Tag Archives: Review

gonegirl
May. 24.

Something Else Saturday: Review – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

gonegirl-thI did say when I started doing Something Else Saturday that it could be a bit of everything. Today for example is a review of a book that I finished reading during the week. The book is one that many people will be familiar with, but if you’re not, don’t worry, there will not be any spoilers. The book is by Gillian Flynn, author of Sharp Objects, Dark Places, and, the one which I am reviewing today, Gone Girl.

First, to give you an idea of what the book is about, lets look at the blurb from the back:

Who are you? What have we done to each other?

These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren’t made by him. And then there are the persistent phone calls on his mobile phone.

So what did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife?

This blurb alone is enough to give you a hint into the rollercoaster ride of a book that this is. It is a little slow to get going, but when it does, it really is a rollercoaster. The jumping between past and present, different facets of the story, doesn’t make it feel disjointed. Rather it does draw you in, as it does allow you to see more of the story, from both Nick and Amy’s eyes. There are also a number of plot twists that leave you wondering what is going on, what will happen next and begging for more.

What I found especially interesting though, is how this book is such a masterpiece in how to push your buttons. In it, if Flynn want’s you too feel a certain way about something or someone, you will feel it. If she wants you to hate a character, not only will you hate them, you will despise them. Furthermore, Flynn is able to push your buttons, without make it actively feel like she is doing so. It really does feel as if you are watching events unfold as part of each scene, rather than reading it from the point of view of the author. Maybe I have the benefit of having personally been to a number of the locales she uses in the book, having spent some time in Missouri (and trust me, I never saw anything like this going on – the people are genuinely lovely), but I was able to picture very well what the houses and areas looked like. It really felt, through my own experience and knowledge that I was actually there, and it takes an excellent piece of writing to accomplish such a task.

As for my own personal views of the book. Yes, it is a little slow going to start with. I started reading it while I was in hospital for a couple of days in April, and then left it for a while. When I came back to it, however, I got to a point where I could not put it down. The plot is compelling. The characters are very multi-dimensional. They don’t feel flat. They go up, down and round. Unfortunately though, I ended up, by the end, hating almost all of them. There are no heroes in this book. There are some characters that you can think “they did their best” or that you feel sorry for them, but the main cast are very much anti-heroes. And the book is so much better for it.

Sharp Objects and Dark Places, Flynn’s earlier works, while compelling reads in themselves, do, having read all three, feel like practice pieces. Excellent works, but still practice pieces, compared to Gone Girl, which I feel is her most refined, almost perfect work. The question is, where can she go from here?

What are your views on Gone Girl, or indeed, any of Gillian Flynn’s works? What books should I be reading next (though I may just go and re-read Sharp Objects and Dark Places first)? Please do let me know.

Robyn

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clinique-eyeopen
May. 20.

Tried Tuesday: Clinique Chubby Stick

clinique-thIs it wrong of me to say I’ve never tired Clinique’s Chubby Sticks? It is. Well, I have to say it anyway. I’ve never tried Clinique’s Chubby Sticks. Until today. I’ve had one sitting in my review basket for the past while, after it arrived from U Magazine, and for Tried Tuesday, I’ve finally gotten round to it.

clinique-stick

This particular one is shade 10 – Big Blue, for  eyes. Firstly, let me say that I have a problem with blue eye shadow. I just can’t  get it to work for me. Possibly because I’m blue eyed. I do know a very much younger version of me did try different shades, usually bright blue, before, and they just didn’t work. But will this one?

clinique-product

For those of you not familiar with chubby sticks, they’re very simple. They’re a twistable crayon/pencil type product that you just wipe over your eyelids, and are done. The formula is lovely and creamy, and feels great going on to the eye. The colour itself, even though it is named as blue, is really more of a bluish grey. This is, I think, a good thing, as it is perfect for those who don’t actually do “blue” shadows.

Now, as for how it looks on the eye. On the lids is the chubby stick, accompanied on the lashes by Kate Moss for Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara in Jet Black. The photos were also taken during a rain shower, so the lighting isn’t great for them, but in Ireland we have to make do with what we’ve got. (They’re also shot really close up, and show up every imperfection)

clinique-eyeopen

clinique-eyesclosed

I actually quite like how this looks. The fact that it is more grey than blue means it’s so much more wearable by everyone, and would be a great quick face product, ideal for when you’re in a hurry.

So, what do you think of Clinique’s chubby sticks? What shades should I be picking up? Please, as always, let me know in the comments.

Robyn

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wnw-applicator
Apr. 29.

Tried Tuesday: Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Lip Colour

tt-WnW-thIt’s like the search for the holy grail, well for lips anyway. All I want is a lipstick with great colour, that stays put through eating, drinking, and, eh, other activities, and that doesn’t destroy my lips in the process. Is that too much to ask? I think not. Maybe I’ll have luck with this Megalast Liquid Lip Colour by Wet n Wild.

wnw-tube

The colour we’re looking at here is Raisin’ the Roof. It looks like a deep pink/berry in the tube, and according to Wet n Wild last up to 8 hours and are completely transfer proof, while moisturising at the same time. This is due to Elastisilk technology that combines flexible colour and silky pigments that move with the lips.

wnw-applicator

The applicator is nice without being anything particularly special, holding a fair amount of product without being overloaded and goes nicely on to the lips, though in the case of Raisin’ the Roof, it does apply quite purple. I wasn’t quite expecting it to be so dark, looking at the tube, but it is still a nice, rich colour, which would probably be better suited to autumn lips.

wnw-lipsAnd this is what it looks like on the lips. It feels slightly strange as it dries on the lips, and bonds both to the lips and itself a little, but when it dries it DOES NOT MOVE! When removing it I had to have a bit of a go at it, and it didn’t wipe away. It kind of peeled away in bits. It also seemed to show up every single line on my lips. I’m not entirely sure if it is just my lips, or this showing everything up, so I will have to investigate further. I probably won’t be trying with this colour though, not for a few months. There are some nice coral and pink shades available too (13 in total) so I might just pick up a more summery shade to try again.

For now though the jury is out. I can’t say as it stands that this is everything I’ve been looking for. The colour payoff is amazing, and it doesn’t budge once it sticks on there, but I’m not entirely sure about not drying out my lips. I’ll have to try a couple more times and see.

Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Lip Colour is €4.69, and is available from Dunnes Stores, some Penneys and pharmacies nationwide.

What do you think of the Wet n Wild lip range? Have you found your holy grail, go nowhere lip product? Please do share your experiences.

Robyn

Note: A sample was provided for review

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Badgal-Brush
Apr. 08.

Tried Tuesday: Benefit BADgal Lash

tt-badgalthIt’s a lovely Tried Tuesday on Robyn Rants and Raves, and I was outside for a bit, which is why I’m only doing this in the evening. Gotta enjoy the sunshine while we can though. For today’s Tried Tuesday I’m looking at a mascara. It’s by Benefit, and it’s called BADgal Lash.

BadGal-Tube

I’ll be honest. I’ve never been fully convinced by this. Not enough to go and buy a full sized one anyway. I’ve picked them up on occasion when they’ve been available as freebies with magazines. I’ve found it nice, but not overwhelming. I have good days with it, and I have bad days. The thing is I just don’t know what to make of it, unlike it’s sister, They’re Real, which I adore (even if it too gets a bit moody at times).

Badgal-Brush

The brush is thick and densely packed, and the formula is creamy without being overly wet. I can’t see anything wrong with it on that description. We may as well have a look at it actually on lashes. Pictures are shown in order of no mascara, 1 coat, and 2 coats.

Badgal-none

Badgal-1coat

Badgal-2coat

Don’t get me wrong, it looks nice, but it’s not super voluminous, and there are other products out there that do the same job, but cheaper. Am I being overly harsh? Is there something I’m doing wrong? Should I actually pick up a full size one, or just keep getting them as magazine freebies?

Robyn

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Original-Source-Bottle
Apr. 03.

Tested Thursday: Original Source Black Pepper & Chilli Shower Gel

tt-originalsourcethIt’s Thursday, and that means it’s time to test some products. Up for consideration this time is the Black Pepper & Chilli shower gel from Original Source. The product describes itself as “invigorating” so I bought it as a shower gel to use as a wake up call in the mornings, and when I want to feel spicy and, eh, manly (it’s FOR MEN, you see).

The question is, did it work? Did it wake me up and make me feel like I was washing myself with a tube of Jalapeños? In simple terms, no.

Original-Source-Product

I’m really quite disappointed after using this. Yes it does lather up really well, and yes it does leave you clean, but unfortunately the slight chilli smell that you get when it’s in your hands disappears as soon as you start lathering yourself up with it. The smell that you get while washing with it isn’t chilli, or even black pepper. It’s menthol. It seriously smells as if you’re washing yourself with a jar of vapo-rub, or a packet of airwaves. And who wants to wash themselves with a packet of chewing gum. That’s just ridiculous.

Original-Source-Bottle

It’s such a pity that this didn’t blow me away, as its predecessor in the shower was a bottle of Original Source Lime shower gel, which was zingy and fresh and did everything that this just doesn’t do. I’ll still use this, or leave it for someone else to take care of, but I certainly wont be enjoying it. Maybe the one I already have in line to replace it, Original Source Lemon, will be up to the challenge.

Have you tried any of the Original Source range? Which ones would you say to try (or avoid)? Please do let me know!

I got this one and the lemon one for €1.49 each in Dealz, but they’re widely available.

Robyn

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L'Occitane-tube
Mar. 27.

Tested Thursday L’Occitane En Provence Desert Rose Hand Cream

tt-loccitane-thIt’s no secret that I love hand cream. Really adore it. I have tubes of it, tubs of it, more than I could actually ever use. Yet one tube has been living on my desk and has been used regularly over the last while. It’s one from L’Occitane En Provence.

I actually got this as part of a Christmas present back in 2012, but due to having so many it’s gone unloved for a while. And that’s a shame. It is actually really nice.

It claims that “This hand care, enhanced with a floral fragrance, is highly concentrated with shea butter to help protect, nourish and soften your hands.”

L'Occitane-upright

First things first, the packaging, as it is the first thing you see. While the colours of the packaging are lovely and girly and fit in with the rose scent, the designer in me doesn’t like the packaging. It’s not the toothpaste like tube – I like that ,as it makes it so much easier to get all the product out. It’s the way it’s printed. With the lid on it, it’s designed to be stood up, as far as I can tell, which leads to a big problem – the print is upside down. Enough of pedantic designer Robyn giving out though. Lets get in there and have a look at the actual cream.

L'Occitane-swatchIt is super rich, and you don’t need much to do your hands. It also clings well (yes, my hand is vertical for this photo) so feel free to screw the lid back on before rubbing it in. As you are rubbing it in, it sinks in really well, leaving no greasy residue. It also smells DIVINE! The scent is not overpowering, but lingers on your hands quite a while, if sniffing your hands is your thing.

I can’t really fault this hand cream, however much I disagree with the packaging. In fact, I ma be going looking for other scents, or a bigger tube when I come to repurchasing.

What other L’Occitane products should I be trying? And what is your favourite hand cream? Please do let me know below.

Robyn

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