Five minutes with: Soraya Hendesi

Why did you choose to combine ingredients derived from the biotech lab with natural ingredients?

To have used only natural ingredients would have denied our customers the most effective anti-ageing ingredients known.

How are the products anti-ageing?

Snowberry works in three ways – first it provides outstanding moisturisation through a blend of very beautiful natural emollients, such as Cloudberry, Strawberry seed, Lingon berry, and Neem, in combination with natural biosaccharide gums that help the skin to retain moisture without blocking the skin’s pores – as some silicone compounds will do.

Second, using a combination of anti-oxidants such as Retinol Vitamin A, Idebenone and Ubiquinone, Snowberry actively combats free radicals, which are the unstable molecules most often caused by excessive exposure to sunlight and which are primary agents in skin cellular damage.

Finally, and this is where Snowberry may differ most from virtually every other brand of skincare, the creams and serums contain a complex cascade of extraordinary peptides. Peptides are naturally occurring compounds (generally synthesised for skincare products) that link two or more amino acids, which are actually the building blocks of proteins.

In the skin, it has been discovered that peptides act as messengers to stimulate natural cellular growth and repair. Peptides are simply essential ingredients in any highly functional anti-ageing skincare formula.

What are some of the most unusual ingredients in the range and what are they good for?

Snowberry contains more than 130 ingredients and most, for one reason or another, are unusual. While Snowberry is quintessentially New Zealand, it contains natural herbal oils from all around the world.

For me, it was never a question of saying, what do we have here in New Zealand or what can we grow here, it was always, what is the best that can be obtained, from anywhere. That is a very important part of our philosophy.

Are all the ingredients in your products sustainably derived?

We require from our suppliers assurance that their ingredients are sustainably harvested and further, that they are, or are working towards becoming carbon neutral.

Snowberry is a carbon neutral certified enterprise and that commitment to being environmentally sustainable carries over into everything we do, including using vegetable inks in our printed materials and containing our products in polypropylene rather than glass (since polypropylene produces 20 per cent less greenhouse gas than does the manufacture and recycling of glass).

Five minutes with: Nicky Shore

With a history in beauty marketing, Nicky Shore worked on major beauty brands for both Unilver in Sydney and L’Oreal in the UK and New Zealand before setting up OFF Wax/Brow Bar, a specialist waxing destination where a wax is more treat than torture.

Where did the idea for a salon that specializes in waxing only come from?

Like most women, waxing has always been one of my monthly maintenance essentials, however, the experience was invariably unpleasant and something I would dread, unlike other maintenance treats, such as a haircut.

Whilst overseas I’d experienced the benefits of going to a specialist waxer and witnessed the rise of beauty “bars” – nail bars, brow bars and even blow dry bars.

Coupled with this, I have always been passionate about how a great brow shape can instantly improve your look. 

So when back in New Zealand I researched the idea of specialising in waxing and brow shaping.

What are some pre-wax suggestions?

Let your hair grow out at least half to one cm. This will guarantee the most effective treatment. Gently exfoliate your skin before your appointment.

If you’re worried about sensitivity, take a couple of Panadol an hour before your appointment.

Before and after your appointment, hold off getting that bronzed look from a tanning bed for 24 hours. And do not between waxes.

And post-wax suggestions?

Our motto is exfoliation, exfoliation, exfoliation. The best thing you can do to prevent ingrown hairs is to exfoliate your skin using a mitt or scrub. This removes dead skin cells, helps the hair to break through the skin and free trapped ones. 

Also specialist products designed to target ingrown hairs are very effective, like PFB Vanish or La Clinca Gly C moisturiser which speed up the exfoliation process. 

A golden rule is never to pick at ingrown hairs as this can make them worse or even lead to serious infections – always seek professional advice on these.   

Also we advise clients to wait 24 hours post their wax before exercising, going into the sun/using a solarium, or applying make-up, deodorant or exfoliating the skin.

What is the benefit of removing the hair by using hot wax as opposed to strip wax?

We use hot wax to achieve the best result for terminal hair like underarm and bikini/brazilians.

When used on these areas it is generally less painful, more effective at removing the hair from the follicle, resulting in less hair breakage and less likelihood of ingrown hairs.

Please explain the concept of the brow bar?

The OFF brow bar is designed to be a specialist and funky environment for shaping and enhancing brows. Having a brow bar at the front with barber style seating optimises natural light and creating the right shape for the individuals face (rather than having your brows shaped upside down on a bed) and also means we can educate clients how to take ownership of their brows. 

We use a combination of specialist techniques to cater from the 15 minute maintenance to a brow wow package, where we do a specialist consultation with advice on shape, custom colouring and cosmetic enhancement. 

We also use and stock a specialist range of brow products from the US – Billion Dollar Brows – to help people enhance and maintain their brows themselves at home.   

What difference does well-maintained brows make to a face?

Brows are the hidden grammar of the face and today, define personal style. Not just a frame for your eyes, brows are as much a part of self expression as hair, makeup and fashion.

Well-maintained brows should complement a person’s face shape, hair colour, facial features and fashion sense.

No longer just the domain of the quick tidy, a professional brow shape can really change a women’s look as much as a new lipstick.

What is a big no-no when it comes to the brows?

There are a few common issues we work with.

Overplucked/skinny brows – snails are good for the garden but not for the face. A lot of clients have the frustration of overplucked/thin brows which never recover so we work with them to create the illusion of a fuller, more natural brow.

Uneveness – we say that brows are sisters and not twins just like our face is never symmetrical, so it is important to ensure that brows are as evenly matched as possible in length, arc and thickness.

Incorrect colour – we recommend a custom blend tint to match skin and hair tone.

Lack of knowledge – it’s amazing what specialist brow products can correct and enhance, to fill gaps, tame wayward hairs, extend length and enhance colour.

Learning which products to use and how to apply them can only take five minutes but make such a difference.