Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Film Review: Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

This one is definitely one of my favourites which funnily enough was the lowest ranking at the box office out of all 7 films! This is a great example in why I can never let ratings on a film influence whether I watch it or not!
The first part of the film is great and Harry's personality really starts to show, especially when his uncle's sister visits and starts to insult his parents.
The main storyline of the film is that Sirius Black (a Voldemort supporter) has escaped Azkaban prison and is believed to be after Harry. The Dementors (guards of Azkaban) also make a strong presence in this film and I just loved them! They darkened the mood of the film and made it easier for an older audience to enjoy.
I also loved Buckbeak, a Hippogriff...and was delighted when he had let Harry ride him! Draco Malfoy also continues to annoy me, which I guess is a good thing as he is clearly playing his character very well!Gary Oldman as Sirius Black does an excellent job which I hadn't noticed in other films he has been in...I will definitely be checking out some of his other ones now!! He truly is a brilliant actor and I was glad with the turn of the storyline later on in the film which allowed his character to stay on for a while longer! I think I also especially liked this film because there is a presence of a werewolf! Anything with werewolves and vampires will surely turn my head!
The last part of the film is incredibly clever, J.K Rowling has an amazing imagination! Again, I was totally satisfied with this film!!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Beauty Review: Aqua Sheko.

I was introduced to Living Social by a work colleague and couldn't believe I hadn't known about it before! Same with Groupon and Wahanda! I am definitely up for some discounted things!
So, when I had freshly signed up, there was an offer on for a Fish Manicure at Aqua Sheko at their Soho, London branch...and I decided to surprise my mother with it!
It's a very slick looking 'spa' and I was keen to venture further inside. Staff were very friendly and showed us into a room with two rows of tanks, filled with fish! My mother started getting a bit freaked out which I thought was quite funny and asked what was going to happen! I explained what it was and she was very dubious and started to comment about bacteria..which was something I totally didn't even think about and also something totally true! Anyway, we were there, it was paid for so we went ahead with the 'manicure'.
We were comfortably sat on padded stools while our hands were inside the tanks. The fish started nibbling away immediately and we were told that our 'dead skin' was food to the fish. It is a very funny feeling but you do get used to it...although my mother did find it hard as she is extremely ticklish!
We were sat like that for about 45 minutes and then had to go and wash our hands. My hands did feel soft but I couldn't tell if it is was because they had been soaked in water for so long and had gone a bit raisin-like!
I was also disappointed that there wasn't any hand wash or hand cream to use though, which I thought was very important to have for the treatment! I just didn't feel very clean or satisfied! My mother said she didn't want to go again but enjoyed the treatment nevertheless and I had felt the same. I don't think the whole 'fish spa' will last very long, it's definitely just a novelty. However, if it does happen to last, I think spas will need to provide some sort of entertainment for people doing it alone during their lunch hour or something because if I was by myself, I would be incredibly bored not being able to do anything with my hands and you can only watch the fish eating away for a very short amount of time!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Film Review: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. (2002)

Now, onto the second installment! I loved the introduction of Dobby (a house elf) who makes his first appearance in Harry's room, trying to convince him not to return to Hogwarts. However, Harry now sees Hogwarts as his 'home' and nothing was going to stop him from returning. Dobby then proceeds to frame Harry by ruining an evening where Harry's uncle Vernon has his boss over for dinner! The Weasley brothers then rescue Harry from being locked in his room in a flying car and take him to their home. I loved how the action in this sequel was instant, everything is always exciting with the Harry Potter films which is wonderful as children typically have short attention spans (admittedly, I sometimes do too!) and if conversations are too long or a scene is just dragging on, I will get bored!
One of my favourite scenes in this film is definitely when Harry begins to speak to a snake, introducing the fact that he is a Parselmouth. I think this is when there is a true sense of darkness being demonstrated in the film. Although exciting for the viewer, it unfortunately makes Harry seem as though he is the heir of Slytherin - therefore the main culprit of releasing a creature that has been petrifying students.Another exciting thing is that we learn about Voldemort's past and I loved the little anagram idea! You'll know what I mean if you've seen it! There is also a lot of action and another character I loved was Moaning Myrtle who is a ghost that haunts the girls' toilets. The last part of the film is so satisfying, especially in regards to Dobby! It is so rare for a film to leave me satisfied when there are still several more to come after it. As my sister and I continued to watch each Harry Potter film, we couldn't believe just how brilliant they were, and we were only on the second! More reviews to follow!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Fall 2011. Part XXII. Miu Miu.

The Miu Miu collection is definitely one of my most favourites from Fall 2011!! I hadn't seen a true 1940's-inspired collection for a while now and it was refreshing to see it done in a more casual stance which is surprising for me to say as I usually want to see all things to be worn in the evening!
I don't ever wear sunglasses or hats because I don't feel like they suit me at all, so again, I was so surprised that I took such a liking to the sunglasses! They were the cutest things ever!On the subject of cuteness, the shoes blew me away! I loved the glitter and pastel mix, they were a truly stunning combination!As the collection then slowly eased its way into evening, I couldn't help but gasp at the embellished swallows, they were adorable! I also loved the fur sleeves that went straight to the waist and created a triangular silhouette which of course was popular with 1940s fashion. A truly lovely collection.

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Thursday, 24 March 2011

Film Review: Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone. (2001).

With the final Harry Potter film due out very soon, my sister and I decided to refresh our memories of the storyline and proceeded to watch them all from the beginning. The gaps between each film were too long for me to keep track with what was happening, and I didn't want to watch the final one just to see a good film, I really wanted to understand it too! So here is the first of my reviews of all the Harry Potter films!
As soon as we saw Daniel Radcliffe in 'Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone' on screen, we chuckled in unison at the fact that he is SO young! You completely forget how young they all were and you only seem to remember how they looked the last time you saw them, and nothing before that. It is so sweet seeing the start of their friendships and the start of his life at Hogwarts and his talent as a Seeker in Quidditch.
I also noticed how the film does not faff around with the storyline at all, there is no annoying build up that you often get with films or books that are part of a trilogy or more. The viewer is instantly introduced to key characters, Harry's history about his parents are introduced and of course, Voldemort makes an ironic appearance as the back of Defence against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Quirrell's head! I loved this and totally forgot this had happened...most of the film was new to me even though I had already seen it 10 years ago and I do have quite a good memory!
Another important event that happens is that when Professor Quirrell tries to attack Harry, his hand turns to dust...Harry then proceeds to 'kill' him by touching his face. I thought this was a very clever and 'soft' way of 'killing' an enemy in regards to the younger audience! We later find out that this happened because Harry's mother sacrificed herself to save him which has provided him with some form of protection against the 'Dark'... and as you continue watching the films, you come to learn that this comes into a lot of use! I also particularly loved the chess-match scene! Very dramatic but a fantastic idea!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Fall 2011. Part XXI. Alexander McQueen.

The Fall 2011 Alexander McQueen collection by Sarah Burton was just absolutely stunning and on closer inspection, I just loved the engraved metal plates on some of the collars!!
I'm not a tweed-loving person at all but I loved how it was used in some of the styles - mixed with fur and styled with cropped zip up leather pants!As always, the shoes always make an impact with me! These are definitely what I would call 'killer' heels!Although I have never been a huge fan of 'bondage' themes, I did love the harness looks especially the soft ashened-mauve dress with woven strips of chiffon.The last few gowns to come out were breathtaking. You could really appreciate the craftsmanship into each piece, even just from looking at photos of them!
I absolutely loved the mosaic bodice gown and the matching shoes! This was an excellent collection and I am definitely looking forward to seeing the next!

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Monday, 21 March 2011

Beauty Review: Bobbins & Balms.

I have always used shower gels for as long as I can remember, but with the amount of handmade soaps on offer on Etsy, I really wanted to see what the fuss was about! They always look so lovely, good enough to eat!
So, before I started purchasing left-right-and-centre, I wanted to know what to look for, and what was 'good' in handmade soap. I popped my questions in the Etsy Forums and I got an extremely helpful response back from soap-shop BuzzPlanet:

"Cold processed is the "real-deal", the person makes it themselves from oils and lye, which is the only way soap exists. The lye itself neutralizes afterwards, leaving the oils in the soap to moisturize.

Lots of people on etsy make Melt and Pour; which means they buy a base from elsewhere; sometimes the bases have a lot of different ingredients that might be harsh; this includes glycerin soaps, which are sometimes called "lye-free", but that's not true because glycerin is a by-product of soapmaking, no lye, no soap; and if the soap is ONLY made with glycerin it can be drying.

"Milk" soaps, goat's milk, buttermilk, etc. are usually considered to be gentle and moisturizing. Honey is also great for that.

The difference in handmade soaps that are more gentle is that they won't necessarily leave a "long-lasting" fragrance; commercial soaps are actually detergents, and have fragrance extenders to give that scent. Handmade soaps smell great while you're using them, but the scent won't stick. Using a scented lotion is usually a better bet.

Certain oils that are less gentle are palm and coconut oil, they're usually made in combination with the more gentle oils like Olive, or you can buy "Castile" soap which is usually over 60% olive oil.

"Fragrance Oils" are synthetic and can be bad for sensitive skin, although I use them without a problem, "all-natural" soaps are made with essential oils, but that doesn't always mean that they're gentle."

BuzzPlanet then kindly recommended a UK-based seller for me (to save on shipping costs) in the form of BobbinsandBalms. There were no previous sales so I couldn't read any feedback, but the shop was recommended and everyone has to start somewhere so this wasn't an issue for me! I decided to go with a few things and couldn't wait to get them!
When my order arrived, I just loved the packaging, it was super cute! I got Gardeners Soap which had a strong lavender scent to it. It was really lovely, lathered well and I felt very clean! I also got some vanilla lipbalm (as I am forever putting on lipbalm) which smelt yummy and was very moisturising! The other soaps I also purchased were Coconut Milk, Milk & Citrus, and Milk, Oat & Honey.
My favourite is definitely the Milk, Oat & Honey Soap. It had a lovely, rustic scent and I could really smell the oatmeal which I initially thought might be weird and made me think of my cereal, but I loved it!
So my first purchase of handmade soap was a great experience and I will certainly be getting much more!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Fall 2011. Part XX. Valentino.

Like many other labels, Valentino is also another favourite of mine! I always know what to expect - there is always lace and every outfit is the epitome of prettiness with a touch of fragility. I am also always in such awe when it comes to the colour palette. It is completely effortless - the blackened-aubergine, rose-nude, seafoam, and the punch of an ashened-chartreuse is so beautiful together!! A stunning collection.

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Saturday, 19 March 2011

Film Review: Dear John. (2010)

I wanted to watch this film because it was being compared to 'The Notebook' - which I really liked. I also liked Amanda Seyfreid, so when LOVEFiLM sent it to me, I couldn't wait to watch it!
The film is very simply about John (Channing Tatum) who is a soldier on leave, and meets Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) who is on holiday. They quickly fall in love, John returns to the Army and they begin their long-distance relationship through letters - hence the title. This goes on for 2 years until Savannah sends John a letter to let him know that she is engaged to somebody else. It is all quite predictable, and slow and when the film finally finishes, you realise that not much actually happened.
I think it was silly to compare this to 'The Notebook', whoever it was that decided this...although I think those who like this style of film, will give it a thumbs up. I'm still not sure how I feel about Channing Tatum, I felt like somebody else could have played his part. I hope to watch his newest film ' The Eagle', which I hope will change my mind about him as you can't really go wrong with a good action film!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Fall 2011. Part XIX.

I have never really noticed the Commuun collections before until now. I loved the sporty edge but still keeping very feminine and the colour palette of white, black, mustard, grey and scarlet looked super fresh!I always like the Emanuel Ungaro collection but I liked it more than I expected this season! Like the Givenchy collection which had a panther motif running through, the Emanuel Ungaro collection took on the use of woodland creatures. I specifically loved the placement of embellished eagle claws whether on the shoulders or on the hips! A really stunning collection that I would love to see in person!These four images from the Yves Saint Laurent show does not indicate the overall mood of the collection, at all, but certainly my favourites.

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Thursday, 17 March 2011

Tears for Fears - Pale Shelter (1982).

I've had this song on my iPod Shuffle for months and months, ever since I first heard it on Grand Theft Auto! This is a great example of why I think men from the 80s sound/sing better in comparison to any other time, I wish I could explain why but I can't, they just do. I often can't even stand the sound of a man singing in current music.
In fact, I rarely listen to current music full stop and I feel like I am still discovering some great music from the past!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Fall 2011. Part XVIII. Givenchy.

The Givenchy collection was DELIGHTFUL!!!!!!!!! It made me chuckle and I ooh'ed at everything! My most favourite aspect of the collection is definitely the panther inspiration which not only made its way into prints, but seamlines, hats and even furry glasses! I also loved the black patent touches which I thought looked particularly lovely next to a sheer fabric.
The chain prints were reminiscent of Eighties-Versace especially when on bomber jackets, but mixed in with juxtaposed panther portrait prints made them look really exciting! My favourite outfit is the canary yellow mohair jumper with fitted, printed skirt, modelled by Natalia Vodianova...but is followed very closely by the all-in-one outfit (could be separate pieces though - image #5, outfit #1) which would make an amazing costume for Catwoman!

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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Beauty Review: Murad Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask.

One of my work colleague's has amazing skin and one of the brands that she uses is Murad, one that I had never heard of or seen. However, after our conversation, I kept seeing it everywhere! The products she uses were too pricey for me to buy (just for the sake of trying something new) but I am always interested in using new brands, as I am sure there is something out there that will be perfect for my skin!
I decided to try out the Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask which is a hefty £23 but I got it on sale, otherwise I don't think I would be reviewing it! You get 6 sachets and it is like a gel upon extraction, and stays like that once it is on your face. I sometimes feel that 'mask' is not always the right term for these sort of things. I always see 'mask' as something that is a creamy paste, that noticeably changes in texture once applied. Anyway, there was a slight stinging sensation, and I was worried that maybe my sensitive skin would not cope with this...although I decided to just see it through for the 10 minutes.
Now that I think about it, maybe it was just super-tingly rather than stinging, but once I had washed it off, my face was quite pink! Nevertheless, I didn't get a rash or anything, and after applying moisturiser and a while later, my skin did look brighter. I have only used one sachet but will definitely try another... my overall thoughts about this are positive, but I don't think I could buy this for full price.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Fall 2011. Part XVII. Celine.

I am always fond of the Celine collections, but it is never exciting enough for me to blog about, until now! The woodgrain print was lovely, and it reminded me of Rodarte SS11. The head-to-toe candyfloss pink outfit was surprising but nevertheless delightful.

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Saturday, 12 March 2011

Fall 2011. Part XVI.

My colleagues all felt that Haider Ackermann's collection was a 'winter version of his last'...I slightly agree with this but I feel that this is the case with many other designers. I think it's natural to be influenced by your last collection and to expand on the ideas to suit the season. Nevertheless, I just loved this collection! It reminds me of tough female characters in computer games like Lara Croft...I wouldn't be surprised if one of the models whipped a pistol out from under her belt...it was soft and severe all at the same time and I've been trying to think of a better word to describe this collection than the one I immediately had in my head, but I can't, so I'm just going to say it. This collection is bad-ass, and that, I like.Next up is Loewe. I wouldn't say the collection was amazing but everything was so wearable, and although I love seeing the outrageous during Fashion Week, I still like to see things that I would wear myself, which is why I took an instant liking to Loewe. The leather looked so soft, the silhouettes were flattering and lastly, the jet embellishment onto leather was lovely!!

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Friday, 11 March 2011

Marvin Gaye - I Want You. (1976)

I have decided to start a 'Music' category for my blog because I have mentioned it a few times before and I love music so I have no idea why I didn't start it ages ago! I've gone back and added some relevant blog entries to it already so it includes everything to do with music on my blog, not just from this point onwards. After a few months, it will become clear how eclectic my music taste really is! So to officially launch my category is Marvin Gaye's 'I Want You' .. I have been playing this song non-stop for about a month now and I had never heard it prior to that, it is amazing!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Fall 2011. Part XV. Lanvin.

Lanvin is definitely one of my most favourite collections this season. It completely blew me away right from the start. The staging reminded me of Sleepy Hollow (Johnny Depp/Christina Ricci) and I loved the unexpected Amish hats which gave the collection a different edge to what I am used to seeing. Silhouettes were sleek and I adored the use of metalwork as edgings and statement neck pieces...there was almost an air of Steampunk to some of these which looked mechanical and industrialised.There were a lot of coats in the first half of the show (which of course is expected seeing as it is an Autumn collection!) and I couldn't wait to see more dresses. I was surprised at the incorporation of knitwear into some of these styles, but liked them! I also thought it was fitting to have a rose-printed dress seeing as there were many rose-referenced metalwork prior to that. The rose-ombre print was particularly pretty!This rose necklace is so beautiful and effortless, I just loved the way it simply hooks over the neck!
As the end of the collection was approaching (which usually has the most exciting pieces), true Lanvin dresses appeared and the colour palette stepped up a level with fruity colours and the hair pieces were adorable! I also loved the encrusted floral cuffs which gave a real feel of luxury especially when mimicked on shoes and other neck pieces. Overall, this collection is amazing and very memorable!

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