5 Minutes with Jeff Pink, founder of Orly

38 years ago Jeff Pink was working as a make-up artist on film sets in California. He decided that he wanted a career change so he went to the owner of the largest beauty supply store in California, Jack Sperling, with a unique offer. Pink said to Sperling, “Jack I would like to work for you for 90 days and I’m willing to pay you to teach me all there is to know about the business so I can walk away and open my own store.” A couple of days later Sperling agreed. Pink was to pay Sperling $2500 up front, work for 90 days and then Pink could walk away. After a month Pink said to his wife, Orly, “it’s not for me”. Pink told Sperling, but Sperling challenged him to stay, saying if he still felt the same way in 90 days he could walk away with all his money.

After 90 days, Pink did start to enjoy the industry and opened up his first store. “It was nice being around beautiful women,” Pink says with a laugh. “In the 70s it was all about acrylic nails and all that was on offer was nail colour, base coat and top coats”. Pink founded Orly in 1975 [named after his wife] and his mission was to create natural nail care. The first thing Pink set about doing was developing a nail strengthener. In the same year Pink launched Romeo, a nail strengthener that could be applied like nail polish. He sent it all over the US for people to trial and it was an instant hit.

The following year an old colleague from the film industry contacted Pink and said “Jeff I need your help”. At the time the fashion was to match your nail colour with your dress colour and the studio found that an actress had to have her nails repainted three or four times a day. At that time it took an hour for the nail colour to dry so it was costing the studio a lot of time and money. Pink returned to the office to think of a solution and he thought about the white pencils that were used to colour under the nails.

“I rang a company that made nail polish and requested one bottle of white nail polish”. The company thought Pink was crazy but sent it over anyway. “I applied it to the tip of the nails and then went to the studio” says Pink. “The director said to me Jeff, you have just created history.” Pink decided that if it was good for the studio, it would be good for the consumer, so he started to produce The Natural Nail Kit. He then flew to Paris to introduce the concept to the models on the catwalk. It was a hit and on the flight back from Paris, Pink decided to change the name to the French Manicure. “It took almost four years for the trend to take off in America,” says Pink. “People started seeing it in movies but one night the US talk show host Johnny Carson had Barbra Streisand on as a guest. She had really long nails with the French Manicure. Carson asked her about her nails and the rest is history”.

Today, Orly produce numerous nail products, from base coats toughened with rubber to the new Surreal nail colour range. Improving the health of the nail as well as making them look gorgeous is still Pink’s passion. “I never liked acrylic nails as they are not good for your own nails. If you remove acrylic it can take up to six-months for the nails to recover. If you massage Orly’s cuticle oil into the cuticles for 10 days you promote nail growth.”

Even after nearly four decades in the business, Pink is still heavily involved in the company and continues to develop new products. He is very excited about the soon to be launched Megapixel nail polish; “It is made by grinding glass into the polish which makes it highly reflective”.

Cult beauty brand Benefit lands at Auckland Airport

For a quick beauty fix during those long hours at the departure hall, drop by or make an appointment at their Benefit Browbar, a one-stop brow shop with a full range of brow and facial waxing services and exclusive traveller packages, leaving no excuse for not arriving well groomed.

Quirky, retro and fun, Benefit is a San Francisco cosmetics brand started in 1976 by make-up artists and twins, Jean and Jane Ford. Recently retired, the twins have now handed over the company to Jean’s daughters, Maggie and Annie Ford Danielson. After a lifetime of playing with powder and paint, the second generation of the “sisterhood” is more than equipped to be Benefit’s new “global beauty authorities”.

With the kitsch pinup cartoons, irreverent names, creative packaging and the feel-good philosophy behind the brand, there is little doubt that the fun-loving, free-spirited and wholesome approach to beauty is the same now as it ever was.

Justin Fullerton, Benefit Cosmetics General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, says he is thrilled to have launched Benefit at Auckland International Airport. “Now travellers can put their best face forward with a brow arch before take-off at Benefit’s new store, or pick up a last-minute duty free beauty fix to keep them looking bright and beautiful while they travel. The feedback so far has been fabulous.”

To find out more about Benefit cosmetics, visit: 

Auckland Airport Benefit Browbar tax-free price list: 

Brow arch wax $25

Brow tint $16

Brow tint with arch $35.50

Brow & lip wax $35.50

See full service menu in-store.

Travel gift packages exclusive at Auckland Airport  

Dr Feelgood Trio: $120, savings of $21

Get rid of midday shine by touching up with this invisible, weightless balm that leaves skin feeling silky-soft. Contains Vitamins A, C and E to help smooth away the appearance of fine lines.

Some Kind a Gorgeous Duo $85.00, savings of $9

This oil-free, cream-to-powder formula is a silky, complexion perfecter. It evens out skintone with lightweight and sheer coverage. Compact includes application sponge and mirror for touch-ups on the go.

Dandelion Duo $79.00, savings of $9

This sheer ballerina pink face powder takes complexion from dull to radiant with buildable colour and just a hint of shimmer. Sweep it on cheeks as a soft blush or dust it all over face as a brightening finishing powder.

Benetint Trio $120.00, savings of $21

The original rose-tinted stain is a smudge-proof, long-lasting colour for lips and cheeks. Naturally sheer, it suits all complexions. Since its launch in 1976, Benetint has soared to cult status and has become one of the brand’s most loved products.

The Porefessional Trio $120.00, savings of $21

Quickly minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines by applying this silky, lightweight balm alone, under or over make-up. Its translucent, oil-free formula complements all skin tones and helps make-up stay in place. Contains a Vitamin E derivative, known to protect skin from free radicals.

Click here to visit the new Auckland Airport retail website and find out more about Benefit cosmetics.