Sunday, 15 July 2018

Aaliyah For MAC Try Again Lipstick Review

Hi everyone!

As you'll probably know if you've been a reader of my blog for a while, I've been a huge fan of Aaliyah for a number of years now. Entering my teen years, I became a lot more into the R&B genre and her music was one of my favourites. One In A Million is one of my favourite albums of all time and I really wish we could have heard more from her. Her style was very classic and she always managed to look incredible and she 100% had a massive influence on R&B music.

When the petition came round of fans wishing for an Aaliyah for MAC collection, I had hopes that it would someday happen, but the fact that it did is amazing. What I also think is amazing about the collection is that Aaliyah's brother Rashad and her family worked alongside MAC to create the collection and make sure it was keeping true to Aaliyah and her style and how she would have wanted it, while still keeping her memory alive and keeping her legacy. Rashad discussed that they had been involved since Day 1 which I think is absolutely incredible and shows that there was so much love and thought in the collection.

Unfortunately, I couldn't afford the whole range, but I picked up the Try Again lipstick (£17.50) from the collection, which coincidentally also happens to be my favourite Aaliyah song!
From pictures I'd seen, I noticed the lipstick was a muted beige nude and it really intrigued me to see what it was like!

Firstly, I think the packaging is absolutely beautiful, I've never owned a special edition MAC lipstick before but I really do think that it looks very pretty and Aaliyah's signature on the side of the box is a nice touch.

The lipstick itself is a very lovely muted beige and I think I'm going to get loads of wear out of it, the shade reminds me of some of the brown toned shades from the NYX lip lingerie collection. I wasn't sure how it would look on my skin tone as I have extremely pale skin, but it doesn't wash me out too much thankfully! It has a matte finish which I found to be very long-lasting and also wasn't too drying either!

I've worn it a handful of times so far and I've been impressed with it each time, I have a feeling it's going to be a very popular lipstick in my collection! I'm so, so tempted to buy one of the lipglasses as well and the Hot Like.. lipstick looks absolutely dreamy which has also caught my eye!!

Here is a small swatch of the colour, I compared it to MAC's Honeylove as I wasn't sure if they would be similar or not, but Try Again is the above shade and the bottom one is Honeylove, which is more of a peach toned nude. Try Again is definitely on the brown/beige side!!

I know a few people have been disappointed by the collection and some people think it doesn't represent Aaliyah well, to a certain extent, I think the collection could have included a few more bits to make it easier to recreate some of her music video looks, but I do think the collection is still good! I think the only issue with the UK's collection is we didn't get the lip liners on the website, which is strange as lip liner was a huge part of 90s makeup and definitely Aaliyah's too. Not sure why they aren't available here?
But as I only own the lipstick, I proper love it and I can't wait to get some wear out of it! It's also obviously a very special lipstick as it's from the Aaliyah collection as well.

If you fancy shopping the collection yourself, you can do here!

Do you own any of Aaliyah for MAC? Let me know what you think!!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Life Update: Why I've Not Been Open Recently

Hi everyone!

Generally on this blog, over the years, I've consistently updated and talked about what I've been up to and written reasonably regular mental health subjected posts. I feel like it's hugely important to discuss these things and it's something I've slowly grown into doing.
It's plain to see that I've actually not done many of these recently and I'm actually going to go discuss some of the reasons and what I've been up to in this post!

I was actually umming and ahhing for a bit of time before finally hitting publish on this, so bear with me!!
First and foremost, the reason why I've not been open recently and I haven't done many of these kinds of posts, is because I've just not felt like it. Don't get me wrong, I've written them up as drafts and edited them and all that goes with that, but I've not quite hit the publish button. I touched upon it in my Let's Reflect: Second Year of University post, but I've been struggling with my mental health recently.
There was so much emotion and so much confusion and I just felt like I wasn't confident enough to talk about it or even accept some of it. Even though 4 out of 5 of my most popular blog posts are on the topic of mental health!

It was only really when it peaked during the Easter holidays and upon my return from them, where I finally snapped and realised I wanted and had to, make a change.  Truth is, I was struggling to do things and avoiding situations left right and centre. A lot of the time I've been open about anxiety, which has been hard but I'd managed it. I've dealt with other aspects of mental health before, but I had this very, very, ugly rut of what I'd say was depression, as it was nothing I'd experienced before. I was feeling negative about everything, doubting myself, doubting my future, being unsatisfied, disappointed in things, generally feeling really down and negative about a lot of aspects of life. Alongside my anxiety and to be honest probably OCD, it's not a great recipe.

There were times when I'd really have to prep talk myself out of the house. As much as I'd want to go, it would just be a wave over me. It was like going backwards, taking steps back instead of going forwards. For example, my travel anxiety started getting worse randomly and any form of transport was making me uncomfortable.

I'd talked briefly with one of the girls on my course about the possibility of therapy and she suggested a couple of ones she knew and I actually found myself contacting Mind but it's still very, very early days. I really hope that I can try and manage my mental health and that this can be a step in getting better, to at least be able to manage life again. I've finally managed to admit to feeling and doing things I'd been pushing to the back of my head for a while. It wasn't easy to do either but in one of Zoella's recent videos about Travel Anxiety, she makes a very powerful speech at the end which really hit me and spurred me on to do it. Zoe is a hugely positive influence on mental health and she's definitely been a public figure who's helped me understand a lot about myself.

It's really scary how powerful these illnesses can just take over you and control you. You can feel utterly powerless in your own body and that's not how it should be.

Generally, I've always been a bit of an emotional person, I have a big heart and those I care about, I care about a lot. I get emotional easily and it's not a trait I enjoy about myself. My emotions get very intense sometimes and it can be hard to deal with.

I can definitely say I closed up and hid everything which was happening to me away, which probably was not the best way to go about it. It was scary how fast the depressive feelings took a hold of me and it felt like a headache I was waking up with day after day. I wasn't taking care of myself and everything became too much. I think sometimes when I've opened up and talked about something it can get thrown back in my face at some point, so I feel like I've held back sometimes to protect myself.

Obviously opening up is still difficult and as my anxiety revolves a lot about both being ill/unwell/sick in a public place or away from home and really bad overthinking, it can creep up on me either out or at home. Recently, travelling has been so difficult, I've been struggling getting into vehicles which is a bit of a backward step for me. A lot of my depressive feelings come from frustration with myself and being restricted. And my somewhat feelings of OCD symptoms stems from trying to prevent the above from happening. For me, I've got very bad anxiety in certain situations physically but then I'll just be sat at home feeling restless because my mind will have found something else to worry about and persist with. It feels like two separate ones.

As much as I wanted to be as open as I've been previously, I just felt like I locked away a lot of how I was feeling away and dealt with it on my own, which I can see was probably not the best way to handle it. I've restricted how much I open up to those people, for my own protection. I can tell instantly when someone gets my situation when I'm explaining it to them and that instantly influences how much more or less I tell them. Even despite this, I know just how much you should try and educate others and get your own experiences and feelings across, because you matter, I matter, our mental health MATTERS!

Opening up is so, so, important, and the recent event highlighting that would be the tragic death of Love Island contestant Sophie Gradon and in recent days her boyfriend. Sophie was someone who I actually found to be relatable on multiple occasions when she was on the series. In an age where opening up is still really, really hard, I encourage us all to be open minded and kind.

In terms of me, I'm just making every effort to deal with how I'm feeling from day to day and hopefully receiving therapy in September. I'm doing this for me because I want a difference and I've accepted that I do need help with this. I'm scared because I know it won't be easy, but as one therapist did tell me, it's become a cycle from the number of years I've been dealing with it and at this point in my life, I know it's important to try and see if it will help me. I want to be on top of everything.

As expected, this post was a difficult one to write, I know I've not gone into loads of detail but as I mentioned, I wasn't even sure I was going to publish it! But I just want to repeat the fact that if you're struggling with anything I've mentioned, you are not alone! And you are an incredibly strong person and you might not believe that but it's true! And please allow yourself the chance to get better. My therapist has told me that because my symptoms have been going on a while, it's a vicious cycle and naturally I know it's going to take time for things to work, but it's 100% okay!

Here are some valuable websites linked below to offer guidance and help if you need it:

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Simple Kind To Skin Smoothing Facial Scrub Review


This post is centred on Simple's Smoothing Facial scrub, which I actually picked up a few months back and haven't actually discussed properly on my blog yet! Continue reading to see what I think of it...!

To begin with, I'm quite an avid Simple user, I used their face wash and one of their moisturisers and their face wipes are the ones I swear by, but when I saw this scrub reduced, I thought I'd pick it up and have a go, as the face wash I'm using by them isn't actually a scrub wash.

What drew me to it is it's got rice granules, so it's completely good for the environment as it doesn't have those beads which are environmentally unfriendly. Some scrubs include them but luckily Simple provides a friendlier alternative that doesn't break the bank!!

In addition, it also features 2 sources of vitamins, providing you with Pro-Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E.
Describing itself to "remove dead skin cells and keep your skin brighter and more evenly textured' I'd say it definitely does what it says on the tube.

I can assure you it feels great and incredibly kind to my skin, perfect for those like me with sensitive skin!

It honestly works a treat and I've really loved using it. I'd fully recommend this to anyone who wants to treat their face to being smoother and softer alongside their normal skincare routine. What I love about it is it does the job but is extremely gentle and not too harsh!

Simple have definitely not let me down here!

I hope you've enjoyed reading this post and let me know what you think!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Sunday, 1 July 2018

June 2018 Favourites


Welcome back to my blog! As always here is my monthly favourites of everything I've been enjoying throughout the month of June! There's quite a lot of music Favourites this month actually, so much that I had to cut the list down a little.

Pro:Voke Liquid Blonde Colour Infusion Shampoo
Admittedly, I'm not sure if you'd call my hair Caramel Honey or Golden blonde, but I've certainly got a bit of blonde in my hair. I've been kinda wanting to have my hair a bit more blonde (or just change it up at least) and thought I'd just see and use this shampoo to see if it did lighten my hair at all. I've not noticed an immediate huge difference but the blonde bits in my hair are deffo visible! I have enjoyed testing it out like!

Beyoncé - Heat Perfume
This is probably my favourite perfume, but I recently opened my new bottle of it and I've just been enjoying it so much. It's such a gorgeous scent! I find perfumes sometimes hard to describe but I'd say it's a very sweet fragrance and it lasts so well!

Boots Soltan Aftersun Cooling Gel
This is a product I'm sure I'll be using throughout the entire summer, as I decided to try and sit out in the sun a bit towards the end of June and managed to get heat rash or possibly sun hives. This was so refreshing and cooling to put on when it was itching and I love the consistency, that it's not greasy, dries quickly and really soothes the skin and hydrates it when it's sunburnt! It smells really good too as it has Aloe Vera in it. Deffo a good grab for the summer!!

Dr. Organic Pomegranate Hair Conditioner
Look out for a full review of this coming soon, but I've actually been enjoying the condition of my hair recently and I'm thinking there's a good chance it's down to me starting to use this. My hair is a lot fluffier and just generally looking a lot nicer than it usually does.

Khalid ft Normani - Love Lies
Charli XCX - 5 In The Morning
Britney Spears - Circus
George Ezra - Paradise
Lily Allen ft Giggs - Trigger Bang
Lily Allen - Come On Then
Lily Allen - What You Waiting For
LMC & Mark McCabe - Time To Groove
Beyoncé & Jay Z - Apeshit
Bodybangers - Gimme More
Demi Lovato - Sober

World Cup 2018
I've actually really enjoyed watching the World Cup this year and have properly been getting into it!

Love Island S4 2018
I've become obsessed with this series of Love Island, while I'm not sure it's as good as last year's, I'm actually in love with Dani and Jack. Dani Dyer is such a natural treasure and she's so sweet. As I write this, this past week has COMPLETELY flipped things, so I'm interested to see how it goes from here!

Bubble Tea
Since coming back home from uni for the summer, I've been closer to Bubblecha, where I purchase Bubble Tea! I absolutely love it and it's so gorgeous. My favourite go-to is Blueberry with strawberry toppings, but I've also been loving the kiwi one and also the pomegranate one was beautiful too! If you'd like to find out more about bubble tea you can do here. Basically it's fruit flavoured green tea but you can't taste a lot of the tea which is just as well as I'm not the biggest fan of the taste of tea!

80s Mix Purse
I bought this for £3 in Primark because I wanted a little purse which I could fit in my handbag on a night out instead of bringing my big purse. It works so well and is so cute!

Thank you so much for reading this post and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx