28 December 2016

Best in Beauty 2016

My favourite beauty products of 2016

BH Cosmetics Shaaanxo 18 Colour Eyeshadow & Lipstick Palette
2016 was definitely the year of eyeshadow for me. Since this year I'd hardly touched the stuff, and don't get me wrong, I'm still very bad at applying it, but I've kind of managed to make it look okay on more than one occasion. I have been loving orange and warm toned eyeshadow, and if you're a big fan of that too, the Shaaanxo palette is really good. I find the shadows to be decently pigmented and just what I need. I've hardly touched the lipstick side of the palette though, it's just really not my cup of tea.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream
If there's one liquid lipstick type product you're going to try, make it this one. I own several shades now, and both the light and dark colours go on so smoothly and there are no patches. The one pictured is Cannes which is a lovely wearable pink.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
I've talked about this very recently on my blog, but once again I'll say it - it's my holy grail mascara. I find it adds so much volume and length to my lashes, lifts them up and is very black. It is also very long-lasting and doesn't budge, however that's a bit of a downside when it comes to removing it because it takes more of an effort.

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Rose EDP Spray
This is the most delicious smelling perfume and therefore definitely one of my beauty highlights of the year. This smells very sweet, but not in a sickening way. It's quite fresh and fruity, with opening notes of Italian Mandarin, William Pear and Jasmine Petals.

Lush The Comforter Shower Cream
If there was one bath product to include this year, it's got to be The Comforter Shower Cream. When my favourite bubble bar was turned into a shower cream, it was literally the perfect thing ever. This bottle has lasted me so, so long and it's still not finished yet - I really think the Lush shower gels or creams last really long especially if you get them in the second or above sizes. The scent of this is very sweet and addictive, just not Snow Fairy sweet which I'm not a big fan of.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
Hmm, no surprises here. I've talked about this so much on my blog so today's post probably signals the end of professing love for it. I haven't tried too many foundations in my time, but I think choosing to branch out to more high end bases was a good idea. Despite being labelled 'sheer glow' you still get a decent amount of coverage out of this which feels very light weight. It also gives a glow to the skin without looking oily. I also love the fact they have a pale enough shade which doesn't make me feel like I look orange.

Antipodes Skin-Brightening & Tone Correcting Serum
I absolutely loved using this skincare product this year, and I think my face thanked me for it. I think it's the perfect serum or replacement oil for those with combination and oily skin types as it tones the skin and brightens it without any residue whatsoever. I would love to get this again, however it's a little bit more on the pricey side.

The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask
I think The Body Shop really bought their game this year, especially with the release of their face masks. I was glad I got to try this clarifying and polishing mask as I think it really suits my combination skin tone. I feel like this really brightens the skin and gets rid of any build-up or dead skin. I'm dying to try a couple of the other masks from this range too!

MoroccanOil Blow Dry Concentrate
I find this is just the best thing for my hair once I've washed it, so it isn't too frizzy when I blow dry and straighten it. This doesn't weigh down the hair at all and smoothes it out super nicely. Definitely give this one a go if you're prone to frizzy hair.

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel
This is another product I've raved about countless times on my blog, and every blogger loves to talk about it. It's obviously a very hyped product but I do think it's worth it. It starts off as a gel texture and melts into your skin once you start rubbing it in - it's really moisturising so perfect if you tend to have dry skin, and makes your face absolutely glow.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant
You can use this for all sorts of things, such as treating dry skin patches, sun burn, etc but I just use it as a lip balm and I think it works wonders. It melts into the lips and leaves them looking very glossy and full, but is really moisturising at the same time and doesn't leave the lips more chapped than they were before.

Pureology Strength Cure Conditioner
I haven't tried many salon quality conditioners but trying this Pureology conditioner this year definitely has me converted. This leaves my hair so, so soft, untangled and nourished. It does leave the hair feeling a little bit fuller and stronger. I really want to try other Pureology products because I'm sure they're as good as this conditioner.

Have you tried any of the above products and do you agree with me?



21 December 2016

Winter Wardrobe Essentials

When this post goes live, I'll be on the other side of the world living in winter, which is a nice change from the hot Christmas I'm used to. I personally love winter, and dressing for it especially! Today this post will talk through a few of my favourite winter items and I'll also have some suggestions for similar pieces in case you wanted to pick up something like what you see here.

The Shearling Coat

First up is the winter coat! I bought the one above from ASOS a little while ago. It was a little more of an expensive piece than I would normally get, but I knew investing in a coat (especially one so warm and with a hood) was sensible. This probably wouldn't be the greatest in the rain because of the material, but it's not real suede even if it feels like it, so it shouldn't be too bad. I'm absolutely in love with the faux shearling this has and the look of fur trims, fur collars, etc. Something like this would be a great option for winter.

Try (L-R): Vero Moda Longline Aviator Faux Shearling JacketASOS Vintage Style Faux Shearling Coat, Glamorous Petite Faux Shearling Coat With Zip DetailUrbancode Contrast Faux Shearling Jacket, Glamorous Petite Faux Shearling Contrast Collar Jacket

The High Neck Jumper

I fell in love with this ASOS jumper from the brand Monki, and when it came, I was so pleased to see it was such a nice, lovely quality. The chunky high neck jumper is an absolute essential for me in winter - whether it's a roll neck or a slightly raised collar, I love them. This one is a lovely berry/dark purple shade that looks good with a multitude of things! Here are some of my picks for jumpers like this one...

Try (L-R): Daisy Street High Neck Jumper in Sparkle Knit, Pull&Bear Knitted Jumper in Rib With High Neck, Monki High Neck Ribbed Jumper, ASOS Ultimate Chunky Jumper With High Neck, Dr Denim High Neck Knit Jumper

The Oversized Scarf

My last winter essential is definitely a good scarf. I love the look of oversized/blanket scarves and they're everywhere at the moment. They can be great for a pop of colour, or you could just get a plain coloured one that will suit absolutely everything! The one above is something I bought from ASOS (this blog post sounds like an advert for the website but I love it, haha) maybe one or two years ago. They always have a wonderful selection of scarves like this one, but many of the ones I liked are actually sold out. Nevertheless here are some of my favourites that aren't sold out...

Try (L-R): ASOS Oversized Square Scarf in Brown Check, ASOS Colour Block Reversible Rochelle Scarf, ASOS Check Scarf In Brushed Yarn In Pink, ASOS Long Tassel Scarf in Supersoft Knit, Pieces Ribbed Oversized Blanket Scarf

If it's winter in your neck of the woods what are your winter fashion essentials?



14 December 2016

Travel Beauty | Part Two

Everything in my make-up bag!

You could quite easily call this my every day make-up as well, because everything I'm featuring I pretty much use on an every day basis. There are some things I've left out though, like eyeshadow and eyeliner because I don't know how necessary they are and I don't want to pack too much... I may not even wear make-up some days on my trip but we'll see.

I'm (kind of) stupidly bringing two foundations with me, because my NARS Sheer Glow Foundation is possibly on the verge of running out but I'm not entirely sure. It's my absolute essential, but instead of forking out for another one right now, I'm bringing my back-up, Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation. This is sheerer than the NARS one and is more pink based in colour, but I love the dewy look it gives my skin.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder is what I've been using as my powder for years. I think I saw it on a Tanya Burr video and I was like, that's in my budget so I'm not going to try anything else. I actually don't wear powder on a day to day basis as I don't love the look of a completely powdered face. I'm bringing it just in case though, because my foundations can tend to be a little more glow inducing than I'd like sometimes.

I'm bringing with me two concealers - Rimmel Lasting Finish Concealer because I've been loving putting this on my under eyes and eye lids as it blocks out any veins or dark circles. I can use this for my face as well, but I do tend to like the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer too. The one pictured is actually run out so hopefully I can go out and buy another before I leave.

One of my go-to fragrances is Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Rollerball and seeming I have the Daisy rollerballs, I thought it would be a great time to make use of them and bring one along with me. It's as handy as this make-up which came with a set of Revlon make-up - such a good size that fits every single beauty product here believe it or not.

Of course my Real Techniques brushes are an absolute essential. That reminds me, I need to clean my brushes before I leave, I'm so bad at that! I'm just bringing the Multi-Task Brush to use for powder which comes in the Real Techniques Travel Essentials pack, and the Buffing Brush to use for foundation which comes in the Real Techniques Core Collection Brush Set.

I'm bringing my trusty Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz because it's just about the only thing I use on my eyebrows. My mascara essential is Maybelline Lash Sensational because I've never tried another mascara that's as good as this one. It had to come with me! I also have a cream blush which I'm bringing in case I want to add a little something to my cheeks - I've been loving the Natio Cream to Powder Blush in Luscious recently.

Lastly I have three lip options - I just really wanted to embrace the winter make-up colours, alright?! In all honestly I'll probably just wear lip balm most days, but I have the CoverGirl Katy Kat Matte Lipstick in Sphynx which is my favourite pink nude at the moment. For a red, I have the L'Oreal Matte Max Lip Colour in Say My Name* because it's super wearable and not too high maintenance. Lastly, I'm bringing a purple/dark lip - the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Budapest.

Hope you liked this little peak into my make-up bag & what I'm taking with me on holiday.


*PR Gift

12 December 2016

Travel Reading List

A newly launched magazine, feminist non-fiction & more

I had every intention of bringing about 5 books away with me to Europe this month, but I took a step back and thought it really isn't realistic to read that many books while I'm travelling around various countries all day every day. I've whittled my reading list down to two books and a magazine, to read on the plane or on long travel days. I've picked these reads specifically for my ability to dip in and out of them if needed.

Miss FQ Magazine
This is a magazine that I've been lucky enough to see some of the behind the scenes as I work in the same offices where it's made. I think this is only available to buy in New Zealand, and it's bi annual at the moment, but it's basically a millennials guide to all things fashion, beauty, health, celebrities, etc. The launch issue looks really cool and I'm quite looking forward to reading it. I think it's amazing this magazine (which arose from digital content) is being printed physically because we are seeing more shutdowns of print media more and more these days.

It's Not Me It's You by Mhairi McFarlane
I loved reading Mhairi McFarlane's latest release this year, Who's That Girl?*, so I decided to delve deep into what she's released in the past and picked up a copy of It's Not Me It's You. From what I've read of the summary, it has very similar vibes to Who's That Girl?, as it follows a young woman as she navigates her career and love life. When something disastrous happens, she has to get back on her feet, but this may be harder than she thought. Mhairi's books are such fun reads that I basically don't want to stop reading. I recommend you check them out if you're a fan of contemporary but want something above YA!

Girls Will Be Girls by Emer O'Toole
I have heard a couple of people rave about this recently, so I'm so excited to dig in! This is The Feminist Orchestra Book Club's read of December so I knew I had to take this one away with me. As you may be able to tell from the title, this challenges gender stereotypes and gender binary with academic intelligence but also a bit of humour. As it says on the back cover, this will open your mind and revolutionse the way you think about gender. I have times where I absolutely love reading non-fiction and of course as much feminist theory as I can. I'd say if you're interested in feminism definitely pick this one up, I think it's going to be a must!


*Review Copy

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

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