Friday, 15 February 2013

Things I am loving at the moment: February

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (book and film)

To give you a bit of a context, I used to be terrible at reading books. I was more into films, and though I had tried a few times to sit down and get into a book, it just never worked. Until I read The Hunger Games Trilogy at the beginning of summer last year. Then everything changed and I constantly had a book on the go. For that reason, I only got round to reading the Harry Potter books last Autumn. (I know, shocking! Just a decade later than everyone else my age!)

Anyway, I read one, then watched the film; then read the next book, watched next film; etc. It was from this that I got an interest in Emma Watson as an actress. I wondered: “What must it be like to have been filming in the same series of films for over half your life and from such a young age?” “How must that have shaped you as an actor?” “I can’t imagine her playing any other part now!” (…and so on.) I then started researching what she’d done since HP, and was reminded of a film I had wanted to see when it was released in the cinema called The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I unfortunately hadn't got round to seeing it whilst it was in theatres, so I did a bit more research on it, and was quite intrigued. As I knew I’d have to wait a couple of months before the film would be released on DVD, I decided to read the book first.

Wow. What a wonderful book. I won’t go into details about the storyline so as to not spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but I will say that it is moving, educational (in a way), it lifts your spirits and is just lovely, lovely, lovely. Quite different from any of the books I have read since the start of my ‘reading-revelation’. I have since bought and watched the film, and it lives up to the hype. The main three characters (played by Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller) are just perfectly portrayed and just make the film amazing. I have to say Lerman’s performance was exceptionally good.

So even if you’re not into books (like I used to be), the film is a definite  ‘must watch’.

Rocket Volume Express Mascara by Maybelline

I have been a big fan of Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara recently and was lucky enough to be given one for Christmas. However, I have a new favourite in the form of the Rocket! (FYI, I bought it from Boots last week, and it was on offer for £5.99, down from £7.99.)

It sounds so trivial and lame to say this, but I take pride in my eyelashes, ha! I would spend a long time making them pretty. But with this baby, I don’t need to spend a long time on them. They give such great volume; I actually find it is noticeable from a distance. I’ll catch myself in a mirror a couple of meters away and think “gosh, my lashes look good today!” And when I’m in too much of a rush to put a full face of make-up on, I chuck this mascara on and I almost don’t notice all the blemishes and imperfections on the rest of my face.

The actual brush of the Rocket is quite similar to Max Factor’s False Lash Effect mascara: it’s made of that silicone-y stuff (I’m not a beauty guru, I don’t know!) instead of bristles, and it catches my lashes so easily. And I would usually have to apply coat after coat after coat of other mascaras to achieve the voluminous effect I get from just one (or at most 2) coat(s) of the Rocket. Plus, in direct comparison with They’re Real by Benefit: the Rocket dries much quicker after application and doesn't rub onto the skin beneath my eyebrows later in the day like They’re Real does. Considering it would be considered quite a cheap mascara compared to what’s out there, I really don’t know what else it could do to be better. (And, if you haven’t guessed – I love the name: Rocket. Rocket. It’s just fun to say.) In conclusion, it seems I could go to the moon and back and be hard pressed to find a mascara that tops the ROCKET.


I have been doing a lot of research into plays recently, including a lot of Shakespeare.

Shakespeare is possibly the most famous playwright ever, but I had never really given him the time of day to find out why. I had studied Twelfth Night at school and did some work on Titus Andronicus with Scottish Youth Theatre many a year ago, but other than that my knowledge was very limited. As someone who wants to pursue a performing career, I decided I needed to buckle down and find out what all the fuss was about.

I started with MacBeth. As one of his greatest tragedies, I did find the language a bit of getting used to, and of course constantly going back and forth between the dialogue and definitions of the dialogue, it was a bit laborious to begin with. But once I got into it, I thoroughly enjoyed it and was quite happy to continue my pursuit of plays. I then read Romeo and Juliet and LOVED IT. Another tragedy, it was so much more beautiful in the poetic speeches and the very last 2 lines just cut me to the core: ‘For never was a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.’ Whyyy?! If only Friar John had delivered the letter to Romeo in time… Oh well. Anyway, I’ve just finished my 3rd Shakespeare play, As You Like It. A comedy this time, and a fab one at that. And one whose leading role is female, which seems to be quite rare for Shakespeare (as I’ve learnt from my research). It has pretty much a ‘happily ever after’ ending, making a nice change to the previous plays, and which I love anyway (I am quite the fan of chick flicks!).

So what I’m trying to say is: give Shakespeare a go. It really is awesome reading, and you’ll find out where all these well-known phrases like “The world is a stage” and “Knock knock! Who’s there?” come from! (Anyone thinking “I can’t afford to buy all these Shakespeare plays to read”, they were written centuries ago so are no longer under copyright, and therefore can be found online.)

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