Mecca Maxima Haul and First Impressions

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my posts about the chaos that was the Christchurch Mecca Maxima opening.

In New Zealand we get our beauty fix from Mecca. We have Mecca Cosmetica (think Space NK – white, luxurious, $$$) which has been in Christchurch for as long as I have been here. It’s pretty awesome, covers all the bases (Nars, Dr Dennis Gross, By Terry, Bumble and Bumble and even Kate Somerville) and is well priced again overseas RRPs.

Last month Mecca Maxima opened its first NZ shop in Christchurch. Maxima is Cosmetica’s younger sister. Think Sephora – ‘cool’ brands, chaotic and an kick-ass aisle of doom (seriously – travel sized Kate Somerville Nourish. I die).

My office is about one minute’s walk from the new shop (dangerous, I know). I wandered down to check it out. The queues were insane. Poor girls ready to splurge their student loans, standing in pouring rain and gale force winds, queuing for a taste of Urban Decay and Too Faced, plus the much promoted free gifts (which were rumoured to include $500 vouchers and Urban Decay palettes. Some poor girl was running a live feed on the Mecca Facebook page from the queue, where she stood for about two and half hours. I think her entire experience from arrival to check-out was about five hours and she only got a free sample face scrub (I shouldn’t laugh). I decided to give it a final look at about 5pm and in some freak case of good luck the queue was tiny. I got in within 15 minutes, grabbed the things I knew I wanted and promptly found myself at the back of a 45 minute queue the till… I tell you it’s a miracle I didn’t throttle a school girl with her Chocolate Bar Palette and steal the wad of cash from her sticky teenage fists and she tried to jump the queue. It was painful.

HOWEVER, I stuck it out, picked up some things I’ve been lusting after for ages and scored a pretty decent freebie.

Oh- and then I went back the next day to, you know, ‘have a proper look’.


Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum: Ok, so this was the real reason I went in. Drunk Elephant is a brand I have been wanting to get my hands on since it first launched on Sephora, but couldn’t figure out how to get hold of it. Then I saw it creep into the routines of the Aussie beauty bloggers and then, low and behold, they announced it would be stocked in our new Mecca. No words…

I became interested in the product primarily because of the name (I LOVE elephants) and then I learnt the core ingredient of the range is marula oil, which I had tried and loved in the African Botanics range.

Obviously I want to try everything from the range at some point, but given that I have never used a vitamin C serum I plumped for C-Firma.

So, first impressions. I am loving this. I use it just in the morning, but as it contains marula oil it covers both the antioxidant and oil elements I would normally have in my AM routine so don’t worry about anything else except a moisturiser. It is definitely oily in texture but sinks in quickly and leaves a nice glow. It smells a little funky (as I believe vitamin C serums tend to) but it disappears almost instantly so it’s not an issue.

I’ve only been using it for three/four weeks but am really happy with how my skin is taking to it, so I am sure a full review will follow.

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel Pads: This was an aisle of doom purchase (I had enough bloody time to browse). But seriously, I nearly died when I saw this little five-pack of pads. I’ve never purchased them before because a full pack is pretty pricey, but I have had a sample and really like them. Each peel is individually wrapped and is actually two pads, making for a two step process. I like that the packaging makes them great for travelling and I really like that they are AHA and BHA. So happy to have these in my arsenal.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter: This was a day two purchase. Josie Maran is another new brand to arrive with Mecca Maxima and one I had never tried before. This body butter is decent as a moisturiser, but OH MY GOD the smell. They had two scents, Sweet Citrus and Vanilla Apricot, both of them are utterly ridiculously good. Sweet Citrus would have been my preference but they had sold out – Vanilla Apricot is also amazing. If you ever come across this stick your nose in it – you will be sold in an instant.

Skyn Iceland Face-Lift-In-A-Bag: This was another day two purchase and I think it was the novelty and the over-excitement of the whole ‘new-shop’ thing that enticed me. I’ve only used a sheet mask once before (Sarah Chapman) and it was really good. This kit comes with two of the below (so six separate packets). It’s designed to “erase fine lines and wrinkles” – I would say ‘plump’ as I am definitely sure its impossible to “erase” lines in 10 minutes. I left this on for about 20 minutes, and it was nice and cooling and left my skin feeling kind of smooth, but it didn’t look any better straight away or the following evening and it didn’t do anything to my hydration lines. It didn’t breakout me out so I will use the second set at some point, but I won’t be repurchasing.


Karuna Hydrating Face Mask: I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried this yet. I had every intention of doing so this week, but my skin has been playing up and I am reluctant to put an unknown entity anywhere near it! I’ll update this post once I’ve given it a go!



Too Faced Hangover Primer: This is the second thing I actually intended to buy. While probably not quite at cult status, this primer has strong following in the blogosphere. It claims to do what it says on the tin – make your face look like you’re not hungover. I am very rarely hungover these days (I’m 29 you know) so I’m not so interested in that side of things, but I AM interested in its claims to brighten and hydrate. I have to say I am surprised by how much I like this. My skin was going through a peeling phase after upping my retinol usage – so much so that by lunchtime my foundation was a patchy, flaky mess. This stuff is a miracle worker. Since using my skin remains hydrated, glowy and patch-free all day. Thumbs up. Don’t be put off by the teen-targeting packaging (well Two Faced’s branding full-stop) – this stuff is definitely worth checking out.

Too Faced Liquified Long Wear Lipstick: This was a freebie they handed out while we were in the queue. The colour (Peony) is a hideous a cool-toned pink – my boyfriend laughed out loud when I tried it on. The formula was ok, a little patchy but not too drying. It didn’t last that long on me (I wasn’t trying too hard to keep it in place), but lipsticks never do on me so that’s not to say it won’t be long-lasting for someone else. I can’t get past the colour of this I but I’ll never say never to trying it in better colour.

Bumble and Bumble Repair Blow Dry Cream: I’ve used this before and LOVED it, so when I saw this travel size I grabbed it. When I finished my last full size I decided to give the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day cream ago. I have got used to it now and it’s OK, but when I first started using it I remember hating it in comparison to the B&B. My next heat protector cream is going to be Kerastase because I have product voucher for my salon, but after that I will 100% go back to this guy. If you are in the market for this kind of product this would be my top pick.

Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette – This was the prize that made the queuing worth it. For their opening day Mecca had a prize wall for anyone that spent over $65 (which is about US$45/£36 – not hard to spend that!). And I bloody won a Naked palette. I already own the original Naked palette and always thought I would go for the 3 if I was ever to get another. The 2 has been a really nice surprise though. The colour selection is great – a mix of warm brown/golds, taupy/purply shades and some cooler colours. I usually steer clear of cool tones so this is a great chance to try some out. The 2 features Half Baked, which is also in the original – not sure why they did that. It also has Chopper which I have as a single.

Nearly all the covers have great pay-off, except Foxy (the pale yellow matte) and Pistol (the dark silver). I’m slightly gutted about Pistol as this is the most ‘un-me’ and I was excited about experimenting with it. My favourite shade has got to be Tease, the purpley/taupe matte that has made me obsessed with all matte looks. This was free so I was never going to be disappointed, but I am actually surprised by how much I like the colours. I am now totally lusting over the Naked Ultimate Basics matte mega-palette….

L-R: Foxy, Half Baked, Bootycall, Chopper, Tease, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol, Verve, YDK, Busted, Blackout
L-R: Blackout, Busted, YDK, Foxy, Half Baked, Bootycall, Chopper, Tease, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol, Verve






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