Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Best Of: 15 of 2015

I'm back! Sorry for the hiatus - it was planned but it wasn't executed quite how I had intended. I'll explain all next week, but I thought I'd put this post up before the year grew too old.

Here's my top 15 of 2015.


TopShop Smokey Eye Palette - Golden Aurora
Lush R&B Hair Moisturiser
Barry M LipLiner - 9 Russet
Too Faced Mascara - Better Than Sex
Collection Eyebrow Kit

I got the TopShop Pallette for Christmas 2014 and I've worn it every season since. The mix of colours means its pretty versatile, even if the dark colours are too dark for an all-over lid look. Looks I've used it in can be seen here and here.

R&B was something I'd picked up in April, and one small pot lasted me till Christmas. I've already got a new pot. It is the best thing for dry hair, in my opinion, even if the smell is a little funny.

Barry M products have really impressed me all year, but none more than their lip liners. This one, Russet, is my particular favourite as it's really adaptable under different colours of lipstick.

I had a mixed reaction to the Better Than Sex mascara at first, but now I can't imagine my make-up look complete without it.

Collection are the only brand in this list with a somewhat dubious cruelty free policy. Both this eyebrow kit and their concealer have stayed in my make-up kit all year, however, so at least one of them deserved a place in my favourites.


How To Be Both - Ali Smith
Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
The Book Theif - Markus Zusak
The Direputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E. Lockhart
The Age of Earthquakes - Coupland, Basar, Obrist

I loved Smith's There But For The, and I picked up How To Be Both when it was on offer in Waterstones. It's a very intelligent book, as all of Smith's are, and I'd really recommend it.

Americanah was a bit of a revelation for me, as I'd never read anything with African leads outside of school, and certainly nothing by an African author. This had been something I was looking to change, and I made good moves to change it in 2015. Looking forward I want to continue to diversify my reading.

I got The Book Thief Christmas 2014. When I read it I sobbed and sobbed. No book since has had that visceral reaction in me, so it had to go in my favourites.

The Disreputable History is a book I own on Kindle, but it's one that I've recommended over and over again ever since I read it. I read it on busses, trains, and a plane as I made my way to Lyon and it captivated me throughout.

I've lent The Age of Earthquakes to Katie, so I don't have a picture, but you can read my review here. This book was one of the first truly non-fiction books I read last year, and to read more non-fiction is one of my reading goals for 2016.


Filler Podcast - Harry Hitchens and Matt Shore
No Such Thing As A Fish - QI Elves
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful - Florence and the Machine
Darling Magazine

Filler is a creative industries podcast hosted by Harry Hitchens and Matt Shore. It's so intelligent and inspirational, and as a young creative myself I love listening to how my sucessful peers got to where they are today.

No Such Thing As A Fish is a podcast by the QI elves. Four of the QI researchers meet to share their favourite facts from the last week, and not only is it interesting but it frequently has me giggling my socks off.

This necklace was a gift from my parents for my 21st. It's diamond cut gold - a cut that was popular in the 70's but less so now. I wanted it because my Mum has a similar one, that she got for her 21st too, and I like that it's a tradition to be passed down.

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful as an album is beautiful, and the title track is my favourite from the whole. Florence always creates poetry rather than lyrics, and I love how she just goes for a note. The album contains so much emotion, it's stunning.

Darling was something I became aware of to the end of last year, but because of the price of shipping I was really wary of ordering it. I'm so glad I took the plunge, and strongly recommend it to anyone looking to read a magazine that truly celebrates the art of being a woman. None of their images are doctored in any way, and the magazine is divinely edited.

It was really lovely to reflect over some of the things I loved over the year. I could add in so much more, including all of the National Theatre Live cinematic productions I've seen, all of the plays and musicals I've gone to, and plenty of other artists (including Lorde, Haim and Paolo Nutini).

What were some of your favourite things from the last year? I'm still on Twitter and Instagram - @VickiMaitland everywhere. I'm no longer doing Goodreads as I found it a pretty ineffectual way of tracking my reading personally, but you can follow what I'm reading by following me on my other social media, as I tend to write about the stuff I'm loving.

Next week I'll go into more depth about my haitus, but for now, stay sunny.


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