Monday, 29 May 2017

Time to Switch On

Yo – so this space has been a little dormant for a little too long. Like everyone else struggling through their final year of undergrad, I’ve been hitting the books (and the wine) hard and have neglected my little corner of the internet. Well, the library is closed and I’m back at it again, giving you my two cents on the nonsense of the world.

‘Dissolve in Scottish Rain’ is live and it’s got something to say: switch on.

Chaos about covers it: from the state of our nation to the state of my bedroom right now it’s ‘a lot’. So, how are we meant to navigate this clusterfuck of a world?

By ‘we’ I mean me and ‘us’: the dazed millennials who live on a diet of beans or whatever and are forever told that we are underqualified/over qualified/over exposed and under-informed. A boggling nucleolus of people muddling through in this highly politicised, highly diversified and, let’s be honest, highly chaotic universe.

In the run up to the 8th June General Election and in wake of atrocities like the Manchester attack last Monday night it’s impossible not to acknowledge that, if we are anything right now, we’ve got to be switched ‘on’ on a global scale. Turns out iPhones aren’t just for sharing memes and re-watching cat videos, they’re for spreading ideas, starting conversations and taking action. Who knew?

In this wee series, I’m talking about the little things we can do to make sure we are informed and engaged on a basic level. You don’t need to inhale the rhetoric plastered across newspaper pages, smeared on placards, posted through your letter box, but you do need to have an opinion. Here’s a rundown of some digestible ways to contribute to the discussions going on around you right now and they’re coming at you, unashamedly, in digital. 

First up, it’s the stuff we listen to. Yeah, Liam Payne’s new single is great and we ALL love the 1D shade, but I’m talking about stuff you can plug into that’ll keep you informed. So – is there babble out there that we can tune into right now that’ll provide some informal education on the serious stuff without making our ears bleed from boredom/despair? Sure is, here’s the run-down.

This series is nothing short of brilliant. Coupling humour with thought-provoking interviews, Deborah Francis White teases the ideas of ‘bad’ feminism. In each episode, she chats with bad ass individuals: politicians/comedians/writers about what feminism means to them. Riffing off of their achievements TGF sparks dialogues which target complacency, encouraging listeners to get out there and smash expectations. A particularly inspiring ep is a recent one with Jess Phillips which I’d encourage you all to download and listen to now in the run-up to the election.

Next up, it’s something new. ‘The Debrief Podcast’. From the people that bring you your daily Facebook clickbait comes a podcast designed with empowerment in mind. Across this series, Stevie and Tessa chat you through the mundanities of everyday life admin: targeting issues of ‘online’ isolation, confidence, finances, career goals, recycling…These gals are smashing it, consistently churning out content that targets the too many of us who feel like we are growing up clueless: offering solutions and inspiration every week. My fave episode so far is this one on ‘Imposter Syndrome’ #tooreal

Don’t press snooze. This one had to be included. Delivering GE updates every day in palatable, digital digests this podcast keeps you on the pulse of what’s going on in the UK right now. Updates on May’s manifesto meltdown the battle bus front and Corbyns’ eccentricities served in daily doses. With more than two million people registering to vote since the announcement of a snap general election it’s pretty clear people are engaging, so stay informed and make the right choice for you on June 8th. This will help.

I’ve spoken about Krystyna and Corinne a lot recently and with good reason. ‘Sorry about Last Night’ are a comedy duo deserving of the hype. Sharing their own stories alongside interviews with a series of comics, trans activists, mothers, victims of sex crimes who have harnessed their own adversity to inspire positive change; the girls really strike the balance between comedy and the serious stuff. I’ve listened to this podcast since its conception and it just keeps getting better. These gals have mastered the art of informal education. Their interviews are important, heart-warming, sickeningly funny and more than worthy of your subscription. Do it.

Lena, I love you. Just listen. Covering everything from Hilary Clinton to Girls to pro-choice, pro-life, pro-outspoken selfhood this series is ~everything~ and needs no introduction. Listen.

You like gibberish? This podcast is for you. From nonsensical everyday musings to the ~slightly~ more serious, these guys provide a weekly dose of nonsense that you’re going to want to tune into. Their cynical drawls cover your daily frustrations: from pigeons to local politics, conspiracy theories, Indy Ref 2, Trump? For them, no issue is a non-issue. Venting their personal frustrations whilst targeting the big guns in a suitably hilarious Scottish drawl this wee gem is one worth subscribing to… Also – dem sound effects.

That’s the roundup guys. Plug in and switch on.

Til next week, over n out.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The Peachy Palette I Can’t Get Enough Of!

This Christmas I was lucky enough to get my hands on Too Faced Cosmetic’s ‘Sweet Peach' Palette. This gorgeous 18 piece eyeshadow palette is one i’ve had my eye on since it was released last year. The packaging, in true Too Faced style, is gorgeous and the shadows themselves are highly pigmented and scented like your favourite 00’s gel pen… What’s not to like?

I’ve been reaching for this product every day since it was gifted to me (thanks mum!) AND It was so worth the shipping delays and Instagram stalking. The shades themselves range from shimmering neutrals to sunset oranges, earthy greens and deep plums. Simply stunning. 

I really enjoy the fact that this palette is both generous on both the showstopping colour and champagne nude front. Those lighter shades are always the ones I finish first so it’s refreshing to see a palette that really caters to that highlight we all love! The shades ‘White Peach’ and ‘Bellini’ are my favourite for those inner corners. A real ‘Tah-Dah’ effect. 

For me, there is something so glam about the bronzed sunset shades in this palette. I love creating a smokey eye with warm browns and earthy greens, something that really works with hazel/emerald eye colours. For that, there is a clear winner in this palette: the gorgeous ‘Summer Yum’. I will never tire of this warm shade. I typically blend it right into the crease, using my fluffy Zoeva cosmetics shadow brush to reduce sharpness and create a soft, ethereal winter look. 

This product is gorgeous and I’d go as far as to say I prefer it to the classic ‘Chocolate Box’ set. The colours are so flattering, the packaging is super aesthetically pleasing and you can easily create countless contrasting looks with just one product. Pick this up while you still can! Love.

Speak soon, 


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Winter Reading List

You know it's Christmas when you have time to get stuck into a good book. To toss the to-do list, camp out on the sofa with a cup of tea and a battered copy of your favourite old novel. Christmas is the time to re-read Little Women, Harry Potter, Bridget Jones' Diary? To get a little lost in your favourite fictional world. I've compiled a short list of some of my literary recommendations for this festive season. Get a cuppa and get stuck into this. 

I Love Dick - Chris Kraus

This book is something else. The novel is a semi-autobiographical, semi-fictitious account of Kraus’ actual marriage to Sylvere Lotringer and her subsequent semi-fictitious, semi-autobiographical relationship with Dick. The novel comprises a series of letters, phone calls, emails to Dick (Richard, don’t get too excited). Kraus’ novel is Butler-esque in its unashamed brand of feminism. The protagonist’s infatuation with her lover completely overrides the redundant passions within her own marriage. However, most crucially throughout the course of the novel, and her correspondence with Dick, Kraus comes to realise that her worth ought not to be equated to her relationships with either of these men. I adore this novel. It was first published in 1997, but has acquired cult status in recent years. Think Girls, think Fleabag, think Simone de Beauvoir. Read it. 

This is something a little different. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is a collection of short stories, published in 1981. Some of the stories were initially published in magazines/as part of serials. I love the short-story genre as it is immediately gratifying. Carver is master of this style. My favourite piece within the collection is the first one, ‘Why Don’t you Dance?’. These stories are more than their page numbers. You’ll be left chewing on these plots a long time after the book is closed, which is all we can really ask of fiction. This would be a lovely Christmas gift. 

This Modern Love is another collection. Youtuber Will Darbyshire produced the book earlier this year. It’s a compilation of love letters, heartbroken rants, pleas for forgiveness, FU’s. It’s basically a patchwork of relationship ramblings that we can all relate to in some way or another; and it’s brilliant. There is a page for each of us. The book is beautifully put together and features submissions from teenagers and grandparents alike. It’s proof that love exists and that we are not alone. It’s a book I will consult after first dates, breakups, fights for a long time to come. 

Becoming, by Laura Jane Williams (Superlatively Rude) is a book that I read in stages. I have consumed Laura’s blog for a year or so now. I now read her Grazia column like gospel, listen to her podcasts… I’m hooked. Her mantra resonates with me on a near spiritual level: “BECAUSE NONE OF US IS FUCKING UP LIKE WE THINK WE ARE, IS WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY”. I didn’t gorge on Becoming in quite the same way. I read it chapter by chapter, with breaks in between. Partially, due to university assignments taking over my life and, of course, partially because I wanted to savour each detail. Laura writes about love, lost hope, messy relationships, how it’s okay not to know what you’re doing so long as you know who you are. It’s a book I hereby prescribe to every 20 something feeling lost. Put it on your Christmas list. 

The Marriage Plot - Jeffery Eugenides 

Last up is a book I picked up because i’m an idiot. I’m writing my dissertation on the evolution of the Marriage Plot, from Victorian tradition to sci-fi future, I want to understand the effectual breakdown of this tired and restrictive tradition. So I googled ‘The Marriage Plot’ and blindly purchased this book. Totally useless for my degree, but by happy coincidence, I bloody love it. Written by the author of Middle Sex and The Virgin Suicides (of Kirsten Dunst cinematic fame) the book follows Madeline Hanna as she cobbles together her undergrad thesis. The book tackles issues of love, breakdowns, spirituality, the pursuit of happiness. It’s an uncomfortable read, in parts, but it’s a torture of the sweetest sort. I’ll be reading it again. 

Peace out, pals. 

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