Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year. I know lots of people aren’t a fan of the cooler weather and early dark nights, but I love hunkering down under a cosy blanket with a mug of hot tea and a candle burning on a cold, dark evening. It’s a fantastic time of year for movies and books, whether they’re new releases or old favourites you have time to catch up on now you’ve got an excuse to stay indoors in your pyjamas! I’m also a total sucker for anything seasonal, whether it’s the Starbucks and Costa specials or a new skincare routine for the change in weather. So, with that in mind, here’s a round up of some of my favourite autumn beauty products, books, and big screen gems to get you loving autumn too!
As I mentioned, autumn is all about cosiness for me! That means home comfort books that make me feel as warm and fuzzy inside as the jumpers I’m wearing are! One of the books I’ll be re-reading for autumn is Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, because it’s just adorable! It’s super heartwarming, and I’ve been wanting to re-read it ever since I watched the Christopher Robin movie over the summer. It’s perfect for cool and cosy nights under a blanket.
Speaking of warm and fuzzy, I always tell myself I’ll re-read Harry Potter in the autumn, because the books start in September and bring back great childhood memories. In fact, fantasy/magic books in general always feel like a step back home. One of the fantasy books that’s been on my list for a while now is Uprooted by Naomi Novik, which my lovely friend Tuddi was kind enough to buy for me!
Autumn also makes me feel like darker books, whether it’s crime or supernatural darkness. I’ve been doing my Autumn is for Asia challenge (details on my Instagram story collection!), and a lot of those books have been pretty dark – particularly I Have the Right to Destroy Myself by Young-Ha Kim. You can read my thoughts on that one here – it wasn’t quite what I was expecting! I also like a good spooky book for Halloween, such as The Woman in Black!
As we all know, autumn signifies the start of an ongoing decline in temperature, so your skincare routine needs to up its game to ensure your face stays fresh not flaky!
I’m enjoying using the Moistfull Collagen sleeping pack by Etude House, which is an intensive moisturiser you apply once or twice a week depending how dry your skin is, and voila – you wake up with soft, plump skin! Word of advice to sleeping mask newbies though – you apply it to your face like a normal moisturiser, but instead of rubbing it in, you massage it slightly then leave it on your face still wet – the idea is that it absorbs into your skin overnight. What I prefer to do is do these steps around 15 minutes before I want to go to sleep, then read a book for a bit. By the time you want to go to sleep, it will have stopped being wet and just feel a bit sticky. I’m making it sound messier than it is though – I have no trouble sleeping with sleeping packs on and it never rubs off on my pillow!
On a similar note, lip sleeping masks are my new holy grail! Anyone who knows me will know I am never seen without Vaseline or some form of lip balm within reaching distance (I’m talking one in my coat pocket, one in my jeans pocket, two in my handbag – you never know when you might get caught out!). Lip sleeping masks go on like Vaseline, but sink into your lips overnight, so you wake up with soft, plump lips! What I love about them is that even for a lip balm junkie like me, I don’t feel the need to reach for the lip balm after I’ve brushed my teeth in the morning as my lips still feel moisturised and not at all chapped.
The Grapefruit Laneige lip sleeping mask is the first one I tried, and I like it a lot – it glides on almost exactly like Vaseline and you could even wear it throughout the day if you wanted to as it just looks like lip gloss. However, my personal favourite is the Aritaum Ginger Sugar overnight lip mask! It has an unusual texture – it’s almost like stiff Vaseline, so it feels a bit sticky to apply, but it lasts forever! Seriously. By the time I wake up, the Laneige is 95% gone, but this one is still on, and even stays after I’ve eaten breakfast, had a morning coffee, had a cheeky mid-morning snack…it’s just great! Side note: despite its name, it’s not ginger flavoured or rough and sugary in texture; I think it just has extracts of both. These masks are more expensive than a tub of Vaseline, but they do make a difference and don’t run out quickly, so it balances out!
A good hand cream in particular is a must for the colder weather! I’m enjoying The Body Shop’s Vanilla Pumpkin hand cream, and also the body butter in the same range. It smells a bit like vanilla and nutmeg to me! I did get the shower gel too, but I find the scent a bit overbearing in that form – perhaps they ramped up the scent so you’d get the fragrance even though you wash the product off? Either way, I’m sticking to just the body butter and hand cream!
I’ve also become totally obsessed with Wow You’s Babe Butter. It’s made from coconut oils and blended coffee, and really does make my skin soft and smooth due to this dynamic duo coupled with caffeine and hyaluronic acid, which is a rare find in a body moisturiser. Super lovely, and really nice and creamy to apply. You can find out more about my favourite Wow You products here!
Autumn on the big screen
Similarly to my book choices, I go from cute and fluffy to dark and dreary! If you’re looking for fluffy, try the Christopher Robin movie I mentioned earlier, or a Disney Pixar job like Big Hero Six. For films in the cinema at the mo, try Smallfoot – the comic escapades of a yeti (aka a Bigfoot) voiced by Channing Tatum, on the hunt to find a mystical Smallfoot, otherwise known as a human! It’s great for kids of course, but still has some sharp wit and great tunes for adults to enjoy. (And let’s face it – you’re not worried about that anyway, because if you’re going to the cinema with a kid, you’re probably using them as a cover to get you into a film that wouldn’t otherwise be socially acceptable for you to go see on the big screen. Or is that just me?!)
Crazy Rich Asians is a good one too if you’re looking for something witty and lighthearted but with a bit of soul, though I think it’s in that awkward limbo period where it’s not in cinemas and not quite on DVD yet.
For darker films, some more recent favourites of mine have been Train to Busan and Hush. Train to Busan is a zombie flick, but a bit different to the usual undead gorefests that we see. There’s an outbreak of a zombie virus in Korea, and martial law is declared. Busan is the only place that seems to have fended of the virus, so those on an express train to the city are left to fight for their survival and use clever tactics to stay alive until that final stop. It’s a tale of redemption, tragedy, and both the good and bad in human nature. It will tug at your heart strings – there’s cute old ladies, sweet kids, pregnant women and lovesick teens you’ll inevitably get attached to – but it’s a slicker take on the zombie genre that’s definitely worth watching. It is in Korean, but it’s on Amazon Prime with subtitles!
Hush is another hidden gem which kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. The story is set around a deaf writer, who has retreated to a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods to concentrate on finishing her book. Of course, that’s not quite what happens! When a masked man with a knife appears at her cabin (which features some fantastically helpful floor to ceiling windows the whole way around), the writer is forced to play a game of cat and mouse in complete silence while anticipating the next moves of this crazed killer – all without being able to hear. Seriously, suspense by the gallon in this film!
By the way, have you heard about Letterboxd? Keep a movie diary, share reviews and check out what your friends think of films on its handy app! I’m on it over at https://letterboxd.com/tsundokugirl/ if you want to be friends there 🙂
What are your seasonal favourites?
Leave me a comment and let me know one of the following:
your favourite autumn book
your favourite autumn skincare products
your favourite autumn film/TV show