I’m finding it incredibly hard to believe that we’re already into November, with only two months left of the year and under fifty days to go until Christmas. How exciting!
I’m going to dive straight into my October favourites for you here; I’ve tried to cover a variety of different thing so hopefully there is something for everyone.
Gilmore Girls is back! Not for good, but for four special ninety minute episodes airing on Netflix on Friday 25th November and I cannot wait. I’ve spent the past month re-watching old episodes to refresh my memory ready for the GG pizza & PJ party that will inevitably be happening that evening. If you haven’t seen Gilmore Girls before, believe me when I say you are really missing out. It caters for absolutely everyone and is such feel-good viewing – load it up on Netflix and give it a go!
Strictly Come Dancing
I didn’t really watch Strictly continuously last year and picked up on the odd episode here and there, but every weekend since it burst back onto the BBC I’ve been glued to the TV. I love dancing and watching people dance and the energetic, passionate dance routines are truly a delight….just don’t get me started on Ed Balls.
A new category this month! I haven’t really talked about gaming before, but I play as much as possible on different platforms so it only seemed fair to include this.
Stardew Valley is a farming simulation role-playing game by the folks at ConcernedApe. It doesn’t sound that interesting, right? I mean…a farming simulation! Just hold on a second before you skip over this completely. I wasn’t convinced that this would be my kind of thing as I prefer action and adventure games; but after delving in I spent the best part of a day farming away without realising it until the wife pointed out it was dark outside and even more worryingly told me that I’d not requested a brew for around four hours.
I can’t really explain how it sucks you in, it just does! With 16-bit graphics and varied game play (special events, NCP characters and the changing of seasons) it is reminiscent of Harvest Moon and feels soothing to play. I’m about thirty hours in with just over a year having passed in-game, and I still look forward to firing it up without feeling super bored of it yet.
If you like simulators and liked Harvest Moon then you should definitely try this one out.
Red Dead Redemption
Anyone that has played this one before will be able to confirm how exciting those first few opening notes followed by the classic gunshot sound effect are. Red Dead Redemption is an open world western, where players control the lead protagonist John Marston – a lovable semi-reformed outlaw. There are so many story-lines and side quests and things to do it would take me forever to cover them, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say that this game is well worth the time and money. Missions are varied and fun with plenty of witty interaction with NCP’s and the opportunity to spend hours riding around admiring the scenery if that’s more your kind of thing. I’m a sucker for not finishing games but with the announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2 I’m determined to complete this – if only I could pull myself away from riding through the desert long enough to move the story along! I’m around 60% through in total, and although the ending has long since been spoiled for me I am thoroughly enjoying playing this.
I’m a big fan of background music when I’m working/editing – not sure much sing along hits, more chilled beats that I can nod my head along to without losing concentration for the task at hand. Over the past month or so I’ve built up a playlist of songs that I’ve had on repeat to create a Spotify playlist aptly named ‘Focus’. With songs from SG Lewis, Tsaik, Banks and Dũne it’s the perfect track list to have on quietly to fill the silence.
Soap & Glory Supercat eyeliner
I’ve bought and tested so many eyeliners that I’ve lost count and confined all of them to the bottom of my ‘spare’ makeup bag, convincing myself that I’d never be able to wear feline flicks due to the sheer difficulty of application. Although I’ve never tried their makeup before, my love for the Soap & Glory body and bath products is strong so when I came across the Supercat eyeliner recently I thought I’d pick it up and give it a try.
Even with the shakiest of hands it is really easy to use and glides on super smoothly thanks to the felt tip pen design. The nib is a perfect size and the colour is pure black and very pigmented. I watched a few tutorials online before starting so I had some idea of what I was doing, and even though my first few tries were slightly messy I was still really impressed with the result.
It stays on all day, lasting even when I’ve wiped and rubbed my eyes and perhaps more importantly, cleans off well using a good eye makeup remover. It does dry very quickly, so you have to move fast if you make a mistake – I recommend dipping a cotton bud into remover and using this to neaten up any messy lines before it dries completely, as it’s just easier to handle when it’s still a bit wet. At £6.00 from Boots it is an absolute steal, and has definitely made me want to try out more of the range.
Barry M Afterglow Bronzer in Light
Very sad news – my old faithful, unbranded multi bronzer finally ran out a few weeks ago, launching me into an immediate panic that I’d have to find something to replace it. Any bronzers I seemed to test looked ridiculously shimmery or way too dark for my face and I honestly thought I’d never be able to find one for me until I discovered this little beauty from Barry M. Spotted and stolen from my gorgeous Mum’s makeup drawers, the Afterglow bronzer is everything that I’ve been looking for. I have it in the light shade and a few sweeps with a kabuki brush over my foundation in the morning gives me a subtle glow without looking unnatural. I’m assuming that you could build it up for a more tanned look if you wanted to, but one light layer is perfect for me. It leaves a soft, matte finish on my skin and there is no fallout that I have experienced so far. I’m so glad that I found this and I’m very much enjoying using it so far!
Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24hr
This month I am truly all for deep, metallic colours and I’ve been using Maybelline’s colour tattoo 24hr gel eye shadow in ‘on and on bronze’ in place of my usual powder palette. A light layer is great for a moody daytime look, and could be built up to create something a little more eye-catching for nights out. I find it a little hard to apply with a brush as it is a gel-cream so I use a clean fingertip and then buff out gently around the outer edges of my eye. It’s very highly pigmented and doesn’t budge all day, right up until late in the evening. I really love the packaging of this one too – a cute little glass pot with a secure twist lid to stop any product escaping. I’ve had it for a good few months now and even when using a couple of days a week I’m nowhere near running out. A must if you’re looking for a golden, shimmery eye shadow for the upcoming festive season that will stay on all day!
Skincare & body
Boots Botanics soothing eye make up remover
We all know how much I love the Boots Botanics range (I promise this isn’t sponsored – I can only dream!) and after giving eyeliner another go I thought it would be wise to invest in some good eye makeup remover.. As usual, I gravitated towards the Botanics range and picked up the Boots Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye makeup remover.
Much like the other ‘all bright’ products it contains brightening hibiscus, and the dual layer oil technology removed all traces of eye shadow, waterproof mascara and eyeliner in just a few sweeps. It is gentle but very effective meaning that I don’t have to scrub at my eyes – anything I’m wearing just melts off into the cotton pad. I have admittedly managed to get it in my eyeballs a few times by using too much, but when I use it properly I have no trouble and use it every night before cleansing. I pair it with the toner or micellar water and at £2.50 for 150ml it’s very good value!
Nivea Daily Essentials Micellar Water
The Nivea Daily Essentials micellar water is a simple cleanser, promising to moisturise and leave the skin soft and smooth as well as removing all traces of makeup. I’ll normally stick to a combination of cream cleansers such as Liz Earle and the Boots Botanics makeup removing wipes and toner, but I’ve been using this for a change and I’m really liking it. I’ve used it morning and evening before moisturising, and it’s such a simple, lovely product. It completely removes makeup without causing any irritation and my skin feels really clean and fresh after I’ve used it. This will definitely be something that I throw into my skin care routine in future.
St Tropez In Shower Tanning Lotion
Behold…the one true source of my lovely glowing skin! I’ll start this by admitting that I am utterly rubbish at using fake tan. Gels, sprays, creams…you name it, I’ve probably tried it and come out looking like an oompa-loompa with a really bad skin condition. I thought I’d have to give up and embrace my natural paleness through the autumn months, until I discovered this absolutely gem of a tanner.
I was a bit wary at first but I followed the instructions and stood shivering in a cold bathroom for three minutes before washing it off and very carefully drying and dressing and waiting. To stop myself obsessively checking every hour, I used this before bed and woke up to the most pleasant surprise the next morning; streak free, bronzed and glowing skin. I thought maybe I just got lucky, but after using for a second and third time and now being at the end of a tube I’m a total convert. One application lasts roughly a week and looks completely natural, and although it is a bit pricey at £14.50 it is completely worth it.
As much as I am growing to like having longer nails, I find it so irritating that every polish I’ve used has chipped within days of me applying it. Last summer, the wife picked me up the Barry M Sunset nail polish and top coat and I used it religiously for weeks until it ran out and then never remember to repurchase. This is a rather late entry this month but it secures a place in my favourites regardless.
Fed up with chipping polish, I popped into Boots and picked up ‘Dark Side of the ‘Shroom’ and I think this might just be my all time favourite colour. It appears taupe in the bottle but dries with a subtle mauve sheen to it. It goes on really easily and smoothly with the help of a chunky brush, and dries very quickly.
Paired with the daylight curing topcoat, both the lighter and darker colours in this range last well over a week with minimal chipping and clean off like a regular polish – no need for any filing off the top coat and soaking in acetone here! I’ll be heading out for some more of these in different shades to add to my collection and can recommend them if you’re after something that is durable and long-lasting. At the time of posting, all colours and the topcoat are currently on sale for £2.50 at Boots!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and liked the mix of products mentioned – give this a thumbs up and drop me a comment if you have, I’d love to hear from you!