Happy New Year

Hi Lovely People,

I just wanted to do a quick post to wish you all a happy new year, I've been blogging for just under a year now, I started this blog up in Feb 2012 and it's been absolutely lovely to be a part of such an amazing community, I love the whole vibe of the Beauty Bloggers community, definitely a bit of a sisterhood and I have all you lovely people to thank for that. I have to say I'm not really a fan of New Years Eve, I'm not hugely into the hype so I will be at home this evening having a glass of wine or two with some friends but I hope you all have an amazing night whatever you're doing and I'll see you all in 2013 :)

Soph xx

200 GFC Follower Giveaway

Hi Guys, 

So, as I finally reached 200 followers recently, I wanted to do a bit of a giveaway for all you lovely people that follow my blog! I wanted to post this up before Christmas but in typical Sophie fashion, work and general Christmas stuff took over, but here it is now as a bit of a new year/post Christmas treat. I'm giving away the following items:

  • OPI Best of the Best Nail Polish Set - 10 mini 3.75ml bottles of polish in the colours Alpine Snow, Bubble Bath, Tickle my France-y, Strawberry Margarita, Cajun Shrimp, Big Apple Red, I'm Not Really a Waitress, You Don’t Know Jacques, Russian Navy, Lincoln Park After Dark

  • iPhone 4/4S Lace & Pearl Case - I have the cream version of this but I'm giving away a pretty pink version. 

  • Lush Creamy Candy Bath Bar - This is my favourite of the Lush Bath Bars, literally smells like sweets - HEAVEN! 

Unfortunately, this giveaway is just for UK & Ireland followers at the minute, but I have a Topshop giveaway lined up for International followers shortly. You must be a GFC follower to win but that's the only mandatory part, Finally, the giveaway will close on the 18th January and I'll be in contact with the lucky winner shortly after.

So, all you need to do to win this stash is enter your details into the Rafflecopter thang below - good luck :) xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I haven’t tried a massive amount of Dermalogica products, I can’t find it any of the stores here and I don’t like buying things completely blind from the Internet so I was quite excited to receive Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant in last months glossy box, and then again in my Selfridges lucky bag, particularly because I’d been on the hunt for an exfoliator, the cold weather is wreaking havoc with my skin and it needed a good old scrub down to get rid of the dry bits. This product is a rice based exfoliator that you mix with water to create a paste and then buff into the skin to exfoliate.  I think the daily  element of this rings true, this is a reasonably light exfoliator that you could definitely get away with using on a daily basis which because it wasn’t what I was initially looking for, I thought I didn’t like it but after using it alongside my Antipodes Rejuvenation exfoliator (review coming shortly) I actually really liked this.

I’d never used a powder to paste type exfoliator before and I quite like it, it’s quite unique and it’s definitely a good selling point, it’s a little bit tricky trying to get your hands wet and then opening the lid without powder flying everywhere and it not being a stressful experience, my tip – open the lid (carefully, because it the powder does try and shoot everywhere!) before you wet your hands to create the paste otherwise you’ll want to cry, like me. You don’t need a massive amount of powder, just a squirt, I then rub this all over my face working it in, it doesn’t have a grainy texture particularly so it feels more like a cleanser but it does work, my face feels nice and soft after using.

Would I buy this again – probably! I like this, I wouldn’t recommend it as a hardcore exfoliator but it’s great to use day to day, it is quite pricey at around £29 for 75g but it does make your skin look and feel lovely.

Have you used this? What are your thoughts?

Soph xx

Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub

I picked up this Lush Popcorn lip scrub a couple of weeks ago, I’d wanted one of these for ages (I actually wanted the bubblegum one but they’d sold out) and I know this popcorn one is hugely popular in the blogging world so I picked this one up instead, it smells lovely, like vanilla and caramel, they also have the Bubblegum lip scrub, a bright pink that smells like bubblegum, surprisingly!! They also have Mint Julips which is a minty version, all of them smell lovely and because they’re made from caster sugar they have a slightly sweet smell which is lovely as well, they’re made from natural ingredients which is good because on the instructions it states that when you’ve finished buffing the scrub into your lips, you should lick the excess off so there’s nothing nasty in there.

This popcorn lip scrub is made up of Caster Sugar, Jojoba Oil, Sea Salt, Polenta, Coconut Oil & Popping Candy – I haven’t experienced the popping candy element yet so it’s not overpowering or anything. I have however, noticed the salt which the first time I used it, really put me off, the sweet sugary taste then a hit of salt wasn’t pleasant, but it’s actually really nice now and just like popcorn – weird, hey?! You can tell it’s got the coconut oil in it as well. It comes in the standard Lush pots, see through pot with a black lid, it’s a handy size as well because it’s small enough to cart around with you in your hand bag if you need too.

I was slightly opposed to buying one of these initially, £5.25 for a small pot of what is essentially sugar and oil seemed crazy but after making up my own concoction in the summer of sugar and oil that sat in a pot in my fridge forever before I had to throw it away because it was looking a bit suss, I decided to stump up for one of these once this ridiculously cold weather hit us! Also, I’ve read reviews where people have said, the price is actually pretty good because it will last you forever, I didn’t really believe them but once you try it, this will actually last me for aaaaages, you only the need the tiniest bit and the pot is jammed full so it is kind of a bargain, plus it’s done absolute wonders for my lips, it just buffs away any dry bits and leaves your lips feeling soft and smooth, I did have to use it a couple of times the first time I used it but now I just need to do it once every couple of days for luscious lips.

Have you guys used these – what are your thoughts?

Soph x

NOTD: Red, White & Blue Gradient

I'm not 100% sold on these nails, I did these a while ago and just found the pictures again but I did these while the Olympics were on and this was at the time, my take on a bit of a British theme but I don't know, it just didn't quite work for me. To do the gradient, I used Barry M's Denim Blue, which is a nice deep blue with a slight shimmer that dries to a matte finish, I then cut up a sponge (29p I think from Wilkinson's and lasts forever!) and painted a little bit of Model's Own Snow white onto the sponge and pressed about 1/2 way up the nail, don't press too hard or you lose the gradient effect! I then did the same with Barry M's Red nail polish, painted onto the sponge and then lightly pressed the sponge onto the tips of my nails and I got this effect, While I'm not entirely sold on this myself, part of me likes it, part of me doesn't, I am a fan of using a sponge for nail art, it makes such a difference, my favourite is a glitter gradient, it just looks awesome when it's done, I'll post some pics up soon of my latest glitter gradient!

What do you think of this?

Soph xx

Fekkai Advanced Salon Technician Color Care Shampoo & Conditioner

Soooo, as you might have guessed, Shampoo and Conditioner is my one of my biggest weaknesses, I have a ridiculous amount stockpiled but when I saw this Fekkai  Advanced  Salon Technician Color Care  with Galanga Root in TK Maxx a couple of months ago, I literally couldn’t hold in my excitement, I’d wanted to try this forever but was never going to pay the dollar that it normally retails at. I got both of these in a 473ml bottle for £23 which is still pricey but way, way less than it normally sells for and the bottles are a good big size and you don’t need a massive amount of the product.
First off, this smells AMAAAZING, it’s got a really fruity, fresh scent that’s heaven, I also like the bottle that it comes in, it’s a frosted plastic bottle with a white plastic lid, it’s just a bit different and looks pretty by the bath, I do however, think that bigger sized bottles like this should come with a pump like the Tigi shampoo’s do, it just makes life so much easier when you’re in the shower than faffing around with a big heavy bottle trying to get the lid open.  The shampoo is targeted at coloured hair and says that:

“This highly protective shampoo with intensive Anti-Fade Color Complex maintains colored hair integrity while fighting fade, reawakening that just-colored shine dimension.”

So, does it work? I have mixed reviews, initially I hated it and was so disappointed I just put it in the cupboard and forgot about it but I tried it again more recently and I love it, I think the thing with this is you only need a small amount of product, I was putting too much on and it was just weighing my hair down and making it feel a bit lank, but using a smaller amount, it makes my hair feel amazing, it leaves it feeling super soft and healthy and looking shiny and glossy, so yeah, my tip with this, is use less product than you normally would, otherwise it just leaves a build up in your hair.

 I also really like saying the word Fekkai for some reason....

Have you guys used any of the Frederic Fekkai shampoos or conditioners before? What are your thoughts?

Soph xx

HAUL: Mini Boots Haul

Thought i'd post up a little Boots haul, I took advantage of the recent Buy One, Get One Half Price across Nails and Makeup, I think it's still on but it's pretty good so check it out! 

Essie - Not Just A Pretty Face - £7.99

I was looking for a full coverage opaque nude and was hoping this Essie polish  - Not Just A Pretty Fave would be it, but it's not quite, it's still quite sheer, 4 coats and I can still see the tips of my nails, but it's quite a pretty peach colour and is nice and neutral for work.

Benefit Boi-ing - £18.50

I'll be doing a full review post on this but I've wanted to try this for a while and picked it up after using it at a Benefit Makeup Masterclass and was really impressed. 

Real Techniques Powder Brush - £12.99

I've wanted this brush for ages, I haven't used it yet but it looks nice and big and fluffy and good for a good sweep of powder over the face, will review it properly and post it up at some point.

L'Oreal The Powder True Match - £8.19

Again, I haven't tried this yet, I'm not really one to wear powder, I like a dewy glowy finish and I find that powder can sometimes make  me look a matte, but I wanted a powder to give me a bit more coverage, I'll let you know what I think of this once I've tried it! 

NOTD: Sparkly Tips w/ Essie Not Just A Pretty Face & Models Own Juicy Jules

A quick NOTD post for you, I saw a girl in my local Topshop with some acrylics with a deep red wine polish with silver glitter tips, it looked so pretty but because I already had Essie’s Not Just A Pretty Face on and had only just put it on, I decided to glitter up my tips on that instead but you will no doubt see a post with a similar design using a deep red colour soon – it looked so pretty and sparkly and great for Christmas. I actually really like this with a nude colour as well and because Not Just A Pretty Face is slightly sheer, it works quite well to cover up the tips (I’m not a huge fan of sheer polishes!) I really like the apricot colour of this polish though so I do still wear it quite a lot! I used Model’s Own Juicy Jules for the tips which has small holo bits of glitter and then used a little bit of OPI Servin’ Up Sparkle over the top which is a mixture between small and chunky glitter! I really like it!
What do you think?
Soph xx

HAUL: Ojon, Gilly Hicks & Amazon

So, over the past week or so, I've been doing a few online purchases, generally I'm not really into buying online, partly because I'm ridiculously impatient and want what I'm buying straight away but also because I like seeing what I'm getting when I get it in store but sometimes there is just too much of a bargain to be had online. Here's what I got: 

I got this in the recent deal with Ojon where you buy any item and get the full sized Damage Reverse set for free (RRP: £34.50 I think!) I'd been wanting to try the Full Detox for a while so I bought that and got the others free, I haven't tried these yet but will be doing a post when I do on what they're like!

I've blogged about this oil before, but I managed to get this in the Black Friday Amazon sale for £8.50, it's the 125ml bottle and they have it on their site for £15.49 which is still quite cheap, my review about this from before is here!

I bought these tracksuit bottoms and the PJ bottoms for about £32 in total from the Gilly Hicks website which is really cheap I thought (both were in the sale), if you haven't heard of Gilly Hicks, it's a sister company of Abercrombie & Fitch. Shipping for the US is a £5 flat rate (which is good considering I paid £4.95 postage on Selfridges this morning) and my package arrived within 5 days and 4 days earlier than stated, will definitely be getting some more bits from there! Both of these are supersoft material and feel like really good quality! 

That's it for now, I've got some more stuff arriving this week so will post it up when it arrives! 

Soph x

Selfridges Lucky Bag

So, I'm a little bit late with this, sorry! But, a few weeks ago, I ordered one of the limited edition Selfridges Lucky Bags, I ordered one as soon as I woke up, thinking they would be like the beauty boxes they did  a few months ago that sold out almost instantly, I checked later on that day and these were still there so I don't think they were quite as popular. To be honest, I was massively disappointed with mine initially, One of my items was a packet of tissues (!!) and another I had already received in my Glossybox that month, so I complained to Selfridges, mainly about my 5th item being some tissues and the fact that it took nearly a week to deliver mine and they ended up giving me a good will gesture of a gift certificate which I think was actually really good of them so I have kind of forgiven them.....I think! 

This James Read Wash Off Tan doesn't really interest me at all to be honest, I'm not really into fake tan, I swatched this on my hand, couldn't really see any colour pay off and it stained my finger where i'd rubbed it in.I quite like the design of the bottle though.

I couldn't believe it when I pulled these out of the bag, it's a bizarre design as well.

I was a bit shocked when I first saw this, the colour is quite out there for me, I'm more of a nude/neutral lip colour kinda gal! But I'd wanted to try Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics for ages, and especially the Lip Tars, I love the packaging, love the colour and love the smell, it's got a kind of minty smell, but it's the kind of minty that reminds me of Aero's rather than toothpaste, will be doing a separate review of this in full with swatches.

I already had one of these in my Glossybox, I've only used it once or twice but I actually quite like it so it's quite handy to have another one, useful for travelling, will put a full review up once I've given this a proper test.

Finally, I got this, which initially I wasn't that fussed about, but I smelt this and it's actually lovely, it's a very strong and quite a herbal scent but it's lovely, I haven't actually tried this yet but I think it would be good as a morning shower gel, it's definitely got a "wake you up" element to it. 

So, that's everything I got, looking at the items now, they're OK, but there no different to what I would get in my Glossybox which is nearly £10 cheaper and I just expected more from Selfridges, I do think it was good of them to give me a gift voucher though and they had a great customer service team which is good to see! 

Did you guys get one of these Lucky Bags? What were yours like? 

Soph xx

HAUL : Boots, Space NK, Paperchase & Lidl

So another Haul post here, I went into town yesterday with the intention of buying a new camera, but I'm so rubbish I came home with some lip balm, a George Foreman grill, a glue gun and some eyeliner and no camera, hey ho, next weekend! So here's what I bought, I also did quite a bit of online shopping this week so I'll do another post with the stuff from that!

I picked this Stag and the little baby deer up in Paperchase - I couldn't resist them, They're meant as Christmas decorations but I think these will be an all year round ornament for me - This was £4.75

This is the the cutest little thing, I think it was£2.50 and I have another one that is all purple glitter...but just look at those tiny little silver glitter hooves - LOVE! 

So, I tested a pen liquid liner in Boots last week and fell in love with it, but my mum needed to go so I had to ditch it and run but I can't for the life of me remember which one it was, I don't think it was this one to be honest so I'm hoping it will be OK - This is the Maybelline Master Precise liner and it was £5.99

I've wanted to try this for so long after reading all the reviews about it but I always forget to buy it when I'm in Space NK but I eventually picked it up, I'll be doing a separate post on this but I already love it, it's £9.50 which does seem pricey but you get a lot of product.

I was waiting for a taxi home yesterday outside of Lidl and they said they were going to be 20 minutes so I decided to have a little look around inside and found this, it's a glue gun which is a little bit random but it was only £8 and it's so useful for crafts and stuff so I'm very happy with this!

And finally, I've heard some quite good things about this so decided to pick it, I think it was £4.99, I'll probably do a separate review on this once I've tried it! 

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend!

Soph xx

Avene Micellar Water

I think I have to be one of the few people that blog about beauty that hasn’t yet tried the Bioderma Micellar water (despite spending a day wondering around Barcelona on a recent holiday trying to hunt some down) but I have been using the Avene Micellar water for the past couple of months and I absolutely love it. Prior to moving onto this cleanser, I have to admit I used to be a bit of a face wipe obsessive, and they just really don’t do anything for your skin, I couldn’t for the life of me work out recently, why my normally perfectly clear skin kept breaking out and since moving to the Avene Micellar water, I now realise that face wipes just don’t give a deep enough clean, especially when I'm constantly trying new make up and putting on and taking off makeup. 
My main reason for using face wipes was how quick and easy they were but to be honest, it’s hardly time consuming putting some of this onto a cotton wool pad and wiping around the face, it’s also strangely satisfying watching all the dirt come off and the cotton wool pads getting cleaner and cleaner. I‘ve always loved Avene products, they’re amazing for my sensitive skin and really work, it’s not the cheapest range but I’d rather pay extra and know what i’m getting and it's not as expensive as some other brands. This comes in a 200ml bottle, which I find tends to last me about 2 months, I really am a little bit in love with this and can’t believe I haven’t used this sooner, my face feels so clean after using this, it’s slightly tacky straight after but once it dries, it feels super clean and baby soft and there's absolutely no irritation with my skin, if anything, it's looking a lot less sensitive and clear.
 You can pick this up in most boots for around £12.50. 
Have you tried this or the Bioderma? What are your thoughts, I'm interested to see if people prefer the Bioderma over this?
Soph x

NOTD: Essie Lovie Dovie Dotty Nails

Hi Guys, 

A super quick NOTD post here for you, I love this look, very girly, very cute, very barbie, it definitely cheers me up with this not very nice weather we're having at the minute. I used Essie's "Lovie Dovie" as the base pink colour, this nail polish is almost identical to Nails Inc "Brompton Place", which is an absolute favourite of mine, but it's a couple of pounds cheaper and I prefer the brushes on the Essie polishes so finding this was a bit of a win for me. I used Models Own "Snow White" to do the dots and topped with Sally Hansen Mega Shine top coat which smooth's down the dots and gives it an even look to the nail.
I will do a separate post on the dotting tools and the different kinds of looks you can get with them but I picked mine up from Amazon for about £2-£3.

The pictures below were taken 2 or 3 days after doing this mani as well so it is starting to chop slightly at the edges....sorry! 

What do you think of this NOTD? 

Soph x

HAUL : Topshop / Primark

Hi Guys,

So, I haven't done one of these post's before but as I spend most Saturdays wondering around my local town buying things I don't really need, I figured it might be good to start posting them up...so here goes!

I know every one went mad for these Geek t-shirts when they first hit Topshop a couple of months ago and I spotted that they were back in yesterday, I love it though, it's nice and baggy and I like the rolled up sleeves, I am a bit of a geek as well so quite apt for me! They had this in a burgundy red or this forest green but they have a really nice Blue colour in the Petite section but it just looked a bit too short for me, this was £18.

Next up are these little shorts, I'm not quite sure what "Cheeky Shorts" are but I'm guessing they're short shorts! But I quite liked the pattern on these, nice and christmassy and they match my duvet cover as well! Win! These were £3 I think from Primark.

Next up are these leggings, they have a kind of cable knit pattern on them and are super soft, I also liked the colour and picked these up for just lounging around the house, these were quite a bargain at £6 I thought, these are from Primark again.

This snood (I love that word) was only £4 from Primark, and as I love anything stripy, I picked it up, the winey red colour also matches my hat but they have a navy and cream version of this as well that I really liked. Again, this feels super soft so it's nice and cosy for winter.

I also got these Baxter jeans for £40 in the hopes that they would be similar to the Jamie or the Leigh jeans but they're not, the ankles on these are huge so just didn't suit me and I also got the wrong length so I just look a bit ridiculous in them, I really like the colour of these jeans though but they will unfortunately going back.

And that's it, surprisingly I didn't get any makeup or beauty stuff today, that's normally the only thing I come back with. 

Do you guys like haul posts? 

Soph xx

Viktor & Rolf Flower Bomb - La Vie en Rose

Arghhhhh, I just updated my Blogger app on my iPhone and have managed to delete the post I'd written about this trying to publish it!! Grrrrr....Aaaanyway, I wanted to put up a post today about Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb La Vie en Rose, I posted recently about the original one (here) but wanted to talk about this one. As a rule, I don't really tend to go for the variations of different fragrances, I tend to normally just like the original ones, but this one was a gift, My mum originally bought this for herself but when she put it on, she thought it was a bit "young" for her, I disagree, I think it's quite a good scent for all ages but hey, I got a free bottle of perfume out of it!

So this is a lighter version of the original Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb and not one I would have gone for myself but I absolutely love it, Initially when you first spray it, it doesn't remind me of the original at all but as the scent starts to settle, you can definitely tell they're similar, this one has quite a strong floral scent and is a little bit fresher smelling than the original Flowerbomb, and you can definitely tell that it has rose in it, which is always a winner for me. This is the Eau de Toilette version so it is a bit of a lighter smell to the other one I have which is an Eau de Parfum and is quite a strong scent and can mean that you have to spray a little bit more throughout the day. I prefer the bottle of this to the original one, it's a much brighter pink, glass bottle and really stands out amongst my other perfume bottles.

You can pick this up in most department stores and is around £42 for a 50ml bottle.

Have you guys tried this one?

Soph xx

Barry M Red Glitter Nail Polish

Another amazingly imaginative Nail Polish name from Barry M here, I'd like you to meet Red Glitter, this has to be one of my all time favourite polishes, I first got this 3 or 4 years ago around Christmas time and now it’s my “go-to” nail polish when I start to get that Christmas feeling, it immediately put's me in the mood, this, Snow Fairy from Lush and Starbuck's Red Cup's IS Christmas to me.
It’s a beautiful red glitter that gives really good coverage and dries slightly matte but goes mega shiny when you put a top coat on it so you can do either look.  It’s so sparkly and pretty as well, It just is Christmas in a bottle to me.
Like with most glitter’s this does dry to quite a rough finish so you do need 2 or 3 coats of top coat to get a smooth finish, I find it only lasts a day or two before chipping but it always seem to only be a little chipping at the edges so it can be covered up quite easily. I apply this on top of a red base coat, in the picture's below, I used OPI's Thanks So Muchness! Which is a really pretty super shimmer-y red colour.

I'm struggling to get a picture that does justice to this polish, but I honestly recommend you buying it, once it's on, it's a showstopper!

Are you guys excited for Christmas? Any other christmas-y polishes I should know about? 

Soph xx