BEAUTY | Lush & Barry M Haul: Cruelty Free Beauty

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I went in town today with intentions of returning some jeans and buying a new mascara. This did not happen. I’m totally gonna blame this on my decision to take my giant Zara shopper bag with me, because it just looks stupid if it isn’t filled with things– so I had to buy some stuff. Over £60 worth of stuff to be exact.

After returning my jeans, I waddled into Superdrug to pick up a new Barry M mascara. For the past year or so I’ve been converting my makeup collection to entirely cruelty free products, and I’m finally getting round to the last few stragglers (my Benefit They’re Real mascara, I was very reluctant to part with it). I’ve been doing some research on the different Barry M mascaras, as they are my favourite budget cruelty free beauty brand, and finally decided on the Lash Vegas mascara. I’m excited to try it, and if it’s as good as I’m hoping then there will definitely be a review up sometime soon, and Barry M hasn’t failed me yet. Whilst I was lurking around the Barry M counter, I also came across the Flawless Matte Finish foundation, which is something I only realised existed pretty recently. Judging by the packaging, it seems to be trying to emulate the Benefit Hello Flawless foundation, which is what I currently use (I don’t use much foundation, I’ve been using this same bottle since July 2012, hence why it’s not cruelty free). I just had to guess what shade to get as there were no testers available, so hopefully I made the right choice. I’m pretty pale and I’m still somewhat of a foundation novice.

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But did my Barry M adventure end there? No. I also grabbed the Natural Glow Shadow & Blush palette because I HAVE A PROBLEM I LOVE EYESHADOW PALETTES OKAY? *cough* I’m planning on getting rid of the majority of my eyeshadow palettes and just starting a fresh. I’ve still got the original Urban Decay Naked palette, but I’m a little wary of putting something I’ve had so long in my eye. The colours look great, there’s six shades and they actually all seem really wearable– unlike 40% of the Naked palette, which has remained untouched for me. I’m definitely excited to try it out with my brand new mascara and foundation and feel like a new person, woo! And of course, I can’t go to Barry M without getting sucked into the nail polish section. I ended up getting the Pink Sapphire Glitter, which is exactly what it sounds like: just pink and gold confetti and sequin style nail glitter. I also got the silver nail art pen because I have so much fun with the black one, but I’m unsure of what I’m gonna create with it yet. Silver leopard print just doesn’t feel right, and that’s the extent of my nail artistry so far.

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At this point, I probably should have stopped when I had the chance. But I was sure I could just slide into Lush and buy myself a shampoo that would fix the mess that is my hair thanks to seven years of consecutive bleaching. And that I did! I picked up a little bottle of Rehab shampoo, just so I could try it before committing to a giant bottle. It’s full of seaweed and cleansing enzymes, so hopefully it will help whatever I did to my poor hair. But in true Rosanna spirit, I couldn’t stop there. I mean you can’t go to Lush without getting a bath bomb or two, right? So I picked two Rose Jam bath bombs to try, because thanks to my name I have an affinity for anything with rose in it. But buying the bath bombs meant I couldn’t pass on the matching shower gel! So I got that too. Because it smells like fairy blood. I also repurchased one of my old preteen favourites, the Skin Drink moisturiser. I stopped buying it because I was a poor teenager who couldn’t justify spending so much on cosmetics… which really isn’t much of a change from being a poor graduate who can’t justify spending so much on cosmetics. Whatever. What are you? My mother? And then because I’m a giant lip product junkie, I grabbed the Mint Julips lip scrub whilst I was paying. I mean what’s a few more pounds, right?

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Excuse the awful lighting on these photos, I just wanted to take the photos when everything was pretty and unopened and it gets dark at like 8AM now. I’m not exactly sure how I fell into beauty blogging. Is this beauty blogging? I just buy a lot of makeup and stuff. I also spoke about books yesterday? You get everything here on Mice & Rabbits.

Currently Listening: Hard Out Here- Lily Allen

Currently Reading: Good Omens- Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

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BOOKS | Things I Read At University (That I Didn’t Hate)

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I was always a big reader growing up, and it is something I just presumed would continue throughout my entire life. Then I made the mistake of doing an English degree. Being forced to read multiple novels a week and then be expected to talk about them in front of a bunch of people you don’t know, and then write 3000 word essays about them, was pretty draining on me. So much so that I pretty much entirely stopped reading for pleasure for my three years at uni. After my last ever essay deadline, one of the first things I did was order £70 worth of books and convince myself that I was going to jump right back into the joys of reading again, starting with something simple like David Foster Wallace (I’m still not sure why I thought that was a good idea). I even got an eReader! I was ready for this! Unfortunately all I’ve managed to read since July have been pretty basic YA novels about ghosts and goblins and all that fun stuff. And of course I couldn’t blame myself for my lack of literature, after all– I had loved it before I turned eighteen. It was the university’s fault, it had to be! However, the more I think about it, the more I realise that I actually read some pretty great things at uni. Things I never would have picked up if it wasn’t for the limited module choices. So this is my list of the top five things I read at university, because amidst the sea of Brontë, Defoe, and Swift (not the Taylor kind), there were actually some gems out there.

5) The Complete Poems of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester:

During my second year of university, I had to pick a year long module for the English side of my degree, and I pretty much hated all the choices, so I ended up choosing a class on the Restoration because I have a giant history crush on King Charles II. This class was hit and miss for me, some things (like A Journal of the Plague Year, ughhhh) caused me such pain to read, whilst others (like Rochester) I genuinely… enjoyed? Rochester was in the court of King Charles II, and when he wasn’t verbally fucking the Puritan movement, he was literally fucking a variety of women and men. And he liked to write a lot of poems about this. Rochester’s idea of a good night was collecting STIs like Ash Ketchum caught Pokémon… which is what eventually killed him at age 33. I pretty much love him, and if my Midnight in Paris-esque moment doesn’t take me back to the 1920s to party with the Fitzgeralds, St James’s Park in the seventeenth century would be pretty great too.

4) When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro:

When people think of Ishiguro, they usually think of Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley running around in Never Let Me Go– which I’ll admit is actually a pretty good film. But Orphans just did something for me that Never Let Me Go didn’t manage. This whole novel is one giant mindfuck, that is the best way to describe it. You start off thinking you’re reading a simple detective story, albeit with a rather eccentric protagonist, but as you get further and further into the story you become less sure of what is happening. I’m surprised that this isn’t a film already, because the right director could really do something with this story. I included this text on the list because after I first read the synopsis, I was sure I was gonna hate it. But I grimaced and I sat down with some green tea and I forced myself to read. And before long, I wasn’t forcing myself anymore. I was staying up late, racing my tiredness to get to the end. And then I did. And I was disappointed. Because it seems Ishiguro’s favourite hobby is building you up, only to knock you back down. Yet I still love the damn thing.

3) The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter:

I first read Angela Carter during my A Levels, and although I enjoyed her work, it took me until my last year of uni to really get her. Maybe it was because I needed a few more years to begin to identify as a feminist, but by the time I read The Magic Toyshop, I was hooked. I said Orphans was a mindfuck? Well it’s got nothing on Toyshop. I was so angry when I finished this book. Was that an ending? Was anything that happened in this book real? Was Melanie just in a coma somewhere, high on medication? But I don’t even care. Everything else about this book is wonderful. The metaphors of the patriarchy, the utter creepiness, the never-really-explained incest. The complete absurdity of everything that happens just makes the reader more aware of Carter’s underlying feminist ideals. Before I started this class, I was completely set on writing my second essay on 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the moment I finished this book I knew it was the one I must write on. And it takes a lot to make me want to write on a novel over a film.

2) The Collector by John Fowles:

This is the second book about an abductor/abductee that I read whilst at uni, and whilst the first one (Room by Emma Donoghue) gave me the pretty basic ‘oh no this is a bad man, he is clearly the villain’ response, The Collector was something different. Fowles does something amazing with this novel, and makes you actually feel for the abductor, Clegg. This text really plays with your head, because at times you find yourself rooting for Miranda to escape, and others you feel genuine sympathy for Clegg. Out of all the novels I read at uni, I’d definitely have to say that The Collector is my favourite, and I will continue to recommend it to anyone who asks.

1) The Collected Dorothy Parker by, uh, Dorothy Parker:

I’m sort of cheating with this one, because I’m not really picking a particular book– but an entire person. Dorothy Parker is without a doubt one of my favourite people in history. She is my idol, everything I wish to be in life. If you’ve seen Girl, Interrupted, then you will know Parker from this scene, which is admittedly one of my favourite of her works, but there is so much more. I chose The Collected Dorothy Parker because it gives the best of both worlds– both her poems and her short stories. And there’s only one thing cooler than Parker’s work– and that’s Parker herself. I’ve been planning a post on why I love her so much for what feels like months now, but I just can’t get it right, so I’m not gonna say too much about it here, other than that everyone should experience Parker at some point in their life. Pessimism has never looked so decadent.

(Let’s ignore how the title of this post sounds like a Fall Out Boy song)