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Archive for the ‘Skin Art’

Tracing the Interconnectedness of Art and Video Games – Hyperallergic01.01.20

AKRON, Ohio It is difficult to imagine a life in the last 40 years that has been untouched by virtual worlds and increasingly immersive digital gaming. But are theseart? Yes, doye, video games are art or, at least, they can be. In fact, video games are some of the most popular and best-funded interpretive art forms on the planet. A single blockbuster video game might have a production budget of $100M, and employ artists to create original graphics, design characters and worlds, produce experimental soundtracks which have developed intoan incredible avant garde subgenre within contemporary scoring and electronic music in addition to a host of other technical graphic rendering and programming professionals. Just as A/V technology not only employed creative professionals in the making of mainstream videos, but also fostered a cohort of video artists who seized upon this new medium as a forum for experimentation, pushing against and advancing the form, video games (both mainstream and indie) are at a creative peak, as fine artists respond to and play with video gaming culture, visuals, and communities.

Some outstanding examples of these can be found in Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Artat the Akron Art Museum. Curated by Theresa Bembnister, the show features two dozen international artists who use video games as source material, and includes interactive art experiences, physical and virtual objects, and the opportunity to play while teasing out the art within video games.

To the left of the entrance is a maximalist interactive video game projection, Long March: Restart by Feng Mengbo. Two long walls of the gallery serve as the canvas for the game projection, but unlike the side-scrolling game format, which requires characters to progress more or less on a linear path, encountering ever-multiplying foes in need of stomping or treasures to collect, Fengs player avatar, a Red Army solider, is free to move around the approximately 80-foot play area, navigating a hit parade of characters from the scrolling arcade cabinet and early home console gaming. The original Long March was made in 1934-35 by the Red Army troops under Mao Zedong, covering 8,000 miles in 370 days; the relentless action of Fengs Red Army avatar across the room requires that the gamer would have to dash to catch up with the character, said Feng in a 2010 blog post on MoMAs acquisition of the piece.

The blending of identity with cultural signifiers via avatar is, unsurprisingly, central to several the exhibitions interactive works; Rachel Rossins Skinsuits VR experience plugs participants into an abstract landscape where the main action of your character is to continually shed its skin, revealing new layers of character skins. The very nature of avatars as potential alter-egos makes this VR experience feel somewhat diagnostic as though in revealing a particular set of skins, the game is telling you something about yourself. (The identifiable characters in my short time on the machine were Batman and Bender from Futurama, which is basically accurate.)

Easily the single most cited game in the show, and the one that musttherefore be taken as the measure of our times, is Grand Theft Auto. GTA is all over Open World, from stunning street portraits of characters taken by Alan Butler through his avatars cell phone camera, to hazy landscapes by Joan Pamboukes that literally and figuratively blur the line between landscape and gamescape, to the haunting Elegy: GTA USA Gun Homicides by Joseph DeLappe. The latter isa version of the game designed to shoot the number of bystanders on the street that were actually shot and killed in the United States in 2018 and 2019; itleaves the streets littered with bodies. In her catalogue essay, A World of Possibility: Video Games as Art, Samantha Blackmon states: Art traditionally offers us a glimpse into the cultural and historical moment and so do video games. It is impossible to overlook the omnipresence of GTA not only as source material through which artists in Open World reflect on the world around them, but as the ultimate relentlessly and senselessly violent first-person shooter game, perhaps a contributing factor to the fever pitch of senseless and violent shootings out here in the real world, as well.

But Open World has much to offer beyond musings on gun violence. Several pieces highlight the tension experienced by female gamers, and the conceptual art that emerges when artists attempt to engage in feminist practice or praxis in the context of virtual worlds. An approximately one-hour video from Angela Washkos Free Will Mode series features Simsput in uncomfortable situations: Youre Either In or Out shows the mental collapse of a woman trapped in a lavish home with no doors, surrounded by a group of confused, tired, and hungry male characters, unable to get to her or the comforts of home; collective madness and much self-soiling ensues. Another of Washkos video works feature selections from her 2013-14 work, The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft,wherein her highly developed WoW character attempted to talk about feminism with other characters she encountered in the game. Madness ensues.

TimeTraveller (2008-13) by Skawennati tackles representation and Indigenous identity, in a Indigenous-futurist series of nine episodes that follows Hunter, a contemporary Mohawk warrior, on a virtual vision quest through some First Nationsand American Indianevents of great historic significance, including the Sioux Uprising of 1862, the 1990 Oka Crisis in Quebec, and the occupation of Alcatraz Island (1969-71).

The non-virtual objects in Open Worldinclude yarn console controllers by Nathan Vincent; brilliant fiber works by Krista Hoefle that translate the bit-forms of early arcade games into the geometric construction of quilts; and teeth-grindingly detailed ballpoint pen drawings on paper by Butt Johnsonthat illustrate game worlds, architecture, controller devices, and characters in epic high fantasy detail. But Ill leave it to you to explore the full measure of Open World.

A powerful counterpoint to the stimulation and social interaction of many of the works in Open World is the quiet and deeply affecting The Night Journey (2007-18) by Bill Viola and the USC Game Innovation Lab. This interactive installation invites the player to navigate a delicate black and white gamescape with no apparent objective other than to breathe, observe, and ruminate (the last was accompanied, in the bit of the game I played, by a flock of doves that flies overhead). While many games push an antagonist agenda, and even open-play style games still often enforce Capitalist and colonial values of exploration, acquisition, and accrual, Violas game is a quest that disciplines us in the pursuit of a commodity all too rare in our world: peace.

Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art continues at the Akron Art Museum (One South High, Akron, Ohio) through February 2, 2020.

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Makeup Tricks That Really Open Things Up – Salt Lake Magazine01.01.20

While a hoodie is a cute name for a sweatshirt with an attached hood, a hooded eye or droopy eyelid carries another meaning altogether.

At Got Beauty in Sugar House, we asked one of their top makeup artists, Tori Plant to demonstrate her cosmetic tricks to create the illusion of more open and youthful-looking eyes. She successfully accomplishes both in a natural, yet dramatic way by playing up the brows and sticking to warm and skin-toned neutrals for a contouring effect. As Tori suggests, By applying the deepest shade to the outer corner and crease, it creates an illusion of depth that will really make those beautiful eyes of yourspop.

STEP 1: Even the tone. Apply a soft skin-toned shadow from lash line to brow bone. This will serve as a blending shadow and will even out the tone of the lid.

STEP 2: Warm it up. Apply and blend a warm brown tone to the entire lidfrom lash line to crease. Use a brush to smudge the remaining product on the outer 3/4ths of the lower lash line.

STEP 3: Contour. Apply and blend your darkest brown shadow to the eyelid crease and outer corner V of the lid.

STEP 4: Liner and Lashes. Apply a thin layer of black or dark brown liner from the inner first lash to the outside lash. Add mascara focusing upward and for a bolder look, add on a set of false strip lashes.

STEP 5: Dont forget those brows. Line the entire lower brow line, then feather upward with the brow brush for a soft lift.

For more fun beauty tricks, click here.

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The 100 Best Science Photos of 2019 – Livescience.com01.01.20

Science can be beautiful, and gross, and surprising, and awe-inspiring. From stoic primates and graceful sea creatures, to cosmic cannibals and black hole jets, to bloody waterfalls and sparkling glaciers, this year was full of visual treasures in the science realm. Here are 100 of our favorite science photos of 2019.

Rivers get the rainbow treatment in a gorgeous series of maps from Hungarian cartographer Robert Szucs, who has a background in geographic information systems (GIS). He created the gorgeous maps because he was bored by standard river maps with "all the lines blue, all the same width," he said.

The super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse graced the skies late-night on Jan. 20, 2019, as our lone satellite began its trek into Earth's outer shadow or penumbra. The pinnacle of the show, the total eclipse, happened between 11:41 p.m. and 12:43 p.m. EST (8:41 p.m. and 9:43 p.m. PST), when Earth's umbra had entirely engulfed the moon. Here, Marcel Kusch captures this image in Duisburg, Germany, showing the super blood moon eclipse above an industrial plant.

Photographer Franois Baelen was diving near Reunion Island in the Western Indian Ocean when he captured this otherworldly image of a mother humpback whale and her calf (top right). The photo took the top prize in the Ocean Art 2018 wide-angle category, whose winners were announced in January 2019.

This spectacular image of a trio of spinetail devil rays (Mobula japonica) won the Best in Show in the 2018 Ocean Art underwater photography competition held by Underwater Photography Guide. The winners were announced in January 2019.

Kyle Parfrey of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and his colleagues created a computer model showing how charged particles near the edge of a black hole generate twisting and rotating magnetic fields. Here, a simulation of so-called collisionless relativistic plasma shows the density of positrons, or antimatter partners to electrons, near a rotating black hole.

At the end of January, scientists at the University of Hawai'i at Mnoa (UH) created a map that they hailed the biggest release of astronomical data of all time. By compiling data from four years of observations by the Pan-STARRS observatory in Maui, the researchers created a mosaic of the Milky Way (red smear in the middle) and its cosmic neighborhood. The map showed more than 800 million stars, galaxies and roving interstellar objects.

The Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF) combines hundreds of images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope over multiple years to create the deepest view of the universe ever created. The composite photo, released in January, contains a whopping 10,000 galaxies.

Our home galaxy changed shape this year, or at least how we view it. Scientists found that at the edges of the Milky Way, where the pull of gravity weakens, the shape of the galaxy warps. Instead of lying in a flat plane, the galaxy takes on a bit of a twisted "S" shape.

Painted wolves, also called African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), are the underdogs of African carnivores. And they are perhaps the coolest looking, with their distinct markings, goofy ears and charismatic posturing. This year, BBC America's "Dynasties" showed the first documented evidence of painted wolves hunting and eating baboons.

Tracey Lund, of the United Kingdom, captured this action shot of gannets snagging fish underwater, and in doing so, Lund also snagged a finalist spot in the Natural World & Wildlife category of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards.

In an episode of BBC America's "Dynasties" that aired in February, scientists followed a colony of emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) as the tuxedoed birds contended with Antarctica's inhospitable climate to keep their fragile eggs cozy. Here, a 2-week-old chick balances on its mother's feet and stays warm in her fuzzy brood pouch.

A Pennsylvania couple spotted this quirky-looking cardinal roosting outside their home in Erie early this year. Its feathers are scarlet on one side and taupe on the other a telltale sign that this bird is a gynandromorph, or half male, half female.

Glittering galaxy? Nope, just a sparkly image of a fruit fly's sex organs. Biologist Ben Walsh, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom captured the glorious image. He stained the testes of a dissected fruit fly with fluorescent dye and then captured the result through a microscope using the camera on his iPhone.

What appeared to be a sizzling fire poured over Yosemite's iconic El Capitan rockface this year. But it wasn't hot nor was it a flame. Rather, this so-called firefall happens when the winter light hits the melting snow just as the sun is setting. The fiery display occurs at the same time every year.

A mysterious and hefty fish called the hoodwinker (Mola tecta) showed up in the Northern Hemisphere for the first time this year. The 7-foot-long (2.1 meters) fish washed ashore in Sands Beach in Santa Barbara County, thousands of miles away from its home turf in southeastern Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and possibly Chile.

Researchers made a gruesome discovery and took some gruesome images of it. They found that spiders in the Peruvian Amazon regularly dine on frogs, lizards and even small mammals. Here, in all its glory, a tarantula in the genus Pamphobeteus preys on a mouse Marmosops opossum. Dinner anyone?

Hang on, little guy! This tiny frog lived some 216 million years ago and was so small it could have fit on the tip of your finger. Researchers found the specimen of this amphibian now considered the oldest known frog relative from North America - in the Chinle Formation of northern Arizona. Luckily, if a giant phytosaur did snap its toothy maw at the Chinle frog, it missed.

Photographer Richard Barnden captured the last moments of a doomed parrotfish's life in the depths of French Polynesian waters. In doing so, Barnden snagged the twin titles of Underwater Photographer of the Year 2019 and British Underwater Photographer of the Year for 2019. The parrotfish in the photo looks almost panicked, as it frantically seeks shelter from the hungry sharks on hot pursuit.

In that same photo contest, photographer Songda Cai collected a Commended award in the Behavior category this year. Her snazzy photo illuminates a jellyfish carrying a type of deep-sea octopus called an argonaut males rely on jellyfish for protection from predators.

As if swooping from the darkness, a giant bat of dust and gas spread its ghostly wings this year just beyond Orion's right hip. And the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope snapped this stunning image of the spooky scene. Called the "Cosmic Bat," this formation is considered a reflection nebula because it glows "like fog around a street lamp," NASA says.

In March, Earth showed a two-toned face in a satellite glamour shot snapped during the spring equinox. In the image, half of our blue orb was illuminated, while the other half was steeped in darkness. What caused such beautiful symmetry? On the equinox, the amount of daylight and darkness are nearly equal at all latitudes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

An elephant matriarch in Kenya named F_MU1 died of old age this year, after spending some 60 years living in the Tsavo region. And she was an impressive sight to the very end. Known as a big tusker, this African elephant sported tusks long enough to brush the ground. Fortunately, photographer Will Burrard-Lucas captured stunning images of the stately pachyderm in the weeks prior to her death. Burrard-Lucas nicknamed F_MU1 "Queen of the Elephants."

Saturn's moons Prometheus, Pandora and Epimetheus hang like specks of dust among the planet's rings in this image snapped from the Cassini spacecraft. In fact, new views like this have suggested these moons likely coalesced from the planet's rings, acquiring their color from either ice volcanoes or a mysterious red material in the rings.

Sometimes gross is also "amazing," as in this inside-out toad! Jan Freedman, curator of natural history at The Box museum in Plymouth told Live Science that he was walking with his family at a reservoir when his 8-year-old son spotted the gory corpse. You can see the toad's translucent intestines spilling out, while the peeled skin of its underside, which is still attached below the jaw, stretches over the toad's back.

This year, Natalia Rossi, the manager of the Cuba Program for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), wrote about her amazing work as a crocodile specialist and the difficulty of being in such a male-dominated field. "When you jump into muddy waters full of crocodiles and all male eyes are on you, and you feel the silent wonder: Is she going to make it?," Rossi said. Here, an image she snapped of a baby American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) as it hatches from its shell in Cuba.

This spring, an image of a monkey in a Finland Zoo got quite a bit of attention on social media for her particularly buff body. In the image, a female white-faced saki monkey (Pithecia pithecia) named Bea crouches on a branch in her enclosure at the Helsinki Zoo. Her arms, chest and legs looked exceedingly bulky relative to her small face. Turned out, she was not a furry bodybuilder, but rather had the ability to puff up her fur.

Images released this year highlighted the transformation of the planet's surface as a result of climate change. At the point when the Arctic's sea ice was supposed to reach its maximum thickness, scientists found that it was almost gone across the Bering Sea. In early April, the sea was almost entirely free of ice, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) pointed out. The image shows the iced-over Bering Sea this time of year in 2014 (left), and what it looked like on March 31, 2019 (right).

Scientists using high-speed video revealed a horror scene beneath the water's surface: the gruesome and deadly attacks carried out by glassworms one of the fastest seen in animals. In the videos, you can see multiple-jointed mouthparts extending from the heads of these teensy creatures extended; Inside those mouthparts are branching structures that catch and hold squirming prey even when the prey sprouted "teeth" from its neck.

Meet the Blobs: Two continent-size mountains of hot, compressed rock hidden in the gut of the planet, deep beneath the crust. This year, the official news site of the American Geophysical Union, called Eos, revealed an unprecedented view of these so-called "blobs." One of these blobs lies beneath the Pacific Ocean, and the other is buried beneath Africa and parts of the Atlantic.

In a study out this year, researchers equipped with computer models looked at climate changes during the Quaternary period, which started around 2.59 million years ago and continues into today. They found that Earth has not undergone any such changes as rapid as those seen today. During the Quaternary, glaciers would have crept down from Greenland (shown here) to cover much of North America and northern Europe.

Here, hydrothermal fluid bubbles upward, gets trapped by a mineral ledge, and spills up and over the edge. That's just one scene scientists discovered deep in the Gulf of California this year. There, they found a fantastical expanse of hydrothermal vents, full of crystallized gases, glimmering pools of piping-hot fluids and rainbow-hued life-forms.

If human-caused global warming greatly increases over the next several decades, scientists say that the glaciers that cover the European Alps could disappear by 2100. Here, a supraglacial pond on Plaine Morte glacier, the largest plateau glacier in the European Alps.

A creepy video released in April and fit for a scene from a horror flick shows nightmarish lobster-like "bugs" emerge on the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico to attack the corpse of an alligator. Those football-size isopods (related to pill bugs) use their mandibles to break through the scaly skin and feed on the juicy insides.

This image is "amazing" not so much because it's a "looker," but for the sheer scientific prowess that went into capturing it. In April, an international team of scientists released the first-ever close-up picture of a black hole (or, more technically, its shadow). The black hole called M87 lurks at the center of the Virgo A galaxy. The team spent 2 years trying to zoom in on M87's singularity. This image shows the contours of the black hole's event horizon, the point beyond which no light or matter can escape.

Balloon-y! A bizarre creature that looks a bit like a balloon on a string turned up this spring during a dive to the Java Trench in the Indian Ocean. "We were just watching the video back and saw the thing come out of the darkness," said Alan Jamieson, the chief scientist on the expedition and a senior lecturer at Newcastle University in the U.K. "It drifted right towards the camera... and then drifted off again." Jamieson thinks the gelatinous creature may be a new species of ascidian (also called a sea squirt).

Paris' iconic Notre Dame cathedral caught fire this year, with part of the building's spire collapsing in flames. The cause of the fire has not been nailed down yet, but it could have been linked to ongoing renovation work on the building, according to a BBC report. The damage to the church, including the famous stained glass, was extensive.

Wildflowers in orange and yellow hues blanketed Southern California's Antelope Valley this spring. And photographer Jim Ross with NASAs Armstrong Flight Research Center captured a stunning aerial shot of the mosaic from a T-34 airplane on April 2. The spray of color is known as a superbloom, a phenomenon boosted by the years wet winter.

This spring, Florida-resident Marvin Hajos died after being attacked by one of his cassowaries a giant, flightless bird native to Australia and Southeast Asia. Rescue workers reportedly found Hajos lying dead between two cassowary pens, perhaps having been attacked by a female protecting her eggs, the medical examiner said at the time. While the mug shot here does not show one of Hajos killers, it is the same type of bird. In fact, at the owners pre-mortem behest, the cassowary was put up for auction, along with about 100 other exotic animals on his estate.

A newfound crab named Callichimaera perplexa, which means "perplexing beautiful chimera, lived up to its name. The creature had a mouth of a shrimp, claws of a modern frog crab, the shell of a lobster and paddle-like appendages reminiscent of a sea scorpion. Oh yeah, perhaps lucky for us, this chimera is no longer alive, reaching its heyday more than 90 million years ago.

A powerful magnetic explosion erupted from a tiny star, astronomers reported this year. While stars do have tantrums of this sort from time to time, what caught scientists eyes was the fact that this star residing some 250 light-years from us is the coolest and smallest star known to emit such a rare white-light superflare. This type of superlare describes a sudden eruption of magnetic energy that unleashes huge quantities of radiation. Here, an illustration of this mega eruption.

This glamour shot of the Daedalus Crater on the far side of the moon made its way online this year (it was captured during the Apollo 11 mission) to illustrate that the moon is, indeed, all its cracked up to be and more. A new analysis of our moons surface revealed it is far more fractured than anyone thought. The researchers found that cracks from asteroid impacts extend to depths of 12 miles (20 kilometers). Using computer simulations, the team found that a single asteroid impact could fragment the lunar crust into blocks about 3 feet (1 meter) wide, opening surface cracks that extend for hundreds of kilometers.

In the sad but pretty category, NASAs time-lapse animation showing the disappearance of Perus forests from five years of satellite observations does make an impact. The animation focuses on the devastating depletion that took place between 2013 and 2018 in the forests of southeastern Peru's Madre de Dios region.

About 99 million years ago, a Cretaceous millipede scampered over the forest floor in what is now Southeast Asia, avoiding being squished by neighboring dinosaurs. But the millipede, now called Burmanopetalum inexpectatum, did stumble into a sticky patch of sap, said researchers who found the tiny corpse entombed in the hardened form of that sap called amber.

Rangers in Australia could hardly believe their eyes this year when they spotted a wild carpet python snake with not two but three functioning eyes. The condition of having a third eye on the forehead is extremely rare, a biologist told Live Science about the snake case.

An illustration of seeming flower petal milk ducts went viral this year on Twitter. But alas, the image is not an accurate portrayal of a womans mammary glands. The most glaring error in the image, which was created with an iPad app called Anatomy & Physiology, is that it shows skeletal muscles; a womans breasts dont contain skeletal muscles, though some parts have circular or smooth muscle in place.

The triangle weaver spider (Hyptiotes cavatus) is now the only known creature, besides humans, to employ a catapulting strategy known as "external power amplification, a new study out this year found. Once prey lands in this spiders web, the arachnid releases silk at its back leg, which is the rear anchor line; then it (and the web line) shoots forward with alarming speed to ensnare its next meal. [The web catapult is pretty intricate and wild if you want to read more about it.]

A great white shark thought to have entered Long Island Sound (a potential first for great whites) may not have been there at all, Live Science reported in May. OCEARCH scientists had outfitted the great white shark dubbed Cabot with a tracking device in 2018 off Nova Scotia. Then this spring, the 9-foot-8-inch-long (nearly 3 meters) male sharks dorsal fin tag pinged a location that appeared to be off the coast of Greenwich, Connecticut. However, a day later the ping showed the shark was far outside the Sound.

We found out this year just whats living on our face: Dozens of Demodex mites are burrowing head-first inside the pores at the bottom of hair follicles lodged in your face. The tick-like arachnids gorge themselves on the natural oils inside those pores. And the public media organization KQED San Francisco created a brilliant video showing a zoomed-in look at the face-feast.

The world got its first glimpse at a wild albino panda this year. The stunning all-white, red-eyed furball was captured on camera while tramping through a bamboo forest in China.

They may be wee just 6 inches (15 centimeters) long but dragonfish are fearsome, at least for the teensy sea life they call prey: The fish sports massive jaws lined with nearly transparent, razor-sharp teeth. Scientists this year figured out how the glow from the fishs body doesnt light up its clear teeth to tip off potential meals. When they looked at the chompers under an electron microscope, the researchers found an array of grain-size nanocrystals speckled across each fang's enamel; those specks keep light from reflecting off its open jaws.

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CNN Travel’s 20 best places to visit in 2020 – CNN01.01.20

(CNN) Whether you want to relax on a remote island off the coast of Africa, ride Germany's coolest trains or spot howling monkeys in South America, there is much to explore heading into a new decade in 2020.

Japan will be hosting the Summer Olympics, Jamaica will be marking the late Bob Marley's 75th birthday, and Washington will be on pins and needles for much of the year preparing for the US presidential election.

We don't know whether Chile's long-planned celebration around the December solar eclipse could be overtaken by continued protests in the streets or whether Galway, Ireland, will be hurt by the ongoing Brexit debate in the UK.

Here they are, CNN Travel's 20 places to visit in 2020, in alphabetical order:

Chile Lake District

"Los Lagos" offers travelers stunning landscapes, serenity and on December 14, a total solar eclipse over the town of Pucn at 1:03 p.m. local time.

SERNATUR/Chile Tourism Board

While Chile has been in the headlines because of civil unrest, a visit to "Los Lagos" away from the urban centers offers travelers astonishing landscapes and serenity. This region is set to be even more impressive in December 2020, thanks to a total solar eclipse.

On December 14, totality will occur over the town of Pucn at 1:03 p.m. local time and will last just over two minutes.

Cosmic phenomena not withstanding, this region of southern Chile is worth more than a two-minute visit, thanks to the national parks, volcanoes and outdoor adventuring.

Don't Miss: The seafood. On the island of Chiloe, try curanto -- a stew-style dish featuring seafood, meat, potatoes and Chilean rhubarb. -- Francesca Street

Copenhagen, Denmark

Colorful houses along canals help make Copenhagen a happy place for its residents as well as its visitors.

Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Copenhagen was given another happiness boost earlier this year when Kongens Nytorv, its much-loved square, finally reopened after a seven-year closure because of the construction of a new metro line.

A stroll down Strget, one of Europe's longest pedestrian streets, is highly recommended, as is a visit to one of Copenhagen's many top restaurants.

The Dead Sea

Float your worries away. The Dead Sea is the perfect spot to relax during a tour of the Middle East.

Shutterstock

On the border of Israel and Jordan, the Dead Sea can feel like an extremely salty oasis, where talk of ongoing political conflict is less common than the sight of travelers from around the world covering themselves in black mud and falling backward into the water.

The feeling of engaging in a trust fall with the watery landscape -- simply close your eyes, drop, and feel yourself pushed upward by the water -- may be why so many people from so many eras have found holiness here.

Beyond the act of wading into a body of water with nearly eight times the salinity of the ocean, the Dead Sea's key location makes it a perfect stop on a Middle Eastern road trip.

Dominica

This lush Eastern Caribbean island has bounced back from extensive damage from Hurricane Maria.

Peter Schickert/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

With lush, primordial rainforests, foliage-engulfed peaks and deep ravines crisscrossed by 365 rivers, the Eastern Caribbean island of Dominica more than lives up to its "Nature Island" moniker.

The 290-square-mile island suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Maria in 2017, but Dominica has bounced back with a commitment to sustainable, climate-resilient construction and a renewed focus on ecotourism offerings.

Dominica is in the midst of an impressive luxury hotel boom, thanks in large part to its longstanding Citizenship by Investment program. Investing $100,000 and up in a high-end resort is one path to citizenship under the program.

Luxury lodging is a bonus, but the real draw in Dominica is the rugged outdoors.

Estonia

Don't be surprised if you hear more about Northern European country's bustling food scene in the new year.

Courtesy of Visit Estonia

While Estonia may not yet be synonymous worldwide with haute cuisine, this Nordic-like country in Northern Europe can hold its own.

Add a smattering of spas, a bevy of castles and ancient, silent forests, and it's not hard to see why Estonia is on the rise.

Galway, Ireland

A European Capital of Culture for 2020, Galway is a rural land where artists are drawn by the sublime beauty of the rocky landscape.

Shutterstock

As with the United States, Ireland's west coast has historically attracted pioneers and mavericks. Battered by Atlantic winds, the weather is fiercer here than in the cultivated east. This is a rural land where people live by their own rules, and artists are drawn by the sublime beauty of the rocky landscape. The capital of County Galway, Galway City, is an artsy enclave where bonhomie and erudition are prized.

Festivals bloom freely in Galway, with cultural gatherings spread across its calendar like wild heather. Visit any season, and you'll happen across celebrations of food, music, history, art, literature and nature, plus everything from burlesque to banjos, and ponies to Pride.

Jamaica

Ian Fleming's superspy James Bond appears in his 25th feature film, "No Time To Die," in which Daniel Craig's 007 returns to his creator's real-life beach house, Goldeneye.

Island Outpost

James Bond, Bob Marley, turquoise waters and dazzling waterfalls -- Jamaica has a lot to offer, particularly in 2020.

Fleming wrote 14 James Bond novels at Goldeneye, working there every winter from 1952 until his death in 1964. Guests can stay in the famed author's five-bedroom beachfront home on the northern coast of the island and avail themselves of Fleming's writing desk.

Jamaica's favorite son, though, is the iconic reggae musician, Bob Marley, who would have turned 75 on February 6. Marley's Jamaica is a living, beating heart, overflowing with love, pain, history and cultural significance.

Through its charitable foundation, Rockhouse has invested $5 million in childhood education programs, including revitalizing six schools, most recently opening the island's first school that serves students with special needs, Savanna-la-Mar Inclusive Infant Academy (SIIA).

Guests at Rockhouse and its sister property, Skylark, are invited to tour the school and meet the educators, administrators and the extraordinary children of SIIA, an opportunity that is not to be missed. -- Brekke Fletcher

Kyrgyzstan

Remote Kyrgyzstan offers up desert-like canyons to rival the American West.

Barry Neild/CNN

Tucked away between China to the east, Kazakhstan to the north and Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan is easy to overlook, but it's a perfectly formed jewel of a country.

Head east from the capital of Bishkek to where rugged mountains descend into the sparkling snow-melt waters of the vast Lake Issyk-Kul, and Kyrgyzstan reveals itself as a beguiling wonderland that few international visitors have discovered.

In the space of a few miles, the landscape offers up desert-like canyons to rival the American West and lush, high-altitude meadows to rival the European Alps. In winter, there's skiing around the town of Karakol. In summer, trekking and horseback riding into the Tien Shan mountains. All-year-round, there are jaw-dropping geological marvels around every corner.

Years of hardship after the collapse of the Soviet Union have taken their toll on Kyrgyzstan, and it's still finding its feet as a tourist destination. But where it lacks infrastructure to deal with lots of visitors, it excels in delivering genuine unexplored frontiers to adventurous travelers willing to rough it a little. It's safe, extremely welcoming and very good value for the money.

Kyushu, Japan

The third largest of Japan's five main islands, subtropical Kyushu offers stunning scenery, top eats and plenty of cultural attractions.

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Although themain focuswill be on Tokyo, take some time to explore subtropical Kyushu, which offers more than 36,000 square kilometers (about 13,900 square miles) of stunning scenery, top eats and plenty of cultural attractions.

Though this harbor city is synonymous with tragedy, it's also filled with attractions that highlight its trade history with Europe and China, not to mention a fantastic dining scene buoyed by its coastal setting. -- Karla Cripps

New Caledonia

This remote French overseas territory is home to streaky pink sunsets and stretches of white sand beach.

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The group of four archipelagos -- which, by the way, opted to remain a French overseas territory for the time being -- is about halfway between Fiji and the coast of Queensland, Australia, south of the Solomon Islands.

It's like visiting a nearly empty South of France in the summertime, eating gorgeous, buttery pastries after an afternoon of sunning yourself without being surrounded by crowds.

Nearly all travelers begin in the capital of Noumea and work out from there. Noumea's striking lagoon-front location blends French colonial heritage buildings with the colors of the sea and sky.

With only about 100,000 residents, it's easy to live the simple life there -- you can stay in an urban B&B, then pass an afternoon snorkeling, swimming or kitesurfing before enjoying a fresh meal of fish, paired with white Burgundies imported from 17,000 miles away.

Don't miss: The three Loyalty Islands -- Lifou, Mare and Ouvea -- are an ideal place for learning about the indigenous Kanak people, who far predate French colonization of the region. Visit these tribes and learn about their customs, festivals and way of life. -- Lilit Marcus

Paraty and Ilha Grande, Brazil

So Tom and Prncipe

The island nation of So Tom and Prncipe is home to rich jungle and volcanic peaks, including Pico Cao Grande on Sao Tome island.

Ruth McDowall/AFP/Getty Images

The little two-island nation of So Tom and Prncipe, in west Africa's Gulf of Guinea, is an equatorial biodiversity hot spot.

Sometimes called the "African Galapagos," the islands' rich jungle and volcanic peaks are teeming with endemic plants, including hundreds of species of orchids and extraordinary, 10-foot-tall begonias. There's plenty of wildlife to spot, too, including the world's smallest ibis and the world's largest sunbird, as well as the marine turtles who make their nest here.

Those low visitor numbers can partly be attributed to it being a little hard to get reach, but the effort is worth it. There are direct flights to So Tom, the larger of the two islands, from Lisbon, Cape Verde, Angola, Bioko island and Gabon. Principe is another 87 miles (140 kilometers) away and can be reached by small plane. Together, the islands cover just 386 square miles and the population is less than 200,000, making this the smallest African sovereign state after the Seychelles.

The islands were unpopulated until the Portuguese established it as a colonial outpost in the 15th century, and the Portuguese legacy is still felt in the country's music, culture and customs. Many of today's population are descended from the enslaved Africans brought to work at the islands' plantations. The nation celebrated 40 years of independence in 2015, and coffee and cocoa are still key industries here.

Don't miss: Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon) is a snorkeling and diving spot on northern So Tom, prized for its azure waters. -- Maureen O'Hare

St. Petersburg, Russia

Russia's former imperial capital, St. Petersburg is most popular during the so-called "White Nights" of midsummer.

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Until now, most travelers wanting to head to Russia have needed a certain amount of persistence to wade through the visa red tape. No longer.

Since July 2019, some 53 nationalities -- including all European Union citizens -- can now get e-visa access to the northern city of St. Petersburg and surrounding area for up to 30 days.

Today, the city is most popular during the warmer months, especially the so-called "White Nights" of midsummer. Thanks to its northerly latitudes, the city barely sees any darkness during the summer season, and the streets are teeming with visitors around the clock.

But St. Petersburg is arguably at its most romantic in the fridge-freezer months of midwinter as ice clogs the Neva River and atmospheric fog wafts across the city.

Despite the subzero temperatures, it's a great time to be outside. There's skating in parks, and even cross-country skiing. In the heart of the city, snow and ice transform historic buildings, bridges and canals into spectacular scenes that evoke classic Russian literature.

Sri Lanka

The ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which was Sri Lanka's capital in the 12th century is a UNESCO Heritage site.

Jorge Fernndez/LightRocket/Getty Images

Sitting in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern tip of India, travelers may default to thinking of Sri Lanka as a beach getaway. But to truly immerse yourself in the country's history, go inland and tour the country's cultural triangle.

Tunisia

The ancient city of Dougga, Tunisia, is considered the best preserved Roman town in North Africa.

Natalia Seliverstova/Sputnik/AP

In 2018, the restriction was lifted and Europeans have been quick to return. Currently, the US government advises against travel to the Libyan border in the southeast of the country and certain mountainous areas to the west.

Vancouver Island, British Colombia

Vancouver Island is home to pristine beaches and forests, small, artsy towns and a cosmopolitan capital city.

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The big, beautiful cities and national parks of Canada's eastern provinces are attractive options in every sense. But you're unlikely to find a treasure chest as bountiful as British Columbia's Vancouver Island on the west coast -- a 290-mile stretch of pristine forest and beaches punctuated by small, artsy towns and a cosmopolitan capital city.

You could easily occupy an adventure-packed month there backpacking, camping and eating well. More manageable is an itinerary between two towns -- the southern coastal paradise of Tofino and the capital, Victoria -- with a five-hour, bear-sighting, picturesque drive in between.

Or orient your Vancouver Island visit by activity or theme: romantic getaway, rugged outdoor adventure, First Nation art and culture, foodie pilgrimage, nature nirvana, surf safari or a combination.

Washington, D.C.

The Wharf riverfront development project is attracting dining, hotels and visitors.

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The ‘Leaning Tower’ of the Middle East – CNN01.01.20

(CNN) Under the dazzling blue sky, the glass-walled skyscraper that is Capital Gate twinkles in the sunlight as people bustle in and out of the airy lobby.

Above them, just about visible, are the window cleaners -- suspended with ropes and harnesses, artfully polishing Capital Gate's 728 individually made glass panels, which are custom-designed to fit the building's unusual shape.

These so-called "cliffhangers" can be seen cleaning the diamond-shaped windowpanes every day, working their way around the building. A team of 12, they get through two rounds of Capital Gate every month.

Nearly 10 years on, Capital Gate remains the world's "farthest man-made leaning building," according to Guinness World Records. It leans 18 degrees westward -- about five times the angle of Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa -- and the top 17 floors "hang over the edge, putting thousands of tonnes of pressure on the core of the building," explains Al Mansoori.

"Nature wants it to collapse. Everything about the tower makes it want to fall over, but it has been designed to stop."

A world first

Capital Gate leans at five times the angle of Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi

The gravitational pressure caused by the 18-degree incline is countered by the world's first "pre-cambered core," made up of 15,000 cubic meters of concrete reinforced with 10,000 tons of steel.

This core was deliberately built slightly off-center but straightened as the building rose, compressing the concrete and giving it strength, and moving it into vertical position as the weight of each floor was added.

Capital Gate is also kept upright by 490 piles which are drilled over 30 meters deep. "We created two sections of piling, one deeper than the other. Together they create competing forces that keep the building upright," says Al Mansoori.

"Because of the shape of the building, every room in the hotel is different," says Andaz employee Julia Gimadyeva.

The terrace at the Andaz hotel

Andaz

The view from the top

The hotel's 18 Degrees Restaurant has views of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (the largely corporate event space to which Capital Gate is connected), below. "There's an oil conference going on right now, and we also have one focused on military and defense," says Gimadyeva, adding, "A lot of brains come here!"

In front is a stunning view of the Persian Gulf and Abu Dhabi's islands. Opulent palaces closed to the public can be seen on the nearest island, surrounded by sea and sand. Abu Dhabi's natural landscape was the inspiration behind Capital Gate's architecture -- "in particular its windswept dunes and the rolling waves of the gulf," says Al Mansoori.

The hotel's restaurant and swimming pool -- suspended on a platform on the edge of the building facing the exhibition center -- were added a year into construction, providing one of the biggest challenges for the engineering team.

"The solution was a curving mesh skin that 'splashes' against the building, culminating in the platform," said Al Mansoori, adding that the 'skin' also provided shade for offices on the lower floors.

Looking out at the panoramic city views, Asad Haroon, another hotel employee, remarks that "Abu Dhabi is a completely different city compared to when I moved here in 2011."

Like 80% of United Arab Emirates residents, Haroon is an expatriate -- he's originally from Pakistan, while his colleague Gimadyeva is Russian.

The Andaz puts Emirati art center stage

Andaz

An architectural stronghold

From the restaurant, he goes on to point out the many buildings in this area that did not exist when he first moved to Abu Dhabi. "This was nearly an empty space. Once you'd exit the exhibition center there was nothing," he remembers.

While historically Abu Dhabi has been overshadowed by Dubai in terms of tourism, Abu Dhabi is casting itself as the UAE's cultural hub.

In the Andaz, art and design intentionally represent Emirati culture, from a ground floor space exhibiting a wide variety of works by local artists to furniture and upholstery designs across the hotel.

"Abu Dhabi will never become Dubai because they don't want to," says Haroon. "If you want to come for a few nights and go crazy, then Dubai is your destination. But if you really want to explore the UAE culture, Abu Dhabi is the place to go."

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We look back at a decade in beauty with Scotland’s makeup artist of the year – Glasgow Live01.01.20

Ten years ago Kylie was a pop star, not a social media maven and beauty billionaire that created global trends with a simple swipe. Our foundation was mousse, our brows were tweezed and highlighters only existed in our pencil cases at school.

The last decade was one small step for mankind, but one giant leap for the beauty business. In 2020 we have vampire facials , brow lamination and whole salons dedicated to the art of makeup.

As one of Glasgows biggest and best know makeup artists, Louise Ballantine has had an inside look at how much beauty has changed over the last ten years.

She says social media has been the number one advancement that has helped democratise beauty for everyone and inspire more women to dip into their makeup bags - and wallets - to try out all the cutting edge trends.

When I first started my career the only people who wanted to get their makeup done were brides, Louise says. Now I have people coming in before they go to lunch, before funerals, before divorce parties. Everything under the sun. If you can imagine it, people want their makeup done for it.

Louise kick started her career as a teenager, learning the basics at Clydebank College before swapping GLA for LA and honed her skills in Hollywood.

Now 32, she is the owner of Glasgows highly popular makeup and nail bar LUX and the artist every influencer worth their likes has on speed dial. In 2019 she won Makeup Artist of the Year and her business just keeps growing.

A superstar among make-up artists, she travels the world with suitcases full of cosmetics making sure her clients are looking their best. Her favourite brands include Nars (for foundation), Charlotte Tilbury (for eyes and lips) and Laura Mercier for powder.

A few strokes of artfully applied highlighter or bronzer can slim a nose, tighten a jawline or give a face the illusion of jutting cheekbones - but Louise believes that the secrets to seamless makeup always starts with the skincare.

When I meet a bride for a consultation the first thing I ask them is that the exfoliate. Thats key to great makeup so I try and persuade them all to start with that.

The most common makeup mistake is not prepping your skin properly. Its like painting a wall, if you dont sand it first it is going to crack. Exfoliating your skin is a must, then go in with a moisturiser.

Laura thinks that influencers have had a massive impact on the way people have applied their makeup over the last ten years but hastens to add that often beauty trends are merely a marketing tool.

When Kim Kardashian started talking about contouring people reacted like it was something brand new, Louise explains. But all makeup artists are taught about shadow in light, thats all that is.

Weve been doing it since makeup began but the Kardashians took it to the extreme. Its the same with baking or using too much powder, you dont need all that. I think using a wet sponge to lightly powder is much nicer.

Every makeup company jumped on the idea and created a contour kit but I dont think you need that. Just use the products that you know work.

Similarly she warns against the new obsession for all-natural products. All natural doesnt necessarily mean they are good for you. Just look at nuts, they are natural but lots of people are allergic.

I react badly to lavender and eucalyptus so I always stay away from products that include them.

Sometimes, however, new product launches and developments can transform a kit bag. A few years ago no one had heard of a Beauty Blender - now our shops walls are lined with the colourful egg shaped sponges.

I love to use them because they help press the makeup into the skin. Sometimes your hands are too warm and your makeup will melt into your fingers before its even had a chance to go on your face so a beauty blender or brush is a must.

Foundations too, have overgone a massive overhaul. Louise favours the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream because it is one of the few high coverage foundations that boasts a high SPF (factor 50) and sheer, glowy finish.

Some people still go for a matte foundation and I just dont think that is flattering on many skins, says Louise.

I wear the IT Cosmetics CC Cream most days and I like Maybelline Superstay. It is a matte foundation but I always mix it with Nars Sheer Glow or Dior Backstage. Superstay is too thick and matte on its own so I like to mix it with something glowy.

And I love Maybelline Eraser - most makeup artists use that. It doesnt crease, its not drying and it has good coverage. My tip is to never put foundation under your eyes. Go in with just a concealer and it is much softer.

The beauty industry moves at lightning speed, and there was one of two trends that Louise was happy to see the back of.

She says: I used to use dark tan and lighter foundation and my body would be brown and my face would be white. Now I always match my face to my body!

And eyebrows. Eyebrows have changed massively. Brow lamination has completely transformed my brows. I used to get mine threatened - or butchered as I say. It made them far too thin. But I love lamination to make them full and fluffy.

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Yeah, I'd give it a goNope too far

Looking forward, Louise sees us all leaning towards glowing, bronzed skin - a backlash to the heavy looks of the past.

Ten years ago everyone wanted a smokey eye, then everyone wanted a cut crease and bold makeup. I think now we are moving towards something a bit more natural. Well it looks natural - it still might take a few hours! she says.

Thats whats great about Instagram you can look through it, see what you like and show a makeup artist the picture and they can recreate it for you.

Ive worked with celebrities, Ive worked on film sets. But there is nothing better than doing makeup for real people.

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End of the decade: 2010s contoured way to top of beauty firsts – The Depaulia01.01.20

This decade has been the biggest glow up of all. The art of beauty has taken a turn from canvas and onto peoples faces, with hair and makeup transforming and including a range of diversity that was not there before.

The 2010s changed the whole beauty industry. More makeup brands than ever began to appear, makeup artists started getting their own makeup pallets, it diversified and the concept of art on a face was popping up left and right. The looks people create on their eyelids alone is incredible. Nonetheless, it was a time of rapid change in beauty.

As the years have gone on, many people who were watching YouTube and/or growing up during this time were those of us who have gone through middle school, high school and college in this decade. Millennials really carried the 2010s when it comes to the growth in the beauty industry. It blew up and has taken over social media sites.

At the beginning of the decade, thinner brows, bigger hair and glam were really in. Glam looks included a lot of nudes and soft browns, maybe a red lip and more dewy looks, which is a moist type of makeup look. Who remembers Miley Cyrus in her Party In The USA music video? Those long curls were a huge hit, and defined brows and contouring began and have yet to stop.

Hairstyles this decade have been more diverse than prior ones.

What is so different about this decade is that unlike ones prior, there was far more variety in hairstyles. There seemed to be a singularly defining hairstyle for many other decades, such as the Hollywood pin-up look, huge curls, high-tops youre picturing the decade for each hairstyle, arent you? This one was full of far more than one defining look; if anything, it defined diversity in beauty.

FlickrRihannas hairstyle.

Kacy Levy, 45, has been a hairstylist for almost 17 years and has seen an abundance of change from the beginning of the decade to now.

Styles have gone from bouncy, big spiral curls to very tousled and beachy waves, she said. Even haircuts have moved away from super precision to very soft; piece-ire looks. Hair is flatter, less voluminous. No more bump-its.

Many people bought the packets of bump-its but wont admit they were a part of that trend. Who didnt want bangs sitting an inch or two high on the top of their head? My eighth grade school picture is proof that they were indeed noticeable.

Hair has seen its fair share of change and many celebrities were the start of that. According to FASHIONISING.com, the early part of the decade consisted of a lot of bobs, pixie cuts and shorter hairstyles, many of which started because of celebrities like Rihanna and Anne Hathaway. Around 2012-2014, other celebrities had beautiful long curls, such as Vanessa Hudgens and Katy Perry.

Hair trends used to be solely celebrity-driven, Levy said. So, when a popular celebrity would make a big change, wed see a huge crowd wanting to do it, too. For example, Cameron Diaz colored her iconic blonde shag a dark brown copper one year and I had all of my blonde clients wanting to be a dark copper brown.

There was a time when everyone seemed to have ombre hair more of a darker color on top and blonde toward the bottom. People had to have it so bad, theyd go through the yellow blonde hair phase just to achieve it. Ombre hair looked great when they were a part of another hair trend this decade: knots.

A high, sleek knot and pony have taken over many going-out outfits, business casual looks and more. For example, Val Warner, an anchor on Windy City LIVE in Chicago, rocks a high ponytail or top knot in almost every episode. Ariana Grande, of course, has to be mentioned in helping bring that style to life.

Wikimedia CommonsAriana Grandes sleek, high ponytail.

Levy said that over this decade, guests have wanted immaculately placed tight foils to ombre and lived-in color. She added that more women now want a style which will be tailored to their face and lifestyle rather than a more conventional highlight placement that requires too much maintenance.

There is such a variety of hairstyles and seeing so many different looks just proves that the 2010s were full of risks that both ended in reward or disaster. The yellow-blonde phase would prove disastrous. In the end, loving your hair brings out the confidence that everyone deserves to feel.

I get to be a part of peoples lives, Levy said. And help them feel better about themselves. Not necessarily by building a false outer perception, but by re-building the inside and teaching them to love their own reflection.

Hair is only part of this incredible decade full of beauty. Along with a gorgeous head of hair comes a face that is set to the Gods.

It is hard to fully grasp the major changes in makeup over the past 10 years. It went from only

seeing celebrities in glamorous makeup, to every social media site having thousands of makeup gurus and influencers now showing makeup looks for the average person.

At the beginning of the decade, makeup tutorials began popping up left and right with people like Michelle Phan, who started posting back in 2007. Jackie Aina, who is now huge on social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter, did PowerPoint slideshows of her makeup looks back in 2009.

Beauty gurus shot up in stardom, some even becoming so famous, they now have their own makeup collabs, such as Chloe Morello, PatrickStarrr, Huda Beauty and NikkieTutorials.

Over the last 10 years, trends such as a bold lips, winged eyeliner, defined brows and contour all started what is definitely the best beauty decade in history. The 2010s was a combination of all the decades behind it.

The 1920s were full of eyeliner and dark lipsticks, such as red and plump. A dark lip that showed off a womans cupid bow was in, against pale skin.

The 1940s moved away from pale skin and made eyebrows more of a staple. Eyes became the center of attention and foundations began to change.

The 1960s brought us the lashes. Dramatic top and bottom lashes began because of fashion icon Twiggy and large eyes were in. Twiggy also started the winged eyeliner look, but it faded away until the early 2000s.

The 1980s finally brought the color. There were a lot of powerful looks that were exaggerated with bright colors think Madonna. The bright eye looks, blush and lips were all in. This was the start of a full face.

The 2000s had soft pinks and glitter. Britney Spears and Christina Aguila rocked the shiny and frosted lip glosses and shimmery eyes. Beyonce was up-and-coming in this decade and she too wore lighter shades of pink on her eyes.

And, finally, the 2010s brought back older trends and intertwined them with newer ones, such as the biggest one of all: contouring. This is the time when defining bone structure in someones face was key to the best makeup look. The things you can do to your nose, chin, cheekbones and jawline with a little contouring are out of this world. Kim Kardashian is known as one of the first to really give people the want for a defined face and contouring was the way to do that. Today, she and Kylie Jenner both have their own makeup lines, which include contouring kits.

Jordan Dockery, 20, a junior at DePaul, has been doing makeup since she was in sixth grade and just finished her time as a Maybelline College Ambassador, which gave her the opportunity to go to New York Fashion Week back in September. Her looks range from dewy smokey eyes to a full eyelid of color and gems. She brings out her artistic side in a lot of her looks.

When I first started watching a lot of tutorials, people did a lot of glamour makeup; its called Instagram makeup, Dockery said. It was very glamorous, very pretty, very much like I was going out.

Now that its been, like, a few years that Ive been in the makeup community, you see a lot more of creative expression, she said. Its no longer, I want to be the prettiest person in the room, its, I want to be the boldest, I want to have the most creative face in the room.

If you are not one of those who blew up on social media because of a creative look, that doesnt mean the artistic abilities behind this decades makeup isnt something you can do. Perfecting that cat eye, contouring your nose and even mastering the correct amount of blush are all things that, before this decade, not every person could do or learn easily.

I went through a very, very awkward elementary and middle school stage where I was bullied a lot, so makeup kind of became a way for me to feel really confident about myself while still feeling very artistic and like Im doing something cool, Dockery said.

Daisy Bentley, 21, didnt grow up watching YouTube videos, so she went through that awkward phase of wearing cheap, mismatched products and unflattering eyeshadows. Bentley is just one of the many people who learned more techniques and trends over this decade.

I went from over-plucking my unibrow and doing full raccoon eyes to finding my look that makes me feel the best, she said. Thick, gorgeous brows and a razor-sharp black wing, occasionally paired with a bright lip.

Courtesy of Daisy BentleyBentley in 2010 she wasnt kidding about the raccoon eyes.

Bentley shows how a defined brow and winged eye are a major beauty staple of this period. Perfect brows frame the face and highlight your eyes. The shape and intensity of them can vary, but its safe to say a fleek eyebrow is the best. Pair that with a sharp and clean winged eye and you have yourself a 2010s look.

Courtesy of Daisy BentleyA recent selfie Bentley took, rocking her signature eyeliner.

It is safe to say that this decade brought out a new side of makeup, a side that could include LGBTQ+ individuals and more people of color. Brands began extending their shade ranges to cater to people of color and men have been a huge part of basically re-branding makeup to be for them, too not just women.

The 2010s changed the way people see beauty. It isnt just for women to feel beautiful and it isnt all about one look anymore. It is about creativity, acceptance, confidence and growth. This decade opened a lot of doors for people in the beauty industry and it should continue to do so. Ten years full of beauty in a wide range of diversity.

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The Cinematheque’s programmers pick (and screen) the best of the decade – Vancouver Sun01.01.20

Best Films of the Decade at The Cinematheque

When: Jan. 8-Feb. 17

Where: Cinematheque

Info:thecinematheque.ca

For arts-and-entertainment fans, the end of the year always brings plenty of best-of lists (sorry, Cats) to cull through. But 2019 also means the end of the decade, and Cinematheque has risen to the occasion.

The downtown theatre is screening its best of the 2010s, as chosen by executive and artistic director Jim Sinclair and associate programmer Shaun Inouye.

So whats on their lists? For starters, theres some overlap. Both chose Barry Jenkins Moonlight (2016), Maren Ades Toni Erdmann (2016) and Apichatpong Weerasethakuls Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010) for their top tens.

Moonlight was such an astonishing portrayal of a type of masculinity and sexuality that is so rarely seen in American cinema, and was profoundly moving, said Sinclair. Toni Erdmann was a fantastic portrayal of the relationship between a father and a daughter, but also with a fearless performance by (female lead) Sandra Hller.

And I think that the director of Uncle Boonmee was on my list ten years ago with Tropical Malady (2004). He has such a unique vision, his films never fail to astonish and show you things that youve never seen before.

One of the more interesting selections is Twin Peaks: The Return. Though David Lynchs 2017 sequel to his groundbreaking 1990s TV series originally ran on Showtime, its provenance lies in film.

It was envisioned as an 18-hour film, scripted as an 18-hour film, and shot that way, Inouye said. David Lynch was the exclusive director. He himself has called it a film. Im not one to argue with that. And its not episodic at all. It just didnt screen theatrically.

This end-of-the-decade list marks Sinclairs fourth since hes been at The Cinematheque, and Inouyes first.

There were long lists, Inouye said. There were some literal sleepless nights whittling them down. I rewatched a lot. I put my time in.

These are films Id all seen more than once, with one exception, Sinclair said. Methodology-wise, its an arbitrary number. Its a running joke at home, like Dads being moved by a work of art again. These are films that gobsmacked me. But the real test of greatness is if I go see them again and they gobsmack me more. These are films that did that.

From the last two years, only three movies made a list: Lee Chang-dongs Burning, Claire Denis High Life, and Alfonso Cuarns Roma, all from 2018.

About seven or eight years ago I participated in Sight and Sound poll of the 10 greatest films of all time, Sinclair said. I had Terence Malicks The Tree of Life (2011) on my list, but I did have a caveat: Will this stand the test of time, like Citizen Kane or Vertigo or The Rules of the Game? And its still on my list as best of the decade. I think we were surprised most of all by how many films from 2016 are on the list.

Seven of my 10 are from 2016 and 2017, Inouye said. That seems to be a pocket of quality cinema, at least for me.

So, for busy readers of this article, if Sinclaire and Inouye could recommend only one film from each of their lists to see at the theatre, which would it be?

Twin Peaks: The Return, says Inouye. It was extremely difficult to book. Its only going to be episodes one, two and eight. But were going to screen them free (Jan. 25 at 7 p.m.). It was personally authorized by David Lynch, which was required in order for us to be able to show it. And Vancouverites have not had the opportunity to see these works in a cinema before.

Toni Erdmann, says Sinclaire. Its funny, its about family relationships, its about really great filmmaking and has out of left-field performances and ideas. If youre partial to cinema, and you have an open mind, youre going to love Toni Erdmann.

As an extension of the best-of-the-decade programming, Cinematheques family-oriented Film Club is also screening the programmers favourite childrens films, Paddington 2 (Jan. 19) and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Feb. 16).

The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)

American Honey (Andrea Arnold, 2016)

Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016)

Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016)

Stranger by the Lake (France, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)

Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)

Twin Peaks: The Return (David Lynch, 2017)

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

Western (Valeska Grisebach, 2017)

Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2017)

Burning (Lee Chang-dong, 2018)

Force Majeure (Ruben stlund, 2014)

High Life (Claire Denis, 2018)

Jackie (Pablo Larran, 2016)

Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016)

Roma (Alfonso Cuarn, 2018)

Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)

The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)

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The Cinematheque's programmers pick (and screen) the best of the decade - Vancouver Sun

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Why the Most Ridiculous Part of The Irishman Actually Works – The New York Times01.01.20

Early on in The Irishman, the latest film by Martin Scorsese, theres a scene that draws more attention to Robert De Niros body than any movie has in years. The actor plays Frank Sheeran, an elderly hit man looking back on his life. It has been a long one the film runs some 209 minutes. After 28 of them, weve reached the 1950s, and a 30-something Sheeran has just learned that a neighborhood grocer shoved his daughter. This younger Sheeran is still played by the 76-year-old De Niro; digital effects have been used to take years off his face, a technique thats applied to a few actors as the film moves through time. And its this curiously smooth De Niro who marches the daughter back to the store, throws the grocer to the curb and stomps repeatedly on his hand.

Something is off about this stomping, though. Its not done with the swagger youd expect from a man comfortable breaking a grocers fingers in broad daylight. Like anyone his age, De Niro moves in a way that prioritizes stability: His elbows stay tucked protectively near his ribs, and his feet jab stiffly out without disturbing his center of gravity. Its not that he looks feeble or frail; its just that he looks 76.

In the context of a three-and-a-half-hour film, youd hardly think much of it. But if you were to take this shot in isolation and, say, post it on social media, it would seem risible, as if someone had made a very expensive period comedy about a cranky, violent senior. And that, obviously, is what was done with it: The shot was circulated, chuckled over, goofed on and treated as so much is online as self-evidently farcical.

But that mockery deserves its full context, too. Consider our nation: The president is in his 70s, as are his three leading challengers, as well as the Senate majority leader and the speaker of the House. Its estimated that nearly one-quarter of the 2020 electorate will be over the age of 65. Baby boomers remain the largest age cohort in the country, as they have been their entire lives. Theres no shortage of actors who would leap at the chance to play a younger version of a Robert De Niro character just as De Niro himself, 45 years ago, won his first Academy Award for playing a younger version of Vito Corleone. But with The Irishman, Scorsese has made a film in which a 61-year-old Ray Romano feels like a fresh face; its lead actors are, on average, older than the old people in Cocoon, a movie in which you definitely didnt see Wilford Brimley curb-stomp anyone. So if you wanted to stir up young peoples long-simmering resentment of their elders, who seem reluctant to cede their power over anything and everything that happens in this country, you could do far worse than the sight of De Niros awkward beat down.

Its impossible to think about The Irishman without considering the press cycle Scorsese wound up creating around the film. Just before its release, in an interview with Empire magazine, the director opined that Marvel superhero movies dont really qualify as cinema wonderfully crafted entertainments, maybe, but not art. This was like waving a red cape in the face of a very annoying bull: Fans of this sort of movie tend to react furiously to the sense that anyone is looking down on them from loftier artistic grounds, or to the idea that loftier artistic grounds exist at all. What is funny is that The Irishman is, in some ways, the Avengers: Endgame of Scorseses own movie universe long and expensive, collecting his regular actors and milieus into one culminating story highly dependent on computer-generated effects.

Its no wonder so much attention fell on these 27 seconds of stomping. You could certainly watch them and conclude that the decision to digitally fiddle with De Niros age and face was a poor one. His character, across the length of the film, seems less like a man seen at different ages and more like a collection of separate men, each well past 50 but each with a unique skin-care regimen. It is remarkable, really, how much online attention to this film has revolved around its actors bodies. An image circulated of De Niro wearing huge platform shoes to approximate Sheerans height; another focused on a World War II scene in which the effects make him look like a video-game soldier. Scorsese himself has joked about a scene in which a 79-year-old Al Pacino, playing a 40-something Jimmy Hoffa, had to leap up from a chair, but couldnt manage to look much younger than 62.

But a better reading advanced, almost apologetically, by a few critics is that, in the full context of the film, the de-aging works beautifully. The Irishman is best watched as a film about old men, and the lifetimes they have spent wrapped up entirely in one another, moving through an era that has vanished from beneath their feet. Formally speaking, it has the tenor of a memory, soft and heavy and low on action; it looks on everyone, even the people Sheeran will kill, with a nostalgic fondness. It begins to feel, as you watch, that Sheeran is always already an old man in the same way you can dream of your childhood home, but you will never really be a child inside it.

This film about the past was made, like so much else around us, primarily by people in their 70s: the three lead actors, the director, the editor Thelma Schoonmaker. But theres one immense difference between The Irishman and so much else in American culture. Our septuagenarian politicians still tell us, with great optimism, how they wish to lead us into the future, assuring us that the grand and prosperous America of the late 20th century is just waiting to be recaptured. Cocoon might have had a younger cast, but it was still about harnessing alien powers to regain your youth and live forever. Whatever else a viewer might think about The Irishman, it can be commended for being curious about the exact opposite about what things look like as they end.

This is a film that can imagine what its like to look back on your life and see a version of the world that has expired, and to reckon with how that era was spent, and with whom, and what ruins were made of it, and why. Its a significant piece of American culture that acknowledges what its like to see your grip on the world loosen, and wonders what uses that grip was put to anyway. Its strange to think how rare this perspective has been and even stranger to think how common itll need to be in the years to come.

Nitsuh Abebe is a story editor for the magazine. He was formerly the pop critic for New York magazine and a columnist for Pitchfork.

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Why the Most Ridiculous Part of The Irishman Actually Works - The New York Times

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Texas artist who created Houston’s 70-foot tall saxophone, other landmark artworks has died – Chron12.30.19

By Danny Hermosillo, Chron.com / Houston Chronicle

Bob Daddy-O Wade, a colorful artist who created Houston's giant saxophone known as "Smokesax", died Monday, Dec. 23, 2019.

Wade, 76, suffered heart failure at his home in Austin.

Bob Daddy-O Wade, a colorful artist who created Houston's giant saxophone known as "Smokesax", died Monday, Dec. 23, 2019.

Wade, 76, suffered heart failure at his home in Austin.

Photo: Cody Duty, Houston Chronicle

Bob Daddy-O Wade, a colorful artist who created Houston's giant saxophone known as "Smokesax", died Monday, Dec. 23, 2019.

Wade, 76, suffered heart failure at his home in Austin.

Bob Daddy-O Wade, a colorful artist who created Houston's giant saxophone known as "Smokesax", died Monday, Dec. 23, 2019.

Wade, 76, suffered heart failure at his home in Austin.

Texas artist who created Houston's 70-foot tall saxophone, other landmark artworks has died

Bob Daddy-O Wade, a colorful artist who created Houston's giant saxophone known as "Smokesax", died this week.

Wade, 76, suffered heart failure Monday at his home in Austin.

Wades other celebrated works included the 35-foot-tall 'ostrich-skin' boots at North Star Mall in San Antonio, a 40-foot-long iguana on top of the Lone Star Cafe in New York City; and his "Six Frogs Over Tango," 10-foot-tall dancing frogs installed atop a nightclub in Dallas.

Wade's 40-foot tall "Smokesax" was a folk art fixture at 6025 Richmond for 20 years.The monumental sculpture made of car parts, oil field pipes, a surfboard and an entireVW Beetlewas a landmark for the now-defunct Billy Blues nightclub on the Richmond Avenue strip near the Galleria.

In 2013, it was donated to the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art at 2402 Munger.

As a boy, Wade would often draw and developed a fondness for Longhorns, tee-pees and other icons of Texas and the Southwest while traveling with his father, a hotel employee who moved frequently across the state, Wade has said in interviews.

This story contains earlier reporting from MYSA.com and from Molly Glentzer.

Danny Hermosillo is the Digital News Editor for Chron.com | Read him on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and our subscriber site, HoustonChronicle.com | Follow him on Twitter at @Dannyherm1| Email him at Danny.Hermosillo@chron.com

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