Friday, 23 December 2016

2016; An Odd Year (Top Achievements & New Years Resolutions)

We are just over a week away from the New Year, which yet again has flown by quicker than ever. Another year for people to set unrealistic resolutions, another year older and another year that we have survived. By 'we', I mean us mentally unstable individuals who didn't think we'd make it through the first year of our struggles yet here we are, several years later and still soldiering on. New Years are a hard thing to get your head round when you're unwell. Despite trying our hardest to believe that this event is a time of celebration and positivity, we always have our doubts but we stick to the hope that maybe this year will be our year, just maybe.

I am sure that I am not the only person who has had a very up and down 2016; one day being incredible and the next crashing down. I know that this year hasn't been my best, but it also hasn't been my worst. I managed to achieve some amazing things and believe it or not, even some resolutions. I wanted to talk mostly about the highlights.. I know that some of you are probably wondering about the lowlights which of course, there were a few too many of but we cant change the past, so why dwell on it?

I have spent this entire year with my boyfriend and I know that I wouldn't be where I am today without him, he has helped me more than he could ever known and I am so blessed to have created so many memories with him. I have managed to find some wonderful new friends and have equally cut contact with a few which had turned toxic and became negative aspects of my life. I have even got better at doing my make-up and if that isn't an achievement, then what is? I have improved my alcohol tolerance and have started new therapy as well as binge watched Dance Moms and Orphan Black. There are so many little achievements that go unrecognised when in reality, they are the little things that we should hold on to. So, lets get into my top ten achievements of 2016 (in no particular order as we all know that I am indecisive):

  • I managed to get my AS results after two years and passed both of the subjects that I sat, getting Cs in Creative Writing and Health & Social Care. I could have done better, but for my state of mind, I was shocked with these results.
  • I met Olly Murs for the second time and it was an incredible moment of my year.
  • I started up my blog after years of putting it off due to feeling anxious.
  • I worked up the courage and braved going clubbing and actually enjoyed myself.
  • Booked a skydive for myself and Elle in order to raise money for MIND; the mental health charity.
  • I started my YouTube channel even though I am still getting to grips with it.
  • I have found a job that I enjoy and have been there for over a year now which is the longest that I have had a job for.
  • I went on my first two holidays with my boyfriend.
  • After much practice, I managed to finally become more comfortable when using public transport, especially bus and train journeys.
  • I managed to find a flock of friends and I now have much healthier and happier relationships than I used to.
Like all of us, I have many (admittedly, some unrealistic) resolutions which I hope to achieve during 2017. My top five of these are:
  • Completing my A2 levels with results that I can be proud of and finally being able to leave Sixth Form.
  • Quitting smoking without turning to an e-cig.
  • Being allowed my provisional licence and learning to drive.
  • Saving money to buy expensive things as well as having money in my (non-existent) savings account.
  • Continuing my recovery and being able to manage and cope with my illnesses better.
I hope that you all have a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year, here is to a happier and healthier year. Are any of you celebrating the New Year, or the end of the Old Year? What are your resolutions for the year? I would love to hear them.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

What I got for my Nineteenth Birthday

I have seen these videos spiraling around YouTube and decided to write up a post. My birthday was on the 20th December and I turned nineteen (I am well aware that I still only look about fourteen but what can you do?). I have been well and truly spoilt by my family, friends and boyfriend and I cannot explain how grateful I am.

I always find having a birthday so close to Christmas quite an inconvenience, simply because it is so difficult to make plans and organise something special. However, everything fell in place nicely and I had such a good time with my friends. 

From my mum, I got tickets to see Olly Murs perform at the Metro Christmas Live 2016 which actually took place on Friday the 16th. It was in Newcastle; a six hour journey from my hometown but it was so amazing and I sobbed my heart out yet again. Other than Olly, a whole range of artists performed and it was such a good concert. We managed to see Louisa Johnson, John Legend, Craig David, James Arthur, Jonas Blue, Sam Lavery, Dua Lipa, Calum Scott and MO. I got to spend it with my mum, aunt, cousin and best friend. Aside from this, I was also extremely lucky and managed to receive the Morphe 35O palette which I am already in love with and cannot wait to start using.

My close friend Elle bought me some new Soap & Glory Handmaid Hand Sanitiser as I adore the scent but had ran out of my old bottle. She also got me a gorgeous mug from notonthehighstreet which is personalised with my name and 'crazy cat lady'. Although I don't drink hot drinks, I love receiving mugs as I can always manage to find something to put in them. At the moment it is filled with sweets but I am sure that they wont last long. The final and most exciting present that Elle bought me was tickets to see Olly Murs on tour in March which I am so thankful for. I honestly cannot wait.

Moving on, another close friend, Leah also knows me too well and bought me a new book named 'Anatomy of a Misfit' by Andrea Portes which looks so good and I am looking forward to reading this over Christmas. Next, she bought me a Contour/Concealer Oval Brush which I have been wanting to try for so long. It is so good and I cannot wait to try some more. Moving on yet still staying on the theme of make-up, she bought me the Sleek Whipped Cream Highlighter from their new Rockstars Collection in the shade 'Pink Opal'. This highlighter is so pigmented and I have already worn it. Finally from Leah, I was lucky enough to get the Zoeva Cocoa Blend Eye-Shadow Palette which has the most gorgeous winter shades in and is so pigmented.

I next received the Calvin Klein Sheer Beauty perfume from my manager at work. I love the scent which is rather sweet but with a mature twist. This has already fitted in well with my perfume collection and I cannot wait to use it, despite it being much stronger than my trusted 'safety scents'. 

Moving on, I received the most gorgeous set of underwear from Ann Summers, which my boyfriend got me. I am so in love with it. I personally hate spending money on bras, no matter how pretty they are so I am glad that I have someone to buy gorgeous underwear for me. Also from my boyfriend, I received the Roberto Cavalli perfume which is my all time favourite and I have just ran out. I am so thankful for this gift as I wear it so often. Finally, from my boyfriend I got a lush gift set called 'Sweet Christmas' which contains Snow Fairy Shower Gel, Snow Fairy Body Conditioner and the Rock Star Soap. All of these will definitely be used within the next few months and lets face it.. Is Christmas even the Christmas season without snow fairy? 

I was lucky enough to receive a pair of Monsters Inc fluffy pyjamas from my brother which are so comfortable, a pair of eyelashes from my friend and a Ted Baker Treasure Trove set from my boyfriends family containing so much lush make-up as well as lots of money from my other relatives. I am so thankful for all of my gifts, I had a lovely birthday and I hope that I have given some of you ideas of what to ask for for your birthdays or Christmas. If anybody would like to see reviews of any of these products, feel free to leave a comment or contact me and I will get them up for you.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Too Faced No Filter Selfie Powders Review

The 'Too Faced #TFNOFILTER Selfie Powders Palette' contains three "weightless, undetectable finishing powders" which mimic the effects of your favourite photo filters as according to Too Faced; "Selfie Powders are your filters for the real world!" This palette first launched back in 2015 as part of their summer range. These powders are £32 on the Too Faced website and Debenhams but I was lucky enough to find mine for £9.99 in TK Maxx. Despite having this product for quite some time, I am still rather undecided on my overall thoughts. 

Starting off with the packaging, I think that the outside design of the palette is very cute and quirky yet also rather intimidating. I find that this palette looks sleek but with a more childish approach, making it look as though it is aimed at a young teenager audience. I think that the Instagram inspired camera shot works really well and I understand that the hashtag again represents Instagram, there is just something that I really don't like and I cannot seem to put my finger on it. The packaging is cardboard, it is very light and thin, making it easy to travel with. As you open the palette, there is a mirror which is always handy although I am not sure about how long this mirror will remain perfect for, due to the packaging being cardboard. Underneath the mirror there are four of the same photos of a dog; one normal and the other three with each of the powdered filters. I again think that a photo of a dog definitely lowers the predicted target audience. The three powders are a really good size and are completely different from one another. They can be used alone, all over the face or mixed up to add different effects to specific areas.

Sunrise: This is the first powder within the palette and can be rather off putting at a first glance. It is a bright yellow with a mustard undertone. However, at a closer look, it can quickly be recognised that this shade is rather golden as an oppose to the typical bright yellow. This shade has a purpose to add a brightening defused warmth to the skin. This shade is much more subtle once applied and isn't chunky or over powering at all. I personally use this shade under my eyes, brightening any dark circles that I may have and sometimes underneath my contour, highlighting it. In summer, I could imagine that this shade would leave such a gorgeous glow when being used all over the face. 

Totally Toasted: This is a golden brown toned powder with the purpose to provide a bronzed, smoothing glow to the skin. This shade is defiantly the most colour payoff out of the three. It defiantly warms up your skin and works as a stunning illuminator. If you have a fair skin tone, this would work perfectly as a bronzer as you can defiantly build the colour up. I love the sheen finish that this powder leaves on my skin and I typically use it on my temples and forehead before blending it down into my contour. 

Moon River: I'm not going to lie, this is another rather off putting shade at first glance. It is a light, lavender shade and provides a cool, ethereal, lightening glow. Once applied to the skin, this product is much more subtle than it looks. I mostly use this down the center of my face instead of using a bold highlighter which could sometimes look too much. I find that this gives a lovely, defused glow and works really well alone or on top of a highlighter.

I find that this palette is definitely not essential if you own other finishing powders but is a nice addition to have. I don't think that I would have spent full retail price on this product but nonetheless, it does its job and it does work. I find that the powders feel in the middle of a creamy and slightly chalky texture but when applying, there is no fall out at all. The powders are extremely good quality and although the results are not always obvious to the naked eye, it does give a gorgeous glow on camera and within the light. This palette essentially has the task to brighten, bronze and illuminate the skin which it defiantly achieves. Like I said before, you can combine all three shades over your face or use them alone. 

Do you own this palette? Do you love it or hate it?

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Urban Decay Moondust Palette

Despite being a fan of make-up; especially eye-shadow, up until last week, I was yet to try out any of the Urban Decay Palettes. I have had my eye on this palette in particular since looking through Leah's palettes and I instantly fell in love. In all honesty, I was debating this purchase simply because the shades are rather bright and extremely shimmery; both something that I don't feel confident enough to wear too often. Having said that, this palette is defiantly one of a kind and irresistible.

If the shades themselves aren't enough to sell you, please take a moment to look at the packaging. The box of the palette has a photo of space with the palette itself looking like it is covered in glitter; resembling the sparkles within the shadows. The name of the palette on the outside has actually been cut out of the lid and reflects the mirror from the inside which I thought was another rather unique aspect. I think that the palette is slightly bulky but overall a good size; much more suitable for travelling than the Naked palettes. The palette has a magnetic seal, ensuring that the pigments stay fresh (as well as making the palette really satisfying to open and close). 

This palette retails for £35 but is currently selling in Debenhams for £31.50 and contains eight shades; making it slightly pricier than most palettes. Every shade is brand new ranging from light peaches to dark grays, ensuring that you are able to create a look for every occasion. The shades within this palette can all be used either wet or dry and UD recommends that you use your fingers to apply them which I know, isn't the most hygienic but will ensure that your make-up looks incredible all day long.

Specter - Soft and shimmering pink/peach with a tonal sparkle. 
Element - 'Amazing' peach with a pink undertone and sparkles.
Magnetic - Purple with sparkle.
Lightyear - Vibrant Green with tonal sparkle.
Granite - Silvery metallic shade with multicoloured sparkle.
Lithium - Brown coppery-gold with sparkle.
Vega - Bright blue with tonal sparkle.
Galaxy - Smokey blue-gray with sparkle.

I must admit, I haven't used this product too many times but the pigmentation is incredible. I have found that the products defiantly work brighter and better whilst using a wet brush (I use setting spray to dampen mine) before blending the edges out with a dry brush. When using the shades dry (photo below), I find that I have a lot of fall-out and the shades are much less intense which is actually quite good, meaning that all of these shades can have two completely different effects.

The only fault that I have with this product is that once the products have even been touched; you can tell. Their 3-D metallic shades appear to have been deflated in the middle which isn't actually the case and in fact, just shows how pigmented and dreamy these shades really are.

If these eight shades don't suit your taste, then also within this collection, Urban Decay have brought out seven new liquid cream eye-shadows which I am very curious about, retailing at £15 each as well as having the shades from the palette 'Magnetic' and 'Vega' and twenty-two all different and unique singular shadows which retails at £14 each. I would highly recommend this palette as not only can you look incredible, you can have so much fun playing around with it.

Here are a couple of looks that I have managed to create using this palette..

Have you got your hands on this product? What were your first impressions?

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Juggling a Blog with a Job, Full-Time Education & Mental Illness

Starting a blog was something that I had been questioning for a couple of years but was never confident enough to take the leap. Back at the beginning of 2016, I made it one of my New Years Resolutions as even if I didn't end up enjoying it, it was something that I wanted to try. Creating and maintaining a blog is hard work, you have to use your imagination and figure out not only what you want to write about, but what others may want to read. It does take time and a lot of energy which can be rather difficult when you're eighteen years old, in full-time education with a part-time job, and that is without mentioning the daily battles that occur between yourself and your head whilst trying desperately to gain your life back.

I'm not going to lie, Sixth Form has never been perfect for me. I enjoy it, I adore the subjects that I take and I want to succeed but finding the motivation and energy to actually go in has been really difficult for me, hence why I dropped out of my first year and am still at Sixth Form for a third. However, I am really trying to sort this out which makes it even harder to find the time to write up posts. I have a Part-Time job which I must admit, felt like Full-Time for the first six months of this year, but now, after a slight relapse I have reduced my hours to between two and four shifts a week, giving me much more time to balance my life out. Although I miss the money, I have benefited not only mentally, but overall as I have less stress, more time and are therefore able to give my focus to things that are more important; my mental health and education. 

I knew that starting a blog may not be something that I am able to update frequently and put most of my time and attention into. However, I am glad that I gave it a go as it is now a hobby that I adore. It also has ended up really beneficial for my recovery by being used as a distraction. If I write up a post which I believe is successful, then I feel that I have achieved something, reducing intense emotions and urges and making me actually feel proud of myself. Since starting this blog back in June, there has been times where I have prioritiesed a post over my coursework but that is OK, because I now feel that I am in a position where I know how much time a post will take me, I am able to set myself a coursework goal that I must achieve before turning to my blog. I have learnt that due to the fact that I love to write, this page is my safe place and my get away when facing the stresses of everyday life and recovery.

I have had to try to get myself into a routine which I am still working on. I have an aim of how many posts I think that I can get written up and posted within a week depending on my schedule and depending on how much Sixth Form work that I have to complete. This aim isn't always achieved because as I have expressed many times already, some days I will wake-up feeling completely lifeless with no motivation or intentions of even turning my laptop on. On other days, even going to get my laptop is an achievement. It isn't even just the illness itself, it is the treatments for mental illness, therapy sessions, therapy homework, being tired or drowsy due to medication which takes up the time and quite honestly, makes me not very reliable but, I am trying my best. 

I also like to try and keep my blog separate from my personal life. I have a boyfriend, meaning that I want to also fit in time to see him throughout my weeks and I don't want to waste the time that I value spent with him constantly talking about my blog. This also applies to spending time with family and friends. I have noticed that I have become even more of an impulsive spender since starting this blog and am constantly using the excuse of purchasing a product for 'review purposes' but am hoping to change this soon. 

This post has been a bit of a ramble and all over the place, but I hope that it makes sense. Overall, if you are wanting to start a blog then I would go for it and just try it out because at the end of the day, there is no commitment at all as it is your own decision and your hobby. Starting this blog has been so beneficial to me and has always given me something to do. I tend to try and push myself on my down days to do some work on my blog, even if it is just brain storming some ideas. Just don't priorities it higher than your overall health and well-being, your education and your job. Remember, it is your page, your control and your place to be yourself. Although it can be difficult, it isn't as hard as it sounds.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Beauty Bargain Buys: Too Faced Haul

Hello all, I hope you're all well and good. I apologise for my lack of posts, I'm just extremely busy with Sixth Form, Therapy and Work but am hoping to get back to regular posts soon. Today I thought that it would be nice to do a bargain finds haul. I have quite a few new products that I cannot wait to show you and all of them were so reasonably priced. I know that there will be some readers who disagree with buying products cheaper, whether they be old stock or slightly used but what is the point in splashing out the cash on brand new products when you can usually buy them not too long after for a fraction of the price? For somebody on the legal minimum wage, this is a great way for me to try out new products and build up my beauty collection. 

I am debating doing an entire guide for building a make-up collection on a budget, if you'd be interested then please let me know but for now, all I will say that if you are looking for a product in particular, make sure you look up what the authentic versions look like in comparison to the fakes, always ask for proof of purchase, check the sellers reviews and have a look on sales pages, depop or even eBay! I have managed to get my hands on some gorgeous, unused products from all of these websites and I am yet to come across a bad experience (touch wood).

Before I ramble anymore, we shall dive straight in to the gorgeous goodies that I got my hands on. All of these products are from Too Faced and aside from the fact that I haven't had the opportunity to properly try them all out, the ones that I have, have left me extremely happy. If anybody wants to see a review of any (or all) of these products, make sure you leave a comment below and I will get that done for you as soon as possible!

Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette - RRP £39, I found for £20 on Depop from a trusted seller who had only swatched a few of the shades. I think that everything about this product is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l; the packaging, the shades, the scent. It is like a dream come true! If you don't own this product, then I actually do think that it is worth its retail price of £39 but of course, if you can get it cheaper then why not?

Too Faced Melted Lipstick in Melted Frosting - RRP £19, I bought for £12 (again from Depop) however, I have seen a couple over the past week in TK Maxx for only £5.99. The only issue with TK Maxx is that usually their products are old or left over stock, so just check the products before you purchase.
Too Faced Bulletproof Eyeliner in Silver Lining - RRP £19, I paid £5.99 from TK Maxx and although my local store are very low on stock, I know that others have managed to find a variety of shades including; Get Lucky, Purple Rain and White Lie. These products are rather popular and handy to have due to the fact that the liner can be used as a simple winged eyeliner or they can be blended to create a gorgeous smokey eye.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Glitter Glue Eye Primer - RRP £19, I again found for £4.99 in TK Maxx. This product is honestly so good, it has a sticky consistency which is perfect for glitter pigments. However, this product is in the old packaging which is most likely why it could be found at such a cheap price.

Too Faced Cat Eye Palette - RRP £32, I got extremely lucky and found this in TK Maxx for only £9.99 and I just couldn't resist. I have only used this a couple of times but I adore it so much. It also contains eye-shadows that can be used wet to create a gorgeous eyeliner. If you find any of these in your local TK Maxx, then please do not hesitate, just purchase it, I mean, £22 lower than retail price... of course you can justify it!
Too Faced Selfie Powders Palette - RRP £29, I found on the TK Maxx website (do you see the theme?) for £9.99 and I am ridiculously in love. This product was designed to need no filters over your selfies whilst having two brightening highlighters (Sunrise & Moon River) and one bronzer (Totally Toasted). This product is heaven in a packet despite the fact that I am not too fond of the cardboard packaging with a mirror inside I mean, who actually manages to keep the mirrors inside cardboard packaging in tact?

Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool - RRP £18, I didn't actually pick up these item as my first impressions resulted in me being very confused and slightly terrified. I have never seen anything like it, but the aim is to be able to line your lash line easily. I did see a couple of these in TK Maxx and were retailing at £4.99.

If you don't like the thought of possible 'old' stock or something that has already been swatched, then all of the products mentioned above are available worldwide on the Too Faced website. Do you have any beauty bargain buys? Which was your favourite?

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Freedom Pro Lipsticks: The Red Collection

Hello everybody, how are you all? It feels like I haven't sat down to write up a post in the longest time due to going away and being super busy with sixth form and work. Today I have five gorgeous lipsticks to talk to you about so lets get straight in! 

Freedom Make-Up is a relatively new brand that I have recently come across. I managed to find myself spending ten minutes standing in front of their counter in Superdrug, curious and committed to try out some of their products. Of course, with the excuse of them being essential for 'blog purposes'. Freedom make-up was created by the founders of make-up revolution and is a professional make-up brand, aimed at make-up artists. Freedom's 'range of affordable products are made with the highest quality, professional formulas to help you perfect your skills.' 

After hearing some quick advise from my friend, I quickly decided to pick up one of their sets of lipsticks. I found an entire range of different lipstick kits which all contained five full sized lipsticks and only cost five pounds. I chose to go for the Reds collection, as it is a colour that I love to wear and to be honest, there was only a few different options within store. I really couldn't resist trying out these lipsticks and was excited before I even bought them. Other shades that this brand does within its 'pro lipstick kits' are: Bare, Vamp Noir, Pink, Far Away Galaxy, Now, Naked Mattes, Retro Mattes and Noir Mattes, all available on the Superdrug website.

Starting with the packaging of these products (as usual), the five lipsticks come inside a small box with a photo of the lipsticks on the front, shade swatches down one side and ingredients on the back. This packaging is small, subtle and simple and I think that it makes the products feel much higher end. The only issue with the packaging that I have is that the swatches are printed much darker than the actual pigmentation of the products. The lipsticks themselves, come in a black tube with a transparent rim, allowing you to easily see which shade you are choosing. The packaging feels extremely light and you can tell that they are made from plastic, but this is only when you're holding them. The pot of product and lid are separated by a thin silver band. Like most lipsticks, the product is inside a swivel tube and I was shocked to see how much product actually fits within these tubes because they do seem slightly smaller than the average size. Unfortunately, these lipsticks don't carry any sort of aroma at all, but glide onto your lips so smoothly with a lovely, creamy formula. It would be nice if these lipsticks had been given names for which sort of finish they leave, as sometimes it can be hard to buy products if you are unaware, I know that for me especially, I can only really get on with certain formulas. I found that the first time I wore each of these lipsticks, they felt quite stiff but I have had no problems since.

After properly swatching and trying out these lipsticks, I am impressed. I must admit, I didn't expect much when I was purchasing these because of their price. However, each shade is completely unique from one-another and all of the shades work well together if you were wanting to try out a two-toned lip. On the other hand, I feel that it does take a couple of coats of product to build the pigmentation up to the given shade and the pigmentation doesn't last all day, but is more of the average priced lipstick that needs to be carried around with you to top up. Whilst wearing these lipsticks, I can't feel them on my lips. Instead, my lips feel light and moisturised and not irritated in the slightest. I do really like the formula of these products and I feel that it is unfair to talk about the few negatives that I have, due to the price because at the end of the day, you pay for what you get so it is always likely that products this cheap aren't always going to be perfect. Above are swatches of the shades given on the package, and the shades that I swatched.

Hopefully you are still here and haven't switched off yet, but just in case you are getting there, lets get onto the exciting part; the shades..

Fever (106) - This shade is a rather bright toned red which would suit the summer weather perfectly. I feel that this is quite a unique shade as it isn't so bright that it is overpowering, but it is obvious that you are wearing it and adds a glow to the rest of your make-up.

Make Me Crazy (107) - Within the tube, I feel that this shade looks more like a coral toned pink than a red however, when swatched, it still has some of the coral shade but is more of an orange under-toned red. This is a much more subtle shade for individuals who don't like to wear big, bright and bold lip shades

Expression (108) - This is one of the darkest shades in the collection yet also one of the warmest. It defiantly has an obvious plum undertone and would look gorgeous all year round, especially in the winter months. This shade is either lighter or darker than any other red lipsticks within my collection, making it quite unique and different which is good as I hate having too many dupes of the same shade.

Red Wine (109) - This is the darkest within this collection and is very self-explanatory with its name. It is a deep, wine red which could make any outfit look sophisticated. I really adore this shade and look forward to wearing it more.

Born With It (110) - The final shade within this collection and is a dusky red with a slight pink under-tone. This shade is slightly darker than what it looks like in the tube and is a softer, more subtle shade of red than the others.

Overall, I am happy with these lipsticks, impressed by their performance and glad to have picked some up. If I were to suggest these products, I would probably say that it may be best to stay away from the darker sets unless you have matching lip-liners just because the pigmentation can rub away fairly easily, causing you to have patchy lips. On the other hand, within this set, you get a red for every different occasion which I think is good.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

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
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