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,