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*

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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

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

My Current Favourites

bargain, beauty, celebrity, essentials, life, lifestyle, makeup, review, skin, skincare, trend

Everything is my favourite at the moment, even the word itself. So I thought I’d share some of my current loves with you all. From television to skincare here are just a few for you…

faves-SQScream Queens – I absolutely love this TV show! I’m watching along weekly in the UK so no spoilers please!! From the cast to the scripting this show is everything I love, but what else would you expect given that it was created by American Horror Story genius Ryan Murphy?! Despite the name it really isn’t particularly scary but it can venture into the gory zone on occasion. The show is set in a sorority house controlled by Queen bitch Chanel (Emma Roberts) and sees the cast being slowly picked off by the ‘Red Devil’. Jamie Lee Curtis is amazing as the slightly crazy, hard-faced Dean Cathy Munsch. Basically if you like pretty clothes, dark comedy and plenty of cliché rich white girl jokes then you need Scream Queens in your life!

faves-cliniqueClinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil – This stuff takes my makeup off in seconds. It’s amazing. I was using the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm but found that it often irritated my eyes, not enough to put me off using it but enough to make me want to explore other options. So I did my research and found the Clinique one to be a suitable alternative. I have found that whilst this is a great first cleanse you really do need to go in with a second one to get that fresh, clean skin feeling. For this I have been using an Elemis one (review coming soon). The Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil is perfect if you’re in a rush but want to avoid face wipes. 3 pumps for a full face of makeup, a warm flannel to remove and you’re done in seconds. Love. It.

faves-coatMissGuided Padded Faux Fur Hood Jacket– When it comes to jackets, I think I have a serious issue. I just cannot get enough! I feel like I need to have a different style for every occasion (funnily enough my mum disagrees). My justification for this most recent purchase however is that I was seriously lacking in the hood department. This jacket is sooo warm and the giant hood makes it perfect for walks in the rain (a must when you have two dogs). So that’s my reasoning, and I have donated an old one to charity in exchange which is a great idea if you want to rid yourself of a little shoppers guilt. On a side note I just have to say how impressive the MissGuided delivery service is, this arrived next day despite the fact I ordered after 8pm. They also have a great returns policy and bonus points for the 20% discount!!

Adele 25 – Despite spending hours and I mean serious hours attempting to buy tickets to her tour *to no avail* I have made the mature decision to forgive Adele. This new album might actually be my favourite of all her work. Hello is of course the ballad of the year but for me the number one song on 25 is When We Were Young (the video above), I bloody love it! I like the mix of uptempo and slow songs and basically I am just one of millions of passengers riding the Adele train right now.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – I wrote about this in a blog post which you can read here. I won’t bang on about it, but I have just been loving using this to apply my concealer recently. I cover the sponge in setting spray, wait a couple of seconds and then lightly bounce it over the concealer until it has fully blended. This is particularly great for the under eye area and once set with powder there is definitely less creasing than when using a brush. Brilliant and affordable at just £5.99, what more do you want?!

What are your current favourites? Beauty or random I would love to know so please do share them in the comments. Or you can tweet me @sophieaiken.

Sophie xoxo

Lottie Tomlinson Inspired Blue Liner

beauty, celebrity, eyeliner, inspired, look, makeup

One of my very first posts was a Lottie Tomlinson inspired look, I bloody love her hair, makeup and style and so when she posted THIS video on Instagram I had to get hold of her blue eyeliner!

I’ve always wanted to try the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencils, but at £15.50 they aren’t exactly budget friendly! That being said I simply couldn’t resist treating myself to one! The beautiful shade of blue that Lottie used is called Deep End. I will just note that the pencil appears as a baby blue matte shade in the video whereas in reality it is a slightly darker iridescent colour. This doesn’t bother me particularly as it is still a beautiful pencil but I felt that it was worth mentioning if like me you choose to buy it online. The quality of the 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil is outstanding, highly pigmented and long lasting. What more could a girl ask for?!

I wear this on my lower waterlid and keep the rest of the look pretty simple. I’m obsessed with using MAC Saddle eyeshadow as an all over eyeshadow, for a cheaper alternative you can use a matte bronzer (the Seventeen Contour Kit is amazing for this). These two products together are heavenly for green/blue/grey combination eyes! For brown eyes I would suggest trying a purple like the Maybelline Master Drama one in the shade Dark Purple which I also absolutely love!!

Basically this is just a post to say thank you Lottie Tomlinson for inspiring me to venture into the world of coloured eye pencils!! I am officially converted, when it comes to makeup bright colours really aren’t such a scary thing after all! What do you think? Is coloured liner something you would try?

Sophie xoxo

Tanya Burr Cosmetics

beauty, celebrity, nails

The Tanya Burr lipgloss and nail polish collections are amazing. The lipglosses are perfectly formulated to be long lasting and non sticky and the nail polishes are affordable, cute and easy to apply. It’s fair to say I’m a fan! So whilst browsing my local TK Maxx (there’ll be lots more posts on products from here, it’s the best place for bargain beauty) I was over the moon to find this lovely trio set.

I picked this up for the grand total of £7.99, with just one tiny rip in the cardboard packaging there was no reason to complain. An original RRP of £18.00 means that not only is this a complete steal but it’s a great option for those on a budget looking to buy a present for someone. Each polish is 12ml which is a good size that will no doubt last for a while. Although I bought this trio cheaply, I would still recommend buying Tanya Burr nail polishes as they don’t exactly break the bank at £5.99 and they genuinely do stand up to the likes of more expensive polishes such as Essie. You can pick this set up from Feel Unique for £14.99 here.

The set comes with three polishes:DarkMagic (black), Fairytale (pink glitter) and Mini Marshmallows (pastel pink). The picture below demonstrates just one coat of Dark Magic, two coats of Mini Marshmallows and one coat of Fairytale over the top. I was blown away by the quality of the black polish in particular, normally a black will need more than one coat and can be uneven, not this one! Dark Magic is the perfect consistency and applies without a single line or smudge.

Sophie xoxo