The Taste Menu: September
When I first started this blog, I had aimed to bring weekly "taste menus," in which I could share my favorite links, songs, and the like, every Sunday. As timing constraints prevented me from making these (I'm not exactly known for having a well organized schedule...) I unfortunately let that slip by. I've therefore decided to resurface these, but as a monthly occurrence instead: A roundup of the articles that have made me think or react, including some beauty and life favorites and the occasional personal update.
As the last month of summer, September represents a month of change. It's a transitional period: the leaves brown, the clouds grow heavier as the humidity subtly lifts. We put away the sandals and don on our anoraks and heavier coats. We order hot lattes to go and finally appreciate the warmth between our hands.
September, for me, has very much been emblematic of this change. I've slowly settled into a new job, into a new apartment (which is starting to look cozier every day, though still has some way to go), and we've also had a new addition to the family: a hairless cat named Zsa Zsa who has quickly taken over our hearts (and our Instagram feeds). We're trying not to make any of the other pets jealous, so I'm including pictures of "the others" on here as well. Have I become a crazy cat lady? Yes, but that threshold passed a very long time ago.
This month, I've really enjoyed two makeup items in particular. NYX's Liquid Suede ($6.99; CF) in the shade Soft-Spoken has allowed me to channel my inner Kylie Jenner. It's a matte, brownish/taupey nude lip color with a formula that stays on all day and doesn't dry out your lips (and everything dries out my lips...) Though it's not something I would wear to work, I've had a lot of fun putting it on for evenings out and stepping mildly outside of my comfort zone. Given the quality of this liquid lipstick, and how cheap it is, it's one I would recommend to everyone. Also, NYX is cruelty-free!
When my boyfriend went to the U.K earlier this month for a business trip, I asked him to get me a few items from Boots for me. He very kindly obliged, and the Soap and Glory Solar Powder (£11.00; CF) has been my new coveted bronzer, and one of the makeup items I've been most wowed by in a long time. On me, it's a very subtle bronzer that adds just a hint of warmth to the skin and makes me look more alive and golden, while staying more subtle and natural. If you're a pale lady, this one would be great for you. In the photo to your right, I am wearing both the NYX Liquid Suede in Soft Spoken and the Soap and Glory Solar Powder.
In terms of skincare, I've been blown away by the ROC Retinol Correcting Eye Cream ($14). As I've now definitely entered my late twenties (sigh), I've noticed fine lines creeping up around and under my eyes. This has reduced them drastically, and for only a drugstore price.
One scent I didn't expect to like, but am finding myself wearing almost everyday, is Elie Saab Le Parfum ($98). I was given this back in my PR days, so this is an item I never would have splurged on myself, but I'm beginning to panic a little bit as to what I'll do when I run out. EVERY DAMN TIME I enter a cab and I'm wearing this, I get complimented on it. It's a much more traditional perfume scent than I normally wear (I typically prefer light, fresh, citrus scents), but this remains in this domain (mix of bergamot, magnolia, and orange blossom) while feeling a little bit more grown-up, and still very sexy.
The Guilty Feminist is a hilarious, but incredibly smart, commentary on women's contemporary issues we deal with. Each episode centers around a different theme (shoes, boobs, anger, etc.) and takes place amongst a live audience every time. The stars of this UK based podcast, Sofie Hagen and Deborah Frances-White are both comedians, and they invite guests in each episode to share their experiences and thoughts around each topic. It's one I couldn't recommend enough.
- Living With Contradiction: Beauty Work and Feminism. Autumn Whitefield-Madrano is my favorite blogger of all time. She focuses on examining beauty work from a feminist perspective (her blog The Beheld is such an important and valuable resource for women), and has recently published a book in which she explores beauty culture and the role it plays in women's lives. Needless to say, I went out and purchased a copy ASAP (review coming soon!) but if you don't know her work, this article is a great way to get familiar with her despite it dating back a couple years.
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Being a Fashionable Feminist. All I want to say is YAAASSSSS. YAASSSSSS!!!!
- Maddie nailed it once again with her post on whether the body positivity movement is a good thing.
- My blogger bae Anna has a new blog and it is so, so beautiful and full of amazing content. I urge everybody to give it a good read.
- A really interesting review on a book that explains how pop culture tells women to shut up. Even if you don't purchase the book, it's a really great article on how women from Sylvia Plath to Britney Spears have been stigmatized and scrutinized a lot more for having breakdowns, compared to their male equivalents.