March 27, 2017

Movie Reviews: #GetOut, #KongSkullIsland, #BeautyandtheBeast

Nothing like escaping to the movies. With this current political climate and day-to-day stress, I found myself in the movie theaters recently. I haven't been to the movies in a long time since it is so expensive here in the city. I save my coins until I want to support a movie like Moonlight or Get Out. There was a growing list of new releases I wanted to check out so I decided to treat myself and go see two of them this week. It was hard to share reviews on some of these without spoilers so warning ahead!


Get Out - Saw this a little while ago but thought I'd share some quick thoughts on it. First off, congrats to Jordan for reaching $150 million! I'm not a big horror fan but wanted to see this as I heard so many good things and it was starting an important dialogue. It is as good as they say! My friend who saw it with me was seeing it for the second time and she said she picked up on so much the second time around. Jordan Peele didn't leave any detail unnoticed. SPOILERS: Although I don't watch much horror I can't recall the last time I saw a movie like that - where the black guy was the hero and the audience literally applauding when he killed the white people. Perhaps because I was in New York City and maybe that wasn't happening around the world but it was pretty powerful. Once I saw the movie, I read all the articles and listened to his interviews to get even more perspective. I highly recommend listening to Jordan Peele's interviews especially among black led podcasts as they get into the details of race that as a white woman I don't understand but need to listen to.

Sing - I ordered this on onDemand as I will rarely pay to go to a movie... let alone one with kids #crankyoldlady. I was excited to see this as it had a great cast and the trailer looked cute. I have to say it was rather underwhelming. Most kids movies have a message and I honestly couldn't find it in this one. It's all different animals getting along but they don't make it a point to talk about a monkey and a pig wanting to sing musicals. There's a little bit about the koala who wanted to open a theater but yeah not sure what that translates to for kids. I say skip it!

Kong: Skull Island - I follow fellow Straight Outta Compton actor, Jason Mitchell, on Snapchat lol and he was showing behind the scenes of filming this movie. I was like "oh jeez, another Kong movie". Then the trailers hit! Wow. They really knew how to make a damn trailer because I got super hyped to see it and I was rather disappointed. It is way too long. There was no development of a plot or the characters which I know is an odd request for an action movie but if you want to show a town village or get sappy about Kong's life on the island then develop that for the first hour then show the action. Die Hard - we get about 20 minutes of knowing who Bruce Willis is and then he spends the next hour fighting bad guys. Simple! It was a great cast so I know there were acting chops available! Brie Larson's character also bugged me in that she was one of the only female characters (the other was an Asian scientist who barely spoke a word - yippee!). She used a camera so never held a gun, fine. But they made her the weak damsel who needed to get rescued rather than letting her find a creative way to kick ass. Spoiler alert: Interesting that Samuel L. Jackson opted to be sort of a bad guy in this movie rather than a hero like in Get Out.

Beauty & The Beast - My favorite movie of all time so of course when I heard there was going to be a new one, I was there! It was an interesting tactic to do "live-action" although that made the lifelike inanimate objects a bit creepy. Somehow a talking clock in animation is much cuter than one that is lifelike. They also did some interesting takes on the plot and flow of the original movie. They added in some other details - made her a little more feminist (teaching a girl to read which apparently is a no-no), gave backstory about her mother which lead to her obsession with roses... and also interestingly gave the Beast a little more backstory of his own such as they both like Shakespeare. However, this ended up making the movie far too long. They could have removed some of the solo songs that were new to the movie imho. It did make the movie feel more modern (despite still be set in past times) or fresh as someone who has watched the original Disney version at least 20 times. One scene I didn't like how they changed was the library scene as it was a gift in the original movie, which was one of my favorite parts. But I'm nitpicking. The kids behind me at the theater seemed to enjoy it. It's a visual achievement. And when the objects turn back into people there are some great guest appearances!
P.S. The "gay" character LeFlou is so not a big deal. There's like a 2 second moment where he dances with a guy and the guy gives him a flirty smile. Calm down people!

Movies I still want to see - Logan and Power Rangers.

What movies have you seen recently?

March 21, 2017

Brow Mini Haul + Reviews: MAC, Charlotte Tilbury & Benefit

Brow Mini Haul + Reviews: MAC, Charlotte Tilbury, & Benefit
For Valentine's Day my mom got me a bunch of brow products because what more could a girl want. Plus I also did some shopping of mine for some new brow product options as I had run out of mine. Finally got around to trying them all so thought I'd share my reviews.

March 15, 2017

Battle of the Pore Minimizing Primers: Smashbox vs Benefit

Battle of the Pore Minimizers: Smashbox vs Benefit
One of the top issues beauty products try to "fix" is minimizing pores (which is up for debate can actually happen).Why I think most of it is bs, I do think some primers can help create a flawless look that can help appear to minimize pores. Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer ($31) is my usual go to and is a best seller. However, I received a sample of Smashbox's Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer ($39) and thought I'd compare.

March 14, 2017

@draperjames x @Birchbox

This month Birchbox had a curated box from Reese Witherspoon's lifestyle site, Draper James. "In honor of Women's History Month... curate a box we're calling Pretty Mighty. It may look dainty, but inside you'll find some of my favorite powerful, high-performing products perfect for powerful women - like you." Here's what was inside:

March 6, 2017

Battle of the Highlighting Primers: MAC vs IPKN

Strobing Highlighter Primer Creams

Strobing and highlighting is a big trend in beauty. Brands are developing tons of products around the trend. I got my hands on some of them from sticks to primers. The most extreme to me is a primer as it's setting the base of the full glow. I received a highlighting primer in my December Birchbox from IPKN. I have been using it on my cheekbones as a highlighter but wanted to compare to MAC's strobe cream. Let's see shall we:

March 3, 2017

5 Lessons of Angie Martinez's Book "My Voice"

Image via

If you grew up in the New York area in the '90s then you probably heard of Angie Martinez. She is the "voice of New York" heading a radio show at Hot 97 for nearly 20 years. Now she's at Power 105.1. Secretly I wanted a job like hers. She seemed to have fun, she was in the thrall of the hip hop scene getting invited to their birthday parties, getting the first listen to their music. I would have loved to been surrounded by all those talented, artistic people. She got to interview Tupac! But as we all know when we grow up that while jobs on the surface may seem fun they are actually lots of hard work.

February 28, 2017

My February Beauty Product Favorites (And Not So Favorite)

This month was full of changes not only personally but for my skin. I took a trip upstate for a few days and when I returned I had a bad breakout. Then going from a blizzard to 70 degree days, the changing weather pattern finally caught up to me and I was sick for the last week of the month so my beauty routine was all about keeping hydrated while letting my skin breathe. Needed a lot of rescuing! Here are the products that I loved this month:

February 19, 2017

My February Birchbox

This month's Birchbox theme was about showing your lips some love. "This month is all about giving your lips some love—and making them pop with swoon-worthy hues." I decided not to opt for any of the customized add-ons. Here's what I received:

February 17, 2017

VERDAD Fall 2017 Runway Show

LA based label VERDAD debuted its Fall/Winter 2017 collection at New York Fashion Week. "VERDAD took its mood inspiration from Fall on the streets of LA – with tops, separates and dresses in a range of dark colors, floral and watercolor inspired prints mixed with crisp cream looks and shimmering paillettes for evening." I've lived in Los Angeles and there really isn't Fall fashion lol but these looks definitely had cool girl vibes that work on both coasts.

February 16, 2017

Review: Rimmel Magnif'Eyes Eyeshadow Palette & The Only 1 Matte Lipstick

New Drugstore Beauty Reviews: Rimmel London
Rimmel had some new launches in January included three eyeshadow Magnif'Eyes palettes. I picked one up in my local drugstore! There are grunge glamour, nude, and golden glow. Each one features 12 shades for $7.99. "The line-up is a mix of twelve high-shimmer and matte shadows, which offers the perfect complementary colour range for infinite creations. Sculpt, shade and define your eyes to create day to night, and nude to daring looks. The beautifully blendable, ultra-smooth powder can be used on the lid, in the crease of the eye and as a liner to enhance and magnif’eye your eye color and shape. The non-crease, non-fade formula has serious staying power for eyes with lasting impact."
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