The Residents - A Date with Kate


I love having painted nails. They make me feel on top of life like nothing else. Do you know the feeling?

If I have my nails painted I feel like I can conquer anything. The trouble is (1) I bite my nails still (sorry, Mum) and (2) I find my nail polish never lasts long enough to keep up with my busy life. Enter, luxurious and sassy Wellington Beauty Spa, Elderberry + Kate.

The brainchild of owner Kate Coles + Jude Campbell, Elderberry+Kate is nestled in the heart of the city on the ground floor of the Spark building on Willis. Elderberry + Kate is a perfect place to go in Wellington when you need some time out from life, and they cater to almost all beauty needs, from waxing to facials. I, however, decided to try them out to find out whether they could solve my nail dilemma and help me find a way to make them last. 

I was greeted warmly by Kate herself, the owner of the salon. Elderberry + Kate has wholeheartedly embraced the marble obsession in their salon, and I was instantly taken with the beautiful interior space, reminding me of a glamorous Instagram apartment more than a beauty spa. I was shown into the nail room where the lovely Nicole laid out colours for me to view, from peach to mint. I chose a neutral peach that I thought would go with everything, but it really was a struggle. EVERY colour in the line of nail polish Elderberry + Kate use is appealing. You can even have a feature nail done if you want and Kate told me that soon they'll be adding jewels and diamantes for those who want to go super-glam (residents Jaye Glam Morgan would love it!).

I was given a delightful cup of herbal Libertine Blends tea and a small slice of ginger crunch while Nicole and I chatted and she applied my gel nails. The UV light that set the nails pinched a bit as it set, feeling slightly warm. However, Nicole assured me it was OK and that happened as the nails set - there was nothing to worry about except relaxing.

Nicole also told me about the great range of products at Elderberry + Kate: from Dermaviduals, Triumph & Disaster, Ginger&Me, the Victoria Curtis Collection + Bestow Supplements, as well as other exclusive product, ranges aligned with the luxury + holistic approach of Elderberry+Kate. This is super refreshing because each brand has been hand selected based on its merits, rather than the whole mass market label some spas use, investing in just one range. Kate clearly knows her beauty products and what works well. She has a history training girls at a Wellington beauty school, many of whom followed her to the salon. Trust and experience is the foundation of this new beauty business, which is so good when you want to make sure you are getting what you pay for.

When Nicole finished my nails I simply couldn't have been happier. They looked polished and glossy, just what I needed. And better still, the nail polish didn't budge.

After a quick Instagram photo, I was off on my way. After 3 weeks I am going back with my Mum to get my nails re-done at Elderberry + Kate. They simply lifted my mood and made be feel like I was in the driver's seat of my look, even on a busy day. I have found they've lasted well, although I was naughty and chipped them off in the last week. Best of all, my nails have actually strengthened because of the nourishing gel nail polish and are now longer and stronger than ever. I can't wait to go back this afternoon and have my nails re-polished. I'm sure with their new-found length, they'll be even better.

I couldn't recommend Elderberry + Kate highly enough if you are looking for a place to get makeup, beauty treatments or relaxing spa treatments done in the Capital. Elderberry + Kate may be new, and also have that modern magical-glam touch in everything from their price list to their decor, but they really have tried and tested everything and know the ropes inside out. Make sure you pop down and book in soon!

-The Residents