Smooth and hydrate your body with these six new arrivals

We spend so much time and effort nurturing the skin on our faces we sometimes overlook the rest of our skin, especially when it’s covered with winter layers. Resolve to do better with the large number of new body care items that take tips from our favourite facial skincare products. 

With ingredients like hyaluronic acid, smoothing AHAs and botanical extracts, they quickly transform dry, ashy skin into glowing, smooth and nourished skin, just in time for the arrival of warmer weather.

Sand & Sky’s Tasmanian Spring Water Wonder Body Lotion, $69.90

A drink of water for your skin, this lightweight lotion uses Tasmanian spring water to fortify the skin’s natural moisture barrier with a well-balanced source of calcium, magnesium and essential minerals. Fermented sea kelp from the waters near the island state is included to promote and maintain youthful-looking skin and three types of hyaluronic acid aim to quench, replenish and smooth even the roughest dry patches.

First Aid BeautyKP Smoothing Body Lotion With 10% AHA, $49

If you experience keratosis pilaris, or those tiny bumps over your skin, particularly the upper arms, that are sometimes referred to as ‘chicken skin’, this is a good option to try. Those bumps are formed by keratin (a protein in the skin) building up within the hair follicle and blocking it, causing small, rough bumps. It’s more common in the winter months when we’ve been wearing heavy layers, but regular use of an exfoliating lotion or gentle scrub can help. This one contains 10% Lactic Acid (AHA) to effectively resurface the top layer of skin, helping to reduce the appearance of those bumps associated with keratosis pilaris. It also has urea, colloidal oatmeal and ceramides, to soothe and hydrate and works great to prep legs and feet for the summer months too! Do be aware AHA’s can cause skin to be more susceptible to the sun so make sure you apply SPF  if the skin will subsequently be exposed outdoors.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Dream Body Cream, $45

The jury’s out over weather this smells like juicy real slices of fresh melon or the flavoured-lolly equivalent, but if you like a sweet scent, slather on this cream that also has extracts of the fruit and seed to hydrate and natural hibiscus AHAs to gently slough dry flakes. 

Anihana Peach Smoothie Sugar Scrub Bar, $6.99

This Kiwi brand is a great way to get on board with the plastics-free beauty bar movement. Anihana, has been recently renamed from it’s previous incarnation Ahhh… and boasts some beautiful and bold new packaging (the cardboard is compostable too!) To smoothe and revive dry winter skin on your body, try running this sugar scrub bar over your limbs in a circular motion for an invigorating exfoliation. The included coconut oil leaves skin soft too.

Sisley Black Rose Beautifying Emulsion, $225

For the luxury lovers among us, or perhaps those that need a little motivation to apply a body product, Sisley’s new body lotion is a must-try. In 2011 after studying the benefits of a particular rose, Sisley launched its Black Rose Cream Mask which has gone on to significant popularity (some might say icon status!) for its hydrating and radiance boating talents. Now many of the elements in that product have been transformed into this silky body ‘veil’, or lightweight lotion intended to soften and hydrate skin and encourage its elasticity. In particular, Camelina oil rich in essential fatty acids (omega-3, 6 and 9) helps maintain skin’s natural lipid balance. It also smells divine, with a modern rose scent that elevates the product well beyond your standard body lotion. 

Drunk Elephant Sugared Koffie Almond Milk Scrub, $45

Dry elbows, knees and heels are a bane at this time of year. This body scrub makes short work of them, buffing away dryness with raw sugar and finely ground coffee beans while delivering a blend of passionfruit, marula, jojoba, and coconut oils rich in vitamins and omegas plus almond milk, all of which leaves skin soft silky and supple and smelling like a latte. 


Meet the Taranaki chef championing the simple comforts of handmade pasta

Renowned chef Carl Maunder and partner Jade Lucas recently swapped Dubai for New Plymouth, where they quickly established themselves on the local dining scene, taking on not one but three restaurants, including the 90s-influence State Bistro. 

When the COVID pandemic hit, Carl Maunder and Jade Lucas were living in Dubai. Maunder, an experienced chef, was heading up Sean Connolly’s new restaurant at the Dubai Opera. Lucas had just found out she was pregnant with her second child. In the space of a couple days, they packed up their life and flew back to New Zealand, arriving the day the country went into its first lockdown.

Living with Maunder’s parents in New Plymouth, the pair had no real plan to stay in the city or open a restaurant there. But a chance run-in with friend and hospitality entrepreneur Craig MacFarlane led them to a new opportunity to buy in on three hospitality businesses on New Plymouth’s ‘State Corner’ in the CBD. They hashed out a deal and a few months later, took charge of Joe’s Garage, Little Glutton and Gover St Bistro.

With Joe’s Garage running smoothly as a franchise, Maunder and Lucas set their sights on transforming the Asian-fusion Little Glutton into a handmade pasta eatery, now named State Pasta. The refit gave Maunder, who had led up a number of new restaurants for other notable chefs, an opportunity to lead his own passion project for the first time. Number one dish on the list? Pasta, of course.

“It’s one of the earliest foods I learned to cook. As well as it being a comfort food, it’s a comforting thing to make. Working with your hands, it’s tactile. I find it quite relaxing – it’s like my happy place.” They built State Pasta in just six weeks, renovating and painting the space, bringing new furniture in, designing the menu and honing in on the brand.

With her background in marketing and communications, Lucas took charge of the brand identity and marketing side. Building the menu gave Maunder an opportunity to bring together all his favourite ingredients he’d collected throughout his travels, as well as finding local New Zealand suppliers, like clams from Blenheim’s Cloudy Bay and macadamias grown up the road in the Kaitake Range.

With a selection of antipasti and homemade pasta served with fresh focaccia and artisan gelato, the menu embraces the comfort of good food, made with simple and quality ingredients. “State Pasta offers a modern approach to the style, while keeping the soul of what makes simple pasta like this so good – care and craftsmanship,” says Maunder.

Beginning his career as a kitchen hand in Wellington, Maunder quickly moved up in the culinary scene, working alongside top chefs such as Simon Gault, Sean Connolly and Mark Hix, and honing his skills in award-winning restaurants in New Zealand, Singapore, London and Australia.

While gruelling work, Maunder says he loves the joy he creates for other people as a chef, a passion nurtured from a young age. “Both my grandmothers were keen cooks and had really good tried and true standards. I loved weekend trips to their house for family dinners, with home baking, Sunday roasts and apple pie,” he recalls.

Quality ingredients were the cornerstone of family cooking, his grandfather a keen gardener who grew tomatoes in a glasshouse. Maunder’s mother, an experimentalist in the kitchen, encouraged him to “give anything a go”, trying new flavours, recipes and cuisines. “This is something I still work on now in the kitchen, with a lot more experience and research though. We bring ideas to life with trial and error, and always give it a go.”

Taking on one new business during a global pandemic, let alone three, is a big undertaking, but Maunder admits he thrives off the pressure. “I’ve always needed a bit of a challenge,” he says, recalling his early days as a chef working long hours in the kitchen at London’s famous celebrity hotspot Le Caprice. “We had a six-week waiting list and were full to the brim every lunch and dinner. It was really intense, I thought ‘am I going to survive this?’ but after a week, I had it down. It taught me to always back myself.”

Now, Maunder has Lucas to back him up as well. It’s the first time they’ve gone into business together and the couple say they enjoy bringing their different skills to the business. “It’s a good dynamic because we’re focused on different parts of the business. Jade’s skill set gives us a good edge in terms of marketing and communications,” says Maunder.

With two young kids, Lucas says she loves not having to keep up the long hours of the corporate world, and instead, focus on building relationships within their three restaurants. “We’re able to work on meaningful things and enjoy working together,” she says. “We get to keep a big slice of family life, which is really what it’s all about.”

The pair have recently refitted another New Plymouth restaurant, State Bistro, previously known as Gover St Bistro. Inspired by the bistros of the late 90s and early 2000s, Maunder wanted to capture the rebellious spirit of his early days in the London culinary scene, while honouring the cooking techniques he learned.

“There’s a huge trend of neo-bistronomy these days, which is great, but I really wanted to get back to the classic dishes and sauce-making techniques, like bouillabaisse, dressed crab and steak tartar,” he says.

The space, with its leather banquettes and marble bar, lends itself to the bistro feel, while the relaxed atmosphere and music pay homage to the rebels and misfits of the kitchen.

“We’re using vinyl records. The kind of music the chefs would be listening to while making the food, not what was in the restaurant. We’re bringing that back of house to the front and celebrating it,” says Lucas. “The clientele these days are people our age. They were the teens of the 90s and we want to reconnect with that. We don’t want to take ourselves too seriously, we want to have fun.”

After years abroad, Maunder and Lucas have relished the opportunity to slow down and enjoy their first summer in New Zealand in a long time. “Seeing the wildflowers when you walk to the beach and hearing the cicadas, all these little things feel very nostalgic after being away,” says Lucas.

“It’s so refreshing to be back among kiwis, people have been so welcoming. It’s something you don’t think about when you’re overseas, but you notice it when you come back.”