Hi BPD, it's not so nice to meet you.

Borderline Personality Disorder, also known now as EUPD (emotionally unstable personality disorder) which to me sounds like my personality is broken. It sounds stupid as they're both the same illness, however, borderline and emotionally unstable to me have very different meanings. It's been around 3 months since I finally got a diagnosis after years off being fobbed off with a variety of other mental health issues such as depression and anxiety and despite having those also, I always knew it was more than that. Finally getting a diagnosis is bittersweet, finding out that there is an actual condition wrong with you and you're not just some weird mess is a huge relief but also awful to understand this is something that may impact my life, forever. Along with BPD, I was also diagnosed with Mood Cycling (Cyclothymia) which essentially is 'a less severe version of Bipolar with quicker changing moods' it is currently being looked into as 3rd type of Bipolar. The reason for my diagnosis of this is along the lines of experiencing both manic and depressive mood states over a period of two years or more. For those of you who don't know much about BPD, it is essentially not being in control of your own moods, for me I see it similar to not being able to be in control of your body temperature; you want to cool down but you don't seem to be able to the heat just keeps getting worse. 

Some of the main symptoms that I experience with Borderline Personality Disorder are things like big issues with abandonment, this is one of the ones I realised didn't really link to any of the disorders I had looked into previously. I have forever had this HUGE weight on my shoulders that whoever I encounter will leave at some point, mostly this is true. However, the vicious thing about BPD is the fact that idea is in your head makes you act irrationally to keep that person in your life. For those who have been in my life and experienced me when I think you're going to leave, it's not a pretty sight. When it happens to me, it's like I am a spectator. I am watching someone else doing it and I'm sat watching them, but in reality, it's me. Most nights I have nightmares about my boyfriend leaving me, sometimes more than once a night and even though it was just a dream, to me it feels like reality and will put me into a state of anxiety. 

Another huge one of my symptoms is the impulsive side of me, in ways I don't even know she has come out to play but everyone around me sees this as a big deal. When asked by the doctor during my consultation if I am an impulsive person I said no. As I didn't even think I was, however, my best friend was with me and disagreed, reminding me and the doctor of all of those times I've dropped copious amounts of money on new gadgets with next to no thought (new cameras, tv, and even a treadmill) as well as doing things like piercings, tattoos and dying my hair on a whim. It is impossible to talk me out of these situations, they're in my head and there is no way out. The practically of the situations is never considered by me until it's too late. I can often do things I later regret and luckily most of the decisions can be reversed, but what about those that can't? I am stuck with that to due to my mania. When I get the idea, I am so happy and ready to do it, honestly, I feel like skipping, jumping and running around, it's a surreal feeling. 

From mania to feeling rock bottom the contrast is unreal, you wouldn't believe less than 60 minutes ago I was bouncing off the walls, when I am curled up in bed thinking the world is going to end, over something usually very small, but in my head it's the worst thing in the world. My anger can be one of my worst traits and usually, it's over the smallest things to most people, but to me, these are huge deals, I see red usually am unable to control this. I've always known this is an issue, but I just thought I was a horrible person. The moods and feelings I feel to me are 10x stronger than someone who doesn't suffer from BPD and it often feels like I am the only one who feels this way and everything seems to affect me in a greater way than the people I have around me. 

My mood swings can often be very quick, so I'll go from angry to depressed in a matter of minutes, and can often stay down for days often as a side effect of guilt from the anger. When I am 'manic', I will be so happy, shouting, running around, wanting to do things and then it will crash down around me and I will feel exhausted. I can have some periods of 'normality' which to me always feel sort of like I am in a zombie mode, I am not happy, I'm sad, I'm just not really anything. Due to my personality disorder, I am unsure who I even am anymore, which 'me' is the real me. I've recently started to take medication to help with my mood swings alongside my antidepressants and so far I've noticed a slight difference, the mood swings seem to be less frequent. However, I know that they could spring at any time and this worries me. Drinking is a big no-no for me, as it never ends well it always makes my moods go one way or another and neither of them is particularly good to be around. People are often annoying and horrible when they're drunk, but this to me is amplified and I wouldn't wish that on anyone else.

My condition shouldn't define me, and although I feel like it does a lot of the time. I also live in hope that one day I will be able to get a better control of my condition. However, until I do, I guess this is me. 

*Disclaimer, I know the photos in this post are not the best, I wanted to show the 'real' me. 

Latest In Beauty Subscription Box Review.

Latest In Beauty is one of the subscription boxes I have loved since the early days of my blog. Back then I would invest in their one-off boxes, as the content of the boxes were always a lot more than what you paid and it was a great way to try out products which I wouldn't usually buy. Compared to boxes such as Glossybox, the Latest in Beauty box was always more exciting, plus you knew what was inside, although it wasn't a surprise. I'd rather know what I am getting in a box. Latest In Beauty, now offer subscription boxes where you pick the products yourself, they offer 3 types of boxes, 3, 6 and 9 products. Which is fabulous as it suits pretty much every price range. 

Recently I was offered the chance to pick out 9 products in my very own box, which retails at £18.00 per month. For 3 products it's £9.00 and for 6 it's £15.00. I was pleasantly surprised with the variety of brands on site, as well as the fact that a lot of the items were full sized as opposed to simple sized products. The box took around 5 days to arrive, but it was a surprise all over again when it came as I could only remember 3 products I had chosen, whoops! The box was wrapped up so nicely and I couldn't wait to get testing out my goodies. I hope you enjoy reading about my picks and what I thought of them! 

Mini Miss Piggy's Big Number from OPI: 
I am a huge fan of OPI and own a fair few of their nail varnishes, the quality is fab and the lasting power is pretty strong. I went for this shade due to the cool blue mermaid vibes it was giving off and it was calling my name. I like the mini polishes as they're lightweight and perfect for carrying in your handbag or when travelling. Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

Soigne Betteraves Rouges Polish:
It's been several years since I've tried any nail varnish from Soigne, in fact, the last time was back in 2015! When I saw this beautiful red colour, I knew I had to go for it. I am massively into painting my nails at the moment and red is such a statement colour. The formula is easy to apply and covers really well in a matter of one coat and dries so quickly. I found it to not be as long-lasting as my OPI polish, although it is still such a pretty colour so I would totally repurchase this. Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

Sally Hansen Shimmer Me Timbers: 
I decided to go for this polish as I have never actually tried Sally Hansen and I loved the idea of miracle gel, this polish and gel can last up to 14 days, without a lamp. Sounds like a win right? I am not a huge fan of the colour as it's not really very me, but I did find the gel polish to be fab. It dries super quick and is easy to remove with normal remover, I am not about that acetone life. I found it made my nails feel so much stronger too, win! Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

MUA Twelfth Night Palette:
I've always had a love-hate relationship with MUA, I find some of their products to be amazing and some to be pretty awful, but for budget beauty, you can't win everytime right? I decided to go for this palette as it's been a while since I've gotten anything from them. I was surprised at how pigmented the shades were in this palette and the shades are fab for creating a smoky eye. The palette itself is super lightweight, which again is great for carrying around in your bag. My favourite shades of the palette are Oudh and Plum as these stood out to me and look lush on. Rating: ⋆⋆⋆

Murad Exfoliating Cleanser: 
I have such acne prone skin and use Murad in my skin routine every day as it seems to keep my spots at bay. When I saw there was a Murad cleanser on the Latest in Beauty site, I knew I needed to pick it. I had recently run out of my acne cleanser from Murad I was using, so I was more than happy to have an alternative to use. The cleanser is fabulous as it feels like you've cleaned your skin really well and it has some exfoliating properties in, which always leaves my skin feeling so much smoother. I would recommend any Murad products to anyone, as they seem to have a product to fix most skin problems. Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

Flower Power Refreshing Face Mist:

The packaging of this product was what first caught my eye, I wasn't sure whether it was a deodorant or a hair product, it turned out to be neither, it is, in fact, a refreshing face mist. I love the concept of the product too. The mist is great for when you're feeling a little hot, after the gym, or even after running for the bus. We all get sweaty at some point, it's like a little pick me up to leave you feeling fresh once again. Plus it smells amazing! Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

Nugg Face Mask: 
I've been interested in trying these for the longest time but the price has put me off a little. So being able to try one in this box, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. First thing I noticed was how compact the product was, these are single-use pods which creates less mess and keeps them fresher for longer. It only takes around 10 minutes for the mask to be ready to come off, so fab for a pamper in a rush. The product itself left my skin feeling softer and a lot less oily, and I noticed my acne seemed less red after just one application. Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

Soft and Gentle 0% Aluminium:
I love the fact that the Latest In Beauty box includes other products than just makeup. I have not heard of this brand for deodorant, however, it turns out they're pretty popular. It was easy to apply and smells pretty good too. It keeps the odours at bay, it felt like it took a long time to dry and left my underarms feeling sticky. Not a huge fan of this product sadly. Rating: ⋆⋆

Nude by nature foundation: 
Stupidly I picked up the wrong shade of foundation so it would be unfair to rate this one as I actually cannot give my honest opinion on it, I will say that the packaging of the product is pretty and it's super lightweight, perfect for on the go. 

Overall, I think the Latest In Beauty, Beauty Guru box was a fabulous success, I would probably not purchase them every month, due to the cost being a little high for my budget, but I would love to buy this as a treat for myself, especially when there a lot of products that spike my interest. 

Have you ever tried any of the Latest In Beauty boxes? 

*PR sample

The cutest subscription box? Sherbet Lane review!

I can confirm this is some of the cutest 'happy mail' I have received, like ever. Everyone loves receiving mail (unless it's some boring bills, then prob not), so to get a subscription box full of cute stationery is like a dream come true to me and many others. When I opened the box it was wrapped in bright pink tissue paper and underneath it was full to the brim with bright coloured stationery. The box is fab as it fits through the letterbox, and still includes lots of goodies. Introducing you to, Sherbet Lane the cutest stationery subscription box, where all of the goodies inside are illustrated by Claire who was a children's book illustrator. Luckily for us, Claire decided to combine her passions for art and stationery and create this work of art. Each box monthly has its own theme and they're super adorable *Promise*  

When I opened my box I was super impressed with the contents inside. The first thing that caught my eye were two pencils wrapped in ribbon which said 'you've got this' and 'put on your positive pants' which both made smile. Next, I noticed a pile of cards wrapped up in a lovely piece of ribbon around, each one has an adorable design on the front and is bound to put a smile on the recipients face. I decided to send them out to my blogger friends to let them know I'm thinking of them, it's a great idea, especially during the darker days, you never know when someone might need a hug. My favourite card is the little bunny one which says 'i'm rooting for you' with a carrot. I love puns and bunnies, so perfect for me. Next thing was a lovely bright yellow print with a light bulb on it which says 'Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light!' I am a huge fan of cute prints and in a frame, this would look lush and it's always nice to have some motivation around the house. 

The item I was most curious about in the box was the gratitude journal. Which is 100 days where each day you write down three things you are grateful for, it's a great idea as it gets you thinking about your life and all of the things that are good about your life, for me I found it easier than I thought I would which is always a good thing, and in the inside of the first pages there are some positive quotes to get you thinking. Next, I found a sticker sheet full of badass stickers that are great for those having a bad day or just for spreading a bit of happiness around. I used these sticks to seal up the cards I was sending to friends, just to add that extra touch of happiness. They're so well drawn and each design is bright and fun. The final part of the package was a little badge which says 'got out of bed award' which genuinely is a massive deal for some people including myself, so to see this included in the parcel made me smile. 

I would totally purchase a Sherbet Lane box again, you are able to purchase these each month for £14.00 including postage. Which in my opinion for the quality of the items, I would love to purchase this in the future. Like I said, some of the happiest mail around. 

Would you subscribe to Sherbet Lane? 

*I was sent this box by the lovely Claire from Sherbet Lane, however thoughts on the box are all my own, and I would totally recommend this to anyone in need of some happy mail!

The gym beginners guide (from a fellow novice)

I often see guides on fitness, exercise and gym posts from bloggers who know a lot about working out, the gym and having been doing it for a long time. Then there's me, a person who has joined gym after gym, ended up quitting and starting all over again. In life I lack motivation and struggle to stick to most things, blogging being the exception to the rule. I will always remember the first time I joined the gym and it was like a minefield for me, I didn't know what the machines did, what would people think of me, where to put my stuff or even what weights I would need to use. There were people everywhere around me, doing all of these things I've never even seen anyone do before and I was in awe of how good everyone looked and how impressive it was. 

Three years later and 3 gyms later (I have joined each one at least twice whoops) I am back at the gym, the anticipation doesn't really go away for me, I feel a little more confident going to the gym as I know how the machines work and what weights I need, but there's always going to be the part of me that remembers the scared me all of those months ago. Today I thought I'd bring you some tips for gym newbies, from a fellow gym novice. These tips aren't patronising and are from my own experience of joining a new gym, I hope you enjoy them and let me know in the comments about your first gym experience. 

Do an induction session:
This was one of the things I did do, a trainer goes around the gym with you (and sometimes a group) tells you what each one does, how to use it, even gets people to try it from the group. Although it is a lot to take in and you feel a little weird walking around like you're on a school trip, I'd still be clueless about half of the machines today without it. 

Go with a buddy: 
A lot of my friends go to other gyms which are a bit far for me, or they go with other people. I recently re-joined the gym with my boyfriend and it makes it a little more comfortable knowing you have someone around to work out with or even just to have in the same room as you.  

Eat before you go: 
Before the first time I went to the gym, I decided it wouldn't make sense to eat a full meal and didn't even bother to get a snack for after. Considering the gym was right next to Mcdonalds, I couldn't even help myself, I felt that dizzy I had to get some fries. Typical me! Some fab snacks for a pre or post workout include protein bars hard boiled eggs, protein bars or just some fruit. Also, remember to drink LOTS of water, I didn't even take one with me first time I went, and I was so thirsty. 

Don't be scared to ask for help:  

The worst thing at the gym you can do when you're struggling is take a guess on how to use something, it can end really badly. The gym instructors are usually super nice and willing to help. If you find it hard to approach people like me, it's often worth watching how other people use the machines, then you can get the general idea from them. 

What tips do you have for gym beginners?  

*In collaboration with Nutree Life, however, all experiences and thoughts are my own, and yes I really did eat Mcdonalds after my first gym session!

The best veggie burgers ever? Smashburger Review!

Smashburger Wednesbury
Mushroom burger at Smashburger
Fellow veggie friends, I feel like you'll be able to relate to this one. Ever go into a restaurant with your pals, and you're looking at the menu and quickly locate the vegetarian section which has around 3 options, one pasta, a salad and a veggie burger which just about every restaurant sells. It's a little off-putting, and things are getting better. When I was a vegetarian 10 years ago; the options for me were along the lines of picking two sides (chips and onion rings and making do. But it's still annoying when your friends can tuck into these huge varieties of food and you're stuck with the basics. I recently came across Smashburger, an American themed burger place, where not only do they do a unique selection of veggie burgers, but also you can create your own. This stands for all of their burgers, you take a pencil and one of their tick box sheets and pick what you like. I went for a mushroom burger in a smash bun with American cheese AND cheddar cheese, you'd never guess I am a huge fan of cheese, would you? Topped with lettuce, onion and cucumber (why do more places not put cucumber on their burgers?) As well as garlic fries and they have one of those drink machines where you can get all of the flavoured cokes, raspberry vanilla coke is the one, just sayin

Will had the classic smash which was only £6.25, amazing for the quality of the burger right? The fries were extra, however as we've never visited Smashburger before, we decided to get a large fries each, big mistake. They're HUGE. Definitely would say a large to share or both in regular as they're both amaaaazing. The service was so quick, I'd say from ordering to our table it was around 10 minutes, barely even had time to get a drink! The restaurant itself is kitted out with American diner vibes. Big red sofas, quirky furniture and big servings of food. I have to say the lady who waited on us, was super lovely and accommodating. I can imagine on an evening, it has a great atmosphere to it. I love that even as a fussy eater, I felt like I wasn't annoying with my food choices. I am forever asking to take things off or change them, but with their fab ordering system there was no need to do anything like that; pass them your order sheet and they make it just how you like it. Overall, I'd rate Smashburger as having one of the best veggie burgers I've ever had, it was filling and presentation was lush.   

Wednesbury Smashburger
Wednesbury Smashburger
Smashburger Wednesbury
Smashburger Wednesbury

Have you ever visited a Smashburger? 

*Not in collaboration with Smashburger, however, their burgers are pretty damn good and I just had to tell you all about them. 

Tips for the perfect city break!

City breaks are on the rise, why wait until the summer to take one long holiday when you can take multiple city breaks throughout the year. I don't know about you guys, but where I live it's boring. A small town in the Midlands, I want to go out and explore the world. Whether you want to explore different cities within the UK or spread your wings and visiting Europe there are plenty of choices out there. With some European countries being only a couple of hours worth of travel, yay! If you're willing to take the risk in aid of getting a cheaper holiday; I would advise writing a list of places you want to visit and checking the cheapest destination a few days before you are due to travel and get your stay for a fraction of the price which also means more money for food, booze and more food! Going on a break earlier in the year is also cheaper due to occupancy levels for most places being down. 

I love exploring England myself (that's what I tell myself due to my lack of funds and the travel sickness I suffer on most forms of transport) and my travel bucket list this year is full of places within the UK, I started the year with Manchester for my birthday and Birmingham for a day trip and I'd love to go to them both again, as well as visiting places such as Bath, Liverpool and making more trips to London. There are so many quirky and fun places to stay in the UK. But if you fancy somewhere a little further afield somewhere in Europe may be more down your alley. Especially during the warmer months. It's totally worth checking out Amsterdam as it's so easy and cheap to get there, as well as Italy, Budapest and France as they're within a small distance. I thought for this post as you have probably guessed by now, I love creating lists so I decided to create a list of my top tips for creating the perfect city break, simple easy and cheap! 

Always look around first: 
This is a pretty obvious one, but there so many sites out there that offer discounts and you can compare what is on offer. Sometimes you are able to get a 4-star hotel for a huge discount, this is dependant on when you book it and what types of places you like to stay in. Hostels are usually a much cheaper option, however, you can get apartments and hotels on the cheap too. It's worth reading lots of reviews on the places you are going to stay, to make sure you don't end up somewhere that looks like it should be Holidays from Hell (does anyone else remember that show?!). Places like Travel Supermarket and Trivago are good for finding the best deals quickly.

Get travel insurance: 
Despite city breaks often being short, the worst can still happen. Travel Insurance Explained is an amazing resource for finding out what type of travel insurance you need for your mini break and they even include great places to visit for the type of break you want to go on and they even explain what the small terms in your policy mean, I don't know about you but I never understand my rights with that stuff. They have also created an amazing guide for Valentines Day, including the best places to visit and what insurance you may need including things such as theft which I wouldn't even think of. Even for a short break, it's worth getting yourself covered. 

Make an itinerary: 
Due to only being in your destination for such a short amount of time, it's totally worth planning everything in advance, from how you will get from a to b, to different restaurants and attractions you want to visit during your stay and also mapping them out so you are able to locate them easily. When I visited Manchester I was shocked how many different things I could do in a little over 24 hours because I planned in advance. We went to a secret bar called The Washhouse (you may have heard me talk about it once or twice) but you have to book in advance and if we didn't plan in advance we wouldn't have been able to visit. 

Pack light: 
I am usually the worst at this, as I never know what I want to wear until the day we are on and even then I still change like 50 times (more like 3, but yano what I mean) so packing light isn't something that comes easily to me. However, for a city break, it is often great to travel light, especially if you can't check into your hotel until later. Who wants to lug around a huge bag for the majority of the day, no thanks! I mean for two days, nobody really needs 5 t-shirts, 4 pairs of underwear (yep, I am that person) and every item of makeup I own. 

What are your tips for preparing for a city break? 

*This post is in collaboration with Travel Insurance Explained, however, these tips are all my own and I totally need the small terms of Insurance explained to me! 

Customer Service: The good, the bad and the ugly.

We've all been involved in some kind of customer service in our lifetime. Whether you are the one giving or receiving you've been a part of it. Every job I've had since 16 has been some kind of customer service, starting out at a supermarket part time moving on to working on the phones for a healthcare company, to my current job working for a cashback site dealing with the support tickets. During all of these jobs I've had some great customers, even regular ones at the supermarket who always made a beeline for your till and you felt like you know them, you'd help them pack their bags and make small talk about their life and what has been happening and then they'd be on their way until the following week. For the most part, working in customer service is a rewarding job, you get to help the customer, they're happy and that makes you happy. But what about when things don't go so well? 

In my personal experience, I have found restaurants to provide some of the worst customer services, often as it starts bad and progressively gets worse. I understand they are busy, but sometimes even when they're not they would rather stand around and talk rather than help you. Once I was in Chiquitos for almost 3 hours; and an hour of that was trying to pay the bill when we had finished, I wanted to complain in regards to this matter but I struggle to find a phone number and that's where CCSN come in. With their huge directory, you can find the number for the correct person within an instant, great right? No more trawling through Google for hours trying to find an email/phone number which is correct. I myself try to reflect to speak to the customer how they are speaking to me. You can tell when someone just really doesn't want small talk, but it's often good just to reach out to them even about the small things, e.g. an item of jewellery. Just let them know you like it, it's easy and can make someone's day. Like most things, there are ups and downs in regards to customer service. 

Recently I was visiting Birmingham and wandered into Blue Banana and if you know me well, you'll know I like to dye my hair a lot. I was considering a pink hair dye but wasn't sure which to get to go over the darker colours in my hair plus what process would be involved. Straight away an assistant was on hand offering their opinion on what dyes and colours would suit. Her manager was listening to the conversation and it turns out she has a background in hairdressing and told me I would need to start with a dark pink and also would need to strip it, bleach it, leave it for 24 hours, wash twice and dye it last. I didn't know half of these steps existed and would never have gone away and considered them. Once I was done deciding on a colour, I also wanted some help with my piercing and getting a ring for it, the sales adviser again was more than happy to show me the different sizes and help me pick the best size for my nose. I left the shop feeling happy with my purchases and with a great review of the staff. It's strange how when people have a bad experience they're more than happy to share it with the world, but with good customer service, we don't shout about it as loud. 

It's so important to let people know how great their service is, but also the same if their service could be improved. If the service is outstanding let them know.

What is the best customer service you have ever received? 

*Written in collaboration with CCSN, however, all experiences are my own and Blue Banana rocks my socks!

American beauty haul from Ulta: Part 1.

This post was supposed to go up as a what I got for Christmas post, but honestly, I ran out of time around Christmas and suddenly it was mid-January. So instead I thought I'd turn this post into an Ulta beauty haul, for those of you who are unaware of what Ulta is, it's similar to Boots for those of us in the UK. Except it is filled with brands which we can only dream of having in the UK. Good news though, as there are now a huge variety of services which allow you to ship goodies in from the US. I wrote a post about how you can too order goodies from the US. Hopefully, you enjoy this haul and let me know if you would like to see reviews of the products feature.

Sigma creme palette
Too Faced Clover Palette

Sigma Creme De Couture palette:
This palette isn't actually from Ulta, but in fact from Beauty Bay but this started out a Christmas styled post, therefore I'd already taken the photos. Sigma is based in the US, however, we now have sites in the UK like the Beauty Bay where these can be purchased from. This palette is currently £29.50 and is filled with so many bright and easy to work with shades. The shades aren't as pigmented as I first thought they were going be, however they are buildable and are really easy to blend. My favourite shades are Redberry Rose and Blueberry cream as these stood out to me as soon as I opened the palette. The palette itself is lightweight and easy to carry and has a fairly decent sized mirror, perfect for applying on the go.   

Clover A Girl's Best Friend Palette:
From Too Faced this palette currently retails at $49 and is currently sold out on Ulta, however, can be purchased directly from Too Faced. I was first drawn to the palette for its amazing packaging (how cute though!!) and the fact I haven't purchased any Too Faced palettes since the Chocolate Bon Bons palette and that one was so good, I knew I needed to try another. The shades in this palette have some rather strange names like daddies heart me. I assume the names in the palette is based on dog-related items. The palette itself has some interesting shade choices from pale pinks to a mustard yellow and just about everything in between. I think this palette is great for creating all year round looks.

Too Faced Primed Poreless
Sketch Marker Too Faced

Too Faced Primed Poreless Powder:
Good news for us Brits, this is actually an item you can purchase in the UK from Debenhams, I was drawn to this firstly for the Polly Pocket esq packaging. The powder itself is £24.00 in the UK and can be used for priming and also to set makeup which I think is pretty cool. This would be fab for using on the go as it includes a poof to put it on with and also has a little mirror. 

Chocolate Brownie Eyebrow Pencil: 
2017 was the year I discovered filling in your eyebrows is actually a pretty good thing to do and can make your whole makeup look complete. Throughout the year I tried a variety of products and never quite found the right one, I have fallen head over heels in love with this gorgeous product from Too Faced. The Chocolate Brownie eyebrow pencil is $23, it's long lasting and smells amazing. I love this for a quick and easy application, as well as topping up on the go. The only downside to these types of eyebrow pencils is that it can easily snap, meaning that it runs out a lot quicker. 

Too Faced Sketch Marker: 
I've wanted to try these eyeliners for the longest time, when I went to the States they only had them in bright colours and as fab as a pink and orange eyeliner would be, I don't know how much use I'd really get out of it. This eyeliner is $20 and the same price as the Kat Von D lock it liner, I am a huge fan of the Kat Von D one but I decided to give this one a try also. I love the packaging, the heart on the lid and the font on the front make it appealing. However, sadly I don't think it's as good as the Kat Von D one, although it's still a good liner. 

Part 2, coming soon!

TW. Stand. Together. Against. Mental. Illness. In. 2018.

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 35. Self Harm is one the rise and we still struggle to talk openly about it due to the stigma attached. Mental health is a scary enough battle without having to face it alone, yet so many of us are left with no choice. From my own experience, I have been told it could just be my hormones, you'll grow out of it, just take your mind off it, do other things. Trust me, I've tried everything to make myself feel better, there doesn't seem to be any other choice but to suffer in silence. I am sick of seeing articles about why I have depression due to eating 'this' food or spending a certain amount of time doing something like watching TV. Mental illness is the same as any other illness, except you are unable to see it, nobody can see it, and you're the only one who feels it. A doctor isn't able to give you a prescription and take the pain away like some other illnesses. You have to fight to prove that you are actually sick and that what is in your head is the reason you act this way. People are so quick to judge and usually aren't willing to hear the explanation behind it.  The things that happen to us when we are younger have a big impact on our mental health, with the internet at our disposal in 2018, people come across things online that they may not have ever seen or meet people they wouldn't have met without it. It's surreal really. 

Having access to the internet growing up, meant I spent a lot of time in my bedroom. I was talking to my friends on the computer, but I wasn't really talking to anyone in real life, I would fear the outside world. Things were easier online, you could speak to people who got it. Those who cared enough to take the time to reply, even make new friends and sometimes even more. You forget the outside world exists. With technology advancing, we can get an internet connection in most places, and there is no escaping it. We feel the constant need to share, everything we do with the world, from our first child to when we get a new car. Each photo, status and moment you put out there gets analysed. You see your friends get engaged and despite being happy for them, it gives you an element of FOMO. Which makes you wonder why this isn't happening to you and if it ever will. People post the parts of their lives they want you to see and this is always going to be the best version. As a blogger who regularly posts on Instagram and views many others, from the outside looking in, it shares these perfect images of food, body image, makeup and life. But in reality it's not that simple, those shots take hours, to prepare. They're taken, edited, probably edited some more than posted online. But those standards are high to live up to, we are constantly comparing ourselves.

Suffering from a mental illness, the guilt is a huge factor for me. I need a day or two in my house a week to recover, doing nothing. I often feel drained and tired and unwell after putting myself through so much, honestly going out in public for me is a draining experience that is almost impossible to cope with at times. When people ask what I did with my weekend, I often find myself trying to make up something interesting that I could have done, I didn't do it. However, it's better than saying what I actually did, which was nothing. I spend hours upon hours in bed, planning each element of my night, from the order of programmes I will watch to what I will eat. Even when I am 'relaxing' I am not. Everything runs through my head constantly, what were my numbers like at work, this person didn't speak to me what did I do? I can't go to that party next week as I can't deal with it, will everyone think differently of me. I'm having my hair cut tomorrow, what if it goes wrong. I can't face cooking tonight so I'll eat pizza, the guilt hits hard with food, it's hard to keep the motivation to do anything when I feel low. I want to lock myself and forget the world.

When you suffer from a mental illness a lot of the things you do, don't actually make sense and it leaves you as a shadow of yourself. It's terrifying to be in that situation and also to see someone you love suffering from it too. You can tell someone over and over it's going to get better, but in our heads it isn't, you can try to be there for us and we want to be happy, we want to get the energy to face the day and hang out, but it's not that simple. We love you for trying and appreciate you for everything you do. However, at the time, it's almost impossible to see you do the things for the reasons you do. From each time you've called an ambulance or forced me to go outside on my darkest days, you've done it from a place of care. In my opinion one of the scariest parts on mental health is dealing with not actually knowing what is going on yourself, how do you tell others what is happening with yourself when you don't even know yourself? Sitting in a doctors office, trying to explain your mind and why you feel this way but you don't have the answers. You want to get to the bottom of it, but even you don't know how. 

  • By 2030, it is estimated that there will be around two million more adults in the UK with mental health problems than there were four years ago.
It's time to talk and we can change the way in which we think and stand together.