Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

Review: Mirror Shine & Girls Dig Pearls

Hey everyone!  Sorry about yesterday!  There will be no Hump Day post this week.

I finished my finals yesterday, and I got all my new computer parts in… and it took a good full DAY to get it working.  For awhile we were thinking that we were going to have to RMA the motherboard ( a lengthy process), but a friend came over and helped fix it so it’s all working now. 🙂 I’m going to do a fresh install here in a few, but I thought I’d get this review done first to make up for my silence.

So as I said in a previous post,  I was at Nordstrom Rack the other day.  And while I didn’t find much interesting regarding clothes, I found a discounted makeup section!  With stuff from Too Faced!  And some other companies like Smashbox.  I’ll probably check it out in the future, it’s right on my way home from school.

I won’t be able to comment on customer service, as I picked it up at a retailer.

Anyways, this is what I got:

Mirror Shine Lipgloss: I Love Myself

Girls Dig Pearls: Tropical Pink

Girls Dig Pearls: Tropical Pink

The Claim: “Heaven knows that no lady worth her country club membership would be caught dead without her trusty strand of pearls! Now you too can be perfectly pretty and glossy to boot with Girls Dig Pearls a lustrous lip gloss created using real crushed sea pearls, and peppermint extract to soothe, soften, and freshen your lovely lips.”

The Ingredients: Polyisobutene,Vegetable Oil (Olus), Polybutene, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Ozokerite, Benzophenone-3, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Myristyl Lactate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Trihydroxystearin, Silica, Pearl Powder, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/Cera Carnauba, Saccharin, Myristyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol. (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140)

The Price:  $16.20.  Although, I got it at Nordstrom Rack on sale for like 6 bucks.  I probably normally wouldn’t buy it for 16 bucks.  But I’m cheap, LOL.

Packaging: 5/5

No complaints here.  It does its job, and that’s all I require!  I think I like it better than the design for the other lip gloss, as it is made of hard plastic (almost looks like glass).  It has a pretty standard doefoot applicator.  Too Faced has always had pretty cute packaging, and this is no exception.

Formula: 5/5

Flash.

Daylight! Some of the sparkles almost look golden in the sunlight.

I love it!  It’s super sparkly!  It has a sheer pink tint with oodles of pink sparkles that actually glint a little golden in the light depending on the angle.  Very gorgeous.  I personally like to layer it atop another lip gloss or lipstick, as it adds an extra oomph. But it holds up for sure on it’s own.  (I wonder what it would look like on this?)  I actually enjoyed layering this one on the Mirror Shine gloss.   I don’t really have any complaints.  It isn’t sticky, it feels, nice, and has a fair amount of sparkle.

Even though the list is super long, I don’t really see anything bad in it as far as I can spy.  The only thing that differs from the ‘claim’ in my opinion is that even though I DO see peppermint oil in the ingredients list, I don’t think there was enough in the formulation to really get that ‘peppermint tingle’.

Mirror Shine Lip Gloss: I Love Myself

 The Claim: “Its YOU darling when your lips are slicked and shined with Too Faceds mirror finish lip gloss. Drenched with super shine and loaded with natural Goji Berry extract one of the most powerful antioxidants found in nature! So protect and nourish your lips with the glassiest gloss this side of the Magic Mirror.”

The Ingredients: Polybutene, Diisostearyl Malate, Octyldodecanol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Silica Silylate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Isopropylparaben, Limonene, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Flavor (Aroma), Benzyl Benzoate, BHT, Sodium Saccharin. (+/-): Red 7 Lake (CI 15850:1), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200)

The Price: $14.40.  Once again, I picked it up for like 5 or 6 dollars.  I don’t remember.  This one is a little more reasonably priced.

Packaging: 5/5

Once again, no complaints.  This one isn’t made of hard plastic, but it is still sturdy.  I actually like the applicator a bit better on this one, it’s a bit easier to spread out on your lips evenly.

Formula: 3.8/5

Flash.

Daylight.

This lip gloss is a very, very sheer light red/pink.  It would look great on it’s own for a very natural look, or you can layer it over another lip gloss or lipstick for a glossy finish  As far as the actual FEEL and LOOK of the product, I would give this a 5/5.  As you can see by the swatch above, it’s quite shiny and lives up to it’s claim.  It’s not sticky or gross, and hold up fairly well.   Both of these lip glosses last a few hours before I re-app them.  Unfortunately, I do have one major complaint.  THE SMELL.  It’s a scented lip gloss, and Chantel helped me deduce that it is probably dragon fruit.  Now, this smell may appeal to some people… but I don’t really care for it.  It goes away in about 5-10 minutes, but I literally despise the smell so much that I don’t really like applying it.  Blech.

Also, the ingredients list… so many parabens.  I honestly don’t know too much about parabens so I can’t really comment too much on this (NOT A DOCTOR), but I heard they mimic the hormone estrogen and it can lead to breast cancers and stuff.  But I don’t know if this is proven.  It also has BHT, and I read some stuff about BHT here.  And honestly, from what I’ve read, it all still seems to be up in the air scientifically, but I’d rather just not take my chances.

Final Thoughts

Mirror Shine + Girls Dig Pearls

Overall, I’m happy with my purchase.  They look nice.  I do think it is a little pricey for what you get, however.  If I ran out and found it on sale at Nordstrom Rack again, I would probably re-buy Girls Dig Pearls.  I don’t think I would re-buy the Mirror Shine lip gloss because of the smell.  However, I would try a different color of the same brand to see if the smell thing is bad in all of them (if it was on sale).

I probably wouldn’t buy either at full price.  MAYBE Girls Dig Pearls, as I didn’t have any complaints with this one.  I think it would have to be a SRSLY or HG product for me to re-buy a lip gloss that is more than 15 dollars.

Have you tried these lip glosses?  What do you think?

I have a lot of reviews/posts that I want to do, and I’m not sure where to start.  This is what I have planned, what would you be most interested in seeing? (top 3)

  • Too Faced: Amazing Face Liquid Foundation – Review
  • Too Faced: Primed and Poreless Face Primer – Review
  • Too Faced: Lip Insurance – Review
  • Sinful Colors Nail Polish – Review
  • GLIST! (Top 25 Glee songs)
  • 3DS with Ocarina of Time – Review
  • Adele (21) – Review
  • Yes! to Cucumbers Face Wipes – Review

Game of Thrones also has two episodes left, and the week after it is done, Trueblood starts.  I plan on doing synopsis’ of it like GoT, just wanted to make sure people are interested.  I’ve read all the books, and I am halfway through re-reading the 4th book in preparation for the 4th season (to do a compare/contrast).

I am also getting my domain very soon, as I got paid recently.  Which means I will be moving everything to a hosted wordpress.org site so I can finally put up my google friend connect and FB gadgets and what not.

Like me on FB for updates, or you can email subscribe.

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Game of Thrones – Episode 1: “Winter is Coming” – Review!

NOTE: This review and those that may coincide after are from the point of view of someone who has never read the books.  I planned on doing it, never got around to it.  I’ll probably read the first book after the first season is over, because I actually enjoy not knowing what is going to happen for once.  Also, spoiler alert.

Episode 1: “Winter is Coming”

Sean Bean is reason enough to watch this show.

Let’s just say, it did not disappoint.  I’ve always been on the fence about Game of Thrones and ambivalent about watching the series, but I’m really glad I forced myself to sit down and actually give it a shot.  Mainly, because I adore Sean Bean (even though every time he came on screen all I could think was “BOROMIR!”).  After Legend of the Seeker got cancelled I’ve been seriously craving a really good fantasy series.  Yes, I realize LotS is an incredibly different type of fantasy (more light-hearted, cheesy fun).

Anyways, this will definitely fill the hole until The Hobbit comes out.  Which I am also ridiculously excited for.  (The music gives me warm fuzzies.)

BACK ON TRACK.  Game of Thrones is HBO’s new series based on the bestselling and adored book series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R.R. Martin.  The opening scene was great, I wasn’t expecting to be completely creeped out by the end of the first scene.  But, dammit.  I was.  (I personally love dark subject matter, I really don’t know why at this point I haven’t read the books yet.  Shame on me.)

Isn't sheee looooveeelllyyyy!

The show opens up with a small group from the Night Watch riding out beyond ‘the Wall’  hunting tribes of wildings.  I’m not quite sure what those are.  Regardless, one of them runs across a bunch of body parts spread out on the ground (children and all) complete with the above girl hanging from a tree.  When the rest of the group gets there they refuse to believe the poor sap (of course) as the bodies have disappeared by the time they finally get around to looking for them.  They then decide the best course of action is, of course… to split up and look for the missing parts.  Because, you know, the best thing to do when you are looking for some unknown horror that you can’t see is to split up.

Hi.

Anyways, jackass gets his deserved end, and after a scene change (and some pretty cool credits) we learn the first dude survives, although he is now a deserter.  We get an adorable scene with Bran and Arya (who I adore already), and then Sean Bean learns that the deserter has survived.  Beheading time!  At least Ned doesn’t seem to enjoy it.  My opinion of him so far is that while he can be a little cold and detached, he does seem to follow an honor code of some sort (one of the few that do in this show).  HOWEVER, perhaps when the only survivor from a group of Night Watch that went beyond the wall tells you that are some undead creepy women/things walking around and killing people, maybe you should listen to him before you chop his head off.

What's that? White Walkers? LOL NO, DIE CRAZY.

On the way back they run across some dire wolf pups and Jon Snow barely convinces Ned to spare them.  Thus, each child takes one, including Jon, who finds a small albino pup, the runt of the litter. I imagine there is something significant about these pups.  Scene change, and we then get introduced to the twins Cersei and Jaime Lannister who are (obviously) not up to something good, some old dude dies, Catelyn tells Ned that aforementioned old dude is dead, and that the King and Queen are coming.  You know what that means! Time for a slightly homoerotic shaving scene.

Oh, hey there. Rawr.

Bran scales some more rock (of which his mother does not approve), and Arya runs around with a helmet on (:D) as the Royal Party arrives (of which father does not approve).  Also, creepy prince child is creepy. UGH.  Sansa has eyes for him (as all of her siblings notice), and obviously has no taste.

Ugh.

The King asks Ned to become his right hand so he can keep the Iron Throne.  Oh, and then he tells Ned that he’s going to marry his son and Ned’s daughter to combine families.  Ned doesn’t give an answer but it’s obvious he’s gonna have to say yes.  After this, however, is pretty much my favorite scene of the entire episode.  Peter Dinklage plays Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf brother of the Queen.  Also known as “The Imp” and “Halfman”.  (I love him!  He’s acted in other things such as: Penelope, The Station Agent, Nip/Tuck, etc.)   Tyrion’s pastimes so far seem to be whores, whores, and booze.  Oh, and whores.

Damn, it feels good to be a gangster.

Switching continents, we meet Viserys and his sister Daenerys… the last remaining heirs to the throne that Robert stole.  Viserys is preparing his sister to meet her future betrothed, while creepily groping her.  He tells her to be good, so she doesn’t “awake the dragon”.  I hope that isn’t a euphemism for his penis.  Her betrothed, Khal Drogo, arrives shortly after.  He examines her briefly, and then rides off without a word.  Don’t worry creepy brother, he liked what he saw.

While discussing the future marriage with his Magister friend, Daenerys FINALLY speaks up and tells her dear brother that she doesn’t wish to marry him.  Viserys then explains, “I would let his whole tribe fuck you, all forty thousand men and their horses too, if that’s what it took”, while stroking her face.

Oh… okay.

Daenerys and Khal Drogo then get married, and what Dothraki wedding is complete without sex and murder? Afterwards,  Khal sexes her on a cliff against her will.  Though, from what I’ve seen from the rest of his tribe, he could have been way rougher about it.

During the festivities, Jon Snow has a conversation with his uncle, Benjen Stark (/fans self), where he pleads to join the Night Watch.  Benjen is unsure, but promises to talk about it later.  Cue Tyrion, who actually has an intriguing conversation with Snow.  They have a pretty interesting dynamic, as they both have ‘unwanted child syndrome’.  Tyrion tells Jon, “Never forget what you are.  The rest of the world will not.  Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”   It’s good advice, and I’m interested to see where this will go.

Oh, and once again Ned refuses to believe that the White Walkers could possibly exist.  Sigh.

Money shot.

I just wish Arya had some actual talking lines.

To wrap things up, Catelyn finds out her sister is on the run, and that the last hand for the King was murdered.  This solidifies that Ned must leave as he is the only one left that the King trusts, much to Catelyn’s dismay.

Bran scales some more walls after his father leaves for the Capital, and happens across Jaime and Cersei doing the nasty.  She freaks out and Jaime grabs him before he can get away.  He asks Bran’s age (10), and he appears to ponder something before… well.  Yeah.

"The things I do for love." - Jaime

The locations and effects and sets are fantastic.  There is gorgeous scenery around every corner, seriously.  Probably because they shot the thing primarily in Ireland and Scotland.  Regardless, I enjoyed it.  There wasn’t a casting choice that I had a problem with (have I mentioned Sean Bean yet?) but I can’t really comment too much on this because I haven’t read the books.  The characters are great.  To me, nothing is better than villains that I love to hate.  Game of Thrones had no shortage of these, for sure.

Do we hate these assholes yet?

The acting is superb, and the storyline is definitely interesting.  However, I do believe the show kind of targets itself to those who have read the book.  Meaning, some people just won’t understand certain things unless they watch it again or look something up.  I didn’t have too much of a problem.  The only other negative thing I can think of is that it does move a bit fast.  On the other hand, I get it.  It’s fucking long book and they have to cover the entire thing in 10 episodes.  I feel like, however, HBO put so much money into this, they could have easily made this episode a 2 hour premiere, and it would have made a bit more sense, and we could have gotten to know the characters a bit more (and learned more history).

Although the pace was fast, it was all put together very well and I very much enjoyed it… even with the abundance of incest and titties. (But hey, that’s HBO.)

Overall: 4.2/5


Oh, yes.

So, I beat Dragon Age 2 finally.  (A while ago.)  So…

REVIEW TIME!

(Ahoy, there be some spoilers ahead.)

DA 2 differs from Origins story wise in that there is no ‘big evil’ to defeat, like the Archdemon and the Blight.  The story is mainly politically driven and chronicles the rise of your Champion’s rise to power over a 10 year time line (kind of like Fable… but much better).  The game is crammed full of hard decisions to make that impact the storyline directly (as Bioware tends to do), and much like Mass Effect you can import your save file from Origins to make it more of a unique experience  tailored to your choices.

Plot: 4.5/5

I would love to give this a 5/5.  The storyline is intense, hard, left me feeling stunned, betrayed, disgusted, and then there were moments I was laughing my ass off, cheering, etc.  It was well written and engaging.  However, there are a few hiccups that I think are mainly due to the fact there IS no big evil, even though overall I’m glad there wasn’t.  Act 1 was the weakest to me.  Hawke is attempting to raise 50 sovereigns to finance and be apart of the Deep Roads Expedition in order to get his family estate back and out of the slums.  It was basically a bunch of side quests put together to reach the anti-climatic ending to Act 1.  It also kind of reminded me of the 25k you have to get in in Baldur’s Gate 2 in order to go rescue Imoen.  However, the saving grace is that all the side quests were very well written and engaging (much like BG), minus the occasional ‘go beat up x slaver’ ones.  Special shout out to ‘Shepherding Wolves’ which was nothing short of epic, and a great piece of foreshadowing for the Act 2 conflict with the Qunari.

LOL FORESHADOWING

I think the purpose of this was to get you used to doing side quests.  A lot of people (the types who like to complete games ASAP) complained that the game was incredibly short, and well… it IS if you skip the side quests.  However, I think it’s extremely important to DO the side quests or you end up missing huge chunks of the game.  Just because it isn’t a ‘main quest’ doesn’t mean it isn’t important, and I think that is a concept many people didn’t get.  For example, if you don’t do ‘Bait and Switch’ in Act 1, you miss out on the companion Fenris and his phasepunchingawesomeness.

ANGRYFACE

Anyways, as the story is divided into three ‘Acts’ I suppose it makes sense that each should have their own plot line, and now that I’m replaying it I am recognizing a fair bit of foreshadowing that I missed the first time around.  However, I felt that the overall plot should have been hinted at better.  My only other complaint is that there are times in the story where it feels like you are being forced into certain outcomes which is more disconcerting in a game where you can ‘make your own choices’.  Like in ‘Shepherding Wolves’, there was no way to resolve the conflict without fighting the group of Qunari.  Or Orsino randomly jumping off the deep end even if you choose to side with the mages. (Though I chose to side with the Templars. GIVE ME MY CROWN.)  Etc.  Though, I get it.  The plot has to get to the same general place and some things you can’t control in the game… no matter how many times I reload the game before different conversations to try to change it anyways.  It just seemed a bit unrealistic.  Overall, I loved the plot and story-telling.  Almost every choice you make truly impacts Kirkwall in ways you won’t expect, and sometimes won’t realize until years later in the game.

The only other issue I really have with the plot is how shaky the prologue was.  They should have taken a page from Origins and opened it BEFORE the attack on Lothering, and showed some semblance of the normal life the champion had before the Blight struck.  Perhaps I would have cared about Bethany before she bit it in the first 5 minutes.  Then again, with her I’d-rather-watch-paint-dry-than-listen-to-her character, I doubt that.

Characters and Dialogue: 5/5

The characters of DA are probably my favorite part of the game.  You can tell when the writing team takes time with a character, because everyone seems real, with their own motivations, desires, fears, and wants.  The companions you get in DA 2 are probably the most interesting teammates in a Bioware game yet.   My personal favorites are: Fenris (the broody elf), Isabella (snarky, innuendo spouting pirate), Varric (the only dwarf I’ve seen without a beard), and Aveline.  Because “The Long Road” is just plain greatness.  Anders can go die in a fire, along with Sebastian.  Whiny pricks.  What’s more fun than the convos you can have with them is the convos they have with each other.

Isabela: So, how good is Donnic? Is he cocksure?

Aveline: (Sighs) Just… get it out of your system.

Isabela: Did he curl your toes? Pudding your peach? Dampen your Divine?  Kaddis your Kate?  Praise your Maker? Explore your Deep Roads? Gray your Warden? How about “satisfy a demand of your Qun.”

Aveline: Yes, all right? He is an incredibly proficient lover. Happy?

Isabela: Whoa! Thats a little personal.

Your companions aren’t the only interesting characters – most of the NPCs are pretty great as well.  Meredith, Orsino, Thrask, Flemeth, CULLEN!… and not to mention – Bodahn and Sandal make a return.

Enchantment?

One of my other favoritist aspects of the entire game is the Rivalry/Friendship system.  Gone are the days where you have to butter up your companions to get them to like you in order to get combat bonuses – because that was just ridiculous.  The new system is much more realistic, and makes sense.  Basically, how the system works now is you need to get each companion (if you want to keep them) maxed out on either Friendship OR Rivalry.  Once you get them maxed, they are ‘loyal’.  You no longer have to agree with all their views, which is awesome.  In fact, some characters you will actually want to be rivals with because it’s better for them.  When you are rivals you challenge their views, and maybe change them.  When someone’s views are so off that they are harmful to themselves and others (Merrill and the Eluvian, for example), for your companion’s sake it’s in their best interest to be rivals.  They may not be buddies with you, but they will respect it.  The important thing is to not waver back and forth and stay in the middle area.  Dat bad.

Also!  You can romance your companion whether they are rivals or friends, and the romance is actually quite different depending on which you choose.  For example, I chose to do Rivalmance!Fenris.

Which is an incredibly different experience (from what I’ve read), than the Frienshipmance!Fenris.

Since the game is over 10 period timeline, the romances are more meaningful and substantial (for a videogame lulz).  Instead of hooking up in 2 weeks and declaring your love for your companion, it happens over years.  The Fenris romance was pretty expertly written by David Gaider, and is probably my favorite of the bunch.

I’m just glad the god awful romance music from Origins is gone.  Blech.

Combat: 4.8/5

The combat is infinitely improved from DA:O in my opinion.  It’s quicker, smoother, and more visually appealing.  The only thing I think the combat is missing is the lack of isometric view that was prevalent in the Baldur’s Gate series and DA:O.  You can do combos with other party members, plus it feels like EVERY spell is useful.  In Origins, I felt like there was a lot of useless spells that I never used.  I find that I’m using every spell in DA 2, which is a nice change.  I also love the new talent ‘tree’ system.

However, it isn’t for everyone.  Some people complain that it is a bit more action oriented rather than tactics oriented – and I think if you play that at the easier levels, that’s true.   If you play the game on Casual or Normal you can pretty much just mash all the buttons on a single character without switching around to different party members.  However, try playing it on Nightmare mode and you’ll find yourself using a lot more tactics.

Overall, I think this area is kind of subjective.  I love the combat, but I’ve read other reviews where people hate the exact same things that I love.  So.

Visuals: 3.8/5

The graphics are good and a definite step up from Origins.   Make sure you get the HD texture pack, because that makes a huge difference.  (It also helps if your graphics card is capable of Direct X 11.) The character models are vastly improved, but there are exceptions. Flemeth is a hot gmilf in this game compared to last, but Zevran looks god awful.

Dragon Age 2

Dragon Age: Origins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is also a fair amount of glitches during dialogue, and sometimes the expressions just don’t match up with the voice acting which can really detract from the experience.  Some characters would be spot on (Fenris, Flemeth), and others would be completely off (Zevran).  Maybe because different people animate different characters.  Who knows.

The other way the game failed visually (and architecturally), is through the dungeon maps.  They were good the first couple times around, but when you realize that you are doing the same dungeon maps 923928 times, well… that’s just laziness.

Overall: 8.7/10

Favorite part of the game?

I'll have your broody babies. Dem eyes.

Re-playable?

Yes!  There is a countless amount of choices you can make that can dramatically influence: how people perceive you, how the plot progresses, how Hawke responds to others, etc.  Not to mention, you can always import different save files to change the history of your game.

(I do not own nor have I created any images in this review.  Dragon Age belongs to the almighty Bioware.)

Geekery galore!

So, the other day I was browsing Etsy in post-check-excitement, and stumbled across this gem!  It’s called “Vickinator’s Geekery”.  She creates high quality pinback buttons, magnets, graphics, or I’m guessing whatever she feels like doing!  She also does custom orders.  Shipping is quite cheap at 2.00 for the first button, and 30 cents for each button after.

She has a button for pretty much almost everything I love that is geeky.  Here’s some examples:

  • DBZ
  • Final fantasy buttons
  • The Office
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Half-Life
  • LoZ!
  • Team Fortress 2
  • Various memes (WHAT DOES IT MEAAN?!)
  • Anime Emotes
  • … and even science-geek buttons!

Pretty much anything you could think of.

So, I promptly ordered! I got: Half-Life Lambda symbol, “Hey! Listen!”, and “That’s what she said!” for a total of $7.10 which I think is an incredibly decent price for three handmade buttons.  (The buttons range around 1.50 each, with some reaching 2.00.)  Like a dodo, I accidentally put the wrong shipping address in when I ordered, so I quickly messaged her through Etsy and asked her to send it to my new address.  I got a really fast response saying that it wasn’t a problem, and good customer service is always a plus.  They showed up in the mail pretty quickly (don’t know exactly when because I didn’t check my mail for a few days.

I got a cute little business card, and the three buttons which I LOVE.  The buttons look even better in person, my camera kinda sux.  They are very sturdy and high quality.

The “I accept custom orders” made me giddy, I did not realize she did custom orders until I saw this card!  I guess I don’t read carefully enough.  I immediately messaged her about doing a Fenris button for me (see previous post), and she said it was totally doable!  And it would only cost 2.00.  So I’m pretty much in love.

5/5