MUSIC / HEALTH / FITNESS / FASHION / BEAUTY

It's Laila K from Sonic Boom Six! Follow my adventures as I document my life in the band and on the road. I will also be sharing all things musical (interviews with bands, reviews of gigs and festivals), health (innovative clean recipes), fitness (my road to getting abs and a booty), beauty (reviews and tips) and fashion related tings as well as all the fun things I get up to!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

7 Days

Normally when it comes to watching films, Barney Boom will pick one - I’ll have no clue what it’s about and so it’s a surprise every time. I’m lucky as Barney is quite the film fanatic so there are lots of great films I wouldn't have necessarily heard of that I've watched because of him.Saturday night was no different. I’m a big horror fan so Barney picked the French Torture film ‘7 Days’ and neither of us had watched it before. This time I didn't even look at the cover to see what I was letting myself in for...
There are certain films that are so powerful and disturbing that they will stay with you for days. The last films that stayed with me in this way were ‘Martyrs’, ‘The Woman’ and ‘Precious’ - I had no idea that 7 Days would do the same. After I had watched it, even 2 sleeping pills could not dislodge what I had watched out of my head.
The film starts off with a rich family – wife/mother, husband/father and daughter. I think the daughter is around 8 years old. The husband is a surgeon and the wife works too. The first few minutes show the happy family together and the daughter going off to school after lunch. In the evening, the couple realise that the daughter didn't go back to school that afternoon and so a missing person’s hunt begins. This part of the film felt like it lasted about 5 minutes, it gets started very quickly. The next thing you see is the father going to meet the police in some grassland. There are 2 scenes in the film that still upset me when I think about them and this was the first one. The 8 year old daughter has been bound, raped and murdered. In most films this is well and truly left to the viewer’s imagination – not in 7 Days. We are shown the daughter’s body, lying there – bloodied and bloated and the camera pans onto her body in pretty graphic detail. I have never seen anything like this before. I imagine that it is not far off from what the police must see in real life situations like this. The scene is brutal but heartbreaking as you watch the father fall apart, whilst cradling his dead daughter.
The paedophile responsible for the child’s rape and murder is quickly arrested and there is conclusive proof that he is responsible for this as well as 3 other murders of children. Both the mother and father are inconsolable with grief and it becomes apparent that the mother is blaming the father. The father sets off on his mission to seek revenge on the man who took his daughter away from them. 
He arranges with some shady characters to gain access to the prison van that the paedophile will be transported from court to the prison in and cleverly kidnaps him. The plan is to hold this guy for 7 days... He is held in a chamber, tied to a hospital bed and now the father has free reign to so whatever he wants to the monster who took his daughter away from him. The father is a well respected surgeon who has access to drugs and surgical instruments. The torture scenes are quite graphic but there’s nothing I haven’t seen before and to be honest, the force of the film comes from the thought provoking situation – the man being tortured definitely raped and murdered his 8 year old daughter. What would you do in his situation if it was your daughter and you had her killer tied up? Does the father have the right to do what he’s doing? Do the actions of the father make him as bad as the paedophile? Instantly my reaction was – yes, the father should torture this guy and do whatever he needs to do. This guy deserves everything he gets. If that was to happen to my kid then I’d want to kill him, very slowly so that he could feel what my child went through but as the film goes on – you see the father is slowly falling apart and the revenge that he thought would bring him some kind of satisfaction is not enough. It’s not bringing his daughter back. This is an intelligent man who knows morally what he is doing is wrong.
**SPOILER ALERT. Do not read on if you do not want the plot or potential ending of the film to be revealed**
My only criticism of the story would be about a scene where the father kidnaps the mother of another victim, who was also killed. The kidnapping and torturing of the paedophile becomes national news and this mother speaks out and says the father should accept that his daughter has gone, he should deal with his grief and move on like she has and let the police deal with the criminal. After he kidnaps her, she makes him see that he’s becoming a monster himself by doing what he’s doing. I just felt that this part of the story – although necessary – was somewhat unbelievable. The whole story is portrayed so well that reality is suspended – the kidnapping and torturing don’t seem unrealistic at all cause the father’s pain is so real and it draws on the human emotions of anger and the need for revenge but this part of the film just didn't sit right with me. However, the next part of the film completely broke my heart. The father knows that this is it. The pain inflicted on the paedophile isn't bringing the father any peace - he is exhausted and completely broken. It’s Day 7 and it’s the day his daughter would have turned 9 years old. He imagines that she is there with him. She’s wearing the clothes she had on the day she was killed. They’re still blood soaked and dirty and she has marks all over her. He bathes her and wipes the dirt off and hugs her one last time and says goodbye. I don’t have kids but I could barely keep it together watching this scene and it got me thinking again – how does anyone deal with this situation? I’d been with my best friend’s daughter all day and the thought of her being taken away in such a horrific way was unbearable to think about, yet this film forced me to think about it...
If you haven’t seen 7 Days then I highly recommend it – Barney’s criticism was there was a complete lack of suspense throughout the film but to me, it didn't need suspense. The gore didn't matter, the ending didn't matter, whether the paedophile died didn't matter – it was the portrayal of the grief and pain that the father felt after losing his daughter in such a horrific way that had me hooked.

Monday, 2 September 2013

These Are a Few of my Favourite Things... (Part 1)

This week I wanted to share the some of the beauty tips I've picked up over the years and the key products that I cannot live without. I’m always on the lookout for anything that I can add to my daily beauty regime and, being a natural born bargain hunter, I will give anything a go if it’s cheap and it works! I will be mentioning a couple of pricey products but I've scoured the internet to make sure I am paying as little as I can. With all of these products, often a little goes a long way.

Face
When I gave up alcohol, I would persistently get 2 or 3 spots on the right side of my face, often on my cheek, and they wouldn't be little spots I could cover up. There was one huge one that took up residency on the side of my face for about 6 months! For the life of me, I could not figure out what it could be. To get to the bottom of it, at various stages I gave up chocolate, caffeine and sugar. I changed my moisturiser, my foundation, my pillow cases and nothing seemed to help. It got to the point where I was self-conscious and to make matters worse, these spots were leaving me with scars, regardless of whether I picked at them or not. About 8 months into my spot crisis, I went into Boots for the millionth time to see if there were any products that could help. I’d already tried most of the Clinique anti-blemish range, Clearasil this and Neutrogena that and I was at my zit's end! 
Resident Evil
From a very young age, I had always used face wipes to take off my make-up but then I came across Boots’ Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Cleansing and Toning Lotion. At £2.39 a bottle, I figured it was worth trying out. Hallelujah! A week into ditching my face wipes and using this to take my make-up off every night, my spots had gone! 3 months in, I still have over half the bottle left and I have no spots whatsoever, even the scars are starting to fade. I would avoid the under-eye area though as it can sting a little, I just dab a bit of moisturiser onto a cotton pad to remove any under eye concealer. It seems I’m not the only one who swears by this product, there are several glowing reviews here.


I bought Clinique’s Superdefense Moisturiser about a year ago on a ferry coming back from Ireland as it was on offer and I’m so glad that I did. It is, without a doubt, the best moisturiser I have ever used. It’s quite thick so I only apply little dabs onto my cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. I suffer with quite dry skin and this has been the only cream which has kept my skin feeling hydrated and soft all day. With other moisturisers, they would tend to sit on the surface of my skin and not fully absorb and a couple of hours after applying, my skin would feel really dry and tight. I’d never thought about SPF before but this one is very high at SPF25, which can only be a good thing for keeping those pesky wrinkles at bay. To make this cream last a little longer, I only use it once in the morning as it is quite expensive. Before I go to bed, I stick to a cheap cream like Nivea Soft, which is fine for when I’m in the Land of Nod! The Dry to Combination Skin Types works best for me but the cream also comes in Combination to Oily Skin Types and Very Dry to Dry Skin Types, which I use at winter time.
I find Cheap Smells is the best place to buy my moisturiser - it’s much cheaper than buying it in store and delivery is free.

Twice a week I like to indulge and give myself a face scrub using… Porridge Oats! This is the cheapest way to get glowing, baby soft skin. In a small bowl, add a tablespoon of plain porridge oats. Add a couple of tablespoons of warm water and let it sit there for 60 seconds of so. Once the water and porridge are a gooey mess, apply into your skin. You can rub the mixture in quite vigorously as the oats go super soft, yet it still works as an exfoliater. I do this for about 60 seconds and then rinse it off with some warm water and pat dry with a towel. I have quite sensitive skin so I find face scrubs too harsh and they often leave my skin feeling really dry. The beauty with the oats is that they scrub off the impurities but leave my face nice and smooth and soft. I’ve often done this with my makeup on and off and the results are always the same. It’s slightly messy and if you’re a bit clumsy like me, you will end up with porridge in your hair but it really is worth it. The difference it makes to my skin is astonishing.

Under Eyes

I picked up this little cheap trick off my mum, who like me, is very small and brown and prone to dark circles under the eye area. I try to do this at least twice a week and it does a great job at brightening the under eye area. You will need 6 slices of cucumber, a small plate, a fork (I use a wooden meat tenderiser) and a couple of cotton pads.

Dice up your cucumber slices and add a couple of tablespoons of cold water and mash up the cucumber and water with the back of your fork until you can see quite a bit of liquid in the plate. Move the cucumber to one side of the plate and soak up the juice with a couple of cotton pads. I like to fold the cotton pads in half so that they absorb the liquid evenly and will fit snugly under the eye area. Lie back, apply the pads under your eyes and leave there for 15 minutes and Hey Presto! This cucumber elixir will leave your under eyes looking brighter and rejuvenated from the very first use.


 

To keep my under eye area looking fresh and awake, I find that a little dab of Clinique’s All About Eyes Rich, first thing in the morning before I apply my makeup and last thing at night after I've taken my make-up off, works wonders. In the past, I would find that my under eyes would become quite dry or any makeup I would apply there would crease. Once I started to apply this cream, my under eyes became visibly brighter and my makeup would sit proudly over it. This is a product that I have recommended to many friends who now swear by it. Again, it’s expensive but a small pot of it has lasted me 6 months so it’s well worth it.


Cheap Smells is normally really good as you will save a few pounds and delivery is free but they seem to have run out cause it’s SO good. Boo!

These are just some of the things that work for me and I’m sure some of you will have used them before. If you have any tips or beauty products that you would like to share or if you give the ones I've mentioned a go then make sure you leave a comment to let me know!

I’m off on holiday this week so when I come back, I will bring you Part 2 - Tips to make your body glow and your hair shine, the benefits of Jojoba Oil, a hand cream that will stop your hands looking like SJP's wrinkly mitts and I’ll reveal a cheap product that will banish underarm sweat forever!

Laila x