LIFE | Kmart Petone is open

Kmart Petone is open and has a bunch of affordable beauty buys, like the ELF Foundation Blurring Brush and brow razors.
Kmart opened in Petone (my neighbourhood) two weeks ago and I’ve already been twice! I haven’t bought anything special—someone asked what I’d bought and I struggled to remember, because it was mostly impulse buys of cheap shit (more on that in a moment) but there are a few useful things I picked up.

There are arguments for and against Kmart. It’s very cheap. It’s open until midnight. In the past few years they’ve been very on-trend with homewares in particular, making it very affordable to decorate your house to look like an IKEA catalogue.

Their clothing is decent and very, very cheap; and despite what you might think about how it’s made so cheaply, Kmart ranks highly in the latest Ethical Fashion Report (pdf link). It appeals to me, but I can especially see how a store like Kmart would really benefit lower-income families in New Zealand.

On the other hand, Kmart is full of crap, and because it’s such cheap crap, it’s harder to resist spending your money on it. Things are poorly made and plastic-y, not built to last. The clothing is largely polyester or other man-made fibres, neither comfortable to wear nor good for the environment. You end up with the issue described in the Boots Theory (although that’s more of an issue with an unbalanced economy, not Kmart’s fault). And then, Kmart is owned by an Australian conglomerate, so your money’s not even staying in New Zealand like it would be if you shopped at The Warehouse.

What I’m saying here is that I’m not blindly singing Kmart’s praises. I’m not recommending you go there for a shopping spree, or switch to buying all your clothes there. It hasn’t replaced the other places I’d usually shop for things, but there are some things that are more convenient to buy at Kmart than elsewhere.

A ridiculous pink faux sheepskin rug, $22

I went back and forth about whether to buy this. I’d really rather have a ridiculous pink real sheepskin rug, but none of those had presented themselves to me (and I’m sure they wouldn’t be $22). Plus, I figured if I got sick of taking makeup photos with it, my cat would love it.

ELF Selfie Ready Blurring Foundation Brush, $15

I’ve been wanting to try this brush for a while, but it’s a bit hard to get here—we can’t shop easily from the Ulta or US ELF websites, and this specific brush isn’t sold on iHerb. After trying it with a few different foundations, I’m pleased to report that this brush is virtually identical to the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and other similar “buffing” foundation brushes. It’s a good pick if you’re in New Zealand, where the RT brush is $30, or if you’re in the States, where ELF is super cheap.

Eyebrow razors, $5

So, I slated the most popular use of these razors (shaving your face so your foundation looks better) but I actually really like them for one thing: shaving my upper lip. I’m too lazy for regular waxes and can’t be bothered faffing with hair removal cream, but a quick run over the ol’ moustache with a mini razor is instant and painless. These aren’t quite the “$1 for three razors” bargain you can get on eBay, but they’re much handier if you need (think you need) one in a hurry.

4 shower caps, $2.50

I don’t know why I bought 4 shower caps. Well, I only wanted one (I’m planning on trying that L’Oreal Colourista business that everyone’s been paid to advertise but I bought with my own money) but I guess you can’t just buy one. And then it turned out I already had some at home anyway.

Spiral elastics, $4

Another not-really-necessary purchase. I’ve been curious about these phone-cord hair ties and wanted to try them. That’s all! They’re very good at not making ponytail dents in my hair, but bad at holding my hair in a tight ponytail. I can’t use them at work, for example, because they make my hair a bit too sloppy.

Also, unpictured, I needed a small empty spray bottle for isopropyl alcohol for my kit at short notice on Saturday because I thought I’d lost mine. Neither Countdown nor The Warehouse had one that I could find, but Kmart had them at a very affordable $4.50 for two.

Do you shop at Kmart—or if you’re local, have you been to the new store? What do you think?

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  • hell yes. there’s a kmart open till 9pm every night 500m up the road from me and i mindlessly shop there sometimes but i really like the way you considered the ethics and rationale behind shopping there. i have that rug! today i got wine tumblers and chopping boards from there hehehe. putting shower caps on my list though that shit is necessary xoxo

    • I feel like it would be fun shopping at Kmart with you!! I also bought a ~lace bralette~ but it was the saggiest sad thing 🙁

  • I don’t know what the UK equivalent of Kmart is but there definitely is one! Xx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

  • I’ve never been to a kmart, but it definitely sounds like a Primark, only it’s open for longer! That brush looks so good!xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

  • Bernadette

    I love the look of that foundation brush! Elf has been launching some interesting looking brushes, I definitely need to check them out!

    • There have always been a few Elf brushes I rate but they’re really stepping up their game lately!

  • I love Kmart, I’ve spent so much money there setting up my new flat. I go to the warehouse too, but 1. the shopping experience isn’t as nice, the stores always seem to be kind of messy and depressing and 2. they’re not as quick on the trends. At the mall I go to most often, I have very limited options for clothes. Farmers – hit and miss, kind of expensive. City Chic – every item is over $100, only more dressy clothes, and then Kmart – cheap, good for casual wear. So I shop there a lot.

    • I agree that Farmers is super hit-and-miss. I struggle with shopping for clothes as I’m a little too small for City Chic but straight-sized lines are never cut to suit my body shape!

  • Lisa

    Looking forward to going to Kmart Petone. We were out that way the first weekend they opened but my husband freaked out when he realised the traffic chaos was due to the new Kmart so we decided to leave it for another time! That ELF brush looks lovely but I am seriously tempted by those eyebrow razors.

    • The traffic still doesn’t seem to have died down around Kmart – I avoid going that way unless I really need to. You might need to leave your husband at home… my boyfriend hates Kmart with a passion!

  • mungbeanqueen

    Morgan, I would just like to say that I greatly appreciate all of your content. I am not sure where else I could read such a good review of Kmart that presents it with such nuance. Basically, thank you and love your blog 🙂