Pieces of a person: Taking care of your whole self

I can readily admit that I wasn’t always my own Number 1 priority; I would often place my needs second, third – OK, totally last – compared to the needs of others, because it brought me joy to think I was helping someone or made them happy. Cue friends, boyfriends and a string of other people taking the rip out of me and almost destroying my faith in humanity, convincing me that I’d never be good enough. Over the last two years, however, I’ve realised how important it is to be able to take care of yourself and that I can in fact rely 100% on me.

One of the main things I do for myself is wear makeup and style my hair. I might not be a brilliant makeup artist or hair stylist, but a good or bad makeup/ hair day can enhance or ruin a day. Whilst I might not buy loads of designer branded clothing, I am partial to buying branded and premium makeup and skin products. I am forever seeking ways to help combat my adult acne without resorting to medical intervention – not that I’m against it by any means; I merely can’t be bothered with the inevitable hormonal fallout it will cause. A few friends recommended Garnier’s Micellar Water as an alternative to face wipes for removing make up. I previously used Clinique and The Body Shop’s liquid make up removers, so I willingly gave it a try. It is brilliant: My skin has definitely been clearer after using it and my eyes never sting (Unless I accidentally wipe mascara into them like a clumsy toddler). I would put a photo up but sadly Mother Nature has struck again and my skin is comparable to that of a 14 year old boy’s. Still, I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to switch up their makeup removal game.

Looking after Number 1!

Another two products I have been using for years are Benefit’s Boi-ing industrial strength concealer and Big Easy liquid-to-powder foundation. The concealer literally changed my life; it matches my skin tone very well (i.e. practically see-through with a hint of blue) and goes with various foundations and can be used with a clean fingertip, brush or blending sponge. The foundation is also excellent, as it goes on as a matte liquid, but once applied dries to look like there’s a thin layer of setting powder over it. One thing I will say, though, is that your skin is quite dry and/or you have a lot of spots, the dry skin can show up as a bit flaky sometimes, so make sure you moisturise well before use. These are my day-to-day favourites at the minute and are great for brightening up my face in the middle of a 12 hour shift.

In the interest of bettering myself, I asked for a Kindle/ various books for Christmas and began reading again. I was an avid reader as a child and there are few things that bring me as much joy as spending an afternoon reading a book with some music on and tea to hand. Whilst reading is bringing me a lot of happiness on its own, I decided to invest in a self-help book and to reread a feminist favourite of mine. I have long been an admirer of Caitlin Moran and urge every twentieth century woman to read her book How to be a Woman. It is an inspiration and every time I read it I feel ultimately more sure of myself, my wants, needs and, ultimately, how to fulfil myself; it is truly an empowering read. The other book I’m reading is David R. Hamilton PhD’s I ❤ Me: The science of self-love. I am not as far through this book as I’d have liked but it explores how we feel about our own desires and personal needs, how to love oneself and feel safe and secure about ourselves, as opposed to constantly striving to be someone else.

Self-love – not to be confused with narcissism – is more important than ever. I am allowed to be me and am not responsible for how others perceive me or feel about me: that is their call. I have spent the majority of my life trying to please other people, whether it was pretending to be someone I’m not in order to make “friends” or studying a course I despised in order to please my parents. More than ever, I feel affirmed and content when I say “Yes” or “No” to people; I must do what’s right for me and their reactions are not my responsibility. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for being you.

If this post doesn’t inspire you to treat yo’ self, then I recommend listening to Beyoncé’s Lemonade. ♥



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