Nails Inc. Freebie with In Style Magazine

Free with this month’s In Style magazine is a Nails Inc. Polish worth £11. There are 4 special edition colours to choose from. I love Nails Inc. most of my nail collection is from Nails Inc. due to the enormous choice of colours that they have, their on-trend colours and there special effects style polishes. I chose the light bluey-green colour that’s called The Tide is High. I loved the colour in the bottle and it’s even better on the nail. It’s a great summer colour and good pick-me-up. England may not be summer ready (cold, wet and damp despite being June!) but at least my nails are.

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The nails tones perfectly with my new poodle scarf that Keats is modelling (I really need a girl dog!).

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I’m chuffed, so thank you x

200 Likes

I know people don’t often post their ‘reward stickers’ for how many likes they get but for a blog that’s only been going 4-5 months I’m really grateful for all the support people have given me. I started the blog as a way to connect and share experiences with others and as a means of giving me something positive to focus on. Chronic illness cruelly isolate people and I’ve found blogging a great way to fend off this isolation. So a huge thank you to those of you that have taken the time to click ‘like’.  x

likes = smiles

Elemis Treats Free with Marie Claire UK

Elemis

In this month’s edition of Marie Claire UK you get one of these two Elemis goodies for free. I love Elemis products. Elemis is a British brand that blends science with nature harmoniously to create effective but pure products. With Marie Claire you get either the Papaya Enzyme Peel or the Illuminating Flash Balm.

I ran out of The Papaya Enzyme Peel a few months back and haven’t yet replaced it as I’ve been distracted with new things courtesy of my BirchBox and GlossyBox subscriptions but I’m so glad to see it with Marie Claire as it made me remember how much I loved it. Firstly, it smells divine and conjures up an image of tropical sunsets (always appreciated in damp and grey England). It is gentle but invigorating, pepping up the skin by kindly buffing the surface leaving behind clean, supple skin with a fresh-faced can-do attitude.

I’m still using my first full-size Elemis Illuminating Flash Balm but I have to say that I can take it or leave it. It is pleasant enough to use and has a similar fresh and peppy approach to the skin but I’ve found I’ve used other products more, such as: Benefits Porefessional, Clinique’s Smart Custom Serum (reviewed in an earlier post), Liz Earle’s Skin Tonic, even Ultrasun’s 30 Face which is a sun screen acts as a pretty good pre-foundation perk-up. It can sometimes make my skin a little too pink and flushed but this is probably due to my Lupus and Sjogren’s sensitivities which can make me prone to blotches and redness.

Elemis’ Pro-Collagen Marine Cream and Elemis’ Cleanisng Balm are in my first division of skincare essentials. Elemis’s Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is my summer moisturiser, it’s light, gel-like texture make ideal for summer skin unburdened by winter blights but its moisturising and anti-aging credentials mean that although light to touch still deliver powerful effects.

Twiddlemuff for dementia patients

This is a cheeky re-blog from my other blog but I wanted to share it here as Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are chronic illnesses that are often suffered in silence and marginalised (something many of us can relate to) and it is a disease and not an inevitable part of ‘old age’. It can be difficult to ‘reach’ Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients so anything that helps them to ‘connect’ such as these twiddlemuffs or activity quilts can only be a good thing.

Sew Ellie's Imaginary Friend

A friend of mine alerted me to a call that an English hospital has made for people to knit twiddlemuffs for dementia patients. These muffs contain items and textures that people with advanced dementia can feel and play with which can stimulate cognitive functions and help with anxiety. Unfortunately I can’t knit but my mum who works with dementia patients said that the wards sometimes use activity blankets/quilts that have a similar effect so I’ve decided to make a quilt for my mum’s ward. I’m going to do some research as to what the quilt should contain but I’m so excited about it. My Nan has Alzheimer’s disease and as she was the one that encouraged my crafty life it would be nice if I could use those skills she taught me to help others with her condition and those with dementia.

Below is a link to the knitting pattern for…

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Take Advantage of Every Little Positive

Wrestling with Sleep

A key feature of all my conditions is persistent fatigue, the type that lashes at you with every breath and with every effort those lashes sting over wounds that have been unable to heal. It is not pleasant and the cruel irony is that whilst your body aches for sleep every part of the day, often the pain makes sleep impossible so the lashes continue piling on lessening the chances to heal. And even when you are able to sleep you absorb it like a glutton and the result of such necessary indulgence is more pain.

Sleep for me is a constant struggle; I fight the need of it so I can stay awake to do a task, I wrestle with it as I want desperately to sleep yet the pain scares it off and I often fear to sleep as the chances are that when I wake I will feel just as bad or worse when I wake. I also fear that I am and will sleep my life away. This sounds quite bleak and mostly it is, but some days when insomnia persist through the night – like now – I get a surge of manic-like energy than makes me feel indestructible and full of optimistic plans of the day ahead…I’m going to set-up a website, read that book, walk the dog, write several pages… Alas, this feeling does not last long and the plans will just remain plans, but I love the feeling as it is a reminder of the old me and I will run with it for as long as I can – which will be probably be till 11.30 am. Take advantage of every little positive.

Sister Blog

I’ve just made my first post to the sister blog to this one. This blog is all about making the best of being ill, focusing on beauty. My new blog, which will run alongside this one will look at illness and disability on a personal and socio-political level. They are very different blogs so the new one may not interest those that enjoy this one but if you wanted to take a look it is called The Ill Represented.

 https://theillrepresented.wordpress.com/

Thanks for your time. x

[I have edited the link as I embarrassingly typed it in wrong – so sorry, should hopefully work now x]

Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum

I LOVE magazine freebies. I’m a sucker for anything free in the title especially when it’s a beauty freebie. Not only is this month’s UK issue of In Style magazine giving away a beauty freebie but it’s a new launch beauty freebie – Clinique’s Smart Custom Repair Serum. I have been trialling the serum for over a week now. The product claims to ‘respond to skin’s individual needs. Visibly repairs lines and wrinkles, dark spots, uneven tone, firms, imparts radiance.’ There is not much written information regarding the product’s ingredients so I’ll just mention a few that are named on the box: grapefruit, mulberry, grape, barley and cucumber. I have to say I have never heard of barley being used before, does anyone know what it’s benefits are?

The sample is a generous size for a serum (10ml). It’s pretty costly in it’s full-size form the retail starting price is over £40. The serum’s texture is not like any other serum I know in that it’s thicker and creamier as most other serums are oil-based. It’s texture is similar to that of a primer such as Benefit’s Porefessional and I think the link between primers and this serum extends in the airbrushing effect that this serum has had on my skin. The serum has evened-out my skin-tone and redness and, most notably for me, reduced the look of my pores – just like a primer would. Except the serum is skincare not makeup, so the effects stay and improve over time. I’ve seen an improvement in tone and radiance over just seven days. As for its effects on wrinkles I confess that due to my age I’m probably not the best person to test that line of the product on.

As those of you with chronic conditions may attest my skin will never be stable, even if I had all the creams in the world so I have learnt to build up an arsenal of skincare weaponry to fight any battle conditions. I have my rosehip oil for extreme dryness, my Liz Earle oil for calm, for example but if I can get over the price of this serum I would very much like to add it to my skin care arsenal to fight uneven terrain.

N.B. On the box it says apply morning and night so it may be viable for some to forgo a primer and use this serum instead in the mornings.

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The one-stop pick-me-up

I was supposed to have had my first visit to the pain clinic yesterday but the doctor’s secretary called to say that he was sick. It is strange to think of a doctor being sick I know they’re only human (though some doctors would have you believe otherwise) but still. It was a relief really that it was cancelled as I was feeling quite rough – I was in too much pain to go to the pain clinic – so I tried to rest up. I got a little too fed up of rest as the day went on so I wanted to go on a magazine haul to cheer myself up. If film and T.V. has taught us anything it is that sick people must have magazines and grapes (I do actually have both beside me right now in bed). Too tired to bother about much make-up I reached for my quick fix -Benefit’s Fine One One.

Fine One One has been around a while but as I’ve only just started the blog I have a bit of catching up to do. It is a multi-purpose cosmetic stick that uses three distinct colours to highlight, contour and colour. With one swipe across the cheekbones you’ve highlighted, contoured and blushed your cheeks (just blend lightly with fingertips). Each colour can be used separately as a highlighter or colour on lips and eyes. I find swiping the pale pink highlighting colour on your eyelids and brow arches swipes away any redness or other signs of fatigue. It has a creamy texture that keeps its hydration throughout the day.The other colours give a natural healthy flush to lips too. This one product is a great weapon against fatigue that can be deployed in a swipe.

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As you can see from the packaging its well-used! I like keeping packaging – helps to find things in your make-up bag.

The Perfect Balance

I struggle with foundation. I am very pale-skinned and most ranges don’t go pale enough add to that my very sensitive skin and my pool of choices becomes very shallow. I like BareMinerals Original Foundation but whilst it’s great most days it can look cakey and clumpy on my skin on bad days when my skin is dry. I love a lot of BareMinerals products as they are extremely non-offensive to my skin and often have great staying power but I wondered if a liquid foundation would better suit my skin on its off-days.

I try to choose products that are as natural as possible and when Liz Earle (whose skincare products are incredible!) brought out a make-up range a few years ago I thought I’d give their liquid foundation a go. It was a lovely foundation with moderate coverage and lovely skincare benefits. I split my foundation days between Liz Earle and BareMinerals happily until Liz Earle ran out of the foundation (I heard it may have been due to ingredient sourcing problems) – I was so annoyed! I had finally orchestrated the perfect routine – BareMinerals gave Matte coverage for shiny days and Liz Earle gave dewy sheen for dry days – but then it was over almost as quickly as it was found. So for many months I looked at other foundations but could not find anything near as good as what I had but then when I almost gave up BareMinerals released their first liquid foundation – BareSkin.

I received a weeks sample of BareSkin from my local BareMinerals counter after being colour matched. The foundation needs to be shaken before use at also contains a serum and it can be layered up to get basic to moderate coverage, although I managed to get quite a full coverage after only a few layers. The foundation is smooth and light on the skin and it didn’t dry out my skin at any point in the day.BareMinerals advise that people use their new ‘revolutionary’ brush to apply this particular foundation. The brush is quite stubby and has a ‘dip’ carved out of the middle that the drops of liquid foundation sit in, you then buff the foundation onto the skin just like the Original Foundation. I hate it when brands try to flog an extra product onto another stating that it works best in conjunction because if one product will only work with another then they should come as a set, in my opinion. The brush is quite expensive and I’ve not had good experiences with BareMinerals brushes in the past as they’ve moulted terribly. However despite their claims for the brush I found the foundation worked very well without it. Overall I’ve been very impressed with the BareSkin foundation and would happily buy it…but I’ve just seen Liz Earle’s foundation is back on the shelves and I’m not sure which one is better…although Liz Earle’s Signature Foundation requires no additional purchase to work its best.

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Hiding in Anger

I have been distant from this blog for a little while as I’ve been struggling with the anger and frustration that constant pain gives. My aim was to keep this blog light-hearted and a little informative. I wanted it to express the small things I enjoy, a means to engage, to escape the bleakness that often encases me. I still aim to keep this blog light but I was unable to rally to the sentiment so that’s why I stayed away. I have realised now that the anger/frustration is a part of my story as a legitimate emotion and to deny it can make things worse. So I have now decided to let the rage out but I will do this on a separate blog as I hope to cover wider areas of concern for those of us with chronic illnesses and/or invisible disabilities, such as politics, healthcare, welfare and rights.

The other blog will be a little more ‘serious’ so that way I can keep this blog as I intended – fun! Those of us with chronic illnesses often have to separate areas of our life off into manageable pieces and have a duality to our characters (often a split between pre-sick and post-sick self) so I hope that this ramble has made some sense. I hope to set up this new blog soon, but first I have to visit the pain consultant tomorrow.