7 Questions in Heaven with Isobel Trigger

17 Apr

7 Questions Isobel Trigger

Isobel Trigger is a synth pop band from Victoria, British Columbia. Recently freaking out over their first radio airplay on a station up north, they have secured a bunch of festival gigs this summer and are well on their way to taking over that friendly country above the good ol’ U.S. of A. Check out what they have to say about doughnut holes, Craigslist, and Hot Hot Heat.

1. How did you guys start as a band?

Felicia: Brett (our guitarist) and I met in music school and we met Ariel and Kyle through online dating for bands (aka craigstlist)!
Ariel: Yeah, I remember walking into some weird warehouse that was their jam space for my audition, in a really industrial area of town. It was totally sketchy but obviously worth it in the end!

2. What’s your favorite snack during band practice?

Ariel: Tim bits (that’s doughnut holes for you Americans out there) and/or sushi!

Felicia: It’s not uncommon for one of us to be late and call to take dinner orders from the others. I like sushi because it’s light and easy to sing after eating… and… well… who doesn’t like doughnuts?
omg it's true

omg it’s true

3. Tell me about your upcoming EP Nocturnal. Exactly how cosmically awesome will it be?

Felicia: Well, we are aiming for astronomically awesome, as in shooting for the moon, literally (you’ll have to watch our video for Tiger Shark to get that joke). We plan on releasing a video for each song and you can expect lots of gritty synth, creative dance beats and unique vocals on top of our usual dirty guitar and funky bass.
Ariel: We are very excited to birth our EP baby into the world.

4. I don’t know anything about Victoria, BC. What’s the music scene like there?

Felicia: Victoria is the beautiful capitol city of BC! Actually it’s great here and the music scene is booming!  We have so many music festivals it’s hard to keep track!  Rifflandia, Tall Tree Festival, Rock The Shores and many more.
Ariel: It’s really amazing because the city is big enough that there are so many festivals and great events and no shortage of talent, but small enough that the music scene is really a community.

5. What has been the coolest moment of your music career so far?

Photo by Sean Behnsen

Photo by Sean Behnsen

Felicia: So far this year (young as it may be) has been our busiest and we’re thrilled with the momentum we’re gaining.  If I had to pinpoint it to a moment, I’d have to say hearing our songs on a major radio station (The Zone 91.3) has got to be the highlight. The coolest DAY was when we found out that we were Zone Band of the Month, playing Tall Tree and the Royal Theater, all on the same day.
Ariel: On that day I cried and had to be put in an isolation chamber. Then I was ready to rock.
Felicia: *Some facts may be exaggerated #dramaqueen

6. Hot Hot Heat or The New Pornographers and why?

Ariel: Hot Hot Heat duh because they’re from Victoria!
Felicia: Hot Hot Heat!  Because they’re also from Victoria and they really know how to bring it live.  Not that The New Pornographers don’t, but we’ve got a soft spot for the Heat’s quirk-rock ways and Steve Bays with his awesome fro and big energy.
hot hot heat brings back so many 11th grade memories

hot hot heat brings back so many 11th grade memories

7. Which pop star has had the most influence over your sound?

Felicia: Currently I would have to say our “band favorite band” is Metric.  We just think they’re the coolest and even though we all have different musical influences, when it comes to picking an album to listen to on road trips together, Metric gets the winning vote.
Ariel: Does Metric count as a “pop star” though? I’m going to have to go ahead and say Justin Timberlake for this one, since I think that N*Sync are the bomb, and I think that we are really in sync with each other.
Felicia: *facepalm … but JT is my hero, can’t lie.
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How to live fabulous when you’re broke

4 Apr
someday we'll be this fab.

she’s gasping at this amazing advice

Just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you can’t be fabulous. This is the shit I do to stay cool as hell without a ton of $$$$$$$$$.

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awww FUCK yeah

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE going out to eat. But when you’re broke-ish, that can be hard to legitimize. Let me help you, baby. When you go out to dinner, eat half of what you order, and take the other half home for a second meal. This automatically cuts your money spent on meals and food out in half. Getting a $10 burger and fries? Hey, that’s like 5 bucks a meal from an actual restaurant! And waaaaay better than McDonalds. PLUS, if you only eat half of the normally wayyyyy big portions, it’s almost like a diet. A diet of half your hamburger and half your fries. I’ve actually been able to eat like 3-4 meals out of some Chinese takeout because they REALLY give you a lot of food. It’s so fucking beautiful. But nobody likes a cheap ass, so make sure you always tip your beautiful servers.
  2. Salad bars from grocery stores are another weakness. There’s so many vegetables, cool pastas and weird yummy shit that is too hard and expensive to make at home alone. But sometimes the salad bar can get expensive. If you ditch the salad dressing, I’ve found you can save like almost 2 bucks because that shit is heavy. Also try to avoid other weirdly heavy shit like cottage cheese.
  3. Find a friend who is the same size as you. Wardrobe=DOUBLED. But if they have bad style, don’t bother. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat shit.

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    girl lemme borrow that top

  4. Cancel your gym membership and do yoga videos online. I just canceled my LA Fitness membership that was $40 a month because I fucking hate them. There are plastic surgery videos on the TVs there, contests in the bathrooms to win lipo/botox, and they even sold pizza at the LA Fitness in Midway. The energy around that place is tainted and disgusting. These free podcasts from Yogamazing are awesome and perfect for bedroom yoga. If you have enough self control to actually do them.
  5. Get a couple of friends together and throw a dinner party at home. It is SO much fucking cheaper to feed 6 people at home than out at a restaurant. Plus you can buy some ritzy shit for the price of some not-so-ritzy shit at a restaurant. Just make sure you look up a good recipe or have a friend who actually likes to cook before you ruin the foie gras.

Lindsay Lohan’s docuseries is ridiculous

1 Apr
photo from blog.zap2it

photo from blog.zap2it

I don’t know if any of you have been watching “Lindsay” on Oprah’s network (or streaming it illegally online bc wtf cable is stupid expensive) but it is all kinds of subdued hot mess.

The first 3 episodes are pretty boring. They deal with Lindsay getting out of rehab and trying to find an apartment in NYC. She throws a huge tantrum about having to live in a hotel and how stressful her monthlong search for an apartment has been. She even yells at her personal assistant a little! It’s a frustrating show to watch because it’s not that entertaining. But it’s hard to look away from a pretty, famous, rich girl. Why are we so interested in her? is the question running through my head the entire time I’m watching this show. It’s boring, but I can’t stop watching. Probably something about wanting people to succeed coupled with the devil inside of me waiting for her to snort lines of blow off an old Parent Trap DVD. We’re only 4 episodes in, so here’s hoping (j/k kind of)! This is what has happened so far in episodes 1-4.

Apartment hunting sucks for everyone

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Linday’s new NYC apartment.

I don’t know what it’s like to be fresh out of rehab, so I can’t judge her fully for her apartment searching meltdown. Her life coach keeps saying that stability and routine is key after rehab in order to foster a good environment in the real world for recovering addicts. Got it (baby girl should NOT have signed on for a documentary right out of rehab then, but that’s another story).

On the other hand, post-rehab stresses aside, apartment searching/house hunting is like one of the most stressful thing ANY person has to go through, regardless of socio-economic status and level of confusing fame. Watching Lindsay complain that she has to spend ANOTHER couple of days in a high end hotel room is not really something a person who lives with 2 roommates and has a specific job just to pay rent can relate to. That sounds like a fucking vacation.

Is this Absolutely Fabulous?

The parts in this show that are clearly norms in the upper class elite are hilarious for us fabulously poor fucks. Her private stripper pole workout class in episode 4 is hilarious. “It’s actually a really good workout,” she says. Her “Celebrity Health and Wellness Coach” is also fucking ridiculous. You could follow a few Pinterest boards for free that give you the same amount of sage advice as this lady.

Who the fuck is paying for her lifestyle?

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Lindsay yelling at her main personal assistant. Also, SHE DRINKS REGULAR POP??!?!

The big drama in episode 2 was Lindsay needing an advance on her docuseries check so she could get an apartment. She’s going shopping because she’s bored. SHE’S DRINKING SAN PELLEGRINO DURING THE WEEK FOR CHRISSAKE. At one point she even had two personal assistants. For what, you ask? To help her unpack and organize her apartment. It makes me feel really sad that she doesn’t even have a small group of good close friends that will help her move, but maybe rich people don’t know that helping someone move is what friends do.

But really, who is paying for this lifestyle? I know Oprah is reportedly paying her $2 million for this series. That seems like a LOT of money to a normal person, but she’ll probably blow through that in no time. Then what? She can’t show up on time anywhere, nobody will hire her (this is actually the trailer for episode 5) and she obviously hasn’t been able to keep her shit together all the other times after rehab. So why does Hollywood still keep “saving” her financially? Who decided that she HAS to have this lifestyle? What’s wrong with a really small apartment and a reasonable job for Lindsay Lohan? Sometimes I think it’s a blessing to have to work hard in life for the things you want, because watching people give her things and watching her become more unhappy in the process looks like a nightmare. There’s a lot of merit in earning shit yourself that I think a lot of famous people lose the privilege of experiencing.

Community service

The best part of the series so far is when Lindsay goes to her community service gig where she’s working with underprivileged little kids because it’s like the only time she laughs and looks actually happy. The kids are climbing on her, drawing and she’s helping them glue shit together. She looks normal and like she’s having fun being out with the masses. It can’t be good for a human being to lock themselves up anywhere. It must be hard because she’s trying to be sober, but shit. I have a lot of friends who aren’t heavy drinkers and who don’t take a lot of drugs who are cool. Those people exist. Just hang around a Whole Foods for like, 20 minutes. Weed through the dreadlocks and find a cool person.

We are now halfway through the series since it is an 8 week special. GOOD LUCK LINDZ. I hope you find a real job and can show up on time and don’t relapse. But there are still 4 episodes left so WHO KNOWS.

liloterry7

In defense of Ted Mosby

31 Mar

RADNOR

I get it. You hate Ted Mosby. His obsession with finding “the one” and confessing his love within 5 minutes of meeting any pretty girl who doesn’t have the personality of a bag of rocks is a little infuriating. His romantic style is definitely annoying to the point where many people couldn’t watch the show because they hated him so much. I used to be one of those people. But now I’m not. Right before the series finale, I must admit: I kinda like Ted Mosby. Stay with me.

  1. It is so fucking easy to be cynical. Suspiciously too easy. Ted may have had his moments of hopelessness when it came to finding love, but he never actually gave up. As stupid as it sounds, we need people like that who keep reminding us that magic could exist, if only we could just stop being pessimistic, horrible cool kids.
  2. He tried everything. I just went through the series for the first time this year after years of “ew, no.”  After a couple of seasons, a pattern of spontaneity emerged in Ted. Sure, it’s insane that he jumps the gun on any possible romantic moment that could ever be squeezed out of a crusty turd, but god dammit, the kid’s got spunk. If you ever needed someone to do something insane with, he’d probably be there with you.
  3. He’s probably a freak in bed. I said that to a friend the other day and they were begging me to stop the imagery. Whatever. Ted has slept with so many people, he’s had to have picked up some good moves. Or a couple of STIs because he slept around a LOT. Either way, All Adventurous Women Do. You do you, Ted.
  4. He’s a really good friend. He would do anything for any of his friends. Like, probably hide a dead body or not tell the police that you set your ex’s mailbox on fire. That’s respectable.
  5. He has a job. He’s probably got a savings account you could steal from when you tell him you love him and he proposes a joint checking after like a week.
  6. He’s not totally disgusting. Inside OR out, he’s a pretty alright dude if you can get past the incessant soulmate searching. But really, maybe people hate him so much because we’ve all got a little Ted Mosby living inside of us, wishing that a soulmate existed and that we would find them someday, and it would be the coolest day of our lives.

how-i-met-your-mother-group-bar-main

I haven’t watched any of season 9 of How I Met Your Mother, because binge watching is so much more fun than week to week. But for those of you who are watching the final episode live tonight on TV, I hope the episode is everything you dreamed a series ending and an insanely long love saga would be.

What the fuck is Lady Gaga doing?

17 Mar

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Oh Gaga. I don’t know if it’s just me or if it’s a growing trend by former Little Monsters, but I have been fully uninspired by everything she’s put out related to ARTPOP. Let’s examine why the fuck she’s falling out of weird pop star grace, starting with her latest album release.

ARTPOP is a disaster

There are a handful of great songs on the album like “Aura”, “G.U.Y.”, “Venus” and “Applause”. But there are some REAL terrible things on this album, like “Jewels and Drugs” and “MANiCURE”, which both haunt the shit out of me. Sometimes I’ll just wake up with a riff from “MANiCURE” in my head and I am instantly annoyed. That song is a goddamn leper in her catalog, but she apparently loves it because she just put a part of it in her “short film” of a music video for “G.U.Y.” UGH.

The G.U.Y. ARTPOP Film

__________

I can’t even deal with this. It was boring! The most frustrating part is that I don’t even know why exactly. Maybe it’s because half the themes are very apparent (fallen angel, industry folks who luv money) and half the themes are WTF but not in a fun way (housewives, Andy Cohen). The fact that she is calling this a film is absurd. I hate to be the kind of fan or person that’s like “why can’t you just release a music video?” but for real girl. Has she never considered that doing something insanely simple would actually be shocking for her brand instead of constantly releasing awkward try-hard grandiosity?

Beyonce’s surprise album and music videos are what Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP should have been if she was actually on the cutting edge of the commercial music scene. ARTPOP was supposed to be a next level game-changer in pop music because that’s what she told us it was going to be. ARTPOP then had a lackluster release, AND on top of that, Beyonce released one of the most exciting pop events of all time a month after AP was supposed to blow our minds. Yikes. Ouch. One more example of LG talking herself up and not being able to deliver. And then this ARTPOP “film” release? Girl, if you’re gonna release something and call it a film, plz make sure it’s actually a film and not just a bunch of pretty ideas that you puked onto a dream board and call cinema.

More than ANYTHING, it just really pisses me off watching rich musicians bitch about the music industry. POOR YOU WITH ALL YOUR MONEY AND NOTORIETY AND FAME. I’m an independent artist and it’s a struggle, but it’s even more infuriating watching big time stars complain about all the people who work for them. I don’t fucking care one bit about the specific woes of famous rich people because life and art are hard for everyone, but not everyone has the world stage and power that they do. While every other artist and person mostly has to worry about paying rent or putting food on the table, Lady Gaga is complaining to the world that her record label wanted her to put out better music and how dare they question her genius. EYE. ROLL.

Lady Gaga’s music isn’t that great

tumblr_static_artpop_promo_003Her visuals are always fantastic, but she straight up doesn’t make interesting music. I’m not saying it’s bad because I really like some of her shit. It is standard in the culture of pop music albums to have a few songs that are killer as fuck, and then the rest of the album is full of B-sides. But the fact that she talks herself up so much, talked ARTPOP up to be this fucking grandiose marriage of ART + POP only sets herself up for more criticism because she can never deliver.

Every time I feel let down by what Lady Gaga claims to be and what she actually is, I think to myself (and out loud nearly every Saturday morning to my roommate) what is she such a great artist at? Really? Sure, she dresses in weird outfits and is a really, really great live performer. But if you just take the recorded albums which she claims is her main raison d’être, they are fucking infuriating. Here’s why:

  • Gaga’s music isn’t that weird or interesting. If you’re gonna sit there in a fucking teflon-inspired mock duck hammock skirt and tell us for like 5 years that you’re the weirdest and best bitch on the block, then fucking deliver. “MANiCURE” is one of the worst songs I’ve heard in my entire life. The second half of The Fame is terrible. Her country-inspired songs, her weird foray into show tune-esque songs like “Hair” and her embarrassing attempts to mix rock and EDM like “Electric Chapel” on Born This Way are all amazing examples of the grandiose mediocrity I’ve begun to associate with her.
  • All of Gaga’s albums have a few good pop songs, but so does every other pop album that has ever been released throughout the history of manIt’s no secret that huge pop genre releases have historically spent most of their money on the couple of big hit singles, leaving the rest of the album to sound like the producer had only 20 minutes in between jerking off and eating a boring sandwich to compose a track (for reference, any of Britney’s first few albums, Backstreet Boys, Xtina, Shakira, Rihanna, One Direction, etc). Gaga’s “other” songs aren’t that bad, but they’re not as great as she would have us believe.
  • Quotes like this about her latest album: “To make ARTPOP there must be an exchange between two auras: one from the sphere of ART, and the other from the sphere of POP.” Bitch what are you even talking about. This isn’t even a question of her being on another intellectual level and the masses having a hard time understanding. This shit just doesn’t make sense. Like, thanks for the definition of a compound word. America really needed that explanation.

Her obsession with the fashion and performance art world

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You know what, it’s great that she likes fashion and performance art so much, honestly. But when she spends so much time in those worlds, she neglects her “first passion”–music. It’s like, that’s nice honey. You go scream in a forest. You do you. And then come back and be our Mother Monster plz.

It’s really neat that she’s modeling in a campaign for Versace, and that she hung out with Marina Abromivic and learned some performance art shit. But what she doesn’t realize is that all of that other malarky is negatively affecting her music career because she’s not spending the time on it that she used to (The Fame Monster was brilliant. Where that brilliance at?). And also, don’t continually ask or expect your music fans to be super engaged with all of your mediums. Please please please express yourself in any way you see fit, but pop music fans are pretty much just lookin’ for some feel good dance hits to get drunk to from people who describe themselves as pop stars. I’m not saying that no pop star can change the game, but there have to be less seemingly desperate ways to do so.

Katy Perry vs. Lady Gaga

from fanpop.com

from fanpop.com

It was a really sad day when I finally had to admit to myself that Katy Perry is a far superior pop star to Lady Gaga. LG was quoted at SXSW saying that:

“I don’t know what the f–k-all I have to do with Katy Perry. Our music is so completely different. I couldn’t be more different, really. I really don’t fit in pop music in a way, but I came through it and I’d like to think I changed it in some way so you can feel like you don’t have to fit into a mold.”

Lady Gaga’s music is different from Katy Perry’s in that on the whole, KP makes really solid pop music and Lady Gaga makes slightly less good pop music. I don’t even want to like Katy Perry, but shit, you can’t knock her pop songs because she works with solid producers and songwriters. Lady Gaga may be way more involved in the production and songwriting process, which is definitely respectable, but does she really make better pop music because of it? LG comes off as a bratty shit head most of the time who complains that people don’t get her art or that she alone is held to ridiculous standards in the world of pop music.

“I’m sorry I didn’t sell a million records the first week. I have before…..When it comes to me, everyone forgets where the music industry is now. You come see me and it’s like you’re time-warped to the 70s.”

There are so many things annoying about this, but above all it’s the fact that she’s blaming the state of the music industry on her shitty album not selling. Lame. Taylor Swift, Adele, Katy Perry, and alllll of her other contemporaries have fine album sales. And does anyone really still hold artists to album sales standards from the turn of the millennium? I know I don’t. I don’t even care. I just want a good album.

ARTPOP part deux (plz god no!)

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What is EVEN MORE frustrating than everything I’ve posted above is that the ARTPOP era is not over. She’s planning a second act to ARTPOP that might actually be good because lucky for her, expectations are already low.

All in all: yes it may be hard to live up to pop perfection standards in the music industry, but nobody is forcing you, Lady Gaga, huge millionaire and world star, to stay in that industry. Nobody is forcing you to be a shit head in interviews and talk up your art like it’s a direct line to God. Do what you want with your body, girl, but PLZ if you continue to want to be a “pop star”, put out a cohesive album that can live up to the ridiculous standards you’ve put on yourself as being some kind of ethereal high priestess of ART and POP. Us lil monsters just wanna dance to some cool tunes from you, and maybe see some cool outfits and fun videos in the process. But if you can’t handle the simplicity of that, then I don’t know where our future together lies. Breakups are tough, but time heals all.

Agree? Disagree? LEMME KNOW BELOW YO. 

Face it with @MissCooooooool: Is it worth it? Part 1

12 Mar

MissCooooooool

Written by makeup artist @MissCooooooool

I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from people about my first makeup post on 20poorandfabulous and I want to extend a sincere “THANK YOU” to everyone that read it. Makes me feel warm fuzzies inside.

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There are thousands of products out there ranging from $3 at the drugstore to $75 at Sephora that claim to do the same thing. “Is it worth it?” is a question a lot of people wonder about expensive products. Even seasoned makeup-doers question if the $3 version of the $75 product will perform just as well. As many of the readers of this blog are in their 20s, poor, and trying to stay as fabulous as they can with post-grad-trying-to-pay-back-loans budgets, I’m going to be offering up some solid advice on whether certain products are worth the extra money.

This is going to be a two part blog. The first part will be devoted to makeup and the second part will cover skin care and makeup tools, including a brush-by-brush breakdown. I’ve tried everything on this list and I’ll give you my honest opinion on if you need to drop the $$$ or not.  Sit back, take notes, and enjoy.

MAKEUP.

Foundation

MAC Pro Longwear Foundation $31 at Nordstroms

Revlon ColorStay Foundation $9.98 at Walmart

worthit_pt1-01Verdict: Spend the $$$. There is a reason why it’s called “foundation.” It is the base for your whole makeup look. You’re paying for so much more than just a layer of skin colored goo. You want a product that blends with your skin, matches the coolness/warmness/neutrality of your skin tone, and covers only as much as you need it to cover, not more or less. You’re also paying money to know that once you apply it, it’s not going anywhere. I’m not saying that MAC is going to have your right foundation, but you should be willing to try a few brands to find your right product. Lancome, Urban Decay, Bobbi Brown, and MAC are some of the best foundation brands out there. Don’t worry about “what if I end up hating it?” Stores and counters will color match you, give you samples, and have a generous return policy even if you return it partially used.

Concealer

MAC Select Cover Concealer $18 at Macy’s

L’Oreal True Match Concealer $5.29 at Target

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Verdict: Spend the $$$. Much like foundation, concealer is important. You’re paying for a color that matches your skin tone perfectly, a product that corrects and covers well, and a product that will last all day. You don’t need to use concealer from the same brand as your foundation, but you do need to use a concealer that will cover target areas. Some concealers are better for dark circles, some are better for blemishes. Talk to a makeup artist at Sephora, MAC, or Bobbi Brown about what problem areas you want to conceal.

BB Cream

Urban Decay Naked BB Cream $34 at UrbanDecay.com

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream $12.99 at Ulta

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Verdict: Spend the $$$. As it turns out, I’m allergic to Garnier facial products, but aside from that, Urban Decay is better. In fact, it’s the best. I use BB cream in place of primer because of its added SPF. You want a BB cream that melts into the skin and provides a nice base for your foundation. The Garnier had a chalky finish that sat on my skin and messed with the finish of my foundation. No, thanks. 

Face Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer $36 at Smashbox.com

Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer $10.99 at Target

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Verdict: Save your $. Primer has been a mainstream makeup product for a while now and it’s pretty easy to find a primer that will work for you. You will still need to try a few if you have oily skin, but most people with “normal” skin should be just fine with a basic primer. Just keep an eye out for breakouts for the first week or two and be ready to try something new if you react poorly to a primer. 

Eye Shadow Primer

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion $20 at UrbanDecay.com

NYX High Definition Eye Shadow Base $7 at NYXcosmetics.com

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Verdict: Spend the $$$. Eyeshadow primer is a must and a good primer can turn even the cheapest shadows into workable products. There’s a reason why Urban Decay’s Primer Potion is everywhere: it’s the best out there. They have formulas that absorb oil if you are prone to oily lids. Sadly, I’m allergic to this primer and I’m still on a mission to find a good primer that doesn’t make me look like I got punched in the eye. But, my eyeshadow looked great all day before the allergic reaction! 

Finishing Powder

Urban Decay Naked Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder $34 at UrbanDecay.com

L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Powder $8.99 at Target

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Verdict: Save your $. You want a finishing powder that is light and blendable. With anything powder based, you want to avoid anything chalky, as they are near impossible to blend smoothly. Drugstore powders were once upon a time cheap and chalky, but companies are now making products with better ingredients and they look really nice on the skin.

Blush

Nars Blush in Sin $30 at Sephora

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Romantic $7.95 at CoastalScents.com

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Verdict: Save your $, but be careful. I tried two blushes in as close to the same color as I could get. I absolutely adore Nars “Sin” and I wear it everyday, but the Coastal Scents “dupe” is just as good. It is possible to find duplicate colors of high end blushes for less money that apply just as nicely. Coastal Scents, ELF, and NYX have some great blushes, but keep in mind the color payout varies from shade to shade. As with finishing powder, avoid anything cakey and chalky. 

Bronzer

MAC Bronzing Powder in Refined Matte Bronze $25 at Macy’s

Physicians Formula Magic Mosaic in Light Bronzer $13.99 at Ulta

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Verdict: Spend the $$$. Bronzers are a delicate science. Using the wrong bronzer can make your face look unnaturally tan (read: orange) or even dirty. Yep, bronzer can end up looking like dirt. Most women buy whatever shade of bronzer they find and call it a day, but there are different shades and finishes of bronzer that women should be aware of. I like MAC bronzers because they have shades that will suit every skintone. Keep in mind, some bronzers are better for all over bronzing and some are better for countouring. Ask a pro for color matching.

 Eye Shadow

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette $52 at Sephora

Coastal Scents 88 Original Palette $19.95 at CoastalScents.com

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Verdict: Spend the $$$ but you can save your $, too I guess. Buckle up for this one, because I’ve got opinions. I thought about how to compare inexpensive shadows to expensive shadows for a long time. Comparing palettes is probably the best way to show how cheap shadows are almost worth buying, but not quite. Eye shadows are easy to produce. It’s easy to make them look beautiful and colorful in the package, but it’s all about what they do on your eyelids that matters. Companies like Coastal Scents that produce giant palettes are wonderful and terrible at the same time. They have palettes that boast 88 colors for $19.95, which sounds like a great deal compared to spending $52 for 12 colors from Urban Decay. But of those 88 colors, you might get some/mostly chalky shadows, and maybe 20 will have true color payout and then you only get a dime sized amount of them. What is color payout? Color payout means the color in the pan is the color that you get when you apply it. A good primer can make those shadows workable, but you’ll end up needing to layer a lot of the product to get the look you want and that means you’ll go through it faster. With palettes like the UD Naked brand, you are guaranteed full color payout from every single color without needing to layer and you get a generous amount of each shadow. I guess what I’m saying is yeah, you can make a cheap eye shadow look good, but you’re gonna work for it. You might be better off spending a little more money to get a better over all value.

Eye Liner – Liquid/Gel

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Black $20 at Sephora

Rimmel Glam Eyes Precise Design Liquid Eyeliner in Black $5.79 at Walgreens

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Verdict: Save your $, unless you want a wide variety of colors. I love a sleek winged liner. It’s mod, glam, rock n roll, sexy, demure, and sophisticated all at the same time. Rimmel’s liner was actually really great. The brush made precise lines and it lasted all day and night. ELF has a great gel liner if you don’t like using liquid. Look for a liner that will give you a precision brush or felt tip and will give you a true black color. The only downside to drugstore liquid liners is if you’re looking for other colors, especially bright colors, you won’t find much other than black, brown, and navy. Stila has them all beat with delicious colors like cobalt, periwinkle, purple, emerald, fuchsia, grey, white, and brown.

Eye Liner – Pencil

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion $20 at UrbanDecay.com

CoverGirl Queen Collection Vivid Impact Eyeliner Pencil in Midnight $8.99 at Walgreens

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Verdict: Save your $ for a simple black or brown liner, unless you want funky colors. If you just need a simple black or dark brown liner, go with CoverGirl on this one. I was super impressed with how pigmented it was and how long it lasted. I’ve been into bright liner lately, and Urban Decay can’t be beat with their 40 color options. When they say 24/7, they mean it!

Mascara

Dior “Diorshow” Mascara in Black $25 at Nordstrom

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Black $5.89 at Target

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Verdict: Save your $. I was very unimpressed by the Diorshow mascara, so much so that I returned it. For almost five times the price of my usual mascara, it was pretty disappointing, which is surprising because most women rave about Diorshow. I go through so much mascara that spending anything above $10 is stupid. It’s a product that you should be replacing every 2 months. There are some great drugstore mascaras out there. Maybelline Great Lash and Falsies are ones that you should check out, too.

Lipstick

MAC Lipstick in Japanese Maple $16 at Macy’s

Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Soft Nude $6.99 at Target

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Verdict: Oh man, I can’t decide. Spend the $$$ and save your $…? It depends on what color you have in mind. The Revlon Colorburst line has been discontinued which made me so angry. Their Soft Nude color was the perfect nude and the only true nude color for fair skin that I’ve seen at drugstores. Why is it so hard to get a nude color that isn’t a mid-toned brown at the drugstore? I actually took the Revlon Soft Nude to MAC before I ran out to get a duplicate, which led me to Japanese Maple. If you have a specific color in mind, head to the makeup counter where you can try on a bunch of colors before you buy (and have the makeup artists disinfect the lipstick before you apply it.) You’re taking a chance when you buy a drugstore lip color but that doesn’t mean they’re not good colors.

Next up: I’ll be comparing drugstore to high end skin care products and makeup-ing tools. I’ll be going through makeup brushes, from powder brushes to eyeliner brushes. Thanks for reading, you beautiful faces, you!

Tweet me @MissCooooooool (that’s 8 Os) with any makeup questions!

7 Questions in Heaven with Illab

5 Mar

7 Questions Illab

I first met Illab (government name Jake Stone)  in 2007. I was living with four other people in a complete shithole apartment in the Marcy Park neighborhood during my sophomore year of college. We threw parties three nights a week and let people ash their cigarettes wherever because it didn’t matter/fuck the man/19 year olds are disgusting excuses for human beings. Anyways, two of the people I shared rent with were high school friends of Illab’s. Many a cold winter night we found ourselves drunk off of Karkov and kitchen dancing to the musical stylings of Britney Spears’ “Blackout”. It was fuckin’ magical.

I still remember standing in the kitchen and talking to Illab about what I think was his first ever EP The Ramen Cookbook. My first thought was “that title makes me hungry, what’s 4 dinner” and my second thought was “that’s really cool he makes music”. Years later, Illab has still been stomping ground at rap battles and on his own releases Spare Change and It’s All Been Said Beforethe latter of which was produced by Dimitry Killstorm, who’s album Whittier Alliance with Hapduzn was a huge hit in 2013. Illab’s latest album, Good Life, Life’s Good, Worth Living is coming out this year, so I decided I better ask him some fun questions before he gets so famous that Kanye offers to watch his cute ass dog while he’s on a world tour.

1. How long have you been spittin’ mad game and sonically blowin’ up minds?

First of all the way you word these questions amazing. I started rapping when I was 15. It started with just dumb freestyles, and evolved into recording. I actually still record with the first person I ever worked with, my friend Tim Rodine. We recorded on a five dollar mic, and a program my friend stole from a juvenile work house. Over the years we’ve built quite the studio. I also came up in the wake of 8 Mile.  My friends still text me to this day when they are watching it. For the record I think Eminem lost to Lotto in the 2nd round.  At that time everywhere I would go people wanted to battle. I just happened to be better at it than most of them.
Without getting too off topic I feel I had a very “traditional” introduction to hip hop.  Nowadays I feel it’s straight to making videos, and recording which is also making the younger generation more talented, they have access to a lot more outlets.  These kids coming out are  so damn polished. This will make me feel old but back then it was more [about] who could freestyle, and we would shut whole house parties up while battling.
Long story short, [it's been] a little over ten years. I’ve only been decent for the past 3 years. Kind of got sidetracked.

2. If a rainforest animal could describe the spirit of your music, which animal would it be and why?

I think 90 percent of rappers would be like “I’m a tiger yo,” then do one of those cute lil rapper noises that makes them appear tough. I’m going to have to go with a Howler Monkey.  They are known for their deep calls that they do. I’ve been told that my voice is my strongest attribute musically. I would agree with that. Some people will say I’m dope, some will say average,  some may even say I’m weak. One thing thats for sure is you can definitely tell it’s me on a song by my voice. My spirit animal is a Howler monkey. Repping it.

ILLAB OF THA JUNGLE

3. You have a new album coming out. Take us on a short stroll through the album.

I do have a album coming out. Fun fact: I actually finished this album a year and a half ago. Then I moved my friend out to LA. We had lunch on the Santa Monica pier where I saw Lenny Hoops, a street corner performer who seemed to be scaring the tourists. But damn, dude was putting his soul into it.  No audience, just belting original songs about random topics. Here I was acting bitter about music; it wasn’t fun anymore. I made the decision to scrap my whole album at that moment. Music needs to be something I enjoy otherwise I have no business rapping.  Started over [and] Good Life, Life’s Good, Worth Living came from that. In my opinion it’s my best work by far. It’s a taste of projects to come. I got a lot of my friends on the album so that makes me happy.

4. If  you were struck by lightning, what song would you want playing during the ambulance ride?

MGMT-Electric Feel.

First off when something bad happens I try to make light of it. I wanted to keep it modern, otherwise it would be that one song where they chant “it’s electric”. I dig this song alot though. Good vibes, flashing lights, drugs, and surrounded by strangers.  Sounds like plenty of parties I’ve been to.

5. Your dog is so fucking cute. Do you have any plans to sample his bark? If not, can we collab on a song where we sample dog barks and become the coolest people alive?

Can I start this out by saying my dog is the shit. I love that dude, my whole day is planned around making sure he is good. Up until our recent twitter conversation I had no plans to sample his bark. I definitely want to be one of the coolest people on earth. If sampling his bark and doing a song with you will make that happen, let’s run game.  We could even ask Existing Trend to get in the mix with his dogs as well. The sky’s the limit really.

dog

6. We met because you used to party at my house in 2007 when all I played was Britney’s “Blackout” album. Who is your favorite female pop star and why?

And for the rest of my life I will always associate Britney and iPod boomboxes with you. I’d give anything to live one of those weekends again. So much fun. Right now I’m really digging Lana Del Rey. That’s probably the cool thing to say, but I love her voice and her slight hint of sarcasm in the songs she writes. If I have to pick from the elite female pop singers it would be Beyonce or Rihanna. They are both amazing performers. It says something about a artist when you can feel their energy through a tv screen. Locally my favorite pop group is yours, DENNIS. Over the years I feel like I’ve watched you find your identity when it comes to music, and it will be fun to watch where it takes you. (editor’s note: thank u and BRB blushing 4 ever)

7. Who is your greatest non-musical inspiration to your art and why?

I can’t pick one so all of my friends and family. By far. I consider myself very fortunate to be surrounded by these people in my life. My siblings all have beautiful familes, I have a wide variety of friends that come from all walks of life. I’ve watched people battle cancer, poverty, troubled childhoods, and still smile. They are a bunch of goddamn soldiers to be honest. Most of these people have no clue how amazing they are. 90 percent of what I write is inspired by them in some way, shape or form. I strive to mirror the company that I keep when speaking about being a good human.

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