Posts Tagged ‘review’

Review – Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (XBox One)

I’ll be honest. Prior to watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I have never seen a Star Wars movie. I also have never played a Lego game either, at least not in its entirety. So as a newcomer, I was in awe to see how the two franchises came together to weave a well structured game, not only in story, but in game design.

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a beautiful game. From the moment you are thrown into the Battle of Endor, you encounter beautiful, lush environments and vivid colors that surround the area. It’s hard to believe that you’re looking at Lego blocks when the texture quality keeps you focused on the characters and your surroundings. The LEGO designs of famous Star Wars machines also look amazing. Whether you are riding on the X Wing or AT-ST, it looked nice to see them designed as LEGO’s. The cinematics are stunning, and the smaller details made me anticipate for the cut scenes in between gameplay.

Explosions look great in LEGO form.

The game keeps true to the story line of Star Wars Episode VI/VII, adding on light-hearted humor to appeal to its younger audiences while still having bits of adult humor. The game doesn’t take itself too serious, but has a good balance between its quirky and serious moments. I had a few good laughs throughout the main story and I often walked around just to hear the small character dialogues. The scene where Kylo Ren makes his appearance and has trouble using his lightsaber will be one of my favorite moments in the game.

Its ok, you’re still one of my favorite villains in the series.

When it comes to character controls, they are pretty straight forward. As the story progresses, you start to have the option to juggle between characters, each with their own quirks. Whats great about each character is that they feel different but play similarly. For example, Poe and Han Solo attack differently with their combination attacks, but they each have a grappling hook.

The characters themselves are important to advance the story and help unlock different areas and can help with various puzzles throughout the game. I had a bit of difficulty adjusting myself to swapping between the various characters, but it got easier once I found a flow to it. The overall difficulty of the game varies in terms of puzzles, but there are unlimited lives and immediate respawns. There’s no real penalty for death, so you can die as often as you’d like during a boss battle and not have to worry about starting from the beginning.

What stood out to me were the shoot outs. They were fast paced and the graphics also gave them another layer of intensity. Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought the scenario to life, while I was scrambling to duck and cover and find the right button to press through out these fights. However, the game auto locks to your target, so it becomes easier and doesn’t take a lot of effort on your end. Regardless, it kept the game fresh at crucial times.

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The flight combat was also nice to play, even though it felt a bit too fast paced at times. However, you experience close quarters flying as well as open range. Its tougher to dodge in close quarters but it feels like a high flying pursuit chase against the enemies, and the game is essentially piloting the ship for you. Open range feels very much like any other space shooter, with easier controls, such as flying backwards/dodging with one button. It still looks visually pleasing, and the objectives are simple enough. Once again, the cost of death isn’t too high, and you’ll respawn close to where you last left off.

The puzzles were anywhere between simple and difficult, but they were never frustrating. A lot of the puzzles involve swapping between characters and their special abilities (Poe and his grappling hook, or BB-8 and his hacking skills). You also know what characters you will need, just by hovering over the puzzle itself. You’ll start to feel the monotony of certain character puzzles, but the combat and exploring takes care of that on its own.

While you can advance through the game rather easily, there is an incentive to go back to worlds that you’ve traveled before and get more unlockables that you couldn’t get with other characters. There is an endless amount of replayability in this game that adds in a few extra hours, without feeling like a chore.

Closing Thoughts
While the game itself is targeted towards younger audiences, I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of either Star Wars or loves playing LEGO games. The puzzles are fun, the fighting feels smooth and there is an endless amount of fun for multiplayer co-op. This is a great addition for any gamer in your household for the Holidays.

Rating: 8.5/10

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Review: Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara

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I initially received a sample size of this mascara at Sephora (100 Point Reward). I used up the sample in less than two weeks and rushed to my nearest Sephora to grab a full-size, only to learn that the store that I had visited was sold out 😓 I immediately went on the Tarte website and to my surprise, there was a sale on 😍 So, I bought two Tarteist Lash Paint Mascaras, without any hesitation, and this is why 😀

I will begin by stating that I already have quite thick, dark and volumous curly lashes, so my purpose, with regards to using mascara, is to add more drama, length and volume as well as for lash separation. After applying one coat of this mascara, my lashes were instantly thicker, longer and more defined (in that there was more curl). However, this mascara, true to its name, has a paint-like consistency – it’ s thick!!! and takes longer than any other mascara I have ever used before to dry. While the mascara dries, it is crucial not to let your lashes touch your lids (especially if you have eyeshadow on!), as colour transfer is bound to happen and this product isn’t so simple to remove once it touches skin! I had to wait about 3 minutes before applying my second coat and thats when I really fell in love because I usually need at least 3 coats of mascara to achieve the look I go for and managed to get it in just 2 coats with Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara. Here is a picture of what my lashes looked like after two coats.

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I find I get better results when I apply this mascara after I have primed my eyelids and applied eyeshadow (I think the color that falls off and settles onto my lashes helps to build up the volume of the mascara).

This mascara stays put on my lashes for about 8-10 hours before I notice particles of it on my face. It seems fairly easy to remove with a (preferably, an oil-based) face wash/cleanser, although I have struggled to find a makeup remover that can get rid of ALL traces of this mascara. Despite removing my makeup with built for make-up wipes, and washing and toning my face at night, some mornings, I still wake up with black crud in my eyes and on random parts of my face 😬

Nonetheless, Tarte has outdone itself with this mascara which Tarte claims on its website is vegan friendly as well as safe for contact lens wearers.

Have you tried this mascara? Share what you think 🙂

Post originally featured on: https://empirikalsolutionz.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/review-tarte-tarteist-lash-paint-mascara/

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Review: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Drink of H20 Hydrating Boost

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Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Drink of H20 Hydrating Boost ($47 CDN) is a new lightweight gel facial moisturizer that is water-based, packed with marine antioxidants as well as free of phthalates, mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfates, gluten and parabens!!!

The first time I tried a gel moisturizer was two years ago when I was in Hong Kong. I remember being enthralled with the rose scent and wishing  thatI could have re-purchased the product when it finally finished, but I was NOT willing to pay exorbitant customs charges and could not find a local supplier ☹

A few weeks back, when I saw an advertisement for Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Drink of H20 Hydrating Boost on the Tarte website, I was hyped to learn it would be available in the Canadian market soon, because I couldn’t wait to test out this gel moisturizer.  Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Drink of H20 Hydrating Boost was released alongside a line of other skincare (including SPF and a cleansing gel) as well as make-up products and brushes. The packaging for these items is super cute – gold embossing on turquoise, pink and purple!

The moisturizer comes in a jar, which I prefer, since I can use as much as I need. However, be mindful not to leave lidded products open for too long as this usually compromises on their quality. The moisturizer is thick, clear and has a strong floral (lavender) fragrance.

Once I applied the gel onto my freshly washed and toned face, I noticed that it felt very refreshing and hydrating. It also absorbed quickly and easily into my skin.

I had no issues applying my regular makeup routine on top of this moisturizer although I did find that I looked “shinier” (the moisturizer I was using prior is advertised to reduce pores and sebum flow, and to be anti-shine and mattifying). I also used this as a PM moisturizer and found that my skin remained hydrated throughout the night.

Although I am not sure I will disregard all moisturizers I have used before (nor can I say that I will refrain from trying new products on the market), I can safely say that since I’ve been re-introduced to the world of gel moisturizers, I don’t know if I could return back to cream moisturizers. Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Drink of H20 Hydrating Boost really provides a boost of hydration to my skin and feels refreshing and light. Not to mention, this gel is packed with anti-oxidants.

Currently, Rainforest of the Sea Drink Of H2O Hydrating Boost is only available either at Tarte.com, Sephora stores, or on Sephora.com

If you’ve had experience with this product, please share your thoughts.

Post originally featured on: https://empirikalsolutionz.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/review-tarte-rainforest-of-the-sea-drink-of-h20-hydrating-boost/

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Summer skincare picks from The Body Shop

Yikes it’s already September! But it’s still pretty sunny here in Toronto, and at record-high temperature! Here are some of The Body Shop’s best skincare products for the summer season.

When looking for summer skincare, I like to get something lighter because it’ll feel heavy on my face all day in the sun. My skin is already normal to oily, so I feel like it gets overly oily due to the heat. I’d highly recommend these summer beauty picks if you’ve got the same skin type!

If you’re not already a huge fan of The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skincare line – it’s been their number one anti-acne skin care routine since 1995. Clinically proven to give visibly clearer skin, this range works hard to combat existing blemishes without over-drying your skin.

20 years later, they’ve decided to super-size the line – wooh! Jumbo size Tea Tree Cleanser! I love how this cleanser easily breaks down makeup leaving your face feeling fresh – and it smells fantastic! But the best part really is how clean your face looks after washing with this cleanser. There’s a bit of mattifying powder that will leave you with a fresh, clear glow.

Tea Tree Line UpIt’s funny how their Tea Tree Oil is their top anti-blemish solution – I mean putting oil on top of oily skin sounds like an excess in oil… but really it’s helping to balance your skin without drying it out. Using other products that strip away your natural oils actually just dry out your skin and add new problems (eww, peeling!).

All you have to do is dab a bit of this oil onto a blemish and watch it disappear overnight! I can’t believe I used to believe in drying out my acne spots with toothpaste. You get the same soothing feeling with this oil, and now that it’s in a jumbo-sized bottle, you’ll be set all year long!

 

And while you’re catching all that Vitamin D, make sure to try The Body Shop’s new Vitamin C products:  the Boosting Moisturiser and Instant Glow Enhancer.
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I tend to get dehydrated during the summer because I’m being more active and spending a lot more time outdoors. So I need to switch my moisturiser for something lighter, like this gel-based moisturiser. Not only does it offer my skin plenty of hydration, it smells great! I love the smell of citrus in beauty products. It’s an instant energizer for those drab days (yep, it’s time to go back to school).

But the real magic product is the Instant Glow Enhancer – it’s got a little bit of a tint so I don’t even bother with foundation. I just brush on a bit of shimmery bronzer on top and I’m glowing!

If there’s one thing the Body Shop does right – it’s their fragrances. Every product they make smells fantastic, and in turn makes you feel fantastic when you’re wearing it.

Do you change your skincare routine during the warmer months? What do you look for in summer skincare?

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Stylish Sips Cocktails at @TheLondonNYC

I was invited to The London Bar at The London NYC hotel last week to try cocktails from their “Stylish Sips” menu. The London NYC was the Preferred Hotel of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, so it was only fitting that they offered a special, runway-inspired cocktail list throughout the month of February.

TheLondonBar

 

THE BAR
Even though MBFW had just wrapped up the week before, there was no shortage of chic and fashionable clientele at the sexy, luxurious bar. It’s the type of place where you could bump into a celeb at any moment, but somehow manages to pull off being welcoming and unpretentious. It’s the type of place that’s super swanky, but you can have round after round of perfectly-crafted cocktails, great conversation — and completely lose track of time. The night I went, it was the perfect escape from the work week on a cold night in NYC.

 

THE DRINKS
It was hard for me to choose from the menu, but I decided on the Glamazon and The Red Carpet.

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The London Red Carpet
Fresh raspberries, Stoli Vodka, blood orange and lime juices, agave nectar, topped with Thai chili pepper-infused oil

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Glamazon ($20)
Pisco 100, Solerno Blood Orange Liquor, Cointreau, St Germain, fresh lime juice

 

THE VERDICT
I love the swanky, Sex and the City vibe, great service and perfect drinks. Stylish Sips is over at the end of the month, but The London Bar’s signature cocktails, like The London Bloom and Pink Panther, look incredible and they also have an amazing wine list. This is a must-do for NYC.

 

The London Bar
151 West 54th Street, NYC

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Incredible Sleep with @Pillo1


There is no beauty secret that is older or truer than a good night’s rest. During our sleep every night our skin cells regenerate, our bodies rest and our organs digest food. Beside drinking a lot of water, eating tons of fruits and veggies – the only other thing you need is SLEEP!

Dr Hall’s Pillo1 is a special designed pillow that maximize your sleep and comfort in every way possible. A ton of pillows does not make better sleep but the right shape pillow will help. The Pillo1 ensure you have the right alignment and heal while u sleep.

The Pillo1 I got is a size medium and because I don’t have a sham, I used two pillow cases on either side to ensure it is covered. It is so comfy and I can’t wait to take turns using this every night and for midday naps. The pillow is made of antibacterial latex from the milk of a rubber tree. Dr. Hall’s PILLO1 offers a 30 day risk-free guarantee! If you do not experience neck pain relief in 30 days, send it back and we will refund your money. There is nothing to lose but a pain in the neck.

Looking forward to better night sleeps ahead!

Get yours at Pillo1.com

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