Caroline, or Change

blog, event, life, lifestyle, london, Musical Theatre, review, Theatre, West End

Having seen Company the previous night, I had everything crossed that Caroline,or Change would come through for me and it certainly did.

I knew two things going into the Playhouse Theatre.

1.) Graham Norton had tweeted:

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2.) There was going to be a singing washing machine…

Now, in my mind a singing washing machine evoked an image of a person with a painted up cardboard box flung over their head. This was not to be the case (thankfully). The way in which inanimate objects are given life in this show is brilliant yet somewhat bonkers.

It would in fact be fair to say that the show itself is rather unusual in its choices. Think Mighty Boosh vibes. For me, the moon was the weirdest element of the show, I can’t pretend to understand the involvement of the character but I enjoyed her quirkiness and vocal abilities nonetheless.

It is these vocal abilities that make Caroline, or Change so utterly fantastic. The entire cast deliver flawless performances with voices so beautiful I only wish there was a cast recording. Caroline, played by Sharon D Clarke is mesmerising. Whilst she plays a character who at times should be considered unlikeable to the audience, Sharon overpowers this with her stunning, soulful voice.

Now could I tell you the exact details of the show? No. At times, I felt I had to really choose which character to listen to as I experienced somewhat of a sensory overload. I’m not ashamed to admit it took me a while to connect the dots and realise this is in fact a story about change *I know, the idiocy isn’t lost on me either*. Set in Louisiana in the year 1963 we see Caroline struggle with the repetitive work of a maid in a time of great change in the country around her. I found the moments shared on stage with her daughter Emmie to be particularly moving and impactful.

You may have noticed, I’m not keen to go into too much detail about the show itself because a.) if you’re reading this you probably already have Caroline, or Change on your radar and b.) I personally feel this is a show in which you should go in with little expectation or idea of what it will be.

Once you settle in and get over the initial hit of eccentricity, you find a heartfelt story of family and opportunity performed by some of the best talent I have ever witnessed. So we can skim over the random clarinet playing and singing moon for the sake of a vocal performance of a lifetime from Sharon D. Clarke and her cast.

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Parting Company

blog, celebrity, event, life, lifestyle, Musical Theatre, review, Theatre, trend, West End

I must admit, I’m slightly afraid to post this one.

As a Disclaimer, if you’re thinking I’m going to be bashing any specific names in the next few hundred words, I’m not. The individuals involved in this show were all extremely talented and more than worthy of their place on a West End stage.

I am however going to have to say it…I’m Sophie and I hated Company!

I hated Company so much that I left at the interval. I know this will anger some so let me explain my personal standpoint on leaving shows. I rarely do this, in fact this was only the second time I have ever done so in my entire life. Now, with theatre comes a certain set of unwritten rules. For instance, you would be well within your right to loudly tut a person bringing a burger in as a show snack. You would also be within your rights to boot the bright phone screen of the idiot in front out of their hands should they decide to whip it out at a pivotal moment! But leaving a show has always caused me a bit of conflict. So I kind of judge it by my seating i.e. if I’m front and centre, I ain’t leaving. In my opinion this would be impolite. That being said, I would agree with the viewpoint that it is my money and time and therefore I can make the decision to leave should I want to. And on this occasion, I really wanted to…

Naively, I didn’t do my research on this one. If I’m honest, I was led by the 5 star reviews and glamorous posters lining the escalators of London Vauxhall Station. Company is the show of the moment, the must have ticket and I wanted in.

It was a quick realisation of regret, a bit like when you take a risk on an online order only to discover that the trousers are see-through and it’s less of a camel toe and more like a hoof! *I’ve taken a risk there in assuming that Camels do in fact have hooves and not feet* From the opening number in which various cast members sang Bobbie over and over, I was underwhelmed.

Call me cliche, but I enjoy a musical in which I leave with at least one song stuck in my head and a feeling that I’ve learnt something or taken a message from somewhere. Company is abstract, there is no beginning middle and end (well maybe there is in the second half, you’ll have to let me know). Abstract art and I are like oil and water, we don’t mix *another fact based risk for you there*. I’m very aware that this is a trait shared by some and that others will absolutely love the lack of structure, the audience around me are proof enough that the show is a success to so many!

I suppose I wanted to share my thoughts as the overwhelming feeling I had when leaving was that I lacked culture or intellect in some way. Like I was at a dinner party with a table full of people talking politics in Russian. Like I was left waiting for the punchline when the rest were already in stitches. Company is a beautiful show visually, the staging is phenomenal and I have no doubt that the audience as a whole was feeling that special buzz, I just didn’t.

There is something to be said about the, for want of a better word, ‘snobbery’ that comes with theatre. The idea that more commercial shows are in some way lesser to the ‘classics’. I don’t like that. In my previous post, I mentioned that I believe there is a show for everyone. Theatre is there to entertain and excite. For two hours, you are transported away from your daily life with no distractions and given a story to take with you. It left me wondering, did anyone else in that audience feel the same way as I did and were they perhaps going along with the majority in order to feel accepted in some way? Perhaps not. But personally, I’ll be keeping away from Sondheim in the future and looking for something a little more uplifting.

…Oh and if you’re wondering, the other show I walked out of many years ago was the diabolical, Never Forget. *I like to think that Gary Barlow would have my back on that decision*

Cheap Tickets For the West End!

blog, event, life, lifestyle, london, Musical Theatre, review, Theatre, West End

January in the West End means cheap tickets. There are very few opportunities to bag yourself a ten pound ticket to Phantom or Les Mis but when the country is low on money, the seats still want selling!

Mum and I always like to take advantage of the amazing discounts on offer via Official London Theatre. (I thoroughly recommend taking a look if you are at all interested as there are still plenty of tickets available running through February.)

This year we left it a little last minute and so, on a whim, we decided upon 3 shows. Having already seen several of the ‘big hitters’ including Kinky Boots and Lion King, we settled on Company, Caroline, or Change and Matilda.

Three very different shows with three very different, perhaps controversial, reviews to follow!!

The New Year sale isn’t just for Musical Theatre fans, there are several plays to choose from on the list including the utterly phenomenal Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time.  I was completely blown away by this show when I saw it a few weeks ago, from the staging to the acting, it was incredible. In fact so good that I feel it deserves a blog post all of its own!

There is a very outdated idea amongst many that theatre is overpriced and unreachable to the masses. This simply isn’t true. I found perspective in a recent trip to the cinema to the value of £18.25!! Obscene! Only justified by the fact that I was watching Mary Poppins Returns. In comparison, two decent seats in the Dress Circle for Caroline, or Change came to a total of £20.

I get it when people say that the theatre just isn’t for them, but I do believe that there is a show for everyone. A two hour experience in which that person finds some kind of connection. There is nothing like the post-show buzz that you just cannot get from a trip to your local Odeon.

If this post has inspired you to book a trip, a great site for good seats at affordable prices is todaytix.com. TodayTix offer daily lotteries to some of the biggest shows in the West End. I myself have been lucky enough to see Heathers, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Dreamgirls this way!

If you do decide to see a show, let me know, I always love hearing how different our experiences can be!

 

 

Happiness

books, life, lifestyle, mindfulness, self improvement

I’m a girl that loves a bit of mindfulness! (I also appear to be fond of an exclamation point or five!!!!!) Whilst I don’t always practice what I preach *does anyone?*, I do find that it makes a massive difference to my mood and mentality.

If you’re looking to get into the world of mindfulness and/or self improvement I would seriously recommend a book called ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ as well as ‘The Path’. If reading isn’t for you, try an adult colouring book or one of the many apps that teach you meditation (personally I have never been able to get into these).

This is one of those topics I feel like I could discuss for hours upon hours and it’s something I definitely hope to share more about in the future. But I truly believe it has dramatically changed my outlook on life.

For Christmas, I received a copy of Fearne Cottons book ‘Happy: the Journal‘. Fearne is a British television presenter with unbelievable style and a lush Instagram page to match.

We always hear how writing things down can be a wonderful outlet. ‘If you’re angry at a co worker, write an email but don’t press send’. As someone who genuinely spends hours pondering over whether a craving for watermelon makes you hungry or thirsty, this sounds like a terrible idea. The thought of losing focus and accidentally clicking Send like in one of those cheesy American comedies is far too fear inducing!

An old school ‘Dear Kitty’ style diary might work for many but it can be hard to know where to start. This journal is structured enough to guide your train of thought without being rigid in its’ questioning. Yes, daily entries can be a challenge for us procrastinators, but I find it just as effective when I fill out a few in one go.

blog9.PNG‘Happy: The Journal’ has really helped me to take a minute and deal with all the changes going on around me. There are very few things in life that we truly have control over, being able to write a few sentences about how you plan to move forward this year or what your biggest worries are can really help with perspective.

See now I’m a big fan of perspective. When people around me are being negative I tend to be the first to pull out a cliche about how lucky they are to have what they do. It is however so easy to be sucked into these thoughts and feelings. Who you choose to surround yourself with seriously does have an unbelievable impact on how you approach your day!

So when I have been lured into the metaphorical snake pit of negativity, taking 5 minutes to jot down a few thoughts can totally re balance my mind. Thank you Fearne!

How do you guys approach life? Are you into self improvement and mindfulness or are you a typical British cynic?

xoxo

D.I.Y Disaster

beauty, celebrity, hair, lifestyle, look, lookback, review, Uncategorized
Excuse the hair!

The long black days – when I look at these photos now I don’t even recognise myself. It looks like a wig!

How many times have we heard the stories. Girl decides to dye her hair at home to save some money. Hair does not come out looking like the picture on the box. Girl ends up paying far more than she would have in the first place to fix self dyed hair…

Believe me, I’ve been there. Not just once, but several times throughout the past 10 years. I just never seemed to learn my lesson. I have now. In fact the events of August 2016 have put me off hair dye forever!!

Since the first box of  semi-permanent auburn hair dye, I have had every hair colour going. At University I decided to go black and at the time I loved it. However, I was the worst kind of hair offender because as the summer approached I would want to go lighter and so every few months an expensive trip to the hairdressers to desperately strip and bleach my hair would take place.

Eventually I got sick of this, cut my hair short and settled on brown. This meant I could

I loved my hair when I first went short. It was a healthy, warm brown. It would even look good when I woke up!

use semi-permanent brown dyes on my hair at home and with regular hair cuts it would look pretty good. In August, for whatever reason I decided to pick up a ‘dark brown’ shade. Well, as I dried my hair I soon realised I was back to black. In twenty minutes, my hair had transformed into the old me. And I did not appreciate it!!

In a panic, I drove straight to my local Superdrug and purchased a box of Colour B4. If you ever find yourself reaching for this on the shelf. DON’T! It is the most horrific product I have ever used! At the time though, I had seen their ambassador Katie Price swear by Colour b4 saying it was the easiest way to remove the black dye from her hair. I’m ashamed to admit that I was totally suckered in by the celebrity endorsement!

I followed the instructions on the box fully. I did everything I was supposed to do. Let me just say that I have never smelt anything like this in my life! Colour b4 honestly smells like chemicals, garbage and donkey piss all combined and set on fire. Awful. At the time I thought that this was temporary and obviously accepted that as it was stripping my hair it would have to be somewhat invasive. However, this smell lingered for over two weeks and no amount of washing could remove it!!!! The first box removed a fair amount of the black but there was still some in the ends of my hair so I went and bought another one. God only knows why! I applied this mainly to the ends and the final result was a fairly boring brown with just a hint of warmth. Perfectly acceptable.

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Frazzled and kinky despite being my natural colour – the result of too much heat!

After the first wash though, I noticed my hair get darker and after the second wash it was pretty much back to the original black. After one more box of Colour b4 (I honestly don’t know what was going through my brain) I threw in the towel and went to the hairdressers. The consultation didn’t take long. They wouldn’t touch my hair with a barge pole given the damage the product had done. The ends were frazzled, the hair felt weak and there was no way they would do anything but cut it for me. So I was left with one option…leave it alone!

Since then, I have not dyed my hair again. I have decided my colour days are behind me and it’s finally time to embrace nature. But one impact I’m still dealing with is breakage. A large amount of hair to the right of my crown and along the parting has broken off. By large I mean it is 100% noticeable and not just a few loose hairs.

To put this story into perspective, it’s now been a year and a half since I dyed my hair.

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This photo was taken 2 months after the previous one. The difference in length and condition is vast but I still have a way to go.

Yes, the dye has all grown out. No, I have not dyed it at all since. But let me be clear, the damage is still so bad that people often comment on it. It was one thing to stop dying it, but I was still mistreating my hair with heat and hair ties. So, at the start of this year, I made the decision to stop blow drying and learn how to french braid. It’s the best thing I’ve done throughout this whole ordeal! My hair has grown so much in just a month and feels so much better. There’s still a way to go, but I can now see an end in sight.

I won’t lie, I’m planning on begging my lovely hairdresser Amy to let me put a few blonde highlights in. But that’s where it stops. 2018 is the year of healthy hair!

So ladies and fellas, if you’re thinking of using Colour b4 or any other at home stripper, spare 2 years of stress and call a professional. In the end, what seems like the cheap option tends to end up costing a lot more in the long run!

xoxo

Full Coverage Foundation

Uncategorized

BLOG3Forget the ‘no makeup makeup look’ I am all about that flawless skin. Sometimes I think i was a Drag Queen in a past life…

Don’t get me wrong there are days when I want my skin to look like skin *lie* but on a night out I want it to be long-lasting and matte with a silky finish. I’ve dabbled with the likes of Double Wear and Studio Fix but no foundation has ever compared to Marc Jacob ReMarcable!

This foundation is stunning. At £37 for just 22ml it is on the pricier side but the results are worth every penny. I apply a few dots across my face and blend using a Real Techniques buffing brush and in seconds it’s like I’m wearing a mask! If you want a slightly lighter application, try using a damp Beauty Blender.

Not only does this foundation provide full coverage, it is long lasting and works as the perfect base for the rest of my makeup. I have also found that it photographs beautifully. One important thing to remember if you are going to be wearing it in photos is to make sure you blend down the neck and over the ears. Any uncovered areas will look particularly red or uneven against their painted counterparts.

I have the shade golden beige and it is perfect for when I have a freshly applied tan. The shade range isn’t exactly expansive so if you’re unsure make sure to go to a counter and get matched! It does piss me off that in 2018, big beauty brands are still refusing to cater for all skins. I am a massive fan of the Rihanna Fenty Foundation for this reason amongst other things, unfortunately like so many others, I’m pretty sure it breaks me out when I wear it regularly!

Have you ever tried this foundation? Are there any drugstore dupes you can recommend? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo

She’s backk…

blog, life, lifestyle, Uncategorized

So after making endless promises to keep up to date with blogging, things kind of went South. Oh dearrr

Important life lesson learned…stop making resolutions!

The reason? There isn’t one. The excuse? I’ve got plenty of those! But I shan’t waste my time typing them up because ultimately, who actually cares? In a world in which Donald Trump is now President and we’ve long since moved on from the iphone 4 (see my ‘Contact’ page) my blog isn’t exactly a major concern!

‘BLOGGING IS DEAD’…hear it all the time. In fact, I’m guilty of dropping it myself a few times over the past couple of years. But why do I do it? Because I enjoy writing, because it’s therapeutic and because it makes me feel more productive than just watching back to back episodes of Fresh Meat on Netflix (total favourite at the moment).

Every few months I go through a ‘what am I doing with my life!? moment’. In September I decided to move across the country. This time, I’m going to start small and try and get back into blogging.

Basically this is just my, I’m blogging again blog post. See you tomorrow for my first official one (I scheduled it..profesh)

xoxo

The 2017 Checklist

beauty, life, lifestyle, reflection

big-ben

I’m not one for New Years Resolutions but I have been thinking a lot about what I would like to do and achieve this year. First item on the agenda…start blogging again!

The number one goal I have set for myself this year is to sort my finances out. It’s a boring one but it needs to happen. I have made a plan to pay off my overdraft and credit card within the next few months. The key to achieving this is that I have created realistic figures to pay back each month. With the help of direct debits and a large amount of will power to stop splurging on makeup, I hope to be free of debt by the Summer!

Recently I have found myself becoming increasingly interested in the concept of Mindfulness. For those that don’t know about it, it’s essentially the idea of learning to live in the present moment in order to clear your mind and calm your life. Perfect for anyone with anxiety! I am currently reading Mindfulness in Eight Weeks by Michael Chaskalson. This book is great as not only is it broken down into short, simple chapters but it also provides mp3 links to help you complete the exercises online. I want to continue to learn more and be able to integrate Mindfulness into my life fully by the end of the year.

Reflecting on 2016 led me to realise I need to broaden my horizons. So with this in mind I’m trying to find myself a new hobby. At the grand old age of 24 I’m thinking something a little more relaxing. Perhaps pottery or knitting? Essentially, I want to learn a new skill and challenge myself.

This year I am determined to spend less time on social media!! It’s beginning to feel like I spend my life refreshing news feeds and for what? One photo on Instagram is not someones reality. So many of us are guilty of seeking what others have based on a single image. I’d rather spend my time absorbing my surroundings and being present in the moment. So I’m going to considerably cut down my time on Instagram and Snapchat to begin with. One week in and I’m actually finding it a lot easier than anticipated. Facebook is next!

I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with ideas so I’m stopping here for now. In order to succeed it makes sense to me to be realistic with the number of things I want to complete. Perhaps in the Summer I’ll create a few more. What are your goals for 2017? If you are interested in Mindfulness also then please share your thoughts in the comments, I’d love to hear them!!

Sophie xoxo

Lolita II

beauty, celebrity, lipstick, look, makeup, review, trend

I warned you in my last post about my love of liquid lipsticks so here is another one for your enjoyment…

The Kat Von D makeup range has been much hyped over the last year or so and it is no wonder. One look at Kat would tell you that galdem knows how to wing that liner!! Unfortunately her makeup range isn’t readily available in the UK so it was at the top of my list when I headed over to the states last year. I picked up the coveted Lock it foundation and concealer and love both. I aimed to grab some of her liquid lipsticks but for some reason I got side tracked and ended up coming home without any. This left me feeling like I was missing out so of course I had to get online and hunt some down.

kvdLolitaIII found Lolita II on Rose’s Beauty Store. This website is a great place to look if you want American brands that aren’t stocked in England (Anastasia Beverly Hills I’m looking at you). I will just say though that the majority of popular stock tends to be sold out and I’m not sure how often it is replenished. Also my packages took a while to be delivered, arrived on different days and I was asked to change an order despite the site showing it was available. However the team were incredibly helpful and courteous when I got in touch and the matter was sorted out super quick! I originally wanted the Kat Von D liquid lipstick in Lolita but this is a well loved shade and very difficult to find in stock. I then saw Lolita II and decided to give it a go.

My thoughts? The shade is nice. A peachy/earthy tone. Nothing to scream home about. The applicator and packaging are lovely and efficient. The formula is fairly long-lasting and not particularly drying. But that’s about it. It didn’t blow me away. It’s just a nice, everyday lipstick. Do I regret buying it? Absolutely not. Has it changed my life? No.

What do you guys think? Do I need to try out any of her other shades? Perhaps there is another product in her range I need to give a go? Let me know!!

Sophie xoxo

Liquid Lipstick Love

beauty, lipstick, makeup, review, trend

Disclaimer: Prepare to see a fair amount of liquid lipstick related blog posts on sophiesnooks, they are my current addiction!

Flashback to November 2015. I was in New York and finally managed to get my hands on a couple of the notoriously brilliant Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipsticks. I bought Heathers and Vintage. These aren’t the typical colours I would normally reach for but stock was somewhat limited in Macy’s and I just couldn’t walk away empty handed!!

abhHeathersAs soon as I got back to the hotel that evening I applied Heathers and I have to say since then I’ve been a lot more comfortable wearing a more diverse range of colours. Heathers has a very 90s feel to it which is very ‘in’ at the moment. If you want an alternative to the Kylie Jenner mauve/brown lips this could be what you’re looking for. It is a dark reddish/brown shade.This lipstick will literally suit the lightest to darkest skin tones. Very opaque. Very beautiful. Lasts ages and looks perfect with a simple eye and clean skin. abhVintage

The second shade I picked up was Vintage. This is very much a statement lip colour. I cannot speak highly enough of the formulation of these lipsticks, they are so soft yet incredibly pigmented. Vintage is a bright purple and I like to make it the feature of the look when I wear it. One thing I will say is that it’s important to get the application right with these. On one hand you need to take time to make sure that the shape is perfected but on the other if you take too long you risk any mistakes drying and becoming a nuisance to remove! Once on however, they are long-lasting, non-drying and just really lovely statement lipsticks.

Sophie xoxo