Friday, 29 August 2014

August favourites

Hello beauties!

Welcome back to another monthly favourite post. It's been a wild one, August, and I personally can't wait to see its backside. :P Anyway. All of the images can be found on my Pinterest (follow me, I have cool stuff on there!!), except if stated otherwise. Which means that none of the images belong to me, except if stated otherwise. :) Let's get to it.

There aren't so many images this month, because I was sick for most of it, which means very little browsing. Sorry. I'll strive to do better next month!! :D

My favourite song was a tough one. I really love Sia's Chandelier, but ultimately, this song is the one that stuck in my head the most. I cannot stop singing Magic's Rude! It's such a catchy tune and I love the reggae vibe to it. Have a listen.

Another really cool video I found this month, is this one, showing really cool ways to wear a scarf. I love my scarves, so this is super helpful!! This must be my favourite accessory related find of the month.

My favourite quote of the month is this one, from everyone's favourite hunny-eating bear. And it's so true too. Blessed beyond belief!

As far as art goes, I have three incredible picks. The first one is my manga favourite. The perspective is incredible and everything else is awesome too. It's called 'Haruka from Free because he's worth it' and it's by kaoleanite on DA.

Then I've got this in my art favourites. This is flaming BRILLIANT my friends!  I MEAN HONESTLY AMAZING! It's called 'Gandalf' (shock and surprise), and is a digital artwork by Olga Tereshenko.

The last favourite is Kobietawczerwonejsukiencezpsemnaramieniuuus by 14U on DA. The expression is just amazing. This is oil on canvas.

The following three are my beauty favourites for the month. The first one represents hair (but how dope is that makeup?!), the second nails and the third makeup. Beautiful!!

This is my favourite photograph (I didn't take). It's by Lynne on Flickr.

Steampunk fabulousness!! She looks like an Inca warrior meets steampunk. Super cool!

My favourite show of the month is The Quest. I mean, fantasy worlds and real people? Count me in. I love Shondo and Bonny. I think they've been living themselves into the whole world the most, which makes them most entertaining to watch. And Shondo's facial expressions are classic!

The following are all favourites I photographed, so these images belong to me. :)

My favourite photo moments of Kayla are these. In the first, she was eating banana for the first time. That's the satisfied face she made, which just melts my heart. In the second, she was exploring outside and smiled for her daddy. BEAUTIFUL!!

I've been trying pretty hard to improve my photography, which causes me to take photos of a really diverse range of things. Flowers have always been Jan's forte, but I'm pretty pleased with this one. I took this pic on a sunny (yet pretty windy) afternoon of a flower in our garden.

The Catrice concealer I blogged about this week is my favourite product of the month.

I haven't been using it for that long, but the consistency is smooth and creamy, it covers imperfections like the paparazzi covers award shows, and it's surprisingly long lasting. For a drugstore product, I find it compares well to higher end brands.

Colour me impressed!

My favourite book of the month (and here I'm going to shamelessly pimp my own work) is this one :

It's 100% free and my beautiful cousin is on the cover. Who wouldn't want one? Get your hands on a copy here. I read only one book this month and I was so disappointed that I don't even want to mention it here. I hate it when a series goes awry, especially after twelve books! And now there's another one coming out end August! I'm not even sure if I want to read Severed Souls after Omen Machine. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

And that's it for this month, folks.

I've got a pretty busy weekend ahead of me. Hopefully this will be the last busy one in a while! Have a good one, rest, and if you're in South Africa, stay warm. I hear it's going to be good and cold!

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,


Thursday, 28 August 2014

My Emmy Award Picks

Hello Beauties!

As promised, my Emmy favourites for the year and only the needed text to accompany it. I'll start by saying that none of these images belong to me, I found them on a Google search. Coz I knowz how to Google. Secondly, I just want to note in passing that the big trends of the night were red and white. And lastly, the makeup on the red carpet was either smokey, rosy or nude-ish.

Have a look.

Kaley Cuoco wore my absolute favourite look of the night. Her rosy makeup, funky hair and incredible dress suited her perfectly. Just proves once again that the old rule of not wearing red and pink together is on the slow march out. Love it!

These following two were considered two of the worst looks of the night.

I seriously don't think Mayim Bialik looked that bad. If Amy Farrah Fowler ever went to an event, that's probably what she would have worn. With a tiaraaaaaa of course. And I think the colour looked fantastic on her. She cleans up nicely! Reminds me of European royalty.

And that's all I have for you today! Tune in tomorrow for my August favourites.

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Book review : Divergent Trilogy

Hello Beauties!

I asked you if you would want to read my thoughts on the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth, and you said yes. So here it is. :) It's going to be a LONG read, folks, so get some coffee and a snack before you start.

Here's a quick background of all three books . In the first book, we are introduced to Beatrice Prior, who is the narrator. Now, if you know me, you know I absolutely hate reading novels in the first person. This trilogy is written in the first person. >.< But this is just a personal preference and you shouldn't let that influence your opinion on the books!

Anyway, back to Beatrice. She's a sixteen year old girl who lives in a fenced in dystopian city, which we find out is Chicago in Allegiant. They don't know what's outside the fence, but they fear it. In the city, there are five factions. Erudite, who value knowledge, Dauntless, who value bravery, Candor, who value truth, Amity, who value peace and Abnegation, who value selflessness. Beatrice hails from Abnegation.

When we meet her, she's preparing to chose her own faction. In their sixteenth year, teens from all of the factions get to chose to which one they want to belong for the rest of their lives. They can chose to stay in their faction of birth, or they can transfer to any of the others. If they don't chose, or if they don't make it through the initiation process of the chosen factions, they become factionless, people who live on the streets and Abnegation's charity. This is something they all want to avoid at all costs.

Beatrice doesn't quite fit in. She never has. Though she has some of the qualities they look for in Abnegation, she isn't quite as selfless as they require. So she doesn't know what she'll do when we meet her. She hopes the aptitude test will clearly show her what to chose.

She and her brother, Caleb, both take the test and it turns out that she's somewhat of a special case. She's Divergent, which means she has aptitude for more than one of the factions (in her case, three of them; Dauntless, Abnegation and Erudite). In a society where people are forced to conform, this is an extremely dangerous and life threatening thing, so she must hide it.

After some struggling with it, Beatrice chooses Dauntless on Choosing Day and her brother choses Erudite. It's a pretty rare thing that both children switch factions and most parents break all bonds with their children if they do. So this move is a massive blow to Beatrice's dad. It's obvious from the start that she and her mother are close, but Beatrice isn't sure if she'll ever see her mom again when she leaves for Dauntless.

Now, the Dauntless crowd's slightly crazy. They value bravery above all else, to the point of stupidity in my opinion. These folks jump on and off of moving trains, dive into dark and scary holes from rooftops and all kinds of similar things.

So when they reach Dauntless headquarters, they have to jump into said dark hole in a roof, not knowing what they'll find at the bottom. Beatrice decides to jump first. When she falls into the net below, she meets Four, who might well be one of the coolest characters I've ever read, and her love interest.

Right there and then Beatrice drops the 'Bea' and becomes just 'Tris'.

For the sake of not giving away the entire plotline, it's going to get pretty general from this point onwards. :)

She goes through a massive amount of training with the Dauntless (who keep the city safe), which I won't get into here. She makes some friends and enemies, has some setbacks and victories, ans ultimately, remains in Dauntless.

She gets some tattoos and falls in love with Four, who is also originally from Abnegation and Divergent.

They realise that the leader of the Erudite faction, Jeanine Matthews, is up to something when it is too late, and the Dauntless people are drugged and used as an army to wipe out the Abnegation leaders.

After a huge struggle and a lot of events I don't want to spoil, Tris, Four and Caleb, end up with the factionless. (End book one, start of book two.) Here, they realise the factionless have united under a leader and are building an army. Their goals are to destroy the factions and have everyone live in peace together.

Tris isn't sure if she wants this. She doesn't trust the factionless leader, and this fact creates some friction between her and Four. The two of them can't live without each other, but also can't seem to just be honest with each other either. So the lying starts and continues throughout book 2 and 3.

In the second book, Tris struggles with herself a lot, because she was forced to kill a friend in the first book. So she's kind of on a suicide mission from the get go. :) She allows herself to be taken by the Erudite, who want to experiment on Divergent and find out what makes them different. Four is really upset with her and ends up a test subject too.

In a pretty exciting (but kind of predictable) turn of events, Tris and Four manage to escape the Erudite headquarters with some help.

At this point, she learns that the Abnegation were safekeeping information that the Erudite didn't want the other factions to know and that was what motivated the slaughter of her people. She's kind of inclined to believe this, but Four isn't. Aka more strife. :)

Without giving away too much, at the end of this book Jeanine meets her fate and the factionless take over. But, right at the end of the book, they all watch a video together, telling them the answers they seek are outside the fence.

In the final book, Tris and a small group of people set out to find out what's behind the fence. What they find is a government controlled facility, from where they constantly monitor what's going on in Chicago, amongst other places. Think Big Brother.

Here we find out that the government had been tampering with people's genes and this tampering had led to mass bloodshed and warfare. To fix the genetic mutation, they dumped the affected people together in cities and thought it a good idea to constantly watch them on massive screens. :) Their goal was to see if the mutation could be fixed with some good breeding and time, and the result was the Divergent (which means that the mutation is fixable. Yay!)

Outside the fence some people are genetically fixed and some aren't. The fixed ones run the show and the broken ones don't like it. This just shows that no society is a perfect one. The broken ones attack the fixed ones and a lot of things happen, which I really don't want to give away. *see someone with really big and curly hair here, saying in a British accent 'Spoilers!'*

OK. Now that all of that's out of the way, my thoughts :

Divergent hooked me quicker than even I had thought possible. In spite of the first person narration, I could not put the book down by page 15. It's a brilliant read, with believable, relatable characters. The elements of mystery in the world and characters like Four, just adds to the book on so many levels.

The idea of factions appealed to me greatly. The world is thought out so well, that I felt I could walk in its streets on many occasions. Tris is a great character and I enjoyed reading her. All of them really! You hate the villains and love the others, which is always a good thing.

Insurgent was a good book. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as Divergent, but I still liked it a lot.

What put me off somewhat was the sudden disfunction in Tris and Four's relationship. I get that she was dealing with stuff and he was dealing with stuff, but when you're in a relationship, the whole point is dealing with stuff together. They didn't, instead sticking to lying to each other. At the end of the book they promised to stop with the lying, which they did to an extent in Allegiant (if you don't count the withholding of information or bringing it to the table late) and it's obvious that they still don't fully trust one another for a while (into the near end of book 3).

The political bubblings in Insurgent was written really well, leaving the reader uncertain what to expect next. Between the political leaders, you never really know which one is the liar, even though you know one of them is lying through their teeth. You wonder what the heck is going on outside the fence and I couldn't wait to read the last book.

Allegiant was also a good book. It was slightly better than Insurgent in some ways, but I have to admit that I was disappointed by the whole genetic mutation thing. It seemed to me that the whole thing could have been fleshed out more and made more intricate. I still enjoyed it thoroughly, I just wish there had been more to it.

I thought it was good that this world outside the fence was an imperfect one. No world is without flaws and that's reflected in these novels constantly. I would personally be pretty upset if they labeled me as 'genetically damaged', and I thought it was good that the people in the book felt this way too. I would have rebelled too!!

I was glad that Tris and Four had finally sorted out their drama, because goodness knows the book would have sucked otherwise. You'll have to read it to make sense of that one.

All in all, a really cool trilogy and a read I'd recommend! I'd read it again!

Veronica Roth's style is pretty cool. She manages to pull you into her world effortlessly and describes it so well that you can almost feel it. I love it when I have such a visual experience in the books I read. It's always awesome to be able to imagine every aspect of a world, from its people to its streets.

The Divergent movie..? I DID NOT LIKE IT. There was nothing wrong with the actors, effects or visual stuff (like the world, clothing and so on). It's just that it may be one of the very worst adaptations I've ever seen. I mean, they pretty much changed some of the biggest events in the novel to 'hollywoodize' it. I guess that if you cast Kate Winslet, you write in some scenes for her. :P

And that's my thoughts for today. My fingers hurt now! :P Come back tomorrow for a less text-heavy post! We're looking at my favourite Emmy looks for this year.

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Conceal it!

Hello Beauties!

These days, buying concealer has gotten complicated. I find that a lot of brands, even the least expensive drugstore brands, have started retailing concealer palettes. It's a great concept, but a lot of people just don't know what to use all of the different colours in the palette for. Would one person really need all of the shades in the palette? Often times, the answer is yes, though you might not necessarily know it.

Don't worry, that's what I'm here for.

Today we're looking at the general concealer palette you might buy at the drugstore and we're talking about what the different shades in it actually conceal. The example I have for you today is Catrice's Allround Concealer Palette, which is cruelty free and (so far) pretty impressive. Here's how it looks.

For the most people, these two colours are where the problem starts. Is the green what Elphaba uses to cover her under eye bags? Can you use the coral colour as blush (you probably could, if you wanted)?

The irony is that these two concealer colours are the ones MOST PEOPLE REALLY WANT.

But I prefer them in my Kryolan shades as pictured below.

You see, no. 1, aka green, is to cover any redness. And by redness I mean pimples. It's also great for any broken capillaries around the nose! I'm not going to get into the details of it, but just know that red and green are opposite one another on the colour wheel, making them complementary colours.

When green is used to cover red, it covers far more effectively than flesh toned concealers. Which means that any breakouts can be concealed to the point of invisibility by simply putting a DAB of green over them. A little goes a long way, as is always the golden rule!! Don't be slathering this stuff all over your face, or you'll look seasick.

No. 2, the orange (which is more coral / salmon in the Catrice palette) does the same thing for anything blue toned. So under eye circles will vanish when just a little orange is applied to the affected area. But, as with the green, rather build the product slowly. You'll look older and very tired if you apply too much.

The last three colours are more obvious. This particular palette is awesome for people who fall in the darker beige reaches of the colour scale. :)

No. 3 is my normal concealer tone and is very close to my foundation colour. I still apply some of it OVER the green / orange, to cover even further, and I use it on any other imperfections (like scarring, for example) I have.

No. 4 and 5 are perfect for highlighting and contouring respectively. (Read more about that here)

Obviously, if your skin is lighter / darker than mine, there will probably be a shade or two that you won't use. But many of these palettes come in a darker variation or two for my darker skinned friends.

So there's still something for everyone! If you've bought one of these palettes, I really hope you know what to do with all of the shades now. :)

Come on over for my review on the Divergent trilogy tomorrow.

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,


Monday, 25 August 2014

The Makeup Experiment

Hello beauties!

I hope you had a fabulous weekend! Thanks once again for Liani for an awesome visit and for spoiling me rotten. :)

Have you heard of Brinton Parker's makeup experiments? We're going to have a chat about the first one today. You can read the whole article here on Bustle. But this is the short version.

Brinton is a really pretty 21 year old student of the University of California. Because we live in such an appearance driven era (I mean, selfies much?), she decided that she wanted to see how people would treat her if she went to class wearing different levels of makeup.

On the first day, she wore no makeup, her regular basic makeup on the second, and heavy makeup on the third. She wore these looks to three of her most conversation based classes and she found that people easily commented on her looks throughout the days of the experiment.

Here's what she found.

Overall, people assumed that she was tired and that she'd had a rough weekend. One or two girls commented that they thought she looked nice and that they wished they had the courage to go about bare faced.

Brinton found that she had the most positive responses on this day of the experiment (which is also closest to her usual amount of makeup), but all of the comments were from other girls.

People asked her about the products and methods she'd used to achieve her look, but also told her she looked nice .

On the third day she even went so far as to contour for the first time in her life. :)

The response was that she looked 'fierce', 'ready to party' and her 'makeup is very pretty'. One person asked her if she was going to be in a play due to the heavy makeup, however.

This is what Brinton had to say about her experiment:

Overall, I expected much worse. While I cannot confidently speak about the things unknowingly said about me, the vocal reactions of my peers were all in good spirit. The less flattering comments were made out of concern for my well-being, and the positive comments were definitely encouraging.

Now, I want to know what you think about this. 

From personal experience, I can completely agree with what Brinton found in her experiment. Whenever I don't wear my usual day makeup, people tend to ask if I'd slept too little. And frankly, I do look more tired.

My usual day-to-day look also gets more comments like 'great mascara' and 'love your eyebrows', but when I think about it, it usually is comments given by other women.

When I wear heavier makeup, I get more attention from guys and people will more easily say that my makeup looks good.

Most of my friends wouldn't even leave the house without makeup on! Would you? What have you experienced with different levels of makeup on? Drop me a line!

Also, go read her second experiment here. It takes the findings of this one a step further. Interesting reading!!

And that's that for today's post. Thank you all for keeping to come back over the last couple of weeks. I'm healthy now after my unexpected and super annoying illness. The quality of posts will pick up again from here on out, I promise. And thank you for all your concerned messages. I appreciate it. :)

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals, 


Friday, 22 August 2014

Weekly favourites

Hello Beauties!

Here's to Friday! And to celebrate this great day, I've lined up all of my beauty favourites via Pinterest. Let's get straight to it!

And with that, I'm sending you off into the weekend! If you're looking for a good, FREE read over the weekend, remember to get your hands on Roxanne's Adventure! And get copies of my other books too if you'd like. :) Book three is coming along nicely, if I can say so myself. I finished both chapter 12 and 13 yesterday!

Have an awesome one, folks!

Stay beautiful an be kind to animals,