Monthly Archives: January 2019

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.)


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



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.