Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Living with Chronic Illness - Hidradenitis Suppurativa

I love writing post about makeup and clothes and like to try keep my personal life away from my blog, but I feel I need to share with you all what has been happening and be honest about how life is going at the moment.

I always say the same thing every time I log onto snapchat or instagram… "Sorry its been so long" and I honestly do mean it, I have such good intentions of posting to my stories everyday and keeping up to date with what's been happening but this last 4 months I have really slipped up.

You could say I'm not much of a talker, all my life I have bottled things up instead of speaking out and I'm trying so hard to learn to talk about my feelings, but for the meantime I'm hoping that writing this very personal post will help.

I have mentioned it before but a lot of you may not know, I have an autoimmune disease called Hidradenitis Suppurativa, which in short is basically abscesses and holes that form in warm places of your body. There is 3 stages of the disease and I have stage 3 which is the worst you can have. I have been on an immune suppressant as over two years and it had been helping loads but this last 6 weeks, I have had one of the worst flare ups of my life.

Usually I have about 3-5 skin openings or abscesses at any time which I can usually manage not to bad but as I sit writing this post I currently have over 15. I try to not let them bother me but as I am all about honesty I can say they are really getting to me and ruining my life. I have 3 to the right side of my right boob that are open and need dressed and cleaned daily, 3 in my left armpit also needed dressed daily, 5 along the bottom of my stomach, and 8 others around my lady parts and bum.

You maybe think that's too much info but I just feel that I need to talk about it, to write it down to voice how annoyed I am with H.S (Hidradenitis Suppurativa). I have had H.S since I was 12, its not down to my weight, or bad hygiene or anything like that. My body simply attacks itself and I cant do anything to stop it.

So what is Hidradenitis? To some people they see it as a boil or a spot but it is soo much more, its intense burning pain where the abscess is more often that not it will burst leaving me covered in blood and pus, disgusting I know!! It is an open wound that usually gets infected, its raw skin rubbing against skin or clothes. Its not being able to sit or stand comfortably, its stops me dressing how I want, going out some places I want and a lot of embarrassment because I'm covered in dressing and plasters. Its not being able to go to the swimming pool when you want. Its not being able to exercise as you are in so much pain you cannot cope. Its operations that take months to heal and a body that's full of scars.

In fact its loads of other things that I have just got used to in everyday life. So why did I write this post now? I attended an event last week where there was very limited seating and I knew I wouldn't be able to stand with the heat and the open wounds I just couldn't have lasted more than 5 mins. So I had to suck up my pride and ask for a seat to sit at the back, I was very kindly sorted out but for me I was soo embarrassed I was the girl that had to ask for special service , I was the girl that was too lazy to stand, I was the girl that was dying inside but I had to suck it up and think if myself for once.

I know there are soo many other conditions and diseases people live with and I could be so much worse off but for me at the minute my life is revolving around a horrible nasty disease and its really getting to me. I am not looking for attention or sympathy as I am sure a lot of you know me know that's not what I am about, but I just want to you to realise I wish I could be more active and a better blogger but my health is stopping me, I do feel like a weight has lifted off my shoulders just by getting my feelings written down!

If you suffer with H.S or want to know any more about it, ping me over a question and I will be more than happy to talk more about it with you.

Lots of Love..

Victoria xx

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

NI Blogger Brunch

NI Blogger Brunch is a fab event organised and ran by Cathy Martin from CMPR. Cathy puts together a fun filled event where bloggers/vloggers/youtubers/influencers etc all meet up and talk all things social media, share their tips and tricks and also introduce themselves to others.

I had always wanted to attend the Blogger Brunch but was always busy on the days it was held, that was until the latest Brunch which was held on Sunday 20th May in Cast and Crew Belfast.

I was rather nervous as I had never been there before but as I knew some of the girls going it wasn't just so bad. The Blogger Brunch is open to anyone in the online world and its nice to know that everyone who attends has a similar interest.

So I met Gillian (Eyelinerflicks) and we walked in, we were greeted by Cathy who told us to go grab a drink and collect our name tags. We were treated to a very unique drink of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with sparkling water.

The company who makes the Apple Cider Vinegar is called Natural Umber and is based in Dungannon Co.Tyrone. I had never tried it before but I have read and heard a lot of reviews about how good it is for gut health and skin etc. I have to say it wasn't something I found overly nice but as I had no food or drink before hand I think that was why. We were very kindly gifted a bottle to try at home and I am going to try include it in my diet by mixing it in soups/salads etc.
The name tags we were given were soo beautiful. They were all handmade and written in a stunning Rose Gold lettering with black for the surname. I am a sucker for anything personalised and when they are as pretty as these were I don't know how anyone couldn't like them. The company that makes the tags is called Scribed in Style and can be found on Instagram.

As it was a rather cold and wet morning we moved inside and took our seat, Cast and Crew is such a nice venue. It is rather small and as there were over 70 of us it was a tight squeeze but the staff could not have been better. They were soo friendly and helpful and nothing was too much trouble for them.

Cathy took to the mic and got things kicked off, we talked about things happening in social media at the moment and were all given a yummy breakfast of overnight oats, yoghurt and berries. We talked some more and next thing a second breakfast dish came out, this time we had Cumberland eggs and sausage on bread with avocado. I have to say it was the nicest eggs I have ever tasted Cast and Crew really know how to keep their customers happy.

We then all had the opportunity to stand up and introduce ourselves or share something we found useful in the blogging world. Some of the people who spoke really inspired me I had been in a bit of a rut with my blog recently and had almost fallen out of love with it. But listening to their stories really set a fire off in my belly.

As if we hadn't had enough food we were then treated to a delicious BBQ which was supplied by Artisan Finnebrogue and Irwin's bread. Artisan Finnebrogue is another local company based in Downpatrick. Artisan Finnebrogue is a company that produce food without the E numbers, without nitrites and without allergens. I had never tried their food before but it was delicious. They also treated us to a fab goodie bag which contained sausages and bacon. I tried both out and they were delicious. Irwin bread also gifted us some potato farls which went down a treat too.

Then for dessert Morelli's ice cream were on hand and gave us all a choice of what flavour of ice cream we wanted and then any toppings we wanted... I really was in heaven I went for salted caramel ice cream with oreo pieces and a fudge stick. By this stage we were all extremely full up on yummy treats. Cathy really does put so much effort into making sure everyone has a magnificent day out.

We also were extremely spoiled with a fab goodie bag from Iconic Bronze and a beautiful necklace from Wisteria London. I think you will agree from the pictures just how much fun the day was.


I cannot wait to attend the next Blogger Brunch's as it really gave me that warm feeling in my belly I get when blogging.
Lots Of Love..
Victoria xx

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's day is fast approaching and if you are like me I leave everything to the last minute, so I have put together a little post full of different idea's of bits and bobs to get your mummy for her special day.

There are loads of different words for how we refer to our Mother. For me its mummy, I know a lot of others use mum, ma, mammy, momma. Whatever you use it is a lovely day to tell your mummy just how special they are to us.

I never really talk much about my family but my mummy is my rock she is always there for me, treats me like her princess and nothing is ever a bother to her. She doesn't get enough credit at all, she is the foundation to my family unit, she is what holds us all together and she is one of the strongest bravest woman I know, if I could ever be half the lady she is I will be doing well. But she isn't one for getting soppy or talking about her feelings so she would tell me to wise up and not be soft lol.

So below is different products I think any mummy would be happy to receive.

1. Butterfly Print Dressing Gown - ASDA

2. Field Day Fireside Candle - FIELD DAY

3. Blue Stripe Floral Embroidered Weekend Bag -RIVER ISLAND
4. Bellamianta Rapid Self Tanning Tinted Mouse Gift Set - BELLAMIANTA
5. Clinique Smart Indulgence Gift Set - BOOTS
6. Mother's Day Spoils - PRESTIGE FLOWERS
7. Pandora Mother's Day Bracelet - PANDORA
8. Mother's Day Pocket Collection - HOTEL CHOCOLAT
9. Harbour Scene Recipe Book - LAURA ASHLEY
10. Star Print Mule Slipper MARKS & SPENCER
So there we have it, I have tried to think a little outside the box and include items that you maybe wouldn't have thought off... I will treat my mummy to some new carpet slippers and money as she usually buys a Kipling purse and it would be a losing battle to try pick for her as she likes her own style, which is totally different to anything I would pick. I love bright colourful sparkly things and mummy hates that she likes everything black or dark.
Lots of Love..
Victoria xx

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Benefit Badgal Bang Mascara Review

I am guessing that you will have seen something about this mascara already as the lead up to the launch was crazy. They had space woman dressed head to toe in pink suits in and around the country, loads of press pictures and basically a huge build up all to do with space.

I have to admit I thought the new product would be a collection or some base products for the face, because of their already much sought after mascara's this was the last thing I thought it would be.

However when they finally revealed this new mascara it made sense as to the whole space theme. In case you don't know this mascara took 4 years to get the formula right, it contains aero-particles which is one of the lightest known materials derived from space technology and it has a special 'slimpact' brush which is basically a super bendy wand with different sizes bristles.

The Badgal Bang mascara claims to be smudge proof, water resistant and also volumising . Along with this it contains ProVitamin B5 known to fuel thickness & strength.

As I was on the look out for a new mascara I decided to pick this up and give it a go, I have to admit I didn't really like any of Benefit's other mascara's but with the claims of fuller and thicker lashes I knew I had to try Badgal Bang.

The first thing I noticed about this mascara is the packaging , it is in a lovely matte tube with a bubbled top, it has a really high end feel. The mascara tube is actually really heavy and when you open and close it there is a little click so that you know it is closed fully. I really liked this as sometimes you can leave the top open a little and then air gets in and dries the product out.

So would this mascara live up to all the hype... the actual mascara is a lot runnier and thinner than I thought , I was thinking it would be a thicker constancy. The brush is fantastic it is nice and small and makes getting right into the root of the lash soo easy. The wand also gets thinner to thicker making getting into those corner lashes perfectly.

I noticed a big difference with just one application, I didn't need to dip in for more product to do my bottom lashes, there was more than enough on the wand. The mascara applies soo well because of the wand and also the constancy is so easy to work with. My lashes were a lot longer and definitely pitch black which I like.

It almost looked like I had applied some liner to my lash line as the mascara gets right into the root. If you don't like extremely black mascara you wont like this, they will hopefully bring out more colours in time.

I let the first application dry and then added a second... it have to say my lashes did get a little clumped.. which personally I don't mind but they were almost spidery, if you like your lashes all fanned out then I don't think you would like this mascara.

You probably could layer it up even more but two layers had my lashes full of volume and length that I didn't try anymore.

Finally the mascara claims to have 36 hour wear, I decided to put this to the test and slept in my mascara!! Yes I know how bad this is but I really wanted to test Benefit's claims out . The mascara actually held up really well, there was little to no smudging and it didn't go flaky at all. At the end of the 36 hours my eyes did feel disguising and scratchy but I think any mascara would do this after the amount of time.

Overall I was extremely impressed with the Badgal Bang mascara, I have had lots of people compliment my lashes asking if they were false and also saying how long they were. I am blessed to have naturally curly lashes but if you curled them and applied this mascara I think it would be stunning.

You can get this mascara in loads of different shops and also online at the minute, if you are on the lookout for a mascara with noticeable results I would 100% recommend you pick it up.

Lots of Love...

Victoria xx

Monday, 29 January 2018

Powder 'n' Pout Make-Up Brushes

When I think back to when I was younger my makeup brushes were limited... I basically used my fingers for foundation, puff pads for powder and everything else was applied with a sponge applicator! Skip forward to now and make up brushes are one of the most important parts of any look!

If you think of a builder he can only do as good of a job as his tools allow, much like applying make up, you can only get that perfect blend with a good brush.

I have always heard of Powder 'n' Pout but never tried any of their brushes so when I got a delivery just before Christmas, I was one very happy girl. I am a little bit addicted to make up brushes and always trying new ones so I was looking forward to see how these would compare to some of my favourites.

I was very kindly gifted 3 different brushes. The Fluffy Blender (P310), The Duo Crease (P245) and The Duo Tapered Powder (P210) This was a good mix to get a feel for the brand.

The Fluffy Blender (P310)

This brush is made of natural sable hair, with wooden handles featuring a double crimped nickle-plated brass ferrule. It is the perfect shape to get flawless blending and also because of its precise shape it is soo good at getting into to outer 'v'. The brush itself is super soft and the bristles are the perfect length. A lot of my other blending brushes have shorter bristles and this leads to me leaning harder, this brush made blending soo easy.

It is also a good length , you can hold it at the end to apply very little pressure. This is fast becoming one of my favourite brushes and I keep going back to it. 

The Duo Crease (P245)

This brush is made with duo fibre technology, much like the fluffy blender it has a wooden handle featuring a double crimped nickle-plated brass ferrule. The duo fibre is basically instead of one type of bristle it is made with two, this makes blending a dream and it picks up just the right amount of product. Unlike a lot of my other eye brushes this is a super soft teardrop shape, which gets right up into the crease and makes applying different colours effortless.

Again the brush size is nice and long so easy to grip and feels nice and luxurious. You can also use this brush with liquids such as concealer.

The Duo Tapered Powder (P210)

This brush is again made with duo fibre technology, wooden handle and the same ferrule. I love the size of this brush, as it is big enough to sweep over the face but not that big that it makes doing your make up clumsy. Unlike the name suggests you can use it on a lot of different products not just powder. I used it with my foundation and the finish it gave was stunning. Because of the duo fibre's it doesn't overload the brush, so you don't have to worry about having to much product on your skin.

I also used the brush to apply my face powder and then cleaned it off to try applying my blusher, again it picked up just the right amount of product and gave a lovely sweep of colour to the face.

Out of all 3 brushes the Duo Tapered Powder is probably my favourite as it can be used with so many different products and it just gives my skin a lovely glow as it doesn't plaster the foundation on.

If you are on the look out for new brushes, I definitely would recommend trying Powder 'n' Pout. They have a full collection of brushes available on their website, which you can find HERE.

I have my eye on at least another 5 brushes so when I purchase them and try them out I will let you know what I think of them, but I am guessing I will love them just as much as I love these 3.

Lots of Love..

Victoria xx

 **I was kindly sent these brushes as a PR gift, however ALL opinions and words are my own.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Sumita Centre Stage Volumising Mascara

You know that question people always ask.. 'If you were stuck on an island with just one beauty product what would you have?'

Well for me its mascara.

I love how it opens the eye up, makes the eye stand out and just draws attention to the eyes. My favourite part of the body is eyes so you can see why I love mascara.

I am blessed to have naturally long and curly lashes so I never need to curl them but I look for a mascara that lifts my lashes and holds them in place. I look for a mascara that adds volume and doesn't clump my lashes all together.

When I got my hands on the Sumita Centre Stage Mascara I read what its supposed to do and couldn't wait to try it out. It claims to "increase the appearance of lash volume by 330 percent - creating strikingly thick, sexy lashes." It also claims to "instantly gives lashes intense volume and length, in just one coat to create strikingly thick and sexy lashes."

I had my hopes high as I tried it on one eye... so would this mascara live up to what it claimed.... well the answer is a big fat YES!

With one coat my lashes were soo full and long, they actually looked like false eyelashes. As for 330 percent more volume I would have to agree my lashes fanned out beautifully.

I tried the mascara a couple more times as I don't like to just give a opinion based on one try. Each time the mascara applied soo easy, it has a large wand with a soft fibre bristle. This is my favourite type of wand as I hate the plastic ones as I feel there isn't enough movement with them.

I think you can see from the photos just how good this mascara is, if you are on the look out for a mascara that adds volume and length this is definitely one to try.

Lots of Love..

Victoria xx

*This is not a paid or sponsored post. I was however sent the item as a PR drop. ALL opinions are my own.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Peter Pan at the Grand Opera House Belfast

So that's Christmas over for another year, I don't know about you but we are a family full of traditions. We always open our presents at a certain time, we always sit in the same place, go in the same order etc... and one of my favourite traditions is doing the Christmas Pantomime at the Grand Opera House in Belfast.

If you have never heard of the Pantomime before, every year it is a different story with dancers, singers, actors/actresses and the one and only May McFettridge, who is always centre stage with her over the top costumes and some cheeky jokes. There is also a celebrity character this year the celebrity was Claire King from Corrie, other years have seen Chico (x-factor), Gareth Gates (singer) and Faye Tozer (Steps Singer).

The story this year was Peter Pan... the little boy who never wanted to grow up. Not many people will know but I love Tinkerbell, it all started one night I was out in a club and a man in the toilets commented on how I was just like Tinkerbell and I was a little fairy! My brother of course found this hilarious as I am not small or fairy like! The thought of me flying made him laugh till the tears were tripping him!

Soo.. for years I have collected Tinkerbell any time I see her and always get gifts which relate to this from my brother.

Now on to the play itself!!

As always my brother books early for the year ahead so this Christmas I received tickets for next Christmas's Panto which is Jack and the beanstalk. Because of this we always have really good seats up at the front :)

We got to our seats and the Panto quickly got underway. It started with Wendy laying in Bed and then Peter Pan came flying in. I was really impressed as you couldn't see the wire so to a child he really was flying. I may have believed it too for a second!! Peter was dressed in a little green outfit and looked just like the movie.

The story then continues and we meet Tinkerbell who is a beautiful woman dressed all in white with fairy wings and Roller boots so it looks like she is zooming across the stage, another very clever trick!

Then Peter takes Wendy and two little boys to Neverland where they meet Liger Lily and the Lost boys and girls. All the costumes and stage props are fantastic the children are all dressed to fit in with Tiger Lily.

We then meet May and her better half who have came to work on the ship... they aren't really part of the story but rather a filler between scene changes. I really like this as you are kept entertained during the whole show. In the second half however they then become characters in the story.

The story continues and we then meet captain Hook and a lovely Mermaid, the costumes are really what makes the story pop, everything is so glitzy and emphasises the characters. You learn the story of why Hook and Peter pan don't like each other and finally before the interval there is a very scary large crocodile! If you were a child you really would think that everything is real, there are no wires or body parts etc on display everything looks soo realistic.

After a short 15 min interval its back into the second half... the story then comes to an end with hook getting captured and Wendy going back to her own land.

I really look forward to going to the Pantomime every year, as it is always packed full of amazing acting, local jokes, crude jokes, fantastic pyrotechnics, good music and costumes that make me feel like a little girl again.

The Panto runs from the start of December to the first or second week in January and you can get tickets at different prices based on seating, times of the day and groups etc.

If you have never went and would like to start a new tradition around Christmas time with you and family/kids I cannot recommend checking out the Grand Opera House's Pantomime enough.

Lots Of Love...

Victoria xx