Friday, 28 October 2016

Wanderlust and Recovery

If there's a reason that I'm really, really angry at my anxiety (more so than the fact it affects my every day life) it's because it's stopped me travelling. If you know about me, the only thing I find scarier than travelling is the constant worry that I'll never get the chance. Recovery has allowed me to go further afar, there's a joke on twitter that I'm constantly tweeting about being on trains, I find that Katy and I are always looking at places to go, always booking hotels and tickets to go places whether it's for days, or weeks, and all in all - I find my wanderlust and recovery are constantly in battle.

And I'm getting there - we had a spontaneous few days in Blackpool getting tattoos and sneaking onto the beach late at night and getting drunk and filming videos, and we ventured to the Trafford Centre and I've been added last minute onto a holiday to Krakow in a few weeks - and I'm okay with these things that all would have seemed impossible this time last year. But, I still worry. I worry about everything; at a more manageable level, but it's still there. I constantly forget my tablets which makes me nervous, I constantly leave my glasses and contact lenses behind, I constantly worry about getting lost, about being on time for travel plans, about who I'll encounter.

But, I've found that now I can push through. I can go even when I worry about these things, I can handle a few days without my meds if I have to (although I wouldn't choose to), leaving my glasses behind isn't the worst thing that could ever happen and if I get lost I have google maps. I'm learning that I can worry about things and still prove to myself that I don't need to worry; I can worry I'm not going to do okay, but I can still get there and be okay no matter how much I worry about it.

Recovery is difficult - because it's not like my illness that is a barrier stopping me doing things, but rather this teasing, niggly voice in the background that's constantly whispering what ifs to me that are much harder to ignore. Recovery is difficult, but it's worth it. It's worth it when I wake up in hotels and know that I can go exploring, it's worth it when I look back on my photographs of trips away, it's so so worth it when I sit with my soon to be girlfriend watching stars and lights on Blackpool beach (slightly drunk) on a Thursday night.

Recovery and wanderlust are the two things I've found that butt heads in my life the most, but I'm getting there. I'm not letting my worry ruin my excitement, I'm not willing to compromise anymore, and back down, and worry. Wanderlust is a part of my life and always will be, I hope that anxiety is only temporary and so I refuse to lose experiences to it - I refuse to allow it to take away this want to see the world that I've always had in my blood.

So that's a brain dump of how I'm feeling right now - but basically, I'm not letting worry stop me anymore.

Sammy xo.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Reluctantly; My Favourite Waterproof Eyeliner

I am so reluctantly writing this post - because it's about an eyeliner I have so, so many problems with. Some of you might know I've been trying as many eyeliners as humanly possible in order for me to judge which one works best for me and competes best against my watery eyes and I was hoping I'd find a hidden gem. Instead, I found that an eyeliner I have so many issues with came out on top and so, reluctantly, I'm telling you about my favourite waterproof eyeliner out of all of the ones that I tried; so, here's my review of the They're Real Push-Up Liner (the black one - I'm not a heathen).

This is hella expensive at £18.50 and to be honest, it's an eyeliner I've tried before and just not had much love for. We've all read the reviews of how dry this is, how crumbly, how hard it is to apply and how hard it can be to remove and to be honest, I agree with a lot of those things - it is dry sometimes, it does crumble off, it's a pain to apply and it is near impossible to remove some nights; but that doesn't take away from the fact that it's definitely one of the best eyeliners out of the ones that I tested (I know guys, I know - I'm sorry, okay?)

Now this is near impossible to put on, the flex tip is meant to make it easier to get closer to your lash line but to me it just seems like a entire unnecessary drama and it doesn't get as close to my lashes as I might like, and I've found that you have to run the excess product across your hand in order to stop yourself putting too much on and so you can waste a lot of product getting it to the right amount of product. On top of that you need to really scrub to get it off and quite often I wake up with it still at my lash line (or as close as I could get in any case). You might be reading this and thinking, but Sam, you just told me that this is your favourite eyeliner and all you've done is slag it off. I'm getting there, okay?

It is a pain - it's a pain to get right and it's a pain to wing out and generally, it's just an absolute knob of a product; but, once it's there - it's pretty damn amazing. I feel so reluctant to admit that I love this - but I do; I love that I don't mind about rubbing at my eyes, I love that it doesn't matter how windy it is or how much my eyes water this will stay put. I will gladly suffer extra time in the morning putting this on because I know that, when it comes to the end of the day, I won't have had to reapply at all no matter what's gone on. It's a pain in the arse, but there's no denying that Benefit They're Real has become my favourite eyeliner for a day long wing.

So reluctantly, it's a thumbs up from me to Benefit's They're Real Push-Up Liner. Not the best eyeliner to ever happen to the world, but definitely the longest lasting and it's not one to be sniffed at.

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, 26 October 2016

The Sign Of Four Book Review

I'm a big fan of Arthur Conan Doyle and, happily, a lot of the subtexts within his books fit perfectly in with what I'm studying in the Literature portion of my degree and so when Katy and I were in the Trafford Centre last week I picked up The Sign Of Four and read it on the way home, and finished it in the library whilst I was waiting for Katy to finish to go home earlier this week. I don't know what I was expecting from The Sign Of Four, but I happily found it to be one of the easier Sherlock Holmes novels to read and I managed to get through it fairly quickly. Also, my one is a penguin classic and, although it was only £5, the cover is the beautiful Despotica cover and so it looks amazing on my bookshelf.

Honestly, considering I was essentially reading to extend my knowledge of time periods etc. within Literature, I expected to find it really boring but I was very happily surprised. I found the book even more enticing than the offerings I have read by Conan Doyle in the past, and it's only just over 100 pages long, so even for the least enthusiastic readers out there, this one isn't going to be impossible to get through. It's a lot less intimidating to pick up a book you know you can get through, especially as I picked this up as a little respite between my compulsory set texts - so kudos on that one.

The story basically follows Sherlock Holmes as he looks for missing treasure owed to a young woman, and the story that ensues. It's slightly bizarre, well written and fast paced - and all in all I just found it a joy to read. As a Sherlock and Elementary fan, it's nice to read the texts that inspired the TV shows, it's nice to see the links and what remained true to the original and I think you'll find the humour in the modern touches to the show if you've both read and watched Sherlock.

All in all - it's what you'd expect from Conan Doyle, but I do think that everyone should read at least one of his books in their lifetime. I know the stories of Sherlock Holmes pretty well, but I have to say that realistically, knowing the stories just doesn't compare to reading them and being right in the middle of the action with Sherlock, Watson, Mary, Gregson and Lestrade. There's something magical about reading the book and seeing the world as Conan Doyle imagined it that you just can't catch no matter how good the television or film remake is.

All in all - buy the book because it will look bloody adorable on your shelf and it's a really good read.

Sammy xo.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Underwear Wishlist

If there's one thing that makes me feel good about myself it's new underwear that makes me feel sexy. I mean, it's actually probably tequila now that I'm thinking about it, but new underwear that makes me feel sexy is definitely a close second. So, as we head into a new season it only seems fair that my boobs and vagina get a  whole new wardrobe, and here are the bits of underwear that have had me all heart eyed in the last few weeks.

1: Wolf and Whistle Navy Lace Lingerie Set - £30
I like to pretend that I'm a classy lady and so I like to go for underwear I can wear to the office and in the bedroom. You know, if I ever bother to wear a bra. Or if I were to ever get a real adult job. Okay, jokes aside and I love the panel between the cups on this bra immense amounts, I think that's it's pretty and sexy in one hit and I just love the idea of this set. Plus you can see my vagina through the knickers and I'm pretty much all about that to be honest. Variety (and vaginas) are the spice of life.

2: ASOS Triple Strap Suspender - £10
It's not a secret as to how much I want to be Blair Waldorf and anyone who has ever seen even the smallest piece of any episode of Gossip Girl ever knows that this is definitely step one. I have a suspender belt already which I love, but I like the triple straps on this to just add something a little different to an otherwise plain black set. Do I ever really need suspenders? Not at all. Do I want to wear them every day even when I'm not having sex? You know it.

3: Ann Summers Glitsy Chemise - £28
I saw this in the Ann Summers window earlier this week and made Katy stop and stare at it awkwardly in front of a shopping centre full of people but I've never seen anything that I think will make me feel like a goddess more than this. I mean, if we're honest it's like not at all practical unless you're only putting on this and a trenchcoat with the explicit idea to go out and have sex with someone (and like let's be honest I'm not against that), but this is so pretty I just don't even care.

4: ASOS Valerie Satin Moulded Set - £32
At first I thought I hated this but to be honest I love the shape of the straps and I think it would make my boobs look banging. I'm all about this silk/lace combination and I think that, although the colour would probably make me look ill, I would still feel fucking amazing in this. 

5: Victoria's Secret Logo Elastic Lace Thong - £9.55
These are like insanely expensive even if you get them on 5 for £25 but I am literally obsessed with the band on them. Will I ever wear them? Probably not. Will they still take pride of place in my collection? Yeah probably. Once again see through so you can see my vagina if I wish you to. All about that.

Sammy xo.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Elizavecca Donkeys and Piggies

We all know that I'm a sucker for a cute packaging and so when Elizavecca wanted to work with me I was over the moon, because the only thing that's better than products that work well is products that work well and look like they wouldn't look out of place within a kids toy store. I've been obsessed with the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay since it was doing the rounds on YouTube and so I was excited to give it a go for myself, and to give the Donkey Piggy Donkey Creamy Cleansing Melting Cream a go.

First things first; the packaging. Everything from the actual box that it was posted in right down to the actual jars - this is just a kawaii lovers dream and I absolutely can't cope with how much I love the little characters (look at that pig dressed up like a donkey! Look at the pastel colours!) So you know, so far, so good. But opening these products up, it became clear that the quality of the packaging is nothing to be sniffed at - heavy glass, spatulas with each, clear and beautiful branding - it all creates something really pretty that had me falling in love with the brand before I even really got to the product inside.

Having said that - I actually do really like the product inside the Donkey Creamy Cleansing Melting Cream as well. Now, don't get me wrong this isn't going to give Emma Hardie a run for her money - but this will take all of your make up off and leave your skin feeling fresh and nourished (although I would recommend using a quick second cleanse at night, too.) This is a sort of gel although it's a lot wetter than I thought it would be, and it has no real smell. It's really nothing to write home about but it's a good product - it's one I could see myself buying again and although it isn't the best cleanser I've ever tried, it's far from being the worst.

Now I'm so torn about this (and I'm literally the last person in the whole world to talk about it, or so it seems) but I also tried out the YouTube famous Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay mask. I can't really get a photograph of this because you just can't see what I'm trying to explain in a photo, but essentially this goes on as a grey sort of gel, as it reacts with the air as you put it on your skin - it foams up until your face is one big grey cloud; rub the foam in and wash off and voile, skin as soft as a... pig's bottom?

No doubt this works - I just don't really get the point. I was worried about it drying my skin out and, to give it it's dues, it doesn't - but it just doesn't really do anything at all in my opinion. It foams up, I rub it in and I could have used literally any cleanser to get the same result. It's fun and gimmicky, but it's not like I come out feeling like I've made a trip to a cosmetic surgeon without ever touching a knife. It's a good one for a night in with your mates, and it did amuse me for the whole time I had it on - but in terms of skincare benefits? There are much, much better masks out there in my humble opinion.

So that's my thoughts on Elizavecca up until now - a fab company with some good products - but if you've tried anything I've not mentioned here I would love to know what you thought!

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, 23 October 2016

Six Months Clean

(TW; Self Harm)

It's been a weird old month, and so I've missed a few posts out and so this is running a little bit late to be honest; but, Katy and I got together on October 8th, which only slightly eclipsed the fact that this was also my six month anniversary of being clean. I wondered whether or not I should write about this, to be honest, but here we are; six months in and I'm feeling good. I'm not finding it as easy as I would like, I'm still counting down all the days and there's still days where the only thing that's getting me through is the number of days that I've already managed to smash - but it's irregardless at the moment, because I'm still doing it, I'm still six months clean, still determined to stay on this path.

Six months is a turning point - it's a point that I didn't think that I would reach and now that I have, it feels like a point of no return; it feels like six months is the decider; I can't go back now, recovery is very much real. I don't know what it is about six months, it's just a point that I thought that I would never reach, it's a point that I've never reached before and now I'm here I feel stronger, more capable, like I've got this under control and this healing is my life now, much more so than what came before.

There isn't really a point to this post except that I'm determined to keep talking - self harm was a huge part of my life, recovery has been an even bigger part and I need to keep my voice shouting - because I never want people to forget that I might be happy now, but there was a time that I really wasn't. I don't want to be the person that recovered and stops talking about the thing that plagued my life, I want to remind you that recovery is possible, and I want to remind you that it's okay that this isn't easy, and it really, really fucking isn't. It's the hardest thing I've ever done, and I did Russian History at A-Level.

So, I am still recovering, I am still more scars than skin in places on my body - and I likely always will be. But I'm happy, and I'm doing well; I'm still here and my days are still ticking up, and the worst thing in my life today isn't the fact that I've hurt myself, or I'm handling my self harm addiction, it's that my period pains are stopping me tidying the room, and I need to sit down and actually do some work for university in a minute. Recovery has been weird, and fast, and so fucking slow all at the same time, and I can't believe I'm already at six months.

So here's to the next six months, and the next six years, and so so much further - here's to recovery, and to inevitable relapse, and to knowing that I'm strong enough to get through anyway. Here's to me.

Sammy xo.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Chelsea Beautique Brows Kit In Natural

You might know this about me (in fact if you follow me on twitter this is probably all you know about me because it's literally all that I ever go on about) but - I am all about a strong brow. I think it's that I have literally nothing in the way of natural brows and so it makes me want to be Cara Delevigne when it comes to drawing the in, but either way they take up a solid third of the time it takes to do my makeup every day and they're the one thing that I really don't ever leave the house without. So, when Chelsea Beautique offered to send me one of their Brow Kits, I obviously wasn't going to say no and so I've been playing with this beauty since it arrived with me about two months ago. My kit is in fair, and I also got a spare powder in "espresso" which is about 20 shades too dark for my hair - but it's good to know there's some colour range out there if nothing else.

First things first - I'll be straight with you; scrap the fucking stencils. There is literally nothing more pointless in the whole world than this flimsy bits of plastic - and I wanted to get on with them, I really did, because imagine how easy putting your eyebrows on would be if you just had to colour in the inside of a stencil every day instead of actually drawing them in free hand; but they're just pointless. I like that there's a couple of shapes, I like that they're all different widths and lengths, but they just don't work for me at all - they're messy and leave hairs unattended and just leave me with a proper strange shaped brow. No thanks. Rule them out for starters.

Having started on that note like a negative Nelly, I have to say that actually the rest of the kit is really boss (in fact I haven't been using it for a week and now I'm looking back down on it I've started to feel proper cheated about it.) First of all - let's cover the price because this is going to set you back more than a Rimmel pencil because the kit will cost you £35 - but don't wince and click off just yet - because the kit does come with the (pointless) stencils, a double ended brush to apply the product, the shadow itself, some pointed ended tweezers and a velvet pouch to keep everything in. It definitely feels like a luxury item, but it doesn't feel pretentious or like a waste of money, my powder has lasted forever so far and it doesn't smudge during the day and it's apparently waterproof, though I obviously haven't put that one to the test.

I've found that the best way to use the product is to use the angled brush to carve in the shape of my brows, then fill them mostly with the blending brush and add some sort of hair texture back in using the angled brush once again. I haven't been using the velvet pouch or the stencils, but the shadow, the brush and the tweezers have worked really well for me so far. Plus, it's good to know that if my shadow ever runs out (which seems like something that will quite literally never happen) it'll only cost £15.00 to get a new pot which is cheaper than my old favourite brow pomade.

All in all, Chelsea Beautique aren't a brand I've tried anything else from - but I'd be really keen to try. There's something really nice about this brand; the packaging and the products really live up to the price point. Annoyingly it's not super cheap, but I would suggest buying the kit and I'll definitely be buying more shadow when mine runs out.

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