Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick Review & Swatches

Good Evening Munchkins!

Disclaimer: My lack of activity is explained at the end of the blog post.

Today I will finally be writing my review on the Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks! I’ve wanted to write this for a few months now, but I wanted to include a variety of colours so thought I’d wait until I got the ones I really wanted before showing you them. I personally love Jeffree Star – I know he’s a very controversial individual, but I find him really funny and over-the-top (in a good way!). Obviously I’m judging this on the product, not the person who designed it, so if you don’t like him, you may still like the product just as much as I do! I think I’ve chatted enough now, so I will actually start the blog post! I’ve also got a feeling it’s going to be a long one, so I’d grab a cup of tea and a biscuit if I were you!

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Firstly, the packaging. I’m very grateful in that I own three of his liquid lipsticks; one from the permanent range, another from last Summer’s collection and my newest one from last year’s Christmas set. This does mean that each of the lids are different colours so they’re very much distinguishable from each other, but they still follow the same style. The lipsticks are presented in glass bottles with a kind of rounded edge at the bottom, which does look really effective even if it means the whole tube doesn’t contain product. This is quite sturdy glass that I trust to keep the product inside safe, but it does cause some concern when travelling, so just be aware of this. It has a screw-on lid (the permanent collection in pink, the Summer collection in yellow and the Christmas collection in red) that is very easy to fasten and open, ensuring the product can’t dry out or leak in any bags. It’s also decorated in stars  and the shade name is labelled on the bottom of the tube with a little pink sticker. Although pink isn’t my favourite colour and I don’t always think it matches the colour of the actual lipstick, it definitely determines which brand it is – Jeffree did his job in being unique! Each lipstick comes in a small box which lists the ingredients and all the other important details about the product and it’s wear, so don’t fear that it’s not on the bottle! I’m just not that good at holding onto the boxes! It does, therefore, allow the bottle to appear quite minimalist and the colour of the lipstick much more visible and, hence, easier to see if it’s running out or dried up. It’s also relatively lightweight considering it is made predominantly of glass; I’d guess that the lid is made of plastic, but don’t hold me to that. The applicator is quite small to make applying the product more precise and neat, which would suit a variety of lip sizes, so there’s nothing to worry about there! Each bottle contains 0.19 fl. oz of product.

Watermelon Soda

As I’ve previously mentioned, I own three very different shades, so I’ll briefly talk you through them and their different scents. The first shade I received was Watermelon Soda from last Summer’s collection which, unsurprisingly, smells like watermelon! This is a very bold, almost neon pink that I haven’t been able to wear too much as of yet, but roll on Summer and this will be worn a lot, I’m thinking! I’ve then got Gemini from the permanent collection which is a red-y brown with very small pink undertones; on my lips it looks a bit like a ‘my lips but better’ nude, which is really on trend at the moment. This has a very vanilla-y scent. The final shade I own is Pumpkin Pie which is from last year’s Christmas collection, and is a burnt orange with very small gold glitters within it. I think I’m still a tiny bit too pale for this, but I wore it the other day and completely fell in love with it! It’s almost similar to Gemini, but I think it looks a bit bolder because of the orange within it. This has a less noticeable scent.

Gemini

As I think we can all expect, these are very high quality products! Each of these apply really easily and mould into the lips very simply. The small-ish applicator does help with this, but it’s still quite easy to wipe off before drying down if there are any mistakes. It also applies so pigmented-ly (that’s not a word, is it?!) – it’s just a bold, thick colour as soon as the applicator touches your lips that never needs topping up throughout the day! I’ve eaten a Subway sandwich with it on, and none has come off – if that’s not a good sign, I don’t know what is! If you don’t like strong smells in cosmetics, it does disappear after a while so that isn’t a place for massive concern. This is smudge proof and does not budge, I can 100% guarantee you of this; the first time I wore one of these, I spent ages scrubbing my lips trying to get it off, but now I know the correct way to do it (which I will share in the future, by the way) so my lips remain intact! It definitely does dry down matte after around a minute, but I’ve never fully timed it to the second, so I can’t promise you what it says on the box. It doesn’t dry out your lips if you are constantly treating your lips before application, during and after you’ve taken it off, but the first time I wore one I did notice that it irritated me slightly; this could just be due to not having worn a liquid lipstick at all before these one’s, but my lips kept feeling itchy and almost swollen. Now they’ve got used to it and I’m not going back! But yes, as I say, with any liquid lipstick you need to properly treat your lips throughout the process so that you don’t end up with scars where your lips used to be! My lips don’t matte down until they’re flaky/dry, they remain quite comfortable and I can still move them quite easily, so that’s always a bonus! None of the colours differ in product capability too much, but Pumpkin Pie’s glitter particles can sometimes get caught in the cracks of your lips if you don’t remove it thoroughly enough. I’m kind of used to this now, though – I just end up finding glitter everywhere!

Pumpkin Pie

Finally, price and availability. In the UK, Jeffree Star Cosmetics are available on Beauty Bay, and after a collection has finished it’s initial run, they will publicize offers (i.e. how I convinced my Mother to buy Watermelon Soda and Pumpkin Pie!) or sales. These tend to be really good and Beauty Bay is a reliable shop (I think I officially count as a regular!), so keep an eye out for those! Watermelon Soda and Pumpkin Pie may be slightly difficult to get hold of now, but that doesn’t necessarily make it impossible if you have a little look around! The general retail price for the liquid lipsticks are £16, whether they’re in the permanent range or seasonal collections. I think I got the other two for around £11 or £12 in separate sales so, as I say, they are quite good if you stumble across them!

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Would I recommend these to you? Absolutely, they are one of the only things keeping me steady during this stressful period! If you can’t afford these ones, there are many dupes which are equally as good, but if you have a birthday coming up or for Christmas, I would highly recommend these lipsticks! I am a makeup collector/addict, so I’m going to turn around and be like ‘my life goal is to buy them all’, but if you don’t have such a keen interest or don’t wear them too much, maybe buy a more inexpensive one just so that if it dries out before all of it is used, it’s not loads of money down the drain. This is down to you and what you believe it best for you, but I love them (have I said it enough times now!?)!

And there we have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post – I feel like I’ve rambled a lot but there’s so much to say about them! Let me know what you think about the Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks if you own any for yourself, or what your favourite liquid lipstick is right now!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Saturday,

Rachel xx

Hi guys. As many of you know, I’m in my final year of school and this is the run-up to the exam period, so it has completely taken over my life (as if it hasn’t already!). No matter how much I would love to keep updating this blog 3 times a week with a new post, it’s just not possible right now. Until the end of June/beginning of July (I will let you know of exact dates closer to the time) I will be uploading once a week on a Saturday at 12pm because I don’t want to take a complete break, but it’s just not possible to keep everything up and maintain a stable mind! This does mean they will be just beauty related, so all my ‘Let’s Talk About…’s’ will be on hold for now, unless you request a specific one. I will be back with 3 blog posts a week soon enough though – I have a 12 week holiday after my exams so I’ve got to do something! And sorry for extending this blog post even more, it’s massive as it is! I hope you all have a lovely day and I’ll see you next Saturday. x

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Let’s Talk About … Anxiety in a Relationship

Good Evening Munchkins!

Today I would like to branch into another topic to do with anxiety and that is being in a relationship. I feel like anxiety as a whole is a massive subject and no one ever really realizes the consequences it can have on different areas of their lives until it happens to them, much like this one. Therefore, similar to my blog post about Anxiety ft. Prom, I thought I would enter another subject that many teenagers go through but how anxiety is effected by it, or what it can cause. At the age of 16, I have a few friends who are in relationships and some who aren’t, and it’s kind of  a running joke that I will forever be single, but very recently I have entered a new one, (for the first time in nearly 2 years!). I sound so much like Bridget Jones, it’s not even funny! Anyway, taking my current relationship and my previous one into account, I will now press on with the blog post.

 Anxiety is something that, despite having it for so long and being able to write quite openly about on here, I struggle to speak about with people face-to-face. Even to my counsellor, which he’s still coming to terms with as I am usually such a chatty, bubbly person! It either takes a very long time for me to speak about my anxiety to you, or I have to whisper to you one-on-one, in the dark about it – I just have this mental block to talk about it! I think this is quiet common, but if I’m entering a relationship, I want that person to at least acknowledge my wavelength and how I think, even if they can’t do anything about it. I just want my partner to be aware of it, before I have a panic attack or hyperventilate and they have no idea why, and I can’t physically explain it. I would love to be able to sit down with someone and be like ‘I feel like this sometimes…’ or ‘sometimes I might go quiet; this means that..’, but the words don’t form in my mouth. I literally feel as if anxiety punishes me for speaking out about it, which is really weird to get your head around if you don’t suffer from a mental health issue, I know, but even typing it is making my heart beat that little bit faster. This kind of thing doesn’t have to be in a romantic relationship, it can also be in a family relationship/friendship.

With my first boyfriend, I don’t remember exactly telling him that I had anxiety, but I was filled with paranoia and stress throughout the whole thing, and even after. This wasn’t really helped with the fact that 3 weeks after me he got with this drop-dead gorgeous girl, and I was kind of like the ‘ex that shouldn’t have been’! After our relationship, we kept in contact, but knowing what he was like, I was still really cautious when he told me the certain things I wanted to hear. He was my first love, but the amount of stress he caused me just wasn’t worth it! Every time I met up with him I had a panic attack, and that drained me so much, but it was something he never really understood, even when he was diagnosed with clinical depression himself.

However, with this new boyfriend, I know I can tell him anything, which helps a lot with my type of anxiety. As I’ve found with my counsellor, I like to talk my ideas out (surprise, surprise!) and even just one niggling thought ends up being tracked years and years back. We are so similar to the point where I know he understands my train of thought and why I do things the way I do them – he told me yesterday that he noticed it way before we got together! I’ve never met someone who can read me so well, and knowing that my ideas aren’t entirely unheard of (one of the main reasons I don’t talk about them) really does help to reassure me. Yes, there are still difficult points where I’m paranoid, but he knows I mean it when I say it’s all in my head. If you have anxiety, you need to find someone like this! If I’m feeling anxious, he can calm me and reassure me to the point where I can laugh again – that has honestly never happened before! I need this kind of stability and reassurance in my life, particularly with everything that has happened recently.

I’ve never gone dating, but even the idea of it terrifies me. Just the idea of meeting someone and having to tell them some stuff about me but not all of it, and wondering what the important parts are about him and myself, and thinking about what to wear or to eat – nah, you’re alright! If there was ever a point where I had to date, which I hopefully won’t, I have no idea how I would cope. On a general night out I get so worked up as it is, even if it’s with people I know! I just overthink everything: every movement, every gesture, every tone of voice, every piece of eye contact and everything I could possibly dare to do myself.

So, taking all these into account, I have a few little tips if you are the person in the relationship with anxiety, because when you finally decide to open up and share your life, there’s a lot to adjust to:

  • Only do what you feel comfortable with; whether this is just choosing who you date or in a sexual way, people seem to think we’re quiet easy to manipulate or twist into their way of thinking. Obviously there’s a good form of manipulation, but it’s the people who start to control and run your life for you that become the ones that are hardest to physically leave. Speak to the person you want to speak to, not the person who wants to speak to you.
  • It’s okay to ask for reassurance; everyone’s a little bit paranoid and everyone’s going to overthink at least once in their lives, so it’s 100% fine to ask your boy/girlfriend what they’re thinking. They may appear fed up of it after a while, but your anxiety is a part of you, and if they want you badly enough, they will accept and adjust to your anxiety just as your entire life has been.
  • Talk to them about it; I know it sounds really generic, but if you form an emotional bond with someone and you feel comfortable with them (as they do you) then they will happily let you speak about it. I’ve never been the outsider in this situation, but I’m sure people wonder what the bloody hell is going through my head, so let them know what is going on in there! Mine’s kind of coming out in little spurts at the moment, but these bite-size chunks are much easier for my boyfriend to handle, I’ve discovered. For me it’s also a lot easier than opening a 1000-page book filled with all the different thoughts I have in a second! This is kind of down to you and how you decide to tackle the situation, but it’s definitely worth it. Also, if you’re having deep chats, common courtesy doesn’t allow someone to just get up and leave!

I also thought I’d attempt to write some tips for the other person in the relationship if they don’t have anxiety because trust me when I say I know how difficult it is to deal with! Both people in the relationship should be accounted for in order for it to remain happy and healthy:

  • Be patient; I wouldn’t expect your partner to start dating you and immediately be like ‘I have anxiety…’, ‘welcome to the world of paranoia!’ because it’s just as scary to talk about as it is to hear. If that person feels safe enough with you and comfortable in your company, they will naturally start drip-feeding little things, like ‘I’m not keen on going here because it tends to be crowded’. It may be subtle, it may be quite obvious, but just let the person talk about what they want at their own pace.
  • Find the things that calm them; I haven’t had a panic attack in front of my boyfriend yet, but I’m still trying to look for things I can show him that he can use on me when that time comes. Some people like being held, some like colouring in, others like sitting in a corner on their own – that’s up to you and your partner to find what works best and how to adapt to the different situations you may be placed in.
  • Enjoy the good times; for both people in the relationship, I’m sure anxiety isn’t that easy to speak about, so don’t become paranoid that just going out for a drink or to the cinema will suddenly cause a panic attack. It does depend on your partner and their level of anxiety, but if they reassure you that they’re going to be fine, they don’t need you constantly worrying next to them! I know it sounds really harsh, but accept the good times, and use it to remind them that life’s good and they’re doing really well.

And I think that’s it! I hope you have been able to take something from this blog post – although writing this hasn’t been easy, I really hope it’s worthwhile by helping you, whichever person you happen to be in the relationship. I’m really sorry that this is a day late, but it also means that tomorrow’s blog post will be uploaded Friday instead and then the usual blog post on Sunday. Sorry, I’m kind of on stress overload at the moment!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Friday,

Rachel xx

EOTD: Pale Pink Everyday Smokey Eye

Good Afternoon Munchkins, and a very happy Easter to you all!

Something which I never do is type a blog post on the day of it’s upload, but I’m finding this Easter pretty difficult for a variety of reasons, so I thought I would start my day by typing in bed – surely the best way to start the day! The other day I had to go into school for some extra revision, but I was also meeting up with someone afterwards so I needed a neutral-ish makeup that looked gorgeous but would last from about 8 in the morning till 10 at night (check me out staying up after half 9!)! Trust me when I say it actually succeeded this; when I got in it looked the exact same as when I had first put it on! Anyway, here is the look I have created:

As you can see, it is a very simple but effective look that anyone can complete. I’ve said that it’s a smokey eye in the title, but I’m sure many of you will disagree; the only reason why I’ve said this is because it contains similar steps and tricks, and has a slight gradient which is much more noticeable when you don’t have it on, if that makes any sense! So it is a smokey eye, but it’s not! This is also a mixture of drugstore and high-end products, so I’m sorry for being awkward!

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The first product I applied is the Maybelline 24hr Colour Tattoo in Pink Gold (available from Boots and Superdrug), meaning I don’t have to apply a primer underneath like I usually would! I live my life by these pots of goodness, yet no one expects it because they are so affordable! I just apply this all over the lid with my middle finger, ensuring there’s even coverage and that most of the product is evident in the centre. It doesn’t have to be overly neat at this point because they are really easy to wipe off and blend out, but centre it mostly on the lid.

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I then head into the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette (available from Feel Unique) and take the shade Liar on a medium flat-headed eye shadow brush, just applying this on the outer third of my eye and blending in towards the rest of the eye. This is a slightly darker pink so will give a kind of gradient effect without looking too in-your-face for daytime.

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From the same palette, I will also be using the shade Dust on a smaller flat-headed eyebrow brush and placing it on the inner third of my eye, blending in as I do so. You are also free to use this as your inner corner/brow bone highlight, but I decided to use a separate, coordinating shade for that. This actually paired stunningly with the Pink Gold cream, and they could look just as beautiful on their own.

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This step is completely optional, but for a little bit of gradient I head into my original Urban Decay Naked Palette (available from Feel Unique – sorry for the swap in palettes!) and take the shade Buck through my crease. This is my go-to crease colour, I use it literally all the time – it’s a warm-toned chocolate brown but it goes with every single eye shadow I’ve every paired it with. I’m yet to be disappointed by this one! But if you want to keep this look to a few products only or want it to be entirely pink, I wouldn’t use this step; it’s not compulsory, I promise!

And there we have it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – I think I need to start experimenting with my eye looks more, I just seem to be stuck in a rut of same thing each day with school taking up all my time! Let me know what you think of this look or what you’re current favourite look is!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Tuesday,

Rachel xx

Celebrity Outfit Dupe #2 | Zara Larsson

Good Evening Munchkins!

Today I will be sharing with you some bits and bobs I’ve found whilst trying to recreate a look I found on the very beautiful Zara Larsson. This was taken  earlier this month, I believe, when she featured on James Corden’s Late Late Show in America. By far, this is the hardest look to recreate despite looking the simplest, so I have a few options and variations depending on which parts of the look you like or what you feel most comfortable with!

So this is the picture I found:

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So as you can see, Zara opted for a very simple monochrome look, containing the strappy heels and peg leg/cigarette trousers (I always get them confused!) which are very on trend at the moment. I personally love these trousers on her; they look formal yet still slightly relaxed and the black waistband at the top really helps to accentuate her little waist. This suits her figure so well – her stylist should be very happy with him/herself!

You will also be able to see the very prominent and original print on her top, which I found so difficult to find alternatives of, hence why I chose two! The first one is from Wear All retailing for £12, which I hadn’t heard of prior to this blog post, so let me know if it’s trustworthy if you have bought from there before! I thought some of you may like this because it still has a very bold print but has the same straight neckline, meaning it’s not too flashy, but it can boost your boobs if that’s what you desire. The second is from River Island and costs £30, but I actually prefer the pattern of this one. I personally think it’s a little bit more flirty and the slightly scooped neckline is very much on trend right now. It also has spaghetti straps, meaning they can easily be hidden, just like Zara’s! This has to be down to personal preference because I couldn’t find an exact dupe!

Again, I had a bit of a nightmare finding the exact bottoms, which surprised me actually considering how on-trend they are! The first pair are from Topshop (originally Adidas) and retail for £26. These are very much leggings as opposed to trousers, but if you want that sporty-looking stripe down the side of the leg, this may be your way forward. I’m sure this is still totally fine to wear with either of the tops, but if you would prefer something much simpler, the peg leg trousers on the right may be for you. Also from Topshop, these cost £28 and have a much more relaxed fit. The differences from the image of Zara is that it hasn’t got the white stripe and it has a big, loose-tied bow at the front, which I know isn’t everyone’s cup of tear, so just bare this in mind! Again, this is down to personal preference, but I do think both pairs of trousers match both the crop tops really well. It’s okay to be a little bit adventurous sometimes!

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Finally, the shoes! The only thing I could definitely decide on! These are from New Look and cost £25.99, though they have a few variations depending on how many straps around the toes you want. I chose the one with 3 or 4 straps on each side because it looks like a few thick straps instead of one due to being able to see the skin in between slightly. These are a pretty statement pair of heels that I think would easily be worn time and time again, either to dress up a pair of trousers like in this instance or with a cocktail dress. The gold buckle also smartens it up quiet a lot! From previous wear, I can tell you that those ankle straps are very supporting, make walking in heels a lot easier and are definitely more reassuring to know that they won’t fall off!

And that’s it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – I loved writing it and finding all the items for you! Although I wouldn’t always opt for a look like this, I really do like it on her and the combination of sophistication yet relaxation with the heels and loose-fitting trousers. Who knows, maybe I can finally step out of my comfort zone?! Let me know what you think of this look and which variations you’ve gone for!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Sunday,

Rachel xx

MUA Pro-Base [Face] Primer Review

Good Evening Munchkins!

Today I have yet another review for you, this time on the MUA Pro-Base Primer. As you guys know by now, I’m a drugstore girl through and through, so I will try out every product just for the benefit of your reviews *bank account cries in a corner*! I actually bought this for my drama exam which was last Friday because I was doing the makeup for it and needed something that would ensure the makeup I applied lasted all day, even under hot lights and hour-long rehearsals. The performance went well and I really hope the examiner liked what I did to everyone’s faces! It was honestly the most fun exam I’ve ever done and probably will do, but this is about the primer, not my GCSE’s! That was just for a little bit of background so you know what I’m judging it on.

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Firstly, the packaging. I think the casing for this product is something we would expect from a very affordable product; plastic and a little bit clunky. The only reason I say clunky is due to it being a screw-on lid, it can be quite loud to open and sometimes difficult to put it in the right place to close properly. The lid is also clear, making it easy to see how much product is left within the pot. All the important information is on the bottom, including the ingredients and how to use the product itself. It follows a white and purple colour theme, therefore linking to some of MUA’s other products in the ‘Pro’ range. Despite not necessarily looking visually appealing, the plastic does assure me that it won’t break and the screw-on lid tells me it won’t undo in my bag easily – this is obviously dependent on how tightly you do it up. It’s very lightweight so is perfect for travelling. This pot contains 7.2g, which is sure to last you a while!

Surprisingly, this product does have some kind of scent. The way I’ve tried to describe it to other’s is kind of coconut-y, but I’m probably completely wrong! Whatever it is, I’m 99% sure it’s not a natural scent and, although not over-powering, it’s not really my cup of tea. It does fade once you apply it but it’s the initial hit that kind of smacks you in the face! In the pot, this product looks white, but when applied it actually goes clear. I was expecting this, so I’m not overly shocked at the colour change, even if it does appear white on my beauty blender as well as in the pot.

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This primer is slightly different to any other’s that I’ve seen because it’s a solid product as opposed to liquid. I tend to apply this with a beauty blender quite randomly on the face/other body part and blend it all together with my hands because you can’t see it but you can feel the difference, and I don’t want to spend forever making sure I’ve applied it to every inch of the skin when I don’t really need to. When first applied, this does make the skin feel so soft and as if it has smoothed out the skin, as promised on the lid. I don’t notice a visible difference but you can certainly feel it. My normal face products apply just as they usually would on top of this, as did the drama makeup. It didn’t necessarily help blending or make anything stand out further, but I wasn’t really expecting that, like I would an eye primer. The one thing I was really expecting from a primer was increasing the longevity of the makeup I put over top. When I’ve used this on myself, I haven’t noticed this at all, and it actually makes the foundation on my nose look really patchy and as if it’s missing some product completely; this may be where it’s so badly scarred from previous years of sun burn as to why it’s only this area of my face, but it’s still really frustrating because it’s not like I take my foundation out with me for top ups! When doing the makeup in drama, I also didn’t notice an increase in longevity – some of the products did fade and I needed to top up quite a lot. At least they didn’t go patchy on the actor’s skin, though!

Finally, price and availability. This is available in Superdrug for £5. This is one of MUA’s more expensive products considering it’s other items, other than it’s palette’s, are around £3 or under. Obviously it’s still really budget friendly, but if we take the whole brand into consideration, I would expect more from it at that price. It’s also not that easy to get if you don’t have a Superdrug near you, but it is available in-store and online.

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Would I recommend it to you? I’m afraid not. This is a product I might have to push to the back of my mind and only use on days where I really have no other choice! I didn’t notice anything extraordinary, and my makeup is the exact same (if not, better) without it, so I think I’ll stick to going straight on after a little bit of moisturiser.

And there we have it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – I’m really sorry it was a negative and slightly shorter one, but I would much rather be honest with you! Let me know what you think if you’ve used this primer, or what other primers you would recommend!

Thank you for reading and I’ll see you Thursday,

Rachel xx

Let’s Talk About … Parents Struggling with Mental Health

Good Afternoon Munchkins!

Once again, I have another ‘Let’s Talk About…’ for you. I’m actually really enjoying writing these, if not for some advice for you, then as a little bit of release for me. At the end of the day, I did start this blog to allow myself to express everything I want to and I don’t see why it should just include beauty and makeup, even though that is still a massive part of my life.

Today I will be talking to you about Parents Struggling with Mental Health as my Mum in particular, amongst other family members, is really going through a rough time and, as her daughter, it’s quite difficult to know where I stand and what to do. Hence, I will be including different tips of which I have found useful, as much of a learning curve as it still is, and I’m still finding it difficult to know what to do about it. In saying all that, not everyone is the same even if they do have the same illness, so just try these out and if they don’t work, just try again, taking ideas from what worked last time. Like the gay parent thing, I’ve come to realise over time that this is quite a common issue amongst children and teenagers around the world, and that my Mum’s actually a lot easier than some other cases, so just bare that in mind.

So last July my Mum started seeking help from the NHS about struggling with mental health after feeling quite low and depressed for a little while; I didn’t actually know this, it was something I didn’t really notice because we weren’t getting along at the time. I only found out after finding a letter with the NHS logo on, which immediately gave me warning signs because that doesn’t happen to us all the time. Around the same time, my Granny was being tested for cancer and the rest of the family were talking about getting tested because it does seem to run in our genes, so I initially thought it was a blood test or CT scan for that; I also want to be tested, so, of course, I was immediately curious and wanted to know more. I then read that it was about mental health and she was being referred to the NHS support thing for that (it has a particular name, but I can’t remember it right now, I’m really sorry!). I was initially really shocked because, as I say, we weren’t that close so I wasn’t expecting it, but it did kind of make sense: she was in a dead end job which she hated, had a really manipulative, psychologically abusive fiance at the time, and her Mum was about to be diagnosed with the same cancer her Aunt died of. I just saw it as another lie/secret in the mix of everything else and, of course, I was angry.

I think what happened was she had a phone call with someone from the mental health side of the NHS (I don’t want to say specialist because that makes it sound like it was private, but it wasn’t) who asked her a few questions, and she got sent a letter with one of those forms which you fill in and the answers are according to numbers e.g 5 is most like you, 1 is least like you. I don’t know when she initially contacted them, but it did seem to all happen very quickly. Once she’d answered all these questions, they let her know that she suffered from stress and anxiety, the same as me. I haven’t be diagnosed, but I’ve been having panic attacks since I was 7, so I’m kind of taking that as my answer, particularly as they can’t diagnose me at my age due to hormones and the effect that has on my brain.

In the beginning, I was actually really angry because she’d been struggling for a few months and seemed to immediately get help, yet I was here 8/9 years later with no help and no diagnosis, so no validation for what I felt. I kind of get that with a lot of people who are diagnosed before me because I can’t turn round to someone and explicitly be like ‘hey, I’ve got social anxiety’, because it isn’t properly diagnosed or professionally recognised; I look as if I’m just making it up, which I’d never do. I was also very angry at my Mum’s fiance at the time because she literally sat there and said ‘get help or I’m leaving you’, which isn’t going to make anything any better. Considering she was on anti-depressants every day for 7 years by that point, you’d think she’d have a little bit more understanding.

So during July/August of last year, she was sent to these group sessions for people with mental health illnesses like stress, anxiety, OCD etc., and she really did realise she wasn’t that bad in comparison to others, but it did also help her a lot. If I remember rightly, it was like 6-8 weekly, hourly, non-compulsory sessions, but you were referred and, therefore, kind of expected to go. I think it covered things like mindfulness and how to cope with stress and other forms of coping mechanisms, some of which my Mum did take use from. I think she only missed one, maybe two, but she did complete the course of sessions. She was also put onto anti-depressants (Citalopram, I think?) whilst I was staying with my grandparents during the summer, so I was quite nervous to what I would go home to. I think they took 2 weeks until they reached their full effect and started obviously working, so it wasn’t like an overnight change. She claims they work for her, but she is kind of reliant on having 1 or 2 a day, depending on what’s going on that day and how she’s already feeling, and I now notice a more obvious difference when she’s not on them. There have been points where she’s claimed they’re not longer working and she can’t cope again, she is obviously the hardest part because you don’t know what to do; do you let them be upset for a day or risk an overdose? She’s a very petite woman so an overdose would effect her quite significantly, and I don’t endorse that in any way.

Right now, she’s actually okay. She’s had a difficult 6 months, as we all have, with the loss of both of her parents, and her anxiety has really taken it’s toll. The hardest day was when she refused to get out of bed and just cried, and I literally had to force feed her food I taught myself how to cook that afternoon. It’s difficult for me watching a woman who was so strong 2 years ago and I could once rely on become so small and dependent on the others around her. This is one of the reasons her new girlfriend has already moved in – I can’t cope with looking after Mum on her bad days, running this blog, and doing all my school work/revision. Luckily there aren’t many difficult days at the moment, but the whole family feels it when there is. As I did say earlier, though, there are so many people worse off than my Mum.

One of the really noticeable side effects I’ve come to realise since she was diagnosed/put onto her anti-depressants was how confused and fuzzy-headed she is. I’m kind of similar and I’ve been told it’s to do with stress and anxiety, but I think hers is kind of worsened by her anti-depressants relaxing her as much as they do. Obviously they’re doing more good than bad and I’m not expecting her to come off them just because of that, but it does mean that I have had to become so much more independent and kind of make decisions for her, which is kind of crazy at 16 years old.

I know there are so many people worse off than me, so please don’t think this is like a little sympathy vote kind of thing, because it’s really not. I’ve also collected a little list of things I’ve found that have helped my Mum, and would maybe help your parent/guardian/family member, though everyone and their mental health is completely different and individual:

  • Find something to calm them; my Mum’s is puzzles, but she can’t cope if they’re more than 500 pieces!
  • Feed them; even when they say they’re not hungry and how much they shout abuse at you or push you away, they will appreciate it in the end, I can assure you.
  • Let them know you appreciate them; this could be through cooking them a full on meal, or drawing them something, or anything you like to do that they know you enjoy and incorporating the things they like into it. This will just remind them that they are worthwhile and do mean something to someone.
  • Get them to do some little chores; my Mum’s new favourite is walking the dogs, especially with our 6 month old pup! This will remind them they have reason to be on this earth, and just getting them to walk to the end of the garden to water the plants can have a huge effect on them – that new-found Vitamin D from the sun will also benefit them massively!

And that’s it! I hope you have been able to take something from this blog post and it has helped you in some way – that’s one of the main reasons I continue to write these. If you are okay with sharing your story, I would love for you to because it really does help me out and realise I am not alone in this!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Tuesday,

Rachel xx

Lancome La Base Paupieres Pro (Long Wear Eye Shadow Base) Review

Good Evening Munchkins!

Today I will be sharing with you my thoughts and findings when testing the Lancome La Base Paupieres Pro (possibly the longest name for an eye shadow primer ever!). I received this from my Grandmother and have been using it from the day I got it, so that’s been around a month now, give or take a little bit. If you saw my most recent Favourites, you probably know how this is going to go, but I thought I would give you a little further insight to the product itself for you!

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 Firstly, the packaging. This comes in a very minimalist glass tub with a black lid and transparent part holding the product, so you can look at how much you’ve got left/the colour etc. The black lid is adorned with the statement Lancome rose, which really reminds me of Beauty and the Beast, but you can’t doubt how stunning it looks. This also hasn’t chipped unlike other branding on some other products that have been rattling around in my makeup bag, so that’s a good sign! The lid is screw on so it’s really easy to open and safely fasten should you be travelling. Taking travelling into consideration, I would be quite cautious because it is made of glass and, although this gives it a really luxurious vibe, it does mean it can smash. It feels quite sturdy, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. The lid is plastic, though, so that keeps my worries at bay! This is slightly more weight-y because of that factor, but taking into account it’s thick glass, it’s not as heavy as you would think. Maybe that’s just because I’m used to lifting it up and using it everyday now, but that’s just what I’ve noticed! On the bottom is has all the vital information you may require, like the ingredients and the colours and the amount of time you can use it for, and it’s displayed quite simplistically without appearing too busy. There is quite a lot of product in this, also: 5ml/5g/017oz, which I consider a lot for a solid eye primer. This is going to last me forever!

As expected, there is no obvious smell about this product. This is in the colour 02 Beige Porcelaine which was, as previously mentioned, picked out by my Granny, so I’m guessing there’s other colours and it’s not just used as a skin-toned eye primer. I’ve just assumed this because this colour is very much my kind of skin-toned, but it does contain some little specs of glitter, which I guess gave it away. This isn’t any hassle to me because I always set my primer with powder which mattifies it quite well. The glitters aren’t evident when wearing a completely matte eye, so please don’t let that put you off, and, as I say, I am guessing there are other colours in the collection you can choose from.

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Onto the product itself. As this is one of the only high-end products in my makeup collection and one of the first Lancome products I used, I’m not going to lie, I had high hopes, like a lot of us would. I had an inkling to the general price of their products, so I did kind of make my predictions based on that, which you probably shouldn’t do! This is one of those products I apply with my finger but blends into the surrounding skin really nicely and is super creamy during use, but doesn’t budge once applied! I’m actually surprised by how easy it is so use and how it hasn’t dried up because I’m guessing my Granny bought this around this time last year, but I obviously can’t find out now! This also increases any eye shadows pigmentation and longevity amazingly – I cannot believe the choice of eye shadows I have for school now, it’s slightly overwhelming! It makes glitters stick onto your eye so easily and any colour, whether it be neutral or dramatic, look 10 times better than it already would! I also think it’s increased the longevity of my eyeliner, but that could just be due to chance and me doing something different! Blending products out is just as easy as it was before, but I have always applied setting powder in my crease to help with this, so I’m not overly surprised that I haven’t seen a massive change in this. It makes everything last until it’s time to take it off, which can sometimes be 12 hours after applying it, so I’m happy and it definitely lives up to its expectations!

Finally, price and availability. As we can all guess, this doesn’t come cheap, and has the hefty price tag of £21. I do think you get what you pay for though, with an amazing product and the amount of product also being much needed when you wear makeup as often as some people *cough* me, sorry skin *cough*. This is available in Boots, in-store and online, so if you have one near-by you can go get one quite easily, or you will have to go to a bigger department store like Debenhams or John Lewis, which is a bit of a hassle, but most places have a Boots so I wouldn’t worry too much! I think those are the only places in the UK you can get it, but you are more than welcome to correct me!

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Would I recommend it to you? Yes, but if you have the money to spare. I got this simply through chance and, quite frankly, luck, so please don’t feel worried that I endorse budget friendly items then whip out this £20 primer! Trust me, I agree on the expense of it, but you do get what you pay for, and I do believe certain products in a makeup routine, like an eye primer, should be kind of like an investment. It’s products like these that I see as the true foundations of a makeup look because it really does hold it all together. I’m sure you can get much more affordable ones of a similar quality, hence why I say only get it if you’ve got the money spare; don’t force yourself into debt over an eye primer!

 And there we have it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – you all know by now how much I love writing my reviews! Let me know what you think of this product if you’ve used it yourself or whether I’ve now convinced you to get it! Also, don’t forget to let me know what else you would like to see on this blog or what you believe are the foundations to a makeup routine!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Sunday,

Rachel xx

Hello there Munchkins! Stay Calm, Stay Classy, Rachel xx