Wearing the Red Eye Shadow Trend

Catching the red-eye…

True Story.

Red is my least favourite colour.

You will never see me wearing it and I haven’t worn red lipstick since the 90’s—despite it pulling together a LBD like nobodies business. But here’s the thing, I also avoid wearing black if I can. Bizarro world, I’m aware.

I do enjoy a matte red poupée blush on cheeks and I’m certainly a fan of the highly wearable clash of red and pink worn together— Nicole Richie really sells the trend setting combination below.

Nicole Richie Wearing House of Harlow 1960

If forced, I definitely gravitate to more of a blue-red or cherry-red, however anything with even the slightest tinge of orange in it, and I’m heading for the hills! I even go as far as avoiding posting anything with red in it on my Instagram when I can help it, and as you guessed it black-anything.

Perhaps this is why no one is more surprised than myself to be intrigued by the latest red eye shadow trend I’ve seen scurrying up in my Pinterest feed and in fall 2017 previews?!

I actually REALLY like it. So much so that I would even deign to try it!

But where to begin?

From where I’m standing, I would say that it looks best on brunettes with hazel-to-light green eyes and can be worn matte…

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… or glossy

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Wanting further insight on how to wear a ‘red eye,’ I prompted Canadian makeup artist Simone Otis for her expert opinion.

Red eyeshadow and eye liner are super hot right now,” says Otis who sees it as a singular “monochromatic” wear ie; just the eyes and nothing else.

↑A monochromatic wash of red eye shadow, with darker red eye liner on the water line.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t wear any makeup. A perfect canvas of matte or dewy skin, nuanced by adroit usage of highlighter & gloss can really make this look pop, as do a generous set of eyebrows.

Photo & Makeup Simone Otis

It’s not a subtle look,” says Otis who recommends it for anyone who likes a “bold or fashion forward look.”

***

What truly got me jazzed about the trend this photo of Bella Hadid at Alberta Ferretti’s fall 2017 show. Her incredible eye makeup literally stopped me dead in my tracks. I had to perform some “due dilly” and find out who was behind this stunning artistry that would somehow make red eye shadow palpable for me?

Granted, Hadid’s eye balls are kaleidoscope dreamy and would make an appliqué of fresh mud look covetable, but that doesn’t mitigate this make up mastery.

Love This Look.  Photo: Alberta Ferretti Fall 2017

Make Up artist Tom Pecheux is the great and powerful Oz behind this phenomenal look.

The secret to this head turning red eye makeup is using it in combination with black, and lots of it. Pecheaux traced the waterlines, and blended the top and bottom lashes + the inner/outer lids in black liner leaving the center lids completely bare.

He used Mac Chromecake in Basic Red— a highly pigmented water-activated formula that can also be used for fake tattoos and body painting. He finished off the look with yellow/gold highlighter in the corner of Hadid’s eyes which brought out the yellow specs in her intoxicating ice blue green eyes.

Telling Allure.com back in February, Pecheux explained…”by having the red eye shadow just in the center of the eyes, it comes as a surprise when you blink or move your head. Because first all you see is black, which always looks great, but then you see a flash of red and you’re like, Ooh!”

***

So what’s your verdict?

Is it an “Ooh” or an “Ew“….

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Wearable or emblematic of severe sleep deprivation and/or a hideous eye infection?

Do let me know kittens!

XOXO,

Couture Candy; This Ain’t Your Granddaddy’s Fun Dip.

 

A previous limited edition from Sugarfina: 4 karat gold-dusted, Dom Pérignon-infused gummy bears

A box of Nerds is soooo very pedestrian, while a bag of Maltesers reeks of bridge and tunnel. 

Luxury and couture candy—aimed towards an up-scale adult market, is the latest trend in sweet bonbons.

Sugarfina

Sugar Logo

Leading with their tag line ‘Candy for Grown Ups’Sugarfina is a luxury gourmet candy boutique curated by Los Angeles wife and hubby duo Rosie O’Neil & Josh Resnick. Inspired by their vast travels, they set off to meet with the world’s premium candy ‘artisans,’  bringing only the finest of ingredients back into their pristine boutiques.

Luxe offerings like Kyoto Blossoms, tiny sugar flowers imported from Japan and Baby Champagne Bears sourced exclusively from the Bavarian region of Germany (where gummy bears were invented!) are flavoured in Brut and Rosé. 

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…and below Champagne-infused, handcrafted marshmallows dipped in 24K gold, their famed Bling Rings—sculpted from dark chocolate with a thin sugar shell brushed with edible silver and Champagne Bubbles dressed up in tiny white nonpareils—all superb for your swankiest cocktail parties.

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With boutiques across the US and one in Vancouver’s Nordstrom’s and a newly minted boutique in Toronto’s Nordstrom’s!

Sweet Saba

Lady in Red: Maayan Zilberman Photo- Steve Earle

 

Lingerie designer-turned baker-turned rock candy confectionista, Maayan Zilberman’s Sweet Saba line offers a multi-sensory experience that is equal parts kitsch and artful design. 

rock shorterSweet Saba; Not your granddaddy’s rock candy…

 

The former Israeli and Vancouverite has been showing off her unique wares through a series experiential New York pop up stints, where she currently resides. Back in November, Zilberman created a conceptual ‘Candy Rock and Crystal Bar’ at Fort Gansvort and during February and March a  ‘Lovers Rock’ collection at The Standard High Line Hotel.  

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Too beautiful to eat? A pop up display promoting the ‘healing powers’ of Sweet Saba’s gem inspirations.

Zilberman worked closely with a food technologist to create 30 experiential flavours that range in taste from champagne, grass (yes, actual grass!) bubble gum, bacon and whiskey. 

Clients can purchase Sweet Saba mainstays online—our favorite being the mix tape that can be customized with whatever title gives you the coziest nostalgic **feels.**

Custom Order the name on your very own mixed tape.

 

And being that Zilberman is never not dressed to the chicest of New York minute NINES, replete with red lips and her signature sex kitten nails, who can resist the lure of a one-of-a kind tube of lipstick—infused with vitamin c and antioxidants, no less!

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Her designs are constantly evolving with each pop up performance, the next slated for the Whitney Museum this April!

Chocolates X Brandon Olsen

 

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CXBO chocolates; Not your granddaddy’s Goobers…

 

Few new brands can boast A-List testimonials like Beyoncé’s, but that’s just what happened when through creative channels, QueenB got to taste Toronto’s Brandon Olsen’s delectable CXBO chocolates. “We sent some of our salted caramels for Blue Ivy’s birthday,” says Sarah Keenlyside, marketing director of Chocolates X Brandon Olsen, (also fiancé X Brandon Olsen!) Unfortunately the salt wasn’t suited to Ivy’s toddler taste palate, but Beyoncé was so impressed that she told her assistant that he “should have brought 100 boxes!”

Olsen’s chocolatier comeuppance has been a slow and steady rise after spending years as a chef de cuisine in some of Toronto’s most prestigious kitchens—his inherent love for “all things sugar” finally winning out. “We use really high quality ingredients and I care a lot about the flavour combinations,” says Olsen. “I think it comes from my background as a chef, where the design of a plate is important, but if it doesn’t taste good, your restaurant isn’t going to last very long!”

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Luxurious flavour combinations like Lime Ginger Black Pepper, Raspberry Rose Fennel, and Cinnamon Brown Butter are part of the draw, but equally are the distinct artisanal design elements of CXBO’s bit sized chocolates. The moulds are a specific reference to American architect Buckminster Fuller who famously designed geodesic spheres (he did the Biosphere for Expo ’67 in Montreal), the splatter an ode to Jackson Pollack’s famed technique. Their boxes are all individually splatter painted as well, making every box an original work of art. “I’m a Lego guy, always have been,” offers the confection wunderkind, “and I think people who are into Lego as kids are inherently interested in design and colour.

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Holiday themed exclusives; a Valentines gift set and the magnificent Chocolates X Brandon Olsen Easter egg that sold out within days.

 

Presently, you can order Chocolates x Brandon Olsen through their online web site and Shopify, but coming in May CXBO will be opening a College street west location with an open concept kitchen—Willy Wonka styles—Olsen’s favorite childhood film!

***

So is there a price to pay for luxury? Does high design equate to some hefty cha-ching?  Well, yes and no.

Sugarfina’s products were moderately priced all things considered; the exquisite ingredients, the uniqueness of product, the displays and packaging—the overhead of being a stand alone boutique in a tony Bev Hills zip code?

Sweet Saba’s pricing is most definitely on the higher end with a customized mix tapes costing you a cool $40.00 a pop, the lipsticks at $15.00. But the creativity tho? The experiential flavoring tho? The vitamin C and antioxidant infused lip sticks tho?!?! Plus did we mention its KOSHER?!?!

And lastly on the topic of Chocolates X Brandon Olsen which were recently coined as “Too Die For” from a Toronto Life Magazine e-commenter, what is $18 for a box of 9 delectable bites— if not the most reasonable ticket to heaven ever? Also, Beyoncé approved?!

So really, why even try to put a price on zee works of art, n’est pas?

Until we meet again—parting is such SUHWEET sorrow

XOXO

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Just the Tip(s)!

Who among us doesn’t have an erstwhile male-tale of “I swear baby, just the tip” stashed away in our collective memory trove—amirite ladies?

Why it’s as common as fondlly remembered lover linguistics  like, “You’re too good for me,”It’s just a loan— I’ll pay you back, stop calling me,” and “how’d you get in here, I’m calling the police,” …l-a-d-i-e-s, amirite?

…No, not so much? Ahem!

With seasonal echoes of SPRANG in the air, I bring you a freshly squeezed nail art trend—and a sad excuse of a segue.

In the opening credits of this latest nail art fad we see a resurgence of the French manicure, but instead done with colored tips! The base is clear, and/or you can play around with some opacity if you so choose.

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I find they look best on natural nails as opposed to ho-stroll fakes, but hey it’s your digits, do whatcha like!

Some more examples of “just the tip (heh heh, I’m criminally infantile) …

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Another brand new example of this, is an accented barely-there, speckled, off-kilter version, that I’m seeing mainly come out of Japan—the birthplace for all the best nail art trends. Have a looksee kittens!

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To round out this nail tip confetti, is the Spring 2016 interpretation from fashion house Tibi. Nail artist extraordinaire Jin Soon combined the negative space, French, and open-V nail art trends into one graphic design dubbing it the negative split ‘tip’↓

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All versions are confectionary perfection. In other words they are Beyoncé.

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Which ones do you prefer or do you love ’em all?  Let me know!

XOXO

Love & Rockets,

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The Pop Culture Rainman™ Best of 2015 Part Deux!

 

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I’m dropping Part Deux of my 2015 Year in Review a tad en retard, and on the day of the Golden Globes no less?! I suppose I like to follow that age-old idiom “Blog like No One’s Reading”—it’s so very freeing.

Oh c’mon, there’s AMPLE time to absorb all of the Pop Culture stories you never knew existed last year, before Ricky Gervais makes all the celebrities cry tonight?  Speaking of the Globes, I wish they would supersede the yawnathon that is the red carpet Mani Cam for something a little more honest, like a “Show Us Your Pharmaceuticals Cam?”

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Pop Goodbyes

There were so many buh-byes that pulled at our heart strings in 2016.

In the television realm, my heart splintered into thousand pieces watching my favorite late night host—David Letterman say goodbye after 33 years. I still find there is a gaping, oozing hole in the wake of his absence that can never truly be filled.

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Jon Stewart too said adieu after hosting the Daily Show for 16 years,  culminating in what I thought was the coolest close out ever. Bruce Springsteen rocked out to Born to Run as the entire cast and crew rushed the stage and white man danced us out of our own seats. If you did not try this ↑ at home—i.e. danced along as if your life depended on it—I never want to know you.

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And lastly, Joel McHale said goodbye to his tenure at The Soup, and I can’t even finish this sentence because I care so very little.

Take Down, Shake Down…

The famed Pont Des Arts bridge in Paris had to have all of its love lockets removed, due to the weighty danger they were imposing, and in not even closely related news, the Seattle ‘gum’ wall had it’s first removal cleaning in over 20 years.

Fare thee well, friends.

We also said goodbye to many pop culture personalities who passed in 2016.  Writer Allan Carr, Actor Leonard Nimoy, Actor Al Molinaro, Blues Great BB King, and singer Natalie Cole.

Oh No They Did-Int

The following is a compendium of the very Dumb, the Delusional and the Deplorable. I don’t know about you, but I find it excruciatingly painful to watch friends repeatedly and blindly repost a hoax, or a paranoid thread on Facebook. You can’t simply repost something simply because you saw it on Facebook, without verifying it first? 

wendy The way you feel when someone you know posts a hoax on Facebook without checking FACTS

Back in late September there was one such paranoid hoax about Facebook stealing private information, but would stop if you copy and paste something, and most recently one about Mark Zukerberg giving out a million dollars on Facebook, by simply RTing a message?! Here are a couple of clever memes to remind you how naïve dumb you really are to believe such nonsense! (Make no mistake about it, Facebook pretty much owns all of us, and our info…but there’s a difference between that reality and these dumb Facebook hoaxes…spot the difference!)

We are all responsible for our digital footprints and to repost something just because it contained a “as seen on Good Morning America” is, well…this post says it better than I ever could.  

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I have no idea how this holiday Bloomingdales ad made it to print without someone flagging it, as it HAD to have gone through a couple of departments?!

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While you can’t see it here, as it was lost in the spine of the page, this lovely woman is holding a cocktail and the caption reads: Spike Your Best Friends Egg Nog When They’re Not Looking. Umm, creepy DATE RAPE messaging much?! Many boycotted Bloomingdales in utter outrage, despite an apology and retraction from head office.

Delusional

NACCP leader Rachel Dolezal caused quite the stir when it was revealed that she was in fact a Caucasian woman, posing as an African American as was Kanye West for thinking himself a ‘designer’ after his post apocalyptical meets A Chorus Line fashion line launched—gleaned mainly from tan panty hose?! Stick to running shoes, Yeezy.

Deplorable

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Walter Palmer and the many of his ilk who think its somehow manly or an accomplishment to shoot a beautiful animal that is already in an enclosed environment should be doused in kerosene and lit on fire. Cecil the Lion didn’t have a gun to defend himself? If you’re not doing it with your own bare hands, there isn’t anything to boast about you COWARDS.

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…and finally Martin Shkreli, the infamous vile price gouger of AIDS medication got a taste of his own karma Kool-Aid when he was arrested in late December for securities fraud. The satisfaction of seeing Shkreli ‘get his’ was the impetus for the viral hashtag #Shkrelifreude.

Pop Beauty

2015 was without question the year of ‘the wavy bob’, which was welcome news for those of us sick to death of having to pull out our WEAVES on the regular.

On the color front, I wrote about the Tortoise Shell trend seen here on the hideously unfortunate mugs of Giselle and Amber Heard…(I mean how do these ladies face the world looking like THAT?!)

…and I recently discovered the swirly confectionary opal hair color trend

Two mammoth trends for the eyes were a solid color wash liner—even matching it to a manicure, and the aptly titled ‘under eye dot’ which punctuated many a runway show in 2015.

NARS is one of my favorite make up brands, and more than anything this pair of FACE SPANX on Tilda Swinton in their fall 2015 ad ROCKED MY WORLD! jowl

I’m not even kidding, NARS if you read this…please send forth some of your Face Spanx ’cause Chicken Little; Mama’s Face is FALLING!

Cryotherapy was another enormous beauty trend in 2015, boasting claims of weight loss, reduction of cellulite and all over skin tightening. While the practice is far from ‘new’, the three-minute treatment which involves standing in a deep freeze chamber while temps plummet as low as -256 degrees Fahrenheit— has been used by athletes looking to soothe sore muscles for decades, and can be traced back as far as the seventieth century. I sought out dermatologists extraordinaire Dr. Lisa Kellett from DLK on Avenue to weigh in on whether its worth freezing my kibbles and bits off for, in the name of skin tightening beautification. “I think it’s a fad and something that is quite old that is trying too hard to be new,” says Dr. Kellett from her Toronto office. “Frankly, there is little scientific evidence of its effectiveness in rejuvenation, and we know that heat is more effective in the production of new collagen.  I wouldn’t waste my time on using it either for myself or for my patients.”

Nail Art always pays the bills around here, so I would be remiss if I didn’t add in the top fads of le SAISON; Sweater Nail Art  and the inventive ‘Shattered Glass’ nail art trend that ‘cut through’ in 2015.

…and lastly beauty  fads that I refuse to believe were a ‘thang

The redonkulous glitter-in-hair-no-one-cares-or-even-noticed-trend. if you read my part one year in review…that’s just a recipe for finding glitter in ones hoo-hoo until the year 2017. As per the Temporary Freckles trend? Yah, I’m just going to pretend that it was a ruse that NEVER happened.

Pop Nom Nom Nom

I’m always on the hunt for fantastic yummy mash up treats with a pop culture bent, and 2015 was no exception. Here in no particular order…

The first Hello! Kitty restaurant opens in Hong Kong and all I can think is “what took so long?!”

New York’s Bruffin‘s —a mash up of a brioche and a muffin, that come in internationally flavored medleys.

This decidedly Canadian minded Maple Bacon Coffee flavored beer, is actually the mastermind of Boca Raton Florida’s Funky Buddah Brewery.

General Mills held the #Lucky10Sweepstakes in 2015, giving away only 10 boxes of all marshmallow Lucky Charms for fans serious about their MALLOWS, and let’s face it—the cereal part is merely a distraction in a sea of MALLOW minnows, yes? (I have no idea what that means…)

And while I was gutted to find out that the Trapped Hans Solo Pop Tart was merely a toy and not the edible branding genius of KELLOG, I was placated by discovering this ADORBS mini pop tart cereal creation from food blogger Caitlin Lee!

Closer to home Uncle Tetsu’s famed Japanese cheese cakes opened up its only North American store in Toronto, which had locals waiting in line for hours at a time, but ultimately boasts heavenly feather light bites…

A family favorite in my house, the sweet and salty mash up of the Bake Shoppe Ruffles Marshmallow bar…(the photo does not do this taste creation much justice).

Sweet Jesus 4 Life Ice Cream also came into the local melee with over a dozen Pop Culture themed scoops like Crusty The Cone— an ode to the Simpsons character that comes with delicious tufts of cotton candy.

Pop Mags

I’ve always said; covers done well are cover that sell and here’s a snapshot of some of the magazine covers that caught my eye in 2015.

‘It Girl’ Amy Schumer rocked all the magazine covers like a boss in 2015, the GQ cover her ‘idea,’ natch.

The Sobering

Time mag’s Black Lives Matter and New York’s Cosby The Women sobering covers will be etched in our collective memory for years to come …

Model ‘it gal’ Gigi Hadid rocked 2 memorable magazine covers in 2015, a striking close up on the cover of ADWEEK where her necklace doubles as a pin cushion, and with supermodel sistah Bella on the cover of V.

Celeb Covers

While I’m not a fan of her whole looks-like-she-just-swallowed-her-own-vomit-bitch-face, I just loved the badass punk rock Interview cover with K Stew. I also thought the Esquire cover with Nick Offerman and Chelsea Handler was fantastic, and I loved the whole illusion of an ageless Jane Fonda on the cover of W—the absence of lines, the incredible wig and the saggy, but not sad-saggy embalmed titty cleave.

Record Breaking

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And while I hate to give oxygen to anything loosely Kardashian related, I have to give props to the record breaking Vanity Fair cover that introduced the world to Caitlyn.

Pop Feel Good

Let’s face it, 2015 was fully fluent in the Sads and Tragics.

Understandably, were all still a little on edge

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But I’m choosing to focus on all of the beautiful, feel-good moments that 2015 boasted and look forward to a peaceful 2016.

Betty White got to mouth hump Bradley Cooper in 2015, for both the dress rehearsal and live show of SNL’s 4oth anniversary show in The Californians sketch.

Speaking of SNL Tracy Morgan’s return to SNL was doused in feel goods, actually…just staring into the “I’m not impressed” face of his look-alike baby daughter was a flooding of happy feels.  

the pope spread his message of love and peace in Washington D.C. (marred ever so slightly by John Boehner’s ugly cry) Fashion Santa made Xmas more stylish…and Trudeau showed what Canadian kindness and compassion was all about  to newly arrived refugees.

…a six year old girl from Canada imparted beyond-her-years life lessons to her divorced mother about losing ones ego and not holding on to grudges…

…and lastly Aretha Franklin’s performance at the year end Kennedy Centre Honors showed how the POWER of music can literally change the molecules in a room….

Never forgotten,

Paris

XOXO,

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The Pop Culture Rainman™ Best of 2015

 

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hjhjThe Pop Culture Rainman™ Presents: The Best of 2015

If 2015 had a working title it would be “Wait…whatttt?!” ’cause it feels like just hours ago that I was finishing up my 2014 year in review!!??

‘Tis true my friendsicles—time waits for no one, and the years are seemingly flying by at warp→speed. But enough about me and the fact that I’m finding granny hairs in all the wrong places on my person—it’s time to celebrate the Year in Pop Culture with a front row seat to the most splendiferous list on the web!

**Cue the Royal Horns** (basically the echoes of the royal baby George letting one rip…)

(((Stage Whispers)))Places, places, everybody…”

…Annnnd Cue Biggie Smalls “Hypnotize…”

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POP MUSIC

Call me a thousand years old, but I still subscribe to the model of sustaining an attention span long enough to listen to an album all the way through without blacking out. It’s a lost art, really. Here’s to the most noteworthy news items and phenomenal sounds that got us all ear pregnant in 2015.

They had us all at ‘Hello…’ (my originality kills me).

The Weeknd                                                                                                        

Seven Grammy nominations for Beauty Behind the Madness, back to back record breaking #1 tracks and the most ‘streamed album of 2015’—the Toronto native wrote a love letter to Cocaine plus no-strings sex romps with ‘bitches’ and takes his rightful place in the history books.

Adele                                                                                                                            

Adele’s 25 was the best selling album of 2015, quite the feat since it only came out in November + it wins the prize for selling over 1 million albums two weeks in a row. A hundred ‘Hello‘ memes later she remains the quintessential flawless voice of a generation—pass the tissues.

Alabama Shakes                                                                                               

If Adele is the quintessential perfect ‘voice’ than Brittany Howard—lead singer of Alabama Shakes is the ‘loud speaker’. The group returned with a genre-agnostic album Sound and Color nominated for 4 Grammys—flawlessly executed with the soulful ferocity of Howard’s raspy vocals.

Miguel                                                                                                                               

My personal favorite of ’15, Miguel’s sophomore offering WildHeart was like a breath mint with a battery. Intricate production and utterly original in scope—gorgeous songs like “Leaves” and “Coffee,” his high register falsetto funk in “NWA” and Latin flavored highly-danceable track “Waves” all pass the repeated play factor with flying colors.

Chvrches                                                                                                              

With 80’s influenced dewdrops culled from the likes of Abba, Yaz, Robyn + Tegan and Sara’s LP Heartthrob,—Chvrches sophomore album is both strikingly familiar and utterly innovative at the same time. Every Open Eye is saccharine pop cat nip that could easily double as the soundtrack to a dreamy anime cartoon. Top tracks: “Leave a Trace,” “Never Ending Circles” + “Bury It.”

Kendrick Lamar

What can I say about this spoken word, hip-hop origami tapestry (sorry, ‘rap’ just doesn’t cut it here) imbued with dense, lyrical genius that would do it any justice? I can tell you that it’s jarring, painful, irate, weighty, sullen, transformative, prophetic, poetic, proud, educational and uplifting. The production is at a level that I forgot had existed; the samples, conversations and guest vocals chosen and placed with such brilliant character and acumen. The imagined interview (or is it?) between Kendrick and Tupac on “Mortal Man” will give you goose bumps on top of goose bumps. Its potent story-telling at such a prescient level of excellence that is more than deserving of its 11 Grammy nominations. Every track on To Pimp a Butterfly will burn itself into your soul chakras as you go through a musical journey that will never leave you.

Overrated Ersatz

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I can’t let 2015 go without mentioning how utterly overrated Leon Bridges and his album Coming Home were? Why was his whole gimmicky, paint-by-numbers shtick plastered all over my year like sh**ty wallpaper? If I wanted to listen to 50’s soul I’d listen to the greats like the Sam Cooks of the world, not Bridges watered down formulaic imitations? There’s literally only one good song on the album (“Smooth Sailin”) and he can’t perform live if his life depended on it. **DROPS MIKE**

The News Makers

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Deadmau5 and Kanye West attend the Tidal launch event #TIDALforALL at Skylight at Moynihan Station on March 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images For Roc Nation)

Tidal, Jay Z’s online streaming service launched in 2015 and with it a self-important press line up of millionaire music stars posturing like they just discovered the cure for Cancer. I’ve only used it to download both of Prince’s new albums that he launched this year exclusively on the site—simply because I had no other choice in the matter.

As a side-bar Prince, please invite me to a private music journo listening party at Paisley Park (yes, I made that middle meme) or to one of your new piano-only concert series? Yes, the tangent campaign is still on people.

Lenny Kravitz had a notable stake in 2015’s zeitgeist. First there was his collab with James Franco in the Guitar Hero commercials, his collab on Miguel’s song “Face The Sun,” and then when his light saber—suddenly and without warning, escaped the confines of his jeanery and came out to play.

Dave Grohl: What’s Not to Love?

And lastly Dave Grohl gets an honorable mention for a) simply being Dave Grohl—but b) for reminding us that he’s the last bastion of ridiculously talented post grunge rockers that we have left besides Eddie Vedder. In 2015 Grohl famously broke his leg on stage, yet continued to PLAY…

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…played us out of Dave Lettermans last show with all the **feels** of “Everlong”

…and lastly released a new EP titled “Saint Cecilia” for FREE download as a tribute to the Paris Attacks and encouraged fans to donate to victims.

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The Tape Cassette

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I couldn’t believe it either, but 2015 saw a rise—nay, dare I say a ‘comeback‘ in the tape cassette?! Call it retro tech curiosity, call it an interest in the craptastic analog ‘hiss’ sound but according to the largest audiocassette factory in the US there was a 31% increase volume over the previous year. Most of the output was from indie bands whose names I don’t recognize nor can pronounce, so its safe to say this is a very niche market trend.

POP TRENDS

Squad Goals

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#SquadGoals got a lot of airtime in 2015, and yet let record show that Squads have been around since forevs my younglets.

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90’s Supermodels ↓↑ West Side Story

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Hey, T Swift? I too had 30 besties in my 20’s, and that stops being adorbs once the marriage and child rearing divide kicks in and before you know it 17 years pass, and Selena Gomez blocks you on Facebook and, *AND*, Gigi Hadid didn’t even invite you to her son’s Bar Mitzvah?!

Ahem.

My modern day squad can all fit onto my one hand (it’s more of a squid, than a squad, really) and one of them is my cat—Lulu sooo, yea, YAYYYYY SQUAD GOALS!

NormCore

Normcore

NY trend forecasting agency K-Hole came up with the term Normcore back in 2014, but it really only became ripe in the collective lexicon in 2015. Jo Hoare came out with the hilarious tome This is Normcore; for people who don’t want to stand out from the crowd—describing everything that is proactively bland and anonymous in fashion and in ‘tude.

Pineapples

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Pineapples were seen everywhere in ’15. From clothing to home accessories and jewelry—after years of hipster animals like foxes, bears and deer taking center stage, it was nice to see a tropical fruit get its due!

Gender Fluidity
Sure Caitlyn helped the cause (before she opened up her clueless trap) but it was high time for gender neutrality and transgenderism to become part of the mainstream conversation as bills were put forth to once and for all put a hard stop on conversion therapy. Gender neutral ads were an enormous trend in fashion as were gender fluid ads for children like Sweden’s Top Toys. And even though the Mochino Ad was essentially a ‘fauxmercial’ it got people talking.

Gender fluid models like Andreja Pejic and Ruby Rose dominated top fashion spreads…

…and the first transgender modeling agency opens in New York.

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Even Bankok University redefined the standard ‘checks and balances’ of what it means to dress as female or male in their new choice driven dress code prompts. Hope it can kick off a chain reaction in high schools and elementary/middle schools.  

Gender Inclusive...Add Find the Diesel Ads Gender Fluid

Rainbows

Just as the Supreme Court finally passed the same sex marriage law in the US, while coinciding with many a cities pride parade—rainbows were seen everywhere. On sunglasses, shoes, fashion, even Doritoes got in on the celebrations.

Adult Coloring Books

2015 was the year of the adult coloring book. The choices were abundant; from classic literature, celebrity inspired, to pop culture infused, proving to be a white noise activity that was meditative and relaxing with intricate layouts that made time melt away.

Stars Lip Synching

T’was Jimmy Fallon’s late night skit buffoonery that started the celebrity lip sync fad du jour. Sure, we’d seen stars do karaoke for years—but lip synching was a whole new performance phenom, previously untapped. Will Farrell no doubt lip synched like a boss, and it was equally entertaining to watch Tom Cruise take on The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face,” in a try-hard attempt to reach ‘millenials’ having no idea as to what the song was actually about, and L.L. Cool J got a new spin off gig Lip Sync Battle, co-hosting with the lovely Chrissy Teigen.

The following trends are so moronic that it begs the inclusion of judgemental potty-mouthed kitty gif as an extra bonus.

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Square Faced Dog Cuts

While I love the Japanese for their attention to detail in all things teeny-tiny like nail art and mini edibles—this square faced grooming trend is one for the dogs.

Sun Burn Art

Sunburn Art

Yup, its as idiotic as it sounds, yet that didn’t stop people from literally charring their skin (apparently, the paler the better?!) this past summer with hashtags like  #sunburnart, #tantattoo, and #suntattoo on Instagram.  

Man Bun Extensions

I can’t even with this one? Numero uno, the Man Bun—aka the ‘Mun’ is soooo 10000 minutes ago, 2014 styles?! And as you can see from these glamour shots above, the extensions—which started to pop up in ’15, are as realistic looking as slapping a Kaiser roll on your head.

Glitter Beard

It’s hard for me to believe that this was ever a real trend, as one night out for me at the clubs (I never go to the clubs) costs me a week of finding glitter all over my hoo hoo. But yea, apparently this was a trend for all of a minute, pre-holiday styles. I imagine clean up had to be a full shave, otherwise they can look forward to finding glitter in their homes (and definitely on their Johnsons) until the year 2017.

POP DIGITERATI

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Live Streaming Apps

Two live streaming apps went live in 2015; Meerkat and Periscope adding an entire new dimension to the growing trends of citizen journalism and oddly enough, a new fascination with the inside of strangers fridges—hashtag #showusyourfridge. That’s not weird or anything?

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If your wondering which app fared better, iPhone recently named Periscope the best new app of 2015.

Small Cooking

Small Cooking Trend YouTube

The hottest videos on YouTube are adorbs ‘small cooking’ aka ‘tiny cooking’ spots made from a mute Japanese man with flawlessly manicured hands who goes under the moniker of Miniature Space. It’s fascinating to see his tiny ‘working’ kitchen, an arsenal of miniature utensils and hear the sizzle of food cooking—everything from tiny chicken kabobs to shrimp tempura and mini winnie pancakes!

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But words do little justice to describe the phenom that keeps people tuning in for hours on end to watch a faceless Japanese dude make tiny edible food—so voila!

The first is the most watched Minature Space video on YouTube of a smurf sized strawberry vanilla cake…Could. You. Just. Die?

…and if you weren’t impressed enough, here lies the art of the Thumbelina teeny-tiny cheese burger…

Hello Giggles Sells for 30 Million

If it wasn’t already greatest thing ever to be Zooey Deschanel in 2015; a critically acclaimed music career, a hit TV show, a brand new baby daughter, residuals from appearing in the Xmas classic Elf that must keep paying her on the yearly until infinity—when this past October her famed girly-centric blog Hello Giggles gets bought out by Time for 30 million dollars?!

Twitter Stars vs.  Hearts

Collectively were extra sensi when it comes to people moving our STUFF—even if we didn’t design the stuff to begin with, so I get the ‘discomfort factor’ to a degree. What I didn’t expect when Twitter switched its star format to a happy heart, was the complainy recital hemorrhaging of homophobic slurs. This was actually a strategic move on behalf of the powers that be at Twitter to attract new users. The simple ipso facto is, that HEARTS are a more familiar visual cue than stars—and its the official prompt of Instagram which is leading in new users, per platform.

Baddie Winkle

87 years old young Baddie Winkle is an Instagram juggernaut who dresses up in raver clothes, loves rap music, promotes marijuana legalization and has famous admirers like Miley Cyrus and Nicole Richie. With her tag line “Stealing Your Man Since 1928“, there’s no end in sight for this Texas native and her badass posts!

Pop TV

While I rarely watch ‘the basic cable’ anymore, 2015 boasted a couple of great new shows. First up UDATEABLE, which came on in the summer of 2014 for a midseason replacement, but went for its first full season in 2015 and only started its all LIVE format in 2015. There’s that palpable air of anything -can-go-wrong  ad lib excitement, that even the well-oiled slickness of Saturday Night Live doesn’t quite have, and the shows lead comedian Chris Delia (pronounced de-leeya) has that whole  funny-sexy, greasy (pronounced GREEZY) possible infection thing going on that I dig.

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While his ratings are lagging behind the other late night hosts (I attribute this to the dumbing down of ‘Merica) I still think Stephen Colbert is the most compelling host and that The Late Show is saving television! Read my full story here.

SNL has one of the strongest cast members its had in years and has been pulling off record ratings in the process, with guest hosts Donald Trump and SNL alum darlings Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

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I was so looking forward to The Muppets TV show which debuted on NBC this past fall and yet, it fell flat on arrival. I wasn’t offended by the sexual ideation of my childhood friends like so many others, but rather the fact that most, if not all of the familiar voiced characters had changed!? Frank Oz is still alive yet did not participate in the show, and the new Fozzie and Miss Piggy voices are so off, it’s unwatchable for me? I never really got over the change in Kermit’s voice after Jim Henson passed, but now it seems a good portion of the characters voices are played by someone new (Gonzo, Scooter?) and I can’t get past it? Everyone I know can do a spot on Yoda impression and yet they couldn’t find someone to nail Fozzie the Bear? Pffffft.

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I am absolutely obsessed with FX’s Fargo series, played by a changing cast of ‘already famous’ and fairly unknown cast members every season. The hokey accents, the set design and rich almost 70’s muted hues are a sight to see, but its the story lines and quality of acting that gets you hooked. There’s an undeniable spiritual, philosophical quality to the show, in that there is always a karmic debt lesson learned, and the varied musical soundtrack is also phenomenally obscure, perfectly accompanying the closing credits every time.

Master of None Mention the Soundtrack

I’m equally enamoured with Aziz Ansari’s Netflix series Master of None. First off it’s absolutely hilarious—that’s a given, but the casting is also fantastic and the characters also wonderfully diverse. It’s utterly original in that it gives us an inside view on what its like to grow up as a first generation Indian-American (I love his parents!)and opens up a new dialogue about the daily racism that all minorities endure, which Aziz reflects in a very honest way that’s both educational and comedy GOLD. Also, its filmed in my favorite city of New York, and if you’re a classic hip hop head like me, you will love this mainly urban soundtrack. It continues along the narrative of finding love and success in the big city like the beloved Sex and the City series, except now its Dev Shah’s world we are exploring and we can’t get enough!

 

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YouTube personality Grace Helbig got her own E! network show—part talk show, part sketch comedy. The news was a big win for anyone trying to make it famous on the net, but luke warm reviews mean The Grace Helbig show hasn’t found its legs yet, and may never will.

And finally I haven’t personally eyeballed any of these, but I’m hearing great things. First up is IFC’s Documentary Now! starring Fred Armison and Bill Hader parodying actual documentaries in a comedic mockumentary style. It’s got tons of special guest stars appearing on it, and has already been renewed for season 3! Also getting rave reviews is the CW’s Crazy Ex Girlfriend, which boasts an unknown cast of newbies. Series lead character Rebecca Bunch played by Rachel Bloom who also does double duty as writer of the series just got nominated for her first Golden Globe for best actress. And lastly, many of my tastemaking compadres are going tits to the wind GAGA over the new Netflix Jennifer Jones series starring well known actress Krysten Ritter. I know I will never watch this one as I don’t really dabble in the super hero, fantasy, pop culture geek stuffs—I still don’t understand how people actually tune into Super Girl, so yea not for moi, but feel free to use the facilities.

4ffedba4002c3b126b87836896e5d45fAlso I’m still not a fan of Comedy Centrals Broad City, and I know I’m a minority in this. I find it mostly grotesque and over the top, but I loved hearing the news that Hilary Clinton is allegedly going to appear in a 2016 episode—go future Madam President!

Well there you have it lover heads, stay tuned for The Pop Culture’s Year in Review Part Deux. It may not be as strong as Part One…but hey you can never, really go home again amirite? Just kidding it will be totes HILAR, I always deliver, don’t cha know? To make sure you don’t miss out on the Sonny to this Cher, the Marie to this Donny… pretty please follow this blog on WordPress or go to the side bar and sign up for email alerts to follow my postings.

Stay Tuned for Part Deux’s categories: Pop Oh No They Didn’t, Pop Nom Nom Nom, Pop Beauty, and much much more!

XOXO,

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Win a Brand New HoverBoard! Winner Announced!

Huuvr Board

Santa is real, and he’s coming to The Pop Culture Rainman™

Yup, we’re (ahem, Santa) is giving away a brand spanking new Classic Pink üüBoard from the good people at Hüüvr!

After all 2015 is the year of gender fluidity, mais non?

The Famed Back to the Future Hoverboard

For the uninitiated—a hoverboard is an intuitive electric-powered travel device, much like a segway or more aptly a ‘hands free scooter.’ Hoverboards have been generating a lot of buzz in 2015 and are considered *the future* in personal transportation devices by many a trend forecaster. Everyone from John Legend, Lily Allen to Justin Bieber have one, and they are the most coveted tech items for Christmas 2015.

Toronto Based Brand Hüüvr Ships World Wide!

Darren Pereira, founder of Hüüvr boards one of the more elite, well-constructed brands—has some wisdom to impart when getting on a Hüüvr. “Being a respectful, responsible rider to other pedestrians is paramount,” says Pereira who is convinced that like California legislation, Toronto will eventually allow hoverboards in bike lanes. “It’s just a matter of time,” he says confidently adding “every city has their own unique hoverboard laws they have to abide by.” He’s referring to the new law passed in New York City banning the usage of hoverboards in city streets.

Practice Makes Perfect on a Hüüvr

The Hüüvr üüBoard is pretty simple to use; You lean forward to go forward, lean backward to go in reverse, place a bit more pressure with your right foot to turn right, and place a bit more pressure with your left foot to turn left. With a bit of practice you will be a pro in no time! “You’re going to experience your core in a totally different way, until you become one with the board” he says like a true Zen master.

Safety First!

While a Hüüvr üüBoard can clock up to speeds of 10km, Pereira recommends a “comfortable and safe” pace of 5-6km. Safety gear like a helmet, padding around the knees, elbows and wrists is recommended, and Pereira stresses “whatever you do avoid getting it wet.” We know how that turned out for Gremlins.

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Lastly, avoid using cell phones or listening to music. Focus on using the board, so you avoid collisions. Got it?

Win a Hüüvr üüBoard!

Were looking for your most creative expressions of a new Hüüvr Dance, in the same vein as “Teach me how to Dougie“.

*Show us your Hüüvr Dance

*Show us your Hüüvr Outfit and Kicks

*Show us your Hüüvr Face

**Hint Think Pink

We created an original song just for this contest! Here it is! Play it in the background for your video or photo. *You don’t have to use it, its just a suggestion.

Show me your best stuff on either Twitter or Instagram with the slogan: I want to win a Hüüvr üüBoard! Here’s my #HüüvrDance, #HüüvrOutfit #HüüvrFace (Incorporate at least 2 elements into a video or photo) +also use the hashtag #PCRHüüvr so I can track your posts! *Also follow me on my Twitter @PopCultRainman or Instagram ReneePopCultureRainman to win.

Available to residents in the US and Canada only. Must be 18 years or older. Retail price of the pink Hüüvr üüBoard  is $649.00 and that includes a one year warranty!

For more information go to oneofmyboys.com to learn all about Hüüvr and check out their latest 2016 Transformer Edition Hoverboard—its virtually BIONIC!

Contest extended to December 14th, 2015. Winner will be announced here and via social media platforms on December 15th, 2015.

GOOD LUCK + Make Mama Proud!

Later Lover Heads, or should I say Hüüvr Heads!

UPDATE: We Have a Winner!!!!

So many of you used your kidlets in your entries, but no one came close to using all the prompts we suggested as our incredible winner! Elisa’s two daughters from Vancouver, Canada had a #HüüvrDance, (a choreographed medley, really) a think-pink #HüüvrOutfit, used our music and made perfectly edited video for social media at 15 seconds+ they absolutely made it their own! Here’s the winning entry below!

CONGRATULATIONS, and thank you to all who participated.

XOXO,

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Sweater Knit Nail Art for the Holidays!

Back with a freshly squeezed nail art trend ’cause let’s face it; nail art posts are the anchors that pay the rent around here! ‘Tis really the catnip of the interwebs. 

Truth be told I *actually* cage dance in a fluorescent pink PVC raincoat for my rent at the local cosmic bowling night. It’s a living.

While the winter holidays are classically the time to put a little razzle dazzle into your nail game, this trend will have everyone at your next holiday hang, enviably gawping at your digits.

Sweater knit nail art turns your nails into cozy cable knits and is wonderfully versatile. The secret sauce is a 3D Gel which gives the nails the knitted ‘weave’ dimension that this design requires. Done wrong, it can end up looking like lumpy, formless oatmeal or sometimes too Aztec Navajo styles. Done right, it should look like tiny little sweaters on your nails. Too cute!

Behold; some Hello Pony Inspired Pastels!

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…High Definition Cable Knit

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… Holiday Winter Whites

…High Design

Huge fan of the Tartan, Pearl + White Sweater look…the Stiletto Nails—not so much, but j’adore the Bubble Gum Pink set against the light Mauve.

…Third Digit Sweater Stylings

So there you have it nail art aficionados—cozy, adorbs sweater knitted nail art. I’ll be taking these pics to a pro nail artisan, but for the DIY show-offs, here’s a tutorial.

With lots of Holiday Love from your Nail Art Sensei,

XOXO,

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P.S. Should I see you at cosmic bowling night, I don’t know you…you don’t know me…aiiight?