Buy or Bye: KKW x Kylie Round 2 Collection

You guys know makeup and coffee are my weakness and the keys to my material heart. Well, this Black Friday I couldn’t resist because Kylie Jenner came out with another lip collection! Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner have done it again by coming out with KKW x Kylie Round 2 Collection. After I saw the swatches I knew I had to pick one up for myself.

This lip collection comes with four beautiful shades with an amazing formula to match. They range from a dark hue to light and perfect for every skin tone! I was so impressed by the warm undertones these shades have so they didn’t come off ashy looking on my lips. Major key! Since these shades don’t come with a liner, I lined my lips with a universal liner from Sephora before putting them on, however, you can use whatever you want. But let’s look at them a little closer shall we?

Double Trouble

This is my favorite shade out of all of them. Double Trouble is a red chestnut bold matte lip that won’t disappoint. I loved the formula being creamy, and lightweight on the lips. I’ve never had a matte lipstick that didn’t make my lips feel dry, but now that is no more. It also is long lasting! I was able to eat and drink for hours before having to apply it again. I put it on around 7 AM and didn’t reapply it until about 5 PM that same day. It’s a great shade for women with darker skin tones like myself. Here’s how it looks on me:

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Soul Sister

Soul Sister is another goody. This brick red matte lip is perfect for that classic red lip but toned-down because it’s on the darker side. Again the formula is amazing! It lasted all day through eating and drinking from 5 AM to 4 PM. The color also complimented my skin tone, as well as the others. I absolutely love the matte lip look! This is what it looks like on:

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Twinning

Twinning is a rosy terracotta shade that is perfect for every day. I like how it is one of her velvet formulas, but still gives you the matte look that I love! It does transfer a little, but that doesn’t affect how the color lasts all day through eating and drinking. The formula is smooth and creamy. I like that it isn’t sticky and feels light on the lips while still being very pigmented. I like that it doesn’t look ashy on my dark skin too! That’s really hard to find with lighter nude like shades, but this one hits the nail on the head. This is how the shade looks on me:

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Side Note: I used her burgundy palette on my eyes!

Main Bae

Main Bae is a bronzed copper shade that goes on silky smooth and not gritty despite the flakes. Out of the four, this one transfers the most and you’ll have to reapply it often like you would with any gloss. That doesn’t deter it from being an awesome and wearable color. I really love the formula it is super moisturizing and the applicator is sturdy making it easy to apply. I can appreciate the thought that went into making this product. This is how it looks on yours truly:

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Buy or Bye: The Verdict

So now the question is, is this a buy or bye? I personally feel this is a huge buy! From the formula to the color selection is good enough for me. Kylie and Kim did an excellent job creating shades that are suitable for a variety of skin tones while making a lasting, and moisturizing formula to match.

These products are high quality and worth every penny. I enjoyed using these lip shades to compliment my various looks throughout the week and will definitely use them from now on. I’m satisfied with my purchase and am glad that I did take the plunge.

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Veteran’s Day | Guest Post

Veteran’s Day.

This day means a lot to so many people. It is a day to honor those who served this country, both in the past and present. It is a day that we feel immense pride in being American, in living in a place known for its freedoms—freedoms that have been fought for and earned time and time again, thanks to veterans.

For me, it’s always been a day in which I can commemorate my grandfather, Mar Arradaza—or shall I say Captain Mar Arradaza—who served in the US Army during World War II. I grew up hearing stories of my grandfather, of how he fought bravely in the Philippines in one of the bloodiest, most pivotal conflicts this world has ever seen. Of how he’d escaped from being a POW three times (I’ve endearingly started joking that if there was one thing my grandpa was good at, it was escaping), one of those times being from the Bataan Death March where up to 18,000 Filipinos were estimated to have died.

He’d been face to face with death several times, and yet each time he managed to escape its grasp. He ended up living a long life and died at the age of eighty-nine in his home with a legacy of ten children and twenty-four grand-children left behind him.

When I honor my Grandpa Mar, I tend to think mostly of the glory of his achievements. To me, he was almost larger than life. He was a war hero.

However, oftentimes I forget that these achievements didn’t come without great sacrifice. He might have escaped death during the war, but that doesn’t mean he escaped fully intact. Most who come back from war rarely ever do.

You see, my grandfather suffered from PTSD.

It wasn’t until decades after he retired that they’d finally diagnosed him. Most of my memories of my grandfather were good, peaceful memories, and most of his grandchildren could likely say the same. However, my mother, my grandmother, and many of my aunts and uncles had far different experiences.

They say he was excessively strict growing up, bordering on cruel. He was easily irate and would punish his children far too easily and perhaps far too much. For much of their lives, many of them feared him; some even grew to resent him. This is not to mention his treatment of my grandmother—his wife—who would often experience his wrath in full force. Hardly any of his family would have described him as a kind man in the past.

No one really thought that his behavior was a result of his time in the war until he had a psychiatric evaluation as an elderly man. When they diagnosed him as suffering from PTSD, it suddenly clicked for my mother, the why for his behavior: the war had scarred him far more permanently than anyone had ever imagined. By this point, however, the resulting collateral damage to his family had been done. His children and his wife had perhaps been able to forgive him in time, but the scars would forever remain.

 

Though he had always been the most memorable veteran in my family, my Grandpa Mar was not the only one. In fact, on both sides, I have aunts, uncles, cousins, and even my brother who have served or are currently serving in the military. Often, I tend to forget my other grandfather, Grandpa Jesus (pronounced the Spanish way, “hay-soos”) had also served.

Growing up, though I’d still been proud, my younger self-hadn’t been quite as impressed hearing about Grandpa Jesus’s time serving. He’d been a cook in the US Navy during the 50’s. Unlike Grandpa Mar, he hadn’t served in WWII, hadn’t seen combat, and had been medically discharged within years of him joining the navy. He also never really had any stories that I remember him telling us about his time serving.

I’d always heard that he’d become schizophrenic while in the navy which had ultimately led to his discharge, that it had something to do with government experimentation, but I’d always brushed off these stories as conspiracies. After all, every memory I have of my grandfather was him sitting in his wooden chair in the corner of the kitchen, smoking and listening to the radio.

There was nothing to me that indicated that he was “crazy”, and I figured if this experimentation was true, surely I would have heard about it in my history class, or there would be some kind of letter from some politician lying around reading something along the lines of, “Hey, sorry we made you take some weird drugs that would mess up your mind for the rest of your life, that was absolutely inhumane of us to do and was totally our bad.”

It wasn’t until much later that I realized that these “conspiracies” were actually way more substantiated than I thought. There are plenty of instances between the 50’s and 60’s in which soldiers were experimented on by the government, oftentimes without the soldiers’ consent. In the 60’s, Project SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense) was specifically conducted on U.S. warships, where biological and chemical warfare agents were sprayed over these ships in order to “determine how well service members aboard military ships could detect and respond to chemical and biological attacks.”

While it’s too late to prove whether my grandfather’s schizophrenia was truly a result of whatever the government did to him, regardless they took responsibility for it. Well, what responsibility they could while still being classified at the time. When he was medically discharged, he received full medical benefits for the rest of his life, as has been given to many other victims of human experimentation by the US government since. Unfortunately, he would very much be in need of those medical benefits for most of his retirement.

This was something I did not find out until recently, along with many other things about my grandfather during his lifelong recuperation.

I had not known about the voices my grandfather would hear, urging him to do violent things to his family. I had not known about how there were several instances where he almost did act on these thoughts, resulting in him being hospitalized for months at a time. I had not known that it wasn’t until they started injecting him with his medication that he finally seemed to get better, which is why most of my memories of him seem so much saner. Normal.

Grandpa Jesus died in 2007, on Independence Day to be exact, and like my Grandpa Mar, left behind a large family that loved him. And yet, the impact my grandfather’s mental illness had on his family was lasting. My father, as well as supposedly many of his siblings, are still traumatized. Like with my mother’s family, he may be forgiven, but the wounds still run deep.

I may have different memories of my grandfathers, but their impacts on both me and their families run parallel. I am glad that I was able to experience much brighter times with them, to be able to see them at peace, without the demons in their heads. However, now that I know what they each were dealing with, it breaks my heart to see how their personal suffering affected their families in the long run. I am proud to say that both of my grandfathers were veterans, but unfortunately, I cannot do so without acknowledging that they paid a heavy price.

When men and women serve our country, we sometimes don’t realize the extent of which they give themselves to do so. Mental illness is not something we tend to immediately think about when we think of what our soldiers and veterans go through to do their duties and keep us safe, yet it is most prevalent among them. Studies have shown that at least a quarter of non-deployed military members suffer from at least one mental health disorder, while suicide remains one of the leading causes of death among veterans and active duty military. The numbers only continue to grow, and people are only finally trying to understand why this is occurring.

It is for this reason that this Veteran’s Day I would like to honor these men and women for continuously putting not only their bodies but their sanity on the line for us. I also encourage you all to thank a veteran as well as anyone currently still in the military for all that they sacrifice of themselves to complete their duty. I can only hope we will continue to educate ourselves about this and make an effort to improve the mental health and wellness of our veterans, because they deserve to live a life of peace after all that they endure.

By Veronica Valera AKA @lifeofnicah

 

 

 

Poetry | Just A Season

Can’t keep focusing on what could have been
Gotta keep pushing forward like a gust of wind
Though my heart is heavy, it is what’s best
The troubles and worries are put to rest
The present is a gift that’s not guaranteed
You’ve got to make the best of life as it is
Not on a fantasy of what you think it should be
I started making my dreams into plans
Then reality set in
To whom I left behind
I’m sorry; I can never see you again
You couldn’t keep going
Our season has been met
I understand the flame is gone
Now onto the future with my plans
The lessons you taught will not be taken in vain
But like an old teddy bear
We eventually have to let go
Even when it is hard to be alone

@turningthepagebypaigeredwine

Poetry | I’m Trying

Trying.

That’s all I ever do.

To please,

To live,

To survive,

To not cry.

Trying.

It makes my soul ache.

Who am I?

Whatever I decide that day.

Maybe the truth,

Maybe a lie.

Who are you to judge?

Can’t you see the thorn in your own eye?

Let he without sin cast the first stone.

That’s what I thought;

You know you are wrong.

But let me not trickle down because

What I think is we’re all doing the best we can.

Trying.

So tiresome,

Frustrating.

But you have to try before it’s too late.

Before you enter the Kingdom or the gate of Hades.

You have to decide.

Trying.

For love in all the wrong places.

Finding love in the right place,

But the wrong time.

For comfort,

No drug can cure,

No abuse can stop me from

Trying.

To make things right.

To make peace before sunlight.

Trying.

To get up every day with a smile on my face.

It’s HARD.

I’m in PAIN.

Emotionally,

Mentally,

Let me rot away.

I’m NO addict and have NEVER abused in my life.

Trying.

All you can see is nappy hair,

Wrinkled clothing,

A deathly stare.

Trying.

What you don’t know is

There’s more to me than what you THINK you see.

Your eyes will never meet because your self-absorption is way too deep;

Don’t get paralyzed by your own deceit.

It’s mental health,

It’s me

Trying.

Stop the JUDGMENT.

Stop the HATE.

Before trying turns into tried.

Just appreciate,

Empathize,

Again, there is so much more to me than what meets the eye.

I’m trying.

Every day.

The only thing I have is joy.

And I sure as HELL won’t let ANY OF YOU take that away.

TRYING.

@turningthepagebypaigeredwine

Reflection | Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

  1. I’ve only been out of the country once in my whole 23 years of living. (Shout out to Jamaica and Mexico!)
  2. I graduated college in the states in 3 years. (I give all the credit to Summer School. I’m conflicted on whether that should be a yuck or yay)
  3. I have a green belt in Taekwondo and sometimes I think about enrolling again to get to my black belt, but then again…
  4. Just know that if we meet in person I may interrupt a lot on accident so sorry in advance! I truly don’t mean to it’s just a bad habit that most people with ADHD have.
  5. I love to sing and am a member of my church choir
  6. I play two instruments. I’ll let you guess which two, but no cheating if you know me outside of the web
  7. I am currently getting my masters in children’s ministry
  8. In high school, I was the goody two shoes with a dash of spice. (Don’t get on my bad side lol)
  9. I’ve never lived outside of Texas (That needs to change!)
  10. My mother passed away when I was one year old leaving me to be raised by my grandparents (I call them my parents though and still have a relationship with my amazing biological father; I’m one lucky girl!)

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Poetry | Dear Little Girl

Dear little girl

Dry your eyes

Dear little girl

Everything will be alright

Dear little girl

You are loved and cared for

Dear little girl

Believe in yourself more

Dear little girl

You have nothing to prove

Dear little girl

Continue to be uniquely you

Poetry | Fear.

Fear.
It’s an old friend
Fear.
Calls me again
Fear.
I try to block you out
Fear.
Has control over me
Fear.
I try to let you out
Fear.
My knees on the ground
Fear.
Hands clasp as I speak to the utmost high
Fear.
Get away from me and hide
Fear.
I’ve let you go
Fear.
I now have peace in my soul

@foodforthoughtbypaigeredwine

Poetry | The Restless Dark Place

She paces back and forth

Like waves hitting the shore

Death is in the air

It suffocates.

For once there is no fear

No moonlight No sunshine

The shrilling cry

Tears like rainfall

Cloudy sight.

A lion’s roar.

She paces back and forth.

@foodforthoughtbypaigeredwine