“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”
Guys, as previously groveled, work travel and travel travel have absolutely reordered my sense of the spacetime continuum, and therefore I am shamefacedly coming to you with a combined list of favorites. Both March and April were a wild ride, but we’re officially through the first quarter of the year (gulp) and it’s time to rattle off a list of things that brought me joy this past month. Politics are messy and scary, pop culture is booming with good stuff to try and offset the awfulness
Charlotte Gainsbourg x Nars Eyeshadow in Old Street
This was such a good NARS collaboration and this very product featured in my favorites low these many moons ago, but I’ve been using it almost exclusively for the past couple of months and rediscovered just how lovely it is. As part of a duo, rather than a larger or bulkier palette, it was extremely easy to travel with, which was a definite consideration over the past few weeks. I’ve been using the left side shimmer shade as an all over the lid color which pairs beautifully with both bold lips stronger cheek looks. It’s just enough to look as though you have something on your eye, while letting another element of your makeup take center stage. Alas that it was a limited edition shade, but I will definitely look to try and find a decent shade match for it when it runs out.
French Press Lip Gloss in Dirty Chai, by Bite Beauty
This was one of the items I picked up whilst in the States at Christmas. For some unaccountable reason, I’ve been setting aside my usual bright lipsticks in favor of staid and demure nudes. No one is more surprised than I, but it’s given me the chance to get some decent use out of these shades and the one I’ve been reaching for most is Dirty Chai, by Bite. It’s a beautiful “your lips, but better” shade that isn’t a sticky mess like the glosses of my youth were. I’ve used up quite a few makeup products in the last little while (always deeply satisfying) and with the weather turning warmer, I’m rotating beauty products the way some women rotate their seasonal wardrobe. This gloss is probably going to stick around my top shelf until I’ve polished it off fully.
Becoming, by Michelle Obama
One of the upsides of travel is the chance to catch up on reading or listening on planes, trains or automobiles. Since the 2020 election season is basically upon us, I’m trying to read as many of the books by my preferred candidates as I can. I’d like to learn about their backgrounds and policies, and even though I know most political biographies are propaganda, I find them useful for contextualizing people or policy proposals. However, as a bit of a pre-palate cleanser, I started with the memoir by the former First Lady–technically I listened to it as an audiobook, read by Ms. Obama herself. It was an excellent decision. It’s a lot more personal than most political or politically adjacent memoirs I’ve read, and it felt a lot more open as Ms. Obama speaks to her unabashed urban background, informed by the racial migrations of the early 20th century, her personality quirks, her formative relationships, her marriage, and her deep roots in the Chicago black community. There is a very set script for most political spouses, particularly wives, and it usually requires a lot of silence and performed adoration of their (mostly) husbands. Ms. Obama is not silent. If you are hankering for a good female memoir, I highly recommend this one.
All the Rage, by Courtney Summers
Speaking of female books, though decidedly not on the optimistic side of the scale, I read this Young Adult novel in a single sitting. Hannah recommended this book to me originally and as in so many things she sends my way, it was a great. That doesn’t mean it’s an easy or gentle read, if anything it’s downright dark and speaks to the trauma that lives inside way too many girls. To quote my own Goodreads review, “There is a powerful thread of rage that runs through the female experience–not all of us, not to the same extent, but it’s there. There is a unique combination of shame, silence, doubt, fear, helplessness, pressure, and threat that I have never seen combined and weaponized against men or boys once the way it is routinely used against women and girls. Rage often seems like the only logical response, and yet it’s one we very rarely see expressed. We need to see it more and books like this are a good place to start. Hard, hard, hard book to read but important for that very reason.”
Okay, so complicated women working through their pain is something of thing for me lately, back off! This show just wrapped its second season, but if like me you are late to the party, rectify this immediately. This show is dark and brilliant and intensely personal, with the main conceit being the auteur and main character’s constant breaking of the fourth wall to exchange long looks or commentary with us, the viewers. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is also the creative genius behind Killing Eve and has apparently been tapped my Daniel Craig to improve the last latest Bond film script…at this point I am prepared to eat anything she serves up with a spoon and both hands!