My face is ok.

A photo posted by ReeRee Rockette (@rockalily) on

I posted this picture last week over in instaland, and the comments made me decide to blog it too.

The original text was "It is challenging to accept our face how others see it, rather than in the poses we choose for ourselves. Don't get my wrong I love a flattering selfie, but I also need to accept the reality of my face. We can change our hair, make up, clothing. But generally we just have our face. We just to figure out how to be OK with our faces from all angles. In their flattering poses and in their day-to-day realities. #myfaceisok"

I was surprised at how much this resonated with other people, and I guess that is why I love social media. We are reminded that our fears and thoughts are never unique; that we all experience pretty much the same as each other. 

The people who love us see our face from every angle. When we laugh, frown, chat and when we forget about our crows feet. They see us as a 3D person, and they love us. We rarely see our faces; apart from our posed selfie faces, and therefore our facial reality can shock us at times. But it doesn't shock anyone else; they know what we look like. We just need to get used to it too.

Creating Intimacy with your partner (and possibly Vagisil)

This is a sponsored post, but all thoughts are my own.

Last year I took part in Vagisil's #EndEmbarrassment campaign and was more than happy when they asked me to collaborate again this year, for the launch of their new ProHydrate range.

"Vagisil are about to launch a powerful new campaign aimed at improving the confidence of women everywhere. This coincides with the launch of their new ProHydrate range, specifically designed to relieve intimate dryness & aimed at restoring intimacy in their relationship. "

As I hit my 30s I realised how much of my teens and 20s I spent feeling passively about my sex life. Without the internet, we relied on glossy magazines and the playground for our lessons about our bodies, sex and intimacy. I had an emotionally healthy sex life, but I definitely viewed sex as something that was for men. It's what women gave up to gain affection. I find this achingly sad now, but it just how it was. 

Thank the lord for the change in message we all have access to now. Magazines have switched from "5 ways to give the best blow job" to "5 ways to get the best sex ever", sexual positive writers and blogs are easily shared and read online, and our pop cultural icons are becoming more feminist and diverse with their sexual messaging.

Intimacy comes from a sense of being accepted, and feeling good as enough as you are. It comes from sharing joy, and laughing at silly things. It comes from being heard, and feeling cared for.

The Vagisil ProHydrate range is available at Boots and Superdrug

The Vagisil ProHydrate range is available at Boots and Superdrug

Vagisil found that over half of women wish they felt more connected to their partner, so I thought I'd share some tips to create or develop intimacy.

1. You feel close to someone when you feel accepted for who you are. This means you need to allow someone to get to know you, without a guard up, or any pretence. Be honest with your feelings, and allow your partner to get to know the real you; warts and all.

2. Sexual intimacy is important, and it means accepting that sex is about both of your pleasure equally. It means shelving the awkwardness and being able to share and discuss your sex life with each other. The ProHydrate range says "You can have the most loving relationship, but if you experience vaginal dryness what starts as a dryness problem can become a relationship problem," and this is certainly true for any sexual issue. You both need to feel listened to, and trust that you are both willing to address any challenges that may crop up along the way.

3. Laugh together. Finding things that make you both roar with laughter enable you to feel intimate in an equally important way. Comedy shows, silly youtube videos or telling funny stories allow you to giggle and connect. There's something so honest about hysterical laughter, and it's hard to beat.

I haven't experienced the problem that Vagisil are providing a solution for, however I have experienced a variety of sexual dysfunctionalities and I know how critical it is to address them. I had vaginismus for 15 years (and sexual counselling) and I've dated men with their own variety of sexual dysfunctions too. Sex isn't always easy people!

Most of us crave intimacy, and you deserve the sex life you desire. Whether that means talking about it more, using a product like Vagisil (without shame), or simply finding the time to feel reconnected to your partner, just do it.  Sex isn't reserved for the skinny and beautiful; we are all deserving of the kickarse feeling that intimacy brings with it.

Update: A month of being on the pill AND the implant

At the end of last year I got the contraceptive implant for the first time, and after 5 months of spotting, 30 days ago I started the pill on top of the implant. You can read my 5 updates of having the implant for 5 months as well as my nervousness of getting the pill.

I found the first week of being on a double dose of hormones pretty intense. I felt on the edge of crying a lot, and like I couldn't quite keep a grip on myself. I was worried that this would continue, and I'd be back to square one again.

taking pill and implant ree

Luckily that intense hormonal edge seems to have dissipated, and I feel ok. I'm hoping it continues that way! The doctor said to return after 3 months, so we'll see what they suggest moving forward. At least no bleeding or spotting- and the doctor said running the pills back to back is fine, so woohoo!

Falling back in love with shopping

Over the past few years I've really stopped clothes shopping. When I lived in a neighbourhood with lots of charity shops I shopped there weekly buy since moving I've really fallen out of love with clothes shopping. 

Recently I've felt the itch to recreate my wardrobe and I've started craving old school shopping.

reeree shopping

Luckily I'm a pretty good shopper, I generally have a good eye for the right fabric and shape so shopping never feels too painful. I found this cute little dress in the sale at Dorothy Perkins, and it's very Fred-Perry-esque.

I've also not been shopping a lot as I tend to wear the same style of clothing, so I've had little need to buy more. Recently I've been craving a slight style change so my wardrobe isn't proving so easy to rely on.

Watch out Westfield, I'm coming for you!

5 years ago I was a blogger who launched a lipstick brand

rockalily lipstick 2016

April 2016 was the 5 year anniversary of me launching my own lipstick brand Rockalily Lipstick. I almost can't believe it was so long ago, but at the same time it feels like a lifetime ago. So I took a moment to pause and reflect on the year that I ran a lipstick company.

Looking back, considering it was just little ol' me, working from a bedroom I try to allow myself to feel proud. I had it featured in the glossy beauty pages of magazines like Marie Claire and Hello and all with zero PR and business experience. These weren't paid placements either, but pure editorial (I saw a tweet today of a small roofer company boasting about being top of google search, but he was screenshotting a paid ad...).

I hosted a massive blogger event (I rented an entire pub out over two floors) which was a pretty new concept 4.5 years ago. I almost can't believe I pulled it off, but it really was pretty epic. #zomgbloggersbash (we didn't have instagram but we still loved a hashtag).

The party was to help launch a collaboration I did with Zoe London, where I launched a shade called ZOMG. Beauty Blogger collabs are pretty common place these day but back then it felt pretty fresh and exciting.

Rockalily Lipsticks were a luxury lipstick, totaling about £18 with postage and it was amazing that my little brand made people willing to send that amount of money for a lipstick they'd only seen online. I loved seeing how people responded to the quality of it, and repeat bought. You know it's good when people return to buy again.

I learned so much launching a product, and I am honestly so grateful to everyone who ordered one (or more!). It was my springboard away from my old life and into a new one.

Going on the pill with the implant

taking the pill at same time as implant

I've been sharing my journey of getting the contraceptive implant and I'm now 5 months in. Yesterday I finally returned to a clinic and asked for a pill to take on top of the implant to control the bleeding.

I'd expected to be given a small dosage pill, almost to just top up the implant, but you're actually give the normal pill. He did say I could run them back to back, so hopefully soon I'll be free of the bloody curse.

He checked I didn't want to take the implant out, but I don't. I feel the pill on its own just isn't predictable enough for me. Back when I was on it in my 20s I always used condoms too. They can be influenced by my own human error, as well as sickness and diarrhea, and I don't want a baby. The implant hasn't given me any side effects so I'm happy enough to leave it in, I just need the bleeding to stop.

I am a little nervous of having two loads of hormones in my system now, but I'm still hopeful and excited to have a possible solution. Watch this space.

#Reelaxingweekend - a weekend spa trip

reelaxingweekend

This weekend I did something rather impulse and indulgent. I booked a weekend trip at a spa as a surprise treat for both me and B (my boyfriend). I've never booked anything like this before and I haven't had a holiday for 3 years, so I was pretty excited.

lifehouse spa weekend

I had to book our treatments in advance so I went for a Hidden Santuary Experience which sounded incredible. It's a 3 hour treatment which me and B would have simultaneously. It started with a full body scrub, were we laid down as if getting a massage but having a scrub applied. We were then led to a private mini pool, and this was pretty amazing.  It was a mixture of a pool and a jacuzzi and the room was dark and romantic. Apparently people often propose here. They bring in green tea, orange slices and a cold compress for your face. We really enjoyed this chance to relax.

life house spa review

We were then taken for a 50 minute massage, so we got to enjoy a giggle at each other in disposal pants. It was a relaxing rub rather than deep medicinal massage but it was lovely. The final element to the treatment was a sleep pod for a shared nap. We didnt stay too long in this as we were staying over and had a lovely bed in our room!

I really tried to have a 3 day digital detox, and used my phone minimally (couldn't switch off as salon was open all weekend) and I even read a whole book. A trashy book at that (I apologise to the people around the pool for squealing in disgust when the characters fell in love and married within a few meetings of each other).

lifehouse hotel

It may not have been a proper holiday, but playing chess by the pool, having a facial and eating delicious food certainly allowed me to pretend it was. Our minds and souls all need a little reset occaisonally.