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