Autumn Beauty: The Budget Edition

Autumn Beauty: The Budget Edition

While it definitely doesn't feel quite as Autumnal as I'd like here at the moment, it doesn't stop me from wanting to change up the beauty products I reach for. Autumn is the time for berry lips, shimmery copper-toned eyes, metallic nails and a touch of glow. Today I wanted to share some of my favourite, affordable beauty products for Autumn or Fall as the American folk call it. There's some real gems in here and the best part is they won't make your wallet weep...

Essence Lash Mania Mascara-This is one of my friend's favourite mascaras and she's been known to buy it in bulk so I had to see what all the fuss was about when she was buying it. Update: Since I wrote this I've found out this mascara has been discontinued which is sad but I might as well leave this review here anyway in case it's still around somewhere. Oh my goodness guys it is good. It's one of the few mascaras I have tried that curls your lashes properly, without an additional lash tool. It gives you a ton of volume and makes your lashes look thick and lush. 

Topshop Beauty Glow Highlighter-Admittedly I tend to not reach for this a lot because I do prefer my powder highlighters. For a cream highlight though this champagne number is so pretty. It's not filled with chunky shimmer particles and is perfect for paler skintones. Topshop makeup, despite being a bit pricier than some of the other products in this post is still pretty affordable and fairly decent value for money. 

Milani Gel Powder Eyeshadow in Bella Sand-Milani is one of my favourite drugstore brands. You can shop them online here in NZ via but they don't seem to have these online at the moment. These are such lovely shadows though. Uber pigmented with a silky finish. I love the colour range as well. Bella Sand is my favourite neutral shadow for days when I just can't be bothered putting any effort into my makeup, it happens more often than you'd think(!). 

Wet N Wild Lip Color in Cherry Picking-This was inspired by Tara and Ellen because I know they love these lipsticks. My friend in the US (shout out to you Hannah) sent me this colour last year and I love it. It's a gorgeous berry colour that leans a bit more on the pink side of things so it's less intimidating if you're not a fan of the vampier lip look. I need to wear this in a video/in real life sometime soon actually. It's been a while.

Wet N Wild Eyeshadow Palette in Comfort Zone-Another little gem sent over by Hannah. She's a legend that one. This palette is stunning. The eyeshadows all have such strong pigmentation and I love how they're all laid out with their uses clearly labelled. Palettes like these are perfect for people who aren't quite confident with their eyeshadow knowledge. Let's face it, not having to think about makeup in the mornings is also a mega bonus. 

Maybelline Colorsensational Lip Matte lipstick in Daringly Nude*-I only received this colour from Maybelline at the end of last week but it's fast becoming one of my favourite lipsticks. The colour is basically identical to the hue of my lips and reminds me so much of my beloved Patisserie lipstick x MAC. I'm really loving these nude lipsticks from Maybelline so be prepared to see me waxing lyrical on them a bit more soon.

Essie Polish in Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low-This was purchased at Postie Plus of all places for the bargain price of $8. That's less than half the price of what they usually sell for here in NZ! They don't have the greatest colour selection but they're still worth checking out. This shade is described as a molten gold but to me it leans more silver. It's super pretty and that's all there is to say about it really.

L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush-An oldie but a goodie. This shade isn't sold in NZ but it's easy enough to hunt down online if you're keen. The perfect, coppery bronze eyeshadow with a touch of glitz to it. It's one of my all-time favourites and these shadows are so underrated, they need a bit more love!

-What are your Autumn beauty staples?

*PR Sample

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March Book Haul

March Book Haul

I'm back from another of my seemingly regular YouTube hiatuses. I need to sort that out but it's one of those things that just falls further down the priority stack when things get busy. Now I'm on semester break though I'm going to try to film a few things so I have a little backlog of videos to upload. Anyway, here's my March book haul featuring books I've received, bought and a couple of mini reviews for the books I've read already or am reading at the moment. Enjoy! I'll be back on Wednesday with a beauty post.
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Book Releases in 2016: My Wishlist

Book Releases in 2016: My Wishlist

-Images from: here and here

2016 is shaping up to be a pretty promising year on the reading side of things. There's some exciting new novels and non-fiction reads that have me excited like Leslie Knope when she's presented with friendship waffles. This is only a small selection, but no doubt you will see the rest of them in posts throughout the year. So without further ado, here's some books that are coming out in 2016 that I am quite eager to get into reading...

Girl Up by Laura Bates-This is a follow-up to Bates' popular book Everyday Sexism which I'm sure many of you have read or are familiar with. I'm hoping to start it soon. Girl Up takes things a step further and looks at the expectations bestowed upon women by the media, body image, social media and all the other 'fables' we're led to believe. It sounds really interesting and is no doubt going to get us thinking and then realising how warped our perceptions on a number of topics are. I might make a video on this once I've had a read so let me know if you're interested in seeing that.

On The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher-Carrie's non-fiction debut All I Know Now was a book I thoroughly enjoyed, even if I was a bit outside the target audience. Her novel though sounds like it's geared at a slightly older audience, more in line with Carrie's+my age group. Go read the synopsis in the link I've attached or go listen to Carrie speaking about the ideas behind the book in her videos. It's such a unique concept. She's a very gifted wordsmith so I may just have to preorder this one..

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child-How nice of JK Rowling to give me an early birthday present. She's so generous like that. In seriousness, this book's release excites me for a number of reasons. #1-It is a new Harry Potter book. HARRY POTTER. The series, characters and world which were such an important detail in the fabric of my childhood. #2-You can preorder the book and I believe line up to get it, much like the releases during aforementioned childhood years. I haven't preordered this yet but oh man I kinda want to. For nostalgic purposes+maximisation of excitement levels. 

Ctrl, Alt; Delete: How I Grew Up Online by Emma Gannon-I have to give thanks to Zoella for mentioning Emma Gannon over on her blog because she's fast becoming one of my favourite writers/bloggers/internet women. The book's title is pretty self explanatory. Emma's birth coincided with the conception of the Internet so she has literally grown up online. This book is filled with her musings on topics such as the dreaded MySpace avatar, having to share the desktop computer (the struggles), catfishing, blogging, trolls and everything in between. I'm sure this is going to be hilarious, entertaining and perhaps rather relatable for us late eighties+nineties kids. Come payday this is going straight into my preorder basket. Don't even try to tell me that isn't a thing...

Bloom by Estee Lalonde-We can all probably agree that the market for 'YouTuber' books is well and truly oversaturated. That's a discussion for another day and I don't want it to overshadow Estee's book. I feel like Estee's book, entitled Bloom which sounds like it's part inspiration guide/part memoir is going to deliver. Why? Estee is the queen of keeping it real. She seems like such a down to earth, unphased woman and I don't think she'd let her book become generic. I love Estee, she's been one of my favourite YouTubers for a long time and I'm looking forward to seeing what she brings to the book table.

Pretty Iconic by Sali Hughes-Pretty Honest is my all-time favourite beauty book, you guys should know that by now. So when Sali subtly announced book #2 was in the works, my feelings were akin to that of closing magnetic beauty products. Satisfying as heck. Pretty Iconic looks at exploring Sali's all-time favourite beauty products, from staples like Ruby Woo x MAC, to the newcomers which have the potential to stick around. Sali's writing is also amazing and I'm really looking forward to this. *Adds to preorder cart*.

-What books are you looking forward to reading this year?
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March Favourites

March Favourites

It's early in the monthly favourites scheme of things but whether out of organisation or assertiveness, I actually knew exactly what I'd been loving this month quite early on and didn't have to debate with myself too much. There's a mix of beauty and non-beauty in here+some stuff that didn't make it to the photos, for obvious reasons. Anyway, here is my favourites for March...

MAC Cremesheen Glass in Sweet Tooth*-I love this lipglass from MAC. It's non-sticky, and pairs nicely with nude lipsticks. It's such a flattering colour and I love how you can wear it on its own and it still has a hint of pigment to it so it doesn't just look like clear lipgloss, cue nineties flashbacks. If the Flamingo Park collection is still on counters where you live you should go check this lipglass out.

Tartelette in Bloom Palette-My other eyeshadows haven't been getting much attention lately thanks to this palette, but I'm okay with that. It's the perfect combination of colours and while there aren't as many shimmer shades included as I would like, I am okay with the three that are in there. My favourite shade is Firecracker, the shimmery bronze but they're all pretty fabulous.

Lush Frozen Bath Bomb, not pictured-This bath bomb was a bit expensive hence I only bought one and don't have another to show you. This is what it looks like in the water though. The name might be inspired by a certain Disney film but don't let that put you off. This blue, glimmery ball of goodness looks absolutely beautiful+baths with bath bombs are so relaxing.

Kikki K Minimalist Weekly Planner Pad, similar here-If you love organisation but don't love having tonnes of pieces of paper everywhere you should get one of these pads. I actually use mine to plan out my University timetable each day. I also use it to fill in when I'm working and other random tasks/meetings I have. I like this one because it also features a to-do list section and a next week column, which is where I stick all the deadlines I have coming up the following week. It's such a handy thing to have.

Full House-Thanks to Netflix and Fuller House I've been getting real nostalgic this month. I watched the series revival in a week, possibly less and then tracked down Season 1 on DVD. It's as good as my childhood self remembers it being. Also, every single season is now on Netflix which makes me far too happy. If you've never seen Full House and want a funny+lighthearted watch you should check this out.

Estee Lauder Brow Now Volumizing Brow Tint*-This is the first brow gel/mascara that I've tried that actually matches my brow colour. I have dark brows but the darkest shade often makes them look jet black, not ideal. I have this in the shade brunette and it perfectly matches my eyebrows. It's the perfect thing to set your pencil products in place, or you can use it on its own if you're in a hurry. My brows are defined so I don't use it for volumizing as such, but it helps to make things look a whole lot more polished or 'on fleek' as the cool kids say.

Diptyque Philosykos, a gift-I had a mass beauty cull recently and came so close to parting with this fragrance. I'm glad I didn't though because I forgot how much I loved it. It's musky, figgy and is the perfect scent for Autumn and Winter. I'm terrible at describing fragrances but it's one of those scents that is just comforting and a bit different. I love it for this time of year.

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett, not pictured-There's a few books that could have made their way in here this month but I went for this one because it surprised me. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this much as I did but I loved it and tore through it. I think it helped that the chapters weren't overly long but also it's such a unique storyline and setup. The three different plotlines all blend together beautifully and they all bring something different to the book. I'd recommend this if you're after a contemporary novel with a lot of elements to it.

-What have you been loving during March?

*PR Sample

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Life in Pictures: Summer-Autumn

Life in Pictures: Summer-Autumn

It's been a while since I did a life in pictures-style post but I enjoy doing them so it was about time a revival happened. None of these pictures look remotely autumnal come to think of it, and it definitely still feels rather summery around here. Here's what my camera snapped over the last few weeks...

-(Above) Lush greenery in the Winter Gardens, Auckland Domain. This is one of my absolute favourite places to visit.

-I gave my desk a major declutter as it was fast becoming an incredibly messy space. I love how it looks now and it makes me actually want to use it for productive tasks.

-The very aesthetically pleasing menu at Chuffed on the weekend. I went there with my friend Emma and we both had delicious lunches. 

-I finally gave my moodboard an update. I love the mixture of things I have up at the moment.

-Inside the Auckland Art Gallery. I promise I'm not being sponsored to promote Auckland haha. This is inside my favourite room-looking at this now I realise how eerily similar the colours of the walls in here are to my bedroom.

-Friday's #fotd a couple of weeks back. Well, some of it. I've been loving Diptyque's Philosykos fragrance again this month-I'm so glad I didn't end up rehoming it. I'm also really liking the Maybelline lipsticks (the brown tube) but more on that soon.

-Another look inside the Winter Gardens. How could you not love this space?

*I hope everyone's having a fantastic week! I'm going back into my study bubble-not that I've been out of it much lately. On a positive note: Somehow I got an A+ for my first assignment of the semester. What even is life? This has happened to me a handful of times during my Uni studies so I was a bit shocked to say the least. What else...I'm just keeping calm and carrying on, oh-and daydreaming about Kylie Jenner lipsticks. Koko K and Posie K are on my wishlist but I refuse to support the scalpers on Trade Me etc so I will patiently *ahem* wait for a restock.

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New in Beauty: Pinks, Oranges & A Touch of Luxe

New in Beauty: Pinks, Oranges & A Touch of Luxe

Hello everyone and Happy Monday to you all! Before things start getting all Autumnal on the beauty front I wanted to share with you some recent beauty additions that I have acquired. There's also a video coming, because I couldn't fit everything into a blog post. I also did a mammoth clearout of my powder products, eyeshadows and lipsticks (!!) so if you want to see posts on what survived, sing out. Today though it's all about the pinks, the brighteners and a splash of orange...

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Brilliant Strobe Light-Hourglass are Queens when it comes to their powder products. I don't think I know anyone who isn't a fan of their blushers, face powders or bronzers. Now they've added strobing powders to the mix. I've still not seen them all IRL, this was purchased based on reviews I'd already read but I don't think I'd say these are your typical highlighter. They're definitely more illuminating than the original Ambient Lighting powders but they're not as intense as something like this. Basically, if you find highlighters a bit full on sometimes I think you'd get along with these powders. Brilliant Light is described as a 'shimmering gold powder'. I'd say it's paler than that description implies but it definitely has the yellowy tone to it. This powder's lovely for days when you want a highlight without the Kim K effect. Love it.

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Flocking Fabulous, limited edition*-The MAC Flamingo Park collection is one of my favourites of the year so far. It has a wide range of products and unless you're particularly against pink makeup, it's going to appeal to a lot of you. Flocking Fabulous (love this cheeky name) is a bright coral-red. Being a cremesheen lipstick this colour is a bit sheerer than something like an amplified from MAC, so you can build the colour up accordingly. This reminds me of Flamingo albeit much less neon and I lurve it.

Clinique Pep Start Eye Cream*-Eye cream is the one product I think it's worth spending a bit more money on. From what I have tried, the cheaper options just don't deliver. Anyway, Clinique have recently released a new eye cream and it's pretty darn good. I love the funky packaging, firstly. That ball on the end actually pulls out and you squeeze the tube to disperse the product. The idea being you can use the ball to massage the eye cream in. I actually dot it on my fingers and pat it in but each to their own. It's lightweight but super effective. Some people mightn't find this nourishing enough for night time use but it's perfect for applying during the day or pre-makeup.

MAC Beauty Powder in Sunny Surprise, limited edition*-Beauty powders aren't something I've ever tried before from MAC but I know from collections in the past that they're always popular and sell out quickly. Sunny Surprise is a light peach that makes a gorgeous sheer blush colour. Beauty powders can also be used all over the face as a bit of a complexion booster. I've not tried that yet with this powder but I'll let you know what it's like on my pale skin when I do.

Marc Jacobs Beauty (P)outliner Lip Liner in Honey Bun-I'm quite impressed with Marc Jacobs Beauty. Sometimes I feel like fashion brands' foray into beauty doesn't necessarily deliver but with MJ's beauty and fragrance offerings they do not skimp on the goodness. Honey Bun is a twist up, peachy pink liner. It's creamy to apply and doesn't feel drying like some other lip liners can do. If you're a fan of nude lips+liner combos you will like this.

MAC Cremesheen Glass in Sweet Tooth, limited edition*-Lipgloss, or glasses if we're getting MAC technical are really not something I like to wear all that often. In saying that I've been using this glass heaps since I received it. Sweet Tooth (again, love the name) is described as a warm, midtone pink. It's pigmented enough that you could wear it on its own, but also sheer enough to be layered over other lip colours. I've been pairing this with my library of nude lipsticks lately and love the way it looks! Go to Temptalia's blog if you want to see swatches of it because she takes the best pictures.

Marc Jacobs Lame Noir Glittering Mascara-This was an incredibly bizarre purchase for me I have to admit. I love glitter, especially on my eyelids but eyelashes? That is something new. This is essentially a topcoat for your lashes rather than a mascara. You could wear it on its own but it probably wouldn't do an awful lot in the way of lengthening, curling etc. This gold, glittery mascara is noticeable but it's not crazy dramatic. It's just something fun to add a bit of pizzazz. One thing I will say is if you wear contacts this can sometimes be slightly irritating on the eyes before it dries. You can avoid that by applying it to the tips of your lashes but it's just something to be mindful of. This will be a love/hate product for a lot of people but I quite like it.

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

*PR Sample, but my love of pink makeup and fabulous eye creams are all my own.
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Feminist Book Club Reads: March

Feminist Book Club Reads: March

As well as my March Reading List, I'm also reading books for the two feminist book clubs I'm in on Goodreads this month. Pro tip: If you find out what the books are early enough, track down a copy from the library or find a cheap, second hand/new one online. That's how I nabbed both the books in this post. So this month we have a novel, and a book of short essays+quotes. Let's get down to literary business...

I Call Myself A Feminist-This was the first booked assigned by Jean for The Feminist Orchestra book club and it did not disappoint. It features a multitude of essays on all aspects of feminism. There isn't many a topic that isn't covered in this book. In between each essay there's some quotes or two from literature as well as recognisable men+women. Each essay is quite brief but this book is really the perfect introduction for anyone wanting to dip into feminist literature. There were some eye opening pieces of writing in here, like one on acid violence. I didn't know that was something that went on but it really upsets me it's even a thing. If you're passionate about gender equality and women's rights, you're going to like this one. I highly recommend you give this a read whether you're new to feminism or not. It's fab. Btw, next month's book is A Room of One's Own if you want to join in.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker-This was the second book chosen for Emma Watson's book club. I really enjoyed the first book she selected so I was looking forward to starting this. I'm not going to try to embellish it, this book is quite upsetting. In fact, I've taken to reading it in small doses for that reason. It tells the story of Celie, a teenaged, African-American girl who is abused by her father. She details this in letters as well as the abuse she experiences growing up at the hands of her husband. It is sad, there's no other way of putting it. The plot summary makes it sound like the eventual outcome is a good one though so I will keep reading this. I'm a bit behind with the Shared Shelf book club which I don't mind because I prefer to just read the books Emma recommends at my own pace. At the moment they're reading All About Love by Bell Hooks.

-Have you read either of these books? What did you think of them?

*It's been aaaages since I did a life update here! How are you all? I hope you've all had an amazing week. I have been busy with university, admittedly a lot busier than I expected. I submitted my first assignment on Wednesday and I don't have any due for a week or so, when a whole bunch of them are due at once. Fun times, but it's okay! I'm really enjoying it all so far. If anyone wants to know how I find studying from home versus going to university every day, sing out. I've blanked on what else I wanted to write here....Have an amazing weekend and I'll see you all next week with some more posts! x
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Tartelette in Bloom

Tartelette in Bloom

Tarte are one of my favourite beauty brands. While I've not tried an awful lot from their range, the products I have tried are ones I've loved. This mascara is one of my favourites and I love their Amazonian Clay blushers. I also love that they're a cruelty free brand. Although I don't use entirely cruelty free makeup, I do like to prioritise products from brands that adopt these practices as often as I can. Anyway, I picked up their newest eyeshadow palette recently after seeing it in person and playing with it at Fiona's house and today I thought I'd give it some love on the blog. Aren't I nice?? 

Firstly, Tartelette in Bloom is absolutely stunning. Photos really can't do it justice but its packaging is such good quality and it is very sleek. It's the perfect size for slotting into a makeup bag and it's not heavy as such. I like to hold palettes in one hand when I'm using them so I do pay attention to the hefty feel of palettes. The eyeshadows also have a chocolatey scent to them, much like the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palettes which is enticing as well.

Inside you'll find twelve eyeshadows, three lusters (shimmer) and nine mattes. Out of all these shades I'd probably use Smokeshow, top right, the least just because I don't tend to use matte black eyeshadows but everything else I can see myself using. I like that the matte brown shadows in here have a touch of redness to them. It's not something a lot of neutral palettes tend to include. They help to give a bit of warmth to your shadow looks. The shimmers are all beautiful. I do love me a good shimmery eyeshadow though. You can dampen your brush before applying these to really amp up the intensity and vibrancy of the colour. 

I'm so glad I got this palette. It's by no means a necessity but if you love eyeshadow like myself then I recommend you check this out. I love the colours in this palette and there's not one I'd consider a dud. This is definitely a palette I can see myself getting a lot of use out of as well. Tarte, you did good.

-Have you tried the Tartelette palettes? What did you think of them?

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March Reading List

March Reading List

It's month #3 out of the reading year. How is that possible!? So far I've read 13/70 books, which according to Goodreads means I'm two books ahead of schedule. Oh yeah, I upped my TBR goal because I was feeling ambitious. Anyway, this month as well as reading two books for a couple of feminist book clubs (more on that later), I am also hoping to read these ones. There's two novels, including a YA contemporary (yep, that long forgotten genre), short stories and a non fiction book because y'all know those keep me very happy. Here's what's on March's reading list...

The Versions Of Us by Laura Barnett-This was one of those books I found at the library and recognised the cover instantly as I'd recently read about it on Olivia's blog. This is the story of Eva and Jim, two nineteen year olds whose paths first cross in 1958. The tagline for this is "What if you had said yes?" and it follows their stories, both together and apart. This sounds a bit like One Day which I've not read, I'm probably the only person who hasn't read this book. It also sounds very Nick Hornby-esque and I love his writing. Scratch what I say below about taking light books on the train, this might be coming with me to work instead. 

Thanks for the Trouble* by Tommy Wallach-One of two books I requested for review this month. I'm not going to lie, I actually forgot I'd put in a request for this but I am glad I did because it sounds awesome. I've not read any YA books for a while, other than The Siren but this one has me intrigued. It's about Parker, a teenage boy who hasn't spoken in five years. He skips school and frequents hotels to people watch and occasionally steal things. That all changes when he meets Zelda, a silver-haired girl who claims to be older than she is. I'll keep you posted.

Free Love and Other Stories by Ali Smith-Admittedly I've kinda neglected Ali Smith's novel I was reading, temporarily. I got stuck in a memoir phase but it's such a lightweight book that it's going into my train+work bag soon for that reason alone. As the title would suggest, these stories are all about love and the various aspects of it that make us come together. I think short story anthologies are great to read when you're after something that's not as lengthy. Emily of Blue Eyed Biblio rated this highly so I'm looking forward to getting into it.

The Art of Memoir* by Mary Karr-Memoirs are some of my favourite books to read, so to read about the magic behind them from an expert is going to be so interesting. Apologies for the lack of interesting adjectives, university readings have zombie-fied my brain. Mary Karr's writing program was taken by Cheryl Strayed (author of bestselling Wild) so I have high hopes for this. Maybe it'll inspire me to put pen to paper myself.

-What are you reading during March?

*Review copy

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