Spotlight: Orange Polar Bear at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Hi everyone!

I have something a little different today – I wanted to share my experience seeing a play recently. I have always wanted to see more theatre – my Royal Shakespeare Company discount card and loyalty card remain unused at the moment! This was a short-notice event for me but I don’t regret a second.

Orange Polar Bear is a play made in collaboration between British and Korean acting organisations, including The REP itself, the National Theater Company of Korea, Hanyong Theatre and Birmingham City University. It ran from the 1st-10th of November, and I saw some tweets a few days in and spontaneously decided to snap up some of the last few tickets for the 9th for myself and a friend. As both of us are interested in Korean culture, it was a great opportunity to act on our interests on a local scale.

Photo from The REP Website – I wish I could get my own copy of the promotional poster. This is beautiful and I’d love a memento for my wall.

It was my first time at the theatre. It’s wedged in between the Library of Birmingham and the ICC, and sometimes you can’t see it above all of the construction happening in the Paradise Circus area at the moment. Its also connected to the Library via the ground floor, where you can kill some time before or after a show… in the daytime, anyway – it closes early, unfortunately.

From this point, this review contains spoilers, although to my knowledge this play won’t be running any more, unfortunately.

The play is about two teenagers, William and Jiyoung in the UK and Korea respectively,  who are frustrated with their current lives, trying to navigate their personal lives while taking a peek at each others’. They express their worries and fears for the future both personally and on a bigger scale throughout the play. They feel distant from their lives as they live it, demonstrated by how they speak in the third person during their monologues.

The set was quite sparse, featuring a clean white background with doors and an upper platform, and clear perspex boxes used as seats and icebergs. We loved seeing projections of microwave contents and TV screens on the white doors, and the clean set allowed the play to move seamlessly between the UK and Korea and blend the two when needed.

William and Jiyoung. Rollers in my fringe was something I began to do only recently so Jiyoung was what I’d call a *big mood*. (from @OrangePolar18 on Twitter)

I found it interesting that all the supporting cast spoke their native language no matter what scenes (Korean or English language) they were in, adding to the bilingualism of the play and allowing audiences speaking either language to understand the other through context. My friend and I were a bit nervous about whether subtitles would be provided, and the answer was both yes and no. There were sections left entirely up to the context that we understood well regardless, with the help of the emotive cast.

Photo from the promotional Twitter for Orange Polar Bear, @OrangePolar18.

I was surprised to see school groups coming to see the play. In truth, it probably is a really interesting play for teenagers to watch especially as the main characters are also teens. Sometimes I wish my school had been more interested in promoting local theatre and experimental pieces like this. Not that I regret being able to see Hamlet live, but I wasn’t fully aware of the scope of theatre back then outside of Shakespeare, musicals and historically based pieces. Smaller pieces like this one, that take a chance of me stumbling upon them… those are what I’d like to see more of. I’ll have to keep my eyes open now.

Photo from the promotional Twitter for Orange Polar Bear, @OrangePolar18.

The plot itself was quite simple, yet also unexpected in the way it twisted and built up until the peak. As William and Jiyoung are almost always present on stage, aware of each other, we see what is happening to them as well as their reactions to each other’s lives. The duality of the plot helped to make it much more interesting. On a screen, I probably would not have thought twice before losing interest but in person, I got so immersed in it.

Also… I now totally stan Minju Kim and am looking forward to her future projects. The only issue being that it’s hard to Google her because there is a member of IZ*ONE with the same name! As Jiyoung, Minju Kim was so endearing and loveable. My friend and I agreed that the Korean cast, in particular, were fantastic. Cheongim Kang’s mini dance to Power Up by Red Velvet was a little fun alongside hearing Stormzy in the previous segment, like a musical trade. She switched between the role of idol schoolgirl Taehee and Jiyoung’s grandmother, two drastically different roles, so well! Ahron Hong’s performance as Jiyoung’s father was also really touching, and made me think of my own father and how he expresses himself.

That’s not to say the British cast weren’t also great. Rasaq Kukyoki and Tahirah Sharif had the audience invested in William and Sarah’s relationship – with what I could tell from the little gasps and laughs heard from behind me. Michael Kodwiw was less present, but this was not felt when we saw him as William’s friend Arthur and Sarah’s father. I only truly realised it now as I am typing.

Photo from the promotional Twitter for Orange Polar Bear, @OrangePolar18.

Overall, this was a beautiful, curious experience worth getting up earlier for. As a British Vietnamese young adult, I saw so much of my own experiences reflected in both the Korean and British portions of the play, in a strange way, and I think many others will also be able to relate to it, too. In the future, I’d love to see more collaborations between Birmingham theatre and theatre abroad, as well as more bilingual pieces.

Until next time,

X

Lipstick & Chatter: Can We Stop With the Late Night Fireworks Now?

Everyone, can you believe its November? The German Market is just around the corner and so is the end of the year. I feel like it’s flying by quicker than I would like.

Shopping

These days, I get to come home to a great cinnamon scent in my room. I’ve been revisiting TK Maxx a lot waiting for a classically autumn scent like cinnamon or pumpkin in a reed diffuser. I own a few candles but I’m not allowed to use them upstairs for safety reasons, so the best near alternative for my room is a reed diffuser.

Now that I have my hands on a cinnamon scent, though, I think I would have preferred vanilla pumpkin or something without cinnamon as the scent is a bit strong. I’ve tucked away the reed diffuser in a corner where the scent will be less strong so hopefully, it won’t be so bad.

On the other hand, some of you may know that I love the Paper Place A4 Spiralbound notebooks from The Works. I’ve noticed that they’ve made their notebooks less pages recently although ultimately the same. I don’t know whether to be sad or happy seeing as it took me ages to get through them but now they’re less value for the same price!

University

I feel like I’m juggling so many things recently. Beyond university coursework, I’m also part of two societies, a language exchange group, a Japanese class and an extra module. I also have a gym membership and have been aiming for two days a week. I’d previously felt drained at most times during the week and at one point I started missing lectures and workshops in order to recover from my really long Tuesdays.

(This post goes out on a Tuesday, so rest assured I am probably dying at Uni as you read this.)

Until a few weeks ago, I also had two jobs. I’ve since quit the second job in order to have more time to fit all of these extra-curricular things with time to relax. The Tuesdays haven’t changed, essentially, so they’re still too long and tiring for the moment but I’m glad to have my Fridays and Sundays back – a few days where I can take time off and get ready for the next week. I feel as if I can still cramming in too much though and I’m still struggling to make it to the gym. I am hoping to change that this week.

NaNoWriMo

All this said, you’ll understand now why I’m finding it so hard to blog. You’ll be even more baffled to hear that I’m also adding NaNoWriMo to that list this year. For those of you unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month is a writing challenge to get 50k words done throughout the month. I’ve only succeeded once in 2015 and not reached 10k in subsequent years since. So, of course, I’ve set a small goal for myself of at least reaching 10k. Right now, I’m at 1k.

On top of that, I haven’t concretely planned my novel at all, whereas I have attempted plans for most of my previous projects. This is because, in my mind, I am still in the mindset of getting to know the characters and setting and when I try to write with a plot I quickly lose the plot (pun sort of intentional).

So I am actually approaching the novel more like a plan, and hopefully all those words will help me become more familiar with my characters. Case in point is that I started this month with only three characters and simply by writing about their setting I’ve now got at least eight characters.

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Lipstick Spotlight

Recently, the lipstick I have been wearing the most is my Smashbox Be Legendary in Legendary. I know I did review this lipstick a little negatively saying that it was not fully opaque and a bit patchy at times, but it means I’ve fully embraced a messy lip look.

I want something bold this autumn and winter as well as not too drying, so I have been wearing this two ways: popping this in the centre of my lips on top of Skinfood’s tinted avocado lip serum, or using the lipstick first in the centre and using a lip brush to line my lips in lip balm and soften the lip lines. I don’t have defined lips so softening lipstick lines really improves the look in my opinion. The result is this super plushy and glossy-ish look that I like wearing on a daily basis.

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The lasting power of the lipstick is not great so depending on food type it may have to be retouched. However, with just a drink or so, it will last well and only lose some vividity, fading to a more blotted look.

I did wear a liquid lipstick or two recently but I couldn’t handle just how drying they felt so I think I am back to bullets, pigmented balmy products and glosses for life. I picked my recent gel polish to match – it’s Halo Gel Polish in Apple Red, which is slightly orangey yet not too bright. Ask your local nail salon if they offer it, and if not they’re sure to know a trade stockist that does.

And Finally…

On a random note, I find myself picking more and more vegetarian options recently when I am going out for food. I recently picked up a jar of pumpkin seed butter to try out – it’s the one option I saw that was not nut-based (my sister is allergic) so it was an impulse buy! I just look at what interests me and many times it happens to be vegetarian. I told myself in this regard that I would never force myself to eat vegan or vegetarian, and focus on what I like, and it’s interesting to see what I naturally gravitate to and what I could easily give up.

Until Next Time,

X

Autumn Media Edit 2018

Hi everyone! I think it’s been AGES since I last did an editorial like this, so I am really eager to share what I have been watching, reading and listening to over the last few months.

Netflix

First off, I have recently gotten Netflix, and by that I mean my boyfriend’s. I had a trial a year or two ago and I watched a lot but didn’t find it necessary at the time. At the moment they do have a great selection of shows, both anime and not-anime, that I am interested in watching. I’m not a binge watcher at all so I am a few episodes into many many series at once. Of course, I started with the anime but, perhaps in the next Edit, we shall see a greater variety of shows!!

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On Netflix, I recommend Aggretsuko, a Sanrio cartoon about a sweet office worker who likes to vent her stress through raging death metal. I am also working my way through Samurai Champloo, a samurai anime with a hip-hop soundtrack. I also noticed Cowboy Bebop was on Netflix, too, which is a space action with a jazz-infused soundtrack. Both are definitely worth checking out, objectively, but perhaps didn’t hit the sweet spot for my personal taste.

Not on Netflix, we recently watched 91 Days at the University Anime Society which has been a huge hit with everyone! It’s fast-paced, dark, unexpected and a great series to watch together and talk about.

91days

Manga

In the same vein, I have been reading a lot of manga. I have recently binged a variety of series, and the ones I don’t write further about today are in bold in the list below.

  • Skip Beat (re-read)
  • Fruits Basket (re-read)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (re-read)
  • The Ancient Magus’ Bride (a quaint, British-inspired fantasy).
  • Hajime no Ippo (a boxing manga that is surprisingly gripping).
  • Real Clothes
  • Oishii Kankei (A Delicious Life)
  • Yotsuba& (laughed out loud a LOT reading this – a definite recommendation!)

Fruits Basket is probably my very first shoujo manga. No, not even Sailor Moon!! It was in the local library, as well as the school library, and I ended up finishing it online as a young teen. I didn’t fully understand the ending and perhaps even found it boring at the time.

However, reading it now, I realise that after the first five volumes of fun, it quickly becomes sadder. The plot was much less clear-cut than I thought but I did a much better job of understanding it now I am older, and these new things made me enjoy this re-read. That said, the writing is still stretched out and overly fluffy so this plot could have been finished at least a few volumes less, and I probably won’t re-read it again… at least not for a long time.

I started reading Real Clothes and Oishii Kankei, both by the same mangaka, after a long conversation at Anime Society, weeks ago, about the greatness of the shoujo (girls’) genre. I actually read more shounen (boys’) so I thought I needed to broaden my hoizons in this genre. I did start out after this discussion with After the Rain but that’s on hold for now.

Real Clothes and Oishii Kankei are what would be counted as more mature shoujo series, and I thoroughly enjoyed them both. The characters themselves are a bit less… dramatic (?) and the drama revolves around their life situations more. I preferred Real Clothes as I think the main character is more relatable – she’s simply a hard-working, career-focused woman who happens to find her calling and the manga does reflect that. It also implies that fashion both can and cannot be learned in interesting ways.

TV

Doctor Who is back on TV! The new 13th Doctor has really grown on me in just a few episodes and the writing is definitely getting there, wherever ‘there’ is. The older series are also on Netflix so I’ve been watching a bit of the Ninth Doctor here and there! There are some fantastic one-liners in those early episodes and I’ve missed them.

doc-who-11

As Doctor Who is now on a Sunday, I happen to flick over from watching Bradley Walsh as the new companion to Bradley Walsh as host of The Chase. I tend to only catch the final round or so, but it’s still a bit of fun.

Then I even stick around to watch the X Factor results(!) although I don’t see the live Saturday shows. I think the X Factor needs to die for a few years then come back for a reboot – as a singing show, it tends to favour the same types of contestants and it ends up predictable. I’m not saying bring Produce 101 over to the UK but… okay, maybe K-Pop has really spoiled me. I can’t watch performances in the UK and be genuinely impressed anymore.

Gaming

In terms of games, I’ve got Mario Party now but we won’t get its full use for another few months when my brother returns home for the holidays. Of course, I have preordered Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and I’m insanely excited for that.

HiddenFolks-v0.7-City
Hidden Folks, an example of a map (taken from their website).

I’ve recently bought Hidden Folks which is a very simple, black and white interactive finding game in the vein of ‘wheres wally?’ It’s best played on the touchscreen so I’ve enjoyed cosying in bed to play this for short bursts of time and finding things in their huge maps.

I’ve also been playing Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice on the 3DS, which I’m loving but finding hard to play in long stretches with my timetable. I don’t know about other fans, but I found AA: Apollo Justice to be necessary to the series, but I didn’t enjoy it as much. Now that Apollo is teamed with Athena I definitely seem to enjoy him more as a character.

Music

I’m mildly obsessed with IZ*ONE at the moment, especially Sakura and Nako. As usual, I tend to watch a couple of episodes of the latest Produce series, pick my favourites, then drop the show until the group is formed. After I.O.I, the post-show team have certainly learnt how to launch a group to success.

Below: my fellow smol Nako and my OG stan, Sakura. Both are from J-line, i.e. the AKB quarter of the group.

I was pleasantly surprised by the more mature and elegant cute theme as I was expecting a more bubblegum pop style from the lineup, and I particularly love the choreography in their debut song, La Vie En Rose. The flower motifs stand out and although the powerful pre-chorus is hit-and miss it seems, I absolutely love it. This debut also has me sold on Wonyoung, the show winner and group center, as I was unsure about her win but she seems totally at home in that position with her obvious charm.

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The shot from the MV that sold me on Wonyoung.

Recently I’ve gotten the urge to learn kpop dances, too, which is great as I’ve got two left feet and bad stage fright(!) so I’ve been learning the choruses to La Vie En Rose and Siren by Sunmi. One day I shall slay those random dance challenges but not yet.

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Siren by Sunmi.

Here are a few more songs I have been loving:

Oh shoot, over 1400 words? I’d better wrap this up!! This is what happens when I don’t update in a while! I hope you all discover something new to watch or read through my Edit today, and keep and eye out for the next one!

Until Next Time,

X

P.S. It’s a shame blogging doesn’t count towards National Novel Writing Month, as a word count of 1400 words is really valuable! HAHA (sob)

[Makeup and Chatter] Back at University

Hi everyone!

Just like that, the summer is gone.

My new timetable is here, the new academic year is well on its way and for the third year in a row, I have not blogged almost all summer. I spent most of it at work and playing games… I didn’t actually wear that much makeup this summer, especially during the heatwave in July. Now that it is much cooler, I can wear foundation again without it melting off my face, but the long days at work or uni really put me off wearing makeup in case it looks horrid by the evening.

So I took these pictures ages ago but had to share. My boyfriend and I treated ourselves in September to some fancy food at Jailbird Birmingham, which replaces Nosh and Quaff where I went to a few times for their lobster. It was a nice treat after two or three weeks straight serving the back-to-school rush. We ordered the lobster at Jailbird, and we loved it. It was actually his first time eating lobster so I’m really glad he liked it. We’re slowly making our way around all the must-eat food places in the Birmingham city centre area, so if you need recommendations you can hit us up!

My new year at university started about a month ago and honestly, it’s been a little shock to the system. I took my camera with me on one Monday to share what food I ate!

I’d like to write a post about hair products at one point. I’ve recently dyed my ends a deep indigo blue. I was originally going to go green but with dubious looks from my mom when I suggested it, I thought I should go blue first to ease into it. I felt like clipping up my full fringe and showing a bit of forehead. That feeling was nice while it lasted. It’s faded a lot now as it’s only semi-permanent but the colour was so nice and I’d do it again.

I went for a more fresh faced look. No foundation or any kind of base. I was out for a good 8-9 hours, and there was no guarantee a base would have lasted on my face that long, so I didn’t bother. I had a few spots but overall this was a good skin day and nothing to worry about. It was also a good excuse to do my eyebrows which are usually hidden under my fringe. I know it looks like I’m not wearing any makeup, but that’s the point.

Products used:

  • Etude House Drawing Eye Brow in Dark Brown
  • Etude House Dr Mascara Lash Fixer
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
  • Maybelline Fit Me Powder in Soft Beige
  • Revolution Sugar and Spice Blush Palette
  • Etude Proof 10 Eye Primer
  • Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour Palette (on my eyes mostly)
  • NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Walkyrie

That morning, I went to meet my friend AT at Damascena Coffee House. It’s my favourite of all the local cafés although as you all know I also frequent the one at Waterstones. Damascena is wonderful and often quite busy. I ordered the grilled halloumi.

I had two lectures that day with breaks in between. The workload hadn’t hit me then so I didn’t have much to do in between. I could have gone to the gym but I didn’t want to carry all that stuff around with me on such a long day, too. It’s the biggest pain when you commute, even if it’s just a twenty-minute bus rise. I’d love some sort of locker system for commuting students.

I spent that evening with one of my societies. We visited a Korean restaurant in the Chinatown area. I’ve been to Topokki a number of times already and I absolutely love it there. I ordered the Pumpkin Croquette Dupbap (i.e. with rice). I’d also recommend their kimchi jeon!

I spent the evening in bed winding down. I took some pictures on the way home to practice editing. I really love night photography and recently I’ve been totally inspired by @noealzii to try some edits on my own shots. Birmingham isn’t exactly like Seoul or Tokyo in terms of having an abundance of pretty lighting but I tried.

The first photo is the original shot, with some edits underneath.

After I did these edits, I found a way to keep the redness of the lamps whilst still having all the other edits apply. I was pretty chuffed, since it was all on Snapseed – my phone handles photo edits much better than my laptop ever will at the moment, although a new one is on the cards for much later on.

Anyway, as you might have been able to tell this post has been a long time in writing. I’m hoping that finally releasing it kicks off some sort of blogging mojo in my head. I often used this blog as an outlet for my thoughts but recently my boyfriend has, in the words of my brother, been taking one for the team!

Until next time,

X

Lipsticks in Rotation|April-July 2018

Hi everyone!

As you might be able to tell, this post was originally scheduled for the end of April, which quickly flew by as I had lots of university things to do. On top of that, I was very bored with my lipstick choices afterwards so this is essentially a catch-up in lipsticks, too. However, I’ve now gone through half the year without buying a single new lipstick, so yay!

Starting a Year-Long Lipstick No-Buy

Lipsticks in Rotation – January 2018

Lipsticks in Rotation – February 2018

Lipsticks in Rotation – March 2018


April

New Item: NYX Butter Gloss Intense in Chocolate Crepe

I’ve been wearing this a heck of a lot recently. Of all the days I wore lipstick this month, I was likely wearing this for over half those days. The shade is my favourite type, a medium nude and it’s refreshing to be able to wear it all day without it drying my lips. It’s thick but not too thick and still delivers a lovely shine whilst lasting surprisingly well.

New Item: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes

In contrast, this was a bit of a disappointment. It settled into my lip lines and was overall just underwhelming considering how well-loved this range is. I much preferred the Liquid Suedes which definitely felt like a better and improved version. However, I do love this shade – a muted pink which is super nice for spring.

MAC Matte Lipstick in Nouveau Vogue (mini)

Considering that my Bourjois Nude-ist is running out, this is actually a very acceptable stand-in for a cooler pink. It has a bit of mauve to it that makes it wearable on me but still not a nude at all. It’s girly yet totally cool. This is the nutcracker edition mini packaging, I think.

Nars Velvet Satin Lip Pencil in Yu (mini)

I underestimated just how bright this is. It’s also super blue toned and I haven’t worn this kind of shade since perhaps last year. At the moment, I think it looks very odd on my skintone so have only really worn it once this month! It’s a popular and raved about shade that I have seen a lot in the blogosphere but I don’t think it’s for me.

Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Scrooge | Review here

I adore this colour. Like Rose Lancome from last month, this is a shade of pink that seems to brighten up my complexion and also my day. Not to mention this formula lasts all day without fail. If you leave these tubes lying around still too much though, the formula tends to separate and look a little less lively, but otherwise, it is still completely useable.

Mamonde Color Balm Intense in #16 Velvet Red | Review here

I do love this shade – that kind of muted red that is really flattering on me. Is it just me or are pencil type lipsticks essentially the same as normal lipsticks? Especially after they are worn down. The packaging on them also generally looks less appealing too for not that many positives over a bullet. Due to the matte formula I’ve still been reaching for my lip brush to tidy the edges after applying this pencil type product.


May/June/July

I knew I wouldn’t be out as much compared to previous months, so I scrapped my planned rotations completely. Instead, I made sure to reach for shades that I really wanted to use up at the moment. They all happen to be products I have featured on this blog before in previous rotations, too. Either way, I didn’t care all that much.

My tube of Lancome’s Rose Nu is pretty much finished unless I use a brush to scoop out the last remaining bits. Burberry’s Rosewood has been my go-to neutral choice for work although it does feel drying halfway into the working day. Clinique’s Cherry Pop has been the obvious choice for any fancier days out. I’ve not varied much in my lipsticks besides these.


So, now that we are nearing August I’ve actually re-sorted my rotations box and not forgotten about it so there will actually be a new post at the end of next month… But what I really want to ask right now is ‘what do you do when you’re bored with your current makeup?’ …That hopefully doesn’t include buying more! Especially in the summer when I’m barely wearing any and prefer a ‘lighter’ face, so to speak.

Until next time,

X

Another Catch Up

Hi everyone!

It’s been a good month and a half since my last post. I made sure to take some time off after exams to chill then ended up diving into part-time work in a slightly drastic change to my routine that took some time to adjust to. I’ve managed to get a little bit of balance back, so here is a rambling post about some of the things I was up to recently, with some photos of other things I did.

This lil cat from The Kitty Cafe in Nottingham represents me during the summer. And maybe all the time.

You all know I have a long list of hobbies and interests I like to switch and rotate between a lot. Makeup has fully fallen out of the rotation, it seems. I haven’t touched my box of new items in MONTHS and I wear the same casual lipsticks for work all the time, although to be fair I have rarely gone out to do anything else. So, as a result, I am kind of stuck for beauty content.

I have picked my reading back up again as well, although it seems my pace slows every time I do. I finally finished reading The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, and then I finished Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin, too. I particularly loved the latter, especially the second half. It’s very sweet and emotive, not romantic in the typical sense, and deliciously dark. I will be seeing Sarah Maria Griffin in an event in a few weeks, which I am really excited for now.

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Some terrible doodled versions of covers of the books I read.

Just a few days ago, I finished Blade Runner, or originally ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ by Philip K. Dick – It’s a shorter read compared to my last two but I am enjoying it a lot so far. I’m only two chapters in, and the worldbuilding is done really… concisely, with lots of ‘show, don’t tell’. As much as I can deal with flowery prose, I really like this about this book so far. Gotta take notes.

Anyhow, my next pick will be Sabriel by Garth Nix. I have a goal to make it through as much of my current TBR this summer as possible!

This is Zaap Thai Street Food, also in Nottingham. I thought I had stepped out onto a street on the other side of the world! The details were amazing and reminded me of a night in Ho Chi Minh City, too.

I recently acquired a Nintendo Switch, so most of my days off have consisted of wandering Hyrule semi-aimlessly. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is so OPEN and I love it – almost everything can be interacted with. At some point, I am going to have to learn and actually remember some combat controls though because simply charging into the nearest enemy flailing a Boko Bat and panicking won’t work all the time…

My favourite part of the game beyond exploring is probably gathering ingredients and cooking food, as boring as that sounds. Autosaves in this game make me feel invincible even though I’ve gotten ‘Game Over’ at least nine times. I do like to dive into new areas but you know when it’s misty and I paraglide in only to have the mist reveal a bunch of Lizalfos that kill me in one hit? Sigh, yeah that kind of sucks.

The Warehouse Cafe is a nice Veggie Only place to check out. I wasn’t into this dish (the filo parcel) personally but I’d love to go back and check out other items on their menu!

I also bought Stardew Valley, which I really like because whilst I loved Harvest Moon DS, it was… tedious, for lack of a better word. Stardew Valley feels very similar… maybe better, though! I tend to like these no-pressure games a lot more. I also bought Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles, for another open-world like BOTW, but also no-pressure kind of thing. It’s okay so far. Can’t climb things though. Can’t even enter buildings or swim, so it’s not as open, and sometimes the movement and camera controls make me dizzy, but it’s a welcome change from Guardians and Lizalfos.

I feel stuck with my drawing. I’m finding it really hard to be happy with stuff I draw at the moment making it really hard to continue. I keep thinking every line and resulting picture needs to be perfect (I finally understand the idea of ‘meaningful lines’ my art teacher kept going on about in school but it’s hard!) and it’s so frustrating that I can’t put my ideas on paper/computer yet. I think I will start experimenting with brush settings and some other digital techniques beyond just sketching. I have actually gone back to dabbling in writing too, but like… actually writing stuff instead of just planning forever and never getting words down on the page.

Anyway, I am scheduling some long-overdue beauty posts from before the hiatus, and I hope to still be chatting to myself here afterwards. If I’m not grinding for money or still dying in games.

Until next time,

X

Snap Reviews: Lip Creams from NYX and Collection

Hi everyone!

It’s taken me this long to finally try out the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream. Not surprising, to be honest! It was one of those things I meant to buy and try as soon as NYX landed in the UK a while back but for some reason, I never got around to it. But here we are now… I also picked up the Collection Velvet Kiss and after seeing how similar the two products are, I thought I would feature them in the same post.


NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

£6.00 – Available from Boots, Debenhams and many online stores like FeelUnique, Cult Beauty and LookFantastic.

I really liked this at first – it goes on the lips quite pigmented but might need more than one dip in the tube if you’ve got bigger lips. It even goes on with a bit of a sheen before it sets compared to the Collection Lip Cream which already applies quite dry.

It appeared smooth at first but cracks showed up in my bottom lip later when I smiled. However, it was a lot less drying compared to the Collection Lip Cream.

Cannes is a cute pink shade that is like Bourjois’ Nude-ist to me, but a little deeper and warmer, perhaps. It just seems way more flattering on me than Nude-ist, and I can actually imagine myself wearing this shade a lot, so I’m going to try and find a very similar one in a formula I like.

Zurich is a lighter, coral ish shade. The coral tones prevent this colour from being too light and bland on me. This particular shade was a gift from TrayTray and I don’t think I would have bought this colour to try myself otherwise, so I was surprised to find this to be a cute colour for the spring and summer seasons.

 

Okay, this picture doesn’t seem strange at all on my phone but my laptop shows it as super dim and cool-toned. Anyone else?

 


Collection Velvet Kiss Moisturising Lip Cream

£2.99 – Available from Superdrug

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This product was very obviously made to be a dupe of the Soft Matte Lip Cream – the tubes are almost identical apart from the slightly different finish on the lids.

Caramel is a very pretty nude brown shade I often struggle to find in stores because it’s all sold out. The price makes it a pretty irresistible pick-up if you like any of the small range of shades. This is the only nude brown shade. It has a very strong sweet smell that smells both delicious and slightly off-putting… sickly, maybe.

I’ve previously compared this to Velvet teddy in this post, so I’ll share the same photo below. It wears decently but I feel as if it is quite drying. On top of that, the tube feels quite empty and the applicator doesn’t pick up much product even when it’s new. Collection’s Lip cream only holds 5ml whilst NYX’s Lip Cream holds 8ml, so that might explain that.

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Overall, I think I’m going to conclude that these lip creams aren’t for me – they didn’t really live up to the hype for me and whilst they’re not awful, they’re also not mind-blowing but I can see why the NYX ones are a favourite.

Until next time,

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