REVIEW // Origins Checks & Balances Frothy Face Wash

I had a little sample of the Origins Checks & Balances in a Sephora Beauty Bundle that my sister brought back from America and it wasn't really one of the things I was excited about, despite my major obsession with cleansers and Origins as a brand, but because of it's size I threw it in my bag when taking a trip back to Ireland and quickly became obsessed with it. It's hard to explain what the formula of this is like, it looks creamy but it's not a creamy cleanser and when you massage it into skin, it foams massively so you only need the smallest amount to clean your whole face, it's very cleansing and is the kind of cleanser that does leave your skin feeling squeaky clean but without being tight or drying at all, it's quite soap like in the sense that it feels like it's getting everything off the skin and is really cleaning deep down in the pores.

There's no offensive scents in this I don't find, it's a little bit minty and smells a little like soap as well as you start to rub it in so it's nice and refreshing. The checks and balances refers to the fact this cleanser is well suited to most skin types really but especially combination as it combats oily areas but doesn't strip the dry area's and it's very gentle so I think it leans nicely toward sensitive skin types as well, to be honest, my skin can vary between dry and sensitive and a little oily at times so I've been loving using this as it tackles all my skin concerns in one. As I mentioned earlier, this froths up a lot and I find that I only need an amount about the same size as my little finger nail to cover my whole face, any more and it feels a bit too much so this 150ml bottle really will last a long time, even my little travel size which is about 15ml I think is going strong. 

I normally tend to use different morning and night cleansers but this works really well for both morning and night as it's gentle but super cleansing. As with most Origins products, it has a variety of natural ingredients working in the background such as Konjac Powder (combats oiliness), Wheat Protein (tackles dryness), Broadleaf Kelp (battles and breaks down dirt). One word of warning though, I don't tend to use this around my eyes too much because I find if it works it's way in, it really stings so it's worth taking any eye make up off prior to using this.
All in all, another lovely product from Origins and one I'm really pleased to have found.

You can find this here for £18, which seems steep but I promise you, this will last you a really long time! 

Soph x

REVIEW // Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips

Right, so, today's chats going to be about the Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips - I received this little teeny tiny tube of joy in a Birchbox a few months back, I'd wanted to try it out for ages - you know my obsession with lip balms at this stage - but I always presumed it would be a little bit like Vaseline which I am not a fan of, I find it just sits on the lips and does nothing BUT this was surprisingly good and literally saved my lips during a really bad patch I had recently, I think I had an allergic reaction to another lip balm, basically my lips were sore, dry and flaking, which I can sometimes get during the winter when it gets really cold, but we're in the middle of summer and it was really bad, even my trusty Nuxe Reve De Miel was struggling to help them out and I was having to re-apply lip balm virtually every hour, around that time I found this again and decided to try it out, within 2 days of using this, my lips were virtually back to normal and I had the full size winging it's way to me because I was loving it so much.

There really isn't anything too exciting about the formula of this, it's scentless, flavourless and basically just a thick, clear balm, it's quite heavy and I find I have to really rub it in to get it to melt onto the lips properly but it really works and adds a whack of moisture that seems to go deep down almost and really moisturises the lips, it's quite a matte balm which I personally like but has a slight gloss finish to it as well, but definitely leans more towards the matte spectrum of balms. Once applied though, it leaves lips feeling soft and nourished for a long ol' time, I can apply this in the morning before leaving for work and I can still feel it on my lips by the time I come to have lunch 5 or 6 hours later.

I'm not sure this is a balm I would use all day, every day, it might be a little heavy at times but if you have sore, troublesome or dry lips, this is the first product I will be reaching for - I still love the Nuxe Reve De Miel and my EOS lip balms but I think this will be my go to for when I need a quick fix going forward, it's quite different to a lot of other lip products I've tried which I like. I actually picked up my full size version from Latest in Beauty for the bargain price of £5 - I was actually going to buy it for the full price of £11 but I went to get something else from Latest in Beauty and spotted this sitting in the sample section so I whipped up a little box of goodness - post here - so if you want to try this, I'd suggest checking it out here.

Have you tried this? What's your favourite lip balm? Any suggestions?

Soph x

WISHLIST // Weekly Wishlist #4

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A bit of a bizzare combination for you this week but I've really got my eye on that Kate Spade watch, it's really simple but I love that neon pink, they have a more subtle nude colour as well that might be a little bit more work appropriate....hmmm! I'm on a bit of a spending ban at the minute this week so it will have to wait! 

Hope you all are having a brilliant weekend and have a lovely week! 

Soph x

HAUL // Boots, Space NK & Amazon

Ummmmm - so this is a haul I meant to post about 9 months ago....Sorry, but I figured I'd throw it up for you to see with a little mini review of each product and the link in case you're interested. (Plus the fact that it's sitting as a "draft" drives my OCD wild.)

Hope you enjoy! 

Soph x

I love this, it gives my hair a bit of grit and a bit of volume, and it can be revived through out the day by just re-massaging it into the hair. Smells like a dream too...

There's a theme here for trying to add volume to my hair - I really, really like this, it triples the volume of my hair and it lasts. It can leave a bit of product buildup in the hair if you spray too much so you need to work out the right amount for your hair but it's a brilliant product and at £25 this is practically a bargain for Oribe.

Origins Moisturise & Be Merry Set (I think!!)

This is one of the Christmas Limited Edition sets by Origins that are brilliant, it includes my daily moisturiser, the Make a Difference + Treatment and then for about £6 extra I get the hand cream, a face wash and a toning lotion. Amazing!

Origins Mask Set - £25(ish)

I think this was around £25 for a 70ml version of the Clear Improvement Mask, the Drink Up Mask & the Drink Up Intensive Overnight mask which is a bit of a bargain again. I'd honestly check Origins out around October time when there limited edition sets come out because they are honestly amazing! 

Yankee Candle - Sugared Apple - £19.99

The candle that started my love affair with limited edition Yankee Candles - This smells phenomenal and as a result I bought 3, it's sweet but warming and is the perfect autumn candle! 

I got the small version of this and am actually burning it tonight, I find Yankee Candles last forever and give a really strong scent compared to other candles. This one is like a White Chocolate, marshmallow, Vanilla slice of heaven. I'm praying it will be back this year.

Bizarrely, this is another one I used today and finished actually - I love the smell of it, it's definitely one of the best smelling dry shampoos that I've tried but I'm not that mad about it, I probably would re-purchase because of the price and I do really like the scent but yeah, a bit meh about this one!

Nars Guy Bourdin Palette

I've purposefully moved this to the end because I didn't want to suck people in thinking this little gem of a palette was back - I'm sure you have probably ready about this, it really is amazing, it features Nars Laguna Bronzer, Orgasm & Deep Throat blushes along with two limited edition blushes and limited edition highlighter, I use this every day, it's a dream of a palette! 

REVIEW // Latest in Beauty

So, I've wondered onto the Latest in Beauty a few times recently, I've had an account for a while but never actually purchased anything. The site itself is basically a site where you can almost create your own sample box, a little bit like Glossybox or Birchbox but you can pick the samples you actually want to get, it's a great idea and I'm surprised I haven't used it before, they have a big selection of brands like Caudalie, Maybelline, L'Occitane, Dr Lipp, Percy & Reed, there's so many to choose from and you pick and select the samples you want, all are individually priced and you then get sent it out. They also do pre-made boxes which tend to be collaborations with brands or Beauty Bloggers. British Beauty Blogger (one of my all time favourite bloggers) recently did one that sold almost instantly.

As you can probably tell, I'm sold on the concept so I placed a little order and here's what I got:

Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips - £5

I was actually about to buy this for the RRP of £11 on another site but stumbled onto this and managed to get all of the other things below for the same price that I would of paid for this - amazing!

Therapie Himalayan Bath Detox Salts - £4

This was something I'd received before in a Glossybox (I think!!) but I loved it and was really pleased to see it on here, I'm not a bath girl so I'd have major buyers guilt buying the full soze of this only for it to sit unloved but having this sample size is great, I'll get 3-4 baths out of this, it smells amazing and is so relaxing. 

Burts Bees Lip Balm - £2

An old favourite, I used this throughout the whole of my high school years, it's moisturising, smells minty but sweet like honey too and leaves lips a little tingly.

Melvita Ultra Nourishing Cream - FREE

This was sent as a gift, it's got 2-3 weeks of use and while I haven't tried this yet, it smells amazing and I'm a fan of Melvita products so I'm sure this one will be good!

Latest in Beauty have a new box that I've just spotted as well that looks pretty good if you want to check it out here - it's got over £120 value but is just £16.95. 

HAUL // Random feat Birchbox, Zoeva, Topshop & TK Maxx

Hi Guys, a little mini haul for you here, it's a bit of a mix of all sorts but I figured I'd throw it all into one post so you can see anyway! 


Soph x

The prettiest of brushes - ever, ever, ever! I love this little set and had ordered them within minutes of getting the e-mail to say they were back in stock, I've been coveting these beauties since early 2013 and they are definitely living up the hype. Full review coming soon!

Not cheap, but very pretty and I've been harping on about replacing my 5 year old GHDs for months now so one hungover Saturday, I became the new owner of these.

Estelle & Thild Face Cream - Rose Otto - £9.99

This retails at around £45 normally but I saw it in TK Maxx for £9.99 so figured it was worth a try, I've been wanting to try Estelle & Thild for quite a while, I haven't really used this too much yet but initial thoughts are that I'll use this more as a night cream as it's quite rich. I think this is now known as ecOrganic Face Cream - you can find it on BeautyBay here.

Come Rain or Shine Water Bottle - £4.99

I actually use this for my protein shakes when I go to work, I'm not a fan of the usual shake bottles so I can make it up in the morning then transfer into this and keeps it nice and cold and I look so fly in the office with my snazzy bottle - right?! Eh, sure!

Tea Strainer - £2.99

Very little use for this as I don't really tend to buy loose leaf teas but it's in the shape of a flower and floats in your tea - clearly essential!

I'm really not a night shirt kind of girl but I fell in love with this and it was only £7.

Another product I'd been coveting for a while, I'm really not a big fan of foundation, especially in the summer, so I wanted something very light with a bit of SPF that would just even out my skin tone a bit, this seems to be working so far!

I tried this little set out at a Benefit event last year and I've had my eye on it ever since but just never got round to picking it up, it'll be incredibly handy for travelling!

WISHLIST // Weekly Wishlist #3

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The third in my weekly wishlist posts this week and again it's a bit of a random one, the main thing I want is the grey spot dog bed, I'm going to be getting a puppy in the next few weeks and I've spent the whole of this week scouring dog sites for the perfect bed for it - this is my favourite so far but I think it's a little pricey! I'm also a little bit in love with the mohair throw and the neon hit white skirt! Heaven! Anyway, I'm off to spend the evening searching for puppy toys, yes, I'm going to be THAT dog owner! 

Let me know if you want to see more dog themed posts?

Have a good week all! 

Soph x

REVIEW // Kerastase Ciment Thermique

My hairdresser has been recommending the Kerastase Cement Thermique, a heat styling protectant for the past 2 years or so but I've never bitten the bullet until recently, in part because I balk a little at the price and also because I'm a bit lazy when it comes to styling my hair, I'm a dry it, straighten and go kinda gal, when I do use a product it's normally in spray form so that I can do it as I'm leaving the house so this being a cream in a tube with an annoying lid also puts me off, So this has never massively appealed to me, having said that, I straighten my hair every day and have been working hard to try and keep it looking healthy, I had a voucher to use and ended up going with this in the hopes that it would give a little bit of life back to my hair.

So, onto the product itself, it's quite a light cream, I use a 50p size amount and distribute though my hair focusing on the ends, I do like it but it's very hard with a heat protectant to know if it's actually doing any good as there aren't really any tangible results, it leaves my hair feeling soft and it does feel a little healthier when I do use it but I can't prove that it's down to this product alone. One definite pro with this is that it smells seriously good, and if I'm completely honest, this is why I bought it, when I use it, it leaves my hair smelling like a cocktail of heavenly things, the strongest scent is Grapefruit so it's quite fruity and zesty without being sweet and it's a scent that lingers right up until your next wash. Is it worth shelling out £16 on this basis? I'm not sure, I think if it was a little easier to use, then possibly, but at the minute having to try and get off a bulky lid, squeeze out the right amount of product, put the tube down, put the product in your hair, put the lid back on etc, etc, I know it sounds crazy but it's just a bit of a headache to use when I'm in a rush to get ready for work, I tend to reach for one of my drug store heat protectors solely for ease. 

If you have very dry or damaged hair and are looking for something that will really help to nourish the hair while protecting as well then I do recommend this, if not, I'd probably try and hunt down an alternative, because while I like it, I'm not sure this will be a re-purchase for me. You can find this here
for £15.60 (20% off)

Have you tried this? What did you think? 

Soph x

WISHLIST // Weekly Wishlist #2

WISHLIST // Weekly Wishlist #2

Another week down, I honestly cannot believe we are now in July, this year seems to be flying by! So,a little bit of a random wishlist this week and I've actually picked up the Bambi PJs because they're in the Topshop sale! Also, how amazing is that polar bear table? I saw something similar in a hotel I stayed at recently but it wasa regular bear and they had a rope lamp on top - it looked awesome! 

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend and have a brilliant week!

Soph xx

LIFE // Unintentional Hero & Becoming an Organ Donor

Ladies and Gents, a bit of a different post for you today that I will aim to keep as short and sweet as possible. Around 9 months ago, late last October to be precise I received a call to tell me a very close friend had been in a car accident and was on life support, the next 5 days were honestly, quite hideous, waiting to see if something would change and he would come off of life support, it was something that was unlikely to happen but something that a group of friends who were about to lose a shining light in their life were going to have to face up to. Taidhg was one of those people in life that you rarely meet, a genuine light that shines brighter than most, I remember meeting him for the first time aged 16 or 17 and being completely struck by his beautiful, positive energy and having some amazingly fun times along with the rest of our group of friends that would end up becoming times I would never forget. This isn't going to be a post about those times or how to deal with losing someone close to you because to be honest I've been through it several times now and I never know how to deal with it and I don't think I'm in a place to advise anyone. This post is going to be about what happened after Taidhg passed that changed a lot of people's lives and made me think about how I want to live my life and hopefully make you think how you want to live your life. There's a few points to this that I want to say but one of the first is one that is said so often but live your life to the fullest, I don't want to sound morbid or full on but we get one chance at this life and no one knows what is going to happen tomorrow, if something makes you happy, do it, embrace it, love it and be happy, ultimately, we're all on this earth working out why we're here but if you find one of those rare things that makes you truly happy, then just go with it and be grateful because some people are still wandering around trying to work out what true happiness is. For me, there were a few things I realised I loved and had lost in the day to day rambling of my life, one was actually spending proper quality time with my friends, I lost touch with a lot of people when I left Ireland despite the fact that we all live so close together but if there are friends that you've lost contact with, then get in touch, it's something I still need to do to be honest and writing this post has made me realise that but it's something I'll be sorting out once this post goes up, the other thing is music, it's the thing that initially drew me to Taidhg and my whole group of friends but something that got lost in my choice to move to the UK and become a professional. Now, all I want is to listen to people play music, real music that comes from the heart and soul. Taidhg was in a band called The Calvinists when he passed away and they recently released an album which while bittersweet, has been an absolute joy to listen to.

But, the main reason I wrote this post though is to spread the word of something amazing that Taidhg did which was to become an organ donor and in doing so, he changed the lives of more people than I think we can imagine, he directly impacted 9 people I believe who needed implants but the impact that donation will have had on their family members and friends is something that would be hard to put a figure on. Honestly, I'd never thought about organ donation prior to last October, or, more honestly, I'd thought about it but never thought it would impact me or my friends but thinking about how Taidhg's donation could have impacted so many people completely changed that for me and it's something I now feel truly passionate about. One of Taidhg's closest friends, Pa Curran wrote a song shortly after Taidhg passed away called Unintentional Hero, written about Taidhg and his passing, I've left the link below, but it's one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard and and I appreciate it means a lot to me because of the fact that I was close to Taidhg and have those memories but the song is bigger than that now and means so much to so many people. I honestly beg you to watch the video, which will be released tomorrow on Pa Curran's YouTube, link below, which features the families of 20 people from Ireland who were Organ Donors, including Taidhg and if you like it, please also check out the link to the iTunes store below where you can buy the single. Ive left links below for both Ireland & the UK. 

I know this is a very different post to the normal beauty review or recipe that I post and I hope you don't mind but I wanted to do what I can to raise awareness to the song and becoming an organ donor using the little power I have in this crazy internet world. I normally keep this little blog a secret from my normal day to day life but I'm opening it up for this post because it's something I really care about.

I'm sorry this is a bit of a ramble and it may not be the best I've ever written but I wanted to write honestly and from the heart and not try and edit anything out. I've left all the links below and if you have any questions about anything then you can find me on twitter @ocbeautyblog or drop me a mail, my e-mail address is

Please feel free to share, link, RT, Copy, whatever to share this message. 

Pa's Facebook

Pa's YouTube

The Calvinists YouTube

iTunes link

Organ Donation Ireland 

Organ Donation UK