Honest reviews, regular hauls and all things beauty.

Friday, 10 April 2020

Mrs Glam Showstopper Palette Review


Mrs Glam Showstopper Palette Review


Have you entered my beauty bundle giveaway here?



I have been a huge fan of Michelle Regazzoli-Stone (a.k.a. MRS Makeup) for a good number of years. I first heard of her when she did Rosanna Davison's wedding makeup (former Miss World) in 2014, which was when she first came to prominence. I remember contacting her and I can't remember if it was on facebook/instagram or an email to ask about a lip combo that she was wearing in a photo and was shocked when she replied because many people don't. What I love about Michelle and what I think made so many other people love her and want to follow her (apart from her obvious talent), is that she has always remained grounded and hardworking. She loves what she does and that comes across in her instastories and videos. She's very talented yet very relatable, talking about the ups and downs of life. Ok, enough gushing but I guess Ii just love very 'real' people! For years, I've wondered why she hadn't released any makeup products but she was just waiting for the perfect time and opportunity and I knew that she wouldn't just churn out a product - like Tati's palette, (which I reviewed here), she wouldn't release something until it was perfect. What is so disappointing is that the launch coincided with Covid 19, which means that her launch party and all of her in store promotions had to be cancelled. Unfortunately, these things happen in life and instead of moping, Michelle got all glammed up and celebrated the launch in her house with her family. Now on to the palette itself - does it live up to the Showstopper name?
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Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Pixi Hydrating Milky Range Review


Pixi Milky Range Review
This set of products was very kindly sent to me,


Have you entered my Ecooking beauty bundle here?

My first experience with the Pixi Hydrating Milky Range was the Hydrating Milky Mist, which I repurchased several times after it was first released around 4 years ago. I loved how it hydrated my skin and left it feeling very comfortable and plump, so when I received this extremely cute PR set, which includes six products, I was so excited to try the rest of the range! Now that I've had the products for six weeks, I'm ready to share my thoughts. By the way, this range is vegan.
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Monday, 6 April 2020

Tati Beauty Textured Neutrals Volume 1 Palette - worth the hype?


Tati Beauty Textured Neutrals Volume 1 Palette - worth the hype?, Tati Beauty Textured Neutrals Volume 1 Palette Review & Swatches


Have you entered my Ecooking beauty bundle here?


I have been a massive fan of Tati for years! From her early Glam Life Guru days when she only had around 100k followers to now when she has almost 10 million followers! I love her honesty in her reviews, her generosity, her talent and how she mixes both budget and high end brands. When she first released her Textured Neutrals Vol 1 palette, I didn't order immediately, for a few reasons - mainly because I had promised myself I wouldn't go palette crazy in 2019 and had recently just bought Natasha Denona Metropolis Palette (review here), which was a major splurge, plus I thought that I had pretty much every shadow I could want covered. But it haunted me! I read only very positive reviews and my friend, Dagmara, actually hit pan on one of her shadows as she basically used the palette daily since buying it. I knew then that it was only a matter of time before I'd buy it and I eventually did in February and I'm ready to share my thoughts with you today.
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Saturday, 4 April 2020

Why self care is so important during the lockdown/self isolation and the products I'm using to pamper myself!


Self care during the lockdown, What to do after lash extension removal, How to make hair grow faster, how to get baby soft feet


Have you entered my Ecooking beauty bundle here?


Life is quite hard at the moment for so many people. Lives have definitely changed, even if only temporarily and I personally always find that when things seem out of your control (apart from staying home - do it!), it's important to do things that make you feel happy, make you feel like you have some control and also that taking a little bit of time for yourself is so important. For me, self care is taking care of my skin, some days it's applying makeup and my favourite clothes, even if I'm not leaving the house - who cares as long as I feel better. Makeup will be for another day's post but today I'm focusing on skin and body care. I have a mixture of luxury and budget brands that I use - to be honest, the price of a product doesn't matter, as long as it makes you feel happy and better. If a product has been gifted to me, it will be marked with a * but this post is not sponsored! I think it's important to do something every day to make you happy, (where possible of course) - even if it's just reading a few pages of a book, a spritz of perfume, a glass of wine - you get the drill. I'm going to start sharing my daily 'happy things' on my Instastories and would love if you would too and tag me (@beautylymin) and use the hashtag #BLhappytime. I'd love to see what's making you happy - no matter what it is!
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Thursday, 2 April 2020

Omorovicza The Cure - new skin in 9 days?


Omorovicza The Cure - new skin in 9 days?, Omorovicza The Cure Review
This is an unpaid ad. The product was kindly gifted to me without any obligation to post.


Have you entered my Ecooking beauty bundle here?


Regular readers will know that if I had to choose just one skincare brand to be my ultimate favourite, it would be Omorovicza. I have written so many posts on the brand (here) because it just suits my skin perfectly and long before I ever received PR from them, I was purchasing their products and continue to do so. What I always say about the products is that they are very gentle, yet very effective so even those with sensitive skin (like me), can enjoy using active products. What I also love about the brand is that they don't just keep churning out products - I find that a lot of brands do that and as a result, nothing feels special anymore and I get brand fatigue. Because of this, when Omorovicza have a new release, I am genuinely excited and I have to say that when I started to read about The Cure, I was instantly intrigued. Could I really transform my skin in 9 days? Well there was no better time to try it than when in isolation, feeling really ill and on heavy meds - those circumstances would certainly put it to the test! It claims to restore luminosity and vitality to tired, stressed and dull skin....
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Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Are Scott Barnes brushes worth the money/hype?


Are Scott Barnes brushes worth the money/hype?


Have you entered my Ecooking beauty bundle here?

I love that so many brands that used to only be available in the U.S. are now easily accessible to those of us on this side of the Atlantic now. One that I was really happy to see reach our shores, was Scott Barnes as I've lusted after his brushes for quite a while now. In case you weren't aware, his products are now available from Look Fantastic and Feel Unique. The palettes are expensive and I really don't need any new palettes so I stuck to just buying some brushes but are they worth the hype/price?
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Sunday, 29 March 2020

Giveaway & Review: Ecooking Spring Releases Review - vegan and sustainable beauty


Ecooking Spring Releases
All of these products were kindly gifted to me.


Have you entered my beauty bundle giveaway here?


Regular readers will know that over the last 18 months or so, I've grown to love Danish brand, Ecooking (review here). I was kindly gifted some of their new Spring releases and a top up of two of my favourite products from the brand. The timing couldn't have been better because the parcel arrived at the start of my isolation period, when I was feeling rotten and I don't know about you, but a good pamper always makes me feel better! If you don't know much about the brand, it started in the kitchen of the owner and the products are sustainable, vegan and organic. Keep reading to the end to find out how to win a bundle of these products for yourself!
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Friday, 27 March 2020

Tati Blendiful - worth the hype?


Tati Blendiful - worth the hype?, Tati Blendiful Review


Have you entered my beauty bundle giveaway here?


At the time of writing this post, the Blendiful from Tati Beauty is marked as being sold out on the website but it's actually just due to the Coronavirus situation and the safety of her staff in the warehouse and it will be back in stock as soon as things get back to normal (the sooner, the better!). At least with my review going live now, it might help you decide whether you want to buy before it comes back into stock.
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Wednesday, 25 March 2020

10 tips on staying sane while on lockdown from someone who was housebound for years!


Tips on staying sane while on lockdown from someone who was housebound for years!


Have you entered my beauty bundle giveaway here?

If you read any of my Lyme Disease posts (here), you will know that lockdown is pretty much nothing new to me! I had spells of being bedridden over the almost 20 years that I've been ill and months and months of being housebound. I'm still sane, still happy and still positive so I am hoping that I can give you some tips that will see you through the next few weeks/months (we just don't know yet how long this will go on for!).
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Monday, 23 March 2020

Jo Malone Lavender & Musk Pillow Mist - is it really that special?


Jo Malone Lavender & Musk Pillow Mist Review


Have you entered my beauty bundle giveaway here?

As regular readers will know, I am a massive Jo Malone fan and I am also a big lavender fan as it brings so many happy memories of my Granda's garden as a child. He used to give me some sprigs to put under my pillow to help me sleep or to put into my handbag to make it smell nice. I then planted a lavender bush on his grave so our connection with the plant has continued. That's why this Jo Malone Lavender collection instantly appealed to me. There are three fragrance combinations in the collection, a diffuser and a lavender & musk pillow mist, which I could't resist buying as I'm a sucker for a pillow mist.
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Saturday, 21 March 2020

Review & Swatches: Clarins Lip Comfort Oil Intense


Review & Swatches: Clarins Lip Comfort Oil Intense
These lip oils were kindly sent to me.


Have you entered my beauty bundle giveaway here?

In 2015, Clarins launched their Lip Comfort Oils and since then have added seasonal shades but their latest release of Lip Comfort Oil Intense* has really excited me because while I love the original version due to how nourishing they are, they only add a hint of colour. These new lip oils are pigmented as well as having the nourishing properties of the original oils.
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Friday, 20 March 2020

A word about blogging and Covid19....




I just wanted to write a quick post about blogging about beauty while the Coronavirus is affecting the health of so many people around the world. I would hate for any of you to think that I am not taking the virus seriously as the reality couldn't be more different. If any of you read my recent series of posts on Lyme Disease, you will know that I am immunocompromised and in the at risk group. I have also been particularly ill for the last month, so believe me when I tell you that this virus is at the forefront of my mind but I cannot let it consume me and I urge you not to let it take over your life either.
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Thursday, 19 March 2020

Alpha-H Micro Cleanse Super Scrub Review


Alpha-H Micro Cleanse Super Scrub Review
This was kindly gifted to me.


Have you entered my beauty bundle giveaway here?

The more I use from Alpha-H, the more I love the brand. It started with Liquid Gold and continued from there. Whilst Liquid Gold is a liquid exfoliant, they also have a physical/chemical exfoliating product -   Micro Cleanse Super Scrub*, which is described as being similar to microdermabrasion, something I've always wanted to try. 
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Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Happy St Patrick's Day! Irish brands that you need to know about.....


Irish brands that you need to know about, Andrew Fitzsimons Hair Care, Crystals & Co, Irish brands, Sculpted by Aimee Connolly, SOSU by SJ, Spotlight


Have you entered my beauty bundle giveaway here?

Happy St Patrick's Day! You can call it Paddy's Day but whatever you do, don't call it St. Patty's Day - nobody in Ireland would accept that! Given the day that it is, I wanted to talk to you about five Irish brands that you need to know about (if you don't already!). Over the past few years, there have been so many new Irish brands emerging and although I haven't tried all of them (it would be impossible), I want to share five that have really impressed me and that those from other countries should get to know and try, if possible!
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Monday, 16 March 2020

Beauty Bundle Giveaway!


Win a beauty bundle March 2020, Beauty giveaway


If you're a regular blog reader, you will know that I like to host giveaways to say thank you for your support and today I'm back with another. Those who follow and promptly unfollow after a giveaway ends are now being blocked because I have no time for that nonsense. If you don't read my blog then, quite frankly, you don't deserve to win the prize!
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Saturday, 14 March 2020

Mother's Day Gift Guide


Gift Guide, Mother's Day, Mother's Day Gift Guide,
If anything was gifted to me, it will be marked with a *


Mother's Day in the UK & Ireland is on the 22nd so there isn't a lot of time left to choose a gift for your mother/step mother/mother in law or maybe somebody who has been like a mother to you. Of course, if you are lucky enough to be a mother yourself, you might be hoping for a treat from your children or your other half so if you spot something in this gift guide, leave the laptop open to drop a hint! Of course, it isn't always about material things and it shouldn't just happen on just one day of the year but I personally love to spoil my mother on Mother's Day! When we were kids, the night before Mother's Day, my Dad would take my four siblings & I into a room with a card each to write for our Mam and a gift. Then the following morning, we would pick some flowers from the garden and make breakfast in bed and rush to my parents' room to give my mother her cards, flowers, gifts and breakfast. She still says that it meant the world to her and she misses those days. We might not do breakfast in bed these days but the day is always still special. I have plenty of gift ideas to share with you today and there should be something to suit all budgets so I hope I can provide some inspiration for you. I was kindly sent some of these products, all of which are marked with a * This post is not sponsored.
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Thursday, 12 March 2020

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer - worth the hype?


Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer - worth the hype?
I bought this myself - only in my dreams would I receive PR from the Queen of makeup!


I am a massive fan of the Pat McGrath foundation (review here) and her makeup in general (reviews here), so it was only natural that I would want to try her new concealer.  It's a concealer system, comprised of a liquid concealer, setting powder and a brush. I didn't feel the need to buy the whole system as I rarely set my under eye concealer and I have a few brushes that I like to use so the whole system would be wasted on me (plus it's expensive!). I bought this in the pre-sale so I was able to avail of a 10% discount - this is why it's worth signing up to newsletters! So is it worth the price and hype?
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Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Mad Hippie skincare review


Mad Hippie skincare review
These products were kindly gifted to me.


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?

Before Christmas, I was kindly gifted some products from natural skincare brand, Mad Hippie, which is stocked by Vitame.ie. (Use code NEWBIE10 to get 10% off your first order - non affiliated code). This is a company that is both passionate about its ingredients but also about the planet, which is something I think we are all more drawn to and aware of these days. I've been giving the products a good trial and am ready to share my thoughts with you today.
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Friday, 6 March 2020

Dr Jart overview & giveaway


Dr Jart overview & giveaway,
This is an unpaid ad as these products were kindly gifted to me.


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?


Dr Jart is a brand that was on my radar for a few years but, for some reason, hadn't tried until early this year after being kindly gifted some products before Christmas by both Cult Beauty and Look Fantastic. I was sent two of some of the products so I decided to do a giveaway of a set of minis - keep reading until the end on details of how to enter!
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Thursday, 5 March 2020

Crown Brushes - quality at affordable prices



Crown Brushes Review,
This brushes were kindly sent to me without any obligation to post.


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?

Crown recently got in touch with me to see if Id like to try some of their products. I must admit that it's a brand that I have seen over the years on blogs and on Instagram but one that I had never tried for some reason. They have been in business for 35 years so this is not just an Insta-famous brand. I associated the brand with brushes but wasn't aware that they sold makeup, lashes and professional cases/chairs etc. If you are an aspiring makeup artist, I'd recommend checking out their site as the prices are very reasonable. I'm no MUA but I was delighted to be sent a dozen brushes to try and I'm ready to share my thoughts with you.
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Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Brand Focus: L'Occitane


Brand Focus L'Occitane, The best of L'Occitane
This is not a sponsored post, however these products were kindly sent to me. I have repurchased several of them myself, many times.


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?


I used to do Brand Focus posts monthly and they were some of my most popular posts so I've decided to bring them back! When I was thinking about which brand to start with, the one that immediately jumped into my mind was L'Occitane, which I rave about regularly and was first introduced to by my mother around 15/16 years ago, if not more. L'Occitane is one of my favourite brands, not just because of the quality of the products but also because of their commitment to the future of the planet (they recently announced their creation of a fund that will support the eco systems that were severely affected by the natural disasters in the Amazon and Australia) and the fact that they support charities yearly. I think that most people associate the brand with their bath and body products, but there is so much more to it than that and I want to share some of my favourite products with you today and shine a light on the many fabulous products they have.
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Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Five products that I'm currently loving....


Five current loves, Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect, Beauty Bakerie Lollipop Liner, Shiseido Synchro Skin Self Refreshing Foundation, Marc Jacobs See-Quins Star Dust Glam Glitter Eyeshadow, Essie Lovie Dovie Nail Polish


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?


I go through phases of using the same products on repeat and then switching it up regularly. Today I'm sharing five products that I am reaching for pretty much every time I do my makeup! Spot any faves?
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Monday, 2 March 2020

My ultimate pamper evening routine...


My ultimate pamper evening routine, Overose candles, Omorovicza Ultramoor Mud Mask, Coco & Eve Hair Masque, Therapie, Molton Brown Jasmine & Rose,
If anything was gifted to me, it will be marked with a * and there is no obligation for me to post.


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?


There is nothing I love more than a good pamper - it's good for the soul! It's also a form of therapy for me - if you read any of my recent posts on my health (here), you will know that I suffer in a lot of ways and I find that taking some time to focus on myself helps me in lots of ways. Obviously, physically I feel better after a pamper but it's good for my spirit too as when I look better, I feel better! I obviously don't do my 'ultimate' pamper every week but when I have the time opportunity and energy, here's what I do.....
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Friday, 28 February 2020

3 treats for 3 budgets.....


3 treats for 3 budgets, L'Oreal Smartbond Review, Alpha-H Limited Edition Balancing Cleanser Rose Review, Omorovicza Bagatelle De Gabrielle Review
Anything marked with a * has been gifted without any obligation.


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?

It's payday time again and maybe time for a little treat? I must admit that I've treated myself more in the past week or two than I have in a while because I've been quite ill and that means a lot of time in bed with the laptop, which inevitably leads to a few purchases! I don't have a set budget on what I spend on beauty each month - there are some that I don't buy anything and others that I have a little splurge, although it is far less frequent these days. These posts show that you don't need to spend a lot in order to treat yourself so let's get into it...
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Thursday, 27 February 2020

Mugler Angel Eau Croisière 2020 review


Mugler Angel Eau Croisiére 2020 review
This was kindly sent to me without any obligation to post.


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?

Last summer, I was addicted to Angel Eau Croisière (review here) - I wore it all summer long! This year, I was delighted to find that they have released a new version, with the same name but this year, it's in homage to Brazil, from the beaches of Copacobana to the Sugarloaf mountain. It's different enough from the original to justify owning both, but like last year's, it screams summer! It is a limited edition, available from March 1st ( this Sunday) so set your alarms! 
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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Makeup By Mario X Sephora Eye Brush Set Review


Makeup By Mario X Sephora Eye Brush Set Review


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?


During one of my regular Sephora browses, I spotted that Kim K-W's makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic had collaborated with them to create an eye makeup set. I thought for $49, it was pretty good value for five brushes and a wallet to house them (although I honestly doubt I'll use that!). The price and the fact that it was limited edition, prompted me to buy it. I've been using the brushes for a few weeks and wanted to share my thoughts with you....
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Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Shine Bright Like A Diamond! Bali Body Highlighter Sticks Review & Swatches


Bali Body Highlighter Sticks Review & Swatches
These were kindly sent to me*


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?

After six days of Lyme Disease posts, we're finally back to beauty! Thank you to all of you who read them, I really appreciate it.


I think it's pretty well established on the blog that I'm a true highlighter addict! and I have a particular soft spot for liquid highlighters as they work really well with my dry skin, so when I saw that Bali Body had released new highlighter sticks* as part of their vegan and cruelty free collection, I couldn't wait to try them! There are three shades available and I was kindly sent all three and want to share my thoughts with you today, including swatches.
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Monday, 24 February 2020

I want to talk about Lyme Disease: How you can still live a positive life with an invisible/chronic/long term illness


yme Disease: How you can still live a positive life with an invisible/chronic/long term illness


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional however these posts are based on my personal experience/knowledge as I have had to become my own medical advocate as it is so, so difficult to get help for this illness. 


For those of you who usually come here for beauty posts, you'll be happy to hear that this is the last in the Lyme series and then I'll be back to beauty, although I can't promise that they're won't be posts in the future! In the final of this current series, I want to talk about how life doesn't have to be all doom and gloom if you have a chronic illness. It is possible to live a positive life, even if if isn't what you had envisioned for yourself. 
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Sunday, 23 February 2020

I want to talk about Lyme Disease: How to help those with an invisible or long-term illness


I want to talk about Lyme Disease: How to help those with an invisible or long-term illness


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional however these posts are based on my personal experience/knowledge as I have had to become my own medical advocate as it is so, so difficult to get help for this illness. 


As awful as it is to suffer from a long-term or invisible illness, I often think it must be worse to see the person you love suffer (I know that I am glad that it's me rather than my husband). I'm sure most people would say that they would swap places in a heartbeat when they see someone close to them suffering at all, but this isn't possible so let's be practical about what you can do to help that person and also what not to do.
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Saturday, 22 February 2020

I want to talk about Lyme Disease: My Stem Cell Transplant experience


 Lyme Disease: My Stem Cell experience


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional however these posts are based on my personal experience/knowledge as I have had to become my own medical advocate as it is so, so difficult to get help for this illness. 


With every treatment protocol that I have tried, I have always held the belief that 'this is it, this is the one that is going to work and I'll get my life back' but never more so than when I tried stem cell treatment.....
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Friday, 21 February 2020

I want to talk about Lyme Disease: Alternative Treatments


Lyme Disease: Alternative Treatments


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional however these posts are based on my personal experience/knowledge as I have had to become my own medical advocate as it is so, so difficult to get help for this illness. 


I'll be honest, before becoming ill, I was quite sceptical about alternative medicine but it was a visit to a clinic in Cologne that changed my mind, or at least, expanded it. The clinic combined Western medicine with alternative medicine as it saw results from both. If you are dismissive of alternative treatments, I would urge you to open your mind and do some research as there are some quacks out there trying to make a quick buck. That being said, when you have been ill for as long as I have, you will most probably be willing to try almost anything in the hope of getting better. Just be careful where you choose to spend your money. I'm going to list the treatments I have tried - some I will share my experience on but others I won't or this would be a book rather than a blog post! If there is something that I haven't expanded on that you would like to hear more about, just let me know.
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Thursday, 20 February 2020

I want to talk about Lyme Disease: Conventional Treatment


How to treat Lyme Disease
Classic Bulls Eye Rash


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?


Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional however these posts are based on my personal experience/knowledge as I have had to become my own medical advocate as it is so, so difficult to get help for this illness. 


If you see the classic bulls eye rash or see a tick burrowed into your body, believe it or not, you're lucky because a doctor will have to treat you as there is no denying the presence of either (although some ignorant doctors might try to dismiss the rash as ringworm!). You will be prescribed antibiotics - probably doxycycline, and you must insist that you get at least a 4 week prescription at a minimum as this is the life cycle of a spirochete. 

Doxycycline will generally make you feel a lot worse as the die off causes a Herxheimer reaction. It is very important to listen to your body - rest, if you feel up to a short walk do it but don't push your body, eat as cleanly as possible and drink plenty of water. The first time I took doxycycline for a few weeks, I honestly felt so much worse that I was tempted to stop it as the treatment was worse than the illness but I persevered.

If your Lyme is not caught early then 4 weeks of doxy will not cut it. At this stage, there is the option of IV antibiotics (although very difficult to get in Ireland or the U.K. unless you are paying privately). I travelled to the private clinic in Germany where I was originally diagnosed for IV Ceftriaxione and I also had IV vitamin infusions and my gallbladder was flushed and regularly monitored as it can cause sludge or stones but, fortunately, that didn't happen for me. Unfortunately, however, I developed an allergic reaction to the drugs on day 10 and had to switch to oral medication and come home. 

Some Consultants prescribe long-term antibiotics - I have been on 3/4 at a time for periods of 6/8 and 22 months. These are not without their side effects and, again, sometimes leave you wondering if the cure is worse than the illness. It's important to stay as positive and focused as possible when going through hell and feeling worse than ever. In my case, none were successful in terms of blood test results or in how I felt.

Like I said in an earlier post, each case is individual. What works for one will not necessarily work for another. I know of some people who have recovered after using antibiotics long term so please do not let this post put you off if you are about to start, or mid-way through your treatment. This is just my story. 

I was prescribed Beta Blockers for six months - not for Lyme but for hemiplegic migraines, which I developed as a result of having Lyme. They made me feel quite irritable and dizzy initially but my body got used to them and they definitely helped because I had previously been having the migraines a number of times weekly whereas now, it's just a few times a year.

Finally, there is LDN - low dose naltrexone, which is not specifically known to treat Lyme, however it does help with pain and the treatment of autoimmune diseases. It's also used to treat alcohol/opiate addictions but don't let that scare you. Again, I will repeat that I am not a doctor, but my understanding of the use of LDN is that it increases endorphin release, which modulates an immune response. In terms of reducing pain, it acts as an anti-inflammatory. Generally, you start on a very low dose, which is gradually increased. It took months to get the dose right for me but when we did, the difference in my pain was like night and day - I used to have bone pain, nerve pain, just pain in general, all over and was never comfortable, whether sitting, standing, lying - I was just in a case of constant pain so LDN was life-changing for me. The only real side effect that I experienced from it was sleep disturbance so although the advice was to take it between 9pm and 1am, I started to take it in the mornings instead, which helped. LDN is an inexpensive drug, which is worth asking your doctor about if you suffer from chronic pain.

Thanks for reading! 

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All products are bought by me, unless otherwise stated. Anything marked with a * has been gifted without any obligation. I don't do sponsored posts. Opinion is always my own. Affiliate links may be used.
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Wednesday, 19 February 2020

I want to talk about Lyme Disease: Cause and Symptoms


A classic bulls eye rash, which signifies Lyme Disease. Mine was on my bum so I don't have a photo to show you!


Have you entered my Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona palettes giveaway here?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional however these posts are based on my personal experience/knowledge as I have had to become my own medical advocate as it is so, so difficult to get help for this illness. 

As some of you know, I started this blog as a distraction from my illness but I've reached a point where I want to talk about it. I've started to received message and emails (not in a typical 'sooooo many of you have been asking') enquiring as to how I cope with it, what I've tried etc. I also want to raise some awareness as it is a very debilitating, yet invisible, illness. Prepare yourself for around five days of posts on Lyme Disease and invisible illness, in general, and then we'll get back to beauty but if you normally come here for beauty reviews, I would still really appreciate it if you read, possibly learn and even share these posts, as they are very important to me. Also, there are plenty of people out there suffering a range of symptoms but not knowing the actual cause and it may just be Lyme Disease.

Many people with Lyme Disease don't actually remember being bitten and don't actually develop the classic bulls eye rash - I did, but I didn't realise its significance! In hindsight, on that holiday there were so many alarm bells (even apart from the rash) - I was so fatigued that I just wanted to sleep all of the time and kept saying '5 more minutes' in the mornings and would fall back into a deep sleep, whereas I am normally a morning person who likes to get up and make the most of the day. At one point, we thought my drink had been spiked because I was so drowsy and had practically no control over what I was saying and doing - everything was hazy and this was just my second drink. I can remember excusing my exhaustion - there was always reasons to explain tiredness (too many late nights, working overtime, not eating healthily enough, not getting enough exercise) but none that would adequately explain why I suddenly felt like I had been hit by a bus. Fatigue are tiredness are two entirely different things. In any case, I just 'got on with it' - this was always my attitude to any adversity - just get on with it. It was only six months later when I finally, completely collapsed that I realised that I could no longer just 'get on with it'.

So, what are the symptoms of Lyme? Well, actually I was diagnosed with M.E. for 5 years before receiving a correct diagnosis of Lyme. For me, I always felt that the diagnosis of M.E. was just an umbrella term for a number of issues and I was determined to get to the root cause of what had caused it. I couldn't accept that I went from a person living a full life (working, socialising, giving private tuition, seeing family etc etc) to one who couldn't leave the house on her own and basically lived between the bed and the couch. Symptoms will vary from person to person but for me, my main ones were (and mainly, still are):

Fatigue - I am talking exhaustion to the point where you feel like you could vomit. Planning your week around the day you wash your hair (and that's on a good week) to having to be bathed and spoon fed at times. Having to ask your husband to turn you over in the bed because you physically can't do it (and then having to ask him to fix your wedgie as a result of being turned because you can't do that either - at least it will raise a laugh and a sense of humour is so, so important when you're very ill).

Very low immune function - if you sneeze near me, chances are I will get pneumonia and I'm not even joking! When I first became ill, I was with my GP on a weekly basis with sinusitis, tonsillitis, gastric bugs, an enlarged spleen, chest infections...... the list goes on. I just couldn't catch a break and, to be honest, to a large extent, still can't. 

Fainting - I fainted pretty much daily and sometimes, several times daily.

Huge sleep problems - I could sleep for 12/14 hours straight and still wake feeling like I hadn't slept at all. It would vary from this too insomnia or broken sleep but the one thing for sure is that I never felt refreshed after sleep, no matter how long it lasted.

Pain - muscle, joint and bone pain. 

Confusion - I couldn't concentrate on anything and words would appear jumbled when trying to read. 

Enlarged lymph nodes - I feel like I haven't seen my neck since 2000! But the lymph nodes in my arm pits and groin go through phases of pain and enlargement too.

Allergies - suddenly I became allergic or sensitive to so many ingredients/products and even light, at times.

Digestive issues - this could get very TMI so I won't go there at the moment but, thankfully, this is one issue that has vastly improved.

These are just some of the symptoms but they are the main ones that I experience and still do. Fatigue has ALWAYS been top of that list and it affects everything.

When you first become ill, it can be quite scary, confusing and lonely - especially when nobody has any real answers or solutions. You're trying to figure out if you let your body down or if your body let you down - maybe it's both, maybe it's neither. Added to this, the fact that some people don't 'get' it or understand it, because they don't see a broken leg/arm, it can be very isolating. My advice is to eliminate those people - you have enough to deal with as it is without having to justify how you're feeling.

The cause of all of these symptoms? An insect bite! It used to be thought that only ticks could cause Lyme but there are other hosts too. In basic terms, a tick will attach itself to your skin, suck in your blood, infect it with Lyme and the regurgitate it back into your system. At this stage, it is free to run riot within your system and the spirochetes multiply every 4 weeks. In my case, it was 5 years before I was diagnosed with Lyme so you can imagine the damage that was done. I had seen so many 'ologists' here but it was only when I went to Germany that Lyme was ever mentioned to me and all of the dots were connected. I was given a diagnosis of Chronic Lyme and finally rejoiced as I knew I had found the root cause of my issues - little did I know my battle was only beginning....

Lyme Disease is more commonly heard of nowadays, thanks to celebs who have been affected talking about it but also, there are a lot more campaigns to raise awareness. When I was diagnosed, I was part of an online M.E. forum and was the first to share my story and others then went on to be tested and find that they too were suffering from it. All had previously been diagnosed with M.E., which is a diagnosis of exclusion (as in, we can't find anything specific wrong with you so we'll label you with M.E.). The problem with Lyme Disease testing in the U.K and Ireland is that it is very easy to get a false negative as the tests are outdated and not very sensitive so if you have all of the symptoms above (and possibly more), if you have a good GP or Consultant, they may diagnose you on a clinical basis, if not, you will need to send your blood abroad to be tested, but it isn't cheap. The sooner you are diagnosed, the better the chance of recovery.

If you have made it this far, than you for reading. This really isn't a 'woe is me' post, it's simply my story that I want to share, Tomorrow I will start to talk about treatment...


Edited to add: Ticks don't just transmit Lyme, I also have Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlicia, Anaplasma, Rickettsia, Chlamydia Pneumoniae, Mycoplasma, Cocksackievirus, HHV6 & 8 and CMV. Those as well as iron-deficiency anaemia, pernicious anaemia (due to lack of intrinsic factor in the lining os my stomach, I am unable to absorb B12 via my food) and have suffered mini-strokes and ovarian cysts - all due to those bites so PLEASE, PLEASE be very careful and aware if you or anyone you know is bitten as one little bite can change your life entirely.

Thanks for reading! 

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