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?


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)...


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!


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.


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.


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!



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.


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.


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?



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!

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