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5 Beauty Mistakes I Made (So You Don’t Have To)

Worth a staggering £17 billion, the UK beauty industry is growing rapidly in our appearance obsessed culture, with skincare sales increasing exponentially as new innovations continue to hit the mass market. We’ve never had so much choice, and those of us obsessed with achieving and sustaining a natural glow are taking full advantage.

Although I’m still working on perfecting my skincare care routine, unfortunately it hasn’t always been retinol and vitamin infused sheet masks. Let me share some of the less fortuitous (read: questionably and crazy) beauty mistakes I’ve made along the way, I’m sure we can all learn something – mostly, don’t try this at home.

1. Unconventional Exfoliation

Although now a distant memory, chicken skin arms seemed to be a huge concern in my teen years, I would slather on body lotion and go to town with the St Ives apricot scrub (you all know the one). It wasn’t just my arms either, at one point my forehead seemed to be getting in on the pimply skin action and that just wouldn’t do.

One night, after a stroke of genius, I decided to take a glass nail file to my forehead and tackle the problem, quite literally head on. It went about as well as expected. I put in the work with that nail file, I sanded down my forehead like it was year 9 wood work and I’d just been let loose on a belt sander, your nail tech could never. Unfortunately for me, headbutting a brick wall would have been just as effective and would have created similar results. The next day, I looked like I’d hit the ground forehead first after taking a tumble over some handle bars. It was a LOOK. What about covering it up? Did I mention this was before the days of Dream Matte Mousse (the only foundation available to me as a youth)? Perhaps an ill-advised clip on fringe? Forget about it. I had to walk into school the next day and own my bad decision. A suggestion, if you find yourself considering reaching for the toolbox to smooth uneven skin tone? Try Glycolic Acid instead.

2. Cheap but not Cheerful

If you’ve never had to shave with a single use, orange Bic Razor, you haven’t lived. A lethal instrument, better used as a shiv than a tool for hair removal, but a rite of passage nonetheless. The time I’m referring to started out as tricky as ever, the usual nicks leaving drops of blood dripping down my shins but then, I got too cocky and it all went to pot. I slipped you see, my heel dropped off the side of the bath with some speed, just as I took a swipe at my ankle, and if my aim was to take off a chunk of my heel, well I succeeded admirably.

A normal person, may have dropped the fleshy razor and applied pressure to the wound; obviously, I jumped out of the shower, grabbed a towel & ran screaming down the stairs, waving the razor like a bloody, battle axe. My mother had very little sympathy for her soon to be legless child and joined me in screaming, not about the severed leg, about the blood stains ruining the carpet. It was all very dramatic. Worse, ineffective, because in all of the drama, I didn’t even finish shaving my leg. 0/10 would not recommend.

3. A dangerous foray into bikini waxing

Living With Body Dysmorphic Disorder

[TW: BDD, emotional abuse, low self-esteem]

I am obsessed with my appearance. 

Not in an overly narcissistic, ‘damn girl you look good’ kinda way, which would be infinitely preferable, but in an ‘I just can’t accept this is what I look like’ way. How I look and how I think I look and how that makes me feel has taken over my life. It’s what I spend the majority of my time thinking about and it sets the tone for my entire mood, as more often than not I am repulsed by what I see. 

I obsessively check my reflection in every mirror, shadow and reflective surface. I have studied the way I walk, talk and exist from all angles with greater fervour than I have applied to anything in life. I am hyper aware of my existence and the space I occupy, and it is exhausting. The hatred and paranoia run so deep, I am terrified to even consider the possibility of accepting myself as I am, because I can’t think of anything worse than settling for this. Just the thought of settling for this makes me panic. 

Body Dysmorphic Disorder often focuses on one perceived flaw but when I look at myself, I am unable to see anything but flaws, it’s exhausting and time consuming and only seems to be getting worse as so much of my time is spent looking at myself and others on social media. I dislike eye contact because I don’t like having people looking at me, I don’t like being hugged as I fear the repulsion from people having to touch me, I will repeatedly go over pictures other people have taken of me to pick apart how I look from all angles, I alternate between avoiding mirrors entirely to spending hours looking at myself and overanalysing every pore. I am frequently late because sometimes how I look is so distressing, I get too anxious to leave the house. From the size of my forehead to the shape of my feet, there is literally nothing I haven’t found an issue with. I haven’t been to a hairdresser in ten years for fear of offending someone with how awful my hair is.

Plus+ Book by Bethany Rutter - Launch & Review

Plus+, the first plus-size street style fashion book edited by Bethany Rutter is out now & you can order your copy here. Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the Plus+ book launch in London. Aside from getting to share Bethany's excitement, the morning was overwhelming in the best possible way. Walking into the room, to be greeted by a wall of beautiful images of stylish women, wouldn't usually make me emotional but they were all plus size, not just one token size 14 but all plus-size & as magnificent as they were different.

What I Wore // RI Plus Boyfriend Tee

Jacket: River Island // T-Shirt: River Island // Skirt: ASOS // Socks: Topshop // Hitops: Converse // Sunglasses: Celine //
Watch: Larsson & Jennings // Hoops: Nasty Gal

I tweeted yesterday that I felt I was on the precipice of change, just needing the momentum to make the leap. I have been stagnant for too long, stuck in a mental rut of despair with no freedom to make the right move. Today was a glimmer of light at the end of a very long tunnel but I am finally moving towards it. Spring, the embodiment of change, is coming & I am ready for it.

6 Things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam may be my favourite city in Europe, it's the perfect blend of metropolis chaos & country chill with enough to do to keep everyone happy. Whatever the weather, there's truly something for everyone, so if you're considering a city break or a solo trip, here's six things to keep you busy: