OH HELLO, IT'S HANNAH

UK Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Body Confidence & Learning To Love Myself

Body confidence is something I've struggled with on and off throughout my life, in both my childhood and teenage years. It's something a lot of people struggle with, both men and women, and it's not something to be ashamed of at all. Everyone has those little things that they don't like about themselves, and that's okay, it's completely natural. I don't really know where I'm going with this post, I just want to sit here and write. It's something that I've wanted to write about for a while, and I hope my story and my thoughts/feelings surrounding the topic are interesting to read or perhaps even helpful if you can relate to anything I discuss.

When I was about the age of nine, I put on weight. It sounds strange, but this wasn't to do with eating an unhealthy diet or anything, suddenly I just started to appear bigger. It was just really the 'puppy fat' stage that some children go through. Plus, I am very short now at only 5ft, thus was an even shorter child at probably just above 4ft, which therefore made me look even more dumpy. It was something that I was a little aware of at the time, but being a child this wasn't really my biggest worry. I didn't really get bullied, however I remember a time in year seven when I kind of fancied a boy in my class and then was told that he didn't fancy me back (middle school romance struggles). As the news spread to my classmates, I overheard one of his friends call me 'fat'. Year seven was the time when I started to become self-conscious about the way I looked, so that comment hurt me a lot. I used to stand in the mirror and ask my Mum when my belly would 'go away'. 

At the end of year eight, so when I was nearly thirteen, the puppy fat seemed to fall off almost all at once. I had a growth spurt, and it was as if my height and weight had evened out - think of it as a squashed Coke can, shorter and wider, stretched up again to become taller (only a little) and thinner. No crazy healthy eating and exercise plan, just bam and it fell off, haha. My Mum said it was hard at the time to notice that I did look different in terms of my weight, however when we look back on old photos, we realise how much of a difference in my weight there really was. So many people noticed - my school friends, family and my dance friends. I would get compliments about how good I looked and as a newly turned teenager this made me feel so good about myself. 

My weight has been a bit up and down ever since. Nothing as physically noticeable as the puppy fat stage. It was more of a case of looking back on old photos and noticing that I looked slightly different, and the whole fitting into clothes one year, not fitting into them the next and then fitting into them again the year after kinda thing. My slight weight changes do revolve around eating habits and my anxiety. There have been times in my life when I have been really ill, most recently last year, where my anxiety was so bad that I didn't eat properly and I threw up at almost every social event I went to. It was truly awful. However, it was at this time when I felt like I was happy with my body, which is quite sad when you think about it really. At one point, I did get a bit too thin, and it wasn't healthy, especially when I look back on certain photos. Now I'm so much happier, I've controlled the sickness and I just generally feel so much better in myself. I can't thank Aaron enough for how much he supports me, and he makes me realise that I can do what I want to do and that my anxiety doesn't define me. 

Since I've been a lot better, I've been eating properly, and occasionally eating maybe a bit too much crap here and there. So, I have put on a little bit of weight. I notice it most around my tummy because I don't have much going on in the boob area so I find my tummy is the main focus of my body. I've always felt a little self-conscious about my boobs, but I'm learning to accept and be proud of my small boobs and feel womanly and comfortable in my own skin. At the end of the day, I've got a boyfriend who loves them and the rest of my body, which makes me love myself for who I am too. I've also learnt on my own that even with putting on a bit of weight, that it's just life, and it's going to happen sometimes. I'm not going to stay as little as I once was, but what I tell myself is that I was so so unwell when I looked like that. I can't have everything, and I know I'd much rather put on a few pounds than be in the bad place that I was just last year. I try to wear things that I feel comfortable in and that make me feel sexy and womanly. Curves and lumps and bumps are natural and we all come in different shapes and sizes. 

I'm slowly learning to love myself for who I am and it feels kinda great. I am determined to tone up a bit, but right now I'm pretty happy because my anxiety isn't giving me too much grief. Occasionally yes, I do look back on old photos and wish that I was as toned as I once was, but then I realise that it's just silly, because there was a reason, and not a good one, as to why I was that thin. A happier and healthier state of mind is so much more important than a slight change in the appearance of my body. I've grown as a person so much in the past year and I'm doing things that I never would have done before, one step at a time. My anxiety is a part of who I am, and no matter how annoying and upsetting it can be at times, I'm getting there and I'm accepting and loving myself for who I am. And same goes with my body. It gets me down sometimes, but it's mine, and learning to love it is something I am working on for sure.

I hope this was interesting to read, despite it being a bit rambly and long, so if you're still with me then I really appreciate it. Let me know what you think and if you like, feel free to share something about your journey through body confidence and learning to love yourself.
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Thursday, 12 May 2016

My First Year at University Experience

My first year at university experience has been somewhat different to the norm. I chose to live at home for uni, so I didn't go through the whole process of moving away from home and adapting to living in a completely unknown town with lots of unknown faces. As I have suffered from anxiety since I was of a pretty young age, especially throughout my teenage years, I knew from the beginning that going to a university away from home was completely out of the question. There was no point in me even trying, which I know sounds like I gave up at the first hurdle, but I know my anxiety and my personality better than anyone, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to cope. I suffer from pretty extreme homesickness and I'm such a home girl, so I decided to attend my local university instead. I fell in love with my hometown uni anyway and the course there was perfect for me, so everything just fell into place.

There are both pros and cons to living at home for uni. You get to finish the day and know you're going back to the comfort of your own home, it's a heck of a lot cheaper, you still get your meals cooked for you (which I am very grateful for) and so on. However, there's part of me that still feels like I'm not quite doing the uni experience how its traditionally supposed to be done. I'm not living with a bunch of people my age and partying day in day out until almost sunrise. I'm not the typical party girl anyway, so this doesn't bother me as much as it might bother others, but sometimes I just wish I had more opportunities to join in and be part of that lifestyle. Of course, I do get invited out sometimes, but I'm just slightly out of the loop, and plus it's so much harder for me to get home as everyone else goes back to halls, leaving me stranded on my own. First year has the reputation of being all about partying and letting go, but I haven't felt like I've done that yet. It's kind of sad really, but I'm getting by. I'm hoping in second year there will be more chances for me to join in since everyone will be living in their own houses, which will have more space than halls, and I can stay round my friends' houses instead of having to find my own way home. Some of you may or may not be thinking why not just get a taxi, but getting a taxi in the dark on my own at 3am isn't particularly something I'm that comfortable doing.

Reading that back makes me look like I've got barely any friends and kind of like I'm having a shitty experience, but trust me, I've loved my first year at university and it's been great to experience something so new and exciting. And it's great actually being treated like an adult for the first time in my life. I think I've definitely come out of my shell a lot more since I started uni - a fresh start always does the trick. I've met an amazing group of girls in my seminar group and we are all really close. One of them, Amy, is pictured next to me in the photo on my phone above, which was taken at pre-drinks on Halloween (hence why we are covered in fake blood and why I am wearing creepy doll makeup). She quickly became one of my best friends; we have so much in common and we have such a laugh together, and we always help each other get by when we have the stress of finishing all of our assignments. 

In terms of the work, there have been ups and downs - it always seems that I have a break from assignments and then suddenly they all come at once! But my grades have been really good and I'm averaging a 2:1 in the majority of my units. I've received four 1st's since January which I am so proud of! My course is mainly coursework based, so I didn't have any January exams and I only have the one exam in June, which makes me so happy! I'm definitely a coursework girl, I just hate revising so much and exams can make my anxiety really bad. My least fave thing about coursework though - referencing, it's just such a pain. If you're a uni student I'm sure you can relate to how tedious it is.

As you also might know Aaron and I have been in a long distance relationship for the entirety of our first year's at university, and I think we have done so so well. He finishes for summer next week so I'm ridiculously excited for him to be home for four whole months. We're now stronger than ever and I think we're getting pretty good at the whole distance thing. I'm so happy. 

If you're still reading, then well done you. I hope this post was interesting for you to read and was helpful for anyone starting uni in September, I honestly can't believe my last week of lectures is next week and then once my exam is done, first year will be officially over! Apologies if my posts aren't as regular this month (again), but if I'm not posting, it means I'm probably revising!

What was your first year at university like? Are you starting university in September?
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Monday, 9 May 2016

April Favourites

Now I have to admit, putting together favourites posts is something I have been finding quite hard. I find myself loving a lot of the same products every month, so don't really see the point in posting pretty much the same content each month. That's why this months favourites is looking a little sparse, but I just thought I'd share a few new things that I have been loving - so I hope you enjoy! Also, it's a late one, I do apologise! I was going to post this on Friday but I didn't get round to it as Aaron came to visit this weekend, so here it is today for you. 

Firstly, I have been loving the Simple Kind To Skin Moisturising Facial Wash. This stuff is so so lovely, and really lives up to its name, as it really is so moisturising. I use it in the mornings before applying my makeup, and I find it gives me such a smooth clean base to get started on, as well as in the evenings to make my face feel squeaky clean. It's been especially good throughout April as I've had (and still have) a cold that I can't seem to shift, so my skin has been feeling really dry, especially around my nose, so this has been my saviour to put some hydration back into my skin!

A new purchase, and a new firm favourite, of mine is MAC Patisserie Lipstick. I've been looking for a shade like this for a while. It's a gorgeous pink (with a touch of peach) nude shade. It's a lustre finish, so has a hint of shimmer in it and feels moisturising on the lips and isn't too opaque, so it's absolutely perfect for this time of year. It's so easy to whack on and you barely even need a mirror with this one. What more could you want?

I've also been loving my Real Techniques Contour Brush this month. I have loved this ever since I got it, but this month I've just been really getting into contouring and I've been trying to improve my skills, and this brush is perfect to do just that. It fits into the hollows of the cheekbones perfectly and blends out products amazingly.

And finally, as I mentioned in my The Barely There Spring Makeup Look post, I have been absolutely loving the No7 Triple Protection Tinted Moisturiser. It blends amazingly on the skin and really gives me a fresh healthy glow, which of course is perfect for spring and summer. I'm 100% going to be wearing this to death in the next few months. If you're looking for a lightweight glowy base, then definitely give this a go.

What products did you love throughout April? 
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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The Summer Holiday Playsuit*

As you might already have seen, I have collaborated with Boutique of Molly before, and now I am working with them for a second time, which I'm so happy about! This time round, I am reviewing and showing you this absolutely gorgeous playsuit. 

The Paisley Print High Neck Playsuit, which can be found here, in my opinion screams holiday season. The beautiful prints and colours immediately stood out to me on the website, and I knew I just had to have it. I love the combination of the different prints, it really livens up the piece and it just looks so so gorgeous. Plus, I have a thing for sticking to black and white clothing a lot of the time, so adding a pop of colour into my wardrobe for summer excites me.

The material of this playsuit is super comfy. It's floaty and thin to keep you cool in the sun, but not thin enough to see underwear through it, which is always a huge bonus! In terms of the design, I absolutely adore the high neck, it's so flattering. I also really like the effect of the lace up back (which you can't see in my photo unfortunately but you can in the photo on the BOM website). The only downside to the lace up back is that it makes getting the playsuit on and off slightly difficult, especially if you need to pop to the loo, or if you're putting it back on after a day at beach. But apart from that, I really adore this piece and it's definitely coming on holiday with me this year!

You can, and definitely should, take a look at the Boutique of Molly website here. What do you think of this playsuit? Have you done any holiday shopping yet?

This item was sent to me to review, however all opinions remain my own. See my disclaimer for more information.
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Monday, 2 May 2016

OPI Nail Lacquer Picks for Spring*

I just can't get enough of talking about spring here on my blog, so I thought I'd tell you about these gorgeous pastel OPI nail lacquers/polishes that I was lucky enough to be sent from Just My Look, which of course, are perfect for spring. I had never heard of Just My Look before I was contacted, however I am so glad I know about them now! They sell products from lead beauty brands at affordable prices, sounds pretty good right? I feel extremely privileged to have been sent some gorgeous OPI nail polishes from them, which I got to choose myself, making sure to keep in with the theme of spring so I could get lots of wear out them this season! 

I chose five shades (from L to R in the top photo & from my thumb to my baby finger in the bottom photo) which are Gelato On My Mind, a gorgeous pastel mint, Suzi Shops & Island Hops, a pretty light pink, You're Such A Budapest, a blue toned purple, Desperately Seeking Sequins,  a silver glitter/confetti polish and Super Cute in Pink, a purple toned pink. 

These polishes are all absolutely beautiful. As a lot of these polishes are very light, they need a couple of coats to get a super opaque finish, but, for me, this is expected with most light nail polishes. I am particularly impressed with and really love Super Cute in Pink. It's a shade that's so different to anything else I own, and it's so so shiny. I can definitely see myself wearing this so much throughout spring and summer this year. All of the polishes apply beautifully too, which is always a bonus, as this means no mess! 

I would highly recommend having a look at Just My Look's nail page, which you can take a look at here, as there are so many good deals and amazing products on offer. And finally, a big thank you again to them for providing me with these stunning polishes!

Which is your favourite out of my spring nail polish picks? What's on your nails this spring?

These items were sent to me to review, however all opinions remain my own. See my disclaimer for more information.
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