Hey kids, I’m still taking things easy, but I felt bad for not sharing a few of the things that have made the last couple of months a bit easier to manage. I’ve done a double batch for two months of failed updates to make up for my continuing, shameful neglect of you. As always, it’s a grab bag of pop culture, beauty, randomness, and silliness and I want to hear about your own bundles of random goodness too. Share your seasonal favorites with me in the comments, I need all the good things I can get.
Lancome Teinte Idole Ultra Wear Nude Foundation
I needed to replace used up foundations this year and hoped to try and find an alternative to my beloved (and expensive) Armani Luminous Silk Foundation at a lower price point. I did this…barely…and discovered a fab new addition to the makeup lineup that isn’t getting quite as much attention as I think it should. This newish foundation is very liquid-y, less viscose than most I’ve tried and yet with very good coverage. Most importantly, it’s one of the best color matches I’ve found for my skin–and when you find that, kittens, you cough up the money and don’t ask too many questions! If you like lighter feeling formulas that can be built up or sheered out based on your preference, I think this is a great contender and can recommend it!
Baume de Rose, By Terry
It’s cold and dark and my lips are chapped. Huzzah for winter! For reasons yet unknown to science, every other lip balm I had to hand suddenly revolted on me and I endured several weeks of what are either the worst chapping I’ve ever had, or some kind of allergic reaction. It took a long time to calm down and left me paranoid about putting anything on the skin around my mouth that didn’t come highly recommended and vetted. Alas for me, this little pot (which is hideously expensive) turned out to be the only thing that didn’t make a flaky and painful situation worse and I’ve been slathering it on since the weather changed. I’m not sure I can recommend it in good conscience given the price, but if you have the money and the need to spend it on something a bit more upscale than Blistex, it’s a very soothing formula. And yes, I’m probably going to repurchase it when I finish the pot…
Chanel Nail Polish in Richness
I only bought three things to “update my wardrobe” for winter this year: one was the beautiful camel coat I actually swapped for, the others were two Chanel nail polishes–the first I’d ever bought from the brand. I’d actually performed a clear out of the small bag that I keep my nail products in as most of them were years old and separated and decided to replace them all with just two shades: an all-purpose, deep red and a near-black, both part of Chanel’s excellent holiday collection. The red is especially beautiful, a brown-y, red-y color that, true to its name, looks expensive and good with everything. It also looks good on every skintone I have seen it used or swatched on! It was a simple way to streamline my beauty cabinet yet further, reduce the waste and wasted space used on expired items, and treat myself for a new season without breaking the bank.
Trick Mirror, by Jia Tolentino
On to books, one fiction and nonfiction. Starting with the latter, this essay collection from Jian Tolentino–a writer with The New Yorker who writes about modern life and experience from a decidedly female and millennial perspective–was a page turner. I admire Tolentino’s writing a great deal, and found her exploration of the strangeness and complexity of life thoughtful and sharp. She seems fairly unflinching in her examinations, especially of herself, and tackles topics such as sexual assault and journalism related thereto, consumerism, and what the internet is doing to all of our brains in both large and deeply personal ways.
Home Fire, by Kamila Shamsie
Without intending to, I seem to have fallen into a theme of adaptations of ancient Greek myths of late! You may remember some previous favorites like The Song of Achilles and Lore Olympus in this vein. I now am thrilled to include this novel which is a haunting take on the Antigone story, with a brilliant twist. The ancient themes of divided loyalties between family, state, piety, and morality are still there but set in modern Britain and the rebellion that divides the famous siblings against the state is the rebellion of their brother in running away to join the Islamic State. It’s beautiful and absolutely devastating. Don’t you dare ruin it for yourself, but the final page will cause you to lose your breath.
My darling literature lovers and fellow liberal arts majors, gather round the podcasting fire to enjoy this hilarious independent podcast called F**** Bois of Literature. A funny and feminist review of all the characters in literature who we may love, but know in our hearts to be deeply problematic. Tropes and themes, genres and genders, myth and modern masculinity…it’s all on the table and hilariously explored.
Thirst Aid Kit
A podcast from Slate, this joyous celebration of unabashed thirstiness and horniness is laugh out loud funny, as if you were sitting around with your friends indulging in sheer aesthetic appreciation of the finer specimens of the human form. And (crucially!) it manages to do this in a way that isn’t gross in the slightest. Truly a feat in our day and age!
Still going. Still grateful.
Sweaters you choose to sleep in
Coziness is a much underrated sensation, but it’s one that I actively pursue at this time of year. To that end I purchased a cheapish cashmere sweater whose primary function is only to keep me feel toasty in bed. It’s bougie as hell, but I do not regret this decision at all. Slipping into my sleeping sweater has added a nice little tactile moment to bedtime and I consider it money well spent!
See above comment about coziness. My first pair of shearling slippers were worn to a thread and I cheerfully replaced them a few weeks ago for shuffling about the house and keeping toasty. My godmother was the first person who really sold me on specialist foot gear for warmth and snugness by religiously gifting me slip resistant chenille socks for every year I was at university, but these may be an upgrade!