May Favourites
5/29/2017

May Favourites



May, a month of goodness (Auckland Writers Fest, full license acquiring, sparkly brogues) and also some less than great things. In the interest of keeping things positive and upbeat, today I'm focusing on some of the things I loved in May. There's quite a bit of beauty, including another mascara dalliance as well as a revisited book and the album I'm a bit obsessed with...


An Extraordinary Theory of Objects by Stephanie LaCava: Why it has taken me so long to revisit this book, I have no idea. Objects, their associations and their stories have always fascinated me. I am that person who will want to know where items of interest are from in people's houses and find the mini curations we display and collect so interesting. Naturally this book was always going to appeal to me, and the way in which it discusses anxiety and outsiderness is so refreshing. LaCava's writing is fantastic.

Texturizing Hair Spray x Ouai: This was a buy from Sephora Melbourne last year and I love it. It also acts as a dry shampoo in part which is a major bonus for me too. I spritz it liberally through my hair and it just adds a bit of oomph. Basically it makes me look like I've at least attempted to style my thick, unruly hair. It also helps that it's scented beautifully too. 

Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette x Anastasia Beverly Hills: It's probably no surprise this palette is making an appearance this month. I've really only used this when I've been wearing eyeshadows. They're beautifully pigmented, versatile and easy to blend. Honestly the colours are perfect. This palette's getting a lot of attention but it is so worth it.

Brow Definer* x Mellow Cosmetics: Mellow Cosmetics have only come to my attention recently and it's their brow products I've been loving. Pictured is their brow definer pencil, I have the shade Chocolate. It's not too crazy pigmented but it's just enough to add a bit of something-something to the brows. I love the angled pencils like this too as they're so quick to swipe through, brush with the spoolie and be done. Lazy makeup ftw. 


Harry Styles: Possibly cheating a bit by including this album, given it only came out just over two weeks ago. It's pretty much been in my car's stereo ever since. What I love most is the distinct story the album takes you on from start to finish. The way the tracks are arranged works perfectly and there's a mix of softer ballads with rock and some slight country+alt-pop influences. The songs are catchy as anything too. If you're skeptical because Styles started out in a boy band, put your cynicism aside and give this a listen, you may well be surprised. Standout tracks for me are; Carolina, Only Angel, Ever Since New York and From The Dining Table. 

The Volume Mascara x Kevyn Aucoin: So I feel like a bit of a mascara traitor, having endless flirtations with various formulas and brands. I do feel like in Kevyn Aucoin's Volume mascara though that I've found the one. Now that is a bold, bold claim. For now though I can see why this mascara is so highly regarded. The secret is in the lash fibres, they take things next level. As it's a tubing formula it's super easy to remove at the end of the day as well. I lovelovelove it. 

Pure Clay Mask* x L'Oreal: You know that time in between seasons when your skin packs a sad? That is my skin currently. When I feel like things are looking a bit red or congested I've been reaching for the charcoal clay mask. It's gentle, but it leaves things looking a lot smoother and clearer. 

-What were your May Favourites?

*PR Sample
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So Sad Today: A Review by Grace Georgia
5/26/2017

So Sad Today: A Review by Grace Georgia



Happy Friday. Today we have a guest post from one of the most amazing young bloggers around at the moment. Her name is Grace Georgia and she's a total girl-boss in the making. She's written a book review for us all today and when you're done, you need to go check out her work because it's fantastic. Anyway, I'll let Grace's words do the talking from here on in...

I gravitate strongly towards modern literature and nonfiction; as a child I never read Percy Jackson and I have no real interest in any mystical fiction, or general fiction-unless we're talking Louise Pentland's. new novel because I am sure to give that a go. The reason I love non-fiction so much is that my true heart is found in writing. I love telling people's stories. I love the writing of literature, the bringing together of an article-and so non-fiction and modern literature like personal essays, they give me that feeling of story telling. I myself am not telling the story, but when I open the pages of Jordan Bone's  memoir I am privy to her personal journey and that makes me feel more connected on another level than writing does, with the journalist I am. 

Non-memoirs don't win out when it comes to popularity on Goodreads. People love fiction-in part this is probably because men and women read to escape the world for a bit, as you can in fiction. Rather than just read about the world and its people like you do with non-fiction. As a journalist and writer I love reading about the world and its people as an extension of the storytelling I am tethered with.


My most favourite nonfiction book, that probably falls under the modern lit category is a series of personal essays by Melissa Broder called So Sad Today. Melissa's essays are definitely not designed for the 'every reader'. I would describe them as beautifully uncomfortable, gracefully disgusting I suppose. Basically when and if you read these essays get ready to abandon social niceties and 'acceptable subject matter'-but I promise you if you do make yourself vulnerable and read this book-you will only gain. Melissa's ability to say what 99.9% of people are afraid of saying, her fearless raw nature will give you a new perspective on everything. It might even ruin you in that beautiful way that all consuming and worthy literature does. 

For the non-fiction lovers and fiction buffs amongst us, you'll love this book. It gives you a fascinating insight into the life of another human, and this insight might almost appear fictional because it could be so far from the life that you know, so in that sense it becomes a narrative which still has all the appeal of a non-fiction text.

I did say 'you'll love this book' but the truth is I probably shouldn't make such a definitive statement. It is one of those texts you either hate or love. It is something you'll either connect with or fall out with but either way it is worth a try. If you're in the right headspace it is a text that could change your perspective on all things from relationships to technology, pop culture to food and eating habits. 

This text will make you rethink how you think about everything and then it will make you fall in love with the parts you don't talk about. It to me is the definition of a fabulous text for all these reasons. I''ll be picking up Louise's novel for sure but my great love of lit will always be non-fiction and Melissa Broder's 'So Sad Today'.

-Grace is a freelance writer and the founder of gracegeorgia.co.nz. Follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram too.
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The Autumn '17 Beauty Edit
5/24/2017

The Autumn '17 Beauty Edit



As the year is now in full swing, the beauty launches are coming through thick and fast. Today I have some new products from local beauty brands to share with you all, as well as some from the indie brands like MAC Cosmetics, L'Oreal, y'know those underground ones...


Antipodes  'Moisture Boost Natural Lipsticks' in South Pacific Coral and Queenstown Hot Chocolate*-I must admit, when I first saw these lipsticks I wasn't immediately taken aback but once I tried these two shades in particular I was sold. Queenstown Hot Chocolate reminds me a touch of Whirl x MAC and I can see why it's a beauty blogger favourite. It's a darker, natural nude and I feel like this would flatter a wide range of skintones. South Pacific Coral is a soft, pastel coral pink and I love it. Now these lipsticks are moisturising but they're not so creamy that they're going to glide right off your lips. I'd say they have more of a satiny finish because they're not overly matte but they aren't the creamiest formula around. They're made with natural ingredients too such as avocado oil and shea butter so you know your lips are being well looked after. At $34, they're hardly going to put a dent in your wallet either. 

Mellow Cosmetics Brow Pomade in Chocolate*-Mellow Cosmetics is one of those brands I've seen all over Instagram but only recently worked out they're from New Zealand. Anyway, brow pomades are one of those products that can make your brows look tidier than they are, in my experience at least. This one is just as creamy as others I've tried and it's so easy to apply to your brows and then brush through the colour. Don't be intimidated by these types of products. They're much easier to use than you would think. 


MAC Cosmetics 'Next To Nothing Face Colour' in Medium*-It's very early days with this product so I won't wax lyrical on it too much yet but the name says it all. This is definitely one of those 'no makeup, makeup' bases. It still gives you a hint of coverage, but in a way that it veils your skin in the lightest amount of colour. Think the oft used cliche, 'your skin, but better'. I've only used this once as I literally received it less than a week ago but found it wore really well throughout the day. So far, so good. I've got a full review on this coming next month though so keep an eye out.

Glossier Balm Dotcom in Coconut-Another Glossier newbie, well new to me. I'm pretty sure Balm Dotcom was the first product they launched. Is there anything overly special about this lip salve? Probably not but I find it sits a lot nicer on the lips for a balm that's on the thicker side. It's also much easier to blend in as well. Okay so maybe it is a bit special. The coconut scent reminds me of popcorn, I'm not sure why but I'm not going to complain about it. Beautifully designed too if aesthetics are your jam.

L'Oreal Extraordinary Clay range*-Not pictured, the empty shampoo and conditioner bottles because I've used this religiously since I received it in March/April. It's been in my shower ever since. Designed for oily roots and drier ends aka, my hair. It feels lightweight and not 'heavy'. Oily haired gals, you know when you have product that just sinks into your hair and doesn't leave? This is not like that in the slightest. The dry shampoo, pictured, is pretty top notch too. There's also a hair mask in this range but I'm honestly not one for hair masks so I can't tell you how it performs. If you struggle to find shampoo+conditioner for you though, this range should be your new hair BFF. I can't find it linked online but it's available from supermarkets and most Farmers stores in NZ now.

-What beauty products are you putting to the test this Autumn?

*PR Sample



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New In: Luxe Loves
5/22/2017

New In: Luxe Loves



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

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

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

-Do you have any luxe loves?

*These snazzy shades were sent to me by Smart Buy Glasses. This post is not sponsored and all love of classic, iconic eyewear is my own.
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5 Things
5/17/2017

5 Things



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

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

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


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

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



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

*Apologies for the cynicism and lack of elaboration. Maybe I'll discuss it someday. 
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The Bookdate, Volume Three
5/15/2017

The Bookdate, Volume Three



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

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


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

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

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

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

-What have you read recently?

*Review copy



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May Reading List
5/10/2017

May Reading List



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

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

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

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

-What are you reading during May?
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A Trip To Mecca Maxima Wellington
5/08/2017

A Trip To Mecca Maxima Wellington



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

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

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

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

-Have you been to the new Mecca Maxima? What did you think of it?
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A Modern Renaissance
5/03/2017

A Modern Renaissance



I do love me a good eyeshadow palette. Firstly there's the convenience of all the shades you need in one handy place and then there's the array of colours and finishes. The best in my opinion combine standout mattes with some shimmer. There are definitely plenty of neutral palettes out there now but when I saw this Anastasia palette getting a lot of love from the likes of Louise and my friend Emma, I was officially interested. Flash forward a few months and it'd been in and out of my virtual cart a bit. So on a day where my heart was feeling heavy, I decided the Modern Renaissance palette needed to be in my life...

Now I feel like a bit of a mean girl because this palette seems to be out of stock again. It's proving to be an incredibly popular one, that is for sure. I am so glad I waited it out and got it though because it's fast becoming a firm favourite. Chances are, if you've asked me what eyeshadow I am wearing lately, it's more than likely a combination of these shadows.


What makes these shadows more exciting, for me at least, than your standard neutral palette is the addition of the berry tones and apricot-y mattes. Great descriptive language use there Sophie... You get the gist. There's only a smattering of shimmer which I don't mind because they are beautiful but it is the mattes that are the true stars here. They're insanely pigmented and I learnt that the hard way. See that brown shade on the top right hand corner? I went for far too much the first time and had to blend it right out. Even though these shades are pigmented they're super easy to blend out so you can dial up or down the intensity as desired. I've actually been loving the shade Realgar, bottom right, paired with Primavera. I find golden hued eyeshadows tend to not suit me, especially if they are too yellow but this combination works a treat. Do not be daunted by the colours here, they're a lot more workable than you might think.

The Modern Renaissance palette is definitely worth the love it's getting. If like me you don't own eyeshadows in these sort of hues, you'll love it and it will be a welcome addition to your makeup wardrobe. If you're looking for some other options, Morgan did a great post on eyeshadows similar to those found in this palette here. I've used the bronzier shadows in this photo but I'll try to take some more as I experiment with the other colours.

As far as I know, none of the Anastasia stockists in NZ sell this palette but you can find it on Sephora NZ as well of course as Cult Beauty.

-What do you think of Anastasia's Modern Renaissance palette?
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Auckland Writers Festival 2017: The Must-See Writers+Events
5/01/2017

Auckland Writers Festival 2017: The Must-See Writers+Events



In my not so humble opinion as a JAFA, that's just another fabulous Aucklander for anyone not in the know, the Auckland Writers Festival is a good time. As someone who likes reading you might think it'd be a sin for me to say otherwise. Truthfully though, I wouldn't be harping on about it now if I thought it was not worth anyone's time. This year they have one helluva lineup; Roxane Gay, Rupi Kaur, Chris Kraus, Ashleigh Young, Paul Beatty and more. Today I'm going to talk you through seven events I think you should know about, plus I have a very exciting lil' giveaway so stay tuned to the end of this post. 

Walk On High, free: One of the booksellers in Unity Books alerted me to this fun event taking place on High Street. From 6.30-8.00pm, a series of events will be happening. Insta-essays, poetry, theatre and games are just some of what can be expected. It sounds fun and like an unforgettable evening to explore the streets and get immersed in some unique experiences. 

Best of the Spoken Word, ticketed: Five of New Zealand's finest voices will come together to showcase their creative work, engage in a little improv. There'll even be a few guest appearances from the likes of Rupi Kaur, Paul Beatty and Ivan Coyote. If you are a poetry enthusiast then I imagine this one will be right up your alley. 

The Art of the Essay, free: As soon as I saw this event in the programme I was like 'yes please, I am there'. Roxane Gay+Ashleigh Young sharing their wisdom is enough to entice me. I don't think I need to say much more here. You get the gist.

Pop Up: Rupi Kaur, ticketed: I'm going to Milk and Honey, Kaur's Sunday session which has since sold out. Hence the addition of this new event. If you missed out the first time around, you cannot miss this one. Kaur is a voice to watch and I particularly loved milk and honey. In fact, I revisit it all the time. It's the kind of poetry that stays with you long after you've completed reading it.

The Book of Forgiving, ticketed: Mphu Tutu Van Furth co-wrote the aforementioned book with her father, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Her session sounds fascinating and inspiring, as she'll be delving into her life and the place of forgiveness. I actually want to read this book now too so I'll be hunting that down in the local library. 

The Song of the Book, ticketed: Music lovers and lyricist enthusiasts, this one's for you. Four of our local songwriters were set the challenge of creating a piece of music, inspired by one of the books featured in this year's festival. As music is all about storytelling, this is the perfect marriage of creative mediums. 

Difficult Women, ticketed: When I heard that Roxane Gay was headed to Auckland for the Writers Festival, I knew I could not miss out. She's one of my favourite people on Twitter to follow and I love reading her writing whenever I get the opportunity, especially her op-eds. I cannot wait to hear her speak about her work and everything really. 

Now for the fun part, thanks to the lovely folk at Auckland Writers Festival*, I have a double-pass to Rupi Kaur's pop up event on Friday May 19th to give away. To enter, leave me a comment telling me what you're most looking forward to at the Writers Fest this year and feel free to use the additional entry options in the box below. Please note; you must be able to get to Auckland for this event and will have to collect your tickets from the box office. If you are under eighteen, please get permission from a parent or guardian before entering. 

This giveaway closes Tuesday 9th May. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Giveaway thanks to the lovely people at AWF 2017. This giveaway is not sponsored and all love of literary goodness is my own.
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April Favourites
4/28/2017

April Favourites



The first quarter of 2017 has just disappeared faster than the Easter chocolate post-Easter Sunday. Bring back the mini eggs please. Today we have six rather wondrous bits 'n bobs I've loved during April. An eye product, some intoxicating writing, comforting scents and more...

Lancome Hypnose Volume-A-Porter Mascara*: Since taking these images I've found a new mascara which may just rival this one but for the months of March+April, Lancome's mascara was my go-to. I think I've finally worked out what it is I like in a mascara, great volume. This one does not disappoint and it gives just the amount of drama I love. If you're after a luxe mascara, I highly rate Lancome's. Every one I have tried has been an instant hit with me.

The Body Shop 'Almond Milk and Honey' range*: Special nod to the hand and shower creams. I've already waxed lyrical on this scent and its comforting, enveloping yourself in fresh linen sensibilities. I just love it. It's so nourishing and exquisite on every level. The body scrub is definitely going to end up in my possession sooner rather than later.

Brie Earrings x Pigment Studio: There's so much to love about Albertine's gorgeous pieces, in fact I'm eyeing up some more earrings from her as I type. These Brie ones though are stunning. Lightweight and super comfortable to wear. The butterfly closure on them is super sturdy and secure so there's no risk of them going MIA. I feel like some of the cheaper earrings don't have the best fastenings. They're also unique and a bit of a conversation starter too. I love 'em.

Joan Didion: More specifically, Didion's writing. This month I've read both South and West: From A Notebook** (currently reading) and The Year of Magical Thinking. I don't know how to quite articulate how I feel about Didion's writing without sounding like an arrogant hipster. What I will say though is her writing is so intoxicatingly brilliant. Raw, real, full of emotion and colour and brilliance in every sense. 

Miu Miu Eau De Parfum*: For the last few months I've been alternating between this scent and YSL's Mon Paris* but I keep coming back to this fragrance. Intoxicating, alluring. The perfect marriage of woods and floral. Some people find this fragrance overpowering but compared to other scents I've tried I find it not so...intense. It's potent yes but in a subtler way. Like a Vodka Lime and Bitters. Why am I comparing perfume to drinks? Anyway, love this fragrance. Love its design and campaign imagery too. A++, would spritz again.

Thirteen Reasons Why: The show everybody is talking about. I also raced through the book a couple of weeks ago but the book is nowhere near as expansive as the show. That and a particularly major plot point is slightly tweaked. I'm not quite finished this show and I am aware there are a lot of opinions and debate around it so I'll save my two cents for another day. What I will say though is that this show is extremely important. Extremely, extremely important. I was on the receiving end of bullying in high school, not quite to the extent of Hannah's experience but damaging enough. I can say just how powerful and damning words in particular can be. That being said, if you're worried about how the show will affect you, look up the plot first and watch it at your discretion. It's emotionally taxing and not the show you should binge watch in one sitting. As I said though, I am glad this has been made. It needed doing. 

-What have you liked during April?

*PR Sample

**Review Copy

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Favourite Issues of British Vogue
4/24/2017

Favourite Issues of British Vogue



British Vogue is not so secretly one of my favourite magazines and it was only recently that I realised, I've been a fangirl, glossy girl for nearly ten years now. How crazy is that? I remember going to a local shopping centre as a tween and deliberating whether or not I wanted to spend the majority of my pocket money on a copy. Negating Starbucks frappe privileges, big big thing guys. I jest. Today I thought I'd go back through the archives and share anecdotes about some of my favourite issues. If you're a magazine lover, keep reading...

December 2016: This is mainly here because of the editorial featuring Lily Rose Depp. Fairytale inspired with a modern edge. Dreamy, whimsical, charming. The perfect issue to release at Christmastime. 

Centenary Issue, 2016: The subject of much of Inside Vogue and a collector's piece for fashion fanatics. It was also the first major magazine to feature Kate Middleton, style icon and of course ambassador for the National Portrait Gallery among other organisations. As well as that, there's a rather fascinating insight into the cost of fashion over the years, fashion designer's memories of British Vogue, musings from current+present staff and more. 

September 2015: The famed September issue featured Emma Watson and is one of my favourite covers, ever. You can see it peeking out behind Kate M above. I know Vogue magazines are laden with advertising, no place is this more evident than in the US September issue. I feel like British Vogue has this on a less excessive scale. The stories and content within their pages don't make it annoying. In a way, the ads are almost works of art in themselves, the better ones anyway. 

October 2014: As we are about to observe, October is a good month for British Vogue cover stars. I loved this laid-back shoot with Rosamund Pike to promote Gone Girl. The accompanying interview was fantastic as well. 

October 2013: Alexa freakin' Chung. I'll admit the hairstyling in these pictures does throw me off slightly. The accompanying story by her about couture though more than makes up for it. We can let the pageboy hair slide, just this once AC. 

January 2012: Florence Welch! Beautiful imagery, reminiscent of renaissance women. I don't think I have this issue anymore, unless it's stowed away in our coffee table/chest. The pictures though truly reflect Florence's style and aesthetic as an artist at that time so they will always be some of my favourites.

December 2008: A collector's piece if ever there was one. A matte cover, Kate Moss in a tulle gown, the best Roald Dahl themed editorial ever. Tim Walker photographed various British icons in Dahl-themed imagery. Helena Bonham Carter in the glass elevator, Karen Elson with a pistol. Gigantic bubblegum bubbles, a humongous crocodile, colour for days. It's just exquisite. Sophie Dahl's story on her memories of Roald Dahl is fantastic as well. I will never get rid of this.

-Do you have a magazine you love?
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The Clinique Diaries
4/21/2017

The Clinique Diaries



This story originally appeared on FashioNZ:

Let’s set the record straight; when it comes to skincare regimens, I am pretty undisciplined. I am good at always removing my makeup but if I am tired and the thought of cleansing and the rest feels tedious, I will just flag it in favour of more time reading. One way around this is a short, relatively simple routine. This is where something like the Clinique Fresh Pressed System* is advantageous. A cleanser and a booster that functions in a similar way to your serum or a shot of healthy, nourishing juice. As I write this introduction it is 10pm on a Friday night. The Sunset Instagrams are finally dying down and I am about to begin using this new skincare system…


Friday 31st March: Where are the English instructions? -Five minutes later- Oh there they are! I wonder if this sherbet-like powder will feel tingly/fizzy on the skin? Was I supposed to use the whole sachet tonight? Top beauty blogger here, not reading instructions first. Removed the cleanser and my skin feels cleaner already! Followed up with my usual toner and serum (see photo) and then combined two pumps of the Daily Booster with my moisturiser. Afterwards things looked very glowy. Hmm…

Saturday 1st April: My skin was not glowy or overly shiny this morning, which I love because my combination skin often looks shiny in an irritating way at this time of year. Is this system magic? I used the Daily Booster again with my moisturiser this morning, a bit too liberally. Fingers crossed it doesn’t run out. My skin feels smoother too. So far, so good. This evening I didn’t use enough water with the cleanser so things felt a bit tacky. Lesson learnt, be liberal with water; don’t be liberal with the booster.

The rest of my skincare routine.

Sunday 2nd April: Well my adult acne, ugh, seems to have vanished, yay! Tonight the cleanser to water ratio was achieved as well. It’s the small things.

Monday 3rd April: In breaking news, a small planet has set up camp on my jawline. Pretty sure it’s makeup related so I may have to avoid the offending product for the time being. Author’s note: It was nothing to do with makeup. See next entry. Otherwise my skin is smooth and feels much more hydrated than usual. This twice-daily moisturising ritual is a godsend. Who knew?

Tuesday 4th April: Skin has wreaked hormonal havoc, cue blemishes but otherwise things are still looking pretty good. Just in case, I bought my charcoal exfoliator into the routine tonight as well. Side note: the more I use the Daily Booster, the more I notice and love that it smells like freshly squeezed orange juice. I’m going to miss using it when it runs out.

Wednesday 5th April: I forgot to keep a diary today, whoops. From memory though, my skin still felt a lot more hydrated. My makeup is sitting a lot better on my face and is applying well too. Can it be put down to the Fresh Pressed System? It’s hard to say after only a few days but it certainly seems to be having some impact.

Thursday 6th April: Dear skin, thank you for taking my job interview into consideration and clearing up accordingly. Love from Sophie.

Friday 7th April: I am fresh out of cleanser, pun intended but I still have some Daily Booster left. Admittedly I have been a bit more frugal with this product because I really like it and don’t want it to run out. I’ll continue pairing it with my moisturiser until it is finished. Clinique Fresh Pressed, it’s been a blast. Thanks for helping me become a little more disciplined with my skin than usual and for making a noticeable impact in seven days.


The verdict: Clinique Fresh Pressed is an effective system. In the long run it can be a bit costly but if you need something that is going to be fast acting and give your skin some oomph and hydration, this is well worth it. If you want your skin looking and feeling amazing before an important event, a holiday, a wedding and vice versa, I would highly recommend looking into this. It is designed to be compatible with all skin types but as with anything, we recommend you patch test first. You can buy the seven-day system for $60.00. It comes with seven powder cleanser sachets and one vial of the Daily Booster. Alternatively, you can purchase the Daily Booster in a bundle of 4 vials for $130.00 or the powder sachets in a set of 28 for $70.00

*PR Sample
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A MAC Lipstick Update
4/19/2017

A MAC Lipstick Update



The last time I did a post, solely devoted to MAC lipsticks has to have been a while ago. Possibly two, maybe even three years. The lineup has been through quite the revamp since then so it was really time to revisit the idea. You will notice a distinct colour theme here and also that it really is a lot more pared back than it was. I had a rather ruthless beauty clearout a couple of months ago. Anyway, if you are a lover of MAC you're in the right place. Scroll down...


Lady Danger**-Ah Lady D, my favourite of all the MAC reds. It's matte, it's vibrant and packs a mighty red-orange punch. Will you feel like a dangerous woman with this in your possession? Perhaps. It's definitely not a shade for incognito days but when I'm in the mood for something loud, Lady Danger delivers. 

Impassioned**-I've had this shade previously and grabbed it again thanks to Back 2 Mac, more on that below in the asterisk section. This is quite possibly one of my all-time favourite MAC lipsticks. It's just beautiful and the perfect coral pink. It's a cremesheen finish too so is super comfortable to wear on the lips. 

Eros*-A vibrant fuschia with a touch of sheen. I love the way the Liptensity lipsticks feel on the lips, barely there. The colour payoff is superb and I love the slight stain they leave on your lips when they begin to wear off. 

Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge*, limited edition-I seem to often be sent these deep, wine red shades from PR's. Do not get me wrong, I am grateful obviously but it's just not a colour that excites me no matter how many reincarnations it receives. This Charlotte Olympia number does get the special treatment though because it's encased in exquisite, futuristic, glamorous packaging. I always feel like I'm channeling Alexa Chung in this colour. A bonus any day of the week. 

Ruby Woo*, limited edition packaging (permanent shade)-Ruby Woo is one of MAC's most popular shades, in fact it was the shade featured in Sali Hughes' book, Pretty Iconic. It's your classic, statement, sultry, fifties red. Think Gwen Stefani, Marilyn Monroe and others. It's extremely matte, to the point it can feel a bit drying on the lips. I recommend always wearing a lip balm, liner and if you want extra comfort, a touch of gloss.


Whirl*, limited edition packaging, permanent shade-A dusty rose, matte made famous in its original form as a lipliner. Back when we still believed Kylie J used it on its own to make her lips appear larger. Shade throwing aside, it's a gorgeous shade and I feel like it's a colour that would complement a wide range of skintones. It also pairs nicely with a bit of gloss over the top to add some dimension too. 

MAC Trolls in Dance Off, Pants Off*, limited edition-A fuschia lipstick, similar to the permanent shade Show Orchid but with more of a blue-glitter reflect. It's not overly noticeable on the lips though. It just adds a bit of sparkle and sheen. Despite its boldness, this colour is surprisingly easy to swipe on and wear. I love it.

Doe-My favourite, brown-based nude. It's another lipstick from the extensive Liptensity range. Admittedly sometimes I feel like this lipstick doesn't always 'work' on me but that could just be irrational thinking. 

MAC Viva Glam Miley, limited edition*-Someone correct me if I am wrong but I'm pretty sure this shade is no longer available. It's similar to Lady Danger but less orange. I guess a similar shade would be Vegas Volt, which is permanent. 

Modesty**-Another Back to MAC acquisition. Annoyingly, Patisserie, my favourite MAC nude is not part of the selection for this but after some swatching, I think Modesty comes pretty close. In fact, I may even prefer it. If only for the fact it seems to hang around a little longer than Patisserie does. I may just have to repurchase Patisserie at some stage though because I find myself missing it. First world problem though, am I right?

-What is your go-to MAC lipstick?

*PR Sample

**Back 2 MAC (obtained by returning six empty MAC items)
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