The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Category: Arts & Leisure (Page 1 of 3)

Skin Care Routine of the Week: For the Skin Care Rookie

Although I now indulge in an abundance of face masks per week, adhering to a regimented (or, even planned) skin care routine is still relatively new for me. For the last seven years, I’ve mainly used the same two products on my skin: CeraVe hydrating facial cleanser and CeraVe facial moisturizing lotion. Both were recommended to me by my dermatologist and are fabulous, affordable drugstore products. I’ve since swapped out the lotion for a rotating cycle of multiple products, but the cleanser, which I will lovingly refer to as Old Faithful, is still with me.

It was a slow burn to change my routine. My sophomore year at Bates, I added in an eye cream. My junior year, I began toning daily and masking frequently. After I returned home for the summer, my skin care routine became no-holds-barred: I had unlimited access (and browsing time) in all of the Sephora’s and department stores in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. My skin care routine quickly became a multifaceted outlet for my self-care.

After a joyous and fortuitous trial and error period, I’ve narrowed it down to a small sum of products that work for me. Nowadays, I still get the skin care rodeo started with Old Faithful. After lathering the cleanser into my skin, I splash it off lightly with water. I no longer use a washcloth to scrub off any sort of face wash because I’ve learned doing so is too harsh for my skin. From there, each successive step is seasonally dependent.

In the summer months, I tone or exfoliate my face using Pixi products. The Pixi Glow Tonic toner (available at Target) sloughs away dead skin and, in my experience, leaves a natural-looking glow. I also highly recommend Pixi’s Glow Peel Pads: they’re an efficient and low maintenance way to chemically exfoliate your skin and, like Pixi’s toner, they encourage my glow. Next, I use Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Multivitamin Booster, followed by their Hydro Boost Water Gel with SPF 15 (both available at drugstores).

When I’m feeling particularly existential with regard to the life expectancy of my skin, I wear Shiseido’s Ultimate Sun Protection WetForce SPF 50+, carried by Sephora, Ulta, and most department stores. I encourage both myself and anyone reading this to wear sunscreen each and every day. Doing so is paramount to you and your skin’s longevity.

I finish off the whole summer-skin-care-shebang with Ole Henrikson’s Banana Bright Eye Créme, which I picked up at Sephora this past summer. It’s definitely on the pricey side, but I personally feel it’s worth the investment. I see an immediate difference in the skin underneath my eyes; it moisturizes and combats the dark circles that have inevitably signed a lifelong lease above my cheeks.

In the winter, I use Old Faithful and put my Pixi products away for safekeeping. Because I find toning and over-exfoliating dries out my skin, I avoid doing so when my skin begins to be ambushed by Maine temperatures and dryness. After cleansing, I usually douse my face with Bio Oil Multiuse Skincare Oil. This product is also available at drugstores and is, as advertised, multiuse. I use it on my face as a moisturizer and all over the rest of my body, particularly for stretch marks and scars. I do so because I love the skin I’m in, and those marks deserve some love, too.

If I’m extra dry, I use Neutrogena’s Hydroboost Hydrating Overnight Gel Mask. It works wonders by morning, but it’s very goopy. Only for this mask will I utilize the removal powers of a washcloth. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I use Clarin’s Double Serum and their Multi-Active Day Cream with SPF 20. Both are incredibly moisturizing and quite luxurious. Because I received the set as a gift, I apply them sparingly. I highly recommend both, but acknowledge that they are out of most people’s (and my own) price range.

My skin care routine is a way for me to focus on myself each and every day. Regardless of what my day has in store for me, I take time to pamper myself before doing anything else. And no matter what has transpired, I’m able to wash away my day, physically and metaphorically, before going to bed. Amidst all the cleansing, moisturizing, and dark-circle-combatting, I’m able to slow down, breathe, and relax.

 

Planned Parenthood Gen Action’s GOTV Initiative

Given their active presence on campus, you wouldn’t know that the Bates College Planned Parenthood Generation Action club was only started a few months ago. From the beginning of the semester until now, current club leaders Nina Moscowitz (2020), Analea Angot (2020), and Diana Flores (2020) have worked to integrate this nationwide college campus movement into the Bates community. Though the burgeoning reproductive rights club has many ideas for the future of Bates students’ reproductive health, safety, and well-being, they have been focusing their current energy on the election and Get Out The Vote.

As members have been actively working to better the Bates community, the club stands out as a wonderful and impactful alliance on campus. Planned Parenthood Gen Action members have been working to motivate and transport students to the polls, and convened on Thursday afternoon to phone bank to alert Bates students about their efforts to organize and provide rides to and from the polls. In addition, the club has been tabling to educate the campus community about candidates and has canvassed on weekends in and around Lewiston.

Last Thursday, Planned Parenthood Gen Action members phone banked, for which they met at the Ronj and enjoyed the rainy evening by calling and texting classmates, close-friends, and peers to urge them to vote. During the phone bank, club members also informed students of the multiple options to get to and from the polls. As a member of the club, I can attest to the heartwarming atmosphere of the initiative. Spending the afternoon working to get students to vote was invigorating. Also, as a student without a car myself, I can see how transportation could be a hindrance to voting, especially when factors such as school, work, and extracurriculars are also in the mix. Sitting in the Purple Room at the Ronj, eating Halloween candy, and talking to fellow members of the Bates community on the phone and over text to aid them in finding time amidst their busy class schedules to vote was such an inspiring experience.

Voting is so important, especially in today’s political climate: it is a chance to not just voice your opinions, but make your voice count. Every vote counts, and every voice counts. Exercising your right to vote is an amazing experience that should not be cast aside or belittled, even when getting to the polls might seem like a drag. Planned Parenthood Generation Action is making voting for Bates students easy. I encourage everyone to get down to the polls to vote and volunteer with Planned Parenthood Generation Action to help others do so as well!

The group has volunteers driving people to the polls on Election Day every hour and met at the Fireplace Lounge in Commons. For more information on getting involved with the club contact me, Pippin Evarts, at pevarts@bates.edu.

 

Boygenius’ Self-Titled Debut Flourishes

When I heard that Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus were making an album together, my initial reaction was one of skepticism. Despite the fact that they are all brilliant artists in their own right, I was curious as to how well they would all work as a group.

Although each member finds their origins in indie rock, their styles could not be more different. Lucy Dacus is deeply rooted in alternative garage rock, while Phoebe Bridgers made her name with a sharp and succinct combination of folk rock and indie pop. Julien Baker’s solo material is an intense blend of traditional emo and solo indie rock. That said, I was a little apprehensive as to how they would blend together and wondered if one of them would take the stylistic lead on the record.

Boygenius, the group’s titular debut EP, is a beautiful blend of the three styles each artist brings to the table and features some of the most tight-knit harmonies and straight-forward songwriting I’ve heard all year. The record perfectly combines the best parts of each performer’s respective musical style. Despite the large range of styles explored on such a short release, the group still manages to sound cohesive. The record opens with “Bite the Hand,” a gorgeous song full of sticky hooks and guitar leads which features the group’s brilliant three-part harmonies.

“Me & My Dog,” the second track on the record, primarily features Phoebe Bridgers and leans heavily in the folk rock direction. Featuring plucked mandolin on top of more straightforward guitar chords, the song beautifully blends indie rock with folk. “Me & My Dog” has some of the most heart-wrenching lyrics on the whole record, a true accomplishment on an EP this overwhelmingly forlorn: “I wanna be emaciated/ I wanna hear one song without thinking of you / I wish I was on a spaceship/ just me and my dog and an impossible view.”

The album seamlessly blends honest, emo-adjacent lyrics with folk songwriting. Boygenius might be more of a folk-rock record than anything else. However, that genre label and its associations don’t prevent Boygenius from the dynamic and noisy indie rock that is reminiscent of Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker’s former band, The Star Killers.

The penultimate track, “Salt in the Wound,” begins with a slow build that sounds like a Julien Baker solo release. However, the song builds into a beautiful, almost Dinosaur Jr-esque chorus: a gorgeous guitar solo weaves in and around a pervasive wall of vocals and distortion. The drums and guitars are dynamic and driving, and the vocals from all three members are powerful. Both give the track a very distinct forward momentum.

The final song, “Ketchum, ID,” is a slow, vocal-driven ballad. Somehow, the song manages to sound full despite the sparse instrumentation. It is a catharsis on the loneliness one can feel even when surrounded by other people. “Ketchum, ID” features the most beautiful and tightly knit harmonies on the entire release, complete with beautiful lyrics surrounding heartbreak and isolation. The song ends the record with a full and complete emotional release from all three musicians on the project.

Boygenius doesn’t reinvent the wheel on their debut EP, but they do manage to create one of the most full-bodied and honest releases of 2018. The dynamic instrumentation, range of genres explored, and well executed performances devise one of the most compelling releases yet.

 

Directing Success in One Acts Festival

Prior to last weekend’s One Acts Festival, I had only directed once before. It had been a good experience and I was interested in trying again. Upon arriving at Bates this fall, I joined the Robinson Players and learned about the One Acts Festival. Directing seemed like a good way to introduce myself to the group, and would serve as a reference for full-length productions I hoped to direct in the future.

I directed a play called Hysterical by Steve Yockey. In it, a lonely woman named Elizabeth (Julie Jesurum, ‘22) turns to a bottle of Jägermeister to deal with her break up. She winds up getting romantic advice from the logo’s iconic White Stag (Maria Gray, ‘22). The show is a funny yet poignant piece about break-ups and moving on.

Walking into auditions was terrifying. Because I normally audition for shows, I understand that it is nerve-wracking to audition for people who might not know me or what I can do. Even though I was on the other side, I was already comparing myself to the other directors. My friend Johnny Esposito ‘22 and I were the only first-year directors this year and I was convinced that I was out of place and unworthy at first. However, one of the reasons I came to Bates is because of its supportive student body. After a few minutes, I felt comfortable and like I deserved to be there. I was ready to be a part of what I knew was going to be a great show.

After two days of auditions and the battle for our casts, all the directors and I got to work. I was excited to be working with my cast of fellow first-years and ready to see what we would create in just three weeks. Luckily, my high school directing, acting, and stage managing experiences prepared me well for my first dive into college theater. I arrived and left rehearsals feeling confident in our story and how it took shape.

In our first rehearsal, we did “table work:” we all read the script together, and talked about the play as a whole. We then focused on blocking, or staging movement. In the days leading up to fall break, we continued to chip away at the scene to pull out the important storytelling moments.

While we each had our own ideas, we brought them together to create what the audience saw this past weekend.

Gray ‘22 had acted in high school, but Jesurum ‘22 had not. Similarly, our stage manager, Michelle Kim ‘22, had not held the role before. The rehearsal process was a learning experience for all of us and we worked together to produce something we loved.

Anyone who has participated in theater has their own horror stories from tech week, the week of the show in which all the tech elements of the production are brought in for the first time. These tech elements usually include lights, sound, props, set, and costumes. In our case, we began practicing in the performance space for the first time.

Without fail, “tech” is a week in which you spend more hours than you would like sweating in uncomfortable clothing while all your other commitments seem to quadruple. Fortunately, the directors worked alongside Robinson Players board members to develop a schedule leading to a pretty painless tech week.

In tech rehearsals, directors are hands-off compared to previous rehearsals. The show is basically turned over to the actors and stage managers, who become responsible for carrying out all the light and sound cues during the run.

My presence in the show wasn’t completely absent, though. I gave notes after tech rehearsals and warmed up with the actors before each show. I saw the show, which consisted of eight one-act-plays, three times. Never once did I feel the unworthy or out-of-place feelings I had experienced in the early minutes of auditions. All eight directors, nine stage managers, and seventeen cast members combined to create a great show that I’m honored to have been a part of.

A College Student’s Guide to Westwood, Los Angeles

Home to the UCLA Bruins, Westwood, Los Angeles, is a buzzy SoCal area located in between Santa Monica and West Hollywood. When visiting friends at UCLA or even USC, you’ll be spending time dining in the area’s restaurants, visiting its museums, shopping, and experiencing the nightlife in perpetually buoyant Westwood. Thanks to the five sun-and-smoothie-bowl-filled days I spent visiting friends in this upscale college town over fall break, here’s a guide to the top hits of Westwood.

Food

After carefully watching and analyzing many a “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” episode, I knew that cold-press juices and salad bowls were going to be a key component to my culinary endeavors in Los Angeles. Westwood far exceeded my expectations and introduced me to In-N-Out (which made me reconsider the need for all those salads and grain bowls in the first place).

For lunch or dinner, stop by Emporium Thai. The restaurant is a Westwood institution home to fresh, flavorful, and unique Thai dishes. Try the lime, mango, and coconut “Akon” salad, a favorite its namesake: the “Smack That” singer himself.

Make sure to keep an eye out for celebs at Il Pastaio, a bougie Italian restaurant perfect for a trendy dinner with friends. Given Il Pastaio’s reputation for casual celebrity sightings, I was extremely aware of my surroundings throughout a delicious meal of rigatoni bolognese. While dining, I successfully identified a man who was *not* Bradley Cooper, but did look very much like him.

After dinner, swing by Saffron & Rose, a Persian ice cream shop famous for their uniquely delicious flavors. Beloved choices include white rose or guava. Or, if you’re feeling more traditional, check our Diddy Reise, a UCLA favorite known for their incredible (and super affordable) ice cream sandwiches.

Culture & Nightlife

Westwood’s downtown hosts a number of different stores satisfying basically every need. The variety of shopping attractions is so extraordinary that I wondered why anyone would ever leave Westwood: a massive costume store prepares the area’s students for year-round theme parties and an amazing LF outlet has every weird trendy item you never knew you needed.

To play in the big leagues, head on over to Westfield Century City Mall, which is less like a mall and more like a cool outdoor club that also has stores. Walk through the beautiful miniature gardens and lounge areas while shopping for everything from face masks to artisanal gelato. And, if you’re not into shopping, go for the incredible restaurants!

Another must-visit is The Hammer, a UCLA-acquired art museum founded by oil tycoon and philanthropist Armond Hammer. Fun fact: the museum’s owner is great-grandfather to actor Armie Hammer! Currently on exhibit is an amazing retrospective of contemporary artist Adrian Piper, featuring over 270 works of photography, drawing, video, performance, and sculpture. Luckily, the museum itself is super close to campus and perfect for sparking some intellectual conversation.

Finally, when you’re ready to let loose, Barney’s Beanery, Rocco’s, and Sepi’s are ideal for cheap drinks and dancing for the 21+ crowd. Afterward, do as the Bruins do and end your night at In and Out (even though you’ll be dreaming of the far-superior fries from Shake Shack here on the east coast).

 

 

Have you heard? WRBC’s Cream of Wheat

I skirted through the back entrance of the WRBC building into the basement radio station for the first time last Friday afternoon. There, I joined Robyn Moss ‘20, Isabelle Oliver ‘20, and Lizzie Ottenstien ‘20 to talk about their radio show “Cream of Wheat.”

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Eggs Portrays Female Friendship and Loss Onstage

From the left corner of the front row in the Black Box theater, I watched as Girl One, portrayed by Maya Wilson ‘20, paces and rambles to a solemn Girl Two, played by Tricia Crimmins ‘19, about the inherent hypocrisy of a vegetarian choosing to eat eggs on a brunch date.

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Polykhroma’s “Haunted!” Art Exhibition Spooks

On October 19, the basement of a residential property in Somerville, MA, was transformed into “Haunted!” a Halloween-themed art exhibition put on by the Tufts University-based curatorial art collective Polykhroma in the home of Ella Huzenis.

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VCS Green Dot Student Showcase Brings the House Down

The Village Club Series Student Showcase is a place for people to show their talents to the student population. The first VCS student showcase of the year took place on the chilly Thursday night before fall break and served as both a celebration of the Green Dot program and as a way to showcase the talents of the Bates student body.

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Skin Routine of the Week: The Natural Route to Confidence

For a while now, I’ve had problem skin and it has been a huge insecurity of mine. Growing up, I experienced everything from stubborn redness and inflammatory acne to puffy under-eyes. However, after visiting the dermatologist too many times to count and trying all sorts of medications, I decided to go my own route.

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