Risen Favorites is a monthly series featuring Risen staff member volunteers who wish to share some of their favorite things from a given month. Topics can include anything from favorite places to favorite photos, favorite teas to favorite soaps. If you have a “favorite” item, place, or even social media account that’s out of this world, DM or email us and we’ll include it! In February, we're covering self-care, music, television, and more. Enjoy!
Louis Theroux and His Documentaries
I’m not quite sure how or why my love for the BBC2 documentarian/journalist Louis Theroux began, but I’m glad that it did. I’ve always liked watching documentaries on television - something about the two-in-one deal of increased knowledge plus time staring at a screen instead of doing homework - and Louis Theroux does not disappoint when it comes to delivering information about almost anything without ever being dull.
What fascinates me most about Theroux is his interviewing style. He does his best to make the person he’s interviewing feel comfortable by generating questions as their conversation continues and by allowing them to dominate the conversation. Throughout his documentaries, Theroux never tries to suggest that he knows more than the person he is interviewing, which makes them feel more inclined to share information more openly. I do love the way that Louis Theroux totally embroils himself in each of his documentaries. In an episode about gambling in Vegas, he gambles $3500 of his own money just to see what happens, and in another episode about plastic surgery he gets liposuction on his stomach. He’s made dozens of documentaries since the beginning of his career in 1998.
My personal favourites include The Most Hated Family in America (about the family at the core of the Westboro Baptist Church), Louis, Martin & Michael (in which Louis desperately tries to get an interview with Michael Jackson, but loses out to Martin Bashir) and Weird Christmas (where Louis spends Christmas with some of the people he interviewed throughout the Weird Weekends series, which includes a porn star and an extreme survivalist). At the moment, a fairly broad selection of Louis Theroux documentaries are available on Amazon Prime and Netflix (UK only).
This past month I have been loving the growing popularity of self care. Glossier, a skincare and makeup brand has advocated moisturized or ”glossy” looks along with influencing consumers to really take care of their skin. While this may sound obvious, having brands actually promote self care is a great step for healthier patterns within purchasing products. These advocations of skincare correlate with taking deeper advances of taking care of ourselves. I’ve noticed that popping zits, sleeping in makeup, and other habits (that most of us are guilty of doing) have become less common. Products like tea tree oil, witch hazel or rose water, and toners have become a popular, healthy trend which are all nourishing for our skin. I recently ordered Glossier’s Milk Jelly cleanser and fell in love immediately. The product is moisturizing in that it doesn’t strip your skin, but can still remove all of your makeup! Practicing exfoliation, clay masks, and building a self care routine can also help you relax, unwind, and relieve stress to start your day or wind down.
Finding products that really work, aren’t too expensive, and aren’t full of ingredients longer than eight letters can sometimes be the impossible triad. Shelf after shelf, web search after web search, shopping for the right products tailored to a certain skin type can be an incredibly strenuous task. For the dry-skinned, acne prone teen, I’m here to share my current solutions for the annoyances our skin often presents.
First on the list is definitely a bit of an indulgence, but it’s so worth it. L’Occitane En Provence’s hand creams are miracles in a tube, and come in all sorts of mixtures at the price of $12.00. My personal preference is the shea butter cream. It has a light but certain scent that’s never pungent, but slightly sweet and calming. It also works great! Apply a small amount to areas of dry skin and give it just two or three days for those spots to fully heal up. Enjoy!
Next is a must for those with constantly dry hands, lips, and noses. I know I sound like a commercial when I say this, but Aquaphor’s advanced therapy healing ointment brings instant relief and is the most soothing. It’s a translucent, not too thick ointment that just feels good to put on, if I’m putting it bluntly. The price? $4.99 per bottle.
Finally, I’d like to present the be-all, end-all for chapsticks: Dr. Dan’s Cortibalm. Dry lips have been a constant irritation of mine for as long as I can remember, and I’ve gone through supermarket chapsticks, Burt’s Bees, Carmex, and more. However this one is hands-down my favorite and the most rewarding. Unscented, unflavored, and compact, I really noticed a change almost as soon as I started using Cortibalm, and with a couple swipes a day, that change hasn’t gone anywhere.
'Trainwreck’ by BANKS
Jillian Rose Banks, stagename BANKS, has been been one of my favourite music artists since I heard her song ‘Change’ from the album Goddess. Seduced by the quiet empowerment and openness of her music, complemented by the eerie, dark-sensual visuals of her videos, I soon became a big fan and have since followed her work. Her latest music video from her new album, The Altar, is for the song Trainwreck. Again, she hits home with this song - from personal lyrics that find strength within softness (‘born to take care of you / or I thought so, maybe it was just a phase’), to imagery of masked men, bedrooms and flashing cameras, there is so much room for interpretation that the music really becomes personal. This is definitely a favourite of mine (and her pantsuit look is iconic).
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
The first installment in the new FX series American Crime Story, the show allows viewers an in depth look into not only the inner workings of the case itself, but the lives of everyone involved in it. From members of the top notch team that defended Simpson to the actions taken by the news crews who covered the case, every detail is beautifully shown. The show, like the case itself, draws attention to issues such as systemic racism in police departments, celebrities being treated with special privilege in criminal cases, as well as racial and economic injustice in the court system. With beautiful cinematography and equally astounding acting, this show kept me hanging onto my seat until the very end, and will undoubtedly do the same for you.
A few weeks ago my debate partner and I were deep in the throngs of an all nighter, stressed out and sleep deprived. It was time for a break. Enter SKAM, the delightfully ditzy alternate reality that leaves me aching for Norway and a badass clique like this one. In 20 minute morsels into the lives of Norway’s rich and privileged teens who at the same time aren’t stuck up, some form of empathy is evoked from their everyday relationship misgivings and their friendship issues. It is a world away and yet these universal feelings of loneliness and insecurity are so very relatable, t In order to get to the show, you have to bootleg it a bit, and find the english subtitles, which adds to the individuality and quirkiness of it all. SKAM has everything: feminist warrior queens, a Muslim main character, a gay love story, and even The Weeknd. The random American music makes appearances during long drives and steamy make-outs, and it is 100% worth the perfume commercial vibes it gives off. So, if you’re feeling the depths of the world on your shoulders with only 20 minutes to spare, grab your reading glasses and get ready for some amazing fashion and the friends you wish you had in high school.