Saturday, 30 September 2017

September Favourites '17

Hello! As if my favourite month of the year is over? WHAT. But that means we can start mentioning the word 'Christmas' am I right?! Anyway, onto my favourites...

The National Theatre Podcast
I love a good podcast, something to ponder over during my lunch break or deep thoughts on the bus journey to and from work. Why yes I work at theatre, and I listen to a theatre podcast. So far they have discussed Brexit and its effects on the arts, the character King Lear in a discussion about ageing as an actor and the challenges that go alongside it, how culture shapes the character of a country. I have just found the podcast so interesting, and getting a more in-depth understanding of the industry I work in - more than just in the bubble of my workplace.

The Ellen Show - YouTube Channel
First of all it is my dream to go and watch an Ellen Show recording, literally Ellen's sense of humour is mine, watching clips from her show on YouTube I am cackling away. I force my friends and family to play 5 Second Rule and Heads Up. If I ever feel down the Ellen show is what I turn to. And you just can't forget what she has done for the LGBT community, what a legend. Below I have linked you to some of my favourite clips.
Scaring Sarah Paulson
Kristen Bell Sloth Meltdown
Look What You Made Me Do - Taylor Swift
I feel like this is Taylor's most controversial song, but after a few listens I had it on repeat at the start of the month. Its in my head all the time. What sold it to me had to be the video - you have to give it to her she absolutely slays. Of course it has the ICONIC line 'I'm sorry the old Taylor can't come to the phone right now. Why? Because she's dead'.

Autumnal make up

I have been so ready for so long to bring back those autumnal vibes to my face. Yes I know you can wear a vampy lip whenever you want, but it feels a bit extra in the middle of July to be quite honest with you! I have been loving the shades Mod and Whimsy from the Tarteist Pro Palette and Firecracker from the Tartelette in Bloom Palette

Also just a side note on my facebook page (linked at the side) I will be doing a Wishlist Monday post, basically my pick of whats available mainly on Asos and Topshop.

Thanks for popping by!

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Follies | Theatre Review

Hello, today I'm going to chat through my thoughts on the National Theatre's production of Follies as well as my own previous experience of Sondheim's work.

My first proper encounter of Sondheim was when I was studying him at A-Level, as cliche as it sounds my perspective of not only musical theatre, but theatre its self, what that could be shifted entirely. That a musical didn't necessarily have to be an escape, or a spectacle set out to amaze audiences. Up until this point I didn't know the extent to which  a musical could be the vehicle not only to show, but explore the messiness that is life. Especially with many American musicals pre Sondheim, being focused on the 'American Dream'. Call me naive, but thats what I was unaware of.

I would like to preface this review section by saying, I find something extremely hard to analyse if I think its really rather good.

So what is Follies about. The theatre in which the Wiesmann Follies (based on the Ziegfeld Follies) was performed in is being knocked down. Former Follies are invited to celebrate the old glory days of the Follies. The story focuses around two couples, formed during the old days, reminiscing about the past. How life didn't turn out as they expected and they're not living the American idealised life. The 'current' time is then shadowed by their younger selves, living in the past. The past and the present shadowing one another.

As soon as I heard the National Theatre was putting on a production of Follies, I think I jumped out of my skin and then added the booking date to ensure I wasn't missing out on tickets. There were two monumental things happening 1) My first visit to the National Theatre, a venue nothing like I had been in before. 2) The first professional Sondheim production I have seen.

Working within theatre, one of my first responses on exiting the auditorium was 'this is why we need arts funding'. Firstly Follies has not been in London since the 1970's - so this is an incredibly rare show to see. Then to see the calibre in terms of performance, production values and keeping it close to Sondheim's intentions of how it should be performed. For example the production goes straight through without an interval- the interval being a great opportunity in commercial theatre to sell merchandise, drinks, ice creams etc to audiences.

One aspect that was particularly done with finesse was the interaction between the characters in the past and the present, whether this was a large production number, or a smaller scene between a few characters. How the past shadowed the present's movement, in a literal foreshadowing. The past was never fully lit, the attention to the subtleties in terms of technical effects added to already clever staging. 

As soon as the music started playing I had a shiver go down my spine, and my arms were populated with goose pimples. Sondheim using the pastiche of music from the Ziegfeld Follies era was glorious. There were a couple of absolutely outstanding moments. The first being Broadway Baby performed nothing like my expectations of the song. It was funny yet tinged with a little bit of sadness. This was the first moment I was aware I was watching something truly special.

Two of my other musical highlights was Could I Leave You? was so harsh yet hilarious. executed perfectly by Jamie Dee (Phyllis). Also her number in the couples Follie The Story of Jessie and Lucy. As a Strallen fan, it was fantastic to see former Matthew Bourne dancer Zizzi Strallen (Young Phyllis) dance to full extent.
You may have noticed I haven't talked hugely about individual characters, I felt it was an incredibly strong show company wide. But I do feel I would had more to say if I were rich enough to have sat closer to be honest with you. Obviously I thought Imelda Staunton was great as Sally as she grew more delusional throughout the show.

Super random but I just wanted a brief mention for the programme which cost me a whole £5. Best Programme I have bought in a long time, not just packed with adverts. Interesting information about Stephen Sondheim, bits about his past and his methods. Then also about the Ziegfeld Follies, which the Weismann Follies are based on. I had a great time reading this on the train home.

Thanks for popping by!

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Let's talk Cruelty Free beauty

Hello! I am in the slow process of making sure any beauty product I use is cruelty free which is proving extremely difficult especially when I am browsing the aisle of Boots and the Cruelty Free bunny on the backs of products is elusive - this should be a huge selling point, so why am I not seeing more of it? And where is the outrage?!

I will admit there is definitely disagreement about what products are cruelty free. Lets take Revlon as a brand example, they became cruelty free in 1989, after protests about animal testing and were on the Peta list as cruelty free. However Revlon now maintain they are cruelty free on their website, but their products are sold in China, where it is mandatory for products to be tested on animals. So they are no longer categorised as cruelty free by Peta.

In terms of my own view, if a company's product is sold in China I will avoid buying from them. However I will buy from a company such as the Body Shop whose parent company L'oreal is sold in China. In my opinion that is to make cruelty free beauty products a viable option. I will admit I am not plant based, or even vegetarian. But animal testing is pointlessly cruel, unnecessary and needs to be illegal worldwide. Talking of the Body Shop they are leading the way with their campaign to ban animal testing on cosmetic products and ingredients. Read more here. They need 8 million signatures in order to take the petition to UN General Assembly in 2018.

My Cruelty Free Products:

All the make up brushes I own are Real Techniques. Firstly they are cruelty free, but they are affordable and extremely good quality. I cannot imagine purchasing from another brand.

This is the foundation that bought to replace my Nars Sheerglow (which i have finished) as Nars is no longer cruelty free. For me this is nicely build-able and is  glowy finish whilst not getting your face confused for a disco ball!

Charlotte Tilbury Glastonberry
My absolute favourite autumn/winter lipstick, it is just such a gorgeous vampy lipstick. It is a modern matte finish, which means its comfortable on the lips and won't me your lips feel like the Sahara desert.

Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick in Lolita
I love this 90's nude toned lipstick, a colour I'm not wearing as often as I did last year, but it is definitely one of my favourites. Whilst being super matte it doesn't feel over whelming.

NYX Setting Powder
There's really not much you can say about a setting powder. It's sets make up, and I don't look shiny. Perfect.

The Balm Mary Lou Manizer
Aaah this is my holy grail highlighter, its golden in tone and gives a noticeable but not over the top disco ball sparkle to your cheek bones.

Tarte Tarteist Pro Palette
I saw InTheFrow wear this on her insta, and immediately wanted it. Luckily my friend was heading stateside so I added it to my order.

Tarte Tartelette Palette
This was my first tarte product, this I love the pinky and gold tones in this palette. The shadows have great pigmentation. You can either mix and match the eyeshadows, or you can follow along the line for the suggested looks.

Pixi Glow Tonic
This is such a classic beauty blogger product from back in like 2012, however that it because it is great. I like that it gently exfoliates your face, it certainly makes my skin feel softer. As it is a chemical exfoliater it means there are no beads going down the sink.

Again such a classic beauty blogger product. For me this a super gentle cleanser and highly effective.

The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Day Cream
A new product to my beauty portfolio, so far I think this is a good moisturiser and foundation goes on a treat over the top.

Lush Grease Lightning
Surprisingly the only Lush product on this list! I don't know if I'm being effected by a placebo effect but I think this genuinely help spots a little bit - which is always extremely welcome.

One brand I have confusion with is Soap and Glory, they say they are, however I can't find them on any cruelty free lists - if anyone knows either way that would be fab.

I am still in the market for a nourishing and reasonably priced shampoo and conditioner. As well as a deodorant, which actually works or Dove if you want to become cruelty free that is so welcome!!

Useful resources
Peta: Companies that don't test on animals
Peta: Companies that do test on animals
What Revlon doesn't want you to know
Cruelty Free Kitty
Nars Boycott
Lush: Fighting Animal Testing
Against Animal Testing petition

Thanks for popping by!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

An American in Paris | Theatre Review

Hello! For my birthday my Mummy took me to see An American in Paris, I have been holding this off for a little while as I wanted to save it for a special occasion, its safe to say I was quite bloody excited.

Set in Paris post World War 2 and Nazi occupation, Gerry and ex-serviceman and painter, chooses to stay rather than return home. He's struggling to get on his feet until he meets Lise a ballerina. However not to his knowledge he is in competition with his two best friends in the city.

There was part of me that loved it, and also a part of me that questioned its relevance to audiences in 2017. (To see why, scroll on down)

I think we should start with the positives! The ballets within the show were gorgeous and mesmerising, intricate and clever. Especially the final on 'An American in Paris' with colours of the costume, and the intense duet between Lise and her imagined Jerry - that was stunning.

And of course the gorgeous Gershwin score, I absolutely love the sound and quality of musical theatre/film written in the 1930's and 40's , quite frankly it makes me swoon. It had the classics I've Got Rhythm,  Shall We Dance and They Can't Take That Away From Me.

However to some extent I found the music jarring in context (hear me out). Due to the nature of the time An American in Paris was written, songs were re-used from other works, for me personally meaning the links between the plot and song were not seamless. To some extent this is what you get from a piece from this period.

My second issue was that I didn't feel Gerry was likeable or charming, in fact I think he was a nob. The way he pursued Lise, I doubt would be allowed in if it was a new piece of work, considering overall An American in Paris is a light fluffy show. In 2017 Lise could have filed for sexual harassment or stalking. Which *spoiler* did not make me best pleased when it was Gerry who got the girl in the end.

I think with a few modern touches, this could be a show that runs and runs. Setting itself apart from other productions such as Top Hat and Singin' in the Rain, rather than just hopping on a money making bandwagon.

Please don't get me wrong, I loved this show. I'm just a little disappointed as its extremely close to being something really special.

Thanks for popping by,

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Photos of Birthdays Past 🎂

ITS MY BIRTHDAY!!! I am a massive Birthday person, so I thought I would share some photos from previous years. I have properly dug through photo albums and I think I have found some corkers!

From years and years ago
What an excellent fringe ^. Styled and cut by myself just in time for my second birthday! Nailing life.

I still think this is one of my favourite birthday cakes ever!

I feel like the picture above is the first time my mane really makes an appearance -just look at that volume!!!

Recent Years




Thanks for popping by!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Stationery Haul | September 2017

Hello! It's that time of year where all shops are packed to the brim with stationery as it is back to school time, I'm obviously not going back to school -however I am a bullet journaller and I do get some bits and bobs for work as well!

My favourite places to get stationery from are Wilko, Paperchase and Tiger.

Pastel highlighters
Washi Tape
Colouring pens
Pink leather look notebook
Z Pens

Bullet journal
I have two bullet journals, one I use for work which is done using the typical bullet journal method. Then a more creative one I use as at home, which is more of a typical journal. For the 'home' bullet journal I purchased this Leuchtturm 1917 with cream pages and squares.

Here is my monthly layout for September. I went for a super girly theme as September is my birthday month. You can see I've used my washi tape from this haul, pastel highlighters and a Girl Power postcard from Paperchase.
If you would like to see a bullet journal post, just holla and I will put one together.

Thanks for popping by!