Thursday 12 November 2015


I want to share with you something that really helped me when I was restricted to bed: lipstick. Yes, lipstick. I’ve loved make up since I was very young and like most young girls I always wanted to play with it and go through family members make up bags. I started wearing it at about 13 years old. I learnt pretty quickly (although not that well), and was soon a make up devotee; insisting on wearing it to high school every day, despite it not being allowed. It’s essential to me. I’m by no means a pro at applying it, but I don’t need to be. The fact is it makes me happy, it brings me enjoyment and helps give me confidence, which being a very insecure person is extremely important. When I became ill, this was stripped of me along with fashion, and only added to the depression I suffered from. I was lay flat in bed, and despite my best efforts, doing make up was too difficult. Obviously putting make up on probably seems unnecessary seen as though I was in bed constantly. But being such a large part of who I am and something I’m passionate about I wanted to still be able to do it, simply to make me feel normal. But it was too hard. I would struggle through it for special occasions or to cheer me up on particularly down days, but by no means was it something I could do regularly.

Lipstick, on the other hand, was a different story. As a teenager in the mid-2000s I was in a monogamous relationship with lipgloss, as were most girls my age. It wasn’t until 2007 that I started wearing lipstick and soon fell in love. Not only is there a whole rainbow of colour choices, but also an array of different formulas and finishes, each giving a different effect. I feel like it instantly adds glamour; even the most natural looking of lipsticks still makes me feel more complete as soon as I apply it. At the time I became ill in April 2010 my lipstick collection was pretty modest, only having perhaps 8 or 9 go to shades. But once I’d found that make up was too hard to do in bed, I simultaneously realised that lipstick was not. Lipstick was easy to swipe on. This little thing, the ability to still put on lipstick, was very significant for me. It meant I could hold on to that small piece of myself. It might not have been the full face of make up that I wanted, but it was something. I clung to it. It was making me happy, and making me feel that little bit more like myself.

After I discovered this, my lipstick collection quickly grew. I’ve always been an advocate for retail therapy, using any excuse to go shopping. So I knew that buying myself new things or people buying me presents would always cheer me up. My usual outlet was clothes, shoes and bags. Make up was normally my secondary choice. Now though I couldn’t enjoy any of those things. All I could enjoy still was lipstick. And I knew it was having a massive impact on my mood and how I was feeling. There were other things that helped me too that I would buy, and I’ll probably talk about them at a later point. But it was lipstick that helped me the most. As a result I put a lot of energy and focus on it. I have to admit it became a bit of an addiction.  When I find something I really, really love, or in this case that was helping me so much, I often get a little obsessive. My collection is now quite sizable and close to the 150 mark. Although now that I’m able to enjoy my other favourite things, namely fashion, and of course do my make up properly, I’ve definitely cut back on buying lipstick since I’ve needed money for other things instead.

Because of my affinity for make up, I’m a member of the beauty forum Specktra. I came across the site whilst ill when looking for reviews and swatches of make up online, because obviously I wasn’t able to go to counters to try it for myself. It’s a great place to discuss make up with people who love and appreciate it as much as I do. Along with beauty blogs, it was a huge help to me. I wanted to know about the latest beauty collections, what the newest lipstick shades looked like, what the formula was like, etc. It enabled me to get a good idea of what would or wouldn’t work for me, rather than ordering blindly online and not having a clue what to really expect. But what I also found was that the forum has lots of other members like me who use make up as a kind of escape. There are others who are going through difficult health or personal problems, and they too have found make up to really help get them through it. It lifts people’s spirits, it gives them something to focus on and distract them from whatever it is they’re going through. And I think that it’s amazing that make up has that ability. I was also glad to know that I wasn’t the only one going through hell and finding something as minor as lipstick to actually make a big difference.

I’m hoping to soon start sharing some beauty posts on here, with reviews and swatches. At the moment I’m eagerly awaiting for the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani eyeshadow palette to launch later this month. I love their eyeshadow palettes and obviously Gwen Stefani is just absolute awesomeness. The palette looks gorgeous with lots of neutral shades which I tend to favour, especially for every day wear. Definitely high up on my Christmas list. Hint, hint, Santa!

Do you find make up helps you? Any products you’re particularly looking forward to at the moment?

Katie xx

Lipstick Bag £35 Asos
Lulu Guinness Compact Hair Styler £13.50 Tangle Teezer
Marbled Ceramic Plate £6.99 H&M

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