Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Currently loving #6

I took a break last week from the Currently Loving link-up to be, in a word, lazy, but it's a new week, and I'm feeling at least 15 percent less lazy at the moment, so let's talk about what we love this week.

1. This wonderful hater's guide to the Williams Sonoma catalog, which is apparently as insufferable as an Anthropologie catalog.

2. This make-up look from Jaclyn Hill. How easily she blends her outer corner is a beautiful LIE and you will never be able to do it yourself.

3. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette. Because of course I had to include something from Sephora. It's just SO pretty and I WANT it.

4. This photo of my cat plotting to murder me. (With a cameo from The Happy Type.)

5. The latest F-Word link-up posts from The Lady Errant and She is Fierce (and several others!) on sexism in the media. Combining my favorite topics of feminism and pop culture is all I need for some good reading.

6. Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Hulu. Oh wait, SHUT UP I meant Coven on Netflix.


So tell me one thing your cold, unfeeling heart has been into this week.

with The Happy Type

Monday, December 15, 2014

The real reasons we have best friends

It took some new bangs and a whole office full of coworkers who couldn't be bothered to comment on them (Ed. note: Are we still on the fucking bangs?) to remind me why I appreciate my best friend so much.

She knows my vain ass self wants to hear that a however seemingly small change I made to my appearance looks good. And I mean, bangs are kind of obvious aren't they? It's not like I'm asking people to notice the new way I've been getting rid of my mustache (Ed. note: okay, we're done).

So since it's the season of giving back, I thought I'd write an ode to best friends. Without further ado, the real reasons we have best friends (in the, uh, event you need it spelled out for you):

1. Best friends notice your dumb bangs. And the almost indecipherable hair color change you made. And that your upper lip is looking less hairy. (Okay but seriously, I don't know why anyone uses painful creams anymore when these babies exist).

2. Best friends know all your stupid opinions and still somehow think you're an intelligent, worthwhile human being.

3. They know when you're just ranting and don't actually want help solving anything. You never have to think, "Oh my god, I wasn't looking for advice. Oh my god stop giving me advice. Dear god why are you still trying to give me advice?"

4. They let you make bad decisions. Not like dangerous, somebody-needs-to-stop-you decisions, but the harmless so-I'm-really-into-spandex-right-now decisions. I'm so sick of the idea that best friends are "the best" because they're brutally honest. Uh, no. Best friends let you date that idiot or wear that awful outfit and they aren't totally insufferable about it.

5. Best friends don't need to be impressed. Don't you hate meeting new people and you feel like you have to be on your best behavior and only talk about the coolest things you like? Yeah, me too. Let's undo our top buttons and watch Lifetime instead.

6. They know when you're being sarcastic and that when you start a statement with, "I love when..." you're not actually about to mention something you love.

7. They don't judge that "Story of My Life" is one of your favorite songs from 2014.

8. Or that your last meal consisted of three different fried entrees from Sonic.

9. They make fun of you to your face, not behind your back.

10. Best friends appreciate Boston Market as much as you do. And isn't that the most important reason of all?

Monday, December 8, 2014

And so, it's back to bangs

Who was I kidding for the past year living without bangs? Life was always a little sadder, and now I know why. The bangs. It always comes back to the bangs.

They've been my best friend since 15 and then I decided to grow them out and my forehead has just been all open and sad and exposed for months now. Pimples had no convenient cover and you could always see the burn marks near my hairline from when my curling iron got too close.

It was a rough time, but it's okay guys--I'm seeing the light now. Sure, I'll complain every morning about their maintenance but I'll get over it, because now when I see a photo of Taylor Swift rocking her own bangs, I can just think, "yeah man, bangs are awesome," instead of, you know, falling over from the weight of my own jealousy.

If you've never gotten bangs, just be warned, they're hard to quit. Unless they look like shit on you, and then they're probably pretty easy to quit.

But it was a hell of a lot easier for me to quit these things:

1. Coke. As in the drink. (No that wasn't supposed to be cute or clever). I had a Coke every day of my life, basically, from my tween years til 25. It was a serious relationship. Now, I only have Coke when I go on road trips (because I can't drink wine).

2. Nashville. Sorry Hayden Panettiere.

3. Philosophy's Hope in a Jar moisturizer. It was hard, but spending $30 on not moisturizer was easier.

4. Vanessa Carlton. Sorry I quit 'Be Not Nobody' once I graduated high school, but the angst just wasn't there anymore. Also, I always hated that album title. Even at my angstiest.

5. Thong underwear. Just kidding, thongs weren't hard to quit. Thongs are the worst. Who even wears them anymore except contractually obligated models?

6. Bailey's liquor. I loved you but you know what you did.

7. Turtlenecks. I used to really be into turtlenecks. Like, really into them. I don't know why either.

8. My love for Ryan Phillipe. No, I'm not talking about Reese Witherspoon's ex. I'm talking about Sebastien from Cruel Intentions.

9. My love for the name Sebastien. You were a great name.

10. Shaun White. I don't know, we had a special moment during the 2010 Olympics, okay?

Point is: Glad to have you back, bangs. You'll probably be here for awhile.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Currently loving #4

It's Tuesday--let's talk about the things we love this week. I'd start off with the Walking Dead because I just watched it, but like after last year's mid-season finale, we're not really speaking right now.

What am I loving, however:

1. The return of Masterchef Junior.

Only the cutest contestant ever. (via)
Judging by how many episodes are available on Hulu, I'm clearly a little late to the game, but we just installed Hulu Plus onto my boyfriend's Playstation, and it's like a whole new world has opened. Last year, my boyfriend and I both rooted for Alexander but this year we're split. I'm going for Abby (because she's cute, duh) and he's rooting for Logan because they share the same name. I mean, seriously, that's it. Like I said, we're behind. Don't tell me if one of our dreams are already crushed.

2. Abigail Breslin's foray into music. 

Who doesn't love when actors venture into music? It's my favorite.

3. This recipe. I always trot it out this time of year because it just seems like the right thing to do.

I'm so healthy, just eat all of me. 
4. Real Housewives on Hulu Plus.

5. THIS. I mean I don't even need it. I have plenty of eye shadows in those shades and a blush I already like, but oh my god it's compact and cute and organized and it's all in one little palette. Just give it to me.

Hosted by The Happy Type

Monday, December 1, 2014

How to send a care package that actually shows you care

You might think sending a care package is only about compiling a bunch of things you think the recipient would like into one box, but as a lifestyle blogger I'm here to make it complicated.

The thing is, I kind of consider myself to be an expert on care packages (it's all I have, okay), and in my expert opinion, creating a good care package is basically a science.

First, you need to pick who of your friends and family actually deserves a care package (or you know, who lives far away enough to warrant one). I only send care packages to my long-distance best friend as an attempt to buy her love and make sure she doesn't forget me.

Next, you pick the goodies. I try to give Crystal goodies as awesome as she is, which takes some brainstorming.

Obviously, the items included will depend on the recipient, so no, I'm not suggesting you go out and buy all these things for your next care package. Stop being so damn literal. (Kidding, love you.)

But what I do recommend is remembering this sacred formula:

25% Real Gifts + 50% Fun but Useful Gifts + 25% Oh-My-God-These-Are-So-Useless-but-So-Adorable Gifts.  

[Real Gifts= the gifts you'd give on their own if you didn't commit yourself to a care package. 
Fun but Useful Gifts= the cheap gifts you know they'll use that keep the care package interesting.
Oh-My-God-These-Are-So-Useless-but-So-Adorable Gifts= the shit they didn't even know they needed.

Are you thinking the 'real gifts' should make up the majority of the package? Yeah, I was playing around with that too, but to me, the best care packages are a wide assortment of goodies, and typically the kinds of gifts I'd give on their own also cost the most, which would quickly blow the budget.

Keeping the majority of items to fun, useful and inexpensive allows you to get creative and provide something they'll enjoy while also not breaking the bank.

To send my best friend, I settled on:

The real gifts:
1. The hand-made friendship bracelet. Because now that we're a long-distance friendship, other would-be BFFs need to be informed she's taken.
2. The feminist t-shirt. Because she mentioned wanting one with that same message.
3. The Tarte Skintuitive lip tint. Because it's like Puppy Surprise for adults. Will it make your lips bright pink, soft pink or have no discernible effect (i.e. the equivalent of the puppy with only three pups)? IT'S A DELIGHTFUL MYSTERY.

The fun but useful gifts:
1. The ice bag. Because she's really into exercise and has to get sore sometimes, right?
2. The hair ties and head bands. Because she, uh, puts her hair up sometimes and, hello, they're cute and sparkly.
3. The Hello Kitty magnets. Because everyone needs more magnets on their fridge and she loves Hello Kitty.
4. The stationery from Papyrus. Because bloggers are supposed to love stationery and I just want her to fit in.
5. The treats from Trader Joe's. Because everyone loses their shit for Trader Joe's.

The useless, but oh-so-adorable gifts:
1. The Hello Kitty jump rope. Because it was in the dollar aisle.
2. The sprinkle nail polish. Because it's adorable, but who really has time for that shit?

Did my arbitrarily chosen scientific formula work out? Uh, yeah, let's just say it did. But since you won't be sending these exact things, my general tips for filling a care package are:

--Give yourself some time to create the package. Care packages are fun because they're a medley of items, but they can add up quickly if you're buying everything at once. I sent this as a Christmas gift (and by Christmas, I really mean special January gift) and it took me more than a few months to finish because I wanted to budget buying what was inside. You also want to give yourself time so you're not filling it with completely random crap just because you're in rush to get it out by a certain date.

--Don't spend more than $5 on anything you know they won't actually use or you're only buying because it's cute. Just say no to Papyrus' section of adorably overpriced office-related goods. It's not worth it.

--Hit up Target's dollar aisle and TJ Maxx to find fun, but cheap items.

--Send care packages sparingly--unless you're Ms. Moneybags or something, in which case send them for every holiday, including Arbor Day. This way, you can make them thoughtful and spend a little more on them.

--Always include a card. You might as well send an anonymous gift otherwise.

--Include a variety of items, even you have a theme, so it's like a NEW and EXCITING surprise with each item they reach for.

And for the cherry on top?

I didn't actually pack anything that needed to be delicately wrapped, so take this suggestion with a grain of salt, but my new favorite thing is to use fake flowers in the place of packing peanuts as a cheery, little surprise.

You can get really cheap fake flowers in the clearance section at Michael's, or you can, like me, be taken in by the fake daisies (which never seem to be on clearance) and get a bunch of those. The point is, you shouldn't spend very much at all on the flowers because they will probably be thrown away by the recipient fairly quickly unless they're crafty or something and were desperately in need of fake flower heads.

I think they're a fun touch, but you can think it's stupid if you want.

It'd be preferable if you got a box that is more to the size of the number of items inside it, but my local Walgreens only believes in too big and too small. You could also individually wrap all the items inside in oh-so-cute wrapping paper, but I mean, I don't care that much*

*Just kidding, Crystal, don't kill me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Things to be thankful for

It's time for the obligatory thankful Thanksgiving post where we share all the things we're thankful for, like pumpkin spice lattes and Shades of Grey becoming the greatest love story ever told on film. Last year, Kate and I joined forces (as K Squared, obviously) to talk about all the things we're grateful for, so in the same vein, let's keep it going.

What am I grateful for this year?

1. New jobs that allow me to live the life I've become accustomed to. (By that I mean, make rent and buy way too much fucking make-up.)

2. Taylor Swift's Christmas CD from 2007.

You rock those perfect ringlets, Taylor. 
My mom knows I don't like Christmas music, but she also knows I love Taylor Swift so she decided to put a little holiday cheer into my cold, unfeeling heart by gifting me with this CD. Taylor solves all.

3. Boyfriends who cook dinner because their girlfriends can only cook chicken nuggets and roasted Brussels sprouts (which I mean if we're going to get nit-picky are pretty damn amazing, so it doesn't seem like knowledge of anything else is required).

4. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returning just in time for the holiday season because really that's the only gift anyone needs.

You do you, Brandi. via
5. The fact that I don't talk about boxed wine incessantly anymore. Except for now. And later when I meet someone else who needs to know how great it is.

6. The adoption of Plumcat who is a willful, sweet, terrifying, adorable asshole.

Look at me sit like an asshole. 
7. Birchbox sending me a Beauty Blender so I don't have to be a total hypocrite buying one after telling anybody who would listen that I wouldn't pay $20 for a sponge.

8. Jenny Lewis' new album and her glorious, glorious pantsuit.

9. Not being able to name one song Justin Bieber put out in the last year.

10. Story of My Life, otherwise known as the greatest song of 2014. (Don't tell me it came in 2013).

11. Baked brie.

And in the spirit of giving, there's also this:

The Bookworm Giveaway

(presented by The Lady Errant)

Because who doesn't love books?

The Prize

Sixteen Kindle ebooks that are so good I'm already planning on reading all of them. Since we all just chose one of our favorite books to recommend, there's an awesome mix of genres.

The Terms

1) The Amazon Kindle app is available for a variety of devices, including PCs and Macs. If you're a diehard physical book lover who absolutely loathes digital reading, this might not be the giveaway for you. While we love physical books too, ebooks won because they're usually cheaper and can be sent instantly worldwide. No mail mishaps here. 2) Regardless, the winner will need a Kindle or Kindle app on some device, and be able to send me the email address associated with said account within 48 hours once notified of her status. If no contact has been made within 48 hours, I will select another winner. And naturally, I'll check the entries. 3) Once I have the email address, the winner should receive all ebooks within another 48 hours. 4) Giveaway is open internationally - but with conditions. If you're living abroad (and don't have a US billing address associated with your Amazon account) there may be copyright issues restricting what you can receive. In that case, instead of the ebook, you would automatically receive Amazon credit. If there's a problem with getting credit or receiving your books, contact me because 1) I'd like to know if there's an issue for future reference and 2) I'd like to help.

The Books

I tend to make things unnecessarily complicated and I always forget something. It probably would have been a good idea to ask for a short description of the books. . .but I totally didn't think of that until someone brought it up a few days ago. So I stole and/or paraphrased some bits from Amazon instead. Click on the slider image for the book link; the contributors are below.
Contributed by: Elizabeth - A Dash of Wanderlust | Sara - Bristol In My Pocket | Katie - The Style Dunce | Yalanda - Laugh Anyway | Crystal - The Happy Type | Jamie - Ink + Adventure | Daisy - Simplicity Relished | Manda - musicalpoem | Amy - Amy and the Great World | Taylor - Due East | Marissa - Chasing Athens | Brita - Belle Brita | Kiersten - She Is Fierce

The Entries

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday confessions

First confession: I wish I had a confession juicy enough to get Anderson Cooper (or maybe you know him as the Silver Fox) to make that face. I don't, sorry. At least I don't think I do. He's probably heard some stuff, you know?

So I'll just settle for oh-shit-it's-time-to-write-a-blog-post-but-I-don't-know-what-to-write-about confessions instead.


--I just ate half a bag of grocery store brand cooler ranch chips and I'm thinking of making it my appetizer to an entree of tortilla chips and salsa verde.

--I will never not judge Selena Gomez for dating Justin Bieber. No, girl, we have not all been there.

--I'm starting to hold a grudge against Kimbra because every time I search for 90s music on Spotify, some song of hers is the first result. Do I look like I want to listen to a song called 90s music? No Spotify, I want to listen to Father of Mine.

--I get way too peevish when I sneeze multiple times and no one says bless you and then another person sneezes and five people trip over themselves trying to be the first to say, "bless you."

--I tried to watch Annie Hall the other day and then it opened on Woody Allen's fucking face and I almost turned it off immediately. I still haven't finished it. Is Annie supposed to be charming? Because she's more awkward than the most awkward person I know (me).

--None of the words on Time's list of words to ban really bother me, but I would like to nominate, "pesky." I'm convinced it's only ever used on political blogs where the conservative/liberal writer is saying that conservative/liberal people don't like "pesky facts." Yeah? Well I don't like your pesky use of pesky. What a stupid word.

--I paid for Taylor Swift's new album twice because I wanted to download it right away and then I realized I also wanted the bonus songs that are only on the Target CD.

--I can't join in on the Benedict Cumberbatch fangirling because the first movie I saw him in. he played a pedophile rapist and the image has just kind of stuck.

--I really, really like hate-listening to Jason Aldean. It's a weird relationship.

--The more people shit on Kim Kardashian, the more I like her (okay, fine, the more ambivalent I am about her). I'm over how "oh my god where's our society going? Something something the Kardashians," has become the go-to way to say, "look at me, I'm smart and care about important things."

--I've put a lot of thought into this and I'm fairly positive the car brand with the most assholish of drivers is Subaru followed by Audi.

--I pre-ordered the fourth Twilight book.

--The feelings I feel when reading status updates about grad school are I assume what people who hate kids feel about baby pictures.

--I used to think Vanessa Carlton was the most masterful songwriter on the entire planet and I loved, "Be Not Nobody" more than my own kin.

--One of the craziest New Year's I've ever spent ended with a whipped cream fight at midnight and drinking champagne from plastic flutes in a bubble bath. Except I was 10 and the champagne was apple cider and we were in the bath in our swimsuits. Man, that ending was a letdown.

Okay, tell me a confession.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Currently Loving #2: Mascaras I'd buy over and over

So I have this mastermind plan that if I keep talking about beauty products long enough, you'll start believing I'm an expert on all this and you'll actually want to hear my opinion. (Oh hey, Style Dunce Youtube beauty channel...)

But I have the perfect excuse for talking about my favorite mascaras right now because it's the second week of the The Happy Type's Currently Loving Link-Up.

So let's talk about mascara. Crystal's already going to kill me because Lancôme is nowhere to be found (sorry not sorry).

But just so we're clear, I don't have killer lashes so I'm basing my choices on mascaras that lengthen while making your lashes nice and dark. If we're going to address the controversial volume vs lengthening debate... well I'm team lengthening, so you can take that into consideration with my picks. (i.e. if you're really into thickening mascaras, these might not be your favorites.)

1. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Volumizing Mascara. Maybe one of my favorite everyday mascaras. This one won't give you super dramatic lashes, but it will make your lashes look alive without clumping or flaking. I wouldn't recommend this mascara for heavy eye make-up because, like I said, it's not particularly dramatic, but it looks great paired with simple, everyday eye looks--particularly looks without eyeliner.

2. Diorshow Iconic. For me, the holy grail of mascaras. I'm all about silicone bristles and this mascara doesn't clump for shit (sorry), flake or make your lashes nasty and dry feeling. Make-up people say mascara is one of the last things you should splurge on because the ingredients are basically the same for all mascaras (drugstore and fancy brands) but I choose to disregard this information for the Diorshow Iconic mascara. (Got to say, I didn't care for the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl though.)

3. YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Babydoll. I like this one for the same reason I like the Stila one--it's perfect for every day use (or night looks that aren't particularly dramatic). I stress that just because it's one of those lengthening mascaras that make your lashes look awesome when its set against light colored eye makeup or no make-up, but your lashes could easily get lost if it's applied with really dark shades, especially smoky blacks. For me, dark looks look the best with thickening mascaras like the original Diorshow.

4. L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga. After it was broken to me by Wayne Goss that mascara isn't the first thing you should splurge on, I went out and bought this and let me tell you right now, it's better at not flaking and clumping than many a fancy-schmancy brand I've tried. The wand is a little springy for my taste (it was designed to bend for better access), but the mascara itself is great. My bottle has dried out so I have issues with it now being a bit smudgy and clumpy, but that only means my lazy ass needs to throw it out and get a new one. Except I can't yet because I'm moving on to L'Oreals Butterfly one because I like to try new things too much.

5. Rimmel Lash Accelerator. I don't just love this mascara because Jaclyn Hill does, but, really, that seems like reason enough. I haven't noticed it help my eyelashes grow (to be fair, I don't use it consistently enough) but I didn't buy it actually thinking it would help. It is however great at lengthening and separating without flaking or ending up all under my eyes by 5 p.m., and that's all I could ask for.

So, what are your favorite mascaras?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Let's guess the new taglines for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Did you suddenly start feeling joy in your heart and you weren't sure why? Duh. It's because the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is coming back tomorrow night. If you don't watch the show, you should probably just walk away now because this post will mean absolutely nothing to you.

And if you don't like the Real Housewives--I don't know, man. Go tell someone who cares. On that note, I just found out the the Beverly Hills franchise is rated 2 out of 10 stars on IMDB. The fuck? It's the Real Housewives. To even rate it is to have too high of expectations.

So let's stop worrying about whether it's quality television or not and just guess the new taglines for Season 5. Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about--it's the opening line each housewife says during the intro of the show that basically encapsulates who that person is.

I'll go first along with too many Housewives gifs.

Kyle Richards

Season 1: “In a town full of phonies, I’m not afraid to be me.”
Season 2: “I’m not the richest girl in Beverly Hills, but I am the luckiest.”
Season 3: “I’m born and raised in Beverly Hills. This is my town.”
Season 4: “I’m from this town. I know what’s real and I know what’s fake.”

New tagline: "I don't know if I mentioned I was born in Beverly Hills, but I totally was. Saying that doesn't make me richer or more well-known or anything but it's like the one thing I have over these other bitches, so I'm going to milk it."

Brandi Glanville

Season 3: “Money doesn’t give you class, it just gives you money.”
Season 4: “In Beverly hills, the higher you climb the farther you fall.”

New tagline: "I'm a racist asshole who thinks constantly putting my foot in my mouth is just me keeping it real. Peace!"

Yolanda Foster

Season 3: “I like to have fun, but I don’t play games.”
Season 4: “Don’t tell me you’re my friend, act like one.”

New tagline: "I look classy as shit which is why you'll never question my judgment for being friends with Brandi."

Lisa Vanderpump 

Season 1: “In Beverly Hills it’s who you know, and I know everyone.”
Season 2: “Life in Beverly Hills is a game, and I make the rules.”
Season 3: “Life isn’t all diamonds and rosé, but it should be.”
Season 4: “Life is a sexy little dance, and I like to take the lead.”

New tagline: "Sorry bitches. I'm a fan favorite and I have a spin-off show. Like I'm ever getting fired."

Kim Richards

Season 1: “I was a child star, but now my most important role is being a mother.”
Season 2: “People try to figure me out, but I’m one of a kind.”
Season 3: “Life is a journey, and I’m finding myself every day.”
Season 4: “Everybody loves a comeback story, especially starring me.”

New tagline: "My sisters are assholes. The end."

The season 5 newbies:

Lisa Rinna

Tagline: "My best career choice was guest-starring on that one episode of Community."

Eileen Davidson

... who? Oh, okay, The Young and the Restless.

Tagline: uh, "Something something, my name once appeared in Andy Warhol's 'Interview.'" Or maybe: "Let me make you think I knew Warhol by vaguely mentioning that one time my name appeared in the magazine he founded." Yeah, let's go with that.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The things you can't do when you're someone's mother

1. Pose naked for a magazine.

2. Pose naked for a magazine and hype it.

3. Pose naked for a magazine even though you've already posed naked before and Reddit will tell you right now it's not anything new.

4. Pose naked even though you made that sex tape once with Brandy's brother (hey, we've all been there) that will probably survive you and your children.

5. Pose naked and smile while posing naked. You should at least be a little ashamed that you ARE SOMEONE'S MOTHER and you're POSING NAKED.

6. Pose naked when you could be NOT posing naked and fulfilling your role as a mom instead.

7. Pose naked even though your kid could watch Hostel without even blinking because they're not even 2 and they have no idea what the fuck is going on around them.

8.  Pose naked when you could be auditioning for a groundbreaking musical television show that can't quit it on Very Special Episodes so that one day your daughter--through excessively auto-tuned song and dance--will learn to accept herself.

9. Pose naked when you could be busy teaching your kid that nudity is the worst thing ever... once you're a parent. I mean, before, it's fine. That open-mouthed, lingerie shit is peachy until you have sex that one time and it produces a child.

10. Pose naked even though not a goddamn person would say a thing if it was your husband who posed naked instead.

Thanks for clearing that up, Naya.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Currently Loving link-up #1

I'll tell you what it means sad JoGlo. It's nail polish that's perfectly opaque after only one coat. It's shrimp cocktail followed by a caramel apple. It's what I currently feel for everything listed below. It's also what I feel for Crystal who created the Currently Loving link-up.

Image created by Daisy for The Happy Type

So let's talk about what we love because it's Tuesday and only love will get you through the rest of the week.

Sephora's Give Me More Lip kit

Buy here.
You know why this is the most wonderful time of the year? Sephora releases their new Favorites kits which let you sample all the brands you were curious about but were wary of spending $25+ on for one item. I've gotten the mascara kits before and loved them but this time I decided to go for the lipstick because I'm determined to be the type of person who wears lipstick and wears it well.

The only full-size product is the Melted lipstick from Too Faced (which is a wonderful fuchsia) but the rest are deluxe sample size so there's enough product to wear the lipstick more than a few times and determine if you like it or not. In this year's package, the colors are split into fuchsia berries, bright reds, pinkish neutrals and what the cool kids call oxblood. I kind of wish instead of the pinks, there were orange-y shades, but I appreciate Sephora for teaching the tried-and-true lesson that you can't always get what you want. The only one I'll probably never wear is the OCC lip tar but that's only because I'm not in any way cool enough to pull off such a dark shade.

Incorporating fake blood into your Halloween costume

What am I? It's not written in stone or anything but I'm calling it a glamour zombie type thing. I couldn't get this image by Jkissa out of my head and wanted to replicate it on a smaller, lazier scale. All I had to buy for the costume (which included a retro-style Bettie Page dress I didn't bother to photo) was the fake blood. Oh, and the eyelashes. Of course the fake eyelashes. Sidenote: how does anyone wear those on the regular? They are itchy as shit.

Anyway, my actual point is that the fake blood was fun and now I have a lot of it and will probably need to incorporate it into next year's costume. But good news if you were wondering about that fake blood at the store--it kind of acts like real blood and basically just flakes off by the end of the night if you don't reapply it. The next morning, all that's left is a vague rash on your neck and chin, and who'd be asshole enough to comment on that?

Karissa Pukas' YouTube channel

I could write an entire week's worth of posts about Youtube beauty gurus I love. They include the ladies at BatALash Beauty, Jaclyn Hill and Wayne Goss, but right now my love is mostly directed at Karissa Pukas aka SaturdayNightsAlrite.

I'm late to the party, I know, but I like her style, I'm jealous that she lives in Australia and I appreciate how she also holds her hair in her mouth when she's curling another section because I do that too and I always felt kind of weird about it.

Giving Rosita lines in The Walking Dead

Now that she's actually allowed to string sentences together, I wonder when she'll get a personality. But that's always the death sentence for the supporting players, isn't it? And if we're being honest, I'm also loving the fact that she's no longer wearing the combat boots, short shorts and midriff top combo anymore because while we're on the topic, what the fuck was that?

Not loving: Abraham referring to her as "some ass" when she's spent the majority of the time on the show wearing the afore-mentioned outfit and not being given a whole hell of a lot to do otherwise. 

Special Halloween Kit-Kats

If these are now half-off at your local grocery store, you need to get on them. I've spent years saying how much I hate KitKats and these actually changed my stance on them. Plus they are this cool unnatural orange so you know it's made from good stuff.

Bonus Round: One Thing I'm Currently Not Loving


So here's the thing--ultimately, I like the show, but my boyfriend and I have been watching it for the first time on Netflix, and I can only handle it in batches before I get annoyed.

I don't know who the writers are beyond their names, but they all have this adorable habit of writing like a homophobic, scared-of-women bro who has very particular ideas about what it means to 'be a man.' For instance, Dean. How uncomfortable with sexuality can one man be? And did I really just watch an episode where Dean took relish in telling the "Whore of Babylon" to "die whore?"

There's also the writers' habit of not including women in pivotal yet non-evil roles ever (though to be fair, we're on season five). Bobby could easily have been a woman. Castiel could easily have been a woman. But I guess that would have required more nuance than characters who constantly refer to women as chicks and become extremely uncomfortable whenever anyone thinks their gay.

So what are you currently loving?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pop-culture feminists I appreciate

Linking up today with The Lady Errant and She is Fierce for their monthly F-Word link-up. This month's topic is, "feminist role models." 

I titled this post, "Pop culture feminists I appreciate"  because the women listed below aren't quite feminist role models, but they are women I appreciate for using their celebrity to make statements on sexism, feminism and misogyny.

They're in no way "perfect" feminists (as if that's even a thing), but I wanted to write about them because they're who my 5-year-old niece will be exposed to long before she learns who, say, Gloria Steinem is. (Unless I decide to start gifting her with feminist literature beginning on her 13th birthday. So I guess it's all on me.)


Let's just start with Queen Bey. Feminist scholars who are smarter than I'll ever be have discussed how damaging to feminism they believe she is, but I can't help but be appreciative that amidst so many female celebrities who distance themselves from the f-word because it doesn't jibe with the image they want to project, Beyoncé used a VMAs performance to sample Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's statement, "We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you will threaten the man.'” And also to do this:

Some would argue she's just trying to cash in. I don't care. I care that a famous woman who has the attention of millions is declaring herself a feminist and telling little girls not to shrink themselves. I know many would argue she pushes a very patriarchal ideal of beauty (and goddamnit if this topic isn't a minefield), but I'm not from the school that it's anti-feminist to want to wear make-up, adhere to beauty standards like, for instance, shaved legs, or simply to want to look pretty. While I think it's important to be aware of these standards, I don't think you have to reject them to be a 'proper' feminist.

The same critics take issue with the way Beyoncé presents her sexuality (that is, that it's for men), but--while, I'll admit, I have no way of knowing this for sure--there's nothing that makes me think she isn't firmly in control of her own image, and you know what? I'm just not that worried about the children. Which isn't to say, she's a perfect feminist god, because no, she's not. But I've stopped expecting perfection from people, so I'm not going to completely discount her for her mistakes. 

Christina Aguilera

You know, I don't know if Xtina has ever formerly declared herself a feminist, but... have ya'll listened to "Stripped?" According to a 2010 People article, she "doesn't like labels" but I'm going to have to let that slide, because I can still remember, pre-Flawless, a photo of Christina Aguilera in US Weekly wearing a shirt that read, "A man of quality is not threatened by a woman of equality." I think I was a tween when I saw it, I don't even know. (Or older, okay, maybe I was older).

But the point is she's been calling out sexual double standards for years now, and that I can appreciate.

Taylor Swift

Stop groaning. I know about the madonna/whore dichotomy she pushed for years. When, ahem, she was a teenager, but please, let's hold it against her forever. The thing is, I appreciate her because she's big enough to admit that she's made mistakes and, not that she's living to impress me, but I've been completely impressed with the comments she's been making lately (if you can forgive me for linking to Perez Hilton.)

Mindy Kaling

I know Mindy Kaling isn't her character Mindy Lahiri, but she did write this character into being, and while she's not perfect, I'd be happy to be her best friend. Plenty of people think Mindy Lahiri is annoying, vapid and what have you, but I actually like that she's an intelligent doctor who still loves the shit out of romantic comedies and Katy Perry songs. And frankly it pisses me off that because Mindy Kaling is a pioneer in plenty of ways, she's being put on a pedestal it's unreasonable to expect one person to live up to.

Jessica Williams

Why do I appreciate her? I don't know, maybe consult any appearance she's made on The Daily Show. Really, that's all I have.

Amy Poehler 

With a shout-out to Tina Fey. (via)
Words can't express my love for Amy Poehler. Between playing Leslie Knope, her video series for girls and her superior award-hosting skills, she's basically the best (in my, uh, humble opinion). Like Mindy Kaling, I know she's not actually her character, Leslie, but I still appreciate her for playing a character who's incredibly passionate about her work and her friends and has more to talk about than the man she's dating. (No, that's not a diss against Taylor Swift.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How to recognize when the toxic person is you

If there's one thing to learn from the Real Housewives, it's that some people are toxic and need to be cut out. But what if the toxic person is you? Nobody likes to think they're the problem--but sometimes the simplest solution is that, like Aviva, you're the problem.

So let's just acknowledge how to know when you're the most toxic person in your own life:

1. You immediately compare yourself to your friends when they experience success. By which, I mean you belittle their success and rationalize why you aren't as successful.

2. At the same time, you're paranoid that everyone is trying to undermine your own successes. Because they're jealous haters.

3. When you hear a juicy piece of gossip about someone you're supposedly friends with you almost shit yourself in excitement waiting to tell everyone else.

4. You cut people out when you think they're not supporting your 'business' ventures enough, whether it's shitty jewelry, black water or that dumb gym you opened like people actually need another option for somewhere to work out.

5. Your friends found success on their own and aren't living in your shadow anymore and you hate it so much that you begin to hate them. (Are we back to the friends finding success thing? Yes, we are. Because you can't. handle. it.)

6. You're easily slighted because 'honor' is more important to you above all else.

7. You like to blame your personal problems on other people because that's easier than acknowledging that you're just not that great of a person.

8. Your favorite topic of conversation is the importance of getting rid of the toxins in your life.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dear horror movies, please stop with this shit

Horror movies, I love you. You're ridiculous and awful and you've taken years off my life making me stress about characters I don't even like. But it's almost Halloween, and it'd be a missed opportunity if I didn't talk shit on you.

So let's talk shit.

1. There's not like some woman code that when things gets rough we like to put on a white tank top. In fact, I don't know that many women who just wear white tank tops on the regular so it's kind of amazing you somehow manage to always find women who really fucking love wearing white tank tops and not much else.

2.  The really boring 30 minute intro before any action even takes place is as unnecessary as the excessively long shower scene featuring that actress who will undoubtedly be killed off because only sluts would show you their tits.

3. Flashbacks are the worst. THE WORST. And when you start the movie at the very end and then make us catch up to that one point we've already seen two hours ago? Well, just shoot me in the face.

4. Kill your characters in the most disgusting, depraved ways you want, but kill the family dog? I'm out.

5. Fake-outs are really lazy, and also just kind of rude.

6. Back-country folks aren't all terrible and some even clean their homes and don't want to sharpen your bones into fancy toothpicks.

7. Twist endings aren't cool when they don't actually make any sense and completely undo the entire dumbass plot you just subjected us to.

8. If you're trying to make your ghost sympathetic because they're actually good but something really awful happened to them and they just want justice, then maybe stop making them act like such cryptic assholes.

9. Oh wait that villain didn't actually die even though they sustained injuries that would kill a rhinoceros and now they're back? Well shit.

10. That incredibly creepy sound your main character just heard that clearly wasn't a natural sound? Yeah, no one would explore that sound.

11. Cults aren't as creepy as you think they are. Just kidding. They're creepier. Thanks for haunting me for the rest of my life, Wicker Man. (no not the shitty Nicholas Cage version)

12. You don't have to continue making sequels just because the first movie was popular. It's not going to get better and it's really disappointing when you just want to watch the original on Netflix and all that's available is Paranormal Activity 4: The One No One Gives a Shit About.

13. Who the fuck were the people in the closet, Insidious??

14. Also, did I really just watch a movie about astral projecting and love it? Goddamnit, Patrick Wilson.

15. It's not actually feminist just because you let the woman live until the end.

Happy Halloween, ya'll.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Skinny bitches and that bass

Let's get something out of the way: I'm not actually sure what determines a skinny bitch. I've heard it described about women who diet but aren't particularly bitchy and women who are skinny and also kind of assholes. (Oh, and also women who don't like that intense of work-outs.)

But in general, a lot of the time it just seems to mean "women who are skinny," which makes it a pretty shitty term and an easy way to belittle thin women by playing into the idea that skinny women are superficial snobs (or, you know, bitches).

Remember that, "Real women have curves," phrase that was thrown around all the time several years back? I could write a thesis on how much bullshit is contained within that one statement but I won't, because, I don't know about you, but I'm really goddamn sick of hearing about other people's theses (sorry grad friend who just got her master's).

But my point is that I do believe body positivity shouldn't come at the expense of another person's type of body--whether you're skinny and judgmental about overweight people or you're larger and judgmental about skinny people. But the reality is, it's complicated.

A popular response to songs like Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" or Meghan Trainor's, "All About That Bass," is to suggest that they're discriminatory against skinny women. While it's hard to take, "fuck those skinny bitches in the club," in a nice way--to be honest, it's just not doing it for me. The outrage isn't there.

It probably helps that they're both pop songs not directed at anyone in particular and it's pretty easy to also write them off as shitty pop songs if that's not what you're into.

But, for me, the most important point is that there's a stupid amount of pressure to be thin in our society and when that frustration manifests itself in lyrics about rejecting skinny-ness, I'm not really interested in making it about me and my own hurt feelings.

Because here's the thing: Anyone can tell a skinny person that they're too thin and "it's not what men want," but every thin person has the privilege of then taking that information, completely rejecting it and knowing that popular media will back them up.

A skinny person has the privilege of saying, "Oh you think I'm disgusting? That's not what Vogue says." No other body type comes with that privilege. You call out a non-size zero person for being too big and it's status quo.

So while personal attacks can be hurtful, because of course they are, Meghan Trainor singing "I'm bringing booty back, tell them skinny bitches that," doesn't even make me pause. Skinny women? We don't need more affirmation that our body type is worthy of praise. We get it all day long.

Also? I think "All About That Bass" is catchy as hell.

Monday, October 20, 2014

What I've learned from two episodes of Gilmore Girls

I don't actually know what's happening here. (via)
You know those shows everyone else seems to adore and constantly reference but you've never even seen an episode? Gilmore Girls is that show for me. I'm pretty sure all of my close female friends have watched the entire series, specifically while in high school, so Rory is basically a pretend sister for them.

I've never had strong feelings against the show, so I guess I was just too busy watching Lifetime movies and reruns of Friends in high school to care about it. But that changed this weekend--so thanks, Netflix.

And you know? I can dig it. Especially if the rest of the episodes are as eye-opening as the first. (Let's pretend that was a good enough segue to get into the post's title.)

What I learned from the first two episodes of Gilmore Girls:

1. Cafe owners on the east coast hate serving you coffee. And food. But they sure are handsome.

2. 'Struggling with money' is code for lives in a nice house with a wraparound porch and charming decor.

3. East cost towns are composed primarily of cobblestones and fall trees.

4. Popular girls at private schools steal things and hide in hedges to find out if you're gonna fuck up their school paper dreams and not to smoke or anything.

5. Referring to a girl as Mary to suggest they look like a virgin is something high school-aged guys did in the 80s...  and in 2000. (Don't remember that? Well you didn't go to a private school with Chad Michael Murray, did you?)

6. Speaking of Chad Michael Murray. He's in this show. I can't wait to not give a shit for the rest of the season.

7. Tofu sucks and is only something Asian moms would push on you.

8. Somewhere along the way, Sam Winchester got a voice transplant. And his name was Dean. How is that not mind-blowing?

9. The only clothing options available when your suits are at the dry cleaners are jean shorts, a stomach-bearing t-shirt and cowboy boots. Obviously.

10. French men who work at hotels are kind of assholes. As are harpists.

11. Clutzy chefs who almost start fires a lot are the best chefs of all.

12. But seriously, Melissa McCarthy is on this show? Why didn't anyone tell me? She was my favorite part of Samantha Who? (And I guess I also Bridesmaids if we like stating the obvious.)

13. Hating your upbringing and your parents isn't a good enough reason to move away from them. Not when future character development is on the line.

14. Some teenage girls willingly dress super dowdy. And like it.

15. People forcing you to remove your outerwear is a legitimate fear to have. I had the cutest matching cardigan and skirt combo when I was 9 that I loved. Except before I had a chance to wear it, my sister made a comment about how my teacher would think the cardigan was outerwear and make me take it off--leading to, horror of all horrors, me sitting there with no top on. (Wearing a shirt under the cardigan was clearly something my 9-year-old brain didn't fathom). So I never wore it. Thanks for backing my decision up Gilmore Girls.

Friday, October 17, 2014

5 good things that happened this week


Yes, Oprah. Thank god the week is over. Here's what I plan to do tonight: drink wine and sit on my ass watching The Real Housewives with my sister. I know you're going to let me down Bravo and show some shitty movie instead like you're Netflix and anyone cares, but a heart can dream.

Instead of focusing on the negative which is kind of my thing, I thought I'd focus on the positive and show some appreciation for good things that happened this week.

1. Birchbox sent me a Beauty Blender in my monthly box. 

I'm pretty sure I wrote another blog post where I said something to the effect of, "ugh beauty blenders so sick of hearing about them," but it was mainly because... I was really sick of hearing about them. Except now I have one and I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a total hypocrite. I think Birchbox knew I was getting ready to cancel my subscription and decided to really pull out the big guns. I can't say I notice a huge difference in application from my Sonia Kashuk sponge, but it's got a cool texture, so that's something right?

2. I tried Shocktop's pumpkin beer.

Confession: Shocktop's raspberry wheat beer is one of my top five favorite beers. Yeah you can buy it at the gas station, what's your point? So, basically what I'm saying is I was pretty excited to learn they had a pumpkin offering. Not saying it's the best pumpkin ale, but I'm all about expanding my horizons.

3. Taylor Swift came out with a new song. 

Guys, we're less than two weeks away from her new album. I'm going to piss myself with excitement.

4. Walking Dead started again.

Only the best show on television, no big deal. How glad are we that the storyline involving those people at the place (trying to be as vague as possible for slowpokes) didn't drag on forever?

5. I figured out my Halloween costume.

via Jkissa
I'm too lazy to do the blue skin and I don't have violet hair. But, you know basically, I'm down. Truthfully, I just want to wear fake lashes and do a dramatic cat-eye.

So tell me, what good things happened to you this week?