31 October 2017

Soundtrack to October

I haven't been sharing my music monthly like I typically do, but I've rounded up the last couple month's worth of music instead. Without a doubt, this month's playlist is all about movie/television soundtracks. I didn't plan it out that way, it just kind of happened. I think I've overplayed Haim the last few months, and I've certainly mentioned them a lot on my blog, so here are the songs I've been hitting play on religiously apart from my Haim (but please listen to their album, because it's amazing).

Baby Driver Soundtrack
So I finally got around to watching Baby Driver this month and it was really good. I think sometimes you watch a film for it's cinematography and style (and the amazing music) instead of the plot and storyline. The opening number of Baby Driver alone makes it worth watching. Naturally I headed straight to Spotify to indulge in the movie's soundtrack, namely the opening song Bellbottoms. I think it's definitely a requirement to watch the movie before playing the soundtrack because it makes it that much better.

Wonder Woman Soundtrack
Quite the juxtaposition to the Baby Driver soundtrack, the music in Wonder Woman is surprisingly great for concentration. I had a lot of work to finish off for university this month, so I put this soundtrack on in the background and it worked a treat. Each track gives me all the feels and makes me relive the movie, especially Wonder Woman's Wrath (because duh), so a second watch of Wonder Woman obviously happened. Side note, if you haven't watched it yet you really should.

Mindhunter Soundtrack
This post might as well be a 'what I've been watching' one because I have to express my love for Netflix's new show Mindhunter. While Stranger Things obviously takes first priority (I've finished it) I think this has so far been very underrated - because I haven't seen anyone talk about it. It's about two FBI agents who start to interview serial killers to understand why they kill - and obviously features all the amazing 70s music. I can't tell you how amazingly well this show is filmed and edited. Warning, it's very graphic but very worth the watch. The soundtrack features the likes of Talking Heads and David Bowie so of course it's amazing.

Everything else...

- The new Arcade Fire album. Yes, I like very much that the opening track sounds like ABBA.
- Kane Strang. Someone recommended his album to me on Instagram and it's really, really good, especially the song My Smile is Extinct. The cynical lyrics really speak to me... obviously.
- The Virgins album Strike Gently AKA their final release before the band split up. Especially Figure on the Ice and Impressions of You.
- Random 80s music. I can't put it any other way than that, really. If you too enjoy 80s music you will probably love this playlist.

Have a listen to everything I've mentioned!


26 October 2017

October Beauty Edit

If you haven't been able to tell in past blog posts, I don't often buy new makeup - I generally use the same products I've used for months and years in some cases. I think there is a bit of pressure to constantly buy new things and blog about them, but I'm trying not to do that because it makes me feel a little sick honestly. The products I blog about I either get from work or aren't very expensive if I do buy them. I think it's okay if you don't own much makeup, in fact it's nice. It's also great if you have a huge makeup collection and get joy from trying new things weekly. The beauty industry and consumerism is something I've been thinking a lot about lately, and it sort of ties in to this amazing podcast episode which I recommend you listen to. With the long and slightly irrelevant introduction over, here are my beauty favourites from October!

ECOYA French Pear Madison Jar
For the last few weeks I've been burning candles while I sit at my desk and work. Yes, I may have stolen that idea from Jess' Vlogtober (side note - go and watch it now if you haven't already), but I find it aids in motivation (as weird as that sounds) and helps you get set up for the day. ECOYA have some of the nicest quality candles around and this French Pear scent is to die for. It smells like a lovely fancy home - it's fruity and really fresh. We are going into summer in New Zealand, so this type of candle is nice to burn in Spring while muskier scents are ideal for Autumn.

Girl Undiscovered Stumbled Across Paradise Face Mask
Girl Undiscovered is a New Zealand made brand, and has some cool branding and ideas. Recently my favourite face mask ran out so I decided to give this one a go. I personally love face masks that you can exfoliate with afterwards - and this is one of them. This mask has a really raw, fresh feel about it and it smells like brown sugar and honey. You have to use quite a lot of this to cover your entire face, but it's quite thick in consistency. I have found my skin is really smooth afterwards and when I wake up the next morning it generally feels really plumped up and moisturised. If you need a new face mask I would definitely point you in the direction of this, although it does leave my face red afterwards - maybe from the exfoliation or an allergic reaction? Either way, it isn't painful and goes down so it's not a big deal.

YSL All Hours Foundation
I have been trialling a couple of new foundations this month, the first being this high end one. I've mentioned this on Instagram recently and I go by what I said - it's a very lightweight feeling base that is marketed as matte, however it's really not too matte (or drying) if you're more a fan of dewy foundations. I think this is going to be a winner when summer comes around, because like I said, it's a slightly lighter base with a decent but pretty sheer coverage. I actually find my skin looks nicely glowy and even when I wear this, especially when it's been on for a few hours. This blends really nicely and is actually great applied with fingers or a sponge. The only slight downside of this is that I have a shade that's a bit too dark for me but would be great if I have any sort of tan this summer (not likely).

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation
I was so excited to see The Ordinary had foundations, and ever since Sali Hughes had raved about the Serum Foundation in The Guardian, I really wanted to try them. I did however go for the coverage version - I'm not quite sure what the difference is but I'm guessing this gives better coverage. This base is actually super light in feel and coverage but gives a nice thin, even layer. This one isn't as long lasting as the YSL one, which is understandable because it's literally only $10 (NZD)! I think you can't go wrong with that price, especially when the brand offers so many different shades. That's amazing, because it is so hard to find pale foundations, and it's even harder to find dark shades. I feel like other brands have literally no excuse not to make a big variety of shades if The Ordinary can do it. I got the shade 1.0 P which says it has pink undertones, although I find it's actually quite neutral in tone. This is the perfect everyday foundation to chuck on and you're good to go. One thing I will say is it does tend to separate on the skin in areas such as your nose or chin, however I'm really liking it so far. P.S These sell out really quickly just like most of The Ordinary products!

Zoeva Luxe Eye Blender (225)
I've heard many bloggers and YouTubers raving about Zoeva brushes so I wanted to buy one to see what the fuss was all about. I'm actually severely lacking in makeup brushes, so I should probably do something about that. Anyway, this eye brush is super soft and makes blending eyeshadow easy. I can really see a difference in using a soft brush like this, in comparison to harsher ones. This isn't exactly the cheapest for one small eyeshadow brush, but it is worth it, and there are definitely more expensive ones out there.

Have you tried any of these products?



21 October 2017

Life Update

I haven't had a blog schedule for absolutely ages, but even then I still manage to write at least a blog post a week. However, life has been pretty hectic recently. Yesterday, I officially finished my degree at university (I just need to finish one more assignment), but it's been the biggest relief ever. This year hasn't been the best for me, regardless of what you might see on Instagram or elsewhere. I am so happy to have a whole summer ahead of me to relax and as cliche as it sounds, practice loads and loads of self care. Although there is the whole worry of wondering what I'll be doing next year. It feels bittersweet at the moment because on the one hand I will now have much more free time to do things that make me happy, but I can't help but feel I'm expected to jump into the next thing straight away. Oh and I turn 21 next month. NBD. *Screams*.

Finishing university means I now have what seems like endless time to read. I can't tell you how nice it feels to know that when I go away in November I can sit in the sun (or realistically, shade) and make my way through the stack of books on my bedside table. Sometimes I feel guilty for not reading enough, especially in keeping up with review copies or my Good Reads challenge (where I am a fabulous eight books behind), but I know that's silly. I really want to start reading for fun again, and also reading the books that I really want to read, not the ones I feel obliged to. In the last few hectic weeks, I reread the first two Hunger Games books even though I didn't really have time to. For some reason I love that series so much - I guess it's like my version of Harry Potter. Sometimes I can get stuck in a rut with my reading, but revisiting The Hunger Games has reminded me that reading should be an escape, not a chore.

Today I cleaned up my entire room (minus my messy wardrobe) and the good feeling afterwards never gets old. It's exactly what I needed to do after months of living messily and feeling mega stressed. It's weird, because I've lived in my family home for my whole life, and had the same bedroom for years and years, but I always find new ways to rearrange my furniture and spruce things up. I don't know about you, but having a clean and organised bedroom makes me feel so much happier and productive. On my bedside table, I now have a Frankie magazine to read (and plenty more issues to catch up on), You Play The Girl by Carina Chocano - my non-fiction read of choice - and I'm thinking of starting The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James soon.

I can't wait to have more blog posts up soon!



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.


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


*Review Copy
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