Sunday, 5 March 2017

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Review | Pale and Interesting


It's been ages since I last posted. I've been so busy with mocks that I had to take a short break. I'm back today, however, with a review of the book "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche.

When I first received this book for Christmas I scanned the internet for reviews. Opinions varied greatly. However, I decided t approach the book with an open mind and see which side of the fence I would find myself on.

This novel tackles the themes of love, lust and life in a new country,

The novel jumps between the locations of Nigeria, America and England. It also jumps spontaneously from year to year. When Ifemelu, the headstrong, confidant girl, and Obinze, the intelligent, kind boy meet they seem like a perfect match. In the first minutes of knowing each other they sense a shared kinship. The two date for all of their teen years and through three years in college.

Then Ifemelu decides she must go to America to finish her college education. Obinze vows to follow her over once he finishes college, as their marriage was forthcoming. Sadly though , Obinze cannot make it to America as the events of 9/11 put a military cordon over the border.

The novel follows Ifemelu, with the new name of Ngozi, in America.Struggling to get a Visa and living illegally, she cannot find a job. She gets a babysitting post working for a woman called Kimberly who feels the need to refer to every black woman as beautiful. Kimberly lives in a stately home and donates generously to charity.

We see life in America through the eyes of an illegal immigrant who soon finds out that America is not all she had hoped it to be. It is sad but interesting to see how a girl with a good education and a willingness to work is dumped at the bottom of the pile because of her ethnicity.

The absence of her lover, Obinze, in her life provokes a yearning within the reader for the two to be together.

We also learn of Obinze's struggles in London, also living illegally.

For me Ifemelu's strong character overpowers all of the others. She is confidant, brave, warmhearted and tactical. Good intentions are at the roots of everything she does.
Despite the heroic figure, she has a relatable, likeable quality.

I also enjoyed the use of characters in the novel. The secondary characters each serve an important purpose and none are put in to just fill space.

In my whole life, I have not read a book that has taught me so much.

This book taught me about middle class life in Nigeria and Africa in general. In ways I was oblivious to the expanse of the middle class in Africa. We so often hear of the millions who are starving and the few corrupt diamond mine owners, How come we are so unaware of the expansive middle class. Africa is the fasted growing middle class yet we're taught to look on them as people who cannot fend for themselves. This book shows that many people living in Africa live a very similar life to mine.

I was also made aware of a fear of interfering with or offending African culture. We witness people give Ifemelu praise for doing something extraordinarily ordinary. Despite never ever admitting it, it is blatantly obvious that she is receiving this praise because she is black. Through the eyes of a Nigerian immigrant it seems absurd that people are so afraid of acknowledging her dark skin. By the end of the novel it seems laughable that someone would be offended by someone stating the colour of their skin.

In hindsight, I realise that the majority of the bad reviews were patriotic Americans who were so offended that the idealised American dream had been tarnished by an immigrant. Too many times I read the sentence "If you don't like America, get out" in the reviews.

I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone  and I cannot wait to read more titles by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

That concludes today's post. I'll talk to ye soon.

Be sure to add my snapchat @paleninterestin as I've been really active on it recently.

Thanks for reading,
Clare xx

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Tips for Kick-Starting Your Year | Collab. with The Lifestyle Pursuit


I haven't really addressed the New Year on my blog as much as other bloggers. Most blogs I see have dedicated pages upon pages of content to the changing of the year, but not me!

That's why today I wanted to share some of my tips for having a more successful 2017.

This post is also a collaboration with the fabulous Louise from The Lifestyle Pursuit. Louise is very new to the blogging game but is already so accomplished. Her photography is always amazing and content is equally so. I definitely recommend you check out her blog as it's so enjoyable to read!
You can find it here.

Now to my tips on kick-starting 2017.

Keep a journal. I tried this last year for the first time and found it to be so helpful. It's very encouraging to have a visually appealing journal as you're way more likely to write in it. I have found that I am way more productive if I keep a journal reminding me of all the things I need to do.

Use checklists. Checklists are my favourite things because ticking things of gives me such a sense of satisfaction. It actually makes me want to do work and achieve things. It may seem strange but you get hooked on ticking things off.

Make a set of goals. It seems everyone is opposed to making new years resolutions because they never work out. If you set achievable goals that reap results in the short term you are more likely to achieve the goals. Making a list and putting it up in your room, in a mirror or wherever will serve as a constant reminder of what you want to achieve.

Get lots of sleep. This is something I swear by. You are 100% going to be more productive if you get a sufficient amount of sleep. Not only will you get more work done, but you'll be in a better mood and definitely wont be as cranky. Mornings are easier after a good night's sleep and don't forget, your body is healing and repairing itself while you sleep so the longer you sleep the more unreal you'll be.

Think positively. This sounds like such a cliché but it really works. If you approach things with a positive attitude you're way more likely to get stuff done. Try to go into every situation with an open mind and a positive attitude and you will be rewarded.

That's it!

Be sure to check out Louise. Her Instagram is @thelifestylepursuit and I really recommend you follow her!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Cranberry Sparkly Dramatic Eye Look | Makeup Look No. 1


Welcome to my first post of 2017!
I, like so many others, am so excited to see what's ahead in 2017 and I hope I'll be able to grow this blog as it approaches its 3rd birthday! Mad, I know.

Today I want to share a makeup look with you. I don't think I've done a makeup look here in about a year. This year I would really like to incorporate more makeup into Pale and Interesting as I've become a lot more passionate about it recently. Hopefully this year I'll be able to share more looks with you.

Today I will be doing a makeup look suitable for going out (to partayyyyy, not to wear to Mass).
I hope you like it!

I start by priming my eyelids with concealer. I use the Seventeen Stay Time concealer and blend it in with my fingers.

Then, using an Essence Eye Blender brush I applied MAC's Soft Brown eyeshadow to my crease and above it. The most important part is to blend, blend, blend. I like to spend 5 minutes blending my eyeshadow. I've been known to check my Twitter as I blend my eyeshadow.

With the Inglot 10S brush, I put Inglot's 301 eyeshadow (a matte cranberry shade) in the outer V of my eyelid. I also put it through my crease and a small bit beside my inner corner. This means that there is a small semi-circle in the centre of my lid that is surrounded by 301.

I then use 10S brush to apply 299 (a burnt orange shade) to the outer 1/3 of my lid to deepen the cranberry.

With a Sephora PRO Tapered Crease Brush I blend out the shades I just applied. Again, I take my time blending it so I am sure there are no visible lines.

I blend 301 and 299 under my eye to prevent my eye from looking too strange and top-heavy.

At this stage you SHOULD look like you've been punched in the eye.

I put a drop of Duraline on the back of my hand an dipped my small definer eyeshadow brush into Inglot's Body Sparkle in the shade 47. I small, dense brush is needed for this as it packs on the glitter. 47 is a two-toned shade. It varies between pink and bronze depending on the light and angle.

Putting another drop of Duraline on the back of my hand, I coat my IT Cosmetics Angled Liner Brush with my Inglot 77 gel liner.

I line my waterline with black gel liner.

On my lid, I make one line upwards from the corner of my eye at the angle that line up with the tip of my nose and end of my brow. I then make a line from my inner corner that thickens as it goes towards my outer eye. I then join these two lines together and so make a triangular shape.

Finally, I apply a coat or two of my MAC Instacurl Mascara.

And that's it for my cranberry-pink eye look. Let me know if you liked this look and would like me to do similar posts in the future.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, 30 December 2016

Current Lipstick Favourites | Pale and Interesting


Today I thought I would share my current favourite lipsticks with you. Winter is the perfect time to experiment with lipstick and I love to try more bold shades.

Without further ado here are my favourite lipsticks at the moment.

Liar by Urban Decay
Liar is a neutral toned brown. It is very creamy in consistency and very pigmented. It applies evenly and lasts long on the lips. This shade suits so many skin tones and I always get compliments when I wear it.

Shade 11 by MUA
This is an orangey-red-nude shade. It's really hydrating and, for the price, it's a great deal. My favourite thing about it is the colour. It's more orange than any other lipstick I have and goes really well with an orangey eye look.

Red Dhalia by Burt's Bees
Technically, this isn't actually a lipstick but I had to include it in this post. In fact, it is a lip balm. Red Dhalia is a dark reddish purple shade. I would recommend it for anyone who wants to try the dark lip trend but doesn't want to commit to a full-blown purple lipstick. It is quite subtle and is so moisturising.

Russian Red by MAC
Russian Red is my idea of the perfect red lipstick. Every beauty lover, it seems, has one of these in their possession and I love it. It is undoubtedly my longest wearing lipstick and will stay put for hours.

Amorous by MAC
Amorous is a stunning dark plum shade. It's perfect for this season and can turn a basic look into something that looks more put together.

That's all for today. I hope you liked this post and please let me know what your favourite shades for winter are.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

My Favourite Things About Christmas | Pale and Interesting


We're well into the festive season and I feel a little late to the party. I haven't uploaded any Christmas posts this year as I have been inundated with school work. However, today I am bringing you my first Christmas post of the year!

To kick things off, I will be giving you a list of my favourite things about the festive season.

  1. Christmas Movies
  2. Hot chocolate and hot drinks
  3. Decorating the Christmas tree
  4. Going for drives looking at the lights
  5. Christmas trees - the smell, everything
  6. Ice Skating
  7. Christmas songs and carols
  8. Christmas food - mince pies, Christmas dinner, you name it - I love it
  9. Christmas jumpers
  10. Winter Fashion
That's it!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed.
Please let me know your favourite things about this time of year!

Clare xx

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Getting Back Into Reading

I've always been an avid reader. Since I first learnt to read I've had a book in my hand. From a young age, my parents encouraged me to read by bringing me to toddler library groups and reading to me every night as a small child. This installed a passion and love for reading within me.

In the last year I have noticed I have not been reading as much at all. Be it my hectic school life or the dreaded distraction of my phone - I simply do not read as much as I used to.

At first I told myself I was too busy to read but quite frankly, that is BS.

You can never be too busy to pick up a book. Surely there are, at the very least, 10 minutes in the day when you could pick up a book and read.
If you find it hard to get the motivation to read, here is my Top 10 Tips For Getting Back Into Reading.

1) Find a genre you like

As we age we grow and our preferences change. It is natural to not enjoy certain genres as much as you once did. Can you imagine if your favourite colour never changed from your birth to death.
Search around for the perfect genre for you and don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.

2) Find one book you like and use it to find recommendations 

By finding a book you really enjoy, you can use it to find similar books that you would also love. A great way to find similar books is by reading reviews and asking like-minded people who have also read the book. This way, one book leads to another, and another, and another!

3) Make time in your day to read

For me trying to get back into reading, it was important to set aside time in my day for reading. Ipersonally, love to read before I go to sleep as it calms me down and the no-screen time helps me switch off. Other people read in the morning or on the bus. Try different times and see which works best for you.

4) Carry A Book Around With You Everywhere

You never know when an opportunity to read will present itself. Whether that's when you're babysitting and have a few hours to kill or have an hours wait before your bus arrives. You never know when you could be grateful for a book's presence in your bag.

5) Know when to give up on a book

As a reader, it is important to be able to recognise a lost cause. Just because you're deciding to put a book down doesn't mean you're admitting defeat - it just means you need to focus your searches elsewhere. If you allow yourself to be bogged down that you don't enjoy, you can loose the will to read because you're taking the joy out of books.

6) Keep a list of all the books you read

For me, nothing is more motivating than keeping a record of my own progress. I love to look back on what I've done as it pushes me to achieve more.
By making a list of books you have read, you can look back on your little achievements and give yourself a sense of accomplishment.

7) Talk to people who have read the same books as you.

By discussing the books you have read with people who have read the book you feel as though you are part of a little community. There, you can discuss your views on the book and everyone can give recommendations. You are also introduced to new ideas that you might not have otherwise thought off.

8) Make your reading experience fun

You may have the perfect book but without the following components  your reading experience still has room for improvement.  For me, I love to make a little reading nook. I deck out a corner of my room with cushions and blankets. I treat myself to a cup of tea or a hot chocolate and sit back and relax. I would recommend a quiet space for optimum reading.

There you have it!
These are my tips for getting back into reading. I hope you successfully become addicted to reading. 
All the best,

Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Beauty Blog Tag | Pale and Interesting


It's been an age since I last posted a tag on my blog so today that is exactly what I am doing.
I will be giving my response to Elleanor Wears' post, The Beauty Blog Tag. I decided to do this post as I love the questions and had a few responses at the ready.

Without further ado, here are the questions.

1. Do you have any fashion or beauty icons? Who?!

When it comes to beauty Kylie Jenner never fails to impress me. I adore her naturally radiant look and ability to rock a smokey eye look. I've bought something she's recommended more than once and I'd love to try out her makeup line. 

2. Beauty pet peeve?

It gets under my skin when people wear a foundation shade that's the wrong shade for them. As a person who spent the last few years wearing an orange foundation, I understand it can be difficult to match it correctly but having left those days of my life behind me nothing annoys me worse now.

3. Would you rather wear no makeup for the rest of your life or makeup everyday (but you can take it off when going to bed)

I wouldn't be opposed to wearing makeup every day. I know it might become a bit of a chore but the question doesn't specify how much makeup I'd have to wear. I love makeup and life without it would be quite dull.

4. Do you have any tips or tricks makeup/cosmetic wise?

I have so many tips that I've been accumulating over my time wearing makeup. I'd love to write a whole blogpost about it. My number one is to apply my eyeshadow before my face makeup. This prevents any fallout under my eyes as it can be easily wiped away before you put on foundation.

5. Kim K or Kendall Jenner makeup?

I love both Kim and Kendall but Kim takes the bacon when it comes to makeup. I think Kim has brought so much to the table in the makeup industry. She has so many tips and tricks under her sleeve and one can only admire the masterpiece that frequents her face.

6. Do you only buy cruelty-free makeup and if so why?

I haven't completely transitioned to only buying cruelty-free makeup, only because I haven't educated myself enough on. Recently I've become much more aware of these issues and hopefully, someday soon I'll leave the brands that test on furries behind me.

7. Share a photo of what you consider to be your worst moment beauty-wise.

No thanks. After searching through my phone for a suitable candidate, I found a picture of 12-year old Clare. It's too embarassing to share with you because I'd be afraid that it would fall into the wrong hands. However, try to picture this : Blue shimmery eyeshadow with some questionable eyeliner. Bright pink lipstick, shade 101 from Rimmel to be exact. The worst part is my expression. I have a placid smile on my face - one similar of that to a person lying in a coffin. Stunreal.

8. Skincare or Makeup?

I am not great when it comes to skincare. In fact, my skincare routine is very minimal. My makeup routine, however, is an evolved, complex routine that I give a lot of time and love. I would happily spend an hour doing my makeup, even if I have nowhere to go. I hope to improve my skincare routine and I have a list as long as my arm with skincare products I want to try.

That's all for today!
I hope you enjoyed this post and be sure to enter my giveaway while it's still open!

Thanks for reading,
Clare xx