Tuesday, 30 April 2013

News ~ New Illamasqua Lipsticks!

I don't know if this is worth it's own post but I'm so excited I thought I would share! From new Illamasqua's Paranormal collection comes two new purple shades of lipsticks. Kontrol was already number one on my make up wishlist and now there are two more, both matte finishes, to contend for the top spot. Meet ESP and Posture:

Super bright, unlike Kontrol, and a lot more of a pink base than the blue of Kontrol. It makes me think of Beauty Addiction's own Stargazer lipstick, although that is metallic. It's such a gorgeous, unique shade!

This reminds me a lot of Chinchilla from Lime Crime, just a beautiful dusty lilac with a hint of grey. Again, really unique - I can't decide if I like this more than ESP, I think I might.

Both shades are £16.50, is it me or are Illamasqua lipsticks getting more expensive? Either way, let me know which is your favourite, and whether you're as excited as I am!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Nail of the Day ~ Moon Candy Orbit Review.

revlon moon candy nail duo orbit swatch swatches iridescent varnish polish top coat
Revlon Moon Candy in Orbit ~ £7.99

I had seen swatches for Revlon's new Moon Candy nail art duo collection and all of them looked gorgeous. Each consists of a dark opaque varnish and a 'flakie' style iridescent/duo-chrome top coat. When I found them in my locals Boots along with the fact I had a £2 off Revlon make up voucher I thought I would give them a go. Choosing was so difficult, I nearly got the plain black one but I decided I would try something slightly different. The names are all cool, astronomy related things which made me like it even more. I chose Orbit, a dark, slightly dusty eggplant purple base coat with a purple shifting to blue tinted topcoat.
revlon moon candy nail duo orbit swatch swatches iridescent varnish polish top coat comparison base coat

The first thing I expected to find was needing more than one layer of the base coat polish but surprisingly and impressively only one coat was required. It's a simple but pretty colour and the formula was nice and creamy.
When I applied the top coat two thoughts came to my head:
1. holy crap, this is gorgeous. The flakes/shards are so so pretty, almost holographic, they shift beautifully between petrol blue, bright purple, sapphire and turquoise, like dragonfly wings. There is nothing subtle about the colour change and I love it!
2. holy crap this is messy. For two reasons, firstly the flakes are all different sizes and shapes so there's no regularity to application but also because applying the top coat caused the bottom coat to smudge, so when I applied it some of my nail got exposed again, which was super annoying and made for a really un-neat finish. I also found that even after an extra layer of clear top coat the shards didn't lie flat on my nail and some of them went a bit funny, like stringy plastic and lost their colour. As well as the fact that removing it took forever.
revlon moon candy nail duo orbit swatch swatches iridescent varnish polish top coat

I have had a look at other swatches online and those didn't seem to have the spreading issue I did, having said that they were all nail blogs so the people who had done the swatches probably have experience with flakies. In my second attempt (the results of which are pictured) I 'places' the flakes as opposed to applying them like a normal nail polish, which did help a little but it was still pretty messy.
All in all the gorgeousness of the topcoat and the impressiveness of the base coat almost make up for their downfalls. Another thing to add is how quickly the varnish 'fractures' and chips. Have you tried any of the Moon Candy duos? Let me know what you thought of them!

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revlon moon candy nail duo orbit swatch swatches iridescent varnish polish top coat
revlon moon candy nail duo orbit swatch swatches iridescent varnish polish top coat

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Outfit of the Day ~ Poison Ivy.

Daisy print dress ~ H&M
Chiffon shirt ~ New Look
Pentagram necklace ~ Me & Zena
Suspender tights ~ Pretty Polly
Creepers ~ New Look
Cardigan ~ New Look
Green lipstick ~ Serpentina by Lime Crime

Finally! An outfit! And one outside on top of that! Thankfully spring in England has decided to turn up so the boyfriend and I took the opportunity to go to Wakehurst Place to see the magnolias, which actually weren't really in bloom there, which is weird since they're in bloom everywhere else...
First outfit with my new hair cut, which I'm actually still not 100% sure about, it's hard to maintain as well because I have to straighten it, and I am not good at that, or patient enough. I don't think I would have worn this outfit if I hadn't had my hair cut - changing hair styles definitely causes you to change how you dress, although I was told the other day I look like a man in a dress, which wasn't amazing. Sometimes I don't mind looking masculine, but when wearing a dress this generally isn't the case. I do love the simple summer dress with the collared shirt, it makes for an interesting combination and prevents me from exposing too much skin. The pentagram necklace is something I had been gazing at for a while, it's from Porta and I finally bought it during their Plastic Fantastic event.
In other life related news, I passed my driving test, which is super awesome! First time and with 11 minors. I've also finished university, all I have to do now it choose my third year project, write a 2000 word essay and revise for exams in June. I've got plenty of rehearsals to keep me busy in the mean time as well, which is slightly annoying because I would have liked to have found a job for the summer.

(p.s. I'll be adding a few more images later but blogger is being weird, so I'll publish the ones I managed to upload for now!)

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Book Club ~ recent reads.

At the moment I am reading more than ever. My reading took a dip in the past years but for whatever reason instead of listening to music on my train journeys to university I read instead now, so the second Recent Reads has come about pretty quickly. Now that I've rekindled my love of books the list that I want to read is growing pretty much exponentially, especially since I've discovered my university library actually has a lot of fiction if you know what you're looking for. Plus, the boyfriend's sister-in-law bought me American Gods which I am desperate to read but which is slightly too big for taking with me to university.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
I did a super long, in depth review here if you want to have a look, including a chat about the differences in the film as well. But in short; really liked it! Especially the middle bit. Briefly it involves six completely different stories, written in different styles, engendering different genres and some of those stories are crazy imaginative and generally it is just a really impressive, enjoyable book.

100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels by Stephen E. Andrews and Nick Rennison
For my Camp NaNoWriMo I've been writing a sci-fi story so I thought I would have a look at other sci-fi authors. I'd say reading Cloud Atlas triggered this renewed interest in science fiction literature since the last two stories in the book were both sci-fi. I really like this little book, there are loads of recommendations on top of the 100 as well as a crash course on the history of the genre. I'm actually thinking about buying it and ticking off each of the titles that I read.

Dark X-Men by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk
My brother is the reason I am a fan Marvel (and comics), specifically the X-Men. The other day he told me I had to read this so I took it on the train with me and read it over two journeys. First of all this is one of those comics were the different aspects of the Marvel universe interact, so there were characters from X-Men, Spiderman and a few others. Personally I'm not a fan of that, I like my franchises isolated. Also, there was a lot of back story that I didn't understand, I know a fair amount of the original X-men's history but with all the alternate universes and curious variations on characters it is easy to get lost. I also felt the ending was dissatisfying and thought there should have been more to really close the story. However, I did like some of the ideas and the little titles under each character during the beginning of each chapter where interesting and funny.

That's it for Book Club. I'm currently reading The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and really enjoying it, so that will definitely be in the next episode of Book Club! As always I would love to know your opinions on any of the books mentioned, or any books you've read recently!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Trending ~ Witching Hour, outfit inspiration.

Inspired by GalaDarling's witchy themed post and my own personal love for this gothic trend I thought I'd compile a few things I think make the perfect teen witch look, or as it turns out, various looks. There are a few variations on a theme, plus it gave me an excuse to feature more stuff that I (not so) secretly want. I've included a mixture of high street and indie companies as well as some one off's from Etsy, with prices varying between bargains and 'you can always dream'. In reality what this is is just a really long wishlist and I spent was too much time and had way too much fun compiling it! The boyfriend also asked this, so for those of you who have had a hard week: no, I do not expect all of the items from each section to be worn at the same time.
Let me know what your favourite look is; Urban, Mermaid, Black or White?

Urban Witch
Left to Right:
Missguided Suede Boots ~ £35.99 (aren't these the perfect witchy boots?)

Mermaid/Sea Witch
Left to Right:
Religion Olsen Dress ~ £100 (this is so gorgeous, so gorgeous)
Mystic Swan Mermaid Ear Cuff ~ £98.91 (another cool ear accessory; spirals)
Red Sofa Crab Claw Necklace ~ £63.49 (I thought was an interesting addition to the idea of sea witches)

White Witch
Left to Right:

Black Witch
Left to Right:
Etsy Sun Moon and Stars Necklace ~ £14.03 (again, love this so much!)
ASOS Suspender Tights ~ £6 (unfortunately my knees are not cute enough to pull this off)

Friday, 12 April 2013

New Hair ~ long to short.

I have been planning on cutting my hair for a while now, since at least before Christmas. Initially I was going to go straight to my familiar pixie cut but I thought before that I would try something new. Until now I had been completely against bob hair cuts due to their curious link in my mind to when I was in junior's school, but now I can just see they look cool.
Unfortunately I won't be dying it, even though the idea of a pastel pink bob is extremely appealing (I blame Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation). Also, (potentially unfortunately, depending on how much I like it) I will be cutting it short mid-May. I haven't had super short for a number of years but it feels like my default, so I'm excited! I'm planning on dying that a pastel turquoise. I have recently acquired a new reason for wanting short hair; wigs! I currently have two (three soon) and fitting my mass of super thick, long hair under a wig without my head looking like it has many curious tumors is impossible, but now with this short hair it is possible!

Here are my before and after photos:


It's a big change but I think I like it! Now I won't get my hair stuck under bag straps and in my scarf, or get super hot. Plus it was only £10 at Toni & Guy's, thanks to their model prices.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Book Club Movie Special ~ Cloud Atlas; a comparative review.

The boyfriend and I went to see Cloud Atlas a few weeks ago and it made me really want to read the book. By chance whilst I was raiding Lauren's books I came across this and knew it was a sign! I found my opinion about the film differed to a lot of people's and thought it might be fun to compare and contrast the book and the film. On a side note - I watched the film before reading the book which I've discovered is my least favourite order to do it in. I found myself imagining Tom Hanks as all the characters he played instead of the characters as different people, it was pretty distracting. I would much rather have imagined my own worlds and characters and compared them to the director's interpretations.
The book is six different stories. The only obvious link between the protagonists of each story is the comet shaped birthmark each has. In the book the stories are nested in each other like russian dolls, like this:

Each stories progresses further into the future, the first starting during the gold rush, the second in 1931 etc, until the last one which is set in a very distant future. Here's a quick précis of the main points of each story in order (without spoilers), it's fairly involved so if you want you can skip to the actual reviews without confusion:
  • The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing ~ This takes the form of the diary of Adam Ewing; a notary who has sailed to the Chatham islands. He witnesses the flogging of a black slave and also encounters a doctor named Goose who asks to cure him of a parasite. He and Goose eventually board a ship to return to America but Ewing finds the black slave has also snuck onto the boat.
  • Letters from Zedelghem ~ Robert Frobisher is an aspiring composer who has been disowned by his father. He travels to Belgium to become to musical assistant (a.k.a an amanuensis) to an old composer who hasn't written a piece of music in years. This section takes the form of letters from Frobisher to his lover, Sixsmith in Cambridge.
  • Half Lives - The First Luisa Rey Mystery ~ Set in the '80s, a young reporter gets stuck in an elevator with an old scientist and a few days later when they had agreed to meet again, she finds him dead, apparently a suicide. She believes it has something to do with a contraversal paper he had written about a new nuclear power plant, which she decides to investigate.
  • The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish ~  An old, unsuccessful editor one day witnesses one of his clients murder a book critic for giving his new auto-biography a bad review. Due to this event the book begins to sell very successfully but Timothy Cavendish (the editor) gets into debt very quickly but over-spending. He resorts to asking his brother for help who tricks him into going to a hotel which turns out to be a old people's home. Once he realises the hell he is in, he plans his escape.
  • An Orison of Sonmi~451 ~ Set in a dystopian future where genetic modification is a reality, a race of workers called Fabricants work as the slaves for humans, being promised that if they finish 12 years of loyal service they will be sent to "exhalation". One day one of the Fabricants called Sonmi~451 is broken free from her place of work and exposed to a world that changes her, but also which she could potentially change forever.
  • Sloosha's Crossin' an' Ev'rythin' After ~ Set in a future even further than that of Sonmi~451, this tells the story of Zachary, an inhabitant of an island in a post-apocalyptic world. Occasionally another race of humans who are superior in intelligence and technology visit until one of them decides to stay and live with the island folk for a while, to study their ways. Zachary is haunted by something that plants the seeds of doubt about the newcomer; he believes they have come to find a way to invade the island which is already menaced by a savage race called the Kona.

The Book
I found the first section very hard to get into, the writing was in a genuine 'olde' style and a bit challenging, with some added complicated local history and terminology. This was probably my least favourite story due to its lack of appealing ideas and aforementioned reading challenge, followed by the Timothy Cavendish section, which I found to have a much darker brand of humour in the book, which was interesting.
However, next section the reading became enjoyable. My favourite stories were the Frobisher letters, which were witty and thoughtful, with a beautiful insight into a mind that thinks in music. I also adored the Sonmi~451 section, the ideas of the future seemed accurate and plausible, I could have read a whole novel just on that story. The same sentiment can be applied to the Sloosha's Crossing story, again, chillingly believable but insanely imaginative.
The stories in the book were much more complex than film, which is to be expected. There were more characters and more plot twists. I loved the combination of subtle and more obvious parallels between the stories; some of the memories the main characters share weren't try-hard or predictable and I personally would not have seen the conclusion without guidance. I also noticed some name places and certain terms like 'sextet' and 'cuckold' were used in all the stories (I also read the number 6 is recurrent).
I have to do hand it to David Mitchell, the different styles in which he writes really shows what a talented author he is - each of the stories could have been written by completely different authors during different time periods.
Overall, even though it was a rocky start, I really enjoyed Cloud Atlas, the book. Recommended!

The Film
One of the main differences between the book and film was the layout of the stories, there was no real structure and the action flicked between different sections. Having said that pace was impressively well kept, I never felt lost and the jumps between stories never felt jarring or confusing.
There was also the extra dimension of same actors playing different characters. Sometimes the prosthetic were a bit funny most of the time I didn't mind - the premise of the film is slightly ridiculous and theatrical, so why can't the visuals be as well? Some ideas were subtly imaginative too, like the crude implants seen on the faces of those in Sloosha's Crossing. For the most part I liked the multiple roles although once I thought about (which I did a lot) there wasn't much of a link between the characters played by the same actor (here's a cool infograph that summarises this). It was still interesting and added to the theme of the same soul being born in different times, taking different paths.
However, I found the very overt personification of Old Georgie from the future future story curious; I'm not sure they managed to pull it off completely - it reminded me a bit of a combination of Old Greg and the Hitcher from the Mighty Boosh series unfortunately, since I don't think it was supposed to be comical.
It was also interesting to see where original stories had been changed slightly and Hollywood tropes were added; there were more romances as well more violence/fighting. For the most part these changes weren't hugely offensive but the book provided a lot more of a variety of relationships, not just blossoming romantic ones. I did however really like the ending of Sloosha's Crossing, it was just a really cute bit of closure. The only story I didn't like was Timothy Cavendish's - it was like the comic relief character, but a whole story line instead of just one person.
Overall, even though some of it was handles a little clumsily I still really enjoyed Cloud Atlas, the film. It may not have been as thoughtful as the book but it was entertaining.

That's my opinion but I would really love to hear anyone else's on either the book or the film, or both! Which was your favourite? Which story was your favourite! If you don't want to leave a comment, tweet me (@L_Figment); I've heard so many different opinions and each one is super interesting!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Blue Lipstick Review ~ Part 1: darker shades.

L-R: Stargazer in105, Portland Black Lipstick Company in Indigo Bridge, Sleek Pout Paint in Peek-a-Bloo, Illamasqua in Disciple

Much like my purple lipstick posts, this feature will take up three posts; two reviewing a total of nine (hopefully!) blue lipsticks with swatches and the last will be a comprehensive collection of blue lipsticks. It was a very fruitful search! I found a lot more blue than purple which is kind of surprising. As always the search is for a super pigmented, long lasting but affordable lipstick.
So in this post I've grouped the midnight and navy blues as well as two brighter ones.

An opaque, matte, deep navy.
illamasqua disciple swatch dark blue navy goth lipstick
Price: £16
By far the most expensive of all the lipsticks I am reviewing. I've had Disciple for a while and used it plenty of times. The formula can be a little dry (so application is a little 'draggy') but I find breathing on it to get it warmer helps a lot, but in exchange it lasts well, at least two hours plus, without showing much wear. This swatch doesn't quite do it justice, it's usually not as patchy - my previous one is a better representation.

An opaque metallic navy blue.
portland black lipstick company PBLC lipstick indigo bridge swatch metallic dark blue navy lipstick
Price: £6.89 ($10.00)
First off, this is a gorgeous colour, like a metallic version of Disciple. Second, really great formula, long lasting without being drying as well as mega pigmented with no patchiness  Third, duration is so impressive. 3+ hours, including drinking and eating chocolate. I cannot recommend this enough; both an excellent colour and an excellent product.

A buildable, metallic middle blue. 
stargazer 105 metallic blue lipstick swatch

Price: £3.50 
I was a little disappointed by this one. The colour itself was really lovely which is why it is so annoying that formula isn't better. The consistency was very grippy (a lot worse than Disciple in every way), which meant having to really drag it across my lips to get any colour - this improved once it had warmed up a bit but on my lips it felt waxy. I definitely could not rub my lips together successfully, if I tried the product would just shift. Application was very patchy and it smelt like cheap cosmetics. Like with most Stargazer lipsticks the colour was buildable, this is as opaque as I could get it. I wore this for a couple of hours and find it faded ungracefully within an hour or so as well as migrating onto my teeth.

An opaque, bright blue.  
sleek make up peek-a-bloo peek a bloo lipstick liquid pout paint swatch blue lipstick
Price: £4.99
This is the only high street brand blue lipstick product I could find, it comes in the form of a liquid lipstick, much like OCC's lip tars. It has an interesting smell that is quite sweet, and you only need to apply the tiniest amount to your lips and then spread with a lip brush. I found application using a brush really easy, the formula was light and easy to spread although felt slightly greasy. I wore it for about two hours and found that in that time it started to bleed into the crevices of my skin beyond my lip line, which is never a good look. It had also faded a little even though I had done nothing - I'd barely spoken.

That's it for part 1! In part 2 I will be looking at five more blue lipsticks, including Portland Black Lipstick Company's Difficult Island, Stargazer's 104, My Beauty Addiction's Sapphire and Myulinda's Kool. I will also be deciding and revealing which of the lipsticks reviewed is my favourite. Also, let me know if you prefer the format/photos I used in this post, or if the older style is better.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Shopping Haul ~ Scotland special.

During my week's holiday is Scotland with the boyfriend and his family I ended up breaking my spending ban even further, although I sort of justified it by saying I hadn't paid for travel or food for the whole week so I was still saving money. Oh the lies we tell ourselves.
I am pretty pleased with how cheap everything was - there are no splurges here. The most expensive thing was a book at £5.99!

Scottish Myths & Legends ~ £3.50
I am a sucker for a fairy tale so this was a no brainer. I almost bought a different book earlier in the week but this one was way cheaper...and let's not lie, it looks cheap with a front cover like that.

Gingham maxi dress ~ £4.00
Possibly the bargain of the lot. During a little shopping trip with the boyfriend's sister in law we wandered into this tiny charity shop and she was the one who actually spotted it. It's calf length, button through and fitted around the waist. So '90s and so perfect for summer! Excited to pair these with some chunky platforms and black lipstick.

Symmetry; the ordering principle ~ £5.99
I cannot tell you how much this book excites me, as well as the whole series. There were a few of them in the book shop near us and I wanted them all. Cannot tell you how long I spend just flicking through them. We (the boyfriend's sister in law and I) ended up buying five between us, although three of them were gifts. It will not be long until I have bought at least two or three more from the series. Such perfect little books with totally gorgeous old style drawings inside, oh be still my beating heart.

Guide to the Butterflies of Britain ~ £2.75
Scotland reminded me of my interest in Ecology and nature. I have been planning on buying some vintage book prints from Etsy, and there's always my search for a vintage taxidermy butterfly as well.

Locally made candles ~ £5.75 in total
So many amazing smelling and pretty looking candles to choose from. The shop was just round the corner to where we were staying and I spent so much time just sniffing candles. The lavender one is for my mum even though I want it!

Cork top jar ~ £0.99
I love corked glass, be it bottles or whatever. I usually glass paint things for other people as gifts but this time I'm going to keep this for myself! I might put my new candle in it!

And that is my haul! I will now try not to spend any more money for a while, but I feel like a few slips up are bound to happen, especially with all the Easter sales happening! Also a heads up that there may be a bit of a lack of outfit posts coming up since the boyfriend has a lot of uni work to do and without him there are no photos. Fortunately I have some other stuff planned anyway.
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