MAC lovers! In case you’re not aware, a new collection of lipsticks calledBlue Nectarhave recently been released online and in stores. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this launch for quite a few weeks now and to my surprise I stumbled across the new range in store last weekend.
There are twelve shades, three of them being re-releases, (I think) and nine new colours. Before being able to swatch each lipstick I’d already decided I loved quite a few of them, my favourite being Intoxica – a classic red, what else? Therefore, this post is all the more surprising when I reveal I went for a completely new shade for me – Give in!
I sadly wasn’t as impressed with Intoxica when I swatched it, I don’t know why, it just didn’t seem to live up to my hopes, however I’ve not actually tried it on, so don’t let me influence you too much. Ultimately, I think I’ve just got way too many red lipsticks! But you can never have enough, right?
What’s shocking about me choosing Give In is pretty obvious, it’s not a classic 1950s vintage girl shade and it’s definitely not a colour I have in my lipstick collection! Give In is described as a creamy natural pink and I’d agree with that, it’s definitely a lot more pale than my usual bold colours and clearly doesn’t stand out as much – not that that’s a bad thing of course. It’s without doubt a definite 1960s shade, so if you’re a fan of sixties make up then this is the colour for you. The finish is amplified, so creates an almost glossy texture which I’ve noticed doesn’t last as long as matte so a lip pencil with this shade would go a long way – I’ve yet to find the matching colour for it though!
I’ll be honest, when I first applied the lipstick, I really wasn’t sure if it suited me, I couldn’t decide if it was just too light for me and I’m pretty sure I could hear my red lipsticks whispering to wear them instead. However, as soon as I’d fixed my hair and outfit I felt that actually, change can be a pretty good thing and maybe this was one of those moments. When I swatched all of the shades in the store this colour stood out to me for a reason, it was different and it wasn’t my go to lipstick. I always love experimenting with make up and trying different shades, daring to be different and remove any invisible barriers I create for myself
I’m always used to wearing a bold shade of lipstick, even when I wear a nude or coral colour it’s always fairly pigmented and this definitely wasn’t one of those. I automatically think of this shade suiting darker skin tones, eyes and hair to contrast and create a more stand out look, however, it was nice to realize it actually didn’t look too bad on myself. I have to remind myself that not all blondes wear red lipstick – nude shades are giving just as much competition!
I don’t know about the stores, but if you want to order this online then currently you’re out of luck. Not only is Give In sold out but five out of the twelve shades are temporarily, (I think) unavailable. As this clearly means they’re very popular, I’d hope they’d be back in stock asap, so don’t lose hope! What I love about this collection is there are so many unique shades, I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted a lilac lipstick and there’s finally one available, well it’s sold out for now – but you get my point!
It’s hard to believe that fifty years ago the iconic Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann was published. It became a huge success, becoming the most popular selling fiction of 1966 and has since sold over thirty million copies, not bad right?
The novel follows three girls; Anne, Neely and Jennifer, who follow their aspirations of becoming stars. They all meet and befriend each other as we see their lives unfold through success and failure over the next twenty years. Although a work of fiction, there have been numerous links to the characters in the novel and real life stars and a lot of the content is said to be based on the authors experience as a struggling actress.
Within a year of it’s release Twentieth Century Fox bought the film rights and one of themost iconic movies of the decadewas released. Although panned by most critics as extremely over the top, the movie was a huge commercial success and has since gained a cult following. The one star of the film that received little negative criticism was Sharon Tate, who played Jennifer North, arguably the most sympathetic character of the novel and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Newcomer. Admittedly, as a huge fan of Sharon, this is the original reason I wanted to watch the film, however, after seeing it numerous times it is without doubt a 1960s classic and a must see. Not only is the glamour and clothes beautiful, but it contrasts with the darker side of materialism and fame and ultimately makes you think, is it all worth it?
To celebrate fifty years of Valley of the Dolls the book, which has sadly been out of print for some time, has beenre-releasedand is available on amazon to buy for just £6.99! I’m actually ashamed to say that although I’ve seen the film numerous times, I’ve yet to read the book! However, this is not because I didn’t want to, as I love reading, it’s just quite hard to buy for a good price as it was pretty rare. I’ve heard that the ending to the film and the novel are very different, so I look forward to comparing them and seeing which I prefer! The film is also being released on Blu-Ray this September which I am very excited about.
I think the number one reason that the novel and film are still so relevant fifty years later is because everything that Jacqueline wrote about half a century ago is still happening now! Not only is the fashion and style still being replicated and endures but the pitfalls of fame and drugs are constantly being talked about in the media. Although it is often viewed as frivolous and something to indulge in and not take seriously, it covers an extremely serious subject of addiction. It’s actually quite sad when you think not much has changed half a century on, but at least there is more awareness.
Since the book was published in 1966, it has been adapted numerous times for television and film, songs have been written, styles have been copied and the title is forever etched inside our minds.
“Everyone has an identity. One of their own, and one for show.”
As someone who’s always been a huge fan of Caitlyn Jenner since sharing her transition with the world over a year ago, I was absolutely thrilled when I heard she would be collaborating with MAC and releasing her own lipstick. Not only did I love the shade, but when I read that the proceeds would benefit the Transgender Community I knew that I had to buy one and support such an important cause. As a huge supporter of LGBT Awareness, this is something very close to my heart and anything I can do to share my support and love I will.
Caitlyn’s lipstick is beautifully named,Finally Freeand in the description it simply says the product, “champions All Ages, All Races and All Sexes.” I personally don’t think it could be anymore beautifully put. The colour is described as a lovely midtone rosey nude in a cremesheen finish and I can honestly say it’s truly a unique shade. I can’t think of any other shades that I have which are similar, therefore making it even more special.
The only thing I was slightly disappointed with was the packaging. Often when celebrities collaborate with MAC their products are specially packaged, example beingDita Von Teese’s red lipstickI previously reviewed. Therefore, when I saw that it was the standard MAC packaging, I couldn’t help but feel like there should have been more attention paid to this. At £15.50, the lipstick is in the mid-range price but if you’ve purchased from MAC before you’ll know this is their standard charge with lipsticks and they are a wonderful quality product.
Furthermore, if you want to purchase your own lipstick, don’t expect to find it in any MAC Stores as it is available exclusively online only. I’ve noticed MAC tend to do this with quite a lot of their celebrity lipsticks so make sure you buy asap as who knows how long it will be available for. I’m pretty sure it’s fairly limited and once it’s out of stock, it’s out of stock for good.
I found that as I was applying it with a lip brush, it took a while for the colour to become as noticeable, so I used the lipstick itself for an extra coat, before shaping and defining my lips. I also feel that this finish tends not to last as long as the matte lipsticks due to its glossy texture, which isn’t a bad thing as long as you keep your lipstick with you to reapply. The shade looks a bit darker and slightly less rosey on my skin compared to the photo of the lipstick on the website, but I’ve noticed that shades can vary depending on the persons skin tone. However, overall I love the lipstick and I’m definitely glad I purchased it.
I have just returned home from London after spending a wonderful three nights there to see the temporaryMarilyn Exhibitionheld at the Chelsea Design Centre. Marilyn Collector David Gainsborough Roberts has announced he will be selling his large collection of costumes and personal items atJulien’sin November. Before then, they will be displayed all over the world with London being the first stop until 20th June. Also being sold are personal items of owned by The Estate of Lee Strasberg, who Marilyn left 75% of her belongings to when she passed in 1962.
I’m very lucky to be able to say I’ve seen quite a lot of Marilyn’s items since I discovered her in October 2010. I previously saw a fair amount of David’s Marilyn Collection in March 2012 and as soon as I heard about him selling all of his items in November 2016 I knew I had to see them one more time, as well as Lee Strasberg’s which are also being sold. Marilyn fans are very fortunate that a lot of private collectors such as, Scott Fortner and Ted Stampfer kindly continue to share their Marilyn owned items with us. However, so many of her items get sold and tragically are never seen again which is incredibly upsetting as I always like to think if Marilyn belonged to anyone, it was to the public who loved her so much.
It was so lovely to see how beautifully displayed Marilyn’s items were at the Design Centre in Chelsea, as soon as myself and my mum arrived the staff asked if I was here for the Exhibition, I guess I don’t hide my excitement very well! As soon as you enter the building you are surrounded by beautiful portraits of Marilyn that are displayed from ceiling to floor. It gets even better when you walk through the doors and sense what’s to be seen in only a matter of seconds!
The first collection that you witness is Lee Strasberg’s Marilyn items, so everything from make up, jewelry, letters, shoes and sketches! I had not seen any of these personal belongings before and was truly amazed at what was just a few inches in front of me. Of course I am slightly biased, but everything really was truly stunning and ever so special. I think one of my favourite items would have to be Marilyn’s sketches, in particular one called, “Lover watching his lover sleep.” I instantly thought of Marilyn sleeping whilst Arthur gazed at his beautiful wife.
The collection of jewelry was effortlessly glamourous. Most Marilyn fans will know that Marilyn did not think Diamond’s were a girls best friend and was much more interested in books than the perfect ring. Therefore, because of this I think the items that were on display were extra special, as any items Marilyn owned must have had some special personal attachment or value. I absolutely adored the Revlon Lipstick, I think if I could own anything from that part of the collection this would be it. Of course, red lipstick is forever linked to Marilyn’s image, but I just loved the vintage display of it, so effortlessly glamourous. I actually tweeted Revlon telling them that they should re-release this shade to coincide with the auction and they liked my tweet so, I shall keep my fingers crossed!
For me, what I found most special in Lee Strasberg’s owned items were all of Marilyn’s personal letters and stationary. I recognized a lot of the writings as it is featured in the amazing book Fragments – a must for any Marilyn fan! Of course a lot of it was very sad to read as Marilyn suffered so much with her anxieties, but what warmed my heart were the beautiful inspiring sayings she would write to herself, “Dare not to worry” being a favourite.
Part of me feels reading the items is an invasion of Marilyn’s privacy and to an extent it is as I’m sure if Marilyn was still alive we probably wouldn’t be reading them. However, reading these items shows a lot of the true Marilyn which is sadly so often hidden by conspiracies and inaccuracies. These writings so a talented artist who forever wanted to learn and improve and a beautiful, vulnerable soul who ultimately just wanted to be happy. I’m sure after reading these a lot of people would have more respect and admiration for Marilyn and I’m sure that would mean a lot to the wonderful lady herself.
After experiencing this amazing collection I then walked through to the final part of the exhibit; Marilyn’s film costumes and clothes owned by David Gainsborough Roberts. The display lay out was absolutely stunning, all clothes where shown on a circular display with two levels, and four huge posters of Marilyn wearing the clothes hung at the top of the ceiling. Some of the costumes even had blu-ray footage of Marilyn wearing the clothes which was a wonderful addition.
It was fascinating to see the age range of people visiting the exhibition, it just further emphasizes the impact Marilyn has on everyone, she truly is loved by people of all ages. I think if I could choose one item from David’s collection to own it would have to be the Green Leotard Marilyn wears in Bus Stop (1956) to sing, “That Old Black Magic” I just adore it. Everyone who viewed the items kept saying how tiny Marilyn was, I still find it fascinating that people are shocked by this when her measurements were 35-22-35.
The exhibit was truly beautiful and a must see for any Marilyn fan or lover of Old Hollywood. The only thing that was sad to see was The Prince and The Showgirl dress was now displayed on a directors chair instead of a mannequin compared to the last time I saw it. I guess it’s become extremely fragile now, if only sixty years ago people realized how important these costumes would be! I also wished that all of the clothes had photos of Marilyn wearing them, I have seen her in all but three of the items so it shouldn’t have been to hard to find. One of my favourites, the costume Marilyn wears for, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” when she sings “After You Get What You Want, You Don’t Want it” was displayed on the upper level. I found this to be a shame as it would have been lovely to be able to have seen the dress with clips from the film of her wearing it like some of the other costumes.
I was fortunate to be able to visit the exhibition twice during my stay in London and when leaving for the final time I felt pretty sad that the majority of the items I will probably never be able to see again. However, I realize how fortunate I am to have had this opportunity and the memories will stay in my heart forever.
I also managed to visit theONGallerywhich is currently displaying the Happy Birthday Miss Monroe exhibit until 30th June. As soon as I walked a lovely staff member named Keith said I was looking very, “Marilynesque” which made my whole day! He realized I was a huge Marilyn fan and he was wonderful to talk to, loved photography and you could tell he appreciated Marilyn as an artist which was very refreshing. It was so wonderful to see photographs from all of Marilyn’s career, beginning in 1946 and ending in 1962.
While I was there I noticed two older men who had been fans since Marilyn was alive and they were very sweet. I was looking through a portfolio of vintage photos and noticed one of them was taking pictures of me! I looked up and he asked me if I was a Marilyn lookalike and I told him that was very sweet but no I wasn’t. He then said that I was absolutely gorgeous and he used to be a portrait photographer so wanted to take my picture. I almost teared up, I’ve rarely had such sweet things said to me face to face. I then heard them asking about a picture that I was looking at from 1952 and I helped identify the event for them, I don’t know why but they reminded me of my Grandad and it really was a lovely moment.
I continued to talk a lot with Keith, especially about the Frank Worth photos of Marilyn from 1953 and 1954 which are pretty rare. I told him how I had sent off for the free Marilyn print they offered in the Daily Express for Marilyn’s 90th Birthday and I mentioned an image Worth had taken of Marilyn and Sammy Davis Jr. which was pretty rare. Keith then told me that the image I was talking about was actually offered previously and he would give me a print, I couldn’t believe it!
I had such a wonderful time in London and truly recommend both exhibits to all Marilyn fans, actually, I recommend them to everyone! Admissions are free for both events and they are extremely special and simply a must see.
After watching my favourite Beauty Blogger Em akamypaleskinuse countless NYX Cosmetics products and reading about the hype of this new range I knew I’d have to find out for myself what the fuss was all about. Ironically, my local Boots Store has just started stockingNYXso today I bought my first ever purchases!
As I was in a bit of a rush, I quickly picked up a few products that caught my eye; Cream Highlight & Contour Palette, Soft Matte Lip Creme, Extreme Colour Lip Liner and Felt Tip Liner.
I first tried the Cream Highlight & Contour Palette and realized I’d made a mistake, although the product is a lovely quality, I didn’t realize it was a cream format instead of powder. I’d already started using it when it came to my attention that the palette I should have picked up was the slightly more expensive Highlight & Contour Pro Palette. However, as I’ve bought the cream palette I will definitely try it and see if my feelings change. I think what puts me off is having to use my fingers multiple times to get even a tiny bit of product on, compared to a brush which is a lot less messy and more professional. I couldn’t even notice the accent or highlight on my face, so I’ll definitely have to use more the next time I try it. This has made me realize I should definitely get a specific contouring brush as I’m sure that will make a difference. Of course I realize less is more but I’d like my make up to be slightly noticeable, at least to me. I will be honest, contouring is totally new to me and quite out of my comfort zone, but I hope with trying different products and learning the tricks I will be able to master it some day.
As lipsticks are my favourite product, I couldn’t wait to see all of the different shades available by NYX and I was definitely impressed! They had a variety of different lipstick formats including Butter, High Voltage, Matte, Liquid Suede Creme and Soft Matte Lip Creme. The latter is the product I chose to try as there’s such a huge obsession with Liquid Lipsticks right now and at only £5.50 I was happy to pay the price. What’s really interesting about the Soft Matte Lip Creme is it’s described as, “not lipstick nor gloss” so of course this peaked my curiosity. I chose the shade, “Ibiza”, a warm red/pink suitable for my everyday vintage style and I must say, when I applied the product it smelt absolutely beautiful! It dried fairly quickly from a silky formula and transformed into a matte finish. The only slight negative I’d say is if I was out for a long day I’d definitely take the Lip Creme with me, as it doesn’t stay as well as some of my other lipsticks. However, the quality is lovely and it’s definitely worth the buy for such a good price.
I chose a bold red Lip Liner to go with my Lip Creme and because shockingly, I only have one red lip pencil! I thought this product applied very smoothly and it had such a soft feel on my lips, sometimes lip pencils can be really rough and harsh so I was pleasantly surprised. Again, I don’t feel this lasted as well as my other lip pencils, maybe it was just more obvious to me because of the bolder colour? Who knows. However, I’m loving all the variety of products available at NYX and I definitely will be trying other products.
Lastly I decided to pick up a Felt Tip Liner as it’s been quite a while since I’ve used this format, I’m currently using liquid and gel. I’ve had felt liners in the past and really liked them so I thought I’d try this one out. The product applied boldly and was pretty simple to use, I really like that the tip is long as it’s a lot easier to create my flicks. However, if I could change one thing it would be to make the tip slightly thinner, I prefer to build up my liner instead of starting too thick. I’ve noticed that the tip of the liner has dried out considerably since it’s first use, which is very frustrating. To be fair, I haven’t used a felt tip in a long time and maybe I’ll prefer this again with more use!
After trying all of these products I think the quality is wonderful and it’s definitely worth purchasing for such a good price. As for some of the products not being as long lasting as I hoped, it’s often works out the more you pay the better the product will stay, so I don’t hold it against NYX.
It’s hard to believe that today my favourite person, Marilyn Monroe, would be turning 90 years old, it even sounds absurd to say as she is forever etched in our minds as eternally young and beautiful. However, I wish she was here now to see how loved she is, even more so than the fifty fours years ago when she tragically left us.
For the past few years I have always made sure to write or blog about Marilyn on her Birthday and Death Anniversary, so if you’ve followed me for the last four years you’ll probably be pretty aware of that. Therefore, I’m not here to say anything new really, I’m just here to speak from my heart because as silly as it made sound to some people, that’s truly where Marilyn will always have a special place.
“Respect is one of life’s greatest treasures. I mean, what does it all add up to if you don’t have that? If there is only one thing in my life that I am proud of, it’s that I’ve never been a kept woman.” – Spoken to Photographer George Barris in July 1962.
Marilyn came into my life unexpectedly just before my 17th birthday in October 2010, when I picked up a Vanity Fair Issue with her on the front cover as their cover girl. As mentioned before, I’ve told the story numerous times of how I instantly felt connected to her and started my research and I’ve been collecting ever since.
I think I’ve always felt attached to the underdog, which ironically, many people probably don’t see Marilyn as. After all, she was viewed as beautiful and loved by all – America’s Sweetheart. However, when you actually take the time to learn about Marilyn, you realize she succeeded against extreme odds. She came from a broken home, was an illegitimate child to a mother who suffered with paranoid schizophrenia and after the first seven years of her life with the Bolender family, Marilyn was shifted around to various different guardians and even an orphanage. She suffered physical and emotional abuse, anxiety, depression and insomnia but never let any of this stand in the way of achieving her dreams.
“The time I sort of began to think I was famous, I was driving somebody to the airport, and as I came back there was this movie house and I saw my name in lights. I pulled the car up at a distance down the street; it was too much to take up close, you know, all of a sudden. And I said, “God, somebody’s made a mistake.” But there it was, in lights. And I sat there and said, “So that’s the way it looks,” and it was all very strange to me, and yet at the studio they had said, “Remember, you’re not a star.” Yet there it is up in lights. “
– Spoken to Richard Meryman for Life Magazine in July 1962.
I also owe Marilyn a lot of thank yous as since discovering her in October 2010 and setting up my blog,alwaysmarilynmonroeI have met so many incredible people and experienced so many wonderful memories. Not only did I find an inspiration for each day, I found a Guardian Angel, someone who would always be there in spirit and never judge or upset me. Someone who could cheer me up by just watching one of their films or seeing a photo and someone who went through so much but never gave up on herself even in her toughest times.
Sadly so many look at Marilyn as a victim, due to the endless conspiracies, (thanks Norman Mailer) and her young death which makes me really frustrated as in doing this they miss out on an incredible person. They view her as just a pretty face and a little dumb blonde when it reality this blonde was an avid reader, with a library of over 400 books ranging from Russian Literature to Psychology. They’ll call her a drug addict without having any compassion or understanding for her debilitating anxiety, depression and insomnia. They’ll hear about how hard she could be to work with or her lateness without knowing she suffered such extreme anxieties that she would often stay in her dressing room terrified to act a scene encase she messed up. Many even think she was playing herself on the screen and have little respect for her talent, thinking, “How can someone so beautiful be a good actress?” The irony being if they did some legitimate research they’d realize she was probably the greatest of them all as she’s fooled so many people for all of these years that she is the person they all perceive her as.
“What I really want to say: That what the world really needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, Negroes, Jews, Arabs. We are all brothers.”
– Spoken to Richard Meryman for Life Magazine in July 1962.
Another year has gone by and Marilyn’s star keeps growing brighter and brighter, people are still fascinated and enthralled by this beautiful soul. Did Marilyn have her faults? Of course she did, it’s hard to believe, I know, but she was a human being just like us. I love Marilyn for Marilyn and that will never change. I’d like to think that there are more genuine fans who love and respect Marilyn then conspiracy lovers who just follow their ignorance.
If I could hope of anything to come from this article it’s respect for Marilyn and maybe a little more compassion and understanding. She was a woman ahead of her time, a talented artist, a caring and sensitive soul but mostly importantly, she was a beautiful person.
“Fifty years on, we’re still watching her movies and talking about her. That’s not a dumb woman – trust me!” – Lauren Bacall to TCM in 2005.
After watchingLisa Eldridge’sMake Up Tutorial with Rosie featuring herRosie For Autograph Make Up Collection, I was inspired to try some of the products myself. Ironically, I just happened to be in Marks & Spencer today and decided to take a look at the products and I was very impressed!
They are all packaged beautifully in a rose gold finish which reminded me of Charlotte Tilbury’s Make up and it’s definitely one of my favourite styles as it reminds me of Classic Hollywood! I also read that Rosie’s Collection is inspired by her love of vintage which makes me very happy as a huge vintage lover myself.
I picked up one of her lipsticks in the shade, “Dolly Baby” as it was the most vibrant shade and the pink coral colour was reminiscent of what vintage stars wore in 1950s Technicolour Movies. The other shades were mostly nudes and browns and as Rosie’s signature style is a natural golden look I just assumed these were the only colours available. At £15 the price is not too expensive, but it’s not the cheapest product either, however I don’t mind paying a bit more for a quality product. However, I was happily surprised to see on her website that there are also vibrant reds and pinks which are my favourite shades to wear.
The lipstick applied lovely, it’s a sheen glossy based formula but very pigmented so I’m hoping it’s long lasting, I’ve read it is so I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed. I think coral pinks are perfect for the Spring and Summer season as they bring so much warmth to your face! Not only is the lipstick a quality product but it is cruelty free so no animals were harmed and it is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Therefore I’m sure this will make Rosie’s Collection even more respected and popular with a large audience.
Furthermore, what’s great about this lipstick is it doesn’t feel dry on your lips, probably because it’s enriched with argan oil so don’t feel guilty for choosing your lipstick over vaseline! I absolutely love the beautiful rose carved into the lipstick, the extra detail is so unique and such a beautiful statement. If I could try one thing from the collection I’d definitely pick the Liquid Eyeliner as it has a very fine tip and looks wonderful for perfecting the cat eye flick. I can’t wait to look through all of the products available and review them in the future, the collection truly oozes class and elegance.
Although most of my blog posts here on meganmonroes are about make up and vintage fashion styles, other topics such as Mental Health Awareness are incredibly important and close to my heart.
Over the past few years I’ve spoken quite a few times about my struggles and through being so open and honest, I have met a lot of other people in the same position as well. With a physical illness, you heal the injury and most of the time move on from it, with a mental illness it’s not always so easy. Please don’t get me wrong, as someone who has had a serious operation during their life, I know that physical injury is incredibly debilitating and painful. However, I know if I could choose to have a physical or mental illness, I’d choose physical every time.
Therefore, as someone who has improved a lot in the past four years, I still have my good days and bad days and it was down to one simple tweet that I am able to make this post. I suffer pretty severely with Intrusive Thoughts, which are a type of OCD called, “Pure O”, 99% of the population have intrusive thoughts, but 25% of the population obsess over them, sadly I am in that 25%. Ever since finishing my recent Therapy, I’ve gone slightly downhill with being able to manage my intrusive thoughts as it can be a lot harder trying to get better by yourself, even when you have all the knowledge and advice. It was because of this that I decided to tweet a message asking if anyone had advice for managing intrusive thoughts, with the hashtag #pureo. After clicking on this tag I came across an amazing website called, The Secret Illness and watched the short film, “This Old Ghost” which I found incredibly powerful and moving.
Through watching this film I learnt that the basis of the story is from a poem by an OCD Sufferer, James Lloyd who has kindly shared his story to bring awareness and attention to this serious mental illness. I decided to check The Secret Illness on Facebook and to my astonishment saw thatAshton Kutcherhimself has posted about the project! He added the caption, “Never judge someone else’s story until you’ve lived in their shoes.” As OCD is so often trivialized and even made fun of by the media, it’s an incredible step for Mental Health that someone as successful as Ashton is bringing awareness to such an important topic.
Sometimes it can be hard to do the littlest thing as the mind bully, (that’s what I call it) can be so controlling, I’ve often cried and felt so low and frustrated with myself that I let the thoughts get to me so much. The mind bully would be happy if I sat in a corner and cried to myself all day, but I’m not going to let it beat me or keep control. It’s not surprising that if you suffer with one mental illness you often suffer with another, the intrusive thoughts always increase my depression and fill with me anxiety. Through finding The Secret Illness I know that there are many sufferers like me and that I’m not alone, which is what the mind bully wants. Through speaking out and being honest and open I hope I can help raise importance about the seriousness of Mental Health and help people realize that you don’t have to suffer in silence.
As a true vintage girl at heart, I was absolutely thrilled when I heard aboutYours Magazinebringing out a specific retro style issue with all things Classic Hollywood and pre 2000s. Special thank you to Fraser from Immortal Marilyn andeverlasting-star.net forkindly sharing this! At £3.99 this isn’t the cheapest magazine but as far as I’m aware it’s the only one like it out there so personally, I’m happy to pay the price.
If you love Old Hollywood as much as I do then this is definitely the magazine for you, with my favourite Hitchcock Blonde, Grace Kelly featuring as Cover Girl. Not only is there a wonderful article on her inside, the magazine features many stories on stars such as, Ingrid Bergman, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy and Hedy Lamarr to name just a few.
I know reading the articles isn’t for everyone but, fear not, the magazine is full of photos and not just the ones you have seen so many times before. As someone who knows a fair amount about the Golden Age of Hollywood, I was pretty impressed with the magazines research, I even learned a few new things myself!
However, there were two noticeable mistakes that stuck out and did slightly frustrate me. Grace Kelly’s age when she died was listed as 53, when she was actually 52 and it was claimed Marilyn held her first ever press conference at The Savoy Hotel in July 1956 – the press conference of course happened, but it was mostly definitely not her first. Of course these pet peeves may be of little concern to a lot of readers, but as someone who is incredibly passionate about this subject, it is important for me to know that the writers are also just as informed.
Furthermore, although the majority of the magazines content is spot on with following the, “retro” content, I feel the magazine needs to be aware that it will not just attract an older audience. At 22 years old I am probably one of the younger readers, but I know I’m not the only modern girl with an old soul who loves learning about this subject. Not every single reader is buying this to, “reminisce” or feel, “nostalgic as the survey seems to imply.
What I really enjoyed about the magazine was the survey left for readers to give their opinions on the contents for research purposes. It’s very heartwarming to know that your views and interests are being considered and noted for future issues, you feel a part of the Yours Team’s aim and believe it is their aim to produce a quality product.
As someone who’s interests lie in the bygone era of Hollywood, it’s wonderful that such a unique magazine is so accessible and easy to find. If you’re not in the UK I think you can still purchase the magazine online, so fear not! I really hope it sticks to pre 1970s content, if I wanted to read about today I could easily just buy a modern day magazine .
If I could ask the magazine to stick to one thing it would be pre 1970s content, if I wanted to read about the stars of today, I could easily buy a modern day magazine. I really hope Yours Retro continues for many more issues to come, I for one will definitely be looking out for the next one!
For the last week, I have had the privilege of spending my time in the beautiful Sorrento, which is located in the south of Italy. I haven’t been abroad since 2012 so it was very surreal when May the 4th (be with you) arrived and my family and I were off to the airport! As someone who adores Italian food and a certain brunette bombshell I was full of anticipation and excitement when we landed in Naples. Therefore, I thought what could be a more fitting title for this blog post then aSophia filmwhich was exactly how my Italian adventure was to begin?
As we were only there for seven days, there was definitely no time for resting, which is fine by me as when I go on holiday I want to visit the country and see all of the beautiful places. However, that meant getting up as early as five in the morning and as late a six thirty – what a lovely lie in!
After spending the Wednesday walking around Sorrento and booking the tours, we traveled to the wonderful Naples the next day. I was extremely excited to visit Napoli, of course because it is the birth place of my favourite food – Pizza, but Sophia Loren also spent a lot of her childhood here. From Sorrento is takes about one hours drive which is completely fine by me as the scenery in Italy is absolutely incredible!
As soon as we arrived in Naples we visited the Cathedral and I was in absolute awe of it’s beauty. I adore Italy’s architecture and it was even more outstanding in this stunning building, it was incredible to think about the amount of time and effort that went into producing such a beautiful place. I was also amazed to hear from our lovely tour guide Florentina that there are over 400 churches in Naples – each one we walked past was so lovely! We visited the famous market stalls where the Christmas markets are held, the streets in Italy are so narrow compared to England yet so full of traffic, it’s incredible. I saw some beautiful tambourines with Sophia painted on them and when looking in the store I noticed an actual photo of her visiting the store! It’s so wonderful how proud of her country she is and the feeling is definitely mutual.
After walking around the heart of Naples we finished the morning with a pizza, after all, where best to have my favourite food then where it was invented? I’m not ashamed to say that I had Pizza every night in Italy and it was absolutely wonderful! I also have to say that the dessert I had in Italy was truly out of this world, I looked forward to meal time every day!
The next day we visited the absolutely beautiful Anacapri and Capri. I was extremely looking forward to this day after my mum told me that Brigitte Bardot’sContempt (1963)was filmed there. To get to Capri we had to take a twenty minute boat drive as it is a small island. It was such a beautiful way to travel and such wonderful scenery, I’ve truly never seen such stunning sea water, it was almost a turquoise colour. Once we arrived in Capri we drove up to Anacapri, which is the smaller village and the one above.
We walked through both villages and it was truly paradise. The views were absolutely incredible and I even saw three beautiful cats, one was casually watching a lizard, an amazing animal I couldn’t believe I was seeing. Capri is famous for it’s beautiful perfumes and I could definitely tell why! Sadly I didn’t buy any but when leaving Italy I visited a perfume store in the airport an saw the island wasn’t just popular with tourists, Grace Kelly, Prince Rainier, Audrey Hepburn and Charlie Chaplin had also visited!
On Saturday we travelled through the Amalfi Coast and it truly was a journey like no other! With only one road in and one road out you can imagine how busy the traffic can get but as the tourist season has just started it didn’t really affect us. We first stopped in a small village called Positano and visited a large store that sold hand made ceramics, in Italy this item is very popular and I could definitely see why. There were so many different items and all we’re so intricate and beautiful! Outside the store there was a sign placed opposite that showed a Roberto Rossellini film,La Macchina Ammazzacattiv (1952) was shot entirely on the Amalfi Coast!
Once we arrived in Amalfi we took a boat trip along the sea and our lovely tour guide Melanie pointed out to us two very important houses owned by Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida! I was completely overwhelmed with excitement and that truly made my whole day. I also found out on the Tuesday I arrived home that Sophia was actually in Italy when I was visiting! She was in Rome, which was too far from Sorrento but it made me very happy to see after all these years Italy will always have a special place in her heart.
Our last stop in Amalfi was visiting Ravello and the gardens in Villa Rufolo which were incredibly beautiful. I was in at awe seeing such stunning historical scenery. Driving up to Ravello was quite scary, our driver was wonderful thankfully but I couldn’t believe how high up we were going! In Southern Italy the land is filled with mountains and it truly is amazing to see all of these houses and buildings built on there.
On Sunday we visited the incredible Pompeii and Herculaneum and our wonderful tour guide Sonia shared so much information on the history of these villages. Although Pompeii is a lot bigger and arguably more famous than Herculaneum, it is definitely not as aesthetically pleasing as the latter. It was fascinating to learn how the people in Pompeii lived, we learnt about their shockingly lack of hygiene and what kind of foods they ate – thankfully we are a lot more fortunate now.
The village of Herculaneum is a lot closer so it was incredible to be able to see Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that caused all of the tragedies to these two places. I was also fascinated by how low down the in the ground the village was, we had to go down a lot of steps through tunnel to visit the actual village. As soon as we arrived there you could tell that Herculaneum was the wealthy village, they even had their own private beach. Although what I found very upsetting was seeing all the skeletons of the people that had obviously been going down there when the Vesuvius erupted and were instantly killed. Some of the other tourists were actually taking pictures of the skeletons which I personally found incredibly disrespectful and morbid.
What was incredible about Herculaneum was the amount of architecture that was still intact, some of the expensive houses still had colour on the walls and portraits. There were also bath and changing rooms. Our tour guide informed us that it is unknown how much land there is that has still yet to be uncovered of Herculaneum which is absolutely fascinating. Archaeologists are constantly researching both villages and finding new artifacts and information, who knows what will be discovered in the many years to come?
Visiting both of these villages was an absolutely fascinating experience but I couldn’t help find the tourism very ironic and poignant, although both are filled with incredible history, so many people tragically lost their lives there.
On our finally day we visited the Volcano that caused so much tragedy in Italy, Mount Vesuvius. Although I was looking forward to seeing this incredible volcano, I was pretty apprehensive as it’s still active! Knowing that it could erupt any time was quite intimidating but I knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Once we had driven to Vesuvius we had to walk all the way up to get to the top – which was definitely not an easy task! The paths were so uneven and my poor feet were absolutely throbbing, so I’ll admit, I wasn’t the quickest walker – but I got there in the end. It was hard to comprehend how incredibly high we were when at the top of the volcano, but the views up there were so worth it. Looking into the volcano it was fascinating but very uncomfortable to think that this volcanic rock had created so much damage to such a beautiful country. What amazed me was that you could actually go the whole way around Vesuvius, I don’t know how or where the tourists got the energy but you could actually see some people on the opposite side.
I can definitely say that my week in Italy was an incredible experience and one of my favourite vacations I have ever been fortunate to go on. It still feels pretty surreal to be back home and no longer hearing the beautiful language or seeing the incredible scenery. I feel so lucky to have been able to see so many incredible places in such a short time and the memories I have will truly be treasured.