Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Roaccutane Diary Months 4 & 5


I decided to combine my month 4 & 5 diaries as the experience was very similar in both and I didn't want to be repeating myself.
For any of you that are just tuning into these diaries now, I have been documenting my experience on the medication - Roaccutane which is an acne drug.
I was prescribed 40mg a day for 6 months and decided to share my experience with my followers. The information on the internet would lead you to believe that if you take roaccutane... you die. Well maybe not so dramatic but there are hundreds and hundreds of pages online stating this side effect and that side effect... some were so bad that I put off taking them for over a year after being prescribed but I eventually got to the point where I was so fed up trying every skin treatment under the sun that I gave in. I can honestly say that for me, it was the best decision that I ever made.
As in every diary post, I have to say that I am NOT promoting medication or suggesting that this is right for you, but what I do recommend is speaking with your Doctor to see if it is a possibility.
It doesn't agree with every one and just because my experience has been so good, does not mean that yours will be but all that I can do is tell you about my own personal encounter with the medication and the effects that it had on me.

Months 4 & 5 passed relatively without any drama. Unfortunately the dry skin and lips persevered but I knew that they would... it is one of the most probable side effects and is almost a guarantee with every patient, so if you do start it then stock up on Carmex.
I can still thankfully say that I had no negative effects on my mood. I was worried as they can make you feel down or depressed but thankfully, if anything I was feeling better in myself. Seeing such an improvement in my skin really improved my moods. Whilst you could say that that sounds extremely vain, you really have to experience the insecurity of having bad skin in order to feel the relief when you finally find a cure for it. My confidence has drastically improved and I am so thankful for that.
One side effect that really bugged me, starting around the middle of month 3 was migraines/headaches. At first I  just thought it was normal as I would be quite prone to headaches anyway but as they became more regular I started to realise that it was probably connected to the tablets. I was getting them at least once a week, if not more, which is extremely debilitating but I am hoping that they will go when my 6 month course is up.
Apart from that, I really don't have anything new to report. My skin looks and feels amazing, literally the best that it has ever been. I haven't had one breakout in months and I can truthfully say that taking roaccutane was one of the best decisions that I ever made.
As the end looms, I have to say that I am a little nervous about coming off them incase it returns but most people have told me that you very rarely get a reoccurrence and I am very hopeful that this is correct.
I really wish that I had taken a proper 'before' pic to share with you guys at the end of the journey but I was so insecure in myself that I couldn't even bring myself to take one without filtering it or wearing makeup, but I will most definitely show you the end result in my last diary post so stay tuned and if you want to check out Months 1, 2 & 3 then I will link them below

Month 1 - Click Here
Month 2 - Click Here
Month 3 - Click Here

If you guys have any questions then please contact me on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat and I would be more than happy to help! I hope the diaries have been useful for you guys and maybe help you with making the decision on whether to take roaccutane or not.

Nicola x

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Galgorm Resort & Spa


Recently my boyfriend and I spent two luxurious days at the Galgorm Resort & Spa to celebrate his birthday and it was absolute heaven from start to finish.
We stayed in one of the deluxe suites and whilst that wouldn't be something we would do every time we visit, it was definitely worth it for the few days we were there.
From the moment we opened the door of our room, we were in the lap of luxury with the spacious lounge area, cocktail bar, dining room and balcony and that was before we even got as far as the bedroom and bathroom.
I honestly cannot express how much I love this place and I would definitely recommend that you visit at some stage if you can, even if its just for a spa day with your girlies.

My top recommendations for the trip are:

Dinner in Fratellis
If you are a fan of Italian food you will be in heaven in Fratellis. The risotto is a personal fave but literally everything is to die for. The only downside is that, if you plan to go for a few drinks afterwards then it won't happen because you will be in a food coma! So get ice-cream 'to go' and collapse into bed!

Gin Tasting at the Gin Library 
This was such a lovely treat and a nice way to start your evening. It took place in the gin library and was hosted by their gin consoisseur who prepared three different drinks for us based with Hendricks gin. The first was a gin and elderflower tonic with rose petal and cucumber, the second was gin neat and the third was a gin and elderflower cocktail.

Breakfast in Gillies
We stayed in a deluxe suite which meant we had breakfast in the River Room, which is beautiful but definitely for a more refined palette. If you love nothing more than a good old ulster fry then definitely go to Gillies.

The Signature Massage
Im not really a fan of spa treatments such as facials etc but one thing I am a total sucker for is a back massage. As I am permanently stressed out, I build up a lot of tension in my shoulders so I love nothing more than chilling out with a nice massage. Highly recommend the 55min treatment.

The Thermal Village
The thermal Village is like nothing I have seen before in any other hotel. Set along the banks of the river, there is everything from glass front saunas to outdoor hot tubs and it is a wonderful place to spend your day. It also includes some fab indoor facilities such as a snow room, two large swimming pools, steam rooms etc. It is a little piece of heaven and you will never want to leave.

A Cocktail in the Orangery
Sometimes the facilities in the Thermal Village can become a little crowded so whilst you wait for the hot tub to free up or the sauna to empty, then go into the orangery, order a strawberry daiquiri and chill out in the stunning peaceful surroundings. It is so relaxing on the swing chairs that I even fell asleep.

Afternoon Tea in the Conservatory
The conservatory is one of the most beautiful places in the entire hotel and I highly recommend that you have afternoon tea or at least a coffee in here. With views of the river and its stunning decor, it is the perfect place to just totally chill out and relax.

Private Hot tub on the River
This is a pretty special experience. You can book a private hot tub which comes with a bottle of champagne and some chocolates. They are based right on the river bed and it is so magical to sit and relax for an hour with the sound of the river beside you. It is a little pricey but absolutely worth it for a special treat!
Hopefully those will give you a little insight into the resort but trust me, I could write a book on the place! It is a must see! Make sure you sign up to their website as they regularly post special offers which you can avail of for a fraction of the usual price.
The vlog above shows highlights from our entire trip including some of my outfit details (which you would swear were sponsored by Zara as my whole weekends looks were from there lol) 
I have also posted some of my looks below as so many of you were asking about them - I have searched online to try and find some links to these pieces but they obviously flew out in the sale - keep an eye out if you are in any of the stores though as they may have a few pieces left!
Let me know if you guys have any plans to visit the Galgorm or if you have any questions just message me on:
Facebook - Sequin Cinderella Boutique & Blog 
Instagram - thesequincinderella
Snapchat - sequincinders

and you can check out their website here: 
www.galgorm.com

Nicola x
My favourite look of the trip! Relaxing in my robe!
Dress - Zara, Heels - River Island, Earrings - Sequin Cinderella Boutique, Sunglasses - Moschino
Playsuit - Zara, Heels - River Island
Dress - Zara, Heels - River Island, Sunglasses - Moschino



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Street Style


This weekend look received a lot of questions from you guys on snapchat (sequincinders) and Instagram (thesequincinderella) and I have to say it was the comfiest outfit that I have worn in a long time. I love sports wear on other people but somehow I never feel like I can carry it off, but this dress was just so cool, comfy and still quite dressy so I had to have it! 
I am obsessed with nude colours so I definitely had to get the trainers too when I saw them! There is something about the colour that really lengthens your leg and is quite flattering for any shape. 
I absolutely loved this look and I know you guys did too so I have shared the links below!

Wearing: Adidas Dress from Topshop - buy it here
Adidas Originals from JD Sports - Shop Here 
















Friday, June 16, 2017

bPerfect Cosmetics 10 Second Tan


Last week I was delighted to receive a bottle of the bPerfect Cosmetics 10 second tan as I had heard so much about it and I couldn't wait to try it for myself.
I first heard of the brand when I saw the founder, Brendan on Dragons Den and I was very impressed with his concept. I especially love that it is an Irish brand and I always love to support people who have vision and ambition like Brendan.
The first thing I did when I received the package was smell the tan and I was so pleasantly surprised. It smelled like coconut and almost reminded me of sun cream on holidays which is one of my favourite smells. It was so refreshing to smell a tan that didn't smell like stale biscuits so I was very excited to try it on the skin. After applying the tan and sleeping in it, I did notice a slight "tan" smell in the morning but nothing compared to the usual gross stench of other tans that I have used.
The tan itself goes on like a dream, particularly if you use the specialised bPerfect velvet mitt. The before and after pictures below were taken directly before application and immediately after so the initial colour was already beautiful. The pictures of myself were taken the next day after showering and the colour still looked incredible.
I have quite dry skin at the moment so throughout the day I did notice it gathering a little around the dry areas but that evening I moisturised my skin and it all completely evened out again.
I was going to write my review straight away as I was so in love with the initial application of the tan but I wanted to wait a week and judge the "wear off" before I gave an honest review.
Truthfully I didn't even notice the wear off, I showered as normal and it just gradually faded, I didn't even have to scrub at the end of the week like I usually do and my skin was ready for an entirely new application again.
There are two colours in the tan, Natural Coconut - which is the lighter one and Dark Watermelon which is a darker colour. 
For me, I love the lighter one as you can build colour if you want to be a little darker. I have seen the Dark Watermelon on other people though and its fab too!

If you would like to try the bPerfect t10 second tan for yourself you can purchase directly from their website which is bperfectcosmetics.com or you can find a list of stockists on their to find your nearest one!
I definitely recommend it due to my own personal experience but I would be really interested to hear what you think when you give it a go.
Nicola x


Before             and              After
Before                and                After

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Summer Florals



Last night my family, my boyfriend and I went out for a meal for my Brothers early birthday celebration. As the sun was still peaking through the clouds I wanted to wear something bright and summery. I just loved this look and it was definitely something a little different. 
(All purchased recently)

Details are tagged below

FRILL SLEEVE SHIRT - ZARA
FLOWER PRINT MIDI SKIRT - ZARA
NIDE HEELS - OFFICE SHOES











Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Roaccutane Diary - Month 3




So I have finished month 3 on roaccutane (I'm actually well into month 4 at this stage) and I put it out to you guys on snapchat today to send me any questions that you have or anything that you would like me to explain in more detail.
I also wanted to put together a product list for you as I firmly believe that the ones that I have used have helped make my journey as smooth as it has been.
If you read my month 1 and month 2 diaries (here and here), they will give you a bit more insight into what roaccutane does, why I decided to try it and why it scared the life out of me in the beginning. But since trying it, I can safely say that for me, it has been the best decision ever and my skin is a million times better already!
I have tried to be extremely vigilant with the products that I use because I know that so many people struggled with peeling, flaky and sore skin. That was the one thing that I really wanted to avoid. Even though my skin does feel dry at times, I have still been able to wear my makeup as normal and I even discovered a new lip product which allows me to wear my beloved lipsticks again (which for me was the most annoying part of the first few months) So below I will answer the most common questions that I got asked on snapchat and also detail exactly what products I have been using and what I would recommend.

YOUR QUESTIONS

1. Does it work?
I can only speak for myself on this one but most definitely! My skin is ten thousand times better now than it was before I started and I'm not even finished my course. Most people that I have spoken with have also said that it worked for them and that their acne did not reoccur.

2. I have mild, monthly breakouts, can I get roaccutane?
If your acne is mild and only happens monthly then I would NOT recommend roaccutane. I would only recommend it if you have exhausted every other avenue and nothing has worked or if you have persistent acne all month long.

3. Did you find your mental health was effected?
For me, no. I haven't noticed any change in my moods at all but judging by people that I have spoken with, it is definitely a risk factor and one that you must watch carefully. I think teenagers are more affected than adults, especially young boys, but there is a risk factor for everyone and it is important to be aware of this.

4. How often do you have to see the doctor when you are on roaccutane? 
I had to get a blood test before I started, then another one after a month of taking the tablets to check that my liver function hadn't been affected. I have been back once more since then and probably once at the end although I know that some doctors bring patients back monthly for blood tests whilst on the tablets.

5. What side effects have you experienced?
Truthfully, very few. Obviously the dry lips and dry-ish skin but apart from that, nothing major.
The inside of my nose does become a bit sore and cut from time to time but it heals quite quickly.
My muscles were also very sore and achy but just take it easy with exercise and you should be fine!

SKINCARE



BareMinerals Oil Obsessed Total Cleansing Oil 

I absolutely swear by this cleanser. I used it even before I started roaccutane as I was always prone to quite dry skin so any soap based products really didn't work for me.
It breaks down every part of your make up and doesn't leave your skin oily at all. 
You rub it into your hands and apply all over your face, then you add some warm water to emulsify it, turning it into a milky lather and then rinse.
I usually do this twice to make sure all of my makeup has been removed as I do not use a toner.
I find toners too drying so for me, just cleansing and moisturising has been enough.




Uriage Xemose Lipid Replenishing Anti Irritation Cream

This is the best, most moisturising cream I have ever used and I literally use it all over my body and face every night before bed. It helps with any dry patches or irritation and it definitely doesn't leave you feeling too greasy.
I firmly believe that using this every day since I was prescribed roaccutane definitely kept my skin moisturised and helped me to avoid unsightly or uncomfortable peeling.
It may be a little too strong for my face when I come off the tablets and could result in oiliness but for now it is the perfect night time moisturiser.
I wouldn't recommend using this in the morning before you apply makeup as it would leave it a little shiny.




Carmex Moisturising Lip Balm

I have tried every lip balm on the market, as dry lips are definitely my worst side effect from the tablets. Carmex is most definitely the best but it has to be the one in the little tub like the picture. The stick and the tube are not as good. This one keeps my lips feeling moisturised but does need to be reapplied a million times throughout the day. Unfortunately dry lips are the most probable side effect for everyone on roaccutane so we just have to stick it out but Carmex really does make it easier.






Laroche Posay Toleraine Ultra

This is the face moisturiser that I use each morning before putting on my make up. It gives me just enough moisture without making my skin greasy or my makeup too shiny and it is probably the one that I will continue to use after I come off the tablets. It is so nourishing and gentle on the skin. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, even if you don't have troublesome skin as it has no parabens etc. and is non-allergenic.






MAKE-UP

 MAC Strobe Cream - Peachlite

I use this strobe cream along with the primer below. The combination of the two gives me the perfect base for my makeup, providing a smooth foundation whilst also keeping my skin dewy and moisturised. You can feel this throughout the day and it gives you an almost highlight effect to your makeup which is so in fashion right now!
Definitely one of my fave products.


MAC - Prep and Prime Natural Radiance Base Lumiere   
           
This is the primer that I use along with the strobe cream and they perfectly compliment each other. Its hydrating but also very smoothing, concealing any open pores or uneven skin tones.


Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation (colour 7.5)

I always always used MAC studio fix fluid foundation and whilst I still do mix it with this Illamasqua skin base, I found it was just a little too matte for my skin when it was a bit drier. The skin base is a full coverage foundation which lasts all day but doesn't dry your skin at all. In fact it can be a little shiny from time to time but the dry skin usually counteracts that. I find it is the perfect makeup for my skin at the moment. I use colour 7.5 but I know that most makeup artists mix colours 6 and 12 and it works for most skin tones.


MAC - Prep and Prime Lip Primer

This product was a complete game changer for me. I know it sounds so vain and "first world problem" style but it really annoyed me that I couldn't wear lipsticks with my lips being so dry all of the time. I always wore lipstick every day and it was kind of a signature look but as they just soaked up all of the moisture, I found them too hard to wear. This primer creates the perfect base for any lip product and leaves them hydrated underneath. It is the best purchase that I have made since being on the tablets.

MAC Lustre Lipsticks

I always wore the matte lipsticks from MAC but I have since discovered the lustre and the cremesheen versions which are so much more creamy and soft on your lips.
They don't dry them out and they make it much easier to wear. Especially when using the primer above!


Again, these products are what have worked for me and I cannot guarantee that they will work as well for you but hopefully you may have picked up some tips or product ideas in order to make your journey a little more manageable.
It is easy for me to say that I would recommend roaccutane to everyone because I have had quite a smooth experience but not every one is the same and the best piece of advice that I can give to you is to know your own body. Keep an eye on any changes, mental or physical and if it doesn't work for you then stop it. Clear skin is not worth sacrificing your mental or physical health for.

If you have any more questions at all then don't be afraid to contact me on: 
Snapchat - @sequincinders
Nicola x



Monday, May 8, 2017

Glenveagh National Park


Yesterday my boyfriend and I went on a road trip to Glenveagh National Park in Donegal to make the most of the gorgeous sunshine and my only day off work.
The scenery up there is absolutely breathtaking and is definitely worth seeing, particularly if you are into walking... (I am not so we just kinda wandered around the grounds) but we still got to see so much of the stunning surroundings. 
We got the shuttle bus from the visitor centre down to the castle and the lake but if we had have known, we would have got bicycles instead and cycled down to see more of the lakes etc. 
The shuttle bus is €3 return and we were glad of it as the way back is all uphill.
Whilst there, we enjoyed the quaint little tea rooms, browsed the gift shop and then just strolled about enjoying the glorious sunshine.
It was so nice to experience Glenveagh as I hadn't been there since I was a small child. It is only on sunny days that you realise how beautiful Donegal really is... whereas when its raining we all wish we were elsewhere.

As we had about an hours drive to get there, I wanted to be comfortable so I wore this little leopard jersey sundress from Topshop and a pair of rose gold flat sandals. It is so nice to be back in Summer clothes again... now long may it last.

I was wearing:
Dress from Topshop
Rose Gold Sandals from Office (Find them HERE)
Moschino Sunglasses
Louis Vuitton Neverful Handbag 

Nicola x












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