Spring Favourites 2021
Spring might be all flowers blooming and sunny afternoons in the movies, but in reality, these last three months have been all hayfever, dark mornings and seriously cold weather (it felt even worse than in Winter somehow?!). With that said, I’m glad to see the tail-end of my least favourite season and am beyond excited that in just a few days the Christmas countdown will finally begin. I went rogue this year and put up the tree at the start of November, a task normally reserved for the first Saturday of December, and I am really feeling it! I think I’ve just established my newest tradition. If you’re big on Christmas (like I am) you might feel the same way, but I always feel like just as I get the tree up, the outdoors lights organised, the hallway decorated and the Christmas candles burning I’ve got about 10 minutes to enjoy it before it all comes down again!? But this year I’ve had up for weeks, and I still have weeks to go, it’s the dream. Anyway, here are the beauty, books, tv shows and recipes that I’ve been loving for the last few months.
Elemis Superfood Cleansing Butter – this gloriously thick and glossy amber butter is an absolute joy to use. It ploughs through light makeup and leaves my skin feeling so soft and smooth. My only grievance is that I wish it had a citrusy scent to match its tropical appearance, but that’s just because I love a sensorial cleanse at the end of the day. Big love for this.
Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream – this is the cream that just keeps giving, it’s light enough to wear all the time (day, night, warm Spring days, colder Spring nights) and it delivers what it promises; it’s seriously hydrating. It doesn’t have any extreme claims t or huge promises, but it hydrates perfectly and I love it, plus it comes in a huge 125ml tub which lasts ages even with twice-daily use.
Olay Collagen Peptide Serum – I recently did a full review on this, but just to recap; think overnight plumping and cushion-y skin in the morning. You can use this during the day too, personally, I didn’t see any results when I put it on in the morning, but when I used this of an evening I always woke up with plump, full and cushioned looking skin.
Indie Lee CoQ10 Toner – Spring is always a challenging time of year for my skin, between hay fever dryness, extra sunscreen applications for the additional outdoor time and the extra temperamental temperatures this toner has been in heavy rotation! It’s the most balancing product I’ve ever found, if I haven’t used this for a few days I get both oilier in parts and drier in others. It’s absolutely ace for my combination skin and helps keep spots to a minimum, and my dehydrated patches at bay too. Wins all around! Can’t recommend this enough.
Bondi Sands Hydra UV Protect SPF 50+ Face Fluid – this SPF has been a recent find, but it’s been a fast and lustful love affair. It’s very similar to the Hydra Face Lotion, which I love, but my one gripe was that it was shinier than I would have liked. Cue the Face Fluid! This has a much more ‘natural’ appearance that dries down to a really lovely finish. Just like the Hydra Face Lotion, it plays nicely under makeup and with skincare. My only gripe, okay I have two, my two gripes are that it comes in a really small 40ml bottle which I would prefer a big bottle, and it can be a bit hard to squeeze out. Sometimes I need to stop and really shake it to get anything out. But the juice inside? Ace.
Ultra Violette Clean Screen Sunscreen – my face has been a makeup-free zone for the most part lately, but this lightly tinted sunscreen gives just a hint of coverage which means a quick pump of this on top of my regular morning sunscreen makes me feel just a little more put together than I actually am. Brows, mascara and I’m out the door. Speaking of brows…
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Freeze – this stuff is incredible, it’s a soft, jelly-like consistency and yet it holds brows in place like nothing I’ve ever tried before. It does the job all day, but doesn’t feel tacky or sticky and is always comfortable to wear. I’ve been wearing this daily for ages and I’ve barely made a dent, highly recommend. For reference, I have very sparse and light brows that need to stand up to look full.
Essie Polish in Adore-A-Ball – I’m back on the pale pink nails bandwagon. This colour is really subtle on me, it’s just a smidge lighter than my skin and a bit pinker, so it just brightens up my fingertips and makes me feel that bit more ‘polished’. Highly recommend finding your colour match equivalent for a gentle wash of colour that just makes you feel put together even if you don’t feel like it.
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter – I’m going to be honest, make-up still isn’t a regular occurrence for me, but when I do put it on, this is the product I’m putting on under my base for all the glow. It’s one of those less is more products, but it gives incredible warmth to the skin while imparting a healthy shimmer that looks subtle but definitely there. For reference, I use the shade 1 – Fair.
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm – refreshing, light, hydrating, and comfy to wear, this lip balm has fast become a favourite. I’ve got the Naked version (unscented) in my handbag and this peppermint version on my bed head for in the mornings. Love it.
The Body Shop Joy & Jasmine Body Butter – this is such a thick and indulgent consistency, but what has me diving into it daily is the scent. It’s light, floral, fresh and feminine, and smells exactly how I want my jasmine products to be. All of that is on top of the fact that it’s a gorgeous cream that moisturises well and feels lush on the skin. I’m very tempted to stock up before this limited Christmas edition is gone…
La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP+ – this is a forever favourite, but these past few hay-fevery months it’s been a Godsend. In allergy season my dermatitis likes to really show what it can do and this has been a mainstay on my itchy and dry skin. Notable mentions also go to Bioderma Atoderm and Kenkay Extra Relief Cream, but this has been the one I reach for the most.
BOOKS AND TELEVISION:
Selling Sunset – I feel like this ‘reality’ show is so far removed from the real world it’s kind of a joke, but nonetheless, here we are. The words luxury real estate don’t quite do this justice. The show centres around an agency of gorgeous women who sells properties to the millionaires and billionaires of Los Angeles. The fourth season only came out a week or so ago, but just like its predecessors, I devoured all the episodes immediately. Chrishelle still remains my favourite, but the outfits Christine wears are next level. I just wish they didn’t focus so much on how quickly she ‘snapped-back’ into her pre-baby shape just weeks after having her son, it was mentioned A LOT! And I really just don’t think it’s helpful to anyone. But between the high fashion and high-school drama and high above the Hollywood Hills homes… I really enjoyed it.
American Crime Story: Impeachment – this show has totally captivated me. I was too young to ‘live’ through the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal in real-time, but growing up I always knew the crux of it. However, this show illustrates the scandal in such a realistic and sensitive way, and added a human factor to all sides that I really enjoyed. The show was made in conjunction with Monica Lewinsky, but in no way does it feel like the script and direction took it ‘easy’ on her. It doesn’t always paint her in the best light, and it shows many missteps from many people, Monica included. It applies depth and reason to all the characters and their actions, and whether you agree or not is somewhat left up to you. Highly recommend it, especially since many of the ‘side’ characters are now very big names in American politics… *cough* and haven’t changed at all *cough*.
The Block – is it just me or did this season absolutely fly by? It’s probably because it aired over lockdown/s and because it was so drama-filled, but I genuinely loved this season. The houses were absolutely incredible! I’m a big fan of The Block usually anyway, and although I wasn’t thrilled with the final result (#teamkirstyandjessie) I’m still already amped-up for next year.
Coincidentally, both of my favourite books from the past few months have been delivered via audiobook. I much prefer to listen to non-fiction books, especially if they are read by the author, I just find it gives the stories so much depth and personality.
Able by Dylan Alcott – if you want inspiring, funny, clever, motivational and enlightening, this is the book for you. It explores the life of Australian athlete Dylan who was born with a tumour wrapped around his spinal cord that was successfully removed as an infant, however, the surgery left him requiring a wheelchair. He has represented Australia in both Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Tennis at the Olympic level, won an OAM and is a popular radio host and sports commentator. In case that wasn’t incredible enough, he also works tirelessly to create a world that is more accomodating of differences through his work as an event creator, corporate consultant and motivational speaker. It’s also educational, eye-opening and uplifting.
CSI Told You Lies by Meshel Laurie – I was actually expecting more of a forensic-Mythbusters type of book, but instead, the book centres around Meshel Laurie’s conversations with forensic pathologists and detectives that have worked on some of the biggest cases in Australian history, and a few cases abroad too. Incredibly interesting, she unravels some of the misconceptions around forensic science, champions the importance of forensics in legal proceedings and even gives case insights that you wouldn’t know from reading about them in the paper. Highly recommend this as an audiobook, I’m sure the paperback is great, but the conversational tone of the book is really well translated in the audio version. If you enjoy true-crime or Australian crime history you’ll love this!
The Emma Guns Show – this was the first podcast I ever listened to, I’d been following Caroline Hirons on Instagram for ages and she mentioned she’d done this podcast thingy and I dutifully downloaded it and devoured it on my commute that very day. By the end of the week I’d made a serious dint in Emma’s back-catalogue of incredible guests and I’ve been a lover of the show ever since. I took a bit of a podcast break when I stopped commuting, but I’m back on the podcast train so to speak, and I have missed some goodies! She interviews all sorts of people; authors, beauty industry experts, fitness authorities, anyone with something valuable, interesting and informative to say. Emma also does her own solo episodes which are just as insightful and educational as any guest appearance. She’s an absolute gem in the now very crowded podcasting world, but she remains one of the first and the best.
Banana Pancake Recipe – this recipe happens to be gluten and dairy-free, but trust me, it doesn’t feel like you’re missing out on anything. I love breakfast, but being diagnosed as Coeliac (can’t eat gluten) really threw a spanner in my preference for avocado toast and fluffy pancakes. So I’ve been trying to recreate my favourite recipes with gluten-free alternatives, and I must say, that these are a winner.
Strawberry Almond Cake Recipe – another gluten-free recipe. I’ve made this a few times, the first as per the recipe, but since then I’ve made a few tweaks and swaps, including changing out the fruit for other Spring alternatives like apple slices to make a really lovely apple tea cake. I always follow the recipe on the first go, but I’m a bit ‘particular’ and I usually like to fine-tune recipes to make them my own.
Now, who’s counting down to Christmas with me??