30 March 2016

Bedtime Blues
This is a slightly different blog post to usual but, here goes.

Stress, anxiety, busy brain, decisions and many other things can stop you from having a good night's sleep. Sometimes we all struggle to get to sleep. Often, the worst thing about not being able to get to sleep is the distress you feel and it worsens your ability to sleep. I've suffered from a lot of these types of nights and I've built up a fairly solid way of getting some kip even on some of my worst nights.

First of all, I always have a big glass or bottle of water beside my bed because if I wake up during the night, a sip of water often helps. I also just take a sip of water if I'm not sleeping due to anxiety or stress as it just calms me a little bit and reminds me of reality and physical feeling, which distracts me from the emotional feelings.

Secondly, I often dim the lights or put on my fairy lights because that automatically feels more cosy and gets me in the mood to settle down for the evening. I highly recommend the fairy lights if you like those kind of things because it really sets the mood ready for bed.

Sometimes I can't sleep because I feel really anxious over something. For me, it's definitely very important to avoid triggers. This usually means turning off my phone, coming up with a plan on how to deal with the problem, or reading a book. My anxiety often makes me physically ill and a lack of sleep then worsens my anxiety and it can become an awful cycle for me. When I'm feeling particularly anxious, I pick a favourite book or a new book. This way I escape reality and let the book distract me from how I'm feeling and from overthinking. I believe reading before bed is important but I'm aware that this does not work for everyone as some people just don't like reading. But I would highly recommend at least putting your phone, laptop etc away because science has proven that backlit screens cause sleeping problems and worsen moods so that definitely will not help you sleep.

There are a few products I use to help me sleep and these are the ones that have worked best and are my favourites:

Neom Candle in Tranquillity
This candle smells like dream heaven. It is a really relaxing scent of English lavender, sweet basil and jasmine. There's not much to say about this candle but the scent certainly works to calm me down and put me at ease. It's not a cheap one as it comes in at £16 but I cannot recommend it enough and so far it doesn't burn too quickly. I'm a little disappointed by the smell when you extinguish the candle but I love the actual scent of the candle so much that I can put up with it. (I've recently discovered that this smell is my fault and remedied it by trimming the wick.) For the first couple of days after I purchased it, I left it unburned in my room and that scent lasted and worked just as well as burning the candle.

This Works Breathe In roll on (which I believe has been rebranded into the Stress Less roll on)
Again, this scent is amazingly calming and I believe it has a similar lavender scent but it just works to make me fall asleep and I love it so much. I've recently run out so I'm going to have to repurchase. I currently have the 5ml one but I'm going to buy the 10ml and it comes in at £12, which again seems like a lot of money, but I know that it works and it honestly helps me and my health so I'm willing to spend more on that because my health, be it physical or mental, is so very important.

Bach Rescue Night 10ml Dropper
This is a herbal remedy for what my family calls 'busy brain'. It's that feeling when you're attempting to sleep but your brain feels like it's in overdrive and all your thoughts are spinning around in your head. Somehow this dropper always helps me sleep and I use their Rescue Soothing Pastilles before exams or important interviews. It never fails to help me. I'm aware that his could totally be a placebo effect but it works for me nonetheless and I've known it to help everyone in my family and a few of my friends too. For £7.99, it's a bargain in my eyes because it lasts more than a couple of months even though I use it most nights and is so effective for me.

Every night before bed I fill in my Q&A 5-year journal by Potter Style and it helps me sleep because it's part of my bedtime routine. Now, this idea of a bedtime routine is so important to me. In the winter, I use a heated mattress topper of some sort and I turn it on, grab my pjs and head to the bathroom where I clean my teeth and wash my face, applying my skincare products (a skincare routine will be coming soon). I then climb into my nice, toasty bed, fill in my diary, set my alarms and read. Sometimes I do go against my own advice and I watch a film or some YouTube videos. But the majority of the time, I stick to my routine and I've noticed that, if I get to bed earlier on a Monday, I sleep better the rest of the nights of the week because I get into such a routine. I advise you grab yourself a routine that works for you because your body will get used to it.

One other thing that helps is something you perhaps shouldn't do before bed; exercise. I find that my anxiety, stress or 'busy brain' worsens when I've not been as active. A science teacher once taught me that, when your body isn't tired but your brain is, your brain goes into overdrive because it's trying to keep up with your body's energy level. I try to exercise 2-3 times a week and since I've been doing so, I've certainly slept better. Whether it's a few lunges, a walk or a gym session.

I hope that something within this blog post works for you and that you find the things that help you sleep. We all have bad nights sometimes and I'm not promising that these things will necessarily work for you because different things work for different people. Sometimes I will do all these things and still have a bad night's sleep and that is totally normal. But if I know that I've done all I can, I can at least settle my brain on that thought.
My number one tip after all of this, is definitely to try your best not to get annoyed at yourself when you're having one of these nights.

Sleep well tonight,
Kay xo

23 March 2016

Nail Polishes - Treasure or Trash
This is the first post in a series of posts which will consist of 'Treasure or Trash', 'Repurchase or Recycle' and 'Best or Bust'. So first up we have 'Nail Polishes - Treasure or Trash' and I'm going to give you insights into my favourite and most disappointing nail polishes.

Essie Polishes in Lapiz of Luxury and Lilacism

I would totally count these as treasures! I was hesitant to invest in Essie nail polish because £7.99 seemed expensive to me compared to other high street ones I'd used and I am not a huge nail polish wearer so my polishes often dry out. But since I've bought these two polishes, I've been wearing them non-stop. They're not hugely opaque on one or two coats so they definitely need three coats if you want lasting wear. But two coats will suffice if you're in a hurry before an impromptu night-out. They're also quite quick to dry if you keep your coats thin, which makes having to do three coats much less arduous. What I love most about these polishes is the fact that they don't chip the minute I have a shower, they pretty much last three days before any chips show up. Typically, I'm not a pale nail colour lover but I feel in love with these two colours the minute I saw them and thought I would give them a try; I've never made such a great decision before. I will 100% treasure these (and extend my colour collection).

Revlon Nail Enamel in One Perfect Coral

First of all, this colour is just plain epic for summer. Coral is a must with summer in my books and this nail polish is just perfect for it. Not only is the colour fairly opaque but it dries fast too. The staying power is not perfect and it can chip, especially when jumping in and out of pools on holiday but I love it. It's easy to apply and doesn't stain your nails when removed so the occasional chipping is no issue when it's so simple. I will be treasuring this polish and praying that they bring out a better range of colours for me to invest in.

Barry M Nail Paint Nail Effect in Countess

This nail polish was my favourite for a good long time over the Christmas months because I love the colour and the glitter and the way it looked on the nails. Unfortunately I think I'll have to trash it because it just did not last as a product. On the nails it lasted really well because - if it did chip - it was glitter polish so a top up isn't visible. However, I have issues with Barry M polishes as I find they often go gloopy and stop drying very well after a month. This does bug me. I know the polishes are only £3.99 but I do expect them to last a bit longer than the equivalent of probably three wears. The thing that makes me want to trash it is because I would have been willing to repurchase it but they stopped selling it. All of my favourite Barry M colours seem to get knocked off the shelves the minute I want to repurchase so it just added to my frustration. Because, for me, the cons outweigh the pros, I'll have to trash this despite my love for the colour.

Sinful Colors Professional in Island Cool 1103

Sinful Color nail polishes were the best discovery of my life. The colours were great because they had a huge range and gave you a lot of product in a bottle for I believe £2.99. They were fairly opaque and only needed two coats to be acceptable to wear out in daylight. I wish I could treasure these because it's about six months before these polishes go gloopy and become unwearable. However, they have completely stopped selling them in any of the shops in my area. If you manage to track these down, you will not regret making a purchase, these polishes are the best I've ever come across.

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in 18 Rouge Noir

This colour is amazing. I love it. The depth of the red makes it a vampiric style. It takes a good three coats to get the colour opaque and it's not disappointing as the colour isn't deceiving - it comes out exactly as you would expect. The downfall is the practicality. The polish chips fairly easily and that's disappointing because it is not exactly a cheap product. It also comes off on paper so you could easily replace your pencil with your nails. And it's not just paper but just general things in daily life that you find marked red. This seems ridiculous to me when you're paying high end prices for a polish that does not act like it. I want to trash this polish just because it is not at all practical but I'm too in love with the colour. To conclude, this polish is perfect for a night out or something of the sort but just will not suffice for daily wear. I'd treasure it for the night but trash it for the daytime.

I hope you enjoyed the read!

Kay xo

16 March 2016

Favourite Lip Products
You may notice that all of these lip products are from the drugstore and you wouldn't be wrong. I love high street lip products and I feel that the majority of my £6 or such lipsticks last longer and wear better than high end ones I've tried so, unless it blows me away, I'm reluctant to buy high end lip products when I am so happy with the high street ones. But these are my favourites so far. I hope you enjoy the read and find one that you may like to try for yourself.

Maybelline Matte Lip Sensational in Divine Wine
I absolutely adore this lipstick. Not only does it have good colour payoff but it's totally wearable. It does not dry your lips out at all which is certainly a must for matte lip colours (nobody wants dry lips). The staying power isn't brilliant but, for a cheaper lipstick, it's not bad. I could safely and happily go out for the evening and not worry too much about topping it up. If you love a matte, deep red, this is a must have.

Soap&Glory Sexy Motherpucker Lipstick in Perfect Day
This is my go-to lippy for when I want a slightly darker nude lip, especially when going out in the evening. It lasts a good long time and, when it does wear out, it doesn't come off in that patchy way that makes you loathe yourself for walking around with worn out lipstick on. I just do not have enough words to big this lipstick up. It's not a matte lipstick but it's not glossy either. I feel like a lot of people would suit this colour and I feel like you can't go wrong with it.

Seventeen Stay Pout Lipstick in Rule Breaker
This is nice glossy formula and a beautiful colour. The glossiness of the formula does take away some pigmentation but not by so much that it affects my love for the product. It's a slightly berry toned red and acts more like a highly pigmented lip balm than a lipstick but it doesn't make me dislike the lipstick at all. It wears really well on the lips and doesn't fade too easily. I'd definitely recommend for a more subtle, wearable red especially for those who are reluctant to try a full, bold red lip.

ChapStick mixtix Lemon Berry Sorbet
So the ChapStick is a bit of an anomaly in this collection of lip products but I could not leave it out. I have been wearing this nearly every day since I got it. I especially love the berry side but the mix of the two is lovely. There's no pigmentation in either end which surprised me from the berry end but was not disappointing. It's great at hydrating the lips and protects against the bitter cold throughout winter. I would recommend every day for anyone and I always use it as a base before I apply any other lip product.

L'Oréal Colour Riche Matte in 640 Erotique
I absolutely adore this lipstick and have already encouraged three of my friends to purchase it too. It suits everyone so far. It's a totally wearable colour for every day but adds a little bit of glam to a night-time look too. It's another of my perfect nude shades and isn't too dissimilar to the Soap&Glory in Perfect Day but there's something totally different about it to me. It's more matte and is a bit more of a go-to because it looks fairly natural and is lighter so for daytime it's my favourite for when I'm doing a more subtle makeup look.

Sleek Matte Me Liquid Lipstick in Birthday Suit
This is my favourite lip product of March so far. I love it. You have to be careful not to apply too much as it can accentuate the cracks in your lips. However, two coats is perfect and one coat in itself is very opaque. It is not an expensive product either which makes it so much better and it lasts really well on the lips. I would always recommend.

Soap&Glory Sexy Motherpucker Lipstick in Blush Pink
I love love love this lipstick. It's another well-used perfect nude but is much lighter than the other nudes so is much more wearable for a very subtle, daily makeup look. I cannot commend Soap&Glory for these two nude shades enough. There are no more words. I just love them. Perfect texture, lasting power and colour. Congrats to Soap&Glory!

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed it and I love all these products so I hope you do too if you end up purchasing any of them :)

Kay xo