Mini Haircare Haul!

Mini Haircare Haul!

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Hey guys! I hope you’re all having a relaxed and chocolatey Easter weekend 😀

I thought I’d share with you just a few haircare bits and bobs I got recently, let me know if you’ve tried any or you prefer something else, also if you’ve done a haircare review or haul, send me the link so I can read please 😀

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Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo – Uplifting Volume

Ooh this is a goodun, I (like most girls) am always looking for a good dry shampoo that not only works but smells nice. There are so many more to choose from nowadays and this is one I’ve had a couple of times. It has a citrus like smell, without smelling gross, and I always get whiffs of it throughout the day. It does what I expect it to; makes my hair look clean. Also, unlike some others I have tried; there isn’t huge amounts of white powder to brush out which means if you’re in a rush, this is a good one to consider.

 V05 Ultimate Hold Hairspray

Just because I’m not keen on the heat defence spray does not mean I don’t like any V05 products, because this hairspray is badass. I know a lot of people LOVE the Tresemmé hairspray which I agree is awesome; but I loooove this! Smells amazing, holds the hair for a very long time. I work very long days and it stays all day and for that I adore it. It also gives my hair a nice shine without making it lok greasy which always works for me.

Pro:Voke Touch of Silver Brightening Shampoo

So this product I bought as my hair is looking slightly brassy (perks of platinum highlights) and while I take care of my hair sometimes it needs a bit of a toner to bring out the ashy tones and eliminate the brassy ones. It is bright purple which is a bit scary, and you should only use it a couple of times a week to ensure your hair is protected. I will do a review on this product as I know a lot of bloggers looking for a good toner!

Tresemmé Care and Protect Heat Defence Styling Spray

This is my go to heat defence spray. The first time I used this was when my previous housemate used it and the bathroom smelled glorious. Since then, it has been my loyal friend. Relatively cheap the bottle lasts for ages and only needs a couple of sprays to protect your locks. I did dabble with the V05 version of this but no matter what I try, this one is always my fave. Stick to what suits you!

Boots Coconut and Almond Leave in Conditioner

Ok girls, if you are a sucker for that gorgeous coconut/almond smell; buy this product. I haven’t tried it yet so I will feedback in terms of results. But jeez; the smell is INCREDIBLE. It has that gorgeous beachy scent, takes me on holiday as soon as I smell it. And it is an absolute BARGAIN at under £1.50. Go buy it, go!

Let me know if you have any great haircare products you’ve always used or that you’ve newly discovered!
And also, any blondes out there that have any recommendations for toner shampoo/silver saver I would love to hear from you!

Lots of love,

Sophie xx

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In need of a little motivation…

In need of a little motivation…

Hello everyone, and happy Sunday. Sunday again! Why does it seem that Friday evening comes around so slowly and then all fo a sudden it’s Sunday evening? Time just goes way too fast. I wish I had more time to post blog posts, I really want to but I have a huuuuge amount of uni work to do. After a long day at uni on Friday I came home with a very heavy head full of lists of things to do, stuff I’m in the middle of and a billion deadlines. But I love it. I can’t complain, I am so glad to be doing what I’m doing even if at times I feel like there is no time for anything else.

One thing I have learned is to give yourself regular proper breaks. So get outside, meet up with friends, get your hair done. Whatever makes you happy and allows you to take a break from work.

I thought I’d post some motivational quotes I keep looking at to get me motivated and remind me why I’m working my bum off!

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I always look on my Pinterest for motivational quotes so have a little gander there for some more motivational pins. And if you want to follow me that’d be awesome!

Do you have any motivational quotes you live by?

Love Soph xx

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Advice From One Girl With Problem Skin To Another

Advice From One Girl With Problem Skin To Another

For as long as I can remember, I have had ‘problem’ skin. The doctor tells me it’s hormonal, and is in the typical areas of my face; particularly my cheeks and chin area as well as around my jaw line. Some days are better than others and I have the occasional flare up. And like most sometimes I am lured into a false sense of security to then wake up the next morning with the worst skin ever! Although I think I will continue to have problem skin throughout my life, I have definitely gained more control of it, and thought I would share my advice. These things work for me, and while they may not work for all, I think it’s best to share any good tips with my fellow girls!

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Drink water

Pretty self-explanatory. Water keeps us hydrated and our skin relies on this to repair itself and work correctly. Admittedly I find it very difficult to drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, so I carry a litre bottle with me during the day and my target is to drink it all by the time I have to get home from work. I also drink a pint of water every night before bed. Since introducing this little routine my skin feels much softer and looks brighter.

Buy products that are suited to your skin type

My skin type is a combination of oily/dry. So I search for products for this. Whether it is a moisturiser that is a lotion rather than a cream, or a foundation that is matte rather than dewy, the product should be suited to your skin. Otherwise, hello breakout. Do your research; there are lots of pieces of advice on skin types online, and if you are unsure, you can visit a dermatologist or see a beautician.

Wash your face

Ok so when I say wash your face, don’t fall into the trap I and many girls have before, which is washing it too often. If you wash it too often you will encourage your skin to create more oil to make up for the fact it keeps getting washed away and this could cause breakouts. A good time to wash your face could be when you wake up and before you go to bed. I’ll talk about certain products later but one I would recommend is the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleansing Polish, and the Instant Boost Skin Tonic. Alcohol free, it contains aloe vera, chamomile and cucumber which soothes and refreshes skin.

Moisturise

My friend is a beauty therapist, and I once asked her if there was one piece of beauty advice she could tell everyone what would it be, and her answer? Moisturise. For those with oily skin, a common misconception is you don’t need to moisturise, but that simply isn’t true. We all need to. For my combination skin I am more suited to a lotion, whereas oily skin needs a serum. Again, do your research and find what is best for you. Even just moisturising before bed will hydrate your skin, and while I moisturise when I go to bed and when I wake up, some people need to do this more or less. Introduce it into your routine, wash your face and then moisturise. Your skin will thank you for it!

Research facial cleansers

I am the first to say I have tried many facial cleansers. The best advice I could give is to avoid harsh cleansers and opt for the gentle ones. Avoid alcohol based cleansers and keep this in your mind: ‘you are what your skin eats’.  Everybody has different skin, but for me, Neutrogena products made my skin break out, and Clearasil felt like it burned all the goodness out of my face. Obviously these may work for some, this is just from my own experience. My Mum actually washes her face with baby lotion on a cotton wool pad, and has done this for her entire life. Her skin is flawless, and this may be down to the gentle cleanser.

Have make-up free days

At least once a week, I like to have a day with absolutely no make-up on my face. This allows my skin to breathe, and repair itself. It also removes toxins and is said to prevent premature ageing.  Bonus! A barrier I had to overcome was people seeing my bad skin, but since I started having a day a week make-up free, I have seen a definite improvement in my skin. I have also become more confident; this is my skin, and I am proud. And if anybody has a negative thing to say about the fact I am confident enough to show my natural beauty, I would say that’s a self-esteem issue on their part, not mine.

Chill and de-stress

During stressful times in your life, your skin may release more sebum. This is the oily substance that mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria to clog the hair follicles. So for people with acne prone skin or problem skin this could cause a breakout. I am in that category and have seen my skin breakout when I’m feeling stressed or anxious. So a few things that may help you de-stress that have worked for me: Sleep – make sure you get at least 7-8 hours a night Exercise – release those endorphins Have me time – take a break, read a book, paint your nails Go for a walk Meditate – there are lots of apps that play relaxing sounds/music. Light some candles, lie down, close your eyes and relax Call a friend – have a chinwag, laugh till your belly hurts!

I really hope this advice helps, although it’s from my own experience, I think a lot of it relates to anyone with bad skin. I can totally relate to those feelings of despair, sadness and frustration when you have a breakout, and while I still have those days sometimes, it’s up to us all to share our advice and understand that you aren’t alone and there are ways to make it better.

I would love to hear any tips for problem skin, so link me your blog posts so I can have a read, and use the hashtag  #lovemyskin

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Love Soph x

January – Essentials To Get Me Through

January – Essentials To Get Me Through

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January is that horrid month. You’re skint from Christmas festivities and pay day seems miles away, have eaten way too many mince pies, no amount of layering warms you up, and your skin is in need of some real TLC.

Like a lot of people, January makes me feel blue sometimes. I need my survival essentials.

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic
This was a Christmas gift. It came as part of a pack which included the Hot Cloth Cleansing Polish and 2 muslin cloths.

DSCN0640My love for Liz Earle products grows every day. This tonic along with the polish has made my problem skin so much clearer. It feels like my pores are thoroughly cleansed, and there is no redness. The smell is amazing and I can see my skin seems brighter since I have been using it. The first time I used it was when I saw Zoella using it all those years ago and I’ve used it ever since!

No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream
This cream is for normal/oily skin, is SPF 15 and is hypo-allergenic. I specifically chose this moisturiser because it is light yet really hydrates my skin – essential for this cold weather. Does anybody else find their skin is so dry during the Winter Months? I also absolutely adore the smell of this cream, it is mild and fresh, and if they bottled the smell I would be wearing it in a heartbeat!

Tangle Teezer
I got my tangle teezer for Christmas after wanting one for SO. LONG. I’m pretty late on the old tangle teezer bandwagon, but have loved them since discovering one of my favourite youtubers Gabby has a larger than life love for them too. They really are amazing. When I first used it I was worried that it’s tiny bristles would snap in my thick hair but they get rid of all my knots and my hair feels soooo soft after using it. It is the perfect size to fit in your handbag, and you can get every colour imaginable. They also do a compact teezer which is even smaller to fit in your bag, and that one has a cover to protect the bristles. Highly recommend!

Next mini perfumes
I got two of these for Christmas and I love them both! I got Cashmere from my Christmas blogger swap Rachel in my little gift box and I carry it around with me in my handbag! It has a subtle powdery musk scent and is also slightly floral. I like the delicate scent and you could wear this day or night.
I got Femme from my Mum, and I actually love this for nights out or dinner with friends. It has a slightly oriental fragrance and is lovely and fruity. I would recommend both to you all, I know perfume is very personal so go to Next and smell them!

Options Hot Chocolate Mint
The Wintery months call for lots of hot drinks, and during my hunt for low fat hot chocolates to fit in with Slimming World I have rediscovered my love for Options Hot Chocolate Mint! I like all the flavours but this one is my ultimate favourite. It really fills the spot and makes me feel all yummy and warm inside 🙂

Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Crayons
I got this set for Christmas and live with at least one of these in my handbag at all times. It contains three crayons, in ‘Fuchsia-ristic’, ‘bashful’ and ‘raplumzel’. Out of the three, I would say bashful is my favourite as it is more of a pinky nude, and can be worn with most things. That’s not to say I don’t like the others! I looove the plum colour of raplumzel and fuchsia-ristic is very bright but still quite subtle. These crayons are not too pigmented, so nice to wear through the day, I would probably add a bit of lippy to them if I were to wear them at night, just to bring the colour out a little more.
Side note: they smell INCREDIBLE.

Crabtree and Evelyn Ultra-moisturising hand therapy in Avocado, olive and basil.
This hand cream is amazing. I went into Crabtree and Evelyn to buy a gift for my boss, and came out with this. After trying the sample I was desparate to buy it and I’m so glad I did. This is a staple in my handbag. Without being too oily, my hands feel soft and moisturized, and working with children I constantly wash my hands so need a rich moisturizer to stop my hands cracking. Even the smell indicates this moisturizer is of a good quality.

These lovely things have pulled me through January and ensured I don’t constantly feel January blues. Let me know your January staples, and if you use anything similar!

Speak soon,

Sophie xxx

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100 followers!

100 followers!

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I woke up this morning to 100 followers. I know in the grand scheme of blogging terms that isn’t a huge number but I cannot believe 100 people read/like my posts! It makes me so happy and I want to thank you all 🙂

If there are any blog posts you would be interested in me writing about please do let me know! I have a big list of posts coming soon!

Thanks again ❤

Love,

Soph xxx

Get Involved: Christmas Blogger Gift Swap!

Get Involved: Christmas Blogger Gift Swap!

Hello everybody and happy Sunday! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend. Mine was filled with Christmas shopping, sticky toffee lattes, napping, films in bed and carrot cake baking! (recipe coming  soon!)

The purpose of this post is to let all you guys know about the Christmas Blogger Gift Swap; a wonderful opportunity to get to know fellow bloggers and connect with new bloggers! This event has been organised by the lovely Viola of A Piece of Viola so go check out her blog!

I’ll paste the details Viola has posted in her blog so you get an idea of what to do, it’s all pretty easy!

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Christmas Blogger Gift Swap (UK only)
I want to invite all bloggers, regardless of whereabouts you live in the UK, regardless of how big or small your blog is, and regardless of what ‘type’ of blog you have, to join in and get involved!

What is this all about?
The idea behind this event is to basically get bloggers interacting which each other during the festive season and to do a gift swap. It’s a chance to get to know others and discover a variety of other amazing blogs out there! You’ll be paired with a fellow blogger at the beginning of December where you’ll have a short period to get to know them before you have to send them some lovely Christmas gifts.

But don’t worry:
You don’t have to spend a massive amount of money if you don’t want to. Heck, you could even send homemade gifts (they are said to come from the heart) and are just as good! You and your partner can both decide a budget if you want to, but essentially it’s your choice.

How do I get involved?
Well, there are 3 simple, easy steps:

  1. Fill out the Google form here and wait for a confirmation email from me.
  2. Write a blog post about this event within 3 days of receiving confirmation so that we can get as many bloggers involved as possible!
  3. Once paired up, get to know your fellow blogger, buy their gifts and send them off!

Rules
Here are the following dates for this swap:

  • November 28th: Deadline for completing the submission form.
  • December 1st: Find out your blogger pair, yay!
  • By December 17th: Send off gifts to your blogger pair 🙂

In order to take part, you must:

  • Fill in the Google form document – here’s the link again.
  • Write a blog post about this event within 3 days of receiving confirmation.
  • Send a couple of nice gifts to your paired blogger by December 17th.
  • Write a post about your gifts (must include photos) after you have received them.
  • Send me links to all of your blog posts so I can see how the event has gone!

I know it’s a sharp turnaround, what with November 28th being just 2 weeks away so I’d love it if everyone promoted the event so we can get as many people as possible involved!

You can get in touch with me on Twitter & Instagram (@violahelen_) or email me at apieceofviola@gmail.com.
You can also use the hashtag #apovgiftswap on Twitter or Instagram to connect with others!

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Ok so I invite all of my wonderful followers and friends to take part in this, let’s help our community grow even more ❤

Love,

Sophie xxx

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November Favourites!

November Favourites!

Hello everybody!

This time of year is just my absolute favourite. Cold, crispy mornings, twinkly lights, hot chocolate, warm scarves and gloves, fireworks, I love it all. I have so many favourites at this time of year so I’ve narrowed it down to a smaller number, a bit of a range of things! Hope you enjoy them.

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Ecotools Make up Brushes

DSCN0583These brushes are simply amazing. I swear by them and haven’t found any that even come close. The bamboo handle is smooth, the bristles are so soft they feel amazing. The aluminium ferrules is recycled, and the are 100% cruelty free.

 

Sleek Blush Palette

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The palette I have is called ‘Lace’ which has two intense matte shades; a coral and a bright red, and one rich shimmer which is a pinky colour. When looking for a new blush I wanted something really pigmented and relatively cheap, this palette is perfect. I wear this during the day but can also dress this up for night time make up.

Rimmel London 60 Seconds Nail Varnish in Rapid Ruby

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I got this nail varnish from my best friend as part of a Christmas box of goodies while I was in Australia. The colour just screams Christmas. I love to wear dark jeans with a chunky knit scream scarf and my black coat with red nails, it’s so wintery.

Bourjois Intense Extrait 01 – Biege Dore

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I love love love this eyeshadow. It is so shimery and perfect to illuminate your eyes. It brings out the blue in my eyes, which is why I love it, and the fact that once applied, my makeup is transformed. I love this when going out for dinner to add a little more shimmer, but you can really go to town with this too. A staple eyeshadow for me.

MAC lipstick in ‘Plumful’

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This lipstick is my absolute favourite at the moment. The plum colour is perfect for Winter and it brings out the brightness and colour in my face without washing me out. I also feel like some red lipsticks tend to make teeth look slightly yellow. This plum colour makes my teeth look nice and bright!

L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Nourising Mask Balm

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A lot of people talk about the summer drying out your hair, I find that my hair feels drier in the Winter. A combination of blowdrying my hair, straightening it and tying it up makes my ends dry and easily split. This mask is very affordable and I have found it really works. I left it in my hair for five minutes, and the result was soft smooth hair, it feels more voluminous and hydrated. A must have.

Sticky Toffee Latte – Costa

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I won’t say much about this, just that I am now addicted.

Baking

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Most people know I am an avid baker and spend most weekends baking something. This month has been no different. Last weekend I made a carrot cake but my favourite cake was the cupcake bouquet I made for my Mum’s birthday. I made chocolate cupcakes with a golden buttercream, piped on in a rose style and I made some leaves with green icing. I am so proud of myself, and I keep baking and improving; one day I might make a living from it!

What have been your favourites over November?

Have you tried or bought any of these products and what do you think?

Love,

 Sophie xxx

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