Hello Procrastination, my old friend. I’ve come to bash you over the head with a stick.

Let’s be honest here. We’ve all done it. “Ooh, I’ll just have one more biscuit and then I’ll do my homework.” “I’ll just watch 9 episodes of Gossip Girl and then I’ll tidy my bedroom”. I said both of those things today. In my head. Obviously.

The basic thing is this: procrastination is fun. That’s why we do it – it gives us something else to think about before the inevitable happens and we’re forced to – shock horror! – do something useful. Here are my tips for beating procrastination.

1) Mix business with pleasure.

My personal favourite – give yourself a little reward when you do something productive. If it’s hoovering your bedroom or writing your dissertation, celebrate! You’re fabulous and productive and amazing, and you deserve to eat a KitKat. I’m particularly enjoying the orange flavour ones at the moment.

2. To Do! (The more sensible “Ta Da!”)

Make a list. Start with the most horrendous thing first. Pop in a couple of fun things along the way – “lip sync to ‘Shake It Off’ in the mirror”; “order a pizza”; “take the most unattractive selfie and send it to your best friend”. Working your way down the list (and ticking everything off with a big fat felt tip pen) feels surprisingly good. You can even set yourself time limits. By 10PM tonight, for example, I aim to have eaten a 12 inch garlic bread with cheese. These things are important to me.

3. Tidy Sock Drawer, Tidy Mind

I actually got this one from one of “The Princess Diaries” books. The weird one where Princess Mia gets depressed and gets carried out to the car in her duvet or something. Didn’t like that one. In the book, Mia tries to avoid having to leave her bedroom by cleaning out her sock drawer and has a bit of a life crisis. I’m not recommending the life crisis part, although it might add a bit of drama.
Working in a tidy environment does wonders for productivity. When my bedroom is tidy and my open window is letting in all the fresh air (and swearing from the couple who live over the road), I feel like I’ve got my life together. This means I can get a start on my To Do list, which currently includes “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, TIDY YOUR BEDROOM”.

Hilariously, I wrote this post as a way of avoiding having to do my university assignments. I’m judging myself a bit now.

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This is a little harder to write than my ordinary posts, but I figured I’d get it out of the way, and embrace honesty. C’mere, honesty, give me a hug.

Okay. I suffer with Anxiety Disorder. This has a couple of forms, most of which, unfortunately, affect me. Probably the most well-known one is General Anxiety – the sufferer feels constantly worried and tense, even if nothing is particularly affecting them or their lives. This takes a massive toll on their mental and physical health, as tension and worry can lead to physical pain. I suffer a lot with stress-triggered anxiety, which gives me quite severe neck and back pain, which usually results in broken sleep.

Another form of anxiety is Social Anxiety, or Social Phobia Anxiety. I get that too, because nature is just so kind. This creates loads of worry and tension specifically about and around other people. Luckily, this part of my anxiety isn’t as strong as it used to be. It prevented me from having friends, because I would just be terrified to even look at another person. As you can probably guess, this made college and school incredibly difficult. I do still have to leave shops, skip uni, cross roads and go out of my way to avoid large crowds of people if I’m having a bad day.

A symptom of anxiety that I experience – and is often worse than the anxiety itself – is a condition called dermotillomania, which also affects people who suffer from OCD. This basically means that I compulsively pick, scratch and squeeze my skin, usually without noticing that I’m doing it, for hours at a time.

Obviously my skin suffers from this: the age-old fable of “don’t squeeze your spots” doesn’t deter me. If I see an imperfection on my skin I go into automatic pilot – I can waste 20 minutes in front of a mirror trying to scratch off my freckles.

The most noticeable (and painful) part of dermotillomania and my anxiety is, for me, what I do to my scalp. Some people suffer from trichotillomania, which means they systematically pull out their hair. I scratch, pick and dig my nails into my scalp. This obviously means that I get a lot of cuts and blood on my head and in my hair, which is painful, and mainly embarrassing. I live with my hair in a bun to hide the scars and scabs on the top of my head. I have to usually wash my hair every day to avoid people thinking I have chronic dandruff or wondering why my hair is stuck together with blood. I know this is pretty weird and graphic, but if anyone has a similar condition to me they’ll know exactly what life is like.

If anybody suffers like me, don’t be frightened to leave me a comment talking about your experiences. The more we talk about it, the easier it gets.

Well, that was a miserable little post, wasn’t it? Don’t worry – I’m managing okay at the moment. Much more frivolous posts to follow this one.

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I recently saw a Tweet that almost made me wet myself with excitement.

It was Cosmopolitan UK, posting a review of… what was that? Poundland’s very own makeup line?!

As you know, I love Poundland. And Pound World. And the 99p Shop (oh yes, that exists). Luckily, there’s a Poundland literally a mile up the road from me, so yesterday I popped in on my way back from uni. I was not disappointed. Here’s a little overview of the stuff I picked up. There will definitely be more posts like this when I pick up the rest of the line!

Nail Polish, Base Coat and Cuticle Oil

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Nail polish in “Blood Red”, “Healthy Nails” base coat, and cuticle oil, all £1

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Nail polish in “Parma Violet” and “Purple Rain”, £1 each. I know they look almost identical on camera, but I just couldn’t choose between them!

I absolutely can’t wait to try out these purples – I’m impressed with how the colours are different to other brands that I’ve tried. “Parma Violet” is more of a ‘bright pastel’, if such a thing can exist, while “Purple Rain” has a gorgeous grey tone to create a really moody colour.

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“Blood Red”, perfect for A/W!

I immediately wanted to try these polishes out, so I went for “Blood Red”. The end result? Less of a “Blood Red” and more of a “Squashed Raspberry”, but still lovely; I only needed two coats and the shine is impressive for a £1 product. The base coat and cuticle oil feel really nourishing. I love doubling up my cuticle oil with a hand cream; it’s totally worth the half-hour you have to sit quietly, not daring to move in case you get big greasy marks all over everything…

Pressed Powder

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“Smoothly Does It” Pressed Powder in Shade 1 Translucent with Vitamin E, £1

Okay – I’m so excited for this product. I find it really hard to match powder to my skin colour – I normally get my foundation looking just right and then ruin it with orange-toned powder. This one is much cooler-toned, and will also be perfect for a Halloween tutorial I have coming up in the next couple of days… Hmm, I wonder which character has perfect pale skin? You’ll find out on Wednesday.
I wish I could have picked up some more, but it looked like everyone had the same idea as me and had stocked up, nearly emptying the shelves. I asked a shop assistant who told me they’d restock on Monday, so I’ll be popping in again then. Stay tuned for my Halloween tutorials (with accompanying video, if my video editing software falls back in love with me again), and some fashion posts coming very, very soon.

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“Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella.”
Chloe Hamilton, The Independent, October 21st 2014

The media student in me came out in full force when I read this article. I initially clicked the link with a vague feeling of outrage – how could anybody say anything mean about the lovely (and incredibly gorgeous) Zoe Sugg? Unfortunately, I feel like the points Hamilton makes in her article (which is still fairly rude and unkind) are fair. Here’s why:

I’ll be brutally honest – I can take or leave Zoella. I maybe watch half of her haul videos, then realise just how much money she’s spent on peter-pan collared dresses, and find something else to do. I envy her looks and her lifestyle – but that’s about it.

I don’t watch her vlogs – her quaint and ‘innocent’ relationship with fellow YouTuber Alfie Deyes does make me want to throw up a bit. People are just too interested – there are entire blogs devoted to the legendary “Zalfie”, and the comment sections of her vlogs are just embarassing (“they NEED to be a couple and my life would be complete”), even though Zoe herself expressed her discomfort at the attention.

However; what fashion and beauty channel on YouTube doesn’t focus on appearance or beauty? It’s a package deal. Zoe’s videos don’t always focus on fashion – she branches out (tentatively) to makeup too. I was a little irritated at the protests – ‘I’m really not very good with makeup’, she says, effortlessly gliding on the perfect winged liner and nude eye.

Zoe’s work with mental health charity “Mind” is to be admired. In fact, the first I saw of Zoella was an “anxiety advice” video – she spoke frankly (maybe a touch patronisingly) about her experiences with her anxiety disorder. As someone who suffers similarly, I found myself feeling comforted. In this area at least, she deserves to be called a role model.

I think Chloe Hamilton’s article will just lead to more popularity for Zoella. She’s likeable, funny and sweet, and I hope she wasn’t upset by the publication. She’s done amazingly for herself – a book deal, beauty line and nearly 6.5 million subscribers on YouTube. She must be doing something right!

Once you get over how perfect she is – her videos are literally like looking at a porcelain doll dressed in Topshop from head to toe – you can waste a couple of hours in her land of make-believe, where clothing companies hurl free clothes at you and Superdrug lets you loose with your own beauty line.
Oh, and she has guinea pigs. So that’s nice.

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I’m unashamed to say that the Pound Shop is one of my favourite places to pick up hair and skin care. This week I found a lovely little selection of stuff to show you. As you can probably tell, everything cost just £1.

GARNIER Oil Control Complete Vanishing Cream 

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The first thing I picked up was this fabulous little tube of vanishing cream. Promising to instantly eradicate shine and mattify the skin, this could have quickly become a wonder product for me. Unfortunately the tube also claims to do all this without any skin tightness. Strangely enough, my skin felt pretty tight after using only a pea-sized amount of this cream.

Luckily I can use the rest of this tube on my chest and back to prevent any breakouts, and a small amount of the cream mixed with an ordinary moisturiser is starting to do my skin some good.

FUDGE Urban Dry Shampoo

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I’m a dry shampoo junkie. I’ve tried everything, from Batiste (which is, in my opinion, completely overrated) to own brands. The best I’ve ever tried comes from Wilkinsons (or “Wilko” as they’re cheerfully calling themselves now), available in four or five different varieties, coming in at £1.

This dry shampoo retails for around £6 (ridiculous). It has a strong smell – something tropical which sticks in the back of your throat a bit, but if you don’t directly breathe it in, it smells quite lovely. I unfortunately breathed immediately and had to have a puff of my asthma inhaler.

CHARLES WORTHINGTON Dry Conditioner

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I was ridiculously excited when I saw this handy little can. I was completely unaware that dry conditioner even existed, and as a die-hard conditioner fan, I had to try this one. Charles Worthington products are, to me, very reminiscent of Aussie products – they contain similar ingredients and have a similar scent.

This dry conditioner is definitely not an everyday spray. It adds shine but also a strange slippery texture – which is luckily invisible – to your hair. I’d use this on freshly-tonged hair that has been frazzled by your curlers.

EYELURE Pre-Glued False Eyelashes

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I’ll be honest here. I’ve never tried using false eyelashes in my life. They frighten me.

I saw these ones from Eyelure and felt slightly more positive – no terrifying glue that could potentially seal my eyes shut, no spider legs, and no sparkles. Eyelure is a respectable brand – these lashes come in at around £5 normally.

So check out your local Pound Shops. You honestly will be surprised at the amount of brand names you can pick up in there. I’ve never bought a Revlon nail polish full-price ever in my life, and yet I have quite the collection, all of which I’ve bought at Pound Land or Poundworld. Yes, they are two different shops. Yes, I love it.

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