July Favourites

July Favourites

I'll spare the usual, end of the month, reflective prose today and instead focus on something else. This post marks 900 blog posts, written (almost) entirely by me. There's one or two guest posts lurking in the archives. 900 posts though guys, that's a mammoth number to my mind and an awful lot of words. I'm in a bit of a state of disbelief if you can't tell already. Thanks to everyone who reads and has kept me inspired to keep posting for this long. You're all amazing. Anyway, here's what I've loved in July...

Benefit Cosmetics 'ka-Brow' Buildable Brow Colour*-I've been loving a few different brow products from various brands this month but ka-Brow is the one I've been using the most. It's already been featured here this month so I'll keep things brief. This is the best when you want your brows to look a bit sharper, but not to the point of looking drawn on or fake. It comes with its own built-in brush which is actually not a gimmick, rare I know, so it is perfect for on the go touchups too. 

The First Monday in May-This was shown at the NZIFF and since I watched it I've been thinking about it almost daily. That's no exaggeration, I've already decided I'm going back to the regular cinema to watch it when it opens there. For those not in the know, this documentary charts the year (possibly longer) in the making of the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit+the Met Gala they organise in collaboration with Vogue. Anna Wintour has a starring role but the true star of this is Andrew Bolton, the head curator at the Met. He is amazing and the absolute detail+devotion he has to all areas of fashion was something else. It's a really in-depth insight into the level of work that goes into a major exhibition. It also really highlights the significance of the Met Gala as well. This is such a fascinating, unmissable film. Go watch it if you can.

Zoella Beauty Le Fizz Fragranced Bath Fizzer-Zoe's expanded her bath+body product range to include this scent, inspired by French patisseries and sweet treats. Don't let that put you off because it is sweet, but with a sophisticated edge so it's not overpoweringly sickly. Her bath fizzers are shaped like chocolate bars with the idea being you break off a square or two and drop them in your water when you want a bit of a pamper. I like to combine this with the Comforter bath bar from Lush and it is heavenly. The bathroom smells like Macarons after. Blissful.

Lancome Grandiose Mascara*-Once I got past this mascara's crazy wand this became a firm favourite. I think the reason I love it so much is it has one of those brushes you can swivel in a 360 degree motion and really coat your lashes from the root to the tip. It holds a curl, even without using a eyelash curler and it makes your lashes look amazing. It's worth all the heart-eyed emojis. All of them.

Just Kids by Patti Smith-So it kinda took me a while to read this book but once I got into it properly it was rightfully devoured. I'm sure a lot of people have read, or at least heard of this book. It seems to be one that gets referenced by creative people in interviews quite a bit. It tells the story of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe's relationship. It starts with them both as young creatives and struggling artists, making their way in New York in the late sixties through to his death in 1989. It's nostalgic, poetic and just so captivating. There's something quite mesmerising about it. I highly recommend you give it a read.

Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb, I won it on Twitter ages ago-By some sort of crazy coincidence, this was in my July Favourites last year as well. It must be my go-to Wintour Winter fragrance or something. I'm sure you're all familiar with this fragrance by now, it's such an iconic scent. A little musk, a little floral with the tiniest hint of sweetness. I love it and none of my other perfumes have had a look in this month.

-What have you loved during July?

*PR Sample
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The Girls x Emma Cline

The Girls x Emma Cline

Hello and Happy Monday to you all. As the end of July fast approaches I thought it was about time I posted my review of The Girls, which I actually filmed (see below). If you want to know how I felt about the book and my opinions on why advanced publicity isn't necessarily great then give it a watch. Side note, there are spoilers throughout but given this book is based on true events you can't really avoid major spoilers anyhow. This is the first time I've filmed a proper review so be nice! I know it's not perfect but there's always room to improve, right? I'd love to know what you think of the book too so if you have opinions, leave them below or over on the comments section. 

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New In Beauty | The Assorted Edition

New In Beauty | The Assorted Edition

Hello and happy Friday to you all. TGIF! Today's post is an attempt to get through the backlog of beauty bits I have waiting to be shared on the internet. Some of these I got quite a while ago but as I said, backpile, working through it etc. I genuinely rate all these products quite highly and think you will like them all too. They're rather fabulous...

Lancome Grandiose Liner*-Lancome is earning its place in my heart as one of my favourite luxury brands. I'm particularly fond of the Grandiose range actually, more on that next week as well. Today though, it's all about one of their newest releases, the Grandiose liner. This is another Lisa Eldridge approved gem and is designed to be user-friendly. It has an angled, swiveled wand which helps you get as close to the lashline as possible and make feline flicks a breeze. It's without a doubt the easiest liquid liner to use and I love how it's easy to build up the thickness of your line as you go. If you're wanting to splurge on a new liner, this is the one for you.

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande Lipglass-This is the lipglass that came with Ariana Grande's first MAC collaboration. I don't wear gloss religiously but every so often I like to wear sheer, iridescent colours like these over the top of matte lipsticks to give them a bit more dimension. It also makes wearing matte lipsticks a bit less uncomfortable too. This gloss isn't too tacky either which I love. Also props to MAC for donating all the proceeds from this gloss to their MAC Aids Fund. The matching lipstick benefits the charity too. Wins all 'round.

Maybelline Master Conceal*-Around this time every year Maybelline seem to do a big drop of new products here in NZ. One of their newest offerings is the Master Conceal concealer. I have this in the shade Light/Medium which is right in the centre of the five colour variations they have. I thought it'd be too dark but honestly it seems to match me okay. It's pigmented and lightweight yet it's still heavy duty in terms of coverage. You could get away with using it under the eyes or dotted around the face. I love that this comes in a tube rather than a concealer with a wand. Now if only Maybelline would bring their Age Rewind concealers here...

Physician's Formula Butter Bronzer-Bronzer is one of those products I've always liked the idea of, especially since I'm less enthusiastic about fake tan. Usually I use this bronzer but it's a little too dark for me at the moment. A few of my favourite beauty bloggers have been singing this one's praises so I had to try it myself. This bronzer, in the shade light is the answer to my complexion-warming prayers. It's a bit sheerer so I can just use it for a light dusting, to stop things looking ghostly. It smells like tropical drinks too which is a bonus although I'm not going to lie, I do find that a bit bizarre. Nonetheless, it's still a great product, I just wish the packaging was a little less bulky**.

Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Weenie-I love Colourpop's shadows. They're easily some of the best cream shadows out. It just sucks that their shipping costs are so ridiculous. Qualms aside, Weenie, one of the shades from their KathleenLights collaboration is a stunner. Colourpop describe it as a 'pinky-rose gold with a pearlised finish'. It definitely leans more on the coppery side of things, on my 'lids at least. It's not as intense as colours like Sequin, also from Colourpop but it is still very beautiful. 

-What beauty bits have you been using and loving lately? Anything I need to try right now?

*PR Sample

**I'm really fussy about packaging, if it's bulky, difficult to travel with (glass, cardboard box packaging) and/or comes with those throwaway brushes I'm like 'ugh'. I blame Marc Jacobs for spoiling us with their compact, slimline packaging for virtually all their products. 
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9 Things I'm Currently Loving

9 Things I'm Currently Loving

Lately I've become a lot looser with the structure of this blog. By that I mean I'm more willing to change things around, take a risk or two and not stick so religiously to my schedule, whether that be posts or what I want to stick on Instagram. Life's too short to analyse the minute details. With that in mind, I saw a similar post over on Rebecca's blog, which I love and you should all bookmark it because her content is top notch. Lists are such a perfect way to round up things and moments etc that you love so here we have it. Nine things I am loving currently in no particular order...

An abundant stack of books beside my bed. This is hardly a current love, rather more of a permanent love. During the week I usually read last thing at night and there's always something comforting about coming to bed, propping up several pillows and then choosing a book. As I am a bit of a serial-reader when it comes to books, I'm always reading more than one thing at once. At the moment that means I'm drifting between: On The Other Side*, How To Be A WomanThe Course of Love and Girl Up*.

Listening to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album. Rumours is hands down one of my all-time favourite albums. I'm terrible at reviewing music but this album is just perfect. It's my go-to when I want a bit of escapism. You can't beat a bit of Stevie Nicks, let's be honest. My favourite songs are; Second Hand News and Gold Dust Woman but the whole thing is fantastic. 

Lush Baths. Whilst there's a lot to detest about Winter, baths are one of the many blessings. More so if you have a bath bomb, book and candle burning in the background. Utter bliss. You cannot beat Lush's bath bombs and while some of them are a bit pricy, I do love them. My favourites are; FrozenAvobath and Butterball

Baking sweet treats. I have the biggest sweet tooth out and will take something sweet over savoury any day. Although those parmesan balls I had on Monday do challenge that. I don't get baking very often in all honesty but when I do, I am reminded how much I enjoy it. There's something very gratifying about spending an hour or two crafting something edible and then watching everyone enjoy it. Two of my go-to books for all things sweet are; Melie's Kitchen and Donna Hay's Chocolate book.

Absolutely Fabulous. "Sweetie darling. "Bitch troll from hell." "Lacroix, sweetie, Lacroix." I have a lot of love for Edina Monsoon and Pasty Stone. They're vile caricatures of fashion-types but there's just something so likeable about them. Perhaps it's because they poke fun at the world they inhabit and just genuinely have no cares to give about how they're interpreted. They have absolutely no filter either, case in point. Such a fabulous, witty show. Go give it a watch if you've never seen it.

Handwritten letters. The act of receiving and writing them. I don't do this often enough but I have friends who I don't see very often and friends that live miles, even continents away so it's really something I need to partake in more. I've made a little list of people I'm going to write letters to though as it's such an important way of keeping in touch, especially in the age of instant everything.

How To Be A Woman x Caitlin Moran. This book has been beside my bed for a while but I've finally been getting back into it properly and I am loving it. Caitlin Moran is one of my favourite writers/tweeters/people so naturally I have been immersing myself in everything she's written. I know this book came out a while back now but it's still just as relevant and worthy of attention. Her essay on feminism and discovering feminist beliefs and ideals resonated with me so much. It's the closest thing I've read that articulates how I feel on a number of points. If I wasn't worried about attracting unwanted attention, I would've done a full round of applause on the train as I read it. This is one of those books I want to give to everybody now. 

Ouai Wave Spray. Ouai is the brainchild of Jen Atkin, hair stylist and the woman responsible for keeping the Kardashian's tresses, among countless others, looking so darn good. Ouai's recently been added to Sephora NZ's lineup and I'd heard a lot about the Wave Spray so I had to try it. Oh. My. God. It is so, so good. It's weightless and gives my hair the perfect amount of texture and body without taking things to the Hermione Granger levels of frizz. It also doesn't leave your hair feeling dehydrated and crispy like some salt sprays designed to create waves do. It's cruelty free as well which I love and a little goes a long way. Alexa Chung's a reported fan too should you need further enticing.

Mood boarding. This is my most recent mood board that I made and I think it has to be one of my favourites. They're the perfect visual representation of my interests and aesthetic preferences at the time. That and they're pretty to look at. I also keep a visual journal as well which is like a scaled down version of what goes on my wall. It's one of my favourite forms of escapism. 

-What have you been loving lately?
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Melie's Kitchen + A Recipe You Need In Your Life

Melie's Kitchen + A Recipe You Need In Your Life

-Cover Photography image c/o Tam West and Penguin Random House, Recipe photo x Nana Wintour

If you're a bit of a baking enthusiast and are one of those people who loves having pictures of stunning, edible creations in their Instagram feed, you will be familiar with Melie's Kitchen. Amelia Ferrier is the talented young lady behind the 'grams and what are quite frankly amazing looking cake creations. She's recently released her first book, also named Melie's Kitchen. It's absolutely stunning and as well as her cakes, there's a range of biscuits, slices and savoury creations featured throughout. 

Today I've partnered with Penguin Random House* to bring you one of the recipes from Melie's Kitchen. It's one I made myself last week and it tastes amazing. In fact, it was only around in our pantry for less than 24 hours after I made it. For the most part it's very easy to make but if you're new to making homemade marshmallow, be patient. Mine didn't work out so I ended up abandoning it from the recipe. Otherwise, this isn't too tricky. 

Here's the recipe for Puffed Rice, Peanut Butter Fudge and Marshmallow bars. Let me know if you end up making these! I'd love to see your creations as well. Anyway, recipe is below:

For the puffed rice base
2 cups puffed rice
¼ cup caster sugar
35g honey
35g golden syrup
70g butter
1 tablespoon milk
¼ teaspoon salt
For the peanut butter fudge
¾ cup icing sugar
25g butter, cubed
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup cream
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
For the cocoa-swirled marshmallow
4 tablespoons cold water
1½ teaspoons powdered gelatine
½ cup caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon premium Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
To decorate
250g dark chocolate (50% cocoa), roughly chopped
cup roasted salted peanuts, finely chopped
flaky sea salt (optional)
Grease a 20cm square slice tin and line with baking paper. Line a chopping board with baking paper. Set aside.
To make the puffed rice base, put the puffed rice in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat, stir together the sugar, honey, golden syrup, butter, milk and salt, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from the heat and immediately pour over the puffed rice. Quickly fold into the puffed rice and spoon into the prepared tin. Press down firmly with a spoon or the base of a measuring cup, making sure the surface is level. Refrigerate while you make the peanut butter fudge.
To make the peanut butter fudge, put the icing sugar in a large bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, cream and salt, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the peanut butter. Pour the mixture over the icing sugar and stir thoroughly to combine. Pour over the puffed rice base and spread out evenly. Gently tap the tin against the bench a few times to level out the surface. Chill in the freezer while you make the cocoa-swirled marshmallow.
To make the cocoa-swirled marshmallow, put half of the water into a small bowl. Sprinkle over the gelatine and set aside. Combine the sugar and remaining water in a small saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the gelatine and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add salt. Whisk for about 4–5 minutes, until soft and doubled in volume. Fold in the cocoa powder to create a marbled effect. Spread over the peanut butter fudge and leave to set in the freezer for about 30 minutes, until the marshmallow is firm enough to hold its shape when cut.
Remove the slice from the tin and peel off the baking paper. Using a knife dipped in hot water, slice into bars roughly 4cm x 10cm. Refrigerate while you melt the chocolate.
Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until fully melted. Remove from the heat and pour into a small but deep bowl. Dip each bar into the melted chocolate, using two forks to help lower them in and out of it. Lift each bar out and carefully tap against the side of the bowl to allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Place on the prepared chopping board and carefully sprinkle over the chopped peanuts and a little salt, if desired, don the middle of the bar. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, until the chocolate has set.
If stored in an airtight container in the fridge, these bars will keep for up to a week.

*This post is in no way sponsored however I did receive a copy of Melie's Kitchen and was provided 
the recipe by Penguin Random House. All love of sweet treats and baking in general are my own.
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Brow Magic

Brow Magic

If there's one thing Benefit Cosmetics are known for it's their attention and dedication to brows. They have the market cornered with their on-counter brow services and abundant array of brow products for us all to use at home. This year they've expanded their brow lineup to include some new brow tools in a range of new formulas, from waxy pencils through to creamy pomades. They've also given their packaging a revamp and introduced new colours for existing products like Brow Zings and Gimme Brow. I was lucky enough to attend the launch for their new products last week with Fiona and got to have a play with some of the new things. Today I thought I'd talk you through some of my favourites before they land on counters next Friday, the 22nd. As Benefit say, 'Hocus pocus, brows are our focus'....

ka-Brow in #5*: This is one of Benefit's new products and the one I was most looking forward to trying. I used to love using Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade and this is Benefit's take on a creamy brow pomade. Think of it as a cream eyeshadow for your eyebrows. What I love about this is it comes with a mini angled brush in the lid. I'm usually pretty skeptical about brushes that come with products but this one is not something to be dismissive of, it's actually very good. The product itself is pigmented but it's a bit subtler than Dipbrow. You have more control with the product and can build it up depending on how strong you want your brows to be. As my brows are already quite dark I tend to just fill them in once. It's so easy to use. I'm Shade 5 of 6 and find it matches my brows perfectly. If you've been wanting to try a brow pomade or something similar you may like this one.

High Brow Highlighting & Lift Pencil*: High Brow is a product I've had used on me before but it's never one I've actually owned. This is a light, pink toned pencil that you're supposed to apply under the brow and as the name will suggest it makes the brows look higher up than they are. This is great if you have thick brows like me as it makes them look that little bit further away from your eyes. High Brow is very creamy so it's easy to blend out with your fingers or a brush. If brightening is more your thing, High Brow Glow is just as good.

Honourable Mentions:

Precisely, My Brow: Benefit have bought out two new brow pencils; Precisely My Brow and Goof Proof. The latter is thicker and more angular. The Benefit Brow Gal used Precisely, My Brow on me on Friday and I loved it. It has a shorter pencil so you can draw in natural, hairlike strokes. The effect looked super natural and is really easy to achieve. I've got a couple of Anastasia's brow pencils on the go but when they run out I would consider buying this to mix things up a bit.

3D Brow Tones: After seeing Fleur and Alix raving about this product I knew it was one I had to try myself. Brow Tones is a brow-gel that is designed to soften the colour of brows and add highlights to them. It basically stops your eyebrows looking flat and like a block of colour in other words. This product is super subtle but it really does make a difference. I like how it lightened the colour of my already-dark eyebrows without looking too crazy in the process. I'm not a huge fan of clear brow gels so something like this is right up my street. I'll definitely be splurging on this one very soon.

-What are your go-to brow products? Are you going to try any of Benefit's new offerings when they're on counter?

*PR Sample
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Mid-Winter Book Haul

Mid-Winter Book Haul

Another month, another book haul. I kept things short and sweet this time because I wanted to focus more on the books I'm excited about and know I'll read with enthusiasm very soon. In particular I'm really looking forward to reading Billy and Me but Ctrl Alt; Delete is high up there in the anticipation stakes as well. If you want to find out more about the reads above you can check out my video here

-What books have you hauled/acquired lately? 
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5 Feel Good Films To Watch

5 Feel Good Films To Watch

You can't beat a good movie to turn around a bad day and bring some good vibes to the table. Throw in some laughs, killer outfits and you have the perfect cure for a not so sunshiney day. Today I thought I'd share with you five of my favourite movies to watch when I want something that's going to put me in a good mood, make me laugh and leave me wanting a fictitious, never-ending closet..

-13 Going on 30: Back in the days, 11 year-old me thought it must be pretty freakin' cool to be thirty. C'mon, Jennifer Garner does make it not look half bad. Plus she kinda has, and still does have my dream life. Living in New York, working for one of the top magazines. *Sigh*. This movie is hilarious, heartwarming and awesome. You've got to love the eighties nostalgia as well. I love the fun costumes Jenna wears too. That slip paired with her coat is just the right amounts of undone chic. This scene is my favourite. Go watch it if you haven't. 

-Legally Blonde: Who can forget the bend and snap, Reese Witherspoon kicking serious ass as Elle Woods and proving all them misogynistic haters wrong. Oh yeah. This is one inspirational movie. It's funny yes, but let's not forget that this movie is about a girl who totally changes the game and no doubt shook up the fictional legal system as well. I love this movie. So much. As well as all its inspirational-ness, I lovelovelove Elle's wardrobe. The sequel is pretty good too but the original always wins.

-The Parent Trap: This has to be one of my favourite childhood movies. Basically Lindsay Lohan plays twins who meet at Summer camp in America. They realise they're related, decide to switch places so they can meet their parents and hopefully reunite them. I'm sure you've all seen it. It's good old fashioned, nineties fun at its best. There's some brilliant one-liners in there as well. It's just a cute film. I'm not gonna lie, Annie's house in London is and always will be #goals.

-The Princess Diaries: Anne Hathaway (Mia) finds out she's a Princess, thanks to her grandma Julie Andrews (Queen Clarisse). This is loosely based off the book series of the same name but honestly, I think I like them both equally. Who didn't want a makeover scene like this? This is another hilarious movie and my friends and I often rewatch it now. Maybe it's a nostalgia thing but you can't beat it. Make an afternoon of it and watch the sequel as well. Chris Pine's in it, just in case you need further enticement. 

-Sisters: Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. What more do you need? Maya Randolph? Good, because she's in this one as well. Amy and Tina play Maura and Kate, sisters who come together to throw one last, high-school style party at their parent's house before it's sold. It sounds straightforward but all kinds of things go down. Sisters is hilarious, laugh out funny, cry-laughing levels of entertainment. You have to watch it if you haven't seen it already.

-What are your go-to, feel good films?
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An Update: Book Clubs and Writing

An Update: Book Clubs and Writing

Hey everyone. TGIF, no really. It's just been one of those weeks. I'm sure we all have them. At least Friday's ending on a high though, I'm off to a Benefit event tonight to see all their new brow offerings. More on that soon, but as Benefit are the queens of brows I imagine it will not disappoint. Today I have a little update for y'all on the book club and some writing I've done lately. How admin-y of me. Anyway, updates...

Book Club: First things, first, Sophie's Book Club needs a new name. I am not a fan of that unoriginal name I coined very, very quickly.  If you have suggestions, leave 'em below please! At the moment we are still reading The Girls. I'm hoping to finish it in the next few days and then film/write up (still deciding) a review. At the moment though I like it, but I'm not blown away. That's all I'll say for now. If you want to join the discussion, head here

Next month, we are reading Ctrl, Alt; Delete by Emma Gannon. It doesn't seem to have been released in NZ but you can buy it online here. If you're in Auckland, you can request it here. I read an extract in one of England's Sunday papers. Unfortunately it seems to be back behind a paywall now but it was brilliant so if you like memoirs with a bit of nostalgia for the big ol' internet thrown in then you might like this one. As for September's book, I'll set up a poll very soon.

Writings: Some of you will know that I also write about fashion+beauty things over on local website FashioNZ. It's a really great place to keep up to date on all the fashion news going on in New Zealand. There's also awesome giveaways and inspiring interviews to keep everyone happy as well. Recently I've done a couple of stories for them: Fascinating Fashion Reads and I interviewed musician+songwriter Anna Coddington about her current collaboration with Trilogy. Check that out here

I think that's all for now. Have a great weekend guys! I'm hoping to get some blogging things done and maybe have a play with the new Benefit brow bits. Keep an eye on my Insta+Snapchat (both @nanwintour) for all the 'deets. Have a good one, and I'll see you with a fresh new post on Monday! 
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The Independent Bookstore Tag

The Independent Bookstore Tag

Hi everyone and happy Wednesday! Today I have a tag for you all which was supposed to be a video. Unfortunately I am sick and currently look+sound like a goblin. Quite frankly, nobody needs to witness that. I still wanted to do this tag though as I'd seen it over on Jean's channel and thought it looked like a fun one. At least with writing it out you get less of my 'umming' and 'ahhing'. Anyway, here's the tag. Enjoy!

-What book(s) are currently in your bag? Truthfully there are no books in my bag right now. Although when there has been a book in my bag it's been The Girls by Emma Cline. My book club's read for July. 

-What is the last great book you read? Bonkers by Jennifer Saunders. This was a re-read, as I last read it when it came out three or so years ago. I seem to always want something funny to read or watch when I'm sick. Anyone else? Anyway, it was brilliant if not a bit too short for my liking. 

-What book have you gifted the most? Confession time, I don't give books as gifts all that often. I feel like there's a high risk factor involved, probably of my own making but I always get scared people won't like the books I gift them. When I do buy books as gifts I tend to get people different ones so there's not really a repeat-buy. 

-What's your favourite independent bookshop? Even though I hardly get to go there, Time Out books in Mt Eden. They have the most friendly, helpful staff. While the shop may be small, it's crammed with an impressive edit of books. The children's room out the back is pretty awesome as well. 

-What's been your favourite book recommended by a bookseller (or fellow Booktuber)? This wasn't a recommendation from a booktuber or bookseller per se but I did see this on someone's blog. Does that count? I'm picking The Versions of Us for this one though. I ended up enjoying this a lot more than I expected and loved Laura Barnett's writing style.

-What's your favourite bookshop memory? Epic trips into the city during the school holidays to go to Borders and always leaving with something. Sitting in their cafe drinking chillers and reading the magazines. I could've spent hours in Borders. I miss it. Tied with that has to be the mornings spent queuing up waiting for the new Harry Potter books to be released. The excited energy and enthusiasm in the air were always so infectious. 

-What do bookshops mean to you? What do you love about them? As much as online shopping is convenient, you cannot beat a browse in a physical bookstore. To me, bookstores are a place of comfort, relaxation and happiness. They're the one shop I can just zone out and relax in whilst I browse. I love, with the exception of the chainstores, that they all have something different to offer. Particularly the independent stores which are all so meticulously edited and curated depending on taste of the owners and their booksellers. Plus it's instant, no waiting around for your books to come in the mail. *cough NZ Post cough*

-What are the books that made you? What books have most affected or influenced you? The Harry Potter series hands down. They were and still are such a pivotal part of my life. While I was already an avid reader before I found them, they were and always will be a part of me. Another book that really affected me was The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. High school wasn't always a sunshiney, rose-tinted nostalgia filled time for me and I often felt like an outsider. This book made me feel better about that. It's hard to explain but it helped me come to terms with some of the things that went down during that time. I only wish I'd found it sooner.

-What book is currently at the top of your TBR pile? I don't own this book but I really, really want to read Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler. I've only seen positive reviews for it and while I don't know a great deal about its overall plot, deliberately obviously, it sounds right up my street.

*Let me know if you do this tag or how you'd answer these questions! Sorry it wasn't in video form but hopefully I'll be back filming very soon. x

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The Luxe Lash Edit

The Luxe Lash Edit

To know me is to know I love mascara. It's the one beauty product I will not go without. I'm obsessed with the stuff. Lately I've been mixing up my mascaras, there's been a hideous amount in my makeup bag. The things I do for the blog/my eyes, eh? Today I have a streamlined edit of four luxe mascaras I've been loving lately. They're all a bit different but I have to say I genuinely like all of them. Let's meet the fantastic four...

YSL Faux Cils Mascara*-I've only ever tried YSL lip products before and loved them. I knew their mascaras were well-loved as well. Faux Cils is one of their best-selling, award winning mascaras here in New Zealand and it is easy to see why. This mascara provides such dramatic length and volume. The nylon fibres in its formula really help to volumise and make your lashes look next level amazing. One thing I will say about this mascara is that it's scented (yep) which I find a little bizarre but otherwise I really love this one.

Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in Black Honey-This mascara isn't actually available in NZ, I bought it from Sephora US last year, back when they'd still ship to New Zealand. Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days.. Out of all the mascaras, this is my least favourite. It's not awful, it's just not amazing and delivers much subtler results. As you can see it's a kind of burgundy red colour too which doesn't really translate on the lashes unless you look really closely. Perhaps it'd work better on people with paler eyelashes. It definitely does make your lashes look thicker but other than that it doesn't really do a lot.

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara*-The Smokey Eye mascara from Bobbi Brown has long been one of my favourites. I think I've been through a few tubes of this now. The secret is in the brush, which looking at this picture is actually quite similar to the YSL one. I find this holds a curl really well as well. It makes your lashes look extremely thick and full. It's also super easy to remove at the end of the day which is a huge bonus.

Lancome Grandiose Mascara*-Aka the one with the weirdly shaped wand. I'll be honest, that wand does make it a little bit trickier to apply this mascara. It's definitely not one for beginners. Once you get used to it though this mascara rewards you with amazing lashes. I find the best way to apply this mascara is to rotate the wand while coating your lashes so you really get to the root of each one. It seriously makes your lashes look amazing. Like the YSL one, Grandiose is another mascara that's very popular with the NZ beauty market and I can see why. Out of all the mascaras I've been playing with lately, this has to be my favourite. While it does take a little bit of getting used to, as they say in the beauty world 'no pain, no gain'. 

-What mascara do you use and love? Do you have any recommendations? Leave them below! 

*PR Sample
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July Reading List

July Reading List

Another month, another somewhat hefty lineup of books. Given it's mid-semester break still I have quite a bit here so hopefully I manage to finish them all in the three (ish) weeks I have left. There's a bit of everything in there this month, just because. July's a good month for new books too; Emma Gannon's and Carrie's are released, and of course at the end of the month the much-anticipated Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be out as well. I can't wait. Today though, let's take it back to the books that are actually out now. Here's what I want to read in July...

The Girls* by Emma Cline-This is the first book that was voted for in my book club. I'm not going to lie, I was quite pleased about that because it is one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Set in the Summer of 1969, Evie Boyd is sixteen and feeling like a bit of a nobody, until she sees the girls. The free spirited, carefree girls who come and go in a jet black van. This book is inspired by the Manson Cult and from the research I did, I feel like this book is going to get rather dark. I'm reading this at the moment and find myself tentatively turning each page, waiting for something bad to happen. I'll be doing a proper review of this though when I am finished so keep an eye out for it. 

Paper Girls, Volume 1-I'm quite into graphic novels and comics about women at the moment and Paper Girls is one of my favourites. I have Issue One already but this book is a bind-up of the first five volumes. Set in the late 80's, Paper Girls follows a group of 12 year-old teens who deliver newspapers and discover one story that will change life as they know it. It combines mystery, bad-assery and nostalgia. All things I love in a good graphic novel so I'm looking forward to getting into this one.

The Fall of the Butterflies* by Andrea Portes-Firstly, look at that cover. Beautiful. This YA book follows Willa, who is sent to an elite prep school where she has no intent to fit in. Other than that I don't know much about this book. It's giving me Gossip Girl vibes though so maybe there'll be a bit of drama. 

Kinfolk Volume 20-Kinfolk's 20th volume is centred around all things travel. The international team embarked on adventures in twelve cities across four continents. The result is an issue laden with a bunch of travel-centric stories, inspiring imagery and of course the potential to make you want to go on holiday real bad. I love the fashion stories in this issue as well. 

One by Sarah Crossan-One's been getting a bit of buzz at the moment as it's a YA-book with a bit of a difference. It tells the story of conjoined twins through verse which I don't think is very common in YA books at least. I've read and heard lots of positive reviews for this so I have high hopes.

-What are you reading in July?

*Review copy
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