The Luxe Beauty Gift Guide

The Luxe Beauty Gift Guide

Come December 1st, or if we are being honest here, November, I enter the festive mode. Things look a bit twinklier, I get old-school and write actual Christmas cards on actual paper, I start buying gifts for my loved ones, accumulating far too many of those vanilla-filled Cadbury chocolates (mmm) and compiling gift guides. The latter may just be one of my favourite tasks and while attempting to streamline these lists is a struggle, just wait until you see Friday's book offering, it's something I really enjoy. Today we have what I have deemed the Luxe Beauty guide. I'm sure some of these inclusions mightn't be so luxe elsewhere in the world so just as a general guideline, all the products featured here are $50 (NZ) or more. If you want to spoil a makeup loving friend or family member, I am sure one of these would go down a treat. Hey, maybe you want to treat yourself to one of these too. After all, it is Christmas...

YSL Mon Paris* Fragrance-If you really, really want to indulge then a new perfume is the best way to go about it. I am absolutely loving YSL's Mon Paris for this time of year. It is a sweet scent with a bit of a sexy vibe to it and unlike most perfumes I wear in Summer, it does not evaporate into oblivion within seconds of application. If we are talking aesthetics, the bottle is super pretty too and not too showy which I love. 

Lancome Les Petits Tresors eyeshadow* and Le Duo Khol liner*, limited edition-My photos really aren't doing the packaging of these eyeshadows justice but they're super glossy and super sparkly. The Les Petits Tresors shadows are really more of a pressed pigment, at least the one pictured is. This means they work best when applied with a dampened brush or worn over the top of cream products where they really shine. As this colour, which irritatingly doesn't have a name, is on the sheerer side of things, it adds a touch of iridescence without going too overboard. These liners make the perfect stocking stuffer as well. On one side you get a darker colour; pictured is the black liner and the other you have a more pearlescent shade, ideal for inner corner highlighting and eye brightening. I love two-in-one products like these, especially for traveling and throwing into my handbag to reapply during the day. 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit in Surreal Light, limited edition-This palette is truly one for the beauty fanatics and I am sure many a girl would be ecstatic to receive this. Whilst the price tag may make you wince, you really do get your money's worth with this one as these palettes last ages. It is best suited to fairer skintones which is a rarity in the beauty world but that is why I have personally been getting a lot of use out of it. Who can resist that sleek, marble packaging as well. Swoon...

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Beaming Blush*-Each Christmas MAC usually bring an Extra Dimension collection out and they are always in high demand due to their limited status. This year, they have made the Extra Dimension skinfinishes permanent. The formula seems to have been jazzed up in the best way and now more than ever you can achieve that 'lit from within', Kendall Jenner/all the Victoria's Secret Angels glow. Beaming Blush is absolutely beautiful and may just about rival my love for Champagne Pop. This powder is one for the MAC lover and highlighting enthusiast. 

Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita Palette-You cannot beat a beautiful palette at Christmas and Charlotte Tilbury's are so luxurious and stunning. There is an array of palettes, to suit a wide variety of eyeshadow needs and complement different skintones but my pick of the bunch is The Dolce Vita. Inside you have four beautiful, shimmering bronzes with, the exception of the cream-toned shadow. They all work beautifully and in honesty, this palette is worth buying for that pressed glitter alone. I'm not sure what Charlotte puts in it but it glides onto the lid like magic fairy dust and makes your eyes look stunning. 

Yves Saint Laurent Star Clash  Rouge Pur Couture lipstick in 01*, limited edition-Another luxury brand delivering on the glittery front is YSL. If I wasn't being so disciplined I would have grabbed the Touche Eclat in this packaging but it is more than likely sold out now. Boo. Hiss. Maybe next time wallet. This lipstick in the shade 01 is your true, vibrant red. Rumour has it that Alexa Chung is a fan of this shade. If you know someone who wants to channel the Chung then this is for them. There's also a beautiful nude in this packaging too. Did I mention it is embossed with stars, and in a glittery casing? Okay I will stop..

Jo Malone London Christmas Ornament, limited edition-Nothing whispers elegance in a glamorous way at Christmas time like Jo Malone. Their Christmas Crackers and Ornaments always go down a treat with their recipients and you cannot really go wrong. This year I think their ornament is rather exquisite as it contains a mini bottle of Peony and Blush suede, aka my favourite Jo Malone scent. Oh Jo Malone, so kind of you to design an ornament with me in mind. No, no, you hang up first. They have also included a Grapefruit Body Creme, another of my favourite scents when it comes to body products. Pro tip: If you are going through Auckland Duty Free you can save a little bit of cash on these, if they are still around. Otherwise they will set you back around $55. The perfect gift for the ladies in your life, or yourself if like me, treat yo'self is your philosophy. 

-What luxe beauty products are on your wishlist this year?

*PR Sample

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December Reading List

December Reading List

The one with the laughs, the stories and the novel that's getting a lot of attention....

Scrappy Little Nobody* by Anna Kendrick-My first introduction to Anna Kendrick was in that unnamed vampire franchise, which I shamefully spent the better part of a year recommending people read. Dark times. Dark times. Thankfully I put that aside and saw her talented self in Into The Woods and Pitch Perfect among other things. Her Twitter has always been incredibly witty, especially when she engages in banter with Aubrey Plaza. Anyway, Scrappy Little Nobody reminds me a bit of Amy Poehler's book, which I also love. So naturally I loved this. As well as containing humorous musings on Hollywood, she also talks about life pre-fame, how not to throw parties and what it's like being in the weird fashion labyrinth that is celebrity styling. It's an extremely entertaining read.

something to say by frankie magazine-Before I get carried away with retelling one of my favourite stories from my holiday, I'll let you catch up here. Now that's over, here we have the best of twelve years of frankie hilarity and stories that as they put it, will make you laugh awkwardly in public. Fan favourites like Benjamin Law, Marieke Hardy and Rowena Grant-Frost all have work featured but there's tons of talented writer's work in here. One standout piece which I'm so glad is included is a story called 'things wheelchair users wish you would know' by Stella Young. It's hands down one of my all-time favourite pieces of writing frankie has included for many reasons. If you're a fan of the magazine or just like witty, humorous, sometimes mischievous writing then this is for you.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett-This is one of those instances where I saw the cover and was intrigued, partly because the model reminded me of Cate Blanchett in Carol. However it was the blurb that enticed me further and this book has been atop bestseller lists for months. In fact, I think I requested this quite a while ago from the library. Commonwealth is a story of two families and how fate can set unexpected events in motion. I really love books like this that flit between two periods of time and the different stages characters are at so I'm sure this will end up being a book I thoroughly enjoy. 

How to Win at Feminism* by Reductress-Harper Collins kindly sent me this for review and I was intrigued from the get-go. Rather than being a no-nonsense, instructional manual on Feminism 101, this is in fact meant to be more satirical than anything else. Goodness knows, we all need a laugh after the year that was 2016 so I'm looking forward to winding down with this book during December.

-What are you reading during December?

*Review copy
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Lush Christmas Bath Bombs

Lush Christmas Bath Bombs

'Tis the season to stock up on Lush. They're certainly one of the key players when it comes to Christmas bath and body gifts and their stores are always manic in the days leading up to Christmas. They have some standout sets but for me, their hero product at Christmas are their bath bombs. Today's post is therefore a bit of a love letter to these carbonated, often sparkly and surprise-laden delights. Cynics might say you're literally dissolving money but there's just something so comforting and fun about bath bombs, especially during the stressful festive season...

Never Mind The Ballistics*-If you like bath bombs that fizz away slowly, allowing you the chance to unwind and recharge your batteries, this is the one for you. Its scent reminds me of Perky Nana chocolate bars, which are my fave so I love that about it. Like Butterbear, mentioned below, it contains cocoa butter so it has that moisturising quality to it. Your skin is left smelling sweet and feeling silky smooth. What more could you want?

So White-So White is one of my favourite Christmas bath bombs from Lush. It's not as showy as some of Lush's other bath bombs but don't let that lead you astray from it. It's apple scented and is like bathing in Granny Smith apples. It smells sweet with just a tinge of sourness and while it may not be the most memorable of bath bombs, it's still a nice one nonetheless.

Northern Lights*-From what I can remember, this is a new addition to the Christmas bath bomb range and admittedly I am not a fan. Its scent reminds me a lot of Granny Takes A Dip which is more on the herbal side of things. Although the notes lean more floral so maybe it's just me imagining scents. Either way, I feel like Northern Lights has a very distinct scent that won't be for everyone so choose wisely. 

Shoot For The Stars-I have to confess, I am yet to use this bath bomb but I have been assured by Lush enthusiasts and staff alike that it is beautiful. I may have even seen it being demo'ed at their Christmas launch last month. Inspired by Van Gogh's famed Starry Night painting, the water is left a deep, shimmering blue and notes of Brazilian orange and bergamot fill the air. S Club 7-inspired singing sessions are encouraged with this one. 

Butterbear*-This is the Christmas twist on Lush's popular Butterball bath bomb. A blend of vanilla with real bits of cocoa butter throughout. It's like bathing in a chocolate milkshake, albeit a very moisturising one. I feel like this bath bomb would appeal to a wide range of people; from kids through to Mums so it'd make a great stocking stuffer. 

Star Dust, not pictured-I'm a bit obsessed with star shaped things and this love naturally extends itself to bath bombs. Star Dust combines the scents of rosewood, vanilla absolute and bergamot oil. It colours your water a milky blue and leaves behind a trail of multicoloured stars. So yes, this is a visual treat. It also smells divine, like vanilla shortbread or Macarons so again it's a winner with me. I'll be trying to stock up on these before the end of the festive season. PS-Santa, I would not say no to one or four of these.

Golden Wonder, not pictured-I couldn't do this post and not mention what is quite possibly my favourite Lush bath bomb ever. In saying that, I've not bought any this Christmas. I'm a disloyal fan. Golden Wonder is a present shaped bath bomb which fizzes away, releasing some gold stars and lustre (Lush's equivalent of glitter) before leaving you with turquoise blue water that looks like something from a Greek island. Admittedly it's this colour that is the biggest appeal for me but I love the scent of it too, kinda sandalwood-y and beachy. 

-Have you tried any of Lush's Christmas bath bombs? What did you think of them?

*PR Sample

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November Favourites

November Favourites

November's coming to a close which means it is November Favourites time. There's been so many standout books and beauty products this month so I really struggled to condense my loves down for once. No doubt the things that aren't featured here will make an appearance somewhere else in the next month or so. Today we have a bit of everything really; beauty, books and a musical that does not disappoint in the slightest. Enjoy and be sure to let me know what you have loved this month in the comments. 

Pretty Iconic by Sali Hughes-There is nobody who can make beauty products sound quite as magical as Sali Hughes does. She makes it an art, that is for sure. Pretty Iconic looks at 200 beauty products from the last year and answers why they're staples and have changed the beauty game now or in the past. Many of them have Sali's own personal anecdotes and associations alongside them as well. It's really a book for total beauty obsessives and is the tome you will want to immerse yourself in for a lengthy period of time. I love it and am still reading it as I write this, to savour the decadent prose for a bit longer. 

MAC Liptensity lipstick in Doe-Given I own a fair amount of lipsticks, it really says something when I reach for the same lipstick over and over rather than rotating them around. That is exactly what happened with me this month and Doe is virtually all I wore. The Liptensity lipsticks sit somewhere between a Cremesheen and a Lustre lipstick from MAC in my opinion. They have an almost slightly tacky feel to them which helps them stick around. Doe is your standard, neutral lipstick but there's just something about it that I find so flattering when I'm wearing it. I love it.

Estee Lauder Brow Duo, Brow Now Volumizing Brow Tint* and The Brow Multi Tasker*-I don't usually get too excited by brow products, mainly because I struggle to find ones that don't make my eyebrows look like Helga's from Hey Arnold but these two are the best. I could probably opt to not use the brow gel but it keeps them in place all day so I like to use it. The real winner though is The Brow Multi Tasker pencil, an angled crayon with a spoolie on the other end. I find angular pencils like this a lot easier to use and they can be more forgiving than something like the pomades that are everywhere.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit in Surreal Light, limited edition-This palette is inevitably going to end up in a few monthly favourites posts, that's my prediction at least. Just look at its outside casing for starters. Beautiful. Inside you have a finishing powder, two blushers, a strobe powder and a bronzer. One thing I will say is the bronzer is incredibly light so unless you're extremely pale I don't think it will translate as a bronzer. For that reason I use it as a blush. Otherwise I have no real qualms with this palette, aside from its somewhat eye-watering price tag. In saying that, Hourglass palettes last a lifetime so you get your money's worth. 

The Body Shop Eye Colour Stick in Nevada Gold*-Eyeshadow crayons are one of my many beauty vices. They don't require a great deal of work and are so easy to just swipe on and be done with. I'll admit The Body Shop's aren't quite as creamy as the uber luxe By Terry offerings but they're still pretty fantastic. Nevada Gold is a champagne, sparkly wash of colour for the lids. It's a beautiful colour to wear and lasts really well with primer underneath. It's going to be my go-to in the hotter months. 

The Wrong Girl by Zoe Foster Blake-While I was in Australia, I went to Readings, which is like a Melbourne version of Unity Books and I purchased Zoe's book alongside one by Frankie magazine. It's the book that has also inspired a TV series on Channel Ten in Australia, which I watched some of and loved. Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. It was the perfect tonic to the mess that was the Presidential Election. It's entertaining, heartwarming and the book equivalent of a bunch of peonies. If you want a light read for the beach this Summer, this is your book. 

Matilda The Musical-Matilda by Roald Dahl is one of the first books I remember reading by myself and the movie was one I watched countless times in my childhood. Naturally the musical was always, always going to appeal to me. I can tell you it is amazing. Part musical, part play, it is a visual feast and the score is superb. The Australian cast were all so talented too, major props to Elise McCann as Miss Honey and James Millar as Miss Trunchbull. If you get the opportunity to see this show, do not pass it up.

-What have you loved during November?

*PR Sample

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The Melbourne Haul: Fashion, Books, Etc

The Melbourne Haul: Fashion, Books, Etc

Today we have a little, condensed roundup of some of the bits and pieces I grabbed in Melbourne. Non-beauty of course. Some of what I grabbed was gifts for friends and family for Christmas, hence it's not here but here's a little snippet anyway. Enjoy!

The Books: Can I go to a foreign country and not buy books? Especially when they're so much cheaper. Don't quote me on this but I don't think they tax books in Australia like they do here, hence the cheaper prices. Case in point. I grabbed a couple at Dymocks: Inside Vogue and Air Kisses, Readings: Something To Say and The Wrong Girl and then Artful by Ali Smith from a Book Barn. The latter had every book in store for ten dollars. Utter bargain. 

Muji: I could not go to Melbourne and not visit Muji. What I was not anticipating was just how busy it was, although I've since been told that Muji is always busy. Who knew? Muji was a plethora of covetable, inexpensive things but I was actually reasonably restrained. I think I only spent about $20 in there. Shout out to their amazing pens that are pictured above. I sincerely regret not buying at least fifty of them. I also loved the notebook+bag+tshirt stamping station where you could personalise your things. So cool. NZ needs a Muji right now please.

The shoes of dreams: To know me is to know I hate shoe shopping. Okay, hate is a strong word, I sincerely dislike it. So when I stumbled upon these shoes in Zara and they fit my weirdly proportioned feet, I was beyond happy. I can't find 'em online, nor did I spot them in-store here at home so I am guessing they may be sold out now. There's lots of similar variations in store though, including some that look almost identical to those fur-trimmed Gucci ones that are sending everybody into a bit of a loafer frenzy.

Decorative Delights: Aka the one where I go on my usual card, Christmas decoration acquisition. I grabbed some decorations from David Jones (this and this), some cards from the Viktor and Rolf exhibit and some beautiful Megan Hess for Disney cards that I am going to frame. 

Sweet Treat Yo'Self: If I could have bottled Boost Juice up and smuggled it home, past two lots of customs and security, I so would have. Seeing as that is not an option, I made do with some lollies I love. First up; Fantales. Why we don't have these in NZ is beyond me. I freakin' love them and regret only buying one extra bag to come home with. Also making its way back to Auckland; Violet Crumble which is basically like a Crunchie bar, but better. Some boiled sweets from the Vic Markets made their way back here too. Raspberry drops, nom oh and Smiths Chips, S&V chips because I am a bit obsessed with them. I did eat fruit in Australia guys, promise(!), I just couldn't bring that back. 

-So that concludes my Melbourne posts! I hope you've enjoyed this little series of shorts. Have a great weekend, it's no secret how I am spending mine..
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