Parasite: it is as brilliant as everyone says it is

At first, it was hard to believe that the film Parasite was as deserving of the waves and waves of reverence that everyone adopted when speaking about it. I was a firm non-believer, especially because even the best movies seem to have to rely on reproducing Hollywood tropes in order to achieve acclaim. For that reason, I believed that if you have seen one film then you have surely seen them all – it’s just nice to get out of the house and eat loads of popcorn every once in a while. Quite a big deal was made of the fact that a so-called foreign film scooped so many statues at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Even then, my expectations for the film were decidedly low because we all know how the hype machinery of Hollywood can ensnare even the most vigilant people with its hyperbole.

As my blog title shows, I was pleasantly surprised. The plot is refreshingly unpredictable. Set in South Korea, the film explores some stark contrasts in the material realities of the social classes. Considering that this was the first Korean film I’ve ever seen, it was really interesting to explore what poverty means in that context and, of course, to see the familiar and universal aloofness that accompanies wealth. By putting the Kim and Park families in close proximity and entangling their lives so humorously and tragically, Parasite exposes the relationship between the rich and poor; making it even more apparent that poor people’s suffering sustains and energises the lives of the wealthy – in ways that the latter can afford to pay very little regard to because their own survival is not as precarious. Take some time out of your life and watch this film. It’s astoundingly good.

Review: Skin Facial Series

Hormonal acne. Adult acne. The acne that, according to my dermatologists (plural), require just one more course of roaccutane/antibiotics/birth control/topical cream to clear up for good this time. Sure. I have also never been drawn to document my face through “before and after” selfies because my skin is consistent in being unpredictable. A few months ago, I was sent a skin confidence package by Skin by Norma. I was excited because it is an organic skin care range and while I have used oils, butters and African black soap over time, I had not used a full range of organic products before. The one I received is specifically for oily skin and, as pictured below, it contains African Black Soap, natural oil facial serum (drop bottle), a repairing night cream and a refreshing herbal toner (spray bottle).

African black soap

Use: morning and night

Need: Water

The soap leaves my skin feeling clean and moisturised without the dryness I’ve come to expect from many soaps for oily skin. I have used raw, African black soap before and it was too harsh and left my face feeling overly-clean (my hands could literally squeak over my face), dry and uncomfortably tight. The key ingredients here are the infusion of essential oils that allow the soap to wash away the dirt on my face while lightly replenishing my skin with good oils. One of my favourite things about this soap is that over the months, it has gently faded the blemishes on the sides of my face – which is the usual benefit of African black soap – except this one does it without drying my face and causing more breakouts.

The bar requires only a few rubs with water for the soap to form a nice lather, making it last for months! Make sure you avoid the soap coming into contact with your eyes because it can sting.

Herbal Toner

Use: morning and night

Need: Cotton ball

This toner is gentle and it feels so good on my skin. I have always avoided toners (just wash and moisturise) because their drying effect would always lead to breakouts. This one is made of completely natural ingredients such as rose water, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar and vitamin E. The used cotton ball always comes away with some impurities, as it should, but my face doesn’t feel tight and as though it will crack when the toner dries. My skin still feels like it is retaining moisture.

Natural oil facial serum

Use: morning and night

I was keen to try an oil serum on my face after regularly finding articles that speak about non-comodogenic oils are good for the skin and do not block one’s pores. It has a sharp, herbal and ash-like smell that I really like. It only needs three drops to moisturise deeply around the face. I love that it absorbs so well into my skin and doesn’t leave me feeling like I’m oily. I always follow it up with a good sunscreen.

Repairing night cream

This small tub of infused shea butter surprised be a lot because a little really does go a long way. Just one tiny scoop of my finger and it melts into the skin, spreads and absorbs so well. It has been slightly fading the blemishes that often appear on my cheeks, over time.

So while I accept that my skin often struggles. I wake up every day making commitments to be kinder to my skin, especially in what I eat, drink and put on it. I’m so glad that I came across Skin by Norma. Each time I put it on my skin feels like self-love in action because my skin feels so soothed and well-moisturised after each application. My skin is sensitive so finding handmade natural products that are indeed as gentle as one would expect is such a big deal for me.

Please go onto their Instagram to see more of their amazing products: @skin_bynorma.

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Thank you, to the Skin brand! Can’t wait to order and try out more of your lovely work!