6 Ways I Practice Self Care
10/16/2017

6 Ways I Practice Self Care



The concept of self-care is probably 2017's equivalent of hygge. We're wary of the ways of the world, as Solange pointed out and now more than ever it feels more important to be kind to ourselves first and foremost. Personally I find taking time out for myself, regardless of what is happening around me, makes such a difference to my overall mental health. Today I thought I'd share six ways in which I practice self-care or ways I try to be kind to myself. I certainly need to practice what I preach sometimes but hey, nobody is perfect...

1) Keep a diary. As someone who thinks a lot it only makes sense that I'd find this soothing. I have a couple of different journals, more on that later in the month but for me this helps me to make sense of things. I also keep one where I write about positive moments from each day but yeah. I'm spoiling the basis of one of my blog posts so I'll move on to numero dos. 

2) Go for walks. I do not run, unless limited edition makeup is involved. In seriousness, I love walking. If I find I need a breather, I take myself for a walk. It needn't be far afield, although a tranquil setting does help. I have a few breaks during my workday and I try to spend at least one, if not all of them going for a wander. Some of my favourite places to wander are around gardens but I also enjoy just meandering around cities, laneways and things too. 

3) Watch a TV show/catch up on YouTube. Preferably without phones nearby although this isn't always possible. I do like to zone out when I'm watching something I enjoy though. At the moment I'm watching Big Little Lies and also the new episodes of Will and Grace

4. Read. As Matilda Wormwood would say "Oh yes, I love to read." Magazines, novels, poetry. I love it. I try to always take some form of reading material with me on my commute to and from work and am notorious for overpacking books when I travel. They're my paper security blanket I guess.

5. Throw on glitter eyeshadow or bright lipstick. Heck if you want to go bold, why not rock both at the same time? You do you. I know the idea of makeup and self confidence can be dismissed as frivolous or silly but it's hard not to feel good when you're wearing one or the other. My go-to's are the Stila Liquid Metal shadows or something like MAC Impassioned or Lancome Idole lipsticks.

6. Talk. Whether that be to a friend, counsellor, someone you think is rad on Twitter. Whether it be heavy or light. Talking is the freaking best. You never know what you will learn.

-How do you practice self care?
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Makeup I Have Used Up
10/13/2017

Makeup I Have Used Up




It's been a long time since I've done one of these posts so inspired by Cass, I decided to do one this month. That and I've had this mini vase of these products on my bookshelf staring at me for months. Whoops. Anyway, here's some makeup items I've used up...

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla: This has been my go-to, ride or die concealer for years. I want to say four years but it might even be longer than that. So surely I've been through a fair few of these now. I've recently switched shades to Custard but will probably be closer to this colour again next Autumn and Winter. Repurchase? Until the day it is discontinued.

Lancome Grandiose Liner*: I'm notoriously terrible when it comes to eyeliner of the liquid variety. We just don't mesh well. That being said, this liner is the first I've used where I can actually apply it properly and have things looking half decent. That probably comes down to the incredibly fine nib but also the way you can angle the actual eyeliner pen to suit you. Genius move, Ms. Eldridge. Repurchase? One day, when my wallet is in "treat yo'self" mode.

Glossier Boy Brow: One of Glossier's cult products is this brow gel. I had the shade brown, but they have since expanded the shade range to include a clear variety and also a black. Compared to other brow gels I've tried, I find the fact it isn't so thick makes it easier to work with and it looks more natural. Especially for someone like me with dark eyebrows anyhow, I don't want something that'll make my brows look cartoony or starkly different coloured. This delivers and keeps them in place. Repurchase? I did get a backup in an order with a friend which I'm currently using. 

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: Another cult product, with a somewhat questionable name. Seriously this one perplexes me. Anyway, this mascara really makes your lashes look a lot thicker and fuller. It's been quite a while since I finished this so apologies if my review skills are a bit rusty. I remember liking this but not loving it. Repurchase? No because I like other mascaras more than this. Like anything beauty, this is just personal preference and I know a lot of people do love this mascara.

NARS Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base: Another NARS staple for me and one I have Ingrid to thank for bringing to my attention a good while ago. As someone with oily eyelids, bane of my existence, if I am not wearing primer, eyeshadow will just disappear into my crease. As much as I love my glitter eyeshadow, finding a thin line of it where my eyelid starts is not a good look. This prevents that and then some. I've tried a couple of other primers; Too Faced's Shadow Insurance and Primer Potion+others I'm probably forgetting and liked none of them or found them ineffective. Highly, highly recommend this. Repurchase? Until the day this is discontinued and I've sent NARS an extremely emotional letter.

Lancome Grandiose Extreme Mascara*: Lancome's iconic, swan neck mascara had a makeover last year with a more matte, more dramatic formula. This was one of the first Lancome mascaras I tried and along with Monsieur Big, it's another of my favourites. They do mascaras so much justice and I find they're at their best after they've dried out a little bit. Repurchase? Perhaps one day. I tend to flit between mascaras I like quite a bit and I like trying new ones so it may be a while but it'll be an inevitable occurrence.

-Have you tried any of these products? What did you think of them?

*PR Sample


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September Beauty Mail
10/10/2017

September Beauty Mail



It seems you all are just as curious as I am about other people's mail. In a non-stalkerish way of course. I asked over on Instagram stories, love that new poll feature, which beauty post you wanted to see first this week and here we have it. Admittedly, these are all products I have been generously sent but just a quick disclaimer. I do not feature everything I am sent. That goes for books and the likes too. I only feature what I genuinely like and/or think y'all will like and want to hear about too. Anyway, on with the beauty mail...


Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream*, limited edition in collaboration with Autism Speaks-I love when brands get behind great causes like the above. Props to you Kiehl's. Ultra Facial Cream is one of their bestsellers and I believe it was initially designed for climbers in arctic conditions. It's incredibly rich and hydrating, perfect for dry skin or skin that's just a bit starved of moisture. 

YSL After Hours Foundation*-Admittedly I wish this foundation wasn't quite so expensive but that qualm aside, this is a good'un. I can't usually get away with wearing bases without primers but this one I can. The coverage is on the fuller side of things, you can easily skip concealer if you want to. It doesn't feel thick though which I like. Oily skinned gals, this lasts a good 4/5 hours without powder which in my books is pretty impressive. It may be luxe but it's worth it in my opinion.

Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara*-Firstly, love the name which aptly ties in with the bigger mascara wand. This mascara means business and delivers volume and length without too much effort. By that I mean you don't have to spend ages building it up, a good one or two coats will do the trick. I can't vouch for its smudge proof properties. Most mascaras tend to not smudge around my eyes anyway but on me it definitely stays put. This might just be my new favourite Lancome mascara, and they do mascaras well so that is saying something. 


The Body Shop Virgin Mojito*-Two of my cocktail inspired favourites are back at The Body Shop. Pinita Colada fans, get excited too. Can I get an amen. This Virgin Mojito range is my favourite though. Just as appealing as one of my favourite drinks, albeit the alcoholic offering. The mint gives it a freshness which is super uplifting in the mornings. That and anything that smells good enough to drink usually gets a tick of approval from me. In seriousness, the scrub gelee is all kinds of luxe and I recommend grabbing it to take up residence in your shower.

Goldea* x Bvlgari-Side note: I always want to add a u in here, yet Bvlgari is far from vulgar. Anyway, this new fragrance gives me nostalgic, seventies vibes. I don't know, I just have this vision of Susan Sarandon or Stevie Nicks spritzing this and then stepping out in some aviator shades, looking effortlessly undone. Goldea is a delightful blend of floral with a hint of musk. It's not one for the fragrance-shy but that's what I like about it. I feel like this is the fragrance you'd wear to cocktail night or a glamorous occasion. I invent stories to go with fragrances now apparently. Seriously though, go give it a spritz and enjoy.

-What beauty bits have you been trying recently?

*PR Sample




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The Bookdate, Volume Six
10/08/2017

The Bookdate, Volume Six



It feels like ages since I've devoted time exclusively to books, although that being said I managed to finish one of these books which was close to five hundred pages in about a week. We're certainly going to be spoilt for choice very soon with new releases, as booksellers rush to load their shelves with fresh ideas and pages for the holiday season. Today, as with all the other bookdate posts I'm waxing lyrical on books I've read recently, some extra literary things and what's currently atop my wishlist. Enjoy...

Recently Read: / What Happened x Hillary Rodham Clinton. First things first, I've seen a lot of people reading this book, ladies and gents which pleases me no end. That aside, I was really keen to get into what was dubbed Hillary's most candid memoir yet. She's published two previously, one of which I have and need to get to asap. As the title would suggest, this book chronicles the leadup and aftermath of that election. It is at times bleak reading, as is to be expected but it is also full of hope and positivity. Hillary is one amazing woman and I highly recommend giving this a read.  / Paris x Megan Hess. I've long been a fan of Megan's illustrations, ever since spying them in the pages of Fashion Quarterly magazine way back when. Despite that, I actually owned none of her books and only gifted them to friends, until now. Her book on Paris is just exquisite; broken down into places to see, shop and eat. This is a book you'll want to display proudly on your coffee table or in a guest room. It's far too beautiful to be hiding away on a shelf.  / How To Be A  Grown Up x Daisy Buchanan. It's taken me a while to read this for the key reason that I am a serial reader. I wish I'd not left it so long though. Buchanan's book is an essential for every twenty-something. It's full of wisdom, humour and is like reading something from a non-condescending best friend or older sister. I'm about to lend my copy to Britney but I am also considering it for people's Christmas gifts this year too.  / The Secret History x Donna Tartt. Now this is a re-read for me, although really it may as well be a first-time read because it turns out I'm remembering little of it. To be fair, I did read it three years ago. The Secret History is Tartt's debut novel and it is intoxicating and breathtaking all in one go. Her writing is decadent for lack of a better word. Just read it. It's hard to do Tartt justice if you've not experienced it yourself. 

Pages of Note: Childhood and teenaged Sophie would be horrified at the fact I now take to regularly underlining and post-it noting passages in my books. I mean, I did that in school but it served a different purpose then. Anyway, lately I have taken to doing this more frequently and then when I've finished a book going back to the sections I loved. One thing I've noticed is particularly vivid descriptions get an underline from me. For instance, the way in which Donna Tartt writes about clothing in The Secret History is particularly powerful so I've underlined a lot of that. I also end up writing some of these out in my diaries too. I dunno, this is just a random thing I do and enjoy. 

The Wishlist: *Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban-illustrated edition x JK Rowling. As my favourite book in the Harry Potter series, I was always going to be lusting after this one. I had a chance to flick through this yesterday with a friend and we were both gazing heart-eyed at it. Pssst, Santa if you are reading. This 9 25 year old would not say no to this.  *#girlgaze x Amanda De Cadenet. The #girlgaze tag and project are one of my favourites on Instagram. Established to celebrate female artists and photographers. It's supported by the likes of Amanda De Cadenet, Sam Taylor Johnson and other inspiring women. This new book is a showcase of some of that talent so therefore it'll be a visual love fest. Another for the Christmas wishlist. *The Catcher In The Rye x JD Salinger. I've read an incredibly slim list of classic literature. A fact I'm not proud of. This book and Franny & Zooey have captured my attention for the longest time but I am yet to read either of them. I figure starting with the most renowned is the best way to go.  *Untitled poetry collection x Indy Yellich O'Connor. I don't have a link for this one as it's yet to be released or up for preorder. If you follow Indy on Instagram  or any of her platforms, you will know she is quite the wordsmith. I'm really excited to see her first published work. Once I know more about it I'll share links etc on Instagram. 

Totes Y'All: The Nook and Burrow ladies sell some freakin' awesome wares but this tote at the moment might just take the cake. The sentiments; coffee, cats, books and feminism are all extremely relatable and any books, magazines, or an abundance of notebooks (if you are me) would be well housed in this canvas fabric home. 

-What have you been reading lately?
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Five Things | October
10/04/2017

Five Things | October



October is out to party and as I seem to say on a near daily basis, channeling Lauren Graham's Old Lady Jackson persona, if you've not read this then do it, where has 2017 gone!? Maybe it's just because a lot has changed in my life this year so it feels all the more fast paced. I don't know. Anyway, the start of the month, albeit four days in means it's time to share five random but brilliant things with you including an Instagram challenge, a show, a podcast and two other things you'll need to keep reading to discover. I'm a rival for Kris Jenner's level of hype-building obviously.

Au Revoir Treat Yo'Self Mindset: I need to come up with a much better hashtag than #notreatyoselftober because that's too much of a mouthful. Anyway, in case you missed my Instagram, inspired by Daisy Buchanan I am having a month of thoughtful spending. By that I mean sticking to the essentials like food+drink, appointments, petrol and other admittedly dull expenses. It means for me foregoing things like makeup launches (boo, hiss), magazines (extra long boo, hiss), books, clothes and just things I might want but perhaps don't exactly need. My reward if I am successful is some Zoe and Morgan earrings which I can't link because their site is down but will asap. The lovely Liv is doing this too, albeit avoiding clothes shopping and Britney is using what she saves towards paying off expenses. I am also keeping a diary too so I'll share excerpts next month, all going to plan.

Gaga: Five Foot Two-Netflix has gifted us another gem in the form of this documentary following Lady Gaga in 2016 and the lead up to the release of her latest album, Joanne. It is extremely candid and at times difficult to watch. Maybe because I have been such a fan of hers pretty much consistently for ages I found it really hard seeing her guilt over chronic pain and struggles with loneliness. Even if you aren't a fan, I recommend you watch this. It's beautifully filmed and put together. PS-If you are as much of a Florence Welch fangirl as I am, she features and it is adorable.

Leader of the Lip Stylos: Hourglass often wins over my makeup loving heart with their dreamy powders. Lately though their lipsticks have been singing out to me and I recently grabbed one of their lip stylos in the shade Leader and I am smitten with it. Described as a vivid fuschia, it's punchy, it's vibrant and it's just beauteous. I wore it yesterday at work and didn't touch it up deliberately so I could see how it lasted. It wore away well, fading eventually to a more natural stain without looking patchy. It was also incredibly comfortable to wear and easy to apply. If you want to keep things extra neat I'd suggest using a lipliner first but it's not essential. 

Matilda, The Musical-I always will have a soft spot for Matilda x Roald Dahl in all its forms; book, film and more recently musical. Well in August it arrived in Auckland and I finally got to see it again last month in my home city. Just as mesmerising, brilliant and wonderful as ever. It's only here for another three weeks and I seriously suggest you make it a priority if you've not been. It does not disappoint. 

Desert Island Discs: I have Liv to once again thank for bringing this archival podcast to my attention. My goodness it's good. Even though the full songs selected by the figures profiled can't be played back, the interviews more than make up for it. I've lost track of all the episodes I've listened to now, I find them great to throw on at work. Standout ones include; Joanna Lumley, Emma Thompson, Stella McCartney, Caitlin Moran. The archives are extensive so I'll be sure to share more of my recommendations as I come to them.

-What's on your radar this October?
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