Book Review: And We Call It Love by Amanda Vink

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Release Date: June 1, 2019

Pre-Order on Amazon

Price: $19.95

Publisher: West 44 Books

Plot Summary:

Clare and Zari are best friends. They write music together, go everywhere together, and they know everything about the other. At least they did before Zari started dating Dion. The more Zari falls for Dion, the less she has time for anything else. At first, Clare chalks it up to a new and exciting relationship, and she tries to be happy for her friend despite her loneliness. When Zari starts to show up to school with half-hidden bruises, Clare knows there’s something darker about this relationship that has to be stopped.

Grade: C –

Review:

I usually love poetry and verse, however, this book just didn’t hit the mark for me. I think my biggest issue with it, despite the fact that it was written as poetic verse, was that the writing just wasn’t that poetic. I was expecting more lyrical writing with this type of writing format. Sadly, this wasn’t the case. Another issue that I had with this book is that it was told in alternating perspectives, and I usually love the dual points of views, however, the way it was written, there was no clear definition between who was Clare or who was Zari. So it made it a little confusing to keep up with the plot because of that.

It saddens me that the execution of the story wasn’t done well because the book explored some very important topics like friendship, self-discovery, and abusive relationships. And I think those are some compelling topics for teens to read about if done well. The characters in this book weren’t very well-developed and this book just fell short.

As a writer, I honestly despise being too critical when it comes to debut authors so I won’t delve too much on the negatives. Also, since I’m not the intended audience, the writing may not resonate with me so much, however, middle-grade readers or tweens may find this books interesting.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and West 44 Books for the digital ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

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Review: Kocostar Rose Lip Mask

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Sheet and face masks have been all the rage lately, and it’s no different with lips masks. In the age of Instagram and selfies, lip masks are one of the most coveted masks there are, but this lip mask is more than a mere photo prop. This mask truly leaves your lips feeling smooth and ultra-hydrated, and the best part of it all is that it smells like you’ve got a bed of roses resting upon your lips. Some say that this lip mask forces you to lie down, but it actually didn’t slip off on me, so sitting up was possible.

What It Is: Hydrating Lip Mask

What It Does: Smooth, hydrates, and plumps lips

Verdict: To say I loved this lip mask is an understatement. This lip mask was utterly amazing! Not only does this lip mask smell like you’re walking in Marie Antoinette’s rose garden, but it truly hydrated and plumped my lips in ways no other lip mask has ever done before! Another bonus is that this lip mask is free of parabens and pthalates (chemicals you probably shouldn’t have near your mouth anyhow). This mask can be used any time of day, even before a night going out, since the serum doesn’t leave your lips drenched, however, it sinks into your lips and once the mask is off, there’s no sticky residue, meaning that you can easily wear lipstick on top without wiping off any excess beforehand. Out of the many lip masks, I’ve tried, this is hands down my favourite one.

Price: $38 for 20

Where To Buy It: www.anthropologie.com

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HAUL: TonyMoly Korean Beauty

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Korean beauty products have become the biggest trend in the U.S. lately. One of the biggest Korean beauty brands is TonyMoly, who has everything you can imagine from face masks, peels, sheet masks, lip balms, creams, makeup, etc. They have skincare products for every skincare concern be it wrinkles, acne, dryness, redness, or sensitive skin. This brand recently launched in Sephora when the Korean beauty products became a popular thing. I hadn’t tried this brand till now. The packaging is obviously ultra adorable (it’ll make you feel like you’re thirteen all over again).

Egg Pore Care Set

Price: $28

Key Factors: Egg-powered ingredients such as Egg Yolk (lots of Vitamin A!) and clarifying Egg Shell Powder.

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I’m Red Wine – Gel Eye Patch

Price: $6

Key Factors: Helps tighten and purify skin.

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Mini Fruit Lipbalm Peach

Price: $10

Key Factors: Shea Butter and Witch hazel, helps lock in moisture and hydration.

I’m Hand Cream – Cherry Blossom

Price: $6

Key Factors: Rejuvenates skin.

Where To Buy It: https://tonymoly.us

Are you a fan of Korean beauty products? Which ones are your faves?

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Review: Medusa’s Makeup Witch Lash Mascara Bebe Travel Size

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It’s no secret that mascara is one of my fave beauty products and also one where I’m willing to try out any new one that comes out (reason why you’ll notice way more mascara reviews on this blog than any other beauty product). One of my favourite mascara products is Medusa’s Makeup Witch Lash Mascara, so when they included a travel size in November’s Beauty Box, I was thrilled.

What It Is: Super thickening waterproof mascara with a fuller bristle brush

What It Does: This mascara helps thicken and define lashes.

Verdict: If you’re looking for a mascara that can offer lift and volume in one easy swipe, then this isn’t the one, purely because it takes multiple swipes to achieve the look. That’s not saying that the mascara isn’t good, quite the contrary. Just like the other Witch Lash, this version’s brush is simply smaller meaning that it won’t fit your whole eye in one sweep, BUT the small size allows it to reach the usually difficult nooks and crannies (such as the inner corner and outer corner of the eye). But unlike the previous Witch Lash, these bristles differ (the others are more rigid which helps separate lashes, whilst these create more of a feathery lash look). One of the major pros of this product though is the size. You can pop this small mascara in your handbag, pocket, or even phone carrier! You’ll never have an excuse to not have amazing lashes with this product on your hands! It’s a mini-miracle worker (step aside ), creating length and volume on even the thinnest and smallest lashes. I absolutely recommend this product if you’re into the whole lash extension look (without the damaging effects that actual extensions cause). And for just $10, it’s definitely worth a try!

Price: $10

Where To Buy It: https://medusasmakeup.com

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5 Essential Beauty Products I Always Keep in my Handbag!

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We live in a fast-paced world and sometimes we can’t bring ten million things along with you everywhere. That’s why my list of essential beauty products is very small and succinct. With these items in your bag you’ll be looking your best any time of day!

FLOSS. You can have the most impeccable makeup going for you, but if you have a stray salad leaf stuck between your teeth then you won’t look that appealing. Not to mention the potential cavities! So to keep both my teeth healthy and looking their best I always carry floss in my handbag.

MIRROR. This is a no-brainer, but honestly, sometimes you go to bathrooms that don’t have mirrors (travesty!) or since I’m nearsighted, it’s harder for me to notice lipstick smudges from far away, so this is an item I’ve always kept in my handbag.

LIPSTICK/LIP BALM. You never know when you’ll need a touch-up, or if your lipstick disappeared during dinner (or in most cases after kisses!) and merely left a stain, you can always apply lip balm on top and it’ll still look like you’ve got some color in your lips.

ROLLERBALL FRAGRANCE. Nothing freshens you up more than a so-called “whore bath,” or in less vulgar terms, a spritz of perfume on your pulse points to leave you smelling like you’ve just stepped out of the shower (nevermind that you’ve actually been sweltering for the past 8 hours!).

HAIRBANDS/BOBBY PINS. You never know when you’ll get caught in a windstorm or your hairdo begins to fall in the middle of the day, but with extra hairbands and bobby pins at your disposal you can always keep your hair looking hip and not resembling the crazy cat lady from two doors down.

What beauty items do you always carry with you?

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Review: Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink

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I love liquid lipsticks and since I was running out my Jeffree Star liquid velour shades, I was looking to find a much cheaper substitute. I know this is dumb, but the couple of years I spent working as a makeup artist had me acquire an elitist outlook on cosmetics that I didn’t have before. Suddenly, using drugstore brands seemed beneath me. But the past year I’ve decided to throw out that idea since prior to being a makeup I used to use drugstore brands all the time!

So when my local beauty shop was running a deal of selling these Maybelline liquid lipsticks for $5 a pop, I decided to give them a shot. After being impressed with the first shade I got I decided to purchase three more. I was impressed with all the shades and longevity!

Packaging: Not the best packaging, they’re kinda chunky and blocky, but it comes with a tapered doe-foot applicator with a small reservoir in the center that helps with the application.

What It Is: Matte Liquid Lipstick

Pros: Long-lasting, transfer resistant, and non-drying

Cons: Can take some minutes to dry down after initial application

Shades: Dreamer, Pioneer, Seductress, and Ruler

Verdict: I didn’t think I was going to love these liquid lipsticks, cause I’ve tried so many but haven’t been enamored by any of them, except for the Jeffree Star Lipvelours. Having said that, this lipsticks ALMOST are better than those in regards to being transfer resistant (meaning not even major makeout sessions can smear your lips) and they’re incredibly long-lasting (I literally partied my heart out, wore it for over sixteen hours, ate, drank, kissed, and fell asleep and the morning after my lips still looked amazing!). The third thing that I love about these liquid lipsticks is how PIGMENTED they are! These lipsticks aren’t wimps when it comes to their shade power. Do yourself a favour and pick up a shade or three!

Price: 7.99

Where To Buy It: Ulta, CVS, Target

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From top: DREAMER, PIONEER, SEDUCTRESS, & RULER 

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No More Acne Detox Tea!

 

Who doesn’t want clear skin? For many people hormones, stress, and lack of sleep can do a number on your skin. So what can one do when you’ve tried all sorts of over the counter acne medications but still don’t see the clear skin you covet? Clear skin, unfortunately, is something that isn’t linked to the surface, and goes deeper, meaning that what you put into your body can certainly affect the health of your skin. This detox tea is amazingly easy to make AND it works in combating acne!

SKIN CLEARING TEA DETOX

Ingredients:

1 cup green tea (such as Twinings green tea)

Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon Ginger Honey (such as Greenbow Organic Honey with Ginger)

Drink this tea first thing in the morning for best results OR right before you go to sleep. This tea helps skin to release toxins and keep any inflammations at bay.

Let me know if you try this and how it works for you!

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Beauty: Spooky Spiders Manicure

I was at Shriekfest last weekend and since October always prove to be an incredibly busy month for me due to work and events, I knew that I needed to find both fast and cost-effective way to have awesome nails stat! So when I came upon these nail stickers in September I just KNEW that I needed to grab two. I’ve used this company before and my previous experience with these kinds of stickers at that time wasn’t so positive, but I decided to give it another go a second time.

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I LOVE how these stickers provide an easy no-dry time solution for some of us that have problems with sitting still for a full hour (cause no matter what the nail polish bottles claim, it still takes a FULL HOUR for any of them to truly dry and not get indentations).

Plus, how can you go wrong when your nails look this fabulous? Nail art like this could easily cost over $40 or $50 at a salon, not to mention the time required to sit there for it. I stuck these babies on in less than ten minutes and literally went on a date afterward! Yes, it’s THAT EASY AND QUICK! Plus, who doesn’t want amazing nails under $10?

So grab yourself a pair or two, and don’t worry if you mess up, the Halloween packs come with six extra stickers in case you do or need to replace one later on if it comes off. (So far it has been over a week and it hasn’t popped off, which was a major issue with the ones I had tried earlier this year, so maybe that pack was just faulty).

You check out more options on their website.

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Review: Pixi Overnight Glow Serum (Concentrated Exfoliating Gel)

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This is the third skin product that I’ve tested by Pixi and I’m truly loving it! (You can check out one of my Pixi reviews here). I know that you may think that I’ve been reviewing a ton of skin serums lately, but alas skincare means more to me than cosmetics. If you have an amazing skin you won’t need that much makeup, so that’s why I’m so obsessed with keeping my skin looking top notch (which I know is usually easier said than done!). But that’s why I wish to share with you any skincare product that can help you achieve that amazing skin that we all crave!

Packaging: Like most serums, this comes with a drop dispenser, and in keeping with the Pixi brand it’s a light shade of mint.

What It Does: Gently exfoliates to reveal a healthier and more even skintone. Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and fade superficial sun damage over time.

Active Ingredients: Glycolic acid, aloe vera, and cucumber

Verdict: What I love about this serum is that it’s thick and feels extra emollient. The glycolic acid stimulates cell turnover, while the aloe vera helps to heal and soothe skin, and cucumber calms and relieves puffy skin. After using this serum for two weeks my skin became instantly smoother and softer. I initially purchased this serum because of the glycolic acid and the promise of it helping fade sun damage (especially since I’m so deathly pale and I live in So-Cal). In two weeks I can’t really tell whether it has helped with any possible sun damage, but it has helped in fading any past acne scars. The serum feels ultra luxurious, as though you were applying an insanely expensive serum, but in reality you’re just splurging the same amount that you would for a MAC lipstick. I recommend this serum, and if you’re acne-prone and oily, this serum keeps the zits away and doesn’t cause one to breakout or increase the oiliness either.

Price: $24

Where To Buy It: Target or https://www.pixibeauty.com/

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Empties Post – First One Ever!

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Ever since the internet went crazy with “Empties” posts, I’ve been wanting to write one for this blog. The only caveat? Being able to accumulate enough used up products to write a post about. Seems simple, right? Not when you have far too many products and keep switching from one to another, and the guilt of throwing out something you’re not crazy about seems almost wasteful. So for me, using up a product and thinking about repurchasing the same item again means that I need to have thought it was absolutely AMAZING and willing to go through the experience all over again.

So without further ado, here are a few of my empties:

Honest The Younger Eye

I wrote a full review of this product here if you wish to read more details about it. What can I say? I absolutely LOVE this eye cream! It’s everything an eye cream should be and I think it has greatly improved the skin around my eyes tenfold.

Would I repurchase: HELL YES!

Everyone Face For Every Day Tone

I included this product in my skincare routine post. This is one of my favourite toners because not only is it lightweight, but it leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean. It also has contributed to keeping my skin acne-free!

Would I repurchase: YES!

Korres Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturizer

Even for this, I wrote a full review of this product here, if you wish to read a more detailed description. I’m usually not a huge fan of moisturizers cause even the most lightweight ones tend to make me break out, but this one lived up to its claim of being gentle for acne-prone skin, and I fell instantly in love!

Would I repurchase: YES!

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye

This cream is a restorative eye treatment for undereye skin. I like that the cream was thick and emollient, and did work in diminishing fine lines caused by fatigue. I didn’t find anything NOT to love about this cream, but at the same time, I didn’t fall in love with it as much as I did with the Honest eye cream.

Would I repurchase: Maybe

Skin & Co. Roma Truffle Therapy Eye Concentrate

I was sad to see this finish as I added this as one of my favourite eye creams that I recommend. This cream feels luxurious and incredibly hydrating. Even a year later I still love it!

Would I repurchase: YES!

Pixi Beauty Sleep Cream

This cream was just a little too much on the thin side for my liking. I’m more into creams that feel very moisturizing and this was a little on the light side, however, it DID keep my skin hydrated and didn’t cause any breakouts. If you want to read a more detailed description, check out the review here.

Would I repurchase: Maybe

Clinique Moisture Surge

I know this is the holy grail of moisturizers for many people, especially if you’ve got oily skin. I was given this cream as a sample by one of the Clinique reps at a cosmetic shop with the promise that I would love it. Well, sorry to burst anyone’s bubble but this is simply too watery for my taste. I guess the lightweightness of it is what makes it perfect for oily skin, but I kinda love thick creams.

Would I repurchase: No

Medusa’s Makeup Grapefruit Astringent

I’m a big fan of toners and this one simply smells amazing! It left my skin feeling refreshed, and kept it from becoming oily too soon.

Would I repurchase: Yes, but they have two other scents (Rose and Cucumber) and I’m curious about the cucumber version.

There’s a satisfying feeling of completion when you get to the end of a product, and I think this is why Empties Posts are so popular. Do you have similar feelings? Would you try out any of these products?

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