Monday, 2 April 2012


A thousand apologies for my lazy nonblogging ways -- illness and exhaustion meant that I wasn't wearing any interesting makeup in any case and barely even fulfilling the basic social do-not-traumatise-impressionable-children-in-the-street-with-vision-of-haggard-future-to-come contract.

I'll be returning to a more regular posting schedule now, and hopefully improving the quality of my pictures courtesy of a shiny!new!Canon 600D -- it sees "no makeup" makeup, yo! And probably dead people too.

So, some frivolous updates.

Spring clean
Beauty bits I've finished up / given up on this year:
(I have a mascara problem, I know)

Laundering and putting the things I made this winter into storage (except the red top, which will transition into spring, and the 'whimsical' purple bonnet which I will try to foist upon an unwary school's drama department).

Rose Red beret (this is my 5th? 6th? People keep commandeering them off my head)

Meret with extra slouch (using up some wool/mohair leftover from a wrap cardigan)

Doomed bonnet is doomed (tweed left over from a peplummy jacket)

 Red textured sweater (100% merino, not thrilled with the fit on the shoulders, hey ho)

Aran tunic nightmare (I made this three times to get it to fit, lost the vintage ivory buttons I'd carefully hunted down, semi-permanently stained my hands with the appropriate shit-coloured organic vegetable dye that kept.leeching.out of the organic local British wool the trauma... and finished it just as the temperatures rose above 20ºC. I will wear it to death next winter.) 

  The slouchy beanie you've seen already, and I forgot about this scarf, started in Hong Kong late last year (Italian mohair/nylon):

For spring, I've decided on two bluegreeny tops -- a lacy pullover pattern from the 1940s in exquisite merino/silk (R) and a quirky cotton/milk protein cardigan (L) for candy-coloured colourblocking purposes.

Comfort reading 
People who know me almost very well tend to say I'm addicted to books when my actual addiction is to story -- books are just my preferred short-cut. When convalescing or generally in need of comfort, I like even shorter-cutting, which usually means rereading stuff I pretty much have by heart.
(The Princess Bride and Cold Comfort Farm have been staples since childhood and I tend to cycle through Pratchetts, Wynne Joneses and Fry's (or Wildes and Shaws and Restoration comedies))

More broardly my shortest-cut genres are children's/young adult fiction or books-in-series (bonus if it's a series of children's books), the best of which provide an intravenous drip of well-written story, relatively uncluttered by scaffolding and obtrusions and other such yawnsomes.

Not photographed (because I felt like enough of a knob snapping books, I really aint going to photograph a kindle screen): The Hunger Games trilogy, which I gulped down in its entirety in one night, and then drooled for a week over all the glorious visual interpretations.

In a world without Cinna's aid to Beauty Base Zero, these potions kept me vaguely human-looking and -feeling. Illness makes my skin even more dry and sensitive so I've learned from experience to slather on the blandest moisturiser and richest lipbalm I own every couple of hours (Avène Tolérance Extrême and RBR Kiss Elixir) and if any peeling/cracking does occur, to supplement them with Avène Cicalfate and Blistex Relief Cream.

The latest shade of Shu Uemura's Underbase Mousse primer (Pink Purple) is the perfect neutral lilac to knock out post-illness sallowness and redness without leaving me looking more zombielike (cheers, traditional green/purple primers!) or tangoed (trad pink/orange). Having finished a Graftobian HD cream foundation and Ellis Faas concealer, I'm now mixing various things with Suqqu Frame Fix Foundation 101 and layering things over Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque (of which the Shu 4R sable brush applies the perfect amount).

Eyes have consisted of simple washes of a cream eyeshadow: RBR Atlas Swallowtail, Laura Mercier Mercury, MUFE Steel and Bobbi Brown Beach Honey all have a subtle silvery sheen to flatter discoloured eyelids. Sometimes with an iridescent pigment dabbed onto the centre of the lid for more dimension: RBR Sleeping Under a Mandarin Tree and Wishing for Wings, MAC Night Light, Suqqu Kyokkou.

Obviously, lips need to be bright and saturated to provide the greatest impact : effort ratio. By Terry Rouge Terrybly Cherry Cherry and Hot Cranberry, Chanel Genial, Bite Beauty Pomegranate, THREE Ruby Mist are all in heavy rotation and work well on lips in less than perfect condition.

Aside from the return of old favourite Mad Men, current flirtations with The Walking Dead and Once Upon A Time (though by now, I watch mostly for the lipstick/hat inspiration and Robert Carlyle's unholy charisma), I'm most eagerly anticipating the second season of Game of Thrones... which comes on in about five minutes so let's see how much drivel I can type until then.

I've been watching the first season's dvd commentaries, oh yes, and OMG, like, DIEING at the deliciously silly and geeky Lena Headey (Cersei) on episode 2 and Harry Lloyd (Viserys) on episode 6, and of course the adorable Stark kid actors on episode 3 (how preternaturally asute is Maisie Williams?) Essential viewing if you haven't already.

Also essential viewing (though you probably have already... I've fallen behind on memes trying to avoid spoilers):


  1. So many pretties! *hyperventilates*
    I want ALL TEH BOOKZ!!

  2. First of all, how freaking talented are you?! Your knitted items are gorgeous, I can see why so many of your berets have been swiped.

    Secondly, I agree about Once Upon A Time. It's boring now, but Robert Carlyle is very watchable in that character.

    Game of Thrones is just fantastic. Have you read the novels? I need to start them. I watched the new episode earlier and had to resist the temptation to punch Joffrey's smug little face when he was on screen.

    Aaaaaand I wanna see The Hunger Games movie! I'm glad your back on track after being ill. Illness sucks.


  3. I'm super excited to find out that you're a knitter! I haven't been reading your blog for too long so might have missed it somehow. Anyway, glad you're back to posting!

  4. I love the sludgy jumper, I wish I could knit. I might have to pressgang Ma into making me something - she is a demon knitter.

    Sorry you have not been well - I also like to hibernate and comfort-read (and Pratchett tends to be one of my drug of choice too, Granny Weatherwax for preference).

    Bite - am so so wanting to try this brand! A Canadian friend is having a look for me.

  5. glad to have you back kate! I hope you feel better :*

    how is the BB working out for you? do you find it drying (on me it is :()

    TERRY PRATCHETT!! :D I read all teh pretty books, always makes me happy and feel relaxed! love these books!

    I suck at knitting :( I wish I would be as talented as my mum, she does outstaning things with all the materials (I am really jealouz *sigh*)

    I love all your lip choices! (love, love, love)

  6. Musing: You HAZ all the books! :D

    Nazia: I am beginning to suspect my dance of fiery indignation may not be the best way to put people off hat-swiping...
    *hugs* I love that we love the same stories. I have indeed read all the George Martin novels -- as each one came out in fact, so it's been a loooong journey and quite amazing how little I find to nitpick in the show.

    lazysaturday: welcome! :D I've only recently realised there's quite a knitter/makeup-lover overlap camp.

    Grace: you are a sludge fiend! I'm quite surprised I can knit myself... it's the only finnicky/artistic thing I can manage. It's been a bit of an unwell year -- I hit up the Witches/Tiffany books last convalescence :(

    Claire: you are going to be my reading material now! Sneaky blogging wench :D

  7. I totally agree with Grace, I wish I had knitting skills as I LOVE that jumper. A fascinating post. I spotted a couple of favourites in your eyeshadow choices, even poorly you have amazingly good taste! :D

  8. I love the gray cable jumper you made! It's amazing and you are so talented :-)
    I have a masacara problem as well, just noticed I have the same mascaras as yours!

  9. Wow, you are so talented!!

    Doesn't cleansing oil dry out dry skin further?

  10. Welcome back Kate! Love the scarf that you knitted! Hope you are feeling much better already! :-)

  11. Welcome back!!

    Woah thats a lot of mascara!

    I agree with you on the wholesome nature of convalescing in the company of a good story. I too like children's books, simply because I suffer a certain level of impatience and these story lines jog along at a comfortable pace.

    Your knitting is amazing! What talent! I would like to see more of your projects in the future...please?

  12. So glad you're feeling better! I agree with all the other comments about your tremendous knitting skillz- so impressed!

    And lovely makeups- your taste is impeccable.

  13. Kate, you are a girl after my own heart. I love books (I think we both majored/majoring in the same thing? (English)) and you have yummy taste in makeup. *bows*

    And congrats on the new camera!

  14. If you ever want to switch to mainly blogging about books, tv, knitting, movies with a little bit of beauty in between, I'm perfectly okay with it. I Capture the Castle is one of my favorite comfort girl-reads, right next to L.M. Montgomery's Emily trilogy. :)

    Are you on Ravelry?

  15. I love you. Seriously! LOOK AT ALL TEH PRETTEH MASCARAS! And I absolutely want the scarf! And all your makeups are gorgeous! <3 <3 <3

  16. What the frack? Could you be more in the same stream of consciousness as mine (I like to pretend we always are always! Muahahaha) From the Knitting to GoT to Pratchett to Genial! I just love you! Looking forward to your future posts well and stimulated. ;-)
    Thanks as always.
    Absy xoxo

  17. Thanks for providing links to your knitting patterns :) I might have to try the beret. Hopefully it won't be too much of a challenge for this self-taught casual knitter!

  18. What a pretty beret! (I would have asked you to take it off if I actually know you...) I think my mom had a bit of knitting kick when I was eight...when she was half way through (got the body part done), she got a new hobby- mahjong and just left the sweater there.

    Two years afterward, she got her friend to finish off the sleeves for the sweater had tight fitting body and loose sleeves. (I must have looked like a man-eating plant from King Kong wearing that).