Another month, another lineup of loves-from beauty to jewelry to that show I finally watched. February's favourites had the potential to be rather jam-packed but I condensed things down to the best of the bunch...
Maybelline Master Drama Nude Eyeliner in Rose Pearl and Brownie Glitz-After spying these in one of Alix's videos towards the end of last year, I made a mental note and filed them away. They were released earlier in the month as part of Maybelline's hefty launch in NZ. They seem to often release a ton of new products in one go rather than gradually. Anyway, these were buy one, get one half price at Farmers so I picked them up and oh my goodness. They are so lovely. Creamy, velvety, pigmented and budge-proof. I use the shade Brownie Glitz to line my lashes and Rose Pearl in the inner corner to highlight. Well worth the inexpensive price tag.
Stranger Things-After much persuasion and convincing that this show would not scare me I watched all eight episodes in under a week. Part thriller, part horror, part homage to the classic eighties films like ET and of course Stephen King. This is so clever and adrenaline rush inducing in the best way. Winona Ryder is in it too which helps of course but honestly this is good. Just watch it if you're yet to see it.
Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm-One of my friends gave me this mini tub of Omorovicza's cult cleanser and I love it. I've been using it when my skin's been a bit angrier and irritated this month and not only does it leave things a lot less grimy, it also has my skin feeling so smooth the next day. It's a bit on the pricy side so I'd still reach for the Oskia cleansing gel over this one but for a quick skincare fix, it's kind of a lifesaver.
Lovisa Celestial Silver Earrings-This month I really got back into wearing earrings, after spending ages thinking my piercings had closed up. This pair though have been on high rotation and I raced out the same day to get them after seeing this picture on Laura's Instagram. I'm kinda tempted to get the longer ones as well but I love these. Especially because they're much cheaper than some similar, more luxe ones I've been eyeing up.
NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Mont Blanc-A few years back this was my go-to foundation and I repurchased it in January after being displeased with the base I was using. Admittedly this colour is a tad too pale for me right now but I expect it will be matching me again in no time. It offers lightweight, buildable coverage and a flawless finish. If you have combination skin, this leans more on the satiny side of things so it's not too matte but not overly glowy either. Unlike Sheer Glow, it comes with a pump too.
Simply Essential Brush Cleaning Pad*-If you're like me and find brush cleaning tedious, this is for you. You apply some brush cleaner to the pad, wet the brushes and then swirl them around the surface of the pad. I will say this is maybe a bit too small for larger brushes, like powder or bronzer but everything else comes up pretty clean quite quickly.
Audiobooks-This month I've listened to two audiobooks; Lauren Graham's and Lena's and I've had some kind of epiphany. Audiobooks are actually kinda great. I did already know this, having listened to Enid Blyton's way back when but I haven't really appreciated them until I realised just how much I dislike the radio. That and how much Auckland's traffic sucks. They're the perfect distraction basically. Oh and they're entertaining. I think I'll stick to memoirs for now so if you have any great, read-by-author recs. for me, please let me know.
Modesty lipstick x MAC Cosmetics-After my somewhat ruthless makeup clear-out recently, I had enough products for two Back 2 MAC lipsticks. The first I chose was Modesty, which I was assured was pretty similar to Patisserie, another of my favourite MAC colours that I was getting rid of. It's not quite as glossy, which I like and has the perfect combination of pink and brown tones to complement my natural lip colour. If you're on the paler side of things, this is a beautiful nude.
-What have you loved during February?
In my Goodreads profile I describe myself as a serial reader and memoir enthusiast among other things, so it really surprised me I have never done a post solely devoted to them before. I am nearly always reading one. There's just something about reading other people's stories that I love. Granted, there's a bit of a theme, for the most part, to the stories I like but nonetheless I love most of them. Today I'm waxing lyrical on five memoirs I love. Some I've blogged on before, in fact I think most of them have been mentioned but it's a while since I talked about them. Rounding them up together means you have a handy list to refer to as well. Enjoy!
The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo* by Amy Schumer-Love her or loathe her, you cannot deny Amy Schumer is one entertaining storyteller. Her book is funny of course, but it's also incredibly touching and like Mara's (below) relatable. I can't remember much of this off the top of my head but I do know it's a book I really enjoyed and would happily recommend to people. Actually I have just requested the audiobook of this from the library because I am really into audiobooks read by the authors themselves right now. More on that Monday...
Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson-Out of all the essay collections I have read lately, Mara's is up there in all-time favourite category. There's just something incredibly pleasing about the way in which she writes. I cannot quite pinpoint it but she makes what might otherwise be an alienating book one that any reader can connect to. I've heard that the audiobook is fantastic as well so if you're into those you should give that a listen.
Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington-It's hard for me to say who is my favourite fashion director for Vogue. Between Coddington and Lucinda Chambers it's a very, very close tie. I'm re-reading Grace's book at the moment and love it. Illustrated with her charming pictures throughout and interwoven with imagery from her famed shoots, it's a stunning, inspiring read. Her insights into her creative process and the world of print magazines are so valuable.
Man Repeller by Leandra Medine-To know me is to know I am never not obsessing over Leandra's writing. Expect Leandra's usual wit and brilliance as well as some truly brilliant stories. There's more to clothes than just fabric, it is often the memories and moments in time that make them truly personal and special to us and she really looks into that in this book. Highly recommend this if you are a fashion fan or a Man Repeller lover like me.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, not pictured-This memoir by Jeannette Walls about her less than conventional childhood is so unreal, you really wish it was fiction. Her parents were both alcoholics and really led the family into a sorry state of affairs. There are moments in this book which had me in tears and just astounded at what Walls and her family had to endure. It really gives you a lot of perspective and while the book may be an uncomfortable read, it did leave me squirming at times, it's well worth it. There's a film adaptation being released at some point this year too I believe, starring Brie Larson, Max Greenfield and Naomi Watts among others.
-What memoir have you read and liked?
Last month I shared the first half of my Colourpop sale shopping and today I'm here with part two. It's cream eyeshadow heavy because Colourpop's cream shadows are my absolute favourite but I also have a gloss in here too. If you're as smitten with Colourpop as I am you should keep reading.
Supershock shadows in Koosh (limited edition), La La and Game Face-Koosh was one of Colourpop's holiday eyeshadows and is sadly no longer available. It's a beautiful silvery lilac shade and has a really lovely sheen to it. It almost makes your eyelids look glossy as opposed to straight-up glittery. La La is a softened rose gold and is actually a repurchase for me. It was one of the first Colourpop shades I purchased and loved, hence it got added to this order. Game Face is a metallic, golden bronze. It reminds me a lot of a paint pot by MAC that I used to own+love, called Eclair (limited edition) and for that reason alone I am rather obsessed with it.
Ultra Glossy Lip in Fairy Floss-Lip gloss is one of those products I seem to go through phases of liking and using a lot and then in contrast not wanting to go near it. Anyway, I may have found what is possibly one of the best lip gloss formulations around. Non tacky, non gloopy and so darn comfortable on the lips. Fairy Floss is described as a sheer, pale beige. It's one of those colours I feel like you need a bit of a tan to pull off and I can almost only just get away with it at the moment. In retrospect I perhaps should have gone for something a bit deeper but I'm sure I'll still use it for layering and the likes.
-Have you tried any of these Colourpop products? What did you think of them?
Last year my favourite editor announced she was releasing a diary documenting the year that was Vogue's centennial. The editor in question of course is Alexandra Shulman, the soon to be outgoing editor of British Vogue, although more on that another time. Longtime readers will know British Vogue is one of my all-time favourite magazines, if not my favourite title under the Vogue umbrella. I am also sure it is no secret to anybody that I love magazines. Always have. Always will. Inside Vogue was one of the books I picked up on my trip to Melbourne after many, many laps around the bookstore and it kept me company for many days after.
This diary was penned by Shulman from June/July 2015 through to July of 2016. In it, she documented the centenary year as well of course as the centennial issue of Vogue which believe it or not was being planned a year out. As well as the comings and goings at Vogue, she writes on the BBC documentary crew who filmed the British Vogue team and of course aspects of her rare downtime from what is quite simply, a massive job. People like to trivialise fashion and fashion magazines but really they are works of art. So much goes into the crafting of each issue and many of the themes and ideas for issues take months of preparation. They really are true labours of love. Case in point: the Kate Middleton cover was a huge secret, maybe four or five members of the Vogue team knew about it and everyone else was left in the dark.
Alex's writing is so refreshing. That's the best way to describe it really. Having read this book twice now, one for another review actually, that is the one thing that has stayed with me. Looking at it again now it almost seems foreshadowing in some ways and hinting that Alex was ready to leave British Vogue on a high note after such a monumental year and countless achievements and successes. Perhaps I am reading too much into it but there are definitely hints that seem to insinuate she was ready to pursue other projects and life after Vogue.
For magazine lovers and true enthusiasts, you will appreciate the many insights into the workings of the magazine. I always knew they were a lot of work but you just don't realise how far in advance stories are planned and covers are orchestrated. That and just how tricky some people can be to work with. You have to have a great deal of patience really. There are also plenty of Alexa references in amongst the pages to keep me happy. I call myself a Chung connoisseur but even I didn't know she was one of British Vogue's contributors. As is Kate Moss, who knew? The Vogue team also were lucky to watch The Crown's rushes well in advance and they had a story in one of their issues last year, well before it made its way onto Netflix.
I really do not want to spoil this book too much for anybody wanting to immerse themselves in its pages but for British Vogue lovers, magazine enthusiasts and anybody with an interest in Vogue and its inner-workings, you need to read this one. I will definitely be re-reading it again but I am also, not-so-secretly hoping Alexandra releases a further volume or book of anecdotes and musings from her time at the magazine.
-Have you read Inside Vogue? What did you think of it?
A few weeks back I was lucky enough to be invited along to MAC's Make-Up Art Cosmetics launch and masterclass featuring Kabuki. He wowed an intimate group of beauty bloggers and media with his stunning, editorial-ready look he created at the Britomart Pro Store. It may have been early in the morning but my caffeine-deprived self was no less in absolute awe of what can only be described as makeup magic. I didn't take many pictures on the day, there's a couple on my Instagram but I was more than happy to take notes and just watch him at work. Today I thought I'd give you a bit of a rundown on each of the artists involved with this extensive collection, as well as my picks from each of their products I was given to try.
Diane Kendal-British born Diane Kendal is the makeup artist for Marc Jacobs Beauty as well as their current product consultant. She's also worked with many of the Vogue titles. Most recently, she did the makeup for the February cover of British Vogue but she's also made up the faces of Kate Moss, Kaia Gerber and Millie Bobby Brown to name a select few. Of all the collections, I'd say hers is my favourite and if you get one of her products, I'd recommend the Glamourize Me* cream shadow palette. You may have seen this in Sam's videos because she loves it and it's just lovely. I recommend using a brush rather than fingers with this but the shades all make gorgeous bases for eyeshadow looks. My favourite is the bronze in the top right, called Dynamic.
Kabuki-As mentioned above, Kabuki was flown to New Zealand for a series of masterclasses. He expertly paired together bold colours and textures that I wouldn't think to put together. They ended up looking amazing though and I love how innovative and fun Kabuki's products are. They're definitely not for the faint of heart but I can imagine people that love colour, as well as the pros of course will love them. You may have seen me wearing the grey matte liquid lipstick* on my Snapchat and I do like the colour but haven't been brave enough to wear it out for ages yet. I'm still working out how to wear it and make it work for me but I loved that this was inspired by old Hollywood films. I only received the one product from Kabuki's line but I did swatch some others on the day and the dazzleshadows in particular were stunning. He also has some beautiful crystal glaze glosses. The red is giving me Judy Garland, ruby slipper vibes.
James Kaliardos-Out of all the products I received the majority came from Kaliardos' collaboration and I don't have a problem with that because they're fabulous. James Kaliardos is another Vogue favourite and has created campaign and runway beauty for the likes of Chanel, Rodarte, Anna Sui and more. Of the lipsticks I have, Jasper*, the deep reddish brown is my favourite but there's a few coral pinks in his collection too. I also love the jumbo sized version of MAC's penultimate* liner for dramatic eye looks but my favourite product and again another palette is the Moons of Saturn* face palette. Weirdly enough it reminds me of those phones with the sliding keypads back in the day but I love the blush and bronzer in particular. This is a great one to have for traveling or on the go touchups as you can just use your fingers and not worry about brushes.
The MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics collections land in stores on Monday the 20th of February. I wanted to showcase them now though so you can get in early because I imagine products, in particular the palettes and lipsticks will go fast.
After books, my second favourite form of escapism is DVD box sets, or more recently, Netflix. Today I thought I'd round-up five of my favourite shows for you. If you haven't seen any of them, do yourself a favour and watch them. They all offer something a bit different, I'll try to touch on that below and are all pretty darn fantastic. Of course I am biased here but seriously, they are worth watching and re-watching.
Parks and Recreation: Or Parks and Sparks, as it is known among some of my family. Don't ask. This show is described as The West Wing meets The Office (the US version) and I believe it is created by some of the people responsible for the latter. Leslie Knope works in the local government's Parks and Recreation department along with a cast of less than motivated, somewhat disinterested employees. They don't quite share her enthusiasm and aspirations to be the next Hillary Clinton but they sure bring the humour. This show is hilarious and it is so well-written. There's also fantastic improv too which is to be expected when you have the likes of Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt and Aubrey Plaza among others in the cast. I'm re-watching this at the moment and am thoroughly enjoying it all over again.
New Girl: One quirky twenty-something shares a loft apartment in LA with three other guys. Of course hilarious chaos and moments occur. I know some people think New Girl has lost its luster and I've only just started S5 so I can't really comment but I'm still liking it so far. Zooey Deschanel as Jess is just so loveable and relatable. Actually she's scarily relatable at times. I also love Max Greenfield as Schmidt. He's amazing.
The Crown: Yes I am mentioning this Netflix gem again. I finished watching this a second time recently and loved it just as much another time around. I can't wait for Season Two which will be partially, if not totally set in the sixties. My favourite decade, particularly fashion-wise. There's more to this show than fashion of course. It's a thoroughly interesting look at the Royal Family and an insight into the sides of them we don't really see.
Gilmore Girls: Who would have really expected this show to be here? Ahem. There's something so comforting and likeable about this show. I cannot quite ever put my finger on it but I think a lot of it comes down to the relationship between Lorelai and Rory at its simplest. That and the plethora of references plus it's just really fun to watch. I love it a lot and will always have a special place in my heart for Gilmore Girls.
A Series of Unfortunate Events: Netflix is blessing us in the original series department at the moment. I've been a Lemony Snicket fan for as long as I can remember so I was really looking forward to this series. It really delivered and was extremely faithful to the books. At times there are even subtle references to later books and little nuances from the series as a whole. You don't necessarily need to have read the books first to follow this one though. If you like dark humour and less than happy tales, this is for you. Shout-out to Neil Patrick Harris for his amazing performance as Count Olaf and his many different characters.
-What shows do you love?
*Throwback time! If you've been sticking around long enough you will know I used to sign off my blog posts with life rambles, on occasion. Maybe I will revive them this year because I used to like doing them and I think some of you liked reading them too. I just wanted to let y'all know I will be a bit MIA from the blog over the next week as I have an exam soon for my Summer School paper and will be in full on nerd mode. I will be back at some stage next week (hopefully) with a beauty post I have been working on for a little while. Otherwise I'll no doubt still be around a bit on the 'gram and things. Have a great week and weekend! x
For people who are solely devoted to fiction, I am sure the idea of nonfiction may seem boring or uninteresting. That is a sweeping generalisation but more often than not, when I ask people why they don't like nonfiction they say it's because they don't want to read something cemented in reality, or more often than not, something that will remind them of school. That's fair but I think the best nonfiction acts as a form of escapism and inspiration. There's a reason I am so taken with memoirs. The best stories from real people, written to perfection can shine just as strongly as the novels we devour with enthusiasm. Today we have five new (to me) nonfiction tomes. There's home inspiration, words from loved writers and musings on lipstick and feminism. The essentials of course...
The Coveteur-One of my Christmas presents, admittedly thanks to some less than subtle hinting on my part. I've been a fan of The Coveteur since 2011, according to these here archives. Crazy thinking it's been that long. Anyway, they released this coffee-table book filled with some of the best of the best homes and possessions from their archives. Tavi Gevinson, Lisa Eldridge and more are included. Even if you have seen these pictures before, it's something else seeing them off a screen and instead on paper. This would make a beautiful gift really and I think anyone with a love for style, design and the stories behind prized possessions would enjoy this.
Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher-I'd been wanting to read Carrie's books for a while and have now read two in the last couple of months. My only qualm is they are not very long and that there is the painful reality that there won't be any more. Unless of course some are released posthumously. Wishful Drinking is a collection of essays and anecdotes from Carrie about her not so normal upbringing, Star Wars, her experiences with mental illness and more. Yes some of the topics are heavier but Carrie presents them in a way that is relatable and at times pretty darn hilarious. It's so important to be able to find joy in dark times and comedy can be perfect for that. Such a great read.
The Yellow Wall Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman-A book I bought inspired by Emma. I think we just basically encourage each other's retail habits. Anyway, The Yellow Wall Paper is a collection of short stories, which I have only just realised. Whoops. It is one of those texts that does get referenced and recommended as must-have feminist reading though so I am glad to finally have it.
A to Z of Lipstick* by Poppy King-To those in the know, Poppy King is the creator of Lipstick Queen, a brand we can now access through Mecca Maxima here in Christchurch, soon to be Wellington and online. Yay. The A to Z of Lipstick is a little book, jam packed with everything you'd ever want to know about lipstick. It is beautifully designed and would be perfect for any makeup lover, more so the lipstick queens among us. #seewhatididthere #wowsosubtle
Artful by Ali Smith-The Oxford lectures of Ali Smith, all available in one paper volume. She looks at literature, the consideration of art and life and the significance and importance of literature. It sounds a bit nerdy perhaps. Although if you are a lover of words and appreciate Smith's prose, it will no doubt be required reading.
-Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
Now that 2017 is in full swing, the beauty collections are beginning to come through thick and fast. We have plenty of gems today, from skincare to some up and coming beauty bits and pieces that you should mark in your diaries. I've tried to include a mix of more wallet-friendly bits 'n bobs as well as some of the more luxe items. Anyway, here is some new beauty products for Summer 2017...
MAC Blush in Sweet Sweet Fantasy, limited edition-This was released as part of the Mariah Carey collection and I am so glad I got this blush because I've been wearing it so much lately. It's a vibrant, peachy pink but it's more pink in tone than coral. It has a tiny bit of shimmer running through it but it's not overly detectable on the skin which I like. MAC's blushers are lovely to use, they apply smoothly and are long-wearing. While this one may not be around now, such is the nature of limited collections, MAC have plenty of other choices in their permanent lineup.
Clinique Pep-Start Hydro Rush Moisturiser*, in stores February 6th-Clinique's Pep-Start range is expanding with this new moisturiser which is oil-free and apparently suited for all skintones. It is designed to be used day and night but for me personally with combination skin I find it just a bit too heavy to sit underneath makeup. Then again Summer is really not the best time to put base makeup to the test so it could just be the humidity affecting how it sits on the face. If your skin is drier though you will be fine. It isn't an overly thick moisturiser which I love because I find heavier creams just don't sink into my skin nicely. I really like this moisturiser though and for the substantial sized pot it is pretty darn good value for money. It will retail at $58 when it launches.
YSL Rouge Volupte Tint In Balm*, available February 20th-YSL's Rouge Volupte Shine lipstick was one of my first high-end makeup purchases and I remember feeling so fancy and chic whipping it out of my less-than-chic tote bags back in the day. My camera was being a right pain at focusing on this one but you can just make out the kiss shaped imprint in the centre of the bullet. Enriched with apricot and macadamia butters, as well as fruit, coriander and jojoba oils you have one nourishing lip product. Desire Me Pink (#4) pulls more on the raspberry-pink side of things. For a lip tint+balm it is pretty pigmented and on days when I am not fussed with my default nude lip, this is what I am reaching for.
Rimmel Magnif'eyes Palette in Keep Calm and Wear Gold*-Ignore the name with this link. Farmers have got the palettes around the wrong way. Rimmel are the latest brand to get onboard the neutral palette train and of the two they have released, this golden hued lineup is my favourite. The lighter mattes are a little disappointing but the shimmers are lovely, as are the darker colours on the far right. On the design side of things, this palette is super compact and has a mirror which is convenient if you're like me and tend to forget to pack a mirror in your bag.
Glossier Super Pure Serum-So I've already written about this here and I did promise you all an update. I love this serum. It's perfect if you've got combination, sometimes problematic skin as it's lightweight and not oily feeling. Combined with the moisturiser above, it is a hydration match made in heaven. If you aren't wanting to fork out for a pricy serum, I highly recommend this one.
Lancome Le Stylo*, available February 20th-This is being released in Lancome's Spring Color Collection which looks beautiful. If you haven't seen the rose blush powder online, look it up because it is stunning. I won't be surprised if it sells out pretty fast. Anyway, these are designed to create the ombre, popsicle-stained lip look that seems to be quite popular at the moment. You apply the lip cushion side first and follow it up with the creamier side for a hint of shine. Admittedly, I have only realised that now so have been applying it the opposite way around but it still seems to work fine. This looks beautiful on the lips, especially if you aren't a huge fan of lip products. Plus it is beautifully designed too, look at that rose gold bullet. Aesthetics matter people.
-What is on your Summer beauty wishlist?