February favourites

As humans we are naturally curious creatures, and I took a peek at other bloggers I know and noticed that people tend to discuss what things they found in the month, favourite things and such so I figured why not join the clan and show my tastes to the community too. Enlisted in this piece are things that have taken me back, made me smile or have interested me this month.

OCCASION- I had my first ever Valentine this year from my boyfriend (I’ve never had a partner around holidays) so I was a little stuck for what you actually do! We settled on not doing anything as we show each other we love each other on a pretty much daily basis anyway (unison aww!) but we did get each other cards, and I don’t care what anybody says, getting a card with a sentimental and personal message in it, is 10x better than all the presents in the world. You just can’t beat written word and people pouring their hearts into cards and letters.

TV/STREAMING- I have recently started watching Netflix again after a long stint of not watching anything (I missed David Attenborough, I’m not going to deny it) and have been exploring the range of series they have to offer. Two series have interested me the most. Grimm, a fairlytale-esque crime drama that mixes the likes of LOTR with Harry Potter and adds a little Luther? There is round about 22 episodes per season and I believe there is 4 seasons on Netflix, each episode being 45/46 minutes long. I have thoroughly gotten into the plot and the episodes and I am obsessed. Which is quite a lot for me because my attention span for things like that is usually 0. My other favourite new series is Big Mouth. A comedy sketch cartoon (looks like it could have been made by the same guys as Rick and Morty?) about two best friends going through puberty. It’s crass, abrupt and very straight down the line but I think that is why I find it so hilarious! Each of the lads has a “hormone monster” that controls their urges and emotions and obviously their interaction with girls at school.

MUSIC-

Jorja Smith is coming in big time. She’s recently won British Breakthrough Act at The BRITS and performed a killer show with Rag’N’Bone there as well. Above is her newest track, Let You Down ft Stormzy who is also killin’ the game right now for UK music. Jorja Smith won the award that the likes of Sam Smith and Adele have won in previous years and I can bet that she will follow their super stardom. I don’t seem to dislike any of her releases!

I couldn’t really include February favourites without mentioning the return of JT could I? He has released prior to Say Something ft Chris Stapleton, with tracks like the edgy Filthy but I feel that this is the best of his new album Man of The Woods. JT’s last release was The 20/20 Experience which was way back in March in 2013, so we were due some new melodies! I love the transition of mixing pop and country together and it’s nice to hear more males bringing country styles into the charts.

 

VIDEO-

Lots of bloggers have agreed on the same video for February favourites and there is no denying the power of this video for the UK people. The passion to the music, the people and using his platform to make sure that the media and news don’t drop the case, ignore the crime and what has happened in this past horrible year.  “HELLO THERESA MAY WHERE’S THE MONEY FOR GRENFELL?”

Well…hats off to the man that is Stormzy…

 

MAKE UP-

Soap and Glory Thick & Fast HD Mascara

This mascara is a fibre brush which is what I always look for as I tend to find them a bit easier on the eyes and lashes than plastic brushes. The packaging is beautiful and sleek, as always with Soap and Glory and the mascara doesn’t clump at all. It’s super fresh, and the brush has a short side and a longer bristled side with an angle at the end for those hard to reach areas (yes I am looking to you, tear ducts). I think it’s fab and one coat makes my lashes look like they’re naturally long, and doesn’t really look like I have mascara on. If I apply two or three coats, it gives me the same lift and volume as strip lashes do, which is brilliant if you’re not so good with glueing fiddly things like lashes!

thickandfast

CA x

 

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A couple of things about me…

I recently read an about me post on someone else’s blog and I liked the idea of doing a quick fire Q and A. So here is mine!

  • What are some things that most people don’t know about you?

I had teenage epilepsy with no actual cause.

  • What are your favourite movies?

13 going on 30, The Lost Boys, The Breakfast Club, most 80s films.

  • What is your favourite childhood memory?

My Timon and Pumba anorak, walking in the woods, spending time at my aunties with my cousins.

  • Do you have an embarrassing story?

I had a seizure in the middle of a town square… that was pretty embarrassing.

  • What has been your greatest success in life so far?

Passing my driving test.

  • What are your most epic failures (and how did you overcome them)?

I try not to remember failures as I think that it’s part of human nature and that we should embrace things for as they are and move forward. Does that make any sense?

  • What would you say to a younger version of yourself?

Don’t listen to the people that discredit you, adore yourself, do what you want. If you want to be an internet personality, do it. If you want to be a scientist, do it. You make your life, not the girls in your year group.

  • What does a typical day in your life look like?

At the moment, I’m not doing much, my life has kind of halted due to my MH, but I am getting back on the horse and going for things, slowly. I am becoming more proactive though now so each morning i am getting up and planning blog posts!

  • What is your idea of the “perfect” day?

A warm sunny day, near the beach, sea food dinner with my loved ones.

  • If you could have lunch with one person, who would it be?

MJ or Barack Obama.

  • What things make you happy?

Food, cuddles, waking up early and realising that you can go back to sleep, a good tv series, seeing the world, being loved.

  • What things have you learned from your parents?

How to value money and what it’s worth, budgeting, self respect and self confidence, how to run a home and still be a career boss.

  • What is an important lesson you learned recently?

To accept things for what they are and to not worry about the future as it changes every second.

  • What is your favourite restaurant?

TGI Fridays / Hard Rock Cafe / Five Guys

  • What is your fitness routine?

I tend to do 10 mins cardio to warm up, cross country cycle, core work outs, rowing and then cardio for 10 mins to cool down.

  • What is your makeup routine?

Moisturise, prime, foundation, eyebrows, eyeshadow if I’m wearing it, mascara, highlighter and contour, and then lippie last.

  • What things can’t you live without?

Mascara, foundation, Netflix, my boyfriend and my mum.

  • Do you have any music you’re obsessed with at the moment?

I adore The Greatest Showman soundtrack and the GOTG soundtracks at the moment.

  • What books are on your shelf?

The Harry Potter collection, CS Lewis Chronicles of Narnia, countless non-fiction books about child abuse/crimes/things that shocked the nation. A variety!

  • What podcasts do you listen to?

I actually don’t listen to podcasts, but I have thought about getting into them, I’ve been told that there’s a few to help with mental mindfulness and  anxiety relief.

  • What is in your bag?

My phone, my purse, my car keys, so? fresh melon body spray, and ALWAYS one of the NYX lip creams.

  • What is your morning routine?

I usually wash my face in the morning, get dressed and then moisturise, prime and do my make up. Nothing exciting.

  • What is your bedtime routine?

I will either wipe my make up off with my wipes (I use modelsown) or I use my w7 make up cloth, and then use Mario Badescu products on this post.

  • How do you relax after a long day?

I tend to go straight home and put my pjs on in fairness! I’m pretty lazy if I’m not gyming or running errands.

  • Can you share pictures of your workplace?

No,  I don’t discuss my professional life on the internet.

  • What are your hobbies?

Obviously I like to blog, I also enjoy the gym and I often go to the beach at night to relax.

  • What are your favourite YouTube channels?

NikkieTutorialsCC Clarke Beauty 

I have recently got into beauty so these are my current favourites.

  • What is your most commonly used swear word?

I try not to swear in fairness, but I do have a tendency to say sh*t a fair bit.

  • What is your star sign/moon sign?

Taurus is my star sign, libra is my moon sign.

  • What is the last book you read?

I’m currently reading a book on serial killers dating from around 1800 – present day and the police enquiries relating to them.

 

 

Tag me if you do these questions yourself it’d be cool to see some of your answers.

 

 

CA x

We have a domain!

Hello you lovely lot,

 

We have a domain! I can officially welcome you all to charlottexamy.com, my official website.

This blog is acting as somewhat of a lifeline to me and building my self confidence a little with each post. Challenging myself with articles such as facehate – is that a thing? and post a no make up selfie was my most daring thing to date, but it has boosted my esteem no end. I am looking to post YouTube videos shortly as well, I have been filming, but those who know anything about me will know that I am very much a perfectionist and will not release anything until it’s exactly as I want it.

Any ideas for YouTube videos and ongoing posts will be gratefully appreciated, obviously, the Am I Crazy? chronicles will be an ongoing project and I will be updating you all with those, but please drop me a message, facebook me or email me should you wish to give me any ideas, contribute with me or advertise on this blog.

Many thanks for your ongoing support

Happy Sunday!

 

CA x

 

“Am I Crazy?” II

So I published the first chronicle. What did you think? A brief introduction into what on Earth is going on in my little bean head. To be fair to you, I’m still not fully sure. All I know is that my brain isn’t coping quite as well as I’d wanted it to right now so I’m being brave and seeking help (again).

I wanted to blog every step because I think it’s important. I think it’s really important that regardless of my gender, age, ethnicity and whatever other features they want to base mental health stats on, people can read something and think “yeah I agree” or “I had that feeling earlier” or better yet, sees that it is a struggle for someone else but that you can get help, and does so.

Let’s start with the obviously big elephant in the room, depression. Some throw the word like it’s the same as being sad, and it used to infuriate me until I realised that it’s by no fault of their own that they have never understood what depression is and the fact that it’s not just one emotion and definitely not just being sad. I’ve watched videos about how depression is a black dog that follows you around like your shadow or a big black cloud that follows you around. That’s not my interpretation though.

I think it is whatever the hell it wants to be. Sometimes I forget I have it. That sounds crazy in itself right? The medical definition of depression is “prolonged low mood for a period of two weeks or more” so naturally you’d be right to think you kind of have to be sad 24/7? Right? Not always. Depression is different for each person.

It’s smiling and joining in, hiding away and declining contact.

It’s eating very little if at all and it’s eating so much you make yourself nauseous or physically sick.

It’s not getting out of bed for days on end and it’s bounding our straight away just to make someone else happy.

Depression manifests itself in many ways and we can’t always prevent the illness. But we can show people we love them. We can hug and talk and laugh and all those things we find so trivial on a day to day basis. Because those things are the things that might bring someone away from the edge, further from the trigger, you get where I’m going with this…

My depression is up and down. Some days I hate everything and I starve (unintentionally) myself and stay in bed. Other days I’m happy to do everything for everyone else, some days I’m strong and I think “I’m gonna be selfish today like all my doctors have always told me” and then I feel guilty. Food can be a curse as your appetite is like a yo-yo so you never know where you stand.

My other pain in the ass attribute to my depression is insomnia. Isn’t insomnia a b*tch?! I mean seriously, who invited her to the party.

Insomnia is my worst friend. I say friend because she’s incredibly loyal to me and she rarely lets me down. But she is a complete nightmare and I severely dislike her presence. Thank you sweet baby Jesus for David Attenborough, that’s all I can say.

Like a perfect set of twins, depression has a sibling that likes to pop in every now and again. You’ll find that a fair few people who have depression also have anxiety. Anxiety has a whole umbrella of different types and I couldn’t possibly speak for those who have different types of anxiety to myself. I have mixed anxiety and usually I am trigger by crowds, waiting, confrontation, shouting and clinical spaces (to name a few). My hands are pretty much permanently clammy and I have headaches quite a lot. One of my main physical symptoms is a wonderful stammer and I live up to the phrase “cat got your tongue”. As many do, I’ll get the knotting in my stomach, sweats, hot and cold flushes and fight or flight response when entering an anxiety attack, if I don’t respond to my body then I hyperventilate and enter panic.

Despite having regular anxiety attacks I have only had one panic in three weeks (woo!) and I’m pretty good at hiding things in public or removing myself/avoidance. But I realised that doing that can’t always be the answer and so I’m going back for help.

Due to recent events I believe my PTSD has flared resulting in the anxiety and depression being bad. Talking therapies help me to process and programme my brain (talk therapies are brilliant if you’re an analytical person) so fingers crossed when I see the team in March I can have another referral to a higher level MH practitioner and have this as my last stay in the system.

I will update further once I have attended an appointment but until then, “Am I Crazy?” Chronicles part II is complete.

CA x

Facehate. That’s a thing right?

I am a 24-year-old woman. Why am I still having facial skin care issues at this age? Scrap that, why am I having so many body skincare issues at this age? Because I’m human and not Photoshopped. Not that easy convincing yourself that you’re not that bad-looking though is it?

I have had struggles with my face and skin care routine since I was a young teen. Admittedly at 15/16 I wasn’t as concerned as I should have been about removing my make up and cleansing my skin and with that came blemishes and blackheads. I used to be so insecure that I would sleep with make up on when friends were round, even if I had known them for years, I’d never leave my room without foundation and mascara at least and you’d be lucky if I ever arrived anywhere on time due to it.

I have used more chemicals than you could imagine and probably altered my skins pH levels so many times it doesn’t know what the hell is going on, but I have finally found a regime that works for me and I am rapidly clearing my skin.

Mario Badescu. I had never heard of Mario Badescu until I saw it by chance on BeautyBay when I was looking for make up. I figured I might as well try it considering I’d tried most big brands to little satisfaction (Garnier, Simple, Nivea) and it wasn’t too expensive for the amount of product. My first purchase was the ‘acne starter kit‘ which composed of a toner, a sample of drying cream, an oil free moisturizer and a facial cleanser. I used the cleanser every day and alternated between the moisturiser and toner. The drying cream was used twice a week on problem areas and around my nose (hello oily!) to help dry out spots and blemishes in turn making them go down quicker and removing excess oil from my face.

After about two weeks I started seeing a difference in my face.

I’ve since then purchased the drying cream in a larger tub as it’s brilliant as an all over cream in a thin layer or to spot on areas. I’ve also purchased the drying mask which I put on before I go to bed at night and the buffering lotion which is also superb for acne and blemishes.

I’m still not brave enough to go out without make up but I started this blog on the premise that it would help me improve on my self-love and hopefully help others, so it’s only fair that I do the scary things publicly too! Below is two images, my face when it’s made up to how I like, photo ready and camera angles how I like and natural, no product and lots of imperfections, I’m currently blessed with a few hormone spots and the rest of my face is discolouration, pigmentation and scarring.

 

 

This is the first time I have posted completely make up free with no filters so please be kind! I will learn to like myself for all my guts and glory, right now I’m not quite there but some days, I don’t feel quite that bad either!

I have started venturing into the world of home made skin care and plant based, and will be doing some videos in the upcoming months about my skin care journey and products I am making/using.

However, with all of this, I still believe that the most important thing you and I can learn is to embrace ourselves for what we are, not to penalize ourselves for what we are not.

CA x

Current favourite eye palettes

If you have headed over here from my Instagram then you would have seen my little hint of one of my favourite palettes at the moment… but did you guess who made it and what the palette was?

 

I have a top three of my current favourites and to be frank, I really can’t decide between the three! Instead, I will leave the final review down to yourselves, I do use these palettes on a regular basis and my main looks are smokey eyes, neutral browns and pinks and obviously glitter. If you want to see any of these looks or a tutorial of how I wear the palette/s please leave me a comment on this post or my Facebook page and I will try to create something for you guys.

 

 

Urban Decay – NAKED3 – RRP £39.50

 

12 different shades, all neutral and smokey, which is right up my street. Each matte shade is accompanied by a glitter counterpart, which makes it easy for make up beginners as well as the more experienced. My go to base colours are beige and brown so this suits me perfectly and the glitter shades are super pigmented but not OTT so brilliant for a day wear and moving into a casual evening. This is the most expensive of all three, but considering the durability and the length of wear from each application I don’t think you can go wrong. I had wanted one for ages before this one was generously purchased for me.

w7 Make up – SMOKIN’ – RRP £9.95

 

 

 

w7 are definitely an underdog when it comes to the make up industry. However, an underdog not to be messed with! I have numerous palettes from w7 and all of them have the same consistency as the high-end brands and the same thick colourful pigment. This is my go to for a more dramatic eyeshadow, and is therefore not used as much as the other two palettes, the gun-metal grey is my favourite for a smokey eye and I often add excess glitter (courtesy of NYX glitter pots) to dramatise the look even more. Can you say no to an eyeshadow palette under £10 that dupes the big brands? Definitely not.

 

Morphe – Jaclyn Hill Palette – RRP £37.00

 

KWEEN. Morphe are bossin’ the make up industry and I am feelin’ it! Collabs with artists or brand influencers usually leaves me on the fence as sometimes they can be a bit outrageous and contain a lot of colours I have never been brave enough to venture into (yellow, pink I’m talking to you…) but this palette is beautiful. Jaclyn Hill has worked her magic on the colour choices and Morphe have upped the game. When this palette was released it was constantly sold out. The eyeshadows are pretty big and the palette it’s nearly 3x the height of an Urban Decay palette. There is an excessive amount of choice, and again, there is mattes and glitter shade. All of the bases you could possibly need and all of the glitters to match! I have even delved into the world of greens and blues, giving myself mermaid make up, and my, I love this palette and the sassy confidence it gives you! At £37.00 it isn’t too pricey and for the size, quality and collab alone, I’d happily pay £10 more.

 

What do you think of my favourites? What are yours? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

CA x

“Am I Crazy?” The one where I introduce it all…

What do you think when someone says Mental Health?

I can guarantee it’s something negative.

We have this assumption that the term Mental Health means crazy, unstable, psycho, and a million other derogatory adjectives. Mental Health is exactly the same as Physical Health, but instead of your body being impaired, your brain is. It can occur from stress, hereditary genes, trauma, love, work, medication, physical injury, pretty much anything can cause a change in your Mental Health.

How does this tie to me? Well, I (like many others) have had to spend a fair while reminding myself of this factor. If I had a physical injury such as a sprained ankle or broken arm, I would seek medical attention to be checked over, scanned, plastered up, whatever the professionals deemed necessary. When it comes to Mental Health I was a little less proactive. I have a tendency to “put up and shut up”, meaning that quite often I will experience a situation and completely internalize it. Not helpful at the best of times, but especially if you are a character like myself that suffers from mixed anxiety and depression and is extremely analytical at the best of times.

I started having anxiety around the age of 12-13. There were issues in my childhood and post traumatic stress that wasn’t ever attended to by professionals. This created terror nightmares and severe anger and outbursts towards males. Then you hit school and if you’re a little bit out there or different like I was, you’re bullied. I was also blessed with teenage epilepsy which started around 14/15 and continued through my GCSE’s and up until I was 19.

I visited CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) when I was 17/18. I personally didn’t find much help from this and continued to fight my battle alone. I encountered the world of tumblr and became a bit of a hit, reaching 40,000 followers and posting a video about my “secrets” (basically explaining my anxiety and normalizing the condition). This then led me to travelling around the country, meeting new people and in turn helped my anxiety. But as the followers continued to grow, the anxiety came back with a vengeance. People were trolling me via the internet messaging forums, sending me anonymous message or messages from fake accounts etc. I was even temporarily famous on 4chan.

When I was 22 I decided to try again and sought advice from my GP, who gave me medication and referred me to Time to Talk West Sussex. I was referred to an assessor within the Mental Health team who diagnosed the anxiety and depression and taught me coping techniques and the hot cross bun diagram. I was taught mindfulness and self-love, and a whole manner of techniques to manage the disorders and bounced back a bit. This worked for a little while and I managed to pass my driving test. I then worked in a job where myself and my colleagues ended up micro managed by managers that were overworked and stressed, emotionally manipulated by customers and regularly upset due to the line of work that it was. This had a huge detrimental effect on my mental health, and forced me to look for a new job. I went back to therapy and was reassessed. I was tested for PTSD and finally diagnosed with it. I then went to EMDR (eye movement, desensitization, reprocessing) treatment to remove all emotion from my subconscious flashbacks, which in turn removed my terror nightmares. I can never explain to someone who has always had a good relationship with sleep just how magical it is to sleep through the night…

I was discharged Feb 2017 and was in a new job. Fast forward to Feb 2018 and I have handed in my resignation at my job due to several events at work and home and I am looking for work that means I can step back and look after my mental health and still have the money to live! I’m currently on medication and awaiting a psychiatrist appointment to assess actions going forward, as being in and out of the system isn’t helping and I need a more permanent plan for this permanent problem.

I stumbled upon blogging from watching other people and reading online magazine articles and thought I would give it a whirl. I found that I got so immersed in the colours, and planning and organising that I wasn’t anxious at all, my brain was busy and I was being productive. It also keeps my hands busy so, no nervous hand fidgeting, hair playing, clothes tugging etc. I’m hoping in that sharing my story and keeping you all updated with my experiences it may help those that need help but are afraid, because we all have to jump in at the deep end when it comes to getting help.

 

Below is my favourite quote at the moment and perfect for anxiety, depression and mood affecting disorders.

download (1).png

 

 

 

Further additions to “Am I Crazy?” will be coming soon.

 

CA x

 

Foundation game changer?

I was recently thinking about changing up my foundation game and heading for something new. I didn’t overly mind spending a little or a lot providing I had a good coverage, longevity and it controlled my mad oily skin.

I was advised to give a foundation under the name of ‘The Ordinary’ a try as they had copious shades to cater for my pale skin and two options, a serum formula and full coverage formula. The product varies from £5.75-£6.00 depending on where you purchase (retailers I’m aware of are ASOS, cult beauty and BeautyBay) so naturally I purchased one of each.

Serum formula

  1. Thinner, more runny liquid texture therefore a little goes a long way.
  2. Buildable coverage.
  3. Spot on colour matching.
  4. Lasts approx 8 hours.
  5. Lightweight and non cakey appearance.
  6. Gives the skin a dewy finish.

Full coverage formula

  1. Thick, but fair consistency.
  2. Fuller coverage.
  3. Colour matches well but oxidises a little once applied.
  4. Lasts 4-6 hours.
  5. Lightweight however due to thicker consistency can become cakey if not applied sparingly.
  6. More of a matte appearance as it sinks into pores more than the serum formula.

 

My verdict on both is that for the price, you really cannot go wrong. I suffer with blemished and acne, as well as scarring and both formulas cover all redness and bumps to a level where I’m more comfortable with my face. Both formulas do need setting with powder or setting sprays to last a little longer, although neither formulas claim to have a set hour wear, so the length of time they do last, is pretty satisfactory.

I prefer the serum formula as it glides over the pores rather than sticking to the face and tends to hide my scarring a little more than the thicker formula. It also gives you a more healthy looking glow, which is always appreciated, especially in the UK winter time!

bottom images: top swatch is full coverage and bottom swatch is serum foundation.

Retailers of The Ordinary Company foundations:

Cult Beauty

BeautyBay

ASOS.com

 

 

CA x

 

(feature image courtesy of glamour.com)

Valentine’s/ Stephen’s Birthday getaway

Stephen and I made a quick getaway for Valentine’s weekend and his birthday to Prague this year. If you haven’t been to Prague then you definitely should. It’s such a city of culture and there’s a millions and one things to see and do, and if you’re a foodie like me then you’ll love it because they’re food mad!

Stephen’s birthday is 11th February so we went from 8th – 12th to cater for both occasions.

We travelled via easyJet and the flights cost £150 for both of us. Accommodation was from AirBnB in the centre of Old Town, Prague and cost £172 for 4 nights stay, we had a studio flat overlooking the main town so we were right in the middle of everything and close to tram, metro and bus links to go to whatever part of the city we wished.

We visited Hard Rock Cafe Praha on Stephen’s birthday and ate a colossal amount of food for a little price. Remember that 28kc (Czech koruna) equates to £1 gbp, you get a lot of money when converted even with commission and charges etc.

We visited several monuments and Prague’s version of Madame Tussaud’s which is, to say the least, freaky.

Is there anywhere in Europe you would recommend or have been to and found it to be a good place to holiday? Let me know in the comments.

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CA x