PLAYLIST: MAY 2015

29 May 2015

Thank the Lord, May is over. This month seems to have been the longest and most tedious in my (almost) 20 years of living, so I'm happy to have it out the way and finally be looking forward to summer. In this edition of the monthly playlist, make sure to look out for revision motivation and end of uni celebrations, along with some old songs and a few new releases. 



1. Klaves - Come On

Mikiłaj Gramowski (a.k.a. Klaves), is a young DJ from Poland to be keeping an eye on in the next few months. This Eton Messy release is one of his latest; it's upbeat and appealing, apparently something I desperately needed to push me towards my essay word counts. His next release is an EP, due at some point this year. 

2. Childish Gambino - Sober (LeMarquis Cover)


Who knew LeMarquis could sing. This cover by the French producer is much more mellow and sedated than Childish Gambino's original. It's one of the heavier tracks on the playlist, yet remains similar to the others in terms of it's steady beat and distinctive vocals. It's a modern rendition of one of Childish Gambino's most familiar sounds. 


3. Major Lazer & DJ Snake - Lean On ft. MØ 


At the beginning of the month, I managed to get hold of tickets to Major Lazer at Manchester Academy, hosted by Warehouse Project. Since then, I've been on a bit of a binge. MØ's vocals add a softened element to this, not present in other Major Lazer's other wok, which makes this one of their standout tracks. 


4. Disclosure - Holding On ft. Gregory Porter

On the 27th, in the form of BBCR1's hottest record, we were brought this new track from Disclosure and Gregory Porter - a collaboration I held incredibly high hopes for. It's an electrifying mix of signature Diclosure beats combined with Porter's silky smooth vocals that will 


5. Stefano Ritteri - You're My Lover


Released by Glasgow Underground in March this year, a track sampling the vocals from The Emotions' 'I Could Never Be Happy'. It's an unexpected crossover, starting with a strong foundation of tech house for the fun disco vocals to be built on top of. Definitely one for the dance floor. 


6. Kaasi - Those Days


Released this coming Tuesday (2nd June), will be Kaasi's latest EP 'Tramuntana'. In true Kaasi style, Those Days is incredibly laid back and light, everything he creates seems to float. It's minimalist and refreshing, something to chill out to in the late afternoon. Imperturbable would be a good word to describe this sound.

7. Flume - Some Minds ft. Andrew Wyatt


The top rated comment for this video is from TheSoundYouNeed and it states 'There is a god and his name is Flume'. My personal affinity with him began in the summer of 2013 and I feel everyone who encounters his music, can't help but love him intensely. This new release seems a bit unfamiliar at first, but around the 3 minute mark becomes unmistakably 'Flumey', and so my loyalty as a fan of his continues as I remain hopeful for a 2nd album. 


8. James Bay - Let It Go (Jack Steadman Remix)



Although James Bay isn't someone I saw myself listening to, if you throw Jack Steadman in there, I'm up for anything. A classic Steadman remix cushions Bay's vocals, to massively enhance the original track. 


For more frequent updates on what I'm listening to, head over to my Soundcloud

PICTURES: MANCHESTER ART GALLERY AND A BRASS BAND

15 May 2015

After living in Manchester for the past 9 months, I'm surprised I've not seen more of the city. My friend Conor and I decided to take a trip to Manchester Art Gallery, to have a look at some of their current exhibitions. Following this, we headed to a bar in Northern Quarter, where we learned that The New York Brass Band were playing on the roof of a car park that evening! 













PLAYLIST: APRIL 2015

27 Apr 2015


1. Pomo  - Feel The Same Way

Starting the playlist with this from Pomo. Thanks to Annie Mac for posting this onto my Soundcloud feed; it's smooth, slow (but not too slow) and nicely chilled. If you close your eyes, you can imagine partying on a white sandy beach; instead of sitting in the dark on your squeaky student accommodation bed.

2. Konna Summer - Bad Girls

A song that will stick in your head for days. Funky and timeless; it's a good one for late night groovin' and feeling empowered. This was reposted onto my feed by my good friend Jake - click his name to go to his Soundcloud profile. 

3. Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You

By no means a recent release (1998) but still an amazing song. Thomas Bangalter, who made up half of Daft Punk, collaborated with 2 others under the name 'Stardust' to produce this iconic, electronic 90s hit. I feel when you know that, the Daft Punk vibes are obvious. 

4. Jacques Greene - Another Girl

Back to chilling, now with Jacques Greene: a Canadian DJ and producer who brought this out in 2011. It's simple and powerful, with slow and gentle beats that would be perfect mixed with a late night turned early morning. 

5. Laurence Guy - W.L.Y.B

This song is beautiful and peaceful, thank you to Angus for introducing it to me. At 4:17 you'll be lingering for a drop, but instead it gently increases to something a bit heavier, where it dangles until 4:48. I don't have the ability to use words to give this song the praise it deserves; it's gorgeous. 

6. The Beach - Thieves (KAASI Remix)

I don't think I've ever heard anything from Kaasi that I haven't loved, and this is no exception. It's melancholy and resonant, in the best way possible. An overwhelming theme throughout this playlist seems to be 'chilled' and Thieves fits right in.

7. HNNY - Yogalates

Jumping straight to a way more upbeat tone, this song is fun and sunny, with a lot more electronic vibes than most of the others in this playlist. It's groovy, catchy and something a bit different from what I'm used to. It's good, but it's definitely not an afterparty song.  

8. Romare - Jimmy's Lament

This song is originally much slower, but  has been sped up to 45rpm by Octochamp. I heard it on an Arp Aubert Guest Mix, following Yogalates; so I thought it would be only natural to bring them to this playlist as a pair. The piano loops bring something a bit jazzy, and just like Yogalates, I think it's groovy and fun.


Hope you've enjoyed this playlist! As always, head over to my Soundcloud if you want to hear this kind of thing more frequently. Also, if anyone knows of anywhere in Manchester that plays music you think I would like, please let me know! I'm sick of hearing Oasis and The Courteeners on nights out. 







CURRENT EVERYDAY FACE

23 Apr 2015


My recent delve into the world of make-up has found me trying out a few brands other than the beloved Mac; something which would have the 15 year old me spinning in her grave. This is a post to walk you through how I've incorporated those products into my Everyday Makeup Routine.

Base




I like a full coverage, and something I recently discovered is the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. It claims to provide a 'full but natural' coverage, as well as being 'weightless' and staying put for 16 hours. Having used this for the past week (in the hottest days of 2015 so far), I can say it really delivers. I use 2 pumps for my entire face and work quickly, blending with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush - as it sets into your skin straight away. I use the shade 'Gobi' or 'light 3', as my face is the same colour as a sheet of paper. If you live in Manchester I'd suggest heading to the NARS counter in Selfridges; I was served by Layla and she gave me a lovely makeover. 

To cover any blemishes and redness not masked by the foundation, I use MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC15 (their lightest cool-toned shade). I tend to apply this around my nose and, if I have any, my spots - tapping in with my fingers. 

I then apply the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer underneath my eyes, to conceal and brighten. Using the shade 'Chantilly', I smudge into place with the wand then blend out with a beauty blender. 

It's important to set your base if you want it to stay all day, so I use MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in 'Medium' - applying in a tapping motion rather than sweeping, over my t-zone. 

The last two products on my base include MAC Cheek Colour in the shade 'Immortal Flower' - now sadly discontinued. I finish my base off with Topshop Highlighter in 'Horizon', brushed over my cheekbones and cupid's bow. 


EYES


After I've brushed my brows upwards with a spooley, I use a thin angled brush to apply the tinted cream from the Sleek Eyebrow Kit in short strokes. I use the shade 'dark', because I like to imagine myself looking somewhat like Frida Kahlo. 

A recent purchase has been the Topshop Nude Eyes in the shade 'Stripped'. I use my finger to apply over the lid and blend with a fluffy brush to create a 'my-eyes-but-better' look - does that phrase work in this context?

The last thing I do is curl my lashes, then apply excessive amounts of both Benefit's Roller Lash and Origins Ginzing Radiant Mascara

If I'm feeling fancy, I'll apply something to the lips - but that varies from day to day and is usually either MAC Naked Liner and Please Me, or the Rimmel London Exaggerate Lip Liner in 'Eastend Snob', which are all basically the same colour anyway. *pouts*




LIV BAKES: NUTELLA FILLED CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES

15 Apr 2015

I'm home from Uni for Easter and the house has been empty, so I filled some of my spare time by doing a bit of baking. As well as making a complete mess in the kitchen, I put together some Nutella Filled Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Complete with sea salt sprinkled on top.




The cookies use browned butter in their recipe, which means they take on a dark and nutty flavour. To brown butter, you need to heat it in a shallow pan over a medium heat, stirring continuously until it changes to a caramel colour.



Something I noticed with these cookies is that they tend to be better the day after baking, as they're too soft when not completely cool. If you're making these as a present or for an event, ideal time to bake would be the evening before. 

Ingredients:
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • a jar of nutella
  • 315g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 212g brown sugar
  • 56g granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tblsp sour cream
  • 340g choc chips (i used chopped dark chocolate)

Method:

  1. Put your nutella in the fridge a while before. This will make it easier to add the nutella to your cookies later on.
  2. Preheat oven to 160-180 degrees celsius, depending on whether it is fan assisted or not. 
  3. You need to brown your butter, so place it in a shallow pan over a medium heat. When it begins to foam, whisk constantly untill it turns a golden brown colour. Remove it from the heat and put aside in a glass bowl to cool.
  4. Combine all dry ingredients (minus the sugar and choc chips) in a seperate bowl. 
  5. To the browned butter, add the sugars and whisk untill combined. Follow with the egg and egg yolk, vanilla and sour cream. 
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Finally add the chocolate chips. 
  7. A good idea is to put the mixture in the fridge for a few hours. Putting a chilled cookie mixture in the oven will stop the cookies spreading out whilst cooking, leaving you with big chunky cookies. 
  8. Remove the mixture from the fridge and separate into small balls, placing on baking paper on a baking tray. Gently flatten out the balls and place a teaspoon of nutella in the middle of each one. Fold the edges of the cookie over and make sure no nutella is visible.
  9. Bake the cookies for around 9-11 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, as the cookies won't be as chewy.
  10. Allow to cool completely, my cookies were more enjoyable the next day.
  11. Enjoy!


Let me know if you would enjoy these cookies, or if you can think of a way to improve them!












PLAYLIST: MARCH 2015

27 Mar 2015


1. Oh Wonder - Body Gold (Louis The Child Remix)

Louis The Child consists of two fairly young DJ's from Chicago and if you want to know more about them you can click here. I think this song is nice and chilled, you could definitely listen to it after a night out. Angus and I have decided it can be described as 'quite Flume-esque'. 

2. California Soul (Diplo Remix) - Marlena Shaw

It's very rare that you can remix a classic and make it better, but this is a fine example of exactly that happening. This is fairly old, but still good. Thanks Diplo. 

3. Me, Myself and I - De La Soul

I've developed a bit of an obsession with De La Soul this year; they're not just on my March playlist, but January, February and probably will be for a long time. I tend to listen to this in a morning whilst I get ready for uni, to get me in the mood for a MAD lecture. 

4. Warm Water (Snakehips Remix) - Banks

Ruby introduced me to Banks and now I love Banks, especially this Snakehips remix. 

5. Fine (LeMarquis & FAB Remix) - Whitney Houston

I first found LeMarquis through listening to his remix of Last Night A DJ Saved My Life (listen for the ting at the end of the rap). I was flicking through his SoundCloud the other day when I found this, and I think I like it almost as much. 

6. Foot Stomp - Disco Tech

This is a good song for dancing. It comes from a playlist called Disco Heroes Vol 6, where you can find more songs, that are also good for dancing. Good for pre-drinks before Soul Jam.

7. Sleepyhead - Passion Pit

I used to listen to this song when I was around 14 and I've recently rediscovered it. I forgot how much I enjoy Passion Pit; this is clearly one of their best. 

8. Mugen - Harrison and Seamus Hamilton

I only discovered this towards the end of the month but it's still a fab song. I think this song would go down well at any point of a night out, from pre-drinks to after party. 



For more of my musical selections, head over to my Soundcloud

WHY I NEED FEMINISM

13 Mar 2015

(Photo: imgkid)

Even in 2015, it pains me to know that when people hear the word 'feminist', the general connotations (of those who don't associate themselves with the movement) tend to be somewhere along the lines of man-hating, non-shaving, free-bleeding screeching maniac. This social definition in itself is exactly one of the reasons millions of other females, males and myself need feminism.

Feminism can be defined as 'the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes' which is where I feel the first misunderstanding of what feminism actually is lies. I believe simple explanation of this official definition could help society let go of a lot of misconstrued ideas of what the movement stands for; the biggest problem surrounding feminism is people who are uneducated and ignorant towards what it is.

There are still pay gaps!

As of April this year, it will have been 52 years since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was signed in America. Yet, this far on, American women are paid an average of 77 cents to the $1 a man would earn in the same job, doing the same amount of work. In the UK, as of 2013, women earned 19.3% less per hour. North America and the UK are examples of countries where the pay gap is not as severe as it could be, with Korea's pay gap being a massive 37.5%! It is beyond my comprehension how this could make sense to anyone?

'Feminazi'

To go back to my opening paragraph, the connotations of feminism are one of the exact reasons we need it. Women who are not afraid to speak their minds about the injustice they experience based on their gender, are punished and labelled with words such as 'feminazi' or just plainly 'insane'. Not only does this beat down women who have had the confidence to vocalise their feelings, it keeps other women from speaking up about their thoughts and experiences as they are afraid of being categorized by such names. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman tells of a writer, convinced by her husband and the patriarchal society she lives in that she is insane because of her hobby of writing as a woman. This in turn, discouraged other women who wanted to write, through fear of being defined as the narrator from The Yellow Wallpaper, which is exactly what is happening in the case of labelling and stereotyping in the modern day. Women are discouraged from speaking their minds.

"Men are victims too"

"What about men?" What about men? Sometimes, to annoy myself, I venture deep in the depths of the comments section of articles (usually Daily Mail) based loosely on a gender issue, and read such comments as 'this applies to men too' and 'don't forget about men'. Recently, the Salvation Army released an advertisement featuring the famous 'blue dress', being worn by a female victim of domestic physical abuse. These comments I have already mentioned were of course present, written by both men and women alike. Although feminism does argue equal rights for both genders, it is mainly women who have been and still are marginalised and discriminated against. I feel something society needs to address is that if a problem doesn't affect men, it is still a problem. Feminism aims to equalise everyone, but focuses on achieving for women, what men are born accustomed to. For women, feminism is more than just an ideology; it is our entire lives.


♡ because women shouldn't measure their self-worth on mens' opinions of them 
♡ because women shouldn't be forced to dress modestly so their body doesn't offend you 
♡ because a man was praised by the national media and social networks for being a single parent 
♡ because I fear for my safety when I'm walking home past 7pm 
♡ because the fact I have a boyfriend shouldn't be the only reason boys take no for answer 
♡ because people find the topic of menstruation more offensive than rape 


I hope you can understand that there are thousands of problems women like myself, as well as in other countries, are faced with every day, but to list one would be to list them all and this post would have simply been too long. This perhaps has been the most brief introduction to feminism anyone has ever written, with the most basic of ideologies somewhat explained. However, I hope it provided a brief insight into my vaguely personal definition of feminism and how I look at the world around me, through a feminist perspective.


FEBRUARY FAVES

2 Mar 2015

February has quickly drawn to a close and it's already March! (Ruby will be very excited right now) As the clever ones amongst you may have already guessed, this post will be concerning a few things I've been loving throughout the past month. Most products are linked so just click to buy online!









Skincare


I feel as though I've reached a point in my life where I've absolutely nailed my skincare regime and I have mainly Lush to thank for that. As you can see in the pics, all of my products are looking very well-used.

I use their 9 to 5 Cleansing Milk to take off my make up, followed by Herbalism Facial Cleanser to exfoliate. I then tone with Eau Roma Water and moisturise with the Ginzing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer from Origins (best smelling thing I've ever slathered onto my face). Usually, not taking my make up off at night completely ruins my skin but I've had a few nights out recently and my complexion is still the best it's been since I was a wee one. 

Beauty


Current go to eye look is the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Metallic Pomegranate packed onto the lid, then blended out and under the lash line. I'm feeling v Olsen and I think this look can instantly make you look more 'polished' (although I may not be a very good example of that).

Speaking of go to, I've been using my Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia perfume every day and I'm still as obsessed with it as I was when I got it two months ago. Their website describes it as 'luscious and golden', which is how I sometimes like to describe myself too.

Homeware


I'm unsure if this is a weird favourites category but I'm obsessed with these two things. The first is a candle I got from Primark. I will admit that I only got it the other day but I feel as though if I had bought it earlier, it would still be included. I think the outside is really pretty and I'm going to turn it into a plant pot when it has finished burning. It's coconut and vanilla scented, but not overpowering and sickly, the scent is very subtle and light and I can't believe it was only £3.

The second is a mug I got from Tesco. It's one of those that are the perfect size - nothing worse than a small mug. I love the minimalistic design (looks way more expensive than £2.50) and I think it looks v chic on my desk next to my candle. (painting nails emoji)

Food


Another probably quite strange category? I'm one of those people who becomes utterly infatuated with a food for a few months, gets bored then doesn't eat it ever again (special mention to the only food that seems to have survived this process, hummus). This month, those two foods for me have been Rice Krispies and Uncle Ben's Rice. If you haven't had Uncle Ben's Microwave Rice, your life is quite frankly a mess.

Music


Last month I went to SoulJam in Newcastle and now I can't stop listening to that late 70s early 80s disco stuff. I even made a playlist called 'funky groovy pre' and have been dancing around the kitchen to songs like these whilst cooking spag bol.







If you do one thing today, please make it watching this music video. 

INSTAGRAM: BEST OF LFW

24 Feb 2015


Thoughout the entirety of London Fashion Week, my Instagram feed has been drowning in posts from Elle, Vogue, Topshop etc - too many posts of backstage, finales and streetstyle to begin to consider looking through. Even Snapchat has been posting shots from the iPhones of models and people attending various events. I thought I would helpfully round up the posts I enjoyed most - expect minimalism, healthy looking snacks and maybe some 70s vibes. 

ELLE MAGAZINE (@elleuk)



Classic Burberry eyes. Wearable, everyday neutrals achievable at home in 20 minutes or probably less. Quite Olsen-esque. 

At first I thought this jumper was covered in bananas, and I'm quite disappointed it's not. Still a big fan of this outfit, however.
My fave pic out of the four thanks to McQueen. I like the vintage look of the jumper contrasting the futuristic silver dresses.


TOPSHOP (@topshop)



Kale Juice and Champagne being served for guests during Topshop Unique.
The fabulous Tate Britain - the setting for the Topshop Unique show.


VOGUE (@britishvogue)

Backstage at Alexander Wang.
The best eyes, backstage at Mary Katrantzou. Feeling quite 60s; I'm a big fan of this look.


Silver-flecked eyelashes backstage at House of Herrera. Another wearable look - but more night time. This model needs a bit of lash glue.


VARIOUS OTHER

A gathering of some of the best pics featured throughout my Instagram feed. 


The messiest bob at Molly Goddard (photo: @bleachlondon)

70s babe at Karen Walker (photo: @bumbleandbumble)

A messy twist for Eudon Choi. (photo: @bumbleandbumble)


Love heart eyes emoji (photo: @chungalexa)















SATURDAY INSPO

21 Feb 2015

 
Photo: skippedheartbeats (Flickr)

I'm currently in Newcastle visiting Angus for a late Valentines weekend. This morning we're going out for breakfast then having a mooch around the shops. 


Photo: Wrotten
My eating habits have been absolutely despicable in the past few weeks, need to get back to the days of consuming more spinach than Popeye himself. 


Photo: Nan Goldin
Experienced a few sightings of tiny petals spattered about town, makes me feel v ready for spring to arrive. 


Photo: thepomeloblog

It's Ruby's birthday on 7th March. I'm looking forward to going home to see her and my other pals, as well as my Mama. 





For posts like this more frequently, head to my Tumblr or Pinterest




MY RESPONSE TO 50 SHADES OF GREY

10 Feb 2015

Photo: Focus Features


When the book series 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James became a literary focal point of the under-satisfied, wannabe-controversial members of our society (hoping to live somewhere other than the real world), I didn't take a lot of notice. I was aware of the basic plot, but took a disliking to it on more of a moral basis; questioning whether it should be referred to as 'literature' or not (it was originally written as a piece of Twilight fan fiction). I thought 'Mr Grey' wasn't someone I had to deal with. 

However, as it was announced the best-seller would be turned into a film series, 50 Shades (as I will refer to it from this point), began to slowly creep into my life. When the first advert was released and constantly shared onto my Facebook timeline - not only did I question some of my social media friend choices, but I started to research the upcoming film and develop an interest in the book. 

As my knowledge of the story increased, I realised this is a book romanticising a very serious matter. 'Mr Grey' is someone many women sadly have had to, continue to and will have to deal with in their lives. According to Rape Crisis UK, 1 in 5 women aged 16-59 has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16. A probably-will-be-blockbuster exploiting that fact, and the other realities of sexual and emotionally abusive relationships, is utterly unacceptable. 

At this point, I'd like to highlight that it is not the sexual content of 50 Shades which offends me - but more how this kind of thing is so wrongly portrayed through this medium. A concerning issue is how this will influence modern relationships within our society, particularly amongst younger readers/viewers who have the potential to be more accepting because of their lack of experience in relationships of which they can compare the behaviour of Mr Grey to (be it of a sexual nature or not).


A few things to consider when convicting Christian Grey of abuse in a relationship:

1. He forces Anastasia into signing a contract. 

Not only to protect his identity in case others find out what is happening between them, but also to find reasoning to pressure her to satisfy his sexual needs when she says she doesn't want to - "You signed a contract." To think a healthy relationship can be simplified into such means is ridiculous. Even with the ropes of a 'legal contract' tying someone down - no still means no.

2. His interference in other aspects of her life

Anyone who thinks tracking their partner's phone, stalking them to their workplace and taking away their general independence is okay is wrong. Romanticising this kind of behaviour in front of such a large audience is going to drive modern relationships backwards. 

3. His controlling of (literally) everything she does

As you may already know, within the contract she signs, there are some questionable rules Anastasia has to abide by. She must attend the gym 4 times a week, she can only eat food picked out by Mr Grey and her clothes are to be picked out by him too. For me, this is what really suggests that their 'relationship' isn't the relationship readers perceive it to be, but a relationship where she is more of a slave to his needs. This has produced some myths about what BDSM is actually considered to be - you can find an article on it here.