Taking Stock: Volume Four

Taking Stock: Volume Four

Nothing says "I had a gap in my blog schedule" more than a tag. I'm joking guys, I know tags make the blogging and vlogging world go 'round. Today I thought I'd do another life update of sorts for y'all. I'm writing this in the sun underneath the windowsill and it's so peaceful. 

Reading: At the moment I'm reading an uncorrected proof of The Moonlight Dreamers and am loving it. I'm also still reading Just Kids by Patti Smith because I keep picking it up and then putting it down again. There's also a few magazines on the go as well because when is there not?

Watching: My cousin and I have been binge-watching The IT Crowd. I've seen it so many times now and it's still one of my favourite shows. I can probably quote that about as much as I can quote Mean Girls. We've also been watching Parks and Recreation from the beginning which is a good time.

Buying: This phone case because I have zero shame. Tina Fey+Amy Poehler are my faves. I also got my brother a top from Redbubble for his birthday and some stickers. Yep.

Listening: To French Music! We had a Brigitte Bardot cd going earlier and it was actually really good. She has a soothing voice to listen to. I'm also listening to a lot of Amy Winehouse at the moment, partly because I've had some engaging discussions with people about her and the danger of celebrity culture lately. Mainly though it's because I love her music and voice.

Feeling: Content. Thanks mid-semester break, you gem xo.

Planning: What I'm going to get up to over my break. I have to design+make a website for my parent's business and do some admin-type things. I can't wait to catch up with my friends as well and visit some places I've wanted to get to for a while. 

Wishing: That it wasn't cold. Palmy I like you and all but you're a tad chilly! Side note: I'm in Palmerston North as I type this and it's just a bit colder than Auckland. 

Enjoying: Going for walks. I don't have my car down here and it's pretty easy to walk everywhere. Side note: Ditch the car more in Auckland.

Eating: A banana and a piece of shortbread. Balanced diet y'all. 

Hoping: That Me Before You is just as good to watch as it is to read. I know they've cut out some plot lines so it will be interesting to see how that changes things.

Thinking: About going for a walk soon because I can. R i v e t i n g.

Lacking: Motivation to go for said walk. The struggle is real.

Trying: Food combinations that shouldn't work but do. Last night I was introduced to Weetbix with butter and Marmite. It sounds so, so wrong but it actually tastes amazing! I was skeptical and kinda still am but dang that was good.

Drinking: Water, and far too much coffee. 

Wanting: At the moment I really want this book because I loved it and also I'd love, and by no means need this, Baies Room Spray. It's such a divine scent.

Deciding: Whether or not I want to go to something I was invited to. I do like going to events but things like living so far away and peak-traffic aren't as appealing.

Wearing: Topshop Jamie jeans, socks and a long-sleeved khaki green top.

Needing: New textbooks for next semester. I only have to get 2/3, one is kinda nonessential. They're all quite expensive though. #unilyf
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Unglamorous Beauty

Unglamorous Beauty

Unglamorous beauty; the dark horse, the elephant in the room, the beauty rituals and routines that we don't tend to talk about. I feel like there's a bit of a stigma around the unglamorous side of beauty, whether it's bleaching your upper lip or adult acne. Okay, there may be less of a stigma around the latter. Doesn't acne suck!? Today I thought I'd talk about some of the less glamorous beauty tools and products I reach for. After all, there's more to beauty than just a flawless base and brows that are on-point 24/7...

The Brow Tamers+Stray Hair Essentials: Ahh tweezers. I love and hate them all in one go. Tweezing is something I find painful as anything. In fact I had my brows waxed and shaped last week and by far the worst part of the process for me was the tweezing. Yes, I'm a wimp. Yes you'd have to pay me good money to get my brows threaded. I use some QVS ones, they're nothing fancy although they are pink so they have that going for them. Like I said, I love/hate my tweezers all the time but they're good for keeping Frida and Kahlo under control. Props to you if you get that Princess Mia reference...

Face Masks, aka the substances that catapult attractiveness: Note the sarcasm, although I have to say sheet masks might be the worst for this. Does anyone not look terrifying in those? As I said last week, face masks are like a good friend. While they're not the most unglamorous of things per se, they're pretty scary looking! Although they do a good job of fixing skin up. Props to the face masks that are weird colours, textures or material, ahem, sheet masks....

Bleach: I'm sure we all know by now that bleach doesn't just belong on your head. It can be used for brows and moustaches. Yep, I use bleach to tint my unwanted, dark facial hair. Ugh. This is one beauty process I don't enjoy, simply because I find it so tedious and pretty ineffective given it needs redoing every alternate week or so. I could just get it waxed I suppose but given my low pain tolerance I doubt that'd go down well. I use whichever one they sell at the supermarket-it's 20-ish dollars I think. It smells rank but it does the trick so I can't complain. 

Dry Shampoo: This really isn't unglam although given how bad dry shampoo looks in dark hair unblended, it may as well be. Whoever invented dry shampoo is a godsend though. For people like me who don't like washing their hair, it's the best thing ever. I did use Pret A Powder until I misplaced it so now I just have a can of Batiste. As I said, it does require a bit of work to disguise it in your hair, especially if you have darker hair but it helps to prolong that second-day hair goodness for a day or two more. 

-What are your unglamorous beauty rituals/products?
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Feminist Book Club Reads | June

Feminist Book Club Reads | June

It's been a little while since I last compiled the feminist book club pickings into a blog post, mainly because I've been dipping in and out of them. I feel like with book clubs you shouldn't feel obliged to read everything they put forward, unless of course that's your style. Today I have a few of the recent books I've read from feminist book clubs, as well as one I'm planning on reading very soon...

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi-This book seems timely, given some of the recent news stories that have been developing in the world. Emma Watson set this book for June over on Our Shared Shelf. I'm not going to lie, because it was a graphic novel I decided to read it because I knew I'd be able to finish it easily. This autobiographical book follows Marjane's life growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution. It also follows her to Vienna where she moves to complete high school away from the midsts of war and her return to the post-war country she left behind. I didn't know a lot about this war and I found reading about that+the cultural viewpoint really eye-opening. It really got me thinking and reinforces the idea that extremism is really just a very, very small, unfortunate part in the fabric of much larger cultures. This is well worth the read.

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson-Another one from Emma's book club, this one was May's read. I've spoken about this already on my channel so I'll keep it brief. Maggie Nelson wrote an account of living with a gender-fluid person, her husband. She also explores ideas of relationships and sexuality throughout the book with extracts from other researchers and theorists. It's not really a structured book and doesn't follow an extremely chronological pattern as such. I quite liked that though because it read like an endless stream of thought. 

You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down by Alice Walker-Now this is the one book I haven't read, yet. I am hoping to get to it very soon though. Alice Walker's name will be familiar to anyone who knows of The Color Purple, her well-loved novel. This book is a collection of short stories and judging from the reviews I read over on The Feminist Orchestra group it seems like people were a bit divided on this book. I have to admit I couldn't bring myself to finish The Color Purple. I found it distressing and couldn't quite get to grips with the writing style. Hopefully this read fares a bit better with me.

-Have you read any of these books before? What did you think of them?
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Top 5 Skincare Loves

Top 5 Skincare Loves

Happy Monday guys! Today I'm back with another skincare themed post for you all. I decided to narrow it down to my top five favourite things today. Compiling this post actually made me realise how much I miss products I used to use, namely the Origins GinZing moisturiser and a couple of others. It's also reminded me what I use and genuinely like+would repurchase too. There's a bit of everything in here, from face masks...to the micellar water I still use and love. Oh and these are in no particular order favourites-wise, let's not complicate things...

Pixi Glow Tonic-I've tried a few different toners over the years but this one remains my favourite. It's an exfoliating toner but is super gentle and doesn't give your skin that stinging, tingly feeling. There's not much more to it than that really. It's a great, inexpensive toner and I like it a lot. 

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm-Lip balms aren't exactly a rarity but this one is still my favourite by far. I've been through two or three jars of the stuff now and I will forever repurchase it. It's very thick so I recommend it for night-time use only but it is so, so hydrating. My lips are prone to cracking and going gross in Winter so I apply a layer of this every night before bed. In the morning I wake up with matte, smooth lips and do a little invisible salute to Nuxe. I highly recommend this one. Escentual, the site I buy mine from often do deals on their French pharmacie skincare so keep an eye out for those, it's a great time to stock up/repurchase products. 

Manuka Doctor Apiclear Peel Off Face Mask*-This mask is new to me but at the moment it's my current favourite. You've probably seen this one in a few vlogs and over on Snapchat. People seem to love documenting the peeling off process. We're a weird bunch... This mask is quite intense so I'd only use it maybe once or twice a month. It's also great for clearing up blemishes at a certain time of month, if you catch my drift. I'm not gonna lie, peeling it off is quite fun too. Again, weird bunch. 

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel-I have the world of beauty blogs, namely Anna to thank for this purchase. This cleansing gel sits somewhere between a gel and an oil in terms of texture. It almost melts down once you apply it to your face. Once you apply cold water to the skin it lathers up slightly but it's not a full on foam, which I'm not a fan of. After using this my skin always feels so clean and refreshed. I feel like this cleansing gel would be user-friendly for a wide variety of skintones but if you're unsure, do your research. There's plenty of reviews out there.

Bioderma Sensibio-There's quite a few micellar waters on the market now but this one is still the best in my opinion. It's interesting, a lot of the ones that claim to be fragrance-free and therefore suitable for sensitive skins still have a scent to them. Anyway, Bioderma is the original which took the world by storm. It's a backstage staple at many a fashion-week and is the best at breaking down+removing your makeup. It's not the greatest for eye makeup, so I recommend something like this for eyes but for base makeup it's fantastic. 

-What are your go-to skincare products?

*PR Sample
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Hello, It's Me

Hello, It's Me

You're probably thinking, she hasn't even gone anywhere. Sorry Adele, I ruined the poetic flow of your song. The powers of scheduling and using my free time productively. I've been in full-on revision and then exam mode the last few weeks. Exams, the less said on those the better. Who genuinely enjoys them? I certainly don't but I have to say this set of exams was the most relaxed I have felt before and during an exam in a long time. Perhaps that just comes with age and wisdom (ha), but exams don't give me the crazy levels of anxiety that they used to. That being said I would quite happily never sit one ever again. Anyway, they're done and dusted.

So I am back! I'm on semester break now for just over a month. I mean there's still the usual life-ness happening but I don't need to pick up a textbook or wax lyrical on obligatory things for a while. This means I have a lot more time to blog and vlog, the latter I'm particularly excited about. I'm also going away on a mini-break next week. Nowhere exotic, just a little bit further down this island I live on. I've got some posts and things planned for next week though so keep an eye out! If there is anything in particular you'd like to see on the blog though, sing out. I do have a schedule I use but I'm always open to modifying it if I get a better idea/one of you lovely folk want to see something specific. I also have a rather exciting recipe post coming next month for you all too. Not many of you know this but I love baking. I just don't blog it all that often because it tends to get one or two throwaway comments about 'food blogging' that I don't care for. However I'm at the stage now where I will blog what I want to without listening to the unwanted background noise too much. Almost five years of typing away on a keyboard will do that for you. 

What else..oh I contacted my Me Before You winners! Congrats to Emma, Sheena and Meagan who all won themselves a copy of the book. I'm not going to lie, I came close to posting them all a packet of tissues as well but given it's cold season here in NZ I'm sure these ladies all have some nearby anyway. That's about all from me for now. I hope you all are good and that you've had a nice week+June so far! See you all next week with some beauty+book goodness. 
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