Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Big Brother 16: Thoughts So Far

Hey everyone! You may or may not know that I'm addicted to Big Brother. I follow the show very closely, watch the live feeds occasionally, and am constantly up-to-date with spoilers. I thought it would be fun to track how my thoughts on each person evolves as the season goes on!

For non-Big Brother watchers, the show is difficult to understand. The situations change as the wind blows and allegiances flip flop often. For those who manage to stay updated, it's an absolute blast. It's only been on for two weeks so far, meaning you have 7 episodes to catch up on if you so please :)

So here we go. BTW, THIS IS SPOILER-FREE! (Except for at the end when I mention who has been evicted so far)

I'll start with Zach since he's a big fan favorite this season. I think people must love his personality, because he is playing a sloppy game. He calls out the houseguests when they suck, and he makes himself stick out like a sore thumb. He's constantly backpeddling and regretting his actions. Hopefully he can get it together because he seems pretty cool.

Brittany is one of my favorites this season. Unfortunately, she plays a similar game to Zach. She keeps it real with everyone and calls out the people who do her wrong. What I like about her is that she seems to be in-tune with what's going on and she's feisty. She refuses to let anyone step all over her. If she gets HoH one of these days, she is going to be a force. The above gif is her blowing Devin a kiss after he nominated her. Iconic.

Frankie was an absolute favorite of mine at the beginning of the season. He seemed to have his finger on the pulse of the house. He was socializing left and right, and everyone seemed to like him, but as the days went by we began to see what a control freak he is. As soon as someone throws a wrench in his game, it's like he loses the ability to cope. Hopefully he can calm down a little because I actually like him a lot.

Unfortunately, if you don't watch the live feeds you do not know Caleb Reynolds. CBS is giving him a spectacularly kind TV edit, when in reality he is a huge a creep. He has a crazy obsession with Amber and she continues to reject him, but he does not give up. He's being portrayed as a wounded puppy, when he should be getting the GinaMarie edit. He needs to be booted out soon because he's actually very scary.

Cody also seems to be a fan-favorite this season, but having seen him on the feeds I find it difficult to like him. He's playing a decent game but his personality sucks, in my opinion. You can tell he's been handed everything on a silver platter his whole life. He flirts with every girl in the house and then slanders them behind their backs, he's incredibly materialistic, and he even boasted to Zach about driving drunk. He's like, the broiest of bros and it sucks.

DONNYYYYY. I love this man so much it brings a tear to my eye. He is a precious gem, the kindest, sweetest player to ever be on Big Brother. For some reason the houseguests have it out for him, but he continues to be a competition beast! It's fantastic. He also has the best one liners, some of them being "I didn't vote out my buddy, so you shouldn't have to vote out your buddy... but is your buddy really your buddy?" and (about Caleb) "I would like to buy him for what he's worth, and sell him for what he thinks he's worth." GE-NIUS. Love this guy. Can't say it enough.

Amber is one of the houseguests I have mixed feelings on. On one hand, she's a huge pushover and makes moves to please the houseguests as opposed to doing what's most beneficial to her game. On the other hand, some of the girls are targeting her out of jealousy, and that makes me root for her. What I hope for Amber: that she gets a backbone and starts playing more selfishly, that she tells Caleb to back off once and for all, and that her demise is not at the hand of Nicole/Christine/Victoria. Above is her singlehandly evicting Julie Chen, host of Big Brother, in what is one of the best bloopers of all time.

I think Hayden is pretty cool. For the most part, I like the way he's playing the game. He comes out to compete, he gets involved with game talk, and he's selective about which alliances he joins. What I don't like about Hayden is that he partakes in Amber bashing with Nicole and Christine, and that he seems to want Donny out, which is not cool in my book.

For me, Nicole is one of the most frustrating players in this game. She's constantly flip flopping between wanting to make big moves, but not wanting to be on anyone's radar. She picks a stance and then regrets it almost immediately. Her indecisiveness is almost painful to watch. She walks on eggshells in the house, is uber sensitive, refuses to talk game with certain people, and gossips incessantly with Christine. Nope. Not a fan.

I want to like Christine. I really do, but she makes it so difficult. I guess we'll start positive here: I think Christine is in the best position right now. She's on good terms with everyone. All the girls like her and all the guys want to be aligned with her. My issue is her constant crap-talking! She literally cannot. stop. bashing people. She's said she was bullied all her life so this attitude might be remnants of that, but it's really becoming unbearable.

Devin is absolutely terrible at Big Brother. His ego is the size of Mars, he talks down to the women of the house, and he speaks over everyone. The hole he dug for himself is so deep he cannot even try to climb out of it at this point. Devin is also probably the least self-aware person in the history of the show. He can't seem to accept any criticism, and I don't see him staying much longer. Note that there are no gifs of this guy because no one likes him...

Derrick is one of my favorite players to watch. He has clearly emerged as one of the most dominant and manipulative players in the game, but none of the others seem to have caught on to that. He's really great with his words and I love listening to him strategize because he has good insights. Some people don't like that he throws his allies under the bus, but that's how the game works, friends.

Victoria is vain and catty, but she's incredibly insecure and I find that endearing. I don't love watching her on the feeds because she's very dull and predictable. Her gameplay is practically non-existent, but it's still early in the game and she has the potential to get better. What I don't think she realizes is that she is an easy target in the house because no one will feel bad about getting rid of her. I hope she sticks around for a little while because I think she has potential.

I am absolutely indifferent towards Jocasta. I'm not convinced she even really wants to be in the house. She will float until the others pick her off eventually and I am so unimpressed with her.

Evicted: Joey and Paola. I thought both of these girls were relatively entertaining, but they were easy targets. The twist this season favors the strong players and those who do not perform are in danger, and that is exactly what happened to them both. That is also the fate I foresee for Victoria and Jocasta, and perhaps even Donny (although undeservingly).

Let me know in the comments if you're up-to-date on the season, and whether or not you agree with me!

Monday, June 30, 2014

The One and Only TAG

Hey everyone! Back to beauty stuff for today's post. I had this tag saved in my drafts for a while and I thought it was finally time to give it life. I got it from Coffee and Cosmetics, and it's called "the One and Only Tag".

The idea is simple, you just have to answer the same question for all categories: If you could only have one ____, what would it be and why?

Primer - This is easy. The only face primer I have ever used and absolutely loved is the L'Oreal Magic Perfecting Base. I've said it again and again, but nothing else I've tried even compares! It's on the more expensive end of drugstore products (around $20 in Canada), but it's still cheaper than Sephora brands. I don't know why, but my face really responds well to it! Definitely try it out if your skin tends to get oily throughout the day.

Base Product - Also easy. My number one foundation has to be the Marcelle Hydra-C Foundation. I'm still so dumbfounded that they've discontinued it. I'm on my last bottle and I'm super bummed about it. The shade I use, Natural Beige, is the perfect match for my skin, and it's full-coverage without feeling too heavy.

Blush - I tend to vary my blushes a lot, but one that I constantly gravitate towards is the MAC blush in Pinch O' Peach. It's one of the only pink-toned blushes I use, and what I like about it is that it's quite sheer so it doesn't come on too strong, but it still shows up on your cheeks. If you're new to makeup I would recommend this one because it's very easy to manage.

Highlighter - MAC Soft & Gentle is pretty much the only highlighter I use. I've tried out liquid highlighters in the past, but they don't really do it for me. Soft & Gentle is subtle, but noticeable in the sunlight, and the champagne-y shade doesn't look too harsh. I find whiter/pinkier highlighters tend to be too much against my skintone.

Eyebrow product - My eyebrows are naturally quite thick and dark, so I can definitely go without filling them in, but what I do love to use is a good brow gel to keep them in place throughout the day. I've been using Maybelline Great Lash clear mascara for as long as I can remember, and it definitely does the trick. I don't think I could ever justify buying the Anastasia brow gel, because the Maybelline clear mascara is inexpensive, but effective.

Mascara - Mascara is definitely something I like to switch up in my makeup stash. I'm currently loving one from Annabelle, but my all-time favorite has to be Benefit They're Real. The formula is perfect, the wand separates the lashes incredibly, and nothing gives you the "false lash" look quite like it (...aside from wearing false eyelashes haha).

Concealer - I have to say, concealer is something I tend to struggle with. It's only as of recently that I found one I really enjoy, and it's the NARS creamy concealer in Vanilla. I think it blends really nicely and can be built up for maximum coverage. My only issue is that it's not a color that works all over my face... It covers up the redness near my nose, but if I use it close to my chin/jawline it looks too orange. Still, the formulation is great and it's the best concealer I've used thus far.

Powder - My all-time favorite powder is Rimmel Stay Matte in translucent. It's just the best. It's cheap, it works, and I haven't yet found myself craving a higher end setting powder at all. It works well enough to keep me satisfied, and I feel incomplete without it in the morning.

Bronzer - I've tried a few drugstore products in hopes to find a match for it, but NARS Laguna remains the best bronzer for me. If you go back in the archives of this blog, I'm pretty sure you'll find that I was using and loving Laguna since the very beginning. It's the perfect shade, and it has a slight shimmer that doesn't look crazy, but gives you just the right amount of glow. Really perfect product.

Makeup brush - A brush that I absolutely love using every day is the Real Techniques Multi Task brush. I personally use it for blush, but it can definitely be used for setting powder or bronzer as well. I think it's the perfect density for just about every face product - not too fluffy that it lacks precision, but not too thick that it applies product heavily. It's just great.

Eye shadow - If I had to pick a single eyeshadow it would be "Naked" from the Urban Decay Naked palette. I sometimes just swipe this all over my lids and it gives them just the right amount of depth for a simple every day look. I even used it to fill in my brows (before I got my hands on the Anastasia brow pencil). It's a really good, multi-purpose shade.

Eyeliner - My favorite eyeliner remains, to this day, the Lancome Artliner. I've always preferred liquid liner over pencil or gel, because I feel like it gives me a precise line most efficiently. The black one is really good, but they also do an eggplant shade that's a nice alternative to your standard black eyeliner. It is pricey, and the Maybelline Stiletto liquid liner is a close match to it, but the Artliner lasts much longer than the Maybelline one.

Lip gloss - I'm not much of a lipgloss gal because I find them a bit fussy, but one that I actually like very much is the Buxom lip gloss in "Dolly". It's a great nude shade for my skintone, and it has that tingly sensation (not for everyone, but I like it). If they made a lipstick version of it, I'd be all over that because I love the color.

Lipstick - I don't wear lipstick very often and I change it up too much to actually have a favorite, but if you made me pick I would go ahead and say MAC Plumful. It's super versatile; you can sheer it out or build it up.

I hope you enjoyed this tag! If you do it yourself, please leave me a comment below as I would love to read your answers.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

One Kings Lane "Reflect Your Style" Challenge

I was challenged by the lovely Chloe from One Kings Lane to pick a mirror from their collection and design a vanity around it. After taking one look at their website I knew I had to do it. Everything they stock is absolutely gorgeous! I honestly think there is something for everyone on this website because it caters to a lot of different tastes.

I'm planning on doing a room renovation in August so this was the perfect opportunity for me to check out what's on the market in terms of house decor!

This is what I came up with. I'm not one for the prim & proper style of vanity that I think has become very popular: crisp white with maybe gold or silver accents. Instead, I lean towards a much more eclectic and colorful style. As you can tell, I went a little nuts with the artwork. I love the mix-and-match feeling of combining different-sized and shaped art. They also have the most beautiful vintage signage; I couldn't resist the cute "beach" one.

The mirror I picked is called "Vevey" and I love the middle-eastern vibe of it. I also picked out this beautiful tangerine-colored accent chair that I think would go perfectly with the paintings and the colored tray I chose.

On my vanity I would have a lamp, my Benefit "Ready to Rock Rita" perfume, a Mac lipstick, and a Dyptique candle. I threw in some basic storage boxes at the bottom because I would want to keep the surface of my vanity nice and neat, so everything else could get stowed away!

You can go ahead and check out the other mirrors at One Kings Lane - they're all lovely and it was hard to pick just one!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nail Goodies from Born Pretty

A little while ago, Born Pretty Store contacted me to review some of their nail goodies. I was thrilled! I've actually shopped with them before. They have the cutest array of nail art stuff, and they even sell really cute phone cases. Best of all, everything is super inexpensive! They gave me a $10 cap, and I was able to get about four items, which I'd say is pretty good.

The first thing I got was this multi-sided nail file, and let me tell you, if you're someone who does their nails frequently this is PERFECT. It has four different sides, each with a different degree of coarseness. Then it even has a side for smoothing & removing ridges. It's brilliant. At $2.88, you really can't go wrong!

Born Pretty is the absolute best store for nail stickers. They have so many and they're really cheap, so you can stock up on a couple different ones for under $10! I got the two in the picture above: some simple black stickers, and some neon ones. I wanted to pick something basic and easy to use. I'll be sure to Instagram a pic when I get around to using them!

Studs over top of Julep Bess

Finally, I picked up a little bag of these hexagonal studs. These have been crazy popular in the nail world for the last little while, so I was eager to test them out. I stuck them on when the nail polish was still wet, and sealed them in with my Essie Fast Drying top coat. I think the manicure is really cute, but I must say it doesn't last very long, especially if you're up and about doing things with your hands. I'm also one to pick at my nails/nail polish (bad habit), so you can bet the studs were off within a day. I think it's a nice idea for a one-time occasion, like a night out or a special event. They would also look cool over black nails.

I also have a 10% off coupon code for all my readers! It's CCB10. Definitely take advantage of it, and check out their site because you're guaranteed to find something that piques your interest!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Big Brother Canada Season 2 Reflection

You guys. We need to discuss TV. I've been watching so much television lately... I need to talk about it! I'm working 9-5 now (bleh, I hate it), and I feel like all I do is work and watch different TV shows. The least I can do is write up what I think of them :) I've been watching: Big Brother Canada, The Amazing Race, The Mindy Project, Orphan Black, and Shameless. Daaayum. I won't recap my opinions on every one of them, only the few that I have a lot of thoughts on.

First off is Big Brother Canada. What. A. Season. It was completely phenomenal! To be honest, I was worried I would no longer be much of a fan after Big Brother 15 (the U.S. one) because it was so pitiful. I live-tweeted pretty much every episode, so I guess I'll recap the season via my live tweets (how handy!).

March 31st. When I admitted Canada finally created something better than the US, TV-wise. 

The season started off with a "strong" alliance made right from the get-go: The First Five. Sabrina, Andrew, Sarah, Kenny, and Arlie. In my opinion, they were doomed from the beginning. Andrew and Kenny were both egotistic power-trippers, and they were relying on Sabrina to hold everything together. Nope. 

My first feminist comment of the season. You know, I liked Kenny at first. He was confident in his abilities and seemed to be level-headed enough. Too bad he lacked social tact: flirting with girls/leading them on, calling the women of the house bitches whenever he didn't hold the power. Not okay. This bad attitude led to his demise.

Fast-forward through the season a little bit and most of the First Five is gone. Andrew went home on Canada's account. (No kidding, he was annoying as hell). Kenny and Sarah gone via double eviction. Not gonna lie, I felt a little sorry for Sarah and I'm hoping she comes back to play for an All-Stars season sans Kenny. Arlie gone at the hand of Jon (read: at the hand of Neda). See ya, First Five.

We then saw some kerfuffle with the Gremlins and Allison, the season floater. Allison could not seem to wrap her head around what the best move was, and it ultimately cost her her game. The Gremlins were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, also unable to realize what the best move for them was. Bye bye.

April 21st. Neda's rise to power. She was granted the power to instantly evict the houseguest of her choice and make it DEAD. CLEAR. that Allison was the one and only target. She got her way, of course. No one can deny the finesse of her nomination speech. Arguably, this would have been the best moment for her to evict Jon, but to her defence it was still too early on to predict the final outcome.

I guess now is the time to discuss Sabrina's place in the game. You know, as annoying as she was, she brought pure entertainment to the season. Her whole "I HAD ONE BURNT COOKIE" rant will go down in Big Brother history, in my opinion. It was perfection. I might have been partial to Sabrina throughout the season because she's from my home town and went to the same high school as most of my family... But even so, there's no denying the comedic value she brought. Would love to see her back for an All Star season.

Near the end of the season it was absolutely, 100% clear that Neda deserved the final prize. She orchestrated the entire second half of the season, and to those who do not give her that credit, there's something wrong with you. Maybe you were watching an entirely different show. I don't know. Neda was the clear winner.

*Sigh* Alas, Neda did not win. She came in third place. Jon took the prize and brought Sabrina to final 2. I have to admit, it was a smart move on his part. Neda would have slaughtered the jury's questions, made it crystal clear that Jon's success in the game was on her behalf, and she would have won. Simple as. But Jon knew that his final big move was evicting Neda. And he made it. Good for him.

All in all, if you missed this season but are a Big Brother fan, go back and watch it. So many good Big Brother moments. Very unpredictable and captivating season. Here's hoping #BB16 will measure up! You can follow me at @ericaeff on Twitter because you already know I'll be live tweeting the whole thing. You can also follow me on Beamly (TV-related social media app). My name on there is Erica F. and I'm already pretty active in the Big Brother 16 room. :)