Sunday, 22 July 2012

Primark summer '12 haul: Work blouses

Hey loves!

I hope you've had a fab weekend :-) how lucky were we with the weather! I even got my legs out for the first time in ages today! 

Recently I nipped into Primark and bought a couple of new tops to wear to work. I wanted something that would be smart, stylish & comfortable, and found these goodies...

Cream collar blouse - £8.00
First up is this gorgeous cream blouse. I have a really similar long-sleeved version actually that I picked up in my Primark winter '11 haul so figured I'd pick up the sleeveless version, too. I love the scalloped collar especially! I like to wear this with either black leather trousers or skinny jeans, teamed with a pair of chic pumps.

Cream floral edge waterfall blouse - £14.00
Next up is this beautiful floral-edged blouse. It looks lovely from the front, but looks even nicer from the back, where it's slightly longer. It goes out a little at the sides which annoys me, but I love the design and the gold buttons. I like to wear this with a pair of bleach-wash skinny jeans and nude accessories.

 Teal embellished collar blouse - £12.00
I also bought this gorgeous teal aztec-style blouse. The intricate beading was what swayed me, it reminds me of Morocco/Sex and the City 2! I just think the colour is so striking as well, and really suits a tanned complexion. I tone down the detail with a pair of simple black skinnies - but sport a pair of neon orange nails to accentuate the orange in the collar.

Cream floral stripe blouse - £12.00
Lastly, I bought this horizontal floral print blouse, which is the only top I bought with sleeves! Usually, I wouldn't opt for horizontal stripes but this is actually quite deceiving as the way the top fits means it's still quite flattering. It's really loose and comfy and I can wear it with either the buttons done all the way up for a smarter look, or undone for a more casual look. I just team it with jeans but it can definitely be worn dressed up or down!

Have you hauled Primark recently? Where do you get your work clothes from?

Let me know!

Love,

Sophia

xo

Friday, 13 July 2012

LUSH haul: My new skincare routine for oily and blemish prone skin

Hey lovelies!

TGIF!!! I hope you've lots of nice things planned for the weekend :-)

Recently my skin has been playing up REALLY badly! :-( it's covered it blemishes and I just can't seem to clear it. I thought, rather than choosing skincare from drugstores like Boots or Superdrug, I'd go au naturel - opting for cruelty-free brand, Lush.
Clockwise from top left: 9-5 Cleansing Lotion, Fresh Farmacy Facial Soap, Tea Tree Water Popular Toner, Mask of Magnaminty Face and Back Pack, Enzymion Facial Moisturiser, Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask


I've overhauled my entire skincare regime, so I've bought all my current skincare from LUSH. I'm a bit anal about things like that, I have to have everything 'matching'! 


Here's what I hauled...


Fresh Farmacy Facial Soap
I'll be using this in the mornings to clean my face. I haven't used a traditional 'soap' to use my face before - normally I opt for gel or cream facial washes. I was drawn to this facial soap as it contains chamomile, lavender and tea tree oil which should help heal my blemishes. It's also really mild so I'm hoping it will help to calm down my problem skin.

I've used this product on and off for a couple of years but I'm hoping it will work better when used in conjunction with other Lush skincare products. Anyone who has oily/blemished skin will know that tea tree is a wonder product for healing the skin. It's an antibacterial and antiseptic oil that should hopefully balance out my face. I'll be using this after Fresh Farmacy to remove any cleanser residue and to refresh my face.

I tried out a couple of moisturisers in the Lush range but this one stood out for me by a mile! Moisturisers have to leave my skin feeling matte as it's SO oily! I hate it when it leaves an oily residue. The thing that drew me to this moisturiser at first was the smell. It smells DELICIOUS, like fresh oranges! I don't know about you, but I love to have nice smelling things on my face :-) Although Enzymiom contains essential oils, it's supposed to be perfect for oily skin like my own. It contains freshly squeezed lemon juice, papaya and cocoa butter. YUM! I'll be using this after Fresh Farmacy and Tea Tree Toner in the mornings and evenings :-)

I bought this to use as a make-up remover. I had my eye on Ultrabland but it looked too thick for my oily skin. According to the woman that worked here, this works as effectively as their popular Ultrabland - it's just a little thinner. It contains Almond Oil (I've heard Miranda Kerr is a fan of this vegan oil) and Fresh Dove Orchid Extract, and is scented with the natural fragrance of honeysuckle and ylang ylang. It's named after the classic Dolly Porton track '9 to 5' which apparently means that this cleanser is ideal for use in a lady's busy schedule! I'll be applying this with a cotton pad in the evenings, and I'll use Tea Tree Toner afterwards.

I try and use a face scrub twice a week, but I admit I'm lazy and I often don't scrub all week! I did have my eye on Ocean Salt, but the consultant said that this would be too harsh for my skin. She advised me to buy this product, which is actually a face mask but can be used as a scrub too. It's said to fight breakouts and return skin to its normal condition. Sounds good to me - I'm always breaking out! As you can probably tell from the name, it contains fresh mint as well. Apparently, the peppermint oil that's used works to stimulate the blood vessels beneath the skin's surface. It also contains honey, ground aduki beans and evening primrose seeds. Hopefully it helps to clear up my skin!

Last but not least, I picked up one of Lush's infamous Fresh Face masks. I actually got this for free as I bought in five empty pots - RESULT! I chose Love Lettuce as it appeared to be an exfoliating mask, which is definitely what my blemished skin needs. This seaweed mask claims to clear away dead skin and brighten the face, whilst gently exfoliating it. It contains honey, almond oil, ground almonds and lavender oil. It smells gorgeous - so fresh and lovely! From what I've used of this, it works amazingly well!!! 

So that's what I've picked up for now! As I mentioned, my skintype is oily/blemish prone so what works for me, may not work for you.

I'll keep you guys posted with how my skin turns out :-)

What are you using on your skin at the moment? Tempted by Lush?

Let me know!

Love,

Sophia

xo

Monday, 9 July 2012

My four favourite: Creamy orange nail varnishes - Rimmel, Nails Inc, GOSH and Bourjois

Hey lovelies!

I hope you've had a great Monday :-D 

I realised recently that I haven't gone on a crazy nail varnish haul for quite a while now. I suppose, having 100+ nail varnishes, I'm likely to have most of the shades under the sun!

So I thought to keep up the nail posts by reviewing my favourite certain shades :-) First up, I thought I'd cover my four favourite creamy orange shades, just because they're the kind of colour I always turn to! Hence why I've got loads of them, lol!
From L-R: Rimmel Lasting Finish Fruities Nail Polish in Apricot Punch, Nails Inc in ATOMIC by Fabulous, GOSH Nail Lacquer in Peachy, Bourjois So Laque! Ultra Shine Nail Polish in Tangerine Fatal

(top without flash, bottom with flash)
From L-R: Rimmel, Nails Inc, GOSH, Bourjois
First up is this bargain shade from Rimmel. Before I mention the colour, I have to mention the scent! I don't know about you guys, but I always end up doing my nails on the train! I usually get funny looks from commuters due to my smelly nail varnish, but this is fab as it smells lovely! Not amazing and fruity - just not that horrible acetone smell! The colour is definitely more peachy toned than the other three shades, but it's a fab, creamy consistency and dries quickly.
I picked up this Nails Inc shade this time last year when they were giving away free nail polishes with Fabulous magazine. I wore this colour LOADS last summer! It's such an intense, bright orange shade and looks lush with a tan. Nails Inc also offer such fab quality that this shade needs just two coats for full opacity and looks so striking!
I have to admit, GOSH offer some of the best nail lacquers on the high street! Honestly, I just can't fault them. They're so thick and creamy and last ages without chipping. I assure you, you won't be disappointed :-) this shade 'peachy' is a lovely peachy, pink shade that translates much brighter on the nail. It's almost like a neon orange, actually! It's such a bargain price as well :-D
This is another shade I've worn absolutely hundreds of times. I just LOVE the glossy finish of these Bourjois nail polishes. They're so shiny, they don't need an added top coat. This is a gorgeous coral-orange shade that needs just two coats for full opacity. They're quite thin in consistency, but that's a plus in my opinion as they dry so quickly! I will definitely re-purchase this when it runs out.

So they're my four favourite creamy orange nail polishes. If I had to choose just one, it would probably have to be GOSH, just because of the amazing quality at a bargain price!

I think next up I'll choose my four favourite coral nail polishes, and then my four favourite creamy red shades :-)

What's your favourite nail varnish brand? Let me know if there's any of my collections that you'd like me to review!

Lotsa love,

Sophia

xo


Sunday, 8 July 2012

A lovely gift: NARS LE Blush & Bronzer Trio in Orgasm, Laguna, Albatross and FOTD!

Hey ladies!

How are you all? I hope you've had a lovely weekend! If yours is anything like mine - it's gone far too quick, right?! It's been non-stop!

Anyways I thought I'd share with you a lovely gift that I received recently. It's the NARS Blush & Bronzing Trio that my other half treated me to for our anniversary. Needless to say I was very happy with my gift! :-D haha. I bought the NARS Blush & Bronzing Duo a couple of years ago, but I lost it, and I was missing my Laguna fix!

Outer packaging:
There's something about the NARS packaging that just screams luxe! To me, NARS is absolutely a luxury, and so I love opening it and seeing the NARS logo. 

Inner packaging:
The inner packaging of the trio is different to the duo. The duo is your standard flip top bronzing case, but this is a zip up material compartment. I actually really love this, it's something a bit different - and very sturdy!

Inner shades:

From L-R: Orgasm, Albatross, Laguna

It features 3 of NARS' most infamous shades - Orgasm blush, Albatross highlight, and Laguna bronzer. You may be interested in reading my Massive ELF haul part 1 - Make-up and FOTD! post, where I compared the NARS Bronzing/Blush duo to the ELF Bronzing/Blush duo. They are remarkably similar! :-)

Swatches:
(top without flash, bottom with flash)
From L-R: Orgasm, Albatross, Laguna

(excuse my hairy arms!) As you can see, Orgasm is a peachy toned pink with gold shimmer.  Albatross is a striking white shade with white shimmer, and Laguna is a tan brown shade with faint gold shimmer.

More swatches:
(top without flash, bottom with flash)


From L-R: Orgasm, Albatross, Laguna


These swatches are more heavy handed, but it shows just how pigmented the products truly are! 

FOTD:

FACE: MAC Fix+, Benefit Boi-ing Concealer (02 Medium), Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Hour Effect Foundation (52 Rose Clair - applied with an ELF Foundation Brush), NARS Blush & Bronzing Trio, MAC Fix+

EYES: Soap & Glory SUPERCAT on top lid, Avon Color Trend Kajal Stick on bottom waterline, CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara. Mac Brow Pencil in Dirty Blonde to fill in brows.

LIPS: NARS LE Lipstick in Mayflower


To me, the quality of these shades are just second to none. Orgasm is so lovely and you need just one swipe on an angled brusher brush for rosy cheeks. Laguna is the perfect bronzer for my NC15 skin. It comes out quite dark, so I find I need to go over it again with a large powder brush to really blend it in. I apply Albatross with my fingers, and wipe a little over my brow bone, bridge of my nose and upper temple. 

You can view the NARS Blush & Bronzer Trio on the NARS website. It retails for £39.00.

Have you tried NARS Orgasm, Albatross or Laguna before? Are you a fan?!

Let me know!

Love,

Sophia

xo


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Weekend OOTN, FOTN and NOTN! A pop of orange...

Hey loves!

I hope you've had a fab day :-)

Just a quickie post tonight about my outfit from over the weekend! I went out for a few drinks with my bessies to celebrate my friend's engagement... Here's what I wore:

OOTN:
Nude blouse - Boohoo
Orange shorts - H&M
Nude clutch - River Island
Nude heels - Next
Rose gold watch - ASOS

I also used the St Tropez Gradual Tanning Mousse on my legs here - I looove it! :-D

FOTN:
FACE: MAC Fix+, Benefit Boi-ing Concealer (02 Medium), Benefit Dallas bronzer, Benefit Girl Meets Pearl as highlight.

EYES: Urban Decay Primer Potion (Original), Sleek Storm Palette - taupe and brown shades, Soap & Glory SUPERCAT felt tip liner on top lid, Avon Color Trend kajal stick on lower waterline, CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara, 2True Glamour lashes.

LIPS: Avon Plump Pout Honey Shades Lipgloss in Pink Nectar.

HAIR: Curled using GHD straighteners and set using L'Oreal Elnett Very Volume Supreme Hold hairspray.

NOTN:
I used the false nails I bought from Savers recently and topped it with this shade from Revlon :-)

Revlon One Perfect Coral Nail Enamel + Elegant Touch Classic French American Bare X-Short

What did you wear at the weekend? Let me know - I'd love to have a read!

Love,

Sophia

xo

Monday, 2 July 2012

Shopping the stash: Sunday make-up shake up and FOTD (+ a sunny weekend OOTD!)

Hey loves!

I hope your Monday wasn't too manic :-) I'm sure it was back to work for most of you, but I hope it wasn't too bad!

So you may remember recently I did a make-up shake up post - it's basically where you go through old items of your make-up to try and find lost make-up loves! Well I did it again recently :-) here's what I used...

FACE:

Clockwise from L-R: ELF Studio Blush in Peachykeen - No7 Concealer Brush - MeMeMe Sunbeam Highlighter - No7 Bronzing Duo - unbranded bronzing brush - Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation - No7 Colour Calming Primer - Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge - MAC Studio Finish Concealer

I started by using my No7 primer, which I used to use all the time but have overlooked recently. It is fab - it just needs a lot of blending so you're not left with green residue! The Rimmel foundation was a bit pants to be honest, and the shade was too dark. I use the MAC concealer often - but I didn't have any other concealers to try! I loved the No7 bronzer, it's lovely and matte and leaves you with a natural, golden glow. I also forgot how much I LOVED the ELF blush, too! They're so pigmented and such great quality.

EYES:
From L-R: Avon SuperExtend Mascara - No7 Eyeshadow Blend & Contour Brush - Cosmopolitan Smokey Eyes Brush - Avon SuperShock Gel Eyeliner - Natural Collection Eyeliner in White - No7 Lip Brush (as eye brush) - No7 Eyeshadow Brush

I didn't use a primer, as I only use one (Urban Decay) so I had none to test. I tried the white eyeliner on my lower waterline, which instantly made me look more awake and 'refreshed'. The Avon gel eyeliner was AMAZING (I've heard it's favoured by the Pixiwoo girls!) - but the Superextend mascara was just OK.

Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes Contour Kit

I used to SWEAR by this palette before the likes of the Sleek Storm/Urban Decay NAKED Palette etc! I love the natural, brown shades in it. I also used the darker brown eyeshadow as a brow shadow, which worked so well! I have never thought to use brown eyeshadow on my brows before :-)

LIPS:
ELF Mineral Lipstick in Nicely Nude - The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick - Lipcote

The lip care stick smells AMAZING! Literally like yummy chocolate. It primes your lips perfectly, ready for lipstick. I also rekindled my love for the ELF lipstick - it feels lovely and moisturising and just looks so natural and flattering on your lips. The Lipcote helped to seal the colour in, too.

FOTD:
I used all the products above :-)

Overall, I'd say I found some forgotten gems - but I also found some make-up I will definitely be getting rid of!

In other news - it was also quite sunny here over the weekend, so I got my legs out! (shock horror!!!)

OOTD:
Mint green vest - Dorothy Perkins
Cream belt - ASOS
Ditsy print culottes - Boohoo

Have you shopped your stash recently? Found any forgotten loves?

Let me know!
Love,

Sophia

xo