Thursday 11 May 2017

My Mental health story: Depression, self harm and suicide

Before you read any further, I just want to make it abundantly clear that I have never spoken about my mental health this deeply to anyone other than a trained psychiatrist. This week is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and it has taken several drafts and a lot of courage to write this very open blog about my own mental health issues. I’m not writing this for attention, for sympathy, for views or as a cry for help, I’m writing this because once upon a time, I was one of those people who loathed others openly talking about their mental health.

‘Get over it’
‘Others have it much worse’'
‘Just deal with it’
 ‘We all have issues’

Though I’d never say this to peoples faces, I definitely looked down on those who shared their mental health stories, but before you jump down my throat, please know that these are the thoughts of someone who was very ill themselves.

My entire life I had been conditioned to never acknowledge or speak about sadness, to never openly talk about my feelings or problems and I was told I had it easy by those who were making my life miserable. The truth is, I had a very difficult life and it’s taken me nearly 29 years to realise that.

I was diagnosed with depression at 17 but I had been feeling the same way since I was 11. My dad had walked out on my family, we were very poor and my life was in turmoil. A lot of issues happened throughout my childhood/teens, which I won’t go into, but they shaped me into the person that I am today.

I was 15 when I first self harmed. I cut my wrists with scissors and though the cuts didn’t pose any real threat to my life, they definitely left marks. Someone noticed these marks and instead of talking to me about it, they hit me and said if they ever saw me doing that again, I’d regret it. I was told it was a 'teenage phase' and 'I'd get over it' but in hindsight, this individual was having issues of their own and they resorted to an old school mentality to try and scare me into not doing it again. However, their words had a lasting affect on me. Instead of stopping self harm, I just hid it better so that they never saw it again, and carried on self harming for another 10 years without anyone ever noticing. 

As I headed into my twenties, I still refrained from talking to anyone about how I was feeling. I saw people around me who had close families, groups of friends and support networks and even though I had friends and family I always felt alone and unable to divulge my darkest secret. 

My mind was my own worse enemy; I told myself I was useless, pitiful, ugly, horrible, a waste of space and I continued this mantra for so many years, that I became so depressed I wondered what the point of living was. So, I cut. 

I cut a lot. 

My thigh (my hidden place for self harm), still bears 100’s of scars all over it. Thankfully I’m very pale, so my scars are not very apparent, but I know that they are there and it still saddens me till this day. They actually make me feel sick when I look at them and I still can’t believe I was able to do that damage to myself.

Even though I thought cutting myself was helping, it was becoming an addiction. The feelings I was experiencing internally were soul destroying but I knew that they would drain away as soon as I cut myself and the blood ran out of me. Though the cutting provided temporary relief, the euphoric feelings of happiness would soon fade away and there they would be. Those feelings again, at the fore front of my mind.

So I planned my suicide.

I planned to hang myself in my local woods. I knew secluded areas where I could do it at dusk where no one could disturb me, but when the time came, I couldn’t do it. Not because I was afraid to, but because I started to think about the poor person who would find me. How would that effect their life? Could I really do that to someone?

So I changed my plan. I would book a hotel room, hang myself there, but post a suicide note to the police, so the ‘professionals’ could find me. But then I thought about my sister. I thought about how heartbroken she would be and how she would probably spend her entire life wondering why? I couldn’t bear to put her through that pain.

Over the last few years I have seen an overwhelming campaign to discuss mental health and in the beginning I scoffed at people who spoke openly about their mental health and problems. I thought that they should all be getting on with it and deal with it themselves, just like me.

But I wasn’t getting on with it, was I?

Cutting myself and planning my own suicide weren't exactly the actions of someone who was getting on with it. I was a shell of a human whose every waking thought was consumed by self hatred. How was not talking about my feelings a better alternative? Why was I made to feel so ashamed about feeling like this? And why was I judging others for sharing their pain?

I was torn, cut up (mentally and physically) and so very tired of pretending like everything was fine.

I have read countless blogs that have really helped me to realise that others are going through this on a daily basis, just like me. Depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts are topics that shouldn't go unspoken, they need to be discussed, not only on social media, but in schools, universities and even work places.

We need to stop putting people down for discussing it, making teenagers feel invalid for feeling the way they do or blaming hormones. Can we stop undervaluing peoples thoughts, experiences and feelings just because back in your day, people just got on with it? Speaking about mental health issues is not a competition about whose had it worse; it’s a community coming together to help one another through very, very dark times.

I've learned that mental health issues can affect anyone at anytime. There isn't an age you have to hit, a gender you have to be, a situation you have to experience, it's a chemical imbalance in our brains that needs to be helped. I've been told that diet, exercise, meditation etc will help, but honestly, they can only do so much. If I'm feeling blue, yes of course a run will help me or a quite relaxing bath can lift my spirits, but depression is not that simple. There's no quick solution or remedy, professional help is needed.

If you don’t live with mental health issues, please know that this isn’t a choice. I didn’t chose to feel like this, what an awful choice that would be! I don’t feel sorry for myself or do it for attention and I certainly don’t think I’ve had it worse than others, I just can't help the way I feel. 

I urge those people who suffer in silence to come forward, to speak to friends, families, doctors, teachers, anyone, but just speak up. If it wasn’t for internet and the mental health discussions that are taking place all over it, I wouldn’t finally be getting the help I need at 29 years old. The stigma that surrounds mental health and it’s sufferers is still around today but please know that there is also so much more support. Once upon a time I thought that taking antidepressants was a sign of weakness but the thought of taking them now seems like a life line.

Be kind to one another, use your words carefully and know that depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts are sometimes very hard to notice in someone, but all you can do is show love and support to those around you. 

Thursday 6 April 2017

Top 10 worst things in the world*

*May not actually be the top 10 worst things in the world 

1. Breaking your nail when you're not at home and it's now a horrible broken/jagged mess but there's not a nail file in sight. Yes, Satan has entered the building.

2. Queuing for a specific item of food but the bastard in front of you orders the last one. See you in hell my friend, see you in hell.

3. Hurting yourself badly around children and not being able to swear. WHO TAUGHT LITTLE JONNY THE F WORD? 

4. Knowing EXACTLY what you’re going to wear on a night out then finding out it’s in the wash and you have no plan B! It's confirmation that God really does hate you.

5. Trapping your fingers in something. Enough said.

6. Holding gas in around your partner but your stomach makes a noise like you passed wind, but you didn’t pass wind and now he thinks you did pass wind and now you’re wishing you did pass wind but the moment has gone and the opportunity has been taken from you by the fake wind noise and you’re now in uncontrollable pain and embarrassment. Great.

7. Taking pity on a cute, tiny, elderly person on public transport, so you give your seat to them, befriend them and then find out they’re a massive, outspoken racist. #awkward

8. Trying your very hardest at something, giving it everything you’ve got and seeing it to the very end, only to find out you're actually rubbish at said thing and you failed miserably. Soooooo, I’ll just go back to eating carbs and carry on watch Gilmore Girls in bed, shall I?
9. Giving a stranger directions and realizing 5 minutes later you’ve sent them the wrong way but it’s too late to tell them so meh. Then seeing the exact same strange again 15 minutes later, but they are now staring daggers into you so badly, you're shocked you haven't burst into flames yet. (Yeah, that genuinely happened to me).

10. Missed period.

I hope you enjoyed this tongue in cheek post, I know some won't enjoy this humour but I honestly don't care (I'm feeling super sassy at the moment). What do you think should be added to the list? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday 12 March 2017


Over the last couple of years, blogging and the blogging community have brought me so much happiness. The friendships I’ve cultivated, the opportunities I’ve been rewarded and the pride that comes with being part of this creative collective is something not to be sniffed at. However, aside from all of these positives there’s been one massive problem; I haven’t actually been blogging.
Actually, I’d like to rephrase that; I haven’t ‘posted’ a blog. I’ve join in chats, left comments on other peoples posts, given endless amount of love to all bloggers big or small and continued to go to events but I just haven’t clicked on that ‘Publish button’ in a long ol’ time.

But it's not like I haven't written a post, quite the contrary. Over the course of the last year I’ve written nearly 200 posts but I’ve only posted a handful. But why? Well if I'm honest, I felt pretty worthless in the blogging community and every time I went to publish a post I was crippled by this overwhelming sense of anxiety. Somehow, I got this point in my blogging life where I felt as if my content was not up to the same standards of my peers and anything I created just ‘wasn’t good enough’.
My own worst enemy
Over this last year I have been so fucking hard on myself and it seems like every time I go to publish a blog I think ‘What’s the point? Someone will have done this better than me’ and I just give up. I’ve always been a bit of a defeatist and if I’m not amazing at something from the very beginning, I just won’t do it. However, I know I can write, I know I can take photos and I know I can film, so what the actual hell is the matter with me?

Like many, I’ve been continually ranking myself against other bloggers and I've felt like I fall short in the talent pool. There have been so many bloggers who started this blogging thing at the same time as me, who are now doing this blogging game full time and I’m just here like 😐. I feel like I should be trying harder but equally I feel like I don't want to spend my entire life on a computer and I end up going round in circles and torturing myself over my failures. 

Be your own cheerleader
But whilst sifting through my blog the other day, I began to read some of my older content and realised the stuff that I had posted wasn’t half bad. I found myself laughing at my own jokes (conceited much?) enjoyed the content and the was chuffed with my photography! I started to realise that the stuff I produced wasn’t completely dull or void of talent but in actual fact, something I was proud to have created. 

Over the last year I had built this fear in my head that I was talentless and that anything I was going to post would be rubbish or content that people didn't enjoy, but I think that's the problem. I was wayyyy too focused on what other people may think of my content, that I just stopped posting all together, but after reading some of my older stuff, I've come to realise that this blog has given me so much and I've been damned if I was going to give up now.

Moving forward
I think I'm always going to have moments where I question my worth in the blogging community but I'm definitely not going to let it stop me like it has done this time around. Being positive is not a simple thing for me to do and self deprecation is probably my biggest talent, but I think writing this post will help me remember that sometimes, I've just got to get out of my head and stop over thinking things.

What about you?
Do you ever feel like this with blogging or in other walks of life? Or are you naturally your own biggest cheerleader? Let me know what you do to combat your inner over thinking demons!


Tuesday 22 November 2016

Seventeen Cosmetics // Honest Review and Swatches

A little while back, I was invited to the Seventeen Cosmetics bloggers event in London. After a mammoth journey into town (quietly cursing the London Underground system to hell and back) I finally arrived at a wonderfully dazzling bloggers event near Soho. 

Can I start by saying how friendly the team are at Seventeen? They were so warm and welcoming. Top marks for putting on a really fantastic event.
Upon leaving the event we were given some products to sample and if I'm honest, I don't think I've ever been so excited to slather my face in a brands products before.

If you're unaware, I'm a gal of the alternative kind. I like bold lips, winged eyeliner and a perfected arched brow that could bring a grown man to tears. The eyeshadow palette I was gifted called 'Easy on the Eyes - The Big Smoke' which was bold, dark and moody, whilst the lipsticks were an assortment of colours that could get me through any season throughout the year. What can I say ladies and gents, I was smitten.

Lets start off with the Matte lipsticks. I haven't worn gloss on my lips since the early noughties and for good reasons. Does any one really enjoy having their hair stuck specifically to their mouth for 90% of the day? No. No they do not.

Matte lipsticks are my bread and butter, so I'd like to think I know a good matte lippy when I get my grubby mitts on one.

Upon first application, the lipsticks (especially 'I Lilac it a lot, Violet Summer and Orange your Gorgeous) were more on the opaque side. However, after a second coat (which is what you can see in the below picture) the coverage was more than adequate. 

Some matte lipsticks tend to ball up after a while or even feel heavy on the skin but not these beauties. They're very light, buttery and truly a dream to wear.

Unlike most people, I love a grey eyeshadow on my eye. I feel as if I can channel my inner Morticia Addams with this colour, so I was more than eager to try 'The Big Smoke' palette out. My go to palette is the Sleek palette 'Bad Girl', which has amazing pigmentation and selection of matte and shimmer shadows.

Alas, the Big Smoke was a big wash out. The shadows lacked pigmentation and they were a bit of a pain to blend. I think if I was going for more of a subtle look, I would definitely use this palette but I'm not sure if it would cut the mustard for my bold looks. One redeeming factor to this palette is the brushes that comes with it. It has one applicator with brushes on either end, one of which is a blending brush. They're a nice quality and definitely not one of those weird, spongey, eyeshadow applicator things you usually get with eyeshadows quads or palettes (Can those things all just burn in hell?).

All in all I would definitely recommend the lipsticks but for me, the palette did not live up to it's name. Have any of you tried Seventeen Cosmetics before? Let me know what you think! 

Saturday 23 July 2016


Have you ever found a product that you completely forgot existed and then once you reintroduce yourself to it you think, 'Why did I ever let you go?'.

It had been around two whole years since I last used Beautifully Matte and I only stumbled back into it's glory after noticing I had zero foundation whilst on my way to a wedding (I know, sacrilegious). So without too much hesitation I decided to throw myself into the nearest Boots store and hunt down a much needed power foundation!

Now, what do I mean by power foundation? You may have a different name for it but I'm talking about those foundations that you only save for nice occasions. For instance, I'm talking about your Estee Lauder Double Wear, your Nars Sheer Glow, your Makeup Forever HD Foundation etc. You know the ones, your good foundation.

(It's basically the equivalent of the 'good china' our mums used to have when they were our age but ohhh how times have changed!)

Coming in at a total of £14.50, I'd say it was in the mid price range for foundations. It doesn't break the bank but it is slightly more expensive than a lot of other high street brands and it's definitely one of my high street power products.


It's a fuller coverage foundation but it doesn't feel too heavy. It sets quite dry which almost looks as if it's been powdered, yet it does have a teeny tiny sheen to it, so you don't look too flat.

One note I would make, if you have dry skin anywhere on your face this foundation will cling to it. This is no different from any other matte foundations but just be aware that any breaks or dryness in the skin will be slightly more accentuated with use.

As you can hopefully see from the below pictures, with one application it creates a perfect flawless base. The redness on my cheeks has been covered and the large pores near my nose (in the top right of each photo) have nearly disappeared.

Overall, I'm completely satisfied with the coverage and the results it gives.


I can only comment on the lighter shades they provide because...well, look at me. I'm Casper's paler cousin. What I can say is they have a nice selection of shades with pink and yellow under tones. Even though I'm pale and have a bit of redness, I'm much more suited to yellow under toned products. I purchased the shade 'Calico' and thoroughly loved the results it gave.


I think any foundation that says it has the ability to last 15 hours or 'All Day' are just big ol' liars. I'll be completely honest, Beautifully Matte does not last 'All Day' (which is a very wishy washy term anyway) however, it does last a good 4-6 hours with zero touch ups. 

I have fairly oily skin, so my foundation moving throughout the day is a real problem (#firstworldproblems), yet I can leave this foundation for several hours and not be too worried about the results. Yes, you will probably need to touch up and yes it does get slightly oily (that's if you have naturally oily skin) but it's in no way the worst I've seen. Quite frankly, I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it come to foundations anyway, so I do expect a lot from my makeup.

Final Verdict

Perfect for people with oily skin
Be aware it will cling to dry skin
Coverage is fantastic for a high street brand
Price is a good reflection of the products capabilities
Great lasting foundation
Great all year round but a necessity during the colder months

No 7 Beautifully Matte Foundation you are definitely a TREASURE.

Have you ever tried Beautifully Matte before? What did you think of it? Can you recommend any other matte foundations? Let me know in the comments below!
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