Friday, 29 July 2016

Summer 2016 Empties

I'm one of those people with a million half empty moisturisers, so when I recently noticed that my favourite foundation was running low, and several other products besides, this was worthy of note.  I have two more foundations than need to be used so I decided, with great sorrow in my heart, that I wasn't going to repurchase straight away (also I'm poor atm).  Several of my other current favourite products also ran out recently partially because quite a few were mini or travel sized products gleaned from beauty boxes.  I've put together a list of everything I've loved so much I ran out, as it really doesn't happen often.

Naobay Oxygenating Moisturizing Cream

I received this on one of my beauty boxes and fell in love with it.  Lightweight but heavy on the moisture, this was perfect for my skin to drink up first thing in the morning, and the smell was incredible.  I need some more of this!

Malin & Goetz Vitamin B5 Body Moisturiser

Okay, I actually pinched this tiny bottle of Malin & Goetz Body Moisturiser from the bathroom of a hotel in Dublin.  The hotel was ridiculously fancy, and the complimentary bath products were of a similar standard.  The smell of this product was out of this world.  It was fresh and citrusy, with a hint of lime and woke me up really well.  The bottle still smells of it a little and I will admit to occasionally sniffing it even now.  I really want a full size bottle!

REN Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial

Another beauty box find, this time from Look Fantastic. This little bottle went a very long way, and has lasted several months.  You apply the gel formula at night and wash it off when you cleanse first thing in the morning, and I've found it makes a huge difference to my skin.  There's a litte tingling when it's first applied but that just tells me that it's working.  By the time the sun rises my skin is brighter and smoother, it having polished my skin up beautifully overnight.  Yet another products that I will be purchasing in the full size bottle!

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream

An old favourite of mine that was mentioned in my first ever blog post!  Please, if you go back and read it, be nice; I had even less idea of what I was doing than I do now and everything about it is terrible.  While my blog has definitely improved since the heady days of, er, March, Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream is as kick-ass as ever.  I slather this on in an evening and it absorbs quickly into my skin leaving me fresh as a daisy the next day.  New pot needed ASAP!

Clinique Super City Block 

I mentioned this in my Staying Safe in the Sun post, because it has been a favourite of mine for the summer for several years.  When it's too hot for foundation but I still want a touch of colour, this is the answer.  With factor 40 included it's just perfect and very moisturising to boot.  The only problem?  It smells like sun cream.  I actually already have another tube of this because I do not mess around with sun care.

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat in BR10

This is my all time favourite foundation, and as you can probably tell from the photograph, there's only the tiniest dribble left.  It's incredibly glowy yet full coverage and I wear it constantly.  However, I also have a bottle of the YSL Le Teint Encre De Peau in B10 and the MAC Mineralise in NW13 and I'm determined to at least try and use them more before I repurchase.

CoLab Active Dry Shampoo

This was a pretty recent purchase in my Drugstore Beauty Haul and I'm converted from Batiste.  I waxed lyrical about it in that post so I won't repeat myself here, but it's safe to say that I love it.  My only criticism is that I end up using more than Batiste to get the same effect, but it's so cheap and the end result is so much better that I don't mind having to buy it more often.  I've already repurchased because I can't do without dry shampoo (rhyme totally intentional).

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Other beauty posts:
 Five Favourite Lip Products 
Benefit's New Brow Collection: My Picks 
How I Stay Safe in the Sun
All Beauty Posts 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood // Review

I really struggled when deciding whether or not to publish this post, as I don't like writing negative reviews.  If I don't enjoy a book, generally I won't review it, but as The Square Root of Summer featured on my Summer Reading List I felt that a review was necessary to show how some of my picks were a good choice and some, less so.  Obviously, I eventually decided to go ahead and publish it, after a few lovely people on Twitter encouraged me to, stating that they find honest, negative reviews refreshing.  

Read on for why The Square Root of Summer left me thoroughly irritated.

 The Square Root of Summer follows Gottie in the summer before her last year in sixth form/school.  She is attempting to deal with the upheaval in her life caused by the death of her Grandfather, Grey, and having her heart broken by her brother's friend after the end of their secret relationship.  When her childhood best friend, Thomas, returns to town, Gottie's life is thrown into chaos, as what she surmises to be wormholes begin to dog her every move.  She endeavours to discover why she is experiencing these anomalies, and how they are connected to Thomas and the gaps in her memory surrounding his departure long ago.  

Okay, let's just stop there.  We've all dealt with grief, we've all dealt with heartbreak.  They're horrendous and can have a serious impact on your life, but not in the form of wormholes.  I love physics, and I love well-explained sci-fi even more, but this was neither of those things.  This was a saccharine wet blanket that effectively doused any interest I had in either the science or the limited development exhibited by Gottie.  In my opinion this undermined the real pain that people going through grief and heartbreak experience.  The wormholes may be a metaphor for that pain, with Gottie effectively trapped by the past, but I felt that they only needlessly complicated the threadbare plot.  Rather than being an honest examination of Gottie and her family's pain, it became a cringing story of jilted love and idiot ex-boyfriends.  I was honestly so frustrated with Gottie as the book progressed.  I just wanted to her get up and carry on with life.  Perhaps I am insensitive, but I have been in almost exactly her position (minus the wormholes and childhood friend) and you just have to deal with it.  

Essentially my problem with The Square Root of Summer was the over-dramatisation of grief and heartbreak, and the lacklustre nature of the main character.  She was bland and uninteresting, probably in order to make it easier for the reader to see themselves in her.  I actually think this book would have been greatly improved by having another perspective on Gottie's situation, whether that's a descent into madness or a genuine experience of a scientific anomaly.  She behaves irrationally, so perhaps the perspective of her brother would have given us another direction to consider the story from, rather than the all-consuming self-absorption exhibited by Gottie.  In case you can't tell, I really didn't like her.

If you've read The Square Root of Summer, let me know if you think I'm being too harsh!

Other (far more positive) book reviews:

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Friday, 15 July 2016

Five Favourite Lip Products

I'm kind of really into lipstick.  I can't stand the stickiness of lipgloss, and since that was all anyone ever wore when I was about fourteen I concluded that I hated lip products in general.  Many years later I discovered the fact that with the right lipstick you can look freaking amazing.  It took some time to find the right shade (past experiments included lipsticks in shades like way-too-pink and way-too-dark) but I've now got a decent ever expanding collection of products I love.  There are a few that I reach for constantly and I'll always repurchase, so I've put together a list of my Five Favourite Lip Products for you.

MAC Chili

I was dead set on Ruby Woo when I went to the MAC counter for a "proper" red lipstick.  I am eternally grateful to the makeup artist who talked me into trying Chili instead.  I now own and love Ruby Woo, but Chili has a special place in my heart and on my face.  It's a perfect orange toned red that works brilliantly with my gingery hair and pale skin.  With a dramatic eye it works for a fancy night out, and with more minimal makeup it classes up even an old shirt, jeans and boots combo. 


MAC Lip Pencil in He Said, She Said

MAC lipsticks tend to be long lasting, but there's no harm in giving them a little help.  I have found the MAC lip pencil in He Said She Said, pictured is the Charlotte Olympia Collection version, is a great match for most of my warm toned red lipsticks, including Chili.  It gets a lot of use, and I when I use it as a base my lipstick does not budge!

MAC Patent Polish in Clever

I was all about matte for a long time, and recently started incorporating sheerer lipsticks into my arsenal.  Technically this isn't a lipstick so much as pencil/gloss combo.  I realise that earlier I stated just how much I hate glosses, but the main reason is stickiness, and this just isn't!  It's sheer but with enough colour to bring some life to my moon-face and is a lot easier to wear than a matte lipstick.  Plus if needs be you can put it on without a mirror and not look like a complete buffoon.

NYX Liquid Suede in Soft Spoken

I've had a few ups and downs with liquid lipsticks, as I really didn't get on with the Sleek Matte Me range and the other NYX lipstick I purchased turned out to be way too dark for me.  Soft Spoken however is a real winner for me.  Incredibly long lasting and in pink-brown nude is a colour I don't wear often, but have really grown to love.  It's still kind of dark on me, but in a good way.  It does mean that it's a bit more of statement lip than a true nude-for-me would be, but I kinda love it.  I was always about a bright lip, but I'm embracing the nude.  That came out wrong.

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lasting Creme in Rose Tea

This is an oldie but a goodie.  With a cream finish this is a lipstick I've owned and loved for years.  When a bright lip feels like too much, when I need more colour than Patent Polish and Soft Spoken is too much, this is what I reach for.  It's the perfect warm toned muted pink, and is my ultimate back up plan.  It's also really moisturising, so if my lips are really dry from an excessive use of matte lipsticks this is a good alternative.

No matter how I'm feeling, one of these will fit my mood.  Chili and He Said She Said are the backup for if I'm worried I'm going to be under dressed, or need that confidence boost.  Patent Polish is for laid back but cute kind of days, Soft Spoken is for when I feel a little bit, dare I say it, cool.  Rose Tea is like my home though.  It may not be my favourite, but it's always there when I need it, like a hug from my Gran.  She was with me when I first bought it, back when my makeup consisted of a heavy coating of Double Wear to cover up my terrible acne and a lick of mascara.  This lipstick changed things, as I began to experiment and figure out what I actually liked and suited me.  It still reminds me of home.

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