Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.143

Happy Sunday everyone,

ready for another round of random ramblings? Here we go:

Follow Me On Facebook

follow me on facebook
After years of neglecting Facebook, I have finally revamped Beautiful With Brains’ page and started to be more active on it. I’m now regularly posting blog updates, new products releases that catch my fancy, inspirational quotes, and just random bits and bobs about my personal and blogging lives (if you’re interested in the more sciencey stuff, follow me on Google Plus instead). Click on the “like” button to follow me on FB. I’d love to chat to you all over there too!

What I’m Reading Now

victorian murderesses
Victorian Murderesses by Mary S. Hartman
One of the best books I’ve read this year, Victorian Murderesses tells the stories of 13 British and French women who were accused of murder in the 19th century. Hartman examines their motives, their backgrounds, and the court records. But rather than sensationalizing the tales, she uses them to take a good look at Victorian society and the place women had in it. Thanks to the accused, we get a better understanding of the problems and challenges women faced during the course of the century, and why, under particular circumstances, they could become murderesses or be accused of crimes they didn’t commit. Meticulously researched and beautifully written, the book is a must read for anyone interested in both crime and the role of women in Victorian society. However, it can be a bit too scholarly for casual readers.

The Links

How to deal with dark spots left by acne - No Nonsense Beauty Blog

Are parabens safe? - Of Fingers And Faces

How to master the bold lip - Jenny Sue Makeup

Stopthebeautymadness brutally honest campaign goes viral –

How to take care of your skin before and after exercising – Renee Rouleau

Sunday Survey, Vol.211

1. What’s your secret passion?
Novel writing. I have never finishing a novel yet, although I have started quite a few. But hey, hopefully, I’ll complete one one day.

2. What are the makeup products you use most often?
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, and Pupa Vamp! Mascara.

3. Hair of the day?
Messy bun. It’s just too hot to keep your hair down today.

4. Bar soaps or shower gels?
Shower gels. I find most bar soaps too harsh and drying for my dry skin.

5. What do you think of open toe socks?
Not a fan!

It’s your turn now!
1. What’s your secret passion?
2. What are the makeup products you use most often?
3. Hair of the day?
4. Bar soaps or shower gels?
5. What do you think of open toe socks?

Know Your Ingredients: Stearyl Alcohol

stearyl alcohol

What it is
Stearyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol derived from stearic acid, vegetable fatty acids, or coconut oil.

What it does
Stearyl Alcohol is an emulsifier. It prevents the separation of the oil and liquid parts of a formulation.
It is also an emollient that can make skin and hair soft and smooth.

Side effects
Stearyl Alcohol is usually considered to be safe.


Looks: A Cool Breeze

a cool breeze

The title is totally wishful thinking. It is so hot today that I’m craving even the lightest cool breeze. I just hope my makeup wouldn’t melt off my face cos I quite like this look. It’s simple but bright and summery. Here’s how you can recreate it too:

Products used:
- Too Faced Shadow Insurance
- Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio In I Dream Of Greenie
- Sleek Makeup I-Divine Oh So Special Eyeshadow Palette
- Essence Kajal Pencil in Cool Breeze
- Pupa Vamp! Mascara in Chocolate Brown
- Dior Diorskin Nude Foundation
- Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit
- Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Magic
- Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Pink Pop

1. Prime your eyes with an eyeshadow base. This will make your eyeshadow stay put for hours, even in the hot summer weather.
2. Pat a sheer minty green shade (I used the browbone one in the Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio In I Dream Of Greenie) on the lid.
3. Sweep a soft and shimmery bronzy brown (I used Gift Basket in the Sleek Makeup Oh So Special Eyeshadow Palette) on the crease and outer part of the lid.
4. Apply a matte cream shade (I used Bow in the Sleek Makeup Oh So Special Eyeshadow Palette) on the browbone.
5. Line your upper and lower lashlines, as well as your waterline, with a bright aqua kajal pencil (I used Essence Kajal Pencil in Cool Breeze).
6. Apply brown mascara on your lashes.

1. Apply foundation and concealer where needed.
2. Sweep a pink coral blush (I used Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Magic) on your cheeks.
3. Apply a cool bright fuchsia lipgloss (I used Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Pink Pop) on your lips.

What do you think of this look? Do you like it or would you have done something different?

QOTW: What Parts Of Your Makeup Routine Will You Still Do When You’re Running Late?

barely branded 03

What parts of your makeup routine will you still do when you’re running late?

My answer: I apply a bit of concealer under the eyes, on my red cheeks and wherever I need a bit of coverage. Then, I apply a cream eyeshadow and mascara on my eyes, a touch of blush on the cheeks, and a swipe of gloss or lipstick on the lips.

Product Review: Histoires De Parfums Vidi

histoires de parfums vidi

Name: Vidi
Brand: Histoires De Parfums
Size: 60ml
Price: €125.00

What I liked:
- interesting aquatic woody blend
- original
- unisex (although it smells better on men)
- not too light but not too strong either
- beautiful bottle

What I didn’t like:
- the scent has a jarring, even cheap quality
- average staying power
- the price (but samples are available)

Julius Caesar was a great warrior and leader who conquered many people and nations, but even he had problems taming the contrasting perfume notes in Vidi, one of the three fragrances inspired by his famous phrase “Veni, Vidi, Vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered). If Vici was supposed to embody the creative and destroying powers of fire, Vidi, “the wind, carries us over seas and oceans, allowing us to rise above mountains and to take our gaze and spirit beyond the horizon.”

Vidi is a ozonic woody fragrance based on contrasts. It opens with a ozonic accord, created with the fresh aroma of cucumber mixed with the watery scent of cyclamen. It is paired with a light dusting of cardamom, whose citrusy facets have really been amped up here. I had never really come across a fragrance that used both cucumber and cyclamen and, while it makes for an interesting accord, I can’t say it is too successful. There’s just something jarring, even cheap, about it.

The watery accord is present in the heart as well. This time cyclamen plays with a plastic, but transparent, rose. Its transparency may disappoint some people, but it serves to enhance the watery quality of the scent. Saffron is also present, adding a delicate and warm vibe to the composition.

As the hours pass, Vidi turns woody, but never completely loses its aquatic quality. Musk and vanilla, both of which smell quite synthetic, are joined by warm Immortelle, which adds a dry and spicy touch to the drydown. Immortelle, though, is really out of place here. I haven’t decided whether that’s a good thing or not yet.

Histoires De Parfums Vidi is one of the most intriguing scents I’ve come across lately in terms of creativity. They have really taken a chance in pairing notes that normally don’t go together. Unfortunately, the result is often jarring and plasticky, but hey, at least they’ve tried. I much prefer that to playing it safe and creating only beautiful, but predictable, scents we’ve all smelled a thousand times before.

And if you don’t like it, you won’t have to put up with it for long. After six hours, Vidi is already gone. Sillage is average too. It doesn’t stay too close to the skin, but it isn’t overpowering either. Still too much for you? Give it to your man. Although unisex, this stuff smells much better on a man!

Available at: Amazon

Histoires De Parfums Vidi is an aquatic woody blend. Although the accords are intriguing and original, mixing together notes that contrast with one another, the result is jarring and, at times, even cheap. Sillage and staying power are average.

Rating: 3.5/5

Disclaimer: the review contains an affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Book Review: Her Next Chapter By Lori Day And Charlotte Kugler

her next chapter lori day

Name: Her Next Chapter: How Mother-Daughter Book Clubs Can Help Girls Navigate Malicious Media, Risky Relationships, Girl Gossip, and So Much More
Brand: Lori Day and Charlotte Kugler
Pages: 272
Price: $10.06

Mother-daughter book clubs are a great way to encourage reading, bonding, and socializing among mothers, daughters, and their friends. But these clubs can do more than that, suggests educational psychologist and parenting coach Lori Day. They can create a safe and empowering haven where girls can freely discuss and navigate issues surrounding girlhood. In Her Next Chapter, Day draws from experiences in her own club and her expertise as an educator to offer a timely and inspiring take on mother-daughter book clubs. She provides overviews of eight of the biggest challenges facing girls today, such as negative body image, bullying, gender stereotypes, media sexualization, unhealthy relationships, and more, while weaving in carefully chosen book, movie, and media recommendations; thoughtful discussion questions; and group activities and outings that extend and enrich conversations and make clubs fun. Her Next Chapter outlines how mothers can use the magic of books to build girls’ confidence and sense of possibility as leaders, allies, and agents of change. A list of further resources and reflections and observations from Day’s now-adult daughter, Charlotte, round out this indispensible resource for anyone who cares about, teaches, or works with girls.

When I was growing up, I didn’t worry about how I looked. I certainly didn’t worry about being sexy. I didn’t even know what that meant. My wardrobe featured all the colours of the rainbow, including blue. Pink was only a small part of it. I played with Barbies and watched Disney princess movies, but I also played ball or hide-and-seek with the boys.

But a lot has changed since then. Toys that used to be gender-neutral are now found in the boys’ aisle. You’ll know when you’ll reach the girls’ one. You’ll be greeted by an overwhelming sea of pink. Most clothes for girls come in pink too, and more and more often, they are becoming shorter, skimpier, and sporting inappropriate messages such as “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” or “Future Trophy Wife”.

Girls are being taught that looks are all that matters, and if they don’t conform, they may be bullied for it. The beauty ideal they’re fed is too unrealistic anyway, so even if they try to conform, they’re still left hating their bodies and going on strict diets and extreme fitness regimes at younger and younger ages. Gender stereotypes can discourage girls from pursuing careers into what are seen as men’s fields, while reduced opportunity for boys and girls to play together can seriously affect their ability, later in life, to develop healthy romantic relationships.

Raising girls has become so much more difficult and many parents may feel disheartened, and believe there’s nothing they can do to help their girls navigate these and many other issues they will face in their lives. But parents have a lot more power, and a lot more influence on their children than they believe. One underestimated, but very powerful tool, mothers can use to fight the negative and dangerous messages society is feeding to their girls is by starting a mother-daughter book club.

Admittedly, I wasn’t familiar with this concept until I read Her Next Chapter: How Mother-Daughter Book Clubs Can Help Girls Navigate Malicious Media, Risky Relationships, Girl Gossip, and So Much More by Lori Day and Charlotte Kugler, but now I can’t wait to have a little girl to start my own (although, I may do something similar if I have a boy too. :) ). These book clubs foster a closer relationship between a mother and her daughter and provide a safe and non-judgemental environment to discuss difficult topics, such as bullying, gender stereotypes, sexualization of little girls, LGBTQ issues, abusive relationships and violence against women, with your little girl.

In the second part of the book, Day provides a list of books, movies and other types of media that address these issues. After reading/watching them, you can use the questions provided by Day (or make up your own) to start the discussion in a way that’s appropriate for her age. Doing this in a group environment can also be very helpful for those mothers who want to address a particular issue with their daughters but are too embarrassed or simply don’t know how to do so. Chances are that, in the group, there will be another mother who feels more at ease with the topic, so your daughter will receive all the information she needs by someone you trust, under your supervision, and in a safe way.

The first part of the book, instead, explains what a mother-daughter book club is and how to set up your own. These chapters also warn you about any potential problems that may come up, such as how to deal with any bullying incidents that may happen, and provide tips on how to choose the members of your club, the issues you want to address, the books and movies you’ll use to do so and what to do when a couple quits.

Day writes in a very engaging way. She never preaches. Instead, you’ll feel like you’re talking to a friend who went through the same problems and can now give you advice on how to solve them. Of course, the book isn’t only for mothers. Stepmothers, grandmothers, teachers, and any other adult who is entrusted with the care of a little girl can also start book clubs to help her learn media literacy skills and deal with the many problems she’ll face in her life. I cannot recommend it enough!

Available at: Amazon

Her Next Chapter: How Mother-Daughter Book Clubs Can Help Girls Navigate Malicious Media, Risky Relationships, Girl Gossip, and So Much More by Lori Day explains the many benefits of starting a mother-daughter book club and gives you tips on how to set it up and run it. Day also provides a list of books, movies, and questions to help you discuss difficult topics, such as bullying and sexualization, with your little girl in a way that’s appropriate to her age. The tone is friendly and engaging too.

Rating: 4.5/5

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from PR for consideration. In addition, the post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.