FOTD: Autumn Dreams

If you’ve seen my Instagram recently you’ll know I’ve completely fallen for autumn. All my makeup has been inspired by autumnal colours and I’ve been trying to make all my other posts darker and more orange too. In fact you could say I’ve fallen for orange? My favourite colour used to be 100% pink. No doubt, forever pink. Now I’m not so sure. Oranges, reds, burgundy… they’re taking over and I’m loving it. I don’t know whether I’m just falling for the warm neutral hype at the moment though? Either way, orange it is.

For the products I used, I’ve put a * next to the products that aren’t cruelty free. I’m still using up products, so I did debate whether to continue posting FOTD’s at all until I’ve got replacements for everything. I just loved this look though, and the main elements – the eyeshadow are all CF.

Base

  • Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless in 110 Porcelain*
  • L’Oreal Glam Bronze Eau de Soleil*
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind in Light*
  • Sleek Makeup Face Contour Kit in Light
  • Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso
  • MAC Magic Dust Eye Shadow in Forward March – as highlight*

Eyebrows

  • MAC Eyeshadows in Omega and Handwritten*
  • NYX Micro Brow pencil in Taupe
  • Milani Easybrow in Natural Taupe

Eyes

  • Absolute New York Eyeshadow Primer*
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Transparent*
  • Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Cherry Cola
  • NYX Ultimate Shadow Palette Brights
  • Makeup Revolution New-trals vs Neutrals Palette
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara*
  • MAC Magic Dust Eye Shadow in Forward March*

Lips

  • Boots No. 7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Bare*

Have you changed up your makeup for autumn? Or do you have a style and colour set you love and stick to?

xo Fleur xo

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Computer Games?

Hey, it’s me with another rant. You know I love them, better out than in, right?

This time it’s about computer games. I love computer games, or at least, there are a handful of computer games that I think are bloody awesome and have spent weeks of my life playing now. You know what I hate, the fact that I get judged for that. Tell people I’ve binge watched even kinda shitty shows and they’re not bothered, say I’ve spent the entire weekend reading and people are usually impressed, say I’ve spent my evening on the computer and I’m weird and wasting my time.

When I say that my OH and I regularly sit in different rooms, chatting online playing the same game the responses I get are pure disgust tbh. Yet when we’re sat watching tv together we’re talking lot less and we’re not constantly working together within a game? On our computers we’ll often be joined by friends as well, so we get to talk to several people for hours every evening.

According to a 2016 Thinkbox report the average viewer in the U.K. spends 3 hours and 51 minutes watching tv a day. So say they get home at 6 they’re basically watching tv all evening. If that’s average, that means that’s most people’s evenings and from talking to my friends and family that seems pretty a reasonable guess.

Why the heck is my spending the same time in front of a computer such an issue?

In a computer game I’m constantly moving both my hands, I’m constantly learning, usually talking to people, creating things, working in a team, achieving goals, failing, winning… the list goes on.

In Minecraft I get to build and I can also watch YouTube videos of people recreating things like Minas Tirith to one of my friends who recreated Notre-Dame?! I don’t understand the mindset that thinks that’s a waste of time, that it’s not impressive and that it’s not a skill. Not wishing to offend anyone but it’s pretty similar to what architects do, no?

In Overwatch I have to work as a team and honestly I’ve probably learnt more team skills from it than I learnt at school or uni. You want to win, it’s something you genuinely care about – not a piece of shitty coursework. I’m also getting better reflexes from actually having to react to such a fast paced game. Again, this translates to real life, I feel more alert.

In Guild Wars 2 and Skyrim I got to have adventures. I get to live in the worlds that normally only exist in my imagination whilst I’m reading a book. With mods Skyrim is spellbindingly beautiful and you know what, it’s fun.

My OH also credits games like Forza with teaching him to drive and I believe it. He got into my car as a learner and just knew. Sure he’d previously ridden a motorbike but they’re pretty different vehicles. I’m pretty sure he stalled the car less as a learner than I do in my regular driving.

I can just about take comments against computer games from people who have genuinely no idea, who don’t use a phone and barely use a computer. When they’re coming from people who I’ve seen spend hours playing phone games… yeah, no. Your phone IS a computer matey. Oh and please don’t say you’ve never found a computer game that interests you – sure, I thought the same for a while and I do hate a lot of them BUT I found ones I love because there’s something for everyone.

I really loathe the idea that there are people my age who hate computers that much. People who won’t be bringing their children up using computers – yet they’re likely to be spending their entire working career on one. Sure, I do think kids need to have more outside time but I’d also rather their inside time was playing games over watching tv.

Whilst we’re at it, I wish people would just take a long, hard look at themselves. Dissing people for playing/watching people play computer games whilst you’re watching things like I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here, X-Factor or Love Island? Politely, go fuck yourself. How are they better? I’m not saying they’re not great but come on.

Oh also, I’m pretty sure looking at a computer screen isn’t going to damage my eyesight as much as all the times where I’ve been reading and haven’t noticed how dark it’s got.

Ultimately everyone likes different things and you shouldn’t shit on people just because you don’t understand what they enjoy.

xo Fleur xo

Young Adult Books?

Whilst reading some books that were classed as Young Adult this year I found myself in a weird situation of feeling like they shouldn’t really be YA? I’d love for you to read what I think and have a conversation!

To me Young Adult means books like The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Mortal Instruments series, the Slated series (one you should definitely read if you haven’t already). These books cover difficult topics, show relationships, the characters encounter real, difficult pain… they’re not children’s books but they’re not ‘adult’ books, they’re not quite as dark or just… adult.

For me, one massive distinction is that YA books don’t contain graphic sex scenes. They have the characters kissing, clearly going off to have sex but it’s like sex in a 12 rated film/tv show. The edges are blurred, you essentially know they get naked and roll around in bed a bit.

So when I had read Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series I didn’t even consider it to be YA. The themes felt too dark and certainly in the last book there was a fair amount of sex that potentially wouldn’t even be an 18 rated film, more like porn. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, I am 100% not dissing those books. Then I walked past a display in my local Waterstones and ACOWAR, the last book, the one with that graphic sex in, was sat in a display of kids books?! Um, what? So I looked it up and discovered that her books were supposedly classed as YA?

Having read her ACOTAR series I then read her Throne of Glass series, which did feel like a YA series. Right up until the massive sex scene in Empire of Storms. I’m so confused!

I just don’t feel like YA books should have graphic, erotic sex scenes in them? But then again what age range is YA? To me it’s always been 11-17 ish. Sure when I was that age, certainly 13+ I wanted as many sex scenes as I could find. I was a hormonal teenager after all! I didn’t find them in books aimed at my age though. Instead I read loads of adult fantasy and a good few romance books!

I felt especially awkward when I saw a 12 year old in the school I work at reading Empire of Storms. She was at the start of the book and was she going to be ready for that? I mean, she probably will be but it is a has a very different, adult, section compared to the previous four books.

Is it still YA if there are those graphic sex scenes? Is the age range I consider it to cover wrong? Am I being a prude? Would you feel comfortable recommending a book to a teenager if it contained a load of sex? I’d love to know what you think.

xo Fleur xo

Blogger Book Nook: Something New

The lovely Abbey and Tabitha started the Blogger Book Nook this month. As I’ve become re-addicted to reading over the past few months I was obviously instantly intrigued. There a Facebook group which I’m absolutely loving, as well as a prompt and Q&A for a blog post each month!

September’s prompt was newness. I read a lot of new authors this month but I picked up a few, well, all of Leigh Bardugo’s books… as you do. So for this mini review I’m going to concentrate on her duology Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. I’d seen so much about her writing, from Wonder Woman Warbringer to SO many pictures of Six of Crows in everyone I follow’s #bookstagram. So when I saw Six of Crows in the library I had to pick it up.

The story starts with a feel very reminiscent of The Lies of Locke Lamora – based in a city full of water, rife with crime. The book follows Kaz, a criminal mastermind and the crew he assembles as they carry out a heist. Think Ocean’s Eleven but with magic and a world on the brink of war. I love that her Grisha books are set in a period of time reminiscent of just before World War One as if makes a wonderful change from the standard medieval fantasy. It also allows for some awesome surprises!

I will say I think the story in Six of Crows is a more interesting, edge of your seat book BUT Crooked Kingdom is very clever. I also love the depth you get from each character in Crooked Kingdom. They’re all clearly flawed but that provides an insight into struggles I know I hadn’t even thought of before.

I’d would recommend reading her Grisha trilogy before this duology… but I’d happily recommend all of her writing, especially if you enjoy YA Fantasy. They’re enjoyable, have great depth and a really solid plot.

Now for the Q&A section!

1. Do you like trying new authors or do you stick to old favourites? Why?

Definitely both! There are authors where I will read everything and anything they’ve published (can you tell that’s the kind of person I am). I read too much to stick to just authors I already know though. I do tend to stick to authors within genres I enjoy (YA, fantasy) but I’m always willing to read someone new when I’ve had a recommendation.

2. How do you usually find out about new authors? Reading blog reviews? Advertisements? Recommendations from friends?

All of the above! At the moment a lot of my inspiration comes from the book bloggers I follow on Instagram/Twitter and falling in love with covers. I also go into the library a lot and see what looks interesting!

3. Which new authors are on your TBR list at the moment?

I mean, the list is probably too long? A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan, Warcross by Marie Lu, The Dollmaker of Krakow by R. M. Romero, Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas amongst many others.

4. Have you come across a new author recently that you really didn’t enjoy reading? Which book was it and why didn’t it appeal to you?

True Believer by Nicholas Sparks. OMG. If you followed my Instagram stories the evening I read that book you’ll know how annoyed I got. It’s 400 pages long as pretty much nothing happens. You know how people got annoyed at Twilight because of Bella just sitting there analysing her feelings for chapters? This was a whole book of that with little else. I haven’t seen or read The Notebook which he also wrote, so I’m assuming this was just a dud book of his but ugh. Don’t waste your time! (Ok, it has a few good reviews on Goodreads but eh)

5. Which of your all-time favourite author’s books would you give to a friend who had never read their work before?

I would only recommend this to someone who loves fantasy… so I haven’t recommended it to that many people irl. The Redemption of Althalus by David Eddings. It’s my all-time favourite book by my all-time favourite author. Reading it feels like coming home home to me. It’s about a thief who is tasked to steal a book, there’s a war and there’s a cat. It makes me laugh and cry. I LOVE it.

Have you read anything by Leigh Bardugo? What would be the one book you’d recommend to me?

xo Fleur xo

Products I’ll Miss

Whilst I do plan on using up as many of my non cruelty free products as possible, I’m obviously not going to be repurchasing any of them. For a lot of them I’m not bothered, I know there are products out there that I love just as much BUT for some of them AGH I’m going to miss them. It’s also kind of a recommendation post for anyone who isn’t cf.

First off mascara *cries* I don’t think I’ve ever tried a cf mascara and although I’m really excited to get trying new ones I really am going to miss two. The Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara has been a recent discovery and I’ve been completely in love with it. My forever favourite is the MaxFactor False Lash Effect and I’m clearly going to be reading so many blog posts trying to find a dupe for it. I’ve heard good things about the Essence mascaras, so I think I’ll give them a go first. If you have a cf favourite mascara please let me know!

Next up are my MAC lipsticks. Pictured is Lady Danger but Heroine and Moxie are firm favourites too, they’re my go-to lipstick shades. I have so many and I’m aiming to use them up because they’re way too expensive to just bin or pass on. Hopefully in the meantime I can find a dupe.

The Maybelline Colour Tattoo’s (barely pictured because it just wanted to reflect all the sunshine) are so gorgeous and have been my favourite cream eyeshadows, especially for the price. Having said that, I also haven’t used them in ages so it’s probably about time I found some new cf cream eyeshadows.

I had so many OPI nail varnishes, which is ridiculous as I rarely paint my nails and they’re not exactly cheap! I do have some stunning colours though and whilst I’ve given away the less exciting shades I do plan on using up the gorgeous ones. I’ve already bought them after all, the damage has been done.

The Rimmel Stay Matte Powder probably isn’t revolutionary but it does work brilliantly. So it’s going to be a journey to find something that lives up to it. Also by Rimmel is the Breakfast in Bed Nail Varnish which is the prettiest shade. It’s my perfect springtime shade but it also looks pretty easy to find a dupe of.

La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Duo + has been a staple of my skincare routine for around five years and I can tell when I haven’t been using it. It’s probably the one single item I’m most nervous about finding a replacement for. However, I’ve been looking into The Ordinary and I think that I can definitely improve on my current skincare routine with some of their products! So maybe it’s a push in a better direction?

My first ever blush was MAC Peaches and I do still love it. In fact I love all the blushes I have from MAC. I do, however, know that there are so many gorgeous cf blushes out there including ones I love from Kiko, Makeup Geek and Milani. So I know it’ll be sorted but I’ll miss peaches.

The last product is the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation. I had finally found a foundation that made my oily skin look super gorgeous dammit! I know I’ll find something else but it’s a pretty big blow right now. Out of everything this is the product I’m saddest about. However, they didn’t have a shade that matched me perfectly, so maybe I’ll find something better!

Overall I am really excited to find new products I love and dupes for these ones. In the vast makeup market there’s always going to be something similar/better!

xo Fleur xo

What I’ve been reading

I’ve seen a few of these posts recently and I think they’re a great way to find new books to read! This selection of books definitely has a circus/carnival/festival theme, probably because they were all recommendations Amazon gave me after I bought Caraval!

I don’t know how much detail to go into for a mini review, especially as I’m someone who rarely reads blurbs because I hate having even the first chapter given away! So please let me know if you’d like more or less detail – and whether this is interesting?!

So the first is Caraval by Stephanie Garber. This book is completely mesmerising, almost magical and honestly swept me off my feet. I can’t recommend it enough, it’s so beautifully thought out and written. It’s about Scarlett, who has been wishing for Caraval to visit where she lives for years, having been enchanted by the stories her grandmother told her. Caraval is a magical show with audience participation held by the mysterious Legend.

The next is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This book is about a circus that arrives completely unexpectedly, no one sees it arrive or leave, or set up. Beneath the circus is hidden the competition between two illusionists. I think both the characters in the book and the reader ends up questions what is real and what is an illusion. I didn’t find this as spellbinding as Caraval but the imagery is stunning. Even now, writing this, I feel like I can step into the book and see the different parts of the circus – that’s some magical writing.

Finally, I read Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody which again had some amazing imagery, this time of the characters. This book is based in Gomorrah, the burning city, which is a moving festival (again that circus feel). The main character is Sorina, who can create illusions. She has created a family of illusions, each with their own personalities who perform with her in their Freak Show. The twists and turns in DOTBC kept me hooked, though I never see anything coming so those of you more with it than me might work them out! It’s a book that’s full of intrigue, fantasy meets detective and I loved it!

I can’t quite believe I managed to pick three books with such similar overall themes this month. I also now have the strongest craving for candy floss and popcorn plus desperately wanting to see some acrobats. Do any of these sound like they’d be for you?

xo Fleur xo

Cruelty Free Products I’ve Loved for Years

Since deciding to go cruelty free, I have been trying to get rid of some of the products I won’t use up. As I’ve been going through my collection I’ve found so many products that I’ve loved for years (or at least a year) – so I thought I’d give a shoutout to some of the awesome CF products out there!

First off I’ve loved Barry M Nail Paints forever. The molten metal ones are particularly gorgeous but they’re all great, especially for the price. One of my all time favourites is Illamasqua Collide which is a stunning hot pink. It’s also easy to apply and lasts well.

A forever favourite lipstick is Illamsqua Underworld, which has regularly featured in selfies. Not so much recently but 3/4 years back I probably wore it on a weekly basis. The NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams are my favourite liquid lipsticks, they don’t dry my lips out too much and I can eat and reapply, they also come in so many pretty shades. I’m also  a big fan of the NYX Macaron Lippies they’re fantasy colours and are gorgeous, they’re a traditional lipstick which I prefer. I love them.

It is limited edition but this Kiko Blush Duo is gorgeous and I really want to try more of their shimmery blushes as a result. If you haven’t tried anything from Kiko, I’ve loved pretty much everything I’ve tried from them!

The Illamasqua Pigment in Static is something I still haven’t fully worked out how to use to it’s full potential but it’s everything. SO gorgeous.

I couldn’t write a post talking about products I love without mentioning Phee’s Makeup Shop. If you like a strong highlight, you can’t go wrong and her eyeshadows are really gorgeous too. The highlights are also amazing foiled in the inner corner or in a halo eyeshadow look.

Sleek Makeup iDivine Eyeshadow Palettes have been my firm favourites for a good six years. They’re really affordable, the pigmentation is ridiculous, they blend so well… I’ve used up two of their palettes completely now and had to repurchase them.

Finally the Inika Mineral Foundation is pretty decent. It doesn’t have the best coverage but I prefer a lighter coverage. It sits so nicely on the skin, I can barely feel it and it doesn’t slip around. Exactly what I need in a summer foundation!

Have you tried any of these products? If so, what do you think of them?

xo Fleur xo