This week we spot light Zeenat Wilkinson. Owner of Sauce magazine, pug mumma and total spiritual babe from Auckland, New Zealand.
This girlboss inspired us by self funding her own magazine and pursuing her dreams. Best way to describe her? A whole lot of Parisian chic mixed with a bit of spice, read more here…
How old are you? 32
What do you do for work?
I am the founder and editorial director of a beauty and style website called Sauce. (www.saucemag.co.nz). I am also a freelance stylist and a shoot producer.
Tell us a bit Sauce magazine and what was the inspiration behind creating it? Sauce is all about celebrating beauty in real life and representing a diverse range of voices. It was inspired by real women (Saucettes) that truly inspire us choices, whether it’s in fashion, politics, beauty, arts or music. I wanted to meet these women, and share their career trajectories (highs and lows) but also talk about their beauty routines and wellness hacks. I also wanted to create a space where we can collectively share our honest opinion, minus all the social media bs. You know, really breaking down it and make beauty simple and fun again.
Makeup artists, stylists and editors that I been working with for years (on editorial shoots) wanted to be involved with something like this, so we bought the domain, and the rest is history.
Where did the funds come from to fund it? Sauce is entirely self-funded. I decided to start small and slowly build it up. I have been fortunate enough to have the support of some of the most prominent stylists, photographers, beauty editors, and industry creatives from our very first shoot. I also received immense support from my friend and art director Theresa Frankovich when we first started. Currently the business is entirely self-funded but for the first year I was funding it with my styling and production jobs.
How would your friends describe you to someone who doesn’t know you? Probably silly? Funny (hope so!)? Sensitive? I am normally quite shy around new people. I am also quite spiritual and a total sci-fi geek. Matrix is my favourite film, so it’s pretty crazy in here sometimes. lol.
What are your top beauty products you swear by? I love… crème de La Mer. I didn’t get it at first when I started using it but now I have a real appreciation for the magic potion, especially during the dreadfully New Zealand winter months. Trick is to warm it up in my hands and then gently tap it rather than smearing it on. The application process is just as important as the goodness of La Mer. I hope my jar never finishes (a very generous PR gift), I am in big trouble when that happens! Shiseido All Day Brightener SPF 50+++ is a light moisturiser that deals with hyperpigmentation. My pigmentation seems to have quickly escalated soon as I got a pup (all those dog walks!). The cream is the only thing keeping it in check. The SPF 50 gives me double protected under the harsh NZ UV rays. Some of my other favourites are Clinique Dramatically Difference Moisturiser, WASO Shiseido cleanser, Even Lom cleanser and mask, Girl Uninterrupted Mask (but I also like to use it as a scrub too) and my current favourite budget buy is Neutrogena Micellar Cleansing Foam Wash (sometimes I just want to wash it all off and go to bed, and this cleanser is amazing at removing waterproof makeup in one wash).
Who/what influences you in your everyday life?
Women that are total trailblazers and go-getters. My eternal heroes: Michelle Obama, Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Artist Amrita Sher-Gil and Author Arundhati Roy to name a few. Also, there is a major shift in the paradigm with female authors lately. I love reading the work of Fariha Róisín and Durga Chew-Bose (author of Milk and Honey). I love the fact that Fariha isn’t afraid to talk about her cultural influence and fight the norm. She is always inspiring me with her work. From the world of fashion and beauty, I love Iris Apfel and Grace Coddington.
What is one of your guilty pleasures? Buying products! I know it’s crazy because I get sent so many PR gifts but I still love buying the next big cult serums, oils, etc.. I like to call it “research.” To be fair, there are some amazing skincare products on the market lately and some of them are not available in NZ; so I hunt them down on amazon or something and get them shipped. It’s my job to make sure we are featuring and reviewing the best products on the market, so although it’s a guilty pleasure its important for work (lol that’s right).
What does a day in your life look like (roughly)? Wake up, walk dog, work and then walk dog again. Shoot days are normally quite erratic. I am always on the go: fetching samples, driving to shoot locations and so on.
What is your daily ritual? Chanting! I have been a follower of Nichren Daishonin’s Buddism for four years now. This practice has transformed my life in so many ways. The chanting helps bring the focus back to things that are truly important to me. This is when the magic happens, and pure creativity shines through. I get my best ideas when I chant.I also love going to Rise for Hot Pilates. This place is like therapy, I feel so much calmer and happier after a class.