My Top 5 Moments from the Oscars

Their relevancy has been debated heavily in the modern age, but I still love the Oscars. I love movies and I’m fascinated by every aspect of the movie industry. When I was younger, I would always make a list of predictions and watch the Oscars live. I used to practice my own Academy Award acceptance speech in the shower. For best leading actress, naturally, in a movie with Tom Hardy as my co-star, probably.

Now as a bitter adult living in Toronto, I definitely don’t have cable, and I do know that the Oscars aren’t without their problems. It’s not a perfect system. It’s a show rooted in elitist tradition. But still, I hold out, because movies are my first love and I’m down with any night that is dedicated to honouring them.

This year, I was actually able to catch most of the show live, and since it’s a long-ass show with lots of commercial breaks, I’ve compiled my five favourite moments from the show to serve as a little recap.

5. Jackie Chan Wins the Lifetime Achievement Award

So Jackie Chan has worked on an estimated 250 films in his career. If that doesn’t warrant an award, I don’t know what would. The Governor’s award was given back in November, but Jackie also attended the Oscars, and he attended with two stuffed pandas as his dates.

Very pure. Very good.

4. Viola Davis Wins Best Supporting Actress

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Gif via giphy.com

Viola Davis is a queen who has been nominated for an Oscar twice before, but finally won on Sunday for her turn as Rose in Fences alongside Denzel Washington. Viola looked stunning in red and was gracious and elegant accepting her award. Naturally, she gave an incredible and powerful speech, so much so that Jimmy Kimmel joked she should get an Emmy for it.

And in an interview after the Oscars were over, Viola dropped another Emmy-worthy response. Upon being asked what she felt the moment her name was announced during the ceremony, she said, “I felt like a princess, and I never feel like a princess.”

3. Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar

This is both a separate and combined thing, because Dev and Sunny have done a lot of press together due to Lion, and have been ridiculously cute the whole time. During the ceremony, Jimmy Kimmel did a bit where he raised Sunny above his head a la Lion King, which was very cute on its own, but THEN I saw pictures of Dev looking on like a besotted mom and I died a little bit.

Which brings me to my next point: Dev brought his mom as his date again and everyone cried because they are so beautiful and awesome and suddenly my skin was cleared.

(I should note that Lion didn’t pick up any awards, but that it is an amazing movie and you should absolutely see it if it you haven’t yet.)

2. Auli’i Cravalho and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Performance

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Gif via giphy.com

I love Moana. I’m a pretty big Pixar hoe, so I was already excited to see it, and I was definitely not disappointed. I love the movie but am also obsessed with the soundtrack. Honestly, thank God one of the songs was nominated for best original song because the soundtrack is just so good and catchy and wonderful.

Auli’i Cravalho, who voices Moana in the movie, performed the nominated song “How Far I’ll Go” during the ceremony, with a rap introduction by Mr. Miranda himself. The performance was so good and Auli’i is a beautiful angel who has come down to Earth to bless us all and bring us into a better timeline.

1. Moonlight Wins Best Picture

This was a WILD EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER because I had wanted Moonlight to win so badly, as it’s just fantastic, but was so sure La La Land would win because it is perfect Academy fodder. When La La Land was initially announced as the winner, I resigned myself to the inevitable and shut off the TV.

BUT CAN YOU GUESS.

There was a BBC news alert on my phone, of all things, that said Moonlight was named best picture after La La Land falsely was. Initially, I was convinced it was a joke because of the Steve Harvey thing, but then it was a BBC news alert and I started yelling and immediately went on Twitter to investigate.

Classic live TV blunder???

Either way, I got way jazzed with the result and was basically on a high for the rest of the night. Somehow, the Oscars always wind up getting me hyped like nothing else.

 

Latest Faves: Winter Edition

Here we are again: I’m still enjoying things and still trying to let everyone know about these things I am enjoying.

As usual, there’s a mix of fashion, beauty and other miscellaneous whatnots that have been on my radar lately.

And if you would like, let me know what you’ve been enjoying this winter too!

Fashion

Urban Outfitters Hoodie

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In the winter, when it is miserably cold and dreary outside, there is no greater pleasure than putting on your warmest clothes and bunkering down indoors with a cup of tea and a Netflix queue. That was the destination in mind when I picked up this hoodie from the Urban Outfitters men’s department. Cozy living central. I even got it in a medium so it would be extra snuggly. The last few months I’ve definitely used it for its intended purpose, but I can’t pretend that I haven’t also worn this guy outside layered under a jacket. It’s honestly just the best thing for those days when I want to be comfortable, warm and feel a little bit like hiding away from everyone.

Plain White Tee

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An American classic. I mean, yes, I am Canadian but think of every iconic White Tee™ moment and you’ll probably come up with Grease, A Streetcar Named Desire and Rebel Without A Cause. It is an unfortunate truth that I cycle through white t-shirts at an alarming rate. It’s a messy life. I do always like to have one on hand that I can trust. If I’m stuck on a top and running low on time, a white t-shirt is my go-to. Tucked into a skirt or jeans or under a jacket, it’s the ultimate staple piece. So I‘m a frequent sport-er of the white tee on a good day, but lately I’ve found myself wearing them all the time on weekends and casual days. If you find a soft, well-made one like mine from Anthropologie, I guarantee you’ll be reaching for it all the time.

Topshop Embroidered Mom Jeans

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I can’t even tell you about the saga with these jeans. I was so back-and-forth over them for so long. Initially, I was convinced they weren’t “me” and I was just being a slave to trends and Instagram, But I couldn’t stop thinking about them. This obsession was akin to when I saw Pirates of the Caribbean and was in love with Orlando Bloom for a solid week. I gave in and got them, and now wear them all the time, usually with a simple sweater or the aforementioned white tee. The fit is slightly awkward because the jeans have absolutely no stretch (re:sizing up to fit my behind and always having to belt them because they’re too big for my waist.) Alas. That being said, these are serving me very well, and I know they’ll continue to be a staple in my wardrobe all the way into spring.

Beauty

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer

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I’m always up for trying new foundations. Usually I work off of recommendations from my friends and the vast knowledge base known as the Internet, but lately I’ve narrowed down my foundation search to only those with light coverage. Heavy coverage, especially those with oil, I find do more harm than good to my skin. When I heard about this Clinique foundation and concealer, I knew I had to try it. I love the applicator, which is similar in shape to a concealer wand, and the formula is lovely. The foundation blends really well and leaves a dewy finish on my skin. My only note is I do still use a concealer with this foundation since my under-eye circles can be truly frightening. If anyone’s wondering, I have the foundation in the shade Breeze and it works perfectly for me.

Too Faced Sweet Peach Eye Shadow Palette

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When this eye palette first came out last summer, I wanted it to so badly, but didn’t get to it in time before it was sold out. Naturally, when I saw it make its glorious return this winter, I was on that shit in a hot second.

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Generally, I like the formula for Too Faced shadows and I loooove the shades in this palette. Perfect for spring and summer, no? As a side note, the shadows smell like fuzzy peaches too. Is it weird for my eyelids to smell delicious? Probably. And yet, I’ve been wearing these shadows nearly everyday since I bought the palette.

Albeit Shimmer Stick in Champagne

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Since the winter was so cloudy and dark, I took extra care to find that glow this season, and I came across it with a highlighting stick from Albeit, Anthropologie’s makeup brand. The highlighter comes in three shades, one a bronzer, one more of a blush and this pearly shade. This highlighter is referred to as an “all-over” highlight, but it doesn’t mean I’ve applied it literally all over, à la Hourglass Ambient Light powders, but I do use it to highlight specific areas of the face: cheekbones, forehead, tip of the nose and cupid’s bow. When I apply it, I usually blend it in with my fingers to make the glow more subtle, and the effect is gorgeous. Sometimes I catch my reflection during the day where the light is hitting just right and I think, hell yeah, check that glow. (It’s also recommended to use the simmer stick on the body and I’ve yet to try this, but I’ve got a feeling it could provide some sick cleavage highlighting.)

Drybar Southern Belle Volumizing Mousse

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Since I cut my hair short back in November, I’ve been discovering new ways to style it, to make it look more free and beach-y and less like a helmet or a not-chic Anna Wintour cut. This mousse from Drybar was purchased off of a recommendation from a Sephora employee and it definitely did not disappoint. I immediately noticed a difference in volume when I used the mousse and blow-dried my hair, and the product also didn’t leave my hair feeling crunchy, which can often be a big problem with mousse because I have such thin hair. I’ve styled my hair with this and then proceeded to not wash it for three days, and my texture was still good. 10/10.

Miscellaneous

It’s All Absolutely Fine by Ruby Elliot

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I’ve loved Ruby Etc.’s comics for a while, so to say I was excited when I saw she had a book is a slight understatement. Her comics are hilarious and often painfully relatable. Her book contains selections of comics ranging such topics as depression, adulthood and creativity. Ruby’s comics crack me up like nothing else and I’m aways shoving her work in my friends’ faces, trying to get them on board as well. If you want to see some of Ruby’s work, check out her tumblr.

Shura – Nothing’s Real

Shura’s 80s-inspired, dreamy synth pop is exactly the type of vibe I want to have going this year. If you know me at all, you’ll know this is exactly the type of music I go for. Not to mention Shura’s songs remind me of being horribly awkward and in love in high school (still awkward as an adult, just not in love) and make me feel a little nostalgic for the crushes I had when they were just for the sake of having a crush. If you want to feel a little dreamy and floaty, this is the right album for you.

Favourite tracks: What’s It Gonna Be?, Make It Up, 2Shy, Tongue Tied.

Banks – The Altar

Completely different from Nothing’s Real is The Altar, a gorgeous and haunting album by the one and only Banks who, in my opinion, is Queen of the “I will make you fall in love with me and then eat your heart maybe literally” aesthetic. Banks’ vocals on this album are just ridiculous. At any given moment she can sound alluring, innocent, cunning or vicious. I love this album, and the thing I love the most about it is it’s a little creepy. There’s something eerie about Banks’ voice mixed with low-key production and lyrics that linger with you long after the song if over.

Favourite tracks: Fuck With Myself, Lovesick, Poltergeist.

Riverdale

This is my new obsession. I was so stoked when I heard a TV show was going to be made based off of the Archie comics and even more stoked when I heard it was going to be a murder-mystery type series. I’m always open to new interpretations and was really curious to see what it would be like seeing these iconic characters in a modern context. This is not a show without flaws and it does differ hugely form the comics but man I love it. In my opinion, the casting is amazing, the storyline has enough plot twists to keep it interesting and the drama is intense. The show also manages to touch on some pretty important topics (slut shaming, racism) without overstepping. (The boys on the show are also a little easy on the eyes, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Luuuurve

I know very very little about love. Everything I know about romantic love, for example, I learned from romantic comedies, YA novels (specifically Sarah Dessen that shit was my jam) and via proximity to my friends’ relationships.

I used to whinge non-stop when I was in high school about the fact that no boys liked me. Where was my dream boyfriend? Where was he?? Never mind the fact that I had to continuously face the extended-family line of questioning on holidays. (“Still no boyfriend?” “Noooope.”)

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When I went to university, I became a lot less focused on getting a boyfriend. I was busy with school and new friends and honestly, didn’t need that drama. I got enough of that by listening to my friends’ relationship problems. I would be asked advice and, knowing absolutely nothing about dating, would always answer pragmatically, logically and clearly ripping off dialogue from Degrassi.

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To this day, I’ve never been in a relationship (save for one two weeks long in the 9th grade which I don’t really believe counts). I’ve spent every Valentine’s Day alone or with friends. And I’m absolutely fine with all of that. Sometimes, particularly when I’m cold/hungover/watching a cuddly-type movie, I do wish I had someone to cuddle with and kiss and junk. That feeling is always outweighed by the fact that, like every other woman, I have bigger goals for myself than just getting into a relationship.

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There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s normal to seek out human companionship in a romantic way. But sometimes the fear of being alone overshadows the actual feelings one may have towards another. To put it simply: dating for the sake of dating. I had a friend in high school who did this all the time. To me, it’s just too much effort.

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The thing is, pop culture has a habit of singling out romantic love as the most important kind. Magazines geared towards teenage girls put getting a boyfriend above all other priorities. And that’s ridiculous. There are so many other types of love that are just as important: love for the world around you, love for your family, love between friends and self-love.

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Self-love and friendship are the two types that I find are sometimes the most elusive for young women. There are industries built on not liking how we look. There are such high standards for appearance that feeling comfortable in your own skin is a rarity. And never mind trying to figure out if you actually like the person you’re becoming.

The classic narrative of girl vs. girl over boy puts romantic love above friendship. Its a cop-out to say things like “girls are mean” and “girls are catty” when more often than not, I’ve discovered other girls are friendly, insecure and want to be accepted and loved just as much as I do.

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Whether you have a partner or not, embrace these types of loves. Love yourself. Take time to appreciate yourself. Love your friends. Let them know how much you care about them. Don’t be scared or embarrassed to be alone on Valentine’s Day because you won’t be. You can organize a classic Galentine’s Day filled with chocolate and movies (my personal fave for V-Day is horror movies.) You can take yourself on a date; buy yourself a coffee and cupcake, sit down and enjoy being in your own company.

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Either way, there’s a whole lotta love everywhere you look and while Valentine’s Day is the official day of love, it’s something that you can celebrate every single day.

Since it is Valentine’s Day, though, I styled a look that I would wear out on a V-Day date (to a more casual setting) or on a Galentine’s day/night out. Like to mix up the female and masculine, and combining a pink romper with a black leather jacket seemed like a good way to do so.

OUTFIT DETAILS

(Fake) Leather Jacket – Zara

Romper – Urban Outfitters

Boots – Topshop (Similar)

Necklace – Anthropologie

 

A Touch of Yellow

I read somewhere that January of this year was a pretty depressing month for everyone. I couldn’t tell you the source of this, but I can tell you that upon reading it I thought, yeah that sounds about right.

It was something about the lack of sunshine, the cloudy days and early sunsets. While the month was unusually warm, towards the end of it the biting cold of Canadian winter reared its head. I knew, without a doubt, February was going to be just as hard to trudge through, maybe even more so.

I don’t necessarily dislike February (shortest month of the year, one of the last few full winter months before the early signs of Spring appear) but I also don’t really like it (snow squalls, frostbite, people insisting on going to outdoor festivals for some unknown reason). I usually wind up feeling so ambivalent about the month that I can’t decide how I feel about it before it ends.

Also, there’s Valentine’s Day. Bad because of couples, good because of excuses to buy chocolate.

Back when I lived in Ottawa, February was a really difficult month. I was still in school so there were midterms and it was Ottawa, so there was a metric ton of snow and temperatures dipping to -35 degrees. Now that I’m in Toronto, there’s definitely less snow but I would still classify this month as solidly “dreary.”

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It’s a very small thing, but something I’ve done that helps me with my winter mood is wearing bright colours. I’m not saying a red tee is going to cure seasonal depression, but when I do wear a nice, bright colour on a particularly nasty day, I feel a little brighter, too. Maybe it’s the comments I get from others on what I’m wearing, or maybe it’s just the way my brightness on the outside is being reflected internally. Either way, it’s worked for me.

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I’ve been really feeling pink lately, some kind of colour renaissance, but when I saw this yellow sweater at Topshop, I thought, oh golly how perfect. How bright yet cozy, how appropriate for my sticking-it-to-winter-with-clothing battle.

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Now, I could probably also pair this top with a colourful pant or boot, but naturally I went with an entirely black ensemble save for the yellow sweater in question. Why? Because the  honest truth is I have a lot of black clothing. Also, I liked how it made the yellow pop.

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If you’re like me and are feeling a little down about the winter months, maybe try throwing on a brightly-hued piece and strutting around town like it’s a sunny day in May. Bonus points for brightly coloured outerwear, which I’m still on the hunt for. Maybe it’ll help you feel a little lighter and brighter too, even if everything else is a little grey and cold.

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DETAILS

Sweater – Topshop

Skirt – American Apparel

Boots – Shoe the Bear

Coat – Topshop

Bag – Urban Outfitters

Watch – Daniel Wellington

Rings are all from Urban Outfitters