A Message on World Mental Health Day

It’s World Mental Health Day and in light of that, I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about my own experiences with mental health.

I’ve talked about it briefly in different blog posts before, but I wanted to make this post solely about mental health, and not about physical health too. Mental health is just as important as physical health.

Blog: Generalised Anxiety Disorder & How Therapy Helped Me

I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Depression.

It’s something I’ve struggled with since I was a teenager, even though at the time I didn’t realise it. Looking back at different periods of my life, I know my depression and anxiety was prevalent throughout, now I’m more aware of the symptoms and how they affect me.

I only really started seeking professional help for my mental health when I was 23, not long after I was diagnosed with a physical illness. But I suffered through poor mental health bouts long before that. It saddens me that mental health isn’t taken as seriously as physical health. If you feel physically unwell, you can see a GP usually within a week. If the GP cannot deal with it, they’ll refer you to a hospital or specialist and get seen within a few weeks.

Blog: Living with Anxiety & Illness

If you have poor mental health, most GP’s are not trained in it, and often dismiss it. That was certainly my experience for a while. Until I was eventually seen by a very empathetic GP who was brilliant, gave me antidepressants and referred me for therapy.

Now, to see a mental health specialist for therapy or counselling can be hit and miss. It’s an amazing step in the right direction that you can now get talking therapies for free on the NHS. However, the wait times are so long because it’s still very underfunded. The wait time can be 16 weeks, and in my case, it was 6 months before I saw someone. I only had 9 weeks of therapy, which is more than most I know. I felt like I could have gained so much more from a more in-depth course of therapy. 

As someone who struggles on and off with depression, I may not be depressed in 6 months. I certainly feel like therapy should be available when you need it. There needs to be more funding into mental health provisions, so people get the help they need; when they need it.

Mental health is just as important as physical health.

On that note, I have a message to everyone reading this:

Be kind to others, you never know what they might be struggling with. Often depression and anxiety etc, go unseen as it’s easier to say “I’m fine” and show a brave face.
More people have poor mental health than you realise. I know I’ve struggled in the past, been on different medications and had talking therapies. I’m back on the referral waiting list right now for therapy for depression - no one is immune to poor mental health.
Reach out to family, friends or a professional if youre struggling, you are not alone.
If you notice someone is quieter, not themselves or distanced away from your usual group. Reach out to them. Be a listening ear. Support them.
Here are some important helplines if you need to talk:
Samaritans: 116 123
Mind: 0300 123 3393
CALM: 0800 585858 (for men)
Childline: 0800 1111 (for under 19s)
The Silver Line: 0800 4708090 (for the elderly)

If you are in a crisis and you are in danger call 999.

September Favourites 2018

Is it just me, or it this year just flying by? I'm worried if I blink, I'll open my eyes and I'll be a Grandma! September was a busy month for me, but I still enjoyed quite a few beauty products as well as YouTube and Netflix!

My first favourite this month is the Madam Glam Nail Powders. Nail powders are a brilliant way to amp up your gel nails and make them look stunning. Madam Glam is also a brand that is cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and 5-free; meaning they're free from formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin and camphor... so they're non-toxic! I know that seems like a mouthful, but being a beautician; finding a salon-quality gel nail brand is hard to come by, so I'm super pleased I found them! 

I've also been putting more effort into my skincare routine, and I've been using the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Tonic. It's 5% Glycolic Acid, which is a great Alpha Hydroxy Acid that really helps improve your skin texture, scarring, fine lines and exfoliates. It's low strength, so you can you it's daily and I've found it works pretty well. If you'd like to know more about exfoliators and AHA's I have a blog post all about them, and how to choose the right one for your skin type.

Exfoliators: Why, What and How?!

As we moved into Autumn, I started wearing darker, Autumnal lipsticks. I've been loving this Nyx Lip Lingerie liquid lipstick in the shade Exotic. It's a perfect deeper red, that almost looks like a more tinted red lip, perfect for the transition between seasons. It's long lasting, and non-drying too, just what I look for in a good liquid lipstick.

I may have accidentally waxed off a chunk of my eyebrow while testing out my new wax pot, late at night when it was quite dark... Yep, very typical of me. I'm brilliant with other peoples eyebrows but mess up my own! So, as a result, I've been attempting to grow my eyebrows back. I had heard good things about using castor oil for hair growth, and I've been using this Etrong Organic, Cold Pressed Castor Oil. I have to say, after a month or so of using it, I've definitely noticed a difference. It's become part of my evening routine now, and I'll certainly be keeping it up.

My only clothing favourite this month is this jumper from Primark, that has cute Harry Potter characters on it! It's adorable, comfortable and easy to throw on with a pair of leggings. I've been wearing it several times a week, I love it that much!

This month, Eric and I binge watched Netflix and one of my favourite series we got through was Disenchantment. It's by the same people who did The Simpsons and Futurama, and it's very noticeable. I do find it far funnier though, with more crude humour, which is what I love about it. If you fancy a good laugh, give this series a try!

Aaaaaand for my last favourite, but certainly not least. It has to be Shane Dawson and his docu-series on YouTube. Most recently his series on The Mind of Jake Paul, but I've also loved The Secret Life of Jeffree Star and The Truth About Tanacon. Shane is KILLING it with content on YouTube lately and I'm obsessed. He not only builds tension and anticipation for his videos, which no one else has been able to do with YouTube, but he has EVERYONE talking about it. I'm glad Shane is getting the attention and love he deserves, and I can't wait for the rest of his series on Jake Paul in October.

I'm excited for the rest of the year, October to December are my favourite months when it comes to activities and things to do (not so much the weather, yuk). There's Halloween, pumpkin carving, bonfire night, Christmas lights, and all sorts! Here's to a fun-filled end of 2018!

Exfoliators: why, what and how?!

Why do we exfoliate?

Exfoliation, lots of people do it, but do we really know why, and how to get the best results out of it? First, let’s talk about why we should exfoliate our skin in general. Over several weeks, the lower part of our skin moves up towards the surface. As the skin cells move up, they start to break down, and by the time they’ve reached the surface, they’re dead. So, our top layer of skin is full of dead skin cells. They do shed naturally, but exfoliating helps to speed up this process and leaves your skin fresh and clean. Removing these dead skin cells improves the texture of your skin, as well as increasing cell rejuvenation and collagen production. This then improves fine lines, scarring, acne, and clogged pores. It also helps your skin to absorb products better; so, when you use moisturisers, serums and oils, your skin is going to benefit from them more. So, it’s very valuable to exfoliate regularly.

What are exfoliators?

There are two main types of exfoliants, chemical and physical. Physical exfoliators are your traditional “scrubs” that contain bits in them, such as sugars, granules, pips or seeds. Chemical exfoliators use acids and enzymes, typically Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA).

Physical Exfoliators

Physical exfoliators are the most common types of exfoliators usually sold as face scrubs. They often contain sugars, seeds and granules and manually rub the surface of the skin to remove the dead skin cells. Microbead scrubs were once popular, however, are no longer recommended because the small plastic particles contaminate the ocean and are damaging to sea life and the environment.

Sometimes physical exfoliators come in the form of face brushes, loofahs, and flannels as these manually rub the surface of the skin to remove dead cells too.

Physical exfoliators are best for people with dry to normal skin. Dry skin tends to have a build-up of dry patches and these types of exfoliators are brilliant at removing these. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to avoid physical exfoliators as they can cause microtears and they can be quite harsh on the skin.

Chemical Exfoliators

The word chemical can sound scary, but not all chemicals are bad for us. Chemical exfoliators come in two main forms, Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA). The exfoliators are usually very mild for use on the face and work by using acids or enzymes to break down and dissolve the dead skin cells. You don’t need to rub chemical exfoliators into the skin, they just need to be washed off.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid:
Glycolic Acid
Lactic Acid
Citric Acid

Beta Hydroxy Acid:
Salicylic Acid
Citric Acid (depending on formulation)


AHA’s or Alpha Hydroxy Acids are essentially hydrophilic (water-loving) and are naturally sourced. For example, Glycolic Acid is derived from sugar while Lactic Acid is derived from milk. AHA’s are great for most skin types but are particularly good for normal, combination and oily skin. When quite mild, they’re also better for people with more sensitive skin. AHA’s also boost collagen production so are fabulous for more mature skin.

BHA’s or Beta Hydroxy Acids are essentially Salicylic Acid, which I’m sure a lot of people have heard of if they’ve had acne or pimples. BHA is fat soluble and so it’s brilliant for oily skin. It’s almost the same as AHA’s in that it dissolves and removes dead skin cells, but it penetrates deeper into the skin and really help to unclog pores, and is commonly used to treat acne and blackheads. When it’s a stronger solution it can even be used to treat verrucas and warts!

How often?

It’s recommended to exfoliate your skin at least once a week if you have oily skin, and twice a week if you have more dry skin. Exfoliating too often can cause an overproduction of oil in the sebaceous glands, so that can just clog your pores up even more and is counter-productive. So, it’s important to find the right balance. Sometimes there are even smaller quantities of AHA’s and BHA’s in facial tonics and toners, which can be used daily too.

Since becoming a qualified beautician, I’ve found myself delving deeper and deeper into the science of skincare and how important it is, and I can’t help myself now. I will be posting more blogs on these types of topics as I love it so much, and they’re kind of educational!