Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Glossier: Lash Slick Review

Since Glossier landed in the UK it is safe to say I have become a super fan. Apart from one product that I really did NOT get on with, Glossier have ticked every single box for me when it comes to their skincare and makeup.

As more of a skincare lover, I have tried less of the makeup but when I heard the latest product was a mascara I really wanted to give it a try.
Glossier's ethos is very much about enhancing natural beauty. None of the products are heavy or full coverage, and the new Lash Slick, £14,glossier.com promises to give you effortlessly luscious lashes.

At first, I wasn't fussed or excited at the news of the new mascara. I personally thought buying a mascara to make your lashes look natural was a waste of money as I usually like a mascara that adds a lot of va-va-voom and makes them look super long and thick. 
My interest only peaked when I saw on instastories that ELLE UK's beauty director Sophie Beresiner used the mascara on her morning commute series 'makeup on the move' and described it as 'like boy brow for your lashes'.

As a huge fan of boy brow, I finally realised that I had to give this mascara a try, as I would never ever revert back to any other kind of brow gel now after using boy brow.

Lash slick contains small one and two millimeter fibres that hook onto the lashes to add length. The comb of the wand has tiny plastics bristles that allow you to really catch the lashes and run the mascara from base to tip.

Although this mascara claims to enhance natural lashes, I really was surprised at just how much length it gave to my lashes. The formula is not clumpy at all, and a vegan biotin allows the mascara to strengthen and condition lashes over time.

Although this mascara doesn't add much thickness to my lashes, I actually really like the final result and can see exactly how this and boy brow compliment each other. I would go as far to say this is now my favourite mascara to use for everyday, as the long natural look adds a nice curl too my lashes and looks really pretty for day to day. It is also really long lasting and doesn't smudge or budge so really does last throughout the day.

Much like boy brow, I can see this becoming a non-mover in my makeup bag, and whilst the price point isn't quite high-street, it is still very affordable compared to high end luxury branded mascaras.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Bleach London White Toner

As a blonde, one of life's long struggles is balancing the brassiness that sometimes comes with bleaching your hair. I usually get highlights in my hair, but this can sometimes veer towards looking a little golden when it goes a while without being coloured. I have used toners on my hair before to help brighten my colour, but I thought the Bleach London White Toner, £8, Boots would make my hair more icy blonde.

 The kit contains everything you need including the colourant, gloves for protection and a hair mask to help hydrate your hair after colouring.

The toner goes into shampooed towel dried hair, so once you have done this, you can mix up the solution. The instructions are really straight forward, and you mix the colourant into the developing solution and shake until mixed. You then section out the hair and add the solution to the root of the hair, and then run through the ends. I find the long nozzle on the applicator really helpful for dividing even sections of hair to apply the toner.

I have used this kit before when I had really long hair and found I needed two kits to do all over my hair, especially as my hair is really thick and I have a lot of it. Now I have bob length hair, I found one kit was perfect, and I had plenty left over to really run through the lengths of my hair to make sure the solution went all over.

Once you're happy with the application, this needs to be left on for about 15-20 mins.
Once you've washed it out you leave the mini Reincarnation Mask included in the kit for about 10 mins.

The mask made my hair feel amazing afterwards. My hair was silky smooth and it made my hair a lot more manageable. You can buy the Reincarnation Mask, £6, Cultbeauty.co.uk separately and if you colour your hair regularly I would highly recommend this as it really helps the condition of your hair and also smells really lovely.

The toner itself brightened up the colour of my hair, and as a semi permanent colour, this is a really good way to test colours before fully committing to something more permanent like bleach.

Here are the before and after shots, excuse my face in the first one, I'd just woken up.


The brassiness definitely died down, and people commented on how my hair looked much lighter. I really want to try some cool stuff on my hair and Bleach London provide semi-permanent hair colours and other toners that add different hues to your hair such as grey or lavender as well as shampoos and conditioners that can slowly add a light wash of colour over time, so it is a great brand to try if you're looking to experiment with colour.

Bleach London was started by Alex Brownsell and Sam Teasdale, and first started out as a single chair in Wah Nails Dalston in 2010. As you may know, I am a huge fan of Wah Nails and remember hearing the murmuring of Bleach London in the Wah Nails nail art books, and how they focussed on extreme colour rather than cutting hair.

In 2013 they launched their home hair dye range, just as pastel hair colour was the peak hair trend, and they become an overnight success. In 2017 they relaunched the collection which is why the packaging may look a different to how you remember, and now they have also brought on board Sam's twin sister, makeup artist Lou Teasdale to create a new makeup range which I look forward to trying!

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Nails Inc Flock You Nail Duo and Neon Lip Paints

I am so incredibly excited to write this blog post because I think it is something you are all going to love!

The Nails Inc polish duos posts I have written are always popular on my blog, but this time you are in for a double treat because not only is this my favourite ever nail duo so far, but I have also included some exciting neon lip paints from inc.redible cosmetics range which you absolutely must have if you intend to enjoy your summer at all this year.

I'll start first with the nail polish duo as it is just so fabulous! 'Flock You' is the latest duo set to come out from Nails Inc and as always is the fantastic value price of £15. This duo is inspired by flamingos so think summer fun and lots of pink.

The pink colour is 'Glamingo' which is an AMAZING hot bubblegum colour and then the glittery shimmer colour is 'Birds Before Boys' which is a pinky gold bronze shimmer. I can't even begin to put these polishes into words so I am just going to pop the swatches down below because I am far too excited for these.

I'm being serious this is the MOST amazing nail polish I have ever seen. 100% zoomed up into one of my favourites nail polishes of all time because.... just look at it! 'Glamingo'  is so vibrant, it makes your hands look instantly more tanned and I kid you not when I say I sat just waving my hands in front of my face lightly screaming when I put this on. You can ask my very disgruntled sister if you don't believe me.

Then we have 'Birds Before Boys' which on it's own is a super chic desert goddess kind of colour. It would look beautiful on any skin tone and it is a perfect rose gold colour if that is what you're into. As most of the shimmer polishes in the duo, it is a very fine formula which makes it extra reflective.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better I put the shimmer colour on top of the pink and well...

I'm sorry that the English and grammar in this post isn't of top journalistic professionalism , but sometimes, just sometimes I have to just type how I feel and this nail duo makes me giddy.

The amount of people who have commented on my nails when wearing this combo is unreal. Everyone at work commented almost straight away as it is such an eye catching look. It is such a great combo and exactly what I think of when I think of Summer colours.
If the pink on it's own is a little too much for you, which I have to say may be a bit much for day to day work life, then this shimmer takes it down a notch and adds pure sophistication and glamour.

Ok so the nail polish duo is done, but we haven't even started because next we're going into the neon glow in the dark lip paints.

These are another fairly new addition to the Inc.redible cosmetics collection. On their own these lip paints are still very bright so wouldn't necessarily say you can get away with 'day to night' unless you work in an Ibiza bar.

The pinkier of the two is 'She's Arrived' which I think is slightly more wearable than the orange.
For these pictures, I went with zero makeup, just a lick of mascara, no brows and messy hair to let all the focus be on the lips. I feel like you could wear this in a beach club in Marbella or Ibiza so you'd wear minimal makeup and just rock a natural tan.

Here is 'She's arrived' in natural day light and then under a black light we get...

I am also wearing 'Glamingo' on it's own here to get a punchy pink look, and as you can see that glows under the black light too. Just think of the fun you could have in a club wearing this!

Next is 'I'm Hot RN' which is a highlighter orange colour

As I said above, this is probably the less wearable of the two for a day look as it is still super bright, but for darker skin tones this maybe more wearable.

I teamed this with the two 'Flock You' nail polishes to give it a more orange tone and think they look super cute together!

Above is 'I'm Hot RN' in natural daylight, and then under the black light below.

As you can see the nails dim down with the shimmer coat on top but I do think this lip paint is more vibrant under the black light.

Overall, I think for £10 each these lip paints are worth purchasing just for a bit of fun! Because of the neon effect glow, the formula of these are very thin so at least two coats are required for even coverage. They feel like a matte lip paint when they are on so slightly drying but still very wearable.

I did find them a little tingly to wear but the neon glow effect is guaranteed safe otherwise they wouldn't be able to sell them! When I had a drink the colour did transfer onto the glass but still stayed in tact on the lips but I would recommend taking out the tube with you just in case you need tops up!

As I said, this isn't the sort of lipstick you want to be long lasting and super durable, as it is purely for a bit of fun. I would say these are essential for any big nights out, fun festivals or beachy holidays.

Friday, 1 June 2018

May Favourites 2018

Hi everyone!
This is my first skincare / product post that isn't nail varnish based for a long time and it feels good to be back. The reason I haven't posted any product reviews in such a long time is because I have really been battling with my skin recently so have been quite hesitant to try anything new on my skin until I found a routine that meant it wouldn't flare up.

I don't know whether it is just the winter months cold weather, but I had a similar situation last year where my skin just deteriorated over the Christmas months (probably due to bad diet and alcohol) and just carried on being grim until the Spring time. This year it has taken me a bit longer to pin point the cause and also a remedy. A few products along the way made it much much worse (ahem, Glossier Solution) and so this month I have put together the products that have made my skin feel normal again, and some other little luxuries that have made me feel grand!

First up is the product that I can pretty much hands down say transformed my skin from red spot remnants to *almost* clean and clear. Just a few short weeks ago, my skin was sprouting new spots each day, and leaving behind really red marks that were almost worse than the spots themselves. I read online that Vitamin C is a great ingredient to reduce redness so picked up the first thing I could lay my hands on in my vast "to try" pile of skincare, and I honestly woke up the next day with transformed skin.

This bliss Triple Oxygen Radiant Protection Energizing Serum, £52, lookfantastic.com cleared it up so well that even my boyfriend commented that my skin was "amazing". It is a pearlescent thin formula which absorbs really well and smells of zesty oranges. It is illuminating, and gives your skin a natural glow, and of course that added vitamin C evens out skin tones and dark spots.

It is also worth nothing that my skin dramatically changed after being outside. I know this sounds silly, but actually when I look back I was barely going out on my lunch breaks because it was cold and spent 95% of my time indoors. I went on holiday to the Lake District a few weeks ago, and spent all day outside in the fresh air, my skin felt clearer and cleaner and I do honestly think this combined with the serum helped so much.

As you can see by my virtually empty bottle, I have really loved using the Pixi Rose Tonic, £10, pixibeauty.co.uk which is a huge contrast to how much I used the cult favourite, Glow Tonic. Having had such a bad reaction to their number one selling product, I was a little apprehensive to try more skincare from Pixi, especially a Tonic. I am so glad I did though as I have found this so gentle on my skin and felt it really soothing my skin after cleansing. It reduces redness and adds hydration and calms the skin.

I went to a Pixi event at my local department store Fenwicks Tunbridge Wells a few months ago where their regional make up artist Amanda Bell was doing a demo and walk through of all their products. She clearly had so much passion for the brand and the fact that she is best mates with Caroline Hirons also made me want to drink in everything she was saying.

She also convinced me I had to buy the H20 Skin Tint, £24, pixibeauty.co.uk, which I am so glad I did as I hate using foundation in the warmer months and this gives me enough coverage and confidence to go without. I am the lightest shade 'Cream' but as it is just a tint, it wouldn't matter too much if you were to match yourself wrong online.

Whilst in the Lake District we also experienced some uncharacteristically sunny weather, so once again I went to my 'to try' pile and picked up this Skin Laundry Advanced Protection Daily Moisturiser SPF 35, £24, cultbeauty.co.uk. I am SO glad I did. This has become a staple in my skincare routine now as it is really creamy and luxurious, but the added protection of the SPF makes it great as a daily moisturiser for Summer. It is really light and absorbs really fast making it feel like a moisturiser and not a sun cream.

Skin Laundry is fairly still slightly unknown in the UK as it is a L.A brand, but if you want to find out how you can get a FREE light facial with them then read this post here

Whilst I have been using sun protection, I would be lying if I said I haven't been caught short a couple of times and been a bit burnt in the last few heat waves we have had. Whilst I use this Vitamin E Sleeping Mask, £11, thebodyshop.com a couple of times a week, this works absolute wonders if you have had a little too much sun. It is a really cooling gel consistency and locks in moisture so well. Vitamin E protects the skin and wheatgerm oil intensely hydrates. It smells like baby wipes which may be the one thing I would change about it, but otherwise it does it's job very very well!

Something that has been a little strange for me is my love for plain nails this month, especially sophisticated nude nails! I got these two colours in my Ciate Advent Calender.
'Maybe Baby' is a lovely coffee colour and 'The Naked Truth' a pretty peachy pink which looks great with a tan!

Speaking of tans, I have loved using these products by Tan-Luxe to prepare me for showing a little more skin this summer. This brand suddenly blew up on Instagram a few months ago and I saw a few of my favourite smaller bloggers talking about it and I knew I had to get involved. The Sleep Oil, £34 , Tan-Luxe.com is such a fab product. Like a facial oil, you apply this before bed and wake up with a natural, gorgeous glowy tan that hydrates your skin. It does smell a little buscuit-y, but the results are too good I can't complain. You must make sure wash your hands afterwards or you'll wake up with brown palms!

The other product I bought form them was The Water, £33, Tan-Luxe.com purely because I hadn't of this kind of tanner before. I LOVE using this water though as it is so quick and easy. You spray onto the skin and then use a mitt to diffuse and the end result is a ridiculously natural looking tan which absorbs really fast and with no streaks. I got shade light to medium and find it makes my skin the exact colour it would if I had been out in the sun.

Lastly is hair care, and I have been trying a few new styles and styling methods on my hair recently. I have completely given up my hair straighteners as I want bouncy beach waves that don't go flat. I am also trying to keep my colour healthier as my blonde hair can go quite dull really fast.
I first heard of Josh Wood when I interned at their PR agency, but since those days the brand has had a dramatic rebrand which focusses heavily on hair colour and care and I think it looks so amazing, chic and fresh. I love the way these products look in my bathroom.

Before buying any Josh Wood products, I would HIGHLY recommend going to the website and doing their online hair consultation. I answered a few simple questions and ended up buying the Uplifting Shampoo and Conditioner, £10 each, joshwoodcolour.com as they are for my type of blonde hair and also targeted to hair prone to frizz which is definitely mine. 

The products contain no nasty ingredients, and work better with more water meaning you save money on product. They have UV filters to help fading colour . I love how light they make my feel after washing like it hasn't been overloaded with product. The smell is really subtle and fresh and I also bought the Everything Mask, £15, joshwoodcolour.com to use once a week and really nourish.

So those are my favourite products for May, I hope you enjoyed reading about them, and if you have any suggestions of products you think I'll love in June then do let me know!

Sunday, 13 May 2018

L'Oreal Paradise Extatic Mascara Duo

The L'Oreal Paradise Extatic Mascara, £11.99, Boots came out last year and was a product I really liked using last Summer. I included it in my August 2017 favourites and now they have brought out the L'Oreal Paradise Extatic Mascara Primer, £11.99, Boots, a nourishing primer to go under the mascara to boost volume and lengthen lashes.

The packaging itself really compliments it's rose gold counterpart, and the white colour reminds me of coconut and its nourishing, hydrating properties.

Whilst it doesn't actually contain any coconut oil, it does contain Jojoba oil which moisturises and enhances hair follicles to allow eyelashes to grow longer and thicker. It also contains beeswax which is a natural protector and will help coat the lashes before mascara.

The primer is a white colour and will double up as a great frosty eyelash look if you're doing a Halloween or Elsa from Frozen look, so that is always a plus.

As you can see the primer adds lengths to the tips which and will protect the lashes for when the layers of mascara go on.

Below is a picture of my eyelashes with just the Extatic mascara only and nothing at all.

The image above is the mascara with the primer and you can see it has definitely thickened the look of my eyelashes and separated them more giving a more fanned out look. In terms of length, I don't think they look any longer than they would with mascara, however with prolonged use, the primer will help nourish my eyelashes and stop them falling out as easily which means the will get to grow longer and stronger!

To give a little side profile, I think my eyelashes definitely have a more defined curl and look much thicker. Obviously this is a very natural look and won't give you the look of false lashes, but for a drugstore product I really like the effect of these combining products.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Cramps, Coils and Contraception: My Experience With an IUD

This is a very different kind of post from my usual beauty reviews and nail art posts, but the topics I am going to cover do have an aspect of health which I think are relevant to this blog.

If this kind of topic isn't your bag, literally every other post on this blog is firmly beauty or nail related (apart from that one slightly embarrassing post where I went on a rant about Taylor Swift which I am not going to actively link) but you can find plenty of other content beauty content in the popular post bar on the right :)

There are a couple of reasons why I am writing this post which I will get into later on, but mainly I think it is because more and more women are becoming aware of the pill, and how sometimes harmful the effects of the added hormones can have on your body and health. I did a poll on instagram to see if my followers would be interested in this topic, and there was a resounding yes which makes me think that people are much more aware of their contraception and the options they have. As someone who has a IUD or the coil as it is more commonly know, I always find people have a shed load of questions for me when they learn I have one, so I thought it would be helpful to put my experiences with it in a post.

I am fully aware I started a BEAUTY blog, but I feel sometimes we need to talk about these more taboo topics as life isn't all about lipsticks and lashes. I will openly admit I feel a little nervous posting this on my blog, but I think it is important to open up the conversation, especially when it comes to talking about your hormones, and the effects it can have on your mental and physical health.

To start, I am going to give you a little back story on my contraceptive journey to give you an idea of my experience with other forms of contraception and maybe indicate the reasons why I ended up choosing to have an IUD, so if you want to skip over that, scroll down to the Q&A part of the post.

I vividly remember first being told about the coil by one of my school friends when I was sitting in my common room at the ripe old age of about 15. I am still not a fan of the word 'coil' as I think it sounds a little scary and for me personally, I thought it sounded like a big metal spring like contraption that rattled around inside of you. The girl informing me about this contraceptive device made the idea of it sound horrendous. She told us all sorts of horror stories about how she'd heard it "scraped out your insides" and could "burst through your womb and get lost inside of you and kill you", and how one time she'd heard "a baby had been born with one embedded in it's skull". I distinctly remember thinking, and probably saying out loud, "I would NEVER get the coil", yet here I am ten years later writing this post with one inside me as I type.

So what changed? Well firstly, I grew up! I learned not to be put off by something that doesn't always work for everyone else. Sure, everyone has heard horror stories about the coil, but that is because you rarely hear positive stories about them, making the bad press they get more common. Of course with anything like this there are risks, but they are very rare and also unlikely. If the horror stories happened all the time, doctors wouldn't recommend them and actually you tend to find a lot of doctors really support this kind of contraception.

I went on the Microgynon pill when I was 17. It was a decision my mum supported me in, and she took me to the doctors to discuss it. At this time of my adolescent life, the pill was something everyone just went on, and no other options were really discussed (in my friendship group anyway).
The pill actually worked really well for me, my tiny boobs ballooned, my skin stayed baby soft, my periods were as light as a feather and lasted about 3-4 days and I was loving life. The only slight negative side was that I did tend to experience head aches.

When I was around 19, I went to the doctors where I explained my headaches, and the first thing they suggested was that I should try the pill Cerazette. I took their advice and again, got on with this different pill very well. Cerazette is a pill you take continually meaning you never have a break. This worked so well for me during uni. I was living with four boys, and I never once had to worry about sneaking to the loo with a tampon up my sleeve (not that it is anything to be ashamed of), or have a panic about leaving any laundry around that may have been victim to a little leakage. Financially, it meant I could buy all the Vodka red bulls I wanted as I wasn't splurging on sanitary products (ban the tampon tax!). All in all, Cerazette made my life really really easy.

As I grew older and left uni however, I started to feel slightly uncomfortable about the fact that I hadn't had a period in about four years. As rubbish as they are, periods are a natural function of your body, and I felt as though I needed a sign to reassure me that everything was all working as normal in that department. When I spoke to my doctor about it, they suggested I have an IUD inserted in which I instantly wrote off with the year 10 common room stories at the forefront of my mind.

It was around this time after uni that I had decided that I wanted to go travelling indefinitely, and it suddenly occurred to me that I couldn't exactly order a year + supply of my pill. It was then that a friend suggested the coil to me again. She had had one inserted, and for some reason someone my age discussing it with me without the big scientific words made it a lot less scary. With my feelings of wanting to come off the pill combined with her positive experience, the more an IUD made sense to me, so in November 2013 I had my IUD fitted.

How do I go about getting the coil and know if it is right for me?

The only way you can know 100% if the coil is right for you is by discussing it with your doctor. There are a few reasons why you may not be able to have an IUD, but my doctor talked me through the details and was very supportive of the coil. Sometimes an IUD can actually help ease other health problems such as endometriosis. The IUD works well for some, and not so well for others, but you can't really know if it will work for you unless you try it. Of course if you don't get on with it, you can have it removed.
As I said above, for me the coil was the best contraceptive option for me as I wanted a hormone free option and was also going travelling, and I still stick by my decision to do so.

What kind of IUD do I get?

I didn't realise that there were different kinds of coil. There is actually an IUS which DOES contain hormones, so if you want a hormone free option like I did, make sure you specify you want a copper IUD. There are also different sized coils. Smaller IUDs last for five years, and larger ones which last for 10. 
I have a small IUD called Nova T 380 which will last me 5 years

How does it work?

If you haven't seen one, a hormone free IUD is a T-shaped device made of plastic and copper. It is actually the copper that prevents pregnancy. The released copper is like kryptonite for sperm, and makes it more difficult for it to reach the egg and survive. The IUD can also stop a fertilised egg from being able to implant itself in the womb.

Does it hurt when it is inserted?

This is probably the most common question I get asked when talking about the coil.
To say I went about getting my IUD inserted slightly blind would be an understatement. After going through the discussion phase, you are then booked in for your separate insertion appointment which should have really been an indication to me that it wasn't going to be like popping in a tampon.
I had the morning off work when I had my appointment, and had every intention of skipping off to do my shift afterwards like any other day. I told this to my nurse and she looked at me a little concerned and asked if I had realised the insertion process is classed as a 'minor surgery'. I shrugged it off and said I had a high pain threshold and laid down on the bed, legs a akimbo.

I won't sugar coat it, the insertion was not comfortable and it did take my surprise. To describe the feeling as 'pain' I think is the wrong word. The feeling is more like an intense ache, and what I can only imagine a contraction feels like.
Essentially, you're having a foreign object put inside of you, so your bodies natural reaction is to cramp around it and expel it, similarly to what happens when having a contraction.

Like I said, I went into this very blind having done no research, and I had to take the afternoon off work as well as the following day as all I wanted to do was lie in bed. I realise this sounds terribly dramatic, however it was nothing painkillers and a hot water bottle couldn't solve. Just make sure you go in prepared, and are topping up with pain killers as soon as they start to wear off.
 I would highly recommend taking pain killers before you go to have your coil fitted, and also having your appointment when you have a couple of days off to relax afterwards.

It didn't happen for me, but you may get slight bleeding or spotting after the insertion and you should use a pad for this. Not that you will want to, but do not use a tampon or even THINK about having any kind of sexual activity for the next 24 hours because... just trust me it will be the last thing you want to do.

What is it like after the first few weeks?

Some people can unfortunately experience a lot of bleeding for a few months, and some people's bodies may also reject the coil which can lead to infection. The weeks after will be a good indication as to how your body will deal with the IUD. For me, I have had it pretty smooth sailing since my coil was inserted. I didn't have any constant bleeding which I hear is quite common for people. I didn't have any dramas or extra pain, it seemed to just settle fairly well into my body and lifestyle which I have been really lucky with.
If you do experience any thing you feel isn't right, go straight back to the doctor to discuss this.

What are the pros?
  • Obviously the main pro for me is that I no longer have extra hormones flying around my body and I have a natural cycle again.
  • Due to no hormones, this can be used by women who have just given birth and who are breastfeeding.
  • The IUD will prevent pregnancy as soon as it is in.
  • I was able to go on my travels without a year supply of contraceptive pills getting me stopped and searched at every airport.
  • I don't have to remember to take a pill or worry about missing one as the coil has a 99% effeciency rate.
  • It sounds silly, but I feel as though I know my body a lot better which brings me to the 'beauty side of things'. I am a strong believer in what you put in your body shows on the outside. I find my moods, skin, weight is really finely tuned now and although I may not like the added spots, bloat and mood swings at that time of the month, I do feel it lets me keep tabs on what my body is doing on the inside.
  • I no longer get that many headaches! (unless they're hangover induced of course)
  • Once the IUD is removed, it is possible to get pregnant straight away should you wish, as your body does not need to adjust to the hormone levels like it does when you come off the pill or any other hormone.
And the cons?

Firstly, I feel as though this list is going to look longer than the pros list and also maybe outweigh them, but don't be put off by this at all! Things also get a little more graphic here as well so apologies in advance!
  • My periods are really really heavy now. To put it in perspective, I could use the yellow packaged light tampons throughout the whole of my 3-4 day period on the pill, but since having the IUD inserted, I have pretty heavy days on the second and third day, and a period can last between 7-9 days. I usually have to wear the orange jumbo tampons (yes you can still wear tampons or a menstrual cup when you have an IUD) and for particularly heavy days I will also have to wear a precautionary sanitary towel as I can easily leak through a jumbo tampon within a couple of hours. Sneezing, exercise and even laughing can be risky and catastrophic on these first few days of my period, and there have been occasions where I have leaked through onto my clothes (once at a wedding which was a nightmare!) so I would always say to keep a well stocked sanitary bag with you wherever you go.
  • I unfortunately get fairly bad period pain around the time of my period too which I never used to experience. Whilst it is nowhere near on the scale of the feeling or the IUD insertion, I do usually have to take painkillers in order to get through them.
  • Not that this is a con as such, but if you are with a new partner it may be something you want to mention to them before sexual activity but it is common that any sexual partners will be able to feel the IUD strings that are attached to the coil, particularly shortly after having it fitted. The strings do 'moisten' naturally over time meaning they become softer, and partners are just aware of the strings being there, but they don't hurt, scratch or anything like that. (blergh I've been grown up and mature up until now but the 'moistening strings' gets me every time)
  • IUD's are a form of contraception however it of course does not prevent STI's so you do still need to use precautions if you're unsure of your partners sexual health history.
  • Not that it is a direct cause from the coil, but my skin, moods all that jazz really hit rock bottom at the time of the month since having the coil, which did come as a surprise as I am on a hormone free contraceptive. 
So should I get the coil??

As mentioned above, getting an IUD is completely personal to every situation. I went on my travels as planned and was incredibly grateful that I didn't have to ask for, or mime for any contraceptive pill or anything else in the depths of a local town in the middle of Bolivia (side note they don't seem to use tampons in Bolivia so stock up if you go!).
 Whilst there were some days of my travels I couldn't go swimming because of having a heavy day (and not wanting to be shark bait), I have not regretted my decision to have my IUD at any point (apart from maybe when they first put it in).
If I have felt particularly queasy from a dodgy meal, or been a bit sicky from a rancid hangover, I never once had to worry about sicking up my pill or even if needing antibiotics, it is just something I haven't have to think about for a whole five years.

It is only writing this post that I have realised my IUD will 'expire' (not even sure what happens after the suggested time limit comes round but I'm pretty sure it won't explode) at the end of this year which has given me a lot to think about.
Firstly, it says a lot about 22 year old me's mindset, as I was pretty sure after the five years were up I would be ready for children, but I can categorically say that is not the case!

To say I am not nervous about having my IUD removed would be a lie. After knowing what it felt like to have inserted, I can't imagine it will be any less uncomfortable coming out, but this is something I may update this post on when the time comes.

I guess the biggest question would be will I have another IUD fitted? and whilst this is is something I now need to think about (honestly thought I had another couple of years with this thing!), the way I feel about it at the moment is that I probably wouldn't have another IUD fitted, but that isn't to say that it's a bad thing.

For me, I think it served its purpose for that time in my life, and it was the best possible option which I have had no regrets about. After five years of pretty bad periods however, I do think I will explore other options as it is a massive pain having to deal with it, however I would say the only things I don't like about the IUD occur during a period, the rest of the time it is hunky dory, so if you can cope with one week of your life being a little more stressful than usual, then you can totally cope with the negative side affects of an IUD.

I will let you know what I decide to go for after removal (if you care?!) but I would REALLY love to know what your thoughts on IUDs are now having read my post.
If you were thinking about getting one would you still? Or if it wasn't even a thought you had, would you look into it more now?
I would genuinely really like to know so leave a comment or slide into my DMs as I fully appreciate you may not want to be as open about it as I have been on the public forum that is the internet!

It goes without saying that I am NOT a doctor or gynecologist so some things I have written may not be 100% correct so seek advice from a medical professional if you have any queries or go to the NHS page or read this booklet which is really insightful. Another blog I found really helpful and also for completely different reasons such as the endometriosis factor is Lottie L'Amour's post so I would have a read of that for more info!

I hope this post hasn't been too graphic for some of you, but I hope it has helped you if you have been looking at changing up your contraception!

Monday, 23 April 2018

Nails Inc Polish Duos


Nails Inc, in my opinion, are one of the best nail brands in the world. They have been around for a long time and set themselves up as one of London's best nail polishes. They are constantly creating new and exciting ideas, such as their expanded makeup range Inc.redible cosmetics, and last year they started making nail polish duos which have been massively successful. They are always on trend and ahead of the times, such as the Unicorn nail duo which you can read my review of here

Nails Inc recently had a sale on and I knew I wanted to try the next three duos they had come up with as I loved the Unicorn set so much. For only £15 each, these sets are such a bargain compared to the usual £11 bottles.

The 'Holler-Graphic' duo is a space aged theme, which is packed with intergalactic glitter. As the name would suggest, these are both holographic polishes which means they have that rainbow shimmer running through.

I have found a lot of polishes that claim to be holographic often just contain glitter, but both of these polishes really impressed me.

'Ghetto Galactic' is a fabulous pink holo polish and looks so amazing. None of the rainbow colours get lost within the pink and I think it is a really cute polish.

For a more classic silver holo, 'Rocket Fuel' really is a great colour. The holographic polishes are really fine and smooth making them the perfect polishes.

Next is the Self Made Mermaid duo which is arguably the most instagrammed of the sets. With all things mermaid being the trend of last summer, these polishes were seen everywhere and really made a splash.

'Mermaid Parade' is a pearlescent blue with hints of pale pink running through. It is a really cute colour and makes your hands look really tanned and ethereal. They really catch the eye.

The glitter polish in this set is 'Ocean Ever After' which really is stunning! I absolutely love this polish and think it is perfect for summer and the beach.

Finally is the most recent duo, which was brought out at Christmas 2017.

The Champagne Shine set celebrates all things party, hence why it came out at the most festive fun time of year.

Another pearlescent colour, 'Fizz-ical' is a yellow gold shimmer. This really is a true champagne colour, and although it is quite subtle, it adds a touch of glamour to a normal nude mani.

The party starter of this set is 'Straight To My Head' which again is one of NailsInc's winning holographic formulas. This gold glitter fleked with rainbow holo really is a show stopper.

I really love these Nails Inc duos, and also think the marketing, advertising and branding around each set is on point and really makes a statement. I do think their holographic polishes are the best ones I have tried. It is impossible to avoid these sets and I can't wait to see what else they have in store.

Only recently, they have annouced the launch of the new 'Future is Fairy' duo which looks like a Spring time dream.

I have also noticed Nail Inc's cosmetics line 'Inc.redible' have a glow in the dark lipstick and jelly highlighter, so I imagine I will be having a spend up on their site soon!

See you on the next one!