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.


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!


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.


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?



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~?



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.

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?



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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