Friday, 30 May 2014

Arbonne Mini Make Up Review and Discount

I was recently and very kindly sent some samples of makeup by Yvonne McAuley at Arbonne Internation, which consisted of a Makeup Primer, the Perfecting Liquid Foundation (in a range of shades to try out) and a Lip Polish in the shade Pearl.  I was very excited to try these out and have been looking forward to letting you all know what I think of them.  So, below are my thoughts, findings and general opinion along with a few awkward selfies to show you how the items looked in use lol :-)

The Primer:

It comes out as an almost clear gel that is so light to the touch you can barely feel it and as I applied it to my skin, it felt almost like air.  It went on very smoothly and sank in to my skin within seconds leaving a velvety smooth finish!  I wanted to try out the effectiveness of the primer with the foundation, so I only used the primer on the left side of my face!  Once I had the foundation on as well, you could easily see the difference between the two sides, as the side with the primer looked completely smooth and flawless, not a pore in site!  One of things I also notice straight away was the pleasing lack of sickly or chemical scent, there was no real smell at all which is great for me as I just hate heavily scented products, I also find the extra chemicals can sometimes irritate my skin but I had no problems with this at all.

The Foundation:


Sadly although I tried out several of the shades, the one nearest to my skin-tone was still a little too pale for me but I went with it anyway for the sake of trying it out and doing the review.  The foundation was quite a thin watery consistency and a little went a long way!  It blended well with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush (from the Core Collection Set) and again there was very minimal to no scent.  The coverage I found to be quite sheer but reasonably buildable.  The only thing I would say is that without the primer, I did find that it seem to settle in to any pores and even with my brush which normally helps to give the most flawless finish, it still didn't seem to go on too smoothly and picked up on several of the dryer areas on my face.  However, with the primer as I mentioned before, it looked really great and very smooth.

I checked several times throughout the day and gradually by mid afternoon I did start to notice the foundation fading a little especially on the non primed side and by the evening there was only a minimal layer left, the side with primer however definitely seemed to last longer and by the time I got home, it was still looking pretty good and probably would have lasted longer still.

And finally The Lip Polish:

One word straight off, gorgeous!  The sheen of this gloss is just beautiful, with all the tiny little sparkles throughout the product.  I used it over my favourite Rimmel Color Rush Balm in Drive Me Nude, which it worked perfectly with and it really helped to give a very glossy finish, as you can see in the photo!

 I wouldn't say it's overly pigmented because this particular shade is more of a sheer tint rather than a full on colour but, going by the other shades available on the website, there are many other colours to choose from.  I also noticed it has a very lovely sweet candy type scent which was actually very pleasant and although a little tacky, it wasn't sticky at all.  I found I did have to re-apply several times throughout the day and the usual things like eating, drinking and kissing! certainly helped to wear it off even quicker but of course that's something you can expect from any lip gloss!
The prices of these products are slightly on the higher end of the scale and if you want something that's high quality and don't mind paying slightly more than drugstore prices, just save your pennies and have a look through the Arbonne website!  As I understand they also do many other products, including lots of other makeup items and a large skincare range too, mostly geared towards anti-aging and sensitive skin.

I couldn't comment on the actual packaging of course as I was only sent samples but going by the pictures on the website, the items all look very sleek, simple and stylish!

And now for the overall look:

With primer 

Without primer

For me personally, I am most definitely going to be saving up my pennies for the primer as I just loved it, I even used up the little bit of sample that I had left and used it along with my regular foundation when I did my makeup yesterday!  I would honestly say it's a product well worth having and I would happily use it every single time.

So over-all, I really enjoy trying out these products and my favorites have to be the primer and the polish.  Have you tried out any of the Arbonne products, if so what did you like best and what are your thoughts?  Let me know in the comments!

As an extra little incentive for my lovely readers, Yvonne has kindly told me that if you place your orders directly with her at this email address - and tell her you were sent by me, Dani Martin, and quote 'Arbonne Mini Make Up Review' she will give each of you a 20% discount on your order!  You're welcome :-)

Arbonne International UK

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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Fibromyalgia; My Story

I've been promising you all for a while now that I would talk about my health issue, but it's such a giant task I've never really known where to start but since it has been the main cause of me not posting the last two weeks, I thought this would be the ideal time for me to talk about it.

Have you ever had a really bad cold or flu?  Of course you have, everyone gets those right!  Do you remember how exhausted you felt, the lack of energy, feeling so tired and lifeless you can barely move? Well imagine feeling like that nearly all the time!  That's a very small insight into how someone with Fibromyalgia feels on a daily basis. . .

My Story:
I first started feeling unwell back in my final years of school, I got headaches all the time, I would start to feel tired and worn out long before my friends when doing any physical activities and my muscles would ache.  I lost count of the amount of times I had to go and see the school doctor, only to be constantly told the same things; we can't find anything wrong with you apart from being a little anemic!
It wasn't until my last year of college that I really started to realise something wasn't right, I was doing Performing Arts back then and loved it but every evening I would fall asleep on the bus on the way home, several times I'd wake up and to realise I'd missed my stop!
 I thought it was just the over-exertion, that maybe all the running around and physical activity was just too much for me or maybe I was just unfit but that didn't explain the headaches or other niggly pains I had.  The following year I signed up to do another bunch of classes, this time in English Lit, Media Studies and Drama, but after only 2 months I was struggling.  I was due to take exams in the November and I knew there was no way I'd pass them because I'd been out of class so much feeling ill, so after discussing it with the tutors, we all thought it would be best if I left.

Over the following year, I struggled even more, I couldn't keep down a job and even weekend jobs I found difficult.  Getting up early was a nightmare and for several days after work I'd be completely shattered.  I saw the doctor all the time but all I managed to find out was that I had Anemia again, but I knew that wasn't the answer, the symptoms I was experiencing were worse than before.
I started seeing a specialist at my local hospital who ran many different tests but still couldn't help and it wasn't until I saw a locum doctor by chance one time, that I was finally told "Oh you have ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) it's here in your notes, didn't you know!" And of course I didn't, apparently it had been in my notes for some time but I'd never been told by my own doctor!

Another couple of years later, after trying to carry on living a 'normal' life, my symptoms just kept getting worse and so I was referred to see yet another specialist, this time at an ME clinic half an hour from me.  After a tone of questions about every aspect of my life, how I coped physically with my daily chores and an overall examination, I was then finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  I was told that at one point I did have ME but as it was never dealt with in the correct way, it had progressed in to this.  I was told that the main difference between the two conditions was that (if dealt with and treated early), ME was a short-term condition, some people have it for only a few months, others for a few years but with Fibromyalgia (also known as Fibro or FMS), it is long-term only, possibly for life.
It was very hard to hear this and even now, nearly 8 years later I still struggle with that knowledge but somehow I've plodded on and I'm still here, I'm still standing (sometimes lol) and somehow I plod on and I manage.

I've never had much help from my doctors or specialist other than more useless tests and being 'kept an eye on'!  I've even asked them if they can tell me about help groups or people I could talk to about it but just got told, "Oh you'll just have to look online, we don't know of anywhere"!!
So it's generally been down to me to find my own ways of coping and managing my 'condition' and even though I do still struggle at times, at least I now have some of the answers I was looking for.

he array of symptoms I get is as long as my arm; ranging from aching and paining muscles and joints, headaches, nausea, digestive problems, tiredness, fatigue, weight loss, dizziness, confusion, frustration and brain fog, numbness, an extreme lack of energy, sudden random pains, Costochondritis, restless legs, food allergies or sensitivities, immediate forgetfulness, sensitivity to changes in weather, seasons and even slight changes in temperature, anxiety and depression, skin so sensitive I can feel a loose hair on me, stress also plays a big factor and any over exertion of physical or mental activity. . . .
They're pretty much the main ones for me but of course every Fibro sufferer is different, we don't all get the same symptoms and effects.  And honestly, no I don't get all of these symptoms all of the time but, I do get a good few of them quite a bit of the time and I never know which ones I'm going to get or when, so that certainly keeps you on your toes!
Every-so-often, especially if I've been going through a very stressful time or have been really over doing things (which I have with both lately), I then get 'flare ups', that's basically when you get all your worst symptoms, in the most full on way and all at once and it pretty much leaves you feeling like you've been run over. . . several times. . . by something big!!

I knew several years ago that I was never going to manage to do a full time 9-5 job and so I try to do a little work from home, that way I get to choose my own hours and rest when I need to, and of course no early mornings :-)

I always try to plan my activities, like household chores for instants, but of course there are still times when unplanned jobs happens and all at once, just to taunt me!
Getting up out of bed is one of the worst things for me, I sleep heavily and it takes me quite a good while to 'pull round' and feel properly awake.

Other examples would be things like washing my hair, vacuuming or walking which can all add to warring me out and cause pain and discomfort, especially at my worst times.  Thankfully though, the majority of the time, even though I get these various symptoms, they don't cause me too much of a problem as I'm so used to having them, especially on my good days.

Of course I get my 'good days' too which are great and as long as I take things easy, no my limits and try to stick to them and take regular breaks, I pretty much manage to get through!  It also helps a great deal doing things that calm me, like listening to music or watching a movie/YouTube and having people in my life that understand and don't expect too much of me is one of the biggest and best things of all and I'm so grateful to have several of those people around me (I hope you know who you are)!
Meeting anyone new though can be very difficult and worrying, trying to explain the condition to them and make them understand.  Especially as I don't 'look' ill, people often end up thinking I'm putting it on or I'm just lazy which sadly is a common misconception with a condition like this, hence the nickname 'the invisible illness'!

I've also met lots of different people with this condition and we've all agreed how nice it is to be able to talk to someone who really truly knows what it's like and it's such a comfort knowing you're not suffering with all these strange symptoms on your own, other people get them too!

So basically, Fibromyalgia for me means that; I can do anything you can do, but it'll take me twice as long and I'll get twice as worn out doing it!

I hope this post gives you a small incite in to my condition and helps you to understand it.  There's a tone of information online about this condition and even though I've put a few links at the bottom, please feel free to look at any other sites you wish.  Also please feel free to leave me any comments, do you have this condition or know someone else that does?  Or you can leave me any questions, I'm happy to try and answer any you may have.

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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Spring Favorites

Hi everyone, as you may have noticed I don't like to do 'Monthly Favorites', the fact is I just don't buy enough products each month to warrant doing them, so for me I think it's a better idea to do seasonal favorites!  You may recall my Winter Favorites post back in February; you can find that 'here' :-)

So to start off with I have to mention how much I've been enjoying the warmer weather!  Finally I can go outside without having to wrap up like the Michelin Man, no gloves, no scarf and I've even dug out my favorite springtime grey army jacket :-)

Of course this time of year also brings out wonderful things in nature that I've been lucky enough to see a lot the past few weeks;

Daffodils absolutely everywhere!

Beautiful blossom

Baby bunnies

And adorable little lambs

Including our very own dear little adopted hedgehog Wilf, who's now come out of hibernation and is looking forward to making the entire garden his home, once we've finished getting it all 'hedgehog friendly'.  Making sure there's no gaps in the fences for him to squeeze through and covering the pond with mesh to make sure he can't fall in, with his poor damaged back leg he wouldn't be able to swim or get back out again!

Next on to my other favorites for this season so far

I have been using this concealer every single time I do my makeup and it's very quickly become one of my staple items.  I'm just so glad I gave it a second chance.  As I explained in my 'Whats in My Makeup Bag' post, I originally bought this last year sometime but I was unhappy with the shade, it was far too dark for me and there were no other shades available at the time, also the smell was just disgusting and put me right off!  But I thought no I'll give it one more try, especially as Boots are now offering more colours, it was a lot easier to pick one that suited me better and boy was I pleased I did! :-)

I first got this lipgloss in 'Smile' with a No7 free gift pack in Boots back in August and to be honest I wasn't that impressed but as usual I thought I'll give it another go.  I have been using it mainly with my Rimmel Color Rush lip balm in 'Not an Illusion', which is a gorgeous every day colour and with the No7 gloss over the top, well I just love it.  I do sometimes even use the gloss on it's own as it is reasonably pigmented and just gives a nice very subtle look.

The next item is this Garnier Simply Essentials 2 in 1 makeup remover.  Now I've been using this for quite a while and it never fails to amaze me and do a very thorough job.  You all know how I love my waterproof mascara's, I wear them every single time I go out and they really do stay put through anything BUT, they are a total nightmare to remove, especially if you don't want to have to scrub your eyelashes off and be left with very soar eyes!!  This is the problem I've always had and I've tried so many different makeup removers and wipes and lotions, nothing seems to do a good job and feel gentle on my skin.  This does!  You literally only have to wipe across your eyes and the makeup comes off, I gently rub my eyelashes for a few seconds and they're clean and makeup free, and it leaves my skin feeling soothed and clean.  We all know when it says 'no purfume' there still always is but thankfully it's not an awful strong scent either and within a few minutes the smell is gone.  I always use this along with the oval cotton wool pads you can get cheaply from anywhere and it just works a treat! I do need to pick up another bottle though as this one is definitely not going to last me much longer :-)

And of course spring also brings one other lovely thing, chocolate!

Who doesn't love an Easter egg lol  I got given these from my lovely man and my family, yum! :-)

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