your friends. Physical pieces can jog your memory and bring back the time, place, the laughs and tears. All should be valued.

This isn’t your first collaboration, after performing together for more than 20 years and forming an unbreakable friendship? What’s the secret to working so well together?

Anika: Well, we both grew up in Christchurch so that’s where the amazingness comes from, also, we both love to have a good laugh so there go those endorphins and lastly, we both love creating things whether it be music, lyrics and now, jewellery. I love and admire Boh. She has designed a wonderful piece of art and I’m grateful. Gush gush gush.

Boh: Not seeing each other very often [laughs]!

2020, in short, was a strange year for everyone. Looking to the future; be it music, jewellery or more collaborations, what does 2021 have in store for you both?

Anika: 2021 is my year to be calm, quieter and more in the present moment. Also, more to come from Boh and I. Oh, and listen to The Hits with Stace, Mike and Anika Monday to Friday 4 to 7pm [laughs].

Boh: More Marigold additions are on their way, in not just jewellery but in other fun products for children. I’m excited about that. And of course, just more designing in general. Music-wise, I have a fun project brewing which will incorporate the design aspect of what I do but that is under wraps.


Bored of boards?

If you’ve been to any form of social event you’ve most likely come across the ever-popular charcuterie board. But with changing times, aka a global pandemic, cuisine connoisseurs have had to get crafty. Jarcuterie is truly taking the internet by storm and putting the cute in charcuterie.


PHOTO CREDIT: Carla Smith (@pretty_and_plated)


First posted by Instagrammer Suzanne Billings (@nobelgraze) in July, the single serve grazing boards were an instant hit.

This option offered a Covid-19-friendly way to entertain safely, whilst also ensuring everyone indulged equally. Not to mention, no more sharing with double dippers.

Much like a traditional charcuterie board, there is no recipe. Whether you’re throwing items together from your panty or creating the perfect list weeks in advance, your guests are probably going to be distracted by the re-branding of the soirée staple in front of them.

Why stick to savoury? Themed jars are starting to emerge online with creators posting candy, fiesta and even holiday season jarcuteries. Talk about inventive.

This latest foodie trend proves that good things do come in small packages.