The Vixen Thinks: Making the Choice to Live Positively

The truth is, I've known for years that optimism and positivity are things you can learn, they're not things some people are born with and some people are just doomed to live without. I was in my first year of university, nearly four years ago now, when Gala Darling first started talking about "radical self love" and that just opened a gateway for me. I learnt about the idea of manifesting, the law of attraction, life design. For the first time ever in my life, aged 18 years old, I was starting to realise that I had everything I needed to create the life I dreamed of. Of course, it didn't stick straight away. I've suffered from depression for years and in November last year, it started getting worse than it ever had before and by January, I was at the lowest I have ever, ever been. Depression is a horrible thing and for a while, it was able to get in the way of everything I knew about positive living and completely clouded my better judgement. Finally, that fog started to lift though and now more than ever, I making the effort to live my life in a positive way and the more effort I make, the better my life is getting. In March I started making a concentrated effort to focus on getting better, and the more I did that, the more I saw the things I wanted practically materialising in front of me.

Perhaps the biggest realisation for me was that the only person that stands between you and the kind of life you want is yourself. You decide whether to be happy or sad, so why wouldn't you choose happiness?! The day I finally accepted that my happiness was under my control was the day everything started getting better for me. After a particularly rough January and February, I decided to do something that had never failed to make me happy as a teenager, and that was go to a meet and greet gig by Wednesday 13. That night, I remembered everything I loved. Wednesday himself. The music. Going to gigs. Travelling. Making friends in the queue. Gothic makeup. That night I decided that it was time for Emily to come back and get rid of that horrible shell of a girl who replaced me for a while. I'd been unhappy at work so I moved stores. I worked hard and got myself promoted. I started a loving, healthy, happy relationship with a man I love very much. My blog really took off. I improved my relationship with a lot of family members. Basically, the things I'd spent so long dreaming about were suddenly becoming reality instead.

At first, I thought it was just luck but by the time I'd signed off from CBT sessions, I'd realised all the work had been mine. Just that one decision to do something good for myself had snowballed. Deciding to go see Wednesday 13 felt good. I wanted that feeling to continue, so I started making decisions that were good for me. I decided to stop being scared of failure and to stop "failure" hurting so much, I started looking for the positives in every situation. Believe me: there is always a silver lining, ALWAYS. Example: I didn't make team leader at work. It's ok - I'd have more time for my hobbies and life outside of work and I was still working in a store with a team I love selling products I love. But of course, I wanted to be team leader, so I worked hard, and here I am, a team leader. Another example: I wanted a well known blog that got me invited to events and meetups. Yeah, this has happened but if it hadn't, my blog is still something I very much enjoy doing and I am proud of it. At first, yes, it is difficult to find the positives because we have negativity drilled into us from the very beginning. With a bit of training though, finding the bright side of a situation becomes natural, second nature.

It all seems so obvious to me now: if you believe you have a good life, you will have a good life! At the minute, everything is changing for me. I've started an exciting business opportunity as well as deciding to work my way up the ranks at work. I have plans to move away from Wakefield at last. I'm getting much more active and slowly my eating is improving. This isn't happening because I'm blessed or charmed. This is happening because I want it to happen, so I believe it can happen and I am working hard to make this happen.

It's honestly all about your mindset, I have chosen to live my life positively and so should you!

Lush Ultrabland [Product Review]

After my last Lush review wasn't such a positive one, I figured it was about time I talked about a Lush product I really love, and that product is their facial cleanser, Lush Ultrabland. At first I was terrified of this product. I ordered it on the cheap from a blog sale, not really paying attention to what it was actually was - I'd just heard people saying it was good so I figured I'd go for it. When it arrived I read one word on the packaging that immediately scared me away from using it, and that word was "oily". Oh yes, I'd ordered an oily cleanser for my oily skin, I thought that was a huge no no.

Later on, I visited Lush for a face mask which was out of stock at the time. My skin was such a mess at this point I didn't want to walk away empty handed and asked for recommendations, and Ultrabland was the first thing suggested. Upon seeing the look of horror on my face when they mentioned oil, another staff member came over to tell me how much she loves this product and how even though I've got oily skin, I shouldn't be scared of using oily products on them. So, I decided to give it a go!

My first use was a little scary, it's much oilier than anything else I've ever used on my skin before and I was scared it just wasn't going to work for me at all. That being said, I noticed its potential right away. It smells quite nice and it really, really took my makeup off. It's the only cleanser I've used so far that isn't phased by Benefit They're Real Mascara! It takes everything off without a problem at all leaving my skin feeling lovely a fresh and clean. After about a week, I noticed my skin was changing. My blemishes were less dry yet my oily T zone didn't feel so greasy or shiny anymore. On the packet, I noticed it said to use Lush Ultrabland and Ultrabland alone for a month to get really problematic skin back in balance, so I decided to give this a go.

It worked. I guess the theory that oily skin gets oily because it's overcompensating for you stripping it all the time has some truth to it! Although I've now changed cleansers to one that doesn't have parabens in it (sadly, Ultrabland does and I try to use as little products with parabens in as possible) I cannot ignore how much of a difference Ultrabland made my skin. While I'm still very blemish prone, I just don't have the problems I used to do with my makeup sliding off my face or looking shiny after an hour or so. My skin now feels much more normal and regulated and I am enjoying much more prolonged wear of my makeup and a matte finish is easily achievable for me now. While it didn't stop or get rid of my blemishes, I've definitely been experiencing less breakouts since my revelation that oil is not the enemy.

I really recommend this product. It's very gentle yet very effective and I'd advise anyone with oily skin who has previously been too worried to use cleansers containing oil on their face to maybe give it a go!


missguided, h+m, new look, vivienne westwood

Outfit Details:
Headband: New Look
Shirt: Missguided 
Jeans: H+M
Shoes: Vivienne Westwood

Makeup Details:
Arbonne Makeup Primer
Arbonne Liquid Perfecting Foundation
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer
Everyday Minerals Semi Matte Foundation
Benefit Benetint
Benefit Sugarbomb
Benefit Highbeam
E.L.F Matte Lip Colour in Coreal
Pixiglow Fairy Face Palette Eyeshadows
Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Nude
Benefit They're Real Mascara

The shirt featured in today's outfit post is one of my absolute favourites. Although I find it quite hard to style, I love the way it looks on me. I love the candy stripes, I love the pink, I love the bow under the collar. Although a number of things in my wardrobe could be used to create an interesting and slightly different outfit I opted for the safe option of some grey skinny jeans on this particular day. To make it ever so slightly more interested, I added this lovely pink floral headband and my Vivienne Westwood Melissa's. Overall, I don't think it looks so bad. It's lovely for those deceptive Summer days where it's sunny you want to wear something colourful but the breeze means it's ever so slightly too cool to dare to bare.

I wore this outfit to meet up with the lovely Nicola a few weeks ago in Leeds. It was a very exciting little chat we had, and one I can't wait to share with you all but it's not quite time yet! We met up in Costa and I chose between my two standard Summer orders. I think this particular occasion I went for the cranberry lemonade but it's just as likely that I went for one of the fruit coolers.

What do you like to wear for coffee dates?

Pretties in the Post: Prairie Charms

pink glitter bows, lilac glitter bows, glitter, hair bows, flower crown

pink glitter bows, lilac glitter bows, glitter, hair bows, flower crown

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Prairie Charms via Twitter asking if I'd like to take part in their Project Blogger. A quick visit to their site later, and hell yeah, I wanted to take part. After a lot of internal debate with myself I finally decided on a few items: the Effie Glitter Bow in 3 colours (Candyfloss Pink, Shocking Pink and Lilac, of course), the Natalia Bow and the Fleur Flower Crown. Then, I eagerly awaited the arrival of my lovely gold parcel. 

pink glitter bows, lilac glitter bows, glitter, hair bows, flower crown

Of course, I didn't actually know the parcel was going to be gold until I received it so I was really happy and surprised when I saw it and opening it up, it just got better. I was delighted with my glitter bows - just the right size for me to be able to wear at work without it being a bit too extravagant for the work place. They're also such beautiful colours. I've worn my Shocking Pink one to work a few times as it matches my uniform and the Candy Floss one is such a delicate cute colour it adorned my locks on my last trip down South to see James. I've yet to wear the lilac one, but I've got the perfect outfit for it planned and can't wait for an appropriate occasion to show case it. 

The Natalia Bow is slightly bigger than my Effie Bows but still a lovely every day appropriate size. Its lovely floral design and cream and pink colouring means it's well at home in my wardrobe. For the purpose of this blog posts I dressed up in what I refer to as my Marie Antoinette dress and pranced about in the sunshine having my photo taken. It made me realise how much I love the dress but it also showed me how good the bow was to go with the dress.

However, for me, the real star of the parcel was my Fleur Flower Crown which I am absolutely delighted with. I've wanted a floral crown for the longest time and have my hear set on some Crown and Glory ones but I'm so glad I decided to just bite the bullet and purchase this one. The roses are so cute and delicate and I love love love wearing this headband. I was worried it would be too big for my head but it really isn't. It has definitely become my favourite Summer accessory and the fact that it's just plain pink means it's really versatile for my wardrobe. It's very well made and there seems to be no danger of losing any roses or leaves from it. 

My one little problem with my order was that the crocodile clip on my Lilac Effie Bow fell off which was a bit sad but thankfully, very easily fixed. Although I was kindly given these products at a 50% discount, I would happily have paid full price for them as I believe they are fantastically priced. I'm already eyeing up a few new items from there!

*although I did receive an excellent discount on these products, Prairie Charms still donated some of the proceeds from this sale to charity. My discount has not affected my opinions at all and everything I have written here is my own opinion and 100% honest. I was not obligated to write this post but because I was so happy with my new hair accessories, I just had to share!

The Vixen Thinks: The Internet Makes Celebrities of Us All

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: theglittervixen(at)gmail(dot)com! Thank you!

In last week's Vixen Thinks Post, I spoke about the information we share, or don't share, on the internet and today post is going to be an expansion of this. Although I love the internet and everything it has done for my life, I sometimes think a lot of it is negative and what I want to talk about today isn't so positive. This particularly applies to bloggers but it's also applicable to anyone who uses social media. These days we do share so much of our lives online; when I graduated I gleefully posted my results on Facebook and Twitter. When I was promoted to Team Leader, again, I took to Facebook to announce this. We're all more than happy to share our good news with people and I don't think this in itself is a bad thing. I believe in sharing positivity and when someone shares some good news about themselves I'd much rather congratulate them than be bitter and jealous about it. But what about when things aren't so good? What about when we see people go from "in a relationship to single". What about results day and you notice someone hasn't posted anything about their results. I'd be lying if I said I didn't speculate when I see things like this and I'm pretty sure you would be too.

With so much of our lives laid out for the public to see, it's no wonder we all feel pressured to lead perfect lives. We all want to see like party animals on Facebook. Instagram makes us appear like we go out for dinner every day. I've realised a lot of people (myself included tbh) take to Twitter to have a good old moan. All this reminds me of something: it reminds me of celebrity gossip magazines. Tabloid newspapers. We now have the ability to watch real people living real lives in a way that was once reserved for celebrities. Social media allows us insights into life that are at times not unlike the was the press stalk famous people. It's not just Miss It Girl's relationship we speculate over anymore, it's so and so we went to school with. Suddenly, everyone is speculating and gossiping about your life just because you shared a part of it online.

All this creates unnecessary pressure on us all. I've certainly had my moments this year where things haven't been so good for me and knowing that my life is out there for everyone to read about made things even harder to deal with at times. I knew people had seen my relationship status change on Facebook. I kept getting "anonymous" messages on Tumblr asking how my "boyfriend" was. At a time where I really wanted needed to come to terms with things and deal with things in my own time at my own pace away from prying eyes, I was constantly aware of being watched and it really, really didn't help. I've seen other bloggers go through relationship changes or life changes and I've just felt so much sympathy for them, it hard to do some things in the public eye and I'm only a teeeeennyyy tinnyyyyyy blogger, I cannot imagine how other bloggers, and then celebrities, must feel, it's so insane.

Of course, I choose to blog. I choose have Facebook. I choose to Tweet details of my life. I'm prepared to deal with the consequences of this but I know not everyone is. As I reach a time in my life where I'm genuinely thinking children might be a part of my life within the next decade, I worry about what it's going to be like for them growing up. I see my 10 and 8 year old cousins playing Minecraft and owning mobile phones. I have my auntie asking me to show her how Facebook works because she knows it's only a matter of time before they start asking for Facebook accounts. While I have grown up with the internet, it has grown on such a massive scale since the days of downloading cool new breeds for "Catz" and "Dogz" and I know the world my own children, even my two youngest siblings, grow up in, is going to to be very, very different from my own childhood. I just hope they don't feel this pressure, I hope they don't have to suffer in public or feel pressured to live a dream life. Even now, I'm starting to think: what happens to my blog when I have children? In fact, what happens to my blog when I move out and start my new life - I'm not sure I want to be a pseudo-celebrity anymore!*

*this isn't me being vain, I mean this in a I know people who read my blog a lot and must think they know a lot about my life and speculate about it a lot. When I move out I want a proper fresh start and I don't know if blogging or social media can have a part in that...

E.L.F Mineral Lipsticks [Product Review]

prime plum, natural nymph, rich raspberry, pouty petal, runway pink
prime plum, natural nymph, rich raspberry, pouty petal, runway pink
prime plum, natural nymph, rich raspberry, pouty petal, runway pink
prime plum, natural nymph, rich raspberry, pouty petal, runway pink
From L-R: Pouty Petal, Runway Pink, Prime Plum, Rich Raspberry, Natural Nymph
prime plum, natural nymph, rich raspberry, pouty petal, runway pink
From L-R: Pouty Petal, Prime Plum, Rich Raspberry, Natural Nymph, Runway Pink
As a huge fan of the E.L.F Mineral Range, I decided it was about time I tried their lipsticks. Feeling optimistic, I picked 5 shades up and honestly, I think that was a bit of a silly move really! Don't get me wrong, they're not horrid lipsticks, I just have a few issues with them and I much, much prefer the two essential £1.50 lipsticks I picked up instead. The shades I decided to purchase were Runway Pink because, well, pink, Pouty Petal because I love the name of it, Prime Plum as I thought it would be purple which I was really into at the time, Natural Nymph because I thought it'd be a cheaper alternative to one of my most worn lipsticks, Lime Crime Coquette, and finally Rich Raspberry because I thought it would be just that.

As you can probably tell from the images above, I'm a little disappointed with the colours. First of all: Prime Plum is brown. There is no two ways about it, whether I swatch it on my arm or wear it on my lips, it is obviously a brown and not the purple I was hoping for. So, immediately, that's one product I'm never going to use. Secondly, there's Natural Nymph which just looks like I've shoved concealer on my lips. Not a good look. It looks ok with a lip gloss over it but still way too pale for what I was wanting. Rich Raspberry is somewhere in the middle - I think I need to give it proper go as I've never worn it properly but in all honesty the colour wasn't as "rich raspberry" as I'd hoped.

Thankfully, this review isn't all negative. I do wear Pouty Petal and Runway Pink a fair amount. Although they look incredibly similar in my swatches, there is a difference in real life. Runway Pink is more natural looking, a semi matte and a "my lips but better" shade. Pouty Petal has a shinier finish to it and is slightly lighter, quite comparable to the Essential Lipstick in Classy. (I've linked to this above). Thankfully, these two shades were what I was expecting and wanting.

Disappointments aside, the lipsticks themselves have a quite good formula. Being mineral I know they're much better for my skin than other products are and these a quite moisturising lipstick although I do recommend balm or reapplication after a few hours. They're not as long lasting as I'd like either but you can definitely get around 2 hours wear out of them. The packaging in nice and simple and feels quite sturdy so I don't mind these hanging around loose in my handbag.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend these unless you're happy with whatever colours you get because the website is just so inaccurate. I wish I'd looked at swatches before I ordered!

Coral Roses

etsy, ebay, boohoo, flower necklace, rings, fox ring, vivienne westwood
etsy, ebay, boohoo, flower necklace, rings, fox ring, vivienne westwood

If there's one thing about my style that's changed over the years, it's the fact that I started wearing trousers. For years, I didn't ever, ever wear jeans and I only wore black trousers for work and school. In Sixth Form, it was always dresses and skirts. Outside of school, dresses and skirts. On the very, very rare occasion I did don a pair of jeans, everyone would comment on it in shock. Yet things change, over the years, I missed trousers so jeans, and eventually disco pants, along with a couple of pair of harem pants made their way into my wardrobe. I finally realised they aren't the devil and I can look just as nice in trousers as I can in a pretty skirt or dress!

These are the latest jeans to make their way into my collection and I'm smitten with them. They are so skinny, so flattering and I love their colour - I've never had a pair this colour before. The most important thing however is they are so versatile. They honestly go with everything in my wardrobe and they can be dressed up or down. I tend to wear them casually as I'm always quite overdressed (in the eyes of others - I don't see a problem) so it's nice to have a real everyday outfit I like.

This particular day I decided to pair these jeans with my beloved 3d rose jumper which I'm still in love with. I've discovered it goes really well with the Etsy necklace James bought me for my birthday - liked I needed anymore excuse to get wear out of this beautiful thing! My other jewellery was randomly thrown on but I like it. I'm making so much more effort to accessorise these days and I'm really enjoying it. It gives new twists to old outfits and it means I'm finally getting my money's worth out of the things I buy.

I believe this was Sunday outfit, but these photographs were actually taken a while ago now so I'm not too sure!

Are you a lover of jeans?

Brand Crush: Etude House

When I first saw Etude House mentioned on The Black Pearl Blog, I had to drag myself away. I took one look at the gorgeous, girlie, pink packaging and decided that it was just too dangerous for me to explore the brand any further, particularly with it not being a brand readily available here in England. Yet despite my best efforts, Etude House would just not leave my consciousness. When the lovely Michelle blogged about her watercolour blush, that was it, I decided I was going to have a look, and yeah, I was right, my wishlist grew another mile.

Realistically speaking, it would be stupid for me to own everything on this wishlist, but hey, that's what wishlists are. That being said, there are some items I just can't resist. I love products that are different from my usual format, so the Watercolour Blusher (top right) intrigues me, not to mention I've been after a lilac blush for a while now although I love the look of the other shades available too. The little 3 in 1 tins in the bottom left are fascinating too, there's like a creamy pot version of the E.L.F All Over Colour Sticks and I'd love to see how versatile these actually are. The Etoinette Heart Blusher is simply gorgeous and I want it for the packaging alone. As for the Chocolate Highlighter, oh my god. I will get my hands on this at some point. It's just way too cute and I love a good highlighter. I'm also seriously tempted by the Cocktail Nails in the top left corner. Cute, glittery, girly nail art is my favourite.

As I've never actually own anything from Etude House, I'm really not too sure what the quality is like and whether their products would agree with my skin or not. However, all their products would just look so pretty sat on my dresser, that I'd spend money on them regardless.

Have you tried Etude House?

The Vixen Thinks: What We Share On the Internet

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: theglittervixen(at)gmail(dot)com! Thank you!

I'm obsessed with the internet and I have been for the 10+ years I've been exploring it. While I've moved on from the Barbie and Diva Starz website now, to flirt with my own self hosted website, to Myspace, to this blog I'm writing right now, my love for the internet has remained constant and I never, ever get bored of it and doubt I ever will. I think a lot about the impact that the internet has had both on me, and the wider world. Our generation is so very, very different to the ones that came before it and this is mostly down to the internet. One thing is particular that gets me is how open and honest, or not as the case may be, the internet has made us. Previously to having such a huge platform to share my mind with, I'd confide secrets in my head, giggle about crushes with them and talk about my relationships with them. I had a very detailed diary as well. Yet now, these things that used to be reserved for people I knew in real life instead get Tweeted about in an offhand manner or I blog about them on here.

There are things I purposely keep, or have tried to keep away from the internet. Although this is the first time I've outright said it on this blog, I suffer from depression and have done for a while, I doubt this is a surprise to any regular readers or people who follow me elsewhere as I know I insinuate this a lot and I do mention having down days and down weeks. For a while I even kept my relationship a secret. When me and my boyfriend got together, I told my sister only and begged my boyfriend not to say anything about it publicly either. I wanted it to be mine. I wanted no outside interference. I just wanted to be left alone with my relationship and be able to enjoy it properly in a way I was never afforded before. And yet, pictures of James have cropped up on Instagram, I mention him in posts and it's pretty obvious we're planning to move in together. Why are these things I've wanted to keep secret pouring out? 

Like it or not, for us bloggers, the internet and our blogs become a huge part of our life. The truth is my depression and my boyfriend play a huge part in my life as well so it's no wonder they have managed to make their way onto my blog. I like blogs because they're personal and inviting unlike magazines and it's great having such an insight into other peoples thoughts and feelings. It's no wonder then, that more and more often, the lines between are "online" and "offline" life are becoming blurred and for me now, they are one and the same thing. I meet people from the internet a lot. People in real life know about my blog. I confide in my readers and they confide in me. It's just like I would've done with my friends in the old day, you know, just a lot more public.

I'm undecided how I feel about the information we share on the internet. There's definitely a line somewhere but I'm no longer sure at which point it can be crossed. I think it's great that people can open up and interact with and even help strangers by talking about their experiences but there's also a flipside. People can lose their jobs from irresponsible use of social media. Not everyone thinks it's appropriate to talk about mental health openly. I know I hate people sticking their noses into my relationship and thinking they know anything about it, yet I know that by mentioning it online that people automatically think they have the right to an opinion.

Although I think for me anyway, it's inevitable that more personal details about my life will creep up in my online presence, it's important to remember that what you see of someone on the internet isn't all of them. Like I said, I have purposely tried to keep things mentioned in this post secret before and no doubt others do too. I can also talk about my relationship until the cows come home but you will never truly know how it makes me feel. I can talk to you about my depression but unless you've seen me at my lowest points and been there to see me at my worst, you'll never really understand it.

I'm not really sure what the point of this post was, I just felt like a bit of a thought dump. What do you think?

B. Rich Colour Intense Moisturising Lipstick in Cupcake [Product Review]

Today I have another offering from the B. Makeup Range to share with you. This time it is one of there Colour Intense Lipsticks in the Shade Cupcake. Cupcake is a lovely, bright blue toned baby pink and it's simply gorgeous. Although one I reserve for special occasions rather than every day, I still think it's a daring yet wearable colour and I think it would look great on a range of skin tones.

The packaging of this lipstick is different to any other lipsticks I've got in that it clicks into place and is nigh on impossible for it to fall off accidentally. While with most lipsticks you just pull the top off to use it, with this you press the bottom of the lipstick until it clicks and then you are able to slide the stick out. Useful for those of us who are scared about losing a lipstick lid in our bag but I actually don't like the packaging so much - I find it's a little plain and also the tip of lipstick always gets smushed even when you wind it down and I think this is because of the clicking mechanism.

The lipstick itself is great though. I adore the colour and it does feel quite moisturising on the lips. While it isn't as great as balm, it's definitely one of the least drying lipsticks I've ever used. It's a shiny formula and looks almost like a gloss but with absolutely no stickiness. It's also very pigmented and reasonably long wearing, I can get a few hours wear out of it before reapplication is needed although I've found it doesn't stand up to eating or drinking so well and more reapplication is needed if you're doing a lot of this.

The B. range is on promotion at the minute so now is the perfect time to check it out, I really recommend it!

Little Pink Dress [Leeds Blogger Meet Outfit]

missguided, new look, matalan, etsy, cheap frills, temporary secretary
missguided, new look, matalan, cheap frills, temporary secretary, etsy
cheap frills, temporary secretary, next, jewellery, etsy, barry m, leighton denny, pink
benefit, pixi, pink, sugarbomb, high beam, highlighter, blush, b. cupcake

Makeup Details:
Benefit The Porefessional
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Everyday Mineral Semi-Matte Foundation in Light
Benefit Benetint
Benefit Sugarbomb
Benefit High Beam
PixiGlow Fairy Face Palette
Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Nude
Benefit They're Real Mascara
B. Lipstick in Cupcake

Barry M Strawberry Ice Cream, Leighton Denny Rose Diamond and eBay Nail Glitter

So yesterday I posted about Leeds Blogger Meet in depth but today I wanted to dedicate a whole post to my outfit on the day. I'd had an outfit for the day planned for ages but on the morning I woke up to realise that although I'd put my skirt away in my drawers it was actually filthy! Cue some quick hurried frantic planning! As I was emptying everything I own onto a pile on the floor, I turned round and noticed this pink lace skater dress hanging on my clothes rail and I knew it was meant to be. One of the prettiest, girliest, comfiest dresses I own, for some reason this dress is so neglected by me so I knew that the meet was its time to shine.

Accessorising the outfit was easy peasy. A little pink dress is just as iconic as the little black dress in my wardrobe. I've no end of pink compatible accessories! I decided on my lovely rose necklace my boyfriend bought me from Etsy for my birthday. Although I've got other necklaces that would suit this dress more, I'm just obsessed with this one right now and wear it very often. Although you can't see them, I wore my adorable Eiffel Tower earrings so I'm thinking I need to actually photograph those soon. I had too many rings to choose from, so I put a few on and I always wear my Etsy Fox Ring anyway. I decided to finish off the outfit with a cream belt and blazer. 

I'm really pleased with this outfit, and seeing as I have this dress in purple as well, I think I'm going to start making more of an effort to wear them!

Leeds Blogger Meet

flowers, glasses, pretty, table, vintage

So as many of you may already know if you follow me via any other social media, last Sunday I attended Leeds Blogger Meet. Organised by the lovely Georgina and Nicola, it turned out to be an absolutely amazing day. After an awkward beginning of us all stood outside Topshop wondering if we were there for the meet or not, we all finally clocked on that we were there for the same reason and we waited for everyone else to arrive. Once everyone had turned up, we made our way the venue, which was Friends of Ham. This was an excellent choice. Despite living 15 minutes away from Leeds my whole life, I've never known about this place before but it's seriously right up my street. I know next time James comes to visit I'll be dragging him there so I can sample the food properly (and the huge array of alcohol too, let's be honest). The decor is just so quirky and I love meat and cheese so yeah!

At Friends of Ham, Nicola gave us a talk about a brand she's involved with called Arbonne. It's safe to say this was a very good talk because I am now involved with Arbonne too! Previous to speaking to Nicola on Twitter and via email, Arbonne was a brand I had never heard of but now I'm kicking myself for not discovering them sooner. They're all natural, cruelty free, vegan products and boy do they work wonders. The primer is the best I've ever used and well, so is the foundation. The skin care I've sampled has been good too although I'll need to try it properly before I full make my mind up about it. I've got a big parcel of Arbonne goodies coming tomorrow and I've never been this excited for a parcel before; coming from me, that's saying a lot. We were also given a talk by a sweet girl from clothing store Ark. Although I remember Ark from my days of frequenting the Corn Exchange circa 2005, I'd never really looked into it. After Rebecca's talk though I was very interested and a few of us headed down to Ark after we had finished in Friends of Ham. Safe to say I could drop a few hundred quid in there, it's great. I particularly loved some adorable little pug necklaces in there and a cream lacy playsuit. We finished up in Friends of Ham by exchanging business cards, and of course, the super exciting raffle and goodie bags!

Arbonne Goodies
More Arbonne Goodies
Arbonne Goodies I Will Soon Be Sharing In Detail On The Blog
Very, very exciting. 
Adorable Wrapping of the Raffle Prizes - all money went to Yorkshire Air Ambulance 
Lynchburg Lemonade and the TGI Fridays Menu
After we had finished in Friends of Ham, we headed out into Leeds for a spot of shopping, Besides Ark, we also went to the Benefit counter where we were all given free samples of Hello Flawless Foundation and I won myself a Stay Flawless Primer sample. At first I was seriously excited to have these but having discovered Arbonne, I imagine these Benefit samples are going to end up in my sister's possession now! Urban Outfitters was good to have a look in. While I'm not big on the clothes in there anymore, I love the accessories. I spotted a fox purse, a buddha piggy bank and some pretty cool mugs that I wouldn't mind owning. Of course, all that shopping made us very hungry so those of us who didn't have other commitments that day headed on over to TGI Fridays. The meal was positively delicious. Most of us started with a cocktail - I had the Lynchburg Lemonade which is old favourite of mine - a delicious mix of Jack Daniel's and lemonade. The guy at the bar asked me if I'd ever tried the Honey JD and I said no so he offered to put that in there instead and oh my god, that stuff is divine. I couldn't drink JD for ages as I associated it with bad times but I'm really happy I can stomach it again! I decided to skip a starter; not for lack of wanting it, just because my drink and main were quite expensive and I'm still trying to be sensible money wise. It also meant I had room for dessert! I had Jack Daniel's Shrimp as my main which was diiiiivvviiiiiiinnneeee but the cookie dough cheesecake I followed it with was heavenly. I've got pictures of the meal on Instagram here. Sadly, after TGI Fridays it was time to say our goodbyes and go home. Seriously though, it was an amazing day! Shout out to our lovely waitress Vicky who was just lovely and Laura who made our desserts.

Xtras, W7, Benefit Samples, Ginvera Samples
Close Up of my Beauty Goodies - the Benefit samples were given to us directly at the Benefit counter
accessorize, rings, necklace, hand chain, bracelets
Jewellery Close Up
Close Up of My Tshirt
Of course, I'm sure you're all dying to know what was in my goody bag! I must say it was a seriously impressive array of stuff. The shirt was wholly unexpected and although I've failed to capture it on camera, it's actually pink and I love it. I was also excited to see Ginvera samples in there too as I've been curious about the Exfoliating Marvel Gel. I loved all the jewellery and I've always been a bit dubious about W7 but I'm excited to give it a go. My lipstick shade is really nice and the mascara wand looks good.

Thanks Siobhan for this photograph!
Once again, a huge thanks to Georgina and Nicola, it was seriously such a good day, you did an amazing job of organising it and I hope there's another one one day!

Operation Improved Lifestyle: The Spending Ban is Over!

So, 5 days into August now which means: my shopping ban has ended! Back in June, I spoke about how I wanted to make little (ok, big) changes to my lifestyle and sorting out my attitudes towards money and spending was just one thing I wanted to tackle. Previously to my ban, my spending was pretty much out of control. I was abusing my overdraft, I was spending without really checking if I could afford it, I was wasting money on food all the time and I pretty much had no idea how to distinguish between want and need. I was hoping that 2 months of strict spending would help me see it's not the end of the world if I don't buy new things every week while helping me build up my savings accounts and helping me to organise my spending so that overdraft never need be used. So, how successful was I?

I am declaring this spending ban a success. Granted, I wasn't perfect during this ban. My current account always looks pretty sparse the day before pay day still and I still insist on buying food when I'm at work rather than taking food with me for my breaks and travelling. I even cracked up in the beginning of July and went shopping in Primark - but it's what I bought that made me realise that this little spending trip didn't really mean I'd failed. I bought useful, practical stuff. Alright, it wasn't stuff I needed but it was things like a water bottle, a coffee mug - these things have saved me money. I bought a pair of short pyjamas as all my other pjs were too hot. I bought hair bobbles and grips. Everything I bought, I've used and I didn't spend a fortune either. I remained in my budget for the week. Other than that, I've been good. I still haven't bought any new makeup since April bar items I've run out of which I'm feeling so proud of myself for. I've even been opting for more bargain products - when my concealer runs out I've been going back to the Collection concealer as it's much more cost effective than Benefit Boi-ing. I didn't repurchase any pressed powder until Friday and used up some of my mineral powders instead. In fact, the only reason I have bought a pressed powder rather than using all my loose powders first is because I don't like taking loose powder when I travel and I'm going to see my boyfriend soon. Overall all, I feel like a changed woman.

I no longer have a huge stash of products all over the house as I've been getting to use up products that probably would have gone unloved had I continued to allow myself to buy things in the way I was. I've enjoyed rotating all the makeup I already own and experiencing love for all my products rather than getting stuck in a rut with one. I've been forced to be creative with my outfits rather than running out and buying a new outfit every time I don't know what to wear next for an outfit post. When my spending ban did end, although I didn't go shopping I didn't go crazy like I did after my first attempt at this. I bought a new weekend bag on wheels to make my travels easier. I bought a rucksack because that too would make travel easier and having a rucksack is nice for work as I'm usually carrying lots of books and documents with me as part of my team leader training. I bought the pressed powder I mentioned above although admittedly, I was certainly not budgeting when I opted for BareMinerals. But hey, after two months of being as good as gold, I figured I deserved a treat and my skin will be thankful for mineral makeup again.

I've learnt a lot during this spending ban. I've allowed myself to let go of the stress I used to feel if something I wanted sold out before I got hold of it. I've reevaluated my wish lists and realised it's just plain silly if I did own everything on there. Most of all, I've realised how much less stressed I am when I'm not using my wage every week to pay off my overdraft. I've finally accepted that there are some things in life I just can't afford but that doesn't mean my life is worse off. When I look at my savings account and see how much I've saved in just 8 weeks I feel proud and I feel excited because the more money I save, the closer I get to my independence and moving away from my mum's for good.

In summary, I guess I've finally grown up a bit. If you're like me, you really have no responsible attitudes when it comes towards money and shopping and your possessions, I really recommend doing a long spending ban to help you reevaluate your perspectives. I feel really good about myself now!

The Vixen Thinks: It's OK For Someone Else to Make You Happy

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: theglittervixen(at)gmail(dot)com! Thank you!

I'm big on self help literature. I've got a list of self help kinda books, I love blogs like Gala Darling's which promote radical self love and I'm a firm believer in the idea that you control your life so your life is what you make it. Despite this, sometimes, I get a little narked at seeing people saying that only you can make yourself happy. While I'm perfectly capable of making myself happy and I know others are capable of making themselves happy too, I cannot deny that there are people out there who aren't me who make me happy. Whether it's my boyfriend sending me a thoughtful little message from afar or simply seeing my baby brother or sister - there are people out there that contribute towards my happiness. And you know what? That's ok.

It's ridiculous to believe that no one except yourself is going to cause you any happiness in your life. If we were genuinely able to rely on ourselves then why do the bonds of family and friendship matter so much to us? Why is social life a huge factor in whether people feel happy or not? During some of my hardest times, it was spending time with my dad, stepmum, baby brother and baby sister that helped me through. This is fine, this is not a problem. I'm glad I've got people out there who can cheer me up when I'm not so great at doing so myself. If your boyfriend/girlfriend/son/daughter whatever makes you feel happy then let it make you happy. I don't think we should feel guilty that not all happiness comes from within.

Of course, if you rely entirely on other people to make you happy, that is a problem. People will always let you down and people are not around forever as sad as it is. You're inevitably going to cause yourself a lot of misery if you are only happy because of other people and aren't able to make yourself happy. I think I've finally learnt my own value. I've learnt I am indeed in control of my thoughts and I'm realising that there's another way to look at every situation so I can always turn my mood around if I just try hard enough. It just so happens I'm lucky enough to have other people in my life that make me happy.

Ultimately, you need to be able to depend on yourself for happiness, but it's ok for someone else to make you happy too, just make sure they're not the only one who makes you happy.

Lush Retread Hair Conditioner [Product Review]

Generally, I really like Lush products and so far, my Lush reviews and mentions on this blog have been very positive. Sadly, no brand is perfect and I think there's always going to be dud products and sadly, Lush Retread, seems to be one of them. Described as the perfect partner for their Rehab Shampoo designed for hair which is badly in need of some loving care, I figured this was right up my street. When I saw this in a blog sale for a lovely cheap price, I decided I had to snap it up.

First impressions were good, it smells very lovely. It's a familiar smell but I can't quite put my finger on what it reminds me of, but I like it. It seemed to be a nice consistency too, not too thick or too thin although it does lean more on the watery side than anything. Although I'm not a fan of tubs, I have too many to call them an issue and the product itself was easy enough to apply.

Sadly, I just wasn't wowed by this at all. While it left my hair quite soft, it was nothing incredible and my hair wasn't as detangled as it normally is after conditioner. I certainly saw no long term benefits from using this and once I'd used it up and moved on to a different conditioner, my hair was noticeably softer and shinier. Overall then, I'm glad I got this from a blog sale and didn't pay full price for it! Not one I'd recommend or repurchase I'm afraid.

Have you tried this? What did you think?