BENEFIT Makeup Review!

Disclaimer- this post is NOT sponsored by Benefit or any other company- I am simply reviewing their products as I love them!

Hey Guys!

I am SHOOK! HOOOLLLYYY hell you guys! Let me tell you about the makeup brand Benefit. I assume most of you already know how amazing this brand is, but for those of you who don't then prepare yourself! 

Okay, for starters, I have always, and I mean ALWAYS, had terrible eyebrows. They're naturally a super greyish blonde so not only are they hard to see but they're not full eyebrows ya know?! They're like those patchy, super badly misshaped eyebrows that are just a total embarrassment. A super close friend of mine recommended I go for a wax and tint with Benefit as she goes there often and her brows are on point. (Shout out to Beth, check out her blog lifewithbee for amazing beauty posts) So I took her advice and GIIIIRRRLLL I am never going anywhere else. Why? Well, the service was absolutely AMAZING. The staff were so friendly and lovely, chatting with me the entire time! I swear these girls are magicians like I actually have noticeable eyebrows now and man they are the bomb! I honestly can't believe how good my eyebrows look. It has majorly boosted my confidence which I honestly never expected.

Like can we all just take a minute to appreciate the boldness and fullness of my brows?!

Not only that, (Oh yeah girl there is more) they ended up talking me into buying two of Benefit's products. 

The first product I bought was the BAD gal BANG! mascara and I am absolutely blown away by how amazing it is. Talk about intense lashes! My eyelashes were lengthened dramatically with only one stroke of the mascara brush. I mean, it took them 5 years to make with 75 trials to get it perfect so I'm not really surprised but I didn't expect it to be as amazing as it is. I 100% recommend this mascara to EVERYBODY. I purchased mine from Debenhams for £21.50 and they currently have a deal on where if you buy the mascara you get £5 worth of points on your Debenhams Beauty Card so I just HAD to get it. I can honestly say my lashes have never looked as long and full like ever. The brush (I think that's what you call the bit that actually goes on your lashes) is straight with a thinner end and a thicker end but it isn't too thick but is perfect for the shape of natural eyelashes. It's so easy to apply, the mascara coats evenly without any fuss. I do usually do more than one coat on my eyelashes just to build up the intensity but honestly one stroke is enough. 

I also bought the Benefit eyebrow pencil Precisely my brow eyebrow pencil because I wanted to be able to do my brows as perfect as the ladies in Benefit did and I was recommended this particular eyebrow pencil by quite a few people. I got it in shade 4 which I believe is medium and it is so easy to apply. It glides on with accuracy and really does help to fill in my eyebrow. My eyebrows now look on point literally every day (which is a first for me) and I again recommend this product 100% to anyone wanting fuller looking brows. I love how you twist the top of the pencil to get the product and then twist it back down when you're done so that none of the product is wasted or damaged. I know a lot of cheaper eyebrow pencils have this, but I just love that Benefit seem to have thought of absolutely everything when they made this.

I truly am so impressed with Benefit and they have gained a life long customer! Check their products out and I promise you that you will never look back!

         S xx

I'm going to therapy.

Hey Guys,

We're going to take it down a level right now... it's time to get real and get serious. This has been something I wasn't sure I even wanted to blog about yet, if at all but it's such an important and difficult event in my life and I hope in sharing this detail about my life with you all; I can help at least one person. 
So today I want to talk about the topic of therapy. After spending a lot of time, years even, repressing my childhood traumas, it has come to my realisation that not dealing with my past has come back to bite me in the butt... So I thought long and hard about what I was going to do to become a better person and let go of this trauma that I carry like a ball and chain, and after speaking with my amazingly supportive partner and his equally amazingly supportive family; I have taken the plunge and decided to go to therapy. 

It was not an easy decision for me because it meant admitting that I need help with something that I thought I could keep bottled inside for the rest of my life and would never need to re-live. Apparently, that's not the case.
Giving birth to Isabella has put a lot into perspective for me. The love and protectiveness I feel as a mother is so overwhelming that I cannot even imagine someone harming my child, nor can I imagine ever harming her myself. The thought sickens me to the core. It is since having Isabella that I realise just how wrongly I was treated as a child and just how much I was failed by the ones who are supposed to protect me. 

I am a surviving victim of child abuse, both mentally and physically and a first hand witness to domestic violence. Now don't get me wrong; there are many many children who are treated in ways much worse than I was, but all the same, what I suffered as a child is child abuse and has definitely damaged me, to say the least. I won't get into the details of my childhood, simply because I would like to keep it private but the events that happened in my early childhood and late teens is something that haunts me.

Not only am I suffering, but I am causing others to suffer too. I am hyper-sensitive and constantly on high alert which is beginning to take a toll on my relationships with my partner and my family. I can be snappy and irritable and far more defensive than I should be. My anxiety levels are super high, and this makes it so difficult at times that there are days where I have to find a quite place and just breathe in and out a good 20 times until I begin to calm again. There are moments where everything is too much to bare, even noise irritates me and causes my heart to pound, my palms to start sweating and I feel I'm going to scream; that's usually when I have to do the breathing thing. It has only come to my attention that this is all due to anxiety and isn't just usual stress from my counselling sessions.

I know for a fact my partner is the man I am going to marry and grow old with. I knew this from the moment I met him but what I am holding deep inside is causing me to hold myself back, and to destroy the relationship just as it gets more and more serious because I have to constantly test my partner, to see if he will stick around. I almost push him into abandoning me, because it is all I know. Which is completely stupid and frustrating because I absolutely adore him...

When I explained this to my counsellor on our first meeting which has taken place recently; she informed me that it is simply misplaced anger, disappointment and frustration and that it is really my parents I want to be lashing out at. I am pushing my partner away before he can disappoint me too, which I know deep down he won't do. My counsellor is a lovely woman and she makes me feel so comfortable that I don't worry about putting any walls up (metaphorically speaking) against her. I won't include any names or descriptions of her for the sake of her privacy.

My relationship isn't the only reason I have chosen to go to therapy although it has played a huge factor in finally admitting I need the help. My relationship has suffered tremendously and I have to give it to my partner because he has stood by me through it all, even when I have done nothing to deserve it. He is my rock and my best friend and he makes me want to be the best me that I can be, and so one reason I chose to do this was because I owe it to him. But I also owe it to myself. I want to find the kinder, more gentle, outgoing person that I once was, to see if I can better myself in ways I don't even know where to begin with and to let go of the anger and resentment I carry inside. I also for my daughter. As her mother, and her main role model, I want her to grow up knowing that nobody is perfect and that it is okay to ask for help. I want her to know that it is okay to struggle with emotions, it is okay to feel stuck and trapped and in need of a gentle nudge in the right direction. I also don't want her to think that being snappy all the time is normal, because it isn't, or that she should ever treat anybody in that manner, because having a kind heart is one of the best qualities she will ever have. i want to prove to her that I can and will do whatever it takes to ensure I will be the best mum, and the best person I can be. 

The journey is going to be long and difficult, and I know I am going to have to deal with some pretty strong emotions but I know it is going to be worthwhile in the end. To know that I can change the way I feel, that I don't have to suffer any longer, is a tremendous relief and I honestly can't begin to explain how excited and ready I am to continue this journey. I will keep you updated with every step of the way so you guys can see whether I am able to rid myself of my demons and be the person I know I can be.

I just want to add, for anyone who may be struggling at all, whether it be with anxiety or depression or childhood trauma or domestic violence or just anything, that asking for help is not weak. Asking for help is courageous and brave and I am proud of you for taking the first step to recovery. I also want to say that it is okay, more than okay, to struggle and to feel stuck or lost or hurt or angry. These emotions are completely normal, you are not weird, you are not a freak and you are not alone. What matters is how we handle these emotions that we feel, and there are people who can help us do just that. Do not be ashamed to ask for help!

Much love,  
                 S xx

My new fitness regime!

Hey Guys!

As you can see by the title, I am back at the gym! Not only am I back at the gym, but I am eating healthier as well, lots of chicken and rice, porridge, fruit and veg and no fizzy drinks. I have cut down the amount of chocolate and crisps I have to almost nothing. (I say almost because I'm only human!). I'm into my third week of my calorie counting and I have found it so fun. I haven't found it to be constricting and I've still been able to enjoy the odd snack as well. 

As for my gym routine, I go between 5 and 6 days a week. My workouts vary from High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and weightlifting. I always start with a fat burning interval on the treadmill which usually lasts for about 20 minutes to get my heart rate up, my metabolism kicking and burning off a few calories to begin with. 
For my HIIT routine, I use a really good Youtube channel called GROUP HIIT for all my workouts. There is a massive variety on there and there are different difficulties as well so if you're a beginner these are perfect for you too. I also watch Whitney Simmons on Youtube, if you haven't heard of her and you're a newbie to the gym or even someone whose being going for ages then girrrrlll check her out! I absolutely love her videos. She does everything from meal ideas and reviews to every single workout regime you can think of! 
I have recently got into weightlifting and I am loving it. I must admit I don't know much about weightlifting as I am still learning but I usually do 3 sets of 10-12 reps and I intend to up the weight to see how many reps and sets I can do on that weight and if I can just about manage it, and then aim to use that weight as my beginning weight the next time i do that exercise (eg squats). I'm definitely going to do this gradually though, over a few sessions to make sure I am comfortable using the weight. 

I am going to be purchasing a few accessories for the gym, such as a training belt to help support my back as I struggle with sciatica and wrist supports so I will blog about my gym haul once I have got these. 

In regards to my eating, I try to eat as healthy as I can, but it is okay to have cheat days. My cheat day is usually a Friday and I definitely don't feel guilty about it so you shouldn't either! 

Love, S