Beauty, lifestyle

Teatox – fad or fab?

By Jasmine McRae

Jasmine sets to share her newfound and honest insight into the mysterious world of teatoxes.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt self-conscious about your body. I know I have. As young women we almost feel expected to try every diet, workout routine or new fitness fad in the book. And where does it leave us? Skint and frustrated at our lack of results.

I delved into the mystical world of Detox Teas at the end of last year. I was absolutely desperate for that summer bod; looking and feeling fabulous. Teatoxes are usually between £20 and £50, depending on the brand, the length of time you’ll be using them, and whether they contain any special ingredients or supplements too.

Hunting for a bargain, I ended up on the TeaMi website; a company that specialises in the topic. They have teas for everything: metabolism boosts, better sleep, increasing your cognitive function (no, really), and weight loss. Their basic weight loss teatox program costs an eye-watering £49.99 and comes with two bags. One contains the Skinny Tea, which claims to energise you, reduce hunger and increase fat burning. The other is the Colon Tea, which literally just makes you need to crap. A lot.

I had really high hopes. Well, if you spend the equivalent of a fortnight’s food shop on a few tea bags, you will want a decent product, right?

In all honesty, I enjoyed the Skinny Tea aspect of the detox. I loved the taste, but I love green tea anyway, so I was winning from the beginning. Although, I didn’t feel like suddenly running a marathon, nor I did see any fat burned. I still felt like I needed my usual pint of coffee in the mornings to get me going. So minimal effect really.

And then it was the Colon Tea. These teas, no matter what brand you buy, are essentially laxatives, and need to be drank before bed. The adverts say that they ‘cleanse’ your body, but it’s really more like some sort of lava that flush out of your system.  hated it. It tasted awful; hints of black liquorice and overtones of dishwater. Precisely eight hours after you drink it, you’ll need to be within about two meters of a toilet, which isn’t ideal if you have things to be doing the next morning.

It took me about three weeks of suffering with through this Teatox to realise that it was just another fad. There are countless manipulative (read: sponsored) Insta-famous girls brandishing their tea infusers on social media. Companies like this just exploit our insecurities, and want us all to spend £50 for a ‘quick-fix’. It really doesn’t work.

I gave up the Teatox, and although it was heart-wrenching to chuck it in the bin, I am actually so much happier. My sleeping pattern is back to normal, which is working wonders for my mood and focus in day to day life. Eating healthily and moving more is making some of those extra pounds shift a little bit.
But the best part? Being able to leave my house to get to university, or even go for a jog, without having to lock myself in the toilet.

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Food For Thought, lifestyle, Mental Health

Six Ways To Tackle Stress In The Exam Period

By Lauren Chancellor

Lauren takes the pen to give us all a well-needed advice (or six) on how to deal with the turmoil that is exam stress.

Another term, another set of exams. Your assessment period is a time of stress and anxiety, something nearly every student dreads. With most of your free time spent cramming in extra revision and worrying about your end result, it can be as exhausting as it’s unpleasant.

Here are some simple tips to help you unwind and de-stress from the pressures of exams:

Positive vibes – Maintaining a positive outlook can stop you from losing your head whilst waiting for your results. Don’t waste your remaining days of freedom worrying, think positive thoughts and more important, spread positivity. Remember it is not just you going through the stress of exams, so being a Negative Nelly around other people is probably going to bring them down too.

Hard earned rest – For now, it’s time to say goodbye to the revision time table, the highlighters can go back in the draw and you can return your library books. Now it’s time to calm down and find your inner Zen. Take a nap, take two naps, wake up at midday instead of 9am – you do you.

Socialise – The chances are, you haven’t seen the social hours of daylight in long time. However, now your exams are over, and it’s time to venture into the real world, once again. Sharing downtime with your friends is a great way to relax after the exam period: watching movies, playing sports, going shopping etc.

Accept what’s done is done – When you leave that exam hall the power is out of your hands, and the sooner you accept that the better. What’s done is done, and what will be will be. Allowing yourself to fall into turmoil about what you could have done differently is pointless and can very quickly become exhausting. To avoid this, refrain from talking to people from your class about the exam and just focus on getting your results.

Have a back-up plan – on the off chance things really didn’t go to plan, having a plan of action is a great way to relieve anxiety and to help you continue moving forward with your studies. Make yourself familiar with re-sit dates and where you need to be.

Celebrate – whether it’s with your classmates, housemates or your family – you’ve worked hard over the past month and your hard work should be rewarded. Whether you go out for a celebratory meal or a few drinks in town, get out and let your hair down!

School and university is stressful for the most students, even those who don’t have exams. It’s important to remember that your body needs time to relax and rest. Be aware that your fellow peers may be feeling the pressures from their studies, and be mindful.

Guest Writers, lifestyle, Mental Health

“I Wished I Wasn’t Me” – overcoming self-doubt

Sometimes you have to be completely honest with yourself, and sometimes you learn something new. Helene moved to London and went on a journey of self exploration. Now she shares it with the Skint readers.
Text: Helene Fritz

Some days I wished I wasn’t me. I wished I was someone who wouldn’t worry so much about everything, or needed to overthink every little detail. It is exhausting. It takes a lot of energy to constantly worry. I have always been this way, though I just realised it more recently.

While it was so hard to acknowledge all my flaws, all the wrong turns I’ve taken, there is nothing I would take back. All these decisions I shouldn’t have made, the moments I should have behaved different, and all the little things I don’t like about myself, they all led me to the moment I could finally start to take my life in my own hands. There was a moment where I suddenly did not think “the world is cruel”, or “why is this happening to me” anymore.

At one point I realised I could do so much more than sit around and complain about everything. I realised I am not a victim of life. Though that is how I felt: Like a victim. When this thought is in your head for long enough, you start believing it. It is a long way from being led by life to leading your own life. There was a point I realised I am worth so much more than I thought. I used to think I deserve sadness. And that men deep inside didn’t want me, when they said they did. Or that I deserve people who didn’t really care about me. An endless disappointment. I thought I deserved all this. And I guess that was my mistake.

This past year was not always easy, but it was so eyeopening and I have learned and experienced more about myself than I ever did before.
It all started when I moved to London. I was beyond excited, for this new life, and even though I hoped for much, for the first time, I didn’t put myself under pressure. I tried to take things however they came, and I think this is what made it so easy for me in the beginning.
Whenever you expect, you put pressure on yourself as well as your surrounding. It lies within your emanation and the people you surround yourself with will feel it and act towards it. And I always expect things. From my self, from the people I around me, from life. I have this idea how things should work, and that is my mistake. In spite of my personal perception, this is not how life works. Whenever things don’t turn out the way I wanted it to, I get so disappointed and sad, and it is so hard to not let this disappointment out onto other people. I learned that the real key is to let things be. To accept everything the way it comes. Because life will come, no matter what. I just always thought the only right solution to respond to life is a negative one. A self-pitying, the “glass is half empty”-respond. I never learned that there was a another way to face the bad, (and also the good) things in life. To take the good with the bad.

Maybe this is faith, maybe it is confidence, maybe it is innate in some people, but for me it took a whole lot of time, disappointment, tears and work to finally get to the point, where I believed that I deserved a good life.

lifestyle

The best brownies in Cambridge

This might seem like a random one, but a lot of Skint’s following are based around Cambridgeshire and this week, on a trip home I discovered the best thing to ever grace my mouth. 

Bought from the Cafe Mobile Van on Cambridge’s market the gluten free brownies are so moist and delicate that not only one would do, (some are definitely coming back with me to Brighton). 

So if you’re in Cambridge and want to excite your taste buds visit the stall opposite the centre of tourism.

You can thank me later. 

Guest Writers, Music

Live Review: Savages slays it at o2 Brixton Academy

By Casey Cooper-Fiske

Anglo-French band prove they’re ready for bigger venues and larger crowds. 

Savages’ career began, like many others, with small scale gigging around local venues in East London, bringing a similar aesthetic to Placebo with perhaps a little more charm. When they first arrived on the scene in 2011, they were branded pretentious by many. This didn’t seem to phase the band however, naming their debut album Silence Yourself and slapping an essay of a mission statement on the cover.  The accusations of pretention were not helped by the signs put out by the band telling the live audience not to record anything, as they felt it prevented the audience from “Totally immersing themselves” (Probably true).

With the release of the band’s second album, Adore Life, Savages appeared to attempt just that with drummer Fay Milton exclaiming to DIY Magazine “We did humour”! Lead singer Jehnny Beth has previously shown an unwillingness to become involved with this entertaining take.
Tonight at Brixton Academy however, at their biggest live show to date,  the whole band appear to be in ‘Adore’ mode, giving a powerful and mo14572866_1284896278209733_3515798406451558810_nving performance from start to finish.

“I am here, no more fear”, Jehnny Beth, a.k.a. Camille Berthomier, boldly proclaims as the band announce their arrival on stage with the fitting ‘I Am Here’. The band’s rhythm section acts as torch in the dark, guiding Jehnny Beth’s vocals through the gloomy clouds of feedback from Gemma Thompson’s guitar mastery. As the song reaches its crescendo, Thompson’s guitar turns to thunder aliening with t
he line “Are you coming for the ride”? We certainly are in for this ride.

As the band plow on through ‘Sad Person’ and ‘City’s Full’, it’s clear the audience have decided to take up Beth’s earlier proposal. They are all in. During the first three tracks, Beth casts her androgynous spell on the crowd as she glides around the stage and punches the air with anger.

The energy however seems to whimper a little as the band introduce a calmer track, suitably named ‘Slowing down the World’. Not a bad song by any means, however they have a lot more potent songs that were omitted from the evening. Songs with a similar tempo such as ‘Marshal Dear’ and ‘Waiting for a Sign’, missing from tonight’s setlist, would, most likely, be received with more enthusiasm from the audience.

Saying that all the slower material brought the evening down would be criminal, tough the band brings a more solemn tone as the end draws near. Double header of ‘Adore Life’ songs ‘Mechanics’ and ‘Adore’ stuns the audience into silence as Beth’s voice echoes around the Academy. ‘Adore’ is a particularly special moment, bringing tears from some members of the audience as Beth asks “Is it human to adore life”?

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Another special moment came as the rhythm section departed the stage, leaving only guitarist Thompson and frontwoman Beth to cover Marianne Faithful’s ‘Why’d Ya Do It?’. The two share a tense energy on stage, staring each other out, one seemingly tries to outdo the other. The two share a unique chemistry when left alone, one that seems part driven by equal amounts of aggression and adoration.

Fan favourites such as ‘The Answer’, ‘Shut Up’ and ‘Husbands’ are received raucously by the crowd. With the later showing the faultless bass playing of Ayse Hassan in all its glory, providing a nervy undertone as she skitters from fret to fret.

Breaking the barrier between band and crowd, Beth walks right into it on a path of hands provided by adoring fans. The climax comes during ‘No Face’ as she “have a message for all the young men in the room”,then proceeding to approach the young men of the audience, personally looming down on them with full on eye contact and an instructional point of a finger. Her message of equality and respect is delivered with a tone of voice which is part annoyed and part hopeful.

The thought provoking words of Jehnny Beth describes the tone of the night. Fused with the focused choreographed playing of bandmates, Hassan, Thompson and Milton, make for both an intense and emotional evening at the Academy. The only downfall being the setlist’s favour of accessible tracks, setting aside some of the band’s more interesting tunes. The evening is well rounded off as Savages is joined by support group Good, Sad, Happy, Bad for standalone single ‘Fuckers’, with its bouncy riff sending the more than satisfied crowd home filled with adrenaline.

Music, Uncategorized

Will Varley Live at Komedia

An act that never disappoints is the best way to describe Will Varley, in the last year I have had the pleasure of seeing him on numerous occasions but last night was truly special. The venue, the Komedia is magical itself the evening took place in the basement in a cabaret esque set up. At first glance I was dubious, it’s not a venue I’d of usually placed him in but with the accompaniment of the supporting 7 piece band it fitted perfectly.

The support act Cocos Lovers provided a tranquil soul soothing performance, their sound combines folk and roots which provides for a easy listening. Will described the Kent based ensemble as dear friends of his and it set the tone for a night full of powerful lyrics and smooth tunes. IMG_7166.jpg

In light of recent political uncertainty and changes in the UK and beyond Varley adapted his lyrics to fit a new audience and time. A large issue at concerts recently has been audiences spending less time engaging and more time recording the gig on their phones to brag about on social media or enjoy later; however Varley put on a show that was very much for in the moment and few phones were in sight.

The tour comes just after the release of his new album, ‘Kings Down, Sundown’. The first track of the album ‘To Build A Wall’ is of strong political importance, even more so after President Elect Trump’s rise to power, speaking of how we cannot let political unrest divide us. However not one to solely dwell Will breaks the set up with cat humour and joking about budget hotel chains.

‘When She Wakes up’ talks about Varley’s friends daughter and what she’ll experience and was written after watching her nap with strangers fighting in the street outside.

In no uncertain terms with Bob Dylan esque guitar and a powerful message and husky vocal Varley is set to be one of the defining players in folk for this generation. I highly recommend seeing Will live, you can see him in London at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. 

You can purchase tickets here. 

Fun fact: Will Varley walked over 130 miles with a tent and guitar on his back, from London Bridge to Deal, Kent where he resides.  

Music, Uncategorized

A year on, Pete Doherty at the Bataclan

Words by  Gaerth Daivd Mahtias

Standing in the crowd at the Bataclan, waiting where so many innocent people lost their lives felt strange, almost disrespectful, as if the masacre had happened hundreds of years ago instead of just one. But I was assured by a Parisian fan that this was the best thing to do, to continue in defiance of the evil that had been committed; fear would not win here.

There was a moment of silence for the departed before a massive applause, a few shouts of “Fuck Isis!”, then Pete (or ‘Peter’ as was written on the ticket) made his way to the front of the stage and led the crowd in a drunken rendition of La Marseillaise.

He wore an expensive black suit jacket, beneath it a white vest which clung to a rather chubby torso, on his head, of course, his trademark fedora and a sweaty fringe was swept across his forehead. Looking somewhere between a young Tom Waits and tipsy Barnabas Collins, he sauntered over to the mic and gave a blasé kind of “bonsoir” before the crowd erupted again in applause.

A languid Pete kicked off the show with ‘I Don’t Love Anyone’ and was joined by two cabaret dancers. Jack Jones, the lead singer of Trampoline, played guitar, shirtless with Nick Alexander written across his chest. Nick Alexander being one of the first to be killed while he was selling merchandise for Eagles of Death Metal near the entrance.

The newer songs got heads moving, self consciously nodding in approval, but it was songs like ‘Last of the English Roses’ and ‘You’re my Waterloo’ that got beer spilling.

Carl Barat made an appearance and played his solo on ‘Up the bracket”. Pete shared his microphone and Carl sang along, albeit with slightly less enthusiasm.

Pete threw many instruments into the crowd, including a harmonica and a few guitars, but it wasn’t Finders Keepers for the fans unfortunately as all was retrieved by the faithful crew guy, who was waiting by the side of the stage like those kids at Wimbledon who wait to retrieve the balls.

Towards the end an ominous red light filled the stage, as a solitary drum was beaten slowly. It was a tribute to the ones who had been slain, the ones who had gone to the Bataclan for a night of music and fun, but had instead been tortured and murdered. Pete held up the French tricolour after the song which read, ‘Fuck Terrorism Forever’. It received a roar of applause. The defiant French spirit that had filled the room for the whole night seemed to peak at that moment. Just before the instruments stopped playing and were left on the stage, leaving just enough reverb to recreate some of the dissonance from that night just after the first shots would have been fired.