29 Aug 2015

'You Don't Need To Wear Make-Up': A Rant

'You don't need to wear make-up' is to me one of the most irritating things someone can say, not to mention one of the silliest. Of course no one needs to wear make-up, they choose to. You may as well be telling someone that they don't need to wear their favourite necklace, or dye their hair, or wear denim. Make-up is a way of expressing one's style and creativity through their appearance, in the same way someone's choice of clothes or accessories does the same. It also happens to be a major hobby for lots of people; many take serious pride in the different looks they achieve with make-up and in their make-up collections. Again, you wouldn't say to someone that they don't need to knit or paint or collect stamps. By telling someone wearing make-up that they don't need to wear make-up you are belittling something that takes a lot of time, effort, care and money to achieve, something that that person is likely proud of putting together.

What actually prompted me to write this blog post was seeing someone comment 'You don't need to wear make-up' on a Youtube Beauty Guru's video (about make-up!), and this is quite a common incidence. Can people really not see the irony in telling someone who makes their living out of putting on and talking about make-up that they don't actually need to wear it?? 

It seems to be a commonly held believe that women only wear make-up to attract men/a partner. I can personally and truly say that I wear make-up for myself - it's simply a creative representation of who I am as a person. And well, I like it and it makes me happy. If a guy I was interested in told me he'd prefer it if I didn't wear make-up then I'd swiftly move on to search for someone who will like me for who I am and appreciate my style. Of course, it's pretty common for women to doll themselves up before a date, but then why not? Whilst they're putting on their make-up in preparation for the date, their date is likely spending time, say, gelling their hair and/or finding an outfit that compliments them best. It's a biological instinct to want to preen yourself and enhance your best features to attract a potential partner. It's natural and usually fun to do.

Another common belief is that women only wear make-up because society pressures them to do so. Whilst there may again be some truth to this, it is also undeniable that a huge number of girls (and not only, of course) genuinely enjoy the art of painting and prettying themselves, and feel powerful because of it. Even as a young child I distinctly remember often trying on my mum's lipsticks in front of the mirror, as it was something I was drawn to and found fulfilling. And when I reached an age where it was finally acceptable for me to start wearing make-up out and about it was tremendously exciting for me, and in retrospect is one of the defining moments in my life in which I started to become the person who I am.

There are so many of us who immensely enjoy putting on, wearing, shopping for and collecting make-up, and deem it a part of who we are, so why should anyone try and take that away from us? I urge people to stop and think twice before telling a make-up wearer that they 'don't need it'. Complimenting how someone looks without make-up is of course fine and most likely welcomed, just as long as you're not simultaneously dismissing or putting down how that person looks when they do wear it - especially if that's how the person chooses to present themselves in every day life.

What are everyone else's thoughts on this issue? Does it bother you, or is it just me??

Amani x

26 Aug 2015

Liebster Award Nomination

Thank you so much to Joski Byrne who has kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award: a blogging award celebrating and giving recognition to up and coming blogs!

Liebster Award Rules:

- Write out 11 facts about yourself
- Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who tagged you
- Nominate up to 11 other up and coming bloggers for the award and tag them
- Write out 11 new questions for your chosen nominees to answer

11 Facts About Me

1. I love reading, my favourite genres vary from Young Adult Fantasy to Classics.
2. I dye my hair ginger using henna.
3. When I was 20 I travelled around the US by myself for a month.
4. Alternative Rock is my favourite music genre, though the bands I like are quite varied.
5. I cried when I turned 18 because I thought I was officially old (I was wrong!).
6. I wear black the majority of the time, though some red has crept itself into my wardrobe since I started dying my hair!
7. I was born and bred in London, though my mum's side of the family is Iranian and my dad's side is American.
8. I was expelled from school age 16 due to rarely attending - I wasn't a rebel, just an unhappy teenager!
9. I have so many different hobbies and interests, which stresses me out because I know I can't pursue all of them!
10. I have an irrational fear of doppelgangers.
11. Summer is my least favourite season.

Here are Joski's Questions, along with My Answers:

1. Why did you start blogging? 

I've been blogging on and off on various platforms since I was a young teenager, using it as a way to express myself through words and pictures. I actually can't remember what prompted me to decide to start blogging 'seriously' this time around though!

2. What is your favourite thing about yourself? 

This is harder to answer than it should be, but I think i like that I'm unique (or so I feel that I am).

3. What is your least favourite thing about yourself?

I have a lot more to choose from here unfortunately! But I wish I was more easy going, I suppose.

4. Where in the world would you most want to travel if money was no object?

I would love to see the west coast of America, I've only ever got as far west as Nebraska when I've visited there.

5. Who is your idol, living or dead, and why? 

I wouldn't say I have an 'idol', but Lana Del Rey is my favourite female singer, and not only do I admire her music but the fact that she says things in her songs that most people wouldn't.

6. If you could choose one talent what would it be? 

Either to be better at singing or to be able to draw well. I'm so jealous of people who are really good at either of those things!

7. What is the last book you read and what did you think? 

The last book I finished reading was The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward, and it was such a fun read!

8. What is your favourite meal? (Dessert included obviously!)


9. Who is your favourite blogger? 
I find this a difficult question to answer as I feel that I'm discovering new bloggers every day at this point and haven't settled on a 'favourite' one yet. But out of the 'big' bloggers I've always really liked Sprinkle of Glitter.

10. Where is your happy place? 

In my bed with a marathon of a TV show I'm loving being played on my laptop and a YA fantasy book under my pillow.

11. Where do you hope to see your blog in a year?

I hope that in a year I will have a loyal following of people who genuinely love my blog and that I'm making posts that I'm proud of!

Thank you for the great questions Joski!

My Questions for my Nominees:

1. What are some of your hobbies aside from blogging?

2. What is the blog post that you're most proud of?
3. Which 5 websites do you spend the most time on?
4. Do you like to read? What is your favourite book?
5. What are your biggest blogging goals?
6. How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
7. What is your favourite sweet/dessert or snack (if you don't like sweet things)?
8. What's one subject you could happily talk about for hours?
9. What do you find is the most rewarding part of blogging?
10. Which decade in history do you find most intriguing/like the style of most?
11. What's been your favourite day/moment of the year so far?

My Nominations:

1. Perfection Life

2. Bronagh's Beauty & Books
3. Sarah's Chapter
4. Amanda Speroni
5. Polly Cat Contemplates 

Amani x

20 Aug 2015

What To Take With You To University

A-level results have been revealed and September is rapidly drawing closer. This can only mean one thing, young people all across the country are anxiously yet excitedly anticipating leaving home and attending university for the first time!

As someone who will be going into their final year of university this autumn I thought I'd recommend some items I believe students going into their first year of uni should take with them, to help make the overwhelming packing/buying process a little easier!

So here are three handy yet fun things to pack to enhance your university experience!:

Speakers are essential to student life, coming in handy at flat parties, events, and simply for helping make your room feel like yours; by having the freedom to surround yourself with your favourite songs whilst getting ready for lectures or a night out. I mean, what is student life without an accompanying soundtrack? Panasonic have a snazzy collection of great quality wireless speakers (including a portable one for on the go that also charges your phone!), which will also likely make your flat the place where everyone will be wanting to hang out!

It's nice to have a constant reminder of home when you're far away at uni, living on your own for the first time. So consider taking along a few photos of your friends and family with you to ward off homesickness! You can put your photos up on your wall/pinboard, instantly making your new room feel less sparse and more warm and comforting. You can even be creative in how you choose to display your photos (as long as you're keeping in the guidelines of the rules of the property!). Websites like Pinterest have tonnes of ideas for great looking photo displays! If you wish you can then go on to add new memories to your display, as you start to make friends along the way, making your photo wall something to really cherish more and more as time goes by.

Fancy dress clothes
You know those old Halloween costumes and outfits from themed birthday parties past, the ones that have long been stuffed at the back of your wardrobe and haven't seen the light of day for years? Well they're finally going to come in handy again! From Freshers events to weekly themed nights at the Student Union, you will find yourself in fancy dress more times in your first term at uni than all of your childhood years combined. So make sure to rummage through your wardrobe and storage boxes and compile all the fancy dress clothes you can find, and take them to uni with you so you're a step ahead of the game! If you don't own any fancy dress costumes, online stores like Amazon have large selections of them, and often for a low price!

What's one thing you're going to be sure to take with you to uni this September/October?

Amani x

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored, but all views are my own

17 Aug 2015

Recently Bought Favourites

I've recently come to the conclusion that my buying habits aren't consistent enough for a standard 'monthly favourites' series, as I sometimes buy more stuff in a single week than would sensibly fit into a monthly favourites post - and on the flip side, I can also go a whole month without buying anything to treat myself with (ahem, when my student loan runs out). So I figured that a more casual, semi-regular post series like this would be an easy way to showcase my recent buys and favourites.

These are some things I've bought recently that I've been enjoying enough to write about!

Bicycles Lever Arch File - Sainsbury's, £2 
I had been eyeing this ridiculously pretty bicycle/butterfly/floral-printed, glitter-textured file at Sainsbury's for some time now, though sadly couldn't think of anything I needed it for, and so had no excuse to buy it. But alas, last week I finally found (or maybe invented) a use for it, and I now own it!

Bourjois Little Round Pot Intense Eyeshadow, 10 - Boots, £6.99
I'd been looking to update my black eyeshadow for a while. And so I recently found myself typing 'best black eyeshadow' into Google search. The results were almost unanimous, so I swiftly opened up another tab and immediately purchased the Bourjois Little Round Pot Intense Eyeshadow in shade 10. And it is definitely living up to its title. It's the blackest of black eyeshadows with a great finish, catering perfectly to my black eye make-up needs.


NXY Angel Veil: Skin Protecting Primer - Amazon, £15.10
This is actually the first primer purchase I've ever made, so I don't have much to compare it to. But I can say that my make-up looks great over it and stays on forever; where as I used to be someone who was constantly reapplying my make up through out the day, awkwardly trying to balance a mirror compact and various make up items. So yes, definitely appreciating this product!

Paris Exercise Book - Paperchase, £3 
How I acquired this lovely Paperchase notebook is actually a bit of a complicated story. I originally bought it for someone but ended up being unable to give it to them, so had to keep it for myself. And well, I'm not complaining! I love it, from it's Parisian scrapbook-esque cover, to the adorable prints on the corners of each of the inside pages. This is a very welcome addition to my stationary collection!

The Sight of the Stars Makes Me Dream (Geometric Stars Remix) iPhone 5 Case - Redbubble, £20.84
I recently discovered the site Redbubble, which hosts many beautiful phone cases. So much so that it took me days to actually narrow down the list of cases I wanted to only one. I finally settled on this design and knew I had made the right decision as soon as it arrived in the post. It's beautiful!

Let me know what your favourite recent purchases are in the comments!

Amani x

7 Aug 2015

11 Things You Didn't Know About Me (Tag)

Thank you so much to Kimberly from The Colour Chronicles who kindly tagged me to answer these great questions!

Rules of the tag:

- Answer 11 questions from the blogger who tagged you.
- Create 11 new questions. 
- Tag up to 10 other bloggers to answer your questions.

Here are Kimberly's questions, along with my answers:

1: If you could only use one item of makeup for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
I really want to say eyeliner, because I always like to wear a lot of eyeliner. I'm also known not to leave the house without a dark red/plum lipstick. But I feel that said eyeliner or lipstick will look pretty bad without an even skin tone! So I'm going to have to go with my L.A Girl Pro Concealer. The dark circles just have to go!

2: Do you have any tattoos? 
No, I don't have any. Though I have had a long battle with myself regarding if I should get one or not. Years ago I believe I even had a Pinterest board dedicated to tattoo ideas. But honestly, I feel that I'm too fickle to get a tattoo, as I imagine I'll decide I don't like the tattoo anymore soon after getting it. The fact that I'm not sure itself probably means I shouldn't get one!

3: What was the first film you ever watched?
I had no clue so I asked my mum. She thinks it was Dumbo. I do remember watching it a lot as I child, but I can't remember any of it now!

4: What was your favourite subject at school? 
I think this changed a lot depending on how old I was/what school I was at. Though I remember generally getting very exciting when we would have ICT, as it just involved messing around online for a whole period. It was especially great in the days before I had internet at home!

5: Do you like video games? 
I do, but I don't really play them anymore (unless on my phone). It's something I really want to get more into in the future though, when I have more time. I generally like old school N64 type games!

6: What is your favourite type of exercise? 
I like to do Yoga, as it's something that's really easy to do at home and it has many benefits. At the gym I really enjoy the treadmill (and I generally like walking).

7: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
If I could go anywhere I would go to Nashville, Tennessee. I've been there before and it's the best place I've been, and I'm desperate to go again! If we're talking places I haven't already been, then I'd love to see Amsterdam and explore the West Coast of America. 

8: Have you ever dyed your hair? 
Yes! My hair has been various shades of red. It's current orangey-red and I dye it with Henna.

9: Would you rather have bright pink eyebrows or bright blue leg hair (that you couldn’t get rid of) for the rest of your life? 
I would have to go with the pink eyebrows! Just because people dying their eyebrows bright colours is a thing now, and people would assume I'm just one of those people. Dying leg hair on the other hand is not a thing (yet), and I actually really like showing my legs and I feel I'd have a huge complex if I had blue leg hair, and would probably never leave the house!

10: Who are some of your favourite bloggers? 
This is so hard as I follow sooo many bloggers, all of whom I really enjoy. Though I really like Sprinkle of Glitter, who was the main inspiration for my own blog. And It's Le Cafe Noir is a great new blog!

11: What is your favourite bath product?
I'm going to have to be really boring and say that I rarely take baths, so I don't really have one! I've never even been inside Lush (I should probably just go ahead and nominate myself for the 'Worst Blogger of the Year' award right now). Does anyone have any recommendations for me?

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and learnt a bit more about me through these questions!

I now tag It's Le Cafe NoirDay Patience and Mummy's Monkey to answer these following questions which I've put together (I also tag anyone who's reading!)

My questions for you:

1. What's the thing in your life so far that you're most proud of doing?
2. What made you decide to make a blog?
3. If you had to swap lives with any character in a film/book/program who would it be?
4. What's your favourite dessert?
5. If you were stuck being the same age for the rest of your life which age would you choose?
6. Would you rather spend the day exploring a forest, a beach or a city?
7. Which websites do you spend most of your time on?
8. What are some features that your dream home would have?
9, Someone gives you £100 to spend on yourself, what do you buy?
10. How would you describe your style? Do you have one?
11. Who was your biggest celebrity crush whilst growing up?

Amani x

4 Aug 2015

The Best Anxiety Analogies on The Internet

For a while now there have been an abundance of benign and even 'cute' analogies for mental illness being spread around the internet; whether in the form of a written metaphor comparing a mental illness to an inoffensive animal or object, or a cutesy illustrated comic or photoset. And this trend is one that I've been both unimpressed and frustrated with. Mental illnesses, due to their nature, are already an extremely difficult thing for a person who's never suffered from one to even comprehend (this is generally the case even for those who are suffering with one). And such benign comparisons are only going to make it even harder for non-suffers and skeptics to then understand how truly horrific experiencing a mental illness can be, and will ultimately contribute to a lack of empathy towards sufferers. Essentially, it's a step forward in the wrong direction.

But with that being said, there have been a couple of instances recently when I've come across analogies (generally via Tumblr) which I've felt have managed to hit the nail right on the head, and that I could actually relate to in a big way as someone who has experience with mental illness. So below are two of my favourite Anxiety analogies that I've found online.

Note: Anxiety is an extremely broad term and can manifest itself in many different ways, these analogies happen to best represent the type of Anxiety I'm personally most accustom to.

See this link if you would like to find out about online therapy: BetterHelp

Analogy one

This gives a perfect example of that intense yet brief rush of fear and adrenaline one can experience in a moment of perceived danger. But for many with anxiety that 'my heart just stopped' feeling is something constant. When I saw this specific analogy posted on a Facebook page the first response to it was someone arguing that the feeling when you nearly fall off your chair is actually 'exhilarating'. Wrong. It only feels exhilarating once you've reached the safe landing and realise that you're okay. And that's a relief people with on going Anxiety disorders rarely get. Just try and imagine what it would be like to have that burst of intense fear stretch across a whole day, not dissipating even as you're socialising with friends, attending a class or lying in bed trying to sleep.

Analogy two

(For any non-gamer people (like me); this quote refers to the music that plays near the end of a level in a video game when the boss, whom you need to defeat in order to continue with the game, is about to appear.)

An onset of Anxiety means your body has mistakenly set off its Fight or Flight response. Your mind and body are telling you you're in danger, making you feel how you would do if you were in danger. Ergo, hearing that metaphoric foreboding music warning you of an impending threat to you and your life, despite you not being able to ever actually see the threat. And this of course is because no threat actually exists. But try telling yourself that when your mind and body are bent on disagreeing with you. These are the constant struggles of someone with an Anxiety Disorder, as this metaphor creatively illustrates.

Do you have any mental heath metaphors or quotes that you find valuable? 

Note: Credit for the analgies go to myawfulpersonality.tumblr.com and reversingyourpolarity.tumblr.com  

Amani x
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