Monday, 16 December 2013

Back to MAC: My first experience of recycling my old MAC products for new ones

Hi loves!

I hope you're having a good day and looking forward to the evening ahead.

So I don't know about you, but I am absolutely OBSESSED with MAC make-up. My obsession with the Canadian beauty brand only started a couple of years ago but my collection has expanded hugely.

I find it near enough impossible to go to a MAC counter and not buy anything/come out with swatches all over my hands.

I only heard about the Back to MAC scheme about a year ago and started collecting MAC empties since then. I thought you needed five MAC empties but actually it was six. Here's how it works...

1) Use your MAC products like normal and keep the empty packaging. I stored my empty MAC containers in a small box and ticked off how many products I used up. The rules state you need to have six 'primary plastic containers' in order to qualify for Back to MAC but all my empties so far have been eligible.

My six products were - 2 x Eye Brows (Lingering), 2 x Fix+ (travel size), 1 x Fix+, 1 x Pro eye make-up remover (travel size). Yes - mini sizes do count! Or at least they did in the stores I visited (Covent Garden/Pro in Soho).

2) Swatch until your hearts content! As far as I'm aware, you're only allowed a lipstick in the UK but I think in the States you can get a single eyeshadow instead.

I didn't really go in with a certain lipstick in mind to get. I knew I wanted to swatch Ruby Woo, Impassioned and a couple of others but I wasn't set on them.

3) Choose your lipstick! In the end I went for the Cremesheen Lipstick in Hang-up, which is a deep berry shade - perfect for AW13. The first store I visited (Covent Garden) didn't have Hang-up in stock annoyingly as I swatched it and fell in love with it. I went into the Pro store in Soho the next day and they had it in stock, thank God! I simply took my lipstick to the till and they sorted out the recycling.

4) Use your free lipstick! It's as simple as that. They took away the packaging for Hang-up lipstick (not sure why, must be one of the rules of Back to MAC) but I still got the lipstick brand-new and most importantly, FREE! Here's how it looked on a night out IRL:

My verdict on Back to MAC

I think it's pretty amazing actually! You get a free lipstick for using up products you would do anyway. I was also really happy to find that travel-sized products count as I buy a lot of those. It's a shame you don't get to keep the packaging for the new lipstick but it's still full-sized and un-used. It's definitely made me want to use up my MAC quicker!

Have you used Back to MAC before? What was your experience like? What did you get?

Love,

Sophia

xo

 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Weekend OOTN, FOTN and HOTN: Leather and lace plus the plum lips trend

Hi loves,

I hope you are all well and looking forward to the weekend if you have it off!

This weekend I went out into town and here's what I wore. Usually I plan my outfits in advance but this was a pretty last minute thing so I literally just grabbed a few things from my wardrobe and got changed before I left the house.

OOTN:

Lace top - New Look (new season)

Black belt - H&M (old)

Leather shorts - Next (past season)

I absolutely love lace at this time of year so I tend to buy a lot of it. This lace tee could be worn with a tank top underneath for work wear or with just a bra for a night out. These leather shorts have lasted me well and work to add a touch of glamour to any look.

FOTN:

Face - Benefit That Gal to prime, YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch, Benefit Boi-ing Concealer, Estée Lauder Doublewear Light Foundation, Benefit Dallas Bronzer, Benefit Coralista Blush, Benefit High Beam.

Eyes - Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Urban Decay Naked Palette (Naked, Buck, Cork in the crease), L'Oreal Perfect Slim Superliner on top lid, Avon Color Trend Kajal Stick on lower waterline, Benefit They're Real mascara.

Brows - MAC Charcoal Brown eyeshadow applied with MAC 189 Brush

Lips - LUSH Bubblegum lip scrub, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Protectant to prime, Revlon Kissable Lip Stain in Crush.

HOTN:

Prep - none (hair was freshly washed that morning)

Curls - GHD Original Styler

Hold - L'Oreal Paris Very Volume Supreme Hold Hairspray

What did you wear out this weekend?

Let me know in the comments or tell me on Twitter now!

Love,

Sophia

xo

 

Monday, 7 October 2013

Birthday 2013: Beauty presents!

Hey peoples!
How is it Monday again?! I hope you've had an amazing weekend :-)
Now I love reading these kinds of posts so I hope you'll enjoy mine. Here's what I got for my birthday... YAY!
The Sanctuary Spa Me Time Spa Treats
I've never actually visited the Sanctuary Spa *hint* but I am in love with their beauty products! This is such a cute little gift set and contains minis, perfect for travelling - which I do, A LOT of.
Lauren Conrad - Beauty book
I've always had a girl crush on LC- I love pretty much everything about her! That also includes our mutual disdain for Stephanie Pratt. I can't wait to find out her beauty secrets and I'm going to buy her Style book next.
Real Techniques Starter Kit (Eyes)
I've already got the Core Collection and I bloody love it so I'm trying to build up my Real Techniques collection at the moment! They're so cheap and easily available but amazing quality.
Yankee Candle Waikiki Melon
There's nothing I love more than cosying up at the end of a long day with the Made in Chelsea box set and a scented candle. Yankee Candle Pink Sands and Clean Cotton are my fave scents but I thought it was time to try something new and this smells LOVELY.
Barry M Gelly Shine Nail Paint
I have a couple of these Barry M Nail Paints already and they're really awesome. These pretty pastel shades are right up my street, they're super glossy and last ages as well so it's a win win situation.
MUA Nail Constellation
I like to give my nails a bit of TLC (usually on a Friday night!) so I can't wait to settle in and give this a go! Has anyone tried it? Is it easy to use?
They're the main presents I got for my bday, what are you lot asking for this year?!
Love,
Sophia
xo

 

Friday, 4 October 2013

Summer fashion: Birthday outfits from Topshop, Primark, River Island, New Look and Warehouse

Hey ladies!
I hope you're all well and looking forward to autumn. Just a little flashback this morning to some of the summer outfits I wore for my birthday :-)
These are three main outfits I wore for my 23rd birthday. The first I wore out for lunch with friends, the second I wore for a girly meal out and the third I wore for my family party.
Outfit one:
Crop top - Topshop
Maxi skirt - Primark
On the day before my birthday, I went to a lovely pub called The Hornbrook with three of my friends. I wore this loose, casual outfit as I didn't want anything too tight when we were going out to eat! You can probably tell I had to roll up the skirt as I'm a short ass and it was too long... *sigh*
Outfit two:

Red cami top - Topshop
Skirt - River Island
Heels - New Look
Nude bag - River Island
On the night of my birthday, I went out for a dinner at a restaurant called The Comodor with some of my best friends. I went absolutely mental for Aztec / tribal print during the summer, as seen here! I also wore these little Topshop cami tops religiously as they were super flattering. I love those New Look strappy heels too, they're so versatile.
Outfit three:
Dress - Warehouse
Belt - H&M
My final outfit was a floral summer dress that I wore for my family birthday party. I picked this up on a whim from ASOS as it was half price - I wouldn't normally fork out for Warehouse otherwise. But I just fell in love with it, it was so flattering! I'm also a sucker for ditsy florals so that definitely helped. I cinched it in at the waist with a skinny white belt and added a tomato red lip to complement the red flowers in the dress.
Do you make an extra special effort with your birthday?
Let me know in the comments!
Love,
Sophia
xo

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

September 2013 empties: Avene, Caudalie, Bioderma, Moroccanoil, Aussie, Sanctuary Spa

Hey loves!
I hope you're well and having a lovely day :-)
Continuing with my attempt to catch up on empties posts, here are the products I used up in September...
Skincare:

Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Make-up Remover
I must sound like a broken record here because this ALWAYS features in my empties posts but that's because I seriously get through so much of this. Hands down, best drugstore eye make-up remover on the market.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
This is pretty over-hyped in my opinion. It smells nice but I don't really feel like it's doing anything to my skin. I prefer to use MAC Fix+ or the Avene water spray - they're both cheaper and do the same time thing.
Avene Cleanance Toner
I actually really liked this! I would definitely say the Avene Cleanance range helped to clear up my skin when I had a breakout. I know a lot of people don't use toner but I do find it makes a big difference and my skin gets really grimy if I don't use it.
Bioderma Sebium Micellar Water
This is specially formulated for oily skin but I wouldn't say it felt any different to the regular Bioderma at all. My fave micellar water so far is still the Caudalie one though.
Avene Eau Thermale Spring Water
Loved this in the summer! It gave my skin a quick refresh when it needed it and made it look more awake and dewy. Would definitely recommend you investing in one of these for your handbag.

Haircare:
Creightons Sunshine Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner
Another repeat empties post offender, I swear by this to keep my locks bright and blonde in the summer.
Moroccanoil Oil Treatment
I know people rave about this stuff but I can't say it made a huge difference to my hair this time. I prefer the Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum.
Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends Intensive Conditioner
I wasn't expecting to like this but I actually really did! It makes your hair really soft and silky. I'm using the Bee Honey one at the moment and I love the scent of that too.
TRESemme Restructuring Deep Conditioner
Another one of my all-time faves, this is perfect for a real, deep condition. I like to use it when my hair hasn't been washed for a few days and it could do with a thorough cleanse.
Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Colour Deep Treatment
I normally use the Aussie Luscious Long 3 Minute Miracle but they were out of stock of that so I picked this up instead. I can't say it made much of a difference to the colour of my hair so I'll be sticking to LL in future!
Bodycare and other:
Sanctuary Spa Body Scrub
I absolutely adore Sanctuary Spa products! I love the scent and find using the products so blissful and relaxing. I really want to visit the spa in Covent Garden too.
Kim Kardashian - Gold fragrance
I am pretty biased as I'm the biggest Kim K fan but I love this fragrance! I prefer it to her first one... Yes, I have them both. Give it a whiff when you're next in Debenhams.
What did you use up this month?
Love,
Sophia
xo

 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

August 2013 empties: No7, Soap and Glory, Cocoa Brown, L'Oreal, Bourjois, Avene, Aussie

Hey loves!
So as you can see, I'm well behind on my empties posts! I have photos for August and September, I need to take October's then I'll be up to date... Phew. Here are the products I used up in August.
Bodycare:
No7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Body Exfoliator
I used this pre-tanning to give my knees, feet, hands and elbows a good scrub before covering myself in moisturiser. I loved the sand-like texture and it also helped to reduce the keratosis on my arms as well.
Jergens Naturals Aloe Soothing Body Moisturiser
I like to use a thick body butter on the tougher areas of my skin, but I used this on my calves, thighs, stomach, arms and boobs. The texture was really soft and silky and a little went a long way. I would definitely recommend it.
Soap & Glory Girligo Body Moisturiser Spray
I used this moisturiser spray when I was feeling lazy! It was really simple and easy to use and only took about a minute to moisturise my whole body with it.
Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan
I'm an absolute tan fiend and must have about 30 bottles of wash off tans, gradual tans and overnight tans from brands as cheap as St Moritz to as expensive as Vita Liberata and St Tropez. I have to be completely honest though when I say I have found my new holy grail tan! I love it so much that my friends, family and friend's family have all been persuaded to get some too. I'm so pushed for time that the one hour aspect of it really appealed to me. You apply the tinted mousse all over your body with a mitt, leave it on for an hour (I put a dressing gown on and curl my hair in this time) before showering it off. Hello beautiful, natural, golden tan that lasts for days. Go get it from Primark ASAP!
Skincare:
Avene Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water
I've probably gone on about this enough already but I went on a press trip to Avene in the south of France and absolutely fell in love with the brand while I was there. This thermal spring water is ideal for a mid-morning refresh, for setting your make-up or for using a primer. I use it for everything and I couldn't be without it.
Botanics Microdermabrasion Face Scrub
I try and scrub my face twice a week but I've been a bit slack with it recently. It definitely helps give my skin a fresh-faced glow and the tiny beads work to give my face a good, deep exfoliation.
Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Make-up Remover
This must be the 100th time I've purchased this -I love it! I've tried high-end ones including Clarins, Clinique and Chanel but this one still works a treat. If you're running low on a higher-end one it's definitely worth giving this a go!
Nivea Essentials Refreshing Toner
I didn't really notice much difference in my skin after using this. I'd recommend the Liz Earle Skin Boost Tonic instead!
La Roche Posay Micellar Solution
I wasn't a fan of this Micellar water at all to be honest. It didn't make my skin feel amazing afterwards like I would have thought it would from the price! I'd recommend the Caudalie Micellar water instead as it's better than any I've tried, including the Bioderma.
Hair:
Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo
I'm not a massive dry shampoo user but when I do need it, I love to use this! It cleans hair while giving it loads of volume. Amazing.
Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance Leave-In Conditioner
This has been a holy grail hair product for me for about ten years now! I use it every time I wash my hair and it leaves it feeling silky smooth and smelling delicious. Would recommend in a heartbeat.
Vo5 Treat Me Right Hair Masque
I picked this up in the bargain aisle of Tesco for about two quid and I blimmin' love it. I spend a bomb on intensive hair masques but this did the job at a quarter of the price. I love the scent of this too!
Make-up:

L'Oreal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim

I have definitely found a holy grail item in this product! I used to swear by the Soap & Glory Supercat liner but this is loads better. It's perfect for creating a cat-eye flick or lining eyes beneath the waterline and lasts all day.

Bourjois Paris 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation

This must be my first EVER foundation empty! I've had this foundation for a couple of years now and it's been my go-to foundation so many times. It only offers medium coverage but it's the finish that sets it apart from the rest. It makes skin look healthy, dewy, AWAKE - very important for my 6am commute!

What did you use up this month?

Love,

Sophia

xo

 

Monday, 2 September 2013

Avene Cleanance review: Skincare for oily/blemish-prone skin

Hey loves,
Hope you're well and had a great weekend!
So I'm not sure exactly why but my skin has been flaring up quite a bit recently - it's probably a combination of stress, poor diet and not having a proper skincare routine.
I decided to try the Avene Cleanance range for oily/blemished skin as that's definitely what mine is at the moment.
I recently went on a press trip to Avene in the south of France where I saw the origins of the skincare brand first hand so I felt like it was a range I really believed in and trusted.
Here's what I've been using from the Avene Cleanance range*:
Avene Cleanance Gel
I've been using this soapless cleanser to wash my face first thing in the morning. It has a pretty mild scent but it really feels like it's getting rid of all the dirt and grime from my face.
Avene Cleanance Toner
I know a lot of people don't use toner, but for me it's an essential step in my skincare regime. This toner is formulated for oily skin so it soaks up excess sebum, evens out your complexion and removes any traces of cleanser. I've found it's definitely helped to clear out my skin and if I don't use it, I get spots.
Avene Thermal Spring Water
I didn't realise how much of a multi-purpose product this was until I actually went to Avene and saw it being used first hand. I like to use it to give my skin a moisture boost after a bath or shower, but before using moisturiser. I also use it to refresh my skin throughout the day.
Avene Cleanance Lotion
The final step in my skincare routine is this moisturising lotion that controls oil throughout the day. I find that my skin gets REALLY shiny and so this really helps to manage that. I would say that I have to use blotting papers at lunch but that's because my skin is excessively oily.
I have been following this skincare regime for about a month now and my skin has definitely got better. I used to get really sore, broken skin on my T-Zone and chin but that's reduced significantly.
I still have whiteheads on my forehand but I think that's because I'm lazy and use Micellar water in the evenings rather than a hot cloth cleanser like I know I should.
If you've got oily, blemished, spot/acne prone skin and you're trying to clear it up, I would definitely recommend this range - let me know how you get on!
What's your skin type and have you found a routine that suits you?
Let me know in the comments!
Love,
Sophia
xo
*PR samples

 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Summer fashion: Weekend outfits from New Look, River Island, H&M, Topshop and Next

Hey ladies!
Hope you're well and having a great August :-) Here are some of the OOTN's I've been rocking this month...

Outfit one:
Dress - River Island
White heels - New Look
White belt - H&M

I instantly fell in love with this dress as soon as I saw it online. I am obsessed with graphic/symmetrical prints this season and this bodycon frock ticked all the boxes. It's almost identical to a Peter Pilotto one that I saw Fergie wear to her baby shower recently. River Island are just on the money with their mini skirts and dresses at the moment! I debated adding a splash of colour to this outfit with coral heels but opted for these bright white New Look ones as they were easier to walk in - ha!

Outfit two:

Blue top - New Look
Neon skirt - River Island
Necklace - New Look
White heels - as before

Another trend I can't get enough of this season is neon. As seen on the Asish runway at London Fashion Week, it instantly brightens up a summer outfit. I've seen a lot of celebrities wearing lime green with cobalt blue so I thought I'd team these pieces together. The neck on the crop top was quite high so I added a statement necklace to balance it out. I wore my white heels again to match the white accent in the necklace but, looking back, they look a bit clunky for this outfit and a daintier shoe might have been more suited.

Outfit three:
Dress - H&M
Cream belt - ASOS
Heels - Next
There's a certain style of dress that suits my body shape and I think this is it. Bodycon, printed, just-above-the-knee... I just can't get enough of it! I know florals come back in year after year but I personally just love them, and I always look forward to the Erdem shows as he loves his floral prints too. In fact, I'm wearing florals right now as I write this blog post! I styled it with classic nude heels to elongate my legs and a matching-coloured belt to cinch in my waist. You might not be able to see in the picture but I added a pop of colour in the form of Revlon's Just Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick to match the pink flowers on the dress.

Outfit four:
Dress - Topshop
White belt - as before
White heels - as before

I picked this up last minute in the Topshop sale because, again, it's just one of those dress styles that you can't go wrong with. Looking back, I wonder if I got it a size too small as it is a bit clingy but I think with theses dresses they need to be tight to suck everything in! I know they're not particularly 'on-trend' as the Herve Leger by Max Azria bandage dresses were a good few years ago now, but the place I was going to, nobody cared what you were wearing so it didn't matter!

Outfit five:
White cami - Topshop
Black shorts - Topshop
White heels - as before
Jewellery - Primark

This was an outfit thrown together at the last minute because the weather was a bit so-so, it had been sunny but it was raining and I didn't know what to wear! I wore one of these Topshop cami topsbecause they go with everything and are super-flattering - I must have like five of these now. I wore it with shorts because it looked a little 'billowy' with a skirt if you know what I mean. I wore my white heels but again I think looking back, a strappy stiletto might have worked better as they look a bit clunky.

What outfits have you been rocking this month?
Let me know in the comments!
Love,
Sophia
xo

Thursday, 8 August 2013

July 2013 empties: Avene, Bioderma, Nivea, Rituals, Benefit, Aussie, L'Oreal, Moroccanoil, John Frieda

Hey ladies!
Hope you're all good :-)
So it seems July was a pretty product-heavy month for me as I have LOADS of empties! Evidence below...
Here's what I used up at the height of summer!
Face:
Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make-up Remover
I know I sound like a broken record but I go back to this eye make-up remover ALL the time! It's cheap, it works, it's available in Boots/Superdrug/Tesco and it's suitable for contact lens wearers. Give it a bash if you haven't already.
Benefit High Beam (sample size)
I was so gutted when this ran out! I used it to create an iridescent glow on my cheek and brow bones and it REALLY worked - it also photographed beautifully. If I wasn't so skint I'd re-purchase the full size in an instant.
Benefit Some Kind-A Gorgeous Foundation Faker
This must be like my 5th/6th one of this stuff and I was really scraping the last few bits out as I didn't want it to run out. I had the shade Medium 02 which was slightly too dark for me during the day but perfect for a night out when I had a bit of fake tan on. As I said I've re-purchased this loads so it must be good - it evens out my complexion, conceals blemishes and makes my skin look really clear. If I didn't have 10+ foundations to use up already I'd definitely re-purchase.
Bioderma Crealine Micellar Water
I have to say, this certainly lives up to the blogger hype! It does remove every trace of make-up and leaves skin feeling squeaky clean afterwards. I'm using the version for oily skin at the moment and I can't see much difference between them so I'd probably buy this one again. I prefer the scent of the Caudalie Micellar water though.
Avene Micellar Lotion*
I admit, I haven't always been a user of Avene products but I'm a complete convert now! I'm using the Cleanance range at the moment and it's great for clearing up my oily skin, but this did a pretty good job at removing all my make-up. I'd say the Bioderma just about beats it as it gets rid of EVERYTHING.
Body:
Nivea Smooth Sensation Moisturiser
I've had this for bloody years but I made a conceited effort to finish it off this month. It's the perfect consistency to use as a base for fake tan so I liked to lather myself in it after a shower. Would defs repurchase but I have hundreds of body moisturisers I need to use up first!
Original Source Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel*
I'm definitely not a morning person but this definitely helped to wake me up at 5am. I'm generally just a massive fan of pink grapefruit - I'm using a pink grapefruit face wash at the moment and I love it also. And the actual fruit of course.
Boots Essentials Nail Polish Remover
Some nail polish removers I've tried in the past are pretty rubbish at doing their job to tell you the truth but this was amazing! A couple of cotton pads and this removed my layers of nail polish nicely, thank you very much.
Rituals T'ai Chi Foaming Shower Gel*
I'm a kid at heart so the foaming aspect of this was rather exciting! I took it on holiday with me and it was perfect for popping in my luggage as it was really light and didn't spill all over my suitcase. Win win.
Hair:
Moroccanoil Moisturising Shampoo
I have to say my hair did feel amazing when I used the Moroccanoil shampoo, conditioner AND Argan oil treatment in unison! The problem I have is that 99% of the year my hair is coloured - either highlights or all-over dye - and so that's my number one hair concern and this doesn't prolong colour. If you don't have coloured hair I'd definitely recommend this though.
L'Oreal Paris Elnett Very Volume Supreme Hold Hairspray
Another broken record and I'm sorry you guys have to hear this all the time but this hairspray truly God's gift. Thick, voluminous glossy locks in an instant - I honestly couldn't be without it and I always buy backups. I suggest you do too.
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Shampoo + Conditioner
I used these on holiday with me and coupled with the sun, my hair did lighten a lot. It just made the blonde highlights really bright and glossy - but not brassy. They are quite expensive though so the Creightons Sunny Blonde ones from Poundland are a pretty good dupe!
TIGI Catwalk Headshot Conditioner
Firstly the smell of this stuff is like Marmite - not literally like Marmite but you'll either love it or you'll hate it. It's so sickly sweet, like candy floss, that it might be too much for some. It's an OK product but it's nothing special - spend your money elsewhere I reckon.
TRESemme Deep Conditioning Treatment
This was pretty good for the price but I did have to leave it on for ages to see any effect. It didn't really have a significant scent - it just smelt creamy if that makes sense? Worth a try if you're obsessed with deep conditioners like me but they're burning a hole in your pocket!
Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Luscious Long Deep Treatment
Another one of my holy grail products, I literally swear by this. It's amazing. I don't even think you need to have long hair to have it! I just squeeze out a handful on wet hair - the squeezy tube is pretty practical - cover my locks in it, comb it through and wash out. I always buy it when it's on offer just to keep in case I run out!
What did you use up this month? Did you find any holy grail products?
Love,
Sophia
x

Friday, 12 July 2013

Holiday beauty: Almeria 2013 - Murad, Aussie, L'Oreal, Rituals, Soltan, Bioderma, Rituals

Hey loves!
I hope you're well and enjoying the heat wave here in the UK :-)
So following on from my holiday fashion and make-up posts, I'll be talking about my holiday beauty routine - from skincare to sun protection and haircare! Exciting stuff...
So here are all the beauty products I took on holiday with me, except for the make-up. No surprise that my suitcase was about 10kg over the limit then, whoops! Sorry Dad...

Skincare:
Murad Essential-C Cleanser*
I started the every day by washing my face with this Murad cleanser. I love the citrus scent of this particular range and the cleanser has tiny beads in it that give your skin a proper good cleanse! I'd definitely recommend it for your hols.

Nivea Daily Essentials Refreshing Toner for Normal & Combination Skin
I picked this up last minute in Superdrug because I needed a toner! I mean it's OK but I'm not particularly loyal to one specific toner - is anyone? - so I might try something different next time.

Murad Essential-C Cleanser*
This is one of my favourite holiday beauty products hands down! My friend at work offered this to me to try and it's seriously amazing. It has SPF30 which is the level of sun protection recommended by dermatologists and it smells of oranges! I also have really oily skin and usually when I apply sun cream on my face it breaks me out, but this didn't at all and I was re-applying it all day.

Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Make-up Remover
I have to say, I ALWAYS come back to this product! I don't often have access to department stores whereas this is available from Boots or Superdrug for like 4 quid. Bargain!

Bioderma Crealine Micellar Water
I picked up this cute travel sized bottle of Bioderma on a press trip to the South of France recently and I'm really impressed with it so far! It works to remove every trace of make-up and leaves my skin feeling really soft and clean. I wouldn't say I've noticed a massive difference in my skin on a long-term scale though - it's still pretty blemished.

Sun Protection:
Murad Essential-C Day Moisture SPF30*
I started the day by applying this to my face and neck as it has a high level of sun protection. As I mentioned, it didn't break me out at all so I carried it in my beach bag and applied it more of it throughout the day. I was REALLY impressed with this!

Soltan Protect & Tan Ultra-Light Texture Suncare Lotion SPF30*
I love to come back off holiday with a golden glow so I did everything in my power to enhance my body's natural tan safely! I spotted this Protect & Tan range at the Boots No7 press day recently and it instantly caught my eye because it enhances your tan. It doesn't have fake tan in it as far as I know but it just brings out the tan you've developed naturally. Also I hardly burnt, except on my chest because it sticks out and burns easily there! But honestly this is great for people like me who like to tan!

Soltan Protect & Tan Ultra-Light Texture Suncare Spray SPF15*

After a couple of days, I switched to a lower factor SPF on my legs and arms but stuck to SPF30 on my face, chest and stomach as those areas burn easily. I didnt find my arms or legs burnt at all with a lower factor as I had a nice, healthy base tan already from the lower factor. However I would say, having tried the lotion and the spray, I would recommend the lotion more as not much product comes out of the spray.


L'Oreal Paris Solar Expertise Tan Prolonging Aftersun Care

This is one of my favourite holiday products OF ALL TIME! I've used it religiously for about five years now when I go on holiday and I wouldn't use anything else. It's an aftersun with gradual tan in it and let me tell you, it really works to make you look amazingly tanned! It also helped to soothe my sunburn and it's an actual dream to apply. I don't think they sell this anymore in Boots but I spotted it in TK Maxx and hauled about five of them - make sure you do the same! But not in my local branch or I may have to kill you! ;-)


Hair and shower:
Rituals T'ai Chi White Lotus & Green Tea Foaming Shower Gel*
I found the foaming aspect of this really fun to apply - loser! - and it took up less space in my suitcase!

John Freida Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Shampoo and Conditioner
I recently had my hair highlighted and I wanted my holiday to bring out the blonde. These products coupled with the sun helped to lighten it a couple of shades by the time I came home. However, I've used the Creightons blonde range from Poundland in the past and I really can't see much difference...

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Luscious Long Deep Treatment
Aussie is one of my fave haircare ranges ever! The scents really lift your spirits and the products really work. I love to give my locks an intensive treatment a couple of times a week and this is definitely one of the top hair masks I've tried. As it says on the bottle, you just leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it out and your hair is silky soft! I like to comb it through before I wash it out to make sure all the strands are covered. I'd recommend this in a flash!

Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance Leave-in Conditioner
Another one of my fave Aussie products - I'd say these two were on a par at the moment! I like to spritz this through towel-dried hair, comb it through and blow dry. They're a great duo if you're new to Aussie products - and I think this may be one of my favourite scents ever. It's the same as the Mega shampoo and conditioner range if you've tried that.

L'Oreal Elnett Satin Very Volume Extra Strength Hairspray
This is hands down, my favourite ever hairspray. Of all time. Ever. I like my hair to look big and voluminous and this just adds so much lift texture, without weighing it down. It also leaves it looking really healthy and glossy. You have to buy this and let me know what you think! I've actually been to a couple of my local Boots and Superdrugs and couldn't find it so I hope it's not discontinued! I would actually die!

Moroccanoil Oil Treatment
I've been using this on and off with the Kerastase Elixir Ultime for a while now but I thought I'd take this on holiday with me as it was more compact. I like to apply it to the ends of my hair when it's about 80 per cent dry. It does make my hair really soft and glossy, but I use so many products I'm never sure which is the one that has worked!

What's your holiday beauty routine?

Let me know in the comments!
Love,
Sophia
xo
*PR samples

 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

June 2013 beauty empties: L'Oreal, Simple Skincare, The Body Shop, Johnson's, Imperial Leather

Hey loves!
Hope you're well and enjoying your summer :-) Here are the beauty products I used up in June - I'm doing well but I still have a squillion un-opened bottles in my room *sigh*

Skincare:

Johnson's Fragrance Free Face Wipes
I went through a phase of using face wipes to remove my make up when really I should have been sensible and used Micellar water or a hot cloth cleanser. When I am lazy and use face wipes, these are one of my favourites as they're nice and moist and remove every trace.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion
I get quite problem skin and I found the tea tree in this helped to soothe it and calm any redness/irritation. Id definitely recommend The Body Shop tea tree range if you have blemish-prone skin like me.
Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make-Up Remover
This is one of my all-time favourite eye make-up removers and it's such a bargain. I would say it's on a par with the Clarins Gentle one which is another one of my faves. Definitely pick one up if you get a chance!
L'Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim
I used to be obsessed with the Rimmel Exaggerate liquid liner, then I loved the Soap & Glory Supercat one, but now I think I've found my holy grail! If you're like me and bloody useless at applying liquid eyeliner then this is for you, it's fool-proof.

Body:

Soltan Protect & Tan SPF30 Lotion*
As you may remember from my holiday beauty blog, I used this up when I travelled to Almeria in Spain with my family. I honestly cannot rave about this enough, it protected my fair skin from the sun but allowed it to develop a natural tan at the same time.
Imperial Leather Japanese Spa Shower Gel*
This lathered up nicely and smelt sweet and creamy - there's not much else to say about a shower gel really, is there?

Hair:

Healthy Sexy Hair Conditioning Treatment*
This was OK but I probably wouldn't re-purchase. Not a lot came out of the tube and I prefer hair masques to be in a pot so I can scoop them out, like the L'Oreal ones.
L'Oreal Elnett Supreme Hold Very Volume Hairspray
As I'm sure you probably know, this is my holy grail hairspray and I go back to it time after time. I also re-purchase these mini bottles whenever I see them because they're not always available! I recommend you do the same...
The Body Shop Rainforest Radiance Detangling Spray
I first started using this a couple of years ago and recently received it as a gift for my birthday and started using it again. I have to say I think it's one of my favourite ever products - it smells great (like blueberry muffins!), leaves hair soft and silky and perhaps most importantly, lasts bloody ages! I'd recommend this in an instant.
What did you use up this month?
Let me know in the comments or send me your links!
Love,
Sophia
xo

*PR samples

 

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Holiday make-up: Almeria 2013

Hey loves!

I hope you've had a great weekend and are enjoying the sunny weather here in the UK!

So it feels like years ago now, but last week I jetted home from my summer holiday to Almeria in Spain.

During the day, I didn't wear any make up and just protected my skin with sun cream. But in the evenings, I changed up my make up look so it was slightly different to what I do normally.

I brought all this make up with me on holiday but in the end I didn't end up using it all!

I didn't want anything too drastic or heavy - just fresh, dewy skin, defined eyes and glossy lips. Here are some of the beauty looks I chose for Almeria and how I achieved them.

As you can see, my skin still shows through the make up which is I what I wanted. The other thing was that it was still quite hot in the evenings and I didn't want it melting off!

I used the same make up pretty much every day without fail - I hadn't planned to, but you know when you just like how it turned out and you want to stick with that? That's what happened!
Face:

MAC Fix+
I used this every day to prep my skin ready for foundation and primer. I just spritzed a little of this onto an ELF Studio Stipple Brush and buffed it into my skin to give it a dewy finish.

Benefit That Gal Brightening Face Primer
I've used this product for years now and I don't think I could ever be away from it! On a good skin day, I could probably get away with wearing this on its own without foundation but my skin is pretty troublesome so I need a lot of coverage at the moment. It really brightens your skin to give it that 'glow from within'!

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer (Fair)
I applied this under my eyes to cover any dark circles but admittedly it was a bit too light once I'd developed a tan. The colour match is much better now I'm home.

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer (Medium)
This is my go-to concealer for spots and blemishes! It's a little dark for me but it blends well and really does cover up everything up. I've found it goes a bit cakey under the eyes though.

Clinique CC Cream (Light) + ELF Studio Stipple Brush
I bought this after I had a makeover at my local Clinique counter at Boots. Unfortunately it's a bit too dark for me on a regular day - the lighter shade was too light! - but it was the perfect shade once I had a tan and I loved the healthy, fresh look it created.

Benefit Powderazzi - Dallas Bronzer and Coralista Blush
I swear by Benefit's Dallas Bronzer for sculpting my cheekbones with the MAC 219 Blush Brush. I also applied Coralista onto the apples of my cheeks with the Cosmpolitan Blusher Brush.

Clinique Up-Lighting Liquid Illuminator (02 Peach)
This is probably one of my all time favourite make up products! It's perfect for creating that 'just got back from holiday golden glow'.

Eyes:
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Original)
I've found this really helps to improve the longevity of my powder and cream eyeshadows so I applied this first all over my eyelids.

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette
I applied Naked all over my lids, Buck on the crease and Smog on the outer corners.

L'Oreal Paris Super Liner Slim
This is a fairly new addition to my make up bag but I bloody love it and wouldn't be without it now - it's perfect for creating a feline flick.

Natural Collection White Eyeliner
I used this on my lower waterline to open up my eyes and make them really pop.

Benefit They're Real Mascara
I ALWAYS come back to this mascara as it creates a false lash effect like nothing I've ever tried.

Custom MAC Palette - Omega and Charcoal Brown
I fill in my brows using MAC eyeshadows and on holiday I used a combination of Omega and Charcoal Brown with a MAC 217 Brush.

Lips:
LUSH Bubblegum Lip Scrub
I always make sure my lips are prepped with this to remove any flaky skin prior to applying lipstick.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Coral Reef
I wore this lipgloss pretty much every day on holiday without fail as it provides a sheer wash of glossy coral colour which I just love.

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Heftiest Hibiscus (left)

I'm a little bit obsessed with this product as it can be built up depending on the coverage you want and it lasts all night.


Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick (right)

I think this glossy pink balm stain went perfectly with the colours in my Boohoo play suit and it made a welcome change from corals and reds which I normally wear.

Other:
Kim Kardashian Gold EDT
I've used up all of my Kim Kardashian EDT so I've moved onto Gold now which was the perfect holiday scent! But then of course I'm a bit biased...
Topshop Nails in New Wave
I was actually really impressed with the longevity of this - it lasted about 10 days even with all the chlorine in the pool etc. I used OPI Rapidry Top Coat to seal the colour.

That's it for today - don't forget to tweet me or leave a comment if you have any requests! :)

What's your holiday make up look?
Love,
Sophia
xo