My Top 3 Love Movies

Maybe it’s because I spent so many Valentine’s Days alone (even when dating someone, somehow they’d be unavailable/away, or if we celebrated it never felt like a true celebration but more something that they dreaded), so perhaps my choice of love stories probably won’t be your conventional sort. Love for me has always been complicated, more times hurtful and tragic than happy, so maybe I find unconventional love stories a bit more relatable than your run of the mill rom-com. These are my top three movies that feature a love story in them, let me know what you think of my selections and what movies would you choose?

untamed heart

Untamed Heart

This ’90s romantic drama stars Marisa Tomei as Caroline, a waitress in Minneapolis who when walking home one night gets accosted by a few thugs who want to rape her. Her uber shy co-worker Andy (played by a dreamy Christian Slater) saves her, and soon the two become a couple. The love between the two of them help them become better people, but soon their little blissful world is shattered when Caroline learns that Andy has had a defective heart since birth and will die unless he gets a transplant. This was the first movie that made me legit ugly sob, and I’m not one who is easily moved to tears by cinema. It’s a wonderful, unpretentious love story, but get ready to stock up on tissues, you’re going to need it.

shelly

The Crow

I know, I know what you’re all thinking, BUT IT’S NOT A LOVE STORY! WE BARELY GET TO SEE THE COUPLE TOGETHER! Yes, I know, but at the heart of it, The Crow IS a love story. As a deceased rocker, Eric Draven (played by the iconic Brandon Lee aka every goth girl’s wet dream) returns from the dead a year later after a bunch of druggie-thugs rape and kill his fiancee Shelly Webster (Sofia Shinas) to avenge what was done to her and himself (they killed him first). So yes, much of the movie is about revenge, but there are many moments where we get to see Eric’s relationship with Shelly and how the two of them were planning to get married the following night (Halloween) but their plans got tragically nixed the night before (Devil’s Night). I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for Gothic love, and with lines like, “Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever,” ending the movie to Jane Siberry’s It Can’t Rain All The Time, well, it’s just ALL THE FEELS.

romeo

Romeo+Juliet

We all know the tale of Shakespeare’s famed “star-crossed lovers,” but no one had ever told it quite as boldly quite like Baz Luhrmann did in 1996. It was essentially Shakespeare for the MTV Generation, starring teen favorite Claire Danes (at the time from My So-Called Life fame) as Juliet, and budding rising star Leonardo DiCaprio as the brooding Romeo. The movie managed to keep Shakespeare’s language intact but was set in a modern-day Verona Beach (a carbon copy of Venice Beach). The plot is always the same, two teens from two feuding families meet at a party and fall madly in love. Due to their very young age and fearing their parents’ wrath, the two make some very rash decisions that will ultimately lead to their tragic demise. This movie is flashy, theatrical, with a swoon-worthy couple that we want to root for, all encased by the best music the ’90s could offer. I’m pretty sure even the Bard himself would find this movie entertaining.

Happy Valentine’s, peeps!

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

Book Review: The Winter Sister by Megan Collins

winter sister

“The green and flowering land was icebound and lifeless because Persephone had disappeared.”

Release Date: February 5, 2019

Purchase on Amazon

Price: $17.10 (hardcover)

Publisher: Atria Books

Plot Summary:

Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend, she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.

Grade: A

Review:

The Winter Sister is a lush, atmospheric mystery thriller that will delve under your skin. I don’t know what it is about winter or Christmas, (maybe it’s due to utter isolation of The Shining or Dario Argento’s Deep Red with the creepy Christmas carol being sung before someone gets stabbed to death), but I always find books or movies in the horror or thriller genre to be that much more effective when placed in a cold environment.

There’s something utterly haunting in the book when you think about Persephone, the murdered sister, lying in a bed of snow, her red coat a stark contrast to the stillness of the night. From the very beginning of the novel, I was sucked into the story. And I know that some reviewers have complained that the plot isn’t original (dead sister, alcoholic grieving mother, troubled traumatized adult sister), but I think one can easily cast that aside with this book, as it’s not truly plot-driven, but rather more of a character study of what grief causes to a family (much like in The Lovely Bones) and since I found the characters likable in their own ways and most genuine and real, I couldn’t help but want to know more about what had happened, and who could’ve possibly have done Persephone harm.

The writing lingers with melancholy and for this piece, it works perfectly well. I truly enjoyed delving into the mystery and honestly, if I didn’t have so much going on in my personal life (ya know, work, editing a short story, keeping up with my blog, and promoting my new book) I probably would’ve finished this much sooner, cause it was THAT GOOD. The Winter Sister is the perfect read for a cold, wintery evening in which you can curl up with this delicious thriller as your snuggled with your warmest Sherpa.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Atria Books for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

Review: Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow Face Oil

IMG_1330

Face oils are pretty much essential during the winter months if you still want to keep your skin soft and glowing. And don’t fret if you have oily or combination skin, face oils actually HELP oily skin reduce fewer oils, instead of using harsh drying creams that make you produce even more oils. This face oil, in particular, leaves your skin so incredibly soft that with this Polar Vortex taking over most of the U.S. you’ll want to invest in something that will keep your skin hydrated!

What It Is: Face Oil

What It Does: Hydrates and brightens skin

Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, Turmeric, and Primrose Oil

Verdict: I can’t even begin to tell you just HOW AMAZING THIS IS! And yes! This face oil is worthy of ALL CAPS TO EXPRESS MY ENTHUSIASM! I’m in love with Vitamin C oils and/or serums because it truly helps brighten up your skin, and if you’re acne-prone like myself, it actually keeps the zits at bay! The Primrose Oil makes it so that the oil is ultra-hydrating and it smells really good! The tumeric, on the other hand, helps reduce inflammation, again, a plus for sensitive and acne prone skin. This oil is so light-weight that it won’t clog your pores, and it’s also fast absorbing which means that it can be used under makeup if you so wish. If you’re going to invest in a face oil, I’d say go ahead and choose this one cause it’s truly the holy grail of face oils.

Price: $80

Where To Buy It: Sephora

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY

Book Review: The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

olivia

A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies.

Release Date: February 5, 2019

Purchase On Amazon

Price: $11 (paperback)

Publisher: Gallery Books

Plot Summary:

In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, but she’s also pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?

Grade: A

Review:

The writing for this thriller was quite simplistic (I’m not saying this is a bad thing, quite contrary), and suits the mystery, as you don’t want the plot to get sidetracked by flowery prose. Instead, the writing was taunt and there was a never-ending mix of twists and turns at every corner. I can forgive the fact that the daughter was pregnant (as it seems like it needed to be a plot device to keep the daughter on life support throughout the whole investigation due to the baby), but it always seems like whenever a daughter is keeping secrets from an overprotective parent it means that they’re either doing drugs or pregnant so it can get a bit cliché.

There were a lot of characters in the book, and since many of them were unreliable or keeping secrets, that means that every person was a suspect until proven innocent. Although I had guessed who had pushed Olivia over the bridge long before it was revealed, I still found the book very enjoyable. Since this was more of a domestic thriller, there wasn’t the sort of urgency you’d see in another type of thriller (as in there was no serial killer on the loose and no one was trying to actively STOP Abi from investigating in any real threatening way).

But I appreciated how the book explored a mother-daughter dynamic that was both asphyxiating as it was tender and loving. We find out in the book exactly why Abi was such an overprotective parent, but how that behaviour is what led to a series of events to occur in Olivia’s life that ultimately led to her falling from the bridge.

I was satisfied with the end, although the epilogue veered towards a Lifetime movie ending of sorts, it had a lot of heart and soul that sucker punched even the most cynical of readers into wishing that Olivia could’ve survived her fatal fall.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

Throwback Thursday: Angel Heart

angelheart

I’ve decided to start a new series, Throwback Thursday. So one Thursday a month I’m going to share my experience of either rewatching, rereading, or relistening something that I adored back when I was a youngster (think between the ages of 6-18) and see if it stands the test of time. So for my first Throwback, I decided to rewatch the 1987 horror film, Angel Heart.

When I told a friend of mine that I saw this movie at six he was appalled (what can I say? My parents were horror fans who knew I was one and watching movies kept hyper me occupied, so there’s that).

So the premise of Angel Heart is that a private detective called Harry Angel, has a new case at hand, to find a man called Johnny Favourite. Except things aren’t quite that simple, and Johnny doesn’t want to be found. Let’s just say that, amongst the period detail and beautiful scenery, it all gets really, really nasty fast.

All I could remember about the movie in question was that it dealt with voodoo, Robert DeNiro was in it, (I also recalled another detail but can’t reveal it as it’s *spoilers*), and that this was one of those movies where Mickey Rourke was hot.

Upon viewing the movie I was like, HOLY SHIT this movie is truly very twisted and no wonder people are shocked I saw this at the tender age of six. This movie has one hell of a twist back in the day before twist endings were a thing, so it was very innovative in that way. The mystery was captivating and the gore factor was high, so if you’re into that, you’re gonna love it (and yeah I’m a creep and love that).

The movie has Angel (Mickey Rourke) traveling from Brooklyn to New Orleans in search of the ever elusive Johnny Favourite (that Robert DeNiro’s character wants to find because he’s got a score to settle with him), only that everyone that knew Johnny begins to die in horrible ways and Angel is made to look like the culprit of those murders when he is not. So will he be able to find Johnny before he gets framed for murder? And will the voodoo queen Epiphany ( Played by a pre-Lenny Kravitz & Jason Momoa, wide-eyed Lisa Bonet) help Angel in his endeavor to find Johnny or is she simply going to bring his downfall? The stakes are high and the mystery is very much intriguing.

I really enjoyed my this movie and think that six years old me had impeccable taste for being so young (and probably was a teeny bit twisted).

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

Book Review: Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson

butterflies

That night when you kissed me, I left a poem in your mouth.

Release Date: November 27, 2018

Order On Amazon

Price: $13.01 (paperback)

Publisher: Button Poetry

Plot Summary:

Andrea Gibson’s latest collection is a masterful showcase from the poet whose writing and performances have captured the hearts of millions. With artful and nuanced looks at gender, romance, loss, and family, Lord of the Butterflies is a new peak in Gibson’s career. Each emotion here is deft and delicate, resting inside of imagery heavy enough to sink the heart while giving the body wings to soar.

Grade: A

Review:

Andrea Gibson has been one of the most potent voices in poetry for the LGBTQ community at large. Although since this genre of poetry (spoken poetry) is best consumed if heard live (or watching a video of one of their readings), I suggest that in conjunction to reading this book that you also see them live, because they’re a force to be reckoned with. The poetry comes alive in ways that wouldn’t be able to on print, making you feel just how raw, visceral, and gut-wrenching this experience can truly be.

Many of the topics they explore are things that society is still dealing with such as gender identity, gun control, homophobia, and mental illness. I’m usually not a huge fan of contemporary poets as for someone who majored in Classics, I’ve got a penchant for the likes of Charles Baudelaire, Poe, John Keats, and William Blake. However, much like Sylvia Plath in her days, Andrea Gibson has the courage to shed her skin and allow us to see what’s inside and challenging us to do the same.

I recommend this book if you’re okay with having to nurse a cracked heart afterward because Gibson’s poems cut deep.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Button Poetry for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

 

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

Poetry: Blood Remembers Even When You Don’t

smoke

I left lipstick imprints on your neck

We bathed in rose petals and strawberries

Champagne kisses

You were like a tormented Arthur Rimbaud

All the girls bursting with love for you

But you only had eyes for me

Baby, it wasn’t maybe

And I was living free like Carole Lombard

We didn’t know we were bound for heartbreak

The young are fearless

Baby, we were crazy

Wrapped in our intoxicating dreams of forever

Chasing each other in the night

Our hearts exploding with possibilities

Sometimes we look back and try to grasp

How we fell apart

But baby, it was never maybe

We’re immortal in the blood and memories we left behind.

Bleed - High Resolution

ATTENTION!

For a limited time, you can now request an early ARC of my upcoming poetry collection, “Bleed Like Me: Poems for the Broken” on NetGalley! You’ll find this and other poems in the book! You can pre-order the book on Amazon!

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

 

Ditch Botox & Eat Collagen-Boosting Foods Instead

63993742 - happy young woman holding oranges on a yellow background

Photo courtesy of nutritiouslife.com

Collagen is one of the most important factors when it comes to having beautiful skin. Collagen production helps with acne and wrinkles, however, as the years go by collagen production decreases which makes wrinkles and crepes appear and even healing from wounds will take longer or scar. So how can one pause the hands of time? With a little help from foods that help boost collagen production, you can increase the chances of combating fine lines and have less scarring.

So nix the Botox and try these collagen-boosting foods to help promote not just younger skin, but healthier skin too (because bad skin happens at any age).

Vitamin C

This vitamin is found in many citrus foods such as oranges, kiwis, and pineapples.

Copper

Found in rich foods such as organ meats (livers, hearts, etc.), cocoa powder, and portabella mushrooms

Glycine

This is found in foods such as gelatin, chicken skin, and pork skin.

Zinc

This vitamin can be found in foods such as oysters, beef, and crabs.

As you can see there are many food options out there to help you include more collagen-boosting foods into your diet, so whether you’re vegan, or wish to eat less meat, you can find a way to choose a serving of these foods at least once a day.

Eat your way to beautiful skin and you won’t have to resort to unnatural ways of keeping it looking good!

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

Review: Tarte – Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara

img_1326

It was my birthday recently (January 8 like the awesome David Bowie & Elvis), and so I stopped by Sephora to get my free birthday gift. While I was there I saw this new Tarte mascara and since I’ve liked other mascaras from Tarte in the past, I decided to give this one a go. Especially since this one promised that it was the “wonder-bra of mascaras.” With that kind of promise, how could I NOT want to have the Pamela Anderson of lashes, right?

What It Is: 4-in-1 Mascara

What It Does: Lengthens, curls, volumizes, and conditions

Active Ingredients: Plant Waxes, Rice Bran, and Olive Esters

Verdict: All right, my only real gripe with this product isn’t the product per se, but the packaging. I’m not a fan of mascara wands that are bulky, cause it makes for a difficult application, I prefer sleeker packaging. And this packaging is way too bulky for my tastes. Apart from the packaging, this mascara is AMAZING. It truly does help with creating longer and curlier lashes. This mascara doesn’t dry your lashes out, probably cause of the olive esters that help condition the lashes. Even if you have puny lashes, this product will pump them up like you wouldn’t know! What I love about this mascara most, is that it really amps up your lashes, it gives you that false lashes look without having to wear falsies! I truly recommend in checking this one out if you get the chance. It’s easily become one of my favourite mascaras.

Price: $23

Where To Buy It: Sephora

img_1329

Lashes using the Tarte Mascara, no primer, just the mascara

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

Book Review: A Danger To Herself & Others by Alyssa Sheinmel

danger

Four walls. One window. No way to escape.

Release Date: February 5, 2019

Pre-Order on Amazon

Price: $17.99 (for hardcover)

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Plot Summary:

Hannah knows there’s been a mistake, She doesn’t need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at that summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctor and judge figure out that she isn’t a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. Those college applications aren’t going to write themselves. Until then, she’s determined to win over the staff and earn some privileges so she doesn’t lose her mind to boredom.
Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage, and she’s the perfect project to keep Hannah’s focus off all she is missing at home. But Lucy may be the one person who can get Hannah to confront the secrets she’s avoiding-and the dangerous games that landed her in confinement in the first place.

Grade: A

Review:

It’s been a recent trend lately where the female protagonists are named Hannah (think Thirteen Reasons Why, Pretty Little Liars, Hanna Fell From The Sky) in novels, and both films and shows haven’t been immune to this phenomenon either (think Girls, Hanna, and recently The Exorcism of Hannah Grace). So when I started reading this novel I noticed that the protagonist’s name was Hannah, I somewhat groaned. I hope you five me, but I’ve overdosed on Hannahs as of late.

On the upside though, is that the author writes with such clarity and poise that I could forgive her naming the protagonist Hannah. And it helped that the story was narrated in the first person, meaning that the name would be used even less.

Apart from my dislike of the name choice, I really, really, REALLY enjoyed this book immensely. I don’t know what it says about me that I LOVE books that take place in any sort of mental institution whether it be contemporary fiction, nonfiction, or historical. I really enjoyed having the story being told by Hannah’s point of view. She’s smart, sarcastic, and somewhat manipulative. This is probably why the reader initially may believe Hannah into thinking that she has no place being in the mental institution, after all, her best friend Agnes falling out of the window could’ve been an accident, right? The majority of the book focuses on Hannah being stuck in the institute and finding a way to get out (but not as in breaking out but proving to the doctor that she’s sane). The reader receives hints and flashbacks and those are compelling enough to make one want to know what exactly happened the night that Agnes fell. Was Hannah to blame or has she been placed in the institute by mistake?

Some of the twists in the book I suspected, while others completely took me by surprise. It was one intense wild ride. If you’re into books about mental illness, asylums, deception, and unreliable narrators, then this book is right up your alley.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the digital ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!