Thanks for my frankie subscription this month, I popped down to kit cosmetics for a 45 minute complementary makeover (normally $45).

kit is from the same stable of cosmetics companies as Mecca Cosmetica and while it has a similar strategy of sourcing niche international skincare and cosmetics brands, it’s aimed towards a younger market and lower price point. You can tell from its irreverant and brightly coloured branding, the latest music from the ipod and the edgy looking staff members.

The founder of both companies, Jo Horgan, hails from the UK, and many of the brands are familiar to me from my time there, including Greek company Korres, natural skincare company Origins (who used to have standalone concessions in Australia but is now exclusively stocked at kit), high street favourite Soap & Glory and the multi-purpose Steamcream which comes in covetable limited edition tins (great stocking fillers, I think).

The day I was booked in for my makeover was also a day where the fire alarms went off, so everyone had to evacuate. Luckily I hadn’t started my makeover before the alarm and didn’t have to troop out with half-done makeup, but as a result of everyone rushing back into the store afterwards, I had to wait quite a while before someone was free from the till and able to do my makeup.

That unavoidable quibble aside, the experience was quite good. Not every staff member is a makeup artist at kit – Wade was actually a skincare consultant but told me that every staff member picks up makeup skills. He asked me what I wanted from the look (heightened natural for photography), considered suitable options and went to work for 45 minutes, starting with a range of photo studio cosmetics from Smashbox (foundation, colour primer, concealer plus shadows and blush). I was a bit scared by the amount of eye makeup I had on but Wade assured me that it’d look good in pictures. You can judge for yourself here :–).

The makeup was finished off with a really lovely sheer lipstick called Saint Rouge from Poppy King’s new range Lipstick Queen. If I hadn’t received the makeover for free the rather pricey $33.95 lipstick would have been my redeemable purchase against the $45 makeover fee.

Given my makeovers at both Mecca Cosmetica and kit recently, I think I’d pick Mecca Cosmetica. The atmosphere in the latter was more sedate as it was in a standalone store and the ambience was more towards ‘luxury’ than ‘fun and frivolous’.  Also at Mecca I didn’t feel like the person’s attention was being drawn away to the till or other sales enquiries, although that may have been the difference between a Saturday afternoon and weekday lunch hour appointment. All in all I think both places give a good quality makeover if you’re going to buy some product anyway.