Eating Disorders: What I've Learnt So Far...

This is going to be a slightly different and more serious (sorry!) blog post today.  This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) – a topic very close to my heart.  First things first, I myself have never suffered from an eating disorder.  I have unfortunately seen friends and peers struggle with disordered eating throughout their teenage life and that was my first real insight into the disorder.  As a psychology student, clinical psychology is a potential career path for me, and this year I have been on a work placement set on an acute inpatient eating disorders ward in London.  I thought I knew quite a lot about eating disorders before I started my placement. I was SO wrong!  I've learnt a hell of a lot in the last 5 months and I want to share some of this with you to try and debunk some of the myths surrounding eating disorders and to help others gain an understanding of what having an eating disorder might be like.

First of all I want to start off by saying that EVERY SINGLE EATING DISORDER IS UNIQUE.  There is no fixed event that causes an eating disorder; each person will have a different set of symptoms and eating behaviours.  However, there are some factors that seem to overlap and I will try to cover these as best I can.  Although I am aware there are many types of eating disorder – anorexia restrictive type, anorexia binge-purge type, bulimia, binge eating disorder and other specified feeding & eating disorder (formally EDNOS) – I am going to focus on anorexia nervosa as this is the disorder I am most familiar with since being on my placement.

Often, an eating disorder develops as a coping mechanism.  While I may cry and listen to Adele on repeat when I feel a sense of loss or a lack of control in my life, someone else may restrict their food intake, count calories or binge until they feel sick.  The way I see it – and how others with an ED have described it themselves – when a loss of control is felt in one’s life, this control can be regained with the ability to control their food intake and weight.  There is a sense of reward when one manages to eat less than 300 calories for the whole day, or when one purges up their last binge.  Simple A-Level Psychology taught us that an action that elicits a sense of reward leads to repetition of this action.  And this exact principle can be applied to this stage of the eating disorder. At first, a person may just see this as a hobby; something that provides them with a sense of satisfaction.  But often, once results show – clothes becoming baggy, other people complimenting their thin physique – this “hobby” can take over one’s life. 

I was given an analogy for an eating disorder which I will never forget.  This analogy was from a former patient, someone who’s been there before, but I’d love to know your thoughts on it or any other analogies you may use or have heard.  Once an eating disorder has developed, it becomes like a child to the individual.  It becomes the individual’s best friend, especially since having an eating disorder can isolate you from others.  It’s a safety blanket and you care for the disorder as if it were your own baby.  Now imagine this individual has been admitted to an inpatient unit because their eating disorder becomes extremely severe.  Health professionals are now saying “by the way, that child isn't good for you; we need to take it away from you.”  Obviously the individual is going to be resistant!  This analogy helped me to see why some of the patients on the ward are so adamant that they are not unwell and understand what kind of position they feel they are in.

Lastly, I want to make a point about the media.  I remember when I was being interviewed for my placement, one person asked me “tell me everything you know about eating disorders.”  As you could imagine I was taken aback by the broadness of the question but I just wittered on about the impact of the media.  In hindsight I realise that this area is just a fraction of what may fuel an eating disorder and I feel pretty stupid for only talking about this (particularly after I found out this particular interviewer is one of the leading researchers in eating disorders in the UK…) Don’t get me wrong, the portrayal of stick thin, visibly underweight models is setting a horrendous example and ideal for young teenagers with impressionable minds.  However, from my experiences on the ward, these don’t tend to cause an eating disorder as is often assumed; rather they act as a trigger to an already eating-disordered mind.

I’d love to hear your views on this topic, and please tell me if you think I'm wrong in anything I've said.  I've still got a long way to go before I swoop into the deep, dark world of clinical psychology!  Please leave your comments below! Xx

If you are suffering from an eating disorder or are worried that someone close to you may be, please contact your GP or go to for more information.  Don’t suffer in silence!

MINI SUPERDRUG HAUL: Garnier, MUA, Collection & Makeup Revolution

I've picked up a few things from Superdrug in the last couple of weeks and I thought I'd share them with you for my first haul post!  They're all new purchases that I haven't tried before (apart from the Collection eyeliner) so I'll give a first impressions review as well.

The first buy is a re-purchase after my Eyeko felt tip eyeliner ran out.  I picked up Collection's Extreme 24Hr felt tip eyeliner at £2.99.  This is an eyeliner I've used before, and although it's not as precise as the Eyeko liner, it lasts all day/night, and I'm pretty sure last time I used this eyeliner it lasted me about a year!  For precision, I usually just dampen a cotton bud and trace it along my wonky eyeliner to create a smooth line. 

I've seen some great reviews recently for MUA's Undress Your Skin shimmer highlighter, and at £3 it was too hard to just walk past and resist!  I love the simple packaging of this powder highlighter and I also love the embossed pressed powder - it makes the product look so much more expensive than it is.  I apply this powder just using my finger and put it across the top of my cheekbone, under my eyebrow and lightly down my nose. This highlighter is subtle (in a good way!) and of such a great quality, and I'm so glad I picked it up! I can see it lasting me a long time as well.  It's the first highlighter powder I've used so I can't compare it to another, but I'm very happy with the results of this one and so I will definitely be re-purchasing when it (eventually) runs out.

I FINALLY made my first Makeup Revolution purchase and the first thing I went for was one of their eyeshadow palettes.  I opted for the Iconic 1 Palette because it seemed to have the kind of shades that I tend to wear the most.  I've used this palette twice now and I LOVE IT SO MUCH.  It's a great dupe for the Naked 1 Palette from Urban Decay which will set you back a hefty, eye-watering £38. The Makeup Revolution palette comes in at a much more purse-satisfying price of £4 and although I've never tried the Naked palette, this product gives me all I need and more in an eyeshadow set.  It comes with 12 neutral shadows and a double-sided sponge eyeshadow brush.  I tend to use 4 of the shades the most and will definitely be experimenting with the others.  The pigmentation is impeccable for such a budget product and it seems to last all day too.  I will be doing another post soon fully reviewing the palette including swatches and an everyday/night out look created with these shadows so look out for that!

I also picked up a lipstick from the Makeup Revolution range.  It was only £1 and I had a night out coming up so it seemed an unmissable opportunity! I went for the colour Luscious which is a beautiful orange colour.  I prefer orange lip colours to red and pink because I feel they suit my skintone the best.  I've only worn this lipstick once but the pigmentation is great and the texture wasn't bad.  I would say I prefer the texture of other lipsticks (such as Rimmel) but for a fraction of the price, I will definitely be purchasing more of these.  I did reapply the lipstick once through the evening, but I always expect to do this anyway!  Overall, a beautiful colour and worth what I paid and more!

The last purchase I made was a face moisturiser from Garnier.  I picked up the Moisture Match Mattifying Cream as I've noticed my skin has been quite oily recently.  The main reason I went for this was because it was half price at the time (£1.99!) but I've always got on really well with other Garnier products I've used in the past.  So far, I've really liked this moisturiser - at first I thought the texture was really odd because it feels bumpy and not smooth like other moisturisers, but this feeling soon goes away once it's massaged into the skin.  The smell is lovely and fresh, a perfect pick-me-up first thing in the morning! I'm yet to really notice whether it has improved any oiliness in my skin as I've only used for a week or so, but I do really like this moisturiser regardless!

Let me know if you've tried these products, I'd love to know what you think! And do you have any Superdrug/drugstore recommendations that you are currently loving?

NOTD & REVIEW: Maybelline Colour Show Street Artist in White Splatter

I've been a big fan of Maybelline Colour Show nail polishes for a while; I love their colour range, the way they apply so easily, the size of the brush and of course the price!  So when I saw my friend wearing their gorgeous Street Artist range, I had to pick one up myself!  For £3.99, these little glass bottles of loveliness are a steal.  I think I even bought it on a "Buy 1 Get 2nd Half Price" deal and so I ended up getting two nail polishes for £6. 

As far as I'm aware there are only two colours in the range, and I opted for the White Splatter colour.  As this is a top coat, I used Maybelline's Colour Show Love This Sweater as the base colour.  Its a lovely pink/beige-toned nude and looks great on its own too for a more natural look.

One thing I really like about the Maybelline Colour Show nail polishes is the size of the brushes.  I have teeny tiny hands and nails, and so a lot of brushes tend to be a bit too big for my nails.  However, these brushes take two or three strokes to cover my nail perfectly.

The only con of this polish is its consistency - it becomes quite gloopy and because it's a glitter-based polish it takes a couple of coats for a sufficient amount of pay-off onto the nails, which makes the overall finished look feel quite thick.  However, I think this is to be expected of a nail polish with a lot of large glitter bits and so doesn't bother me too much! And one thing I like about this is the fact you can peel it off (so satisfying!) instead of using nail polish remover.

So overall, a pretty sick look.  It makes me feel cool and effortless despite not being a cool or effortless person at all. Top marks, Maybelline! Have you ever tried Maybelline's range of nail polishes? Let me know what you think/any recommendations in the comments below!

Battle of the Benefit mascaras: Roller Lash vs. They're Real

Benefit is a brand I wouldn't typically associate as a high-street brand as the products are pricier than your Rimmel's and your Bourjois' which tend to stick below or around the £10 price range.  However, I am a massive fan of their products as a naughty, luxury treat every now and then.

I was bought Benefit's They're Real mascara for my 21st birthday last year (thanks Mum!) and I fell in love as soon as the applicator wand hit my lashes.  I love how it creates loads of length in my eyelashes without looking clumpy or spider-y, and the length lasts most the day too.  I've always been fairly happy with high-street mascaras and don't get me wrong, you can get some great ones for around £8.  But when I used They're Real it just managed to top anything I'd used before.  Between uses, I've also used  Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde which I like, but I always end up going back to They're Real and enjoying the outcome more.

Then one day in the last week or so, I was scrolling through Twitter and read that Benefit was bringing out a new mascara.  The Roller Lash.  It caught my eye but I kept scrolling and probably watched a cat video or tweeted what I'd just eaten for lunch instead.  Then I kept seeing Benefit retweeting users of the new Roller Lash mascara who were raving about how good it was and even saying it topped my beloved They're Real. Surely not?! I had to find out!  With a sample size free with Elle magazine in their March edition I really couldn't resist.

So today, I tested them against each other.  Yes, I went to work with They're Real mascara on my left eye and Roller Lash on my right.  The things I do for make-up! My first reaction was that they are both quite similar.  One thing I preferred about the Roller Lash mascara however was how it also managed to volumise AND lengthen my lashes WITHOUT making them clumpy.  Magic.  I also prefer the brush, which is slightly curved and doesn't have the little bobbly part on the end that They're Real has.  You can see what I mean by that awful description in the photos to the right.


Despite these slight preferences, I still thought the instant outcome was actually fairly similar.  However, after a long 8-hour day at work, I've checked the lasting power of each mascara and the Roller Lash has definitely outdone They're Real on this.  My Roller Lash eyelashes still look as long as when I first applied it this morning, whereas the They're Real  have started to fall. (Let's be honest, they still look fab though).

So Benefit have done the impossible.  They've beaten their own infamous They're Real mascara.  Well done!  Grab your free sample size Roller Lash mascara in Elle magazine NOW!

14 Favourites of 2014

I'm very aware that we're somehow already into February 2015, but I thought this would make a nice first blog post! I love reading about/watching other beauty bloggers' Annual Favourites at the beginning of every year, and for me 2014 was a year of beauty discoveries, so I hope you enjoy!

Foundation: Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation in Ivory

This has been my go-to foundation for about a year now, and I rarely deviate because I love it so much! It just makes my skin look so much brighter than it actually is and is one of the few foundations I’ve found that actually matches my pale skin tone. It applies beautifully with the Real Techniques buffing brush, giving a smooth finish and good coverage.

Concealer: Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in Fair

This is another favourite that I’ve rarely (if ever) deviated from this year.  It gives amazing coverage without looking cakey and matches my skin tone perfectly. For the price (less than £5) I couldn’t ask for more.  It even works pretty well for under-eye coverage.

Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder in Transparent

I always tend to go for a pressed powder as I have slightly oily skin and feel it keeps the shine off better.  This Rimmel powder lasts most of the day and gives a lovely even finish.  I’ve been using this powder for a few years and always find myself going back to it after I’ve tried a new brand.  The colour isn't too orange either, which I have found with a few other brands, and this is a massive advantage when you have skin as pale as mine!

Blusher: MUA Blusher in Bonbon

I’ve always used Rimmel blushers (I think just because this is what my mum has always used!) and have always been relatively happy with the outcome so stuck by it.  However, earlier this year I read a blog raving about the MUA collection at Superdrug so I thought I’d try it out.  I picked up this blush a few months ago and am so impressed! A small bit of product goes a long way (meaning you can easily overdo it if you have too much product on the brush) and gives a pretty matte colour that isn’t over the top if you apply it correctly.  I can’t wait to try out some other colours in the spring!

Lips: Seventeen Lip Crayon in Bold

I’ve been trying out a lot of lip colours this year in all different forms of applicator (lip lacquers, lipsticks, lip crayons, lip balm) but the standout one for me has been Seventeen's lip crayon.  It applies so easily and keeps my lips feeling moisturised.  I’ve got a few colours but my favourite for day and night is their orange colour named Bold.  Orange is definitely my go-to colour for lips – especially since at 21 years of age I’m still working out which red tones suit me best.  Orange is a nice alternative for me!

Mascara: Benefit They’re Real mascara

This was a bit of a cheat because it’s not really a typical high street product – but it’s the only expensive thing on the list – promise! I got this as a birthday present in September and absolutely love it.  It gives my lashes so much volume and length without being clumpy which is just what I like.  I’m still searching for a cheaper dupe so as soon as I find one, I’ll be sure to write a post about it!

Eyeshadow: MUA Undress Me Too Eyeshadow palette

This was an easy one for me – this particular MUA palette is a favourite of mine because it has all the colours I want for everyday wear as well as a few extras for when I’m going out.  The shadows are all so pigmented as well, it’s hard to believe it’s only £4!  I’ve tried a couple of their other palettes which I still like, but the Undress Me Too palette always sticks out to me as a winner!

Eyeliner: Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip liner

I’m a big fan of eyeliner cat flicks, particularly on a night out, and find these easiest to apply with a felt tip liner.  I received an Eyeko felt tip liner (RRP £12) in a magazine so have been using that a lot this year, but I have to admit it’s not lasted half as long as my Collection felt tip liner lasted, at a fraction of the price! I’m pretty sure it lasted me at least a year if not longer, whereas the Eyeko one has started going grey after a few months.  I’ll definitely be repurchasing the Collection liner in the near future!

Make-up remover: L’oreal Skin Perfection 3in1 Purify Micellar Solution

For removing make-up, I’ve drifted away from using make-up wipes (unless I’m feeling really lazy) and I’ve particularly loved the L’oreal Micellar solution.  It’s refreshing and I feel like it really takes off all of my make-up.  Although it doesn’t get off all of my eye make-up (particularly my Benefit They’re Real mascara!) this doesn’t bother me as I don’t think it’s easy to find a make-up remover that’s gentle to the skin and can break down lasting mascara, so I just use a separate eye make-up remover for that.  One bottle goes a long way as well!

Make-up brush: Real Techniques buffing brush

For me, applying foundation with a brush is a must as it makes the finish look so much more natural and flawless.  My favourite brush for this is the Real Techniques buffing brush - it works so perfectly!  This brush gives a great finish to my base and is very affordable too.

Hair: The Body Shop Rainforest Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner

I bought the small tester version of these products earlier this year as I'd heard good reviews of The Body Shop's haircare range.  They left my hair feeling so soft and bouncy and light, but what particularly stood out for me was the scent.  For me, it was one of those hair product scents that you could just smell all day (which I often did, despite weird looks from friends). I haven't bought this product since and whilst writing this I'm now wondering why not because it smelled and felt so damn good!

Nails: Primark Beauty Fashion nails

Here’s something I never thought I’d be a fan of! I hardly ever wear false nails, mainly because of the hassle and also because of my old part-time job in a garden centre! However, around my birthday last year I saw some gorgeous daisy print false nails and seeing as they were only £1 I thought I’d at least try them! I was so impressed with the outcome – they did occasionally fall off of course, but I always kept some nail glue with me and I kept them on for about 2 weeks in September.  I’ll do a full review on these in the future, but for £1 and with such a huge range of designs, you can’t really go wrong.

Body Moisturiser: The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle/Passion Fruit body butter

I’ve been a fan of The Body Shop body butters for years as they feel so moisturising on my skin and they have an amazing range of scents.  This year I’ve particularly loved the Ginger Sparkle scent, which I’m actually pretty sure isn’t available anymore as it was a limited edition for Christmas 2013 (so obviously I bought it in the January sales last year).  So I’ve included another favourite which is the passion fruit scent.  It’s so gorgeous and fresh and fruity, and the scent lasts all day too.  A big tub lasts for ages too – I still have about half of my Ginger Sparkle tub left!

Youtuber/blogger: Meg’s Boutique

I’ve been following Meg’s videos and blog posts for a while now and I’ve loved seeing her fan base grow and seeing her getting the recognition she deserves!  She’s so bloody lovely and sweet and gorgeous, plus her fashion sense and make-up looks are to amazing too.  I love watching her collabs with other YouTubers too – they’re always really funny as well as full of great content!  (I’m going to stop now before I become a complete kiss-ass.)