Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Notd: Starboard bling

 A while ago I ordered a wheel of various sized clear rhinestones and a heap of different coloured nail tape from ebay.

This was my first go at using them. It is a bit easier than Konading, but still fiddly.

Starboard by China Glaze is of my favourite green polishes.These photos were taken after several days of wear - I used a regular top coat over the tape and rhinestone before covering it all with a layer of my usual fast-dry top coat and they stayed very secure. Removal was extremely easy, I used an acetone-based remover and both tape and rhinestone slid right off with hardly any pressure/time. I would actually rate the removal of both as being easier than glitter polish.

Sadly I have to trim my nails now as I had a break on my right hand yesterday :( I can't wait to play with more tape though, there's holo patterned ones!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Review: Misfits (TV show)

Well, this is new territory for me, reviewing TV shows! I'm going to give it a go anyway, but if anybody has any suggestions please pass them along :)

The premise of Misfits sounds at best, absurd and at worst, boring. Five teenagers (really, young adults) doing community service find themselves suddenly super-powered as the result of a freak storm. The show itself has been described as a cross between Skins and Heroes. I've not watched Skins and gave up on Heroes after a season and a half so that description wasn't exactly helpful to me. I don't even remember what made me pick up season 1, but I'm glad I did.

Borrowed from
Firstly, the powers that they develop are an almost-perfect extension of their personalities. I think it's really cleverly done. They don't go running off to start fighting - or committing - crimes either; they're really just trying to make sense of their current circumstances and deal with the various obstacles thrown their way. The action takes place in a fairly grimy, small English down and this is reflected in the sets, costumes and even the lighting. It is quite consistently dark, dim and washed-out, not a lot of bright colours around. I've heard the show described as "gritty" and I think that's a perfect descriptor.

The acting is incredible - the way the characters react to each other and their crazy circumstances is wonderful. They all have such distinct and different personalities, the ways in which they clash is so great to watch, especially Simon and Nathan, played by Iwan Rheon and Robert Sheehan respectively. If I had to pick my favourite character, it's a definite tie between these two.

Found on tumblr, can't remember where, sorry!
To me, the most enjoyable part of the show is the way that they weave humour through the dark, mysterious morally questionable/questioning narrative of the show. It's not all in dialogue, a lot of it is down to pacing, and body language and facial expressions. And they're such real moments, I often found myself laughing out loud with sheer delight and wanting to applaud. There are a lot of instances of crude humour, and some very graphic scenes that would have bothered me a few years ago, so I'd label Misfits as being aimed at an adult/young adult demographic. Not too mature though, because the characters certainly aren't, in the most delightful way. Not that they stay stagnant at all, from season 1 to season 3 there is definite character development. They grow and respond to the dilemmas they find themselves in, which is really great to watch.

*MINOR SPOILER - also, if you've seen the show, please NO spoilers in the comments!*

Misfits has been renewed for a 4th season, but I won't be watching it. Season 3 saw a new character, Rudy, come in to fill the gap left by Robert Sheehan's character Nathan. Now, the group dynamics changed, but the way that the other characters had grown made it work and it was still all the right levels of weird/moving/funny. But the 4th season is going on without two more characters and I just don't feel interested in watching any more. I am really surprised at the decision to radically change such a young, successful show. I wish them the best but I can't see myself watching with only 2/5 of the original cast there. What can I say, I'm a traditionalist!


I rate Misfits four out of five orange jumpsuits and recommend that you definitely watch the first three episodes of season 1 before you make your decision about the show. I ended up buying season 2 as soon as I'd finished 1, and season 3 as soon as I'd finished 2, which tells you a lot about the show and possibly too much about my life. *cough*

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Orly swatches, part 1

Seen here in my Orly haul post, now some swatches!

Scarlet is a bold red with gold shimmer in the bottle.

On the nail it becomes a stunning, metallic red, unfortunately with no gold shimmer. It's still an incredibly beautiful polish, though. This is two coats.

Walk Down the Aisle is a mint green jelly with superfine minty/aqua shimmer.

Three coats, probably not going to become opaque any time soon! So I decided to put it over Mode Cool As, which is a bright mint creme. I can't believe I haven't blogged this before, it's one of my favourite colours! Two coats here.
Less greyed/pastel than this 

More green than this!
Then with a coat of Walk Down the Aisle over the top.

The shimmer is really subtle and pretty. I'll definitely have to try this over some other colours.

That's all for now, I'll do the other three sometime this week.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Orly haul post

These were in a clearance bin at my local Priceline. I didn't recognise any of the shades and thought they were stunning, so I over-indulged a bit. They look pretty sheer so I'll probably do layered swatches with them.

Most of them have a lovely duochrome which is hard to capture in bottle shots, and which I reeeeeally hope shows up on the nail!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Felicia, I am disappoint

To promote her new Youtube channel Geek and Sundry, Felicia Day and the members of webseries The Guild have released their third music video. I watched it, danced along to it, laughed and bought it on iTunes. But then something weird happened.  The more I listened to it, the less I liked it. Nothing to do with the video itself (which admittedly isn't as funny as the first two) or the music (which is the third style they have explored).

The idea that geek is 'in' and that we've been flooded with a volley of faux-gamers in hipster glasses is not new. Neither is the backlash against these perceived intruders by the 'real geeks'. The proliferation of geek litmus tests and evaluations of newcomers has been around for a while now, as a way of protecting the subculture, which has been a safe haven for underdogs and rejects for so long.

What I take objection to is the way geeks are clutching at the umbrella of 'cool' as it floats on by. You see, I dislike the word 'cool'. A lot. The way this song, sung by a group of geek icons, has embraced the word is what's left me a little disappointed and sad.

 At school I was a nerd. I didn't like sports or fashion, I liked reading and learning. I had glasses and braces and no clue what to do around boys. I was bullied, teased and ridiculed by the other kids in my classes. I was not in any way 'cool'. So what I began to associate with the word 'cool' was obviously not very positive, and what I began to associate with myself and the things that I liked was decidedly 'un-cool'.

It took me years, but I embraced that. I embraced myself and the things that I liked and the things that I was good at. And suddenly I became glad I hadn't tried harder to be 'cool'. By staying true to myself, my passions and quirks and by not bullying or mocking other 'uncool' kids, I had become a better and happier person. To me, 'cool' is about the pressure to conform to an ever-changing ideal. To be constantly censoring yourself lest something 'un-cool' slip. It's a state of constant judgement of yourself and those around you. It sounds exhausting!

As much as I'm glad that reading, gaming, fandom and other 'nerdy', geekish pursuits have become more socially acceptable - even with the added difficulties of sorting through those who are genuine and those who are faking it - my issue with 'cool' is that there's always an 'un-cool'. Competition. Judgement. Exclusion. Do those things sound good to you? Do those things sound like they belong in a community that was a home for the socially ostracised? Don't get me wrong, I'm not so stuck to my high horse that I wouldn't love to make those bullies understand exactly what they did and how they hurt me back at school. But jumping onto the bandwagon of cool is not the way to do it. Not only will there be a backlash once geek is no longer 'chic', but many people will be left with those horrible cool-people attributes of scoffing and back-stabbing and geekier-than-thou-ing. Who wants that? I don't think that being 'cool' is worth the time and energy that is required to maintain. Not worth damaging other people's emotional well-being and not worth the confusion it causes about your own identity. 'Cool' is just a collection of habits and values that changes so often.

To be clear, I'm not actually disappointed in Felicia Day. She is an absolute inspiration to me. She pursued her dreams to act even after being told she was not "beautiful enough" for Hollywood (which is total BS, I'm glad she's not fake-beautiful like most Hollywood actresses) . She's an amazingly talented writer, a genuinely wonderful person, and she understands what it's like to be socially outcast and misunderstood. She's made friends and connections in the entertainment industry and pioneered the webseries movement, changing the landscape of entertainment and social media alike. Lonelygirl15, eat your heart out, Felicia is real and she's here to stay.

In one of the many panels (this train of thought starts around 8:30 if you're not keen on watching the whole panel) on The Guild, Felicia talked about how internet friendships allow you to bypass the visual trappings of society to make friends with people as intellectuals and personalities - to make connections you might have missed in real life. That's reflected in the storyline and characters of The Guild and is one of my other favourite things about the geek community - overcoming social boundaries. After all that hard work, I hate to see 'coolness' becoming a preoccupation for Felicia. That is the system that created social inequality, why would we want to perpetrate it?! Why are we so eager to become the people that tormented us for so long - who gave us baggage many will carry for years to come (see this interview with Chris Colfer about being bullied at school. I remember the names of everyone who bullied me, too).

I have a proposition. How about we stop worrying about being 'cool' and focus on the things that make us happy? On learning new things and being better people, better friends, better geeks? Let's celebrate what we have in common AND what makes us different. I don't want to be cool. I want to be me, whether or not I'm wearing my Dr. Horrible t-shirt.