New In: Luxe Loves

New In: Luxe Loves

This is not exactly a haul, this is more a post of acquisitions. Seeing as I bought neither of these things and was lucky to receive them, I'm perhaps doubly excited. I love eyewear, I love Diptyque candles. Yes, there is more to life than luxury candles and eyewear but sometimes, it's things like these that can make you feel like a 'together' person. The kind who keeps loads of lists and burns candles for ambience. I jest, I'm so not that person. Although I do keep a lot of lists. Anyway, today I thought I'd wax lyrical on a couple of luxe loves...

Baies Candle x Diptyque, a gift-This was a thank you gift for housesitting and no joke I was like "Baies, for me!?!?" before quickly peeling away the plastic wrapping from the box. I promise I don't like this candle just for the somewhat catchy name, Baies=bae. The scent itself is divine. Combining roses and blackcurrant leaves, it's just exquisite. You'll notice it's not been burnt yet. I'm trying to finish up my Figuier candle first.

Ray Ban Wayfarers*-Sixteen year old Sophie would be so excited if she knew she'd one day own real Wayfarers. I did have a pair of much-loved knockoffs from Equip (RIP) but I broke them on my first ever day of Uni (again, RIP). These are a classic shape and while I'd probably suit the oversized style a bit better than these I still love the way they look on. The tortoiseshell frames adds a point of difference too. Side note; I love the sturdy case they come in as well and the lenses are perfectly tinted, not too dark, not too light. Actually these are great glasses for driving. Can you tell I love 'em just a bit?

-Do you have any luxe loves?

*These snazzy shades were sent to me by Smart Buy Glasses. This post is not sponsored and all love of classic, iconic eyewear is my own.
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5 Things

5 Things

It's 10pm, I should probably be asleep but I want to write. If only for some semblance of normality. I was going to label this post five things I'm loving but that seems trite* so instead I'm just using the somewhat abstracter title of five things. Five things that right now have significance for me and are making my life richer as a result.

1) Walking the dog, more specifically in the Botanical Gardens. I'm very lucky to live only a short drive away from one of my favourite places in Auckland. As well as having many trails and of course plants in abundance, they also have a huge dog park or free-run if you will. Despite it being right next to the motorway I always feel a sense of peace here and it's such a fantastic place to escape to. The dog loves it too.

2) Music through noise canceling headphones. My love of music is perhaps less well-documented although I do slip in albums every so often around here. Anyway, I found my Frends headphones again recently and have been using them to listen to music on my iPod. Ancient relic I know, ahem. It's the perfect way to zone out and appreciate every single element of the song. It enhances the music listening experience and I love it.

3) Familiar reads. Despite having a crazy volume of books to read, sometimes I just need to immerse myself in pages well trawled and familiar. There is something incredibly comforting and ritualistic about it and I love it. My current revisited tomes are; Bloom x Estee Lalonde, It x Alexa Chung and An Extraordinary Theory of Objects x Stephanie Lacava. 

4) This photo (see below). Sometimes I cut up beautiful magazines and their imagery. This was salvaged from a discarded issue of Kinfolk I believe and I am obsessed with it. Whenever I see it, it reminds me of The Secret History, Camilla in particular and also the Lisbon sisters from The Virgin Suicides had they reached adulthood. I wish I'd made a note of who captured it because it's now one of my all time favourite photographs. 

5) My stardust, aka my wonderful friends. You know who you are and probably all prefer the anonymity. Thank you for listening to my rants about life and at the other end of the scale, enthusiasm for ideas and projects in equal measure. Thank you also for sending me cake in the mail when I need it or even just a text. Y'all are the best x.

*Apologies for the cynicism and lack of elaboration. Maybe I'll discuss it someday. 
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The Bookdate, Volume Three

The Bookdate, Volume Three

Hello, happy Monday and happy Auckland Writers Festival week. It's a good week for literary greatness. To kick off the week I'm back with a third installment of my bookish series that I share around these parts. As per usual we have an update on Oprah Sophie's Book Club, a digital recommendation, some things I've read and not discussed elsewhere and, for once, a very slim wishlist...

Book Club: Now for May and June I've selected two books to read and write up on. First we have The Cows* by Dawn O'Porter. Harper Collins very kindly sent me a copy (or two, more on that another time) but I was alway going to read and devour this regardless. I've set this one aside for May and haven't had much of a chance to read it yet. It is addicting and hilarious so far though. Next up we have Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose which comes at the recommendation of Lena Dunham and Tavi Gevinson, among others. Side note: Tavi interviewed Durga for her ROOKIE podcast and it's worth a listen. I grabbed this when I was in Wellington last month and according to the blurb, Chew-Bose captures 'the inner restlessness that keeps her always on the brink of creative expression'. 

What Olivia Did: Some of you will probably know of Liv as a fashion and beauty extraordinaire but she also dabbles in the odd spot of book themed content. Today I am alerting you all to her channel because she does share the occasional book video and often a recommendation in her monthly favourites. Her Spring Reading List was particularly brilliant and had me jotting down names of the few books I had not read. We have similar taste apparently. You should also all subscribe to Liv because she is lovely and her videos are fantastic. She deserves so much more subscriber love.

Recently Read: / The Clothing of Books by Jhumpa Lahiri. I will be honest, this was on my to-read list but I also could not resist this cover. Look at it! This is a short but idea-laden translation of a speech Lahiri gave in 2015, initially in Italian. It explores the nuances of book covers and how for a writer, they mark the tangibility of ideas and the finality of work. It also talks about the disconnect between cover designer and writer, especially because a lot of the time that side of things isn't a collaborative process.  / The End by Lemony Snicket. So I finally finished my re-read of A Series of Unfortunate Events. It's only taken a few years. Anyway, I did not remember this book or how the series 'ended' as such at all. The Baudelaires and Olaf wash up on an island, where everything ends up eventually. It's home to a tribe of sorts and an almost cornucopia-like array of objects. It also contains many a reference to The Tempest by William Shakespeare. Namely the characters being named after those from the play but also other subtler anecdotes. I really enjoyed it and I'll be curious to see how it is adapted for Netflix eventually.  / Archival issues of Lula magazine. See visual aid. When a follower of mine on Twitter got in touch with me to say she had some Lulas to rehome, I had to grab the issues she had from the Leith Clark era. They have not disappointed either, although I am only reading the Sweet Sixteen issue right now. I want to make their magic last. Also read this for more Lula greatness.

/ Tavi photographed for The Coveteur, see the full story here

The Wishlist of Re-Reads: Instead of making a wishlist of books this month, I want to give mentions to books I hope to revisit soon. / An Extraordinary Theory of Objects by Stephanie Lacava. Objects and their associations+significance has always been something that fascinates me. I pore over what my friends and family display in their homes for this reason. With my eyes people, I'm not a world class sleuth. Lacava's writing explores much of that and the anxieties and feelings of relocating to Paris after a childhood spent in the United States. It's been a while since I read this, maybe three or four years back and it was only after stumbling upon an interview in one of the Lulas I was sent that I remembered I own it.  / The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Secret societies, universities that conjure images of the halls of the school in Dead Poets Society, flawed young men and women. Perfection in other words. I bought this on a whim and was mesmerised by it like everyone who read it before me. It's about time for a reread.  / The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. This book is one of my all time favourites so I tend to read it annually. At least once or twice actually. The way it is written as letters and the way it gets into the psyche of teenaged outsiderness without the romanticism is something I really relate to. As somebody who never felt like they fit in during high school and adolescence in general, this book is so comforting. 

-What have you read recently?

*Review copy

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May Reading List

May Reading List

Let's keep this intro short and sweet. Much like this month's reading list. We are only ten days into May and two days away from Harry Styles album. Off topic I apologise, May is turning out to be a busy time with sadly not much time for reading. So instead of giving myself an overly ambitious number of books to read this month, I have three. Two are non fiction works of art (I hope) and the other is a highly regarded novel...

Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit: When Emma and myself go into a bookstore, enabling and influencing happens. This book serves as proof of that. No regrets, obviously. I've picked this book up and pondered it for ages so I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy it. The title, a rather clever reference to what is now known as 'mansplaining' thanks to Solnit's essay really sums it up. I always have time for essays on feminism and I've been wanting to get into Rebecca Solnit's writing for a while now. 

Moranthology by Caitlin Moran: I love Caitlin Moran, I love Caitlin Moran's writing. Moranthology was the volume of essays and writing released by Moran following her cult classic How To Be A Woman. It contains writing on Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse, Chivalry, Being Poor and a whole slew of other topics. As soon as I've finished reading this I'll be picking Moranthology up.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood: After loving Hag-Seed an awful lot it was only a matter of time before more Atwood material made its way onto the shelves. The Handmaid's Tale is having a bit of a moment right now, with the launch of the series based on the book at the end of last month. I also want to watch the original film with Natasha Richardson as Offred but feel the compulsion to read it first. The Handmaid's Tale looks at a dystopian society in which women are valued for their ability to conceive. That is about all I can tell you so far. It is also Emma Watson's latest selection for her Our Shared Shelf book club so I'm hoping to finish it by the time they start discussing it there.

-What are you reading during May?
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A Trip To Mecca Maxima Wellington

A Trip To Mecca Maxima Wellington

A couple of weeks back I set off on a day trip to Wellington, partly because I like to escape on my own every so often and partly so I could check out the new Mecca Maxima. I was lucky enough to avoid the crazy line snaking around the block on Willis Street but it was pretty crowded inside. I'm not the hugest fan of crowds so I gravitated towards what I knew I wanted and made mental notes of what I'd look at online later. The store is huge and so spacious, despite the fact it was filled with people. All the beauty favourites are there although fans of Byredo and Diptyque, you'll have to find your luxe fragrances online now/in Auckland if you fancy a treat. Still there's plenty of other delights to keep even the most seasoned of beauty fans happy. Speaking of, here's what I nabbed on the day. My basket was considerably fuller and I did change my mind a couple of times but I've been using all these products religiously since I got back to Auckland so I have zero regrets...

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, mini size-Longtime readers will know this is my concealer of choice however for the longest time I've felt like Vanilla is just a bit too pale for me. When I saw they had minis of the shade Custard I had to get one. You know I already love this concealer and its skillfulness when it comes to concealing a multitude of complexion sins. Blemishes and redness, I'm looking at you. Custard really suits me a lot better so when I've run out of my current tube of Vanilla, I'll be heading for this instead.

Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara-I've wanted to try Kevyn Aucoin's mascaras for a long time as I know they're incredibly popular. Also because Zoe Foster Blake recommended them and I have a bit of a girl crush on her. She knows her stuff people. This mascara contains lash fibres so it really lengthens and adds the drama. I already have quite long lashes but this takes things next level and I love the effect it gives. It's a tubing formula too which means it doesn't smudge or flake so it's great for those of you who find mascara goes everywhere. It isn't the cheapest but bold claim, it's easily one of the best mascaras I've tried in recent years.

Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow-My love for these shadows is also well documented around here and I had to get Bronzed Bell when I saw it. A little enabling from Morgan may have been to blame as well. Who am I kidding? It was all me folks. This bronze is shot through with silver reflects and looks stunning. I am still absolutely smitten with this formula. If you're a shimmer fiend, you need these in your life.

-Have you been to the new Mecca Maxima? What did you think of it?
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