Pretty Vulgar: Pretty Birdie Eyeshadow Palette

Over the last year, we’ve seen so many new brands and new products.  As I’ve said in other posts, it can be hard to keep up with it all.  But one of the brands that has been on my radar since I tried their gel liner is Pretty Vulgar.  Thanks to beauty influencers, I’ve seen more and more of the their products mentioned.  One of their products that I’ve always wanted to try is their eyeshadow palettes.  During one of my many recent trips to Sephora, one of their palettes caught my eye; the Pretty Birdie palette.  What I don’t know is how long this has been out and/or how long I haven’t noticed it (which is a crime).  It is easily one of the most unique palettes I’ve seen lately.

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Here is some information about the palette.  It has 12 shades, 4 mattes and 8 shimmers/metallics.  It retails for USD$35.  It is fairly compact, and the packaging is not excessive.  You could easily travel with it.

Here are the shades:

Lay:  Off-White (M)

Free: Off-White (almost iridescent) (S)

Ego:  Gold (S)

Songbird:  Cocoa (S)

Brilliant:  Purple (S)

Fancy:  Mint (S) (It looks silver in the pic, but its mint)

Wing It:  Royal Blue (S)

Snitch:  Berry Red (M)

Formation:  Brick Red (M)

Nevermore:  Dark Blue-Green (M)

Jealous:  Hunter Green (S)

Head B****h:  Dark Purple (S)

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So what did I think?  My opinion on this palette is that is definitely worth the money.  This is especially true if you have too many neutral palettes.  That is not my problem, but I can see this as a great introduction to color if someone is only used to neutrals.  The colors are unique, but not overwhelming.  As far as pigmentation and fall out are concerned, this palette stands up on both measures.  There is not too much fall out and the pigmentation is great.  Another major plus is the mirror.  Its large enough to fit your whole face, and the design of the packaging allows you to hold it in one hand while applying.  They were also easy to blend, and I was able to create beautiful looks without the colors melding together.

The only things that I would change about this palette is that I would add another dark shade.  I also think it could do with another matte shade.  And these aren’t even complaints, and by no means a reason to not buy it.

And of course, one of the best things about this is that it is Cruelty-Free.  It is always a plus when I find newer brands that put out quality, cruelty-free products.  Also, as a note, my friend bought the Phoenix Rising palette on the same day.  She loves it.  It has convinced me that I need to not sleep on this brand or their palettes.

Check out Pretty Vulgar here and on Sephora here.

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Hiking to the Griffith Observatory

One of the activities that is popular in Los Angeles is hiking.  I feel like its one of those things that it doesn’t matter if you like it or not, you probably do it.  For myself, its been an acquired taste.  I still don’t like to hike in heavily wooded areas.  I’m not sure if that is from growing up in Maine and not wanting a tick to bite me, or if its just simply because I prefer more desert scenery.  Either way, I DO like to hike in places that are pleasant and interesting to look at.  In combination of my interest in the architecture of Los Angeles, I love Griffith Observatory.  Its quintessentially Los Angeles, and its hands down one of the most beautiful in the city.

When I went to the Grand Canyon, one of the things I regretted doing was not preparing enough for the hiking portion of my trip.  Would it have been easier if I had prepared?  Who knows, but it surely wouldn’t have hurt.  So, in preparation of my girls trip to Zion National Park, I thought some hiking was in order.  I found out about the Observatory Trails in researching a visit to the Observatory.  I’ve lived here for over 10 years, and I never knew you could hike to the Observatory on the South side.  There is definitely some truth to the old adage that you learn something new every day.

So, a little about the hike.  There are two Observatory trails, a West and an East trail.  The West Observatory Trail is 2.1 miles (out and back), and the East Observatory Trail is 1.5 miles long (out and back).  For that distance, it was still a good little workout because of the grade.  It is a well worn path, and is well populated, especially on the weekends.  In addition, there is little to no shade, so make sure you wear sun protection.  And the best part of this hike is of course, THE VIEWS.  As you ascend, you get ridiculously great views of the Hollywood Sign, the Observatory and the city below.

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I really enjoyed this hike. Because it wasn’t super long, it left enough time to get brunch after and not feel disgusting.  Again, brunch is something that I’ve recently started to see the appeal.   This is especially true when you have great brunch mates.  If you live in Los Angeles, I highly recommend doing this hike, even if to switch it up every once in awhile.  If you don’t live here, and find yourself visiting our city, do yourself a favor and hike up to the Observatory.  You won’t regret it.

Bonus Tip:  The 101 Coffee Shop is one of my favorite places to eat.  It is located on Franklin Ave. (nearest cross street is Gower St.).  It is fairly close to the Fern Dell side of the trail (about a 10 minute drive).  They have great coffee and yummy food.  My favorite breakfast is the Salmon Benedict!

Link to West Observatory Trail on HikeSpeak.

Link to East Observatory Trail on HikeSpeak.

 

Around LA: Descanso Gardens

Every year during the holidays, I see pictures on social media of people at this magical garden.  It seemed so cool, but I’ve never actually gone.  I found out that that magical place is called Descanso Gardens.  And while it is not the holidays, I had to go.  I took advantage of the California sunshine and headed to La Cañada-Flintridge.

Descanso Gardens is huge.  It is about 150 acres and features different gardens like the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, and their Camellia Collection.  You can literally get lost on purpose here.  There are lots of places to seclude yourself and have some quiet time, and places you can let your kids be kids and run around.  Plus, one of the best parts is that it is only $9 for adults and $4 for children to get in.  This is a bargain in Los Angeles when it comes to things to do.

When I went, it was a bit of a transition period.  I went towards the end of the tulips and cherry blossoms, and missed the lilacs and roses.  If you are interested in just flowers, the best time to go might be May, when the Roses and Lilacs are generally in bloom.  During this trip, one of the highlights were the cherry blossoms.  There is just something about cherry blossoms that make people happy.  Another one of my favorite areas was the Ancient Forest.  This garden features ferns and ancient species of plants that can be dated to prehistoric times.  Regardless of the time of year, this Descanso Gardens is worth the trip.   I have a lot more pictures but these are some of my favorites.

Makeup, YouTube and Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy causes so many side effects.  It’s a known fact.  There are the usual ones, like fatigue, hair loss and nausea.  Then, there are the mental ones, like sadness, hopelessness, etc.  Those can almost be worst, depending on the person.  It is incredibly important to stay positive through something like cancer treatment because you feel well…terrible.

One of the things that seemed to take my mind off of the negative and keep me positive was makeup.  It sounds insignificant.  But it can have a serious impact.  In fact, the American Cancer Society (and I’m sure other organizations) have a program called Look Good Feel Better.  It was founded to help women with their outward appearance during treatment.  Programs like this are incredibly beneficial.  Dealing with your outward appearance can be pretty daunting, especially if you aren’t already experienced.  Luckily, I didn’t lose my eyebrows.  But the idea of drawing on eyebrows that didn’t look wrong terrified me.  Navigating these types of situations is scary in itself.  If you or someone you know is having issues like this because of cancer treatments, click here to check out Look Better Feel Better.

As I decided to not utilize one of these programs, I started watching YouTube videos.  My little sister is very into YouTube.  She told me some of the beauty channels she watched, so I started there.  I learned how to do my makeup better because of Laura Lee, MannyMUA, NikkieTutorials and Jeffree Star.  In fact, I also owe them my sanity. Watching them made the day not so terrible.  Having this new world in which to play around in made me feel better, and more positive.  To this day, I believe that this enhanced my treatment.  I wasn’t just sitting around all day, I was learning how to do something.  YouTube gets a bad rap sometimes for being a waste of time, or that it rewards stupid behavior.  But YouTube beauty channels played a big role in saving my life and my sanity.

I’ve mentioned the beauty channels I watched, so let’s move onto the products.  Here is a list of my favorite beauty products I fell in love with while in treatment.

  1.  NYX HD Concealer – I wasn’t just sick.  I LOOKED sick.  Using a concealer under my eyes helped to take care of the dark circles under my eyes.

2.   Kat Von D Lock It Foundation – It is fantastic.  Its full coverage, and goes on great.  When I was going through treatment, my skin would be fickle.  It would oscillate between dry and oily.  This foundation could handle both sides of the coin.  It also has an incredible shade range.

3.   Colourpop Super Shock Blush – Colourpop’s Super Shock blush formula is one of my favorites.  I never wore blush until treatment.  It helped me not look so flat.

4.   Jeffree Star Beauty Killer eyeshadow palette – This was the first higher end eyeshadow palette I ever owned.  My sister actually bought it for me for my birthday.  I loved it because it was different.  Without hair, my face became more pronounced.  I used it as an opportunity to play with different colors of eyeshadow.  At this time, I was also partial to the NYX Stormy Skies eyeshadow palette.  NYX, in general, has great products for an affordable price.

5.   Lush Charity Pot – While not a makeup item, this became one of my essentials.  As I’ve mentioned before, my skin became incredibly fickle.  Dryness was an issue.  In addition, there were just certain smells I couldn’t handle.  Lush’s Charity Pot has a scent, but not an overpowering one.  And it was thick enough to handle the job.

6.   Neosporin – Yes, you read that correctly…Neosporin.  One of the most embarrassing things that happened during treatment was the skin at the corners of my mouth were constantly cracking and bleeding.  When this happens to normal people, it usually is not an issue.  But since I had zero immune system, I needed a little help.  Neosporin really helped heal it faster.  In general, neosporin is good to have handy.

So there it is…the list of beauty products that got me through chemotherapy.  This is not

a full list (I have a lot of favorites), but these are the main ones.  Its been a little over 2 years since my diagnosis.  So its been on my mind lately about how I actually got through it without wanting to jump off a bridge.  This is just a small part of what got me through.  Its the small things all put together that get you through something difficult.  Chemotherapy sucks. Cancer sucks.  But I will forever be eternally grateful for having access to a treatment that saved my life.  Is it the only answer?  No.  But it was the path I went down.  As we learn more and more about how to treat cancer, we learn more and more about how to cope with the side effects, mental and physical.  And if I can help just one person with my experience, then it wasn’t all for nothing.

Jeffree Star Cosmetics: Blood Sugar Palette

For Valentine’s Day this year, Jeffree Star Cosmetics came out with the Lovesick Collection.  It was fantastic.  The lipsticks were gorgeous.  But the real star of the collection is the Blood Sugar Palette.  This is the kind of palette that, when it was revealed, I screamed.  Aside from not having a matte black, it is the palette of my dreams.  The neutrals, the pinks, and the REDS.  Its gorgeous, and I had to have it.  On the day of the release, I was on my Winter Southwest Trip.  I was literally in the middle of the Arizona desert, trying to get a signal.  I finally found a restaurant that had good reception, good coffee and the best breakfast burrito I’ve ever had.  I got my credit card out, went to the website at 5 minutes prior to the release and kept refreshing.  Finally it was live!  I added to cart and then, at 3 minutes past the release, I hit Checkout.  Then, it happened…SOLD OUT.  Yes, this palette sold out in 3 minutes.  3 minutes.  After tweeting about it, texting my sister and having a moment of silence for what I could have had, I finished my breakfast and hit the road.

If you’ve read my post about going to the Grand Canyon Caverns, you can probably get that it was in the middle of nowhere.  Cell phone reception is spotty at best there.  So, I’m shocked that I got a text from my sister when I got back to the surface.  They opened the site back up for pre-orders.  Now, I would have to wait 4-5 weeks, but I would guarantee getting my palette with the next restock.  Here is where it got real.  I start walking around the parking lot, trying to find ANY spot that I could get a decent signal.  I found one and I stood there, in the middle of the parking lot, ordering an eyeshadow palette.  But I got it.  It was worth it.  I do realize how crazy this sounds, but I love makeup.  It is most definitely a problem of the fortunate, and there are worse things in the world to worry about than an eyeshadow palette.  And to get a little personal for a minute, it was at this moment that I realized how great the life is that I’ve managed to build over the last 10 years.  When my hard work culminated in ordering a luxury eyeshadow palette in the middle of the Arizona desert on a road trip, I got a little emotional.  I cried a little…not afraid to admit it.  But enough about me, let’s talk about the palette!

The Blood Sugar Palette retails for $52 and has 18 shadows with mixed finishes.  It is also vegan and cruelty-free.  It is currently sold out, but it will be a permanent part of the collection.

Over the last week, I’ve tried a few different looks with a lot of the shadows.  The pigmentation is there, and they blend easily.  It is the quality I expect from his eyeshadow palettes. The formula is one of the best out there.  The possibilities are endless with this palette.  I’ve seen people on Instagram, that are a lot more creative than me, create some incredible looks.

My favorite shades:  Donor, Blood Sugar, Fresh Meat and Root Canal.

After using this all week, I would say that it is worth the money.  Some of the colors are bold to say the least, but I’ve actually gotten a lot of use out of it for everyday looks.  As an FYI, some of the pink shades are a little staining, but it isn’t terrible.  I’ve actually only noticed when I swatched it.  I can’t wait to keep using it, especially into summer.

Out and About in Hollywood

Even after living in Los Angeles for over 10 years, there are still things that I have never done, or I don’t do enough.  In addition, I’ve always appreciated being able to explore Los Angeles to do things that are interesting.  There is definitely no shortage of things to do in Los Angeles, but living here, I tend to do the same things all the time.  I had half a day off of work, and wanted to make the most of my time.  So, I decided to have a fun filled afternoon and evening in Hollywood.

In the things I’ve never done category is PaleyFest.  PaleyFest is an annual festival celebrating some of the best shows on television.  For about 2 weeks, each night, there is a panel with members of the cast and producing team.  Ever since I moved here, I’ve wanted to go.  I love television.  That actually might be an understatement.  Many people think it is a waste of time, but I get so much enjoyment out of it.  Anything that brings you joy is not a waste of time.  And since I live a fairly active life, I don’t beat myself up about watching television.

This year, they had popular shows Riverdale, Stranger Things, The Big Bang Theory, and others.  One of my favorite shows this year was The Good Doctor.  To say this is good, is selling it short.  This show is one of those shows that comes along every once in awhile that intrigues you, not just entertains you.  The show is about surgical resident, Shaun Murphy, who has autism and Savant syndrome.  The cast is top notch, especially with Freddie Highmore in the title role.  Anyone in their 30s or older has literally watch Highmore grow up on screen.  He is a brilliant actor who is going to be one of the greatest of our generation (in my opinion).  Highmore is backed by a stellar and fantastically diverse cast that includes Richard Schiff, Tamlyn Tomita and Antonia Thomas.  Its obvious how much I love the show.  So, it was a no brainer when I heard one of the nights of PaleyFest was for The Good Doctor.  And I’m so glad I went!

If you live in Los Angeles or New York, and you love television, I highly urge you to go to PaleyFest.  It allows the audience to get a glimpse into the processes behind the show, whether it be the writing, the acting, casting, etc.  It also lets you get to know the cast as real people, and not just their characters.  For this panel, they actually treated us to the season finale before the cast and producers came out.  It was fantastic, and I might love the show even more after this.

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PaleyFest:  The Good Doctor @ The Dolby Theatre

Now…onto the things that I don’t do enough.  One of my favorites theaters in Los Angeles is the El Capitan in Hollywood.  It is now owned by Disney, and they only play Disney movies.  I took advantage of its proximity to the Dolby Theatre (where PaleyFest was) to see the latest Disney film, A Wrinkle in Time.  The movie was fantastic, and I was reminded that I don’t go there enough.  After the movie, it was time to eat before I went to PaleyFest.  I chose a place that I love.  On the ground level of the Roosevelt Hotel, is a diner/bar called 25 Degrees.  They have one of my favorite burgers, and I’m never disappointed.  An added bonus is that you can walk through the lobby and feel a little bit of that old Hollywood glamour for a bit.  In fact, the mirror you can supposedly see Marilyn Monroe’s ghost in was moved to the lobby because of its popularity.  On this particular trip, I ordered the Number Four which is a tuna burger with butter lettuce and crispy onions.  It was delicious.  If you are ever in the area, check it out.

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Decorations at El Capitan for A Wrinkle in Time.

Mini Ulta Haul…just a few things.

One of the places that I don’t go to a lot is Ulta.  Now, Its not a matter of not knowing its not there.  Its more of a matter of never making it there.  I tend to go to Sephora more, as there are things I get there that I can’t get at other places, namely, Kat Von D and Ole Henrickson.  But lately, I’ve had a penchant for more drugstore makeup.  And, although its convenient to actually go to Target or Walgreen’s for makeup, they don’t always have the best selection.  With that being said, the Ulta I normally go to has a lackluster selection.  On top of it, I find it to be messy with open packages, makeup smeared on fixtures, etc.  But, I decided to give Ulta another fair shot, and chose a different location.  I’m glad I did, as the one I chose is actually one of the best Ultas I’ve been in.  They had a great selection, and it was really clean and organized.

I was excited to try brands that I’ve never tried before.  And its not for not wanting to try them.  It was mostly because every Ulta I’ve been in up until this point has not had the available selection.  Needless to say, going to a better location made me love Ulta again.

Here is what I got in my mini-Ulta haul.

*Makeup Revolution – Blush and Contour Palette (Sugar & Spice) – $7

One of the most noticable things about this Palette is the scent.  It reminds me of my grandmother’s blush.  For some people, this particular smell turns people off.  But I actually don’t mind it.  The palette comes with 5 Mattes, 1 Shimmer and 2 Baked blushes.  These are actually decently pigmented, and the colors are fun.  The Baked Blushes are very shimmery, and I would almost classify them as a highlighter, rather than a blush.  The palette was $7, and I would defintely say it is worth the price.  Even if you don’t use the shimmery ones, the mattes are worth it.

*Makeup Revolution – Conceal & Define Concealer – $7

I would say that this concealer is fairly hyped up.  As some might know, Makeup Revolution makes less expensive dupes of more high end makeup.  While I believe that a lot of their things could be classified as just plain knock-offs, I can appreciate them trying to bring certain things to people who may not be able to afford the higher end alternative.  One of these higher end items is the Tarte Shape Tape.  TST is $27.  It is extremely expensive for a concealer.  I believe it might be more expensive than the NARS concealer.  Regardless of the reason why I don’t buy Tarte, that price is just outrageous.  So, its natural that there would be a dupe at some point.  Enter the Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer.  I will disclaim this review by saying that I have never tried Tarte Shape Tape, so this is not a comparison.  I’m going solely based on the new Makeup Revolution version.  Needless to say, I love this concealer.  Its thick, but not heavy, and it offers great coverage.  I also didn’t see much creasing and it was long lasting.  Again, for the price of $7, its a bargain.

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*Catrice Highlighting Powder (Merry Cherry Blossom) – $5.99

I really wanted to like this.  It looked so pretty in the packaging that I was excited to see how it would perform.  I was actually fairly disappointed.  I don’t always want a blinding highlighter.  Sometimes, I just want a subtle little glow.  But I found it to be almost nonexistent.  As you can see from the swatch picture, it is already subtle.  And its even more subtle on the face.  Its so subtle that I can’t even recommend it for people who like subtle highlighters.

*Milani Conceal + Perfect Foundation (Light Natural) – $9.99

Another product that I’ve seen here and there is the Milani Conceal + Perfect Foundation.  From what I gathered, it was very full coverage, and it was suitable for oily skin.  Even after the good feedback I’ve seen, I was still skeptical.  I would give this a solid B rating.  I wanted to like it better than my Wet n Wild, but the Wet n Wild still wins out.  It is very full coverage, but when paired with the wrong primer, watch out.  All in all, I did like this foundation.

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Cruelty Free: Kat Von D x Divine

Limited Edition.  2 words in the makeup industry that can cause a frenzy among consumers.  This is especially true when either the brand, the theme or the the person who they are collaborating has their own cult following.  As consumers, we are usually inundated with Limited Edition releases.  It can be hard to decide what to spend our money on.  Personally, there hasn’t been one to excite me lately like the Kat Von D x Divine collection has.

First of all, I love that it is a mini-collection of sorts; with the I Am Divine eyeshadow palette and the Studded Kiss Creme lipstick in Divine.  What attracted me to it was the fact that the colors were interesting.  Of course, there is the neutral shades, but I just couldn’t resist that bright green!  Secondly, I love what Divine stood for.  Yeah, there was dog poop eaten in the movie Pink Flamingos, which is one of the things that will forever be associated with Divine.  However, when I think of Divine, I think of someone who was fearless and was not concerned what people thought.  Divine truly lived by the motto, “What others thing about me is none of my business”.  Anyone can aspire to be who they are meant to be; themselves.  That is the magic of Divine and the magic of this collection.

Let’s go over the shades…My apologies for the swatches.

Babs – champagne shimmer

Hard Magic – black matte (There should be one in every palette.)

Baltimore – ocean blue metallic

Waters – Matte sky blue

Filthy – gunmetal metallic

Pink Flamingos – neon green shimmer

Female Trouble – white matte

Hairspray – silver glitter

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I couldn’t wait to get into this and use it.  I was not disappointed.  They apply beautifully and blend nicely.  They are definitely the quality that I’ve come to expect from Kat Von D.  The stand out shades for me are Waters and Pink Flamingos.  I’m sure there was no surprise there.  I had so much fun using this palette.  I truly have nothing else like it.  The color also lasted all day, which is always a plus.  If you are looking for a fun eyeshadow palette, pick this one up.

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The other piece in the collection was the Studded Kiss Lipstick in Divine.  It is the perfect nude that literally goes with everything.  You could create any eye look with this palette and it would be the perfect lipstick for it.  Truthfully, I didn’t really think I needed the lipstick, but I decided that it would be perfection.  And it was.  Even if you don’t get the palette, the lipstick would be a good staple in anyone’s makeup kit.

On a side note, I also tested out a new face primer.  The Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield with SPF 30.  I’ve been looking for a primer with SPF that would be suitable for oily skin for what seems like forever.  Finally, I’ve found it.  I used this with my Wet n Wild PhotoFocus Foundation, and it really held up to the events of the day.  I went to the farmers market, grocery shopping, and cleaned my house.  And it really held up.  Yes, it is not inexpensive, but if it works, its worth it.

My Favorite Films by Women

This week, we celebrated International Women’s Day.  There are so many women in my life that I look up to and am inspired by.  There are just too many to acknowledge.  2018 has been an interesting year for women.  We saw the rise of the MeToo and Time’s Up movements, a record number of women have run for public office, and Hasty Pudding has allowed women into their ranks for the first time.  In addition, Greta Gerwig became only the fifth woman in history to be nominated for a Best Director Academy Award.  I’m incredibly behind in my movie watching, and Lady Bird is still on my long to do list of movies to watch.  So, in honor of International Women’s Day, I wanted to share with you 5 of my favorite movies directed by smart, talented, and amazing women.

#5 – The Bling Ring – Sofia Coppola

*Arguably, the was one of the biggest surprises of my movie watching life.  I was expecting a movie that somewhat resembled Clueless, but with crime.  But what I actually saw was a commentary on the social media obsessed world we live in.  Sofia Coppola presents this social commentary in such a smart way.  For me, it was like a time release pill.  While I was watching it, I’m entertained.  Then, hours later, it hit me what the point of the movie was.  This movie, in a way, was a large mirror for society.  Whether that was her intention or not, that is what I got out of the movie.

#4 – Blackfish – Gabriela Cowperthwaite

*This will forever go down as the one that started it all for my own interest in issues surrounding animals in captivity.  Blackfish is a documentary about Tilikim, the orca who famously killed Sea World trainer, Dawn Brancheau.  This story is tragic on all sides.  Like most kids in Southern California, I went to Sea World at least once.  But as children, we don’t know anything about anything until we’re told.  At some point, we start to investigate this world on our own, but the foundation of our knowledge is formed in these early years.  After attending a benefit for The Dolphin Project, I watched The Cove and Blackfish.  Both documentaries changed my life and how I looked at the world.  But Blackfish is done in such a masterful way that you feel emotionally invested in the story; both on the side of Brancheau’s family and for Tilikum himself.

#3 – Whip It – Drew Barrymore

*Drew Barrymore has been in show business for my entire life.  I grew up watching her in movies like Never Been Kissed, Ever After and Fever Pitch.  Let’s just say, I’m a fan.  But nothing has made me love her more than the movie Whip It.  This story is a classic girl power tale of a girl being about to do anything they want to do.  But beyond that, it demonstrates that fearlessness is necessary to get where you want to go.  Plus, its just enjoyable to watch.

#2 – Fast Times At Ridgemont High – Amy Heckerling

*Before Clueless, Amy Heckerling directed Fast Times At Ridgemont High.  This movie goes beyond just a teen movie.  It is an honest look at life in high school.  Part of that honesty comes from Cameron Crowe’s telling of the story.  But the way Heckerling brings it to life if masterful.  One of the greatest scenes in the movie is when Stacy is in the dugout with Ron Johnson.  The unenthusiastic reaction to a big moment in many girls’ lives, punctuated with a shot from her point of view is what makes it.  Overall, it is funny and the casting is perfection.  A staple in my collection, I don’t think I could get tired of this movie.  Its just that great.

#1 – American Psycho – Mary Harron

*Bret Easton Ellis.  Personally, he is my favorite author of all time.  The way he writes permeates into my brain and I just want more.  His work is unapologetic and intriguing.  One of his most controversial works is American Psycho.  A story of Patrick Bateman, navigating his way through the world of Wall Street goes beyond risqué and goes into disturbing.  But no one reads his book for a bedtime story.  Nonetheless, it gained a lot of negative attention for the content.  Then, someone decided to make it into a movie.  Enter Mary Harron; the director who went on to make I Shot Andy Warhol and who has directed numerous television episodes.  On the surface, a female director seems odd for a movie version of American Psycho.  But it was necessary.  Although not as detailed as the book, it didn’t do the book a disservice.  In a way, it made it more accessible.  And well, Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman is some of the best casting.  He is everything I wanted for a visual representation of one of the darkest characters in literature.  To this day, this is one of my favorite movies and my favorite screen adaptation of any of Ellis’s novels.

Movies are something that can break barriers, tell unheard stories, or bring fantasy to life.  There are an important part of my life, as they offer a way to escape that is healthy.  Every year, I look forward to new movies coming out and old movies to rediscover.  I have a feeling that these will all be rewatched in the near future.

Cruelty Free: Wet N Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Quads

There are few brands these days that have surprised me more than Wet ’N Wild.  They have really stepped up their game in terms of formula.  First, they impressed me with their Photo Focus Foundation.  I also love their Liquid Catsuit lipsticks.  And, of course, one of my favorite things about Wet ’N Wild is that they are cruelty free.  One thing I haven’t tried from this brand is their eyeshadows.

Recently, they relaunched their ColorIcon Eyeshadows.  If there is any makeup item I love as much as lipstick is eyeshadow.  I was excited to get my hands on the new quads, and when in Las Vegas, I was able to pick a couple up.  Quick side note…the Walgreens in Las Vegas across from Crystals Shopping Center is a makeup dream.  If you are ever there, and you like drugstore brands, this will be your jam.  Now, onto the review!

I picked up the Hooked on Vinyl and the Sweet as Candy ColorIcon Eyeshadow Quads.  I wanted 2 totally different color schemes to try out. The Hooked on Vinyl had an emerald green, a gold, a taupe and a beige.  The Sweet as Candy has 2 browns (1 slightly darker than the other), a peach-pink and an off white.  Sweet as Candy is perfect for those “no makeup” makeup looks.  Hooked on Vinyl is for a darker look, which is usually more appealing to me.

So, how did they wear?  I have to give them a solid B+.  They lasted pretty much all day, and they blended beautifully.  They are smooth, not chalky, and there was minimal fallout.  The only thing that kept them from being a home run is that there just wasn’t enough pigment.  Truthfully, they look really rich in the pan, but you really have to keep dipping into it to get some color.  But for $2.99 a piece, you really can’t go wrong.  I have a ton of eyeshadow, from high end to drugstore.  And these definitely hold their own in the pack.  They are also great for traveling!  All in all, I was impressed by these little quads.

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