April Favourites

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

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

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

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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The Bookdate, Volume Two

The Bookdate, Volume Two

Hello, Happy Monday and welcome back to another edition (book puns ftw) of The Bookdate. An intimate insight into the inner workings of my book reading habits. Serial readers, essay lovers, you are safe here. There's also four books I'd love to acquire sometime soon, a book club update and a blog+bookstagram to add to your literary loving lives...

Book Club: For March+April we assigned two books for Sophie's Book Club. What, you haven't heard of it? I thought it was at Oprah status. I jest. Truth be told I have only finished The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. What it has done is make me want to read everything she has ever written and also left me thinking about it in the days and weeks since completing it. It was written during one of the most tumultuous years of Didion's life, seeing with it the loss of her husband and adoptive daughter. It covers the full spectrum of coming to terms with grief, loss and the small moments that make up the relationships and memories we formulate as a result. It's not the easiest book to read but it is rewarding and is worth persevering with. I'm handing my copy along to my cousin in the hope she finds it equally as mesmerising. 

The Oosterbook: Full disclosure aside: I have known Laura since high school and we shared literature recommendations, her to me mainly, and discussed our love of niche publications. Regardless, I think I would still love her recommendations and writing. She has a bookish blog and also contributes musings on what she reads on many a corner of the interwebs+over on her Instagram. She shares my habit of dipping in and out of books and classifies herself as a book club slut. Same tbh. If you like books and carefully formulated words, go give her a follow.

/ Image by Laura from this post. 

Recently Read: / My Not So Perfect Life* by Sophie Kinsella. A novel that at its simplest is about a twenty-something trying to find her place in the world. Its complexities look at the social constructions and curated digital footprints we tend to gravitate towards. Kinsella laces it with her usual charm and wit. The book is laugh out loud funny in many ways. I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did but I loved it and spent many a late night reading it. That's what coffee in the morning was established for, right? / I'll Tell You in Person by Chloe Caldwell. A book I spied on Emma Roberts's Instagram and promptly ordered from the library. Caldwell's writing is delicious and delectable, for lack of better words. Her essays, Sisterless and The Girls Of My Youth have left particularly lasting impressions. The whole collection is worth exploring though. She has another book coming out this year and I am keeping watch for details about it.  / The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. This small tome was found after googling 'books to read if you love The Crown'. It was that or rewatch the entire series again for a third time, which let's be honest, seems inevitable. It explores the idea of The Queen busying herself with reading from a traveling library that visits Buckingham Palace. She requests literature to read, particularly classics and finds friendship and comfort in the pages of her books. Her advisors however disapprove and don't like to see her become knowledgeable. Ridiculous as it may seem, this idea does crop up in The Crown to some extent so it is somewhat believable. This book is short but brilliant and I loved it. 

The Wishlist: / The Vegetarian by Han Kang. I've picked up this book countless times in many independent bookshops and literally just requested it from the library. Its haunting, dark plot is what is keeping me away I think. In some ways, this is how I felt with Didion's book and the confronting nature of grief, never mind a whole book about it. It does keep drawing me in though so I'm sure it will be impressionable, just like Didion's was.  / Greatest Hits by Laura Barnett.  One of my favourite reads of last year was The Versions of Us, also by Barnett. Her new novel, out in May is about a musician who retreats into herself in the 1970's. Cass's story is told through music and looks at what it means to make mistakes and be accepting of them in retrospect. / How to be a Grown Up by Daisy Buchanan. After seeing some of my favourite internet babes, namely Liv and Rosalind singing its praises, my interest was established. A tongue in cheek, Moran-esque guide to adulting and realising you're doing okay is what can be found within its pages. I feel like some of the twenties, although I am only entering the halfway point now, is spent feeling inadequate and unaccomplished. Comforting words and realising we all don't really know what we're doing is always reassuring in my books, literal and metaphorical.  / One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul. A collection of debut essays by an Indian Immigrant's daughter. It explores 'sexism, stereotypes and the universal miseries of life'. The title might be dire but I'm sure the words inside will be anything but. 

That concludes another round of the bookdate. Next month I'll have some new book club reads for you all and no doubt another wishlist. This week I'm on a little mini-cation and it's just what the doctor (me) ordered. So far that is consisting of walks, coffee, Easter chocolate, a quiet desk area and probably way too many books. I'm a chronic over-packer when it comes to reading material. While I'm here, I did a guest post for Grace's blog with some book recommendations. They span high school, the great outdoors, fashion, feminism and child stardom. Go give it a browse and check out her inspiring blog. She's a talented writer. I'll see you all later in the week with a beauty post. MAC lovers, you will appreciate it! x

*Review copy

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Statement Earring Club

Statement Earring Club

Ever since I read an article by Jane Keltner de Valle about statement earrings in Teen Vogue, I've always remembered how much I liked them. Thankfully for now, earrings with a touch of drama seem to be here to stay. If you're like me and dress somewhat minimally, they are the perfect way to add some personality to your ensemble. Today I thought I'd showcase some of my favourite pairs. Side note: I highly recommend you check out Pigment Studio in particular. Shop local, support local artists and all that. Anyway, on with the earrings...

Brie Earrings x Pigment Studio: As soon as my pal Albertine posted these on her Instagram story, I demanded that she tell me as soon as they were available. They are even more exquisite in person and I'm not gonna lie, the temptation to get the other colour is there. They are extremely lightweight too and I love that she's used decent quality studs as well. They don't feel flimsy or breakable like some of the chainstore variants do. 

Assorted x Lovisa: Lovisa jewels are cheap yes but be cautious with what you buy. I've bought some earrings from them, on sale that have then broken. It is the cheaper ones that haven't held up though so maybe it's just a case of 'you get what you pay for'. On a more positive note, for budget-friendly earrings, Lovisa is my new go-to. Those celestial earrings in particular are my favourite. I love them. The tassels are also pretty fantastic as well. In fact, Lovisa are bringing it in the celestial themed, Stevie Nicks-vibe jewels department right now. If you're in NZ or Aus, you need to pay them a visit if bling like that floats your boat. 

-Where's your favourite place to find statement earrings?

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April Reading List

April Reading List

Eleven days into April and here's my April Reading List for any of you curious cats. We have two essay volumes, some magical realism and a novel Alexa Chung reportedly loves. All enough to get my attention...

Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young-I'll just come out and say it, I am an aspiring essayist and busy myself reading as many people's as I can. This is purely for my own enjoyment. I'd never aspire to be the next 'whoever' and only want my work to stand out on its own. Although if my work is as good as Ashleigh's one day, I'll be a happy lady. Her writing style is unlike any I've experienced in essay form and for that reason alone it is very refreshing. I find myself feeling like I know these stories and can familiarise myself with them, despite obviously knowing nothing. Such brilliant reading. Definitely grab a copy if you're in NZ and support our local talent. I'm not sure how readily available it is internationally but hopefully you can still acquire a copy if you're interested. 

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry-This book could not be further from what I usually find myself reading. For one, it's historical fiction and it's set in 1893 and contains elements of magical realism. Who am I? Have I been genre swapped? Of course it's set in Essex too which is somewhere I spent time so I like it for that reason. Apologies for the vagueness, I am just not very far into this and I don't have a real sense of where it is going, yet. I do love the writing so far though. 

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus-Aka 'the one I'm too embarrassed to read in public'. That cover design is hardly subtle, after all. I bought this with a voucher I received at Christmastime. Just seeing the list of reported fans, Alexa Chung, Tavi Gevinson, to name a few, had me intrigued. Part memoir, part novel exploring the nuances of love. Chris Kraus is appearing at the Auckland Writers Festival next month, tickets can be found here.

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde-A feminist reading staple and a book I finally purchased recently. Audre Lorde's words and anecdotes on feminism and gender equality are said to be inspiring and I am always down for inspirational reading. I'll be starting this very soon (hopefully) so I will keep you updated.

-What are you reading during April?
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The A to Z of Beauty

The A to Z of Beauty

After spying this post on Rebecca's blog I had to put my own spin on this beauty alphabet of sorts. For my take, I've gone through most of the alphabet and marked products or brands that deserve some more attention. Many you will have heard about around these parts before, some haven't really been mentioned for a while. Either way, I hope you find some gems and maybe some new discoveries in among the letters. 


Aesop Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm: If I could bottle up this and wear it as a fine mist I would. Unfortunately it does not exist as a fragrance but fortunately I can lather my limbs in its moisturising, vanilla loveliness instead. The tube is massive and a little goes a long way so this will be in my collection a while yet. 


Bioderma Sensibio: The only micellar water I will use and repeat-buy. I've tried a few others and none of them really match up to this French pharmacy must-have. It's not the easiest to track down in New Zealand (still) but it is well worth searching for. 


Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette: If I had to identify my favourite luxury makeup item, this would be it. Aside from the special packaging, inside you have velvety, luscious bronze tones and a glitter that is makeup magic. I often reach for this on special occasions but really it should be a staple in anyone's collection. 


Dry Shampoo x Ouai: Thank goodness for Jen Atkin. Her products are a godsend, although I only own two of them. I'm all about dry shampoo on days when my hair needs a refresh or I cannot be bothered washing it. It helps that it doesn't leave residue in your roots and smells exquisite as well. The beautiful branding is appealing too.


Eyeliner: I'm not really devoted to one liner in particular although I've tried and loved liquid liners from L'Oreal and Lancome. For eye kohls I rate Maybelline's, MAC's and Colourpop's. NYX do a lovely navy blue pencil too. Eyeliner is one of the first makeup items I remember buying myself, I had a twist-up MAC black one that I used to wear and smudge under my eyes. Anything to look like an Olsen twin. I would be lost without liner. 


Fairydrops Scandal Queen Mascara: This is not currently in my collection but it is easily one of my all-time favourite mascaras. Relatively inexpensive, super black and perfect if you like lengthened, spidery lashes. It holds a curl really well and I love the brush. 


Glossier: The brand that is truly all about word of mouth and some really effective social media work. Their products are simple, no-fuss and designed for the busy individual. My skincare must-have is the Super Pure Serum. Boy Brow and Balm Dotcom are fantastic as well.


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer: My favourite bronzer for my pale skintone. It adds a little radiance too and doesn't leave things looking orange or ridiculously bronzed. I read somewhere online a few days ago that they're adding some paler hues of the bronzer and blushers to their lineup soon too. 


Illamasqua Pigment: This is rather old and perhaps shouldn't still be in my collection but I do like to bust Ore out for fancy occasions. Beautiful bronze glittery goodness. Yes it's a bit messy to use but it's worth it for the dazzling effect it gives. 


Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede: Oh Jo M, you are the way to my luxury fragrance loving heart. Peony and Blush Suede is my favourite and I always have it on me. It's one of those scents that seems to get better as the day progresses and it subtly fades away. The candle is tempting me as well although honestly I have far too many of those right now.


Korres Santorini Shower Gel: Summer in a bottle. It's slight zesty quality is rather invigorating first thing in the morning and I love it. It is a bit of a nostalgic product for me too as I always use it on holidays. 


Lancome Mascara*: Of the luxury mascaras that I've used recently at least, Lancome's are among my favourite. They bring it on the drama front and generally do everything a mascara should do. There's a reason they are department store bestsellers the world over. 


MAC Lipstick: Ahh MAC, a rite of passage brand for many a makeup lover. I was saying to a friend the other day my first memory of the brand was their Barbie campaign and collection. Anyway, their lipsticks in my opinion are their star product. The array of colours and finishes are never-ending and I  always find myself coming back to their lipsticks. Favourite shades over the years have been; Impassioned, Lady Danger, Patisserie, Modesty, Mehr, Heroine and more. 


NARS Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base: If this is ever discontinued, I will buy every last one. Exaggerations aside, this product stops my eyeshadow disappearing entirely and I am forever indebted to NARS for making it. My oily lids would be lost without you NARS. 


Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel: My favourite cleanser. Part oil, part gel, super luxurious. It leaves your skin feeling so smooth and clean afterwards.


Pixi Glow Tonic: I wish this was still in my possession, my bottle was getting past it so I had to bin it sadly. For an exfoliating toner, it still feels incredibly gentle on the skin. This will definitely be repurchased when my current toner runs out.

Image by Faith for this guest post.


Real Techniques Blush Brush: My go-to for bronzer and lighter dustings of powder. I have quite a few Real Techniques brushes and love+use them all religiously. This one is my all-time favourite brush of Sam and Nic's though. I have two of them now.


Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow: Glittery, liquid metal amazingness. You've seen me write and photograph this all over the place lately. I am still obsessed with this and will be for a while yet.


Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed: This is my Winter blush as it seems to be what I always gravitate towards in the cooler months. It is one of those staple shades of nude-pink powder that suits an array of skin-tones. I know some people are a bit picky about the formula of Tarte's blushers but I happen to think they're spot on. 


Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics: Up until quite recently this was my go-to, matte eyeshadow palette for neutral looks. It definitely is still worth looking at, especially if you want a simplistic, natural eyeshadow look. The shadows are cooler toned and thus complement paler skin-tones perfectly. 


Wet Brush: Not pictured because mine has seen much, much better days. If you have thick, knotty hair that makes you wince as you run a brush through it, this is the brush for you. I'm not sure how it does it but it is not painful and glides through the most troublesome of hair. I can vouch for that. My hair is super thick and borders on Mia Thermopolis hair, pre-makeover obviously most days. I've even got the mini, keychain friendly one in either my car or handbag as well.


XO Beauty Brushes: Local YouTuber Shaaanxo's brushes continue to be popular and I have a couple of the eye ones in my collection. They're relatively inexpensive and well designed. My favourites are the eye brushes, the ones I have are no longer available but they do not disappoint. 


YSL Touche Eclat*: Brightening, perfection. To loosely tweak the saying, a Touche Eclat a day keeps the tired eyes away. Seriously, as an eye brightener this is a lifesaver. You can also use it to highlight in a Kim K sort of fashion but I prefer it strictly for under-eyes. It is not the cheapest but it seems to last an age. My current one has being going strong for at least a year now. If you're eagle eyed, you can often buy it in special packaging too, like the starry one above.


Zoeva Eyeshadow Brushes: If I had to recommend one budget friendly, eyeshadow brush these would be my go-to. Zoeva's brushes are super luxe feeling and are so, so soft. It helps that they are beautifully designed too. Their face sets are said to be amazing as well.

-If you made it to the end of this post, congrats! To any other bloggers reading, if you tackle this post as well-tag me in it so I can see+comment/share etc. 

*PR Sample
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The Beauty Files, Vol. Two

The Beauty Files, Vol. Two

It's time for another installment of the Beauty Files. Compiling last month's was so much fun and this month's was equally as exciting. It's a great way for me to get through new products a bit more consistently and also think about what I already have, use and perhaps don't mention as often as I should. Today we have the new body range I'm rather smitten with, a barely there powder to love, some luxury delights that are on my unnecessary necessary wishlist and more...

Something(s) NewAlmond Milk & Honey Shower Cream* x The Body Shop & Daily Superfoliant* x Dermalogica. I saw one of the UK bloggers absolutely raving about the Almond Milk & Honey range and lo and behold it turned up on my doorstep a couple of days later. Much to my delight, naturally. I am trying to be frugal with beauty products I keep for review+use so I have only held onto this shower cream and the hand cream but I love them. The scent as I said on Instagram is like fresh linen, in the best way. It's very comforting and lovely. Designed for sensitive skin, it doesn't overwhelm you in fragrance or texture either. I'm definitely going to have to grab another of the hand creams and I might be eyeing up this as well.

Another product of note is Dermalogica's new superfoliant. Admittedly I don't use it daily because I don't think my skin would appreciate that but I do like to use it at least once or twice a week. Infused with Active Binchotan Charcoal, Niacinamide, Red Algae and Tara Fruit Extract, it packs a powerful punch. For something that is more of a scrub it feels pretty non-abrasive and gentle which is a huge bonus. I love that it is also available in a mini size too so you can trial it before investing in the larger size.

Something Loved: Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder, not pictured. When it come to face powders, I want something that is going to be light and provide just enough mattifying without leaving things looking statuesque. I'm having images of my face looking marbled and frozen. Don't ask. This does the trick. According to Amelia it is a good dupe for the Giorgio Armani powders which I conveniently can't find online. It is scented so if that is something that irritates your skin, maybe steer clear of this but otherwise it's a pretty inexpensive, decent face powder. I would be lost without it.

Something Rediscovered: Soba Eyeshadow x MAC. I'm pretty sure every time I pick this up again, it's because of Anna who introduced me to it. In the photos and in the pan it doesn't look particularly special. It's that shade on the top left. On the lids however, it's light golden-bronze goodness that gives your lids a little oomph. It also brings some definition to the crease too without having to reach for an extra colour-a bonus if you're time pressed. Long story short, next time you're near MAC, go give this a swatch and prepare to be wowed. 

Something Unconvincing: The abundance of new highlighters. You might argue that no highlighter is alike but you cannot deny that highlighters have certainly had their day in the sun. It seems like every five minutes a new palette is launched, a rainbow-hued powder is unveiled or a duochrome oddity unleashed. Not to mention the abundance of creams, powders, liquids and whatever other forms highlighters come in. Call me a luminescence scrooge but I am sick of seeing new highlighters. It's like that scene in La La Land where all the girls look and dress identical at auditions. Boring and repetitive. Moving right along..

Something Lustworthy: Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss & Re(cover) Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist x Marc Jacobs Beauty. If you scroll back in the archives far enough I reviewed a Chanel Glossimer that I used to own and loved. Admittedly I've been veering away from the matte liquid lip lately and glosses have been on the brain. These newbies sound ideal. Reformulated to be like a gloss-balm hybrid and in an array of colours, including some topcoats which have me intrigued. I might have to pay a visit to the Chanel beauty+eyewear boutique soon. Also on the wishlist, the Marc Jacobs Coconut Setting Mist. I've only heard brilliant things about their primer and am in the market for a new setting spray. It may seem an unnecessary step to some but all the ones I've tried do make a noticeable difference. They just keep your makeup around that much longer. I'm hoping this makes its way on to Sephora NZ soon. 

-What beauty bits are on your radar at the moment?

*PR Sample

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The Autumn Book Haul

The Autumn Book Haul

It's been an age since I last did a book haul around these parts, in fact I cannot even remember the last time one made its way onto this corner of the internet. My apologies, and if you are a fan of seeing what books I have naughtily bought or been sent, well you are in for a treat. There's a bit of everything here; nonfiction, feminist fairytales, Shakespeare and fashion to name but a few...

South and West: From A Notebook* by Joan Didion-At the moment I'm dipping in and out of The Year of Magical Thinking, also by Didion. I would be immersed in it normally but given its preoccupation with death, a topic many of us find confronting at the best of times, I'm taking it in a bit more gradually. Anyway, her latest book turned up on my doorstep last week. It is essentially two different sets of musings and notes from her notebooks during the seventies; drafts of interviews, dialogue overheard, essays and articles are all within. There's something intoxicating in the best way with Didion's words so I am looking forward to reading this soon.

The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson-After loving Hag-Seed, Margaret Atwood's retelling of The Tempest I knew I had to read more from the Hogarth Shakespeare series. The Gap of Time is Winterson's retelling of The Winter's Tale. Again, like Hag-Seed I deliberately don't know a lot about this. I did read the synopsis obviously but I have chosen to not look at it again so I can just enjoy it. Book lover problems. Winterson's festive story collection from last year wowed me so I am expecting great things from this.

Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young-This is a book of essays by a fellow New Zealander. As well as being top of the Unity Books bestseller lists for a while now, it also recently won the Windham-Campbell literature prize which is kinda a big deal. This year I want to try to read more books by New Zealand authors as I have a bit of a stigma around NZ literature. That can be blamed on the one paper I did on the subject at university which scared me away. You all know how much I love memoirs+essays so I am sure this will not disappoint. 

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde-After adding and removing this from my cart for months, I finally bought it in March. Sister Outsider is on many a feminist reading list and this collection of essays is said to be brilliant so I am looking forward to reading and in turn diversifying my reading list soon. 

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k* by Sarah Knight-Believe the hype because this book is goood. Real freakin' good. I have the follow-up, Get Your Shit Together to read as well. Anyway, if you are like me and find yourself caring too much, this is for you. There's nothing wrong with being a caring person, obviously. It's just about reassessing and prioritising what you allocate your cares or f**k budget towards as Knight puts it. The book is split into categories; friends, family, work etc and it's not too preachy or self-help esque. It's more a toolkit and somewhat truthful piece of writing. I found this extremely helpful and when I find myself getting frustrated or overly sensitive about things that do not really matter, I return to my budget lists and remind myself 'hey person/situation/thing/thought does not matter'. 

Groundbreaking Fashion* by Jane Rocca, illustrated by Juliet Sulejmani-If you're yet to follow Juliet's Instagram, get onto it and then come back here. Groundbreaking Fashion is a whimsical collection of iconic moments from fashion in history. Bjork's swan dress, the Mulberry Alexa bag and more make an appearance. I am in the process of reading this at the moment and I love it. Definitely one for the coffee table and all the fashion loving people in your life.

How Not to Fall in Love, Actually* by Catherine Bennetto-I do not know much about this book, admittedly but the title has me intrigued. If not because the words 'Love Actually' so closely aligned naturally makes me think of one of my all time favourite films. Anyway, going off the synopsis for this one, it sounds like it's perfect if you are a fan of authors like Sophie Kinsella or Helen Fielding-the lady behind Bridget Jones. I will keep you posted.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls* by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo-When I read the concept for this book it really took my attention. My only qualm is that it didn't exist when I was younger. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a love letter and beautiful homage to the real-life heroines from history and today. Each profile of the women featured is told in the style of a fairytale which I love and the illustrations are so vibrant and really capture each heroine perfectly. I haven't read this yet but I will definitely be delving into it properly soon.

-What have you read and loved recently?

*Review Copy
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