It's the last week of winter break! This year's break was longer than ever before since my school just started having winter session classes, but I'm finally going back friday. Not that I don't love being at home, of course, because I do. I just miss my friends, boyfriend, and I want to implement new routines that are hard to start at home and then continue in a new place!
Some of those routines are beauty things I end up slacking on while I'm home, like exfoliating, moisturizing, washing my face every night before bed, and pampering with the lovely body butters I've recently acquired. I also want to start making DIY beauty items, like sugar scrubs and body butters (like the ones from LUSH, but much less expensive!). Along with that, I want to make up a schedule for doing yoga/exercising, which is hard while I'm at home (since I'm, in essence, lazy).
I kind of felt like just doing a general bloggy blog this week, talking about the stuff I've been up to. Along with that, I've tried to photograph things in a more streamlined manner! I wasn't super happy with the way my blog was looking, so hopefully now I'll be a tad happier with the appearance.
First off, my savior this week was this book. I picked it up at the library without even knowing it would be there; it was just sitting on the new arrivals cart! I loved The Joy Luck Club, which I read in sophomore year. I then tried Amy Tan's second book, The Kitchen God's Wife, which I couldn't get in to. This book, however, has captured my attention and I'm really, really enjoying it! I'm about halfway through at this point, and I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens. It's been a while since I've enjoyed reading a book so much.
Without giving anything important away, this novel is about the high class courtesan houses in China at the turn of the century. It's so absolutely interesting, as well as heart-wrenching and almost uncomfortable at times.
The thing I keep thinking about while reading this is how lucky I am to have the free choice to decide what I can do with my life. Recently, I've been thinking a lot about apartments, living on my own, and finding a job. These are choices I am able to make because I am lucky to live a life where I can do so. So many women in the past and present are unable to make these choices, due to social standing, race, and culture.
Along with this, it makes me grateful more than anything that I can choose who I have sex with. That's not something a lot of women think about in first world countries, but in many countries it isn't a right they are privileged to. There are arranged marriages, prostitution, and rape rampant all over the world. To live a life where these are things I don't have to ever consider or deal with is a fantastic life. I'm lucky to be able to have it.
Got a little deep there! It's really all I've been thinking about since I've been reading this book. On to some more light hearted topics!
I got my Driver's Permit this week!!! Yes, I know you must be saying, isn't she twenty-one? Shouldn't she have gotten that already? Well, for all of you who don't know, living in NYC makes it possible for one to never have to drive or own a car. Almost all of my city peers don't know how to drive and don't plan on learning any time soon!
However, since I'm planning on staying in Buffalo, it was time. Along with that, it's a good skill to learn! Learning to drive is like learning to ride a bike or swim; it's something that you should learn young, and it benefits your entire life.
Also, how easy is the driver's test, right? Now I know why there are so many crap drivers on the road.
On another note, I met a really nice guy at the DMV while we were waiting to get our tests graded and pay. He was super friendly and I really enjoyed talking to him until we were told off by one of the employees (not allowed to talk or use cell phones in the test area, even if you're done taking it. I don't get it). He was my age and is attending Hunter college as an art major as well! Didn't get his name, though. I could do some snooping, but I also could leave it as the chance encounter it was. What do you think? You can never have too many friends, especially in the art world!
Another thing I've been enjoying doing lately is perusing blogs and reading reviews. I'm basically set on makeup for now, especially since I'm implementing a spending ban this semester so I can save for the down payment on my future apartment. I see skin care reviews out the wazoo, but everything is a little out of my price range! I wanted a good skin care regime without it breaking the bank.
This is the reason why I tearfully passed up the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser for a cheaper and more bang for your buck item. I perused and asked around and finally landed on Albolene! It's a moisturizing cleanser, so it removes makeup while keeping your face lovely and soft. I really needed a cleanser that removed my makeup, since I like multiple use body items (also, like I said: lazy). I originally was looking at Noxema, but the reviews were going both ways. Some loved it, some hated it. My mom pointed out Albolene in the store because she remembered seeing people use it, so I looked up some reviews online, and basically everyone gave it a thumbs up!
Albolene also a long time product like Noxema, but instead of being a cold cream, it's a petroleum jelly/mineral oil combo. I have reasonably dry skin, especially in the winter and when I get out of the shower/when I wash my face, so hopefully the oil won't cause me to break out and will be good for my skin.
Even if I only use this as an eye makeup remover, it's a huge tub, and you don't have to use a lot to get it to work. I'm sure this will last me a long time. Along with that, its unscented. Recently I've been liking to experiment with scented products, but for my day to day skin care I prefer unscented products (which is why I use Lubriderm lotion over anything else).
I used it to remove my makeup the other day and everything just sloughed right off! I was left without raccoon eyes and the gross black strings in my eyes (you know what I'm talking about!). The oily residue was a little gross, so I just did a quick wash with Cetaphil cleanser after. If this routine works, I may make a post about my daily skincare or a review of Albolene itself. Time will tell, I suppose!
Image taken from the booklet of Franz Ferdinand's "Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions"
Finally, I've been really enjoying listening to Franz Ferdinand's new album "Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions." I first heard Franz Ferdinand back when I was in middle school when I took their first album out of the library and listened to it on my portable CD player. I then didn't listen to them for a while but in the past few years found my love for them again!
I also got the special second disc, called "Right Notes, Right Words, Wrong Order", which is live recordings of them playing in Konk Studios in London. I love both parts! The new album is everything I love about Franz Ferdinand: catchy lyrics, funky notes, and all around great songs. Along with that, I love hearing live recordings of bands music. I feel like it ads so much more to the songs, sometimes. Something completely different!
My favorite tracks are Bullet, Evil Eye, and Fresh Strawberries. Honorable mentions to Stand On The Horizon and Brief Encounters.
I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse in to what I've been doing recently! I probably will end up doing more posts like this once school starts, instead of more regular single topic posts. I won't have any time to do anything. Expect lots of posts about my art, maybe some beauty favorites, and a minimal amount of youtube videos. Let's see what happens! I've been really enjoying blogging a lot, and I don't think I'll lose interest any time soon, even if I get super busy.
Have you been up to anything interesting lately? Read any good books or listen to any good music? Tell me in the comments!