Black Panther: More Than Just a Superhero Movie

I wanted to publish this review when Black Panther first came out, although after writing it I decided to submit it towards my university coursework. Due to university rules and regulations, I've only just been able to publish it here.

Life Lately: I Got Another Tattoo


The past few months, my life's been pretty busy. I haven't really been active on my blog as I just haven't had time. I've been working almost every day, attending university lectures and trying to do uni work, all whilst trying to squeeze in a social life on top.

Thankfully, uni comes to an end at the beginning of next month, meaning I'll have a lot more time to focus on my blog and my social life. Since I haven't been active in a while, I thought I'd share what I've been up to recently.

So, I GOT A TATTOO!

I've been wanting another tattoo for a while now but I wasn't completely sure what I wanted. I'd wanted a crescent moon tattoo for a while and was originally going to get a small, minimal one somewhere. After hours trawling through Pinterest, that quickly changed. I fell in love with mandalas, sun and moon tattoos and dot work. I found a few of my favourite designs and sent them to a tattoo artist, telling him which elements I liked from each. He designed the tattoo within a couple of days and after a couple of tweaks, my tattoo was designed.

I went to Gypsy Stables tattoo parlour, located in Soho, London. They were really good and scheduled me in with less than a weeks wait. I was worried about finding somewhere new to get a tattoo, especially considering I didn't know anyone who'd had work from them, but I went through with it anyway and I'm extremely glad I did. If I get another one in London, I'll definitely be going there again.


As of last month, I now have an Instagram account for my blog. You can follow me @thesundaydiarys.

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5 Beauty Mistakes You're Probably Making

We all make beauty mistakes, it's unavoidable. Some make more than others, although we've all been guilty of it at least once in our lives. Here are some of the most common beauty mistakes and how to prevent them.

Black History Month

'One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.' - Franklin A. Thomas


February is finally here, which means it's Black History Month. February is a time that sees the black community come together to commemorate heroes of the past, celebrate black excellence and recognise not only how far we've come, but also how much further is left to go.

Iceland: The Blue Lagoon

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Last week, I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful country of Iceland. After my twentieth birthday, my dad treated me to a long weekend away, travelling the country full of natural wonders. During the four days we spend there, we were lucky enough to see many of the amazing 'attractions' Iceland has to offer, including the Northern Lights, frozen waterfalls, a frozen volcanic crater, geysers and so much more. 

Ten Things I Did Before Twenty

In just a few days I'll be turning twenty. I always see those '20 before 20' or '30 before 30' lists, which are essentially a list of goals a person wants to achieve before they turn a certain age. A partial bucket list. Whilst there are many things I'd like to experience and achieve in my twenties, I decided to make a list of some of the experiences I've enjoyed the most throughout my life so far.


Got a tattoo. I got my first tattoo! It took me a very long time to muster the courage to get it done but I finally did it and I couldn't be happier with how it looks.

Volunteered abroad. I know everyone always says it, but volunteering really is one of the most rewarding, life-changing experiences you can have. The three weeks I spent volunteering in Ecuador were some of the best weeks of my life.

Learnt to drive. After nineteen years of relying on my mum to drive me around, I finally learnt to drive and passed my test first time.

Explored the Galápagos Islands. Visiting the Galapagos Islands is an opportunity that doesn't come around too often but it's one that everyone should take given the opportunity. Exploring the islands was an amazing experience that I'll never forget.

Swam with sharks. This was one of the scariest, yet most exciting things I've ever done. I never in a million years thought I'd swim with sharks, nor did I want to. But when the opportunity came around I couldn't miss out.

Moved to London and started university. Moving to London is something that I've always wanted to do and I finally got the opportunity after being accepted by Middlesex University. The concept of moving away from home and living in a big city was daunting but it was one of the best decisions of my life and I've met some of the most amazing people through it.

Visited New York. For my eighteenth birthday, I was lucky enough to go to New York. Visiting America is something that's always been on my bucket list so I was so excited to go.

Went to Auschwitz. As part of my A level History coursework, I was given the opportunity to fly to Poland for the day and visit Auschwitz I and II. The experience is haunting, yet rewarding and enlightening. Given the opportunity, I would definitely go back and would encourage everyone to visit one day.

Voted. Voting is something I believe that everyone should do regardless of whether you think it won't make a difference or not.

Moved in with my best friends. This year, I moved into a flat with six of my best friends. Living with so many people can be challenging, but I love having a friend there to talk to 24/7 and the independence of living away from home.



Summer Makeup Tips


Summer is great, but maybe not when it comes to wearing makeup. It often tends to to end up looking sticky and cakey and because of this, many girls prefer to go makeup-free. If you still prefer to wear makeup over the summer, you can follow some of these tips to help prevent your makeup looking cakey and create a more natural look.

1. ONLY USE A LIGHT LAYER OF FOUNDATION

Some people prefer to use BB creams or tinted moisturiser, which are a lot lighter than foundation, but I find that they don't give me enough coverage, so just applying a light layer of foundation works a lot better for me. Too much foundation during the summer can often end up looking cakey and unnatural.

2. TRUE MATCH FOUNDATION

If you tan during the summer then the chances are your foundation is going to end up being too light for you. Instead of spending out on new foundation and trying to find the right colour (that will probably change again soon anyway) it's probably better to get some True Match Foundation as it adjusts to the colour of your skin to ensure a natural look. I use L'Oreal Paris True Match Foundation (£9.99)

3. BRONZER

I find that contour looks way too heavy on my face during the summer months, but without it I look too plain. During summer I prefer to replace my contour stick with a bronzer instead to add a bit of a glow to my cheeks and forehead.

4. WATERPROOF MASCARA

Mascara can be a pain during the summer. The main problem with it is that it can melt due to the heat and leave you with black marks under your eyes. To solve this I switched to waterproof mascara and I no longer have this problem. It's also great for if you're going to be in the sea or a swimming pool because you shouldn't come out with panda eyes. 

5. SETTING POWDER

I've only recently discovered setting powder and I can't believe I've never used it before. I apply it after I've finished all my makeup and it works to keep your makeup in place and leave a matte finish. If I don't apply it I'll usually end up looking shiny and oily as the day goes on. I use the NYX Professional Makeup Studio Finishing Powder (£9.00)

Dressing For Yourself

It's summer. It's hot. Girls are going to go outside in skirts, shorts, crop tops and dresses. Why? Because it's too hot to be covered from head to toe. No, we aren't dressing 'provocatively' to get attention from men. Women wear less during the summer, not only for their health, but because they have the right to.


"If you say that a woman wearing revealing clothes deserves to be sexually assaulted, you are saying a woman's body is inherently deserving of rape. That women are inherently deserving of rape. That women have to make sure their body is hidden in order to not deserve to be raped. That is misogyny in its purest form." - Unknown

The funny thing about our society is the amount of double standards that exist within it. Men, for example, can walk around completely topless, wearing only a pair of jeans or shorts and no one will bat an eyelid. Girls, however, will be judged and shamed the moment they step out of the house wearing a skirt that shows a little bit "too much" (by societies standards) leg, a top that exposes a bit of cleavage or one that shows her stomach. Why? Because the female body is over-sexualised.

PREJUDICE WITHIN SOCIETY: WOMEN CAN'T WIN

The picture below is from an art project conducted by Rosea Lake called 'Judgements'. The picture shows what society thinks about women based on the length of her skirt and it couldn't be more accurate.


It doesn't metter whether you choose to wear a long, medium or short skirt. As a woman, you are going to get judged no matter what. If it's considered too short, you're a slut. If it's considered too long, you're a prude. And then there's everything in between.

A woman's worth is in no way measured by the length of her skirt or dress or the amount of clothes she chooses to wear.  

Okay, so you might not agree with the length of someone's skirt, but that is no reason to belittle them. What they're wearing has no affect on you whatsoever; if you don't like it you can simply ignore it rather than reducing someones self-worth and knocking the confidence they undoubtedly worked extremely hard to build. And most importantly, no girl is ever 'asking for it'. Instead of shaming women and telling them to cover up in order to protect themselves and their modesty, maybe we should be teaching men that women deserve respect regardless of the length of their skirt and stop perpetuating rape culture. 

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO DRESS FOR YOURSELF

Since I've started dressing for myself, I've felt a lot happier and a lot more confident than I did before. I've accepted the fact that not everyone's going to like or agree with my choice in clothing and I've learnt that, at the end of the day, it's my body and I'm in charge of how I dress it. I've learnt to ignore the disapproving looks and suggestive comments from strangers because I've realised that I don't care what they think. We're strangers to each other. So if they don't like what I'm wearing then that's their problem, not mine.

I choose to wear skirts and shorts during the summer because it keeps me cool, I like the way they look, and most importantly, because I'm dressing for myself.


My First Tattoo


Last week I finally plucked up the courage to get my first tattoo. I've wanted one for years but could never decide what I wanted, and when I finally decided what I wanted I couldn't decide where I wanted it, and once I decided where I wanted it I was too scared to actually go and do it. The only reason I actually went through with it last week is because my mum wanted to get one too, so she booked us in together. We used a local tattoo artist that my mum's been to before so it was reassuring to have someone that she'd already had experience with and trusted.

I've always liked the idea of small and dainty tattoos, I can't really see myself as the type of person to be have a massive tattoo up the side of my arm. Flower tattoos have always appealed to me so after a lot of thought I decided that I wanted get a lily. I've always thought that lilies were so beautiful, plus my great grandma's name is Lillian so it made sense. The only problem with lily tattoos is that most of them were quite large and bulky and I wanted a more delicate one with a stem, but I finally found an idea I liked after a while.

I've never been very good with pain and I hate anything that involves needles so I was extremely nervous on my way to the studio. When we got to the there I made my mum go first so that I could watch her before it was my turn. Watching her calmed me down as it didn't really seem to bother her so I was a lot less nervous when it was finally my turn to get in the chair. Before he started my tattoo, he placed a stencil on my arm so I could see what it would look like. I didn't like it at first so I decided to make it bigger and position it straighter rather than having it at an angle and it looked perfect.

It didn't hurt even half as much as I thought it would. It was just like lots of tiny little scratches and sometimes I couldn't feel anything at all. It only took about 20 minutes to finish it with the shading and everything and I was done. 

I'm so happy with it and I love how it looks. I was so nervous about getting something and then not liking how it turned out but thankfully this looks exactly how I imagined and hoped it would look.


My Summer Reading List

Since starting university, I haven't really had the opportunity to read as much as I used to. I haven't had much time to myself since I was either always around people or trying to meet deadlines. Now that I'm home for the summer I have a lot more time to myself and want to use some of that time to read some of the books that have been on my reading list for a while now. 

Since I haven't yet read any of them I've only included a description of each book.


F I C T I O N

1. THE DELIRIUM TRILOGY by Lauren Oliver

There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies. Even kill for it. Then, at last, they found the cure. Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistake. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets Enigmatic Alex, a boy from the "Wilds" who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

2. AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngozi Adchie

In this epic tale of love and enlightenment, 'Americana' delves into the lives of Ifemelu and Obinze, a young couple in love. We're taken on their journey West, away from a military controlled Nigeria as they are forced to live on separate continents. Ifemelu is faced with racism for the first time and begins to understand the hardships of being black in America. Obinze is a quiet spirit that wishes to join Ifemelu on her journey to America but is forced to live a secret life in London because of the post 9/11 state pf America. After 15 years apart, they are reunited in a now democratic Nigeria with a new love and passion for each other and their country.

3. EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING

Maddy is allergic to the world; stepping outside the sterile sanctuary of her home could kill her. But then Olly moves in next door. And just like that, Maddy is ready to risk everything, everything to see where it leads.


N O N - F I C T I O N

1.  THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X by Malcolm X, Alex Haley

Through a life of passion and struggle, Malcolm X became one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. In this riveting account, he tells of his journey from a prison cell to Mecca, describing his transition from hoodlum to Muslim minister. Here, the man who called himself "the angriest black man in America" relates how his conversion to true Islam helped him confront his rage and recognise the brotherhood of all mankind.

2. THE FREEDOM WRITERS DIARY: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them by The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell

Shocked by the teenage violence she witnessed during the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, Erin Gruwell became a teacher at a high school rampant with hostility and racial intolerance. For many of these students - whose ranks included substance abusers, gang members, the homeless, and victims of abuse - Gruwell was the first person to treat them with dignity, to believe in their potential and help them see it themselves. Soon, their loyalty towards their teacher and burning enthusiasm to help end violence and intolerance became a free of its own. Inspired by the reading of 'The Diary of Anne Frank' and meeting Zlata Filipovic, the students began a joint diary of their inner-city upbringings. Told through anonymous entries to protect their identities and allow for complete candour, 'The Freedom Writers Diary' is filled.

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