Sep 12, 2014  •  In Entertainment, Geek, Infographics, Reviews

Why You Should Love ‘Orphan Black’ [Infographic]

***spoilers below***

Because it’s the best sci-fi show currently on TV.

Because Tatiana Maslany is an amazing actress — hello, Emmy snub! — who plays about a dozen different characters (in case you didn’t know, Orphan Black is a show about clones) with such ferocity that you could swear the show employs identical twins. Or triplets. Or quadruplets. Or even their own clones.

Because you’ll fall in love with everyone, and you’ll have endless internal debates about which clone is your favorite. (Mine is Allison at the moment.)

DAT DANCE PARTY.

clone-dance-party

Because you can binge-watch seasons 1 and 2 — each 10 episodes long — and you’ll be caught right up. And you’ll finish the latest episode with a “NO!” (well, that happens pretty often with this show ;-) ) and agree that THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING and not-so-patiently await season 3 with the rest of us.

Need more convincing? Here’s a handy infographic that proves Orphan Black is the best show you’re not watching!

orphan_black_by_the_numbers_infographic

Via Nerdist.

Sep 9, 2014  •  In Beauty, Parenting, Reviews

YSL Fusion Ink Foundation: First Impressions & Comparisons

If you’re a beauty junkie like me, I’m sure you’ve heard of the new “it” foundation: the Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation (otherwise known as Le Teint Encre de Peau).

ysl_fusion_ink

The YSL Fusion Ink is the latest in the liquid-to-powder-finish foundation trend that started with the Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup and expanded to the L’Oréal Magic Nude Liquid Powder (aka Nude Magique Eau de Teint), the Maybelline Dream Wonder Foundation, and the Lancôme Nude Miracle (aka Miracle Air de Teint).

(It’s no surprise that all four brands are owned by L’Oréal. I assume that with the success of the Maestro, L’Oréal wanted to monetize the product further through its brands with minor variations in formula at different price points. However, IMHO, they are not dupes and they are not the same. More on this at the end of the post.)

I have read wonderful things about the YSL Fusion Ink Foundation. That it was developed with NASA-inspired technology. That it garnered a waiting list of over 12,000 in the U.K. That it is longer lasting and better than the Giorgio Armani Maestro.

At $60 for a 0.84oz of product, the Fusion Ink is definitely an investment. As such, I decided to try it out before splurging on a bottle. Luckily, my local Sephora is very generous with samples and I was able to obtain a jar in BD15, or Warm Buff.

ysl_fusion_ink_impressions_1

So is it worth the hype?

Perhaps. It depends on what your preferences may be.

Allow me to explain.

I have found that the Fusion Ink is a bit longer-lasting than the Maestro, with a slightly more matte finish. And like the Maestro, it feels wonderful on the skin and does not look cakey even through multiple layers.

However, I felt that it was less pigmented than the Maestro (i.e., I needed to use more of the product to get the same coverage). Additionally, it has the signature YSL flowery scent. It’s not a bad scent, and completely dissipates in about 30 minutes, but I prefer my makeup unscented.

It still looks pretty great, wouldn’t you say?

ysl_fusion_ink_impressions_2

Products worn:

So again, in the battle between the YSL Fusion Ink and the Giorgio Armani Maestro, it really depends on what your preferences are:

longevity + matte finish + flowery scent

vs

more pigment + dewy finish + unscented

And to this blogger, the Giorgio Armani is a better fit. :-)

So how do the other L’Oréal foundations mentioned above compare?

maestro_magic_nude_dream_wonder_fusion_ink_nude_miracle

When the L’Oréal Magic Nude first came out and bloggers everywhere lauded it as a much cheaper dupe for the Giorgio Armani, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! However, I found the formula to be less satisfactory — it was less pigmented and a bit more drying. I also had trouble finding a good shade match (most of the shades were pink-based), and then there was the problem of the packaging: a heavy glass bottle with just a regular screw top? I much preferred the Maestro’s dropper.

The Maybelline Dream Wonder is another drugstore option, and most bloggers seem to prefer it over the Magic Nude. Its packaging is more friendly too — attached to the cap is a plastic tear-shaped applicator, similar to the YSL Fusion Ink’s quill applicator. That being said, I found it thinner and not as long-lasting as the Maestro. :-(  

I actually haven’t tried the Lancôme Nude Miracle save for a test application on my hand and chin at Sephora. While I love the dropper bottle design, it is the least pigmented of the group. A great choice for those wanting light coverage, to be sure, but not for me.

And you know how I feel about the YSL Fusion Ink. :-)

So for now, the Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup remains my favorite. Yes, it’s expensive at $64 an ounce. But each bottle has lasted me anywhere from 4-6 months, even with almost-daily use!

I hope you’ve found this review and the comparisons helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to answer.  8-) 

Aug 27, 2014  •  In Entertainment, Movies, Reviews

Three Things You Should Be Watching Right Now

Just in case you have some time to kill in these last days of summer…

1.  Snowpiercer

Based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, Snowpiercer stars Chris Evans (of Captain America fame) as a man leading a desperate band of third-class passengers in a daring revolt against the ruling class of a train — its inhabitants the only survivors of an ice age that has destroyed the planet.

Snowpiercer was directed by acclaimed writer-director Bong Joon-ho and was a hit in the director’s native Korea last year. It arrived in the U.S. last month in an unfortunate limited theatrical release, and just two weeks later, it became available via VoD (on iTunes and Amazon).

snowpiercer

I know many people must be sick of the postapocalyptic/dystopian genre by now, but believe me when I say that this is a must-watch for any dark, sci-fi thriller enthusiast such as myself. To quote Andrew O’Hehir, it is an “elaborate dystopian parable and socioeconomic allegory” that is “relentless, politically provocative and visually spectacular.” It is dark and poignant, horrifying and humorous, and leaves the viewer thoroughly entertained yet contemplative.

In short, Snowpiercer is the best movie I’ve watched this year. :-)  

2.  The Time in Between (El Tiempo Entre Costuras)

This historical drama, set during the Spanish Civil War and WWII, centers around a young seamstress-turned-fashion designer who assists the British Secret Service by embroidering coded messages in the seams of her dresses.

the_time_in_between

The 17-episodes-long miniseries is a fresh break from the likes of Downton Abbey and its imitators with its compelling characters and exotic locations…and oh my the costumes! The pace is neither too slow nor rushed, with a plotline that draws you in from the very first episode.

I have been steering clear of dramas lately because my fried mommy brain would prefer something lighter and less serious. But The Time in Between has exceeded my expectations and resparked my interest in historical dramas. It’s no wonder that the show is one of Spain’s most popular miniseries ever (oh, did I mention it’s in Spanish?  ;-) )!

You can watch The Time in Between on Hulu, DramaFever, or Viki. Don’t blame me if you get hooked and end up binge-watching the entire thing in 3 days! :-P  

3. The Strain

FX’s The Strain is cable TV’s #1 new series of 2014, and there’s a good reason why. Not only is visionary director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth is one of my all-time favorite movies) behind the graphic novel series adaptation, it’s an actual, scary, believable vampire show

the_strain

We are still only 7 episodes into the series, but each episode has left me wanting more, with gruesome effects, unexpected plot twists, and escalating action.

The Strain is on Sunday nights at 10pm — a welcome replacement for True Blood. (Was anyone else really disappointed by the series finale? I mean, the show’s been going downhill for the past couple of seasons, but I honestly expected more.)