On…Russian Doll

Goddamn, I loved this show.

 

I love anything from Leslye Headland – I have seen Bachelorette so many times, it’s borderline unhealthy, and quotes pop into my head constantly (“You guys had an abortion without me?” is my favorite, but there are like seven or eight others, plus the entire hotel pool scene). I will watch (and rewatch) and read (and reread) anything she writes, and the only other person I could say that about is Simon Rich. Hmmm actually and Phoebe Fleabag-Whatserface. And Stephen Falk, now that I think about it, and actually let’s stop naming amazing writers, let’s talk about Russian Doll. It’s on Netflix. It’s smart and furious and hilarious. At one point, Natasha Lyonne’s character describes herself as the love child of Andrew Dice Clay and the kid from Brave. I melted with joy.

Oh. And this isn’t a spoiler, but just a fun fact that a book called Emily Of New Moon features in the show, and it was my no.1 favorite book for YEARS AND YEARS in childhood. (And the sequels: Emily Climbs and Emily’s Quest, because Lord knows I love a series.) Mind. Blown. No one knows Emily Of New Moon. NO ONE. And despite moving countries and houses more times than can possibly be healthy, I still have my original copy of Emily Of New Moon (and all my other LM Mongomerys, and Daddy Long Legs and Pollyanna and What Katy Did and Mallory Towers and St Clare’s and I don’t know why I only read books about girls in the olden days I mean seriously what the hell?).

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On… miscarriages

Well, I wrote something about the three miscarriages I had in 2017. It’s here if you would like to read it. 

It was a hard year. I’m so grateful and fortunate that a year later, I had Arthur.

And I wasn’t sure whether to ever talk about it. I’m hardly the confessional self-analyzing type. There are so many more interesting and important things in the world to talk and think about than me. But after I had Arthur, I remembered how when I was going through that hard year, I searched high and low for uplifting and understanding articles about multiple miscarriages. And I couldn’t find any (apart from this lovely one). Just horror story after horror story. And awful statistics. I was paralyzed with sadness, and I wanted someone to say to me: I know you are sad, my darling, but I’ve been there, and I survived, and so will you.

So, since I couldn’t find the essay I wanted at the time, I wrote my own.

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Here is a very flattering photo that they took of me for the piece.

Incidentally, I used to look for similar uplifting empathy in literature when I was heartbroken, in my 20s – oh so many heartbreaks! – and when I couldn’t find any modern, genuinely funny stories about real girls who fucked and drank and partied and loved their jobs and made mistakes with men, I wrote my own, and that was how I became an author, despite never really wanting to be an author. Now I write screenplays, and I tend to write things that I want to read or watch, and can’t find. But enough about me! How are you?

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On… footwear

I wear a lot of sneakers. (Trainers, if you will. Treads. Runners. Every time I move countries, I have to learn new names for a bunch of different shit. Luckily I am a nimble little wordsmith. Although just there, I couldn’t think of a term that felt better than ‘bunch of different shit’. Hmm.)

I used to wear flat Converses with elastic backs for easy slip-on-slip-off. SO chic and cute. Especially when they get all beaten up, and you have (faux) tan legs in summer. But then my back and hips went kaput (woe is me). Flat shoes are BAD for backs, my loves.

So now, I wear high-top Converses with a one-inch insert to give me a little lift and save my aching back. And! Elastic laces so I don’t need to worry about the 90 seconds it takes to tie them up, particularly because if I crouch down for any reason, I’m liable to have at least one small boy throw himself at me for a piggyback. With elastic laces, I can instead spend that 90 seconds 1. applying some extra make-up because it always helps  2. begging aforementioned small boys to eat something (no for real, how are these my children? My mother once said I was the kind of child who ate everything ‘that wasn’t nailed to the ground’) 3. downloading a podcast and actually we should talk about podcasts soon 4. remembering the baby’s diaper bag (which is, literally, just a diaper and a couple of wipes in a sandwich bag, shoved in my pocket, because I like living on the edge, and if the baby has a serious poo-splosion I’m going home anyway).

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Tiny little lift for your flat shoes.

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Elastic laces for easy slip-on-slip-off.

I own high-top Converses in silver sequins, gold sequins, and leopard print, and wow, I… did not realize that I do not have even one normal plain pair of Converses. Hmm. How telling. However, sequined Converses are TOTALLY a neutral and go with everything. Jeans and a hoodie? Yes. Cocktail dress and red lipstick? Also, yes. Smart pants for work? Of COURSE yes. Whatever ices your cupcake, toots. I wore sequined Converses for my wedding reception, and that was quite possibly one of the best decisions I ever made.

Plus: the crappier and more used the sequined Converses get, the cooler they are. I don’t know why it works that way. It just does.

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I like these. I wonder if I should get them.

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Maybe a pink pair. Pink is also a neutral.

While we’re on the subject of footwear, when I’m at home writing, which is most of the time, I wear these Heat Holders socks.61wiNaBfEOL._SY679_Oh, how I love Heat Holders. No other sock compares. They are like wearing warm fireplace puppy cuddles on your feet. They make me SO happy. (Unless I’m trying to write but feeling sleepy. My husband and his brother had a theory when they were at college: cold feet wake you up and make you study harder. They would take off their shoes and socks in the depths of the Irish winter, and cram. And it kind of works. So in deadline situations, my feet are bare-ass naked.)

 

 

 

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On… new books

Am reading The Time Traveller’s Guide To Medieval England, on a recommendation from a friend from London, and I AM SO HAPPY. It’s a simple premise – a history book, written in the present tense. Somehow it makes it all seem so real, which is a stupid thing to say, but truly profound when you’re experiencing it. Wonderful writing and delicious details. Even for a dorky history nerd, like me. (Did you know that medieval sailors took almonds in barrels on ships, to make almond milk? HOW CRAZY IS THAT.)

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Next, I’m reading The Time Traveller’s Guide To Elizabethan England, and I cannot wait.

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On… skinnnn

I was on IG the other day chatting to someone about why I don’t post more beauty stuff. The honest answer is: because I’m not an expert just a chatty enthusiast, I have nothing new to say, and I’d mostly just be repeating myself, and surely that would be boring and annoying for you guys. I still think the secret to great skin is SPF, lots of moisturizers like Le Roche Posay Hydraphase Riche or Ceramide Rosette Gel, and no wine. (I know, I’m sorry about the wine thing. Maybe it’s just me because I had an eczema problem in my 20s. It still makes my skin like parchment the next day. Stick to vodka, kids, and stay beautiful.)

But THEN I realized: I do have a couple of new skincare products that I am slam-dunk OBSESSED WITH. Or should I say, WITH WHICH I am slam-dunk OBSESSED. Yes. That is much nicer.

I kept hearing about this brand Clark’s Botanicals on the Fat Mascara podcast (incidentally, if you love make-up and skincare, it is delicious – helmed by two beauty editors who really know what they’re talking about, and it’s just the amuse-bouche I need after way too much Pod Save America, Pod Save The World, Slow Burn, The Bag Man, etc etc). Now: I don’t usually buy expensive skincare. I truly think most of it is bullshit overpriced, and I have great luck with my under-$40 moisturizers. But then my skin went into exhausted-blotchy-canvas-freefalling-hormone mode after Arthur was born. So I tried the tester set you can buy on the Clark’s website, fell deeply and passionately in love with two of the products, and treated myself to them: the Clark’s Botanicals Marine Smoothing Cream, which has glycolic acid and makes your skin tingle delightfully, and the Clark’s Botanicals Deep Moisture Mask, which is the only moisturizer I’ve ever tried that rivals the Hydraphase in terms of pure fucking buttery unctuous awesomeness. I have been wearing them on alternate nights ever since he was born, and am about to re-invest in both as the pots are almost empty. With each of these, you wake up the next day and your skin is plump and replete – even mine, and I am tired, my friends. I cannot overstate how much I love them. I wish I didn’t love them, as they are a bit spendy. But, eh, what can you do. Anyway, try the sample kit, it’s good value and maybe you will love them, too.

Since we’re here anyway, a little chat about makeup. Again, I am probably irritatingly consistent: Cle de Peau concealer or NARS Glow in Gobi on my red spots (chin, nostrils, between the eyebrows which is bizarrely splotchy lately, what is UP with that?) with this Real Techniques brush, I dust over Bobbi Brown Pale Yellow pressed powder afterwards with this brush, and if I’m really in the mood, pat it with this old-school powder puff thing (the secret for truly velvety skin: pat in a slightly downwards motion) THEN! Then, my friends, I wear this marvelous Impassioned blush from NARS. Impassioned is a new discovery and it’s the only blush I have worn for months. It’s a vintage pale dusty rose, it’s satiny and gorgeous and impossible to fuck up even when I’m really tired, and I want to marry it. (The images on screen never, ever do it justice, by the way, do not judge it by that.)

Now (lowers voice) I don’t love looking too glowy anymore. Entre-nous, I think glow has jumped the shark a little bit. All those iridescent highlighters look greasy to me, and surely everyone’s make-up is slipping right off their damn faces if they’re applying copious amounts of thick cream under everything in the morning. I want my skin to be velvety and smooth, dammit, and I don’t want to think about it after I’ve put my make-up on or have to reapply later, because who has the fucking time. So I’ve been skipping my old friends Becca and RMS, but if I look super-flat, I dash on a splodge of Hourglass trio, just lightly and messily over my temples and the tops of my cheekbones, with this lovely brush.

And that’s about it. My days are writing-baby-writing-baby right now, so I don’t need more, and at least I look put-together enough to not despair at my tired crone face when I wash my hands after I pee. Arthur doesn’t mind that I have no eyebrows and non-existent eyelashes. (Side note: am getting my eyelashes permed and tinted on Thursday and I am VERY EXCITED. Pathetically excited. It has been a long, long time, my friends, what with a huge heavy bump making it hard to lie on my back for 90 mins and then the whole breastfeeding a newborn thang for the last four months, I might even get a manicure, who know, who knows, it’s wild.)

Anyway, tell me your new make-up and skincare obsessions, this is a safe space.

x

 

 

 

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On… Pressure by Muse

New favorite song.

 

The video being an homage to BTTF, with Terry Crews, just makes it even better.

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On… looking human with a newborn

I have an eight-week-old baby. (YAY ME.) He is absolutely lovely and delicious and, as far as newborns go, excessively easygoing. But it’s still been a pretty intense few months, because I also have deadlines. It’s actually easy to write with a newborn. It is. Truly. They eat, more or less, every three hours. Then they sleep for two hours. So you can write in that two-hour period, and then feed them and gaze at them adoringly until they sleep again. If they’re fussy, you can pop them in the ergo, and keep typing. That’s all there is to it. (This is assuming you don’t have a nightmare hellbaby who screams all the time. Ned was like that. But Arthur, blissfully,  is not.) While we’re on the subject, writing with a toddler is a fucking nightmare, because toddlers are tiny cavemen with giant egos. But newborns are easy.

However. I’m the don’t-expose-a-newborn-to-outside-germs-unnecessarily type, and my baby is the fuck-your-bottles-I-only-want-the-boob type, which means we are pretty much at home ALL the DAMN TIME and so doing anything apart from eating / sleeping / writing is challenging, if not impossible. All of this is a very boring and long-winded way of saying: I’m doing a lot of home grooming in order to look human.

This lovely dpHue gloss allegedly extends the lifespan of highlights, so is hopefully helping me to avoid the hair salon. I also use this as a conditioner once a week to keep the ol’ tresses bright and sunny rather than dull and brassy. My hair got all dry during pregnancy, so I put this It’s A Ten stuff on right out of the shower, before I blow dry. And then, on dry hair, I swear this Mise En Scene shit has magical bouffy-shiny properties. And of course, my hair probably needs a trim. (It always probably needs a trim). This collagen protein thing swells the hair shaft so it looks slightly less bedraggled. (Why does shaft always sound so filthy?) (I know why, I know why.) (Because PEEN.)

The skin on my body is dry AF after having a baby. Always is. I think it’s a hormonal thing; it gets all burlap-esque. I’ve been using this AHA moisturizer and it does some magic tingly exfoliating shit and I swear to go, leaves my skin all creamy and even-toned. And the skin on my face is recovering from a ghastly bout of pregnancy-induced melasma over the summer, so I’m alternating Clark’s Botanicals Smoothing Marine Cream and this lovely French Ystheal retinol. You can’t use retinol when you’re knocked up, and I’ve been knocked up on-and-off for about two years when you think about it, so retinol and I have some catching up to do.

My nails are terrible. I cut them short with toenail clippers and never think about them.

I look tired all the time, because, um, I am quite tired all the time, and I’ve made peace with that fact. I’ve been fantasizing about getting fillers in the dark troughs under my eyes. In my fantasies I don’t become blind from it, which is apparently a legit risk, and the reason I won’t be ever doing it. So instead, I’m splatting this on and smushing it around with the NuFace in the hope that it pushes my jowls up into my eyebag troughs. (Does the NuFace really work? IDFK darlings. It is extremely expensive – but I *think* it helps with puffiness.)

What else is there? Oh, I know. Make-up. Most days I cannot be bothered, but when I can, I just want to look fresh-faced and put together, and not like this. I discovered this Hado Labo face mask during a late-pregnancy-insomnia-fuelled Reddit deep-dive – and it’s genuinely GREAT! It plumps out pores and leaves your face all smooth and dewy and divine. Then I throw on this SPF, which has a very subtle glow, and use my fingers to push NARS concealer around my chin and nostrils and eyelids, with a little extra Cle de Peau concealer on any particularly blotchy bits. Then lots of Bobbi Brown Pale Yellow Powder with this brush, then some of this nothing-looking-yet-totally-something NARS Impassioned blush. Hourglass Platinum blonde, some L’Oreal Voluminous mascara, and Bobbi Brown Baby matte lip stain stuff. This is not a make-up look to get excited about, but it makes me look like a human in about three and a half minutes. And that’s a win.

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On… surprise!

I totally had a baby last week.
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Surprise!

I kept it quiet – in fact, almost entirely mute – because, well, you know, 2017 was a rough year of false starts, baby-wise, and even *thinking* about the pregnancy ending with an actual baby was almost impossible. So I crossed my fingers, threw up a lot, hid from the world and wrote and wrote and wrote, and in the end, made a perfect little boy born on September 27.

Arthur Noel Barry.

IMG_2227So so happy. Mwah. x

 

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