Monday, 25 July 2016

Us, by David Nicholls

A few years ago, I picked up One Day by David Nicholls - I proceeded to read it and fall in love with a style of writing that seemed so fresh, yet so homely at the same time. I love the film, too, even with Anne Hathaway's shoddy accent. So, naturally, when Us was released it went firmly on my to-read list; now, finally, I've read it. And I loved it.

The story follows Douglas in the midst of his marriage collapse, and we join him on a journey that's so exciting it seems almost far fetched - yet David Nicholls somehow has us believing it. He creates characters that are so relatable, so charming and so brilliant that it's impossible not to laugh and cry along with them.

As someone who loves to travel, I loved the descriptions and anecdotes that came alongside each place on the characters' journey. I loved hearing how the relationship had started, and how it was ending, and how Douglas tries to save it throughout their grand tour of Europe. I found myself, untimately, relating to all three major characters: Douglas, his wife-in-limbo Connie, and their son Albie. I think this is something Nicholls does so well - creating characters who are nothing like me whatsoever, and having me feel as though I know them and would get on with them and can predict their next moves.

I really really loved this book; not quite as much as One Day but almost. Nicholls has such a charming way with words, and his characters and situations are well-rounded, believable but exciting at the same time. I would highly recommend y'all read this, and let me know what you think!

If you have any book recommendations please throw them my way!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Current home decor wishlist

I've moved home from uni, and I'm slowly but surely sorting my bedroom out so it's a nice place to get my head down when it comes to blog work and, come October, my masters course. I'm getting a new bed in the next couple of weeks (hit me up with mattress recommendations, please, and bear in mind I'm on a budget...) - but here's a few other bits I've got my eye on.

These lights are from Tiger; sadly, there isn't a Tiger near me but you best believe the next time I'm in London I'll be picking them up if they're still in stock. I already have a string of fairy lights, but theyr'e tiny in comparison to these and I think the colours would look fab around my bed. Next up is this wall tapestry - you can get these in quite a few places, in a multitude of designs. I love the pink and purple in this one, and I have a patch of wall that has a load of marks on from where posters used to be. Definitely the sort of thing I need to cover them up!

I have a mirror on my wardrobe, but I want one on the wall for doing my make up - cue this gorgeous piece from Oliver Bonas which I just love. It's pricey, so I'm on the hunt for a cheaper alternative, but it's just soooo pretty. Primark have some gorgeous home bits at the moment, and this 'keep on smiling' tumbler is supposed to be for the bathroom but I always need stuff like this for hair grips and bobbles plus I love anything with a little quote on it. The 'hola' mug candle is just so bright and lovely, too.

Again - quotes. This trinket dish from Sass and Belle would be perfect for earrings and the like; as you can see I've got a thing for bright colours the minute, too! One thing about being a blogger is the sheer number of STUFF you accumulate: I always need more storage, and this wooden crate is just spot on. Isn't IKEA the best?

Have you spotted any cool homeware lately? Show me!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Blemish concealers - the round up

My skin is a nightmare, and I have a face full of spots and scars - so concealer is definitely something I always have in my make up bag. I've been testing a few lately, and wanted to talk you through my thoughts...

e.l.f Complete Coverage Concealer, Light // This is a fab little palette; I got it for Christmas and I've hit pan on a couple of the shades, because I love it. I tend to stick to the two on the left for blemishes, and they're soooo creamy. They do wear off a bit during the day, but most of my make up does! I mix the two shades together and apply with my finger, and voila.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, Fair 1 // Would any post about concealers be complete without this? It's cheap and cheerful, and gets the job done. I find it to be really easy to work with and it blends really well too. The colour range isn't great, though.

Face Atelier 1 Ultra Camouflage Duet, Light // The two colours in this look SO dark in the pan, but they're actually a really good match for me. They're not as creamy as I'd like them to be; you do need to warm them up a bit, but they offer plenty of coverage which is what I look for in a concealer, really.

Seventeen phwoarr paint, Fair // Okay, so this is marketed as an under eye concealer but it's way too thick for that, in my opinion! Plus it's not really light enough, so I use it on blemishes. It's okay - not the best, but it's not expensive which is a bonus.

Liz Earle Perfect Fix Concealer, Fair 02 // I don't know who thought this is 'fair' but it's orange, and this means I can't really use it as it stands out under my foundation. I also don't like the stick because it's unhygienic - so this one's a no from me. Plus it's expensive.

Cargo Cosmetics Double Agent Concealing Balm Kit, 2N // Again, the concealer in this looks like it would be too dark, but it isn't. This is my favourite of the bunch; it's so creamy, long lasting and the perfect shade match. The powder is pretty decent too, so it's a good one for travelling.

Do you have any concealer recommendations? Let me know!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Japan Funbox // Review

I love food; I love it so much, and when people send me food it's a bit like Christmas. Japan Funbox are a subscription service (there's a lot of these floating around now, eh?) who send out - you guessed it - Japanese candy and snacks. There's three different sizes you can get: mini, original and family, priced accordingly. They ship worldwide for no extra cost, which is a bonus! The guys at Japan Funbox sent me out of their mini boxes* and I was in heaven.

You typically get 5-7 items in the mini boxes, and this month there was six. The first one I tried was the Pizza Potato - pepperoni pizza flavoured crisps. Oh boy. They're amazing and I'm on the hunt for something similar in the UK. It's a bit like that scene in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory with the chewing gum that is flavoured like an entire meal - you can genuinely taste all the different aspects of the pizza. The other crisps in the box were the Slim Ganko Fried Potato - basically ready salted crisps, but like... slivers of crisp, if that makes any sense. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Japanese candy makers seem to be a bit obsessed with grape flavoured things; I hate grape flavoured things, but I tried them anyway. The Whistle Candy was soooo cool - it genuinely does make a whistle sound when you blow through the hole, but it also does have that artificial grap flavour which gives me a headache. Swings and roundabouts. The One Piece Gum has the same flavour, and thus I hated it, but it's cool that it has the characters from the comic on it - this is definitely something I think would appeal to people who are "into" Japanese culture/things/stuff.

Strawberry and chocolate is my favourite flavour combination, and Meiji Apollo didn't disappoint; little cones of chocolated and strawberry goodness - be warned, though, they're SO moreish. I literally ate them all in one go. Last but not least was the Ume-Pachi which is a plum flavoured popping candy. Ultimately, I thought it was disgusting. I am endlessly fascinated by popping candy though. How? Why? What??

All in all I had so much fun trying the Japan Funbox* - but I'm not sure if I'd pay the £11.37 every month. Maybe as a one off or a birthday present for someone, though!


Friday, 15 July 2016

DHC Superhero Eye Rescue // Review

DHC are a Japanese skincare brand, and they're one that I've tried a fair few things from - so when their Superhero Eye Rescue pack came through my door, I couldn't wait to get stuck in. The pack comes with 6 pairs of masks, and you're supposed to use them 1-2 times per week; this means the pack will last you 3-6 weeks depending on your preference. At £15 for the pack... well, you decide if you think it's worth it!

I cleansed and moisturised my face, then whacked the masks onto my eyes. They are the perfect shape, but a little too big so they're not particularly comfortable - nevertheless, I love the idea of this sort of mask because it's so fuss-free. I left them on for around 7 minutes (the recommended time is 10) because honestly, they were stinging. It wasn't unbearable, but it was uncomfortable.

 When you remove the masks, you massage the remainder of the cream into the eye area - I liked that bit, because it's not often that I remember to actually use eye cream so it was nice to spend time looking after an area I don't usually pay much attention to. After that it felt tacky for a minute or so, and then soft, sooooo soft.

All in all, I like these eye masks - but I don't think they're something I'd spend money on time and time again. They've not done much in terms of brightening the area or getting rid of bags, and the stinging was vaguely off-putting.

What have you tried from DHC?