Wednesday, 16 January 2013

How to come back from the dead and/or the story of PhD.

If anyone, ever, in your life, jogs up to you in a velour tracksuit and offers you an opportunity to study for a PhD, don't do it.  The jogging part (and the velour tracksuit) actually never happened - how it happened was that an old professor dropped me in it, and then my current professor accepted me on the basis of the other professor's words of encouragement about the apparent amazingness of my brain. And then I went for an 'interview' in a too-short skirt where I was informed that very-well-done, it looked like I had a place on a PhD course.

Anyway, that was over 3 years ago.  And what I will say is that it has consumed my life, to the point where I'm mostly a gibbering wreck.  I can't sleep, I panic quietly, and then loudly once the quiet panicking has run out, and then I neglect the things that I truly enjoy - like this.  So if everyone could just promise me that if some madman offers you the chance to study for a PhD, you won't accept? It's for the sake of your sanity, truly.

My PhD still isn't over.  I have piles and piles of indecipherable notes and am a veritable fire hazard in my own home.  I am also at flood risk due to the ridiculous amounts of nervous crying I keep managing to do, which isn't me grasping at self-pity, just that my tiny brain keeps short-circuiting with worry and then it falls over and needs rebooting.  So blogging kind of takes a back seat a lot.

Mostly my makeup routine is the same, and accompanied by a good amount of coffee and one eye shut, but I have been enjoying a few little products that I've been finding solace in recently, mainly for their melty, can't-see-the-streak-marks and do well when terribly applied (because of the one-eye-closed application):

1. Perfect complexion: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation.

My love for this has been reignited in the last 2 months, this is one of my absolute top five foundations, even though the colour is too yellow and too dark. I reviewed it a long time ago on my Youtube channel, and still get comments from people thanking me for bringing it to their attention. It's this beautiful gel-based formula that is light on the skin and blends beautifully and smoothly. It has a light-medium coverage and gives me this soft-focus my-skin-but-better look, it just looks perfect. This is a fantastic product. I find it pretty similar, if I'm honest, to my £55 Chantecaille Future Skin foundation... except for the fact that it's better and a fifth of the price. Trust me on this one.

2. Cheery cheeks: Illamasqua powder blusher in Sophie.

This cheers me up, it's a big bright smack of colour that brightens up my face and cuts through all the sludgy plum colours I dug out for winter recently. I know we're currently teetering on the edge of snow (and therefore, in the UK, the entire shutdown of the country and no public transport after a small sprinkling of it), but I'm so over it. This little baby is brightening my mood, and I only need the tiniest bit to feel less grey.

3. Vintage classic: MAC Viva Glam Cyndi lipstick.

A while ago, convinced by Kiwi, I sold my one back-up of this, and then regretted it. This is a stunner of a watermelon coral that I dug out about a week ago and haven't let go of since. It just goes so perfectly with Illamasqua's Sophie that the two combine to create the sunniest face of the day.

4. Lazy-day lips: Sleek Pout Polish in Perfect Plum.

This lives in my handbag, and where I go, it goes... But I completely forgot about it, and recently it's all I've reached for, especially when I'm in search of a lip balm with a bit of colour to enhance my pallid lips but condition them from that biting sea breeze. I have loved this for a long time, and I'm glad to come back to it again. It's a sheer, moisturising balm (scented very strongly with coconut, beware!), that gives me a put-together look, even when I'm in the laziest of moods.

5. Skin food: Emma Hardie Rejuvenating Night Cream.

I got this in some kind of special value gift set and never thought much of it, but when my regular night cream made me so oily in the morning I felt like I'd slept in a chip pan, I had to change my nightly skin care routine. This cream (although smelling like geraniums, bleeeugh), is this gorgeous, thick cream that makes my skin feel really plump and nourished after I use it. It sinks in well without leaving a greasy film and just feels lovely to use.

6. Because science: Hydraluron Moisture Booster.

Living right on the sea this winter has forced me to rethink my skin care. When my skin started feeling tight, and needed multiple applications of moisturiser in the morning, I turned to Hydraluron to try and help my skin out a bit. This is a serum of pure hyaluronic acid, which binds water/moisture to the skin, so application before moisturiser basically helps your skin to make better use of it. My skin had been getting so dry, and then so oily later in the day that it needed fixing, and this worked by rebalancing my skin.

What's been floating your boat recently in terms of makeup and skin care? Sometimes I don't even think of the products that I grab without thinking, and these are those.


  1. Oh crikey - you must nearly be finished, right? If so - good luck!

    I was a quivering wreck by the end of my little ole undergraduate degree, so I completely know where you're coming from.

    In terms of skincare and beauty regime, I find my skin requires a fair amount of tlc including regular exfoliation and lots of moisturiser.

    Nothing perks my pale face up like a sweeping of face powder, a colour pop of pink blusher and a bold red lipstick.

  2. I love Viva Glam Cyndi, was my first sort of bright lipstick and I've since become hooked. Its such a nice red for people scared of reds. If you ever find anything similar please let us know.
    I used to love Healthy Mix, but haven't used it for a while because it was a bit light for me over summer. I'll have to get it back out again now I'm pale!

  3. Its great to see a blog post from you! I understand its probably been so hard to keep blogging going though, my small brain can't even comprehend how hard and how much work a PHD must be! But hey, you will be DR CAMI right?! I WISH i had picked up Viva Glam Cyndi, it looks beautiful!

  4. Hello Cami, I very rarely comment on posts so hello, waves !

    I feel like i need to comment as I also found myself in a very similar situation to you (phd offer). I totally understand how you are feeling right now. It took me a total of 4 years to complete (after taking a well deserved break, otherwise I would have went mad). I submitted in October and had my viva in November.

    I suppose I just wanted to reassure you that everything will be fine in the long run. Like yourself I worried constantly and found it particularly hard to deal with the pressure from others. My biggest fear was letting people down. But you will get there and it is worth it in the long run. Even though ur stressed now! Keep going, you'll do great!

    P.s love ur blog and videos :).

  5. It's great to have you back, I've missed reading your blog so much. A PhD is something that I've considered, I'd love to hear more about it and what you're working on! Do you think you'll ever post about it? :) x

  6. Great list! I'm a recent convert to the healthy fix serum.. SO GOOD. I still use it even though it oxidizes on me :(

  7. Great to have you back Cami, your readers understand the stress your under and we totally support you. I wish you all the best with your PhD.

    Zoe xx

  8. Hi Cami. Glad to see you back from the dead, you've been greatly missed. I'm only an undergraduate and I'm already imploding from stress (studying English at Cambridge. Don't believe the Daily Mail, I get out about once a month and have never drunk port from a condom). You're very impressive for blogging and making videos at all when you're working so hard. I've tried multiple times but with no success. All the best xxx

  9. Love your blog posts and am so glad to see you back!! Sending you positive thoughts to encourage you on your PhD journey! You can do it!

  10. Aaah I felt the same during my Masters so I can somewhat understand what you're going through. I shall never ever take up a PhD in my life, by the sound of this.

  11. Viva Glam Cyndi is the nicest lipstick I own, Kiwi better regret talking you into selling your backup >< I love Illamasqua Sophie as well, I agree that it really brightens up the whole face easily.

  12. I really want to try Hydraluron! And I love the idea behind this post... I just finished 6 years of academia so I know how exhausting and stressful it can be! Lately I've been reaching for Fresh Sugar Berry lip treatment... so hydrating and makes me look more awake :) Good luck with all of your work!!

    Ellie | Ellalogy 

  13. Glad to hear you are still alive! I keep contemplating a Masters and possibly a PhD but reading this reminded me of the stressful aspects of academia and after two years of not studying my brain would definitely not be able to cope. I wish I had bought Viva Glam Cyndi when it was first out, instead I went for Gaga which I now barely use. x

  14. I'm so happy to see you back, Cami, I missed you! Yay, I own (and really enjoy) three of the products you mentioned - the Sleek Perfect Plum, Viva Glam Cyndi and Bourjous Healthy Mix Serum. I find that with the Bourjois foundation, my skin has to be really nicely hydrated for it not to sink into my pores immediately - do you find that to be the case as well?

  15. I like the lip color, flattering color.

  16. Im about 6 months from the end of my PhD and I bounce from being a quivering mess to being overly confident that YES ONE DAY I WILL BE FREE then back to being a quivering mess. I feel yo pain

  17. As I saw posted above, my fear is also to let people down, specially my supervisors. I've been working on my PhD. for 1 year and still no publication, and this makes one feel horrible. Specially when you see your busy, brilliant and competent supervisors strugling to get good results out of your work, and what you do is just let them down at every meeting. This is so frustrating...

    I hope we can all publish some papers (no need to be amazing, just publish something T_T) and finish it so we can move to another area and forget about all this. While I was doing my master, a postdoc told me that after the master is more horrible, and after the phd is even more horrible. So after my phd I'll make sure not to follow his path^^.

  18. Oh my word, the PhD is still not over?! I've always wondered how long you've been doing it for, it seems like ages! I must say, I think Viva Glam Cyndi may be my favourite lipstick ever, I don't know what I'll do when I finish it. Saying that, the No7 Poppy King Lip Crayon in Playing is a fantastic dupe. Its a teeny weeny bit brighter/pinker, but it has a very similar glossy finish as well. I don't have the Sleek Pout Polish but personally always have the Korres Plum Lip Butter in my bag, because it smells divine (not just like plums, like plum crumble, all sticky and buttery) and instantly makes me look more alive when I can't be bothered to wear lipstick. I have Fratboy by the Balm which I adore- is Sophie quite similar but with glitter?

  19. I'm currently doing a masters and am thinking my life is always full of work which brings me out in a panic and cold sweats in the night, god knows how you cope but once you've done this i hope it will be worth it. Your blog is fab xx

  20. Hi Cami!

    It's a shame you are not enjoying your PhD experience.. I myself have applications pending to actually do a PhD and the decision date is looming - every time I hear an incoming email ding, I break into cold sweat. But as much as I want it to happen (I tink..?), naturally I worry about weather or not it's the right path to take, and your post has once again thrown me into my mental debate.

    I hope that finishing it will bring you satisfaction (: But either way, doctor or not, you're cool and you write and speak so well! The beauty community realy does need someone literate from time to time for a breath of fresh air (:

    My favourite no-brainer product has to be Korres lip butter in Rose - it feels 'good-for-you', and it gives the lips a sheer burgundy juicy look that goes with a bare or full on face..



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