The Dating Scene – go love yourself!

It occurred to me a few weeks ago that I would like to do a sub-blog on this blog, about dating, the dating scene, and different experiences I’ve had and tips that I’ve learned over the years. I’m no stranger to dating and while I’m in a steady relationship now (which I will more than likely NOT be writing about as my other half is very private and I have to respect that) I can still remember all too clearly the dates, both good and bad, that I’ve had over the years!

And so we have : The Dating Scene. So pull up a chair and get comfy.

So, this first post is more of a guide than anything else, and it really is so important. Love yourself.

Yeah, you heard me. Love yourself. I am a firm believer that you need to be  happy with yourself and BY yourself before you can ever be happy with anyone else. I’ve given this advice to so many friends over the years. If you can’t be happy single, then odds are, you wont be happy in a relationship.

Now I know you’re probably thinking, ‘hold on, who said anything about a relationship? I’m only dating!’ but the possibility is always there that things will develop. And even if they don’t, you still need to be in a good place with yourself before you start dating anyone. There are a lot of creeps out there who would only love to take advantage of someone who has low confidence in themselves, or who clearly doesn’t think very much of themselves.

I’ve had so many friends over the years say to me ‘oh I know I’d be happy if I was in a relationship, if I had someone’ and I’ve had to tell them to backtrack, and stop. Nobody else can be responsible for your happiness. They can certainly add to it, and that’s great, but that’s way too much pressure to put on someone.

So, again I say, before you start dating – LOVE yourself. Know what you’re willing to accept from someone. I went on a date once with a guy who had hounded me for months to go out with him. I finally relented because I figured there was no harm in seeing how the date went. Well, I should have gone with my initial reaction, because he showed up 20 minutes late with no text, I was left standing in the cold because we foolishly hadn’t arranged to meet in a bar, we were going to pick one when we met up…so after he showed up almost a half hour late, when we went into the bar, he spent the whole time watching a football match that was on the tv behind me. He’d ask me a question only to blank the answer because he was too engrossed in the television, and then ask me again only to do the same thing. I remember sitting there wondering what I was doing there, my time was worth way more than this, so I cut the date short. To be honest, he wasn’t that heartbroken either, he put me in a taxi with a halfhearted kiss on the cheek and we never spoke again.

But, because I had the self worth to know that I was better than that, that I deserved to be treated better than that, I refused to stand for that from anyone else. I loved myself enough not to lower my standards.

Which is what I mean by love yourself. I don’t mean be stuck up or think you’re a princess and you deserve to have the red carpet rolled out on a first date, but love yourself enough to know that you deserve someone who will treat you right, that will show you respect, and attention, and love yourself enough to know that if you DONT get that kind of respect, then you don’t have to put up with it and you can move on.

I know this was a bit of a serious post and there will be more light-hearted ones in the future but I felt this was an important one to begin with.

 

 

 

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To condition, or not to condition…

That IS the question!

I am one of the poor unfortunates who suffers with oily roots and dry tips. Years of bleaching my hair has left it brittle, dry and broken at the ends, with frizzy split ends, while the new hair that grows is oily, and gets greasy easily, and quickly. No amount of special shampoos seems to help, the only thing that makes it any better is getting the ends cut, but I only get my hair cut every 6 months or so.

So many people have said that conditioner is the saviour, and of course I believed it. So I used it by the bucketload (only in the tips) to no avail. My hair was still dry, still nearly impossible to brush, especially after showering and it was still looking greasy and flat the day after washing.

Recently I was told that actually, the conditioner was making my hair worse. I didn’t believe it, I’d been brainwashed by the pro-conditioners. But I decided to try leaving out the conditioner and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done!

I’ve been going conditioner-less for the past two weeks and my hair is so much better. It’s not dry in the slightest, it’s actually easier to brush, and now instead of having to wash my hair every day, I only have to wash it every third day. Now, it does look greasy on the third day but nothing a bit of dry shampoo and a ponytail can’t fix. It feels healthier, it’s not flat, and because I don’t have to wash it as much, I have the added bonus of not having to put as many chemicals into it and subject it to extreme heat when blowdrying.

I’m considering trying a sulphate free shampoo too, which basically just means the harsh detergents that are included in most shampoos are left out, which can help your hair be healthier, makes your colour last longer (my hair isn’t dyed anymore but it doesn’t strip your hair which has to be good!) and just gives a really good clean.

So if you’re suffering with oily, greasy hair that you have to wash too often, then it might be worth a try leaving the conditioner out and see if it makes a difference to you too!

Renting in Dublin..

Ok, so this is a world away from my usual type of blog post but that’s ok, this is a lifestyle blog too and this falls under that category. And this is something that I need to rant about, I need to vent, and I want to talk about it.

Renting.

More specifically, being a girl who’s trying to rent a somewhat decent place in Dublin City Centre on a retail worker’s wage.

I’m finding it so frustrating lately, and more than a little bit stressful. I moved out when I was 23 and I’ve moved twice since that, and I’ll be moving again in a little over a month. When I initially moved out, there were gorgeous places to rent at what I thought was a high price, but looking back on it now, they were for nothing. Proper apartments for about 800e, on the quays, a decent size, nice rooms. I didn’t rent any of them because I wasn’t sure at that time what I could afford, I’d never had to pay all of my bills by myself and I didn’t want to leave myself completely broke..(I was always completely broke anyway but that was more to do with a lack of budgeting skill than anything else)

Then, when I decided I wanted somewhere bigger, I moved again. Prices had definitely gone up, but I was still able to find a decent sized apartment right beside work and local to my family, with its own washing machine and bathroom and free parking – for 800e. I definitely found that a struggle…bigger apartment equals bigger bills and heating it was nearly impossible – I made the mistake of moving in the spring when the place was warm without heating, bright without lighting and it had a rose-tinted glasses effect to it. A few months later and with the winter weather came the damp, windows that rained on the inside, air so cold you could see your breathe and towards the end of my second year there (with an increase of 40e a month) a mouse that managed to crawl through the vent in the bedroom (that turned out to be a whole in the wall with a vent barely attached to it)

I put all that down to experience though…everyone has their horror stories of when they first move out, right? So I put it behind me and decided to try house sharing – I would rent a room and it would cost me less, I wouldn’t be afraid at night because I was by myself, and it would be a good change. And mostly I was right. It was definitely something that took some getting used to – living by yourself for 4 years does not prepare you for having to be considerate of housemates.

Now I have to move again because my current lease is not being renewed, and I am terrified. Rents are so crazily expensive now and I am disgusted and furious at what some landlords think are acceptable living conditions for people. Some people are charging over 300e for a BED in a room. Not a ROOM, a BED. And the worst thing is, they can do this because they know people are getting so desperate for a roof, that they can afford, that they will accept this.

If you DONT want to share a room with a stranger, you’re looking at an absolute MINIMUM of 500e for a single room in a house. That’s a boxroom. And at that, they’re not even particularly pleasant rooms. I’m not trying to be a fussy snob but if I’m paying that for a boxroom, at least try to make it visually appealing.

I’m so angry at the government for allowing this to happen…can you really blame the landlords? If they’re allowed to get away with overcharging for sub-par accommodation, then why wouldn’t they? The cost of living isn’t going down for anybody. But the government really should have stepped in when they seen it going this way…it’s no coincidence that we’re seeing the highest rates of homelessness at the same time as the rent prices are at an all time high. There is no point in the fools in the Dail standing around scratching their heads and making false claims about providing beds and houses when the root of the problem is glaring them in the face. Force the rent prices down and more people will be able to afford to live in these places, and not on the streets. A cap restricting increases is not much use when the rents are already as high as they are.

So, back to my own situation – I am 28 years old, I’m having to house-share because despite earning more money now than I was when I first moved out, I now cannot afford my own place, and to be honest, if things keep going the way they are, I’ll  barely be able to afford a share. Moving back home is not an option I would really consider – I like my independence and damn it, I’m an adult, I deserve my independence!

Moving further away would be cheaper in regards rent but I can’t afford to rent AND drive, so I’m reliant on public transport (at the moment I’m walking distance to work) which is unreliable at best and really isn’t that affordable – it’s at least 30e a week on bus fares right now, but at the rate that dublin bus fares increase, who knows what that figure could jump to? Not to mention the famous disappearing buses that are the scourge of many public transport users, bus strikes etc etc

I’m really just so frustrated…this is a situation that is just getting worse and despite a solution being obvious (to me anyway, maybe I’m just being a bit simplistic) nothing is being done to help. I feel, as a young citizen of this country, that my country doesn’t care about me. I’m not looking for handouts, I’m not looking for anyone else to pay my way, I work for what I have, all I want is a chance to have a little bit of independence, a decent place that I can actually afford, and not to worry that I’m going to be searching for a new home at the end of every lease.

I want to feel like I have a home, not just a lease. Is that really so much to ask for?

Essence Lash Princess Mascara

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So before I start talking about this product, let me just say that this is not a new product, it has been available for a good while now, I’ve just decided to post about it now because I recently re-purchased it and I LOVE it. I mean, seriously head over heels heart the bejaysis out of it.

There is nothing I don’t like about this product…I think the packaging is cute, the price is minimal (I can’t remember how much exactly but I think you’d have change from a fiver) and it just works really really well.

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The wand is slightly curved, and the bristles are long which gives a really nice length to your lashes, and the product itself is thick enough to hold your lashes but not so thick that it leaves them looking spidery and clumped.

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(Excuse the dodgy eyebrows, they’re a work in progress) As you can see from this, my lashes looks longer, not clumped, not spidery but also not fake. Years of pulling out fake eyelashes (I know, I know, I broke the cardinal rule) has left me with stumpy, pathetic excuses for lashes so anything that manages to give me some length is a miracle worker. This is with only one coat on the upper and lower lashes so you can build on volume if you wish!

I just really love this product, I think it’s a great mascara to have in your make-up bag, and I will definitely be purchasing it again when it runs out.

Prae Silicon Blender

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Silicon beauty blenders have exploded (figuratively, not literally) over the past few months…so many brands, from top end to budget have released them, and people are going crazy for them.

Well…not this gal! I decided to buy into the craze just to see what all the fuss was about…and I’m glad I didn’t pay much to do so! I purchased the Prae beauty blender from TRND beauty (this review is not against either of them btw, I’ve purchased other things from TRND and loved them and I haven’t tried any of Prae’s other products so it’s not a reflection of them as a brand) and I was optimistic…it looked good, I liked the packaging and I like a gimmick as much as the next person.

The first time I used it was a disaster!!! I didn’t use a primer, which I really think makes a difference, and my foundation just sat on my face. The blender did nothing except move the product around my face, it didn’t actually blend it into my skin. I ended up using a brush and buffing the product into my face.

I’ve used it a few times since and though I will admit it’s better when you use a primer, it’s still not good. Yes, you do use less product but only because it never actually absorbs into your skin, it just sits on the surface and looks cakey and thick, no matter how much you try to blend it. Every time I use it, I end up having to finish my face with a brush just so it looks like I didn’t let my two year old brother at me with my foundation and a trowel!

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It’s hard to see in the above picture (my lighting is terrible) but the foundation applied on my arm with the blender is patchier, darker, and too thick – and believe me when I say I tried to blend it!! The foundation applied with the brush is much more natural and even. It used more product by far, but to be honest, I’d rather deal with that than have to try and fix the mess made by the blender.

Plus, the blender is just messy. Obviously it doesn’t absorb any product but that product then just sits on the blender..it is easier to clean than brushes and sponges but it looks nasty and it ends up getting all over your hands which is a pain in a rush. Small price to pay if it actually worked well when applying foundation but in this case it’s just another mark against it.

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All in all, it’s a big thumbs down from me for silicon blenders. Regardless of brand, I just think the concept is bad. I won’t be using it again and I’d strongly recommend anyone who hasn’t used one, or is thinking about getting one to spend their money on a decent brush instead.