Dislike: New Year’s Eve

16 May

18 Stars, and yet…

A slow start…. And a slow run

NEW YEAR’S EVE walked the marathon. The movie never really took off. With over 16 big name stars, I would have liked to expect a great film. Unfortunately NEW YEAR’S EVE really fell through for me.  I almost felt that, on the most part, because none of the stars were the “main character” they all just sort of showed up and winged it and that was that. The exception to this was Hilary Swank and Robert De Niro.

Swank was very compelling on screen.  There is just something about her eyes that captivate me. I just get the feeling that her mind didn’t stop and that her character, Clair Morgan, was always trying to control her feelings but they were always just pushing through.

Swank & De Niro, strongest on set

De Niro plays a cancer dying patient who has refused treatment and who is “living on borrowed time”.  He has lived a selfish life and has pushed his loved ones away from him, as a result he is alone and his last wish is to live till midnight and watch the Ball Drop from the Hospital roof. For a person as alive as De Niro I was impressed by how genuinely frail he seemed. In one scene he’s going through a slight delirium in which he confuses Nurse Aimee (Halle Berry) for his daughter and is trying to fix their relationship.

The final interaction between Swank and De Niro was so genuinely heart warming that I couldn’t help but cry a little in the cinema. In a film where character development is limited, and where each story line only gets so much time on screen, I was incredibly impressed by how moving their reunion was. Acting wise, their moments together were the best of the film.

Fall through

Josh Duhamel’s big speech comes up. It’s been one of his two big deals throughout the movie, he hasn’t even written anything to say for this big galla, it’s going to come from the heart. I wanted to, I really wanted to feel it with him – but I just couldn’t. He starts chocking up and addressing his dead father and, honestly, I felt nothing. It just seemed so random and out of place. There was no back story ever given, I don’t even think they mentioned him before the speech.

Duhamel’s speech and that bloody dog…. epic fails.

At this same Gala his mother’s giving an initial speech before Duhamel’s character even arrives. She’s in her fancy floor length evening dress holding what looks like a miniature white poodle (some small white curly haired shaven dog).  Here the continuity is completely off! Every time the camera cuts to a different view the dog’s position moves from hanging over her shoulder  to hanging over her wrist (almost like a purse) …. PEOPLE GET WITH THE PROGRAM. … Really it was just kind of laughable.

Favourite story line

Efron and Pfeiffer stole the show

The interaction between Paul (Zac Efron) and Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer) was your classic Holiday feel-good. Basically, Ingrid is a middle aged woman who struggles with a self confidence / image complex, and who we get the impression has never really lived her life. As a result she’s starting her little midlife crisis and quits her job – the first thing on her list of new year’s resolutions. Ingrid however has Tickets to the a swanky masque Gala and bribes Paul with them – if he can creatively complete all of the crazy wishes on her lists that day he can have the tickets for the night.  Efron and Pfeiffer have a really enduring, non romantic, chemistry.  But what I have a hard time believing is that Paul would continue to try and help Ingrid complete her list after he was already given the tickets. Regardless, I found their story line adorable and very endearing. It gave you the “I know this would only happen in a Rom Com but there’s a romantic in me so I’m going to secretly dream of a version of this happening to me” feeling.  HA!

Best part of the film

Honestly, the most enjoyable part of the film was at the very.  Literally, all of the story lines had been resolved and it was just different

Efrona and Pfeiffer dancing

clips of the characters living their ending on the New Year.  Mainly this involved Zac Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer dancing all goofy at the ball; what was also fun were the snippets of Bloopers in between the different clips.  It was a really cute way to end the film— but really how sad is it that that was the most enjoyable part? Pretty disappointing for such a star studded cast.

<3RL

Beauty Brush Clean Up

9 Jan

the sink later fills with a blend of all my makeup from the past month — my pores are thanking me as I type

Hey dolls just quicky-tip for you.

Those brushes you use for your makeup daily, monthly, yearly? They’d love a quick cleaning! Mine are QUO and made with synthetic fibers but instead of buying the fancy cleaning solutions I just use some of my shampoo! Rinse your brushes under some warm water, swirl it around in a coin (toonie) sized amount of shampoo in the palm of your hand and then rinse them out while stroking the fibers. I’m always astonished by how much makeup (and likely dirt) comes out in the sink. Flick out the excess water out and leave them to dry on a clean surface (for me paper towels on my vanity).

I wash my brushes monthly, but I think I’m going to start to do it weekly. If you don’t want to use your shampoo (maybe you have very sensitive skin) use your face wash (mine is a sensitive solution that also acts as a makeup remover).

: ) Try it once and your face will thank you the next time you’re not whiping last-weeks products back all over it — yuck!

<3RL

Man Candy of 2011

4 Jan

In lieu of the new year I figured it was only appropriate to reflect on the Babes of 2011. So here is my pick for the top 5 hottest men of the past year — wonder if they’ll make the cut next new years.

1)      Ryan Gosling

AND he can lift Emma Stone like Baby in Dirty Dancing.

— Now I realize that this is almost not fair, after all the turn phrase this year has been “the year of Gosling” or “the summer of Gosling”, but really he just kills it and in a very stylish manner. Starring in 3 blockbusters this summer / fall (Crazy Stupid Love; The Ides of March; Drive), our Canadian beauty proved that he’s still worth talking about years after The Notebook.

But lets be honest, we don’t just love Gosling for his acting chops, we also love him for his looks… Ironically Gosling partially got his breakout roll in The Notebook because director, Nic Cassavetes, thought he wasn’t a babe at all.  According to the British magazine Company Cassavetes told Gosling “’I want you to play this role because you’re not like the other young actors out there in Hollywood. You’re not handsome, you’re not cool, you’re just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts.” HA! Well thank you Cassavets for bringing to light one of the biggest heartthrobs since ‘04.  … Also, every girl would love to be kissed by Gosling — he just makes it look so damn good!

2)      Ian Somerhalder 

this man is stunning, the song “these eyes” was clearly inspired by him — LOVE.

❤ – –because vampires are now their own tv genre and he’s the hottest one around. Somerhalder OWNS every girl’s dreams in his role as Damon on The Vampire Diaries. He perfectly illustrates the badboy with a heart of gold, while never dropping his dangerous edge. Arguably his most heart-jilting physical quality are his penetrating and electric bold blue eyes.  His eyes are two shades of blue, a dark blue ring surrounding a light aquine blue.  They’re almost metaphoric of Damon’s character.  … Honestly I die every time he’s on screen. EVERY TIME. And gladly 😉

3)      James Franco

the crinkles around his eyes, his smile: beautiful.

okay so he’s never really done it for me, but I have to admit there’s this sort of mystique around him. He has this weird balance between rough around the edges and polished. Furthermore, not only did he co-host last year’s Academy Awards, but he was Oscar nominated for “Best Actor” for his performance in 127 Hours; AND he’s the face for Gucci’s men’s fragrance line. … I only wish that someone would please groom his eyebrows a little better?

4)      Kellan Lutz

Everything about him is just so beautiful! His eyes, cheek and jaw bones, hair, skin — Delicious.

– babe; boyish but still manly; beast…Hello, I don’t know where everyone’s been but he’s clearly the hottest of the Cullen Clan…and of the wolf pack.  Actually, I really feel like I shouldn’t have to explain how hot he is so I just won’t. (sexy!)

5)      Matt Damon

drool. (The very sexy dad next door)

— bassically, he’s the sexy dad next door. Yep, I just said it. Turning 42 and he’s aging like a beauty.  Also he did Damon Claus for a Cause how cute is that!

❤ RL

Heels in winter, do it.

22 Dec

Just because they’re hot doesn’t mean you’ll be cold.

“Slave to fashion”, I don’t think so. Here are 5 reasons to rock your tall girls Canadian style.

1) They are built in stabilizers. You literally have a spike coming out of your foot. What will you and winter-chained tires have in common? Not eating the snowbank.

2) Seasonal affect dis–armed!… okay, this may be complete bull but personally heels make me feel happier. They make me feel powerful, in control and sexy.

3) If (hollywood) spys get to do it, you can too.

4) So for the most of us weight fluctuates a little throughout the year. Personally if I’m a little plumper over the winter I’m going to write it off as an extra layer, or my body wanting to hibernate or something. Those extra inches will give the appearance of  lesser “lbs”. So I’m thinking, with a little help from my favourite footwear, it’ll all even out 😉

5) Lets face it, there is no way i’ll be wearing UGGs everywhere I go.  Maybe Marilyn said it best: “I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.” Amen.

❤ RL

Holiday Trend: Lash Attack

16 Dec

Jennifer Lopez wears mink lashes

Are you looking for a way to bring your look to the next level this holiday season? Eyelash extensions are the perfect trick to shape your face from civilian to A-Lister. Whether you get a Hollywood glamour full set or a natural looking fresh eye-lifting half set, you’ll flutter your eyes awake every morning with a new va va voom to your day.

How It’s Done

Each synthetic lash is attached to your own natural lash by an adhesive.  Because the synthetic lashes are attached to your natural ones it gives almost a photoshoped version of you in everyday life; you’re working with the natural goods but you’ve just been oomphed up a bit for display. The application is a bit of a timely procedure, usually taking between 1-2 hours.

Before / After images pulled from Flirt Hamilton’s website

There is a downside to your new wonder-watt lashes, each individualized lash follows the life cycle of the natural lash it’s attached to. According to different boutiques you’ll generally want a “refill”, or “re-lash”, about every 3 weeks.

I’m addicted, what now?

Pain is beauty — well not in this case, unless you’re pained by how expensive it is, in which case the saying holds true.  At a lash-extension certified boutique the application and maintenance is pretty pricey. Since it’s a procedure that involves tweezer-point-precision, eye-friendly adhesives, and synthetic substances being strapped to your lashes, you don’t exactly want to cheap out for a lesser product.

So lets break it down…

A half set is about 35-40 lashes per eye and costs on average about $100 for the initial application. But as mentioned above, you’ll need a re-lash about every 3 weeks. A half set re-lash will cost about $55. So when all is said and done you’ll be paying roughly $980 a year to have and maintain your half-set of lashes (tips not included).

So now you’re so lusty over your half-set that you want to take it to the next level… A full set application is about 80-90 lashes per eye and costs roughly $200 for the initial application. Your re-lash every three weeks will cost about $68.  To apply and maintain a full set of lash extensions it will cost you about $1288 a year (no tips included).

pst! psst! love your half set, want a little more, but not ready for the commitment of a full set? Well most studios offer different in between half-full set options.

Who’s doing it?

The Kardashian girls, Kim – Kourtney – Khloe, all wear eyelash extensions…click for a larger view!

Everyone in Hollywood is doing it… Perhaps some of the most noted lashes are those of the Kardashian clan. Other celebs, mentioned on different salon websites, include:  Nicole Kidman,Paris Hilton, Gwen Stefani, Lucy Liu, Naomi Campbell, many “real house wives” across america, Ashley Green (twilight), Megan Fox, Miss Canadas and Americas, fashion journalists, fox journalists, and the list goes on and on.

psst! There are all sorts of fake lash extensions, synthetic, silk, mink, and the list goes on. All of the above prices are for the commonly used baseline synthetic lash extensions.  

Where can I get it done?  

Hamilton:
Flirt Custom Lash Studio

Toronto (to name a few):
Winks Eyelash Boutique | Spa
MYNC {lash lounge & brow bar}
Lash & Beauty Lounge

Halifax:
Gentle Touch skin & laser centers

Taylor Swift with her winged out lash extensions

❤ RL

Like: Something Borrowed

16 Dec

Hudson and Goodwin play childhood besties, whose friendship knew no limits…  

When I first saw the movie SOMETHING BORROWED I left the cinema with my best friend feeling unsure and uneasy. The film follows Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) who falls in love with her best friend Darcy’s (Kate Hudson) fiance Dex (Colin Egglesfield).  The film poses the uncomfortable question: What do you do when you truly love your best friend’s fiance? And worse yet, what do you do when those feelings are reciprocated? The answer should be obvious right? You stoically ignore your feelings and let your best friend live her happily-ever-after. But if we’re honest with ourselves, human nature is a lot greedier than that.  It’s this human greed that gets Rachel — a do-good kind of girl — into a lot of trouble, where the stakes are a lifelong friendship vs. a potentially lifelong romance.

Truthfully I don’t think that it’s the narrative so much that bothers me, but the fact that I constantly find myself sympathising with Rachel.

What happens when best friends fall for the same man?

I find myself validating Rachel’s choices by the flaky, shallow, and insincere nature of Darcy’s character. On the flip side I’m horrified by what she is doing — it’s her best friend’s fiance, and they’ve been best friends since they were kids.

I’ve seen SOMETHING BORROWED twice more since it was released this summer, and since then it’s really grown on me. I think that’s because I’m falling more and more in love with Dex and Rachel as a couple, and that is largely due to Ginnifer Goodwin’s performance…

Acting Chops

Ginnifer Goodwin as “Rachel”

Goodwin is so compelling in this film. She has an understated quality which really shines through. It’s as if she internalizes every emotion before she expresses herself; breathing in each thought and letting it shine through her eyes before she even speaks. What’s interesting about Goodwin’s character is that she understands the full ramifications of her actions. She’s cared for Dex since they first met but never knew that he felt the same way, she knows that she shouldn’t proceed, but then she can’t not! She is a good person who cares about her friends and has always put Darcy of all people first.  But ultimately, she can’t fight it; she loves Dex and she has to pursue those feelings.

Colin Egglesfield as “Dex”.

Egglesfield masterfully plays the infidel fiance in a way that makes me feel sorry for him! …Do I need to repeat myself? I actually feel sorry for the poor, technical, shmuck. He’s this guy who cares so much about making other people happy, that he doesn’t necessarily consider the consequences of ignoring his own happiness. What makes Egglesfield stand out in this film is that he projects true love towards Goodwin whenever they are on scene together. It’s not an undeniable lust that we see between them; it’s feelings, emotions, and possibilities. Without Egglesfield’s projection of a Dex who’s at odds with his feelings, the film could have taken an drastically different turn; we could have ended up with a Dex who just wants one last whoopie with the girl that got away.

Dex (Egglesfield) and Rachel (Goodwin) sharing a moment.

In virtually silent scenes between Dex and Rachel it’s the actors’ use of breath that builds the impression of love for me. There are so many things which they feel towards each other, things that they are too scared to say. They breath in the thought and then they pause and hold onto it, tasting it because that’s the closest they can let themselves get to the other, and then they fight it back and say nothing.

Darcy (Hudson) is absolutely vapid while practicing her “bridal moment” to see if her mascara will run…

Hudson presents Darcy, a woman who is so vapid and shallow that it takes away from her physical beauty (think about that for a second, Kate Hudson is gorgeous). Hudson goes against the grain of her normally charming characters by playing a woman who is obnoxious rather than outgoing; self obsessed rather than caring and compassionate; and all through vain. It is largely through Darcy’s personality flaws that I find myself somewhat validating Rachel’s choices.

<3RL

Love: Burlesque

11 Dec

Aguilera plays Ali. A good girl gone “bad”…but still good. Her stage makeup has exaggerated eyes and lips with bronzer contouring her cheeks and boobs. 

“What? … I Am a Good Girl.”

Why have I seen BURLESQUE three times in cinema, and many more times since? Well clearly I love it. It always leaves me feeling energized, and optimistic towards my own dreams. Yes, the movie has an unfair advantage: I adore musicals and I love Christina Aguilera, but really, it all comes down to being a fun ride.

Beautiful to Watch:

BURLESQUE is often set in the self titled night club, Burlesque, and takes advantage of the many components that go into live performance. What really stands out to me is the dynamic use of lighting, bejeweled and skimpy costumes, and aggressively bold and beautiful  hair / make up.

Aguilera’s silhouette has a seductive allure as beams of light cut her out of the shadows. 

In the club scenes the lighting designers play with a lot of colour, movement, and shadows. Though there is quite the pallet the colour motifs seem to be a combination of red, blue, and inevitably purple. The lighting styles range from beams of light shooting down onto the stage and moving in sweeping gestures; to diffused colours onto a background of ruched curtains. In other shots it’s the absence of light that shapes the images within the frame. These shadowy images add a sexual mystique to the club that takes on a tenacious quality of their own. The lighting is as much a form of presentation as the girls dancing on stage.  It creates a sense of possibility and intrigue, and it is often through the lighting that I am drawn into the performance before a line of text is spoken or beat of music played.

feathers, sparkles, and lighting –oh my!

When I think show girl, I think BIG, BOLD, and BEAUTIFUL. In the case of BURLESQUE you can never have enough sparkles, feathers, fake-jewels, or frankly: skin. These dancing divas get to wear all sorts of frisky outfits from leather-hand-printed bustiers, to beaded pearl negligées. Despite the excessive nature of the costumes they are not tired or even predictable. Michael Kaplan, costume designer, says on behind the scenes footage that he wanted the look to be mint:  “We didn’t want to have feathered bowas, we didn’t want to have a strip tease. We wanted it to be fresher than that.”

Don’t trick yourself into thinking that the clubs scenes are the only spot for hot fashion action in this film, because the costume department certainly doesn’t skimp out when it comes to Aguilera’s out-of-club wardrobe. In particular there is a pair of Louboutin pumps that her character, Ali, wears which are so increadibly beautiful that I accidentally screamed  the first time I saw them in the cinema.  According to an NBC article, Kaplan worked with Christian Louboutin to make a custom pair of pumps for Aguilera to wear in the film. This white and silver pair have the wonderous look which Ali’s name plays odes to… Alice, welcome to wonderland.

Perhaps the most beautiful shoes I have ever seen in my life, a custom Louboutin pump made for Aguilera. 

Finally, if you like feathered fake eyelashes, lots of liner, sparkle-based eye shadow, bronzer (contouring everrrywhere), and a rouge lip: you’re in for a make up treat. All of the show girls’ eyes grow about 10 sizes when we get a closeup of their stage-made-up faces. When it comes to hair you get two options: big, textured, curled, and blown out; or a fringed bob.

A taste of Burlesque: beautiful women dancing in beams of blue, red and purple light; big hair; and frisky costumes.

To make things even better, all of this visual stimulation comes together in baudy dance routines to catchy music…

Music

Despite the beautiful images on screen, it’s the music that reals you into BURLESQUE. Aguilera has the vocal strength and diversity to pull off Etta James covers, such as “Tough Lover” or “Something’s Got A Hold On Me”, without you pinning for the sounds of the soulful originals. According to Director Steven Antin in behind the scenes footage, it’s not just Christina’s voice which changed the film but her writing: “Christina changed everything when she came on board… She went out and wrote song after song after song, it was spectacular.” Within those songs came “Express” which hit number 2 on Billboards 100, and “Bound To You” which was nominated for a Golden Globe under “best original song”. Every time I watch the movie the different songs are seared into my head for days on end — without even annoying me!

Acting Chops

BURLESQUE has a stacked cast including Oscar winner Cher; beloved Stanley Tucci, up and coming actresses Kristen Bell and Julianne Hough; and finally first time ever actress  Christina Aguilera. Cher is Cher, need we say more? Tucci hits his one liners with an almost patented witty delivery. Bell and Hough dazzled the screen in their short but snappy scenes; however it was Aguilera who really surprised me. Being her first time acting I was slightly concerned when first going into the cinema. I was worried that she was plugged in as solely a big name and great voice. Acting, it turns out, is another strong point for Aguilera.  She presented an Ali who was strong, confident and determined, but who was also breakable and endearingly vulnerable. I wasn’t watching a “Christina Aguilera” persona on screen but a fully crafted character. I don’t think another actress would have brought the same dimension’s to her character, in fact Aguilera as an actress was entirely irreplaceable to this film. In a video Aguilera largely credits Cher for her performance, saying that she inspired and taught her the roaps on her first acting job.

Cam Gigandet, provides some much appreciated slates of man-candy.

Man Candy… 

Well clearly there is lots of scantily clad female beauties but what of the men? For me the winner goes to Cam Gigandet who plays Jack, Ali’s love interest. Ali’s fling Marcus however is also a note worthy contender, played by Eric Dane who is most known for his role as Mark Sloan (a.k.a. McSteamy) on Greys Anatomy.

Eric Dane…no this is not from “Burlesque” but doesn’t he look beautiful!

The chemistry between Aguilera and Gigandet is obvious from the first moment she learns that he is both straight and unavailable, plus Gigandet will leave you craving cookies long after the film ;). Meanwhile, Dane plays his usual rough-but-combed bad-boy-man-toy role. Though he doesn’t have a large role in the film, and though his character didn’t develop, I loved his minutes on screen… He is the lone wolf man-babe and every eyecandy movie needs one.

❤ RL