Cosmetics GALORE – Which do you love?

I am such a lucky little lady.  I was gifted a vast assortment of make-up from various lines, from eye-shadow to lipstick to concealer! As you can imagine…I had a hay-day trying it all out.  I am just LOVING some of the stuff my perceptive gift-givers chose for me.  I am very pale, freckly and a ginger-kid.  Let me tell you how fun it is trying to find the right shade of concealer. Oh. Boy.  Anyway, I must must MUST! Give a mountain-top shout out to Lancome. The quality of their cosmetics is astounding.  Their eye shadows translate from palette to face flawlessly and true to color, they blend spectacularly and the color assortment is just perfect! I must give a nod to what has now become my favorite eye shadow color, Kitten-heel! Its a shimmery dusty pink with gold undertones and it’s available as a single or in a quad.  It really is like wearing happiness, just one of those colors that make you smile.

The second place finisher, also from Lancome, is there High-Definition Mascara in black.  The brush is simply wicked, no clumps and even coverage PLUS it easily picks up all the little lashes at the corners of the eye.  Another bonus with this mascara? Well, for me, removing mascara sucks! I’m not big on makeup removers so I often just use soap and water, which usually means raccoon-eyes and multiple scrubs.  With this stuff? One wash and gone! It was simply unbelievable.  I caught myself rubbing my eye earlier and then panicked, thinking I smudged it all up, and it hadn’t even flaked! It still looked flawless and my lashes are looking long and plentiful and then it washed away like nothing. Um, can you say “Perfect Product,” is that even possible!?  I can’t say thank you enough to the make-up gurus at Lancome and my fairy gift-givers, Gwen and Kayleigh!

I also tried out the AgeRewind concealer/highlighter duo in fair from Maybelline, which comes in a pen form with concealer on one end and a highlighter on the other. Simply the best under-eye coverage I have ever had. My biggest issue with concealers is that they tend to have yellow undertones and my undertones are pink – so usually concealers don’t ever match my skin and are impossible to blend in.  Not this wonder-wand! Blended magically, I look rested and it hasn’t sunken into any fine lines or pores yet and I applied it 4 hours ago!  The highlighter is great because it is understated. It refracts a bit of light but I don’t look like I have fairy-dust splatter around the contours of my face.

I still have so many pieces to try out and even some nail polish! Oh my! I will have to find some more spare time to fool around with everything.  I’d love to hear what you use, what products you love or hate and what you would recommend.  Also, what are the biggest roadblocks you’ve run into with makeup? Colors, applicators, formulas?  Let’s hear it!

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Pixar’s BRAVE

Honestly? Just a great film!

The animation is stunning and the plot is heart warming, an honest to goodness feel good movie. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who has yet to see it, so I won’t go into too much plot detail. What I will say is that the story is pretty standard Pixar. They excel in setting animation standards but flop when it comes to original stories. It’s a tried and tested fairy-tale template BUT I still really enjoyed it.

It’s child – even infant – friendly both for the mildness of theme and the one and a half hour time frame. The dialogue was very entertaining and keeps the adult audience engaged and laughing throughout. I highly recommend this film for any age group!

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Fifty Shades of Twilight

I realize that Fifty Shades of Grey is not a film…however – it likely will be in the near future so I’m going to over analyze it now! Also…just in case any casting director sees this blog…the natural choice for Christian is Alexander Skarsgard.  But this is quite beside the point.

So is it just me? Or has someone else realized that Fifty Shades of Grey is Twilight minus the vampires…plus Viagra.  You don’t see it? Really?  Well let me break it down for you.  We have Ana, sweet-clueless, self-deprecating and seriously clumsy Ana…who coincidentally is beautiful but thinks she’s average. Hmm…that sounds a lot like Bella Swan to me.  Then we have Christian, gorgeous, rich, built like a god, aloof and brilliant….is that Edward? Why I do believe it is! Furthermore, Christian was adopted and so were all his siblings….now that I think of it…the whole Cullen family is adopted aren’t they? Strange.  Christian is inexplicably drawn to Ana and despite warning her off he just cannot keep away from her and cannot help but be concerned for her safety.  Do I even need to point out the parallel between Edward and Bella here?  Ana’s parents are divorced and her mom is described as “hair-brained” and has remarried.  Ana also has a distant but fond relationship with her father who is emotionally reserved, socially awkward and enjoys fishing. By golly! I seem to remember this family dynamic from somewhere….is this the Swan family and Charlie?! Then of course there is Jose, the Jacob character, who like Jacob, is pushy with his feelings toward Ana who is not romantically interested in him…although he is gorgeous and clearly the safer choice.

So what’s the difference?  Christian is a sex-crazed S&M control freak and Ana is an idiot (willing to concede that Bella is no Steven Hawking). That’s pretty much the dividing principle between the two stories.  So now that we have confirmed that there isn’t a shred of originality here…I’d like to point out a few other issues.  Did you notice the spelling/grammatical errors? I found three in the first half of the book where the wrong suffix has been applied thus rendering a whole sentence unreadable. It’s really annoying.  This is a professionally published work and they can’t seem to find time to proofread?  As a side note, I am available to proofread any of your future publications, Vintage Books.  Did you also notice the repetition of descriptives during the sex-scenes? The same words are utilized repeatedly, the phrase “Oh my,” is now indelibly embossed on my corneas and by the mid-way point of the book I was bored. I’ve been more creative in a 5 line text message than James has been in nearly 400 pages.

So…after doing some research I discovered this tidbit on Wikipedia.

The Fifty Shades trilogy was developed from a Twilightfan fiction originally titled Master of the Universe and published episodically on fan-fiction websites under the pen name “Snowqueens Icedragon”. The piece featured characters named after Stephenie Meyer‘s characters in Twilight, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. After comments concerning the sexual nature of the material, James removed the story from the fan-fiction websites and published it on her own website, FiftyShades.com. Later she rewrote Master of the Universe as an original piece, with the principal characters renamed Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele and removed it from her website prior to publication.[7] Meyer commented on the series, saying “that’s really not my genre, not my thing … Good on her — she’s doing well. That’s great!”

Perfect…so now that we have confirmed that this is, indeed, a rip-off of Twilight, I can get on with my life and waiting for the film adaptation that is currently being bid on by three different studios. My only hope if that this film is acted better than Twilight!  Good Grief.

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Snow White and the Hunstman…such a Painful Cinematic Experience.

What a flop.

I have to acknowledge that Charlize Theron plays a crazy bitch, wickedly well!  She was absolutely the shining star in this film.  Unfortunately that is the only positive thing I can merit this film with.  I understand that this is suppose to be a re-take on the classical story but is it really? The only ‘new’ concept in this film is portraying Snow White as a Joan of Arc type figure – only much less capable. Truthfully, I can’t even say that’s a new concept. If you have ever watched the television show Once Upon a Time, the Snow White character in that series is also a warrior and that show wrapped it’s first season before this film was released. So I guess there goes that original concept.

Another shortcoming was that the storyline felt disjointed and rushed. The Huntsman and White never really have a strong scene together to solidify there relationship (whatever that may be) or get the audience to invest in them emotionally….then we are expected to “buy” into the idea that the Huntsman’s feelings are strong enough to wake Snow White from her slumber? He’s still carrying a torch for his deceased wife, he has zero interest in White and then he kisses her….why would he kiss her? The other man, William, her childhood friend who has loved White from the start (and who she presumably has feelings for, hence how she was poisoned to begin with) kisses her to no effect. WTF? It makes no sense.  True love’s kiss is what breaks spells….not a smooch from a morally bereft alcoholic. Then there are the dwarves. Where to begin? The fact that they were played by regular size people is an issue, the fact that there dialogue was largely frivolous (completely unnecessary) and the ambiance they provided was strange and awkward….another issue.  They really serve no purpose in the film and seem to be inserted into the story as mere compliance to the Snow White theme. I would even hazard to say they were an afterthought….something written into the plot after the fact – that’s how poorly their presence fits into the film.

Oh, I almost forgot. The piece de resistance! Kristen Stewart.  Let’s talk about awkward.  The pre-battle speech near the end of the film was weird and unbelievable.  I’m sorry but that rally wouldn’t have won anyone over. I know she didn’t write the script, so perhaps the writer’s need a slap on the wrist there but her delivery was horrendous. It was like she didn’t understand the context in which she was speaking. She raised her voice at the wrong parts of the the speech and when she enters the room initially (upon waking from her poisonous slumber) she doesn’t get much of a delighted or celebratory reception – then she busts into a battle rallying testament. Once again I cry – WTF?! Who wrote this!?  The chick pretty much just woke from the dead and the only sound is crickets? A precursory conversation with the Duke and then she morphs into a warrior? Holy hell this is going to get a lot of Razzies.

My personal feeling is that Kristen kills characters.  Truly.  I read Twilight, the books were very engaging, yes it’s teen fiction, but they were page turners! I was invested in those books. Kristen killed Bella. I feel like she looked the part but her tendency to attempt to appear reserved, unsure and nervous makes you feel ashamed to watch her.  Example? The kiss she gives William in the Woods before she eats the poisonous apple (and the scene after eating the apple :S).  She looked like she wasn’t sure what a kiss was…or like she was kissing a bear-trap. Perhaps I’m being too harsh and all the blame should be lain at the feet of the script-writers? Poor Kristen, really. How could she have possibly embodied a character that was so poorly defined? Snow White starts as a helpless child, then helpless girl in a cell, then bold escape artist, then helpless girl running (aided by the birds), then helpless girl in the woods, then helpless girl aided by Huntsman, then brave powerful woman having a Mexican-standoff with a troll, then a negotiator, then mother-nature, then lover, then martyr, then walking-dead, then crusade captain, murderer and finally Queen.  Seriously, that’s the progression of the character with ZERO transition explaining or describing her evolution. She’s scared and helpless, then she’s not, then she is again and then she’s not.  So bizarre.  Honestly, this isn’t even the tip of the awful iceberg but I can only tear something apart for so long before I start feeling sorry for it. I’m at that point now.

I’d like to hear your take on it, did you enjoy it or do you want your money back?

 

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Prometheus: A Film Review

Let’s start by stating that, yes, it is a prequel to the 1979 film, “Alien,” even the movie poster pays homage to it – so lets not argue! Interestingly enough, it received a 74% approval rate from critics and viewers alike, according to Rotten Tomatoes.  However, if you are anything like me, then your tastes never coincide with Rotten Tomatoes statistics…sometimes I wonder if critics and viewers just saw the same film I did, but that’s neither here nor there at the moment!  Typically I find Rotten Tomatoes to be right about 60% of the time (where viewers votes are concerned) but if a movie has been touted as being AMAZING or OSCAR-WORTHY for weeks before it’s debut, viewers become zombie’s and rate a film really well even if it was not the greatest. So I believe in making up your own mind about a film and don’t avoid watching it just because you heard some things or your friends didn’t appreciate it.  Keeping that in mind, I am attempting to be honest about the films I cover, giving credit where it is due and pointing out the flaws, when they exist. So get your grain of salt ready.  Also, I have my own built-in biases – naturally. I love movies with really clever dialogue and humor and I strongly dislike slap-stick comedy, I am also very critical of modern horror movies BUT I will try my best to remain impartial. Feel free to point out if I am being unfair!

Without further ado, let’s get to it!

The acting in this film was incredible, it was visually stunning and the dialogue was well-written. So where did it fall short? Probably the biggest failing, if you can call it that, was the tempo of the film. It was slow moving – which made it difficult to sit through a midnight sneak-peek and it was fairly anti-climactic. Somehow I was expecting much more action.  If you are going to create a film of this nature and have as much build-up throughout the movie, as this one does, it better be worth sitting through that build-up.  I mean, you better blow my mind with action sequences, edge of my seat thrills and a bombardment of horrifying creatures for a decent portion of the film. I wanted more suspense and more pay-off for that suspense.

Although this movie should be considered to have its own identity, being a ‘prequel’ means that comparisons are unavoidable. It has a lot to live up to in the action department where the other ‘Alien’ movies are concerned. It just didn’t fill the shoes of its predecessors in that department.  Another beef? It was in 3D and once again, it was actually a movie that could have truly utilized 3D, but didn’t.  Why use 3D if you’re not actually going to USE 3D. You know what I mean? Things should be flying at my face, blood splattering at me, weapon and debris whizzing past my head…I feel that making a film in 3D these days, simply means they can charge you an extra $6.00 for your ticket which includes cheap glasses, that they expect you to return after the film.

I would recommend seeing this film for certain components, just like True Grit or Avatar. True Grit was incredibly acted and Avatar was visually mesmerizing….but were any of them the whole package? No. Neither is Prometheus. It is worth seeing for certain aspects but overall…I’d wait for the Blue-Ray to hit the shelves.

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Fashion Reality Check – Purses for Men

We  all know that some runway fashions (typically haute couture) are too impractical to wear in the real world, right?  Well, what about stuff that is easily wearable in the real world but is…perhaps, unconventional?www.Valentino.com

Valentino’s fall/winter menswear show for 2012-2013 featured gorgeously tailored suits worn by gorgeously tailored men…carrying purses.  I believe in pushing the envelope and all but I just cannot fathom this translating to the mainstream. Can you? The accessories were not lavishly embellished the way women’s bags and purses are but they are, nonetheless, purses.  I understand that designers often try to make some sort of statement (social, political etc.) with their collections but was that Valentino’s aim? Perhaps he was speaking to sexual ambiguity? Overall I think this was an economically reckless choice because it only caters to or will appeal to a limited group of men. With the American economy still trying to repair itself, it seems a frivolous product and an irresponsible allocation of funds on behalf of the design house. I can absolutely foresee powerful men in Hollywood sporting this accessory simply to make the “I’m comfortable in my sexuality” statement, but the average male consumer likely has more pressing purchases to make – even where fashion is concerned.

Not to throw Valentino under the bus though – Burberry also included a few “man-purses” in their fall/winter collection this year. The notable difference between Burberry and Valentino was the size of the bags. Valentino’s creations were very similar to a “clutch” style purse while Burberry ramped-up the scale to something in between a purse and a shoulder-bag, something that could serve various needs.  Burberry’s selection was much more neutral in its representation and although I would NEVER dare use a Burberry bag to toss my gym clothes in, their bags definitely look as though they could be used for such a purpose.

So what do you think about this trend? Will it mainstream at all or was it simply meant to make a statement? If so, what is the statement?  Would your man use one?

www.Valentino.comwww.burberry.com

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Style is What You Make of it – Your Wedding Day

Are you in the midst of planning one of the most exhilarating days of your life?

Instead of telling you what to wear or how-to wear it on your BIG day, I’d rather inspire you to find your own style for that very special day. If you are stumped or running out of ideas for centerpieces, floral arrangements or even if you can’t decide on a theme – I can help! I’ve compiled a short list of MUST SEE sites that are sure to inspire you. Good Luck!

Figgie Shoeshttp://www.figgieshoes.com/

If you want gorgeous one of a kind Wedding Day Shoes, you must check out Figgie! You buy your shoes and Figgie will hand-paint them to fit your day. Simply stunning!

Lover.lyhttp://lover.ly/

Like Pinterest but for weddings only! The home page is enough to overwhelm you with inspiration.

Forever Yours Paper Petalswww.foreverpaperpetals.com

Paper flower bouquets, boutonnieres and decor, seriously! It’s brilliant, think about it – no limitations on size, color, time of year, overall weight or how hearty the flower is. You could have roses made from sheet music or daffodils in bright purple with filigree. The mind abounds with endless possibilities.

Blue Nilehttp://www.bluenile.ca/

Design your own ring – RIGHT NOW! No waiting on quotes or someone getting back to you. Choose your stone, it’s shape, it’s quality, the ring, the metal and the style! There is something for every price point and the prices are right in front of you. You can watch your perfect ring come to life right before your eyes. PS, they can do your wedding bands too!

Pink Cake Boxhttp://blog.pinkcakebox.com/wedding-cakes-to-inspire-2009-08-09.htm

Get inspired by cake! A huge gallery for you to peruse in order to find that flare of inspiration you need to design your own cake.

Intimate Weddingshttp://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/diy-wedding-ideas-tutorials/

A whole site dedicated to DIY Wedding Day items, from bouquets to guest favors, to kiddie table activities, invitations and programs.

Poptastic Brideshttp://poptasticbride.com/2011/08/statement-bridal-belts-and-sashes-by-make-believen/

“Funky wedding ideas for cool couples” – if you are looking for a little something to add some OOMPH! to that perfect dress you found, you have got to see some of these fun ideas!

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