This and that, the sitting in Drafts forever edition

Watched: Last week I saw the movie Spy. Anything that Melissa McCarthy or Rose Byrne is in is guaranteed to be perfection. Action comedy may be my new favorite genre. The plot was much more intricate than I imagined, the action was highly stylized yet visceral, and the laughs did not let up. And Jason Statham was shockingly riotous.

It also had an amazing soundtrack. Lots of bouncy, dancey hip hop and pop with lots of horns and percussion and an international feel that fits the globe-trotting flick.

Making: I'm trying out cross stitch as my next hobby. I downloaded this pattern that would make Drizzy proud.

Read: Unteachable by Leah Raeder. Whew. I want to review this, I really, really do, but I need to gather my thoughts, meditate for an hour, take a shot, then meditate some more before I can even begin to process this. Dizzyingly gorgeous prose, a relationship I don't know whether to root for, taboos thrown right in my face in graphic sex scenes. This would have been a quick read if not for the fact that reading it made me feel like I was tripping on something bad or on the verge of a blackout. Meaning, it was so intense that at times I could only get through 2 to 3 pages at a time before going, "Nope, can't do this right now."

Coveting: Sand art hair. I am so into rainbow hair. I saw a Hello Giggles article about this Pravana dye that does not bleed or transfer onto other colors or sections of hair. That means that you can do multiple shades down the length of one section, and it won't all just mix into one shade. The results are spectacular. I want to do this.

I wish I could see an example on kinky hair, because it looks incredible on sleek strands. I'm also wondering how much of this I could get away with at work. I would do full-on rainbow all over if I could, but I think that would be frowned upon. Also, my friend Crystal is just adamant that I don't want to start messing up my hair with bleach. But I just envision doing highlights or a layer or two underneath the canopy, so color would just peek through and I could show off as much or as little as I wanted. I think red on purple on pink would be dope, and red is still within the range of "normal" hair colors, even if you've got it in an abnormally vibrant tone.

I've been experimenting with temporary color sprays from Jerome Russell. They look OK but feel awful, smell awful and stain errrrrthing.

The purple bits are Splat Washables in Purple Swag. I prefer the texture of this cream and its application to the spray, and think it looks more natural. You can control the results better. There's a little application wand, but I prefer to just apply by hand.

If all else fails, I'm just going to buy this wig and wear it out for drinks.

I'm pretty certain I would slay in this.


Thoughts (lots and lots of thoughts!) on Ingrid Nilsen coming out

I've watched the video of wildly successful Internet creature Ingrid Nilsen announcing she's gay at least six times. Because it's surprising. Because it's inspirational. Because because because.

Ingrid is a huge beauty blogger. I've always thought she seemed like a sweet, fun, carefree person. Maybe a bit too intimidatingly perfect, like we'd sit at opposite sides of the cafeteria in high school, if you know what I mean.

When I saw the thumbnail of the video, and even for the first couple of minutes, I thought, Is this real? Wow. Whoa. Really?

And that's exactly why her coming out is such a big effing deal. For all my trumpeting of gay rights, for all my lack of biases, for all my assertions about sexual fluidity, I still was taken completely off guard by this super cutesy girly girl coming out, because she fits zero stereotypes. And that is powerful. It is powerful for anyone coming to terms with their sexuality to see a beautiful, cool, successful young woman with a Pinterest-worthy lifestyle who also happens to be a lesbian. It is powerful for anyone with homophobic views to see that gay people are just people, and they come in all types, including ones you'd never guess. Sometimes it's the androgynous goth girl with a pixie cut, and sometimes it's the homecoming queen.

Visibility is so important to acceptance. In the hyper-feminized, aspirational and very straight world of beauty vlogging, an out lesbian with such a huge audience is game-changing. And in the wider world, it blows little bigoted minds and forces reevaluation when they find themselves warmed up to someone who fits in some box they've decided to hate.

Defiance of expectations is powerful. Visibility is powerful. And, as Ingrid explains, giving yourself your best chance while making no further apologies about who you are is powerful.

Throughout the video, Ingrid talks about her earliest memories of childhood crushes — all on girls — how she tried to suppress her feelings by dating men even when she felt like she couldn't give herself fully to a man, and how her relationships just felt tolerable. As in, OK, I can work with this, it's not the worst thing.

That is so friggin' sad. No way to live, people. No way to live.

This girl whose whole Internet persona is bubbly and perky says that her whole life has been her building a prison that kept her trapped in a life of quiet sadness. And that just goes to show that you can never know all the secrets of any human heart, no matter how big or frequent the smiles on the outside are.

That is no way to live.

Everything she says about the denial and how she was finally forced to come to terms with her orientation makes so much sense. And my reaction when I was watching echoed what she said at the end of the video: "I am so excited!"

I am wildly excited for this woman whom I have never met. Now she gets to be herself. She doesn't have to hide anymore. People in her real life and people around the world who she has never met are sending mad love her way. And all her wasted energy used up on lying to herself and the world can now be spent on meeting her true self and meeting girls. Because now she gets to DATE GIRLS! She gets to experience what she's denied herself, all that fun, scary, wonderful, real chemistry, and love that's not one-sided. She gets to go find someone who complements her and gives her butterflies, and we maybe get to live vicariously and see snippets of that in her videos.

Which brings me to #hagrid.

Ingrid was a guest on Hannah Hart's "My Drunk Kitchen." Based on myriad webidence, it looks like Hannah, who is an out lesbian, and Ingrid have been hanging out a lot lately. Then after Ingrid came out of the closet, her next appearance was on Hannah's channel. Which got people talking. And shipping. Because they kind of look adorable together, don't they? And they have adorably nerdy stuff in common, yeah? And Hannah gently took issue with Ingrid calling herself a "lipstick lesbian," telling her, "You just came out. You don't need to put yourself in a box."

And speaking of lipstick, Ingrid's went from full-on to gone between segments of the episode. Hmm. Hmm hmm. So is Hannah just taking a newly out gaybie under her wing as a supportive friend, or is this the next hottest YouTube couple? Or should we all just chill with our merged-name hashtags and let Ingrid take a breath before we start being behind-the-keyboard matchmakers? I say the latter ... but they're still awfully cute together, don't you think?

To Ingrid: Congratulations. Bask in the joy of living authentically. Don't feel pressured to "follow someone else's recipe" or settle down too quickly, even if you are now the most eligible 20-something lesbian in the world and hot girls are lining up to meet you. Best of luck on giving yourself your best chance.

No one deserves to live a life of quiet sadness.


Book review: "Cruel Beauty" by Rosamund Hodge

Little Lizzie tumbled down the YA fantasy rabbit hole after reading The Lunar Chronicles and sampled a ton of books before settling on Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. This dark, aggressively weird retelling of Beauty and the Beast with heavy Greek mythology woven in was so satisfying. It's my 25th book of the year, and it's easily already in my Top 5. I loved it. It is a triumph.

Before Nyx was born, her father bargained away her life. He betrothed her to the demon lord who rules their land and sundered it from the rest of the world. Since childhood, she has been training in the Hermetic arts to defeat him once she was sent to his castle at 17, expecting to lose her life in the process.

To her family, Nyx is the pious, dutiful daughter and sister obediently sacrificing her life to avenge her mother and save her world. But her heart is full of hatred and envy toward the family that has never loved her.

Her husband, Ignifex, the Gentle Lord, turns out to be one charming devil and a match for the indomitable Nyx. He's devious and clever, dooming fools with his backfiring bargains. Despite his gleeful wickedness, his inhuman red eyes and her sworn duty to destroy him, Nyx can't help but draw out the tenderness in him, and through the witty sparring and undeniable sexual chemistry, she comes to find herself for the first time feeling loved and accepted by someone who fully knows who she is.

Less skilled writers would have needed double the page number to tell this complicated story. They would have been clumsy and unconvincing in the mythology. They would have shied away from the ridiculousness of some of the fantasy elements and scaled it way back. They would not have been able to present the intricacies of the plot and all that mythological exposition in such lithe and lyrical language.

Cruel Beauty, unlike the bargainers who make doomed deals with the Gentle Lord, makes no sacrifices. Character development, glorious prose, insightful meditations on love and sin, deft world building. It does everything so well. Hodge is a talented woman who spins an engrossing and soulful tale.

The romance between Nyx and Ignifex is the main draw. How will Nyx reconcile what it means if she loves a demon? Will she have to lose her husband to save her world?

Because it's YA, the sex is implied and off-page. All we get are some steamy kissing scenes. Pity. With an extra page here and extra page there, this would have seamlessly been a killer erotic novel.

My problem with YA, ESPECIALLY of the teenage-girl-meets-ancient-supernatural-being variety, is that it normalizes creepy and unhealthy relationship expectations. Listen, Nyx is pretty badass for a 17-year-old, but she's still 17. Any binding decisions I'd made at 17 would have been stupid and horrible ones, and my stakes weren't as high. And what do these centuries-old dudes want with these minors? What could they possibly have in common? Can we talk about this? Pervs.

But I don't even care, dude. I don't. This book is genius and beautiful. It masterfully explores what it means to love, how even the people who appear the most good are capable of evil. It's intense and affecting.

I don't even care that there's a sort-of love triangle that made me groan through parts of the book because I freaking hate love triangles, but this one isn't quite the kind of love triangle you're used to, and it sort of pays off for the plot.

Remember how I mentioned this book was weird? It's very weird. In Ignifex's castle, there are rooms that disappear and reappear and change as if they have moods, books that won't allow themselves to be read, pools of water on which you can stroll, darkness that devours flesh. There's so much mystery and complex lore that is resolved in a way that invokes a very specific, very bizarre episode of Doctor Who (Eleventh Doctor fans, read this and come at me).

I'm so happy I read this. You should, too.


Sample swatching: Urban Decay Revolution Lipgloss in Bittersweet and Failbait, plus a quickie swatch of Assassin

Just when I was ready to cancel my Ipsy subscription over lackluster samples, they sent me Urban Decay lipgloss. Well played, Ipsy. Well played.

The sample brought blister packs of Urban Decay Revolution High-Color Lipgloss in Bittersweet, a bright purple, and Failbait, a sweet pink. There was also a mini 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Ozone, a clear primer. Clear lipliner is new to me and I'm looking forward to testing whether it improves wear.

Urban Decay Revolution High-Color Lipgloss in Bittersweet

I tried Bittersweet full-on with brown winged liner and a flower in my uber messy curls. I looked kind of crazy, but I liked it. I felt like Helena Bonham Carter in a Tim Burton movie. The shade can be layered to look very goth, but a light swipe looks more pink and delicate.

Urban Decay Revolution High-Color Lipgloss in Failbait

Failbait called for a more refined and innocent look. Bunned hair, statement necklace, power jumpsuit. It's a pretty color, but I wouldn't invest $22 on an MLBB gloss. I'm more of a bold lips or bare girl.

Because it is an investment but I enjoyed the plush, pigmented formula, I thought for weeks about buying a gloss. I had my eye on Quiver, which I did find incredibly beautiful, but at the last minute bought Assassin, a glittery red. Here's my slapdash passenger seat of the car application with no other makeup on. Still looks pretty dope. I'll be sure to include it in a full FOTD at some point in the future.

Urban Decay Revolution High-Color Lipgloss in Assassin
The other shade I loved loved loved was Big Bang, but I already own that Urban Decay shade in lip crayon form.

When you splurge on gloss, do you go for neutral shades, or something more bold? Would you ever try a shade as out of control as Bittersweet?