We SAID: Reveal your Best Self

Staff Writer

The official start to Summer might be in June, but we all typically kick it into high gear around July. With the 4th of July holiday on the horizon, the best time to start prepping to show off your best self is now. One of the quickest ways to get your skin into shape from head to toe, is with a good scrubbing. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, preps the skin receive the maximum benefit from serums, moisturizers and other skin treatments, and sets you up to glow from top to tail.

You-Be Foaming Skin Polish

This might be one of the most versatile scrubs on the market. You-Be Foaming Skin Polishyou-be skin polish can be used from head to toe. It uses rice bran and walnut shell powder slough away debris and dead skin cells, and is full of glycerin and camphor to soothe and moisturize. The formula lathers on contact, and rinses away clean. There are no moisturizing properties to this polish; we recommend a healthy dose of moisturizer upon immediate exit from the shower. We got the best and most lasting results by applying moisturizer directly to damp skin.

Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish

fresh body scrubFor a sweeter experience, nothing beats Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish. The refreshing lemon scent is Fresh’s signature (the company has since built ‘variations’ on the lemon base). That lemon fragrance comes from actual essential oils, which help to clarify and brighten the skin.

Origins Incredible Spreadable Smoothing Ginger Body Scruborigins body scrub

Origins uses the power of Ginger to fuel their version of the body scrub. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory property of ginger root helps reduce pain and swelling in muscles and joints. It’s also full of lemon oil (brightening), Bergamont (soothing), and Lime.

habibi body scrubHabibi Organic Essential Body Scrub

Habibi Body Scrub takes the place of both a scrub and a moisturizer. The formula is full of actual oils (Argan & Shea) and essential oils (Organic Lavender & Chamomile) to moisturize, and uses raw sugar to do the scrubbing portion. The real boost is in the honey, which has been shown to be both highly moisturizing and healing for dry, irritated and generally problematic skin. All we know is, it works. The combination  left our skin smooth and lightly moisturized, and we didn’t need to use lotion or cream after the shower. Bonus!

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He SAID: Transform into Oblivion

Scott F. Evans

I thought about starting this review with some clever bit of hyperbole but decided against it. Why bother dedicating time and energy to smart, creative writing when the creators of ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ didn’t.

transformersThe reviews have all been poor, and rightly so. It’s an assault on the viewer’s senses. Things crash and explode on the screen, the audio levels are deafening and nearly three hours later, all of that sound and fury signifies nothing. It truly epitomizes empty-headed, meaningless time-wasting. And please, spare me the “turn-off-your-brain-it’s-a-popcorn-flick” defense. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present you with the following examples of fun, summer flicks that don’t require the audience to infantilize themselves to enjoy them (I’ll keep it relatively modern for you youngsters out there): The Avengers, District 9, Up, Rise of the Planet of the Apes… four summer releases that offered fun and excitement without reducing themselves to LCD (lowest common denominator) level entertainment.   You can’t even fairly claim the Transformers films are for children, and thus your expectations should be lowered, because they definitely are not. Literally thousands of people die in just this one alone. One of the supporting characters gets a particularly gruesome death that Bay lingers on for what seem likes hours.transformers4 And for the sake of not losing my temper, I’ll just ignore the overt sexuality that is meant to desensitize 13 year old boys and girls (and get them to thinking that it’s perfectly okay to be a 17 year old girl having sex with a 20 year old man, and flipping off your father all the while). Don’t worry kids, it’s all good when we’re this close to the age of extinction.

Michael Bay is, without doubt, one of modern cinemas most visual filmmakers. Criticize all you like, (and yes, your criticisms would all be valid), but he knows how to make pretty pictures. There are a couple golden hour shots that are beautiful.  But his film-making, while dynamic, is also limited. Bay ran out of tricks three or four films ago and somehow no one seems to have caught that. He and his VFX team are on repeat mode. It’s clear that they worked their asses off on this film but the progression from Transformers 1 has only been minor. Bay does the same dolly, crane, car and helicopter shots we saw three films ago. The FX artists make the robots transform, flip and fight just like they did back in ’07. What’s the point of this film again? Geeks lost their shit when the trailers showed Optimus Prime riding Grimlock(?) … and for the 30 second spot, that seemed like a cool idea. But when you apply just an iota of thought to it… you realize it’s really stupid. An alien robot that turns into a Mack truck riding atop another, older alien robot that turns into a dinosaur….

transformers1Which brings us to this harsh reality: The Transformers franchise never got any better than the first time we saw a live action transformation realized on the big screen. After that bit of brilliantly executed spectacle, these films had nothing else to say. Executive producer Steven Spielberg was able to pull a decent “ boy and his car” story out of the first film’s nonsense. But once director Michael Bay and his writers got deeper into the “mythology”, we got Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon and this latest trash. All three of the sequels are truly just the first film: alien robots choose teams, then fight and kill each other while the humans try not to get stepped on. Only in each sequel it just gets… bigger. But I guess that’s the result of a property that was specifically created to sell gimmicky, overpriced toys.

Help to kill this film series please.

RATING: TV (with commercials)

She SAID: PHAME!

Shahada Karim

Call  it the Summer Beauty Event of the year; The second annual PHAMExpo PROFESSIONAL HAIR & MAKEUP SHOW returns to Pasadena this weekend. For two days, some of the biggest names in beauty, hair and makeup converge at the convention center to discuss, display, discover, and learn from international beauty experts.

Come for the classes, and stay for the discounts! PHAME guests get first crack at some of the  latest and greatest products, cutting edge technology and up-to-the-minute hair, makeup and nail trends. Highlights include discounted shopping opportunities, seminars by the industry’s top experts, and demonstrations by some of the world’s most talented artists and stylists.

Taking the stage this year: Sam Fine, Damone Roberts, Frank Galasso, Scott Barnes and British Internet sensations, Nic & Sam Chapman of Pixiwoo. Additional headline speakers include Big Sexy Hair founder Michael O’Rourke from Rock Your Hair and Donna Mee from Empire Makeup Academy (who will be teaching a master class).

Additional classes include “Career Marketing,” “How to Build a Makeup Kit,” “Building a Beauty Brand” and “How to Photograph your own Portfolio.”

Celebrity Makeup Artist Valente Frazier will also be there, for a meet and greet.

The show’s sponsors include Naime’s Beauty Center, Royal & Langnickel Beauty Collection and Lime Crime. Exhibitors include ARDELL Lashes, Zuca, Chella Brow & Eye Collection, China Glaze and Anastasia Beverley Hills. Industry pioneers INGLOT, Laura Mercier, Smashbox Cosmetics and Make Up For Ever will also be on hand to introduce their latest creations, and showcase artists favorites.

PHAMExpo will be held Saturday, June 28 from 8:30 am-5 pm and Sunday, June 29 from 10 am-5 pm at the Pasadena Convention Center (located at 300 Green Street in Pasadena). Tickets are priced from $45- 65.

For more details on speakers, educators, vendors and special events, go to www.phamexpo.com or on Facebook @PHAMExpo.

He SAID: Man in the Mirror

 Cameron Goodwin

In the interest of putting one’s best face forward, men have been tasked with a daily grooming routine that can include everything from a basic shave to regular exfoliating… and maybe even the occasional peel. But you don’t have to venture into the cosmetic aisles and try to choose from hundreds of products. Plenty of companies have taken notice, and laid out some beauty basics meant just for the boys.

SHAVE
When it comes tmaninthemirror1o getting the best possible shave (and the most bang for yourmaninthemirror8 buck), you’d be hard pressed to do better than Gillette. The company ranks #1 in shaving products and paraphernalia, with good reason. The Fusion Manual Razor works just about any kind of cleanser or shaving gel. But if you’re interested in going all out, use it with the Gillette HydraGel Clear Skin Shave Gel.

CLEANSE

maninthemirror2Face and Body Cleansers run the gamut. There are literally thousands of products tomaninthemirror3 choose from, and most of them are separated to perform specific functions for the face or the body. In the interest of keeping it simple, Dove released the Deep Clean Body & Face Bar. This soap pulls double duty by allowing you to use it head to toe.

EXFOLIATE

maninthemirror4If you want to take your routine to the next level, get into the habit of regular maninthemirror5exfoliation. Removing dead skin cells not only smooth out the the overall look and feel of your skin, it also helps ou get the most out of your skin care products. You’re able to effectively penetrate the dermis and affect the ‘new’ skin, without dead skin cells getting in the way. Clinique’s Face Scrub for Men not only gets rid of dead skin cells, it also addresses common problems from shaving, like ingrown hairs.

MOISTURIZE

maninthemirror7By design, exfoliating exposes new skin and leaves it ‘vulerable’ to the elememaninthemirror6nts. Protect it immediately with a good moisturizer. We’re particularly fond of Neutrogena’s Triple Protect Face Lotion. The formula is light, and absorbs instantly. It’s particularly effective on dry or irritated skin. Plus, it’s packed with an SPF of 20, so you also get a healthy dose of sun protection.

*Cameron Goodwin is a regular contributor and the author of THREADS

He SAID: If This is The Last Ship…

Christopher M. Enis

Chandler: He wants help.
Rachel: The only thing that can help him now is morphine.

I felt like I needed a morphine drip after watching the premiere episode of TNT’s new drama, The Last Ship. It tells the story of the crew aboard the USS Nathan James (a Navy Guided Missile Destroyer), which is unaffected after a global pandemic wipes out 80% of the world’s population. This crew, who is led by Commander Tom Chandler (Eric Dane of Grey’s Anatomy ‘McSteamy’ fame) and Dr. Rachel Scott (Rhona Mitra of Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans) has to find a cure for the super virus and SAVE.THE.WORLD.

The premise behind this post-apocalyptic drama is based on the 1988 book of the same name, by William Brinkley. Michael Bay of ‘in your face’ mega-scale movies like Transformers, Bad Boys and Armageddon executive produced this project. The very fact that Bay’s name is attached to the show, should tell you everything you need to know about most of it. In one scene, the ship is attacked by Russian helicopters… but even with a direct hit by numerous missiles the ship is barely scratched. In another scene, the same helicopters chase two soldiers on snow mobiles. Not only are the choppers unable to even graze the soldiers… the soldiers are able to take down the helicopters with a rocket launcher!

And I haven’t even mentioned the dog yet…

The cast is filled with beautiful young people straight out of Central Casting. Because of the overall ‘look’ of the cast, it’s fairly easy to pick out the potential bad guys. They would be the hard-faced, unattractive argumentative types, who must be up to no good because they forgthelastship2ot to shave or hit the local beauty salon before showing up on set. Take for example the second in command, played by Adam Baldwin. He stands around looking like he’s about to explode in an anger-filled tirade at any moment. He exists in sharp contrast to the hot young couple that look like they were handpicked from the latest Abercrombie & Fitch catalogs, who are “secret lovers.” Speaking of which, there’s obvious sexual tension between the two leads… but the Captain’s wife not only survived the pandemic,she can also send him video messages! Yeah, we don’t see a ‘romance triangle’ plot coming AT ALL… (*facepalm)

Just about every TV cliché you can think of is representedthelastship4 or will be (10 episodes will air in Season 1). No thinking outside the box here, folks. So you think that the hot looking young black couple could be the “secret lovers”? NO! Why, that would defy the status quo! How about (spoiler alert) the black guy dies in a (insert lazy plot twist here) nearly comedic scene before the end of the episode. Instead of adding another layer to the story, it really only served to show off the crew wearing their dress uniforms at his memorial service.

Besides it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, because the girl is a Lesbian (Seinfeld voice: NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT). But it’s interesting because although her sexual orientation makes for a great story line, there’s this thing about re-populating the earth … and… well… okay. I guess we’re just going ignore the fact that she is now one of two Black people left on the boat, and that other person is male. Doth this mean thy race is DOOMED?

About the only twist seen thus far is Navy Dog, who got shot at by Russians and still survived the first episode (sucks for you, dead black guy)!

Bottom line, if you’re looking for decent acting and CGI, go play a Call Of Duty game (hey, one of them even has a dog in the cast!)

Let The Last Ship pass you right on by.

We SAID: Weatherproof Your Makeup

Staff Writer

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Summer weather means lots of sun and heat, and that could spell disaster for your makeup. Oil production and sweat are the enemies of a good makeup job, and it can be a pain to make your look last without lots of primer, fixatives and heavy product layering.

Keep cool with our top picks for weatherproof makeup, to keep your look fresh from the moment you put it on, until you take it off.

Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer

summermakeup1

Hourglass pulls double duty with a shine free primer that contains an SPF of 15. The oil free formula goes on white, then completely disappears into skin. We found it works alone to diffuse the look of fine lines and wrinkles, or mixed in with a foundation or tinted moisturizer for extra staying power.

Benefit ‘They’re Real’ Push Up Linersummermakeup2

The latest addition to the Benefit family includes a gel liner with the strangest applicator we’ve ever seen. The vented tip deposits the liner wherever you place the tip, which is shaped to help guide you in a perfectly straight line. The applicator takes some getting used to, but the formula is nothing short of amazing. Smudgeproof, sweatproof, and waterproof… we recommend an oil based cleanser to take it off once you’re finally ready to part ways.

Dior IT-Lash Mascara

summermakeup3Although it’s not a waterproof formula, Dior’s IT-Lash mascara imitates its waterproof counterparts with an iron-clad formula. It takes between 3-6 coats to get truly amazing lashes, and once it’s on this formula doesn’t budge. Still, you won’t need a chisel to get it off. IT-Lash mascara removes easily with a little cleanser and warm water.

By Terry Cheek to Cheek Blush Stainsummermakeup4

By Terry’s Summer collection includes a cheek stain that can be dabbed on for a natural flush, or layered for a full on blush effect. The stain works well on clean skin, and will still show through under a layer of translucent powder or even a light coverage foundation.

Beaute Liqui-Gel Stain

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Few brands have managed to perfect the lip stain like Beaute. The formula is on the thicker side, and instantly binds to the lips upon application. The stain can be layered for deeper color, and sealed with a standard clear lip gloss. Long after the gloss wears off, the stain remains. It fades evenly (not from the inside out), so that you’re never left with an unsightly ring round your lips.