Sometimes in January, we can get the January Blues. For some it's just the fact of getting back into the rat race, for others it can be the fact that the New Year always signifies reflection and what needs changing or possibly going harder at. Reflecting back I need to put my mind, body & health at the forefront this year. I enjoy a good detox and for a week I'm going to do a detox in a box with Champneys but it's not only the outside of my body getting treated. My health will also be getting benefits from that superfood - Seaweed.
The following products are super- beneficial to the body by featuring miracle ingredients derived from the British coast such as superfood seaweed and recuperative mineral sea salt, you'll feel enveloped in warm aromas and replenished from head to toe with an array of expertly designed detox products by Champneys, the original Health Spa.
‣ Skin Firming Shower Scrub
‣ Champneys Detox Hip & Thigh Firming Mud
‣ Skin Firming Body Butter
‣ Body Massager
During my detox I added seaweed to my clean eating meals. Kombu seaweed. Kombu seaweed is a smooth tasting, umami rich brown seaweed. Umami – meaning “delicious”, is the fifth taste bud (alongside sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness) It's a deep-water kelp (the brown seaweed you normally see along the seashore) that's a smooth flavour enhancer, good for stews, soups, beans, tomatoes and mushrooms. I've read that Kombu seaweed may just be the most versatile. How did I use this ocean-veg in my meals.
Case in point.
I was contacted personally by a UK PR company in September (currently will remain nameless but subject to change) to work on a campaign with them, they explained the campaign to me and asked how much I would roughly charge for the post and an Instagram post. I told them how much and if they were satisfied with that we can go ahead. Not too long after I received the items in the post, signaling the green light. This could have been my mistake to of gone ahead but I sent them an email to let them know I had received the package and will forward the live links. No response. A week later I had done the two posts. Forwarded the links but heard nothing. It was roughly a month since I had first been contacted and no response. I knew the company hadn't folded and I knew the employer was still working as the next month I received a press release. I left it for a couple of months until this month when I contacted them again – no response. I decided to contact someone else within the company after receiving a mass email and explained that I needed to speak to someone and get my issue resolved.
Can you guess what happened? Ignored.
I’ve worked with one PR company on sponsored posts before and things were slightly delayed with payment due to a co-worker leaving but my enquires were looked into quickly and resolved. I value that and thoroughly enjoy working with them. Communication is key.
Contracts are handed out which is possibly the best way forward in these cases so both parties can get their terms and conditions worked out and agreed.
I may not be the smallest of blogs and I may not be the biggest of blogs but regardless I’ve put the work in and deserve respect like anyone else who is doing the work. Most of these companies don’t ‘trust’ us to give us a percentage up front but we must trust them in good faith? And they can’t even hold up their end of the deal. Blogging is a money making game now, you can still do it as a hobby and make coins, do it full time but if you're living off your blog and coming against these companies, food is being taken off your plate.
I pass up offers from companies who can’t meet my quotes or don't agree to my T&C's as much as I’d like to do these campaigns but end of the day I’m not going to lowball myself because why should I? I’ve had ridiculous quotes to ones that I never expected and pleased by but if you feel my blog is good enough to do the work, imagery, edit, share – pay me what I feel I am owed. Companies are quick to exploit bloggers, ask and promise so much and you get fucked over. Why should it be that way? We’re treated like Chinese sweatshop workers - as a friend said to me, do high quality work and get little to nothing for it.
It’s over saturated you don’t know who and what you’re working with, money soon is going to dwindle and not be a factor and if it is, you'll have to make sure you're in a good position with security to get your coins. We all don’t have agencies representing us to handle the business side and the run around, I have better things to get on with then having to chase companies around to resolve something that should have been done from weeks ago. Bloggers can literally be treated like monkeys all good for the work and thrown bananas as a reward. I'm not talking about having to be paid for everything we do, I'm not a greedy person, I'm just simply asking for what I'm owed. I was contacted, replied, sent the products, did the work and have since then been ignored.
To be honest, it doesn't bother me to not work with this company again, if this is how they treat bloggers, why would I want too? Simple respect and courtesy to reply back to rectify the situation but 4 months later and being ignored, while they've got their press. It's unfair and it's happening.
Update : I have since spoken to the PR and was informed that the company for the launch had backed out of the sponsorship and I was failed to be notified on that and they've apologised.
America's No.1 Perfume Body SprayIt seems to be a very popular and well liked brand from what I've read online, it's like a high school throwback for some. Young, flirty and reminds you of simpler times. Quite like some of the ones we have here. I asked a male friend from the US if he remembers seeing these and he said "Yeah, girls use to spray these all the time in class!" They seem to still be popular with teens and adults so now they're heading to the UK what's the deal?
There will be 4 fragrances that will launch initially in the UK, the four of which I was kindly sent and will be giving you the rundown on. Each bottle comes in a 94 ml non-aerosol pump that will give you over 500 sprays! They have a higher concentration of designer quality fragrance oils that allows them to last long but not be overpowering.
Top: Grapefruit, Wild Berries, Rhubarb, Coconut Milk
Middle: Pink Vanilla Accord, Cyclamen, Peony, Tiare Flower
Base: Tahitian Vanilla, Creamy Sandalwood, Caramel, Sheer Musk
I'd say this one is powerful, on the first spray you get a sudden strong burst but it settles down very quickly and the vanilla takes hold but in a sweet way, I didn't find it musky but the note combinations is going to make this one a favourite.
Pink Grapefruit, pomegranate, soft florals and white musk & vanilla.
If there's one thing I can say is Pink Grapefruit, it's this as soon as it hits the skin and you smell, that citrus scent welcomes. It starts to then blend into a floral musk with a slight hint of vanilla.
Japanese cherry blossom, rose & amber
Very subtle and light on the musk, slightly powdery. Starts off sweet and a little of the rose begins to seep through but I couldn't detect much rose as it settled onto the skin and even after an hour it was still there.
Top notes are coconut, mandarin orange & plum.
middle notes are magnolia, tuberose, violet & orchid.
base notes are sandalwood, musk, tonka bean & vanilla.
Wow absolutely gorgeous and warm, it has a very plum but musky smell as it starts to settle on the skin the base notes come through, I could detect a lot of the sandalwood & vanilla as it died down, it's another one that finishes powdery.
The best way I like to use these are once I get out the shower and bath and while my skin is still a little damp but once I've oiled my skin, spray this over my skin so there's something for it adhere too, I do it with perfumes and I think these work best having more to cling onto than just bare skin. Give it more longevity. The more of it you spray the more intensity of the fragrance you'll get. Overall I honestly cannot fault these, be nice to give as a stocking filler later in the year, something to pick up and have in your bag for during the day or after the gym, I mean seriously it'll save your perfumes to wear daily. Plus I think you could make your own mixture of these, mix and match of different scents.
I would recommend these and I will definitely be looking to purchasing more available scents once these have run out but with the more than 500 sprays promise, I'm sure I'll be stocked up for quite a while. It's so hard to know which one will be my BFF, I'm sniffing my arms trying to choose it's definitely between...Oh I just don't know!! Be prepared to spend a while in the Superdrug aisle.
Which one sounds like your new bff?
Will be available to buy from February 2016
DAB - I get a lot of stations through the DAB. Pretty much all that I enjoy listening too is available to me.
FM - I don't use this as much but it does it's job, the extendable antenna allows it to get a much clearer sound if necessary.
Bluetooth - Connect your phone or tablet and play your music / sounds through the speakers. It doesn't take long to connect, I find the bluetooth selection with August products to be good and when needing to connect again it's already there and instant connection.
SD card - There's a slot at the back that gives you the option to put a SD card there and play music off.
USB - Pretty much the same as above but you can use an USB memory stick or an USB cord to link a non bluetooth laptop or other product.
The bottom dial is your display - on or off.
I've had it for a few months now and I don't use it all the time most times when I'm in the bath & shower also while getting ready and the battery is still going. I gave it a little charge but it only took about 10 minutes, it's got a lot of life going.
For The Fun, Fearless FemalesI thought what could this international magazine have in-store for it's loyal readers. Women spend so much yearly on fragrances, in 2014 alone women in the UK spent £71 million on fragrances. Whoa! Cosmopolitan launched their first fragrance last year. I remember when they started to advertise for their fun, fearless females to be advertised alongside the campaign, I did enter - I won't hold it against them! But I wasn't sure exactly what I expected from the magazine, several things went through my head on what they may be doing with their first fragrance. Was it going to actually be a body spray? I had no inkling it would be an Eau De Parfum.
When I first sprayed this edp, I was thoroughly pleased by the scents. A Floral Woody Musk :-
Pineapple, bergamot, mandarin orange, nectarine and pink pepper.
Saffron, heliotrope, jasmine, pimento and carrot seeds.
Tonka bean, patchouli, musk, sandalwood, vanilla and caramel.
Upon spraying this there's a very sweet aroma that begins to settle into a vanillary but yet musky scent. I often spray my fragrances onto my skin right after my moisturiser has been applied so that is has something to adhere to. On the skin I'd say it'll last roughly 4-5 hours but it dulls down, most fragrances are a lot more suited on the clothes - they really hang on there but fragrances always are best applied to the skin, so your own body temperature can heat and release the notes, so hit a few of those pulse points (inner arms, the backs of your knees and ears) and get the most out from this. Being that this would be the company's first fragrance to be associated with them I don't think the notes were a bad choice, I could be biased but it's got notes that can favour nearly all. The longevity of the scent could of lasted longer but that's something for them to possibly amend later on.
Available to buy in Boots stores nationwide in 30ml – RRP £20 - 50ml – RRP £28 - 100ml – RRP £37
blogged about her experience of EOS where she explains that “I’m probably like everyone else because I loved EOS lip balms,” Robo writes in her post, “My EOS Lip Balms Are Going in the Trash.” “However, a couple months ago I started to get VERY chapped lips. Of course, I kept applying EOS because I thought it would make it better. Not only were my lips chapped, but I had a lot of dryness around my mouth as well. I stopped using my EOS balms and used Vaseline instead.”
court documents show examples of other who claim they've experienced similar reactions. They must be allergic to the ingredients as the redness and flaking of the skin, looks sore and irritated. I'd say if it dries out your lips once, don't bother again trying to repair it with the product. Throw it away, take the L's and treat your lips with over the counter help or something else that is safer at hydrating.
Images courtesy of Racked.com & Buzzfeed
Noble IsleSince 2011 Noble Isle has prided itself in providing a modern British brand of skin and home fragrances using ingredients sourced from Britain such as Rhubarb from Yorkshire, Sea Oak from Ireland, Malted Barley and Honey from Scotland, and Beetroot from Wales.. Noble Isle is what was used by Kings & Queens in the 15th Century to describe Britain. Also did I mention the brand is cruelty free!
Another product that compliments the gel is this Candle with Snuffer. Has the same fragrance notes as the bath & shower gel above, it's a single wick candle that comes in a glass and the snuffer wooden top. Either have this in the bathroom to use to relax or have it ready to burn when you come back into your room to relax or help enhance any sensuality. Candles are a big part of my likes, I always need candles around, tea lights, large, medium, small - whatever. I need candles, they instantly make everything feel warmer and more relaxed.
DermaTx I've mentioned on this blog several times, I've suffered from pigmentation and when asked if I wanted to trial the Dermacare - DermaTX Microdermabrasion System I decided to give it a go. I'd seen other well known brands have their own versions and of course it is a treatment that is available at clinics which seem to be a lot faster with results as at home kits are only given a certain strength to avoid non-medical professionals doing more damage.
The Rejuvenate system is aimed more at wrinkles and fine lines which isn't an issue for me as much as pigmentation is. It has lactic acid in which is more gentle that other acids as it's more gentle & moisturising for the skin being able to use daily but I would've preferred something aimed more at what my skin concerns are so I could see results for what was an issue.
Being the honest one I am, I didn't particularly like the battery operated system. It didn't feel strong, a little flimsy. When I would use it, the vibrations from this battery operated system, was very hard in the hand and uncomfortable to use. The sponge & brush just vibrates, my own personal preference I prefer things that rotate - not even being lazy, it's to feel that even though I am moving it around manually in circles but also the system is working more with me. Giving me more peace of mind.
I just find the scrub that effective. It was slightly grainy but creamy at the same time, I would apply dots of the scrub on cleansed but still damn skin and start to spread it over my face with the device, really working it into parts of my skin. Then rinse off my face and continue with my facial routine. You'd need to thoroughly clean the unit after use and the sponge especially. It's recommended to replace the sponge heads every 2 - 3 months. I discontinued use of this after a couple months as I wasn't seeing much of a change or improvement. I'd use it 3x a week.
During that time I started to break out - I'm not sure if it was from the system or not - and more pigmentation occurred and I had to find alternative options to help prevent and help to aide heal spots / pigmentation. I would say my face felt okay after use, nothing life changing for me. Just didn't get the results I had hoped for.
MooGoo SkincareThere's a few places in the world that I always think ahead of the curve with skincare, Switzerland, Iceland, Japan/Korea & Australia. I was first introduced to MooGoo by Lima - believe me she keeps her ears to the internet streets when looking for products & I'm totally grateful that she shares things with me. She asked if I'd heard of the company and introduced me to the Super Vitamin C Eye Serum. I had read and bookmarked the website and then just forgot as I do, so to my surprise when MooGoo reached out to me, I looked at it as the universe wants me to really try this brand.
They sent me a range of products and even the aforementioned serum. MooGoo is an Australian company that have effective ingredients. The 'head of their herd' thought it was unusual that his mother was using a product made for cows for her skin condition.
The 'Udder Cream' being used in dairy farms was designed to keep the skin on cow's udders in prime condition for milking. Although this cream was very thick to apply he set about making one lighter and non-greasy for humans. Now the brand have a range of products that help more skin concerns.
VCIP at this concentrate is good for pigmentation and sun damage and therefore is recommended for pigmentation around the eye area or other areas where pigmentation is a problem on the face.
Looking at the above ingredients, it's very natural, 3 ingredients that you can recognise. I would go as far and say possibly vegetarian and vegan friendly but there's no official statement on the product information page that it is, so research and ask if unsure.
Directions: Before applying a moisturiser of your choice and before your makeup if you’re wearing some, gently massage or tap a small amount of Super Vitamin C Eye Serum on and around areas of pigmentation or sun damage. .Allow to soak in for as long as possible, but at least a few minutes, and then apply moisturiser if needed.
This week I noticed after roughly a month of daily use my eyes didn't look as dark. Maybe it was just me but that's all that matters, right? It appeared brighter once I had done my face routine, the undereye wasn't so bad. I still have to correct & conceal to brighten it a bit more but it's definitely not as bad as before. I'm going to add it more into my actual facial areas where there's bouts of pigmentation.
We have quite a few vegetarians and vegans ask about our products and if they have any animal derived ingredients. Milk is the only animal derived ingredient we use in some of our products, like milk soap. Some people don't consume dairy which we understand. In the interests of ingredient education, there is an ingredient used in the leading "Beauty Bar"by Unilever that might slip under the radar of vegetarians though because it doesn't look "animal". That ingredient is "Sodium Tallowate" which is saponified beef fat.
Tallow is the fat derived from the fatty tissue of sheep or cattle. Sodium, Magnesium and Potassium Tallowate are salts of the fatty acids of Tallow. All three ingredients are soaps and are used in the formulation of bath soaps and detergents.
‣ Paraffin Oil (Mineral Oil)
‣ Synthetic Preservatives such as Parabens, Phenoxyethanol, Formaldehyde Donors. (We love Hops, although sometimes you can smell Hops.)
‣ PEG’s and Synthetic Penetration enhancers.
‣ Sodium Laureth Sulphate or harsh cleansers. (simply because there are gentler, natural alternatives.)
I'm so far pleasantly surprised, it's something that you need to use regularly to get the benefits. Nothing is a quick fix but it's definitely one to try, I will certainly get another one, once this one is finished. As I'm definitely on the quest for brighter eyes.
January is the time for reflection for a lot of us. Although I've got into the mind frame of using anytime for reflection, you never have to wait until it's a cliché time to reflect but different strokes, for different folks. You do notice more new things to start within January as everyone is on this new-new shit.
I was pretty (online) socially quiet last year. I hardly did any makeup looks, I weaned back on blogging some what. Priorities slightly shifted, I had to learn to value what & who I have. I'd kind of lost the desire to blog and I mentioned it in a post around October, it started to lose it's way. I still enjoy being able to learn and share but I find I don't fit in so to speak within the community and blogging is one that thrives on that. Although I still don't let it discourage me as I'm still here, still doing my social detoxes, my next one is clearing off my Instagram images. I want to start fresh properly. I still don't feel the need to share EVERYTHING! Those who do it's nice and it's nice to be able to see more into your life but when I share and give so much, what do I have for myself? I had this thought of vlogging for a month and in a way it scared me, I can only imagine trying to find the best content to put out and edit to make life seem interesting, it goes back to that social pressure and keeping up with the Jones'.
Even though I am a content creator and a makeup artist, I don't want to be pigeon-holed, this is only one part of me and breaking that mould and being seen as just, LaaLaa - virtually isn't easy. People associate you as one thing. I don't like that, I'm a woman, with more than one thing to me, balance and variety is what is key.
This year I've decided to start a scrapbook and keep a journal, although I'm 4 days into the new year and not documented anything I don't feel the pressure but I do want something physical that I can look back on and read. Dates can be important and logging emotions. In October after 7 years, I had my last counselling session, it was a big step to stop and see how I could cope alone. A couple of months later and I'm doing fine, the days have still transitioned from day & night and my life hasn't ended. Still hard to not have a neutral source to speak on but everything because dependency and habit. Breaking cycles take a lot of effort and time, it wasn't a bad habit but it was one I had to see could I do without.
I feel when it comes to January some of us feel we need to make lots of tasks and before 31st rolls around we've half assed some and dropped the majority. So I set a one or two goals that I know are realistic and achievable and add in gradual changes throughout the year or once I've achieved one goal then I will set another.
I set myself one goal last year and it was to pass my driving test, I learnt to drive in 2005 & 2006 and after losing my provisional right before having to do tests, I just didn't care much for driving anymore, priorities shifted again but then wanting and doing makeup, it can make things difficult. 2014 an incident made me say 'Fuck it, better yourself Laa, challenge yourself, do what you need to do!' After binging on Sons of Anarchy for 3 weeks while studying, a friend told me, You've got no distractions, book it and have something to aim for. I booked my theory and studied intensely for 2 weeks and passed. My only next goal was that test and I felt I had to do it also first time because they were limiting bookings for tests until 2016 in my area. There was no way I wanted to do that, in July I passed first time. That was my only goal.
Just remember nothing happens before it's time.
But seriously where the fuck did 2015 go? I mean it went by so fast it wasn't even funny and I'm still throwing/selling clothes and cosmetics lol, it doesn't stop. Dolce Vanity is hopefully heading towards it's 8th year. After starting in 2008 - WOW! I'm still amazed it's afloat and y'all help me with that, so thank you. I didn't feel 2015 was a bad year at all, it seemed to flow, although I lost 5 of my beloved pets (r.i.p), there wasn't much or any drama and if there was it obviously wasn't life threatening cos I don't remember it.