‘Them: Adventures With Extremists’ – Book of the Week

By now you should all know what a massive Jon Ronson fan I am. I have already written two reviews of ‘The Psychopath Test‘ and ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed‘, and I adored both of these books. Again, I did really enjoy this book, but I would not say it is as strong as the other two.

Ronson talks to a wide variety of characters to get a total understanding of different kings of extremists. He talks to an Islamic Fundamentalist, various KKK (Ku Klux Klan) branches, and even members of the Bilderberg group. He explores lizards ruling us in the form of Beyonce and Queen Elizabeth II. Gun lobbying white supremacists. Jihadis looking to take down the British government. These earlier topics were so interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed reading and learning about them.

Although I did enjoy the novel, as I stated before I felt that it was not as strong as his other texts. Perhaps this is an unpopular opinion, but I felt some of the chapters were weaker and a bit repetitive. There are a few chapters dedicated to the Bilderberg group, which was relatively interesting but there was not enough substance to justify that much time. I would have liked more chapters on the KKK or Sharia Law advocates as these are the real extremist groups I think people were hoping to read about when they saw this novel. However, what is good about Ronson’s books is that the chapters are all separate stories, and so if one does not take your fancy then you can easily skip ahead to the next chapter.

Ultimately though I do recommend this book as it gives an interesting insight into the lives of these extremists. In true Ronson style, it is approached with a light-heartedness that does not make this a heavy read. He never truly mocks these extremists, rather tries to understand them, all while under the threat of them finding out that he is Jewish. His kind and respectable manner enables the extremists to trust him and we see a side of them that the world does not get to see.

This was only a short review as I think my blog content is a little Ronson heavy! Just wanted to share my opinion with you guys. What did you think of the book? And do you have any recommendations for me? Please let me know in the comments below!

To buy the book on amazon, click the image below:

‘Them: Adventures With Extremists’, £6.48, Amazon

 

Free Audible Download Link:

 

If you are interested then Amazon has given me the opportunity of offering you guys a 30 Day Free Trial with Kindle Unlimited! It’s like Netflix but for eBooks! There are over 1 million ebooks and audiobooks and you get to read an unlimited amount. The first 30 days is absolutely free with the link below, and after that it is only £7.99 a month, however you get to cancel at any time if you are unhappy with the service (which I highly doubt). That’s only £7.99 per month for unlimited books and audiobooks! And the first month is free? Unbelievable. You don’t even need a kindle! You can just download the free app onto your smartphone or tablet. If  you are ready to KindleUnlimited and Chill then just click the link below:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-dbs/hz/signup?tag=evelynrichard-21

Lots of love, Evie x

Favourite Beauty Products – January 2019

I have a few posts floating around with various hair and face products and I have had a few questions from you guys asking what my favourite this or that is. I thought I would compile a list here! This list may change in a few months as I am always experimenting with new products!

I am not sponsored at all in this post so all the items are things I have genuinely tried and tested and fallen in love with. However, all the links to the products provided are  Amazon affiliate links, meaning that if you buy an item using my link then Amazon helps to support my blog so I can keep writing! So if you like any of the products and fancy supporting the blog, please use the links I provide (the pictures are the links) as I would really appreciate it!

Favourite Shampoo: Fanola No Yellow Shampoo £8.64

I have recently dyed my hair blonde and so was trying to find the best purple shampoo to keep brassiness out of my hair. After hours of research and trying sooo many products, I have to say this is an absolute game changer! It is cheap, lasts you for ages, and is so potent! You only need a tiny amount to cover your whole head, leave in for 5 mins, and your hair is fantastically bright and ashy with no drying!

Conditioner: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moisture Deep Treatment Conditioner, £7.76

Wow, that was a mouthful! Any of the conditioners from Aussie work amazingly well at keeping hair strong and shiny, but this is just my personal favourite. It also keeps my hair smelling good all day!

Hair Mask: Bleach London Reincarnation Mask, £6.00

Oh my god. Guys, this is genuinely the best hair mask I have ever used- and trust me when I say I have tried to many of them. I have always been a fan of Bleach London products as they are cheap, good quality, and smell of parma violets! Leave this mask in for 15 mins while you have a bath or whatever, and then wash it out and it will leave your hair soooo soft and shiny and gorgeous. I literally can’t stop raving about this mask and have recommended it to all of my friends.

Leave-in Conditioner: Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Leave-In Conditioner, £4.99

Although my shampoo, conditioner and hair masks are fantastic at doing their jobs, you can never be too safe! This leave-in conditioner is so cheap and smells so yummy, as well as giving my hair a glossy shine! What more could you want?

Body Moisturiser: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Cream, £9.07

The second time Palmer has made the list! And for good reason. This is a classic go-to moisturiser. It is so rich and creamy and leaves you with a lovely healthy glow. I genuinely never get dry skin on my body and it is 100% because of this fabulous cream!

Face Moisturiser: Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturiser, £6.65

I have the oiliest, most acne-prone skin ever. Yet, even when you have acne, you still gotta moisturise! I have used this particular moisturiser for probably around 5 years as it is the only one that does not break me out, yet does actually do the job of moisturising! Absolute must-have for my oily ladies out there!

Cleanser: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, £5.00

If you saw my update post on my skin you will see this product featured. Again, due to years of acne I have tried countless products to help get rid of it. I have to say that this is the very best one that actually works and does not dry me out!

Face Mask: Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Creme Cleanser Moisturising Mask, £23.50

Now I know this one is a little expensive, but if you can fork out then absolutely do! I use this mask every other night and it has been the biggest help in improving my skin. My skin is so soft, less textured with horrible little spots, and is starting to heal the acne scars I have. Genuinely such a fantastic product for my acne-sufferers out there!

Primer: Mac Prep + Prime Refined Zone, £23.34

How many times can I point out in one post that I have oily skin lmao? I have to fork out a little bit for my primer as due to my skin I find that drugstore primers either do not work at all or completely clog my pores up and cause breakouts! However, this product does last you a good few months so it is worth it in the end! Goes on clear and super smooth, and dries really quickly. Helps make my makeup last around 5 more hours than if I didn’t have any primer on!

Foundation: Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15, £42.42

Okay this seems expensive but it is cheaper than buying it in store! I was never a Bobbi Brown girl until I received a gift voucher for their store. I am soooo glad I tried this! So silky, not too cakey and lasts for so long even on my oily-ass skin!

Concealer: Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer, £4.85

Now, ya girl is more than happy to wear just concealer with no foundation most days, and I am also more than happy to use a cheapy concealer if it does the job. And honestly this Maybelline concealer does just that! It has a really wide shade range and is pretty long lasting. And for less than a fiver, who can say no?

Setting Powder: Maybelline Master Fixer Powder, £7.28

I used to use a pressed powder like most people to set my makeup, and then only bake with loose powder when I had a special occasion etc. yet day to day my skin would still come up shiny and it was so annoying! However, I learnt from a Tana Mongeau of all people that if you just apply loose powder to your face like a pressed powder and just kept blending it in, it could look natural and keeps your makeup in tact for longer. I have not gone back. My skin has never looked so smooth and soft and airbrushed! Now, it suits me as I am rather pale, but I do not know how well setting powder blends in on darker shades, so I would love to hear your advice or feedback below!

Foundation Brush: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Make-Up Sponge with Travel Case, £6.99

Don’t even try to pretend that a foundation brush comes close to a damp make-up sponge. I converted a few years ago and never looked back. My makeup has never looked so airbrushed, smooth and silky. I will fight anyone who tries to come near me with an actual foundation brush. I recommend buying the sponge with the case as it is better to keep in your make-up bag as it is more sanitary, but that’s just my opinion!

Contour: Kiko Milano Sculpting Touch Creamy Contour Stick, £9.90

I never really agreed with contour powder as I found sticks more precise and easier to blend in (using a make-up sponge!) Your contour stick does not have to be the most expensive as honestly pretty much all of them stay on pretty well. I like this one in particular as it has a bit of a warmth to it and blends out so nicely.

Eyeshadow Palette: Lime Crime Venus XL Palette, £60.10

Choosing my favourite eyeshadow palette was probably the hardest thing on the list as I love all of mine! But I have to say that this one has the best pigmentation, blends out easily, and has the most beautiful pinky shades! I got this palette when it was on sale for about £38 which was a steal, and genuinely worth every penny!

Mascara: Benefit Roller Lash, £22.99

Benefit is a brand that always brings out the best products, and absolutely dominate the eyelash and eyebrow market. Roller Lash is a favourite not just with me but amongst so many of my friends. It has a smooth formula that does not get lumpy, and makes your lashes look so lovely and long! The bottle lasts you a good few months.

Eyebrow Gel:Benefit Gimmie Brow + Volumising Fiber Gel, £17.99

This is probably one of my most used items on this entire list. I have been using this and exclusively this product for around 3 years on my brows and I always get such great compliments. It colours your eyebrows, keeps them perfectly in place all day, and the little bottle will last you for ages! 100% recommend!

Eyeliner: L’Oreal Paris Superliner Perfect Slim Eyeliner, £4.85

I have always been a fan of those kind of felt tip pen eyeliners. I think they are the easiest to use and I have never had a problem with any drugstore eyeliner! I always use black (despite having green eyes and always being recommended to wear brown) because I love the classic yet dramatic look. This one goes on easily, is easy to fix any mistakes with a damp cotton bud, and stays on all day!

Highlighter: Mac Mineralise Skin Finish Highlighter, £30.56

This is the most shimmery beautiful highlighter that is super pigmented and lasts all day. It blinds anyone that looks at it. Enough said.

Lip Balm: Vaseline Lip Therapy Aloe Vera, £1.65

A classic. I have actually managed to completely finish a few vaseline tubs in my life, that is a sign of commitment. I am massively into having smooth silky lips and although there are plenty of fancy expensive ones on the market, you really can’t beat vaseline.

Lipstick: Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturising Lip Colour Balm, £14.99

I love a chubby stick. They are easy to apply, super moisturising and Clinique’s ones have such lovely colours. They do not get on your teeth or transfer easily to other surfaces, so I would absolutely recommend for those who are a bit like me and cannot be bothered with lip liner etc.

Right, I suppose that is it for now! Just wanted to share my favourite of each major beauty item. Let me know down below what you think of my list, and what are your favourite products? I’d love to hear as I am always experimenting and trying new products!

Love from Evie x

How Not To Revise for an Exam

If there is one thing in life I hate more than bratty middle-class children and Snapchat streaks, it’s exams. Before I get into this blog post I have to warn you that if you are reading this the night before your exam in the hopes of getting some nuggets of gold to help you in the big test tomorrow then this post isn’t for you. This post is a warning to people like me of what not to do when preparing for an exam, most of which was learnt through real-life personal experience.

  1. Do not cram in all of your revision in the last minute. If this sounds obvious to you then I can hazard a guess you have never struggled with procrastination. I believe procrastination is a real thing that does truly need to be looked into. I believe it is not a sign of someone being lazy, rather a bizarre manifestation of anxiety and fear. “If I don’t revise yet, then there is no exam” it feels like. The issue is, I procrastinate with productive things, to trick myself into thinking I am not wasting time. I will apply for jobs, write a blog post or two, perhaps go to the gym. All I am saying from past experience is recognise this behaviour and pleaaase start revising weeks before your exam. Even 30 minutes a day for a few weeks leading up to the exam will help! Do not pull an all nighter right before the exam!
woman covering face with book on bed
Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

2. Don’t just skip over things you don’t understand and hope they will not be in the exam. Yes, if I am honest with myself I am very guilty of this. If I don’t understand something I more or less shrug and move on to something I feel more comfortable with. But the time leading up to the exam is the time to email your tutors, do research or even ask a classmate!

woman in black blazer looking at woman in grey blazer
Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

3. Do not have the first time you write a whole exam paper be when you actually do the exam. … I can see I lost some of you there, but this is a legit thing. Myself and other people I know do not even so much as glance at a practise paper let alone write them out and check the answers. Genuinely, doing this makes such a massive difference as you can see where your weaknesses are. You can also work on time management better! Also, as an English student who had to write 3 essays in 3 hours in her exam the other day, it helps to practise writing with a pen for prolonged periods of time. It’s like training for a marathon- you can’t just jump right in, you gotta train.

close up of woman working
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

4. Do not make revision a chore and punish yourself. I know it is counter-intuitive but getting into a new TV show or Youtube channel actually massively helps me to revise. So what I do is reward myself with an episode every time I do an hour of work, or when I finish a chapter, or when I finish a practise paper. 20 minute shows like the IT Crowd or Friends works better than those shows with an hour long episode as you get a break and reward but you still get plenty of time to study. This may not work for everyone as you have to have some self control and I know how tempting it is to watch another episode, especially when Netflix plays it automatically after 10 seconds.

closeup photo of person holding panasonic remote control in front of turned on smart television
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

5. Don’t worry too much because it is not like these exam marks will be with you all of your life for people to judge you on and will define what kind of future you will be able to provide for your unborn children… Hmm, actually don’t listen to me. It’ll be fine in the end. Probably.

 

Good luck and let me know down below what exam tips and experiences you’ve had!

Lots of love, Evie x

On being a Literature Student with Dyslexia

One of my teachers sheepishly approached me in class and asked if I would stay behind for a few minutes after. I, of course, suddenly started imagining the worst possible reasons why. Was I failing the class? Was I going to be kicked out of Sixth Form? Did my entire family perish in a terrible fire while I was at school but she wanted me to focus on completing the textbook tasks before I was told their fate? The bell rang. “Remember to finish the work on page 22 for next class- I will be checking!” my teacher called to her class, who were hurriedly rushing to their lunch. My teacher then looked at me, “Gosh, you don’t have to look so nervous. Basically, a few of your teachers have suspected that you may be Dyslexic, and so we are calling in an Educational Psychologist to screen you next week. Do you mind if I keep a hold of your writing book for evidence?”

I can’t remember the Educational Psychologist’s name but she was nice and spoke very slowly. She told me not to worry and that we just have a few simple exercises to do. I had 20 minutes to write about what ever I wanted, just as long as I kept writing. I believe they wanted to test my sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and speed of writing. I then was given a series of letters and was asked to read them aloud as quickly as I could, followed by a series of words, followed by a series of numbers. I then had to go onto a computer and each screen had around 15 alternate spellings for the same word, I then had to quickly click the correct spelling before the screen moved on and showed me 15 more alternate spellings for another word. I was given some example sentences and asked to identify what was wrong with them, or if there was anything wrong at all. This all felt a little silly, considering I was 17, however the results came back that I was in fact Dyslexic and that I would receive 25% extra time in my exams.

There is a whole spectrum of Dyslexia and fortunately mine is rather mild, which is why it took me 17 years before I learnt I had a problem. I was told that my form of Dyslexia was less to do with spelling and grammar, as is most common, rather to do with information processing. They said, for example, most people would be asked a question and instinctively answer it “A-B-C”, whereas I would answer it more like “A-M-X-J-E”. I would show strong knowledge, but it was not immediately as obvious to me as other people what I am being asked to answer. I was told that people with Dyslexia, especially my kind, tended to be creative and think outside of the box more. However, they can struggle with higher education as mark schemes are rigid and favour conventional answers over creative ones. This is why I was awarded extra time, as it meant I could think more about what the question is asking of me, and how they were asking me to answer.

I was rather nervous starting an English Literature degree giving that I knew I had a learning difficulty typically related to Literature as a subject, and I was not even fully aware of how my Dyslexia impacted me. It is simple enough being told “you have something that makes your thought pattern different to normal people”, but what did this mean? I could not identify it in myself, I could not see when I was thinking differently to others, if that makes sense. I genuinely believe when I am writing an essay that this is what they want me to write about. It can be very difficult.

I notice it in class when we are asked to share our ideas about a text and my answer varies a great deal from other people’s. I notice it in personal life when my friends joke I always misunderstand things. I noticed it in work when it took me a little longer than everyone else to learn the complicated order on how to do tasks, when another method seemed to make more sense to me. The older I get, the more I notice that I approach things differently to other people. Some things that are instinctual to others I have to learn, because I am unlearning the way that is instinctual to me.

On the plus side, I do tend to get marked highly for creativity and thinking outside the box in my coursework. I have been awarded extra days on all of my deadlines to complete my work which gives me more time to really develop my ideas. I do feel anxious as I have an important exam next week, and I know the mark schemes are more rigid than with coursework, and so I will try hard to truly use my extra time wisely and think about how a normal person would answer this.

People find it ironic that I am an English Literature student and I run a blog even though I have a learning difficulty which says I should do otherwise. Some days I agree and question why I make life hard for myself. However, most days, I just give them a smile and explain that in a way Dyslexia is a gift. I cherish creativity and I wouldn’t  have it any other way.

Let me know in the comments below if you have Dyslexia or any other learning difficulty. I would love to find out your tips for coping as I am always willing to learn. Also let me know if you would like me to do a little guide of things I do to help my Dyslexia!

Love from Evie x

Update: Memoirs of a 20 year old who is sick of acne

In the summer I posted about my long plight with acne, and told you guys how excited i was to start Lymecycline. I showed you pictures of my never before seen makeup-less pepperoni pizza face and promised to update a few months later. Well this is it.

I came off of Lymecycline after a few months as I noticed it did not really do much to help. What did help me are the products I am going to tell you about shortly. My skin is not perfect, however compared to a few months ago I am a whole new person. I have a few active spots here and there, but my biggest issue now is simply acne marks which will hopefully eventually fade.

The products I have used which have changed my life are:

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Yep, that’s it. Plus a regular oil-free moisturiser which is in my original post. All I do is lather the Cetaphil on my face morning and night, I leave it on for a minute to do its stuff and then I wash it off. And then every other night afterwards I pop on a layer of Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Mask for about 10 minutes and take it off with a wet flannel and hey presto (I attached links to each of the products below so that you can access them on Amazon for cheap)! I also exclusively use oil-free makeup and I also change my pillowcase every night. The pillowcase one sounds silly however when I first started doing it I realised it did actually make a difference as I was not sleeping on the same oil my face had given off the night before.

£8.55 Amazon

£23.50 Amazon

£6.65 Amazon

Now here are my before and after pictures so that you can see the difference. I do look a bit awkward in these but it is because it is really hard for make to take pictures of my acne!

Before:

After:

I know the camera quality is not great but I hope you can see a large difference! Yes, in the After pictures I still have red marks and bumps but it is considerably better than before! I will post a final update hopefully when my skin is totally cleared up!

What tips do you have for dealing with acne? Can you recommend any products for healing acne marks down below?

Lots of love, Evie x

On Being A Londoner In Brighton

I have lived in Brighton on and off for two years now as I am a student at Sussex University. During this time I have noticed a few key differences between London and London-by-the-Sea. Today’s post is supposed to be light-hearted and give people an idea about what life is like at our sister city. I will write a more thorough post at a later date about the wonderful Brighton Lanes. Enjoy!

1. The traffic lights are silent???
Are you telling me that I have to look up from watching snap stories for up to 30 seconds to see when the man turns green and it is safe to cross? I feel like this is an attack on millennials.
traffic light

2. I’m sorry, I’m going to say what we are all thinking: Brightoners don’t walk- they shuffle.

When it isn’t the entire population of Italy having a day out to the Pier rudely in your way, it’s the elderly. Sorry, Mr and Mrs Cute-Old-Couple but I have a 25X bus to Catch! If I miss that I have to get the 25, which is a whopping 7 minutes longer (an inexcusable amount of time to waste as an unemployed student).

25x

3. Brighton has a better selection of doggos.

The stresses of living in the capital mean that Londoners arm themselves with Rottweilers and Staffs, which are frankly more like weapons than man’s best friend. However, the sea air appears to calm Brightoners, and they opt for little bundles of fluffy joy. Pugs, Pomeranians and Poodles galore!
pom
4. Southern Rail is absolute sh*t.
Raise your hand if you have been personally victimised by Southern Rail. Every day I thank the Lord that I do not have to rely on it to get to uni. However, the few amounts of time I have used it left me reminiscing about the good ol’ days of being at stations like Victoria and Charring Cross. Southern Rail charges you a ridiculously high price just to be cancelled on.
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5. The beach is an absolute God send during heatwaves.
The hustle and bustle of the capital, and not to mention the pollution makes 27 degrees feel like 270. How many times have you tried and failed to find a nice spot in St James’ Park? Well, on Brighton beach there is room for all! The great atmosphere of students getting their first dose of vitamin D and fending off the rickets. Yes, there may be a slight whiff of weed in the air (it is always the guy in the Che Guevara top) but feel that sea breeze! Bring some cans, have a laugh with your mates. This is what Brighton is all about.
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I hope you enjoyed this little post!
Lots of love, Evie x