The Vixen Thinks: Why I Filter My Online Life

Earlier this year, I wrote a post on whether people are obligated to use their platform or not. While I was writing it, I kept find myself wandering off track and speaking about why I personally don't speak about certain things on social media. Eventually, I realised I was going to have to write an entire post about why I filter my online life to highlight the good.

NYX Sculpt and Highlight Brow Contour [Product Review]

For a beauty blogger, I was surprisingly late to the brows party and it was only a few years ago that I actually started doing anything to them other than getting them waxed every now and again. However, now that I've started experimenting with different types of brow products, the thought of not filling my eyebrows fills me with horror!

I'd seen a few beauty bloggers using the NYX Sculpt and Highlight Brow Contour pencil, which is a brow pencil and highlighting pencil in one. It looked pretty cool so I thought I'd give it a go.

Black and White [Outfit Post]

When it comes to throw-on-and-go-easy-to-wear work outfits, I most definitely have a distinctive style. It's a sheer blouse (with vest top for modesty, of course) with either smart skinny jeans or a pencil skirt. Today's outfit post is a prime example of this.

Tapas and Wine at Giraffe World Kitchen in Reading

When I first made the decision to move away from Swindon, I had two places to choose from: Basingstoke or Reading. I was initially leaning towards Basingstoke as I was much more familiar with it and the buses to work run a lot more frequently, but the more time I spent in Reading, the more I realised it was the town for me. One of the things that drew me towards Reading was the number of restaurants available, particularly those on the Riverside. It's been a year and a few months since I moved to Reading now and I'm slowly but surely eating my way around the town; so, when an invite to go and try some tapas at Giraffe World Kitchen popped into my inbox, I just couldn't say no!

What I Watched in July

Although I seem to be reading very slowly at the moment, the amount of TV I watch seems to be increasing massively. A lot of weekly shows I was watching ended in July - some more satisfactorily than others, but I also managed to binge a few new series too.

What I Read in July

Although I read every day Monday-Friday, it seems to be taking me an astonishingly long time to get through books at the moment. I used to be such a fast reader, I don't know what happened. So, here's a very short post on the books I read during July.

An Evening at The Real Greek Reading

I was recently lucky enough to be invited to a taster evening at the new branch of The Real Greek restuarant in Reading. I've only ever eaten at a Greek restaurant once before in my life so I was very excited to give it another try. I don't know much about Greek food beyond halloumi, so it was great to see what it's all about and try something new!

10 Things To Do When You're In a Bad Mood

I don't know about you, but I'm an absolute slave to my moods. When I am happy, I am productive and feel capable of taking on the world, but everything changes the second my mood turns. Annoyed, angry, sad - anything even remotely negative and I shrink away from life. I don't want to do anything besides hide in my bed, abusing my Netflix account. Unfortunately, negative emotions are just a part of life and I've had to learn to cope with them otherwise I'd never get anything done.

Here's a list of 10 things to do when you're in a bad mood!

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation [Product Review]

The quest for the perfect foundation continues! After trying a few drugstore foundations and not having much luck, I decided it was time to part with more money and go high end. I love Urban Decay eyeshadows and Primer Potion so wondered if the foundation was of the same quality. The All Nighter Foundation promises long wearing full coverage which is everything I ask for.

So, how did I get on?

Pastels and Velvet [Outfit Post]

Before I jump into today's post, can we talk about how good my sister is at taking outfit photos? It was so great having her around in Benidorm, I really miss having her here to take regular snaps of my outfits for me. These are some of my favourite outfit photos ever and lovely Eve is also to thank for my wavy hair too! If you're reading Evil, I love ya!

An Evening at Franco Manca in Reading

I was recently invited to an exclusive launch night at Reading's newest pizza place: Franco Manca. I'm a huge pizza fan and was particularly excited to experience Franco Manca's unique approach to pizza. It's created on homemade sourdough bread with only the best ingredients and cooked in a wood-fired oven.

So, what did I think of it all?

Creating a Routine That Works For You

I've lived in Reading for just over a year now and I've finally settled into a routine that I enjoy whilst playing to my strengths and accounting for my weaknesses. It can be restricting adhering to a routine too strictly, but having a rough daily routine in place can really help you stay focused, motivated and happy. It has certainly been useful in my own mental and physical wellbeing.

Getting a routine that's just right for you can be quite a tricky process and admittedly, it's just been a lot of trial and error for me. However, I have picked up a few tips on the way and thought I'd share some of them with you today.

7th Heaven Nail and Cuticle Finger Masks

Despite having been a beauty blogger for years now, I still haven't got the hang of having nice nails. I'm a serial biter and have been for as long as I can remember, which means even when I do manage to grow my nails, they are weak and brittle, breaking off easily and leaving me with a ruined manicure. When I feel like I need nice looking nails for an event, I tend to turn to acrylics as a quick fix, but my ultimate goal is to not only stop biting my nails, but get them healthy and strong too.

When I received this 7th Heaven Nail and Cuticle Finger Mask in a goodie bag at an event, I just knew I had to give it a go!

Pink Velvet Boohoo Dress [Outfit Post]

Does anyone else have a few dresses that they absolutely love yet for some reason, completely neglect to wear? Today's post is all about one of my dresses that just doesn't get enough air time!

Where I'm At With Operation Supervixen

Ah, Operation Supervixen, my own personal development programme that I created and promised to stick to and blog about. Self improvement is still an ongoing theme in my life, but it's slow progress. I am just making it up as I go along and it's not as great a source for blog content as I envisioned it to be. When I first started writing Operation Supervixen posts on the blog, my intention was to set some ludicrous goals, create a lofty and over-ambitious plan to get there, then blog about how I become an impossibly brilliant person. I now know that personal development is a never-ending journey, rather than a concrete destination, and a lot of the things I thought would turn me into Super Woman are actually not great for me.

The Things That Stop Me From Speaking My Mind

If you asked me what my worst quality was, I would most likely immediately say my reluctance to stand up and speak for what I believe in. I am forever finding myself in situations where I really should speak up but I clam up and go silent. It could be that I'm at work and someone is saying something I know is wrong but I'm scared to challenge them. Someone could be spouting off racist, sexist or other hateful and harmful opinions and my desire to avoid confrontation means I don't voice my own opinions. I've become acutely aware of this issue recently because of the UK General Election. Whilst I have strong political opinions, I've largely refrained from even liking or retweeting those who agree with me, nevermind using my own voice during these political turbulent times. So, why am I like this?

NYX Gotcha Covered Waterproof Concealer

One of my favourite concealers of all time is the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. Unfortunately, I am not alone in this opinion and on more than one occasion, I've been to town to buy a new one just to find that it's out of stock in my shade everywhere. On such occasions, I am forced to venture into unknown territory and try a new concealer. This time, I decided to give the NYX Gotcha Covered Waterproof Concealer a go.

Coral Lace Detail Boohoo Dress [Outfit Post]

There's an abundance of button down dresses available in stores right now and I must say, I am loving it. Unfortunately I'm trying to be grown up and stop spending money I don't have on things I don't need, so I can't go completely crazy and buy them all, but I did manage to pick up this lovely coral-coloured, lace detailed number from Boohoo before I went to Benidorm.

What I've Been Reading Lately

Unfortunately, my goal to read 52 books in 2017 doesn't seem to be going so well. It's currently taking me about a month to read a single book, but I am managing a few. Here are the most recent books to make it to my "read" pile...

What I've Been Watching Lately

Is it just me, or is TV exceptionally good at the moment? Not only do I have way too many binge watch options to choose from, but there's also a number of weekly shows I'm into as well. The strugle to get up and be an adult instead of staying in bed watching TV all day is real at the minute!

30 Before 30 Travel Wishlist

In May 2016, shortly after my 25th birthday, I set myself a list of 30 goals I wish to achieve before my 30th birthday. A chunk of these goals centre on travel, so today, I thought I'd share my ideal locations I'd love to visit in line with my 30 Before 30 goals. Unfortunately I don't have an infinite supply of money or holiday days at work, so I'd like to point out that this is very much a wishlist!

NYX Pore Filler Primer [Product Review]

Besides the never-ending quest to find the perfect foundation, I'm also after the perfect primer. Not only do I require a primer to smooth over the surface of my skin (acne scarring), I also want my primer to help my foundation STAY PUT. I used to like Benefit Porefessional, but it's expensive and I don't really want to support a brand that uses the idea that wearing glasses is ugly in their marketing campaigns.

After examining a fair few testers in Boots, I came across NYX Pore Filler and decided to give it a whirl.

Denim Shorts, Pastel Stripes [Outfit Post]

The denim shorts are back! They really are the staple of a summer wardrobe aren't they? Not that we're going to get much of a summer in the UK. I hate how unpredictable the weather is at the moment. It's also difficult to dress appropriately for the work day knowing that one minute it's boiling hot, but the aircon is dodgy (read: ARCTIC) in the office and by the time I need to walk home it's monsoon season. What's a girl to do?!

Luckily, you don't run into these problems in Benidorm!

The Glitter Vixen's Guide to Benidorm

After my last post about Benidorm, I thought I'd back up my claims that Benidorm is a great place to go on holiday with some hard facts. Unfortunately, I've not had much chance to do proper travel posts since I started this blog in 2013, so I'm excited to put together my very first proper travel guide. Without further ado, here is The Glitter Vixen's guide to Benidorm.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation [Product Review]

My quest for the perfect foundation continues. After deciding to move on from the Revlon foundation I tried, my next choice was the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation. I was drawn to this because in Boots, the Bourjois stand had descriptions next to all the different foundations explaining what kind of coverage each one offered. This particular foundation was said to give medium, buildable coverage and after experimenting on my hand, I decided to give it a go.

Denim Shorts, Pink Hearts

I haven't worn denim shorts for years. When I was in university all those years ago (!!!), I managed to find the perfect pair of cut off vintage Levi's and I loved them. Unfortunately, finishing uni, getting older and working behind a desk all took their toll and I gained weight, meaning my beloved Levi's were passed onto my sisters. While in Benidorm, I suddenly realised how much of denim shorts-sized gap there was in my life and set out to buy some.

30 Before 30 Update

A few days ago, I celebrated my 26th birthday. Admittedly, I'd been feeling a bit anxious about it. The past couple of birthdays I'd had hadn't been particularly pleasant for whatever reason and who doesn't get a bit wobbly knowing they're creeping ever closer to thirty years old?! Thankfully, I had a really enjoyable birthday and I don't feel as bad about my age as I expected to. Seeing as it's now a year since I created my 30 Before 30 goals list, I thought I'd give a little update on where I'm at with it.

Lush American Cream [Product Review]

I'm forever losing an eternal war with my hair. As a teenager, I found it so easy to grow my hair. Although it was never THICK, it was much thicker than it is now and it was super soft. I'd cut it when I was bored of it, and grow it when I felt like it.

Then, I discovered bleach.

Multi-Coloured Pastel Co-Ord

If going on holiday isn't the most perfect time to wear pretty pastels and get photographic evidence of doing so, I don't know when is! I purchased this amazing colourful lace two piece last year but haven't had much chance to wear it, that is, until I went to Benidorm.

An Ode to Benidorm

Benidorm, ah Benidorm. I know the reputation you have. As soon as I hit "Buy" on the flights, I found myself hesitant to share my joy on social media. While normally I'd shout from the rooftops about booking a holiday, a holiday abroad on a PLANE, I know the kind of looks people get when you say you're going to Benidorm. Whenever I did mention to people I was going away, I'd say I was going to Spain, only mentioning exactly where when pressed to.

But Benidorm, you do not deserve the negative reputation you have.

What I Read in April

Despite taking a week off work in April to go on a holiday where wi-fi was pretty much non-existent, I still didn't manage to catch up on my 2017 Reading Challenge. I'd originally intended to do a lot of reading while I was in Benidorm but when I arrived, I found myself incredibly reluctant to take my tablet to the beach. However, I did manage to squeeze a few books in last month...

What I Watched in April

For me, April has been a relatively quiet TV month. I like to include only series I have finished in my monthly roundup posts, so really, there should only be two things to write about this month! However, it occurred to me I actually forgot about some things in my last roundup...

Pink Top, Grey Pinafore

It would seem there is a definite pattern emerging in my outfit posts this year. I'm pretty sure these grey boots have appeared in every single one and I seem to pick a focus piece and use that in a few posts before moving onto something new. My current focus looks like this simple grey pinafore from ASOS...

Holiday Time Primark Haul

The other week, I booked some time off work and flew to Spain with my sister for a much needed holiday. The prospect of a week away spent in hot sunshine on the beach was great but I soon realised I was missing a few "essentials" from my wardrobe because it has been such a long time since I had a beach holiday. So, naturally, it was time for a Primark haul.

Operation Supervixen: Finding My Balance

Already 2017 has been a transformative year for me. At the beginning of the year, I strongly felt like I'd had a good rest and time to learn things during 2016 and 2017 was the year of making stuff happen. Then, two weeks in, disaster struck and I was admitted to hospital. It's literally only the past fortnight or so that I've genuinely started throwing the word "recovered" around in my head. My pain has finally gone and I've noticed I'm not as lethargic and exhausted as I had been. My desire to start exercising and doing things other than chillout activities has started to come back.

However, if there's one thing that my experiences have taught me this year, it's that I desperately need to find some balance.

The Vixen Thinks: Are You Obligated to Use Your Platform?

In an age where we have instant access to more information than it's possible to consume in a lifetime, it's very difficult to remain unaware of the world around you. Breaking news is just that; we hear about events as they are happening thanks to the power of social media. As a result of this, we are a very politically aware generation and whatever side of the political spectrum you fall on, it's easy to share your opinion with a huge audience by using the internet.

Does this make us obligated to use our platform to speak up for what we believe in?

Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin [Product Review]

Ah, foundation. I don't think I'm alone when I say it's the bane of my existence. I thought I'd finally found The One but unfortunately, although I loved it, I couldn't support that brand anymore. The quest for The One had to continue. Could it be Revlon's Colorstay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin?

How To Style a Grey Pinafore

Today I'm sharing the outfit I wore when I visited Wentworth Castle. Of course, it would have made sense to take my outfit photos in the idyllic scenes of the gardens there, but clearly, I am out of practice when it comes to this blogging thing and I took my photos elsewhere. Ah well, I may not be surrounded by exotic plants but you still get a pretty good idea of what my outfit looked like!

Embracing my Glasses

Glasses were only something I started needing when I was 19. I was sat in a lecture at university when I realised I was really having to squint to see some of the detail on the Powerpoint slides. A few weeks later, I nearly missed a train because I couldn't read the screens at the train station. It felt like my perfect vision had disappeared overnight and I was horrified, I didn't want to wear glasses! In fact, a week after I received my first pair of glasses, I was right back in the opticians getting contact lenses instead.

But why was I so resistant to wearing glasses?

What I've Watched So Far in 2017

Although it's still early days in 2017, I've managed to cram in a lot of TV time this year already. In today's post I thought I'd share what I've been watching and how I feel about each show.

What I've Read So Far In 2017

Although 2017 is still a relatively young year, I've still somehow managed to fall behind on my 2017 reading goal. I want to read 52 books this year - an average of one a week - and although it feels like I've been doing a large amount of reading, I'm just not hitting my targets. I've got a holiday planned in April though, the perfect opportunity to catch up!

Here's what I've managed so far...

A Trip to Wentworth Castle

For Mother's Day weekend, I took a trip up to Wakefield to spend time with my mum and family. The weather was surprisingly beautiful all weekend, so we decided a nice day out was on the cards. Our destination was Wentworth Castle, just a short drive away from Wakefield in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

V05 Smoothly Does Heat Protection Serum

Despite being a beauty blogger for a number of years now, I am absolutely useless with my hair. I don't know how to style it and for the past few years, all I ever did to it was either let it dry naturally or occasionally I'd blow dry it and then just leave it. In more recent months, I was fed up of my hair looking like a bird's nest all the time, so I decided to start straightening it after every wash. This of course, meant I needed a good heat protection. Traditionally I've used sprays, but I wanted a serum this time round to really eliminate any frizz and try and calm my flyaway hair.

Sparkly Midi Skirt

As promised, here is my first 2017 OOTD that doesn't feature my beloved bomber jacket.It does however, feature my frequently worn grey New Look boots and the fur coat I mentioned in this outfit post. I guess I'm just happy to have a pair of heels that are relatively comfy!

How To Digitally Declutter

Last week, I shared the benefits of digital decluttering. Now that you know why you should keep your digital life clutter free, I thought I'd share how to keep it clutter free. Decluttering, whether it's in real life or digitally, can be a daunting task, so here are some steps to take to help you get started.

The Benefits of Digital Decluttering

We all know that living in a clutter free home can have a great impact on our mental health and that working in a clutter free environment can have a great impact on our productivity levels - but what about keeping our digital environment free from clutter? These days, most of us are glued to our phones, tablets, laptop screens - but how many of us gain genuine value from our time spent staring at screens? I try to keep both my real life and digital life tidy and organised, and here is why.

Lush Jason and the Argan Oil Shampoo Bar [PRODUCT REVIEW]

A few months back, I'd run out of shampoo so wandered into Lush to pick up some Rehab shampoo because my hair was in need of some TLC at the time. While in there, I got chatting to a very friendly sales assistant who talked me through the different options available for someone with fine, dry and damaged hair. In the end, I decided against a repurchase of Rehab and opted for the Jason and the Argan Oil shampoo bar instead.

Shell Pink Bomber Jacket

I've finally got round to doing outfit posts again, just to realise my first two posts are alarmingly similar to each other, oops! This shell pink bomber jacket, my beloved grey jeans and cute little grey boots have already featured on the blog very recently, but what can I say? When you find a style that works for you, you just run with it.

My Favourite Android Apps for Organisation

Juggling a full time job, a blog, social life, self care and other commitments can be tough work. Good organisation skills are essential to do this successfully and our phones can be the most useful tool to help us do this. There are so many apps out there that can help you pull yourself together, and here are my favourites. As someone who doesn't own an iPhone, this post is focused on Android apps, but I'm pretty sure these are all available in the Apple Store anyway!

Ditching The Overhaul Attitude

How many times have you said to yourself: Right! That's it, from Monday I'm...[Insert Extreme, Unobtainable Goal Here]

It's the kind of thing I say a lot. I identify that something needs to change in my life and I set myself ridiculous, unachievable goals in order to make that change.

But just how effective is this kind of thinking?