Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Few of My Current Favorite Things

I know it's been forever since I posted, but I'm going to try to do better if for no other reason because I want to share what I find and what I like with someone - and let's face it, when it comes to beauty and random thought, HRH is not the best listener.

I thought I would start off with a few of my favorite things right now. It's a bit of an odd mish-mash of things, really, but worth a looksy.

To start with, I am loving white balsamic vinegar. I've been making a simple vinaigrette with white balsamic and it's amazing. It elevates everything.

The entire Rouge in Love collection from Lancome is remarkable. From the great texture, long lasting, non-drying formula, to the amazing variety of colors to choose from. The color I chose is Midnight Rose, but really it could have been any of them.

Shiseido Cotton Pads. These are the very best cotton pads you will ever use. I got them because I got so frustrated with cotton pads that would fall apart before I was done using them. I thought it was a total splurge, it wasn't. They are moderately priced at around $9 and there are tons of them, you don't need 5 to remove your makeup and if you want you can even cut them in half. They are just that good. There is no transfer to the other side - genius. Out of all of my favorite things on this list, this is the least glamorous and the one that has brought me the most satisfaction.

Tata for now!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The New Love of My Life

I found my day cream! Yay! This is a highly moisturizing cream with pure and simple ingredients that aren't complicated and don't try to do too much. The simplicity of the ingredients is what convinced me that I should go for it.

Lately I've decided that the best thing I can do for my skin is to clean well and moisturize well using products that encourage the skin's natural anti-aging properties. I don't have wrinkles yet - yeah, hate me, if you want - so I really don't need to be putting stem cells or caviar on my face just yet. If my skin is luminous, smooth, and awesome, that's enough for me. Well, that's enough for anyone, really.

The main ingredients are Emollient oil and natural active ingredients: shea butter, beeswax, aloe vera and soy protein. Symdiol 68T paraben-free preservative complex.

It's developed for people with sensitive skin too - which is good for me because my eye area is pretty sensitive. It's a medium consistency cream but it spreads well and soaks right up into the skin. This product is also commonly used as a makeup primer. It's one of those multi-fantastic products that works to remove makeup, under makeup, as a moisturizer and furniture polish (not really, but maybe, I wouldn't know). I used it today as a makeup primer and my skin was so grateful. It's going to be the perfect winter primer. It'll keep my skin smooth and moisturized and super, super beautiful.

Here's the best part - it's not expensive. Don't you just love genius people who can make awesome things with ingredients that are readily accessible therefore less costly? There is limited distribution outside of France, but it can be found on Amazon and ebay quite easily.

Read more about it here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Love It!

Their performance at the Grammy's was awesome - I.Love.Them.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baby Soft Skin

Baby Soft - seriously

I recently started using a new brand called Sejaa - Gisele's all natural, organic, anti-aging super moisturizer and mud treatment - and I love it. You all know how much I like to moisturize, massage and pamper my skin, so I'm pretty pleased with myself for having discovered this line.

I was drawn to the brand because of the overall proposal. I don't usually use all-natural brands, unless you could L'Occitane, and I don't particularly seek out brands that are organic or "no animal testing". In general I like to use the tried and proven mega brands that spend gagillions on research and development. This brand however is low key, really eco-friendly, non-pretentious and focuses on giving your skin love - natural love.

Since I've been currently shopping around for my new true love and the price was attractive, I didn't think I had anything to lose.

I bought the mud treatment - I love, love, love doing weekly mud treatments, it keeps my skin so tight and bright - and the night cream. I did the mud treatment first and followed the instructions - not rocket science - wash and spread, when it dries remove with warm water and a washcloth. It left my skin fresh and squeaky clean. I spritzed with Avène Thermal Water and it was perfect. Next, I applied the night cream. The smell was almost like play-doh, but not at all unpleasant. When I woke up in the morning, my skin was baby soft - I mean, really baby soft. The night cream was not at all greasy, super easy to spread, spread like a dream, and best of all - my skin was baby soft.

Bottom line: if you're looking for something that won't irritate your skin, natural, highly moisturizing and within your budget, I recommend this line. There are three products: Day Cream, Night Cream, Mud Treatment.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pretty Orange Lippies

I am fascinated by orange lipstick lately. Because of the nuclear heat south of the Equator right now, it only seems fitting that this should be one of the colors of the moment. Like the surface of the sun.

MAC makes a really beautiful orange, Lady Danger. It's very bright and intense. There is a way to tone it down though by mixing a bit with clear gloss first. It makes the color translucent and more wearable for every day life - especially if you're just a normal person and not Rihanna.

There are many ways to wear bright colors, but the most sensible way is to tone down everything else to a bare minimum - the way Kirsten Dunst and Grace Kelly are wearing it in these pictures.

There are millions of oranges out there from drugstore to high end department store brands. You just have to try on different ones until you find your ticket - the perfect one for you.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Loss of a Teadrop Diamond

Lately I have been really hard to please in the movie department. I just watched Tennessee Williams' The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond - a screenplay only found after he died. People, there's a reason Tennessee kept this a secret - it's really no good. Although, since I have not read the screenplay myself, I don't know if I should pin the blame on him (technically he's blameless, as he chose not to reveal this particular work), or on the director who to me grossly misinterpreted the characters to the extent that it felt amateurish and green - two things Tennessee Williams is not.

It feels like an unfinished story. It's like he started it and finished some of the characters, but hadn't gotten around to fine tuning and perfecting all of them. The whole story is so full of holes, gaps, craters, character flaws and what-have-you that it was impossible for me to really get behind.

In fact, it kind of made me mad because I really wanted to like it. It stars two of my favorite actors, Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Evans - be still my heart. It's well cast in my opinion, the costumes, hair and makeup are excellent, not to mention that it's set in the roaring 20's - very attractive. It promises but does not deliver.

While Chris Evans is a super hot hunk of burning Southern love in the story (although, he didn't take off his shirt the whole movie long - I don't get that), and is able to portray what he was given to work with to the best of his ability, his is the worst written character. It's contradictory, lacking depth and reason, there are no explanations, just strange. Unlike his character, Bryce Dallas Howard's is very well rounded, excentric, endearing, passionate and well written. The contrast is severe and gives the viewer the feeling that they don't connect - square peg, round whole. There are two other significant characters in the film, one of which stands out to me particularly, and that is the role played by Ellen Burstyn - the dying aunt of a friend. Spactacular and award winning.

That being said, the movie is very attractive because of the glamor, colors, actors, etc. If you can put up with a "hero" who to me is a terrible person with no redeeming qualities but his looks, no background story that would explain his lack of character, coldness and lack of empathy and understanding, or anything that would help endear him, then you will enjoy it immensely. The hair, makeup and spectacular wardrobe were the only redeeming factors for me.

I know I may be alone in this sentiment and that there must be a plethora of glowing reviews out there, but this is what I think. You should probably watch it and decide for yourself.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Movie Review: Black Swan

After being presented with a wave of mediocre to downright ridiculous offerings such as: Eat Pray Love, I Hate Valentine's Day, The Backup Plan and several Nicholas Cage contributions - just to name a few - the movie Black Swan literally blew me away.

It is an emotional thriller and psychodrama of the most intense kind. One review said it was "Fantastically deranged at all times............ a glittering, crackling, outrageously pickable scab of a film". The film grips you from the very first scene with its hideously close photography and never lets you go.

It takes you on a journey through the twisted and fragile ill mind of a young girl who is picked for the role of a lifetime - the Queen Swan in the ballet Swan Lake. Faced with the monumental task of playing the Black Swan - the dark side of role - and being such as vulnerable, naive little ninny who lets her overbearing and controlling mother dictate every aspect of her life, the task seems almost too much for her. As she breaks down emotional and mental barriers in her life, she begins making progress during rehearsals but at the cost of her sanity.

Her relationship with her mother is twisted and wrong and it seems to only get worse as she does better - and worse (in her mind). That whole business with her mother is confusing and leaves a lasting impression, unfortunately. Her stupid bedroom filled with cute stuffies is in itself bordering on child abuse - since Nina the ballerina is in her 20's. You can tell from the way her mother treats her that she not only hangs all her hopes and unaccomplished dreams on her little girl, but also works double duty to try to infantilise her in a severly creapy way.

The dancing, while vital to the story and an interpretation of everything you see, is unbelievably beautiful but almost secondary to the storyline. When you finally get to see her dance the White and Black Swan it's amazing. A take your breath away, give you goosebumps, awestruck moment in the film.

A good movie, to be sure, and worth every penny. It gave me a whole new respect for Natalie Portman as an actor and a person. The kind of commitment it takes to play the role the way she did is beyond my scope of understanding. I hope she wins the Oscar. In my opinion, she's the only one in the running. Watching Natalie Portman transform and morph into what is essentially a "creature" is terrifying and downright scary - which is fascinating and thrilling.