August Favourites

August Favourites

Chios

Travelling in Greek island of Chios
For the most of August, I was lucky enough to spend it in Chios, a beautiful Greek island in the Northeast Aegean. Time there seemed to be flying by and at times I'd wonder if I was in some kind of an alternate reality.The beaches, the calmness, nature, everything was beautiful and perfect. To be honest with you, something I always anticipate during the summer holidays is a break from the Internet. As much as I love it, it can become too overwhelming and polyphonous, and it can also be very distracting. So, whenever I travel to places where the signal isn’t top notch, I know I’ll have to find new ways to fill up my free time. I’ll meet up with friends, sleep a bit more (hooray!), draw a little and get back in touch with my inner thoughts. If nothing else, the lack of internet can give you a push towards introspection. Most importantly, though, without the internet’s enticing charms I can find so much more time to spend reading, which I enjoy immensely but which I’m guilty of neglecting when everyday life starts taking over. I did read quite a lot in the end, which brings me to my next favourite:

Catch-22

Technically I started reading it in late July, but I finished during the first week of August, so it must count, right? I hadn’t read this novel before, and I hardly knew what it was all about. I knew it’s considered a modern classic and masterpiece, that it was about war, and that it was funny too. Well, it was all that, and I bloody loved it! I was supposed to read it for a uni course two years ago, but the syllabus changed, and I never got around to reading it. So there it was, sitting on my shelf, just waiting to be picked up and read. For some self-loathing reason, I'm sure, as soon as my schedule starts clearing up, I find myself in the mood to read more complex books. I know, I know, I’m odd that way. But during the holidays I can commit my attention to them fully. Plus, if they end up being utterly depresso, at least I’m reading them by the beach. Well, you can’t deny it: “Though this be madness,[yet] there is method in't.”
I’d say this novel not only demands your full attention, but it also needs to be read as quickly as possible. I made the mistake of reading it casually for a week or so; picking it up and reading a few pages, putting it down, then reading some more, and again repeating the same process a few days later, hardly remembering at that point who is who and what the bloody hell does a chicken’s got to do with anything. Maybe that’s due to its modernist structure where there’s no apparent linearity, and the past appears slowly and fragmented, so unless you've got a great and detailed memory don't read it over the course of two months.
The story starts with our main protagonist, Yossarian, a bombardier, being in the hospital of his military camp with his liver possibly in critical condition. Slowly we find out that the plot’s driven by Yossarian’s profound wish to stop flying more missions. The reason I loved the novel so much is that war isn’t presented as something heroic and grand. On the contrary, it manages to present with a unique tone and humour the absurdity of war (“They're trying to kill me” "No one's trying to kill you" Then why are they shooting at me?" ), its cruelty and the unfairness of the whole thing; how in reality there are no winner and losers but those who remain alive and those who die.
All these themes, though as difficult as they can get, are delivered in such a humorous and ironic manner and that only makes the novel more impactful. It wasn't rare that I’d find myself laughing; an odd laugh or giggle that sprang from the realisation that you’re laughing about a situation so improbable that it can only make sense in the context of the story, where war is something you never actually see (only the backstage shenanigans and some flashbacks). Because in this story the officers are doing their duty which means nothing to them directly. Only in this context, when even war is something improbable and crazy, can these anecdotes become probable and even possible. Why wouldn't a soldier go around having crab apples in his cheeks? Why wouldn’t they all act crazy? What is crazy after all? These and many other questions that arise in this novel, with all its craziness, the fragmented storyline, the giggles that should’ve been tears; all these and more were the things that made Catch-22 a favourite.
I the proceeded to read “A Little Life”, but I don’t even want to talk about that…

Clothes:

Black Zara Top with Silver Rings

Clothingwise, in the month of August, I didn’t get to wear many clothes and they were mostly a variation of the same outfit over and over again. It would be physically impossible or at least excruciating to try to wear long trousers during the heatwave. I did give it a go, and it was the most unpleasant experience I had all summer. It’s safe to say that I immediately reverted the good old denim shorts and a tee combo. #noregrets
This clothing frugality had its benefits, though. It allowed me to see and evaluate which were the most worn and loved items in my summer wardrobe and which ones did the most legwork. Apart from my off-the-shoulder dress (because duh!), there was this Zara Celinesque top that I loved wearing. I was mostly saving it for occasions when I wanted to dress a little nicer. I bought it last minute during the sales before leaving on holiday, and I was actually hesitating on buying it even though it was very cheap. In the end, I caved in and bought it, and I’m really glad that I did! The silver rings and straps elevate it and make it special and evening-appropriate without it being too loud. I’ve never been a rhinestone and glitter kind of gal and definitely not a bodycon one either. So you can imagine my frustration each time I’d been trying to find an evening piece that I would feel comfortable and myself in. This top ticked all the boxes for me and I loved finding ways to dress it up or down. A midi wrap skirt fitted perfectly for a special occasion and with my white shorts, it served as the perfect casual party outfit. It’ll also fit perfectly into any workwear wardrobe!
Zara Ring Top-August Favourites

Oysho Pink Bikini

It’s still summertime, though, so let’s not talk too much about workwear. Let’s go back and reminiscent our days spent by the beach, sipping iced coffee while hearing the hollow thuds of tennis balls hitting the rackets. It was August (or almost) when something wonderful happened to me. I’m getting quite emotional saying this, so please excuse the soppy, but this summer I finally fell in love with a bikini. I honestly didn’t see this coming. I had given up on the idea years ago. If you asked me only four months ago, if I thought it possible, I would have laughed straight in your face and accused you of being delusional and a hopeless romantic. Yet, here I am, declaring proudly that I’ve found the one; a bikini I won’t throw away but will love for many years to come. I found it at Oysho. It’s also pink which was a surprise to me since I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the colour. We seem to have reconciled. I love the way it fits and hugs my figure; how it is clearly made for all us small-chested gals. It sits just right, and its simplicity in cut and colour is compensated by the straps on the back. It’s also double sided which in my opinion is always a plus.
Oysho Pink Bikini-August Favourites

Beauty:

H&M "Halo Illuminiser" in Champagne Gold

Beautywise, there’s not much to report. Summer and makeup just don’t mix so well together, do they? I for one, prefer wearing almost nothing on a daily basis and only a little something when I want to look a bit more put-together. But again, I liked keeping things simple. Just a dab of concealer on the undereye circles (that must have been promoted to a permanent position at some point this past year), in some spots and redness and that was it. On some days I might even have added some mascara as well. A little bronzer to match my ghostly face to my “tanned” body. If I ever went as far as to wear an eyeshadow (Maybelline On and On Bronze Colour Tattoo), I’d skip the mascara altogether. For me, it was all about looking fresh and modern and not like I came straight out of an 80’s catalogue which I’ve learnt from experience that it can happen to me whenever I try to experiment with non-neutral colours. And yes, my hair must have something to do with it. So to avoid any confusion I want my skin to be as dewy as possible.
Enter the H&M cream highlighter, which is honestly a product that could contain angel essence or fairy dust for all I know. Now, I’m not a makeup expert, and I haven’t tried a bunch of other highlighters. What I do know is that I liked the fact that it was creamy which meant that I could use it right away on the top of my cheekbones without having to apply any powder beforehand. The glow was quite fabulous if I do say so myself. I’m usually light-handed, so I was never mistaken for a disco ball, but I bet that you can go to town with it if so you wish. I also couldn’t detect any chunky bits of glitter, but I could be wrong since I’m not particularly known for my brilliant eyesight. But anyway, so far, so glowy.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm in Rendez-Vous

On an everyday basis, when I just needed something to put some colour back on my dull looking face and distract from the aforementioned dark circles, I’ve been reaching for an old favourite. This Revlon stain seems to creep up into my makeup bag each summer. I find that it suits me best when I’ve gotten some colour from the sun. Still, I only dab a little on my lips and blend it with my natural colour to make it more corally than orange. It’s stunning as a full-on orange too, though. And here’s a tip for you: sometimes in the summer when I want to wear a red lip that’s not as strong as a winter one, I’ll blend some of this stain on top of my red lip, and it will immediately dial the redness down and make it orange-toned. No need for four hundred red lipsticks!
That's it then! I swear I'm done. But I've been going on and on for so long and never got around to asking what did you love in August? I'd love to know! (No, I'm not nosy... Just curious.) Did you travel somewhere nice? What did you read? What do you think of Catch-22 if you've read it; do you agree with me and did I make any sense? Well, I hope you enjoyed your August as much as I did. Here's to an even better September!

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