How to survive the festive period with depression 

opinion piece

It was at that moment that time stood still. Laying limply in a bath full of water which had long gone cold, still. Physically weakened by your own mental state, moving is not an option. Staring blankly at a blank wall, thoughts full of angst and pain. Angst and pain. 

Photography Credit: Nikita Campbell


If you battle depression or anxiety; you will be familiar with this situation, and these bleak feelings. The bad periods come and go, but I have noticed the festive period can be particularly challenging. 

Photography Credit: Nikita Campbell


It’s a time of year where we are expected to be appreciative, grateful and ‘happy’. What if we can’t keep up the pretence? What if we truly aren’t happy? Society at large and the media don’t cover this. This Christmas I found myself at an all time low, I can’t quite distinguish what was the root cause. I fear it may be a build up from what I can only describe as a very harrowing year. 

How can you make it through the period of happiness when you feel like utter rubbish? 

Don’t get caught up in the hype. I think one great tip is not to get caught up in the hype surrounding Christmas. We must remember it is a commercial holiday, with targeted advertising to sell products. It’s almost too easy to browse social media, or any media advertising and see these perfectly constructed images of how Christmas should be. Whether you are religious or not, we can all agree it is a good opportunity to be grateful for what we do have. And not think about what we don’t. 

Don’t suffer in silence. I believe that loneliness is a silent killer; and anyone who will be alone on Christmas (unless it’s by choice), should try their hardest not to be. You can also help relatives who will be alone by visiting, picking them up or even a simple phone call – it can make someone’s day, contributing to their overall mood. If family are too far away, talk to friends. Failing that, if you get into a real depressive mood you can always call the Samaritans suicide helpline at any time on 116 123. 

Don’t overthink. I have recently come to the realisation that my own brain is my worst enemy. I over think absolutely everything, and work my mind into a stage of anxiousness. I think this can be the case for a majority of people who have any type of mental health battle. Although it’s easier said than done, I always advice finding a release. For example, for me writing is a therapeutic activity that I enjoy. It keeps me busy and inspired. Find your activity and revert to that at times of need. 

Finally, I just wanted to make the effort to say that if anyone is reading this and is having a rough time; I would be happy to talk to you if you need. Don’t suffer in silence. Get in touch. Together we can raise awareness of mental health issues, one case at a time. 

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Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara: Influenster Vox Box review 

product review

I’ll be totally honest here, I have no clue how to use Influenster. Perhaps I’m just getting old (25, quarter of a century I’ll have you know), some of this technical social media online stuff I just have no clue about. I had been playing around with it, posting random reviews of cleaning products (how glamorous) and make up I had used many moons ago. But didn’t think much of it, however last week I received my first Vox Box from Influenster. 


Amazingly, my first box *which was received for complimentary purposes* was from Marc Jacobs Beauty. It certainly looked the part. It was their new Velvet Noir Mascara. It appeared luxuriant, with it’s classy monochrome design.  

Does it perform as well as it looks? 

The mascara has a rather large brush, and in this case size does matter. The width of the brush allows you to apply the mascara efficiently and equally.

The mascara ensures that lashes look naturally long, and are far from clumpy. There is one criticism – I did notice that it’s difficult to build up the layers, whereas with similar high end mascaras you can build layers for more volume quite easily. Is it worth the £22 price tag? I’d say, if you don’t own any other high end mascaras then invest in this one. If you do, then it isn’t really worth it; it’s not particularly special for the price. I believe you can get better. But it isn’t half bad either! And it’s a lovely producy aesthetically, it will look great on your dressing table. 

Overall : 8/10 

Beauty Blog Collective: an intro 

Events & launches

As some of you may or may not know (I have mentioned briefly in the past), I used to write and review beauty products for Really Ree. However, a couple of weeks ago myself and the other contributors were sent a message explaining that Ree no longer wanted us to write for her. She was changing the direction of the website, and wanted to focus solely on her reviews. 

We had a fantastic time reviewing products for the site; receiving some amazing products and receiving exposure from one of the biggest beauty blogs in the UK! A truly great experience. 

After some consideration, we decided that we weren’t done with it. It wasn’t the end for us, seven of us decided to create our own beauty blog. Beauty Blog Collective is now up and running, at its humble beginnings just yet…but we’ve got amazing plans on the horizon. 

It’s really inspiring to work amongst such hard working women. We’re all extremely, terribly busy people – but we all seem to manage to find time to do what we love. Beauty is a passion that we share, and we’re all normal women. That is exactly what we aim to represent, different types of women who have a passion for beauty. 

Here’s to the future! 🥂 

Why you need to quit the job that’s making you miserable 

opinion piece

I get it. I really get it. You stay at that job you secretly despise because you feel you have no other choice. Better to be working in an unhealthy environment than not working at all, right? Right? 

Wrong. It’s all wrong, whatever your preconditioned thoughts on work are. Let me tell you, they are most probably wrong. Inevitably, any of us can end up working a job that we are not happy in. People stay for a myriad of reasons; out of comfort, laziness, financial commitments, fear of the unknown.  

It’s important you understand the message I am trying to portray. I don’t want to inspire anybody to quit their job and end up broke, up to their eyeballs in debt, and quite literally broken. No no no. 

Let’s face it, we spend the majority of our lives at work (assuming full time work). If you spend those days watching the clock, stressed beyond belief, feeling your blood boil; and every Sunday evening you get that sheer feeling of dread. You need to leave and chase your dreams. Time waits for no one. 

Now I do understand the apprehension before leaving a job… you are walking out into the unknown. The act has to be executed, and planned well. Here are my top tips to ensure the transition runs smoothly, and you are promised a happier working life: 

1. Saving face 

If you are staying at a job you aren’t happy in, because of severe financial commitments – this can be very tricky. What I would advise is that you maintain savings as much as physically possible. Set yourself a goal, for example, give yourself three months to save as much as possible and start moving towards your leave. If your bills outweigh your wages, perhaps even try to find a second job (temporarily) just to get you out of your current situation. You could also try selling unwanted items on eBay (believe it or not eBay kept me going when I lost my job a few months ago), having a clear out will also help you to feel more liberated and envigorated. When the time is right and you feel secure, you can hand in your notice and start again. 

2. Temp work 

In London there are so many work agencies that can help you find temp work – and this can be in a variety of industries. This really helps when you are between jobs / careers. It gives a steady cash flow, and you gain experience. You may even find a company that you’d like to stay at long term. Temping is a really great opportunity for graduates and job seekers alike to make up money whilst searching for permanent positions. 

Also, you can be a complete agency whore and sign up to as many as possible. Go with the one whom finds you a role first. 

3. Apply, apply, apply 

Even whilst you are at the job you want to leave, apply for as many positions as you can. If it’s feasible, speak to your manager and explain your situation. You cannot be fired for attending job interviews, you are well within your rights to do so. I know a lot of people feel very awkward about doing this, but I personally feel your manager should respect your honesty. Otherwise, you will continue to do so in secrecy – and this will make attending interviews very difficult. 

Now when I say apply for as many jobs as possible, I think a lot of people misconstrue what ‘a lot of jobs’ implies. I’m not talking about sitting at your laptop and applying for ten jobs. No honey. This is London, there are millions of people competing for job roles. It’s dog eat dog. I would say realistically, every evening apply for 20-30 job roles. 

You’ll start hearing back around two weeks later, this is when you’ll start organising interviews. You’ll also need to filter through and only attend the ones you feel are worth leaving your current job for. There are a lot of fabricated companies / agencies out there that are deliberately looking for staff to exploit. Don’t fall into the trap of leaving your long term job for a short term fail.  

I would advise (and I only know this now after a terrible experience), before attending any job interview to thoroughly research. Research the company itself, and if you have any pejorative gut feeling about the job. Do not go to the interview – they’ll be plenty of others. You see, desperation often makes us deluded, we convince ourselves the situation at hand is fine because we are desperate for a job. It’s important to always keep your cool in this scenario – don’t accept what you don’t deserve. Patience is key. 

4. Part timers 

Another option would be to discuss your situation with your manager, and perhaps have one day off in the week. Or cut down your hours so that you are able to attend interviews – having time off your current role to attend interviews can be one of the harder tasks. Particularly when you don’t get the job, you feel disheartened at losing money by missing work and wasting your time. But you must plough through. There will be hella rejection throughout this process, you have to take the rough with the smooth. 

5. Education is key 

Depending on your situation, perhaps you feel you don’t have enough education or skills to get into the field you want to. Remember you are never too old to learn. If you want to leave your job to study, it’s a great thing to improve your knowledge and skill set. 

Approach your employer and discuss the various options, maybe you’ll leave altogether, or continue to work part time until your studies are over? This really will depend on your personal situation. Another option could be temp work while you study, as there’s little commitment but it’s steady money. 

6. Social security

Now this is going to be an unpopular option, but sometimes it’s necessary. If you do end up unemployed, either by choice or not; remember that the welfare state in this country is there to help you. 

There is such a negative stigma surrounding job centres, and claiming benefits. You have to remember while you are out of work, this is money you are entitled to. It will allow you to have money to attend interviews, you can also claim housing benefit whilst unemployed if you are worried about not being able to pay rent. 

It’s not nice, it’s not glamorous and nobody wants to sign on. But actually it’s a great reality check, and I think it pushes you harder to get a job. 

When you think you have no options, this is always an option. It’s not a fantastic one, but it’s there to fall back on nevertheless. 

Conclusion 

Overall I would say that your health and happiness is what is most important. Chase your dreams, there is no point wasting your time in dead end jobs that make you miserable. I’m only 25, and I have witnessed individuals staying in jobs out of pure laziness, willing to put up with corruption, breaking laws and other terrible misdemeanours that you can’t even imagine. You really have to ask yourself, what am I worth if I don’t have the strength to leave this job, if I am willing to betray my personal morals and make myself miserable, whilst this company grows richer at my expense? 

There is a big wide world out there, and it is scary. But your dream exists out there, ready to be captured. If you don’t chase it, you’ll spend the rest of your life helping others chase theirs. 

Missbeez – an innovative mobile beauty app 

Events & launches

You’ve all heard about the recent disaster that is TFL refusing to renew Uber’s contract in London? Of course you have. 

But I’m not here to discuss that scandal. Uber is that reliable taxi every Londoner loves on a boozy night out. What could be more convenient than a taxi at your service at low prices? Uber changed the face is transpiration, I’m convinced there will be an entire  generation of people who do not possess driving licences. Simple because a hybrid mixture of public transport and Uber’s are much cheaper than driving in London. Uber tapped into an on demand market. 

So what’s even better than on demand transport? On demand make up and beauty services of course 😍. Missbeez is an app that encorporates just that. You pick the service which you desire, the app searches for relevant beauticians in your local area – you pick one, and you don’t need to pay until after the treatment is carried out. 

I recently had a full face of make up applied by one of their beauticians, all in the comfort of my own home. It’s a brilliant idea for busy individuals – you can book services at the drop of a hat. 


I would recommend this app to every avid beauty fan. You can pick from an array of salon services at regular prices, with the added benefit of not moving from your bedroom. 

Laziness, and beauty treatments on demand!? Sounds like a dream world to me! 

Mary Kay’s believe + wonder collection + gel semi-shine lipsticks review 

product review

On Wednesdays we wear pink 💅🏻

I’m so excited about Mary Kay’s new collection, the believe and wonder collection is based around inspiring positivity. What could be better than sweet pink products and positivity!? 

They are a new collection of bath and body items, each collection contains a shower gel, body lotion and fragrance mist. I’ve got the paint the sky collection, they smell insanely sweet (which I love, all my go to fragrances are sickly sweet). There are notes of vanilla, velvet musk and pink grapefruit which provides a refreshing sweet smell perfect for summer. Because, in England we can’t guarantee the weather – but at least we can smell summery! 

Instantaneously I have been reviewing their new lipstick range, gel semi-shine lipsticks. I have been using a nude and red shade (perfect for me because I’m way too into my comfort zone to branch out to any other colours). Also perfect for me because my lips get insanely dry using matte lipsticks, it literally drives me insane on a daily basis. Most of the time my exterior looks normal, in my mind my lips feel like an actual sand pit. It’s hard being me. 

Gel has long been discovered for nails – but not so much for lips. So when I discovered these gel lipsticks I could not wait to try them out. 

Swatches of ‘Naturally Buff’ & ‘Red Smoulder’


These lipsticks are legit my new go to. Whilst they maintain colour throughout the day – they are moisturising without being overly glossy. You don’t want to look like a 90’s rendition of Lil Kim after all… 

These amazing lipsticks are available in 12 shades! Get yours now. 💋💅🏻💋💅🏻 

How to create aesthetic flatlays on a budget 

top tips

Flatlays have become the epitomisation of every lifestyle blogger on Instagram. I have gone to extreme lengths to create beautiful configurations; butchering my parents garden to find pretty petals, taking the same picture (but ever so slightly different) 500 times, waking up extra early in order to catch that sunrise glow, perfect lighting for my pictures. If you take blogging seriously, you need good content. Flatlays are aesthetic af, and can aid your brand image. They create a consistent theme throughout your Instagram. However you don’t need to spend a lot of money in order to create beautiful flatlays… 

I went shopping this weekend specifically for flatlay items – I purchased all the above items for £10. Quite unbelievable. Everything pictured is from Primark, Wilkinsons and Poundstretcher. 
Here’s how to create great flatlays on a tight budget; 

1. The white rug 

Almost every blogger has a white sheepskin rug that they quite often use as backgrounds for their flatlays / pics. You can purchase a faux one from eBay for around £8. It’s a great cheap background especially for beauty products. 

2. Get creative with what you already have 

Use old magazines to create collages, use make up to create interesting backgrounds. Anything you have at home already could be used for pictures, so hunt around and create a box for all flatlay items. Also spending time being creative can be therapeutic. Especially for anyone suffering with anxiety or panic attacks. The creativity will relax you, and inspire further creativity. 

3. Think outside the box 

For example I reviewed a natural range for http://www.reallyree.com, consisting of a bath/body oil, body scrub & moisturiser. Now because the specific brand [Elemental Herbology], pride themselves on using natural, healing ingredients. I thought the images should reflect this, so I took some really natural shots in my garden of the products placed in the dirt, grass and flowers. Nature is so beautiful – and absolutely free to use in images! 

4. Establish a theme 

Write down 5 key colours that you want to use in all your flatlays. This will create consistency, and means you can search for items you already own that fit the theme. 

5. Shop smart 

If, like me, you start to run out of ideas and you decide to shop for flatlay items; be sure to shop around. Budget stores like Primark and Wilkinsons (plus more) have great homeware and stationery sections. Charity shops and car boot sales will also have great bargains. 

Enjoy, and happy flatlaying girls!