Sunday, 30 January 2011

Review: TRESemmé Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo

Hey guys!

I've always been a firm believer in 'you get what you pay for'... until now. Enter TRESemmé's new Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo for Normal to Oily Hair.

I'd seen this new product advertised in various magazines over the past couple of months, coupled with the foam shampoo for finer hair, but I opted for this one for my thicker hair, instead. I waltzed into Superdrug on the hunt for this new dry shampoo, to find it was priced at around £5. Now I'd never had a problem with my trusty Batiste dry shampoo in the past, priced at around £2, but I thought no, I'm going to trust the adverts and splash out a bit more for this *quality* new dry shampoo!

How wrong I was.

This dry shampoo is awful.

I would literally rather leave my hair greasy than use this, and that's saying something. It's not often I buy something I really, truly hate but I could not NOT recommend this enough. In fact, I've already bought a new bottle of Batiste ready for the day this one runs out. Which I hope will be very, very soon...

What do you think? What's your experience with the new TRESemmé dry shampoo?

Leave me a comment or, of course, ask me an anonymous question on Formspring at :)

Big love,

Style by Sophia


UPDATE: Having spoken to representatives from TRESemmé, I would like to clarify that my dissatisfaction with the brand is an isolated incident and I am otherwise largely impressed by the TRESemmé haircare range. Thanks :)

FOTD & OOTD: Girls' Night Out

Hey guys,

I thought you might be interested to know how I achieved my look for a ladies night over the weekend :)

Hair & Make-up
Face: Benefit That Gal Primer, Benefit Some Kind-A Gorgeous Foundation (Original), Benefit Boi-ing Concealer (02), Benefit Dallas Bronzer, Avon True Colour Blush in Russet on apples of cheeks, Clinique Up-Lighting Liquid Illuminator in 02 Peach to highlight.

Eyes: Benefit Lemon Aid as eyelid primer, Urban Decay e/s in Naked all over lid, Urban Decay e/s in Creep in outer corners, Urban Decay e/s in Virgin in inner corners. Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Liner in Black along top lid, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero along bottom waterline. Eyelure Naturalites false eyelashes (101) and Benefit That Gal mascara to finish.

Lips: Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lip Liner in 021 Red Dynamite smudged in with The Body Shop lip brush. Rimmel Colour Show Off Lipstick in Be Bold (applied with the same brush) finished off with L'oreal Kiss Proof Lipstick and matching Lipgloss in shade 513.

Nails: I went for a classic Hollywood red and opted for Rimmel Lycra Pro in Celebrity Bash.

Hair: Styled using GHDs to curl, hairsprayed throughout using L'oreal Elnett Very Volume Supreme Hold and brushed out with a flat paddle brush.

Dress: ASOS Petite
Shoe boots:
Belt: Vintage

Well that's it for this time! What do you think of my choices?

If you have any questions, just drop me a comment, or ask me a question on Formspring :)


Style by Sophia


My First Ever Nars Haul

Hey bloggers!

I was a bit naughty in the New Year and made a teensy make-up splurge. I'd been working hard over Christmas and saving my money to buy something really special. Having read beauty blogs pretty much daily for the past year or so, I knew what the cult products were out there and the brands that are on everyone's lips are always Mac and Nars. I've never bought anything from either! But, I had a look on the Nars website and they was offering free delivery and a variety of holiday gift sets.

Here's what I bought:

Wowzers. Uber chic posh black packaging emblazoned with the Nars logo. Love.

(Left: Blusher in Orgasm, Right: Bronzer in Laguna)

I had absolutely no hesitation in choosing this blush/bronze duo. Nars Orgasm blush is one of the most talked-about beauty products EVER. It's described on the website as a 'peachy pink with shimmer' blush and that's exactly what it is. It gives the apples of your cheeks a lovely, pretty glow (I apply it with my Avon angled brush!). Laguna is a shade I'd read about a million times of one of my fave blogs, Bubblegarm. Muhsine is a beauty and always seem to use Laguna in her FOTD's. She describes it as very similar to Benefit's Hoola, which is what I tend to wear during the day to give me a natural, bronzed look so I had no qualms in opting for it as the bronzing part of my duo. I would say it's slightly lighter than Hoola but I love it nonetheless. The two shades in the duo compliment each other perfectly. I have no regrets in buying it!

The infamous Nars multiple in a set of three minis. Each mini multiple is about 2 inches high and slips perfectly into your handbag.

(From L-R: South Beach, Orgasm, Copacabana)

I fell in love with this Mini Multiple set instantaneously. They can be worn on your lips, cheeks, eyelids, etc to accent and highlight. It's a creamy texture but glides onto your skin so effortlessly, like a powder. South Beach is described as a 'shimmering apricot' but it's more of a light, golden bronze. I love to use it on my cheeks as a golden highlighter! Orgasm is a multiple version of the famous blusher, so a 'peachy pink with shimmer' and Copacabana is described as 'glistening pearl.' It reminds me a lot of Benefit Moon Beam, and I use it just on my temples and upper cheek to highlight. South Beach is definitely my fave so far, but I won't be buying any more expensive make-up anytime soon, that's for sure!

What do you think of my first Nars purchases? Do you think I was right to splurge?

Don't be afraid to leave your comments :)

Lots of love,

Style by Sophia


Thursday, 27 January 2011

Mini No7 Voucher Haul

Hey girls!

If you're anything like me and visit Boots for toiletries as much as you visit Tesco for food, you can't have missed the £5 off No7 vouchers!

You might recall a recent post of mine (No7 Voucher Haul) where I went on a bit of a splurge! I loved the products I bought then, especially the Heavenly Hydration Moisture Mask (smells amazing and makes your skin feel so soft in the morning) and the Exceptional Definition Mascara in Brown (the most perfect daytime mascara!).

I have nothing but good things to say about No7 but sadly their quality is reflected in the price tag and it is slightly out of my price range. So, when the vouchers came back around this time, I set myself a budget of £10 :)

Here's what I bought:

(£6 with voucher, £11 without)

This had one of the best reviews of any of the No7 products on the Boots website (see for yourself - click the link above!) Nothing entices me more than a decent customer review, if someone's gone to the effort of writing a positive review then it's gotta be good.

Face scrubs never seem to work for me. I never really notice any difference. This one promises 'smoother, more radiant skin in an instant.' It's got tiny little beads, almost like grains of sand, that you apply in circular motions to your face and I'm happy to say it really works. I used it when my skin was looking really awful; I'd just been on a night out, no sleep, stressed, tired, hungry but by bedtime I was stroking my face again... it was so soft :)

(£2.75 with voucher, £7.75 without)

Some of you may remember a little blog post I wrote slating a certain Body Shop eye make-up remover? Well I've been on the hunt for an eye make-up remover ever since. I'm a contact lens wearer and my eyes are quite sensitive. Again this product had fantastic reviews on the Boots website. It's a rather odd consistency, kind of oily, but miles better than my Body Shop one. I expect it will run out soon though, it's a very small pot and I'm not forking out the RRP for it!

(£1.64 with voucher, £6.64 without)

I have quite a funny story about this. I purchased this one day in Boots but when I came home I couldn't for the life of me find it anywhere! My boyfriend & I literally searched all over my room, the house, the road! We then found the empty bag in the bin... With a massive hole in it *d'oh* that explains it. I'd run out of £5 off vouchers so I had to go back to Boots the next day, spend £5 and buy this again. Frustrating! I haven't used it yet, I'm quite a big fan of my normal No7 eyeshadow brush, and to be honest I'm not really sure how you're supposed to use this one. But I'll let you know how I get on!

Total price: £10.39 (bargain!)

Next time the vouchers come around, I've got my eyes on the acclaimed Pore Refining Serum and a cream blush for the summer :)

What have you been spending your No7 vouchers on?

Lots of love,

Style by Sophia


NOTD: ELF Nail Polish in Desert Haze

Hey guys!

Sorry I've been on a short hiatus recently - I've been ridiculously busy! I have a huge lists of overdue blogs to write, so let's hope I can get on top of it all soon :)

Just a quick one this time - I thought I'd let you know what colour I've been wearing on my nails of late. I'm over winter shades like black, navy, grey for the daytime and I'm not quite ready to wear corals, turquoises, mint greens, etc just yet. So this nude shade from ELF is just right :)

(ELF Nail Polish in Desert Haze)

It's a Christmas present from my friend Claire and I love it. I've never bought anything from ELF before (aka eyeslipface) but I am completely satisfied with the nail colour. It dried quickly, only took 2 coats and lasted a good few days without chipping. I would 100% recommend it :)

What are your favourite ELF treats?

Lots of love,

Style by Sophia


Sunday, 9 January 2011

My Top 5 Lip Balms

Hey bloggers!

It may be the start of a new year but the cold snap shows no sign of receding! With that in mind it's essential to protect your lips from the cold weather & the ensuing frosty winds. I guarantee I have worn one of these every day since about November! I literally couldn't live without lip balm - I carry one in my handbag daily without fail. Here's my pick of the top 5 winter lip balms (in no particular order)...

Carmex lip balm - £2.59
The holy grail of lip balms, this is a recent addition to my lip balm collection. I'd read a number of beauty bloggers raving about it (namely The Style PA) and with that price tag I thought I couldn't really not try it, could I? I went for the classic pot version in the original smelling formula (they do a cherry version as well now which I imagine is rather tasty!) and I'm not disappointed with it. It's one of my new favourite lip balms; it does the job and keeps my lips definitively non-chapped.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Protectant - £18.00

I hadn't actually planned to buy this one - it came free with an Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour set I bought duty-free at the airport (which contained the infamous Skin Protectant as well as the Hand Protectant - both amazing). However it's one of my ultimate favourites now and I especially use it when I'm lazy as it's easier to apply than with your fingers! I wouldn't pay £18 for it, though.

Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm Tin - £3.49
I'm not overly keen on this one but it does do the job. It's just a bit dry & doesn't seem to coat my lips entirely. If you're looking to buy a traditional lip balm - I'd opt for the Carmex one over this one. It has a slight peppermint scent to it as well which I'm not a massive fan of, but I know a lot of people like the Palmers Cocoa Butter peppermint lip balm so this might be up your street... Sorry, Burt :(

The Body Shop Mango Lip Butter - £4.00
This has a different texture to the other lip balms. As the name suggests, it has a buttery/greasy texture so your lips feel really moisturised, almost smothered. I love the mango one, it smells amazing, and I'm looking to try the pink grapefruit one as well... I've heard Kylie Minogue uses it! Well if it's good enough for Kylie... It's definitely one to ask for as a present or buy when it's on offer.

Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips - £1.89

Saving the best till last, you really can't go wrong with Vaseline! Probably my favourite & it's the cheapest as well. I love this one in the summer as it leaves you with a lovely rosy sheen but I've worn it all through the winter! Now I know the new Cocoa Butter one is on everyone's lips at the moment (excuse the pun) but I really can't justify buying it when I have over half of this one left... Saying that you will probably see a review of it soon when I've succumbed to some crazy offer!

In conclusion, if you're sans lip balm at the moment and your lips are desperately dry and cracked, I'd recommend buying the Carmex lip balm pot. Alternatively if you're looking for a lip balm that's effective and can be doubled as a lip gloss as well - opt for the Vaseline one instead :)

What's your favourite lip balm? Have you tried Vaseline Cocoa Butter?

Let me know what you think :)


Style by Sophia


Saturday, 1 January 2011

Sales Shopping!

Hey everyone!

I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas & New Year! I'm back to uni soon. Eek!

Have you been snapping up lots of lovely January sale bargain? I know I have! Here's what I picked up...


Cable fisherman jumper - WAS £30 NOW £15 - Next

Now, working in Next as a Christmas temp, I get first pickings of all the sale items. Lucky girl! This chunky cable knit jumper caught my eye and when I tried it on it fitted perfectly. I've been wearing it almost daily since, in fact, I'm wearing it now! It's so warm & I can just throw it on with a pair of black skinny jeans & look stylish. Love the camel colour as well.

Stripe crop top - WAS £16 NOW £8 - Next

Another Next bargain; Love their sales (everything's half price or less!) I bought this to wear to work :) It was a bit tight with the shoulder pads so I cut them out & it fits much better now. I wear it with black tight jeans & biker boots. I get told I look like a bumble bee... Oh well :) Since when are bumble bees camel and black anyway?

Satin boned bustier - WAS £28 NOW £12 - Next

This was an absolute steal; It's even more than half price! I'm planning on wearing it with black high waisted shorts & lashes of black and gold jewellery. I like the accent details on the bust & bottom lining. I've been looking for a bustier top like this for ages... Thank you, Next!

Brocade skirt - WAS £16 NOW £12 - Clothing at Tesco

I wore this festive skirt on Christmas day! Brocade print to me always signals winter and nothing beats black and gold at Christmastime. Not quite half price but a bargain nonetheless. See what it looks like on me here.

Cropped shoulder jacket - WAS £25 NOW £12.50 - Clothing at Tesco

Absolutely love this jacket. Had my eye on it for a while & when it went half price in the sale I snapped it up in the sale. I believe I used a 25% off £25 voucher I found online as well... Love those :) I wore it with the skirt (above) on Christmas day and I love the statement shoulder detail. I always think these type of jackets are very Kim Kardashian; Here's her wearing black cropped jackets in the press.

Black shorts with gold button detail - WAS £35 NOW £20 - Topshop

I wasn't sure about these shorts when I saw them on the hanger but when I tried them on I fell in love. They suited my figure perfectly and I envisioned myself wearing them with a patent black waist belt, black tights and a bustier like the one above. Can't wait to wear this look :)


Black sequinned purse - WAS £6 NOW £3 - Topshop

I picked up this little purse at the last minute while I was queueing for the shorts (above). I've been on the hunt for a cute little purse for nights out that fits just my cash & cards in. I believe this glittery beauty fits the bill :)

It has 2 compartments; perfect for cash/cards. Love it :)

Black box clutch - WAS £10 NOW £5 -

I've never bought anything from Matalan before aside from a pair of wellies, mainly because there's not one within walking/public transport distance. I've been looking for a black box clutch since autumn; I've scoured eBay (too quirky), Topshop (too expensive) & vintage stores but to no avail. Who knew I'd find one on Matalan? It was half price & I found a 10% off code online so it was cheap as chips and arrived in a few days. It has a long metal strap as well but I've tucked it into the bag in this pic. Sadly you get what you pay for and it broke the first night I used it but I fixed it and you'll never know... Oh well, it was only a fiver!

Patent waist belt - WAS £12 NOW £6 - Next

This wasn't a completely necessary purchase but I'm a big fan of waisted belts and could see it fitting into my wardrobe quite effortlessly. Will pair it with the chic black Topshop shorts (above).

Velvet bow hair clips - WAS £6 NOW £3 -

I saw a similar pair to this from Topshop advertised in Heat magazine and vied for them. Then I found these beauties half price, added them to my bag, got 10% student discount, free delivery & hey presto... I'm wearing them the next day! I'm so lazy when it comes to hair & beauty products nowadays; I'm an ASOS Premier member so I get free next-day delivery & returns as well as 10% student discount so it's cheaper to buy stuff online that it is to walk/get the bus to town and buy stuff in Boots or Topshop. Whoops. Contributing to the demise of the great British High Street...

Cream wool over the knee socks - WAS £10 NOW £5 - Flirt at

I did have a pair of cream woolly over the knee socks but I lost them... Uh-oh. These were half price on ASOS so I snapped them up. Unfortunately I brought the boots back I planned to wear them with and haven't worn them since I bought them but we shall see. Hopefully.


No7 Bronzing set - WAS £15 NOW £7.50 - Boots

This was on my Christmas list & I didn't get it so I thought - half price? Gotta have it. In fact I wanted it so badly that I hid it in a different section in Boots because I couldn't buy it at the time. Nobody found it! So I bought it... Cheeky :)

It contains 2 different bronzers; From top to bottom:
Mosaic bronzer
Bronzer duo
Quilted bronzer

& a big fat bronzing/kabuki brush. For £7.50? Not bad.

The only one I've tried so far is the bronzing duo coupled with the bronzing brush and it's been pretty good so far. Glides on for an all-over glow. Can't wait to try the others :)

Sanctuary Spa Perfect Skin set - WAS £18 NOW £9 - Boots

Another Christmas list product I hid in Boots to buy at a later date... Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this? My friend Flo raves about Sanctuary stuff for skin so I thought it was worth a try for £9. It essentially contains a posh cleanser, toner, moisturiser, exfoliant & eye cream to name but a few. Let's see how it turns out :) I quite fancy the Sanctuary Spa Brightening Facial kit as well; has anyone tried it? Sadly I can't afford a real facial so I'm hoping a facial kit will suffice!

Overall I reckon I've made some pretty decent sale purchases :) Bargain hunting is in my blood!

Have you picked up anything nice in the sale? What do you think of my purchases?

Lots of sale love,

Style by Sophia


Christmas Presents!

Hello everyone!

I gave you a sneak peek into my Christmas Day wardrobe & FOTD here but I thought I'd do a prezzies post as well. Sorry it's been a while, we have family occasions spanning all over the week so I've only just received some of them! I was very lucky and got lots of lovely hair & beauty treats. I did write a list on before the big day but a lot of them were surprises as well.

Here's what I got...


Urban Decay Naked Palette

OMG. In love. I've wanted this palette for ages but have never wanted to fork out the 20 odd quid to get it. It came in luxurious purple velvet packaging which I've already recycled into a jewellery tray! Too good to throw away :)

It contains 12 of Urban Decay's best-selling eyeshadows, including Half-Baked, Baked & Smog. *swoon* They're renowned for their pigmentation and lastability, especially accompanied with the Eyeshadow Primer Potion of which you receive a mini one in the palette.

They're all beautiful, natural shades except the ones on the far right which are ideal for a night-out smokey eye. It also contains 2 of its famous glide-on eye pencils in Zero (jet black) and Whiskey (coppery brown). I can't wait to try it and I expect it'll become a make-up staple of mine. Full review coming soon :)

E.L.F. Brightening Eye Color in Butternut

Now I've never tried any products from online beauty retailer e.l.f. (eyes lip face) before but I've heard good things about them & they're known for being super good value. My dear friend Claire of Claire's Curvy Couture treated me to a few goodies. This dinky eyeshadow set looks perfect for throwing in your handbag & the colours are all pretty natural looking... She knows me well :)

E.L.F. Nail Polish in Desert Haze

A lovely taupe shade, 100% me and definitely wearable. Very similar to Barry M's popular Mushroom shade; I'll let you know what it's like as I haven't used their nail polishes before.

Barry M Nail Paint in Dusky Mauve

Ooh, lovely. I've been lusting after this shade for ages and read about it on loads of bloggers pages. It's a dupe for Chanel's Paradoxal shade which you can read about on my AW10 Nail Lust blog post here but at a snip of the price. Loves it :)

Bath & Body

Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel 500g

I was definitely spoilt this year! My lovely friend Flo purchased a massive bottle of Snow Fairy for me. Very generous, she knows how much I love it *and* it's limited edition. Woop :)

Lush Christmas Candy Box

She also bought me this bumper Lush gift set which satisfies all my Snow Fairy needs! Snow Fairy lip tint, Bubblegum lip scrub, a mini Snow Fairy shower gel and 2 soaps including Honey! I Washed The Kids which is one of my favourite Lush soaps EVER. The lip scrub is very tasty indeed :)

Lush Gift Box

My sister Steph also treated me to a lovely Lush set amongst other things :) My favourite is the limited edition star-shaped Angel's Delight soap but I can't wait to try the heart-shaped 'Silk Stockings' solid body tint as well... It's made with Shea Butter... Mmm :)

The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Gift Box

My beautiful friend Becky purchased this lovely-smelling gift box from the Body Shop for me and I loves it. I'd smelt the scent before in perfume form and it's just right for me; very sweet & girly. The body puree is nothing like I've ever tried before; It's very liquidy, almost like a gel texture, but absorbs super quick and left my skin feeling soft & moisturised. Will definitely re-purchase!

The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Gift Set

Eeek... I was very lucky, this was on my Christmas list! It contained a full-size limited edition Cranberry Joy body butter, body scrub, shower gel & lib balm. Literally love the smell of this stuff - I can't wait to smell like it myself! I'll be sad when it runs out because it is limited edition :( Will just have to apply it very sparsely & hope it lasts... *fingers crossed*

It also came in a luxurious red metal box that's very festive-looking & will be perfect for storing nail varnishes etc in the future :)

Tess Daly for M&S Delectable Minis Collection

I've had my eye on the Tess Daly range at M&S for a while now. It always looks so appealing, lots of creamy gold highlighters, shimmery eyeshadows and body oils, etc, perfect for illuminating your skin (a look I love). This gift set contains a shower gel, body lotion & body puff. I popped into M&S after Christmas and a lot of the Tess Daly stuff is in the sale half price so I may purchase a few bits myself!


Marc Jacobs Lola Solid Perfume

I'm already a fan of Marc Jacobs - Daisy (my go-to summer fragrance) but I hadn't tried his other fragrance, Lola. I have to say girls, he's got it right again; it smells amazing!

I've never had a solid perfume before but it seems very practical and the packaging looks stunning!

Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne

I've never bought anything Jo Malone myself before but I've heard it's a pretty cult brand in the whole home scent industry. Her candles are particularly well-liked but at £100 or so a pop it's not something I'll be buying any time soon!

I received this lovely Orange Blossom cologne from my boyfriend's family. I'd read about it on LBQ's blog about how she spritzes herself with Jo Malone Orange Blossom before she heads out the door in the morning and smells lovely all day. It's very citrusy and strong-smelling but it's something different to my normal perfume so I shall be wearing it in 2011 :)


Black leather bag from Warehouse

This bag is one of those things you didn't realise you needed until you got it. I can't even remember what bag I used before. This one is perfect for me; it's black leather (those who know me will know I tend to stick to a pretty monochrome wardrobe during the winter months), it has an across-the-body strap (I'm lazy) and a shoulder strap & it has loads of space and pockets (I literally bring the bathroom sink & its brother around with me in my bag... daily). So it's perfect... Thanks Mum!

Embellished shoulder waterfall cardigan from Sports Direct

I picked this up on a whim with my Dad... Who knew Sports Direct sold non-sportswear?! It doesn't exactly picture well but it looks better in real life. I've been looking for a cardi like this for ages on places like but I always find they're too long for little ol' me. This is probably a kids cardi because it's fits nicely! I think it was only like 7 quid as well... Bargain :)

Grey shearling dressing gown from La Senza

Mmm... It's so warm & soft :) I've been spending many a night in bed with this on and a hot chocolate by my side :)

I also got this cute little brown satin make-up bag from Next. I say make-up bag but it can be used for anything really, toiletries, stationery, etc. Very chic... Love the bow :)

& finally I got this mini Elnett hairspray in my stocking :) Santa must've known that it's the only hairspray I use! I literally swear by it for super voluminous hair. Thanks Father Christmas!

So that's it for this year; I can't wait to try out all my new prezzies! :)

What did you get for Christmas this year? Did you have a nice day?

Lots of love,

Style by Sophia