In my Goodreads profile I describe myself as a serial reader and memoir enthusiast among other things, so it really surprised me I have never done a post solely devoted to them before. I am nearly always reading one. There's just something about reading other people's stories that I love. Granted, there's a bit of a theme, for the most part, to the stories I like but nonetheless I love most of them. Today I'm waxing lyrical on five memoirs I love. Some I've blogged on before, in fact I think most of them have been mentioned but it's a while since I talked about them. Rounding them up together means you have a handy list to refer to as well. Enjoy!
The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo* by Amy Schumer-Love her or loathe her, you cannot deny Amy Schumer is one entertaining storyteller. Her book is funny of course, but it's also incredibly touching and like Mara's (below) relatable. I can't remember much of this off the top of my head but I do know it's a book I really enjoyed and would happily recommend to people. Actually I have just requested the audiobook of this from the library because I am really into audiobooks read by the authors themselves right now. More on that Monday...
Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson-Out of all the essay collections I have read lately, Mara's is up there in all-time favourite category. There's just something incredibly pleasing about the way in which she writes. I cannot quite pinpoint it but she makes what might otherwise be an alienating book one that any reader can connect to. I've heard that the audiobook is fantastic as well so if you're into those you should give that a listen.
Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington-It's hard for me to say who is my favourite fashion director for Vogue. Between Coddington and Lucinda Chambers it's a very, very close tie. I'm re-reading Grace's book at the moment and love it. Illustrated with her charming pictures throughout and interwoven with imagery from her famed shoots, it's a stunning, inspiring read. Her insights into her creative process and the world of print magazines are so valuable.
Man Repeller by Leandra Medine-To know me is to know I am never not obsessing over Leandra's writing. Expect Leandra's usual wit and brilliance as well as some truly brilliant stories. There's more to clothes than just fabric, it is often the memories and moments in time that make them truly personal and special to us and she really looks into that in this book. Highly recommend this if you are a fashion fan or a Man Repeller lover like me.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, not pictured-This memoir by Jeannette Walls about her less than conventional childhood is so unreal, you really wish it was fiction. Her parents were both alcoholics and really led the family into a sorry state of affairs. There are moments in this book which had me in tears and just astounded at what Walls and her family had to endure. It really gives you a lot of perspective and while the book may be an uncomfortable read, it did leave me squirming at times, it's well worth it. There's a film adaptation being released at some point this year too I believe, starring Brie Larson, Max Greenfield and Naomi Watts among others.
-What memoir have you read and liked?
Last month I shared the first half of my Colourpop sale shopping and today I'm here with part two. It's cream eyeshadow heavy because Colourpop's cream shadows are my absolute favourite but I also have a gloss in here too. If you're as smitten with Colourpop as I am you should keep reading.
Supershock shadows in Koosh (limited edition), La La and Game Face-Koosh was one of Colourpop's holiday eyeshadows and is sadly no longer available. It's a beautiful silvery lilac shade and has a really lovely sheen to it. It almost makes your eyelids look glossy as opposed to straight-up glittery. La La is a softened rose gold and is actually a repurchase for me. It was one of the first Colourpop shades I purchased and loved, hence it got added to this order. Game Face is a metallic, golden bronze. It reminds me a lot of a paint pot by MAC that I used to own+love, called Eclair (limited edition) and for that reason alone I am rather obsessed with it.
Ultra Glossy Lip in Fairy Floss-Lip gloss is one of those products I seem to go through phases of liking and using a lot and then in contrast not wanting to go near it. Anyway, I may have found what is possibly one of the best lip gloss formulations around. Non tacky, non gloopy and so darn comfortable on the lips. Fairy Floss is described as a sheer, pale beige. It's one of those colours I feel like you need a bit of a tan to pull off and I can almost only just get away with it at the moment. In retrospect I perhaps should have gone for something a bit deeper but I'm sure I'll still use it for layering and the likes.
-Have you tried any of these Colourpop products? What did you think of them?
Last year my favourite editor announced she was releasing a diary documenting the year that was Vogue's centennial. The editor in question of course is Alexandra Shulman, the soon to be outgoing editor of British Vogue, although more on that another time. Longtime readers will know British Vogue is one of my all-time favourite magazines, if not my favourite title under the Vogue umbrella. I am also sure it is no secret to anybody that I love magazines. Always have. Always will. Inside Vogue was one of the books I picked up on my trip to Melbourne after many, many laps around the bookstore and it kept me company for many days after.
This diary was penned by Shulman from June/July 2015 through to July of 2016. In it, she documented the centenary year as well of course as the centennial issue of Vogue which believe it or not was being planned a year out. As well as the comings and goings at Vogue, she writes on the BBC documentary crew who filmed the British Vogue team and of course aspects of her rare downtime from what is quite simply, a massive job. People like to trivialise fashion and fashion magazines but really they are works of art. So much goes into the crafting of each issue and many of the themes and ideas for issues take months of preparation. They really are true labours of love. Case in point: the Kate Middleton cover was a huge secret, maybe four or five members of the Vogue team knew about it and everyone else was left in the dark.
Alex's writing is so refreshing. That's the best way to describe it really. Having read this book twice now, one for another review actually, that is the one thing that has stayed with me. Looking at it again now it almost seems foreshadowing in some ways and hinting that Alex was ready to leave British Vogue on a high note after such a monumental year and countless achievements and successes. Perhaps I am reading too much into it but there are definitely hints that seem to insinuate she was ready to pursue other projects and life after Vogue.
For magazine lovers and true enthusiasts, you will appreciate the many insights into the workings of the magazine. I always knew they were a lot of work but you just don't realise how far in advance stories are planned and covers are orchestrated. That and just how tricky some people can be to work with. You have to have a great deal of patience really. There are also plenty of Alexa references in amongst the pages to keep me happy. I call myself a Chung connoisseur but even I didn't know she was one of British Vogue's contributors. As is Kate Moss, who knew? The Vogue team also were lucky to watch The Crown's rushes well in advance and they had a story in one of their issues last year, well before it made its way onto Netflix.
I really do not want to spoil this book too much for anybody wanting to immerse themselves in its pages but for British Vogue lovers, magazine enthusiasts and anybody with an interest in Vogue and its inner-workings, you need to read this one. I will definitely be re-reading it again but I am also, not-so-secretly hoping Alexandra releases a further volume or book of anecdotes and musings from her time at the magazine.
-Have you read Inside Vogue? What did you think of it?
A few weeks back I was lucky enough to be invited along to MAC's Make-Up Art Cosmetics launch and masterclass featuring Kabuki. He wowed an intimate group of beauty bloggers and media with his stunning, editorial-ready look he created at the Britomart Pro Store. It may have been early in the morning but my caffeine-deprived self was no less in absolute awe of what can only be described as makeup magic. I didn't take many pictures on the day, there's a couple on my Instagram but I was more than happy to take notes and just watch him at work. Today I thought I'd give you a bit of a rundown on each of the artists involved with this extensive collection, as well as my picks from each of their products I was given to try.
Diane Kendal-British born Diane Kendal is the makeup artist for Marc Jacobs Beauty as well as their current product consultant. She's also worked with many of the Vogue titles. Most recently, she did the makeup for the February cover of British Vogue but she's also made up the faces of Kate Moss, Kaia Gerber and Millie Bobby Brown to name a select few. Of all the collections, I'd say hers is my favourite and if you get one of her products, I'd recommend the Glamourize Me* cream shadow palette. You may have seen this in Sam's videos because she loves it and it's just lovely. I recommend using a brush rather than fingers with this but the shades all make gorgeous bases for eyeshadow looks. My favourite is the bronze in the top right, called Dynamic.
Kabuki-As mentioned above, Kabuki was flown to New Zealand for a series of masterclasses. He expertly paired together bold colours and textures that I wouldn't think to put together. They ended up looking amazing though and I love how innovative and fun Kabuki's products are. They're definitely not for the faint of heart but I can imagine people that love colour, as well as the pros of course will love them. You may have seen me wearing the grey matte liquid lipstick* on my Snapchat and I do like the colour but haven't been brave enough to wear it out for ages yet. I'm still working out how to wear it and make it work for me but I loved that this was inspired by old Hollywood films. I only received the one product from Kabuki's line but I did swatch some others on the day and the dazzleshadows in particular were stunning. He also has some beautiful crystal glaze glosses. The red is giving me Judy Garland, ruby slipper vibes.
James Kaliardos-Out of all the products I received the majority came from Kaliardos' collaboration and I don't have a problem with that because they're fabulous. James Kaliardos is another Vogue favourite and has created campaign and runway beauty for the likes of Chanel, Rodarte, Anna Sui and more. Of the lipsticks I have, Jasper*, the deep reddish brown is my favourite but there's a few coral pinks in his collection too. I also love the jumbo sized version of MAC's penultimate* liner for dramatic eye looks but my favourite product and again another palette is the Moons of Saturn* face palette. Weirdly enough it reminds me of those phones with the sliding keypads back in the day but I love the blush and bronzer in particular. This is a great one to have for traveling or on the go touchups as you can just use your fingers and not worry about brushes.
The MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics collections land in stores on Monday the 20th of February. I wanted to showcase them now though so you can get in early because I imagine products, in particular the palettes and lipsticks will go fast.
After books, my second favourite form of escapism is DVD box sets, or more recently, Netflix. Today I thought I'd round-up five of my favourite shows for you. If you haven't seen any of them, do yourself a favour and watch them. They all offer something a bit different, I'll try to touch on that below and are all pretty darn fantastic. Of course I am biased here but seriously, they are worth watching and re-watching.
Parks and Recreation: Or Parks and Sparks, as it is known among some of my family. Don't ask. This show is described as The West Wing meets The Office (the US version) and I believe it is created by some of the people responsible for the latter. Leslie Knope works in the local government's Parks and Recreation department along with a cast of less than motivated, somewhat disinterested employees. They don't quite share her enthusiasm and aspirations to be the next Hillary Clinton but they sure bring the humour. This show is hilarious and it is so well-written. There's also fantastic improv too which is to be expected when you have the likes of Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt and Aubrey Plaza among others in the cast. I'm re-watching this at the moment and am thoroughly enjoying it all over again.
New Girl: One quirky twenty-something shares a loft apartment in LA with three other guys. Of course hilarious chaos and moments occur. I know some people think New Girl has lost its luster and I've only just started S5 so I can't really comment but I'm still liking it so far. Zooey Deschanel as Jess is just so loveable and relatable. Actually she's scarily relatable at times. I also love Max Greenfield as Schmidt. He's amazing.
The Crown: Yes I am mentioning this Netflix gem again. I finished watching this a second time recently and loved it just as much another time around. I can't wait for Season Two which will be partially, if not totally set in the sixties. My favourite decade, particularly fashion-wise. There's more to this show than fashion of course. It's a thoroughly interesting look at the Royal Family and an insight into the sides of them we don't really see.
Gilmore Girls: Who would have really expected this show to be here? Ahem. There's something so comforting and likeable about this show. I cannot quite ever put my finger on it but I think a lot of it comes down to the relationship between Lorelai and Rory at its simplest. That and the plethora of references plus it's just really fun to watch. I love it a lot and will always have a special place in my heart for Gilmore Girls.
A Series of Unfortunate Events: Netflix is blessing us in the original series department at the moment. I've been a Lemony Snicket fan for as long as I can remember so I was really looking forward to this series. It really delivered and was extremely faithful to the books. At times there are even subtle references to later books and little nuances from the series as a whole. You don't necessarily need to have read the books first to follow this one though. If you like dark humour and less than happy tales, this is for you. Shout-out to Neil Patrick Harris for his amazing performance as Count Olaf and his many different characters.
-What shows do you love?
*Throwback time! If you've been sticking around long enough you will know I used to sign off my blog posts with life rambles, on occasion. Maybe I will revive them this year because I used to like doing them and I think some of you liked reading them too. I just wanted to let y'all know I will be a bit MIA from the blog over the next week as I have an exam soon for my Summer School paper and will be in full on nerd mode. I will be back at some stage next week (hopefully) with a beauty post I have been working on for a little while. Otherwise I'll no doubt still be around a bit on the 'gram and things. Have a great week and weekend! x