home about youtube links contact
"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Monday, June 25, 2012

Movie Review: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Starring: Frank Sinatra, Lawrence Harvey, Janet Leigh, and Angela Lansbury
Directed by: John Frankenheimer

I fell off the wagon, reviewing my top ten films, and for that I apologize. Picking up where we left off, at number 6 in my top ten list: The Manchurian Candidate

Synopsis: In the wake of the Korean war, Major Ben Marco (Sinatra) is experiencing terrifying nightmares, along withe rest of the men in his unit. In the nightmares, his beloved former Sergeant, Raymond Shaw ('the kindest, warmest, bravest, most wonderful human being I've ever met'),commits atrocious acts of violence without a hint of conscience. Placed on indefinite sick leave, Marco contacts Shaw (Harvey) to discuss the terrifying dreams and is even more devastated to learn the Raymond is just as cold and disconnected in person as he appears in his nightmares. In his efforts to research the situation, Marco discovers even more disturbing facts about Shaw and the poltical ambitions of his calculating and domineering mother (Lansbury).

The Film: At first glance, this is not a typical 'woman's movie'. However, I am not a typical female viewer. I tend to love movies with few female cast members and lots of testosterone (i.e. The Great Escape, Lawrence of Arabia). That said, there is no doubt in my mind that most women would find this movie fascinating. The idea of 'brainwashing' still gives us chills and makes for an exciting and memorable story, especially when coupled with a cast as great as this one.

The Players: If the rest of the cast were less than stellar, I would still watch this movie for Angela Lansbury alone. Not only is her performance one of my all time favorites, she manages to make Eleanor Iselin one of the quintessential villians of the silver screen. She is a twisted, icy woman of purely evil intent and the sense of dread she gives the viewer with her every utterance can't be over emphasized.There is a nonchalance and a steely control evident in her portrayal of this character that creates even more unease as the film progresses. Since underplaying the role is so key to it's success, there is no wonder that her performance has reached legendary status.

Thankfully, the rest of the cast also delivers. Sinatra is excellent as the determined and distraught Major Marco. Lawrence Harvey is by turns amusingly wry and charmingly sinister. The female cast is not limited to Lansbury, when it comes to finesse. Janet Leigh is both sexy and supportive as Ben's love interest and no one can deny the appeal of the underrated Leslie Parrish, who might be one of the most adorable screen sirens of her day.

Final Thoughts: There are scenes in this movie that remain dated by today's standards, and this may have very well prompted the lack-luster remake, which was a failure. But Frankenheimer's direction still remains true to its vision and poignantly effective concerning the message of political corruption. From the mysterious opening sequence to the final suspenseful moments, it's a masterpiece of the genre.

My rating: 10/10

Style Score: 6/10
The male dominated cast, subject matter, and casual settings prevent style from being a resonating force in this flick. But Parrish's glimmering locks and Leigh's deadly pencil skirts still make a much needed impact on the female psyche.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sponsor Salute!

It's time to sing the praises of my lovely sponsors!


Once again, Queen of Heartz has made some lovely additions to their site, including menswear and swimwear! Just in time for pool parties and ocean vacations, a sweet selection of bathing attire is now available in wonderfully retro styles!

The above suit has a very modest and flattering cut, perfect for those of us who might want to draw attention away from the lower half.

And the adorable three piece set below is a great option for in the water and out!

So once again, click that link to the right and see what might be 'suitable' for your needs! :)


If you click on that familiar likeness to the right, in the sponsor column, you will be taken to Kelly Grace's facebook page. Kelly has been a sponsor for a while and creates wonderful portraits and paintings featuring daily life and retro fun. I am honored to have been the subject of a series she recently created and you'll also be treated to a giveaway on my channel very soon. I'm in awe of her talent and hope all of you will visit the link and make a purchase from her Etsy shop! Look for more from this artist in the aforementioned video and Giveaway!


Thanks again ladies, for the continued support!


Monday, June 4, 2012

What Constitues 'Stealing' in the Youtube Beauty Community?

I was surprised to wake up this morning to quite a heated controversy. Did Pixiwoo 'steal' from Lisa Eldridge? Comments are flying, people are taking sides...after all, two of Youtube's finest beauty channels are being discussed here. It's not a typical catty battle between bedroom-based teens at each other's throats. There are valid professional claims and plagiarism concerns. Or are there?

First, here are the two videos that started the debate. Watch them with as unbiased an eye as possible and refrain from reading the comments, if you can.

Lisa Eldridge's video was posted first. A seemingly quite basic and flawless application of face makeup on problem skin:

Pixiwoo posted this video last week, dealing w/ the same subject:

Let me openly state that I am a HUGE fan of all of these ladies. Both channels contain a wealth of information, professionally represented, and featuring expert application tips. There is no doubt that Lisa, Sam, and Nic all have wonderful skills and that regardless of the number of years they have individually been in the industry-all are gifted. Lisa is my favorite makeup artist on the planet, but I'll admit that it is her passion for the past that has drawn me to her, rather than her fantastic skills as a makeup artist. She's a phenomenal artist, a master of technique, a soothing personality. These things are what initially made me a viewer, yes. But seeing her collection of vintage makeup, her love of history, and her videos dealing w/ authentic application of these products is what put her on a bit of a pedestal in my eyes. That said, I want to make it clear that I am not 'taking sides' in this particular matter because in all honesty, I'm not sure that there is really an issue.

When I first saw Pixiwoo's video on Saturday, I immediately thought of Lisa's. But not because I felt it was too similar or that it was a 'stolen vision'. I simply was interested to see how and what products Nic would use to accomplish the same task. I did not feel the film quality, direction, or background was 'stolen' either. Pixiwoo and Lisa have both been using white backgrounds for ages and it's one of the things that in my opinion, gives their videos a professional look. They are by no means the only gurus on Youtube making videos w/ great lighting and white backgrounds, but they are the most memorable due to their engaging personalities and consistent quality. Now if Lisa used a customized background featuring a boldly designed logo and then Pixiwoo started doing the same thing, I might feel differently. But when it comes to something as simple as black or white...nah.

As far as content goes, techniques and beauty philosophies are seemingly shared, at least in part, by most makeup artists. This does not stifle individuality or creativity but since the beauty industry has evolved over time, certain features of application success have become tried and true. Because of this, there will undoubtedly be similarities in most professional video tutorials, while still allowing for artistic differences from which we can take inspiration. Artists are also unabashedly inspired by other artists, and usually will give credit where it's due (Pixiwoo have done this on many ocassions, as has Lisa). If they don't give credit for something we see as similar, they have nothing for which to apologize. There is also such a thing as 'parallel thinking' in addition to standard technical proceess.

It was also pointed out since this controversy came out, that Pixiwoo did a 'No Makeup Makeup' look closely following Lisa's and that this too was 'stolen'. I've seen both videos and again, did not see the latter look as a 'copy' at all. MANY channels have done a look titled similarly and containing very similar techniques. They are not as renowned nor do they have the publicity; therefore they don't get the flack. Sad.

So now you know my feelings on it. But what then constitutes 'stealing', when it comes to Youtube tutorials? I'd be hard pressed to give answer. When I started making videos and gaining some views, I noticed that quite a few tutorials began to surface featuring a similar look to my filming style. I was bothered at first, but then decided that while I may have been one of the first 'vintage gals' on Youtube, I took my inspiration from a ton of other ladies over the years (both on Youtube and elsewhere) and would feel hurt if someone claimed I had stolen my video style or my content from any of them. It's so much easier just to admire, be inspired, and co-exist(giving credit where it's due and if we forget...hopefully being forgiven?).

Can't we all just get along?