Posted in A-Levels, Academic, EPQ, Essay, Feminism, Feminist, Sexism, Student, Theatre, Writing

My Extended Project:Is The Theatre industry Sexist.

Currently gender equality is debated more hotly than before, is there still an excuse for sexism? Not only is sexism still happening in the workplace, schools and in the media it’s also happening within theatre. In the UK  there’s a 2:1 male to female ratio within British theatre (1). We may think that art creates positive  liberal changes for society but sexism is so ingrained, it often goes unnoticed and when it is noticed it largely is ignored. Is sexism only prominent within regional theatres or does it go much deeper beyond the parts and into the playwriting? If this is the case what can be done about it?  


Sexism within theatre may be due to the history of English theatre going back to Shakespeare, who was writing for all male theatre companies. In Elizabethan time period “actresses and prostitution were merely synonyms” (2) .It was taboo for a woman to enter the world of theatre as “In many Western countries women were forbidden to act on the respectable stage until a mere 400 years ago”(2),during this time period women “were played by male actors in drag while real women were banned from the stage” (3) to the Elizabethans the lack of women  on stage wouldn’t be seen as sexist due to the patriarchal society banning women from the stage.

Shakespeare wrote the vast majority of the parts for men out  of his  981 characters 826 are   male,whereas 155 are female (1). Women don’t have as many lines as men, of roles with over 500 lines only 13% of these parts are female(1). Rosalind one of Shakespeare more loquacious heroines has 730 lines, Hamlet has 1,539 (1). Meaning there are  fewer opportunities for women to develop their acting abilities; the foundation for much of theatre is Shakespeare limiting the roles for women.

Arguably the sexism that has  stemmed from Shakespeare means we’ve  become so used to not seeing women on stage as “classical play (are)..regarded as allies in..suppressing real women and replacing them with masks of patriarchal production” (3). Elizabeth Freestone suggests “we’ve been caught thinking that 30% women is good enough..there has been a sort of  blindness to female actors due to the burden of the classical canon” (1), suggesting an institutional sexism within the theatre industry. Arguably Shakespeare didn’t think about the gender breakdown within his plays only what made good characters. As Twelfth Night demonstrates, Shakespeare  plays around with gender roles as Viola and Sebastian both cross dress.


Tonic Theatre looked at a sample of plays and found that if a play was written by a man 65% of the parts were for males; when written by a woman this figure dropped to 48% suggesting women are more likely to split parts up equally.


In 2014 Maxine Peake took on the role of Hamlet, possibly a backlash to the sexism her interpretation was widely praised “though reviewers still focused on the presence of a female actor in that role” (8);possibly suggesting that critics still stick to the canon ignoring multiple gender possibilities. Maxine Peake’s performance of Hamlet has allowed the reinterpretation scripts and ideas, however by doing this the misogyny is ignored(9). Even in the twenty first century we still can’t erase Shakespeare’s injustices (due to the patriarchal theatre conventions he had to conform to) and write them off as a product of another time (9). When changing the gender canon we should still remember that sexism  is still a problem within theatre; instead of challenging the problems we pretend they don’t exist in the first place.


Stella Duffy echoes this point, arguing when women “do not see ( themselves) on stage( they) are reminded yet again that the people running our world not notice when we are not there. That they think men..are all we need to see” (1). This is also echoed by Phyllida Lloyd who suggests “It’s not a conspiracy by men to keep women off ..stage, it’s just they don’t notice when we’re not there”(5). Duffy then goes on to  argue that “fringe theatre is better balanced” in terms of gender and “national theatre companies should lead by example” (1).  According to the guardian in 2012 the National theatre had a record low of female actors, of all female actors employed on 34% of these were women. Tonic theatre who in 2014 took a snapshot of females in creative roles and found that of the 20 plays in the West End 29% of performers were female compared to 71% of male performers .From my own research looking through theatre programmes, graph one shows within touring companies the male to female ratio always has a higher proportion of males within the cast and overall. Particularly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s where there’s a 3:1 ratio. Within amateur productions ( graph three) there are gender differences, with a higher proportion of males. However  in High Green Musical Theatre Company there is a significantly higher proportion of females, but within amateur theatre groups the directors have to work with volunteers who want to be involved. This suggests the theatre industry is more sexist within professional theatre, there are women who want to be involved but barriers stop them.

Phyllida Lloyd had an all female cast of Julius Caesar at the Donmar warehouse covent garden London, Shakespeare’s most male heavy play giving five females the male roles the share of female lines only increased  from 0.67 to 14%  (1) giving women a greater voice on stage. However 14% increase is a small as female characters  don’t have many lines to start with. This is a positive step forward to challenge sexism however this was on a small scale in a lesser known  location which isn’t as likely to make as much of a change like it would if it was performed somewhere like the National Theatre.

In opposition to this  Nastazja Somers suggests most people “blame big guys at the top” however goes on to say she doesn’t see much diversity at the fringe (4), giving women a voice needs to start from the bottom and work its way up. But it may be a difficulty for this to happen because fringe theatre is often freelance, a hard place for women to sustain a career and children as there is “no pension, no maternity leave, a nomadic lifestyle and unsociable hours” (1) meaning that women are less likely to be represented. Arguably it is the role  of big theatre companies such as the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare company to be inclusive of women so they will be able to sustain a career. Hynter (previous Artistic director at the National Theatre) suggests he “can’t..tell directors how they should cast”(1).Jonathan Church ( previous Artistic director for the Chichester festival theatre) argues regional theatres face huge pressures when programming 20th century or contemporary work for an auditorium”(1) , for this to be successful they need to attract  big “names “ that have West End success  such as  “Coward, Ayckbourn, Stoppard, Hare, Rattigan: (who are) all men”(1).

Church can be criticised because he ignores the work of amateur groups who attract a large number of audience members despite a lack of “names”. He ignores that an audience member may attend to see a story not a particular actor. Arguably the theatre industry is sexist due to more parts being available to men, potentially gender-blind casting is taking place.Rosemary Squire suggests that sexism in theatre will never change unless quotas are introduced to encourage directors to employ more females, she then goes on to “No one’s going to stop(the sexism) unless they are told to” because after “a few decades, nothing’s really moved. There must be a forced cultural shift”(6) suggesting that it is not only female actresses who need to voice their want for sexism to end but also audience members ;a change of view from society as a whole is needed to achieve this(6). Playwright  Duncan MacMillan suggests a “characters (arguably actors) gender is visible somehow, whereas if it was a male character (or actor) I don’t think we ( as an audience )would think twice..That surely reflects that we have certain biases and a certain type of theatre culture that notices when a woman is talking on stage about something other than men”(7) suggesting that there is an uproar when we distance ourselves from the male canon.

As well as the parts within theatre there are few female scriptwriters adding to the sexism. According to the New York Times, research was undertaken by Emily Glassberg Sands (an economist) who suggests “There is discrimination against female playwrights within the theatre community”, to do this research she undertook three separate studies; she looked at playwrights themselves. She reviewed information on 20,000 playwrights in the Dramatists guild, an online database of playwrights, her findings again showed a 2:1 male to female split with men writing more plays. Arguably suggesting the theatre industry isn’t sexist if men are putting more effort into writing plays, agreeing with the statement that good scripts by women are in short supply.Ms Sands also discovered that women playwrights were more likely to write about female characters, however they were less likely to be produced adding to the 2:1 gender divide within the parts within British Theatre.


But study can be criticised as the source of relies on the users and the information may be incomplete, therefore her results may not be valid.


For her second study Ms Glassberg Sands sent identical scripts to artistic directors and managers around the country split equally between male and female names. In her research she found that the scripts with female authors received worse ratings in terms of audience reviews and economic prospects compared to the scripts with male authors, despite them being exactly the same script.Adding to the evidence that the theatre industry is sexist,arguably a lack of female playwrights adds to the patriarchy. However the biggest twist is the results were driven by female artistic directors and literary managers, suggesting it is women themselves putting barriers up for other women who are trying to make it within the theatre industry. Suggesting it is not men stopping women progressing in the theatre industry but  women themselves. Ms Sands goes on to say “Men rate men and women’s playwrights exactly the same”. This evidence suggests that the theatre industry is sexist to an extent as there are more barriers for women within theatre, but this evidence suggests women are  putting up their own barriers.


For the final study Ms. Sands looked specifically at Broadway where women write fewer than ⅛ shows. She examined 329 new plays and musicals produced in ten years to see if the bar was set higher for women. The goal in any theatre is to make a profit, her research shows plays by women sold 16% more tickets than plays written by men and were 18% more profitable. However even though these shows earned more money they didn’t continue running any longer than less profitable shows. Ms Sands suggests this is clear evidence that the theatre industry is discriminative against women, but it could be argued that certain shows (if touring ) are booked in for different time periods therefore the fact that women’s plays sold more but didn’t continue may be due to this.


These studies could be criticised on a whole because they are  small scale and don’t look at the amount of female playwrights as a whole. However according to the guardian the latest research show that little progress has been made with gender and play production, a decade ago 30% of new shows were written by women in 2013  this figure stood at 31%.The only area where women playwrights came close to male playwrights was work for children and young people where 40% of shows were written by women ,suggesting women are only successful within theatre when they stay within the stereotypes that society has told them to remain in. In September 2014  Tonic Theatre took a snapshot of the 20 shows being performed in the West End, only  4% were written by women amounting to just one Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap. The amount of female writers within non for profit organisations was only slightly bigger at 8% ;suggesting yet again there is sexism within theatre.


However there is a cultural shift happening within theatre, Tonic Theatre is a programme which brings together “brings together the Artistic Directors, Chief Executives, and senior staff of leading performing arts organisations” from May 2013 to October 2014 it piloted a scheme with 11 theatres to get them to look at the root cause behind the lack of women within theatre.  From their research they found that there was a lack of women on stage due to out-dated structures linking back to Shakespeare, suggesting that if changes are left to occur naturally they will happen but slowly. It is also pointed out that women having babies is an excuse for the imbalances there are a range of factors which act as a barrier for women, like Squire suggests there is a need for quotas, “sometimes imposing..50:50 targets is the only way to go”. As a result of this scheme the cohort of the 11 theatres have outlined what they will do as a result of this scheme such as noticing the unconscious bias and becoming aware of its impacts. Secondly create symbolic relationships with artists and freelancers to support their career in a more sustained way and finally work collectively to  achieve change. Sheffield Theatres  was a worked with, in my own research (graph 2) in 2 out of the 3 plays women accounted for a smaller proportion overall however in Lady Chatterley’s lover this was only a small difference with 9 women to 10 men suggesting positive steps are being taken to close the gender divide. Also showboat ran from December 2015 to January 2016, when the plan for change had only just been implemented. Overall these steps are positive in achieving change to close the gender gap and stop sexism within theatre.


To conclude in many areas the theatre industry is sexist ; this is largely the case in regional theatres such as the Royal Shakespeare company and The National theatre because they have to attract big names to pull audiences in. There arguably is less sexism within fringe productions this may be because it is done largely on a voluntary basis and there is less pay, also their career is less stable than in a professional theatre company. Female scriptwriters also face sexism within the theatre industry as there are very few women who are able to get their script produced, there is a lack of female scriptwriters on Broadway, The West End and non for profit organisations. However Tonic Theatres initiatives are positive ways forward to reduce this sexism and eventually stop it.


Graph 1:

Graph one touring Productions

Graph 2:

Graph 2

Graph 3:

Graph 3



(3)Ashton, E and Case,S (1988,2008)Feminism and Theatre.ed.[ebook]Basingstoke, Hampshire and New York:Palgrave MacMillan,p5-28. Available at : [Accessed 2nd Jan 2017]


(6)Barnett,E(2013) British theatre’s most powerful woman:sadly we need quotas for women.The Telegraph [online] Available at:[Accessed 26th December 2016]


(7)Crompton,C(2016)Sexism on stage- meet the women tearing up the script.The Guardian[online] Available at: [Accessed 26th December 2016]


(5)Gardner,L (2015)In 10 years nothing has changed for female playwrights-it’s time to act. The Guardian [Blog] Available at [Accessed 5th December 2016]


(9)Gentry,R(2016)How should we respond to Shakespeare’s sexism.The Clyde Fitch Report [blog] Available at [Accessed 13th March 2016]


(1)Higgins,C (2012) Women in theatre:why do so few make it to the top.The Guardian,[online]Available at: [Accessed 5th Dec 2016]Wo


(4) Masso,G (2017)Nastazja Somers ‘Everyone blames the big guys but diversity has to start at the fringe’. The Stage [online] Available at: [Accessed 13th March 2017]


(8)McManus,C (undated) Shakespeare and gender: the woman’s part .The British Library [online]Available at: [Accessed 13th March 2017]


(2) Wandor,M (1986) Carry on understudies:Theatre and sexual politics.ed.[ebook] London:Taylor & Francis e-Library,2005,p14-16.Available at: [Accessed 2nd Jan 2017]


Posted in A-Levels, Advice, Student, University, Writing

Things I learned from A -level results day 2017

Strawberry-results-day-blog-1200x675As you may know I’ve just completed my A-levels, I collected them three days ago it’s been a very hectic week and I’m very sorry for not keeping you up to date. For me results day went amazing better than I expected and I have gotten into my first-choice university which amazed me. I remember waking up, checking track and saying to my mum “I’ve gotten in, I’ve actually gotten I!” and yes, I did get a little bit teary but didn’t cry, I’ve done enough of that over the past year. It took away the stress and the sickly feeling of getting my results because I knew whatever happened I got a place at a top Russel group university regardless of my results. I mean I was very nervous because my year was the first year to do the new ‘tougher’ linear A-levels where we had to remember 2 years’ worth of information for three subjects; I suppose that’s a flaw with the education system it isn’t about the joy of learning but about remembering. I feel a lot of exams are about luck some people revise three weeks before and come out with top grades due to their reliance on short term memory, but then again revising is about understanding not necessarily memorising. Results day was a shock for a lot of people, some good, some bad but here are the things I learnt from the experience which I think are good to pass on.


1.)    Your results don’t define you, it is how you deal with them:

For me my results were the perfect outcome and I’m off to university in about a month or so, I think the problem with the education system is we are valued by what grade we get not what type of a person we are or what we do. To succeed we need to get high grades and we are pushed to breaking point until we finally get them, for some people who didn’t get the grades they feel their best Is no longer good enough; I feel that when things don’t go to plan we can see and appreciate all the different options open to us. When things go wrong taking a deep breath, carrying on and trying to pick yourself up is better than wallowing in self-pity, yes it’s ok to cry but life always has a funny way of working itself out. We must have bad times to realise the good times, we only achieve good things by making mistakes no matter how big or small they are and we’re made a better person for it, we learn to become more resilient and respond better when things don’t always go to plan.

Even though I did well, I didn’t share my results with many people apart from my theatre group, close friends and family because I didn’t want other people to feel like I’m bragging and I didn’t want people to compare themselves to me or me to them. We’re all on different paths in life and just because someone did better or worse than you it doesn’t make them different.



2.)    Being a good person is more important than your grades

In an ideal world grades wouldn’t matter and I suppose in that sense we would all be a lot happier and have less stress. A teacher once told me that “Being a good person is more important that your grades, the fact that people care about you and want to help you shows that you are a good person which is more important that what you can get out of any grade. If anything goes wrong (on results day) people will want to help you.”



3.)    The worrying was a waste of time

As a student, we are often focusing on the future, what ifs, what buts etc, etc If etc. When you’ve done your exams, there is nothing more that you can do. If a university or college doesn’t want you purely based on grades then they don’t deserve to have you, that’s what I had to train myself to think. Worrying steals your happiness and the outcome is never as bad as you think it is.



4.)    Whatever happens is meant to be

Whether you got what you wanted and whether you didn’t whatever you achieved was meant to be. If you didn’t do so well there may be a reason for that, whether it be your effort (of lack of it) that you put in, finding out that A levels aren’t for you or maybe you should go down a different route to achieve where you want to finally get to. If something goes wrong for you, you will be able to reflect on what you did wrong then try again and don’t make those mistakes again.



5.)    Believe in yourself

This is probably one of the hardest things to do while taking A levels or any other academic qualification it’s very difficult to see the bigger picture and the finishing line. I think that believing in yourself is essential throughout my A levels I thought I wouldn’t get into my first choice, I didn’t think I was smart enough or could do it. However, when results day finally came I was in shock, I’d managed to secure a place at one of the top Russel group universities. The thing is I put a hell of a lot of work in to secure my grades so I could get it none of my teachers, peers or family doubted me but I very much doubted myself. Doubt is a horrible thing it consumes you, it certainly did me but whatever you put your mind to you can do it and if you want something so badly it will happen. I think results day taught me one  thing that I have to keep thinking positive and knowing my efforts and capabilities are enough.



To conclude  I hope this has helped you if you didn’t get what you wanted or if like me has taught you some valuable life lessons and to most of all stop stressing about the future because you can’t change your path.




Posted in Advice, BBlogger, Beauty, Lifestyle, Skin Care, Student, Vacation, Writing

My Holiday Wash bag

By the time you’re reading this I will no longer be sunning myself in the Canary Islands, rather be awaiting the impending dread of getting my A-Level results (which will be tomorrow). So, I thought I’d write this to make the time between waiting a bit easier and remind me of the fabulous holiday that I had. My wash bag itself is from the simple collection which I received as part of a gift from either my Christmas or Birthday presents, it is a small white bag with a sort of green leaf design across the front and is the perfect size to keep in a suitcase.


  • Smugglers Soul Shampoo bar from Lush:

This is the perfect size it is very small and fits into a carry case, it has a beautiful smell and has a smell of sandalwood and is both a shampoo and conditioner bar. As it is not a liquid it can be taken through security also it reduces the need for lots of liquids. To be honest I didn’t use this while on holiday as my hair gets very dry aboard due to the sun, even though I wear a hat and I need something that is a little stronger to fully moisturise my hair.



  • Simple Kind To Skin Moisturising Facial Wash (mini):

I’ll start off by saying this didn’t last me the whole 2 and a bit weeks I was in Spain, purely because I had used some of it in Berlin, so I ended up buying a Lidl facial wash while I was there to put me on until I got back home. When I’m abroad my skin becomes a combination of both oily and dry, dry because of the amount of sun and oily because of the sun cream however this time my skin has remained normal which could suggest my skin is maturing and settling down. What I like about this product is that it gently cleanses the skin without over stripping its natural oils, it is ever so gentle on the skin ; I have quite sensitive skin and this hasn’t broke me out or irritated me at all. I also love the consistency of this product it is a gel like texture but when mixed with water turns into a foam like substance which is very easy to cleanse with. However, a disadvantage with this product is that it isn’t suitable for removing makeup so you would need to use something else to take your makeup off with.


  • No7 Beautiful skin: Radiance Exfoliator For Normal To Dry (mini)

I got this as a sample from somewhere ages ago and I thought my holiday would be the best time to use it as I heard that if you exfoliate your tan will stay on for longer. My skin isn’t dry so the product isn’t suitable for my skin type but it is a sample so it doesn’t really matter too much. On application, the product feels very soft however I don’t think the exfoliating beads really do much for me as I like a more intense exfoliator like the Lush Dark Angels. I think it’s perfect for people who are quite dry skinned or don’t like an intense facial application but for me it wasn’t my favourite.



  • Lancôme Galateis Clarte: Gentle cleansing fluid for face and eyes (mini):

I used this product to remove my makeup before I cleansed my skin, like the other products it was very gentle and removed all my makeup. To apply I poured the cleanser onto a cotton pad and did it that way so it didn’t go everywhere as the it is a watery creamy texture. However, I don’t like the smell of this product, I think it’s too scented and over-powering.



  • Simple Kind To Eyes: Eye Make-up Remover (mini)

Like the name suggests I used this to remove my eye makeup, usually I am funny with eye make-up removers as they can usually sting my eyes as I have quite sensitive skin and some products cause my skin to burn. This product was an absolute Godsend, all my eye makeup was removed with a couple of swipes and it didn’t irritate my delicate eye area.


  • Simple Kind To Skin: Hydrating Light Moisturiser

I love, love  this moisturiser, during the day on holidays I don’t normally moisturise as with the added sun cream my skin gets terribly oily so I just moisturise at night. The cream doesn’t have a heavy feel to it or overpowering smell and feels lovely when applied to the skin.


  • The Body Shop: Mango Whipped Lotion (mini)

I received this as part of a Christmas present it is a body lotion that I used when getting out of the shower. I have eczema prone skin and was worried this would cause a flare up however it didn’t irritate me at all. The formula goes on very easily and the consistency isn’t too thick which is nice. However I don’t know what I think of the smell as I love the body lotion but I go through a love hate relationship with the smell as at times it is quite sickly sweet for me.



To conclude I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post, one of my top tips for travelling is always take minis and if you run out of something you can always buy something when you are away whether you are in a foreign country or not as they will have the same brands as us or something similar. If you have any things that you take away with you I would love to hear from you.



Posted in Benefit cosmetics, Charlotte Tilbury, Makeup, Writing

My holiday makeup bag

This blog post should have been put up a couple of days ago however somehow it was deleted. I’m currently sunning myself in the Canary islands, relaxing by the pool,seeing the sights and exploring the nightlife. My holiday makeup bag isn’t so different from my normal makeup bag because I don’t usually wear a lot of makeup . In my normal makeup bag I usually have the bigger sizes items of some products and a few extra products thrown in. Again like my July favourites I am not sponsored by any of the brands mentioned. All the items mentioned have either been a gift from a family member ,bought on offer or with a voucher.
My makeup bag itself is a lovely rectangular shape with a black lining. The front is pink and has the benefit head on with the slogan “laughter is the best cosmetic”


On holiday I like to go light on my face , I have acne and the sun tends to clear it up so I have less of a need for foundation. Now that’s not to say I am dependent on makeup ,I use it to enhance my features rather than hide them; the thing with acne is it tends to devalue your self worth. I’ve decided that label can Fuck right off.  I don’t have perfect skin ,I know but neither do the airbrushed models which we are so manipulated to believe. Makeup for me is about expression and it has taken me a while to build up my self confidence but now it is at a point where No one can knock it down.

  • The first product I use on holiday is the Benefit cosmetics porefessional mini which I got in a makeup set a long with my makeup bag. I like the silky feel to the product and it mattifys my skin after layers and layers of suncream. However I wouldn’t buy the fullsize product because Primers all do the same thing and there will be a drugstore alternative that will do the exact same.
  • Next up is the Rimmel instaglam colour correct palette.  I bought this on a 3 for 2 offer. The palette has three shades a pinky orangey colour for undereye bags, green for redness and purple for dullness. I never bothered with these palettes as I find them too complicated to use, but this palette is very simple with the uses stated on the packaging. It also comes with a handy mirror. I don’t think the coverage is that good but for the price it’s not too bad.
    • Thirdly is the Bareminerals Bareskin complete coverage serum concealer.  I find this to be very high coverage and brightening for my skin. I sometimes just wear this on its own sometime as it looks natural and the coverage is amazing. However I find the concealer very watery and I would probably not buy this again as I got this on a voucher and couldn’t justify £22.
    • Next is the Bareminerals Complexion rescue in the shade Vanilla.  The coverage is very lightweight and perfect for holiday but can also build to a medium coverage. It also contains factor 30 which is brilliant.
    • Finally on the base is the Bourjois Por de java powder. I love ,love ,love this powder it feels very luxurious.The packaging is amazing too and looks vintage. The smell may be a problem for some people but I love it, it reminds me of talcum powder.  


      My eyebrows are the absolute bain of my life as they are very sparse and I’m quite heavy handed sometimes. 

      • First up I apply the Soap and Glory Brow archery in the colour brownie.  This product is the perfect colour for my eyebrows and very easy to apply. The product itself is quite petite easily fitting into my makeup bag. However the gold writing has rubbed off the brush making it very difficult to find. Also the product is quite flimsy as the brush has fallen off the end ,however I would buy this product again.
      • My final brow product is the Rimmel Brow this way in the colour dark brown. I bought this product on a 3 for 2 offer however I got it confused with the maybellibe brow drama which I absolutely love.  I think the consistency of the Rimmel product is too thick for me and the gel comes out quite clumpy. I also find the colour too light for my brows which Is a shame.


      I love to make my eyes stand out as that’s where people generally tend to look first. As I have problems skin I feel my eyes are very important.

      • First up is the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita palette.  As I’ve said in my favourites I think this product is amazing ,simple to use and can be used both day or night. The colours are highly pigmented and make my eyes stand out beautifully.

      I use two mascaras to make my eyes pop even more.

      • First up is the Benefit cosmetics They’re real mascara mini. This is a cult favorite. I do like this mascara, it makes my lashes look lovely and long. 
      • Second is the Clinique High Impact mascara.  I bought this unopened from a carboot sale for 20p. This mascara is amazing I like it more than the benefit cosmetics. It is very lengthening and not as clumpy as the benefit cosmetics mascara.

      Finishing touches

      So to finish my look I will use a bronzer and highlighter to define my face and give me more colour.

      I have two bronzers one which I bought on holiday .

      • First up is the Hoola Bronzer by benefit cosmetics which I have mentioned in my last monthly favourites.

      •  Second is the Kiko cosmetics baked bronzer in Terra cota from the mini divas collection.  I’m very impressed with this bronze the colour is perfect for my skintone and it blends beautifully.
      • To highlight my skin I use Benefit cosmetics high beam. I received this in a gift set. I do like the highlighter as it gives a nice brightness to my skin and is amazing for my undereye bags. However I think the tone is too pink for my skin and there are other alternatives on the market which are cheaper.
      Posted in BBlogger, Beauty, Favourites, lush, Writing

      July favorites

      • So as you all know I’m quite late to the beauty and fashion game . I felt like I could never do anything creative with favourites because they’re purely based on opinion and nothing more. I’ve decided to join in with the fun and share my favourites because why the heck not.


        •  First up in the monthly favourites are my favourite haircare products. I haven’t told you this but I am planning to donate my hair to the little princesses charity who make wigs out of any hair that is donated. I used to get my hair cut every six weeks because I used to like it a certain length, but now I’m seeing the Rapunzel side of things and it is so long. Although I’ve still got a way to go before it’s the right length to be cut as I don’t want it too short. As a consequence my hair is getting very ,very dry a problem which I have never had before. To conquer this I am using a Pantene hair oil which is amazing and very easy to use . I usually make a cup of tea stick in the oil then leave it in then put it on my hair. It’s incredibly easy to use and leaves my hair silky with no oily residue left behind.

        • Second is the lush smugglers soul shampoo bar. I love the shampoo bars ,they are quite expensive at over £6 per bar ,but I find they are worth the hefty price tag. Firstly they are easy to carry around if you are traveling or staying at a friends and they last for ages. They are also very long lasting , for me I used to wash my hair every other day ,now I’m washing my hair 1 to 2 times a week due to lack of oil residue. Also due to the lack of packaging you’re also saving the planet. I find the smugglers soul bar very nourishing for my hair which is always a plus.
        • My final hair care favourite is the John Freda Frizz Ease conditioner. My mum managed to pick me up a 500ml formula for a couple of pounds from TK Maxx. The formula is very thick and creamy, perfect for my hair and stops any unwanted frizz.


        I’ve had acne since the age of nine so skincare is a big must of mine. Luckily my acne is going but I still take care of my skin. I was watching a YouTube video and a makeup artist Lisa eldridge (I think) was saying that people with acne,despite having acne have better skin than people without acne. This is purely because people with acne take better care of their skin than people who don’t . 

        • One of my favorites is the lush Dark Angels (I’m not sponsored I promise) it’s very exfoliating but very gentle at the same time not irritating my acne. It uses black charcoal and sugar to exfoliate the skin , avocado oil also helps to moisturise the skin afterwards.

        • I also like to use the lush oatifix face mask which I got as an act of kindness. It exfoliates and moistures my skin without leaving it too greasy.


        • I love makeup I don’t use it as a mask anymore , I use it to enhance my features and try and show my personality through it. I don’t tend to have a lot of makeup as I don’t think I need a lot and I think hoarding it takes the enjoyment out.
        • My  first favourite is the Dolce Vita palette by Charlotte Tilbury.  I managed to get it fairly cheap as I used a survey site which gave me £25 in vouchers so it took the price down considerably. I’m quite a fan it’s very easy to create an amazing eye look , there are so many looks you can create and the Charlotte Tilbury YouTube channel has really helped me. They feel incredibly light on the eyes and there is barely any fallout and the colours blend amazingly together. 

        (Sorry about the picture I know it doesn’t do the product justice)

        •  A second favorite is the Hoola bronze by benefit cosmetics. I love the matte finish. I recently got the mini bronzer as a gift for my 18th in February and there is still quite a bit left in it. However I feel the colour is quite dark and orange for my pale skin.


          • I’m not really into fashion, I don’t follow the latest trends, I prefer to be individual and wear things that are ‘me’. I call myself the girl with the purple dockers because when I first created this blog I had a beautiful pair of purple doc martens. After wearing them for two years the leather had started coming off and they’re discontinued. Luckily there has been a Doc Marten sale , I’m a wide foot so I find it extremely difficult. Luckily I found a beautiful pair of red loafers with tassel detailing. They are a dark red colour but will get more vibrant as I wear them.

              So that sums up my months favourites, just a quick disclaimer I am not sponsored by any of the brands mentioned. So if you have any favorites that you’d recommend leave them in the favourites below ,I’d love to hear them.

               While you’re here I’d just like to point you to my friends blog ,he’s new to WordPress and when you’re new it’s very difficult to gain readers . He’s a thoroughly talented writer blogging about a variety of topics from fashion to lifestyle 


              So all I’ll say is thank you very much for reading , I really appreciate it . I’ll see you in my next post.

              ~The Girl With Purple Dockers

              Posted in Berlin, Boyfriends, Stories, Student, Writing

              The Narcissist That I am.


              I’ve noticed that since I’ve been away I haven’t updated you on the things I’m now doing what I’ve done in the past year etc. So, I feel that this blog post will finally give me an excuse to tell you more about myself so you can get to know me a little better. The problem with blogging as we all know is that sometimes life can often get in the way meaning we have very little time to blog, once you stop blogging your inspiration goes and your readers follow (Well some of them) not that you blame them. Blogging in a way is like a relationship but without the clingy other half, you have to keep your readers begging for more, like I suppose a romantic partner not that I’m experienced in that department and I’d love to say I took a break from blogging on a high leaving my readers begging for more but quite honestly, I didn’t. I’ve detailed in my previous blogs why I stopped and I’m not going to bore you with that because I’ll become like an old person in the early stages of dementia. So, I’m going to try and condense what I’ve been up to in this blog post, I’ll try and keep it short.


              1.)    I have just finished my A levels

              I have just finished full time education completing three A levels in English Literature, Sociology and Geography. I hope to be at university in September, studying English and Theatre studies although for privacy reasons I don’t want to disclose which university I’m going to go to. I can’t fully tell you what I want to be, what I want to do or where I want to go in life, but life has a funny sort of way of sorting things out for us so I guess I’ll just have to see where it takes me.



              2.)    I turned 18 in February and am now a fully-fledged adult

              It seems strange to say that I am an “adult”, although I don’t look old enough I’m told that often enough; I usually get asked “So have you finished school, what are you planning to do next?” and I mean ok, I’ve still got my baby face but come on. I suppose in a funny sort of way I don’t mind people mistaking my age because I’m hoping I look young in my forties. I always joke that “I’m going to get a 20-year-old toy boy” when I’m forty, but thinking about it I’m two years off twenty and forty-year olds don’t seem to appeal to me. Sorry Dads.  For my birthday, I didn’t really want a big party because alcohol and buffets always seem to bring out the worst in people as it suggests in Othello “Why put an enemy in your mouth to steal away you brains” something like that anyway. And I myself am not a big drinker, I’m 5ft 2 (ish) and weigh 7 stone so I really can’t handle it, and I don’t really like paying for it either. So, alcohol isn’t really my thing as I’m an old soul finding nightclubs to be too loud and playing crap music and the alcohol not tasting nice, I suppose that’s not the point though alcohol isn’t supposed to taste nice in those sort of establishments, just get you drunk. For me I’ve not yet gotten drunk, I don’t want to be out of control in a busy town centre and I wouldn’t say I abstain but alcohol isn’t really my vice. I don’t think it’s clever as alcohol is expensive and you’re paying for yourself to be ill the next morning as well as face liver damage. No thanks. For my birthday, I got some lovely presents, I’m not going to post them on here and brag about them because I’m not that type of person and I also feel that it’s too late for me to write about them, maybe on my 19th. For me I thinks it’s not the presents that you get bought that you remember but more the experiences you have with family and friends which really makes it special. My birthday was on a day when I was at college so I couldn’t really do much in the day time, a lot of teachers were surprised I’d turned up, but birthdays are like busses they come and go. Luckily, I wasn’t starting until eleven so I got the morning to open my presents. To celebrate I was bought a bottle of champagne which I still haven’t drunk and we went out for a eat where I had my first legal drink. The next day luckily, I had a day off so my mum took me out to a patisserie for an afternoon tea. The half term holidays are usually quite close to my birthday so we headed up to York where I met my university friend and we went out for a few drinks and I was taken to Bettys tea room for cake. (I have a shocking sweet tooth if you haven’t gathered)



              3.)    I visited Berlin

              As part of my birthday present I asked to go to Berlin with college, I’m not a very materialistic person and prefer experiences I remember rather than having gifts. I had an amazing time we visited lots of monuments:

              • Alexander Platz
              • Street food Market: Markthalle Neun
              • TV Tower
              • The Berlin Wall
              • Potsdamer Platz
              • The Jewish Memorial
              • Brandenburg Gate
              • We had a canal ride
              • Visited the East Side Gallery
              • Museum Island
              • Concentration Camp (Swchenhausen Memorial and Museum)
              • Reichstag
              • Berlin Zoo
              • I visited Bowie’s café



              3.)I had a boyfriend

              I’m not really going to go into this because I feel I am allowed my own sense of privacy and I want my blog to be a positive place which is like a warm hug. I dumped him but I’ve learnt a couple of things never go out with a man:

              • That is the same shoe size as you.
              • Brags about his “7.8-inch penis” (I never saw it, don’t worry)
              • That makes a crap cup of tea.
              • And votes for an opposing political party.


              4.)    I voted in my first election:

              After not being able to vote in Brexit as I wasn’t old enough I could finally vote for my chosen political party. I voted and I was so glad that the youth vote rose because for a while politicians haven’t really cared about us because they haven’t felt that we could help them win. I feel like it works like this the young haven’t voted because of the lack of policies geared towards us and because of that there’s been even less policies geared towards us, so it’s like a vicious circle. After Brexit, I think we finally got the message and I know I kind of can’t include myself but still. The youth vote allowed labour to win more seats, which I’m very glad about.



              5.)    I volunteer for Girl-Guiding UK

              I have been a volunteer for with Girl-Guiding UK for over seven years and I absolutely love it, it allows me to give back to my community and gain good experience around children. I’ve gained so much confidence and have enjoyed every minute of working with them, I don’t have a bad word I can say about any of them because they’re all little stars who make me laugh.



              So that’s all I have to say for now, I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog please like, comment and share if you so wish to.


              The Girl With Purple Dockers xx

              Posted in Advice, Anxiety, Mental health, Teenager, Writing

              Self-Care and anxiety

              During the exam period, I found it very stressful, now I haven’t been diagnosed with anxiety because I haven’t felt it for long enough and after exam period finished my symptoms of anxiety vanished due to the vast amount of stress being alleviated. However, I did suffer the symptoms and wouldn’t wish them on anyone. My head felt like it was racing with thoughts, my mouth felt dry and I could barely stomach any food. I cried a lot at least once a day and had mood swings which is out of character for me. My mum used to say to me “take a chill pill” but in all honesty, it’s not as easy as that when you have anxiety symptoms you can’t just “chill” there’s always things you need to be doing, or a thought that comes to bother you. During exam period, I felt that no matter how much revision I did I would inevitably fail leaving me feeling hopeless.

              I feel that today, despite mental health issues becoming an “epidemic” there is still a stigma attached to mental health disorders making it very difficult to admit to people that you have one despite the one in four statistics. I often feel that anxiety is romanticised as cute and quirky generated by authors who think going for a coffee will somehow magically banish all the symptoms, even though caffeine isn’t the best thing to solve anxiety. When I had the symptoms, I felt like my anxiety was never going to end but speaking from experience if you are suffering with anxiety you will see the light at the end of the tunnel and dig yourself out of the pit which you find yourself in. It won’t be a quick fix and you may feel that anxiety consumes you for days, months, weeks, years even, but you should appreciate the good days when you have a smile on your face and take the days everyday as they come, not think about the weeks that follow.  So, here’s my advice on looking after yourself as anxiety can take over leaving you in forgetting about yourself.

              1.)    Take a break

              When I was doing my A levels I can’t remember giving myself a day off because I was so worried. It got to the point where my work began to consume me and I often felt like I was drowning under the weight of my own high expectation and the masses of revision I had given myself. It got to the point where revision became like an addiction, like alcoholics suffer without their vice, I couldn’t go a day without doing work. In reality, people who have a job don’t work for seven days a week. I always had a heavy sense of guilt when I wasn’t revising which caused it to become a compulsion where I would labour over books for 3-4 hours, sometimes more every day. My advice would be stop, just stop, you can, it won’t hurt you too much as long as you keep a balance and don’t go out every night. Just breathe, relax, take every day as it comes and focus on the end goal. If it helps have a night or a couple of nights a week where you do something you love whether this be a sport, a craft, volunteering or a hobby. For me I found that when I was doing something productive that wasn’t work it took my mind of my anxiety and my revision so I would advise you to do the same.


              2.)    Eat Cake

              Now I’m not saying eat it all the time, but eat things you enjoy. I personally have a very sweet tooth and during the stress of the exam period lost half a stone because my bowels just went AWOL. Everything I ate went in one end and came out the other, or I was sick because of the stress (Sorry too much information). Eating things, you like might make you feel better, although only eat bad things in moderation.


              3.)    Let your emotions out but don’t let them rule you

              Personally, I still find it very difficult to express my emotions I am what my mum calls me “an emotional retard”. I always keep things bottled up until I decide I can no longer keep them in. Emotions are meant to be felt, it’s ok to not feel ok all the time, we all have good days and bad days. We’re not robots and not made of iron but flesh and blood, we’re all only human and we must understand that it’s ok to cry. Generally, you tend to feel better after you cry, I know that I found this. Once you show your emotions people will begin to understand how you’re feeling, they won’t think you’re weird or judge you, but know you’re not feeling yourself and need help. People will help you if you let them which brings me on to my next point.

              4.)    Talk to people

              This is probably one of the most important pieces of advice I could give you. Talking to people gave me lots of opportunities to feel better within myself and allowed people to help me. I was designated a safe space where I could go out if I needed some down time, get a drink, colour and talk if I felt like it. If I couldn’t concentrate within lesson I was given a classroom on my own, or time to go down to the safe space. This also allowed me to open up conversation with my peers and made me feel less alone. If you feel you can’t talk to parents/carers, teachers or friends tell your doctor (I will do a blog post on this if you would like one, let me know in the comments). If that fails ring the Samaritans on 116 123 (UK only). I will link the website below for more information.


              Remember you are not alone ¼ people suffer with a mental illness at some point throughout their lives, remember you aren’t going mad or cracking up and you will come out of the other side but like I said It takes time and that time is different for everyone. You’re doing great, keep your chin up

              5.)    Read a book

              For me reading helped me hugely as It didn’t let me concentrate on my own whizzing thoughts, it transported me to another world where characters had their own lives and problems that didn’t concern me. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a story just read something whether it be a magazine, short story or group of poems but DO NOT USE FACEBOOK AS READING. This also brings me to my next point.


              6.)    Stay off social media

              Social media puts a lot of pressure on us to live a “perfect life” where we all look perfect and have a perfect career, husband, life-style, families and holidays. Whereas in reality we’re getting divorced because our husband has shagged the neighbour, we found out we were adopted (Not that it’s a bad thing to be adopted, don’t call the NSPCC on me) and the 5* holiday we booked turned out to be a rat-infested caravan that stinks of shit. Ok a little over- dramatic but there we go, social media isn’t real we all know that, but we all seem to become absorbed in the fake people portray. Coming off Facebook was the best thing I ever did, it allowed me to focus on exams and myself and I didn’t miss it either.

              7.)    Have a bath

              Fill it with things that relax you whether it be a scented candle, bubble bath, bath oil and bath bombs. Go mad, make a bath cocktail.


              8.)    Go for a walk

              Walking helps clear your head, I used to go walking quite a lot and visit a little dam where I could just sit, admire the view and just be without worrying about anything.


              9.)    Meditate

              Stop, take time out, breathe, focus on your breathing count your breaths in, out in out, that’s it. Where is the sensation in your body and are there any feelings of tension not judging it just noticing it? For me meditating really helped me just take a break from my constant thoughts. My mum works for the NHS and could get a free trial for a yearn of an app called headspace which I am using at the minute. It gives you several packs to choose from to help you get through whatever you may be feeling. It is usually quite expensive at £52/6 per year but you can join a site called and get mentoring for £30 which comes with a subscription to headspace. Just so you know I am not sponsored by either site just making you aware of them in case you need to use them. Alternatively, there are free apps on the app store and I’d always recommend doing the free trial.

              10.) Make yourself look good

              When I was suffering with anxiety I could hardly be bothered about my appearance, now I’m not necessarily a vain person but like to look presentable. When my anxiety was at its worst I would just throw some clothes on not caring how they looked or whether they matched. I wouldn’t even dab makeup on my face because I really didn’t care about myself. I would scrape my hair into a ponytail and when I was feeling particularly adventurous maybe even a plait. On good days, I would put the tiniest bit of tinted moisturiser on and it did make me feel better as they say, “you look good you feel good”. Sometimes on days when I wasn’t feeling my best planning my outfit, straightening my hair and doing my make-up would help and it might help you too.

              I really like this picture of me , I was on my way to a beer festival

              So, all that’s probably left to say is thank you very much for reading, if you are suffering with any mental health disorder remember you are not alone, live everyday as it comes and pat yourself on the back for getting through today no matter how difficult you find it. There is light at the end of the tunnel and you will begin to feel better.  I hope these tips help even if it’s one person who reads this blog, feel free to leave any comments of things you do to help your anxiety and let me know if these tips help you. If you need someone to talk to do not hesitate to contact me because I know how you’re feeling and remember if today hasn’t gone so well tomorrow is a new day. Finally if you’d like me to write anything else about my experience with anxiety let me know in the comments section below, I am more than happy to answer your questions.

              Much love and take care of yourself,

              The Girl With Purple Dockers.


              Posted in Berlin, blogging, Fresh Start, Mental health, Writing

              Time for a change.

              I’m sitting on my bed at 11’oclock typing, late nights seem to be the only time I am able to catch a spark of inspiration. After taking my A levels which I found to be very traumatic my brain cells have just seemed to die. The last thing I’ve felt like doing is sit down and write on my blog. Which could suggest several things.

              1)      A-levels have killed my creative spark for the time being.

              2)      What I’m blogging about has no interest to me anymore and I need to change the direction of my blog because my readers won’t be interested in my work if I am not.

              3)      I’ve become very lazy due to the lack of work which I now no longer must do.


              I possibly think it could be a combination of those things, as mentioned I didn’t enjoy taking A levels, but then again who enjoys taking exams. I am now on a very welcome break and I planned to write at least three times a week which I used to do before.  My blog contains a lot of poetry and general ramblings about things, however I feel this is mainly a creative writing blog and I have been writing creatively just not on here as I have been writing a play for my university course (More on that in my next blog post) which I hopefully start in September; at the moment I don’t want to share it as it isn’t finished and I don’t want it to be copied, you never know what people on the internet can be like .  However I have recently found out If I publish my creative work on WordPress I can’t submit it into competitions as it is plagiarism as I have no way to prove the blog is mine, very complicated blah, blah. I now feel that I don’t want to be restricted anymore, hence why I called myself girl with the purple dockers because it isn’t specific.


              Basically, this has been a long-winded way of telling you that I want to be a bit more experimental with the things that I write on my blog and cover a wide variety of topics that I’m interested in. I’ve already mentioned this in my new years resolutions but I haven’t followed this through, I’m a very bad blogger, sit me on the blogger naughty step if you like. Anyway, once a blogger loses interest in what they’re writing that’s the end of the blog and I don’t want that to happen because:

              1)      I want to improve my writers craft, and I feel a variety of blog posts will help me develop this.

              2)      I love the positive community on WordPress who brighten my day when they leave comments or like my post. Now I know I probably don’t have the biggest audience but we all must start from somewhere. The people who like, comment, read and follow me brighten my day and I have very much missed that feeling.

              3)      I really enjoy writing and want to build up a bigger audience but so does everyone else.


              Change is a good thing most of the time, as they say “Variety Is the spice of life” and although a lot of blogging websites tell you to have a good focus and keep to the same topic I personally feel that I want to experiment and see what works best for me and my readers. I’ll see how it goes and do it that way.

              So all that’s left to say is thank you very much for reading my post and if you have any ideas of things you’d like to see I’m more than happy to listen to you in the comments.

              All my love for now, as I’m off to brainstorm some ideas.


              Sunrise over the Berlin Wall which I took on a recent holiday. Like people’s views changed about communism mine have also changed about this blog, this image marks the rise and fall of my mental health ,however I am now solid again and back to normal.



              The Girl With Purple Dockers.

              Posted in Emotions, Exam stress, Memories, Mental health, Teenager, Writers, Writing

              Starting again 

              I should start off this post by saying sorry for not posting . In reality I’m not sorry , sometimes things become too much. So much you loose yourself and have to build yourself back up ,which I am currently in the process of doing . I haven’t been in a good way or been myself in these last couple of months. I’ve been struggling and I know writing is supposed to help me but with revision and exams I just haven’t felt up to it or anything in that matter ,hence why I’ve took a long break . If you saw my last blog post ,It was the trigger that made me understand that things weren’t right. It was all down to the pressure brought km by exam stress but now I’ve finished my A levels and thrown 2 years of notes into the waste paper bin. Which has freed the Albatros or at least the weight of expectation from around my neck.

              I’m on the mend gluing myself back together , taking a well earned rest and starting to re-discover things I enjoy doing .  I just thought I’d write this short blog post just to let you know I’m back and am going to start blogging again. I now have a lot of free time and am going to put my time back into writing 
              as well as self care.I know just have to take a breath and know what I’ve done in my exams is all I could have done,I cannot change the outcome and understand that things happen for a reason .

              So thank you all for being patient with me and I’ll see you in my next blog .

              Sophia xx

              Posted in Dead, Emotions, Exam stress, help


              I don’t know how to start this,I suppose I’ll start by saying I feel numb. I thought after coming back from Berlin I’d be fine and these thoughts wouldn’t come back. I came back from Berlin feeling ok about things ,particularly my exams I thought, ok it isn’t the end of the world if I don’t get the grades I want or I don’t get into a Russel group . I really don’t know what the matter is on the outside I am always known as the happy,jolly, kind person but inside I feel like I’m rotting and I’ve lost my spark I once had. 

              I don’t know whether if it’s the exams or my mindset as a whole is going downhill. I’ve never said a thing to anyone about it because I don’t want to be judged and I suppose that’s why I’m writing on here , to clear my head and gain some clarity.

              I’m in that awful panicky stage I have a got a good nights sleep since the beginning of March and my teacher had a talk with me saying I was the hardest working student he’d ever known and if I didn’t do so well he’d help me with university as it wouldn’t be out of not trying. 

              Now I’m in the state of over sleeping ,now I don’t know whether it’s because of my time patters being messed about but I’m having 8-11hrs sleep on a daily basis. I’ve gotten myself into a vicious cycle where if I don’t revise it bugs me and I constantly have to do more. 

              I’ve had nosebleeds in three days solid , woken up dizzy and had a knot in my stomach and this morning I’ve felt really awful, I can’t really explain the feeling but it’s been a mental thing and I don’t really know what’s going on.

              I mean I’ve been out and now I feel alright but slightly guilty , but if anyone can help please do .