I hope everyone had a good New Year! I was planning on publishing this post sooner, but on the 1st I went to Houston to visit my family then last week I was catching up on my master’s program, but better late than never right?
NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation in Natural: I do not do a full face of makeup every day, so this powder foundation is my go-to because it is very easy to apply and has light to medium coverage with a matte finish (review)
Soap & Glory Love at First Blush: This has been my favorite blushes to use because it has 3 separate shades that you mix together to create a pretty peachy rose shade with a shimmer finish (review)
Tarte Lights, Cameras, Lashes Mascara: Another one of my go-to makeup products is the Lights, Cameras, Lashes mascara from Tarte. I love this mascara because it makes my lashes longer and fuller without clumping them (review)
The Body Shop Berry Bon Bon Hand Cream: This hand cream is from The Body Shop’s winter collection, and it is has a wonderful berry scent. The cream leaves my hands moisturized without making them feel greasy (review)
The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel: I love this shower gel because it smells just like grapefruit, and the shower gel is effective at cleaning my skin (review)
Lush Geode Bath Bomb: While I was visiting my parents, I purchased 5 Lush bath bombs, and this one was my favorite. The bath bomb has a lavender scent, and it fizzed for a while and left the water a shimmery gold color (review)
Lush Harajuku Bath Bomb: This bath bomb has a bubblegum scent, and it fizzed for a while and left the water a peach shimmer shade (review)
Lush Moon Spell Bath Bomb: This was another bath bomb I tried, and I loved that it had two halves so you could use them separately or together. I used them together, and the bath bomb had a fruity scent and left the water a pretty blue shade with little pink stars (review)
Pixi Rose Tonic: This toner is suitable for all skin types, and I used it every morning and evening after washing my skin. The toner helped reduce redness and hydrated my skin (review)
The Rituals of Happy Buddha Body Scrub: This body scrub has a nice orange and cedarwood scent, and it contains various oils that makes it a soft exfoliator for the skin (review)
The Rituals of Happy Buddha Shower Scrub: This shower scrub is similar to the body scrub, but it does not have the added oils, which makes it more exfoliating. However, the shower scrub is not too harsh on my skin (review)
Ariana Grande Moonlight Perfume: This is my go-to perfume because it has a lovely fruity marshmallow scent with a hint of vanilla, and it lasts all day (review)
Nerdwax: I often wear glasses when I am briefly going out, and the Nerdwax effectively prevents glasses from sliding down my nose even during the summer heat (review)
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson: This book covers topics from the Big Bang to black holes, quarks to quantum mechanics, and the search for planets to the search for life in the universe. Neil deGrasse Tyson describes these concepts in a fun and concise way that makes them understandable (review)
Beartown by Fredrik Backman: This book revolves around the residents of Beartown, which is a dying town of unemployment where hockey is of the utmost importance. This book is unique and interesting because it is told from the perspective of the different residents of Beartown, and even though the plot is centered on hockey, it covers some serious topics (review)
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House is about four strangers who arrive at Hill House to find real evidence of a haunting. The book is a classic psychological horror novel with a slow-building plot and a creepy atmosphere (review)
Heart of Stone by Andrea Cannon: Heart of Stone is a novella that follows Pamela Vargas who is a divorce lawyer and spent years building up a wall to insulate her heart from the emotional roller coaster of life. The story is short and sweet and worth the read (review)
A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs: This book is the fourth book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series and the first book of the new arc, and it is about Jacob helping his peculiar friends to fit in the modern world while learning more about his grandfather. A Map of Days is a fun novel exploring the peculiar world in America (review)
Spark Joy by Marie Kondo: Spark Joy is an illustrated guide that takes you step-by-step through the KonMari Method. The main goal of the KonMari Method is to keep items that spark joy while discarding the rest. Spark Joy is a useful guide that explains how to effectively tidy your home (review)
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: Thirteen Reasons Why follows Clay after he receives a box of cassette tapes that were made by his classmate Hannah who committed suicide and explains the 13 reasons why she decided to end her life. The book highlights difficult topics including suicide and how people’s actions can affect others (review)
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: The book follows Lara Jean after the 5 love letters she wrote to the boys she has loved are mysteriously mailed and her crushes from the past confront her. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is a cute young adult romance novel, and the characters are likable (review)
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera: What If It’s Us is about Arthur who is interning in New York City and Ben who grew up there and is recovering from a recent breakup. They meet at the post office but are then separated, and they have to decide if the universe if pushing them together or pulling them apart. What If It’s Us is a cute love story featuring diverse gay characters, but I do despise the epilogue (review)
Detective Pikachu (2019): A detective mysteriously goes missing, and his 21-year-old son Tim aims to find out what happened. Working alongside Tim is his dad’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu. I watched this movie in theaters, and I absolutely loved it! I have played a lot of the Pokemon games including Detective Pikachu, so I loved seeing Pokemon in the real world. Also, Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu is perfect.
Isn’t It Romantic (2019): Natalie is a New York architect who is cynical about love, but after being knocked unconscious during a mugging, she awakes in an alternate universe where she is playing the leading lady in a real-life romantic comedy. I love Rebel Wilson, and she did not disappoint. The movie is funny, and the other actors including Liam Hemsworth and Adam Devine are great.
It Chapter Two (2019): I watched this movie with my mother in theatres when I went to visit my parents. This movie is a continuation of It (2017) and it is set 27 years later when Pennywise returns to terrorize Derry and the Losers Club is brought together again. The movie was a great continuation of the first, and I love the cast and all the story arcs.
Ready Player One (2018): In the year 2045, the creator of the virtual reality world OASIS dies, and his pre-recorded message challenges OASIS users include the teen Wade to find his Easter Egg to give them fortune and control of the virtual world. I have not read the book, but I enjoyed the movie because it is entertaining and I loved exploring the OASIS world.
Murder Mystery (2019): This Netflix movie follows a New York cop and his wife when they go on vacation and are then framed for the murder of an elderly billionaire. Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston are great together, and the movie has a little bit of everything from mystery and action to romance and comedy.
The Act: The Act is a series on Hulu that is based on the true story of Gypsy who is trying to escape her overprotective mother who has Munchausen by proxy. Joey King was fantastic as Gypsy and Patricia Arquette as her mother. Learning about Gypsy and her mother was shocking, but the series was addictive and I finished watching it in 2 days.
Atypical: This series is on Netflix, and it is about Sam Gardner who has autism. The 3 seasons of Atypical follow Sam as he begins dating and learns to become more independent. This series is a comedy-drama, and I enjoyed watching it.
Game of Thrones Season 8: The HBO series Game of Thrones has finally come to an end with season 8. The last season concluded the series well, but since there were only 6 episodes, the season did feel rushed and there were moments of characters teleporting.
The Haunting of Hill House: After I read the book, I watched the series on Netflix. However, the plot of the series is completely different and focuses on a fractured family who confronts the haunting memories of their old home, Hill House, and the terrifying events that drove them from it. Hill House had the same creepy atmosphere as the book, but I found the Netflix series more disturbing.
Instant Hotel: I binged watched both seasons of Instant Hotel, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Instant Hotel is a reality series where Australian homeowners compete for the title of the best Instant Hotel by staying at each other’s rentals and rating their experiences.
Nailed It!: Nailed It! has 3 seasons on Netflix as well as 2 seasons of Nailed It! Holiday. I love this series because it is so entertaining and fun to watch. In Nailed It! bakers with a bad track record compete to win $10,000 by recreating edible masterpieces.
Queer Eye: Queer Eye is on Netflix and has 4 seasons as well as 4 episodes where they visit Japan. In Queer Eye each member of the Fab 5 has their own specialty: Tan (fashion), Jonathan (grooming), Antoni (food and wine), Bobby (design), and Karamo (culture). Together they transform people on the inside and out so they can be the best version of themselves. Queer Eye is such a feel-good show that promotes wonderful messages.
Santa Clarita Diet: This Netflix series is about realtors Sheila and Joel who are raising their teenage daughter in Santa Clarita, California. Their world changes unexpectedly when Sheila dies and goes through a dramatic transformation that takes their lives down a dark path. This series is graphic at times but entertaining. However, after 3 seasons the series was canceled, but I hope it will be continued one day.
A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Series of Unfortunate Events is on Netflix, and it follows all the books where the Baudelaire orphans investigate the mysterious death of their parents as they outsmart Count Olaf who will do anything it takes to get his hands on their inheritance. I read the books when I was a kid, and it was great seeing them come to life. I also loved the actors who play the Baudelaire children and Neil Patrick Harris who plays Count Olaf.
Sex Education: Sex Education follows Otis as he teams up with a high school classmate to set up an underground sex therapy clinic at their school using advice he gathered from his mother who is a sex therapist. The plot is funny and entertaining, and there is one season on Netflix, but the second season is being released this Friday!
Stranger Things: This Netflix series is set in the 80s when a young boy goes missing and his mom, sheriff, and friends look for answers and uncover secret government experiments and supernatural forces. The second and third season is a continuation of the first, but now there are new and bigger threats. I absolutely love this series, and I definitely recommend it if you like sci-fi, supernatural, and horror series.
The Umbrella Academy: The Umbrella Academy follows the seven children with superpowers who were adopted by billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves to help save the world. Over time, the members of the Umbrella Academy disbanded, but following the death of their father, the six surviving members reunite. The plot is definitely interesting, and I love the cast including Ellen Page and Robert Sheehan.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy: I bought this game for the Nintendo Switch, which includes the remake of the first 3 Crash games. The games are fun, and the levels can be challenging, which I like.
Game of Thrones: A Telltale Series: After Game of Thrones ended, I decided to play this game on Steam. This is an episodic game that follows characters from House Forrester who are loyal to the Starks. I enjoyed playing this game because it has a different plot from the series, but it includes familiar characters including Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Cersei Lannister who are even voiced by the same actors from the series.
Harvest Moon Light of Hope: One of my favorite game series is Harvest Moon, so I was excited when the first Harvest Moon game for the PC was released. I played through the story completely, and I enjoyed it. Like with previous Harvest Moon games, you are set with the task of rebuilding the town. You have your own farm where you can grow crops and raise animals, and you can also meet other town residents on the island.
LA Noire: I played this game on the Nintendo Switch, and you play as a detective as you search for clues, chase down suspects and interrogate witnesses. I love the setting of post-war Hollywood and the added elements of GTA where you are given the ability to drive around the map. The cases themselves were fun and interesting to solve.
Papers, Please: I completed one playthrough of this game on Steam, and I liked it. In Papers, Please you play as an immigration inspector who looks at the documents provided by travelers to decide who can enter the country and who will be turned away or arrested. It was fun snooping at people’s documents, and the document checks become more intensive as the game progresses to make it more challenging. I also enjoyed the short film below, which gives you an idea of your role as an inspector and the type of people you encounter in the game.
Tales from the Borderlands: A Telltale Series: I have played through both Borderlands and Borderlands 2, so I was looking forward to playing this Telltale game that is set after Borderlands 2. Like with the Game of Thrones game, this game is episodic and follows two adventurers on their quest for greatness. The game has a great plot, and I loved meeting old as well as new characters in the Borderlands series.
Ava Max: Ava Max is one of my new favorite singers, and I absolutely love her voice. Her songs have uplifting and empowering messages, which I can definitely get behind. I have previously shared Sweet but Psycho and So Am I on my blog, so here is another song by Ava Max that I like.
Kristian Kjærlund: Kristian is the winner of X Factor Danmark, and from the very beginning of the competition I wanted him to win because he has such a unique voice. Since winning X Factor, he has released three singles including Lost & Profound.
Lindsey Stirling: Lindsey Stirling has been one of my favorite musicians for years, and I wish I could have seen her when she came to Copenhagen this past September. Artemis is one of her songs from her album of the same name that she released in September.
Be sure to check out my previous Best of Beauty + Books posts!
What were your favorites from 2019?