beauty

Halloween Lipstick Looks

Halloween is so close! I’m thrilled for tomorrow, especially since I have two costumes (one for work and one for my party). I think that Halloween is the perfect time to experiment with makeup even if you’re not donning a costume this year, so I wanted to share two classic lipstick looks that are perfect for this time of year.

I think that red lipstick knows no season and is classic all year round, but if it’s something you’ve always been too scared to try then this is the perfect time to take the plunge. The one I’m wearing in the picture above is both affordable and super easy to apply – Almay Lip Vibes in Treat Yourself (available at Ulta for just $7.99). I love that it wears evenly, applies smoothly and opaquely, and doesn’t dry out my lips.

 

Of course, if you’re feeling extra bold this Halloween, why not rock a black lip? In the picture above I’m wearing Wet n Wild MegaLast Catsuit Matte Lipstick in So Noir Cool (available from Ulta for $4.99). I haven’t worn this one for a significant amount of time yet because I’ve been saving it for Halloween, but I’ve tried to apply it a few times. While it’s trickier to apply evenly (which is often the case for cheaper lipsticks), I appreciate that it really doesn’t seem to budge once it’s dry. Anyway, hopefully it lasts through my whole work day tomorrow!

Are you dressing up for Halloween tomorrow? What will you be wearing? Be sure to let me know in the comment section!

Thanks for reading,

Tiffany

Book Review

Top 7 Horror Novels for Halloween

Halloween is nearly upon us! I can’t believe that this time next week, my apartment will be decorated for Christmas (don’t judge me!) Anyway, Halloween isn’t until Thursday so you definitely still have time to squeeze in another horror novel. Here are my top 7 suggestions for what you should read next!

Me + Snapchat filter = looking like an aging Wednesday Addams 

1.The Shining by Stephen King – This is one I read pretty much every Halloween. I’m a huge fan of both the book and movie (I even have an Overlook Hotel keychain!) This is some great horror that truly balances plot and character development. It’s atmospheric – the hotel almost seems like its own character. Overall, it’s just a really fun read! 

2.We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver – This is a heavy one filled with realistic horrors. There’s some amazing psychology to unpack in this book that really questions the nature vs. nurture argument for what happens when children do unbelievably evil things.

3.Dracula by Bram Stoker – This is another one I tend to read every year. While not the first vampire novel, it is for sure one of the most famous of the vampire classics. I like the epistolary style and the gothic vibes. There’s a reason this one inspired so many retellings.

4.House of Bathory by Linda Lafferty – Elizabeth Bathory, one of history’s most prolific female serial killers, is at the heart of this novel. I thought this was a fun exploration of both history and a modern mystery. It’s fast-paced and super creepy!

5.The Ruins by Scott B. Smith – While killer plants in the Mexican jungle seems like a cheesy plot, I actually loved this book. It’s fascinating and delves into more psychological aspects of the characters than I was expecting. I couldn’t put this one down!

6.The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey – I actually HATE zombies (they just typically bore me) but I adored this book. It was such a unique addition to the super tired and overdone zombie subgenre. I’m really glad I gave it a chance.

7.Help for the Haunted by John Searles – This is more mystery than horror but it has enough paranormal stuff that I feel comfortable including it on the list. It definitely has spooky moments but the driving force really is the mystery of the protagonist’s parents deaths.

What’s your favorite horror novel? Be sure to let me know in the comments section – and while you’re there, tell me what costume you’ll be rocking this year!

Thanks for reading,

Tiffany

Movie Review

Top 10 Horror Movies for Halloween

Halloween is less than 2 weeks away! In between prepping for a wedding (not mine) and a Halloween party (mine), I’ve been watching so many horror movies again this year. Of course, I think horror is a great genre year-round, but for those of you who only dabble in the black arts during Autumn, I thought I’d share my top 10 picks!

art dark eerie hands
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

1.The Conjuring

IMDB Description: “Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.”

I think this is one of the greatest modern horror movies. It’s based on a fascinating true story, and the cinematography is top-notch. It’s moody/atmospheric and the jump scares are kept to a minimum (which means that you’re always on guard and aren’t able to get used to them). There’s a reason that this film was successful enough to launch a huge franchise (The Conjuring 2, The Nun, Annabelle, etc.)

 

2.Hell House, LLC

IMDB Description: “Five years after an unexplained malfunction causes the death of 15 tour-goers and staff on the opening night of a Halloween haunted house tour, a documentary crew travels back to the scene of the tragedy to find out what really happened.”

This is for sure one of my favorite independent horror movies. Again, instead of being replete with jump scares, there are lots of subtly creepy things that gradually build into a great ending. I highly recommend this one (but I do not recommend its two sequels). Bonus: creepy clowns.

 

3.The Descent

IMDB Description: “A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.”

This movie has multiple things going for it: female friendship, claustrophobia, and weird underground creatures. My favorite thing about it really is how well it manages to make the viewer to feel trapped as well. This is a fascinating, unique film (which did not need a sequel – don’t watch the sequel).

 

4.The Ring

IMDB Description: “A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone one week to the day after they view it.”

I watched this film in junior high so it has a special place in my dark heart as being one of my first real horror movie experiences. Fun fact: I had a friend who was terrified of this movie. One day, she left her locker open and I put a note that said, “Seven Days” inside the locker and closed it. To this day, I think that’s one of the meanest things I’ve ever done. Overall, this is just a well-done horror movie with a surprisingly heartfelt plot and some stylistic cinematography.

 

5.Scream

IMDB Description: “A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.”

I love that this is a self-aware horror movie. Fans of horror will love the references to various horror tropes that pervade this film. I love the entire Scream franchise (including the spin-off TV series). These movies are great slasher flicks which don’t take themselves too seriously.

 

6.The Rite

IMDB Description: “American seminary student Michael Kovak  travels to Italy to take an exorcism course.”

Inspired by a true story, this is a great movie about faith. The acting is also superb since it stars none other than Sir Anthony Hopkins! This is the kind of movie that has plenty of scares but also makes you think about your own beliefs.

 

7.Get Out

IMDB Description: “A young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.”

This is a groundbreaking movie that deserves a place in history for causing critics to start taking horror more seriously. This film, through its fantastic and nuanced discussion of race in America, proved that horror can have something to say. I highly recommend this one!

 

8.Silent Hill

IMDB Description: “A woman, Rose, goes in search for her adopted daughter within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill.”

This is definitely my most controversial pick as it was panned by critics and horror-lovers alike. But I don’t care – I love this movie! Yes, it’s cheesy and based on a video game, but I think the special effects are great and some of the monsters (the nurses, pyramid-head, etc.) are super cool!

 

9.Trick ‘r Treat

IMDB Description: “Five interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband; and a mean old man meets his match with a demonic, supernatural trick-or-treater.”

I don’t often like anthology films, but this is a really good one (which is also perfect thematically for Halloween). What sets this film apart is that the five stories are actually connected in a loose but organic way which makes it feel really complete. This one is definitely worth a watch!

 

10.They Look Like People

IMDB Description: “Suspecting that people around him are turning into evil creatures, a troubled man questions whether to protect his only friend from an impending war, or from himself.”

I love psychological horror and this one kept me guessing until the very end – is this guy crazy or are evil things lurking about? This one is dark and suspenseful but more disturbing than scary. Overall, it’s one of the best low-budget horror options out there.

 

Well, I hope I’ve inspired you to give horror a try this Halloween season! Are you already a horror fan? What are some of your favorites? Please, let me know in the comment section!

Thanks for reading!

-Tiffany

 

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: Opera (1987)

Happy Halloween! I hope you’re planning something spooky for this evening. Thanks to everyone who has been following along with my 31 Days of Halloween. For this final day, I wanted to discuss Opera, a film by Dario Argento and my favorite movie in the giallo tradition.

Opera Poster

IMDB’s Description: “A young opperata is stalked by a deranged fan bent on killing the people associated with her to claim her for himself.”

This year I discovered a new love of a very specific type of horror/thriller film: the giallo. These Italian-made horror flicks blend mystery elements with grisly horror, and I have just been devouring them. Opera has quickly become one of my favorites because of the interesting imagery and unique plot. There are some interesting allusions to The Phantom of the Opera, but don’t expect a grand love story here. Instead, we get to delve deep into the mind of a very twisted murderer trying to recapture something he never truly had.

Thanks again to everyone who followed this blog series! I hope this is a fun, memorable Halloween for you all!

Next up, I plan to return to book reviews for a while – and yes, there will definitely be an emphasis on Christmas books!

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: They Look Like People (2015)

I love when horror movies make you question the reality of what you’re seeing. Unreliable main characters can be both frustrating and fascinating as you try to piece together what is going on internally and externally (and whether the two are one and the same). That’s why my penultimate pick for 31 Days of Halloween is They Look Like People.

They Look Like People Poster

IMDB’s Description: “Suspecting that people around him are turning into evil creatures, a troubled man questions whether to protect his only friend from an impending war, or from himself.”

This is a movie that I don’t want to say too much about, but I want to encourage everyone to watch it. It’s only about 80 minutes long, but it is fascinating. You’ll spend the whole movie trying to figure out if you should be as skeptical of the main character as the other characters seem to be or if he is the only one who truly understands what is going on. This is another horror movie with a fantastic ending and a surprising amount of emotion.

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: Witch-Hunt (2017)

Day 29 of my 31 Days of Halloween goes to another independent horror film: Witch-Hunt. This is a really interesting movie structured around a game, and at times, the movie itself feels like a game. When something sinister seems to be happening, the characters have to decide if one of them is really a witch. As a viewer, you’ll be playing along from home.

Witch-Hunt Poster

IMDB’s Description: “When five young women gather to play a witch-themed board game, they begin to suspect one of them may actually be a witch.”

I love the interesting structure used in this film. With each round of the game, we learn more about one of the players/characters. This is one movie that, upon finishing, I immediately felt like I needed to watch it again. Sure enough, there were lots of clues and subtle references to what might be going on that I had missed the first time. This movie really isn’t scary, but it’s psychologically interesting. You’ll definitely be wondering if you’re just caught up in the hysteria of witches or if magic really is afoot.

Movie Review

31 Days of Halloween: Hell House LLC (2015)

For Day 28 of 31 Days of Halloween, I have selected Hell House LLC, one of the best independent horror movies I have ever seen! This mockumentary-style found-footage film really stands out from others in this genre. It’s tense and creepy but judicious with its use of jump scares. The people who made this film definitely understand that sometimes subtle things a bit out of place are just as unsettling as something jumping out at you.

Hell House LLC Poster

IMDB’s Description: “Five years after an unexplained malfunction causes the death of 15 tour-goers and staff on the opening night of a Halloween haunted house tour, a documentary crew travels back to the scene of the tragedy to find out what really happened.”

I don’t know about you, but I love haunted house attractions. They give you a true adrenaline rush even though you know deep down that everything will be okay. But as I visit haunted houses/theme parks/rides/etc I always wonder how long it would take for someone to recognize a genuine emergency. This film takes that fear and cranks it up to the next level. This movie about a group of people who are creating a haunted house attraction only to find that the fear is a little too real is one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in a long time.