Review: Kocostar Rose Lip Mask

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Sheet and face masks have been all the rage lately, and it’s no different with lips masks. In the age of Instagram and selfies, lip masks are one of the most coveted masks there are, but this lip mask is more than a mere photo prop. This mask truly leaves your lips feeling smooth and ultra-hydrated, and the best part of it all is that it smells like you’ve got a bed of roses resting upon your lips. Some say that this lip mask forces you to lie down, but it actually didn’t slip off on me, so sitting up was possible.

What It Is: Hydrating Lip Mask

What It Does: Smooth, hydrates, and plumps lips

Verdict: To say I loved this lip mask is an understatement. This lip mask was utterly amazing! Not only does this lip mask smell like you’re walking in Marie Antoinette’s rose garden, but it truly hydrated and plumped my lips in ways no other lip mask has ever done before! Another bonus is that this lip mask is free of parabens and pthalates (chemicals you probably shouldn’t have near your mouth anyhow). This mask can be used any time of day, even before a night going out, since the serum doesn’t leave your lips drenched, however, it sinks into your lips and once the mask is off, there’s no sticky residue, meaning that you can easily wear lipstick on top without wiping off any excess beforehand. Out of the many lip masks, I’ve tried, this is hands down my favourite one.

Price: $38 for 20

Where To Buy It: www.anthropologie.com

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Review: Medusa’s Makeup Witch Lash Mascara Bebe Travel Size

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It’s no secret that mascara is one of my fave beauty products and also one where I’m willing to try out any new one that comes out (reason why you’ll notice way more mascara reviews on this blog than any other beauty product). One of my favourite mascara products is Medusa’s Makeup Witch Lash Mascara, so when they included a travel size in November’s Beauty Box, I was thrilled.

What It Is: Super thickening waterproof mascara with a fuller bristle brush

What It Does: This mascara helps thicken and define lashes.

Verdict: If you’re looking for a mascara that can offer lift and volume in one easy swipe, then this isn’t the one, purely because it takes multiple swipes to achieve the look. That’s not saying that the mascara isn’t good, quite the contrary. Just like the other Witch Lash, this version’s brush is simply smaller meaning that it won’t fit your whole eye in one sweep, BUT the small size allows it to reach the usually difficult nooks and crannies (such as the inner corner and outer corner of the eye). But unlike the previous Witch Lash, these bristles differ (the others are more rigid which helps separate lashes, whilst these create more of a feathery lash look). One of the major pros of this product though is the size. You can pop this small mascara in your handbag, pocket, or even phone carrier! You’ll never have an excuse to not have amazing lashes with this product on your hands! It’s a mini-miracle worker (step aside ), creating length and volume on even the thinnest and smallest lashes. I absolutely recommend this product if you’re into the whole lash extension look (without the damaging effects that actual extensions cause). And for just $10, it’s definitely worth a try!

Price: $10

Where To Buy It: https://medusasmakeup.com

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Comic-Con L.A. – Comic Book Nerds Rejoice!

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Formerly known as Comikaze Expo, Comic-Con L.A. is a three-day event that brings comic books lovers, writers, and cosplayers alike in one place to celebrate the ever-changing and expansive world that is the comic universe.

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I’ve always been an avid comic book reader since the age of six, in particular of horror comics and Archie comics (so yes, I DO love Riverdale, don’t judge me).

This event usually brings 90,000 people to share their communal love for comics. I met a lot of people that had come all the way from Italy and the U.K. to be at this event, and many east coasters found their way to Los Angeles too.

Of course, everyone goes to Comic-Con for the comics, but you can’t help but also go there to see all the cosplayers or to dress up yourself. This was my first time going and I decided not dress up (or at least I semi-did by wearing a Sabrina The Teenage Witch shirt and kinda selecting the rest of the outfit and makeup based on what the character of Sabrina would wear). But I had a blast getting to see everyone else dressed up (and I’ll admit that I veered on taking photos of people that were more of the goth realm than any other subculture).

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It was also very cool to see some iconic movie props and costumes being displayed at the event. From the Ghostbusters car to the suit Winona Ryder wore in Stranger Things when her character went to the Upside Down world. But one of my absolute favourites was being able to see the armor that Gary Oldman wore in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula.

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I also had a chance to meet the co-writers Jim Krueger and Samantha Levenshus when I was given a free copy of the new comic Neon Future (co-created by Emmy-nominated producer and global DJ sensation Steve Aoki in partnership with Impact Theory Studios). Not only were the writers kind enough to sign my copy of the comic but I had a pleasant chat with Jim Krueger who loved my Sabrina The Teenage Witch tee and we discussed our communal love for The Afterlife with Archie comic series and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series and how much we’re looking forward to the new Archie horror series that has the Blossom twins as protagonist called 666. Taking a look at the comic Neon Future, I was delighted to see that the comic explored the idea of how it isn’t technology that brings about the evil of the world in a futuristic dystopian society, but rather it’s the human use and feelings towards that technology that brings about the downfall of man, making it thus so that the world can be taken by cyborgs. The idea is utterly compelling and I highly recommend to check it out if you have the chance!

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And lastly…I was in comic book heaven when I saw all of the retro Archie Comics that the event had to offer. Sadly, some of the very awesome retro ones from the 50’s were out of my price range (a rare Sabrina comic was up for sale for $200) but I found many from the 70’s that were in good condition and not crazily expensive. One of the most interesting crossovers was one Archie meets Batman comic that I had to get just because it was THAT out in the left field. While I was there I also picked up a horror comic too that explores the themes in the Grimms Faerytales. I would’ve loved to purchase some retro Tales from the Crypt, but alas, the price range for those were out of this world ($500!).

For any 80’s fans, the con also had a ton of 80’s toys (from Teddy Ruxpin to Popples) it pretty much looked like someone had cleared out their attic and brought these toys to sell, which left me wishing I could clear out my own garage of 80’s toys so that I too could slap a $100 price tag on a Cabbage Patch Kids or $50 on a Pound Puppies plush. Are there any takers?

Comic-Con L.A. was a truly fun experience, and if you wish to immerse yourself in comic world memorabilia and unleash your inner child, then this event is truly for you.

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Top Ten Halloween Songs

Hosting a Halloween party and need to find the perfect tunes, or maybe you just want to get into the festive mood? Whatever your reason, the music world has lots to offer in regards to scary songs. So use this playlist as a guide to help you infuse your nights with some major creep factor.

I Put A Spell On You – Marilyn Manson

The shock-rocker gave this cult classic his own creepy vibe to it with his unique Mansonesque ways (dark vocals, death drums).

Welcome To My Nightmare – Alice Cooper

There no way that a Halloween playlist could be complete without the master of shock rock himself, Alice Cooper, named after the ghost of a woman he spoke to through the ouija board, it can’t possibly get creepier than that.

Astro Zombies – The Misfits

The Misfits are those goth friends of yours that wished they could celebrate Halloween everyday, and with their undead looks and spooky lyrics, these fellows are living the goth dream.

Pet Sematary – Ramones

After being inspired by Stephen King’s novel by the same name, about using an ancient Indian burial ground to bring loved ones back (always a mistake!), they explored why sometimes dead is better.

Nightmare On My Street – DJ Jazzy – Fresh Prince

As a HUGE Freddy Krueger fan, I just had to choose a song that was written inspired by the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Too bad that Wes Craven wasn’t too keen on the rappers using references to the movies, suing them for copyright infringement.

(Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

This strangely seductive song has been a staple of the horror culture and suicidal teen goths of all ages. It’s been used in Halloween and Scream, and although the band’s leadsinger assures that the song isn’t about a romantic suicide pact, it’s hard to decipher the lyrics, “Romeo and Juliet are together in eternity, we can be like they are,” as anything else.

Red Right Hand – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Nick Cave is one creepy dude, and his whole Murder Ballads album could pretty much be the defacto go to album for Halloween. This song was inspired by John Milton’s Paradise Lost and the vengeful hand of God. This song is considered so creepy that it’s been used in all three Scream movies, so you know you can’t go wrong with Cave when it comes to dark and twisted.

Helena – My Chemical Romance

In the early aughts, Gerard Way had perfected the living dead boy look to a T. The song is inspired by the death of his grandmother, whilst the video shows the band during a funeral and at the song’s climax, the lady of the hour, Helena, herself gets up from the coffin and shows that the after life can be as much of a dance party as the living.

The Devil’s Rejects – Rob Zombie

Named after the movie he directed of the same name, Rob Zombie has been creeping kids out since 1995. He’s a huge horror fan and nothing goes better with rock than dark lyrics.

Thriller – Michael Jackson

No proper Halloween playlist is complete without Michael’s iconic single that catapulted him to stardom. Bonus perks to this track: The king of horror himself, Vincent Price recorded the spoken word section. You can’t get any more horror-infused than that!

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Poetry: Mourning Glorie

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Photo courtesy of parisapartment.wordpress.com

These frigid sheets mourn your soul.

This barren bed cries your name.

There’s nothing left of you in me.

You tore every particle that belonged

To you away.

This pale white pillow misses the weight of your head.

These useless rose petals wait to fall upon you.

Loneliness wraps its icy claws around me.

Devouring me without mercy.

You’re no longer here to cling to.

You’re no longer here to move closer to.

This bed never seemed so vast—so endless—

Without you—it’s infinite.

I hide beneath the covers but still no warmth I feel.

This room is in eternal winter

Ever since you left.

These fragile sheets yearn for your body.

This immense bed bleeds your essence.

I’m waiting here for you.

I shall always remain here—

Waiting for your return.

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Shriekfest 2018 Horror Film Festival

Shriekfest is a bi-annual horror film festival that takes place in both Los Angeles and Orlando. The event is organized by actress Denise Gossett (best known for appearing in Tom Hiddeleston’s movie I Saw The Light and Mel’s Gibson’s Get The Gringo). She founded Shriekfest 2001 and it’s been the 18th year for Los Angeles. It’s one of the most influential horror film festivals and definitely one with the best horror film screenings.

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Red Carpet at Shriekfest 2018 Photo taken by David Hanger – Dress by Dolls Kill

I was graciously given a Press Pass for the event by Denise and was able to attend the third day of the festival (it’s a four-day fest). I opted to go on Saturday because it was screening the most films that day and had several shorts listed that I was thrilled to check out.

The films were screened at the Raleigh Studios on Melrose Avenue, at the Chaplin Theatre. The inside of the theatre had that old Hollywood glamour to it with comfy velvet cushioned seats that made viewing a marathon of movies (we stayed nine hours with short fifteen interruptions between each session) fairly easy.

Out of the shorts I viewed, one of my absolute favourites was “Snaggletooth,” which was about an unconventional dentist visit. The film had a good mixture of humor and creepiness to it that I enjoyed. Another really excellent short was a British one entitled “The Moor,” that centered around a father and daughter who go the moor to celebrate May Day but find out that sometimes the pagan gods may take something from us that we’re not ready to give up. “A Doll Distorted,” explored mental illness and how obsessive love can lead to dire consequences. “Avulsion,” was another of my favourites as it followed a blue collar worker who visits an escort that is capable of fulfilling her clients unusual and twisted fetish desires.

I really enjoyed the music video for Medicine from Peter Bibby. It had a bunch of kid doctors performing an autopsy on Peter Bibby’s body who’s begging for pills, hallucinogens, or some other form of medication rather than being told to get some sun or some sleep.

The first feature film I saw was Ashes by director Barry Jay. Ashes was about a family who begins to be haunted by their dead aunt once her ashes arrive at their home. What I truly loved about this movie was that there was the perfect blend of humor and horror. Plus, the performances by the actors were truly top-notch, I particularly loved Elaine Partnow in the role of the sassy grandmother, Caroline, who livened the movie up anytime she was in a scene. The first half of the movie delivered more laughs (in a good comedic way), but the second half of the movie focused on the horror elements (I’ll never be able to look at an egg slicer in the same way again!). It was also my first time watching a movie whilst being seated next to the cast and crew that worked on the film, so that added a bit of a surreal feeling to the experience.

The second feature film I saw was Chimera by Maurice Haeems. This movie was less horror and far more sci-fi. The movie centered around a brilliant scientist who chooses to freeze his children alive whilst he tries to find a cure for the deadly genetic disease that seems to have befallen them. The movie was good and full of surprises and twists (some that I had anticipated and others I hadn’t). But the gut-wrenching end left one with the belief that maybe trying to uncover immortality is far more dangerous than death.

Overall, the film festival was a complete success and I loved the fact that food and snacks were provided on location for sale if you needed to grab something quick to eat in between your viewing sessions. I truly enjoyed watching all the movies I had the opportunity to see and would totally recommend this festival to horror film buffs, you won’t be disappointed!

Thanks again to the fabulous Denise who gave the Inkblotters the opportunity to be there! I had a blast!

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Entrace to Raleigh Studios

Photos taken by David Hanger

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Travel Post – Fort Point, San Francisco

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I had a chance to visit San Francisco this past July with my boyfriend. I had been there before in 2016 and it was the sort of city where I had fantasized about it so much in my head that ultimately it didn’t live p to my own hype. Back then I had gone in August and it was so cold and windy that I had to wear a winter jacket to be remotely comfortable (and finally understood why Frank Sinatra had once said, “The coldest winter of my life was a summer in San Francisco,”).

Despite that, the city still houses one of my most favourite bridges of all time, The Golden Gate Bridge. So when I went there in July, I had to revisit the bridge. In doing so, we discovered Fort Point.

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View from inside Fort Point

Fort Point is a military port located on the southern side of The Golden Gate Bridge at the entrance to the San Francisco Bay. To say that it was cold and windy is an understatement. However, getting a chance to explore this fort was extremely interesting for the history buff in me. This fort was completed right before the Civil War as a way to defend San Francisco from any outside invaders.

A Brief History

Spain occupied San Francisco in 1769, and by 1776 had settled the area. To help protect the area from the Russians or British invaders, the Spanish first built a fort where Fort Point stands today and it housed around thirteen cannons. When Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821, it gained control of that region, including the fort. Only the Mexicans didn’t upkeep the fort, allowing it to crumble amidst the rain and wind. During the Mexican-American War in 1846, the Americans captured the fort and disabled the cannons, gaining control of the fort. But it wasn’t until 1853 that the American Army began working on rebuilding the fort. This took the effort of 200 men in an 8-year span. During the Civil War, it was thought that the Confederate raider would attack, but this never occurred.

Throughout the years the fort has been used for barracks, training, and storage. And although the fort today holds no real value to the military, it has been chosen to be preserved as a national monument.

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Typical Officer Quarters

In Pop-Culture

Recently, Fort Point was featured in 2014’s film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, where the humans use Fort Point’s armory to increase their weaponry against the apes. And British indie band Editors used a photo of Fort Point as their album cover in 2005, for The Back Room.

If you’re in San Francisco, I highly recommend visiting Fort Point as it’s interesting to see how soldiers (and many times even their wives and children) were living during the 1800’s. It’s a little piece of California history that I didn’t know about, and the plus side is that admission is free! So check it out, maybe you’ll learn a thing or two. It’s the perfect place for a family outing or school field trips.

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For more details on hours check here.

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Empties Post – First One Ever!

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Ever since the internet went crazy with “Empties” posts, I’ve been wanting to write one for this blog. The only caveat? Being able to accumulate enough used up products to write a post about. Seems simple, right? Not when you have far too many products and keep switching from one to another, and the guilt of throwing out something you’re not crazy about seems almost wasteful. So for me, using up a product and thinking about repurchasing the same item again means that I need to have thought it was absolutely AMAZING and willing to go through the experience all over again.

So without further ado, here are a few of my empties:

Honest The Younger Eye

I wrote a full review of this product here if you wish to read more details about it. What can I say? I absolutely LOVE this eye cream! It’s everything an eye cream should be and I think it has greatly improved the skin around my eyes tenfold.

Would I repurchase: HELL YES!

Everyone Face For Every Day Tone

I included this product in my skincare routine post. This is one of my favourite toners because not only is it lightweight, but it leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean. It also has contributed to keeping my skin acne-free!

Would I repurchase: YES!

Korres Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturizer

Even for this, I wrote a full review of this product here, if you wish to read a more detailed description. I’m usually not a huge fan of moisturizers cause even the most lightweight ones tend to make me break out, but this one lived up to its claim of being gentle for acne-prone skin, and I fell instantly in love!

Would I repurchase: YES!

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye

This cream is a restorative eye treatment for undereye skin. I like that the cream was thick and emollient, and did work in diminishing fine lines caused by fatigue. I didn’t find anything NOT to love about this cream, but at the same time, I didn’t fall in love with it as much as I did with the Honest eye cream.

Would I repurchase: Maybe

Skin & Co. Roma Truffle Therapy Eye Concentrate

I was sad to see this finish as I added this as one of my favourite eye creams that I recommend. This cream feels luxurious and incredibly hydrating. Even a year later I still love it!

Would I repurchase: YES!

Pixi Beauty Sleep Cream

This cream was just a little too much on the thin side for my liking. I’m more into creams that feel very moisturizing and this was a little on the light side, however, it DID keep my skin hydrated and didn’t cause any breakouts. If you want to read a more detailed description, check out the review here.

Would I repurchase: Maybe

Clinique Moisture Surge

I know this is the holy grail of moisturizers for many people, especially if you’ve got oily skin. I was given this cream as a sample by one of the Clinique reps at a cosmetic shop with the promise that I would love it. Well, sorry to burst anyone’s bubble but this is simply too watery for my taste. I guess the lightweightness of it is what makes it perfect for oily skin, but I kinda love thick creams.

Would I repurchase: No

Medusa’s Makeup Grapefruit Astringent

I’m a big fan of toners and this one simply smells amazing! It left my skin feeling refreshed, and kept it from becoming oily too soon.

Would I repurchase: Yes, but they have two other scents (Rose and Cucumber) and I’m curious about the cucumber version.

There’s a satisfying feeling of completion when you get to the end of a product, and I think this is why Empties Posts are so popular. Do you have similar feelings? Would you try out any of these products?

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Review: Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

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If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I have a soft spot for skin oils. I know that it may seem counterproductive to use oils if you have oily skin (like I do), but in reality, in some weird way, drying out oily skin actually creates more oil than applying oils. So when I received this product in my latest Allure Beauty Box, I was thrilled to try it out.

Packaging: A gorgeous glass bottle with a dropper dispenser.

What It Does: Moisturizes, eliminates redness, fights wrinkles, makes pores smaller, and improves damaged skin.

Active Ingredients: Retinol and chamomile.

Verdict: Now, I know that some people may not be into this oil because it does have some fragrance to it (and maybe it can be irritating to sensitive skin). But the fragrance that it does have is due to natural essential oils from neroli, blood orange, ylang ylang, and vetiver. But if you don’t have sensitive skin, then this oil may be perfect for you. I really loved how it made my skin feel so velvety soft in the mornings (after applying it at night) and also making it plumper. It truly gave me the dewy skin that is oh so coveted by the beauty world. What I love is that the oil is very lightweight, and it’s perfect even for acne-prone skin as myself. I highly suggest to check it out if you need an oil, but if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to skin oils, then check out my favourite Vitamin C oils here.

Price: $105

Where To Buy It: Sephora.com

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Hiking – Purisima Creek Redwoods Reserve

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It had been years since I had been hiking, but I knew that if I found myself again in Northern California, I just had to see the famous redwoods. My boyfriend and I chose to hike up the Purisima Creek trail, since it was the closest to where we were at at Half Moon Bay.

Driving to the location proved to be a feat in itself, as we went up spiraling roads that looked incredibly sketchy at best (think slasher horror movie vibes), but once we arrived at our destination, we were awe-struck by the beauty of the forest.

The Purisima Creek Redwoods are located on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz mountains. The trail was filled with coastal redwoods, creeks, ferns, berries, and some seriously large crows.

Now, I’m not an expert when it comes to hiking, so I embarked the hike wearing jeans, a vampire tee, and Doc Martens. What? That’s not the appropriate attire you say? I guess I figured with the gorgeous trees surrounding us that resembled the sort in Twilight, that maybe Edward Cullen would pay us a visit in all of his glittery glory.

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For not being expert hikers (can you believe that we managed to forget to bring water along with us?), we walked the eight mile hike (roundtrip miles) that had slight inclinations and numerous bridge crossings.

One thing that I was very astonished about, was that I didn’t encounter any insects whilst hiking (usually my avoidance of bugs is one of the top reasons why you’ll rarely see me hiking). But I really enjoyed seeing the incredibly beautiful redwoods, and would truly recommend anyone who happens to be in the area to check the out! Not to mention that the trails are so very populated with other fellow hikers that meeting new people was the easiest thing to do!

I enjoyed this hike so much, that I may check out another trail in my near future.

Suggested Pack List:

  • Hiking boots (although my Doc Martens worked out just fine, thankyouverymuch)
  • Backpack (makes it easier to carry anything you need and keeps your hands free)
  • Camera (so you can share all your gorgeous pix with your friends & family!)
  • Water (a must! But we forgot!)
  • Sunglasses/hats (I forgot a hat & sunburned my scalp, yelp!)
  • Sunscreen (if you’re ghostly white like me, you’ll burn even in the shade so don’t forget it!)

Which hiking trails have you done, and which ones would you suggest me to do?

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