Monday, 25 August 2014

Why do we wear Make-Up?

I have never been someone who covers their face in make-up but I know a lot of people that wear it pretty much every day and depend upon it as something that makes them feel more confident and socially acceptable. I do feel the pressure to wear make-up to certain places such as school or parties, this is probably because there are people in both situations that I want to impress and really it just makes me feel good and gives me extra confidence. But really a trip to the supermarket or to my best friends house doesn't really call for a smoky eye and bright red lipstick.

The internet is full now of beauty gurus and beautiful women who dedicate their careers to make-up, we give each other tips and advice on how to make your face look perfect or like your favourite celebrity. Why do we feel the need to do this and not just embrace our natural selves?

When you really think about the concept it seems so ridiculous. As women we don't feel that our true skin is acceptable in public, when we want to impress someone we put powder, concealer and mascara on our face because we believe that this will make them think we are beautiful, or for this they will like us more. Usually men don't wear make-up, if they have a spot or dark circles under their eyes they just accept it and go about their day. I am not suggesting that they don't have insecurites but if they can survive without make-up then women should be able to as well.

I urge anyone who feels pressure to wear make-up to try just one day bare faced in public. This doesn't have to be at work or school if that's not something you feel comfortable with but even just to go shopping in town. Try one day without make-up and see if anyone even notices, I can almost guarantee that nobody will care in the slightest because people talk to you for your amazing personality and this won't stop because you don't have a flawless complexion and voluminous eyelashes. (Not to mention it will save you A LOT of money trying out all the latest products)

Monday, 18 August 2014

Book Review: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

While I was on holiday (to Madeira, it was lovely), I read Life After Life. It is something that has been on my 'to-read' list for a while and when my English Literature teacher set us a reading list for summer and this was on there I knew I had to read it. The story follows Ursula Todd as she lives, and dies multiple times, but then is reincarnated unbeknownst to her and she experiences a feeling of de-ja-vu which warns her how to avoid this mistake again.

For the first 100 pages or so I was very very confused. The general rule is that with every rewind of Ursula's life, things get better. This is also helpful for the reader because it means that you can almost pick and choose the ending that you like best, for me the ending was definitely the one I preferred.

It also conveys a message of how your path of life may be dramatically changed if you hadn't bumped into that man on the street who then became your husband. Or perhaps all the ways you narrowly avoided death. I found this to be an idea that stuck with me after the book, it makes you wonder how everyday actions affect your future which is very worrying but also in some ways very exciting!

After I had got to terms with the structure of the story, and also noted what the different dates meant such as Ursula's birth on 11th February 1910, it was a very gripping read and I could hardly put it down. I know reading time on holiday is not proportionate to reading time at home, but I read this 600 page book in probably 4 days because it was just that good.

I would love to read more of Kate's work because, if I hadn't seen the publish date, I would have assumed it was an acclaimed classic. She has written it with so much care and technique that it could sit amongst the works of Austen or Du Maurier. She is definitely one of the best authors I have ever read. I would recommend this book to lovers of Literature, it is quite challenging and definitely not a light read but it is worth your time!

Monday, 11 August 2014

The Fault in Our Stars in a Word : Okay

I went to see The Fault in Our Stars with my friend at the cinema probably a month ago now and I've been trying to compose my thoughts about it. First shocker: I didn't cry. Not at all. I had tears in my eyes but it wasn't to the brink of sobbing that the book brought me to. Also, neither did my friend who has also read the book and also been moved to tears by it.


Lets start by talking about the book and the story itself. I loved the book, I loved the idea and the characters and the way John Green writes. I was so excited when I heard it was being turned into a film, I had put it up there with my favourite books. I think it is such an interesting love story, it is so much more than 'the new notebook' or other things I am ashamed that it has been associated with. It is so much more than a romance, it tells the real emotions and torment cancer brings into people's lives. This is not a very widely acknowledged topic in the world of cinema or literature in general and I think it should be featured more because it is a real problem that I think I can say everyone has experienced in some form. I am incredibly lucky that I have not suffered through close family and cancer but people in my family have had cancer and my Nanna even died from it before I met her. It is a very real issue that should be more widely addressed.
The story was so well written, I think I read it in about two days and for me that is not normal, it's the sign of a really good book. It makes you smile, laugh and cry still managing to surprise you at the end. However, I didn't find this so much with the film.

The film was very good to see in some ways because it's amazing seeing a good book come to life on a screen and seeing how it compares with what you had imagined. I loved Augustus' lines that I remembered from the book, and their relationship was exactly how I wanted it to be. Although, my friend showed me a review someone had given of the film and they said it seemed 'too Shakespearean' in their language and that is something I can totally understand. (I have tried so hard to find this to credit them but I can't :( ) I think the language they used towards each other was way too poetic and philosophical than two teenagers would use and for this reason they became quite difficult to relate to compared to the version in the book.

The ending was also what I had a problem with, it wasn't as powerful as in the book. I felt that we could have seen more of Augustus' funeral, also I didn't like that Peter Van Houten gave Hazel the letter from Augustus because it just made a bad day worse for her. Gus would have known that this could only end in disaster.

So in conclusion, I think the film was good if you haven't read the book already. The story is heart-warming but heartbreaking at the same time, and the idea  behind it is unique. Although for someone who grew so attached to the book (and most probably my version of the story created in my imagination) it is not what you may hope or expect. If you really loved the film and haven't already, I would strongly encourage you to give the book a go, it is perfect for all ages and tells a story you will never forget.

Monday, 4 August 2014

July Favourites

For me July is the best month of the year because first of all it's my birthday and also it's the real start of summer. This month has been even better than usual because we've been treated to a heatwave which is very rare in England! These are just some random favourites put together, I thought it would be a good way to introduce myself.

Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm in Pink Punch 
(Photo taken from the Superdrug website)
This has been my go to lip colour of the month and I've used it pretty much every day. As it's been much hotter I haven't really wanted to go all out on my make-up so I've just been wearing concealer and foundation and this is the perfect colour to go with a more natural look. The colour looks so bright but it isn't very pigmented, it just enhances the actual colour of you lips. It is also mainly a lip balm so it keeps your lips really hydrated and it's such good value for money at £2.99!

Soap and Glory Butter Yourself Body Butter 

Another birthday present from another friend, this smells so amazing. I actually got the 'Bad Day Box' which I think is so cute, it also had the 'Pulp Friction' body scrub and 'Foam Call' shower gel. The butter itself melts onto your skin and if you use it every day you can notice the difference very quickly.

X - Ed Sheeran
Photo taken from iTunes
 I had been listening to this on Spotify 24/7 since it was released until my friend got it for me for my birthday and since then I have been listening to it on my CD player 24/7. It is such an easy album to listen to and perfect background music, all the songs are so beautiful. I wasn't a huge fan of his first album but this is a very new sound and I absolutely love it. The lyrics of the songs are so powerful and every time you listen you can pick out new little references and puns that you hadn't noticed before. It's definitely one of my favourite albums of all time already. I would recommend getting the deluxe version too because the songs from The Hobbit and The Fault in Our Stars are so poetic and fitting to the movies.

Born to Die - Lana Del Rey
Photo taken from Wikipedia

 I got this album last summer but I think it is the perfect summer album, I was sitting in the park one day with my friend and we put this on and it was just so perfect for a hot day when you just want to relax. Lana's voice is so soothing and the lyrics again are so intricate and interesting, this is my go to if I'm walking out and about or having a picnic with my friends and we want to listen to something.

Orange is the New Black
Taken from
 Oh my god, I am going to try so hard not to gush over this but this is my new obsession. I had heard all the hype around this but didn't really see how a prison drama could be that amazing but oh how wrong I was. I can't even fully describe why I am so hooked on it but it just combines comedy with romance with drama and it's just so different. As much as I never see myself having to go to prison, I think it's something we all wonder about what it would be like. This is a trivial and not particularly trustworthy perception but so interesting nonetheless. I have just finished the end of season 1 and it was the craziest cliffhanger ever, that's all I will say.


 Having taken English Literature at A Level and also now starting work for A2 I have a lot of set reading to do, I don't get much time to read for myself. Although I do try to read one book of my choice every now and again, this time I decided I would give Fangirl a go because I had heard such good reviews. This is definitely not a genre I have read for a while, recently I have been much more into dystopian and fantasy books but it was really good to go back to a more light hearted romance story. I was a bit dubious of how fan-fiction would fit in and I have to say I would have enjoyed the story the same or perhaps more if there hadn't been such a heavy focus on it, although I thought it was cool how they integrated something that is very normal for a lot of teenagers now into something as 'mainstream' as a book. The characters in the book are what captured me. I just felt I could relate to Cath so much, and you really grew attached to them as the story developed. This was even to the point that at the end I was sad because I would miss them! Definitely more aimed at teenage girls and definitely worth the hype.

Let me know what your favourites have been this month, leave a link to your blog in the comments too! I'd love to meet some other bloggers :)

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