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.