Book Shelf: The Hundred Year House by Rebecca Makkai

I made it to the end! Whew! This book is beautifully written, the story is fantastic, the end result us more confusing than a Star Trek episode. The characters were unlikable, but you’re really only supposed to like the house (I think) which you do!

The story opens in 1999 where your meet Doug & Zee, a married couple who live for their boring academicness… except that Doug doesn’t really and Zee is… eccentric. As Y2K counts down there is crazy drama and the story is quite compelling and just when you’re hooked – you’re in 1955. Yes, that’s right, this book goes backwards. 1955 is followed by 1929 and a few short bursts of other time periods and 1900. The epilogue should really have been a timeline explaining what just happened rather than 1900. I prefer to know what really happened by the time I finish a book. Goodreads has a few good questions up if you have read and have your own theories, let us know!

Overall a good book to pick up.

Last Minute Christmas

It’s a week(ish) till Christmas and all of a sudden your not so nearest but certainly dearest announced they’d like to come to town and you should totally have a party! And even though you’re grumbling into your flavored popcorn tin about the imposition you’re a little excited because with everyone spread out across the land following their dreams and blah blah blah you NEVER get to have parties anymore! The problem – you never got around to decorating and you’re broke…

Step 1: Twinkle lights. These are cheap (dollar store here we come!) and scream festive frat party. The dollar store is a great place to get decorations because you probably don’t have anywhere to store them and will chuck them after the party.

Step 2: BYOB+D+F that is bring your own booze and decorations and food. Asking people to bring a few snowflakes they cut out or a side dish takes a lot off of your plate and a little competition can be fun. (Local friends can bring their decorations over early and then you can just “happen” to be in the middle of baking and they have to help. Have martinis – it greases the wheels of this friendly deception).

Step 3. Make sure the food is festive. Having a classy sit down is great and all but a ham steak with a stack of pineapple slices shaped like a Christmas tree on top will add instant decor with things you already were serving. Food can be decorated with food coloring, garnishes, or spices to make them festive. Adding pumpkin spice to egg nog is a fun enhancement and it gives guests something to talk about.

Step 4. Search the house. Have green sheets? Now you have a green table cloth. Have a million candle holders? Good, for some reason small fires are very Christmas (did the wise-men bring Frankincense or Frankenstein?) . Don’t forget to search your winter wonderland… branches make for great decorations (if you can manage to find some fragrant pine what a score!) and don’t forget to bake your pine cones to rid them of sap. And don’t forget to line the bottom of the oven to avoid sap spills like me some people.

The Sephora Edit

There is so much stuff at Sephora it can be overwhelming. Since getting to Rouge I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what to buy there, particularly from people who have never shopped at Sephora before. Odds are if you have made a black bag purchase you’re a devotee. Sephora make-up is high end and expensive. Everyone has their own favorite stand, be it NARS, Kat Von D, or BECCA but mostly shoppers mix the best products from each brand. Generally, mascara, fragrance, and lipstick are where friends have noticed the biggest difference in quality over drugstore brands and this is a great place to start shopping. YSL lipsticks are current blogger favs while I come from a Kat Von D or bust family. It’s all about moisture and staying power. Eyeshadow can also have a major difference and when ti comes to texture Tarte has the softest Amazonian clay shadows ever. Most people are looking for color payoff and MAC and Limecrime (neither sold at Sephora) are two biggies in that category. Make-up forever & LORAC, are blogger favs and Urban Decay holds color really well.

We all rock the high-low trend in our wardrobe and the idea extends nicely to make-up. Foundation can be really important, and YSL has some GOOD ones, but these are bloody expen$ive, and I’ve never been able to commit. I buy foundation and bronzer at the drug store for cost and because I don’t wear much of either and therefore throw more away at expiry (if you’re wondering why you’re breaking out it can be expired make-up). I’m obsessed with Smashbox lid primer because it also gets rid of redness, Urban Decay lid primers are also super popular. (I was obsessed with Soap and Glory under-eye but they seem to have discontinued it RAGE – bring it back please! I really liked how watery it was. YSL touche eclat is excellent but $$$).

MAC is still my favorite eyeliner (not sold at Sephora) but for liquid I’ve been slowly learning how to use Kat Von D’s which has a supper fine point like a marker. I can’t do a cat eye to save my shoes but the makeup is good.

Samplers and Pallettes

I go back and forth on palettes, they’re very expensive and it is easy to collect them but difficult to use them up before they expire. (The rule is 2 years on eyeshadow, I usually keep them for a maximum of 4. I clean my eyeshadow and lipstick occasionally and vigorously cut them down a bit after they’ve “expired” but there’s no way I’m tossing a YSL lipstick after one year LMFAO. Some of these expiry dates reflect a change in consistency not an overdose of germs but be wary of rashes, bumps, etc). If you love a variety of colors palettes can be a great way to collect and travel. Use clean brushes to try and cut down on some bacteria. I have the Santigold Smashbox (currently on sale) mini pallet and the Urban Decay Vice pallet and this is all the eyeshadow I will need for the year.

Sephora gift sets tend to be expensive and I always compare the sample size to the original before I buy. Sometimes there is next to NO product in them and that stinks but sometimes they give you enough to last a year – turns out we don’t need a tube of lipstick to be the length of our pinkies! The Gimme Some Lip set was fantastic and Vintage or Tacky (YT) reviewed the Gimme Some More Lip set and I want it but shall refrain (self-Control, self-Control, self-c…lipstick!), most perfume sets come with a voucher for a free perfume which makes the price so much better. Christmas is the best time to buy these things (they come out in December).

Whenever I get my hands on a popular item I’ll review it here as #youtubebeautytruth 🙂