May Book Wrap-Up 2020 | 20 BOOKS!

5/30/2020



Was I biting off more than I could chew this month when it came to reading? Yes. Big time, yes. I set myself the hopeful goal of reading 20 books, which I did, but barely. (Is it short book appreciation month? Yes, yes.) And I took part in two month long readathons - the Mentalhealthathon run by Nicole and the Asian Readathon run by Cindy. Somehow my self control still weened and I mood-read a few books that didn't work for either readathon. Yay me. Here's the run down of the extra books I read, and in case you want everything in one place, links to my other wrap-up posts. So get your beverage of choice, this'll be a big one. 


Lolita
by Vladimir Nabokov
A twisted modern classic wherein a grown man falls hopelessly in love with twelve-year-old Lolita, and makes it his life's mission to make her his in every way possible. This isn't a love story, but it is a book about obsessive love. I read My Dark Vanessa last month and devoured it, I found the off-balanced relationship between the protagonist and her professor captivating for all the wrong reasons. I couldn't stop reading. In that book, they make a lot of references to Lolita so I wanted something along the same theme after I finished, and so naturally I picked up Lolita. It's weird to say I enjoyed the first half of this book, I know, but I did. It was sickening but so utterly brilliantly written that I couldn't help but have a fondness for the story. But, and this is a big but, the second half destroyed any shred of my enjoyment. It got so slow and ridiculous, the story took some even more questionable turns and all the characters become insufferable. Keeping that in mind, I really don't know what my rating for this book would be. It felt like two completely different books, one being almost poetic and the other being written just for the ""shock value". I just... meh, I'm so meh about this book. 


Small Great Things
by Jodi Picoult 
When a white activist demands that no person of colour touches his new born baby, it sets off a chain of events that leads to the baby's death. Putting all their blame on the black nurse that they first came into contact with, the grieving parents take legal action. Ruth, the nurse, is put on the stand for neglect of an infant. In the style of Miracle Creek by Angie Kim, this is a contemporary mixed with a court-drama. Unlike Miracle Creek, it took me a while to work out my feelings toward this book. I wasn't sure how I felt about a white author writing from the POV of a black woman, and writing about the prejudices that come with not being white. I wish, really wish, that the author's note was at the beginning of this novel and not the end as her reasoning behind the entire book made it less problematic to me. However, that aside, the story itself is a powerful look at race and how racism isn't intentional a lot of the time. As a protagonist Ruth was a strong willed woman with a wonderfully written family. The character could at times fall into cliche territory, but all-in-all this was a well-done novel. I knocked off a star for the cheesy and too perfect ending, but I would still recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Miracle Creek.


The Lonely Hearts Hotel
by Heather O'Neill
Have you ever wanted a novel that has the writing style of The Night Circus but the plot of A Little Life with the magicalness of a Seanne McGuire book but written by Donna Tartt? Then this is the book for you! This is a tragic story set around two children, Rose and Pierrot, who are abandoned at an orphanage in 1914. There, they both experience abuse - sexual and physical - and eventually leave to forge their own paths, yet they're always hoping they'll find each-other again. This novel has an undertone of magical realism as both the main characters have somewhat magical abilities, but that's never a front-and-centre part of the story. Instead it's carried behind the plot of Rose wanted to start her own circus, and Pierrot becoming a bugler. This book is the definition of quirky, and because of that, I'm not sure whether I enjoyed it. I had previously DNF'd it, but seemingly had a 'I hate myself' moment and decided to finish it. This just has too much juxtaposition. It was too depressing, and I never fully came to care for either of the characters. There was too much sexual content throughout this novel, non of which was the smutty kind, instead being a devastating miserable kind. And if I hear the word 'cunt' one more time in a book this year, it'll be too soon. No, just no. Which is very sad as I found this signed copy at a library sale. Did you love this novel? Let me send this to you! Save me from it's miserable aura. (No, but really, someone ought to have this who loves the author.)


The Whisper Man
by Alex North
When a father and son move to a new town, strange things begin happening. Whispers come from outside the boy's bedroom at night. Could it be related to the imprisoned child murder known as The Whisper Man? I wanted to like this thriller, I really did. It seemed dark, creepy, and I was hopeful for a better written Stephen King type novel. However, I don't think this book knew what it wanted to be. It read like some weird mash-up of a detective centered novel and a thriller, which really didn't work with the story. I can forgive a thriller for not having a great ending so long as I can enjoy the journey to get there, but with this I sadly didn't. I was bored so many times, and found all the characters tedious or pointless. Meh. I, sadly, do not get the hype.

The Unhoneymooners
by Christina Lauren
After everyone at at a wedding party gets food poisoning, Olive and Ethan are the only two not to get sick. Because of this they're forced to go on the bride and groom's honeymoon with only two problems: they have to pretend to be newlyweds, and they hate each other. Yup, ultimate hate-to-love plot. As someone who loved The Kiss Quotient and The Hating Game, how have I never read a Christina Lauren book before? The mystery! The Unhoneymooners is arguably the most popular book, so I figured I'd start there. This read far more chick-lit than I was expecting. There was no smut which left me feeling rather bitter. Nevertheless, this was a quick enjoyable read. Not a new favourite, but I'm still glad I've read it.


Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1)
by Neal Shusterman 
After humanity stops dying off, a group of people known as Scythe's are solely responsible for keeping the population numbers under control. They go out and kill whomever they want. When two teens are put into training to become Scythe's, they begin to see a new side of their controllers. The world building in this novel was exceptionally done. I never once questioned it. For such a fast read, it really build up this dystopian land without ever feeling info-dumpy. However, I'm unsure whether the two main characters could've been more bland. Neither of them had any personality, which made it incredibly hard for me to care about their individual outcomes.


A Series Of Unfortunate Events #8 & #9 (The Hostile Hospital, The Carnivorous Carnival)
by Lemony Snicket 
I'm still reading this series via audiobook and am having a great time. Would 110% recommend for miserable fun. The further into the series I get, the darker and more twisty each book becomes which I'm loving. For a series targeted at kids, I'm way too invested. 


*gasps for air* Yeah, I read a lot this month!

Go forth and read my other wrap-ups:




Asian Readathon 2020 Wrap-Up


Joining in on the Asian Readathon run by Cindy for the duration of May (Asian Pacific American Heritage Month) was quite the whirlwind. I only managed to read a handful of books as holds I had at my library didn't come through in time (i'm still crying). However, the books I did mange to get to were mainly 5 star reads. Without further ado, let's discuss them. 

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
by Jamie Ford
This is a quiet but poignant WWII novel about certain aspects of the war that we don't often read about. Following two different time periods, one in the past and one in present day, we learn of the life of Henry, an American-Chinese living in Seattle. As a young boy he befriends an American-Japanese girl whose family is struggling as the Nazi reign is beginning to show in their hometown. An adult Henry, however, is in the mourning process of his wife. His days are bland. That is until a local hotel owner digs out artifacts of the past from the basement. Is the object that Henry longs to once again see down there, hidden in a box? I found this novel fascinating as, like I said, this isn't necessarily the story people write about when WWII is the backdrop. Usually we get put right in there at Auschwitz, especially in the more popularized books like The Nightingale and, yes, The Tattooist of Auschwitz. This never felt overly historical, at times it even felt like a contemporary. I think reading about the war through the eyes of a child lessened the impact of the ugliness that was going on around him. If you like books set around WWII or simply want to dip your toes into the historical fiction pool but don't want to jump in, I'd wholeheartedly recommend this novel.


Severance 
by Ling Ma
Candace Chen is feeling unfulfilled in her life - her job as a bible product coordinator is a far cry from the art route she wanted her career to take, her uninspired relationship seems to be ending, and she's just a little lost. Then a viral fever takes out half the world and she's left alone. This synopsis sounds interesting, right? Sadly, this entire book was a case of great idea but poor execution, at least for me. I felt so jarred throughout this book as it kept jumping between timelines while trying to tie everything together. Candace isn't meant to be likable, but god, she was borderline insufferable. 

The Vegetarian
by Han Kang
When a woman decides to go Vegetarian it sets off a chain of events in both her and her family's life. I started listening to this as it is arguably one of the more talked about translated Japanese novels as of late. And though the plot was very odd, the characters were all insufferable, and I'm not exactly sure what the author was trying to do.. I really loved this book. There was just something so addictive to the writing style and I felt touched by the story, but for absolutely no particular reason. This book and my liking to it is a mystery to me. 


The Buddha in the Attic
by Julie Otsuka
Though fiction, this is an inspired look at the lives of the Japanese picture brides who migrated to America in the early 1900's. This short book (129 pages) was a piece of art. It was written so beautifully and with such originality that I struggled to put it down. It wrote about these different women in the style of "we did this, we went through that, this was our lives". Like the brides were a collective, similar to the way of The Handmaids Tale. However, I can't help but think that this would've been better executed if it had instead been a collection of poetry. It didn't read like a novel. 


So, yeah. I only read 4 books but I'm so glad that I joined in for this readathon. If libraries were still open, I imagine it would've been much easier to get my hands on some other Asian themed books that weren't, you know, the length of Pachinko

Did you read anything for this readathon? Let me know. 


Mentalhealthathon Wrap-Up | 2020


I partook in Nicole's month long readathon in May, and it was so much fun. I used to solely read contemporaries written about mental illnesses but fell out of love with the sub-genre after so many YA books disappointed me. The Mentalhealthathon rekindled my love for books like this, which I'm so happy about. I originally aimed to read books based on the prompts that Nicole gave us on the Bingo card, but alas, I did what I always do and strayed away from the list. Where are my fellow mood readers at?


My Lovely Wife In The Psych Ward
by Mark Haddon
Prompt: MH non-fiction
This is a harrowing memoir written by a man who's wife has been committed to a psych ward twice for spurts of manic depression. Not only was this book a truly eye-opening look at what it's like for the people surrounding those who struggle with suicidal tendencies, but it was also wonderfully written that at times it felt almost like lyrical fiction. This is a book that will stick to my heart for years to come, and I urge almost anyone to pick it up. It did trigger some darker thoughts for me, so go in with caution if you've had a past of depression.


Every Last Word
by Tamara Ireland Stone
Prompt: Learn more about
Samantha "Sam" is your average high school girl - she's popular, a champion swimmer, and has an enviously close friendship group. At least, that's what she hopes to portray to the world. In reality she's been struggling with Purely-Obsessional OCD for years. Nobody knows, until Caroline, a girl Sam had never spoken to before, seems to carry all the answers Sam needs. Through Caroline Sam becomes a member of a secret poetry group made up of the strays of the student body. As I mentioned about, over the last year or so, I've fallen out of love with YA contemporaries. They all started to become too samey for me, without any great rep for whatever mental illness they were dealing with. However, Every Last Word has rekindled my faith in this sub genre. Did it do a perfect job at dealing with OCD? No, but did it enlighten me to a form of the illness that I hadn't previously known about? Yes. Which is what you really need to take from books like these. I liked Sam as a protagonist, she was a cliche but not in an irritating way. Her love interest, AJ wasn't a wet blanket and had his own backstory. He wasn't just there for Sam's story, which was a refreshing change. I wasn't a huge fan of the 'twist' at the end, as it felt rushed and a little unnecessary. However, I still rate this book highly for YA and would urge anyone who's interest in learning more about OCD to pick it up.


That's Not What Happened
by Kody Keplinger
Prompt: YA mental health book
On the anniversary of the school shooting that killed Sarah's best friend, she finds out that the religious parents of her deceased friend are planning on selling a book to put a spotlight on their daughter's dying moment - voicing her faith in God as she was shot. However, that's not what happened. Struggling to know whether or not she ought to come clean, Sarah begins to talk with the other students who survived that deadly day. This was a very authentic look at a school shooting without ever really taking us to the school on that day (Like Hate List). This was a book of afters, in the best possible way. Each character had a unique voice and though there were a few questionable plot choices, I wouldn't ever not recommend this to someone wanting a hard-hitting-ya-contemporary. However, my only real quim was how unnecessary the eventual romance was. It felt like it was added to the story just to be able to market the book as more than what it was, and because of that, it pointlessly filled out a lot of the overall story. It made it feel cheap. 


Maybe You Should Talk To Someone
by Lori Gottlieb
Prompt: Newest MH book on your TBR
This is a memoir written by a therapist who sought out therapy herself after a sudden break-up left her feeling broken. In this collection of what is essentially snippets of her days, she writes about her own sessions and the sessions of her ongoing patients. This is a book that has been making the rounds on both Booktube and Bookstagram for a while now with a good backing of positive reviews, so naturally, I was daunted. However, I really enjoyed it. Lori paints such a clear picture of herself that you can't help but root for her happiness, yet saying that, I was much more invested in her patients stories. I've never read about therapy through the eyes of the therapist before, so that aspect was especially interesting. The only thing stopping me from giving this a glowing 5 star rating is that I personally found the middle to drag a little. The book could've easily lost 100 pages.


The Way I Used To Be 
by Amber Smith
Prompt: Green on the cover
This is a hard-hitting YA contemporary looking at the aftermath of rape. Eden is 13-years-old when her brothers friend, Kevin, comes into her room one night and assaults her. From there we watch as the young girl goes through high-school carrying this secret with her. Naturally she begins to lose herself in alcohol, drugs, and meaningless sex in an attempt to fill the void Kevin left her with. In a similar style to 'That's Not What Happens' this talks more about the aftermath of rape rather than the moment itself. It's unflinching, heart-breaking, and one of those books that you don't want to read but in a sense have to. It was very reminiscent of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.


The Silver Linings Playbook
by Matthew Quick
Pat's life has taken a turn that he doesn't remember it taking. He was a teacher, with a wife who he loved, and a life of his own. But a terrible event that he's blocked from his memory resulted in him being in a psych hospital for years. Now, upon his release, he's living with his parents and trying to find solace in routine. Obsessive exercise, meds, football, and his newly formed friendship with Tiffany. A woman who has her own inner battles. Can two lost souls help each other? This has been on my bookshelf for years now, as I wanted to read the book before watching the movie adaption (famous last words, right?). I really liked this novel, for me Pat's voice was very reminiscent of Charlie's from The Perks Of Being a Wallflower which made it impossible to not feel sympathy for him. The book seemed to have more of a focus on football rather than dance (as the movie trailer makes it seem), but it was still a touching book about the aftermath of a breakdown and how important it can be to have a support system when you're in recovery.


The Picture Of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde
Dorian Gray is a man cursed. A portrait of him seems to give him a look into his soul, and what a dark soul it is. I picked up this classic without the intention of it being for the Mentalhealthathon, but I'm including it on this list as I'd argue that the story was a bewildering look at an inner battle of darkness. For me, the ugliness that seeped into Dorian's portrait was a look at how depression can corrupt someone in ways that aren't often spoken about. Sadness can darken every aspect of you, slowly, without you ever realizing. I'm not too sure whether that was the intention of Wilde, but this is what I want to take from this novel. Aren't the best books up for interpretation? 



DNF'd: 

The Behavior Of Love
by Virginia Reeves
I randomly started listening to this on Scribd, thinking it would be a great book for the readathon. A book about a psychiatric hospital? Sure. What a load of garbage this story was. All the men were absolutely vile, it seemed like each male wanted to assault a woman at some point in the story. And above all else, I think that the author truly did an injustice when writing about mental illness. It was somehow a mix of both glorifying and villainizing the patients. She belittled them in a way that I've never had the displeasure of reading before. Would not recommend, I'm not even writing a proper synopsis as the book itself was a far cry from what it said it was. Do not waste your time.


So, yeah! I'm so glad I participated int his readathon as it pushed me to pick up books that are now some of my favourites. What's a mental health topic that you want to learn more about? 


Mental Health & Covid-19

5/25/2020


Over the past few years my mental health has been all the place. In 2015 I had a great year, and then in 2016 I had a good year. 2017 was okay, 2018 was a downhill slope and 2019 was one of my worst. It seemed like with each passing year I lost some sanity. Or at the very least, control over my brain. Like for most people 2020 has been mentally tough, COVID-19 has created a huge crack in all of our lives and many of us are struggling to not fall into it. However, as someone who has chronic pain and tends to stay home a lot of time, I can't say that the virus has had that much effect on my day-to-day life, yes, grocery store runs and trips to the library are non-existent, but otherwise? My weekly routine is pretty much the same. My down days haven't lessened nor have they multiplied, again, its all.. the same. This is leading me to question whether my mental health and being home are connected. Each day that I log onto social media, I'm faced with countless of posts by people who are struggling more with their depression and anxiety because they're stuck in the house. Each post has hundreds of 'likes' and countless replies from people who are voicing their own demons. Stupidity may of never led me to connect the dots of my own life before, but now it's all I can seem to do. 

In the style of Carrie Bradshaw: I can't help but wonder, have I inadvertently been self quarantining myself for all these years? And if that's the case, is this why I'm depressed?

It's no secret that mental health and self hatred go hand-in-hand, but I'd argue that chronic pain and self deprecation are also connected. Pain imprisons you in your own body, and when the body fails, our brain can sometimes speed up in an effort to avoid insanity. At least for me, on the high pain scale days, my brain feels rotten. It's rather incredible how your own thoughts can bruise you in a new way. But pain or no pain, this quarantine is basically locking us in with ourselves. And quite clearly, that's why so many of us are struggling. It's too much time to spend fighting back the evil voice inside of us. If I'm right, and this is the case, then I've been choosing this life for myself? This endless cycle of fighting with what is essentially my own brain? My own heart? How deeply.. sad. 

When things begin to go back to normal I don't know whether I'll have the power to change the way my days look, but I know I really want to try. I recently read "Maybe You Should Talk To Someone" and to prove a point, one of the therapists instructs the patient to visualize a set of prison bars, you being behind them, and shaking them endlessly in an attempt to escape. You're so busy trying to break the bars down, that you never stop and realize that each side is open. You just have to go around, instead of through. I'm tired of trying to break things down that I'm too weak for. Maybe for now, I just have to go the long way around.

I don't really know what the purpose is of this post, but I felt the urge to write it. Hopefully it'll help just one person to reevaluate their own mental state outside of this lockdown.

How has your mental health been during the quarantine? Let's start a conversation without judgement, embarrassment, or filters. We write to know we're not alone. 


Side-note: I know that in the grant scheme of things, nothing about this is a problem. There are people literally putting their lives at risk during this pandemic to keep us all going, and I'm so incredibly grateful. Heroes are materializing in all kinds of forms lately, and it's a beautiful thing. Thank you to everyone on the front line. However, I think it's also okay to admit to not being mentally stable during all of this - even if our days are just spent at home. We all have weighted backs right now, just in very different ways. Maybe we ought to start helping each other to carry the load. My way of that is writing, I hope you understand. Again, thank you to all the doctors, nurses, hospital staff, postal workers, grocery store workers, teachers, food delivery staff, and all the other amazing humans making a difference. 

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill | Book Review [slight spoilers]

5/17/2020


Have you ever wanted a novel that has the writing style of The Night Circus but the plot of A Little Life with the magicalness of a Seanne McGuire book but written by Donna Tartt? Then this is the book for you! 

This is a tragic story set around two children, Rose and Pierrot, who are abandoned at an orphanage in 1914. There, they both experience abuse - sexual and physical - and eventually leave to forge their own paths, yet they're always hoping they'll find each-other again. In their eyes, they're each-others first loves. Nothing will ever compare to the other, it's fate. This novel has an undertone of magical realism as both the main characters have somewhat magical abilities, like juggling and dancing, but that's never a front-and-centre part of the story. Instead it's carried behind the plot of Rose wanted to start her own circus, and Pierrot becoming a bugler. 

The Lonely Hearts Hotel is the definition of quirky, and because of that, I'm not sure whether I enjoyed it. I had previously DNF'd the entire thing, but seemingly had a 'I hate myself' moment and decided to finish it via audiobook as my favourite narrator Julia Whelan was the voice behind the story. This entire book had too much juxtaposition. It was too depressing, and I never fully came to care for either of the characters as they were both too.. cold. I always felt like I was an arms length away from the story, as though the author was purposefully not allowing me to be swept up into the magic.


My biggest issue with the book was how much sexual content there was throughout this novel, and no, I'm not talking about some smutty kind. It felt as though every single sexual encounter the character had was either the miserable self loathing kind, or the type that left my hands feeling dirty. If I hear the word 'cunt' one more time in my lifetime, it'll be too soon. I hated how easily swayed both Rose and Pierrot were when it came to anything sexual, it felt like both were just constantly horny and willing to compromising everything about themselves for a quick thrill. As harsh as it sounds, it seemed like most of the time the author was writing just for the sake of writing. Most of the novel felt like icky filler with the backdrop of the great depression being an excuse for the awful things the characters were both going through/doing. Even when (spoiler ahead) they finally found each other, it was still a constant string of depressing filler. This book had no hope whatsoever, at no point in the book was there hope or light or happiness. Each part brought a new reason to be unhappy, for both me and the characters. 

Sexual abuse, self loathing, drug abuse, miscarriage, prostitution, rape, drug abuse, still born, depression, still born, death. That was basically the string of events throughout this novel. It was lonely, yes, but not in any poetic type of way. Just literal torture porn. 

I've been really negative about the plot, but I do want to add that the author is a very talented writer. Her way with words was the only thing that kept me going, which is ironic but true. She writes beautifully, like lyrical poetry, and I'm madly in love with the way she can describe practically anything with beauty. The plot just really wasn't for my book palette. 

To summarise, weirdly, The Lonely Hearts Hotel felt like a poem that had been stretched out into a 350+ page novel with no rhythm or reason. It was miserably pointless. Which is all the more depressing as I found this signed copy at a library sale. Did you love this novel? Let me send this to you! Save me from it's miserable aura. (No, but really, someone ought to have this who loves the author.)

I can't in good faith recommend this book despite the beautiful style of writing. I would read more by the author, but would never ever pick up this book again. Forgive me, O'Neill. 


Inside Birchbox | May 2020

5/13/2020


How are we already on May's Birchbox? It feels like this year is speeding by in a blur of days spent at home. Despite the frivolousness of a beauty box right now, it is rather nice to have something to look forward to during all the craziness. I actually remembered to choose a curated box this month, which was the 'Female Founder Collective x Birchbox', but before we go through all the products that were included, I just want to write out a huge heartfelt thank you to all the essential workers out there who are keeping our butts surviving during these impossible times, you're warriors. Again, thank you.




Brand: Lawless Beauty
Product: Soft Matter Liquid Lipstick 
Full-sized details: $25
Sample size received: Full-size
I've mentioned before how I do like to receive make-up products in my Birchbox as I think it's a great way to mix-up your monthly subscription, however, I don't think I'd ever wear this purpley lipstick shade, which is a shame. I wish your beauty profile on the Birchbox website allowed you to be more specific with the shades of make-up products you'd prefer. Saying that, it is really cool that in this box there was a full-sized product that already retails for more the entire cost of your box. 

Brand: Rael 
Product: Collagen Sheet Mask
Full-sized details: $15
Sample size received: One Mask
Who doesn't love a good sheet mask experience? For some reason, whenever I use a sheet mask, it feels like the height of luxuriousness. Maybe I need to be more glam, alas, I'm really excited to try something from this new-to-me skincare brand.

Brand: Kate Somerville
Product: Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment 
Full-sized details: $85
Sample size received: 7.5ml
The packaging for this would've put me off purchasing it (well, that and the hefty price tag), but I do love a good exfoliating treatment. This one surprised me with the formula being a green colour with the scent of matcha. It doesn't feel too harsh on my skin, which is a huge plus. Here's hoping for noticeable results.




Brand: Wander Beauty
Product: Mile High Club Volume and Length Mascara 
Full-sized details: $26
Sample size received: 10g
Is it even a beauty subscription box without a mascara? I think not! I've yet to sample this specific mascara so I'm excited to give it a good go, especially as I'm still waiting to find a mascara that I swear by. What's your favourite brand for mascara? Let me know in the comments! 

Brand: Saint Jane
Product: Luxury CBD Beauty Serum
Full-sized details: $125
Sample size received: 3ml
I received this very same sample in my November Birchbox, and as I only use it every few days, I still have at least 1/5 of the bottle! This just goes to show that beauty box samples can be worth the money, despite the small amount of product you get. I find serums the easiest to make last as you only need a few drops. Over the past few months I've become somewhat of a snob with serums, and though this isn't my favourite of the ones I've tried, my skin does soak it up with glee. So I'm happy to have another bottle on standby.  

Brand: Arrow
Product: Nourishing Lip Oil, Enhancing Pink
Full-sized details: $16
Sample size received: 3ml
Raise your hand if you seem to have dry lips 24/7? This is something I've struggled with since my early teens, so any product I can try that might help combat that is a joy to me. I was pleasantly surprised that this specific oil didn't leave my lips.. well... oily. It's more reminiscent of a gel balm. But there is absolutely no colour payoff despite the claim 'it also reacts to the pH level of your skin to create a unique shade of pink'. So, meh.


There we have it! Another month gone, another box down. Once my 12 month subscription ends, I may try out a different beauty box. Any suggestions? Or any specific box you'd like a review on? Let me know, I'm always open to ideas. Be safe. 

The Secret Garden || Photo Diary

5/10/2020


I've done a few Photo Diary posts, mostly when travelling like my 48 hours In Edinburgh and Glass Beach, Fort Bragg. But given our current circumstances, we're all pretty much stranded at home. To find beauty in that, I decided to venture to the garden and take some shots that capture what I'm currently surrounded by. "Light can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to put on the light." Or something like that.












What's keeping you sane during quarantine? 




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