Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara

I picked up Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara when my Benefit Gimme Brow ran out. Don't get me wrong, Gimme Brow is probably my favourite brow product BUT it's so pricey. Spending €19 for something that doesn't even last three months is just ridiculous to me.
I love Maybelline mascaras so I figured their brow mascara might be okay and for under €8, I didn't feel like I was breaking the bank.

Overall, I've been loving Maybelline Brow Drama. My only issue is with the weird concept for an applicator.

In theory, it's a pretty good idea but in reality, it's just too big. It forms into a ball at the end of the wand which is too wide for the tail of my brows meaning I end up brushing my skin. In fairness, the product only attaches to the hairs and not my skin but I feel like I can't be as accurate with it as I'd like to be.

Here's my baby finger nail for scale. 

The formula itself is quite wet and applies lightly, you can build up a couple of layers for a natural look or use it to set another brow product. It looks very natural once it dries but it is quite crunchy to touch. You wouldn't look at your eyebrows and think "crispy..." but you can definitely feel it.

I have the shade Dark Brown and it's perfect for me. I have dark brown hair and black brows so I hate products that have a red undertone. Thankfully, this is quite cool toned.

When this runs out I want to try the L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper because it has a smaller brush but I wouldn't hesitate to repurchase this if I wasn't intrigued by L'Oreal's offering.

Have you tried either Maybelline or L'Oreal's brow mascaras? Are you a fan of Benefit's Gimme Brow? Let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading :) 

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Essence Nail Art Express Dry Drops

I really don't have the patience to wait for my nails to fully set so I always end up with a dent or a smudge in at least one.
On my quest to cut corners and skip steps, I came across the Essence Nail Art Express Dry Drops.

The solution looks just like water but with a couple of drops per nail, you can cut the drying time of your polish in half. 

The application is so easy as the bottle comes with a little dropper which picks up the perfect amount of product to cover both hands without having to go back for more. 

It's a very thin consistency which means it tends to run all over your hands. You just have to wipe or wash your hands once your nails dry and you're good to go though.

Once it's on, you only have to wait around 30 seconds to feel the polish starting to set.
I find some polishes that usually take a ridiculous amount of time to dry can take up to five minutes to dry with these but that's a lot better than ten minutes. 

I don't think it's meant to be a feature but I always find my nails have a high shine finish after I use this compared to when I don't. I also find it quite moisturising on my cuticles.
Overall, I'm really impressed by this product. For under €3 you get an 8ml bottle which will last you quite a while.

I know Bourjois do Instant Dry Nail Drops too but they're €8 and I didn't feel like spending that on a product that could be a total gimmick. Let me know if you've ever tried the Bourjois drops as I'd be interested to see if they work as well as the Essence ones.

I hope you all enjoyed this post, let me know if there's anything I missed out as I'm a little rusty at writing at the moment.

Thanks for reading :) 

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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Where Have I Been? Depression, OCD, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia and Anxiety.

I originally wrote a draft of this post the other day but decided not to publish it. Reading over it, I'm glad I didn't. I wasn't in the best state of mind and I really divulged a lot more information than I would have felt comfortable sharing.

Anyway, first off I just want to say sorry for vanishing on you guys. The blog was going so well and I was being offered all these amazing opportunities and everything was great. Unfortunately, everything wasn't great with me. I don't want to go into the details of everything but I feel like I owe you all a little explanation of where on earth I've been.

Trigger Warning: mentions of mental illness, self harm and suicidal tendencies. 

About 6 months ago I had been silently battling OCD for over a year. To say that I was going out of my mind doesn't even begin to explain how I was feeling. When people think of OCD, most people think of excessive hand washing and a fear of germs and dirt and yes that's one aspect of the illness but there's a whole lot more going on than most people know about. For starters, there's the rituals. These are basically actions that you have to repeat constantly in order to keep you and your loved ones (sometimes random people or the whole world) safe.
To give you an example, I had a ritual of laying the hand towel in the bathroom on the side of the bath by lining it up and straightening it, having the tag at the top right and making sure I let go of it with both hands at the same time or I'd have to start again. The whole time, I would be holding my breath, counting to 4 and letting out hard exhales when I thought I was finished but of course, I was never finished and I could spend 20 minutes "fixing" the towel until I nearly fainted. I would only leave after coming to an understanding with myself that anything bad that happened to ANYONE that day, was my fault and I'd just have to live with it.
Now, this probably sounds time consuming, quite stupid and very stressful. I want you to understand that I had around 50 of these rituals to do on a daily basis and some of them were repeated hundreds of times a day.
Not only did I have to deal with these, my life used to revolve around the number 4. I would count to 4, four times then repeat this in multiples of 4. Then there's the intrusive thoughts and graphic images that are thrown at you when you least expect it. I can't leave out the urges either, sometimes I'd be in town and would see myself lunging for someone's phone. Not to steal it, just to do it. Then there's the pain from clenching your jaw every day so you don't shout out something offensive that you normally would never even consider saying.
I'm still dealing with quite a few of these OCD behaviours and thoughts BUT I can function. I can make it through the day without ending up curled up, blocking my ears wishing I was dead but being too afraid to kill myself because then my family would be sad and that would be my fault.

Now while I was going through all this, I used blogging as an escape. However, once my OCD subsided a little, it made just enough space for my Panic Disorder, Depression, General Anxiety Disorder and Agoraphobia to slip back in.

I've always dealt with anxiety since as long as I can remember, the same goes for depression. I've been on various medications since I was 14 just to keep me alive.

Panic attacks are relatively new to me, starting back in 2011.
I would get around 3 a day and couldn't leave the house without getting one. In fact, I didn't go past the front door for 7 months in 2013.
When I started to get better, I went through a period of quite a few months without a single attack which was amazing. Then BOOM. I started getting them weekly, daily, hourly and I was trapped in my own body again. I'm sure a lot of you know what a panic attack is so I won't go into it but they can come on at any moment for no apparent reason and you're left shaking, hyperventilating, crying, sweating, feeling like you're about to die and throw up and faint all at the same time.
It's something I wouldn't wish on anybody.
Not only did I start getting these massive attacks, the anxiety that I experience on a daily basis sky-rocketed. This made me fall back into avoiding social situations. Those 7 months of being house bound were the worst of my life so once I identified that it was happening again, I forced myself to get out and do things before it got bad.
When I do go out, my hands shake so hard that I look like I have a neurological disorder. I constantly feel sick and dizzy all because of the constant worry and my inability to go five minutes without holding my breath. I'm used to it all at this stage but sometimes I wish I could experience a day of feeling "normal".

As with a lot of Anxiety sufferers, Depression comes hand in hand with the disorder.
I've been battling with severe clinical depression since I was 14 and I've never had a time I can look back on and say I felt "good" or "better". My mood always varies from okay to very, very bad. I can't count the amount of times I've tried to take my own life over the years and I can't count the amount of scars my body is covered in from self inflicted cuts and burns. Unfortunately, that's the only way I learned to deal with my feelings.

Now that that's all out, I think you guys can understand that I just wasn't able to blog. Writing a post is so trivial compared to making suicide plans.
When I actually tried to write, I'd just stare at the laptop until I got angry and slammed it shut.

Today, I'm feeling much better than I have in weeks. I don't know how long that will last but I want to make the most of it and get this out and also let you guys know that I'm back. Hopefully. I'm going to try my best to get a couple of posts up a week but I'm not going to put myself under any pressure because I know the second I do, I'll break again.

I didn't write this post for sympathy or for anyone to start wrapping me in cotton wool, I just wanted to contribute to breaking the stigma of mental health issues by speaking openly about them.
I hope that one day I won't have to take breaks from my life just to be able to funtion day to day.
Until then, I guess I should just accept that this is something I'm going to be battling for quite a while and maybe I won't be able to do the same things as everyone else my age but I also have to understand that just because mental illness is invisible, that doesn't make it any less of a disability.

If you've read this far, I just want to say thank you. I hope to see you all in a couple of days with one of my usual posts.

If you need some information and helpful tips on coping with depression visit T
There are several websites to help with anxiety and a variety of other issues, just type your problem into Google, it won't hurt.
If you need help now, contact the Samaritans
You can also visit Pieta's website for help with self harm and suicidal thoughts.
If you are going through any of these things, please reach out because people do care.

Thanks for reading :) 

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