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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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

SNAPCHAT: JADEMCCANNX

TWITTER: JAYDAMCCANN

 

 

 

 

Self-Doubt | Not Another Beauty Blog

Self-Doubt | Not Another Beauty Blog

Self-doubt (noun): lack of confidence in oneself or one’s abilities.

One of the hardest things I have ever had to try and learn to do is just trust myself. Trust how I feel. Trust who I am and what I know. For some reason, ever since I can remember I’ve asked for second opinions, followed everyone else’s advice. I could never just accept that maybe my own thoughts on a situation were alright, enough. Of late, I’ve had a lot of self-doubt and not around any particular situation or topic, just in general. I can doubt my thoughts, my opinions, my wants. I feel like I never really know what I want or where I need to be. And that can really panic me. When it comes to thinking about the future, I worry that I won’t accomplish all of my goals and the ‘not good enough’ monster jumps on-board. But I’m learning that it’s okay not to have it all figured out. It’s okay to want something else. It’s okay to be confused. Life wouldn’t be any fun if everyone knew exactly what they were supposed to be doing all of the time! Nobody would learn, be, or feel anything different. And on that point, it is also okay to be different!

While all this was going on, I was doing my internet research on how to keep it all under wraps and how to, in time, change all of this confusion and self-questioning. Not because it’s not okay, but just because it can be a bit of a bother. As I grow emotionally and spiritually, I really want to be sure that everything I’m doing is the next right thing. I, personally, don’t want to look back at my life and have everyone else’s advice to credit for where I am. I want to be sure of myself and be well enough to get where I am on my own advice and initiative. So, I’ve decided to share what I’ve found with you all- just in case you ever have a time that you’re just a little unsure of yourself. Always know that you are never alone.

“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.”- Honore de Balzac

  • Ground Yourself

Sometimes I can be sucked into other people’s drama and opinions and I may not even realise but within a few days I genuinely do feel heavier, like I’m carrying a bag full of rocks. Own what you own and leave everyone else’s belongings with them. To bring me back to myself, I like to have a hot bath or shower and have an early night. Some people like to meditate. Some love to venture in to nature. Every little helps! Basically, just try staying in the moment and taking things as they are. Carrying around the negativity will not help you focus on and care for yourself.

  • Balance The Negative

If your bad thoughts are becoming too loud, argue them with some self-praise. It takes me a while, but sometimes I nit pick my life and write down a huge gratitude list. It really helps me to be more grateful and appreciative of what I have achieved so far- helping me to feel better about future Jay.

  • Take A Break

If you’re really giving yourself a hard time about something and you can’t shift it no matter what way you think about it, let it go and do something else for a while. Jump, sing, paint, online yoga, stretch, draw, ANYTHING! A fresh head might have some better ideas.

  • Nurture Yourself

It’s easy to doubt ourselves when we forget to look after our basic needs. Have you been sleeping okay? Eating right? Have you had enough down time? These are things to reconsider when we get ourselves into emotional frantic. Keeping a diary helps me to organise me time. Although, I’m not always so strict on it. The thought does stick and I do get around to it!

  • Let Go Of Comparisons

You are not her. You are not him. You are not them. You are you and that is more than alright. You have something that nobody else has- your own person. Why would you want to be like someone else when you can be even more spectacular just by being exactly who you are? I can fall into deep comparisons and I find a lot of it is based around social media and how people present their lives. It is so important for me to remind myself that social media is not real and how I am in real life, without filters & likes, is perfectly okay.

  • Connect

Self-doubt, for me, usually kicks in when I’m living up in my head or in isolation. It is a clear indication that I need to spend time with friends or family, and distract myself from my negative thought patterns.

What helps you overcome self-doubt or negative thoughts of self?

Reach back on Facebook or Instagram.

For business or collab enquiries: jadeshannonmccann@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

What Is Mental Health? | Mental Health Awareness Week w/Not Another Beauty Blog

What Is Mental Health? | Mental Health Awareness Week w/Not Another Beauty Blog

 

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Hello darlings!

I’m just gonna get straight into the writing without an update for two main reasons: 1) Absolutely nothing important has happened in my life & 2) We have A LOT of work to get through!

So as we all know, I work around mental health all year long. However, due to the fact that it is MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 2016, I have a special week planned for all of you wonderful readers that keep me afloat during my tough times. You are all fabulous and I appreciate every single reply, response and kind message or thought you send in. It really does mean so much to me and to show you just how much, there will be a HUGE competition on my Facebook page at the end of the week- the cherry on top of a week full of wonderful reading!

Read more

A Letter To My Fifteen-Year-Old Self | Not Another Beauty Blog

A Letter To My Fifteen-Year-Old Self | Not Another Beauty Blog

I was scrolling through Facebook a few days ago and came across an apparently therapeutic method of counselling toward self-acceptance. It was recommended (and I can’t remember who by) to write letters to your past and future self, to encourage engagement with past and future emotions. Apparently, it helps to move towards self-acceptance in the present and create an understanding of emotions, lessening guilt, regret, anger and pressure that may be built up inside. And boy oh boy! What have I got to lose!? Obviously, this can be done within the comfort of a diary or your laptop and doesn’t have to be published online. But, I’ve decided to make mine public in hope that someone out there may relate. I feel like this is going to be fun for both the writer and reader! I’ll also include some pictures for a giggle!

I did ask a few of my SnapChat friends what they would tell their fifteen-year-old self and I received a LOT of replies that have led to beautiful conversations. If you would like to take part in my SnapChat engagements, add Jademccannx. See ya there!

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Dear fifteen-year-old self,

I am writing this letter to you today in hope that I may get some things of my chest. I feel as though I need some forgiveness for just how hard I’ve been on you in the past, and continue to be right up to this present day. In order to forgive myself, I feel as though I need to address each issue individually and talk through all of the ‘little’, HUGE things that I have held you responsible for. Let’s begin.

The first and most important thing that I would like to point out to you is your beauty. Naturally, you are so radiant. Inside and out. Unfortunately, you’re a sensitive soul and allow people to dim your radiance. But let me remind you, aesthetically and through personality, you are beautiful. The picture above is a selfie you took before you boarded a plane to New York with your distant cousins. You spend the entire holiday in a complete daze and fell in utter love with the city. You deserved that holiday and you deserved that happiness. You deserved that peace of mind, you deserved those beautiful memories. You are not ugly. You do not look ‘butch’. You look absolutely stunning and your cornrows are hella cool. And anybody that tells you otherwise are simply jealous. And I know how hard that is to believe. All our life, our mama and papa tell us that ‘people are mean when they feel threatened’. But if you have been told something repeatedly and if you are treated a certain way by certain people for a long period of time, you begin to believe it. But you should rise above it. You should be stronger. You should believe in yourself that little bit more. You hold so many keys to success and you don’t even know it yet. You, are, beautiful. Inside and out.

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At the age of fourteen, you put yourself out there with your own organically written music productions. You released an E.P and gigged in some really amazing places. You met wonderful people and grew in so many ways, ways that don’t seem imaginable for such a young girl. You uploaded videos to YouTube of your songs, your covers, your thoughts. And then at fifteen, you let bullies take all of that away from you. You began to believe that you were bad at singing. You began to feel like the loser they framed you as. You found it harder and harder to fit in. Anxiety developed to larger scales. You blamed yourself for bothering to put yourself out there in the first place. You blamed the victim for the perpetrators actions. You took a step back from your dreams for four years. For four years you were filled with fear and shame. You developed paranoia, you allowed people to speak down to you and leave you out. You found comfort in loneliness and alcohol. 

Dear fifteen-year-old self, fuck them. They ARE jealous. They are jealous because they are not as brave as you. They are jealous because you are adventurous, you are honest, you are inspiring, you are interesting- and all they can do is watch because they are everything that you are not. 

Dear fifteen-year-old self, do not be so mean to yourself.  Do not let people take the most precious thing about you and destroy it. Do not blame yourself. Do not hate yourself. Do not stop your tracks in the hands of bullies. You are allowed to feel sad. You will find that in your life, there will be worse situations than girls making a video mimicking you. You will find that there are more petty and horrible people and things out in the world. You will find that not everything is worth fretting over. You will find that no matter WHAT you do, be it spectacular or mediocre, there will be someone waiting to drag you back, hold you down. So just do you and be the beautiful person you are. If you had not have stopped, you would be so much further right now. You may even have reached your goals. Somewhere in an alternate universe, you are standing on a stage playing in front of thousands with a huge smile on your face and a heart full of bravery.

 Dear fifteen-year-old self, do not let them stop you from being who you are, from getting what you deserve.

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Dear fifteen-year-old self, please stay as wise as you possibly can to peer-pressures. There are people that will pose in photographs with you, holding cigerrettes and alcohol, pretending to be your best friend- but they couldn’t care less if you succeed in life or not. Real friends are the kind that push you to go to training and pratice, come to see you fight and play music, stay on your back about focus and goals. Music was not your only asset. You were an incredible 247781_132282706848517_191937_nfighter with huge potential. And although to this day you’re still fit and practice, there is no doubt that you would have exceeded all expectations within that ring. Instead, you chose to spend time with people that had not your best interest at heart. People that held the key to escapism. People that provided alcohol, drugs and cigarettes illegally. You chose to pose for profile pictures instead of news paper articles. At this time, you want to fit in. You want to feel a part of something. You want to make friends. But those people are not your friends and your self-worth is more important. Funnily enough, you learned this the hard way. You really should listen to your parents more. Fitness is a wonderful thing and although your ‘friends’ may tell you so, it is not for losers. Drinking and drugging is not for the cool kids. You will see this unravel later in life. For now, have faith in your decisions and passions. Let people be who they are and focus on your strong points, your talents, your goals. Don’t let them take things from you.

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Dear fifteen-year-old self, although there are people that pose in pictures and are not your true ‘friends’, there are also people that are the purest of pure. Unfortunately, being caught up in all that is society, you can’t really tell the difference. My advice would be to hold your family close. The word family suggests that they will never leave, that you will always be this close. Unfortunately, that is not the case. You will grow up and find that every single person you know, at one stage, decides to focus on themselves. Every single person that you cherish will move on, find partners, find new friends, new hobbies, new jobs and new happiness. And that is perfectly alright. They deserve that and more. But cherish them while you can. Because although you may believe that they are forever, they aren’t. Hold the good times close to your heart and create as many as you can while you have the chance. Some people really are worth your time and really do love you. I know that it’s difficult to tell the difference between everyone’s intentions right now. But if you’re going to do one thing for me, hold your family as close as you possibly can. Say thank you. Hug for longer. Kiss harder. Laugh harder. Be there more. Don’t get angry when they borrow your clothes. Don’t argue over petty things. Let them be who they are and love them, pride and all. This is important.

 

383962_215508468525940_1586876393_nDear fifteen-year-old self, I understand that Gaffer has been your pet since you were six years old. I understand that he may annoy you when he growls and trips you up, I understand that he’s getting old and bothers you are the best of times. But can you please understand that he will not be alive forever? At times, he may feel like an extra limb. At times, he may feel like the annoying sibling. But through all of these times, remember to capture photographs in your precious little mind. Photographs of your favourite walks, your funniest times, your hyper shenanigans. He will pass in 2015. You will be hard on yourself for not being more mindful throughout your teenage years. You will remember those times that you were crying over boys and mean girls and he sat at the end of your bed like a guardian angel. You will remember how he licked a cut when you fell as a child. You will remember how he hated the bath. You will remember how you were that little bit distracted and could have cherished him more. Dear fifteen-year-old self, kiss him goodbye for me.

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Dear fifteen-year-old self, you do not need to grow up as fast as you may think. You do not need to have the most fashionable hair style, you do not need to wear heeled-boots and huge handbags, your mom’s clothes and you most definitely do not need makeup and hair-dye in abundance. Dad nags you. He pleads with you to be natural. I know that you truly believe it’s because he doesn’t want boys to like you. But fifteen-year-old self, he just wants you to be the best you that you can be. He wants you to live as innocently and pure as you possibly can, for as long as you possibly can. Because once you cross the line of adulthood, there is not one chance that you can go backwards. Accept that you’re young, embrace it. Be a beautiful fifteen-year-old. Stop trying to be twenty-odd. That day will come. And when it does, you’ll be willing to sell your soul to go back in time. Live in the moment.  Accept your age. Accept yourself as you are. Be fifteen. Boys can wait. Boys aren’t all they crack out to be anyway! Someday you will meet the most amazing man, that will never lead you to question yourself, that will love you and honestly adore you. Until then, fuck them. Let them line up. Let them want you. Let them have someone else to use, to call names, to mentally abuse, to claim and move on from. You really don’t need it that kind of negativity in your life. 

Dear fifteen-year-old self, sex can wait. Sex doesn’t matter. Stop reading magazines that are directed at grown women. Stop letting yourself be encouraged by public forums that do not concern a fifteen-year-old girl. Read KISS, or Mizz. Fuck Cosmopolitan. Fuck Soap Operas. All of these factors may seem small, but they build and develop into a huge influence of expectations for young women. It’s just not realistic. And unfortunately, you’re caught up in that. But dear fifteen-year-old self, be smarter than that. Be smarter than them. Be yourself.

 

Dear fifteen-year-old self, you have a lot to learn. Alcohol and cigerett228383_128377717239016_402150_nes aren’t cool. Makeup isn’t compulsory. Fashion isn’t a ‘follow or die’.  You’re not fat. You’re not ugly. You’re not a loser. You’re just different, beautifully!

Boys can wait. Sex can wait. You are talented in more ways than one. You can sing. You can model. You are athletic. You are clever. You don’t need negative people. You don’t have to be your own worst critic. You don’t have to spend your days comfortably alone. You shouldn’t let bullies control your success. You shouldn’t allow other people’s opinions to have such a high impact toward your future. You should listen to your family more. You should take more photographs in your mind. You should lighten up a bit. You should walk away from people that are upsetting you, block them out. You should move on more. You should let go more. You should care a lot less. And for God’s sake, love yourself. Learn now. It will make the future a hell of a lot easier if you develop the foundation of self-acceptance right now. Trust me, I’d know.

The list is endless. I could write for years about your true worth, your potential and your lessons that you’ve yet to learn. But how would I be where I am if you weren’t who you were? What’s meant to be won’t pass you. Just don’t lose who you are.

What would you tell your fifteen-year-old self?

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My Experience With Deferring College | Not Another Beauty Blog

My Experience With Deferring College | Not Another Beauty Blog

I recently received a message on my Facebook Page from a girl (about a year younger than me) asking about my choice to defer college for a year. This girl was in a different situation than I was but she was just wondering how it benefited me and if I would recommend it. I gave her the best advice I could, based on her situation, however, it got me thinking: there must be so many people going through something, struggling or just having doubts- leading them to think about deferring. For me, I was really lucky because in the college I attend (IADT, Dun Laoghaire), they are super supportive and have an excellent Student Union that were there for me every step of the way. And, as well as that, actually getting the deferral granted sometimes isn’t the problem, it’s figuring out what you’re going to do with a year, further more, if you’ll regret taking the time off in fear of having wasted it. Let me start by noting to you all that this is simply my college deferral experience. I am no expert but I have been there so by sharing my experience, I hope you gain some knowledge that furthers your decision.

I want to start off by telling you why exactly I deferred. I deferred college because I was diagnosed with mental issues that affected my ability to perform academically. I had depression and anxiety and was also suffering terribly with panic attacks and nausea. For the whole of first year, I was fine! I got mostly B’s and C’s and furthered to second year. For the first three months of second year, I guess I was okay. But when my Christmas exams and end of term work started piling up, I just couldn’t handle it. Every time I set foot on campus, I’d just cry. I tried to force myself to work, one day, in the library while I was crying and having a panic attack. I sat there for nearly two hours barely breathing properly forcing myself to read Psycho by Robert Bloch. I had to call my Dad to talk me down so I could drive home safely. 

I can talk about it now and it doesn’t seem real. It seems like I’m talking about a different person. I was so ill and I actually didn’t realise, at all, just how sick I was (to become). Anyway, my parents sat me down and told me that I couldn’t go on like that. Considering we pay my fees with all of our wages (pitched in), we couldn’t afford to waste a year tuition to have me repeat or even drop out. So we made the decision to apply for a deferral. The Student Union of IADT all helped me write my letter to the head of the college and on my grounds of being unwell (along with a doctor’s letter), I was granted a deferral. 

I was so embarrassed and devastated. I’m an ‘all-go’ kind of girl and I had this plan that I would graduate when I was twenty-one and do such and such. I had it so planned out in my head what was going to happen, that I wasn’t even really sure what was going on. Anyway, I looked into part-time college courses and tried to go to work part time but eventually I got worse and had to go on sick leave for a while. Then when I went back to work, I got bad again so I had to stop working. I spent days in bed, not eating, just throwing up.I didn’t know why but I couldn’t stop crying- I mean, whaling. At one stage my mom was convinced she’d have to hospitalize me fully in order to see any recovery! It was horrible, so surreal. I started to make myself do small things like get up and make a cup of tea. Go to the garden and water something. Drive to the shop and get something. Go see my nan. And eventually, I wasn’t afraid of the world anymore (not as much as I was!). Then I got a full-time job in a really nice café (where I still work now and love!) and eventually with the help of both counselling and medication, I have gotten better. When I say that, I don’t mean that I am the best I can be. I mean that I am better than I was yesterday or six months ago. 

If I hadn’t of applied for the deferral, I would never have addressed any of my problems and they would still be compressed and festering today. I would never have learned certain lessons that I am so glad stand by me now. I have learned how to be an adult. I get up, I go to work, I deal with people, I go out with friends, I see my family, I’m still with my amazing boyfriend that (I DON’T KNOW HOW) stayed by my side through all of that. I needed that time, as much as I didn’t want to admit it. As much as I wanted to graduate at twenty-one (instead of a year later), I know that this year has made me who I am going to be for the rest of my life. By taking a time out, I’ve learned patience and responsibility. I’ve also learned the most important thing- which is how to love and respect myself- which I could never understand or do. 

So, all in all, on my half of it, yes, I recommend the deferral. I think it was the best thing I could have done, even though I didn’t want to believe it at the time. I gave myself a break. I let myself have time to breathe, reflect, learn and just live. I’d never just lived before, I was always waiting for someone or something. I was always worried about something- don’t get me wrong, I still worry most of the time- but I just let myself have a break. And just because it was the best for me, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for you. Just because that was my reason, doesn’t mean you need the same one. There are ways and means around everything! So don’t get your panties in a bunch, look at other options, ask around, do your research and hopefully you will know in your heart what the best thing for you to do is. Trust your gut. 

Regarding an update, I have applied for the same course to pick up where I left off in September. I have purchased all of my notebooks and pens and I’m excited to go back, I feel ready to learn more. I still have bad days where I cry, get sick, stay in bed, but I know that it will pass so I try to stay patient and let myself have that moment of downtime. I still take my medication daily, however, I haven’t needed counselling since May. Which is a miracle considering at one stage it was all I lived for.

So, there you have it, me in all my vulnerability! I hope I’ve helped some of you learn more about my decision to defer. My main point in this blog is that I am so happy with my decision and if you are having any doubts at all, find out more first because every college is different. However, don’t think that it’ll be the end of the world if you give yourself a break. There’s always next year and everything doesn’t have to happen right now. The college isn’t going anywhere, the course isn’t going anywhere. Hopefully, you’re not going anywhere. So let yourself have some time to grow. Come back to it when you’re feeling fresher. I don’t see anything wrong with that. 

Self Love | Not Another Beauty Blog

Self Love | Not Another Beauty Blog

First off, let me start by saying that I am so sorry for my absence over the last few months. The thing is, I’ve been working really hard on myself. I’ve been working super hard and just putting a lot of effort in to every day. I know, that’s no excuse to miss blogs but I hope you all enjoy the catch up!
The best and most important thing that I want to write about and share with you all is the life lesson I have learnt over the last few months. In one of my last blogs, I shared with you that of the somewhat breakdown I had. And yes, that was the worst of it, however, the recovery (on-going) is hard work too.  I am still seeing a counsellor which helps me deal with everyday anxieties, concerns and negative thoughts. I’m also still taking Lexapro- which are anti-depressants and anxiety tablets. I’m on a fairly low dose which is good. Basically, the medication just helps level my serotonin levels in my brain. Which basically means they level my mood and stop me having extreme thoughts. There was a stage that I couldn’t control my thinking at all. Like, one minute I’d be super hyper and totally glad to be here and enthusiastic and happy.. and the next I’d be contemplating suicide and just endlessly crying and not knowing why. And even though I’ve been taking the medication for about four months now, I’ve only really started to feel okay the last month or so. As well as learning a lot about self-love, I also learned the very hard lesson of patience.

I wanted to get better now. I wanted it to go away now. I didn’t want to wait until the counselling worked, or the medication worked, or the circumstances changed. I literally just wanted it to happen over night. And the key to even starting to get better is just being aware that it doesn’t happen over night. And that you’re going to have both good and bad days. That thoughts can consume you but that they will go eventually. It’s just about having the trust in yourself and your path- and realising that it’s all in the day. What you do today will affect how you feel tomorrow. All you can control is you. So just do something for yourself today, have a good day, go somewhere you like, do something you love. And eventually, it’ll become habit. You can be happy. It just takes time and a lot of hard work.

My counsellor was adamant that all of my problems were stemming from my hatred towards myself. He was convinced that every bad thought I had was because of how insecure I was. He was right. He kept telling me to start loving myself and when you’re in the wrong mind-set, what does that even mean!?

I started having long baths and getting my hair done. I changed jobs. I painted my nails and done my tan more. I started getting up early and having longer, more enjoyable days. And for a while, I thought all of this was pointless because my mind was somewhere else. But eventually, I just started enjoying myself. I started to like myself a little more. Then it became so much less important what other people had to say. It starts with you.

When I accept myself, I am free from the burden of needing you to accept me.

I don’t want you all to think that I’m preaching and I’m better and I know everything. I still have bad days. I still have panic attacks and I still cry for no reason. But sharing how I started my journey might help someone start theirs.