From new beauty discoveries to our commuting page-turners, here’s what we’ve been loving in August!
I recently spent an idyllic week on a vineyard in the south of France. I know. Lucky me, right? We were there celebrating a milestone birthday for my dad. The whole family came down, and we were joined by a rather special guest: Felipe the Flamingo. He was on loan from a friend, and is destined to gatecrash a lot more holidays in the future. Now he’s been returned to his rightful owner, I can remember him (and my week in the sun) with this super cute (and very purse-friendly) IKEA glass.
I play it pretty safe when it comes to beauty. I know what products I like, and I stick with them. I know what looks I think work for me and I don’t mess with that either. I’ve been sporting a liquid eyeliner catflick every day since 2011. The only thing that changes is how competently I manage to draw it on.
All that, though, is about to change. I am a new subscriber to Birchbox (thanks to a lovely friend who gifted it to me for my birthday) and I am loving it so far. August bought me a bag, not a box, stuffed full of summer essentials. Think fruity moisturiser, nourishing masks and mini dry shampoo. I can’t wait to see what arrives in the post this month…
Like all cool new beauty trends, this one hails from South Korea. I was intrigued by the idea of a cushion foundation, but what really sold it to me were the glowing reviews online. I’ve only been using it for a week, but I’m really impressed. I love the natural, radiant finish and would really, really recommend this to anyone who likes a dewy, light-to-buildable coverage, drugstore foundation. The cons from me are the packaging – it feels a bit like kid’s make-up – and I think if you have medium to darker skin you’ll really struggle to find a shade to match. Other than that – I’m a fan!
Soft midi skirt with splices, ASOS
Introducing the latest addition to my wardrobe: a silky soft midi skirt with some seriously high thigh splits. I’ve never found midi skirts to be hugely flattering on me, but the splits in this skirt stop it from cutting my legs off at a chunky point. It’s cool, elegant and awesome paired with a breton stripe. I won’t lie and tell you this is a practical skirt. It’s not. If you walk too fast the middle section gets caught between your legs and you end up looking more than a little bit naked. It’s for posing at parties and strolling slowly, not marching up the escalators at Tottenham Court Road.
That said, I recently interviewed Renee Zellweger, aka Bridget Jones, for work and she said she loved it. So I will probably wear it every day for the rest of the year regardless.
Why am I so late to the choker trend? Clearly I’ve been living under a rock for the last six months, but I’ve finally paid attention to all the cool girls on my Instagram feed who are rocking chokers with every outfit. It’s a massive nineties throwback (yay!), and this year’s festival staple. I dipped my toe in the water with a classic black velvet design from Urban Outfitters, then loved it so much I swiftly bought a delicate gold and pearl one, and black double tie choker from ASOS. I feel like this might be the start of a bigger collection…
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
I’m currently reading my way through Kate Atkinson’s novels. I started with Life After Life, detoured to Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and then returned to A God in Ruins, a book that follows on from Life After Life and tells the story of Ursula’s beloved brother Teddy. Atkinson’s latest tome is masterful. She creates epic and engaging characters, gripping plots and a world you entirely immerse yourself in without even realising it – and then she manages to pull the rug from under you when you least expect it.
I finished it a couple of weeks ago now, but it’s still on my mind. In fact, I need someone else to read this so I can talk to them about it. Emma – it’s time to step up to the plate…
If you want to look super-brainy on your tube journey, read a book about brains! I’ve been quite into non-fiction reads recently, and this book is a really accessible and interesting look into what make us, us. You don’t need a neuroscience degree to understand it, either. All you need is a regular brain. Very meta.
Stranger Things, Netflix
Everyone is talking about this scary, strange sci-fi series and for good reason (including Emma in our July favourites). It’s really, really good. So good we’re saying it twice. It follows a small American town which finds itself at the centre of a terrifying investigation when a young boy disappears under mysterious circumstances.
It’s also a massive 80s nostaglia fest, which I must admit goes over my head a little having only lived through six months of the 80s. But anyone can appreciate the fact that it’s brilliantly stylish with an awesome soundtrack to match. It’ll be your new obsession within minutes…
Gilmore Girls, Netflix
How am I so late to this party? I only ever watched the odd episode of Gilmore Girls before and I never quite ‘got it’, but I decided to give it a go as there’s so much ado about the revival series coming later this year. I’ve started from the beginning on Netflix and I LOVE it. I’m already on season three, and now I want to move back in with my mum (then move to a small American town), talk really fast and drink coffee.
Pergola on the Roof, W12
This roof top bar in the middle of White City’s epic current construction work is like a little slice of the Mediterranean. It’s all white-washed walls, tumbling trails of flowers and communal dining. There are a number of bars, day beds for balmy days and food stalls from the likes of Patty and Bun and Le Coq. You might think its time is over now we are well and truly in September, but it’s staying put on that carpark roof until 2nd October. Here’s to making the most of the September sunshine…
Notting Hill Carnival
This year was my first Notting Hill carnival, and I was excited to go and see what all the fuss was about. I went on the Monday, which everyone warned me was the ‘rough’ day, but I only saw two people getting punched in the face and no stabbings so all was good. The carnival itself is a jam-packed feel-good street party filled with great music, dancing, Red Stripe and brightly-coloured skin-baring costumes. The actual procession was my favourite part, and everything you imagine a carnival to be. If you’re thinking of going next year, my advice would be: walk there, wear flats, BYOB and if you can’t hold it (and who can after three gin-in-a-tins?) pay the £2 to pee in someone’s house rather than queueing forever for the loos.