Thursday, December 20, 2007

Reviewed: Beards

Last week I met Murph’s new boyfriend for the first time. For some reason I started talking about how I am jealous of men because they can grow facial hair, and now I’m a little worried about the impression I made. I mean, it’s not as if he didn’t know about my crazies (Murph had to inform him of my fear of going to new people’s houses [it gets so claustrophobic]) but this time, after half a vodka tonic, I think I was a little too adamantly sincere.

But beards are cool, so I am kind of jealous. Men are so lucky! It’s like expressing your personal style—on your face! It’s not like I’m going to go out and take some hormones or something, but I’m just saying if women had the ability to grow beards naturally and it was socially acceptable--if not applauded--to do so then I would totally do it. Even just to have the option of growing a beard seems more free. So we all agree it’s completely unfair. Periods, breast cancer, date rape, FGM; women always get shafted.

Now I’m going to list some of my favorite beards: Aragorn, Ryan Gosling, Al Gore, Casey Siemaszko in Young Guns, John Goodman, John Lennon, Lincoln, Dumbledore…hm, I’ll probably think of some more later.

66 Stars.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Reviewed: Christmas Gifts for Mom and Dad

It’s a pretty safe bet that my parents don’t read this blog considering they don’t even have internet in their house (which, come on, is practically sacrelig in 2007 even though it probably has more to do with cheapness than being unconnected to the modern world [which I also feel safe saying, since that’s where cheapness gets you!]) so I can totally review the amazing presents I bought for them this year.

Joe always makes fun of me because I usually pick out presents that I would want and then give them to other people, which is to say I’m not a very good gift-giver (ahem, the homemade pillows of 2003, that coconut purse I got Tesch for her birthday.) Anyway, this year I feel is going to be completely different. I’ve spent the last 11 months writing my novel and the first three of those months following Robert Olen Butler’s method of exploring the unconscious and I think, somehow, that advice allowed me to transcend my fallbacks and get things people would really enjoy.

My dad always comes home from work and empties out his pockets, and since he’s a blue-collar-my-pockets-are-my-office kind of guy that means the kitchen counter becomes the repository for loose change, keys, folded up invoices and reminders and receipts, keys, nuts and bolts, keys, (he has a lot of keys), etc. I figured, wouldn’t it be nice if he had a super posh place to put all that junk? Here’s what Dad’s getting:(This picture is the Pottery Barn version, which is prettier, but I ended up getting my Pops the one from because they have a larger version.)

My mom loves to take baths. Nothing too exquisite; just hot water and body wash and a clean wash cloth. She takes the best baths out of anyone I know—the simplicity is the secret—and she makes them look so good I’m sometimes tempted to slip in the water right after she gets out (she’s my mom, it’s not gross!) So I went to Macy’s and got these fantastic soft, organic cotton towels in an oatmeal-y, natural color (the Haven by Hotel towels in Rice.) The edging is kind of rustic and luxe at the same time. Mmmm…I think she is going to really like them.
I did a good job, didn’t I? I think I did. 88 Stars.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Reviewed: American Airlines

Joe and I flew AA last weekend down to Miami for our short trip to Key West. I’m one of those people that hate to fly. Not because I’m scared of crashing, but because the cram-‘em-in style of air travel really terrifies me. I’m little bit claustrophobic and it’s hard for me to handle the slim amount of space between rows, the tall and imposing seat backs, and the way there are like 30-50 people--some big, some tall, some smelly or coughy or sniffy or broad shouldered and you know they are the trampling kind--between you and the tiny little door so far away and hidden at the front.

But with American Airlines, even the little things about air travel that make it somewhat bearable are absent. The biggest one being, no snacks. If you want a snack you have to buy one for $3-5, and they only sell one kind of candy bar (3 Musketeers), one kind of chip (Pringles), trail mix or a ginger cookie. With the exception of Pringles (maybe) all selections are things you’d find in the back of the cabinet at your grandma’s house.

The flight attendants are kind of jerky and the planes are kind of junky. Considering kayak and orbitz make airlines pretty competitive these days, I think I probably won’t be buying American.

26 Stars. Twinges of nostalgia over the fact that my grandma used to always fly American (or TWA) when she came to visit us, presents in her carry-on bag. On her way home we would watch out the window from the gate as she climbed up the stairs onto the plane, then wave as the plane taxied down the runway. Old school airport, Peoria, Illinois, circa 1980’s.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Reviewed: Ayelet Waldman writes about Christmas for BAZAAR Magazine, says there's no Santa

I’ve never been one to be concerned with any of the debates that come around this time of year, not Bill O’Reilly’s so-called war on Christmas or all the Jesus is the Reason for the Season hoopla. I’m not religious and I enjoy the holidays mostly because of the existence of Santa Claus.

So that’s why I was a little miffed after reading what Ayelet Waldman, spouse of novelist Michael Chabon, had to say about Santa to her daughter, Sophie, in this month’s Bazaar magazine:

“…the mother of my then-four-year-old daughter’s best friend called to request that I tell Sophie that there was, in fact, a Santa Claus [so as not to spoil the holiday for her daughter]….
Not on your life. I told Sophie, as I have since told her younger siblings, that there is no such thing as Santa Claus, that he is a character in a story just like Willy Wonka or Amelia Bedelia. I further instruct them that their Christian friends are sweet but gullible, and out of respect for their limitations, we should all work hard to sustain their delusions for as long as possible.”


Too bad for me, I guess, since I was one of those gullible, limited, deluded kids (and sometimes think I still am.) Heck, I still get a kick when the news anchor announces Santa sightings on Christmas Eve. Santa is kind of like my hero; he eats tons of cookies, gives away hundreds of presents, and sticks it to all the meanies with a lump of coal. How awesome is that?

If believing in Santa Claus is an example of my limitations that’s the least I have to worry about. I’m reveling in my delusions.

3 Stars. One year I even convinced myself I saw sleigh marks in the snow. Anyway, if you want to talk about gullible, Murph thought the ending of Alpha Dog had an interview with the real Susan Markowitz when it was really just Sharon Stone in a fat suit.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Reviewed: Sadness

I’m sad.

Maybe it’s the WGA strike. Maybe it’s the approaching winter. Maybe I'm not eating enough chocolate. But something has signaled the blues and I don’t know what it is, although if I thought about it in depth I could probably figure it out. (I’m halfway through writing the last chapter of my book? Eek!) And now, after spending the last year alone at my computer every single day, dedicated to figuring out the lives of these fictional people I created, I’ve realized that a large majority of my real friends have flown the coop. Oops. It’s lonely work, writing. It’s lonely, soul-crushing work…

…and then Sydney Pollack decided in 1973 that’s how The Way We Were was going to end. I wish someone would explain it to me—Hubbell just abandons his daughter? And everyone is okay with this? I guess the good looks of Robert Redford in the 70’s carries the same amount of redeeming power as Oprah's likability in the ought’s.

0 Stars. Even the scene on the boat--when J.J. says to Hubbell, "It's not like losing somebody. Like losing Katie" and you just want to fling yourself dramatically on the couch, smiling and crying because it's just so happy and sad--doesn't make up for that ending. How come Katie's got to lose 70's Robert Redford? I'll never get over it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reviewed: Guitar Hero on Gossip Girl

I’ve never actually played Guitar Hero, but I’ve heard things. Even though in fifth grade my nickname was Nintendo Nut, I have never actually owned a game system (we occasionally got to rent one from Stars & Stripes, and I played Super Mario with my sisters at the Laundromat about once a week.) Last night’s episode of Gossip Girl featured Blake Lively strumming, dancing, swinging her gorgeous blond hair around, making "rock star" faces, singing along without knowing the words and color-coded button-pushing her way to a Guitar Hero "Freebird" performance that ended with all the party guests cheering at how cool she was. It was weird. I felt really embarrassed just watching it.

For the past couple weeks they’ve been setting up a tension between Serena Van der Wootsen (Lively) and her boyfriend--Dan’s--best friend, the exotically beautiful Vanessa. Last night it finally played out when the two girls challenged one another to reign over the (Wii/Playstation/X-Box?—I have no idea) video game at Blair’s party. They took turns brandishing the plastic guitar in front of all the other cool kids.

Which means, the cool kids play Guitar Hero.

I always thought the cool kids were too, well, cool to play video games in front of each other on a Saturday night.

3 Stars. I don't know, it just seems like the scene didn’t play.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Reviewed: Tazo White Cranberry Juice

It’s juice and it’s white tea, and other than that it’s just really really really good. (Sorry, I’ve got nothin’.)

100 Stars!

Reviewed: Tell Me You Love Me

People have been ragging on HBO’s freshman series for being boring, and originally I thought so, too. I basically just TiVo-ed it and then fast forwarded to all the sex parts (which are quite graphic and pretty steamy.) But I couldn’t help but pick up on the basic plots, which are contained within each of four separate couples; some who are breaking up, some who are coming together, and some who are trying figure out which they should do. The couples are connected by very, very loose threads, or even, sometimes just chance encounters, and for most of the season have had little to do with one another (besides the fact that, save one couple, they all have frequent sex that is given significant screen time, whether or not it applies to their story line.)

Last night I watched the season finale, and there was one scene that just totally astounded me. It was one of those rare moments when two members of the separate couples meet one another. Palek (who has just left his pregnant wife because he does not think he can be both a good father and good husband) and Dave (whose wife seems to be considering leaving him because they have not had sex in over a year) end up meeting over a construction disagreement, Palek being the contractor with a shipment of the wrong I-beams and Dave being the representative for the steel company who shows up to deal with the problem.

The interaction quickly escalates to a screaming match between the two men who are strangers to one another, and we, the audience, knows there is something bigger at work here, something going on in both of their respective lives that fuels the anger issuing forth. To an innocent observer it would look like two hotheads on the street, something to watch with bored amusement on your way to work, but HBO has quietly given us the inside perspective, the key to what unlocks each of their buttons, makes them react the way they do, and it is a moment that is poetic in its direction. The scene lasts just a couple minutes.

80 Stars.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Fun Boss Movie Day: The Fast & the Furious 3

Yesterday during a depressive funk I watched the second half of the Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift (after the embarrassing-to-admit hour I spent on youtube watching kutegirl85 and others' compiled clips of, in their opinion, the best movie kisses of all time. For the record, Titanic is totally overrepresented.) Curiously, all of a sudden I felt a desire for two things I have never wanted before in my entire life: 1) a street-style racecar, and 2) a gun. It was like being an entirely different person. An enlightened person.

Also, this new, enlightened person had a little crush on one of the actors. Not the main character, not Little Bow Wow, not the bad guy, but the bad guy’s sort-of friend, the guy who dies near the end of the movie (…uh…spoiler alert.) I forget what his name was since I was mostly paying attention to his doll-like face and sweet Tokyo-drifting.

I kind of want to know if you can actually drive cars like this. And if cell phones work the way they do in this movie then I need to try and get one of those kind.

Reviewed: The Plumbers Talk To Each Other About Their Ass-Hair

They both use a Mach 3. It’s the closest shave next to a straight razor.

49 Stars. I’m sorry but I have to rate high, just for the fact that they seemed to forget I was in the next room. Or maybe, this is Brooklyn. Or maybe, boys are gross.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Reviewed: E.L. Fudge

Yesterday, one of the Jezebel’s said something about how after she stopped eating refined sugar her skin was transformed into something beautiful and glowing, and her efforts were finally justified by a study published by the British Journal of Dermatology. So I made the decision to quit sugar.

Then I realized I just couldn’t quit sugar when without a thought I slid a package of E.L. Fudge sandwich cookies into my basket at the grocery store three hours later. Cripes!

Joe asked me, incredulously, if I actually thought I was going to be able to quit sugar. He’s right. I’m the girl who used to say if I could only have one food to eat for the rest of my life I hoped it would be candy corn. Halloween is my favorite holiday. There are currently four different types of ice cream in my freezer. Crap!

Anyway, in my miserable failure today I ate four E.L. Fudge cookies only to discover on number four that one of those stupid elves had forgotten to squirt in the chocolate middle. Criminy!

Sugar headache.

44 Stars.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Reviewed: Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Hand Crème

Unfortunately, I’ve developed an unreasonable hatred of Burt’s Bees. Or, I don’t know, maybe it’s fortunate—who knows what time will tell? But the hatred is just like all my other unreasonable hatreds, a wide assortment that includes Perez Hilton, people that walk too close to you on the sidewalk, the smell of spearmint, Russell Crowe, and white men over 65.

I know there’s tons of good stuff about Burt’s Bees. They use all natural ingredients, fair labor, good business practices, etc. But their hand crème feels like sticky, messy crap on my hands. And the smell is just okay. One time a lady at a mall kiosk tried to peddle me an almond lotion that smelled better than this.

I’ve always thought of hand lotion as a delightful, decadent experience but this stuff sure takes the fun out of it. I’ve been suffering through just so I don’t feel like I got ripped off for $8; if you put it on at night and don’t touch anything, in the morning the stickiness is gone and your hand-skin is a little softer.

27 Stars. Come to think of it, Burt probably falls into that over 65 category, the damn bee-keeping bastard.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Reviewed: Life

After work, I stopped by my house to pick up my computer so I could finish my homework at a nearby coffeehouse (I must say, I am not as impressed by the iced chai as everyone else seems to be). When I left my house, my roommate and his girlfriend had been there enjoying a sickeningly romantic dinner. When I returned home, they were no longer there.

However, something was sitting on our kitchen counter, by the microwave just inside the door. That something was a glow-in-the-dark condom. I immediately thought to myself, sick! Then I thought about it a little longer. It was still wrapped, so it wasn't like it had been used. And, as previously mentioned, it was glow-in-the-dark which is as hilarious as the flavored or colored ones my friends and I used to buy from gas station bathrooms for a quarter. Remembering those days of childhood antics, leaving those condoms on friends' windshields, I thought how can I use this against him in some sort of practical joke? Should I blow it up and tape it to his door? Should I have sex on his bed with someone and use it? Or should I act like a mature adult and do nothing?

73 stars: I finally decided to hide it in his hint of lime Tostitos bag. I really hope I am there when he finds it, so I can feign no knowledge of how it got there.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Reviewed: Getting out of the shower, squeegee-style

Squeegee-style is when, after showering, in that moment before you step out of the shower, you form your hands into flat panels and run them quickly against your body in a downward motion, essentially scraping away most of the water before reaching for your towel. This is Joe’s preferred method of beginning the drying process (he thinks he’s validated because the main character in a Nicholson Baker novel does the same thing.)

Maybe it’s just one of those things I don’t get because I’m not a man. My body has more curves, making the quick downward motion difficult. It seems kind of comparable to the differences in shaving between men and women. Besides for the knees, women have a pretty easy task in shaving their legs. Heck, I can probably shave my legs in less than 2 minutes. But men have a tougher time shaving their faces, owing to the angles and curves of their features.

So, I don’t know, maybe my review of this process is unfair, like a man reviewing tampons, but at least I’m making room for that possibility. For the ladies, however, the squeegee just doesn’t cut it.

6 stars.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Reviewed: Bret picks Jes

I know I was all advocating Heather last week, but even I was totally touched when Bret Michaels picked Jes to be his rock of love on VH1. It’s like, even when I am on a side I don’t usually find myself on (like majorly loving the Colin Farrell version of Miami Vice) my better judgment tries to make its way through. And besides, Heather is way better off. A tattoo of a guy you aren’t actually with is so much more rock & roll. I’ve been debating it myself for years.

40 Stars.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Reviewed: Life

Last night when he went to brush his teeth, Joe opened the bathroom cabinet (ever since that Dateline that showed how far germs travel when you flush the toilet I keep the toothbrush cup behind a closed door) and my toothbrush fell out of the cup and on to the floor. He quickly picked it up and dropped it back into the cup.

Whoa, I said, standing behind him.

He claimed it was the 5 second rule, which I said was bullshit, which he said he had seen on Mythbusters, which I said yeah they busted that one, which he said no they confirmed it.

2 Stars. New toothbrush question: is Crest's tongue scraper worth the extra dollar?

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Dregs of TV Reviewed: General Hospital

I’m an angst junkie. Unrequited love--even if it’s a Lifetime movie starring Ian Ziering from Beverly Hills 90210 or Pacey Witter—and I’m a total goner. I’m a sucker for human drama, which is why I recently started TiVo-ing General Hospital against my better judgement.

I’ve gotten all tangled up in two simultaneous love stories—Jason and Liz (who fans call Liason), and Lulu and Spinelli (who I’m going to call Spinulu.) But Liason is the real story. I don’t know if their exchanged looks could get more tortuous. They love each other, but are kept apart because of secrets and lies and the danger of his job (hitman for the local crime boss) plus her marriage to the man who believes he is the father of her son (he’s not, Jason is.) I can’t wait until they get together, even though I know today’s episode is just going to end with another stare-at-me-while-I-stare-at-you cliffhanger. I mean, come on, he’s saved her from kidnapping, being trapped inside an exploding crypt, near death from pre-term labor, a hostage situation and a precariously lodged elevator in the aftermath of a bomb.

This stuff is intense. This is human drama in its purest form. This is the way our lives would be if we weren’t so boring.

39 Stars. Steve Burton, I rented The Last Castle because of you, and I wish it had been better.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Reviewed: Bic Comfort Twin Disposable Razors

So I never got all the Venus hype. I guess I don’t take the time to enjoy the act of shaving my legs. I would shave with the edge of a rusty knife if it was fast and got the job done. And then there was my activist phase in college when I went a year without shaving (once it gets really long, girl leg hair is actually super soft.) Anyway, I used my sister’s Venus once when I took a shower at her apartment and it was no big deal.

Which is why I say spend the same amount of money that you do on one razor for a whole bag of Bic Comfort Twins instead. Yeah, there are other disposable razors out there that might even be cheaper than that, but Bic Twin’s are the only ones that don’t look like your grandma’s house (I mean, you’ve got to be kidding me with those awful pink ones that are either from the 1970’s or made from the same plastic as hospital vomit catchers.) Plus, instead of having like 9 blades on there and being way to bulky to shave the delicate angles of your…nether regions…the Bics have a sleeker head that can really get in the nooks and cranies (hey, if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen.) Then, when the razorhead gets invariably clogged up with pubic hair and soap, just throw the sucker away and replace it with a new one from your bag o’ 8. There’s nothing worse than slicing open your finger trying to clean pubes out of your Venus.

79 Stars. This review is disgustingly erotic.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Reviewed: Friday Night Lights on DVD

Breakthrough: I only watch television shows that have a hot guy. Murph and I were discussing it this morning and I tried to defend myself, tried to come up with an example to disprove the theory (America’s Next Top Model? Nigel Barker…dammit) but to no avail. I had no idea I was this shallow.

That brings me to Friday Night Lights, which probably has one of the hottest guys on primetime TV. (Taylor Kitsch, far left.) But even so, I’ve watched all the other scenes that he’s not in and it’s still good. I didn't watch it while it was actually on last fall because typically I'm not interested in anything involving high school football (probably leftover high school nerd hostilities) but I have to say after watching the complete first season that I’ve gotten hooked. The show isn’t just about football; the story lines aren’t all necessarily connected to football (although they did do a steroids story that you could see coming a mile away—which is probably just a rite of passage for any high school sports drama.) Some of the most touching story lines are the smallest dramas--former playboy running back leaving the kegger to bring a leftover cupcake to his homebody new girlfriend, or the way one character pretends to be his grandfather singing Bing Crosby songs to get his Alzheimer afflicted grandma out of the closet.

And the hot guy is a former Abercrombie & Fitch model.

There are no big names in the cast, besides maybe Kyle Chandler who was made famous as the bomb guy on Grey’s Anatomy, but the actors are absolutely pitch perfect in their roles. I think a lot of the success of the workings of the show are due to the camera style, which is kind of faux documentary (think Bourne Identity) and the amazing small-town details that really sucker-punch someone like me.

[Wait, I just thought of one. Kid Nation! Except….Greg? No, that’s just sick.]

Often the moving story lines are broken up with “out the window” footage of the sleepy little town--the Dairy Queen and bowling alley, an empty parking lot and the farm supply store with an old fashioned roadside sign reading “Go Panthers.” It’s classic small town, what you would see driving around out there in these places time has forgot, with no one on the street (no one walks anywhere in small towns) and weeds growing up through the sidewalks. This is it, the meat at the heart of this series, and ultimately, what I think makes it worth it.

And the hot guy.

100 Stars.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reviewed: Buying Knocked Up on DVD at Midnight

I missed this summer's biggest blockbuster because the Cosmos hates me. It never came to the theater in my town (or, village) and I subsequently never had the time to drive 30 minutes to the nearest theater one town (village) over to see it. Then there was that trip I took to Maine. We decided to take the ferry into Portland to watch it. Only we didn't look up the playing times, so we were 2 hours early. It was really hot and we didn't want to walk around, so we just went home.

In order to combat all this Hated by the Universe nonsense, I rushed out to get it the minute a Wal-Mart employee put it on a shelf. Only I didn't realize Halo 700 came out the same night. Wal-Mart was swarming with clichés. Zitty kids in over-sized sweatshirts and baggy jeans buying cases of Mountain Dew and Doritos. I had to stand in line for over half an hour as the lady checked every kid’s ID. I don't know if you have to be 18 for Halo, but apparently you do for Knocked Up. Trust me, Cashier I Used To Go To High School With Also Known As Amy, I am well over 18 just like you.

85 stars. I don't know whether to subtract stars or add stars for the deceptive packaging. I couldn't find any widescreen editions other than the ones wrapped with Accepted, so I got both for the unbelievable rolled back price of $19.94.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Reviewed: Secret Clinical deodorant

I don't glow, I don't glisten, I don't do whatever pretty word you want to attach to a woman. I sweat. It is the middle of summer; it is the middle of winter: there is wetness under my arms. I have tried several different deodorants over the years from Teen Spirit to Adidas (come on, get serious, you guys make athletic equipment). That's why I was so excited for Secret's clinical strength formula. You think talking to your doctor about problems with backne is weird, try mustering up the courage to talk about the gallons of liquid that seep from your pores on a daily basis. That sentence was sick to write, I can't imagine what it is like to read. Secret Clinical was one of the biggest let-downs of my life, right up there with realizing I am the only one of my friends not to have found a career, a long-term relationship, or a house. Maybe it's because I can't seem to get my hygiene under control.

5 stars: I guess it is time to rethink botox.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reviewed: Gym TV

Today was the best day I have ever had at the gym because for the first time I watched “Rock of Love with Bret Michaels.” Here’s the thing: Gym-tv is somehow better than normal-tv, and everyone knows how much I love normal-tv. You get to watch stuff you would normally never watch and you don’t have to feel guilty for watching it because you’re improving your general health and well being at the same time.

If I hadn’t flipped to this crazy love competition on VH-1 today I probably would never have watched it on normal-tv and, as such, I never would have heard the best quote I’ve ever heard on a reality show: “Karma’s a bitch. So are you.”

I almost laughed out loud in the middle of my fourteen-minute Level 0 elliptical hill (more than that is really, really tiring!) Man, it was awesome. I even looked around to see if anyone else was watching on their little gym-tv’s, but no one was. One girl on a stationary bike was watching the movie JFK. I happened to look over at her gym-tv just at the part where someone is sticking their latex-ed finger in a bullet hole and rooting around. Gross.

65 Stars. (Rock of Love? 92 Stars. Pick Heather, Bret! She got your name tattooed on her neck! It’s so real. Real love. So, so real.)

Reviewed: Shiseido Shimmering Lipstick

I probably shouldn’t even be reviewing this because I told numerous people I wasn't going to spend any money on extraneous purchases after the Macy's bill debacle of July. And it wasn’t even like the saleswoman was that persuasive; she kind of stuttered when she told me it looked beautiful against my skin. But I had seen the lipstick on a bunch of professionally pretty models in Nylon magazine and wanted it ever since. That’s saying a lot for me; I usually hate lipstick.

The thing about the Shiseido is that it feels more like a sheer gloss--really lightweight. I don’t care what the salesgirl forcedly said, because I kind of do think that it made my lips look pretty, or at least prettier than they looked without it. (“Beauty, right? That’s what American woman want. Ha ha ha,” she said.) Yeah, it’s shimmery, but not glittery. There’s a difference. I mean, look at this (and “this” would be a link if only I wasn’t too lazy to scan the pages of those gorgeous aforementioned Nylon models.) The case is so non-grandma-like it almost makes it worth it completely by itself. The case is something you want in your bag. It says “This is Shiseido, bitch.”

72 Stars. Or, “This is [insert your name here], bitch.” But this time you're really back. This time, you've got it going on.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Reviewed: Anticipation

As a former resident of the scuzzy city, I can’t wait for the return of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to FX tomorrow night. Try to find anything more depraved and immoral on television and you will fail, considering that I’ve heard the first episode this season involves a dumpster baby. And spray-tanning that dumpster baby.

The anticipation? 2 stars. The show? 100.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Reviewed: Driver #4747 from Yellow Cab in Tucson, AZ

Get the hint, dude, I don’t want to talk. Thanks for asking me if I’m going to work right now; it’s obviously 4pm and you picked me up from the movie theater. And I’m really glad that you think it would be a great opportunity for me to submit my novel to an online writing group for critique, such as the one you yourself are a part of, but I think I’ve got this covered. If you want to keep the radio on “93.9 rock and R&B hits for this generation” (do you have some kind of promotion deal?) go ahead, you’re still getting your tip in quarters. That’s right. You can’t trick me into giving you a bigger tip just because you claim the only change you have is 7 dollars in ones. Next time, less talkie talkie, more drivey drivey.

11 Stars.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Reviewed: Labor Day

As a kid, Labor Day meant getting dragged along with my family to Argyle State Park, where my dad looked at junk for sale (oh, I mean, antiques) and all the old dudes in Osh Kosh B’Gosh overalls lined up their gas engines restored from the old days and laughed when little kids walked by crying (me) because of the noise.

Since then it’s been a whole lot of “ugh, I hate Mondays so much I’d rather just be at school/work suffering through it.” Some years there are barbeque's where people eat hamburgers that might or might not have mad cow. Sometimes I just watch TV. In Illinois, people come together and sell a bunch of junk, and everyone else drives around looking at it. There aren’t even fireworks.

6 Stars.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Reviewed: Philsophy’s Purity Made Simple

Occasionally this blog does try to be helpful (you’ll find the Leo advice invaluable, I’m sure) and to prove it, I’m letting you in on the secret that is Purity. It was first introduced to me at Macy’s Herald Square Philosophy counter, right after I had dodged a particularly nasty mob of teenage tourists with newly purchased Dooney&Burke bags. It was the company’s first week in store and they were hawking the most amazing free gift with purchase that included a sample of Purity and other products.

Purity Made Simple is a face wash, makeup remover, and toner all in one (not in a shampoo-plus-conditioner way, but a we-know-what-we’re-doing way) and you won’t believe how soft and clean your skin feels when you’re done. It’s the company’s flagship cleanser and number one seller at Sephora stores, which the salesperson asserted but I can neither confirm nor deny through any other source except that Oprah really loves their Hope in a Jar moisturizer and you know you can take her word over mine.

The only problem is, the directions on the back of the bottle really stress me out:

“at the end of each day or at the beginning of each morning, take a small amount of purity made simple, a little water and massage onto skin for 30-60 seconds. rinse. take a leisurely pace when washing yourself clean. cleanliness is a new beginning. when you feel clean you can begin being who you really are.”

I know, right? They really make me feel like the only way I'll ever be happy is if I follow each directive closely, which leaves me struggling to estimate 30-60 seconds every night (I use microwave time as a helpful basis—less time than oatmeal, more time than melting butter) and that just spoils the leisurely pace and enjoyment. At $20, yeah it’s a little pricier than Neutrogena, but let me ask you this…do you want a new beginning or not?

87 Stars.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Reviewed: Mystery, the “pick-up artist”

Even though probably 80% of my girlfriends had serious criticism for VH-1’s new reality show, The Pick-Up Artist, I withheld judgment and kept watching because of the part where half the guys admitted they were still virgins, including the 45 year-old Fred. (!! Reality TV at its finest!!) And I secretly harbored what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-me crushes on J-Dog and Matador. But last night Mystery lost me forever when he sent home Scott, the tall geeky blond that reminded me of Zeff Zemones* from high school, in favor of Pradeep.

Sure, Scott’s practice kiss looked like a 90 year-old man tonguing an ice cream cone, and he seems to be a little too fond of the “Do you floss before or after you brush?” pick-up line, but if anyone needs a little self-confidence, a little loosening up, it's Scott. He tried like hell and didn’t lie and scheme as Pradeep attempted to do. It isn’t the first time that dude has resorted to ridiculous treachery on this show, and the little a-hole (ahem) has a creepy idea of women and relationships, you can totally tell. All the guys on the show are terrified of women due to an intimidation factor, but Pradeep is the kind of guy that turns his own feeling of weakness into anger and resentfulness that becomes a mission of how to get what is owed to him. Ugh. It’s the same thing as when a guy nurses a crush on you for ages and when you gently let him down he starts to hate you and badmouths you to all your friends when you did nothing to deserve it. Nothing!

Mystery said that he was giving the final pick-up artist medallion (hmmm...a little too D&D) to Pradeep because in spite of everything he believed that Pradeep had what it took to become a master pick-up artist. Essentially what I heard was Mystery revealing that the show wasn’t actually a way to help men with low self-esteem learn how to talk to women in the hopes of someday meeting the perfect partner to their eccentricities…

BUT, in fact…

a show where he picks the marginally best looking losers out of a group of nerds and teaches them how to be smarmy and sleazy. Oh yeah, and women are like children (see episode 2—god, why didn’t I stop watching after that).

Mystery, you’re not fooling me anymore. And your stupid fur hat is idiotic. Go back to the hole you crawled out of (your mom’s basement) and take your little medallions with you.

0 Stars. P.S. the goggles are dumb, too.

*Name has been changed because I feel bad calling Jeff Semones geeky.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Reviewed: Seeing Josh Lucas in SoHo

Last night I saw Josh Lucas walking down Prince Street in SoHo. At first I wasn't sure it was him, until we were asking directions from the guy at the shoe shop and he was gushing at the door, did you just see Josh Lucas? He is so hot. Then he gave us directions to the wrong place.

But anyway, JL was just walking with a friend who was super nerdy (and not at all in an ironic way, which was refreshing) wearing a hoodie and being totally normal (in a amazingly attractive way.) Is it fair of me to give him props for having a nerdy friend? Murph said, Maybe when you're famous someone can see us walking around and call me a nerdy friend, but it will be cool because we go way back. I was thinking, Maybe when you're famous someone can see us walking around and call me a nerdy friend, but it will be cool because we go way back.

I love celebrities. I'm not the kind of person who makes a huge deal and tries to take a picture (ugh) but I also don't pretend that I'm so above it I don't care. I'm pretty middle of the road. I see them and don't do anything but then later brag about it endlessly to anyone who will listen.

90 Stars.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Reviewed: Hel Looks street style site

I’ve been a fan of street style blogs for a while now; The Sartorialist (New York), The Fashionist (San Fran), Pike/Pine (Seattle), The Minneapoline (self-explanatory), and others, but today I came across Hel Looks, from Helsinki. First of all, since all good criticism gives compliment first no matter how flimsy, Hel Looks does post delightful mini interviews with its subjects. If you love her short-waisted herringbone jacket, she might just say where she got it. The subjects can even be quite candid, remembering the exact day they last wore whatever article of clothing it was and why that was important (her graduation day, his girlfriend’s birthday party, etc.)

But seriously, does everyone in Helsinki wear secondhand clothes? Or does the photographer just haunt the same too-hip-for-the-rest-of-the-city neighborhoods day in and out? Almost every picture on the site has some adorable Finnish youth sporting more than one absurdly dated piece they proudly procured at their favorite vintage shop, in addition to “self made” pieces and accessories “of their own design” which for some people means draping a t-shirt artistically around your neck (make sure it’s a vintage T.)

Don’t get me wrong, a little reuse/reduce/recycle is welcome in life, but some style is meant to go away. If you keep wearing your MC Hammer pants and campy shoes down to nonexistence, there won’t be anything left for your children, or your children’s children. They might have to start shopping at H&M, god forbid. Check out what has already happened to little Roberto.

48 Stars.

Disclaimer: I know, I know, I know. We do too much dissing of other websites (and children! for crying out loud...) here on Starred Review, and it should stop. But I’m at my computer all day and I see these things so I can’t! I just can’t.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Reviewed: Sunbeam Steam Master 4222

After years of pretending to iron with the crappy whatever-it-was I got my freshman year of college, Joe and I decided to invest in a new iron. The Sunbeam model has a few pluses: retractable cord, storage strip indicator, drip free feature, vertical steam, non-stick soleplate—all showcased on the box—and my personal favorite, assorted buttons to push. I’ve found that there really isn’t much that is better than a steam burst. The sound, the steam, the power…I love it. I’m also totally convinced that retractable cords are one of the top ten most significant inventions of the past thirty years. Pretty cool and only 30 bucks. Time to stop faking it.

66 Stars. I’m not entirely convinced that the new Sunbeam is going to have the same longevity that my whatever-it-was had, but it never really ironed anyway so I guess it all evens out in the end.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Reviewed: Mentioning Leo DiCaprio at a party

To clarify, I’m talking about grown-up parties…not frat parties or slumber parties or the Party at the Moon Tower (which I’d like to get invited to before I die). I guess what I’m saying is, parties where most people would consider it unsafe to talk about their sudden and unexplainable love of Leo DiCaprio after seeing Blood Diamond. My problem is that I just don’t understand these limits. So when I found out that the young woman I had been talking to last Saturday had been to Africa…

In my defense, I had just watched the commentary track with director Edward Zwick, and if you haven’t done so yet, do it soon. Zwick is truly an artist and more importantly, a poet. I wish he could commentary my life. He even showed some man-love when pointing out the subtle flex of jaw Leo used in the role.

…but whatever, the girl didn’t need to get all high and mighty. It just supports my theory that most women, especially concerning things like feminism and Justin Timberlake, won’t admit the truth because of a crippling fear they might be judged. So look, Miss I-Thought-We-Were-Really-Clicking-There-For-A-Minute, I’m not afraid to say the truth. And if you want, I’ll burn you a copy of Futuresex/Lovesounds. Just don’t forget that you were the one who knew where he lived and then told me about it, twice. (Yeah, that’s right, I said I know Leo’s address. It’s not like I’m going to do anything about it.)

Honestly, I’m not even sure where I was going with this, so…50 stars, middle of the road.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I Told You So: My Review Stands

So it's a little outside of our usual format (I make the rules, I can change them) but I couldn't resist posting the latest music video from the Mimi and Flo Show, which I reviewed back in May. It's a play on R. Kelly and Usher's "Same Girl"--hilarious!

P.S. Blogger won't let me use an ampersand! My life is over!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Reviewed: So You Think You Can Dance

Embarrassingly enough, I’m completely addicted to Fox’s American Idol-like dance show. And it’s a major addiction, meaning there are episodes saved on my TiVo just so that I can watch them again (along with season finales of The Office and Lost, episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, my favorite Mark Ruffalo movie, and the last half of Gremlins.)

This week’s episode was a nail-biter; it was down to the top ten and there wasn’t anyone that I was rooting for to get kicked off (Kameron and Jaime, not you! Not you!) and judge Mary Murphee always does this thing where she starts her critique like she hated it and then does a surprise 180 and loves it. Example: I don’t know how you guys can stand on this stage, because…(pause)…YOU WERE TOTALLY HOT TONIGHT!

But then the second most embarrassing thing happened to me. I realized that I actually liked a John Meyer song. I know, I know, I couldn’t believe it either. But the contestants all had to do this anti-war solo dance and interpret it in their own way, and it was choreographed to Meyer’s “Waiting for the World to Change.” I mean, come one, give me a break. It was anti-war and kind of emotional and the choreography was awesome and Neil did this amazing jump, and Jaime’s extensions, and then Kameron with the air punch…

What is wrong with me.

90 Stars. And right on to judge Nigel Lithgoe for being pissed about having to apologize for airing something anti-war. Come on, get off it people, when are you going to wake up and realize that supporting the war makes you a huge idiot? And I’ll fight anyone who criticizes SUTYCD. Watch me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Reviewed: Mini M&Ms

Yeah, I know. They come in an annoying plastic tube instead of a crinkly brown package, so if you put them in your purse you sound like an old lady with a pharmacy in her bag, or one of those annoying girls that carries pills around all the time. But I actually think that this is only a small sacrifice. And I love candy. And if you pour them into a bowl of ice cream the little chocolate pieces freeze and you can smush the ice cream and mix it up and stir everything all around and make yourself a mini-McFlurry, or a mini-Blizzard, or a mini-Blast, or a mini-Fix ‘n’ Mix Frosty-—wherever your tastes lie.

65 Stars.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fun Boss Movie Day: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Since I’m currently my own boss with a case of the Mondays, I decided to institute random Fun Boss Movie Day. So instead of cracking the whip over my own head all the time, I’m going to give myself a fancy new nickname and take an afternoon off to watch Val Kilmer’s best performance since Tombstone. That and Robert Downey, Jr. plays a pretty good functional idiot. Also, I need something to distract me from all the stress that Harry Potter is causing. With the release date approaching, Barnes & Noble and Amazon are in hyper-overdrive about pre-selling. This morning I almost had a heart attack because it was almost noon and I couldn’t decide if I should order online and make the deadline to have it shipped overnight, because what if the Barnes & Noble near me (and near 100,000 kids too young to read but with Park Slope parents) sold every copy before I was able to get one. The weirdest thing is that I’m not even sure I really care that much about getting it. I might just buy some cookies instead. Or, wait, have you seen those new Russell Stover Urban Chocolates that come in funky colors and flavors, like Sea Salt Caramel?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Reviewed: Seeing LL Cool J at LaGuardia Airport

For a girl that started a celebrity-sighting list with Crystal Bernard (Helen from Wings!) and Perry King, who my mom said was a super dreamboat in her day, one time in Des Moines, Iowa, it was a big moment. Does it quite compare to the time I saw Elvis Costello and Diana Krall with their cute little babies just below Union Square on 6th Ave. and I turned around and creepily walked behind them for like 2 minutes before I realized how gigantic of a weirdo I was being? Ummmm….yes, it definitely does.

99 Stars. LL was headed to New Orleans, and whoa, he’s really attractive in person.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Reviewed: Alamo Rental Cars, 12th Street, Manhattan

One thing that happened when I rented a car last weekend was an employee almost ran me over, then tried to fight Joe. And then they didn’t have any small cars! I had reserved—weeks in advance, even—what was to be either a Hyundai Accent or similar. First they tried to give me a huge Pontiac sedan that had two mufflers. Then a homeless guy wandered into the garage and rented a car. The lady behind the counter had a hairdo like Dustin Hoffman in All the President’s Men. But it’s like, I rent a small car, I want a small car. You know?

(Note: Photo is not actual representation of 12th Alamo location, although hairdo is similar.)

1 star, for the homeless dude.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Reviewed: The Queen

I’m bored. When is this going to be over so I can get back to watching videos for the online Real World casting?

2 Stars. I'm voting for her.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Reviewed: lowercase L blog

This blog, chronicling instances in all-caps sign-making where the ‘L’ is left lowercase, is probably even more useless than ours. I mean, it’s okay to have a signature pet peeve. Mine is when people take scraps of trash, like straw wrappers, roll them into little balls and leave them within in my line of vision. But I’m not going to devote an entire blog to tracking down each occurrence, taking a picture, and writing cute captions like “FOR SAlE, indeed!” I really hope this dude is not serious.

0 stars. I remember when my sister told me about James Crawford in her homeroom, who rolled his boogers into balls and flicked them at people. Not all pet peeves are as interesting.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Reviewed: Top Chef judge Padma Lakshmi’s scar

That scar is fierce, and I never use that word. Give that doctor a medal…for being an ass. Because, really, not all scars look like that. I have two 4 inch-ers on my feet from surgery and after ten+ years they are barely noticeable.

Lucky for her she’s a knockout so the scar totally works. It’s a 6-inch, deep burgundy, raised scar on her upper right arm that she doesn’t bother hiding because she doesn’t need to. Her skin is so perfect the scar just looks like body jewelry.

Erg, this is making me mad. Life is so unfair.

66 Stars.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Reviewed: Ryan Seacrest in Knocked Up

How long have I been saying Seacrest is cool? (Probably not too long, actually. For obvious reasons, I was thinking it in secret.) There are a thousand reasons to enjoy Knocked Up but one of them is to see the rant Ryan Seacrest does on Jessica Simpson…and TRL-type celebrities in general. Maybe outing myself about Seacrest is a little premature, but I can’t help it, this guy is really funny. So what if he whores himself out to annoying celebrity droolfest shows like E! and whatever the frick that radio show is. He's gotta have money to buy Prada summer sandals and get mani-pedi's. I love it, Seacrest, I do. You go.

80 Stars. When Angelina Jolie acted like a total wench to him at the Golden Globes after he asked her about breakfast I wanted to tell her where she could shove her cereal. I wish there was an opinion poll to determine how many people hate Angie more than Seacrest. Oh wait…there is… VoteWho's better?
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Monday, June 4, 2007

Reviewed: Noticing

98 Stars. Weird.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Reviewed: Hidden Palms

I can’t decide how badly I want to kill the person who brought Dawson’s Creek creator Kevin Williamson back to TV. On one hand, his new show Hidden Palms looks like it is going to be one of those so-ridiculous-it’s-sickly-entertaining shows. On the other hand, when really annoying, barely-talented people enjoy success I get uncomfortable.

So the new show is pretty much just KW’s old show (Dawson’s Creek) but blatantly attempting to rip-off The O.C. Most of the soundtrack is the same—they even had the balls to snatch The O.C.’s famous Marissa-dies montage song—combined with some of the Garden State soundtrack, ensuring that Teen People is going to talk about how amazing the music on the show is. Even the two lead male actors are O.C. alums, one of them just a different version of Dawson: fugly hair? Check. stupid reason for staying a virgin? Check. artistic aspirations? Check (this time, in the form of a nerderific camera constantly hanging around his neck.)

The show will probably just get worse and worse, but pretend to be a serious drama, with that so-called “smart and witty” KW dialog to spice things up. At some point I’ll have to stop watching. Then I’ll never find out what the mystery is surrounding the one character that kicks a dog.

8 Stars.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Reviewed: One Tree Hill

Last night I TiVo-ed One Tree Hill (all the other shows have ended for the season, gimme a break) even though I thought the season finale was last week, but it turns out that it isn’t until next week. And you know what? I’m not even ashamed that I’m really excited about that, because the show is so unapologetically bad that it’s totally admirable.

The badness really is amazing and it never disappoints. My favorite character is Dan, the father of Chad Michael Murray and that other kid that’s supposed to be good-looking. Dan is constantly doing really evil things to everyone on the show like purposefully breaking up his high school-aged son’s marriage, hiring a prostitute to seduce his brother, marry him and leave him, killing his brother and then blaming it on a high school kid that committed suicide at the same time, not to mention last night when he was about to go kill a high school girl who was witness to the crime. His evil knows no bounds…and it is awesome.

Pretty much everything that has happened to anyone in the world happens on this show (teen pregnancy, drug, gambling, and alcohol addictions, long lost brothers—for two different characters, unrelated—and birth moms, near-fatal accidents, near-death experiences—again, twice, unrelated—, all-ages teen-run clubs, fires, stalkers that pretend to be your long lost brother, sex tapes, school shooting, fake pregnancy, kidnapping, teen cardiac arrest resulting from playing basketball without taking your special heart medicine, etc.) Last night’s episode ended with Chad Michael Murray pointing a gun at his dad…awesome. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

78 Stars. The rumor is that next season is going to skip the college years altogether, since teen dramas never last through them, and pick up again after all the characters have graduated college. This is excellent news for me, since the high school thing was really just a pesky problem for the storylines anyway, and will make me feel a lot less weird about watching.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Reviewed: My Parents’ Dog, Bear

Bear is like the popular girl from school—the one that was pretty and smart and everyone liked her and the worst part was that you did too, because she was also really sincere and seemed unaware of the glorious heights of her popularity. He’s a nice, cute dog, yes, but he’s also the dog that came after my dear, sweet childhood dog Yipes, sooooo it is hard for me to get completely won over. Yipes was just a mangey little mutt that was too small and scared to really be a watchdog (for all her bravada) but she was my favorite dog of all time, a 100-star dog, the best of the best. I keep a picture of her in my wallet.

Bear is twice the size of Yipes, but he nicely jumps on my bed and sleeps next to my feet. Plus, Bear will kiss your face whenever it is offered and seems to be around when you need him. I’ve always thought of this as a special dog-recognition talent; some dogs really can tell if you are sad and they try to cheer you up, just like the good friend that understood you completely and who you really needed back in high school maybe just to communicate to you everyone once in a while you don’t need any of those jerks because I'm here and I like you and it does make you feel better, it does. Bear, like Yipes, seems to possess this talent, if not as strongly. And he gets really excited in a contagious way if you run around the yard with him. I am won over by his popularity, as is everyone who meets him. If there were a dog prom, he would be Queen.

88 Stars. Dog gender is confusing; just go with it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Reviewed: Target Premier Home Collection Hand Towels, One Year Later

Last year my grandma and I were shopping at Target and she bought me some new hand towels. They were nice and soft with a muted green at the ends, and they went perfectly in my bathroom. They went so perfectly, I even started to feel a little classy.

But now? I mean, I don’t have a well-trodden bathroom; that is perfectly evidenced by the pathetically small number of my friends. And I’m not hard on towels; I often switch the “fancy” Target towels out for a pair of solid yellow Wal-Mart brand. But lately it’s like I wash the towels, hang them on the rack, and one hand-drying later they look like rags (see pic).

I checked the tag and it says that the loops are made of 100% Egyptian Cotton, but the rest of the towel is just plain cotton from wherever else (Georgia?). I guess I don’t know much about towel construction, but I thought the loops were part of the…other part, you know, like the actual towel of the towel. I don’t get it.

29 Stars. My mom always said not to get white because it showed dirt, but like the wild rebellious kid I am, I went ahead and did it. I should have known better.

Guest Review: Atomic Clock

When Robert Lamn of Chicago sang “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" he made it abundantly clear he was not the owner of an atomic clock.

What is an atomic clock? Let’s break it down. The clock part should be self-explanatory. Atomic requires some deciphering. In this case it is a very liberal definition of the word meaning “sets itself so your lazy ass doesn’t have to.” This is an alternate definition so far ahead of its time it has yet to find its way into dictionaries. I await the day when the atomic clock time servers (Satellite? Radio wave? Let’s be safe and just assume it’s magic) break down leading to thousands of people being late for work.

Since the average consumer is not orchestrating space shuttle launches from their homes, absolute accurate time is not a real priority. For the majority of atomic clock owners, the real perk is in not having to set it during daylight savings time.

Each March, springing forward is never a problem. In our digital age this usually means pushing the hour button once - 5:27 is now 6:27 – and you’re set for eight months. But come that dreaded November day when we must fall back, oh how I shudder to think I’ll have to go all the way through each number before landing on the correct time (and sometimes twice if the clock is fancy enough to know the difference between AM and PM). Because the daunting task of setting every clock in the house can take in excess of seven, eight, or even nine minutes, the time conscious consumer demanded better technology. Thankfully, it has come in the form of the atomic clock

Once only sold at stores featuring useless gadgetry such as glow in the dark inflatable ankle massagers and reversible magnetic paper weights, the atomic clock can now be found just about anywhere. The other day I saw some for sale at a gas station (though in all fairness, it was a relatively upscale gas station).

52 stars. A time keeping device with space age implications I can only begin to imagine… but ultimately pointless if your oven clock is the first clock you see after you roll out of bed (you may want to reconsider your living arraignments. Or at least consider feng shui.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Reviewed: Vincent Longo Lip/Cheek Gel Stain in My Sunshine

Ever notice how hot you look when you’re a little bit dehydrated and running a fever? I wish someone could put that in a bottle and sell it. But for now, while the make-up scientists are hard at work, the closest you can get to achieving the look is a good lip stain.

Vincent Longo’s stain comes in an unassuming black cylinder with a built-in wand for application. Since the cylinder is black, there isn’t any way to tell what color the stain actually is, and Sephora’s in-store color blocks weren’t too helpful. One looked fairly brown, one purple, and the other three appeared to be the same color red. I picked up the one called “My Sunshine” (has a nice ring, right?) and tried to sanitarily test it out with the clean testing wands located abundantly throughout the store (this is important for what comes next.)

At the mirror next to me a fourteen-year old girl smeared pink lipstick straight from the tube all over her mouth, then put it back in the holder and walked off in search of some—I don’t know—toothbrushes she could sample? In response, I pulled out all the boxes to get to one in the back, which I checked closely for signs of opening by any other like-minded fourteen-year old girls. When I got home I excitedly applied in front of the mirror to quickly see that it looked like I had just eaten a cherry popsicle.

59 Stars. Haven’t you heard? Popsicle-mouth is making a huge comeback.

Reviewed: Band-Aid Water Block Plus Clear

You may have noticed that for a few days we haven’t been posting as regularly. This is due mostly to a combination of slacking off, increased sunshine, and my birthday. So this morning, going for a marathon session of reviews, I walked around my house assembling all the things I had purchased in the last month.

About a week ago I broke down and bought the fancy band-aids, but I ended up using all the generic band-aids before I had to open the fancy box. So today I decided to give the new band-aids the hardest test possible—the hand.

Hand band-aids (and finger band-aids for that matter) are the trickiest of band-aids because your hands are, I hope, subjected to frequent washings throughout the day. But this water block guy is pretty good. I’ve been wearing it around all morning—two hand washings already—and so far it’s stayed put perfectly and there’s only the smallest sign of that black sticky band-aid goo on one end.

The band-aid skin, if you will, has adhered nicely and is thin and stretchy enough to move with my hand skin, not against it. One drawback: the cotton pad is only about two inches long and ½ inch wide, so it means all you people with gashes or wounds exceeding these measurements need not apply. Plus, the adhesive completely surrounds the cotton pad, so there’s no room for leaving a little of the cut hanging out the edge…unless you are prepared for a brutal pull-off later.

98 Stars. I’m totally a fan. I can’t accurately predict how this band-aid would have fared had I actually had a cut, but for now I feel safe crowning Water Block Plus the King of Band-Aids.

Reviewed: Synovia Leather Protector Water and Stain Repellent

Last Christmas Joe got me a pair of leather boots (see Reviewed: Frye Boots) that I love only second to my Mom. (Haha, just kidding, Joe. I swear, you’re on a totally different scale.) Realizing that in order to protect my beloved boots I needed to invest in some water-proofing, I picked up a can of Synovia that was recommended by the guy at Nordstrom’s shoe department.

The directions say to first test on an inconspicuous area. On boots, I wasn’t sure exactly where that would be, so I sprayed the heel. No adverse effects. So I shook well and sprayed evenly, 6-8 inches away from the surface, and allowed to dry one hour. Then I checked on them at the designated time. I noticed that a white sheen had dusted several different areas of the boots and it did not respond to being brushed away. I looked frantically around the apartment and almost called 9-1-1.

Doing my best not to panic (I had only gotten to wear them two weeks, God! How could you do this?!) I grabbed a damp cloth and tried to brush off the white dust. The dust was stubborn, but in time it relented and disappeared. Now I’m really not sure if my boots are water-proof or not. Currently, just to be safe, I check the forecast before wearing outdoors.

0 Stars. I trusted you, Synovia.