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
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