18 August 2017

My Sanity Shelf


Reading has taken a backseat for me in the last couple of months. You know how it goes- life gets in the way and you barely have time to fill your monthly quota of four books (at least in my case). So while I don't have a whole lot of new books to talk about, I do have a bunch of old favourites which I return to time and time again- AKA my sanity shelf. Thanks to Sophie for this excellent post idea, taking inspiration from a fab project called Girls at Library. Without further ado, here are seven books that I could, and do, happily reread for comfort and all round happy times.

It by Alexa Chung
I've had this book for years and years and it's shown up an endless amount in my Instagrams. Not only do I love this book for the aesthetics, but I do like flicking through and reading random sections. It's certainly not a novel, but the gorgeous illustrations, vintage photos and iconic images of Alexa make this book one of my favourites to own. I absolutely love some of her style icons she mentions throughout the book, such as Anna Karina, Jane Birkin, George Harrison, Mick Jagger and Wednesday Adams. An essential for the coffee table (if I had one).

Submarine by Joe Dunthorne
This is the only book I've ever underlined passages in, probably because there are golden nuggets sprinkled throughout that were directly lifted and used in the film version. There is something nice about underlining my favourite parts in books although I don't think I'm completely committed to do this for every book. So, this without a doubt makes it onto my sanity shelf because I definitely tend to pick this up and reread sections.


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Even though this series (and the movies) are literally the most popular thing on this planet (aside from Harry Potter probs), The Hunger Games is definitely my favourite book series. I've reread the series a few times and I almost feel like it's time for another read. I just think it's such a genius idea and translates really well onto film. My favourite book is the first one because I just think it's so iconic but my favourite movie is probably Catching Fire.

This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire
Similar to Alexa Chung's book, This Modern Love is the perfect thing to flick back through once you've read it from start to finish. I particularly like the 'beginning' section- with the lovely photos and thoughtful pages- it's just a nice book to have lying around (because obviously the cover is amazing).

Girl Out of Water by Nat Luurtsema
I basically NEVER reread books but considering how good Girl Out of Water was, I just had to. This is such a comforting and funny read. I always say this when I mention this book, but the cover is so misleading in my opinion and makes it look like it's for 8 year olds. Young teens would enjoy this but people my age would as well.


Driftwood by Cathy Cassidy
This is such a nostalgic read for me, just like Jacqueline Wilson's books are. I haven't read this book for a while but you can probably tell from the battered exterior that it's been well loved. I am definitely going to reread this sometime soon but I do remember some parts quite vividly. This is just such a comforting book for me, having got it for one of my birthdays ages ago, and I feel like I'm that way with a lot of children's/young adult books.

Girl Up by Laura Bates
I reread parts of this book for an assignment recently (it was a great assignment, clearly) and it reminded me how lovely and important this book is for teenagers to read. This, and Everyday Sexism have made me realise many things and the importance of equality in our society. Apart from it being about sexism, it also explores topics like relationships, body image, social media, etc which are all connected to feminism too in some way. It's books like these that make me have faith in humanity.


Have you read any of these books?

-Emma

SHARE:

12 August 2017

A Wishlist: Budget Beauty and Luxe Loves


My love for beauty has skyrocketed recently (I'm not really sure why) but there are so many new and cult products I'm coveting right now. Mecca Maxima's arrival in Auckland has only intensified things, because now I want everything from there (don't worry if you're not from Australia or NZ because most of these brands are available everywhere else). This craving for new products has caused me to create a nifty little wishlist (of which I will probably purchase about two items- let's be real) featuring both luxe items and more affordable items...

Budget

MECCA MAX Double Vision Eye Colour in Desert Nights: From the new MECCA MAX range, the eyeshadows do appeal most to me. If you know me, you'll know I'd rather stay in bed for an extra 10 minutes than go to town on my makeup on an every day basis. That's why this one part cream, one part powder shadow will be perfect for lazy mornings, either applying one shade or mixing both. Obviously I've chosen one of the warm toned combinations (so predictable!)

MECCA MAX Wink Weapon Mini Palette in Embellished: When I had a cheeky 10 minute look in store, this eyeshadow palette looked amazing- especially the gold glitter shade. I do tend to hoard larger eyeshadow palettes, so naturally this would make a nice change to have a small quad with four shades. I think you could easily make this an everyday palette minus the gold glitter, and add that in for a more night time look (or wear that gold glitter daily because you can do what you want). I digress.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion: So while I've been trying out the facial spray recently, I've yet to venture further with this brand. I've heard people sing their praises about the drying lotion, so obviously I am intrigued. This spot treatment promises to clear up blemishes quickly and since I have quite blemish-prone skin I know I will use this.

Eyeko London Black Magic Lash Curler: I've recently come to a realisation- I really need an eyelash curler in my life. Believe it or not, I've never actually tried one before. Maybe it's to do with the fact it's likely to cut off my lashes (I'm kidding... kind of), but I think it's about time I went through with it anyway. I have no idea if this curler is decent, and I do have my eyes on the Kevin Aucoin version, but we shall see...

Soap and Glory The Breakfast Scrub: I'm so happy Soap and Glory is officially on NZ shelves. I know, I know, New Zealand is deprived of a lot of things like cheap shipping. It was possible to buy this online, however I think you'll agree it's always nice to look at the testers and do the all important smell test. I've heard a lot of good things about their body products and this scrub looks particularly up my street. Now if only they would stock their makeup.

Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Rose Gold Retro: I've had my eye on these glittery liquid eye shadows for a while but they always seem to be out of stock. From what I've seen I think these would be perfect on their own all over the lid- in other words it looks like you've made a ton of effort when no effort was actually made at all.


Luxe

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream: I feel like I've had my eyes on Origin as a brand for what feels like forever. I do want to try one of their moisturisers or masks but right now I'm coveting this eye cream. This isn't exactly 'luxe' but it's still a decent amount of money for one product. I feel like my current eye cream isn't quite up to scratch, and while I'm not joined to eye cream at the hip, I feel like this would be a welcome addition especially when things are looking dull and puffy.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer: This product has come in and out of my online basket many a time and I think I'm coming close to purchasing- if it would just be in stock in my shade! I've heard various people say this is an amazing concealer- that it covers incredibly well and it's not too matte or thick. I think when my current concealer runs out I'll be running to Mecca to get this...

Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush: *Heart eyes* is all I can say. I would love to have this in my makeup stash, even if it's just for the packaging really. This blush has multiple colours which would create a dimensional, super flushed and glowy look. I don't know why, but I am absolutely obsessed with wearing blush at the moment and this in the Sparkling Bellini shade is what dreams are made of (if to not be too dramatic).

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder: If you're a The Anna Edit watcher, you'll know how much she loves this powder and it's always been something I think would work well with my skin tone (in the light shade) given how pale I am, to add soft, subtle dimension. While I'm not sure I could justify spending $70 on this bad boy, I do have room for it in my lust list up in the clouds. Although, maybe it is as good as they say...

Bella Freud Je T'Aime Jane Candle: I have always walked into Mecca and admired the Bella Freud candles. If I can't have a Bella Freud jumper, I'll settle for the candle version (if I ever find the funds, that is). While I can't remember for the life of me what this smells like, lets be real, I just want it for the aesthetics- and there's nothing better than opening a fresh candle.

By Terry Sun Designer Palette: While I would never drop $125 on this palette, I think it's probably the most beautiful thing I've seen. This would be amazing for travelling or on the go because you can use it for cheeks and eyes. I can just imagine how soft and silky these powders are. Sooo dreamy.


What's on your beauty wishlist?

-Emma

SHARE:

7 August 2017

My Internet Style Icons


I'm not sure these lovely ladies exactly represent my style (how could they when they're all so fab), but they're the ones I turn to for inspiration time and time again. I feel like I've ~found~ my style over the past year or so, for example I now know I'd prefer a wear a good pair of jeans over a dress any day. Read on to find out what blogs and Instagram accounts you should be following for daily inspiration...


Alice Catherine

@alicecatherine
As many of the women mentioned here do, Alice has a very vintage-inspired style that I adore. Long sleeved ruffle blouses, high waisted vintage Levi's, basket bags, polka dots and bows are just a few of the things you'll see as you scroll down her Instagram profile. I like how simple her style is. It can be girly or it can have more of a masculine edge. Whether she's taking photos in her rainy hometown of Manchester adorning a trench coat, or living it up in balmy Italy head to toe in white, it's not hard to be inspired. Plus, what I'd give to have her hair with that fringe and effortless bun.

Lizzy Hadfield

@shotfromthestreet
I've recently subscribed to Lizzy's YouTube channel (which is great by the way- I love her vlogs and her style videos are very informative), but I've been following her on Instagram for a tad longer. She puts together some very wearable looks, like the classic top and jeans combo, but can also be a little more experimental, which I love. Whether it's yellow striped track pants or yellow jeans, she's always adding a touch of fun that she makes look absolutely cool to a T. Queen of sunglasses, cute tops, jackets and JEANS, I can barely scroll past without double tapping.


Olivia Purvis

@livpurvis
I think Olivia was the person who sprouted my love for vintage-inspired clothing, but in the most wearable way. For every time Liv dresses minimally in jeans and a striped top, they'll be an equally as good time where she wears a patterned maxi dress or suit and look fab while doing it. I've been a long time reader of her blog but now she's making YouTube videos regularly, she's all over the internet and I'm loving it. She's the coolest woman and it would be hard not to come across a picture of her outfit without wanting to buy EVERYTHING. She does colour coordination, patterns and bags particularly well if you ask me.


Lucy Williams

@lucywilliams02
I haven't been following Lucy for all that long but that doesn't mean I haven't been inspired by her. I think the way to describe Lucy would be 'effortlessly chic', without a doubt. Think breezy dresses, camis, luxe materials and sunglasses that were cool way back in the day but look amazing on her. It's clear summer dressing is her favourite as you pursue her pictures and long, relaxing holidays suit her undeniably. I started following her after watching the video she did with Liv Purvis about her style and I haven't looked back since.

Sophia Rosemary

@sophia_rosemary
Sophia is undoubtedly the queen of slogan tees, winged eyeliner and flared jeans among other things. Basically, everything I aspire to be, and more. Not only does she have a Blossoms band member for a boyfriend, but she's met Alex Turner -if there's any sign that she's a cool person, that is it. You'll see her in outfits that are endlessly high waisted, cute and frilly, or a touch masculine- and sometimes a combination of all of the above. I practically want every t-shirt or jumper that she posts about, and let's not forget about her amazing straw bags which Jane Birkin would be envious of.

Starr Clare

@starrclare_
Perhaps not as well known as the others mentioned (not that it matters!), Starr has a penchant for clothes with a bit of a rock n roll vibe, grungy tees and coloured jeans. Whether it be a bold lip, double denim or a big fur coat, I always find some sort of inspiration whether I go all out or pare it back. If you're into vintage-inspired clothing (as I may be.. if you couldn't tell, ahem), definitely check out her Instagram and blog!



I hope you got some inspiration from this post and check these wonderful ladies out! Do you have anymore I should add to the list?

-Emma

SHARE:

1 August 2017

Soundtrack to June & July


Music is one of my favourite topics to talk about on this blog, so today I have another soundtrack post for you- and it's a goodie! The last couple of months I have been really into my music and there's a certain couple (or more) artists and albums I've been loving. With that in mind, here's what I've been listening to during June and July- plus they'll be a handy playlist at the bottom so you can listen easily!

Alexandra Savior, Belladonna of Sadness

Ah, Alexandra. Light of my life, fire of my loins. I have mentioned Alexandra Savior on here before, but she deserves another mention without a doubt. Her album is rare in the fact you will listen and love every single song and appreciate the album together as a whole. This is helped by it being pretty short, but it certainly doesn't lack in substance. I have an affinity with all of the lyrics on Belladonna of Sadness, and I know this is partly because Alex Turner co wrote the songs, but nevertheless there is something so magical about this gal and these songs.
Top three songs: Mirage, Shades, Audeline

Haim, Something To Tell You

Haim, without a doubt, make the perfect soundtrack to summer (even though it's currently the middle of winter for me). Their songs will make you want to dance and skip down the street- I won't disclose if I've actually ever done that, but I digress, Something to Tell You is an album worth listening to. I feel like Days are Gone will always reign supreme in a way, but there are some real BANGERS on their second album... and in case you've been living under a rock this cover of Shania Twain's That Don't Impress Me Much is life changing. Life changing, I tell ya.
Top three songs: Want You Back, Nothing's Wrong, You Never Knew

Lana Del Rey, Lust For Life

Lana Del Rey is probably one of my favourite artists, so it's no surprise she's ended up on this list, and how could I not include her in this line-up when her album Lust For Life just dropped? While I don't love every single song, there are a handful which I'm absolutely in love with right now. I definitely think there is a bit of a theme running through the album (you'd hope so) that is a little different to what she's released before, and as always, I can appreciate what an artist is trying to convey. Her new album has sent me into a spin of constant listening whether that be from my fave Ultraviolence album or her recent tracks.
Top three songs: Cherry, Summer Bummer, Tomorrow Never Came (also, In My Feelings deserves a special mention!)

Kendrick Lamar, DAMN

While I'm a recent Kendrick Lamar fan (and rap altogether if I'm completely honest) it's love at first listen. I think you'll probably agree sometimes you're just in the mood to listen to rap, and that's definitely been me of late. I'm so aware that Kendrick Lamar is not an up and coming artist at all- but it's about time I joined the bandwagon, right? I haven't fallen in love with the entirety of his new album, DAMN, but it's probably only a matter of time- as I'm known to fall slowly and then fall all at once when it comes to music.
Top three songs: DNA, HUMBLE, ELEMENT

Beach House, Depression Cherry

Okay, so picture this. You're driving around aimlessly on one of those perfectly clear winter afternoons as the sun has just sunk into the horizon and everything is a calm, moody shade of blue. That's essentially the perfect backdrop to listen to Beach House- maybe when you're a bit sad or moody, or in contrast when you're calm and happy. Just listen, it will make sense. Their music is very atmospherical and calming- maybe not for everyone but many of their songs are gems and will make you feel like you're in a movie while you stare out the window of a bus (totally not speaking from experience..) Their album Depression Cherry, while not new, is amazing in its entirety and their new song Chariot is so great too (but I'm yet to listen to their new album). It's real, real love.
Top three songs: Levitation, Sparks, Space Song (just listen to everything)



Here's the playlist!



Do you listen to any of the above artists?

-Emma

SHARE:

29 July 2017

The Glowy Skincare and Makeup Edit


If there's one word that sums up my inclination to skincare and makeup recently, it's glowy. Even though it's the dead of winter here in New Zealand, I'm craving a look perhaps more suited to summer, but if you ask me- fresh, radiant skin is in year round. With that in mind, here are the products I've been using to achieve this look.

Bright and early

I might make a separate post on my new AM skincare routine, but for now here is my three favourites for achieving a fresh, glowy complexion.  It's something of a revelation to me, but making an effort to apply skincare in the AM before makeup actually makes a difference (shock horror). I've had The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 practically joined at my hip since I bought it, and is my first step after washing my face. I've mentioned it on my blog before, but in short it evens out skin tone, brightens and plumps when combined with a moisturiser. Speaking of..


A new-to-me product but a favourite all the same, the Ultraceuticals Ultra Hydrating Lotion is the perfect lightweight moisturiser to use in the morning. While I believe this is the tester/travel sized version, I can already tell I'll want a bigger one. I personally always struggle finding a good moisturiser because they're often very thick or heavy which leads to clogged pores and oiliness- not fun. This would be amazing for those with oily or combination skin, but something heavier would be required at night time.

I'm jumping the gun here a tad, but since we're on the topic of skincare first, I'll mention what I sometimes use to set my makeup. The Mario Badescu Facial Spray hasn't been my first port of call since I got it, but every now and then I've been enjoying spritzing it after makeup for an ultra dewy look, or alternatively it works great at pumping more moisture into the skin before applying your base.

Glow and go

A glowy makeup look doesn't have to take hours to apply and this routine is proof, as it's pretty much my every day look. I was going to include a different base product in this post, but in my heart I knew I wanted to stick with my faithful NARS Sheer Glow Foundation which I've clearly mentioned far too much on this blog. If I have any point to make here it's use a beauty blender with your foundation! It's ~life changing~. It gives you a more natural looking, fresh, dewy effect- in no way a bog standard brush can. While you're at it, you can use a super glowy concealer such as the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, which is great for the under eye area as long as your dark circles aren't too heavy.

Recently I've been skipping eyeliner and heading straight for eyeshadow- most of the time just one colour all over the lid. While I haven't tried the entirety of the Natio Earth Eyeshadow Palette, my first thoughts are it's great for a more natural, sheer look- in other words it's very hard to get it wrong. The sixth shade from the left has been my absolute favourite applied on the lid and blended out. No, I don't follow that rule of only matte eyeshadows in the crease, and in my mind this sheer, shimmery eyeshadow results in an effortless look.


As for powders, I like applying highlighter and blush on the high points of my cheeks and I tend to skip the bronzer these days. The new Too Faced Love Light Highlighter in Blinded by the Light is as good as it looks- I mean let's get real, that heart shaped packaging is probably the best thing I've ever seen. The powder itself is a cool toned pearlescent shade which is easy to blend and is actually quite natural looking if you're not too heavy handed. As for blush, the Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink is the perfect finishing touch to the skin. I tend to skip powder because 1) I'm lazy and 2) the dewier, the better.

When it comes to my brows and mascara, I'm still using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz and currently trying out the Wet n Wild Max Fanatic Cat Eye Mascara. Soon to be released in New Zealand, Wet n Wild is a makeup brand I don't know a whole lot about but I do know it's very affordable. This isn't my favourite mascara ever but it's a quick one to apply that gives you separated lashes with a touch of volume. Finally, with this glowy look I would definitely opt for a lustrous lip colour, especially because mattes aren't really my thing any more. The Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 420 Blushed is a pink-brown colour that's the perfect 'my lips but better' shade.



Are you embracing the glowy look?

-Emma

SHARE:

23 July 2017

The Best Film Soundtracks


It's no surprise that I enjoy films and the music that comes along with them. Although not exactly ground-breaking, there's a few film soundtracks which I've fallen in love with and I'm certainly partial to play over and over. Here's my favourites, all of which are fantastic as films as they are as music material.

Her - Arcade Fire
As well as being a visually pleasing and thoughtful film, Her has a great soundtrack performed by Arcade Fire. Made up of instrumental tracks, it's the perfect soundtrack to have in the background on a lazy Sunday, or make you feel all dramatic like you're in a film yourself (or something..) This movie follows a lonely and heartbroken man after his divorce, where he meets "Samantha", a revolutionary operating system designed to meet his every need.

Submarine - Alex Turner
As if I could compile a list of my favourite film soundtracks and not include Submarine. With songs performed by Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys, each track has a sad yet hopeful vibe that is the perfect backdrop for the coming of age film. Submarine is about a Welsh teenager, Oliver, who is trying to hold his family together, all while trying to lose his virginity to Jordana, a pyromaniac. More than anything I like how the songs are made specifically for the movie in a subtle way which is weaved in.

Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging - Various Artists
Surprisingly, this is actually another one of my favourite movies because it's such a guilty pleasure, and the songs that feature make it all the better. There are classic songs on here you'll definitely recognise- I think it's distinctly British and sort of very late noughties. Based on the best-selling book series, Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging sounds as cringe as the title suggests, yet I love it. Georgia is the perfect protagonist looking for love and learning that being a teen can be a real pain in the neck.

Love, Rosie - Various Artists
Many romantic comedies have great soundtracks and this one's no exception. I remember watching this at the cinemas and falling in love with it- including the songs. This movie is about two best friends as they try to keep in touch when one of them moves overseas. Letters, heartbreak and reunion follow, of course. As well as featuring a number of well-known tracks, it has music composed by Ralf Wengenmayr which ties the movie together.

Once - Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
This is a movie I stumbled upon on Netflix once and watched it without much expectation. With songs performed by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, it has a distinctly homemade feel (the film and the music)- and it's the charm about it that I love. The music itself is the perfect thing to play on a rainy, lazy day -as is the film. Once is a quiet and thoughtful Irish film about a street musician and a Czech immigrant who share a love of music, decide to collaborate, and all the while their love for each other blossoms.

Wes Anderson Films - Various Artists
If you have eagle eyes you'll notice I've featured a bit of Wes Anderson in this post's photo because I love the music in his films- whether it be a touch of French with Moonrise Kingdom, ala Fran├žoise Hardy or music composed by Alexandre Desplat in The Grand Budapest Hotel, I'm all ears. P.S- I.D have collated a soundtrack of Wes Anderson music you'll love if you're also a fan. You're welcome.



And as always I've put together a little playlist
featuring everything above.. happy listening!



What are your favourite film soundtracks?

-Emma

SHARE:

18 July 2017

The Slogan Tee Edit


So anyone that knows me knows I've become enamoured with slogan tees in the last wee while. Even though this addiction's been going on for a while, it doesn't show any sign of stopping, so today I've gathered together the best ones I'm yet to buy- that I really don't need but I want anyway. Some are more expensive than I'd like (including the Alexa Chung tees I have no hope affording) while others are really budget-friendly and may make their way into my online basket.


You'll sense a theme in the above shirts: French, song lyrics, the colour red, a subtle nod to women's empowerment... and I suppose they speak for themselves, so happy shopping!


P.S I just ordered this tee from ASOS, which describes me absolutely to a T.



-Emma
SHARE:

13 July 2017

New in Beauty: July


It's been a while since I've sat down to write a post about beauty products. I find that I'm blogging about other topics more and more instead. The truth is, I don't have the money to buy all the new releases and I don't really want to buy stuff just for the sake of a good blog post. This is a topic Tenneil touched on (or rather, went into depth with), so please check out her blog post because it resonates with me so much. That aside, it's time to talk about the new beauty products I've acquired recently, some new to the beauty world and some new to me- from a new drugstore foundation to that famous skincare from The Ordinary.

The new base

New to the beauty world, new to me. I've been trying out this base the past few days and it's sort of love at first use. Revlon Youth FX Fill + Blur Foundation (with SPF 20) is more meant for ageing skin, but that doesn't mean it doesn't do a good job at smoothing out my complexion and making it GLOW. While this is actually quite a high coverage with a thick consistency, I find it works well as a tinted moisturiser/BB cream type deal on lazy days. I tried applying this with a beauty blender and it was awful, but with fingers it's magic. I very rarely introduce new foundations into my life after finding my faithful NARS Sheer Glow, but I will definitely be incorporating this into my routine. It has a really smooth consistency you can feel just by swatching it on the back of your hand, so I can see how this would be good for wrinkled skin. If you love your matte foundations steer clear because this gives such a nice radiant result. Also, in something that's a bit of a laugh, one of the lightest shades, 130 Porcelain is a touch too dark for me (drugstore foundations are usually too orange for me) but I can get away with it, and maybe even have 'porcelain' as my summer colour (ha ha).

Brush alternative

As mentioned above, I've been using a beauty blender recently. Even if it's not great with thicker foundations like above, it is wonderful with more liquidy foundations like NARS Sheer Glow. My brush now feels rough and streak-inducing next to this soft sponge. While the original beauty blender is actually quite expensive, I think its well worth the price- at least if you can find a good way to clean it (still searching). I always forget to use my primer now because this makes my base go on like a dream- no clinging to dry patches, uneven coverage etc. I'm very late in the game to this one, but I'm glad I picked up a sponge at long last.

Cult skincare

Without a doubt, The Ordinary skincare has been one of the biggest beauty brands mentioned over the internet recently. Making waves for its focus on 'one ingredient' for each product, it means you're able to DIY your own skincare routine- adding in what you need most. It's also known for its really really cheap prices- the two items I got only cost me about $20 (NZD). At $8, The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution is a bargain. Salicylic Acid is designed for blemish prone skin (me to a T) and fights the appearance of breakouts. You can either dot this on pimples or put a thin layer all over the face/in concentrated areas. For the couple of weeks I have been using this, I can see it really does help to bring down pimples so they're not in that gross, gigantic crater state.

The other product I picked up, The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (only $12), has certainly been a skin saviour of late. Essentially, hyaluronic acid is known for its hydrating properties and makes your creams more effective. In this way, it works well after you've cleansed and before you apply your moisturiser because it will smooth out your complexion, making for a more even tone, and hydrate the deeper layers of the skin- as the moisturiser traps in everything. I have loved using this so far and it is a great alternative to oils or heavy serums (if your skin gets clogged up by these things usually). I'm desperate to try out more from The Ordinary, especially their foundation, but that's difficult to find and their products are notorious for selling out anyway.

The new mascara

Since my last Maybelline Lash Sensational dried up, I've been looking for a new mascara to fill the void. Out of everything in my beauty routine, this was the area I was severely lacking in- I absolutely hate my lashes sometimes -all I ask for is a clump-free formula that lifts lashes and provides decent volume. That's pretty much what every mascara on the market claims to do, but so many of them can be disappointing. A recent addition is the new L'Oreal False Lash Superstar X Fiber which has two sides- one is a primer and the other is the mascara. While I think mascaras with a primer can be a little gimmicky, in this case I do think it helps to get more lift and volume into the lashes. I think the selling point of this is that the little fibres on the mascara brush reach even the smallest of lashes, coating and lifting each one. I'm not sure if this is my ride or die yet, but this product is working well for me at the moment as I find some mascaras can be too clumpy, where as this gives a fluttery volumised look without being too spidery-looking.



Those are the products I've been trialing lately. Will you try any of these?

-Emma


SHARE:

9 July 2017

Recently Read: June

Nostalgic reading month

You could call June the month I threw all my normal reading out the window and indulged in some nostalgic books. If you're around my age I think you'll appreciate a bit of a Jacqueline Wilson throwback, because aren't her books just amazing? No, I didn't cry at the end of Cookie - a story about a girl and her mum who escape their abusive father/husband and learn to love themselves - YOU did. It was incredibly nice to read something a bit childish while stressing and studying for exams. Here's what I read in June (albeit a little late)...

Cookie by Jacqueline Wilson
Random House Children's Publishers, 9 October 2008
★★★★

This is one of Jacqueline Wilson's newer(ish) books but I have fond memories reading this. As I touched on above, this is about a girl called Beauty who is bullied at school and constantly criticised by her father. She thinks her mum is the best person on the planet and she's her safe haven. But whenever her mum attempts to stand up for herself and Beauty, it doesn't work and she learns not to try again. The question is, will they find the courage to pack up and leave? This is such a fantastic book for young girls to read because the lesson learned is that you can get up and leave a situation if you want to, and you should accept yourself for who you are. This is a very heart-warming and cosy story that you'll appreciate even if you're not a child.


Girls Under Pressure by Jacqueline Wilson
Random House Children's Publishers, 6 November 2003
★★★★

First published in 1998, this is part of the classic Jacqueline Wilson series 'Girls' which is for older readers than the likes of Cookie. This is the second book but you can read them out of order - it doesn't really matter! Girls Under Pressure is all about dieting, eating disorders and body image - incredibly important topics. It follows three main characters, Ellie, who is concerned about her weight, and her two best friends Madga and Nadine - who in her eyes - are absolutely gorgeous compared to her. But Madga and Nadine have their own issues to do with their appearance. Even though Cookie takes the prize as my favourite Jacqueline Wilson book I've revisited, this is another great book for young girls which teaches them you are fine just the way you are.


Girls in Tears by Jacqueline Wilson
Random House Children's Publishers, 1 October 2002
★★★

The fourth book in the 'Girls' series has less of a theme than the above so it's not my favourite, but this one is about the same girls, Ellie, Madga and Nadine who are navigating the trials and tribulations of teen life. Ellie's boyfriend Russell is causing her trouble and to top it off, the girls' friendship is teetering on the rocks. I think this does teach you about the importance of friendship and that your friends are always there for you in the end. I didn't particularly like how Ellie and her boyfriend's relationship was portrayed, as the warning signs were there with Russell yet Ellie sticks by him in the end. Definitely don't pick this one up as your first foray into Jacqueline Wilson.


Night Owls by Jenn Bennett
Simon & Schuster, 24 September 2015
★★★

And for something a tad different... this one is definitely for older readers compared to Jacqueline Wilson. As I said at the beginning of the post, this month I only felt like reading 'easy' books and this definitely fit the bill. This didn't take me too long to read at all. This is your classic boy meets girl book - Beatrice meets graffiti artist Jack on the night bus in San Francisco. At first meet he's attractive, charming mysterious, and as she soon finds out he's wildly rich. But behind that persona is a person and a family who have their own troubles. This was by no means a revolutionary book but I didn't hate it. I gave it 4 stars so I must have a liked it when I finished!


I also finished Margot & Me in June and I thoroughly loved that book! Check out my review here.


-Emma

SHARE:

2 July 2017

Soundtrack of my Life


Even if it is cringeworthy, it's always fun to look back on what music I used to listen to and what I listen to now. I'd like to think my music taste is a lot better these days, but there's no shame in getting down to an old Avril Lavigne song every now and then. I've seen this post idea on a couple of blogs recently and I thought this could be just the thing to send me in a downward spiral towards olden day anthems.. and I was right. But with the cringeworthy comes the music I consider 'cool' right now - so sit back and enjoy a trip down memory lane (and please try your best to detect the sarcasm).

My first album

From the select few CDs I remember owning back in around 2006, Hilary Duff was probably the first of the bunch from the pile. Her Most Wanted album was probably what every girl owned at the time. Strangely, I remember feeling a deep emotional attachment to the Someone's Watching Over Me song from her debut self-titled album.. probably something to do with the fact I also had the Raise Your Voice movie on repeat (and don't tell me the Lizzie McGuire movie wasn't as iconic for you as it was for me!) Inspirational. There was no way I was a cool ten-year-old.

Long term relationship album

I had a long think about this, as I did with most of the categories in this list, and I think The xx's first album has been with me for a while now. It's the type of album I listened to a good few years ago and I still love it now. I remember when I first started going on YouTube, I sifted through all of The xx's music videos and it felt like I was discovering something for myself for the first time - now they're very well known.. ah, the beauty of music and my never-ending #hipster desire to discover good bands first.

Song that makes me happy

Okay, so I feel like I mention it all the time, but I love the movie Submarine (so much so it's getting cringe to talk about it anymore, lol) and the song that makes me the happiest ever is the last one on the film's soundtrack, performed by Alex Turner (it's also an Arctic Monkeys song). I'm sure many people would pick an upbeat, dancey dancey song here but this is my favourite in a quieter way. Piledriver Waltz makes my heart burst with happiness and is best listened to for the first time while watching the movie..

Song/album that makes me want to dance

So there's really only one option for this section and it's The Power of Love by Huey Lewis & The News. Who doesn't love an 80s anthem? I love plenty of them. It's impossible to listen to this song without fist pumping or conjuring up images of Marty McFly sliding along on his skateboard. There could have been many of cringe options for this one such as Fergalicious or Promiscuous because let's face it, the mid 2000s we're the shiz... ahem.

First gig

This shows my age because my first concert was One Direction. A pretty good one for a first gig if I may say so. What can I say, I was a fangirl. If anything, this answer is proof that I am the least cool person on this planet, (especially circa 2014), if you hadn't figured that out already. I digress. The concert itself was apart of the Up All Night Tour in 2012 and in a pretty small venue. What a time to be alive.

Song I wish I'd written

There was no question whether this was going to be an Alex Turner song (he's quite the lyrical genuis), it was just a matter of what song I would pick. While his songs with Miles Kane in The Last Shadow Puppets' first album, An Age of the Understatement, are masterpieces, the song I've picked is Crying Lightning by Arctic Monkeys from the Humbug album. Don't tell me the second verse about all different types of sweets isn't amazing. I love the Suck it and See album, but there's something artful about the former. There's so many to choose from otherwise... Love is a Loverquest, Black Treacle, The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala.

Song that reminds me of being a teen

The artist that popped into my head was Lorde. I was obsessed with her debut album Pure Heroine in 2014. This was around the time that I was finishing high school and I have memories attached to it. I also went to her free concert in Auckland around this time and that was where I fell in love I suppose. Although, I'm probably a bad fan for not listening to Melodrama just yet. My favourite song from her first album is A World Alone, and as for the others, well I know all the words. As she's from New Zealand, her songs do resonate with me just that little bit more - you do get that sort of small hometown feeling from Pure Heroine.

Karaoke song

And back to the cringe. I knew without question I would find my answer to this, er, question.. by thinking back to when I played SingStar on Playstation one. Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne seemed like the most accurate answer, as I can belt that one out without a second thought. I just Googled the song and it was released in 2002? That's not okay?! My life is flashing before my eyes.

Songs that remind me of home

Having parents born in the 60s is more of a blessing than a curse because it means I know every single one of the greatest hits of the 80s (..probably). Talking Heads is the band that reminds me of home, and my parents, without a doubt - and I've chosen Burning Down the House as the song for all of it's ~iconicness~. Does anyone love the scene in 13 Going on 30, where this song plays, as much as me?

Ultimate desert island disc

Without exaggeration, I've had this album on literal continuous repeat since it was released in April 2016. I am still obsessed with Everything You've Come to Expect by The Last Shadow Puppets and it is without a doubt my Holy Grail. It's the type of album that makes you want to dance and listen to closely at the same time. It's under the baroque pop genre apparently, which means it combines rock music with classical elements.. and it's epic.



This was quite a different post for me, but a fun one to write! Let me know what are some of your old school picks or all time favourites.

-Emma
SHARE:

27 June 2017

Favourite Books of 2017 So Far

My Top 6


I always love seeing what my favourite books from the first half of the year have been and if it stays that way come December. Here are the six books which you have to add to your reading lists right now because they're so good.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber*
This is the one and only fantasy book on this list. I don't read fantasy all that often, as I prefer my contemporaries or non-fiction, however if you're going to read one this year - let it be this. I couldn't put this book down. It was addicting, imaginative and intriguing, and for a pretty big book it only took me a day to read. This is about two girls who run away to the circus, and as one sister gets lost in Caraval, the other goes on a quest to find her - going on a scavenger-hunt type journey, where you don't know what's real and what isn't. I just fell in love with the idea of this story and the twists and turns you're presented with along the way.

Girls Will Be Girls by Emer O'Toole
My first book of the year and definitely one of the most thought-provoking and memorable. After reading this I want to read everything about gender I can get my hands on because it's such an intriguing and interesting topic. This book is part scholarly, part biography - the author shares her personal stories of gender experimentation and discovery and breaks down the idea of gender as a social construction in a readable manner. I'm so glad I read this because it opened me up to some ideas I'd never really thought deeply about before.

The Cruelty by Scott Bergstorm*
I had to pop this one in the pile after I gave it 5 stars. I liked this one purely because I couldn't stop reading it and it was a nice change from the contemporary romances I often read. A compelling YA thriller, it follows a teenage girl called Gwen who goes to Europe in search of her father who's been kidnapped. I think I had craved the action that this book brings, following a schoolgirl who turns into an assassin just like that. How realistic is this book? Not very, but I had to include this for it's addicting nature and interesting storyline.


Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Have you heard enough about this book yet? If you haven't managed to pick it up yet, do it now because it's worth it. I was lucky enough to see Rupi perform some of her poetry this year at The Auckland Writer's Festival. You can tell the amount of passion she has and it reflects in her poems. I never would have thought I'd pick up a poetry book, but this is the kind I can get on board with. Her writing explores love and heartache in an accessible and wonderful way.

Margot and Me by Juno Dawson
This is a very recent read but I enjoyed it so much, it was definitely going on this list. Margot and Me is about a girl who moves to the countryside with her mum, to live with her strict Grandmother. Fliss has no idea what made her Grandmother so stern and hard, but then she starts reading her teenage wartime diary. She finally sees what has happened in her Grandmother's past, all the while going through her own struggles at school and with her mum. This book was witty and just a joy to read, but maybe have a tissue or two with you when you read.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
I've saved the absolute best for last because I strongly think this is one of the best books I've ever read. YA romance at it's best, this is about a girl who is a select mute who finds herself friends with a deaf boy. As she's the only one at school who knows sign language, they form a special kind of friendship with each other. This is a love story, but it's done so, so well. This is the type of book that makes you want to smile, squeal and laugh - it kind of has a special place in my heart.


Are you interested in reading any of these books?

-Emma


*Review Copy
SHARE:

21 June 2017

New in: Antipodes Skincare

Three skincare products for combination skin


Recently I realised my skincare routine was lacking in something, and I had my skin to show for it. In other words it wasn't looking too flash. My skin is a combination of dry and oily, and acne-prone. I haven't had to take medication for my skin so far but it does have quite a lot of scarring and I always have breakouts. I've almost given up trying to find something to fix my skin, but these new additions from Antipodes are doing a darn good job at getting me somewhere. I'll explain...

Antipodes Apostle Skin-Brightening Serum
This is where I first dabbled in Antipodes products and I've since used up a whole bottle of this. It's definitely not cheap, but I honestly think this has worked magic on my skin since I've purchased another and started using it again. This serum is the perfect product for pimple-prone people like myself because it dries breakouts down without severely drying out your whole face. This does feel dry on the skin once you've applied it, but because it has some wonderful smoothing properties, it makes the perfect base for moisturiser. I can't rave enough about this stuff - it has my skin looking all bright and a bit more under control. I use this at night-time with an oil-based cleanser to balance out my complexion because it's a hard time having combination skin.

Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser
As this says 'skin-brightening' in the title as with the serum, I somehow knew this cleanser was going to be similar to the Apostle formula - and I was right. It smells like strawberries (absolutely delicious) just like the serum. I currently use my faithful Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel as my night-time cleanser because it's heavier and more moisturising, but I was definitely missing a lighter cleanser that I could use in the mornings. This is a lightweight gel consistency which foams up gently, leaving the skin refreshed, bright and not too dry. This maybe wouldn't be ideal for people with super dry skin, but for combination and oily, this is a stand-out product. I'm so glad I got this because I do think it's helped shrink down existing breakouts I have. It's no miracle cure (and I don't expect any products to clear up my skin immediately) but this has been a joy to use. It leaves the skin so smooth and even-feeling, just like the serum.

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask
I would describe this as the perfect mask for when your skin is spotty but is also dry-feeling. As with the above products, I think this is ideal for those with combination skin because it doesn't clog pores and it's gentle on breakouts. The Aura mask is a very light-feeling, almost moisturiser type mask which makes it perfect to use two or three times throughout the week. After 20 minutes on, it will leave your skin refreshed but without feeling oily. I have to say, I do like the serum and cleanser the most, but out off the three this is the product I've experimented with the least so far - but I do like it.


Have you tried anything from Antipodes before?

-Emma

SHARE:

15 June 2017

What I've Been Wearing



Millennial pink, slogan tees & denim

I'm well aware I'm no fashion guru but every now and then I do like talking about clothing. I do a lot of online shopping - that my bank account does not like. Recently I've acquired a few items that I've been loving and I'm going to show you how I've 'styled' them, if you can even call it that. And because I'm a bit of a music lover, I've scattered my favourite records throughout to match each outfit (aesthetically, if anything).

Take one look of at my blog and you'll know I'm loving pink to no end. There's no secret to my style, it's practically chuck on a t-shirt and jeans and I'm out the door, but I have been branching out ever so slightly. Not in terms of the pink tee, but I recently bought a pair of navy cotton Culottes in what was an oh-so-tempting The Iconic sale. I think people can tend to throw around the word 'flattering' a lot, and on paper these aren't that flattering on me but I like and wear them anyway. These are so comfy and will work well for summer and colder days. I've also been obsessed with my shearling teddy jacket from Zara (similar pictured). And don't forget the gold hoops, of course..


Record: The Last Shadow Puppets / The Dream Synopsis EP ~ Miki nail polish,
Anastasia Beverly Hills Renaissance Palette, Nobody's Child Shirt

And with pink comes red, the other colour I'm completely obsessed with. When I came across this slogan tee while browsing on ASOS I knew it was the one for me. I've never heard of the brand 'Nobody's Child' but on further inspection they have some top notch designs. I think this tee is best pared with my old faithful denim, more specifically my fairly new straight leg jeans in a midwash (similar pictured). I think this top looks great with my new vintage 70s suede jacket (similar pictured) although it does look slightly different (sans waist tie) than the one I've put below.


Record: Alex Turner / Submarine Soundtrack ~
The Bread and Butter Letter Sunglasses, MNG Bosque Blouse

When I spotted this embroidered blouse online I knew it was going in my basket right away because this kind of thing is a bit of a personal weakness. I do think these types of tops are great for work and also summer (although it's winter in New Zealand right now). I did wear this to work recently and with an oversized grey coat chucked on top it wasn't too cold. One thing I will say is make sure you size down if you like the look of this because mine is quite a bit big. Recently I've found my dream pair of jeans style and it's the kick flare. Life-changing. I love the look of flared jeans but kick flares are the tame version.


This t-shirt is decidedly summery and it's having me wishing for a bit of sunshine. There's nothing I like more than retro stripes and this is a fresh take on everyone's staple tee. Monki is probably my favourite shop that ASOS stocks - I'm always finding items I like from them, and when I went to their store in London let's say I was practically salivating over everything. I'm a very casual dresser as you may know so I would pair this top with another pair of kick flares (this time black - don't say I'm not imaginative!), a hassle-free tote bag and some vans.

So that's what I've been wearing lately, no doubt I'll be back on ASOS soon scrolling for more clothes. *Slaps wrist*

-Emma


SHARE:

8 June 2017

Around The Web | #3

These are a few of my favourite things...


Every so often I gather enough things I've been loving from around the internet to put together one of these posts. Truth be told they might be some of my favourite to write because I get to gush about cool things and cool people. Cue the post, featuring a clothing line I'm obsessing over, a podcast or two and my new girl crush.

Alexa Chung's fashion brand AKA the one where I want everything
I'm sure you've heard Alexa has dropped her very own clothing line, featuring some seriously lust-worthy items. My favourites include the Screw You t-shirt (it's made for me), the I Love You I Hate You tee (what can I say, I love slogan tees), this gorgeous Stripy Mohair Jumper and this very very wearable but oh-so-me Striped Jumper in navy and pink. There are quite a few lovely items that are sold out now (sob) but the shipping to NZ is so expensive it's not like it matters much anyway.

Podcasts of the moment AKA some seriously cool chats with inspirational people
I'm not sure that's exactly the most catchy title, but I digress. Lately I've been back on the podcast bandwagon after being lazy with it for a while, but let me tell you, there's nothing better than clicking play on a 40 minute episode while I browse the net or get some cleaning done (or something). The first podcast I've been loving is Lily and Anna's new one called At Home With and I especially loved Lisa Eldridge's episode - I always have time for that woman. Perfect long commute material if you ask me. Next, an old favourite I've been falling back in love with is Emma Gannon's podcast Ctrl Alt Delete and her new episode with Sali Hughes is mega inspirational - it made me want to get around to reading Pretty Iconic and to pick up Pretty Honest. Lastly I loved listening to Juno Dawson's episode where she talks all things gender, especially because I'm reading her book Margot & Me at the moment (which is so good, FYI!).

Alexandra Savior AKA all round cool girl
I don't usually mention music too much in these posts but after I'd become obsessed with Alexandra Savior in the time period of literally just one day, I had to squeeze in a mention. She's a singer-songwriter who's just released her debut album Belladonna of Sadness which was cowritten with none other than Alex Turner... hmm, no surprises I like it a lot then? The only thing I need now is for both Alex's to do a duet and my life would be complete. This comes close enough I guess. As for her actual music, its described as being dream pop, indie pop or psychedelic rock, according to Google at least, which is right up my street. If you like the kind of music I do, definitely check her out - I think she's going to be big. My favourite songs from the album are Mirage and Shades.

Crime TV AKA the shows that are too good to watch just one episode of
You know I'm partial to a Netflix marathon or two and the two shows I've been binging lately are The Keepers and The Fall. NZ Netflix only has the first two seasons of The Fall so I've only seen up until then however this show had me captivated from the beginning. I love a good crime drama but some can be quite average - there's just something about this that is so good. Then I started watching The Keepers one day when it popped up on Netflix and I finished the series in a few days. It's a documentary series about stories of sexual abuse at a religious school in the 1960s and 70s and a nun who got murdered in 1969, the killer remaining unnamed to this day. I'd say if you don't like scary things you may be a little bit unnerved by this but it's just very interesting.


Not exactly ending on a light note, but let me know if you have any podcast or TV show/documentary recommendations - I'd love to hear them!

-Emma

SHARE:

3 June 2017

Recently Read | May

What I read in May...

Each month I hope to read more and more, but I never seem to have enough time. I have however read four books this May, which isn't too bad of a feat, really. In the bunch this time is the latest in YA fiction and an adult fiction debut novel from the fabulous Dawn O'Porter. Here are my reviews on these books!

The Cruelty by Scott Bergstorm*
Walker Books, 2 February 2017
★★★★

I'm not one to read a thriller, but I took a chance on this book and it turns out I loved it. The Cruelty is about a young girl called Gwendolyn who goes on a mission around Europe to find out what happened to her father, who's gone missing. In other words, it's sort of like Taken, but in reverse. I don't think it's a particularly realistic concept but I absolutely loved reading it for the action, the mystery and I also loved Gwendolyn as a character. She is quite cold and neutral, but very intelligent, and I loved being inside her mind and seeing what sort of decisions she would make next. She knows five languages and she's just kind of a badass. This book was simply an adventure, being fun and addictive to read, but it also incorporated serious themes like human trafficking which I've never really read about in fiction before. This book isn't a heart-stopping thriller, but it is a page-turner with a lot of violence and action. I'm not sure why I wanted to give this 5 stars, I just simply loved getting into this and I found it difficult to put down.


Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt
Usborne Publishing, 1 February 2017
★★★

For me, Uncoventional was one of those books that was almost there, but not quite there. I couldn't bring myself to give it 4 stars. The premise of this book is something that is absolutely right up my street - Lexi Angelo, who has a Dad that organises conventions (and she helps out on weekends), finds herself falling in love with an author at one of the events. Think Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (but sadly, not as good). This was a bit like a fanfiction, with all the cute bits that you'd expect, however I felt the development of the relationship between Lexi and Aidan was not great - quite unconvincing and unrealistic. I have read my fair share of YA romance and only some authors manage to do it well. However, as I said, there were some really cute moments and if this story sounds intriguing, it may still be worth the read.


Release by Patrick Ness*
Walker Books, 4 May 2017
★★★

Patrick Ness is a best-selling and very popular author. His books, like The Monster Calls, are said to be amazing - but I've never read any until now, with his latest release. Release is about a boy called Adam who has struggles at home, as he's gay and thinks/knows his church-going family won't approve, and with his love life, trying to get over someone who he's loved or maybe still loves. At the same time, there's something else going on in the town where Adam lives, to do with a girl who was recently murdered. This part of the story is fantasy, and quite ambiguous. The stories don't connect in any way throughout the book (at least on a surface level) until the very end. I did find the fantasy part a little confusing and unrelated to what I thought was the main part of the book, with Adam. I loved reading about Adam and the struggles he has been facing, and faces across the one day this book is set across. I felt excited when the story went back to Adam, but didn't like the fantasy element to the book. I did find a connection to this story in the end, but it wasn't quite enough. Intriguing, but sadly not quite there.


The Cows by Dawn O'Porter*
Harper Collins, 6 April 2017
★★★★

I was very excited to get my hands on Dawn O'Porter's latest release. After listening to her podcast, Get It On, I could only come to the conclusion that she's one cool lady. I love the sorts of things Dawn talks about, and it was no exception with this book. It covered a variety of topics that are so interesting, relevant and important to talk about, such as love, sex, periods, masturbation, pregnancy, abortion and so on. I also always love reading from dual (or in this case three) perspectives and how the character's lives intertwine with one another. This book is Dawn's adult fiction debut (she's previously written a young adult series), and follows three different women living in London - all with different views on some of the topics mentioned above, with different jobs and lives. I loved how the overarching message to this book was that it's fine if you have a different opinion to another woman, and women shouldn't bring each other down. A downside to this book was that some of the concepts were very farfetched and unbelievable, but maybe that adds to the fun of the book - it's fiction after all. I was a little indifferent to this when I first finished it but I do think it's worthwhile for any woman to pick up to have a laugh and a really good think.



Are you interested in reading any of these books? Let me know what you think!

-Emma



*Review Copy

SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig