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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