April Favourites

April Favourites

The first quarter of 2017 has just disappeared faster than the Easter chocolate post-Easter Sunday. Bring back the mini eggs please. Today we have six rather wondrous bits 'n bobs I've loved during April. An eye product, some intoxicating writing, comforting scents and more...

Lancome Hypnose Volume-A-Porter Mascara*: Since taking these images I've found a new mascara which may just rival this one but for the months of March+April, Lancome's mascara was my go-to. I think I've finally worked out what it is I like in a mascara, great volume. This one does not disappoint and it gives just the amount of drama I love. If you're after a luxe mascara, I highly rate Lancome's. Every one I have tried has been an instant hit with me.

The Body Shop 'Almond Milk and Honey' range*: Special nod to the hand and shower creams. I've already waxed lyrical on this scent and its comforting, enveloping yourself in fresh linen sensibilities. I just love it. It's so nourishing and exquisite on every level. The body scrub is definitely going to end up in my possession sooner rather than later.

Brie Earrings x Pigment Studio: There's so much to love about Albertine's gorgeous pieces, in fact I'm eyeing up some more earrings from her as I type. These Brie ones though are stunning. Lightweight and super comfortable to wear. The butterfly closure on them is super sturdy and secure so there's no risk of them going MIA. I feel like some of the cheaper earrings don't have the best fastenings. They're also unique and a bit of a conversation starter too. I love 'em.

Joan Didion: More specifically, Didion's writing. This month I've read both South and West: From A Notebook** (currently reading) and The Year of Magical Thinking. I don't know how to quite articulate how I feel about Didion's writing without sounding like an arrogant hipster. What I will say though is her writing is so intoxicatingly brilliant. Raw, real, full of emotion and colour and brilliance in every sense. 

Miu Miu Eau De Parfum*: For the last few months I've been alternating between this scent and YSL's Mon Paris* but I keep coming back to this fragrance. Intoxicating, alluring. The perfect marriage of woods and floral. Some people find this fragrance overpowering but compared to other scents I've tried I find it not so...intense. It's potent yes but in a subtler way. Like a Vodka Lime and Bitters. Why am I comparing perfume to drinks? Anyway, love this fragrance. Love its design and campaign imagery too. A++, would spritz again.

Thirteen Reasons Why: The show everybody is talking about. I also raced through the book a couple of weeks ago but the book is nowhere near as expansive as the show. That and a particularly major plot point is slightly tweaked. I'm not quite finished this show and I am aware there are a lot of opinions and debate around it so I'll save my two cents for another day. What I will say though is that this show is extremely important. Extremely, extremely important. I was on the receiving end of bullying in high school, not quite to the extent of Hannah's experience but damaging enough. I can say just how powerful and damning words in particular can be. That being said, if you're worried about how the show will affect you, look up the plot first and watch it at your discretion. It's emotionally taxing and not the show you should binge watch in one sitting. As I said though, I am glad this has been made. It needed doing. 

-What have you liked during April?

*PR Sample

**Review Copy

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Favourite Issues of British Vogue

Favourite Issues of British Vogue

British Vogue is not so secretly one of my favourite magazines and it was only recently that I realised, I've been a fangirl, glossy girl for nearly ten years now. How crazy is that? I remember going to a local shopping centre as a tween and deliberating whether or not I wanted to spend the majority of my pocket money on a copy. Negating Starbucks frappe privileges, big big thing guys. I jest. Today I thought I'd go back through the archives and share anecdotes about some of my favourite issues. If you're a magazine lover, keep reading...

December 2016: This is mainly here because of the editorial featuring Lily Rose Depp. Fairytale inspired with a modern edge. Dreamy, whimsical, charming. The perfect issue to release at Christmastime. 

Centenary Issue, 2016: The subject of much of Inside Vogue and a collector's piece for fashion fanatics. It was also the first major magazine to feature Kate Middleton, style icon and of course ambassador for the National Portrait Gallery among other organisations. As well as that, there's a rather fascinating insight into the cost of fashion over the years, fashion designer's memories of British Vogue, musings from current+present staff and more. 

September 2015: The famed September issue featured Emma Watson and is one of my favourite covers, ever. You can see it peeking out behind Kate M above. I know Vogue magazines are laden with advertising, no place is this more evident than in the US September issue. I feel like British Vogue has this on a less excessive scale. The stories and content within their pages don't make it annoying. In a way, the ads are almost works of art in themselves, the better ones anyway. 

October 2014: As we are about to observe, October is a good month for British Vogue cover stars. I loved this laid-back shoot with Rosamund Pike to promote Gone Girl. The accompanying interview was fantastic as well. 

October 2013: Alexa freakin' Chung. I'll admit the hairstyling in these pictures does throw me off slightly. The accompanying story by her about couture though more than makes up for it. We can let the pageboy hair slide, just this once AC. 

January 2012: Florence Welch! Beautiful imagery, reminiscent of renaissance women. I don't think I have this issue anymore, unless it's stowed away in our coffee table/chest. The pictures though truly reflect Florence's style and aesthetic as an artist at that time so they will always be some of my favourites.

December 2008: A collector's piece if ever there was one. A matte cover, Kate Moss in a tulle gown, the best Roald Dahl themed editorial ever. Tim Walker photographed various British icons in Dahl-themed imagery. Helena Bonham Carter in the glass elevator, Karen Elson with a pistol. Gigantic bubblegum bubbles, a humongous crocodile, colour for days. It's just exquisite. Sophie Dahl's story on her memories of Roald Dahl is fantastic as well. I will never get rid of this.

-Do you have a magazine you love?
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The Clinique Diaries

The Clinique Diaries

This story originally appeared on FashioNZ:

Let’s set the record straight; when it comes to skincare regimens, I am pretty undisciplined. I am good at always removing my makeup but if I am tired and the thought of cleansing and the rest feels tedious, I will just flag it in favour of more time reading. One way around this is a short, relatively simple routine. This is where something like the Clinique Fresh Pressed System* is advantageous. A cleanser and a booster that functions in a similar way to your serum or a shot of healthy, nourishing juice. As I write this introduction it is 10pm on a Friday night. The Sunset Instagrams are finally dying down and I am about to begin using this new skincare system…

Friday 31st March: Where are the English instructions? -Five minutes later- Oh there they are! I wonder if this sherbet-like powder will feel tingly/fizzy on the skin? Was I supposed to use the whole sachet tonight? Top beauty blogger here, not reading instructions first. Removed the cleanser and my skin feels cleaner already! Followed up with my usual toner and serum (see photo) and then combined two pumps of the Daily Booster with my moisturiser. Afterwards things looked very glowy. Hmm…

Saturday 1st April: My skin was not glowy or overly shiny this morning, which I love because my combination skin often looks shiny in an irritating way at this time of year. Is this system magic? I used the Daily Booster again with my moisturiser this morning, a bit too liberally. Fingers crossed it doesn’t run out. My skin feels smoother too. So far, so good. This evening I didn’t use enough water with the cleanser so things felt a bit tacky. Lesson learnt, be liberal with water; don’t be liberal with the booster.

The rest of my skincare routine.

Sunday 2nd April: Well my adult acne, ugh, seems to have vanished, yay! Tonight the cleanser to water ratio was achieved as well. It’s the small things.

Monday 3rd April: In breaking news, a small planet has set up camp on my jawline. Pretty sure it’s makeup related so I may have to avoid the offending product for the time being. Author’s note: It was nothing to do with makeup. See next entry. Otherwise my skin is smooth and feels much more hydrated than usual. This twice-daily moisturising ritual is a godsend. Who knew?

Tuesday 4th April: Skin has wreaked hormonal havoc, cue blemishes but otherwise things are still looking pretty good. Just in case, I bought my charcoal exfoliator into the routine tonight as well. Side note: the more I use the Daily Booster, the more I notice and love that it smells like freshly squeezed orange juice. I’m going to miss using it when it runs out.

Wednesday 5th April: I forgot to keep a diary today, whoops. From memory though, my skin still felt a lot more hydrated. My makeup is sitting a lot better on my face and is applying well too. Can it be put down to the Fresh Pressed System? It’s hard to say after only a few days but it certainly seems to be having some impact.

Thursday 6th April: Dear skin, thank you for taking my job interview into consideration and clearing up accordingly. Love from Sophie.

Friday 7th April: I am fresh out of cleanser, pun intended but I still have some Daily Booster left. Admittedly I have been a bit more frugal with this product because I really like it and don’t want it to run out. I’ll continue pairing it with my moisturiser until it is finished. Clinique Fresh Pressed, it’s been a blast. Thanks for helping me become a little more disciplined with my skin than usual and for making a noticeable impact in seven days.

The verdict: Clinique Fresh Pressed is an effective system. In the long run it can be a bit costly but if you need something that is going to be fast acting and give your skin some oomph and hydration, this is well worth it. If you want your skin looking and feeling amazing before an important event, a holiday, a wedding and vice versa, I would highly recommend looking into this. It is designed to be compatible with all skin types but as with anything, we recommend you patch test first. You can buy the seven-day system for $60.00. It comes with seven powder cleanser sachets and one vial of the Daily Booster. Alternatively, you can purchase the Daily Booster in a bundle of 4 vials for $130.00 or the powder sachets in a set of 28 for $70.00

*PR Sample
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A MAC Lipstick Update

A MAC Lipstick Update

The last time I did a post, solely devoted to MAC lipsticks has to have been a while ago. Possibly two, maybe even three years. The lineup has been through quite the revamp since then so it was really time to revisit the idea. You will notice a distinct colour theme here and also that it really is a lot more pared back than it was. I had a rather ruthless beauty clearout a couple of months ago. Anyway, if you are a lover of MAC you're in the right place. Scroll down...

Lady Danger**-Ah Lady D, my favourite of all the MAC reds. It's matte, it's vibrant and packs a mighty red-orange punch. Will you feel like a dangerous woman with this in your possession? Perhaps. It's definitely not a shade for incognito days but when I'm in the mood for something loud, Lady Danger delivers. 

Impassioned**-I've had this shade previously and grabbed it again thanks to Back 2 Mac, more on that below in the asterisk section. This is quite possibly one of my all-time favourite MAC lipsticks. It's just beautiful and the perfect coral pink. It's a cremesheen finish too so is super comfortable to wear on the lips. 

Eros*-A vibrant fuschia with a touch of sheen. I love the way the Liptensity lipsticks feel on the lips, barely there. The colour payoff is superb and I love the slight stain they leave on your lips when they begin to wear off. 

Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge*, limited edition-I seem to often be sent these deep, wine red shades from PR's. Do not get me wrong, I am grateful obviously but it's just not a colour that excites me no matter how many reincarnations it receives. This Charlotte Olympia number does get the special treatment though because it's encased in exquisite, futuristic, glamorous packaging. I always feel like I'm channeling Alexa Chung in this colour. A bonus any day of the week. 

Ruby Woo*, limited edition packaging (permanent shade)-Ruby Woo is one of MAC's most popular shades, in fact it was the shade featured in Sali Hughes' book, Pretty Iconic. It's your classic, statement, sultry, fifties red. Think Gwen Stefani, Marilyn Monroe and others. It's extremely matte, to the point it can feel a bit drying on the lips. I recommend always wearing a lip balm, liner and if you want extra comfort, a touch of gloss.

Whirl*, limited edition packaging, permanent shade-A dusty rose, matte made famous in its original form as a lipliner. Back when we still believed Kylie J used it on its own to make her lips appear larger. Shade throwing aside, it's a gorgeous shade and I feel like it's a colour that would complement a wide range of skintones. It also pairs nicely with a bit of gloss over the top to add some dimension too. 

MAC Trolls in Dance Off, Pants Off*, limited edition-A fuschia lipstick, similar to the permanent shade Show Orchid but with more of a blue-glitter reflect. It's not overly noticeable on the lips though. It just adds a bit of sparkle and sheen. Despite its boldness, this colour is surprisingly easy to swipe on and wear. I love it.

Doe-My favourite, brown-based nude. It's another lipstick from the extensive Liptensity range. Admittedly sometimes I feel like this lipstick doesn't always 'work' on me but that could just be irrational thinking. 

MAC Viva Glam Miley, limited edition*-Someone correct me if I am wrong but I'm pretty sure this shade is no longer available. It's similar to Lady Danger but less orange. I guess a similar shade would be Vegas Volt, which is permanent. 

Modesty**-Another Back to MAC acquisition. Annoyingly, Patisserie, my favourite MAC nude is not part of the selection for this but after some swatching, I think Modesty comes pretty close. In fact, I may even prefer it. If only for the fact it seems to hang around a little longer than Patisserie does. I may just have to repurchase Patisserie at some stage though because I find myself missing it. First world problem though, am I right?

-What is your go-to MAC lipstick?

*PR Sample

**Back 2 MAC (obtained by returning six empty MAC items)
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The Bookdate, Volume Two

The Bookdate, Volume Two

Hello, Happy Monday and welcome back to another edition (book puns ftw) of The Bookdate. An intimate insight into the inner workings of my book reading habits. Serial readers, essay lovers, you are safe here. There's also four books I'd love to acquire sometime soon, a book club update and a blog+bookstagram to add to your literary loving lives...

Book Club: For March+April we assigned two books for Sophie's Book Club. What, you haven't heard of it? I thought it was at Oprah status. I jest. Truth be told I have only finished The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. What it has done is make me want to read everything she has ever written and also left me thinking about it in the days and weeks since completing it. It was written during one of the most tumultuous years of Didion's life, seeing with it the loss of her husband and adoptive daughter. It covers the full spectrum of coming to terms with grief, loss and the small moments that make up the relationships and memories we formulate as a result. It's not the easiest book to read but it is rewarding and is worth persevering with. I'm handing my copy along to my cousin in the hope she finds it equally as mesmerising. 

The Oosterbook: Full disclosure aside: I have known Laura since high school and we shared literature recommendations, her to me mainly, and discussed our love of niche publications. Regardless, I think I would still love her recommendations and writing. She has a bookish blog and also contributes musings on what she reads on many a corner of the interwebs+over on her Instagram. She shares my habit of dipping in and out of books and classifies herself as a book club slut. Same tbh. If you like books and carefully formulated words, go give her a follow.

/ Image by Laura from this post. 

Recently Read: / My Not So Perfect Life* by Sophie Kinsella. A novel that at its simplest is about a twenty-something trying to find her place in the world. Its complexities look at the social constructions and curated digital footprints we tend to gravitate towards. Kinsella laces it with her usual charm and wit. The book is laugh out loud funny in many ways. I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did but I loved it and spent many a late night reading it. That's what coffee in the morning was established for, right? / I'll Tell You in Person by Chloe Caldwell. A book I spied on Emma Roberts's Instagram and promptly ordered from the library. Caldwell's writing is delicious and delectable, for lack of better words. Her essays, Sisterless and The Girls Of My Youth have left particularly lasting impressions. The whole collection is worth exploring though. She has another book coming out this year and I am keeping watch for details about it.  / The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. This small tome was found after googling 'books to read if you love The Crown'. It was that or rewatch the entire series again for a third time, which let's be honest, seems inevitable. It explores the idea of The Queen busying herself with reading from a traveling library that visits Buckingham Palace. She requests literature to read, particularly classics and finds friendship and comfort in the pages of her books. Her advisors however disapprove and don't like to see her become knowledgeable. Ridiculous as it may seem, this idea does crop up in The Crown to some extent so it is somewhat believable. This book is short but brilliant and I loved it. 

The Wishlist: / The Vegetarian by Han Kang. I've picked up this book countless times in many independent bookshops and literally just requested it from the library. Its haunting, dark plot is what is keeping me away I think. In some ways, this is how I felt with Didion's book and the confronting nature of grief, never mind a whole book about it. It does keep drawing me in though so I'm sure it will be impressionable, just like Didion's was.  / Greatest Hits by Laura Barnett.  One of my favourite reads of last year was The Versions of Us, also by Barnett. Her new novel, out in May is about a musician who retreats into herself in the 1970's. Cass's story is told through music and looks at what it means to make mistakes and be accepting of them in retrospect. / How to be a Grown Up by Daisy Buchanan. After seeing some of my favourite internet babes, namely Liv and Rosalind singing its praises, my interest was established. A tongue in cheek, Moran-esque guide to adulting and realising you're doing okay is what can be found within its pages. I feel like some of the twenties, although I am only entering the halfway point now, is spent feeling inadequate and unaccomplished. Comforting words and realising we all don't really know what we're doing is always reassuring in my books, literal and metaphorical.  / One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul. A collection of debut essays by an Indian Immigrant's daughter. It explores 'sexism, stereotypes and the universal miseries of life'. The title might be dire but I'm sure the words inside will be anything but. 

That concludes another round of the bookdate. Next month I'll have some new book club reads for you all and no doubt another wishlist. This week I'm on a little mini-cation and it's just what the doctor (me) ordered. So far that is consisting of walks, coffee, Easter chocolate, a quiet desk area and probably way too many books. I'm a chronic over-packer when it comes to reading material. While I'm here, I did a guest post for Grace's blog with some book recommendations. They span high school, the great outdoors, fashion, feminism and child stardom. Go give it a browse and check out her inspiring blog. She's a talented writer. I'll see you all later in the week with a beauty post. MAC lovers, you will appreciate it! x

*Review copy

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