Autumn Favourites 2021
Autumn is almost over for another year (booo!) and that means it’s time for another seasonal round-up of all the products I’ve been loving over the past few months. I genuinely wish I could live in a place that felt like Autumn all year round, the crispy leaves and chilly but sunny mornings, the novelty of pulling out a scarf but not quite needing a proper coat. Add in books, candles and luscious moisturisers and I’m in actual Autumnal heaven…
Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream – I could talk about this product all day but instead I’ll just link to my full review here and give you the highlight reel; incredibly hydrating, quick to absorb, works well over and under everything else, perfect for day and night and is available in a giant 125ml tub that I’ve been using for ages and have barely made a dent in. Perfect all year round, not just for Autumn, but have been loving it lately.
Dr. Bronner’s Naked Organic Lip Balm – this is a perfect daytime lip balm for me, it’s thin, no flavour/fragrance and it doesn’t feel like it moves about. It’s a great base for a colour product and I’ve just bought two more so now I have one that can live in my handbag and a peppermint one to try out too.
Kenkay Extra Relief Moisturising Cream – body lotion is a must for me every day, but in this cooler weather that we get in Autumn I need something a little thicker and more nourishing and this is my most recent find. The Kenkay Cream comes in a huge 500g tub, it’s super moisturising, contains Aloe Vera and Sunflower Oil to help repair a dry skin barrier, and is made specifically for skin that is sensitive and/or suffering from dry skin conditions such as dermatitis.
PIXI Milky Tonic– I’ve had this for a while and not really found a purpose for it until now. Cold weather, that’s when this comes into its own. This toner (use it after cleansing and before everything else) is hydrating and soothing to irritated and broken skin, and it has Oat Extract and Jojoba Oil to help soften and hydrate dry skin (is anyone’s skin not feeling dried out in Autumn?!). I’ve even been using this on my dry hands, I don’t like the feeling of thick creams on my hands during the day so I’ve been using this instead and it’s made a huge difference. It soaks in almost instantly and feels like nothing once it’s dried. Not exactly its intended purpose, but it’s absolutely perfect for it!
Ultra Violette Clean Screen Sunscreen – this has fast become a big love of mine. The non-greasy lotion has just a touch of colour so it evens out my skin and makes me feel a little more put together than just a regular sunscreen. Plus, it also applies beautifully, tops up wonderfully (no pilling) and doesn’t irritate my super sensitive eyes. I’ve been wearing this alone, or even just using a pump of this over a normal application of SPF50+ to give the tiniest hint of colour without wearing actual base makeup. Big love for this, and even bigger love now that it comes in a super-sized 75ml tube for only a smidge more than the price of the regular 50ml tube.
Joico K-PAK Conditioning Treatment – I first used this years ago when my hairdresser recommended using it as my conditioner after colouring my brunette hair blonde and it really helped keep my hair looking shiny and feeling healthy. I stopped using it when I went back to brunette, not sure why really because it’s a great product, but I started using it again a couple of months ago and I’ve re-fallen in love with it all over again. When I went to repurchase I found the salon size one-litre bottle so much more economical than the little gold bottle I’d be using, so I’ll be sticking to that from now on, even though it takes up way too much real estate in my shower.
Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Pencils – I don’t remember the last time I put on a full face of makeup but something I have been reaching for regularly is these super handy eye shadow crayons. My five-minute face goes something like this: Ultra Violette Clean Screen
(tinted sunscreen), Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish powder down the centre of my face, clear brow gel/wax, Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in either Dark Pearl or Smoky Emerald along the lash line for a little definition and a quick flick of mascara. That’s it. Super quick and so easy, but it just helps me feel a little more ‘done’.
BOOKS AND TELEVISION:
The Midnight Library – Trigger Warning: the book includes themes of suicide and death. I know it’s early in the year to make such a big call, but I think this is going to be my favourite fiction book of the year, it’s was just that good and I really can’t see anything topping this. We all daydream about ‘what could have been if…’ we’d taken that job, made that move, or made a million other different decisions. This book explores that idea, and in a weird way takes the shine off the idea that things could always be better. I highly recommend this book. I listened to the audiobook read by the incredible Carey Mulligan which was pure magic (what a voice!) but I’m sure the physical copy would be just as wonderful.
The Woman In The Window – I bought this book after seeing the trailer for the film and when I realised it was finally getting released this month I shuffled the book up to the front of the TBR pile. A fantastic, fast-paced, unexpected book that is absolutely perfect for a dreary Autumn afternoon on the couch. Unfortunately, it’s been turned into a rather disappointing film, which is so sad because with a cast like Amy Adams, Julianne Moore and Gary Oldman I was expecting great things. If you’ve seen the trailer and it’s caught your attention then I’d recommend reading the book and… then promptly forgetting that they even made a movie, it’s that much of a dud.
Of Gold & Dust by Samantha Wills – to say this is an incredible memoir doesn’t do it justice. If you’re not familiar with Samantha Wills she’s arguably Australia’s most famous jewellery designer who founded and ran her incredibly successful self-named company for over a decade. This book is so much more than a boss-girl manual, which seem to be a dime a dozen now, this is an honest story of the grit, determination, hard work, sacrifice and incredible work ethic that is required to be the best, and to stay at the top. It’s incredibly well written and Samantha tells her story with such honesty and open reflection. I think most people would take something away from this book, but I’d especially suggest it to anyone who has an appreciation for stories from business leaders or women in creative roles.
At Home With Lily and Anna – I’ve read their blogs and watched them on YouTube for years but these past few months their podcast has become my favourite way to get my Lily and Anna fix. A mixture of honest discussions, funny stories and product chats, it always manages to be entertaining and enjoyable. This is a lifestyle podcast with loads of personality.
Skincare School by Adore Beauty – It will come as no surprise that I love skincare. I read about it, watch YouTube videos about it and listen to podcasts about it. I’ve loved this one because it’s so segmented, each of the 12 episodes are a little chapter on a different topic of skincare and although some of the information is basic, I’ve learnt a lot too.
Get Sorted App – This has been a total game-changer. If, like me, you have an overwhelming number of photos in your phone’s camera roll and you don’t even know where to begin the culling down then this is for you. The app breaks down your camera roll into months and years and with the help of a fancy status bar (people motivated by data, this is for us!) you can chip away at your collection. You can also set yourself helpful daily goals, mine was to delete 75 photos each day, but I once I get started I can easily lose 10 minutes sorting and deleting.
Flourless Chocolate Cake – As a lifelong sweet tooth, I really love a cake, but as a semi-recently diagnosed coeliac finding cake that tastes nearly as good as what I’m used to has been a challenge. So I decided to get specific and I’ve been concentrating my efforts and making my way through all the flourless chocolate cakes recipes that are in the (seemingly endless number of) cookbooks I already own. So far I’ve tried 4 and the front runner is Alison Roman’s Crispy Chocolate Cake from the Dining In cookbook (as voted for by my four non-coeliac/gluten-loving family members). I think you can go without the frosting, I don’t think the cake needs it.
Loving Candle by Bella Freud – I do love a candle, and in theory, I like clean, citrusy and fresh scents, but this fragrance is an exception, and a definite favourite. It’s the perfect blend of light florals with warmer notes of sandalwood and I just find it strikes the balance of Autumn perfectly without being cinnamon or pumpkin pie. No shade, but those scents just aren’t for me.