Bookshelf #8: Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

Just before Christmas, I picked up a copy of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. I’ve had read Haddon’s other two books in the past (The Red House being a particular favorite), so I decided to give this one a try as well.

The novel tells the story of fifteen year-old Christopher, a boy with what appears to be Asperger’s syndrome, who investigates the killing of his neighbor’s dog. What begins as a murder-mystery (in Christopher’s eyes) turns out to be his story of dealing with the world through his own eyes. During the story, he ventures out into the world on his own for the first time and has to deal with betrayal and disappointment by his loved ones.

It is interesting to read the story from Christopher’s perspective, as his view of the world is so unique and different, shaped by mathematical formulas and a curious understanding of the way people work. Through his eyes, normal tasks of everyday life become burdens while mathematical problems and scientific approaches are a breeze.

While of course, this is Haddon’s interpretation of what it might be like to live with a developmental disorder, it is still so interesting to get acquainted with the storyline not through a character who is in touch with his emotions and understands social queues, but one that is detached and challenged by social interactions.

Having been published in the early 2000’s, this novel sure isn’t a new discovery, but it is one that I have thoroughly enjoyed, much like Haddon’s other works. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly suggest you do so and take it as a starting point into Haddon’s bibliography. The novel has also been adapted for stage and screen.

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Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

Since its inauguration, the Kat von D cosmetics line has made a huge splash in the beauty community. Their saturated colors with great formulations are not for the faint-hearted, but if you’re looking for a fun and bold make-up look, this line is where you should go.

The first thing I had to try were the Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks and since my make-up collection is overflowing with different shades of red, I decided to go for something different and picked up the electric purple-pink called Bauhau5.

Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick Bauhau5

The formula is wonderful – opaque but not too thick or gloopy, it dries down to a matte, long-lasting finish in a few swipes. It is, as can be expected, not too forgiving. The first time I tried this was over the holiday season when my lips were very dry and chapped from flying and cold weather. While the lip color wasn’t uncomfortable to wear, it emphasized dehydration-lines on my lips, so I would advise to wear a very nourishing lip balm or lip primer underneath.

The staying power, on the other hand, is stellar. This is definitely not a formula that you have to check on throughout the day. It lasts through eating and drinking almost perfectly, so it is very low-maintenance in that respect.

While the very long wand and the doe-foot applicator make it somewhat difficult to be very precise in application, I would go in with a lip brush anyway with this type of color, so it is not a huge drawback but something to keep in mind.

All in all, I will definitely check out the other colors in the range (although the displays at my local Sephora always look extremely picked over). It seems that much like last year, in 2016 liquid lipsticks still reign supreme, and Kat von D is right at the top.

Body Shop Staples

The Body Shop is one of those stores that caters to almost every aspect of beauty. From color cosmetics to skincare, you can find everything in there, which at times can be a little bit overwhelming.

After trialling a fair share of their products, I think I have narrowed down the absolute gems in their collection – at least in my opinion.

Body Shop Staples

First up is their Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter. I have sung praises to their Cleansing Oil, but I actually think the butter is more up my street. For one, it is easier to travel with (the oil tends to leak) and I love the consistency of a good cleansing balm. In terms of make-up removal, they perform equally well, so I think it comes down to personal preference. While there are not any specific skincare benefits from this basic cleanser, it performs amazingly for a first, make-up removing cleanse, so I’ll definitely keep a stock of this one.

Next is the Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel. The Body Shop does about a million ranges of scents, but this is by far the one I love best. I was afraid this would smell like a cleaning product, but the scent is so fresh, fruity and invigorating that it is an absolute pleasure to use, especially in the morning. The gel lathers up nicely without drying out the skin at all and I have even used this as a substitute shaving gel.

Another travel friendly fiend is the Aloe Lip Care, which comes housed in a convenient squeezy tube. This is a nourishing lip balm that leaves a subtle glossy finish without being sticky or greasy. It feels amazing on the lips and hydrates them nicely, which is why I like using this over night or on airplanes. While I do prefer a more matte finish under my lipsticks, this is a great one for seriously dry lips.

And finally, another dry skin savior is the Hemp Hand Protector. With a lovely herbal smell, this hand cream sinks in quickly and without any greasy residue but leaves my perpetually dry and chapped hands soft and nourished. I also love the aluminum tube as it squeezes out every last drop of this gorgeous hand cream. The scent, while noticeable, is inoffensive and not at all overpowering, which is important for me as my migraines are often triggered by heavy scents.

And that’s it for my little round-up of Body Shop favorites. What’s your favorite pick from their store? Any suggestions and must-haves?

 

Bite Beauty Syrah

If there’s one thing I can’t walk past in the beauty department, it’s a good lip product. My love for a bright lip has been well documented on here, but what I was sorely lacking in my stash was a nice everyday nude that doesn’t lean too pink or mauve.

In comes Bite Beauty, a brand solely dedicated to lip products and therefore right up my alley. I’ve been reading about them forever, but since they are not available in Europe, I had to wait until I made it to a North American Sephora in order to get my hands on some of their merchandise.

Bite Beauty Syrah

And of course it was at their gorgeous counter where I found their beautiful High Pigment Lip Pencil in Syrah, a lipstick in never knew I wanted but had to have as soon as I swatched it on my lips.

It’s a slightly warm-toned, peachy nude that comes in a convenient stick form, making it perfect for easy touch-ups on the go. While the color is certainly opaque, it is not one of those nudes that wipe out your lips and make you look like you’ve caked them in concealer.

With a nice bit of warmth and a good dose of pigment, this is super flattering and works as a great everyday color. Now I usually go for more pink-toned nudes as they work with my complexion better, but this is neutral enough that it doesn’t clash with my skin tone or makes my teeth look completely yellow.

I’m desperate to pick up some more of their collection, but for now this beautiful lip pencil will do.

Music Monday #14

There’s probably nothing that hasn’t been said this past week about the passing of David Bowie, but nevertheless, I wanted to pay tribute and commemorate the loss of this iconic pop superstar.

The influence Bowie has had (and will remain to have) on modern popular music is astounding and I’m sure you’d be hard pressed to find a person that doesn’t associate his name with a whole series of songs or iconic looks that he has presented throughout his lifetime.

There has been a lot of backlash on the internet about people grieving for a person they have never personally met, but in my opinion, Bowie’s immense catalogue of work and his presence in the music scene over decades validate this sense of loss an mourning that a lot of people all over the world feel very acutely.

I spent last Monday, when the news of his death broke, at Heathrow airport and whichever way I went, there was a Bowie tune playing. This celebration of his work and musical prowess alone show how much his music meant to so many people, and I don’t think that this is something people should bemoan or take away from anyone.

Now, I guess there is nothing more left to say than Thank you, David – forever and ever.

Recently #16: 2016 Goals

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It’s a couple of weeks into the new year and I am safe and soundly back in Canada. For me, this arrival somehow marks the beginning of 2016 more than actual New Year’s Day, as I was comfortably shrouded in a post-holiday haze back then.

Now, I am ready to tackle this new year and most of all, make use of my remaining time here in the gorgeous Pacific North West. To help me focus and prioritize, here are a few of my 2016 goals:

  1. Make major headway on my dissertation – with the most substantial part of my research under my belt, I am ready to start the process of writing and editing. My first goal is to have one of the major chapters finished by the time I leave Canada, so it’s time to get going now.
  2. Take time for myself – as I work from home, this might seem like a weird goal, but I want to do more with my free time. I would love to take up my musical hobbies again, invest some more time into improving my cooking skills, and write and read for fun.
  3. Get back into yoga – at the beginning of last year, I really enjoyed doing a bit of at-home yoga practice, which showed very quickly in my overall health and especially my (shockingly poor) posture. An injury and subsequent surgery kept me from continuing for the rest of the year, but I think now is the time to get back into it.
  4. Travel – this, of course, is a ongoing life-goal of mine, but the time in this beautiful new environment has shown me that there’s so much more of the world to see. After the chaos that were my recent overseas flight, I am somewhat weary of traveling at the moment, but I am excited to plan some trips, big and small, for the rest of 2016.

Urban Decay Naked Concealer

Another day, another beauty blogger favorite.

After a fair amount of hype throughout the past year, I of course had to pick up a tube of the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer

It promises full, blendable coverage in a vast array of (very slightly different) shades. The shade I chose was Light Warm, which is a yellow-toned shade that works great on very fair skin tones.

The concealer itself comes with a beautifully bendy sponge-tip applicator that disperses a fair amount of product in one swipe. I’d say one dip of the applicator would suffice easily to conceal every blemish and dark circle on my face with product to spare, so you really get something for your money.

My only caveat with this otherwise beautiful product is that the concealer, which does cover as well as it promises, somewhat settles into the fine lines under my eyes. I tend to set the concealer with a loose powder anyways, which helps a lot, but the most useful tip I found is to apply a swipe of eye primer (the Nars Pro Prime is still my absolute favorite) before going in with concealer. This helps to smooth out any fine lines and provides a bit more longevity to the concealer as well.

All in all, I would recommend the Urban Decay Naked Concealer as it works great on the whole face. Make sure to take some time to choose the right tone and you should be all set!