Happy December and welcome to our Capsule Collection! Here’s our eclectic collection of new things we love this month – from events and restaurant openings, to the best of new products in fashion, beauty, food and lifestyle – you’re welcome!
QT Food of the Sun Lunch Series
Second Saturday of the month, 12 – 4pm, QT Auckland. Tickets $85
Through a series of lavish lunches, the QT Auckland is taking you on a journey through the Mediterranean as we al chase flavours of the sun (because where the HELL is it!?) From Amalfi to St Tropez, Ayia Napa to Marrakesh, Mykonos to Ibiza, idyllic escapes and multi-course escapades await at Esther as they bring you into chef Sean Connolly’s world of honest, elevated fare. Settle in for one gargantuan gastronomic adventure, served up with lashings of wanderlust – passport not required.
Tickets are $85 and include a feasting menu + cocktail on arrival.
Tronque x The Tonic Room Summer Body Prep
It’s always this time of year when my [Kelly] skin feels like a lizards and hell, I refuse to head into 2024 with my skin in an absolute state. Exfoliation is key to getting the bod in tip top shape for the harsh summer conditions, so this new little collab most definitely piqued my interest and trust me, it’s an absolute treat.
Tronque and Tonic Room have joined forces with a body treatment, with a 75-minute experience of summer skin prep and healing bliss.The treatment is skin-focused, with therapists using light, lymphatic, flowing, detoxifying moves. Beginning with gentle use of the Tronque Ionic Body Brush to slough off winter skin and encourage a smoother, brighter tone, this is followed by Tronque’s Vitamin C Oil and Tronque’s body Gua Sha to improve lymphatic drainage, stimulating the metabolism and helping rid the body of toxins. Lastly Tronque’s luxurious Firming Butter is massaged into skin to soothe, hydrate and moisturise. To enhance detoxification, Tonic Room’s Skin Tea is offered after each treatment.
MOTAT Christmas Lights
Auckland, 6-9, 13-16, 20-23 December 2023, 8pm-11pm
Over 12 spectacular nights, MOTAT Great North Road will be transformed into a festive wonderland with stunning light displays, live music, entertainment and much much more. Running Wednesdays through Saturdays from 6 – 23 December, enjoy tram rides and carol singers, outdoor games, a visit with Santa, along with some delicious kai while taking in the lights. They will also have a low-sensory cottage to provide a comfortable environment for individuals who need a safe and quieter space during this event.
Jingle Bellethon Telethon
Basement Theatre, 29 Nov – 22 Dec
The Klassic Kiwi Telethon is back and this time it’s a whole lot more unhinged in Jingle Bellethon Telethon – the 2023 edition of the legendary Basement Theatres Christmas Show. Returning for its fourteenth year, the highlight of Tāmaki’s silly season promises to bring all the usual mayhem, hilarity and more with Janaye Henry (Ngāti Kahuki Whangaroa) and Bea Gladding (Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi) at the reins this year! Part- scripted, part-made-up in the rehearsal room, Jingle Bellethon Telethon features a red-hot cast of crack-ups with a secret celebrity guest star who’ll be thrown into the frenzy every night!
Oscar Wylee Aminah Frames
I [Kelly] feel like this gorgeous shape is a great middle point between the classic big millennial shades of our youth and the teeny tiny cat-like frames Gen Z’s are sporting today. Look, I can’t bring myself to wear the tiny ones (my old face simply won’t allow it) but these are a perfect nod to current trends with an anchor in classic lines. Aminah is bold and angular, sporting a sculptural acetate frame and flirty, cat-eye shape.
Bondi Born Goldie One Piece – Porcelain
It is SO HARD to find a pair of togs, especially a one piece, that ticks all the boxes. As a woman with wobbly bits [Kelly] I just want a bathing suit that doesn’t make me feel like a whale had a good time with a box of jelly and I think I’ve finally found it – enter Australian brand Bondi Born (we love to hate our trans-Tasman siblings but come on, they most definitely know their stuff when it comes to swimwear. And Hemsworths). The Goldie One Piece in Porcelain and Black is a contemporary two-tone bandeau swimsuit featuring adjustable, removable straps [KEY] foam backing for bust shaping [VERY KEY] a low scoop back and medium to high leg with regular bottom coverage [FINALLY, BUTT COVERAGE!]. Plus, the two-tone cream and black palette is classic and timeless.
HelloFresh Festive Faves
Looking to add some Christmas flair to your holiday meals? Festive Fave recipes from HelloFresh will make it easy with a range of delicious recipes including Beef Currant Rissoles and Cherry-Glazed Chicken & Veggie Couscous. The recipes are available now until Christmas and include two festive dinners per week, alongside desserts and sides to complete the meal. Simply add your Festive Faves to your weekly HelloFresh delivery for a bit of a holiday cheer!
Joico Defy Damage Range
Protect all hair types from the ravaging effects of daily heat styling, UV exposure, and environmental pollution that lead to dry, dull, lackluster locks with Joico’s Defy Damage haircare system. I [Kelly] have been trying out this range for a few months and can report back that my hair is SO much better – less frizz, more smooth and far easier to manage. This damage-defying breakthrough helps protect and strengthen hair bonds for a healthy-hair transformation you can instantly see and feel.
Sundown Gin Berry Bramble
$16.99 for a four-pack
Boutique Kiwi gin brand Sundown has just released its first Gin Berry Bramble and ooosh, she is a good time. Blackberry and raspberry is mixed with the small-batch, botanically-infused gin, finished with a touch of lemon juice. It’s perfect for your new summer tipple or for enjoying at your next picnic or BBQ.
House of March Duvet Set
A truly seasonal colour in time for Christmas, enter the beautiful Pine duvet cover set into the “should I invest in nice linen bedding’ chat. House of March is the first fairtrade certified bedding supplier in Aotearoa, and are all about making luxe bedding which is both chemical-free and fairtrade 100% cotton. This duvet set is smooth and structured and cool like your favourite white shirt, and will get softer with every was, with each thread is meticulously woven to give you the best sleep. Suuuuper easy to girl math, wouldn’t you say?
Introducing New Zealand’s latest beautiful new luxury skincare range, TWYG. TWYG harnesses the power of 100-million-years of history with its super ingredient Bioactive Totarol, a wonder-find sustainably sourced from naturally fallen New Zealand tōtara trees.
TWYG, founded by Kiwi husband and wife duo Steph and Ryan Davies who, being already familiar with Bioactive Totarol thanks to family connections, wanted to create a brand which used the super ingredient in high potency. Luscious and rich in antioxidants, TWYG’s first range includes a highly potent Renewing Antioxidant Facial Oil, a Revive and Brighten Antioxidant Facial Serum and a Restorative Hydration Cream, all high in Bioactive totarol. Totarol occurs naturally in the heartwood of the tōtara tree and is found throughout the tree at around 150 years of age. Totarol’s purpose is to protect the Tōtara against bacterial and environmental attacks and enable the trees to live for thousands of years, and when carefully harvested, Totarol has the same antioxidant and protective properties for skin. This range is simply stunning – my [Kelly] skin feels renewed, especially when I use the serum, and smells heavenly. Plus, there’s no denying how STUNNING this range looks on the bathroom shelf!
Inxhale – a Marlborough based, olfactory wellness company – is aiming to leverage the power of aroma compounds derived from plant oils by original blends of natural ingredients formulated to support cognitive function and mood, through new and innovative olfactory inhalers. Available in Alert for mental clarity, motivation and cognitive performance, and Calm for rest, relaxation and emotional restoration, the inhalers work by engaging with our olfactory systems – otherwise known as our sense of smell. The aroma follows a direct pathway to the brain, scientifically proven to impact our memory function and emotional centres.
Founder Kate Guthrie saw a huge gap in the market whilst wishing for a product that could help encourage her mind to stay alert (that wasn’t caffeine) on long drives to and from her family farm. This curiosity led her to team up with formulation legend and product designer Stacey Fraser to create these inhalers, doing endless research in Aotearoa and abroad to create something that is backed by science.
Nespresso Festive Flavours
One of my [Alice] greatest Christmas joys is ridiculously flavoured festive drinks. This year, Nespresso once more has three flavours to choose from: Festive Black Espresso (it’s a subtle Christmas blend from Honduras and Uganda, with woody and warming sweet spice notes), Frosted Caramel Nut (my pick of the three – a slightly sweeter blend with warming caramel and almond vanilla biscuit notes) and finally, Seasonal Delight Spices (which marries a mix of citrus fruit with a melange of spices, and was my least favourite, but probably a big hit for people who like fruit cake?).
Woolworths/Countdown Smash Cake
Rolling pins at the ready! Have your cake and smash it too this silly season, with Woolworths’ most highly-anticipated Christmas item flying off the shelves after selling out in 2022.
Designed to bring a little moment of magic to young and old alike (and help us take out our rage!?), the festive favourite has gone viral on TikTok and is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleasing centrepiece this Christmas. Simply crack open the solid chocolate dome to reveal layers of rich chocolate sponge and buttercream, topped with an assortment of scrumptious sweets. Then slice, slice baby – it can be shared with up to 26 people, making it an affordable treat at just under $2 per serve.