Dear Anxiety

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Dear Anxiety,

Remember the first day we met? I do. I remember it so vividly that it could have been yesterday. You crept into my life one day, like some kind of poisonous gas. I couldn't see you, hear you, nothing. I had no idea you were about to take hold and turn my whole world upside down.

All I wanted to do was go to my lecture. That was all. Something I'd done a million and one times before and I had no clue that today would be any different.

You took hold quickly, and your timing was impeccable. That certainly never changed. You completely took over my body and my mind. Suffocated me. Controlled me. Built up a barrier in my mind that I just couldn't get over. You sent awful thoughts racing through my brain and sent my heart racing so fast that I thought it was going to explode right out of my chest.

My first panic attack. The first of so, so many. You, Anxiety, completely took over my life. You and your buddy, Depression. Together, you warped my brain and changed me into someone that I didn't recognised. I used to be outgoing and sociable, but you changed all that. Day in, day out, I spent living in fear, with your nasty little voice in my head. Whispering. Telling me that something awful was going to happen if I even stepped outside my front door. That I wasn't worthy. That I didn't deserve my friends, my place at uni, nothing. And I listened. I listened to every disgusting word you said and I internalised it. It was engrained in my head. And that almost destroyed me. Almost.

It took a long time, but eventually with a lot of help, I began to fight back. I wasn't going to let you jeopardise everything that I'd worked so hard for. You weren't going to control my life anymore. I didn't want to believe the lies you told me. I was done with having a meltdown every time I went on a night out, or had to go into work. And day by day, I started to get a little bit stronger.

You weren't giving up that easily though, were you Anxiety? You're persistent, I'll give you that. Even now, you won't leave me alone. You keep coming back, filling my brain with irrational thoughts, making me scared of everything. You keep threatening everything.

But you know what Anxiety, I'll never let you destroy me again. No way. I am stronger than you. I am loved. I am worthy. And you are not going to control me.


Isabelle's Prom Make Up

Monday, 11 July 2016

So I blinked and all of a sudden my little sister went from a big blue eyed baby to a 15 year old heading to her prom! HOW?!

When asked me to do her make-up for her, I was so touched that she thought I was good enough to do it for her, and that she trusted me to get it right. Although, to a 15 year old, prom is the biggest night of your life so far and everything, EVERYTHING has to be perfect. No pressure, then.

Although I was terrified of messing it up, and I had to do her make up on my break from work, in a badly lit Costa... I think I did a pretty bloody good job. So I thought I'd do a little post about the make-up look I gave her and the products that I used.

I started with The Body Shop's Instaglow CC Cream in Bright Glow, which is my go-to primer for day and night. Because Isabelle has dry skin, I wanted to start off with something really hydrating, but Instaglow also gives such a beautiful, natural looking glow to the skin which looks amazing under make-up.

I decided to use Isabelle's usual foundation, which is Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue. I thought about using something a little heavier, but decided that Isabelle's got such a pretty face in the first place that I didn't want to cake her in make-up and I really wanted to let her natural beauty shine through. Complexion Rescue gives a good amount of coverage, without sitting too heavy on the skin and giving a gorgeous, dewy finish.

Being a teenager, Isabelle suffers a little bit with typical teenage skin, which obviously causes a little bit of insecurity. Luckily, I have a little pot of magic concealer in my make-up bag to banish any worries. Benefit's Erase Paste is one of my all-time favourite products, its industrial-strength formula is amazing at covering blemishes, dark circles, you name it. AND it isn't too yellow-y on pale skin! Yay!

To finish, I used a little bit of Rimless Stay Matte Pressed Powder which I knew would keep Isabelle's make-up in place all night long, followed by Avon's Illuminating Face Pearls to give her a rosy glow.

Base finished, moving on to eyes! I started by using Benefit's Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil on Isabelle's brows. I like one-step, simple brow products and Goof Proof is perfect for quickly filling in and defining Isabelle's fair brows.

I've recently discovered Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion, which has now become one of my must-have products (post about it is coming soon!) so I used this for Isabelle's prom as I knew it'd be perfect to stop her eyeshadow from budging all night. I wanted to use an eyeshadow that complimented her dress, so I went for Avon Eye Dimensions Palette in Sultry Smoke, with a silver base which brought out the blue in Isabelle's eyes and picked up the silver details in her dress and accessories perfectly. Because the colour of her eyeshadow was fairly strong, I applied only a thin line of Benefit They're Real! Push Up Gel Liner just to frame the eyes.

I picked up a set of Eyelure false lashes to lift Isabelle's natural lashes and really make her eyes stand out. She looked a little apprehensive when I pulled out the glue and came at her with it, but once they were on she loved them!

Going fairly natural on the lips, I popped on a little bit of Bare Minerals Marvellous Moxie Lipliner in Thrilled, coupled with Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Colour in Wingwoman which was just a gorgeous colour on her!

And voila, the finished product! I'm sure you'll all agree that she looks beautiful! I'm very proud of my little sister, and I'll definitely be re-creating this make-up look for my next special occasion!

Sian Kathrine xo

On Being Single

Friday, 8 July 2016

It's been six months since I, suddenly and without much warning, found myself single. And it's the longest period of time that I've been single for since I was 17.

Once I'd got over the initial shock and heartbreak of my relationship ending, I soon started to panic. Oh shit, I have to be single. I've never really done that as an adult before. How will I cope? Being out in that world on your own, without the comfort and security of a boyfriend is, to put it bluntly, terrifying.

But I didn't really have a choice. Another relationship just wasn't an option for me. I needed time to heal and restore my faith in the male population. I just had to try to muddle through.

It's been bloody hard at times. Things like sorting myself out after having a panic attack, or not having someone there to give me a cuddle or listen to me rant after a bad day. Seeing my friends going on holiday or celebrate anniversaries with their other halves has been difficult, because I've felt like I've been missing out by not having that.

But at the same time, being single has been so freeing. For the first time in a long time, I've been able to be a little bit selfish. I've made decisions about my future that are based on what is best for me, without having to consider someone else. I'm now about to move in with one of my best friends, starting a new adventure in a new city, and that wouldn't have been able to happen if I was still in a relationship.

I've learned a hell of a lot more about self-worth in recent months too. For a long time, I've always needed to be loved by someone, and I think now that was a way of self-validation, and I always felt like my sense of worth had to come from a boyfriend. But now, I've learned that self-worth can only come from me (and yes that sounds obvious but sometimes you don't necessarily know the obvious until it really slaps you in the face) and I like to think that my self-confidence is starting to grow, bit by bit.

I have so much more time for my friends, which is amazing. I can see them more often, and spend as much time with them as I want without feeling guilty that I might be prioritising them over my partner and how that might make him feel.

The last six months have been difficult at times, and being single has been a tough adjustment to make. To me, having two serious relationships fail before I'd even turned 22 meant that I was a failure, that something was intrinsically wrong with me and I was unlovable. It's taken me a long time to realise that isn't true and I just haven't met the right person yet.

And that's okay.

Even now, being single can be difficult. I'm still learning how to be single, really. I was recently on a night out and on being told by a guy that I'm hot, I laughed because I thought he was joking! I clearly haven't learned how to flirt. Hopefully when I do eventually meet someone, he'll love me despite that...

I still have a little way to go before I can get into another relationship. I need to rebuild some of my self-confidence and learn how to trust people again.

But it just goes to show that you're always stronger than you think you are in what you think will be a nightmare situation. And, as much as it surprises me to say it, I'm okay. Being single is okay. I'm actually kind of enjoying it.

I'd love to hear your experiences! Feel free to pop a comment below.

Sian Kathrine xo

Avon Perfectly Matte Lipstick

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

"Avon's Perfectly Matte Lipstick is more matte than MAC."

I bet quite a few of us raised our eyebrows in disbelief when Avon made that bold claim in their most recent TV advert. I think I may have actually laughed a little bit. I was a MAC girl through and through, and there was no way anything was ever going to change that.

Oh, how wrong I was.

I placed a little Avon order on a whim, just to see what it was like. And one of the items I picked up was the Perfectly Matte Lipstick in Mauve Matters. I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting very much from it, but seeing as it was on special offer for only £5.50, I decided that I had nothing to lose.

The packing of the lipstick was sleek, matte black and just plain gorgeous, to be honest. Mauve Matters itself is the perfect shade for the summer, giving a gorgeous pop of colour without being too overpowering.

I'm often struggle with matte lipsticks, just because they tend to dry my lips out, but this one is a lovely formula which doesn't dry out my lips at all but still gives a matte finish. But what I was most impressed with was the staying power of this lipstick. It lasts SO LONG. I put it on at 8am before I started work, only had to top it up a teensy bit after I had my lunch at around 2pm, and then it stayed perfectly in place until way after I'd come home at 7pm! I've never known a lipstick last so long... Not even MAC.

I've fallen so head over heels with this lipstick that I may have recently ordered three more shades... Sorry MAC, I still love you, but there's a new lipstick in town now!

Have you ever tried Avon's lipsticks? What are your favourite lip products?

Sian Kathrine xo

July Goals

Friday, 1 July 2016

Okay, let's give a couple of monthly goals posts a go, see if they give me motivated...

(It also seems wrong to be writing a July goals post whilst it's pouring it down outside.)

1. Keep on top of my blogging schedule.

I've been pretty slack over the last couple of weeks, I'll admit. I've missed out on posts completely (which I've now rescheduled for a later date), not stuck around very long during Twitter chats, and just generally been a bit half-arsed. But this month, I'm determined to keep on top of everything and get into a proper blogging routine!

2. Sort out my mental health.

For quite a few months now, my mental health has been taking a downwards turn. I'm finding my low periods are becoming more frequent and more intense and though I know it's probably almost entirely circumstantial, with uni deadlines and moving home, it still sucks. I'm now back on meds and I'm going to get myself back on track, by obviously taking them, and by looking after myself more, taking me-time, eating healthier and spending time with people who make me smile. Hopefully, by the end of July, I'll start feeling more like myself!

3. Smash the End of Season Sale.

Things are about to get pretty intense at work with the sale! It's my first sale in my new store and the first one as a manager so I'm determined to smash whatever comes my way and prove myself during this ridiculously busy time!

4. Get exercising.

Anything. ANYTHING. Even walking Harvey more often, just something to get me moving and feeling a little healthier. My friend wants me to be her gym buddy so by the end of the month I need to have sorted out a membership and make sure I've been at least a few times! (If anyone wants to give me a couple of nudges during July, I would be eternally grateful!)

What do you want to achieve this July?

Sian Kathrine xo