Thursday, 14 August 2014

Old Wives Tail SOS Organic Anti-Hair Loss Oil Treatment

Hair Oil, Organic Oil, Hair Treatment,
Hair Oil (*) - £13.99

Oil is a buzz word in beauty. From hair, bath, skin and oil pulling, everyone seems to be going crazy for it. I must admit, although I love skin oils, I haven't had much experience with hair oils, so when I was offered a chance to try a 100% organic hair oil treatment from Old Wives Tails I jumped at the chance to find out . 

The SOS Organic Anti-Hair Loss Oil Treatment contains natural anti-bacterial agents that help promote a healthy scalp and sooth, moisturise and soften it to prevent hair loss. On top of that it also contains stimulating properties that increase circulation and encourage hair growth! Although I'm not suffering from hair loss, I do have an irritated scalp. Maybe an extension of dry skin, whenever I'm run down, I seem to get a really irritated, sore and sensitive scalp.

To use, simply massage the oil into your scalp focusing on the areas that are in need of the most attention. You should then smooth over the rest of your hair and leave the treatment on your hair for one hour. Once times up, rinse your hair with fresh water and shampoo until your hair feels clean and product free. If you use conditioner, you can go ahead but only on the ends of your hair. If you want an extra pamper session, you can even leave the treatment on overnight and wrap your hair in a warm towel.

Having used this oil a couple of times, I can honestly say my scalp has felt renewed. Not only is my scalp healthier, my hair looks more radiant. Someone at work even asked if I had dyed my hair as it looked so glossy! I particularly love that the oil is 100% organic. It's nice just to give my hair a break from harsh chemicals that I use when styling it daily, and focus on restoring it. I recommend popping on a face mask while you wait an hour to get a spa-like experience. The perfect addition to my relaxing Sunday nights!


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Anxiety August: My Story

I've had this post planned since the beginning of August, but only now have I managed to sit down at type it. It seems every time I tried to sit down and blog, I'd find something else "more urgent" to do, and put this post to the end of the list. See, I hate talking about how anxiety has affected my life and is something, if I'm honest, I'm still a bit embarrassed about. Some of you may now start thinking why I'm writing a post, actually a series of posts, on anxiety then. Put simply, if you never talk about it, it will always be something to be embarrassed about; and it's not. So many of my friends suffer from various degrees of anxiety, and it seems every week there's a new blogger who is brave enough to admit they too have been affected by it. Whilst there have been lots of posts about how anxiety affects people, I don't think I've found somewhere that really covers everything; their story, how they manage it, how to help people with it etc. This month marks two whole months since I've had a full-scale panic attack, so I think it's the right time that I now share the highs and lows of having anxiety and maybe even help someone else.

This is a really long post. The longest I've ever written; and possibly one of the most painful. If you reach the end, congratulations. It's not meant to be a "Ohh look at poor little me post". It's an attempt to de-glamorize anxiety, show what it's really like, and also show that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Before I go any further I just want to get it out there in black and white, having anxiety does not mean someone is attention seeking. Only this year I've heard people, who have good law degrees, training to be solicitors and supposedly smart people, say people who visibly show the signs of anxiety are just looking for attention. If you suffer from anxiety and have an anxiety attack, especially in a public place, most people will agree you want to get out of there and become invisible, not become more noticeable. It's embarrassing and scary and ruins your life. No one would truly want to have anxiety. Of course they didn't know I in fact suffered from anxiety and there misconceptions were some of the reasons why I got help too late.

My Experience
I've only realised recently that I've been suffering from anxiety since I was about 8, which sounds shocking. When I was 8 my mum was very ill and because I was so young I didn't understand why or what was happening despite having bits explained to me. As an only child in a small family, when your confused about whats happening you don't really have very many people to turn to, so I kept all my confusion inside. This confusion then turned into anxiety, and spread like wild fire to other areas of my life throughout my teenage years.


It was only when I was 17 that I finally sought help. I was absolutely terrified but when to the GP, only to be made to feel stupid for even coming and told that he had teenage daughters and it was normal. It might have been, but I still needed help. I felt more anxious than ever at that point so my parents decided to pay for a private referral. I was put on some medication, but all that did was attempt to solve the symptoms and not help me deal with my anxiety. Whilst I wasn't having full on panic attacks, I felt worse. It's hard to explain but I felt like I needed just to have a good cry, to release all that emotion, but my body just couldn't because of the medication. Needless to say my anxiety didn't stop. 

Through University I still had anxiety, but not to the same extent. Looking back I can see that my anxiety has been in peaks and troughs, with some years being particuarly worse than others. Throughout my 1st and 2nd year's I was constantly busy and felt I was slowly getting on top of my anxiety. However, in my 3rd year I began to isolate myself. I couldn't play hockey due to injury and being ill myself stopped me going out with friends and doing other things I loved. It was after graduation in the summer of 2013 when my anxiety really stepped up a gear to the worst it has ever been.

To say that my life from the summer of 2013 to May 2014 was ruled by anxiety is a complete an utter understatement. It was ruined. A common misconception of anxiety is that if your happy for a day, you clearly don't have anxiety. That's wrong. Of course you have good days. Of course you have bad days. I have some lovely memories from that period, but I also remember feeling very sick, very scared and very embarrassed about something that was out of my control. I used to dread leaving the house and I'd even set a countdown on my phone for how long I'd be out, to reassure me time was passing and I could be home soon. I don't know why, but being in public made me feel uneasy. I spent days on the brink of tears and would use the smallest thing to justify my worries. I said no to countless opportunities and avoided anything out of my comfort zone. If the tram was busy on the way home, that was it, I'd have a complete panic attack in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester, possibly the most public place possible. My worst nightmare. The worst thing was that I started to feel overwhelmed even in my own home. My mum asking what I'd like for my tea would turn me into a wreck, getting ready to go out would just send me into a panic. I couldn't even watch television downstairs and would find myself drifting back upstairs unconsciously. Like many people with anxiety, I can tell when an attack is coming. For me, it feels like everything is coming at me, almost like bullets. Normal conversations not even to me will seem like people are shouting in my face, people walking will feel like they are walking into me, everything becomes overwhelming and claustrophobic. I felt there was nothing I could do to stop this and could see no way out. I couldn't, and still can't explain why I felt like I did, and I think that's the worst thing; the feeling like your going crazy. I hit rock bottom, and felt like I was watching myself in a car crash, in slow motion. 


Feeling like things couldn't get any worse, I went back to my GP. Luckily there was a lovely GP who was training, I think maybe on her 2nd year post qualification. To put into words how grateful I am to her is impossible, because she started my road to recovery. Breaking down in the doctors, I explained how my life had become like living in a prison. At first she suggested counselling, but then quickly realised that no amount of talking would help me find the answer to why. See, not all treatments are suited to all people and just because something has worked for one person, doesn't mean it will work for the next. She then said if I wan't to change my behavior, why didn't I try CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Initially I was reluctant but my GP reassured me that it would teach me coping techniques, and wouldn't be some kind of psychoanalysis. 

Hesitantly, I agreed to be referred to the NHS team. I waited. And Waited. 9 weeks later I finally got sent an appointment. I understand that the NHS is so stretched and underfunded and we are lucky to get access to such healthcare, but at a time when I couldn't go a day without having at least three panic attacks, being forced to wait a further 9 weeks for something I wasn't sure would even help was unbearable. Only this week anxiety has been used in the Liberal Democrat campaign with Nick Clegg vowing to increase funding for research into mental health and bring it in to line with more physical and visible illnesses. I hope this isn't just a political ploy, because something more needs to be done for illnesses that most of us will suffer at one point in our lives.

I actually cancelled that NHS appointment when it came as my incredibly supportive parents decided I couldn't wait and paid yet again for private sessions. I felt guilty for them paying for yet more treatment for me, but now, it seems it was the best money they have ever spent. By the time that NHS appointment came, I'd been panic attack free for 2 weeks. 

I was cynical about CBT, and thought it was a load of hippie talking malarky. For those of you who don't know, CBT is a way to change how you behave in certain situations. It's almost like conditioning yourself to deal with triggering circumstances in a more manageable way. When I was told my first session would be on "breathing" I rolled my eyes. I then gave myself a good talking to. I had reached lower than I had ever been, trying a bit of hippy breathing will not make it any worse. I did the session and then applied it to my next panic attack. I stopped before I'd got to a full-meltdown. I'd never been able to do that before. The more I practiced the techniques the quicker the panic attacks stopped, until they stopped altogether that is.


I have never wanted to hug someone so much as my therapist. She has given me a life back. I then moved on to how to relax in stressful situation that may give rise to panic attacks, and then how to deal with anxious thoughts. I've now finished the course of CBT and have realized some important things. I am always going to be anxious. It's as much apart of me as my freckles and blue eyes. What I can do though is take control of it and not let my life be dictated to by it. This acceptance of anixety being a part of me made me feel more in control. You cannot control your thoughts. No matter how control and disciplined you are, thoughts are subconscious. You can however control how you react and deal with those thoughts and CBT has helped me learn the right ways to do that.

As in said right at the start of this post. I've now not had a panic attack for 2 months. That's the longest I've ever gone since I was 16. I'm not going to say that I'll never have one again, because if I could predict that I should have my own late night show. But, if I do have a panic attack, at least I know that I can get control back of my anxiety and carry on living the life I want to live.

If you somehow got to the end of this, please let me know. On Friday I'll be talking about Anxiety and Blogging.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Recycling Bin #5

Quite an assortment of make-up and skincare this month, but not nearly as much as I'd hope for. Saying that, I have about four products I'm about to finish already, so another post may not be in the too distant future.

Apologizes if I glaze over the Tresemme 24 hour body shampoo. I often go back to Treseme shampoos as they seem to really suit my hair. My hair is very thick anyway (one of the reasons why I cut it short) but this definitely does add a little boost. Another product that has seemed to last forever is the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in True Ivory. I really do like this foundation, it has good coverage and is the perfect balance between radiance and just eaten a chilli. Despite being medium coverage, I do find that I have to be particularly light handed, otherwise it ends up looking a bit cakey and occasionally it does slightly oxidize. I have repurchased it though, so clearly the pro's do outweigh the cons. My go to brand for eye make-up is Loreal. After my review of the Miss Manga Mascara you all must know I love it. The only downside is that I found it dried out very quickly compared to other mascaras I've tried (around a month) and then flaked like mad. I am fickle when it comes to mascara and will hardly ever repurchase one, but this may be one of the very few that make it into my basket for a second time. Lastly, a product that is a certain to be repurchased and one that I genuinely do feel an eyeliner shaped whole in life without, its the Loreal Super Precision Liquid Eyeliner. No other eyeliner has ever matched this for ease of use, pigmentation, lasting power on and off the lid, it's just perfect and it can never be discontinued. Ever. 

On to skin care now and I've finished yet another bottle from my stock pile of Lush's Snow Fairy Shower Gel. I have one more which I'm saving for the run-up to Christmas, making room for another mass buy. I make no excuses, anything that is pink, glittery and smells of candy is going to be one of my favorite products of all time. Another two products that I've become hooked on are the Derma V10 face creams(*). For £1 you know you won't get all the fancy scientific stuff that are in some other brands products, but dare I say it, my skin actually looked better whilst I was using this duo. I've debated re-buying the Boscia Konjac Sponge again, because it seemed to make cleansing more effective. using it to apply my cleanser was so soothing, and had a soothing effect on my skin too! If only I could justify another Sephora Haul. Oh spending ban, thou art cruel. Last but certainly not least is the Face B4 Daily Cleansing Foam(*). I know a lot of people don't like foaming cleansers as they think their too harsh for their skin, but I've only seen positive things using this. Although I did break out for one week, it helped to purge my skin of all congestion and improve it's texture and appearance. Now that I'm not using it I can certainly tell the difference. Change isn't always a good thing.

Have you tried any of these products?