I love writing ‘favourites’ posts.
To me, it really harkens back to the good ol’ days of blogging and of YouTube as well, which were really formative of my love of beauty and fashion (and blogging!) in my teen years. I remember so vividly logging onto my computer and reading or watching Zoella’s ‘Monthly Favourites’ posts. I always looked forward to my favourite bloggers posting these sort of round-ups, partly for inspiration but mostly out of sheer curiosity - ‘cause, hey, that’s the real reason why read blogs, isn’t it? Let’s just be honest here lol.
‘Monthly favourites’ posts just aren’t for me, sadly. However much I love to read them, I can’t write them. I just don’t have the funds to go off and buy/try out new products every month to make a monthly round-up interesting at all. Frankly, my day-to-day life just isn’t fascinating enough. I’ve made a few feeble attempts in the past, but gave up soon after. No one fancies hearing me babble on each and every month that my favourite Starbucks drink is still Caramel Macchiatos, that I’ve been re-watching New Girl for the 5th time, or that I’ve been using the same two ride or die lipsticks I’ve alternated between for the past 4 years.
This is all a really long-winded way of saying that I’ve decided to stretch out the ‘monthly favourites’ concept into something more manageable - seasonal favourites! For every season, I’ll chat about my favourite beauty products, T.V. shows, music, and books. I think it’s a rather nice way to finish up one season and transition into the next. And today, I thought I’d start off with the latest season: summer!
~ Beauty ~
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP WORTH THE HYPE MASCARA ($8.00)
I have found what might just be the greatest drugstore mascara and I shall never look back. For me, finding a mascara that suits me and does what I want it to do is quite the challenge. I have naturally long eyelashes. Very, very long eyelashes. Therefore, lengthening mascaras aren’t much of a necessity for me. I much prefer to have something that’s going to darken and fill my lashes to give that fluttery effect, rather than the ‘falsies’ look. I like a natural eyelash look and not a lot of drugstore mascaras give that. Enter NYX’s Worth the Hype. This waterproof mascara is extremely buildable and very natural-looking if you want just a thin coat. It’s perfect for everyday use or for special occasions, and because of that waterproof element, I feel comfortable wearing it everywhere, even to the Disney parks. This was great for the summer heat (and Florida rain) and I will probably carry it into the autumn season with me.
E.L.F. COSMETICS BEAUTIFULLY BARE SHEER TINT FINISHING POWDER ($6.00)
Alright, guys. I’m about to admit to a possibly criminal beauty blunder… Before this summer, I rarely used finishing powder. I never found the urge or need to wear it! I’m not sure why, as I do own a couple drugstore powders but it just wasn’t something I used in my daily routine. The closest I came to using powder was the Too Faced Peach Blur powder, which I used more for the ‘blurring’ effect than anything else. But then, after suffering with the same oily, gross makeup for the first month of summer, I decided enough was enough and went out to buy a new powder. I have seen the light. This E.l.f. powder was done wonders to my makeup, primarily by keeping it in place while protecting from the sweat and other elements of the summer months. I highly recommend this product for a cheap, but effective finishing powder - for summer or not!
~ T.V. ~
1) THE HANDMAID’S TALE (Seasons 1-3)
I don’t know why it took me so long to watch this show! I read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood in 2017, around the time that the show aired, but because I didn’t have Hulu at the time, I wasn’t able to watch it. So I sort gave it up. FINALLY this summer, my mum and I binge-watched this show just in time for the premiere of the third season, which we also watched together. If you don’t already know, The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian show all about the U.S. after a radical group has overthrown the government and installed their own dictatorship which subjugates the citizens - primarily the women. Fertile women become ‘handmaids’ who are forced against their will to conceive children for the wealthy older couples that run the state. It’s extremely disturbing, especially considering the direction we are going in today with women’s rights. It is such a good show and I highly recommend it to everyone.
2) DERRY GIRLS (Seasons 1-2)
WHY DOES THIS SHOW ONLY HAVE, LIKE, 6 EPISODES PER SEASON?! I stumbled across this on Netflix because it was recommended to me and the trailer kept playing whenever I logged onto my profile. And then, on Facebook, a bunch of compilation videos of scenes from this show kept popping up and I thought they were hilarious. So I convinced my mum to try this show with me and I LOVE it. It’s all about a group of teenaged girls and one boy who attend an all-girls Catholic school in Northern Ireland during the Troubles in the ‘90s. While the show portrays a very tense political and social climate, it’s very light-hearted and so funny. The main characters are so authentic and hilarious, and get into the most bizarre situations.
3) SCHITT’S CREEK (Seasons 1-4)
Despite never really hearing much about it prior to this year, Schitt’s Creek has easily become one of my favourite shows this year. Filmed (and possibly set?) in Canada, the show follows a family of four - Johnny Rose, Moira Rose, and their two grown kids, Alexis and David - as they lose all their morning and forced to live in a very small town they bought as a joke years ago: Schitt’s Creek. The show is full of eccentric but loveable characters. Even though I started off watching this show to laugh at the antics of this spoiled family - and especially of Moira, the most high-strung character of all time - I actually grew to love these characters and the show has progressed into a feel-good t.v. show to me! Although creators Eugene and Dan Levy (who play Johnny and David) haven’t revealed where the show is set, I’m convinced it’s in Ontario and not only because it reminds me a bit of my town haha.
~ Music ~
1) LEWIS CAPALDI, “DIVINELY UNINSPIRED TO A HELLISH EXTENT”
I have been loving Lewis Capaldi, not just this summer but these past few months was when my obsession with his music really took off. And I don’t use the word obsession lightly at all. I simply adore Lewis Capaldi’s music. His voice is incredible!! His album, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, was released in the spring of this year and it’s been the most played music in my library ever since. Lewis Capaldi can do a ballad like no other, and I stand by that statement. My current favs off this album are “Hold Me While You Wait” and “Headspace”.
2) TAYLOR SWIFT, “LOVER”
Okay, so I have to admit, this one really shocked me. I used to be a Taylor Swift fan way back when, all the way up to her “Red” days in the early 2010s when I was in high school. I was a huge fan, bought all her albums, went to a few of her concerts, the whole shebang. But her sound changed a lot afterwards and I just fell out of love with her music. But then this summer, “Lover” came out and I was surprised with how much I loved a lot of the music on this album!! There’s a very real connection with this album to some of her earlier ones, but there’s still a fresh sound to it. My current favs off this album are “I Forgot That You Existed” (which just might be my ultimate favourite song atm) and “Lover”.
3) LIZZO, “CUZ I LOVE YOU”
I was late to the game when it comes to loving Lizzo. For a while, I saw that ‘dna test’ meme on Twitter but didn’t really know where it came from and didn’t bother to find out. That is, until this summer, when I started hearing her music on the radio. OMG I LOVE HER. I love her music and all of the positivity she spreads through her lyrics. In my experience, it is impossible to listen to Lizzo and feel bad about yourself. There’s no room for a lack of confidence when you’ve got Lizzo playing. My current favs are “Good As Hell” and “Truth Hurts”.
~ Books ~
1) MY PLAIN JANE - Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
These three women listed above are just phenomenal authors. I simply adore their writing. If you don’t remember or you haven’t been here long enough, last year I read My Lady Jane by this magnificent trio and adored it. It was all about Lady Jane, or Queen Jane, or the Nine Days’ Queen, and her very tragic story. But these ladies flipped the story on it’s head, added a bit of a magical element, and turned it into something wildly better than reality. This time, they tackled the marvellous Brontë classic, Jane Eyre, and once again, they added some supernatural elements to make it a compelling and worthwhile retelling. The humour is always on point in these novels and the characters are so interesting to read about. I can’t wait for the third Lady Janie novel and the future Mary trilogy!
2) THE VICTORIAN AND THE ROMANTIC - Nell Stevens
I’m sure I’ve said it a few times before, but I’ve really been trying to broaden my horizons when it comes to reading. In the past year, a large part of that has consisted of me branching out into the nonfiction genre. I really love nonfiction, particularly memoirs. So I obviously wanted to read this memoir, The Victorian and the Romantic, which was all about a young struggling academic who finds herself relating more and more to a Victorian era writer, Elizabeth Gaskell. I found myself really in a Victorian mood this past year and then once I listened to a Charlotte Brontë podcast which talked about the controversial biography written by Elizabeth Gaskell, I was even more excited to read this. I think this was an interesting, insightful memoir and perfect for a summer read.
3) THE FAMILIARS - Stacey Halls
Ahhh, witchcraft. What a crazy part of history. But what’s crazier was this novel about the Witch Trials of 1612, which young noblewoman Fleetwood Shuttleworth found herself smack dab in the middle of after trying to save her pregnancy. The Familiars was a really remarkable novel. I loved how it showed the maliciousness of the Trials and how sexist they were. I loved the story and the characters, and it was especially wonderful to read as it was set in the time period I had just finished studying in my last term of the school year!
What were some of your favourites this summer?