In Conversation With: Renee Hay

    Renee Hay is a long-time friend of Head over Heels and a friendly, familiar face to many. Known for her bubbly personality, great chat and amazing sense of style, it's always fun having a catch-up with her.  

    Renee visited us in-store this week to catch-up and check out our summer collection!

    Watch Renee try on and talk about her favourite pieces on our Instagram page here

    Renee wearing the Polly Strappy Sandal in brandy


    Tell us a bit about yourself and what a typical day in your life is like.

    I am a mum of my 5 year old Archer, my staffy Marlowe & cat Poe, so my day starts by having my babies piled on top for morning snuggles while my partner usually makes me a coffee. I have started a Monday-to-Friday job in an audiology centre, Bloom Hearing, to free up weekends with my whanau. I find myself doing makeup every other week though as I find it hard to say no and am still passionate about it. I try to work out a few times a week as I’m training for a 10k. I’m also in the PTA and a choir. I’m not a very good homemaker.

    How did you begin your journey in makeup and fashion?

    My mum always loved clothes from brands like Workshop, Plume and Thornton Hall, so I had great hand-me-downs. I applied for a part-time job at 16 at a hair salon but as soon as I picked up a makeup brush I knew it was my calling. I applied for a scholarship through Cleo Magazine in the early 2000s. I received the runner-up place and started at Cut Above Academy makeup school in Auckland, and as they say, the rest is history.

    What influences your personal style and how has your style changed over time?

    My lifestyle influences my style these days. From my office job, makeup job, and biking with family, I opt for relaxed comfort most of the time. Jeans, striped tops, leather skirts & shirts, but change up between short heels and sneakers to feel more or less dressy. My lippy is always my signature. I came back from living in London loving dressing up and opting for party dressing. I now opt for more classic pieces that tie together and will last the rest of time.

     Renee wears the Manzo Loafer and the Bentley Sandal


    What do you love to do when you’re not working?

    My favourite thing is biking and walking with my boys and Marlowe around the red zone. I really enjoy a happy hour either at home or at a bar like Pomeroys and I am a real foodie.

    What has been one of the highlights of your career to date?

    There’s been a few but the ‘World Brand’ show at NZ Fashion Week 2002. Serving the singer Sade at my work in London and some of the cool clients I shoot with Ballantynes & Untouched World, Ngai Tahu. Managing Mecca when it opened in Christchurch was a real highlight too.

    Where is your favourite destination and why?

    In NZ it is Lake Kaneire, it has a special place in my heart, we go every year with whanau plus I was born in Hokitika. Croatia is my favourite place overseas.

    What are you reading / watching / listening to at the moment?

    I am watching Lessons in Chemistry, the book was super cute and am enjoying the show so far.

    I just finished Ted Lasso which I loved.

    I’m really enjoying my old favourites from 2000’s Theivery Corporation, Zero 7 and Massive Attack. Or real old school like Fleetwood Mac or Van Morrison.

    Renee wears the Padded Kitten Heel. 


    What are your most cherished rituals?

    Reading to my son every night and most mornings and having morning snuggles with my dog. My morning coffee and weekend wine.

    What’s your most treasured item in your wardrobe?

    My R. M. Williams Millicent boots or I have a Kow Tow blue stripe boat neck top I’ve had 7 years and it’s on its last legs.


    Colourful or neutral?

    Both- I dress for my mood. If I’m tired a colour lippy always makes me feel better.

    Heels or flats?

    Both again, depends on my mood. I love heels with a casual outfit to dress it up and sneakers with a dress to tone it down.

    What are you currently coveting from HOH at the moment?

    EVERYTHING - every year I say it’s the best yet. The La tribe Padded Heel in every colour, the Vic Matie Bentley sandal, Abigayle Polli Strappy sandal & Manzo Loafer the Halmanera Ellery slingback in aloe green, and Naim woven mule are my favs. Would love a new Deadly Ponies bag too… Xmas perhaps!


    Polly Strappy, Naim Mule, Bentley Sandal. 

    Ellery Slingback, Manzo Loafer, Padded Kitten Heel. 


    What’s your favourite HOH purchase of all time?

    My R. M. Williams Millicent boots and my black Deadly Ponies Sling Micro bag.

    What are your top summer makeup tips?

    Glowy skin, plumped and super hydrated.
    Blush on eyes and lips to create a tonal fresh look.
    Letting freckles show through.
    Lip liner with lip balm - hydrating and long-lasting.
    Bright lip but a nude eye.
    Coloured eyeliners.
    Sunscreen always!!!

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