Sunday, 26 February 2017

Butterflies In The Glasshouse: Wisley Gardens

wisley gardens, butterfly house, nature, forever september

Last Thursday I took a trip with my mum and her friend to Wisley Gardens. They currently have butterflies in their glass house, and it was something I had to see.

Look at the freakin transparent butterfly, nature is so amazing and beautiful. It took me ages to capture this little guy, but I think I managed to get a pretty cool shot in the end haha. There were soo many different types of butterfly in the glass house, and it was really lovely to actually see them up close, as you wouldn't normally see them day to day in this country. So, sit back and enjoy some pretty photos of butterflies!

Hope you enjoyed that little selection of photos, I certainly enjoyed taking them. It was soo hot in the glass house though, it took a while for my camera to stop steaming up and actually climatise to the heat. Finally it did, and all was well. Although, I couldn't cope after about an hour of being in there haha! I suppose it was quite nice though, compared to the bitter British weather outside.

Have you ever been to Wisley Gardens?

- Lucy

Friday, 24 February 2017

Carex Love Hearts Hand Wash

carex, love hearts, love heart soap, hand wash, fun edition

Lovehearts honestly just remind me of my childhood so much, and to have it in hand wash form is pretty damn cool!

Lovehearts take me back to when I was little. I remember the big variety bags of sweets you or your classmates used to bring in when it was your birthday, they always included loveheart sweets. Or when you went trick or treating and you'd have a bag full of these. Or when you and your friends used to look at the phrases on them and relate it to your crush at the time (or was that just me and my friends)?! Anyway...

I'm sure you've seen this many times by now but, Carex have their 'fun edition' of hand washes. And I believe one of their latest editions is the Fun Edition Love Hearts Hand Wash*. If you are a fan of loveheart sweets, or just have a thing for sweet scents then this is going to be an essential for your bathroom. They've got the scent pretty much spot on, and I mean look how adorable the colour of it is. Who doesn't love a good pastel pink?! My favourite thing about this, is that its also a hand wash that kills 99.9% of bacteria. Seems silly, but I will only ever buy hand washes that have this. So technically its super fun and really good for killing off any nasties. So its win win situation. Also if you're on a budget, this is literally £1 from Boots at the moment as well - bargainnnnnn!

Have you ever tried anything from Carex's fun edition range?

- Lucy
PR Sample/Gifted Item*

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Life Struggles

I feel like I've been thrown in the deep end of a pool and I don't know how to swim.

I am really struggling at the moment. Everything is going pretty horrendously, and I just don't know how to cope. I'm not making this post for attention, or a cry for help. I just need to let my emotions out. College work is a lot, I know I don't have long to go but its just getting more and more intense as we head into exam season. I've been struggling with a breakup, and also dealing with bitchiness.

Don't get me wrong, I love the subjects I take at college. Just the workload I dislike haha. I have a big piece of media studies coursework to get done, and an exam piece for my photography. So basically, a lot of practical work needs to be done. I enjoy making/doing it all, its just a lot. It doesn't help my anxiety, but soon it'll be over I guess. If anyone has any tips on how they deal with a heavy workload, I dunno I just feel like I need some support.

Secondly, a breakup. Something I have never had to go through before, and something I wish nobody has to go through. Although, unfortunately I guess it is part of life. I found a quote that I feel sums up how I feel quite well, 'I won't glorify or romanticize heartbreak, for me it was a kind of death and I was forced to keep living'. It does sound quite depressing, I'll be honest but its definitely the sort of thing I've been feeling. Being alone is quite difficult, especially when you're not used to it. I just feel hurt all of the time, its just like nothing I've ever experienced before. I guess I should stop rambling on about it now, but I've needed to get this off my chest so bad.

And finally, friendships. Friendships come and go throughout your life, and I sure have learnt that throughout my time at school. Theres been a lot of bitchiness around me recently, and I don't like it. I haven''t experienced it for a long time, but I forgot how nasty people can be. Its good that I know who my true friends are at least, and I'll (hopefully) be off to uni in September, where I can meet new people. I'm really looking forward to that at least.

I'm sorry for another rambly/sad post, I didn't intend to do this really but I just had to get my emotions out. I suppose time heals a lot, but for now I'm struggling to cope. 

- Lucy

Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Battle Of The Concealers

Ahhh concealer, my favourite makeup product. I've tried a fair few over the years and I thought I'd compare three of my favourites.

First up we've got the newest concealer to my collection, the NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer. One I'd seen floating around the blogosphere since NYX came to the UK. The first thing I noticed with this concealer, is the consistency was quite a lot thicker than any of the other ones I'd tried, which made quite skeptical as to whether it'd look cakey or not. Nonetheless, once blended out all is well. I think it blends out best with a beauty blender, rather than a brush, as I think if its applied with a brush it does come out a tad more cakey. I hope I'm making sense haha. The only negative I could see with this was the colour. This is the shade porcelain, the lightest shade and it was still a tiny bit dark for my skin tone.

Next up, probably my holy grail concealer. The Seventeen Stay Time. This is a concealer I've been using for a very long time now. Well over a year I'd say. Its just soooo good. The consistency is much thinner than the NYX one, which does make it easier to blend. They even have the shade 'extra fair', which is so perfect for my skin tone. Being pale as it is, its hard to find a concealer that can highlight and brighten your under eyes, but this manages to do just that. However, the coverage isn't quite as good as other concealers, but I'm willing to look past that due to how much I love it overall.

Lastly, we have the Rimmel Match Perfection concealer. I had a real love hate relationship with this concealer at first. The very first time I tried it, I loved it, got on with it so well blahblahblah. Then didn't repurchase it for another year or so, where I didn't like it. Whether they changed the formula or something, I don't know. The lightest shade they do in this is Ivory which is kinda a bit dark for me. Its okay, but not as good as the previous two. Anyway, when Boots had none of the concealers I wanted except this one, I decided to give it a go again. And I was pleasantly surprised. It gave great coverage, and blended really nicely. If you have a bit of a darker skin tone, I assume this would brighten under the eyes really well. The coverage is great as well, with a middle ground formula, not too thick, not too thin.

I think the winner for me has to be the Seventeen Stay Time concealer. Probably due to the shade range, and constancy. Although if its super high coverage you want, I'd opt for one of the other two concealers.

Whats your favourite concealer?

- Lucy

Friday, 17 February 2017

Why Health Anxiety Is No Joke

Today's post is a collaboration with Nicole, all about health anxiety. I have written a post about my struggles over on Nicole's blog if you want to check that out here. But over here, is Nicole's experience and why health anxiety is no joke.

I suffer from health anxiety. And no that doesn't mean I'm just a hypochondriac. Theres a huge difference between suffering from health anxiety and occasionally Googling your symptoms and believing that you have some unthinkable rare disease. It's a debilitating condition that rules and ruins your life.

I also suffer from OCD and emetophobia (a fear of being sick) so naturally, the boundaries between all three illness do blur, but I'll do my best to explain how health anxiety, explicitly affects my life. Obviously, these are just my experiences. Everyone will be affected differently. If you want to hear how Lucy is affected by health anxiety, you can read the post she wrote on my blog.

In my life, I've 'had' everything from skin cancer and broken bones to alopecia and even the menopause. Yeah you guessed it, I never really had any of these conditions. I mean come on the menopause, I'm only 18, and what the hell was I thinking?

You see that's the thing about health anxiety. It doesn't make any sense. Your brain lies to you constantly. You know you don't have these illnesses but the health anxiety voice, if you like, is stronger. Most people worry about their health. They Google skin cancer when they see an unusual mole, but when they realise it's benign, they carry on with their day and forget it.

But with my health anxiety, I can't do that. I search. I search, and I search some more. I start researching statistics of death rates if applicable to that illness. I start finding horror stories. If I'm worried about a mole, a bone or something that is visible. I will keep checking it. Over and over. I can't concentrate on what I'm supposed to be doing because half my time is spent checking the internet to match my symptoms with the unlikeliest of illnesses and the other half of the time I'm checking the ailment on my body.

And if I think I'm suffering from something that is not visible, I will book into see a doctor. For instance, my 'favourite' reason to go to the doctor is for excessive tiredness and sleepiness. Deep down I know the reasons I am lethargic and find it hard to concentrate during the day, but my health anxiety likes to tell me otherwise. My health anxiety wants to tell me I have a narcolepsy or chronic fatigue syndrome.

I don't want to know how many times I have been to the doctors about my tiredness. They allowed me to have a blood test to make sure I didn't have anaemia etc. Which is fine, however, when you get the results back saying they are fine (which mine were) most people would leave it at that. But not someone with health anxiety. I didn't believe the results. I constantly doubted them and still do till this day.

I hate myself for wasting the doctor's time. I know I'm part of the problem of why the NHS is struggling. I mean I'm intelligent enough to know that you don't go to the doctors with a cold or stomach bug. But with things like tiredness, I'm there all the time. However, I need to cut myself some slack. I have a genuine illness. Health anxiety is real. In my defence, I do go to the doctor regularly for my OCD/depression. Once I have got my OCD and mood under control, I'm looking to try and do something about my health anxiety, maybe some exposure therapy.

When people dismiss health anxiety, as a made up illness or something we are doing for attention, it really winds me up. Health anxiety should be treated just as seriously as any other mental illness. It really can rule the sufferer's life. I can't go certain places or do certain things because I'm so worried about my health. As a result, my social life suffers. I become isolated and segregated, an outcast looking in at society, at the life I should have been leading at my age.

Health anxiety should be taken seriously as any other mental health problem. Health anxiety is no exception. It's very unlikely that health anxiety is ever present on its own, it usually sits alongside OCD, phobias or panic attacks. Everyone's experiences of health anxiety are going to be different. Some people will be affected more severely than others.

However, next time you feel like calling someone a hypochondriac. Think before you speak. That person may be suffering from health anxiety and hasn't found the courage to tell anyone yet. Their worries, which may seem silly to you may be very real for the sufferer. They may genuinely feel them with massive amounts of stress and anxiety. Just stop and put yourself in their shoes for a second. How would you feel if someone dismissed an illness you had as just a cry for attention or made up entirely?

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

My 2016 Snapshots With Printiki

As you might have been able to tell from reading my blog, I'm a huge lover of photography. And in 2016 I made it my mission to capture as many moments as possible.

I know for a lot of people, and the world for that matter, 2016 wasn't the best. However, for me personally it was one of the best years I've had. Don't get me wrong, there was still some rough patches, but overall it was a positive year where I managed to accomplish most of my goals and have a fab time.

I'd kept meaning to get the photos I'd taken over the year printed off, but it was something that wasn't high on my list of priorities. But when Printiki* got in touch asking if I'd like to get some prints from their site, of course I had to take up on that offer. Not only do they offer prints, but books and posters as well which I think is great for gifts. They have different sized prints to choose from, I went for the square medium ones as I think they're easiest to display. I opted for white boarders* but you can choose from white, black, grey or none at all. They even have the vintage polaroid style as well. 

As for the prints I chose, I basically went through my camera roll from the beginning of 2016 right through to the end, and picked out my best memories. This consisted of going to Windsor with some of my friends, Reading Festival, Beautycon (spot the photos of me and Helen, and me and Zoe). Alsoooo my first ever trip to Brighton, various parties with friends etc. You get the picture (no pun intended) haha. A lot of the photos I edited on VSCO cam beforehand, to give them a more colourful/vintage look, something I'd recommend doing! If I'd chosen the polaroid style, I think I would have added some captions to some but I do like the way all of these turned out. The other good thing about Printiki, is how cheap it is for the prints. 20 prints cost you £4.50, hardly breaking the bank. I'm honestly so happy with these, and I'm chuffed that I've finally got my best moments of 2016 printed out. Plus they look so nice hung up on my little string above my desk, super cute! Ooh, and for cute pictures, check out their Instagram - @printiki_com.

Have you ever heard of Printiki?

- Lucy
Gifted items*

Sunday, 12 February 2017

A Rambly Sunday Post

Rambly isn't even a word...but I've just made it one anyway. I felt like doing a chatty post today, as its been a busy week, well a busy few weeks for that matter!

Life feels like its going at 100mph at the moment, its just non stop. Its my last year in college before the big wide world (or uni), and I've just got loaaads of work to get done. I'm heading onto my third and final photography project and I'm pretty pleased about that, although it is the exam piece which isn't so great. I also have a 2000 word essay to hand in next week, and to be honest I haven't even got started on it so that sucks. Why do I find it so easy to just ramble in a blog post, but won't even go near an essay that has to be written?!

Also can we just talk about how crappy the weather has been this week? Seriously, its been horrendous. No blog photography for me, because everything turned out rubbish. Overall, everything has been pretty miserable and I just want to take some time out and relax. But that won't happen until about June, when I'm finally finished. I suppose its something to look forward to though. At least we're out of January though, my least favourite month of the year. February isn't much better, but at least its a shorter month...kinda. Oh yeah, and before I forget to mention, these photos were taken about a month ago now, when it was actually sunny.

Basically, just wake me up when its spring and the sun is out more often. I can't stand this, I just want to hibernate. Please tell me I'm not the only one feeling like this?!

- Lucy

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

An Ode To Original Source

Isn't it great when you find a brand you love thats affordable, vegan and natural?!

Yes, I'm talking about Original Source. A brand I've loved for a long time now, mostly because they're so affordable yet have some incredible scents. They've come out with a new range, called their shower milks. Theres four in the range, and each and every one smells incredible.

I think I should just start by talking about the formulation of these shower milk's. Definitely different to their normal shower gel's, but in a good way. They feel very moisturising and almost soft on the skin. Really nourishing in my opinion, and a pleasure to use! So the first scent I've chosen to explain is the Cherry and Almond Milk*. I'll tell you what this smells of, cherry drops. If you have ever had cherry drop sweets before, you'll know the exact scent I'm talking about. If you're a fan of sweet scents, you're gonna love this. Next up is the Lime and Coconut Milk*. For some reason, these are two scents I wouldn't have put together but actually its a pretty good combo. I don't think theres much explaining to do with this one, it simply smells like what it says on the tin (or bottle) haha!

Now one scent I was so excited to sniff was the Sweet Apple and Vanilla*. Even the colour of it looks cute, and I adoreeee both apple and vanilla scents. The two mixed together smell so sweet, but so nice. Again, if you're a sweet scent lover I'd recommend picking this one up! And lastly, we have Green Banana and Bamboo*. A strange combination, because I mean what does bamboo even smell like?! But actually, this reminds me of foam banana sweets - soooooo good! Okay, so basically if you're a lover of sweet scents you're going to love this whole range haha.

The best thing about Original Source in my opinion, is the fact they're a totally natural brand and also vegan. I think its so hard to find vegan products in the 'drugstore', I mean Lush is the only other shop that springs to mind that sells vegan products. So thats a huge bonus really, and the fact that their products smell/look amazing! I haven't been told to say this by the way haha, but you can buy Original Source products in Boots and Superdrug!

Have you tried any Original Source products?

- Lucy

PR Samples*

Sunday, 5 February 2017

My First Time Photographing A Gig

As much as I love beauty and writing about it, I also want to share more personal pieces on here. On Thursday last week, I got to go to a small venue and photograph two bands.

I have never photographed a gig before, well obviously on my phone but I'm talking like with my SLR camera. Since I'm studying photography at the moment and want to (hopefully) go onto studying at uni, I thought photographing a band would be great for my portfolio. So I contacted The Boiler Room, which is a small venue in Surrey, and asked if I would be able to come along and photograph a band. I got the go ahead and went to photograph 'Flamingods'. Not a band I would personally go and see, but their music is very interesting. However, there was also a 'support act' called Marble Empire who were absolutely brilliant. I prefer how the photographs of them turned out, so I thought I'd share some on here. I'd definitely recommend you go and give them a listen!

And there we have it, some of my 'best' photos of Marble Empire last Thursday. I really enjoyed photographing a band for the first time actually, even if it was a tiny bit stressful. Hopefully it'll be something I'll get better at over time, and get the equipment I need to make them look more professional! 

- Lucy

Friday, 3 February 2017

Contouring For Pale Skin

Contouring isn't something I got on board with for a long time, I was just way too scared to even attempt it with my super pale skin.

Honestly, I am so pale its ridiculous. So contouring was something that kinda frightened me because I thought it'd look like I'd just wiped mud across my cheeks. Alas, I was wrong. You just have to find the right products to contour with, and once you have, all is well. So for all you pale skinned gals out there, this ones for you.

Firstly, I have recently found the best product to contour with. The PS...Pro Small Blending Brush. I'd obviously seen the hype with the Artis Brushes, and wasn't convinced. However, when I saw this in Primark for only £2.50, I didn't see the harm in giving it a try. I originally thought I would use it for blending out concealer but then realised actually its perfect for contouring. As for the product I use for contouring itself, I use my super trusty NYX High Definition Blush in Taupe. Although its classed as a blush, its the perfect shade for contour as it doesn't have any red undertones. So I just dip my brush in the pan, suck my cheeks in (lol) and swipe it across my cheekbones. Obviously then its blending timmeeeee!

Personally, I like to use a damp RT sponge to blend it out as it just works nicely, but you could use your foundation brush. Once thats blended out, I like to go over the top with some bronzer just to make sure I actually have some colour in my cheeks. Personally, I've found one of the best bronzers for my pale skin has been the Benefit Hoola Bronzer. For this I use my dupe of the NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush to dust it across my cheeks. Again, this doesn't have much of a red undertone to it which means it really hollows the cheekbones and gives a lovely bronze.

What products do you use to contour with?

- Lucy

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The Body Shop Seaweed Oil Balancing Clay Mask

I've been on the look out for a new face mask for a long time now, I usually use the 'Quick Fix' masks, but I didn't see much of an improvement with those, so I popped into The Body Shop and picked up their seaweed clay mask.

I originally went in looking to buy the himalayan charcoal mask, but to be honest I just couldn't fork out £16 for a face mask. So, obviously the second best option was the seaweed mask for just £13 (although I got it for £10 with my Mum's O2 priority). You do get 25ml less, but still I think its a much better price point. Anyway, what it says about the mask on The Body Shop site - 'Deeply cleanse your skin with our purifying and balancing seaweed oil mask. Skin will be left feeling fresh, revitalised and pure'. Its also suitable for combination/oily skin, which is my skin type pretty much. I have to say, I do feel as though it gives my skin a good deep cleanse and my face always feels so smooth and refreshed after using. I actually really like the smell of this mask as well, it sort of smells like the beach, I dunno its just very fresh and reminds me of sea air. So thats always a bonus!

As for the oil balancing aspect of it, I genuinely think its the best thing I've tried yet to tackle my weird combination skin. I have severe dry patches around my nose, and I hate it so much because makeup just clings to them, yet the rest of my face is pretty oily. So all in all, my skin just annoys me sooo much. Anyway, after using this the first time I was left with really lovely smooth skin and my dry patches seemed to have reduced a lot. Waking up the next morning, the flakey skin was almost non existent so its fair to say I was pretty impressed. Overall its just a really nice mask to use, as it smells great, and leaves my skin feel smooth and refreshed. I'd highly recommend it if you have a combination skin type, as it seems to have really helped mine out!

Have you ever tried this mask?

- Lucy
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