You can wear highlighter without looking like a disco ball.
Moderation is boring, but you really can have too much of a good thing. The negroni is a perfect cocktail, but enjoy too many and you’re contacting everyone you ever dated to tell them exactly what you think of them.
I enjoy two or three coffees a day, but more than that and my hands shake. It’s about knowing your limits.
The same is very, very true with makeup, as anyone who’s accidentally gone full Winehouse while trying to even out their winged liner will tell you.
Preventing those moments is a mix of technique and product choice, and today I’d like to talk about them both in the context of that oft-abused substance known as highlighter.
While social media has democratised the beauty world, it’s also given rise to a style of makeup that looks great in photos and extremely high-key in real life. You know the type, and I’ve whinged about it before: carved out, super-solid brows, matte lips, a heavy contour, and highlighter that can be seen from space.
Everyone should wear exactly as much or as little makeup as they feel best in, but I think illuminating products are much more flattering when used sparingly.
One of the true originals here is Bobbi Brown, and that brand’s Highlighting Powder works hard for its $110 price tag. That’s too much to spend on a product you don’t absolutely love, so do try it in store first, but there’s a very good chance its super-smooth texture, buildable application and flattering glow will win you over. Pop this on with a mid-size fluffy brush and step back regularly so you know you’re not going too hard.
Similarly lovely and significantly cheaper is Stila’s Heaven’s Hue Highlighter, $51. This is popular with the Instagram set, so it can do the disco ball effect, but applied lightly, you’ll just get that lit-from-within look we’re all after. It’s available in eight shades, and is also great as an eyeshadow.
For fans of a cream product, RMS Magic Luminizer, $60, is a must-try. Cousin to the brand’s hugely popular Living Luminizer, this is a rosier, warmer shade. It’s just as blendable and natural, though, so tap on with fingers and fill your boots.
Sundays in Ireland are as big as a Friday night. Everyone goes to the pub in the afternoon. Maybe it’s the fear of a Monday. After I left school here, I jumped on a plane and returned to Ireland. I was there for 14 years – in Dublin, then in Galway for six years. Every Sunday morning, I would get up and have a great big Irish breakfast – bacon and eggs, and black and white pudding. I’d often have a dip in the harbour to shake off the night before. Around 2pm, I would play a traditional music session in an Irish pub. I started this event called the Salthouse Sunday sessions at a pub in Galway, where musicians would gather and play. It’s still going today. In the evening, I’d find a music session to go and watch.
My Sundays in Wellington are completely different and all about family. On Sunday, I let Josie have a sleep in. She gets up early during the week to go to work and I do the morning shift with Odie before I go off. Odie and I are usually up by 6am on a Sunday, and we start the day watching spearfishing videos on YouTube. Odie loves any screen time so
I save it for spearfishing videos with Dad on a Sunday morning!
I’ve been obsessed with fishing from about the age of 4, when I made my first rod with a bamboo stick, a thread and a paper clip.
I started freediving when I was about 14 here in Wellington, going out into the harbour with one of Dad’s friends. You hold your breath and go down with a spear gun, attached by rope to a buoy at the surface. You dive down as far as 20 metres plus. It’s like an enforced meditation in a way because everything is about the breath. You’re down 20m and gasping for breath, you’re not thinking about tax returns. At the end of the day, I feel so calm and I sleep so deeply.
I’ve got three younger brothers and they all dive like me. We might be out there for six hours. I come back with kingfish, john dory, crayfish, kahawai, scallops, depending where we go. On the way home, we usually sneak in a beer at the Parrotdog Bar in Lyall Bay and then head home to fillet the fish. In the winter, I cook up the fish in a red curry and in summer, maybe fish tacos with some chipotle mayo and fresh lettuce from the garden.
At 9am on a Sunday, we’re first at the door when our local cafe Zany Zeus opens. They do these $5 halloumi sandwiches. They are the best. Odie eats a big halloumi scone and drinks a fluffy. When we get back home, we try to get out for a family walk, either down the Hutt River, or up the new track behind Te Whiti Park in Waiwhetu. It’s a 4km walk up to the top through stunning native bush and views of Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Odie loves going to the park or chasing seagulls on the beach. She loves having both of us home at the weekend.
Mum loves spontaneously inviting half the country for dinner. She has this open door policy so often we’ll go to her house on Sunday and there’ll be 20 people there for dinner, and a sings-song after. For her 60th birthday, Mum and I did an album together.
I’m a bit of a night owl. When bubs goes to bed, we usually watch an episode from a current series on Netflix. We’ve just finished Ozark. I’ll go to bed around midnight or 1am, and plan my week. I’ll listen to some new bands I am checking out for CubaDupa or Coastella or the NZ Irish Fest. I look through 500-plus applications for bands each year, often in a condensed period.
Music is a huge part of my life – it’s my job and my hobby. I’ve got a couple of Sunday playlists. We’ll listen to Lou Reed or Billie Holiday. Sometimes I’ll have a Bob Dylan Sunday. Odie will say: “Is that Bob Dylan, Dad?” And I’ll say: “Yeah.” And she’ll say: “Can we listen to Alice the Camel?”
Leaving is one of your options but, chances are if you do that, you will find yourself in this situation again. It depends on what matters to you: sure you want a pleasurable love life, but will it be OK to have a series of shorter-term relationships throughout your life? If not, then set your mind to learning about yourself or selves if your partner shares your sense of boredom. I think the seven-year itch term comes from the discovery of many couples that intimate relationships don’t look after themselves. Stella Resnick, author of The Pleasure Zone, says vitality comes from the willingness to take pleasure in moment-by-moment experience. It sounds like you’re only half
Kowtow Panel dress, $279
Photos: Robert Kitchin