9 December 2016

Travel Beauty | Part One

If I haven't said it enough times already, I'm going away for a month to Europe, and that requires some serious smarts when it comes to packing. I thought I'd collate a post about what I'm planning to pack and along the way I hope you'll find a beauty product or two that you might like to pack away on your own travels when the time comes.

Skincare for the Plane

I think it goes without saying that I won't be wearing a scrap of makeup when I hop on the plane. What a 13 hour flight, followed by a 9 hour flight requires is some serious skincare (that of course won't take up too much space).

For the plane, I've deposited some of the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel into a little pot that I'll probably use a few times to refresh and nourish my skin, because that plane air is going to be drying. I was having trouble finding a moisturiser I owned that fit the requirement for carry-on luggage, but I dug up the Garnier Miracle Wake Up Cream which is a nice energising, thick but not too thick moisturiser.

If my skin needs a refresh, I've included my Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Radiance Serum because it's in quite a small bottle and I could really do with some extra moisture. This is a lightweight, lovely smelling lotion that I'm hoping will be the perfect cure for tiredness and dulness. For my lips, the only product I deemed good enough for lips that will inevitably be very dry from air conditioning, is the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant. I've also chucked in a teeny size of the ASPAR Sweet Orange and Shea Hand Cream.


When I eventually land (it's going to feel like an eternity I tell ya), I'll be using the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water* daily to take off my makeup thanks to the handy travel size. The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel is my go-to cleanser and I'll be taking a full-size bottle because I don't think my skin can survive without it. The Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Moisturiser will be coming with me as well - it's a nice lightweight moisturiser that does the job. I wanted to bring one mask with me for the odd time I feel like a skin treat, so I've opted for the Manuka Doctor ApiClear Purifying Facial Peel because it doesn't come in a huge or glass container like some of my masks do.


I won't be taking all of this set with me, but I thought I'd mention the Savar Travel Minis Set which includes a shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion. As I'm bringing my own trusty shampoo and conditioner, I thought I'd just use the body products as they're a really good size - not too small they're going to be used in a few goes but not too big either.


I'm opting for a full-size shampoo and conditioner because I'm going away for a whole month. I'm taking the Moroccan Oil Extra Volume Shampoo and the Pureology Strength Cure Conditioner. The blow dry serum I wanted to take was in a glass bottle and a little bigger, so instead I'm going to bring the OGX Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Penetrating Oil which does a nice job at smoothing out frizzy hair.

Stay tuned for Wednesday next week where I'll be displaying the contents of my travel makeup bag!


*Product from PR Company

7 December 2016

Most Anticipated Reads of 2017

Add these to your to-read list immediately...

Last year when I made a post similar to this, I managed to tick off every book I listed bar one - however I do own that book and am planning to read it super soon. In the photo you'll see my most anticipated reads of 2016. I loved some while others didn't quite live up to expectations. I'm so excited to babble on about my most anticipated reads for next year - there are so many good releases coming out.

Doing It by Hannah Witton - out April 6
I was so excited when I heard YouTuber Hannah Witton was coming out with a book. If you didn't know, on her channel she talks about sex (among other things) and this book is going to be all about that - her experiences (getting personal!), consent, relationships, the digital age, and so on. It will be a perfect book for teenagers and young adults alike. I love watching Hannah's videos such as the Hormone Diaries series she does, where she talks about her journey with coming off the pill and exploring other forms of contraception, and just talking about sex and contraception in general - I highly recommend it!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman - out May 4
When one of your favourite authors reads an advanced copy, gives it 5 stars, and raves about it, you add it to your to-read list immediately. From the looks of it, this is about a girl who is a creature of habit and lives a very normal life - one that she is completely fine with, but maybe she isn't actually fine with it all. One simple act of kindness can change everything. From all the 5 star reviews I've seen on Good Reads so far, I'm so excited to read this when it comes out!

Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt - out February 1
'For fans of Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins' - nothing gets me more interested than that. Upon reading the summary this sounds very much like something Rainbow Rowell would write, and I am so up for that. This book follows two characters, Lexi and Aidan, at a convention centre, and it sounds as though their personalities clash quite a lot. If this is anything like Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (and it definitely has similar vibes), I know I'm going to absolutely love this.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli - out April 11
I absolutely loved Becky Albertalli's book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Like so, so much. It was such an accessible, hilarious, cute read that I finished reading it at 2am with happy tears in my eyes. It's rare when a book like that comes along, so that's why I'm so excited for Becky's second book, which I'm hoping is going to stir up some of the same magic. If you didn't realise from the title, this is about unrequited love (relatable much?!). I think the characters Becky comes up with are amazing, and by the sounds of the summary these ones will be too.

Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay - out January 3
I haven't yet read Roxanne's pretty famous book Bad Feminist (although I want to), but I absolutely can't wait to read Difficult Women - it sounds fantastic. This is apparently a collection of stories which explores the lives of various different women. Women who are frigid, misunderstood, married, have children, have loads of sex, have no sex, etc. I have a really good feeling about this book, and you should add it to your TBR if you're interested in feminism!

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard - January 12
I've been meaning to read Beautiful Broken Things, which is Sara Barnard's first book, for a while. I've finally picked up a copy and am excited to read it, because it has so many great reviews, especially some from authors or bloggers I love! This book seems to be getting reviews along the same lines. A Quiet Kind of Thunder follows a girl who is a selective mute and a boy at her school who is deaf. Even though someone is quiet, it doesn't mean they don't have a voice. This looks to be a beautiful depiction of social anxiety with a subtle love story.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - out February 28
This book is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, issues of racism and police violence. Starr Carter moves between the poor neighbourhood she lives in and the fancy prep school she attends. She witnesses the shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil - he was unarmed. If this rings a bell, you'll know just how much it's inspired by some of the shootings that have happened in 2016 and before. This seems like such a timely, important book that is going to be big next year.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber - out January 31
This is the only fantasy book on the list, but I think it's going to be a good one! This definitely has The Night Circus vibes, and it's a story about two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter a dangerous game called 'Caraval'. It looks like this book has loads of fantasy, magic, twists and turns. This book has been described as very whimsical, magical, romantic and enchanting. I love reading fantasy at selective times, so this is going to be one I'll enjoy when I'm in the mood for it.

These are releases from more of the beginning of 2017 so I'm sure there's loads more exciting books coming out. Let me know if you have any books you're anticipating!

You can check out my Good Reads page where I mark everything I want to read and have read. Let me know if you mark any of these books to-read.



5 December 2016

Summer Fashion Favourites

Shades of pink, those over-worn mom jeans & heels I can get behind...

Before I hop on a plane and set foot into winter, I thought I'd run through some of my key summer fashion pieces. I'm really not a fan of summer, summer dressing included. I'd rather have many layers and wrap myself up, but there are a few things I'm excited to wear, including a recent Zara shoe purchase...

I never wear heels and frankly hate putting up with them, but I can definitely cope with this navy blue pair from Zara. New Zealand's first Zara opened last month and I went for a look recently - there were some really nice things - but these shoes were the only item I came away with. They do look a bit like something your grandma would wear, however I do think they look very 60s and I am all about that.

Transporting this to the 70s, I have paired the shoes with a Freaks and Geeks esque striped shirt from H&M - also a new shop in New Zealand. As I've managed to incorporate two different decades into this look, why not add another? I'm going all out 80s and channelling Barb from Stranger Things (as I always say) with wearing these mom jeans that have practically taken over my life. They're quite suitable for summer and I can bet I'll be wearing them a ton.

Next up we have a very delightful pink long-sleeve shirt or jumper that I'm actually not too sure is that summer appropriate after practically dying while having it on in hot weather. I think this is for more of the mild days - cute nevertheless. I love the frill trend that is going on at the moment, and I'm jumping at the chance to wear this with my favourite high-waisted items including this Mink Pink corduroy mini skirt and mom jeans.

I can't forget my new shoe purchase - some old school style Vans which I've seen everyone wearing recently. I love the look of them and they go with everything. While Vans are usually comfy, these slightly killed my feet - namely my ankles - because they're harder than the normal style Van. I did wear them with thicker socks and they were fine, but just an FYI..

Another clothing item I've acquired recently is this gorgeous silky looking pink bomber jacket from Glassons. This one is very thin and light, perfect for covering up in the summer but it certainly doesn't make you hot. Bomber jackets are having a moment if you haven't noticed and I'm loving it - I have a couple of others tucked in my wardrobe too. I would tend to wear this jacket with a plain tee or this Submarine one, high waisted jeans and...

Another new pair of shoes (what's wrong with me at the moment?) - but after I learned my new pair of Vans weren't ~quite~ so comfy as I thought they would be, I jumped on the 20% off ASOS discount for Black Friday and bought a pair of Stan Smiths - I know I'm basic AF. They are very very comfy though and you really can't go wrong with a white pair of sneakers.

That's my summer fashion done & dusted. I am thinking of doing a sneak peak of my winter wardrobe for my trip to Europe next...


2 December 2016

7 Nude Pink Lip Products To Try

Whether it's summer or winter, there's a rosy pink or nude lip out there for everyone

Sometimes it seems we're all searching for the perfect pinkish nude lip, that 'my lips but better' shade, or something a little more 90s. I have a selection of my favourite nude pink lipsticks here - with a variety of formulas and everything from a true nude, rosy pink to peachy.

Top row L-R: L'OREAL Matte Max Lip Colour in Silencio 001*
I swear I've talked about this lip product on my blog a fair bit, but I am quite a fan of the formula, and in particular this nude pink shade that's a little brown and a touch orange toned. This doesn't wash out a pale skin tone and is easy peasy to apply. As it's a very light, sheer formula it's super easy to apply with the sponge-like pointed applicator and it's very buildable which means minimal application mistakes.

Karen Murrell Lipstick in 06 Carnation Mist
I'm new to the brand Karen Murrell, but their main philosophy is that there are no nasties in their makeup. This colour Carnation Mist is a true pink which may be a little too bright for some but I imagine it suits a variety of skin tones. The Karen Murrell lipsticks smell really nice too - like cinnamon - which is a bonus. I think the formula of these are very wearable and easy to apply. They're also not too shiny or glossy but not matte and drying either.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes
Could I profess my love for these soft matte lips creams any more? I highly recommend you give them a go. This shade, Cannes, is more of a pink than a nude, but it's a really flattering colour that isn't a sickly baby pink but a little darker and deeper. These dry down to a matte extremely nicely and are pretty long lasting too. I have a very nude shade in this formula which I think washes me out just a little, but this really pops with my skin and looks great.

Second row L-R: Essence Longlasting Lipstick in 07 Natural Beauty
This is your go to affordable lipstick of the bunch. I find Essence to be a nice quality despite everything being something like under $10. This shade is such a wearable lipstick, like many others in this bunch. This is less bright pink than some of the others I've written about. I find it's quite a rosy colour which can be used lightly on the lips for a touch of colour, or applied fully for a pretty look.

L'OREAL Colour Riche Lipstick in 231 Sepia/Silk*
This is definitely the nudest shade of the bunch, but I find it's one that doesn't wash me out, as I have a pale complexion. This is quite brown toned which I'm a fan of and makes a nice change from the classic pink. This is the type of lipstick you can literally throw on without a mirror - it has a sheer formula without being overly glossy and is the perfect lipstick to wear when you'll be eating because it won't move halfway across your face.

Covergirl Katy Kat Matte Lipstick in Sphynx Sphinx
This is what I'd call my ideal lipstick shade - it's not overly pink and not too brown, it sits somewhere in the middle. I've only tried this out recently but it's definitely a new favourite because the formula is just a dream. It's not overly matte but still looks matte enough, which means it sits nicely on the lips and stays put a fair bit.

Rimmel London Lasting Finish By Kate Lipstick in 54 Rock 'N' Roll Nude
This is very similar to the above Covergirl shade, albeit a tiny bit lighter in colour. As you may be able to tell from the photo, this new Kate collection has the nicest rose gold packaging which I love. This is verging on a little bit peachy which I would argue makes it the perfect summer shade! Definitely check this collection out, which celebrates 15 years of Kate Moss partnering with Rimmel.

What are your favourite nude pink lip products?


*PR Gift


30 November 2016

Read in November

A one-to-watch fantasy trilogy, time travel, and teen pregnancy are what you'll find in this post

I didn't read too much this month because exams basically took up the first half of November, but now I'm free from everything Uni so I should be on my way to putting up more book reviews soon. The three books I did read this month I actually all enjoyed, so here are the reviews...

The Baby by Lisa Drakeford
Published by Chicken House on 1 July 2015
3.5 Stars

The Baby opens with a party scene where a teenage girl is giving birth on her friend's bathroom floor. The best bit is she didn't even know she was pregnant. This book follows the perspectives of five people - Olivia, Ben, Jonty, Alice and Nicola, and each person has a chapter of their own. They all have their own struggles going on and it's an eye-opening realisation that you don't know everything that's going on in a person's life. One of the main themes addressed in this book is obviously teen pregnancy, and it's a refreshing and interesting take on the topic. There are other themes such as domestic violence, bullying and sexuality.

I always love multiple perspectives in books, and as this one was very short (200 pages), it was nice to have a chapter with each person's perspective. I particularly loved Alice's chapter, who is eleven years old and the younger sister of one of the older characters. I loved her voice and it was a very sweet story to read about. I don't read much from children's voices but really enjoyed that. While this is a very basic novel, I liked how it dealt with several topics and as I said before, showed that you don't know what is going on in everyone's minds, family life, and what's happened in their past.

The Last Beginning by Lauren James*
Published by Walker Books on 1 October 2016
4 Stars

This is the second and final book of Lauren James' series which follows Katherine and Matthew throughout history. I won't say too much because this is the second book, but there's been a big time leap since the last book finished. In this book we essentially follow Clove Sutcliffe, who is trying to find out what happened to her parents. There is time travel involved which is very cool and gives you Back to The Future vibes, and there's more romance but now between two other people.

There are many questions that weren't answered in the first book that are now answered in the second, you'll be pleased to know. I liked how we could still continue with Katherine and Matthew's story but through a different character. So much more of the history was explored and everything was tied up nicely. I loved reading a little bit of fantasy after reading mostly contemporary this year. I would really recommend this series if you're in YA - it's well written, with nice touches, and interesting ideas - like all that time travel and how love connects two people.

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen*, RRP: $37.00
Published by Penguin on 28 November 2016
4 Stars

The Fate of the Tearling is the conclusion to the Tearling trilogy - I read the first two books about a year ago. The second book was a stand-out for me in particular so I knew I wanted to get into the third as soon as possible. The series is fantasy and science fiction, incorporating magic into it, interesting characters, and has a complex world and history. The first book follows the future Queen of the Tearling, Kelsea, as she travels from her adoptive parent's home to the Tearling's castle where she will rule. I won't say too much about the plot of book two and three, but if you get into the books, they're addictive and epic.

I'd have to say this was probably my favourite read of the month! I've missed reading fantasy and this has got me into it more. This book explained so much more of the history of the whole world and made sense of many, many things. I have loved Kelsea as a character from the beginning - she has been a very interesting and refreshing character, with lots and lots of character development. I actually find this series to be have feminist elements to it as well. I enjoyed this book probably the most out of the three, until the ending. I definitely do think this series is well worth a read, however I was disappointed and this would have been a 5 star read! I won't say anymore, but I'm just waiting until someone I know finishes this book so I can discuss it with them. I loved this series so much and am going to miss it - it's bittersweet!


*Sent to me for review
© emma etc

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