14 October 2012

Autumn Outfit: One Skirt Three Ways

Good afternoon to you! Today I've put together a few outfits focusing on using one skirt 
in different ways. I love a nice sequinned skirt because it can be dressed up or down and I 
love the texture it adds to an outfit. I've tried to make these outfits appropriate for 
different occasions, I actually really like how they've turned out and hope you do too! Let 
me know which one's your fave or how you might style the skirt your own way. 

Skirt - Topshop £75

Outfit 1: Daytime Casual. 
I love the idea of pairing this skirt with a warm, baggy jumpy because it really dresses it 
down whilst still looking chic. I've kept it simple with a pair of heeled desert boots, 
some black opaque tights and a gold band necklace. Perfect for an Autumn shopping trip 
or a cosy drink at the local pub. 
Jumper - Topshop £36
Boots - Office £75
Necklace - ASOS £8

Outfit 2: Work
I think it's OK to rock a sequin skirt in the workplace as long as it's worn right. The longer 
line and fit of the boyfriend blazer stops the skirt from looking like overkill, and the 
boyish brogues add a nice touch of androgyny. 
Brogues - New Look £17.99

Outfit 3: Party
By adding a simple and classic silk vest top and an eternally chic Chanel-style boucle 
jacket, this outfit makes sequins grown up and glamorous. Perfect for those Christmas 
parties. I haven't added tights as I think a bare leg would look fab, but if you can't quite 
bring yourself to brave the cold then a pair of black tights would work too. 
Ankle Boots - Kurt Geiger £150
Blazer - Topshop £65
Necklace - ASOS £25

Sophie

13 October 2012

A bit of a catch-up: Internships and Holidays

Hello there strangers, how are you all doing? As you may have noticed I kinddddd of haven't posted in a very long time. This is partly down to laziness being busy trying to get a job and partly down to me starting an internship last week. I did mention in a post a while back that I'd been down in London for a few weeks in August and this was because I was doing a PR internship at a cosmetics company (begins with B, French, little round pots ;)?). This was a really great experience and I had a lot of fun, but it was only for three weeks and, as some of you may know, three weeks experience doesn't always count for a lot, especially when you're trying to get a job in marketing or PR and there's 100 people out there who have actually done a degree specifically in marketing (mine was in Geography with Business). 

So, after this I was left at a bit of a loose end and didn't have a job for about 7 weeks (I think, it felt like a lot longer). I had been applying for job, after job, after job all to no avail. I even had to make the step of signing on for job seekers allowance, something I never thought I'd have to do (naively. And don't get me wrong I have nothing against anyone that has to claim benefits). So after job hunting I finally came across an internship. Now, obviously the name gives it away - this was not going to be paid (as was the case with the other one also) but it is so important to get good experience on your CV that I went for it anyway. I ended up getting it and am now an intern in the supporter marketing department of a large environmental charity. This one is going to last until just before Christmas, and the sorts of things I'm doing are much more involved than my previous internship, so I feel really positive that the experience I'm going to gain is going to go a long way in helping me achieve what I really want. It's a lot more hard work than my other one, but in all honesty I'm kind of relishing actually having something to do after having been unemployed (which, I guess I still sort of am!) for what felt like an eternity. 

Also, I am actually waiting to hear back from a job with another cosmetics company, as they're opening a counter at a department store near me, so fingers crossed I might get this and actually have some money - and be working with a brand that really appeals to me and has a great message behind it. (More on that if it happens;)).

So yes, I'm feeling better than I was a month or two ago, and to top it all off I'm actually going away on holiday next week for 11 nights, waaahoooooo! I haven't had a proper holiday abroad for about 3 or 4 years (boohoo to me, I know that isn't really that long!) but I am just super excited about it and am looking forward to being nicely tanned for the winter months when everyone else's tans have faded ;)!!! I've never actually been on holiday abroad when it's not summer here, so it feels strange digging out all my summer clothes and bikinis, but I'm sure I'll manage somehow!

I really hope you're all doing well and I look forward to speaking again soon. If any of you want any more information on internships, like how to get them and what to do when you're there, I'm going to link to Claire's blog Jazzpad and her two posts:  Life as a PR Intern #1 and Life as a PR Intern #2. She has some really great tips and has put things much more succinctly than I probably could. Enjoy!

Sophie

3 September 2012

Book Review: The Hobbit

As you may know if you've been reading my blog since the beginning, I had a new year's resolution to read at least 30 books this year. I'm not 100% sure how many I have read now, I think it must be almost 20 but I forgot to keep writing them down. I need to have a think and try and remember but I feel like I've read loads! Anyway, the latest book I've read is The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. I'm sure all of you must have heard of it, it is what is usually considered to be the prequel to the Lord of the Rings series (which I haven't read) and which has been made into film to be released this November. This was one of the main reasons I picked it up as I always prefer to read the book before seeing the film, if indeed that is applicable. 

The Hobbit is primarily a children's book, but as with so many others, for example Harry Potter, this book transcends age and is enjoyed by people aged 10-110 across the globe. If you have seen or read the Lord of the Rings you will have some idea about what the story will entail; dwarves, elves, goblins and trolls, all set in Middle Earth, with all the dangers and beauties that that entails. The Hobbit follows the adventures of Bilbo Baggins on a quest, with 14 others, to raid a treasure hoard from a very dangerous dragon in the mountains. Being a hobbit Bilbo usually likes to keep himself to himself and has a particular dislike of adventure, but is coerced into going along on the adventure where many a mishap occur. From being captured by the King of the Goblins and managing to escape, to convincing everyone in his party that he is indeed the master burglar he has been made out to be, Bilbo eventually becomes the hero of the story and is indeed a very loveable character, portrayed extremely well in this descriptive and imaginative story. 

Compared to the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is a relative short story with approximately 365 pages of magical beings and astonishing adventures. You really start to connect with the characters in the book, and Tolkien has managed very effectively to give them all their own individual voices and personalities. The book is written in the third person with an anonymous narrator, and this is something I really enjoyed about it because it is narrated in a very humorous, casual and almost conversational tone with the main focus on Bilbo.

I'm glad I've read it before seeing the film and now I'm really looking forward to seeing it portrayed on the big screen. I'd love to know what your thoughts are on the book and if you're excited to see the movie. Hope you enjoyed this little review, I'm by no means an expert on books but thought I'd let you know how I found it!

Sophie 

2 September 2012

Andrew Barton S.O.S Help Me! Hair Mask

I picked up a sachet of this when out and about because my hair was in need of a bit of help (nothing new there then). As soon as I opened it I was greeted my the most delicious scent of coconut and chocolate (I'm pretty sure that's what I can smell anyway) and I fell in love. I didn't even care if it worked or not because if I could have my hair smelling like this everyday, I so would. 



This twice a week conditioner has shea butter in and says it "helps to gently mend all the cracks, smoothes the hair cuticles and adds supercharged shine." You leave it for three minutes whilst in the shower, or if you're in the bath you can leave it on your hair, wrapped in a towel for as long as your heart desires. After you've left it on and you rinse your hair it does feel really smooth. It makes brushing your hair after a doddle and leaves your hair smelling great. As far as long lasting smoothness and silkiness goes I haven't noticed a massive difference, but then I never seem to notice much of a difference after having used a mask compared to any normal conditioner, but I feel like it's better for my hair!

I would say the shine factor is true, my hair does look pretty darn shiny after using this, which I do 
about twice a week. Also, I find that it's quite a lightweight mask, so would be alright for people with fine hair who are maybe a bit scared of using an intense conditioning treatment. I actually picked mine up from ASDA when I was out and about and I think I got it for something ridiculous like £3 on offer - what a bargain! If you're looking for a good hair mask that's not too expensive I would say go and pick up a sachet and give it a try, you can't really go wrong for £3!

Sophie

1 September 2012

Recipe: Nigella Lawson's Madeira Cake

A classic. Probably one of the simplest cakes to make, and yet always rewarding. I hope you enjoy and let me know if you make it.

Ingredients
240g soft butter, 
200g caster sugar (plus extra to sprinkle on top), 
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, 
3 large eggs, 
210g self-raising flour, 
90g plain flour



Step 1: Preheat oven to 170'C (gas mark 3). Cream together the butter and sugar (I used an electric whisk, but doing it by hand would work just as well, and give your arms a bit of a workout).


Step 2: Add the lemon zest. Then add the eggs one by one, with a tablespoon of flour for each egg. 


Step 3: Add the remainder of the flour and mix in. Then add the lemon juice. 


Step 4: Pour into a lined loaf tin, and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of caster sugar before putting in the oven. Bake for 1 hour. 


 Step 5: Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack. Once cooled, turn out and enjoy. Makes 8-10 slices. 


Not quite as good as the original, our oven always burns things. And yes I do blame the oven! But not too bad an attempt, and it was lovely and light and delicious to boot :)

Sophie 

31 August 2012

Most Worn Things: Summer Edition

Having seen this tag go around the blogosphere a lot recently, and having really enjoyed reading posts on it, I felt excited to do my own and let you know the things I have been reaching for most this summer. I think this might be my first ever tag so here goes and I hope you likey. 

Number 1: Most worn nail polish
This was quite difficult, but in the end it had to be Bourjois' Orange Creation (No. 42). I have 
a particular fondness for this polish not only because it is a gorgeously bright and vibrant 
colour, but also because it caused me quite a lot of bother at my recent internship! 
The formula is really lovely to apply and dries in mere seconds, and application is excellent 
with a lovely brush and a nice texture. 

Number 2: Most worn hair product
This one was easy, although I do have multiple products that I use pretty much every time 
I wash my hair, but I went for the Aussie Dual Personality Texturising and Conditioning 
Gel Spray. This is a great little product because it conditions your hair whilst giving it a 
bit of body and texture. I often find that texturising products leave your hair feeling dry and a 
bit straw-like, but this one is a good balance. 


Number 3: Most worn bag
Not very exciting and it was a tough choice between this and my patent black Ted 
Baker one, but for casual days out and for everyday use I would have to say this brown 
bag with a long shoulder strap which I picked up from TK Maxx a while ago. It's a good size 
so you don't end up carrying loads of crap with you, but I do find myself getting annoyed 
that I sometimes can't fit everything in. I think I'm just a big bag girl at heart. 


Number 4: Most worn shoes
For the majority of the 'summer' I've been wearing these sandals from a brand called 
Staccato. I got them about two years ago and I've lived in them for both summers since 
then. Even though they have the blue stone things they still seem to go with loads of 
different things and they have failed to let me down so far. 


Number 5: Most worn accessory
To be honest, apart from the two rings I wear everyday I don't actually wear that 
many accessories. I go through phases of piling on the rings and bracelets, but this 
summer I've kept it pretty minimal. I have, however, been quite a fan of a dangly 
earring now and again, and this pair from the Topshop sale have been a firm favourite. 


Number 6: Most worn clothing item
Unfortunately I would have to say that this jumper from Topshop is my most worn clothing 
item. It's sad that this is making an appearance in a summer tag but this jumper is just 
the perfect item to wear on those days when it's sunny but not all that warm. It's light and 
floaty enough to keep you cool, but warm enough to keep out the chill if the sun 
decides to hide behind the clouds. I think this is the same jumper I've seen talked about 
a bit on tinternet, it was the perfect addition to my wardrobe, but is starting to look a
 bit 'worn' now, with a few loose thread hanging around!


Number 7: Most worn foundation
Again, this was relatively easy. Although I do tend to switch up my foundation on quite 
a regular basis this always seems to be the Clarins Ever Matte Foundation that I come 
back to (shade 104 Cream). I've had it for almost three months now and haven't looked 
back. I have quite oily skin so was wanting to try this for a while because it promised a 
matte finish. I know some people might be put off by that but I have to say it is nowhere near 
as matte as I expected. Honestly, on my skin, it gives more of a dewy matte finish, which I 
know is impossible, but it is most definitely not completely matte. I would urge you to go 
and give it a go if you've been thinking about it because it is a gorgeous foundation that 
blends flawlessly into the skin and has the smoothest texture I've come across. Lovely. 

Number 8: Most worn blusher and/or bronzer
Blusher would have to be No 7's Candy Pink (22). I've mentioned this in a previous post 
and have grown to love it. I do change my blush quite regularly, but again this seems to be 
the one I keep coming back to. It's the perfect pop of bright pink to add colour to your 
cheeks and a little goes a long way. Bronzer is Topshop's Cheek Duo in Desert 
Sun (technically a blush as well) which I seriously love so much! It is such a subtle 
bronze colour that just makes you look like you're glowing from the inside. 


Number 9: Most worn lip product
I think this may have been the hardest category of them all because lip products change 
upon the hour with me (not literally). I have so many that I love and have about ten different 
lip products in my handbag at any one time, just in case my mood changes. After having a 
long, hard think though I decided on these three (I am so cheating on this tag). Numero 
uno is Rimmel's Vinyl Gloss lipgloss in Be Famous - I'm surprised there's not more around 
about this because it is an absolutely beautiful pinky-coral colour. Second is 17's 
Beehive lipstick, I'm not going to bang on about this because there's loads written about 
it (including on this blog!). And number three is Mac's Vegas Volt. Again, I've done a post 
on this but this is my go-to lipstick if I'm going out of an evening - it is seriously amazing.

Number 10: Most worn mascara
There is no way I could choose just one, so I've narrowed it down to two (it could have 
been so many more, I change my mascara pretty much daily). First is the Avon 
Supershock Max mascara which was actually a freebie in a magazine. It has a massive 
wand which I don't really like, but it gives length, volume and separation which in my 
eyes makes a good mascara. Second is a long time love of mine, Rimmel's Lash 
Accelerator (which could probably do with being replaced judging by the picture!). I don't 
know exactly how much this makes my lashes grow but I cannot stop using it because 
it makes my lashes look really good. The brush is a lot smaller than Avon's, but I like 
that because you can really get into the nooks and crannies. 

Number 11: Most worn eyeshadow 
I don't know if this is cheating, but it would have to be the Naked Palette. I've had this 
for about a year now and it has constantly been in use since then. I do veer off and use 
other eyeshadows occasionally but this has been my go-to for many a moon now. As 
you can probably tell from the pictures Virgin is well-loved, but some of my other faves 
from the palette are Sidecar, Buck, Naked and Smog. 

So there we have it, my first ever tag. I hope you enjoyed even though it's getting to the end of summer. Maybe I'll go crazy and do the winter one if that pops up around the internet. I really hope you're having marvellous days!

Sophie

TODAY I AM INSPIRED.

source

Since beginning the redesign of this blog, I have been on an inspirational high! Don't you 
just love a good inspirational quote? I always find myself typing "inspiration" into Google and noting 
down or saving pictures and quotes that inspire me. Or maybe I will type in "moodboard" or "creative" 
and I absolutely love looking at what comes up and where it can lead you. This is often how I've found 
new blogs and websites and I urge you to try it if you're feeling a bit down in the dumps (which I have 
been a lot recently). 

Things are starting to look up a bit now hopefully, so fingers crossed this wave of creative 
energy will keep me going and I'll be back to normal before you know it. I would genuinely love 
to know how you get inspired and where you draw inspiration from...is it music that gets you going? 
Beautiful artwork? Your friends and family? I'd love to know. 

Sophie

29 August 2012

A Redesign and Bow Nails

Some of you may have noticed (if you still come on here, I know I'm being very irregular with posting recently) that my blog has changed slightly in its design. I am in the process of updating it and trying to make it look a bit more professional, with less clutter down the sides and hopefully some new buttons and possibly a new, sleeker header in the not-too-distant future. I'm still keeping the ducks/penguins/whatever they are because I kind of think they're a fundamental part of it, but hopefully these changes will be good. And you never know, they might make me blog more because I have quite a lot of spare time on my hands (yep, still no job, although a couple of things may have come up today). 

Going along with the theme of having a lot of spare time on my hands, I did some nail art today! Bearing in mind I don't actually own any nail art pens I think they turned out alright, I used an old eyeliner brush for the black outline and a white varnish which has a thin brush with it. This was inspired by a look in the WAH Nails Book of Nail Art that I mentioned in this post; it's super cute and fun and not all too difficult to do once it's broken down into steps. I don't know if you'll be able to tell but these aren't my real nails that I've done the look on. These are the Impress Nails in 'Velvet Rope' that I got in my Glossybox (I know, I was impressed -excuse the pun- even though I wouldn't class them as a 'luxury' product). I'm not normally a false nail wearer but I do think these look alright and they feel absolutely fine and not annoying at all. 







I know they're by no means perfect, and this would have been a lot easier with a black nail art pen, but hey ho, it looks pretty cute from a distance, just don't look too close ;)! I can't wait to do some more redesigning on the blog, I feel inspired and ready to really get back to blogging big style! Hope you're all well and speak soon! 

Sophie

13 August 2012

Make Up Monday: Essie Adore-a-Ball and Base Coat









Good afternoon, thought I'd ease myself back in gently by doing a nail post. Not the most exciting but I have to say I love this colour from Essie. They really are the go-to brand for barely-there, nude, beautiful shades dontcha think? I picked this one up a few months ago but never got round to blogging about it, it's a colour that really makes your nails look more healthy and even makes the tips look whiter. In these pictures I have three coats on, so it's definitely sheer, but I think it looked even better in person than it does in the pictures here. I also wore this on my toes for a few weeks, I think I put four coats on to get more opacity, and it was such a refreshing change from my usual red toenails. 

I also picked up the Ridge Filling base coat from Essie, which leaves a really nice base for nail colour. Don't know how good its ridge filling abilities are because I don't have particularly ridged nails anyway (why did I buy it then?!) but it dries almost matte which I think helps other polish to stay on longer. I really want the shade Fiji but considering I'm unemployed at the moment I'm thinking it would be very unwise to spend money on such frivolities! But we'll see! I really hope you're all well and having a great day, and I look forward to getting some more posts up ASAP! Bye for now!

10 August 2012

My Goodness.

What an extraordinarily long time it has been since I last posted on here. I don't really know what's happened. Well, that's not true I do know what's happened, I've been down in London for the last three weeks doing an internship and life has been crazy. I haven't been much into reviewing anything (even though I was interning at a beauty company!) and too much has been going on, both personally and 'professionally'. You know that feeling when you think everything's hanging on by a thread? Well that's me. I feel like I'm back at square one and don't know which way to turn. I'm not going to go into details on here, mostly because I don't even know what these 'details' would consist of, but I just fancied putting something out there today.

Everyone enjoying the olympics? I was at the opening ceremony concert in Hyde Park a couple of weeks ago which was brilliant, and it has been so great being down in London with all the excitement and energy that the olympics has brought. I didn't even find my commute was affected, in fact on some days it was quieter than ever! Of course the downside of doing internships is that they are generally unpaid (which mine was) and London isn't exactly the cheapest place to be hanging around but I did still manage to have a brilliant time, and I have to say a massive thank you to my beautiful friend Flo for letting me stay with her and her family throughout my time there.

I can't believe it's over though, it went by in an absolute flash. I learnt a lot and it was a great experience, but now I'm back on the job hunt (without even a part-time job, as I had before) and it feels like a never-ending cycle of rejection (bit over dramatic maybe). Honestly though, sometimes it is difficult to see the point in having gone to uni and got a degree when it has taken me over a year (and counting) to get any sort of 'proper' job. I'm not whining and I'm not saying I expected to be handed my dream job on a silver platter, not at all. I'm willing to work hard and push myself into something that maybe I wouldn't have originally thought I'd be doing, but it can get hard when you don't get so much as a "We regret to inform you" after having applied for something you thought you might have had a chance of getting.

I just can't see where I'm going at the moment. I know what I would love to be doing, I just don't know how to get there. I must have applied for at least 40 jobs, probably not as many as some people, but to no avail. Maybe it's time to re-evaluate? But I can't think anymore. About anything.

That's it, time to stop procrastinating and apply for some more jobs that I'll never even know if my application was considered for. God, I sound spoilt. JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE SOMEONE.

6 July 2012

Friday Post: Nails - Tangy Tangerine

Hello from Cornwall! Obviously it's Friday and therefore I am supposed to be posting a fashion post but I'm afraid I don't have one prepared at the moment so I'm resorting to a pre-prepared nail post, hope you don't mind! I'm on holiday with the boyfriend at the moment so haven't had a lot of time to write posts but am having a good time even in the rain! Anyway, I bought this Rimmel nail polish in 'Tangy Tangerine' (705) a couple of weeks ago and have been waiting to use it. I really like the look of it with the black crackle over the top (it's the Barry M Nail Effect one) and then finished off with my top coat of the moment, Nail's Inc's 'Albert Road'.It reminds me of a tiger and I don't think that's a bad thing. Not too much to say in this post really, I'll probably inform you about my holiday when I'm back and let you now what we got up to, it's been lovely so far :) So I'll keep it short and sweet for now and say hope you liked the look and speak again soon!

4 July 2012

Wednesday Review: GOSH Long Lasting Brow Pen








Ok. Now. I have been on the lookout for so long for an eyebrow product that doesn't make my eyebrows orange and let me tell you, it ain't easy. For a long time I have been using the HD Brows kit, using the colour Ash Brown and sometimes Nude, but I always found them just a tad too orange-tastic. I have eyebrows that are about the same colour as my hair (medium-ish blonde), possibly a tad darker, and I just struggle so much to get something that is neutral to use on my brows. So, when I saw Estee, from essiebutton.com (who has perfect eyebrows!), talking about the GOSH Long Lasting Brown Pen in a lot of her videos I thought I would give it a go. I went for the colour 004 Wheat (they don't have a great selection) and at first I was really pleased with it. The fine marker pen thingy makes it super easy to get a defined brow, especially at the tail end when it can sometimes not be quite precise enough, and the colour has not a hint of orange about it. So all in all, everything seemed pretty good. 

However, I have a warning. Now I'm not saying that this would put me off buying it again, I might just have to be a bit more careful, but this did make my eyebrows look green after wearing it for about 4 (ish) hours. The thing is it has a green undertone to it as opposed to orange and if the brown colour happens to wear off throughout the day, say if it's hot or you have oily skin, it can leave you with a bit of a green tinge. Which, let's face it, isn't really the look most of us would want to go for. I don't know if anyone else has experienced this or if it's just me, but I just wanted to give you all a heads up if you were thinking of trying it. I would still say go for it, I've had mine for about a month now and it's still going strong and hasn't dried up, which was something I was worried it would do. It costs £6.49 from Superdrug and it does work really well, you just have to be careful and keep an eye on your brows throughout the day.

Please do let me know if any of you have a product that you swear by for your brows, I feel like I'm still on the hunt for the perfect one. I think I might be a bit picky! Anyway, hope you're all good! I'm off to Cornwall for a holiday today but I'm hoping I'll still be able to post from where I'm staying, so I shall say speak soon and goodbye for now!