It’s easy to think about all the negatives during lockdown and the pandemic but I am going to use this blog post to think about something positive that actually arose during my time at home. Skincare! I’m still very much a newbie with all these new brands and products (Wtf is a retinol?), but I’m learning.
I got started with some easy, well known brands such as Liz Earle, Glossier and Superdrug’s own brand.
Cleanse and Polish (Hot Cloth Cleanser)
Eyebright soothing eye lotion
I started my skincare routine with some good old Liz Earle products that my friend had recommended to me. The hot cloth cleanser was gentle and so much more soothing for my skin than make up wipes. I made a promise to myself to reserve make up wipes for Nights Out only and to use the Cleanse and Polish regularly. This coupled with the exfoliator and skin tonic made my skin feel super smooth and ready for the day. The eye lotion was a must because my eyes are quite dry and require a lot of care. Although pricy, I really loved the Liz Earle range.
Milky jelly cleanser
Exfoliating skin perfector
I love the cleanser! It really hydrated my face and was really gentle on my skin. I have sensitive skin so something gentle is a must. The exfoliator was good too but I prefer more of a face scrub texture. This was my first time trying the Glossier range so I will be checking more products out.
Ok these are definitely my favourite products. A range of face masks for every occasion. I bought a selection for £17 which is a bargain. Gold shimmery masks, charcoal, raspberry etc. These definitely add an amazing edge to your pamper night. If anyone wants me to review them properly in another blog post I definitely will!
Skincare and mental health
A good skincare routine can transform your mental health, in this essay I will. A 2010 study conducted for the Asian Journal of Beauty and Cosmetology found that among elderly and middle aged women in Korea led to an increase in confidence, self-esteem and happiness.
There’s something really soothing about massaging these products into your face. Its calming and you’re focusing on something for a good amount of time which is a also a form of mindulness. It’s not a miracle cure to anxiety but just focusing on my routine produces a wave of calmness and tranquility. Every action is part of a ritual and by focusing on what to apply next I’m not focusing on anything but the present. I normally have my skincare routine at night but you can do it at any time of day. Just going through the motions is sacramental and really gives you that much needed lull in your day.
- Your Sleeping pattern will cease to exist
4 AM is the new 11 PM. Sleeping before midnight is now an urban myth. You will get haunted by the Insomnia ghost and suddenly you have the urge to watch a movie, do a home manicure, go over your regrets from 2010 -2020 and watch videos of funny cats on YouTube.
2. On the other hand, you can’s stop sleeping. Waking up and every day turning out the same is getting boring real quick. Might as well lucid dream to get away from this shit.
3. “Don’t be a COVIDIODIOT” – Aka, stay indoors, stop having parties/gatherings, this is not the time to be social. So if Tyler wants to drop by the off license with 20 of his friends to pick up a multipack of Strongbow dark fruits to drink in the park together – SAY NO
4. It’s okay to feel burntout and lost right now and just wanting to crawl in your bed and play Animal Crossing and The Sims all day long. Don’t let those people who are pressuring you to upskill/apply to jobs/redecorate your house dictate your lockdown experience. Read that book you never got time to read. Play the video games gathering dust. Watch the movie.
5. I don’t know what it is but all of a sudden people are turning into Mary Berry and using this time to make all the crumbles/pies/pastries you can think of. It’s like a game of cat and mouse though everytime you go to the supermarket since flour is always missing. And toilet rolls. Which brings me to my next point.
6. Toilet paper nearly went extinct at one point. Some stupid people thought it was an apocalypse and not a pandemic and bought masses of toilet paper. You greedy fuckers there are lots of people who are struggling to find toilet paper because of you. I hope you all step on logo xoxox P.s. well done to those people who aren’t hogging toilet paper, this meme is for you!
7. Lockdown is weird. Without a purpose everyday begins to feel like Groundhog day. I can’t remember what the date is half the time. You just know this pandemic is going to be mentioned in future GCSE history exams.
One thing I have been grateful for during Lockdown has definitely been the memes and the overall humour of the situation. If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.
What’s been the best meme you’ve seen during lockdown? Let me know x
I sit here typing this on the final day/night/hour (for the truly poetic) of being 23 and I am filled with anxiety and dread for my birthday tomorrow. For some, birthdays are the biggest social gathering of the year, multiple outfit changes, lots of presents and attention central for the Tinkerbells of us.
A lot of my birthdays have turned out disappointing – people flake, plans change and it usually ends up with me compromising rather than my original plan
My 21st has probably been my favourite birthday to date; I was in Sydney while travelling across the East Coast and my birthday coincided with me also meeting up with my friend Megan who I’d only met a month ago while in the Gold Coast. This worked out so well because not only was I in a new exciting city with plenty to do, I was also with someone – solo travel is great but two is better than one for a birthday extravaganza, no? We partied 4 days in a row, explored Bondi/Coogee beach and just had so much fun, I don’t think anything can top having your birthday in Australia to be quite honest. Shoutout to Megan for the makeshift backpacker birthday cake of chocolate muffins!
Birthdays always give me so much pressure because you’re expected to have the time of your life, a huge social occasion and for me a lot of the time it’s turned out to be a normal day coupled with the depressing fact that it is just a normal day except you’re one year closer to death x
I’m slowly realising that it’s okay not to have the best day of your life or have 300 people singing to you and your birthday is literally what you make of it. This year, instead of going hard and drinking so much I get the hangover from hell, I opted to have a lie in (probably the best present ever at the moment, I hate you, working life), booked myself a massage (big up the endorphins), had a lowkey family dinner with yummy Thai food at Elephant Royale and then had a night in with drinks and monopoly
I’m going to aim to do more fun and chilled stuff for my birthdays and not put so much pressure on myself to conform to societal pressures blah blah. Maybe even make it a rule that I’m always in a different city/country because a holiday just tops it all, doesn’t it?
What do you like to do on your birthday? Let me know!
Self -care has become such a huge thing in the current years that I’m here to highlight the importance of what some see as such a trivial thing. So what is Self -care? I see it as maintenance of one’s physical, emotional and mental self and all the parts in between. self -care might be seen as an overindulgent Millennial’s pamper time but it’s a time to reflect, maintain and push for growth.
People are hungry for knowledge and information on how to better themselves and there are so many articles online with ideas on how to make sure you’re always practising self care. With such strong links to mental and physical health, self care is more important than ever in 2019 with millennial’s busy lifestyles and crushing anxieties having a damaging effect on their heads. It’s no surprise that there are apps, podcasts and articles which all tell you the best way to eat, exercise, read and relax to keep up with nourishment for your brain
Many people value self-care as a lifestyle option but it’s so much more than that. Yes we do love a good avocado and a face mask but it’s more about what personally helps give you a slice of sanity amongst 21st Century Mayhem. Self- care isn’t selfish. Don’t listen to baby boomers; they’re just jealous they can’t figure out how to rotate a pdf.
For some people, self-care is more than just an activity and a fad. It’s doing things for YOU, being SELFISH and striving to be HAPPY. This can mean cutting out that toxic friendship even if it makes you feel bad. Not replying to messages after 10 pm so you’re taking out time to relax and unwind. It’s about putting yourself first for once and not cutting yourself in half for other people. A lot of adults struggle with telling people ‘no’ and will often force them to do things that won’t make themselves happy. Next time you get invited to something and don’t want to go for whatever reason maybe it’s time to be honest and just speak your mind rather than push yourself. Maybe don’t get into a relationship with someone who is constantly putting you down. Self- Care, Self- Love and Self Maintenance is the mantra!
Tips on figuring out a Self Care Routine
- Keep it simple: It could just be something simple as putting a face mask on after a hard day at work? Or it could be booking a flight (personal fave). Just pick an activity or ritual that helps you feel better in any shape/form. I’ve joined the gym in an act of Self-Care (eek) to improve my overall fitness and tone up
- It doesn’t always have to be healthy: Sometimes picking up a Mcdonalds after a hard day at work is my act of self-care for that day. And that’s ok. If you don’t indulge once in a while you’ll never be happy.
- Make it routine: Having Self-Care as part of your daily/weekly routine keeps you sane and less stressed out and exhausted. You have something to look forward to and it can transform your life for the better.
- Prioritise: Sometimes it’s about paying attention and seeing what your body and mind need. Like maybe you’re too tired from work to head into town and get drunk with your mates and maybe you need a cozy night in with pizza. Maybe you need to stop “Netflix and Chilling” with that guy who keeps ghosting you every now and again and just cut him off for your own sanity.
Hope ya enjoyed my post, I’m gonna go procrastinate now and call it my Self-Care of the day x
Aloha, it’s been a while but I’m here to talk about something super important and that is the concept of Mental Health as it’s Mental Health Awareness Week. There’s lots of things I don’t feel comfortable discussing on this blog and maybe one day I will but right now I’m focusing on this year’s theme of Body Image. Disclaimer: I am in no way a professional and I urge anyone who is suffering with mental health issues to see their GP or go to A&E if you are feeling suicidal. TW: Body image, body shaming, eating disorder, fat shaming,
Body image can be defined by “the perception that a person has of their physical self and the thoughts and feelings that result from that perception.
These feelings can be positive, negative or both, and are influenced by individual and environmental factors”.
Perception is everything when it comes to body image. If you look in the mirror and make a snap judgement about yourself “Oh my god, I look so ugly and I feel fat and worthless” then it’s bound to completely jeopardise your day and how you feel about yourself. The BBC reported the results of a survey which found that a third of 4,500 “adults felt anxious about their bodies, with one in eight experiencing suicidal thoughts”.
This figure is shocking and prompts the question: “why are we so critical about the way we look?”. Why is fat shaming/any sort of shaming still a thing? Why is there a body shape that is considered perfect’ and why are men and women constantly pressured to look a certain way. I blame social media for part of it. With apps like Instagram, looking ‘perfect’ is something that is integral to one’s lifestyle. Filters and angles add to the pressure of making one look picture perfect and with the rise in celebrities coming out about the use of photoshop in the media, body image is increasingly problematic in the media. ‘Flaws’ can be airbrushed, lightened or increased or decreased in size and it’s a problem because it teaches us that we must dislike these characteristics of our body. Celebrities such as Jameela Jamil are drawing attention to the problematic side of social media and highlighting issues with fat shaming and body shaming, encouraging us to feel more empowered and love ourselves. Check out my blog post about her here.
I’ve definitely fallen prey to the wicked ideals of body image on social media a few times. I decide to upload a picture of myself and then scrutinise myself, scanning my entire body for flaws that I can crop out or add filters to so I appear more desirable. Or there’ll be times where I’m getting ready and I look at myself in the mirror and I hate what is looking back. Why is my stomach so bloated? Why are my eye bags not going away? Why is my skin so discoloured at times? These questions constantly go through my head and I end up going through my entire closet until I feel comfortable with what I’m wearing/covering, or putting on enough make up until I look ‘ok’. Or making plans on how I can change my appearance so I’m happier with how I look (hah that gym membership still needs to happen)
I have to remind myself that everyone experiences certain characteristics and as I’m not a celebrity with access to a personal trainer, plastic surgeons and a dietician, it’s not gonna be as easy as snapping my fingers and shapeshifting into someone I prefer to look like. Yes I have eye bags and discoloration but that is something a lot of Indians experience and comes with my heritage. Yes sometimes my stomach swells in size even when I haven’t eaten anything but that comes with having Crohn’s Disease which has messed up my intestines so much that I need to have surgery in order to fix this and there’s nothing I can do otherwise about this. Being Indian doesn’t always help because Indians love commenting on people’s weight (lol) but I’m learning to ignore that and accept my body is changing and no one needs to comment on it. Yes sometimes I hate the way I look and I’ll put some make up on or skip meals and then hide behind big clothes because I feel disgusting when I look at the mirror but I’m reminding myself that I have a normal body and I deserve to nourish myself and not care about what others think. There isn’t always bad ‘body image’ days. Sometimes I’ll dye my hair and feel empowered like a punk princess. I guess it’s because my hair is something I have control over and I don’t have a lot of control over things related to my body but I’m slowly learning that it’s okay. With so many positive body empowering women I follow in Instagram and Twitter, I’m slowly realising that there are lots of body types out there and instead of focusing on the flaws, you gotta remind yourself of the positives and ‘werk it’. Instead of following celebrities that endorse weight loss teas (cough cough Kartrashians), follow empowering women such as singer Lizzo, Jameela Jamil, Cupcakke rapper and lots more!
No matter your sexuality, race, gender, ethnicity etc you don’t have to let anyone dictate how you should look. Remember, you’re amazing and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise <3. A “hells yeah” to all my fellow beauties who aren’t comfortable with the way they look, I gotchu.
Aloha…or should I say ‘Hej’ as they do in Denmark?
I recently read an inspirational book titled “The Little Book of Hygge” and I will probably write a separate post about it but this book was bloody brilliant. It’s all about the Danish concept of Hygge which translates to a mood of being cozy and content. But it’s more than that. It’s a way of life and this book gives you the ideas and the means to live like a true Hyggemeister (I hate myself). Denmark is continuously ranked highly on the World Happiness Report of happiest countries and this intrigued me. Scandinavian culture and Hygge promotes a good sense of security and well-being which is something that a lot of Western nations, especially the UK and the US lack. But that’s all for another post…
In January, me and my friend Adi decided to book a short break to go and explore another city sometime in early Spring. Scouring Ryanair and Expedia, we decided on Copenhagen and I was eager as ever having just finished the book. Our flight was on Thursday morning from Luton Airport which is a bit of a trek from us but we travelled there the night before and stayed at Adi’s cousin’s house which isn’t too far from the aiport.
I was exhausted on the morning of flight due to sleeping late the night before (great move, I know) so waking up, getting ready and making sure I had everything took longer than normal. We got to the airport in good time and I had a small window of time before the gates for our flight opened so I opted to get some pancakes and a Woo Woo from Frankie & Benny’s. What? If you’re at the airport, it doesn’t matter what time it is you’re basically obliged to drink, it’s just polite.
A short flight later we were in Copenhagen! We decided to get the Copenhagen Card which is an all-inclusive card with unlimited travel and 87 attractions. It’s 99 Euros for one adult ticket.
Copenhagen’s version of ‘The Tube’ seemed so much cleaner and less crowded than the one in Landaaan Town. We reached our destination and the hostel (The Generator) was about a 15 min walk from the station. The heart of Copenhagen looked like a less crowded, prettier and cooler version of London so I was excited to explore more once we were settled.
We checked in, chose our bunk beds (sorry Adi for ‘dibsing’ the bottom one) and dumped our stuff in our rooms. By this point we were both starving so headed downstairs to get some food from The Generator’s bar/restaurant area. The aesthetic was on point! Vintage arcade machines, a cosy reading area with dozens of books and comfy sofas and beanies. Dim hygge lighting and pizzas were a good choice for my first meal in Copenhagen and I scoffed away.
We were both so zonked out from the late night and the flight that we decided to keep it lowkey on the first night. We opted for a Shisha sesh and found a decently priced place not too far from us. Smoky purple lighting and some R&B bangers, not a bad start to our break!
I’m chasing the sun
Down the bottom of a vodka bottle
It tastes of sweetness, light and euphoria
But it fades as fast as the sunset that reminds me of you
So I turn to the tobacco goodness that sends me into a pseudo heaven
I want to feel love i want to feel hope i want to dream
But chemical aphrodisiacs can only do so much
As i fall into the depths of a hell
This is Jameela Jamil. She is currently slaying everything and I’m all for it. You might recognise her from hit show The Good Place in which she plays perfectionist and socialite Tahani Al-Jamil. Yes she is fabulous and the show wouldn’t be the same without her but I’m here to talk about her influence and drive and conscientious efforts as a life positivity and body empowerment activist.
In 2018, Jameela launched Instagram account ‘I Weigh’ encouraging people to post a picture of themselves along side a list of things they were grateful or proud of that made them who they are. This was in response to an Instagram photo which showed all the Kardashians and compared their weights which Jamil exclaimed “Who gives a fuck what weight you are?”. The ‘I Weigh’ movement is inspirational and a big leap forward from the media’s constant scrutiny of women’s bodies and their pessimistic body shaming attitude. This movement may have originally focused on women but Jamil has encouraged users of any race/gender/sex to submit posts and thus a variety of individuals from different backgrounds are celebrated on the account.
Having suffered from an eating disorder as a teenager, Jamil’s preaching of self-love and acceptance comes from personal experience and a desire to right the wrongs of the media and society. She has criticised the media for creating unrealistic expectations for women, focusing on so-called ‘influencers’ who advertise detox teas and weight loss products which claim to be a magic solution to people who want to lose weight. Jamil called out US rapper Cardi B and stated “they got Cardi B on the laxative nonsense “detox” tea. GOD I hope all these celebrities all shit their pants in public, the way the poor women who buy this nonsense upon their recommendation do”. To further her point Jamil posted a short clip of herselves acting out a celebrity who was endorsing a weight loss product but has to stop when she barely makes it to the bathroom in time. It’s no-nonsense, straight to the point and hilarious. Adding fuel to the fire she voices her disbelief with “I’ve got abs, but I’ve never done a day’s exercise in my life and I haven’t been on a diet. I ate five hamburgers last night”.
Although Jamil has a massive following on ‘I Weigh’ with over 300,000 followers she is no stranger to controversy. She has been labelled ‘privileged’ because of her looks which have been deemed ‘socially acceptable’ and that she is too skinny to be an advocate for body positivity. Jamil put up a powerful Twitter post responding to these criticisms by acknowledging her privilege but explaining that she is using it to do good by paving the way for change and uprising against societal norms of beauty.
There have been many rebuttals against her stance and suggestions that she is not as inclusive as she could be but Jamil has taken these views on board and responded to many of them labelling herself a ‘feminist in progress’ as she continues to work on herself as well as her movement. She is responsive to people who don’t like her, comedy gold and always willing to spread love when she can which is why she takes is officially my reigning WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday)
And if you don’t like her? I don’t give a fork.
It’s that time after New Years where you’re in a state of zen and duvet bliss (after your new gym induction and motivational run of course) and what better idea than to switch on the ol’ Netflix and have a gander at the new shows which are all gripping the world at the moment. That and the memes which have been dominating Twitter.
(Mild Spoilers ahead)
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
I was eager and waiting when Netflix delivered the latest instalment of Black Mirror. It takes the form of an interactive story complete with choices that lead you to multiple endings. The path the story takes is down to you as you play as the main character, Stefan. Stefan hopes to create his own video game, aptly titled ‘Bandersnatch’. But it seems the game is playing him rather than the other way round…
You should also bear in mind that you have to unlock certain endings to replay different scenes to get alternative endings. The first choice is significant and boils down to what kind of cereal you like. *Sugar Puffs over Frosties till I die*
Some endings are humorous. Some are traumatic. And some are just downright weird. But it all boils down to the same thing. You get to ruin a young man’s life for your own entertainment. Poor Stefan.
Think of it as Gossip Girl Gone Wild. The narrative follows Penn Badgeley’s character Joe who starts off as an ordinary guy in a bookstore. Pretentious? Check. Slightly awkward? Check. We hear the story through his inner monologue which is constantly running, telling the classic boy meets girl love story as he meets love interest Guinevere Beck. Tame enough right? Except his observations are a bit too intrusive and thoughts turn into actions and well…he tips over to crazy psycho stalker. I won’t say any more but…eeeks.
Look at that smile!