Lipstick Adventures of The Crazy Bookworm

Hi.

You probably wonder what I do when I’m not drowning in feels while reading books, and honestly the answer to that is not much. My social life is still a bit sparse and wanting, but work is cool because I get to watch Jessica Jones when I’m not answering email inquiries.

But another thing that I obsess over aside from books would be… lipsticks.

I am a big fan of bold shades, which thankfully work for my yellow-tinged Asian skin. I’m in no way a make-up expert but I love being adventurous when it comes to lip colour.

Today, I’ll show you two of my recent purchases which I’m really happy about! I’ve been wearing these two shades alternatingly (is there such a word? I’m not sure) since I bought them, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

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NYX Butter Lipstick in Moonlit Night shade

I’ve never bought any NYX products before this one, mostly because I bought exclusively local brands before deciding to try out this particular shade (which was not available in my local brand, Ever Bilena, at that time). Needless to say, it’s quite surprising how it worked with my skin tone. I never thought it would match that well!

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PROOF.

Know what I mean? Okay.

Not only is it a good match with my skin tone, it’s also very creamy and has a velvety matte finish. The colour stayed put until the end of my shift, and though I had to re-apply after eating, all it took was two swipes to get the colour back to the intensity I wanted (which was very intense). It also didn’t dry my lips at all, which is a pretty great bonus!

Moving on, my next happy purchase was actually just inspired by the last one, but also by this BuzzFeed article that I’ve read which mentioned this product and swore by it. It’s allegedly long-lasting and comes in pretty colours. At first, I didn’t know how to get ahold of it since I’ve no idea if they sell it here in the PH, but then I found that they have an official distributor here! So I bought it for the reasonable price of PHP320.oo.

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Tada! Wet N Wild Megaslicks balm stain in Lady and The Vamp.

Surprisingly enough, it worked well with my skin tone too:

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Such pout. Very lips.

Not only that. It’s very easy to apply and the colour spreads evenly without me having to put on an obscene amount. It also feels a little tingly on the first application. Almost like minty? And then it wears out eventually and I get this really creamy finish. It’s a little shiny at first, but not like gloss. I’ve been drinking apple juice since I’ve put it on but it hasn’t faded at all, which I think is a good sign.

Overall, I’m very happy with these purchases and I’m so glad I’ve made them! Lipstick has always been a key ingredient in my confidence with going out and talking to people so good ones are worthy investments to me, not to mention that these particular brands aren’t even that expensive, so all the more reason to be happy!

I think I’ll buy more shades from these two brands in the future, and maybe try out other brands as well. I personally like matte and long-lasting tints, and varying shades of RED (because it makes me feel powerful and ready to take on the world).

How about you? What colours do you love? I would love, love, love to hear about your make-up adventures, or any kind of adventure for that matter! Adventures of any kind are generally great, in my opinion.

Thank you so much for dropping by this post about me and my love for lipstick! Leave me a comment, if you wish, and happy reading loves!

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Happy Banned Books Week!

bbI am proud to say that I have read my fair share of Banned Books. In fact, the best books I’ve ever read are either banned or challenged. These are the books which dared to ask the questions nobody wanted to hear. They broke free of the norm and expanded the narrow school of thoughts we used to subscribe to. These books dared to change the world, and in attempting alone, they already did.

BVBox-tCAAAh4-4Just recently, another book was put in danger of being banned. I am talking about Rainbow Rowell’s YA Contemporary Romance novel, Eleanor and Park. A few parents from the state of Minnesota, USA lobbied against the decision of the librarians from the Anoka-Hennepin School District to make E&P their official summer read and convinced the school district, county board, and the library board to cancel the author’s book related events. They even went as far as calling the book ‘dangerously obscene’, demanding that the book be taken down from the library shelves and the librarians be punished for selecting the book as the district’s official summer read. (*source)

I personally wouldn’t know what possesses people to think that they have the authority to decide what the public can or cannot read. I would understand if a parent doesn’t want their child/ren to read a certain book with respect to factors such as appropriateness due to age, or if it could trigger some sort of emotional trauma. Those premises are very much acceptable. But to deprive the whole community of something based on nothing but misconstrued opinions… I don’t think that’s appropriate at all.

I have Eleanor & Park sitting on my shelf, looking at me with accusatory book eyes because I haven’t read it yet. I’ve had mixed signals coming from my reviewer friends about it, but good or bad I would personally like to be able to form my own opinions of the book to see whether or not it appeals to me. I would like to have the power to decide whether or not I’m going to read it. To stop me from accessing it because you don’t think it would fit me is like insulting my ability to think for myself, and I will not have it.
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Banned Books Week are for books like Eleanor and Park; books that dare to tell us stories we don’t often hear. Books that delve deep into the delightfully dark trenches of human nature with the intention of showing us what could be found there: the wonders and the horrors and everything in between. This week is such an important one not only to bookish folk like myself, but also to countless others who may not even know what this week stands for and how significant it is to learning as a whole. Banned Books Week is our way of saying that we will remain relentless in fighting censorship no matter what form or name it takes, and that we will ensure that the gift that the greatest of human minds bestowed upon us will be accessible to the current and future generations.

With that said, I would like to share to all you five of my most favorite banned books and three that I am about to read and review in the coming days.

Tara’s Top Five Banned/Challenged Books:

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1. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
4.  The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
5. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Tara’s Three Banned Books Assignment for the remainder of Banned Books Week:

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1. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
2. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
3. The Giver by Lois Lowry

It is definitely true what they say, that people are scared of things that they don’t understand. But to push them away, avoid them, and pretend they do not exist will solve nothing and benefit no one. Books are uniquely portable magic, as what Stephen King said. It can build worlds and destroy them, it can mend and break hearts, it can change the world, one reader at a time.

Let books flourish along with human consciousness. Let them thrive together uninterrupted. I highly doubt that Eleanor and Park will be the last book to be challenged this year and in the years to come, but as we celebrate this Banned Books Week, let it be known that we will not let anyone dictate the books that we read. We will insist on our right to discern for ourselves what we can and cannot consume.

I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
– Evelyn Beatrice Hall

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Adios, Goodreads.

I have been mentally debating what to do since this news broke out last Friday. We all know that there’s been a long-standing tension between reviewers and authors in Goodreads, but I never considered censorship as a possibility because I thought that Goodreads would put forth first and foremost their customers, which consists mostly of raters and reviewers rather than authors. Color me outraged when I found out that the GR management favored the latter group and gave in to their demand request to take down ‘offensive’ reviews and shelves that hurt their thin skin and fragile ego.

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I think common sense would dictate, even to a non-author like me, that when you put something of yours out there for public consumption, it is bound to be subject to public opinion and criticism, positive or negative it may be. Once you decide to publish your work, it will be picked out this way and that and you will have no control over how people will perceive it. Everyone with a brain can figure this out without me having to point it out to them, so I am so clueless as to why authors get so worked up about negative criticisms or low ratings. Didn’t you get the memo? It’s part of the job description, darling. If you can’t take it, you probably should find another job.

We have seen countless incidents of authors claiming to be bullied and dragging the issue all over the internet even without significant proof aside from their bruised ego (*related post*), and it really irks me to no end that the media now sees Goodreads reviewers as some sort of monster-hybrid that harasses poor authors and attacks them purely out of monstrous spite. WE ARE NOT LIKE THAT. Not most of us, anyway. To be honest this whole thing is being overly-dramatized by some attention seeking people, and kudos to them because they finally got what they wanted. I hope y’all are happy now.

But what really angered me were the shelves (and reviews?) that were deleted without permission from the users. I did not know they were willing to stoop that low. Naming shelves is one of those fun things I look forward to every time I rate a book. I have a bajillion of shelves because according to Goodreads, we can make as many as we want. This post nailed it better than I could ever dream to. Deleting those shelves could never be justified by any reason the GR management could come up with. The reason/logic/creative inspiration behind those shelves are known to the user alone and deleting them just because they sound ‘offensive’ is a lame-ass excuse when you don’t even know what they really stand for.

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Additionally, to the author trolls who can’t seem to get over their 2-star ratings, Congratulations! You guys are such role models.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no.

Let me just apologize in behalf of all the reviewers for ever thinking that you guys deserve to know what we thought of your books in all honesty. I am deeply sorry that we treated you like mature individuals capable of handling our opinions of your work no matter how blunt we are in delivering it. Obviously, we made a mistake and a misplaced assumption, and now we’re going to be really careful with how we treat you lest you cry foul again and endanger our reputation and credibility.

Sorry to be really sarcastic (not sorry at all btw), but all I’m saying is that maybe you should sit in your thinking chair and ponder why on earth did a user give you that pitiful 2-star. Maybe you should stop acting all butthurt and marginalized every time you see a negative review about your book. Maybe you should reconsider your life choices if you’re not tough-skinned enough to handle criticism. MAYBE YOU SHOULD GROW SOME BALLS.

(And also, just saying that if your work is really good like you believe it is, no matter how many bad reviews and unsolicited hate it gets, people are still going to read it and buy it and love it because guess what? We’re not stupid here. Just because some people rated your work one star doesn’t mean the whole community will follow suit. Jeez. Have some faith in your own ability.)

There is a bullying problem in Goodreads, I concede to that. But you are in need of serious help if you think that this is a one-sided issue. What Goodreads did was wrong and I honestly don’t think it will solve anything at all, but one thing is clear now and that is the fact that Goodreads picked the side it’s on, and it’s not our side. I cannot help but feel betrayed and honestly I wonder if this policy change is the end of all this drama or just the start of it. I sure won’t stay long enough to find out.

I am still keeping my Goodreads account, but I will no longer post my reviews there. I made a Booklikes account just today and though I’m new to the site, I’m confident I’ll get the hang of it soon enough. To say that this recent controversy has put a kink in my blogging and reading adventures is a bit of an understatement but it’s done and I won’t stand for Goodreads’ decision no matter how much I love their site. It undermines our capacity as reviewers to distinguish between critiquing and bullying and it puts us under a general header of ‘bullies’ just because some people cannot bear to accept our assessment of their work.

This is a major setback indeed for readers and authors alike. This could have been approached in a better way, those people who whine and complain like five-year olds denied of their lollipops could’ve learned to suck it and deal. But instead we are being held down and told what we can and cannot do, and no matter what they want to call it, it will remain to be what it is, and that is CENSORSHIP. And I won’t stand for that. No matter how much they justify it, it isn’t and will never be right.