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24 Mar 2016
Let's make one thing clear about the new makeup store Mecca Cosmetica. It is not the destination if you are after a secret santa gift, or even a stocking filler (am I correct in assuming other people's stockings contain a scratchie, an orange and a some bath cubes?). But if you are after an upmarket body or makeup treat Mecca really lives up to its name.
Mecca in Wellington used to be confined to a corner spot in the makeup emporium in Kirkcaldie & Stains. But now Mecca has opened a store just across the road to tide us over while we (im)patiently await David Jones.
When I walked in I was immediately relieved to see the staff here weren’t wearing those white clinician's coats you see in so many makeup stores these days. I guess the aim there is to add a touch of gravitas or make you think your money is being spent in the attainment of good health and wellbeing? Personally, I find it a little too medicinal for my liking.
So, lets get down to the nitty gritty.
What is it that sets Mecca apart from any other makeup counter? As a MAC loyalist, I thought it going to be hard for a new shop to convert my allegiance. But I soon realised my loyalty comes pretty cheap. In my defence, Mecca almost seems like a mini-department store in itself. They have their own perfumeria, which stocks the likes of Comme des Garçons and Byredo. And on the opposite side of the store they have a whole section dedicated to your hair. Tanning products, body products. You name it. I half expected to turn around and see an ice-cream parlour in the back corner.
As for the brands, there’s an abundance and the common denominator is quality. Names like By Terry, Stila, and EVE LOM were a few that stuck out in my mind. Also, don’t overlook Mecca's own brand. It is less expensive than the other lines in the store and very highly regarded.
But my real admiration for Mecca came from my experience with the staff. Armed with more tools than your average tradie, the staff here gave me a genuine face enhancement experience. The only thing that felt vaguely like a medical experience was a thorough diagnosis of what would be best for my skin. I know makeup vlogs are all the rage these days, but personally I've never seen the appeal of frantically pausing YouTube with one hand while slapping makeup over my face with the other. At Mecca you get the same tutorial, just with a little less foundation over your keyboard.
Basically, Mecca are in the business of making things easy. A combination of experienced staff and catalogues full of Mecca 'pro-tips' ensures everyone can achieve the right look, even those not totally makeup forward. Plus, the added benefit is that you can blindly guide your (insert anyone willing to buy me a gift here...) and know that they will come out with something fab.