With only a week left of the holidays before I head off to college (sixth form), I haven't stopped thinking about it all. I've been finishing off transition tasks, making lists for equipment I need and the books I need to order. Although I am nervous, at the same time I cannot wait to begin this new part of my life. I feel like it's my chance to finally become the person I want to be and not be held back by anything in my past. I want to move forward and lead a life where I am happy and working towards the life I want to live.

Yes, I am aware that A levels mean sleepless nights, constant revision, confusion and hard work every day. However, I know that this is just the start of my journey towards becoming a doctor.
My ultimate goal is to become a children's doctor and help the children that really need help. College is my start in this journey. GCSEs are done and they are the biggest preparation towards A levels and university. I know A levels are going to be very difficult, but I do believe that if I can have faith in myself, I will do my best to succeed. Anything can happen and everything that happens is meant to happen. Two years will go by so fast, I'll soon be off to uni...scary thought but it's real. 




WHY COLLEGE IS MY NEW JOURNEY

30/08/2015

With only a week left of the holidays before I head off to college (sixth form), I haven't stopped thinking about it all. I've been finishing off transition tasks, making lists for equipment I need and the books I need to order. Although I am nervous, at the same time I cannot wait to begin this new part of my life. I feel like it's my chance to finally become the person I want to be and not be held back by anything in my past. I want to move forward and lead a life where I am happy and working towards the life I want to live.

Yes, I am aware that A levels mean sleepless nights, constant revision, confusion and hard work every day. However, I know that this is just the start of my journey towards becoming a doctor.
My ultimate goal is to become a children's doctor and help the children that really need help. College is my start in this journey. GCSEs are done and they are the biggest preparation towards A levels and university. I know A levels are going to be very difficult, but I do believe that if I can have faith in myself, I will do my best to succeed. Anything can happen and everything that happens is meant to happen. Two years will go by so fast, I'll soon be off to uni...scary thought but it's real. 




The Body Shop's Tea Tree range is one of my favourite ranges. Being a teenager, I tend to get a lot of break outs and clumps of spots appear all over my face...usually at the most inconvenient of times. We've all been there right? Obviously, there's no way to completely prevent all spots, but there are so many ways to prevent some break outs being quite so fearsome.

I use The Body Shop's Tea Tree range daily to prevent huge and horrible breakouts. It really helps to clear up my skin without the need of using many different products. Tea Tree has antibacterial benefits which helps to keep your skin clean to reduce spots. As spots are almost always caused by bacteria and dirt clogging up our pores, this range is perfect for skincare.


Out of the 4 products I have from this range, the Skin Clearing Lotion is one of my favourites for many reasons. This is the quickest product to use as you only have to dot a bit onto your face and rub it in. The other products take a little more time to use to get the full benefits. I think that is one of the main reasons that it is my favourite product from the range. It is easy to pick it up and just spread some onto my face as soon as I wake up in the morning. It takes very little 'faffing' around and my skin still reaps the benefits all day long. As I mentioned before, I also love how cooling this product is. It cools my skin perfectly. It reminds me of after sun, extra smooth and refreshing. It is fantastic because it cools really quickly by itself. None of us want to be messing around with the hair drier towards our face, frantically trying to dry our faces when we are in a bit of a rush. It is such a convenient product.

I use this product every day and night before bed and before applying makeup. It gives my skin a final cleanse to make sure that I have a clean face before sleeping or facing the day. It is a mostly clear but slightly gleamy product which doesn't show up at all on the skin. It doesn't leave my skin feeling oily or sticky at all. Unlike some products, it doesn't leave any residue. I quite often use it as a base as it doesn't prevent my makeup from applying well. As well as the Tea Tree range products being so beneficial for my skin, I also love the smell of them because they smell so fresh. This lotion is so refreshing!

The only complaint I have about this product is that it is quite small. I already know I am going to end up using it all up before the end of the next month. I guess I will just have to buy some more, what a shame *secretly already excited*.

Have you tried the Tea Tree range? Do you think you want to try the Skin Clearing Lotion?

A REVIEW: THE BODY SHOP TEA TREE SKIN CLEARING LOTION

28/08/2015

The Body Shop's Tea Tree range is one of my favourite ranges. Being a teenager, I tend to get a lot of break outs and clumps of spots appear all over my face...usually at the most inconvenient of times. We've all been there right? Obviously, there's no way to completely prevent all spots, but there are so many ways to prevent some break outs being quite so fearsome.

I use The Body Shop's Tea Tree range daily to prevent huge and horrible breakouts. It really helps to clear up my skin without the need of using many different products. Tea Tree has antibacterial benefits which helps to keep your skin clean to reduce spots. As spots are almost always caused by bacteria and dirt clogging up our pores, this range is perfect for skincare.


Out of the 4 products I have from this range, the Skin Clearing Lotion is one of my favourites for many reasons. This is the quickest product to use as you only have to dot a bit onto your face and rub it in. The other products take a little more time to use to get the full benefits. I think that is one of the main reasons that it is my favourite product from the range. It is easy to pick it up and just spread some onto my face as soon as I wake up in the morning. It takes very little 'faffing' around and my skin still reaps the benefits all day long. As I mentioned before, I also love how cooling this product is. It cools my skin perfectly. It reminds me of after sun, extra smooth and refreshing. It is fantastic because it cools really quickly by itself. None of us want to be messing around with the hair drier towards our face, frantically trying to dry our faces when we are in a bit of a rush. It is such a convenient product.

I use this product every day and night before bed and before applying makeup. It gives my skin a final cleanse to make sure that I have a clean face before sleeping or facing the day. It is a mostly clear but slightly gleamy product which doesn't show up at all on the skin. It doesn't leave my skin feeling oily or sticky at all. Unlike some products, it doesn't leave any residue. I quite often use it as a base as it doesn't prevent my makeup from applying well. As well as the Tea Tree range products being so beneficial for my skin, I also love the smell of them because they smell so fresh. This lotion is so refreshing!

The only complaint I have about this product is that it is quite small. I already know I am going to end up using it all up before the end of the next month. I guess I will just have to buy some more, what a shame *secretly already excited*.

Have you tried the Tea Tree range? Do you think you want to try the Skin Clearing Lotion?

Summer. The month in Britain when no one knows what to expect. Obviously, it's highly unlikely we will get a scorching summer, but even predicting each day's weather as you go is almost impossible. Summer is a season that gives me mixed feelings for many reasons.  

1. Unpredictable weather - the problem with what to wear. When it rains or it's dull, it's still too humid to wear a jumper, but too cold to wear a short sleeved top. We can't win. I guess layers are the best bet, but layers are for autumn and of course, we all want to save the autumn clothes for autumn. 

2. What to do with no money. This is one of the biggest problems every summer. All of the places to visit are so expensive and I kind of begrudge paying the extortionate prices. Even the cinema costs almost £9 for an adult now. It's ridiculous. Bring in the free activities please! 

3. The nice weather never stays when I need it to. It's just sod's law that it'll be sunny when I am working, but torrential rain when I have a day off. And then when it does rain on days off, what can I do? Only option is spending money in some inside place somewhere; either way I have lost out. 

10 FEELINGS ABOUT SUMMER

26/08/2015


Summer. The month in Britain when no one knows what to expect. Obviously, it's highly unlikely we will get a scorching summer, but even predicting each day's weather as you go is almost impossible. Summer is a season that gives me mixed feelings for many reasons.  

1. Unpredictable weather - the problem with what to wear. When it rains or it's dull, it's still too humid to wear a jumper, but too cold to wear a short sleeved top. We can't win. I guess layers are the best bet, but layers are for autumn and of course, we all want to save the autumn clothes for autumn. 

2. What to do with no money. This is one of the biggest problems every summer. All of the places to visit are so expensive and I kind of begrudge paying the extortionate prices. Even the cinema costs almost £9 for an adult now. It's ridiculous. Bring in the free activities please! 

3. The nice weather never stays when I need it to. It's just sod's law that it'll be sunny when I am working, but torrential rain when I have a day off. And then when it does rain on days off, what can I do? Only option is spending money in some inside place somewhere; either way I have lost out. 


Lush is without a doubt one of my top 5 brands for skincare and bath/shower products. Although I do not actually tend to spend that much in Lush, I love to grab a few of their products to treat myself now and then. I find that I don't actually need to buy much from them as their products tend to last me quite a while (except the bath bombs obviously). I love their little pots and I absolutely love the idea of recycling them, so environmentally friendly and it's just such a good idea. As well as that, who doesn't want a free face mask upon returning 5 pots? It's ingenious, especially for people like me who just love face masks! Lush is just one of those shops that I can't avoid. How can anyone stay away from a shop that smells so yummy?

I bought these two products a little while back, one back in January (in London, Oxford Street) and one back at the beginning of July, at my blogger meet up in Taunton. I was convinced to buy the hand cream because it was for a charity for sea-life animals and when it comes to caring for animals, I always put in my donation if I can. I love animals and if one small thing I do can help them, then why not? It's not really setting me back much (only £6.95). The Mask Of Magnaminty was a product I had heard loads about and I just had to try. I can't not buy a product that everyone is talking about.

I have had these products for a little while now and I have had chance to try them out several times. I have so much to say about them, so I will get started now.

BRAND FOCUS: LUSH REVIEW

23/08/2015


Lush is without a doubt one of my top 5 brands for skincare and bath/shower products. Although I do not actually tend to spend that much in Lush, I love to grab a few of their products to treat myself now and then. I find that I don't actually need to buy much from them as their products tend to last me quite a while (except the bath bombs obviously). I love their little pots and I absolutely love the idea of recycling them, so environmentally friendly and it's just such a good idea. As well as that, who doesn't want a free face mask upon returning 5 pots? It's ingenious, especially for people like me who just love face masks! Lush is just one of those shops that I can't avoid. How can anyone stay away from a shop that smells so yummy?

I bought these two products a little while back, one back in January (in London, Oxford Street) and one back at the beginning of July, at my blogger meet up in Taunton. I was convinced to buy the hand cream because it was for a charity for sea-life animals and when it comes to caring for animals, I always put in my donation if I can. I love animals and if one small thing I do can help them, then why not? It's not really setting me back much (only £6.95). The Mask Of Magnaminty was a product I had heard loads about and I just had to try. I can't not buy a product that everyone is talking about.

I have had these products for a little while now and I have had chance to try them out several times. I have so much to say about them, so I will get started now.





Before I discovered this Argan Oil product, I wasn't even aware that there was such product as a hair mask. Of course, I knew about the face mask, but a mask for hair? I had no idea. I know you're probably wondering where I have been to not know there was hair masks, but I first discovered this product back about a year and a few months ago when I was quite new to blogging and some beauty products. I haven't had this product for over a year, I have repurchased it many times because I love it so much.

You're probably sat thinking, hmm Argan Oil is expensive, I wonder how much this is. I actually buy this product from Poundland. Yes, Poundland. When I first saw this I was thinking, hmm, is this really Argan Oil, or just a cheap, bad quality product? But then I thought, surely they can't say it is Argan Oil if it's not? To this day, I still don't actually know if it is genuine or not. But either way, it has been brilliant for my hair, so I am not going to complain. I took a risk and I am glad I did.

REVIEW: ARGAN OIL HYDRATING HAIR MASK

21/08/2015





Before I discovered this Argan Oil product, I wasn't even aware that there was such product as a hair mask. Of course, I knew about the face mask, but a mask for hair? I had no idea. I know you're probably wondering where I have been to not know there was hair masks, but I first discovered this product back about a year and a few months ago when I was quite new to blogging and some beauty products. I haven't had this product for over a year, I have repurchased it many times because I love it so much.

You're probably sat thinking, hmm Argan Oil is expensive, I wonder how much this is. I actually buy this product from Poundland. Yes, Poundland. When I first saw this I was thinking, hmm, is this really Argan Oil, or just a cheap, bad quality product? But then I thought, surely they can't say it is Argan Oil if it's not? To this day, I still don't actually know if it is genuine or not. But either way, it has been brilliant for my hair, so I am not going to complain. I took a risk and I am glad I did.

Now, I have to admit that I am a bit of a bodyshopaholic (see what I did there?). But, can you really blame me? Of course not! In fact, if you can build up the strength to pull yourself away from The Body Shop, you are one up on me in terms of self-discipline. The Boy Shop has like a magnet effect on me, I just can't stay away. Anyway, over the past few months, I have managed to collect a whole range of different products ranging from their makeup range to their skincare range. And, yes, I have bought even more products from them recently, but this was at a discounted rate, so that makes it okay, right? Maybe not, but it does in my mind.

Seeing as they bought out the new Vitamin C range recently, I thought I would try it. I only bought one product from that range (the Skin Reviver) as I have similar products from other ranges (I had to tell myself I don't need it until I use the other products). Vitamin C is good for revitalizing the skin to bring back the glow - a bit like the 'post-holiday glow' we all love. I definitely had to try this out on my dull and lifeless looking under-eyes. When I first used this product, I fell in love with the scent. It is like a mandarin/orangey tangy scent; just absolutely gorgeous and reminds me of summer! It can also be used as a primer, which I can imagine gives amazing skin benefits. The actual formula itself is quite silky and smooth and it leaves a quite smooth, slightly oily residue which gradually soaks in to the skin. I can't wait to see the results.

BODY SHOP HAUL: FIRST IMPRESSIONS

19/08/2015

Now, I have to admit that I am a bit of a bodyshopaholic (see what I did there?). But, can you really blame me? Of course not! In fact, if you can build up the strength to pull yourself away from The Body Shop, you are one up on me in terms of self-discipline. The Boy Shop has like a magnet effect on me, I just can't stay away. Anyway, over the past few months, I have managed to collect a whole range of different products ranging from their makeup range to their skincare range. And, yes, I have bought even more products from them recently, but this was at a discounted rate, so that makes it okay, right? Maybe not, but it does in my mind.

Seeing as they bought out the new Vitamin C range recently, I thought I would try it. I only bought one product from that range (the Skin Reviver) as I have similar products from other ranges (I had to tell myself I don't need it until I use the other products). Vitamin C is good for revitalizing the skin to bring back the glow - a bit like the 'post-holiday glow' we all love. I definitely had to try this out on my dull and lifeless looking under-eyes. When I first used this product, I fell in love with the scent. It is like a mandarin/orangey tangy scent; just absolutely gorgeous and reminds me of summer! It can also be used as a primer, which I can imagine gives amazing skin benefits. The actual formula itself is quite silky and smooth and it leaves a quite smooth, slightly oily residue which gradually soaks in to the skin. I can't wait to see the results.


When it comes to your life and your happiness, it's only you that has full control. People will try to change your mind, lead you off in a different path, show you different ways and send you off in to storms, but you ultimately control that. You are the one that says 'yes, I will try that' or 'no, that's not for me'. Life is about finding your happiness, and finding your path in life. Not everything is for everyone.

This topic came into my head while I was thinking about university this week. It's so exciting to see all of my amazing and wonderful friends (in the blogging world, and 'real' world) heading off to uni, but it brings me to think, is everyone made for uni? This leads me on to the thought of how different path ways in life take us to different places. We have to choose which way to lead and we have to take the first step because we guide our own life. We have to walk on with our heads held high, in the hope that we have made a good, or the right choice. I guess that can seem quite daunting, but for me it gives me a feeling of adventure and an ability to explore different experiences. I mean, let's face it, you can't actually go wrong with life. You can get anywhere you want by following different paths. If it takes you longer to get somewhere, then so be it. You'll gain experience while you're working your way there. A different path doesn't mean you can't or won't get somewhere.

SELF-LOVE SUNDAY: LEADING YOUR OWN HAPPINESS

16/08/2015


When it comes to your life and your happiness, it's only you that has full control. People will try to change your mind, lead you off in a different path, show you different ways and send you off in to storms, but you ultimately control that. You are the one that says 'yes, I will try that' or 'no, that's not for me'. Life is about finding your happiness, and finding your path in life. Not everything is for everyone.

This topic came into my head while I was thinking about university this week. It's so exciting to see all of my amazing and wonderful friends (in the blogging world, and 'real' world) heading off to uni, but it brings me to think, is everyone made for uni? This leads me on to the thought of how different path ways in life take us to different places. We have to choose which way to lead and we have to take the first step because we guide our own life. We have to walk on with our heads held high, in the hope that we have made a good, or the right choice. I guess that can seem quite daunting, but for me it gives me a feeling of adventure and an ability to explore different experiences. I mean, let's face it, you can't actually go wrong with life. You can get anywhere you want by following different paths. If it takes you longer to get somewhere, then so be it. You'll gain experience while you're working your way there. A different path doesn't mean you can't or won't get somewhere.





It is very unusual to find my bedroom completely free of bath products, especially bath bombs. I am definitely a bit of a collector of cute bath bombs; you'll find me collecting them from a huge range of different places. I even managed to pick some up from a small market on holiday (queue the ones on the plate). I am a massive magnet to bath products. 

I first discovered Bomb Cosmetics back about two years ago at a little event my Nan held. At this time they weren't as well-known. I tried some of their smaller and larger bath bombs then, and I loved them. Sadly, after that I wasn't really sure where I could find them as I don't think they have any stores yet (don't hold me to it, I could be wrong). Anyway, while I was on holiday recently, I rediscovered some of their products, even some I had never tried. Of course, as you can imagine, my eyes widened and I couldn't resist; I just had to buy some. So I popped over to the little table and after about 10 minutes of looking in awe, trying to choose a few products (absolute torture I may have you know), I picked up a few things. 

When I first touched these products, the first thing that caught my attention was the absolutely gorgeous fruity scents that they gave off. I was just wandering around a shop when a fruity waft came past, sounds like a fantasy doesn't it? It was in my eyes. No matter how much people told me I didn't need any bath products, I was always going to crumble and splash out. I mean, it is my utopia after all. Just imagine a world full of bath products and bubble baths? Heaven! 

Although I have only had these products for about two weeks, I have already used the majority of them (with the exception of one soap bar). I have so much to say about them, I thought, why not review them and share my love? So here we are. 

Caiperina and ICandy Soap Slice
I have to admit, when I first saw the soap bar counter, I did wonder what on earth it was. At first I thought it was some sort of rock collection but then I couldn't work it out because they smelt so sweet. Obviously, when I picked them up I knew they were soaps (I mean, they would have been very weird rocks, but you never know). These soap bars have absolutely awesome designs...I mean look at them, have you ever seen a soap so pretty? Personally, my favourite is the Caiperina soap bar (the orange/red one) but the ICandy one smells beautiful, so I picked that one up too. These soaps are super soft which leaves your skin feeling great. I have had far too many soaps that have left my skin feeling dry like a shriveled raisin, but these are just amazing! I have super sensitive skin when it comes to soaps, so these will almost definitely be perfect for any skin type. I also find that they make a really good lather - especially on a sponge. I can imagine they will last a little while because I didn't need to use as much soap compared to some other brands.

Finally, the scents...they are just amazing! The Icandy one, as you can guess, smells of sweet candy...doesn't take a genius to work that one out. The scent is made up on Brazillian Lime and Grapefruit essential oils, which combines to make a perfectly fruity scent. The Caiperina soap is made with pure clary sage and bergamot essential oils, also providing softening products for the skin. Since I have started using them I have had a few people ask what perfume I am wearing, often when wearing none. The scents linger for hours after use. 

Flutter By Butterfly Bath Blaster
Flutter By Butterfly, what a cute name to match a cute little bath bomb. I love the little butterfly and green leaf added to this bath bomb. The colours are also absolutely gorgeous, they remind me of the plants and flowers that you find butterflies around in the summer time. To add to the appearance, this bath bomb also smells divine. It is described perfectly as 'A juicy combination of fresh apples and sweet cherries to create an explosion of fruity scents'. It is a fruity heaven. It reminds me of my younger days using sweet shampoos. There's nothing like the feeling of nostalgia! The scent lingers for hours after use but it is only subtle, not too overpowering like some can be. Upon using this product, it fizzed away (is that even a word?) really fast, oozing out bubbles everywhere. It leaves the bath a light green colour, which is different from other bath bombs I have used. The leaf is more soap-like and so lasts longer than the rest of the bath bomb, but otherwise, there is not much residue left behind after use which is handy because who wants to be washing the bath down with the shower head after?

Another thing I love about this bath blaster is that they provide a coating around it. I love this because it stops discolouring as much as it would if it didn't have a plastic layer on. It also prevents it getting wet accidentally and allows for more extravagant designs (which is always a bonus). I also love the fact that this product has coco butter inside which explodes out when the product fizzes away. It leaves your skin feeling very soft and pampered which we all love after a long soak in the bath. 

Overall, I can say that these products have definitely got a thumbs up from me. They are also a relatively cheap brand (website here), so it is a shame they don't have their own stores. Also, these products are suitable for vegans which makes smile A LOT! I love cruelty free products and I am planning a future vegan lifestyle. I will definitely be purchasing more from them in the future.

Have you tried Bomb Cosmetics?

DISCLAIMER: The products in this post were not gifted, they were bought from my own money. This is also not a sponsored post and it holds my honest opinions. 

BOMB COSMETICS: BATH PRODUCTS REVIEW

14/08/2015





It is very unusual to find my bedroom completely free of bath products, especially bath bombs. I am definitely a bit of a collector of cute bath bombs; you'll find me collecting them from a huge range of different places. I even managed to pick some up from a small market on holiday (queue the ones on the plate). I am a massive magnet to bath products. 

I first discovered Bomb Cosmetics back about two years ago at a little event my Nan held. At this time they weren't as well-known. I tried some of their smaller and larger bath bombs then, and I loved them. Sadly, after that I wasn't really sure where I could find them as I don't think they have any stores yet (don't hold me to it, I could be wrong). Anyway, while I was on holiday recently, I rediscovered some of their products, even some I had never tried. Of course, as you can imagine, my eyes widened and I couldn't resist; I just had to buy some. So I popped over to the little table and after about 10 minutes of looking in awe, trying to choose a few products (absolute torture I may have you know), I picked up a few things. 

When I first touched these products, the first thing that caught my attention was the absolutely gorgeous fruity scents that they gave off. I was just wandering around a shop when a fruity waft came past, sounds like a fantasy doesn't it? It was in my eyes. No matter how much people told me I didn't need any bath products, I was always going to crumble and splash out. I mean, it is my utopia after all. Just imagine a world full of bath products and bubble baths? Heaven! 

Although I have only had these products for about two weeks, I have already used the majority of them (with the exception of one soap bar). I have so much to say about them, I thought, why not review them and share my love? So here we are. 

Caiperina and ICandy Soap Slice
I have to admit, when I first saw the soap bar counter, I did wonder what on earth it was. At first I thought it was some sort of rock collection but then I couldn't work it out because they smelt so sweet. Obviously, when I picked them up I knew they were soaps (I mean, they would have been very weird rocks, but you never know). These soap bars have absolutely awesome designs...I mean look at them, have you ever seen a soap so pretty? Personally, my favourite is the Caiperina soap bar (the orange/red one) but the ICandy one smells beautiful, so I picked that one up too. These soaps are super soft which leaves your skin feeling great. I have had far too many soaps that have left my skin feeling dry like a shriveled raisin, but these are just amazing! I have super sensitive skin when it comes to soaps, so these will almost definitely be perfect for any skin type. I also find that they make a really good lather - especially on a sponge. I can imagine they will last a little while because I didn't need to use as much soap compared to some other brands.

Finally, the scents...they are just amazing! The Icandy one, as you can guess, smells of sweet candy...doesn't take a genius to work that one out. The scent is made up on Brazillian Lime and Grapefruit essential oils, which combines to make a perfectly fruity scent. The Caiperina soap is made with pure clary sage and bergamot essential oils, also providing softening products for the skin. Since I have started using them I have had a few people ask what perfume I am wearing, often when wearing none. The scents linger for hours after use. 

Flutter By Butterfly Bath Blaster
Flutter By Butterfly, what a cute name to match a cute little bath bomb. I love the little butterfly and green leaf added to this bath bomb. The colours are also absolutely gorgeous, they remind me of the plants and flowers that you find butterflies around in the summer time. To add to the appearance, this bath bomb also smells divine. It is described perfectly as 'A juicy combination of fresh apples and sweet cherries to create an explosion of fruity scents'. It is a fruity heaven. It reminds me of my younger days using sweet shampoos. There's nothing like the feeling of nostalgia! The scent lingers for hours after use but it is only subtle, not too overpowering like some can be. Upon using this product, it fizzed away (is that even a word?) really fast, oozing out bubbles everywhere. It leaves the bath a light green colour, which is different from other bath bombs I have used. The leaf is more soap-like and so lasts longer than the rest of the bath bomb, but otherwise, there is not much residue left behind after use which is handy because who wants to be washing the bath down with the shower head after?

Another thing I love about this bath blaster is that they provide a coating around it. I love this because it stops discolouring as much as it would if it didn't have a plastic layer on. It also prevents it getting wet accidentally and allows for more extravagant designs (which is always a bonus). I also love the fact that this product has coco butter inside which explodes out when the product fizzes away. It leaves your skin feeling very soft and pampered which we all love after a long soak in the bath. 

Overall, I can say that these products have definitely got a thumbs up from me. They are also a relatively cheap brand (website here), so it is a shame they don't have their own stores. Also, these products are suitable for vegans which makes smile A LOT! I love cruelty free products and I am planning a future vegan lifestyle. I will definitely be purchasing more from them in the future.

Have you tried Bomb Cosmetics?

DISCLAIMER: The products in this post were not gifted, they were bought from my own money. This is also not a sponsored post and it holds my honest opinions. 


I often find myself wondering whether paying a little more money for a product is worth it or not. You always get the brands that are expensive, brands that are cheap and cheerful, but also brands that are as to say 'naff'. Obviously, until you try the different brands, you don't really see the full potential of a certain product and without trying, you cannot say which is better. With nail polish you get brands such as OPI (high priced), Sinful Colors (middle priced) and MUA (low priced). I have been testing these different brands for about two months now, to figure out whether it is really worth paying the sometimes extortionate prices for the 'better' brands, or whether you're just as well off with the cheap and cheerful brands.

Summer is definitely the season that takes the biggest tole on my nail polish. Summer walks, adventures and of course hitting the shops in the summer can definitely change the condition of my nail polish in a day. I have collected a few shades of OPI, Sinful Colors and MUA nail polishes to test them out during the summer months.

MUA
As we all know, MUA is the one of the cheapest nail polish brands out there, retailing at only £1 for 6.2ml. Although it is very cheap, I think this is definitely reflected in the amount of product and the quality of the product. Due to there being only 6.2ml of product, it doesn't last very long. The formula also isn't the best; I find it often chips and due to it being a very thin formula, I find that I need to paint on a lot of coats for it to provide a full coverage. I also found that it can easily get pushed back from the tip of the nail by every day jobs, which we all know isn't a good look at all. Especially not when we are relying on good nails for Instagram aesthetics (I know you get me). One last thing that doesn't impress me much about this brand is the small range of colours available; it's very limited.

Now, after complaining for a whole paragraph, believe it or not, there are actually still some things to comment on (and these are good). I quite like the applicator brush; it is decent for such a cheap brand. I think it could improve, but at this price, it did impress me. Applicators are important - everyone has had the dreadful experience of a bad nail polish applicator, right? As well as that, the formula is great for when you are in that dreaded last minute panic (e.g. wearing sandals unplanned) and you need your polish to dry quickly. Being a thin forumla, it dries very fast.

Sinful Colors 
Sinful Colors is one of those 'cheap and cheerful' brands that I adore. Although these types of brands still have faults, they are brilliant for a cheap and every day product. I don't think Sinful Colors are available in UK stores anymore (used to be sold in Boots), but I had to include them in this post as they are definitely one of my favourite brands. I think you can still get them from Amazon and they are still available in America (for my American readers). If I remember right, they retailed at £1.99 per bottle and I think also 3 for £5. I quite often found myself picking up 3 because I could never resist the deal.

One thing that I adored about this brand was the range of colours and styles (they have glittery, eeek). I never had any problems with these chipping or moving on the nail at all. I remember making ombre looks with these polishes as well; they have some beautiful summery colours. They are so well pigmented and you don't need any more than 2 coats for full coverage. Being a 15ml bottle also means that they are super long-lasting. I loved everything about Sinful Colors apart from the applicator, which wasn't always that great. The formula was also a little more 'gloopy' compared to MUA and OPI. Apart from that, it is a brilliant and affordable brand. I was definitely very sad when I discovered I could no longer buy Sinful Colors in the UK.

OPI
OPI is definitely the most expensive brand that I own. I'm not sure whether this is because I refuse to pay any more for nail polish, or whether I am happy enough with the drugstore brands (like Barry M and Sinful Colors). At about £7.99 a bottle, OPI is quite expensive, but some people would say that it is worth this price tag. Providing 15ml of product is definitely a plus side, but I would definitely expect more product at this price. Being a larger bottle, in comparison with MUA, clearly it'll last longer. But, for £1.99 you can get the same amount of product with Sinful Colors. This is when we really question whether it's worth paying more.

One thing that did impress me was OPI's large range of colours and styles (different ranges) of nail polish, which allows for a lot of choice, causing a nightmare when you're trying to choose a shade (we all know that situation). The formula of OPI nail polishes are also very sleek and easy to spread onto the nails. Along with the brush applicator - which is absolutely heavenly - it is so pleasing painting nails with OPI. I love the formula for many reasons - it doesn't chip easily, easy to spread, highly pigmented (only requires 1-2 coats) and as it is quite a shiny formula, is doesn't desperately need a top coat. The only complaint I have about OPI is the fact that it does often move from the tip of my nails quite easily. Other than that, OPI is a brilliant brand (but I would expect it for their price tag).

So, I would definitely say that it does pay to find that bit more money when it comes to buying nail polish. Although, sometimes you can find a brand in the mid range that is just as good as the high priced brands. I will definitely always rely on Barry M (and Sinful Colors) as I have never had a problem with them. But when it comes to the really cheap brands, I do tend to avoid them unless I am only looking for a quick product that I won't use much (e.g. for nail art designs). OPI is a brand that I only tend to buy when treating myself, as I do actually like Sinful Colors and Barry M just as well, and why spend more money if you don't need to?

Do you think it pays to spend a little more on nail polish? 

NAIL POLISH: IS IT WORTH PAYING MORE?

12/08/2015



I often find myself wondering whether paying a little more money for a product is worth it or not. You always get the brands that are expensive, brands that are cheap and cheerful, but also brands that are as to say 'naff'. Obviously, until you try the different brands, you don't really see the full potential of a certain product and without trying, you cannot say which is better. With nail polish you get brands such as OPI (high priced), Sinful Colors (middle priced) and MUA (low priced). I have been testing these different brands for about two months now, to figure out whether it is really worth paying the sometimes extortionate prices for the 'better' brands, or whether you're just as well off with the cheap and cheerful brands.

Summer is definitely the season that takes the biggest tole on my nail polish. Summer walks, adventures and of course hitting the shops in the summer can definitely change the condition of my nail polish in a day. I have collected a few shades of OPI, Sinful Colors and MUA nail polishes to test them out during the summer months.

MUA
As we all know, MUA is the one of the cheapest nail polish brands out there, retailing at only £1 for 6.2ml. Although it is very cheap, I think this is definitely reflected in the amount of product and the quality of the product. Due to there being only 6.2ml of product, it doesn't last very long. The formula also isn't the best; I find it often chips and due to it being a very thin formula, I find that I need to paint on a lot of coats for it to provide a full coverage. I also found that it can easily get pushed back from the tip of the nail by every day jobs, which we all know isn't a good look at all. Especially not when we are relying on good nails for Instagram aesthetics (I know you get me). One last thing that doesn't impress me much about this brand is the small range of colours available; it's very limited.

Now, after complaining for a whole paragraph, believe it or not, there are actually still some things to comment on (and these are good). I quite like the applicator brush; it is decent for such a cheap brand. I think it could improve, but at this price, it did impress me. Applicators are important - everyone has had the dreadful experience of a bad nail polish applicator, right? As well as that, the formula is great for when you are in that dreaded last minute panic (e.g. wearing sandals unplanned) and you need your polish to dry quickly. Being a thin forumla, it dries very fast.

Sinful Colors 
Sinful Colors is one of those 'cheap and cheerful' brands that I adore. Although these types of brands still have faults, they are brilliant for a cheap and every day product. I don't think Sinful Colors are available in UK stores anymore (used to be sold in Boots), but I had to include them in this post as they are definitely one of my favourite brands. I think you can still get them from Amazon and they are still available in America (for my American readers). If I remember right, they retailed at £1.99 per bottle and I think also 3 for £5. I quite often found myself picking up 3 because I could never resist the deal.

One thing that I adored about this brand was the range of colours and styles (they have glittery, eeek). I never had any problems with these chipping or moving on the nail at all. I remember making ombre looks with these polishes as well; they have some beautiful summery colours. They are so well pigmented and you don't need any more than 2 coats for full coverage. Being a 15ml bottle also means that they are super long-lasting. I loved everything about Sinful Colors apart from the applicator, which wasn't always that great. The formula was also a little more 'gloopy' compared to MUA and OPI. Apart from that, it is a brilliant and affordable brand. I was definitely very sad when I discovered I could no longer buy Sinful Colors in the UK.

OPI
OPI is definitely the most expensive brand that I own. I'm not sure whether this is because I refuse to pay any more for nail polish, or whether I am happy enough with the drugstore brands (like Barry M and Sinful Colors). At about £7.99 a bottle, OPI is quite expensive, but some people would say that it is worth this price tag. Providing 15ml of product is definitely a plus side, but I would definitely expect more product at this price. Being a larger bottle, in comparison with MUA, clearly it'll last longer. But, for £1.99 you can get the same amount of product with Sinful Colors. This is when we really question whether it's worth paying more.

One thing that did impress me was OPI's large range of colours and styles (different ranges) of nail polish, which allows for a lot of choice, causing a nightmare when you're trying to choose a shade (we all know that situation). The formula of OPI nail polishes are also very sleek and easy to spread onto the nails. Along with the brush applicator - which is absolutely heavenly - it is so pleasing painting nails with OPI. I love the formula for many reasons - it doesn't chip easily, easy to spread, highly pigmented (only requires 1-2 coats) and as it is quite a shiny formula, is doesn't desperately need a top coat. The only complaint I have about OPI is the fact that it does often move from the tip of my nails quite easily. Other than that, OPI is a brilliant brand (but I would expect it for their price tag).

So, I would definitely say that it does pay to find that bit more money when it comes to buying nail polish. Although, sometimes you can find a brand in the mid range that is just as good as the high priced brands. I will definitely always rely on Barry M (and Sinful Colors) as I have never had a problem with them. But when it comes to the really cheap brands, I do tend to avoid them unless I am only looking for a quick product that I won't use much (e.g. for nail art designs). OPI is a brand that I only tend to buy when treating myself, as I do actually like Sinful Colors and Barry M just as well, and why spend more money if you don't need to?

Do you think it pays to spend a little more on nail polish? 


Now, I know that as humans, it is natural to compare ourselves to others, but, let's admit it, it is a habit that does none of us any good. Of course, most of us know this. It seems stupid to compare ourselves to someone who is totally different from us in DNA, appearance and personality, but that doesn't mean we don't. The problem with comparing ourselves with others is that we knock ourselves down for not looking or being like that person too. But, the truth is that we shouldn't be, or want to be like someone else. We are all completely different people, and variation is necessary.

When we compare ourselves to others, we look at their 'versions' of the things that we hate about ourselves. Quite often, our minds trick us into thinking that anyone would look better than we do ourselves. We don't see their imperfections like they do because we don't look into as much detail as their mind does. In reality, we all dislike a part of ourselves and no, we are not perfect. We all have flaws and it is just the way that we are. But, often these flaws are so small that people will barely notice them, only we notice them.

There is not much we can do about our flaws, except learn to deal with being imperfect. That is so important. Of course, we can sometimes change how we look, but this can sometimes cause disaster. For example, in extreme cases, some people may develop eating disorders and become very obsessive of how they look, to change the thing they hate. It is not worth that amount of heart break and mental pain. Eating disorders are not choices but they may be prevented if we can learn to live with imperfections. On the other hand, some times this can result in happiness. For example, when people lose weight and tone up, becoming more body-confident and happier than ever (thankfully me at the moment). I guess the problem is that we fear anyone noticing our imperfections, but truthfully, I am almost certain that it is only us that can see our flaws so prominently.

I say this because there is proof that we don't always see the flaws that other people may see. When our friends say things like 'oh I have a horrible blah blah blah' we almost always can't see what they are talking about. This is often because that flaw isn't actually there. Our minds blow our imperfections right up to make them seem like massive problems, when they really aren't noticeable. We need to begin to look at ourselves and think about what we love about ourselves, instead of the opposite. Yes, that is so much harder to do, but is it impossible? No, it isn't.

We need to train ourselves to look at our own bodies like we would anyone else. When we meet new people, we don't think 'oh look at her big chin' or 'look how big her thighs are', we quite often look straight to the face and think 'wow they are really good looking' or 'aww she's pretty'. Sadly, that's when we go on to compare ourselves to them. Don't you just wish we could stop this before it happens? Like I have said before, if you spent every living hour with someone, you would begin to see their imperfections too. Most people will not see the things that you think are your 'imperfections' because 1) they don't look in such detail or 2) they don't exist (your mind tricks you into thinking they do).

Next time you look at yourself in a mirror, think about one or two things that you love about yourself and keep that in your mind. Smile and then walk away and get on with your day. Learn to be okay with imperfection. It's okay to not be perfect. Try to change the way you feel about yourself, put your little flaws to the back of your mind and concentrate on making yourself more confident, not on bullying yourself into self-hatred. Be kind to yourself, you deserve it!

SELF-LOVE SUNDAY: STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS

09/08/2015



Now, I know that as humans, it is natural to compare ourselves to others, but, let's admit it, it is a habit that does none of us any good. Of course, most of us know this. It seems stupid to compare ourselves to someone who is totally different from us in DNA, appearance and personality, but that doesn't mean we don't. The problem with comparing ourselves with others is that we knock ourselves down for not looking or being like that person too. But, the truth is that we shouldn't be, or want to be like someone else. We are all completely different people, and variation is necessary.

When we compare ourselves to others, we look at their 'versions' of the things that we hate about ourselves. Quite often, our minds trick us into thinking that anyone would look better than we do ourselves. We don't see their imperfections like they do because we don't look into as much detail as their mind does. In reality, we all dislike a part of ourselves and no, we are not perfect. We all have flaws and it is just the way that we are. But, often these flaws are so small that people will barely notice them, only we notice them.

There is not much we can do about our flaws, except learn to deal with being imperfect. That is so important. Of course, we can sometimes change how we look, but this can sometimes cause disaster. For example, in extreme cases, some people may develop eating disorders and become very obsessive of how they look, to change the thing they hate. It is not worth that amount of heart break and mental pain. Eating disorders are not choices but they may be prevented if we can learn to live with imperfections. On the other hand, some times this can result in happiness. For example, when people lose weight and tone up, becoming more body-confident and happier than ever (thankfully me at the moment). I guess the problem is that we fear anyone noticing our imperfections, but truthfully, I am almost certain that it is only us that can see our flaws so prominently.

I say this because there is proof that we don't always see the flaws that other people may see. When our friends say things like 'oh I have a horrible blah blah blah' we almost always can't see what they are talking about. This is often because that flaw isn't actually there. Our minds blow our imperfections right up to make them seem like massive problems, when they really aren't noticeable. We need to begin to look at ourselves and think about what we love about ourselves, instead of the opposite. Yes, that is so much harder to do, but is it impossible? No, it isn't.

We need to train ourselves to look at our own bodies like we would anyone else. When we meet new people, we don't think 'oh look at her big chin' or 'look how big her thighs are', we quite often look straight to the face and think 'wow they are really good looking' or 'aww she's pretty'. Sadly, that's when we go on to compare ourselves to them. Don't you just wish we could stop this before it happens? Like I have said before, if you spent every living hour with someone, you would begin to see their imperfections too. Most people will not see the things that you think are your 'imperfections' because 1) they don't look in such detail or 2) they don't exist (your mind tricks you into thinking they do).

Next time you look at yourself in a mirror, think about one or two things that you love about yourself and keep that in your mind. Smile and then walk away and get on with your day. Learn to be okay with imperfection. It's okay to not be perfect. Try to change the way you feel about yourself, put your little flaws to the back of your mind and concentrate on making yourself more confident, not on bullying yourself into self-hatred. Be kind to yourself, you deserve it!








For a while I have been eyeing up some Doc Marten sandals which are £90. Now, I know you're probably thinking something along the lines of  'that's a lot of money for a pair of sandals' but DMs are brilliant quality shoes. However, as soon as I saw these sandals in Office, I knew I was better off with these (price wise). As you can imagine, I was a lot happier seeing the price label on these compared to the Doc Martens. Of course, you pay for the quality, but with the British summer being of somewhat a flash-flood of sun (and rain), I thought I might as well go for the cheaper option. Plus, the quality of these sandals is also amazing; I cannot fault them. 

These sandals have brilliant soles! They are extra thick; adding to the comfort and appearance. The side of the soles have a slight blip that goes up which I love because it makes it all that more comfortable. I have managed to go on coastal walks in these shoes. And yes, before you ask, I did risk trekking up cliffs with sandals on. The soles of the shoes are a bouncy rubber material, so they are great for walking in. The strap at the back of the sandal provides the support. These sandals are adapted to many people as you can change the tightness of the strap. I have found that if they are too tight they cause quite a bit of pain, so you do need to secure them suitably. The little buckle on the side also adds more detail which I really like as the sandals themselves are quite simplistic. 

I paid £38 for these sandals, which I think is a decent price as they are good quality. Everything seems very well attached by secure stitching. The sandal material, PU leather, is of very high quality and is very durable. This type of leather is brilliant as it can be easily cleaned, it is waterproof and it is also very sturdy. Brilliant for wearing to the beach for a paddle in the sea. Overall, they are the most supporting and well-designed sandals I have ever purchased. I would definitely recommend these sandals if you are looking for a supportive, comfy, simplistic, and everyday sandal. 



I must also say that I am not one to get my feet out often, but I really like these because they still have a few straps that cover your feet. Clearly, they provide more support and coverage than the normal flipflop style sandals and are also 10 times comfier. I am not a fan of the average sandal/flipflop because I require more support and I prefer thicker soles, as I have quite sensitive feet. These sandals are definitely perfect for what I was on the look out for. I cannot wait to wear them more when the sun finally decides to come out for a few weeks. But, to be honest, I am not expecting much of a pick up, I mean, I do live in Britain after all.

What do you think about my sandals? 

THE SUMMER DOUBLE STRAP SLING SANDALS

05/08/2015









For a while I have been eyeing up some Doc Marten sandals which are £90. Now, I know you're probably thinking something along the lines of  'that's a lot of money for a pair of sandals' but DMs are brilliant quality shoes. However, as soon as I saw these sandals in Office, I knew I was better off with these (price wise). As you can imagine, I was a lot happier seeing the price label on these compared to the Doc Martens. Of course, you pay for the quality, but with the British summer being of somewhat a flash-flood of sun (and rain), I thought I might as well go for the cheaper option. Plus, the quality of these sandals is also amazing; I cannot fault them. 

These sandals have brilliant soles! They are extra thick; adding to the comfort and appearance. The side of the soles have a slight blip that goes up which I love because it makes it all that more comfortable. I have managed to go on coastal walks in these shoes. And yes, before you ask, I did risk trekking up cliffs with sandals on. The soles of the shoes are a bouncy rubber material, so they are great for walking in. The strap at the back of the sandal provides the support. These sandals are adapted to many people as you can change the tightness of the strap. I have found that if they are too tight they cause quite a bit of pain, so you do need to secure them suitably. The little buckle on the side also adds more detail which I really like as the sandals themselves are quite simplistic. 

I paid £38 for these sandals, which I think is a decent price as they are good quality. Everything seems very well attached by secure stitching. The sandal material, PU leather, is of very high quality and is very durable. This type of leather is brilliant as it can be easily cleaned, it is waterproof and it is also very sturdy. Brilliant for wearing to the beach for a paddle in the sea. Overall, they are the most supporting and well-designed sandals I have ever purchased. I would definitely recommend these sandals if you are looking for a supportive, comfy, simplistic, and everyday sandal. 



I must also say that I am not one to get my feet out often, but I really like these because they still have a few straps that cover your feet. Clearly, they provide more support and coverage than the normal flipflop style sandals and are also 10 times comfier. I am not a fan of the average sandal/flipflop because I require more support and I prefer thicker soles, as I have quite sensitive feet. These sandals are definitely perfect for what I was on the look out for. I cannot wait to wear them more when the sun finally decides to come out for a few weeks. But, to be honest, I am not expecting much of a pick up, I mean, I do live in Britain after all.

What do you think about my sandals? 
It's not always easy to remain strong, when all you can think about is how weak you feel inside. It's not always easy to get out of bed in the morning because you know that what the day brings is challenging. You know that anything can hit a past wound and tear it open again, causing the mental pain that you thought you had escaped. Mental illnesses are challenging, limiting and life-threatening. They are like any other disease, except there is no cure. Medication and therapies don't cure depression, they just try to help you cope with it. The worst part is knowing that it is your own brain that is causing such severe unhappiness. It's knowing that you are almost doing this to yourself, but you can't do much to change it. It's the not knowing what to do, who to go to or why to get help, or whether you want help at all. It is the feeling of being alone and trapped in a cycle of unhappiness, anxiety and confusion.

The most important things are without a doubt, the hardest things to say. It is so hard to step out of your cycle of sadness and tell someone how you're feeling. Seeking help is what scared me. I am not really sure why, I guess it almost became a lifestyle. Depression became my way of living. I wanted to escape it, but I knew that I would have to talk about what caused it, and I knew I was weak. I knew I would crack, almost like an egg falling from a height, crashing down, smashing, ruined. I had accepted that maybe there was no way out of depression, maybe I had to just learn to cope with it. I guess I was partly right with that, in the fact that it never really goes away, it just gets less painful at times. But what I didn't see was that I needed recovery, I needed to see what was on the other side of depression. I didn't deserve it. Depression likes to trick you into blaming yourself for everything, and thinking that you deserve such severe unhappiness. But, you couldn't be any more wrong.

Learning to manage my depression was one of the hardest things for me. Along with having to see other people around me so hurt. The last thing I wanted to do was metaphorically break someone else; especially those I love. Although it may seem like you are hurting someone, a lot of the time it is the opposite. Many people cry in relief that you finally want to talk about it and get help. Getting help will give you that chance you need to get better, one step at a time. There are quite a few ways to deal with depression. These are the ones I used.

1. CBT Therapy. I started CBT a few months after developing depression. I definitely found it hard to accept that I needed to talk about it. I also in a way, found it hard to let go of my depression. It became kind of comforting to me. However, CBT has definitely given me skills for life. It taught me to change my thoughts to be able to see the grey part, along with the black and white. Finding happiness through CBT took longer than was expected for me and my case, but I still got there in the end.

2. Getting out, going for a walk. I know that depression makes you want to huddle up in a duvet den for your whole lifetime, but getting out can really make a difference. Going out with family members or friends can also benefit you as you will find yourself having less time to think about things that may be pulling you down.

3. Finding something I enjoyed. I got into photography as a way of coping with my depression. I knew it was something I had always wanted to learn more about and I knew it would be something to get me out of my comfort zone (the house). I began to use photography as a way to escape depression and see the beauty in nature. It helped me to see the uplifting things, rather than the dull things in life. This post's picture was taken while I was away. I sat on the pier reading until the sun was in the right place for a beautiful picture. It is so relaxing to sit and read outside, while the people still move around you.

4. Spending time with friends. Although this wasn't something I did often - due to the fact I had lost many friends - going out with friends is important in recovery.  It helps them to be able to keep up with how you are doing, and it gets you out, giving you the opportunity to enjoy yourself for a while. Being with friends can be very uplifting.

5. Self-help books. Although, I didn't always find these books terribly helpful, I kind of turned to them as a last chance thing; kind of my last attempt to help myself. I knew that there would be a time that I was left to deal with it myself, I wanted to learn how to cope with it myself before leaving therapy. I found the most helpful book was Ruby Wax's Sane New World. Although, it isn't really classed as a self-help book as much, it still helped me a lot.

Depression is difficult but there are ways to make it less unbearable and possibly fight it away for a long time. There are plenty of people who do recover from it. If you do struggle with it, go to see your doctor. It is scary but it is worth it when you find yourself happier. Learning to live with depression is easier than living as depression's victim or prisoner. I am here to give advice or support anyone as much as I can (email if needed). Good luck in your recovery if you are suffering. If you aren't suffering but read this anyway, thank you for expanding your knowledge and reading something I care so much about!

(I did just want to say that although this post is about depression, I am not trying to undermine any other mental health illnesses, it is just what I know the most about in personal experience. I wanted to use my experience to attempt to help others. Of course, I am not a professional, and I hope I didn't come across as thinking I know it all. I can only do so much to attempt to help people with my experience, so I have tried it.)

SELF-LOVE SUNDAY: DEALING WITH DEPRESSION

02/08/2015

It's not always easy to remain strong, when all you can think about is how weak you feel inside. It's not always easy to get out of bed in the morning because you know that what the day brings is challenging. You know that anything can hit a past wound and tear it open again, causing the mental pain that you thought you had escaped. Mental illnesses are challenging, limiting and life-threatening. They are like any other disease, except there is no cure. Medication and therapies don't cure depression, they just try to help you cope with it. The worst part is knowing that it is your own brain that is causing such severe unhappiness. It's knowing that you are almost doing this to yourself, but you can't do much to change it. It's the not knowing what to do, who to go to or why to get help, or whether you want help at all. It is the feeling of being alone and trapped in a cycle of unhappiness, anxiety and confusion.

The most important things are without a doubt, the hardest things to say. It is so hard to step out of your cycle of sadness and tell someone how you're feeling. Seeking help is what scared me. I am not really sure why, I guess it almost became a lifestyle. Depression became my way of living. I wanted to escape it, but I knew that I would have to talk about what caused it, and I knew I was weak. I knew I would crack, almost like an egg falling from a height, crashing down, smashing, ruined. I had accepted that maybe there was no way out of depression, maybe I had to just learn to cope with it. I guess I was partly right with that, in the fact that it never really goes away, it just gets less painful at times. But what I didn't see was that I needed recovery, I needed to see what was on the other side of depression. I didn't deserve it. Depression likes to trick you into blaming yourself for everything, and thinking that you deserve such severe unhappiness. But, you couldn't be any more wrong.

Learning to manage my depression was one of the hardest things for me. Along with having to see other people around me so hurt. The last thing I wanted to do was metaphorically break someone else; especially those I love. Although it may seem like you are hurting someone, a lot of the time it is the opposite. Many people cry in relief that you finally want to talk about it and get help. Getting help will give you that chance you need to get better, one step at a time. There are quite a few ways to deal with depression. These are the ones I used.

1. CBT Therapy. I started CBT a few months after developing depression. I definitely found it hard to accept that I needed to talk about it. I also in a way, found it hard to let go of my depression. It became kind of comforting to me. However, CBT has definitely given me skills for life. It taught me to change my thoughts to be able to see the grey part, along with the black and white. Finding happiness through CBT took longer than was expected for me and my case, but I still got there in the end.

2. Getting out, going for a walk. I know that depression makes you want to huddle up in a duvet den for your whole lifetime, but getting out can really make a difference. Going out with family members or friends can also benefit you as you will find yourself having less time to think about things that may be pulling you down.

3. Finding something I enjoyed. I got into photography as a way of coping with my depression. I knew it was something I had always wanted to learn more about and I knew it would be something to get me out of my comfort zone (the house). I began to use photography as a way to escape depression and see the beauty in nature. It helped me to see the uplifting things, rather than the dull things in life. This post's picture was taken while I was away. I sat on the pier reading until the sun was in the right place for a beautiful picture. It is so relaxing to sit and read outside, while the people still move around you.

4. Spending time with friends. Although this wasn't something I did often - due to the fact I had lost many friends - going out with friends is important in recovery.  It helps them to be able to keep up with how you are doing, and it gets you out, giving you the opportunity to enjoy yourself for a while. Being with friends can be very uplifting.

5. Self-help books. Although, I didn't always find these books terribly helpful, I kind of turned to them as a last chance thing; kind of my last attempt to help myself. I knew that there would be a time that I was left to deal with it myself, I wanted to learn how to cope with it myself before leaving therapy. I found the most helpful book was Ruby Wax's Sane New World. Although, it isn't really classed as a self-help book as much, it still helped me a lot.

Depression is difficult but there are ways to make it less unbearable and possibly fight it away for a long time. There are plenty of people who do recover from it. If you do struggle with it, go to see your doctor. It is scary but it is worth it when you find yourself happier. Learning to live with depression is easier than living as depression's victim or prisoner. I am here to give advice or support anyone as much as I can (email if needed). Good luck in your recovery if you are suffering. If you aren't suffering but read this anyway, thank you for expanding your knowledge and reading something I care so much about!

(I did just want to say that although this post is about depression, I am not trying to undermine any other mental health illnesses, it is just what I know the most about in personal experience. I wanted to use my experience to attempt to help others. Of course, I am not a professional, and I hope I didn't come across as thinking I know it all. I can only do so much to attempt to help people with my experience, so I have tried it.)

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