Thursday, 30 June 2011

More car boot bargains!

Hey gals!

I hit up a local car boot recently (reppin Pease Pottage) and picked up some amazing bargains, thanks Mum! You may remember my recent car boot post where I found some gorgeous tan leather boots for a mere £2.50! You can take a peek at my previous boot sale bargain finds here, here and here :) Warning: You may get slightly jealous of my bargain hunting abilities!

Here's what I picked up this time...

Black wool wrap cardigan - £1 (Zara)

I know, what a find huh! I love the shape, colour, design and it's ZARA... for a quid! I dread to think how much the seller paid for it originally! I gave it a wash, and cut off some of the stray threads and it's as good as new, I could even team it with those tan leather biker boots I bought last time at car boot... no shame!

Black patent shoulder bag - 20p (Vintage)

Literally the price of a refresher bar, this little beauty is perfect for nights out on the town. I can just pop it over my shoulder and it will go with EVERYTHING! The clasp even works as well, what a bargain!

Gold embossed hoop earrings - 50p

I must own hundreds of pairs of gold earrings (see my accessories storage post) but none like these :) I plan on wearing them with a bright maxi dress for daytime wear or bodycon dress come night-time. Love them, so summery!

Max Clifford biography - 50p

Not everyone's cup of tea but PR guru Max Clifford is a legend in the media world. And he's minted. Now he's even representing Lauren from TOWIE, wow! (jk) I'm gonna read this before I go to bed when I cba to really think if you know what I mean, and maybe I'll learn a thing or two about the savage media world? Who knows!

Grand total...

£2.20

!!!

Well you can't go wrong with that! It's the same price as as M&S Superfood Shaker Salad that I could devour in minutes! Well these are all still here!

Have you picked up any car boot bargains recently? Or are you a self-proclaimed car boot snob?

Definitely give it a go if you haven't already! It's nice to just have a walk around on a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee (and your Mum... aww!)

Love,

Sophia

xo

Rimmel Day 2 Night Mascara review

Hey loves!

Mascara is an item of make-up I wear daily without fail (I look dead otherwise!) so I was delighted when this new Rimmel mascara landed on my doorstep recently.

It's their NEW Glam'Eyes Day 2 Night Mascara and it claims to "create 2 dramatically different lash looks, all with 1 amazing new system. The secret is the magic double cap!" Yep, that right, it features a one of a kind double cap, amaze!

Here's the lengthening wand:

  • Use this in the day for exceptionally defined, ultra-lengthened lashes.
  • Lashes are stretched to new distances!
and here's the volume wand:

  • Use this at night for up to 15X fuller lashes.
  • Thickens lashes with oversized volume without a clump in sight!
I love their Lash Accelerator mascara that I reviewed recently so I was really looking forward to trying this as well.

Here's my lashes before (no mascara):

and after using the length wand:

and after using the volume wand (on top of the length):
Face shot...

I'm going to be honest, I wasn't very pleased with this mascara at all! (can you tell from my face lol?) The length wand hardly did anything and the volume wand made my lashes clump together and looked really chavvy, you know what I mean? I'm sorry, Rimmel! I've given this mascara to my mum who actually quite likes it, who knows, maybe it's just not suited to my stumpy little lashes! UPDATE: She has found she doesn't like it either! :/

However on a side note, here's some of my favourite Rimmel products that I use regularly -
  • Exaggerate Liquid Eye Liner (Brown for the day, Black for the night)
  • Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation (read my review here - amazing product, amazing coverage)
  • Lycra Pro nail varnish (various shades - easy to apply, lovely and thick, last ages, great colour selection, available for 99p from Fragrance Direct - see blog post here)
  • Their lipsticks! Colour Show Off for bold, evening shades (I like Be Bold and Shake Up Pink) and Moisture Renew for summery, daytime shades (I like Summer Angel and Rose Bikini) :)
That's it for now! Have you tried the Day 2 Night Mascara? What are your fave Rimmel products?

Love,

Sophia

xo

NOTD: 17 Lasting Fix in Sweet Kisses

Hey ladies!

Lately I've been sporting this very natural looking nail colour that I bought in my recent 17 haul.
I've been working and attending interviews, etc, so I've wanted to wear more natural looking colours on my nails that blend into the background if you will. This one fits the bill perfectly. It's not bland enough to look like you're not wearing anything but it's not so "out there" that people are shocked by it! It's a very pale pastel pink that requires 2 coats for full opacity but lasts a few days without chipping.

17 Lasting Fix Nail Polish retails for £2.99 in Boots - buy yours online here.

What's your "blend into the background" shade? Are you sporting natural or more daring nail colours at the mo?

Let me know!

Love,

Sophia

xo

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Weekend OOTN & FOTN: Porange!

Hey divas!

I thought you might be interested in reading how I achieved my "going out" look from over the weekend when me and a few friends hit Brighton town. I was actually in a mad rush to get ready as I started getting ready late (no surprise there) and my fake tan went pretty dodgy at the last minute but who cares, right?! I still had a good time.

MAKE-UP & HAIR

I didn't go OTT with my make-up, sometimes I go for a really intense smoky eye or diva-esque red lip but it was lovely and summery in the evening so I fancied something a little more "low-key." Make-up is the same as I always wear on a night out really, no falsies this time either (I told you I was in a rush!)

FACE
Benefit That Gal face primer
Benefit Some Kinda Gorgeous Foundation Faker (Original)
Benefit Boi-ing Concealer (02 Medium)
Benefit Dallas bronzer
Benefit Coralista blush
Clinique Up-Lighting Liquid Illuminator (02 Peach)

EYES
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Original)
Urban Decay Baked e/s (Buck) all over lid
Urban Decay Baked e/s (Smog) on outer corners
Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid eye-liner (Black) along top lid
Avon Color Trend Double Ended Kajal Stick (Black) along lower waterline
Benefit Bad Gal mascara (Black)
CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara (Black - Volume)
Mac Eye Brows (Lingering)

LIPS
Avon Plump Pout Honey Shades lip gloss (Pink Nectar)

HAIR
Curled using standards GHD's and set using L'Oreal's Very Volume Supreme Hold hairspray, love that stuff :)

OUTFIT

Lilac bodycon dress (worn as top) - Oasis
Orange bodycon skirt - H&M (see below!)
Nude patent pumps - Barratts
Nude leather clutch - DP's
Hoop earrings (just seen) - Primarni

I picked up the skirt for £3 in the H&M sale... how amazing is that!!! It fits like a glove, I wonder if they do it in any other colours?

Not gonna lie, I took inspiration from the following celebs in the planning stages of my outfit LOL but I didn't coin the term "porange" in fact it was my friend Hannah who first introduced me to the term!

From L-R: Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Nicole Scherzinger

We'll just swiftly ignore the most infamous porange rocker now, shall we? FYI it's Cheryl Cole at the X Factor USA auditions. Oh dear girl.

I love this trend but I don't think it's something you can wear more than once really, it's a bit "samey" but I am LOVING colour blocking at the mo, give me colours and I will clash them lol, just think it's a really bold, summery trend :) Know what I mean?

NAILS

I stuck with my trusty Nails Inc nail colour in Candy Orange. It was the orange that best matched my skirt colour, can't be having too much clashing in one outfit now, can we girls?

What do you think of colour blocking and "porange"? What summer trends are you loving at the mo?

Let me know!

Love,

Sophia

btw porange stands for purple-orange for those that hadn't worked that out yet, don't worry it took me a while too!
xo

Sleek Pout Polish in Scandal review!

Hey gals!

How have you all been? I feel like I've been away from the blogosphere for an AGE! I haven't been up to much, just working, spending, going out, you know, the usual!

One of the more recent beauty products I have bought includes the limited edition Sleek Pout Polish in Scandal. Sadly it's not sold in shops anymore (I've bought my other ones - Pink Cadillac and LE Sugar May in Superdrug) so I bought this on eBay instead for about four quid. I loves it so far :)

Sleek say...

"A tinted lip conditioning balm formulated with natural oils such as Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Avocado Extract and Vitamin A, C and E to help condition the lips and lock in moisture. It also includes SPF15 to help protect the lips from sun exposure."

Scandal is a vibrant, sexy tomato red!

Here's my lips before...

and after...

I freaking love these Pout Polishes! They're so colourful but super moisturising and taste delicious. Oh, and did I mention they're SPF15? Perfect for summer! Scandal is definitely more pigmented than the other shades I've tried, but it's a good thing because it looks like you've just smothered strawberries across your lips, really schmexy :)

What do you think? Is this something you'd buy? Do you know of something similar that I should try e.g. the MAC tinted lip conditioners or the ELF studio conditioning lip balm?

Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for reading...

Love

Sophia

xo

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Avon skincare and nails haul!

Hey lovely ladies!

OMG I have not blogged properly for SO long. What's wrong with me? You know when you have a huge list of posts to complete that you can't even bear to start the mammoth task, yup, it's been like that!

Anyway - back to blog. Before I left uni (which feels like ages ago now) I ordered a few bits from my local Avon lady :) Some of them were products I'd bought before and others were new purchases but overall I'm really happy with it all... here's what I got!

(prices are what I paid for them at the time, not necessarily what they are now)
SKINCARE
Clearskin Professional Deep Pore Cleansing Scrub - £2.75
This is a re-purchase, in fact you may recall it from my Top 10 Avon Products post! It's one of the best, most effective face scrubs I've found on the market, as it contains salicylic acid which helps to clear blemishes. Often I leave it on for 5 minutes or so (when it begins to tingle) and use it as a mask as you can really feel it working. I try and use this 2-3 times a week :)

Planet Spa Dead Sea Minerals Mud Mask - £3.30
I first used this product when it came in a box of Planet Spa mini face masks that I bought in a haul at Christmas :) This was the only one that stood out for me, the others didn't really do much for my skin! But this one was great and really suited to my oily, blemished skin. I love the smell and feel of the mud, it just feels so natural, and I really feel like how it works to draw out all the dirt and grime beneath my skin! I use this as a special treat once a week (usually on a Sunday!) but I'm on the hunt for some good clay masks to add to my collection as I've heard they're good for my skin type too. Let me know if you know of any :)

Clearskin Professional Clear Pore Thermal Mask - £3.50
I've not used this product before but as it was on offer, and I've been impressed with the Clearskin Professional range in the past, I figured it was worth a try for a few quid. I love a good thermal face mask (the No7 Purifying Sauna Mask is one of my all-time faves) as you can really feel them working when they hit your skin. This one from Avon got a lot hotter than the No7 one, which I think is a good thing! I need to get some more use out of it really as I've been favouring the mud one a little too much!

NAILS
Liquid Freeze Quick Dry Spray - £6.00
This is the first time I've bought this after I saw my manicurist using it on me a couple of months ago! Well if it's good enough for a professional, I thought...! It definitely works to reduce nail drying time, but the spray is essentially a dry oil spray so you have to be careful not to spray it everywhere as you're left with a rather greasy residue which needs to be wiped away with a tissue. Anything to reduce nail drying time gets a thumbs up from me, waiting for my nails to dry is the bane of my life, seriously!

Vitamin C Cuticle Gel - £5.00
Another first time purchase, I use this to soften my cuticles before I press them with a cuticle stick. It's got a lovely, refreshing Vitamin C scent but I'm not sure it's an "essential" product if you know what I mean, I've already got cuticle balm but apparently you use that AFTER you've done all your nail work? Who knows!

Overall I'm hugely impressed with this Avon haul, the products were so cheap for what they're worth! If you've not tried Avon before you should DEFINITELY give it a go - you can shop online or find your local rep and your purchases may help a woman somewhere earn a few extra dollar :)

Have you tried Avon before? What are your favourite products?

Let me know!

Love,

Sophia

xo




Friday, 17 June 2011

NOTD: Nails Inc in Baker Street

Hey gals!

Lately I've been rocking this shade from Nails Inc that I bought from the lovely Gem's blog sale :)
I know what you're thinking, "have you seen the weather?" but I don't care, summery nails put me in a summery mood despite the gloomy weather! Which, by the way, I am HATING!!! Also I had to cut my nails as one of them chipped :(

This shade from Nails Inc is a lovely, creamy tomato red which is right up my street! The consistency is amazing as well, it only required one coat which I couldn't believe. However to me the jar doesn't seem to be very big at all compared to OPI, which seems never ending... The only other Nails Inc I own is the Candy Orange shade I picked up for free with InStyle magazine and to be honest with you I won't be buying any Nails Inc full price any time soon, not when you can get them for free/discounted everywhere else!

What are you wearing on your nails? Would you pay full price for Nails Inc?

Let me know! :)

Love,

Sophia

xo


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Sussex Bootcamps: Week 3!


Hey guys!

Here are my blog posts from my Sussex Bootcamps sessions so far this week. I've had quite a mixed week so far - Monday's was really challenging as I ran to the class beforehand, whereas today's wasn't as successful as I made the mistake of eating my dinner just before the class, whoops! You can read my full Sussex Bootcamps blog on my special Sussex Bootcamps page on the tab along the top of this blog or by clicking here :)

Session 7 (06/06/11 - 7.15pm)

Today was REALLY hard! I went for a run earlier in the day and then ran to my bootcamp class, so I really had to work for it in the session, I was knackered! I was a little late as I ran (obviously overestimated my speed!) so got straight into warm-up stretches. We did a lot of core stability exercises today, which I'm not very good at because I have zero balance! Often I find myself having to just stay static else I'll wobble over! We then moved onto skipping, which may sound easy, bu t when you're knackered as it is, are actually really difficult! We also did squats, mixing it up between narrow and wide to really make our legs work. Mine definitely did, my thighs were aching! We also ran around the park which I find one of the hardest things because you really have to push yourself and give it all you've got. I worked really hard today, I definitely think running to bootcamp helps because it really gets you in the mood. I've also been working on my diet - I have yet to curb my sweet tooth (one day!) but I have made a conscious effort to try and add protein to every meal. Over the weekend I forced my other half to boil me an egg with the soup we were eating, and I ensure I have a yoghurt every breakfast-time if I'm not having a protein-based breakfast e.g. eggs. Can't believe I'm almost at the end now, I definitely didn't realise how unfit I was!

Session 8 (08/06/11 - 7.15pm)

I made a HUGE mistake tonight. I had a curry about half an hour before bootcamp started and I felt sick the whole way through. It didn't help that I was already suffering from hayfever/runny rose etc, and I really let myself down today as I couldn't give it my all for fear of being sick. I have definitely learnt my lesson, and if my mum is cooking a massive dinner before bootcamp I will have to have a banana or something instead and re-heat my dinner after bootcamp, it's just not worth it, I wasn't sweating half as much as I was after Monday's session. However some of the exercises in today's session were REALLY challenging. Again I struggled with some of the core stability exercises because I suffer from a distinct lack of balance, so I often had to remain still and try and complete the exercise that way. We also did bear crawls today and mountain climbers which I find really difficult, I'm so slow compared to everyone else! But I suppose most of them have been doing it much longer than me. We finished the session by running around the park so hopefully next week I can extend my route by a little further. I asked Katie, our bootcamp instructor, if we could do some more ab exercises as I feel that is the area I need most work on, but she encouraged me that all the exercises we do are working our core area. I think I need to lay off the curries really if I want rock-hard Diaz-esque abs! A girl can dream...

Hope you enjoyed this little snippet!

Love,

Sophia

xo

Cardiff city trip!

Hey loves!

You may have noticed I've been rather MIA from the blogosphere recently; I finished uni a couple of weeks ago and have started a new temp job at Next in my hometown - I'm loving it so far! I also took a blink-and-you'll-miss-it celebratory trip to Cardiff with the bf :) A mixture of culture, shopping and yummy food made for one amazing trip and I'm sure you will love it too :)

We stayed at The Royal Hotel in Cardiff city centre. We made the reservation on hotels.com and from what I can remember, it was £25 per person per night, which was very fair - we are on a student budget, after all!

Here's me outside the hotel:

Outfit:
White tank (just seen) - Dorothy Perkins
Rust maxi skirt - New Look
Tan leather gladiators - Primark (see purchase)
Denim jacket - H&M
Black pashmina - H&M
Tan leather bag - Awear (see purchase)

The hotel had a huge double bed (though it was, strangely, much wider than it was length ways, which was fine for us as we're both quite small but might be a little too short for a giant!) It also had a walk-in wardrobe, a chest of drawers, bedside tables, massive plasma tv (with free freeview!) and obvs free tea and coffee, which we definitely made good use of!

The bathroom was pretty swish as well; reasonable sized bath, power shower etc!

The location of the hotel was definitely the best thing about it. Considering we were in Cardiff for only 24 hours, we wanted to make the best use of our time and the hotel was situated perfect for that. We were literally in the middle of Cardiff city centre (2 mins walk to the castle/a minute's walk to the shopping centres/a couple of minutes to the coach/rail station!) You can read my review of The Royal Hotel Cardiff on TripAdvisor here (under smoir).

DAY ONE

We started our day by walking down to the famous Cardiff Castle :)
We were really lucky and had the sun on our side that day, which made it perfect for having a leisurely stroll around the castle grounds!

Rocking the *bux, you know how it is!

It was also SO quiet! It was half term but it wasn't very busy at all. Here's a pic from inside the castle grounds, beautiful huh :)

We then proceeded to climb up the mount (in the middle of the picture above)!
We had to walk up LOADS of stairs to get to the top, I was EXHAUSTED... hence the flushed face, lol!

Once we reached the top we had magnificent views over Cardiff. Here's the view over Cardiff city centre from the top of the mount. Can you spot the Millennium Stadium to the right?

and here's the views the other side of the top, stunning views over the countryside! Not a sight you'd seen in London town.

We then took a tour of the Royal Apartments in the castle, where the monarchy used to live. This was the regal dining room, ooh la la!

We also had a look at the royal library and other rooms, before heading to the Wartime Tunnels within the castle.

They added sound effects in the tunnel of old wartime radio broadcasts which really set the scene!

Here's a pic from through one of the wartime tunnel windows:


Lovely, such a beautiful day!

Overall it was time well spent, it cost us about £16 each as students but it was worth every penny!

Us on our land! :P

It was such a fun excursion! I look like a right peasant in my maxi skirt, lol!

Next we had a wander down to Cardiff's famous Millennium Stadium, which was situated just behind our hotel.

I'm not a massive sports fan but it was nice to have a look at Cardiff's national stadium - Nick loved it! :) I liked the thought of Gavin Henson playing behind those walls... ;)

We then began our evening plans and got ready together in the hotel!

Nick chose khaki chinos, tan brogues and a gingham shirt while I wore floral palazzo pants and a denim jacket. I'm wearing raffia wedges beneath but you can't see them, damn being a short arse!

Make-up wise I went fairly natural, we were only going out to dinner and it was quite hot so I didn't want it to all melt off! ha.

I'm wearing my new MUA lipstick in shade 11 and nails (just seen) are painted in Nails Inc Baker Street :) (thanks, Gem!)

We then caught the train down to Cardiff Bay for our evening activities :) It was a minute's walk to Cardiff Central train station, we then changed at Queen's Street before arriving in Cardiff Bay, it cost us like a quid and only took a few mins, so convenient!

We strolled through Mermaid Quay which is a waterfront complex of bars and restaurants, similar to Portsmouth's Gunwharf Quays if any of you have been there :) It houses GBK, Wagamama and Cafe Rouge to name but a few!

But we chose to eat at the Italian restaurant Signor Valentino and boy, are we glad we did!

The food was DIVINE! The service was impeccable as well. We shared 'Funghi con Aglio' (mushrooms in a white wine and garlic sauce) and a basket of focaccia bread to start. They were so yummy, especially the focaccia - being Italian, I noticed the rosemary taste straight away!

I had the Tagliatelle Verona to start as it looked the most daring of the pasta dishes; it contained chicken, sausage and broccoli in a creamy tomato sauce and was so yummy! I couldn't eat it all, though - probs shouldn't have stuffed my face full of starters but what the heck!

Nick had the Pizza Fiorentina which was a traditional Italian thin-based pizza topped with salami, sausage, ham and olives (a proper "man's" pizza lol) but he couldn't finish it either! So I gave him a hand...

Obviously there's always room for dessert! Here's me after devouring 3 scoops of delicious Italian vanilla ice-cream topped with crushed chocolate biscuits. I was in heaven...

Nick had a belgian chocolate fondant with ice cream, no surprise we both finished our desserts!

Even the drinks were delicious! I had a rosé with lemonade, which tasted amazing, while Nick had a traditional Italian lager. Here's the view we had over Cardiff bay, isn't it beautiful?

Overall, we had an amazing meal, if you live near Cardiff I would definitely recommend a visit! At the time of going to press, Signor Valentino was the number 1 rated restaurant in Cardiff on TripAdvisor. You can read my review of Signor Valentino on TripAdvisor here under smoir. You can check out the Signor Valentino menu here!

We finished off our evening but having a lovely little walk along Cardiff Bay to work off all that pasta... yeah right!

Picturesque!

Outfit:
White tank (just seen) - Dorothy Perkins
Floral palazzo trousers - F&F at Tesco (see purchase)
Cream pashmina - H&M
Cream leather bag - Primark
Wedges (not seen) - New Look
Belt - River Island

We concluded by walking to the Millenium Centre, which hosts events like the X Factor and BGT auditions, before making our way back to the hotel! :) We were surprised by how quiet the Bay area was, we were literally the only ones there!

DAY TWO

3 words...shopping, shopping, shopping! Cardiff shopping, I've learnt, is amazinggg, it literally houses every shop under the sun!

We started at St David's, where we had a look in Waterstones (our favourite thing to do) as well as your standard H&M (picked up a tan purse), Apple store (perused the lovely Mac goodies I'll never be able to afford), Hollister (smells delicious but all overpriced) and L'occitane (Cherry Blossom, mmm!)

We then wandered over to The Capitol which is ANOTHER shopping centre in Cardiff city centre! Except this one was *extra* special because it housed a MAC!!! I browsed the products for about 15 minutes but left empty-handed. Most of the Surf Baby range was O/S but I tried the Fix+ which I quite liked the look of - it sunk in quickly which I liked because my ELF Mist & Set stays wet on my face for ages. I also swatched Creme Cup and Fanfare - CC was waay too bland for me but Fanfare looked more up my street, might have to add it to my wishlist *sigh*!

We also had a look in LUSH where the bf picked up some skincare items (namely Cosmetic Lad) using my 10% off voucher - I've got my eye on the Marilyn hair conditioner, Lemony Flutter cuticle butter and some kind of face cleanser for my blemished skin, perhaps Angels on Bare Skin... thoughts?

We finished off our day/trip in Mill Lane, which has loads of lovely restaurants like Wagamama and GBK and you can eat outside in the sun :)

We chose to eat at Las Iguanas, where neither of us had ever eaten before but which we'd heard good things about (mainly from my friend Helen!)

We were SO impressed by the service in this place, we literally rushed in and said we have 30 mins before our coach leaves can you feed us in this time?! They swiftly brought us out the lunch menus, brought us our drinks and voila! We were seated on our coach half an hour later!


I had the enchilada with roasted butternut squash, spinach, cheese and chickpeas, with refried black beans and rice (above) while Nick had the pulled pork and roast ham cuban sandwich with fries. Needless to say we both finished our meals, they were simply delicious :) It came to about £15 altogether overall, not bad whatsoever! You can view the Las Iguanas lunch menu that we chose from here.

Alas our trip was coming to an end, and we made our mark in Cardiff by buying a Big Issue for the journey home... We felt we were doing our bit until we realised it cost £2 and I only gave the seller £1. I was trying to do a good deed as well! Oh well, the mag was actually pretty good, much better then you'd imagine, pick one up if you've got a few quid spare :)

Whilst the city centre wasn't buzzing while we were there as it was a weekday, I can imagine it's a great place to spend a girly weekend, but if you're looking for a couples getaway like we were I'd definitely recommend staying in the week as it's so quiet you basically get the city to yourself!

Have you been to Cardiff? Thinking about it? What UK cities should we visit next?

Love,

Sophia

xo