Review: Zoe Foster Blake’s Go-To Skincare Range Part 1.

20160831_thefile_0589-760x507Photo of Zoë Foster (Blake) courtesy of The File.

When I read reviews online about people claiming a particular product is a holy grail for them, part of me didn’t really believe them because I didn’t have “holy grail products” of my own. It wasn’t until I used Go-To Skincare that I was able to proudly say, yep, I’ve got holy grail products of my own now. As someone who doesn’t wear makeup (only a lip colour from time to time), I wouldn’t know if these products work as well as they do for someone who does wear makeup. Since I don’t wear any makeup, I’ve been trying to keep my skin routine as simple and effective as possible. Over the past few years I’ve used and tested many brands, and Go-To is the only brand that I’ve used whose range of products are consistently good.

I found out about Foster-Blake’s brand the way I usually find out about skincare brands: Instagram. She has a large following on Instagram with half a million followers, as a mother to a cute toddler, wife to Hamish Blake (part of famous Australia comedic duo Hamish & Andy) and in her own right, she is a writer and creative spirit who is very honest and funny. As the creator of Go-To, the brand oozes her same wittiness and sarcasm whether it’s through packaging or in their emails. As someone who had no current loyalty to a brand and needed to find a cleanser ASAP, I decided to give Go-To a shot.

Last month I finally went to her website, bought some products and prayed that I didn’t just waste $100 on products that wouldn’t work for me. Thank heavens I took that gamble because with you as my witness, I can finally say that I’ve found myself not only a holy grail product, but a holy grail brand.

THE NITTY GRITTY

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Properly Clean (Cleanser): I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch the video that was on the page because I was desparate for a cleanser, so I had no idea what texture the cleanser would be. To my delight, it’s a non-foaming and non-creamy cleanser (more mousse-like). If you’re not a fan of strong scents, I’d hate to be the bearer of bad news but this cleanser has a zesty kick to it (from the natural frangrances of ginger, mandarin and lime). I’ll take products with natural fragrances from synthetic ones anyday so this cleanser is 100% A-OK with me.

I use the Properly Clean in the morning and at night, and as silly as it sounds, this cleanser makes me excited to get up and have a shower because I have something to look forward to. Super soft and gentle, and would be suitable for every skin type.

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Very Useful Face Cream (Moisturiser): This might be my favourite moisturiser of all time. Not only does the smell remind me of something from my childhood (don’t ask me because I still haven’t figured it out), but its ingredients list is impressive. Packed with everything I want in a moisturiser like shea butter, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil and beeswax, my face feels like its actually soaking everything up unlike other moisturisers where it just feels like a layer on your face. I find that this moisturiser works best in conjunction with their facial oil as it glides easier and you can feel the product soaking in.

Another thing I look for in skincare products is if they’re travel friendly. For domestic flights within Australia, there aren’t any restrictions of liquids but I always think ahead to when I will eventually travel internationally where I’ll have to only bring products 100mL or under. Looking for a day/night cream that not only does what it says, but also is travel-friendly wherever you go? Very Useful Face Cream is your guy.

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Face Hero (Facial Oil): My favourite Go-To product, hands down. I have combination skin but during the colder seasons, my face becomes dry and crusty. It’s extremely hydrating, soothing and as soon as you lather it on, it brightens your face. It’s currently retailing at $45AUD and although this may seem a bit pricey, but for the quality and the amount of use you’ll get out of it, it’s definitely worth the money. Even if you aren’t keen on the other products, Face Hero is the one to spend your money on. There’s not more I can say about this besides that I use this everyday and you’ll 100% love it to, whether you have oily skin to dry skin.

The ingredients include:
Almond oil, jojoba oil, macadamia oil, brazil nut oil, evening primrose oil, buriti oil, arnica oil, rosehip oil, calendula oil, kiwi fruit seed oil, tocopherol (vitamin e), totarol, rosemary leaf extract, natural fragrance (orange blossom & rose gardenia.)

Holga 135BC Test Photos

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February 10, 2017

Had a lovely day eating pizza at West End and exploring the latest exhibition (for the sixth time, but who’s counting) at GoMA with Sarah! We tested out my Holga 135BC and out of a 36 shot roll, these were the only photos that were produced.

Note to self: bring the flash next time.

New Single “Bad Behaviour” Review and Top 10 Songs of The Maine.

16194947_10155026345595798_1507627544798523335_n.jpgPhoto courtesy of Guadalupe Bustos.

Starting 2017 with a bang, the Arizona boys recently commemorated their ten year anniversary with 8123 Fest, a large gathering that saw fans not only fly in from around America to attend this one night of celebration but also from around the world. This year is set to be a busy one for the band as they have recently released the single “Bad Behaviour” from their highly anticipated album Lovely, Little, Lonely which is set to be out April 7, while also announcing new tours left and right.

To celebrate the release of their new single, I’ve decided to compile a list of my top ten songs from across the years while I anxiously wait for their new album. If you’re new to The Maine, this is a good introductory list but I do recommend giving each album a thorough listen because you will undoubtedly form your own personal collection of favourites along the way.

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In chronological order:

  1. We All Roll Along – a classic tune from their first studio album Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop which was released in 2008. Admittedly, I wanted to choose “We’ll All Be” just because they play it at every show  but if I had to pick any song from CSWS, it’d be this one. For me, it captures the essence of youth and that sense of invincibility that comes with it. Altogether, lyrically and musically, it truly encapsulates what it feels like to belong.
  2. Right Girl – my immense love for this song comes down to the sentimentality of it, it being released during one of the most important times in my life — high school. Despite having fond memories of CSWS and B&W, they don’t pack quite the punch as much as their later albums so there aren’t many all-time favourites from their earlier works. Other than that, it’s a hell of a tune, extremely catchy and fun to sing along to.
  3. Misery – what an iconic era! The Maine cut ties with their major label and released Pioneer in 2012, with Misery being inarguably the strongest song on the record. Going from the pop vibe of B&W to a grittier sound in Pioneer was everything I hoped for and more. This song captures the spirit of the entire album and it’s clear the band had greater creative freedom and the opportunity to experiment with their sound. In particular, this song perfectly highlights each individual member’s musicianship and it’s just a solid rock song.
  4. Like We Did (Windows Down) – another Pioneer hit! Without fail, The Maine always have that one track in every single album that’s reminiscent of a road trip, staying up late and adventuring with friends. Similar to We All Roll Along, this song again explores the idea of youth and that same feeling of invincibility. This track sounds very nostalgic and ‘daydreamy’ to me, something I’ll listen to when my heads in the clouds.
  5. Waiting for My Sun to Shine + One Pack of Smokes (hidden track) – as Pioneer is one of my favourite albums, I had to include at least one more track. This is a chill song found at the end of the album and perfectly ties everything together. They successfully captured the apathy of the lyrics and managed to translate that feeling into sound. If you keep listening to the track, you’ll find a hidden gem at the end.
  6. Good Love – an underrated 2012 track from the Good Love (Pioneer B Sides) EP which tends to get overlooked sometimes. It’s one of those songs where I can’t explain with great articulation why I like it so that probably means that it’s another tune that appeals to me for the sentimental value rather than logical reasoning. It starts slowly and quietly before building into something big, albeit very short and sweet. You’ll have to listen to it yourselves but it’s definitely underrated.
  7. Raining in Paris – from their 2013 acoustic EP Imaginary Numbers, Raining in Paris not only paints the picture of a hopeless romantic in Paris but also feeling alone in the grand scheme of things, and a sense of emptiness which is represented in the lyrics and O’Callaghan’s voice. It’s a nice comparison of being in the City of Love but not having anyone to share the experience with. Also, you’ll start noticing post-Pioneer that The Maine’s lyrics become more poetic and articulate which adds an extra element to their music. If you feel like listening to a sad song about love, this one’s for you.
  8. Ice Cave – featured on the 2014 deluxe edition of Forever Halloween, Ice Cave is another underrated track that has a Pioneer-esque vibe to it — experimental and feels like they’re just jamming — which might be a key factor as to why it appeals to me so much, while the majority of FH sounds darker and gloomier than their usual records. Ice Cave has this certain ‘oomph’ and heartiness to it that ends FH on a strong note.
  9. Am I Pretty? – emerging from the darkness of FH and into, what seems to be, a happier place of 2015’s American Candy, Am I Pretty? is the most upbeat tune on the record and there’s no doubt that you’ll find yourself swaying and bopping to it. I feel like they’re paying a slight homage to CSWS‘s anthem “Everything I Ask For” with the obvious pop vibe but Am I Pretty? is definitely its cooler and older cousin. It’s a fun track and it’s obvious to the listener that they enjoyed making this song. It was also nice to see The Maine grow from FH to American Candy, and as Entertainment Tonight puts it — The Maine did seem to find a happier place with this record, while most importantly still keeping it emo.
  10. American Candy – I remember listening to American Candy for the first time and this song didn’t resonate with me as much as the others on the record did. It wasn’t until their 2015 Australian tour where I saw it live, that it became one of my all-time favourite songs from them. Seeing this song live and their energy on stage when they performed it irrefutably made this track stick with me. It’s placed as the second last song on the album but it definitely feels like a last track as it sounds very energetic and big, whereas the actual last song “Another Night on Mars” feels like an encore so placing these two songs at the very end is like having the best of both worlds.

With six albums and seven EPs under their belt, in the end I couldn’t nail it down to only ten songs, so I’m going to give some cheeky honourable mentions to:

  • (Un)Lost – lyrically one of my favourite songs
  • My Hair – a whole song dedicated to O’Callaghan’s hair because, why not?
  • I Must Be Dreaming – the essence of young love rolled into a song
  • Steal My Sunshine (cover) – this oozes the amount of fun they had recording this
  • Happy – contrary to the title, this is a pretty depressing song
  • Take Me Dancing – feels like a warm and comforting hug
  • When I’m at Home – lyrically strong and cool riffs

You can listen to The Maine’s new single “Bad Behaviour” below. As John from ARTV says, this song is a good indication of what’s to come in their new album Lovely, Little, Lonely but probably won’t be one of my favourites on the record. Unlike their older albums, there isn’t a dramatic shift in sound or aesthetics from its predecessor, so it feels like this grew quite organically from American Candy which is a testament to the fact that they are in a really good place at the moment.

Pre-order their new album here and check out their tour dates here! For AUS and NZ fans, The Maine will be supporting All Time Low on their tour down under in May.

May Wishlist

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If you can’t tell already, I’m obsessing over pink tones this month. As I live in Australia, we are approaching winter soon, so most of the pieces that are pictured would be perfect for the coming season.

I’m so in love with the rose embellished top on the left hand side, but if you’re planning on buying it, you’ll have to be both agile and patient. This top sells out so quickly and isn’t restocked that often, so you’ve been warned.

I’ve also chosen grey and black as complimentary tones as they accompany any shade of pink perfectly. These pieces would look amazing by themselves or layered with each other, and it just creates an effortless style.

From left to right:

  1. Off Shoulder Jumper Pink
  2. Diane Bonde Shawl Duster Coat
  3. Glittery Sushi Socks
  4. Sleeveless Floral Embellished Top
  5. Oversized T-Shirt Dress with Rolled Sleeves
  6. Faux Suede Biker Jacket Rose
  7. Premium Leather Biker with Coin Embellishment
  8. Pink Crew Neck Sweater
  9. Cold Shoulder Knitted Grey Jumper Grey