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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#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

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.

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. 

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)