Learning to use products correctly – this week I feel like I finally mastered the subtle highlight and the application of lipstick. This was down to two things – buying this lip brush (£2.99 from Superdrug) and taking more than 20 seconds to apply my lipstick, and actually learning how to use the much-loved Benefit High Beam highlighter (£21.50 for 10ml). I’d never thought it was worth the hype – hence why it stayed in my make up basket unused – but decided to try it the other day when I was doing my make up for my friend’s wedding and by luck appeared to figure it out. Wonderful. Also good – the fake eyelashes I’m wearing in this photo were from Poundland. Winning.
Lavender Violets Top Coat (£2.48 for 8ml) – a few Christmases ago my sister got me a gel nails kit, and it’s great – I can get my nails done in a salon and then when I get home put a clear gel top coat that will make the nail polish into gel nail polish (i.e. it won’t chip or smudge, it’s shiny, and it lasts a lot longer than regular polish). I use the kit so often I was in need of a new top coat but didn’t want to spend a fortune on it. After reading some reviews online I opted for this one, and so far I’m really impressed – it’s cheap, the brush is a good size for easy application, and my nails look great. Solid 10/10.
Pur Correcting Primer (£24 for 30ml) – another gem from the M&S beauty calendar, I only started using this recently when I was travelling and couldn’t fit my regular primer in my airport bag. And it is amazing – my make up (used with both BB cream and foundation) stays put all day and I’ve had to do very minimal touch ups (once in a day with powder at most). It’s really, really good, and when this runs out I will definitely be saving up and repurchasing. Another 10/10.
Sleep app – a combination of my mental and physical health conditions mean that I medically need a lot more sleep than most people my age, and it isn’t helped by side-effects of the strong medication I’m on. But recently I’ve been thinking more about the quality of my sleep, so I downloaded this app and it tracks my sleep every night. It also wakes me up with a very gentle alarm (so it may not work for people who easily sleep through alarms), which really helps as someone whose heartbeat immediately goes into anxious overdrive at the sound of the default iPhone alarm bell. I’m not entirely sure how it works, but it does, and in the morning it gives you a break down of your sleep cycle, and an overall rating of sleep quality. It’s made me realise the kinds of things that seriously impact the quality of my sleep – my phone, going to bed without winding down first, anxiety, nightmares – and I’ve begun to take proper steps in creating a bedtime routine to ensure I get the most out of my sleep.
Work – I currently volunteer for a local housing organisation, have been there six months and I feel really invested in the place. With charity funding becoming increasingly harder to attain, volunteer time is even more crucial to ensuring organisations like the one I work for can open their doors and help people. I’m mostly just happy that the horrible experiences I’ve had with benefits and the DWP have equipped me with the knowledge to help and support other people who are going through similar, and very often much worse, situations.
The sun – fuck seasonal affective disorder. I have pretty major depression year-round, but when the sun finally begins to come out for more than just the odd day it makes a big difference to my mood (if only in the short-term). When it’s still light at 6pm I could fucking sing with joy.
I hope your April is going well! ☀️