Lifestyle

Wide-eyed and struggling to switch off? This soporific decoction will help you doze off. Lavender and German chamomile flowers are wrapped in biodegradable muslin, infusing in the warm water to create a hypnotic blend. As lavender balances, neroli alleviates worries, clearing your mind until you begin to…Zzzz

Right. I don’t sleep. I haven’t slept since October 8 1991, the day before my mum gave me the push I needed – birthingly.

But, I’ve been noticing my anxiety getting out of control recently, and bought this to calm me down, as I heard it’s very relaxing.

I’ve started a new Sunday Ritual whereby I pop a Lush bathbomb in my tub and apply a Lush face-mask to unwind before the new week, and this has to be my favourite instalment of it so far. It’s definitely blog-worthy, for its ability to relax my anxiety alone.

Look, I can’t say it’s helped me sleep, only because – as I’ve said – I’m awful at it (and I bathed earlier than my usual bedtime). I’m wired to American time, even though I live in England and it’s been this way since my previous job, and frequently travelling there for holidays since.

(It also doesn’t help that I’m iller than Illinois right now. The MF’n illest! ‘Mansour flu’ be BADT & BOUJEEEEE 🤟)

I’m kinda like New York, in that I never sleep… But, I’m sure it helps even the most insomniac. Also, the time I used it didn’t help either – I’m sure you’ll agree 5pm is not a time for bed!

Having said that, I have been in and out of naps all weekend. I’ve only got up for water – to drink or bathe (not at the same time or in the same sitting, obvs).

However, I can confirm that the deep purple water I bathed in (which this bathbomb emitted) chilled me out massively, and my anxiety is a lot more manageable.

What face-mask did I use? Brazend Honey. It’s my absolute favourite, aside from Prince of Darkness.

Lavender is the greatest, and there are loads of pure and very real lavender cuttings inside.

I just love everything about this bathbomb, it’s so unique and beautiful. It smells amazing too.

Top Tip: After it finished infusing the bath water (before I dipped in), I took the bathbomb out and squeezed the excess water and placed the cloth/bag over my eyes as a pillow. It worked wonders and smelt like a field of lavender.

Smile, even if you can’t or don’t want to. Our minds trick us into thinking we’re happy each time we smile.

Also, laughter yoga exists. Just laugh, even without reason. Eventually, when you’ve done it for long enough, you’ll find a reason to/remember a pleasant memory.

Everything will work out for the good and be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end.

Finally, please remember that it’s a bad day or a bad phase, not a bad life.

Day and night makeup… We all have different looks to suit both. But, I wanted to quickly share mine with you. I don’t even think there’s much difference for me…

Day

Primer

This is vital. I use Avant Pro Collagen. My makeup applies really smoothly and lasts ages too. I know it’s weird, but I’ve noticed it also transfers less during the day since using this.

Foundation

The Ordinary full-coverage foundation is my go-to during the day. If I have spots, which is currently (and at least once a month, every month due to PMS), I apply this on top and nothing else. These days, I can’t be bothered to contour and highlight for daywear. In fact, I don’t even foundation most of the time – only when I need to.

TIP: don’t use brushes. I know most suggest to, but it’s unhygienic after a while. You need to regularly clean it. I ain’t got time. Instead, tap it onto your skin (use your hands after washing). If you’ve applied a primer prior, it should go on smoothly and stay in place.

Bronzer:

As I said, I’ve got into a habit of no longer applying bronzer and highlighter. But, the one that I would use is Rockateur by Benefit. I did used to wear Hoola, but this is highlighter, blusher and bronzer in one for me.

Night

Lipstick:

Here’s where nightwear (make-up) comes in… If you only apply the above, it pretty much covers day makeup, but a bold lip colour on top quickly transforms it into nightwear makeup. My all time favourites are liquid lipsticks from Kylie Cosmetics. However, for a bolder and more vibrant colour, I choose Red Carpet Red by Charlotte Tilbury.

Eyes:

So, you’ve finished work – where you’ve had day-wear makeup on but are heading out after… Take your eyeshadow pallet along. This is another way around transforming your daywear makeup (above) to nightwear, make your eyelids POP. I’d go for a smoky eye or a subtle shimmery gold. Becca’s is good for that.

Mascara & False Lashes

Mascara wise, it will never not be MaxFactor’s Masterpiece Max. It’s the one I always end up going back to. And, you know what they say about that…

I have never (and will never wear fake lashes or even curl my lashes). I’ve found an app that adds them to an already-taken selfie, YouCam Makeup. But, I don’t wear them – at all. (I’ve also deleted the app because embracing the way I look, and not editing my selfies is better for my mental health).

It’s not every day we go out after work… Sometimes, we want to go out on the weekend and apply our makeup just before we head out… In this case, it’s better to apply stuff that lasts through the night and offers better coverage… Well, here goes!

Primer:

Same as daytime. This shouldn’t change. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is my mantra RE primer. That’s also due to the fact that my skin is quite acne prone, so if this seems to agree with my skin, result!

Foundation:

I turn to Laura Mercier at night. LAURA! This is my favourite foundation! It’s oil-free and like liquid gold.

Bronzer/Blush/Highlighter:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Pallet. This sculpts my face differently. I get the chiseled jaw look every time. I use the cream version for better definition, but powder works just as well.

Setting Powder:

I set both day and night makeups with the same thing… Wunder2 Selfie Powder. This is great for blotting it all in place.

Setting Spray:

I finish all looks (day & night) with MAC Prep & Prime Rose Water. It gives my skin that glow and locks the makeup mastery in place.

To conclude, you can easily turn day makeup into night makeup with quick application of eyeshadow and lipstick (if you go bare lipped and eyed throughout the day). Better still, do what I do and just don’t wear makeup all day until it’s time? Then you can use the better coverage stuff and you can skip the whole re-apply and/or top-up process.

Friends of mine are flight attendants. I cannot imagine how much anxiety they must feel every day. Travelling is great. It’s a lovely perk to any job, but the lack of safety in this world is enough to make you worry about doing even the most day-to-day things like leaving the house.

Stay safe. Always, always let your nearest and dearest loved ones know how much they mean to you. Society has become one where the last time we talk to someone could legit come at any moment. That’s tragic.

We will never forget 9/11. But, we will do our best to fix the long-suffering damage caused, ensuring more security is in place to ensure tragedies like this never happen again.

Today, we think of the relatives who lost an asset to their family tree, friends who lost a major part of their circle and companies who lost a valued member of their team. Those who lost their lives are more than just people. They’re a community, and a whole generation.

Pray for peace, love and unity – not for chaos, hate and animosity. We are better than this, both individually and as a collective.

Hello, again!

I wanted to put together a little post on tips that should (hopefully) motivate and inspire my readers (which, if you’re still here, thanks! You’re the reason I do it).

This time, I’m talking about the art of loving ourselves.

In the age of social-media (and general media), it is very hard to love ourselves. The media was designed to show us what the ‘perfect person’ should look and behave like… Well, the truth is… The way every person looks and acts is ‘perfect’.

What is ‘perfection’?

Perfection is real. Real people are perfect.

We are all perfect and are at our most perfect when we come together in a perfectly imperfect unity.

‘Perfect’ is what we see in the mirror. ‘Perfect’ is our trials, tribulations, scars (or war-paint). ‘Perfect’ is our ability to tame our erratic moods with our tender and peaceful nature, forming a type of yin-yang. That is ‘perfect’. That is human.

We all, as the human race, have flaws. But, the key is to focus and accentuate our greatness – thankfully, we all have that too. Having said that, we are our worst critics.

On the one hand, we know we need to cut ourselves some slack. On the other, we never do. That’s because we’re hardwired to not love ourselves, because of the media’s take on what garners attention.

If we loved ourselves, we’d be a lot kinder to ourselves, fact.

The journey to loving ourselves

I decided to embark on the journey of loving myself after reading Cheryl Cole’s autobiography.

Umm… Only God can judge ‘mii?

In her book, she mentions that she learned to love herself (and finally accept herself) at the age of 30.

Look, I’m pretty sure she didn’t plan on being 30 when she learned to love herself. (In fact, I’m pretty sure she said she wished she got there sooner.) But, I’m also certain she’s glad she got there eventually – because, I’d imagine that to be the most liberating feeling in the world.

Anyway, I remember reading that part of her book and thinking: “I don’t want to be 30 when I learn. I’ve got to start from now…” Not that there’s anything wrong with learning to love yourself at 30 (or any age for that matter).

Life is not a race. We always arrive on time. I believe that all it comes down to is hearing someone talking about it. The age that you discover it, albeit through word-of-mouth, is the age you might start feeling ready to take the first step.

Sure enough, I made it my long-term goal and wrote it down on a piece of paper… I hid it in a drawer, and still to this day get it out to analyse my progress.

I was 23 when I read her book. It has been five years, almost. I’m here to tell you that in that time, I’m almost 70% there (ups & downs included).

As I said, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs along the way. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still have them now. Yes, there have been setbacks which delayed my growth, but, I’m not giving up.

What happens once we learn to love ourselves?

Great question.

Once we learn to love ourselves, we open ourselves up to endless possibilities and opportunities…

We’ll find it considerably easier to break cycles/habits that we struggled with previously.

We’ll start cutting ourselves some slack, going easier on ourselves…

We’ll free ourselves from burdens and past grudges. We start focusing on our pros/greatness rather than our cons/flaws.

We’ll start appreciating life and the connections we have, making the most of them.

We’ll start living in the moment, feeling confident enough to push ourselves out of our comfort zone.

We’ll start to understand our worth, and what we deserve – going after the life that’s destined for us.

How does one learn to love themselves?

It’s never too late to start… It begins with simple but positive affirmations (replacing each negative thought about ourselves with three positive ones). Eventually, our minds will train themselves to think positive.

Don’t be surprised if you start seeing the G.O.A.T and HRH (His/Her Royal Hotness) staring back at you in the mirror once you start. Because, that, is exactly who/what you are.