20 October 2016

BH Cosmetics Shaaanxo Palette + Brush Set Review

Today I'm reviewing an eyeshadow palette and brush set from BH Cosmetics...

When I saw Shaaanxo's Eyeshadow and Lipstick Palette I thought I had to get it. I fell in love with the orange shade above because I am all about that warm toned eyeshadow look right about now. This is a really affordable palette and it seems to still be on sale at the moment. The palette itself features 9 shades - some gold, brown and pink toned shimmery wearable eyeshadows, and a few matte colours. I will start off by saying I have never owned much eyeshadow and I've never been one to wear it too much, but lately I've been obsessed with it and lashings of mascara.

Starting from the left and going across to the right, there is a creamy matte white which would be great for inner corner. Next there is a shimmery champagne colour, and a shimmery pink coppery colour (one of my faves). On the second row it has an orange yellow shade which is slightly neon (the only shade in the palette I'm not too much a fan of), a shimmery warm toned golden brown, and an amazing orange rust shade which has to be my favourite. The final row consists of a cooler toned chocolate shimmery brown, a really intriguing metallic brown colour (it has almost hints of green in it) and lastly a matte dark brown (almost black).

My verdict? The eyeshadows are really decently pigmented and not chalky. I haven't tried too many palettes, but when they are chalky I absolutely can't stand it. They're don't have a particularly buttery formula, but for the price they are really good and do stick around on the lid. I feel like if you are a lover of warm eyeshadow looks featuring browns and orange tones you would really love this palette - it's really suitable for autumn or practically any time year round because you can create really natural looks.

The palette comes with 9 lipstick colours on the other side. I mainly got this palette for the eyeshadow, but I have been testing out the lipsticks here and there. I personally don't really like lip palettes like this because I don't have a lip brush and it can get a bit messy. In saying that, I think the pink/nude shades in this palette are really wearable and can be dabbed into the lips for a semi sheer finish. They actually do stain your lips a little bit so there is a long-wear element to them. However, they can feel a tad sticky if applied too much and I'm mostly a fan of super matte formulas. I think I will still get some wear out of the lipstick palette though because there's a variety of shades that are actually really lovely.

From left to right: Precision Detailer Brush, Angled Face Shader Brush, Small Round Blending Brush, Flat Top Buffing Brush, Tapered Contour Brush, Nose Contour Brush, Tapered Face Blending Brush, Large Shader Brush, Small Deluxe Blending Brush, Precision Blush Brush.

When making an order for the palette, I slipped in the Sculpt and Blend 2 - 10 Piece Brush Set too because I'd seen some good things. The set I got has a few eyeshadow brushes, quite a selection of face brushes for powder products, some good concealer brushes, a flat top brush for foundation and weirdly, a nose contour brush...

The brushes are really soft and I feel like I can get a lot of use out of them because of all the different ways to use them. After trying these out for a few weeks, the brushes I've used the most are the eyeshadow brushes - they're good for applying colour and blending - and the face brushes for powder and blush. I did use the flat top brush for foundation and it worked well for a lighter finish, but it isn't as dense as my holy grail Real Techniques Buffing Brush. There are probably two or three brushes I wouldn't use, or use much, in this set. BH Cosmetics have a range of different brush sets available, so I could have easily picked up a slightly different set.

Overall I think these brushes are great for beginners because of the decent price and they work really well. I really like the Shaaanxo palette too, and once again, would probably be good for beginners or novices like me.



17 October 2016

Mini ASOS Haul and Try On

Is it possible to fall in love with a jacket?

One of my goals this year was to shop a little more carefully, meaning shop for quality over quantity. I've never been one to spend hundreds on new clothes, but where I can, I love buying special pieces that I will get a lot of wear out of. I think doing this, and buying basics, which I wear a lot of anyway, means you can't really go wrong.

It's a wonder I was able to snatch up this jacket from ASOS because I think it's now out of stock unfortunately, and went out of stock in my size just after I bought it! I've seen Liv wear this and after those diddle daddling I decided I really wanted it in my wardrobe. Summer is coming up in New Zealand and what's better than a statement denim jacket? This one is really nice quality and, I think, a lovely colour - medium blue - which perfectly slots into my wardrobe with my black jeans and plain tops.

This is a small ASOS haul of sorts, so the other item I picked up was this black satchel bag. Perfectly my style and a really decent size to store all my bits and bobs in. No, it doesn't fit my laptop in for Uni days, but Uni ends for the year in a week (eek! yay?) so I'm calling this my every day bag when I'm going to work or meeting with friends. I was in desperate need for a new bag after I've been using my tote bag which left me a little bored - you know, I need something structured in my life. Come to think of it, this would be a nice camera bag of sorts, if your gear wasn't too hefty.

So I'm currently in love with my two new purchases and no doubt another ASOS package will be making its way to my door soon, as I'm always browsing the site.




13 October 2016

5 Pamper Picks

What I've been treating my skin and body to lately...

Whether you're in the Northern Hemisphere or Southern, I think there's never an excuse not to pamper yourself. I'm currently going into summer, where those fresh smelling and radiance boosting scrubs are of the upmost importance, while those stepping into autumn may want to stock up on those delicious-smelling bath treats.

Lush So White Bath Bomb
As the Lush Christmas range has just graced stores in New Zealand, I've been snooping around and picking up a couple of things. I remember having the shower gel of this which smelt absolutely heavenly (like apples) and the bath bomb is no different. This product is definitely one of my all time faves when it comes to bath bombs. They've added a green 'leaf' to it this year, so they have seemed to up the ante with this number just a little. Unlike before, where the water came out white, the water is now a mix of milky blue and green.

Lush Northern Lights Bath Bomb
I wanted to try something new from the Christmas range so I picked up Northern Lights, which is a purple bath bomb that makes your bath water turn a somewhat interesting shade of yellow... Anyway, this has a lot of ylang ylang oil in it, and I think the general smell is floral and sweet but with a touch of something deeper. I'm just so great at describing scents. Honestly I'm not sure if bath bombs are really worth it for the price but I do like trying Lush's new concoctions every now and then.

The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng and Rice Clarifying Mask Polishing Mask
This has been my go to mask for the past month. I contributed to a post over on Sophie's blog where I reviewed this mask so make sure you check that out for my full thoughts, but in short this mask makes my skin look brighter and nice and exfoliated. As I have skin that can tend to get a bit clogged and dull, and have a fair few breakouts, I found this suited very nicely to my skin!

Pure Fiji Coconut Creme Scrub - Mango
From a scrub for the face, to the body... with a delicious mango scent to boot. The Pure Fiji brand is possibly New Zealand/Australia focused I think, so if you're overseas you probably won't have great access to it. This product is a nice light scrub with small exfoliating bits to make sure the skin is all buffed and moisturised. This would be a great everyday exfoliator because it's not harsh at all.

Zoella Beauty Bath Latte
I featured this product in a recent first impressions post but thought I'd collate my final thoughts on it, as I've really been enjoying whipping this out for a quick bubble bath. Pouring a bit of this in the bath produces a fair amount of bubbles, which is great if you're a bit of a Lush fanatic but can't really afford to spend lots of dosh on countless bath bombs. This smells so gorgeous, I'd be interested to see what else is in this range. I'm not sure how long this product will last, but overall it gets a big thumbs up from me.

What are some of your favourite pampering products?


10 October 2016

An ASOS Wishlist

 I'm shopping for summer AND winter at the moment, let me explain...

I have an upcoming winter trip away (I'm going to Europe for a month) and New Zealand is approaching summer, so I have a somewhat conflicting clothes shopping list going on right now... You can probably see the bits from ASOS I've picked out are geared more towards winter, I'm not much of a fan of summer dressing. I should be making an order in a month or so to stock up on warmer clothing, but certainly not all of this stuff. Who does that thing where they put everything in their basket and want to cry afterwards at the price?

I think these options would be equally nice for spring/summer when it's not too hot and winter layered underneath a coat. I am in love with the frill neck and sleeve designs that seem to be cropping up everywhere recently plus the slightly 70s/80s vibe of coloured stripes and mom jeans.

L-R: ASOS Ultimate Chunky Jumper with High Neck, Monki Velvet Oversized Jumper, Monki Faux Shearling Teddy Jacket, Monki Fleece Jacket, Monki Tassel Detail Scarf

I think buying a couple of jumpers would be sensible as it's going to be cold on my holiday. I am loving high neck ones as always, plus a good scarf wouldn't go amiss. I love this one from Monki particularly because of the colour, and it looks so effortless. On the topic of Monki, I am literally loving everything they're bringing out and I'm glad I can take advantage of some of the coats and cosy options they have going on...

L-R: Adidas Originals White and Navy Stan Smith Trainers, Nike Black & White MB Runner Trainers, ASOS Match Point Pointed Flat Shoes, ASOS Mylo Embroidered Flat Shoes

Lastly, I am in dire need of some new footwear. Seriously, I need some sneakers - maybe some Stan Smith's even though they are kind of #basic and everyone has them, or potentially some black sneakers so they won't look as dirty. I'm going to need some comfy footwear walking around everywhere. Also, I need some flats for the spring/summer or for wearing to work - I just want something that's easy to slip on and go.

Also, I did cheekily buy a couple things from ASOS the other day so no doubt they'll feature on the blog soon.
Do you like the look of anything I've picked out? Have a great week!


6 October 2016

Feminism in YA | What's A Girl Gotta Do? Book Review

What would happen if you called out every instance of sexism and filmed it?

I was extremely excited to read the last book in The Spinster Club Trilogy, What's a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne* when it arrived on my doorstep. I have raved about the other two books on my blog before and there's going to be no exception for this one. If you're on the market for some contemporary young adult fiction that's a bit different and fresh, definitely check out Holly Bourne. She also has a new book And A Happy New Year? coming out in November which I believe is one last hurrah to The Spinster Club series.

Feminism in YA has been something I've seen cropping up more and more lately, and I think it's fantastic. I believe it's crucial to expose younger readers to the importance of gender equality and make them aware that, you know, there's something kind of wrong going on here. I first became aware of what feminism truly was only last year when I was 18, but if I had read about feminism in books when I was younger just think about how good that would've been.

Holly Bourne has said she wanted to expose her readers to feminism gradually through each book in this series, as there was some feminism themes in Am I Normal Yet?, even more so in How Hard Can Love Be? and now it's full-blown in the third. I think it's such a fascinating concept to call out every instance of sexism as Lottie does in this book. There are times when it's shameful, embarrassing, annoying for other people, and soon enough it really starts effecting Lottie in a bad way when she becomes too obsessed about it. One of the aspects I really liked about this book was the way Holly obviously acknowledged that we can't all be 'perfect' feminists all the time, and that there are different 'levels' of sexism but those little things that happen really do add up to bigger things. In this way, that catcall you get on your way to your bus stop still really does perpetuate the patriarchy.

I loved reading What's a Girl Gotta Do? as I felt really justified about my beliefs and empowered that everyone can do something to help sexism, like starting their own Spinster Club.

I would love to hear any suggestions for books about feminism or if you would read The Spinster Club books!


*Review Copy from Harper Collins
© emma etc

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