Monday, 31 December 2012

November empties

Hey loves! Hope you're all well :)

Here are the products I used up in November...

Hair:

Avon Advance Techniques Argan Oil Hair Mask
I did a massive Avon haul recently and this was one of the products I picked up. I like to use this as an intensive conditioning treatment and it made my hair feel soft and silky! Love the smell too :)
Andrew Collinge Illuminating Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner
I have naturally brunette hair but sometimes after I dye it it goes too dark! I use this blonde shampoo as a lightener and it does a great job :)
Batiste Dry Shampoo for Blonde Hair
I find the standard dry shampoo leave a white residue in my hair so I prefer to use the coloured ones as they're actually tinted the colour of your hair! This blonde one by Batiste livens up my locks and makes them look less oily.
Clairol Nice n Easy Express Conditioner
I got this free with a Nice n Easy hair dye I bought recently and it's amazing as a post-conditioner treatment. My hair ALWAYS looks and feels glossy after using this!

Body:

Avon Planet Spa African Shea Butter Foot and Elbow Cream
This is one of my favourite Avon products EVER! It smells like toffee popcorn (yum!) and moisturises my feet and elbows a treat. I always repurchase this when I do an Avon haul!
Dove Maximum Protection Deodorant
I wouldn't normally include a deodorant in an empties post but I had to include this as it's just so bloody brilliant! I've seen it doing the rounds on a couple of sponsored blog posts recently and I thought I'd try it out. It's amazing!
The Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter travel size
I've re-kindled my love for these body butters recently and I must say I don't know why I ever deviated from them! They're perfect for moisturising hard skin on your hands, knees and elbows and I quite frankly love them.
The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom travel size
I LOVE the scent of this! It's so sweet and makes your body smell amazing :)

Face:

Johnson's Face Care Skincare wipes - fragranced and unfragranced

One of my New Year's resolutions is to take my make up off properly as I keep using face wipes! I'm just so busy that they do a fab job of removing make-up after a long day, but I know I should use a hot cloth cleanser really!

Cotton wool pads double faced

Well it's no surprise I used these up again as I use them pretty much every single day! From removing nail varnish to applying toner I just couldn't live without them.

What products did you use up this month?

Let me know in the comments!

Love,

Sophia

xo



 

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Top 5 plum lipsticks for fair skin: Topshop Beguiled, Revlon Crush, Revlon Berry Smoothie, Topshop Inhibition and Sleek Mulberry

Hey loves!

I hope you had a great Christmas :-) 

I've been wearing a plum lip of late as it's a quick and easy way to jump on the Gothic trend that's all over the magazines and AW13 catwalks. 

I have fair skin - MAC NC15 to be precise - and I've found a plum lip works best with a flawless, dewy complexion and simple eye make-up. Just because you have pale skin doesn't mean you can't wear a dark lip so for that reason here are my favourite plum lipsticks for fair skin tones:
From L-R: Topshop Lipstick in Beguiled, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain in Crush, Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie, Topshop Lipstick in Inhibition, Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Mulberry

 I have amassed a mixture of plum lipsticks from subtle berry tones to vampy blackberry shades over the years and the lipsticks above are all very different in both colour and texture.

Lip swatches:
From top to bottom:
Topshop Lipstick in Beguiled
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain in Crush
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie
Topshop Lipstick in Inhibition
Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Mulberry

I've applied all the shades above on my lips so you can see what they look like on pale skin like mine.


Topshop's lipstick range consists of mainly matte shades and Beguiled is no different. It's the first Topshop lipstick I own and I found it to be very drying. It settled into cracks in my lips if I didn't exfoliate and moisturise them properly beforehand. However I was very pleased with the shade of Beguiled - I found it to be a very flattering berry coloured lipstick that worked well on my NC15 skintone. I haven't tried it with gloss as suggested but that's something I'll definitely look into doing next time.

Topshop Beguiled on fair skin:

Topshop beguiled before and after:



I picked up my first Just Bitten lip stain from the acclaimed Revlon range after my blogger pal Avia (The Sparkleicious on YT) recommended them to me. I've been really impressed with these and I'm definitely glad I invested in one. They're really easy to apply and they feel very soft, but the best part is that the stain literally lasts all day. I apply it in the morning and I still have a berry stained pout by lunchtime! Crush is a particularly pigmented shade though, so sometimes I prefer to use a lip brush and layer up the colour to prevent making mistakes. 

Revlon Crush on fair skin:

Revlon Crush before and after:


I picked up this Revlon Lip Butter back in August after I gave into the blogger hype! The Lip Butters are lovely and moisturising and make your lips feel really soft but they don't have the stain element of the Just Bitten balms. It's a very subtle wash of berry stained colour that would suit really fair skin tones and is a great way to jump on the plum lips trend in a more wearable shade.

Revlon Berry Smoothie on fair skin:

Revlon Berry Smoothie before and after:



Like Beguiled (above), Topshop's Lipstick in Inhibition is a matte formula that can be very drying if you don't moisturise your lips beforehand. It looks very similar to Beguiled in the tube but it's actually very different. Beguiled is a berry shade whereas Inhibition - described as Dark Plum on the website - appears more purple on the lips. If you like a really in-your-face plum lip, Inhibition is more for you.

Topshop Inhibition on fair skin:

Topshop Inhibition before and after:



The final plum lipstick in my collection is Sleek's True Colour Lipstick in Mulberry, which is my first and only lipstick from the Sleek lipstick collection. Mulberry is a matte finish but as it's enriched with Vitamin E, it's not as drying as the Topshop lipsticks. Mulberry is the darkest lipstick I own, in fact I would describe it as an intense blackberry shade. I find the best way to apply this is to layer it up very gradually with a lip brush as slapping it on straight from the tube is too harsh on pale skintones. 

Sleek Mulberry on fair skin:

Sleek Mulberry before and after:

Which is my favourite plum lipstick?

I can't pick one! I really liked Topshop's lipstick in Beguiled as it's a flattering berry shade that's ideal for a day at the office or a night out or the town.

But I also really like Revlon's Just Bitten Lip Stain in Charm as the colour lasts all day and it's easy to layer it up from a subtle wash to a more intense plum shade.

Are you fair-skinned like me? What's your favourite plum lipstick?

Let me know in the comments or tell me over on Twitter :-)

Love,

Sophia

xo

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sally's Beauty Supplies AW12 haul - OPI, Seche and Deep Conditioner Packets

Hey loves :-)

Happy Saturday! I hope you've got a nice chilled out weekend planned.

Recently I took a trip to Sally's Beauty Supplies in Soho and picked up a couple of beauty treats. Here's what I bought...
Clockwise from L-R: Dear OPI, I Love You Duo #3 gift set, Seche Restore, Olive Oil Replenishing Pack, Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Deep Conditioning Protein Pack, OPI Let's Seal The Deal gift set

Dear OPI, I Love You Duo #3 gift set - £15.41
I picked up this OPI duo set because I find their nail polishes to just be outstanding quality - and it had a free pen! An Affair in Red Square (right) is a metallic, festive red perfect for Christmas parties and Lincoln Park After Dark (right) is just the darkest, richest burgundy. I like to wear it to add a touch of gothic glamour to any outfit, and I use OPI Nail Envy (Original) as a base coat to protect the nail and make the colour last.

OPI Let's Seal The Deal gift set - £15.49
I've been using OPI Nail Envy (Original) for YEARS and I've always wanted to try OPI's RapiDry Top Coat so I figured I'd pick it up as it was free with the Nail Envy. Nail Envy is great just to paint a clear layer onto your nails as it not only makes them look clean and tidy - it also strengthens them.

Seche Restore - £7.49
I bought this to restore my beloved Seche Vite Top Coat which has turned into a gloopy mess! I'll let you know if it works ;-)

Deep conditioner packets - £1.66 and 96p each
If you've read my blog for a whole you'll know that I am obsessed with intensive hair conditioners! Solely a shampoo and conditioner just doesn't cut it for me and I have to use something extra to give it that shine. I picked up the Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Deep Conditioning Protein Pack (£1.66) as I LOVE the coconut scent - it reminds me of holidays! - and I also bought the Olive Oil Replenishing Pack (96p) as I've heard olive oil is great for adding shine!

Have you visited Sally's Beauty Supplies recently? What do I need to pick up?


Let me know in the comments!

Love,

Sophia

xo






Sunday, 25 November 2012

October empties!

Hey loves!
I hope you've had a great day :-)
I didn't use up a lot of products last month but I did finish a couple! Here they are:

Face:

Johnson's gentle eye make-up remover pads
I was actually really impressed with these. I didn't get on with them at first as I felt the pads were a little dry but actually I kept reaching for them and they did a pretty good job of removing my eye make-up!
Soap and Glory Supercat carbon black eyeliner pen
I've spoken about my love for this product before and it shows no sign of stopping. It's honestly just the easiest liquid eyeliner to use. It's a felt tip pen and it's a breeze to apply, I could literally do a winged eyeliner in 30 secs with this. I will be repurchasing!
Superdrug double faced cotton pads
No surprises that I've finished using these as I use them for pretty much everything, from applying my toner to removing my nail varnish. A make-up bag staple!

Hair:

Charles Worthington expert volume spray
I've used this product for many years and I absolutely swear by it to give me really voluminous roots. I just spritz a little on my towel dried hair it makes it look massive! I would definitely repurchase.
Dove Intensive Repair regenerating mask
I love Dove's Express Treatment Conditioners already but I've found these too which I really like. I use an intensive conditioning mask pretty much every time I wash my hair and this is just great at making my locks feel soft and healthy.

Hands and body:

Wilko sweet vanilla & honey shower smoothie
I wasn't that impressed with this body scrub if I'm honest as the grains didn't scrub my skin well enough. The smell was nice, but I prefer the Treacle Moon ones which are dead cheap AND work really well.
Carex aloe vera hand gel
I pop this in my handbag for those public loo moments / nights out and I just really love the scent, it's so refreshing.

Nails:

Boots essentials nail polish remover
This does what it says on the tin, but it does so pretty well and for a decent price.

Home:

IKEA vanilla candle
I'm just obsessed with candles at the moment and these IKEA ones are great for the price!

What did you use up this month?

Let me know!
Love,
Sophia
xl


 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Weekend OOTN, FOTN and NOTN: How I styled my leather skater skirt

Hey loves!

I hope you had a great weekend and a not too shabby Monday :-)

At the weekend, I went out to a bar in Chelsea with a few friends and I wore a leather skater skirt similar to the stars below.
Kim Kardashian. Demi Lovato, Ashley Tisdale and Lucy Hale in leather skater skirts

The celebrities above have all styled their leather skater skirts differently, with Kim opting for a smart black blouse, Demi choosing a studded bracket, Ashley wearing a striped jumper and Lucy wearing a floral top.

Here's how I styled mine...

OOTN:
Black shoe boots - Missguided.co.uk (see blog post)
Burgundy clutch - Dorothy Perkins (see blog post)

I added a little - with little being the operative word lol - colour with a burgundy clutch and plum lips. What can I say, it's nearly winter and I'm not really a 'colour' person at this time of year haha.

FOTN:
FACE:
Aldi Lacura Shimmering Day Cream as primer, YSL Touche Eclat #1 under eyes, Benefit Boi-ing #2 on blemishes, Benefit Some Kind-a Gorgeous Foundation Faker #2, Benefit Dallas bronzer, Benefit Coralista blush, Benefit High Beam highlight.

EYES:
MAC Painterly Paint Pot to prime, Urban Decay NAKED Palette - Buck and Smog shades [applied with Cosmopolitan Eye Blending Brush], Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid eyeliner (black), Avon Color Trend Kajal Stick on waterline, 2 coats of Benefit They're Real Mascara.

EYEBROWS:

LIPS:
Carmex lipbalm to prime, Topshop Lipstick in Inhibition.

I wore my new plum lipstick from Topshop, which I was really impressed with. I did find it clung to dry bits on my lips though so a good lip balm beforehand is a MUST! Recently, I blogged about Topshop's lipstick in Beguiled which I would recommend to you if you're looking for a more berry toned lipstick.

Me wearing Topshop's Lipstick in Inhibition:

NOTN:

OPI - Lincoln Park After Dark

I had this shade painted on my nails when I got them done recently at MW Nails in Spitalfields and I've just been obsessed with it since. It's a gorgeous, dark burgundy that looks very vampy and gothic on the nails. I love it!

How would you style a leather skater skirt?

Let me know!

Love,

Sophia

xo



 

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

September empties: Avon, Sanctuary, Lush, Botanics, L'Oreal, Dove, Moroccanoil

Hey loves :-)

I hope you're having a great day - and Hallowe'en!

As we're nearing the end of the month, I figured it's about time I do my September empties. Haha! Here's what I used up last month...


Skincare:
  • Superdrug 100% Cotton Double Faced Pads - I use these on a daily basis, from removing my nail polish to applying cleanser/toner. I have to use the double faced ones as the others are too thin and just fall apart! 
  • Avon Clearskin Blackhead Clearing Daily Astrigent - This is a really strong, alcoholic toner that removes all the dirt and grime from your skin. It does skin a little, but it's just so effective - I've already ordered another bottle!
  • Avon Clearskin Professional Clarifying Toner Pads - Another Avon favourite, these are so handy for toning your skin after you've washed it. They're very mild, so the astrigent (above) is better for problem skin.
  • Freederm Gel - This is the best spot cream on the market, hands down! It stings when you apply it, but to me that's a sign that it's working. I've already got another tube ready for any breakouts! 
  • Sanctuary Spa Fresh Faced Purifying Wash - I got this as part of a gift set in the January sales a couple of years back, but I've only got around to using it. It's nice and mild, and smells lovely, so it's perfect for giving your face a good clean in the morning!
  • Superdrug Skin Rescue Illuminating Raspberry Face Mask - I used this face mask after I'd run my 10k and my skin needed a little pick me up. It looked amazing afterwards and it was so easy to use.
  • Lush Mask of Magnaminty Face and Back Pack - I picked this up in my Lush skincare haul and I was pretty impressed with it actually. It contains tiny beads that are ideal for gentle exfoliation, and it can be used on your body too. I didn't like the mint smell, though :-( 
  • Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Make Up Remover - I've raved about this product before, even going so far as to call it 'The Eye Makeup Remover of all Eye Makeup Removers', but sadly the new product formulation just doesn't cut it. It's really greasy and just doesn't remove all my eye makeup like it used to. I'm gutted, because it used to be my HG eye makeup remover :-(

Body:
  • Johnson's Baby Skincare Wipes - As featured in my Top 10 September beauty favourites, these baby wipes are just bloody amazing and it's no wonder I've run out!
  • Sanex 0% Shower Gel - A lovely, sensitive shower gel that I would re-purchase again and again!
  • Sure Sensitive Maximum Protection Deodorant - I saw this deo doing the rounds on a couple of blogs recently, and I have to say I'm a total convert! It works brilliantly - you pop it on in the morning and it literally lasts all day. 

Hair:
  • L'Oreal Elnett Very Volume Supreme Hold Hairspray - I've probably said it on my blog hundreds of times, but this really is my HG mascara! I spray a tiny amount in my hair and it leaves it looking shiny and volumised - and it holds my hair in place all night. I've used it for years and I've always been so impressed with it, I've even got a mini one in my handbag!
  • Dove Intensive Repair Express Treatment Conditioner - I included the Colour Radiance version of this in my August empties post, and now I've used up another bottle! I just find these express conditioners so bloomin' handy, you only need to leave them on for a couple of minutes - after you've applied shampoo and conditioner - and it leaves your hair feeling so soft and silky. Would definitely recommend!
  • Leo Bancroft Ultimately Intense Deep Moisture Mask - Another amazing intensive conditioner, this one from Leo Bancroft smells lovely and you only need to leave it on for a couple of minutes as well. You can check out my full review of the range here.
  • Dove Colour Radiance Conditioner - I tested the Dove Colour Radiance range for work, and I was honestly really impressed with the whole range. Dove have really outdone themselves with their haircare range this year!
  • Moroccanoil Luminous Hold Hairspray - I received this mini hairspray as part of a bigger giftset for Christmas last year, and I've only just finished it this month! It's perfect for popping in your handbag to spritz on your hair throughout the day. It left my hair looking lovely and glistening. 

Dental:
  • Oral B Pulsar 40 Toothbrush - I swear by these toothbrushes, which are a hybrid of an electric and manual toothbrush, for brushing my gnashers! I always try and pick them up when they're on offer as they're quite expensive at £6 a pop - but worth every penny in my opinion.
  • Colgate Plax Whitening Antibacterial Mouthwash - I love the taste of this! It's got a really mild, minty taste (I don't like the taste of mint lol)
  • Pearl Drops Daily Whitening Mouthwash - A new addition on the market, I noticed my teeth looked whiter after using this. Love!
So there's the products I used up last month, let me know if you have any questions by dropping me a line over on Twitter :-)

What did you use up this month?

Love,

Sophia

xo

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Top 10 September beauty favourites

Hey ladies!
I hope you've all had a great day :-)
Today I will be writing my first 'favourites' post, so here's what I was loving in September...
(In no particular order)
 

1) OPI Original Nail Envy

I blogged about this product when I bought it last year, and I haven't stopped using it since. I use it as a base coat, simply applying a thin layer to my nails before I paint them. It dries so quickly and is so effective at making nail colours last. I must've re-purchased this about five times!

2) MAC Fix+

I'm absolutely ADDICTED to this! I've used it for about 18 months since I bought it in a haul at Westfield and I have a travel sized version which I keep in my handbag and a full sized version which I keep at home. I know some bloggers have a love/hate relationship with Fix+, and I admit I was a bit sceptical at first, but I use it every time I apply make-up now and I couldn't be without it. I spritz it on my face to moisten my skin before I put my make-up on, I use it to set my make-up, I use it to refresh my skin, I spray a little on an old mascara wand and use it to tame my eyebrows - sometimes I even use it on my hair!

3) Johnson's Baby Skincare Wipes

These are an absolute essential for me. They're not wet enough to remove make-up sadly but they're fab for a quick refresh. I get mine from Poundland and they're just something I will always re-puchase and have used loads this month.

4) E.L.F. Studio Stipple Brush

I bought this in my first ELF haul a couple of years ago, but I've recently found a new use for it. After I've applied foundation with my fingers - normally Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect, below - I spritz a little Fix+ on this brush and use it to blend my foundation in, and I find it leaves my skin with a really dewy, refreshed look. It's such a bargain for just a couple of quid as well.

5) NARS Blush & Bronzer Trio in Orgasm, Laguna and Albatross

I've had this for a couple of months, after my other half treated me to it from Selfridges, and again it's something I've used pretty much every day without fail since then. It's just so bloomin' handy - it's got three best-selling, flattering shades in one handy palette, and a mirror! I start by brushing Laguna (right) on my cheekbones with an ELF Studio Complexion Brush, then add a little Orgasm (left) to the apples of my cheeks with Cosmopolitan's Blush brush, before adding Albatross (center) to my nose, upper cheek and brow bone. It's worth every penny in my opinion.

6) L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

You might remember that I posted about this on my Instagram account last month, after I got it free with Marie Claire. Well it's not the first time I've used this and trust me when I tell you it won't be the last! It smells delicious, absorbs quickly and leaves my hands feeling soft and silky. I can definitely say it lives up to the hype - and the travel size version is perfect for keeping by your desk at work.

7) Avon Planet Spa Dead Sea Minerals Facial Mud Mask

I've long been a loyal Avon fan and this face mask from its Planet Spa range is something I've turned to a lot this month. My skin reacts really well to mud masks as they absorb the excess oil, and I find this one in particular leaves my face feeling like all the rubbish has been drawn out from my skin and it leaves it feeling really lovely, like it's had a proper cleanse. I would recommend this to those with oily skin, without a doubt.

8) HD Brows Palette in Vamp

I recently got my brows done at the HD Brow Bar in Harley Street, and I've been using this kit to maintain them. Now one thing I would say is that the shade I have, Vamp, is slightly too dark for my complexion. But, even saying that, I've been using this a lot this month. I use a MAC 188 angled brush to apply the product (usually bottom left as bottom right is too reddy) and outline my brows and then fill them in. I set them with a little Fix+ sprayed onto an old mascara wand and I use them as eyeshadows too. They're just some of the best quality I have ever come across, they're so pigmented you only need a tiny bit and the colour lasts all day. The palette is quite expensive but it's worth it in my opinion.

9) Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie

I reviewed this recently on my blog, and I've been using it a lot since then. It's perfect for a glossy, on-trend plum lip, that's also really soft and moisturising. I like to wear it when I want a pop of colour, and do you know the best bit? You don't need a mirror! It lasts a good couple of hours before you need to re-apply as well. I would definitely recommend buying one of these for autumn :-)

10) Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation in 52 Rose Clair

Finally, I've been using this foundation almost every day in September. I apply it with my fingers and blend it with Fix+ sprayed onto an ELF Stipple Brush, and it just leaves my skin with a fresh, dewy finish which I love. It's a medium coverage foundation that still needs a little concealer for blemishes, but I'm really happy with it and it's never left me with dodgy looking skin since I bought it a few years ago.
Let me know what you think of my first ever favourites post, and link me to your favourites posts as I love reading them!

What's been your favourite beauty product this month?

Love,
Sophia
xo



 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Benefit They're Real Mascara review, pics and FOTD: Is it worth buying?

Hey lovelies :-)

I hope you're having a great Thursday, nearly the weekend - yay!

Recently, I bought Benefit's They're Real mascara on Buyapowa. I don't know about you guys, but I'm always checking Buyapowa for potential beauty bargains and a couple of months ago spotted this mascara on offer. Being the UK's best selling mascara and all, I simply had to find out what all the fuss was about ;-)
They're Real claims to lengthen, curl, volumise, lift and separate lashes. Who doesn't like the sound of that?! The brush is specially designed with bristles at the end so that you can get right into the corner of your lashes.

The brush is really simple to use and thinner im width than Benefit's Bad Gal mascara, which I also own - and love!

I simply applied 2 coats of They're Real, with no other eye make-up, and look what a difference it made to my lashes...

Before applying Benefit They're Real Mascara:
After applying Benefit They're Real Mascara:
As you can see, They're Real made a HUGE difference to my lashes! They are practically non-existent in the 'before' picture, and afterwards they look really long, curled and defined. It doesn't make them look as volumised as I'd have hoped, but then that's more what Bad Gal is designed for - which is currently on offer on Buyapowa.

They're Real doesn't leave you with flaky bits of mascara under your eye and it comes off easily with make up wipes. I've used it pretty much every day for 1-2 months and I can definitely say it lives up to the hype!

It's available for £18.50 on the Benefit website, but definitely check out websites such as Buyapowa and you may get it cheaper, like I did :)


FOTD featuring They're Real mascara:
FACE: MAC Fix+, Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat #1, MAC Studio Finish Concealer, Stila Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser (applied with Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge), MAC Blush in Harmony, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Center of the Universe (both applied with MAC 129 Brush).

EYES: MAC Painterly Paint Pot, Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner in Brown, No7 Exceptional Eyes Eyeliner in Brown, Benefit They're Real Mascara.

EYEBROWS: MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Dirty Blonde.

LIPS: MAC Cremesheen Glass in Meteoric.

Have you tried They're Real? Is it your new HG mascara?

Love,

Sophia

xo