The Ensemble team share a few stylish and interesting recommendations, from niche secondhand books to honest ‘cantails’.
Each week, the team behind fashion, beauty and culture website Ensemble (now owned by Stuff) share a few stylish and interesting recommendations, from niche secondhand booksellers to ‘cantails’.
Good old books
You’ll love the Instagram account @long_distancebooks if, like us, your happy place is a good secondhand book store but you can get overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options in front of you. While nothing will replace the delight of stumbling across an unexpected book on the shelves, Long Distance Books essentially does that part for you; sourcing one-off vintage reads and offering them up for sale (you simply DM them to request to buy). They have a great eye for quirky and local books (Ensemble co-founder Zoe’s most recent purchase was a book featuring well-known New Zealanders and their cats, and she has also bought a book of essays edited by Michael King reflecting on changing views of masculinity in Aotearoa). It joins a number of vintage fashion and furniture shopping accounts on Instagram, one of our favourite new ways to shop. (If you are up for the challenge of a secondhand bookstore experience IRL, in Auckland we love Dominion Books and Hard to Find Books)
Mascara is an essential part of our pretty low-key daily makeup routine, and we’re always happy to try out a new release. We’re also fans and genuine users of local beauty brand Aleph’s concealer/foundation – so were pumped to hear that they were adding a natural mascara to their tight edit of essential makeup products. Launched earlier in the week via a pre order that promptly sold out (it’s available again now though), the Aleph Lift/Lengthen Mascara is microplastic, smudge and flake free and made with a jet black natural pigment and peptide blend that nourishes your lashes. You know how a plastic mascara vial can sometimes feel cheap in your hand? This is the opposite of that; made with a weighty, and quite beautiful, glass vial that the brand says is also recyclable. Chic!
Yes you can
Recent summers have been all about seltzers, but for 2021 we’re ready for a new celebratory cocktail in a can. These ‘cantails’ from locally made rum brand Honest aren’t quite as light a beverage as soda cocktails like Pals, but they’re just as delicious – made with Honest’s unique and delicious six spiced rum and mixed with sparkling water, ginger beer, lime juice and more. They’re good! Trust us. We also rate AF Drinks, a ‘sober curious’ brand launched by Lisa King (also the founder of Eat My Lunch) – and can’t wait to try their new alcohol-free bittersweet orange ‘apero spritz’.
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* The Ensemble Edit: Eight cool new things this week
Christmas with Karen
Designer Karen Walker has partnered with World Vision on Christmas cards with the ability to truly make a difference. The outside of the card is Karen’s iconic Runaway Girl print, the inside is a ‘smiles’ gift donation from World Vision. Available from all Karen Walker stores for $10, each card offers the option of gifting a child in need either fast growing seeds or childhood immunisations. Karen, who has been vocal in her support of community vaccinations within Aotearoa this year (we love to see it!), says she chose these gifts because “they reflect some of the most pressing issues we face in the world.” The cards are also available from World Vision online where there are even more gift options to choose from.
When the world feels like it’s going to the dogs, simple meditative rituals can be a great way to be present and help keep us grounded. This weekend, do away with the body wash and bacteria harbouring loofah and indulge in the “wholesome minimalism” of the soap and water ritual. We’re long-time fans of local skin and hair care brand Sans[ceuticals], which has recently introduced hand and body cleansing bars to its offering. Available in an array of earth-hued purifying clays, and concocted using antibacterial Mānuka honey and ultra-hydrating shea butter, these soap bars are sure to become an essential household item.