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

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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

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

11 Christmas jumpers later…

Meanwhile in the land of festivities and Yuletide cheer (M&S) there was a Christmas jumper promotion yesterday, so I bought two, naturally. Which actually takes my vast collection of Christmas knitwear that has built up over the years up to a rather apt eleven. 

On the subject of eleven, the eleventh and penultimate benefit advent window this morning presented me with the product I’ve been itching for since I got the They’re Real! Mascara. And that’s the They’re Real! Remover. Then after such glee at receiving this item, I won’t lie I was quite deflated when all M&S gave me was a tiny travel size Josh Wood shampoo. Which is the first disappointment I’ve had from the M&S calendar so far. 

  
Let me start with the Josh Wood shampoo. Even though it was quite disappointing, that doesn’t mean it’s a shoddy product, far from it. This is a shampoo I’ve used before and it really amplifies the volume at the roots of your hair, which will ultimately (combined with the corresponding conditioner) give you a great base to keep your styles lasting longer, not to mention leaving your gorgeous locks beautifully nourished and healthy. Also with Josh Wood specialising in colour, you can rest assured the products in his range will have a number one aim of keeping your coloured hair bright and radiant.

The reason I was disappointed with receiving this product is because the items I’ve got previously have all been near enough full size, and great to use on their own. This product is the travel size bottle which, after all the full sized products I’ve got from the calendar, doesn’t really excite me. Plus it’s only the shampoo, where’s the conditioner at?! How can I give a real review of a product that requires you to use a second product  to get the full benefit from it? 

Apologies for the negative feedback, but it could’ve been turned around had this product been in the box for day 1, then gradually as the days went by, the products get bigger and better. But as I said that doesn’t impact on how good a shampoo it is. 

  
Now onto the They’re Real! Mascara Remover. Since this amazing mascara is waterproof, you’ll need more than regular cleanser to remove it since it’s not water based.

The remover comes in a handy tube rather than a bottle and you apply it to a cotton pad and gently wipe downwards on your lashes several times until your lashes are fresh and au naturale again. The remover is a gel which I think is great because some makeup removers are far too watered down and you have to use much more of them in one go; with a gel, less is more. And with it being quite a pricey item, you want it to last longer than 5 minutes. 

The delicate gel formula is mighty enough to remove the heavy waterproof mascara but is also gentle on the thin skin around the eye, which is great for preserving the elasticity of the skin and preventing any wrinkles. 

Today Benefit have clearly won the race for day 11, however I do still love the Josh Wood Full bodied range, but it would’ve been great if I had the conditioner too. Knowing my luck after this rant it’ll be behind tomorrow’s Window. 

Perfect TENS everywhere!

We have reached the Tenth day in our Christmas countdown and my four advent calendars are getting really rather gappy. Yes I said 4. The M&S beauty advent, The Benefit makeup advent plus the two chocolate calendars mum and nan got me. I wanted Lindt but with me asking Santa very nicely for a Macbook this Christmas I was lucky to get a £2.50 dairy milk calendar and not a One Direction one from the pound shop.

Back to what you’re all here for; today’s gifts to me from the beauty advent elves were Neal’s Yard nourishing cream in Frankincense (M&S) and Hoola Nude Lip gloss (Benefit)

With these beautiful products, Sophie’s morning routine was a real winner. I left for work feeling pretty damn glam.

  
I’ll start with what I used first which was the Neal’s Yard cream. I’ve never used this brand before so it’s yet another first impression review. And please allow me to just tell you how magnificent this moisturiser smells. If you’re like me and love the typical spicy scents of Christmas, then this cream will be your best friend. It’s such an individual product since the scent of frankincense is rarely used in anything else other than fragrances and candles, which already makes me a fan before I’ve even tried it. 

Like the other creams I’ve reviewed during Blogmas from the Advent Calendars, it’s from a high end brand which means it’s formulated to the highest standard – and ultimately it absorbs into the skin beautifully without any residual greasiness to see or touch. So combining this quality with the wonderful scent, I’m a huge fan of Neal and his yard.

  
Onto Benefit and the Hoola gloss. If you’ve read my previous review of the Sugarbomb lip gloss again by Benefit you’ll already be aware of my dislike for lip gloss since its High maintenance, your hair gets stuck in it causing you to look like a bit of a wally and if you use too much, it gets gloopy and highly unattractive. Therefore I’ll always be a lipstick kind of girl. 

But it just shows you get what you pay for because a higher end brand puts a lot more effort into the formulation of their gloss which makes it a manageable consistency to wear, gorgeous to look at and easy to maintain throughout the day. Hoola reflects this point completely because I wore it today with pride and loved it. I love a nude lip colour so this gloss was perfect, with its golden colour and ever so slight shimmer. It also smells like toasted marshmallows, how awesome is that?! 

Okay another draw today since both products I received were absolutely flawless. Loved them both and will definitely be recommending them to anyone and everyone. 

Dressed to the NINES! 

Well well well nine days into December and only 3 Windows left to open for the Benefit Advent. I’m quite sad that the comparison posts are nearly a thing of Christmas past however saying that I’m super excited for what other fantastic little gems M&S have to offer. 

So the wondrous windows of glory from the advent calendars opened up this morning and gave to me the Filorga Time Filler (M&S) and the Bad Gal Lash Mascara (Benefit).

  
Today’s review for M&S will have a bit of a twist since it’s not me reviewing the product; it’s my nan. Incase you’ve not heard of Filorga before they are a very precise and scientific brand that test all of their formulas in specialist laboratories in France several times to ensure the product they create, bottle and sell to us Lovely ladies (or gents, No stereotypes here) is the best it can get, doing exactly what it says on the tin. 

Naturally a review for an anti ageing product should come from a person who would benefit from what it does as a product, which is not me since I’m 21 with virtually wrinkle free skin (at the moment, anyway). So I called for the help of my wonderful Nan to review the time filler. I thought she’d be a bit touchy about it being an anti ageing cream however she was more thrilled at the prospect of getting something for free no matter what it was! 

After one use as an addition to her regular moisturiser, Nan says that the cream smoothed onto her skin really evenly and it left no greasy film or patches on the top layer of skin like some cheaper anti ageing creams. She loves how soft her skin felt after using the cream and how gentle it was to use on the thin skin around the eyes.

As a high end product you expect the best results so after the continual use, I will keep you posted on how it works out for nan. 

  
Onto the 3rd mascara I have received during Blogmas and the 184th in my mass ocean of mascaras I have to swim through every morning just to get to the mirror. 

Bad Gal Lash is totally different to the other mascaras I’ve reviewed in the last week since the brush is a soft bristle brush wand. This type of wand is loved by so many of you since it’s so delicate when applying it. The plastic comb of Roller Lash and They’re Real! is the best wand for lash separation which is why they’re both so popular but they can also be a bit too vigorous and unkind to our fragile lash lines. So the next best alternative would be a soft brush wand like the Bad Gal Lash has. It concentrates more on giving volume than lengthening and curling lashes but if you have an eyelash curler handy, I’m sure you’ll be best friends with it in no time.

So in conclusion of this I don’t think there’s a winner today since I don’t have a real overview of the Filorga. But in hindsight I loved using the Bad Gal Lash mascara as it gave me a totally different look, and my nan is enjoying using her new expensive face cream; so we’re all winning today! 

Four Fabulous Selfies. Apparently.

Ahh welcome to Day four, where yet again the Benefit advent song is wrong in thinking I will be taking 4 fabulous Selfies on the fourth day of Christmas. 
If like myself you have been up since 5am when the struggle to pull your trousers on without hopping around your bedroom like a drunk dad attempting Gangnam style is real, then you’ll be fully aware that fabulous selfies are just not happening. If I can’t get dressed with decorum my face is definitely not selfie worthy. I drew my brows on whist on the train without a mirror and was pretty sure I had an upside down tick on my forehead once I looked in the mirror at work.

Anyway the 4th advent Windows today gave me PURminerals Volume Vixen Mascara (M&S) and the Sugarbomb lip gloss (benefit). This will be a close score.  

  
  

Okie dokie I feel that nothing will come up trumps (as far as mascara’s go) as much as Roller Lash by Benefit has for me so I’m already a skeptic about this Vixen mascara. But I’ve worn it today and it’s not half bad. It’s more of a dramatic, thick false lash mascara that you’d don for a night out on the town. Well that’s my opinion, if you like drama in the day time then ignore my comments and by all means volumize your lashes til your heart’s content. 

I’ve been checking up on it all day and I do like it but for the price you’d pay for a full size one, I wouldn’t say it’s totally worth it. But that’s probably me being a bargain hunter at heart. 

 

Onto Benefit and let me just express how much I dislike lipgloss. It’s gloopy and your hair gets stuck in it… Plus it reminds me of slathering on my Miss Sporty juicy gloss before  and during the year 6 end of year disco in 2004. Not my best look. Therefore overall I just think it’s a chore to wear. I Much prefer a beautiful demure matte lipstick. 

But i have now acquired a gloss and I vowed to try everything. Me and my colleague tried this gloss earlier and both agreed in surprise that It didn’t feel like gloss at all, it was so fine and silky – almost like a good quality salve or balm. It kept my lips uber soft all day which in winter is a bit of a challenge. The flavour (for want of a better word) was very sweet but ever so subtle, combined with the beautiful nude pink colour; makes it a flexibly wearable product.

And I will definitely be using it for my daytime looks rather than chucking it into the void that is my makeup case and forgetting all about it’s existence. 

Surprisingly enough, Benefit have won today with their Sugarbomb lip gloss. As small as it is, you use it sparingly which is always a sign of a well made product. But that small size also makes it an ideal handbag essential. Or clutch bag essential if you’re a party animal like me (Ha I wish)