Put to the Test: Skintopia, Commercial Bay

STYLE editor Nicole Saunders visits Skintopia at the recently opened Commercial Bay precinct and discovers the game-changing skin treatment concept that’s
shaking up the Auckland beauty scene

If you’re anything like me, you’re already well aware of the benefits of regular skincare treatments. Squeezing them into an already hectic schedule is another matter entirely. Fortunately, for all those time-poor beauty buffs out there, the doors to Auckland’s first Skintopia location have officially opened.

Wellingtonians have been reaping the benefits of the game-changing concept since mid 2019 when founder and director Natasha Bourke decided that New Zealand’s beauty-treatment space could do with some fresh ideas. “The offering seemed mostly geared towards ‘anti-ageing’ and ‘beauty’ and ‘pampering’, and lacking in energetic, results-driven bespoke services,” explains Bourke.

With these criteria in mind, she designed Skintopia’s innovative treatment menu, doing away with many of the superfluous extras that we associate with beauty treatments and focusing instead on delivering real, noticeable results.


On my arrival at Skintopia, I’m greeted by my skin therapist, Jenna, who leaves no stone unturned when asking about my skin and my current beauty routine. There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment here, so Jenna talks me through the double-cleansing she’ll do in order to take a better look at my skin’s barrier and decide on the right treatment for me.

This bespoke approach not only increases the likelihood that you’ll see the results that you desire, it simplifies the whole experience. Anyone who’s perused the treatment menu at their favourite spa or clinic and struggled to make sense of the offering — let alone a decision — knows that the choice can be overwhelming. Happily, the experts at Skintopia take the hassle out of the equation.

The menu is straightforward, and the hard task of figuring out what’s best for your unique complexion is left to the talented Skintopia team —  as it should be. They are the skin experts, after all. Two ‘Cult Treatments’ are at the core of Skintopia’s treatment offering — Dermalogica Proskin30 and Proskin60. Pick one, and then ‘power-up’ or ‘supercharge’ it by adding one or two enhancements, such as microcurrent, hydrodermabrasion, LED light therapy or a contour masque.

True to Skintopia’s bespoke approach, there’s not a lot they can’t do. Dermal needling, the not-to-be-missed Dermalogica Pro Power Peel, eyebrow shaping, and massage are all on offer, too. A lot of the action happens in Skintopia’s first-of- its-kind Skin Lounge, which is where I receive my treatment. We’re accustomed to being whisked away into private rooms and soothed by tranquil soundtracks of crashing waves, so in flipping that traditional treatment experience on its head, Skintopia pushes me a little bit outside of my comfort zone.

It doesn’t take me long, however, to realise that the Skin Lounge concept is just what the Auckland beauty scene has been waiting for. While massages, fluffy robes and nature sounds might have their place in the beauty world, the reality of skin treatments is that for all the time and money we invest in them, most of us just want to see visibly improved skin.

At Skintopia, the focus is firmly on you and your skin’s health. And although the thought of having my makeup removed and facial performed in front of a bunch of strangers sounds a little scary, I forget about that aspect of it almost immediately. Jenna is so focused on my skin and talking me through my treatment that there’s no time to worry about what anyone else is doing. (There are, of course, private treatment rooms which are available for longer treatments, body treatments and those who desire a little more privacy).

Used to lengthy consultations and drawn-out treatments, I’m sceptical when Jenna tells me that the whole appointment — consultation included — will be done in 40 minutes. But, to my surprise, she has me out of there in record time, and that’s perhaps the best thing about Skintopia. At last, the days of being able to whip out for an effective, results-based treatment during your lunch break are here.

Auckland Level 2,  21 Queen Street, Commercial Bay

Wellington Lower  Ground Level,  Old Bank Arcade, 233 Lambton Quay

Find out more and book an appointment here.

How to Create the Perfect Brows According to an Expert

Not sure whether to pick up the tweezers or leave your brows as they are? We find out how to care for eyebrows according to Emmie Bryett, brow trainer at OFF&ON .

What are the dos and don’ts when it comes to shaping and caring for brows at-home?

Do use natural light, step back, reassess and brush your brows as you go. Tweeze in the direction of the hair, only remove a pinkie finger width between your brows and if in doubt leave it in.

Don’t use a magnifying mirror or touch the bulk of the brows – only the strays. Try not to trim at home or attempt to shape, simply maintain. Remove from the top of the brow.

What advice can you offer to someone who has been trying to let their brows grow back after over plucking?

This is the perfect time to ask for expert advice – go see a brow artist who can measure, work
through proportions and your best natural shape to help create the ‘scaffolding’ and framework for the brows for you to then continue to maintain.

Once you have the basis of your brow, maintaining comes through colour – either in salon or at home via product. You can maintain the shape through brushing and a hold product if needed e.g. gel or wax.

Should I attempt to colour my brows at home?

The answer to this I would say is similar to hair colour – you can absolutely use at home brow kits to colour your brows, however it will look more ‘block’ in colour and the tone may not be as balanced as you like.

Getting your brow colour done with a brow artist means you get a custom mix, as there is
an eye to getting the depth right and there are also more long-lasting options e.g. henna. We can also work with concepts such as skin stain to help create the overall brow look you want.

Why are some brow-related dilemmas best left to the professionals?

Our brows look seemingly small in proportion to the hair on our head, however, they are on our face and have a role in balancing the look of our features. Even the smallest change can make a huge difference to this.

It is hard to have perspective and context when doing them yourself as you look at
your face every day and don’t necessarily see what others see. Our job is to stand back and create a brow that works for you and with you. There are also a lot of tips and tricks we have up our sleeve other than taking away hair to achieve this!