The Gilmore Girls Tag

The Gilmore Girls Tag

It's probably not obvious to anybody that I love Gilmore Girls. In case that wasn't obvious, the previous statement is laden with sarcastic undertones. Gilmore Girls is one of those shows that is just so nostalgic for so many of us. Its one of those programs that became a bit of a tradition to watch, dissect and debate the various suitors for Lorelai and Rory. It probably did Pop Tarts a deal of good and introduced many of us to a plethora of iconic pop culture moments. The humour was always there and the fast talking put it in a league of its own. Even now in the days of endless distractions you have to be paying attention to watch it, lest you miss some crucial piece of dialogue. Whether that be one of Emily's not so subtle digs or Lorelai's love for sarcasm. 

Unless you've been living under a rock you'll know Netflix is blessing us with four, ninety minute specials in November. It's just under three weeks away actually. In honour of that I decided to create a Gilmore Girls tag. There could've been heaps of questions here but I decided to limit it to ten. This was so fun to put together too. So have a read, sit back, get your IV's of coffee and Red Vines, cake or Pop Tarts at the ready and enjoy...

-What was your first introduction to Gilmore Girls? I remember Gilmore Girls used to be on TV here on a Sunday afternoon and I know it became a ritualistic thing for a lot of people. I was not one of them but I do remember it being on in the background at home. Some of my extended family love it though and one Summer afternoon, my cousin and I binge-watched three or four episodes in a row. Perhaps it's because we watched partway through a season that I didn't really connect with it. I liked it but for some reason I didn't pursue watching it beyond that. Fast-forward to the Summer holidays in 2011 and I changed that. The rest is history. 

-Who is your favourite character and why? Lorelai freakin' Gilmore, the cool Mom. The one played by Lauren Graham. Side note: Why am I explaining this...She's armed with a whole arsenal of pop culture references, she talks fast, she's witty, she's stylish. She's just awesome. Yes she's a fictional character but if she were real I feel like we'd totally be friends IRL. Seriously.

-Are you on Team Jess, Dean or Logan? Why? My answer to this question changes all the time. I feel like all of Rory's potential suitors have strengths and distinct flaws. For now though I am fully on Team Jess. Yes he had a tendency to up and leave and wasn't the greatest at communicating but he seemed to care the most about Rory. He also loved reading just like Rory and when he wanted to be he had that whole quiet intellectual thing down. 

-How many of the books have you read from Rory's reading list? For reference, here is Rory's reading list. There's 339 books on here so it's rather mammoth. With this list in mind, I have read a grand total of...27 books. Dismal I know. Let me know in the comments if you've read more than me.

-Would you rather; only be allowed to drink coffee, or never be able to eat Pop Tarts again? This is easy for me, I'd rather never be allowed to eat Pop Tarts again. C'mon, imagine if coffee was your only beverage. That would get bad, fast! Also I kinda think Pop Tarts are disgusting, with the exception of the S'mores ones. 

-Who is your least favourite character? This might be an unpopular opinion but here goes, Taylor Doose is my least favourite character. I know he serves a greater purpose as town selectman but he's just so annoying. I can't think of a character, with the exception of Kirk, who he doesn't enrage for some reason or other. He's just awful, and despite claiming he has the town's best interests at heart he just seems selfish and power-hungry. Sorry Taylor, you're just a pain. 

-Are you on Team Luke, or Team Christopher? Team Luke, always. Who cares that Christopher was Rory's Dad? Luke was always, always on team Lorelai and Rory. Even when they both made mistakes of their own. He makes a good cup of coffee too and is a genuinely nice guy. Team Luke forevs. 

-If you went to Stars Hollow, where would you most like to visit? The Gilmore Girls house, The Dragonfly Inn for one of Sookie's next level meals, Luke's for coffee (duh), the bookstore (whose name escapes me), the lake where Luke pushed Jess in for nostalgic reasons, the black and white cinema. So many places. I'd have to pass by Hartford to visit Emily though, even though that'd be terrifying af. 

-What would you steal from the Gilmore Girls set? Lorelai Gilmore's pink coat. There's just something about it. I'd also steal some stationery from The Dragonfly, a coffee cup from Lukes and maybe some books from Rory's room. Sorry Rory. 

-Finally, what do you hope happens in the revival? This is totally random but I would love to see a Hillary Clinton cameo. It seems unlikely but I'd love it. On a more realistic level I just want to see Lorelai and Rory happy. Going off the trailer it seems like they both hit a bit of a roadblock but I hope they resolve it. What else...I want to see Lorelai and Luke married, please. I have also discussed the idea of Emily moving in with Lorelai after Richard's passing and the inevitable chaos that ensues, that'd be hilarious. 

*I hope you all enjoyed this tag. I had a lot of fun coming up with it. I'm gonna tag some of my fave Gilmore Girls lovers to do this: Britney, Tara and EllenAmyTemi and everyone else who wants to do this. Have fun!

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The Spring Book Haul, Part Two

The Spring Book Haul, Part Two

As promised, here is part two of my two-part book haul from the last couple of months. This one's more novel-heavy, although there's also a cookbook and a memoir in there for good measure. You know I can't go long without mentioning a memoir right? Anyway, on with the books...

Life On The Edge* by Jay Jay Harvey-To my non-New Zealand readers, Jay Jay Harvey is a well-known and respected personality here. She's one of the hosts of the Edge's breakfast  radio show here in NZ and has been for a number of years now. She actually used to have her own blog, Radio Chick which I remember reading. Her second book, Life On The Edge is an in-depth collection of stories and memories from her time at The Edge. From her early days in New Plymouth, through to Hamilton and then Auckland, Jay Jay shares anecdotes about listeners, pranks The Edge have played, some of their awesome campaigns they've run and many more. It's a really interesting, unputdownable read. You will laugh, you will cry and you should gift this to the women in your life this Christmas.

Eat Smart* by Niomi Smart-Admittedly this was a bit of an out of character book request from me. In saying that, I was always quite intrigued by this book because I felt like it was going to be a lifestyle book with recipes I'd actually enjoy. Like Estee's book, I am saving this for a more appropriate post next month so I will keep you posted. That and I haven't actually got around to making anything from this yet. Whoops..

What's A Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne-The final book in The Spinster Club trilogy by Holly Bourne was released a couple of months back and I could not wait to read it. I have definitely drifted more from YA books in recent months but Bourne's writing is some I have a lot of time for. I think it's the fact she tackles heavier issues without romanticising them and she doesn't try to do anything flamboyant with her writing. It is what it is. I've not read this yet but from what I know, it deals more with the backlash of the internet age and the sometimes negative reaction feminist ideas generate. I'll definitely been reading this soon, well when I am in the mood for YA again.

The Sun Is Also A Star, available November 3rd* by Nicola Yoon-One of my favourite novels from the latter part of last year was Everything Everything, also by Yoon. This book explores the concepts of fate as it makes its way into the world of Natasha who is usually driven by science and fact. Twelve hours before her family is due to be deported to Jamaica she falls in love. "A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?" Now I've typed that blurb out it sounds like this may be a nauseatingly cute story but hey, lighthearted reads like this make a nice change.

Bridget Jones's Baby* by Helen Fielding-Last month saw the release of a new Bridget Jones film, the third in the series. This is actually the fourth book and in terms of timelines, this one sits between the third book and the second. Bridget becomes pregnant and of course diarises everything with the usual hilarity and relatable charm that Helen Fielding is known for instilling her with. It will differ from the film, in that Daniel Cleaver has more of a presence and I'm not sure if the Patrick Dempsey character makes it into the book. I've started this already and I am enjoying it so far but to be honest, the first and second Bridget Jones books are pretty hard to beat so they'll always be my favourite.

-Do any of these books take your fancy?

*Review copy
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October Favourites

October Favourites

It's that time of the month again and I've got quite the favourites lineup here. There could have easily been about five or six more things included but I managed to edit it down to the true staples. Okay the music inclusion may be cheating a bit as I only acquired it five days ago but it deserves a mention. As well as music there's a book I'm recommending to everyone, some beauty+body bits and even a fashion item...

H&M Bag-New Zealand, Auckland specifically acquired its first H&M store at the beginning of this month, as well as Zara. Finally. This was one of my buys as I wanted a smaller bag to take out and about that wasn't a tote. It's nothing fancy, just a black bag with gold zip detailing and some tassels. I love it though and it fits all the essentials; my wallet, keys, phone and a little makeup bag I carry around. 

Lush Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Scrub-The kings and queens of Christmas body+pamper gifts, Lush in other words, dropped their Christmas releases into stores at the beginning of this month and they are not disappointing. More on that some other time. Today though I have to mention this new lip scrub. It smells like The Comforter and jelly lollies. Delicious in other words. Aside from its scent blessing properties, it also does a good jobs of restoring my Winter damaged, read; dry, cracked and gross lips to tip-top condition. 

Joanne x Lady Gaga-It's possibly cheating a bit to include this as it was only released last week but I'm justifying it because I know it's just as likely to have been in November's favourites too. I have to confess, I wasn't a fan of ARTPOP, not in its entirety at least. This album however is like Gaga's revival. She's collaborated with producer Mark Ronson on many of the tracks, Ronson is famous for working with the late, great Amy Winehouse among other artists. It's a match made in music heaven basically. I'd say it has some country influences in the mix and also pop+rock vibes throughout. Oh and there's a track with Florence Welch and Lady Gaga which my eighteen year old self would have been crying tears of excitement over. Heck, my twenty-something self loves it. My favourite tracks right now are; John Wayne, Million Reasons, Hey Girl, Joanne and Grigio Girls. It's all fantastic though. Give it a listen.

Korres Santorini Vine Showergel-Whilst I was away housesitting earlier in the month this came with me and it's become my new favourite showergel. Move aside, The Comforter. It's kinda tropical, kinda fruity but not overpowering. It's a bit lighter than something like the shower creams from Lush but I like that about it, it's more suited to the Summer months. I'll definitely be investing in the full sized soon. I like it that much. 

Bobbi Brown Retouching Wand*-The unexpected favourite, without a doubt is this product. It has not left my bag(s) at all this month. The shade Light is perfect for me and doesn't contrast wildly with any other base product I might use. It's super easy to blend, with either a brush or fingers and is great for on the go touchups. It's going to get a lot of use come Summertime when makeup just seems to evaporate. 

Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson-If the fact this book has made its way into another blog post this month isn't stressing just how much I love it, I don't know what will. Perhaps the fact I read it twice this month further reiterates it. It's beautifully written and is the kind of book I can imagine myself returning to again and again. There's something special about it that I cannot quite articulate in words. Just go read it and let me know what you think about it.

Aesop Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm-Super hydrating, super luxurious, super lush and vanilla+sandalwood-y. That sentence summarises this balm really. I lovelovelove it and will pray that Aesop never discontinue it. If you want to read less condensed ramblings about it, head here

-What have you loved during October?

*PR Sample
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The Spring Book Haul, Part One

The Spring Book Haul, Part One

It's been a while since I did a book haul, although really I use my secondary Instagram for that. I've just not filmed one for a while and honestly I just don't want to force myself to film for the sake of it, lest it become...forced. Anyway, in the interim I will be compiling book hauls here instead. This is the first part, there's a lot of books to get through. Here we have some novels, a book of essays and an unexpectedly inspiring read...

Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith-This book is my most recent purchase. I nabbed it last weekend in Wellington from Unity Books. I really enjoy reading writer's essays, they just really appeal to me. I love great writing in general but more so longer form essays about people's lives and experiences. Anyway, Zadie Smith's book spoke to me. There's essays on books, film, an excellent one on the Oscars and a bunch of others. This book will be coming with me on my travels next month. It's the perfect size for taking on the plane and slipping under my arm with a morning cup of coffee. Pre-romanticising my holiday, obviously..

Autumn* by Ali Smith-Here we have November's book club read. It's actually a novel, although I think I am the only one who seemed to think it was a collection of short stories. Like any of Smith's novels, this one sounds really intriguing. "Ali Smith's new novel is a meditation on a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, on what harvest means. This first in a seasonal quartet casts an eye over our own time. Who are we? What are we made of? " Keep an eye out for my review next month. Oh, and if you want to know what December's book is, we will be reading this book. 

Bloom* by Estee Lalonde-I'm not going to say much about this book because it's featuring quite heavily in a post next month. What I will say though is I really liked it and it did not disappoint. Estee's done an amazing job.

Swing Time* by Zadie Smith, available November 15th-The second of my Zadie Smith haulings is her latest novel which is out next month and I imagine will be on many a Christmas wishlist. This book is the story of two women who want to be dancers, only one has the talent to take it to the next level. It's a "close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited but never quite forgotten." I'm sure we can all relate to the breakdown or ending of a relationship for whatever reason. It sucks, on a side note. So I'm sure this book's going to draw a lot of people in and in turn inspire a lot of discussion. 

Two By Two* by Nicholas Sparks-It has been a while since I've read a Nicholas Sparks book. If you are familiar with the books or screen adaptations of his work, you'll know they have the tendency to rip your heart out and smash your emotions to shreds. Okay, maybe they aren't as dramatic as that, but the few I have read seem to have that effect. Going off the plot summary for this one it sounds like it perhaps may not be as heavy-hitting as something like The Notebook or The Last Song but that assumption may end up being totally wrong. We shall see..

-What have you read lately?

*Review copy
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5 Things I'm Currently Loving

5 Things I'm Currently Loving

Why hello and happy Wednesday. Academia is slowly eating my brain so today I have a list of experiences and digital things I have been loving lately. Netflix, creative women and fabulous drag queens, there's something for everybody...

The return of Lorelai and Rory-Advanced apologies if I become that person who gets far too overexcited about the four episodes of Gilmore Girls coming to Netflix. In fact, I know I will be that person because I am already excited. It's basically like a pre-Christmas for me and is going to soften the blow of Summer School. Anyway, naturally the pop culture hub that is Buzzfeed are excited too and compiled this list of the must-have foods we need to make our Netflix experience more Lorelai and Rory worthy. While some may be a bit harder to track down in the Southern Hemisphere, you can sure as heck bet I will be loading up on American snacks and coffee. 

Beauty adventures and free sample paradise-Rosalind Jana is fast becoming one of my favourite writers and I really enjoyed this piece she penned about makeup in her adolescence and the beauty bag of treasures she obtained from the magazines. It made me nostalgic and also made me smile as I reminisced about the similar habits I had back in the days. If you've grown up loving beauty and the tools that accompany it, you'll relate to this.

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert-Last week I was lucky enough to attend the first show of Priscilla's return season here in Auckland* and oh my goodness, it did not disappoint. It is safe to say Lucie and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, as did the rest of the audience. I have never seen an audience come alive like that during a show. It was something else. It's had a bit of a makeover this time around, I think it is closer to the Broadway adaptation than the original Australian production but I like that. It gives it new life and colour, especially with the updated soundtrack. It is just as hilarious, just as fun and just as amazing, especially in the costume stakes. If you want a fun night out, it's on until the 13th of November so go see it. You will not regret it. 

Haters Back Off-This is turning into a bit of a Netflix love letter unintentionally. Miranda Sings aka Colleen Ballinger's new series debuted at the end of last week and I am loving it. Honestly at first I thought it was going to be a bit of a letdown and I have only watched two episodes thus far but I am loving them. It's lighthearted, funny and just really cleverly done. Colleen and everyone else involved have done an awesome job. If you're a Mirfanda and there are a lot of them out there now, you need to see this. Do it. 

Mara Wilson in conversation with Emma Gannon-Mara Wilson's written what is easily one of my favourite books of the year and I loved Emma Gannon's too. What happens when you put two inspiring women like this together is all kinds of magic. Emma interviewed Mara ahead of her book's release and the conversation is well worth a listen. If you are not already subscribed to this podcast, I highly suggest you change that. 

-What have you been loving lately?

*Tickets provided c/o Auckland Live.

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Stories and Poetry

Stories and Poetry

This year has really rekindled my enthusiasm for poetry. When we think about it, poetry is just music without an audible melody so it's surprising in a way that it has taken me this long to re-immerse myself in it. It also seems to have really ignited my passion and enthusiasm for reading a wide range of literature as well. It's not a secret that I have always been a reader but this year it seems to have gone to a whole new level, when I'm not distracted by Parks and Rec and re-watching old series on Netflix of course. So for book club this month, I set aside two books to read. Both were highly anticipated, by me and both were ones I'd been hanging out to read for a long time. They did not disappoint...

Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson-Like many a child of the nineties I was a fan of Mara Wilson. Matilda still is one of my favourite films and probably always will be and of course I have a lot of love for Mrs Doubtfire. In more recent times I found her blog on Tumblr and then discovered she had quite the amazing Twitter account. Where Am I Now? Is a series of essays from Mara on topics such as her accidental stardom, show choir, anxiety and depression and more. It also includes this poignant essay she wrote about Robin Williams which did the rounds in the weeks following his passing. Think of this book as less of a tell-all, scandalous read and more of a reflective, engaging collection of stories and experiences from Mara's life thus far. In amongst her stories of growing up on film sets, there are also snippets of her life that are really relatable and it is that connectedness which makes this book truly special. I loved this so much that I have read it twice already and will no doubt return to it again and again. It is fantastic.

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur-This is another book that is extremely special. As Laura put it in her post, "if there's only one book you read this year, make it this one. It will rip you to shreds." Kaur's collection of poetry is split into four sections; the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing. It deals with love, loss, abuse and the beauty in learning to heal and reemerge from moments of darkness. You will want to return to this regularly, dog-ear passages and underline lines that speak to you. Reading this is quite an overwhelming experience, in the best kind of way. milk and honey is a book I will be gifting and recommending for years to come.

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

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The Girl On The Train-The Book, The Movie & A Giveaway

The Girl On The Train-The Book, The Movie & A Giveaway

There's been a change in literature and film recently, one I am really welcoming. We are seeing women in much more complex roles. Gender disparities are being challenged and the story lines on offer go beyond that of your standard rom-com. I despise that term by the way, I'm just applying it for the sake of this post. Gillian Flynn is one of the game-changers writing about multifaceted women but she has a challenger in the form of Paula Hawkins, author of last year's bestseller and beach/pass copies to all your friends read, The Girl on the Train

I only got around to reading this book last month but I intentionally waited so it was fresh before I saw the film. I devoured this book, not quite as quickly as I did Gone Girl thanks to assignments and things but still fast nonetheless. It tells the story of Rachel, an alcoholic separated from her husband yet still fixated on him and her former married life. Each day she catches the train and observes her old life and that of the people she doesn't know. After the disappearance of a local woman and Rachel's lack of recollection from the night of her last sighting, she begins to wonder if she was involved. I will leave that summary there, lest I ruin it for anybody. I absolutely raced through this book. It had such a varied list of suspects, given the book shifted through three different voices and while I did come close to the final outcome, I had many other theories that were competing. One thing that did bother me a little bit was the changing perspectives. I think Rachel's point of view works best in the book but otherwise I really enjoyed this one. 

Now on to the movie, I was lucky enough to attend a preview screening for this before it was released and I was excited. Not only for the film but also because Emily Blunt, one of my all-time favourite actresses was in it. The key difference between the book and the film was that the book was set in New York. Honestly I don't feel like it makes a huge difference really. Otherwise this adaptation was extremely faithful to the book and any changes made only served to enhance the plot. Unlike the book, I feel like the three intertwining stories of Megan, Anna and Rachel all play out much better on screen. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I was still tense watching it and felt edgy in places. I really, really loved the movie though. Emily Blunt is amazing as Rachel. She's such a versatile actress anyway but she really shines in this movie. Fingers crossed she gets the recognition for it come awards season. 

Now for the fun part, NZ readers, I have one double pass to give away to see The Girl on the Train* and one which I am giving away on my Instagram. To enter, you just need to tell me your favourite book to film adaptation in the comments below. This giveaway will close next Thursday the 20th of October and I will contact the winners later that day to arrange posting the passes to you. For additional entries, fill in the Rafflecopter box below and comment over on Instagram too. Good luck!

*Double passes supplied by Trigger World. This giveaway is in no way sponsored and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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New in Beauty: The Spring Edit

New in Beauty: The Spring Edit

It's becoming quite a busy time of year for beauty launches, especially with the approaching holiday season. Perhaps it is the changing of the seasons that inspires a bevvy of new beauty releases. Either way, I am not complaining. Today I have a few new products that I've bought and liked myself to share, as well as some new releases that I've received myself. There's some scents to love, the body range that smells good enough to drink, a complexion fixer and more. Read on if you're intrigued...

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Obscura**-These eyeshadow palettes have been out for a little while now but I haven't read or seen very much about them online. When I had the opportunity to grab this one I could not resist. When free Hourglass is on offer, how could you? The idea behind these palettes is they're designed to offer new twists on the smokey eye, although honestly you could use these colours for a range of looks. You don't have to take things to dramatic lengths if that's not what you are after. My favourite colour is that rose gold hue, smack bang in the middle. It's a gem. These eyeshadows are all beautifully pigmented too. They do have a fair bit of product that comes up when you place your brush into them but it's nothing a tap off of the brush can't fix. Go give these a swatch when you're next near somewhere selling Hourglass. They're stunning.

Bobbi Brown Retouching Wand in Light*-Touching up makeup on the go has never really been a priority for me. I might powder and touch up my lipstick but anything beyond that I usually cannot be bothered with. That being said, when a product like this, designed for touch-ups comes along and makes everything very easy I am swayed. This is one of those twist-up pens and the brush is designed to quickly swipe on the product. I wouldn't say it's the best brush for blending necessarily so I have a concealer brush in my bag to apply it, or you could just use fingers. I love that there's a range of colours for all skintones too. That's something Bobbi Brown really do well with their base products. 

Aesop Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm-New Zealand, well Auckland specifically is getting with the times and has finally opened its first Aesop store. While it is in no way the biggest retail space, it is well stocked and beautifully designed so when I paid it a visit there was no way I was going to leave empty handed. I was intrigued by this product after seeing it on Chloe's blog and while it was a bit of a luxe buy, it's going to last forever. That tube is huge. Obviously if you have drier skin than me you will appreciate this more than I do but even for me I find it so nourishing and hydrating. My hands are prone to getting dry as are my elbows so I've been slathering it on there to keep them looking top-notch. It sinks in so quickly and doesn't feel tacky or heavy on the skin, which I love. It is scented with vanilla, cedarwood and tangerine so it smells divine. I'm so glad I picked this up.

Stella McCartney POP**-Two perfumes in one post? What can I say, I am a fragrance fiend. This is my first Stella McCartney perfume, as her scents seem to always be a bit difficult to track down here in NZ and I am loving it. It contains notes of; Tomato leaves, Violet leaves, Green mandarin, Violet, Tuberose, Plumeria, Sandalwood, Cedarwood and Musks. It definitely has a youthful, fresher edge compared to the original Stella fragrance and something more floral like L.I.LY. Its lightness is refreshing, especially after a Winter spent wearing typically more heavier, muskier scents. 

YSL Mon Paris*, available October 17th-Like Stella, this is my first foray into YSL fragrances. I remember their Baby Doll fragrances being particularly popular back in high school but they never seemed to have won me over. Anyway, YSL's newest fragrance, Mon Paris is inspired by the city of love and the dizzying heights and feelings we experience in love. It combines fruity notes with florals and has a white musk and cedarwood base. Now I am rubbish at writing about scents so I am not going to attempt anything prolific here but it definitely does have a sense of comfort to it. What I mean by that is it reminds me of fragrances I have been drawn to previously, yet it still remains unique. It is a beautiful scent and is really long-wearing too. Definitely go give this a spritz and prepare to be entranced when it lands on counters.

Real Techniques Mini Eraser Sponge-Sam and Nic have been bringing it with their new launches this year, as well as revamping their original brushes so they are much more vibrant. These new sponges are a miniature version of their popular complexion sponge and are much cheaper than the higher-end alternatives. I love this for patting in under-eye concealer and concealer in general actually. I prefer the finish from using a sponge to blending with a brush these days, although I do still use both. The flattened side is great for getting into the contours of the face as well. 

Pinita Colada* x The Body Shop-TBS are back again with another tempting, luxurious range for the Southern Hemisphere Summer. When I saw this popping up on Anna's Instagram it immediately caught my eye. I love tropical scents, especially at this time of year. The standout product for me has to be the body sorbet, pictured. Pro tip: Stick it in the fridge for an extra cooling effect. I have to give mention to their scrub as well because you all know how much I love their scrubs. 

Mecca Cosmetica Sunbrella Invisible Superspray-If this were an episode of Friends it would be the one where Sophie sees something on Instagram, reads the praise and then seeks it out in Mecca. That's more or less what happened in a nutshell. Now this is a product I'm still rather unsure about. In theory it sounds fantastic. Sunbrella is a spray that you spritz onto the hands and then pat onto your face and body, offering four hour sun protection. What I am not liking so much is how chemical it smells. Honestly it's quite potent and products like that can wreak havoc on my skin if I am not careful. I will keep you posted as to whether or not this product exceeds expectations or is just a bit of a gimmick. 

-What beauty products have you been trying lately?

*PR Sample

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Expert Face Masks x The Body Shop + Win A Mask

Expert Face Masks x The Body Shop + Win A Mask

The Body Shop are blessing us with a whole plethora of new launches at the moment, one of the latest and greatest being their new Expert Face Masks. You may have seen this post over on my Instagram, expressing my excitement at the personalised robe that accompanied these rather gorgeous face masks. It was an exciting time, naturally. It may surprise some of you but I have one face and there was no way I needed to keep all these face masks to myself, so I recruited Emma and Albertine to review some for me. I've also kept one aside for one of you lovely folk to win as well. Sharing the mask love and all that. So what did we think of these masks? Read on...

Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask*-Out of the two masks I reviewed this one is definitely my favourite. It's 100 per cent vegan, contains charcoal, green tea leaves and tea tree oil. If your skin's being a bit troublesome, mine's been acting out something chronic lately, you will love this. It dries down to an almost scrub-like texture and when you wipe it away, your skin gets a bit of an exfoliation as well. As it is more on the abrasive side, if your skin is a bit drier or maturer, this mask might not be the one for you. Combination and oily-skinned peeps though, you're going to like this one. 

British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask*-Hi guys, my name is Albertine and I run a blog+shop called Pigment Studio. Side note: Go buy one of Albertine's chokers. They're beautiful. Sophie very generously gave me this mask to try out and review for you, so without further ado, here are my thoughts on this mask. I've used this mask about four or five times now and I can safely say it is one of the best wash off masks I've ever used! Not only does it make my face feeling really nice and clean but it really helps to hydrate and plump up my skin, leaving it looking amazingly glowy and fresh. Don't get me wrong, I do love a good mud mask but on days where I feel like treating my skin, without the hassle of wiping dried mud off my face, I reach for this mask. It's really refreshing and perfect for a quick 10 minute skin treatment before applying makeup and heading out for the evening. It's equally as perfect for when you're having a bath and want to quickly slap on a face mask and relax. Lastly, but certainly not least of all, the smell of this mask is AMAZING! Honestly, if I haven't convinced you to buy this mask and try it out for yourself, please go to your nearest Body Shop and have a sniff of this product at the least. Trust me. The smell alone may convince you. 

Ethopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask*-One common misconception with combination-oily skin like mine, #blessed *ahem*, is that your skin needs less moisture. Sometimes combination skin is actually dehydrated and as a result it produces more oil. Not ideal. Anyway, where I am going with that tangent is that this mask is perfect if your skin's feeling a little bit moisture deprived or in need of something a bit gentler than the charcoal mask I reviewed. It contains community trade honey, marula oil from Namibia and olive oil from Italy. The combination of oils and honey results in your skin feeling a lot smoother and softer after you've removed this mask. Again, it's the perfect one if your skin's a little bit angrier because it is so gentle and soothing. I love how nourishing it is too without feeling heavy or thick when applied.  

Chinese Ginseng and Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask*-Hi everyone, I'm Emma from emmaetc where I mainly write about beauty and books, two of my greatest loves. Using the Chinese Ginseng and Rice Clarifying Polish Mask means you're on your way to achieving a smooth, fresh and brightened complexion. My skin often veers on the dull, clogged side, being very blemish prone, so this face mask seemed a great fit. When applied, it feels relaxing and quite cooling on the skin and should be left for around 5-10 minutes although I like leaving it for a little longer. This mask doesn't set or go hard at all really, and it's designed for you to be able to gently rub into the skin afterwards for exfoliating. I found it certainly polished my skin and made it appear brighter because the small exfoliating bits polished away any bumps or dead skin. I love these types of masks because my face feels super smooth afterwards as you get both the cleanse and exfoliation in there. Generally, I think this really makes a difference to the skin and makes makeup application easier in the morning. Paired with a glow-inducing cleanser, I definitely notice my skin looks brighter and it makes for the ultimate pamper session.  

Now for the exciting part, if you want to win a mask of your own, I am giving away one Amazonian Acai Energising Radiance Mask*. This giveaway will run until the 17th of October and I will announce the winner on my Facebook then. This giveaway is for my NZ readers only as the mask is in a glass container. I just don't want to risk sending it overseas and having it get smashed or wrecked in transit. To be in to win, enter through the Rafflecopter box below. Oh and if you're under 18, please check before you enter as I will need your address to send out the prize. Good luck! 

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

*PR Samples. This giveaway is not sponsored however all the masks were provided for review, including the giveaway prize. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 
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October Reading List

October Reading List

It's October which means Halloween is here, Spring is in full swing and a new pile of books is here for the reading. There's actually a lot of awesome books coming out in the next few months, with Christmas and all around the corner so it's an exciting time to be reading. Today though, here's the books I am hoping to finish this month. Emphasis on hoping. We all know how much of a serial reader I am...

Rookie Yearbook 4, edited by Tavi Gevinson-I've owned this book for almost a year now so it's quite shameful that I am yet to read it. Whoops, sorry Tavi and co. This is what was dubbed the senior year for Rookie yearbooks and is the last one they intended to publish. I'm not sure if it signaled the end of Rookie books entirely because their books are awesome. Anyway, Rookie's fourth yearbook combines content from the past twelve months, the best of the best basically. For the print version, they also throw in a bunch of exclusive extras, especially with content from people we all collectively fangirl over. Lorde contributed an article about her songwriting process for starters. Admittedly I've been a bit too busy to read beyond the first editor's letter but I am looking forward to reading this more thoroughly soon.

Holding Up The Universe* by Jennifer Niven-This is one of the books in October I'm most looking forward to reading. It is actually released today which is timely as well. YA fans will know Jennifer Niven as the author behind All The Bright Places which was an incredibly strong debut novel and earned her an extensive fanbase as a result. I don't know much about this yet but it does sound a bit like ATBP in that it unites two teenagers who are a bit undone and fix one another. I will keep you posted.

Girl Up* by Laura Bates-The follow-up book to Everyday Sexism has been on my to-read pile for ages, and I have been reading it, albeit slowly so I'd love to finish it this month. It's a bit more crude and funnier than its predecessor but still just as informative and worthwhile reading. I'd say this one is aimed more at teenage girls or people who are new to feminism. In fact, if I was a librarian I'd have multiple copies of this in my library. It's important reading.

Asking For It by Louise O'Neill-Thanks to Emma for lending me this to read. Asking For It is a book which deals with sexual assault, cyber bullying and the dangers as well as aftereffects of both on young people. With such a heavy subject matter, it has to be said that this book will be triggering for some people and it is by no means an easy read. In fact, it's really quite distressing at times. That being said, it is such an important read and O'Neill handles the heavier issues so well. They're not romanticised, they're presented for what they are. This book is so important and if you've not read it yet, you should.

-What are you reading during October?

*Review copy
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