We all know New Zealand as the country of all things homegrown, green, and natural. Cosmetic products made by local brands are no different—pure NZ goodness for your skin, minus nasties. Keep reading and you will discover 10 independent brands worthy of being in your bathroom cabinet.
About: You can’t go wrong with a natural beauty range created by a beauty specialist with an extremely good aesthetic. Have a look at their packaging and Instagram account. it is all about simplicity and delivering results. Bravo, Maryse by Maryse O'Donnell, bravo!
A must-have: My recommendation is Bio-Nutrient Face Oil because I can live forever only using that product type. It is kind of a mask, a serum, and a cream in just one product. You can never get tired of facial oils and neither can your skin. My personal momentary lapse into aromatherapy after a long day at work.
Available here, $62.
2. Girl Undiscovered
About: Claim : 100% wild. The three founders behind the brand went beyond organic and have proven that simple yet effective ingredients are the basis of good skincare. They just don’t care about ticking boxes that much as about using pure and natural ingredients. All the products are grown free from mass plantations and pesticides.
A must-have: Stumbled Across Paradise Face Mask is essential for stressed and tired skin. Key ingredients are thanaka, virgin coconut oil, and kahuka honey. Trust us, you want those to be in your skincare products. If this mask were a guy, I’d happily settle down right away.
Available here, $45 for 120 ml.
About: Another ode to New Zealand, for stimulating and triggering us to do more, and staying inspired. This brand was created genuinely because of the not-so-forgiving sun that we have to deal with. Everyone knows it’s not only silly but also hazardous to leave the house with no sunscreen on. Grasping the opportunity to fill a huge market gap for chemical- and synthetic-free sunscreen, Sunny and Sarah decided to create their own organic one.
A must-have: Surely, you’ve already guessed what products I’d mention. Sunscreen with a capital ’S’. To be frank, after using it quite often, your skin will only get better, like after a nourishing feast. Try SPF30 Summer Coconut & Jojoba for your body and Sweet & Nutty Cocoa Butter to protect your skin from ageing. It is oh-so-great as a primer as well. Wouldn’t forgive myself if I don’t mention Intense Night Serum with oils of rosehip, kukui nut, argan, avocado, carrot seed, and essential oils of sandalwood and clarysage. Works as a youth concentrate, indeed.
Available here, $59 for SPF30 Summer Coconut & Jojoba, $39 for Sweet & Nutty Cocoa Butter, $29 for Intense Night Serum.
4. Sans [Ceuticals]
About: As sans is French for ‘without’, their products do not contain anything unnecessary or harmful for the skin. They call it intelligent beauty. All the products are multifunctional and could be used on your face, body, and hair.
A must-have: Bio Active Body Exfoliant features ginseng (energises and tones the skin by stimulating the blood flow), goji extract (a perfect antioxidant), shea butter (moisturising, moisturising, moisturising), and worth mentioning is the bamboo exfoliating powder, which goes in a facial grade—will do no harm. I tried to use it for an in-home pedicure when ran out of a foot scrub once. See, no need for it anymore.
Available here, $56 for 150 ml.
About: The fact that New Zealand is surrounded by the ocean is inspiring to many. Jo Gilberd, the founder of Syrene, created the range of skincare using Maricol S as a base, a marine collagen collected from the Pacific Ocean.
A must-have: When I came across Aqua Intense Cream and tried it on my wrist, I knew straight after that we were going to become best friends. This feeling of a lightweight gel-like texture is something you won’t forget. Kawakawa, manuka honey, and aloe vera not only deeply hydrate the skin but also brighten and tighten it mega well.
Available here, $109.99.
6. Triumph & Disaster
About: Triumph & Disaster is the epitome of old-fashioned values and times when everything was much simpler. Less is more—that’s what they’re about. No test of any products on animals other than themselves; their words not ours.
A must-have: The name says it all. Try Logic Toner and everything will start making sense. It gently removes traces of your grime and clears pores without causing dehydration. The main ingredient is witch hazel extract and it is known as an acne remedy. Besides, it can improve your skin tone and soothe inflamed or damaged skin. For shrinking pores, we should thank alpine willow herb extract due to flavonoids that help controlling sebum production. Nobody in his right mind can legitimately argue that it is not worth every cent they ask for.
Available here, $49.95.
7. Native Rituals
About: Beauty is all about rituals, right? With a variety of collections for both men and women (not to mention really good ones), Native Rituals truly deserved its place under the New Zealand sun. They even launched their own line of fragrances, which is a big leap for a local beauty industry.
A must-have: I am a huge fan of facial cleansing oils, as they are gentle yet powerful. It removes even the most waterproof make-up with no irritation or stripping the skin. That’s the reason I got so hooked on Organic Makeup Remover, which consists of four oils: sweet almond, castor, coconut and argan—surely all organic. You can apply it directly on your skin and massage with fingertips or use cotton pads for a mild exfoliation effect.
Available here, $32.
8. Lewin and Reilly
About: Lewin and Reilly is a Waiheke Island born and bred beauty brand—sustainable, cruelty-free, and organic skincare. They have quite a small yet thought-through range with a focus on quality rather than quantity. You will never find palm tree oil in their products.
A must-have: Coconut Water Brightening Tonic is the one you need to cuddle with if your skin looks dull. Generously spray this mist on your face every time you feel like and your skin will become brighter, smoother, and more glowy.
Available here, $56.
9. Real World
About: Having four children and spending most of her time in the kitchen, the founder of Real World was struggling with sore and cracked hands. She created this brand to overcome this problem and she did (good for all of us, as we love those hand creams as well).
A must-have: Real World has outdone its hand cream assortment with five different flavours (we know you can’t eat it but don't panic, it’s organic). I, personally, fell in love with this Sandalwood & Rose Geranium Hand Cream, which was my saviour during winter.
Available here, $28.50 for 60 ml, $42.50 for 120 ml.
10. Country Kitchen
About: It is a definite level up in the industry. Country Kitchen is growing its own herbs in the garden, so, it is homegrown and homemade. I heart its beauty range and that attitude towards treating our faces and bodies with the very best. ‘Infusing’ plant oils with lunar light during full moons, woah! Haven’t heard of it yet but fascinated.
A must-have: A total humdinger is Moon Balm that helps with sore muscles and even assists women’s hormones. They recommend to massage it onto lower abdomen during those days, you know. This balm is rich in texture and helps in moisturising the skin. I feel like my lips have never been softer before that little babe. In terms of make-up, try this plant make-up product called Sea Pearl Highlighter Cream—an organic illuminator that will give the most natural, perfect glow. It is like meeting the right person; you just know.
Available here, $35 for Moon Balm, $25 for Sea Pearl Highlighter Cream.
It was pretty hard to choose only 10 local brands when there are so many more I want to talk about. Well, a sequel will be coming soon!
Stay tuned xx
Cover Image | Maryse
Previously on staff at Allure Russia, Irina moved from Moscow city to New Zealand. So what does Irina do when she isn’t testing beauty products and writing reviews? Eating avos and nailing the perfect VSCO filters!