B. Flawless Complete Coverage Foundation [Product Review]

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b. flawless foundation in use, wearing b. foundation, b. flawless complete coverage foundation

I feel like this review has been a long time coming! For those who don't know, B. is the latest skincare and makeup range to come from Superdrug. It's exclusive to Superdrug, and like all own brand Superdrug products, it is cruelty free. I believe the products are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans although I'd recommend checking that for yourself first. When this range first launched in January, I picked up a fair few items as I had huge staff discount on the range plus the great introductory offers. I couldn't really say no! I picked up an eye palette, a lipstick, a blusher/bronzer/eye palette multitasker and of course, the foundation I am reviewing today.

Shall we jump right in? Yeah, let's jump right in. This is the best high street foundation I have ever used. I am absolutely smitten with this foundation and I am mourning the fact that it has actually been quite some time since I used it up. B. Flawless claims to give long lasting full coverage and it does exactly this. The shade matched my skin absolutely beautifully (Rose Ivory for reference). Whatever way I applied it, hands, brush, whatever, it was always easy to blend and the finish was beautiful. It has a very delicate scent which is lovely and I've noticed it seems to be a signature of B. products. I felt a confidence wearing this foundation that no foundation before has previously given me.

Of course, it's not perfect. While it does last all day, it does start to fade a little so it doesn't look as brilliant at the end of the day - but that's to be expected. The pump bottle was rather annoying - it wouldn't pump any more towards the end and as it's a glass bottle, I couldn't use every last drop of product which was a shame. I also imagine that if you're used to wearing lighter foundations, this might feel a bit heavy for you.

Yet, these little imperfections are far outweighed by the positives. It is a fantastic foundation and I'd recommend it to anyone wanting long lasting high coverage.

Have you tried anything from the B. range?

Daisy, Daisy

girl, blonde, denim jacket, wait belt, floral print dress, vivienne westwood melissas, vivienne westwood
boohoo dress, floral dress, pastel tights, pink tights, vivienne westwood melissa, vivienne westwood shoes, waist belt, floral print, blonde, girl

Outfit Details:
Denim Jacket: Topshop 
Dress: Boohoo
Belt: New Look
Tights: Primark
Shoes: Vivienne Westwood via eBay
Bag: T.K Maxx
Flower Brooch (on jacket): New Look

Gosh, it feels like it was so long ago since I wore this now, although in reality it was only about three weeks. I'm so pleased with this dress, it's so pretty. I don't own a lot of blue clothes so it was a nice addition to my wardrobe but the floral print and flashes of pink still mean it's quite me. Sadly I didn't get any pictures of it but it also features a lovely decorated collar with lots of little pearls on it. Boohoo has weird sizing if you ask me. I can barely squeeze my bum into my size six jeans from there but this dress is an eight and sits really weird on me, as do other dresses I've bought from Boohoo. In fact, most things I've bought from Boohoo in the past have actually been donated to other people. I was determined to make this work for me though and I think the addition of the New Look belt help give the dress a much more flattering shape on me. As I have no shortage of pink accessories, adding a little pink bag, pink tights and pink shoes was a bit of a no brainer for me. Oh, and I believe this is the first time my beloved Vivienne Westwood flats have made an appearance on The Glitter Vixen!

The only part I'm not sure about is the denim jacket, I don't think it's quite right with this outfit but then again, it's a lot more right then any other outwear I own would have been. Now I think about it though, I have a pink long length cardigan from Topshop that I think I'll try next time. I do love my little denim jacket though, especially with the addition of the flowers from New Look. Also, I have so many adorable little headbands I never wear, including a pink floral one which would have looked ace with this dress - so next time!

This was a bank holiday weekend outfit - if my memory serves me correctly I wore it while James was visiting on the day we went to see my dad, stepmum and siblings. My littlest sister is so shy around boys and even my littlest brother was a bit shy around James initially because it had been so long, but he was soon dragging James along by the hand. It certainly gets the "hmmm, maybe I should have some children" voice off in my head...

Pretties in the Post: Bomb Cosmetics

bomb cosmetics, lavender, bath blaster, bath bomb, review
bomb cosmetics, lavender bath brulee, review
bath creamer, review, bomb cosmetics, lavender bath
bomb cosmetics, review, bath creamer, lavender
bomb cosmetics bath blaster, bath bomb, lavender, product review
bath blaster, bath bomb, bomb cosmetics, review, lavender, nice smelling
bath bomb, pretty bath, pink bath, lavender bath, smelly
bath time, bath bomb in use, bath blaster in use, using bomb cosmetics, pretty bath, smelly bath, purple bath

I've never really been a bath girl. I just never, ever liked having baths. Showers all the way for me! However, I have a lot of trouble getting to sleep/staying asleep/sleeping at appropriate times and time and time again, I'd had having a bedtime bath recommended to me. So, when I bought my sister a present from Bomb Cosmetics for her birthday, I decided to pick up a few things for myself as well. I went with a lavender theme as lavender is supposed to relax you and aid sleep plus it's a gorgeous scent. I picked up the Lavender Bath Creamer, the Flying Saucers Blaster, Lavender Musk Blaster, Sky Flower Blaster and the Lazy Lavender Brulee. It's safe to say that since I indulged these products, my Sunday Night Bath Time is one of my favourite parts of the week!

First of all, the service. I ordered online from the Bomb Cosmetics website. Delivery took a little longer than I'd've liked and it didn't actually arrive in time for my sister's birthday but it took a week I believe so it wasn't you know, awful. Upon receiving my package, I was very surprised. It was huge. I couldn't understand how such small products, and even my sister's gift set, needed such a large box. The box was fantastic though, a lovely pink colour and it was obvious where it came from. Inside, my questions were answered. As you can see from the pictures above, my bath bombs arrived packaged with lots of protective...things...inside. Although a little excessive, I'm glad to say that I'm definitely confident ordering from Bomb Cosmetics again as I know my products will be totally safe. Not to mention, the prices are seriously reasonable!

Now, onto the products themselves. I used the Lavender Bath Creamer first. I was shocked by how small this was but to be honest, if I'd read the product descriptions properly, I don't think I would have been. Despite it's tiny size though, it really was a mighty little thing. As soon as I dropped it into the bath my bathroom was filled with the lovely scent of lavender. Next bath time, I went for the Flying Saucers Blaster. This was probably my favourite of the bunch just because it looked so cool. Again, it was beautifully scented and this one left my bath a lovely purple colour which made it look wonderful and appealing. Bubbles annoy me slightly but then a bath without bubbles looks so...boring and empty so a purple bath was a great compromise! I expected all my blasters to leave my water an attractive purple colour but I was surprised by the lovely pink colour that the Lavender Musk Blaster resulted in. The Sky Flower Blaster was just so pretty to look like I didn't really want to use it but of course I did. Again, no disappointments!

I had a bit of an "oops" moment with my Lazy Lavender Brulee. You're meant to be able to use it up to six times but me being me, I completely forgot to remove it from my bath and it all melted, oops! So, the lavender smell with this one was just too overpowering for me and it also left my skin feeling quite oily and greasy afterwards. However I have a sneaking suspicion that had I used it correctly, this wouldn't have been an issue...that being said, the lavender scent lasted on my skin well into the next day which was lovely.

Overall, the products made bath time into a lovely and looked forward to part of my week. While nothing helped me sleep, I always felt really, really relaxed after my bath with Bomb Cosmetics. I was also amazed by how soft each product left my skin. It was always so touchable afterwards. I'd definitely recommend this store as a Lush alternative and I will certainly be shopping there again!

Have you tried Bomb Cosmetics?

Loreal Lumi Magique Collection

loreal, loreal lumi magique, primer, foundation, highlighting pen, review
loreal, loreal lumi magique, primer, review
loreal, loreal lumi magique, loreal foundation, review
loreal, loreal concealer, loreal highlighting pen, review

The Loreal Lumi Magique Collection is one I have been using for a while now. I vaguely remember playing with the foundation at work and suddenly wanting everything in the range, so the whole range I bought. They're not the best products I've ever used and which one I like best varies from time to time, but they are of a very high quality and they are amazing when my skin is actually behaving. (Which is sadly NEVER these days.)

I've fallen a little out of love with the primer at the moment. My skin is a horrible oily mess of spots and blemishes so this primer really doesn't work very well for me at the moment. That aside, before my skin decided to be the worst it has ever been, I really adored this primer and for a while, my favourite face base consisted of this primer and the No7 BB Cream. I suppose the thing to keep in mind as I write this review is: nothing works very well on my skin right now. So just because I don't like the primer at the minute, please don't let that put you off. I never used to be much of a primer fan. The first face primer I tried was absolutely awful and put me off buying them for a loooooong time. However, like everyone else in the blogosphere, I soon decided I wanted to ditch matte skin and go for a much more glowing look and I decided this was the product to achieve it with. Also though ever so slightly oily, I love the finish this primer gives. It glides over skin nicely and completely wakes up your skin. Underneath a BB cream it made my skin just look really healthy. Because it's a brightening primer, I didn't expect this primer to enhance the wear time of my foundation, however I believe it does manage to add and extra hour or so.

I'm currently using this foundation on a daily basis as I've got a backlog of foundations and I want to either use them all up or sell them off because I desperately want need to go back to wearing mineral foundation again. Despite the fact that I am trying to get rid of it as quickly as possibly, this is actually a really good foundation. I haven't actually tried that many foundations in all honesty but this is certainly a far cry from the foundations I used to use in my teens. Again, I'm used to matte foundations and was a little concerned that a foundation designed to give radiance might not give me the coverage I like (medium to high) but this foundation gives good medium coverage that I'm very happy with. It doesn't suffocate my skin and it's a very light formula. My only criticism of it is I like quite thick foundations whereas as this one feels very watery. It's quite runny and for this reason, I struggle a little with blending each morning. It lasts a good few hours depending on how oily my skin is that day.

Highlighting Pen
Of the trio, this is probably the product in the range that is most consistently my favourite. I seriously cannot be coping without this product. For a few weeks, I actually lost it behind my drawers and had to go without for a while. In those few weeks, way too many people commented on how tired I was looking. I see this as a testament to how well this product works! Since I've been using it on a daily basis again, no one has commented on me looking tired. I used this product to brighten the dark circles under my eyes. The tiniest bit of this goes a very long way. I add a little dot under my eye then blend and voila: I look a lot more awake. Like the foundation, this has a good few hours lasting power in it - if anything, it lasts longer than my foundation because I use it in a relatively problem free area!

So, to summarise, the Loreal Lumi Magique range isn't the best out there but it's far from the worst! Have you tried it?


Outfit Details:
Coat: Kids Section @ Sainsbury's (yes, really)
Bag: Missguided
Dress: Pinkoholic
Tights: River Island (possibly Primark though)
Shoes: Matalan

Firstly: apologies for the ghostly photographs: it was dark by the time they were taken but I love this dress so much it's reserved specifically for special occasions and I knew I wouldn't be wearing it again for a while, so dark photographs it was! 

Anyway: I actually bought this coat waaaayyyyy back in February thinking it would seen be brightening and warming up, oh how we can all laugh at that thought now. In the past few weeks I've finally been getting some wear out of it and I'm so happy to finally share it on the blog. I love this coat. I was in Sainsbury's, hunting down cheap black trousers and shoes for work when I saw the kids section: it was full of gorgeous little coats! Jokingly I said I bet I can fit into them and hey, what do you know, I could fit into them. I think mine is size 11-12 yrs but if I remember correctly they go up to 13+ so there could be one to fit you too! The first one I tried on was floral and waterproof and as I was putting it away again (I was meant to be on my February spending ban at the time...) this one caught my eye. Immediately I had thrown my own coat at my mum again and was trying this one on and promptly deciding my spending ban was over. I love it so much. It's perfect for those breezier spring and summer days and I do love a good long coat because it doesn't really matter what's underneath it. Although a huge lover of all things pink, I'd never actually had a pink coat and decided it was about time I did.

As much as I love my coat, I was a little annoyed it was so wet and miserable that I needed to use it and had to hide away my dress! I honestly feel like a princess when I wear this dress. Not like a Disney Princess with long flowing hair and huge dresses, more like a real life modern day princess. It's just so elegant with its long sleeve and lovely detailing. It's the kind of dress I want to wear all the time but once I put it on, I just know it's too special to be an every day dress. I loved it paired with my cream tights - I think adding cream tights rather than going for black or bare legs just added to the sophistication. 

I had originally planned to wear this dress for a lovely day out at one of the gorgeous places Yorkshire has to offer such as Lotherton Hall, but the weather thwarted that plan for me. Instead, we decided to head for the cinema and go for a meal afterwards. Cinema was great: we saw Fast and Furious which was absolutely fantastic although even Vin Diesel is looking older these days, what's going on there?! Sadly, the meal didn't happen as I gorged myself on sweets and Maltesers in the cinema but we did have takeaway afterwards instead once my stomach had settled down a bit!

Do you have a princess dress?

The Vixen Loves: OPI Nail Envy

For as long as I can remember, I have bitten my nails. They have never, ever been in good condition. They have always been horrifically short, stubby and painful and because of this, up until last year I didn't even own any nail varnish. Year after year I'd make the New Year's Resolution: "quit biting my nails" and year after year I'd fail. Yet round about the time I hit my twenties, I felt a bit ridiculous having such childish nails. I'd started reading beauty blogs a lot more frequently and I became seriously envious of those bloggers who had such fab nails. Nail art has also enjoyed rising popularity these past few years, making me hate my horrible nails even more. Generally, I am a very lucky girl because I am hugely confident and very happy with my appearance - there are just two things that upset me a fair bit about the way I look - and one of them is my nails.

I think it was the beginning of 2012 where I started to enjoy success with not biting my nails. Now, in the present day, my nails are a lot better. Sadly I do still bite them but it is much less frequently now and it is very, very rare that I bite them all off right down. While I think willpower will be my biggest weapon in the fight for lovely nails, there's another player in the game who has seriously helped with my nail care this year, and that's OPI Nail Envy.

I have the matte version simply because I was buying this product from Amazon (way cheaper than somewhere like Boots!) and the Matte version was cheaper than the original. It turns out I much prefer the way the matte version looks anyway. I've tried various nail strengtheners before and not had much luck so it took me ages to finally part with the cash for Nail Envy. I'm so glad I did in the end. Not only does this product make a huge difference, it makes a difference fast. Within a day of my first use, I could tell something had changed and after my first week, well, I didn't recognise my own hands anymore. My nails are much stronger now and because of this, and I swear they grow faster these days as well. This is a product I now refuse to go without.

Of course, it's not a miracle product. My nails still break at work and a determined nibble still does damage - but I'm no longer self conscious about my hands. I'm much happier to see my hands. There is difference in my nails which makes this product worth every bit of money.

Instavixen #8 & Life Update

Hello everyone! Time seems to have flown since last Sunday. It really does feel like yesterday that I wrote my last Instavixen post. It's truly insane - life has always seem to pass more and more quickly as each year passes but I can't believe that I've already been in Wakefield for over a year now. The time since university might as well not have happened for how quickly I feel it went by. I've had a good week overall. I was off work on Monday and to my delight, it was gorgeously sunny. I spent the day in the garden reading books, playing DS games, playing Kindle games and putting the finishing touches to some of the items that will be for sale in my shop. As for the shop: I've decided to stop putting a date on when I want to open it. I've had about 4 dates I've said to myself THAT will be the day I open since January and each time, I've just watched it fly by. I've decided now that when it's time, it'll be time and to stop stressing myself out about it. This gorgeous weather has certainly motivated me to get more things done though! Especially anything that can be done outside...Oh, and just in case anyone expected me to open my shop last weekend (I noticed a lot of traffic to that page after I Tweeted about "opening the shop") that Tweet was actually about shop I work in haha. While I've cashed up more times than I can count now and will shortly be doing it without managerial supervision, it was the first time I'd opened up the store. I say this time and time again and I know most people just don't get why I'm so enthusiastic but I really do love my job and being in a managerial position just feels right.

That being said, work is stressful at times. I had a pretty horrid shift on Tuesday and while I was on the bus home fighting back tears, I realised my mum was in a pub that I adore going to and just so happens to be on my way home from work. So, off the bus I hopped a few stops early and went to meet my mum, her boyfriend, his daughter and her boyfriend with their so bloody adorable puppy Millie. We went for a lovely walk through the countryside and then headed to the pub for food and drinks. I wasn't feeling any of the main courses but I noticed they were doing garlic mushroom bruschetta was on the specials list so I opted for that. In all honesty, I could have cooked it better myself, but it was still very comforting after the day I'd had, especially washed down with a Strawberry and Lime Kopparberg! The rest of my week was pretty standard, I did my nails up all pretty just to end up breaking them all during promo change at work (that shift is LETHAL for nails I swear) and I received a few goodies in the post bought pre-shopping ban. I am absolutely head over heels (no pun intended, oops!) for my new creepers. They suits me a lot more than I thought they would and I like them even better in person. I've conveniently forgotten what I wanted to wear them with though, oops. I also received the beautiful necklace from my Birthday Wishlist from my boyfriend as a late birthday present. I was so excited when I realised that it was my boyfriend who had bought it, as only the day before, I'd noticed it had been sold on Etsy.

Now, a little Operation Improved Lifestyle Update. Amazingly, week one of my spending ban has been successful. I've decided that I am allowed to make a few exceptions. As magazines are only around for a month and I do really love reading Glamour and Company, I've decided I am still allowed to buy them. Wednesday 13 has also announced a new tour and seeing as there's only ONE UK date, as soon as I can afford to, I will be buying a ticket for that because I will be heartbroken if I miss out on him. I've also noticed my hair is very, very, very soft recently so if I get halfway through my ban without spending anything, I will finally treat myself to that hair cut and colour I'm so desperate for. I'm really hoping to use up a lot of my products during my ban so I can actually justify buying more and I've also realised a lot of my stuff just doesn't work for me anymore so I've added a blog sale to my "To Do List". This is a big step for me because normally I'm an absolute hoarder and I only ever give stuff to my sisters because I know if I only give it to them, I'm gonna see it again. By having a blog sale, I'm showing myself that stuff isn't so important.

On the healthier lifestyle side of things - I kept making excuses to not go to the doctors although I've been feeling pretty awful recently. I dunno, it seems kinda pointless going to a doctor when I'm 99% sure the problem is my diet. If I go a month with a healthy diet and still feel like I do, then I think I will talk to a doctor. That being said - my diet isn't fantastic yet although it has slightly improved. It's just hard when I'm not the one who does the food shopping for my house and I'm currently too skint to get my own stuff in. As you can see from the pictures above - chocolate was reduced down to 10p at work so I couldn't say no and I also had a cheeky Burger King today. However, instead of crisps I've been snacking on carrots and mange tout along with things from Graze. I also made sure I took in a full Graze box to work for my lunch one day and didn't buy any energy drinks or other horribly unhealthy stuff either. I've been having salad with a lot of my meals as well so it could be a lot, lot, lot worse. Still not enough change to make me feel any better though!

So yeah, that's my life at the minute. How about yours?

The Vixen Thinks: A Love Hate Relationship With Feminism (Part One)

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 and anything beyond. If there's anything you'd like me to write about, feel free to get in touch: theglittervixen(at)gmail(dot)com! Thank you!

I am a feminist. Misconceptions about what feminism actually is aside, forgetting my issues with the term feminism, when it boils down to it, I am a feminist. I have been a feminist my whole life, although it was only when I was 13 and read the words "riot grrrl" in a graphic novel about Kurt Cobain that I realised that what I am has a name. I feel silly having to explain this time and time again, but feminism is so often over complicated that I feel a definition is essential for the rest of this blog post. Feminism is the belief that men and women are equal to each other in every aspect of life and should be treated so. There, that's not such a bad idea is it?

And yet, recently, I feel my beloved feminism has been tainted. For years, I was a dedicated Tumblr user, and one of the things I loved about Tumblr was it was a great place to meet with like minded feminists. It was great seeing all these intelligent women saying amazing things about gender and equality in ways I'd never read before and I felt proud to be part of that community. Eventually though, I noticed the Tumblr activist community changing. I started noticing terms like "cultural appropriation" and "cisgender". It wasn't long before I felt like feminism wasn't for me anymore. I'm white. I come from a poverty free background. I class myself as female and my body reflects this. And suddenly, I felt like this meant I was immediately the enemy. God forbid how I'd feel if I wasn't a woman. I am not racist. I am not transphobic. But, suddenly, on Tumblr, it felt like if you were white and "cisgender" you couldn't possibly have an opinion on matters such as homophobia or racism.

I'm not ignorant. I understand that many feminists do fail to include trans people in their definition of equality. I know that gender inequalities do vary wildly depending on the race of the person. I know that as a white female, I enjoy certain privileges that a black woman doesn't get to enjoy. Sure, we're allowed to sit on the same part of the bus these days but you have to be blind to think racism doesn't exist anymore. But those lovely Tumblr activists took this too far in my opinion. I remember reading one post saying that I shouldn't have my nose pierced because that's cultural appropriation. I remember reading the blog of a (white) girl who had dreads, who had stretched ears, who loved wearing a Sugar Skull top for a while go on to rant constantly about how awful it was for white people to have anything to do with this stuff. It was the absolute definition of hypocrisy. The thing that annoys me most about this new form of "Tumblr Activism" though is the majority of people I see getting bitchy and horrible about "issues" are people that are in no way affected them.

Yet, we can't win. I would try to write about feminism in an inclusive way. I would be told that I had no idea what I am talking. I would write about feminism from my point of view, my experiences and would be told I am horribly narrow minded and not inclusive. This new breed of activism makes it impossible for anyone to be right. The movement completely alienates people. For a while, I refused to refer to myself as a feminist because I hated how petty and bitchy it had become. As much as I hate to say this, if people want to be accepted as they are, they cannot, absolutely CANNOT alienate us people classified as "normal". Slavery ended when white people got on board with the idea that actually, we probably shouldn't be using other human beings as property to buy and trade. How much longer would it have taken to abolish slavery without the white people that pushed for abolition? Somewhere along the line, so called feminists have forgotten that it is SOLIDARITY that will make changes. While we're all bickering over correct terminology and who is more oppressed than who, we're making ourselves look like children, we're turning feminism into a joke and we're preventing things from moving forward. If the world is ever going to move forward, we need to work together.

I've decided to turn this into a series of posts otherwise it's going to get way too long. Sadly, Tumblr Activists aren't the only issue I have with modern feminism. But the next issue will have to wait until next week...

Pink Leopard

Outfit Details:
Beret: H+M
Jacket: Miss Selfridge
Collar: eBay
Cardigan: Collectif
Belt: Matalan
Skirt: H+M
Shoes: Primark 
Bag: Missguided

Makeup Details:
Face: Loreal Lumi Magique Foundation, Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, Loreal Lumi Magique Highlighting Pen, Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, E.L.F Cream Blusher in Seductress
Eyes: E.L.F Shimmer Palette, Barry M Black Marker Pen for Eyes, Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara, Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Nude
Lips: Topshop Secret Party 

Barry M Gelly in Pomegranate, Essie Leading Lady

Obviously this isn't an an outfit I've worn recently as the weather has actually been pretty good recently! I actually took these pictures so long ago now that I can't actually remember when I wore this and what I wore it for. Having revisited this outfit though, I've realised I quite like it! The pink leopard cardi is something I have owned for years and years, but it's something I quite often forget. As I've mentioned a few times, I've been digging out old favourites recently in an attempt to justify the size of my wardrobe by wearing as much of it as possible. The collar is actually separate to the cardi. Again, this is something I bought a long time ago. I was super excited for it to arrive and then I rarely ever wore it. The funny thing is, I totally love collars and every outfit I do think to add a collar to, I really love the result. I am trying to incorporate it into my outfits a little more but sadly, it's quite annoying to wear as it moves around a lot. I think I could do with it being just a little bit smaller. 

I'm sorry my nail picture is so hideous. I recently bought the Barry M Nail Corrector Pen and since then my manicures have been a lot tidier, but sadly this picture was taken before I owned this. I'm also a bit miffed that camera seems incapable of picking up just how pretty Leading Lady actually is. The rest of my makeup was pretty standard. Whenever I wear a pink like this, I always go for winged eyeliner and a matching lip.

Bit of a short one today as I have no idea what I did in this outfit so can't really say much else...

Benefit Porefect Radiance [Product Review]

One of the lovely Benefit goodies I got for Christmas was this little kit called "Porefect Radiance". It contains three miniature Benefit products: It's Potent Eye Cream and the Triple Performing Facial Emulsion from the skin care range along with the very well know Porefessional Primer. Although I was delighted to have received a mini Porefessional as I had been desperate to try it, I was a tiny bit dubious about the other two. I've never believed in eye cream before and I hadn't heard much about Benefit Skincare and I always make the mistake of assuming something can't be that great if everyone's not blogging about it. Yet, as you know, I've called myself a lover of all things Benefit on this blog, so it's pretty obvious what comes next in this review!

It's Potent! Eye Cream
As I'd never used eye cream before, as I'd never really believed it could work and just didn't see the point in it at all, I purposely didn't read anything about this product before I used it, not even the information that came on the packet about it. My reasoning behind this was that I was scared if I read reviews of it I'd start seeing the things the reviewer spoke about whereas I wanted to know if this product was definitely working. I figured if I had no preconceptions and I saw a difference, I knew I'd really be seeing a difference. Imagine my surprise then, a day or two after I first used this cream, I noticed my dark circles were no longer as dark! Dark circles are a family trait for me, our family all have very deep set eyes which mean the bags under them are always rather pronounced. I'd decided a long time ago that concealer was the only way to deal with these. I'm not saying this is a miracle, my dark circles are indeed still there but they are nowhere near as noticeable as they used to be, I need less concealer, and I am much happier with them than I used to be. I'm genuinely considering repurchasing a full size of this when I run out of my sample (a tiny, tiny bit goes a very long way) but I think I'll end up trying a few cheaper eye creams first.

Triple Performing Facial Emulsion
I wasn't so sure what to think of this. I wasn't sure if it is classed as a moisturiser or not and it's only recently that I've started believing in the true necessity of a moisturiser. Needless to say, I gave it a go. It's a lovely formula, very soft and not too thick but not too thin either. It blends into the skin very nicely and has no obvious scent about it. It left my skin feeling soft and smooth. Again, I'm umming and ahhing about maybe repurchasing a full size bottle of this but I must admit I am rather put off by the packaging. Although it looks so cool, like a little magic potion bottle, its functionality isn't great. It's a glass bottle and you simply have to tap the bottle onto your fingers to get the product out. It's difficult to get the right amount and it means product is inevitably wasted. For this reason, I'm not too sure I'd want to fork out for this. I do like it though.

The Porefessional 
This product has already featured in a Products of the Month video and I recently finally got round to buying myself a full sized tube. This primer is incredible. Previously to this, I'd only ever tried one facial primer before and I hated it so much it completely put me off primer altogether. Although I wanted to try the Porefessional as I'd heard good things about it, I really didn't want to risk buying it in case I hated this one too. Obviously I don't. I think the most important thing to say about it is don't go in expecting miracles, like no eye cream with make your dark circles vanish, no product will make your pores completely disappear. The Porefessional however, does seriously minimise the appearance of pores. Along with this, it really smooths out the skin giving you a lovely fresh canvas to apply the rest of your makeup to. I also find it increases the wear time of my foundation which I am really happy about it.

All together, these products create the perfect prep and prime routine for your skin before makeup. The eye cream means less makeup is needed, the emulsion feeds your skin and leaves it ready to receive the primer while the primer has become one of my absolutely must haves for flawless makeup. If you're curious about these Benefit products yet like me, the price is a little scary, or if you're into glowing, flawless skin, I wholeheartedly recommend checking this lovely little kit out.

What do you think of Benefit?

Operation Improved Lifestyle: 2 Month Spending Ban

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I wasn't completely happy and that I was wanting to make some changes to my lifestyle. Although I'd already planned a spending ban and an accompanying blog post about it, after getting a little personal last night I decided I'm turning the positive changes I'm attempting to make in my life into a new series on the blog. I'll write about the things I've been doing on my journey into a healthy body and mind, what has been working, what hasn't and so on. As I began my spending ban on Saturday, that will be the focus of my post today.

In February, I attempted a spending ban which you can read about here and here. TL;DR I wasn't very successful for various reasons. I don't think 28 days was long enough. My mindset wasn't right. That kind of thing. I feel different about it now. After looking through my bank statements in the presence of my boyfriend and going shopping with him and spending nearly £30 on two tiny products, I realised how frankly ridiculous I am with my money. Honestly, I see nothing wrong with throwing your cash around and buying yourself things you want; if you have that cash to throw around. And my problem is, I really don't. Sure I have an interest free overdraft but I shouldn't use it. I have no need to. Sure I'm very lucky to be parentally supported at the moment so the vast majority of my wage is disposable income but I've decided that doesn't mean I should dispose of it on products I'll never get through or clothes I never wear or a different bar of chocolate every day, a little magazine here and there...I could go on. My spending is completely out of control. It's out of control and it's about time I admitted that and started reigning myself back in.

Money issues aside, I hate the mentality my shopping addiction has left me with. Once I want something, my brain refuses to distinguish between want and need. I am in a continual state of stress because I am afraid something will sell out before I can get it. I've thrown more than one tantrum in my time because a store doesn't have my size or something doesn't fit. In all honesty, it's unpleasant. It's beyond an obsession. Whereas I used to view things as "too expensive" I now see everything I want as worth the price. Let's be honest, is a toner really worth £25, ever? To me, no, it isn't. As you can see, it's well and truly time for me to change and kick this habit once and for all.

As I want to be successful in my ban this time, I've set myself some rules and guidelines to abide by while I participate in my ban. I'm hoping this will give me structure and help me stick to my ban.

  1. Some things are unavoidable. I have to pay my phone bill, my direct debit for contact lenses and renew my bus pass every 4 weeks. Obviously, I will still be spending money on these.
  2. Accidents happen. Should I need to replace things during my ban, e.g. I break my phone, I'm allowed to get myself one.
  3. Essential products like deodorant, shower gel etc which I only use one at a time of are allowed to be repurchased when I run out of them
  4. False lashes and false nails are not essentials and I've stocked up on them now so hopefully won't run out during my ban anyway. Same goes for fake tan...
  5. If I run out of blusher or any other makeup where I have multiples items, I am not allowed to replace them. If I completely run out of blusher (yeah, bloody unlikely) then I can buy more
  6. I can't use Boots/Superdrug points because although I won't be spending, I'll still be indulging myself
  7. I'm going to cancel my LoveFilm subscription and Graze boxes
  8. Even when my ban is over after July 31st, I am still not allowed to buy any makeup/non essential haircare/skincare until I have reviewed everything I already own
So, what am I hoping to achieve? First of all, I've demolished my savings and I'm hoping a solid two months of saving nearly everything I earn will bring them back to life a little. I do want to move out some time sooner rather than later so I need to make some sacrifices to make this happen. I'm also hoping to well and truly sort out the difference between want and need in my brain. I'm hoping two months of buying nothing unessential with help me to realise that the world will not end if I don't get everything I want. 

To avoid temptation, I went on a shopping spree on Friday 31st May. I've bought loads of new nail art tools, false nails, eyelashes, a jumper, some shoes, a bag. Stuff that will help me alter things I already own basically. Stuff that will allow me to change my look during my ban so I hopefully don't crack and go shopping during June and July. I'm also going to ban myself from going into town without a very specific purpose and I am not going to window shop online. 

Have you attempted anything like this? How did it go? Wish me luck!

Instavixen #7: Life Lately

Goodness, it feels like such a long time since I sat down to do a proper Instavixen post. Although I posted plenty of Instagram photographs yesterday, they weren't exactly things I'd been up to whereas this is a self indulgent "look at how awesome my life is" type post. As much as I love writing this blog and writing posts that get hits from Google because people need to read them, at the end of the day, this blog is mine and I'd like at least one post a week to be mine. I used to document my life in my scrapbook, and this blog has turned into my modern version of that. (Although saying that, I really wotuld like to take up scrapbooking again...)

So, what have I been up to? The past few weeks have definitely been blissful at times. Heaps of irresponsible spending means I've got lots of new goodies featured in the pictures above. Going to be filming a few haul videos in the coming weeks and expect a slew of hair care and skin care reviews over the coming months too. Not to mention my birthday occurring has expanded my ever growing collection of "things."

However, getting new things hasn't even been the best part of my life recently. My birthday brought something even better. My boyfriend finally finished university which meant he finally had time to come and see me. We hadn't seen each other since the very beginning of April when I had enough time off work to hop down to Aberystwyth for a short while. I always thought long distance would get easier as time went on, but in actual fact it's just getting harder and harder every time, therefore his arrival caused fireworks I haven't felt for a long time. We actually separated for the first few months of 2013 and I thought that time too would have helped me come to terms with not seeing him constantly but no, any lessons I learnt there seem to have gone out of the window! Most of what I got up to while he was here was explained in my Chester Zoo post :)

Recently, I've been wanting to make dramatic changes to my lifestyle. First of all, the amount I spent during May was a serious wake up call for how downright irresponsible with my money I am. I've got myself into the habit of seeing my overdraft as free money and I literally have no voice in my head any more that distinguishes want from need. Yeah, ok, I've been refraining from buying makeup but instead I've just found other things to waste my money on. I've decided it's time to change. This isn't the only part of my life I've realised needs a dramatic overhaul though. I've been like this for a while now, but this past week or so, since my boyfriend left, I've been noticing it more than ever. I am exhausted. Much, much, much more than is normal. I'm tired. I lack energy. I'm constantly ill. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to get checked out just in case there's something more sinister going on, but deep down, I know it's the way I live my life making me feel this way. My diet is the main problem; I know full well what I eat is rubbish for me and I get barely any nutrients that I need. The sad thing is though, even my exercise regime is going down the drain. I've been watching my workouts get shorter and shorter and less and less varied. It's making me lazy. I don't do anything besides blog or work anymore. That makes me unhappy. Basically, it's time for change, and I'm hoping that writing about this so publicly will give the kick I finally need to make some much needed changes in my life and propel myself back to the level I know I'm capable of operating at. Starting tomorrow, I'll be doing some posts that reflect my changing attitudes towards my lifestyle.

So, that turned unexpectedly personal. What have you been up to?

May Photo a Day Challenge



So, those of you who follow me on other platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook may be aware  that throughout May, I participated in a Photo Challenge. The challenge I participated in was #fmsphotoaday and was created and hosted by Fat Mum Slim. She's doing a June challenge as well, so if you missed May but would like to get involved, you absolutely can! Although I've tried to do a photo challenge before, I never actually completed it and I did it from a random Pinterest image I found rather than one that was current and had other people participating in it. Therefore I think this was my first real photo challenge and I'm proud to have got to the end with only a few days posted late. I'm definitely considering doing another one of these some time.

Day 1 - I Bought This! - The June issue of Elle with a free Benefit They're Real Mascara!

Day 2 - Morning Ritual - can't go a morning without my porridge, vitamins and skin care routine.

Day 3 - This is Really Good! - my PixiGlow Fairy Face Palette

Day 4 - In My Cup - rose wine of course!

Day 5 - Paper - my ticket to Insomnifest!

Day 6 - Broken - the playsuit I wore and broke at Insomnifest #embarrassing

Day 7 - Something Beginning With F - well, on this blog it's no surprise I chose a fox for this day

Day 8 - Shape - proper love hearts so this was a logical choice

Day 9 - Snack - absolutely obsessed with these Maltesers bars and as I was in Wilkos one day, this Oatso Simple Bar caught my eye and I just had to try it as I have the porridge for brekkie every morning

Day 10 - Stars - sadly I couldn't capture any actual stars so I found a picture and added some stars to it

Day 11 - A Smile - no makeup means, you aren't seeing my face but I didn't want to get behind on the challenge

Day 12 - Mother - pretty self explanatory, me and my mum!

Day 13 - Sunrise/Sunset - I chose a sunset photo I had knocking around on my phone and added a few filters to make it look cool

Day 14 - Need - a fox bag, that I later received for my birthday, YAY

Day 15 - 7' O Clock - a picture of my watch taken at 7pm

Day 16 - Mailbox - a picture of my letterbox at home

Day 17 - Season - it's Spring so i chose some flowers

Day 18 - Want - the Pixi Focus Fresh Palette as it looks incredible

Day 19 - My Favourite View - the view from the top of Constitution Hill in Aberystwyth

Day 20 - Light - I chose a picture of a very sunny day with light reflecting off the sea and added some bokeh

Day 21 - I Care About This... - my family (the picture is me, my sisters and our other halves)

Day 22 - Change - how I've changed over the course of a year (not too much)

Day 23 - PJs - my nightie and kimono!

Day 24 - Go - green is for go

Day 25 - Us - the boy and I

Day 26 - Fave Thing to do on Sunday - spend it with family!

Day 27 - Can't Live Without - good food (his is beef bourgignon when I was in Paris)

Day 28 - What You're Doing Now - I was reading magazines in my PJs as I always buy them and then never actually read them so I thought I'd give it a go

Day 29 - Kiss - me and the boy are always taking those soppy kiss photographs but this is the only one I've ever shared anywhere

Day 30 - Tool - my laptop, my greatest tool in the fight against boredom

Day 31 - Four Things - things that remind me of the person I miss most: my necklace, my ring, Paris and my fox ring

So there's all my photographs with some brief explanations. Did you participate in a May photo challenge? Link me up!