The 2019 Wish List

blog, books, concealer, inspired, life, lifestyle, london, Musical Theatre, review, Theatre, trend, West End

Last year was a good year for me in terms of getting to the theatre. I made the most of cheap deals and daily lotteries to see the likes of Heathers and Hamilton. This year, I’m hoping for more of the same with a few extra plays thrown in! Fifteen feels like a lot at the moment but no doubt this list will continue to grow and change.

So here is it is, my 2019 wish list…

Waitress – I don’t think I could create this list without putting Waitress on it. Currently starring Broadway superstar Katharine Mcphee, this show features music written by Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles.

Come From Away – I’m all for a show with an uplifting narrative and if the reviews are anything to go by, this is the show to beat for feel-good factor! One quick warning with this one, there is no intermission!

Six – The music, the lyrics, the female empowerment. I am so excited to see this show. No doubt it’ll inspire a return trip to Hampton Court Palace afterwards!

A German Life – As a self confessed history geek, this one woman show starring Maggie Smith is right up my street. Based on the testemonies of Brunhilde Pomsel, Joseph Goebbel’s secretary, this is bound to be a sell out when tickets drop on February 26th!

9 To 5 The Musical – I’m all about the Dolly tunes.

Only Fools and Horses – I have low expectations for this show but I often find that when you go in with little hope, you are pleasantly surprised.

Noughts & Crosses – I am beyong excited to watch this novel from my childhood be brought to life on stage. An important and gripping love story.

Tina – Featuring songs from her incredible back catalogue, this show follows the life of Tina Turner from Nashville to stardom.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Having seen this at The Rose Theatre a few years back, Shakespeare’s only made it onto the list because I’m keen to experience the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

& Juliet – With 5 Grammy Awards under his belt, alongside a plethora of number one singles, Max Martin has turned his hand to musical theatre. Starring Miriam-Teak Lee, this is set to be an exciting twist on Shakespeare’s famous love story.

Witness For the Prosecution – If you’ve ever completed a stint on a jury, you’ll know just how boring the reality of the entire process really is. I am confident that this show will be anything but and cannot wait to find myself watching a case unfold in London County Hall.

Les Misérables: The All-Star Staged Concert – For a limited time, the longest running show in the West End is moving down the road to the Gielgud Theatre. With a cast made up of some of the biggest names in Musical Theatre, this is sure to be a ticket for the memory box!

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat – This show will always hold a special place in my heart. Having grown up listening to an *admittedly bootleg* tape recording of Joseph, I’ve always secretly held a dream of one day playing the Narrator. Having last seen Lee Mead take on the iconic role, I’m looking forward to this new production.

Small Island – Landing at the National Theatre in late April, this show is an adaptation of the prize winning novel by Andrea Levy.

Dear Evan Hansen – I am the most excited for this show to land in the UK. With a soundtrack like no other and a message that has never been more relevant, I’m certain that this show will be a phenomenon.

Panto –  I’m not sure which one yet but I haven’t been to a panto since I was a young and have forgotten just how fantastically camp they can be. Recommendations welcome!

I’d love to hear what shows you’re all looking forward to catching this year!

 

 

 

Advertisements

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*

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

 

January Shade

bargain, budget, dupe, highend, holiday, inspired, life, lifestyle, look, ootd, reflection, review, tan, trend

It is cold here in England at the moment, really cold! So the winter coat is getting a lot of use (you can read about my favourite jacket HERE). But the days are also rather sunny and for someone who gets headaches just opening the front door, that provides an issue…

DIOR GLASSES.jpgI am obsessed with sunglasses, they are just the best thing on a sunny day and recently I was seriously lusting after a beautiful Dior pair. At £295 these “Dior reflected sunglasses” had to stay in my dreams and so I pushed them to the back of my mind and somewhat forgot about them.

 

SUNGLASSES

The other day I was browsing the MissGuided website and saw THESE lovely sunglasses. At £10 they were a total bargain and I just couldn’t resist.Once again I was so impressed by the speed and ease of the delivery service provided by MissGuided, they really are so good at what they do! For the price I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of quality but these seem pretty sturdy. It’s always a good sign when the product looks like the picture on the site. I love the contrast of white and gold and can’t wait to wear them all year round! They may not be Dior but they’ll do for me!

Sophie xoxo

 

A Rather Lengthy Look Back

lookback, reflection, review, trend

I know it is such an overused phrase, but I just can’t help myself because seriously WHERE HAS THIS YEAR GONE?! I have to admit at the start of this year I was somewhat dreading 2015 but it hasn’t been half as bad as I thought. So here is a little look back at some of the highlights.

January and February were clearly slow months as I can’t think of any stand out memories so let’s skip straight to March 2015 and of course the highlight of this was my trip to Amsterdam. I went with two of my favourite ladies and we just had a right laugh. I also discovered the most heavenly Strawberry Daiquiris known to man. I really don’t think there is anything better than making fun memories with your friends so I’m hoping 2016 brings more of these trips!dam

April 2015 consisted of self imposed deadlines. With the help of my mum (a former university lecturer) I created myself a timeline in order to be able to complete my dissertation about the Blackfish documentary to a standard I could really be proud of. This might seem a bit mundane to you but for me this was a major milestone as I am terrible at focusing on work and to see something I had spent so much time and effort on printed and bound was a real achievement.

May 2015 was the month of exams and hand ins. It was the culmination of a year of hard work and the pressure was on! Once uni was done and dusted and there was no more I could do I was able to forget about it and actually enjoy myself again. What better way to do this than with a trip to Lemonfest. You can read the blogpost I wrote about it here, but basically it was just a fun weekend with friends.

And then we reach June 2015. Two life altering, majorly exciting things happened at the beginning of this month. Firstly we brought home our beautiful puppy Wilbur. He is a black and white Spanish Water Dog with eyes that could melt the coldest of hearts. He’s also a total nutcase! In terms of personality Wilbur is the polar opposite of my lovely 6 year old dog Alfie. He throws himself into, onto and at anything and anyone. He’s fearless and bold and won’t take no for an answer but we love him.

And then came June 5th 2015. One Direction. Need I say more?!?! I saw One Direction on tour in Cardiff. They were incredible. I think my heart stopped beating on several occasions after months of waiting. Oh yeah and McBusted opened for them! I am a self confessed Queen of Pop and this was a memory I will treasure forever. I did however manage to forget my phone and camera so here’s a video for your enjoyment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho32Oh6b4jc

July brought me back down to reality as I was unemployed and bored. A lot of my time was spent telling Wilbur off and hopelessly trying to train him. This month provided me with the time to dedicate to my blog which I absolutely loved (sunny days make it so much easier to take pictures and stay motivated). I also arranged to go back to my job which I must admit I do still enjoy. Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 20.50.44

Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 20.49.57

Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 20.49.26

Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 20.45.09

August 2015 meant only one thing in life. Boomtown. The best festival if you want to lose your mind for a few days. It is the ultimate reunion for my friends and there is no chance of ever being bored thanks to the millions of things to see and do. It was amazing and I have so many funny and amazing memories from it. Bring on Boomtown 2016!

The end of September 2015 was AMAZINGGGG!! Let’s just take a moment to remember the fact that I won free tickets to see Little Mix and One Direction at the Roundhouse in London. It is the most brilliant venue to watch big artists perform in. I was three rows back and will forever swear that Harry sang several lines of Story of My Life whilst squinting into my eyes. The dream! Both bands were incredible and seeing them in such a way was such a once in a lifetime opportunity (told you I’m a pop Queen). My phone memory was full by the end of the night but it was worth it to capture every moment possible.Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 20.48.18

Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 20.47.50.pngSeptember also saw the Rugby World Cup come to England (we’ll brush over their performance) and so myself and my dad went to Cardiff to watch Australia vs Fiji. I feel like events like these are so few and far between for most of us and I would nearly always prefer to have an amazing memory to look back on when I’m older. Most of us can barely remember the Christmas present we got last year but an event like this can stay in your mind for years. We also went to New Zealand vs Namibia at the Olympic Stadium. I am always in awe of the All Blacks and love watching them do the Haka so this was insane. It made it even more special knowing that it was the last chance I would have to watch greats like Richie McCaw on the field. Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 20.48.44

Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 20.47.00.pngIn October I finally conquered one of my biggest fears and got behind the wheel. You heard it here first, I am on the roads. I actually really love driving and according to my instructor I’m a natural (I like to tell everyone this at every possible opportunity). I’m getting pretty confident now but still have a few more lessons to go. A part of me wishes I hadn’t waited so long to do it but who cares because I’ll be out on my own before I know it. faves learner.png

In November last year I was in the midst of writing my dissertation and I just couldn’t see an end in sight. Flash forward to November 2015 and I proudly strutted across the Guildhall stage to collect my degree. From the severely delayed train to the gale-force winds that broke my umbrella in half and left me with outrageously frizzy hair the day didn’t exactly get off to the best start. The general feeling was that it was a lot of effort and hype for 10 seconds on a stage. But I was really proud of myself for finally getting my degree. It was so lovely to have my parents and granny there to share the day with as well and we did manage to hobble together a couple of decent photos. I also went on holiday to New York with my lovely family and you can see the photos here. Being in America during Thanksgiving was lush, there was just a nice atmosphere around. We did so much that we hadn’t done on our trip previously and I got to watch several decent films on the flights in spite of ignorant seat recliners in front!DSC00296

DSC00298

So there was a just a few memorable moments from 2015.

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

The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge

beauty, makeup, trend

I’m a Kardashian addict! Seriously, I can genuinely say I’ve seen every single episode of not only Keeping Up With the Kardashians but allllll the spin off shows. Favourite episode? Has to be from Kourtney and Kim Take New York when the Lord Scott Disick treats himself to a cane, hilarious!

So as a big fan I’ve lived and breathed the art of contouring and highlighting since the first time I saw Kims perfectly sculpted face. In the last year or so though it is her younger sister Kylie who has been owning the media with those massive lips! I so wanted to believe that she simply drew them on but alas when pictures of her emerged makeup-less and fully plumped it became clear that wasn’t the case.

before and after

Kylie Jenner: before and after

But there was hope, I read she had allegedly used a lip plumper by Candylips to create her pout, but at $90 that was out of the question. I googled, I eBayed and I Amazoned until I found a £4 alternative. It arrived, and IT WORKED, my lips were plump, at last!

The hope, the disappointment

The hope, the disappointment

They looked ridiculous, Snapchat hilarity ensued. 5 minutes later the fun was over, they quickly deflated leaving just a couple of dark bruises above my top lip *attractive*. Have I stopped using it? NO, because according to the instructions they will permanently plumpen if used daily. Does that make me a total sucker *if you’ll pardon the pun* for gimmicky products? HELL YES. I can’t deny it, because just like so many of those girls on Vine desperately hoping for likes and/or fuller lips, I will shamelessly continue to buy into these types of products in the hope that one day something hits.

Of course this blogpost wouldn’t be complete without my own disaster picture…

swollen snapchat

swollen snapchat

I’d love to know if any of you have bought something similar! Did it work? Have you got any funny pictures of you doing the challenge?

Sophie xoxo