Monday, June 27, 2016

On Finishing School

It is easy to find some type of melancholy when you live all your life expecting Before Sunrise to happen to you:

Gazing out of the train while listening to "New Slang"
Meeting someone you once met on the other side of the world at your subway station
Having a guy singing you a song about your all black outfit
Being on top of Firenze with two red roses in your hand
Paper cuts
Night-in writing short story while the world outside is raging over a single round ball and 22 sweaty men
Not knowing anyone at a party which resulted in another series of binge drinking
Being alone at year's end
Talking to someone for the very first time
Packing stuffs
Airplane rides
Laying on a mattress naked
Unanswered text messages
Unboxing stuffs you ordered online, you capitalist swine
Standing still in the middle of the street because your right leg fall asleep
Asking someone if the seat's taken
Nail bitting in public
Waving at someone you thought was waving at you
The scent of a new perfume
Waking up at someone else's bed
Reading the label of a shampoo bottle inside a shower
Listening to conversation in different language and not understanding a single thing
Free soda refill
Cleaning your make up brushes and thinking whether it's a metaphor
Shattering glass objects
Long phone calls
Having your hair brushed off your face
Talking to elder ladies
Photo booths
Forehead and cheek kisses
Receiving "signs"
Missing a bus or other public transport
Fresh bed sheets

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I Know You Don't Care But Here's A Life Update

Hi. Hello. It's been forever.

A little recap:

  • I graduated from Uni, BA in Sociology with Minor in Communication. My bachelor's thesis is about modern consumerism and the sharing economy phenomenon. 
  • I am now based in Berlin. I know, exciting stuffs.
  • I got a new laptop (well I got it secondhand, but)
  • I have been eating crap in the past few months (this is not an update)
  • My weird tan lines are yet to disappear
  • I am in-between jobs, I know I should probably try harder at finding something
  • I live in a really small space, it was so small and ugly I almost cried the first time I spent the night here (I know I am such a brat)
  • I will try to write/blog more (seriously this time!)
  • I am currently just enjoying life and been exploring the city. I love it!
  • I'm thinking to write a book about my experience being an Indonesian in Germany (this is a reminder to create a pitch and contact some publishers)
  • Still fat.
I do love writing but often times I feel like I have problems articulating my thoughts, be it my poor english proficiency or fat fingers that constantly creating typos. Most of the times I also feel nobody cares about my content and that my content is shit and self-centered (which is true).

I guess I'm just gonna try to get over that feeling and just go for it. Life's too short to please everyone, or to be perfect. In another note, I'm thinking to move this blog to a new domain, y'know, create a new brand etc, maybe create my own website (coolblogname).com where I post blogs, pics, maybe youtube videos (I'm thinking to make a mailing list or something that send people cat pics or videos currated by yours truly). Honestly I have so many ideas and now I have the time and a working computer, I'm gonna get crackin'. I also have been thinking to create a zine and print like 10 copies to give to my friends and online friends, maybe also my Tinder matches (blitz marketing strategy) (Don't ask me how many matches I have, okay fine, ask me. Wait-, no matter how many matches I got, you still gonna Tinder-shame me anyway, right?)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bali Diary 2016

So I just got back from an adventure, of traveling an island alone, or so I have started. I have traveled alone before. However it was my first to explore Indonesia on my own. I was scared, I was full of excitement. The trip started in Lombok. I had just spent a few days with my family, but being normal human beings they have responsibilities and were only able to be away for a couple of days. Me, on the other hand, I have plenty of time. I have just finished my bachelor's thesis (which I have to admit, is not my best work, but I just really want to finish uni soon and I have been dealing with /great/ stress over the past couple of months) and I will be in Indonesia until the beginning of April, before I have to go back to defend the thesis.
I honestly didn't have anything planned. Even the family trip was a spontaneous one. I had just arrived few days in, met only 2 of my friends and somehow took off to Lombok. Knowing that Bali is just next to the island and granted mum's blessings, I thought I will be alright. Note that, all the solo travel I have done so far were done in Europe and almost-thoroughly planned. This one was not.
My family left Lombok on an Sunday, they dropped me off at the bus terminal where the local bandit of ticket sellers came swarming trying to ask me where I'm going. Not gonna lie, but it was slightly terrifying. I asked for a ticket to Bali and one of them asked for 250 k Rupiah, which is about 18 Euro. Which is a reasonable transport fee if I was still in Europe, but heck, in Indonesia there's no way I'm paying that much. 

So I headed out the terminal and managed to locate local mini van to take me to the ferry port. Yes, change of plans, I'm taking the ferry to get to Bali. I met this guy in the van who was kind enough to guide me to the ferry, but I left him and sat alone because he was weird. He was mumbling, singing alone inside the ferry. I just couldn't deal. The ferry ride took about 4 hours, it wasn't bad really. I catched a bit of nap and upon reaching Bali, I spoke to some guys who were cleaning the seats. I noticed, hey, I am traveling alone but along the journey I was never alone.
From Padang Bai (the port in Bali) I took a shuttle bus, but I had to wait about an hour before it arrived. Again, I was involved in a conversation with a local man. He told me stories about his kids, about cars and rapid growth of Bali. It was good fun until I spotted a rat walking in his kitchen. It was sort of a mood killer. But then the shuttle bus arrived and I figured I'll go to Kuta (to the backpacker mecca slash hell hole) and there I can figure out an itinerary or things I wanna do and see in Bali. Somehow the bus stopped in Sanur, the guys said we need to be transferred to another bus and yada yada yada we had to wait. I think I waited a good hour sitting on the curb and again, talked to the driver guy. Little did I know, the following week I met him again in Ubud. Talking about small world.

Fast forward, I arrived in Kuta, directionless. I figured I'd go to Poppies Lane and find a place to crash, which I finally managed to do. I scored an empty dorm room, all air conditioned, all me, sweet! The very beginning of my trip I was feeling unwell so that night I spent all alone, still trying to figure out where to go next. Like every other sane traveler out there, I knew Kuta is not my fav hang so I decided to check out in the morning. Then I stopped for breakfast/early lunch at this place where this one girl sat next to my table. I didn't know what come up to me, but I gained all my bravery and decided to approached her and asked her to join my table (I know, I'm creepy AF).

So she is also traveling alone, we got along fine and she mentioned she's checking in to another hostel and that I should join her for one more night in Kuta. That certainly sounds like a plan (and I didn't have any plan), so I proceed. We met another girls and then another guys, went to Sky Garden for cheap buffet and free flow of drinks, went bar hopping and ended up playing Never-Have-I-Ever at the hostel room until late. See it was alright, but I want my travel to be more of adventure and less about partying. I am getting old, and perhaps wiser (not).

So the next morning I got up, hang over free and decided to leave to Ubud. How do I get there? I don't know. I mean I know there's this option to take the shuttle bus. But before I left, I wrote a letter to this girl I met and left my facebook add (again, very creepy). So there I went again, on the street of Kuta with my backpack. Long story short I met this guy who was also heading to Ubud so I hopped on the back of his scooter. I know, I know, there are bad people out there and I have seen (or my friends who know I like to travel alone have forced me to see) Taken, but... sometimes you just gotta follow your gut and live a little. You need to yell out YOLO every once in a while. This is very cringe worth, innit?

I mean I got a free ride to Ubud. And we went to the monkey forest together. It was decent. Again, it made me feel like I was never alone during my trip. And the girl I met in Kuta, she messaged me and mentioned that she's in Ubud too! So I went to her hostel and decided to stay there and met this group of lovely people. Ubud is such a nice place really. Have you ever been in place where every shop looks lovely and smell really nice?! This one restaurant we passed smelled like freaking lemon grass. So so good! And the vibe is just all chill. I mean if you don't count the guys offering you Taxi every 30 seconds.

The group of people I met are lovely, lovely bunch and they decided to continue the trip to Amed (somewhere I have no particular desire to visit) and Gili (where I have just been with my family), so I decided to part ways with them. My last day in Ubud was spent with this guy who I also met from the hostel. One of the night when we were hanging at the lobby, he caught me reading Bukowski and mentioned how he'd never thought that there's someone who would actually read Bukowski, so of course it got me intrigued. Honestly I was so scared that I wouldn't be able to be mobile in Bali, because I can't ride a motorbike and because I am too broke to always take taxi, but it is actually so easy to meet people and get a ride from some guy (obviously you have to be careful, especially when you're traveling alone). So we ended up going to two beaches about 1 and half hours away from Ubud and it was nice. All sort of Before Sunrise-esque. There was also one night where I stayed up late trying to figure out what to do next and ended up talking to the receptionist guy, he was really funny telling me stories how he liked to skip school before and a wall fell on him as he tried to run away. He showed he hostel horror stories, nice guests, showed me pictures of cute guests and his girlfriend and how he likes her because she has dough and he also thought I was 30 years old. Oh well.. The other guy I met told me I was one of the most beautiful asian girl he's ever seen. So, you know, I figured things people said about you don't matter. I think that's one of the thing I learned during this trip. Indonesia, and especially Bali's weather is hot and humid. Back in Germany I wear make up daily. I don't think my make up is cakey, but it wasn't au naturel at all too. In Bali I learned to grace my bare face. It was hard at first, I think I look quite ugly with no make up, but traveling alone I wasn't trying to impress anyone, or to meet anyone. Day by day I learned to not care. After all, I should focus more on 'seeing' rather than 'to be seen' while I'm out and about. The fact that I managed to still get guys attention overwhelmed me. I had no make up on, I am burned like overly-done cake under Balinese sun, I sweat a ton. Who would have known, maybe I got charming personality going for me (not).

As I was blaberring about, Ubud was major. Loved it. But I didn't want to get attached to places and people, so I moved along. That's another thing that I challenged myself I guess.., not to get attached.
So I took another shuttle bus, there's where I met the same driver guy. Down and back South I go, this time it's further from Kuta, to a place called Canggu. I have never heard of my indonesian friends and family talking about Canggu, like I have heard about Kuta, Ubud and Uluwatu as main spots in Bali. After sessions of googling, I found this article that labelled Canggu as the Brooklyn of Bali, so of course I was instantly sold. It was sort of accurate. Canggu is filled with chic boutiques and hang out spots, girls who shops exclusively at Free People and most important, hot surfer dudes. Holy hell, I always tell people Amsterdam is the place to spot hot guys, but I think now Canggu won. At least to my standard, the guys were almost all very attractive. Sun-kissed, tattooed, bearded, clutching surf board, riding motorbike and ripped bodies. I arrived to Canggu on Gojek (motorbike Uber) to this hostel with no bookings, because in Kuta and Ubud I was so used to just walk in like that. Well the place was fully booked. Shit. And Canggu is not a packed area like Ubud or Kuta where you can just walk everywhere. Luckily the Gojek guy was still there and kind enough to take me to the next hostel recommended by this lady at the full hostel. So there I was at this other hostel. I guess the main hang of the hostel was in the front porch, next to the pool that was also packed with babes. I shit you not, there must been around 30 people sitting there looking like they just walked out from Abercrombie and Fitch catalogs. At that point my mind can't handle, how such a small place could contain so many hot people?!?! Added into that this one really hot dude with long dirty blond hair smiled at me. I could die. Still I proceed to go in and asked for an empty bed. They were also fully booked. It was the saddest moment I have had in Bali. I wanted oh so badly to stay there. Sad face. But they were kind enough to take me to another hostel, I guess it was sort of the sister's hostel. 
So I finally made it to Canggu Surf Hostel. And guess what? They were fully booked too. At this point it was almost turned me into frustation. I though, this was a mistake to leave my lovely group. I was drenched in sweat. In the morning I had put on a bit of cat-eyeliner and I was sure that the eyeliner is smudged all over my eye. But hey, they said, there's this bed outside next to the pool, if I want, I can stay the night there, discounted price of course. I was just so happy to finally got an option of accomodation, so I said yes. I ended up sharing the bed with one german girl where we became the feast for all the mosquito. The people at the hostel were lovely, lovely crowd too. They found out that I'm a loser who can't ride a motorbike and they teached me. I was almost in tears, they were so nice! So I made friend with the security guy who brought me to an open field and teach me to ride a scooter. I also of course managed to make some german friends and I met this english guy. He also teached me to ride a scooter, then took me to the beach to see the sunset. We had couple of beers and he kissed me. It was super romantic. Oh and before all that romantic actions, we saw big crowds of people few meters away. We approached the crowd and found out that someone was drowning. Such sad thing. They said the they have found the girl, but the guy was still out there. And it has been a while, so he probably not going to make it. :(
All the experiences I have written so far sounds all joy and fun. But there were moments of sadness and grief like that. Moment where I realized my english is not as good as I though it is; also WTF is with aussie and english accent?! Where I hung out with 3 hot guys and they're all human too and not as cool as I thought, they're almost quite boring and only care about Protein.

You meet cool people, less cool people and appearance matters but only to certain points. I think good intention matters the most. I am so glad I have done this, as it was a new challenge to travel alone in, well Third World country and especially to let loose with no itinierary and bookings. And I'm still looking forward to see more of what the world has to offer, to meet more people, to hear about their stories, to tell mine, to more coconuts and massage by the beach and more weird tan lines.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The New Romantics: Love and Consumerism in the Modern

(Originally written as uni assignment and titled: Romantische Liebe 2.0: Liebe und Konsum in der Moderne)
Written by: Patricia Novanti

Love. One simple word. A never ending stories, interpretations and concepts. Today the concept and idea of “Love”, such thing as “Soulmate”, “The One”, “Mr. / Mrs. Perfect” is pretty hard to grasp. What is love even mean? Is it even real? Can I order it online and get it delivered to my house within 5 working days? Since when does love become something so complicated, so repulsive? Literature and Art show us how easy love is, how natural and beautiful. Where did we do wrong?

Let’s take a little detour and have a little look on the history of love.

Long time a go marriage is considered as a medium that connects two families into one, a kind of collaboration, if you will. Say, you are a king and would like to have a better relation with the nearby kingdom, marrying your daughter to their son sound like a perfectly good idea. Marriage therefore inherit a functional value, be it political or economical.

Fast forward to the 18th century. A lot of changes has taken place, from the social structures to the marriage arrangement. Slowly there were whispers and talks about this new thing, a romantic love they said. It was written all over books, carved into dainty sculptures, shown in theaters. It was told from mouths to ears, from one village to the next one, spreading so fast like a virus outbreak. This romantic love now has an All-In-One function, a one stop shopping for Love + Marriage + Sex. The person we shall marry is the person we love, a friend, a care-taker, a mother or father to our child. The romantic love is not rational, she is chaotic but she is natural. We know her not only through leather bound books or copies of Shakespeare’s plays, even in the pop culture we might stumble upon the essence of romantics. In the 90's with boyband culture, a song from Backstreet Boys perfectly encapsulated the idea of romantic love,

“...I don’t care who you are / Where you from / What you did / As long as you love me…”

The attraction in romantic love is so abstract, so vague, hard to explain and put into words. Important keys in romantic relationship are exclusivity, perpetuity and interdependence. The concept is, that there is someone out there who is 100% right for us, who will accept us for who we are.
The reality though isn’t as pretty as Disney movies. The “perfect love” is 7000 miles away from us, he is across the ocean, he has a mole on his face, or even worse: he has a girlfriend.
We then ask ourselves, does this love thing really exist? Where can I find it?

Slowly we noticed yet another changes in our lives and society, it’s everywhere, from the technology to our ideology. All these new we call “modern”, or the modern society.
With the industrial revolution that first started in England and France and now almost the entire surface of the earth people are urged to move to cities, in pursuit of better living, like such thing as The American Dreams. Another character of modernization is mobilization, rationalization, division of work, individualization, globalization and growth of information, technology and capitalism. 
What follows after mass production is mass consumption.
Love, now is also a commodity, love is also being consumed.
After all, since the beginning of time love has always been inherited an economic value, but today the play between Love and Capital is getting even more complicated. Eva Illouz coined the term “Consuming Romantic” for this phenomenon.
She mentioned cars have quite a big role in this consuming romantics. Cars move people, cars mobilize. Love that before is a private matter, something that is shown and done inside the house. With the rise of industrialization, more and more cars are being produced and introduced to our everyday lives. Cars take lovers to the cinema, to go dancing, to fancy restaurants. Mobility enable the bloom of tourism and other leisure and recreation industries, something that is now considered as base of social construction of the modern love relationships. Leisure activities is where love meets consumption. Love today is expressed through dates, going to cinemas or romantic getaway to Bali.

Different from the past, people in the industrialized countries, or the the Periphery and Semi-Periphery according to Wallerstein’s World System Analysis, are now able to live better, to be able to afford their basic needs and granted the opportunity to reach for the higher needs. With the shift from Fordism to Post-Fordism, people are able to work less, given more free times. This allows Selbstverwirklichung, self-actualization and building a more extraordinaire biography than it was possible in the past. Other than that today we are given abundant amount of products to choose from. We buy water with nice packaging (cough Fiji Water cough) and stuffs we don’t even need because of their shiny pictures in magazines or ads on TV. The key is to trick people into buying the idea that is shown in pictures through exchange between money and goods. Romantic love is often used in the packaging and advertisement to sell products. Romantic love is often idealized as happiness, as something beautiful.
In today’s modern world consuming stands in the middle. Consumers also can dictate what is to be produced. People consume things not only to cover their basic needs, but people also consume to define themselves, as a mode of self-presentation. I buy fair handle organic coffee because I care about others wellbeings and to prove that I am a better humanbeing than you. Consuming is now an act of building and showing your identities and so much more. Consuming is an act of showing affection. Isn’t that the new romantics to spend monthly paycheck to splurge on someone who gave their heart to us?
After all, how could I let the people at the bar know that I am interested in them if not through the act of buying them a fancy drink?
Gifts are being exchanged, on Valentine’s day, anniversaries, or even with no reason at all. Love is materialized, if you like it then you should have put a ring on it. Rings, Roses and Teddy bears are now marketed as something romantics.
The original idea of romantic love that we knew since the 18th centuries is now labelled as the new romantics, Love 2.0: it comes with nice packaging and a price tag.

Society and its components change constantly. It is hard to keep track of all the things that are happening and it’s hard to label or name the society we are in, not only because of the constant change but also because they way we view the world may differ from other people. Zygmunt Bauman propose that we are living in the Postmodern  or what he called as “ Liquid Modernity”, a step further from the modern society.
Today we still crave the idea of romantic love. The idea is very good, but perhaps too good to be true. Maybe love is just an advertisement, a propaganda or an utopia.
Maybe and just maybe, if I buy that toothpaste my teeth will turn sparkling white, so bright my prince will be able to find me! I shall be happy then.

But in reality love is hard to find  and most of us just give up the idea of it. After all, in the present, it is me and myself that is all that matters.

But sometimes there are lonely days, maybe when it rains, maybe on the walk home from work, maybe at the park during afternoon jogging session, or when a certain song being played on the radio, maybe in the shower or in the depth of a sleepless night.

We give love another chance, but this time with caution and a little hesitation.

In 2003 Zygmunt Bauman published his book, Liquid Love, and even after 12 years it still is relevant. Today with the ever increasing amount of serial monogamy and where “Dating Culture” is a thing people talk and write about, we still eager to believe of a thing called love but also clever enough to handle it with more or less rationality.
In the time of self-actualization, we put ourselves first, before anything else. We need our free times, we need space. So even when someone special come along, we are still used to that disposition. On one hand we want a significant other, on the other we want to collect experiences and live to the fullest. To be trap between security and freedom is then the underlying consequence.
We find ourselves in a relationship with someone yet invest minimal effort, because only so will we be able to avoid the pain when it eventually comes to an end, and only so we are able to move on.
Now “love” or romantic relationship is being consumed. To be with other people, to collect number of partners and experiences −that is ironically the complete opposite of the romantic love that values the quality of relationships.

In the Postmodern, like Bauman said, everything is liquid. The unity of love, marriage and sex in the old romantics has vanished. To sleep with someone doesn’t mean to love that person, or to have desire to live with them forever; One Night Stands and Friends With Benefits is now normalized. Bauman’s Liquid Love is fragile, filled with anxiety, afraid of commitments, weights and the future.
Capitalism, Consumption, Individualization or as a whole: postmodernization is affecting human relationships, love, affection and leading us to an even more depressing state of being.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Beginner's Guide To Brew Your Own Kombucha

So #eatclean and #stayfit is your goal in 2k15 and you're running out of money to support your ~~*groovy hippie*~~ lifestyle because organic foods and drinks are SO expensive.
Don't give up just yet, go dump diving or something. Or make your own kombucha!
Kombucha is loaded with health benefits which you can google or click here to educate yo'self. 

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink so it's basically good for your guts. And it's cheap and easy to make! I'm super clumsy and my life is a series of unfortunate events -but if I can make my own kombucha, I guess you can too!

You'll need:
- glass container
-coffee filter/paper towel/towel to cover the brew
-elastics to secure

-black tea bags or loose (you can choose other tea, but black tea is best)
-white sugar (do not use other sweetener, honey or agave!)
-kombucha mushroom, also known as SCOBY or Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast, I know this sounds really gross and scary but it is a magical createur that will transform regular sweet black tea into a liquid health goodness (I get mine from eBay, or you can ask around a hippie community? You can make your own SCOBY from kombucha liquid but let's face it, ain't nobody got time for that!)
-starter liquid which can be kombucha you get from stores or use vinegar and water

What you need to do:
-disinfect your container with boiling water and vinegar, let cool
-boil a liter of water
-add around 8 grams of tea (1 tsp = 3 gr), a tea bag is normally 2 gr
-let seep for 15 mins
-add in the sugar, about 100gr (1 Tsp=20 gr)
-let the tea cool completely (!)

-pour the tea+sugar mixture to the container (strain if you use loose tea)
-add in a cup of the starting liquid (either kombucha or vinegar+water)
-with a clean hand (wash with warm water and vinegar) out the SCOBY into the container
-cover the container and use elastics to secure
-place the container in warm, dark place. like your ex lover's heart?! -I mean kitchen would be ideal but i have flatmates and I don't want them to see the SCOBY and freak out, so I keep it in my room.

-you may check your brew after 1 week, try if the taste is to your liking
-you can let it brew for 1-2 weeks (until the taste is ok for you), 3 weeks max because it probably will get too sour to drink
-so if you like the taste of your kombucha you can remove the SCOBY and the newly formed baby SCOBY (everytime you brew kombucha, the SCOBY will give birth to a cute bby gremlin of SCOBY)
and drink it. Or...

-if you want to have your booch fizzy because you're craving soda, you need a second fermentation in which you remove the SCOBY off the kombucha drink and store it in an air-tight bottles. You can also put different flavors if you wish when bottling your kombucha. Use thinly chopped ginger, or frozen fruits and your imagination - the options are endless!
-put the bottle in warm dark place and let it ferment for few days (2-14 days)
-when you like the taste you can strain it or drink it right away.
-store in fridge to stop the fermentation.
-enjoy your own brewed kombucha and instagram it and brag about it at the next dinner party and brew some more and give it to all your friends!

*do not use metal object like spoon or fork to discard the SCOBY or to taste the brew
*it's totally cool if the SCOBY is floating on top, sideways or make itself comfy at the bottom of the container or have like brown strings attached to it, however if you see molds: abort the mission! Discard everything and start from the beginning with a new, healthy SCOBY and be more careful, also: revise your life.
*use the baby SCOBY for your next brew, the mama SCOBY still can be used or stored with a bit of kombucha liquid before you use it again
*I would gladly share my SCOBY baby if you're interested in brewing your own kombucha
*because of the fermentation, kombucha gonna contain a tiny bit of alcohol (about 1%), not that you need to worry about it, but I just feel like putting it out there.
*I got my glass container and bottle from Ikea (the Korken series), about 2,50 euro each.
*use organics if possible, but normal black tea and sugar works perfectly fine too.
*singing Ed Sheeran songs to your kombucha will not make it sweeter - the shorter the brew period the sweeter it will taste. The longer you let it brew, the more sugar will be consumed by the SCOBY. 
*happy brewing!

the SCOBY floating on top // day one of brewing

Saturday, January 3, 2015

how to: super cute lipscrub

you need ONLY 3 ingredients that you most probably already have in your kitchen if you're a normal human being:

-4 tbs castor sugar
-2 tbs organic (lol) coconut oil
-a drop of food coloring (optional)

mix shit up, transfer&store into a cute teeny jar, voila! you got yourself a cute lipscrub that is comparable to lush product with fraction of the price! without even leaving the house! you can practically making these in your undies while watching seinfeld.

put about a pea sized of product into yr lips, scrub scrub for about 3 mins, while doing that go on and listen to ed sheeran to achieve the maximal soothing effect, when you're done scrubbin' wipe off the residue with a tissue OR just lick it off. I did and haven't died yet, plus it's tasty.

The scrubbin' get your lips smooth and the tiny bit swelling is great because your lips would feel fuller and looks hot like kylie jenner's --only, like way natural.

you can of course get creative and use brown sugar, olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil if you don't have coconut oil on hand. i bet adding peppermint extract would be great as well, or cinnamon (because it helps to make the lips plumper).