Friday, November 30, 2012

Rise of the Guardians: Movie Review

What's it About? 

When Pitch Black (Law) threatens the hopes, dreams and beliefs of the children of the world, it's up to the Guardians to stand together and defeat him. An animated Avengers, if you will. A reluctant Jack Frost (Pine) has been enlisted to help but can he defeat his own demons in time to save the day? 

Any Good? 

Based on the William Joyce books that explored the root of our make believe heroes, Rise of the Guardians is set 200 years later in modern day and these heroes are nothing like you've seen before.  Santa is a sword wielding, tatted up, no nonsense mountain of a man. Sandy (who'll you'll probably want to put in your pocket) weaves his thoughts and dreams in stunning golden glittering sand. The Easter Bunny is a rough and tumble flaming galah with a bad taste in his mouth when it comes to Jack and the Tooth Fairy is a stunning soft spoken, iridescent feathered fairy with hundreds of even cuter flying helpers, the Baby Teeth. 

The tale opens with Frost being a Jack the Lad bringing joy to children with snow days, ice slides and merriment but he yearns for recognition. When he's summoned to the North Pole by the other Guardians it takes more than a little convincing to get him on board in the battle against Pitch. The 3D here is bright and beautiful, scenes are crisp and clear and only serve to draw you further into the tale as there is never a lull in pace as the story is woven together. 

Comic relief comes in no small part from the non speaking support cast, the elves and the yetis. They steal every scene they're a part of and keep the humour light hearted enough for little ones even though there's a consistent sense of menace from the deliciously dark Pitch Black. (Guillermo del Toro's doing, no doubt). There are pretty in your face parallels between Pitch and Frost but when it comes down to it, Rise of the Guardians is a tale of companionship and the importance of belief, it's peppered with laughter, some truly touching scenes and festive spirit that makes it an easy watch.

When the opening credits for Rise of the Guardians rolled at Movie Fest this year, the predominantly mid thirty and male audience groaned, when our 30 minutes of footage suddenly ended they groaned even louder, having been drawn in to the animated family adventure despite themselves. 

Even though the story isn't too challenging (read thrilling) for older audience members, the slick animation, likeable characters and feel good factor are enough to enthral entire cinemas at a time. Because of the cross holiday feel it could be enjoyed at any time of the year, which is pretty clever on the part of Dreamworks, you can expect to see it played again and again once it hits DVD but, for now, Rise of the Guardians is an ideal festive treat for movie goers of all ages. 


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Count Down to Christmas: Top Advent Calendars

There really is no denying it at we enter the penultimate day of November, Christmas is haring toward us at breakneck speed. For my entire childhood I would love these couple of days because it meant that we'd begin to open doors on the advent calendar my Aunt had sent home from New York. (we were fierce fancy back then). There's nothing like peeling back the first door to get the Christmas spirit going. 

Nowadays there's a billion and one options when it comes to Advent Calendars and savvy brands have cottoned on that there's still a wee child in each of us that loves the thrill of opening a little door a day for a surprise. I've put together some of my faves this year: 

Liz Earle's 24 Days of Christmas
24 Days of Christmas with Liz Earle: €120.50
The most expensive of the lot is 24 Days of Christmas from Liz Earle. Containing 24 luxury samples of skincare to bodycare. If you want a sneak peek at contents you could check out Karen's post here (not advisable if you don't want to be filled with NEED). It's a gorgeous collection and would make a stunning gift for someone special. 

L'Oreal Luxe 

L'Oreal Luxe: €100
This luxury offering from L'Oreal boasts not only designer fragrances but luxury sized samples of mascara, lip gloss, skincare, serums and more. It's an absolute cracker. 

Ciaté Mini Mani Month

Ciaté Mini Mani Month: €50
Words cannot express how much I want to get my mitts on this beauty. Ridiculous scheduling for the past 3 weeks has meant that I haven't had a minute to get into Arnott's Dublin, who have Irish exclusivity, to bag my own. Priced at €50 and boasting 24 mini polishes that's only slightly over €2 a bottle and the chance to rock a different talon look a day this December. Genius I tells ya!

The Ol' Reliable Cadbury

Cadbury's Wishes Advent Calendar: €3.89

Of course if the purse strings and present buying aren't allowing you to afford the bountiful beauty versions, there's always the ol' reliable, chocolate. This year Cadbury's have teamed up with the Make a Wish Ireland, who grant the wishes of children in Ireland living with life-threatening medical conditions, to release the Wishes Advent Calendar. 10% of all sales go directly to the charity. That's guilt free chocolate in anyone's book!

Do you buy Advent calendars? Tempted by the beauty versions this year? 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sequin Nails for Silly Season!

Have we seen the latest product from Ciaté? Just in time for the Christmas and Festive party season we have The Sequinned Manicure. A Magpie's dream. 

The Sequin Manicure pack will set you back £15 though we don't have an Irish price yet. That's why I thought it might be an idea for the less patient amongst us i.e me to figure out how to get this look right now. 

Let's face it, I don't need to be MacGyver now do I? I'll just leave these pictures below, yeah? 

Who doesn't love Dealz?!
Or our trusty NYC
Pick a colour.. Any colour..

While the look isn't to everyone's taste, nor will it ever be completely percise (such is the wonder of loose glitter) for a special event or one night only extravaganza on your talons? I reckon it's a winner. 

What think we? Will you be adding your name to the waiting list for Ciaté's Sequinned Manicure? 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday's Moments: 26/11

Coming to you a little later than usual with busy shenanigans going on behind the scenes here at Casa Cherry, I couldn't let the day go without sharing some Moments. The weeks are genuinely flying in with so much going on but I'm very far from complaining. Loving every moment of it but these 5 stand out this week...

1. Text Your Dream

During a meeting last week an MMS popped up on my phone from the youngest gorgebag. This was the picture attached with 12 stunning hogs, his message just read 'This is my dream x'. I had to wait a minute or two until my serious part of the meeting was done before I could send him this link in response with the message 'Maybe for Christmas? xx' 

He didn't talk to me for over an hour when I got home. 

2. Blogger Bitches FTW

It's not often I come across a site that I instantly fall in love with, bookmark immediately, devour entire archive and check daily in the hopes that they've updated content. 

It happened this week though with the Blogger Bitches Tumblr. Run by Ann it's a hilarious, tongue in cheek tumblr of gifs relating to PR and Affiliate Programme peeves. You don't necessarily have to be a blogger to see the hilarity but please, go check these ladies out!

3. What are the Chances?

As you can see from the humongous mileage there, my work car is getting on a bit. As a result every time I switch on the engine the clock switches to some random time with zero connection to when it stopped. It's a pain in the flesh to reset each time so I gave up. 

Sitting into the car on Thursday evening though, I got a surprise. The random time chosen was exactly the right time by my watch! Ok, it was 5.42am instead of pm but what are the chances? Seriously, what are the chances?...

4. Standing Room Only!

Coming up on December 11th, we have the largest event of the Road Safety (My actual job) year , the Axa/Fingal Road Safety Road Show for TY students. It's a stage performance using Gardaí, Fire and Ambulance Services, Surgeons and some victims or family members of victims of road traffic accidents. It's a hard hitting 70 minutes but has proven to be eye opening for the teens concerned. 

Normally I have a little trouble confirming numbers right up to the day of performance (as anyone who's ever organised anything ever will understand). So this year I changed tack, worded the invitation differently to include the words 'Huge demand', 'First Come, First Served Basis' and 'Wait List Details'. As it stands I've 1000 places filled (capacity) and 98 more looking for room. GET. IN.

5. Powering Parking Kindness?

Moment five happened just this afternoon. I was running late for a Lancôme event in the swanky Shelbourne Hotel so grappling for coins for the machine before I even noticed this. 

Some kind soul had left a ticket with 90 minutes still left to run! Now I've done this before when leaving but it's HIGHLY unusual for me to ever see it done or even benefit. It's quite possible that someone was taking part in the Powering Kindness movement for Focus Ireland, either way I'm very grateful. Made my afternoon. (That and Lancôme). 

So tell me, what's been tickling your pickle this week, eh? Eh? 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cherry Pick of the Week: The Lumineers: Ho Hey

Yes I have more than a penchant for American Folk Rock but this tune from Colorado based band The Lumineers is definitely a stand out. 

You'll recognise the verse from the most recent Microsoft ad but it's also been used in probably the most fitting score of the year for Silver Linings Playbook

Beautiful lyrics, beautiful melody, beautiful song. 

What's been your pick of the week, lyrically speaking? I'd love to know. 

By the by THIS was
a very close contender
this week. Autotune heaven!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Silver Linings Playbook: Movie Review

Who's in it? 

What's it About? 

Silver Linings Playbook is an empathetic and candid look at mental illness and its effect on family, friends and probably most importantly, relationships. 

Any Good? 

The movie opens with Pat coming to the end of a stint in a mental institution following a serious assault and a plea bargain. His mother signs him out against the doctors’ advice and he is thrown back into family life a little sooner than he’s ready for.

The film is more manic than dramatic with an overall sense of angst throughout as more is revealed about Pat’s past, the family that surround him and his obsessive behaviour in an effort to win back his wife. There’s more than a passing resemblance to Garden State in the tone of Silver Linings as we’re shown the inner workings of family life and its dysfunctions.

When Pat meets Tiffany (Lawrence) a young widow suffering with depression that acts out at every opportunity their lives become quickly entwined as they struggle to make sense of each other, themselves and the world around them.

De Niro as Pat’s father plays one of his finest roles in years. His undeniable OCD has been seen as eccentricities for years but Pat coming back into the family home brings problems to the fore as he blames himself for his son’s difficulties.

Silver Linings is a feel good, original story that will see you invested from the word go, yep there are some pretty cheesy scenes and more than a little tension, the ending might even feel like a bit of a cop out but overall there are real laughs and genuine heart here that shine through.

Here Comes the Boom: Movie Review

Who's in it? 

What's it About? 

Here Comes the Boom is the story of an amiable teacher going to great lengths to secure the extra curricular funding and ultimately the sense of ambition in his students. 

Any Good? 

Voss (James) has become complacent and jaded in his job as a biology teacher but when the job of his impassioned colleague and music teacher (Winkler) is threatened, he begins to train and compete as a mixed martial arts fighter. He figures that the huge pay outs for losing the matches will be enough to keep his cash strapped school out of trouble.

James is incredibly likeable in this role and it has to be noted, is probably in the best shape of his career. The fight scenes are realistic and keep the movies pace moving well throughout. Though the plot is predictable the film itself is heartfelt and funny throughout. It does err on the side of corny with American flags flapping at every given opportunity but as a feel good Friday night flick it’s perfectly serviceable and pleasantly surprising.

Here Comes the Boom is in Irish cinemas now. 

End of Watch: Movie Review

Who's in it?

What's it About?

Coming from David Ayer, director of Training Day and Fast and Furious, End of Watch is a hard hitting and intense look at the inner workings of a LAPD beat. 

Any Good? 

Gyllenhall and Peña are partners, just returning to the force following an IA investigation of a shooting and are assigned a new district to police. A chance discovery of a small stash leads Gyllenhall to become suspicious, acting on instinct however leads them to a much larger discovery that sees them marked for death by a notorious Cartel operating in the area.

Because the movie is shot under the guise of a class project, we follow the intense action through a hand held camera, dash mounted unit and lapel cameras. This gives the viewer a truly voyeuristic vantage point of both the incredibly close; often laugh out loud funny partnership but also of the fraught, sometimes terrifying situations that the officers face.

End of Watch will have you gripped from the opening scenes and holding tight to the edge of your seat right up to its emotional hard hitting conclusion. Cracker of a film.

End of Watch opens in Irish cinemas today. 


Thursday, November 22, 2012

It's BEE-Ginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: Burt's Bees Christmas Gift Ideas

You might remember that Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm very easily made it into my top 3 of all balms a little while back. The story of the company's set up and continual growth makes for very interesting reading as does their commitment to keeping natural products natural. It's no wonder then that their products are on many a HG list, not just mine for balms. 

This Christmas season Burt's Bees have taken the sting (geddit?) out of gift buying with their beautiful pre made gift sets. If you're a natural product lover or buying for one then there's without doubt something here that'll float your boat at a price you'll like. 

I've picked out a couple of my favourites to give you a look but there's many, many more available in pharmacies, health stores, Avoca and Easons (Yes, Easons) nationwide.  

Burt's Bees Basics

Burt's Bees Tips & Toes

Burt's Bees Basics comes in two sets:

  • Balm & Hand salve
  • Balm & Lemon Cuticle Creme

Burt's Bees Tips & Toes contains everything you'll need for hand and foot care with:

  • Almond Milk Hand Cream
  • Hand Salve
  • Honey & Grapeseed Hand Cream
  • Coconut Foot Cream
  • Lemon Cuticle Cream
  • Replenishing Lip Balm

The brand have very kindly sent me the Burt's Bees Travel Basics set so you can have a looksee at exactly what's contained below. Lovely, right?

Burt's Bees Travel Basics Gift Set

Burt's Bees Favourites: Pomegranate 
And my final pick of the crop that just so happens to be the most expensive of the lot is the Favourites gift set in pomegranate that contains: 

  • Cranberry & Pomegrante Sugar Scrub
  • Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Lotion
  • Pomegranate Lip Balm
  • Body Wash Puff
  • Body Bar

What do we think? Could they BEE any cuter? (OK, I'll stop now)

Psst: Just a quick heads up,
I stumbled across
with several of these sets at reduced 
cost! If you like 'em, buzz over there quicksmart
(Swear that's the last one)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Introducing Inglot's Seasonal Sparkle Polish: 224

Apart from my new grá for Inglot shadows I've been bitten by their polish bug too. I'm a huge lover of metallics when it comes to my talons and have been for quite some time, they allow you to get the sparkle (when the formulation is right) but also assist in skipping with the removal of glitters, which let's face it, is a pain in the flesh. 

Inglot 224: €10
Inglot 224: Serious Sparkle
As you can see, 224 is packing some serious heat when it comes to metallic shine and bright foil effect. To be fair I had tried one or two Inglot polishes before and hadn't been bowled over by their formulation, so how did this one fare? 

It applies like a dream, full foil opacity in two smooth coats with no dragging or graineyness that can be found in a lot of metallic nail polishes. 

It's a much calmer and more yellow gold shade on the nail than in the bottle but even so, once the sunshine hits, it's sparkle city. 224 is subdued enough for day to day wear and subtle enough to go with just about every outfit (including festive party rig outs) so for that it's definitely worth a looksee, as are the other four shades in this seasonal range. 

One word of warning though, longevity isn't as good as it could be. I had tip wear on day two and chips on day three but despite that I'd happily purchase the other shades. Be sure to use a base and top coat to try and elongate your metallic mani but other than that, just enjoy. 

Have you tried these new seasonal shades yet? A foil polish love in general? 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats: Prune Virgin for a Bold Lip Virgin

First arriving in the Autumn YSL Contemporary Amazon collection, I've been a little wary of Prune Virgin Rouge Pur Couture Mat simply because it's so dark in the bullet. I'm more a gloss or coffee coloured kisser girl. How wrong I was. 

The Mats are formulated with Jojoba oil and emollients so my concerns about Prune Virgin drying my lips were also completely unfounded. It's silky soft on application and wears as one of the most comfortable lipsticks I've used. 

Prune Virgin  (€32),Shiny & Bright on first application
YSL promise 6 hours wear with The Mats and again, I was dubious so I thought I'd give you a look at Prune Virgin on the lips 6 hours later. For Science. 

Prune Virgin 6 Hours Later
As you can see, the colour fades evenly and even after 6 hours the lips are pigmented and still soft. I did apply one swish of Kiehl's Lip Balm during that time but that was more of habit than necessity. 

Minimal makeup & bleary eyed from a 8am site visit but Lips a Poppin'!
I can safely say I'm converted. Prune Virgin is absolutely nothing like I had imagined and it's found its way right into my make up rotation. It's my ideal for early mornings, haring out the door with no time for full face application. 

What think we? Have you tried any of The Mats? Or are you Bold Lip Lover?

MAC Glamour Daze: Stolen Moment & Round Midnight Swatches

MAC collections and I don't always get on, it could be that there's a bajillion a month so not only is it impossible to keep up but I kind of lose enthusiasm in a product if it's being consistently churned out. The Extra Dimension and the Glamour Daze collections are a little different though and I'm more than a little in love with them. 

My affair started with Superb from the Extra Dimension release, it's a rose gold skin finishing powder that hasn't left my rotation since purchase in April. As soon as I realised it would be released again, this time with similar eye shadows I was all over it. 

Stolen Moment & Round Midnight: €21.50 each
I'm a big lover of palettes and well priced beauty goods so when I caught a glimpse at the price of these weenchy little pots (€21.50 each) I couldn't help but flinch... but then I swatched 'em..

Stolen Moment
Stolen Moment is a bright champagne taupe in the pan but a deeper shade once applied. With purple undertones and a high metallic finish, it's an absolute beauty on its own or blended into the crease. 

Round Midnight
Round Midnight is a deep burgundy based purple with intense colour pay off, even swatched lightly. Again we're talking high shine metallic finish but used wet it's completely opaque and will not budge once on the skin. 

While both shades are stunning once applied, I'll have to be honest and say that they're really not worth €21.50 a piece. I love them, truly I do but have had buyer's remorse since purchase - I just can't see how MAC can justify over €20 per shadow when the likes of Urban Decay, Stila or indeed Inglot will present a stunning palette for the cost of two shadows. 

Have you picked up anything from the collection yet? Or are we over MACs very many Limited Editions already?