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Book Review: 'The Year of Magical Thinking', Joan Didion

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Some books change us in the most intimate and personal ways. We read it and then our vision of the world is changed. With this book, The Year of Magical Thinking, I have not only learned how to accept some heavy things, but I have also changed my vision on some others. Joan Didion is known for being a very famous journalist but also an amazing novelist. Her oeuvre is considered as major for the American literature, and reading her we can only agree. She is one of a kind, and gathered all her knowledges and backgrounds, from academy to journalism, to produce very peculiar novels. I was not very familiar with her writing, but I heard so many good things that I decided to purchase The Year of Magical Thinking. Before reading this book, I knew its author as the legend everybody talks about, I didn't know about the woman who had to go through so many hard times. This book tells a very personal and sad story, the death of her beloved husband. She does not simply tells us about his death, but she tries to understand, as she is writing, how to accept his death. Her book is not just a story about mourning, it is a guide to how to get through that. Her peculiar style, mixing novel, journalistic writing and scientific studies (in which she tries to find answers to her husband's death,  but also her daughter's heart issues, who will sadly pass away too soon) results in a book almost impossible to describe. All the way long death is present, but not once I have cried. Because it was not the goal of this novel. Didion didn't want us to feel pity, she wanted to tell us that it was ok to cling to old sweaters and shoes. She wanted to tell us that it is normal to feel like he is still here. That it is ok to do not accept such a sudden death. That it is part of it to cling to the past, to have everything reminding us of him. This book definitely helped her going through this. But this book is also here to help anyone who has lost his or her loved one. It is a recipe to how to live again without him, without her. I haven't cried while reading it, but when I think again about this novel, when I think again about her words, about this story, I find it hard to hold my tears. One of the most magical book ever written on mourning and getting through the loss of your only true love. 

xo

Amy

Fall Favorite Makeup

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Each season as its makeup. Summer, as usual, was pretty light and easy make up wise. With the heat and the sun, we tend to let the foundation, the eyeshadow and the lipstick in our drawers, not willing to put anything to our skin, smoking up the sun. But Autumn came pretty quickly here in Amsterdam, and the gap between the two seasons has been pretty harsh. As soon as the temperature started to drop, and the rain to start pouring, I went into a new makeup routine that I wanted to share with you. It is kind of a favorites list actually, but mainly what my daily makeup has consisted in for the past three weeks. 

The first change, was foundation. I started to wearing some again, my skin quickly loosing its Summer glow and tan, I needed some color and a healthy face. I have tried a lot of different foundation, but most of them were too heavy for my skin, and tended to break it down. I then decided to give a try to the Clinique "Chubby in the nude" foundation stick. It is matte and light, easy to apply with the stick, then you just have to blur it with a beauty blender. It does give you this matte flawless skin without being too drying, a very good formulae. The next step is concealer. I am pretty faithful to the same one from Bourjois, that I have been using on and off for years now. It is the "123 Perfect CC Cream", with SPF15, still useful in every season. The formulae is a bit more heavier, but it is really easy to apply, whether on dark circles or blemishes, it definitely do the job. To finish with this, I use a cream blush by Bagsy beauty in "Velvet rose", to add a more glowy and dowy side to my skin, pretty matte because of the foundation. This cream blush is everything, you can find here the article I wrote on this brand that I love a lot. 

Next and final step for the skin, my Fenty highlighters. I tested the brand very lately, but dear god how good is that! Those "Match Stix Shimmer Stick" are everything. The range of colors can look a little bit weird - especially he unicorn one, a bit too purple maybe - but the results are amazing. I went for "Confetti" and "Starstruck" and oh lord they are just perfect. It is the perfect highlight we have been looking for for ages, plus, you can use those sticks on your eye leeds and your lips, and it definitely works. An article focusing on the brand will actually come to you soon!


Now, to the eyes. As you may know by now, I am a big fan of eyeliner, and for that I still stick to my "Liner Pinceau" also by Bourjois, very matte and plain, but pretty hard to manage when you are not used to liquide liners. But as much as I love a cat eye, this Autumn I wanted to spice things up a little bit. So I purchased two palettes, the first one being from NYX. I am a big fan of their liquide lipsticks already, but I never tried out their eye products before. And to inaugurate my coming into this new world, I bought the "Cosmic Metals" palette. I think it is full of good shades for Autumn, metallic and coppery, looking very nice when well-blended and highlighted by the liner. The second one I purchased is from &Other Stories - my new favorite brand. I went for the "Sateen Aubergine" palette, mixing lovely pink and purple tones, perfect for blue eyes and colder weather. Added to that, my faithful Maybeline Lash Sensational mascara. 

And last but not least, my absolute favorite part, the lips. I am a massive fan of lip products, and I found it hard to pick up favorites here. But by checking out my habits I realized that I was always going around the same shades and formulae, so here are my two most reliable lip products for Autumn. First, the Chubby Lip Pencil by &Other Stories in "BouillonnĂ© Truffle". It is such an amazing product, such a natural finish. I fell in love with the formulae and this color in particular perfectly fit the season, mauve looks perfect in colder times. And my other favorite is the Too Face Liquid Matte Lipstick in "Child Star". The finish is different, very matte and a bit drying, but this color is amazing. It is the perfect look for the 'dead lip' style. With purple eyes and a nice highlight the look is complete. 

So here is my ideal Autumn makeup look! Just click on the items' names to shop them!

xo

Amy






Outfit Love I

Saturday, 14 October 2017

I am today starting a new series! Hurray! I actually wanted to do that for a little while, because even if I love the 'Blogger Style' series, I tend to fall in love more and more with single outfits. Sometimes, the outfits I love are not even coming from famous blogger, but simply from street style photographs from the latest fashion week. Also, I can just love one outfit, and not be a massive fan of somebody's general style. 
So I am kicking off this new series with the sister of a blogger I already talked about a lot on the blog. Dani Song, the sister of Aimee Song from Song of Style, has a very particular style. She is rock, grunge, she has tattoo and a very strong personality comes out of her daily looks. That is maybe why I am not such a fond of her style on a regular level, a bit too rock and strong for me I guess. But when I saw this look, I simply fell in love with it. It is very simple, very monochromatic, but this fluid material culotte added to this crop top is everything. The simple accessories (Converse and a mini bag) make it even more special. Simple, but for sure so damn effective.


xo

Amy

Art Review: Vincent Peters, 'Personal'

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Today for my art review I wanted to do something different. I tend to focus a lot on paintings, drawings, more classical forms of art, and from a far away time. Yet my studies leaded me today to fashion photographs, something that I study for my research, and I recently stumbled upon this artist, Vincent Peters. He has been a fashion photographer for twenty years now, working for famous magazines such as Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, but he also did realize some advert campaigns for La Perla for instance, maybe one of my favorite campaign ever actually. So I wanted in this review to talk about one of his book, recently released, called Personal, and I then picked up my favorite picture, also being the one on the cover. When going through the book, its title makes all sense. There is no better word than 'personal' to describe the atmosphere and the feeling that come out of his photographs. It feels like we are entering into the intimacy of his models, that we are looking at them, but not lurking however. Subtlety and elegance are at the center of those images, where the bodies and light come into conversation, interact with one another to create such unique images, being nothing else but beauty. His very particular aesthetic comes back to the classical idea of a beautiful art work. There is an inherent grace and an inherent beauty in his works. His subjects are rather simple and usual, but the way he represents his models is looking a lot like magic, almost a divine beauty, nothing real. 

xo

Amy

Student Life: Finding Balance

Saturday, 7 October 2017

My second year of study in Amsterdam has already well started. It has been a month, and work is already hitting me hard. Loads of readings to do, presentations to prepare, research proposals to write,  weekly assignments to hand in time, and last but not least figuring out my thesis topic... Life is hard when you are a student. Everything look impossible and you are easily overwhelmed - just look at me exactly a year ago, it was the end of the world... But I learnt from my mistakes and kept only the good things. I am really trying to find balance in my life. With my anxieties it is a really important part for me to feel good in order to be able to produce good quality work. Finding balance could look easy, but actually what is easy is to be overwhelmed in a second. That is why I kept from last year my pretty strong organisation, a real plus, and real must when you are at uni. If you do not look ahead, if you do not plan, events tend to pretty easy run over you. Organisation is actually the key for everything, not only for work, and it is thanks to that that I am finding balance. Organizing your days and weeks - thanks to whoever invented the bullet journal - is the only way for me to do everything that help me feel good. 

And what is it that helps me go through this harsh semester? Firstly, finding nice studying spots is definitely a key. Whether it is a cafĂ© or a library, find somewhere you feel good, a place you enjoy, and it is even better if you have people to go there with. This work wise is my only tip, because well, you gotta do the work so of course it is not all pink and pretty. But when you are done with your readings and assignments of the day, take time for yourself. Personally I think the best things to do are pampering, reading a good book - not related to uni of course - working out - I know, I finally started - cooking good meals - need ideas ? - and of course going shopping. When you work a lot you need those moments for yourself, those moments when work doesn't interfere with your mind, those moments when uni is behind you, even if it will be back in the morning. But well, if you find balance even that is a pleasure in the end. 

xo

Amy