HAUL // Primark, Gap & Rymans

A bit of a random and mini haul here, I couldn't not get the My Little Pony PJs from Primark, especially when I saw the Made in the 80s tee! I also ended up picking up a few other random bits, my favourite being the pens from Rymans which were both 1/2 price, who doesn't love stationary? 

Soph x

My Little Pony T-Shirt - £7 (I think!) - Primark

My Little Pony PJ Leggings - £8 - Primark

Hair Accessories - £1-£2 = Primark

Socks - £1.99 (Purple) 3 for £10 for remaining - GAP

80's Glam Sharpies - £9.49 - Rymans
Staedtler Fine Liner Pens - £8.49 - Rymans 

TOP 5 // Cleansers

So, I love reading peoples Top 5 reviews that they do, so I've decided to do a Winter/Summer version of it myself to cover Cleansers, Moisturisers, Masks, Makeup, Hair & Body Care. Winter and Summer are the only real times that I change up my routine so I think I'll stick to these and maybe do a little mini post covering some of favourite Spring/Autumn items if I feel the need to. So without further adieu, I'll get stuck in, I'm going to cover Cleansers today, some I will have posted reviews on, others are still waiting on a review but will be forthcoming. The following are in no particular order, all equally loved and reached for. My skin tends to be very dry in the winter with the occasional break out so my products lean to the drier 

  • REN Clear Calm 3 Clay Cleanser // £18

I purchased this little beauty back in the summer and it's fast become one of my most used cleansers and one I will definitely be repurchasing. I'll be posting a full review of this but it's basically a clay based cleanser that's great for skin that's on the verge of a breakout or has already broken out, it's not stripping and is a little bit like using a mask as a cleanser, it really works to calm down any spots and massively reduces them. Skin feels super clean after using and not stripped at all really, which I was quite surprised at. At £18, it seems quite pricey but you get a lot of product for your buck, I've been using this quite regularly for the past 4-5 months and still have around half left. One thing I will say is that I don't use a full pump of this, I think it's too much and there's a lot of wastage, I use around half a pump and I think that's ample.

I've blogged about this before, click the link to take you through the the review, it's a really lovely cleansing balm, using all natural ingredients, it smells amazing and melts away all make up to leave gorgeous, soft skin. If you suffer from dry skin in the winter, check this out, it's really cleansing but really moisturising at the same time. It's a yellow balm with little beads of oil that break down as you massage the balm into your skin to add a very gentle exfoliating element as well. This is the cleanser I reach for most in the depths of the cold winter because I know it's not going to take anything from my skin.

  • NUDE Miracle Perfect Cleansing Oil // £28

This is a really lovely oil cleanser, melts make up almost instantly and turns to a milky froth when you add water to wash it off, lovely and moisturising and leaves skin feeling super clean. I'm not quite sure how this does this either, but this literally melts my mascara, eyeliner and shadow away in seconds so I don't have to rub and tug at my eyes to try and get it off and as an added bonus, it smells lovely too, slightly floral, slightly like vanilla, slightly like the heads of Cabbage Patch Kids (anyone remember those?!). Really, really lovely product and I love the packaging for this too!

  • Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser // £18

Review for this cleanser is coming this week, it's the newest addition to the lineup but I've used it solidly for the past few weeks and it's brilliant, it's a cream cleanser that removes all traces of makeup and leaves that squeaky clean feeling to skin but with the bonus of feeling soft, supple and moisturised too, it's gentle on skin and smells good, looks good, It's an all round lovely product that I think will work well in the summer as well. My skin has been quite sensitive for the past few weeks and this has really helped with keeping it calm and not aggravating it any further. I'd definitely recommend this cleanser.

  • Superfacialist Tea Flower Cleansing Wash // £8

So it would appear from the above products that I haven't been trying to save on my cleansers recently and they all fit into the higher end of the product price spectrum, but this gel wash is another of my favourites, it is a frothy wash which I know the skincare goddess herself, Caroline Hirons, isn't a fan of but there are those times when I just want a good old super clean feeling to my face and this really does that job, my skin feels clean, all makeup is gone and it isn't too stripping, it's not moisturising in any way but it is clean and as long as I follow up with a moisturiser shortly after, we're good to go. A great purchase and a great price.

What's your favourite cleanser? 

Soph x

Review // Denman Tangle Teezer

I know the Denman Tangle Teezer is a bit of a blogger cliche product to write about, but having tried this, it really is worth the hype. My hair is generally quite easy to manage but it does get very knotted when it's wet, I'm not quite sure why, I've tried every different way of washing it and towel drying it to stop it but it's determined to be a pain to brush through.

I was bought this brush for Christmas and it just makes brushing hair a complete breeze, I tend to use this to get rid of most of the tangles before going through with my regular Denman brush and it's so much easier, I normally have to tug and pull the brush to get it through my hair, particuarly at the roots, ultimately snapping and breaking my hair, which for someone who's in a bit of hair rehab (trying not to heat style to much and making sure I keep up with regular hair cuts), it was a bit torturous. I use this along side the L'Oreal Tangle Tamer which is a kids tangle spray but works just as well on "grown up" hair and smells of Pear which is a win.

I really didn't think it was going to work as well as it did, hence the reason for not purchasing it for over a year. Honestly, if you do struggle with tangled hair, go out and get this, it really will make the world of difference. I have the Topshop version, which is black with a shiny pink top and comes with a little base that clips into the brush making it easy to transport but there are a variety of colours and styles in Boots if that's easier for you.

Topshop Exclusive Version // £12.25

Have you used this brush? 

Soph x

Review // L'Oreal Kids Tangle Tamer - Sweet Pear

This is a bit of an unusual post today but I wanted to talk about the L'Oreal Kids Tangle Tamer for Wet & Dry Hair, which isn't revolutionary and going to change your hair by any means but it is cheap and does a really good job at helping to get a brush through tangled hair, I particularly suffer with tangled hair when it's just washed and wet but since introducing this and the Denman Tangle Teezer into my routine, it's been so much easier to brush my hair and has ultimately benefited to the overall condition and health of my hair. 

It smells amazing, it's got a sweet pear scent which is delicious and because it's targeted at kids hair, it's not too heavy and won't weigh hair down, I particularly like it because I can still go in with other products like a mousse or thickening spray without having a build up of product in my hair. It can also be used on dry hair, although I haven't had to try it on dry hair yet so can't comment on how well this works but I would imagine it works as well. 

It's not the best packaging and the lid falls off all the flipping time but it is only £2.19 and I've spotted it on offer before as well so keep an eye out in Boots or Superdrug for offers. It's a short and sweet post but to be honest, there is only so much you can say about this kind of product, it works well, is nice and light and smells yummy. 

You can find it here for £2.19

What's your favourite leave in spray? 

Soph x

NOTD // Essie After School Boy Blazer & Butter London The Black Knight

This has to be one of my favorite combinations at the minute, Essie's After School Boy Blazer & Butter London's The Black Knight, they're almost a match made in heaven, the dark, almost black, navy of After School Boy Blazer (I'm starting to get fed up of writing that so we'll call it ASBB from here on!) and the mini multicoloured sparkles in the Black Knight match perfectly. The Black knight has black, silver, blue and pink glitter in it in a gelly like black base colour and adds a little bit of glitz to ASBB. I've actually been wearing ASBB pretty much solidly ever since I bought it so it's quite nice to be able to throw the Black Knight on top and make it a little different. It's also quite a good day to night combination, with just ASBB during the day for work and being able to throw The Black Knight over the top for after work drinks or party. 

One of the best bits about this combo is that you only need one coat of each for a perfect finish. 


What do you think of this combo? Any others I should be trying with these polishes? 

Soph x

GIVEAWAY // MAC Lipstick

Hey Guys, 

Quick reminder that there's only one day left to enter my giveaway to win a MAC lipstick of your choice! 

Link to original post & details is here but you can enter using the Rafflecopter thang below.

Soph x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review // Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Foundation

So, I know this is old hat in the beauty blogging world but I thought I'd air my views on Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat foundation which I am absolutely 100% head over heels in love with, I don't know why I haven't reviewed this before, I rushed out to buy it the first day it was released and have used it almost daily since minus a spell of just using a BB cream during summer. Anyway, onto the review, not only does this come in beautiful packaging, a big chunky glass bottle with a gold lid with the YSL symbol on the top but it literally makes my skin feel amazing, it's a gel based foundation that aims to warm, highlight and brighten the skin. I don't use the YSL Touche Eclat highlighters very often but I'm sure most of you know that the aim of these is to highlight and brighten the skin, and the premise is the same really for this foundation.

It's an incredibly moisturising formula, which is great for my dry skin but I think if you had an oilier skin or combination skin, you would need some form of primer or base underneath so that the foundation doesn't slip. It leaves my skin glowing and I had several compliments when I first started wearing it about how "well" I looked, it just makes my skin look a lot healthier, it's not quite full coverage for me, more of a medium coverage foundation and I only need one pump to cover my whole face, I normally apply with my fingers then blend in with my Real Techniques buffing brush to give a flawless finish.

It wasn't so long ago that I wouldn't want to spend more than £6 on a foundation (I used to only wear Rimmel's Recover Foundation which had a hint of shimmer running through it to make the skin look more alive) however, in the past few years or so, it's normal for me to spend £30+ on foundation, what happened?! But, this really is one that is worth the money, I still love the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation but this definitely beats that one for me and I tend to reach for this more often than not. You can find this in most department stores for around £28.

Have you tried this foundation? 

Soph x

Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser - Dry/Sensitive Skin

My skin suffers during the winter time, it gets dry, a little sore and generally just needs a little extra loving to keep it looking and feeling normal, I was bought this Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser (for Dry and Sensitive skin) as a Christmas present and it's become my saviour, not only is my skin suffering from the cold, damp weather but I went on holiday recently and forgot my usual cleanser and rather than repurchasing one that I know and trust, I foolishly decided to experiment with this Loreal Skin Perfection Purifying Gel Wash, which turned out to be a complete nightmare and caused my skin to break out and also flared up a case of eczema on my cheek so I won't be repurchasing that one but my skin needed some that was soothing and moisturising to help heal it.

I tend to be drawn to cleansers that have a specific purpose such as Clay, purifying or calming cleansers rather than going for simple cleansers like this Clarins one, I'm so pleased that this was purchased for me though as it really is a bit of a wonder, it's super moisturising without being irritating and does an amazing job of taking off all of my makeup, I mentioned the Laura Mercier Caviar sticks here before and how long lasting they are, but they are so tough to take off, I normally use the Loreal Skin Perfection Micellar Water but they just don't seem to budge with it, this however does an amazing job of getting all traces of mascara, eyeliner and eye shadow off without having to rub too much at the eyes. The formula contains Shea Butter which adds to the moisturising element and leaves skin feeling incredibly soft after using. The tiniest amount (I use about a 50p coins worth) is enough to cover the whole face and while this is foaming, it isn't in the traditional soapy, stripping sense. Packaging comes in the form of Clarins simple, standard packaging.

All in all, a really, really lovely product to use and one I'd definitely recommend if you're in the market for a new cleanser.

You can get this here for £18

Have you used this cleanser?

Soph x

Embryollise Lait-Creme Concentre

I received this tube of Embryollise Lait-Creme Concentre last year in a give away from the lovely Amelia Liana as part of a big French pharmacy haul and it was one of the first things I fell in love with, I'd read a little about this before trying it but didn't have too many expectations, I was going through a particularly bad patch with my skin at the time, it was incredibly dry and it was before I really started getting into skincare so I was struggling to find the right things to add moisture onto my skin so this was a little bit of a god send. I've only ever used it as a moisturiser really, although it can be used for removing makeup as well and it's used as a primer also, which I think would work well, I do use a separate primer myself but I think this would work well without using one to be honest, because it does have a very slight tacky finish when rubbed in that would be good for applying make up on top of.

A little of this goes a long way and is moisturising but without being oily or leaving a greasy sheen to the face which I like, I actually used this in addition to another moisturiser so I was double moisturising at the time (No 7 Beautiful Skin for Dry/Very Dry Skin) because I found that the No 7 cream just didn't moisturise enough, my skin can be very dry though in the winter so I don't think it's any fault of the No 7 Cream really but I wanted the SPF that it offered . It has a very faint floral scent to it but it isn't overwhelming and for those with sensitive skins, I don't think it should irritate. It is quite difficult to get hold of, but you can find it here on Cult Beauty if you want to get your hands on it. I'm currently trying out another moisturiser range but if I feel like my skin needs more moisture, I do tend to reach for this still to double up.

Have you tried this, what are your thoughts?

Soph x

REVIEW // Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask

I've been using this mask on and off for over a year now, initially, I wasn't keen on it because I didn't think it was as clarifying as some of my clay masks so whenever I went to grab a mask, I'd always be drawn to the likes of the Superfacialist Tea Flower Pore Purifying Mask or the Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask and wouldn't really give this one a chance, it's only in the past few months that I've given this a proper chance really. The texture is very different to the likes of purifying clay mask and is much more of a cream based mask, that doesn't set or harden as opposed to others. But it's worth giving it a chance, My skin has been suffering lately with a build up of drinking and over eating showing in my skin so I've needed something to help clear some of the little spots that have been showing up. This has been really lovely to use because although it does clear skin through a multitude of ingredients in this, but in particular Manuka Honey which is anti bacterial and helps with clearing the skin, it also is incredibly moisturising and doesn't leave your skin feeling stripped at all, which I can find with some of my clay masks, I normally end up having to whack on an oil or moisturiser straight after use, whereas with this I don't have that tight, dry feeling.

This particular mask comes in the usual metal tube packaging that most antipodes products come in, very classic and simple and has an amazing zesty vanilla smell. I tend to apply a good squeeze of this all over my face, because it is quite moisturising, I'm not so worried about it affecting some of the drier areas of my skin, I leave it on for around 10 - 15 minutes then use a warm flannel or muslin cloth to take off the product before rinsing, Skin feels soft but thoroughly clean after using and any signs of a breakout are definitely reduced the next day, I find that this is the kind of mask that can be used a few days in a row as well if you are having a particularly bad break out because it's gentle enough not to strip your skin.

On the whole, Antipodes is probably my favourite skin care brand, I have quite a few of there products now, including the Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser, Reincarnation Facial Exfoliator, Divine Face Oil, Avocado Pear Nourishing night cream and several others which I'll be putting reviews up of soon. It's a really lovely brand, that looks pretty, has a focus on using natural ingredients, but more than anything, really makes your skin feel and look great, I quite often get comments from people when I put my antipodes products back into rotation.

Any recommendations on other products I should be trying?

Soph x

Origins GinZing Moisturiser

I'm a big Origins fan if you hadn't guessed by this post that I put up a while back and rushed out to pick up the GinZing moisturiser when it was released last summer, I've since splurged on more products from Origins! I love the packaging of Ginzing, it follows the mould of other Origins moisturisers with the sturdy pot and white lid but this one is bright orange, which is one of my favourite colours at the minute. The scent is amazing, it's got a lovely orange citrus scent which is nice and zingy and helps to wake you up in the morning, unfortunately it's not moisturising enough for my very dry skin at the moment but during the summer I paired it with Hydraluron and it worked quite while to give me enough hydration, the formula is oil free which is probably why it's not working so well for my dehydrated skin but it would be great for oily/combination skins.

GinZing also helps to brighten the skin with the benefits of having coffee beans and ginseng as part of the formula, to make skin look more awake, which it does give a nice glow to the skin but I wouldn't say it makes a huge difference for me, again, this might be down to my skin sucking it all in so it's not having the chance to provide these benefits as well. Price wise, this is quite good for Origins at £23 so props to them for making it more affordable as well, I'd definitely recommend if you're after a lighter moisturiser.

Have you given this a go?

Soph x

HAUL : Sales @ Space NK, Gap, Boots & Jack Wills

Hi All, I know I'm a little late with getting this post up but I thought I'd share some of the bits I picked up in the Christmas sales, I think some of these are still hanging around as well if you do want to go out and grab them!
Also, my giveaway to win a MAC lipstick of your choice is running here and has just over two weeks left if you want to get in on it!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year.
Soph x
YSL Rouge Volupte Sheer Candy - £11.50
I picked these up in HoF and managed to get two for the price of one normal lipstick, I love these lipsticks, a hint of colour and so moisturising.
Soap & Glory Hand Wash Duo - £5
GAP Mint Green top - £6
I picked this up as a bed top, I couldn't resist the colour.
Gap Mint Green & Grey Striped Jumper - £8
Jack Wills - Star Print Jumper - £34
Laura Mercier Caviar Eyeshadows - £22.50 - I blogged about these here
Bumble & Bumble Tousled Two Step - £15
ASOS - Chelsea Peers Unicorn Print PJ Shorts - £11
Origins Merry Moisturisers Set - £19 - This was my favourite purchase I think and was 1/3 of the normal price.