A Lashious Fairytale – Summer Series ep1

Oh darlings if you’ve read my blog before I’m sure you’ll already be well aware that I am personally a HUGE lover of bargain beauty.

Yes I know that my Lancôme foundation is the love of my very single life and I know if I didn’t buy my favourite contour palette from Diego Dalla Palma I would save enough readies to buy at least 4 coconut milk lattes from Starbucks (other less impressive coffee chains are available on your local high street, I’m sure); BUT having said all that, there is nothing more thrilling (well, thrilling as far as beauty goes) than exploring the cheaper brands on the high street and finding some real gems.

So naturally when someone suggests that I try a new expensive product, I’m a huge skeptic.

But my old friend from college has recently become a Younique Presenter and managed to convince me to buy and try the 3D Fiber Lash Mascara duo.

To be honest, the idea of 2 full sized mascara tubes bulking out my beautifully organised (ha that’s a lie) makeup bag was already enough to put me off. Especially since I already use and love a cheaper Fiber mascara that is all in one tube.


HOWEVER, £23 later (yes, I was pretty shocked at those digits too) I’m pleasantly surprised.

Pros:

  • Lengthens your lashes to an unbelievable length.
  • Not much clumpage in comparison to other Fiber mascaras
  •  A REAL false lash effect. I was really impressed with how dramatic it made my lashes look.

(The left is the 3D fibers, The right is Benefit:They’re Real. I haven’t curled my lashes in this photo, I also hadn’t slept much so apologies for those bags for life setting in there.)

Cons:

  • Time consuming to apply since you have to start with the gel, then put the fibers on then go back in with the gel to seal the fibers in. Others on the market are usually fibers and gel combined.
  • As I’ve said before, two tubes. They could made it double ended as a space saving idea.
  • The fibers tend to fall out on my cheeks before my day is out. Nothing major but I could do without it.
  • When removing the fibers you MUST NOT rub back and forth. Use one pad with remover, wipe away from your eye when closed and throw straight away. If you go back in with the same pad, you risk getting fibers into your eye which will cause a lot of irritation!
  • £23 RRP. Most good quality lash extending mascaras are no more than £17 and will do a pretty good job for day to day use.

Despite me being pernickety, this is a damn good product. And if, like myself, you are embarrassingly terrible at applying false lashes (I end up with one on my eyebrow and the other on my knee) then this is pretty much a spot on alternative.

So if you fancy checking out this wonder mascara for yourself, contact Shannon, here’s a link to her Facebook page:

https://m.facebook.com/makemeup95/

I love you all, beauties.

S xo

Advertisements

Summer Series 2016!

Good day to all of you beautiful people! Summer is finally knocking on our doors which has to be the perfect excuse to up your bronzed beauty game, not to mention getting your baking groove on! So get yourself dolled up, crack open a few bottles and invite all your loved ones round for a good old knees up in the sunshine.

The irony here is that as I’m writing this, the weather in sunny Southend on Sea is significantly un-summery, (after todays’ downpour I’m hoping that the lower region of my trousers dries off before I start work. Wishful thinking, I know, since the amount of water they’ve soaked up is enough to make them fall down every time I stand up.)

But there’s still hope! Last weekend saw some utterly glorious sunshine and I’m sure there is lots more to come (well hopefully; but then again this is England)

So, when you throw this epic garden party this summer, there are 2 things I would like you to do:

  1. Invite me, of course. I’m a hoot.
  2. Keep checked in weekly with The Baking Beauty Blog.

I say this because my new Summer Series for 2016 will be your own epic guide to summer. For all my go to seasonal recipes, naturally beautiful summer beauty tips trick and everything you will need to achieve them, plus lots of other holiday posts and fantastic summery delights.

Since the British summer usually leaves a lot to be desired, I think we need a bit of inspiration to make the most out of any scrap of sunshine we are happened to be blessed with.
So check back weekly; Firstly you’ll get a peep into my beauty archive for my go to holiday beauty favourites, then the first wondrous recipe will be the magic that is Lemon Amaretti. Which according to my family, friends and colleagues are absolutely gorgeous; not to mention ridiculously easy to make!

Watch this space beauties,
All my love,

S x

#SpringSummer16 (Did you miss me?)

Good morrow to you all! Spring is already upon us which means Summer and the warmer weather is fast approaching and I could not be happier to be back writing to you beautiful people. Heavens knows I’ve missed it! Since I’ve had a fair few weeks off from the blogging front I think it only fitting to get straight back into the swing of things with a bang and not bore you half to death with why I’ve been absent. Because let’s face it, you don’t really care. You’ve tuned in to radio Sophie due to at least one common reason; and that reason is to find a brand spanking new excuse to splurge the majority of next months salary on fancy new beauty products. And if it’s got good reviews, then you simply must have it, right? Right. Which is also your excuse to your other half when he/she asks why you’re so poor a week into the month – well, that’s what I’m assuming. 
Not that I know because the closest I’ve come to having a boyfriend in the last 6 months is having my personal bubble invaded whilst on the Jubilee Line in peak rush hour (yes, my love life really is that sad) And even if I did have a bloke I doubt he’d question my spending habits unless he actually fancied paying for everything for the rest of the month.

Anyway, I digress. What better to review first of all than some fabulous Spring newness from some fancy brands, as well as one sparkling new brand. 

First of all I can’t NOT mention the Matte lip revolution that’s happening on the high street and designer makeup front! I’ll do an in depth Lip favourites post soon enough but for now let me just tell you how wonderful the Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream collection is. They come in a range of shades (not as many as I’d like) but since I’m in a Nude mood of late, it caters well to my needs.   

  
Matte lip colours have an infamous reputation for being so uncomfortable and dry to wear; however people, if you want to achieve that dreamy, flawless matte lip without your lips looking all gross and flakey, the liquid lipstick/lip cream is the route to go down. I have a whole selection of Matte lip colours ranging from a standard lipstick or a chubby crayon, to lip creams and soft matte balms, and I can honestly say the best long lasting result will always come from a liquid lip cream that dries matte. However make sure you frequently use a lip balm before applying lipstick to ensure your lips stay moisturised which will also keep your lippy on for longer.

Next on my newness list of wonderful products is the brand spanking new Rosie for Autograph makeup range. My goodness, what a joy it is to finally have these products on the shelves after months and months of anticipation. And I can honestly tell you that this range is as fabulous as you would expect anything that Rosie designs to be, and more. I have convinced many friends and colleagues to buy some Rosie products and brushes and none of them have had a bad word to say about them. Rosie’s range is a sister brand – if you will – to the already popular and highly rated Autograph makeup range; so we already knew that the quality would be top class. The range is endorsing a more natural makeup look since there are no heavy products; everything is light and buildable but made to a high enough standard to still be elegant and look exquisite.

   
 My favourite Rosie product – and I know that the majority of other Rosie fans will agree with me here –  has to be the Amazing Radiance cream. This decadent moisturising cream is the most versatile and truly spectacular face cream I have ever used. Formulated with minuscule light reflecting particles and SPF6, you can wear it on its own when you’re having a slobby no makeup day just to look a little more human, or as a perfect highlighting base for your foundation. It will make skin of any age and colour glow, which aids in giving your face some dimension. Alternatively I saw online that a few people, including the fabulous Lisa Eldridge, mix a tiny bit of the radiance cream with the foundation you’re using, which makes both products go a lot further, saves time when finishing and highlighting because it’s already done and it puts you in total control of your artwork. Because that’s what your makeup is, artwork. A true masterpiece. If you are altering products you buy by mixing them up and changing them to suit you and what you like, then painting them onto your personified canvas then you, my friend, are most definitely an artist.

Also, where the hell have all these fabulously pristine eyebrows appeared from?! Alongside the matte lip revolution has come the Big Brow Revolution. And – trust me – even if like me you have thick dark brows already and don’t think you need to do anything to them: take my advice and fill them in, or simply brush them with a clear gel as part of your morning routine. Goodness me what a difference it makes! Give it a go and thank me later. 

Nearly every makeup brand is featuring a lot more brow-defining products of late; however, here are my top products (containing a couple of affordable and a couple of high end ones too):

  1. Sleek Brow Duo Palette – £8.99
  2. Diego Dalla Palma Brow gel/pomade – £15.50 
  3. Rimmel Brow this Way defining pencil -£2.99
  4. PIXI Natural Brow gel/pencil Duo -£12.50
  5. FREEDOM Brow Studio Pomade – £5

So girls (or guys, as I’ve said before, no stereotypes here) whether you’re trying to combat the volume, shape or colour of your brows, there is definitely something on the market that will be able to do the trick. I’ll do an in depth brow know how guide soon for the novices amongst you that may need a little guidance as to what to spend your money on this month brow-wise, and how to use them correctly and get the most out of them.

Before I go, thought I’d let you know in the next week as a gift from me to you, I’ll be posting a short and sweet recipe; and all I’m going to say is MUD CAKE. And it’s delicious. 

And yes I know I’m wonderful, thank you.

All my love, S x

The last day of Christmas gave to me…

Firstly allow me to offer my most sincere apologies (well that’s pushing it, not sincere) that this post is over a week late but I’m sure like everyone else I deserved a little break. This last week and a bit of my busy life was spent at home being extremely merry with my crazy family, not to mention working in retail over the Christmas period which I’m sure most of you are aware is similar to being thrown to the lions in the arena. So 3 days off over the Christmas weekend was greatly welcomed by me and my huge bottle of Moscato d’Asti, which along with the baileys Yule log, made my Christmas Breakfast pretty sexy. Yet again, a big fat win for me.

So bouncing back from my little Christmas break I have 5 wonderful new gifts from the M&S beauty advent calendar to share with you and since I’ve let them build up, I’ll keep the reviews short, sweet and to the point.

  
The excitement that coursed through my veins had me jumping for pure joy when I opened the 20th purple window of the advent and saw a L’Occitane product. Which to the readers that aren’t beauty geeks, may seem a little sad, but let me tell you, receiving a 100ml bottle of wonderful L’Occitane verbena shower gel from a mere advent calendar is like pulling out gold dust. Anyway being L’Occitane you are guaranteed the sublime natural scents of essential oils such as Geranium, lemon tree, orange and (of course) verbena. These scents mingle together to make your bathroom smell like an oasis of tranquility when you shower. Not to mention the natural ingredients making this suitable to cleanse even sensitive skin. Oh and it’s a unisex product so hide it from the blokes, ladies.

  
The 21st day presented me with the Glow Tonic by PIXI. And boy, is this a good one girls (well and boys, if boys are into glow tonics). I’m not usually a huge fan of toners since I already use micellar water to cleanse my face, I suppose I deem it unnecessary in my skincare routine. However after trying this little miracle product I have discovered that toners are more than a fancypants translucent water to clean your face and close your pores up with. I used this water for 3 consecutive evenings during my nighttime skincare regime. And each morning I woke up with a face that felt fresh and glowy with minimal redness. Which for a fair skinned young maiden like myself, any tonic to minimalist redness is a winner. With natural Aloe Vera extracts, combined with the alcohol free formula which is tested as hypoallergenic, it’s ideal to cleanse sensitive skin, and even dry, spot prone skin too. So for a toner disbeliever, I have been converted.

  
Next up in the countdown to Christmas I was shown the wonders and magic of REN and their fabulous 1 Minute Facial! I am already a huge lover of this product since my manager recommended it to me and it’s one of those little things that really makes you feel all dewy and pampered. Let’s go back to basics and talk about what it will do for you when all is said and done. After doing my research I have discovered why it makes my skin feel so wonderful, and apparently it’s down to the water activated Vitamin C formulation. Okay, once you’ve applied the flash facial to your dry face, you need to wet your fingertips and massage again, and it’s this touch of H2O that brings the vitamin C to life and gives it the wake up call to get to work on my skin tone. Other ingredients that really make this a beautiful party happening on your face is the boswellic acid to smooth fine lines and the glycogen magnesium to give you that radiant glow. You have to leave this on for a minute after massaging with your wet fingertips to allow all these brilliant components to do their jobs. Then rinse off. According to REN, if this facial is rotated with the Glycolactic radiance renewal mask, it will give you a facial routine that means serious business! However they have specified it’s potent ingredients will probably not suit sensitive skin types  which is the only downside for me. Otherwise, a truly magnificent product!

  
As the big day is starting to loom the gifts are seriously upping their game from this advent, since on this day I managed to get my hands on the Stila lip Glaze. And with lipsticks and makeup you’d imagine that in a beauty advent they would put in a product that the company want to try and get rid of, a shade that isn’t that popular that they want to try and showcase to get it a bit more attention. But I have been pleasantly surprised with this product since it’s a beautiful everyday dusky pink colour that suits nearly every skin tone. With pink you can either wear it as a simple chic day look with a nude eye and peachy cheeks, then really give it a vamped up vibe for the evening by smoking up the eye with a charcoal grey colour and a good highlight/contour combination going on to really structure the rest of the face. The people of this world that wear a colour on their lips are a demographic that’s divided by one simple factor. Lipstick or Gloss. As a glaze, it’s inbetween a lipstick and a gloss. You get the intense pigmented colour and lasting power of a lipstick, with all the wearable shine and fun of a lip gloss. So it pleases both parties, everyone wins. I certainly do.

  
Ah my lovely readers that followed my Blogmas posts, this is it. The final little gift from the magic that is M&S. And they’ve really outdone themselves with this one. It is the highly anticipated Morgan Taylor Professional Nail Lacquer in the down right sexy shade of ‘From Paris with Love’. I’m a huge fan of deep red wine coloured nails so I did a little dance of joy when I discovered this little gem. Well what can I say; it’s a professional company that’s used worldwide, the colour is fantastically rich and on trend, and as you know from my previous posts, I am a sucker for a full sized product and this is a whopping 15ml. And for a nail varnish that is a pretty mighty size. Although I must stress do use a good base coat before applying this lacquer, since without it, your nail will get stained. And don’t forget a decent top coat afterwards too, to prevent the wear and tear of daily life getting to your beautiful nails.

Now beautiful people I must say how much I have enjoyed starting my blog journey with Blogmas 2015. Thank you so much for reading my whacky reviews and recipes; I can promise you there are plenty more to come. I hope you all had a wonderfully Merry Christmas and I wish you all the best for this new year. Stand by for more fabulous beauty posts and lots of delicious recipes.

Sophie x

The Life Changer 

  Firstly yes that wonderful creature alongside me in the picture is my pug, her name is Nessa and she’s just epic. 

Let me just say I’m sorry that I’m still yet to post the reviews for the last couple of advent calendar gifts; I still need to use and review the last exciting little product but this post can’t wait so bare with me peoples.

You sure do know when it gets close to new year due to all the posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and any other form of social media you can think of claiming people have had the best year of their lives, they’re ready for 2016 to be ‘their year’ but the classic and most cliched status has to be ‘NEW YEAR, NEW ME’.

And that’s okay, some others get themselves wound up about these posts but I don’t, I think it’s fantastic that so many people are grabbing the sparkling New year and using it as a reason to better themselves and be positive about what’s to come. And those who are sharing how wonderful their past year has been is awesome, because it’s good I know that it’s not all doom and gloom.

Not everyone has had the most fantastic year, in my case I would class it as the biggest roller coaster of a year I’ve ever experienced. I wouldn’t say it’s my ‘Best’ year now I’ve thought about it, because that would mean the other years of my life haven’t been as great; When they have, but they’ve been great in different ways. 

Half of this years’ occurrences have been so heartbreaking, However the other half have made me fly so high I didn’t know whether to start a flash mob to uptown funk or cry happy tears.

My year started off with a newly single Sophie, reading a lot and just happily ambling along, then when reading one of my new books I had a sudden spark of inspiration – a light bulb moment- which is when I realised my passion. After my discovery, I got a new job doing something else I adore and so the dream of combining my two careers of beauty and baking began.

This discovery lead me to follow all sorts of online communities and getting involved in lots of fantastic projects. The next thing I knew I was being picked up in a swanky new Mercedes at Fenchurch street station, being whisked off to have a meeting with the fantastic team of people behind the online SORTEDfood community. And that day with such down to earth guys gave me advice I will cherish and remember forever. 

Since that day I have started this blog combining both the Beauty and Baking sides of my career which has had more interest in the past month than I could’ve anticipated and I have all you wonderful readers to thank for that. 

My original dream that captured the attention of the guys at HSBC and SORTED was to run my own wedding favour baking business; and I have to say this dream is still very much alive but my blog is my focus for now, because writing these posts is so much fun and I’ve found another passion in writing.

I felt like giving you a little more of an insight into my whirlwind year, and Also take this opportunity to wish all of you the happiest, healthiest and most wonderful New year you could ever dream of. Thank you for supporting me in my new venture and reading my scribbles. 

All my love, Sophie X

Santa Baby… 

4 more sleeps to go and I am still yet to wrap the vast majority of my presents. You know those people who can’t switch off from work, they take their work home with them… Well I’m going to be doing the opposite. I’m almost 100% positive that I will be taking the gifts I’m supposed to be giving to my family, to work with me on Christmas Eve so during my break I can wrap them all up. Goodness, being a grown up is HARD.

Anyway fellow Internetees I have a corking couple of products to talk about today. The 18th window sprung open to reveal a fantastic little bar of joyous Crabtree and Evelyn La Source soap. I love La Source but mum loves it more so that’s going in her stocking (Christmas stocking, not leg stocking, Just to clarify. Mums not THAT odd.) 

  
Then much to the excitement of me, the 19th purple window in the M&S beauty box gave to me a beautiful Autograph twist up lip shine in Nude. I have been rocking this everyday at work and absolutely love it!

  
Okie dokie I have used products from the La source range of Crabtree and Evelyn before, and the scent is just sublime. It’s so fresh and delicate it just makes you want to run through a summer meadow in a white dress with some classical track playing in the background. No? Just me? Okay. Well, the formula of this soap has conditioning Shea butter in the mix which moisturises deep into the skin. The triple milling of this soap combined with the primrose and wheat germ oils, make it a brilliant aid to soothe dry skin, especially during these bitterly cold winter months. People tend to forget about the extra moisturising their skin needs during the winter so by starting with a simple soap to nourish and protect your face from further dryness, you’ve already got a head start ready for when you moisturise.

Onto the autograph lip shine. This product was featured previously by Mary Greenwell in her ‘Get the Look’ campaign for M&S as the key lip colour on the flawless face look. Not as boring and beige as you’d imagine, this nude lip colour has a slight glitter running through it which just looks stunning. It really vamps up a nude lip rather than just having a really flat colour. I’m a huge fan of a nude lip, but I’m also a fan of lip balm; and seeing as this product combines the two, I was seriously loving life that I got this in the advent for free. Totally winning at life.

When I use this lip shine I prefer to use a lip balm first, then line my lips with a nude liner, and colour my lips in with said liner, and finally finish it with the autograph lip shine. This is how you can get a bit creative with your makeup since there are so many different things you can do to create a new look, depending on how you like your makeup to come across.

I’ve got a feeling the products still to come from the gorgeous purple advent calendar are set to be real joys. So sit tight lovelies, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

The Official Countdown has started!

So now is when the real excitement starts to set in, its only 9 sleeps until the big day. Although my probably unpopular opinion is that Christmas Eve is more exciting than Christmas Day itself. I mean this is when the real festivities kick off! You cannot deny there is no better feeling than finishing work on the 24th, then starting that glorious drive home with a christmas anthem or 5 serenading you as you cruise along the seafront (if you work in Southend on Sea that is) with that inevitable bottle of fizz waiting for you when you get home. In my world, there is no better feeling. But thanks to the ridiculous offers on the booze in met supermarkets this year I have LOTS to get through. A very MERRY Christmas indeed!

So since I last wrote to you lovely people I have opened 3 advent windows. I KNOW. Im sorry for the delay but it is nearing the final week and making presents look pretty is really rather time consuming. So the three products I have received in the last 72 hours are all products I have neither used or in 2 cases, never even heard of until now.

The purple box of fabulous things gave me, Percy and Reed Volumising No Oil Oil, Roger and Gallet Fleur de Figuier Hand Cream and Rodial dragon’s blood sculpting gel.

  
Firstly, Percy and Reed, what is up with your naming skills?! Are you desperately trying to confuse me? No oil, oil. How bizarre. Anyway I have heard plenty of mixed reviews about Percy and Reed products so I have always been skeptical to try them out. However I am a sucker for a volumising product due to the fact that I have super duper thick hair that is so heavy, it falls flat quite quickly. I used this oil (well, not oil) on my damp hair and after blow drying with a barrel brush, I had a significant amount of volume at my roots. And I noticed throughout the day, the style did in fact stay in tact. So I did a bit of research into the formulation of this product and it turns out the Violet extract enriches and moisturises your dull and lifeless barnet to give you smooth, silky and voluptuous results. Which if you have thick hair, getting a silky result is usually tough so this will do the job. Not to mention act as a heat protectant to prevent you putting umpteen products through your locks.

  
Okie dokie onto the Roger and Gallet Hand Cream. I must admit I really don’t like the flour de Figuier scent. I’ve tried the Perfume of the same scent before and I couldn’t wash it off quick enough. On some people it smells fantastic and it really suits them, however for me, it just didn’t. So this was another thing i’ve given to my lovely Nan to try and review for me. As a huge fan of hand creams, Nan is an expert on how they should feel and smell on your skin. she thought the scent was beautifully fresh and not too strong which some hand creams can be. She told me that she could quite happily use this lots throughout the day because it leaves her skin soft and supple without the greasy after-texture that cheaper creams usually result in. Another thing she loved is the thin tube, since she only ever uses small handbags, it fits in the side pocket perfectly without bulking the bag out. So its safe to say nan would buy this hand cream. or maybe i’ll just add it to her christmas list. What a lovely granddaughter I am. Modest too by the sounds of it.

  
 And last but by no means least, Todays wonderful tube of Magic is the Rodial Dragons Blood. Okay, I have heard of this brand but the price tags are way out of my league so i’ve never looked into it any further. My research has told me that The formula of this product is scientifically tested to plump and sculpt facial contours to fight any sagging skin you get with age.

I have done plenty of research into this product and if my mum’s grimace on FaceTime was anything to go by when I told her this product is called ‘Dragon’s Blood’ then i’m positive you’ll all be wondering the same thing. So why is it called that? Well it turns out the Extract used in this product is that of the Dragon’s Blood Tree native to the island of Socotra in the indian ocean. The sap from this tree is naturally red which is why it’s known as Dragon’s blood.
As i’m sure most people are aware, as you age your skin does what most other things do when you get older; it goes a bit southward. And if a facelift or cosmetic surgery is a bit too heavy duty for you then this product has had reviews from the top skincare gurus and makeup artists to confirm that it actually does work. Applied all over your face and neck, it forms a protective veil over your skin to promote firmness, and help sort out all those uneven red tones as well as helping sooth sensitive skin too.
Since I don’t really need this product (yet) I will give it to mother, since nan is already using the time filler, and see what she makes of it. I shall update you all with her progress in due course.
Not that she needs an anti-ageing product of course. (just to cover myself)