Spoken Word | Anxiety

Do you know what it's like 
to be your own enemy

that’s how it feels
to live with anxiety
There is no escape from my own demons
which live comfortably within my mind
Pumping through my veins and heart
failing to be left behind 
I'm suffocated by the negativity
like i'm strangling my own neck and I can’t breathe
I'm constantly being judged
 everything has become too much
I'm holding a grudge
against these monsters that I cant touch
 I have no refuge, sanctuary, or shelter
from these thoughts that won’t depart
I always think I've gotten better 
but then it all restarts
I just want to be okay
I’m not asking for a lot
To make it through one day
without my stomach twisted in a knot 
My body is completely drained
I crave peace and quiet
That’s not the case when it comes to my brain
it just keeps starting a riot 
It says I'm a hopeless case 
an absolute disgrace
a waste of space
my heart’s out of pace
nightmares I hate to face
memories I want to erase
but I cant. 
I'm not worth love 
because I'm not good enough
and even though I try to act all tough
I just want to give up
Failure is my expertise
the only thing I do with ease
as I fall to my knees
begging God
Please, get rid of this disease 
Take whatever it is that is inside of me
and let me be free
so that for once in my life
I can be happy
I'm fighting what is mine
these beasts I can't defy
and I’m slowly running out of time
but its a war against me, myself, and I

Anxiety is very subjective.  It affects everyone at various severities, with a diverse set of triggers, and with a range of symptoms.  This poem is meant to show my take on how anxiety has affected me.  Here is a break down of each stanza in case you would like more insight for what inspired the poem and the emotions behind each sentence. 

"Do you know what it's like to be your own enemy? That’s how it feels to live with anxiety."
Anxiety fills me with self-doubt.  I question every move I make and feel defined by my failures and short-comings.  Like it is a battle between my mind and myself.  

"There is no escape from my own demons which live comfortably within my mind, pumping through my veins and heart failing to be left behind"
The 'enemy' are my own demons which control my thoughts.  It's like I am being consumed from inside-out and no matter what I do, or where I go, my thoughts will always follow. 

"I'm suffocated by the negativity like i'm strangling my own neck and I can’t breathe.  I'm constantly being judged, everything has become too much and I'm holding a grudge against these monsters that I cant touch"
Anxiety is not tangible.  You cannot feel it or hold it but it's very much present.  It cannot be seen but is so strongly felt.  I'm convinced that society or people are judging me: whether it be how I look, speak, or my mannerisms, like I'm on display or TV and being mediated.  The insecurities can build so much to a point where I genuinely cannot breathe.  I'm drowning internally from the negativity. 

"I have no refuge, sanctuary, or shelter from these thoughts that won’t depart.  I always think I've gotten better but then it all restarts"
There is no escape from these thoughts because this problem is coming from inside me not externally.  I think that I'm getting better, when life is going how I want, I'm happy and joyous, but suddenly I reach a downfall.  Anxiety has no timeframe and gives you strong highs and deep lows.

"I just want to be okay. I’m not asking for a lot. To make it through one day without my stomach twisted in a knot."
Anxiety can leave a heavy sickness in your stomach.  Like you caught the food bug but obviously that's not the case.  It's like constant eruptions.  And this feeling can last for seconds, hours, or even days.  

"My body is completely drained. I crave peace and quiet.  That’s not the case when it comes to my brain, it just keeps starting a riot"
A lot of sleepless nights occur.  I can feel physically exhausted but my mind does not stop to rest.  It's tiresome to go through this cycle. 

"It says I'm a hopeless case, an absolute disgrace, a waste of space, my heart’s out of pace, nightmares I hate to face, memories I want to erase, but I cant."
The poem changes dynamic.  This stanza and the next few represents  the dark thoughts that tend to occur due to anxiety.  A lot of self deprecation.  

"I'm not worth love because I'm not good enough, and even though I try to act all tough I just want to give up"
My insecurities cause me to shut off from other people and feel unworthy of being in a happy and long-lasting relationship whether it be family or friends.  I go into a shell and don't want to spend time in social environments.  The less I'm around people, the less chance they get to judge me.  I try to play it off like I'm busy, or that I'm well and happy and just have other plans, but in reality it's all this fear and hurt. 

"Failure is my expertise, the only thing I do with ease"
This is still the brain talking.  This unspoken pressure that I put on myself causes me to fumble and fluster, or full-on avoid situations in which I may not succeed.  It's a physical fear that prevents me from doing a lot of activities that I may love. It is the only thing that I can achieve without fail, but everything else that isn't 'failure' doesn't occur.  

"as I fall to my knees begging God, please, get rid of this disease"
For me, sometimes I feel my only outlet bar writing or spoken word, is talking to God.  I fear telling other people about the inner workings of my mind for the most part given that it can be used as a weapon or disregarded as unimportant.  I refer to anxiety as disease to emphasis how critical it is to look at mental illness with the same exact importance as physical illness.  It has prominence in scientific evidence, papers, and research that back up the truth behind mental illness.  It isn't made up.  it is, in fact, a condition or disease. 

"Take whatever it is that is inside of me and let me be free"
I am begging for God to take these demons or monsters that are within me away.  I stress that is inside of me to highlight that I cannot escape.  I am imprisoned from within.  

"so that for once in my life I can be happy"
It's so hard to be 100% when I feel chained to everything I want to be and that I am not.  It's sad.  I want to laugh whole-heartedly without regrets but sometimes I almost can't.  It's not a choice to be this way.  

"I'm fighting what is mine, these beasts I can't defy"
This is a very personal battle.  Only I can save myself. I feel like it's a losing fight because these 'beasts' or monsters/demons just seem to be winning.  

"and I’m slowly running out of time"
I am aware that a lot of my time is spent sad, worried, and pressured by myself and others to get better and do better.  It's very disheartening and panics me more so because I feel like I need to heal quickly but it's not as fast as I would like.

"but its a war against me, myself, and I"
No matter how much help I receive from other people, I have to want to get better.  I can be put in a timer but I am on my own time line.  This process of getting better cannot be rushed.  It is not between anyone else but you.  Yes, how others treated you or things they've said may have affected you deeply, but at the end of the day, how you process that information will determine your outlook on yourself and your life.  That's why, this is a war against me, myself, and I.  

Winter Dry Skin Remedies

I love winter.  It's easily my favorite season for the festivities, jolliness, and snuggle weather.  Eventually it all catches up with us and for some unlucky souls like myself, the face begins to show patches of dryness.  I started experiencing dryness on my nose which ends up looking crusty, then my lips, around the jaw line, and then under the eyes.  It's not attractive when in the middle of the day you catch your reflection, startled at why you're shedding like a snake.  So here are cheap ways to tackle the winter dry skin blues which won't break the bank!

1. Drink more water.  The weather is sucking all the moisture out of your body.  I immediately upped my water intake to 2 litres, drinking about 500ml before lunch, 500ml at lunch, 500ml after lunch, and then 500ml at dinner.  It's a lot easier than you think but it is super frustrating to have to use the bathroom, no doubt, but I would rather that then dry patches on my face. 

2. Baby Oil.  Boots had a 2 for 1 deal on Johnson's baby oil.  I couldn't miss the opportunity (and its so cheap) but found that working into my skin after a shower at night really help seal in any moisture I had in the day and protect my skin from dryness.  Ensure that you clean your skin very well beforehand as oil acts as a strong barrier; trapping dirt and bacteria alongside moisture and natural oils.  You can use other oils such as coconut, jojoba, almond, olive, or even avocado.

3. Stick to one moisture.  Try not to switch up your routine too much and stick to what you know works as some products tend to expedite dryness.  I use my trusty Nivea Soft in the morning and the baby oil at night. 

4. Eye cream.  This is not a necessity but if you find yourself really struggling with dryness under the eyes.  You can also use natural oils like coconut, olive, almond, or jojoba.  A few drops around the eyes will work wonders!

5. Refrain from over exfoliation.  Abrasiveness on the skin will strip it from natural oils that nourish the skin and act to counteract dryness.  Therefore, minimise exfoliation to about 1-2 times a week to shed the dry skin off after following the first four steps.  

Following these five simple and cost effective methods will guarantee a reduction and even eradication of the dry patches within a week.  Like I always say, you do not need to spend an excessive amount of money to feel healthy and glow.  

Favorite At-Home Workouts

Let's face it.  Going to the gym requires effort, time, and a lot of money.  Having good health shouldn't be so difficult but unfortunately that is how society has moulded.  Exercise is seen as a luxury.  I have poor adherence to a gym regime due to cost, distance, and the presence of other individuals.  At-home work outs are feasible, less expensive, and requires less time by eliminating transportation in the process. I have tried and tested these two work out programmes that can easily be done in the comfort of your four walls.  You do not need a lot of space (I do it in a small corner of my room without any struggle).  These are perfect for beginners as well as those who have an advanced fitness level and want to maintain their attained health.

1. FitGirls Fitkini Challenge- $29.99

This eBook is colorful and playful with detailed explanations of the exercises it contains.  Alongside a work-out routine, there are numerous recipes present for inspiration.  There are two circuits: upper and lower body. There are nine moves in each circuit which takes about 10-14 minutes to complete for me.  On days where I do not do the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Challenge (which I will explain later), I will do four circuits of this routine alongside a 10 minute intense workout for Abs or Legs on youtube.  You do end up sweating an unattractive amount and this 4 week programme contains 8 different circuits (4 for upper, 4 for lower) with increasing difficulty.

2. Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Challenge - £39.59

I don't know how the easiest and simple moves leave me praying to God for strength to complete.  Perhaps I am just extortionately unfit but these routines do end up difficult.  Compared to the Fitgirls, there are 4 circuits of four different moves instead of 9.  Each circuit takes about 7-9 minutes to finish so the entire routine can take 28-36 minutes.  It is a 12 week programme that aims to tackle abs, arms, legs, and butt.  The workouts are organised to take place 3 times a week with your own take on how you wish to carry out low intensity interval training on days where you do not do the BBC.  Mondays generally target arms and abs, Wednesdays are for legs and butt, and then Fridays are the entire body. 

I will do one circuit of the upper or lower body Fitkini challenge as a warm up to BBC.  This ensures that I am working out at least 38-45 minutes.  Every 4 weeks, the difficulty heightens and compliance to this will enable results to be noted after week 4.  Personally, I do find that my abs seem more defined (or existent all together) and my legs feel more solid with muscle with less jiggle.  There is still a long way to go until I feel confident but I do think that a combination of Fitkini and BBC has increased my fitness levels as it is not as hard to successfully finish each routine as it was when I begun.

Those are the two eBooks I highly recommend and have been using! I do think they are worth the money if you know for sure you won't attend a gym or tend to not have access to gyms.  If adhering to a programme that changes each week is something you would like to try, this is perfect.  I love that it switches up, keeping it interesting and the intensity increases each week in both programmes.  Lastly, if you are someone that is a complete novice when it comes to working out, which is basically me, this is perfect if you want to improve your overall fitness level and physique.  It kickstarts you into a healthier lifestyle.

**I will do an in depth review of the KI BBC and the Fitkini Challenge at the end of the 12 week programme.

Spoken Word | Need is not a Compliment

When a loved one utters the words
‘I need you’ 
My heart sinks in dismay
I pray that what was said wasn’t true
but that phrase is stuck on replay

I don’t want to be a crutch 
because soon the broken will heal
I don’t want to be essential
because it’s not the love l feel

‘Need’  is not a compliment
as it is not everlasting 
Even if it is said in sentiment
the word is quite contrasting

Dependence is temporary
as life will force us to grow
out of the ‘love’ that was once shared
making it easier to let go

What about 'want'?
Want never fades
Needing isn’t eternal
but wanting always stays

Want is a choice
it is more genuine and true
Coming straight from the soul
they will always choose you

One may never stop wanting
despite the change they’ve undergone
There is nothing more prevailing
no stronger love to act upon 

So wait for that special person
that will make your heart soar
Where both of you will feel that passion
you’ve been dying to explore.

Love is want.  These two words are not conjoined enough to demonstrate the true definition.  One should never need anyone.  Dependence on an individual will be temporary.  Life will teach us lessons that cause us to grow surplus amounts.  During this period, you grow out of the ‘love’ you had.  Needing doesn’t last.  Wanting does.  No matter how much stronger one may get, or how much more independent, one would still choose to spend their happiness with someone else; sharing their memories and experiences.  One may never stop wanting, despite how much change they’ve undergone.  With that being said, there is nothing more prevailing.  

P.S I am sorry for being gone as I had three assignments due this week.  I hope that this different type of project makes up for my hiatus as it is a message I've been wanting (not needing!) to share for a while.

Day in the Life of a Global Health Student | Day 2 Term 2

As I have Tuesdays off for the first five weeks of term, this post is based on my Wednesday and Friday class which is Health Economics.  Health economics acts to analyse the market demand and supply, as well as evaluate health systems, products, and innovations.  I have never learnt about this kind of thing but this module has quickly become my favourite.

9:00am: I wake up quite late when I have health economics since class doesn't start until 11am.  I usually have a late night on Tuesday or Thursday so the sleep is necessary (and enjoyable).  As Wednesdays and Fridays are when I wish to post on my blog, I try to spend a small amount of time in the morning just publishing my post and linking it on my social media handles.  If I haven't finished editing it, I will proof-read my work instead.  In addition, I will download the lecture slides as sometimes they are uploaded the morning of my lecture instead of the night before.  After brushing, I'll have my morning omelette and coffee before heading out.

10:00am:  As a part of my new years resolution (and to save money), I walk to class which takes place at a different campus about 35-45 minutes away by foot.  It is enjoyable to take in fresh air and get a little extra cardio in for the day.  I use this time to reflect and be alone with my thoughts as I am slowly trying to lean away from always listening to music.  It brings me joy to go on a walk alone and feels extremely therapeutic.

11:00am: We have two hours of class where the first hour this week is a lecture regarding supply, demand, and convergence of cost.  These are concepts that I've never encountered but it is very interesting to foresee how the market works.  It helped that everyone got a free kitkat today as well.

12:00-12:15pm: We get a 15 minute break which I utilised to consume my kitkat and some more coffee.

12:15pm-1:00pm: We used an online experiment software where half the class were 'buyers' and the other half were 'sellers'.  The aim of the game was to sell a textbook at a price to gain the most profit, and for buyers to save as much money as possible based on their evaluation/willingness to pay within a specific time frame.  If you didn't sell or buy, you failed the round.  This was an exciting simulation that put supply and demand into perspective with visible convergence of a market cost without any external influence.  At the end of the experiment, we went through the theory behind what occurred and were assigned homework based on the practical.

1:00pm: Once class ended I make my way home absolutely starving.  My stomach won't stop doing the rumblies and I need to restrain myself from buying a sandwich or KFC knowing that my mom would have hot food ready at home.

2:00pm: After arriving home, I change into comfy clothes and sprawl on the couch, getting my work-station ready after I eat some delicious food.  With my project for Public Health still sitting on my head, I am focussing on getting that up to standard for submission on the 13th.

4:00pm: After about 2 hours of work, I decided to work out to get it done and dusted for the day.  I prefer to work out earlier when possible, otherwise I normally do this a few hours after dinner most days.  I decided to do my regular routine which I will explain in an upcoming blogpost.  It takes about 1 hour to complete that will indeed require a deep clean in the shower. 

5:30pm: Back to work.  I decided to pick up a case study piece of homework instead having hit a bit of a wall with the other assignment.  This involves in-dept analysis of fortification and assessing the use and need of folates.  It involves answering 6 questions which requires a lot more reading than I initially assumed.  I enjoy this format of homework that offers more guidance without eliminating the need to research and read around the subject and critical appraisal of published papers. We are put into the shoes of the Ministry of Health to deliver a suitable decision regarding fortification (addition of folic acid) in wheat and rice in two different countries.

7:00pm:  It took about an hour and a half to finish that piece of work so I decided to return to the public health project.  My mom got me popcorn to help get through a few brutal sections but it seems that I am moving forward.

8:30pm: Dinner time! My mom has spinach, sweet potato, rice, and rasam (if you know, you know).  I take this time to talk to Amma before I decide to get through the final hurdle of the public health project.

11:30pm: I ended up working a lot later than desired but finally have a clean draft that I can amend and refer back to.  All the words are in place but I need to produce diagrams to break up chunks of text which will take too much technology time for me to complete at the moment.  I took nearly three hours for me to design a logic model flow chart.  Therefore, I decided to hold off the rest for tomorrow.  All in all, we have been productive and that makes me very happy.

Review | Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic Palette in Frivoluxe

Shades from left to right: Fabulous! Always, Dress, Outrageously, How You Want, Who Has Time, For Less

(did that make a sentence?)

When I first opened up this palette, I was slightly surprised at the shades.  There are five neutrals present (if gray is considered a neutral) and two deep purple shades: Outrageously has a matte and velvet finish and How you want has a satin finish.  I was hesitant about how I could use these colors in practice as I tend to shy away from bold looks.  However, after swatching the eyeshadows, I fell head over heels for the creamy application and pigmentation.  Although Outrageously may prove to be a mission to work with, I did use it all over my lid with How you Want blended into the crease and outer corner for a dramatic purple smokey eye.  If your dress or outfit for an event or occasion lies more on the extremes of the spectrum such as white or black then a purple eye can work well.  The use of How you Want diffused the intensity of Outrageously.  I have used For Less as a crease shade to aid in blending and it enable all the colors to fade together brilliantly.  

There are four 'fashion' finishes of this palette: Velvet, satin, silk, and lame.  

The colors I would reach for the most would indeed be How You Want and Dress because they are gorgeous deep shades that look stunning against my NW42 brown skin.  It compliments my practically black eyes.  

Application and Formula: The creamy and pigmented formula makes for easy application.  It blends effortlessly which is vital when the color pay off is extremely intense.  You do need to tap off any excess before use so be careful of fall out under the eyes or onto the carpet.  If you want a fierce look then ditch the brush and use your fingers, especially as a base across the lids.  Whether you are a beginner or a makeup artist, this palette offers a combinations of shades that harmonise perfectly.

Price and Longevity: Luxury makeup is something I am always hesitant about.  My collection consists of ELF and L'oreal for the most part but I do appreciate the quality and deluxe feel of higher end makeup.  Therefore, for £39, this is undoubtedly very steep and not for everyday.  In addition, considering the fact that the shades are not neutrals, you most likely will reach for this palette sparingly.  Nevertheless, the eyeshadow does not budge, crease, and fade throughout the day.  You do not need a high end primer as I used my £1 ELF primer and found it to be working wonders for years.  Thus, as I normally do 'How it wore throughout the day's' I decided against it for this post as I saw no difference at application around 10am to the evening around 9pm.  Bare in mind that eye products do not tend to suffer with fading or bleeding, but creasing tends to be a huge issue.  This product did not crease as aformentioned, and is perfect for evening-wear and even all day but the colors may not be appropriate outside of occasions.  

This is Your Wake Up Call

This post may come off blunt, harsh, and even cruel.  If you make it all the way to the end, good job.

Your dreams are calling.  Of course you want to click answer, but how?  Humans have this phenomenal skill of rationalising laziness, procrastination, or fear.  It doesn't matter what obstacles you have to face or your present situation.  None of that is a valid reason for not waking up everyday empowered.  If you have the ability to access the internet by whatever means and read this post then you're blessed enough to have an advantage to attain success.  Look in the mirror and question why you haven't reached your goals yet.  Really look at yourself.  Are you cursed with chronic unwillingness to work? Easily distracted?  Lacking motivation?  Scared of failure?  

Whatever it is, sounds like an excuse.  Yes, this is a call out post because flowery and sweet words do not work.  If you want inspirational quotes go to Tumblr or Instagram because ring ring - it's reality on the line. 

If you are still looking in the mirror, ask yourself a few questions:

1. What have you done today to get closer to your goals?

2. How many hours were you awake, and of that time, how much was dedicated to your dreams? 

3. How is your soul and heart?  Are they in the right place?  

Write down these answers on paper or say them out loud to yourself.  Hear or see the truth.  How does it make you feel? If you are proud then give yourself a pat on the back: you deserve it, well done, and keep it up.  If you're not too impressed with the answer and feel uncomfortable then I'm sorry to say it but something needs to change.  And that's you.  

A little background.  When I was doing my A levels my motivation for life plummeted.  My desire was to become a choreographer and a fashion designer.  I would spend hours fantasising about dance and textile courses and gave up on my education.  Having been forced to pursue Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Further Maths at A level, one can only imagine the festering bitterness.  I never knew how to channel that frustration to get fruitful outcomes.  As a result, my grades were pretty mediocre and I was disappointed.  Despite eventually putting in the work, by the time exams rolled around, it was too late.  The opportunity was gone.  I thank God for my unconditional offer at University which gave me leeway to study Molecular Medicine as BSc. It wasn't something I was passionate about but I tried to convinced myself otherwise.  The course was extremely fascinating but I never found myself thoroughly mind-blown or captivated by the subject.  Sure it was better than my A levels, but emptiness remained.  

One thing my Bachelors did teach me was hard work and its importance.  If you work hard, you do get results.  And now? I am learning what I love - Global Health.  And if it weren't for my bachelors I would've never ended up at my dream university that rejected me as a potential undergrad but has taken me on as a Masters student.  I wake up looking forward to school.  I actually hate having days off because I do want to learn more and I'm eager for knowledge. 

Fashion and beauty remain a huge passion of mine.  That is what this blog is for. I worked hours on end to pay for my Fashion Styling certificate so that the advice I give is credible and the material I produce is of good quality.  I want to be authentic but I am fully aware that there is a lot of room for growth. However, I put so much effort into this realm behind the scenes which you may not see.  I am here because I want to do this.  I am here because it is parallel with my ambitions and I absolutely love my blog.  It's like my baby.  I've had blogs before this one and even an active youtube channel but out of embarrassment and laziness I discontinued them.  Academics and emotions got in the way and I hadn't learnt how to manage time efficiently to have both feet in a different boat.   

Now back to you.  

Write down your goals.  You are not too big-man to visualise your goals in front of you.  Write them down in a notebook, on your laptop, or create a vision board.  Have everything in one place so you can refer back to it whenever in a slump.  Paste it on your ceiling or as the background on your phone screen so the moment you wake up you recognise your purpose.  Constantly refer back to it. It doesn't make you seem weird, nerdy, or uncool. It makes you a hustler and that's what this world needs more of.  Your goals are your purpose.  

Stop making excuses.  If you're not trying then you don't want it and if you don't want it then you don't deserve it.  End of.  There is someone out there who is working 100 times harder than you in worser conditions with greater obstacles.  So what's your excuse? You haven't got one.  If you're going to reason with yourself as to why you are slacking, don't expect sympathy.  Stop playing the pity card.  Pick yourself back up and work. More times than not the source of these justifications is fear, laziness, or both.  It's all about mental strength which is an unlimited resource.  Anyone can rise from the ashes. 

Tackle fear and laziness.  Aforementioned earlier, I've landed at procrastination station multiple times in my life.  I had no drive or motivation to carry on.  I did the bare minimum to assist in survival and never ventured forward.  Do I regret it? 100% yes.  And I will live with that but having turned myself around, I am now exactly where I wanted to be all those years ago but in a more favourable position.  You need failure for success.  It is inevitable.  You are going to fall.  My blog was nominated for the UK Blogger Awards but failed to get through to the finalist stage.  But I forgot the big picture- within the first few months of my initiating this blog I managed to get nominated for such an elite award from thousands of other entrees.  That is an achievement embedded in failure.  That is success.

But perhaps you don't have fear.  You may just lack motivation due to slaving away in idleness.  It's like a pandemic, disabling individuals from being triumphant.  This is where the phrase temporary pain for long term gain comes into play.  In the moment you may prefer watching your favourite TV show, playing games, or ending up in the dark depts of youtube.  The way you manage two-thirds of your day will depict how the rest of your life will turn out.  Short-term pleasure is a trap.  It may feel great in the moment but not once you snap back to existence.  Be on the path of long term success.  This isn't me saying to eliminate relaxation from your day.  If you read my 'day in the life' posts you know that I do indeed slack off for a few hours here and there.  If two-thirds of your time involves entertainment and one-third is work then we have a problem.  You have 24 hours to make your dreams come true everyday.  There is no reason to not expedite productivity.  

No company is always better than bad company.  Don't expect heaven when you play with the devil.  Don't expect success if you're peers have little aspiration.  Keep your circle with good vibes and positive energy.  Your close knit is a representation of who you are.  It's a thousand times better to choose no company over bad company.  If you don't find your friends attributing to inner growth, strength, positivity, or success then get out. 

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  This is the only way you can grow.  Push the envelope.  Don't settle for a particular lifestyle which doesn't have you waking up excited but instead wanting to go back to sleep, a sweet escape.  Anyone can have their dreams as reality except quitters.  Do whatever you have to do to get there, no matter how challenging. For example:

Dream body? Push yourself when working out.  Drop the chocolate bars and pick up carrot sticks. 

Dream job? Work for it.  If that means having a different 9-5 and hustling into the late hours at night until that hobby is a sustainable career, so be it.  

Dream university? Study.  However hard you have to.  Eliminate distractions.  It's okay to choose your ambitions over a social life as harsh of a reality it is.  Those who truly support you won't bring baggage.  

If it was easy, everyone would do it.  You have to be willing to put in solid hours, blood, sweat, and tears to reach great heights.  You'll be exhausted, may lose people in the process, and even question your self worth.  In all of this, you may be beaten to a pulp by life but the real success comes in getting back up.  Once you reach your goals, the journey will be completely worth every second.  

Consistency. One thing individuals fall for, in all aspects of life, is the theory of compensation.  If you worked out for one hour then having KFC for dinner is justified.  If you slaved over the weekend then you can relax for the evenings of the week.  Life doesn't work that way.  Hard work one day will not compensate for laziness the next.  None of your breaks are 'well deserved'.  If you want to see results, you need to hustle harder than you did the day before.  Everyday is a new day to improve, challenge, stretch, and grow.  If you're not doing any of these things you're wasting your time.  Consistency is key.  If you only work when you're feeling good, you're never going to get enough done.  This is very different from relaxing and rewinding.  Whatever your preferred method of treating yourself, it shouldn't break your cycle of consistency and hard work.  That is when it isn't a reward but a hazard.  Success is a lifestyle.  

In essence, you have every resource, ability, and power within you to attain magnificence.  You can break the barriers of your mind.  If you were looking for a sign to change or get your head in gear, this is your sign.  I repeat, this is your sign.  Put all your efforts into your accomplishments.  Make sure that your desires are yours only and not the expectations of others on you.  Otherwise you are sure to fall short.  After all, this was your wake up call.

Favorites | January 2018

I was worried I would not have a favourites post this month but luckily I have been trying out a few things I love and now can’t stop reaching for!

1. Chella Eyebrow Gel - $18.00 

As I need to make a trip to the threaders soon, my eyebrows are getting quite lengthy and tend to fall downwards.  I have to keep running my fingers through them to prevent drooping.  I came across this product in one of my Ipsy Bags and found that it works wonders in keeping the eyebrows in place.  It is a clear gel and doesn’t add color so you can fill in your brows and set them with this gel or you can simply use it on its own.  It retains the shape of your brow throughout the whole day.  I also use it on my hairline to keep baby hairs from going astray and found it to work wonders.  Nothing is better than multi-use products.

2. Burts Bees Lip Balm - £3.99

No matter how much water I drink my lips tend to always look chapped.  I need to invest in some lip scrubs but for the moment I wanted to try the infamous Burt's Bees lip balm.  I’ve seen many people and their pets try this product out so I’m evidently very late to join this band wagon.  I wanted to purchase some painkillers in the middle of class, but having only my phone on me, there was a £5 limit.  So of course I decided to make a mindless, non economic based decision to also try out this lip balm which costs nearly as much as a KFC zinger meal.  One thing I do adore about this lip balm is that it is not sticky or slippery, but smooths out my lips without feeling heavy or present.  It’s still thick without being noticeable to the wearer and observers.  The scent is peppermint which was a safe option for me but I did notice a mango flavour I may reach for next time!

3. Peach Vineyard The Body Shop

I am personally amazed at the longevity of this body wash.  I loved the fresh peachy sent even though it doesn’t match the cold winter months.  The scent does linger on your skin for a few hours but is easily overpowered by a perfume.  As it lathers with just drops of body wash, I managed to use it for nearly two months which, though not as high as conventional washes, appears to be worth the price (especially if there are discounts).  Therefore, do not shy away from the price because it is a long term investment with beautiful smelling outcomes.

**I couldn't find this on The Body Shop website!  

4. Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter in Dew You - £32.00

I am yet to post a detailed review on this product, so I’m terribly sorry for slacking.  I absolutely adore this when I want my face to be extremely radiant or just want heavy spot highlighting. You can build up the intensity and all you need is half a drop.  It’s extremely pigmented, extremely easy to blend with a more liquid formula, and flying off shelves because as it is in such high demand.  The packaging is sleek and feels expensive at the touch.  The undertones appear warmer, making it extremely suitable for deeper skin tones and all inclusive.  The scent is a subtle sweet tropical considering it is indeed part of the coconut line.

5. Crushed Walnut Mono eyeshadow by Natural Collection- £1.99

This eyeshadow is multi-purpose.  It is the perfect contour for deeper skin tones as it mimics a matte cool shadow, making it appear natural as opposed to other mainstream bronzers which may be orange based or have as much glitter as the highlighter up there.  In addition, when I want a simple makeup look with brightened eyes, I tend to go heavy handed with the mascara and work this shade into my crease and nothing else.  It provides subtle sultry without seeming too done up but ties in the look.  I will take the color onto my lower lash line for consistency.  At £2 this is a no brainier purchase.  The packaging has changed as you can see on the Boots website but the shade is still the same.
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