Monthly Archives: May 2016

Horrific Childhood

Growing up in the Eighties, there was no shortage of horror movies, ones that shaped and influenced me, I keenly remember watching things like Child’s Play, Nightmare on Elm Street, Carrie, Poltergeist. There was never a moment where it was suggested kids shouldn’t watch these movies, many hours of play primary school with mini Freddie’s terrorising the rest of the playground.

I remember being introduced to the Hellraiser series while being looked after by my neighbours after school. I was hooked, it was colourful, gory and the scene in the hospital has never left me. Let us also not forget movies like Gremlins, Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters – movies that were to a greater degree aimed at a younger market.

film

A friend shared an article that expressed the dismay at the lack of horror for children these days. I did a quick search for horror movies for children, it threw up things like Nightmare before Christmas, Monsters Inc and Frankenweenie. Which I think really, misses the point. I even found A Neverending Story on the list. Horror? Really, are we calling challenging scenes and emotions horror? Most of the themes become scary only when you get older and the full implications of the movie and what it is actually saying. The only thing that really might upset a child, is the same thing that upsets me and that is a pony possibly drowning in quick sand. But themes of death and sadness are not things that children should be shielded from, they are a part of life and children don’t get a free pass in real life. Why hide it in their films?

But death, in and of itself isn’t horror, and subtle themes, again will be missed by children. You have to remember that when you watch something as an adult you have a different, not necessarily greater, understanding that that of a child. This means that when you watch the same movie as an adult, you are no longer viewing it as you might have done.

film3

Now I am going to go in a slightly different direction for a moment but please bear with me – it will all come together!

When I was a child, my mother made a friend, I was never entirely sure how this relationship started, or how it continued as she didn’t really seem to enjoy Helen’s company. Helen had a daughter a little younger than me, and we spent time together, I spent weekends with them. Not sure why, I never really enjoyed it, and since my mother had children it didn’t give her a break. Now one of the things that my mother couldn’t understand and didn’t agree with was Helen’s insistence that her daughter not wear a school uniform. Not that her daughter went to a school that didn’t have a uniform. No, that her daughter was given special privilege to not wear uniform. So instead of just being part of her class, she stood out in her entire school.

film2

Again this might sound like I am going on the weirdest tangent but there is a reason for this colouring in, please bear with me. It was something that Helen took from her own childhood, she hated wearing uniform. She therefore felt her own daughter shouldn’t be put through the same thing her mother forced her to go through. And another hold over i have noticed is homework. I have lost count of the amount of people how keep bringing this up. That they don’t understand the point, that their children should learn enough in their school day, that they should be able to wind down after school, that it isn’t the parents responsibility to educate their children. I won’t go on. But it illustrates a point.

People are using their own experiences to colour the experiences of the next generation. When people don’t like wearing a uniform or doing homework, instead of appreciating or understanding why these things are important. But this is something to expand on in another blog post.

film4

My point is that decisions on what movies to make, what to give the green light to, are made by people  remembering the ‘video nasty’ movies from the Eighties and Early Nineties. It is entirely possible that they are trying to remove the possibility  of their children being subjected to the same. When you look at what is considered as horror for children, you are looking at movies like Coraline. I really like it as a film, but horror it isn’t. The storyline will appeal to most children, who hasn’t felt that their families are being entirely unfair and wanted to start over. But again what we catch as adults watching this movie is darker than what children will be watching. We are not watching it with the gaze of innocence. We understand more because of experience. Remember the difference in tone between the songs of innocence versus songs of experience.

We don’t have technicolor gore in our movies, we have a different taste now. Most of our horror is psychological, it is the shock value, paranormal. Most gore horror is now reserved for Zombie films and series that seem to have become more popular with the rise of other horror. Instead of a class hack and slash, we are terrorised by what lies beneath, what could be, what once was. This again is a throw back to what was popular when our generation was beginning to develop conciousness. Our generation, the generation after us, we remember the cheap thrills and gratuitous violence and have segregated it. We like our horror thoughtful, we like to have our shocks in the dark. We like to have bumps in the night and now a bloody body.

Now before you point out the obvious, yes there are movies out there in the main stream that bask in the gore, but they are the exception. They are not as prevalent as they once were. So what I am trying to say, in a rather long winded, and round about way, it isn’t just that the horror aimed at children is somewhat sanitised, horror has become something different. Everything evolves.

film1

Advertisements

Fit for danger

So last night a friend shared a diet that was followed by an actress in preparation for a film role. Having followed various links on same subject it is easy to see how quickly the initial article has been disseminated in to the wider world, with the message becoming blurred.

The reason my friend shared it was her concern over young girls coming accross this article, and more like it and influencing them. Girls look toward images presented to them in the various mediums, whether it is via social media, TV, film, magazines for idea of what they should look like. As girls grow up, they look around, outside their own immediate family, and peer group to understand what is normal, social norms, what is considered attractive.

detox6

When you are told a diet that works is 80% just fruit and veg with the images next to it of the actress having lost 12 lbs … it sounds like the perfect solution. It seems deceptively simple and easy to stick to. So of course, this will be a great idea to shift those imaged layers of fat. But it is a diet. Diets are short term. Many athletes use diets when training. You only have to follow someone like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on social media to understand the importance diet has when training. Actually please follow him, he genuinely is an inspiration.

We see it all the time as well on shows like Strictly Come Dancing, where the contestants lose weight, but what is actually happening is that they are toning up. Because they are dancing around 8 hours a day 5 or 6 days a week including the performances. This isn’t something most people will be able to replicate. It is an unrealistic look for people to attain.

thin6

We need to change what we present to people, instead of advertising a quick fix, maple syrup diets, 80% diets that work in short terms, CRASH diets by any other name as a normal, and healthy way to get the body you want. Instead of focusing on the shape and size of the body, the focus should be on healthy living, doing things that make you happy and finding passion in your life, about spending time outside, finding a sport that you enjoy and doing it with friends, about healthy choices with food. It shouldn’t be about the size of your waist, thigh gaps, how prominent your hips or rib cage is.

The focus should be on healthy attitudes and eating, on being healthy, active and moderation. Of course there will always be sensational articles and sales pitches to do something quickly, to cheat, articles will be misquoted and torn up to suit an agenda. But if we can change the conversation so that teenagers see messages that are predominantly positive, so they are going to be able to make more educated choices about their life, so they are able to make more informed choices. So your body is not the most important thing in all transactions.

thin8

Wigs to the rescue

So, it has been well documented that I love wigs, I wear them as often as possible. I have my favourites, I have wigs that I wear more often, or that I wear for longer periods of time. I also have wigs that may not be treated as well as they might, I store them all over my house, on the stairs, on my desk, on stands, in bags. On top of that I style my wigs, and use them around special effects make up. 

So, as much as I love my wigs, I have to be honest and admit that they sometimes need a little TLC. You might remember a while ago, a lovely friend took in one of my more problematic wigs after it got ruined on a night out. Well, that we so well, I thought I would give her a much bigger job, and this is my review of the work on the wigs! 

The lady in question is Scarlett Von Trapp Eco-Uture CLICK HERE for her Facebook page. She also makes costumes and general dress making, up-cycling and re-purposing material to make sure it is as eco-friendly as possible as well as unique.

But that isn’t what we are here to discuss, we are here to discuss wigs, before and after! I sent 3 wigs to Scarlett, 2 were well loved wigs, and another was a poor quality Ebay wig that needed attention desperately. I only have photos of the first two, which were bought from Geisha Wigs, Watermelon and Red Riding Hood :

These were (and are) 2 of my favourite wigs and therefore the ones I would reach to immediately. I started to notice that the crimp was slowly dropping out of Watermelon, as you can see in the photo, and Red Riding Hood was a slightly defective wig from the outset but I had waited so long for it to come into stock, I rolled with it. As they started to wilt, I stopped wearing them which was sad. The third wig in the batch was another crimped wig, which was unmanageable from the outset. I attempted to straighten out the ends to help but this i also didn’t work so I ended up leaving it in a bag to be forgotten. 

I happened to be discussing this with the lovely owner and woman behind Scarlett Von-Trapp who suggested that she would love to give them a make over, so off I bundled them knowing from our previous transaction, that the wigs would be in good hands. I didn’t discuss exactly what needed doing or what I wanted prior to the wigs being received as I wanted to get an honest opinion on the wigs and what would be possible so I wouldn’t be going into the transaction is misguided expectations. 

13130843_1604995249739073_3920093456254155095_o

Once she confirmed receipt, we discussed the wigs, and initial thoughts on what she could do with them and what she felt would be best. We agreed for a simple re curl on Red Riding Hood, and she suggested tight curls on Watermelon. I didn’t really know what to expect but I was pretty excited to see what she would come up with. The last wig, the taro, I again gave her a pretty free reign on, I really just wanted a wearable wig.

At every point, I was kept in the loop, I got progress reports and pictures. Every step was discussed with pictures being sent so I could see what the wigs looked like. This is pretty important when you are dealing with people online, it isn’t as simple as popping to your local high street.  

13123302_1604995279739070_4116667113747191979_o

As you can see, quite a transformation and I really do love the progress photos, it is interesting to see the stages of the work! I am so happy now the wigs are happily back with me, and I cannot think Scarlett Von-Trapp not only for the care and attention, but for the work that she has put into the restoration of the wigs. And there are the little touches with the packaging, it is always feels as if it is an actual present you are receiving in the post. And seeing the care in the wigs, considering that Watermelon has had a complete restyle, she has made sure that the tracts and the wig cap is still in perfect condition. And I have to say, although it looks as if it should be super heavy, it is light and very easy to wear! 

A brief interlude to appreciate the wigs as they are now :

I honestly cannot recommend this lady enough, she cares deeply for her craft, for wigs, and is amazing at restoration and restyling. There is not a safer pair of hands to place your wigs in. She does do international work, and is very responsive to messages. If you are curious about what she can do and what the charges are. At no point is there any pressure to commit to anything. And like I said earlier, she also does other work so it is worth checking out her Facebook page to see what else she can help you with 🙂

Do that dupe

So I have been fairly outspoken about issue lately and I wanted to be a little more light hearted before I launch into the next topic! 

So this will be a review post on 2 makeup products, both Maybelline, so I hope you enjoy! 

A couple of weeks ago while in Superdrug, I saw a small eye shadow pallet that caught my eye, rose gold is the colour scheme that most closely describes it. If you are thinking Urban Decays Naked 3 pallet…. well so was I! CLICK HERE to see it on their page. Because of my combined addictions of both Wild Bangarang leggings, and wigs, I haven’t been able to justify the expense of a new makeup pallet. I have to be honest, until my birthday last year, I wouldn’t consider buying such an expensive product. When I received it as a birthday gift I was blown away by the colours, how beautifully it blended, and because I am super lazy, how it stayed perfect until the next morning (with the help of primer). I was converted. The problem is that with a limited budget, you have to be sure that you are picking the right product. How many times have you settled on Foundation or mascara to realise it just isn’t living up to the hype. Our bodies and our own image is so personal that no matter what percentage of testers thinking the product is Number 1 – it may not work for you. 

mua2

Due to the popularity of the Urban Decay, a number of companies are now offering pallets with similar colour schemes, many in a more comfortable price range. I had tried Make Revolutions offerings but found that unlike other MR pallets, the colour payoff was not there. No company is entirely consistent. I just figured the universe was telling me to wait until I could afford the real deal. 

But I had seen the pallet – The Blushed Nudes by Maybelline and it was on my mind all week and I had got an idea for a makeup look that I really wanted to try… so I had a look while shopping. A word to the wise, I had to go to 3 different stores to find a pallet that didn’t have loose trays. These were unopened pallets but for some reason the individual trays had come loose. But I was on a mission and so I decided to keep looking and eventually found one – they seem quite popular! Now the pallet colours, for me are somewhat alien. I am more about bold colours, some of this is because I pretty much always wear my glasses for work I need something to stand out, some of it is because I am reverting to a toddler and want to throw all the colours at my face. 

13112560_10156753779470577_652875244_o

I had a look at the back of the case and after swatching the colours and being surprised at the colour payoff (then remembering I am white, white at the moment) I noticed that the 12 colours are sections off and there is a guide on the back on how to apply it. This is actually a really nice idea, nothing new, pallets have had this for years. What I did find surprising is that although the quads are set up in a similar fashion, the placement on the eye is different. I am game for anything so on Sunday I carefully applied as instructed, and because I am not the delicate of people, blended it out until happy. I also went the whole hog and contoured my face before heading out for a woodland walk. Quite pleased with the results, a neutral look which enhances the eye.

On Monday, again, I picked the next quad along, and again, contoured my face for a woodland walk. Yes, before you ask, I do put makeup on before going to the gym. For me to go anywhere for a prolonged period of time, without a stitch of makeup is a crime. But more about that in another blog. I have to say, while neither day is a look I would routinely wear, I found the shadow really pretty on, subtle and great for every day. You could easily add a much darker lip for a simple evening look in seconds. I opted for a very light lip as I don’t generally wear that either. Weekend of firsts.

13147933_10156753478240577_1011590542_o

Now while I was in the store, I picked up Maybeline’s Brow Drama pomade crayon. I have been looking for something new to help with my brows. For general maintenance, I have my brows threaded or waxed (dependant on time between appointments), trimmed and tinted. That sounds like a lot, it isn’t expensive, at least not here in Northampton. However, my brows need filling in, and I have tried so many things to help. I have for many years used eye shadow but then finding the right shade is a pain, pencils are fine but I find it can be difficult to get the right shape and takes time to blend in. The brow mascara.. is … an acquired taste, and as much as I love the brow kits with wax, I always run out of wax first. The only thing that has worked for me lately is a felt tip from GOSH cosmetics but again, it is a case of letting it set and wiping off and often I forget (my way of using it, not necessarily how it was designed to be used).

Now, when I got home, I fully thought that the crayon would required some blending or other intervention by me once applied. Wrong, so very wrong. All I have to do is apply the crayon along the length of my brow and I am done. I am so happy, I cannot tell you. It hasn’t budged and hasn’t left my brows feeling or looking weird. The other benefit for me, is that my brows look natural from up close and further away. This is going to be going into my ‘must have’ pile. 

mua

Now, my recommendation on the eye shadow, it is a good pallet and in the same price range as other brand offerings in the drugstore. I have been pleasantly surprised by the colour pay off, and they all blend really well. The applicator included is basic, I used the brush to apply the base coat both days but I wouldn’t really do a full eye unless you are really stuck. The product itself is a little powdery rather than creamy, so be careful when picking up. The colour lasted well – I didn’t apply any base or primer because i like to give it a test free of any help! The pallet itself is a nice size and should easily fit in a makeup bag so it is a good investment for your handbag – I haven’t tried the last quad, which looks a little darker, and might be your go to to change up to a smokey eye if going out straight after work. The brow crayon is perfect, if like me you are lazy and want a simple way of filling in brows that you are happy with shape wise. 

Sorry this review has turned out longer than intended! Hope you enjoyed reading it!