Sheet Mask or Serial killer? 7 brands I’ve tried + mini review

DISCLAIMER: I am just a girl who really likes skincare and in particular masking(my flaws, my fat and my skin). I am no expert and have oily to combination skin.

Korea was CLEARLY influenced by American Psycho

Unless you have been living under a dehydrated, flaky skincare rock, you have probably heard about sheet masks, which are arguably sweeping the shelves and the nation over the past 3 years. They originated in South Korea and Japan and have gained global popularity, but is it just a gimmick or is looking like Hannibal Lecter truly worth the GLOW?

Here are some facts you should know about them to start off with: https://www.orgaid.com/blogs/news/42212929-top-10-facts-you-need-to-know-about-sheet-masks

Personally, I have used a lot more than just the 7 brands I will go into detail about, including once off from DAISO (Japan) and it is safe to say my tiny face adores them. Every 2 for 3 sale at dischem or clicks CALLS my name and I will continue to purchase a multitude of them. I think it is important to note that they treat the skin from within and it is not going to make acne magically disappear, it will however improve brightness and texture of the skin and definitely add the hydration boost which is very needed over the winter months. So, don’t go into this craze thinking your pimple days are gone for good. It is also great as you can use a mask for your targeted skin care concern, although I seem to have ALL the concerns.

TONY MOLY (gifted to me by family, but available at https://www.philosophyglow.co.za/ )

Masks used: Skin soothing (Tea Tree) and Brightening( Lemon)

Application and packaging : The packaging is ADORABLE and very worth the bulkier length, once you remove it from the packet it is also easy to gently peel apart and apply to the face and has ample excess serum to apply to the neck.

Rating: (scale used is ___ / 7BTS MEMBERS)

Price Point: At around R55, it is up there in terms of cost but on par with South African brands but FAR better. Look out for packs and sales, they are really worth it then.

7/7! I used the brightening one the night before Eid and my skin was sublime( get it because lemons and brightening). My make up applied flawlessly over and it was dewy and soft.

SEPHORA COLLECTION (well, available at sephora for now)

Masks used: Algae and Aloe Vera

Application and packaging: It is a much smaller packet, which makes it ideal for travelling and generally being on the go. The peelability is also great and it didn’t require rocket scientist level skills. It did feel a little big for my face though( but most usually are)

Price point: very hard to determine since it is not local, at around 6 dollars, even overseas, I would say it is NOT worth it at that price.

Rating: 6.5/7

I vividly remember using the Algae mask before a really long day, I had lectures and then a test in the evening and wore no make up whatsoever but received compliments on how bright and full my face looked, which as a student is the BEST alternative to “you look tired”

KOCOSTAR SLICES (also gifted by family but supposedly available here: https://www.fruugo.co.za/ )

Masks used: Cucumber and Rose

Application and Packaging: This is a very unique mask that cosmopolitan South Africa called instagrammable. As opposed to the serial killer-esque look it has fun circular (usually) mini sheets that you place on key area on your face. It is a little tricky to apply and confusing but I guess it looks super cute?

Price Point: LET US JUST NOT GO THERE, almost R70 on Fruugo? You are looking to get ripped off, probably best purchased at a Sephora overseas.

Rating: 5/7

They definitely only got an extra point up for cuteness, but overall it did feel good on the skin and relaxing, however not the most powerful in terms of improvement and less effective.

SORBET GROUP (Available at clicks, definitely look out for 3 for 2 sales)

Masks Used: Cleansing Spot and Blemish Face mask

Application and Packaging: The packaging is colorful and bright, also compact enough but not as aesthetically appealing as tony moly or travel friendly as sephora. It does outline what is contained within the serum which I do like. It applied well to the face and I had no issues.

Price point: R55, (only worth it when 3 for 2, otherwise authentic Asian brands do the trick better for cheaper) – YEAH I KNOW THEY ARE MADE IN KOREA TOO

Rating: 5/7

I really wanted to like this a lot more, but considering it contained salicylic acid, I expected it to pack more of a punch, especially since I did have a few small breakouts on my skin. I know there should be continued use for true realistic results, but I think my expectations were too high from previous masks and the price

PONDS

Notably, I have not dabbled much with ponds skincare but also purchased this at Dischem under the guise of a 3 for 2 sale ( I have a problem , I KNOW)

Masks Used: Skin Brightening Serum Mask

Application and Packaging: The metallic colours are indeed attractive and size is akin to that of sorbet, so it is entirely adequate and mentions what is contained inside. I had an issue with application of the mask, which I am no pro (I will try and link the Chinese guys Tik-Tok video that had ME SHOOK) but having used so many and never had this problem I was upset. It felt like it was tearing in my hand, leading me to believe the fibers were not of good quality

video in question on HOW TO APPLY A SHEET MASK: https://twitter.com/senpai/status/1118953518793203712?lang=en

Price point: CHEAPER AT AT CLICKS (R39.90 – CURRENTLY 20% OFF) THAN AT DISCHEM (R49.90)

Rating: 4/7

As these are probably made at a low cost in Korea, just to cater to a South African market, I don’t think they are as effective as other brands but I could also be a little biased. Overall, it is a good once off mask and solid attempt if you don’t want to go the extra mile to get Asian sheet masks AND definitely worth a try when on sale

BONUS: MINISO SHEET MASKS – HARD TO FIND BUT I GOT 3 FOR R30 (R10 a mask and they were a solid 4/7)

and BEAUTY TREATS at dischem (look out for the ones made in korea, they’re a lot like the MINISO ones)

Well that concludes my round up and endless rambling about sheet masks, I hope you found it at least a little worth your time and if you did read it, may you be blessed with plump, glowy and smooth skin!

I look forward to trying all the other brands I can get my hands on, seeing as a new brand pops up every two seconds (Especially local brands trying to get on the hype train and *cough* paying our influencers too much *cough*

P.S: https://glowtheory.co.za/ also has some pretty cool kbeauty products and masks at really affordable prices!

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5 countries, 5 series recommendations

As long as I can remember, television has been an integral part of my life. The curious 5 year old that I was, often indulged in things far beyond her age group, I suppose this came with being the youngest sibling and often unattended. Much to the dismay of my mother, I used to say that the Black box raised me, however I will admit the only way I now consume TV is on my laptop in a binging marathon and this is thanks to the popularity of streaming platforms (both legal and ummm…. not so legal)

Image result for mindy kaling quotes on tv

About two years ago, I found myself really diversifying my consumption of content and now subtitles rule my life. I’ve compiled a very short list of shows from 5 different countries. These really left a true and lasting impact on me and I believe would be really worth your time.

Parks and Recreation– THE US OF A

I fear the wrath of The Office enthusiasts being inflicted upon me, but when I think about a show that truly makes me happy, even after all these years, it has to be this one. Beyond how it makes me feel, it had a very real cultural impact with catch phrases like “treat yo self” (which you should all in fact do, we support self care here), how we deserve government employees like Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson being the physical manifestation of Grumpy Cat (RIP). It did however make Chris Pratt famous, but I am willing to overlook that.

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Downton Abbey – THE UK

British aristocrats in beautiful gowns, enchanting us with wit, set against the backdrop of WW1, AND MAGGIE SMITH? Need I say more? Period dramas are admittedly not for everyone and probably(read definitely) lack diversity, but this remained so posh yet scandalous, and I could not help but adore it. Season 1-3 remain superior, but I am very excited for the upcoming movie.

Image result for downton abbey maggie smith quotes

Skam( Shame) – NORWAY

Never in my life did I think I would be enthralled by a show that was based on the lives of Norwegian teenagers, but stranger things have happened. This show was very unique and raw in its story telling, each character even had real social media that were updated according to the plot as the show aired, which is something really never done before. It felt like authentic portrayals of teenagers (with slightly more European freedoms, which I cannot relate to). The show also gained recognition as it had a season dedicated to LGBTQ + characters and one of the BEST representations of an on screen Muslim character I have ever seen. It became so popular worldwide that countries like the US and Italy have made their own adaptations (although I have yet to give them a try).

It is a little fun to hear them speak Norwegian because it sounds like Afrikaans.

Chicago Typewriter – SOUTH KOREA

There are a myriad of Korean dramas that are excellent and very worth enticing your binging capacity, but I chose to recommend this one because it blends the past of Korea with the present day. It has elements of the Japanese occupation of Korea and the resistance, but at its core it tells the story of love and friendship. It remains one of the most hauntingly beautiful dramas I have ever watched.

If you would like a full list of recommendations or reviews, PLEASE TELL ME, oh and for places to watch them, since I do not want to get sued.

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Tatta Hitotsu no Koi( Love of My Life) – JAPAN

Arguably, Korean dramas are better than the Japanese and I say that’s revenge for the whole occupation, but there are a few gems that really stand out, this being one of them. The true romance sap that I am, really drank this story in. Set in the dreamy sea side city of Yokohama, the story follows two young adults from opposite sides of the social classes.

Truthfully, its a little Nicholas Sparks-esque but a lot less Southern and more fringeswept with intense stares.

That concludes my list, which is absolutely inconsistent, just like my taste in series. If any of you do try these shows, particularly the more obscure ones, I would love to know what your thoughts are!

The impact of the printing press on international law.

For my dearest encouragers(I made this up), friends and strangers alike, my only thoughts I am proud to share amidst my abandonment of writing.


In the hustle and bustle of the information age, news is read at the scrolling of your fingertips and spread by the irrational tweets of a leader of the free world. There is no scarcity of access to knowledge. The history of international law has long been littered with wars, treaties and failed organizations that displayed a pseudo-sense of unity and interpreted with a largely Eurocentric view. I submit that the invention of the printing press and its subsequent modern off spring in the form of internet, have significantly impacted the course of international law.

The European renaissance was a time of great ingenuity[, invention and a birth of secular views. The West needed to catch up to the East who already had their own forms of printing and paper. Johannes Gutenberg, a German goldsmith created the first mechanical apparatus. Hence, the first printed book in the west, the Gutenberg Bible, came to be. This monumental invention set in motion the spread of information and the far-reaching consequences. Scholars had exact replicas of portable books brimming with content ranging from science to politics and literacy rates increased. It was an affordable and readily available for public consumption. Due to its popularity, printing presses were established all over Europe and subsequently around the world.

It has been stated that, what gunpowder did for war the printing press has done for the mind. Specifically, in her book Elizabeth Einstein[ looks at how the printing press spread the protestant faith. The press facilitated the spread of the word of God. The Catholic Church could not make changes to their printed editions, thus the Protestant church benefited from interpretations that became publicized by the press editions. Simultaneously, the press advanced academic and scientific views on life and religious beliefs, which have been competing for centuries. Religious doctrines have long been the underlying reason for many wars, particularly between Christian sects and now “the war on terror” which directly implicates the world view on Islam.

Beyond the spread of books, the science of cartography began to thrive. In the Netherlands, famous atlases were created and the modern projection map made by Geradus Mercator. The well detailed maps aided the European explorers in navigating new worlds. The press extensively published the travel accounts of these explorers notably “The Columbus Letter[. It caught the attention of merchants seeking new lands for goods and exploitation, which amplified the spread of trade and capitalism.

Furthermore, a very significant and prominent form of print is the old age newspaper. While it may be facing extinction today and overcome by the virtual world, it was once a staple that insured the public was informed. It remained filled with adverts aiding capitalism, war announcements and scandals that shook the public. It defined the way society was perceived. The thoughts and ideals of the time were so easily circulated. During World War 1], printing presses were established at the trenches by the British which gave insights into the lives of soldiers and promoted the call to arms, much like Uncle Sam in America.

The freedom to publish set in motion different conflicting views.  These challenge perceptions of thought and can be so dangerous to a government, that censorship exists. Hitler’s Mein Kampf[ filled Germany, while he banned material on communism. He distorted the way his citizens thought by limiting their access to information. This misinformed society, plagued with propaganda, ultimately gave way to World War 2. A more recent example of this would be communist China, famous for its censorship in the modern form, on the internet and more severely in North Korea.

International law became codified in a sense. Ideas brimming in the minds of lawyers could be put to paper and consumed by scholars and the masses alike. It is rather elitist, considering it would be the western views on international law taking precedent to be taught, studied and published. Today, in the post-colonial world, the thoughts of more scholars and lawyers of colour have made their way to the printing presses or web-pages and challenge every view originally had by international lawyers in the past. It invites critique and encourages new and meaningful discussions with inclusions on TWAIL versus timelines of European Treaties.

The words of god found their way to far reaching continents, scientific breakthroughs reached new heights, new land was “discovered” and colonized, and the course of history and international law were documented by fresh ink. When we recognize there is a society of states, we recognize there is international law, and what is society beyond a collection of ideas that define them?


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How I Survived Over A Month Without WiFi

Disclaimer: yes, I understand my inherent privilege and that millions of people don’t have access to WiFi. My problem is a very first world one for a third world gal. But take it with a pinch of salt and humour

It started one summer eve, the light left the sky and I retreated to my cave to do what I do best, scroll. It was here I was confronted with the prehistoric creature inviting me to an internet-less existence, making me one with itself(thanks, chrome dinosaur). At first instinct, I panicked, but it was not a problem I had not faced before. The towering Telkom has regularly and ruthlessly cut off my access to the world. My father and resident useless commander of our fort tackled the problem head-on, only to be left on hold.

The days grew longer, and my eagerness to attend university increased. The networks used to further academic excellence were now tainted and used to download Korean dramas, send snap streaks and relentlessly Instagram stalk. I apologize to every student who was trying to do work and thank them for bearing with my abuse.

My truest ally came in the form of the mystical capitalist haven also known as Starbucks. There I sat with my MacBook imposter Lenovo laptop, sipping overpriced coffee and finishing up assignments. Employees handed me free tea samples and strangers politely smiled as we shared a plug point, adding strength to face my adversity.

Friends proved themselves in my time of need. Pictures were never sent, but merely described and my Snapchat password floated to the next available streak sender. They so kindly took me in, sheltered, fed and connected me as the Telkom continued its torment. But it also came with being dragged on many occasions and being left behind on certain memes. My problem actually spread to a friend, but alas her shortage lasted 5 days only.

Vodacom thoroughly benefited as my demise continued. As if their data prices weren’t high enough we faced the VAT increase. My reluctant parents helped me waste money to refresh a timeline and download notes. Then I turned on them and started kicking off my parent’s devices from the hotspot because I prioritized succession notes over my mother’s latest Instagram recipe craze. In times like this, your true colours really show and my inner dictator prevailed.

In the end, I came out stronger, my academics probably benefited and I tested my own levels of tolerance, which admittedly aren’t very high. In the midst of it all, my aforementioned fake MacBook charger also broke and took weeks to be replaced, adding to the growing anxiety. Now that the promised land of content has been returned to me, I feel like a kid in a virtual candy store (for lack of a better metaphor). You mean I can spend a day watching just YouTube videos? My wireless printer will work? More than 2 seconds of an episode can be streamed? I am overwhelmed with my power and will never take my WiFi for granted again.

As for Telkom, all I can say is “DO BETTER”.

All Things Twitter With Local Tweleb @Anjalaaay

You may know her as the unsung pun hero of local twitter or that girl who was just featured on BuzzFeed. In her personal sphere, Anjali is a 22-year-old Med student dabbling in embroidery and always providing us with relatable tweets in now 240 characters or less! Sometimes, the occasional article gets written about her, so I decided to ask to interview her for my all of ten readers, which she kindly agreed to.

anjali1.  When did you first join Twitter and start to enjoy using the platform?

I joined Twitter in 2011 when I was in grade 9. I didn’t really know what to do on it, but I got it because other people were talking about this new platform and celebrities were using it. I mainly interacted with my friends (replied to all my mentions, liked and retweeted everything). From the start, I used Twitter to express my sense of humour and things that I found funny. Most of the time other people didn’t find them funny, but I tweeted my puns and stupid jokes out anyway. I had about 200 followers back then and every time I got 4 or more RTs I was delighted. In 2015, when I started university, I decided to dedicate more time to social media (obviously a very appropriate time to do this). I remember always thinking that the popular people on (Muslim) Twitter who had 1000+ followers were unimaginably cool that I said to my friends one day, “I’m going to become part of Muslim Twitter.” I started following more people, and that’s what helped me gain a following. I’d say that the time I started aiming for that goal was when I really started enjoying Twitter as a platform. Although the character of my humour has shifted from being light-hearted and pun-based to being more self-deprecating, self-critical and reflective, the overall aim of my Twitter account has remained the same: I want to make people happier, even if they just crack a tiny smile at something stupid I’ve said.

[speaking as a member of Muslim Twitter, we are one hot mess]

  2. How has the platform helped you grow as a person? 

The biggest thing I’ve gained from Twitter is access to other people’s knowledge, opinions and perspectives. I’ve come to understand why Fees Must Fall, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ rights, Me Too and every other big political movement is important because I have had the opportunity to read ordinary people’s real experiences. I have also learned to be observant of the injustices around me and be more open to the opinions and experiences I have as a millennial, woman, and medical student. I get a lot of comfort from Twitter, seeing that almost everything I struggle with is not unique to me, and thousands of other people on this platform are going through similar problems while supporting each other with humour and advice. I think the more I share, the more I can give that comfort and humour back to my followers.

[ at least we know the secret to her success and relatability now]

3. How do you balance the demands of your degree and maintain an online presence?

To be honest, Twitter is very often a source of procrastination for me. I’ve found myself scrolling through it while I’m supposed to be studying, and it is often during these moments that I come up with my most frequent and best tweets. However, Twitter has never solely gotten in the way of my pursuit of academic success because I am already an easily distracted person who will always find something that’ll sidetrack me. Adding on to that, tweeting is not a time-consuming action at all. I don’t dedicate time every day to think only about crafting tweets; instead, they are created in the form of sudden thoughts. I immediately spend 30 seconds making sure my thought is worded in a comprehensive and amusing way, and I either save it to be tweeted later or tweet it immediately. There has never been a need to balance demands because tweeting is not demanding to me at all.

[ we could all probably learn a thing or two in terms of time management and academic excellence from Anjali, me especially for that test I should be studying for]

4. Do you feel confident representing our country and local Twitter on such a global platform?

I don’t entirely see myself as a good representative for South Africa on Twitter, mainly because I am part of such a small minority. I’m Indian and a medical student, two things that most South Africans are not. If someone were to ask me to identify the best aspects of SA Twitter, I’d point them to every black person on there because black people are incredibly funny and encompass the true essence of SA spirit and culture. Black Twitter is definitely the fun portion of Twitter. I’ve learned a lot from South African black Twitter myself and I always laugh at their tweets (when they’re in English lolololol). I find Cape Town is a bit more relatable to me, and I think I fit in well with the local Twitter crowd (although I don’t have many friends on the platform). I’d feel more confident representing local Twitter. Overall, I just try to express my more general thoughts and experiences as a student, a person in their 20s, a person of colour, et cetera. I do this so that I can appeal to and be relatable to more people.

[As a fellow South African Indian woman, I thank you for your representation of us]

5. Which of your tweets did you never expect to go viral and why?

I never expect any of my tweets to go viral, to be honest. When one of them does I’m always so surprised. Sometimes I’ll craft a tweet and put a lot of effort into wording it just right and I think, “This is hilarious, it’s definitely going to go viral.” Those ones never do. Instead, it’s always the ones that require minimal thought and effort that blow up. I’ve never understood why that is and I never will, but such is the unpredictable nature of virality.

[It never is the tweets we think it will be]

6. How does your family feel about the fame surrounding you? 

The thing is, I’m not famous because no one recognises me in person and my popularity on Twitter doesn’t impact my life in a way that my family would recognise. Therefore, they don’t have any strong feelings about my Twitter “fame”. Sometimes they’ll ask me how many followers I currently have, and when I tell them they’re temporarily in awe, but the conversation moves on swiftly. My cousins sometimes talk about my Twitter, but again, it’s never a big deal to me.

[ I can’t imagine how many times your tweets have ended up as WhatsApp stories]

7. Do you often get dragged for being a “Tweleb” by your friends? 

I do, all the time. My friends Azrah and Hoosain exaggerate how “famous” I am at least once a day and talk about how they want to meet Kanye West through me, stuff like that. When someone else mentions in person that I’m popular on Twitter, I know that as soon as that person walks away I’m going to get dragged. I won’t lie, it’s pretty funny when they do that and I always fail to keep a straight face.

[when you do meet Kanye, please ask him to stop designing whatever he has been tweeting lately, for the greater good, we need you!]

8. Is there now a pressure to always be tweeting relatable and popular content?

Sometimes. I go through phases where I can come up with lots of good tweets every day for weeks, but other times life becomes stressful and busy and I struggle to think of something good to tweet. I often start to panic if I can’t come up with a good tweet, but I try to draft at least one per day to maintain my account and give people a reason to keep following me.

[She’s human too guys!]

9. When can we expect Anjali merch (I am not kidding)?

Probably never! If anyone is interested, I do embroidery as a hobby and take custom orders. I’ll have a website soon (www.anjalaaay.com) through which you can place orders.

[ I am counting on all ten of my readers to support Anjali’s future endeavours and yes, I made the same joke twice. Life is tough.]

10. What would you like to say to the people who have supported you and watched you grow over the years? 

I really want to be humble, but I might not sound humble when I say this, so please excuse me for a moment. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has followed me, taken the time to read any of my tweets and allowed me to have some impact on their emotional state (hopefully only positive!). There are people who have been following me since 2015, and some even before that. You guys are really the best. I’ve learned so much from all of you over the years, and I will always try to contribute to the pool of humorous and relatable content on Twitter because it is you guys whom I want to make happy. I love Twitter because it’s filled with thousands of amazing people and countless opportunities for growth that I’m so grateful for. So, in essence, thank you for following me and I hope you will continue enjoying my tweets!

I’d like to conclude by thanking Anjali for her time and insight. I hope you had as much fun answering these questions as I did making them. I cannot wait to see you enjoy unbridled success in the future.

Lastly, I will leave a list of Anjali’s greatest hits.

The Types of Group chats

As a self-proclaimed group chat junkie, with roughly 40 graced with my membership, I think I am more than qualified to pen a post on the many types of group chats that plague our text-based society. These nifty social tools have brought some of the best people into my life.

The immediate family group chat

This usually includes mum, dad and your siblings. The daily messages entail random broadcasts, dinner plans, pictures of nieces and nephews and the occasional “put your light off/ PLEASE BRING TAKE-OUT”. Recently, my dad’s new hobby is digging up my childhood pictures and meme-ing me.

The extended family group chat

Here, we branch out to cousins, uncles and the one grandparent who isn’t wifi-challenged. It is a hotbed for hoax messages, subtle brags about your auntie’s son’s nephew who got straight A’s but not into med school because of that darn BEE(ps this is me mocking the Indian entitlement with regards to admission, not agreeing). This also happens to be the home of cringe-inducing memes that should have died on Facebook, in 2009.

Image result for family group chat memes

The main friend group chat 

Yes, boys, this where the screenshots of your messages are circulated and picked apart, the dragging goes down and the crying laughing emoji is in great abundance. This chat is the glue to my fragile being.

The campus friend group chat

Common messages include: “are you on campus yet?” , ” you free?”, “shot for the invite to that thing the rest of you attended”

The degree related group chat

You probably hate half the people on this group chat but stay for that one smart and kind person who is willing to shares notes and tips.

  • Anyone got notes for section 2.2.1?
  • Sign the register for me
  • Which venue is the test in?

The high school friend group chat

You may feel bad to leave. It’s perfect to vent about the girl you collectively despised and had an awkward run-in with at the grocery store. The lit-ness also drastically increases during holiday periods.

The one you made for a meet-up and forgot to leave

I really don’t know why I haven’t left this yet

The fandom group chat

Here it is completely okay to share kdrama stills, game of thrones spoilers and BTS gifs. It is a safe haven for unhinged fangirls.

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The three-person group chat

Humans by nature are exclusive beings, sometimes having just three people feels right and people have different interests and levels of tolerance. Statistically, these are the most successful group chats, yes, I made up that statistic.

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The one you made on a whim that no one really one talks on anymore

SELF- EXPLANATORY

The internet friend group chat

This chat keeps my soul alive. Book recommendations and home remedies are shared,  story times fill our nights with spice and we just support each other, no matter the distance.

Group chats have revolutionised social circles and not being in the “one” can have drastic self-esteem ramifications (well, at least for me). For a lazy person such as myself, not having to type out the same message to my all of three friends is perfect, even if no one replies when we try to make plans and all of them are muted. Shoutout to twitter, snapchat and Instagram for also allowing me to send tweets and posts, it really has facilitated conversation in the modern age and lastly, to the addictive “tag urself” memes for having a persona for every member. Long live the inside jokes no one else will get and make sure you send those messages to the right chat.

 

2017 In A Nutshell

Normally, I’d begin this post with a one-line witty sum up of the year, but 2017 truly cannot be summed up. It was a whirlwind of emotions, with Donald Trump at the helm of the free world, Kardashians falling pregnant, K-pop going global, Robots gaining citizenship and a much-needed end to years of silence. In a personal sphere, it has been a year of immense emotional growth, but this isn’t about me, but rather my love, POP CULTURE. As always, the winners in each category were chosen by yours truly and are well-researched to take into account popularity, but are also heavily biased.

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Song Of The Year: It was so overplayed, that I genuinely feel ill when I hear it. So love it or hate it, you cannot deny that it was everywhere this year. Yes, you sang along while not knowing the words and trying fidget spinner tricks.

Despacito- Lusi Fonsi, Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber

Honorable mention: MANS NOT HOT

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Best Movie: Logan.

Yes, scorn and fury are being flung at me, but I needed the pick to be something I actually watched and enjoyed this year. It was a terribly satisfying end to Hugh Jackman’s reign as Wolverine and more human, ironically than any superhero film I’ve watched.It was an all-around, commercial and critical success that pleased fans, that in its own right is a huge feat.

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Worst Movie: The Emoji Movie.

The concept alone is a deterrent, and that’s all I have to say considering I did not actually watch it. To aid my feelings, a critic humorously described it as “a force of insidious evil”

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Best Animation: Coco

Despite being a moderate rip-off of The Book of Life, the match made in heaven, Disney and Pixar continue to deliver heartwarming and beautifully captivating stories worthy of acclaim. Animation as a whole was disappointing, so I was also forced to slot this in here because it was better than let’s say, Golden Globe-nominated Boss Baby (I don’t get it either)

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Actor Of The Year: Mahershala Ali

Technically both Moonlight and Hidden Figures (2 of his Oscar Nominated films) were released in 2016, but his award-winning streak took off early this year and was so well deserved. Granted his success came later on in his life and acting career, nevertheless he is a beacon of hope, talented and the first Muslim Oscar Winner.

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Actress Of The Year: Zendaya

The spirited 21-year-old is hot off the Disney mill and already landing leading lady roles. Imagine your first movie being Spiderman? To top off her year, she contorted herself in Oscar-baiting The Greatest Showman. Her wits, striking features, unmatched fashion sense and passion and advocacy for Justice makes her truly one to watch in the years to come.

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Scandal: Ronan Farrow let the proverbial cat out of the bag and unleashed a domino chain of events when it came to exposing Hollywood’s sexual assault underbelly. Much like the meme, I was disappointed but not surprised. People I respected and admired were cancelled out, and all I have to offer is my support, thoughts and prayers to the victims, both men and women who have spoken out or chosen to remain silent. You are valid and you are believed. I hope more people gain the courage to come forward and that drastic repercussions are put in place for the perpetrators.

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Viral Sensation: Shooting Stars meme

Don’t ask me why I found floating cutouts of people in space to futuristic music, I just did and so did the rest of the world. If I am honest, I think 2017 might be the beginning of the true meme renaissance, the quality this year was unparalleled.

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While 2017 was not shrouded in the same doom and gloom that made 2016 oh so memorable, it was not a particularly great year for the world either, I am not here to depress, merely offer unnecessary social commentary, we have the news for all the sad stuff.

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My final thoughts (yes, Tammy(Tomi Lahren) inspired) are that I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, may you be as blessed as Asad, avoid following any strange clowns into gutters, salt your meat, don’t forget to have nothing but respect for your presidents and let’s hope the world is much better off in 3017.

The Hawkins Sorting Hat

It’s that time of the year again, where you can talk of nothing else besides the Netflix Phenomenon “Stranger Things” and dodging spoilers and or demogorgons becomes an Olympic sport. I binged the much anticipated second season during my current exam period and it was completely worth it( Possibly, mainly, for reasons of the Steve variety). In my pits of study related despair, spontaneous creativity blooms and so the idea to sort our favourite characters into their respective Hogwarts Houses and combine two my favourite fictional universes(can we imagine a mixtape of Hedwig’s theme and the ST intro though?) came to be. Plus Harry was born in the 80s, Ilvermorny exists and tell me Mike and the gang would not be super into the idea of magical wizards, it’s not too much of a stretch. So without further ado, let’s get this sorting ceremony started.

Mike – Gryf(Finn Wolfhard)dor

The quintessential leader of the gang is nothing if not selflessly brave, the boy’s got heart and in abundant amounts. He will constantly step up to the plate to protect his loved ones, very much like our dear Harry.

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Will – Slytherin

He’s severely misunderstood, strangely connected to a monster(*cough*basilisk *cough*)  and rocking an Albus Potter-que haircut.

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Lucas – Hufflepuff

I don’t tolerate any Hufflepuff slander in this house. Lucas is so pure and loyal but can step up to any challenge and drag his often ridiculous friends at every opportunity. We couldn’t have asked for a better voice of reason.

Dustin – Gryffindor

I was itching to make our brain a Ravenclaw, but truly he is in part Hagrid( the hair and his weird pet- dart) and Neville( The bravest amongst them all). Therefore, he must dawn red and yellow.

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Eleven- Gryffindor

Yes, I am being purely stereotypical with this one. El, is both badass and a cinnamon roll all at once.

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Max- Gryffindor

This is all I have to say:

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Nancy – Ravenclaw

Nancy, much like the house Ravenclaw is severely underrated(yes, I am one too). She is incredibly witty and intelligent.Pursuing conspiracy theories with determination and generally being the shot-gun wielding heroine WE ALL DESERVE.

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Jonathan – Slytherin

Perhaps it’s a family trait, but Johnathan is surely cunning and resourceful, even if he is quiet and aloof. Plus, we can abandon the notion that all Slytherins are evil. He also looks as if he’s never slept due to the anticipated return of the Dark Lord, but that’s a minor detail.

Steve – Hufflepuff

Our babysitter of the century is athletic. kind, loyal and flawed. He reminds me most of Cedric Diggory, but ultimately it was his brevity and heart that landed him in Hufflepuff.

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Billy – Slytherin

I know we just went through the whole #NotAllSlytherins but truly this racist, blood purifier is DEFINITELY a Slytherin.

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BONUS:

Joyce and Hopper – Gryffindor

Bob(RIP) – Hufflepuff

The mind-flayer – Slytherin

Well, that concludes this immensely enjoyable procrastination aid and our Hawkins- Hogwarts mashup. If you have any other suggestions as to their sorting, please leave a comment down below and if you’d like me to sort some of your other favourite characters let me know as well!

 

Dunkirk: A Review, ft. A Harry Stan.

If you dwell upon planet earth in the 21st century, you have heard of this not so huge deal called World War 2. This is the subject of Christopher Nolan’s latest cinematic masterpiece. It focuses on the Dunkirk evacuation(I didn’t know about it until the movie either)  and truly was an emotionally and visually splendid experience and yes, it’s that also known as that movie with Harry Styles in it.

For this completely unbiased review, I am consulting Harry’s supposed wife for her thoughts on the matter.

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Give us three adjectives to describe the movie:

Nasrin: Phenomenal, Exceptional, unexpected.

Faatimah: Riveting, Emotional, Breathtaking.

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Reason to watch the movie apart from Harry?

Nasrin: Besides the incredibly good-looking cast, it shows you a side of soldiers than you don’t get to see and it depicts the struggles of getting back home, as well as different type of soldiers

Faatimah: As a history enthusiast, it was great to feel engaged with the story and the era At times it felt like you were a soldier or a pilot, and it further enabled the emotional impact. OH, and cute pasty British boys.

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Comments on visuals and the score:

Nasrin: The cinematography was brilliant, it had air, sea, and land. It had the clicking timer which added to the emotional build ups. visuals made you feel like you were there.

Faatimah: The story was nonlinear and you had to take visual cues to piece the story together, which helped because war films can seem monotonous at times and the gloomy aesthetics helped capture the dreary and miserable atmosphere, almost devoid of hope. The score made every scene that much more captivating and poignant, and gun shots sent tingles up your spine.

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Favourite character:

Nasrin: Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), obviously I love Harry but his character was a dick

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Faatimah: The fighter pilot played by Tom Hardy, who was the REAL UNDERRATED HERO.

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What made the movie stand apart from other war films?

Nasrin: The film focused more on the youths that were forced into war. Other war films are boring and lackluster and focus on the romanticism of women staying home and waiting for their husbands and loved ones.

Faatimah: By featuring an ensemble cast, it offered new and fresh perspectives. Granted, they were all white males, however, it allowed us to empathize with more than just the soldiers, but those men left behind, who felt their need to fight.  It wasn’t unnecessarily crude or graphic either, you can only stomach so many mangled bodies.

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On a scale of 1-5 one direction members, how would you rate the movie?

Nasrin: 4/5- because if I rated it with Zayn that would mean it sucks.

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Faatimah: 3.5

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In all honesty, despite my reluctance when it came to Harry’s acting prowess and my general aversion to pure action movies, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It might go down as one of the most surreal World War 2 movies I’ve seen this far, and it doesn’t hurt that it is factually accurate too. It’s no drawn out romance or sob fest, but rather a study of new perspectives and the human condition at the time, although it can at times seem plotless. My all time favourite movie with war as a major theme still goes to Testament of Youth, I highly recommend it.  Also, Dunkirk is best enjoyed in IMAX.

SPOILER ALERT: HARRY HAS MORE THAN 10 MINUTES OF SCREENTIME.

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