Friday, 21 October 2016

Dear Norfolk & Suffolk (NSFT) Mental Health Youth Team

Dear those involved within the care of vulnerable young people, I will try to be polite which occasionally will be impossible, but I will still try. First of all, you're out of special measures, congratulations, although I still have some concerns. I really have no idea how you managed to climb your way back up as I know that for myself and many others, our care has gone spiraling downhill, to the point where I am not even sure if I am classed as a service user anymore, not that it's a bad thing because I can barely even breathe in the daunting waiting room that 80 St Stephens Road offers.

"There's not enough money within mental health care", "my caseload is too much", "it's not my fault that I can only see you fortnightly and even that might not be possible" is all that I hear from the staff working within this service. "We'll put your name down for this group" they say, little do I know that they mean the group that I have already completed four rounds of. The logic within your service seems to be that very rarely will clients get an appointment, and when they do, it wont be talking about how they are feeling. Instead, a crucial hour will be wasting away whilst the service user is listening to their case manager ramble on about quite frankly some non-relevant bullshit. Do we actually look as though we care about what you did at the weekend? Do we really need to be reminded how busy your schedule is? And if you're case load is too much, then have you ever thought that maybe you are in the wrong job role?

Why do the service providers within this service think that it is fine to make the users feel insignificant and unworthy of support? There seems to be no actual help and support taking place. The service is shambles, we get told about how black and white thinking isn't rational when if you're not trying to kill yourself every day then you're not ill enough for support, and if you do try to kill yourself then you're deemed as too ill and are shoved straight into hospital. Please explain to me the logic in this. Has it not occurred to any of you that many individuals using this service could have been helped a long time ago, had the correct care been given?

Something that really bugs me, is in fact medication. You are given medication to 'trial' which has side effects of suicidal thoughts and yet over the past two years, every single time that I have requested PRN added to my medication, I am turned down because I can't become dependent on it and I need to try other therapies. That's right, other therapies. I'm not sure if these deluded doctors think that I would request medication for the sake of it when maybe if I was allowed to participate in other therapies, I wouldn't be asking in the first place.

Baring in mind that appointments are usually an hour long and that most workers will never, ever overrun. Why is it that every single appointment I attend, doesn't start until up to half an hour later than it should? It's not even like it is occasionally, it is every single time. The whole service is what my friend would refer to as a shit show. You can be crying in the waiting room, and not one worker who walks past will check if you are ok.

What really made me chuckle was when my case manager turned to me and said "What do you think you should be diagnosed with?" I am sorry but isn't that your job? How am I meant to even have the slightest idea about my diagnosis' when they seem to change on a weekly basis? So it appears that you have now moved on from constantly changing diagnosis' to telling service users to self-diagnose themselves. I don't know which is worse.

I cannot even begin to think of the amount of times that I have seriously considered discharging myself. I know that I should be grateful as there are many people still on waiting lists, but how can I be thankful for something that if anything, has only damaged me further? I know that hiding away somewhere, there are some good staff members but its not always easy finding the good out of a bad bunch.

"Sorry, they're away on annual leave." Do not get me started on annual leave. How is it even possible for these service providers to be granted this much annual leave? They seem to be away more than what they're there. "I am due to see you in two weeks but I am on leave, so it'll have to be four, maybe even six" is what they say, no word of a lie. I have gone three months patiently waiting for an appointment whilst I was at rock bottom due to everybody involved within my care suddenly being on annual leave.

Moving on to phone call support, something that every single service users within this trust must have had drilled down their ear at least once. Phone call support is very well, its a good idea, practicing phone calls despite being anxious is a really good idea so that when you're in crisis you can seek support. Yes, a fabulous idea until you leave around ten messages and you never, ever get a call back. Now, I'm not sure if this is down to the receptionists, the support workers or most likely, a mixture of both but how are we meant to seek support before using negative coping techniques if nobody ever picks up or returns the call? I am very curious to learn the answer to this because it is frankly, disgraceful. 

I don't know if anybody else is the same but I seem to go through case managers and support workers quicker than the weeks go by. A couple of years back, every time that I looked at my care plan and reviews, I would have a different case manager, some of which I have never even met.

Now, I'm all for this rule as it has gotten me out of so many assessments but when it comes to happening to others that I care about, it angers me more than anything. When an individual visits A&E for self-harm, suicide attempts etc there should be a mental health assessment, or at the very least, a chat with the on call psychiatrist. Every A&E in the country has to follow this procedure, but not in Norwich, apparently they are able to sit this one out. The majority of the times that I have been to my local, general hospital, my care team hasn't even be contacted and it has been left down to me to tell them. I'm sorry but what? Is this even legal? Not to mention that I have lost track of the amount of times that I have been to A&E for self-harm and not even been asked how I am feeling, let alone if I am in services.

And now that I have started, why not mention the ridiculous Facebook names of service providers? If we want to search you up on Facebook and find you, we will. Some service providers even go to the efforts of searching up their clients and blocking them on Facebook. Please, come on, we are all adults here.

Every single time that I am struggling, I just get told to practice mindfulness. Yes, I know that mindfulness can work, but you failed to tell me that it doesn't work for everybody and don't you think that if I have gone through the effort to contact you, that I have already tried it? I will tell you a secret, I have.

I also do not understand the logic that many workers have where they live by the decision that support will only be given if self-harming behaviours aren't occurring. Surely if we are using this destructive behaviours, then we need some support? But nope, just in case we end up 'care-seeking', that's right; care s.e.e.k.i.n.g. How ridiculous and how stupid. These workers are meant to be educated in mental health yet we are being abandoned when we need support the most?

What plays on my mind and what I want to know the most is how many deaths will it take before you realise that everybody within services are clearly there for a reason. When will service users stop being belittled and classed as insignificant? Oh wait, I know the answer. When they are dead and it is too late to do anything, but then again, you're all probably throwing a party because that is another one gone from the case load.

I really could go on for days but I am actually trying to recover and live a life and I'm not willing to put anymore time into a ramble about how fucking dreadful this service is, so awful that I often think I'd be better off without it. I also am aware that me alone expressing my opinion, is not enough to change anything. But I have written this post as mindfully as I could, not singling individuals out (which I would have loved to do), and not dropping the 'C-bomb' on anybody (again, I would have loved to do). Myself, and many others cannot express enough how grateful we are for the 'patient care and satisfaction' that we receive, which is also non-existent.

Thank-you for reading, (a ridiculously frustrated service user), Tay x

Tanya Burr Cosmetics: 12 Days of Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar Review & Sneak Peak

As we are now in October and well on our way to the Christmas countdown, many brands are bringing out their cosmetic advent calendars of 2016. The first one that I spotted and purchased was in fact, Tanya Burr's 12 Days of Christmas Calendar 2016 which has made a return after she first created a calendar in 2015 called 'Deck The Halls' which was adorable and an absolute huge success. Tanya's fans will be thrilled to know that this year's design is even better with its gorgeous pastel shades of blue, pink and mint as well as gold and glittery white decorations, adding an elegant touch. Just from the packaging, there is already so much to look at. 

Comparing the two designs, I defiantly prefer the 2016 one and I feel that it aims at a much wider audience and age-range, whereas the Deck The Halls calendar was designed as though it was targeted for younger teenagers. Unfortunately I didn't purchase the previous calendar but after some quick research, I am able to compare the contents of the two. The details of typical festive decorations and even silhouettes of Tanya, Jim and Martha are stunning.

Both calendars have retailed at £25. However, when I managed to snap mine up, they were on sale for just £15 in Superdrug and I couldn't say no. As far as I am aware, they are still selling for this price! In case you are curious, I will quickly give you a recap of what goodies were inside the previous box.. 1 x heart shaped mirror, 2 x nail files, 2 x shimmer pots (Starry Night, Creme Brulee), 3 x mini lip glosses (Bewitching, Macaroon, Candy Frost), 2 x eyelashes and 2 x nail polishes (Under The Sea, Carnival Nights).

Just like last year, this product includes twelve small gifts which are usually a mixture of some of her best sellers yet in shades all exclusive to this calendar, not to be sold anywhere else. If you don't like spoilers then it is probably best to stop reading here, but after all, how can you justify purchasing something when you don't know whats inside? I have also recorded a YouTube unboxing which I will leave a link to once I have edited it.

Day One: 5ml Lip-Gloss in the shade 'Candy Cane'. This is a gorgeous sparkling pink shade which fits in nicely with the festive season and would look stunning throughout the winter months. The packaging is absolutely stunning, making it look like a much higher end product. For a gloss, this product is very pigmented but I think that it would take a few coats to be able to see the shade. The scent of these lip-glosses is a sweet vanilla which is appealing and has doe foot applicators.

Day Two: A Tanya Burr nail file with a different pastel design on each side. This is a product that I personally wont end up using but it works in nicely with her cosmetics as designing nail polishes is something that she has been working on. I personally wont use this product but I can understand why it has been included.

Day Three: A light blue almost grey coloured mirror which is the perfect size for putting in your handbag. The design of this mirror is super slick and classy with her font written in gold.

Day Four: Eye Shimmer Pot in the shade 'Champagne Sparkle', something that I am ridiculously excited to test out. This is a gorgeous and glittery dark silver shade; absolutely perfect for the Christmas theme. The only issue with this product is that it is a glitter pigment and could be slightly messy.

Day Five: Another 5ml Lip-Gloss but this time in the shade 'Berry Pavola'. This product is true to its name and defiantly has a deep berry/plum undertone. This product looks slightly glossier than the first and slightly more translucent. Again, the packaging is stunning. I really like the idea of having a red gloss and am excited to see the pigmentation.

Day Six: 9ml Nail Polish in the shade 'Glitters & Gold' which is quite self-explanatory. I cannot wait to use this product throughout the winter months although, this product isn't something that I would purchase alone as I sometimes feel that glittery polishes can be too out there for me but we shall give it a go.

Day Seven: 6ml Glitter Liner in the shade 'Ice Crystals' which is a stunning sparkling silver. However, unfortunately the glitter and liquid have separated in my tube so the product will probably need to be shaken before use. Glitter eye-liners are something that I have hoped to get my hands on for quite some time and I look forward to testing this product out. The packaging is just as stunning as all of the other products although this product is in a plastic tube as an oppose to a thicker, glass like tube, Nonetheless, it is still gorgeous.

Day Eight: Eye Shimmer Pot in the shade 'Snow Day' which is a glittery white. I feel as though this product may be more difficult to use than the other just because of its shade but I will still try.

Day Nine: 5ml Matte Lip in the shade 'Christmas Stocking'. This product is the one that I am most excited for within this set. I absolutely adore matte lipsticks and I always love to try out new brands. This shade is a red but with a pink undertone. The only downside to this product is that it is a miniature and I am sure that I am going to fall in love with it. After trying out this product, it does dry very matte and is long lasting although, it does feel slightly chalky on my lips.

Day Ten: 6ml Glitter Liner in the shade 'Treasured' which is a gorgeous coppery gold and would work well with so many make-up looks. After using this product today, I am not too keen on the applicator and due to it being a glitter liner, it does take a few layers to be seen.

Day Eleven: 9ml Nail Polish in the shade 'Sleigh Bells' which is defiantly my favourite out of the three. It is a red shimmery shade with a purple undertone and looks so stunning. I really hope that this polish is as pigmented as it looks as it really is a gorgeous shade.

Day Twelve: 9ml Nail Polish in the shade 'Glitter Rain' which is the definition of glittery silver. This product would work so nicely with either the ice crystals liner or the champagne sparkle shimmer pot. 

Overall, I am rather impressed with this set. You really do get your moneys worth and even if there are a couple of items included that you aren't too keen on, there is bound to be some that you love. I will say that if you aren't somebody who likes shimmery products, then this set probably isn't ideal for you as the majority of the products are glittery, tying in nicely with the Christmas theme.

As I said, I will be editing and uploading an unboxing video within the next few days. I am debating on including a first impressions so if that is something that you'd be interested in, then by all means feel free to leave a comment.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Friday, 7 October 2016

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams

If you are anything like me, then I am sure that a few months ago when it was announced that NYX Cosmetic Counters were hitting boots stores, you were more than excited, to say the least. However, for those of you that aren't aware (and potentially living under a rock), NYX is an american, cruelty-free drugstore brand that sells all things beauty from an incredible range of affordable and desirable make-up (especially lip products) to nail polish, cosmetic bags and application tools. 

A few months ago, when NYX came to my local boots store, I could not resist spending money. I was so eager to try out their products, especially their Soft Matte Lip Creams (Matte Liquid Lipsticks) which are one of their best sellers, and for £5.50 each, what could possibly go wrong? After much debate about which shades to go for, I opted for shades '08: San Paulo', '20: Copenhagen' and '25: Budapest'.

These liquid lipsticks come in an 8ml tube with a doe foot applicator. The shade of the packaging is almost identical to the shade of the product itself. They have twist lids, making them easy to open and close as well as avoiding the product from drying out. They carry a sweet aroma, which thankfully isn't too sweet and are just so worth the price, I cannot stress that enough. Having said this, if you are visiting america, then they will be slightly cheaper to purchase there. The NYX website sells them for $6 each, which converts into roughly £4.82.

The first thing that I really noticed when applying these products for the first time is how much of a soft and creamy formula they have. I have said before that I often have quite dry lips but these don't feel drying at all on them. These lipsticks are thin but the pigmentation is honestly incredible, each shade shows up so well on the lips and they only need to be topped up once or twice throughout a long day. I say once or twice, because after eating I have noticed that these products fade slightly, but I expect them to. It only takes the product about thirty seconds to dry after application and it does turn completely matte as well as still being as comfortable as any other lipstick. 

Two of the shades (Copenhagen & Budapest) are fairly similar but are both gorgeous deep berry shades, perfect for the autumnal months. Whereas San Paulo is a much pinkier shade. All three of these shades work well with almost any eye-look too. Due to them being matte, I like to use matte eye-shadows with these lip products as I think that this works well for me.

Overall, I really cannot fault these products. I think they are so reasonably priced, they do their job and they are super pigmented. Of course, I have included swatches, using my Beauty Swatch Cards and from top to bottom are shades; San Paulo, Budapest and Copenhagen. I cannot wait to add some more NYX products to my collection.

Do you own any NYX products? What do you recommend?

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Monday, 3 October 2016

September Favourites

Hello, Happy October and thank-you for clicking on another one of my posts! I hope you enjoy reading and finding out about some of my favourites of the previous month as much as I enjoyed writing it. I cannot believe that we are at the beginning of a new month, I honestly do not know where this year has gone! I will warn you that I have a lot of favourites for this month so this post may get a little lengthy.

Jumping straight in with all things beauty, my first favourite of the month was in fact the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Eye Palette which is beyond amazing. Not only does it smell exactly like chocolate and sweets but the pigmentation is really good. This palette is high end and slightly pricey but you do get sixteen shades and I know that from the photo, many of the shades don't look wearable but in reality, the only three shades that I wouldn't use is 'Totally Fetch', a bright shimmery pink, 'Earl Grey' which is a green toned grey and 'Black Currant' which is a deep shimmery purple. I am midway through writing up my review on this product so I don't want to write too much but I love it, absolutely love it and have been using it most days.

Next, is my favourite current beauty product and the most incredible highlighter that I have ever seen, the Elizabeth Arden Highlighter in the shade 'First Mate'. This product is so shimmery and so gorgeous. It was an absolute bargain and something that I usually wouldn't purchase But I fell in love as soon as I saw it. I like mostly how it is much more sheer on the skin yet is so noticeable. It works well with almost any look.

Moving on, my next favourite is the Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion, but not the original, the Sin version which does not get enough credit. I only have a sample packet but it has already lasted me three uses and is still going. With this formula, only a little is required as it isn't transparent like most primers but a gorgeous shimmery champagne shade which is perfect for when you are using shimmery shadows. This formula also prevents fading and creasing and my shadows have honestly lasted so much longer and the creases in my eyelids have been much more subtle. I love the glow that this product leaves on my eyes and it also doesn't dry them out or make them feel heavy at all.

Believe it or not, my next two products are from Poundland. These being the Make Up Gallery Glide Away Eye-shadow Stick in a bright shimmery white shade and a typical shimmery brown. Both of these products are so pigmented and work so well with my skin, whereas I am usually so cautious about what products I put on my skin as it can be so sensitive. These products are easy to use and blends incredibly with all other shadows. I like to use the white on my inner crease and waterline, and the brown mixed in with other shades through my crease. For a pound, you cannot go wrong and I was so pleasantly surprised.

The final make-up product within my monthly favourites is the Benefit Gimme Brow in Shade One which is the lightest. This product is so easy to use, the colour transfers onto my brows incredibly whilst also filling them out and has dramatically reduced the amount of time that I spend on my make-up. I am currently still using a sample size but I will for sure be repurchasing the full size as this is the first brow product that I have found that suits me so perfectly.

And finally for my beauty products is the Real Techniques Sculpting Brush which is a brush that I wouldn't have thought to purchase until my friend accidentally bought two and sold me one. I cannot describe how good this brush is, with some of the brushes that I purchase from all sorts of drug store and high end brands, I really question how well they work but this product has replaced my love for beauty blenders. It works with liquid, cream and powder products and is particularly targeted at contouring. If any of my brushes stand out to me, it is defiantly this one and I am yet to find an applicator that works better which I think would be a rather difficult task.

Moving on to a whole new topic, film and television, I have a few new favourites for this month. Firstly, Orphan Black. Oh my gosh. If you haven't seen it, then please just give it a go. I became hooked in the first season and have at long last finished all four, I cannot wait for the next. I was surprised that I liked this programme as it is all about human clones which isn't usually a topic that interests me. However, the story line is incredible, there are so many twists and plots and just when you think that things can't get anymore difficult, something new happens. There are so many unsolved mysteries and I am obsessed. I can't say too much as I don't want to risk spoiling it for others, but I have never seen a programme that I have been this addicted to. It is on Netflix and in my eyes is worth buying a months worth of Netflix just to watch. 

I recently went to the cinema to see Bad Moms ironically with my mum. This film is a chick-flick/comedy of the realities of being a mum. Throughout the film there is a complete divide between the in denial mums who claim they are perfect, and the bad mums who cannot seem to do anything right. Despite being a comedy, this film really opened my eyes to how difficult it must be to be a mum, to have to care for children as well as yourself, drive them around everywhere, own a house and go to work. This is the first film in a long time that I have laughed this much as. I wouldn't highly recommend it. (Obviously Tay, it's in your favourites).

Book lovers! You'll be pleased to know that the next September Favourite product of mine is All The Bright Placed by Jennifer Niven and if you know me, you'll know that I am a sucker for Books based on Mental Illness. This book is a dual narrative, with both of the main characters; Theodore and Violet telling the story from their own perspectives. Both teenagers have had rather life-changing experiences in the past and meet on the Bell Tower of their school, both curious about what life would be like if they killed themselves. Violet is popular unlike Theodore and gets bullied about the fact that they know each other until they fall in love. This book is so well written and I cannot wait to properly review it. If you suffer from mental illness, then some small parts of this book can feel a bit disturbing but it is such a good book. I was absolutely gutted when I finished reading and even got slightly emotional.

I told you this post may be lengthy! But next is the cutest notebook which was £2.50 from Primark, it is black with the quote 'More Issues Than Vogue' written on the front in a rose gold, metallic font. This notebook is A5 size and works perfectly for blog ideas and random notes of things that I need to know, do or remember.

My absolute final favourite of the month is a chalkboard which I bought from Wilko for when I redecorate my room. It has a string decoration where photos can be hung and I believe was so reasonably priced. It isn't too big nor too small and I honestly cannot wait to get it hung up as I have fallen in love. It cost £6 which I think is so reasonable. I love how this design just goes one step further than the typical chalkboard.

I do apologise about the fact that there is no food within this post, I have been quite ill and have mostly been eating what I usually eat, nothing new or exciting. I hope you enjoyed reading, feel free to leave a comment with your blog URL so I can have a read!

Thank-you for reading, Tay x
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