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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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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The Benefits of Green Tea

The Benefits of Green Tea

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Hello everybody!

So recently I’ve started what can only be called a change of lifestyle; I’ve joined Slimming World and I am making a conscious effort to lose weight. I’m on week three so once there is a significant change I’ll blog about it 🙂

One thing I’ve really got into during my ‘lifestyle change’ (I refuse to say diet) is introducing healthy foods and drinks into my daily routine, and so I’ve started drinking more green tea. I have always loved green tea (along with all other types of tea) but ever since reading lots of different things stating the different benefits of green tea I’ve made it part of my life. This post is a celebration of all things green tea.

Quick bit of information for those tea lovers, all tea is produced from the Camellia sinensis plant. The fresh leaves are steamed to produce green tea, whereas other types of tea go through a fermentation stage. Green tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, to treat literally anything, from a headache to a more serious condition. They’ve definitely got the right idea!

Some of the benefits:

It contains B vitamins, potassium, folate (naturally occurring folic acid), magnesium and caffeine.

It has anti-inflammatory qualities, proven to reduce skin damage and improve wrinkles, as well as sun damage.

It lowers the risk of diabetes.

It kills bacteria; improving dental health and the risk of infection.

It burns fat; improving physical performance and boosting weight loss.

The natural caffeine improves brain performance, and is linked to reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

It combats cardiovascular disease.

It reduces cholesterol.

I’m sure there are many other benefits people who drink green tea have found, and there are many websites with information!

Having made this a part of my daily routine I can say I feel much more alert, my bloating has reduced and I feel happier which I know is part of my routine becoming more active as well, but I know green tea has played a huge part. I also suffer from a bit of anxiety and I feel like that has definitely improved. Whether that be the actual tea or the physical affects is making my mind a lot calmer and positive, either way I’m feeling really happy these days.

I would love to hear if anybody else has felt the benefits of green tea, or if they don’t feel them or disagree, so get in touch with your thoughts 🙂

Speak soon,

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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Sunday Skincare Review

Sunday Skincare Review

Hi guys!

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Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

I’ve been holding off on reviewing this particular product as I really wanted to try it for a while, and see if there were any effects on my skin. So I have been using it for around a month now and I’m really pleased to say that there has been an improvement in not only the appearance but the quality of my skin.

For as long as I can remember I have had ‘problem skin’. Blocked pores and regular break outs. At 25 years old you’d think I would be given a break by now but no, not yet! You name it, I have tried it when it comes to skin care products. It’s taken me a long time, and I have had bad results and good results when it comes to products.

The best piece of advice I was ever given is to keep it simple. A lot of high street skin care products actually feed spots, encouraging the skin to produce more oils and block pores. I couldn’t understand why I would have huge breakouts after washing my face, but Clean and Clear products really dislike my skin. I guess if all skin care products cleared everybody’s skin; they would go out of business.

My skincare routine is now much simpler.

I use the cleanse and polish morning and night; simply rubbing two to three pumps of the cleanser onto my dry face in small circles as to not spread makeup elsewhere around my face. I massage the cleanser into my skin for a couple of minutes.

I then immerse a muslin cloth in hot water, squeeze all the water out so it is damp, and use a clean part of the cloth for each part of my face. I gently wipe off all the cleanser and once it is all off I splash my face with cold water. This part is really important; splashing cold water on your face after cleansing closes your pores after the heat has opened them. This prevents your pores becoming clogged up.

The difference I’ve seen in my skin has converted me to a true Liz Earle follower.The natural ingredients don’t flare up my skin, and while everybody’s skin is different; I would 100% recommend it. My pores are less blocked, the redness has really faded and my skin feels softer and more nourished.

Do you have any favourite skin care products you swear by?

Has anyone tried the Liz Earle hot cloth cleanse and polish?

Love,

Sophie xxx

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Hooray For The Weekend!

Hooray For The Weekend!

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I just love weekends. My weeks are always crazy busy with work and commuting so as soon as Friday night hits I can feel a wave of happiness rush over me. That feeling when you finish work and skip out f the door with pure joy on your face. I just love the weekend.

This weekend I knew I would be fairly busy so I had a very chilled Friday night planned. Recently I moved back home (I’ve lived away for six years) so I’m still adjusting to being back with my family but our house is very laid back and we tend to spend Friday nights relaxing with a takeaway and a film. I like to pamper on a Friday night so I put on the Soap and Glory Fab Pore 2 in 1 pore purifying mask and peel and painted my nails. I then used the No.7 Essential Moisture night cream and snuggled in my blanket with a cup of tea. Perfect.

On Saturday I woke up naturally at 8:30am. I cannot tell you how glorious I felt and I still feel it slightly as I type this on Monday; that’s how glorious it was. Through the working week I wake up on average between 5:30am and 7am, torn away from my slumber by my wretched alarm. So just the idea of waking up when my body is ready is a distant dream. TODAY IS A WONDERFUL DAY. I got ready and drove an hour and a half to one of my best friend’s parent’s house for her little boys first birthday.

I had a great time, and Travis looked like he was thoroughly enjoying himself, surrounded by family, friends and presents! The spread was beautiful and the cakes were amazing! We sang happy birthday and I had a lovely catch up with my friends, some I see a lot, some not so often so it was a great chance to talk and have a laugh together.

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From there I drove to my best friend Laura’s house. It’s like a second home for me, so as soon as I step in the door I feel completely at ease. We watched Beyonce- Life is But a Dream and had a little gossip; and then we made a carrot cake. The recipe is good old Mary Berry: the recipe is here.

Laura’s boyfriend James cooked a delicious sausage pasta bake yummy and then we iced the carrot cake. We then spent the evening watching X factor, drinking tea and eating our carrot creation. I am so gutted we were so excited to eat it I didn’t get a photo! It looked just like Mary Berry’s… promise! So after eating lots of cake I drove home, singing along to the Wicked soundtrack all the way.

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Baking organised chaos

Sunday morning was spent lying in bed, drinking tea and watching Frozen. Love that film! I’m so excited to spend Wintery weekends snuggled in blankets with candles lit, hot chocolate and Wintery Christmas films. Does anybody else store their stash of Christmas films and keep them locked away until October when the urge is just too great to hide them anymore? I am barely able to contain myself with excitement right now, winter is my favourite season. Eep!

The rest of Sunday I spent baking some lovely cakes. I’ll do a separate blog post with the recipe, it was a scrummy one!

What is your idea of a perfect weekend?

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(P.s in this photo I’m wearing the MAC lipstick in ‘plumful’, my new fave, perfect for the coming season!

Sophie xxx