Friday, January 30, 2009

BOOKS, Pick of the Month: February

"Pretty Little Devils" by Nancy Holder
Namelia-J's Pick of the Month

Hazel Stone is sick of being a wallflower and will do anything to get into the most popular clique in her school; The Pretty Little Devils. The PLDs comprises of Sylvia Orly, the ruthless ringleader of the clique; Megan Williams and Carolyn Bosch, who will do anything to stay on Sylvia's good side' and Ellen Schmidt, whom the group treats as their scapegoat, who knows better than anyone that popularity comes at a price. Especially when it comes to Brandon Wilde, one of the school's first string jocks, who is juggling relationships with more than one of the PLDs; and Matty Vardeman, the mysterious new guy who caught Hazel's attention, but he is also in the sights of Brenda Wu, head cheerleader and the PLDs top rival. Like Sylvia, she'll do whatever it takes to get what she wants. One is a killer. Before the school year is over, three will die. Will they be able to catch the killer?

We think: The book reminds me a bit of the movie Mean Girls. It keeps me guessing who the killer is till the very end. I rate it 5/5.

"Queen Of Babble in the Big City" by Meg Cabot
Lizzie Nichols, the woman with the biggest mouth is back and she is trying to find her place in the big city of New York. While trying to make it in New York, she is looking for a job, and a place to live. When 'Summer Fling' Luke uses the L word (Living Together), she is only too happy to move into his mother's Fifth Avenue pied-a-terre. But she is not as lucky in her employment search. Her bestfriend Shari has landed the perfect job while Lizzie struggles through one humiliating interview after another, until Shari's boyfriend Chaz lands Lizzie a receptionist's position at his father's posh law firm. The non-paying job at a local wedding-gown shop Lizzie manages to find all on her own. But Lizzie's notoriously big mouth gets her into trouble almost at once - first at the law firm for getting too chummy with a society bride and then with Luke when she brings up the M word (Marriage). Soon Lizzie finds herself jobless and homeless all over again. Can she save herself and find career security (not to mention a committed relationship) at last?

We think: I found the book a bit boring. Meg Cabot can do better than this. 2/5

"Dancing at Midnight" by Julia Quinn
When a suitor tells Lady Arabella Blydon that he is willing to overlook her appalling bluestocking tendencies on account of her looks and fortune, she decides to take a break from the Marriage Mart. So during an extended stay in the country, she never expects to meet Lord John Blackwood, a wounded war hero who intrigues her like no other man. Lord John has lived through the worst horrors of war, but nothing could have been as terrifying to his tormented heart as Lady Arabella. She is intoxicating, infuriating... and she makes him want to live again. Suddenly he is writing bad poetry and climbing trees in the pitch-dark night, just so he can dance with her. But when the harsh light of day replaces the magic of midnight, can this tormented soul learn to love again?

We think: Perfect for girls who are pure romantics at heart who think that they can change a man and pull him out of the pain that he has been living for the past few years. I give it a 4/5.

"Jenny Green's Killer Jr. Year" by Amy Belasen & Jacob Osborn

Jenny Green is a spoiled teen "princess" and she wants a fresh start at her new school (Montreal's Molson Academy). She is curious to see what Montreal has to offer, especially in the boy department. Beautiful, charming and sharp-witted, Jenny has no trouble getting the boys to fall for her. But when she discovers just how despicable the male gender can be - with the lying, the cheating, and the utter disrespect - she decides to make them pay... with their lives.

We think:
Sadly, I can relate to some of the things that Jenny went through when dealing with boys. And also the things that she has done to them to make them pay, I can honestly say those thoughts have run past my mind a few times in my imagination; only thing is that I do not act out on the scenes in my imagination. I give it a 4/5.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Between the Lines

Other people can be really confusing, especially when it comes to crushes and dating. He may constantly text you while you’re neighborhoods, but when it comes to bumping into him in the hallways at school, he hardly even spares you a glance. He might stare at you from across the class for an entire period, but the next day, he gives you the cold shoulder. Maybe you have the sneaking suspicion that your best guy-pal has the hots for you; or maybe your gut is telling you to give your lab partner a wink, since he has been eying you for quite a while; but the thing is, you haven’t got the nerve.

I mean, if he likes you, fine – your gut instincts are the bomb.

--but what if he doesn’t? Talk about total humiliation.

Well, if it helps any, we here at Namelia-J so totally understand your predicament – we, ourselves, have perspired through the nitty-gritty of mixed signals, and we actually sort of know how embarrassing it can be to play in a scene where you’ve read said signals completely wrong!

So, to avoid any potential face-burners, we’ve devised a sort of kind of full-proof method of extracting the interest from the not so interested – the like from the dislike.

Be sure you’ve read through all these body signals before you make your next move:

Notice This!

1. Have you ever been in a conversation where it was only you and your potential new boyfriend? Notice how the trunk of his body seems to be facing your direction. It may not be love entirely, but he is definitely interested enough to give you some attention.

2. Now, I know you don’t often find guys doing this; but when a person you think is interested in you crosses his legs in your direction, your gut feeling is probably on the right track.

3. For him to break the awkwardness by invading your personal bubble means he holds at least some form of fascination in your character. Well, it is either that or he feels comfortable enough in your presence to ignore the absolute lack of private space. Either way – he doesn’t NOT like you.

Physical contact is always a sign of attraction, so if you find him making excuses to touch you regularly (for even the stupidest reasons), he is basically telling you outright that he IS into you.

5. Ever have the awkward suspicion that someone is sizing you up? In regular cases, during eye-contact, a person would scan only your eyes; going briefly from one eye to another – no romantic emotions intended. It becomes another story entirely, however, when the person you are talking to starts moving (from your eyes) to the rest of your face almost in curiosity during an intense one-on-one.

6. The size of someone’s pupil depends on only two things: light and attraction. The darker the room, the larger the guy’s pupil tends to be. Same goes for attraction. So, say you are in a pretty well-lighted area. His pupils seem pretty well dilated, too. Lucky guesses, anyone?

7. Like a cute little puppy, the cute boy in front of you will often tilt his head slightly when addressing your presence – both adorable and a close-to-sure sign of liking you! How much better can it get?

8. Picture me this: you’re in the middle of an intense scene of a major blockbuster flick. Your popcorn is left unattended due to your total focus on the screen. Your jaw hangs. Your eyes are completely drawn to the main character. You’re sitting on the edge of your seat. Just like your reactions in a movie theater, a sure-fire way of telling whether or not you have a guy’s full attention is to notice how closely he sits from the edge of the chair he is sitting on. The closer the better.

Lastly, a full proof sign that this dude so totally digs you are the grooming behaviors you tend to notice whenever the two of you share the same room. And by grooming behaviors, I do mean the fixing of the hair, the straightening of the clothes, and the checking of the teeth. If anything, this guy at least just REALLY wants to make a good impression in front of you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

REVIEW: Jonas Brothers, "A Little Bit Longer"

While Namelia-J isn't exactly a fan of the much-crazed-over Jonas Brothers, we decided to suck it up for a change and turn our focus on their (the Jonas Brother's) new album, "A Little Bit Longer". Lets just hope they fair well against our very own Paula and Simon; the self entitled "The Optimist" and "The Skeptic".

Where the Jonas Brothers lack in actual soulful tunes, they make up for in a fun, good time. I can easily say that 8 out of the 12 tracks from this album are instant crowd-pleasers -- what with their pop-rock tunes and jump-happy lyrics, fans of all ages ought to be satisfied – and the remaining 4 are catchy, feel-good ones that will definitely quench your thirst for music.

I mean, while it goes without say that the Jonas Brother’s are not the deepest rock trio out there, that hardly suggests that this album isn’t worth picking up. In fact, if anything, its tracks like “Shelf” and “Lovebug” that just make you want to listen to their CD over and over again.

Other songs such as “Sorry” and “Tonight” -- though not the most emotion-ridden ones -- have, also, my nod of genuine approval; for their (the Jonas Brothers) take on something with a little more depth than most other pop offerings is always worth a thumbs up.

All in all, what it really boils down to is that this album by the Jonas Brother’s is an honest keeper. What with the variety of tracks and the list of original flavors, I would definitely say that this has got to be one of the year’s most essential pop-albums.

In a nutshell?

Among the billion words found in the entire English dictionary, there is simply one word to describe this album: boring. It has no depth and I can easily describe the lyrics as pointless. Song after song, the tune is just... there. It is just blah. I really felt as if I had been listening to the exact same thing for the entire 39 minutes and 34 seconds of turning said album on. I even found myself forwarding through the tracks more than a couple of times.

Basically, what I am trying to say is that the Jonas Brother’s attempt at “rock” hits was a desperate and much failed one. The only song that really caught my eye would be “Burnin’ Up”, and even that, I would say, hardly spares enough lyrical power for me to wrap my finger around.

What really surprises me, though, is that I am not surprised by the fact that they (the Jonas Brothers) have such a large fan base.

After all, if you’re just as much the teeny-bopper as the record is aiming for, then the lack of depth within their songs would hardly faze you; I mean, if your greatest heartbreak is that of a ten minute “relationship”, then, really, how would you know any better?

My final verdict:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Make-up for Your Skin Tone

The use of makeup can either make you or break you -- play it safe, and you will forever be the wallflower; but overuse might just portray the wrong impression of you. Depending on your skin tone, the makeup you choose will need to flatter your face and hair. Play up your best features with the right amount of colors, tints and hues for your skin color.

Make-up for Fair Skin...
If you are fair skinned with an undertone of rose; a wise choice would be to take a leaf out of Scarlett Johansson's makeup artist. Fair skinned girls such as yourself look best in sheer colors. By applying earth tones or pastel colors such as lavender or baby blue, you will bring the best out of your eyes.

Various shades of pink will also compliment your skin tone. Stick to shades of black and brown when applying mascara; as that darker tone, as opposed to your layer of light-colored eyeshadow, will give you the "oomph" you need. Light, sheer lipstick gives your look the finishing touch, as well as introduce the world to your youthful, flirty side.

Make-up for Olive Skin Tones...
To be olive skinned, your skin (whether fairly dark or moderately fair) must have an undertone of yellow. Most ethnic people (Latinos, Mediterraneans, Hispanics, etc.) or even those of mixed heritage are olive skinned.

With your darker skin tone, neutral shades as well as dark purple and blue will look great on your eyes. Metallic colors also look remarkable, for (unlike other skin tones), they compliment your skin tone dynamically well.

Highlight your cheekbones with bronzing powder, dark plum, chestnut, or terra-cotta blush -- you'll look fabulous in it! Keep the tones natural and avoid anything too light as the wrong shade may end up making you look a bit on the pasty side.

Lipstick shades that will bring out your lips are berry, plum, russet and almond. Avoid "true" reds, as they will clash with your skin tone.

Our inspiration? The beautiful Jessica Alba.

Make-up for Dark Skin...
Dark skinned people may have their work cut out for them when addressing the right volumes of makeup; so, for this one, we decided to borrow a few pointers from gorgeous Miss Naomi Campbell. For eye shadow; gray, brown and natural shades are your best pick. Also try shimmer colors such as silver, bronze and terracotta when your look calls for that extra punch. Have fun experimenting with various shades of mascara, as well, for almost anything goes with your skin tone.

For blush, more pigment is a must. Deep rose and apricot shades will highlight your cheekbones beautifully, as well as give you that dramatic impression you're looking for. Dark lip colors such as apricot, caramel, blackberry and red are your best choices for they will complement the rest of your ensemble.

A word of warning, however, is to stay as far away as possible from anything with a strong orange base, as this will serve to only flatter your skin tone in the worst ways possible.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What Type of Skin Do YOU Have?

There are five basic types of skin: oily, combination, sensitive, dry, and sun-damaged. Depending on this, your skin requires different sorts of treatment; therefore, it is very important that you fully understand your skin’s requirements before simply picking up a skin care product from your average pharmacy or drug-store.

And while certain professionals will immediately judge the sort of skin you have at a mere glance, it isn’t necessary that you fork out an ample amount of cash for it. In fact, you, too, can figure out what sort of skin you have by this simple method:

Firstly, give your face a good wash, pat it dry after that, then take a few pieces of rice paper and gently press them on different spots on your face.

If you find that the paper does not stick or pick up any oily spots, your skin is dry. If it only sticks to areas in your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin), you most likely have combination (or normal) skin.

Here are the 5 different skin types and their characteristics:

Type 1: Oily
Oily skin tends to be shiny with enlarged pores. People with oily skin are prone to blackheads, acne, as well as blemishes.

Type 2: Combination/Normal
This skin type has medium pores, a smooth and even texture, healthy color, may tend towards dryness on the cheeks while being oily in the t-zone.Basically, people with combination-skin do not have to bother with overuse of skin-care products, as their skin is relatively in good condition.

Type 3: Sensitive
Sensitive skin tends to be delicate, with very fine pores. It flushes easily, is frequently allergic, and is prone to rashes. Those with sensitive skin ought to consult their doctors before buying any skin-care product; for the wrong product may risk their health.

Type 4: Dry
Dry skin often feels tight, especially after cleansing. You have a tendency towards fine wrinkles and, with age, saggy skin. In women of color, skin may appear dull from dead skin buildup.

Type 5: Aging or Sun-damaged
This skin often feels tight with visible wrinkles, slack skin tone – especially around the cheeks and jaw line – with leathery texture.

Horoscope: Aquarius


To Save or to Splurge?

...that is the ultimate question.

Picture me this: Its your money; you've earned it. From ordinary household chores like throwing out the trash, to scraping for bits of cash each time you volunteer to babysit those terrible twins from across the street -- you've done it all!

Now that it is finally payday, you are stuck with two choices:

Should I save, or should I splurge?

We at Namelia-J have weighed both the pros, as well as the cons of both saving and spending. Check it out!

Our Solution??

Its not everyday that you get to buy yourself something nice, so, really, there is no harm in splurging once in a while. However, keep in mind that it is your money you're using here and your work you're spending away with. The point of treating yourself something nice is to feel good about it, not to regret later on. Also, make it a habit to keep aside about 40% of what you've made in your account, for future reference -- trust me, it helps.

-- and who knows? You might just find something even prettier later on! =)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Must-Haves of 2009

This 2009, we're saying goodbye to neutral, bland tones, and HELLO to bold, flashing articles of color. That's right -- and orange and pink is so no longer the fashion disaster of the world. Bright, loud prints are exactly what we're aiming for here; this season's theme is all about erasing your woes of being the wall flower and spreading the joy that is life!

Also, we hereby confirm that skinny jeans are so yesterday's fashion. What's in now are colored leggings and sheer fabrics (think ala '60s, everyone). White nail polish,Oxfords, and even metallic makeup have made its comeback this year, and (hopefully), its the real deal this time around.

Large, gold and silver bling is also making its way into all the fashion good books of the season -- we're talking funky, LOUD, LARGE statement here, girls!

Pearls and fedoras? All the top dogs of the fashion industry are giving their big thumbs up of approval, and Namelia-J is not ashamed to admit that, hey, we're pretty keen on the idea, too!

Our only exact no-no for this year, however, comes in the form of (what others might call) pretty for your feet. We here at Namelia-J are putting our foot down entirely at the return of... (drum roll, please)


Gladiator shoes

They're big, they're bad, and gosh-darn, they should be returned home to where you found them -- your grandmother's closet. Gladiator shoes -- though deemed a fashion icon this 2009 -- are jumping right into Namelia-J's "NO" list. We are not sure what the rest of the world were thinking when they allowed the comeback of these horrendous flats; but one thing is for certain, you are not going to see one of these here at Namelia-J so very soon.

See, we here at Namelia-J pride ourselves for being one of the very few fashion-followers who make it habit to think for ourselves. Instead of doing what most others are doing (which is going straight with the flow, no matter where said flow is leading you), we pick only what we deem a worthy buy.

While fashion trends come and go depending on whichever season it is, we at Namelia-J are stubborn with our belief that whatever is pretty, STAYS pretty.