It’s National Lipstick Day! My Favorite Lipsticks

Lip color has been a part of my life since I was about 8 or 9. I wore it all the time, before I was allowed to wear any other makeup, and it’s still one of my favorite things. I wanted to share some of my favorites with you all today. They’re mostly reds (that’s pretty much all I wear anymore), but the formula is amazing and they do come in other colors.

Nyx Pin-Up Pout Lipstick in Red Haute

I wore this for a show set in the 40s and very quickly fell in love. It’s my absolute favorite- the formula is creamy, long-lasting, and comfortable, and the color is gorgeous.

Limelight by Alcone Liquid Lip in Macaroon

A deep pinky nude that I don’t wear too often, but nonetheless, I love it.

Too Faced Peach Kiss Lipstick in He’s With Me

IT SMELLS LIKE PEACHES AND CREAM. Honestly, it’s worth it for the delicious smell. But aside from that, I love the formula and the color. It’s also not too matte, which I prefer.

Nyx Liquid Suede Liquid Lip

I have the shade Kitten Heels, which is pretty, but it’s just a little too bright. I do wear it because it’s crazy comfortable. Also, if you’re looking for a dupe for Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lip, this formula feels almost exactly the same.

Clinique Lipstick in Matte Beauty

My first favorite. I wore almost only Clinique for the longest time and I still love their lipsticks.

I just got one of Kat Von D’s (in the shade Outlaw) yesterday, and for the short time I wore it last night, I loved it.

What’s your favorite lipstick?

-Clara

(Images via Google)

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Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

cruel-beauty

Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her seventeenth birthday when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom’s mountaintop, nothing is what she expected—particularly her charming and beguiling new husband. Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can’t resist the pull of her sworn enemy—who’s gotten in her way by stealing her heart.

(via Goodreads)

I don’t remember exactly where I heard about Cruel Beauty, but I’ve wanted to read it for a long time and finally got around to it.

I love retellings, and Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairytales. This book combined both the beloved fairytale and Greek mythology, which I’ve loved since I was eight years old.

This book was really, really good, but I had a couple of issues with it. I’ll get the negative out of the way and then talk about what I loved.

The world-building is a little difficult to follow- the world is really complex, and combined with the large amount of mythology, it’s a little bit too complicated. If you’re familiar with Greek mythology, it’s not too bad, but if you’re not I can see it getting really confusing at times.

My other issue was the ending. I liked the way it ended; I thought it was sweet, but it all felt very rushed and fast-paced compared to the rest of the book. The book isn’t fast-paced at all (but in the best way) until you get to the ending. It was a little annoying but didn’t ruin the overall book for me.

Onto the things I loved!

Nyx is honestly amazing. She’s not a sweet little thing at all, and I kinda love that. It was a breath of fresh air. She was really well developed and Rosamund did a great job of telling us about how she became so bitter and angry at the world. And the way she changes over the course of the novel is really well done. She grows in a lot of ways and we get to see that clearly.

Ignifex is quite charming, in a bit of an odd way, I guess? I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but I loved him. He was quite hilarious at times and also just a generally interesting person to read about.

Shade was one I didn’t like, but I don’t think I’m supposed to, if you know what I mean.

And I completely LOVED the relationship between Nyx and Ignifex. Their romance is amazing and there’s a little bit of banter. Banter is one of my favorite things ever. (Side note, if you like a lot of banter, you absolutely need to read A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi. Just do yourself a favor and read it.) The romance is one of the main parts of Cruel Beauty. It works well and is such a fun relationship to read.

I like the plot. It’s Beauty and the Beast, of course, but I also feel like it was a bit of a Cupid and Psyche retelling as well, especially with Astraia (Nyx’s sister) and all the mythology references. A part of me does feel like the plot could have worked better as a novella or novelette, but regardless, it was a good one.

As a whole, I rated this book 4 stars, because while I very much enjoyed most of it, I had a couple issues.

I would definitely recommend this to people who love retellings, mythology, and antiheroes.

Have you read Cruel Beauty? What did you think?

-Clara

P.S. Lady Gwen is in formatting at the moment and I’m proofing an ebook this week. We’re getting close to releasing it!

The FIFA World Cup Book Tag (even though I totally don’t watch soccer/football)

So Angelica @The Book Cover Girl tagged me to do this tag created by Rendz @Reading with Rendz and even though I don’t watch soccer, I’m doing it anyway. It’s been forever since I did a tag, and I always love them.

Also, is the World Cup even still going? I don’t pay attention to sports at all guys…

Let the Flags Fly

Wave them high and proudly!!! Look at all the fun colours!!!
A Book from your World Cup Competing Country/ the Country that You Want to Win!

So apparently America isn’t in the World Cup this year? I’m going to go with Germany I guess (is it them that’s out already though? Guys I am so clueless about this whole thing). And the book is…

InkHeart by Cornelia Funke. This is still my favorite MG series and I really should reread it soon. The world is one I repeatedly rave about here because it’s just amazing.

It’s The Beautiful Game

Football! Soccer! Beautiful! Whatever you call it!
A book with a pretty cover / A book that features soccer

eor

I adore this cover and it’s an AMAZING book that you should totally go read right now, especially if you like fae.

Ferocious Fans

Face paint! Big signs! Lots of noise!
Name a fandom you love being a part of!

The Lunar Chronicles fandom, because Cresswell and Wolflet. Also just Carswell Thorne, who is officially my book husband. #sorrynotsorry but you can’t have him.

Teamwork! Teamwork! Teamwork!

There is no way one person can win the game!
Name your Favourite Bookish Crew / A Book that has Co-Authors!

The Lunar Chronicles again. The Rampion Crew is just awesome to read about and I love every single one of them dearly.

Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris is my co-authored book. It’s non-fiction but it is so important and everyone needs to read it.

Ref Blows the Whistle

You either love him or you hate him.
Name a book/character that you have mixed feelings towards!

Cardan from The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. I’m 99% sure we’re all supposed to hate him but I can’t shake the feeling that as the series continues he’s going to end up on my list of fictional crushes. Not yet, because he’s such a jerk in this book but I also want to like him at the same time.

And then there’s also everyone in The Great Gatsby, because I don’t like any of them one bit but I still love them. It’s complicated.

GGGGOOOAAAALLLL!!!!

Everyone loses their heads and starts yelling at the top of their lungs!
Name your last 5 star read!

Every Throne of Glass book since Heir of Fire, which is basically all I read last month. And there was a lot of losing my head and yelling at the top of my lungs during every one of them.

Maeve is evil, and I’m slightly jealous that Sarah gets the honor of killing her off and I don’t.

The Gold Cup

It’s what we play for.
The Most Coveted/Loved Book On Your Shelf

My copy of The Great Gatsby. It’s my favorite book and I will not let anyone borrow it. A good friend of my asked if she could once and just had to tell her that I love her but no. I’d be okay letting her borrow any book but that one.

I Tag…

Angelica @TheGeekyContralto

Annabeth @TheJrInklings

Alan Zaroff

So that wasn’t too bad for someone who hasn’t the first clue about the World Cup.

Do you watch the World Cup? What was your most recent 5-star read?

-Clara

Best and Worst Books of the Year So Far

Hey guys!

It’s been forever since I talked about reading instead of writing. Today I want to talk about the best and worst books I’ve read so far this year.

I haven’t done a lot of reading at all, unfortunately, but my reading has picked up a lot in the past month, and the books I have read I’ve really enjoyed.

The Worst Book so Far:
I haven’t really hated any books this year, and there’s really only one I actually disliked.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I didn’t completely hate this- as a matter of fact, I was really invested in it for the first half- but it just fell apart for the second act. I was ready for it to be over a long time before it ended.

The Best Books:

A friend of mine got me to finally give the Throne of Glass series a chance. I read book one about a year ago, and it wasn’t spectacular, but I picked up Crown of Midnight about a month ago and have devoured almost all of the ones out. Also, the ending of Empire of Storms is absolutely terrible and I’m still not over it.

It’s tempting to just say every book in that series is the best I’ve read this year (which wouldn’t be a lie), but I’ve read other amazing books this year.

To list the three best books of the year so far:

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

This is my favorite book of the year so far, for real. The plot was amazing, the characters were true to themselves (but I hate seeing Chaol depressed), and the relationship development was fabulous.

Also, Rowan Whitethorn.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

I reviewed this one here a while back. This book is so good and was the fastest I’d read a novel in a long time.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi by Jason Fry

I know this is kinda cheating because it’s a movie novelization, but this book was just as good as the movie (better, in some ways). I did a very fangirl-y post about the movie before I read the book. The character development on Ben Solo still blows my mind.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year? Tell me in the comments!

-Clara