Monday, 30 November 2015

Book Club - Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith

This month's read is a charming little book about first love and identity. Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith takes a story that you think you know and completely spins it on its head. Ali Smith blurs the lines between genders from the very first sentence - 'Let me tell you about when I was a girl, our grandfather says'. Right from the get go you're left with so many questions. Girl Meets Boy is rich, unpredictable, funny and moving.
Set in Scotland, Girl Meets Boy is told from the point of view of two very different sisters - Anthea and Imogen. Anthea is beautiful, free spirited, quick witted and clever while Imogen (Midge) is desperate to succeed, serious and very eager to please. Midge works at a bottled water company called Pure, who plan to dominate the world, and she does her best to work her way up the rankings despite being surround by very sexist men. Midge manages to get Anthea a work experience position at Pure but she doesn't have the same work ethic as Midge and ends up running off with the eco warrior, Robin, who vandalises Pure's building instead. Initially Anthea mistakes the stunning Robin for a boy, but after falling for Robin she is left questioning her sexuality and identity while Midge can't stop thinking about the consequences of her sister being 'a gay'.
Girl Meets Boy is Ali Smith's interpretation of the story of Iphis, in Ovid's Metamorphosis. The girl who was brought up as a boy to avoid her death, as her father says they can't afford a daughter, and who appeals to the gods on the day of her wedding to transform her into a boy so she can make her future wife happy. It's such an interesting concept to take a myth and recreate it for the modern day. I think it is a story that was way before its time and Ali Smith's novel is about the kind of fluidity that cannot be bottled or sold, no matter how hard Pure are trying to do that.
I love the way the book is written so much. Ali Smith really puts you inside the heads of the characters and we can really see their minds working. Especially Imogen's when she finds out about Anthea and Robin's relationship. Ali Smith's writing is a dream to read and she really captures what it feels like to fall in love for the first time. She makes everything seem so real yet magical and I'm pretty sure it is something that everybody can relate to in one way or another. I also love the political ideas behind each character, they really give this short book some more depth and make it very inspiring to read.
Do give this book a read, it's only short but it packs a punch and it's messages about identity, women's rights and first love are so relevant to today. What have you been reading this month?
Ciara x

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Autumn Alternatives To The Berry Lip

Autumn is in full swing now and winter is just around the corner, so I thought I would share with you the lipsticks I've been loving so far this season. I'm not all that adventurous when it comes to autumn/winter lip colours. I find the traditional purple and berry tones far too intimidating for me. (Although I have found one that I really like wearing at the minute, so we'll see how that goes and I'll keep you posted!) I tend to stick to reds and pinky brown nudes and I'm having a real thing about matte lips lately. So here are my alternatives to the berry lip trend.
Lately I've really loved wearing the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 07 Nude-ist (£8.99). The Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets are matte liquid lipsticks that aren't drying in the slightest and are actually really lightweight. I bought Nude-ist thinking it was going to be that perfect nude colour for me but it isn't. It's a really gorgeous dark pink with brown undertones and almost a hint of plum. Completely unexpected from the bottle! This colour is so good for those of you who want to try out that darker lipstick trend but don't want to go full hog the first time. Just be careful with this as it fades unevenly, especially if you're eating and drinking. You can read my full review here.
The darkest lipstick I own is *Mac Chili (£15.50). This is the most gorgeous matte dark red shade I have ever seen. I wanted it for ages and I was lucky enough to receive it from my friend for my birthday last year. I think *Chili is such an unsung hero of the Mac world. I don't think I have ever heard anybody say anything about it but it's a colour that everybody should have in their collection come these colder months. *Chili is a matte brick red with browny orange undertones that I can imagine would suit everybody. The formula is really lovely. Although it is matte, it's comfortable to wear, easy to apply and doesn't smudge. The wear time is really good but again, just watch the fading.
If reds are your thing but you don't want something as dark then check out the Topshop Lipstick in Be My Baby (£8) which is such a lovely pinky red. It's a new addition to my collection and my first Topshop lipstick, but I love it and I absolutely need more! Be My Baby makes a gorgeous, effortless everyday red lip and the formula is amazing. Topshop describe the finish as satin matte but basically it's just not glossy or glittery, it's nowhere near as matte as *Chili or Nude-ist. Be My Baby is easy to apply, doesn't smudge or fade unevenly and lasts forever. Give this one a look next time you're in Topshop because I never hear people talking about it and it really is gorgeous.
If bold berry, pink or red tones just aren't for you but you still want something suited to the darker weather, then this is the perfect nude for you. The Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate Lipstick in 03 (£5.49) is a beautiful pinky brown nude that is reminiscent of THAT Jenner lip. This has fast become a staple in my collection and you might have even seen it in my school makeup routine. It's just such a beautiful everyday colour that is effortless to wear but makes a real difference. It pulls your look together in a very understated way. The formula is really nice, it gives you a semi matte look without being drying and it fades evenly. The wear time is good, it comes off when eating and drinking so touch ups are required, but that's not a bother at all because it's so easy to apply.
What's your favourite lipstick for autumn?
Ciara x
*This post contains items which were gifted to me. Full disclaimer.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

The Darker Side Of Fairy Tales

I haven't really had much time for reading this month, so instead of trying to rush myself through a whole new book I've been dipping in and out of an old favourite - The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales.

I'm sure you've all heard of the Brothers Grimm, but if you haven't they are the ones responsible for a lot of the fairy tales we know and love today such as Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and The Frog Prince. I know what you're thinking, you all know those stories so why do you need to read them again right? Well the stories being shown in the cinemas now have come a long way from their original Grimm origins. The stories by the Brothers Grimm are much darker, violent, gruesome and if I'm honest, a whole lot more interesting! Perfect for the Halloween month.

This is just the perfect book to pick up when you want something quick to read because all the stories in the book range from like half a page to a couple of pages long. I find it so satisfying to read a story all in one go, so these little tales are perfect for me. The book is filled to the brim with well known classics, stories that you thought you knew and some that you will never have heard of before. It's a really exciting and interesting read and one that will never get old.

I understand this is a bit of a weird book to write about but I love it so much and think everybody should have a little look at it. If you're interested in the dark side of fairy tales, or where many of the stories and films around today have stemmed from, then this is the book for you.

Happy Halloween!

Ciara x

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