14 things I liked in 2014
categories: fripperies, music
There’s been a bit of bloodletting (painful, but cathartic) on the blog in the recent past and so I think I would prefer to wrap up 2014 on a frivolous note. Here’s a hodge podge list of things I either stumbled across or that were recommended to me, in no particular order, that I ended up being pretty thrilled with this year.
1. For some time now I have noticed my skin is acting in strange and unexpected ways. The nose and forehead that use to be an oil-slicked nightmare are now dry and tight, and the once plump, moony cheeks, well…they are still plump and moony, but they are now blotchy and flaky, as well. Wearing any sort of makeup became impossible; no matter how I exfoliated or how much I moisturized, my visage still resembled and felt like an awful, patchy mask. The final straw was when my sister glanced over at me, did a double take and demanded “what THE HELL is wrong with your face??”
Shortly after that, quite unprompted by me, I noticed a facebook friend waxing poetic regarding a natural line of skin care over on etsy, Naturallogic.
Truly Natural, Organic Skin Care & Body Care, handmade FRESH from original recipes based on Nutrition, Holism, Plant Medicine & Ancient Practices, using Certified Organic & Wild Harvested, Food-Grade Super Foods, Phyto Nutrients, Clinically Proven Bioactives, Botanical Extracts, Enzymes & Pure Herb, Plant & Flower Oils.
Apologies for slipping into hyperbole but this stuff is nothing short of miraculous. Within a weekend my skin had completely turned around. I was beyond ecstatic. The proprietress of the shop was super helpful and helped me put together a regimen that would work for my skin type, and thoughtfully included a few extra samples as well. Note that I am *not* getting paid to say any of these things, nor am I getting any sort of free product. Don’t I wish! Because to be completely honest, it is not inexpensive. But it is absolutely worth it.
I actually just placed a second order to replace all of my empty bottles – this is the first time I have ever been so happy with such things that I used them all up! Also note: I purchased the wrong toner the second time around. I don’t mind though, because it smells incredible.
Unfortunately, despite my skin doing much better, I am still having a hard time with makeup.
I can’t find a foundation or even a BB cream (forget about concealers or powder) that won’t eventually flake up and look awful on me a few hours after I apply it. What works for you? Any suggestions are appreciated!
2. I don’t wear lipstick often. Maybe four times a year. I have a horrible fear that it will migrate to my teeth and no one will tell me and I’ll be walking around all day completely unawares, with a garish crayon-toothed smile. I also worry that with all the lip biting I do, I actually end up eating most of my lipstick, which is pretty gross if you think too long on it.
I was intrigued though, when I saw several folks wearing Limecrime’s Velveteen lip color in ‘Salem’. (It is sold out on the site, but you can also find it at Urban Outfitters and a few other places if you poke around). It’s such a unique color and it reminds me of all of my favorite parts of the 90’s – dark floral babydoll dresses, velvet chokers, stompy boots. The formula too is really lovely; it looks like a gloss, but it goes on completely matte.
3. Last year for the holidays my beau gifted me with Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Isa Does It, which is a gorgeous book with a million wonderful vegan recipes (we are not vegan, nor even vegetarian, but we do like to experiment!) and hands down, the recipe that I have made the most is her Roasted Red Pepper Mac & “Cheese”. It is so, so good. Make it tonight. Seriously. You don’t even have to buy the book, here is the recipe:
4, 5, and 6. (Music)
Year end find: Tetrolugosi. I’ll admit, I was already in love when I read this described as Fabio Frizzi and Riz Ortolani by way of Gary Numan and Ladytron.
Previously mentioned: Dance With The Dead. These guys create the dark, 1980s sci-fi/horror soundtrack for your life that you didn’t know you needed.
The Bombay Royale: The Island of Dr. Electrico. “…from lonesome spaghetti to surf-rock, from psychedelia to spine-bending space disco, overlaid with the voices of our protagonists The Tiger and The Mysterious Lady”. Ah! How can you resist that description? I couldn’t.
7, 8, 9 and 10. (Cinema)
Only Lovers Left Alive. You’d probably be hard pressed to find a year-end list that this did not make, eh? Somber, sad, wicked, clever, impossibly elegant. All of these things. A favorite for sure, and not just for now – perhaps all time.
Byzantium. Another brooding, elegant vampire film, but a bit of a peculiar take on familiar lore.
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears. A lush, surreal, deliberately disorienting neo-giallo. the sooner you abandon hope of following the story or figuring out the plot in favor of allowing your eyeballs to be dizzied and dazzled, the better you’ll be. The exquisite, labyrinthine apartment building made for a strange and wonderful character on it’s own.
Under The Skin. Moody and strange and mysterious. It’s difficult to say more about this one. Can you tell I am awful at reviews? That’s really all I can tell you. That, and don’t read the book – it’s utter rubbish.
11, 12, 13, and 14. (Books and Literature)
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I read this at the very beginning of 2014 so most of the details elude me, but what I took away from it mostly is that it is a beautiful love letter to great art. I found it an absolutely gripping, compelling read and with my attention span nowadays, that’s saying quite a bit.
Through The Woods by Emily Carroll. Beautifully designed, meticulously crafted tales of quiet, nightmarish horror. An equally disturbing and breathtaking creation.
Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky. Bizarre, bawdy, brazen. Ridiculously good fun.
The Children of Old Leech. A Laird Barron tribute anthology full of terrifying things. whispered of in darkened forests beyond the safe comfort of firelight. Standout stories for me were “Love Songs From The Hydrogen Jukebox”, “Notes For ‘Barn In The Wild'”, “Ymir”, and “Tenebrionidae”
Bonus round, television series category! True Detective, Penny Dreadful, Les Revenants, and Mirror Black.
Extra super bonus round! Kimchi Furikake rice seasoning. This stuff is amazing.
What are some of your favorite discoveries in 2014? Do share!
Skincare-wise, nothing beats Paula's Choice :) I particularly love the exfoliants and the Skin Balancing line. Her team also reviews other products on Beautypedia, if you prefer/want to look into other brands.
As for discoveries, the "western art history" tag on The Toast is absolutely hilarious.
S. Elizabeth says
Andra, I'd heard of Paula's Choice before, but I'd never looked into it! I will be certain to do so now - thank you.
Hmm. These are the things I discovered in 2014: West Virginia; Yoder's Good Health Recipe (an olde-fashioned vinegar health tonic); Tombow drawing pencils; felted dryer balls that soak up the excess water so your clothes dry faster; and from my mother a lavender stuffed owl you can put in the microwave so it heats up and a silly electric heater that looks like a tiny fake fireplace. Oh, and House (the horror movie).
S. Elizabeth says
I'd love to hear more about this health tonic! And not to sound dumb, but what does the owl...do? Is he like, a heating pad or something?
It's supposed to give you pep and has lots of herbs in it, like something a grandmother would have you drink if you were feeling under the weather. The owl thing is supposed to be a like a heating pad I think but it was so cold at my Mom's I used it as a hot water bottle type thing. Oh, and my Japanese buckwheat pillow. And the movies of Ozu...I guess 2014 has been more interesting than I gave it credit for.
Stella Polaris says
In the TV series category: have you watched Penny Dreadful? Besides the plot and Eva Green's superb acting, I think you'd like her costumes too.
S. Elizabeth says
I can't believe I left out Penny Dreadful - I had to go back and add it in! LOVED IT. Eva Green was fantastic.
Velvet chokers <3 If only I were young enough to wear those again *sigh*
2014 saw me regain my sense of smell & taste after a painful, but necessary surgery. So many new discoveries and re-discoveries! BLOOD CONCEPT: O & B perfume, they are both wonderful woodsy smoky red-fruit filled fragrances like the flush in ones cheeks when sitting a little too close to the fire. Sesame oil on everything (I don't even have words to describe the flavour, I can't believe I went my whole life up to now without being able to taste it! If you haven't already you simply must try it.) Purdy's chocolate cremes (who knew chocolate had more to it than sweet & vaguely dairy! No wonder everyone loves it so much!) I could go on & on, but those three were the ones that knocked my socks off.
S. Elizabeth says
I have not tried any of those scents - I'll admit, I am now more than a bit intrigued!
Such a lovely list! I agree with so many of these choices, especially Only Lovers Left Alive, Isa Does It, Dance with the Dead, and Under the Skin! And I can't wait to check out your other selections.