Thursday, January 30, 2014


Images from "The Art of Mass Effect"


(Note: for all purposes of this piece, I'm going to refer to Shepard as "she," since I play the character as a woman. Also, everything written within is my own opinion.  I know the game goes many different ways depending on how you play it; this is the ending I got and how I took it.)

So, I recently finished playing Mass Effect 3, and do I have some choice words.  Brace yourself, this is going to be a long one.

To give you a background, Mass Effect 2 was the first video game I ever played in full.  I played it all by myself, with no help from anyone (though I wanted to hand the controller off many times), and actually finished it, which I have never done before for many reasons (but that's a story for another time).  I played it within a couple of weeks at the end of vacation the summer before my senior year of college.  Therefore, along with being an amazing game, Mass Effect has a special place in my heart that will always trump other video games. 

I was excited to finally play Mass Effect 3 when I came home for Christmas break, as had been the plan.  I played L.A. Noire while at school, which became the second game I ever played with no help and completed.  Both Mass Effect 2 and L.A. Noire have great story lines.  This raised my expectations.  

Instead of tiptoeing around it, I'll say it.  I am disappointed with Mass Effect 3.

I suppose this is what happens when you play two fabulous story games with great graphics one after another, both of which were allowed years to make and perfect, both of which had great writing, both of which built characters and worlds in the most lovely way.  Mass Effect 3 stopped short of being amazing.  It even began to fall apart at a certain point.

Now, I know why this happened.  Mass Effect 2 was so great because it was following Mass Effect, which didn't have a super great reception.  ME2 was able to take more liberties in terms of making character models, creating stories, and world building.  It didn't have the daunting task of finishing a story, only that of continuing the story that many already knew.  Mass Effect 3, on the other hand, was a different matter.  Since ME2 had such a great reception, EA pushed to create ME3 faster, so it would come out while there was still interest, therefore it was more heavy handed and less refined.  Along with that, they had to complete the story, therefore this game had to be bigger than the other two before it.  To complete this scale of story and game with time and money constraints, they began to cut corners.  Where Mass Effect 2 overachieved (and therefore is an amazing game because of it), Mass Effect 3 became too big of a project, and mildly crashed and burned because of it.

I say mildly because I really did enjoy playing ME3.  The Mass Effect story is an interesting and amazing one, that constantly raises ideas about morality, humanity, and free will.  Mass Effect was the first game I ever played that made me think about the choices I was making and how their outcomes would effect the ones I loved within the game.  Therefore, I became much more invested in the characters and began to care deeply for each and every one of them.  I know from years of watching movies and television, reading books and comics, that getting the audience to love a character is a hard journey.  Mass Effect made me love a whole cast of characters, each with completely different personalities!

One of the main differences I noticed between the second and third games was that if you wanted to play Mass Effect 2 as a stand alone game, you could.  That is basically impossible with Mass Effect 3.  It is necessary to have previously played ME2 to understand the gravity of the situation.  I will hand it to them, however; they did a good job displaying the horror of war in a fast and efficient manner at the beginning of the game, making your choices and the story mean so much more.  On the other hand, if you start from ME3, you are given the most awful pre-chosen choices about what decisions you make in the previous two games.   

The number one problem I had with Mass Effect 3, however, was that crap ending.  I'd been warned, but for some reason when people told me the ending was "horrible," I thought they were talking about horrible in the sense that everyone you love dies, the galaxy is destroyed, etc etc.  I never thought they had meant the utter crap that we got.

Basically, I have no problem with the whole game.  I played it and enjoyed the entire thing, even with the heavy handedness of morality choices and cutting of corners story wise.  I liked it all the way up until the final decision: do you take over the Reapers, or do you kill all synthetic life.  After that, it was the worst ending of a piece of media I had ever witnessed.  They didn't even try.

I chose to destroy synthetic life, because as my friend Janet said, "absolute power corrupts, absolutely."  I completely agree.  It is a no-win situation, which is fine to have, because life is full of no-win situations.  The entirety of ME3 also forces you to recognize the trials of war, and how sometimes, the sacrifice of a few must be made to save the many.  That's fine.  Destroying all synthetic life means destroying the Geth and the Reapers, two sentient races.  It means destroying EDI, a friend.  However, as the catalyst on the Citadel described, eventually the organics would create synthetic life again, and they would destroy organic life.  On the other hand, you could take control of the Reapers, and control a race of war machines.  How long would it take for Shepard to become corrupt, and start the cycle again?

This choice is about free will.  The Reapers come to destroy advanced life every cycle to prevent chaos.  However, who are they to decide the fate of so many races, cycle after cycle?  Chaos is chaos, but it still is free will.  You may wish you were dead, but you have the freedom to wish that.  You don't have the choice taken away from you.

This goes hand in hand with the number one ME3 idea: organic versus synthetic life.  The entirety of Mass Effect 3 is about this concept, and which side of the debate you fall upon.  I like this idea, and I like that ME3 brings this up as a moral point to make the player think, but I think it could have been one of many ideas presented.  It didn't need to be so blatantly presented to the player.

The idea of free will versus someone making decisions for a group of beings was also something presented in all the Mass Effect games, such as the Rachni in one, the Geth in two, and the Geth versus the Quarians in three.  However, in Mass Effect 2, it was presented appropriately and at the times it mattered.  The whole of both games is based around this concept.  However, the heavy handed nature of presenting this concept in the third game is completely unnecessary.  Basically every choice presented to Shepard is about her choosing between one form of life or another, with no in between (until, of course, they give you a way out, such as with the Quarians and the Geth).  But isn't Shepard, in making these choices, becoming no better than the Reapers?  She is deciding the fate of individuals and entire races, at some points.  Why is she given this power?

This leads in to the concept of the white savior.  The intended Shepard character was supposed to be a white, human male.  This is the same thing seen over and over in media.  The white man must come save the non white people from sure destruction.  This time, however, it is the human saving the rest of the (much more advanced) alien races from destruction.  Why?

This concept, however, is completely changed if you play Shepard as a woman, and even more if she is a woman of color.  This begins the discussion of how socially progressive this game could be.

I played Mass Effect as a woman on the suggestion of a friend.  She said the voice acting for fem!Shep is ten times better than male Shepard, and from the youtube clips I've seen, I completely agree.  I didn't realize until I was playing the game how cool it was that Shepard is now this high ranking military official who is a woman.  Everyone respects her, obeys her command, and believes in her.  She ends up being the poster-woman of the war against the reapers, and the savor of the galaxy.  How cool is that??  

There is still the main question of: why is a human having to save all of these other races of beings?  I know that you play as a human because we are human beings, and therefore you can connect with the main character.  I felt a connection with the other races, however, even more so than the humans at some times (cough Cerberus cough).  Along with that, strange plot twists lead the player to see that, maybe, these races aren't as smart as we thought they were.  How convenient.

Even after Shepard warns everyone that the Reapers are coming, no one believes her.  All the races have super advanced science and a plethora of scientists (except for maybe the Turians, who I know are basically a military based race).  They all seem to suddenly have their heads up their asses.  This also comes up with the war between the Geth and the Quarians.  The Quarians seem to have lost all reason when it comes to the Geth in the third game and basically require Shepard to step in and calm everyone down.  Along with that, the game conveniently shows that it was actually the Quarian's fault that the Geth went to get help from the Reapers, since the Quarian's started the war against the Geth.  The Geth felt as if they had no choice.  How lovely.

Final note: what was with that ending??  Like I said earlier, I chose the red ending, destroying all synthetic life.  I then got the cutscene of the crucible deploying, the Mass Relays being destroyed.  I cried when Joker was trying to escape the Mass Relay, because that is when I felt the weight of my choice: my friends and the ones I loved were being affected and killed because of what I had done.  The Quarians and Turians left without dextro foods from their home planets, therefore essentially looking to a future of starving to death. 

And then, they show Joker crash landing on to a planet.  Still sad, because here is a human with almost no ability to move without hurting himself on a random planet in the Milky Way, with no way of calling for help or receiving said help.  But then, Garrus climbs out of the Normandy.  What?  Why was Garrus with Joker on the Normandy?  Wasn't he just running towards the beam with me, dodging Harbinger's attacks?  Guess not.  I found out later that in the extra DLC, you instruct your team to get on the Normandy without you, I think?  Okay.  That makes sense.

But then, Javik climbs out of the Normandy.  I get Joker, Garrus, and Javik.  Of course.

It wasn't enough that the three flashes of "the people I love" I got while shooting the whatever on the Crucible were Anderson, Joker, and Liara.  I guess that was because those were the three that have been there since the beginning?  I can understand Anderson because he just died, he's your mentor, yeah.  Liara because she's your blue alien bff (and she grew on me this game).  Joker though?  Joker instead of your alien space boyfriend that you've been dating since ME2??  Don't you think Shepard would think about the person she loved in her last moments?  Guess not.

The biggest problem was that the ending leaves you with no closure.  What happens on Earth?  What about the rest of the planets where Reaper attacks were happening literally all over the Milky Way?  What about the rest of your crew who was fighting on earth: Jack, Samara, Wrex, Tali?  Kasumi and Zaeed??  I need to know what happened to them!

Such an awful ending.  Awful.  I know there's an ME4 in the making, so maybe they didn't want to close the game off for good.  I also know that games have a bad habit of taking a crap on their endings.  I thought Mass Effect was better than that.

Overall, I really enjoyed Mass Effect 3.  I loved playing it, as well as its predecessor.  Mass Effect will always have such a special place in my heart, and I can't wait to replay ME2.  However, that doesn't make the problems I had with it go away.  That's why I just had to get all of that off my chest.

I plan on writing a second "Mass Effect Thoughts" post, talking about the aspects of the game which couldn't necessarily be avoided but would have been cool to include anyway, including romance options, character models and designs, etc.  Along with that, I'm going to write up a post talking about my Shepard, since I love her to the end of the world and back.

I leave you with the final note of: PLAY MASS EFFECT.  PLAY IT.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014


It's no surprise that I've been worried about what I'm going to be doing after I graduate from college.  After having thing after thing set in front of you for 21 years of your life (middle school, high school, college) and then suddenly being thrown out in to the world, there's only one thought on my mind: "what am I going to do?"  Also, "fuck."

I talked with two of my teachers and some grad students today about their own experiences when they graduated undergrad, and accepted any opinions or advice they had.  It was extremely enlightening, and I'm really glad I did.  I feel so much less anxious about it now, and don't fear that I won't be able to pay my rent or not be able to do something I like.

Both of my teachers had something different to say.  One is much more down to earth in the way that he doesn't baby me.  He consistently tries to push me to bigger and better things and break me out of my comfort zone because he knows I can get there.  He has made me into a better artist and a much more critical thinker about my work.  His advice was about finding specific jobs, places he knew about and thought might work.  The idea of taking an internship while working at a job not necessarily related to art was one idea.  Along with that, he told me to get out there, pound the pavement, talk to people and express interest.  This is the way I'll find work in the art world.

My other professor had similar advice, but in a different vein of thought.  I'm so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet him and get to know him better through senior thesis.  He is the first professor to ever express how much he loves my work and gave me a confidence boost that I haven't received in a long time.  I get compliments from my fellow classmates and some grads, but never from professors, and it's nice to hear that an accomplished artist appreciates your talent and the work you create.  

He had a great analogy for how I should approach jobs.  I should be like an alien ship, going from planet to planet to gain as many resources as possible before moving on to the next.  He said that this is how I should treat my future jobs.  Never let anyone tell you that a job is beneath you, or that you have nothing to learn from it.  Learning what it has to offer may only take a couple of weeks, but it could also take years.  I got the same advice from a grad I spoke to as well: never let the job be you.  In the art field, more often than not, the job is just a job.  What you do outside the job is what counts.

I also expressed what my ideal is.  I want to change the world, change the way people think and their opinions, and inspire people (that's the gist, anyway).  He said that since I have that drive, and that I think about those sorts of things, that's important.  It'll take me far.  He said that I reminded him of one of his good friends he met in grad school.  He said that I had a really great personality and that I was nice to be around.  I'm pretty sure I was blushing by that point!

Both were important conversations.  One was more of a pep-talk, and the other, a heart to heart.  Now I don't feel as anxious as I was before.


Sunday, January 26, 2014


Hi everyone!

This is a bit late, I know, but I wanted to get all the straggler gifts in before I made a post/filmed a video.  This was in vain, of course.  I still have more late presents coming.  C'mon people!

However, I wanted to try something different for this post!  I did film a youtube video talking about each of my gifts, but I also wanted to make a little bonus for the blog lovers, or people who just don't fancy youtube very much.  I took some photos of my favorite gifts from this Christmas as well!  Enjoy!

Self explanatory.  I love this pallet!

The Joy Of Cooking was actually a birthday gift, but I lumped it.  The rest are all queer literature, since that's a lot of what my art focuses on.  Fun fact, if I had discovered queer studies earlier, I would have gotten a minor in Global Gender Studies.  Alas, by the time I considered it, it was too late and I didn't have enough time to complete the required courses.  I recommend all of these books!

My cousin got this peppermint hot chocolate set from a friend, and gave me the tin when I complimented it!  I can't wait to use this to hold things.  I just don't know what these things will be just yet!

Broaches from my grandmother and great-grandmother.  My Aunt and Uncle found them while packing to move and they let the girls of the family (myself and my two cousins) divide them amongst ourselves.  All three of us have a butterfly broach now!

A lovely tin of English Breakfast tea from my bestie, Celina.  The tea bags are that really lovely sachet type.  It's so luxurious!  I've never had tea like that, and even though I want the tin for storage, I'm definitely going to try to keep these and make them last!  I also got Celina a matching tin of white tea for Christmas.

So many body products!!  I can't wait to use all of these.  All smell absolutely delicious.  I've already been using the Mentha one and it leaves your skin tingling (as well as it being my favorite scent: peppermint!).  The Kiss my Face exfoliation wash is definitely going to be more of a treat, along with the One Direction body wash.  I won't want to use that one up!


Thursday, January 23, 2014


It's the last week of winter break!  This year's break was longer than ever before since my school just started having winter session classes, but I'm finally going back friday.  Not that I don't love being at home, of course, because I do.  I just miss my friends, boyfriend, and I want to implement new routines that are hard to start at home and then continue in a new place!

Some of those routines are beauty things I end up slacking on while I'm home, like exfoliating, moisturizing, washing my face every night before bed, and pampering with the lovely body butters I've recently acquired.  I also want to start making DIY beauty items, like sugar scrubs and body butters (like the ones from LUSH, but much less expensive!).  Along with that, I want to make up a schedule for doing yoga/exercising, which is hard while I'm at home (since I'm, in essence, lazy).

I kind of felt like just doing a general bloggy blog this week, talking about the stuff I've been up to.  Along with that, I've tried to photograph things in a more streamlined manner!  I wasn't super happy with the way my blog was looking, so hopefully now I'll be a tad happier with the appearance. 

First off, my savior this week was this book.  I picked it up at the library without even knowing it would be there; it was just sitting on the new arrivals cart!  I loved The Joy Luck Club, which I read in sophomore year.  I then tried Amy Tan's second book, The Kitchen God's Wife, which I couldn't get in to.  This book, however, has captured my attention and I'm really, really enjoying it!  I'm about halfway through at this point, and I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens.  It's been a while since I've enjoyed reading a book so much.

Without giving anything important away, this novel is about the high class courtesan houses in China at the turn of the century.  It's so absolutely interesting, as well as heart-wrenching and almost uncomfortable at times.

The thing I keep thinking about while reading this is how lucky I am to have the free choice to decide what I can do with my life.  Recently, I've been thinking a lot about apartments, living on my own, and finding a job.  These are choices I am able to make because I am lucky to live a life where I can do so.  So many women in the past and present are unable to make these choices, due to social standing, race, and culture.

Along with this, it makes me grateful more than anything that I can choose who I have sex with.  That's not something a lot of women think about in first world countries, but in many countries it isn't a right they are privileged to.  There are arranged marriages, prostitution, and rape rampant all over the world.  To live a life where these are things I don't have to ever consider or deal with is a fantastic life.  I'm lucky to be able to have it.

Got a little deep there!  It's really all I've been thinking about since I've been reading this book.  On to some more light hearted topics!

I got my Driver's Permit this week!!!  Yes, I know you must be saying, isn't she twenty-one?  Shouldn't she have gotten that already?  Well, for all of you who don't know, living in NYC makes it possible for one to never have to drive or own a car.  Almost all of my city peers don't know how to drive and don't plan on learning any time soon!  

However, since I'm planning on staying in Buffalo, it was time.  Along with that, it's a good skill to learn!  Learning to drive is like learning to ride a bike or swim; it's something that you should learn young, and it benefits your entire life.

Also, how easy is the driver's test, right?  Now I know why there are so many crap drivers on the road.  

On another note, I met a really nice guy at the DMV while we were waiting to get our tests graded and pay.  He was super friendly and I really enjoyed talking to him until we were told off by one of the employees (not allowed to talk or use cell phones in the test area, even if you're done taking it.  I don't get it).  He was my age and is attending Hunter college as an art major as well!  Didn't get his name, though.  I could do some snooping, but I also could leave it as the chance encounter it was.  What do you think?  You can never have too many friends, especially in the art world!

Another thing I've been enjoying doing lately is perusing blogs and reading reviews.  I'm basically set on makeup for now, especially since I'm implementing a spending ban this semester so I can save for the down payment on my future apartment.  I see skin care reviews out the wazoo, but everything is a little out of my price range!  I wanted a good skin care regime without it breaking the bank.

This is the reason why I tearfully passed up the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser for a cheaper and more bang for your buck item.  I perused and asked around and finally landed on Albolene!  It's a moisturizing cleanser, so it removes makeup while keeping your face lovely and soft.  I really needed a cleanser that removed my makeup, since I like multiple use body items (also, like I said: lazy).  I originally was looking at Noxema, but the reviews were going both ways.  Some loved it, some hated it.  My mom pointed out Albolene in the store because she remembered seeing people use it, so I looked up some reviews online, and basically everyone gave it a thumbs up!  

Albolene also a long time product like Noxema, but instead of being a cold cream, it's a petroleum jelly/mineral oil combo.  I have reasonably dry skin, especially in the winter and when I get out of the shower/when I wash my face, so hopefully the oil won't cause me to break out and will be good for my skin. 

Even if I only use this as an eye makeup remover, it's a huge tub, and you don't have to use a lot to get it to work.  I'm sure this will last me a long time.  Along with that, its unscented.  Recently I've been liking to experiment with scented products, but for my day to day skin care I prefer unscented products (which is why I use Lubriderm lotion over anything else). 

I used it to remove my makeup the other day and everything just sloughed right off!  I was left without raccoon eyes and the gross black strings in my eyes (you know what I'm talking about!).  The oily residue was a little gross, so I just did a quick wash with Cetaphil cleanser after.  If this routine works, I may make a post about my daily skincare or a review of Albolene itself.  Time will tell, I suppose!

Image taken from the booklet of Franz Ferdinand's "Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions"

Finally, I've been really enjoying listening to Franz Ferdinand's new album "Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions."  I first heard Franz Ferdinand back when I was in middle school when I took their first album out of the library and listened to it on my portable CD player.  I then didn't listen to them for a while but in the past few years found my love for them again!

I also got the special second disc, called "Right Notes, Right Words, Wrong Order", which is live recordings of them playing in Konk Studios in London.  I love both parts!  The new album is everything I love about Franz Ferdinand: catchy lyrics, funky notes, and all around great songs.  Along with that, I love hearing live recordings of bands music.  I feel like it ads so much more to the songs, sometimes.  Something completely different!

My favorite tracks are Bullet, Evil Eye, and Fresh Strawberries.  Honorable mentions to Stand On The Horizon and Brief Encounters.

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse in to what I've been doing recently!  I probably will end up doing more posts like this once school starts, instead of more regular single topic posts.  I won't have any time to do anything.  Expect lots of posts about my art, maybe some beauty favorites, and a minimal amount of youtube videos.  Let's see what happens!  I've been really enjoying blogging a lot, and I don't think I'll lose interest any time soon, even if I get super busy.

Have you been up to anything interesting lately?  Read any good books or listen to any good music?  Tell me in the comments!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Hey everyone!

I'd like to introduce you to a new segment I want to do every once in a while!  My friends are really important to me, and I value their input on everything having to do with life.  Therefore, I would love to feature their own thoughts on fashion, beauty, and everything in between!

I met Nicole last year on tumblr through a mutual love of One Direction, and we've been friends ever since!  She is the friend who put up with me when I started getting interested in fashion and makeup; we even started an OOTD blog on tumblr together back in september 2013.  She has always been super supportive of my want to start a blog and do youtube, which is always amazing.  Thank you girl!

So without further ado, I leave the beautiful Nicole to it.  Hope you enjoy!


Last year, I tried to get myself to be more adventurous when it came to fashion. It didn't really worked out since I (clearly) kept going back to certain items of clothing. I was also into wearing plain outfits (mostly all black, haha) and then adding a statement piece. It could've been an item of clothing or jewelry. I could've also done something different with my makeup (Brows were always important though -- they looked terrible in the beginning of the year, but I'm growing them out and they look a lot better now!) or my hair (no-heat curls, braids, bows). 

Anyway, here are some of my favorite outfits of 2013!

Nicole xx

January jeggings paired with oxfords 
February sweater (or any baggy top) paired with leggings and boots 
March inspired by Jade Thirwall's outfit in Little Mix's Wings MV  
May Recreated Perrie Edwards' outfit from Little Mix's BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show performance in Swindon 
June mens plaid top, black tank top, denim shorts, ankle boots 
July One Direction concert outfit // button-up top with a black cami underneath, tucked into black shorts, and Converse 
August loose crop tops (I am loving the Mickey Mouse trend) 
September white v-neck and black cardigan paired with floral shorts and heeled ankle boots 
December Christmas outfit // black shirt with rolled-up sleeves, lace skirt, tights, and boots 

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Hi everyone!

When I was out in the city the other day, I stopped in to a shop or two.  I just couldn't resist!

First, I went to e.l.f.  I have a whole set of e.l.f brushes, but I had never really delved in to their actual makeup much.  I have their eye primer and some lip stain, but neither were super exciting.  However, when I went in to the shop, I definitely saw a couple of things I could see myself owning.

While there were many things I considered purchasing (they're so cheap!), I ended up buying the Baked Blush in Passion Pink, the Baked Highlighter in moonlight pearl, a Kohl Eyeliner in Black, and a Matte Lip Color in Tea Rose.

Left, Baked Highlighter in moonlight pearl // Right, Baked Blush in Passion Pink

Left, Matte Lip Color in Tea Rose // Right, Kohl Eyeliner in Black

I purchased these items because I don't have anything like them!  While I own blush, I don't own a baked, shimmery one like this.  The color in the swatch looks a little light, but when I tested it at the store it looked complete different.  I think the trick is to build while first using it, and when you end up using a bit, the color comes out of the pan much more easily.  The highlighter is such a lovely light shimmer, I can't wait to use it!

The lip color and eyeliner are also two things I don't have anything like!  I've been wanting a more neutral pink lip color for a while, but have had trouble finding one.  Recently I have been going back through Katie's Beauty Blog and seeing what lip color she wears.  She has light skin and blonde hair (like I do) and she always wears a more blue tinted pink lip.  I picked out this lip color because it seemed like a better shade then the pink lipstick I currently own.  Along with that, you can apply a lot for a bold defined look, or just a light coating and smudge it with your finger for a neat tint!  I showed both in the swatch above.

The same goes for the Kohl Eyeliner!  I think this will be perfect for a smokey eye.  Since my Rimmel Scandaleyes kohl pencil ran out (basically), I thought I could do with a new one.  The pencil is a bit harsh, so I probably wouldn't use this for my waterline, but it will be good for both the upper and lower lash line to contrast my normal sharp winged eyeliner.  The Kohl liner also comes with a little smudge sponge at the other end of the stick, and a built in sharpener in the cap!  I'm a little afraid of cutting myself on the sharpener, though, since it's not really closed off.  Guess I won't be throwing this in to my make up bag.

The Physician's Formula compacts both come with a mirror and brush compartment under their pans for on the go touch ups!  However, the brushes are both somewhat scratchy, so I doubt I'd use them.  The compacts are useful, however!

Next up, I popped in to Duane Reade so my friend could grab a chapstick.  I wanted to show him what a bargain e.l.f. had been, though, so I showed him the makeup isle.  While there, I found the bargain bin!  All three items above were on sale for $2!  That's a super bargain in my opinion, especially since the Physician's Formula items usually run from $10 to $15!!

The three things I purchased were the Physician's Formula Multi-Colored Blush in Blushing Nude, and the Glow & Mood Brigtening Powder Light Bronzer.  I also got Revlon's diamond lust in 100 Celestial Silver.

Left to Right, Physician's Formula blush in Blushing Nude, bronzer in Light Bronzer, Revlon's diamond lust in Celestial Silver.

Both the blush and bronzer were a little light for my taste, but at the same time, I don't own really nude colors like this (in either category).  And how could you go wrong for only $2 each?  The blush may even be a little light for me.  Revlon's diamond lust, on the other hand, is very glittery and lovely.  I can't wait to wear this on a night out!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my purchases!  I hope to do a review on all the products I've been recently using/buying, so keep an eye out for that.  I also am going to do a "Christmas Break Haul" video on my youtube in a week or two, showing all the beauty items I bought over the break!


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Saturday, January 18, 2014


Yesterday I spent a full day roaming the city with my friend Teke, who had come down to NYC to visit for a couple of days.  It was completely unplanned; I had no idea he was visiting until he tweeted the day before yesterday.  I tweeted back, and yesterday he invited me out to the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art) and we spent the whole day together!

After perusing the museum for a couple of hours, we then hopped on the subway down to the East Village to grab pizza for dinner.  We then walked around, and I saw the e.l.f. store, so I stopped in and bought a couple of things (haul post coming within the next couple of days, don't worry!).  We then walked all the way up from St. Mark's up to 34th street, stopping along the way to rest at a Starbucks to recharge and relax a tad.  Then, we walked up to Grand Central at 42nd to check out this fancy bar (which we ended up not going to because it had a dress code, which meant $$$).  Lots of walking!!

We then ended up going back down to the East Village, where we finally decided on a bar called St. Dymphnas Pub, where we had a couple of drinks each and ended the night.

What a great day!!  I felt like a true twenty-something New Yorker, running around and spending good times with friends.


I just wanted to take a moment to talk about this piece.  It was about a 30 minute "meditation on space and time" as the artist put it, and it was absolutely lovely.  It was a room with five projections on the walls and a breathing machine, also called an "elephant," in the middle of the room.  With surround sound, the sound and projections all interacted with each other to create a super interesting, almost interactive, video and sound piece.  The projections ranged from video, to recordings of other projections, videos of him drawing, and stop motion charcoal drawings.

Kentridge is from Johannasburg in South Africa, so his piece was rife with race politics and black themes, though some went over my head.  I did enjoy the work, however, and felt like I got the overall feeling that he was trying to present.

One of my favorite parts was there were chairs placed in the room.  However, you could not move the chairs, therefore every person was watching the piece in a different way.  Along with that, if you were sitting in a group of chairs with someone you didn't know, you had to somewhat interact with that person in the sense you were somewhat in their personal space.  It was an interesting addition to an already great piece.

If you have a chance to stop by the MET, I would definitely recommend checking this out.  It's in the contemporary arts section on the third floor, I believe.

One of my favorite sculptures, "Ugolino and His Sons."  I drew this in high school for a paper.

We stopped by Shake Shack to get our bearings.  The wifi didn't really work.


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