Monday, March 28, 2011

Last Song Syndrome/ Video Style Moments: From Across the Atlantic

I'm in the middle of hell week, so posting will be sporadic for the next few days.

In the meantime, however, I've been listening to a lot of new music from Adele lately. Always loved her since "Hometown Glory," and always enjoyed her style and attitude. And she looks great here - really sophisticated and pulled-together, like the music itself.

It's odd, though, that Adele's new album would come out not too long after Duffy's, and while Adele  seems to have matured significantly in terms of sound and songwriting, Duffy... oh, I'll just let this video do the talking.

It's already enough that "Well, Well, Well" sounds like something out of C+C Music Factory... but did they have to make her sound so squeaky? And did that slit on her dress have to, you know, go there?

Still love her, though. Just wish the rest of the music isn't anything like this single.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Life Well-Lived

An obituary, from The Telegraph

A series of final tweets from @dameelizabeth herself, using her iPad, dated July 22, 2010:
I would like to add something to my earlier tweet. Always keep love and humility in your heart.
Never let yourself think beyond your means...mental, emotional or any otherwise. 
You are who you are. All you can do in this world is help others to be who they are and better themselves and those around them.
Give. Remember always to give. That is the thing that will make you grow. 
That is the thing that will give back to you all the rewards that there are. Don't do it for yourself, because then it becomes selfish.
Because then it becomes about yourself...which is wrong. Giving is to give to God. Helping is to help others.
Every breath you take today should be with someone else in mind. I love you.

In honor of Elizabeth Taylor, I have decided that I will not face this day without perfume.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guess Where I'm Going for My Vacation?

And we're only talking about the first leg of my trip.

More to come, as the trip-planning continues.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What's Your (Worn-Out) Fantasy: Baby, I Was Born That Way

FACT: Some guys get more interesting when they get older. Especially when they're actors.

Most British actors tend to go in this direction; Hugh Laurie (shown above) and Colin Firth, for example, were quite handsome in their 20s and 30s, and yet - oddly enough - more attractive now that they're older. (In Firthie's case, with a bit more meat on the bones; with Hugh, the natural world-weariness.) Same thing with Antonio Banderas and Javier Bardem: way hotter and more interesting now, but generic and kinda doofy-looking back in the day. Then there's Stellan and Alexander Skarsgard... so, yep, something in the water, I think.

(...Okay, fine. Robert Redford and Alec Baldwin. Still and all, though.) 

That doesn't always mean you can make the same case with other actors, though - especially those for whom "interesting" and "mature" does not always equal "hot." 

For example, would you believe that this is what Harvey Keitel used to look like back in 1973?  

Not to say that Harvey's ugly now, though; his face has always had character, and I would be heartbroken if he decides to get "freshened up" by a licensed professional. But back then? Hello, you can always buy me a drink any time any time you want, and thank you very much.

And then... there's Timothy Hutton.

Behold, a beautiful young man! Yes, Tim looks incredibly awkward and baby-faced here in Ordinary People, but put Justin Bieber and Robert Pattinson next to this guy and they're going to look like utter garbage by comparison. The fact that he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor* - and, still, the youngest one to do so - makes this whole moment in time much sweeter.

(*Which reminds me: Hailee Steinfeld, hija, are you reading this? Because if you are, I just want you to know that you're not the only teenaged actor who has been nominated for the wrong category. Just read what I have to say next about your Uncle Timmy - and promise me that you'll pay attention, okay? Good.)

Then he had to ruin it with the terrible movies, the hard living, and the douchebaggery, plus the questionable relationship history - especially the part where Angelina Jolie and (if rumors are to be believed) Natalie Portman still seem to flinch at the mere mention of his name. Add all of that up, and we're looking at the same circle of hell where Shia LeBeouf has purchased his time-share, right next to Adrien Brody and Jude Law.

Not to mention: terrible on-screen kisser. (Especially in this one, though I suspect that mouth-wrestling Meg Ryan during her cutesy shag-haircut phase might have been part of the problem.)

Which brings us to this.

Not exactly Colin Firth, but not quite Harvey Keitel either... and definitely nowhere near the grave, for sure, even if there's still a bit of residual smarm in there. He's more like a good baseball glove that way: shiny when new, stinky during the breaking-in process, but much better after getting weather-proofed. Did I also mention that he still gets to play the magnificently sneaky Nathan Ford, without whom Leverage would only be half as awesome?

(Still a terrible on-screen kisser, though. Those of you who are less than impressed by Colin Firth's snogging skills should try to sit through any episode of Leverage where Tim/Nate tries to plant smackers on the ladies. Painful.)

So what I'm trying to say is, this: Jesse Eisenberg, Taylor Lautner, Michael Cera, and Zac Efron, consider yourselves forewarned.


One last rejoinder, from Go Fug Yourself: No, Matthew McConaughey! Not YOU too! (And somewhere in the world, Harvey Keitel is pouring himself a shot of Patron Anejo Reposado, shaking his head...)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Domesticity Reviews: Urban Decay Stardust Eyeshadow in Retrograde

This is how my new Urban Decay Stardust Eyeshadow came to be in my possession:

Not a picture from my own camera, BTW. But still, it's so FURFLE!!!!!!! 
Now, I have to tell you, I wasn't sure about getting away with this, especially with my current life being non-conducive to wearing shimmery purple eyeshadow. But this is a gift from a dearest friend - along with another life-changing item that I need to review soon - and she assured me that this was going to work especially well for me. 

And so... 

Urban Decay Stardust eyeshadow in Retrograde, worn with Sephora Super Shimmer lip gloss in Pink Ballerina
Subtle, yes. But so pretty! And not at all drag-queenish, considering that I just brushed it in dry powder form on my lids without any primer. 

Here's the fun part: I wore this look to the office. Why? Because I can, and also because I needed a little jolt after spending the rest of the semester with barely-combed hair and a perma-scowl. 

The uncensored "fashion pictorial" version of the same.
I was expecting a lot of sparkly purple fallout for the rest of the afternoon, but guess what? After hours of checking papers, stapling midterms, and the occasional eye-rub, I went to the bathroom and found that the eyeshadow was still very much on my eyelids, with no intention of leaving before I decided to wash my face and be done with it.

How could I have taken Urban Decay for granted all this time? 

Retrograde is a true keeper. The UD website describes it as a "dark purple with iridescent shimmer," which is exactly what this product is in real life. The sparkle isn't gritty or frosty, and I could look at this pan all day long and never get tired of the iridescence of it all. One day, when I'm not as pressed for time, I would also love to use this as an eyeliner because this is the kind of purple that really brings out the eyes. 

The first and last UD shadows that I have purchased (one of which was ABC Gum, which is basically the matte-powder version of the MAC Paint Pot in Painterly) were as long-lasting as advertised; it's too bad that I never got around to keeping them, because they were fantastic. After reading the reviews for the Stardust shadows, however, I'm glad that my experience with has been confirmed... and now I want to reconsider the whole brand all over again, at least for their eyeshadows. Can't wait to try more! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Glosswatch 2011: Two for the Taking

The gloss: Sephora Collection Super Shimmer Gloss, $10

Pink Ballerina (very sheer pink)
Rusted Rose (rosy-tan nude)
What Sephora says: "Coat lips with a shot of glistening, glassy color from these innovative tube glosses. Just a gentle squeeze of the tube sends a wash of sexy shine over lips. The convenient applicator tip makes perfecting your pout goof-proof! Available in cream and shimmer shades."

SEPHORA COLLECTION Super Shimmer Lip Gloss Feverish FuchsiaFirst impressions: This is not the first time I've owned a Sephora Collection gloss - remember that one year when I got this set for my birthday? - so I never really thought about them much until recently. These two have replaced the other shades from the previous Sephora set, and are great companion pieces to the golden-pink Rosy Glow.

Texture: Very slippery, unless you've got really dry lips.

Color saturation: Sephora glosses are notoriously sheer - as evidenced by the pictures above - but they do photograph nicely, and stand out best when accompanied by complimentary makeup.*

*Note: I'm actually wearing a new eyeshadow in the "Pink Ballerina" picture, above. Review to follow!

Minty-fresh factor: None. Which is odd, since Sephora insists that these glosses contain "lip plumpers."

Hydration capacity: Here's the thing - I didn't really think much about the hydration capacity back in HNL, because it always goes on slippery. And yet, after being exposed to windy weather and crazy air-conditioning in the Philippines, I find myself reaching for these glosses even more so, because they provide that smooth barrier that I need to keep myself from licking my lips.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quick Update

Longtime reader and Tokyo resident Kuri just posted this entry on her blog, about the earthquakes in Japan. I'm hoping that she's OK (updated @ 9:30 pm: she just emailed from Tokyo, and is "safe and well"), that the ongoing relief efforts continue to go well, and that the situation with the nuclear reactors gets sorted out as soon as possible.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Japan right now. 

Monday, March 07, 2011

Pump and Lift, Episode 21: Guess What I'm Giving Up For Lent This Year?

Taken on June 2008, at a diner inside Cleveland's Westside Market.

I never thought I'd say this - not in a million years - but I think it's about time I gave up stimulants for Lent.

Oh, sure, I could've given up any of the other things that usually drive me nuts, like TV or Facebook. The fact remains, however, that I'm helpless when it comes to coffee, tea, and chocolate.

I know they're bad for me, but I just can't help it.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

What's Your Fantasy: The Oscar-Winning Edition

Admit it, folks:

If Colin Firth showed up at your workplace on the way to the airport, you would totally wish you had a megaphone, too. (I know I would.)