Second Year - First term

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

So the first term of my second year is over and I can't believe how quickly it went! So I thought I would do a quick round up of my favourite books that I've read over the last couple of months in each of my modules, some were better than others...
One module was Romanticism, literally my worst nightmare. When I saw it on the schedule I was dreading having to read romantic poems and novels for ten weeks, but to my surprise it wasn't actually that bad! My favourite novel was definitely The Sorrows of Young Werther as Werther himself is an interesting character to critique, and his suicide is shocking in its gruesome detail. It's a really easy read (which is shocking for romanticism) and I really enjoyed writing about it in my coursework.
My favourite course was Apocalypse and the modern novel and it was so difficult to choose my favourites as I loved everything! One that kept me hooked from start to finish was Cat's Cradle a dystopian fiction that is told through black humour and human stupidity. It centres on an end of the world that is the result of scientific progression in the form of ice-nine, a solution that freezes the globe - I recommend this novel highly! I also really enjoyed The Day of the Triffids where the world is taken over by man-eating plants, and also The Road, a story of a man and his son travelling across a desolate America in search of refuge. It was actually quite scary studying the Apocalypse while Donald Trump was elected...
The last module was the American Novel, one I was really looking forward to but was really disappointed! So many of the novels weren't really enjoyable to read, not just the racist ones, and I feel like there were so many we could have read that were completely ignored. Despite this I love The Great Gatsby and it was nice to read it again and study it at University level - a definite must read and the recent film is such a good adaptation

Thanks for reading everyone!

Superhero Shoes - Pumped up powers and heeled heroines

Thursday, 12 January 2017

No superhero is complete without his or her powers, whether it's the ability to fly, super strength or invisibility, their talents sure are impressive.
However, there is something about these superhero personas that is always overlooked - their footwear. Possibly the most important part of any costume are the shoes, so why should they be ignored? There are after all what allows them to get from A to B and kick-box a villain every now and then so they should be considered a very important feature!
Every superhero wears a pair of shoes that aids their abilities and therefore each pair have become iconic in their own right, and footwear retailer  Brantano takes a look at some of their favourites...

Wonder Woman’s Battle Boots
The heroine everyone recognises, Diana Prince, a.k.a Wonder Woman, is one of the longest-serving female superheroes. The daughter of Zeus, she made her debut in 1941 and is back in the public eye thanks to a new look for her role in the DC cinematic universe. 
Her classic look is one of confidence and colour. Alongside her iconic bracers and tiara, she wears red knee high boots with a signature white stripe.  In a practical and much-praised move, many of her comic boot appearances have eschewed high heels in favour of flat boots.  
In her latest iteration, Gal Gadot’s heroine is clad in armoured knee-highs that have sandal-style straps and a wedge heel. Impractical? Maybe. Stylish? Yes.

Star Lord’s Rocket Boots (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Peter Quill, or Star Lord, was portrayed by Chris Pratt in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. His guile and charisma helped lead a team of misfits against supervillain Ronan, whose forces were threatening the galaxy. 
While doing so, he stays on-trend thanks to a space cowboy inspired look — a pair of reddish-brown walking shoes that are topped with knee-high greaves. The kicker? These boots have rocket boosters in them, enabling Star Lord to cross large crevasses and thrust through the non-gravity of empty space. 

Superman’s Iconic Red Boots
Think of Superman and you immediately think of blue and red, a pair of red spandex and cape over the famous blue costume. However, the look wouldn’t be complete without the boots to match. Superman, when not hiding behind the Clark Kent alias, wears his just below the knee greaves with style. 
Even in his latest, more realistic portrayal by Henry Cavill, which has removed the comic-book briefs, Superman still wears his bright-red boots. Proof you need to stick with your signature style. 
The Power Rangers The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers were a TV phenomenon in the 90s, but are set to launch themselves back into the public eye when their new action film is released in 2017. Combatting lord Zed, the team of heroes take their instruction from Zordon – but seem to take fashion tips from more famous superheroes, as they also wore colourful knee-high boots.

Captain America’s Combat Boots
The latest version of Captain America, played by Chris Evans, is a no-frills superhero that mixes patriotism with strength. Styled to portray a man who withstands no nonsense, the ‘cap’s’ costume is a jumpsuit style military get-up that doesn’t mess around. Like his outfit, his boots are all about utility. Combat boots with a thick sole, they’re perfect whether he’s pursuing crime on foot or on his motorcycle. 

The Joker’s Knife Boot (The Dark Knight)
The clown prince of crime isn’t just the arch-nemesis of Batman, he’s also a challenging role for any actor to take on. In what is arguably his most famous on-screen appearance, the Joker was immortalised by the late Heath Ledger as a dark, psychopathic villain. Interestingly, in this entire list, he’s the only character to not wear knee high boots. His iconic purple suit caught the eye, but it was a hidden knife in his brogues that surprised Batman in a melee combat. Plus, they looked great with brightly-checked socks. 

Ultimately, there’s a lot to be learned from superhero fashion. A longer length pair like knee high boots must grant some sort of secret super power – considering almost every superhero there is confidently sporting such footwear. Maybe the real secret to heroism and fame is a pair of knee highs? 

Pre-party skincare tips

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Your office party has finally been announced and your social calendar is quickly filling up with festive bashes. As well as deciding on a dress and working out who your plus one will be, you’ll need to make sure your skin is looking its best too. Party after party can take its toll and leave your skin looking tired. To help, Dermalogica retailer Pure Beauty has shared their favourite tricks and tips to keep your skin looking radiant. 

The night before
While you won’t be able to sort out your pores overnight, you can make a big difference to your skin by reducing possible inflammation. One way to do this is to use a sheet mask, or you can soothe the skin with a cooling facemask. This’ll help manage any spots or redness you have and mean you’ve got less to conceal the next day. 

Drink plenty of water
Possibly one of the easiest tips to follow on our lists, upping your water intake can greatly benefit your skin. Drinking enough water essentially moisturises your skin from the inside out. If you don’t drink enough, your skin may look dull and wrinkles and pores could become more prominent.
Being hydrated won’t just benefit your skin either. Avoiding dehydration increases your energy levels, helps limit the severity of a hangover and generally makes you feel better. 

Don’t have skincare treatments on the day of the party
If you have a peel or a facial treatment on the same day as your event, you might be contributing to a disaster rather than making things better. Most people will end up red-faced after a proper skincare treatment session, which isn’t a great party look! You’ll also clog up your fresh pores when you slap makeup over your newly treated skin. Stick to a week before as a general guide. 
However, you can add an extra dose of moisturiser earlier in the day to help keep your skin hydrated. 

Keep your skincare routine simple
Stick to a basic routine that maximises moisture and cleanliness. Remove excess dirt and oil with a cleansing water, then moisturise. If you need to, exfoliate twice a week. Scrubbing the dead skin cells from the surface can be damaging if done too often, so try to stick to this routine to prevent further issues arising. 

Eat well
Salty, fatty foods contribute towards bad skin. Salt also increases the puffiness of your eyes, so avoid snacking on chips and crisps. Various foods can provoke reactions even if you’re not allergic, such as dairy – so avoid these in the run up to the party. Focus on healthy food and you’ll find yourself with healthy skin.

Go makeup free
Makeup, for all its wonders, is also quite bad for your skin. If you’ve got the confidence for it, going to a party without makeup on can actually make you stand out for all the right reasons, as you’ll be showing off your natural beauty. If you can’t go without, try to tone down the heavier concealers and foundations.

Don’t forget your lips
Finally, make sure you take good care of your lips. Perfect your pout by fending off dry skin with a lip scrub and wearing a lip balm to keep your lips moisturised throughout the winter.
If you take care of your skin, it’ll take care of you. Prepare for your party so that you can strut your stuff and turn heads for all the right reasons. Just do your best to not pass out drunk afterwards and forget to remove your makeup!