Extreme beauty trends

Have you noticed how the beauty world can be a little bit mysterious sometimes?! Shouldn’t beauty trends make us more attractive, more beautiful?

The new generation of beauty gurus are trying to break the traditional beauty standards and are using social media to talk about them. While laser hair removal has become the latest trend, social media is showing us that beauty gurus are not ready to get rid of hair and are, in fact, even developing a cult for keeping it around.

Everything began two years ago when female celebrities proudly showed their hairy underarms on red carpets. At the time, we were talking more about a movement than a trend. It was a way for women to get their power back and to act as they wanted.

Of course, Madonna was one of the first who decided to proudly show off her hairy armpits.

Back in 2016, models with furry nails were seen on the runway at the New York Fashion Week. We owe this incredible manicure trend to Jan Arnold, director and co-founder of CND Nail Polish. What a surprise it was to see hair on models’ hands, but, at the same time, it seemed to be an extension of nail art, something the fashion world could easily accept.

Earlier this year, Instagram showed us a new trend regarding hair: “Squiggle brows”!!! As weird as it sounds, the idea is to create a zig zag shape on your eyebrows. I don’t know about you, but I feel like doing your brows is difficult enough without having to adopt a trend that requires an entire day — especially if it makes you look like an alien.

Few weeks ago, another bizarre trend came up, and, if you have an Instagram account or a Facebook profile, you’ve probably seen this picture in your feed.

Yes, getting fake hair nose extensions is the new trend…!!!!!!!

@Gret_Chen_Chen probably didn’t imagine that the photo reposted a thousand times all over the world. But since then, the trend has taken hold, and is being spread by beauty gurus, and seems to mean something.

Again, isn’t beauty supposed to make you feel pretty? Is it going too far?

The more I ask myself, the more I understand that beauty shouldn’t be a standard but something that makes you feel good and confident. So if having a nose full of hair makes you feel awesome, why not?!

Dear… Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey dead in American Beauty | Photo Property of Jinks/Cohen Company – DreamWorks Productions

Dear Kevin Spacey,

The queer community does not claim you. We hear by spit in the face of queerness which you used as a shield to soften the blow that you are indeed a vile predator. How dare you use the act of coming out, which, for some within the community, is one of the most important and vital moments in their journey to self-acceptance. To stand before your fans, peers, and millions of victims of sexual abuse, and try to use a man’s suffering at your hands is by far one of the most ludicrous and destructive acts I’ve had the displeasure of witnessing this year. Don’t think the hammer of justice won’t fall upon your smug face because you’ve now come out as a queer man. No! I still have some trust in the judicial system and with the recent string of celebrity sexual predators being exposed for the vile human beings they truly are, I trust that you won’t be able to hide behind your queerness for long.

And while we’re on the topic of disgusting human beings, recently, Actor Corey Felman stepped forward and brought much-needed awareness to one of the most shocking (but not really that shocking cause this is Hollywood we’re talking about here) topics that are rarely ever brought up in today’s society. And that’s pedophilia. In recent interviews, Mr. Feldman claims to have been sexually violated as a teenager by actor Jon Grisom and others. His goals are to call out an extensive list of Hollywood pedos who have either approached him as a young adult or those he has knowledge of who’ve inappropriately surrounded themselves with Hollywood’s A-list teen stars of the ’80s. And God bless him for it. Just as Anthony Rapp and Harry Dreyfuss came forward to finally condemn Spacey, Hollywood’s male and female actors who suffered at the hands of A-list pedophiles should find the courage to come forward and bring out the people who have silenced them and damaged them to the light of justice they deserve.

A Conversation with Geoff Pevere on Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival

The scope of conversations on mental health and mental wellness is widening. I’m thankful for that. It’s hard to find an outlet where one can share their experiences safely and be met with understanding. A real understanding, not just an apologetic comment along the lines of ‘sorry you’re having a rough time right now. Understanding from people who have firsthand experiences to match your own.

The Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival is the first mental health film festival of its kind with the largest reach in the world. This is something Toronto can be proud of. We had the opportunity to chat with Geoff Pevere, the festival programmer, to get a glimpse of what to expect in this years line-up.

Kimberley Drapack: You are celebrating 25 years. What can we expect from this year’s festival?

Geoff Pevere: We’re sticking to the formula that has worked for us over the years which is presenting films from around the world that provide an opportunity for people to talk about their own experience or people that they know and to approach the subject of mental health, recovery and addiction from as many different angles as possible. It’s really important that the films are not just shown on their own but as an opportunity for people to discuss their own experience.

We have a number of different discussions and events taking place which hopefully will only enhance people’s appreciation of the films we’re showing.

K: Rendezvous is the first and largest mental health film festival in the world. Tell us more about that.

GP: The festival began 25 years ago and it was the iniative of Workman Arts, which is 30 years old. It was founded by two nurses two were working CAMH at the time. When they witnessed people, who had mental health issues, and when they had the opportunity to be as creative as they wanted to be and in the way they wanted to be, it was something that was meaningful and helpful to them. It helped them to express themselves. The idea came up to start the film festival and we gathered films across the world, documentaries, short film that document mental health issues. It was the first event of its kind. It is the oldest event of its kind.

It’s something that Toronto should be way prouder of, given the fact that the mental health conversation is wider as it’s ever been, you think they would credit that we were there first. Rendezvous is a terrific festival. Unlike any of the other film festivals that take place in Toronto because it has such a tight focus and it can have such a personal impact.

K: I think often people find it difficult to speak about mental illness. But I think we’re doing a lot better now in opening up conversations so that people can share their experiences.

GP: Almost all mental health issues share a feeling on the part of the person who is experience it that they are alone. That nobody understands them and that they are isolated. The most important thing you can do to open up conversation and make people feel comfortable talking about the films and to those who are close to them.

We show terrific films, but most importantly, we give people the opportunity of taking the experience of watching the film and applying it to their own lives. We hope they leave there with a stronger sense that there are other people going through what they are around the world, everyday.

K: It brings a community aspect to it that they wouldn’t necessarily find at most places.

GP: What a lot of film festivals do is focus on the films, which is understandable, but a lot of them are very specific in terms of their audience and their outreach. For example, you have indigenous film festivals, LGBT film festivals, etc. This is one that is different because the focus is on these conversations and the films are important because they provide the opportunity. These are films that are designed to stimulate conversation, and that is what gives Rendezvous its distinction.

It’s sometimes challenging to make your presence and your identity known in a city that is crowded with events and film festivals. Getting the message out about what we’re doing and why it’s different is hard. There are people who will roll their eyes or turn away, simply because of the words, “mental health.” They think it’s going to be heavy, they think it’s going to be dark, and yes, some are, but I would argue that they all provide a compelling experience that will allow people to reflect on their own and share it with people that are there.

K: How do you stay true to the story without over-sensationalizing the plot?

GP: We try to reflect as many perspectives as possible, but if I’m looking at something which I feel is simply taking advantage of someone’s mental health, either for the occasion of comedy, or horror, and people are not being treated in a way that helps us understand them, then we are looking at an over sensationalizing of the plot.

Our films do not exploit their subjects, but are curious about their subjects and they allow their subjects to be considered as objectively as possible. We try to steer clear of the sensationalizing because as great as these movies have been about opening up our understanding of mental health issues, in many cases, what they have done is reinforce a stigma. The idea that crazy people should be locked away, and psychotic people are all serial killers – all those things are absolutely incorrect and unfortunately, they are presumptions you see still a lot in film.

K: What criteria are you looking for when choosing a film for the festival?

GP: The process begins by going to the major festivals early in the year and seeing what they’re showing. Festivals like Sundance, Berlin, and South by Southwest, is usually where we begin to look for things. We also have contacts with a lot of distributors around the world who we have worked with, and we send out notifications to them that we are looking for things.

We also have an open submission policy. In the last two years, I’d say that we’ve had 250 films that were submitted from around the world. We try to watch as many as we can, but we don’t watch everything because if it is in the category of pure sensationalism, we’re not interested, or if it’s not something that looks like it will generate a terribly interesting conversation.

I’m looking for films that, when you put them all together in the context of a single festival, provide the most opportunity to see the way the world is thinking about mental health at the moment.

You will find films in our festival from Bulgaria, England, Turkey, Iran, Australia. I’m looking for a balanced program, something that is well represented, and films that people are going to react to and want to discuss afterwards.

K: You have a really wide scope. Is there a short time period in which you need to produce your line-up?

GP: We arrive at the first draft of the line-up in late July. From April to July I am mostly just looking at images of mental health issues. I’m laughing because people always ask me, “do you worry about what the effects of might be on you?”

The fact is, it’s a good question, but I can get so excited and stimulated by something I recognize as saying something that either hasn’t been said before or is being said in an interesting way. That to me is really thrilling to see. That, contributing to my own stability, which is precarious at the best of times, but mostly, I’m looking for things that are challenging and that are exciting.

The impact on me watching these films makes me think: maybe I’m crazy, but it makes me want to see more.

K: Tell us about the opening film, Mad to be Normal. Why was this given the top spot?

GP: I was curious when I saw Mad to be Normal because it is a portrait of a few years in the life of the guy who was known as the head of the “anti-psychiatry” movement in the 1960’s. His name was R.D. Lang, and was really well known. He was notorious in London for a facility he ran which was a combination of a psychiatric hospital and commune. He mostly kept patients there who were suffering from schizophrenia. He refused to medicate them and restrict what they were doing and encouraged them to practice art. As a result of this he became extremely controversial and shut out by the psychiatric community. The interesting thing is, that a lot of what R.D. Lang was trying to point out about schizophrenia, which is not a disease that is manifested the same way in any two patients, and that you simply can’t medicate people because in many cases it means that people are verging on catatonic.

R.D. Lang is played in the film by David Tennant, a Scottish actor known from Jessica Jones and Dr. Who. It’s interesting because it’s a portrait of psychiatric practice in the past that was considered radical that now looks extremely compelling and keys in with the ways people are thinking today about mental illnesses like schizophrenia.

It has some big movie stars, David Tennant and Elizabeth Moss, and for our opening night, it feels like the perfect opportunity. The film maker, Robert Mullen, who knew R.D. Lang, is going to be joining us for a conversation.

K: What is your criteria for what shows will open and close the festival? Is there a harder slot to fill?

GP: With both opening and closing night, you tend to get more people who are not normally going to the festival and seeing other films, not exclusively. These events tend to bring people out because they are opening and closing night events. We try to present films that are accessible and interesting to general audiences as possible.

The closing night film this year is a really touching personal movement by a film maker who knew a young man who committed suicide when he was in high school because he was suffering from schizophrenia. He felt alone and didn’t know what to do. Any attempts to integrate him or make him feel belonging in society we’re not something that worked for this child. The connection is with the film maker who knew him and the story will suggest to people a lot of their own personal experiences from the past.

The film, Holden On, stimulates discussion and conversation but is extremely compelling and is the kind of movie that doesn’t require a ton of preparation or experience to understand or enjoy it.

K: There is a strong presence of female filmmakers in the program. Is that important to you when you’re trying to diversify the lineup?

GP: We of course are looking for films that represent perspectives and points of view that are underrepresented. Having said that, it wasn’t a plan for the films to have as many women directors or as many women subjects as we found this particular year. It just seems to be that there is a surge in filmmaking activity made by women, dealing with mental health issues. This is really interesting and shows that the conversation is opening up. For years and years, a woman’s mental health experience was exclusively talked about largely by the psychiatric community by male doctors, and largely influenced by Sigmund Freud.

All of these things are now up for grabs and changing and it’s so exciting to see these films. I’m proud to say that it’s not something we went looking for, but there just happened to be so many that were so good.

K: What can we expect from the short films within the line-up?

GP: Either shorts will work as an introduction to features, or in some cases, you see a collection of short films all dealing with the same subject and you realize that if you put these films together, they themselves will make an interesting program.

We have a program that is called Women on the Verge, which is 5 different films about women and made by women that deal with mental health experience. There is another program called Frontiers, which are documentaries from different countries that are all exploring the idea of alternative treatments.

If the short films seem to lend themselves to a designated program, we will do so accordingly. Another thing we’re doing this year, before most of the films, is were going to be showing films made by the individuals of Workman Arts, which is an organization that consists of people with mental health experience creating art. We’re proud to show those short films throughout the festival as part of the 30th anniversary.

It’s frustrating, but it’s also a good problem to have, that the last 3 years I have been doing this, I have more films that I want to show then I have room to show. This is one of the most exciting areas of filmmaking right now.

K: Is there anything you’d like me to include that we haven’t touched on yet?

GP: I would encourage people to go to the website, www.rendezvouswithmadness.ca, take a look at the program and please come down to 651 Dufferin and take it in. If you are curious about any of this or are looking for good films, or if you suspect there is something in the film that pertains to your own experience, or trying to understand something, by all means, come down. We probably have something for you.

Beauty Trends from Runway

After the excitement of SS18 fashion weeks, a reflection on current trends is a must. Designers’ new collections inspire and point to what we can expect to see off the runway. With much of the attention on common fashion trends, those in makeup and hair are often looked over, even though they are key aspects to fashion, on and off the runway. Like fashion, the collections from SS18 show’s definite beauty trends can be worked into our daily styles.

THE MID-PART

When hairstylists give every model in a designer’s collection the middle part, a classic and strong look is achieved. While the style is elegant, it is effective in being modest enough to let the clothes do most of the talking. Off the runway, some would find this face-framing look slightly too bold — modern hair parts are usually to the side and more lax. However, as these models have shown, it is the confidence you carry this hair-do with that makes it work. Give it a try the next time you want to shake things up!

STATEMENT RED LIP

Nothing makes a statement like a single color on the lips of every model on a runway. The red lips were used to give a sense of continuity between certain pieces as a collection moves from one look to the next. The trick must’ve been to find a hue of red that looks great on each model. However, for your own daily use, bandwagoning off this on-again-off-again trend, know this: the bolder the better!

BOHO WAVE

Don’t let the effortless sensibility of the BoHo wave fool you into thinking that it’s easy: incorporating this hair into a runway show requires tremendous effort. Natural looking hair was a huge trend this season, which gave bold fashion pieces an everyday feel. While I’m sure much more attention and work went into making the perfectly tussled and messed look, at home, you can get the look by using a body spray or letting it dry naturally.

THICK LINER

Cat-eye, winged, or just coated all around, there’s no denying that thick liner is the way to create an edgy or hard feel on the runway. It was seen throughout the runway this season and was used as a contrast to the darker collections. Makeup artists use this trend to add depth to classic and elegant looks that would normally be paired with more modest eye-makeup styles. Thick liners are for fashion lovers who prefer a classic approach with a twist for the colder season.

SHORT N’ CHIC

The short hair look always adds an air of confidence. Hair stylists this season used the short n’ chic look to pair with both feminine and masculine collections and intertwined a sense of strength to beauty. While it might seem daunting to cut off all of your hair in the name of fashion, there is no doubt that this trend is an absolute statement-maker on and off the runway.

Cocktail Hour: Add Some Grand Marnier To Make The Ultimate Cocktail

Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge

When you think about cocktails, Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge is not the first thing that comes to mind. The cognac imbued with the essence of bitter oranges is more familiar to you as an image. Its long history and purism perhaps has to do with your unfamiliarity with the liqueur and the unlikeliness of picking it up on your way to a party. You’ve seen it on the shelf at a bar, in the pantry of a kitchen, on the menu at an old-school fine-dining restaurant, on your walks through the liquor store aisles. The bottle, with its red ribbon and seal, is serious. It doesn’t beckon you with a cute design or look down at you with cool sophistication. You hesitate to approach.

But that’s because Grand Marnier is a serious liqueur. Each bottle comes with the highest levels of craftsmanship and history. Unlike others, its finesse and distinct taste require skill and sensibility to marry with other ingredients. Not that you need to go buy ten obscure ingredients and grow some impossible herbs to enjoy Grand Marnier. For something so ripe with age and class, you only need to think ‘simple’ to truly enjoy it.

Here are three recipes you can easily make at home using Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge. If there’s any left in the bottle after you try these, you can practice making bûche de Noël with it for the coming holidays. Chances are, you won’t be making any bûches this year. And if you want to go all out, get yourself a bottle of Grand Marnier Cuvée du Centenaire and drink it neat or on the rocks.

Don’t get intimidated, embrace the seriousness of Grand Marnier. 

Grand Nuage with orange cloud

30 ML|1 OZ Grand Marnier
30 ML|0.5 OZ tequila
15 ML|0.5 OZ freshly squeezed orange juice

Grand Sidecar

1.5oz Grand Marnier
Pink lemonade tea syrup
Shaken and served up in a coupe glass, garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel

Watch Over Me

½ oz Grand Marnier
½ oz Wild Turkey
½ oz Lemon Juice
½ dashes Bittered Sling Clingstone Peach Bitters
2 Rosemary Sprigs
2 oz Cold Sparkling water
Add 1 sprig of rosemary and all remaining ingredients to cocktail shaker (omit sparking water). Add ice and shake hard. Open tin and gently pour sparkling water in to combine then double strain into a flute glass.