Top-priced stockings not the top performer

Top-priced stockings not the top performer

Top-priced stockings not the top performerConsumer NZ’s latest test of stockings found you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for a decent pair of tights this winter.

The test assessed 10 well-known brands of 70 denier stockings, ranging in price from $3.99 to $29.95. The tights were tested for their ability to withstand laddering and their overall strength.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin says the top scorer was a $10 pair of Razzamatazz-brand tights, which out-performed products costing two to three times as much.

Three of the brands tested performed poorly when it came to laddering. The cheapest pair, $3.99 Pams-brand tights, returned very poor results. “These tights were very quick to ladder, even with minimal stretching. You’re unlikely to get much wear out of them once they snag,” Ms Chetwin says.

Other brands that performed poorly for laddering were Stepout ($16.99) and Kayser ($15.99).

The laddering test involved a small hole being punctured into the fabric, which was then stretched.

Ms Chetwin says most products performed reasonably well in its “burst” test, which measures the strength and elasticity of the fabric.

“Our test results show paying a higher price for winter tights may not guarantee a superior product.”

The testing was conducted for Consumer NZ by the New Zealand Wool Testing Authority. Test results for all 10 brands can be found in the July issue of Consumer magazine and at, along with a video of how the products were tested.


Mecca Maxima comes to Auckland!

Mecca Maxima comes to Auckland!

Mecca Maxima comes to Auckland!Good things come to those who wait and patient beauty junkies in Auckland will soon be rewarded as MECCA opens its first one-stop-beauty-shop, Mecca Maxima, at 191 Queen Street on Thursday 3 August.

Filled with over 50 of the best global beauty brands, the 263 square metre beauty emporium will be New Zealand’s biggest store yet, offering all the latest lust-have products and trends in makeup, skin, hair and fragrance.

First Christchurch, then Wellington and now Auckland, the opening is highly anticipated by upper North Island beauty junkies far and wide, and boasts 12 stations for makeup applications and skin consultations.

Mecca Maxima comes to Auckland!These beauty lovers will for the first time will be able to get their perfectly manicured hands on Mecca Maxima exclusive brands such as Urban Decay, Too Faced, Mario Badescu and Drunk Elephant, plus well-acquainted favourites from NARS, By Terry, Stila, Hourglass and GlamGlow. K-beauty staples Mizon, Chosungah22 and 16Brand will also be available to lovers of something different.

MECCA founder Jo Horgan says it will be the first of many to open in the region. “New Zealand, you have embraced us with open arms. I have been nothing but humbled by your response to Mecca Maxima and I am very much looking forward to opening more of our stores in this beautiful part of the world and delivering more of our inimitable beauty experiences to you,” says Jo.

Mecca Maxima comes to Auckland!Taking wake up and make up to a whole new level, from 9am on opening day there will be celebrations aplenty with offerings for all to enjoy, including the iconic MECCA-mazing Envelope Wall that sees shoppers who spend $90 or more reveal a beauty surprise.

Mecca Maxima Auckland is the sixth in New Zealand’s MECCA store network of Cosmetica and Maxima beauty destinations, with the company planning on significantly expanding its footprint over the coming years.

Mecca Maxima Queen Street opens Thursday 3 August

191 Queen Street, Auckland CBD


Choosing the perfect engagement ring

Choosing the perfect engagement ring

Engagement ringby Peter Minkoff

Once you have chosen your partner and decided to commit for the rest of your life, you might think you have made the most difficult decision ever. Although it is the most important decision, it is definitely not the most difficult one. That title belongs to choosing the perfect ring. So, whether you are shopping alone or taking your bride-to-be with you, there are some tips that will make choosing the bespoke ring easier.

Do your research

Before you go shopping for an engagement ring, do your research. Walking into a store full of diamonds in different shapes and sizes can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you are doing it for the first time. That is why it is important to try to learn everything you can about diamonds before you start searching for the perfect ring. Another option would be to get it tailor made for your beloved. The Internet is an amazing source of information, but you already know that since you are reading this article. Start browsing the Web, looking for rings that both you and your fiancée find interesting. Once you gather enough images of all the rings you like, try to see whether they have something in common. If all of the rings you like share a common feature, that is your perfect starting point.

Go for a custom design

Marilyn said it – Diamonds truly are a girl’s best friend! If you really want to find the perfect ring for your fiancée, have it custom made for her. When making a custom engagement ring you need to find a stone and a setting your fiancée will like and have it turned into a perfect ring. Often, you will find rings with beautiful settings or beautiful stones but they will seldom be combined. So, if you want to make sure that your fiancée will wear it with pleasure and pride, better go with a custom design. Engagement rings are very important in Australia, and you can find some of the most beautiful custom engagement rings in Melbourne. Engagement rings are very important in Australia and New Zealand, and here you can find some of the most beautiful custom engagement rings in Melbourne.

Learn the four Cs

The four Cs – color, clarity, cut and carat – are what every man going on a hunt for the perfect engagement ring must learn. The color is referring to the colorlessness of a diamond. Colorless diamonds are the most beautiful and the most valued. If you are looking for a good price you can also opt for a diamond that is not entirely colorless – they are still beautiful but also cost less.

The clarity of a diamond is actually referring to the number of its imperfections. Similar to the color, the most valued ones are flawless diamonds, but you can find nearly flawless diamonds for a good price. These diamonds do have some flaws, but they are not visible to the naked eye.

The cut of a diamond doesn’t refer to its shape, but to the skill with which it was cut and how that affects its sparkle. The greater the skill of the person cutting the diamond – the greater the brilliance.

Carat, on the other hand, is definitely something you have heard of even if you have never looked for a diamond before. It refers to the weight of the diamond. Although it might seem that bigger is better, taste is what matters the most. Think about your fiancée’s style when you are deciding about the size – not every girl likes the same thing.

Choose the shape and the setting

Diamonds come in all kinds of shapes and you should definitely have something in mind before you step inside a store. Consider your fiancée’s style of jewelry when choosing the ring. When choosing the setting think about the metal and the style that will present the stone in the best possible way. Custom diamond engagement ring designers will offer invaluable insight when it comes to that choice.


Look good, help the beast cancer cause

Look good, help the beast cancer causeThanks to Ezibuy, you can look good and help the cause … the breast cancer cause!

Earlier this year, EziBuy partnered with New Zealand’s top fashion labels to produce two stylish tees and a tank to raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer. With the original batch selling out in record time, EziBuy has brought them back again for a limited time.

The stylish tops are designed by Andrea Moore, Moochi and Storm. The T-shirts retail for $29.99 and the tank for $24.99, with $10 from each sale going to Breast Cancer Cure.

Look good, help the beast cancer causeAstonishingly, one in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in New Zealand –the seventh highest rate of incidence in the world. This means one woman every three hours will be diagnosed and nearly two women per day will die from this cruel disease in our country.

Breast Cancer Cure, the only not-for-profit charitable trust established solely to fund breast cancer research, has one goal and one goal only – to find a cure for breast cancer to make it a survivable disease and prevent it from taking the lives of any more of our mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and friends.

Funds from the tees will be used to accelerate the quality of research into prevention, earlier detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in New Zealand.

Look good, help the beast cancer causeTo date, EziBuy t-shirts have raised over $300,000 to fund further research.

All three designs will be available from July 4th from and in store. Numbers are limited, so get in quick!


Style Tips for the Mother of the Bride

Style Tips for the Mother of the Bride

Style Tips for the Mother of the BrideThe marriage of a child is a life milestone, a family gathering, and a cause for major celebration but it’s also a heavily photo-documented day, which makes choosing a look all the more important. These are the words of Lorna Perrin, Brand Director of a British label that the Middleton sisters have come to rely on for many important occasions over the years. More than a celebration, this is a day when the mother gives away her little girl, sends her off to her new life. As one of the most important members of the family, as well as the wedding party, the mother should always look stylish and impeccably dressed, regardless of age – style is for every age. In order to put your best look forward, and find that perfect balance of not dressing neither ‘old’ or overly ‘young’, these are the style rules to abide by, so take careful note, and remember – this is your day too.

Say yes to a dress

Nothing is more boring and conservative than a suit, especially one that is in a dull color that makes you look older. Aside from that, these suits always feature a calf-length skirt, which is completely unflattering as it brings attention to the thickest part of the leg. Unlike a suit, which is often a completely wrong choice, a well-tailored dress is will always accentuate your figure and do it justice.

Style Tips for the Mother of the BrideLet’s talk about length

The two most appropriate yet highly appealing dresses for the mother of the bride are, without a doubt, the knee and floor-length dresses. Knee length dresses are classy, chic and there is nothing wrong with showing a little leg. They are also conservative enough as to not draw negative attention, and their goal is to make you look attractive yet age-appropriate. As for floor-length, one would think they are even more conservative, and they are in a certain way. However, they are a great way to make an impact, because a long dress always comes with a touch of that ‘wow’ effect. Whichever of the two you choose, you won’t be wrong.

Style Tips for the Mother of the BrideCut and color

Whoever said that the mother of the bride should wear neutral (boring) tones was terribly in the wrong. There is nothing wrong with a little pop of colour. The floral print is always in style; it is fun and festive, and this is what weddings are all about. You can also go bold and make a statement with a stunning red dress without worrying not to ‘upstage’ the bride. As long as you wear a dress that is suitable for your body type, you have nothing to fear. Ok, let’s discuss cuts. If you have a beautiful waistline, then you should definitely accentuate it with a sheath dress. In case you feel somewhat self-conscious about your arms, you can always complement the look with gorgeous women’s cardigans. This way you won’t have to make compromises and go for a different dress when the sheath makes the other parts of your figure absolutely stunning. On the other hand, if your middle area is not something you want to bring attention to, a fitted bodice and gently flared skirt work universally on most women. They create the illusion of an hourglass figure.

Bonus tips

One thing you should definitely not wear is nylons. For a look that is more modern, keep your legs bare and moisturised, and toes pedicured—not covered in a pair of pantyhose. On the other hand, don’t shy away from form-fitting undergarments, like Spanx, especially if you decide to wear a form-fitting dress. This little helps will smooth things out, and nip and tuck everything that needs a bit of concealing.


Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices

Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices

When packing for your honeymoon, sunnies should be somewhere near the top of your packing list. After all, who wants to walk on sparkling white beaches and deal with the glare? In fact, they’re probably handy to have around for outdoor weddings, too …. wouldn’t you rather shield your eyes in designer frames than have every image of yourself squinting?

That said, designer sunglasses often come with a huge price tag … and when you’ve already paid out for your wedding plans and long-dreamed of honeymoon, you don’t want to break the bank on accessories.

We’ve been shopping at Smart Buy Glasses and have been impressed. This year, SmartBuyGlasses celebrates ten years of delivering Expertise, Service and Passion to customers around the world, so they must be doing something right!

We love the broad range they offer, including high end designers such as Gucci, Tom Ford, Nina Ricci, Versace, Burberry and many more! Try their Style Finder to select a pair that you know are going to look fabulous on you!

We’ve had a lengthy trawl through some of their latest designs, and list below just a sprinkling of our favourites. Check out their OPTICAL CENTRE for all the lens information you’ll ever need, shop by PERSONALITY or DESIGNER, and give their VIRTUAL TRY ON a go!



Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices









Dolce & Gabbana

Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices










Marc by Marc Jacobs

Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices










Tom Ford

Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices

Create the perfect coffee at home

Create the perfect coffee at homeCreate the perfect coffee at home with Smeg

Kitchen Things, the exclusive distributor of Smeg in New Zealand is proud to introduce Smeg’s latest addition to the Retro appliances family, the Smeg coffee machine. The coffee machine – which epitomises Smeg’s rich Italian heritage and passion for design – will be available to pre-purchase for the first time in New Zealand from June.

Smeg’s gorgeous coffee machine features the same distinctive yet practical retro styling and curves as the other members of the award-winning Retro small appliance family. The machine is available in four authentic vintage colours: Pastel blue, panna (Italian for cream), black and red to suit all tastes and kitchens and can be easily integrated with other small Smeg appliances.

Create the perfect coffee at homeIn terms of technology and functionality, the machine will appeal to coffee and technology lovers alike. A thermoblock heating system delivers fast service while 15 bar pressure ensures an excellent coffee experience. The three button selection allows for one or two cups and a steam function. The coffee temperature and water hardness settings can be personalised and the machine can be programmed to shut off after intervals ranging from nine minutes to three hours.

One of the standout features of this compact machine is that it enables coffee lovers to make the exact coffee of their choice. This is because the machine is designed to use both barista style coffee grounds and pre-filled paper pods, allowing users to choose the roast they prefer and introduce an authentic café style coffee and aroma into the home. In line with Smeg’s environmental sustainability policies, plastic pods will not be sold in conjunction with Smeg coffee machines so as to minimise landfill waste.

Create the perfect coffee at homeOther benefits of the Smeg coffee machine are its anti-drip system (with full drip tray indicator), a de-scaling warning light and the ability to accommodate both small cups and tall mugs. An adjustable steam wand creates the perfect rich, thick froth for cappuccino.

The coffee machine is smart too. By holding down the coffee button until the cup has been filled to the desired level, the machine will store the knowledge and produce the same amount of coffee the next time – unless you tell it otherwise of course.

Smeg’s coffee machines will be available on a pre-purchase basis only from the 1st of June at a special launch price of $649 and available in store from the 15th of July. The first 50 customers to pre-order a Smeg coffee machine will receive a year’s free supply of Lavazza coffee. Subsequent customers will receive a three month free supply of Lavazza coffee.

Create the perfect coffee at homeFor more information, go to

Create the perfect coffee at home


Unconventional Honeymoon Ideas

Unconventional Honeymoon Ideas

Unconventional Honeymoon IdeasThe ‘honeymoon’ phase of a relationship is called that for a very good reason. This is that carefree time where everything is fresh, exciting, the relationship full of infatuation and butterflies, not a cloud in sight. This is exactly what your actual honeymoon should be like after you have tied the knot.

Although typical honeymoon destinations such as the Maldives, Bora Bora, and Santorini have a certain romantic quality, they also ooze that been-there-done-that vibe, so why not try something even more exotic, perhaps even more unfamiliar and a tad offbeat.

There are so many unconventional yet amazing places to explore, so instead of just opting for a classic ‘club Tropicana’ version, perhaps it is time to consider something more adventurous.

Unconventional Honeymoon IdeasBe hot in the cold

Instead of packing up your beach wear and breezy dresses, pack chunky sweaters, warm winter jackets and head off to Finland! Yes, it’s one of the coldest countries, but that only means one thing – you are bound to spend some quality cuddle time and keep each other warm. Not leaving the bedroom is already one of the honeymoon commandments, so why not turn the heat in a cold country. The additional incentive is, of course, Finland’s out of this world beauty, complete with a transcendental beauty of Aurora Borealis, a phenomenon whose beauty remains unmatched by anything else. If you are planning your wedding somewhere between November and March, be sure to consider Finland, because the winter time is absolutely the most magical time to visit this gorgeous country.

Unconventional Honeymoon IdeasAdventure redefined

What could be more adventurous than visiting a country whose culture and language are completely and entirely different than yours? Look no further, and put Middle East in particular on your list of potential destinations. Look beyond the conservativeness and think of all the things you can discover, things you have never seen before. This is not just a honeymoon, this is an experience that will open your mind and broaden your horizons. Checking the date of your trip is essential if you’re traveling during Ramadan. You might wanna know how to dress during Ramadan or how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, and there is more than one answer to that question. Research their customs and other travellers’ experiences and enjoy your trip like a true world wanderer. You can visit amazing cities and relish the great food and the luxurious ambiance that only Arabs seem to do right. While visiting these unique places, you will have a chance to see genuine Arabian jewelry, Islamic art, and traditional dresses. Architecture is astonishing, the breathtaking mosques will take your breath away and look even more spectacular when the tide is high. And, let’s not forget the amazing shopping experience you could have here in one of the numerous glamorous-looking shopping centers.

Unconventional Honeymoon IdeasIntoxicatingly beautiful nature

The one true and ultimate choice for couples who are not only passionate about each other but also about breathtaking nature is Dingle, Ireland. This is the only town on the Dingle Peninsula, so if a secluded and intimate (not to mention stunning) destination is on your mind – this is the place to be. Aside from the cozy, quality alone time, this place offers a range of activities, such as hiking along the Dingle Way Walking Trail, and if you are looking for some honeymoon beach time, Dingle does not disappoint. There is the Inch Beach, which is great for swimming, surfing, and very long walks. On top of all this, the entire place is like an open museum; nowhere else in Ireland is so cram-packed with national monuments and historical sites. This little place has something for every taste, and it certainly deserves to be on this list.

Unconventional Honeymoon IdeasCosmopolitan flair meets unrivaled culture

Last, but certainly not least, is Tokyo, Japan. This is an ideal destination for couples who are seeking urban adventure. The first thing to do is explore the massive Tsukiji Fish Market followed by a visit to the ancient Sensoji Temple. Of course, a trip to Tokyo would be incomplete without a visit to the stylish home of Kabuki, as well as the Kabuki Monster Café. There are hundreds of things you can do here, and Timeout is here with 88 suggestions, so just make sure to pick wisely as you probably won’t have time to cover everything.

Specialist Skincare by Arture

Specialist Skincare by Arture

Specialist Skincare by ArtureArture is a specialist skincare brand that uses natural ingredients to produce Medispa results.

They believe that nature offers the best ingredients for our skin, so they use simple formulations with no synthetic chemicals or preservatives … and produce amazing products that brings you visible results first time, every time.

All Arture products are 100% natural, made in New Zealand, and they never ever test on animals. CLICK HERE to see the ingredients they use!

Arture have discovered the art of nature, and now they are sharing nature’s beauty with you.

Firstly, there’s a Resurfacing Microdermabrasion Cream. But what exactly is microdermabrasion? It’s a cosmetic treatment that uses a mechanical medium such as crystals or diamonds to exfoliate the epidermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin that continues to shed dead skin cells. Microdermabrasion treatments slough off the dead skin cells to reveal the fresh new skin cells underneath, stimulating collagen production, and dramatically improving the appearance of the skin.

Arture Resurfacing Microdermabrasion Cream replicates dermatologist’s microdermabrasion treatment by removing dead skin cells, thereby stimulating collagen production and skin regeneration. The microcrystals in the cream absorb dead skin cells while natural botanicals and vitamins nourish your skin underneath. This will visibly improve the appearance of acne, fine lines, pores, spots, scars and stretch marks.

How to use it: Apply a thin layer of cream to damp skin, gently massage in circles until the cream dries and fall away from skin, rinse off residue with warm water and moisturise. Repeat treatment every one to two weeks for long-term benefits.

Specialist Skincare by ArtureWhy is Microdermabrasion so effective?  People who try microdermabrasion are often surprised at the dramatic improvements they see after just one treatment. This is because the dead skin cells that do not fall away from the skin can collect sweat, oil, environmental pollutants, makeup, and dirt before it completely sheds and falls away from our skin. These dead skin cells create the perfect environment for bacteria, fungus, and skin mites to grow. This layer of dead cells also exaggerates our skin folds, fine lines, skin texture, and pores to make it more visible to our eyes.

Benefits of Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion can benefit anyone at any age, with any skin colour, and skin type, without going through more time consuming and invasive procedures. You can expect to see improvements to the tone, texture, colour, and condition of the areas after just one treatment. It is especially effective for:

  • Oily skin
  • Clogged pores
  • Enlarged pores
  • Acne
  • Fine lines
  • Scars
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Dull or poor skin texture
  • Sun spots and damage

The physical massaging of the skin while performing microdermabrasion also increases blood circulation, and helps lymph flow, which speeds up the detoxification of the skin and further promotes the health and appearance of the skin.

Microdermabrasion is a gentle skin treatment that does not require down time. It is non-invasive, as it only removes the flaws at the outermost layer of the skin. It is often called the ‘lunch time facial’ as it can be completed within 20 minutes and makeup can be applied immediately. This is the ‘go to’ treatment for many celebrities use when they need to refresh the appearance of their skin right before a big event.

Skincare after Microdermabrasion: It is important to use a moisturiser and protect the skin from the sun after a microdermabrasion treatment. Avoid sun exposure for a few days immediately after the treatment if possible. When the fresh new skin cells are exposed after a treatment, it will take up more of the products you apply to the skin. You will see an increased effect for any products applied, so take advantage of this by using non-irritating nourishing products for the skin to rejuvenate. Exposed new skin cells also means that any irritating products may cause more sensitivity. Products such as glycolic acids, alpha hydroxyl acids, and retinol products, and fragrances should be avoided right after the treatment.

Specialist Skincare by ArtureSecondly, there’s Rose Water Glow Mist … Arture’s Rose Water Glow Mist is a 100% natural, moisturising makeup setting spray that creates a dewy glow to your complexion. This product gives the skin a smooth, glowing complexion with the hydrating and beautifying properties of rose water and rosehip oil.

Recommended use:  Lightly spray mist the skin while holding the bottle 30cm away from the face. This versatile and light moisturising spray can be used on skin before makeup to prepare, hydrate, and nourish the skin. Spray on sparingly after makeup to set and create a dewy finish to complexion. Use anytime to hydrate and protect the skin from environmental damages.