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.


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!


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.


 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

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Finding Yourself When You're Lost

Sometimes you have to get completely lost in order to truly find yourself... 
This is a saying that I have found to be true on more than one occasion and no time more so than the past few weeks... 
I think we all know that I dreaded turning 30... and yea it was funny and I wrote a funny blog post and we all laughed but the truth of the matter is that it scared me... I panicked about my future and about where I was going and what I had achieved so far... and I let fear fool myself into believing that I hadn't got to where I wanted to be. 
I think we all set ourselves a timeline of where we want to be in life and by when... I was no different and its safe to say it veered off to the left a little along the way. 
But you know what? Timelines are bulls**t.... because each and every single person is different and their own unique paths lead them in various directions and thats ok. We are all so quick to criticise ourselves over what we haven't done but we never sit down and think... 
damn girl you actually did good... more than good... you did great!
When I let the irrational fear go and started to realise that I am exactly where I should be and that I have achieved so much of what I wanted to and way more... that is when I started to realise that age is irrelevant and we need to appreciate each day and all of the opportunities that they bring.
I spent so many days talking about how I was dreading turning 30, then it hit me that so many people would love to have the opportunity to see 30... I'm lucky everyday to be alive and healthy and to get up each morning and thats what I decided to focus on. Doors may close and things may end, but new things will always begin no matter what age you are or where you are in life. There are always new avenues waiting to be explored... 
If you get lost a little along the way... then enjoy the new path, stop and take some pictures... climb a tree and check out the view. (Anything to drown out the noise of your boyfriend giving out to you for taking him the wrong way)... ok so thats a little off topic, but when this 'philosophical' post is accompanied by pics of me genuinely getting us lost in a forest then why not?
The metaphor is still the same x 

I was wearing:
Bell Sleeve top & Dungarees from my boutique
Converse All Stars in leather

Location: Lisnagra Woods in Muff 

Nicola x