25 April 2018

The Podcasts I Listen To


I've got into the habit of listening to podcasts at work, and let me tell you, it's revolutionary. As long as you don't need to concentrate, podcasts keep you occupied, entertained and informed, and it's just an all-round lovely way to pass the time - these are the ones I rate.

The Fringe of It

The recent endeavour of Liv Purvis and Charlotte Jacklin, The Fringe of It feels like two friends chatting about countless topics - not in a very structured or organised way - but that's what makes it so good. They have a topic which they discuss every week, from 'Getting Out of a Funk' to 'Talking to Strangers', but they chatter away about the TV they've been watching and what they've been buying that week, too. I adore watching Charlotte on Instagram stories, so this is that in an extended form, minus the visuals of course. All of the other podcasts mentioned here have guests, but this one is just conversation between two friends, which I've come to love.

Ctrl Alt Delete

I've probably mentioned this one numerous times on here, but I can't put together a podcast post without talking about the Queen of all podcasts, and podcast host, Emma Gannon. Emma organises the best guests to chat with about pretty much everything, but with a focus on the Internet and how they feel about the online world. There are over 100 episodes available, so there is absolutely no shortage of conversation. Emma often interviews authors and journalists, and because I enjoy hearing about anyone's writing process and way of working, Ctrl Alt Delete is a real treat to tune into every week or whenever there's a new instalment.

Get It Off Your Breasts

This is Emma Gannon's other podcast, which she launched last year after the success of Ctrl Alt Delete, but I don't need to tell you that - you've probably heard of it - and if you haven't I urge you to have a little listen to Get It Off Your Breasts, which she co-hosts with Lliana Bird. Each week Emma, Lliana and a guest bring up a topic that has been on their mind lately - everything from the use of the word 'empowerment' to pubic hair and ridiculous clothing sizes. It makes for very interesting conversations, sometimes conflicting opinions, and all together brings awareness to important topics - or the not-so-important, but annoying. The second series has just finished, but there are lots of episodes to sink your teeth into.

Happy Place

My latest discovery, and one of my favourites! Popular presenter Fearne Cotton hosts this podcast, Happy Place, which she launched this year, and already she's had on some amazing guests. Think Stephen Fry, Tom Daley, author Matt Haig, ex Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman and Dawn French. Fearne is an absolute natural at interviewing people, so it makes for easy yet insightful listening. She talks to the guests about happiness, life, love, loss and everything in-between. The podcast itself is very well made and I'm so looking forward to seeing what other guests she brings on in the future.

Get It On

This podcast by Dawn O'Porter isn't active right now, but I've heard there will be more episodes soon. Dawn, who is so lively and entertaining to listen to, chats to celebrity guests about their personal style and why they wear what they do. She talks to mainly women, but men too, which incidentally have become my favourite episodes. Her husband, the ever so entertaining Chris O'Dowd, and Jason Segel have been guests and are absolutely hilarious. Other guests include Dawn French, Caroline Flack and Alan Carr. You don't have to love fashion to enjoy Get It On - it's as much a podcast about the personality as the personal style.


What podcasts do you listen to?

-Emma
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19 April 2018

Worth Watching


Sharing my favourite TV shows and movies is one of my favourite things. While you're likely to get a peek of what I'm watching on my Instagram stories, I thought I'd put together another one of these posts chatting about the good ones! There's a nice mix of comedy, reality TV, as well as something pretty unique...

Queer Eye

I have to start off with something you've all probably heard of. Everyone and their dog has been waxing lyrical about this feel-good Netflix show. If you've been living under a rock the last few months, you just have to watch this - I'm not exaggerating when I say every single episode makes you cry. Five gay men are tasked with making over ordinary Joes who lack self-confidence, transforming the way they feel about themselves as well as their appearance, home and culinary skills. It's been an absolute joy to watch, and luckily season two is on it's way!

My Mad Fat Diary

I remember another blogger recommending this absolutely ages ago, but I've only now got round to watching it. This British series is about a teenage girl called Ray who has just left a psychiatric hospital. We follow her as she slots back into her old life, reuniting with her best friend Chloe. It isn't so easy though because she has no idea about Ray's mental health issues. The show explores body image, sex and mental health in a realistic and humorous way, and I think it's a show that would be useful to so many young people dealing with similar problems. It's been a while since I've watched it, but I have to say, it's such a great series.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Unlike most, I haven't actually read the books but I've still enjoyed watching the TV adaption. Stylistically, the show is beautiful and shot really well, and I think the actors do an amazing job. I watched series one when it came out initially, but I think I've enjoyed season two the most because the locations such as the boarding school, penthouse and circus are pretty interesting! If I can say one negative thing, it's that the episodes can be repetitive and pretty discouraging when everything goes wrong, but that's the point of the series and it's of course targeted to a younger audience anyway. That said, I'm looking forward to watching season three when it eventually comes out!

What We Do In The Shadows

I've been watching a whole load of movies lately - on lazy Sundays, but pretty much every night - and when the opportunity arose I couldn't wait to hit play on this Taika Waititi film. I've heard it's good and I wasn't disappointed. Shot in New Zealand, it's a horror comedy that shows what it's like for vampire flatmates to get by in modern society. What else is there to say? It's a hilarious film with a low budget that showcases Taika's amazing talent - who would of thought he'd be directing Thor a few years later?

Swiss Army Man

Initially I was pretty confused about this movie and turned it off after about twenty minutes. However, when I started researching the film a little people consistently said to persevere with it and watch until the end. It seems slightly silly calling it a 'unique' movie, but that's the only way I can describe it. Hearing Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano talk about the movie in interviews after I'd watched it was really interesting. It questions why human bodily functions (and trust me you'll see a lot of them in the film) are so disgusting to people when they're a natural part of life. But it's not quite as serious a sentiment as that - parts of it are genuinely really funny, and the more you get into the movie the more you'll be glad you stayed along for the ride.


Have you watched any of these?

-Emma
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14 April 2018

New in my Wardrobe


I don't know about you, but I get so excited when the seasons change and it's out with the old and in with the new. In New Zealand we're in the middle of autumn which means it's time to layer, layer, layer. Spring and autumn are definitely the best times of year as you can be really versatile with what you wear. This year I've decided to invest in some different-to-me pieces and a bit of the same-old, because nobody can tear me away from my jumpers and jeans!

The Red Bag

Red, along with pink, has been everyone's favourite colour recently and I am so on board with it. I've had this Dangerfield bag since November and it's become a firm favourite when I want to inject a pop of colour. My other bags are black so it definitely makes for a nice change! Experimenting with a red bag has made me want to embrace more colour - I've got my eye on this green vintage-inspired number. Dangerfield have some lovely bags that aren't too expensive and don't look too cheap either.

The Jumpsuit

I have lusted over jumpsuits time and time again while scrolling through Instagram. I absolutely love the way they look, but just not on me. Impulsively, I decided to buy this Topshop one and safe to say it's love at first wear. It's definitely more fitted on top and then flares out to some major wide leg, which I love. Topshop sizing does baffle me though - I just wish some stores would make clothes that fit curvier women. If you too are after your first jumpsuit, I would really recommend this one because it goes with absolutely everything and is a great layering piece.

I've paired the jumpsuit with this new polka dot top from Zara which is giving me some serious 80s vibes. It's hard to see in the picture, but the sleeves are slightly puffed out and the high neck is subtly ruffled. I find it very hard to dress up, but this is the kind of piece that is great for work and is just as easily made casual.

The Jumpers

This Fan Club Clothing Modern Romance jumper is just the type of thing I love wearing tucked into jeans. I actually won this in a giveaway back in December which I was immensely pleased about! I have a couple of their t-shirts and I really rate them.

The other sweater I've started to wear now the weather has cooled down is from ASOS. Funny story, but this Willow and Paige jumper reminds me of my old school one which was just as red and just as scratchy. In hindsight it wasn't the most practical purchase, but with a t-shirt underneath it's fine. Paired with jeans and Converse, you really can't go wrong.


The Jackets

I've been on the lookout for some light jackets and for some reason I've gravitated towards the colour green. I bought the khaki military-style jacket in an op shop late last year, but I've been getting some serious wear out of it at the moment - it goes surprisingly well with so many things. I would pair it with my polka dot top and blue denim (or just a white tee) - slightly Lindsay Weir inspired as usual.

The other jacket I went for was more of an investment and something slightly different for me. It's a cord cropped number in a forest green colour from Princess Highway. I wouldn't say I'm the biggest fan of cropped jackets but I think they can look pretty nice paired with high waisted pants or jeans - and this is the perfect style to take me through to winter.

The Striped Pants

If you know me, you'll know I rarely take my jeans off. This summer I decided to buy a few pairs of floaty pants as an alternative and I'm loving it. These striped ones I found in an op shop - originally from Topshop - aren't the most flattering pair but they are so unbelievably comfy.


The Jewellery

In terms of jewellery, I have been loving gold lately. I have seen countless people wearing coin necklaces and I was desperate to have one of my own but didn't want to pay for real gold. This one from ASOS is such a nice alternative and is great quality for the price. I swear this makes any outfit look just that much better, especially with plain white tees.

Lastly, I went for a pair of Reclaimed Vintage earrings - which are unfortunately out of stock right now. Again, these weren't too expensive but add a lot to a plain outfit. I wear a smaller pair of gold hoops on a regular basis but these make more of a statement.


Shop the look... (similar items included!)


-Emma
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2 April 2018

March Reads


I always love when the time comes around to talk about a bunch of new books. Initially I found it hard to get into a book this month - I really hate it when that happens. But soon enough I blasted through a couple of new YA reads, one of which I really rate. As I go on in life - that makes me sound really old - I realise the importance of reading for pleasure and reading what I want. My to-read list is looking a little sad after finishing off these four this month, but hopefully I'll add a few more exciting releases to my pile soon - please let me know if you have any recommendations for me! Here are my thoughts on the books I read in March...

Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard
If you're a regular reader of my blog you might have heard of my love for Sara Barnard's books - I really think she is one of the best writers out there in the YA world. However, I didn't enjoy this release as much as her previous ones. Her first book Beautiful Broken Things is very similar to Goodbye, Perfect - or at least the themes are - so I didn't find it as groundbreaking or exciting. It's about a student-teacher relationship, and those can generally be pretty cringe. But differently this is told from the perspective of the girl who's best friend is groomed, as she tries to find out why someone who has always been a straight A student/'good girl' would ever be this delusional. I don't have a problem with the storyline, it's just that I found it quite repetitive and slightly dull at times. I do think Sara Barnard explores female friendships incredibly well, and this is the main focus of the book. She also includes a YA relationship that is already established from the beginning, which is incredibly refreshing. I just don't think the story had enough zest, which hasn't been the case for her other books. Definitely pick up A Quiet Kind of Thunder, but I wouldn't really recommend this one.

P is for Pearl by Eliza Henry Jones*
I had zero expectations for this - I love it when I'm pleasantly surprised. This is a young adult book set in a small rural seaside town in Australia. It's quite a quiet, poignant book but one that I found incredibly powerful. It was really hard for me to put this down as I got closer to discovering the whole story and mystery behind the main character Gwen's (or Pearl's) life and the death of her mother - not a spoiler. The author explores grief and mental illness incredibly well in this book. The descriptions of the small town and the sea are beautiful and simple, and the characters are interesting and slightly different to what I've read before. It's a gentle, slow story for sure, but it doesn't drag at all and is perfect for when you're in need of some quiet contemplation. P is for Pearl feels incredibly authentic and the characters are realistic and interesting. P.S the author initially wrote this story when she was 16! This is for sure my favourite book of the month.


Landline by Rainbow Rowell
I remember falling absolutely in love with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell a few years ago, so I thought I would give Landline a try. This is an adult book as opposed to YA the author is known for. I don't usually connect with characters older than me because I'm at that weird stage where I'm not a teen anymore and I don't feel like an adult, but anyway, I think I didn't enjoy this because I couldn't really relate and didn't connect with it much. It follows Georgie, who's marriage is breaking down. When she discovers she might be able to fix it thanks to a magic phone that can reach the past, she becomes fixated on it. As a TV writer, she's meant to be writing a really important show with her best friend, Seth, but instead she becomes almost obsessed with being able to call her husband, Neal, from the future and the past, as she tries to figure out if she really loves him. The story is basically incredibly dull, as nothing really happens until the end. The book is really one long conversation/argument between Neal and Georgie as the try and repair their relationship. The author goes to great lengths to show how much they supposedly love each other, but it didn't feel genuine, nor did I care. I think this book does show that you have to work at a relationship/marriage and it's not just about 'true love', but for me the ending wasn't rewarding at all, and Georgie really didn't have her best interests in mind - let that be elusive AF because spoilers. Some people loved this book, but I'm having a hard time understanding why.

Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
Even though this was an incredibly short read, it was a really interesting, thought-provoking one. It explores the relationship women have with power. In order for them to have power, women have to act and dress more like men in order to be accepted - and even then they're prone to harassment and abuse. Mary Beard gives examples of how women were treated in the classical world and compares those examples to the modern day, revealing some scary parallels. Frighteningly, we still don't even realise how differently women are treated in comparison to men, even in small ways. It's a simple concept I thought I knew all about before, but I definitely learned something new when reading. Mainly that in the modern day, 'strong women' only become 'strong' when they are more like men - for example they can't wear lipstick and carry a handbag around without being taken seriously, because we judge these things subconsciously. Masculinity equals power, something that has been embedded in culture since the classical world. Mary Beard suggests we need to redefine power in order to make any progress. This book is simple and short, however it's one that really had me thinking.

*Review Copy


-Emma
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29 March 2018

March Playlist


It's been a while since I've talked music around these parts - last October in fact. The year started with me wanting to discover some new artists and I think it's safe to say I've done just that in the last few months, with a little help from some very cool people and their recommendations. This month I fell a little bit in love with Rex Orange County - thanks to Liv - with his distinctive, unique style and wonderful lyrics. I think this music video might be my favourite thing ever at the moment. I'm also thoroughly enjoying Alvvays, a band Tenneil recommended a while back. They have a slight 90s vibe about them with some very infectious, upbeat choruses. Safe to say their album Antisocialities has been on repeat. As always I've been hitting play on some cheesy 80s music, but also 80s-influenced - with serious Prince vibes - à la Janelle Monae and her song Make Me Feel. Mixed in with the upbeat, a few melancholy songs thanks to the likes of Beach House and Kane Strang. My love for Beach House's album Depression Cherry has extended to their new singles, Lemon Glow and Dive. I have very fond memories of listening to them while walking home on cold autumn evenings last year. Here's my March playlist...






-Emma

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24 March 2018

Beauty Haul and First Impressions


Sometimes I get such a good kick out of spontaneously picking up a handful products to try that I've heard absolutely nothing about. For whatever reason, I had a few weak moments this month and indulged in some serious retail therapy. However, most of these products are really affordable meaning my bank account didn't necessarily take too much of a hit. Today I thought I'd throw together a good old fashioned haul post and wax lyrical on each product, whether we've been in good company for a few weeks or mere days.

Starting off with something I didn't actually buy: Maybelline Lash Sensational Luscious Mascara. When I won this in a giveaway, I was pretty pleased because I always love trying out new mascaras, and I am such a fan of the original Lash Sensational Mascara - I still think it's the best mascara I've tried and should probably get my hands on it again. This version is a little different. I would say it has more of a wet formula, meaning it weighs down the lashes slightly more and doesn't do as good of a job at curling them upwards. It still gives volume and drama, and those who love the clumpy lash effect will probably get along with this. Personally, I like using this when I want more intensity and volume instead of separation and length. I would still recommend the original formula more!

My skin has been in an absolute state recently, and who knows why. One product I really did need to add to my routine though was a face scrub, and I picked up the Goodness Every Week Face Scrub on a whim. I've only used it once so far but I really liked the result. It's a simple, cream formula with fine granules which gently buff the skin. I can see why this would be a good weekly scrub when skin is in need of a little exfoliation and brightening. My skin definitely feels like it could do with a scrub this weekend. So far it hasn't irritated my complexion, and it might be thanks to the 'natural' ingredients included. I haven't tried anything else from Goodness but would recommend checking this out if you're in need of a gentle exfoliator.


After using my NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer for a while, I decided that I had the wrong shade and should have gone for the lightest one. It was fine if I blended it in fairly well, but I really wanted to buy another NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer because I was after a formula that was more hydrating. I have had several tubes of this over the years and have always really liked it, the only downside being that it runs out pretty fast (and it's not the cheapest!). I love how pale the Chantilly shade is and it works well with my foundation. I'm happy I made the switch, and I'll still continue to use the other concealer, but probably as eyeshadow primer and under the eye. This wasn't a new try for me, but thought I'd include it in here anyway!

Along with an exfoliator, the other product I needed was a new hair mask. Previously I've used and loved the Lush Marilyn Hair Treatment but it's since been discontinued, and now there's only a hot oil version. Anyway, I recently dyed my hair so it's been a little drier than usual. I picked up the OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Intense Moisturizing Treatment because I enjoy the shampoo and conditioner versions. I've only used this once so far but it did a pretty good job at making my hair feel more moisturised and also giving it some strength back. I'll continue to use this weekly and maybe experiment with leaving it on for longer to get the most out of it.

I've never used anything to set down my brows, but have always liked the look of products such as Glossier Boy Brow and Benefit Gimme Brow. With this in mind, I went for the cheaper Rimmel Brow This Way Brow Styling Gel. I have to say, I went slightly overboard when I first used this - there is a lot of product on the brush initially, so you really need to wipe off the excess. But when used with caution, it sets down my brows pretty decently and makes them a little darker. I have a feeling this product will get better as it dries out, but right now I don't absolutely hate it and will continue using this in my routine.


The Soap and Glory Rushower Dry Shampoo was insanely cheap so I added it to my Mecca basket when I was buying a new foundation. I really wanted to give this a go because I had heard some good things, plus I always love trying out new dry shampoos as they are hard to get right. I have used Batiste dry shampoos for the last few years as they are cheap and readily available, but the formula is pretty full on. This, on the other hand, is lighter and a better every day option for me. It can leave a slight grey cast if sprayed too much, but on the whole it works well and doesn't leave too much build up.

Although I've tried the Stila Glitter and Go Liquid Eyeshadow, I was intrigued when I saw they have recently released less glittery, and in my opinion slightly more wearable versions. I picked up the Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Kitten, which is such a predictable shade for me but a classic. When swatched, Kitten looks like a nude pink, almost rose gold. On the eye, you can apply a small amount and it's very wearable, or apply another layer and it's such a gorgeous shimmery, but not sparkly, cream eyeshadow. I would love to see what one of the darker shades in the range looks like. So far, I'm in love with this!


Have you tried any of these products?

-Emma

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10 March 2018

My Makeup Routine for Blemished Skin


Blemished skin has become the bane of my existence lately. It sounds pretty dramatic, but constantly having bad skin really puts a downer on things and makes my self esteem plummet most of the time. While I'm slowly trying to accept my skin for how it is, there's no denying that makeup can do a pretty great job of boosting self-confidence and enhancing skin as opposed to caking. I thought I'd put pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboard, and share my tips, however small or simple they may be, when it comes to bad breakouts and covering them up without loading on layers of product. I'm sure most of this is common sense, however this is what I've been doing the past couple of weeks as my skin has had a turn for the worst.

The last couple of months I've stripped back my skincare routine and used the absolute basics - a simple cleanser and light moisturiser. Occasionally I have had to use a heavier moisturiser when my skin feels particularly dry. So I will apply the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream, which I absolutely adore, every few days when my skin needs it instead of daily. I have to face up to the fact that some moisturisers clog my skin and cause me to break out. But, everything in moderation! Some kind of exfoliant has been really useful in clearing out my skin, making makeup easier to apply over top. Apart from that, I've really just been trying to avoid using any new products, letting my skin breathe and retain its natural oils.

Skincare routine aside, practising good hygiene is a good step forward in avoiding future breakouts, especially in the same area. I think for the past half a year I've used a Beautyblender constantly because it quickly became my favourite way to apply my base. Although I try and wash it every few days, it can still feel slightly unhygienic. That's why I've changed to brushes for now to see if it makes a difference, as I think they're much easier to clean - I mean who knows what kind of bacteria is lurking in a beauty sponge? Gross! It only takes me a few minutes to clean my brushes with the Beautyblender Liquid BlenderCleanser because I don't have many. Up until the point I started using a Beautyblender, I used my Real Techniques Buffing Brush every day, however I've swapped to the Real Techniques Multi Task Brush because it diffuses product really well over the skin, giving it more coverage than a damp sponge. I think in this case coverage is key because a sheer finish doesn't really work for me when I have so many spots and redness on my face.

I'm back using NARS Sheer Glow Foundation which provides a light-feeling yet decent coverage, even if the name suggests a sheer finish. In conjunction with the less dense brush, it buffs into the skin more easily, making it look like skin, which I think is crucial. I haven't tried the new NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, instead deciding to stick with my fail-safe option. The base is targeted towards dry or normal skin, and while my complexion tends to get oily by the end of the day, this foundation has the perfect kind of finish I like - glowy and radiant enough, but not instantly oily. Personally, I need to powder some time during the day, but I'd rather have to do that than have a heavy, dry-feeling base to begin with. More hydrating or creamy formulas glide over the skin and spots easier, especially because my skin can become extremely dry and sore feeling. Contrary to popular belief, your skin can be dry and oily at the same time, and it's a pain!

Using a matte, high coverage concealer will give you more coverage for your actual spots, rather than packing it on every where. I used to apply the NARS Soft Matte Concealer with my fingers, but I found it didn't give as much coverage as I expected. Now, I stipple it on with a small brush - I'm using the BH Cosmetics 128 Brush - which gives me coverage on and around the spot, reducing the appearance of redness. I think in the future I will repurchase the more creamier NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, just because my skin can become so dry, especially where blemishes are. Another concealer I've gone back to is the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer because it has a more hydrating formula, but I tend to use this under my eyes most of the time. Apart from concealer, I love using a highlighter on the very tops of my cheekbones to distract from everything. Applying blush can enhance the redness in my face and draw attention to spots, so sometimes I will just opt for highlighter and the slightest amount of bronzer. Overall, I will try and spend that little extra time on my base instead of my eyes for example, because after all the skin is a blank canvas.

I think one important thing to note is that your skin won't look perfect all the time, even with makeup on. Sometimes makeup clings to the red, dry patches on my face and it's not a fun time for me, but in the grand scheme of things it's really not the worst thing in the world. People will still be able to tell I have spots, but in my mind a nice radiant finish will do enough to distract. Makeup doesn't have to trick people - just make you feel better about yourself. You don't know how much acne can effect you until you've experienced it, however I'm trying to make it work for me in the meantime!


-Emma

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3 March 2018

February Reads


Despite reading so many good books in January, I found it harder to make a habit of reading in February. Sometimes if I'm not feeling a book, I can get stuck in a rut and won't read for days and weeks, but on the other spectrum of things, once I find a book I really like, all I can do is keep reading. I think I've been pretty good at selecting the right reads so far this year, which has resulted in some lifelong favourites. Here's what I read last month!

Pretty Iconic by Sali Hughes
Pretty Iconic has been on my to-read list for absolutely ages, so I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. This was pretty different to anything I've read before, probably because I haven't read any books about beauty, but it was so interesting to learn about the history of makeup. Sometimes the beauty industry is penned as being exploitative, but this takes beauty from a different angle, showing how it can be a fun thing. I really want to read Sali Hughe's other book, Pretty Honest, even more so, because it explores what beauty can mean to women - in the sense that we don't need makeup, but we wear it to perk ourselves up. Feminism and beauty is something I think about a lot, so I would love to read something on a similar vein to this. Going back to Pretty Iconic, this is such a worthwhile book any beauty lover should read. Sali talks about beauty is a no-fuss way, sharing her tips and tricks but also discussing her relationship with beauty growing up.

The Muse by Jessie Burton
This is another book I've been meaning to read for a while - I guess I've been wanting to clear my bookshelf out a little! The Muse is told from two perspectives over different time periods - 1967 and 1936. It all centres around one painting that shows up in 1967, but the answer to its secret is in 1936, in rural Spain. It's best if you just start reading rather than hear too much about it, but for me this was a book about sacrifice and betrayal, and how art has a hidden or subjective meaning. It also explores what it means to be a creative person - a writer or an artist, and how sometimes it's the only thing that matters. In hindsight some of the twists may have been predictable, but there was still enough mystery, leaving me feeling extremely intrigued. This is the perfect book to read cooped up on a rainy day.

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
I really wanted to read Call Me By Your Name before seeing it at the cinema, and I'm so glad I did because I feel like it gives you more background and detail - or that's what I've heard. The first half of this book was truly intoxicating and I fell in love with it. As the whole book is from Elio's perspective it reads as a huge stream of consciousness, without many breaks. I feel like this added intensity to the book and made me really absorbed. What I liked most about this book was how it captured what it feels like to be deeply infatuated with another person - everything you experience becomes about them. It also created such a vivid and beautiful image of Italy in summer. Even though this book has been hyped so much, it is still really worth reading as long as you don't have sky high expectations. The one downside was I lost interest slightly near the end, however it picked up again eventually. It gives a great lesson on young love and how all good things must come to an end.


Have you read any of these books?

-Emma
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25 February 2018

Beauty Spotlight: February


This month I've been lusting over a fair few beauty products, but at the moment I don't have a huge budget to blow on new things, so I've been rediscovering some old products while using up what I've already got. The theme this month has definitely been cleansers - sticking with the holy grail and searching for a lighter daytime alternative. My skin has been playing up this month, so as well as that I've been having some no makeup days and opting for slightly more natural looks when I want a little somethin' somethin'. Now with a little summary over with, here's how my February has been, beauty wise!

Product I Love

It's a boring one this month, but I've fallen head over heels for the Rimmel London Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer (in Rich Brown), applied generously in the waterline. As the name would suggest, it gives so much definition to the eyes and makes them pop. This is definitely a no brainer for some, however I've never really been a lover of any kind of pencil eyeliner - I've pretty much always just opted for a cat eye with a felt tip liner. Paired with lashings of mascara, I find this also makes it look like you made some kind of effort when in reality you've had a rushed morning.

Product I'm Trialling

At the moment I'm trying out Kiehl's Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser. I've had this in my try-pile for a few months and because nothing else is working for me at the moment, I thought I'd give it a go. I currently use another cleanser at night time, but I needed something more low key and simple that wouldn't strip skin. This cleanser is definitely nothing revolutionary, but it gets the job done without clogging pores or drying skin out too much. I'd say I will probably continue to use this, however I might try going back to Cetaphil - a cleanser I used to use a few years ago - because at this stage nothing is improving or calming down my acne situation. Right now, I just want something that will simply clean my face and not irritate it.

Product I've Rediscovered

I've been having a bit of a 'mare when it comes to lip products as of late, because I rarely enjoy using lipsticks. Generally, I feel really overdone when I wear any kind of bold lip, so it's all about the nudes for me. On a day to day basis I'll just wear a lip balm or sheer nude, however I recently picked up the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams again. Matte isn't really my thing anymore, but because these are so light and invisible-feeling on the lips, I can gradually get used to wearing them. I recently won the shade Antwerp (a hot pink) in a goodie bag, but I've gone back to the shade Cannes as it's a pink that's not too bright, but suits my skin tone. With these, I always make sure to blot the excess off once applied otherwise it's a little too much for me.

Product I've Used Up

This month, my bottle of my Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel came to an end. These actually last quite a while for me, so in my opinion it's worth the money. This is perhaps one of the most hyped cleansers in the blogging community, but personally it's the best I've tried. The addition of pumpkin enzymes work to exfoliate the skin without being abrasive, and the formula is really nourishing meaning it's great for night time use. This always leaves my skin absolutely glowing, so I will definitely continue to repurchase this - luckily I had a backup in my cupboard!

Product I'm Getting Rid Of

I've had this product for a while, and when I first got it I enjoyed using it, but I think it's not quite for me anymore. The Estee Lauder Genuine Glow Blushing Creme for Lips and Cheeks is cream blush/highlighter which you dot on the cheeks and blend out. I think if my skin was in a better condition right now, I would still love using this, but when you have acne on your cheeks cream products just emphasise the redness and bumps. I will be sticking to my powders for now!

Product I Need

Ah, so many things... I think the biggest product on my list to buy is a repurchase of The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask. I don't have a face mask that I enjoy using at the moment, but this one is so cooling and exfoliating I'm craving having it back in my life. I would also like a second shade of the Surratt Beauty Lipslique, probably Ladybug - a sheer warm coral shade. As for something entirely new, I really want Benefit Hoola Lite because I've been searching for a new bronzer pale enough for my skin tone. Everyone has good things to say about this one. Lastly, I really want a new fragrance - I'm a bit uninspired by my collection at the moment - but have no idea where to start looking!


Have you tried any of these products?

-Emma
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17 February 2018

A Wardrobe Wishlist


In the past couple of years, I've come closer to discovering my 'style'. I now know not to buy dresses and skirts and high heels, because no matter how many times I give them a go I get a serious case of buyer regret. I've also tried to be a little more conscious about what I buy - in the sense I now mull over what I want to get each season rather than impulsively picking up ten items I don't need (even if I do still make the odd mistake sometimes). So, in an effort to make better choices, I've put together a few key pieces I want to add to my wardrobe in time for autumn (and if you live in the Northern Hemisphere with spring on the way, I'm sure some of this will still apply)...

Pants

Nowadays, the thought of slipping on a pair of skinny jeans literally makes me shudder. I've moved on to roomier pants because 1) they are really comfortable, and 2) dear I say they can be quite ~flattering~. Seriously, give me a kick flare, wide leg, or straight up bell bottom any day of the week. I know flares aren't for everyone, but to me they can make an outfit so much more interesting, and I am way too into the whole 70s trend going on right now. Recently, I bought a pair of plain black bell bottom pants in a loose, flowy material because I was getting slightly sick of wearing jeans every day. Although I've never been one to gravitate away from denim, stocking up on pants of any form (patterned, striped, plain) makes for a refreshing change. Here are some of my picks, including a smattering of that tracksuit/side stripe trend that's been circulating - not that I'll be sporting a pair of $200 Alexa Chung trackies any time soon!

Jumpers

Although it's not a requirement for all my jumpers to be colourful, there's nothing I like better than a statement sweater paired with jeans. Some people love summer, but I'm just not one of those people, so between seasons I'm looking forward to layering up. ASOS has many a great jumper - I'm scrolling on there all the time looking at the 'new in' section. While some pieces can be quite trend-led and are perhaps a bit novelty (my favourite thing), some of these jumpers will absolutely stand the test of time. Coloured stripes have certainly been circulating all over at the moment, and it's something I'm looking forward to implementing in my wardrobe, from the bold to the more subdued. Looking at my picks, you can tell I'm an absolute sucker for red and pink - what a dream combo.

Jackets

When it comes to jackets I'm thinking denim, velvet and cord, and in terms of style I still can't get enough of blazers, bombers and trucker styles. I'm looking to invest a bit in a new winter coat when the time comes around, but for now I'm looking towards lighter layers. While I recently bought a pink velvet blazer that will work well in autumn, there are other jackets I've got heart eyes for, including shorter styles like bombers. I did have my eye on a blue velvet jacket from Selected, but it's now out of stock, ~as it goes~. I've been known to like more of a grungier jacket or blazers that look like they belonged to old men (wonderful, I know), so that's the general direction I'm going in.

Shoes

I have a pair of black leather Vagabond boots that are the perfect size, shape and height for me. I'm so glad I bought them even if they were a little expensive. Now, I'm looking for a slightly more interesting boot or shoe, whether it's a bolder colour or something with details. My absolute dream shoe is the Vagabond Olivia Boots in Cherry, however I'm not sure I'm willing to part with that much money for such a bold shoe. So while I continue dreaming about those, realistically I want a pair of black shoes that are not too casual but not too formal either, whether it be a brogue or your standard boot: here are the ones I've been keeping a careful eye on...


I hope you got some inspiration from this post, whether you're heading into spring or autumn. For now I'll be mulling over all these options and saving up, of course!

-Emma

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10 February 2018

Worth Watching


I have been in my element the last few months, binge-watching all the TV shows I possibly can. Today I thought I'd take a look at five I've thoroughly enjoyed, so you can add them to your watch list. There's a mix here, from light relief to dark thriller, and everything in between.

The End of the F***king World

I'm sure you would have heard whispers about this show at some stage, because it's been the talk of the Internet since it aired on Netflix in January. Right from the offset I knew this show was for me. The dark, ~quirky~ humour (tick!), the tumblr-worthy cinematography (tick!), the quick, snappy dialogue (tick!), the awkward anti-hero (tick!). I'm so glad Netflix bought the rights to this show, otherwise I wouldn't have got a chance to watch it - and there's nothing quite like it at the moment. The show is based on a comic book series, where two teenagers embark on a peculiar adventure. James, thinks he might be a psychopath, while Alyssa is full of teen angst and wants to rebel. It's so quick to watch because episodes are twenty minutes each - I finished it in one sitting. If you look past the quirky pretentiousness, you'll see a heartfelt story at the end of it.

Dark

Although I haven't heard much about Dark from anyone, I personally ended up loving it, even if it was slow to start with. It's a German show, meaning you have to watch it with English subtitles (please don't watch the dubbed version - it's so terrible!). At first, you might think it's sort of like Stranger Things but really, it's completely different. A boy goes missing in this rainy German town, and then one by one more children go missing, plus a whole heap of weird things start to happen. Something's up, and gradually some of the characters begin to understand it's all connected. This show is a slow thriller, meaning you have to commit and concentrate when watching it, but when the final episode ended I was gobsmacked and left wanting more. It's such an interesting, underrated show with slight Back to The Future vibes - obviously I like it then.

Black Mirror

I couldn't write a post about what I've been watching lately without mentioning Black Mirror, could I? Including it here is nothing revolutionary as I'm sure most of you have seen it in some shape or form. The latest season was released very recently, and personally I watched it with a group of friends which made the experience far more interesting - discussions that end up in existential crisis? It's just the beauty of Black Mirror. In case you're from Mars and haven't tuned into the show, each suspenseful episode is completely different and explores the downfalls and unease of modern technology. I actually haven't watched every single episode of Black Mirror, but luckily you don't have to. I think 'USS Callister' and 'Crocodile' were my favourite episodes.

The Good Place

I just smile at the thought of The Good Place. I had often looked at the show on Netflix and thought 'hmm, nah', but after hearing some good (hah) things, I decided to give it a go. To my delight each episode was only 20 minutes - very ideal for me because sometimes I have the attention span of goldfish! This is definitely a show you'll continue watching episode after episode - nightly binges will become a regular occurrence. The Good Place essentially tells the story of Eleanor, a pretty regular woman who, when she dies, finds out she's made it into the equivalent of heaven. However, she figures out she's not meant to be there... and I think I'll stop there. The twists in this show are a plenty and the whole thing is pretty darn entertaining, if you should be in need of some light relief. This gets a big thumbs up from me.

Outlander

Oh Outlander, where have you been all my life? I feel like I should have started watching this show a long time ago, because it's practically made for me. Set in the Scottish Highlands? Yes. Full of romance and adventure? Perfect. It's a very well-known show some of you are bound to have watched already, but in case you didn't know, it follows the journey of Claire who one day stumbles across a portal to another world - that world being Scotland - in another time. I love this show because of the gorgeous Scottish landscape and the history. Its quite fast moving and has kept me captivated so far. I've almost finished the first season but haven't gone past that yet, so no spoilers please!


Have you watched any of these shows?

-Emma

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4 February 2018

January Reads


January was one of the best reading months I've had in a while. Although sometimes I get into the habit of reading the same type of books over and over, these four are quite different from one another. It just goes to show sometimes you should branch out from your usual genres every now and then. For the most part, I couldn't tear myself away from these books - I may have just been in the reading mood - but, I digress, if you're looking for some new books to read, I can't recommend these ones enough.

It Only Happens in The Movies by Holly Bourne
I was too excited to read a new Holly Bourne book for my first read of the year. I'm sure if you're a regular reader here you'll know her books are my favourite, and somehow each one is better than the last. Not only are her books easy to read, but they explore important topics, relevant to not only teenagers but a slightly older audience. It Only Happens in the Movies is about a teenage girl who is researching about the cliches of romance movies for her coursework. Her own observations about the genre are interwoven with the main story. She meets a typical 'bad boy' at her new job, and knows she should steer clear. From the outside, this book is one big cliche, but that's exactly the point. Obviously I won't spoil it, but the ending was amazing and I was hooked until the very last page.

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
I have to admit I was rather dubious about this book. I had bought it when Roxane Gay spoke at Auckland Writer's Festival in May last year, and there it lay on my shelves for months building dust. But when I finally picked this up at the start of this year, I kid you not, I couldn't put it down. This book was attached to me for about a day, maybe two as I became completely consumed by it. I often think if you read a book all in one go it will have a much bigger impact on you, and that was definitely the case here. This is certainly not for anyone wanting a nice, easy read. Roxane Gay's books are often very difficult to read, full of unlikeable, flawed characters, and that's exactly why you should read them. An Untamed State is about a woman kidnapped for ransom in Haiti and it follows her ordeal as she is held captive for thirteen days. It also explores the aftermath of it, and the trauma she undergoes. I have to say, this is definitely my favourite book I've read of hers by a long shot. It's intense, all consuming, and not for the easily disturbed, but gets into the mind of the protagonist so well; it is the type of book that will stay with you for a long time.

How to be a Grown-Up by Daisy Buchanan
I had heard a few people talking about this book a while ago, so I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. Journalist Daisy Buchanan talks about her life and gives her dose of wisdom when it comes to adult life in your twenties, from how to survive at work to how to love your body. While I found it hard to relate to some of the things she talked about from her own life, there was a lot that I did relate to and that was reassuring. In some ways I feel like I have heard most of this advice already, however as she admits in the beginning, her musings are nothing particularly revolutionary, but what she does say is like a pat on the shoulder - telling you you're doing just fine. I loved a couple of the chapters in particular; here's to more women talking about those unconventional topics. I would recommend reading this short book if you feel like you're struggling as a young adult.

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
This was one of the most interesting, thought-provoking books I've read in a long time. I find it hard to explain why I like it, but I think the main reason I really resonated with this was because of the flawed, unlikeable characters. This makes for such a refreshing, interesting read because it shows what humans are genuinely like, instead of some perfect version of reality. People do stupid things, or act in stupid ways, but that's life. Conversations with Friends is about a group of friends who are in the poetry and publishing scene; gradually the protagonist, Frances, begins an affair with an older married man. If anything, you read this book to get inside France's head as she becomes increasingly self-destructive. The way the author frames her relationship with the married man makes for an interesting look at the nature of relationships and how we give in to pleasure. Frances is incredibly observant and her commentary is addictive to read. As I got increasingly further into this book, I felt a strange attachment to it. Overall I cannot recommend this book enough, however I suspect some people will appreciate it more than others.


I hope you enjoyed this post & found something new to read in the process!

-Emma
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29 January 2018

Beauty Spotlight: January


While I love talking about the beauty products I use, I'm not someone who buys an abundance of new things every single month (okay, well maybe I am - but definitely not a massive haul of high end products), so I felt silly sharing my beauty favourites each month when I didn't have much to talk about. Enter a new feature called Beauty Spotlight - where I aim to talk all things beauty in a way that suits me, so hopefully I can give an honest depiction of where I'm at with beauty every month. Nothing revolutionary, but still. Here are the products frequently making it into my makeup bag, the ones I'm saying sayonara to, and most excitingly, the shiny things I'm lusting after.

Product I love

I'm notoriously bad at using SPF on my face under makeup. That was why I wanted to try a new one this summer, and I decided on the Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF50+ Sunscreen. A few people have raved about this recently so I knew it was one I had to try. My first impressions are that it gives my skin a very glowy look and sits well under makeup. My skin always, always has reactions to many moisturisers I try on my face, but I'm hoping this one will be an exception. I haven't given it an extensive trial yet, but so far it's a lovely SPF that I think many people would love.

Product I'm trialling

Many mascaras can be pretty lacklustre. I'm not often loyal to them like I am, say, my foundation, but nevertheless I do enjoy trying new ones. I personally love a mascara that can curl and lift my lashes, add length, but most importantly a good dose of volume. Not asking for much, then? While I'm still going strong with the Tanya Burr Selfie Lash, I gave the Benefit Roller Lash a go this month. So far I love how much length and curl it gives lashes, but it doesn't quite give that intense volume I love. I do still really like this though, as I think it would look especially good on its own on a lighter makeup day. I'm going to keep using this, and who knows it may become a holy grail product.

Product I've rediscovered

I've been continuously using my The Ordinary Coverage Foundation the past couple of months, but I've been itching to go back to my number one fave, NARS Sheer Glow. I'm officially now out of this stuff, but earlier in the month I finished up my second bottle and was reminded why I love it so much. It provides a nice coverage without looking or feeling heavy and is more long lasting than cheaper foundations. This is definitely one of the products I will continue to invest in because I haven't found another base I truly like as much.

Product I've used up

I really enjoyed using up my first bottle of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 - it made it skin feel so even and smooth - perfect for applying before moisturiser. However this month my skin has been actually horrible, and I'm not entirely sure why. It may be any number of things - my diet, hormones, or I'm using the wrong products. For now I've decided to put this on the back burner and stick to a simple cleanser and light moisturiser while I work out what is wrong with my skin. I did really love this when I first used it, but overtime my skin has dried out - this may be due to a cleanser I use though. I did buy another one of these and I may use it occasionally, but we'll see.

Product I'm getting rid of

Earlier this month I did a post on the Products I Regret Buying. As well as getting rid of those products, I will also be saying goodbye to the Girl Undiscovered Stumbled Across Paradise Mask. While I did quite like it at the beginning, it always made my skin go super red afterwards, like I'd been sunburned. I think this was giving me an allergic reaction, or my skin was obviously just too sensitive. Are you sensing a theme?

Product I need

Enough of the grumbling about my skin, let's talk lust-worthy beauty products. This month I've been on a spending ban and I've actually managed it, but I'm afraid next month all my hard work will come undone. I am dying to buy something new, however I want to make the process more of a lengthy deliberation than impulsively buying. This month I've had my eye on the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base because it's about time I bought a decent eyeshadow primer (this one has had some raving reviews). Apart from that, the NARS Wanted Eyeshadow Palette looks like what dreams are made of, but I think it's only available in certain countries.


I'd love to know your thoughts on these products and what you're lusting after this month!

-Emma
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22 January 2018

My Most Anticipated Books of 2018


As I began adding new books to my Goodreads list earlier this month, I realised there is going to be so many amazing releases out this year. Every year I usually compile a list of a few books I'm most excited about, many from authors I've read and loved before. Get ready to take notes...

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman / May 2018
Alice Oseman is an incredible young adult author. She gets into the heads of characters so well, and has a big focus of including diverse characters in all of her books. As well as this, she understands teenagers unbelievably. All of this is a great recipe for amazing books that have great messages and cater to a younger audience. She also manages to come up with unique and interesting ideas for her books - no simple 'boy meets girl and they fall in love' stereotype here. I Was Born For This follows a transgender musician and a girl who is obsessed with a certain band. It's a book about obsession and escapism, one that is very relevant to our internet culture of today.

Also by Alice Oseman: Solitaire, Radio Silence

Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig / July 2018
I'm sure you've heard me wax lyrical about Matt Haig before. I loved The Humans so much so I would recommend it to everyone, and his latest book How To Stop Time is also wonderful. He is most known for Reasons to Stay Alive which is such a powerful and important book - now the sequel to that book - Notes on a Nervous Planet will be released midway through this year. I've listened to a lot of podcasts episodes about anxiety and mental illness, so the topics in this book really interest me. It explores topics such as anxiety and stress, and takes a look at how our rise in worry is because of society - from politics to technology and media. I will never tire of reading his work and can't wait to get my hands on this release.

Also by Matt Haig: The Humans, Reasons to Stay Alive, How to Stop Time

The Adulterants by Joe Dunthorne / March 2018
I can't help but draw comparisons to The Adulterants and Joe Dunthorne's first novel Submarine. Upon reading the summary, I can see he loves writing an unlikeable character, one that results in darkly funny or deadpan humour. It is described as a coming of age story, but the protagonist isn't fifteen - he's in his thirties. On first impression this book does give me The Rosie Project or The Humans vibes, but I could be completely wrong. I am a sucker for these types of books though, that look at the world and it's silliness by using humour. This looks like a relatively short read, but one I'm really excited to get to.

Also by Joe Dunthorne: Submarine, Wild Abandon

Legendary by Stephanie Garber / May 2018
It's quite rare for me to pick up a fantasy book, but Caraval by Stephanie Garber was a standout release for me last year. I can't wait to read Legendary, the second book. I'm sure it would be ideal to read the first book again before I read Legendary, so I can refresh my memory, but we'll see if that happens - too many books to read and too little time. I've summarised this book so many times, but it follows two sisters as they enter a circus - a strange world called Caraval. One of the sisters goes missing and the other has to enter a competition at the circus in order to get her back. Things are not as they seem, and she doesn't know who she can trust. I've said it once and I'll say it again, Caraval captivated me in a way many books don't tend to, so it only makes sense to continue the series.

Also by Stephanie Garber: Caraval

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson / January 2018
I haven't read anything by Maureen Johnson, but her name sounds familiar and I'm yet to find out why. I think she's pretty well known in the YA world, so there's that. When I read the description for Truly Devious I couldn't help being excited for it, and glowing reviews have intrigued me further. I'm certainly a sucker for stories set at boarding schools, and when it involves mystery and murder, I'm there. This is a book that switches back and forth between timelines as the main character tries to solve a crime. This is actually already out, so you can bet it will be in my next book haul.

Also by Maureen Johnson: The Name of the Star (Shades of London series)

Honourable mentions

Clean by Juno Dawson / April 2018
Goodbye Perfect by Sara Barnard / February 2018
Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture Edited by Roxane Gay / May 2018
Lou Out of Luck by Nat Luurtsema / June 2018


I'm sure they'll be many more exciting releases in the second half of the year too. Do you want to read any of these?

-Emma

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15 January 2018

Products I Regret Buying


I'm always sharing the products I like, but what about the ones I regret buying? I always try and make informed choices when it comes to buying beauty products, which means I often like what I buy, however sometimes they don't live up to the hype or simply aren't for me. Today I'm talking about the few products I've finally accepted I don't like and will be removing from my skincare and makeup collections.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Blushing Bride
I was so excited to step foot in Sephora in America a few years ago to pick up the products we couldn't get easily in New Zealand. These Tarte blushes have had raving reviews and were all the rage a few years ago - now I'm much less likely to give into hype than before. I might have just got the completely wrong shade; the more neutral colours would probably suit my complexion better, but I never really got on with this - it didn't seem to have much pigment and I have barely used it over the time I've had it. It's been hanging around in my collection for years, so it's finally time to say goodbye to this one. I also never really used to be into blush a few years ago so who knows why I bought this - I was so excited to own something from Tarte though.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA
I've certainly been one to rave about The Ordinary products in the past, however this moisturiser/primer is not one I've really got along with. This is an unscented, very thick cream that could be used as a moisturiser or primer - but I suspect most people would prefer this as a primer. I have just found this to be not moisturising enough and it tends to stay on the surface of the skin, not sinking in very much. I find it drags on my skin because of it's rich texture and in that way it's not very pleasant to use. I much prefer a lighter or more supple moisturiser, however the one thing I like is that this doesn't contain any fragrance - I can't stand it when moisturisers or primers have a heavy scent and I don't think it does any good for the skin.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray
This little product has appeared in a few of my Instagrams and popped up in blog posts, yet it's one I've decided I don't like. I wasn't getting as much use out of it as I would have liked, partly because I simply don't use facial sprays, but especially because they seem to break me out. While it has very pretty packaging, I have found it just doesn't have any skin benefits and I'm not using it for any good reason. It does tend to leave my skin slightly sticky or tacky which I really dislike, so alas, I will be passing this on to someone else who can appreciate it a little more. I know people like using facial sprays in summer for refreshing and hydrating purposes, but I'm not really into this as I had a bad experience with one breaking me out really badly (literal cystic acne, oh joy).


Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask
I originally liked the sound of this face mask because it was apparently good for dry or combination skin with blemishes. I certainly get this as it's a creamy mask which helps settle pimples, however I found it left my skin feeling too tacky and sticky afterwards, with the product lingering on the skin in an unpleasant way. Although this didn't break me out when I initially used it, it was giving me breakouts in the end so the positives definitely outweighed the negatives in this case. I'm not too cut up about it though, because I bought this mask on a 3 for 2 offer, meaning it was essentially free. I do like a couple Antipodes products but this one just wasn't for me - so many skincare items can be subjective.

ColourPop Lippie Stix in Poison Matte
So many people rave about ColourPop lip products, but I just can't get on board. Everyone has been obsessed with matte lip products in the past couple of years, and I can safely say they are not for me - no surprises I have barely used this product then. Another reason I haven't reached for this is I barely wear bold lip colours - they are just too out of my comfort zone and I feel really overdone when I wear them. I do really like the idea of these Lippie Stix though - I love the smaller applicator and the packaging is pretty, but sadly I could really do without this in my makeup stash.



-Emma
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