Tuesday, 28 February 2017

My Acne Journey

Hormones, one thing that everyone has to put up with. Whether it's bad periods, mood swings, bad breakouts, they are awful.

I always had dry, sensitive skin with bad Eczema, my skin would literally flake off and crave moisture. I was in school and having the driest skin which made me feel uncomfortable. It was prom and my mum had bought me my first foundation, way too light, and just absorbed into my skin straight away so I looked a cakey, flaky mess. 

And then I had recently turned 18, I was a bit late to the party where periods were involved and had not long started the process of being a 'woman'. My periods had got so bad sometimes, I decided to go to the doctors. One of my friends had an implant herself and told me how it would really help with my period pains etc. So I tried it as she was getting on so well with it. Three months in, I was a mess, my excessively dry skin had calmed but what was this? Oil?! I started to get lumps under my skin, my hormones raging, shouting at people. crying in hysterics over nothing, and the worst, acne. Sore spots, redness, still a bit of dryness, but more oil. I had just turned eighteen, I wanted to go out partying and not look hideous. People around me used to say I wasn't clean because I had spots but I was washing my face so why was I getting spots? 

I eventually had the implant taken out, and even though I was an emotional person, the mood swings and crying stopped slightly. But every time I looked in the mirror I was ashamed. 

These were the days I was studying makeup at college and then went onto beauty therapy. Having facials seemed to help but the spots were everywhere. In 2015, I got a job in a skin clinic. I learnt so many things about the skin, about different products and their ingredients and really became to love skincare and enjoyed trying to help others around me with their skin and teaching them everything I was learning. I spent most of my wages on products hoping, praying I would get clear skin. I made myself a strict routine, and most importantly taking my makeup off properly. 

I still wasn't happy with my skin, so decided to have some skin treatments at the clinic. I had a few different chemical peels and a treatment called Derma Pen, this was to battle with the scarring after I got rid of most of the spots.  

OK, so the acne had gone, or was on it's way, Hurray! But then there was the scarring. So hard to cover up, so red and angry looking. It still looked like I was spotty when I wasn't.  I know a lot of people that haven't suffered with acne that hardly wash their face, don't moisterise or even have a skin routine and they weren't spotty. I was upset, self conscious and feeling unconfident. Comparing myself to others was the worst thing I could do, but why wasn't everyone else spotty like me? I had a boyfriend and hated taking my makeup off and showing my bare, face with redness everywhere. I was officially insecure and so unhappy. I didn't want anyone to look at me or notice me, I would pile on makeup which didn't help and I was so nervous and anxious that people would stare at my spots. I felt silly. 

Now, it's February 2017, I have never been happier with my skin. I never thought the day would come that I would walk out the house makeup free, maybe not as confident as I should be as I'm still working on that, but grateful. Looking back on my journey, It was hard, I think a lot harder as I was younger, because teenagers get insecure a lot more than adults. I feel like I have grown a lot, grown up a lot even, but learnt to appreciate and be grateful a lot more. Grateful for the journey I went through as I wouldn't be the person I am today without it. You may think I sound silly as we are only talking about skin, but for most people, it's a massive deal. I spent a lot of money trying to figure out what was good for my skin and what wasn't. What treatments, ingredients, products I could use to help. In my eyes the money was nothing, I could look at myself in the mirror and actually stand there and look at myself and I think that was the most important thing. I go on and on about self worth, self love and self care quite a lot recently, but it really is so important. Feel confident in your own skin/body. Because it'll be the only one you have been given. 

My skin will always be a work in progress, but you have to keep going! 


Monday, 20 February 2017

Money or Happiness?

At my age, people say you should be working harder than ever, saving every penny you earn so you can buy your own place, and exhausting every part of your body just to earn a good living. Don't get me wrong, I would love to own my own house and I hope one day in the future I will be able to do that. And of course I want to earn a good wage so I can enjoy my life and not have to worry about not having enough. But is that enough?

I decided to cut my hours down at work so I would be working four days a week instead of five and now I am constantly being asked if I'll be OK. If I am going to be able to live OK. 'Why do  you need another day off, you already have two days at the weekend?'

Sometimes you have to reflect on your life, think about what makes you happy and what doesn't. What fulfills you and what brings you down. I struggle with anxiety and mental health, like most people. And I find it hard to stop being on the go all the time. My panic/anxiety attacks are a lot less frequent, thank goodness, and that is mainly because I just don't let the things that used to affect me. I don't care so much. The atmospheres around me have had a big impact on this too. When I feel that I am in a negative space, I try to distance myself from it. For work example, of course I have to work, but having one extra day makes me feel motivated, this job isn't going to be forever, I will find a much better career to work in that  will get me 'up the ladder' but for now, I am where I am. I have to wait until the time is right, go with the flow of what the universe wants me to do.If that means having to be in a little negative space, I have to deal with it instead of constantly running away.

And if I want to only work four days a week instead of five, why is that anyone's business but my own? Of course I will be ok, I am doing what makes ME happy.

Yes money is great, especially when you can treat yourself or others. But I would much rather be a bit more grounded, calm and happy than have lots of money in the bank.  Happiness, self love, knowing yourself and your limits. That's important.


Friday, 17 February 2017

Running from Grief

I watch the London Marathon most years, whilst sitting on the sofa, thinking 'I would love to do that one day'. Who knew that this year, 2017, I will actually be taking part and running 26.3 miles!!!

The reason I am running is to raise money for a cancer ward at a local hospital, as sadly my Grandad passed away in April last year with stage four cancer. I didn't want to face reality and actually believe that my father figure had died. He was everything and more of a Grandad should of been. He was a Dad when mine didn't care, he was a friend that always listened, he was my fun, loving Grandad who died of cancer. And I didn't want to think about the death bit. I tried everything in my power to not think about it. Think about something else that was sad like my breakup, or my loss of friends or how I was struggling with money to mask the loss.

Something just popped up into my mind randomly, I will run the London Marathon. I applied for so many charities, being rejected constantly. I emailed the hospital I am now running for and found out they had places. I filled in a form, and that was that. Applied. I had applied in May and hadn't heard anything, so I forgot about it. I got home from China at the beginning of October, and there it was, an email saying I got through!

'Crap', I thought. How am I, me the lazy girl that likes eating lots of cake and pretending to go for a long run  and end up walking most of it whilst moaning meant to run all of that distance? How am I meant to raise all that money? But I have, I have raised nearly all of my target of £1,500, I have tried to go running about 3/4 times a week. I even got a personal trainer to help me get fit and I can still eat cake!

All of this, the preparation for the marathon has helped me not be so sad about the loss of my Grandad. I have hardly cried. I am doing something good, in memory of my Grandad. To be able to help others  so they can get the help and care they need to hopefully kick cancer's ass and be able to live their life, a happy healthy one.

Want to sponsor me? Click here to be taken to donation page.


Monday, 13 February 2017

I travelled to China by myself!

I haven't posted on here for such a long time, it's taking me a while to get back into it and remembering what to do! So as you can see, Candy Camera is no more! I have been wanting to post for such a long time, but lacked motivation and ideas, but here I am, wanting to start a fresh, once again. 

I have been reading a lot about self love, confidence and healing recently as I am fed up of constantly feeling fed up and not have inspiration to do anything!! The last few years have been hard, super hard but it's the way you deal with it all to make you come out the other side smiling. 

Last year I decided to do something so big and scary and it changed my life forever. I travelled to China by myself. I only went for two weeks, and I met a tour of people when I was over there, but the whole going to China scared the life out of me. 

I wouldn't say I came back a different person, but I definitely came back having a bit more awareness of the world, people's different lifestyles and cultures, and to be a lot more grateful for the things happening in my life. 

I learnt so much on my trip to China, I spoke to people who were so inspiring, listened to life stories and was told so much advice on how to live my life with confidence and to fall in love with myself to be a stronger, happier 22 year old girl. 

I don't think I appreciated my trip at the time as much as I should of, I was in a weird place back then, mentally, I had arrived in China but wanted to get home again. Apart from friends and family, there wasn't much to go back for, so why was I wanting to get back and not enjoy this experience?? Now I think about my memories of my trip as such a great experience, a once in a lifetime opportunity and something I will treasure forever.

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