“Bad Girl” by Essence – An Adventure in the Dark Art of Lipstick

The chemist’s shop seems to heave with people, coiffed doll-women packed together like a Prada Candy-scented mosh pit. I should start by saying that my sister has dragged me in here on a sugar-fueled quest for reasonably priced facial cleansers. I have been sedated with the promise of a trip to Gamestop, but over by the Essence counter, something catches my eyes.
A dark purple lipstick.
In this age of appropriating the “natural look” by slathering washed-out pinks and nude shades on your fashionably collagen-pumped pout, this is a rare find. I grudgingly hand over the €2.89 to a moody, cleopatra-esque cashier.
Two hours later, I stand in front of my bathroom mirror, smearing my newest investment on my mouth with all of the skill and grace of a hyperactive disorder-afflicted three year old wielding a crayon.
Firstly, I would like to talk about the name and brand. “Bad Girl” by Essence. Oooh, bad girl, now I want to listen to aggressive female rap musicians and maybe mug someone! Yes, the power of Gothic-tinted pigment has seeped through my skin and given me the attitude of a fourteen year old deprived of parental attention during formative years. Bow down, bitches.
On a more serious note, the color goes on better than expected (my previous experience with a black lipstick by Essence was quite disappointing). It is quite a dark, rich purple. The hardest thing about applying this product is preventing smudges during application, but that is more down to my lack of practice than the lipstick itself. The shape is not too blunt, which helps to create sharper, more defined corners and edges. From personal experience, as a fairly entry-level makeup-wearer, I recommend applying a thin coat of lip balm first, for a smoother, darker effect. Oh, and please ignore the blatant false promises; “Only God can judge me” tattoos will not magically manifest on your now piercing-riddled flesh as you are officially initiated into the bad girl club!
I would rate this product 8/10. The color is strong and quite long-lasting, and the ego-boosting name is pretty impressive. Essence is also a cruelty-free brand, as well as being affordable, which is great. However, I personally find that the lipstick can feel quite heavy, particularly if applied with lip balm, gloss, or any other coat of shiny, sparkly, unattainable-femininity 😉
Would I recommend it? Yes. Have I burned any churches after applying it? No. The small print clearly states that heathenish impulses require the additional purchase of matching nail-polish. Oh well, maybe next time. . .

The Search History of a Writer

The worst thing about being a writer? Your questionable search history. Since I started writing what I think will be my greatest piece so far (and certainly my longest, now at 93,000 words) my search history has gotten weirder and weirder. Everything from how long an acid trip lasts, to how to stop your pulse temporarily, and how exactly to poison somebody in a discreet manner.
Yes, I’ve read pages upon pages of how long exactly it take to bleed to death depending on where you’ve been stabbed, and how many times, as well as the right weapons for the job. It’s very worrying to know that any of these things could pop up in the search bar every time I lend my laptop to my mom or my younger sister. I also have no idea how to delete half of the crap that I look up, on the subjects of murder, serious bodily harm, poison, diseases, and neglect. My favorites list is full of my favorite articles on these subjects, for my convenience.
So yes, if you ever borrow my computer, I am not a psycho. Thank you.

Horror Movie Challenge: Day 5 – “The Grudge”

Day 5 of my thirty-day horror movie challenge found me re-visiting an all-time favorite of mine, “The Grudge” (2004). This is one that scared me to death when I was younger, but still provided me with a few skin-crawling, jumpy moments, even as I re-watched it. I am too tired to do a full review, but I will try and get back on top of things tomorrow and do better entries when I am not sick or tired. I just wanted to write in this entry to let you all know that I am still doing this challenge! 😀 

Horror Movie Challenge: Day 4 – “Silent Hill, Revelation”

Day 4 of my horror movie challenge, and this one was slightly disappointing. Yes, I had been warned that the movie adaptions of the games I loved were not too great, compared to the videogames, but I still wanted to experience them for myself. “Silent Hill Revelation” seemed to be based off of the third game in the series, “Silent Hill 3” but the plot was so far off from the game that I only knew this at first because of how much Adelaide Clemens resembled the character she was playing, Heather Mason/ Sharon Da Silva. 

This movie seemed, to me, to be the sort of movie that I’ve discussed a lot in these blog entries – one that relies more on blood and gore than on an engaging storyline and fascinating characters. I enjoyed some aspects of the plot, even if it completely butchered most resemblance to the “Silent Hill 3” game’s plot. For instance, I feel that the character Vincent Cooper’s (Kit Harrington’s) story, his escape from The Order, etc, could have been quite interesting if the movie had been longer, taken more time instead of racing through everything in a blood-splattered rush of deformed creatures and decapitations. 

As for the famous Silent Hill creatures, I liked pyramid head and the nurses. I thought it was cool that in one scene, where Heather is trying to untie Vincent from a gurney in a room full of those nurses that scared us all in the videogames, with their daggers or steel pipes, (except in the movie, many are armed with hypodermic syringes) the nurses can only sense movement, kind of like t-rexes ;). This built up a little tension, as Heather and Vincent tried to escape without moving too much and alerting the nurses, completely surrounding them, to their presence. Pyramid head only got a brief appearance, walking through a hallway in the asylum/hospital lined with doors, all of which have patient’s arms sticking out of them. These unfortunate souls feel the wrath of the great knife (like we spent nerve wrecking time in the labyrinth in the game Silent Hill 2 to get hold of) as they have their arms sliced off, fingers flying through the air like bloody, flesh-colored sausages. 

Would I recommend this movie? Well, for fans of the game that want to watch as that beautiful, subtle, psychologically-disturbing atmosphere that chilled us to the bone is slaughtered, sure. I’m kidding, but having said that, any fan of the game should prepare themselves for the fact that this feels nothing like the game. Honestly, the scene with the nurses was the only one with even a vague trace of that overwhelming tension build-up that I adore in horror movies, and I don’t recall having one decent, scream-out-loud scare for the whole thing (and believe me, the games had plenty of those). 

However, if you want to judge the movie as a completely separate entity, it is slightly better, or slightly worse, depending on how you look at it. For one thing, people who have never played any of the games, or those who choose to judge this movie aside from the game, the constant subconscious comparison to the games isn’t there, and some have no idea of the dark beauty of the games. But this may also be a disadvantage, as the plot and characters will seem even more weak and wispy if you have no prior insight into them. 

Basically, I would say watch it, but don’t expect an artistic, dark, psychological and disturbing, tension-filled thrill-ride. If you like it, fantastic! If you don’t, then you will at least get a laugh out of it (that’s the great thing about crappy horror movies, they often double as comedies). “Silent Hill Revelation” has its moments, but sadly not enough of them. 

Thanks for reading, and remember, comment! 😀 

Horror Movie Challenge: Day 3 – “The Shining”

Day 3 of my thirty-day horror movie challenge, and I had to give myself a “soft” day today (as the last two days have been terrifying) so I chose the movie adaption of one of my favorite books, “The Shining.” Yes, I think everyone has seen “The Shining” (or read the book) at least once. It may not be the scariest horror movie ever made, or have the best special effects, but it can be pretty scary, depending on your tolerance for all things disturbing. I’m not going to write a proper, structured review, as much as I’m going to write a rant about what I love about this movie.

I mean, come on, elevators full of blood, ghostly twin girls, dead woman in a bathtub, this movie has EVERYTHING! 

Jack Nicholson portrays Jack Torrance an abusive husband and frustrated writer on the edge of insanity to perfection, and of course, who can forget the utter madness of his iconic “Here’s Johnny!” scene, in which he, having completely lost his mind, hacks through the bathroom door to where Wendy, his wife (Shelley Duvall) is waiting with a knife. Another favorite scene of mine is Danny Torrance’s run-in with the murdered twins of the previous winter caretaker. “Come play with us…forever.” they chant flatly, raising goosebumps on my flesh and sending shiver’s down my spine. 

Yes, the Overlook Hotel in the winter is not too great of a place to be, with cabin fever spreading like a wildfire and taking hold of Jack Torrance, while Danny’s psychic powers or “shining” drags him into very dark places (“redrum redrum redrum”). 

This is a classic movie for horror lovers who want to explore some of the older favorites of the genre. The book by Stephen King is even more incredible, so definitely, if you like the movie adaption of “The Shining,” read the book!

Thanks for reading! 😀 

The Horror Movie Challenge: Day 2 – “Sinister” (2012)

Day 2 of my thirty-day challenge, and I am already a mess. Today, early in the morning, during broad daylight hours, with my dog wandering in and out of the room, I tackled the next movie on my challenge list, “Sinister” (2012), and let me tell you, it was TERRIFYING (and I do not use caps-lock lightly). I’ll try and give a brief summary without spoiling the excellent ending.

“Sinister” was, for me, as soon as I got into it, an edge-of-the-seat roller-coaster of horror. This was a movie that managed to build up unbearable tension, capture a real psychological-horror, pulse-quickening, goosebumps-raising ambiance, instead of relying on the cheap route of gallons of blood pulsing from an army of slit throats. “Sinister” was quite possibly one of the best horror movies that I have ever watched, or at least one of the scariest. 

The story follows the protagonist, Ellison Oswalt, a true crime writer, as well as his wife Tracy, and his two children, Ashley (who enjoys painting on her bedroom walls) and Trevor, who suffers from “night terrors.” They have just moved into a new house – a new house where four people were once killed, the murderer never caught, one of the children abducted and disappeared. This missing child is to be the subject of Ellison’s book, the book which he thinks will be his greatest success. 

Things begin to take on a dark edge when Ellison discovers a box of old film reels and a projector to play them on, possibly left by the deceased previous family inhabiting the house. These film reels, while labelled to seem like innocent home movies, depict gruesome killings. Things begin to go wrong, Trevor experiencing his night terrors, and soon Ashley is painting on the walls, a picture of the subject of her father’s book. 

I am not going to go into further detail of the plot, because I do not feel that I would do it justice. Even if you have to cover your eyes with your hands, or hide behind the couch for the thrilling tense moments or chilling scares that “Sinister” provides, watch it. There is no cheap over-abundance of blood and guts, or intestines splashed across the furniture, but it is terrifying, and I shall certainly be lying awake tonight (I plan to counter-act the effects of this choice of viewing by watching “Frozen” or “Despicable Me” later on tonight). So yes, I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a good, psychologically-scarring movie that will leave you severely disturbed, and humming quietly in the corner of your padded cell with your knees drawn up to your chest. 

Thanks for reading, and as always, share your opinions! 😀 Image

The Horror Movie Challenge: Day 1 – V/H/S

Today, I decided to fully unleash my masochistic side, and undertake a challenge to watch one horror movie a day for the next thirty days. I am doing this because I love the horror genre, and now that I have a lot of time on my hands, I have compiled a list of horror movies, new and old, one to watch (or re-watch) each day. The thing is, though I would read Stephen King novels all day long, and my main writing genre is horror, and I love to talk to people about their biggest fears, I am terrible at watching horror movies (especially on my own). So, hopefully, doing this challenge will change this, and desensitize me a little. Supernatural, ghostly stuff scares me more to watch, but I don’t dwell on it while lying in bed at night, as I am an Atheist, therefore skeptical towards the supernatural, despite being fascinated by it. My unoccupied mind, lying awake at night, wanders towards the serial killers, the insane murderers, because they are, indisputably, real. While watching a movie, I can handle the goriest murders and torture scenes, but a ghostly figure lurking behind the protagonist will make me scream! Spoilers up ahead, so don’t read on if you plan on watching the movie. 

Today, I watched “V/H/S” (2012) and it definitely set the mood for the challenge. I was quite terrified for parts of this anthology of VHS films (particularly the one entitled “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When she was Younger”). The movie begins with a gang of amateurish criminal young men, heading to an old house with the task of retrieving a single VHS tape. The rapey feel of the first film in the anthology is instantly triggered by the gang of young men assaulting a woman in a parking lot, removing her top and filming the incident. While, as a feminist, this made me deeply uncomfortable, and it was almost painful to watch, it set the mood for the first tape, “Amateur Night” nicely. This was a feeling of jumpy anxiety and deep discomfort as three men, one of them with a hidden camera in his glasses, attempt to bring women back to their apartment, and film sleeping with them. A very shy girl named Lily watches her friend get seduced, and then pass out drunk. Her demonic transformation commences when her turn to sleep with one of the men arrives. This is an extremely gory tape, not for the fainthearted. 

I was not scared by “Second Honeymoon,” the next tape, as it was mainly just blood and gore, particularly a pleasant vomit of blood from the protagonist Stephanie’s husband, Sam, as a knife is stuck in his throat. The same can be said for the next tape, “Tuesday the 17th” as a young girl named Wendy uses her new friends as psycho-bait. Lovely. 

Now, onto my favorite tape, “The Sick Thing that Happened to Emily when she was Younger.” This was pretty disturbing, and I think the fact that it was all taking place on video chat between Emily and her boyfriend made it scarier. There was a lot of supernatural activity going on in this part of the movie, involving the ghost of a young boy, and then, of all things, aliens. I won’t go into full detail on this sick (and I mean that with all the love in the world) piece of cinema, as I think it is the best part of the movie. 

“10/31/98” starts out as some fairly innocent fun between a bunch of costumed-out friends on Halloween, but of course, this is horror, so innocent fun is out, and exorcisms in the attic are IN! This was pretty crazy, as the four friends enter the attic, chanting along with the men exorcising the young girl tied to the rafters, only to find out that this is no party. 

Basically, I enjoyed this movie, even if I did have about three heart-failures during it, but hey, that’s the kind of shit you sign up for when you undertake crazy blogging challenges, anything for the readers! The special effects were good, and it wasn’t just the kind of endless slaughter-spree that splatters badly mixed ketchup-blood and red-painted rubber innards everywhere and waters down the horror genre. It was brilliantly disturbing, had some good tense moments, and made me scream out loud once, and shudder in disgust many times. For some, the VHS-tape and video-chat bad quality makes it all the scarier, and I am one of those people, even if I did watch it during broad daylight, as soon as everyone got back home and I wasn’t alone (I saved my “alone time” for Star Wars, which does not have the potential to drive me screaming from the house!)

I would recommend this to all horror fans. You’ll get at least one good scare out of it! 😀 

If you know any horror movies that you think I should add to the challenge, please let me know in the comments, and thank you for reading! 😀 Image


Album Review – “Pretty on the Inside” by Hole

“Pretty on the Inside” by Hole is the album that I have randomly picked to review. This random picking, for anyone who is interested, consists of putting my iPod on shuffle and reviewing whichever album the first song that comes on is from. These reviews may not be classic review style, in every manner, as I tend to drift off into my own interpretations sometimes, but I will try. 

“Pretty on the Inside” by Hole, released September 17th, 1991, is the band’s debut album, and a personal favorite of mine, ever since I listened to the short track entitled “Pretty on The inside.” The album is of the punk/alternative genre, I think, but it is very hard to place a genre on this unique album. 

The first thing that struck me about “Pretty on the Inside” was how it was fantastically noisy, but still somehow melodic. Think angels with flaking wings and halos made of broken glass. Each track fitted perfectly to this insane non-existent theme that was like sugar and rot. Some songs, such as “Garbadge Man” were well-structured in a uniform manner, whereas my personal favorite from this album, the song “Mrs Jones” was very nearly an endless stream of free-flowing lyrics. It shouldn’t have worked, but it did. “Mrs Jones” was my favorite because of its gruesome imagery, contrasting images like “Stare into the bloodrot, you suicide bitch/it takes an hour like you to make me wanna live” and phrases like “on the sugar star” and “baby angels.” It was a song with a nightmarish, infinite quality that makes it, for me, the masterpiece of the album. 

I would recommend this album for fans of Bikini Kill, Babes in Toyland, and maybe even Nirvana fans like myself that can look past accusations made at vocalist/frontwoman Courtney Love, and just appreciate that her lyrics are works of dark genius. “Pretty on the Inside” is my favorite album by Hole, and I would urge everyone to give it at least one listen. It is not for everybody, as some may find it offensive, or be repelled by the noisy, unforgiving, unpolished punk-rock sound, and in my opinion, you either love it or you hate it, there is no grey area. 


Personal Summer Fitness Challenge

With my exams all finished, and time off school stretching from here to September, in between my writing, gaming, drawing, and guitar practice (which shall commence as soon as my new tuner arrives from Amazon) I am undertaking a new challenge. I want to be fitter and healthier by September. 

This may not sound like much, but I have had little success in diet or exercise before. I have tried everything, from completely emptying my diet of sweets (and basically anything I like), to insane calorie-burning tips from websites one step away from being pro-ana (that’s pro-anorexia, for those of you who don’t know – not something I would want to get involved in), and youtube hypnosis. Now that I have an abundance of time on my hands, I have taken a more sensible route. 

Basically, I scale back the amount of processed/high sugar and salt content foods, go for a daily walk with my mom, and do workouts that I found on youtube (Scola Dondo being my favorite fitness blogger) in my bedroom, in a limited amount of space, always at the risk that somebody will walk in and see me looking like a complete idiot. I am horrifically un-coordinated. 

Trying to get into shape is important for me, as I quit my main source of exercise, horseriding, back in October. So now, I am trying to get back in shape. My main objectives that I want to reach by September are – 

1. Lose ten pounds (this will challenge me the most).

2. Become fitter. 

3. Build up a little bit of muscle. 

4. Make better diet choices. 

5. Figure out an exercise plan that I can easily adjust to suit what will be a busier lifestyle once school starts again in September. 


I’m writing this here, because I know I will be more motivated if this is online for the world to see. If anybody has any tips or advice for me, please leave them below in the comments! Thanks for reading! 🙂 

Silent Hill: Homecoming – Further Exploration

Today, I had some more time to get stuck into my latest purchase, “Silent Hill: Homecoming,” and so far, I am loving and enjoying every minute second of this game. Right now, I’ve just saved inside the fourth gate of Rose Heights Cemetery, shortly after slaying a grotesque, skinless dog with my default weapon – the combat knife. I have uncovered a few grisly little insights into Alex, the protagonist’s, past. 

The save points are no placed as close to each other after a truck driver drops Alex off in Shepherd’s Glen, amidst the shroud of fog. They are far away enough from each other to keep you quick and alert during combat, for fear of losing a not-inconsiderable amount of effort when mauled to death by a creature called a Lurker. I encountered two save points so far; one in the town hall, in Judge Holloway’s room, and another in the aforementioned cemetery gates. 

One of my favorite moments so far, happened in the flooded basement of Alex’s childhood home (shortly after we encounter his mother in a catatonic state during a cutscene). Using the combat knife to cut away a tarp concealing an entrance that ends in a locked doorway, we tap “X” to trigger another cutscene. This depicts Alex’s stern father, Adam (once a soldier) cutting up something bloody in the hunting room. He yells at Alex, telling him that this room is off-limits to him. This gives us an insight into what Alex’s childhood was like. 

Another glimpse into the protagonist’s past happens when we stumble upon the “cassette tape” item, and later play it on the answering machine. The recording first sounds like Alex and his brother Josh messing around, but soon their father’s voice is heard. He tells Alex to leave, yelling at him, before talking lovingly to Josh. It is clear that Adam Shepherd favors Josh. 

Basically, “Silent Hill: Homecoming” is a great installment in the Silent Hill series. The characters are as complex as those in previous games, which is one of many qualities that makes Silent Hill the greatest survival horror series that I have ever played. The plot is fantastic, and I can, so far, find nothing that I would change about it.