January 1, 2017

December Favorites

I cannot believe this year is over. It's certainly been a memorable one, in some good ways personally and in some bad ways historically. I had my finals at the beginning of the month and I did really well this semester--a 4.0 which I wasn't expecting! 

I read a ton over break so I have a few book series to mention, along with a slew of beauty products and TV shows!

I've mentioned this on my blog a few times before, with both a review and a comparison to the Anastasia Master Palette. This palette has a lot of gorgeous, unique neutrals and I've really enjoyed it for this time of the year when I don't want a lot of warm-toned shadows. 

I received this for free to review from Influenster at the beginning of the month, and I had high hopes for it because I love Maybelline mascaras! While it doesn't replace the original Colossal mascara as my favorite, this one provides more volume in my opinion and is better for a night-out sort of look. I just wore this out for New Year's and there was no smudging or flaking all night.

Yes, another palette--around Black Friday I went on a shopping binge and I picked up this one a few days after the Vintage Filter one. I've been using both interchangeably, this one has some stunning metallic shades! I'd heard that the Lorac formula is very hit or miss and I agree, but the good shades in this palette are really good. I'll be doing a full review of it soon to share my favorite shades. 

I got this in an Ipsy bag over the summer but I put it away until I finished a few other samples. Luckily I did, because this is the perfect winter moisturizer! It's thicker and feels much more hydrating than my other moisturizers, perfect for someone with dry skin living in a cold environment. It smells subtly like honey, which I really like. The very first ingredient is Organic Aloe and it also includes coco seed butter, coconut oil, Shea butter, and Manuka honey which are all great moisturizing ingredients. 

I went to the movie theater in Canada (I live right on the border and it's closer than any American theaters) on Boxing Day and I saw Passengers, which I knew nothing about, but ended up liking it a lot! It stars Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence and it's a sort of sci-fi romance. They are both passengers in suspended animation that are traveling to a new planet. Something goes wrong and Pratt's character wakes up 90 years before he is supposed to, and finds himself completely alone on the ship. After more than a year of being by himself and reaching his breaking point, realizing he will die before anyone else even wakes up, he wakes up Lawrence's character so that he won't be alone anymore. Of course, he doesn't tell her that he is the one who has caused her to have the same horrible fate. There's a bit of action at the end but primarily it is a love story, and both main actors did a great job. 

Tumblr published their annual Year in Review and showed the most blogged about movies, books, tv series, etc. of the year and I got a lot of new recommendations! One of these was a popular Norwegian TV show called Skam. It's in Norwegian, obviously, which turned me off at first, but the show sounds really good and I found the episodes online with English subtitles (here if you want to watch it as well!) It's about teenagers and it tackles some big issues like relationships, assault, coming out, and more. It's funny and touching and reminds me of a new version of Degrassi or Skins! I've heard rumors of an American adaptation so let's hope it goes better than the US version of Skins. 

Other Tumblr recommendations include two book series, the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater and All for the Game by Nora Sakavic. 

The Raven Cycle includes four books and while the premise didn't sound that intriguing to me at first, this was one of the best written series that I have ever read. I liked all of the characters, relationships, and their development. There isn't exactly a main character, considering each one narrates the story at various frequencies, but it generally revolves around a girl named Blue and a group of boys she meets who are looking for an old Welsh king who is said to grant a wish to the person who wakes him. The whole story is a little supernatural but it feels as if it could be real...if you're a fan of that sort of series I think you will love these books! 

The All for the Game series is not one that I imagined I would like because it revolves around a sport--in this case, an imaginary one called Exy, which is a violent sort of lacrosse that is wildly popular. The main character is a college freshman named Neil who is recruited as a starting striker for the Palmetto State Foxes, a team that is considered a joke among other college teams. The team is known for recruiting lost causes, talented players who were former drug addicts, from abusive homes, foster families, etc. Some of the more interesting characters to me were Kevin, a former National champion who injured his dominant hand and is now trying to play with his right, Danielle, the only female Exy captain in the league, and Andrew, a protective, somewhat sociopathic goalie who has amazing talent but doesn't care enough to use it. This series combines sports, violence, drugs, a Japanese mafia, and a ton of interesting, well-developed characters. There is even romance later on in the series. It can be very dark and the third book is rated as adult, so be warned if you decide to read it! You can download the first book for free here and the other two are only $0.99 here so it's very budget-friendly! 

Okay now that I've written a novel trying to review books it's time to talk about music! I listen to the same artists and songs over and over again so I rarely include music in my favorites posts, but the queen Taylor Swift released her first new song since 2014 so I had to mention it. 'I Don't Wanna Live Forever' is a collab with Zayn Malik and was written for Fifty Shades Darker (not a fan of that series by the way, might do a post about it later) and I. LOVE. IT. It's a different style from 1989 or any of Taylor's country/pop albums. She's such a diverse songwriter. I've been listening to it nonstop and I hope a music video comes out soon.

That's all for my December favorites! What have you been reading and watching lately? I'm planning on watching the OA soon!

Xx Katie

13 comments on "December Favorites"
  1. Happy New Year Katie! I cannot believe it's the beginning of 2017, how time passes! These are great favorites! I have been watching a lot of the Harry Potter movies in December and I am watching the last part tonight, my favorite ever is the last and the first one. I have been also enjoying Suits, it's a great tv show and I totally recommend it!


    1. I watched a bit of the Freeform Harry Potter weekend, I really need to binge all of the movies in their entirety!

  2. The Lorac Pro 3 looks stunning! I've only ever heard really good things about the formula myself and the Unzipped one I have is sooo amazing

    Happy New Year :)

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    1. I've heard some people think the shadows have too much powder kickoff/fallout which I have experienced with some shades, but a majority in the Pro palette 3 seem really good!

  3. I love the shades in both of those palettes! Wishing you a great 2017. x

    Sara | Sara Spoke

  4. The Lorac Pro 3 Palette looks so gorgeous! I wish Canada had easier access to them. Can't wait to read the full review!

    Nicole | The Glam Surge

  5. Ooooo that Lorac Palette has me drooling...
    Makes me so sad it isn't available in Australia

    Clary | http://goodmorningclary.wordpress.comx

  6. That Lorac palette is to absolutely die for, I'm still desperate to try Lorac! I have that Sephora palette and it's gorgeous!

    The Makeup Directory

  7. Awww, dang! I wanted to watch the Passengers but just didn't have time for it. I love both Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrance so I know I am going to love the movie.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I have been wanting buy the Lorac pro palette for a while, it looks really nice.
    A Sparkle Of Grace

  10. I wanted to try Maybelline's mascara because I loved their Lash sensational one and of course Colossal. It's good that it adds volume but if it's not that extra good or better there's no point in buying it. Anyways great post and I missed reading your blog ^^ :) happy holidays <3


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