28 April 2016

April Favourites


I have quite the list of favourites this month. For once, I have absolutely been loving all things beauty, trying out the odd skincare item, and putting make-up on more. So in this post I have a make-up favourite, two lovely skincare items, a gorgeous perfume, and my favourite book of the month. I could've included a couple more bits here but they'll make an appearance in next month's favourites if they're lucky.

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Rosé Perfume - This is such an addicting perfume, there's just something about it that has me head over heels. I would describe it as having a fizzy citrusy, but sweet smell. Obviously describing scents is really hard, but I'd definitely suggest giving this a sniff.

Garnier Miracle Wake Up Cream - I've been needing a new moisturiser as of late, and this one absolutely fits the bill. I didn't have a high expectation for this, but I have been surprised with it. It's a lot thicker than I thought it would be, but don't let that deter you, as it goes on your skin it melts down and leaves a smoothed finish. This is perfect for using in the morning after cleansing, and before putting make-up on, as it's almost like a primer. Also, I'm obsessed with the smell of this - just leave me to smell this pot of goodness all day long please!

Manuka Doctor ApiClear Purifying Facial Peel - I feel like this is the product that has made my skin look better over the past few weeks. After using this once, my skin felt renewed because all the dirt and oil had been lifted. It definitely leaves your skin feeling a bit dry, but just lather up the oils and moisturisers afterwards and you're good to go. The effect on my skin lasted probably up to a week, so you don't actually have to use this too often. I think this, along with the Garnier cream have worked to smooth out my skin more. Oh, and the new cleanser I've been using is working well for me so far, but more on that another time...

NARS Creamy Concealer - I guess it's time to talk about my one true love. I've tried this concealer before (my sister's), and have wanted to own it ever since. I decided to just go for it and buy this rather expensive concealer (especially in NZ) and it's whats been on my face all month. I actually like wearing this on the skin alone, or with foundation. I like that it's an all over the face concealer, because it brightens but also covers spots/scaring. I also love that the shade range of this concealer (or NARS in general I suppose) is fab - I use the lightest shade (Chantilly) and it works great, especially heading into A/W.

Who's That Girl by Mhairi McFarlane* - I feel as though I have read a lot of good books this year, and I'm chuffed with that. This book is definitely one of my favourites so far this year, I absolutely adored it *heart eyes emoji*. I have done a full review on this book in this post, so you can check that out here.


-Emma


*Review Copy
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25 April 2016

Sweater Weather | Outfit Post


Autumn is gradually arriving in Auckland this year... I don't think it has come so late, since I can remember at least. The leaves are only just starting to fall off the trees, but I hope it speeds along because Autumn is my favourite season.

Today I wanted to share with you an outfit I wore to work last week. I've been loving this high neck jumper from ASOS ever since it graced my door step. It's really soft and comfortable to wear. Unfortunately on the day I wore it, it was rather like a summers day so I was boiling but still looking stylish in my opinion. Air con in the office is my friend, though.


 Outfit Details:

*Jumper: ASOS
*Skirt: Mink Pink
*Shoes: ASOS


I paired it with my black button up skirt from Mink Pink... seriously when am I not wearing button up skirts in outfit posts? I swear most of the time I'm just wearing jeans.

Hope everyone is having a good day - I'm on break for Uni at the moment, but it certainly doesn't feel like it with assignments coming at me left right and centre. I need to tell myself to relax the odd day though, I think I have a problem...


-Emma
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21 April 2016

Recently Read



I haven't been reading quite as much as I usually do recently because life is busy at the moment, however for today's post I thought I would put together some thoughts about the books I've read recently. A children's book that made me bawl my eyes out, an intriguing young adult fantasy, and a rather delightful book from my new favourite author.

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager* - I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book, but I definitely didn't expect to get a rather significant emotional impact from it, considering it's middle-fiction. Do not let that deter you though, because I thought this was wonderful. Carol and her family go to stay with her grandfather at his ranch in the middle of the desert. He has dementia, and this is what Carol thinks is causing him to tell her seemingly impossible magical stories from his past. This is a touching book about family and remembering your roots. 4 Stars.

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead* - This was on my 2016 most anticipated books list, as seen here. A countess with an established family poses as a servant to escape an arranged marriage and to explore what the world has to offer. She joins what is called The Glittering Court, a group of girls who are being trained to be well-to-do citizens and marry rich noblemen. While I loved the sound of this book, I don't think this completely lived up to my expectations, but I did still enjoy reading it. There was a lot that went on in this book, and at times it felt like about three different stories. There were some good moments in the book, but a few gaps in character relationship believability and plot line which meant a lower star rating for me. 3.5 Stars.

Who's That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane* - I received an uncorrected book proof from Harper Collins a while ago, and I had saved reading it until now because I felt like I knew I was going to like this. And I did! This book was just delightful. Mhairi McFarlane is such a talented writer, and I now need to go out and buy all her other books. Who's That Girl? is a book about a girl named Edie, who somehow ends up kissing the groom on someone else's wedding day. From then on, she's living a life she'd rather forget. Somehow, she ends up intertwined in the life of a celebrity, and adorable and heartbreaking moments ensue from there. I absolutely loved Edie as a character, and I feel as if it's one that reflects the author. Believable, hilarious and a really nice feel-good book. 5 Stars.


Would you read any of these?
-Emma


*Review Copy
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18 April 2016

Clothing Haul | ASOS & Once It


I've needed new clothes for so long, so when I got my last pay check for my old job I decided it was time to #treatyoself. My save list on ASOS was getting rather hefty so I managed to buy some things I've had my eye on, and also purchase my dream jacket from Once It, in a rather spendy moment. Something worth mentioning is that New Zealand is going into A/W, just in case you're like why is she buying that...

Anyway, the first item I will talk about is the Salasai Navy STF Bomber Jacket I got from Once It, a.k.a my one true love. My life is complete. My friend actually owns this, but when I looked on the website to look into buying it, it was literally almost $400. No thanks! But it went on sale and was SO SO much cheaper, so I decided to go for it and I'm so glad. It's sold out now too. I've wanted to buy a bomber for a while, and I just love the back of it and the slogan so much.


First from ASOS I bought the Thick Strap Deep V Pocket Detail Faux Suede Top. These are real pockets, guys. Good to know, eh? The model was wearing it with nothing underneath, but I intend this to be a bit of layering piece because I think it looks nice with long sleeve tops or thin jumpers. This would look nice as a dress, but it's too short, so I think plain bottoms is best.


I also got the Funnel Neck Jumper With Tipping. It is a camel/mustardy colour and it's really soft. It has white tipping by the neck and sleeves which is a little different. I'm really glad I bought this because it will definitely be my go-to jumper in winter.


I bought a scarf which is lighter/smaller than one I already have - the Yumi Wrap Oversized Scarf In Leopard. For some reason this reminded me of ViviannaDoesMakeup so that's probably half the reason I bought it. It was really cheap as well - it's surprisingly soft and cosy. I wouldn't wear this with the jumper, probably a plain black outfit.


I bought this Polo Neck Swing Dress in Textured Boucle, which basically feels like wearing a potato sack - #winning. It is quite oversized, so if you were to buy this I would say size down. This isn't a particularly short dress either - you can't see in the photo but it's quite flowy (being a swing dress) and falls close to the knee.


Another camel/mustard coloured purchase! This time it's in the form of a shirt, the Cropped Cord Shirt, which is gorgeous. It's a soft material with a corduroy look. I'm experimenting more with button up shirts at the moment, so this will be a nice addition to my wardrobe; I just have to figure out what to pair it with.


Hope you liked seeing what I bought! Do you like anything?

-Emma

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14 April 2016

By The Book

Recently I saw Bethan Likes do this book tag, and I've never done anything like this before, so I thought I'd give it a go. I love talking about books, so what an excuse!



Is there a book on your nightstand right now?
The book I have by my bed right now is The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead and I've just finished it. I think I have mixed feelings about this one, but there will be a review here soon.

What was the last truly great book you read?
Without a doubt it would be Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. This book was so real with such interesting characters; I loved it!


If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you want to know?
I think my answer here is going to be Laura Bates, who wrote Everyday Sexism and frequently writes articles online about sexism and feminism. That book really impacted me and made me realise just how much sexism is all around us. I would just like to hear more about her wisdom and knowledge to do with a topic I'm very passionate about.

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
I honestly don't think there are many surprises - it's all a case of YA goodness, really. I have some historical fiction I haven't yet delved into which is a bit out of the norm, though.

How do you organise your personal library?
My first shelf is everything I'm yet to read, the second is mostly contemporary Young Adult with my limited amount of non-fiction. The third shelf is for all my Frankie Magazines and the final one is for all the fantasy/dystopian/science-fiction kind of category. Most are roughly in colour order.


Is there a book you have always meant to read but haven't gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?
A book I want to read is Jane Eyre, but I stopped probably a third through about two years ago and haven't gone back since. I haven't read all the Harry Potter books - I've only read the first. I won't be surprised if there are a few gasps from you here. I completely missed the whole thing in childhood, so who knows - maybe one day I'll read them all. I haven't read many classics either.


Disappointing, overrated, just not good; name a book you feel you were supposed to have liked but didn't? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green is something I read a while ago and really hated, to be quite frank. Anything that includes math references or graphs has me out. Another book which I pretty much despised was The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith. I contemplated not finishing it, but it really annoys me when I don't finish a book, so I soldiered on, but really shouldn't have bothered.


What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you steer clear of?
There's something nice about reading stories about teenagers so that's where I like to go most of the time. Sometimes I steer clear of YA contemporary's where I feel like the romance will be really cheesy, because I cannot deal with that. Books which have interesting concepts, something with a little bit of difference, are nice.

If you could choose a book that the President (or Prime Minister in my case) had to read, which would it be?
Probably Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates, just so the Prime Minister would be more aware of it, if he isn't already? I'm not sure, but something along those lines.


What do you plan to read next?
I've just started reading Who's that Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane and it's already giving me a few laughs. I can tell I will like this author.


-Emma
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11 April 2016

Out and About | Shaky Isles Britomart


At the weekend just gone my friend and I went out for brunch at Shaky Isles in Britomart, a nice greenery-infused cafe in Auckland. There are a few branches of Shaky Isles around but I've never actually been to one. As I took some photos I thought it would be nice to do a little post about it, and hopefully I will get around to doing this more often.

For drinks we both had Iced Mochas and they were really good. For our meals, I had poached eggs on toast with Danish Rye bread. I can't pass up some eggs on toast if you know me, and these ones were on point. It's a bit random but I really like rye bread, something I need to have more. My friend had the burger and chips with mustard mayo (!!). Yes, mustard mayo. It is a fabulous thing. The burger was apparently really good and I was rather jealous of the pickled onions in it.


The food was pretty typical cafe food, but rather good nevertheless. I love visiting cute cafes like this, so if you have any suggestions for cafes in Auckland (if you happen to live there, of course), definitely hit me up.


-Emma
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7 April 2016

My Dressing Table


Today I thought I would do a post on everything that is on my dressing table, including how I store my make-up, what perfumes I own and wear, and what are some of my most-reached for products.

The actual dressing table is a previously dark coloured one I painted white a few years ago (it was such a mission), but it's still looking fairly good. If you know me, then you'll know I tend to like white or neutral-coloured furniture. There are downsides to having this white as dust tends to show up well and it can get dirty very quickly, but I'm still so pleased I have this type of dressing table.


A little while ago I decided to lean this 'Luck' print from Hydrangea Ranger on one of the sides as it just adds a nice touch of decoration, along with the book It by Alexa Chung (I swear the only reason I own it is for aesthetic reasons), although Alexa is such a babe. I have my make-up brushes in a little clear jar as I don't have many, but I use all of them nearly every day.


Above the mirror in the middle section I have some of my lipsticks in clear stacking containers from Daiso (brands are L'Oreal, Rimmel and Essence), and I have the three perfumes I own above that. Vera Wang 'Princess' is pretty much the first 'proper' perfume I owned, and wore that more regularly about two years ago. I would describe this one as the muskier scent of the ones I own, but it's still quite sweet. Viva La Juicy's new perfume 'Rosé' is the newest addition around here, and I'm literally obsessed with the smell. I had smelled this perfume on someone before, and thought they smelled so lovely (um, creepy?). This one is very addicting, with a more fruity and sweet smell. The last one is Marc Jacobs 'Daisy Dream' which I would describe as being more floral than the other two.


On my dressing table I have a few skincare things floating around - the Garnier Miracle Wake Up Cream which I'm loving the more I use, the Simple Kind to Skin Rich Moisturiser which is a nice and gentle one, and the Manuka Doctor ApiClear Purifying Facial Peel which I've decided I absolutely love. I also have some Trilogy Rosehip Oil seen in previous photos which I use when my skin needs some more moisture.

On the right side, I store my Essie Nail Polishes in a bird cage type ornament that was from Typo a while ago. I only really display the Essie Polishes I own because they are my fave. Above that is a Benefit make-up lip and cheek kit if you were wondering. The black and white drawers hold jewellery and bits and bobs, but I don't own much.


Now onto a mini make-up storage tour, if you will. I don't own much make-up by some people's standards, but I'm happy everything fits in and I use most of it regularly. I store the majority of my make-up in the four little drawers that are apart of my dressing table; the rest is in a copper basket from Kmart and is mostly things I'm yet to try.

The first draw is where all my base products are. I don't own many foundations or anything because most tend to not suit my pale complexion and I'm yet to delve too much into high-end brands (NARS foundations - I'm lookin' at you!). My go-to foundation is Rimmel Match Perfection in Light Porcelain, and my favourite concealer is the wonderful NARS Creamy Concealer.


The second draw contains all my eye and eyebrow products. My favourite mascara of the lot is definitely Maybelline Lash Sensational, my go-to eyeliner at the moment is L'Oreal Superliner Superstar Eyeliner* for it's easy-to-use factor, and my beloved Anastasia Brow Wiz also sits here. As you'll see, I'm not really into eyeshadow too much, so I just have a couple single ones, and some small palettes I have are elsewhere at the moment.


On the other side, and in the first draw, we have the blushers and extra lip products - e.g. everything bright and pink packaged apparently. There are some lipsticks and things in here I don't use too often but like, and a few rare blushers I own, my favourite being Tarte's Blushing Bride.


Last we have my nail draw, which isn't opened too regularly, I have to say. I don't use these nail polishes as much as the Essie ones, but most of these I still need to try anyway. There's some other nail things in there too, like glue-on nails and nail art pens (not much of that going on around here).


So that's it! I hope you have enjoyed reading about what's on and in my dressing table.

-Emma


*PR Sample
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4 April 2016

New In Beauty | First Impressions



Recently I've been testing out many a beauty product and I wanted to write about some of my initial thoughts for some of them. There are an equal amount of skincare things and make-up, and they're all new-to-me (not necessarily new releases), so let's get cracking.

Nude by Nature 05 Finishing Brush - My initial feeling about this brush was that it was very soft and it feels lovely on the face. I like the design of the brush as it's easy to hold. This is a finishing brush, so I've been using this to apply powder and blush. It achieves a very subtle look with powder products because it's not dense, but very soft and fluffy. If you're not one to cake on the products, this is a nice one.

Burt's Bees Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser - I've been having cleanser trouble, or more skin trouble, at the moment. I don't have a set cleanser I'm using at the moment and I feel like this came just at the right time. I hadn't heard anything about Burt's Bees skincare, but after using this a few times now I can tell it's a really simple cleanser that cleans and softens the skin. Basic cleansers are what my skin tends to favour, so the fact this can clean my skin and not leave it feeling dry is a winner for me. I'm not particularly a fan of the scent though - it smells vaguely like honey and something else.

Napoleon Perdis Sateen Eyes Sculpting Eye Colour - This is not something I would usually go for, mainly because I seem to not be able to do eyeshadow for the life of me. I am slowly getting into it though, so bring your suggestions my way. I would describe this eye colour as being a medium/chocolate brown with a touch of shimmer through it. I'm not exactly an expert on eyeshadow, but I have been enjoying using this lightly through the crease and under the eye, so it gets a thumbs up from me.


Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour in Temptation - I tried this the other day and my first thought is that I really like the formula - it is a bit sticky at first but if you tab off the first layer with tissue it is a nice, comfortable matte. I'm actually not so much a fan of this colour though, as I think it's a bit bright for me and looks too much. That's just personal preference though, I tend to be into softer, more subtle colours. This one is nice for spring if you live in the Northern Hemisphere.

Manuka Doctor ApiClear Purifying Facial Peel - I bought this on a whim recently (but after hearing some good things about the brand here and there) and I'm glad I did, especially since I got 30% off it. I hadn't really tried peel masks before, but this one smoothed and lifted all the dirt and oil from my face. It did make my skin feel a little dry afterwards, but that's understandable with this kind of mask. I used an oil and moisturiser and the next morning my skin looked better than before (as I'd had lots of breakouts) - it really brings blemishes down and makes a smoother base for make-up.

Garnier Miracle Wake Up Cream - I'm not sure where Garnier sits for skincare; I haven't tried much from them before. I did like this more than I thought I would - the product is quite a thick consistency but actually feels light on the skin. It smooths my skin and makes it really, really soft. I feel like this is perfect for putting on before make-up because it smooths the complexion. The only thing I would say is that it's quite heavily perfumed, which I'm not much a fan of. I prefer products to be relatively unscented or more natural, but my skin hasn't reacted badly so far to this.


Do you want to try any of these products?

-Emma


*The majority of these products (apart from the Manuka Doctor Facial Peel) were gifted to me at my Internship; not as PR Gifts. I'm not sure how to label them, but just letting you know.

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