Tuesday, 28 July 2015

What I Wore: Wedding Guest

Outfit Details:
Flower Crown: Prairie Charms
Nose Ring: eBay
Earrings: Next
Necklace: Gifted
Dress: Lipsy (via eBay)
Shoes: Deichman 

Makeup Details: 
Base: Arbonne FC5 Mattifying Powder, CC Cream, Concealer, Pressed Powder
Cheeks: Arbonne Blush in Blossom and Sheer Glow Highlighter
Eyebrows: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rewind (Vice 2 Palette)
Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Dope, Toxic and Radar (Vice 2 Palette!) and Arbonne Liquid Eyeliner and It's A Long Story Mascara
Lips: Arbonne Lip Liner in Peach, Lipstick in Magnolia and Lipgloss in Linden

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, at the weekend I attended the wedding of my step sister. The last wedding I went to I was a bridesmaid and so had no choice in my dress (it was damn gorgeous though) so it was nice to hunt down a wedding-appropriate dress all by myself this time.

Ok, that's lie. Clothes shopping is an absolute nightmare for me right now! First of all, I literally don't like anything that isn't pink anymore, I'm just flat out not interested in other colours. Secondly, I have no idea what size I am! I've tried to buy new clothes recently, but even within the same shop, I need wildly different sizes depending on the cut of the clothing, what it's made from, etc. Finally, I just don't seem to like very much at all right now! When I eventually found a dress I genuinely really, really liked, it was well over £50 and they only had it left in a size which was definitely too big. 

Eventually, after trawling through over 100 pages of pink dresses on eBay, I stumbled upon a very, very old Lipsy dress that I remembered lusting after a very long time ago but never managed to get my hands on. I decided that was as good as anything. 

Thankfully, when it arrived, I could fit in it, although it felt a little baggy up top (I've got a bum but not the boobs to match sadly). Not going to lie, I felt wildly uncomfortable in this dress! I didn't manage to get a photo but it's open at the back and only tied up with chiffon. It's the most revealing thing I've worn in a very long time and I just didn't feel confident at all. 

However, as I look back on these photos now, I actually really, really like the way it looks on me after all, even though the camera hasn't picked up the pinkness of the dress! It just goes to show you can't trust mirrors and that hindsight is lovely thing I guess. 

My makeup on the other hand...I was totally confident about. A mixture of three eyeshadows, one highlighting my brow, one on my lid and one in my crease, along with some winged eyeliner has definitely become my signature look, something I can rely on to look good whatever the occasion. The combination of Dope, Toxic and Radar from my UD Vice 2 palette is one I've used a few times now and it has seriously grown on me, I want to wear it all the time now! 

Are you going/have you been to any summer weddings? What was/is your outfit like?

PS sorry for phone quality photos of my dress! Once the day got underway I was far too distracted to take photos on my proper camera!

Monday, 27 July 2015

The Instavixen Roundup #10

Showing off my new favourite Arbonne lipstick, lusting after my old hair, detox tea in an inappropriate mug, caterpillars, pretending I'm cute, oh look, ANOTHER selfie, reading good books, nice makeup, wedding guest dress
SELFIES GALORE. Apparently, since my last Instavixen Roundup post, I've been very invested in my own face! I promise you though, in the past few weeks I have done a lot more than take photographs of my face!

In my last weekly roundup about two/three weeks ago, I spoke about how I'd turned a corner in my personal development journey and how good it was making me feel. I'm pleased to report I am still very much on the self love path and working towards a life I am very happy with. I've not been perfect, I still have days where I get overwhelmed in not so great thoughts and I still like french fries, cheese and chocolate far too much but there has been such a marked improvement this month I am feeling very, very encouraged by my progress. I feel like August is going to be gamechanger for me, so watch this space ;)

The highlight of the past few weeks has definitely been this weekend just gone. On Friday, I took a holiday day off work and travelled back up to Wakefield to see my family. I left very early in the morning so I had pretty much the whole day at home and enjoyed a much, MUCH needed chill out day where I napped, read a lot and got a paid for Skillshare account so I can get the education I need to move forward with certain goals of mine.

Saturday, the true adventure began when me and a large portion of my family jumped into a mini bus and headed to Cardiff for the day. Most of the day was spent travelling so I did even more reading but the evening was spent socialising with various people, where alcohol was flowing and good food was readily available.

But why on earth were we all in Cardiff? Well, yesterday, my step sister got married! It was such a wonderful day, a really lovely ceremony, great food, good company, although a very long day! I've had a fab weekend but believe me when I say I'm knackered now!


Reading: Swamp Bones by Kathy Reichs

Listening To: Ashamed to say that music has taken a bit of backseat in my life at the moment! Last thing I listened to on purpose was the latest Sleater-Kinney album (very good)

Watching: I've been watching a lot recently! I recently finished season one of The 100 which I adored and although season two is out, it's not available for free on Amazon Instant Video much to my annoyance. For this reason I've started watching Continuum on Netflix which is very, very good. Also keeping up with Pretty Little Liars weekly and watching Charmed when I've got time to myself!

Playing: Star Stable! May have been on it for several hours today because I'm off work but got back into Swindon in very good time from Cardiff. Nearly run out of quests now because I'm about to hit the maximum level of 17 and I will probably cry when that happens...!

Loving: Getting better at getting out of bed in the morning so I can spend a little bit more time on my appearance, which is boosting my self confidence loads

Looking Forward To: Moving into my own flat in just over a week, so having my own space, knowing where all my possessions are, settling into a proper routine again, freedom, independence!!

Hope you all had lovely weekends too xoxo

Friday, 24 July 2015

Operation Supervixen: Breville Blend-Active Personal Blender [Product Review]

Operation Supervixen is my own personal transformation programme. In June 2015, I decided I was utterly fed up of being miserable, unwell and feeling like I wasn't reaching my full potential in life. To combat this, I decided I was going to radically transform my diet, maintain an exercise routine and centre my leisure activities around personal development. To keep me accountable and help others in the process, I started Operation Supervixen.

I don't know about you, but one of the biggest barriers to healthy eating for me is the fact that I am a damn fussy eater. Despite massive improvements in the past five years or so, there is still no way I can get around the fact that I am a very picky eater. This is especially true when it comes to fruit and vegetables. Try as I might, I just cannot get myself to like them! Besides the taste, the textures just don't really sit well with me at all. There are a few exceptions; surprisingly, I like spinach, I like sugarsnap peas and I like RAW carrots.

Thankfully, there are ways I can get around how much I dislike the good stuff. In a way similar to how you might treat a child, if you can hide the veg from me, it's a lot more likely I'll eat it it. Or, more accurately, I'll drink it.

In my journey to a healthier lifestyle, I've found I am 100% more likely to eat fruit and vegetables when they have been blended into a smoothie and so, I had to invest in a decent blender.

I've had the Breville Blend-Active Personal Blender for a good few months now and I am super, duper pleased with my purchase. For a handy £20 or so, it is well worth it. As advertised, the blender is capable of blending ice and frozen fruit/vegetables. It's surprisingly powerful for such a cheap machine. It's perfectly capable of making my usual two smoothies a day containing a variety of both fresh and frozen produce, nuts, seeds and powders.

Noise wise, it depends entirely on what you're blending. The harder things you put in there, the noisier it gets. However, I've recently been blending avocado into freshly made juices and I am amazed at how quiet it is when you're not working through frozen items! Practically silent. Even when you are blending frozen veg/fruit, the noise isn't too bad. I'm happy to use my blender in early morning or late night, whereas I wouldn't dare put the washing machine or do the hoovering too early/too late!

Again, how quick it is depends entirely on what you're blending. When using fresh, soft produce, two thirty second bursts is more than enough. It needs more like 2-4 minutes, with appropriate breaks in between so it doesn't overheat, when blending more heavy duty items such as ice or frozen fruit and veg.

To get the most out of this blender, I've found the order in which you add items to the mix is essential. If you don't get the order just right, you'll find it takes far too long to produce a nice smoothie, or you'll get to the end of your smoothie and realise there's still whole berries in there, oops!

Personally, I've found adding liquid first, then any protein powder or similar you might be using and finally, harder ingredients last, then giving the bottle a good shake, is the best way to get a nice, smooth texture in the fastest amount of time.

The thing I like best about this blender is the bottle system. No need to pour anything into separate containers! You just just blend your smoothie in the bottle you will actually be drinking from. So quick, so easy, so convenient and less mess to clean up.

The cheaper version comes with 2x 600ml bottles, or you can pay about £10 more to get 2x 600ml bottles and 2x 300ml bottles. I actually decided I wanted extra bottles for mine, but Breville charge £10 per replacement bottle! I ended up just buying the Family sized blender instead because it was more cost effective to get extra bottles this way! I now have two blenders, two sets of blades, 4 x 600ml bottles and 2x 300ml bottles for £50. If I'd bought my blender and then bought these bottles on their own, it would've cost me £60!

Oh, and finally: I REALLY recommend AT LEAST rinsing the blades and the bottle as soon as you're done with them for ease of cleaning!!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Vixen Thinks: Why We Need To Stop Dragging Nicki Minaj Through The Mud

The Vixen Thinks is an almost weekly feature on this blog. Posts vary in topic, I'll talk about anything I have an opinion on! From blogging to relationships to feminism and anything beyond. If there's anything you'd like me to write about, feel free to get in touch: emily@theglittervixen.com! Thank you!

Earlier this week, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift hit headlines after Nicki made a perfectly honest remark about racism in the music industry and Taylor went and jumped on it as a personal attack. If you missed it, a recap of the Tweets exchanged can be found here.

Thankfully, I'm lucky enough to follow people on Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr in particular who were largely supportive of Nicki and understood why Taylor was totally and utterly in the wrong. I'm happy to see that Taylor has now apologised but I'm still left reeling by some of the reactions I saw.

I'm not going to go into whether I think Nicki has a point about racism in the music industry or not because one: she obviously DOES and two: I think the last thing this situation needs is another white voice adding to it, we really need to shut up for a bit and let black women speak and listen to their experiences and feelings.

That being said, I saw a  fair few comments on a Facebook post suggesting that the reason that Nicki didn't get her VMA nomination has nothing to do with race and it is in fact because her music sucks, she is not a very nice person and is a horrible person.


Last year, Miley Cyrus won a VMA for her Wrecking Ball video which had overtly sexual content in it. If we're going to argue that Nicki is too sexual to be a good role model, then surely the same applies to Miley?

So what's the difference between her and Nicki? Oh yeah, it's race.

And the thing is, Nicki Minaj isn't a rubbish artist, nor is she a poor role model:

  • She frequently advises young women to work hard and get an education rather than focusing solely on their looks
  • She has had chart topping albums
  • She has had chart topping singles
  • The Anaconda video broke records 
  • She teaches young women that they are strong and powerful
  • She is unapologetic for who she is 

To be honest, Nicki Minaj has some pretty admirable qualities if you ask me. A woman can embrace her own sexuality, celebrate the bodies of larger women who are typically shunned by society without compromising her status as a role model.

If you are interested in learning more about how the music industry demonstrates racism towards black women, why it was wrong for Taylor Swift to jump in and turn the conversation onto herself and why Nicki Minaj is worthy of respect and praise, I recommend these excellent blog posts (I don't feel qualified enough myself to speak about it at length but felt some things had to be said):

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

FOTW: Everyday Bronze

Products Used: 
Foundation: Arbonne CC Cream
Powder: Arbonne Sheer Translucent Loose Powder
Brows: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rewind (Vice 3 Palette) and Maybelline Brow Drama
Eyes: Maybelline 24 Hour Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze and Arbonne Liquid Eyeliner, Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara and Rimmel Scandaleyes Pencil Eyeliner in Nude
Lips: Arbonne Lip Liner in Peach, Arbonne Smoothed Over Lipstick in Magnolia and Arbonne Lip Gloss in Linden 

Hello and welcome back to my Face of the Week (FOTW) feature! As a beauty blogger I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of makeup I own. I either end up in a rut and wear the same things over and over and over, or I use different things every day which leads to a chaotic dressing table and too many dirty makeup brushes! To streamline my routine and get as much use out of all my products as possible, I pick one makeup look to wear all week long before I switch it up for the next week. And that's how FOTW was born.

Following on from the last Face of the Week post I did, Everyday Pink, I thought I'd do a similar looking using the other Maybelline Colour Tattoo I own in On and On Bronze. Essentially the look is absolutely the same, but I've switched out pink blush for my beloved Arbonne bronzer and gone for a more nude lip in the form of the new Arbonne Smoothed Over Lipstick in Magnolia, with the lipliner in Peach and lipgloss in Linden to give it a nice polished look.

I think this look is the perfect summery work appropriate makeup look!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Colour Block Shirt

Outfit Details:
Jacket: Miss Selfridge (extremely old)
Shirt: Primark
Trousers: Miss Pap
Earrings: Cheap Frills (I think)

Makeup Details
This post, with the lipstick switched out for Arbonne Lip Gloss in Pearl (discontinued, the new shade Linden is similar)

To say I really wasn't sure about this blouse when I took it home, I sure have ended up wearing it a lot. It's still not my favourite thing in the world, but I like the pink, white, black colour palette and it's good for work so it manages to survive my wardrobe culls. I think it looks much better with my beloved leather pants than it did with these blue jeans.

Yet again this is another outfit I wore to work, although had I any other trousers that fit me at the moment, I'd probably prefer to not wear leather pants to work. Especially at the moment when it is too damn warm for them!

I'm in a total and utter style rut at the moment, it's awful. I'm extremely bored with my hair, can't stand the sight of my bitten nails, I never get out of bed in time to wear makeup and even the clothes that do fit me at the moment I don't even like anymore.

I decided to take action and buy some new clothes, but sadly some didn't fit, even when I returned for a bigger size, and the rest just plain doesn't suit me. It's really put me off buying any more clothes but at the same time I need to keep persevering because I can't just hide away for months on end until I fit into my old clothes again but at the minute, my current wardrobe choices and appearance are really getting me down. 

Has anyone else really struggled to define their style after putting on or losing weight or in my case, both putting on weight and changing shape completely?! It's driving me mad. 

Monday, 20 July 2015

10 Things That Make Me Feel Like I'm Living Life Wrong

I don't know about you, but for me, there's certain things I do or don't do that make me feel like I'm living my life a little bit wrong. It feels like there's things that everybody loves...except me. It feels like there's things that everyone hates...except me. Here is a list of 10 things that make me feel like a bit of a weirdo:

1. I don't listen to Taylor Swift
At the minute, it feels like every female is a Taylor Swift fan and 1989 is a must have album. Yet, I just can't get into Swifty. I know a few of her songs, in fact, I probably know Bad Blood off by heart as it's so overplayed on the radio, but I just find them "meh." I don't hate her, but I don't like her either. I'm just indifferent, yet I feel like I'm missing out on an essential part of womanhood when so many girls are going crazy about her right now!

2. ...Same goes for Beyonce!
Yeah, she's talented, yeah, she's beautiful, but I just don't understand where her "goddess" status has come from? She's just another female super mega pop star in my books. (And no, social justice side of Tumblr, it's not because I'm anti-black...)

3. I hate avocado 
Avocado is definitely the world's favourite superfood right now. Every other picture on my Instagram feed has one in and even my boyfriend gets through about 14 a week. While I'm happy to have one in a smoothie for its health benefits without having to taste it, every time I try and eat one as it is I want to be sick. How has this thing got so popular?

4. I don't really like films
Yeah, I'm not a film person. I like going to the cinema, but trying to get me to watch a film at home is getting more and more unlikely. They're just so long! I haven't seen many "classics" and those that I have, well, they bored me. The Godfather is three hours of my life I'm never going to get back. Give me a TV show any day!!

5. I don't watch reality TV
Any of it. No X Factor, no Big Brother, no I'm a Celeb. Although I do LOVE the Apprentice.

6. I liked Courtney Love's America's Sweetheart Album
OK, this one isn't so much of a mainstream one, but generally, both fans and critics said this album was god awful. I on the other hand, think it's pretty good. I think I like it better than the "Hole" album she did afterwards called Nobody's Daughter.

7. I don't see the attraction of Charlotte Tilbury Makeup
Sooooo many bloggers are soooooo obsessed with this brand right now and yet it just seems like any other premium brand to me. What am I missing?!

8. I LOVE the hot weather
Literally nothing annoys me more right now than going through my Twitter feed and seeing everyone moaning about the heat. Do you people really like the snow and the rain and the cold better than this?! BAFFLING.

9. iPhones. I don't have one
...nor do I want one! At least 99% of my social media feeds are made up of people complaining about how rubbish iPhone batteries are. I charge my Samsung EVERY OTHER DAY, why on EARTH would I give that up for something that's dead when I need to use it?!

10. I hate Windows 8. 
Oh wait, nevermind, everyone hates Windows 8!  

DISCLAIMER: This isn't a look at me, I'm such a special snowflake post. I know I'm not the only person who doesn't like Taylor Swift and Beyonce or have an iPhone and I'm not slagging you off if you do like some of the things I don't. It's just a bit of fun! It'd be great to see who agrees with me on these things and who doesn't :)