Monday, December 4, 2023

The 4 Kiwi Skincare Brands Having A Moment Right Now

Twenty twenty is definitely the year of #supportlocal, and when it comes to beauty it’s been easy to get amongst some of the best and brightest brands from Down Under that are doing some truly awesome things.

Here are some of the best beauty drops that Capsule has managed to get our hands on:

Emma Lewisham

So many brands talk a massive game when it comes to recycling and eco-friendly practices, but Kiwi skincare queen Emma Lewisham has taken the game one step further with her launch of the Emma Lewisham Beauty Circle.

In a massive move, the brand will take empty packaging from not only its own products, but ALL brands’ facial products within our local economy.

It’s a pretty simple process – customers send in four products at a time thanks to a downloadable free shipping label, and they’ll receive a $15 voucher back. Genius.

But, what are the products actually like? I was keen to see why Emma’s products have achieved cult status not only here, but around the world, so we gave the Skin Shield Daily Face Antioxidant Protect & Repair ($92) a go – and am suitably impressed. Packing a good SPF 30 – just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean we don’t sunscreen gals – the day cream is lovely to wear, and smells divine.


We’ve spoken about Syrene before on Capsule, but we’re still so in love with this little Kiwi brand that could. The first local brand to be stocked in cosmetic powerhouse Mecca, Syrene is inspired by the sea and is bursting with native ingredients such as manuka honey, pohutakawa and kawakawa – essentially the best of New Zealand’s flora, just bottled.

The company’s revenue is growing 30 per cent year-on-year, and its founders Karen Yang and Jo Gilberd are planning on expanding into more markets in Europe and the UK.

Now, for the actual products themselves – and it’s hard to go past Syrene’s signature Aqua Hydrating Masque ($119.19) which I have actually been using for a couple of years.

It’s a really thin masque – you don’t need a whole lot of it – and it’s delightfully, refreshingly cold, perfect if you’re like me and suffer from skin redness and dehydration. Pop it on before you go to bed and leave it. When you wake up it’ll be like that feeling of sliding into bed with fresh sheets – just on your face


Ok so this brand is technically Australian but one of its founders, Simona, is a Kiwi, so we think that qualifies! I’m really enjoying this natural, vegan and veeeery visually appealing range of skincare, so we’ll let a little trans-Tasman rivalry slide.

Only founded in 2018, Rawkanvas sources its ingredients from both Australia and New Zealand (we’ll claim that too, thank you) and has developed a devoted following not only in our corner of the world, but globally as well.

The Limelight Brightening Probiotic Lotion ($76) is my favourite product so far – after a couple of days of using it, my skin was dewy without being shiny, and it sat really nicely under my makeup. And as far as aesthetics go, the products look so lovely on the bathroom shelf.


If you’ve been reading Capsule since the beginning (cheers to you, first of all) you’ll know we’re mildly obsessed with scented candles, and Essano won a place of our best-ever candle rankings with its gorgeous Blood Orange and Lime scent.

But since clearing Countdown out of candles during lockdown (sorry to everyone else in East Auckland who might have wanted one), I’ve given their skincare line a try too. The supermarket brand has always punched above its weight when it comes to plant-based skincare, and their very reasonable price points mean that natural, rosehip-infused products are widely accessible to everyone in Aotearoa.

I’ve been trialling the Vitamin C Brightening Polishing Scrub ($14.99). I wouldn’t use it every day – the particles are a little bigger and more abrasive than my skin can take – it’s a delightful scrub for every couple of days that leaves my face feeling veeery clean and exfoliated.

All products were gifted to Capsule, opinion however is author’s own

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