Thursday, 24 July 2014

Arbonne Pure Vibrance Shampoo and Conditioner [Product Review]

Arbonne Products are sold entirely through a network of Independent Consultants. I am an Independent Consultant. If this review interests you and you decide to make a purchase, please use my Arbonne ID when asked for your consultant's ID: 441132670. Alternatively, you can use my Arbonne website. Although I am building a business with Arbonne, my opinions of these products are entirely my own and 100% honest. I could never build a business with a company I didn't wholeheartedly believe in. To read more about Arbonne, click here.

Following the success I had with the Arbonne Pure Vibrance Hair Revitalising Masque, I decided it was high time I scrapped high street hair care and dedicated myself to Arbonne hair care, just as I had done with my skin care. Enter a new shampoo and conditioner duo...

Arbonne's Pure Vibrance range is the newest addition to the company's hair care offerings and it's aimed at colour and chemically treated hair - perfect not just for me, but I suspect most women out there!

I imagine you're all bored of my Arbonne reviews by now, because they all go the same way. I hope you're all able to see it for what it is though - a genuinely brilliant brand and not just my attempts to push some sales!

The Pure Vibrance Lustre Fortifying Shampoo and Fortifying Conditioner are no exception to the rule. Not only do they preserve my hair colour for much longer than any other hair products I've used in the past, but they also leave my hair super soft, shiny and protected. They have been instrumental in the recovery of my hair from years of abuse.

What's your favourite shampoo and conditioner?

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Introducing Operation Supervixen

Last year, I wrote a series of posts underneath the title "Operation Improved Lifestyle." The aim was all about, you guessed it, improving my lifestyle. However, as usual life got in the way and all the amazing plans I had for myself and content for the blog as a result of this got pushed to one side and forgotten about. Not to mention, "Operation Improved Lifestyle" is hardly the catchiest title is it?

Introducing Operation Supervixen...

I'm currently in the process of majorly revamping my life. After weeks upon weeks of being miserable and wishing I could go "home" (wherever that is) I've finally got tired of my own bullshit and I want out.

Last week, I started taking the steps I needed to take to turn my life around and really start loving myself and being alive again. Besides the daily reading of personal development material and forcing myself into a routine that maximises my productivity, I decided it was time to sit down and really set myself some improvement goals to work towards and pull myself out of a slump I've been in for a while.

Of course, in a nod towards the name of this blog and a favourite song, I had to call my new self development programme "Operation Supervixen" and nothing helps me as much as seeing other people overcome their own demons, so I just have to share my progress on the blog.

Over the next few months (few years?!) I'll be making changes to my diet, exercise habits, the way I spend my free time and many more things in an attempt to improve both my physical and mental health. I'll be blogging about the changes I'm making and their success levels in the hopes that I'll help someone else out there too.

For example, I'm currently embarking upon Gala Darling's Radical Self Love Bootcamp (sadly not available anymore) and re-reading her 30 Day RSL Letters from the beginning to keep me focused on the positives over the next 30-days. When I do courses or read books along my way, I will no doubt be reviewing them as part of this series!

My Operation Supervixen Goals...

To structure this new blog series, I've decided to set myself a number of goals and targets to hit, periodicly reporting on my progress.

1) Find myself a diet plan that helps me feel my best physically and mentally
2) Plan an exercise schedule that fits in with the demand of my 9-5 Mon-Fri job
3) Practice counteracting negative thoughts with positive ones to improve my overall mood
4) Use my free time wisely in a way that enlightens and improves my mind, rather than aimlessly browsing the Internet, melting my brain and ensuring my depression and anxiety stay put
5) Work out a way to have a steady secondary income apart from my job in order to provide financial peace of mind
6) Share my discoveries and journey in an active attempt to improve the lives of others around me
7) Quit smoking, because there's absolutely no point in me working on my overall well being if I have the worst habit in the world!

Is there anything in particular you'd like me to cover as part of this series? Do get in touch!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Instavixen #12: #radicalselflovejuly So Far & Life Lately

What, it's Sunday, againalready?! Well, yes, it is, which is a shame because I'm enjoying the weekend with all its sunshine and lack of work. Ah well, let's catch up with what I've been up to this week and the photographs I've been posting on Instagram for the #radicalselflovejuly challenge! 

Day 14's prompt was "Get Physical" - so of course, I had to photograph my beloved skates for roller derby. Unfortunately I only ever got to skate in my very own pair once before my hiatus, but I love them dearly and can't wait to wear them to death.

Day 15 was all about Your Happy Place. At the moment, I'm not exactly sure where my happy place is (I think it might be my brand new sofa actually...) so I picked my favourite place in Aberystwyth, the sea front! I spent many a troubled day walking round here. Aber is cropping up a lot in this challenge!

Day 16 asked us all to share our favourite quote. I struggled for ages with this one as I adore inspirational quotes and try to collect as many as I possibly can. Eventually I settled on this one. It has always been particularly comforting to me when I'm going through difficult times.

Day 17 was about your city, but I don't actually live in a city anymore, just a teeny tiny town. However, it's beginning to feel a lot like home now and this is the view from my bedroom window. I adore my teeny tiny house!

Day 17's prompt was an inspiring friend. Well, three of the most inspirational women in my life are my sisters and I hope they consider me a friend! Florette often tells me I'm her best friend, but she's three. Even so - I admire Alice because she's not afraid to tell me how it is. Eve inspires me because she's never afraid to be herself. Florette inspires me because she can fall flat on her face and get back up like nothing has happened. I love them.

Day 19 was all about the great outdoors, particularly apt I feel considering the delightful weather we've been having recently! I just had to snap the lovely trees and gorgeous blue skies outside my house for this.

Finally, today is Day 20 and we've been showing off our radical self love totems! Except, I don't actually have one! *sad face* Despite reading Gala Darling's blogs about radical self love for years now, one thing I've never managed to get my hands on is a totem. I had a little look through the tag today on Instagram and I saw one girl, called Emily funnily enough, had chosen a name necklace as her totem. Immediately I knew that I had to get my hands on a custom Sugar and Vice necklace in pink glitter or pink mirror with my name on it! Totem problem solved...

This Week I've Been...

Reading: Game of Thrones, still! However, I have actually read a fair amount this week which is good. I really love the way it's written.

Watching: Surprisingly little actually! I've watched a fair few YouTube videos for the first time in ages but I've also watched two versions of the film Carrie, the 2013 one and the original 1976 version. It would be such a happy film if it ended with her being crowned prom queen...

Loving: having my mum come to visit, finally being the proud owner of some furniture, getting gorgeous smelling flowers, the crazy Sainsbury's shop I did with my free £100 giftcard, going for tapas and the sunshine!

What's your week been like fellow foxes?

Friday, 18 July 2014

Lush Cosmetic Warrior Facemask [Product Review]

First up, apologies for using an image from the Lush website, I appear to have misplaced the photos I took myself, but I felt this review was one I still had to share!

Goodness gracious, it feels like such a long time since the adventure I had to go on to get my hands on this product. When I first went to purchase it, my local Lush store at the time had missed a delivery and didn’t have it in stock. I left with some samples of Ultrabland and had to return at a later date to get it. Needless to say, Lush Cosmetic Warrior was worth the wait.

My interest in this product was piqued during a particularly bad patch of skin-related hell and a little growing Lush obsession I had at the time. I scoured the Lush website looking for the best mask to treat my blemish ravished skin and eventually settled on this one. A quick chat with the lovely lady in the shop confirmed I’d made the right choice.

So, how did it actually perform? I feel like the first thing I have to comment on is how this product smells. One of the key ingredients is actually garlic, and while I personally (weirdly) don’t mind running round stinking of the stuff, I know others do. So, I’m sure you’ll all be glad to know that the overriding smell in this product is actually the tea tree.

One thing I remember being told by the shop assistant is that this mark uses a honey and egg base rather than a clay one. This is advantageous because a traditional clay mask requires you dragging it across your skin, not so nice when your skin is feeling troubled as it is. I must say, this really did make a difference for me. Despite being quite messy, it was the easiest mask to apply and definitely the gentlest.

I really liked the immediate results I gained with this mask. It always eased out any redness I had from particularly angry spots. I also found it be very effective on those nasty, painful under-the-skin spots - it eased the pain and reduced the size.

As this is a fresh face mask, I only gained a handful of uses from it, but over the few weeks I was using it, my skin was always quite happy. It didn’t perfect my skin but it greatly improved it and certainly didn’t agitate it any further.

This is a product that right now, I wish I had in my life (too much to use up first!) and something I would recommend to anyone with oily, blemish-prone and generally upset skin.

It’s also great because unlike some other Lush products I used to use, the ingredients in this face mask are fresh, natural (sadly not vegan though) and there are no parabens.

What do you think of the Lush face mask offerings?

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Vixen Thinks: Be Your Own Valentine And Other Cliches

A common theme I see in self help literature is phrases such as "Be Your Own Valetine!" or "Be Your Own Best Friend" or "Treat Yourself How You Wish Others Would Treat You." They're honestly so cliche and cheesy - but they pop up so often, is there really some good advice in these overdone tropes?

Quite often, I treat myself terribly. Although I'm perfectly capable of dishing advice out to others, I never really take my own advice. When I want things I know I shouldn't, I make up excuses in my head to justify it. When I became obsessed with the idea of getting a loan for the wrong reasons, I told myself many questionable reasons why it would absolutely fine to get one. I tell myself it's fine to stay in bed all weekend, I'm sad, it's allowed, I'll do things another day.

Reverse the situation - if it was my friend doing these things, I'd be tell her the opposite of my own excuses. I'd tell her not to go back into that horrid emotionally abusive relationship. I'd tell her a loan was just going to create more long term problems because she couldn't pay it back. If she was feeling down in the dumps and refusing to get out of bed at the weekend, I'd let her know it wasn't helping her situation.

Deep down, we know a lot of the things we tell ourselves are true. We know we make up ridiculous excuses to do/not do certain things. I'm sure we all watch ourselves being excellent advisors to our friends and family, but never apply that knowledge to ourselves.


Perhaps then, there is something in the phrase "Be Your Own Best Friend." When you're in a nasty situation, take a step back from yourself, see yourself through the eyes of a trusted friend and then come to a decision.

What about being your own Valentine then?

Personally, I'm happiest when I treat myself with the same love and care I bestow on those most important to me. When I cook myself food, treat myself to Arbonne SeaSource Detox Spa bathtimes, even take myself on silly little dates, my life is 100% better. Try treating yourself like your own lover for a week and see what it does to your mood.

And treating yourself how you wish others would treat you?

When you treat yourself well, other people notice and it sets the standard for the way they should treat you. Isn't it a sad fact that you're much more likely to belittle a person who obviously belittles themself? Don't put yourself through this. Treat yourself how you wish to be treated and other people will follow. Not only that, when I see someone who treats themself with the utmost respect, I know that they'll treat me to that same respect.

After thinking about it, it has become clear to me that perhaps, many cliches are cliches for a reason. What do you think?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Arbonne Pure Vibrance Hair Revitalising Masque [Product Review]

Arbonne Products are sold entirely through a network of Independent Consultants. I am an Independent Consultant. If this review interests you and you decide to make a purchase, please use my Arbonne ID when asked for your consultant's ID: 441132670. Alternatively, you can use my Arbonne website. Although I am building a business with Arbonne, my opinions of these products are entirely my own and 100% honest. I could never build a business with a company I didn't wholeheartedly believe in. To read more about Arbonne, click here.

If you've been reading this blog for any period of time, you'll know that one my biggest woes is the state my hair is was in. A brief history - in university, I dyed my hair blonde. At first, it was a nice, natural looking shade. But I wanted more, out came the bleach again and again until I had pure white hair. I was using nasty silver shampoos on it and because I also had a short bob haircut, I was blow drying and straightening it every day too. Yeah, I'm sure you can imagine how bad the condition of my hair was.

Obviously, I decided to stop bleaching it. After attempting to dye it my natural colour, I gave up for months and months on end - no dye, just getting it cut regularly and trying to find the perfect hair care routine. I tried various brand, high streets ones such as Tresemme to high end treatments such as the Philip Kingsley Elasticiser. Each time I went back to the hairdresser, the verdict was the same: it's still awful, sorry.

Enter Arbonne, of course. At that time I discovered this brand, I was eager to find skincare free from parabens and mineral oil, but also hair care free from silicone and SLS as well. Honestly, I felt like it was fate. And when I discovered there was a relatively new range of Arbonne haircare, Pure Vibrance, aimed at colour-treated hair, I knew this was the one I had to try.

At the time, I didn't want to invest in the full set so needing a new hair mask, I naturally went for the mask. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed. This is lovely, thick, creamy masque with a subtle, pleasant smell to it. You only need a very small amount to cover your hair. I tend to leave it on anywhere from three minutes to overnight, but even when I only leave it on for three, it works wonders.

After using this mask, not only is my hair super soft but it feels so much more resilient. I can comb through it with no resistance and over time, I noticed my hair was no longer feeling as fragile as it used to. It started to feel like actual hair again. The moment of truth was when I braved colouring my hair a light brown colour again - when the colour actually took, I knew my hair was back to normal again.

I cannot recommend this hair mask enough for those of you with major hair woes. What's your favourite hair mask?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Missguided Crushing: Pastels + Lace

Whenever I go through a big life change, I suddenly start wanting to change everything. I get hair cuts, experiment with makeup and, of course, want a whole new wardrobe. Tell me I'm not alone in this?

Missguided is always one of my first stops when I'm wanting new clothes. Although I've had my issues with it in the past such as questionable quality and it always allowing me to order things that are always out of stock, there is always something I like on that site, no matter the season. More often than not, outfit posts on this blog will feature something from Missguided.

At the moment, I want to add more colour to my wardrobe and pastel shades are my favourite. I'm also a huge fan of lace, which Missguided has no shortage at the moment.

Here's a selection of the dresses I'm currently most wanting:

What do you think? I'm going to have to treat myself to at least one :)