Sunday, 28 January 2018

What's New? Urban Decay | January 2018

It feels like it has been a whole eternity since I last sat down and wrote up a post yet we are still in January?! I have had a very busy couple of weeks, hence the non existing posts and me failing at my new schedule.. however I was lucky enough to be invited to a Debenhams, Urban Decay event where I got to have a nose into all of their new products and launches as well as drink pink lemonade and mentally spend A LOT of money. I thought that it only made sense to share these exciting new launches with you that includes setting sprays, concealers, eyeshadow palettes and of course, a whole new collaborated range with Blogger Kristen Leanne. If you do find something that you like, then I have linked each product to both the Debenhams and Urban Decay websites so you can have a look for yourself.

Rebound Collagen-Infused Complexion Prep Priming Spray

Urban Decay are one of the few higher end brands that keep coming out with different types of primer/setting sprays, so many that I can't keep up. This setting spray is a hydrating spray that tightens and boosts radiance. It has a light yet refreshing scent and this spray in particular, is ideal for all skin types. Containing extracts of Chia Seed (which is a source of antioxidant vitamin E), Centella (which is an ancient healing herb) and Chameleon Plant, this formula firms, smooths and evens out skin tones and can be used throughout the day without smudging your makeup, in the morning before your makeup or in the evening if your skin needs a quick boost. When testing this spray on my hand, despite the scent not being strong, it still carries quite a bright yet pure aroma and is extremely light-weight. This product costs £26 from both Debenhams and Urban Decay UK in a 118ml bottle.

All Nighter Pollution Protection Environmental Defense Make Up Setting Spray

I'm not sure about you, but I have tried and fallen in love with the All Nighter Setting Spray so I feel that finding a setting spray that I love even more, would be quite difficult even if it is from the same range. This product is essentially the All Nighter Setting Spray with a twist and with added minerals that helps to shield against environmental damage. This Pollution Protection Spray includes a mixture of minerals including Zinc, Magnesium and Copper to help protect against oxidation and just like the All Nighter Setting Spray, still contains time-release temperature control technology that lowers the temperature of your makeup to help it last longer (up to 16 hours to be precise). This product is also £26 from Debenhams and Urban Decay UK but is slightly more pricey than the standard All Nighter Setting Spray which is £23.50.

Quick Fix Hydra-Charged Complexion Prep Priming Spray

I am aware that this isn't a completely new product, but I got to have a little look at this product for the first time at the event and therefore thought I would include it. This hydrating and soothing primer spray reduces the appearance of pores, brightens and smooths skin and replaces any lost moisture. It is a light-weight spray so can again be used throughout the day over the top of makeup but can equally be used after taking your makeup off or in the morning before applying makeup. This spray contains Vitamin B3 and Coconut Water enabling it to both nourish your skin and smell fresh. This spray definitely has a slightly different scent to the other Priming Sprays and Setting Sprays so it may be worth having a smell of the tester bottles before purchasing. This product is £23.50 from Debenhams and Urban Decay UK.

All Nighter Waterproof Full-Coverage Concealer

This is probably one of the most exciting launches for many people, myself included. This is yet another product from the All Nighter range and is a blendable, full-coverage concealer with an angled, flocked paddled applicator for precision upon applying. This product provides a full, matte coverage that lasts all day and all night whilst covering anything, including redness AND tattoos. This formula provides a much higher coverage than the Naked Skin Concealer and masks imperfections for 24 hours. A little goes a long way with this product and it includes a high-tech blend of polymers and humectants which provides ultra-long wear and prevents the product from settling into fine lines and pores. This concealer comes in 14 different shades from pale to deep and can be matches to your skin tone in Debenhams stores. It comes in the same luxurious packaging as the All Nighter Liquid Foundation and can be mixed with the Rebound Complexion Prep Priming Spray before applying to thin out the consistency but if you're not one for full coverage products, you might want to avoid this one. This product does dry down darker than when you first apply it, so make sure you wait for it to dry before picking your shade. This product costs £20 from Debenhams and Urban Decay UK. I have included some swatch photos below, the top photo is whilst the product is still wet and the bottom is once it has dried. 

Distortion Eyeshadow Palette

This stunning Limited Edition palette contains 15 different shadows, 10 of which are normal shadow shades and 5 being transformer hues which can be applied on top of shadows to give them a different shift due to their individual reflective pigments. This palette also has arrows and you can follow each arrow to create your own look. I have actually purchased this product and I cannot wait to play around with it. As always with Urban Decay, the packaging of this palette is insane and so reflective. I love how this palette is something completely different to ones we've seen before. It costs £39.50 from Debenhams and Urban Decay UK but be quick, because stores have limited stock!

UD X Kristen Leanne Kaleidoscope Dream Eyeshadow Palette

This palette is so quirky and so different but what can you expect when a palette is being designed by Kristen Leanne who is a big lover of self-expression. This palette is again Limited Edition and includes 11 vibrant shades, with each shade being named after something close to Kristen's heart. This palette is a mix of what I would class, everything scary inside an eye-palette due to it's vivid brights, it's unique yellow toned shade and even a split-pan duotone shade. This palette does look incredible and is probably my favourite collaborated palette so far, I love how unique it is and it even comes with a double ended brush. This palette is £28 from Urban Decay UK.

UD X Kristen Leanne Daydream Eyeshadow Palette

This Limited Edition palette is pretty much the complete opposite of the previous. It is a pretty, dainty looking palette with five gorgeous nude and matte shades, the perfect, dreamy palette for everyday use. The packaging of this product is honestly so stunning and completely girly. It again comes with a double ended brush and costs £25 from both Debenhams and Urban Decay UK.

UD X Kristen Leanne Beauty Beam Highlighter Palette

Let me just tell you.. the pigmentation of these highlighters is crazy. This Limited Edition Highlighter Palette is in a similar style to the Naked Flushed Palettes. This palette is gold toned and contains three, gorgeous shimmer shades which can be worn individually or together to create the perfect glow. I must admit though, when swatching these shades I did notice how only one shade would really work on my skin tone; the other two being too dark. Again, the packaging is absolutely beautiful and so unique. This palette costs £22 from Debenhams and Urban Decay UK.

UD X Kristen Leanne Vice Matte Lipsticks

Obviously a collection wouldn't be complete without some form of lip product and there are quite a few of them. The first set being Vice Matte Lipsticks. I have only tried a couple of the Vice Lipsticks but unfortunately neither of these have been their Matte ones. These three lipsticks within the range are all in the standard lipstick packaging but with a purple metallic shell and with Kristen's name written on them. First we have Cloud 9 which is a Comfort Matte Lipstick and is a vibrant purple. It is an absolute gorgeous, pretty toned purple but I am pretty sure I wouldn't be able to pull it off. Next is a much darker and deeper toned purple in the shade Spellbound which is a Mega Matte Lipstick. I did actually have the chance to swatch a Mega Matte lipstick but I have no clue how they would feel on the lips. Finally, we have Bun Bun which is another Comfort Matte and is a deep nude with pink/taupe undertones. These lipsticks are £16.50 each from Urban Decay UK.

UD X Kristen Leanne Vice Liquid Lipsticks

This liquid lipstick is in UD's Comfortable Matte Formula and is a true grey shade, hence the shade name being Grey. It comes in their Liquid Lipstick glass packaging with a metallic purple lid and is a very stunning colour, I just again, doubt I could pull it off, especially being quite fair. This costs £16.50 from Urban Decay UK.

The final product within this collection is a Vice Liquid Lipstick duo which is a set of two stunning nudes that would look great on any skin tone and could be pulled off for any occasion. This set costs £22 from Urban Decay UK.

That is all from me today, I hope you enjoyed having a nose into some of Urban Decays new products. If you'd like me to turn this into a series then do let me know as it has been fun, and thank-you to everyone who organised the event.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Friday, 12 January 2018

LUSH Cosmetics Valentine's Day Collection 2018

It has been a while since I last sat down and spoke to you about LUSH. Christmas has been and gone and we are onto a new year which means that new occasions and new products are just around the corner and first up is Valentine's Day which has always been one of my favourite occasions because I feel like the products are a bit more varied whereas until 2017, the Christmas products were pretty similar for a few years in a row, which is probably why some of the Christmas range products are my favourites.

This year, LUSH really seems to have changed things up in regards to Valentine's Day and some of the most popular products will not be making a return. Prince Charming Shower Cream (previously a shower gel) will not be returning, nor will Roller Bomb, Lover Lamp Bath Bomb (my absolute favourite), Ladybird Bubble Bar and Over and Over Bath Bomb is now part of the regular line. So overall, it doesn't look like the Valentine's Collection 2018 is off to a good start, and the Kitchen no longer exists so let's just hope that they bring out some old favourites as Exclusives. On the other hand, it looks like Unicorn Horn is staying which I am sure many people will be glad about, I am just hoping that it has a slightly more subtle scent than before because although Lavender can be used in lots of ways to help you relax and especially to help you sleep, there is only so much of it I can take. I am actually rather annoyed that LUSH have released a Giant version of the Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb alongside the regular size. I feel like this product is very hit or miss and I personally cannot stand the Rose Jam scent so it would have been nice if perhaps they brought back a different product from the previous Valentine's Day Collections. I do not own any of the photos used in this post and they can all be found on the LUSH UK website here. These products are currently only available to buy online as part of their pre-release.

Bath Bombs:

Top: Love Boat
Bottom Left: Rose Bombshell
Bottom Right: Titsy Tosty
Love Boat Bath Bomb £4.25 - This is a brand new product that is Vegan and contains Rose Oil, Orange Oil and Lemon Oil which sounds like the scent would be very zesty and uplifting. This product is shaped as a boat and has a bright pink and blue shell. I really feel that LUSH are trying to move away from their sphere shaped products.

Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb £4.50 - I believe that this product first made an appearance in the Mother's Day range for 2015, but came back for Mother's Day 2016 with a complete revamp. This product couldn't look any different if it tried. I mentioned above how I dislike the Rose Jam scent and I am also not fond at all of having bits in my bath, even if they are leaves or petals, it's just not really my sort of thing and does not relax me in the slightest. If you aren't aware of the Rose Jam scent, this product contains Rose Oil, Yellow Rose Petals, Rose Absolute and Geranium Oil.

Titsy Tosty Bath Bomb £3.50 - This is a product that I have previously tried but this year, it is pink whereas in previous years it was white. I presume that they have made it pink for the occasion but it is strange for them to not change the name. However, this product also contains flowers and petals and therefore again, is not one for me. This product contains Seven Rosebuds, Rose Absolute, Jasmine Absolute and Orris Root Powder which I think is a quite unusual ingredient as I haven't really seen it within products before.

Giant Rose Bombshell £14.95 - I cannot tell you exactly how big this product is as I haven't seen it in store yet but this seems like one hefty bath bomb and is describes as 'The Ultimate Romantic Bath'. The first time that I really took an interest into a larger bath bomb was of Easter 2016 when I discovered Humpty Dumpty Bath Bomb but I even didn't want to spend around £7 on a 'larger' bath bomb so for this product to be sold for just under £15, how big is it? £15 is a lot of money to spend on one bath and if you're only spending that amount of money once a year for a nice, 'luxury' bath then that's fair enough, but how much better than the original is the product? I would like to see it compared to three regular sized Rose Bombshell Bath Bombs which would still be cheaper. If you hadn't caught on yet, this product includes exactly the same ingredients as Rose Bombshell, and looks the same.. just much bigger.

Bubble Bars:

Left: Unicorn Horn
Top Right: Heart Of Enlightened Expectation
Bottom Right: Whole Lotta Love
Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar £4.50 - I believe that Unicorn Horn was initially released in 2015 and has been a popular choice of Bubble Bar ever since. This product is shaped as a 'unicorn horn' and is multicoloured in bright blue, yellow and pink, making it even more magical. Unicorns have been a really popular theme and sort of obsession over the past couple of years so I feel that LUSH did well to create such a clever and trendy product which they recently managed to do again with bringing out a Bubble Spinner last year when the Fidget Spinner trend was at its peak. This product contains Lavender Oil, Neroli Oil and Ylang Ylang Oil, which if I remember correctly, was a very uplifting and relaxing scent.

Whole Lotta Love Bubbleroon £4.75 - I am so excited to try out this product, it contains Lemongrass Oil, Rose Absolute, Shea Butter and Murumuru Butter which should be so creamy and moisturising, leaving your skin super soft. I absolutely love the consistency of Bubbleroon's and am so eager to try this product in particular. Looking at the demo, it also appears to drastically change the water colour to a deep pinkish, red which ties in nicely with the Valentine's theme. This product is shaped in a macaroon style but as a heart and is so cute.

Heart Of Enlightened Expectation Bubble Bar Melt £4.50 - I am actually yet to try a Bubble Bar Melt and am therefore intrigued as to how it works and how well it works. This product does look gorgeous, and anything that seems like it has lots of Gold in it is always a favourite of mine. This product contains Jasmine Absolute, Rose Absolute, Geranium Oil and Cocoa Butter so therefore is a very floral based scent that is apparently soothing and calming. This product is in a heart shape and is super cute with an orange base and white top. I am so pleased that this product contains cocoa butter as it is one of my absolute favourite ingredients.

Shower Gels/Creams & Soaps:

Tender Is The Night Naked Shower Cream £14.50 - Despite it's good causes, shower cream's that don't come in a bottle is something that I can't quite get my head around and is something I wouldn't want to purchase due to it sounding very messy and quite annoying if there is no labels on it explaining the ingredients of the product itself. However, like I did mention, I am aware and do appreciate that it is for a good cause and does mean that there will be less waste. I overheard a LUSH employee once explain to a girl how the product does in fact lather up into a shower gel consistency and not just a soap which again, I just can't understand but according to LUSH's website, their naked shower gels are double the concentrate as their liquid shower gels. I really can't explain how much of a good idea I think this Naked product collection is, it just isn't something I am particulary interested in and I think that it is a shame that this product hasn't also been launched as a regular Shower Cream as I know that myself and probably many others would have been keen to try it. This product contains Jasmine Flower Infusion, Ylang Ylang Oil, Shea Butter and Vanilla Absolute.

Tunnel Of Love Soap £5.94 - I think that people, including myself often forget how wonderful some of LUSH's soaps really are. I am not somebody to use bar's of soap in particular so any that I accumulate seems to always go to waste, even my favourite soap ever (Honey I Washed The Kids). Tunnel Of Love is a soap that I haven't previously heard of and therefore is probably new. It is pink with a cute white heart shape in the center and contains Rose Water, Lime Oil, Kaolin and Olibanum Resinoid. This definitely sounds like it could be a zesty, fruity scented soap that would probably be perfect for the warmer months.

Other Products: 

Cherryish Body Scrub £7.95 - This product is a solid body scrub in the shape of a heart with two cherry's on it. This product contains Ground Cherry Stones, Almond Essential Oil, Cocoa Absolute and Coconut Oil as well as Cocoa Butter and Sea Salt. This product sounds like one that I would love, it has multiple of my favourite ingredients inside and would smell divine as well as being so exfoliating, softening and soothing. I don't usually reach for solid body scrubs but I may have to give this product a go.
Top Left: Kiss Me Quick Wash Card
Top Right: The Kiss Lip Scrub
Bottom Left: Cherryish Body Scrub
Bottom Center: Melt My Heart Massage Bar
Bottom Right: The Kiss Lip Gloss

Melt My Heart Massage Bar £5.95 - I don't currently own a LUSH massage bar, but I know from past experience that they work really well on scars, softening, fading and reducing the itchiness of them. This massage bar has love engraved onto the front and contains Cypress Oil, Dried Rose Petals, Cocoa Butter and Olibanum Resinoid and seems to be a fairly herbal scent with a hint of orange (I could be completely wrong).

Kiss Me Quick Wash Card £2.00 - Wash Cards are something that I tried once, hated, used up as quickly as I could and then never purchased again but they must work for some people or LUSH wouldn't keep bringing them out. Wash cards are defiitely down there with some of the cheapest products in the LUSH store but compared to the wash cards that I previously tried, that were rather boring and just contained a quote.. this one seems small and is in the shape of some lips. I think that this wash card is designed as a one time thing which I think would be really good as there is nothing worse than trying to dry out products, my house has looked more like a LUSH factory than a home more times than I would like to admit. This wash card contains Clove Bud Oil, Mimosa Absolute, Fresh Apple Pulp and Tonka Absolute.

The Kiss Lip Scrub £5.95 - I feel that this product has been around for a year or two but I haven't actually managed to try it. I used to love the LUSH lip scrubs when I was about ten years old but haven't looked back although I feel like maybe it is time to look into getting one due to the fact that nothing seems to be able to cure my matte liquid lipstick damaged lips. This product includes Caster Sugar, Sicillian Mandarin Oil, Almond Essential Oil and Fine Sea Salt so would be perfect for repairing and then moisturising your lips. 

The Kiss Lip Gloss £6.50 - This product comes in LUSH's classic lipstick and lip gloss packaging and is a light, sheer shade of pink that looks so moisturising on the lips. It is meant to be rich and conditioning due to it containing Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter, Cupuacu Butter and Coconut Oil. I am pretty sure that this product has been around for at least four or five years now and it is one of those products that I always spot, but never think to pick up.

Gift Sets:

Top Left: Love Hearts
Bottom Left: Lots Of Love
Top Right: In Your Dreams
Center Right: With Love
Bottom Right: Love Box
Love Hearts Gift Set £24.95 - I absolutely love looking at LUSH gift sets despite the fact that the total value of the products inside is often less than the set itself and you're usually paying for the pretty decoration. However, you can often find little gems within gift sets including limited edition items or even discontinued items. This first gift set comes inside a cute heart themed box and includes five different products which are; Whole Lotta Love Bubbleroon, Titsy Tosty Bath Bomb, Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar, Love Boat Bath Bomb and Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb. Everything inside this set is from the Valentine's Day collection and you get enough products for around three baths. I love the variety of bubble bars and bath bombs within this set and think it would be perfect for those who love in particular the Valentine's collection with the floral, fruity scents. The contents inside this product comes to £21.50 meaning you're paying £3.45 for the packaging which is very pretty but you could also probably achieve yourself with a little bit of effort and slightly less money.

In Your Dreams Gift Set £11.75 - This is one of the smaller gift sets within this collection and includes two products which are the Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar and the Love Boat Bath Bomb. The product value of this box if the products were bought separately is £8.75.

With Love Gift Set £12.95 - This is another small gift set which again includes two items, these being Ro's Argan Body Conditioner 45g and Tender Is The Night Naked Shower Cream 120g. This is definitely a set for those who maybe don't own a bath or just don't like bath's and this set contains a product from the everyday line. It isn't possible to give the value of the products individually due to the fact that the Ro's Argan Body Conditioner comes in a smaller, tester size. I have included a link to this product on the LUSH website in case you wanted to know more about it.

Lots Of Love Gift Set £57.50 - LUSH almost always brings out a bigger and slightly more expensive gift set and this is the one for Valentine's Day. It comes in the cutest box that can be kept and includes nine items which are actually all Valentine's Day exclusives minus one. The products inside are; Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb, Sex Bomb Bath Bomb, Whole Lotta Love Bubbleroon, Heart Of Enlightened Expectation, Tunnel Of Love Soap 120g, Tender Is The Night Naked Shower Cream 120g, Melt My Heart Massage Bar, Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar and Cherryish Body Scrub. The only product not being an exclusive is Sex Bomb Bath Bomb which is a well known product in LUSH's regular line. Again, I have added a link in case you wanted more information but it currently costs £3.75. It also again wouldn't be possible to say the precise value of the products purchased separately.

Love Box Gift Set £28.95 - This product contains four different products that are all from the Valentine's Day Collection and includes; Tender Is The Night Naked Shower Cream 120g, Melt My Heart Massage Bar, The Kiss Lip Scrub and Cherrylish Body Scrub. This box seems to focus more on the body and would again be suitable for those who either don't have or dislike baths. 

Knot Wraps:

Cherry Baby Knot Wrap £3.95 (50cmX50cm) -  This product has a bright and summery floral design with cherry's and hearts. If you want to add some brightness to your day, this is the one for you.
Top Left: Cherry Baby
Bottom Left: Roses
Top Right: All Together Now
Bottom Right: Good Valentine

All Together Now Knot Wrap £4.95 (70cmX70cm) - This Knot Wrap is quite a unique design and I do really like it. It is all about how we are tied to the planet in one way or another so we might as well all stand together to save the world from plastic. 

Good Valentine Knot Wrap £3.95 (50cmX50cm) - This design is in a vintage, dirty orange shade and has a boarder made from black hearts. In the middle is five steps on how to be a good valentine. I like this product and the humor surrounding it.

Roses Knot Wrap £4.95 (70cmX70cm) - This final Knot Wrap is a very vintage yet quirky rose design. It has bright red roses contrasting on a bright blue background and despite being vintage, is very trendy right now.

Overall, it's no secret that I am disappointed with the 2018 Pre-Released Valentine's Collection. I feel that LUSH have missed a vital opportunity to bring back some all time favourites but instead everything is the same. We have products with the same or similar scents, many products containing dried flowers, petals or leaves, a naked shower cream that many people aren't brave enough to spend the money on in case we hate it, four knot wraps and a bunch of face and body products that we've all seen before in slightly different variations. The products that I will be trying to pick up are; Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar, Love Boat Bath Bomb, Whole Lotta Love Bubbleroon and Heart Of Enlightened Expectation Bubble Bar Melt but on a brighter note, they will only add up to a total of £18 so I have saved myself some money.

Which products are you excited for? Which will you be missing? 

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Gary D. Schmidt: Orbiting Jupiter | Book Review

I saw this novel in the library after being drawn to the cover however, I was slightly disappointed when I noticed how short this book was and was in two minds about picking it up. I did end up getting it, with the intentions of using it as a 'on the go' novel that I could read when I have short breaks from life. However, I quickly made my way through this entire novel on my work shift split.

It's safe to say that Gary D. Schhmidt writes beautifully, this novel was absolutely cramped with the delicate details that many authors forget to include within their novels. I absolutely adore this story-line, I just wish there was more to it and I am frustrated that this story ended before it had even begun, if you have read the novel, you will understand what I mean by that.

This story starts when Jack meets his new foster brother called Joseph. Joseph is two years older than Jack and Jack only knows three things about Joseph. Firstly that he almost killed a teacher, secondly, he was confined and incarcerated in a place called Stone Mountain and thirdly, he has a daughter called Jupiter who he has never seen. What both Jack and us aren't aware of at first, is that all Joseph wants is to see his daughter. 

There was so many aspects of this novel that I fell in love with, the style of writing that is so easy to follow, the characters who make their home with two foster children into the most loving and loyal, supportive family and the willpower within Joseph's mind to find his daughter. He may only be a minor himself and he may not be able to give Jupiter all that she needs, but he can give her love and sometimes love is enough, but other times it ends in heartbreak. 

On the other hand, it did take the first half of the novel to get into the story and start to learn more about who Joseph is, and what he did in his past, how he became a parent and why he doesn't live with his birth family. Before this, we were learning about how Joseph is settling into Jack's home and their middle school and we quickly find out that he is the complete opposite to his innocent foster brother. Jack had always been well behaved before Joseph turned up and many of the teachers are thrown off Joseph before they even met him, most likely because he tried to kill one, but that was back then and surely if Joseph was that bad he wouldn't be allowed in mainstream school? Jack is adamant that people need to give Joseph a chance and we learn his frustrations with people not doing so. We can't help but warm to Joseph as time goes on, as we learn about his story of falling in love at aged thirteen, of heartache, heartbreak and grief and of being a father to a child that you're not allowed to meet. 

I do feel that this novel is the classic love story but with a twist and adapted into including the issue of teenage pregnancy. Gary D. Schmidt explores the dangers and complications of carrying and delivering a baby and the grief of feeling as though you have lost not just the girl you love but everything that you were. In the end, we are hit with even more heartbreak and sadness, this novel definitely carries the emotion. But people start to realise who Joseph really is, even if it takes a death to do so. Joseph and Jupiter might not reunite just yet but they will share an incredible foster family who will take good care of Jupiter in the meantime.

Overall, I did love this novel however, I feel like it was too similar to the typical love story that ends in a tragedy and I felt like I couldn't really get into the story due to it being so short. Having said that, I did like the small and unique aspects and themes that were added in and would recommend if you're after a quick and emotive read, packed with detail. I rated this novel three stars on Goodreads. What did you think?

This novel was published on 6th October 2015 and is 183 pages long. 

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

What Is Medication for your Mind?

It is no secret that mental health problems and illnesses seem to be on the rise throughout the UK, in fact approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. According to MIND, the overall number of individuals who experience mental health problems has not significantly changed over the recent years however, it appears that the coping mechanisms used by individuals with mental illnesses are getting drastically worse, meaning that the number of people who self-harm or have suicidal thoughts is increasing. 

In many cases, part of the recovery process from mental illness can include being offered medication. It is so important that people understand that medication is not a quick fix and will not be effective alone but instead with the help of different therapies, usually talking therapies. Not everybody with mental health problems will require or be offered medication, and usually you would have the choice of having medication or not. Medication for mental illness still has a lot of stigma around it, like mental health as a whole and there are people who don't agree with it, doesn't think it works or believes that it changes who the person is. Medication can be used to reduce symptoms and manage an illness better, just because a specific medication works for one person, it doesn't mean it will help another and medication has to be monitored closely because sometimes a type of medication can actually make the symptoms worse.

Usually, four main types of psychiatric medications are stuck to when treating patients, these being; Antidepressants, Sleeping Pills and minor Tranquillisers, Antipsychotics and Mood Stabilisers. Psychiatric medication can only be prescribed by a healthcare professional such as a GP, a psychiatrist or a nurse practitioner who is usually attached to your mental health team. Medication is also usually a last resort after other treatments have been tried. There is no telling how long you will be on your medication for but usually depends on your diagnosis and how severely your conditions affect you.

Antidepressants are most commonly used to treat Depression, but some types of antidepressants can actually be used to treat other conditions including, Anxiety, Phobias, Bulimia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Antidepressants work by boosting the activity of specific brain chemicals, especially noradrenaline and serotonin which are thought to be involved with regulating mood. There are several different types of antidepressants that may be prescribed, one type might work best for you so it is important to be honest with your doctor about how you are finding your medication to ensure that they can find the correct type and dosage for you.

Insomnia is quite common within mental health problems and sleeping medication will only be prescribed in severe cases. Sleeping Pills and Tranquillisers can be used for sleep problems or to calm you down if you're experiencing severe anxiety, usually taken when required and as an anti-anxiety medication. Within this category of medication there are three further types which target the symptoms addressed above. These drugs are sedatives, meaning that they slow your body and brain functions down, including breathing, heartbeat and your thought process. Some types of sedatives will only be prescribed for a short amount of time due to risks of becoming addicted to them or because they become less effective when taken over a longer period of time. 

Antipsychotics are usually prescribed to reduce distressing symptoms of psychosis, schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, bipolar disorder and in rare cases, anxiety. Antipsychotics can be taken in various different ways. Usually they are prescribed orally in liquid or tablet form but can also be prescribed as depot injections. 

Mood Stabilisers can help stabilise your mood if you experience severe mood swings and can be helpful for individuals who have bipolar disorder, hypomania and mania and in some circumstances, for severe depression. Mood stabilisers are available in five different drugs with some of them being very different chemical substances from each other. However, they are all grouped together because they can all be used to help stabilise your mood.

When taking any medication, it is essential to be aware of the side effects that you may experience. Each individual drug has their own side effects but many are similar. I have been on various different medications for four years and I still experience side effects, but the side effects from the medication are more manageable than the side effects from my illness, so they are seen as more beneficial than harmful. Despite being on medication for a number of years, I still struggle, I still sometimes wake up with a 'medication hangover' and I still sometimes wonder if the medication I am taking every single day is actually working.

I hope that this post has taught you a thing or two about psychiatric medication and information on the different types of medication. If you want me to go into anything further, then leave me a comment. I am also sorry that this post is a day late but even so, I hope you enjoyed.

Sources & More Information: 
MIND: Mental Health Facts/Statistics
MIND: Medication

Thank-you for reading, Tay x 

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Holly Bourne: It Only Happens In The Movies | Book Review

If you read my last book review, you'll know that I recently became fond of Holly Bourne; an extremely talented Teens & Young Adult author. I was very happy to spot this novel which is one of her latest in my local library. 

Audrey is not one to be interested in romance since she had a bad experience with her ex boyfriend and her parents relationship turned upside down, leaving her mother's moods absolutely erratic. Audrey's brother Dougie is away at university and Audrey is left to look after her broken mother but cannot stand being in the house any longer, leading her to pick up a part-time job at a local cinema. Here she meets Harry, a charming young man, around the same age as Audrey who she instantly knows is trouble. Harry makes films and him and Audrey click almost instantly and before we know it, they are falling in love quicker than anyone expected, but when you fall in love, is it ever easy? Does it really turn out like the movies? 

Throughout this novel, Bourne explores all of the untold, hidden and realistic misconceptions surrounding love and romance. I must admit, when picking up this book, I initially couldn't get into it until around page 160, I felt that the story line was tedious and slow but later discovered that this may be due to the fact that romance novels, aren't my go-to choice. Despite being completely different to Audrey, I did find her to be a very relatable character to the point where she almost feels like someone you know in real life. Audrey is a very intelligent and strong-minded individuals with some really admirable traits. She sticks by what she stands for and she won't let anybody push those barriers down for her. We learn some of her values throughout the novel including how she doesn't want to be associated with drugs and alcohol and therefore isn't afraid to say no to doing them. She knows her worth and she is very aware of what is good and bad for her as well as what she wants and deserves. I find her a very inspiring character.

We also learn early on in the novel that Audrey studies media studies, a second subject option after dropping drama (which she adored) to avoid seeing her ex boyfriend and his new girlfriend. In class, she decides to base her work around how films and specifically how movies portray love and romance, how realistic they are and how they compare to the real world. I found that this characteristic links nicely with both the fact that she works in a cinema and the romantic story-line of this novel. Within this novel, I soon became aware that at the beginning of certain chapters, there is an extract of an essay focusing on different, specific aspects of romance films, which I presume relates back to her media studies course. An example being that at the beginning of chapter 26, there is a small extract talking about 'the big date'. I feel that this is such an impressive idea and so unique. 

Moving onto Harry, the mysterious love and romance seeker who has the stereotypical 'bad boy' charm to him, who is so blatantly trouble from the beginning and Audrey can see that too, but you can't help falling in love and as Audrey's love grows for Harry, we also start to warm up to him because he's not all bad and he does seem to like her. Harry is obsessed over becoming a successful film maker, and has a keen interest in creating zombie films in particular. Harry has been looking for someone to play a zombie bride in his newest project and when him and another work colleague, Lou discovers that Audrey likes to act, they realise that they have found the perfect match. It doesn't take long to realise that Audrey and Harry do have some rather bold differences one being that Harry likes to party, drink alcohol and take drugs whereas Audrey is not interested in any of these things. I think that it can be reassuring to see two people, who aren't the same, fall in love and to go on their journey with them, through their ups and downs because we are all aware that no relationship is perfect, but that doesn't mean that they can't work. This novel is definitely different and a complete contrast to most romance novels. It feels like quite a risk as people were going to either love it or hate it, but I admire Bourne for taking that risk because this novel is written beautifully, with an engaging story-line that so many people will be able to relate to.

It Only Happens In The Movies is filled with feminism, where the characters quite openly talk about romance, sex and periods without judgement, they are aware of what they want within a relationship and have no shame with sharing that with each other, they are a mature group of friends who are more than happy to support each other. I absolutely love how this novel tackles the typical cliques head on, and we experience the typical romance from a different perspective. This novel shows how important it is to be able to distinguish the difference from how films portray romance and how it realistically is. We can still enjoy the romance films, just being wise enough to know that they aren't reality. This book also teaches that it is OK to be single, that we don't need to have a partner to be complete because we are fine as we are and in some cases, better.

Overall, this is an extremely eye-opening novel that I think everybody needs to read at least once. It isn't the typical romance novel and is very empowering. Despite not enjoying this novel at first, once I had finished it, I couldn't stop thinking about it and therefore rated it on Goodreads as five stars. If you stumble across this book, do pick it up because it is one of the honest novels I have ever read.

Reading Next: Lara Williamson: A Boy Named Hope

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Monday, 1 January 2018

30 Mental Health Related Goal Ideas for 2018

It wouldn't be right to start off this post without saying Happy New Year. I always find this time of year odd and strangely feel like we are still stuck in 2014 but to be in 2018 is mad! The years just seem to fly by. Talking about New Years, today I am sharing with you an entire bunch of ideas for New Years Resolutions & Goals that relate to your mental health and that are all achievable if you put your mind to them. This is also my first Mental Health Monday post which is exciting, I hope that this schedule allows me to actually give people help and advice instead of just listening to me rambling on (don't worry, there will still be some of those too). Some of these goals may not work for you or even be relevant to you but I hope that there is at least one thing below for everyone. If you have any other suggestions then please do let me know as I would love to try them myself. I think that when setting ourselves goals, it is so important to remember that baby steps are key. Instead of aiming for one, unrealistic goal, aim for smaller goals that will overall lead up to that bigger goal, that way you're more likely to get there.

  1. Be kinder towards yourself
  2. Set up a structure & daily routine, try to stick to it as closely as possible
  3. Treat other people how you want to be treated
  4. Remove the negative and toxic relationships from your life and leave them in the past as chances are, you'll feel much happier without them
  5. Drink enough water, this is so important in order to improve your mindset
  6. Eat enough food, even if you don't feel hungry
  7. Take your medication at the same time every day
  8. Have a bedtime routine
  9. Do something nice for yourself every day
  10. Use self soothe at least twice per week
  11. Keep a diary to track your moods
  12. Go to your therapy/Mental Health Appointments
  13. Don't be afraid to preach what you want or need
  14. Go out at least once per day, even if it is just in the garden
  15. Create a self soothe/distraction techniques box and use it at least once per week
  16. Be honest with others about how you are feeling
  17. Get dressed every day
  18. Try to resist self harm by trying at least four different distraction techniques for 10-15 minutes each when you get an urge
  19. Make your loved ones aware of how much they mean to you
  20. Spend more time with your family
  21. Spend more time with your friends
  22. Focus on your health first and before anything else
  23. Take time out if you need 
  24. Think of yourself first and others second, being selfish isn't always a bad thing
  25. Try to set boundaries, say yes to more but remember that it is ok to say no to things
  26. Don't put too much pressure on yourself
  27. Avoid spending time on websites and social media platforms that can have a negative effect on you
  28. Remember to take your time with things
  29. Allow yourself to feel happy and positive without feeling guilty
  30. Do something nice for somebody else every day
Thank-you for reading, Tay x

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