Category: Favorites

Five Things I Loved in April

“We don’t need to have just one favorite. We keep adding favorites.”
― Lloyd Alexander

Samurai Jack, Season 5. This is one of my favorite cartoons of all time, and a wonderfully stylish one at that. The series went off the air several years ago, but the creators have revived it and injected some new life into the series while still remaining very faithful to the aesthetic and style of their original series. I’m loving it. The network punked viewers on April 1 by dropping a new episode of Rick and Morty instead of the anticipated Jack episode, for which I magnanimously forgive the creators as I love Dan Harmon’s wacky romp through cosmic nihilism deeply, but I’ve been eating all the other episodes up with a spoon.

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It Cosmetics CC Cream. I’ve been road testing this formula all month and I’ve been highly impressed with the coverage and the fact that it lasts on my face all day where many foundations wear off (particularly around my jawline). It doesn’t have as wide color a range as any modern line should, but in terms of payoff, it’s beats far more expensive products I’ve tried.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Hardly a new favorite, but I’ve been rewatching old episodes this month and reliving the genius that is David Suchet. Sometimes it can be a real pleasure to rediscover and indulge in trusted pop culture stand bys.

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Bite Prismatic Pearl Creme Lip Gloss. I picked up these this past month and while I could wear them as casual toppers on more temperate lipstick shades, I confess that I prefer to wear them at the weekends in full metallic force. Inspiration: Mad Max.

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The Ordinary by Deciem. I’m currently testing this current media darling of a skincare brand and I have to say, I get some of the hype! I want to finish my full test period before reviewing all the products I picked up (most of them for under £10 each), but thus far I have some very good things to say. Deciem also recently announced a serum-style foundation that immediately incurred a massive waitlist so it will be a while before I can test that myself, but I fully intent to. A brick and mortar store appears to be coming to the Covent Garden area in the near future as well, so keep an eye out for more talk about this brand in the future from me.

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Five Things I Loved in March

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Another month down, a fistful of good things to love and share! Here are the things I used and abused this March, let me know what pop culture, entertainment, food, beauty, writing, or memes struck your fancy in the comments.

 

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Kimberly Clark Anti-Haul Videos. I found this Youtuber through another Youtuber and have really been enjoying her content. Kimberly Clark is the creator’s drag persona and in it, she makes content that discusses social issues and consumerism in a fun and interestingly POVed way. She’s most notable for her “anti-haul” videos where, instead of hyping beauty products, she lists out products that she’s “not gonna buy,” and more importantly, why not. Jokes, smarter consumerism goals, and fierce af eyeliner. What is not to love?

 

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The Casual Vacancy, by J.K. Rowling. This book has been out for years but I only just got around to reading it. I recall it got mixed reviews but I strongly suspect that’s down to this being the opposite of her famous Harry Potter books in every way. Far from fantastical, it’s about a country community facing internal strife and external pressures; it’s gritty, realistic, and there is no magic to save you, much less add a note of levity. Local politics, poverty, and the small heroics and failures of everyday people are the engine of the drama, and the results of

 

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Sawbones podcast. A work pal introduced me to this “marital tour through misguided medicine,” which goes down all the dark alleyways of medical history to showcase where we humans have gotten things spectacularly and hilariously wrong.

 

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Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Pepper, by Bite Beauty. Now that spring has well and truly sprung (thanks, Daylight Savings Time!), I’m back to the bright lipstick after a lengthy sojourn in neutrals-ville. But this switch is recent and of late my go-to has been this shade from Bite, which is the quintessential “your lips but better” for me, a concept I didn’t properly understand before this particular stick came into my life. I’m back on that orange-y red hustle full time, but I still keep this one in my bag. Just in case.

 

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Modern Mercury highlighter, by Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham. This was my cheat item from my shopping ban, which actually managed to justify. More on that coming soon, but in the meantime, I have been wearing this almost every day since I bought it and remain hopelessly in love with this stupidly expensive item. This won’t be for everyone, and it’s far from a necessity, but I’ve found this rosy sheen about as resistible as a magpie would a pile of diamonds. It is, to put it succinctly, a beaut.

Five Things I Loved in February

“February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March.” 
– J.R. Stockton

It may be a short month but I found a wide range of things to go giddy over this February. Here’s my list of top five pleasures, what are yours?

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Images via Amazon.com

Pretty Iconic, by Sali Hughes. One of Britain’s best beauty writers strikes again with her latest book. Her first was a friendly guide to navigating the world of products, services, and options available to the enthusiastic but perhaps baffled customer. This books is a retrospective of the (mostly 20th century) products that changed the beauty industry and how women (and men) make themselves up today.

 

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Image via Amazon.com

The Road to Little Dribbling, audiobook by Bill Bryson. I’m hideously late to the game with this well-beloved writer, but I’ve been inhaling his work ever since reading his In a Sunburned Country, which is basically a love letter to Australia in the form of a travelogue. His ditto on the UK, which itself is a follow up to a similar book he wrote twenty years previously, was a joy to listen to. By turns grumpy and delighted with his adopted country (Bryson is an American by birth), his insights to some of the less well traveled parts of Britain are hilarious and perceptive.

 

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Image via Glossier.com

Glossier serums. This fairly recently created but very quickly beloved brand doesn’t ship to the UK, but I’ve been lucky (or wily) in getting my hands on it. Either kind friends have been willing to help a girl out, or I’ve timed deliveries to coincide with our visits to the States last year. I picked the 3-pack of their serums up on our visit to my family over Christmas, but have waited to give them a proper test drive until this month. Consider me converted. Each of the formulas are designed to address different skin needs and by far the most useful to me is the Super Glow serum, which I will find a way to repurchase, so help me god.

 

 

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Image via Uniqlo website

Uniqlo cowlneck cashmere sweaters. A quick scroll through my Instagram feed confirmed my worst suspicions: I’ve been practically living in these jumpers all season. Uniqlo does some decent affordable cashmere options and, though they don’t last as long as a quality cashmere buy, at a fraction of the price, they are worth picking up and wearing out. We’re moving towards Spring fashions but that means it’s time to do a scan of the sale sections of stores to see if you can find a bargain. This image is of a v-neck rather than a cowl neck, but I’ve found the quality to hold up regardless of neckline.

The Tory 2.0 dress, by MM LaFleur. This dress is my workhorse work piece and, as I’ve been working at a corporate client’s office since the start of the year, I’ve been reaching for it again and again this month when I need to look sharp. I own three dresses from this line and it’s a long term goal for me to buy at least a couple more to have a go-to capsule work wardrobe. They aren’t the cheapest options available, but treating them like investment buys and throwing in some professional tailoring has been a very good decision for me personally.

 

Five Things I Loved in January

“I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.”
― Oscar Wilde

2017 is off to a rocky political start but there are small pleasures still to be enjoyed and we at SDS believe in signal boosting the good things in life, no matter how small. Here’s a rundown of the media, beauty, and little luxuries that kept me healthy and functional this month. Share yours in the comments!

 

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Hot water bottle. Our new apartment is lovely but the insulation is not the best, plus we tend to keep the temperature lower for both money and environmental factors. Why else were lovely jumpers invented? At any rate, I tend to get cold at night partially because Jeff claims he overheats when he cuddles me too long (side eye) and partially because I have poor circulation in my feet. In looking for some kind of seasonal solution to this most wintery of problems, I noted that retro looking hot water bottles are everywhere in Britain in a way that I don’t remember seeing in the States. I always thought that hot water bottle were old school and a bit silly but eventually I decided to spring for one on Amazon (in late December, so it doesn’t violate my shopping ban). Kittens, I repent. I grovel. I abase myself for my ignorance. This thing is incredible.

 

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Pestle & Mortar. I have been test driving this beauty brand since December and it has been a good decision. A small company and based in Ireland, they ship worldwide and meticulously detail what goes into their small but impactful line. I’ve been using this serum and their nighttime retinol oil everyday this month and to say that it has been doing good things for my face would be an understatement! I gave the sample of their moisturizer included in my order a go and liked it so I will likely make that my next test drive when my current moisturizer runs out.

 

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Everlasting Mini Liquid Lipstick Set, by Kat Von D. This was a Black Friday indulgence that I’ve been testing out ever since and it gets rave reviews from me. Very uncharacteristically I’ve been reaching for non-red lips this winter so far and this mostly cool toned set of colors has been scratching some kind of beauty itch. Excellent staying power and opaque pigmentation, with modern vamp colors–what more could a girl want?

 

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tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush, in Seduce. Yep, another beauty pick, sue me. I’ve been having a bit of a neutrals moment lately (very out of character again, what is happening?!) and this blush is another of my Black Friday buys that I’ve been wearing almost exclusively ever since. The screenshot doesn’t really capture its tone accurately; I might have to throw another pic up on Instagram to show how it looks in the pan so keep an eye out there. tarte expanded their line of blushes last year to include more neutral tones–previously they were known for the pigmented, bright colors of their blush so this was a bit of a departure for them–and the formula is just ace.

 

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To Walk Invisible, by the BBC. This period drama about the lives of the Brontes is not entirely unlike their works in some ways: quiet in places, slow, and intense in spite of (or perhaps because of) both. This film encompasses the last few years of their brother Bramwell’s life, when his descent into alcoholism and their father’s illness put their prospects for support as Victorian women into sharp relief. Their resolve is to try and publish their work, and the rest is well documented history. The moment that hit me most was when their manuscripts are returned from yet another publisher, and they immediately pull out their list of targets for the next one to contact. There’s a lesson in that.