29 June 2016

June Favourites


A cuddle in a bottle and The Moonlight Dreamers.

I don't have many favourites this month, but I have a couple of beauty things to share with you and my favourite book of the month. I could have mentioned a certain NARS foundation here for about the tenth time, but let's keep it fresh shall we?

Clinique High Impact Mascara
I would love to try the cult classic Bottom Lash Mascara from Clinique, but as of now the High Impact Mascara is my only mascara experience from this brand. I have been using my Maybelline Lash Sensational an awful lot, but I fancied something a little lighter and natural looking which was when this came in handy. I know you can build this mascara up to be quite dramatic looking, but I really love pushing this right to the root of the lash and gently brushing the wand through instead of going full hog.

Lush The Comforter Shower Cream
This has graced NZ shores recently (although I have been rather slow at giving it a shot), and I for one was so excited when I saw my fave bubble bar had been extended to a liquid form. Let's talk about the smell first of all, because with all Lush products, that's got to be the main selling point right? This is very sweet and very addictive. I am not a fan of Snow Fairy at all, but this is super lovely. The smell does linger on the skin afterwards and that's always a good thing. The formula itself doesn't lather too much but gently gives moisture to the skin.


The Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham*
I was very kindly sent a book proof of The Moonlight Dreamers a while back and I was so pleased, definitely some of my favourite book mail to date. The Moonlight Dreamers is about four girls who come together despite some differences and help each other with their individual life problems. One of the girls has the courage to start a group she calls The Moonlight Dreamers, which encourages the girls to be themselves and break away from being told how to look, what to think, and how to act. I knew this book was going to be a good one some how, so I got right into it. I managed to read this during exam time, and it was the perfect easy-going read from four different perspectives which allowed me to switch between mindsets of characters. Having now finished the book a few weeks ago, I sometimes wish I could read the book again from fresh or go back into the lives of the four characters. This is definitely a read that could be devoured in a day or two, and since I read a lot of young adult fiction I can say this is close to the best. This book is out July 7th from Walker Books.


Has anything I've mentioned caught your attention?

-Emma


*Review Copy
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27 June 2016

Mid Year Break Reading List


From summer romances to dystopian fiction, I have myself covered on the reading front during my Uni break.

It comes as no surprise that I like to read. Now I finally have a chance to embrace this as I have a few weeks off from Uni to do not much more than delve into a good book, and maybe catch up on Orange is The New Black. I've selected six books which I want to finish reading during my mid year break, some I've been sent and a couple from the library.


Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O'Porter
I think I needed yet another young adult contemporary to fill the hole in my literary heart, so I picked up this book from the library after Sophie recommend it. This is set in the 90s, where fifteen year-old school girls Renee and Flo unexpectedly come together when they're not really alike at all. At times female friendship seems to be a rarity in YA fiction, so this one looks to be refreshingly interesting.

The Girls by Emma Cline*
I was really excited to kindly receive this book from Penguin Random House after I've heard the likes of Lex and Sanne mention it. I feel this is going to be a big release, with the film rights being optioned. I haven't let myself research this book too much as to not spoil it, but from what I've gathered, this is going to be about what it means to be a young woman and the ins and outs of girlhood. This is giving me The Virgin Suicides vibes without yet starting it, set at the end of the 1960s. Great timing as well, this book is released today in New Zealand.

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern*
Having been meaning to read this for a while, I've found the perfect opportunity to get to it as the local book club I'm apart of is reading it now. This dystopian book is about Celestine who lives in a society where everything is meant to be perfect and if it is not, consequences will follow. Cecelia Ahern is actually known for her contemporary writing, and she wrote the popular book Love, Rosie. I'm excited to get into this book which is a bit different from this author.


The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
I knew I had to pick up this summery young adult (even though it's currently winter for me) when I heard Lucy talking about it in a recent video. There is something so nice about young adult fiction that isn't too serious or committing, but can be. I always seem to enjoy contemporaries more, and when it involves a bit of time travel and romance, well that's even better isn't it?! From my understanding this weaves a bit of science in, which is refreshing to see coming from a book predominately aimed at young females.

Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg*
An adult fiction, magical realism novel is something a little out of the ordinary for me to read. This does sound increasingly interesting as I read more about it though, it being described as "a dysfunctional coming of age story in which youths grow up in a commune, believing it is a utopia". That sounds intriguing, doesn't it? This book sounds very ambiguous and mysterious, careful to not give too much away, so I guess the only thing to do is to give it a read.

The Fall of Butterflies by Andrea Portes*
First of all, have a look at that stunning cover. The Fall of Butterflies is a young adult story following Willa Parker, who attends a boarding school, in search of something new from her old life in Iowa. This looks to be a book about friendship and wanting to fit in, but apart from that I have no idea what this book is going to be like.


Have any of these books piped your interest? I'd love to know.

-Emma




*Review Copy
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23 June 2016

The Winged Eyeliner Edit


Knowing a thing or two about winged eyeliner, I feel inclined to share some of my tips & explore some of my makeup muses.

I guess when someone tags you in a post on Facebook about the next generation of grandmas wearing winged eyeliner, you know the liquidy stuff has make it's mark on the world. Since about 16, I've been wearing winged eyeliner, and let me tell you, my first attempts (and even a couple years after) were not too flash. I think I'm fairly good at doing it now so I could tell you a thing or two if you're interested.

Muses: Exhibit A, Anna Karina. She is mentioned as owning the eyeliner look in Alexa Chung's book It, and I have to agree. Big lashes, thick black eyeliner. It's all good. Exhibit B, and something a little closer to 2016, we have Jess who I have to admit has stolen my heart with her thick black eyeliner. She definitely initiated my love for thick winged eyeliner and lots of mascara. Side note: Have a look at her channel because she is such an underrated Youtuber. Lastly, Exhibit C is the woman herself, Alexa Chung. The video with her and Lisa Eldridge makes my heart skip a beat just a little. The eyeliner here is more of an everyday wearable look I think, and absolutely what I strive for most days.


Products: The two products I use religiously to make my wings are the LO'real Superliner Superstar Eyeliner* and Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner. The LO'real offering has a flexible tip, making it very easy for newbies. I like to use this first as I find it super easy to make a sharp and angled line. It is not extremely pigmented though, which is where the Rimmel eyeliner comes in. I like going over the LO'real one with this super liquidy, pigmented one because it makes sure my eyeliner never budges and gives off a more dark and dramatic look, which I like.

Tips: In the words of Lisa Eldridge, work out what angle and thickness looks best for your face. Look at yourself straight on in the mirror and always keep checking back to see what works best. You don't have to cookie cut yourself into a particular style. There are lots of different eye shapes - ones that demand a more lifted look, a longer or shorter flick or varying thicknesses. One of my eyes has a longer crease I have discovered, and makes matching up my eyes just that bit harder.

Practice, practice, practice. Yep, it's this annoying tip. But it's painfully, painfully true. I look back at some of the winged eyeliner I did two years ago and I have a bit of an eek moment. You can also get worse without practice too, as I've discovered. Please let me have back that perfect eyeliner streak from 2015.

Once it looks okay, leave it for heaven's sake. I have made the mistake of going too far and basically covering my entire eye in black because I thought I could make that line look just a bit better. Once you're semi-happy, take it as it is, and head out the door. It's not going to look perfect everyday, but when it does, it feels good and you'll spent all day looking at it in every mirrorable surface. Just me? Okay.


-Emma


*PR Sample
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21 June 2016

Taking Stock


Nothing says I don't have a post idea than a lil update post... (Kidding!)

Reading: Finally I am not reading any revision notes or essay plans! I finished my my last exam yesterday and I am so ready for this month long holiday. Anyway, at the moment I am reading Asking For It by Louise O'Neill and You Don't Have To Like Me by Alida Nugent, two reads with feminist themes.

Watching: So now is the time where I binge-watch every TV series known to man. I have plans to watch Orange is the New Black, Downtown Abbey and Orphan Black. Recently I have been watching plenty of YouTube as per usual - favourites of late have been Adrian Bliss' Vlune (please please start with Vlogvember and enthuse with me), and Lisa Eldridge because her videos have been so calming and lovely to watch during exam time.

Buying: Not much recently actually - exams seem to take over all potential shopping spree time. However, I have bought some new vinyl recently, which is VERY exciting. I ordered The Last Shadow Puppet's The Age of The Understatement and Alex Turner's Submarine soundtrack because they're probably my favourite things in life ever, and having physical copies of something is just great.

Listening: For the last few months I've been obsessed with everything Alex Turner (my guilty pleasures are coming out of the wood work...), but also Yumi Zouma's new album.

Feeling: Really, really relieved as I don't have to think about Uni for a month. The last couple of months have honestly been the busiest time of my life to be honest, and it does show a bit in my blogging. I am so excited to get back to it!

Planning: What blog posts I'm going to write in the next couple of weeks. I'm going to get this blog in tip top shape and get my life sorted out. Also, what books to read! I have so many books I want to read in the next few weeks and I'm beyond excited to just read a book a day at this point.


Wishing: I didn't have to work tomorrow. Sleep and netflix please?

Enjoying: Simply being able to do what I want and laze around the house for the first time in forever.

Eating: Rather, drinking - enjoying almond milk, banana and berry smoothies! Also, mastering my skills of poaching eggs.

Hoping: That my exam marks aren't too dire...

Thinking: I really need to start and keep writing in my diary again. I am so prone to neglecting it and that makes me kinda sad. There was a time where I wrote in it quite frequently but now it's kind of once a month catch-up-on-all-the-life-things.

Lacking: A decent diet! I think food choices have been rather bad as of late considering everything. I do want to try and be a bit healthier over the break and just eat more nutritiously I suppose.

Trying: To keep my room tidy. My wardrobe needs a bit clear out.

Drinking: Nothing special.

Wanting: To have a proper break and not dread going back to Uni.

Deciding: What I'm doing for my Uni major! This is scary stuff, guys. At this stage I am thinking of doing a major in Journalism and a minor in Creative Industries but I honestly don't know. Year three is going to be hard - semester one of second year has been bad enough.

Wearing: Nothing great recently! I need to clear out my wardrobe as I said and put on some outfits that make me feel fab.

Needing: Sleep. I think I need to catch up and sleep for about 10 days.



-Emma
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9 June 2016

A Bookshelf Tour



My bookshelf is easily my favourite thing in my room. There's just something about the combination of books and fairy lights.

My bookshelf kind of represents me and the things I like. I love being able to make my books look pretty, but also display all the lovely little things I have accumulated. I bought this bookshelf earlier in the year - it's just a cheap one from Kmart but works well for me at the moment.

The top shelf is where I put most things I'm yet to read or the books I want to get around to reading in the next couple of months. On the left you'll see I have quite a lot of books to read, as well as an abundance of magazines to the right. Somehow I never get time to read magazines (Yen and Frankie pictured), but I sense a binge read of them all after exams. I also keep my abysmal collection of vinyl tucked into the side. I tend to display 'special' books or things that mean a lot to me, so leaning on top of my magazines is Ayoade on Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey. It's getting tiring stating my love for Richard Ayoade and Submarine, but there's yet another reference to them for you.


The shelf down from there is where serious colour coding starts. I seem to have quite a lot of white books for some reason. I used to organise my books by fantasy/science fiction and contemporary because those are the two main genres I read, but now everything is mixed together. One of my favourite books on this shelf is Who's That Girl? By Mhairi McFarlane. This is a gentle reminder to myself that I need to order her other books, stat.


The third shelf continues with the colour coding, and if I have a book to mention here it would definitely be Radio Silence by Alice Oseman - the lovely author of this book has just graduated from University and she is in the process of writing her third book, which I am really looking forward to reading once it emerges from a publisher's house somewhere, I'm sure.



I'm always displaying It by Alexa Chung somewhere in my room, so here it is in all it's glory. I'm keeping the two books I'm reading at the moment on top of the book shelf - a book proof of The Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into, and Asking For It by Louise O'Neill, something I've heard a lot about.

In case you want to know, pretty much all the bits and pieces you see on my walls are from issues of Yen Magazine.


-Emma


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6 June 2016

The Autumn Face


Pinky nudes, warm browns and oranges is where it's at. I show you what's been on my face for the majority of the autumn season.

Autumn has just ended in New Zealand (good bye favourite season), so I thought I would put together a post on the make-up look I've been loving the past month or so. I've been loving a simple, slightly glowy base, a nude lip, and most importantly brown and orange shades of eyeshadow. You can see what my autumn face has looked like here (with a few variations).


The Balm Hot Mama Shadow + Blush
If my going on about in my May Favourites post wasn't enough, here is some more gushing about The Balm's Hot Mama Blush. I find this to be the perfect accompaniment to nude lips and warm toned eyeshadow. You can go for a subtle look with this, or pile it on and it looks great.

L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in 231 Sepia Silk
This is such an easy to wear lipstick colour with a sheer, creamy formula. It's one of those lipsticks you just about put on without having a mirror, so this is often put in my bag when I don't have time to put a lip product on in the morning. The colour is a slightly pink, brown nude - something everyone has been loving lately!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Light Brown
I have honestly not even really touched another eye product since buying this last year. Another thing is it's lasted me a lot longer than expected. I feel a light hand is needed with this product to create soft, small strokes that resemble eye brow hairs. The bigger price tag than some drugstore offers doesn't stop me from loving this - if you've been thinking of buying it, I really recommend.

NARS Creamy Concealer in Chantilly
Recently I had decided to invest a bit more into my base routine because it's probably one of the most important parts of makeup application to me. I am in love with this NARS concealer after trying it - it's great for under the eye or on spots, and I also find it super effective on redness. It is quite yellow toned so I find it balances out my skin which can tend to look red.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
My blogger friend Sophie recently asked me if I was wearing false eyelashes during a book club meeting, and no I was not. I was wearing Maybelline Lash Sensational. That sounds like a scripted TV advert or something - or just my attempt to be slightly amusing. Anyway, I've been using this pretty much everyday since I got it. It makes your lashes look really thick, and makes them stay curled up for the whole day (I don't even curl my eyelashes). Big thumbs up from me.


Napoleon Perdis Sateen Eyes Sculpting Eye Colour
This was the little pot that got me into eyeshadow a month or two back. I would say this has good staying power without being tacky or sticky on the eye. It isn't a straight up powder eyeshadow - it has quite a different texture. I really love the warm brown colour and it's the perfect thing to put in the crease alone.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
I wanted a NARS foundation after stepping into the waters with the concealer, so I picked up the cult classic Sheer Glow. This foundation doesn't offer the strongest coverage (even though I suspect it is buildable on the skin) but it works to even out my skin tone and provide some glow to the skin. When first applied, there is a subtle glow but as the day wears on, at least for my skin, things can start to look like a disco ball. This is suitable for normal to dry skin types, but if you're combination like me then some powder on the T-Zone is the answer.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Lately I've been using this to cover blemishes and it does the job. I personally do not like putting this under my eyes as it's too thick. This is an alternative to the NARS concealer because it is much cheaper.

L'Oreal Matte FX By Infallible Lip Colour in 001 Silencio
I've mentioned this lip colour on the blog quite a few times. This is a really different lip formula to anything I have ever tried, but my final verdict is that I like it. You can hardly feel this on the lips, but it does need topping up after a while because it has a tendency to fade (not really badly though - it does fade down quite nicely). The lightest shade has been my favourite out of them all - a pinky, slightly peachy nude shade.

Chi Chi Spices Eyeshadow Palette
I believe this may only be a New Zealand/Australian distributed brand but if you can get your hands on the products I would start with this eyeshadow palette because it is gorgeous. The orange/brown shades are my favourite and the pigmentation of most of the shades is surprisingly really good for the price. This palette is actually my sister's but ssssh, no one has to know.


Do you like the look of anything here?

-Emma
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1 June 2016

Recently Read


Books of late have included a The Breakfast Club esque novel, an Alice in Wonderland inspired fantasy, and an interesting YA contemporary...

The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub
This was a book that surprised me a little, and I really enjoyed getting into it. It follows five perspectives of teenagers during their last year of high school... somehow they end up getting bundled together to create the school yearbook. I loved the differentiation of the characters and reading about what was going on in their lives, and how they could come together despite their differences. It has a fairly mediocre pace, but things do get a little emosh near the end. 3.5 Stars

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes*
This was a delightful fantasy read that I devoured over a short time. Sometimes I can get sick of fantasy books and tend to favour contemporaries, but Queen of Hearts was just extremely cool and exciting to read. I loved the whole world, and the way the author adapted characters from the original Alice in Wonderland story. I absolutely loved some of the parts in the story where it was quite action-packed and wonderfully described. This was quick to get into, and overall felt like a perfect Alice inspired read. This was definitely my favourite read in May - get amongst it people! 4.5 Stars

This is Where The World Ends by Amy Zhang*
I've heard some mixed opinions about this one, but overall I did actually quite like this story. I can see how some people perceive one of the main characters as unlikeable, but in my head I imagined her as this cool, kind of damaged girl, which you could probably describe as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl now that I think about it. I thought the characters did have a real depth though, and this felt like a special story and look into two slightly messed-up teens. I couldn't help but see some similarities in this to other books, but there were some unique elements like the pages filled with interesting doodles. I don't think it has as much suspense and thrill as it makes out to have, because it was somewhat predictable in parts. However, my likeness for this does override any problems. Sometimes characters are unlikeable, but that doesn't have to impact the substance of the story. 4 Stars


I'd love to know if you thought any of these looked intriguing!

-Emma

*Review Copy
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