Last month’s hits include one super warm pair of boots, an old beauty fave and a particuarly adorable Instagram account.
Reading: An American Marriage
I don’t always love novels that switch back and forth between different perspectives (I’m still struggling to get through the much-loved All the Light We Cannot See) but that technique is so imperative when it comes to telling the story of Roy, Celestial and Andre. Author Tayari Jones has a gift when it comes to creating her characters; they are completely coloured in, no part of their personality buried or left behind. In that respect, the names on the page easily become real people and I found myself reading each new section in the specific voice of the character it followed. This was a story that immediately encaptured me, starting off fast-paced, even comical, and then suddenly slamming on the breaks. All of a sudden the reader is hit to their core with the introduction of a series of heartbreaking events that knock its characters wildly off course. An American Marriage is an important book, one that explores the still-prominent racial divide in the U.S and the appallingly unequal treatment of people of colour when it comes to the law.
Beauty: HALEY BōGAERT FACE Eyebrow Gel
It’s fair to say that Anastasia Beverly Hills has dominated the eyebrow corner of the beauty industry for years now. I myself have been a loyal fan of the ABH Clear Brow Gel for a long time, reluctant to try anything new. But after recently running out of my trusty staple, I was pleasantly surprised to find a new favourite in this option by Haley Bōgaert Face. The clear gel does everything you could ask for, staying in place all day, refraining from smudging any product layered underneath and providing the much sought-after editorial boy brow look in just a matter of seconds.
Fashion: Cole Haan Winter Boots
It’s hard enough to make outfits look cute in the depths of winter (especially in a city as cold as Toronto) and more often than not, chunky winter boots do more harm than good to any look. That being said, these boots by Cole Haan have become a lifesaver. They can tackle snow and slush without sacrificing style. And although Winter is technically over, the snow is still falling up North and these are a great investment to get you through the ever-changing clusterfuck that is Spring in Canada.
Trend: Stacked Hair Clips
I find myself visibly cringing at a lot of Instagram beauty trends–why were squiggle brows ever a thing–but this is one trend I can actually get behind. In fact, half of my recent ‘saved images’ on the app are looks featuring layers and layers of barrettes and clips. As someone who can’t put together a cute hairstyle to save her life (it’s either hair straight down or lopsided ponytail for me), I’m fully down for a hair trend that’s as easy as sliding in a few fun clips.
Film: The Favourite
Many were surprised when Olivia Colman beat out Glen Close for Best Actress at this years Oscars but I wasn’t shocked — in fact, it was one of the only things I successfully predicted in my Oscar Pool. This movie completely stood out to me from the other nominees I’d seen, not just for its incredibly strong performances from Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and even Nicholas Hoult (forever Tony from Skins to me), but for its unique cinematography and directing. With its intoxicating combination of dark humour, perpetual tension and utter desperation, The Favourite is a must-see in my books. It kind of took me back to when I read The Other Boleyn Girl (fabulous book, terrible movie) and how Anne exhausted herself trying to maintain the King’s fickle affection. Heidi Klum really said it best, one day you’re in, the next day you’re out–I’d like to mention that I’m also very excited about Project Runway’s return.
Beauty: Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Powder
This product has been a staple part of my beauty routine for years. I first experienced the powders when I indulged in the brand’s Ambient Lighting Palette–it was the hot ticket item at Sephora a few years back. But recently, I invested in one of the larger pans of the far right shade, Radiant Light. Though it can be used as an all over face powder for deeper skin tones, I have specifically been using it as a bronzer, and it gives the best healthy glow to the skin. March can be a pretty depressing month weather-wise, so it’s been an essential part of my routine over the last few weeks.
Music: James Blake
My boyfriend and I recently saw James Blake when he came to play in Toronto and though I’ve always been a fan, he’s one of those artists you can’t truly appreciate until you’ve seen them live. His voice was incredible and the moody lighting and ever-blowing smoke machines made for a pretty mesmerizing atmosphere. Interestingly, my favourite part of the performance was actually when he covered the Joni Mitchell song, A Case of You. I had goosebumps.
Podcast: The Cut on Tuesdays
I always had friends that were self-confessed podcast addicts, especially coming from J-School, but I’d never really been able to appreciate podcasts until I started listening to The Cut on Tuesdays. Their episodes gripped me like no others had before, covering everything from politics, to hit novels, to interviews with badass women on how they got shit done. I’ve been a fan of The Cut for a while now, so it makes sense that they are the ones responsible for finally getting me to hop on the podcast train. A couple of my favourites from them include: Ferrante Forever, Beat Around the Bush, Women of the Caravan, Escape From Shame Jail and 23 Weeks, 6 Days.
Over the years I’ve bookmarked many of Jane Mount’s prints on social media, instantly falling in love with her artistic replications of the “perfect” bookshelves. I was in the Rizzoli bookstore in New York earlier this year–one of my favourite places in the world–and saw Bibliophile displayed on a shelf. The familiar illustrations immediately caught my eye and I made a beeline to that part of the store. I only had to flip through a couple of pages before taking it straight to the register–a big deal considering how much money I had just dropped on pasta at Eataly. If you know a book lover, this is the ideal gift. From lists of must-see bookstores, to illustrated curations of novels by genre, this is a fantastic thing to have on your shelf or coffee table.
Instagram Account: @olaf_thesamoyed
Sometimes you just need a good doggo account to bring a bit of joy to your day and your Instagram feed. This account, which follows the Canadian pup, Olaf, does just that. There’s not much for me to say here other than you should probably hit the follow button above as soon as possible. You are guaranteed daily smiles from this SUPER FLUFFY samoyed.