Sunday Movies

Niko and I decided to stay in last Sunday as we had a backlog of movies we should have watched together when I was home for four months. So we set up the playlist, I picked the first half, he picked the other half, completely random dragging from the folder to VLC. It turned out to be a perfect rollercoaster of emotions. Let me run the movies down for you. I’ll try to avoid spoilers and be very vague about the actual movie but very clear about my feelings.

  1. Big Hero 6 Big Hero 6
    • It was a nice start. A solid origin story. Light and fun, thoroughly enjoyable. And I mean, Baymax was adorable.
  2. Nightcrawler Nightcrawler

    • Holy shit. That nice, comfortable high from Big Hero 6 was immediately torn down by this movie. Lou Bloom is creepy as hell and the ending left me frustrated and wanting to punch a wall.
  3. John Wick John Wick
    • But never fear, John Wick is here! All that frustration from the last movie was quickly forgotten and replaced with a justice boner as soon as John Wick started slaying everyone who wronged him. Keanu Reeves still got it. I think this was our favorite out of all we watched.
  4. How To Train Your Dragon 2HTTYD 2
    • A nice break from all those serious movies. This was still action-packed and surprisingly hit me hard than I would expect in an animated movie.
  5. Birdman Birdman
    •  This was a little weird and left me confused and frustrated, to be honest. But that editing! Man, that was something new. Also, the score was a perfect lead-in to the next movie.
  6. Whiplash Whiplash
    • For the most part, I didn’t know what they were talking about. This movie was tense and it fought off my sleepiness (it was getting late). Fletcher was a dick, Andrew was also kind of a dick, but neither of them are 100% dicks. It was a perfect end to our marathon session.

Remember Sunday: A Movie Review

remember_sunday_xlg

 

A lonely waitress meets a handsome, quirky jewelry store clerk who had a brain aneurysm and thus has short-term memory loss.

Starring Zachary Levi (Chuck, Thor: The Dark World, Tangled) and Alexis Bledel (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Gilmore Girls), I got into this movie while browsing through Zachary Levi’s filmography and I was in the mood for a romantic movie.

Possible spoilers ahead.

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CELETEQUE DermoScience™ Sun Care Matte Moisturizer Review

From the Celeteque DermoScience website:

CELETEQUE DermoScience™ Sun Care Matte Moisturizer has SPF30 UVA/UVB Sunscreensthat provide double sunscreen protection against UVA/UVB rays as it hydrates the skin. It has an oil-free and smooth finish.

I have about three more of these sunscreens I have to review. It’s quite hard to find something that doesn’t break me out or turn my face into a shiny greaseball 30 minutes after application. Also especially hard because most sunscreens available in Philippines drugstores have insanely low SPF ratings and just are not formulated for the face. I was psyched when I found this one because it promised to go on smooth and matte and I need that because my face produces too much oil. It’s also broad spectrum! Sounded too good to be true, and for me, it was.

CELETEQUE DermoScience™ Sun Care Matte Moisturizer with SPF30 and Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Protection

CELETEQUE DermoScience™ Sun Care Matte Moisturizer with SPF30 and Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Protection

What I like about this product: Being a drugstore sunscreen, this was relatively affordable (PHP230.00 at Watson’s) for 50mL. It promises an SPF30 broad spectrum protection.

What I don’t like about this product: This sunscreen made me incredibly oily. It didn’t go on matte, it did go on smooth and silky, but after 30 minutes my face shone in all its glory. Might be because it doubles as a moisturizer as well as sunscreen. I also broke out more than usual during the period I used this, so that was not good. I eventually stopped using it and went back to my old staple sunscreen and used the remainder of this as body sunscreen.

Rating : 2/10 Really sad this didn’t work out for me. Still giving it a 2 for the price.

Nivea Essential Care Lip Balm Review

From the Nivea Philippines website:

Do you wish a long lasting care for every day?
NIVEA Lip Care innovative moisture store effect – highly effective formula based on skin’s own hydramine and grape seeds extracts long lastingly supports the natural moisturisation of the lips, leaving them soft and smooth.

HOW IT WORKS

  • Provides long lasting and intensive care
  • Effectively protects your lips from drying out in all weather

I have gone through many tubes of lip balm trying to prevent my lips from flaking off too much which happens quite a lot. I have tried Maybelline’s Baby Lips and Nivea’s Med Protection recently, and neither of the two worked well for me. My lips were always dry and flaky even if I piled on the stuff. Lipstick would crack almost immediately and it made me sad and annoyed.

Thankfully I have found this.

Nivea Essential Lip Balm

What I like about this product: This lip balm moisturizes lips like nobody’s business. It leaves them soft and smooth even after I have just applied this once! It’s a miracle, ladies and gentlemen. I like that it has no scent or flavor, because flavored/scented lip balms weird me out. It’s a good base for lipstick, applying it right after you get out of the shower or after you wash your face so it gets a little time to sit and lipstick glides on. I apply this heavily at night, so I wake up to nice smooth lips in the morning.

What I don’t like about this product: Nothing, really. I mean, lipstick does come on a little more sheer if you put it on top of this, so don’t do that if you’d like full color. But I don’t really go for full color because I don’t really go anywhere fancy and I just need a tint on most days so it’s fine for me.

EDIT: Now that I’m on my fourth day of using this though, I did notice that the stick does tend to be a little too soft when the weather gets a little warm, so you might want to watch out for that. Don’t twist it too far the tube or it might break and be a mess. It’s not a dealbreaker for me, I kinda like it to be honest that it’s a bit creamy, but other people might not want that in a lip balm so there it is.

Rating: 10/10 Would recommend. Best lip balm I have tried yet, cheap, and it works like a dream.

Pretties: A Book Review

Pretties

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

Hmm. I don’t know about this one.

Spoilers ahead.

What I liked about this book:

  1. I still like Scott Westerfeld’s writing style. As I stated in my Uglies book review, his writing is up my alley, not too serious and sarcastic at times. Still chill, knows what his demographic is, and doesn’t try too hard.
  2. The Pretties are explored more in this book, and the writing did convince me that these people are indeed shallow and vapid. I mean, it doesn’t take much, but there you go. Their vocabulary is so ridiculous that it’s convincing.
  3. I actually like that the book stated outright what Tally was thinking when Zane and her were making out. SEX. No flowery euphemisms here.

What I didn’t like about this book:

  1. Those pills, seriously. Spoilers: If you are to design two pills which work in two very different ways, at least color them differently. Or label one with a ‘1’ on it and a ‘2’ on the other so the recipient would know which one to take first without giving anything away if the pills were to fall into the wrong hands.
  2. I am a bit skeptical about Tally’s apparent strength of will that she was able to cure herself of brain lesions.
  3. I also got a bit lost to why Shay thought up of the idea of cutting herself to stay “bubbly” and the whole transition to being a Special Cutter (is that right?).

Rating: 6/10 It’s not as strong as the first one. Understandably, it may just be a bit of a filler and a set up for more things to actually happen in a third book. It’s still an easy read and quite enjoyable.

Uglies: A Book Review

Uglies

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to “the Smoke” and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The “Special Circumstances” authority Dr Cable offers Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

This book has been a pleasant surprise.

As soon as I read this book’s first line (the thing with the sky being the color of cat vomit), I decided to not take this book too seriously. This book felt too much like a satirical piece about how the insane actions of the people today will lead to eventual destruction of everything we know. Like putting down people, or hailing people as gods, just based on their physical appearance.

What I liked about this book:

  1. I really liked that this book, unlike other YA dystopian novels out today, didn’t try very hard. The writing was almost sarcastic, but it didn’t fail on getting its message across. It is a fun and easy read, unlike most books in the genre, which I said, tend to try really hard and bombard the reader with multiple (and often useless) events.
  2. I like how the world of Tally and the Uglies and the Pretties is constructed. Everyone normal (those who haven’t gone under the knife) is taught that they are ugly because of human imperfections. They are brainwashed from the moment they are born that life is not worth anything until you are a physically symmetrical Pretty.
  3. I even appreciate the way things are named in this book, it doesn’t try too hard and make up some ridiculous name for a simple gadget. Hoverboards are still hoverboards, water purifiers are still water purifiers, and dehydrated food in packets are labeled as amalgamations of their proper names (Spaghetti Bolognese is SpagBol).
  4. This book also answered the questions I had while I was reading it, like what happens to New Pretties if they grow older (they get another procedure), what happens to the children of the Middle Pretties (they stay with their parents until they turn 12 then they move into a dorm with other Ugly people).
  5. Basically, this book is just chill about everything.

What I didn’t like about this book:

  1. Lines like “The rocks felt reassuringly the-opposite-of-hovery under her shaky legs” are a little too chill and takes me out of the whole reading experience.
  2. Like other YA dystopian novels though, I felt the romance in this book is a bit unnecessary.

Rating: 8/10 Overall, Uglies is an easy read and doesn’t try too hard. The writing even pokes fun and points out the ludicrous fixation of human beings judging other human beings based on their face, and even touches on how important saving the environment is without getting too preachy.

Insurgent: A Book Review

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

What is it with dystopian novels and my desire to hate-read them? Anyway, here’s my (hate-)review, I guess.

One choice can transform you, or destroy you. Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves, and herself, while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

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Divergent: A Book Review

Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Oh, Divergent. I really should have learned my lesson by now about picking up these Young Adult books which have high ratings on Goodreads. I decided to read this because it’s supposedly “the next Hunger Games” and because of the aforementioned high ratings and that a movie is coming out by next year.

Synopsis: In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

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Tresemme Smooth and Shine Shampoo and Conditioner Review

From the Tresemme India website:

This product with vitamin H and silk protein intensely moisturizes dry, rough hair. For hair that feels soft and smooth.

HOW IT WORKS

  • Delivers intense moisturisation, targeting the areas your hair needs it most – the key to salon silk moisture.
  • Contains silk protein and vitamin H.
  • For smoother, silkier hair.

I saw this at the supermarket in a trial-sized version, 90mL each for the shampoo and conditioner and cost about Php90 for the pack. I picked this up because I heard raves about the Tresemme heat protectant and for some reason I thought this shampoo and conditioner would work great. And it’s for dry and frizzy hair, and my hair is exactly that. And it was cheap and tiny, perfect for trying it out for my hair for a couple of weeks.

Sorry for the crappy photo.

Sorry for the crappy photo.

What I like about the two products: Smells great and it lasts for the whole day, so that’s good. I found myself sniffing my hair before I went to bed. The shampoo lathered up very easily, which is not an easy task on my hair. That’s about it.

What I don’t like about the two products: It didn’t help with my tangles, if anything, it made my hair tangle up more and adding to my hairfall. Not cool. And a very weird side effect, a pimple started growing on my scalp (what!) somewhere behind my left ear and a couple inches above my nape. I have never ever had pimples on my scalp. And I’d get this stabbing pain on that spot at random times when my hair moves. I swear to god, so weird.

I immediately stopped using this because, damn, I don’t want any stabbing pains anywhere in my body thank you very much.

Rating: 3/10 Well, it smells nice. And my hair kind of felt soft, but I didn’t feel like my hair was being hydrated enough. And a pimple on the scalp? FFS.

Clean and Clear Essentials Foaming Facial Wash Review

[Okay a little intro: I am in this phase right now where I am trying out a myriad of skincare and haircare products to help my acne and hair calm down. Since I am going through a lot of products, I thought, why not let review these things so I can track my progress with these things and maybe even help out people who are looking for reviews on certain products. This would be my first time doing this, so I might still be a little vague for I am a bit unaware of certain terminologies concerning skincare and haircare. Okay good.]

This was the only facial wash I used when I was in high school and I had pretty clear skin back then. I stopped using it for some reason and completely forgot about it. When my acne suddenly broke out around the time I turned 21, and I saw this in Watson’s, I immediately picked it up hoping for the same results it brought me when I was a teenager.

Sorry if I can’t provide an actual product photo yet, I left mine in Manila. Maybe I’ll insert it later when I get back.

I used this for about four months on and off, I think, for it is very hard to find in drugstores. I’ll be lucky to find a small bottle available.

What I like about this product is it’s so light and refreshing. It also lathers up a lot so a small drop is enough to wash my face and neck.  A small bottle can last me two months.

What I don’t like about this product is sadly it doesn’t work for me anymore. I read online that they changed the formula (removed triclosan) so that might be it. I kept breaking out and my cheeks (where the breakouts usually happen) became really red.

Rating: 4/10 This makes me really sad because I have this nostalgic connection to it but what can I do, it just doesn’t work anymore.