Five Things: May
5/13/2019

Five Things: May



Hello, happy Monday & May. As I write this I am going to be honest, I feel a bit disoriented. Most likely what comes from sleeping the weekend away and intermittently resurfacing to read and watch Netflix+drink orange juice. #fluseasonissoglam. But today is not about ailments or even pulpy orange juice which is the jam, today is about five things for May. We have icecream, articles and some TV+film to add to your list...

Duck Island: Aka quite possibly the coolest icecream pop-up store you will ever encounter. I love it so much-I went there twice in a week and had the same thing. Fairy Bread and Blueberry Buttermilk Gooey Butter Cake. Frickin delish. Also-they cater to people with allergy concerns which gets a big tick of approval from me. If you are in Auckland, hit up Ponsonby Road, otherwise they have a couple of locations in Hamilton too. 

both/and: Madeleine often writes some of my favourite thinkpieces but this one last week particularly resonated. It's an idea explored in cognitive behavioural therapy and honestly, such an important tool. And I am not the best at it but seriously, it's such a good way to step back and put things/moments/memories in perspective. "It's learning that sometimes life gives to us by taking something away. That even when things are just f*cking terrible, there are still moments of levity. That it's still a good life even on life's worse day."

Rocketman: "And I think it's gonna be a long long time..." I am so excited for Rocketman, the biopic about Elton John. I mean, watch the trailer-it looks fantastic. Honestly, I don't know a ton about Elton's backstory so I am looking forward to seeing this-to the point I bought advanced screening tickets. Not gonna lie, I kinda want to buy these just for the occasion. Side note: I actually want to buy those anyway because Lana Del Rey vibes. But yes, Rocketman-bring it.

The Gentlewoman: I feel like to read this magazine is an event. You want to savour each page, every word, the design-preferably with a decent beverage & silence. Maybe this is just me but this magazine is a treat and I bloomin' love it. Issue 19 has recently launched, starring Cindy Sherman-whose work I saw at the City Gallery in Wellington a few years back (so good). Also there archive of profiles online is worth casting your eyes over, here

The Crown 2.0: Me whenever I literally finish any TV series, "what next? The Crown, again?" This time though-it's more in anticipation for Season 3 because I think we are close. My prediction is it'll drop in July/August on Netflix and I cannot wait. More so to see Helena Bonham Carter & Olivia Colman as Margaret & Queen Elizabeth respectively. I mean, if you've been around this blog a while-you will know I love The Crown and it's such a treat to watch. The costuming+attention to detail in every sense as well=yass.

-What are you loving this May?

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beauty lust list '19, part one
5/05/2019

beauty lust list '19, part one



Ah beauty-sphere, it has been a hot minute hasn't it? To be honest, I don't wear a lot of makeup anymore. I mean when I do, it's almost eventful. How times change! Most days I just faff with a bit of concealer, maybe mascara/lash curler and gloss/a neutral lip. But I still love the ritualistic process of applying makeup, I still love seeing glittery eyeshadows and what brands are up to but I am not...religious about it. If that makes sense. Anyway, lately though I've been thinking about some things I want to repurchase-because I am one of those people now as well as some new (ish) bits I want to try out. A beauty lust list or 'things I want to get on pay day' spiel if you will...

Liquid Blush x NARS: I think Cloud Paint converted me to cream/liquid blush. Matte powders just look...flat to me now and I find myself wanting to up the shimmer or reach for a highlight. Anyway after seeing these on Fi's Instagram stories and having a cheeky swatch in store, I want one. So pretty!

Extended Play Perm Me Up Lash Mascara x MAC Cosmetics: The OG Extended Play is one of my favourite mascaras ever, so the fact there's a newbie with a bit of a lash lifting wand? Yes. Please. Get in my life. I mean, I am a bit nervous to try this because I love the original so much-irrational makeup lover problems or something but yeah-I see it, I like it, I want it. You get the gist.

Brushes x Zoeva: Zoeva brushes are the best and mine are well-loved so I just wanna replace some of the faves more than anything. Buffer brush and the various eye brushes, I will be coming for you. 

Eye Gels x Patchology: I was actually pretty sparing with the last set of these patches I had but I ran out and my eyes miss 'em. If only because they were just such a treat to use but also they brightened+hydrated the eye area like nobody's business. Um, maybe keep me away from Mecca on payday? Ha.

Cheek to Chic x Charlotte Tilbury: Pillow Talk is such an iconic CT shade-the lipstick is my favourite neutral and when she expanded the collection to include this blusher, among other things, my heart sang. I have never tried the Cheek To Chic blushers but this one looks stunning

-What is on your beauty lust list?
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April Wrap Up
4/28/2019

April Wrap Up



April and Autumn arrived with a flurry of changes, a bit of a "we are quarter of the way through 2019" existential crisis-just being honest here and thus things were a bit chaotic and busy but in the best kind of way. Though I definitely found myself reassessing self-care and the like midway through the month and I am glad I did. Anyway, you may have noticed my 'favourites' post has been given a bit of a makeover. Partly because the idea of just a post full of 'things' felt a bit gross, partly because I want to mix things up and try something new. Yeah, so April wrap-up, let's dive in...

Five Things I Loved:

*Spring x Ali Smith: Another blissful homage to all the things I love about Ali Smith's work. And one of my extremely generous friends sent me a signed copy which I am still not over. Read my musings about the book and Ali Smith's genius in general here

*Exfoliating Swipeys x Go-To: Who is surprised to see these here? Nobody? Thought so. I use these three times a week-as directed to give my skin a bit of a szush and a brighten. Unlike other acid products I have tried, these don't feel overly harsh or abrasive. In fact, they're incredibly gentle and a treat to use. Myself and my face love 'em.

*Lonely Lingerie: My love of Lonely lingerie is well documented around these parts. I love everything about the brand; from their inclusiveness when it comes to sizes, the diversity in their advertising+social media imagery, to the genuinely lovely experience of going in store to browse and purchase. Not to mention the quality of their garments and the care+detail in each piece. I've already decided I need some of their swimwear in my life next Summer. Anyway, recently I treated myself to the Maeve bra and Odette. Both quite different designs, both incredibly comfortable and supportive to wear. I think I'm going to get another colour of the Odette because it is that comfortable too.  

*The Act (limited series on Lightbox): Omg this series. Who remembers the viral Buzzfeed article about Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard? I remember reading it equal parts fascinated and horrified so when I saw that Hulu had made a new series re-enacting Gypsy and Dee Dee's story, the same feelings returned. The women are portrayed by Joey King and Patricia Arquette, the latter who is unrecognisable as Dee Dee and gives an incredible performance. The whole show is a psychological mind-maze and leaves you feeling uneasy and unnerved. I'm not going to lie. It's such a good watch though. I highly recommend it. 

*Love+Fear x Marina: Last year was the year of rediscovering Lana Del Rey and 2019 seems to be the year of rediscovering Marina, formerly Marina and the Diamonds. Her new double-album debuted in full this week and it is heaven. Handmade, ha I am so punny. I feel like this will be my new go-to at work when I want to zone out.

Five Good Things:

-Solo Outings: Long weekends are my fave because Auckland clears out and it's quiet and blissful everywhere. It's usually these times that I try to go a bit off the grid myself and I love it. So for my solo-date arvo I went to the Auckland Art Gallery and visited the Guerrilla Girls exhibit which I loved as well as Pacific Sisters. Both are free entry and well worth the look. The gallery is free to NZ citizens too, you just need ID to get in. I followed it with coffee+a bit of a Ponsonby Rd jaunt to acquire the latest The Gentlewoman and groceries (less exciting tbh) before heading back home. Utter. Utter. Bliss. 

-Between Two Books x Stylist Magazine: The lovely Leah, one of the co-founders at Between Two Books asked me if I wanted to share a book recommendation for this article and I was so honoured+excited to be included. To the point I sent screen-shots to people who were like "?? Sophie, risque book cover-I am confused". Anyway, I am still proud as punch to be a part of this so if you want to see my review, it's the one about Eve's Hollywood x Eve Babitz and you can read the whole article here.

-Reassessing Self Care: Ah self care, you really slipped to the backburner didn't you? And it showed. I always, always know now that if I don't prioritise this my mental wellbeing suffers. I become unsettled and tired and it gets ug-ly. So mid April I made some changes. I have pamper Sundays-that's just one thing. I've also reinstated daily (ish) diary writing. Ok some days it is just a bullet pointed list but I try to not dwell on it-so long as I write something. I've also been reading a lot because that also falls to the wayside when I am feeling 'eh' and going for walks and talking to the professionals, well professional. Yep.

-Meeting Zoe Foster Blake and trying all the Go-To bits: I've already yammered on about Go-To's arrival in NZ but when the email came through about an in-store event celebrating the brand and bringing skincare queen+writing wordstress Zoe, I was in. Side note: Zoe is just as lovely and sparkly and perfect-complexiony in real life. It was a good evening w/ my girl Lucie-who also let my disorganised self raid her makeup bag. Thanks Luce, you are the MVP. I also got to hang out in the Beauty Lab and try all the Go-To things. Well, most of 'em. I particularly loved the Face Hero and the Very Useful Face Cream. 

-Music: I'm about to sound like a right luddite but my new phone plan came with free Spotify Premium, which I used to have ages ago and my god. Game. Changer. I am sure 99% of my phone usage now is Spotify. Go ahead, laugh at me. I have two playlists of my own I rotate fairly heavily but I also dabble in whatever the heck I fancy and whatever my friends recommend to me. New discovery: Two Door Cinema Club. I love 'em. Also loving all the throwback 00's music playlists-for the memories and the cringe-inducing moments c/o my tra$h tastes. I love it basically. 



Books I Read In April:

/ Daisy Jones & The Six** x Taylor Jenkins Reid, review here.

/ Spring x Ali Smith, as above.

/ Notes To Self x Emilie Pine: Gut-wrenching, honest and incredibly enlighening prose. Read it and prepare to weep. In the best way.

/ The Audience x Peter Morgan: I don't read plays all that often but I wanted to read this one so I could decide if I should go see this at the ASB Theatre here in Auckland. I am a major The Crown fangirl and noticed that some of the dialogue from this play closely mirrors scenes shown in the series. Particularly exchanges between Churchill and the Queen. Anyway, now I want to see this so fingers crossed I can make it happen.

/ Three Poems x Hannah Sullivan: What is it with me and reading books that are emotionally heavy? These poems made me cry. Dang it Sullivan. In all seriousness-read, beautiful work.

/ The Built Moment x Lavinia Greenlaw: A volume that deals with loss and grief and rebuilding. Exquisitely written, as is the norm with Lavinia Greenlaw. I love her writing. 

-What have you loved during April?

**Review Copy


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Spring in Translation
4/24/2019

Spring in Translation



Ali Smith's seasonal quartet is slowly taking full shape. Ideas are fleshed out, twisted and prised wide open. Covers standing vibrant in all their David Hockney gloriousness. 

Spring, the paperback was pressed into my hands. It promised to bring change and contemplation. Renewal and reformation. It is never lost on me that the seasonal quartet will always starkly contradict whatever is reflected season-wise here in New Zealand. I read Winter in the height of Summer, pages warped by the sun, for example. Spring was read in the early stages of Autumn. It will remind me of early mornings on the way to work. The sun beginning to rise and me trying+sometimes failing to keep my eyes open. 

It is a book further considering loss and political climates and art and the 'radiant disruptors' as Olivia Laing so aptly puts it. It pays homage to Katherine Mansfield, the "little savage", Charlie Chaplin, Rilke, Tacita Dean, among others. Florence Welch even receives a subtle nod. Cue me photographing said passage and excitedly sharing it around. 

It makes sense to have read Spring alongside a book about literary translation. Mining texts for meaning, ideas and repeated motifs. Smith's seasonal quartet reflects the seasons in the time we presently live in. They leave us to mull over the here and now but moreover what they represent thematically in Smith's literature. For her characters, real and imagined. Moreover, the seasonal framework naturally wraps itself around the recurring themes and motifs throughout Ali's work.

And maybe unearthing meaning in the pages of my books is the new mood. I will keep you posted.

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Go-To Mecca
4/17/2019

Go-To Mecca



My favourite, no-fuss, no frills skincare brand has finally come to NZ! Well, we could always acquire Go-To skincare online but now it has arrived in good ol' New Zealand and Australia Mecca stores. Huzzah.

To celebrate, I wept-ok I didn't, but I did book in for Zoe's little whirlwind visit to Auckland to launch the brand. It was a night of learning-I visited the beauty lab to try all the skincare bits 'n bobs and of course fangirling. I am the ultimate Zoe Foster-Blake fangirl after all. Zero shame here. Good times-it was the icing on top of an otherwise 'eh' week so it has that going for it too. So today I thought I'd run you through what I picked up and also some extras I have tried that you should check out. This post is in no way sponsored but I have received some Go-To product before for review so those are asterisked up below. Anyway, bits...

The New (To Me):

Exfoliating Swipeys: These are filling the exfoliating void in my skincare regime and I love 'em. For an exfoliating product they are super, super gentle which I love. I know a bit of tingling with products like this is kinda part and parcel but I don't like my skin to feel tight or to be stinging after using an exfoliator. They also have a subtle, citrussy scent which I am here for. Pro tip: Follow up with an SPF because these do contain an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) which may increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun and with our less-than-lovely ozone layer, that ain't a good thing. 

Transformazing-Ahh the ol' sheet mask. I will be honest, I don't love them. I appreciate them but I don't love 'em. This one's being saved for a Sunday pamper sesh so it cannot be reported on yet. Anything promising to make my skin look amazing is going to get my attention though.

The Tried 'N True:

Super Handy*: Side note, Sophie-get more of this. You need it at work for your dehydrated, hand-sanitised mitts. Narcissistic to-do lists out of the way, I love this hand cream. Similarly delightfully citrus-fragranced as per the swipeys. A dream to use, sinks in-none of that greasy leftover residue that some hand creams seem to cause. You cannot go wrong. And it's in a convenient tube for traveling with.

Pinky Nudey Lips: All this and a hint of tint. Basically this does what it says on the tube. Your lips will be hydrated, soft and nourished. One product to keep things in check this Winter. For. Sure.

-Have you tried Go-To before? What do you rate+recommend?

*PR Sample (way back when)



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