Ultraviolence – The Ultimate Album

Hey everyone!

Usually, when I say I’ve been listening to an album ‘non-stop’, it means I’ve been listening it to a lot, but still listening to other music as well. This has changed since the release of Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence on June 14 (June 13 to those in the Northern Hemisphere!!), basically two months ago. And I have listened to nothing else. Literally.

So here it is: my track-by-track, loving review of Ultraviolence. (I have not included the bonus tracks, as I’ve only downloaded these slightly recently, and therefore don’t know them as well as the rest).

Cruel World

The opener of the album. Melodious, sad, ethereal sounding. The perfect pace for swinging your head from side to side, like in a trance (am I the only one that does that when listening to Lana??). Cruel World is probably the best song to open the album, as it uses the motif of her infamous ‘red party dress’ (as mentioned in Summertime Sadness, Carmen, Off to the Races and other songs), as well as being ‘young, wild and free’, which was a motif in the ending monologue of the Ride music video. (Y’know, ‘Lie fast.Die young. Be wild…I am free’
By using these, I was instantly drawn back into the world of Lanaland, mesmerized and ready to fully immerse myself in the rest of the album.


Wow. This is one of those songs that you need to learn all the lyrics too, just so you can sing along to it. This song, about Lana being in an abusive, hurtful relationship but continuing to love the man, nearly breaks my heart every time I hear it, ‘he hit me and it felt like a kiss’. I actually looked up this song and found out it was about a cult, led by the man ‘Jim’ (which explains the quite literal line in the bridge, ‘you’re my cult leader’). Lana said in Grazia interview “I used to be a member of an underground sect which was reigned by a guru. He surrounded himself with young girls. He thought that he had to break people first to build them up again. At the end I quit the sect.”. This meaning makes the song so much more impacting in my opinion, as it shows Lana as being slightly brainwashed with the love-hate of this destructive relationship (‘brainwashing’ being something cults are quite infamous for).

I also love the literary allusions in this song. In Clockwork Orange, it means random and/or horrible acts of violence. This is clearly the emotional and physical abuse Lana is feeling. By Jim calling her ‘poison ivy’ and ‘deadly nightshade’ it also shows the emotional abuse and brainwashing, by him making her think of herself as ‘evil’ and therefore deserving of what she gets. Basically, the more I listen to his song, and study this song, and analyse this song, the more amazed I am by it. One of my favourite songs of the album

Shades of Cool

Hmm…this isn’t one of my favourite songs, but I know that my opinion is quite an unpopular one. For all my friends, Shades of Cool is one of their favourite songs. However, we all agree the music video is atrocious. The effects…
It’s very James Bonds-y, and blues-y-ish. While it’s not my favourite, I still listen to it, and when I’m a particular mood, even enjoy it and listen to it on repeat. It might grow on me the more I listen to it, the way it is with some Lana songs.

Brooklyn Baby

A feel-good, sing-a-long, mostly cheery song that I love a lot. Apparently, it’s meant to be a cynical satire piece on the ‘cool kids’ in Brooklyn, mocking their ‘Beat poetry‘ and ‘hydroponic weed‘. Nevertheless, it’s got a good walking piece, and I like the little guitar riff throughout the song. I also am a huge fan of Barrie James O’Neill’s voice (Lana’s ex-boyfriend), so I like his contribution on the last chorus. Despite their voices being very different, they harmonize really well together. Apart from Florida Kilos, the most upbeat song of the album, and a fun one to listen too.

West Coast

I love this song. I love the jarring, sudden changing in tempos, instrumental (the fast tempo verses being very drum-heavy, while the slow chorus is set against a prominent, repetitive bluesy guitar), and change in voice, from eager-sounding and slightly staccato to a long, heavy drawl. It’s a vintage ballad sound with a post-modern structure. Immersing to listen to, and a song that I can listen to over and over and over without getting bored of, because it has such an interesting and unique sound. I’m also a huge fan of the video, especially the parts with Lana in the car, looking stunning and smoking a cigarette.

Sad Girl

Some Lana at it’s best. An Old Hollywood tortured and heartbroken lounge singer crying out her woes in the form of a melodious and entrancing track. This song best sums up Lana’s basis for her music – sadness and badness, “I’m a sad girl…I’m a bad girl”. She’s wild, she’s young, she’s free-spirited…and she’s broken.  It’s also a flip of the bird for all the critics who criticize for these very traits, “watch what you say to me, careful who you’re talking too’.

Pretty When You Cry

Another song that makes me want to cry listening to it. The melody is smooth and dulcet, soothing to listen to. The lyrics are anything but…“I’ll wait for you, babe. It’s all I do, babe. Don’t come through, babe. You never do.” The bridge itself sums up the story of this song and indeed, of many Lana songs. Giving yourself to someone who doesn’t give back equally. The inflection-heavy singing is the result of a one-take track, “The way you heard it recorded is the way I freestyled it…Like the vocal inflection has its own narrative, it’s not all lyric drive, it’s just kind of moments in time that are meaningful to me left as they were, kind of untouched.”- Lana.

Money Power Glory

MONEY. POWER. GLOOOOOOOOOOOORY. ALL YOUR MONEY. YOUR POWER. AND GLOOOOOORRRRRYYYY!!!!! Probably my favourite song on the entire album, just for the absolute freedom and ecstatic feeling it gives me to scream alongside it. I don’t even know what else I can say about it without writing an entire essay and spilling out all my feelings and dreams. Basically: if you haven’t heard it yet, go listen to it immediately.

Fucked My Way Up To The Top

A blatant confrontation to everyone and anyone who’s ever accused Lana of doing this in her career. One thing I love about Lana is her satirical songs, and how I’m sure they just embarrass whoever they’re about. Apparently, this song is also “about a singer who first sneered about my allegedly not authentic style but later she stole and copied it.”-Lana. The most popular speculation is either Lady Gaga, or some say Lorde, which seems a bit funky to me. This song is also just ridiculously catchy and scandalous enough to be able to listen to other and other without getting tired of it.

Old Money

Aw. Slower and more piano-based than some of the other tracks on Ultraviolence, and it offers such a lovely, sad, woeful contrast to the album, especially after FMWUTOTT. Weepy and doe-eyed sounding, yet also hopeful in the way PWYC was hopeless. A perfect song to listen to to up your mood, despite the slow melody and somber-sounding singing. In a word: romantic. (Despite it being based around money?? How does she even do that?)

The Other Woman

Nina Simone’s version is lovely. They’re both very different. Nina’s is more stripped down and simple, more upbeat than Lana’s layered, drawled version. Probably a much disputed opinion, but personally I enjoy Lana’s version more. In my opinion, it’s a song you have to actively sit down and listen to, to appreciate the lovely flowing melody and the sad lyrics, otherwise it can tend to sound similar to whining in a distracted pair of ears. A very nice song to end the album on, though, as it has a sort of ‘definite’ end.


So that’s it! My mostly musically un-educated, very Lana-loving biased review of her newest album Ultraviolence. If you guys like this, I’ll do another with the bonus tracks and some of my other face Lana songs. Or any other albums or artists you want.


-Chelsey xo





eBay Gems!!!!

Hello all!!

I LOVE eBay! The widest variety of products on any online store, cheap as chips, a million dupes for high end products, and you can always find whatever it is you’re looking for.
As mentioned in my earlier post, I mentioned a Facebook group called ‘Makeup Obsessives’. These absolute gems of a lip product have been popping up there occasionally, and at only $1.50NZD each and with free shipping (I know, right?!), I decided to give these lip-matte-cream-things a whirl. I ordered my lot of ten lip creams from the eBay user b2company, and I received my order about 3 weeks later (with free shipping, I’m not complaining).

I LOVE THEM!!! Amazing colours, so, so pigmented and creamy and easy to apply and work with!! They’re technically not designed to be dupes for anything (as is the case for some eBay products) but I consider them to be similar to LimeCrimes, if not creamier. In fact, my LimeCrime Wicked was a disaster (long, sad, embarrassing story) the last time I wore it, so I’ve steered clear of it for the last couple of weeks. Despite only getting them a couple of days ago, and only testing them properly once, I feel like I prefer these.

lip creams ebay


(I would apologize for the flash that the metallic writing gave, it wouldn’t go away no matter how many filters I layered on it – just think of it for symbolism of how heavenly and glowing these are)

From b2company, the colours are as follow, from left to right –
Number 18 (the only one I’ve had a chance to wear and I LOVE! Lasted all day, about 8 hours, only had to touch up once, and that was after eating a giant burger/milkshake/fries (oops, sorry diet) Kylie Jenner matte nude dupe!!)
-Number 25
-Number 28
-Number 35

-Number 6
-Number 10 (I haven’t tried this actually on yet, but from swatching it it was the only one to not apply smoothly and felt slightly chalky and transparent. I’m not sure if it’s just a dud, or if all of them in this colour shade are similar)
-Number 20 (I love this)
-Number 22 (THIS COLOUR!!! On the bottle it’s like a dull-ish purple and didn’t even look twice at it but then – – INSIDE!! I AM SO BEYOND EXCITED TO WEAR THIS COLOUR!!! So vampy and creamy and dark and sultry and yes!!!!)
-Number 7
-Number 8 (Beautiful red, almost a mix between LimeCrime Red Velvet and Wicked)

Here are the swatches on my wrist (yes, that is my wrist, despite looking like some messed up random chicken-leg-shaped limb), in the same order as the bottles (containers? cases? glass tube things??) above:

hand swatches ebay lip creams

Definitely purchase!! Again, I haven’t done much more than swatch the majority of the shades, but if the first couple of tries are anything to go by, this product is perf.

I wanted to do swatches on my lips, but another great thing about these lip creams is that they last all day – and are super hard to get off. They leave a slight tint of whatever colour even after cleansing, and therefore I wouldn’t be able to get clean swatches of them all. Watch this space though! I’ll definitely be posting up photos features these little beauties.

Thank you so much for reading, and see you next time
-Chelsey xo

P.S. Is there anything you think I should be doing? Anything you want to see? Tell me!! I’m dying to know what everyone thinks, and what I can do to improve this blog 🙂

Chelsey’s Choices – 13/07

Welcome to the first of what will be many Chelsey’s Choices (yes I’m aware of how lame I am), and what is to be a regular post series on Obdurate. As a make up fanatic and somewhat with a somewhat poor attention span, my must-have Holy Grail products are many and change with each new purchase, or day, or even just a new passing thought.

So, without further ado, here are my current Holy Grail products:

matte top coat

While not strictly make up, this OPI Matte Top Coat (Available from Farmers at RRP$19.95). I have been lusting after a Matte Top Coat for ages now, and this OPI one ticks all the boxes. Since purchasing it four days ago, I have already repainted my nails about five times, and have been ecstatic with the results each time. Quick drying with a smooth feeling afterwards. Doesn’t chip easily – however shows flaws in actual colour painting, so you have to make sure to apply the colour properly and neatly.

jessup brushes

Jessup brushes!! Jessup brushes are the cheap, Sigma-dupes that are taking eBay by storm, for the amazing prices of approximiately $20 for ten brushes. I purchased my set of ten Jessup brushes from eBay user ‘misskingdom001’, and received my brushes four days after ordering (and they did come all the way from Hong Kong!). I’ll do an in-depth Jessup brush review in a later post, but I’d just thought I’d share my favourite brush from the set at the moment. I use this small, round-topped brush for concealer under my eyes and on any blemishes, and it blends like a dream. I use this brush every day, it’s dense, soft, and dries within two hours of use (a plus for constant usage).

mac haute and naughty

My current favourite MAC mascara is MAC Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash, RRP$45. It has two brushes, the first for a ‘natural’ look, and the second for a ‘dramatic’ look. The combined brushes make my lashes super long and thick, extremely dark, and, despite the thick wand, it doesn’t clump. The first, ‘natural’ brush is also my always-and-forever favourite for my lower lashes, as it gives them length and curl without going into a bold, Twiggy-esque area.

chi chi fabulous and flawless

After my old liquid foundation went orange and disgusting, I was faced with the difficult decision of finding a new one. Originally I wanted (and still do want) the MAC Mineralize Moisture, but at about $70 dollars, it was too expensive for this poor little student (my woes told in my previous post). I ended up purchasing Chi Chi Fabulous and Flawless Foundation in Fair (available at chichicosmetics.com for $29.95) – and it’s amazing!! It offers comprehensive comparisons on Pink undertoned and Yellow under-toned shades, goes on smoothly, is easily buildable, and doesn’t streak. It also lasts all day, especially when used with primer and powder. I apply it with either a Jessup foundation flat-topped brush, or the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, and both applications give similar results. The finish of this foundation is slightly dewey (which is my preferance), but can easily be made matte with a powder foundation (not so much just loose powder).

ultrabland cleanser

Ultrabland, my new Holy Grail cleanser! Perfect for sensitive skin, pleasant honey smell and easy to use. Removes all make up easily and just really feels gentle when you are using it. My only issue is that it doesn’t always remove all my mascara the first time – however if I brush the product on my eyelashes with a finger and pinch them lightly with a damp paper towel, any remaining residue comes off easily.

And that wraps up the first post – but don’t worry, I’ve got millions of other favourite products that I can’t wait to share

-Chelsey xo

*All prices here are New Zealand prices and currency, in case of any confusion. Yes, our makeup rates are crazy expensive and stupid*

*Also excuse my prehistoric phone and photo quality*

Things I should not be buying…

Nothing makes me feel more like the poor student I am than trying to do homework while wistfully clicking through online shopping sites…

I’ve always found it easy getting a job. Somehow wherever I email seems to be hiring, and usually they want someone quickly and at minimum wage (ME!). Yet despite getting them quickly, I always seem to get hired by a place that is ‘moving to full time workers only’, ‘wanting to “re-vamp” their place’ or, as my last one, just SHUTTING down abruptly. And now, at 17, I am once again (for the THIRD time) unemployed, and this time, having trouble finding a new one.

So despite my couple of hundred dollars left over from my last job, I am wary of touching this as 1) I don’t know when I’m going to get another job and 2) I really, really actually wanted to save this money. But wariness aside…I touch it anyway.

Things I should not be buying as a poor, unemployed student but continue to  anyway as I am a weak little girl, by Chelsey J

  • Makeup – So, I’m a new member of a Facebook group called ‘Makeup Obsessives’ where members can post make up pics, advice, questions and their own make up collections. As a positive result of joining this group, I have learnt many new sneaky tips and tricks to applying my make up. As a negative result of joining this group, I have spent more money on make up in the past few months I’ve been a member of the group, than I have in the past two or three years.
  • Food – This is a double bad thing for me as I am also trying to diet. However, with the KFC Double Down back in New Zealand for a ‘limited time’ only, I found myself forking out ten bucks of my valuable saving money for two uncrispy pieces of chicken, over processed cold cheese, and limp ham-bacon. I’m not sure what part of me feels more regretful for that mistake-my wallet, or my thighs.
  • Earrings – Half my mornings I’m too rushed to even remember earrings. When I do, my ears get so uncomfortable that I end up taking them off and shoving them in my bag, where one of them ends up getting lost. Always. Which means that I have to buy another pair of studs, and then the process is repeated. Again. And again. (This process is also repeated on objects like socks, lip balms, hair clips and hair ties. I’m bad at keeping track of things, ok?)
  • Books – Now, I am not a fan of buying books. Why bother buying, when you can just get it out from the library? Well, as someone with a recent seventy dollar library fine, I’ve been finding myself rather buying new books than facing that horrendous bill.
  • Dinners – Now, this is not the same thing as food. Food is like, chips or burgers or coffees when I’m hungry and out and easily swayed by tempting smells. Dinners is something me and my friends do all the time as a social event, which was fine when I was working, but damaging to my bank balance now. It usually ends up with me ordering a side as a main, and water as a drink, to try and lower the inevitable bill.
  • Credit – I do not have a phone plan. I am too lazy to sit in a Vodafone shop for an hour and create one. And I end up texting IOU every. Single. Month. I spend so much on phone credit, it’s beyond ridiculous. I call and use 3G when I really have no place, or cash, to do it. And so…

Now, this is not a comprehensive list, and there are many, many other things  dwindle my ever shrinking money on it. Until I find a new job, I just have to hope my debit card doesn’t get cut up anytime soon.

-Chelsey xoxo

About me

My name is Chelsey, and I have no idea how to run a blog.

However, running a blog is one of the things I’d most like to do, so I’m willing to try and run one (through a predicted mass of trial and error). My career aspiration is to be a magazine journalist, and a blog is somewhere where I can begin writing lifestyle pieces and exploring journalism as a step in that direction. This blog is going to have subjects from make up to music, basically anything that I find interesting and exciting enough to write about. 

 For my first post, I thought I’d share some fun, wonderful, random facts about myself (and hope that someone cares enough to read it!) 

  • I am 17 years old, and in my second-to-last-year of high school
  • I have three cats (Hope, Smegal and Ron) and a Shephard/Collie dog, Bono. I’m expecting that this blog will include alot of them (oops)
  • I love classic movies, classic fashion and classic icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo and more
  • I am a Taurus, but have self-decided that in fact, I relate more to Leo, and therefore will read only Leo horoscopes (apparently this is cheating, but I refuse to comply with all these harsh star sign laws)
  • I am currently unemployed (for one and a half months now – longest time ever since turning 16!) and am desperately searching for a new job, especially since all my remaining funds keep disappearing into online stores…
  • I am obsessed with Game of Thrones, and welcome any memorabilia that would like to be sent my way 😉
  • I am appreciative of Austin Butler and Paul Wesley’s faces

And….that is all I can think of about myself! Without going into the gory or TMI details! I’ve just ordered a bunch of fun things online, so I’m hoping to do my next post about the mysterious eBay lip glosses I just bought!