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Five minutes with: Karen Murrell

By Nicole Saunders

Five minutes with: Karen Murrell
We catch-up with New Zealand's very own lipstick queen, Karen Murrell.

Tell us a little bit about the philosophy behind Karen Murrell Lipstick.

When I set out to create Karen Murrell Lipsticks my core philosophy was that I didn’t want to sacrifice quality for being natural. I set out with a labour of love to make products which perform as well as, if not better than, the more traditional synthetic and mineral oil-based lipsticks.

When designing my lipsticks I worked on 1) touch, it must glide on; 2) smell, it must smell great; 3) wear, it must wear well and not rub off easily; 4) hue, I like strong natural hues that do not change from person to person.

I also wanted to ensure that my lipstick colours were on trend like any international cosmetic house. I am very instinctive about the colours that I introduce to my collection. Each season I test my newly designed colours for a period of time before I release them to ensure that the colour is right and will be adored when they are produced.

Your lipsticks really reflect New Zealand’s clean green ethos – something that’s important to a lot of Kiwis. Why do you think New Zealand women are so passionate about natural beauty products?

For most New Zealand women, natural beauty, along with heath and food, is not new. We have grown up with it and it has also been passed on from generation to generation. I still remember as a little girl my grandmother making all her own skincare. She would show me how to cut the plants and how her mother showed her how to make creams and balms.

Because of our isolation to the rest of the world, we have had to (out of necessity) nurture our island and cultivate what was around us to survive. It is only through this that we have become creative and developed a major natural beauty industry along the way which provides us with an array of beautiful natural New Zealand options to nurture and care for our skin.

I also think that New Zealand women have a more relaxed outlook to beauty. We love to dress up, however we are very comfortable lounging on the beach or out on the boat with a natural look. We are never without a great hydrating lipstick and natural SPF product.

 The New Zealand landscape is a great source of inspiration for you. Tell us about some of your favourite spots around the country that inspire you.

So many things inspire my lipstick creations, especially the New Zealand landscape – nature produces the most breathtaking colours of all.

It is vitally important to my creative process to have nature on my doorstep. I live on the most beautiful beach in New Zealand called Takapuna Beach and over the years Takapuna Beach has gifted me with inspiration throughout the varying New Zealand seasons.

For example, the beach is lined with Pohutakawa trees, a New Zealand natural icon which produces vibrant red flowers at Christmas time. When they are in bloom on mass they are extremely captivating. This led me to draw inspiration from this breathtaking natural beauty for my first red lipstick called Red Shimmer.

What’s your secret to inner and outer beauty?

Inner happiness will always shine on the outside.

What are three beauty products you always have in your handbag?

Mini products. I am not into lugging the kitchen sink around. I have a mini mirror, foundation/ powder and of course my Karen Murrell Natural Lipsticks that I also use as a blusher.

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