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

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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


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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

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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

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29 May 2017

May Beauty Edit

May in beauty looked a bit like this...


Eye essentials

As my skin has been lacking in lustre lately, I've been trying out some new skincare in the hope of sorting it out. Natural Instinct is a brand that uses natural ingredients and doesn't include any nasties, which I am intrigued by. I've been trying out a few things in the range, and so far a favourite has been the Dark Circle + Wrinkle Correction Eye Creme, as it's hydrating but I can also feel it firming up my skin when applied. More about this brand another day though...

I picked up the Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner on a whim in a recent Sephora order and safe to say, it's been love at first sight (or first use). Although this has more of a little tip than I'm used to, it acts as the perfect precise product. What I like most about this eyeliner is that it's very black and wet when you apply it, but it dries down nicely and stays put all day. Some of the eyeliners I've used in the past aren't as long lasting but this one is A+. If you've been eyeing it up for a while, I definitely think it's worth a go.

I've been straying away from my faithful Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara and picking up the Sephora Outrageous Volume Dramatic Volume Mascara. This reminds me of the former, but I think it's easier to remove at the end of the day, which is a plus for me because I hate removing my makeup. This mascara has quite a clumpy formula but if you clean the brush a little, it gives you lots of volume and looks very black.


Glowy cheeks

I have been loving a very rosy look on the cheeks, with lots of blush, paired with the Colourpop Lunch Money Super Shock Highlighter which I mentioned in my haul. Since trying this out more, I love the consistency of it as it's somewhere in the middle of a cream and powder formula. As I said before, I prefer applying this with my fingertips and sweeping it all over my cheekbones. It gives such a lovely glow and is at a really affordable price too (lunch money well spent, indeed!).

The easy makeup remover

Lately I've been using the Simply Essential Makeup Remover Cloths, which are something of an ingenious idea. You basically just wet these cloths and use them to remove your makeup - no hassle or waste of cotton pads, or vigorous rubbing. Despite me being a little skeptical at first, these actually do work and it's been plain sailing. Of course, you do need to cleanse your skin afterwards but it gets the majority off first.

Go-to fragrance

It's not often I'll talk about a new perfume on the blog, but I've been loving the Oscar de la Renta Live in Love fragrance. Someone I know described this as smelling like a fancy middle-aged woman, but I'm quite okay with that. Upon first spritz, this is a floral scent with a citrus, musky twist. This has notes of sparkling ginger orchid and bergamot, mixed with a combination of florals like jasmine, orange flower and rose, with a base of sensual musk. I don't typically like super floral fragrances, but there is something super lovely about this one as it has a bit of a deeper twist.


-Emma

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25 May 2017

Jewellery Favourites & Wishlist



Shine on

It has been only recently that I've started embracing jewellery, and those around me may not have even noticed because I do have a penchant for more subtle accessories. But, that doesn't mean I don't want to have a go at something more statement, and that's where this post comes in. I thought I'd run you through some of my favourite pieces at the moment, and the more exciting bit; showing you my wishlist of items I'm calling critical to have in my life.

For some reason I seem to be having an affinity with earrings right now, and that love began when I picked up a pair of simple gold hoops. There's nothing remotely stand-out about them but they just add something to an outfit. One of favourite wearer-of-hoops is definitely Emma Gannon - you only have to glance at her instagram feed to take in some serious inspo when it comes to ear decoration.

I also have a lot of love for silver jewellery, there's no doubt about it. I wear my two little Pandora rings almost daily but a new favourite has been my Ophelia earrings from the new girl on the block, Albertine from Pigment Studio. You might have seen me raving about her designs somewhere on the internet, but if you haven't had a gander at her online store, you're certainly missing out. I am definitely eyeing up more of Albertine's statement designs - they're so unique and special, but entirely wearable.

It's always nice to support more local or independent designers. A favourite for jewellery browsing is The Bread and Butter Letter which is something of a treasure in Auckland. I do own a necklace from there, although I don't get as much wear out of it as I should. I think I lean more towards rings and earrings these days. Speaking of...


The Statement Earring Edit





Are you a jewellery person? And are you into the whole statement jewellery thing?

-Emma

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19 May 2017

A Mini Colourpop Haul

Giving Colourpop a trial run...

Colourpop's been on my radar ever since it started gaining hype online, but I never made an order until one day I saw they were doing free international shipping. Why not? Colourpop is actually surprisingly cheap, but is it worth the hype? I've picked up a few items to test - a highlighter, an eyeshadow and a lip product!

Poison Lippie Stix
The first thing I have to say about this product is the shade looks a little different in real life than it does online. It could be my skin tone, but this doesn't look like the red brick I imagined - it's the spitting image of Rimmel 107 if you know that. So while I am a little disappointed about the shade, the formula of this is a winner. It doesn't feel drying on the lips at all, like some matte formulas can. It's not super, super matte but I'd take that over flaky, gross looking lips any day. I'd love to know if you've tried these and what shades you have? I'm thinking I'd like to try a more wearable every day shade next time.

Weenie Super Shock Shadow
I knew I wanted to try out an eyeshadow that I could wear on its own all over the lid - of course I went for a coppery, rosy shade. The melty formula of these is so nice and easy to apply. They do have a bit of a unique texture, being somewhere in between a cream and a powder. I have to say this does look quite different on the lid than it does in the pan - but it's metallic city and I love it. I haven't tested out the staying power of this yet but so far this gets a thumbs up.

Lunch Money Super Shock Highlighter
Believe it or not, I don't own many highlighters. I'd love to have more in my stash, but I never know quite what to buy since there's many to choose from. The formula of this highlighter is pretty much identical to the super shock shadows, meaning it melts into the skin best applied with fingers. It's hard to go heavy handed with this one, as I find it achieves a subtle result. I'd say this would be described as a light champagne gold colour and rest assured it looks pretty flattering on my pale skin tone. I'm yet to work out the best way to apply this, but fingers are my go to right now.


Have you bought anything from Colourpop & have you liked what you've tried? Send your recommendations my way!

-Emma

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15 May 2017

A Room Update


It's been a few weeks since I rejigged my room a little, but I thought I'd put up a post with a little update on how my room is looking. I'm one of those people that is always shuffling things around because I get bored very easily. I'll also probably never be happy with my space, until I maybe move out I guess... but anyway, here's a sneak peak at my room, mainly my desk and bookshelf area because, let's face it, the other side of room isn't so great.

Plants...

I've wanted some plants in my room for a while now - I used to have some cacti but naturally they endured a slow death through neglect. I decided to paint some plant pots white and have a go at keeping a couple alive - it's been a few weeks now and I'm sorry to say they are looking a little bit sad already. If you're good at keeping plants alive, please... tell me your secrets. Also, who knew depotting plants was so friggen hard?


Records...

I've had this record player for maybe a couple of years now, but I've been embracing it a bit more lately. I kind of want to do a record collection post soon, but I literally only have a handful so far so I'm not sure it's worth it just yet. This player isn't the prettiest (it doesn't stand up against those dreamy Crosleys), but it does the job well. I really want to pick up a couple new records soon but it's so hard deciding...


Posters...

I have no idea what I'm doing, indeed. As usual the things you see on my walls are most likely from either Frankie Magazine, or recently closed Yen Magazine (sob). There's a variation of old and new, but the bra one from Frankie is probably just about the best thing ever. If you do need a room freshen up, I would definitely suggest turning to your favourite magazines.


Books...

And as I tend to do every month or so, my bookshelves have had a bit of a rejig and now they're somewhat ordered by size, which I've never done before. Riveting stuff...
I might have to have a one in, one out policy soon because I'm trying to keep my book collection under control a little bit. I have been restrained in the book buying arena recently. I'm also hoping to get a lot more reading done towards the end of May because Uni is looking a little more chilled.


So, that's it - nothing special really, but I do love sprucing up my room a bit every now and then!
And excuse the brief hiatus from me... turns out third year journalism is just a bit stressful...


-Emma
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5 May 2017

Recently Read and Book Haul | April

Find your next read here...

Read in April

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
Penguin Books, 1 Feb 2017
★★★★

Swimming Lessons is a bit of a special book which I think I will remember with a fond feeling. This isn't the type of book you'd usually see me pick up, but after the blurb intrigued me I decided to give it a shot. This book has a few different perspectives and is comprised of a series of letters and flashbacks, as well as present tense. Some of my favourite parts definitely came from the letters - I loved reading about the history of Flora's (the main character) mum and dad's love life; essentially how they met and how their marriage started to fall apart. Flora's dad, Gil starts to discover letters left in books that his missing (presumed dead) wife, Ingrid, wrote to him but never sent. There is a sense of nostalgia while reading this and I think it was really pleasant. This is the perfect book to read on a rainy day in a coffee shop to get lost in the lives of people you don't know, but feel like you do.


The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Simon & Schuster, 24 May 2016
★★★

This was cheesy romantic YA at it's (perhaps) worst. I might retract that statement, because I didn't completely hate this book, however it was slightly irritating. I could have stopped reading this part way through but for some reason I just like finishing books even if not enjoying them 100%. This book follows a politician's daughter as she deals with being in the media's spotlight and finding an unexpected summer job after her chance at an internship was quashed. She meets a geeky young author who's not usually her 'type' (bit of eye-rolling happened, if I'm honest) and the rest is history. Even if I haven't completely sold this book to you, I did quite like the main character, Andie's, love interest. There was something slightly quirky about this book, but at the same time I just found it to be incredibly cliche - however sometimes I couldn't help myself and just kept reading because it was cheap entertainment. I did pick this book up for $3 so it's not like it was a waste.


You can also have a look at my reviews I did a few weeks back for Milk and Honey and Bad Feminist.


To Read

Margot and Me by Juno Dawson
After spying this in a book shop during April, I had to pick this up. I haven't been buying many books recently so that's how I justify that. Anyway, Margot and Me is about Fliss and her mum who move to the countryside to live with Margot, Fliss' stern grandmother. But as she finds out more about her grandmother, she realises her life during wartime was full of adventure and mystery. I'm not entirely sure what to expect from this but I'll report back when I get around to reading it.


Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt
I'm actually more than half-way through this book as I type this post, and I have to tell you, I'm enjoying it quite a bit. If you know anything about this book, it's that it has been compared to Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and if I'm honest that's one of the main reasons I picked this up. I love a story that involves anything geeky like conventions and mysterious boys with good hair... *sue me*. This new YA release seems to be having a bit of a moment, and it was on my most anticipated reads list for 2017, so I'll tell you whether it's worth the hype in my next book round-up post.

The Cows by Dawn O'Porter
After listening to Emma Gannon's podcast episode with Dawn O'Porter, I've had a soft spot for her. I think she's a really cool woman, so my ears (or eyes, I suppose) perked up when I saw she had a new book coming out. I have read her YA book Paper Aeroplanes so it will be interesting to see how she does with adult fiction. This is described as fearlessly frank and funny, about friendship and being female. If you want to read more about this I'd suggest looking up the synopsis, but I don't really know what to expect from this one!


-Emma

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30 April 2017

Soundtrack to April

Everything I've been listening to in April...

I seem to be having a bit of an affinity with everything 70s and 80s at the moment (at least inspired), from fashion to music. There's a touch of that in here, plus a couple of new singles I can't get out of my head.

The Highlights

Lana Del Rey x The Weeknd
I haven't stopped hitting play on this song since it came out. I will listen to anything that Lana releases and there's nothing more to say than I can't wait for her new album - there's rumours she's collaborating with Stevie Nicks. Um, yeah, please.

Tom Rosenthal
When I want to listen to something calm or have it as background music while I work, I turn to Tom Rosenthal. His music equally deserves to be listened to with full attention, but also put on shuffle as you while away an afternoon. His new album is coming up soon so be prepared for more loveliness..

Tears For Fears
Sometimes I just need an 80s power song to get me going okay? Like The Power of Love by Huey Lewis (cue Back to the Future marathons), or in this case, Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears. All the best discoveries come from my Dad's record collection.

Harry Styles
I listened to his single once and I was like 'this is okay', but now I can't stop listening. I listened to an radio interview where he talks about moving into his solo career (probably while I was procrastinating uni work, let's face it) and I like how he said he wanted this single to not be as 'sellable' - if you could say that. It's a longer song and has a flavour of Bowie to it, you could say..

Tom Odell
Tom Odell used to be one of my favourites a couple years ago but I kind of stopped listening to him. In the same way that Tom Rosenthal is just relaxing to listen to, his Long Way Down album is my perfect 'sad music' go-to, but there are still some more up-beat songs of his I like.

Fletwood Mac
Nothing much needs to be said about Fleetwood Mac, they're in their own category of all things legendary and amazing. Similar to Tears for Fears, I like the bout I nostalgia I get from listening to them. Now please let that collaboration with Lana be real..

Haim
And finally, something that's not on the playlist because it's a live version, but it's bloody amazing. I love Haim so, so much and cannot wait for their new album coming out soon. Even though some people have mixed reactions to their new song, Right Now, I really, really like it and I need more of it in my life. It's been far too long Haim.


And as usual I have a few songs here there
that I've chucked in but haven't mentioned...
Enjoy!



What have you been listening to?

-Emma

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26 April 2017

The Jumper Lookbook

Sweater Weather

You probably know by now that I tend to have a hankering for a good jumper. They're practically my favourite piece of clothing to own, and when Autumn comes around (for NZ at least) I'm known to give off a squeal of delight at the outfit possibilities. From the plain jane to the bold, everything is welcome. It's time to roll up my sleeves, you could say, and chat about my favourite sweaters, paired with a good pair of jeans of course - what else would you expect?


Seeing Red - This red and pink jumper from Selected Femme via ASOS could look like a rad jumper or a cheerleader's uniform (as was pointed out to me..), depending on how you look at it. Red and pink is a colour combination I hated back in the day, but it's literally my favourite thing at the moment. Red is very 'on trend' (if you want to call it that) this season, whether it be for autumn or spring. Try...



The Fail-Safe - To the eye this jumper may look as boring as you can get, but trust me, there's no greater delight than finding the perfect comfy basic. From Glassons, this jumper with ribbing is the perfect thing to wear under coats. It's not too thin or thick and goes with literally everything... especially tucked into high waisted jeans. Try...




Frills, They're Multiplying - Cheesy Grease lyrics aside, it's a big 'yes please' to frills for this girl. Yes... you're the one that I want. This is probably my favourite jumper because it's completely wearable but has a little something to peak interest. Picked up from Urban Outfitters, it's probably not available anymore, but it's a goodie. Try...




Tickled Pink - I happen to be quite partial to a pink jumper which ends up looking a bit 80s inspired, which I am for. This high-necked one is from Glassons and is bang-on trend - it doesn't look like pink is disappearing any time soon. There are plenty of options available, and these days a pink knit is practically a staple in anyone's wardrobe if you ask me. Try...



Show Your Stripes - You didn't think I'd missed out stripes, did you? I could hardly make a blog post about jumpers without mentioning my true love - the striped sweater. Stripes never go out of fashion as far as I'm concerned and my wardrobe is stocked full. Tucked into blue denim - piece of cake. This is an old jumper, but there are hundreds out there for perusal. Try...




What kind of jumper do you like wearing?

-Emma

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22 April 2017

The Peachy Pink Makeup Edit

Peachy Keen

Whether it be a glossy lip tint, a glowy coral blush, or a peachy sheen on the eye lids, I'm all for the peach trend we've been seeing makeup wise lately. Too Faced has been one of the contributors to this trend with their Sweet Peach collection, which features a highlighting palette, blush, lip glosses, and of course, the eyeshadow palette. The best thing is the entire range smells like artificial peaches. So in celebration of all things dewy, here's a makeup look I've been wearing recently.

TheBalm Time Balm Face Primer
I can barely go without this primer at the moment, and this is the first step to achieving a fresh, flawless look. I find my foundation separates on the skin if I don't use this. It glides over pores and blemishes so your skin is more smooth and less bumpy.

NARS Sheer Glow
I'm certainly sounding like a broken record these days with this one, but this NARS foundation is simply the only base I use. Maybe I'm too scared to venture elsewhere, but I'm satisfied with the glowy effect it gives and it has decent coverage too.

Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara
This has been one of my favourite mascaras as of late because of its ability to curl the lashes upwards and define every lash. This one is definitely more of a lengthening mascara more than volumising, but its the perfect thing to wack on when you're having a no-makeup, makeup day.


Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette
Eyeshadows and I are definitely having a moment. This palette is a welcome addition, with enough subtle pink and orange shades to shake a stick at... or an eyeshadow brush. My favourite shades include Candied Peach (pink with subtle gold shimmer), Bellini (lighter pink shimmer with a rose gold feel) and Summer Yum which is a rich orange brown. Warm toned eyeshadows - that must be where my heart lies. The palette isn't strictly peachy tones - there are some other interesting colours that stray away from everything pretty pink. While the quality of the shadows don't quite meet that of my Anastasia Beverley Hills' palette, they still have good pigment and are easy to blend.

TheBalm Hot Mama Shadow & Blush All-in-One
The perfect accompaniment to a peachy pink eye is this applied to the cheeks. It leaves behind a glowy shimmer and is the perfect peachy coral. Looking well-used and a tad worse for wear, I've had this lying around for at least a couple of years, but I'm not showing any sign of letting go. As well as a blush, like I did for this look, you can use it for eyeshadow which is a bonus.

Nude by Nature Finishing Brush 05
This has been my go-to powder product brush for about a year. I doesn't pick up a load of product at once so it's hard to go overboard with this one; I like applying my powder, bronzer and/or blush with this. It's also a very soft brush which is always a good thing...

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in London
Another product I could enthuse about for days, and I clearly already do looking at how many times I've featured the soft matte lip creams in blog posts. Recently I've taken a shine to the London shade because it looks nice with more pared back looks. I would describe this shade as a brownish nude without being too dark - on my pale skin tone at least. As you'll probably know, these lip creams dry down to a matte but I find them not too drying and very light-feeling.



Now that I've gone on and on about my favourite glowy, peachy products plus what I've been wearing alongside them, tell me, are you a fan of the peach trend?

-Emma

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18 April 2017

Book Reviews: Writer's Festival Edition

The authors on my radar for Auckland Writer's Festival

Roxane Gay and Rupi Kaur are heading to New Zealand this year, in about a month, to take part in the Auckland Writer's Festival and I couldn't be more chuffed to be attending their events. Regardless of where you live, read on to hear what I think about their books.


Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 8 July 2016
★★★★

This book certainly got some hype at the end of last year. At first, I wasn't that interested in reading it because I'm not really into poetry, but this might be the book that will have me converted. I've seen a few of the pages from Milk and Honey dotted around Tumblr and such, but reading the actual book cover to cover was such a nice experience. For me, some of the topics she touched on, such as sexual abuse, love, relationships, heart break, feminism, etc - although not all relatable to me, really hit home. It is a powerful thing when reading one short poem can make you well up, but that's the beauty of poetry I suppose, that I've never really embraced. If you want to give poetry a go, I would highly recommend this one - it's a quick read but Rupi's words are so powerful and touch a nerve.


Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Harper Perennial, 27 February 2015
★★★★

Another one I've recently finished, Bad Feminist, is the second book I've read of Roxane Gay's, alongside Difficult Women. I'd say if you haven't read up about intersectional feminism yet, this could be a good book to start with. Race is strongly interwoven with commentary on gender. This book is part memoir, part academic critique on films, tv shows, books, etc. While there were certainly chapters I didn't love as much as others, there are a few aspects that stood out for me that I loved. I was particularly moved by a few chapters, such as when Roxane talks about rape culture and sexual assault, reproductive freedom; when she talked about the idea of 'women's fiction', and most overarching, the idea that we can be 'bad feminists', and there are many different types of feminism for all kinds of people. This book had its moment a couple of years ago, but it's still relevant and worth picking up.

I also read Difficult Women by Roxane Gay* a few months ago - you can see my review here.


-Emma



*Review Copy
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14 April 2017

5 Things: Self Care


Self Care 101

You may have (or probably not have) noticed my recent absence from this corner of the internet. Truth be told, I'm finding it a tad difficult to juggle uni, work and blogging. I think we all have these struggles from time to time. Nevertheless, now I have a two week break, today I wanted to write a casual post about some of the little, miscellaneous things I've been loving lately. When you're dealing with an infinite amount of work, it can tend to take a toll on mental health. These are some of the things getting me through at the moment...

Peppermint Tea
I've never been a tea drinker, but I can certainly get behind peppermint tea. Any hot drink just makes me feel cozy, and it's nice to settle down with one and a good book when you just need to chill. Peppermint tea has a subtle, refreshing taste and according to the packet it's pretty good for the digestive system. It's autumn in New Zealand (although not terribly cold yet..) so brewing a hot cuppa is the perfect thing to get into the habit of doing.

Face Masks
Not exactly rocket science, but a good beauty pamper every now and then can do wonders. Using a refreshing or invigorating mask can perk you up to no end and is best done from the comfort of your own bed if you ask me. I like using the Manuka Doctor ApiClear Purifying Facial Peel because it creates a smooth surface to apply oils and moisturiser to, for a full on pamper treat. It can be a little harsh, but I don't use this that often. By far my favourite face mask is The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask. This one is incredibly reviving, a little exfoliating, and glow-inducing.

Baths
A face mask is perfectly paired with a hot bath. We recently had water restrictions where I live, so I tried not to have any baths, but now it's back to normal, I've realised how much I've missed baths. Personally, a bath really relaxes me and perfect just before bed. I also get a lot more reading done when I have baths, because when I'm busy it's a little slice of the day I'm forced to just lie-down. The experience is made even better when you have a Lush treat or two to pop in the tub.

Netflix
Before I started uni this year, I told myself I would use the evenings to shut off - read a book or watch a TV show so I did something every day just to relax. It's worked pretty well so far - I mean it's not that hard to do. I find if I get my work done mostly during the day, then I can tell myself I have the rest of the day off, and don't have to feel guilty. At the moment, I'm watching 13 Reasons Why, along with the rest of the world... I actually read the book about four years ago but can't even remember what happened, lol. FYI, Planet Earth is a very calming thing to watch before bed and will make you appreciate how amazing the planet, and animals, are.

Creature Comforts
You could say all of these are creature comforts, but when I'm feeling sad or stressed, I always reach for my favourite things to give me a boost - whether that be my favourite book, film, watching YouTube clips of my favourite person or from my favourite TV show - the list is endless. Those things that are unique to you, that one 'thing' that makes you feel instantly happier. Remember that you should enjoy the little things and try not to think in extremes. I should try taking my own advice..


I think this is the post I needed to write today - here's to giving ourselves a little bit of love every now and then (..or all the bloody time, amiright?).

-Emma

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3 April 2017

March Beauty Edit

Glossy pink lids, pastel digits & silky, soft hair

The amount of new beauty products I've acquired over the past couple of months has dwindled quite a bit, hence the lack of beauty posts on my blog. I tend to stick to the same products these days, because they work for me, and I don't have time to buy and try out more things - however, there are a few things I wanted to chat about this month - a micellar water, my dream shampoo + conditioner duo, and more.

Good things come in twos

After featuring the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish in my recent First Impressions post, I've warmed up a tad to the idea of an at home gel manicure, and I'm convinced this product is the way of the future. Slight exaggeration there, but it's been hard to go back to normal nail polish after painting my digits with the pastel pink Flower Crown (211) shade in particular. The idea behind it is you're meant to use the nail colour, and the second step is the Miracle Gel Top Coat which seals everything. The actual nail colour can look a bit patchy at times, so add an extra coat if needed. No, it's no witchcraft, but my nails end up looking fake or professionally done without the hassle.

If you want yourself some lovely locks, I would point you in the direction of OGX. I've had a brief fling with a few other shampoo and conditioners, but I always find myself going back to the Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo and Conditioner. They are more expensive than some other hair care brands, but I definitely think it's worth it, because they're seemingly the only thing that can sort out my frizzy mop. So, good things definitely come in twos... and as a bonus this duo makes your hair smell amazing.


Pretty in Pink

The limited edition Max Factor Masterpiece Palette in Rose Nudes* has shades to die for. While I might cringe at the phrase 'right on trend', the pink and purple shades in this palette are just a bit up to the minute (read: a lot). The shade that called my name the first time I set eyes on the palette, is the shimmery copper pink (4th from left). This shade, by itself all over the lid, results in a subtle, glossy look that is all sorts of pretty. I also like combining the more purple shades for a subtle smoky eye which I think suits blue eyes nicely. These do melt into the skin easily and are the perfect thing for an understated, undone, soft look - however they are not the most pigmented or long-lasting I've come across. For the price point though? I rate it. They also have the Cappuccino Nudes and Golden Nudes colour-ways.


An old favourite

I have picked up the NARS Creamy Concealer again because I was in search of something that would actually somewhat cover my spots - I've been having a bit of bad luck with my concealer recently. Some are too thick and separate on the skin, or others are too thin and don't cover dark marks at all. I really do rate the NARS base products I've tried so far - this concealer does its covering duty well without being really thick and cakey looking on the skin. I am also very tempted to try the new NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer - lets face it, I'm going to make an order soon (although the lighter shades are now sold out - grrr!)


Take the day off

I've been trialling the NIVEA Sensitive Caring Micellar Water over the past couple of months, and I might have converted from my usual Garnier one. Sometimes I felt the Garnier one was a bit harsh on my skin, and although it's quite hard to really tell the difference between micellar waters, I think I prefer this one. It removes pesky eye makeup quite easily and my face makeup too. In that sense, I prefer to use this product as a makeup remover and initial cleanse - I always follow up with my regular cleanser after. I have debated doing a post comparing the few micellar waters I've tried, but its tricky to compare!


Will you be trying any of these products?


-Emma



*PR Sample
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29 March 2017

Recently Read and Book Haul | March

The run-down on what I've been reading lately


A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
Macmillian Children's Books, 12 Jan 2017
★★★★★

This is my most recent read, and oh my gosh, it's so good. I read Beautiful Broken Things by the same author last month, so it's no surprise that this book was wonderful. I did, however, enjoy A Quiet Kind of Thunder just a bit more. As I've said in various places on social media, this book is exactly what I like about young adult fiction. I love books that I can binge read across a day or two, that almost feel like an addiction. As you can probably tell by the cover, this book is centred around romance, but here it's the most adorable, slow-going, realistic and complex mix.

This book follows a girl called Steffi who is a selective mute, and a boy called Rhys who's deaf. I've never read anything about deaf people or selective mutism, so this was eye-opening to the struggles those people can have, but it shouldn't and doesn't define them. They meet in obvious circumstances, because they both 'speak' sign language, but their process of getting to know each other and maintaining a friendship is really unique, and difficult at times. This is some of the best, if not the best, romance I've read in YA - lots of squealing and putting the book down for a moment kind of thing (as pathetic as that sounds it's the truth)... This is definitely on my 'favourite books of 2017' list.


Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse*
Hachette, 9 March 2017
★★★★

It's Sophia's last week in Tokyo before she has to move back to the US. She's lived in Tokyo with her mum for a while, and it's become her home... where her friends are, and the boy she used to have a crush on. As he comes back into the picture just before Sophia's due to leave the country, she has to make those last seven days count. I think the thing that made this book special was the setting - I absolutely fell in love with Tokyo reading this. I've never had a desire to visit the city, but this was like a love letter to Tokyo, as Sophia and the boy, Jamie, stay up the whole night and explore the city.

I had the feeling of being transported to Tokyo, and in that way, I really felt wrapped up in this book - it took me a mere day and a half to read it too. I always think that if I read a book in a day, there's something really good about it. While I did think the romance aspect of it wasn't as special as A Quiet Kind of Thunder, I enjoyed Sophia's adventures with her friends and Jamie rather than their actual relationship. That ending was a good one though, and I finished this one with absolutely no regrets ignoring the rest of life to read it.


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas*
Walker Books, 1 March 2017
★★★★

This seems to have slightly different release dates for various countries, but I'm pretty sure it's out now for most people. I'm sure you've seen this book everywhere at the moment - but in case you haven't - it's definitely one to watch. It's about a girl called Starr who is caught up in two different worlds... the poor neighbourhood where she lives, and her posh high school in the suburbs. She witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil, by a police officer. Sound familiar? This story is very reminiscent of events you've seen in the media, and is in fact inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Expect... "People like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice." This book is about what prejudice looks like in the 21st century, and how the fight for justice can be a huge struggle. I found this book to be very, very moving and just incredibly important. Not only is this book important and inspiring, it's also very accessible because it's YA - that means more young people will pick up this book. If there's one book you're going to read soon, make it this one because of the subject matter.

And I picked up a couple more books...


Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
Penguin, 1 Feb 2017

This is a book I've walked past a few times in bookshops and always liked the sound of it, but would never buy it. Sophie, always the enabler, kind of said I should get it so I did. This was actually the only book I bought this month, which is some kind of record or achievement (...wait, I just remembered there's something on it's way to me in the post). Anyway, while reading the blurb, the bit that intrigued me was "Ingrid writes letters to her husband Gil about their life together. But instead of giving them to him, she hides each in the thousands of books Gil has collected." So, yes please, I would quite like to read this book.


Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik
twenty7, 1 October 2016

I've just started reading this one, so I don't know a great deal about it, but from my understanding it's a bit like Bridget Jones, but maybe even better. Of course the difference is that Sofia's Muslim. After she breaks up with her boyfriend, she sets off to write a book about the Muslim dating scene and her experiences. When there's a quote from Mhairi McFarlane, you just have to go for it, don't you? I actually picked this one up from the library on a whim, so maybe hiring books out has hit a resurgence.



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


-Emma



*Sent for review

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