Six it up Girls!

Hello my darlings, it’s my favourite advent day today so I’m absolutely loving life.

It’s a day I’ve been waiting for, for 3 whole years!

It’s the day that Stila makes an appearance for the first time in the world of M&S advent calendars.

And it’s not a naff gift either, it’s bloody brilliant!

Yeah Charlottes product for day 6 is good too, but nothing can beat Stila today.

So today’s M&S item is a gorgeous pinky nude liquid lipstick called Perla, I don’t think I mentioned it’s by STILA.

This lipstick has their amazing ‘Stay All Day’ formula so it literally comes off when you want it to, and that’s it. It normally lasts through breakfast and lunch for me. There’s a bit of wear and tear after that but one top up throughout the day is better than any other lippy I’ve used.

And the colour is just perfect! Awesome for work or college, but teamed with a sexy smokey eye it’s also gorge for nights out too!

And what’s more annoying than being on a night out and topping up your lippy every 5 seconds? Maybe being barged on the dance floor every 5 seconds but that comes with the clubbing territory darlings.

So onto CT. today she has given me a miracle. A multi miracle to be precise.

This balm is very very good. I mean it’s a tip top product with LOADS of uses, and it’s brilliant at all of them. I’ve used it as a night cream, a mask and a cleansing balm. If a multitasking busy mum was a product, then she would be this.

This balm makes your skin sooooo soft. And you need the smallest amount (unless you’re using it as a mask, in which case go to town)

However, as good as it is… it’s doesn’t beat the lipstick. So M&S definitely win today. There’s nothing about this product that I can complain about. I don’t even mind that it’s a mini, I’ll take Stila whichever way I can get it 😁

Top tip; use a night cream (or CT’s multi balm if you have it) on your lips overnight before you put this lipstick on in the morning, that way your lips are supercharged with hydration, and the lipstick will definitely ‘Stay All Day’ 😘

See you tomorrow Beauties,

all my love, Sophs xo

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20 sleeps to go

Happy Tuesday beauties!! Yeah I realise I missed yesterday but I figured if I was going to have a day off, I’d do it properly.

That mainly consisted of eating mince pies and lounging around in the boyf’s hoody.

But today I’m feeling rested and refreshed, ready to talk Beauty. We have 4 gorgeous products to discuss, and they’re all absolute corkers I can honestly say.

M&S gave me a Gatineau Advanced Rejuvenating Cream yesterday, and a Rodial Dragons Blood Sculpting Gel today.

Both are perfect for levelling up your skincare regime. You literally can’t go wrong with these two. If you want younger looking, smoother skin… these are going to be your new best mates.

So, Gatineau. This cream is formulated with their famous youth activating molecule, Mélatogénine. Combined with marine collagen, you have the ultimate product to not only provide hydration for even the driest of skin types, but to smooth and firm your skin too.

It’s available to purchase for £86 per 50ml. Ouch.

The Rodial sculpting gel isn’t cheap to buy either – but again, it’s a real staple for any skincare regime that wants that plumped up, lifted look.

This is a treatment gel, so I’d use this before you moisturise to get the maximum results. I’ve been using this for a while and I always warm a pea sized amount into my hands first, then press into my face rather than rubbing it in. That way it’s going to penetrate the dermal layers rather than just sit on top.

And it’s only £1 cheaper than Gatineau so they are the pinnacle of luxury skincare products.

However I have given these 2 to my nan to try out (I did this last week), since her skin will show the full effects of them compared to mine, and she can’t get over how glowy and lifted her skin looks. Rodial has made her skin feel tighter and firmer, and the cream had just finished the job by smoothing and hydrating. Every box ticked!

Now onto Charlottes gifts over the last 2 days. Yesterday was a soft eye liner in the shade ‘Amber Moon’, and today was her brilliant Full Fat Lashes Mascara.

Now as gorgeous as these two are, for £150 I expected the makeup to be full size. The skincare and lotions I expect to be deluxe samples/travel minis but the makeup? A half size pencil and a deluxe sample of the mascara.

Slightly disappointed in that but that doesn’t hinder the actual products.

They are both absolutely gorgeous! The eye liner is super soft but stays on all day, and the mascara creates that volume to mimic a false lash effect. Perfect for any look.

Although, you can creat the easiest smokey eye on Earth by drawing a rough line along your upper lash line with amber moon, and smudging in with your finger or a brush. Then just apply two coats of the mascara and you’re good to go.

The thought of creating a Smokey eye look scares some people so this is a fool proof way to achieving it!

I think M&S win the last 2 days because the value of the product is super duper high, not to mention the size issue with CT’s products. Bit of a no brainer.

See you back her tomorrow for more advent opening darlings!

Lots of love, sophs xo

3 French Kisses…

Yeah okay this pun is an old fave of mine, but I couldn’t resist it. Plus who would be mad enough to turn down 3 French kisses at Christmas?

Not me!

So the 3rd doors of my gorge advents revealed 2 body care products this morning which actually work together beautifully.

M&S gave me a Nuxe Huile de Douche Prodigeux (scented shower oil) and Charlotte gave me her gorgeous Supermodel Body lotion. Which both give your skin the most spectacular glow!

So the shower oil isn’t a greasy oil, you’d wonder how that actually cleans your body if it was. It’s actually a beautifully perfumed, silky oil that turns into a luxurious milk when you apply to wet skin. Which is moisturising as you go! So if you’re a busy lady with no time to put your body cream on after the shower, this is the perfect product for you because it washes and moisturises all at once!

And since it’s winter and this horrid British weather draws every bit of moisture from your skin, keeping your body nourished and hydrated is a must!

Plus the gorgeous shimmer leaves your skin looking even more radiant and glowing! What a bonus, girls!

Now onto Charlotte’s Supermodel Body. Not hers specifically, I’m not sure you could bottle that.

This is a product she used to cheat the catwalk. She would use this on her models; applied down the front of the legs creates the illusion of being taller and having longer pins because it’s highlighting the centre, as well as on their décolleté and arms.

If you used this after using the Nuxe Shower Oil, your body will have so much glow you’ll be practically gleaming 😎

However, I personally I find this very similar to the Rosie lotion that we received on day 1 of advent, and that it is only a fraction of the price of CT’s. Plus in my opinion it smells soooo much nicer.

So M&S definitely win today, purely because the product is unique, worth the price and a lot more people will need it in their life.

Short and sweet today, see you tomorrow Beauties 😘 xo

2 more mince pies…

Yeah sorry guys but the 12 days of Christmas puns are back with a bang. You thought I’d leave them in 2015, but nope, like a boomerang they’ve bounced right back 😂

Anyway the second advent windows have been opened bright and early this morning and I can proudly say I’m using both products today!

So starting with M&S this time; they have given me a glorious Filorga Meso Mask on this cold wintery morning. Which is fab because what more could I want on such a cold day (besides a hot toddy and a pair of socks) than a hydrating mask to pamper with when I get home?!

This brand is formulated in Parisian Laboratories to provide products with the ultimate anti ageing ingredients. So you know you’re in a for a treat.

To buy, it’s £55 per 50ml so it is a real treat I’d say. But you know it’s going to be awesome at that price ☺️

This mask should be applied liberally all over the face (including the eye contour) and neck, then allow it to work its magic for 15-30 minutes. In the meantime you can be catching up on my latest blogs 😉

Next, remove the mask with a damp cotton pad and marvel at how radiant, plumped and gorgeous your skin looks. If this mask was a man, I’d strongly recommend marrying him. Yes it’s THAT good.

Use this once or twice a week as a treat and your skin will have so much glow, people will need their sunnies.

Anyway onto today’s winner. You just can’t beat it. No matter how hard you try.

Yes lovelies, it’s Charlotte’s magic cream. The one and only ultimate dream cream!

This is the original cream that Charlotte herself formulated way back when she was on sets performing her makeup artistry on A* celebs! And all of them were transfixed by the results! They all wanted her cream, so she made it available to purchase, now everyone is obsessed!!

It’s no ordinary moisturiser, this cream gives the most beautiful natural glow, as well as smoothing out any imperfections.

When I use this cream, I don’t need a primer for my makeup because it’s the perfect base, I’d be wasting a product if I used both at once.

So if you don’t like too many products on your dressing table, pick up this beauty and it’ll do everything you want it to and more. Although it is a tad pricey at a whopping £70 per 50ml.

So it was a very expensive skincare day today, and CT takes the trophy for day 2. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

All my love beauties 😘xo

On the First Day of Christmas…

So it begins.

I told you December was within touching distance didn’t I Beauties!

And what better day to fall on than Fri-yay, no less.

So the first day of Christmas brings many joys to my household. 1 of them being the glorious ritual of putting up the decs. So naturally the glitter has found every available surface to settle on, which my little puppy has discovered he likes to eat 😑

However my personal favourite ritual is the opening of the advent calendars. Beauty advents are obviously why you guys are here, but let me tell you my chocolate advent addiction is reaching an all time high (or low. Defo a low since I’ve currently got 3 on the go).

So hopefully you all remembered your preferred bevvy; boozy or not (shoutout to all you guys at work for the weekend reading this on your tea break 😘)

Now let’s get started! Kicking off with Charlotte Tilbury’s fabulous magic box.

Firstly I need to talk about the price. £150.

150 smackers for a 12 day Beauty box sounds like pure madness when it’s put like that. Plus the products are mainly minis too! Makes me wonder if I’ve got my money’s worth or not…🤔

This box doesn’t actually have the traditional numbered days of advent so I technically can’t really call it a calendar. However it does give you the freedom to pick and choose what drawer you open, and when. But I can safely say that box is definitely staying on my dresser as a beauty organiser once Christmas is over.

Just look how beautiful it is!! 😍

So box number 1 gave me the gorgeous gift of WONDER GLOW.

I’ve been using this as a base before my makeup mostly, since it’s a light textured moisturising cream; however it has the most stunning light reflecting particles which gives your skin such a stunning, glowy, healthy complexion.
l drop in with my foundation to give my look a bit of a lift.
uct! but i just wish they had made the size a bit bigger than 30 ml!

But as if 1 Beauty Advent was enough?!

My second box is from the one and only M&S.

Worth a whopping £250 (however you only pay £35) And with 25 Little houses of products, I know which box is already my fave.

So House number 1 opened up to reveal one of my personal faves. The Amazing Radiance Body Glow Lotion by Rosie for Autograph.

This lightly tinted lotion is beautifully fragranced using Rosie’s own perfume. Combined with its light shimmer, it gives any skin tone a gorgeous warmth and glow without looking streaky or orange, or making your clothes all gross and dirty! Just what everybody needs for this time of year when everything starts to look a bit flat and dull. My little tip would be to use on your décolleté for a flattering highlighted glow without the need for fake tan.

Both products are very impressive today! But M&S wins my vote since the product size is classed as a travel size (50ml) rather than CT’s Deluxe sample (30ml). I’d have thought for the price point, they might have been more generous.

Anyway I’ll see you all tomorrow Beauties, all my love, Sophs xo

Festive Series 2017

Welcome back beauties! Super glad to be writing to you all again.
And if I have any new readers then Hey! I’m Sophie and I have got you all covered with Christmas this year.
Gifts? yep. Baking? yep. Anything beauty related? double YEP.

So in my opinion you should go grab that box of choccies thats in your cupboard
(you know the ones your mum has reserved for crimbo) plus your preferred tipple (mines prosecco if you’ve got any spare, cheers ) then put your comfiest pj’s on and relax into my little bubble of festive coziness.

It’s been a long time since my last Festive Series so I have definitely ramped it up this year. You can all expect the most sexy, decadent baking recipes every week in December plus a mini daily blog comparing High-end vs High Street Beauty Advent Calendars.

And when I say I’ve ramped it up; I don’t mean Benefit, Clarins or Zoella. I’m talking full scale Charlotte Tilbury’s Naughty or Nice Magic Box. all £150 of it.

I know I’m mad, but I’m so obsessed with that brand I just couldn’t stop myself.

However good old M&S is still the staple High Street Advent, At a very reasonable £35!(Even though it’s worth £100 more than the CT box, I’ll explain all soon darlings)

So watch this space my lovelies, December is within touching distance! So come back on Friday the 1st for the start of all the festive fun!

See you soon, and don’t forget the prosecco next time 😉

All my love, Sophs xo

ULTIMATE, EPIC YULE LOG

I know it’s a bit late for a Christmas dessert, but if you’re like me and have another roast dinner tomorrow and you’ve been a wally and forgotten the dessert, and the thought of even attempting to enter a shop on Boxing Day fills you with utter dread; or you’ve decided to be Nigella this year and make an epic centrepiece from scratch then look no further fellow chocolate lovers because I have just the ticket, it’s my most rich and decadent ULTIMATE Yuletide Log!! But with a twist (naturally I wouldn’t be boring)


This Yule log is inspired by a recipe I’ve seen on Cupcake Jemma’s YouTube channel, which I’ve tweaked and pimped up to make it even more epic. Which should give all you lovely people a bit of luxury and decadence amongst all the increasing stress of Christmas.

This fantastic Swiss roll sponge recipe will be great for your big Yule log, or alternatively you can follow my steps up to spreading the cream, then cut the sponge into equal oblong shapes and roll them into minis.


The yield of this recipe makes one centrepiece Yule log or 8 minis.

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 3 large free range eggs, separated
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of cloves

Buttercream

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 160g icing sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 70g chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp Christmas Cake Curd
  • Up to 75ml Baileys

Ganache

  • 100g dark chocolate (the best quality you can afford)
  • 115ml double cream

I have listed ingredients for ganache because the big Yule log is best with cream in the middle and buttercream on the outside in my opinion, however if you opt to make this recipe into the 8 minis, I’d use the buttercream recipe for the middle and ganache on the outside. But feel free to mix it up a bit and be creative (well as creative as you can be with a Yule log)

Method

  1. Start by separating your eggs into whites in one bowl, yolks in another. Whip up the egg whites using a hand whisk until they have soft peaks. Then add 25g of the sugar and whip up again until they have stiff peaks. Now set this bowl aside.
  2. Now using your hand whisk again whip up your egg yolks and the remaining 50g of sugar for a few minutes until it’s doubled in volume and turned a buttery light yellow colour. Then sift in the cocoa and spices and fold them in gently until combined. This mixture will be very thick and sticky so bare with it, it will look more like a sponge mixture in a minute.
  3. Now in four stages fold in the egg whites to the yolk and cocoa mixture. The first spoonful can be folded a bit more vigorously just to loosen it up a bit. Then gently with the other additions to keep as much of that precious air in the mixture as possible.
  4. Prepare a Swiss roll tin or a shallow baking tin by greasing and lining with baking parchment and pour your mixture in. Use a cranked palette knife to guide it to the edges and level it out gently. Now bake it in the centre of your oven for 10-12 minutes, or when it’s just springy to the touch at 180c or gas mark 4.
  5. Once it’s baked turn it out onto a clean chopping board and cover it with a clean tea towel as it cools. After about 10 minutes of cooling you’ll need to roll the sponge up with the to make sure it won’t crack, but in the meantime you can whip up your cream.
  6. Whip the cream until it’s at soft peaks, go too far and you’ll have made your own butter. Then whisk in the baileys.
  7. Now unroll the sponge and spread the cream on gently, but not too thickly otherwise it won’t roll up tightly.
  8. Be careful with this bit and roll it up again, but obviously without the paper inside.
  9. Now if you’re making the buttercream whip up the butter until it’s paler in colour, then whisk in the sugar, melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a Bain Marie then mix that in with the cocoa powder, baileys and Christmas cake curd until it’s all smooth. Fill up a piping bag with a star nozzle in it with your buttercream and pipe onto your log until it looks sufficiently loggy. Don’t forget to pipe the spiral on both ends.
  10. Alternatively if you’re opting for ganache, heat the cream over a low heat until it’s nearly at a boil but don’t actually let it boil, then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Leave it to stand for about a minute or two then stir it until it’s a glossy, smooth mixture. Give it 5 minutes to thicken then spoon onto your log and with a palette knife, spread it all out evenly, again not neglecting the ends. After about 5-10 minutes to let them set slightly, use a cocktail stick or a fork to make log effect wiggly lines down each log, and use a single cocktail stick to create a spiral on either end.
  11. Now make it snow on top with icing sugar in a sieve, and top each one with little fondant holly decs you can easily buy from most supermarkets, but I made mine with fondant I dyed green and red.
  12. Don’t give it to your guests, just eat it all yourself. I did.

Oh and I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas, I must say with all this liquor, mine has been very merry indeed. And a very healthy (well after this it won’t be) and happy new year X