Product Review⎮ Benefit Cosmetics: They’re Real! Big Sexy Eye Kit

On the eighth day of January my mother gave to me: six eyeshadows…and a sponge that’s quite gimmicky


Most people don’t have a middleman when it comes to makeup products, but luckily enough, I’m constantly graced with beauty hand-me-downs from my maternal relatives. Recently I was gifted Benefit Cosmetics’ They’re Real! BIG Sexy Eye Kit, which is essentially an eyeshadow palette with three paired eyeshadow duos, a rounded sponge, and a mirror built into the bulky kit.

Benefit 1

The three eyeshadow duos are composed of neutral shades, each with grandeur names:

  • Beyond nude: champagne and cappuccino
  • Naughty neutral: soft pink and rosy brown
  • Bombshell brown: taupe and sable brown

The colors are gorgeous. Within each duo is a satin shade and a soft matte shade, perfectly paired together. If you’re not completely sold on one of the duos, have no fear! Benefit Cosmetics sells all the duos separately at $24 per palette. The singular duo palette also comes in additional colors that the trio doesn’t have. However, buying the three colors together in this palette is the best option, as a $72 value is yours for only $36.

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Product Review⎮Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots

I haven’t loved a sticker this much since preschool

My mom was casually browsing Sephora’s website—her only mistake of the day; she can never casually browse any website that sells a product without making her wallet cry out in sweet, sweet agony—when she turned her laptop screen toward me to reveal a particular acne product to her acne-prone daughter.

I can’t pin-point when it started, only its worsening growth over the years. I’ve tried all of the face washes on the market; Neutrogena, Aveeno, Burt’s Bees, La Roche-Posay, Cetaphil, and more. The summer before my senior year of high school I had cried to a dermatologist, afraid that every spider bite would transform into a pimple, and every acne scar would be a badge of shame. Though I was prescribed a topical lotion and an adapalene gel at the time, neither did anything to stop new pimples from forming, lessen existing ones, and heal acne scars. But my mom was hopeful; she kept ordering new products every few months and encouraged me to return to past ones—secretly we’re both masochists, hell-bent on either humiliating our bank statements or our skin. Then she decided to try one more product, and while I was hesitant to try it, having been fed up with putting my skin through sustained changes, we finally found something that worked.

The Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots are sold in two sizes; essentially a large or small deal, where the large pack contains 72 dots (also recognizable as circular adhesive patches) and the small pack contains 24 dots. The pack of 72 dots contains 6 sheets with 12 dots per sheet, and is contained in a light blue tin. The pack of 24 dots lacks the convenient storage tin, and only contains 2 sheets with 12 dots.

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Concert Review: Grouplove Can Never Stop My World From Spinning

A friend of mine and I talked about the Grouplove concert I went to last Saturday, and thanks to him, I came to the conclusion that this has been the greatest concert I’ve attended. Is it taboo to consider the latest gig the best? I thought so – but Grouplove are truly back in business, and don’t mess around. Well, actually, they do mess aroundbut that’s all part of the show.

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Album Review: The Altar – BANKS

After writing this review I’ve realized it’s been 27 Hours since I’ve even seen the sun. Get it.

“I started all the wars” Jillian Banks sings on “Poltergeist,” the darkest track on her sophomore effort, The Altar. This release is more adventurous than her debut LP, as well as claustrophobic, with an ambitious R&B aesthetic on par with The Weeknd and FKA Twigs.

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Album Review: Young the Giant Welcomes Listeners to the Home of the Strange

If any of the members of Young the Giant read this, I’m going to be seeing you at Radio City Music Hall in September. Please invite me up on stage to sing “Something to Believe In” with you. I dance really hard to that tune.

The first time I saw Young the Giant live was in the parking lot of my local mall to celebrate the grand opening of a Microsoft Store at that location. It was a sizzling afternoon during the zenith of summer, an ambulance was on the scene, and someone splashed beer on my shoes. Five years later – we’ve come so far.

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Book Review: “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”

Author’s note: I’m going on vacation for the next three weeks, so expect a few book reviews amongst poetry about the magnificence of low tide and a possible rejected Odyssey article titled ‘What One Week Without My Laptop Taught Me About the Stone Age, As Told By Edward Scissorhands.’

Imagine this: You’re Augustus Waters on a plane for the first time, with a full tummy but a burning hunger to fulfill a storyline’s situational irony quota. You pull out a cigarette only to have a stewardess tell you that smoking on a plane is illegal. Do you (a) apologize and put the cigarette away, (b) put it away but take it out when the stewardess isn’t looking, (c) stick it up your ass, or (d) have your girlfriend look the stewardess in the eye and tell her, “it’s a metaphor.”

If you were truly Augustus Waters, you’d know the correct (but at what cost?) answer is (d). The stewardess, of course, will look at you and think to herself, “what the fuck,” but hey! She just doesn’t understand that these teenage “coming of age” metaphors, over the years, have become YA novel staples the same way we fall asleep; slowly, then all at once.

A book similar in themes but far superior in realism, writing, storyline, friendships, and just about everything else, is Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews.

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Album Review: “Mind Of Mine” – Zayn

“I’ve never been in love with an inanimate object before but I swear, when I get a physical copy of Zayn’s album in my hands, I’ll prove that statement wrong.”

Brief intro, don’t read if you don’t want to: One of the Alyssa’s on the spectrum finds refuge in music and musicians’ mannerisms, and thus, from time to time I feel the need to deeply study the reasons I like songs and albums. For that reason, and my love of writing as a tool of expression, I want to write a review on an album that was recently released – and if I find the turnout to be satisfactory, then, well, there are a number of musicians I listen to who are releasing albums this year, and there is always something to write about.

Let’s move on to what counts: Zayn Malik’s auspicious solo debut, “Mind Of Mine.” Holy shit. Seriously.

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