metropol » Archives for Jess Murray

Author: Jess Murray

Office-al business

What was once considered a novelty has now, with recent times, transitioned into more of a necessity – the home office. Whether it is a designated room or partitioned off area, Metropol has compiled some tips for helping you create a productive home office hub.



When designing a designated home office space, we tend to focus on what’s in our peripheral and not what classmates and colleagues can see on Zoom. Interior designers expect this year will bring stylish backdrops – from walls, intricate bookshelves and well-styled frame galleries to quirky-looking lamps that double as great backlighting.

A humble house plant, or five, will always be the co-workers you never knew you needed. Experts say plants help to increase productivity and provide a leafy link to nature, which was what a lot of us were lacking when cooped up inside for so many months. Having a reimagined green screen is always a Zoom meeting ice breaker.

Gone are the days of crisp white walls for a home office, it’s time to express yourself with a bit, or a lot, of colour. Liven up your space with bright hues, natural woods, or a feature wall. Don’t stop there – bring in fun décor, bright rugs and interesting art.


A palatable autumn

The leaves are almost turning, and we are absolutely falling (get it?) for a new autumnal colour palette destined straight for our wardrobes.


Camilla and Marc Marley Trench Coat and Blazer


Classic shades of orange and emerald green are coming through in new collections from designers around the world, but it is bright shades of yellow which seems to be the new shade for autumn ‘21.

Moochi Slide Dress in Emerald Green

Scene-setting fashion houses Versace and Bottega Veneta feature the happy hue in their pre-fall collections, and Pantone named Illuminating (a vivid yellow) one of 2021’s colours of the year. In New Zealand, Deadly Ponies has released its infamously cool leather goods in a sunny yellow, too.

Ganni Pleated Georgette Long Sleeve Mini Dress from Workshop

It is no secret that Christchurch can have four seasons in a day.


Deadly Ponies Mr Micro Chain Mail


Paloma Wool Twister Sweater in Orange

So, whether you’re rugging up or keeping it light, adding a pop of autumnal terracotta, dark florals or that vibrant yellow will add a seasonal touch to any outfit.

Acne Studios Valley Scarf from Workshop


Fun on the Peninsula

Summer is undoubtedly dubbed festival season, because what better excuse is there to indulge in great food, tasty tipples, and toe-tapping tunes than warm weather. And the family friendly Banks Peninsula Festival on February 20 is serving up all those crucial ingredients.



The event at Orton Bradley Park is about showcasing all things local.

The line-up is spread across two stages and features talented music artists The Butlers, Kimono, Delaney Davidson, Deep Water Creek, Pieces of Molly, Volts; MEDaL, Candice Milner and Violet French & The Horrible.

If you’re more of a foodie, there’s something for you, too. The Banks Peninsula Mystery Box Cook-off puts hotshot culinary experts Giulio Sturla (Mapu Lyttelton), Jamie Robert Johnston (Everybody Eats) and Bob Fairs (Alfred) to the test in a challenge that involves, you guessed it, a mystery box of ingredients.

But there’s one thing that isn’t a mystery – the box’s contents are foraged from Banks Peninsula.

Food and beverage trucks include (brace yourself); Greystone Wines, Cassels Brewing Co., Peninsula Gin, Twenty Seven Steps’ Frosé, The Vagabond Chef, Kathmandu MO House, Pita Pit, Indo Tempeh, Fritz’s Wieners, Kimbrella’s Candy, Cakes by Anna, Crepe’s Creation, Berry Healthy Icecream, Lyttelton Coffee Company, Harbour House, Lucky Pig, Richard Till, Sherha Kai, Hummusina, El Quincho, Bomba, Akaroa Salmon, Mauriroa Kombucha, Little Hungary… and more to be announced.
What a mouthful! Get your tickets at


Lashings of volume

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then do not dress them with faded, worn-out curtains. Instead, adorn your peepers with sky-high, healthy lashes. Beauty experts are predicting big things for eyelashes this year, so Metropol looks at lash-enhancers worth batting an eyelash over.



Whether you need absolute silence and complete concentration, or you have got it down to a fine art, false eyelashes can add a sense of drama or a bit of a subtle uplift to any look. Described as the “corner store classic” by Vogue, Ardell waterproof false lashes get the seal of approval.


Ardell Lift Effect #744


Much like growing good produce in your garden, with the right nutrients your eyelashes can thrive. Apply a serum to the root of lashes, then comb along the entire length of the lashes morning and night for 28 days to thicken and strengthen.


Talika Lipocils Expert Lash Enhancer


We are not going to pretend like mascara is new to the beauty market. This option is great for everyday use and it can be hard to find the perfect one. But once you do, you won’t let it go. Whilst mascara is subjective, a few fans in the office rave about Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara.


Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara


The secret ingredient

Clever marketing or trendy packaging may draw your eye when browsing for makeup but it’s the back or bottom of the label that holds the most critical information. With skincare skyrocketing in popularity and options becoming endless, it’s important for consumers to know what ingredients they’re putting on or in their body, here’s what the experts say to look out for, ingredient-wise, in 2021.



Beauty and skincare expert Lauren O’Connell, known as The Ingredients Queen, raves about the hydrating effects of the snow mushroom (Tremella Fuciformis). She also mentions that it improves skin’s elasticity and with continual use can give you that glowing goodness. You can find a Snow Mushroom Water Serum by Volition Beauty at Mecca.

Tranexamic acid is yet to be a topical skincare ingredient, but rumour has it that 2021 is going to be its year. Dr Preema London Clinic’s medical director Dr Preema Vig says the ingredient “reduces skin discolouration and evens pigmentation, it also targets photo damage, brightens the skin and improves fine lines and wrinkles.”

Snail mucin, aka snail slime, has loped into the skincare vernacular recently. In 2021, it’s emerging as the hot ingredient for hydrators everywhere, especially face creams. Dermatologist Dr Hadley King, of New York’s Skinney Medspa, says snail mucin’s makeup includes glycoproteins, hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid – all of which have long-documented benefits for the skin.


The tipple effect

Late summer is the perfect time to whip out all the refreshing cocktail concoctions many mastered during the infamous lockdown. Whether you need a refresher or additional recipes to add to your repertoire, Metropol has collated cocktails of choice so you can sip away the last of the long, warm summer days.




The Mix’s recipe for this classic is quick, easy and serves 10 people – awesome for those barbeques and catchups. It only requires 500ml of Pimm’s, 1L of both lemonade and ginger ale, fresh cucumber, mint and seasonal fruit. There’s no real art to putting this together, as you simply do just that… put it all together. Serve in a glass bowl or dispenser for added pizzaz.

Nadia Lim comes to the rescue (again) with a delectable recipe for traditional sangria. It calls for one bottle of Spanish red wine; 400 to 500ml of dry lemonade; 1½ cups of orange juice; 1/2 lemon, juiced; one orange and lemon both sliced; and lots of ice cubes. Lim suggests letting the mixture sit in the fridge so the flavours can meld together, before adding the ice.

Liquor King tingle our tastebuds with this fruity mix with a kick. You will just need 30ml of vodka, 15ml passionfruit syrup, ½ cup canned peaches, 20ml lemon juice, 30ml orange juice, ice and fresh mint. Throw all of your ingredients into a blender and hit go. Garnish with mint, enjoy your cocktail for one… and maybe four or five more after that.


Loving Ellie’s Belly

Summer is here, a time of year where pressure to look a certain way is amplified and when our inner saboteurs thrive. Twenty-nine-year-old Christchurch woman Ellie Haines has gained a notable online following for challenging these beauty standards. Metropol catches up with the hilariously honest and refreshingly real activist about self-love and redefining the status quo.


Your Instagram account started to document a weight loss journey. What inspired the transition to @lovingelliesbelly, a place to celebrate body positivity?
“I was around 23 when I first started ‘Losing Ellie’s Belly’. At that point I had a ‘need’ to lose weight and thought that I would be happier when I did. I was spending several hours each day at the gym and sharing all the meals I was eating trying to, I guess, ‘inspire’ others to lose weight with me. I tried to make myself vomit and not eat. I was asked by an ex-boyfriend to delete the page as he could see my unhealthy addiction to it. I deleted the page – but then he dumped me! So I began the blog again, this time I was on a mission to ‘get a revenge body’, which I documented for a few months, until I went to the live premiere of Embrace: The Documentary and I met the director, Tarryn. Afterwards in the car with my mum and sister in law I said, ‘I am changing what I do, I want to inspire people to love themselves as they are’. And I did exactly that! Here we are today with an amazing community of women and men who inspire, uplift each other, and let me be me.”

There’s been a big movement online surrounding body-positivity, body-normativity and stopping body shaming. You call yourself “plus size” in your online bio – what does this movement mean to you?
“In New Zealand, if you are size 12-plus you are plus size, and those words have such a bad stigma. There is nothing wrong with being plus size (or as I like to call it, extra luscious) because in fact the average Kiwi women’s size is 12 to 14. So, by putting that in my bio, I want to instantly break the barrier for anyone new that comes to my page to know I am proud of my size, and so should we all be.”

Pop star, Lizzo, recently told Vogue body positivity has become “too commercialised and cool”. Can you talk a little bit about the commercialisation and hijacking of this message?
“There are so many people that will post about body positivity because it’s a trending hashtag but really don’t have self-love. Inspiring yes, but you can’t promote something if you don’t believe it. I would share photos of my body, say in togs, and women would comment saying I was ‘brave’, and it makes me sad that a woman standing there at a beach in togs is considered brave. Why is that brave? Because society has destroyed our thinking to make us believe we are not good enough as we are? One of my favourite quotes is, “If we started loving our bodies, imagine how many industries would be out of business” – and it really makes you think, doesn’t it?”

A lot of the above movement seems to be driven by younger generations. Have you noticed anything generational about your journey, or your supporters and critics?
“I have actually found my biggest supporters are a few generations above. Many women my mum’s age say it’s helped them and how they wish they had someone back in their day to help inspire. They then recommend me to their daughters! I fear the younger generation actually have it harder. On Tik Tok, they are editing their faces with extreme beauty filters and living in this [false] reality that that is ‘beauty’. We’ve got a big fight ahead of us to ensure we protect the younger generation from what’s online!”

Coming into summer we see a lot of “how to get a summer body”-type messaging. What would your advice be for women at this time of year when facing the tide of body image-related content?
“Oh gosh, isn’t it sad at this time of the year how much advertising goes on to achieve the ‘perfect bod’. When you already have the perfect body! That’s where that quote above comes in handy, right! Just wear the togs, or change from pants at the beach to shorts, or t-shirt to a singlet – enjoy summer and don’t let the worry of what you think others are thinking, stop you from living your life. My favourite quote is, “nobody is actually looking” – and it is so true because everyone is in their own lane, fighting their own body confidence issues at the beach or just simply having too gooda time, to even care what others are doing!”


Ellie behind the scenes at a photoshoot.


Makeover your makeup

So, you’ve spring cleaned your home, re-organised your wardrobe and sorted your summer skincare – but it might also be time to declutter your makeup bag. We look at what to keep, what to chuck (and when), and what to add.


If you’re a lover of makeup, chances are that you have more than one type of mascara, lipstick and any other beauty product in your makeup draw.

And if so, there is an even higher chance your makeup mountain is looking a bit cluttered.

Which is all very well (a lady’s got to have options), but besides the obvious hygiene reasons – makeup’s expiration date can impact its performance.

And no one has time for that. Not to mention the catharsis of a good, old-fashioned clean out.

Here are our tips for keeping your cosmetics under control.

Look for the use-by symbol. This resembles a wee opened jar icon and should have a time like either 3M, 6M, 12M, 24M or 36M inside. Yes, the M means months!

Have a product that looked cool in the packet but didn’t work that well for you? Throw it away or donate it, there is no point hanging on to something you are not going to use.

Investing in a YouTube-worthy makeup storage system doesn’t absolve you: too much (or unnecessary) stuff, is too much stuff. Instead, find your product faithfuls, and stick with ‘em.

When collating your arsenal of makeup bag heroes consider; concealer, foundation, a smudge-proof mascara, neutral lipstick and a basic blush. Then, build in a primer, setting spray, highlighter and one heroic palette.

Don’t send your pre-loved products straight to landfill. TerraCycle offers a makeup and skincare packaging recycling scheme, as do some brands. Unopened, non-expired goods can also be donated to Women’s Refuge or Dress for Success.

Handy tip: De-cluttering is good but so is regularly cleaning the products you hold onto. Experts say a couple of times a month, whilst others say every seven to 10 days. It just depends how frequently you use them.


Next gen summer tipples

The sweet sound of a pour pricks many an ear on a hot summer’s day. While it’s hard to beat an ice-cold rosé or beer, last summer we saw a new wave of naturally flavoured and sweetened ready-to-drink alcoholic bevvies take the zeitgeist by storm with classy branding and highbrow flavour matches. This summer, the trend continues – so Metropol looks at the new sipping selection.



Gone are the alcopops, instead we’re seeing the rise of hard seltzer – a fermented and carbonated fruit-based alcohol. Tired of the basic apple cider? Zeffer takes a massive cide-step (excuse the pun) into making watermelon, orange and grapefruit and guava cider-based seltzers at less than 100 calories and 1.65g of sugar per drink. Launching November.

THE VERDICT: Fresh, zingy and surprisingly light. Go for guava!








Calling all kombucha lovers – because your favourite sugar-free probiotic fizzy fruit drink just got a whole lot quirkier. Bomb Bucha have released an alcoholic kombucha in lemon and mint, and raspberry and lime. Putting the kick in health kick! Less than 60 calories per drink and 1.87g of sugar.

THE VERDICT: The perfect balance of bitter and subtle sweetness.







There may be a lot of purists who believe beer should not be touched. But Club Setter’s beer-base seltzer, just 1.7g of sugar, less than 100 calories per drink and full of natural fruit flavour shows you can have the best of both worlds – fruit and froth.

THE VERDICT: The malty flavour of beer, with a fruity kick. We liked the watermelon best.






Pals captured the public’s imagination with its collection of boujee-flavoured RTDs in summer 2019. For 2020, we’re getting a peach and passionfruit remix. In this pastel purple can you’ll find vodka mixed with Central Otago peach, passionfruit and soda. This new flavour becomes the fifth friend in the Pals group.

THE VERDICT: Sweet yet refreshing, with no overpowering aftertaste.








Left Field is New Zealand’s first wine-based seltzer, providing a crisp base flavour enhanced with a refreshing array of fruity ingredients including yuzu, mint and cucumber with sauvignon blanc, strawberry and hibiscus with rosé, and pear and ginger with pinot gris. Only 68 calories per can and less than 1g of sugar.

THE VERDICT: Our pick of the hard seltzers. Refreshing flavours with that crisp wine finish.





Pink ladies of racing

Cup Week is as much about the fashion as it is the sport, so Metropol has pulled together a beauty look book to help inform your race face. This year, we’re all about fresh dewy skin with fun and vibrant pops of pinks. Afterall, the horses won’t be the only ones with thousands of eyes on them as soon as they pass through those gates.

Make up by Liv McCloskey – Kristen Stewart School of Make Up. Model, Milla from Portfolio Models.





Stila the spotlight. Stila Suede Shade Liquid Eye Shadow in Sassy.









An on point soft and subtle shade. Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Shadow Singles in Ballet.









Shadows made to be seen in daylight. Maybelline Nudes of New York Eyeshadow Palette.











Ready, Set, Go! Make your makeup stay the day. Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets Setting Spray.









Put some horsepower behind those lashes. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara.









Add a burst of colour to your look. Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Shadow Singles in Electro.