Hello, again dearies and welcome to this month’s Ephemera post, where I natter on about the things that I’ve enjoyed in the last few weeks. This month we have some doozies, so let’s jump in.
I love a good podcast. In general, I’m listening to audiobooks or podcasts whenever I’m not writing, reading, or talking. This month I’m loving:
Looncast is a relatively new podcast focused on death, belief, and the supernatural. It’s basically four 20-somethings asking the big questions of life that can’t be answered. I would describe it as gently sceptical, comforting, NPR-esque, with a great soundtrack. I like to listen to it before bed as it’s a nice cap to the day. I would recommend the Looncast as a nice way to open up and start thinking about what you believe about death, the afterlife, and why you believe it.
Night Vale is a narrative podcast reminiscent of old school radio plays. Only these radio plays are a mix of dark humour, weird tales, and occasionally heartbreakingly beautiful quotes that are equal parts depressing and inspiring. If you like Lovecraft, you will like Night Vale.
Death is only the end if you assume the story is about you.
In a similar vein to The Looncast, Ross and Carrie are two friends looking at big questions. However, in Oh No Ross and Carrie the two report on spirituality, fringe science, and the paranormal from a scientific, evidence-based perspective. Unlike my other two recommendations that can be a bit of a bummer at times, Oh No Ross and Carrie is upbeat, funny, and, in my opinion, very fair to the people they investigate. I like that even though they end most episodes concluding the subject they reported on is (to use Joe Biden’s word) Malarkey; they never punch down. I would start with their 7 part Scientology series. It is fascinating.
For Strange Women
I haven’t had the best of luck with Etsy started or self-taught perfumers, but the huge exception to the rule is For Strange Women. FSW creates unique, almost bespoke, creations often incorporating jewellery or ritual into the scent experience. The aesthetic is what I would refer to as natural witchy with an emphasis on scent textures, which I really appreciate as texture gets overlooked in fragrance. If you like very natural, warm earthy scents, you should check them out. While my favourite fragrance, London Fog, is no longer available I also love:
- Winter Kitty: FSW’s first and probably most popular scent, Winter Kitty is the scent of mischievous cat romping through snow while you stoke the fire in your alpine log cabin.
- Fossil: Is a warm living amber who’s vanilla, tonka, and musk create a mineral quality; like a fossil newly unearthed and warming in the sun.
- Sand Dollar: Invokes salted air and shrubby rosemary tangled in warm breezes that glide over deep marine notes.
Korean Skincare Favorites
I am obsessed with Korean skincare, and I’m far from the only one. Everything that is going on in the South Korean beauty market gets copied by Western companies a few years later (BB cream, under eye rollers, oil cleansing), but often without the same effectiveness or joie de vivre of the original. It can be intimidating to get into these products as they are often only available in the West on boutique websites. Also, rarely do they issue packaging for the Western market, so instructions are often in Korean, but if you are willing to brave a bit of cultural exchange you can walk away with some flawless dewy skin for your troubles. A great place to start is Snow White & the Asian Pear. She does great reviews and explains the motivations behind such trends as low PH and snail mucus (oh yes…mucus and it is amazing!) I’m still perfecting my routine, but here are a few things I’m using and feel comfortable recommending to noobies:
- SU: M37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick This is such a fun product to use. It smells of roses and lavender, with little flecks of rose petals in the cleanser. You rub the stick on your face, message, and it suds up into a milky foam. It’s a low PH cleanser that I use as my second cleanse in the double cleansing method, but could be used solo too.
- Joseon Dynasty Beauty Cream This cream can be a bit hard to find in the West, but it’s worth the effort and has a cult following in South Korea. It leaves my face with a velvet softness and keeps my cheeks moisturised without stressing out my oil-prone T-zone. Plus it has the most insane texture, like cream and a gel had a baby.
- Pure Snail Mask by Tosowoong Yes, the main ingredient is snail filtrate, but if you didn’t see the cover you would not have known. This sheet mask is an instant skin saviour when my skin feels dry, burned, or wind chapped. If you are in need of hydration, it does that in spades. My skin glows after each use. Plus the mask is a good fit and stays in place.
I bet you were just thinking about how you have so little music from Faroese speakers. Well, you are in luck gentle readers, let me introduce you to Eivør Pálsdóttir (otherwise known as Eivør). Eivør is from the tiny northern island of Faroe. She is an amazing singer that reminds me a lot of Tori Amos. There are elements of pop, folk, and classical music tied up in haunting lyrics. While a lot of her music is in Faroese and Icelandic, she has been expanding into English. The video for True Love (see below) is like Death & the Maiden and The Seventh Seal merged into one montage movie and then condensed down into 6 minutes. It’s amazing.
All recommendations are based on personal experience and were purchased. It kind of goes without saying on a blog that talks a lot about rotting corpses, but we are not high on the list of blogs sponsors are chiming to get their products on; regardless we do not accept paid recommendations.