Jesska Denise is an Irish beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog


Anxiety - It's Not Always What You Think

Jesska Denise Irish Beauty Blog
This isn't a blog post I fully planned on writing, I still don't feel comfortable enough talking about my mental health in person, let alone on the internet for everyone to see, and share. But over the last couple of days I've seen the same image come up on my Facebook news feed numerous times, from different people and it got me thinking. Thinking about how anxiety isn't a one glove fits all, it's not the stereotypical rocking back and forth, ~hyperventilating, breathing into a paper bag image we all may be familiar with. I know that's how I used to picture anxiety, and sometimes, that is how my anxiety shows itself. But that's what I call 'level 8 anxiety', when I become so overwhelmed that I feel like I might never breathe properly again, where my hands start to tingle and my face feels like it's bubbling and on fire, and my heart races so fast that I feel like my body will never keep up and I begin to panic even more because, I feel like this is a heart attack and I'm having chest pains, chest pains, that feel like a stabbing twinge in my heart, and I can't breathe and I feel like air is getting trapped in my throat and someone is balancing all their weight between my neck and heart and 'breathe Jess, you need to breathe' starts running through my head, and I'm dizzy, and my body, my body feels like when you've sat in the same position for too long and your foot is asleep, but it's all over and it's torturous, and I'm wrapped up like a pretzel because I need to make myself smaller, smaller because I can't breathe and my mind is screaming danger, and my body is reacting in a way I don't want it to and I have no idea why, and seconds become minutes, and minutes become hours, but eventually I can breathe again, and my body returns to normal, all the while I've just been sat on the chair in my kitchen. No immediate danger. My mind has this way of just over taking my body. I get so overwhelmed, and I over think things and without even meaning to, I'm somehow at 'level 8 anxiety'. I call it that because that is the worst I've ever felt, but it comes in other ways, in many different ways. For me anxiety creeps in in ways I never would have imagined were even anxiety. It's only through therapy that I have learned, that little things I do are 'habits' that I 'taught' myself to do in a way to 'deal' with my anxiety better. I fidget, I fidget a lot. More than the average person, and I've become embarrassingly aware of this in the last couple of months. It gets worse in work. When I'm standing at a till waiting to serve someone, and I'm not able to do anything else because I'm waiting. Waiting for a customer to come along or the previous one to leave. I'm tapping. Tapping the till and the counter because I can feel my breathing is starting to get a little heavier, and I'm trying to distract myself from the fact that I may go to 'level 8' if I don't defuse now, and the queue is getting longer and I'm tapping even more and I'm waiting and I look around and I'm growing increasingly self conscious cause I feel like I'm breathing too much now, and my heart races some more, and flicking my fingers, everyone is staring at me, but realistically I know they're not, it's just how I feel, and I'm flicking them more, trying to tell myself to calm down, my body is on high alert and I can't remove myself from the situation, so I tap more, and fidget more and this eases it a little. And it eases it some more. And I'm nervous and the queue moves and eventually I calm down. Nights out are a similar scenario, if not worse. I find night clubs trigger these feelings even more, the loudness, the crowds, the small spaces and my mind screaming at me to escape because it isn't a safe place to be, even though I'm surrounded by my friends, and security but I still find myself stood in a toilet cubicle multiple times throughout the night, having an inner argument with myself over how i just need to 'chill the fudge out', and some times I can, other times I can't and the night can go on forever with me hyper aware on the dance floor of everything around me and no amount of pinching my palms or tapping my fingers or scrolling through Twitter will ever calm me down, so I remain silent, with my senses on high alert and the fear of feeling like this stops me from going out with my friends more than it should. When I was 13/14 I was bullied. Bullied to the point where I was afraid to leave my house, even walking to the shop at the top of our road filled me with dread in case I'd bump into any of them. They'd taunt me from across the road, or laugh at me when I'd walk by. They egged our house on multiple occasions. They made fun of my clothes, insulted my hair, and would take jibes at my lack of perfect skin, something which I'm still really paranoid about today. Social settings are where my anxiety comes to the fore front. I'm afraid. I get nervous about everything. My outfit, my hair, my make up, how I come across to those around me, I question and over think, everything, and I think being bullied contributed to those feelings a lot. It means I miss out on a lot, especially when it comes to blogging and events. I constantly feel on edge and like I need to escape and unless there's a degree of 'certainty' to a situation, I'm less likely to go along with it. I found college was difficult in regards to this too, because classes were constantly chopped and changed. I like order and familiarity, and for my days to follow a similar routine. It eases the feelings of anxiety, and I panic less when I know if I'm 'coming or going'. I can't do spontaneity because it's not part of the 'plan', and I'd be afraid I'd start getting overwhelmed and 'showing' my anxiety being silent or awkward, and I spend a lot of time trying to avoid 'level 8 anxiety', and considering it's Christmas, I feel quite close to that and I know my anxiety levels are high, because things aren't 'normal' right now, it's the holidays. Schedules are off, my days are different, routine is out the window. I'm a little more on edge, easily pissed off, just so aware of every damn thing, it's like I'm on high alert and constantly trying to remind myself to breathe, it's knowing I'm completely safe but my body refuses to listen, and a chunk of my mind is going 'yeh but, what if?'. I'm stressed without even meaning to be.
It's different for everyone. I truthfully, do not manage it very well, I used to take something for it but stopped back in August because of physical side effects which outweighed the mental benefits for me, right now I manage the physical side (chest pains) with tablets my GP gave me when I really need to, but other than that, I'm not one to be giving advice. If I could find something with minimal side effects, then I might reconsider my thoughts on medication, but right now I have no idea what I'm doing, but hopefully, some day, I manage it better. Because it is pretty damn miserable right now avoiding life, for fear of an anxiety/panic attack. The anxiety isn't the full picture of my life right now, recovering from an eating disorder plays a lot into it too, but Id rather not discuss that until I'm in a better place to do so.
(i haven't edited this post, it's pretty jumbled/doesn't make a whole load of sense, but it's just a fraction of my experience with anxiety, if you suffer from anxiety or think you might need a little support check out or Mental Health Ireland for more information than I can give.)


Get Party Ready - IsaDora Boho Baroque Collection

IsaDora boho Baroque Collection
Party season is upon us, which means it's time to pull out all the stops and get ourselves as fancy and sparkly as possible. Whether that's a sequin dress, a glam co-ord or a silky red number from Missguided the possibilities are endless. The glammer the better. It is Christmas after all.
For me, I'm a creature of habit and tend to play it safe with a basic black dress or basic black anything really. I can just never find something that stands out for me, so I tend to glitz things up with my nails and make up. Which is why when the IsaDora Boho Baroque Collection* arrived at my door last week, it was perfect timing.
IsaDora Wonder Nail Polish
IsaDora Holographic Nail Polish
Kay so I have gel nails and haven't personally been able to try out these fabulous IsaDora Golden Edition nail polishes, but I have tried 'Baroque Red' and the 'Holographic' nail polishes out on my Mum and they look stunning. The brush on the nail polish is the perfect size to sweep across the nail with little effort, it dries quickly, and if you're in a hurry, you'd definitely get away with just one coat of the 'Baroque Red'. I applied two coats to Mums nails and then used the 'Holographic' glitter as one accent nail and I was really impressed. Sometimes with glitters, they either apply really gloopy, or the glitter doesn't come out and you're left with a whole load of clear polish and zero glitter. But not with the IsaDora ' Holographic' nail polish. It went on really well and dried just as fast as the 'Baroque Red'. For €8.95 it's the perfect way to add a bit of glammer and festivity to your nails.
IsaDora Matt Blotting Powder
IsaDora Cover Up Foundation
Next up is the IsaDora 'Matt Fixing Blotting Powder' (€13.95), and the IsaDora 'Cover Up' foundation/concealer (€19.95). I used both of these last weekend when I went out with the girls for our 'Christmas girls night' and I was so happy with the finish. I've never used an IsaDora foundation before and I was worried about using a foundation I'd never used before for a night out but I loved it. I find it hard to find foundations that aren't too dark because I'm so pale, but this shade (62 nude cover) was the perfect shade for me, and with five shades available, there's a perfect fit for everyone. The smallest pump gave me a flawless base and depending on how much coverage you need, it's easily build-able without feeling too heavy on your skin. It's recommended to use a brush but I just used my fingers to blend it in and it was perfect. What I really like about the IsaDora 'Cover Up' is that it doubles as a concealer too, so not only is it two products for the price of one, it's also one less item taking up space in your clutch over the holidays. I have a few blemishes that need that extra bit of coverage and I'll always use a bit of concealer to cover them up but I found that just a dab of this on top was enough to conceal, and because it's the one shade, there was no awkward colour discrepancy's. Everything was flawless. I finished off my base with a sweep of the blotting powder and I was photobooth ready the entire night, and there was no weird shiny foundation flashback.
I didn't have to touch up at all throughout the night. I've been using the foundation as my everyday foundation too, and honestly, I really do love this, and definitely recommend if you have acne/combo skin like I do, because it does hold up really well. The blotting powder isn't available until January.
IsaDora Lip Desire Baroque Collection
IsaDora Baroque Lip Swatch
The party look isn't complete without the perfect red lip, ie. my predictable go to, and the IsaDora lip desire lipsticks (€13.50) are stunning. Even the packaging screams CHRISTMAS. I received three shades 'Baroque Red' (gorgeous if you combo it up with the 'Baroque Red' nail polish fyi), 'Purple Plum', and 'Rum Raisin'. My favourite of the three is 'Purple Plum'. Those dark berry vibes yano, they just draw me right in, followed by 'Barqoue Red'. 'Rum Raisin'  was a little on the dark side for me, and considering how pale I am, it just washed me out, but if you're into dark DARK lip shades you'll definitely love it. The red is the perfect shade of red, it has slight blue undertones which is always a winner in my eyes because it makes your teeth look whiter, and when you're going mad with the selfies, white teeth are a must. The lipsticks are very moisturizing, which is a nice change up from the matte lipsticks I usually reach for. My lips are probably thanking me to be fair. The lip desires are incredibly pigmented, and I would recommend going in with a lip liner first because it is quite easy to go overboard on these, or I found that even lightly outlining the edge of my lips using a lip brush was an easy alternative to buying a lipliner. The lip desires do transfer quite easily (be careful under that mistletoe ;) ), and you do need to touch them up, especially after having a drink but they are really lovely and because they're so bright, they do all the talking so your outfit doesn't have to.
The IsaDora Boho Baroque Collection is absolutely stunning, especially if you're into a vampier look. It's glam and seductive all at the same time, and it's not overly expensive. If you were to buy anything from the collection (which also includes a mascara and an eye shadow palette), I'd highly recommend the foundation/concealer. It's been so long since I've been this impressed with a foundation, that I honestly can't see myself reaching for anything else in my make up drawer. It just looks so natural and nice on my skin. The IsaDora Boho Baroque Collection is in stores now with 20% off until New Years Eve, with the blotting powder available in January.
What do you guys think of the IsaDora Boho Baroque Collection and whats your go to for a night out?
(*These products were sent to me to consider for review. This has not impacted my opinion in the slightest. Find my full disclaimer here.)


Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Review and Eyebrow 101

anastasia beverly hills dipbrow pomade review
eyebrow gel review anastasia
I love eyebrows, seriously. Absolutely love. They have the power to transform your entire face and considering I suck at all other basic makeup application, I like to think I have mastered the art of the perfect brow. You can spend all the money in the world on your make up but if your brows aren't on point, well, you may not even bother. It just pulls everything together.
Speaking as a girl who went the whole way through secondary school with the most caterpillary looking brows you've ever seen, it's only in the last four or five years that I have mastered the art of the eyebrow. So trust me, I know. Although, this served me in the end because at the grand old age of 24, I don't have the problem of over plucked brows that some of my peers do (bold statement? maybe).  I always get messages about my eyebrows so I thought I would share some of my tips for keeping your brows in top shape, along with my holy grail brow item.
  1. Do not do your brows yourself - this is an absolute no no. Really. Get yourself to a professional. 9 times out of 10 they know what they're doing. It doesn't have to be anything expensive. The Body Shop and Benefit both offer amazing services around the country including threading and tinting, and it doesn't break the bank. I don't have these where I live, so I go to Wards Urban Day Spa in Longford and I get 'HD Brows'. This is where the brows are shaped and tinted etc for €25.
  2. Stick to the same place - unless they really botch your brows, I find sticking to the same place is the best. Especially the same person. That way they know what you want and if you're growing them out a little, or if you had a botched job and you need it fixed, they'll know what they're working with and can help fix the problem.
  3. Keep tweezing to a minimum - the girl who does my brows recommends coming in every 6 weeks or so to get the brows done again, but in between appointments they can get a little unruly, especially beneath the brows and between. Don't overdo it. More often than not we will over pluck, so it's best to just tweeze a little to keep the unibrow at bay, and to keep underneath tidy looking. You're paying someone to do them for you, so don't go messing up their hard work in between appointments. You could accidentally go too far up on one brow and mess up the shape etc. It does grow back obviously, but it's such a pain when it's simple to avoid.
  4. Don't overfill - it's so easy to do, and it looks horrendous. Watch some YouTube videos, teach yourself some basics. Remember you're just trying to give them a bit of shape and color. It's not about tracing and coloring them in like a coloring book, you can create a nice thick high def brow without going over the top.
anastasia beverly hills dipbrow gel blog post
I'm not an expert, nor do I think my eyebrows are that fab but those are just some of the things I try to stick to when it comes to my brows. I see so many people with such brow disasters that really could be avoided and I'd like to avoid any mishaps after them looking so rough throughout my teens haha.
I like to think of the above as ~maintenance, and then the fun comes in. Eyebrow products. I love eyebrow products. Brow gels, brow pencil, brow mascara, powder etc etc, I could go on. Drugstore, high end, I try them all. But the Anastasia Beverly Hills dipbrow pomade is my holy grail item. It wasn't till I started using it that I truly understand the Instagram hype around it. It's easy to use, it stays put all day, and there's such a wide range of shades there's one suitable for everybody. The one I purchased was 'medium brown' and it's actually a little on the light side for me, but I make it work. I will be repurchasing a darker shade, but considering how long such a tiny pot lasts, it'll be a few months yet.
I apply the dipbrow with a thin angled brush and brush through it with a little spooly. It's very easy to go a little OTT with this. It's happened. It's just so so pigmented. The first time I used it I underestimated just how pigmented it actually was and had to wipe it all off and restart.
When I apply I start at the bottom beneath the arch, and drag the brush to the end of my brow. Making it a little longer on the left because my left brow is not as Gucci as the right. I then draw a fainter line from the start of my brow to the middle to connect the two and fill in the sparse bits carefully. I find the gel can dry out a little bit in the tub which is really annoying, but if you wet your angled brush a tiny bit it's fine. I actually find using a slightly wet angled brush helps with applying it more, it seems to glide beneath the brow a lot better. I also always do my brows before I apply my foundation. I find it looks better to do it this way first.
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow is a solid 10/10 from me. It applies easily, gives great definition to your eyebrow, doesn't look clumpy and stay's put all day. Even if you mistakenly scratch at your eyebrow, it doesn't smudge. The above picture is my brows filled in with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in the shade 'medium brown'.
Sadly Anastasia isn't stocked in Ireland, but I purchased mine from for €19.30 and it arrived in no time.
Have any of you tried this? What did you think, and what are your eyebrow tips?


Origins Face Mask For Dehydrated Skin

origins drink up overnight mask review
Over the years, I have read numerous blog posts that sung nothing but praise for this Origins 'Drink Up Intensive' Over Night Face Mask. I however was a little bit skeptical. I questioned if it could really be that good and if it was worth replacing my nightly moisturiser with twice a week?
That my friends was until I went for a facial a few weeks ago and I was told my skin was very dehydrated. Super dehydrated. Considering I have combination skin, it's usually the oils and acne areas to cause me the most bother. Never has a facialist told me my skin was dehydrated, a little dry maybe, so that was interesting// concerning if I'm honest. The beautician recommended some fab products for me to use and with continued use, I think they've been drying my skin out more. They contain salicylic acid and although salicylic acid does work wonders, especially in acne prone skin, too much of it can dry my skin out which can cause more problems than it solves.
In regards to the Origins 'Drink Up Intensive' Over Night Face Mask, I have to say, two weeks post purchase, that I regret not being swept up by the hype and trying this sooner. It's brilliant.
In the last two months when I would be applying my make up, I could see it was just catching in dryer areas along my forehead and cheek area. It looked terrible, like it was crusty and cakey. I noticed this even more, post facial with the new products, and I have honestly never experienced anything like it. Although my skin was 'dehydrated', and would probably have been solved with water consumption, the new products ended up drying out my already moisture lacking skin.
My skin was crying out for something to re-hydrate it and that's when I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase the Origins 'Drink Up Intensive' Over Night Face Mask. It's worked wonders in the two weeks I've been using it, and I'm normally not one to blog about skincare so soon after purchasing, but this has already helped improve the appearance of my skin to a point where it's no longer as dry and cakey. Each morning my skin feels soft and you know, normal. Not dry dry dry, but still a teensy bit dry but nothing to stress over.  With continued use it'll get there.
My makeup also looks less cakey and disgusting, because its no longer clinging to dry patches.
The smell is another major selling point for me, it's so fruity, but not too fruity if you get what I mean? It's just a nice, subtle mango scent which really makes you feel like you've given yourself a bit of a pamper sesh.
I apply it twice a week, post cleanse, to my face and neck, and I just let it do it's thing, whilst I try and get some sleep. It's effortless really cause there's no rinsing away so you just let it work it's magic. Lazy gurls I gotcha ;) .
I think this was €30 for 100ml in House of Fraser, so it's not exactly the cheapest face mask there ever was, but it is definitely worth splashing out for if your skin is feeling the effects of harsh winter weather and needs some rehydrating from the outside like mine did.
Have any of you tried this? What did you think?


I'm Back.....

irish beauty blog lifestyle
Okay, wow. Guys. If you're still here. I'm sorry. It's been a while. Three months nearly. Although, I know some of you are still here, because I've been looking at my page views and someone's been waiting for a blog post. Whoever you are. Thank you.
I sort of somewhat, rather crazily dropped my little corner of the internet. The last time I posted on here was September, and we're now fastly approaching 2017, so it's been some time. It wasn't intentional to begin with. I had a lot (or so it seemed at the time) going on in September/October, and my blog got put to the side. As time went by and the gap between when I lost blogged or even turned on my laptop got even bigger, my inspiration and any motivation I had, honestly, died. I'm a creative person and though I may not be the best writer, or blogger or photographer there's ever been, I do like to put my all into my blog and I just couldn't find that spark of creativity or inspiration. It disappeared. Completely. And it's hard to come up with content and new ideas when you're lacking inspiration and motivation to do so. But I've found it again, somehow, and I'm so excited to get blogging and reading everyone elses blogs and just creating content again that I love and really want to share with you guys here on my little corner of the web. I think with blogging, I'm constantly comparing my blog to everyone else - pictures aren't good enough, my grammar/writing is awful, my blog design is terrible etc etc. But that is just my inner critique getting very loud, and I'm going to try and stop comparing myself to everyone else and just try and get back to what I love, after all, this is a blog. It's me.  It's not polished and perfected. It's personal, and that's just the way I want it.
(Also, I've been reading 'Hygge The Danish Art of Happiness' and I highly recommend you give it a read if you haven't done so, it really makes you think about the simpler things.)