Media extracts...

Extract from
Next magazine, July 2005, pg 210
Written by Sarah Catherall

“Couple Capers Martinborough”

RUB DOWN Martinborough’s TURRET HOUSE day spa is owned by Gail Wilson, a former film make-up artist. While my partner Jeremy soaks in a French style bath with a glass of bubbly, I surrender to Jacqui’s soft hands deep-cleansing my skin with Living Nature products. She massages my face, shoulders and hands, rubbing delicious creams into my tired skin. I’m in a warm cocoon and soothed by Italian pop wafting through the walls.

The Turret House, Cnr Oxford and Suez Streets, Martinborough, tel (06) 306 8469, or visit

Extract from
Written by Kate Monahan

“Martinborough’s dark jewels”

To finish off our weekend in style, we head back to Martinborough to Turret House. Run by Gail Wilson, a hairdresser and makeup artist who worked on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the beauty salon caters to girls and couples on relaxing weekend trips, as well as the many weddings that happen in the village every year.

When we arrive, 80’s music is rocking the salon, which is filled with flowers. Amber relaxes in a French style bath, sipping pinot noir, eating cheese and sundries tomatoes and soaking away stress.

Wilson infuses her bath with geraniums, epsom salts and a tough of French lavender oil, and gives her some New Zealand made 100 per cent organic Living Nature products to pamper herself with. “I want men and women to come here and walk out feeling beautiful,” she says, encouraging us to relax and enjoy ourselves.

I take the lazy approach, and lie on a warm massage table while Wilson treats my face to a hydrating mask and facial massage. She also rubs olive oil into my arms and legs, massaging my feet. As she works into the muscles, she tells me stories about the stars she has worked with: Liv Tyler is gorgeous, Elton John is a good guy.

She is more enamoured with Martinborough than her life rubbing shoulders with the celebrities. “It’s a hidden retreat here. It’s like Queenstown before it got commercial,” she says.

When she moved here two years ago with three young children, and started the business (which also includes a homestay option), Wilson hardly knew a soul in town “people come with bags of fish, meat, feijoa, kiwifruit. The butcher turned up with a trailer of wood,” recalls Wilson. It’s a great place to live. And it’s an amazing place to visit.

Extract from newspaper
source unknown

Gail Wilson began her hairdressing career in Queenstown and worked for a time for Queenstown’s biggest salon ‘Beauty Revival’. My boss was a hard task master but looking back I’m forever grateful to her for having prepared me well for my future work in the glamorous world of colour and competition work and I followed the competition circuits around New Zealand.”
“I have competed in some international hairdressing competitions and picked up some awards.”

From this experience Gail was offered Further training and her salon in Auckland. At the same time she was regularly flying down to Queenstown to do hair for New Zealand and European commercials and also had a foot in the door in the film industry where she was involved with makeup in the Wurzel Gummidge film series.

My next move was to TVNZ and this was the beginning of my career proper. With the threat of Channel Three making an appearance, the producers wanted a fresh new look for their news presenters. So I chopped off Paul Holmes Hair and dyed Penelope Barr’s Hair blond!”

From television work Gail moved into film as a makeup artist working on such films as ‘End of the Golden Weather’ and ‘The Other Side of Paradise.’

Gail describes the highlight of her career at that stage was working with Peter Jackson doing makeup for some of his short films. But better opportunities were to come. She was offered a job as makeup artist on ‘Lord of the Rings’.

But Gail decided not to remain in the film industry long term. With three young children she decided she needed more time for them so the obvious solution was to develop ideas for a home based business.


Gail Wilson's CV reads like a whose who of the film and music industries >> more