Giorgio Armani's counter at Smith & Caughey's is themed around their most popular lipstick shade. Photo / Supplied.

Auckland Steps Up Its Beauty Offering To A Whole New Level Of Luxury

Armani's new cosmetics counter and Mecca's plans for a new beauty emporium

Luxury beauty brand Giorgio Armani Fragrances & Beauty has taken over a prime position in Smith & Caughey’s for its first beauty boutique in New Zealand. Viva has had a sneak peek inside the Queen St store and can reveal that the impressive red lacquer counter is a fitting showcase for the prestige cosmetics, skincare and perfume. 

Wellington's Mecca store is a beauty lovers dream come true. Photo / Supplied.

The sizeable Queen St counter opens to the public on Friday after a flash evening launch party. The counter has been exactly matched to an iconic Armani lipstick shade, Rouge #400. It is one of the most modern Armani retail designs worldwide and has been made to exacting specifications from Europe. Customers will be able to play at a range of stations designed to make discovering the coveted cosmetics more of an experience. For those who prefer in person guidance, Giorgio Armani face designers will be available for expert advice.

A bespoke fragrance section at Mecca Wellington is decorated in a parlour room style. Photo / Supplied.

Find out more about the Armani approach to beauty, by reading Viva’s exclusive story with the brand’s international makeup artist Linda Cantello.

For both L’Oreal Luxe, which had brought Armani to New Zealand and Smith & Caughey’s which is stocking it exclusively initially, the launch is a sizeable investment, but one the companies believe is merited based on the local appetite for luxury beauty brands. The expansion of beauty in the department store continues apace, with new brands being added to the mix.

From Mecca Max to Too Faced and everything in between, Wellington's Mecca is home to a number of high-end and high street beauty brands. Photo / Supplied.

The counter features display panels of fabric swatches in varying shades and textures to echo foundation finishes and link to Armani’s couture collections. 

Queen-sized expansion
The former Topshop site further down Queen St is also becoming a beauty emporium, with Australian operator Mecca transforming the key site on the corner of Victoria St into its second New Zealand mega-store.  A week after the opening of Mecca’s first combined store on Lambton Quay, Wellington, bringing together the best approaches of its Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Maxima stores, the company has told Viva that the Auckland concept store opening won’t be far away.

The counter is themed around dress codes, extending to lips, eyes and face. Photo / Supplied.

We can reveal that mid-September is the expected opening date, with work well underway. The store will be known simply as Mecca and will retail 100+ brands for beauty junkies, along with providing make-up services. The existing Mecca Maxima store further down Queen St will close, with the new location offering twice the floor space.

VIP media attended the opening of the counter last night at Smith & Caughey's, where makeup artist Lochie Stonehouse created this bespoke Armani beauty look. Photo / Supplied.

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