Friday, 27 February 2015

February Favourites

Woop woop! Monthly favourites time once again! February was a big month with loads happening, loads of love and loads to share so grab yourself a hot drink and a biscuit, we're going to be here for a while!



Beauty wise, February was very much a month of rediscoveries. If you follow me on Instgram, you may have seen that I posted a photo of Rimmel's Kate Moss lipstick in '03'. I loved this lipstick when I was at uni and for whatever reason, had forgotten about it. I picked a new one up again recently and have fallen back in love. Its quite a good drugstore 'dupe' for MAC's 'Brave' but ever so slightly cooler. The consistency is great though, really creamy and nourishing.

I've been using the Pro Formula Fresh Skin Brightening Face Scrub with Grapefruit and Cranberry from Tesco of all places, and I've got to say, it's great. In my experience, supermarket own brands aren't great for skin or body care, but this smells amazing and exfoliates gently, all for only £2.99.

Surprise, surprise, a vampy nail polish. So unlike me, I know! New Look True Cool nail polish in the shade 'Chocolate' is a browny-burgundy and the formula is great, really quick drying and opaque. I've seem very little about this beauty collection on the blosephere, but their nail polishes are amazing for only £2.99.

A basic but a great one at that, Nivea's Essential Care. I always smother my lips at night before I go to bed and this is my balm of choice at the moment. I don't a have much to say about it other than it does exactly what you want a lip balm to do.


Back the start of the month, I spent a few days in Liverpool to celebrate my 24th birthday. I'd never been before and am always love seeing new places, especially cities. It was nothing like how I pictured it but I had a fantastic few days. Loads of fantastic places to visit and lovely people too - most of which make Glaswegians seem quiet!



A film favourite for this month would need to be Prozac Nation. It's one I've wanted to see for ages and when I finally got Netflix in January and spotted it on there, I knew this was finally my chance. It's based on the novel by and is a really true account of living with mental health issues. The on screen relationship between Christina Ricci and Jessica Lange is fantastically well portrayed and I really recommend it if you enjoyed the book.

What have you been loving throughout February?



Friday, 20 February 2015

DIY Lush Storage

Hellooo! If you saw last Friday's post, you'll have seen a bought a big glass jar in IKEA. But why? Well, today, you'll see why! As a lover of all things Lush, I have loads of half empty gift boxes and partially used soaps with no real storage system so I thought I'd use the old mason jar aesthetic as a means of both storing and displaying my Lush collection!



You will need...

- Air-tight glass jar - IKEA, 
- Cling film - Poundland
- Lush products or any other soaps or bath bombs
- Ribbons, bows, bells and sparkles to make it pretty!
(I used the ribbon and bell from my Lush 'Snow Fairy' gift box - resourceful!)



Wrapping soaps and bath products in cling film will help them to keep their colour and stop them from crumbling or loose their scent. Once they're all wrapped, it's really just a matter of chucking them all in. If you have a huge collection, you could try and so some type of a colour scheme or gradient, but a colourful selection looks just as pretty!

How do you store your Lush goodies?


Monday, 16 February 2015

Re-LENT-Less

Hi all. As tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday, I've finally scraped together the guts to do a post that I've been thinking about for months now. I wasn't raised Catholic so I guess I don't have to give something up for Lent, but after 13 years of Catholic education, it's been drilled into my brain that it's simply what you do, religious background aside. So let's get down to it, shall we?

My name is Sophie and I am an addict. Not an alcoholic, or addicted to smoking, drugs, gambling or sex. I'm a caffeine addict yet I've never once drank a full cup of tea or coffee. My poison? Relentless.



When I was at uni, I used to drink energy drinks a fair amount. Initially, it was because usually the choice was that or Coke, and I hate Coke. I wasn't fussy, anything from the Red Bull if I'd just been paid to Tesco Blue Bolt when the purse strings were tight, but honestly, anything in between would do. At the time, my uni mates would slag me off and it was all a bit of a joke - 'oh look, Sophie's on it again' - and I, as much as everyone else, would laugh along cause it was kind of funny I guess.

As uni pressures increasing in my final year though, and most of my days consisted of lengthy library sessions, with short blasts of sleep or work in between, a can of artificial, sugary caffeine was as routine a part of my library survival pack as my USB drive with all my work on it or a notebook and pen. I didn't really feel like I needed it as such, I just bought it every morning almost absentminded. 

It'd be easy to say it was the stress of deadlines, but since graduating though, I've not really made any effort to try and drink it less of it and it's just as much of a part of my routine now as it was two years ago. Currently I drank at least one can 500ml can every day (sometimes more) and I definitely do feel a certain level of dependency and possibly addiction. 

It's not even just a tired or stressed thing any more. It's almost something I just do as a little treat whether I'm dealing with good or bad. You hear about alcoholics drinking to both celebrate and commiserate and although I'd wouldn't consider my habit to be on the same level of severity as alcoholism, I definitely think I do that too. In a good mood, maybe got out of work early, feeling excited for a night out or finished up for a weekend off? I'll have one, just as a little treat, not because I'm feeling particularly tired or in need of energy. On the opposite end of the spectrum though, if I'm feeling down or anxious, it's my go-to thing. I guess it's probably the same as people who're addicted to eating. Chocolate for happy times, chocolate for sad times.  

In the Summer of 2014, I moved jobs, the same company but a different branch. When I started there, I thought that might've been an opportunity to 'reinvent' myself in regards to my soft spot for caffeine, drink more water and just generally have a healthier approach to my hydration habits but it was only a matter of weeks before even my new team had picked on it the fact that I almost always had caffeine on call and it became a bit of a running job there too. Although the the new environment and new people were nice, the change was more difficult for me than I expected (after all, I left my old branch with a mere two days notice!) and I spend a good few months experiencing really bad anxiety. With my heart rate like a train rattling down a old wooden track half the time, I knew the amount of caffeine I consumed was even worse than usual yet I still didn't make any proper decision to stop or at the very least, cut down. 

On top of that, the insomnia which I sometimes suffer from as a result of my back problems (which is a whole other story!) was more frequent, I was either exhausted and sluggish or I was physically restless while mentally drained. For one of the first times in my life, my mental health and my physical health were actually intersectional and for some reason, this came as a surprise to me. 

Now though, it's nearly Lent and I have no reason not to at least try and curb my addiction. I'm in a much better place at work, I'm happier and love the people I work with and look back on my snap decision to move branches with no regret whatsoever. I no longer have such direct sources of stress and worry from work or uni and while my anxiety is still ongoing, this limited time period of 40 days and 40 nights makes the decision to cut back seem a little more manageable. While I'm at it, I've giving chocolate the boot too and I'm deactivating my Facebook.

Wish me luck...


Friday, 13 February 2015

HUGE homeware haul - Ikea, TKMaxx & Primark

Helooo all! 
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you might have saw that last week, I went for a little trip to IKEA. With the intention of purchasing a shelf. One shelf. Costing £8. 2 and a half hours and nearly £70 later, I have an almighty homeware haul for you lot. There's a few bits from Primark's homeward dept. and TKMaxx too!




This was a completely impulsive purchase which doesn't go with my room's colour scheme and which I have no use for but fell in love with and couldn't go home without - it's this gorgeous baby pink lantern. It was £9 which, by Ikea's prices, is a little more expensive (their standard lantern is £2) but is still a bargain in the grand scheme of interiors. I had originally intended on spray painting it either white or gold but the glass doesn't come out from inside so it's going to need to stay princess pink which I admit, I do love too. 




I bought a two pack of these sage green storage boxes which were £3.75. They come in 3 different sizes, these is the medium ones and they're such an affordable storage solution. I'm going to use one for sunglasses as mine are currently living in old shoe boxes which just isn't very chic at all. The other, I'm going to create a 'blog box' to house my cameras, notebooks, memory card, chargers, photo props, that kind of thing.

Now that I've got them home, I've realised that they're the perfect fit for my build-in shelves so I might got back for more in order to create a more uniform look. 




No trip to IKEA is ever complete without throwing a few candles in the trolley, right? They do an amazing variey of sizes and scents, all in very simplistic, unfussy packaging and all for so cheap. I bought four candles in total - and if you get that 'Two Ronnie's' reference, congratulations on your excellent taste in comedy!

Apple Jar (40 hours burning time) - £2.50
Orange Jar (40 hours burning time) - £2.50
Fresh Linen Jar (20 hours burning time) - £2
Baby Powder Jar (50 hours burning time) - £6

The only thing I'm not keep on is just how bright these are. I love the strong scents of orange and apple but I could do without them being such a vibrant colour.




I initially picked up this little...thing because it was only £3 and I thought it'd be useful for photographing products on. It's more exciting than plain white without being distracting from the subject. It was in the home office section and was displayed as a desk tidy to give more surface space which is a great idea too so I'm going to keep it on my dressing table but periodically use it from blogging too. 




The next thing may seem a little random, it's a huge glass jar from their kitchen dept. I've got a DIY post planned with this for next week so stay tuned to see why I bought this. It was only £2.




This was the first time I'd been to IKEA since they launched their stationary dept. towards the end of 2014. I've seen a number of youtubers and bloggers feature their super cute and as expected, amazingly affordable stationary essentials so knew I'd definitely be checking it out. They have loads of beautiful things, everything from wrapping papers and gift bags to notebooks, stickers, pens and scissors. As I was going by public transport, I resisted the temptation to buy all the wrapping paper but did pick up these 3 notebook. They're not a set as such but are definitely from the same range - don't you just adore the gothic illustrations? The smaller shell one was £2 and the larger bat and tea kettle designs were £3 each.




I've officially jumped aboard the bandwagon for the Pinterest interiors trend of the moment, cacti. My rooms very bright, almost one of my entire walls is just purely window so while I do feel like it's already quite an airy space, having some living, breathing beings to share my space can bring light and life, right? I picked up this set of 3 mini cacti for £4.50, complete with little white plant pots as well as a fake grassy plant for £3 and it's white tin pot for £1.50.




First thing I bought from Primark was this creamy grey crochet cushion. I love having loads of cushions on my bed, mostly because it's comfy and looks pretty but also because they really help with my back problems. This one was £8 but I think it looks much more expensive. Can't you just imagine this is Next Home for £24.99? I can!




I also bought these little house fairylights with heart and star shaped windows for £6. As I don't have enough spare for a bedside table, I rely heavily on fairylights and click-on lights for when I'm reading, watching films etc. in bed and I just thought these were really sweet. Primark's fairylights are battery operated too which is great as they can be positioned anywhere around a room.


Lastly from Primark, I bought yet another candle, it's a red berry scented one which if I'm being honestly, I bought almost entirely for the pot it comes in. I love that the pink ties in with some of my IKEA bits and it was only £3.




From TKMaxx I bought ANOTHER two candles. Yes, I am an addict. TKMaxx are great for candles if you're a fan of lesser known brands and more unusual scents. I bought the DW Home 'Green Tea Leaves' (£4.99) and the Copenhagen Candle Co.'s pillar candle in 'Fresh Linen' (£6.99) Compared to the IKEA ones, I much prefer the more subtle colours of these.




Finally, playing up to another interiors aesthetic of the moment, copper, I bought this box. It was in the garden dept. so I'd assume its meant for plants but I really liked the industrial metal vibe and I'll probably use it to store beauty products. It was only £7.99 which I think is a total bargain.

PHEW! That's a LOT. I'm really enjoying buying more to my room, which I still think of as 'new' (despite it being Summer of 2014 that I redecorated it!) and its fun to add a bit of colour as Spring approaches. I'm also considering doing a room tour post - perhaps even diving into the world of video. Perhaps! Let me know if that's something you'd be interesting in reading or watching.

What's your favourite thing I've bought?



Friday, 6 February 2015

My Weekend Away Beauty Essential

Happy Friday! It's not often that us retail folks get excited by the prospect of a Friday, as the concept of a weekend means nothing. However to kick off 11 days off work, I'm going to Liverpool for the weekend - yey! Today's post is all about what I pack when going away for a few days - my weekend away beauty essentials!







B Pure Clear Micellar Water
In an attempt to downsize my skincare routine to avoid carrying half my beauty collection away with me, all I'm making is this. Admittedly, I think I do love the Garnier Miceler water a little better as it's more gentle, but this is great alternative, the bottle is a goof bit smaller and it works amazingly well as ensuring you skin feels pristine clean.

Philosophy Amazing Grace Whipped Body Creme
I got the Philosophy's Amazing Grace scent for Christmas, contains a scented body cream and shower gel as well as the fragrance itself and I cannot get enough of the body cream. It's really richly fragranced for a cream product so doubles up as a perfume, therefore saves on space when travelling.

Burt's Bee's Beeswax Lip Balm
No travelling is completely without a good lip care product and right now, the Burt's Bees is at the top of my favourites list. I'm always sure to apply a generous amount just before I go to bed to ensure I wake up with a super soft pout, ready for whatever lip product I decide on for the day.

Lush Dirty Springwater Shower Gel
I still have pretty much all of my bottle of Lush's Dirty Springwater shower gel, mostly because Snow Fairy took over my life/shower routine over the festive period. The scent of this one is really fresh making it the perfect wake-me-up for busy, non-stop days which I hope my trip to Liverpool will consist of. 

Burt's Bee's Hand Salve
Another addition for Burt's Bee's - their hand salve is a savour in Winter and I reuse this tiny little version, fill it up for, my big pot and carry it everywhere with me to stop dry and cracked hands. If it take it with me for work and play, why not for holidays?

Soap & Glory Hand Maid Anti-Bacterial Hand Cleansing Gel
Hotels, trains, restaurants - all parts of a trip away but all a hotbed for germs. This is the best hand sanitiser out there, the scent isn't at all chemical and it sinks in so quickly, leaving your hands felling like strawberries.

TRESemme Salon Finish Extra Hold Hairspray 
Hairprays is again an everyday essential for me, for up do's, down do's or anything in between and these little travel sizes are perfect for travelling, just enough for a few days.

Dove Go Fresh Cucumber and Green Tea Deodorant 
Well of course I'll be taking deodorant, I'd imagine that goes without saying! My favourite is Dove's Cucumber and Green Tea scent, which is a really fresh and slightly fruity smelling scent. Unfortunately I couldn't find a mini one anywhere so full size it is!

What are your beauty essential for weekends away?




Monday, 2 February 2015

The Hairaisers 'Live It Loud' Volumising Hair Piece Review*

Olla lovely people on the Internet! If you've been a reader of my blog for a while or if you follow my Twitter, you will know that after years of having pretty much the same hair, I made 2 major hair changes in the past year - last June, I got 7 inches cut off my hair (which you can see here!) and earlier this month, I got a fringe. I've been bitten by the hair bug and while I was once terrified to change my hair, I'm now loving trying new things, even if I don't necessarily love everything!

A few weeks ago, the lovely folks over at Hairrasiers contacted me telling me all about their new 2015 range, the new products they have in and very kindly asking if I'd like to pick something out, which of course I said a big fat yes to! 

Established in 1968, Hairaisers is one of the oldest suppliers to wigs, hair extensions and styling aids in Europe, selling to both trade and to the public like you or I. They sell everything from genuine human hair to synthetic and everything in between. 




They very kindly sent me one of their Live It Loud 3/4 wig to try out, in the colour 2/4. Now, I'll put my hands up and say it, the idea of wear a WIG when I have a full head of hair seems a little odd, but it's not to cover your hair, it's to enhance it! Unfortunately, the colour I choose didn't actually end up being the best match ever for my hair, it was a little too dark, but that is definitely more the fault of me, who knows very little about hair colours, as opposed to them who offer 18 colour variations. To make it even easier to pick the perfect colour, they even sell a colour matching ring for only £6. 

The Live It Loud 3/4 wig can be worn 2 ways...



1 - You can slide it into your scalp on top and pull it back and under to just above your neck to create a volume at the crown, using your own hair at the front (fringe, layers etc) but adding length and fullness at the back. 




2 - You can add it and tighten it around your hairband (using its drawstring) to create a fuller and longer pony tail - very Arianna Grande!

Although I have the straight version, it also comes in a wavy version too. Or, if you're up to the challenge of curling 28" hair, it's heat resistant so can be curled or straightened. The possibilities are endless!

One thing that I really love about this is how comfortable it is on. In my early teens, I experimented with various clip in extensions and I remember them being super tight and sore on my scalp, but this isn't at all, it just feels like a hair band, but doesn't pull and isn't restricting. On top of this, while the hair itself is synthetic, it doesn't feel plasticky or dry and is easy to style just like real human hair.

I think the Live It Loud 3/4 wig is a really great way to experience the with different styles, especially as it's pretty much 4 totally different styles in one. It retails for £34.95 (link here to see more) and is available in 18 different tones, from platinum blonde to jet black. Right now though, you can get an amazing 20% off this as well as loads of their other products, the code 'SOPHIE20'. Hard to resist, no?

Hairaisers selection of products is amazingly varied and really great quality for the price, so if you fancy a new look or just want to experiment with something a little different, head over to http://www.hairaisersshop.com/ now and check out their new 2015 collection! 




Friday, 30 January 2015

January Favourites 2015

The first favourites of 2015! Want to know what I've been loving for the first twelith of 2015? Keep on reading...





Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Colour Deep Treatment
This conditioner was in my stocking from Santa and let me tell you, I can't remember the last I discovered something that made my hair this soft. I don't often condition my hair as it usually makes it really oily, but I thought I'd give this a whirl anyway so as not to waste it. You massage into your roots and leave it on for a few minutes then rinse it out and once dried, my hair feels so soft and manageable. I can't say enough good things about it, they weren't joking with the word 'miracle'!

MaxFactor Lasting Perfection Foundation in '100 Fair'
I recently repurchased this foundation after more than a year of it not bring in my stash, it's one of my all time favourites. My mum uses it too and has my whole life sos it was the first makeup product I ever tried. It's applies smoothly and builds really well. I do find its a little oiler than my skin needs at the moment, but it's still a firm favourite which I'm glad is back in my life.

COLAB A Model Recommends Dry Shampoo
I'll keep this one short and sweet, this is THE dry shampoo of the moment for me. I have a full review on it here if you want to read my thoughts on it more in depth.

Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel
No January Favourites would ever be complete without Snow Fairy. Now that it's back off Lush shelves for another long year and having to cherish each and every Snow Fairy shower, it smells even sweeter. I needn't go into loads of detail, we've all smelt and most of us probably used this too but it's sugary sweet aromas have made dark January morning showers a little more bearable.




Celebrity Big Brother
If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know how obsessed I am with this season on Celebrity Big Brother, it's been one of the best ones yet! From the battle of the Katie's (I'm '#TeamHopkins', just FYI) to Michelle Visage's fabulous makeup to the unexpectedly easy in the eyes Calum Best, I can't get enough. I'm rooting for Michelle all the way though, she's my favourite without a shadow of a doubt.

Blog Loves
For 2015, I've decided to add my favourite blogs of the month, either particular posts which I've enjoyed or new blogs which I've discovered, I thought it'd be nice to sprinkle some love through the blogosphere. 

'Top Chill Songs For Any Mood' by Tess - 'Simply Being Young'
'Why I Ditched Women's Magazines' by Rebecca - 'The Glitter Diaries'
'Bloomin' Rouge' - Holly
'Jess Who' - Jessica 
'Girl Up North' - Jade

What have you been loving so far in 2015?