Giftmas #2: GIRLS

Giftmas #2: GIRLS

Today's gift guide is one for those of us who run the world, as Beyonce would say. While I'm wary of businesses seemingly cashing in on feminism for commercial gain, I've made a conscious effort to include products for inspiring, boss babes. There's a bit of everything as you'll see and they're all available online. If you're not a mall fan, this guide is for you!

Leslie Knope Pin: Ahh Leslie, Pawnee's answer to Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama in one package, c/o Amy Poehler. This pin would surely help you nail that business proposal, or inject you with inevitable optimism I am sure. There are also Gilmore Girls options and April Ludgate if she's more your spirit animal. I won't judge you.

Violet Magazine: The brainchild of Leith Clark that is really more a book than magazine, despite its glossy pages. It's something you will want to dip in and out of and peruse over and over again. It's beautifully presented and laden with content by and about inspiring women. 

Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo: Now this is perhaps one product to be a touch skeptical about but I'm including them if only for the fact the names are all brilliant and the shades are stunning. Creamy, pigmented colour that packs a punch and looks extremely luxe. A treat in the best way. 

South and West* x Joan Didion: I personally love Didion's work. There's something brilliant about her writing that is hard to pinpoint unless you've experienced it yourself. So on that note (ha) I recommend her latest book be added to your wishlist or gifted to somebody else. 

Patsy Midline Bra x Lonely: I love Lonely lingerie and their campaigns featuring diverse women. Their pieces are just exquisite, well made and incredibly comfy+luxe to wear. A treat for sure but worth every cent. 

NARS Love Triangle: These mini gift sets from NARS combine their popular blushers with lipsticks. Many are in the Audacious formula but there's also a duo with the Orgasm blush+lipstick. If you wanted to get DIY you could wrap this and then hang it on the tree for somebody to unwrap. 

Safety Pin Pearl Hoop Earrings x Alexa Chung: If they're an Alexa Chung enthusiast or into accessories, Alexa has you covered. I love these earrings but also the severed hand pieces and the rainbow choker gives me 00's nostalgia vibes. Actually Alexa's whole collection is gift-worthy but I'm not biased. *ahem*

What Happened x Hillary Rodham Clinton: One of the best books I've read this year. A candid and refreshingly honest, if not at times frustrating account of *that* stranger than fiction election. Despite Hillary's obvious disappointment it's still a hopeful read. 

*For the interests of clarity, I was sent this book earlier in the year for review.

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The Beauty Files, Vol. Five

The Beauty Files, Vol. Five

Hello, happy Friday (TGIF) and yay for a hopefully relaxing, restful weekend. Today we have another installment of The Beauty Files. It's been a little while since the last beauty files post, three months in fact. Today the focus is a bit luxe, a bit sparkly and a bit treat yo'self-y. Let's be real...

Something NewMoon Glow Highlighting Powder* x Bobbi Brown. This is part of the Bobbi Brown Holiday collection for 2017. I've only seen it on a couple of beauty counters so far. The powder compact is a gorgeous white gold shade. It's definitely a highlighter for paler people and I like how it adds more of a glowy radiance to the complexion, as opposed to straight up glitter. It's also encased in the most beautiful, ruby red compact and would go down an absolute treat in any a beauty lover's stocking on Christmas day.

Something LovedOmbre Premiere x Chanel. I first tried Chanel's cream eyeshadows ages ago back when they were much more mousse-like in texture and came with the most bizarre applicator. I feel like it was designed like an angled eyebrow brush but for the eyelids. Anyway, on a whim I went into the Chanel Boutique in Britomart recently and treated myself. I grabbed the shade Undertone, a warm brown with gold reflects. It reminds me of Soba x MAC so if you like that eyeshadow, you'd enjoy this. 

Something Rediscovered: Prunella Eye Pencil* x MAC Cosmetics. Speaking of MAC, this eye pencil which I have from their Christmas collection last year (it is permanent tho) has made a reappearance in my makeup bag. A purply plum, it adds something a bit different to the lashline than your standard black or brown. I guess because it's in festive packaging it makes me feel excited for the holiday season too. Aesthetics and all that.

Something Unconvincing: Beauty advent calendars in general. Hear me out calendar lovers. Yes beauty miniatures are great, and adorable and handy to have. I can't help thinking a lot of the beauty calendars aren't fantastic value for money though. Sure it's a way to try out products and brands but I feel like they often include products from brand's permanent lines, as opposed to limited edition, enticing things. That being said this advent calendar looks fabulous. In general though, I just don't think the beauty calendars are worth the hype. Save your money for a chocolate one. 

Something Lustworthy: NARS Man Ray Collection. I love that NARS are utilising Man Ray's imagery as inspiration for their Christmas collection this year. I grabbed one of the Love Triangle duos, the one with Deep Throat blush+Barbara lipstick and love it. These sets would be perfect for Secret Santa. I also love this which might be under the tree this year for moi ahem. Ahem. 

-What beauty bits have you been loving lately?

*PR Sample
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Giftmas #1: Keep It Personal

Giftmas #1: Keep It Personal

It's (almost) the most wonderful time of the year and if you know me, I freakin' love Christmas. I'm slowly bringing out my decorations. That gold bauble has already made its appearance in more than a few photos and I'm not even sorry about it. This year I have six gift guides for y'all. This week there'll be two going up but otherwise there'll be one a week for the next month. I've themed them all and today's is about things that are truly tailored to the recipient. Admittedly these are all items I'd be ecstatic to receive but I think if you're shopping for somebody who is difficult to buy for, or has really specific tastes, these might be the way to go...

// Rifle Paper Co Personalised Stationery: Who doesn't like personalised, non-tacky things The art of putting pen to paper is almost ritualistic nowadays so if you're going to do it, you might as well make it on beautiful, exquisite card stock. If I found a stack of these under the tree I'd be so stoked.

// Pick 'N Mix, The Body Shop: This year, rather than focusing on your standard gift sets, The Body Shop are giving you the chance to tailor gifts to the recipient. With packaging inspired by lollies and vibrant designs by House of Holland. They have minis like bath bombs, the shower gel above and even starry packaged glitters+liner (yes, I'm mentioning that again). 

// Magazine Subscriptions: Pretty sure I mention this every year but like Karen Walker (of Will & Grace) when she's running late, I ain't even sorry. Find out what titles they love and set up a subscription. It's like a present through their mailbox every month/couple of months.

// Kikki K Monogramming: Only me, the stationery nerd would probably gasp out loud when they saw the embossing machine in store. Again, if personalised things are their jam/you want to give them something unique, Kikki K is the way to go. You can get everything monogrammed; from diaries to keyrings. Even passport holders if you're feeling fancy. 

// Custom Prints: The above is by the lovely Studio Bon, a Wellington illustrator. She does gorgeous work so I recommend checking her work out. There's also graphic prints by Studio Arc.

// Their favourite fragrance: Whether they're a Nirvana White Lady or a Chanel Le Bleu person. *I don't know guy's colognes this is just one I've spritzed and liked. Obviously this is a luxe option but you could always buy them a rollerball/hand cream in the scent they love. 

// Book subscriptions: The brilliant folk at Time Out have recently debuted a subscription service. You'll receive a book tailored to your taste/that of someone else's for the next year. Again, like magazines this is the gift that keeps on giving. 

// Decorations x Anthropologie: Umm, how adorable are these!? Anthropologie have a range of personalised gifts but it's these golden letters that I think are particularly exquisite. 

-Have you started gift shopping?

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We Were On A Break: No Treat Yo'Self Diaries

We Were On A Break: No Treat Yo'Self Diaries

Nobody said it was easy, old habits die hard and vice versa. At the beginning of October, inspired by Daisy Buchanan, authoress, not morally questionable Gatsby character, I decided to have a month of #notreatyoself as I put it. Along with my pals and cheerleaders Olivia and Britney who all committed in different ways, I set out on my quest as I put it in my diary entries. Speaking of diaries, that rather spectacularly failed and I only have a handful of entries but I will include them here for your entertainment. There might even be *side notes* too because that's just how I roll. 

October 1st: Feeling hungover but really just struck down with the flu* after it's passed by everyone else. On the plus side it's made me not want to go anywhere. A cocktail would've gone down well whilst waiting for my flight. Instead, I bought a mocha. Nothing else. Caffeine was essential. Is essential. Maybe next month I try no cafvember. *I don't actually even know what I had. Just that it was vile and left me feeling less than amazing for a good ten days or so.

October 6th: Oh my god. This is quite a test! Last night I came across the Lonely tee, donating all proceeds to NZBCF and I couldn't get it under the rules of this challenge. And I felt terrible. Never mind, I will be able to support the Pink Ribbon Appeal later in the month. I've found myself tempted by the new Mecca 20th Birthday** collection but that's where it ends. Like I haven't gone to look at it because I can't. WHO AM I!?! **I actually grabbed nothing from this collection. Past me would've been all over it because #limitededition #essential

October 9th: Survived the weekend relatively unscathed. I came close to making a Colourpop order but felt guilty. It might still happen but at the beginning of next month* I'm also trying to work out where the lines here spending-wise might be blurred. I'm dealing with a bit at the moment and it's like can I justify self care related purchases?** Or is it just sneaky treat yo'self logic? It's a hard one because I don't think I should deny myself the opportunity to feel good, no matter how fleeting it may be. *It didn't happen. **For example I had a pre-scheduled (from two months prior) hair cut and colour which I obviously didn't cancel. Yes I could've done it myself but it would've come up terribly and I would've had to wear a hat for the next year. 

October 12th: So yesterday I bought some things for our inter-office Halloween comp. Skeleton heads and a web with spiders+a bloody floral crown which I think will look awesome. I've been so tempted by beauty things. I think because I want to replace my Kevyn Aucoin powder which broke last month. So I'm like ooh Cult Beauty, Mecca oh hey girl. I make carts and then close all the tabs and move on to some other far flung corner of the internet. I've also realised how I seem to gravitate towards the same three neutral lipsticks. Pillow Talk x Charlotte Tilbury and Modesty+Brave x MAC. I think at least two of them are in my bag right now. Right nowww. Haim reference. Nearly halfway through the month though YASS.  

October 23rd: I am terrible at this multiple diary thing*. One thing I have noticed is I am much better at window shopping. Why is it even called window shopping when it often entails entering the actual shop itself? Sure I have not been faultless and there's been a couple of slip ups. I have to be honest here.** Who ever is faultless though and how boring must their life be? I definitely am more considering of what I am buying though and evaluating things a bit more. I am liking that too. Long may it continue. *I keep 3/4 diaries so I guess it's forgiveable I'm not good at maintaining them all. **I repurchased the sculpting powder. Oh yes, I did.  

So yeah what did I learn? Challenges are a STRUGGLE. A real, legitimate struggle. Exaggerations aside, this was not always easy for me but I actually didn't do too shabbily. Even now I'm finding I'm being more wary of what I'm buying and trying to reinstate a one in, one out style policy with the likes of magazines (which very quickly get out of hand) and other things. I didn't end up rewarding myself with fancy earrings as intended because I decided they were too expensive but I am going to be renewing my Frankie subscription. Considerably less expensive than ear bling and a present through my mailbox every alternate month. So all is not lost. 
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October Book Mail

October Book Mail

The end of the year is always a busy time for book releases, as publishing houses rush to fill the shelves with plenty of new material for the crucial Christmas season. It's certainly not a bad thing and as you can see here, we are definitely spoilt for choice. Today I have nine recent releases to share with you, actually some are soon to be released but I'll touch on that below...

Winter* by Ali Smith: The second book in Smith's seasonal quartet is released on the 10th of November here in NZ and if it's anything like Autumn, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, it will not disappoint. Autumn was cleverly tailored to what was occurring around the world in 2016 so I expect Winter to follow suit. According to the blurb "it's the season that teaches us survival".

The Crown, 1947-1955* by Robert Lacey: Season 2 of this Netflix gem returns next month, which I'm really pleased about. In the meantime, there's this volume, following the time period of Season 1 to look forward to. I've had a quick flick through this, curiosity got the better of me and it looks like it provides context to the events of each episode as well as insight from the show's creators. This is probably the kind of book for true fans of The Crown but it also serves as a refresher before the new season. 

Uncommon Type* by Tom Hanks: Yes, that Tom Hanks has written a short story collection and it's receiving glowing reviews. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this book and from the reviews I've read already, it sounds brilliant. Words laden with wisdom and charm, as is to be expected perhaps from Tom Hanks. 

Trying To Float* by Nicolaia Rips: This book was technically released last year but the paperback edition seems to have just made its way to our shores. Written by the author at seventeen, it chronicles life and the happenings of growing up in The Chelsea Hotel. According to ELLE magazine this is "Eloise meets Wes Anderson" which is my kind of comparison so my memoir-loving self is going to get to this very soon.

The Mother of All Questions* by Rebecca Solnit: Kiran from Unity Books did an excellent review of Solnit's latest essay volume so go listen to that. Subtitled, Further Feminisms, it is a follow-up to her collection 'Men Explain Things To Me' which I highly recommend. 

Turtles All The Way Down* by John Green (not pictured): John Green's latest novel has been a long time coming and as someone who loves The Fault In Our Stars and Looking For Alaska, I was always going to be excited for this. It involves adventure, as two teens look set to solve a crime and locate a fugitive billionaire. It also touches on anxiety and mental health. I am actually reading this at the moment, albeit halfheartedly because I have far too many books on the go right now but I am enjoying it so far.

The Grip of Film* by Richard Ayoade: Moss wrote another book! Well Richard Ayoade did. If it's anything like his last book it'll be a bit perplexing but in a way fans can appreciate. In case the title doesn't give it away, Ayoade talks all things film through the voice of Geordy Lashore. Side note: If that doesn't sound like a troll's alias name, I don't know what does. Either way I expect this to be very entertaining. 

Me You: A Diary* by Dawn French: Wreck This Journal for the adults, interwoven with Dawn French's own insights and anecdotes each month. This is a fun, interactive type memoir and I'm seriously looking forward to using this next year. If only for the fact I get to spend each month with Dawn French in some capacity. 

The Diary of a Bookseller* by Shaun Bythell: I love diaries, they satisfy my inner curious cat so much. This one follows the owner of a secondhand bookstore and from the brief excerpt I've read thus far, it's charming and insightful. Definitely a book for a cosy weekend or trip away. 

-What have you read lately?

*Review Copy

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Five Things | November

Five Things | November

ICYMI or haven't looked at a calendar, it's November. November. This time last year I was in Melbourne, looking at Viktor and Rolf's splendour, discovering the amazingness that is Muji for the first time and soaking up my favourite place. I miss it. Anyway, enough nostalgia. Today I have five things for November to wax lyrical about: that TV show (sorry everyone, not sorry), dressing Scandinavian, starry eyeliner, skincare and coffee. More below...

Scandi Style: I love Scandinavian design-especially paper wise (ahem, Kikki K, ahem). So naturally I was curious about their approach to fashion and after flicking through this book many a time in Unity Books recently, I grabbed myself a copy. I'm yet to read it because quite frankly I'm already reading too many things at once. That being said I will be reading it very soon because it is a visual delight and I'm curious about Scandi style. 

La Roche Posay: The French pharmacy brand snuck its way into New Zealand. Much like an effortless, French fashionista. Having tried and loved a few products from this brand, I picked up the Effaclar Duo when my skin was having a moment. I've written about this before here and love it. I used to only buy it from Escentual until they stopped shipping to NZ and forgot just how good it is. Side note: Serozinc and LRP's fabulous sunscreens are here too. This is not an ad, hence the lack of asterisks and footnotes but you can find the brand in Life Pharmacy. 

Stranger Things 2: I've tweeted about this a bit this week (whoops) but one of my favourite Netflix shows is back and I am so happy. At the time of writing this, I have two episodes left and I'm hoping to finish it today. I don't know how to write about this show coherently but it's fantastic. The writing, the casting, the cinematography. All of it. Shoutout to Jean Ralphio 2.0 aka Steve Harrington but also Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) and Noah Schnapp (Will Byers). Gotta give props to my fave Winona Ryder too #winonaforever. Please watch it if you haven't. 

Starry Eyed*: Last week I got to learn about The Body Shop's wondrous new Christmas range, aptly named Jump For Joy. Anyway the star product (pun intended) is this liquid liner, complete with star stamp on one end. I LOVE that it reminds me of the 00's using Crayola Stampers to stamp everything. Writing notes with smiley faced, yellow lettering and red hearts. As this is a star though it's infinitely better. Perfect for Christmas paired with a glittery eye or year 'round if we're being honest here. Get yourself and everyone in your life one.

eightthirty: I could almost do a whole blog post about coffee but I wanted to rave about one of my favourite haunts. Located on High St, there's also a few dotted around Auckland and they do amazing coffee. A++ recommend their gluten free brownie with freeze dried raspberries too. It's aesthetically pleasing in an understated, Wes Anderson-y kind of way and is well worth a visit. 

*PR Sample
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October Favourites

October Favourites

It's astounding, time is fleeting-can you tell I'm in a bit of a spooky mood today? I'm not usually a huge celebrator of Halloween but my office has been decked out to look like a creepy haunted space/asylum so I'm feeling the mood. That and all going to plan I will have a major red eye+bloody lip situation going on today. Anyway, spookiness aside, today I have my October Favourites to share. It's a little sparse on the beauty front as in all honesty I haven't been changing things up much at all here. There are a couple of newbies in that department though, as well as what I've been watching, reading and listening to this month... 

YSL All Hours Foundation*-Let's get this out of the way first, yes the price tag is weepingly expensive. I recommend trying it first and then waiting for things like reward vouchers, discount days or just a plain old excuse to treat yo'face. I don't know if this foundation lasts all hours, I'm not one to wear my makeup for a hideously long time but I can vouch for its almost minimal need to powder and touch up. As someone with combination-oily skin, this is seriously impressive. The finish leans more on the matte side of things so if you've got drier skin, this mightn't be for you. I really freakin' love it and think this'll be a godsend come Summer when makeup all but evaporates from my face.

Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow(s)-These eyeshadows are the business. Liquid shadows drenched in so much sparkle. I love 'em. Then again I do love glittery eyelids so it's not like I'd hate these really but I digress. They're unlike any other eyeshadow out there. My favourite of the two I own is probably Bronzed Bell but Kitten Karma is a close second. The only qualm I have is when you remove these, the glitter tends to go everywhere. Otherwise, I can't fault these liquid delights. 

Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo-I've already touched on these once this month so I will keep it brief. Pigment that packs a punch and longevity to boot. I have the shade Leader, a vibrant fuschia which looks stunning. There's some gorgeous nudes in the range too and I seriously recommend a swatchathon when it comes to these.

Will and Grace-I'm not sure why it took me, bedridden to finally watch this show properly. Props to 2 for having an all-day Will and Grace marathon at the end of last month. I am now hooked, alternating between older episodes and the new revival currently on TV. Hilarious, hilarious comedy and brilliant character writing. It's so good. Karen Walker is my favourite character-god love her but really the four main leads are all amazing. Well worth the watch if you're like me and somehow missed it. 

Paperboy Magazine-If you're in Auckland you'll probably be familiar with Paperboy. It's a magazine, published weekly and free to get your mitts on from many locations around the city. It contains a mix of everything; food, culture, fashion, to name a few and also contains extra content from the New York Times. Long story short, it's worth a peruse on your train trips/coffee outings each week. I love unwinding with it on my Thursday/Friday journeys home. So good.

Younger Now x Miley Cyrus-Miley is certainly no stranger to reinvention but with Younger Now she's going back to her country-pop roots. The album opens with the titular track and then we're taken on a journey of wondrousness for the next forty minutes. It's a great driving soundtrack and is really upbeat+mood raising. Even if you're a Miley cynic, it is worth a listen. 

Feeling Sorry for Celia x Jaclyn Moriarty-A bit of a reading throwback if ever there was one, as I first read this book back in high school. After I posted about it on my bookstagram, it seemed a lot of you were familiar with it as well. For some reason I thought this book was niche? Anyway, told through letters received and sent, this book is the story of teenaged Elizabeth Clarry. Also known as Liz or Lizzie, depending on who is writing. She deals with the usual teenage struggles but also has to deal with a mix of eclectic characters. From her eccentric Mum to her scatty best friend Celia. It also looks at mental illness in a way that doesn't romanticise the issue or try to make it seem glamorous. In fact, I feel like this is one of the first young adult books in this part of the world at least that probably did address the issue. Well worth a read, or a re-read if you're feeling nostalgic. 

-What have you liked during October?

*PR Sample

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Currently Reading: October

Currently Reading: October

Hello, Happy Saturday and to those of you emerging from a Stranger Things-coma, I hope you have waffles handy. Today I have a little snippet of what I am currently reading. Even though October is drawing to a close and I've been all over the place with books and things, I still wanted to natter about books and magazines. It seems apt to post this today as it's #NZBookshopDay but anyway. I am rambling. Here is what I am currently reading...

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death x Maggie O'Farrell: Recommended and reviewed by Kiran from Unity Books, listen here. This is a memoir like no other. Novelist Maggie O'Farrell shares her stories; near fatal plane trips, what could have been a potentially deadly assault, seaside cliff jumping to name but a few. It's definitely not an easy read but it is wonderfully written. It really gets you thinking about mortality and the way in which we take life into our own hands on a daily basis. 

It's Messy: Essays on Boys, Boobs and Badass Women x Amanda De Cadenet: As soon as I heard the premise of this book by one of my favourite writers from Violet magazine and one of the founders of the #girlgaze project, I had it shelved. Subsequently I ended up pre-ordering it and I am glad I did. Filled with Amanda's own experiences and wisdom, it's the book you will want to gift to people this Christmas. If only for the fact that if it goes on loan, you will most likely not receive it back. I'm taking my time savouring this but it is not disappointing. 

Personal Style Blogs x Rosie Findlay: At the recommendation of Rosalind and having been a Fashademic enthsiast for some time, I needed to get ahold of this. Shamefully I am not very far into it yet but I love immersing myself in books like these. Knowledgeable people writing in an engaging way about subjects I am also passionate about really makes my book-loving self happy. 

Violet: Whenever I see the title of this magazine I think of Willy Wonka and the vile Violet Beauregarde. That anecdote aside, Violet magazine is far from vile and is certainly not vulgar. In fact, it's really rather lovely. The current issue is a feast of delicious proportions; be it fashion, or interviews with kiwi-expat Emilia Wickstead and the leading lady of The Handmaid's Tale, Elisabeth Moss.  I've actually done some more writing about Violet elsewhere so I'll share that when it's live. If you were a fan of Lula, the Leith Clark years and/or generally fawn over everything she does, get this. 

Collective Hub: Collective Hub is a magazine I flit in and out of. Usually when I'm in a bit of a creative, motivational rut. Its content, looking at creative people and business-minded folk doing extraordinary things is nothing short of inspiring. The current issue features an interview with Zoe Sugg aka Zoella which was one of my main motives for grabbing a copy, not gonna lie. Like I said, creative rut=a hefty dose of Collective Hub wisdom and hopefully I will be back on track.

Frankie: I feel like I wax lyrical about Frankie so much, it's almost embarrassing. I have no shame though and genuinely love this title so much. Issue 80, crikey(!) has been my companion on train trips. It's there to make me laugh, remind me of the greatness that is Helen Razer's writing, have me folding down the corners for gift ideas+things I have my own eye on and just generally puts a smile on my dial and a twinkle in my eye. That sentence was nauseating I am sorry but Frankie is deserving of all love, no matter how sickeningly sweet it may be.

-What have you read recently?
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5 Beauty Products I'm Loving: October '17

5 Beauty Products I'm Loving: October '17

I used to do beauty reviews of sorts over on my Instagram fairly frequently but admittedly I've been a bit slack with that lately. So today I decided to round up five of the products I've been loving and probably need to talk about more. You will have seen some of these products before so apologies for any incoming deja vu. For those of you who aren't familiar with the above enjoy. If you're feeling like some new beauty, might I suggest one of these make their way into your basket?

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer: I feel like it's hard to find a concealer that can actually be used for everything. This one though covers all bases, literally. Its velvety finish means it is seamless to blend and despite being higher coverage, it never looks cakey or heavy. I have the shade Creme Brulee and I love it. Honestly this is one of the best products I've purchased this year and I might even favour it over the Radiant Creamy Concealer when it comes to heavy-duty concealing. 

Colourpop Get Paid Creme Gel Eyeliner: Honestly this is without a doubt one of my favourite liner pencils. Creamy, twist-up (no sharpening yass) and gorgeous colour. Get Paid is a metallic, rose gold that looks stunning along the lashline for something a bit different. I love how inexpensive it is too. Next time I do a Colourpop order, I'll definitely be grabbing another of these.

Tartelette In Bloom Palette x Tarte Cosmetics: So this palette has sat unloved for a while, as my preference for the Modern Renaissance palette really set in. Fiona loves this palette and uses it so often on herself+clients so I was reminded to revisit it. Thanks Fi! My favourite shades are the shimmers for sure but I love how complementary all the colours are to one another. The darks aren't too pigmented as well which I like. Side note: I have maybe had a fun morning blending like crazy with the Anastasia palette when I underestimated the intensity of one of the shades. Anyway, stunning palette. Their new Toasted palette looks rather dreamy as well. 

Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo: When beauty brands empower women, I do tend to take it with a bit of a grain of salt. That being said, I love the message and names behind these Hourglass lipsticks. I have the shade Leader, a vivid fuschia. These are so easy to apply and stay put for hours. You barely need to touch up with them, so if you're like me and have a bit of a blase attitude to makeup touchups, you will like these. They're extremely comfortable to wear as well. Four for you Hourglass, you go Hourglass. 

Byredo Mojave Ghost: If Daisy x Marc Jacobs had a grown-up, older sister, this would be it. It's floral, fruity and a bit woodsy too. I've done a more in-depth review here but I love this. I seem to oscillate between more intense fragrances and those that are a bit lighter and fresher, like this one. I'm not going to lie, its design is aesthetically pleasing too. 

-What beauty things have you been loving lately?

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Women & Their Books: Rosalind Jana

Women & Their Books: Rosalind Jana

Two of my favourite things are inspiring women and books. I literally came up with the idea for this new series one morning on my train to work and was so excited, I hurriedly emailed Rosalind to ask if she'd be the first woman to talk all things literary. Much to my excitement she said yes and I can tell you, it's been tough for me to keep quiet about this series until now. I am hoping to include women from on and off the interwebs, regular ladies and perhaps even the odd gent or two if they want to get involved. 

Rosalind Jana, formerly known around the blogosphere as Clothes, Cameras & Coffee first came to my attention last year c/o Emma Gannon and her Ctrl Alt; Delete podcast but I'd actually been exposed to her work years earlier in Violet magazine without even realising. She is incredibly talented, having shared her voice in both poetry and nonfiction books as well as being Junior Editor at Violet magazine. She won the British Vogue Talent Contest when she was sixteen and is a regular contributor to SUITCASE magazine. She's a busy, busy lady so I feel very honoured she took the time to answer my questions and share what books and female writers have inspired her thus far. 

-What are you currently reading?

I’ve been picking up and putting down Extraordinary Women for ages now. It’s a little known romp of a read set in Europe during the early twentieth century - a fictionalised reimagining of various queer women (including Radclyffe Hall) and their exploits. Very silly. Very fun. Lots of ravishing descriptions of the main character Rosalba. I’m very promiscuous with my reading though, so I’m also in the midst of Grayson Perry’s The Descent of Man*, WG Sebald’s Rings of Saturn, Teju Cole’s Known and Strange Things, and my friend Rosie Findlay’s wonderful book Personal Style Blogs: Appearances That Fascinate. Oh, and I’ve been diving back into Eva Ibbotson recently too. I just read A Countess Below Stairs, which is among the most joyous books I’ve ever encountered.

-What is your most read book?

Great question! It’s possibly a tie between Laurie Lee’s As I Walked Out one Midsummer Morning and Angela Carter’s Wise Children. I’ve returned to both of them so many times. I guess they’re almost like comfort reads in some respects (though the real equivalent of a cup of tea under a blanket on a bad day is The Moomins: Tove Jansson has seen me through some dark times. And some sunny ones too, admittedly!) Lee’s prose is so evocative. It’s the book that made me fall in love with travel writing. And Carter has long been a favourite. I love how this book fizzes with revelry and mischief and artifice, all the while paying homage to Shakespeare in a very rambunctious fashion.

-As a gifted writer yourself, is there any book in particular that inspires your writing and/or makes you want to write?

Thank you! I hope I glean things from everything I read: whether it encourages me to work ever harder on my own projects, or I find it frustrating and want to unpick what didn’t work. A few books that have recently made me want to pick up my pen (well, more accurately hunch over my laptop) would include Ali Smith’s Artful, Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent, Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City, and, forever and always, Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle. Essays-wise, I always dip back into Woolf and Hilary Mantel when I need a real jolt of prose. Oh, and Alan Garner’s The Stone Book! That’s so dense and compact and mesmerising. There’s lots of poetry too, but I should stop already.

I think what all those works – and so many others – share is a real sense of exhilaration at what you can do with language, whether in the rhythm of a sentence, the twists of a satisfying story, or a particular precision of thought. Reading other people’s work and being both in awe and VERY envious of them really is a helpful spur.

-You’ve recently been travelling to Canada and Japan. What did you read while you were there? Did you pick up any local literature?

Very good question. I didn’t have much time for reading while actually in Japan – but I did gobble up lots on the plane trip there. I sped through Katherine Rundell’s The Explorer (Rundell is a delicious children’s writer whose books invariably make me want to weep/ laugh/ go climb rooftops in Paris, run with wolves in Russia, and battle my way through the Amazon), and Eleanor Catton’s The Rehearsal, which is full of deft observations on teenage girls, school, and sexuality.

On Fogo Island I read continuously, returning to Maggie Nelson’s Bluets (even better with the backdrop of the roaring North Atlantic behind), and deliving into Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing (had to have at least one Canadian author in there!), Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain (a superlatively good piece of nature writing), and various others. I also bought Diana Vreeland’s autobiography in a second hand bookshop in St John’s on my way back home. It’s ridiculous and over the top and I love it.

To my shame though, I didn’t manage to pick up any local literature in either!

-What is your favourite book by a British writer and why?

Is it a cliché to say Wuthering Heights? Probably. I don’t care. (Also, this is an IMPOSSIBLE question. I have so many favourites, especially when it comes to British writers, from Hilary Mantel to Alan Garner to Ali Smith to Saki to Jeanette Winterson to Jenny Diski to John Berger and beyond).

-Which women writer’s words have left a lasting impression on you?

Virginia Woolf, forever and always. From her astutely observed essays to the incandescent thrill of books like Orlando, I feel like I’m forever trying to get to grips with the depths of her works, despite having read many of them several times (I did my undergraduate dissertation on her). She continually reminds me of the flexibilities and possibilities of words, as well as the challenges they can present.

-Finally, if there was one book you’d recommend every woman have on their bookshelf, which would it be?

Similarly difficult to answer, given that I don’t think there’s any one thing we should all absolutely have to read. It’s going to depend on your tastes, your priorities etc. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists is a pretty safe/ necessary bet though.

// Thank you so much to Rosalind for being the first radtastic lady to contribute to this series. I hope you all enjoyed it. Be sure to give Rosalind a follow, her Instagram is especially dreamy. Stay tuned next month for another installment of this new series. //

*Book Depository affiliate links may have been used but where possible I am linking to my two favourite local bookstores. Shout out to you Unity Books and Time Out. 
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