Thursday, 13 April 2017

In My New-In

I have so much in my new-in at the moment and so little time to do anything with it, but instead of giving up and letting myself drown in products that I'm trying to juggle on my blog I figured I'd give you a run down of at least some of that latest coolest things that have fallen into my new-in box (basket). There's a lot more where these came from, but I thought I'd just talk you through my favourite bits and pieces at the moment based on my first glance, and I'll get to reviews just as soon as University exams and whatnot are over...

KISS Faux Mink Lashes - I absolutely could not tell you if these look like mink lashes as I've absolutely never worn a pair, but I am fascinated by the look of these faux mink options. They're long, wispy and really gorgeously separated to make these dramatic, yet somehow really natural looking lashes. I think Katy will probably get to wearing these before me, but I have seen them in a few YouTube videos lately and they look amazing - I'll be sure to update when (if) I ever find occasion to attach them to my eyelids.

Beautifully Scrumptious Chocolate Fudge Body Butter - Some of you may know that Healthpoint LTD. came along to our event and they own a ton of brands including Beautifully scrumptious. Now this is nothing amazing special, I believe from what I could gather that you can usually get their products from Poundland, but this is beautifully soft, sinks in straight away and (best of all) smells exactly like cake batter. This isn't a sickly chocolate scent that I'm used to, it's a more subtle, much more cocoa scent and everything about it has me digging it out of the tub and slapping it on my body whenever possible.

L'Oreal Colorista Spray in #pinkhair - Some of you may know that I'm having issues with a really dry, sore scalp and so I haven't managed to brave getting my hair cut short yet; and I'm just not willing to spend money and time bleaching all of my hair and permanently dying it pink when over half of it is going to be cut off in the near future anyway. So, when this pink one day spray from L'Oreal Colorista came in, I have to say I was really excited to get my hands on it to see what the permanent job might look like in a few weeks. I'll give it a go, keep an eye out for me under the pink hair hashtag!

Oh K! Panda Sheet Mask - These were in the goodie bags for our event but I'm just absolutely obsessed with how cute they are. My group chat keep sending pictures over of them wearing them and they do look adorable, but everyone is also saying how good their skin feels, which is obviously a bonus when it comes to skincare. I'll definitely tweet or snapchat this one when it makes it's way to the top of my list to be used, how could I not when it's so cute!

So there's my favourite bits of my new-in at the moment, but tell me what's in yours!

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Makeup Geek Showstoppers

Deciding what lipstick to wear on any day is a big choice - but deciding what lipstick to wear on the day of #carnLIVal was something entirely different. Helpfully, alongside the goodies that Makeup Geek sent to the event, they had also sent a huge PR package containing what seemed like every pigment and foiled lipstick they offer, but also some of their new limited edition creme stains - the Showstoppers. After a long debate as to what I needed in a lipstick for it to be worth wearing on the day, I finally settled for a Showstopper in Foxtrot.

They have a really good set of colours in the range in my opinion, and they sent me five really varying options; Twerk (a dark green that almost looks black in some lights), Flamenco (a really deep, true red), Charleston (a bright, almost Cadbury purple), Moonwalk (a literally fluorescent baby pink) and the one that I chose for the event - Foxtrot, which is a soft corally nude. These settle right down to a matte texture, and although they need retouching throughout the day they're pretty easy to build on top of themselves, so it's not the end of the world if some crumbles when you're eating.

The main issue I have with these is that they're disproportionately uncomfortable to wear when you consider the actually wear time - they dry down like a matte liquid lipstick, but wear more like a standard lipstick, meaning it can feel a little like all of the pain with no gain. Similarly, they don't tend to wear in a good way - with any kind of food or drink quickly giving way to the dreaded 'bumhole' lip. Although the colours on offer are pretty, I'm much likely to pass over them in favour of either a traditional bullet lipstick for comfort, or a liquid matte lipstick for much better lasting power.

Are these the worst thing in the world? No, especially not Foxtrot with it's nude being a lot more forgiving, but they're definitely not my favourite thing that Makeup Geek has to offer at the moment, and especially not when they set you back $12, and for just a little more than that you could get one of their foiled lip glosses (update to come because I really do like those), or even one of their plush mattes. Pretty colours, and even prettier packaging - but if you're opting for something Makeup Geek; these wouldn't be my recommendation I'm afraid.

If you've tried these and have any ways on how to better make them work, please do let me know?

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Finding A Place

Life lately has gotten a little bit, for want of a better word, tangled. I have so much to do, and so little time to fit it all in, that I feel like all the previously neat threads of my life are a completely mess; and getting more and more knotted by the day. I have to balance work, university, a social life, my blog, events and freelance work - and I'm just not as good at juggling as I was when I could exist on four hours of sleep a night. Well, I'm either not as good at juggling as I used to be, or juggling isn't as effective when you're older and need more sleep to function on a day to day basis.

And I guess that it sort of makes me feel like a failure - because everyone around me seems to have stopped juggling. Everyone has found their place, everyone has fallen into the right place in their life, and I guess that I just feel a little bit less than; like at 23 I should have my shit together or at least some idea about where my shit is going to go when I eventually do manage to get it together. I know that the saying goes that 'nothing ruins your twenties like thinking that you should have your shit together by now' - but when it seems like everyone except you does, it kind of does fuck you up.

Gone are the days of being top in school, gone are the days of being a grade four ballet dancer, gone are the days of constantly acing a waitressing job and being able to afford whatever I wanted every month - now I'm an adult, and I've not got any skills, I'm not the top of my age group and all I'm doing is wandering aimlessly, crying at Netflix shows and wondering what the hell I'm going to do with my life. Finding a place is something that I want to do so badly, but the harder I push for it, the further it seems to get away from me.

So not all that wander are lost - but I really am. I don't know what comes next, or what road at the crossroads I'm meant to take; and I know I'm a flake on here, but that's because I don't really know myself any more. The girl that I used to write the life of so confidently? She isn't the same girl that I am now, and sometimes that's a good thing, but sometimes I feel as though I wish my life was as straightforward as she thought hers would be.

I'm still trying to find my place, but it's hard - any tips appreciated.

Sammy xo.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Hotel Chocolat Hard Boiled Eggs

I'm a big lover of marzipan and dark chocolate, but it's something that you come across a lot less frequently than you may imagine. With that in mind, when Hotel Chocolate offered me one of their Hard Boiled Eggs and one of the options was marzipan, you best know that I jumped at the chance to chow down on this one in the name of the review. I can't say that this lasted long, but I did stop chewing lost enough in order to make some notes on this so I could do at least some kind of review.

There's something really special about Hotel Chocolat - and clearly you all see it too, as there was a lot of love for my Easter Post for them a few weeks ago, and so it's nice to be working alongside them again. Their chocolate is luxurious; and no matter how big or small the offering, it always feels like a treat to be savoured. The Hard Boiled Eggs are no exception (eggs-ception?) there's a solid walled hollow egg, alongside a chocolate offering matching the type of egg that you've opted for - in my case, dark chocolate marzipan.

The marzipan is full and not too sweet, and combined with the dark chocolate - though it doesn't really make for a sweet treat - it definitely does make for a tasty one. It's not the marzipan that you get around a battenberg (although to be completely honest, I still may argue that that's the ultimate type of marzipan, but it could be the solid layer of sugar), but rather a much more grown up version, filled with a warm, true almond taste and then wrapped in a just-this-side-of-too-bitter dark chocolate.

Now these aren't cheap, because one egg (though remember they are pretty thick and they do also come with chocolates) is going to set you back £15 - but in my opinion it genuinely is worth it. Not only is the egg infused with almond - with this one being marzipan - but the whole thing just feels luxurious and like every touch has been finished off with a flourish. Marzipan not a thing? There are also mint, brownie, salted caramel and even three dark chocolate options that are completely vegan. Hotel Chocolat have really outdone themselves for easter, and I truthfully really can't wait to see what they have in store for their Summer flavours...

If you want to win a Hotel Chocolat Hard Boiled Egg, head over to my pinned tweet and follow me and them to win one of your very own (though this does end today - 10/08/17 at 11:59pm). Good luck!

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

(TW:SH) One Year


I wanted to write something about this for yesterday, but something about it felt so absurdly fragile on the run up to it, and so I decided to leave off writing it until it was tangible - until it was something solid, over and done with. Yesterday, though, I was a year clean of self harm. One year clean to eleven years self harming, and this year someone feels like it's been longer than all eleven of the ones that came beforehand. After feeling as though self harm would be something that would plague my life forever - this year seems like something that would never happen, this feels entirely strange, and new, and almost unreal.

Self harm is without a doubt the hardest thing that I've ever had to kick - there are nights that I lie awake feeling like my skin is itching under the surface, there are days I think that the only thing that could take the edge off is the habit that ruined my life for years beforehand. It's felt impossible at times, and I find myself angry at the world in a way that I never used to be when the habit was dulling me down. I find that I feel like I'm a completely different person now; and some of this is a bad thing, but most of this is such a good thing.

In the same way that I feel angry to a more intense level, I feel happy to a more intense level, joyful. I laugh at jokes now, I have bare arms, new tattoos where there used to just be layers of scars. I'm a completely different person to the girl that I was this time last year; scared, dishonest, constantly feeling unworthy of the life that was being offered to me. It's taken a year to get here, and it's also taken so much more than a year to get here. It's taken more fluoxetine tablets than I care to count, a thousand and two long sleeved jumpers, ruined pyjamas and bedsheets and so many plasters shoved in my bag.

I am now a grown woman, a grown woman who will always have a self harm addiction - whether I like to admit it or not. Addictions are hard to kick - and when hard times roll, I'll always think about how easy it could be to right my feelings, to set the timer back to 0 and calibrate myself to that person that I was before. For now though, I'm a year clean - and I'm holding on, letting the habit go, managing, living, surviving. For now, I'm clean.

Sammy xo.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

NYX ULTIMATE Cool Neutral Shadow Palette

Do you ever end up with something in your collection that you use almost daily, but if you'd have seen it on a shelf you definitely wouldn't have picked it up? For me, that's definitely the NYX ULTIMATE Cool Neutral Shadow Palette. There's a lot by NYX that I live and die for, but if I was going to pick from scratch in a shop, this mixture of brights, neutrals, mattes and shimmers definitely wouldn't have been something I'd have chucked into my bag. In a tiny plastic casing though, is nestled a perfect eyeshadow palette that never seems to let me down, and all for £16.

There's a couple of variations of this - a Smoky and Highlight version with an amazing bright green hiding in the corner, a Brights version that's got me dreaming on Halloween look and a Warm Neutrals version that has my heart beating out of my chest, and to be honest this probably wouldn't have been one that I'd picked, but I received this in PR, and I have to hold my hands up and say that it's an amazing little palette. Though at first this appears to be a mismatched set of neutrals and dark with some pops of colours thrown in, everything about this just seems to work when you put it to the test; I've found using each column of shadows to create an eye look works, as does mixing and matching depending on what I feel on the day.

The top half of the palette is a set of basic neutrals, whereas the bottom half add some smokey aspects, as well as a burgundy, a bright purple and a surprisingly subtle teal colour to add something special to your eye look; in fact, there'd even a pressed shadow that isn't unlike Mac's blue brown. If you're thinking that such a wide choice of shadow options in such an affordable palette means that you're compromising on quality though, then you're about to be pleasantly surprised. The shimmers are soft and buttery as you'd expect, but expect strongly pigmented, easy to blend mattes; even when it comes to those bright colours.

This is a sturdy, reliable palette - both when it comes to it's hard plastic packaging and the quality of the shadows inside; this is far beyond a cheap drugstore palette, this is a little gem of a palette that's going to worm it's way into your heart; or at least definitely your makeup routine. NYX are really knocking it out of the water at the moment, with products that seem to hugely exceed expectations, and it's lovely to see - more of this NYX please (and if anyone finds the Warm Neutrals Shadow Palette and it's not sold out anywhere please let me know!).

If you've been trying any of NYX products and found a little gem, I'd love to know what it is!

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The Anti-Depressant Break Up

It's been a while since I talked about medication hasn't it? It's been a while since we upped my dosage because I was feeling so tired, a while since I was wondering if it was doing what I needed it to, and a while since I came off my anti-depressants altogether. Fluoxetine saved my life; it gave me my life back, I will probably need to rekindle my flame with this old faithful in the future - but I can't say that I'm sad to see these green and white capsules go.

Coming off anti-depressants is a strange thing. It's constantly sitting on the edge of the wall and never knowing if you're going to fall; or in my case, and the case of many other people with anxiety disorders or severe depressive tendencies, never knowing when you're about to fall off the wall again. For the last few months I've been holding my breath, waiting for my life to crumble in, waiting to need to go running back to the tablets that saved me - but it hasn't come yet. I've been getting up every morning, getting dressed, walking the dog - laughing, smiling, living - for want of a better word, I've been fine.

I'm scared though; like breaking up with a partner that you've learned to live your life around, I'm scared that I'm going to need to go back there, I'm scared that I'm going to fall into old ways and old patterns without even realising, I'm constantly scared that this new start is too fragile, going to well. I am made up with myself to have come off of the medication I was depending on, I was never ashamed of it - but I'm definitely proud to be living without it. I'm wary, but hopeful.

I don't have much to say here, but I felt like I wanted to say something. I wanted to note this feeling of worried, but positive. I want to mark the first time in twelve years that I'm happy, coping, and medicine free - three things that definitely haven't coincided in the past. Thanks for saving my life Fluoxetine, I'm forever grateful for the time that we spend together, but for now it's goodbye from me.

If you've come off anti-depressants, I'd love to hear your experience.

Sammy xo.