Arbonne RE9 Advanced | Review

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

My skincare routine is something that I need to work on. Leading quite a busy lifestyle, it's the first thing that slips. Whilst I cleanse and moisturise in the evenings, I rarely do much else with my skin. For me, this seems to work, but as I'm getting older (sob!) I know it's something I need to take the time to do. I was recently contacted by Becky who is a health and wellness consultant for the brand Arbonne and she asked me if I wanted to try some of their skincare range. She told me it was Vegan and cruelty free, so I was instantly interested. This is something I'm definitely keen to incorporate into my skincare regime as all too often brands are using products that's are harmful to animals, which is never okay. 

When the parcel arrived, I was super excited to see that I'd been sent the full Arbonne RE9 Advanced range which included:
  • Smoothing Facial Cleanser
  • Regenerating Toner
  • Intensive Renewal Serum
  • Corrective Cream
  • Restorative Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen
  • Extra Moisture Restorative Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen
  • Night Repair Cream
Fortunately for me, the products also came with comprehensive instructions and what order to use the products in which I definitely needed! The Arbonne RE9 Advanced range contains Vitamin C and sustainable orange stem cells with anti ageing qualities. The orange stem cells help improve the appearance of skin radiance, elasticity and firmness which help provide truly healthy looking skin.    

What did I think of the Arbonne RE9 Advance range?
I loved it! I really enjoyed following a strict skincare routine and the products definitely helped my skin to feel clean, hydrated and nourished. I'm always a little apprehensive about trying new skincare brands because I'm worried that they're going to cause an outbreak of spots, which I don't need. However, I definitely didn't find this with the Arbonne RE9 Advanced range. As I was sent samples of the products, I only used them on 3-4 occasions so I didn't get to see the long term effects. Despite this, on their website Arbonne have before and after results from some of their customers and you can definitely see how effective the products are. Therefore, I'm sure I'd see these effects on my skin, should I use them for a prolonged amount of time. 

The products didn't feel at all heavy on my skin, which is often the case with some brands. They're lightly scented which is always a plus because if the scent is too strong, it's really off putting and I don't enjoy using it on my skin.

The Arbonne  RE9 Advanced range is a little on the pricier side. The whole range costs £299, but that does include 6 products. Having never heard much about the brand Arbonne, I'm now definitely intrigued to know more. They have a range of products, not just skincare, so it's definitely worth checking them out!

Have you used any products from Arbonne? I'd love to know your thoughts! 

Favourite Products Under £10

Sunday, 28 May 2017

As an avid beauty lover, I can often find I spend a lot of money on make up and whilst I do love high end make up, sometimes it's good to look for more cheaper alternatives to help the money go further! There's so many good options from the drugstore brands, so I thought I'd share with you my favourite products under £10.

I recently reviewed this on my blog and having never tried any high end colour correctors, I don’t have anything to compare it to. However, I’ve really fallen in love with this product from Sleek, I apply it before my foundation to help even out my skin tone. I can definitely notice a difference in my skin when I use this.

Okay, I'm sneaking this one in because it's 99p more than the £10 limit, but it's so good, I couldn't not include it! This foundation has featured on my blog so many times and it’s no secret it’s a firm favourite of mine. It’s such a long lasting and high coverage foundation, I’ve been recommending it to everyone. Also, they have shades that cater so well for pale skin, which is always a plus in my eyes. All this for only £10.99, what’s not to love?

This has been a staple in my make up bag for as long as I can remember. Since discovering it, I haven’t tried any other face powders as this is so good! I have both the 001 Transparent shade (for when I just want to set my make up) and 004 Sandstorm for when I want to add some colour to my skin. This helps make up to stay in place and is so ridiculously cheap, I don’t think I’ll ever find a powder as good as this!

I don’t know a blogger who hasn’t tried this. It’s probably the best value make up product on the market. It’s a really high coverage foundation, that is great at concealing and is really easy to blend. I like to use the lightest shade ‘Fair’ in the Winter and as I start to get a bit of colour in the Summer, I move to 2 ‘Medium Cool’. If you haven’t tried this concealer, you have to! It’s too good not to!

This eyeshadow palette is a perfect dupe for the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, but at £4.00 it’s a much, much cheaper option! Whilst the shades are really pigmented, they’re not as long lasting (unless you use a primer), but given the price difference, I definitely think it’s worth it.

The Supercat Eyeliner is my favourite liquid liner I’ve ever tried, to me it’s fool proof for doing winged eyeliner (and trust me, I am a fool when it comes to winged eyeliner!) It has a felt tip like nib, which is perfect for helping with precision. Also, it’s very long lasting and one application in the morning will stay in place all day.

I love all the Rimmel lipsticks, but particularly the Kate Moss ones. I think this is my favourite shade because it’s quite out of my comfort, but is such a beautiful shade. The Rimmel lipsticks are really long lasting and pigmented, they’re just as good as their more high end counterparts.

This is definitely in the higher end of the £10 limit, but at £9.50 it just sneaks in! I fell in love with this lip balm last year and haven’t looked back since. Lip balm is my comfort blanket and I don’t go anywhere without it. Whilst a little on the pricier side, I love this lip balm as it’s so nourishing and has nursed my lips through the cold months.

So they're my top products under £10. It just shows that there are cheaper ways to buy and enjoy make up, it's not always about the high end brands. I'd love to know what your favourite products under £10 are, let me know in the comments below. 

Malteaser Chocolate Tiffin

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

A few months ago I blogged about the Nutella and M&M Cookie Pizza I'd made as part of my works 'Bake Off' and announced that I actually won that round. This week was the final and we were told to make our 'showcase' bake that would win us the competition. I instantly knew what I was going to bake - Malteaser Chocolate Tiffin. This is a recipe my friend sent me a few years ago and it's always my 'go to' bake as it's super easy to do and always gets lots of compliments.

What you'll need
100g Dark Chocolate
300g Milk Chocolate
100g Butter
3 tbsp Golden Syrup
275g Digestive Biscuits (crushed)
250g Malteasers

1) Melt dark chocolate, 100g milk chocolate, butter and syrup together
2) Stir in digestives and malteasers and pour into lined tin – flatten
3) Melt remaining milk chocolate and pour over
4) Leave to set in the fridge
5) Once cold, cut into pieces

As I mentioned, it's super easy to make and again, they went down really well. I'm definitely glad I chose those as my final bake. Unfortunately, I didn't win, however, the person who did was definitely a worthy winner. If you're after a really easy, but effective bake to impress you friends or have for a party, I really recommend these Malteaser Chocolate Tiffin.

If you do make these, make sure to let me know what you think!

8 Ways I've Grown my Blog

Sunday, 21 May 2017

For those who don’t know, I first started Ramblings of a Blonde back in 2013. However, due to uni and then new job commitments, I never really had the opportunity to grow it. Not only that, but I was quite naïve, I didn’t realise there was a thriving blogging community and as a rare user of Twitter, I didn’t appreciate it was the optimal place to meet fellow bloggers. Therefore, I've only recently started to have more time to concentrate on my blog and  to grow it, so I thought I'd share some of my tips for growing your blog.

1./Twitter chats
I definitely think this has been the biggest contributor to my blog growing. One Sunday last August, I was sat scrolling through Twitter, which was very unlike me and I came across the hashtag #BDIB. I was intrigued by what this meant and after a bit of investigation I realised it was a Twitter chat. I joined in and gained quite a few followers from it and really enjoyed chatting to fellow bloggers. From there, for the next few months, I tried to join whatever chat I could. As I work full time until 6/6.30 I do end up missing a lot of them, so I can’t take part in as many as I’d like, but whenever I have a free evening, I always join as they’re a great way to chat to others.

2./Scheduling Tweets
Again, this was something that I’d never considered before, but started seeing other bloggers scheduling tweets. I discovered that there were several different apps / websites where you could schedule tweets to help increase engagement and traffic to your blog. I chose to use Buffer as it’s a free app and is so easy to use on the go. Whilst scheduling tweets can be quite monotonous, it’s definitely increased traffic to my blog. As much as I wish I could sit on Twitter all day, I have to work and so this is a great way to engage my followers and direct them to my blog whilst I'm at work.

3./Retweet Accounts
This is something that I was aware of for a little while, but didn’t actually know that many accounts, so tended to use the same one over and over again, but found they stopped being responsive. For those who don’t know, retweet accounts offer you the chance for your posts to reach a wider audience by retweeting the posts you tag them in. Whilst there’s no guarantee that every tweet will get retweeted (the owners of those accounts have lives too!) when they do, it’s an opportunity for readers to be made aware of your blog, who it might not have reached otherwise. It’s a really simple and effective way to grow your following.

4./Increase your presence on social media
For me, I always used to post my blog posts on my personal Facebook account. I didn’t know there were other ways of reaching people (I said I was naïve!). However, I didn’t massively enjoy doing that because I knew not all of my friends were interested in what I had to say. Therefore, I recently set up a Facebook page and then only those who want to see my posts can ‘Like’ the page. It’s a great way to reach the audience that don’t have Twitter and is just another channel by which to attract readers. Also, I use my Instagram account to post photos featured on my blog and again, direct followers to my blog with each post.

5./Ensure all your links are easily accessible
Although I had my links on my blog to all my social media channels, I wasn’t consistent with my links across my other social media channels. I now ensure that in the ‘bio’ sections of all my social media I have all my links. Also, I set up an email address specifically for my blog and again, ensured this was easily accessible across all my channels. Since setting up that email address, I’ve had so much more communication with brands, definitely one of the best things I’ve done.

6./Make a few small investments
This was something I was adamant at first that I didn’t want to do. Being a skint student and then a graduate with a low salary, meant I rarely had any spare cash and didn’t want to spend it on my blog. However, now that I’ve started to establish my career more, I can afford to spend the odd bit here and there on my blog. The biggest investment I’ve made was my new blog layout. Back in January, I launched my new look for Ramblings of a Blonde. As I’m on ‘Blogger’, there’s very little I can do with my layout myself, so I decided to purchase one online. Then, my very talented boyfriend personalised it for me. I was hesitant about buying a layout because I liked the idea of doing everything myself, however, I’m so glad I did. It makes it look so much more professional. 

7./Attend Blogger events
I'd seen a few blogger events on Twitter, but always found excuses not to go. I'm not the best at breaking out of my comfort zone and going to an event with people I'd never met before was definitely out of my comfort zone. However, earlier this month, I saw an event Twitter and was finally out of excuses so decided to go. I'm so glad I did because I had the best time and had the opportunity to meet lots of lovely bloggers, you can read all about it here. Also, it was a great way to gain exposure of my blog and engage with new followers.

8./Be Yourself
This is arguably the most important. If you're not true to yourself, people will see right through you and won't be as warm to you, so won't be interested in following your blog. Some of my favourite bloggers aren't those with the perfect photography, the prettiest theme on Instagram or the nicest looking blog, but instead they're the ones who I can relate to. The ones I know who are just being themselves and aren't trying to be something they're not. I am definitely myself on my blog. I don't try to be someone I'm not and I hope that shines through and encourages people to follow me, for me. 

So that's everything. I'm by no means an expert in this as I'm still a tiny blogger with a small corner on the internet, but it's definitely helped increase my online presence. I'd love to know your tips for growing your blog!

Favourite LUSH Products

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

As with most beauty bloggers it seems, I'm a huge LUSH fan. I have a whole jar of bath bombs / bubble bars and soaps in my bathroom, ready for whatever type of bath I'm after (it also makes a very pretty bathroom ornament!) However, despite this, I do have my favourites that I find myself repurchasing over and over.

I know this is a favourite amongst many. I really like this one as you only need to crumble a bit in your bath and as it's quite big, the bar definitely goes a long way. It's great for those relaxing baths that are needed after a stressful week. It's like a huge berry hug to help make you feel all warm inside!

I think this was the first ever bath bomb I tried from LUSH and it's still a firm favourite. It's a very calming bath bomb full of mimosa and jasmine oils, complemented by lemon oil and orange flower. I find this bath bomb really helpful when I'm after a relaxing bath.

This is my most recent discovery from LUSH. It's definitely the sweetest scents out of all of these and it contains almond chunks and butter which help moisturise the skin whilst you soak in bubbles. I was first attracted to it because I thought it looked really cute with the little flower on it. The combination of the sweet smell and the moisturising element make for a great bubble bath when you need cheering up.

This one is slightly different to the rest as it's body butter in soap form. It's blend of bananas, avocados, oatmilk and butter make the perfect combination for a nourishing and hydrating body butter. I use this after all my baths; smoothing it over wet skin and then rinsing it off which leaves my skin feeling silky soft.

I've definitely left the best to last year. This is by far my favourite product at LUSH (I've actually bought it for a few friends because I love it so much and want to share the joy of it!) I originally discovered this scent when I was given the shower gel for my birthday and I loved it, I then went in store and discovered the bubble bar and fell in love. I'm not normally a fan of rose scents, but the mix of rose, lemon and geranium oil are a magical combination and smell divine. Also, it contains Fair Trade cocoa and shea butter which leave skin feeling soft. Again, you only need to break a bit of this off into the bath, for lots of gorgeous bubbles. A Rose Jam bath, never fails to cheer me up!

What are your favourite products from LUSH?

Styling Trench Coats

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Living in England, you can never quite guarantee the weather, even in the summer. It's one of the most frustrating things when you have an outfit planned and the weather has other ideas. Therefore, I like to have a few staple items in my wardrobe that I know won't let me down when the weather does.

One of those items is a trench coat. For me, it's such a staple for an English summer as I can wear it with a lot of outfits should the weather be a little bit on the chilly side. However, I sometimes struggle with how to style it right, rather than just throwing it over a top with jeans, but with the help of Jack Wills, I'll never have to worry about how to style a trench coat again. They've put together a very comprehensive guide full of tips of how to style a trench coat. It's great as it lists lots of different ways to style the coat as well as information on the history of trench coats and the different types available. As they mention in the guide, a trench coat can be styled with almost anything which means it's timeless, so it's worth investing in one because you'll be able to wear it for many years to come.

I'm always looking for inspiration for different looks and something like this is super helpful. Sometimes staple clothes, like a trench coat, can feel like a necessity rather than a style piece, but Jack Wills help inject the fun back into styling coats. This guide is super useful and I'll definitely be referencing back to it throughout the coming months. Also, I've got my eye on a new trench coat on the Jack Wills website, they have some really lovely styles in their range and with their helpful guide, there's no longer any concerns about how to style it!

What's your staple in your wardrobe? How would you style a trench coat?

(this is a paid for post, but all views are my own)

Just Smile Activated Charcoal | Review

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

My teeth are something that I used to be so self conscious of because they were really crooked. However, thanks to the awkward teenage brace phase, I now have straight teeth, but now I'm seeking a whiter smile (there's just no pleasing some people hey?!). The thing that puts me off whitening my teeth is the fear of putting chemicals on them. I went through quite a bit to get straight teeth and so I don't want to do anything that would risk damaging them. Having done an extensive amount of research looking into natural ways to whiten my teeth, I came across Just Smile who offer an Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder. I was really intrigued by the product so thought it was worth giving it a try.

What do I think about the Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder?

At first, like most, I was really reluctant to put charcoal in my mouth. Was it unsafe? Would it taste weird? Would it stain my teeth? The answer to all of those questions is simply, no. Once you get over the fear of cleaning your teeth with a black powder, it soon becomes apparent that there is no weird taste to it, it's pretty tasteless and it's not at all damaging to your teeth.

The product is 100% natural, it contains 96% Coconut Shell Activated Charcoal as well as organic mint and orange extract. As it's such a fine powder, it results in a huge surface area for absorbing stains. Being 100% natural was something that was really important to me when looking for a whitening product and so the Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder instantly ticked that box.

Does the Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder work?
Just Smile recommend the best way to apply the product is to wet a toothbrush and dip it into the powder before washing your teeth as you normally would. Afterwards, you swish water thoroughly through your mouth to get rid of any of the remaining charcoal. It's recommended that you use this twice daily for 7 days and then 3-4 times a week thereafter. I've been using it for a little over 2 weeks now and I can already notice a difference in my teeth. They're not the 'hollywood white' that would be my ideal, but I know there's no natural way of achieving that, so it's the next best thing. They're definitely a few shades whiter and knowing that I've done it naturally, is reassuring.

Would I recommend the Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder?
100%, yes. I've been really pleased with the results of this whitening powder and knowing that I haven't damaged my teeth in the process is a huge bonus. Plus at only £12.99, it's such a cheap way of whitening your teeth - what's not to love? And if that's not enough, I have a discount code that will get you 10% off. All you need to do is enter the code 'ABIP10' at the checkout and the discount will be applied.

Have you tried the Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder? Let me know your thoughts!

BWB Launch | My first Blogger event

Wednesday, 3 May 2017


A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through twitter on a Saturday morning, when I saw everyone using the hashtag #BWBLaunch. I was really intrigued as to what it meant and soon realised it was a blogger event that was being hosted in London. Normally when I've seen blogger events, I've either been busy or made excuses as attending events on my own, isn't something that comes naturally to me. However, this time I didn't have an excuse. It was in central London so was very close to where I live and I had no plans for that date. After debating it internally for a few hours, I finally gave in and bought my ticket. I soon got chatting to other bloggers who were going and started to become very excited, if a little nervous. 

I got chatting to Elle (Bumped Head And Bruised Soul) who was also going and we arranged to meet up before the event, this instantly calmed my nerves. Not long after, Romina (Romina's Little Corner) messaged me on twitter to say that not only were we going to the same event, we also lived in the same building! (Crazy small world) I'd arranged to meet with her and Elle and soon after, Ashleigh (Half Pint Blogger) mentioned that she wanted someone to go with and so our little group formed and arranged to meet prior to the event. 

When Saturday finally came, I was a mix of excitement as well as nerves. I was freaking out about what to wear, was it a smart thing or could I go causal? How should I do my make up? Should I wear a jacket? My mind was in overdrive. I finally settled on my outfit and met Romina before travelling to Farringdon to meet the others. In true blogger style, we found a Starbucks and got chatting about ourselves, our blogs and our expectations for the day. It was so lovely to meet them, they were all so nice and I'm so glad we had a chance to get to know each other before going to the event. 

One o'clock soon came and we ventured around the corner to the venue where the event was being hosted. I was a little apprehensive by this point as I really had no idea what to expect, having never been to an event like this before. We soon found the venue and it was so beautiful. We had a penthouse apartment which was so well decorated with lots of 'instagramable' furniture (a bloggers dream). When we arrived, we stood around chatting for a while, taking in the whole experience and exploring our surroundings. There was a whiteboard where everyone was writing their twitter handle which was really useful! Although I'd spoken to a lot of fellow bloggers who were there, I was really struggling to recognise people as I only had a small twitter picture to go by. Anyway, there were a few who I definitely recognised and I had a lovely time chatting to them and getting to know them. 

After copious amounts of popcorn and juice, we had a lovely talk by LexiLife all about YouTube. I found this super useful as, if you didn't know already, I'm currently trying to get into YouTube so it was great to hear her tips and tricks. We then had another chat by Katherine McMorran all about photography which again was really interesting, her work is amazing. 

Once we had a bit more time mingling and photo taking, we all had a huge group photo before the event came to a close. I can't believe how quickly it went, it flew by. We then left with a goody bag in hand, which was a lovely touch. 

I'm so glad I pushed myself and went to the event as I had such an amazing time. It was organised by Kirby Small who did an amazing job as the event went so well and she'd thought of everything! It really was so lovely to meet everyone, I just wished I'd been able to talk to more people, but the time just flew by! I can't wait for my next one now!!

If you haven't seen, I also tried to vlog the event (though didn't get as much footage as I'd have liked), so make sure you check that out and maybe subscribe whilst you're there ;)

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