FASHION & BEAUTY…

I shall be posting on how I subtly disguise my eczema without compromising on fashion or beauty ❤

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NEW FAVOURITE: Just a beautiful necklace? Oh no, this little gem is so much more.

So basically I’ve purchased this beautiful necklace from ‘Aubergine Fox’ and I just love it so much I had to share it with you lovely lot.

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This necklace isn’t just any old ‘fashion necklace’ it’s a triangular shaped rough cut amethyst which is something rather special. Anyone who personally knows me would almost certainly say that me even considering purchasing jewellery with ‘healing qualities’ would be as probable as catching a tan in the north pole but I thought I’d make an exception this time because it was just so beautiful! I guess it gave me an excuse to buy it! 

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So why is this piece so special?
“Amethyst is a meditative and calming stone which works in the emotional, spiritual, and physical planes to provide calm, balance, patience, and peace.”
There’s such a long list of things people use amethyst for and I really do feel that when it comes to healing stones it depends on a person’s personal journey and eventual goal to determine which aspects of the stones capabilities they use.

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I love the whole calming qualities this stone brings and the fact that it supposedly brings emotional stability, inner strength and patience which are three very important factors when tackling TSW or getting through any physical and mental disorder. When I get anxious and stressed it makes my skin all flare up and before I know it I’m back in a ball crying and screaming whilst tearing my skin apart so any help with staying calm is much appreciated. Having a little bit of a foot booster with getting back to being emotionally stable is also welcomed into my life with open arms. Anyone suffering with depression will tell you how your emotional state can sometimes seem like a tornado of utter confusion which will inevitably bring on frustration, which makes you stressed, which then makes your skin flare etc… It’s a vicious cycle. As I’ve been tackling TSW for 9 months so far and have a hell of a long way to go patience is key but sometimes it can be difficult to remain that way. So yes, WELCOME to my world little calming stone, you certainly have you’re work cut out for you!

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The shape of the necklace to me is just as important as the stone itself. With the triangle being the STRONGEST of all shapes it reminds me to stay strong every time I look down at it. Staying strong may sometimes seem impossible and in moments of weakness this little gem of a necklace has really helped me to stay on track.

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So all in all, this necklace has literally become my favourite piece of jewellery. Not only is it beautifully stunning but it will hopefully also give me a helping hand through my difficult journey to rid my skin of topical steroids.

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You can find other gorgeous pieces of jewellery and beautiful things to decorate your desks with at
aubergine fox
instagram @AUBERGINEFOX on Twitter @AubergineFox or on etsy at auberginefox.etsy.com

Thank you Aubergine Fox. You can add me to your long line of happy customers!
Loves.xxx
amy-louise
LINE AND HEART

BEAUTIFUL HAIR TO HELP YOUR FLARE

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Ever been in a flare and desperately needed to get the hair off your face!? Or ever needed to go out on a bad skin day but feel like you’re a 90’s/00’s throw back by having to sport the scraped back ‘Melanie C’ ponytail? Well, worry not my eczema dears, I have the perfect solution!

My incredible friend Megs from Wonderful_you http://www.wonderful–you.com/ posted a hair tutorial on her youtube channel of a ‘Quick & Easy Messy Up Do’ the other day which was simply love at first site!

We all know those moments far too well whereby you just HAVE to get every bit of hair off your face as quickly as possible because your face is as itchy as a cat with fleas and every strand of hair that falls on your face burns because your face literally feels like it is on fire! Have I used the word face one too many times? Oh… I apologise.
That mad rush to find bobbles and bobby pins is a frequent and tedious routine in my life. Which may I just add, is never as simple as it sounds because the bobbles are never in the places you think they are and you can buy a pack of 200 bobby pins with a 100% guarantee off losing them all.

This hair style is my ultimate favourite at the moment.

It’s great for those days where you need to just put it up and leave the house but still want to look like you’ve made an effort. I don’t know about you but with my skin being as it is at the moment, I sometimes look as though I’ve let myself go and having to just put my hair into a ponytail because I can’t wear it down makes me feel a little grubby. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against the good ole’ponytail. Some people can rock the hell out of that tail of a pony and make it look awesome but I unfortunately make it look like an thin, frayed, neglected tail of a rundown old Donkey. This hairstyle however, is beautiful, long lasting and, providing you’ve secured it properly, it will stay in place when you itch your scalp without you having to use any hairspray.

This hairstyle is really on trend at the moment and looks amazing on those with thick hair like Meg’s but also looks just as good on us lot of TSW hair thinning beauties. That frequent hair loss we’re having to experience isn’t going to get us down that’s for sure! We can do it to!

It is really quick to do and so simple. Click on the link below to watch Meg’s easy tutorial and have a go! 
I guarantee you’ll love it as much as I do!
Loves.xx
amy-louise

MAGANHAIR

Head over to the Wonderful You YouTube channel for fashion, beauty and all things wonderful. 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/user/wonderfuly0u

LINE AND HEART

ECZEMA FRIENDLY #OOTD

Well hello again,
I do hope all is well with you and your skin isn’t giving you too much aggravation.
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Today I thought I’d share with you my favourite garment at the moment. A lot of bloggers do ‘Outfit of the day’ so I thought I’d hop on that #OOTD wagon but for very different reasons.
I think it’s clear I’m not a ‘fashion blogger’, I’m not exactly ‘on trend’. It’s difficult to stay on track with current trends when you have a skin condition, I’m sure you can all relate to that issue. With most materials being too itchy to wear our fashion choices are very limited. We’re kind of like vegetarian’s in a restaurant when it comes to picking clothes. Being a veggie myself, I know all too well that feeling of going into a restaurant and seeing all the different yummy choices but being fobbed off with a frozen bean burger whilst watching everyone else tuck into their amazing food! I like to think of a fashion store just like that, with ‘100% cotton’ being that standard frozen bean burger we have to put up with and all the other beautiful clothes being those amazing dinners those lucky ones get to indulge in. Although I don’t particularly like referring to those who don’t suffer with skin conditions as lucky, you never quite know what people are going through and there’s always someone who wishes they have what you have. I think it’s always important to remember that.
So, back on topic, my outfit. My pictures certainly aren’t to promote the said clothing, they are simply to show you guys what I where and how I cover up the full extent of my eczema as itch free as possible.
I simply went out to the park with my best friend the dog and a camera.  I am certainly no model and I’d just like to point out that posing for pictures is actually EXTREMELY DIFFICULT! To all of those bloggers who model clothing, I take my top hat off to you! A hat made of 100% cotton to be specific. 😉 So after epically failing at trying to look remotely professional we just kind of ended up messing around. I am not a model, never have been, never will be. I’m known for being anything other than photogenic (family trait) so these unfiltered pictures is just simply me being ‘me’. They aren’t perfect but neither am I. 
SOOOOO…..
Back to the matter at hand, I just had to blog about this dress. Why you may ask…
1. The long sleeves and high neck subtly covers up most of your eczema so there’s less chance of your skin being irritated. It also disguises it for those moments where you don’t want to have to explain to everyone why your eczema is so bad.

2. It’s versatile. You can just stick a coat and scarf on making it casual with flat shoes, perfect for walking the dog in the park or you can put a nice chunky statement necklace on with some heals and bobs your Uncle, you’ve got a casual dress up outfit.

3. The material is really soft and because it isn’t tightly fitted, it allows your skin to breath more easily, causing less heated flare ups. With the colour also being a dark red, it doesn’t show up and spots of blood from open wounds.

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DRESS: NEWLOOK.
NECKLACE: NEWLOOK
COAT: PRIMARK
BOOTS: JASPER CONRAN DEBENHAMS
SCARF: EBAY

I hope this is of any help to all of you suffering from the same fashion problems as me!
Remember, it’s not what you wear, it’s how you work it! 🙂
Loves.xx
amy-louise

LINE AND HEART
TOP5MAKEUP

So today I thought I’d share my Top 5 make-up favourites with you. It’s strange really but every time I hear the phrase ‘TOP 5’ I automatically think of those notes you used to pass to your friends back in school days constantly asking them what their ‘TOP 5 BOYS ARE’ every lesson! It would obviously change throughout the day depending on whether you’ve had a good lesson with one of them or not and then the said boys, when the note was secretly passed to them by your best friend who swore to not tell they would instantly get offended if they’d dropped down a place. A Top 5 school boy charts if you will. Remember those days? No? Oh… AWK!

Anyhoo enough reminiscing (Blazin’ Squad reference) let’s talk make-up.

So as you all will know by now that I suffer with severe eczema all over so finding the right make-up has been a constant challenge for me. I will be filming a make-up tutorial video in due course to show you guys how I cover it up and talking about all I have in my make-up bag but for now I thought I’d keep it simple and stick to 5 favourites.

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Fifth place has to go to my…

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This concealer really does the job required to a pretty high standard. I have red blotches all over my face so this really helps to create the illusion of my face being all one colour. It is very dry and I apply it with a concealer brush, dabbing it onto the red patches prior to putting on foundation. I mostly end up covering the whole face with it on most make-up days because my skin is so blotchy but it worry not about that because it creates a great even base for your foundation. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get your skin all moisturised and all that dry skin scrubbed off before using this. It can look horrendous if you apply it straight onto flaky skin. What’s great about this MAC product is that MAC will match up your colour for you there and then without you having to take any make-up off etc… so you know you’re spending your money on something that is right for you. There’s nothing worse than getting home with new make-up purchases to find they are the wrong colour! If I am ever having a make-up day I don’t go anywhere without using this little gem so I just had to throw it into my top 5. 

TOP5KATE

Forth place has to go tooooo…

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I just love the whole of the ‘Kate Moss’ lipstick range but my favourite of the month has to go to shade ‘05’. With it being winter I feel that adding a subtle rosy lip really adds a taste of summer to your look which I feel strangely really compliments a wintery theme. With my skin being red and patchy you’d think having a rosy lip would just enhance the redness but I find that it actually takes the attention away from it and draws attention to those juicy lips which works wonders for the rather worrying ‘she’s staring at my skin’ thoughts that nag away at anyone with a skin complex. I have a burst of confidence when I’m rocking this so in the top 5 it goes! 

TOP5DIOR

In third place comes the…

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This is a newbee to my make-up bag. I have so much love for this. I frequently suffer with swollen eyes due to TSW or itching my eczema I have on the lids in the night so I need mascara that will open up my tiny key hole resembling eyes and will be long lasting throughout the day which won’t cause irritation. This Dior mascara really does tick all of those boxes. The brush is a huge factor when choosing any mascara and this one in particular is great for anyone with little eyes. It’s a small rounded brush that really gets to the root of all eyelashes. It also has a fixing agent it in which will make sure those lashes are curled as much as possible and will stay that way all day. This is great for those people with shorter lashes like mine and inevitably, the bigger the lash, the more open the eye looks. The colour is also really bold which is a weird thing to say considering it’s black but you do get a lot of mascara’s which say they’re black but need quite a lot of coats to achieve that colour. I only use two coats of this one which is great because no one wants clogged lashes. The spider lash may have been fashionable in the 90’s and 00’s eras but times have certainly changed. So for those reasons combined, it had to go into my TOP 5.

TOP5EYESHADDOW

The runner up in second place goes tooo…

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I absolutely love this pallet. The colours are beautiful and they work great together. I mean, I recommend you don’t use them ALL at the same time but I mean, I wouldn’t judge you if you did. Whatever floats your boat and all that. It is a very versatile little pallet which can create a variety of looks for both daytime and night time make-up. The shades are subtle so you can’t accidentally go overboard easily which is always a plus factor, a problem a lot of us have! The eye shadows are really soft and light which is so important to anyone suffering with eczema on the eye lids. They also blend extremely well together making your eyes look a lot softer. I usually apply with a brush and then blend with a small blending brush. I find this much more effective and less painful when applying to that tender skin. This eye shadow is long lasting and doesn’t irritate my eyes at all so I use the dark brown underneath my eyes instead of harsh eyeliner that normally causes me to itch. This pallet is great if you’re on the move. Its shiny gold casing is just beautiful and with it being small, it’s great to just slip into the handbag for those emergencies! It also works as a pocket mirror as you can see so it really does kill 2 birds with one stone, except there will be no birds killed and no stones thrown. Result! So taking all of this into consideration I just had to put it as runner up!

TOP5FOUNDATION

So number 1 has to go toooooo
*DRUM ROLLS*

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I cannot express how much love I have for this product! It’s absolutely flawless and I can’t make any complaints. With it being ‘double wear’ it really does give a great coverage and it’s surprising light making it easier to apply. You will need to generously moisturise prior to applying if you have super dry skin but once your moisturiser has dried this goes on so well. It’s silky smooth and gives a beautiful finish. I treat mine like a little pot of paint. Putting a tiny bit on my soft foundation brush and applying lightly to the face gradually. The last thing you want to do is rub it in. Treat your face a canvas, carefully painting it on. This technique works well with people suffering with dry skin. You need something that will lightly brush over it rather than something that will create more flakes because of harshness. What is great about double wear also is that you can sample before you buy. When you go to the estee lauder counter you can ask for a sample and they will discuss what colour they think you are and give you a 1 months’ supply in a little tub. Although, it tends to last longer than 1 month. If you get home and the colour isn’t for you, you can just go back and ask for a different colour so you can keep trying until you get the right one for you. I just absolutely love it so it had to be the winner of January’s favourites. 

TOP5MU

So those are my January personal favourites. Obviously everyone is different so what works for me might not work for you! I know how frustrating finding the right make-up is so I thought I’d leave my thoughts on a few bits and bobs to give you a helping hand. 
Leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve had any experiences with these products or if there are any products you would recommend.  Any question, don’t be shy, just ask. 😀
Thanks lovelies.xx
amy-louise

OAT ME

LINE AND HEART

FOR SILKY SMOOTH SKIN…
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Oats are great! Especially for those tired mornings when you need to fill a whole and get a gradual energy boost that will keep you going for the day. With our bodies being exhausted from fighting this steroid addiction so hard, an energy boost is definitely what we could do with if you’re one of the lucky ones who are still able to work. If you’re not one of these people who are able to work due to being Homewood bound (love that film by the way, brings a tear to my eye every time) then you should love oats just as much as we do because you don’t just have to eat them to feel the benefits!

Oats really are underdog of cereals! When you’re weighing up your breakfast options in the cereal aisle ‘Crunchy Nut Cornflakes’ will win over ‘Quaker Oats’ every time! Am I right?
So why should you reach for the Quaker Oats instead of all other tasty cereals chilling on the shelves? Well, Oats are much more versatile! You certainly wouldn’t benefit from bathing in Cornflakes or Cocopops but oats are perfect for that purpose. Killing 2 birds with one stone, not only is it a tasty treat but also it’s a great for bathing in. If only they knew this back in the Victorian workhouse days, poor Oliver Twist wouldn’t have had to ask for more if only the governors were aware they could have saved money on soap if only they used the ‘gruel’ to bathe their dirty orphan children in! Times have changed.

Having an oat bath when feeling itchy and irritant will certainly soothe those angry patches or in most of our cases, our whole bodies. Itchy skin has a high PH level and the oatmeal helps bring it back down which in turn relieves your itch. The oats also work as a natural moisturiser for the skin which is great for people also doing ‘moisture withdrawal’. With it being a natural moisturiser this means that where water itself dehydrates your skin, the oats lock in moisture helping your skin long term. The chemical components found in the oatmeal work as a cleanser which absorb oil, dirt and odour. These chemicals known as avenanthramides and phenois work as an anti-inflammatory so it’s also perfect for those swollen limbs and puffy faces. So what should you scrub yourself with then? OATS OF COURSE! 😀

Now, oat baths are really easy to do but can go horribly wrong if you don’t know how to do them, as I found out. The first time I made myself an oat bath it was disastrous! After being told to bath in it, I naturally took it literally and poured oats into the bath water. I must say, it was a little weird when I got in it to have oats floating about left, right and centre but it tasted lovely if I accidently got any in my mouth so I thought, yes! This is the best thing ever! That is until I had to empty the bath tub. It was that moment I realised that I’d probably got it all wrong. Having to sieve out such a mass amount of oats was a tragic moment and certainly an epic fail. It was at that point I thought it was probably best to look up how you do it which I now don’t quite understand why I didn’t do this in the first place.

So now I know how to do it I thought I’d provide you with a tutorial so you don’t have the same issue as I did. 
UPDATED OAT 2
OAT 3
1. Get an old pair of tights that you have jamming in your draws or in my case, a pair that was suffering from extreme vile pattern syndrome. I have no use for leopard tights and never have so I honestly have no idea why I thought purchasing them was a good idea. I question my ideas sometimes.
2. Moving on, get your good old Quaker Oats, take a few handfuls and put them into one of the legs.
3. Tie the legs around the head of the tap so that when the water runs it runs through the oats
4. When running the water, run it at a lukewarm temperature because you don’t want to cook the oats. A hot bath will also irritate the skin a little but it really does depend on the individual as to how hot you can handle.
5. The water will be a lovely cloudy colour that resembles the colour of sick but we have to do what we have to do don’t we.
6. Carefully take the tights off the tap being careful not to let any oats fall out into the tub and tie a knot in the top of the tights. Leave it bobbing around in the bath and use as a sponge to really scrub those wounds.
7. Bathe for around 10-15 minutes
8. Get out feeling refreshed and relieved.
9. Throw away the tights and the used oats.
10. Bob’s your Uncle, Fannie’s your Aunt. You’ve successfully achieved an oat bath!
I’m sure there are other ways of doing it but that was just my version so by all means let me know if you have any other suggestions or if you’ve had a different experience. Leave your comments below so we can all share advice 
All in all, I’d say…
LOVE OATS WRITING

Loves.xx
amy-louise

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4 thoughts on “FASHION & BEAUTY…”

  1. So happy you shared your makeup routine!! You look gorgeous!! I have had eczema for roughly 7 years and had no clue about makeup prior to having my very first and horrific flare. Needless to say, I’m still trying to find the perfect makeup for days when my skin is so irritated, swollen and red I don’t even want to be seen in public. I’m 39 now and appreciate your candidness about the absolutely heartbreaking struggles we face having severe eczema. It’s hard for others to understand, indeed. It’s a total self esteem killer in a world that puts so much emphasis on looking perfect and flawless. Biggest hugs for sharing your journey!! 😊

  2. I’d just like to say thank you for your blog! I have been suffering with eczema all of my life – apart from a stint of 3-4 years after I turned 16 (I’m now 26).

    I am currently dealing with a huge flare up that has been going on for the past 6 months, wherein the eczema has spread from the creases in my elbows, along my arms, chest, boobs and neck. The skin around my eyes and lips has also become dry and flaky. Currently it seems that temperature changes is the trigger although I don’t remember this being such an issue when I was younger.

    Up until this latest flare-up I had stopped using the products given to me by the doctor as I didn’t need them as much and I found rich moisturisers and body butters seemed to work as well, if not better, but I would sometimes use the steroid cream if it got particularly bad.
    Now steroid cream is the stuff of nightmares for me, after coming off it last week, the itch was more painful and was constant until the flare managed to finally come up to the top layer of skin! I recently went back onto Cetraben cream as it’s really the only thing that can calm my skin and create a decent barrier – even if it’s for a short period of time.

    I really struggle with the itchiness, my skin dries out pretty instantly after a shower/bath. At work I find myself scratching without even realising, then having to try to get rid of the evidence! It is gross, but I just can’t help it. At work I wear mainly dresses which have short sleeves, and normally have my jacket off because it gets really warm, and people are always commenting on my skin (I’m a hotel receptionist). Sometimes this just draws attention to the itch and I get as irritated as my skin!
    In regards to clothing and fashion – I am someone that hates the cold and being cold. So I really struggle with what to wear and if it might set off my eczema.
    I itch when my skin isn’t covered & I itch when my skin is covered. I wear cotton tops, dresses and jumpers. If I wear a wool jumper or cardigan, I have to wear a long sleeve t-shirt which has to be thick enough for the wool to not poke through.

    I have been using Lush’s dream cream (self-preserving) which worked for a little while. I’ve been told that the ‘normal’ one works better. Like you, I was very weary about going into Lush, it always made me sneeze when I went past – a sign that I was reacting to something in that strongly scented store (I also suffer from hayfever). However, I was surprised by the dream cream, even though I haven’t found it to be as much of a miracle product as others have. There was something else that one of the staff showed me that wasn’t the porridge oats, which was a lovely wash that created a barrier on the skin that I didn’t react to – I can’t remember what it was!

    I would like to ask a few questions as a fellow sufferer, as you understand more than those who don’t suffer, even if they have a relative that does – I’ve heard a lot of well meaning advice, some from another eczema sufferer at work, but I don’t know how effective it is, and wondered if you have tried any of it:

    1. I’ve been told that many foods can trigger eczema such as milk, cheese (I’m loathe to give this up! I LOVE cheese), and peppers. All foods which I eat/drink daily or at least a few times a week. Has cutting any foods out of your diet helped you?

    2. Does doing housework often help keep some of the itchiness at bay? I’m fairly relaxed on doing it, I work shifts whereas my husband doesn’t, so we only really do it when it needs doing or when I/we have a day to really do a full job. When I was living at home my mum cleaned every week and my skin seemed to be better. Saying that my parents have laminate flooring and we have carpet, I’m aware that it doesn’t help as carpet traps dust.

    3. This is going to sound like a stupid question, but have you found that making sure you drink plenty of water everyday helps your skin? My mum and I are both one of those people that naturally don’t drink a lot of water, even when we know we should. I try my best, and although this worked for me in the run up to our wedding, it’s not something I generally manage to keep up constantly.

    4. I’ve stuck with face products from the Body Shop as these have always worked for me. Could you recommend a cream that would help with the dry patches on my face, especially my eyes? Once I apply make up, the dry, flaky skin stands out more and a colleague actually asked me yesterday if I had a black eye because of how bad it looked (I’d also rubbed my eye without realising and had a bit of a panda look going on).

    5. Have you tried acupuncture? Someone I know swears by it, but I’m not sure if it would help or if it works because you believe it will?

    Thank you, for this blog and I’m grateful if you (or anyone else) manages to reply to this!

    Victoria 🙂

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