Mid-year raves and ispy

Hello, Internet! It’s grey and depressing here in Washington (gasp, I know) so I figured I’d wear bright as fuck colors today to offset the dreariness. I am not a naturally chipper person, but I’d like to avoid being Daria 24/7 so I do what I can. It’s been one of those weeks at work that make your eyes glaze over and fantasies of running out of the office to peruse a life of forest living spring to mind. Luckily I have a very packed, much needed weekend ahead of me so for now foraging in the woods remains on hold.

 I feel like there are so many movies coming out this year that need to be addressed, so I figured I’d split my favorites into a two-part event. 

Favorites, Part I (mid-year raves) 

I was extremely hopefully going into 2016 that the movies released would be top-notch gems, full of suspense, air-tight plots, and special effects that would make any horror fan weep with joy. 2015 had some amazing offerings, including It Follows which has secured its spot as one of my favorite movies of all time. 

So what was the first movie I saw in 2016?

The Forest.

Disappointing doesn’t even begin to cover it. This movie had all the elements to make it great; a creepy setting, mysterious disappearance of a loved one, girl alone in an unfamiliar country, and the effects in the trailer looked really promising. Sadly, all these things didn’t come together like I expected them to. The plot was contrived and I couldn’t stand the lead actress; she came off as whiny and naïve (if you’re in a foreign country, and your guide tells you DON’T DO THIS THING, don’t do it. You are not smarter than the locals). It maybe could have worked if the movie had set this character up to be an idiot, but I got the distinct impression that we were supposed to be rooting for her.  Didn’t happen. The chatty teenagers behind us in the movie theater probably didn’t help matters (my friend did yell “shut the fuck up!” at one point and was rewarded with applause. Sadly, they did not STFU). My boyfriend, who lived in Japan for many years, was offended by the whole real-place-where-people-died-being-treated-as-a-prop-by-white-filmmakers aspect of the movie. I admit, I didn’t think about this before he mentioned it but it definitely wasn’t a great choice; they didn’t actually have to use this real forest for the film since it added approximately nothing to the movie as a whole. 

But we’re not here to talk about movies that make me resentful of spending $11. We’re here to talk about the gems!

After the travesty that was The Forest, I needed a palate cleanser. That movie was The Witch. This was a movie I had been looking forward to since before 2016 began. It looked extremely creepy and dark and immediately loved it. Like It Follows and The Babadook (2014) before it, The Witch was greatly hyped and much anticipated. I feel like when a movie gets this kind of attention before it’s released, some fans want to hate it just for the sake of going against the crowd (but that’s another blog post). I think this movie was definitely not what people were expecting; the trailer was vague with a hint of something sinister, teasing the viewers with a peril that we couldn’t yet see. Many of my friends told me they were expecting something scarier outright. The terror in this movie was extremely subtle but I found it to be quite effective. I also was able to confirm my feelings of never wanting to live on a rural farm in the seventeenth century. I highly recommend this movie if you prefer your horror on the understated side.

10 Cloverfield Lane was the last movie I saw in theaters that really wowed me. It’s a non-sequel sequel to 2008’s Cloverfield and I thought they did a fantastic job of making this movie unique enough to stand on its own while still having a thread to the first movie. John Goodman was fantastic; menacing, mysterious, unsettling. I quite enjoyed the fact that nothing is really clear until the end; we don’t know who’s telling the truth, what their motivation is, or what is going on outside (the majority of the movie takes place in an underground bunker, which I thought was really effective in creating that oppressive atmosphere).  I suggest not going into this movie expecting Cloverfield Part 2, but rather a Cloverfield spin-off.

The last movie I want to talk about is currently streaming on Netflix, a home invasion movie called Hush, from Mike Flanagan, the director of Oculus (2013). I generally really enjoy home invasion plots, and this one was no different, especially since the protagonist was deaf and mute, adding a unique element to the film. I did think they could have fleshed out the villain a little bit more (I liked the details on his crossbow; subtle but still gives us a lot of information. More of that!) Or they could have left him completely anonymous in the vein of The Strangers (2008). We just had too much alone time with him to not know anything about him other than the fact that he isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. Other than that this movie is a great way to spend a Friday night.

Ispy

For those who are not familiar, ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription bag for $10 a month for about five products a bag. There were five products in my ipsy bag this month, two full sizes and three travel sizes. The bag itself was super cute, and the first one I’ve gotten that had a button. 

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Vasanti Brighten up! exfoliating cleaners– I haven’t used this yet, but I do love exfoliators. I have very acne prone skin so I will have to be careful with this one.

Pacifica natural mineral coconut eye-shadow trio-This is one of the full size products in the bag and it the colors in the pan looked stunning; they were warm-toned, bronze colors. Sadly, the color payoff on the skin was completely minimal. They were not very pigmented, although the light vanilla shade set my eyelid primer nicely.

Smashbox X-rated mascara- I am a big fan of Smashbox as a brand so I was excited to see mascara from them in the bag. As I said in my last post, I have oily skin under my eye and many types of mascara I put on the lower lash line will transfer. I recently switched from Too Faced better than sex mascara to Smashbox full exposure mascara and it never transfers. The x-rated mascara has a smaller wand so it might be a nice for the lower lashes and hopefully the formula will also prevent transfer.

The Organic Pharmacy antioxidant lip balm-I have very dry lips and at one point I threw my hands up and said fuck because literally nothing worked. I’ve tried scrubs, balms, peels, every product under the sun and nothing seems to work. Last night I did a sugar lip scrub treatment and applied this lip balm at bed time, thinking I would finally have lips that I could get excited about. Nope. Still dry. Still chapped and peeling. Still lips that reject any attempt at making them even a little presentable. The hunt continues.

Bella Pierre gel lip pencil in Nude-Alright guys, I am just going to say it. I don’t like lip products! I know the lips are a staple of the face and makeup reflects this by having a vast array of products just for this body part, but my dry as fuck lips are not having any of it. So suffice it to say, I wasn’t thrilled with two lip products in the bag, but the color of the full-sized pencil was nice (it wasn’t a nude on me, more of a warm plum color). I tried it this morning and either my lips were so dry they broke the pencil, the pencil was just not packaged well, or a combination of the two. It’s a pretty color and it seems to be pretty long lasting (still on my lips after 3+ hours) but like so many fallen comrades before it, it’s going in the abandoned lip bin, never to be used again.

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Overall, not bad for $10.

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