How I Manage My Mental Health (Requested Topic)

How I Manage My Mental Health (Requested Topic)

 

Hi there little readers,

I hope you are well and minding yourself. I’ve been struggling with basics but we can get back to that later.

This topic was supposed to be a podcast but unfortunately my schedule has just like tripled in capacity. The people that requested it have asked a few times and I realise that with topics like this sometimes there’s a sense of urgency. I’ve put off the podcast for almost three weeks now and I am so sorry for that but hopefully we can put all right with this blog post. I know that I won’t be able to fit the same amount of information into a blog post as I would a podcast BUT I’m gonna try. And of course, if you want to chat further or would like me to talk more about it- hit me up on Snapchat (jademccannx) and I can elaborate on my story or write to you personally. Whatever ya like.

Before I start, I just want to refer to a blog post that I put up a few months ago. It talks about what exactly mental health is. And it’s important to note that everybody has mental health, just like everybody has physical health. So, before you think this blog might not apply to you because you have good mental health- think again. Illness does not discriminate. So mind yourself. And click here to read more about that.

Managing my mental health isn’t exactly easy. I generally suffer with whacks of depression, stress, anxiety, paranoia and obsessive thinking.And they have not left me yet. I don’t feel one bit sorry for myself and I don’t argue the fact anymore. I’m actually so relieved to say that I have a certain level of acceptance around these things now. That, and I have picked up tools over the years and because of this it has gotten a lot better.

The first trick that I learned, and I always stress this, is that I stopped putting mood altering substances into my body. That includes weed/hash and codeine based painkillers, alcohol and all recreational drugs (not that I ever took all of them, but you get the point). And there’s a very good reason for that, just hear me out. Not only have I got an addictive personality and do these things get me in a bit of trouble, they also interfere with my emotional and spiritual growth.

Imagine a snow globe. Every time you get a certain length of clean/sober time, the snow globe is still. It begins to collect itself. You can think clearer. You are more connected with yourself. You have a little bit of raw emotion and that can be hard but at least you can feel. But when you use something mind altering, the snow glob is shaken. It gets disrupted. It doesn’t know where it’s going or how it feels. You’ve knocked yourself off whack. All parts of you become confused. And that’s the best way I can explain it. If you’re susceptible to mental health struggles and find it hard to tell how you feel anyway, why would you make it harder? You can probably relate to this if you go into a depression after a night out with huge anxiety and panic attacks. That used to happen to me a lot. I hated it. I used to think that I used drugs (alcohol being a drug) because of my mental health state. I never questioned whether or not the drugs were interfering. Until someone explained the snow globe analogy. And that’s why I’m sharing it with you.

By staying away from mind altering substances, it gives us the opportunity to connect with how we are really feeling. It allows us to feel how we really feel. Which can be really difficult if we don’t want to face it. But it’s like ripping a plaster off. If you feel it now, you won’t have to feel it again. If you deal with this stuff now and talk about it, let it out and come to terms with it. You can bury the hatchet. Don’t get me wrong, staying clean can be extremely testing. And unfortunately, not everybody can get clean in one try. But there are programmes and places that provide support if needed. And if and when we are supposed to stumble across them, we will. I do not regret getting clean at all. It has given me so much. Not only superficially- like the jobs of my dreams and a beautiful car and life- but emotionally and spiritually- I can connect with myself and faith. I know that I’m going to be okay and I am able to make decisions based on how I really feel- most of the time. That’s not to say that I’m perfect and can see everything clearly because I’m clean. But I’m one step closer. There are also other positives: like being more hireable because you’re not a liability, learning how to have fun sober, remembering nights out and other events, being the one that your friends can depend on and of course, being able to depend on yourself. Drop a comment if you’d like me to write a post about the pros and cons of being clean- that could be a could one!

Now, when it comes to mind-altering substances, there is the whole other topic there of anti-depressants. If you’d like me to put a blog post up about my experience with anti-depressants then let me know. For the most part, I have no objection. but I do believe that they should be suggested and prescribed by a doctor. And I don’t believe they entirely resolve the issue. I think they work as a good temporary tool but can cause problems long term- that’s based on my experience.

Unfortunately as clicheéd as it may sound, in my experience I’ve learned that the most important way to maintain your mental health is to maintain your physical health first. I’ve learned this through my experience of not eating, not sleeping, not communicating, not showering, isolating, not drinking enough water- and basically doing all of the things that basic human beings need to do in order to feel safe. This kind of behaviour has never helped my case. And I understand that when we’re in that mind set, it’s almost impossible to get ourselves to move. But we just have to. It’s literally like forcing yourself to do something that you don’t want to do. No matter how I feel, I get up, dress up and show up. Even if I have nowhere to go, I just go. I get in the car. I get on the bus. Somedays I do it crying. Somedays I do it with my heels dug into the ground. I have gone out some days with my face raw red from a night of not sleeping and crying but brought face wipes and just constantly wiped tears away as I sat in a cinema. I’ve taken breaks at family meals to go into the bathroom to cry. I’ve sat in the most happiest of environments with family and friends trying to cheer me up with the sole thought of ending it all. But staying locked away in isolation has always made me worse. And I do not want to be ill. I want to be well. I’ve spent too much time ill. It is not easy to do this. Leaving the house when everything in your entity is telling you to hide is probably the hardest task I face regularly. But I always feel better when I’ve done it. And I’ve started to see the rewards of doing it. When I get promotions in work or make new friends or meet a reader… I know that it’s important for me to keep trying.

I find showering before I go anywhere helps. Sometimes when I can’t convince myself that going out is a good idea, I convince myself to take one task at a time. So I’ll get out of bed. I’ll comfort myself with a dressing gown. I’ll make it to the kettle. I’ll pick some clothes out ‘just incase’. I’ll have a hot shower. I’ll moisturise and do my hair, sometimes my makeup. And by the time I’ve done some of these things, I want to go out. I’ll have come around a bit.

I learned this trick called ‘HALT’. And basically what ‘HALT’ is is that, anytime I feel down or confused, I stop and ask myself- am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired? And usually, I’m one of those things. And in the process of rectifying that, I begin to feel better. I might eat and be given energy, or sleep and feel refreshed, I might phone a friend and talk it out or realise that my angry is as a result of any of three things listed. Basic care is so important. We are human beings. We are not machines. We don’t run on coffee (although, I’m giving that a right bash) and we can’t neglect our basic primal needs. And if you watch my snapchat, you’re so aware that I cannot preach this. If I’m being one-hundred-percent honest, almost everyone I know asks me regularly if I’ve eaten today. Mainly because I find it really hard to nutritionally fuel myself. And I don’t do it consciously- honestly, I don’t. But it’s like I just put it at the bottom of my priority list sometimes. And I don’t feel hungry or in pain or anything like that. I don’t do it to hurt myself. I just don’t love myself enough to eat sometimes. I put it off. I tell myself I’ll eat later. And sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Like, in the last two days, I’ve eaten twice. And that’s while I’m working 12 hour days. I survive on coffee. Literally. And I am so aware that is not good for me. And I’m so aware I’ve to be careful because when I get like this and run on nothing for a while, my mental health eventually crashes- because as mentioned before, I’m not feeling my brain or my body. Sure wouldn’t anyone lose their mind? But important to note at this point is that I am not striving for perfection. I want progress. So although I struggle with food, I have to look at the positives. Last night I got enough sleep. I got up this morning and made it to work on time- clean, dressed and in a good mood. I want to be kind today. I can’t wait to live today. I’m excited to be in work because I love my job. And if I eat, I eat and if I don’t, I’ll get around to it. But at least I have the awareness around it and the tools to notice these things. Before, I never would have figured that this may be linked with my mental health or influence it in any way. So if nothing else, I’m learning.

H-A-L-T

Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?

I suppose the next elephant in the room is that I work a lot- y’all are like… 12 hour shifts?!? And this can be unhealthy because it fits as an escapism. When I’m working, I don’t have to deal with my problems. I can easily ignore my home life, my friends  or my own emotions. But for me, working helps. I always get around to checking in with myself eventually- asking myself how I feel physically and mentally. But work helps me to meet new people, keep active, get out of bed, stay out of bed, engage with people on a professional level and all of these things give me a sense of achievement. It helps build my confidence in myself. I challenge myself daily. I set new goals weekly. And I aim to meet them. And if I don’t, that’s okay. But when I do… I swear sometimes I feel like I am on fire. There is no greater feeling than setting a goal and meeting it. And that’s how I feed my soul. But everybody has something different. My point on this paragraph is find something that interests you and chase your dreams. Because unfortunately outside things aren’t going to fix you– as convenient as that would be. If you are struggling with your mental health that’s something that has to be accepted. Everything external is a temporary fix. Soul rewards are ones that we get when we work on ourselves internally. And I really do believe, based on my experience, that hobbies and passions can enhance confidence and help us to reward ourselves. That’s not to say it’s not testing. Trying new things can be really scary, meeting new people and going to new places can be absolutely terrifying. But that sense of overcoming something, it just really helps to remind me that I can do anything I want to and I’m stronger than I think.

I hate saying this but I always feel better when I drink water and eat healthily. I hate saying it because for some reason I have something built into me that loves to self-destruct. And if I could live de-hydrated and survive nutritionally off chips and pizza, I so would. But the problem with that is when I fall into those patterns, my mental health suffers. So I have to be really aware of triggers that I have. Exercise really helps me, too. I feel confident after the gym. I can push myself at the gym. It’s great way to let off stress and burn all of that hot, pressured energy. At the start, I didn’t like going to the gym. I felt self-conscious and I didn’t feel like I could do it. I thought I wouldn’t achieve my goals. I thought I was doing everything wrong and that I would be judged. But I got a personal trainer to teach me. I did some research and I started making more of an effort to overcome my fears. And I feel so confident in the gym now. I even allow myself to wear sports bras and leggings- I’M THAT YONCÉ. I don’t have a perfect body but that’s just an example of how by working at something and chipping away, you do reap what you sew.

As well as all of the physical elements of self-care, there are mental/emotional ones, too. I had to learn to be aware of how I speak to myself, how I think about myself. So, I had rewire my brain in many ways. I realised that if someone else followed me around telling me the same things I don’t myself, I probably would have knocked them out a long time ago. I would never say these things to anybody else. I would never call someone else useless, or tell them that they’re stupid or less than anybody else. So I have to work on that all of the time. I have to be aware. I used to spend hours telling myself how terrible I was. But now, whenever I have a negative thought about myself, I try to counter-act it with a positive. It doesn’t always work. But, it’s helps me move on to the next thought.  I have to be kind to myself. I am not a bad person. I can just feel unwell sometimes. I wouldn’t beat myself up for hurting my leg. So, why should I beat myself up for struggling mentally? It’s the same thing. It’s about health and maintenance.

Obsessive thinking is a huge thing that I struggle with: becoming obsessed with people, places, things and thoughts. And the only thing that I have learned that makes this ANY easier is to just let the thoughts come and then let them go. I used to spend months telling myself not to think about things. I’d force myself to forget or distract myself. And let me tell ya, they just come back with a vengeance. Well, for me they did. So, now when a ‘bad’ thought comes, I just question it. I meditate on it.  Why has this thought come? What has triggered it? Is there a reason it’s so irritating for me? Why am I hurt by this? And I also call a friend sometimes just to take the power out of it. Sometimes when I hold things in, they take control of my mind. They consume me. But by just saying it out loud (no matter how many times I have to), eventually it lifts. And it passes. Everything passes. Everything always has and everything will continue to pass. Life goes on. This, too, shall pass.

I’m trying to think of all of the things that I have to force myself to do that may just come naturally to other people. And to be honest, I can’t really preach these things because let’s be real, I am not perfect. I find it hard to sleep. I sometimes go days without food. I sometimes eat a 2 day calorie intake in one sitting. I get angry and I become obsessed with things and I don’t always do what I should to help myself. But I’m still alive and I’m still trying. And I’m a hell of a lot better than I was. There have been times that I honestly did not want to live. And there have been times that I definitely did not want to try. But here I am. And I understand this blog post might not have helped and it was probably really vague but my basic point is just not to give up. Don’t let this win. It’s not real. I know for us it seems real and like the world is ending and it’s never going to pass. But clouds clear. And people do come out the other side. That’s not to say the clouds won’t return from time to time. But it does get a hell of a lot easier. It can be conquered.

As always, I am going to just pop a disclaimer here and state that I do not write about these topics for attention. I write about mental health in the hope that it might reach someone suffering and also, to slay a bit of stigma around it. Not enough people have the capacity to be completely honest about their struggles and I am so grateful that I’m capable in that sense. I don’t want to waste it and allow someone else suffer in silence.

If you would like to hear me talk about this some more, let me know in the comments below or on any of my social media platforms. I genuinely love hearing from you guys because I like to identify, too. And I love to think that this kind of material is reaching someone. So please don’t hesitate to get in touch. There is so much more that I would love to say but I’m strapped for time. I will be chatting about this over on my Snapchat this week to correlate with the post so if you want to hear some more, come on over and join the Snapfam!

Until next time,

J X

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Craig Newman PT Experience: Half Term Results & Review

Craig Newman PT Experience: Half Term Results & Review

Good morning chicas!

This blog post has been requested so many times- even though I have been constantly updating you all about my PT experience over on Snapchat. I suppose sometimes it’s nicer to have somewhere a bit more permanent to upload and refer to, so I’m sitting down to answer your most asked questions about my personal training experience with Craig Newman in Ben Dunne Gym, Cherrywood, Co. Dublin.

I suppose I better start with how I came to a decision that I would like to go down that route and how, then, I availed of the services. A bit of it was luck, I must admit. Some of you might already know that I’ve been boxing on-and-off since I was eleven years old. I have been attending Ben Dune gym on-and-off for the last four years. Personally, I just find it really hard to seriously commit to not just fitness, but anything. And my most recent time rejoining Ben Dunne (June 2017), I made a promise to myself that I would make a real effort to turn fit into a lifestyle rather than a fad to spice up my Instagram or lose the Dominos that I have been so freely and frequently indulging in.

See, my mind is very good at talking me out of things that are good for me and talking me into self-destructive behaviors- so I kind of knew I needed a little bit of extra support if I was really going to make this work. My Dad has always been my coach but at the moment, he’s training for a competition in BJJ and is working shift so definitely wouldn’t have the time to help. Anyway, one day I was walking into the gym and I saw a clipboard on the desk asking people to leave their name and number to avail of a free consultation with a personal trainer.

Now, I always thought that personal trainers were over-rated but then again, I had never actually tried it. I always thought it was something that rich people or people that really struggled with their weight and fitness did and that I wasn’t bad enough or rich enough to avail of the service (and believe me, I know how ignorant that sounds now). I also thought that only people that wanted to participate in lifting competitions etc. would have a personal trainer. Basically, I had a whole load of misconceptions. But, for some reason I just put my name and number down on that list. I suppose it was down to the fact that I’m earning a bit more money now and I thought rather than blowing it on crap, I could invest in my body.

And real quick, I’m gonna tell you why that’s super important for me. My career goals include me being on camera and I am hella sick of asking people to delete photos and just generally being uncomfortable in my own skin. When I thought it through, it made a lot of sense that investing in my body could be considered investing in my career. I also realized that as your local blogger, it would be a cool experience for you to come on with me. I thought we could all learn something and a little part me also thought that I wouldn’t be contacted and none of this would matter. Then, about a week later, Craig text me and asked when I was free for my free consultation. We organized a meeting and it all began.

What happened at the consultation?

For some reason, I was actually pretty nervous. I kind of knew I’d be spending a bit of time with this person, had no idea who they were, knew they were gonna weigh and measure me, knew I was about to undergo and change in life and all of that just seemed pretty daunting. But when I arrived, Craig was waiting on reception and he was just so friendly. He brought me into a consultation room (which I liked because there was no way in hell he was gonna measure and weigh me in the middle of the gym) and it just started off with a general chat. He asked me questions like ‘What are your body goals?’, ‘How is your fitness now?’, ‘What would you like to achieve?’- and my answer was mainly that I wanted some support and consistency on my journey. That I wanted to tone up and get myself up to television standard and that I really didn’t want to talk myself out of it. Basically, that I needed an extra push. Then I was measured, my body fat percentage and lean body mass percentage were taken and my weight was also taken. Craig text me all of the results straight away so I had a reference point. I will be including these figures and my current figures at the end of this post! I asked about prices and schedule, meals and what would be expected of me. We spoke about dietary requirements and recommendations- he even gave me a dietary programme to follow and talked me through that, explaining it really well. I decided to book straight in and go ahead with it. The consultation took about twenty minutes in total.

Why choose Ben Dunne Gym?

I chose Ben Dunne Gym because it’s on my way to college and work and is super cheap with amazing classes and staff. The going rate is 20.95 a month and that includes all classes or you can pay 210 a year. I think it’s totally worth it as the equipment is great and the staff are so friendly. I actually couldn’t imagine myself going anywhere else at this point.

Who is Craig Newman and why did I chose him?

Essentially, I didn’t chose him to begin with. The way that list works is whatever PT is free or has free slots contacts potential clients for consultations. He contacted me. However, if I was uncomfortable or didn’t like his specialized areas I was more than welcome to request someone else.

Craig has a specialized background in weight loss, full body toning, strength training, muscle building, suspension training, sports specific training, group specific training and nutritional and diet advice. He essentially helps clients that are looking to get into the shape of your life or just loose those extra pounds. His spectrum is quite broad and if you visit his Facebook page by clicking here– you will find that his testimonials do NOT let him down. His career is based around helping people believe and achieve their fitness and weight loss goals and his program is designed with everyday advice for everyday people. He has been working in the fitness industry for 9 years now in both Ireland and the UK and is currently based  in Ben Dunne Gym, Cherrywood which is located in the Cherrywood Ind Est, Dublin 18.

Being 100% honest, I was really worried about training with a man. I was really, genuinely concerned that I would be distracted, self-conscious, embarrassed or just kind of in over my head. And I spoke to a floor manager about this a few days before my consultation and she just assured me that gender was not an issue, that it was about the area of expertise and the services that someone could provide rather than their gender. I don’t know why but I was expecting the experience to be so much more different with a male trainer. I was worried that I wouldn’t have a good connection with the person and that it would be awkward. But the floor manager spoke really highly of Craig and assured me that all freelance personal trainers are of a professional standard and specialize in ensuring their clients are comfortable. So, rather than base it on gender, I researched his specialized areas and testimonials and went from there. I decided that he was the way to go.

Probably the most requested question- how much does it cost and is it worth it?

Craig’s prices vary based on your goals and the amount of time and investment he would have to make. My goals were based around building some muscle and losing some fat, working up my fitness and just having some support available. I pay Craig 30euro an hour, we meet up twice a week and we have so far only committed to a six week trial run. So that’s a total of 360 euro. He asks that you pay the first half up front and the second half way through. So that is two installments of 180.

I understand that some of you reading are still in school and can not afford this or maybe you just think I’m crazy for paying it. But I found the installments really helpful. It gives me time to save up and have the money ready. Plus, I have never had results like this when training alone or with my Dad for that matter. The money is worth what you receive, in my opinion, because you’re paying for so much more than just two appointments a week. Craig provides his number and writes back to any queries immediately, there is constant advice on hand, he is always on time and has a really organized schedule for you to avail of. And the most important thing for me is that the results come. You’re paying for results. DISCLAIMER: Because the personal trainers are freelance, the PT fees and the gym fees are completely separate entities. However, if you were to simply ask the PTs for advice or to draw you up a program, to my knowledge you wouldn’t be charged.

What are the lifestyle/home requirements like?

Craig provided me with a pretty decent dietary guide with recipes and a program to follow- it based around a high protein and low carbohydrate intake. It does involve a fair bit of meal prep but I’ve kind of taken the diet and worked it around with my schedule. So I understand how much protein is in the diet, what things my body will need and when. And I tailor it to my busy life. Unfortunately, I can only prep food like once a week and this doesn’t last me all week so I’m kind of winging it sometimes. So far, it’s worked but it does bother me that I’m not getting the full experience I’m paying for due to the hours I work. It’s a commitment. The whole experience is. So, I would advise that you clear your schedule a bit before you consider taking it on. That would probably be my only downfall- still working mad hours and not getting enough sleep through all of this. Apart from that, all that is asked is that you take extra care of yourself at home and don’t over do it. I’m really honest with Craig about how many times I go to the gym, how many hours I work and sleep and because of that he’s able to help me around that. It is a lifestyle change and I have made changes like drinking more water, cutting down caffeine and just trying to work this program to the best of my ability.

I guess what I’m getting at here is although you’ve payed for a PT, they cannot do the work for you. Your life does have to change in a lot of ways and these can’t be half done. Your actual habits have to be deconstructed and rebuilt. The idea is that you have the right support and teachings while doing so. So, yeah, the lifestyle requirements are fairly hefty. But they’re included in your price. A lot of the work is done at home but I suppose before beginning your journey you have to decide whether or not you are willing to give your all.

How often do you meet?

We decided mutually that two sessions a week would fit both of our schedules. I do train on other days and Craig provided me with a workout schedule for the sessions that he can’t be present for.

Another really requested bit of info, what have the results been?

Right so I only got measured and re-weighed yesterday as a celebration of reaching half term- we are three weeks into our six week course and basically, it’s working. I’m gonna just pop in bullet points below with some of the results that came up.

  • On the first week, my body fat percentage was 22.62%. It is now 19.95%.
  • On the first week, my lean body mass was 44.3kg. It is now 46.7kg.
  • On the first week, my bod fat weight was 13.0kg. It is now 11.7kg.
  • And on the first week, my full body weight was 57.2kg. It is now 58.4kg.

So I have been gaining muscle and losing fat- which is exactly what I wanted to do. So, the results are in and the proof is in the pudding. Also, some of you may be concerned that my body weight has gone up. Muscle is heavier than fat. So that explains that.

All in all, this experience so far has been brilliant. For me personally, I’ve enjoyed it that bit more. I know this sounds mad but being young and sober can be really tough sometimes and I’ve realized that one of the only places I feel like I fit in is the gym. It’s where people go because they want to better themselves and push themselves and I just really love that atmosphere.

Obviously, the results are proof that this isn’t all for nothing. It is costly and it does take some commitment but personally, because I’m a career-driven person and this is all based around a long-term goal, I feel like it’s very worth it.

Not only am I having fun and seeing results, I’m also learning a lot about nutrition and fitness. Craig answers anything at all you ask with really well structured answers and sends on any information you ask for. Also, there are loads of exercises that I felt I knew how to do that I could have seriously harmed myself doing my way. So I’ve been taught a lot with regard to stature and stance, weight ability, fitness levels and general safety and boundaries when pushing myself. Craig is also just such a great lad and such good craic. We always have a laugh during our sessions but are definitely capable of having a serious conversation when we have to. He is supportive, professional and worth at least a consultation. I say that because I understand that it varies from person to person. Some people might not feel as comfortable with him as I do and some people will. It is a personal experience and it should definitely be tailored to your preferences. On that note, I will just say that if there are any issues with any PT you choose, do not spend money on someone that either you don’t have faith in or you believe don’t have faith in you. There are a other PTs at Ben Dunne that I have brilliant things about so if you’re having doubts or Craig’s booked up- it’s so worth doing some further research.

I know that Craig thinks I can achieve my set goals and I know he wants to help me get there. That has made this experience all the more magical and I am so grateful that it isn’t over yet. Knowing that I’m constantly learning and seeing results drives me more. I understand the benefits of the gym now, mentally and physically, and I don’t drag myself there because I hate my body. Today, I get excited about going because I love my body. And I want to benefit from nutritional advice and fitness expertise.

I would not only recommend Craig Newman as a PT, I would also recommend Ben Dunne Gym in Cherrywood as a whole. As I said, the classes are brilliant, the facilities are great, the staff are young, vibrant, super-friendly and willing to help wherever possible. I understand that these opinions may vary by the end of my six week trial but I will keep everybody updated (as I have been) over on my Snapchat and come back with a second, conclusive blog post on week six.

If you have anymore questions, ya can find me at the links below. Please do get in touch, I absolutely love having a laugh and chat with you and hearing about your experiences reading my posts! Also, it is my BIRTHDAY TOMORROW and that is definitely a reason to come and say hi! Also, don’t forget to like and share this post and tag a friend that would benefit from reading! Thank you so much for dropping by & if by chance you do head to Ben Dunne Gym or request a consultation with Craig or any other PT in Cherrywood- don’t forget to tell them I sent ya! Craig’s pages and the link to Ben Dunne Gym’s Facebook are down below, also.

Until next time,

J X

 

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Full Review: Vichy Clay Mask- What’s The Difference Between Higher & Lower Brand Clay Masks? ANSWERED HERE.

Full Review: Vichy Clay Mask- What’s The Difference Between Higher & Lower Brand Clay Masks? ANSWERED HERE.

Hello ducks,

I am absolutely slaying in regular blog posts lately, what do you reckon? I suppose I’ve just come to a realisation that if I’d like a regular chat with you all, I best upload more regularly for something for us to chat about! I am currently sitting at home of a Friday night in my pyjamas, listening to The Beatles, drinking Coconut water and just seriously relaxing. I have just washed my face of the Vichy Clay Mask that was given to me in sample form by my beautiful cousin, Tori, who accesses little treat samples through work in a pharmacy. Let’s hope she throws more our way so I can keep you updated on what is worth buying! So incase you didn’t pick it up by now, I’ll add in this little disclaimer to state that this is not a sponsored post. Vichy sent me nothing. This mask was a gift and this post shall be of my own honest opinion.

I decided I’d review this for you the minute I saw how much it cost on THIS website. I was sort of expecting this price range because I understand that Vichy is a popular line, considered to be that bit more luxurious. But see, I’m mad for a bargain where I can get one. So the question I really wanted to answer in this quest was: is it worth it? 18 euro for 75ml of Clay Mask. Is it really worth it? That’s nine items in the pound shop. That’s like a full face of makeup on AliExpress. And I ain’t cheap- believe me. But personally, where alternatives/ dupes are available and equally as good, I don’t understand why people pay such high prices. In my opinion, they are essentially just paying for the brand name. So, I guess I wanted to see if this was about the brand name or the quality of product. And I did just that. So let’s chat about how I got on.

Firstly, let’s talk about the product itself. This product usually comes in a set of three but can be bought on it’s own. As I said, I was lucky enough to get it as a gift so didn’t avail of the other two products in the set. And I can’t speak for them either. However, the set of three (if you were to get it) contains a Quenching Mineral Face Mask, A Double Glow Peel Face Mask and, of course, the Clay Mask that we’ll be talking about in this post. To find out more about this set and where to purchase it, click here. And yes, you’re right. It sounds very similar to the mask set you can purchase in Penneys and all other major stores and pharmacies… the L’Oreal set. Click here to find out more about that. Now, to be honest, I’m really not aware which one came out first. But only the test will tell which one is better or if, just maybe, they’re both the same.

As mentioned above, this blog post will focus on the Clay Mask- and I’m gonna talk you through my whole process and experience. Firstly, I started off by prepping my skin. I was having a no makeup day. So to clean my face I just took a Johnson’s face wipe (mentioned in my last blog post as holy grail) and rinsed it with hot water before wiping my face. Then, using a cleanser by Salon Services, I deep cleaned my skin with cotton wool and cleanser. Then, taking a clean brush, I applied the Clay Mask in a thin even layer on my skin- which is specified on the instructions.

What I will say at this point is that I found it really impressive how little product was needed and how smoothly it took to the skin. It was like applying silk to my face. It didn’t clump, it wasn’t hard or stiff. I actually at one point remember thinking that it was almost a mousse-like consistency. Thumbs up on that one, Vichy. Also, it smelled yummy. Sometimes I find that clay masks can just smell completely like bugs and muck. But this mask had a lovely perfumed scent to it and was definitely not too much on the raw scent front. I also liked that. Nothing worse than spreading a mask all over your face that cost you an arm and a leg, only to realise you can’t stomach the smell or sting. So, another impressive part of the experience.

The instructions read: Apply a thin layer and let dry for 3-5 minutes. At first I thought, that’s a pretty short amount of time. But I was recently talking to someone who advised me never to let a clay mask completely dry on my face because apparently it’s really bad for your pores and oil levels. She recommended that I use a spritz during the active time of the mask to ensure it doesn’t drought my skin. So, I did this too. I used my a basic spritz that I picked up in Boots for about 5 euro- I think it’s cucumber flavour. And of course, I washed the mask off with warm water after about five minutes.

I found the mask dried at a pretty fast pace because I applied such a thin layer. But it didn’t feel uncomfortable. And it didn’t irritate me at all. It didn’t sting or pull my skin, it didn’t smell weird or anything like that. It actually has been one of the few masks that I’ve used and could call therapeutic. Yano like in the ads when they look all chilled with a mask on and they’re floating on a cloud or some shit? I felt like yerone. I genuinely had a really relaxing active experience.

So then, on to the next stage: washing it off. I took to the bathroom when my timer beeped and rinsed the mask off with some warm water. I dabbed my face dry with a clean, fluffy towel. I then began to give myself a good scan in the mirror to see if it had magically transformed my face. And…. well, I was still the same. And because I was given the sample bottle I was a little bit unsure about what was actually supposed to happen because not much was written on the little 15ml pot. So I went to the Boots website. And it reads:

This mineral rich formula infuses two fine white clays [Kaolin + Bentonite] to penetrate deep into the skin’s surface to immediately eliminate excess sebum and impurities, leaving skin feeling purified and cleansed. Also enriched with two plant extracts [Allantoin and Aloe Vera], Vichy’s Clay mask instantly treats damaged and fragile skin, leaving it feeling soothed and soft to the touch.

Who is it for?
Designed specifically for those with combination to oily skin with congested and clogged pores. Suitable for sensitive skin.

Results
Immediately pores are unclogged and look less visible
The rich clay minerals eliminate excess sebum and impurities
Skin feels instantly smooth, hydrated and revitalised
Designed specifically for those with combination to oily skin with congested and clogged pores.

Pleasure
It’s smooth, clay texture can be applied effortlessly to provide a pampering moment to the skin’s surface.

Lemme start by saying that my skin is oily/ combination. So I’m a suitable candidate. And in basic summary, it did leave my skin soft and the product was super relaxing to use and a really pleasant consistency on the skin. But lads, my pores looked the exact same after the treatment. I wish I could say different considering people pay 18 euro a pot. Now, I will say at this point that I do have really stubborn pores. But I will also be completely honest and say that after using the clay mask, I went back in on my skin with the Black Mask I got on AliExpress. And that shifted them. So, take from that what you want. And I understand some masks take a while to work and perhaps that is the case and that would be fab. But if that was the case, it shouldn’t promise immediately less visible pores, then, should it?

Anyway moving forward, I got to questioning whether or not people are just paying for the brand name. So I checked up on the ingredients of the L’Oreal Clay Mask- just to do a basic compare & contrast.

The ingredients of the L’Oreal Clay Mask are HERE and the Vichy ingredients are HERE.

And if you clicked on those links you can see that the ingredients of each product are not the same. But I came to a further conclusion. Vichy’s Clay mask contains more ‘organic’ ingredients like the aloe leaf powder (for sarcastic example) but it also contains alcohol and NO CHARCOAL. The L’Oreal Mask actually contains lava clay (as a clay mask should contain at least one clay based ingredient), charcoal power (which is so good for them pores) and has NO ALCOHOL. Incase ya didn’t know, never put alcohol on your skin if you can help it. So, so, so, so bad for you. I linked why in my last blog post. Click here to read that. 

So to conclude, I have tried the Vichy Clay Mask and I found it to be a relaxing and pleasant experience. But the results were not so fab. Unfortunately, and I really mean that, my pores didn’t really look any different. Which is one of the promises I was depending on. My skin was however softer.  But most importantly, this experience made me question why there’s such a price different between clay masks that claim to do the same thing but have different brand names, so I compared the ingredients and… on paper, the cheaper, more generic brand looks like it has more to offer. And on my travels, I found a blog post from Pippa O’ Connor who claims she loves the L’Oreal line and swears their masks work wonders. Click here to read Pippa’s views.

All in all, I am not knocking Vichy. I think the product was nice. But I personally would not pay 18 euro a pot for something that does not carry out it’s claimed primary purpose- to minimise my pores immediately. And, there are testimonials from really reliable sources stating that L’Oreal’s masks are wonderful. And I’m gonna be super honest and say I have not tried the L’Oreal masks BUT if the reviews are anything to go by, I’d much rather spend 9 euro than 18 euro. So, there ya have it.

Anyway, if you have ever used any of these products please comment below and let me know how you got on! Which do you think is better? Are any of these your holy grail? Tell us why!

All of my social media accounts are linked below, too. I love seeing new faces and hearing from you so PLEASE come on over and say hi!!

Jx

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MY CURRENT SKIN CARE ROUTINE- Affordable, Accessible & EFFECTIVE

MY CURRENT SKIN CARE ROUTINE- Affordable, Accessible & EFFECTIVE

Hey there babies,

HAPPY HUMP DAY! I hope you’re all doing well and slaying your daily goals. A few of you over on my Snapchat have requested this post as a result of me begging for some immediate skin remedies a few weeks ago and trying some new products. But ultimately what I decided to do was to go back to the products that were my holy grail in adolescence. And now, I’ve deciding to share them with you.

The reasons behind why I love and care for these products varies but mainly, they work and I can afford them. Not only can I afford them, I can afford to use and replace them- which is most important. It’s all well and good ‘treating ourselves’ to a skin care routine. The hard part arises when it works and we love it but can’t afford it again. These top products I’ve chosen (and definitely am using, by the way, not by sponsorship or collaboration but just because I like them) are available in ANY supermarket or pharmacy and can be bought for under 15 euro. Yes, you read that right.

I also want to state that what works for me might not work for you. And although I am certified in beauty and am well aware of the routine things should be done and how certain ingredient affect your skin blah, blah, blah… Sometimes I just enjoy convenience and immediate results. I work three jobs and am always on the go and these products fit that- FOR NOW. This skin routine isn’t perfect and I do not claim it to be. But for the moment, it’s keeping my skin absolutely lit. And that’s good enough for me. Now, as the weather changes and as my diet might (probably will, let’s be real), my skin will, too. And that’s alright. I’ll get back on track or find something else. But for now, this is what I have to share.

  • Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Facial Scrub

I used to use this scrub when I was a really young teenager and to be honest, up until recently had just completely forgotten about it. But as you Snapchat fam know, I’ve been bangin’ on about my pores for ages. I’ve been trying everything to shift really stubborn blackheads around my nose and cheek area and it has been driving me demented. And I did not consider this product out of passion or nostalgia. I was strollin’ through Tesco and there was a sale. Yep.

Its consistency is a bit like toothpaste. It exfoliates in quite a subtle way and doesn’t hurt or tear my skin- ever. But it is effective. A lot of people think, and I used to think, that in order to exfoliate your skin you have to really scrub it and leave it raw. This actually doesn’t help at all. You’re not supposed to move your skin while scrubbing it, you’re supposed to keep a flat surface. A more subtle scrub is the best option. And I find that this scrub does that for me. It also lifts blackheads- FOR REAL. And it leaves a great squeeky shine, too. I just keep this bottle in my shower and use it when I can. It is perfectly fine to use daily- it says so on the bottle. But I have other products that I’ll list below that tie me over. I use this scrub about three times a week and worth noting: I started to see results after just one use. I paid less that 5euro for this product and it does last a good while. Each use requires a pea-sized amount of product and the bottle is 150ml- PLENTY! Definitely recommend!

Alternatively, you could try the Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Daily Scrub at this link. I’ve also included a picture of the Clean & Clear 60 Second Shower Mask because I have heard brilliant things and do believe it is worth trying along side this product- you can find out more about this product here. And alternatively again, I have included a picture of the Garnier (Skin Active) Blackhead Eliminating Scrub– which I have not tried but if for any reason you cannot use Clean & Clear, this could be a go-to for you. Click here for more info on that product.

  • Johnson’s Makeup Be Gone Refreshing Wipes (for Combination Skin)

There are pros and cons to this product, I will be honest. The main con being that each packet of wipes alone cost almost five euro. Which, let’s face it, is expensive for face wipes when you can pick some up in Penneys for A LOT less. BUT, lemme argue a case here. The product is worth it. That’s my case. There is moisture LOCKED in to each individual wipe and they smell delicious. They leave my skin not only squeeky clean but super moist- without contributing to oily skin. I use the the wipes for combination skin mainly because my skin can be any way on any given day. But also, I feel like they have the best balance. For some reason, whenever I use products that are designed for sensitive skin, I have a bit of a reaction. So for me, combination skin is the best option. But of course, that varies from person to person.

Along with using these products, I have completely minimized my makeup wear. I really try not to wear makeup on my skin at all now. I allow myself about two days a week with foundation and the rest of the time, I’m fresh faced with a bit of brow product and mascara. So, I carry these wipes in my bag. I use them morning, mid-day and night. Basically, whenever I think of it. They have a decent amount of moisture in them and are SO satin so you can literally see the dirt lift- even if there is nothing on your face! I love that because it really makes me feel like the wipes are working deep into my skin rather than just at a surface level. And the best part- there is NO ALCOHOL in these wipes. Which is super, super important. To find out about the effects that alcohol based products have on your skin- click here. ANYWAY, although these wipes are a bit pricey, I do think that they are definitely worth it. If you’d like to find out more about this product, click here. I picked mine up in Dunnes Stores but you can definitely find them in any good supermarket or pharmacy.

  • Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Moisturizer

Holy grail! This is probably my favorite product out of this list. Basically because not only did it surprise me, it rescued me. For the last few months I was using a Benefit moisturizer that I did find really good I have to say, but it was more of a night cream as it was just too heavy and thick for my skin. It took ages to absorb and left my hands a bit sticky. But this product (for a fraction of the price) is everything I’ve ever wanted. Again, I used it as a teenager but had completely forgotten about it and came across it in a supermarket sale, decided to give it a second bash. At the time, I was with my cousin who swore that it was like satin on the skin and was really effective. I took a leap of faith and went out on a limb spending a whopping 3 EURO in the sale at the time and have not looked back since. It is really light on the skin and can be used both morning and night (which is so convenient), it really locks in moisture and leaves a gorgeous dewy glow WITHOUT looking oily or feeling greasy. It has a really subtle scent that is gorgeous but not too strong- which I think is really important in a moisturizer. There’s nothing worse than accidentally putting a strongly perfumed moisturizer on your lips, licking you lips and realizing that this might be how it ends. This product is the perfect balance and I cannot recommend it enough. I basically just massage this product into my face using my ring fingers in upward circular motions both in the morning before I leave the house (can be used before makeup application) and at night before I go to bed. This product can be bought in any good supermarket or pharmacy. Click here to find out more!

Although I do not use the cleanser, I have heard brilliant things so have included a picture as a recommendation for a sister product. If you’d like to find out more about the sister cleanser, click here.

And last but not least, my favorite lip product at the moment…

  • Maybelline Dr. Rescue Baby Lips in Menthol

 

If I’m being 100% completely honest, I actually bought this product a decent while back and did not realize or appreciate that I was sitting on absolute gold. I think I picked it up because I’d seen a pretty picture of it on Pinterest or something ridiculous and just forgotten all about it. I bought it in my local pharmacy for something like 2 or 3 euro. So, it was totally affordable. And, is TOTALLY WORTH IT.

I personally love the menthol flavor because it tingles my lips and kind of makes them feel that little bit more plump because of that. But the reason I love this product goes beyond tingly lips. It is full of moisture. It has changed the dry lip game. It literally makes my lips feel like silk. And I understand that this product isn’t exactly considered skin care, as such, but with the lack of makeup lately I’ve been wearing a balm rather than heavy product on my lips and I’ve been really trying to focus on rehabilitating my skin rather than drawing out of it all the time and expecting it to run on empty. It’s like a little promise I’ve made to myself. Mainly because I was sick of dreading up close no makeup photos or snapchatting on my makeup days off. I would definitely consider this lip balm a treatment. It does say on the label that it is a medical balm and focuses on bringing lips up to a healthy standard. It also just looks really cute! It leaves a really decent, non-greasy shine on the lip and does not look cakey or thick. I keep this product in my bag and just use it all day long. I even pop it on before bed and let it work some magic while I sleep. If you’d like to know more about this product click here. Alternatively, I would use Vaseline- which cannot be doubted or questioned in life, EVER.

What I really love about these products is that they are affordable and accessible and can be used by any skin type or age group. In my opinion, they’re almost universal and they really don’t put you out of pocket to try. I find that the hardest thing about finding the right products these days- a lot of them are just not affordable or realistically priced and are almost impossible to keep a constant supply of them. So, give it a bash. What have you got to lose?

Anyway guys & gals, as requested, that is my current, affordable skin routine. Please do drop a comment and let me know if you have used any of these products or anything similar. If you go ahead and try any of them- let me know how you get on! Even if you hate them and think I’m wrong- lemme know what your alternative products are. All I’ve done with this whole skin experience is go back to basics with skin care. Instead of trying really expensive and crazy products, like I have been doing since I left these ones behind, I just decided to try these again. For the price range that they are at, I figured I didn’t have anything to lose. A few weeks ago, my skin was rough and dehydrated. I had fine lines and really dark circles and freckles, I also had a yellow tone to my face. Today, my skin tone is more even, my dark circles have reduced and my fine lines are gone. I will admit that in addition to using these products, I have been drinking water with lemon slices in it (as an anti-oxidant) and exercising regularly. It’s really important to note that because more than anything, your skin reflects your health on the inside. Your skin is you largest organ is a complete mirror of your diet. So just to note that sometimes, rather than a new skin routine, a new diet or multivitamin is required.

If you have any questions about any of these products or anything else about my current skincare routine please do not hesitate to get in touch! And if you’d like to join in on daily vlogs, daily posts and so much more ultra-fun times, just click on the links below. Thank you for reading!

Until next time,

J X

 

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Are you a major coffee lover? I have sourced just the thing for you!

Are you a major coffee lover? I have sourced just the thing for you!

Hello there little duckies,

Before I start, let me wish y’all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Here in Ireland, it is majorly celebrated and I hope every one of you have a lovely time on March 17th. Send me your Paddy’s Day snaps over on ‘jademccannx’ and let me know what you all got up to! 

 

Anyway, I am back today with a blog post that is sort of random. So as you guys know, I work in a cute little cafe as a barista and I am such a coffee fanatic. I literally live off and for the stuff. And if you are anything like me, instant coffee just will not do the job for ya. I have tried all blends of instant and at one stage they probably would have given me energy or fulfilled my pallet- but not anymore. So, I spend my days travelling from coffee shop to coffee shop, trying new blends 3-4euro at a time. Well, at least I did…

I have priced coffee machines before and they are generally just too expensive. Estimating between 200-5,000 euro, I always had my heart set on the full thing: not just a pod machine- but one with a steamer and grinder included. Eventually I realised that that was an incredibly ambitious goal considering some weeks, I don’t make rent. So when I was doing my shopping in ALDI and noticed they had a Nespresso machine for only 60euro, I almost cried. And obviously, I bought it.

I decided to drop my previous idea that I could currently afford a full coffee machine that I’d find in work or any other cafe for my house and realised that as long as I had a decent double shot in me, I could live happily ever after. I’m so excited about the purchase and I actually can’t keep it to myself!

So a little run down of this beautiful, affordable Nespresso machine:

  • It is an Ambient electric coffee capsule machine. This basically means that you use little pods to give you your coffee. Another great mention at this point is that Aldi do a beautiful range of Nespresso pods that are absolutely to die for. They also only cost 1.99euro for ten! Imagine how much ten coffees would cost you in Starbucks… ya feel me?
  • However, if you’d rather go and buy some Costa, Kenco or Starbucks capsules for this machine then you can. It is compatible with almost all Nespresso capsules.
  • Included in the box is one coffee machine (hooked up to a lead and plug) and an instruction manual.
  • With regards to the instruction manual, I really don’t think you’ll need it. Literally all you need to do is plug the machine in, lift the top door, pop your capsule in and press go. Simples.
  • There are two options on this machine: single shot or double shot. I’m a double shot kind of gal, myself. On that note, there is no steamer for your milk. There is no milk dispenser at all in this machine. There is no grinder as you don’t need one (ground coffee is in the pods).
  • Nespresso capsules are super easy to use. You don’t need to undo the packaging or take the coffee grinds out. Basically, the machine just pierces the packaging as it rinses the grinds. This saves such messing about.
  • This machine is compact and powerful.  It preheats in just 40 seconds and it’s powerful 20 bar system will extract maximum flavour from the capsules, so you can enjoy truly authentic-tasting coffee.
  • It also has a detachable drip tray. The drip tray is what you rest your cup on as your espresso pours so if you miss the cup or whatever, it falls onto a tray and saves spilling. Cleaning this coffee machine is super easy because of the drip tray- ya just pop it off and rinse it!
  • Last but not least, it actually looks so nice. It doesn’t look tacky or cheap and it definitely doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb. It’s pretty small and would fit anywhere in a kitchen. I’ve decided to pop it beside my kettle!

The only kind of annoying thing about this machine is that if you want an Americano, you have to boil the kettle (that’s why it’s beside my kettle). It doesn’t produce extra hot water for your coffee- it literally just produces the double or single espresso. And forget about milky coffees cos this ain’t got no steamer.

However, I’ve been using this machine for a few days and I have to say it is doing the trick. Forget instant coffee. Forget spending 3-4euro a pop in Starbucks. This machine literally takes two minutes to produce a coffee that is equally as beautiful for (if you add it all up and divide it) a hell of a lot cheaper than what you’d usually pay. And did I mention that I love it?

I’ve decided to share this with you guys because I just thought it was such an amazing find. Also, Aldi do great deals on a weekly basis that totally help students and people on a budget out. If you lead a busy lifestyle like me or just absolutely adore coffee, this machine is a fabulous deal and definitely deserves to be considered.

If any of you have any comments or questions, please do not be afraid to comment below. Oh & just incase you would like to source this product further, you can find it at this link: Click Here

Well, that’s all for today. If you guys want to keep in touch or follow me around on a day to day basis, I have been using my snapchat as a daily vlogging format lately. My username is ‘jademccannx‘- come say hey!

Some of my other social links include:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jadenotanotherbeautyblog

Twitter: @Jaydamccann

Instagram: @jaydamccannx OR @jademccannmua

  • NB: This blog post was not sponsored, I genuinely just found a product that I wanted to share with you guys.

 

 

 

 

 

THE REAL BACK TO SCHOOL ESSENTIALS: MY TOP FIVE MENTAL HEALTH HACKS FOR GOING BACK TO SCHOOL!

THE REAL BACK TO SCHOOL ESSENTIALS: MY TOP FIVE MENTAL HEALTH HACKS FOR GOING BACK TO SCHOOL!

One of the hardest things that I have ever done was defer college. But I needed to admit to myself and to the people that cared about me that I just was not mentally stable or emotionally ready. And since I’ve been in recovery, I have needed to learn how to properly look after myself all over again. It was almost like I went straight back to childhood. But that’s what happens- sometimes, we forget the most simple but absolutely crucial things that keep us mentally well. We get caught up in the fact that our society tells us that our schooling will determine the rest of our lives, our standard of living, our place in that society. Trust me on this, there are ways and means around absolutely everything. And sometimes, we just need to do our best and leave the rest up to whoever is running the show. Because school does not define you. You define you. And your grades? Do not define how good of a person you are. How kind you are does, how genuine, how compassionate. Before we know it, all of this school business will be over. And what will really matter will be the same as before- our relationship with ourselves, our family, our friends and our morals and beliefs. Everything after that is an asset. THAT DOES NOT MEAN DON’T TRY. It just means that your best IS ENOUGH. So, give yourself a bit of a break. Be on your own team. And once you’ve done your best, let that shit go. Oh and while you’re at it, let go of comparisons. Stop comparing your pace to other peoples. We don’t all travel at the same speed- and it’s okay to go a little slower! Comparing yourself to other people will set you up for low self-esteem, anxiety and feelings of worthlessness. So before you even go there, DON’T. You are a unique little bunny and wanting to be like someone else is a complete waste of who you already are. So, let go of expectations. YOU AND YOUR BEST ARE ENOUGH!!

Some days are better, some days are worse. Look for a blessing, instead of the curse. Be positive, stay strong, and get enough rest. You can’t do it all. But you can do your best.

I get asked on a regular basis how I manage my stress around my college life. And I do try my best to, but sometimes I still get upset, worried and stressed. I’m beginning to see that that’s just life and it happens to everyone. However, there are certain tips and tricks that I have picked up over the last while that help me stay as grounded as possible while studying, working and keeping on top of my other bits. I am an extremely busy woman. I live with my partner, parents and brother. I have to keep on top of bills so working is not a choice. I have two ongoing college courses. I’m also training for the World Barista Championships. And my favourite of all, I have you guys to entertain and keep sweet! So, yeah, stress can be a factor. But, my recovery comes first. Because without that, none of the above would be possible. So here are the crucial basics that I keep in check to keep myself well throughout the college year!

5. SLEEP LIKE A BABY- LITERALLY!

I cannot stress how important it is to get at least eight hours of sleep each night- REGARDLESS OF YOUR DEADLINES. Sleep is your meditation- especially when your busy. If you have a life that is non-stop, maybe it’s the only time that you can truly just relax. Make it worth it! Sleep is the foundation of each day. And without a good foundation, how can you build your empire?  And I know what you’re thinking, too. This does not mean lying in bed on Facebook until 3am searching your crush’s ex partner and their sisters. This means phone off, lights off, TV off. Face washed, teeth brushed, pyjama ready. I can promise you, you will feel the benefits!

4. EAT THOSE NUTRIENTS!

I remember when my mental health really got bad initially and someone said to me that I should eat more vegetables. I actually lost my temper. I couldn’t believe how ignorant they were. I thought that they didn’t understand and that I most definitely was completely on my own. But, here I am before you quoting their very words. I’m not stating that eating more healthy food will cure you or keep you immune to a decline in your mental health- that’s clearly impossible. But, we are what we eat. If we are filling are bodies with junk food, chocolate (yum), crisps, chip shops… we are going to feel sluggish, our bodies are not being sustained. We are constantly putting crash foods into our system, and as a result, our systems crash. We get bouts of energy and then feel tired, we get bouts of happiness but then feel sad. And why? Because sugar and salt are powerful. They work, kinda like coffee, but not in the long run. So, if you’re planning on sustaining your body and mind for a whole semester, OR THREE, I suggest you consider filling your plate with the best options: veggies, fruities, beanies, ricies, oaties & nutties! These foods have been proven to be the best for slow energy release and system sustenance. GET A GOOD BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER AND DRINK LOADS OF WATER. Your body literally is your temple when it comes to your mental health. Anyway, don’t we deserve the best? Sp, if you’re in a hurry and need an  energy boost at lunch- grab a smoothie instead of a coffee. Grab a banana instead of a chocolate bar. You won’t feel as bloated, as tired or as miserable. I can promise ya that.

3. GET UP ON TIME & GET YOURSELF READY PROPERLY!

I’m an absolute devil for this. Waking up ten minutes before a lecture, being ten minutes late, leaving my bra at home, wearing crocks. But, I do find that when I get up on time, have a hot shower, pop a bit of cream on, a nice outfit… I feel so ready for whatever the day may throw my way. It’s almost like a little morning boost to just spend some time with myself, check in with Jade and just prepare for whatever may come. So, set that alarm, be in bed on time and get the HELL up. No matter how you feel. Make it to the kettle. Make it to the mirror. Make it to the bathroom. Once you start, all of the negative thoughts will lift. And by the time you arrive at your destination, you will be bright eyed and bushy tailed. You got this. Every day that you live is worth an amazing start.

2. LEARN TO RAISE YOUR HAND, ASK QUESTIONS AND SPEAK UP.

For so long, I was so scared to ask questions in school and especially college. I thought that if I made it look like I didn’t know, everyone would think I was stupid. But my Dad explained something to me and I soon got over that. He said that it takes courage to raise a hand and ask, but someone else in the class may be just like you, afraid, and maybe it’ll help them, too. You won’t be alone. You’ll just be a bit braver.

Something that I also needed to understand was that I have just as much as a right as anybody else in the classroom to learn. With regards to college, I pay my fees. I’m there to learn. If I don’t understand and I leave without asking, what am I going for? Why am I paying my fees? Why would I bother applying for a grant? Or going to work? Doing any of it!?

Have enough respect for yourself to get the best of the services provided. When it came to school, I decided to mess. Deep down, I didn’t feel good enough so I didn’t do my best (all of the time). But, I should have. I was there regardless of what I did so, I should have just taken part and got the best out of it.Do not regret sitting on the sideline! You deserve a good education. And you’re not stupid. You’re not worthless. And you are only as good as you paint yourself. Don’t be afraid. Be brave. It is within your rights- the ability to use your voice. Use it!

  1. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOU CANNOT CONTROL!

When people tell me not to worry, it just doesn’t help. But what does help, is differentiating what is worth worrying about. If you’ve already handed the essay in, fuck it, it’s done. If you’ve already sat the exam, IT IS IN THE PAST. And it is no longer worth your pretty little head space. If you have an upcoming assignment, be organised, get yourself prepared. But once it’s done, it is done. Things that are within your control, are yours to dictate. So, if you’ve an exam tomorrow but a party tonight, miss the party- there’ll be more. Study instead. Because you will be the first to cry if you fail. Do things today that your future self will thank you for. And if you complain about the harvest, always remember that you reap what you sow. ON THAT NOTE, I will be the first to say that sometimes certain subjects just don’t suit people. For example, in school I really liked languages. But maths? I cried and had panic attacks and left the room COUNTLESS TIMES. I just couldn’t grasp it. And that was out of my control. I learned to just pass ordinary level and be okay with my best. Because my best was enough. It had to be. It’s all I have!

Just to keep it in the day. Remember that yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn’t happened yet. So, keep your abilities within the day. One step at a time. You can’t run unless you learn to walk first. You can do this. This is all for you. You are worth this much. Mind your own goddam business. Look after yourself. Love yourself. Give yourself a break. The rest will follow. You will be okay. This just a chapter, not the whole book.

On another note, MENTAL HEALTH LETTERS ARE BACK IN ACTION. If you or someone you know could do with a little inspiration, motivation & sparkle, please send the name & address to my Facebook page and a magic bundle will land on the requested doorstep- FREE OF CHARGE!

AND AS ALWAYS, all of my social media platforms are open to messages, questions & queries. EVERY SINGLE PERSON receives a genuine reply.

FACEBOOK: NOT ANOTHER BEAUTY BLOG

INSTAGRAM: JAYDAMCCANNX

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TWITTER: JAYDAMCCANN

 

 

 

 

HOW I OVERCOME BREAKOUTS & MANAGE OILY SKIN- DRUGSTORE STYLE! (FULL PRODUCT LIST WITH LINKS INCLUDED)

HOW I OVERCOME BREAKOUTS & MANAGE OILY SKIN- DRUGSTORE STYLE! (FULL PRODUCT LIST WITH LINKS INCLUDED)

I think I had only ever had about three spots in my life. I had never encountered a breakout. I had never had oily skin. I didn’t even know what skin type I was! It didn’t concern me. I never had a particular skin routine or ritual because, to be honest, I didn’t need one. I literally just washed my face, moisturizer when I felt I needed to, kept a clean canvas before and after makeup applications. But that went all downhill a few months ago.

I decided to change my diet. Sure, why not? I wanted to feel a bit less bloated, save some animals & try a new lifestyle. So, I tried on the vegan hat. But literally within a month, my forehead, jaw line, cheekbones, eyebrows, temples and CHEST were just completely covered in greasy face produce and probably the ugliest spots and blackheads I have ever seen. I have no photographs because I literally couldn’t help but cry about it the majority of the time. For so long, I felt like it was out of my control. That my body was adapting to a new diet, that maybe I was stressed, that I was doomed and was getting some kind of karma for all those years of skin privilege.  I also didn’t even want to hear people talk about it or get recommendations because I was almost blocking it out. I actually couldn’t, and still can’t, believe how much it shook and affected my confidence and personality. I felt I couldn’t wear makeup because it would worsen. I felt I couldn’t go without because I was hideous. I was constantly battling with myself. At one point, I thought if I went to a cafe for lunch, I would put people off their food or tea. But enough became enough. I left my little pity party (population: 1) and decided to have a look about some shops to see what might help. And yes! I found some amazing, AFFORDABLE products that are EASILY ACCESSIBLE and ACTUALLY WORK. But some of the best remedies are free, and I came across them completely by accident. But, I wanted to share them all with you. I’ve had a lot of questions sent in on my Snapchat & I’ve been emailing a few of you about the new beauty regime and products I use…so why not just have it public for a constant point of reference?

I really hope this helps at least one person because I can absolutely assure you, these products and regimes are completely my own choice and my own combination. I am not sponsored by any of these companies or lying about my results. So, invest and feel your best. Because these tricks worked for me!

So, as I said above, I literally did not know what to do on a daily basis. But the first helpful product that I came across was suggested to me by my local beautitian just as a toner. However, me being a complete nerd and having researched it, it turned out to be a magic substance for all skin types. So, I visited my local health food store and got some. And if you follow me on snapchat, you are gonna know that I am talking about rose-water.

I cannot stress enough how amazing this stuff is. When I first started buying it, I was picking it up from health food stores and it was costing a fair bit. But I did my research, and turns out you can pick it up online from Salon Services (you get a whole load for a tenner!). I STILL USE THIS RELIGIOUSLY. Every morning (EVEN IF I’M IN A HURRY), I quickly get some cotton wool and rose-water and just rinse my face. I do it on my break in work to get rid of excess oils and cleanse all redness and it works. I do it every night before bed. I do it sometimes in the car, without a doubt before and after every make up application & wear. It just breaks through all grease, and even when I’ve got the biggest, most ugly spot, it takes away the redness and swelling and almost makes me look presentable. Also, while I was doing my homework for this post, I discovered that rose water can be used as A SETTING SPRAY FOR MAKEUP. I will most definitely try this & report back. In rose water I trust. And the best part about this product? You can make it at home. CLICK HERE for an easy guide on how to boost your beauty and save your skin.

So, after I realised that rose-water helped me cope on a day-to-day basis, I also realised that I really needed something affordable that would take all of the gunk out of my face. I asked some of you over on my snapchat what kind of masks you used and got some amazing suggestions! But a lot of them were expensive and not within my shopping perimeter. So, I went to Boots and spent about two hours reading labels, googling reviews, reading blog posts, walking isles, asking staff members and almost dying inside. I finally picked one.

When I picked this up, it was mainly because the label was fairly specific and suited my skin type. It was so affordable that I really didn’t have an excuse not to try it. And nearly every review that I saw online was spectacular. And from the very first application, I was so content with my choice. It’s a standard clay mask, so there is no confusion. A simple apply, dry and wash. But the aftermath of this product is unreal. Similar to the rose-water, it calms all breakouts and redness. And I’ve found that if I use a cleansing brush to scrub it off, it takes away a lot of my blocked pores. It also really helps with oil control for days following the application. SUCH A GEM. The label told me everything, including how many applications I’d have. For 6.99 (euro), I’d have ten applications. If I were to apply twice a week (which I do), I would have a five-week supply of face mask. And the best part is, I’ve managed to get myself to seven weeks by not using as much on some applications. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE OR ORDER THIS PRODUCT ONLINE. 

So, although both of these products were working absolute wonders and I was feeling much better in myself, I was fairly sick of having to wash with rose-water and spare a half an hour most evenings for a mask. I realised that if I had a good moisturizer that would mattify my skin, it would save a lot of hassle. Also, most of my breakouts were due to the oil, so if I could control the oil, maybe the breakouts would stop. The product that I chose does not only contain no animal bi-product or have no animal testing affiliation, it actually works. And it’s all natural. I even use it on clients!

 

I  carry this product in my handbag. I’ve also purchased one for my makeup kit. I’ve got one in my car. It is so refreshing, it smells absolutely UNREAL. It really is a total miracle worker. I thought that I would forever be controlling my oil, and never actually be rid of it. Products like this genuinely give me hope. Also a drugstore product, a little bit pricier than the two before costing me 13.99 (euro). But, in my opinion, totally worth it. You only need a pea size for each application as it spreads so well.  CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WEBSITE, FIND OUT MORE OR EVEN PURCHASE THIS PRODUCT.

Lastly, I just wanted to share with you some of the makeup products that have helped my full face applications stay, not slip, not sweat, not dewy and just fab. It’s difficult to find products suited to everybody’s oily skin because well, every person will have a different balance or a different texture. But given my research there are a few products that cannot be faulted and I thought pinpointing them might help someone on a similar journey. Also, a lot of the online info that I find on topics like these are super out of my reach. I totally cannot afford Laura Mercier powder or ABH setting spray. It’s just not a reality for me, and I bet a lot of people feel the same way. So drugstore style, I conquered my oily skin makeup nightmares.

 

Firstly, let me say that the L’Oreal Infallible Mattifying Base Primer has literally saved me from actual meltdowns. There is nothing worse than having a night out planned and literally considering not going because of how you feel about yourself. This primer just fills in EVERYTHING. It also blends all of my humps and bumps in with the rest of my face. I picked this up in Boots for 11.99 (euro), which is more expensive than most drugstore primers. But, given the results, I regret nothing. Also, just as I got the link for this product, I realised these is a current sale on it- it’s now £7.99 on the Boots website! CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS PRODUCT.

I’ve also included a picture of the twin foundation, incase you thought of teaming them up or what might go with it best. For me, I use the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, which is a tad pricy. But I also love the Catrice range in Even Sand, and even Rimmel have a fabulous Stay Matte option which I LOVE. As I said, everybody has different oil ratios and different experiences with makeup. But these mattifying products have worked for me in the past and continue to do so. CLICK HERE to find out more about the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. CLICK HERE to read up on some Catrice foundations that helped me keep everything under wraps (this link will help you find a fitted foundation based on your exact skin tone & type). & CLICK HERE to find out more about the wonderful, and affordable, Rimmel options available in most pharmacies and online (Rimmel also have an amazing Stay Matte powder to match the foundation!).  As far as I know, NYX also do an amazing Shine Killer range that is totally worth looking into.

Lastly, I understand that the Ben Nye products have mixed reviews. I know that a lot of really highly regarded beauty bloggers and makeup artists have claimed them not to work, or to take terrible pictures, or to leave blotches. But for me, in all my oily skinned glory, both the Translucent and Banana Ben Nye Powders continue to save my face daily. I purchased them both from Camera Ready Cosmetics online and they were totally affordable, which I wasn’t expecting due to how popular they are! I think they cost me about 10.oo (euro) per medium pot. But hey, I use them daily. I even use them on my clients for baking and contouring- and there are plenty of amazing tutorials online if you struggle with anything like that. But picking myself up a decent powder really improved my finished looks and confidence through all of this. CLICK HERE to see the purchase link for the Ben Nye Powders.

And VERY lastly, on some of the hottest days over summer I forced myself to conquer my fear and jump in the sea, only to find out that salt & mineral water is a perfect, amazing, easily accessible, flawless and dependable, oil-busting, skin-clearing MIRACLE WORKER that I have ever come across. So now, I find myself in the sea a lot. Try it, it’s free, organic… VERY COLD but it sure as hell works!

 

So, there you have it. My research and experience so far in the life of oily skin. It is a total journey. And one of the main reasons that I wanted to share all of this is because, when I realised my skin had problems, I genuinely didn’t know what was wrong with me. I even did a skin patch test in Boots to figure out my skin type. I really struggled with finding information and getting help. But there are affordable options and free public platforms that offer information, you just have to reach out and ask for help, or pick yourself up to go and find them. And with regards to the mental aspect of it, I’m really just trying to learn to love myself regardless of how I look. That’s where the answer is, it’s where the hardship is, but it’s where the growth is. At the end of the day, we’re all human. We get gross sometimes. Society might tell us that spots are ugly, skinny is better, collar bones are a must, eyebrows are more important than our actual intellect and all other sorts of nonsense. But, sometimes it’s just about accepting that we’re never going to be perfect. Nobody is. And we can’t always correct or abolish our flaws, but we can cope with or work on them.

And as always, feel free to get in touch on any of my social media platforms. Thank you for your constant love, acceptance and support.

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