Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Vixen Co-Ordinates

Outfit Details:
Skirt, Jacket, Vest Top: Missguided
Boots: Boohoo

Makeup Details:
Face: Arbonne Primer, Arbonne Liquid Foundation, Arbonne Concealer, Bare Minerals Ready Translucent Powder
Cheeks: Arbonne Blush in Ballet
Brows: Maybelline Brow Drama
Eyes: Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Pink Gold, Rimmel Scandaleyes Nude Kohl Pencil, Arbonne It's a Long Story Mascara
Lips: Revlon Balm Stain in Honey

Not only am I delighted to be sharing my first outfit post in far too long on the blog today, but I'm also so excited to be sharing my first two piece as well. What feels like ages ago now, I did a post about how I wish I had some floral co-ordinates but in the end, it was the Missguided set that won me over. I received the jacket for my birthday along with a similar skirt which I love but as it doesn't match the jacket exactly, in the end, I caved and bought the genuinely matching skirt so I could fulfil my "proper suit" dreams.

As the jacket and skirt themselves do a fair amount of talking all by themselves, I decided on a plain black vest top and to go exceedingly minimal with accessories, only adding my black watch and a few black beaded bracelets. Looking at this photographs now, I'm thinking I might add a simple necklace next time as there's a lot of chest on show. I did also originally have my favourite pair of earrings in but I went and lost one on my way to work, seriously bad times there. Heidi, if you're reading, can we go back to London soon for a replacement pair?!

All in all, I'm super, duper happy with this outfit, I felt absolutely fantastic all day at work while I was wearing it. I'm also pleased to have started wearing heels in the office - I so rarely wear heels, but I love this Boohoo chelsea boots so I've vowed not to let them go to waste. I do walk 40 minutes to work each day and 40 minutes back so I admit I wear my trainers on my journey, but I'm up all the time in the office making coffee, wandering about so I'm getting practice in.

As I just said, I did wear this to work, but I'm gonna say right now before I start posting other "What I Wore To Work" posts: my office is very laid back. Most people turn up in jeans and tshirts, I dress up because I like it. I fear that at more conservative offices, my wonderful Missguided "suit" might be a bit too much, particularly the very short length of the skirt. I used to wear belts as skirts in my teenage years, but now this is as short as I dare!

Are you as obsessed with co-ords as I am?

Monday, 1 September 2014

Arbonne Is Changing [NOW Is The Time To Say YES]

Image via Arbonne
As you may or may not be aware, besides my day job as a journalist, I am also an Arbonne Independent Consultant. I review Arbonne products frequently on this blog, which you can read by clicking here. I first wrote about Arbonne as a business opportunity in depth on this blog here, and when any of my readers want more Arbonne information, I direct them to this page

Admittedly, since January when I started my new job and tried to find a home to settle into, I pushed my Arbonne business aside. I've been making excuses like "I don't know anyone round here" or "I'm too busy" to not do the daily activity required to succeed as a network marketer.

And yet, Arbonne has always been at the back of my mind. The reason I first said "yes" to the opportunity in the first place is because I knew I'd never forgive myself if I let this chance slip through my fingers. I still use Arbonne products every day - all the skin care I use is Arbonne, as is my base makeup and quite often, the rest of my makeup as well. I love these products and I used to love this business as well.

Today, the 1st September 2014, I've decided no more. This opportunity is too good for me to sit around twiddling my thumbs, wasting time, letting it pass me by. Arbonne is currently changing and changing for the better, not only is it the perfect time for me to relaunch my business, but it's most definitely the time for new consultants to get on board. What are you waiting for?

Image via Arbonne
First of all, Arbonne is expanding into Poland. As it stands, Arbonne is currently available in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and now Poland from 1st October 2014. Mark my words when I say we are going global. Our expansion into Poland marks a great opportunity: this business is often referred to as "Ground Zero" - believe me, in Poland right now, it really is. The only way is up from there. Even if you're not in Poland and don't have any Polish connections (I dont - YET), everyone you meet is a potential prospect.

As well as Arbonne's beginning expansion, today marks the launch of some new ways to shop in the UK - most notably, the introduction of ASVPs (Arbonne Special Value Packs) and Arbonne Success Packs. 

Success Packs will be available to new consultants exclusively in their start month and the following month. These are handy packs full of bestselling products, certain lines - e.g. the Arbonne Cosmetics Success Pack and they will seriously give your brand new business a boost. They come at a 50% discount on suggested retail price which is amazing - for such a good price, you can have a whole line of products ready for your first presentations.

ASVPs are available to both consultants and preferred clients. They're similar to the Success Packs but they all contain full sized products rather than samples and other business aids and are aimed more at consumers. That being said, I want a few ASVPs for myself - both to stock  my own cupboards as well as my presentation box. 

Arbonne websites are also changing. You may haven noticed me linking to my Arbonne website - I had to pay extra to receive this service. However, this is no more! All consultants now receive a website free of charge. Invaluable! 

Not to mention September will see the UK launch of some new products, the Christmas line and probably some brand new products too. Back in May some amazing cosmetic gift packs were released that would be the perfect introduction to the Arbonne brand. This isn't something you want to miss out on.

Images via Arbonne
Of course, I can already tell what some of you reading this are thinking. "Isn't this just like Avon?" "Gosh, it's a bit expensive isn't it?" "Oh this is just a pyramid scheme" "Isn't this a scam?" "Does it actually work?" Believe me, I've heard it all before. If you have any doubts, get in touch - I'll put your mind at ease.

You can email me on either theglittervixen@gmail.com or emilyjgarthwaite@myarbonne.co.uk for more information. I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash [PRODUCT REVIEW]

It feels kinda silly sitting down to write this review seeing as I'm guessing it's about a year since I used this product, but I was quite impressed with it so I didn't want to miss out on the chance to recommend something good! The Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash pictured above is actually a sample size I received as a gift with a magazine. I bought it pre-Arbonne so I was super excited to use it.

As with most products, the first thing I noticed about this product is the packaging. I love how simple it is, yet pretty and feminine without being in-your-face girly. I also like that it's a squeezy tube - very easy to use and you get to use all the product as you can cut the tube open once it starts getting difficult to squeeze out.

Next of all, I was impressed with the ingredients. Naturally (oops, no pun intended) I'm drawn to products that make claims about being natural and I was intrigued by Balance Me's use of a percentage to describe how natural the product is. I'm no expert on ingredients so can't back their claims up, however, there's no mineral oil or parabens in this which are ingredients I try to avoid so gold star there!

But how does the product actually perform? It smells gorgeous, a very, very subtle rose scent I believe. It's a nice gel like cleanser that isn't too thick and isn't too runny. You only need a small amount to cover your face and it works great for removing facial makeup. It was very gentle and while I was using it, my skin remained as clear as it ever gets.

While I spend all my time praising Arbonne and will definitely be using their products for the forseeable future, if suddenly Arbonne became illegal, this is one of the cleansers I would immediately turn to. I wholeheartedly recommend it to oily-skinned ladies wanting to keep greasiness at bay, but don't want anything too harsh.

Have you tried anything by Balance Me?

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Vixen Thinks: Women, Earning Money and Blogging

Making money via blogging seems to be a hot topic in the blogosphere right now - indeed, for the past few years, I think it has always been a hot topic.

I have actually written about sponsored posts in the past and the conclusion I drew was that I couldn't care less if you are making money from blogging. In fact, I encourage people to earn money when they can and if your sponsored posts are about a topic I'm not interested in, rather than bitching about it in Twitter chats, I'll just click "Mark as Read" and move onto the next one!

I'd like to say I don't know why people are so resistant to the idea of making money from hobbies or non-traditional jobs - but I do know why. So many of us are so desperate to uphold the status quo. If the only way to make enough money to survive is to go to work everyday until you're 65, it makes people feel better about remaining in jobs they hate. People can justify having jobs that are less than thrilling if everybody is stuck in a job that they could like a lot more.

So, when people come along and they're earning money via blogging, via network marketing, or something that doesn't involve sitting in an office Mon-Fri 9-5, people suddenly get very, very resistant. The human race just doesn't like change, despite change being the only constant. We want other people to justify our actions, follow the norm, it's not nice when people decide to be different!

I recently read this post on decor8 about the hate Holly was receiving for trying to sell her products on her blog. This in itself is absolutely ridiculous - I can't believe people would genuinely complain about a blogger trying to market her products. No one bats an eyelid at giant Coca Cola advertising campaigns, so why should a blogger be shamed for trying to sell her books? I just don't get it.

However, there was one particular part of Holly's post that really stood out to me. Her husband had jumped to her aid in the comments section of her blog and one thing in particular he said really stood out to me:
"[Bloggers] are expected to publish content for free. They are expected to do it out of the goodness of their hearts. They are expected to be magical creatures apparently living off rainbows and hugs. Dare I say this holds true mostly for female bloggers."
The emphasis is mine. The husband went on to speak about prominent male bloggers such as Darren Rowse of Problogger and how no one complains if he posts about his latest product. And suddenly, things clicked for me.

Despite considering myself a feminist and being quite interested in gender equality issues, it had never really occurred to me before that I so rarely see (have I ever seen?!) male bloggers being criticised for making money via blogging or less traditional means.

In fact, I mainly see "hate" being directed towards female bloggers, mainly of the beauty blogging persuasion, and it's usually other females delivering the crticism.

I think part of this stems from the fact that "girls hate girls." From a very young age, I believe girls are taught that we are each others' competitors and we get jealous when another girl succeeds, rather than celebrating each other's successes.

On the other hand, I think it's representative of living in a patriarchal society as a whole. It isn't a woman's "place" to put her entrepreneurial head and build her own business - we're meant to be mothers, or work in traditionally female professions such as nursing or domestic work.

As a community, I think we female bloggers have a lot of work to do. In my own personal experience, most people who read blogs and take time out of their day to comment on other blogs and the girls behind them are bloggers themselves. That means, when we see nasty comments about the way women bloggers are making their money, it's coming from other bloggers.

I see it as my responsibility to promote other bloggers and congratulate them on their successes. I think it's time to start calling people out when they complain about people who make their money via less traditional means. It's time to start building each other up, instead of trying to tear everyone down.

How can we women expect respect from men when we don't even respect each other? How can blogging ever get taken seriously, either as a hobby or a viable source of income, if we berate each other for doing sponsored posts or promoting our products? Deep down, I think a lot of things stem from jealousy - a lot of girls choose to crticise women making money from their blogs because they themselves haven't yet managed it. I wonder if it has ever occurred to them that if they were more supportive and admitted they wish they had that for themselves, people would be more open to helping them get where they want to be.

It's no secret that I want to own my own business and create a secondary income to support myself. I believe at some point, my blog will be a central part of this. For this reason, I try to support other people who are living my dream.

Whereabouts do you stand on this issue?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

WIWIW: 2 Dream Outfits Ft. River Island

Historically, River Island isn't exactly a shop I've been interested in. During my early teenage years I remember it being full of horrendously tacky items and as I got older, while the stuff in there vastly improved, it just wasn't to my personal taste. High street wise, I much preferred Topshop. However, while I was back in Wakefield, I went last minute outfit shopping with some friends and River Island was one of our first stops. I was pleasantly (my purse doesn't agree) surprised by how much I like in there!

For today's post, I thought I'd put together a little wishlist of items I'm wanting from the shop, with examples of exactly how I would style them if I could get my hands on them!
Although I already own a leather jacket, I've had it for around five years now and it's finally starting to look a little worn out. I've broken a few zips on there and I personally think I've outgrown the particular style it's in. When I saw this mid-length, fur embellished number from River Island, I knew I'd found the one I wanted to upgrade to. I am slightly wary of it not being real leather, but it's pretty enough for me to overlook that.

Prior to spying the leather jacket, I'd spotted this green shirt. I used to be obsessed with checked shirts and had quite the collection but a few years ago I got bored of them and donated them all. However, this green beauty has sparked my interest in shirts again. I'd wear it oversized with a pair of wet look leggings and some Chelsea boots. With the leather jacket on top, I've got a nice new autumn outfit that's effortless yet super stylish.

Of the two outfits I'm writing about today, I think this is definitely the most "me" but at the same time, because I'd accessorise with brown boots and brown tights, it's a little different from usual. I have actually been trying to add more brown to my wardrobe for a while now - I have a gorgeous pair of brown jeans, a brown fox jumper and a brown fox top but I rarely ever wear them as I lack footwear and warm outerwear to go with them all. I spotted these boots and tights ages ago on eBay, but I think if I get my hands on this shirt, I will finally get round to making them mine.

In the shop, both shirt and skirt were on the same rack and I knew it was a match made in heaven. I most definitely need a pink leather look miniskirt in my life and while pink and floral is hardly an original choice for me, the colour scheme of this shirt would give my wardrobe a much needed refresh.

Are you a River Island fan?

* This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclaimer policy.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Arbonne Lip Moisturiser With Sunscreen [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.

When I first started beauty blogging, I never imagined myself spending more than a few pounds on a lip balm and I certainly never saw a lip balm becoming one of my absolutely must have products. In the past I've used brands like Vaseline, Chapstick etc. They never really worked for me so it's a product that I've never been interested in.

However, back when I was first starting out as an Arbonne Independent Consultant, I was ordering an RSVP (Right Start Value Pack) and I had £8 to make up before the offer was complete. Lo and behold, the Lip Moisturiser with Sunscreen, was the perfect price, so in my basket it went.

To me, £8 is a lot to pay for a simple lip balm and while it's no secret I've been majorly impressed with every Arbonne product I've tried so far, I just could not see how wonderful a lip balm could actually be.

The thing is, this lip balm has transformed my lips. I use it everyday, sometimes even a few times a day if I'm so inclined and ever since then, my lips have always been super soft and they don't get chapped or cracked anymore. Because this balm has left my lips in such good condition, it means every lipstick I use now looks so much better than it did before I started using this product.

Since my first tube, which is still going strong, I have bought a backup tube because I know I'll need it one day - I don't want to be caught without it! Admittedly the discount I get as a consultant makes the price a little easier to swallow, but to be honest, I like this product that much I probably would pay full price for it.

The one thing I will say about this is the Arbonne Lip Moisturiser does have a slightly strange taste. It sometimes tingles ever so slightly and it's not exactly a product I rush to lick off my lips like I would do with a cherry Chapstick. If you prefer totally flavourless lip products, this might be one to avoid.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has been converted to ignoring cheaper lip balms?!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Scenes From My Summer

Butterflies at Tropical World
Ollie the Octopus
A Crocodile Makes An Unexpected Friend 
Stormy Beaumaris 
A Sad Scene
Rock Pools
A Fish Happy To Pose For Photographs 
Following on from yesterday's life catch up in the form of my most recent Instavixen post, I thought I'd post some pictures I took over the Summer period (in Britain, it seems to be coming to an end already). Unfortunately I don't take nearly as many photographs as I used to take, so these are actually only from my trip to Tropical World and my time on Anglesey.

I actually enjoyed having a camera on hand at all times while I was in Wales and it was hard picking my favourites to share in this blog post. Photography has never really been a serious hobby for me and my camera is just a fancier point and shoot but I think it is something I'd like to explore in more depth.

For me, this is certainly a post where I like the photographs to do the talking rather than waffling on for numerous paragraphs as I normally do. I've left a caption underneath each one so they're not completely random, but that's all I feel the need to say right now.

Have you got any summer or holiday snaps to share?