review: tieks – 6ish months later

A viewer asked if I still loved my tieks, so I took the time to put together a quick response. Short answer: yes, I still love them and they were very much worth the investment. Watch for more 🙂

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vlog: Rants +Raves, the 1st!

I love favorites videos (so basic) and I’ve kind of been dying to film one of my own, so I gathered some of the things I’ve been loving (and hating) recently. If you’ve never seen a favorites or disappointing products video, it is a mini review of a variety of products. I am addicted to these kinds of videos and it was lots of fun to film my own. As this is a lifestyle blog of me, I felt it was appropriate :).

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Continue reading “vlog: Rants +Raves, the 1st!”

Trying out Aveeno’s tinted moisturizer…

I don’t usually write makeup or product reviews, but as someone who looks up reviews before making purchases, I thought I might as well contribute one.

I’ve been using LORAC’s ProtecTint for the last couple of years because I like a bit of color to even out my skin, but don’t like using foundation unless I’m going out and want to be fully made-up. However, I am an underpaid grad student with an unfortunate case of bills, so pricey makeup is not on the list of things I can properly afford at the moment. My LORAC supply is woefully depleted and I don’t want to purchase another tube at the moment, so after reading a few reviews, I thought I’d give Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer a shot. Like the LORAC, it has 30 SPF, which is something I really desire in a moisturizer given the scorching South Florida sun.

Aveeno’s tinted moisturizer comes in two shades: Fair to Light, and Medium. I purchased the Fair to Light and found that it was a bit heavier in color than I had expected, though it did blend nicely and evened out my skin tone fairly well. The main drawback, it’s not as moist as my LORAC, so my skin felt a bit drier than I like… I will try layering it over my regular moisturizer next time. My next challenge… how would it fare in the summer heat?

After a few hours, I was surprised to find that it was holding up rather well and did not have that oily, slick feel that sometimes happens as a result of the combined effects of heat and humidity. It still felt nice and smooth.

Overall, it’s been a good first experience. It’s scented, but while I normally don’t like fragrance in my facial products, it’s not a bothersome scent. It’ll do for a quick fix until I can buy my LORAC.

Review: Wuthering Heights (2009)

Cross-posted from things she read

My final selection for the Brontë Challenge was Masterpiece Theatre’s loose adaptation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (2009). This film rendition of the tale does away with the narrative quality of the story, reducing Nellie’s part as narratorand forcing the plot into a more linear storyline. There is a lot more romance, and less Gothic drama, which makes the Bronte’s tale of mad passion and revenge seem more mainstream. I found that this version tries to rationalize Heathcliff’s cruel tendencies by emphasizing the rivalry between him and Hindly, and showing glimpses of his happy, free-spirited childhood with Cathy. Tom Hardy does provide a compelling portrayal of Heathcliff, but I find most of the other characters a bit bland. Heathcliff is portrayed as a deranged, though slightly sympathetic character in this version, which is very different from my understanding of his character in the text. The relationship between the second generation of Earnshaws and Lintons is thrust into the background; the three young cousins are present but their part is minimal in the development of the tale.

Overall, not my favorite adaptation of the novel, but not terrible. It has its moments. I gave it a three-star “Liked It” rating on my Netflix queue.

Review: He Knew He Was Right (BBC, 2004)

Based on Anthony Trollope’s novel of the same name, He Knew He was Right follows the courtship and subsequent marriage of Louis and Emily Trevelyan, as these two try to make a life in England. The union between these two appears blissful, a devoted husband and wife with a small son. Emily shares her home with her sister, Nora, and finds pleasure in the society of her husband and his friend, Hugh Stanbury. However, there is one person who Louis disapproves of, Colonel Osborne, Emily’s godfather and an old friend of her father’s. As Louis begins to suspect that there is more between Osborne and Emily than what would be deemed proper, he tries to forbid Emily’s continued association with that gentleman. When she refuses to give in to his demands, arguing that her relationship is innocent, Louis becomes threatening and irrational, sending Emily and Nora away with little Louis to stay with the Stanburys. Though Emily tries to make her husband see reason, Louis staunchly believes that his suspicion is right and that his wife has betrayed him and shamed him before society. His belief sets into motion a terrible chain of events that forever rends their union and destroys their felicity.

He Knew He was Right has to be the single most tragic period drama I have seen. I don’t think I have ever felt so miserable as a result of the turn of events in a period film, but Louis Trevelyan’s descent into madness as Emily tries to defend her honor and independence really try the viewer’s emotions and bring little satisfaction in the end.

However, while Emily and Louis’s tragic tale dominate the plot, there are several narrative threads that lend some comic relief to the otherwise bleak tale. The arc involving Hugh’s sister, Dorothy, and their rich Aunt Stanbury is sweet and endearing as Dorothy wins that lady’s heart and finds an unexpectedly happy ending with her aunt’s heir. The relationship between pompous parson, Mr. Gibson (played by a very harried-looking David Tennant), and the French sisters also brings some hilarity to the story.

Trollope’s treatment of women’s place and the laws of coverture are incredibly powerful and the film portrays that brilliantly through its depiction of the trials experienced by Emily Trevelyan, as well as Nora, the French sisters, Aunt Stanbury, and Dorothy. It is a great film, but definitely not light-hearted.

Random useless factoid: I had a moment of “Aha!” when I realized that music in the BBC drama promo that they play at the beginning of all the recent BBC video DVDs is from the opening credits to this series.

Review: The Barchester Chronicles

barchester

I’ve been going through my queue, so it’s time for another period film review 🙂

After watching “The Way We Live Now,I decided to go through the Anthony Trollope BBC collection. Based on Trollope’s The Warden and Barchester Towers, “The Barchester Chronicles” follows the religious and political machinations underfoot in the town of Barchester.

While some of the older BBC series often feel like dated set pieces (this one was released in 1982), this one seemed as fresh as “Cranford”. And like “Cranford,” the characters are wonderfully developed–Mr. Harding is as sweet and endearing as Miss Matty.

I did not think I was going to enjoy the series after watching the first episode, but it was the dynamic between Mr. Harding and Mr. Grantly that captured my interest and made me stick to it.

The parallel between Mr. Grantly’s tantrums and Mr. Harding’s easy manner adds to the tempest in a teacup quality that drives the plot. Every move is a political move of great importance in Mr. Grantly’s estimation; he must have his way or else! Mr. Harding, however, is a man of great conscience and empathy–according to Mr. Grantly, it is his greatest weakness. What else must a clergyman be if not immune to empathy? Of course, there is a limit to the level of empathy that any man can possess, as is evidenced by Mr. Harding’s less-than-warm reception of Mr. Obadiah Slope–the sleazy chaplain played by a young Alan Rickman.

While I enjoyed the series, I cannot call it a favorite. I haven’t read Trollope and so can’t compare the series to the novels, but I find that it takes a little more effort on my part to enjoy the Trollope collection. The first time I watched “The Way We Live Now,” I stopped watching after the first episode and only returned to it a few months later because I forgot to remove it from my Netflix queue and received it. I didn’t make the same mistake with “Barchester;” though the first episode was slow, I convinced myself to keep watching and found that the slow start gave way to an interesting story.

Review: Berkeley Square

A look at my Netflix queue looks something like Period Films 101. I love a good costume drama–the more corsets and bustles, the better–so I’ve decided to start blogging about these. I blog about one of my pastimes, why don’t I blog about this one?

berkeley-sqI recently watched Berkeley Square, a drama set in Edwardian London that follows the travails of three nannies: straight-laced and dedicated Matty, naive but loyal Lydia, and troubled Hannah. Each nanny has her own story, their lives coming together as they enter the tight-knit community of nannies that serve the families of Berkeley Square. Despite the differences in their character, the three women bond over the difficulties of their position as women and servants. The series raises issues of social justice for women and the working class, as well as the question of women’s right to experience love when serving in a profession that requires complete dedication to the demands of one’s employer.

I was surprised by some of the issues raised by the series. Hannah’s story in particular raises several issues concerning women’s tenuous position as mothers and workers during this era. An unwed mother, Hannah finds herself in trouble when her child’s father, her only protector, dies in an accident. Struggling to keep her child safe, Hannah is forced to leave little Billy in another’s care before she can take up her post as nanny. Keeping her child secret from her employer and friends, Hannah acts as a mother for the children in her care, but is unable to do the same for her own child.

The series is a must-watch for any lover of period pieces. The storyline is intriguing and illustrative of a slice of Edwardian life that is often overlooked. Think of it as The Nanny Diaries with prams and prying nursemaids.