Allow me to paint you a little picture before I wax lyrical about how much I love this palette and how pigmented the shades are, how finely milled the glitter is in the highlight shades and how beautiful Amaretto looks on the cheeks as a blush/contour. This palette deserves a little more than the standard, box tick review.

It was my birthday, we drove down to Bath, and it was around a week or so after the release and general selling-out of the Jaclyn Hill x BECCA collection. Wildly successful as it had been, it had sold out almost instantaneously on Space NK online and similarly in stores, it was something of an enigma to get hold of. So, wandering in Bath, knowing there was a Space NK close-by, I drifted in thinking 'if it's going to happen, it'll be today, my 28th birthday - it's only fair'. And there it was - in the window! The very palette! Surely they wouldn't display the palette without stock, right? That would be barbaric.

In I waltzed, full of glee, to see someone checking out at the till with a palette in their hands - it was happening! All of my good wishing worked! Pleased as punch, I sauntered towards a member of staff with a cheeky (it was probably repulsive) 'I'll have what SHE'S having', only to be met with a solemn look from the cashier. "This is... er... this is the last one." I tried to be cavalier, but the look on my face must have been crestfallen, as the girl buying the palette started apologising profusely. "Oh well, it's hard luck! That's just how it goes!" I smiled back, but I heard her say as she left 'That girl hated me!' It left a sour taste. I didn't HATE her, but I was suitably heartbroken. This gross misestimation of my character just added salt to the wound.

SO, when mysteriously after months of being out of stock the palette magically reappeared online, it was in my basket faster than you could say 'redemption'. I didn't even think twice - click, purchase, collect. A little childish part of me did a victory dance at my aggressor from months before. Ha ha! Good things come to those who wait!

And this palette is beautiful - really, it's gorgeous. Champagne Pop is everything it is written to be - a beautifully subtle, angelic highlight which brings luminosity to the face and the most delicately milled glitter that doesn't clump at all but rather glistens in that irresistible, dewy way. Prosecco Pop is much the same, but with a stronger golden hue and less of a pink tint - great for summer months on bronzed skin.

Of the three blush colours Amaretto (the centre colour) is definitely my fave - a tawny browny peach colour which works beautifully as a blush but also to sculpt and define cheeks. Pamplemousse (far right) is also so juicy and gorgeous - the lightest of hands is needed for this as the pigment, like all of these shades, is super intense. Rose Spritz is a kind of highlight blush mix and whilst a little sparkly for me, still brings something effervescent and special to the face. Each is a glow giver in their own way, and I do still hear angel song whenever I bring this palette out to use.

The part of the story that doesn't get told? On the way to pick up this palette, right outside the post office, the front passenger side tyre on my car burst. I could hear it deflating sadly the whole walk into the collection depot. It would be £65 for the new tyre - not a whole lot more than the palette had cost me. Luckily, the depot was right next to a garage. It could've been worse. But it was an expensive day.

It got me thinking. What motivated me to act so quickly, to put that palette into my basket and checkout without a second's thought - that was want. Pure want. Intensified by the thought that I couldn't have it the first time around. Heightened by jealousy as I watched it walk out of the shop in front of me. It made me act without thought or consideration, this want. I could see nothing but how much better I'd feel once it was mine. It's a dangerous thing, that feeling of desire. Especially when what you need is the money for the tyre to replace the one you burst trying to get to what you want.

The irony makes me laugh, but the story remains the same - be careful about mistaking 'need' for 'want'. It could just leave you in a tricky spot.

Autumn is one of my favourite times of year - as if there isn't enough poetry in the skyline being lit up with fiery colours as nature sends itself off in one last beautiful, dying spectacle - I also love the slowing down of days, the crisper air, the allowance for warmer foods and warmer drinks, the way jackets and coats return to hooks on the wall. There's something special about this time where you can almost feel the seasons change, see them turn in front of you. And then, of course, the excuse to wear all black. And jumpers. You can't argue with that, right?

September was, as I mentioned in my last post, a month that kinda knocked me for six. It kind of turned everything I knew and had accepted on its head, and made me ask some difficult questions of myself. I think those times, even though they can feel the hardest to get through, once you start to come towards something that feels like the other side, you start to feel the benefit. We should be changing beings, we should grow, and 'growing pains' isn't just a phase you go through physically. Growing pains can be emotional too. But that doesn't mean that you don't weather the stormy days. And that doesn't mean that after the death and quiet in autumn and winter there won't be life in the same branches again come spring.

So here's to turning the heating on for the first time, wrapping your hands around a hot mug of something delicious, throwing a blanket over your bed, and knowing that whatever comes, there will be good waiting for you if you choose to find it.

SEE: Last month my girlfriends and I went to go see Bridget Jones' Baby, which was what we all needed it to be - fun, light and satisfying. We went to go see it at the Phoenix which is a picturehouse in Oxford where you can take wine into your movie, and that is A-OK with me. Seeing as we're in the season of staying in, I also thought I'd recommend Chef's Table, my latest Netflix binge series, but fair warning? DON'T watch this on an empty stomach. It will lead to you microwaving plain tortillas and questioning your life choices.

LISTEN: There's only one answer to this for me, and it came out yesterday - 22 A Million. One of my best girls and I got Bon Iver tickets early last month and the sound we made I'm sure must've only been picked up by dogs and dolphins. Too excited.

GO: Find a treehouse to snuggle up in. The idea of going into the wilderness and disconnecting from everything for a weekend is delicious right now. I can't tell you how many times I've opened and closed the Chewton Glen Treehouses page - dream on, kid. But there's gotta be a cute budget version of that, right? Anyone? Bueller?

EAT: I am low key obsessed with deli food (it's not really that low key) and last weekend I took myself on a walk to Branca deli to pick up lunch - I made myself a little plate - picked up a chicken with sriracha sandwich in a brioche bun, a butternut squash and rocket side salad and a teeny tiny Welsh rarebit bite thing. It was so good. And so cheap! Had a proper 'treat yo self' moment.

DRINK: I'm not about to use the PSL suggestion that you seem to see everywhere this time of year because I am not a basic bitch and neither should you be. Get yourself an old fashioned, get all the warmth, sweet and sour of Autumn and enjoy not having to refer to pumpkin spiced anything when you order.

WEAR: Around this time of year I'm always looking for the perfect flannel shirt because who doesn't want to cosy up in the softest shirts when it's cold and rainy outside? And I think I love this one. I will have it please. I just wish it was a smidge longer?

READ: On my to purchase list at Waterstones (my drug of choice) is Amy Schumer's 'Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo' which I'm sure is as hilarious as she is. 

THINK: Less. Too much thinking keeps us frozen and stops us from realising we have everything we need, and there is never a better time to do what you want to do and fulfil yourself than right now. 

This month has been an odd one for me - call it Mercury retrograde, or saying goodbye to my mum and dad (always one of the hardest times of year for me), or just confusion around where I am and what I want - whatever the reason, it really threw me for a loop. And I let it get the better of me for some time, burying my head in the sand or pushing away those closest to me because I felt judged or not good enough. I'm definitely the kind of person that won't know how to ask for help, will go looking for it, and get frustrated when others won't anticipate what I need, all the while feeling isolated and like I need to figure out everything on my own. It's a breeze, being close to me!

Anyway, on one such 'figure things out on my own' day, I found myself listening to Jess Lively's podcast - something that always used to uplift me through long, tiring days at my desk when I was feeling creatively uninspired. It just so happened that her most recent episodes documented her 'Lively adventure' - she's been travelling Europe, then the States, and now Europe once again, since around May or June time I believe. She'd been doing a lot of soul searching and asking herself what she wanted too, and in a moment of brilliant serendipity, had recorded these episodes at just the time I needed to hear them.

One of the things Jess concentrates on is finding flow, and going where your flow is taking you - sure, it sounds a bit 'woo woo', but stay with me. In looking for your path or flow direction, it's often necessary to tap into your intuition - that 'gut' or 'heart' voice that guides you quietly, beyond the voice of 'wanting' - your ego. She explains it so much more beautifully here, but this is the ethos with which she's guiding her life right now. I found it so inspiring and fascinating that I wanted to see if it would work for me - I was lacking direction and certainty and a connection to myself and honestly, was willing to try anything.

Jess talks about writing to her intuition as the way she taps into this voice and helps herself make decisions, and it seemed as good an idea as any. This Saturday I took the whole day for myself, shut off my phone, did yoga, meditated, and then lit almost every candle I own in an attempt to coax my intuition out. I figured it was most probably romantic, like me, and would appreciate the gesture. I sat down with a notepad and pencil (I thought perhaps I or my intuition might make mistakes), and wrote down my first question.

At first it was hard - I was judging myself a lot and kept wanting to write down really beautiful, well-constructed, 'should' answers. Answers that I thought were right. But I kept Jess' advice in mind and waited. And waited. And waited. And then eventually, a very small voice started to write back - I felt it from my gut. And from there a whole conversation started. Some answers I had to wait longer for the answers to than others - my ego quite often wanted to interfere and 'should' all over the reasoning. But holding off and just letting things happen, I felt something start to shift - everything felt easy. Calm. Quieted. I wasn't frantic and fretting over the outcome of things, just peaceful in the knowledge that this felt right.

While I'm not going to write the conversation here, I can tell you it was surprising to me. I went back and read it and it reads like two separate people talking - one very skittish, one very still. I found my intuition spoke mainly in statements, and wasn't self-critiquing - it didn't need to have 'all the answers' right now. Once I'd finished I felt so much more calm and happy with where I was - I knew what I had to do next and, past that, I didn't need to think on it. I can't tell you how much I'd recommend it! Even if you're not in a messy headspace or worried about aspects of your life, it's still so interesting to check in with where your head and deeper consciousness are at. And at the very least - Jess' podcast is well worth a listen. Go check it out!

A couple months ago, one of my best friends and I were geeking out as per, and we decided we wanted to start our own book club (as you do). There's a whole other post to be written about the relief of finding people that are your particular breed of loser, but suffice it to say we were super pumped about the whole idea. So today, on the eve of our first meet-up (yep), I thought I'd write about the first book we read, 'Modern Romance' by Aziz Ansari.

So, this was my pick and I'll be honest - it was entirely superficial. I knew Aziz largely from Netflix and loved him on Parks and Rec, I'd also wanted to watch Master of None for a really long time. The book had intrigued me for a while and then I saw the cover and let's be honest, who doesn't judge a book's cover just a lil bit, right? 

The view I had of the book before reading was that it would be along the lines of a Tina Fey/Amy Schumer/Amy Poehler type memoir, filled with anecdotes and personal experience and witticisms and a lot of cute-ery. I was intrigued about the pair up with an actual sociologist, but figured this would mainly be to lend the book some gravitas, give it some authority and weight because, let's face it, modern romance is a big subject.

Once I started reading however, I'd learn quickly that this wasn't going to be the book I had anticipated. From pretty much the get-go, this book is academic - all graphs and number-crunching and case studies. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it and found it all massively interesting, but if you're looking for a jaunty walk through the past exploits of Aziz Ansari's love life, you're in the wrong place. Sure, everything is peppered with his voice and the footnotes are pretty hilarious, but I'd say this falls more into anthropology and sociology than it does a comedy 'celebrity' book.

Which makes talking about it a little difficult - would I pick up this book again knowing what it is? Probably not, I don't think I would have even looked at it in the first place. But I AM glad I read it - it was really interesting, written in a really funny yet informed voice - I definitely think it was smart of Aziz to pair with Eric Klinenberg to write the book. You get all the irreverence and personable nature of the comedian, with all the research and consideration of someone whose job is the study of people and how we interact with one another. It's definitely a thinker, but not one I'd pick up to roll around laughing.

If you're big into your data, infographics and thought pieces, give this one a whirl. If, however, you're hoping for a stand up routine - you won't find it here. Modern Romance is one for the ponderers and questioners amongst us, not for those waiting to fall in love with a book. 

Long. Overdue. Video content. I don't know if you guys are excited but I AM! A couple of weekends ago Jaye and I decided to go on an East London adventure - the agenda was pretty much 'stuff we've always wanted to do in Shoreditch' - for me that was Colombia Road Flower Market, for her, pampering at UR Cheeky (of course, good friend that I am, I went along) and one on both of our lists was Dishoom for all the Indian food ever.

Cue the perfect Sunday, which I've somehow managed to document snippets from and thread them altogether in this short, sweet and easily-digestible video of highlights. Please watch out for the gent wearing possibly my favourite shirt ever.

Hope you guys enjoy and as always, if you aren't subscribed please do, there's a lot more to come from my YouTube channel and hopefully you guys enjoy this slightly new style of video! 

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