Monday, 29 June 2015

                                                                        June Favourites

I have such an affinity for favourites posts. Whenever I read them, I’m always scrambling for my moleskin to jot down a new hidden gem. I love discovering what other people have been enjoying over the past month; whether that be a new book or a concealer that makes me look less like Brain from Pinky and the Brain (Side note: he was for sure the inventor of “resting bitch face”!) Without further ado here are all the things that have floated my boat/tickled my fancy/rocked my socks over the past month.

Starting with beauty, this month I’ve been loving two products in particular. The first one is a perfume from the perfume bar, Ydentik, located on 35 Princes Street. The one I’ve been liberally spritzing throughout June is 212 Fierceness, a dupe for the well-known Fierce by Abercrombie and Fitch. I’ve been wearing Fierce for years and years. It’s definitely my signature scent; in fact friends and family can often smell me before they see me as I lash it on! Fierce is technically meant to be a cologne…but f$ck the patriarchy, this is the 21st century and I’ll smell like a man if I want to ;) I joke! It’s just that I find a lot of women’s fragrances to be unbearably sweet and I like the warm, almost spicy undertones to Fierce. I just tell myself it’s unisex and move on (insert Friends joke here regarding Joey’s confusion over the word “unisex”!) The only downside to the Abercrombie fragrance is the price tag; Fierce is an apt description! A 50ml bottle will set you back around €66. Ydentik offers fragrances that smell exactly like their high-end counterparts, but for a fraction of the cost. A 55ml bottle of 212 is just €18.99 and I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between it and the Abercrombie one. It’s also really long-lasting, so if you’re in the market for a new perfume, pop into their shop or have a browse on the website for more info.


On the same vein of beautifully scented things, this month I’ve discovered perhaps my favourite dry
shampoo. It’s from the Ruth Crilly collection for the brand COLAB and it’s the London fragrance. Described as “a classic yet contemporary fragrance of bergamot, musk and magnolia”, it’s wonderfully fresh and really revitalizes your hair, without leaving any tacky residue or making you look like you’re going prematurely grey! The range also comes in mini edition, which would be ideal for travelling or going to a festival. I picked mine up from Penneys.


June has granted me considerably more free time than I’m accustomed to after college finished up for the year. SO MUCH MORE TIME FOR ACTIVITIES! ;) I’ve made some new discoveries in the world of television, music and literature that I’d like to share with you. The first of which is a programme I have absolutely been glued to called Penny Dreadful. I came to hear about the show as one of my closest friends actually featured as an extra on it (I know all the cool kids!) I’m usually not one to get too hooked on television programmes, with the exception of Friends and Breaking Bad. I don’t even really watch that much tv. When I heard about the plot, I was even more sceptical…horror/fantasy isn’t really my cup of tea. I didn’t know how a show set in 19th century Britain, with such an extensive range of characters including, Dr. Frankenstein, witches, a werewolf, vampire/demon hybrid m’bobers and Dorian Gray could really transpire to be a gripping or convincing show…but it really is! The show’s title refers to a popular British publication from the 19th century that focused on the dark and the sinister. Penny Dreadful is in its second season on Sky Atlantic, shown every Tuesday at ten o’ clock. I highly recommend you go and catch up on the first season and continue onto the second. Just prepare to devote your entire day to saying “Just one more episode!”…You have been warned!

I’m never without my earphones, whether that be on the walk to work, tidying my room or even going to sleep. I’m therefore always on the hunt for new artists and this month a friend (same one that’s in Penny Dreadful…she’s certainly a keeper!) recommended me to the band Public Service Broadcasting. The London duo combine public service announcements, archive news and propaganda with a variety of music, often electronic, which normally I’m not the greatest fan of, but the modernity of the sound really enhances the antiquity of the spoken word. The old with the new really blends well to create something so unique. PSB often use extracts from particularly famous speeches, such as the one JFK gave at Rice University on the 12th of September, 1962 where he declared the rationale behind the first lunar exploration programme. For someone with a particular affinity for English and History, I find powerful speeches like this, which have endured the test of time, utterly fascinating. They offer a snapshot of history to the modern audience. A blend of both emotive content and exquisite cadence lends to the creation of an epic piece of history and firmly consolidated longevity. What I love about Public Service Broadcasting is the transportive quality of the music. You become immersed in the narrative. Some of my favourites from the band are “The Race For Space”, “Go!” and “Waltz for George”. Have a listen on their website!

The best book I've read throughout June has to be The Girl On The Train, by Paula Hawkins. Lauded by literary critics of late, Hawkins' book centres on three female protagonists, all of which are inextricably linked. Rachel, who narrates the lion's share of the book, has been pushed to the periphery of society. With a burgeoning alcohol addiction and a failed marriage, Rachel takes the same time train every morning and evening under the pretence of going to work to conceal from her roommate that she has actually been fired. Everyday the train stops at a signal in front of a row of cosy suburban houses and Rachel gazes in on the peaceful domesticity, pining after the life she once had. She takes a particular interest in a young couple, inventing herself a little narrative about their lives and places them on a pedestal. One day, she witnesses something which tarnishes this image of serene perfection and which later Rachel feels has a connection to the disappearance of the woman in the relationship. The trio of narrators, Rachel, the woman who has disappeared, Megan and Anna, Rachel's ex-husband's new wife, layers the narrative with different perspectives, yet none of them can be fully trusted. As the situation intensifies and the disappearance turns into a murder case, Hawkins tantalises the reader with a slow build up. I really don't want to divulge too  much for those who may wish to read it, but it really is fantastic! As many people have noted, the book has definite Hitchcockian tones to it and the language is clear  and concise (perhaps owing to the fact that the author began her career as a journalist)  but not without style. If you want to distract your mind, definitely check out this thriller!

I’ve also made some wonderful discoveries in the world of snacks throughout the month of June. During the sunny days we’ve been enjoying, I’ve looked no further than the Del Monte Raspberry Iced Smoothie Lolly. They’re made with real fruit and don’t contain any preservatives or artificial colours/flavours or sweeteners….surely that warrants me having an abundance of them throughout the month, right?!

In the evening, with a cup of tea, I’ve gotten hooked on the Nakd Berry Delight Bites. These are very healthy, as they only contain dates, cashews, raisins, raspberries, a little rice floury and a hint of natural berry flavouring and that’s it. By George, they’re delicious! They come in two flavours, my favourite is the berry version, but the cacao version is quite nice too. I picked mine up from Centra.

On the not so healthy (yet equally delicious) side, I’ve been loving Orchard Thieves on sunny days! It tastes far more appley than most ciders and is super refreshing!

I hope you have enjoyed my mixed bag of favourites this week. Here’s to new discoveries in July! Hope everyone has a lovely month and thanks for reading.

Until next Monday,


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