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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.


A passion for natural beauty: Transform Clinic Merivale

The skincare and cosmetic medicine industries have grown exponentially in recent times as technologies advance, more people want to take care of their appearance, and as stigma surrounding such procedures lifts. Metropol catches up with Transform Clinic Merivale nurse Katie Mcindoe.



“An Appearance Medicine Nurse is a Registered Nurse with specialised training in non-surgical cosmetic procedures. I completed my Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Applied Aesthetics in 2008 and and went on to complete my Bachelor of Nursing Degree in 2013. I worked at Christchurch hospital for a year to get medical and surgical experience and went on to persue my passion in the appearance medicine industry.”

“I have been at Transform Clinic since 2015 and was lucky enough to be fully trained by Dr Ian Little, the first doctor in New Zealand to administer botulinum for cosmetic reasons. The treatments I offer at Transform Merivale are Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox®, Dysport®,and Xeomin®), Dermal Fillers, Profhilo, Belkyra fat reduction, Liquid face lift, Platelet rich plasma, PDO threads, Sonophoresis, Dermal needling and chemical peels.”

“Appearance medicine should enhance natural facial features, decreasing signs of ageing, without compromising the natural aesthetics of ones face. I pride myself on attention to detail, client satisfaction, safety and care, and the highest quality products and treatments.


Katie and her family


Instagram: Katiemcindoe.rn | Facebook: Katie Mcindoe RN


In your beach bag

A day (or longer) at the beach, lake, bush and pool is a Kiwi summer ritual. As such, our beauty rituals must change to incorporate products and practices which protect and nourish our summer skin. Here’s Metropol’s round up of products to include in your beach bag this sunshine season.




Obviously. But investing in the growing breed of modern facial sunscreens can have added skincare benefits. Australian brand Ultra Violette is getting some serious attention for its hardworking SPFs which not only protect from UVA and UVB, but also hydrate and can even act as the perfect primer under your makeup.

Cool down with a cool facial mist. Preferably, one which packs a punchy list of ingredients to not only refresh, but hydrate and even give a little glow. Cult brands like Tatcha, Olay, Glossier and Kiehl’s all have options which come highly recommended. One spritz and you’re transported straight to the spa.

Nourish and protect those kissers with a reliable lip balm to stave off chapping and keep things plump and luscious. Options abound from every brand under the sun (ha), but you needn’t necessarily splash on this summer staple. You’ll get change from a tenner with Lucas Papaw Ointment and Burt’s Bees Lip Balm.


behind the beauty brand which gives a damn

Hannah Duder is the Christchurch-based co-founder and CEO of Indigo and Iris, an ethical beauty brand which donates 50 percent of profits to restoring sight to people in the Pacific Islands and to empowering New Zealand women to achieve financial independence. Metropol catches up with Hannah about what drives her in business.



The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome as a woman in business was confidence and imposter syndrome. I luckily overcame this while I was at university through having female role models that I could look up to and people who made me realise my age and gender did not need to hold me back from anything.

My business philosophy is you must think about the impact your business is having on the world because it is companies and business people who have only been concentrating on their profits that have caused some of the biggest social and environmental issues our world faces today.

The hardest lesson I’ve had to learn in business was you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. You must focus and be lean and not try to do too many things at once.

The best advice I’ve been given was you need to focus on your own personal self to be truly successful in life. If you are broken you can’t fix the world. Not in those exact words, but my mentor and an investor in my business, Rob Woodward, tell me this all the time.

I try to approach my work with heart because it will mean that if my heart is in it I will do what I love but also make decisions with heart. That means considering the planet and the people on it when making any decision in my company.

I’m currently reading and enjoying the book, Her Way by Jaqui Thomas, a recent release from a New Zealand author. It is stories of women in New Zealand succeeding in business and doing so with love. I also love listening to podcasts – After Work Drinks, How to Fail with Elizabeth Day, Whatever I Want by FlexMami and Fletch, Vaughan and Megan on ZM.

My advice for other women coming in my field is: Make sure you care about what you are doing. It seems so obvious and has been said but it is really hard to keep going if you don’t care.


Sparkle season

All that glitters is not gold – but it could well be some embellished holiday beauty. The party season is nothing if not an excuse to have some fun, makeup included. Glitter and sparkles have had a makeup moment in a year that needed some brightening up, so we’ve compiled three ways you can trial the trend this holiday season.


Take a leaf out of London Fashion Week’s book and try some stick-on gems or foil to accompany or replace eye shadow. The March shows saw model after model embellished with the materials. Makeup artist Deja Smith told Bustle gold foil is an emerging trend, and can be achieved with gold leaf purchased from a craft store.

Forget individual flecks of the sparkly stuff and use a glitter gel pencil or shadow to add a literal glint to your eyelids. If statement shades are not for you, more subtle holographic pigments can be found in neutral shades and with lower glitter ratios. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna’s Liquid Diamond Bomb Glitter Highlighter comes highly recommended.

If facial sparkle is a bit too out there, consider an iridescent manicure instead. Adorn your hands with some shimmering lacquer to bring some festive spirit to any outfit. Try a simple clear lacquer with added glitter, or the plethora of coloured options, too. To tone it down even more, add just one glittery feature nail to your DIY or salon set.


A Christmas treat(ment): Beckenham Beauty

For all the joy a festive season spent with loved ones brings,it also carries its fair share of stress. Book your pre-Christmas beauty treatments at Beckenham Beauty and Medi Spa and feel ready to face whatever the rest of 2020 brings.



The Colombo Street spa is an inner-city sanctuary, offering a suite of treatments from relaxing massages to therapeutic facials, manicures and pedicures, and hair removal and cosmetic treatments.

Owner Prue Macdonald says the new Diode Laser is making waves with clients seeking hair removal. The Diode Laser – which is only available in a few salons across the country – works on more hair colours and skin types than other lasers used for traditional IPL and has a cooling tip for increased comfort.

She says dermal planing – which removes final facial hair to give a smoother appearance – is also very popular and is currently being offered half price with every facial booked.

“We also have beautiful spa packages which make the perfect gift for Christmas – even if that gift is to yourself,” says Prue.

“Not to mention our no-appointment necessary nail bar; a quick mani or pedi (or both) is a delicious pick me up to brighten your mood, and your look!”

Clients at the spa will be treated with Image products, a range of high-potency results-driven skincare that comes from the United States, to rejuvenate skin.

For more information or to book, phone (03) 331 6133 or visit the website.


Beauty and Relaxtion: Beauty Progress

Giving the gift of relaxation, pampering and beauty treatments takes on a new meaning in a year marred by stress and uncertainty. For the 2020 holiday season, sprinkle your loved ones with some much needed time
out – as good as a luxury getaway!



Beauty Progress in Sydenham has a suite of offerings to bestow upon those who deserve some pampering.

From Thai body massages to facials and luxurious spa packages – a gift voucher, which can now be purchased online, will allow that special someone to select the indulgence of their choice.

Or, select from the range of cult Gernétic skincare products created in France. Director and Gernétic specialist Wendy Barker, and masseuses Anne and Orn use the products in the salon to deliver their sought after treatments.

Gernétic skincare products work at cellular level, stimulating the skin’s natural healing capabilities, and Wendy selects the therapeutic products to create a facial tailored to your skin and its issues.

“We find it is a really appreciated gift for people who have never had a massage and facial and who wouldn’t buy for themselves. It’s a little luxury escape in itself to come here, with the addition of little aches and skin issues addressed.”

If you’re after some pampering of your own, the team can help you prepare for social season with skin treatments, pedicures, manicures and waxing.

Beauty Progress is open throughout Christmas and New Year, just phone to book your appointment.


Glowing up for summer

While we pack away our winter clothes and pull those lighter, brighter summer garments to the front – it’s important our skincare is also kept up to season. After a winter and early spring hibernating under sweaters and pants, no pre-summer skincare tip is as crucial as exfoliation. Here’s our tips for prepping your skin for the warmer, sunnier months ahead.


Exfoliating is vital in the lead-up, as well as to maintain, throughout the sunniest season. Pre-season, it’s an often-cathartic exercise to remove any scaly winter build-up. And once the sun arrives, it reduces clogging of your skin as humidity increases, you’re regularly breaking a sweat, and continuous coats of SPF are being applied (at least we would hope!)

Physical exfoliation is popular on the body, using delicate granules or brushes to remove the surface layer of dead skin. When it comes to the more delicate face, chemical exfoliation dissolves dead skin cells, delving slightly deeper to assist with new cell turnover. Enzyme exfoliators are also increasingly popular, as a more natural option relying on bio-active ingredients derived from fruits.

Whichever exfoliator works best for you, it’s important your skin is also being protected. Moisturisers act as a barrier for your skin and prevent dehydration. Even better, dual-purpose moisturisers include SPF and if anything, SPF is the most important. New-age facial sunscreens, like those by Ultra Violette, Mecca and Emma Lewisham, combine hydrating, lightweight properties to nourish and protect.


  1. Use an exfoliating mitt in the shower for your body
  2. Craft a DIY body scrub with coffee grounds, coconut oil and vanilla extract
  3. Try a gentle AHA, BHA or enzyme exfoliant for your face and decolletage – always patch test before use
  4. Sunscreen is a daily non-negotiable
  5. Consult a dermatologist if you have sensitive or problem skin


Don’t forget your roots!

Ever-popular Kiwi band Six60 famously sings ‘Don’t forget your roots’. Whilst we are aware the song was paying tribute to family – the line is not totally misplaced when it comes to haircare. We are talking about the roots on your head, and specifically the rise of scalp care or “hair skinification”.


More of a marketing monniker than scientific term, this is the concept of treating your scalp like it is an extension of your facial skincare routine.

Skincare has boomed in recent years, with tutorials and product reviews just as popular as those for makeup and hairstyling, so much so, the global industry is expected to be worth more than $1 trillion by 2025.

Although, this is not to suggest that the world just hasn’t been aware we have scalps – more that we need to start treating them with a bit more TLC.

And when treating your scalp like your face, those in the know recommend using similar types of ingredients you would see in skincare such as probiotics and hyaluronic acid.

Products to know include, Virtue’s scalp supplement and treatment and Neutrogena’s Healthy Scalp collection.

Virtue founder and chief executive Melisse Shaban said since its supplement launched in June, it became the brand’s number nine (out of 50) best-selling product by August.

So why are we seeing such a skyrocket in scalp care sales? Cynics may see it as commodifying a new body part – but there is evidence to suggest the scalp skin needs a similar level of considered care as the rest of your epidermis to prevent irritation, flakiness and build up in pores and hair follicles.


Freshen up for spring! Skin Rejuvenation Clinic

Spring is the perfect time of year to look at your skin and to get yourself ready for summer, Skin Rejuvenation Clinic’s Dr Brigid Lee tells us how.

When you are looking for solutions for your skin issues you want your cosmetic medicine specialist clinic to be at the cutting edge of the latest, safest and most effective treatment options.

Profhilo has been hugely popular in the UK over the last four years and has now been launched in New Zealand to much excitement and anticipation.

Profhilo is classed as a dermal filler as it is a hyaluronic acid but it is unique in its ability to stimulate the skin to produce collagen and elastin making the skin smoother, firmer and more hydrated.

It is great for people who have noticed some of the early signs of ageing.

Happy Face is a specialised technique where dermal filler is used to support the corners of the mouth.

Anyone who has noticed the corners of their mouth starting to pull downwards as they age leaving them looking sad needs a Happy Face treatment.

As we age our faces start to deflate and slip so treatments that are going to lift and firm the facial tissues are needed.

“At the Skin Rejuvenation Clinic we have specialised techniques using particular dermal fillers to restore and rejuvenate,” says Brigid.

These work in combination with Ulthera (high intensity focused ultrasound) and radio-frequency tightening treatments for an ultimate non-surgical solution to restore your natural beauty.

Brigid advises people to choose the medical edge to beauty!