Friday Follies: Fresh Summer Fixes

Amaranth, embodying the redheaded henna ideal (via Creative Commons).

Amaranth, embodying the redheaded henna ideal (via Creative Commons).

High summer is fading into late summer, and something about a really good summer is inspiring many of us to a style refresh. Last year in Wellington, spring-cool-and-rainy segued into autumn-cool-and-rainy, leaving us trapped in the same clothes for months – I for one was in a rut. This year, I was digging out the summer frocks and the sunhats, and me and my friends were playing around with thrift store visits, private swaps, and you’d-look-great-in-this link exchanges.

Amidst the play, the most common style refrain I heard was: “This year, I have to dress more professionally.” The Cut had a series recently, “Uniforms that Work“, which is great for a professional refresh.

This was soon followed by, “And I have to get a grip on makeup.” Alison at Wardrobe Oxygen has done a superb post on her beauty routine: her result is subtly polished.  If you want to dive in the deep end, check out the New Zealand based blog Makeup Obsessives. Fantastic tutorials and reviews, focusing on products available here in NZ, and the team there really has fun – I laughed through these posts.

For those of us who have loved our makeup for a long time, not only can you melt lipstick ends down to get more bang for your beauty buck (and extend the life of beloved colors), but you can find little empty makeup jars at Japan City in Wellington and Lower Hutt, and in the chain Storage Box. Japan City is also my source for spoolie brushes and Japanese body scrub cloths.

Has your hennaed hair become too dark over time? You can lighten it a touch, back to coppery shades, if you’re willing to be slow and careful with Sun-In or Schwarzkopf Nordic Blonde lightening spray. These contain hydrogen peroxide solutions. Detailed instructions (and WARNINGS) are here. I did one round of this process and was delighted with the color results, though I did have to condition my way through a week of odd hair texture.


  1. I think this summer caught everybody by surprise. I had the same “oh god it’s too hot for my regular clothes” thing, and made a maxi skirt that I absolutely fell in love with. And yes, the hot summer gave me a nudge and set me off thinking about new things to do with clothes.


    • Mmmm, yes, maxis! I’ve been hauling out garments and shoes that were sitting there barely worn for 2, 3 years, and wearing them every week. And I bought some items in the US winter sales – when they arrived, I tried them on and said, “The good news is, they fit, the bad news is, so thick, so HOT, get them off of me!”


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