If I'm being 100% honest with you, the Clinique pep-start range first drew me in not because of its reputation or formulation, but because of its packaging. I know! I'm such a sucker. Good design is my kryptonite. And the bright colors and simple packaging caught my eye. I did a post on the initial capsule range, but since then Clinique has brought out two new products: The HydroRush Moisturizer with SPF 20 and the Double Bubble Purifying Mask.

SPF is a YES

As a (very) pale gal, SPF in my facial products is a MUST, and this was one thing I didn't love about the original HydroBlur Moisturizer. I also love the ease of an SPF moisturizer - not having to think about putting on a sunscreen and then a separate moisturizer saves me both time and stress. The formulation is on the thicker side and does require a little rubbing in to blend. A couple things to call out - it has a light sunscreen smell, which while fine for me may not be appealing to everyone. SPF moisturizer can also create a white cast in flash photos, so not something to wear on your night out.

A bubble mask?

I've seen a few images of bubble masks around the internet and I've been so curious to try one. The premise is that you apply the mask in a gel form and while it sits on your skin it foams up, removing impurities. Using this was like no other mask I've tried before. I'm more used to masks that tighten or even sting a little, but this literally felt like little Pop Rocks candies were exploding all over my face. I laughed out loud! It's such a bizarre sensation. (pic on the right is my face while experiencing the bubbles - obviously shocked!)

One strange thing about this product is that you really need to pile on the product to get the foaming effect to show up. When it bubbles is also shrinks, so what I thought was a sufficient amount quickly shrunk to a few patchy bits of foam (as you can see in the pic below! where did it all go???)

After one use I'm not sure I'm completely sold on the purifying effects, but I'm interested to see how my skin changes over time from using this mask. It's definitely a lot of fun and would be hilarious for a girl's night in. 

Have you tried any of these products? Do you agree with me that this packaging is awesome or are you yawning at it? Let me know in the comments! 

(btw, this is not sponsored!)

I'm one of those people with a huge stack of "to read" books. I love reading but lately, I've been having a hard time allowing myself to sit down for a couple of hours and really get into a book. There's always something else (laundry! dishes! 2 hours on tumblr!) that needs to be done. So these magazines and books have been my savior - easy to pick up and put down. And as a bonus, they've given me a lot of great life inspiration!

Dog magazine

First up, a recent discovery: Dog magazine. I found this at the magazine seller stand at Pike Place Market in Seattle (you know the one if you've been there!) and despite its $18 price tag, I knew I had to have it. It's an absolutely stunning publication, with high-quality paper and beautiful color photographs throughout. This issue (the 2nd!) featured the Shiba Inu and had several articles about Japan, as well as profiles on people and their dogs. I love to photograph dogs so this is giving me some ideas on what could be for me in the future...

Japanese magazines

My recent blog "look" update has definitely been influenced by Japanese magazines - especially girls fashion and beauty ones. I'm in love with the sort of OTT crammed layouts they do and all the extra little doodles and add ons all over the place. Minimalistic design style is lovely, but I've never felt quite connected to it - so this is a welcome deviation! Each of these magazines is filled with a variety of fashion styles that are encouraging me to take some fashion risks again. I've mainly been finding these at Kinokuniya Bookstore.

The Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up

I've shared a few posts about my tidying journey on the blog, and it's not over yet! I've read the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up which was super inspirational, but for some reason, the manga version felt like a real revelation! The illustration style is absolutely adorable and there is a story that follows one girl's overhaul of her apartment and life using the Konmari method. It's a very quick and enjoyable read. I'm still in the process of going through my things but I might share an update when I'm closer to being finished! 

What inspiring things have you been reading lately? Let me know!

Sweet summer scents...

As you know from my previous review, I'm a big fan of Zoella Beauty products. The range has a variety of bath, skin, and fragrance products. The new line, Jelly & Gelato, just launched and is available on Ulta.com in the US! I ordered most of the products with the exception of the bath milk sachets which were sold out. 

My first impressions

When I say the products online initially, I thought maybe they looked a little cheap but in person the packaging is lovely. The tubs are sturdy and the gold labels are gorgeous. Luckily Ulta shipped the products in plastic bags with scotch tape over the lids so nothing spilled, but the scent of the products was still super strong. They all have an Elderflower & Pomegranate scent which is very very sweet, so if you're into that type of scent this is perfect for you. 

Cream Scrub: This in-shower scrub is formulated to brighten, smooth, and tone.

Shower Sauce: A bright and fresh shower gel.

Pink Bath Wafers: This bath fizz bar is made to look like a pink wafer cookie and has a divide down the middle so you can get two baths out of it. As a bonus, this fizzer is moisturizing!

Shower Shake: The companion to the Shower Sauce, this moisturizes skin in the shower.

Body Pudding: Last but not least, the body pudding! This is a creamy moisturizing cream with little pink bits that dissolve on the skin when you rub it in. 

This range is really affordable and would be a great gift for a younger girl (or guy!) in your life. You also get a lot of product for the price so they're a good value. My favorite product will most likely be the bath fizzer because I'm obsessed with all things bath at the minute. Overall I think this is a lovely product range!

Yayoi Kusama at the Seattle Art Museum

I'm sure if you're on Instagram you've at least seen someone posing in a room full of mirrors and dots, or heard the name Yayoi Kusama recently. I first encountered her work in college, when I had a work study project hanging art posters in a wing of the art department. Her poster was striking - an image of the artist lying naked covered in polka dots. And many years later, her themes have only intensified. 

Getting tickets to the show at the Seattle Art Museum was something I had given up on from the get go - they sold out so quickly that there seemed to be no point in trying. But as luck would have it, I happened upon an announcement on Facebook from SAM releasing more tickets. After 40 minutes of battling with the crashing web page and constant refreshing, two tickets were mine! And even luckier, my Seattle friend Jenessa was available to go with me. 

One thing to be prepared for if you attend this show is the amount of time you'll be waiting in lines. The exhibit is made up of several "infinity rooms" which are timed at 20-30 seconds each. And they really mean 20-30 seconds, there's a gallery attendant with a stop watch outside each one! Entering each room is a sensory overload and you definitely have to get your camera ready if you want to capture some images in your 20-second allowance. We lucked out with a tip from the gallery attendant at the first room we visited, who clued us in on a "single rider" line for the Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity room (shown in the first picture). The line for that room was ridiculously long but if we went alone and allowed ourselves to be tagged on to another group, we could skip the line. This saved us SO MUCH time. This was my favorite room of them all and I wish I could have experienced it again but by the time we'd done them all, even the single rider line was long. 

The experience of being in these rooms was magical. Some felt intense and chaotic while others were calming and womb-like. Some of the rooms you physically entered and some you were only able to look into (like the one above). The show culminated with The Obliteration Room, where we were given a sheet of stickers to help obliterate the white space in the room. 

While the experience of each room was mind blowing, what really got me emotional was a 20-minute interview video with Yayoi Kusama where she talked about her inspiration and meaning behind her work. She said that the infinity rooms with their endless mirrors represented her "ever-expanding hope" in the future. This kind of optimistic work was such a breath of fresh air for me. In these current times, when so many situations seem dire, having a joyful and colorful participatory art show like this is uplifting and courageous. 

If you get the chance to experience this show, please go. And Instagram it all with no shame - it's what Kusama wants!

Happy Friday y'all! This week has been so crazy busy and long, I'm happy for the weekend to be here. But of course, I'm not resting much. I'm off to Seattle this weekend to visit friends and see a show at the Seattle Art Museum. Should be fun if I can overcome my driving in Seattle anxiety! Here are some good things from the net for ya.

+ I've been loving Nicholas Scarpinato's photography lately - every photo is so stunning!

+ This book has made SUCH a difference for me, more things should be illustrated, please.

+ I'm going to this show this weekend - will hopefully do a blog post!

+ I'm in love with this little sweater.

+ I've been a fan of Ava for quite some time, but her new character Charlene is getting a lot of media attention!

(Photo by Nicholas Scarpinato, linked above)

I wanted to share a couple of photos from some rolls of film I got developed recently. I have an ongoing love affair with medium format film (or 120 as I usually call it). Bigger than 35mm and square, it seems to capture the depth and detail I'm looking for in my photos. I shoot with a Yashica D twin lens camera (which you can see here) and it's the love of my life. Seriously, I would save it out of a burning building kind of love. I shot one roll of Lomochrome Purple (another firm favorite - more to come with this soon!), a roll of Kodak Portra 400, and a roll of Ilford black and white. Big shout out to Old School Photo Lab for developing and scanning these - I've had some issues with some labs in the past and feel like I finally found a trustworthy team to send my film to! I'm holding onto one special photo from this batch for another post - thinking about doing my first series in quite awhile. I've been shying away from bodies of work since college but I think I finally have something I want to work on...more soon! 

I can't figure out how to style these pants.

I'm trying to get back into fashion again. I've been off my game for quite awhile due to body confidence issues, but I really miss putting together interesting outfits. So when I tried on these weird baggy pants at Target, I thought they would be a good place to start. Why? I have no clue. Probably because I felt like a cool Tokyo guy in them. I don't usually wear pants (skirts & dresses are where I'm at always) so this was kind of fun to mix it up. And these pants are super comfy and light. I paired them with a light flowy top with stars on, a boy scout style jacket, and a pair of Vans high-tops for a little bit of an edgier look. I'm also trying out something a little more collage-y and lighthearted for photo editing - I like making faces and not taking myself too seriously in photos, so adding some cutesy elements makes these photos extra fun (at least to me!). Also, I've been reading a lot of Japanese fashion magazines and they're always so cute. I just want to be cute OK???

How would you style these pants? Let me know - I'm eager for tips!

Star top & boy scout jacket: H&M
Pants: Target
Shoes: Vans