Irreverent Reviews: ‘On Wednesdays We Wear Pink’ Collection by CandiiBlossom Cosmetics

Is it common knowledge that Mean Girls is my favorite movie? I know, I’m one of a billion. I have a work out shirt that says “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink” and “Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries” is basically my life motto.

I almost wrote CandiiBlossom Cosmetics off entirely based on their ever-so-cutesy name, but they are the only folks I’m aware of making a Mean Girls themed shadow collection (plus they’re based in my second favorite state!). Even if I knew of ten other companies making one… I’d still have nabbed this set* because I just can’t get enough. As a bonus, it’s good eyeshadow!

Appropriately, the collection is four different shades of pink, “Cool Mom,” “Get in Loser,” “The Rules of Feminism,” and “Life Ruiner.”

20140913_181311Using my extremely unscientific language, I would declare these all to be “neutral pinks” in that they would blend well when used together but also complement just about any other color nicely. There’s a nice shimmer to each color but they are not glitter bombs. They swatch on really lightly, but are buildable, and I honestly think their “lightness” makes them that much more versatile. I love pink, but it’s a hard color to get in an eyeshadow. They’re classy pinks.

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Flash From top to bottom: “Cool Mom,” “Get in Loser,” “The Rules of Feminism,” and “Life Ruiner.”

No flash

No flash

They were almost impossible to photograph in my apartment with my camera phone, though.

These are the perfect, fun colors to represent Mean Girls and I love how versatile they are! A definite must for any fan. Perfect for Wednesday wear while eating your consolation cheese fries (since you can’t have Taco Bell, you’re on an all carb diet) with your cool mom. They may not have the weight loss power of a caltene bar, but they’ll make you look like you lost 3lbs, just in time for the spring dance. Now if only there were a color called “Glen Coco…”

 

So a general disclaimer for when I work with jars with sifters (all jars with sifters, not just CandiiBlossom’s)… I have a really hard time getting shadow out of them initially. Holding them upside down, shaking them… after they spend two days in my makeup bag it’s all out there, but that initial try everything always feels stuck. That means I had a really hard time picking up shadow, NOT because of the formula of the shadows, but because of my incompetence. This will be a running theme in all the swatches you see in upcoming review posts.

*I cannot find a direct link to this collection on the CandiiBlossom etsy page as of publishing this, so I assume it is out of stock. I will update if I notice it has returned.

The Luidaeg

I have tried to be as vague as possible, BUT I do not promise that this post is spoiler-free, so if you do not want to be spoiled for Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series (up to and including the most recent release) you may want to skip this post! 

Sick of this weeks content? Next week is going to be all reviews!

I just finished reading the newest installment in Seanan McGuire‘s October Daye series: The Winter Long, and since I now have to wait an entire freaking year for the next installment I wanted to take a post and discuss one of my favorite literary characters: The Luidaeg.

I discovered McGuire on tumblr, initially just enjoying her posts before realizing zomg, this person was actually a published and reasonably known actual author! She has two series under the “Seanan McGuire” mantle (which is, as far as I can tell her real name) and two under the “Mira Grant” mantle. Being that I personally am feeling way, way over-saturated with zombies and that the October Daye series featured a protagonist who was turned into a fish (a lifelong dream of mine, I wish I wish I were a fish*!). They were also easily checked out at my then-local library!

I was initially unimpressed with the October Daye series. I read the first book because there was an interesting premise, the second one because I try not to judge things by their “pilot” and the third one because I had checked it out at the same time as the second one. I dislike the first two so much that if I hadn’t had the third book on hand when I finished the second, I would have stopped and written them off. Given that I’m now on the please-don’t-make-me-count-for-you-th book, you can safely assume that I AM enjoying them and that I DO recommend them and would encourage someone starting the series to push through to at least the third book.

But even when I was thinking to myself “wow, Toby is really dumb and I don’t think I’m going to keep reading these,” I loved the Luidaeg. The Luidaeg is, effectively, the sea witch, and one of the oldest creatures in Faerie. She is frequently Toby’s guide in her quests, and she is someone I really identify with, despite being a fictional character.

The Luidaeg keeps some badass fish tanks; I merely keep some average looking ones… but someday!

She’s the big scary sea witch; I aspire to instill that kind of fear in children, my life will not be complete until someone starts a rumor that I’m a witch.

Like most great literary characters, she has a tragic back story, which I am lacking (and in no hurry to get), unless you want to count the PTSD**.

She has a much kinder view of roaches than I do, and that is our biggest difference (other than the whole ageless faerie/human thing, but you know, details)

We essentially have the same job: Give vague answers until people start asking the right questions.

Why did I feel this warrants a post? Because I read a lot. I read a lot of stuff I like, I read a lot of stuff I love, and I read a lot of steaming piles of crap (helloooooo Heart of Darkness). To enjoy something I have to “like” the characters (which is a tricky subject to discuss because there is a lot of backlash against likable characters. Without going all post-ception on this, I will say I define “liking” as “enjoying their screentime” which means I can like villains and side characters and unlikeable people if there presence in the story doesn’t fill me with rage and/or boredom). So because of that, I read a lot of books with characters that I like. And still, I rarely, rarely read something where there is a specific character that I absolutely adore. There are very few characters, especially in series, who whenever they are onscreen (eerrr, page?) I am filled with a giddy glee. There are very few characters whose potential death is enough to make me scream “No, if you do this I will FUCKING RIOT,” and terrify my sleeping cat. There are very few characters I wish I could drive up along side, Mean Girls style, and announce “Get in loser, we’re going to the aquarium.” Yet somehow, out of a book series I barely enjoyed when I started reading, McGuire has managed to create what may possibly be my favorite literary character. That’s a feat!

I’m a big fan of credit where credit is due, and for that, the Luidaeg get’s her own post. May I one day aspire to her sea-witchy greatness.

 

 

 

*Bonus points if you get that reference, double bonus points if you get that reference and are under 25.

**Diagnosed by a mental health professional, not myself, annoyed that I even feel like that’s something worth clarifying.

Knowledge is Power, and Power is a Carcinogen

What does it say about me and the world we live in when I hear about carcinogens being found in everyday products and I just shrug? This article, about triclosan in Colgate toothpaste, suggests that it has been linked to cancer. There’s been an appropriate amount of Facebook outrage surrounding this and people are vowing to make switches they will probably never make.

Look, I’m a cynic who isn’t all that high on life to begin with. I don’t know if triclosan is a carcinogen the way asbestos is, but I know that fracking is poisoning my groundwater, that there’s a ton of crap floating through the air, that driving to work in Massachusetts is an extreme sport, and that anthrax and Ebola are both natural. Is my toothpaste a carcinogen? I’d be more surprised if it wasn’t.

That said, some people have more fucks than me,  and for those people (or for people with allergies to certain ingredients and whatnot) we have Skin Deep, a site that will judge your beauty products for you! Even if you’re like me and just don’t care about poisoning yourself slowly, it is still interesting to see how your favorite products rate. I will say that many of mine are rated as potential irritants, and I’m not sure if that’s an actual criticism, or if everything has to be rated as such given that everything has the potential to be irritating to someone. If I was having irritation problems with, say, St. Ives, I would not use it. But I don’t.

Hopefully someone is able to find this helpful, because knowledge is power, but Skin Deep doesn’t have a health rating for either of those things.

Wedding Fever

While I love weddings in theory (gimme that CAKE!) my relationship with them has been… complicated, particularly by the death of my grandparents, but also by general cultural narratives surrounding weddings. This past summer was full of weddings, and while I’ve had friends get married before, I’d never been able to attend their services.

In May, a friend from 3rd grade got married in a beautiful but very traditional ceremony. My friend is perhaps the nicest person in the history of the universe and although  I was not a member of the wedding party it was still an incredibly stressful event, mostly because of other mutual friends who brought an attitude of entitlement and who I began to realize I had little, if anything, in common with. I think it can be summed up when the dancing started after dinner and one of said friends dragged me to the dance floor while yelling “it’s just like high school!” Yeah, that’s not something I try to evoke ever.

In June my very best friend got married and I made the cake. Her wedding was an informal affair with no one forcing me to dance. Despite having to make the cake (and doing a subpar job on it, even for my skill level), it was a wonderful and delicious time. And you know, I knew I was going to get to spend approximately no time with her on her wedding day, but I wished I’d been able to spend more (whatever though, we got to go over the next day and play with her dog).

In August we attended the reception for a cousin who had officially married back in March. It was under a tent, next to their cornfield and across the street from the barn where they keep their dairy cows. It was a huge, boozy party and it was so much fun to catch up with family (that I haven’t seen in years!). The whole event was crazy casual, to the point it almost made very best friend’s wedding look like a black tie affair.

And then, this past weekend, one of my friends from PRESCHOOL got engaged to her super long time boyfriend and I’ll finally get to be maid of honor! It’s a great incentive to get my finances and work outs in order, but above everything I’m so excited to help a dear and OLD friend plan her wedding and  have such a special part in it.

I’ve been super grateful for all the friends who have ended up going before me who I will be able to tap for information when my time finally comes, IF we decide to go the wedding route. We were trying to plan things around my grandparents health, and they seemed to be doing better before they did much worse. I went from planning my dream wedding, to wondering if that nursing community (that actually does have beautiful grounds) would let us host a small family-only ceremony, back to planning my dream wedding, to where I am now: unsure if I even care about having one. The idea of actually having a wedding for myself makes me want to crawl into a blanket fort with a cup of chamomile and never emerge. Something I wanted so bad now feels impossible. And while I was never into the idea of “perfection” and am generally a half-assed kind of person, this is one giant obstacle I’m not sure I can overcome. My wedding day, if I have one, doesn’t have a chance of being perfect-for-me, there will be a glaring void. There are also a ton of people I just don’t want to invite who keep trying to weasel their way into my life, or who feel like obligations to at least one person.

Right now, the only way that feels like it would have even a little bit of validity is a quasi-elopement: Fly to our favorite winery in Oregon, invite only immediate family and the friends who would be bridal party, do something large for everyone at a later date. Nothing feels like the right plan anymore though.

So I’m excited now in many ways: a genuine happiness for a couple I’ve known and loved a very long time, and excitement at having a place of honor, another chance to cherry-pick things I like and dislike from other people’s weddings. I’m also hoping it will un-complicate my feelings about weddings, that being surrounded by one that feels more like a wedding than a family reunion will help me sort through this grief. It’s possible that, even a year later when this wedding is scheduled, I’ll still be a weepy, horrible mess about what I cannot have.

Whatever, there will be a bachlorette party. Bring it on.

Do the Grad School Shuffle

I love this blog, and I love maintaining it. I love the schedule I have set up, the topics I address here, everything.

I know, I’ve kinda got an ominous lead in there, this is not a goodbye or another hiatus. I do need to re-rack my priorities though, so I’ll be switching my schedule from M-F to MWF with the option to  switch to T-R if I end up feeling really overwhelmed. It’s easy for me to sit down on a Sunday and create a big backlog of posts, especially when I have reviews, but this should help stretch them farther and give me more time to spend on novel writing and classes (plus being a bridesmaid!). I’ll stay on that schedule indefinitely, since it should take me about 2.5 years to complete my degree. Thanks everyone for reading along so far, I’m excited for what’s to come!

Very Pinteresting: Pumpkin Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Yum. This ends up being like… pumpkin cinnamon roll in bread form. And this recipe I followed almost exactly to the letter!

The difficulty came up when rolling out the dough. I don’t really have a large enough or adequate enough space to work in, and couldn’t get it to roll into a nice rectangle, so some of my pieces where shorter than the others. I ultimately don’t care that I failed at making it “Pull apart” because it is just so delicious! I saw one version that used rum in the glaze, which I would have tried if we had any rum. Next time!

I worked in a commercial bakery for almost two years, and while I wasn’t a bakery, I definitely missed that industrial equipment! It would have been so nice to have a sheeter and a proof box (and a boos block!) when making this bread. Also, in the pictures the “pull apart” consistency looks like it was more of a chop bread style instead of a slice and stack style. But what do I know? I suppose this could be braided challah style as well.

I have so many pumpkin recipes pinned, I plan to work through them all (we shall see!). This recipe was a great first start (and makes me so glad I bought yeast on a whim a month ago!)20140907_17512320140907_175035

And you know? I know I’m not the best photographer (sometimes to my determent) but in cases like this I want to make sure my finished product looks “real” because I’m creating things at home in my cramped kitchen with none of the fancy tricks food photographers use. I’m sure a very skilled baker could get a more “picture perfect” bread, but this is what baking looks like (and why I decided to skip culinary school, I’m not aesthetically oriented enough)

Irreverent on the Internet Watches the Back However-Many Episodes of Netflix Original Series Hemlock Grove and Hates All of Them

This post will contain spoilers for the entire first season of Hemlock Grove, read at your own discretion. Due to my abject refusal to research anything, there may also be spoilers for season 2, but those will be unintentional. Misogyny and Rape-as-plot-device are also discussed in minor detail.

TL;DR: It’s right there in the title.

Guys, guys, I did the thing. I said I wasn’t going to hate watch any more Hemlock Grove and then I hate watched the entire first fucking season because someone on the internet promised!!! that if I hated the first season I would like the second one because there was a changing of the guard. I imagine they are at least a little bit right because season one is SO BAD YOU GUYS it is SO BAD.

You know what I think the writers did? I think they assigned everyone homework and said “Google commonly used tropes and symbolism!” and then they wrote their findings on a piece of paper and drew them from a hat mad-libs style to create their scripts.

There’s a scene where the Lesser Skarsgard** washes Shelley the resurrected monster’s feet, everyone. BECAUSE HE HAS A MESSIAH COMPLEX DO YOU GET IT????*

In the discussion where I was told I should stick it out, other people came forward and complained about the shows misogyny. Having only seen two episodes I was like “lol ladies die but misogyny??” SPOILER ALERT: When someone on the internet tells you something is misogynistic THEY ARE PROBABLY RIGHT AND YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO THEM.

Out of it’s large cast of interchangeable brunette ladies (and Shelley), four blondes, and a black lady (surprisingly, a fleshed-out character with her own motivation and NOT a token!), ALL BUT TWO are dead/possibly dead at then end of season 1.  That is all but TWO of the women who featured with any prominence, FRIDGED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF MALE CHARACTERS* (a woman in a minor roll is left by her husband and a maid survives.) As for male character deaths? Well, I assume Casper the cat was a he (sacrificed for some ~*~*~spoopy gypsy magicks!~*~*~ you guys, because gypsies do sppppooooopy magicks!*).

Rape is used as a consequent-less plot device* to develop the same male character twice (clarification: he is the rapist). He is able to use his ~*~*~spooooopy upir mind control powers~*~*~ to totally get away with it AND wipe the memories of his victims so they don’t remember it even happened! How convenient!

*Approaches podium* I, Irreverent on the Internet, would like to nominate Roman Godrey for the Woobie of the Year award. And if you look at that TV Tropes page, it mentions that Woobification is sometimes non-canonical and created by the fans, but the writers in this case seem to be trying to create that kind of character intentionally. He rapes a girl because he feels sad about himself! He’s not really bad, he’s nice to his sister! He apologizes for being a shit stain… but not to either of his two victims (yeah, yeah he was mind controlled into the one. What the fuck seriously).

The overarching theme of the episode is that our rich half-demon misunderstood rapist and our magical wrong side of the tracks werewolf gypsy are trying to hunt down a vargulf (vargwulf? wargulf?) that’s been eating ladies from the vagina up (NOT KIDDING*.). It turns out that the evil werewolf is a obnoxious “I need to have every life experience ever possible to be a novelist” girl who spread the rumors that Peter was a werewolf. That everyone in podunk Pennsylvania believed. Because… they have so many werewolves and a rich history of being irrational in PA? I dunno, I think Hemlock Grove the town is supposed to be in the Pittsburg area so maybe it is like that out there. I’m only familiar with the Eastern half of the state. ANYWHO this girl goes through the motions to become a werewolf so she can EAT GIRLS WHO ARE HAVING SEXUAL ENCOUNTERS BECAUSE SHE IS A REPRESSED VIRGIN WHO IS MAD PETER LIKES SOMEONE ELSE*. I CONTINUE TO NOT BE KIDDING.

In my original post I discussed my fears over how they would use Shelley’s character. I ultimately actually liked Shelley. She was intelligent, complex, but insecure in a realistic way. However, her purpose in the show was to serve as a grounding point for Roman’s humanity and ultimately as the scapegoat for sweet, normal virgin girl’s killings*. Shelley is MIA at the end of the finale, presumed alive but having sustained gunshot wounds, possibly dead.

Letha, the no-longer virginal* Aryan poster child, dies in childbirth* delivering her incest (depending on your country’s views on cousins) baby.

Guys, this show hates women in a way that is so obvious you can’t even use prancy avoidance logic to deny it (Like you can with say… Supernatural)

I feel a little bad referring to Bill as the Lesser Skarsgard up there, because the kid is a good actor in his own right, but he’s just not as attractive to me as his old brother, and his show has been consistently bad from the get-go**, whereas True Blood just slid down a hill to suckitude. Hemlock Grove seems to be deriving a lot of stuff from dear old TB, from the apropos-of-nothing music in the end credits, to dressing their Skarsgard in black tank tops, to having their demon creatures like blood and have fangs.

Manbeast HATED watching this show with me. My ability to call out all their tropey-tropes and symbolism before they were on screen, my insistence that it’s the worst show ever (I’ve watched 100 episodes of Glee,  I think I know what I’m talking about)… just…

The first season of Hemlock Grove was AWFUL and if that stranger on the internet was not right about the second season being watchable I WILL RIOT.

 

 

*Drink.

**barring any season 2 adjustments