Sunday, 30 November 2014

Oh DEAR | November Reviews

Okay, so you know the way in my first Oh DEAR post I said I was aiming to read 4 books by the end of November? Yeah...well...I kinda maybe didn't actually reach my goal. In fact I only achieved half of it ('Oh DEAR' indeed, you're probably thinking). I was just so busy with everything and I have mocks starting next week so I've been studying a lot and haven't had very much free time. And even when I did have free time, I was absolutely exhausted. But at least I do have two reviews to give you now and it just means the books I didn't get to read in October/November, I'll be reading over December and January.

'The Glimpse' by Claire Merle

Plot in a nutshell from Goodreads: In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.

Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.

Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society, and as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper’s abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book and found it very gripping right from the start. After getting about a quarter of the way through it, I found it very difficult to put down. However I should warn you that it's not a light-hearted, happy love story. It's a book which deals with many deep themes such as mental illness, abduction, death, and deceitful families.

I really like how Merle wrote the book almost like a mystery, leaving little clues as she went along. Other parts of the book were so unpredictable that I had to read over them again to make sure my eyes weren't making things up!

I liked Ana, the protagonist. She is a strong, independent young woman and I admire how she will give up anything for what she believes in. However, she did annoy me a bit at times because of some decisions she made and I was sitting there thinking, "Why?!"

I found Ana's dad to be a really interesting character. There were times during the book when I hated him but then something happens (which I won't say because it'll spoil it for you) which made me think he really does love Ana and just has a strange way of showing it. So I still don't really know what to think of him.

In terms of the love story woven into the book, I found Jasper to be a bit bland. It was almost as if the idea of him was better than the reality. I definitely prefer the other boy, who I won't name (VOLDEMORT?!). I found it quite shocking so I don't want to give it away for anyone.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was action-packed, fast-paced and included everything that, in my opinion, makes a good book. I can't wait to read the sequel, 'The Fall'.

My Rating: 5/5 ☺

'How To Love' by Katie Cotugno

Plot in a nutshell from Goodreads
Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he's never seemed to notice that Reena even exists until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind. 

Almost three years have passed, and there's a new love in Reena's life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena's gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she's finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn't want anything to do with him, though she'd be lying if she said Sawyer's being back wasn't stirring something in her. After everything that's happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

My thoughts: I began this book with a bit of suspicion. I thought it would be about an 18-year-old girl holding a grudge against the boy who got her pregnant 2 years earlier. Talk about judging a book by it's cover (or first few pages in this case, I guess...). A few pages in, however, I realised I was wrong and it was so much more than that.

I really love the way Cotugno took the story of Reena at 16 years old and then again 2 years later when her life had completely changed, drawing parallels between each of the time periods in her life.

I loved character of Reena and found that I had quite a lot in common with her, like her desire to travel and see the world, her timidness and I even have a friend whom Allie reminded me a lot of. I found I could relate to Reena in so many ways and I really liked that. Although, there were parts that I was thinking 'you silly girl' for some of the decisions she made because I definitely wouldn't have done the same, but I guess it's because she's so young in love and isn't thinking.

I didn't like Sawyer at the beginning because of the fact that he'd left Reena pregnant, and I wanted Reena to stay with Aaron. However, as the story progressed I grew to like Sawyer and I was happy the way the book ended.

The only thing I found about the book was there were times at the end of, for example, a 'Before' chapter and I wanted to skip right through the following 'After' chapter to find what was going to happen in the next 'Before' chapter, if you get me... I would fly through the following 'After' just for the sake of getting it read. But I guess that's just Cotugno building up the suspension.

Overall, I just loved how realistic and human this book is. I loved how the characters were portrayed and how the story progressed. I know the summary of the book gives a lot about it away but there is so much more to the book than just Reena and Sawyer - friendship and family are two other major themes in the book. It's quite a light and easy read, so if you like this type of book, I would definitely recommend it!

My Rating: 4/5 ☺

Since I only got 2 of the 4 books read that I was hoping to, I will carry the other 2 on to read throughout December and January. So the 4 books I aim (key word being aim, haha) to have read by the end of January are:

  • 'The Maze Runner' by James Dashner
  • 'Eleanor and Park' by Rainbow Rowell
  • 'Girl Online' by Zoe Sugg
  • 'Lola and the Boy Next Door' by Stephanie Perkins

If you have read any of the books mentioned in this post, I would love to know what you thought of them! Or if you have any recommendations for books to read after the four above, I would love to hear them :)

- Caoimhe x

Friday, 21 November 2014

It's a Costa Christmas

There's nothing I love more than calling into a coffee shop on a freezing cold, dark evening and picking up a hot drink to keep me alive, basically, and I think Costa Coffee is the perfect place for this! Coming up to Christmas, they release a range of winter drinks, perfect for warming up your cold hands.

There's something for everyone on this seasonal menu. If you're a coffee-drinker, you can choose from a Sticky Toffee Latte, a Praline Cappuccino or even a Gingerbread and Cream Latte, which I, personally, can't wait to try.

If you're more of a hot chocolate kind of person, you can choose from a Brownie Hot Chocolate with Cream (yummm!), an Orange Hot Chocolate with Costa Magic dusting and Belgian Chocolate, or a White Hot Chocolate, which I had last weekend.

My sister tried their White Hot Chocolate last year and went on about it all year (I'm not joking), so when my mum and dad decided to pop into Costa with my sisters and I for a drink last weekend, I knew I had to try it. And, boy, did I love it. I love white chocolate (possibly even more than milk chocolate) and hot chocolate is my favourite hot drink so put the two together and you have what is perfection in my eyes.

I love how Christmas-y the café itself looked with all their Christmas posters up and their take-out cups are the cutest things I've ever seen!

If you love hot drinks and Christmas (who doesn't?!) then I urge you to drop into your local Costa (which you can find here) and try something from their Christmas menu. If you have a sweet tooth, like me, a White Hot Chocolate or a Sticky Toffee Latte will totally satisfy it, not to mention get you into the spirit of Christmas!

- Caoimhe x

Friday, 14 November 2014

Liebster Award

I would like to say a huge thank you to the five lovely bloggers who nominated me for this award: Beth, SamanthaCarolLauren and Betty. Beth is a lifestyle blogger, Samantha and Betty are beauty and lifestyle bloggers, and Carol and Lauren are beauty bloggers. I would highly recommend all of their blogs! They write really interesting and helpful posts so definitely go check them out if you haven't already!

The rules of the award are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Post 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions provided by the person who nominated you and then create an eleven question set for the next group of nominees.
  • Choose 11 people to nominate and link them on the post. 
  • Let your nominees know they've been tagged - and no tag backs!

My 11 facts:
(I've tried to make them different from any of the facts I've posted about myself before)
  1. Pretty packaging attracts me to anything. If I see something in a shop with pretty (preferably pink) packaging, I will want it, even if I know I don't need it. It's kind of a problem...
  2. I have blue eyes.
  3. My favourite food is pasta. I will literally eat any dish containing pasta.
  4. I want to be in a girlband. I know it's totally random but I love seeing Little Mix and the Saturdays, for example, being fabulous together and living up to the words 'girl power.' (This desire might have stemmed from the fact that the first musical acts I loved were the Sugababes and Girls Aloud, haha)
  5. I did 'Additional Maths' for GCSE, which is the step in between GCSE Maths and A Level Maths (which I'm not doing). Yeah, even though I'm pretty bad at Maths, I somehow managed to get into the top class... I haven't done Maths since my GCSE exam in the middle of June and it totally shows. The other day in Marks and Spencer, my mum was buying tags for Christmas presents and asked me "what are 6 6's?" and I answered straightaway, thinking I was so smart, "24." Wow. Just wow, Caoimhe.
  6. I'm 5'1'' and haven't grown in the past year so I think it's pretty likely that I'll be this height forever, haha
  7. I have two sisters and one brother and I'm the eldest of the lot.
  8. I have an addiction to the New York Bakery Co's cinnamon and raisin bagels.
  9. I have braces and have done for nearly 10 months. Unlikely, a huge majority of people I look forward to going to the orthodontist because I love getting the colour of them changed. (Don't ask...)
  10. I have never been to America but it's somewhere that I really want to visit.
  11. I actually find myself enjoying studying sometimes (gosh, I sound like a complete weirdo in this post haha) but it's only if I'm really organised and am studying ages in advance to an exam. I find it quite relaxing when I am organised and I love the peace and quiet of being alone when I study. However, when I'm cramming for an exam a few days in advance them I don't enjoy it at all. I'll be stressed out to the max and probably crying, hahaha

Questions for me:

Beth's questions
1. What's your biggest dream in life?
I have a lot of dreams I would love to achieve but I know some of them would be very difficult. I think my biggest dream though is to be happy with my life: to be happy with what I'm doing, to be happy with the people I surround myself with and to be happy with myself.
2. Who is your secret celebrity crush and why?
I have SO MANY celebrity crushes hahaha. My biggest celebrity crush at the minute is Bradley Simpson, the lead singer of the Vamps, because he's so funny and cute and kind and an amazing singer and has amazing hair and the nicest eyes I've ever seen.
Look. Look how cute he is. Just look. Awwww.
Some of my other crushes include Josh Hutcherson, Joe Sugg, Zac Efron (who wouldn't?!), Bradley Cooper (age is just a number, okay?!).
3. What is the weirdest fact you have about yourself?
Probably either number 9 or 11 in my facts above, haha
4. What made you start blogging?
I read a lot of blogs before I started and they really inspired me. As I love writing and all things beauty and fashion related, I thought "Hey, why don't I give this a go?" and here I am.
5. What style of blogs interest you the most?
I love different types of blogs for so many reasons. I have 4 favourite types and they are beauty, fashion, lifestyle and music ones. I love reading helpful reviews and about useful techniques for applying makeup and stuff on beauty blogs. I love seeing seeing people's creativity and seeing what's in style on fashion blogs. I love reading about people's lives, what they get up to and where they go on lifestyle blogs. And I love finding out about new music and artists from music blogs.
6. If you had to live with only one possession of your choice, what would it be?
Probably my iPod. I wouldn't be able to go even a day without listening to music!
7. What is the number one on your bucketlist?
Visit Adelaide in Australia, the place I was born.
8. If you could go on the ultimate dream holiday where would it be?
Probably somewhere in America. I would love to visit my auntie and uncle in Nashville.
9. Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?
I'm going to have to go with autumn.
10. Would you swap places with anyone for one day?
I would love to swap places with someone like Taylor Swift just to see what it's like to be that famous and be able to play music to so many people who are willing to listen to it.
11. What is your best memory?
Some of the best memories I have are of the Spanish exchange I took part in last year. The week I spent in Spain and the week the Spanish people spent here were honestly two of the best weeks of my life. I made so many friends who I still talk to. I'm even going to Madrid in January and staying with one of the girls from the exchange. I can't wait!


Samantha's Questions

1. Where would you like to travel?
I would like to travel everywhere. At the minute, if I can afford it, my plan is to do my undergraduate degree at university and then take a year out just to travel everywhere before coming back to do a postgrad.
2. Comfy or Classy?
When I'm going out I like to be classy and wear heels and stuff but at home, I make it my aim to wear the comfiest clothes I can find.
3. What's your favourite lipstick?
I love Clinique's Long Last Lipstick in the shade 'Sugared Maple Soft Shine'
4. Night or morning person?
I wish I was a morning person but I'm definitely a night owl.
5. What's your favourite music album?
At the minute I am loving X by Ed Sheeran and 1989 by Taylor Swift.
6. What's your favourite thing to eat?
Pasta and chocolate. Not together though...
7. What's your favourite season and why?
Autumn because I love seeing the leaves changing colour and the pretty scenery. I also love the crisp, cool feeling of autumn air.
8. Are you reading a book, if so, what one, if not, what was your last book?
I'm reading How To Love by Katie Contugno
9. What's your favourite movie?
I love so many movies and I have different favourites depending on what type of mood I'm in, but I think my all-time favourite is 30 Going On 30 (I love a good romcom!)
10. Why did you start a blog?
Like I said above, I read a lot of blogs before I started and they really inspired me. As I love writing and all things beauty and fashion related, I thought "Hey, why don't I give this a go?" and here I am.
11. What's your favourite series?
Pretty Little Liars, without a doubt.


Carol's Questions

1. What is something about you that most people would find surprising?
I'd say probably the fact that I play golf. I don't talk about it much expect to my family and when I tell I play they're like, "You play GOLF?! :O" as shocked as if I'd told them I'd been to outer space.
2. What is at the top of your bucket list?
Visit Adelaide in Australia, the place I was born.
3. Do you believe in the supernatural?
I didn't used to and then my uncle told me about his experiences staying in two or three different haunted houses and I definitely believe in spirits remaining in places.
4. What was your last memory about relating to the circus?
I've been to a circus once in my life when I was 8. I don't remember that much about it but I do remember that I hated it. I didn't like the way the animals were treated and I didn't find it interesting to watch at all.
5. Who is someone you look up to and why?
I really look up to both of my parents. They are what I aspire to be like in the future. They are so kind and work their butts off so that they can give me and my siblings what we want. But they don't spoil us, no, they've found the happy medium. They've taught me that not everything in life comes easy and you have to work to get to where you want to be. If I have children in the future and I became even half the parent they have been to me, I would be pretty darn happy.
6. What do you like the most about blogging?
I don't know what I love the most but I love writing posts and taking pictures for them. I love reading other people's posts and leaving (nice) comments under them. And I love the blogging community and how supportive everyone is of each other :)
7. What is one item you feel "naked" without?
This may sound weird but I feel naked when I don't have my headphones with me, especially if I know I'm going on a car journey, on public transport or for a walk. When I'm on my way to school and I reach into my pocket and they're not there, I can almost hear my heart ripping in two. Horrible.
8. Do you have something you like or follow obsessively? ( Example: tv show, book, celeb, etc.)
Oh my gosh, so many things! Too many things! I could literally write a whole blog post on things I like or follow obsessively so I'll only say a few here. For TV shows, Pretty Little Liars and New Girl. For movies, the Hunger Games. For books, the Hunger Games and literally all of Sarah Dessen's books. For singers and bands, The Vamps, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and The Script. And also loads of Youtubers like Zoe and Joe Sugg, Alfie Deyes, and the rest of the British Crew, Tyler Oakley, Troye Sivan, Weylie Hoang, Niki and Gabi, Essie Button, Fleur DeForce, Bubz and so many more.
9. What app on your phone/tablet do you use the most?
Probably Word Reference, to be honest. Pretty sad, but yeah. As I'm doing languages for A Level I'm always reading blog posts, articles, books or whatever else I can get my hands on, in French and Spanish and looking up the vocabulary I don't know.
10. What tv show can you not stop watching at the moment and why?
The Apprentice. Oh my gosh I am loving it! I find it so interesting and entertaining watching them all coming up with their business ideas. Some of the people on it are so cocky and when they get something wrong I find it pretty funny (sorry, that makes me sound like a horrible person but it's true haha). I also love the anticipation Lord Sugar builds up before he fires someone. I'm always on the edge of my seat at that part.
11. If teleportation was real, where would be the first place you would go and why?
Probably America, like I mentioned earlier. I don't know what it is about America but everyone that goes there seems to love it and I would love to see it and experience the life there.


Lauren's Questions

1. What is your favourite clothing store?

Either H&M or New Look

2. What is your favourite sent?

Spiced apple and cinnamon

3. If you had to be a celebrity for a day who would you want to be?
Probably Taylor Swift or Jennifer Lawrence
4. What is your favourite makeup brand?
Rimmel London
6. Summer or winter? Why?
Winter because winter means Christmas, my favourite time of the year.
7. Who is your favourite celebrity?
I have so many! Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, The Vamps boys, Zoey Deschanel, Lucy Hale, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson…and SO many more
8. Favourite restaurant?
Pizza Express. Yummm!
9. If you have a free day what do you do?
I love to chill out and watch a movie, read for a bit, maybe take a bath and just treat myself.
10. Favourite pizza?
Pepperoni or ham and pineapple
11. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
America or Australia

Betty's Questions

1. Favourite thing about Christmas?
The Christmas spirit! I love how happy people are around Christmas and I love seeing people embrace this spirit and showing care and concern for those who maybe can't have as good a Christmas as others.
2. If you had to only eat one food/dish forever what would it be?
3. Winter or Summer?
4. Your essential blogging tip for others?
Enjoy what you do and be interested in what you write about. If you're passionate about it, it really comes through in your writing :)
5. If you were an animal which would it be & why?
I had no idea when I first saw this question but I took this quiz and it says I would be 'graceful giraffe' because "they seek to make others feel like they’re the most important person with whom they can spend time, and always put the needs of others first" and "they live according to personal standards that are higher than any given code of conduct, and incorporate dignity, honor, and respect in extending grace to others—even when things have not gone their way." That sums me up pretty accurately, I guess.
6. Describe yourself in 3 words
Small. Independent. Friendly.
7. Dogs or Cats?
8. Celebrity male crush?
The beautiful/talented/hilarious/adorable Bradley Will Simpson of The Vamps, whom you can read more about above in the first set of questions :D
9. Why did you start blogging?
Like I said earlier, I read a lot of blogs before I started and they really inspired me. As I love writing and all things beauty and fashion related, I thought "Hey, why don't I give this a go?" and here I am.
10. What makes you smile most?
A LOT of things make me smile but the biggest one would be my family and friends :)
11. Best advice you've been given?
Nothing in life comes free - you can't get anywhere without working hard.

I nominate:
Anna (A whole lot of chitty chat) ~
Susan (Street Style Lifestyle) ~
Stacey (Twisted or Knot) ~
Julianne (With Love, Julianne) ~
Eleanor (Teapots and Elephants) ~
The Tourist of Life ~
Victoria (Exceptional Forever) ~
Helen (Loves and Loathes) ~
Gemma (Planet Lux) ~
Amanda (Made of Codes) ~

My questions to you:
1. Dogs or cats?
2. What is your favourite place that you have visited?
3. What is your favourite song at the minute?
4. What is your earliest memory?
5. What has been your proudest moment so far?
6. Do you have any bad habits?
7. What is your favourite fast food restaurant?
8. What is your favourite perfume?
9. What is your idea of a perfect day?
10. What is your favourite social networking site?
11. Have you ever met a celebrity? If not, who would you like to meet?

Thanks again to Beth, Samantha, Carol, Lauren and Betty for nominating me! I had so much fun writing this post and I hope you learnt a few new things about me and sorry if I scared you a bit, some of those facts and answers were a bit weird, hahaha
I can't wait to read my nominees' facts and answers :)

- Caoimhe x

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Top 5 Tunesday #4

Before I get into the actual detail of this post, I want to tell you a little story.
At the beginning of October I went to see Ed Sheeran in concert and it was absolutely phenomenal. If you ever get the opportunity to see him live, take it! I can't even put into words how amazing he was. The reason why I'm telling you this is to let you know that all of my top 5 most listened-to songs of October were by that perfect human being so I narrowed it down to my 2 favourite songs of his at the minute and the other 3 songs are my next 3 most listened-to songs of October after the 25 Ed Sheeran songs I have on my iPod.

1. Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran

I think this is my favourite song of Ed's of all time. The lyrics are just beautiful and the way in which he sings them are just so sweet. I want someone to love me like that!
Can we also talk about how PERFECT the music video is?! Ed looks SO good in a suit and those moves...GOSH. Apparently he had to learn the dance routine whilst on tour in America, and yet he looks like he'd been doing it for years.
Is there anything that Ed Sheeran CAN'T do?

2. Bloodstream - Ed Sheeran

I wasn't fussed on this song before the concert. It's not that I didn't like it because I did - it just wasn't one of my favourites off the album. But let me tell you, the live performance was absolutely INCREDIBLE, like mind-blowingly (is that even a word?) AMAZING. He taught everyone how to do the 'hip hop hand' which is basically when you put your arm in the air and move it forward and back along to the beat. He told us to begin doing it after the line "So tell me when it kicks in" in the chorus. It was honestly so cool to see everyone in the arena doing it at the same time.
My favourite bit, though, was it came to the repetition of the line "All the voices in my mind, calling out across the line." He used his mixer so that we were able to hear him singing at so many different pitches at the one time. The ground properly vibrating. Adding in him singing "Tell me when it kicks in" etc, you can imagine how immensely powerful it was. You could really feel the inner he was trying (and succeeding!) to portray in this song. 
I don't think I'll ever forget what a powerful moment it was.

3. Please Don't Say You Love Me - Gabrielle Aplin

I absolutely love the tone of Gabrielle's voice and I think it goes along so well with the guitar part in this song, making it so nice to listen to.
I also think the message in this song is so interesting and unique. A lot of people expect when one person says, "I love you," the other will say it back. But that's a huge thing to say, and as Gabrielle says, "under pressure precious things can break." Call me a hopeless romantic but I think in today's society we really underestimate the importance of it and I love that she's saying you should say it when you feel ready to. You shouldn't feel under pressure from other people because it's your choice. Don't underestimate the importance of those 3 seemingly simple words.

4. No Good in Goodbye - The Script

These 3 guys are producing the most amazing music right now and, like said in last month's top 5 when I wrote about 'Superheroes,' I believe the Script are one of the most underrated bands out there right now.
I think the lyrics to this song are so smart as there isn't really a "'good' in 'goodbye'" or a "'nice' in 'nice try.'" I love how they have taken commonly used words to do with breakups and played around with them like saying "there's an 'art' in 'breaking hearts' but there's no 'fair' in 'farewell.'"
Also, can we talk about when Danny goes really high at "ache from heartbreak" towards the end?! Wow.
That bit makes me so happy every time.

5. Shout About It - The Vamps

Although I have loved this song since 'Meet the Vamps' first came out, I recently stumbled across the live performance before featuring 2/4 of the Vamps singing it and I have completely and utterly fallen in love with the lyrics, the guitar part and their voices in it.
I really love how sweet and caring the lyrics are - they make me want a boyfriend (preferably Brad Simpson ;D) to listen to my fears and problems (#foreveralone). Also, regarding the live performance, I love how stripped back it is because you can see how meaningful these lyrics that they wrote are, and it allows you to really see how genuinely talented these boys are. 
I really hope they sing this song on their UK and Ireland tour next year!

To buy 'Thinking Out Loud' by Ed Sheeran on iTunes, click here
To buy 'Bloodstream' by Ed Sheeran, click here
To buy 'Please Don't Say You Love Me' by Gabrielle Aplin, click here
To buy 'No Good in Goodbye' by The Script, click here
To buy 'Shout About It' by The Vamps, click here

To see last month's top 5, click here

- Caoimhe x

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

"Trick-or-Treat!" -My Skin

Last week was Halloween, which meant a full week off school. When it hit 3:30pm last Friday, my last day of school, I thought I had a totally relaxing, stress-free 9 days ahead of me. But my skin had other ideas.

Over the first weekend of the holiday, my skin was fine. I had a few small, minor spots on my forehead, but they were hardly noticeable and didn't cause me any worry as this is what my skin is like the majority of the time anyway thanks to those lovely teenage hormones. However, on Tuesday I noticed that a lot more spots were starting to appear on my forehead, many along my hairline. I also noticed that my chin, which was clear before, also had a few spots on it and was quite red.

At the end of last year I went through a period of having quite bad acne and my GP had prescribed for me a gel called Epiduo, which is to be applied directly to where spots appear, and gave me the instructions to apply it as soon as I even sensed new spots appearing. I used this gel on my spots before going to bed everyday from Tuesday. I felt quite self-consious about my skin so during the day I dabbed my favourite concealer, Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer, on my forehead and my skin and it definitely did the trick. The gel began to work and soon the spots were settling down and I was feeling a bit happier about my skin. At least for a day or so...

Then, on Thursday, I woke up with itchy and sore skin around my eyes and on my chin and when I looked in the mirror I saw that they were red and my eyelids and a small area at the edge of my eye were very dry. I used my daily moisturiser, Simple Kind To Skin Protecting Light Moisturiser, but it really irritated the skin around my eyes and on my chin. So I turned to my trusty helper Google and found out that dry, scaly eyelids can be caused by many things, some of which are makeup, eyelash curlers, shampoo or hair dye. I thought, for me, the most likely factors would be makeup or eyelash curlers, and so for the next few days I didn't apply any makeup to my eyelids and stopped using my eyelash curlers. The dryness didn't get any worse but it didn't get any better either.

So, I decided to take a chance and use my Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, praying it would irritate my skin anymore. I applied the moisturiser like I would a face mask so that my skin could absorb as much as it needed in order to repair itself. Straight away, the dryness had significantly decreased and after doing this twice more, my skin was completely back to normal.

I now know that it wasn't my makeup that caused my dry skin as I have worn it since and it hasn't had that effect but I still haven't used my eyelash curlers. I also don't know what caused my skin to break out so badly but my best guess is just hormones. Maybe my skin was getting into the Halloween mood and wanted to go trick-or-treating on my face, who knows?! I'm just glad that my skin is back to normal now and at least I know what to do to treat it if something similar happens again.

I hope you all had a great Halloween!

- Caoimhe x


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