Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Hey Nostradamus! // review

I promise Douglas Coupland isn't sponsoring my blog - but I've just read another of his books and had to review it. This is actually the first of his books that I owned - I picked it up years ago, and have just never got around to reading it.

It's similar, in a way, to Player One - it's written from the perspectives of four different people. It differs, though, because whereas Player One takes place in just one day, Hey Nostradamus! stretches over several decades, with each character writing in a different year. It's like a series of letters - starting with one from Cheryl, who dies in a school shooting and isn't very likeable, in all honesty. The next letter is from Cheryl's at-the-time boyfriend, Jason, written over 10 years later to his nephews. He talks about his life then, about going through tragedy, about religion and his family and his life now. The third letter is Jason's now-girlfriend, Heather, who I felt quite sorry for. She writes about Jason, and his family, and her job - she opens up more questions about the past, questions that don't ever get answered. The final letter is by Reg, Jason's dad, who has been painted as  villain throughout but actually turns out to be okay.

A major theme is religion, which it also was in Player One, but in this case it seems more practical and more applied, rather than being a grand idea or discussion point, and the way it features in almost every situation in the book is really interesting. Other themes include tragedy (obv) which I think is handled in a really clever way, as well as grief and love and family.

The characters are so intricately put together yet at the same time so ordinary; it's a massive situation written in such a realistic, simple and relatable way. It's clever, it's beautiful, it's funny and sad and confusing. The ending let me down a tiny bit, but other than that I loved this book and would heartily recommend it - Douglas Coupland is an incredibly talented writer who has a way of drawing you so far into story, that you're not sure you'll ever get back out.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Dermacol Foundation // Review

I've heard about Dermacol before, but it wasn't until I watched Soph Does Nails trying it out that I decided to snap some up for myself. I paid around seven quid for mine on eBay, and it arrived pretty quickly. Dermacol is a beauty range that originates from Barrandov Film Studios, where I have actually been (they've filmed some pretty cool films there, too) and it's now available to buy for the general public. The Make-Up Cover is a waterproof, SPF30 hypoallergenic foundation that's meant to  cover everything.

in daylight / Dermacol / me @ Barrandov in the snow!
So how did I get on? I used a primer, because I always do, and this time I opted for the Cover FX Calming Primer which is lush. I decided not to bother with colour correcting, and only applied a tiny bit of Freedom Pro Camouflage Paste on my blemishes. I then went in with Dermacol, using a really dense foundation brush rather than a blending sponge. I decided to use a brush because I was worried the foundation would be too thick for a sponge, and in the end I really loved how the foundation applied with the brush.

It had a more dewy finish than I was anticipating so I set it a teeeeeny bit with some Vichy loose powder. Other than that, it did what I thought it would do: cover. My skin, other than one raised spot, looked pretty flawless. The rest of my make up applied really nicely on top, and the finished look was really nice if I do say so myself.

with flash / Dermacol / in warm lighting
It doesn't set down completely, and even with powder it did transfer a bit when I touched my skin - but it lasted really well, and still looked decent after a 5 hour Saturday night pub shift! I'd definitely recommend giving it a go if you're after full coverage; I'm the shade 208 which is a really good match for me, and I'm pretty pale by most people's standards.

Have you tried anything form Dermacol? We're heading to Prague in October so we'll definitely be picking up some more of their products!

Monday, 27 March 2017

My favourite shirt

*warning the photos in this post aren't the best haha soz* When I was at Aintree Shopping Park last week taking some pictures and doing a bit of shopping for my ambassador posts, I picked up this gorgeous shirt and had no idea I'd fall so in love with it. It's soft and lovely and pretty.

It was £15 from M&S, even if my dad laughed at me and couldn't believe M&S had trendy shirts - but these days they're far from the old-lady shop they used to be when I was a kid, plus their beauty hall is amazing. Anyway, I chose this shirt for the softness of the fabric, the off-white colour that doesn't wash me out, and the way it floats so delicately.

It's one of those shirts that can be worn casually (open on top of something, maybe) or dressy. I've worn it with jeans, with a body con skirt, with tan suede leggings. I even wore it with joggers, but not to leave the house - I just like it. It makes me feel put together and grown up, and it feels so soft and nice against my skin in a way that not a lot of clothes do.

I'm not really a fashion sort of person, as you can probably tell from my blog, but I really have fallen in love with this shirt.

This post was written in collaboration with Aintree Shopping Park but all opinions are my own - please see my disclaimer for more info.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Card Making with Stampin' Up! UK

One thing you might not know about me is that I'm an arts and crafts nerd. I get it from my mum, and since I was little I've always made stuff - pasta collages, pringle tube monsters and cereal box houses, you name it, I've done it. My mum and I also used to make our own greetings cards, and we still have drawers upon drawers of card-making equipment. So when Stampin' Up! UK offered to send me over one of their Oh Happy Day card making kits*, I was instantly nostalgic for the days of pen-stained hands and a fringe stiff with PVA glue.

The kit retails at £31.50 and I think, personally, that's a really good deal - card making equipment can get SO expensive, and the stuff in here is amazing quality as well as being cute and practical. The kit comes in its own box, which makes it perfect for gifting, and everything is really well packaged.

So what do you get for your dollar? There's 13 stamps, and an acrylic block to stick them to so you don't end up with inky fingers. You get the ink, too, and then a ton of paper products: differently shaped cards, and envelopes, stickers/gems/twine, different shapes to play around with and some decorative coloured doilies. It's just such a good kit, and you can make up to 20 cards then use the leftover bits and pieces for other projects.

I made cards for Sam's mum and my mum for mothers day, and I plan on making birthday cards galore throughout the year - plus I think they turned out pretty good!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Poznan Photo Diary, March 2017

We recently went to Poznan for a 5-day break, and we fell head over heels in love with the Polish city. We visited lakes, malls, the zoo; we saw the old town, the new suburbs, the bits in between; we passed the university, ate chocolate fondue, bought too much skincare. Here's my favourite photos.

Polska / snack war / lake #1

when u bring ur umbrella n it doesn't even rain / palm house / church #1

candid #1 / panoramic views / succulents

three musketeers / old town / pretty gal

with a tree / church #2 / town

pink church !!! / town hall / bus stop graffiti

peacocks / flowers / bats

lake #2 / selfie / town hall in the rain

sunny old town statue / tanked / panoramic views

sunny old town statue #2 / park Cytadela / views

room full of cacti / pretty buildings / candid #2

town hall #3 / pretty park / (scientology) church #3

Have you ever been to Poznan? We loved it so much & can't wait to go back!