Review: NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Foundation (Porcelain)

I believe, for the most part, that my breakouts are purely a result of having Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Hormonal imbalances are certainly high on the list of causes of those. Tackling them means I have to be cautious of what I use on my face. I am continuously striving to find products compatible with my combination skin.

Drugstore foundations are hit and miss for me. The unfortunate truth is most of them make me break out, extra dry/greasy or oxidise so much so I end up looking orange. That's not to say there aren't any good ones out there, just that I have yet to find any that have worked long term for me.

NYX's Stay Matte But Not Flat liquid foundation carries a water-based, oil-free and scent-free mineral formula and promises a full coverage, matte finish. It comes in a huge variety of shades (approx 21 in total) which is fantastic!

Upon intial application this looks very nice on my skin. One layer gave me medium coverage so an extra layer was needed to build to full. It applies easily and equally as well with a beauty blender sponge as it does with a brush.

I use this foundation in the shade porcelain over a primer and set with a light layer of setting powder which is applied after the foundation has completely 'dried' to prevent caking.

After approximately 5 hours of wear, unfortunately, I start to look greasy in my T-Zone and the foundation begins to cling to the remaining dryer patches. I found it bunched up and creased around my nose too.

If you have normal skin, this will look beautiful on you. If you have oily skin or are prone to breakouts I can't say I'd recommend this foundation. I felt as though it accentuated the worst parts of my skin after a few hours wear. Of course, different products work differently for everyone but for me, sadly, this was a miss.

Did this foundation work for you?

*NOT Sponsored!

My PMDD Story (An Update)

In 2016 I published this post outlining how I was diagnosed with PMDD.

Some of my past posts offer more background information on my menstrual health if you're new to my blog or would like another chance to read them:

Menstrual Health And Me

The Relief Of Being Offered Period Leave

This post will explore the current status of my menstrual health and my experience with medication. Therefore, this post will contain discussion of menstual and medicinal related topics. If you're uncomfortable with this then please feel free to check out a make up post or a food post instead.

Last year I decided to go vegan and now I am a very happy vegetarian. Ditching most animal products from my diet seemed to result in my periods getting a lot better. Whether that improvement was a result of my diet changing, I can not say for certain, but at the very least it seemed to help a lot.

I haven't vomited as a result of my period since the time I went vegan and as a vegetarian things are still better. My periods were never perfect or pain free. There was one time I was almost sick a good couple of months back and the pain got quite bad but it didn't last as long as it did previously. I stress that because no diet can magically cure any health condition and it's important to be realistic and understand this. Good diet helps, of course, but it is not a miracle cure.

I still have PCOS and I still suffer with painful periods. But the lack of throwing up and being confined to my bed for a few days is definitely favourable to me! I'm not sure if this will last for the remainder of my menstruating life but let's hope so! I still suffer a lot of physical PMS symptoms like sore boobs, headaches, cravings and major fatigue/tiredness. I never stopped suffering those, even when I was vegan. I also am not completely free of PMDD, I still have days where I feel sad,  hopeless, frustrated, angry, etc but this happens a lot less thanks to my treatment.

Because I have PMDD I take medication to balance out my hormones. ('Natural' remedies unfortunately never helped my physical or emotional symptoms in any way) Just recently I found a dosage that has truly improved my life beyond anything I could have hoped for.

I feel like this is important for me to say. Because medication is all too often slapped with negative labels. Some people can be so fast to judge it. I presume because sometimes there are side effects or because some people only feel comfortable with 'natural' treatments. As if, somehow, using medication is 'wrong'. Thankfully, times have changed and people's attitudes have improved greatly so many people are considerably understanding and accepting nowadays which is lovely.

Medication has saved my life and given me my life back simultaneously. PMDD is a condition that tends to worsen with age and mine most definitely has. It worsened to a frightening level. To the point where if I hadn't been so lucky as to have the option of medication, my quality of life would no doubt be horrific right now.

Without medication, I was horrifically depressed, anxious, angry, emotionally exhausted. My body was physically drained constantly from fighting through the PMDD related mood swings. That was enough of a struggle without the added pressures of outside influences on top of it all.

I stopped caring about myself and my life. I refused to do anything I loved because I was sure it was pointless. That I wouldn't get anywhere. I was convinced nobody would care about my work or about me. That other people in my field of work were better, more talented, more worthy and that I was completely irrelevent as a human.

Socialising was a big struggle too. I felt isolated because my condition is not a common one and not many people understand it. Hell, I barely understand it! I felt like I was some kind of 'freak' who deserved to be lonely. And even repeating that back for this post really hurts my heart.

Since beginning a new dose of my medication my life has just kept improving. It isn't perfect by any means but it's doing a lot better.

I'm learning to drive - something I put off for years because I was convinced it was a waste of time for me to put effort into learning so I could have more work opportunities because I wasn't special or talented enough.

I've started a new youtube channel (link is in my nav bar at the top of this page) and I make videos regularly now. I had a channel before but I used to think it was stupid for me to put any effort into it because, somehow, I wasn't 'enough'.

And this very blog right here. I've owned this blog for some years now and it's only within the past 6 months or so that I gathered enough courage to produce content. It has led me to some absolutely wonderful places so far and I couldn't be more grateful. Producing content for this blog makes me feel so incredibly happy. I want to do it for as long as I possibly can.

I have endured the most brutal of storms in my life over and over and thensome. Now it finally feels like there's a possibility of rainbows coming from all that rain. My life is not perfect. Not everything goes my way and I don't always get what I want. I still struggle some days. But in comparison to how things were before to now, I feel much more optimistic.

My medication is the reason I'm able to feel so much better in myself. I had to try several types before I found a good balance so it wasn't a simple overnight thing by any means. But now it's literally given me back my true personality and my life that PMDD robbed me of for so long.

I just wanted to write this post as an update and to demonstrate that not all medication is horrendous. It actually helps some people in extremely positive ways. Don't ever let anyone make you feel bad if this applies to you too.

Be open to finding ways to help yourself because, even though you may not believe it right now, you're important and you deserve a good quality of life.

Review: Essence Rock N Doll Mascara AND Long Lasting Eye Pencil

My eye make up tends to involve copious amounts of mascara and thick winged eyeliner. Being someone who goes through each of these things as much as I do, I'm always on the hunt for the best ones as possible at the smallest price. Or else it all gets a bit, err, pricey.

For the most part, I've always preferred drugstore mascaras and eyeliners. Mascaras especially, I feel, are amazing from many drugstore brands nowadays. There's no shame in the game of buying high end make up but for me personally, spending so much money on something I'll be wiping off at the end of the day and will need to replace so frequently just doesn't make sense.

That doesn't mean I don't want or can not find products that perform well and look great. Having used Essence make up for quite some time, I was already familiar with their I Love Extreme mascara (loved that one for the record) but had never tried out any others or their eyeliners.

I'd had my eye on their Rock N Doll Crazy XXXL (there is also a Volume and Eye-Opening version of this) mascara for a little while but never really got around to buying it until now. Whilst I was there, I grabbed the Long Lasting eyeliner. Both cost me under £5. I'm not kidding.

Firstly, a moment to appreciate the adorable polka-dot design of this mascara packaging. Love it.

The price was delightful. Only £2.80. Did I literally just pay £2.80 for this beauty? I totally did.

The fibres on the brush are varied in length which helps them whisk through lashes to build intense length and volume. And that's what this mascara does.

It stays on great. No flakes, no smudges and my lashes didn't feel too stiff even after a few coats. It can clump very slightly due to its wetter formula but the brush makes any mishaps easy to rectify and it isn't so wet that it causes all your lashes to cling together.

The Lasting Eyeliner in Black Fever surprised me the most out of this pairing. I've used Urban Decay's Zero and Perversion glide on liners which have always been firm favourites of mine and never expected to find a pencil or pencil style liner that worked as well as those.

But this does. It's a twist up liner which I appreciate more than traditional pencils. It glides on easily, it's pigmented (important for me in an eyeliner) and when it dries, it sets firmly in place and doesn't budge. I've worn this all day long and it's barely worn off by the end of it.

Best part? It's £1.50. Yass.

*Not sponsored!

Review: LivWell Plant Protein Powder

When you think of protein powders you probably associate them with gym bunnies or those who go running at 6am in the morning to train for their next marathon. (Definitely not me)

But even if you aren't a fitness junkie, protein is still necessary for a healthy, balanced diet.

LivWell's organic protein powders are completely plant based and crafted in the 'cleanest' way possible. Meaning no synthetic ingredients and no unnatural flavours. Even their packaging is made from recycled material. They are also free from dairy, gluten and soy.

Each 25g serving contains a whopping 17g of protein with 4 sources of that crammed into an efficient amino acid profile to give energy and help build muscle. So if you're looking to up your energy and improve your fitness these are a fantastic option. And if you're simply wanting to be healthier, they're a great way of incorporating natural protein to your diet.

Mixed with Alpro Go On Yogurt and garnished with grated fresh strawberry.

The powders come in two flavours. Wild Vanilla Bean and Raw Cacao. Enjoy them stirred into smoothies, yogurts or porridge. There's plenty of recipe ideas on their blog should you require more inspiration. They are surprisingly very tasty! The vanilla has a creamy flavour whilst the raw cacoa is a great way of indulging in some chocolate without the unhealthy calories!

Almond Milk Protein Shake!

Get LivWell protein powders here and let me know your thoughts!

*Not sponsored. Products sent to me kindly by LivWell for review consideration.

Review: Miss Patisserie Body Souffle (Mango)

When it comes to quenching your skin's thirst there's nothing like the feel of a luxe body butter to soothe, smooth and nourish the skin.

Moisturised skin not only feels better but looks better too.

Dry skin is uncomfortable and can be extremely sore. The dermatitis that flares up on my hands sometimes is incredibly painful and looks downright awful.

I ensure I keep my skin nourished properly to prevent dry outs that can lead to cracked skin later down the line.

One of the easiest ways for me to do this is by using a body souffle (or body butter) after every bath or shower I take. This locks in moisture and keeps my skin looking bright, supple and smooth. I use it all over, including my hands and it doesn't irritate my dermatitis at all.

Body souffles/butters nourish, hydrate and improve the condition of the skin from the inside out.

Miss Patisserie's Body Souffle range comes in 5 stunning scents with natural, kind to skin ingredients. They all contain a unique ingredient called rice bran oil which is able to penetrate the dermis (the layer of skin between the epidermis and subcutaneous tissues) to moisturise the skin on a deeper level. The Almond Oil in them takes care of skin's health by nourishing with vitamins A, B and E. That level of nourishment means skin's texture and elasticity is improved which can give it a younger, softer feel and appearance.

The best part about these souffles is their ability to sink into the skin without any greasy residue left behind. None of that 'just dipped into some oil' malarky. Instead, your skin is graced with its velvety finish.

And if I haven't stressed it enough, they smell heavenly. Definitely my new favourite staple skincare product.

*Not sponsored! Paid for with my own money.

Review: Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Cleansing Oil & Superdrug B. Pure Micellar Oil

If, like myself, you are very partial to thick eyeliner and those volumising, thickening, budge-proof mascaras then you know that removing your make up can be a difficult task.

In my experience, cleansing lotions and most other make up removal methods always left traces of mascara or eyeliner behind that I'd end up struggling to remove. I'd often find myself rubbing at my eyes in an attempt to get rid of it all which would leave my eyes sore and red.

It's admittedly taken me some time to jump on the cleansing oil bandwagon. Mostly out of fear that it would turn me into a broken out, greasy, shiny mess. As someone with combination skin prone to hormonal break outs, etc,  I avoided giving in and trying them out. Until now, that is.

I have since begun using two cleansing oils and have been doing so for some weeks now. (Keep this in mind when looking at the photos, the bottles were of course completely full when I purchased them!)

Now I wonder why I ever lived without them.

Cleansing oils dissolve your make up (yes, literally). They're a 'deep clean' moisturising product that nourishes the skin as you use them. Believe it or not, they also help to balance your own natural oil production.

If you need a speedy, gentle way of getting your make up off then do consider using a cleansing oil.

To use them simply apply the oil to your entire face (you can wet your face prior to applying the oil but I personally don't feel I need to) and gently wipe away.

Both of these cleansing oils are 100% cruelty free and vegan.

Oil-to-milk cleanser

Contains natural oils to quickly and effectively dissolve makeup and impurities

Deeply cleanses and dissolves waterproof/long lasting make up

Softens with Pomegranate Seed Oil

Protects and soothes with Vitamin E

Purifies with Chia Seed Oil

The B micellar oil was the most 'greasy' of the two, though not excessively. Dissolved my make up fairly well. I find I have to use more of this product to get the same results as the Simple one which is its only downfall.

Made with 100% natural grape-seed oil

Vitamin A and E

Dissolves impurities and removes make up


My personal favourite out of the two. Got rid of everything cleanly and smoothly with zero greasy residue. Highly impressed with this one, leaves my skin feeling great after every use. I'm hooked!

What's your favourite make up removal method?