August’s Drugstore Makeup Products That Don’t Suck

by Callie Taylor


On a college budget, buying the right makeup products can be a real struggle. Some drugstore brands are across the board fantastic and other brands have products that often miss the mark. I am an absolute amateur at makeup but I am on a college budget so I’m an expert on about half of this article. But really, these are some of the cheaper products that aren’t horrible to your face or your wallet.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Luscious Mascara 

 

I’m the kind of girl that has one mascara for about three months at a time and then switches to a new one. My normal go to is Covergirl’s Lashblast Fusion which is the purple one and it’s a pretty good. I went out on a friend’s recommendation for this one because her mascara is literally always on point and I’m pretty glad I did. Warning though, this ends up with a lot of product on the brush and it is almost a requirement to wipe off even a little to discourage clumping. I’ve been pretty happy with this one and will probably stick with it in the future.

 

 

Nyx Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick

 

 

These things have SAVED my life so many times. I am awful with lipstick and tend to be horrible at applying it. Liquid lipstick tends to be kinder when it comes to application. I tend to rely on the two layers of it, but the stuff stays. I work in a restaurant and I rarely ever have it starting to come off by the end of the night. Go-to color for me is Soft-Spoken because it’s one of the more nude colors but with a nice pink to it. I may or may not own likes four of these in varying colors.

 

 

 

Revlon Colorstay Skinny Liquid Liner

 

 

Liquid liner has never been so easier to master than with this. This eyeliner was my response to finding out that it would be very financially irresponsible for me to buy that Stila eyeliner I’ve had my eyes on for forever. The thin tip is amazing for application and is very easy to control. Thanks to it’s thinness any mess-ups requiring you to go back to thicken the lines and cover up mistakes don’t immediately render racoon eyes.

 

 

 

 

L’Oreal Brow Stylist Designer Brow Pencil

 

 

I’m really bad with eyebrows. Like, really bad. This dumb pencil is a God send for whenever I do get up the courage for attempting the monstrosity that sits above my eyes. It’s pretty user-friendly and really hard to mess up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

E.l.f. Moisturizing Lipstick

 

 

WOOOO VEGAN!! E.l.f. Products are cruelty-free and vegan and super super cheap. Literally this lipstick is three dollars and change. Like, wow. It’s not the best lipstick you’ll ever buy when you’re in a pinch and need some color and quick, it’s not too bad either.

New Music Monday: August 1st

by Callie Taylor


Yikes, it’s been a while but we’re back! Enjoy my takes on this week’s on new music.

The Good

Closer – The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey

While Let Me Take A #Selfie took off when it came out, I never quite liked it and to be fair it was such an annoying song. Since then I have absolutely loved every new song that has come out by Chainsmokers. They mix amazing beats with amazing vocalists and have been killing it. This time they’ve teamed up with Halsey and it’s glorious. I only hope the rest of this week has just as good new tunes.

F*** Apologies – Jojo ft. Wiz Khalifa

Oh My GOOOOOOD. Let’s start off with if you get scorned by any lover in the near future, I want you to turn this song way up and stop caring. JoJo is back and it’s amazing. If this is the future of music from JoJo, I’m excited for any and all new stuff.

I Love You Always Forever – Betty Who

Betty Who is not well enough known for how gosh darn cute she is.

The Aight

Fresh Eyes – Andy Grammar

I liked this song, but I know I’ll definitely be skipping it come next month. It isn’t good enough to put on a playlist you’ll be using in two months, but it’s okay for now.

In The Name Of Love – Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha

Same as above, it wasn’t bad, but I won’t be adding it to any personal playlists anytime soon.

Three Empty Words – Shawn Mendes

Normally I’m a sucker for this teen heart throb, but this song just didn’t do it for me. I can see how it could be enjoyable to some but it just doesn’t do it for me. Whoops. Still pretty though!

The Bad

Cute – D.R.A.M.

No words for this one. Had potential. Didn’t cut it for me. I liked some parts, but after the second Pokemon reference I kind of started to strongly dislike this song.

Spacin Out – The Mowglis

I love the Mowglis, I do, so it was a disappointment when I started to listen to this and almost immediately went to go skip it. It doesn’t help that I’m pretty sure this song doesn’t know if it wants to be a song or not but, whoops.

Fake It – Bastille

Good Grief was so good that I guess it was about time for an only okay new song from Bastille. Still excited for that album though. This song had its good points but it was overall pretty lackluster. I expected more, so I’ve stuck it in this week’s musical time out. I don’t want to wait for three minutes to get to a good part of a song.

Report Card: Archer Season 7

by Jonah King


Overall Rating: B-

Through seven seasons of Archer, I don’t think I could ever give a season a C or below. If you like the show by the first episode, then you’ll like the series from start to finish. That being said, some seasons are better than others.

This season of Archer brought the team to LA as private investigators and much like season 5 of Archer Vice, Archer and company follow a somewhat linear plot path with an occasional detour. I feel similarly about season 7 of Atv cartoon archer win winrcher PI as I do to Archer Vice. While I mostly enjoyed the season, I find the show more hilarious week to week when the agents are on some ridiculous mission albeit on a train, a blimp, a submarine, or in space.

Each season usually has a few memorable characters and episodes. For season 7, it was definitely the two-part clown fiasco.

The Ending: C+

Can’t go into detail about the ending of the season because SPOILER ALERT, something obviously major happens. Being that it’s a cliffhanger ending, questions about if and when there’s a season 8 have me frustrated. 

Archer and Lana’s Functionally Dysfunctional Relationship: B+

The dysfunction in Archer and Lana’s relationship has been at an all time high in season 7 and carries a lot of the episodes.

The Unsupportive Cast: C+

The brigade of lovable losers including Cyril, Cheryl, Ray, Krieger, and Pam (whom I hate yet everyone ADORES for some reason), have found themselves among the misadventures of season 7, but haven’t really struck a prominent role like we’ve seen in the past. The driving narrative of Veronica Deane has left Cheryl and Pam to occasional hit or miss one liners.

I added the + for the return of Terminator Barry. Though I do miss OG Barry. 

Length of Season: F

I say F because I’m not sure if there’s a such thing as an F-. If you already have an F, what’s the point of the minus? Anyways, 10 EPISODES!?!?!? Are you *expletive* kidding me!? At least give me a two hour finale to make up for the lost episodes. Or to that point, let’s get a live Archer movie! Who do we cast? Former James Bond: Daniel Craig? Google suggestion for Archer lookalikes: Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Animation: A+

The animation for the show has constantly improved from season to season and after reading a long piece from the animators of the show, I see it as my due diligence to point out the animation this season is top tier. The stylistic art of Archer is so impressionable, but how the animators make the characters come to life, especially with their subtle movements and gestures has made the show such a great watch over the years.

If you have a suggestion for who we should grade next, leave a comment! Otherwise, you know I’ll be back again for season 8.

Report Card: Captain America The Civil War

by Callie Taylor


Callie’s Card:

T’challa Making me Crazy: A+

I was totally worried when about half way through the film, T’Challa was still hell-bent on revenge and literally getting in the way of anything useful happening. By no means was it not 100% understandable, but the warrior side of T’Challa was completely overruling the King side and it was honestly just frustrating which is why I didn’t dock any points for it. Full points were awarded for the sheer bad-assery of Black Panther. Not to mention the crazy emotional development of refusing to kill Zemo and letting his King side really shine through. I think the MCU T’Challa is going to be mostly about making the tough calls. I hope it will be a lot of fighting to balance the warrior and king parts of him and truly become the king and hero his country needs.

Also, because I loved how they handled Spider-man as well, I’ve given this subject the plus because I didn’t feel like he had enough screen time to have his own paragraph. That being said, Spiderman is my second favorite hero and I almost cried because he was so perfect. He was perfectly nerdy, perfectly still figuring out his powers and strengths and yet getting a little cocky. I loved it. It was like reading his comic. Props to the Russo Bros. The moment where you realize he’s one of the only ones to be able to go against Bucky’s metal arm with his own? Perfect.

Using  Lack of Communication as a plot device: C+

So many of the problems that arose from the characters just being awful at communication. I can understand pride getting in the way and affecting how people react to different news and ideas, but so so many of the problems were because of really silly little communication issues and after about the sixth time that acting on impulse rather than being a responsible adult and talking to your coworkers about a problem caused people to die and a tragedy to happen, I was pretty done. It was so easy for the villian to manipulate them with that and at some point it just got old and annoying. They have so much technology and can’t even manage a group chat to talk about their feelings? You are a team, guys. I’m tired of the plot being that you guys don’t know how to act like one.

No Awkward Forced Romances: B+

There was only one or two awkward references to the weird possible or maybe existing relationship of Black Widow and Hulk. I could’ve honestly been happier if they just hadn’t mentioned Hulk altogether if they were just going to push that weird pairing. Once again, there were a bunch of cute little nods to the budding relationship between Vision and Wanda Maximoff and it didn’t end so well in the comics but maybe the MCU is the place they get their cute happy ending without Wanda losing her marbles. I was always a fan of those two before things went sideways. ALSO STEVE ROGERS KISSING THE GRANDDAUGHTER OF PEGGY IS SO GROSS. At least Peggy was in the ground before you made the move, right?

Those Fight Scenes Tho: A

I had a problem with Avengers 2 that some of the CGI and fight scenes were lazy and I was so worried that the big fight in a parking lot was going to be another dud. I was pretty wrong. Part of what made the fight scenes so great is that they really stuck to what made each superhero themselves. Everyone had their different fighting styles and the attention paid to it in even the huge fight scenes was pretty nice. The fights and action scenes in this movie were pretty satisfying and there wasn’t one that I didn’t enjoy.

Civil War GPA: 3.5, B+

Thoroughly enjoyable and well worth the watch.

New Music Monday: The Good, Bad, and Inbetween

by Callie Taylor


For any students who don’t have a student account at Spotify, first of all, you’re missing out. There is nothing more lovely than streaming music without commercial breaks from 7-up constantly interrupting your jam sessions. Spotify has certainly branched out from just being a music streaming service however and they provide several user and company made playlists. Among these are playlists based off of genres, moods, what you listen to, and even just piles of the new music that came out that week. So you don’t have to, I’ve tasked myself with listening to Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist to discern which songs are worth it, not, and could possibly be good if you like things like that.

First off, the good pile:

This One’s For You ft. Zara Larsson by David Guetta

I expect this song to be on most pop stations by the end of the summer and probably featured in Sorority  summer recap and recruitment videos all across the nation. Zara Larsson has consistently good and strong vocals in all the songs that she’s been a part of. Mix her strong and endearing vocals with a song by David Guetta and you have a pretty guaranteed summertime hit. Now, this isn’t discounting the fact that the noise that he uses for the drop is one of the most annoying noises I think I’ve ever heard on a pop-electronic song, but I feel like I’d get used to it once it played about ten times.

She Wants Me Dead – CASETTE vs. AronChupa

This song is good. Just listen to it.

The don’t bother pile:

Me Too by Meghan Trainor

I think her falling during The Tonight Show was karma for putting a song so awful into this Universe. I not only do not want to be you Meghan, I really wish you would stop forcing your music on us all. I’m glad you love yourself, because this is awful and since that one song you came out with like two summers ago about curves or whatever your music has been beginning to suck exponentially.

I Love LA

This song is so mediocre I don’t even know where to start. There’s nothing that made me even consider putting it on the maybe list and it isn’t that it sucks, but I’d never choose to listen to this song again. You might disagree though, listen for a better idea of what I mean

The Maybe pile:

All Time Low -Jon Bellion

It kills me to out this song in the maybe pile, because I loved it. I will admit that it might not be for everyone. It’s got the whiney and electronic instrument sound of Twenty One Pilots but without the veiled suicidal lyrics and more along the subject lines of a pop punk song.

For What It’s Worth by Kygo

Carry Me by Kygo

I put these both on the maybe playlist because I wasn’t sold on either of them, but Kygo has never treated me wrong before and I don’t hate them. They just aren’t AS good as some of the other things that he’s put out. I’d sooner listen to his song with Ed Sheeran from the Hobbit, but I also just love that song.

 

Side note: Yeah, this is a little overdue but life. Let me know if you guys disagree with any of the lists, or if you loved/hated a maybe song!

Graduation: A Letter to Catherine Kouretsos

by Antonio Permuy

“Catherine Kouretsos is quite possibly the best and closest friend I have at this campus and elsewhere.”

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In a very real sense, we’re each like the siblings we never had.

Cat was one of the first people I met at USFSP and within my first month on campus we became good friends, even letting me babysit her adorable cat, which I know shows how much she trusts me.

I often say that she’s the strongest person I know to the point where it’s cliché, but, as with most clichés, it also happens to be true. She’s the kind of person who can take on the world and win.

We have had a lot of fun together, but at the end of the day I look up to her.

Having gone through so much and always prevailing, she has brought tenacity to USFSP making everything she’s been a part of better, whether it be Student Government, HAB, or Stingray. We are a better campus because of her and she has a lot of potential and a bright future ahead.

I am so proud of and excited for you Cat! I can’t wait to see your future successes and I will miss having you around. I will always be grateful for all that you’ve helped me through and for being there from the start and reviving my faith in loyal friends.

I will always be there for you. Congratulations on graduation – you are not just a survivor, but a champion, and you’ve earned this!


Written by Antonio Permuy

Edited by Jonah King

If you’d like to give a special shoutout to a friend that’s graduating, email: jonahking@mail.usf.edu.

Until We Meet Again

by Jonah King


There’s a lot of extraordinary people that do many extraordinary things at USFSP, and it’s been a true blessing of mine to get to meet a lot of them. USFSP offers a unique opportunity to meet and know our professional staff, that the term, “professional staff” sounds pretty tacky. This is our St. Pete family, and just as we do as college students, they continue to grow and develop in their careers, while inspiring ours. We hope this isn’t as much of a goodbye, and more of a, until we meet again. But until that time, you all will be dearly missed.

Niko Walker

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I say if you can have these two things in your life, you’re doing pretty well for yourself: love and good food. Often for me, the two intertwine.

Pizza, wings, pasta, all my personal favorites. If Niko makes it, I’m bout it. You can never undersell someone who knows how to cook a good meal.

And just for you Niko, go (Chicago) Bulls!

Melanie Bullock

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Melanie has this quality of being magnetic, where young student leaders want to be around her looking for that needed energy and positivity. What makes Melanie so special to the identity of USFSP is that not only she can and will do anything she sets her mind to, but that she’ll convince others to trust in themselves to achieve their own goals and dreams.

If you want to really know about Melanie, there’s at least 50 student leaders on campus who will talk about the energy and joy she brought to our campus. Not embellishing on that number, trust me.

Gardiner Tuck

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Better known by his codename “Tuck”. Like Melanie, Tuck has a special quality that few master in their lifetime, he is a great listener. Tuck has always been present for the USFSP community, especially the students. Having someone like Tuck is beyond valuable to grasp and comprehend the student’s voices that don’t always make it to the highest totems of administration. We will dearly miss you Tuck, and wish you all the best.

There’s more staff members and graduate assistants that are moving on that I myself do not have the proper words or sendoff for, but we wish them all the best. If you have some words for a staff member, professor, or friend of yours that’s graduating, and you would like to write a short piece for them to be featured on our site, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Cover photo and photo of Niko by The Reef (Sodexo)

Photos of Melanie and Tuck by USFSP Connect

Facebook Messenger’s New Rage Infuriating Feature

by Jonah King

When Alan set a new high score in Facebook Messenger Basketball (now held by Jessie), I sought a new life mission. I had to get the highest point total in Connect’s Facebook group chat.
So this is what Connect does? They have Facebook group chats where they flick basketballs towards a hoop in hopes that their high score will be the new margin of excellence.

That is exactly what we do. And once you start doing it, you’ll be doing the same thing too at work, in class, on I-275 (not recommended, in fact, please don’t).basketball facebook

How do you access this majestically crafted feature? First, you need the Facebook messenger app. Sorry laptop users, mobile devices only.

Start a chat with anyone, Peter from work, Nicole from class, your fantasy football group chat. Go to your emoji keyboard, and find the basketball and send it to the chat. Tap on it, and you’ll be transported to a dimension where it’s you, a basketball, and a hoop. Flick towards the hoop and you’re on your way to heartbreak and furious anger as Sammy Jackson would say.

sam jacksonTo the left is an accurate portrayal of my reaction to losing a 21 point streak.

You score points by getting the baskets. Duh. You rack up points so long as you keep making shots without missing. You miss? Kaput. Back to square zero, start over. And then you look at your screen and your finger trying to figure out what is wrong with yourself.

Once you get 10 in a row, the basket moves left to right Chuck E. Cheese arcade style. When you get to 20, the hoop moves faster. No one I know has seen 30.

The rim is not very forgiving, and is the most rage inducing feature of the game. I feel like Dwight Howard if Dwight Howard actually practiced free throw shooting. It’s awful.houston rockets james harden dwight howard dwight howard and james harden

Some say if you keep saying Stephen Curry you’ll improve your shooting stroke and overall focus, but studies have yet to declare this scientific. I’ve tried a few forms of flicking myself for better performance. It typically ends with me flicking off the screen.

Please do this with your friends, share my pain and sorrow, that’s all I really want.

Report Card: Deadpool

by Jonah King and Callie Taylor


Report Card is a new Connect series where the team brings out their red pens and critical opinions to grade movies, shows, music, or anything worth your attention. First up, Marvel’s box office smash: Deadpool.

Jonah’s Card

Ryan Reynolds Backside: A-

Someone told me you could get a moments of view of Reynolds’ chonga but I didn’t see it. Reynolds’ rear didn’t hide from the camera though stealing several scenes.

Amount of laughter: C

I chuckled every now and again. There weren’t any big LOL moments or stinging zingers that caught my attention. It was as if there was more storytelling and character building and plot development than standard comedy, which is good and bad.  

Villain: D-

What is his name? Ajax? Francis? Either way he was pretty lame besides being a tortuous fiend.  

Love Story?: C+

Why is there a love story in Deadpool? It’s an origin story? Ohhhhh. I get it. It was actually pretty well done as far as modern lovemaking goes with two quirky people, refreshing to see well portrayed in cinema without getting gimmicky.

Use of DMX’s X Gon Give it to Ya: A+

Stop! Drop! Open up shop! Ah damnit that’s the other one..  

Overall: B-

Deadpool is that kid everyone knows is smart and he applies himself, but he hasn’t really studied hard enough to get the A. So for the final exam he sits in the back corner next to the other kid and picks off a few answers every 5 minutes or so. Good movie, not memorable, pray for a really good sequel.

Callie’s Card

Ryan Reynolds Backside: A+

There’s something about the suits that are used in superhero movies that perfectly mirrors the amount of butt in the actual comics. Bless Ryan Reynolds and whatever regimen he used to get into anti-hero shape because that booty was very nice. If you were like me, and definitely got a glimpse of that “chonga” Jonah missed during the Project X fire scene, you probably understand my conflicted feelings of being distracted from what should have been an intense scene.

Amount of laughter: B

I actually laughed, quite a bit. The humor was definitely childish, inappropriate, and they made good use of their R-rating. The jokes were obnoxious but perfect for Deadpool. I thought it was hilarious and well-fitting, but I can easily see how someone can not get the humor and or start rolling their eyes half way through. The only real funny parts I disliked were the copious jokes about Francis/Ajax although the decapitation head spelling part definitely got me.

Villain: F

For someone who was supposed to be this horrible villain for the sake of him being a horrible person, Ajax/Francis/Mr. Clean, was an awful villain. I appreciated that he was a person without morals, but he had absolutely nothing to back it up. He waseasily beat and I was much more interested in Cyborg’s character. I almost wish she had traded places with Ajax. She was more powerful, funnier, and overall more interesting.

Love Story that rivals a Nick Sparks novel: B+

First of all, let me start with that I love Morena Baccarin and have ever since she was in Firefly. She was brilliant in Deadpool, and if any woman could love the Wade Wilson presented in this movie, it was her. It was messed up, witty, and cringy, but they were perfect for each other. I definitely teared up when he found out he had cancer even though I knew it was coming. I supportit more than I support Jack and Rose. 

X-men Appearances and X-men Brand Hand-jobs : B-

Lowkey, the X-men are my favorite part of Marvel and anytime they appear on screen and it isn’t as terrible as that third movie and/or the Wolverine Origins movie that belongs in the same “didn’t happen” alternate universe that Bridge to Terabithia and the Avatar: The Last Airbender” exist in (The never should’ve been made universe). That being said, I appreciated the amount of references and screen-time that they got. From the first moment that someone very dramatically said the word mutant, a word Disney Marvel can’t, I knew it was going to be an X-men brand love-fest. Now, I did get tired of it in a few places and there were times I rolled my eyes instead of laughing, but I appreciated the sentiment none the less.

Overall: B
I was really worried that this movie would be too much, that the writing would be awful, and they would try entirely too hard. They tried just hard enough that it was painful, but still funny. I enjoyed the movie as a whole and it was a good portrayal of not only Deadpool, but the secondary characters like Negasonic Teenage Airhead were also witty. I enjoyed the mix of origin story and actual story. It’s a lot, but in a good way.