Welcome to our new series for May, Drop a Pin. In keeping with this month's theme, Byrd's Eye View, we'll be taking a tour of the year's top travel destinations—those places everyone on your Instagram feed seems to be visiting right now—and asking beauty-obsessed locals for their expert recommendations. From the best place to shop indie beauty brands, to the studios to sweat your way through the latest workout crazes via the brunch spots to be seen in, consider your holiday itinerary sorted.
We spoke to Monica Cronin, a New Zealand–born model who spends her life traveling around the world but can't help but enjoy coming back to her hometown of Auckland. Below, she shares with us the best nail bar the city has to offer, as well as the fitness craze New Zealanders are all over right now.
Where Do You Get Your Hair Cut in Auckland?
"I go to Darc Hair in Westmere. It's a small, dark salon with a cool feel to it. My hairdresser, James, has been cutting my hair for the past five years, and he really knows what he's doing. I always get exactly what I ask for, if not better! If I'm going to an event, Dry & Tea is such a cute spot also."
Where Do You Get Your Nails Done in Auckland?
"I get my nails done at Radiant Nails in Mount Wellington. It's a brand-new location and is sooo clean and tidy, which is why I'm a regular there, plus the girls who work there are so sweet."
Where Do You Shop for Indie Beauty Brands in Auckland?
"It doesn't have its own store, but Girl Undiscovered is one of the best beauty brands to come out of New Zealand. It encourages female strength, naturalness and imperfection, as well as using beyond-organic ingredients sourced from New Zealand and around the world. Their products can be found at Blush and True Food Yoga."
Where Are the Best Wellness Spots in Auckland?
"Huckleberry is my one-stop shop for all the highest-quality organic health foods, as well as Wise Cicada, which also offers a wide variety of organic, vegan beauty products. I don't know if it's considered a wellness store, but Be Pure in Ponsonby is a scientific, holistic health company that has played a dramatic part in improving my health and well-being. It also has its own range on supplements, which I take daily and highly recommend."
What New Fitness Studios Should We Check Out?
"At the moment, F45 is on the rise. It's an Australian brand that has recently landed in Auckland and is getting more popular by the day. It's a 45-minute class that consists of high-intensity circuit training that'll get you into shape in no time! Yoga is also super popular in Auckland, and luckily for us, there are new studios popping up all over the city. Rise Studio in Parnell offers my favourite heated vinyasa classes and an amazing teacher named Kiri, who will always make me sweat and leave feeling ready to take on the day."
Where Does the Best Facials in Auckland?
"There's a facial spa called The Facialist in City Works Depot. They have a holistic approach and customise facials to get the best result possible. I would choose the Organic Bespoke Facial but am also super curious to try the Yoga Facial.
Where Are the Best Brunch Spots in Auckland?
"Where do I start?! I believe Auckland has some of the best brunch spots in the world. My top three however are:
"Dizengoff—This café has been around before I was even born and offers the best eggs and mushrooms on toast I've ever had.
"Odettes Eatery—the yummiest breakfast menu, delicious coffee and a cool atmosphere.
"Best Ugly Bagels—I guarantee these are the best bagels you will ever eat, with toppings to suit any craving."
Looking for more travel beauty inspiration? We bet you didn't realise you could get these beauty treatments at the airport.