Ditch Botox & Eat Collagen-Boosting Foods Instead

63993742 - happy young woman holding oranges on a yellow background

Photo courtesy of nutritiouslife.com

Collagen is one of the most important factors when it comes to having beautiful skin. Collagen production helps with acne and wrinkles, however, as the years go by collagen production decreases which makes wrinkles and crepes appear and even healing from wounds will take longer or scar. So how can one pause the hands of time? With a little help from foods that help boost collagen production, you can increase the chances of combating fine lines and have less scarring.

So nix the Botox and try these collagen-boosting foods to help promote not just younger skin, but healthier skin too (because bad skin happens at any age).

Vitamin C

This vitamin is found in many citrus foods such as oranges, kiwis, and pineapples.

Copper

Found in rich foods such as organ meats (livers, hearts, etc.), cocoa powder, and portabella mushrooms

Glycine

This is found in foods such as gelatin, chicken skin, and pork skin.

Zinc

This vitamin can be found in foods such as oysters, beef, and crabs.

As you can see there are many food options out there to help you include more collagen-boosting foods into your diet, so whether you’re vegan, or wish to eat less meat, you can find a way to choose a serving of these foods at least once a day.

Eat your way to beautiful skin and you won’t have to resort to unnatural ways of keeping it looking good!

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

Review: Tarte – Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara

img_1326

It was my birthday recently (January 8 like the awesome David Bowie & Elvis), and so I stopped by Sephora to get my free birthday gift. While I was there I saw this new Tarte mascara and since I’ve liked other mascaras from Tarte in the past, I decided to give this one a go. Especially since this one promised that it was the “wonder-bra of mascaras.” With that kind of promise, how could I NOT want to have the Pamela Anderson of lashes, right?

What It Is: 4-in-1 Mascara

What It Does: Lengthens, curls, volumizes, and conditions

Active Ingredients: Plant Waxes, Rice Bran, and Olive Esters

Verdict: All right, my only real gripe with this product isn’t the product per se, but the packaging. I’m not a fan of mascara wands that are bulky, cause it makes for a difficult application, I prefer sleeker packaging. And this packaging is way too bulky for my tastes. Apart from the packaging, this mascara is AMAZING. It truly does help with creating longer and curlier lashes. This mascara doesn’t dry your lashes out, probably cause of the olive esters that help condition the lashes. Even if you have puny lashes, this product will pump them up like you wouldn’t know! What I love about this mascara most, is that it really amps up your lashes, it gives you that false lashes look without having to wear falsies! I truly recommend in checking this one out if you get the chance. It’s easily become one of my favourite mascaras.

Price: $23

Where To Buy It: Sephora

img_1329

Lashes using the Tarte Mascara, no primer, just the mascara

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

Book Review: A Danger To Herself & Others by Alyssa Sheinmel

danger

Four walls. One window. No way to escape.

Release Date: February 5, 2019

Pre-Order on Amazon

Price: $17.99 (for hardcover)

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Plot Summary:

Hannah knows there’s been a mistake, She doesn’t need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at that summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctor and judge figure out that she isn’t a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. Those college applications aren’t going to write themselves. Until then, she’s determined to win over the staff and earn some privileges so she doesn’t lose her mind to boredom.
Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage, and she’s the perfect project to keep Hannah’s focus off all she is missing at home. But Lucy may be the one person who can get Hannah to confront the secrets she’s avoiding-and the dangerous games that landed her in confinement in the first place.

Grade: A

Review:

It’s been a recent trend lately where the female protagonists are named Hannah (think Thirteen Reasons Why, Pretty Little Liars, Hanna Fell From The Sky) in novels, and both films and shows haven’t been immune to this phenomenon either (think Girls, Hanna, and recently The Exorcism of Hannah Grace). So when I started reading this novel I noticed that the protagonist’s name was Hannah, I somewhat groaned. I hope you five me, but I’ve overdosed on Hannahs as of late.

On the upside though, is that the author writes with such clarity and poise that I could forgive her naming the protagonist Hannah. And it helped that the story was narrated in the first person, meaning that the name would be used even less.

Apart from my dislike of the name choice, I really, really, REALLY enjoyed this book immensely. I don’t know what it says about me that I LOVE books that take place in any sort of mental institution whether it be contemporary fiction, nonfiction, or historical. I really enjoyed having the story being told by Hannah’s point of view. She’s smart, sarcastic, and somewhat manipulative. This is probably why the reader initially may believe Hannah into thinking that she has no place being in the mental institution, after all, her best friend Agnes falling out of the window could’ve been an accident, right? The majority of the book focuses on Hannah being stuck in the institute and finding a way to get out (but not as in breaking out but proving to the doctor that she’s sane). The reader receives hints and flashbacks and those are compelling enough to make one want to know what exactly happened the night that Agnes fell. Was Hannah to blame or has she been placed in the institute by mistake?

Some of the twists in the book I suspected, while others completely took me by surprise. It was one intense wild ride. If you’re into books about mental illness, asylums, deception, and unreliable narrators, then this book is right up your alley.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the digital ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

Review: Etude House Zero Sebum Drying Powder

img_1315

Oily skin has been the bane of existence since I hit puberty, and although many people assure me that having oily skin means that my skin will age slower (since essentially your skin is hydrated 24/7 and thus means fewer wrinkles will appear), trying to battle acne due to oily skin well into adulthood can be rather annoying. Not to mention that without any primers, any makeup I wear essentially melts off within three hours or so and if someone craves glowy skin, mine is like J.Lo’s glow phase times ten (meaning more an oil-slick than glow). So I’ve always been on the search for powder or cream that could help me keep my oily skin under control.

What It Is: Oil Control Sebum Powder

What It Does: Controls the production of oil on your skin.

Verdict: This product is what Urban Decay’s DeSlick wish it were. The thing is this powder WORKS. Even on uber oily skin as my own. The downfall? Well, apparently keeping the oil in check also means that my skin doesn’t breathe, so it actually broke me out more in areas of my face where I don’t usually breakout at. However, I may have used too much of the product, so I stopped using it for a week till my skin stopped freaking out and reused it again afterward using only a tiny amount and no breaking out occurred AND it kept my oil in check. So essentially if you’re looking for a powder that will help you curb your oiliness, then this is the way to go. Prior to this, I haven’t found one that actually works and I’ve used a billion others from various brands that provided no true results on the oil spill that is my skin. So, I’d recommend this product, however, use sparingly as it may break you out, but it DOES work on keeping oily skin at bay.

Price: $6.85

Where To Buy It: Amazon

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

Book Review: The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

dreamers

To sleep, perchance to dream….

Release Date: January 15, 2019

Pre-Order On Amazon

Price: $17.70 (hardcover)

Publisher: Random House

Plot Summary:

One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster.

Those affected by the illness, doctors discover, are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?

Written in luminous prose, The Dreamers is a breathtaking and beautiful novel, startling and provocative, about the possibilities contained within a human life—if only we are awakened to them.

Grade: A –

Review:

I’m not a fantasy or sci-fi genre reader, but nonetheless, when I read the blurb for this book about a whole town being plagued by a mysterious deep sleep, I was irrevocably intrigued and requested for an ARC. The writing in this book was lyrically beautiful and I did like the characters that were presented, although I wish that we were allowed to get to know some of them more on a personal level rather than only ever seeing them from a bird’s view perspective.

My only gripe with the book is that although many people got infected by the sleep disease, they eventually woke up, and we never understood what had caused them to wake up or if there was an inkling to a cure. My second issue was that it was alluded to that some of the sleepers spoke of how their dreams were visions of the future, and I would’ve enjoyed the book more if we could’ve known more about people’s dreams and how this sleep disease affected their brains, since some of the other sleepers didn’t have these same prophetic dreams.

I really enjoyed following the perspective of college Freshman Mei the most, probably because to me she was the most relatable in the sense of a girl trying to fit in but finding out that she didn’t fit in anywhere, not even in a time of crisis. I wished that she could’ve had a better story-arc as hers was the saddest, but I guess someone had to be the tragic heroine in the novel, and poor Mei was the one for this one.

I recommend this book if you’re interested in dystopian novels or are fascinated by dreams or comas and how that affects people, as that’s what had drawn me into the book. The writing as I mentioned above is top-notch, and it reads like a fairytale of sorts. It has a dreamy quality to it and maybe in that way the author managed to have the reader feel that blissful-balmy sleep that befell the college town of Santa Lora.

The Dreamers is essentially A Mid-Summer’s Night Dream with a twist, and if you enjoy mesmerizing writing, then this book is for you.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Random House for the digital ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

Book Review: Witchcraft and Monsters by Kala Godin

monster

“We may be good at burying things. But we aren’t gravediggers.”

Release Date: January 21, 2019

Pre-Order on Amazon

Price: $4

Publisher: Patchwork Press

Plot Summary:

If there’s anything Kala knows, it’s monsters.
Witchcraft and Monsters is a debut poetry collection by Kala Godin.

Kala understands that the human body can be its own kind of monster. She knows the way strangers both see her and don’t.
There is magic in everything we do.
And there are monsters in each of us.

This collection is broken into five parts.
Witchcraft.
Fairytales.
Bodies.
Bad ideas.
Endings.

Grade: A

Review:

Ever since Rupi Kaur and Lang Leav came to the scene, they’ve officially made poetry cool and the rise of poetry collections that can be found today are astounding. Poetry is having a golden age again, mostly thanks to Instagram where people share and repost bite-size poems. Since so many poetry collections have adopted the simplicity that made both Kaur and Leav famous, I was expecting to get relatively short poems in Kala Godin’s Witchcraft and Monsters poetry collection, but that wasn’t the case at all. These poems are a bit lengthier than what the Instagram crowd is used to, but they’re way more up my alley than the tiny four sentence poems that are being vastly shared today over social media.

The book itself is relatively short (roughly 54 pages) but the poems contained within those pages are powerful and thought-provoking. Godin has broken down the collection in five parts: Witchcraft, Fairytales, Bodies, Bad Ideas, and Endings. Many of the poems found within this collection are dark (again a plus for me as I enjoy darker literature) and very relatable and well-written. I have a soft spot for Fairytales and Myths, and in Part 2, Godin explores certain Greek myths and popular fairytales. In The Big Book of Mythology, the poet questions Hera’s decision on remaining with Zeus when he’s a serial cheater and it all boils down to loyalty.

Another section that I enjoyed a lot was Part 3 that dealt with how we see ourselves (our bodies) and how that relates to how we relate with others. One poem in this section explored how someone in a wheelchair likens herself to Medusa because many avoid eye contact with her, just like people did with the Greek monster.

This was a very solid poetry collection, and I actually look forward to reading more poems or any other writing from this author in the future. If you’re into dark and sinister literature, mythology, or feminist-themed poetry, then this collection is simply perfect to add to your collection.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Patchwork Press for the digital ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

 

Happy New Year & 2019 Goals

2019

Happy New Year, peeps! I hope that 2019 has begun with a bang and that you were able to achieve all (or at least most) of the things you wished to accomplished in 2018. I made a goals list last year and I was very surprised by how much I actually got done.

2018 Writing Goals & What I Accomplished

  • Publish a poetry collection (DONE, you can pre-order BLEED LIKE ME here).
  • Complete my novel Wicked Game (DONE, just need to edit now)
  • Write a screenplay (Didn’t Do)
  • Participate in Pitch Wars (which I DID do)
  • Stick to a consistent posting schedule for my blog (DONE, my blog is now updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays)

Beauty

  • Sleep more (sadly this didn’t happen)
  • Try new eyeshadows or eyeliner colours (didn’t experiment as much as I wished I could have)

Reading

  • I had set a goal of 40 books to read in a year, and actually read 47!

2019 Goals

Writing

  • Edit Wicked Game
  • Finish writing my book Girl That You Fear
  • Finish writing my short story Pink Rabbits
  • Write a screenplay

Beauty

  • Sleep more
  • Been contemplating on cutting my hair short like Lucy Hale, will 2019 be the year of my big chop? We shall see.
  • Try out more cream formulas makeup, like cream blush and cream highlighters

Reading

  • Read 50 books for the year 2019

Blog

  • Since I’ve paired up with NetGalley and received a bunch of ARCs, so you’ll be seeing more Book Reviews & Author Interviews on the blog in the coming year
  • Since I’ve covered some events in 2018 such as Scare LA, Comic-Con LA, and Shriekfest Film Festival, I plan to try to cover more events in the new year

What are some of your goals for the new year?

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY

Coming Soon! Bleed Like Me: Poems for the Broken

This is how you draw a broken heart:
Dip your fingers in blood and don’t
Hesitate to botch the final project.

Synopsis: 

This is a book about love and the wounds that it can bring. It explores the exhilaration of first love, the damage of unrequited love, and the distress of abandonment. The poems are little memories that come alive, a journey between reality and fantasy, often mingling as one. Fragments of life depicted in words. This is a collection of poems both cruel and sweet. The poems depict the difference between how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us. But most of all, this is a kaleidoscope of emotions that are multiplied and amplified as the reader looks into the window of a young woman’s heart.

Bleed - High Resolution

 

This poetry collection is probably the closest anyone will ever get to reading my diary. Many of the poems were written between the ages of 14-24, although there are about two or three that were written more recently.

Some of these poems have been featured elsewhere. Such as:

The Enchanted Forest (honorable mention from Amherst Society in 1997) & featured in a European anthology in 1998

The Love Song (the Illiad Press 1997)

Betrayed With a Kiss for Wildsound Festival

Paper Monsters for Booksie

The book is up for pre-order on Amazon but will be available on FEBRUARY 12, 2019.

This collection is perfect for those who are fans of dark poetry, gothic lit, and love poems. Some of the topics explored in this book are: relationships, first love, body image, unrequited love, eating disorders, toxic relationships, death, abandonment, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and suicide.

If any book bloggers are interested in an ARC just hit me up at: azzurranox[@]yahoo.com

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY

Book Review: Hanna Who Fell From The Sky by Christopher Meades

hanna

“A powerful meditation on how we define ourselves… A gorgeous blend of dreamy folklore and gritty reality.”

Release Date: December 4, 2018

Order on Amazon

Price: $15.99

Publisher: Harlequin

Plot Summary:

Hanna has never been outside her secluded community of Clearhaven, nor has she ever questioned why her father has four wives. And in only one week, on her eighteenth birthday, Hanna will follow tradition and become the fifth wife of a man more than twice her age. But just days before the wedding, an enigmatic stranger challenges Hanna to question her fate and to follow her own will, causing her world to begin unraveling around her.

When her mother reveals a secret, Hanna is forced to decide whether she was really meant for something greater than the claustrophobic world of Clearhaven. But can she abandon her beloved younger sister and the only home she’s ever known? With lush, evocative prose, award-winning author Christopher Meades takes readers on an emotional journey into a fascinating, unknown world—and along the way brilliantly illuminates complexities of faith, identity and how our origins shape who we are.

Grade: A

Review:

The premise enthralled me right away. The idea of a secluded community that lived like a cross between Mormons and a bit Puritan both fascinated and interested me. Something about people in modern times CHOOSING to live in such a backward and misogynistic society (especially for the women) really had me thinking. I can understand the girls who were born into the community and didn’t really know much about the outside world, but a lot of the older women (like Hanna’s mum) chose to live there (although we later find out WHY Hanna’s mum chose that life and it was plausible for her to choose it given the circumstances).

I really liked Hanna because although she was born into that community as she got older and was forced to become the fiance’ an older man she began to question the community’s rules and regulations. The men in Clearhaven fit into two categories: noble and heroic or rapist and violent. The men in this community had a ton of women and the only way this was possible was because the eldest in the community would send the younger men out of town and so they’d accumulate young teenage brides whose sole purpose in life was to please their men, be a meek housewife, and be knocked up most of their lives. Truly terrifying but I guess it’s paradise for the men.

I liked the bond Hanna had with her siblings, although towards the end I was getting a bit too frustrated with Hanna due to the choices she was making because of those bonds. I guess in her place, especially after all she had been through I would’ve been a bit more selfish. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and it had a magical element that wasn’t too ludicrous and fit well with the theme of the book.

Bonus: Usually author afterwords aren’t that reflective, but I found Christopher Meades’ afterword to the novel to be very inspiring. He detailed how his idea of Hanna was born and how many years it took him to actually put his idea unto paper after a hastily written rough draft. His journey was an author was truly inspiring and being a writer myself it kind of gave me hope that if he could persevere through a concussion, then any one of us can manage to jump through all the book writing hurdles there are.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Harlequin for the digital ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY!

Review: Patchology Flashpatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels

IMG_1276

Not only do these under-eye masks look extremely glamorous (they’re glittery) but they actually work in terms of hydrating your under-eyes. I know many people have claimed that it has also eliminated their dark circles, but since I’ve been cursed with hereditary dark circles, I didn’t see much difference there. But maybe if your dark circles are due to late nights, then maybe it can help you out.

What It Is: Hydrating Under-Eye Mask

What It Does: Hydrates, smooths fine lines and helps diminish the look of dark circles

Verdict: These gels were truly very comfortable and fast working. I kept them on for twenty minutes or so because they just radiated a relaxing, soothing feeling. Once I removed them my skin felt very hydrated and soft. I like that these gel masks didn’t slide off your face so you weren’t obligated to lie down whilst having them on. You could easily attach these under your eyes and pass the time doing something else. I’ve heard that some people have used these as sleep masks for the eye, and maybe they work if left overnight, but I’m unsure about falling asleep with masks on (it seems like it would be a bit difficult if you’re someone who moves around, which sometimes I do).

Price: $15 for five pairs

Where To Buy It: http://www.anthropologie.com

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY