This post is coming to y’all a little late because I spent the day I should’ve spent writing it with my forever fave, my best pal. Sometimes you’ve just got to go and wander around Yorkshire and eat a lot of cheese, you know?
Anyway, this is what I was loving in July.
‘Difficult Women’ by Roxane Gay
CW for sexual assault, violence against women.
My manager actually lent me this month ago (never lend me books they’ll take ages to get back to you I’m sorry) and it was July that I actually managed to make time to read it. This is a collection of stories about women who have had difficult things happen to them, have had to make difficult decisions or are difficult themselves. I loved it. I’ve recommended it to anyone asking for reading suggestions, and plenty who weren’t.
They’re short stories so even though they’re emotionally involving and sometimes draining, you can recover pretty well still. Trigger warning for some seriously awful stuff, with lots of mentions of physical and emotional violence against women, as well as rape and paedophilia. I would not say this is an easy read for people who don’t have these triggers, so tread carefully if you do. I did struggle with some of the passages, but I still think it’s a damn important, engaging and relatable read. I can’t wait to read more of Gay’s work.
As someone who has been called difficult by men all my life – ex partners, my dad, teachers – I needed this book. What’s wrong with being a difficult woman? If ‘difficult’ means calling out BS, not letting go of argument before you’re ready to, or just being your damn self, then by all means I am difficult. And I like it, so fight me.
Girl Group Heaven
A Spotify playlist
I love music. My parents have great taste in music, but I definitely grew up listening to a lot of white men sing. Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, David Bowie, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, the list goes on and on – and those are just the ones I’ve listened to this morning. The older I get, the more I want to actively support and champion women in the arts, and especially in the music industry. Going to their gigs, buying their merch, listening to their EPs, and I am getting better at it.
This playlist is perfect for when you need something familiar but you’re sick of listening to men sing about Wendy (sorry Bruce). That’s not to say these songs aren’t love songs – most of them are – and most of the songs were written and produced by men. But there’s something really powerful about listening to female voices in perfect harmony. The Ronettes, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, and The Supremes make up a substantial amount of this short but perfectly formed playlist. I’m not mad about it.
If you’re looking for some sunshine listening to make you feel like you’re an extra in Greese or Dirty Dancing, reaching the dizzy heights of teenage American summertime and gal pal gangs, this is the playlist for you.
Pixi Glow Tonic
£18 for 250ml
I’ve been using various acid based toners on and off for just over a year, but it’s only in the last two months I’ve really committed to using them regularly. I am ridiculously late to the Pixi game, but in my head it was a premium brand that I’d never be able to afford. Well my friends, my perceptions of what I can and can’t afford have clearly changed, as now I don’t think £18 is an obscene amount of money for a toner that I love and works for me. Champagne lifestyle, lemonade budget over here.
I was a heavy sceptic at first. It definitely aggravated my skin on the first couple of uses, though I was having a hormonal related breakout at the time. I didn’t really see a difference for the first month of using it, so I stopped for a week. In that week, my skin felt rougher, my pores looked more visible and my oily nose was out of control – in other words, my skin felt like it usually does. When I started using the toner again, those issues mostly disappeared. That’s how I know I love a product – I can tell when I’m not using it.
The glycolic acid (5% concentration) works as a chemical exfoliator. This means it removes that surface dead skin without scrubbing. I am prone to excess sebum (oil) build-up around my nostrils, as well as having dry flaky patches between my eyebrows. This is the first produce I’ve found that really tackles both of those issues without leaving my skin raw or irritated.
While this did take a while to have an effect on my skin, I’m alright with that. Skincare that works immediately often won’t have long lasting effects – I’m looking at you, pore strips. Even when I forget to use the Tonic for a few days, my skin doesn’t look as bad as it used to, especially considering how huge my pores can look. Regina George knows what’s up.
I love the packaging, I love the smell, and I love how it makes me feel like I’m really looking after myself when I use it. I’m about half way through, and I’m definitely going to repurchase.
I promise I’ll have more pictures next time, I’m not very good at this flatly business.
What were your favourite things this month?