CIRCUITS OF FEVER

Sunday Video Love: Talking to Myself

on
Sunday, July 23, 2017

I'd never really been affected by "celebrity" deaths before, but Chester Bennington's suicide last Thursday hit me surprisingly hard. I say "surprisingly" because I'm not a die-hard Linkin Park fan. But Hybrid Theory was one of the first metal albums I ever bought — I still remember that I had just started Grade 9, when I was heavily into nu-metal, and went to Music World to pick it up from the New Releases shelf — and it was a such a game-changer in the genre that it really helped define a new generation of alternative rock. At the time, I could not have foreseen just how big they would get because a lot of nu-metal bands had reached their peak in the early 2000s, but Linkin Park's success only grew exponentially. I followed them through until Meteora (which was a "guilty pleasure" because I was really into post-hardcore/screamo by then), which ended up becoming one of the most successful alternative rock albums of all time. But even years after I stopped actively listening to Linkin Park, I still wanted to see them live because they played such a big part in my angsty teenage years, so just for nostalgia's sake, I went to their concert in 2014 during their Carnivores tour (where they not only put on one hell of a show, but truly revived my interest in their music). So it came as a shock that such a relevant modern rock icon — who not only released a new album just two months ago with Linkin Park, but that I'd also seen happily chatting away in interviews up until last week — could be gone just like that. It's unbelievable that we won't hear his voice — arguably one of the most distinct and wide-ranging in rock music — ever again, and I am genuinely mournful and heartbroken.

RIP Chester Bennington.

Friday Five: Let's Get Physical

on
Friday, July 21, 2017
This week's Friday Five:
  1. How confidently could you turn a cartwheel right now? Pretty confidently (I did gymnastics for a few years when I was younger), but I'm not so confident that my body won't completely revolt right after I do this cartwheel.

  2. How (physically) flexible are you? I can't do the splits anymore, but I can touch the ground with my hands while standing without bending my knees. For the longest time, I thought everyone could do this, but apparently it takes quite a bit of flexibility and actually no one else I know personally can do it.

  3. How are your Frisbee-throwing skills? I haven't tried in a long time, but judging from the times that I have thrown a Frisbee (both in real life and through simulation video games), they are not good.

  4. Which carnival game do you have the best shot at winning? I don't play a lot of carnival games because they're such money suckers, but I'd probably say the water gun shoot out one. Because that's the only one I actually like to play.

  5. How good are you at toss-the-paper-in-the-wastebasket? Um, in real life, not that good. But I was decent in the Paper Toss app!

Violet Voss Matte About You Eyeshadow Palette

on
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

American indie brand Violet Voss, initially known for their affordable range of false lashes and cosmetic glitters, really came to prominence last year with the release of their liquid lipsticks. Then they released photos of their first ever eyeshadow palette, Holy Grail, on Instagram last spring, and it suddenly became one of the most highly anticipated makeup products on social media. Since then, they've gotten more attention through YouTube, Instagram, and IMATS, and have added a highlighter palette and three more eyeshadow palettes to their repertoire.


Matte About You was released this past April and is the third permanent eyeshadow palette from Violet Voss. It is described as "a matte eyeshadow palette" with "20 highly pigmented shades... Formulated with a selection of high-quality ingredients, blend seamlessly over the eyelids to create bold, long-lasting eye looks." What sets Matte About You apart from Violet Voss' other palette releases is that it only contains matte shades. It is housed in black-to-burgundy holographic packaging with a mirror spanning the entire lid, and has the Violet Voss logo and the name of the palette printed on the front. Each Matte About You Eyeshadow Palette contains a total of 36 grams of product (1.8 grams per shade), and retails for $45 USD. It is available through Violet VossBeauty Bay, and some of these other retailers.

Sweetheart, Infatuation, Sweet Talk, Mesmerized, and Mi Amor

Sweetheart is a light warm creamy white in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is lighter and warmer than Violet Voss Thanks a Latte (Holy Grail), lighter and more matte than MAC Brule, and more yellow than Anastasia Beverly Hills Tempera (Modern Renaissance).
Infatuation is a light-medium warm peachy beige in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is darker than MAC Orb, darker and more peach than Makeup Geek Vanilla Bean, and more yellowed than Viseart Sable (Neutral Matte).
Sweet Talk is a light-medium warm orange-peach in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is lighter than Violet Voss Transition (Holy Grail), similar to Makeup Geek Peach Smoothie, and lighter and more orange than Jeffree Star Courtney (Beauty Killer).
Mesmerized is a medium-dark warm rusted orange in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is darker and more muted than MAC Rule, more orange than MAC Brown Script, and darker and more red than Anastasia Beverly Hills Burnt Orange.
Mi Amor is a deep-dark pitch black in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is darker than MAC Carbon, and similar to Makeup Geek Corrupt and Urban Decay Blackout.

Mad Love, Crush, Smitten, Heavenly, and Tender

Mad Love is a medium warm peachy brown in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is lighter and more peachy than Violet Voss Smitten (Matte About You), lighter than Violet Voss Bestie (Holy Grail), and similar to MAC Soft Brown.
Crush is a medium-dark warm rosy brown in a matte finish. This is a permanent edition shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is lighter and more pinked than Violet Voss Heavenly (Matte About You), darker and more rosy than Violet Voss R U Kitten Me (Holy Grail), and similar to MAC Swiss Chocolate.
Smitten is a medium warm caramel brown in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is darker and warmer than Violet Voss Mad Love (Matte About You), lighter than Violet Voss R U Kitten Me (Holy Grail), and more peach than Violet Voss Bestie (Holy Grail).
Heavenly is a medium-dark muted burnt orange in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is more orange than Violet Voss Crush (Matte About You), lighter and more orange than Violet Voss Tender (Matte About You), and darker and more brown than Anastasia Beverly Hills Burnt Orange (Modern Renaissance).
Tender is a medium-deep muted reddened brown in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is darker and more reddened than Violet Voss Heavenly (Matte About You), more brown than Violet Voss Desire (Matte About You), darker than MAC Swiss Chocolate.

Beloved, Adorbs, Yearning, Desire, and Passion

Beloved is a medium cool muted mauve-taupe in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is similar to MAC Quarry, lighter than Viseart Cendre (Neutral Matte), and more brown than Anastasia Beverly Hills Buon Fresco (Modern Renaissance).
Adorbs is a medium-deep cool mauve-brown in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is lighter and slightly more mauve than Violet Voss Skylar (Ride or Die), more brown than MAC Blackberry, lighter and slightly more purple than Makeup Geek Vintage.
Yearning is a medium-deep cool brown in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is cooler than Violet Voss Brownie Points (Holy Grail), warmer and more brown than Violet Voss Thirsty (Matte About You), and slightly lighter than MAC Brun.
Desire is a medium-dark warm terracotta brown in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is darker and more reddened than Violet Voss Heavenly (Matte About You), more orange than Violet Voss Tender (Matte About You), and and slightly darker than MAC Brown Script.
Passion is a dark warm wine-burgundy in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It is darker and more brown than Violet Voss Wine N Dine (Holy Grail), similar to MAC I'm Into It, and cooler and more pinked than Anastasia Beverly Hills Red Ochre (Modern Renaissance).

Crazy Love, Romantical, Thirsty, Darling, and Sweet

Crazy Love is a medium-dark cool mink brown in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is cooler than Violet Voss Brownie Points (Holy Grail), more golden than Violet Voss Yearning (Matte About You), and slightly lighter than MAC Charcoal Brown.
Romantical is a medium cool taupe-brown in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is more brown than Violet Voss Beloved (Matte About You), lighter than MAC Charcoal Brown, and cooler than Anastasia Beverly Hills Warm Taupe (Modern Renaissance).
Thirsty is a medium-dark cool grey-brown in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is darker and more darker and slightly cooler than Violet Voss Romantical (Matte About You), more grey than MAC Charcoal Brown, and lighter than Makeup Geek Faux Fur.
Darling is a dark neutral coffee brown in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is more brown than Violet Voss Sweet (Matte About You), darker and slightly warmer than MAC Brun, and darker than Makeup Geek Mocha.
Sweet is a dark neutral plummy brown in a matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, but goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It is darker and cooler than Violet Voss Teddy Bear (Holy Grail), more plum than Violet Voss Darling (Matte About You), and cooler than Makeup Geek Aphrodite.

Violet Voss has a palette called Holy Grail already, but in my opinion, the Matte About You palette is the real MVP. There is definitely some shade overlap in the Violet Voss palettes, especially in warm tones (if you haven't noticed already, Violet Voss loves the warm tones), but the Matte About You palette is so versatile and includes such a good variety of neutral mattes from warm to cool that you can genuinely work it with anything and on anyone (including brows, too!), making it the perfect palette for both personal and kit use. I also think Violet Voss has improved on their matte formula because every single one of the shades in Matte About You is buttery smooth and blends out like a dream. The mattes in the Holy Grail and the Laura Lee are good, but they're not as finely-milled and silky as these. I even like Matte About You more than Viseart's Neutral Matte palette (regarded as one of the best matte neutral palettes in the industry), which is smaller with less shades and double the price. I have literally used this palette every single day since I got it a couple months ago, whether alone or in conjunction with other palettes or pigments, and nothing in terms of shade range, texture, and price can beat it (Morphe is decent as well, and their prices really can't be beat for the quality you get, but I still find the shade range in the Matte About You to be more comprehensive). I just hope that Violet Voss gets picked up by a bigger distributor one day so that those of us outside of the US can get easier access to their products.

Makeup and Beauty Blog: Monday Poll, Vol. 484

on
Monday, July 17, 2017
This week's Monday Poll:
  1. Your gut feelings about red eyeshadow? Yes/no/maybe/sometimes/not a chance? Yes! The Modern Renaissance and Holy Grail palettes are some of my favourites because you can create such cohesive red smoky eye looks with them.

  2. Introvert or extrovert? I like to think I'm an introvert with brilliant extrovert skills.

  3. What products did you use in your hair today? Just some L'Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray. It's pretty much the only hair styling product I really use these days.

  4. Big earrings or dainty earrings? My ears are still pierced but I actually don't wear earrings anymore because I've found that I'm allergic to almost all metals and I can't be bothered to buy gold or platinum ones (and even then, there's no guarantee that I won't get an allergic reaction). That having been said, I usually go for smaller stud designs, so I'd say dainty.

  5. ____ is a girl's best friend. Intelligence.

Sunday Video Love: No Shade

on
Sunday, July 16, 2017

I've pretty much just been listening non-stop to Violent Soho (again). All their songs are perfectly loose and messy, simultaneously relaxed and defiant, cheerfully reckless — and it's all I wanna listen to this summer. They're perfect for blasting in your car with all the windows down on a hot sunny day. And if it's raining but still grossly humid (like today), it's just as good head-banging on your own with the A/C on. All I'm really saying with this is, I just wanna go on a road trip and play all of their records on repeat.

Saturday Nine: I Will Never Let You Down (2017)

on
Saturday, July 15, 2017
This week's Saturday Nine:


  1. Fastball is a trio from Austin, Texas. Austin is the capital of Texas. When you were in school, did you have to memorize the state capitals? I had to memorize all the capitals in Canada, yes. But it's far easier than state capitals, 'cause there's only 10 provinces and three territories here.

  2. Have you ever visited your state's capital? Well, I actually live in Toronto, which is my province's capital... so, yes. I've also visited the country's capital (Ottawa).

  3. Fastball played dates throughout Canada this past spring. When did you last leave the US of A? Let's reverse this question; the last time I went to the US was in May. I went to NYC for four days.

  4. Tony Scalzo is a founding member of Fastball. He's the singer in the video for this song, and that's his wife, Jennifer, playing the organizer of the speed-dating event. Have you ever gotten a job because you knew somebody? Yeah, I got a job as a cashier at a Richtree Market about ten years ago because I needed a job and one of my best friends was a manager there. I got hired on the spot.

  5. In this pitch to a perspective lover, he admits he doesn't have much money. Last time you went to the ATM, how much did you withdraw? $100.

  6. He sings that at times, his mind is hazy. Do you have a good memory for names? Not names, but I have a good memory for faces. (I am a makeup artist, though, so all I usually care about is facial features.)

  7. Fastball guitarist Miles Zuniga admits that he once had a crush on Carrie Fisher (aka Princess Leia). Tell us about one of your one-sided love affairs, either with a celebrity or someone you knew in real life. You mean my ongoing one with Ryan Gosling since I first saw him playing Sean Hanlon in Breaker High? This is for life, baby.

  8. Fastball's drummer Joey Shuffield is partial to drums from Pork Pie Percussion. This company was started by Bill Detamore, who began making drums as a hobby. Do you have any hobbies that, under the right circumstances, could make you money? Photography is a hobby of mine that occasionally makes me money. I'm not super technical about digital photography the way I was with 35mm back in the day, but I've been told that I just have an eye for capturing subjects. I'm also pretty good at editing photos with Photoshop. Most recently, I was hired to take menu photos for a restaurant as well as sushi for a chef who wanted to start his own sushi catering company.

  9. The fast ball is the most common pitch in major league baseball. Now that the MLB season is past the halfway mark, how is your baseball team doing? I don't have a baseball team because I find it tediously boring to watch. But if we're talking about my hometown's team (Toronto Blue Jays), then I'd say not well.

Friday Five: Mornings Are for Coffee and Contemplation

on
Friday, July 14, 2017
This week's Friday Five:
  1. Why are waffles better than pancakes? I've always liked waffles more than pancakes. Waffles have better structural integrity (e.g. pockets, grid holes, etc.) that hold on to condiments and toppings well, whereas pancakes are floppy and spongy so they'll just absorb whatever is put on top of them. Waffles also have a nice crisp exterior that juxtaposes well with its inner fluffy texture, as opposed to the much softer and cake-like consistency of pancakes. Plus, there are so many things that complement waffles, from fried chicken to ice cream, that wouldn't work nearly as well with the dense starchiness of pancakes. Case in point:


    Soy marinated strip steak and fried chicken with ginger maple and spicy berry compote on waffles from Inspire


    Banana bread waffle ice cream sandwich from Inspire


    Southern spicy maple fried chicken and Hong Kong-style egg waffles from Fring's


    Black sesame Hong Kong-style egg waffle with black sesame Thai rolled ice cream from Toast Delight

  2. What's something you remember about being 11? I turned 11 in 1997. I was heavily into ABC's TGIF line-up, especially Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Boy Meets World. I fell in love with Leonardo DiCaprio after watching Romeo + Juliet, thereby marking my first ever crush (celebrity or otherwise). Also, the seemingly overnight success of the Spice Girls. Seriously, their increase in popularity was so fast and so sudden that it really did seem like a phenomenon at the time. Naturally, I got sucked in. I might have listened to their cassette so much that I broke it.

  3. What experience do you have with role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons? Very little on my own. I watched my brother play RPGs when I was little and I've seen him play Dungeons & Dragons maybe once or twice (honestly, the 20-sided die just confused me), but I didn't really pay attention until he started playing role-playing video games. More specifically, The Legend of Zelda. My favourite to this day is Ocarina of Time. I never played it myself, but I'd always watch him play it and help him on his quests in the various temples and whatnot. It was during these times in our childhood that we actually never argued or fought.

  4. How do you feel about carnival rides that make you go upside-down? I don't mind them, but they're not my favourite. As I've gotten older, I find that they just give me bad neck pain because my head just keeps banging around between the shoulder straps.

  5. You've seen Matthew Modine in more films than you realize (which he famously admitted during his opening monologue when he hosted Saturday Night Live in 1988). (Filmography here.) Which have you seen, and which was the best? As it turns out, of all the work he's been in, I've only seen Notting Hill, The Dark Knight Rises, and Weeds. While I really like The Dark Knight Rises and the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy in general, I'd still say Weeds 'cause it's actually one of my favourite TV shows.

Thursday Threes: Vol. 8

on
Thursday, July 13, 2017
The last 3 things I ate:
  • Strawberry jelly and maple sugar Timbits from Tim Horton's
  • Chicken herb alfredo with garlic ciabatta from Moxie's for dinner
  • An everything bagel with dill cream cheese and smoked salmon for lunch

Chicken herb alfredo from Moxie's

The last 3 things I did:
  • Met up with Chelsea for coffee and doughnuts at Tim Horton's
  • Had dinner with Hannan at Moxie's after work
  • Worked

The last 3 purchases I made:

The next 3 things I want to watch:

  • Atomic Blonde — Charlize Theron. James McAvoy. Kickassery. What more do you need?
  • Sense8 — I've been saying that I need to watch this for over a year. People have been telling me it's one of the best shows they've ever watched. Now that all the episodes have been released (it's been announced that it's canceled), I really need to hunker down and start it.
  • Stranger Things — Again, I've been saying I need to watch this for the better part of a year. It's been announced that Season 2 premieres on October 27, so at least I have some time to catch up. Man, Netflix has been on fire with their original series this past year.

The last 3 songs I played:
  • Stalking Gia - Second Nature
  • Jamie xx (feat. Romy) - Loud Places
  • Zella Day - Man on the Moon

The last 3 apps I used on my phone:
  • Instagram
  • Messages
  • Music

3 makeup items I used on my face today:

3 things that are sitting closest to me right now (aside from my iPhone):

3 items of clothing I wore today:
  • A black crepe Wilfred sleeveless V-neck top
  • A black drapey blazer from Zara
  • A pair of black wide waistband leggings from Zara

3 things I want to accomplish tomorrow ('cause it's my day off):
  • Pay my credit card bill
  • Shop for some new clothes online at Zara
  • Look for a new pair of ankle boots because my old ones now have a massive hole in the bottom