7 October 2017

Recently Read + Giveaway


Alright, so I haven't been the most faithful reader over the last few months - two weeks until I finish uni forever and all that. However, I had found time to squeeze in a read of Tell it to the Moon - the second book in The Moonlight Dreamers series - a book I enjoyed so much I put it in My Favourite Books of 2016 list. Today I'm writing a review of the series, plus I'm giving away a copy of both books to one lucky winner. If you want to enter, have a look at my Instagram post here.

My review

The Moonlight Dreamers* focuses on friendship, family, relationships and identity. It follows the perspective of four teenage girls, who are all incredibly different, but find comfort in talking to each other - forming a group called The Moonlight Dreamers - to talk about their worries and dreams. In the first book, Sky, Maali, Rose and Amber are all going through different problems. One is being bullied for having gay parents, another feels shy and insecure about talking to boys. One of the girls feels pressure to fit in because of social media, and another is dealing with the loss of her mum.

Tell it to the Moon* follows the same girls as they work out new problems and the same insecurities from book one. All of the issues Siobhan Curham brings up are really relevant to teenagers today, and she also makes a point of being diverse with characters, giving representation to more than more race, religion and sexuality. I think that is incredibly important in young adult fiction. There isn't a huge focus on romance, instead it concentrates on the importance of friendship, which is refreshing. Both books do an amazing job at keeping you engaged in the story - the chapters and perspectives of each person are short yet intertwine in an effective way.

These are books that send great messages to young women and teens. The Moonlight Dreamers and Tell it to the Moon are diverse and feature strong aspirational women. It always comes back to the importance friendship and speaking out, which is an important lesson for young people. I would definitely recommend this series to any teenager, or even a twenty-year-old like me who found value in it too.

Giveaway

I'm giving away a copy of The Moonlight Dreamers and Tell it to the Moon now on my instagram!


-Emma



*Review Copy
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25 September 2017

My Morning & Evening Skincare Routine


I have certainly touched on most of these products on my blog before, but I wanted to do a round-up post of all the skincare I use every single day. I've seen a pretty good difference in my skin since I started a routine again. Believe it or not, before I hardly washed my face in the morning, only at night. I couldn't even imagine doing that now; the skincare I take the time to use in the morning (which isn't really much of an effort at all) makes all the difference, and as everyone says, makes your makeup go on so much nicer. Here are the skincare products I use every day, with a little wishlist at the end of things I need to pick up soon.

Morning

Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser
This is probably the one product that has made the most difference to my skin after using it for a few months. I bought it because Estee raved about it, and I'm glad it is as good as she said it was because it's a little expensive (but not absolutely crazy). If you have dry skin, stay clear, but this is the nicest cleanser for oily or combination complexions like mine. I always thought this smelled like strawberries but on Antipode's website it says the scent is green apple and cardamon; it's so nice nevertheless. This is the perfect morning cleanser for me because it's light, evens out the skin tone and leaves the complexion glowy and bright.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
I'm starting to get a little concerned because this is sold out on the websites I can buy The Ordinary products from. It's such a good product and I'm already about half done. If you haven't heard of this brand before, it's so unbelievably cheap, probably cheaper than some of the skincare you can buy in supermarkets. I long banished oils from my skincare routine because they always clogged up my skin, and this has been the replacement. It's not an oil at all, but a light solution made up of 2% hyaluronic acid (hence the name...) which evens skin tone, brightens and adds hydration when combined with a moisturiser. Again, this is more ideal for morning because it's light and great before makeup.

Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser
I've used this moisturiser for years because it's just worked for me. It's a super, super light moisturiser which is great for me because my skin can breathe and isn't clogged by oily or ultra creamy formulations. Sometimes I do have to put a couple of coats of this on if my skin's feeling dry. I would love to find another moisturiser that is a bit more moisturising but doesn't break me out (which is something of an impossible task). If you have any suggestions, I'd love them, but for now I'll stick with this!

Evening

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
I'm not going to lie, I tend to think all these micellar waters practically do the same thing. This is pretty cheap and does the job, so I don't opt for other more expensive offerings (although I would quite like some Bioderma back in my life). I don't really use this as a cleanser, I just use it at the end of the day to remove my makeup more often than not. I feel like I could probably use something better to get rid of my eye makeup, but this works pretty well.

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel
If my skin is feeling dry, this is an absolute saviour. I use this as my night cleanser because it's super hydrating and gets rid of all the (no doubt) grime on my face at the end of the day. Massaging this into your complexion for five minutes and wiping it away with a hot flannel is the loveliest feeling. As the name would suggest, this starts off as a gel and as you massage it into your skin, it becomes a silky-feeling oil. I think it works well without water and you can also use it to remove makeup.

Antipodes Apostle Skin-Brightening Serum
This is essentially the serum version of the Juliet cleanser, which is why I like using this at night and the cleanser in the morning- using both at the same time would be overkill I think. After using such a nourishing, oily cleanser I like using this serum because it sort of seals everything in and tones the skin. Once again, it gives a lovely bright, glowy result I can't get enough of. This is surprisingly more expensive than the Juliet cleanser- it's a bit of a painful moment handing over a decent amount of money for one product but I do love this so much.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
Another The Ordinary product that will probably run out soon and I have no back up of! I have dealt with some pretty bad skin over the past few years, nothing extreme, but I don't think I've had clear skin since I was 16. I don't really bother with too many products desperately trying to get rid of my spots because frankly I'm quite used to them and I do not have the money or patience. This product, however, is so cheap it's certainly worth trying. I actually do think this helps bring spots down and dry them out without being too extreme. I apply this to each pimple most nights unless my skin is going through a good patch (unlikely).

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant
The last thing I'll quickly talk about is my lip balm of choice, apart from my Glossier Balm Dotcom of course. This is a really good lip balm to put on after you've done your skincare routine- it's pretty heavy duty and will stay moist on the lips (I can't stand lip balms that dry down quickly and make your lips drier than before). This is a 'skin protectant', but I've never used it on my skin, just my lips! The only thing I don't really like about this is the smell (it's kind of like a hospital smell) but I'm used to it so I don't mind.


Wishlist





As summer is coming up in New Zealand, I'm on the hunt for a face sunscreen. I know I should be wearing one every day regardless of season, but I'm pretty slack with sun protection. At the moment I have two brands in mind- La Roche Posay and Kiehl's because I've heard they are good, however please shout out if you have any recommendations! I ideally need something light that won't clog and will sit well under makeup. I would also really like to try The Ordinary's lactic acid peel which offers mild exfoliation and it's apparently great for blemish-prone skin. Finally, I'm in desperate need of a new face mask! I love this one from The Body Shop which I recently finished, so I'm thinking of repurchasing it unless I find something else.


I don't think I'll be doing another post on skincare for quite some time as I think I have everything covered! Have you tried/want to try any of these products?

-Emma

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15 September 2017

New In: Clothes I Love

You know I always like to share what I've been wearing every now and then, even if I'm no where NEAR a style icon or fashionable in any way (I'll stop with the self deprecation now). The thing is I love clothes and probably spend too much money buying them, but there's something I like about using clothing as self-expression, and that goes for make-up too. So with that, here are the key pieces I've been wearing lately and some shoppable alternatives...

Coloured Stripes


We've seen a surge of vintage inspired jumpers, especially the Freaks and Geeks esque sweater. I, for one, am absolutely in love with some of the offerings right now and wish we were going into autumn so I could embrace the long-sleeved life. Whether it's a pastel colour palette or something a little more mellow, I've been in love with this trend since I picked up the H&M top I'm wearing above. In my opinion, the more it clashes the better it is.

The Dungaree Dress




I'm not one to buy many dresses, and when I do, I usually keep them at the back of my wardrobe, and just wear jeans every. single. day. I feel like a denim dress is a little more ~edgy~ in comparison to your average dress, which I like. This piece also works well practically any time of the year, whether it be winter or summer because you can layer jumpers underneath when it's cold, or t-shirts when it warms up. I like how essentially everything goes with this, so I'm excited to put it to use this NZ summer.

The Slogan Jumper



So here I am with the slogans again.. I can't get enough whether its t-shirt form or jumper like this one. This is actually a very light material, so it's more of a long sleeve top more than anything. I'm sure you've probably seen this on the odd blogger from the UK, and similar ones from good ol' New Look. I'm so happy I picked this up via ASOS because it injects a bit of colour into my wardrobe but I'm still firmly in my comfort zone. Some slogans can be rather cringe, but I like scoping out the good ones..

The Blazer




I seem to have an obsession with blazers at the moment, all inspiration taken from the Haim sisters of course. What don't they look good in? I actually stole this blazer from my sister who bought it from a charity shop. While this is more of a tartan, I am loving the idea of a grey checked blazer and maybe a yellow number ala Cher from Clueless (maybe minus the matching skirt...) Paired with jeans and a white tee, it's the stuff of dreams.

The Gingham Blouse



Gingham has been huge in the last few months and it shows no sign of letting up. I liked this Glassons blouse because it's red (favourite colour) and it's ruffled. I generally think you can't go wrong with a blouse like this and jeans, it's the perfect lazy girl combo I'll be adopting this spring and summer. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, there might be just enough time left to adorn a blouse and jacket combo.

The Block Heel


Just like you'd never see me wear a dress, you'll probably also never see me wear heels of any kind. Boots I can do, but any proper heel I'm like no. That isn't to say I love how they look, it's just most heels can be so uncomfortable and far too dressy for every day. I think any combination of the ones above (suede, block heel and/or slingback) are such nice options that can inject a bit of colour without being too extreme, and God knows I love anything vintage inspired. I recently wore these Mango shoes at a 70s party and they're not uncomfortable at all.




Do you like any of these ~trends~?

-Emma

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10 September 2017

What I've Been Watching


Looking back through my blog archives, I realised it's been quite a while since I've sat down and chatted through the TV and movies I've been watching lately. After all, there's nothing better than dedicating a whole day to binging a good show or an interesting documentary. You'll find a bit of a mix here, from the TV show I can't stop watching to one of my favourite movies I've seen this year.

The IT Crowd
I first binge-watched the whole of The IT Crowd last year and since then I've been hooked. The show is officially over, but I find this is the perfect show for rewatching- put it on in the background while you go about your day and it's the best thing ever. Episodes are only 20 minutes long, and when two of my faves Richard Ayoade and Chris O'Dowd are in it, it's the perfect comfort watch. If you haven't heard about the show, it's about the IT department of a big company and basically the hilarious situations they get themselves into. Highly recommend.

Wonder Woman
I don't often go to the cinema to watch the latest superhero movies, but I had to make an exception for this one. This movie actually had a really emotional impact on me because it has, and will continue to, inspire young girls everywhere who don't see themselves represented on screen. Despite hearing the odd chatter that this wasn't that good beforehand, I absolutely loved it and don't know how someone couldn't! It was endearing and funny and badass. While on the subject of superhero movies, I also loved Spiderman- I don't care what you say- Tom Holland is the best spiderman hands down.

Bates Motel
I hadn't been watching Netflix for a while because there was nothing capturing my attention, however once I got into Bates Motel I've been obsessed ever since. This is a really good show and the fact it has so many seasons already makes binge-watching so easy. Bates Motel is basically a spin-off of the film Psycho, and follows mother Norma Bates and son Norman Bates who buy a motel, giving them a chance to start anew since some sketchy things have gone down in their past. It shows how Norman Bates' complicated bond with his mother and how he essentially became a serial killer. I've only really finished the first season, but can't wait to watch more.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
I'm sure everyone on earth has already seen this, but if you haven't, you need to. This was one of those movies that I'd never got around to watching, but is essentially a classic. Some people have said the book is much better but considering I haven't read it, I enjoyed the movie. Set during World War II, a little boy and his family move out to the country near a concentration camp. Curious and lonely, he wanders out to his backyard and beyond where he stumbles upon the camp and finds a Jewish boy about his age sitting at a fence. They form a friendship, and needless to say, you're going to need tissues.

Amy
This is one of the most moving and sad documentaries I've seen, but so lovely to learn about Amy Winehouse because I hadn't known much about her before. Full of archival footage of her, it really paints a (very intimate) picture of who Amy Winehouse was and why it was so sad her life came to an end. P.S Lisa Eldridge just uploaded an Amy Winehouse makeup look on her channel, and it was so interesting to hear some insider information like the specific products she used.



What have you been watching lately?

-Emma

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2 September 2017

Recently Read: August



As briefly touched on in my last book blog post, reading hasn't been that high on the agenda for me at the moment. Don't get me wrong, I want it to be, but my tutors at uni clearly have other ideas (sigh- bring on November when I can binge-read as many books as I want). I think it goes without saying reading quality over quantity is important, and in this case I read two books which I absolutely loved during August, and another not so much (and was probably the cause of a month-long reading slump if I'm honest). So if you're in the market for a new book, keep reading, because I've got some recommendations!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine*
As soon as I started reading this book, I was intrigued. This was an nicely paced, slowly unravelling story which I found both sad and heartwarming. As I've mentioned on social media before, this book definitely wasn't what I expected but it was a welcome surprise. We slowly learn about Eleanor's life and her past. One of the things I loved most about this book was Eleanor's character. It was completely believable and so genuine. Eleanor as a character is unintentionally funny and socially inept, and through this we learn just how stupid societal norms are. This type of character reminds me of the books The Humans by Matt Haig and The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, both of which I really enjoyed. Eleanor leads a very mundane life and has the same routine every day and every week, until something happens and it gets her out of the walls she's built around herself. I absolutely loved how romance wasn't the main objective in this book, and no one 'saves' her. I think you'll agree that can get a little tiring in stories. Overall this was the perfect balance between funny and sad- it's a book that will make you think and you'll want to read chapter after chapter.

The Power by Naomi Alderman
Initially, The Power appealed to me because the idea of it sounded so interesting. In an alternative universe, young girls find themselves able to produce an electric current in their collarbone, and with a flick of their fingers they can injure people and even cause death. Set out like a historical book, it features diagrams and historical pieces of information as if this really happened. The main part of the book follows a set of characters, different women, who start to be able to use their powers in different ways. Essentially, this is a look at what it would be like if women had all the power and men were subordinate. I found this particular concept really fascinating, and in the beginning I was relatively interested. However, as the story played out and the power had developed fully worldwide, I found my interest was gone, things were quite long and boring, and the plot was very muddled and quite hard to follow sometimes. I really like finishing all the books I start, generally, so I did finish this, but along the way I got in quite a big reading slump. So would I recommend this book? Yes, if you like the sound of the idea and can handle a long read, but for me this book should have been more captivating for having such an amazing concept.

Everybody Hurts by Joanna Nadin & Anthony McGowan*
If there's one thing I'm a sucker for it's books with English humour and cynical characters. Both of those things are covered in this story. This is actually written by two authors with two perspectives, and anyone who knows me knows I love dual perspectives. This book actually has cliches at the heart of it (e.g. love at first sight) but it's in a fresh and funny way. Set over one week, it tells the story of two teenagers who meet at a hospital canteen. Matt is there because his friend wants to pick up girls, and Sophia's there because she has a brain tumour. Don't worry, this story is barely about that illness and it doesn't romanticise that aspect of things. I actually read this after The Power, which was a long and arduous read compared to this. If you love your contemporaries and want something light but meaningful to read, I would definitely recommend this. I read it really quickly, and as touched on before, the main reason I liked it was because it was genuinely really funny and it made me laugh out loud.


Will you read any of these?


*Sent to me by the publisher

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26 August 2017

August Beauty Edit


For this month's instalment of all things beauty, I tried not to feature products I've mentioned before, but I didn't quite achieve that. Although there is a couple of items I've featured here before, mostly everything is the new bits and pieces I can't get enough of. Nevertheless, if you see something here, it's because it's made a lasting impression on me. Instead of rambling on for too much longer, here are my monthly beauty favourites.

Jo Malone Orange Bitters Cologne
You know me, I love a perfume that smells more masculine. Although this could be mistaken for something an old (fashionable) lady might wear, I couldn't get enough of it this month. Jo Malone scents actually last decently unlike some cheaper perfumes, especially when they're this intense. I would describe this as the perfect winter fragrance with sensual notes and a burst of citrus. I don't think you can actually buy this specific scent anymore as it was limited edition, but the point is Jo Malone have some wonderful things highly worthy of perusal.

L'Oreal Paris Botanicals Fresh Care Strength Cure Coriander Conditioner and Strength Potion
I've been on a bit of a haircare search recently so the this range came to me at exactly the right time. Although I do like the shampoo, the conditioning balm (conditioner) and strength potion (leave in treatment) are the stand-outs for me. I have no particular care for the meaning behind the botanicals range (the products are meant to have more natural, botanical ingredients but who knows if they actually do), but these work a treat on my hair, making it less brittle and more conditioned. I do feel like my hair gets used to products easily and I often need to move onto another shampoo and conditioner after a while, but so far so good.

Too Faced Love Light Prismatic Highlighter in Blinded by the Light
These heart shaped highlighters have been gaining some hype for a while, and I have professed my love for this shade before, but it definitely deserves another mention in this round-up post. I think with Too Faced products you are paying for the packaging most of the time because their things can be relatively expensive, but this is the perfect little treat to buy. I have found this highlighter to be actually quite subtle on the skin if need be, but it can be applied more intensely with a denser brush. This, with plenty of peachy, coral coloured blush has been my go-to look that I can't get enough of.

WASO by Shiseido Clear Mega-Hydrating Cream
Recently the new WASO range came out and it's been coined as every millennial's dream skincare range. While I think there may be some hit and misses in the range, I do really like this moisturiser which I've been using at night time. The packaging may be a little gimmicky or innovative depending on which way you look at it, but I think the more light weight, gel based formulas are a great idea, particularly for more combination skins. So far this hasn't caused my skin to break out, which can always be a struggle with skincare. Overall this is a really smoothing moisturiser that doesn't feel too heavy or too light that would probably work well under makeup (I haven't tried it yet), because of its almost primer like feel.

The Body Shop Spa of the World Ethiopian Green Coffee Cream
It's rare that I take a new body care product under my wing, but this one has been lovely to use of late. I'm lazy and barely take the time to moisturise my body, but if I do this cream is my go-to choice. I used to love the body butters from The Body Shop because of how nourishing they were, but this is more of a lightweight moisturiser which sinks in faster, meaning you can put your clothes on pretty much straight away. The smell of this is intriguing as well; quite different but I like it. It's a very relaxing scent- something you'd probably find in a spa. Also, this tub is massive and will last for so long.


Are you going to try any of these?

-Emma


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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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
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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


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