So these are things I’ve been loving this month, in no particular order:
I’ve had a bit of a thing about Smashbox for a couple of months now; when people started raving about their products it put me off a bit, but after buying the Smashbox on the Rocks eyeshadows at Christmas there’s been no stopping me! The Cherry Smoke eyeshadow palette is apparently from the fall 2014 collection, but it only appeared in the UK recently (not sure why – maybe it’s just my local boots getting behind), but it is a stunning eyeshadow palette. I love the creamy, buttery texture of the eyeshadows (although there is a bit of fallout). I have been looking for a red eyeshadow set for a while now – to me this is what the Vice 3 palette was missing (where was the black-red colour they promised?). It was £32 from boots and I think it’s the best palette I’ve bought in a while.
I warned you I had a Smashbox obsession – I bought two Smashbox lipsticks, one of which was the Be Legendary Lipstick in Fig. This lipstick is perfect for everyday wear, it’s a neutral plum and works really well with the Cherry Smoke palette. This lipstick cost £16.
I tried an Essie polish a couple of years ago, but one day when I was browsing in Boots on my lunch break I discovered the Essie display stand, the nail polishes looked so pretty arranged by colour, like beautiful jewels. If you are from the UK, or have visited, you will know that our winters are pretty dismal, and last from October until March; I was drawn to the pretty things like a moth to the flame. I bought 4 colours over the course of the month, but Aruba Blue was my favourite; it is a shiny metallic blue, that I find quite cheerful, but still deep enough to be appropriate for this time of year. Essie polishes are £7.99 from Boots.
I’m a big fan of herbal teas, but they have to taste of something, I get really disappointed when a tea smells amazing but tastes like hairspray (know what I mean?). Twinings Buttermint (£1.99 for 20) is a combination of Peppermint and Vanilla and it tastes heavenly. I could drink this tea all day long, it’s like drinking Mintoes.
I may have mentioned Forbrydelsen (The Killing) in a previous post; this series is so good, I can’t believe I haven’t watched it before now. This is the original Danish series that the American series The Killing is based on and has been on my ‘to watch’ list for a while. I cannot describe how good it is, it’s completely gripping and is unlike any other crime drama I have seen; for one thing the female lead wears sensible clothes and cosy looking jumpers, and doesn’t chase down criminals in 4inch heels. This is a twisty turny ride where you end up suspecting everyone. My only grumble is that the English translation for the title is inaccurate – Forbrydelsen actually means the crime, but I suppose The Killing makes more of a statement. I also get really annoyed with the treatment the main character Sarah Lund, played by Sofie Gråbøl, receives from her colleagues and superiors; she is usually right, but gets treated as if she is mentally unstable all the time. The complete Blu Ray box set was £33 from Amazon.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor may be the best Young Adult series I have read, ever. It’s at least a close second to Divergent. I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, so I will say that the series centres on a girl called Karou who has blue hair, tattoos and deals in teeth for a chimera called Brimstone. The story is set in Prague mostly, and possibly the most original concept for a series that is still set in this world, whilst still keeping it believable. I will be re-reading the series again and doing a full review soon. I read through the whole series in 3 days, and these are pretty lengthy novels. Altogether the three kindle books came to about £18.
I read pretty much anything, and I read a lot, I have a long commute to work, and travel a lot with my job, so most days my kindle is the only thing keeping me sane, and distracting me from strangling the young gentlemen next to me with his own earphones, when he has the volume at full blast despite the signs by politely advising people that there are bylaws against noise nuisance. Anyway, I love chick lit novels, especially by Irish writers like Sheila O’Flanagan, Marian Keyes and Cecilia Ahern; they have such charm, and the ability to make you go from crying with laughter to just crying in about 50 words.
‘Love, Rosie’ was made into a feature film recently starring Lily Collins, and is an adaptation of the Cecila Ahern novel ‘Where Rainbows End’. I really wanted to see e film, so put off reading the book, but my husband bought it for me a few weeks ago (he’s so lovely) and with nothing better to do last weekend, and suffering from a nasty cold, I decided to give it a try. The book is 528 pages (ish) long and I devoured it within 4 hours. ‘Love, Rosie’ isn’t so much a novel, as a collection of letters between childhood friends Rosie and Alex, starting with Rosie sending her friend Alex an invitation to her seventh birthday, and reminding him that he is not allowed to bring his dog. Rosie and Alex’s friendship survives during the difficult years between childhood and adolescence, when a boy being best friends with a girl seems frankly absurd. After school both have plans to go to University in Boston, but when Alex misses his flight back to Ireland for a graduation dance, their lives are changed forever. This book contains all the correspondence between the two from the ages of 7 to 50, and documents the ups and downs of their relationship; it is charming, realistic, heartbreaking at times, and absolutely hilarious.
I’m actually dreading the film now, and hoping it won’t be a repeat of the P.S. I Love You film adaptation which only seemed to share a title with the book, and the fact that a widow was receiving letters from her recently deceased husband. P.S. I Love You had none of the charm, gentle humour or depth of the book, but I won’t get started on that, I could go on for a while.
If I was to criticise ‘Love, Rosie’ it would be to say that the last 20 years seem completely unnecessary – there is very little correspondence during this period, and the only purpose I can imagine for the passage of time would be to fit in with the original outline. In my opinion the epilogue suggests that the author had a very definite image of where the characters would be at the end of the story. I feel that the story could have been concluded when the characters where in their thirties, rather than their fifties, without losing anything; the films apparently ends with the characters in their thirties, and this should be a vast improvement.