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

 

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

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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

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

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

MAC Warm Neutrals Palette

eyeshadow, MAC, makeup, palette

Let’s just put it out there, the MAC Warm Neutral Palette is the only eyeshadow palette I will ever need!! It is my favourite and as a fan of warm, brown eyeshadows this is just perfection!

At £65 this was a big beauty treat to myself whilst writing my dissertation but when you consider the price of all the components individually, the saving is actually pretty significant! Of course like with any palette I have my favourite shades and lesser used ones. Here are some of the best…

Saddle (2nd row far right) – This is my go to all over eyeshadow. It’s basically a really intense matte bronzer colour. The pigment of this shadow is utter heaven and there is pretty much zero fallout. I could stare at it all day!!

Gingersnap (1st row, middle) – Firstly can we just talk about how cute the name is!! This is a gorgeous eyeshadow that changes colour under different lights (in a good way). It has reddish undertones but applies with a soft pink sheen. There is just enough sparkle to be subtle without overwhelming the makeup. I like to wear this across my upper eyelid and pair it with Dark Brew (the dark reddish brown shade next to it) on the lower lash line. I find this works well with a winged liner and lashes for a night out.

Divine Decadence (3rd row, fourth shadow) – This mulch brown shade is perfect for creating a grungey eye look with a touch of glamour. So easy to work with, lovely on its own or as a crease colour. Beautifully pigmented and looks great with tanned or pale skin.

There isn’t one bad eyeshadow in this palette and I think that’s quite a rarity these days. I love that they all work well on their own or mixed together, the possibilities are endless! This palette is always next to my mirror ready to be used (did I mention it’s my favourite?!) There is a cool neutral palette available if this isn’t your cup of tea but for me it is a cup of pure gold paradise!!

Sophie xoxo

Clinique Facial Soap

face, highend, review, skincare

This was a bit of a random purchase a couple of weeks ago, I was running low on my Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and thought I’d try something different. I’m by no means a skincare expert, in fact I have to admit for the last few weeks I’ve been reaching for the devil themselves *facewipes* and I am ashamed!!

What is it?

I bought the Clinique Facial Soap for ‘dry combination skin’ but there are two other soaps available for ‘combination oily to oily skin’ and ‘very dry to dry skin’ . Clinique say ‘our hand-milled non-drying bar soap maintains protective lipids while loosening surface flakes. Leaves skin clean, comfortable, refreshed-never taut or dry.’

Thoughts?

The first time I used this facial soap I wanted to test how well it removed makeup so used it in the way I would use the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. It worked well, my makeup was completely removed but my eyes were on fire! I have very sensitive eyes so to be fair this was a likely side effect for me but they really were quite sore.

I wasn’t blown away by the results this had on my face, it didn’t feel dry but it didn’t feel particularly fresh and clean in the way that it can with other products. At £15 I’m not prepared to let this go to waste. I ended up using it to clean my makeup brushes and it works an absolute dream! I mainly use Real Techniques brushes which have white tipped bristles and this soap was able to get my most used brush *the buffing brush* back to new. So whilst I’m not against using the Clinique Facial Soap on my face I will definitely be avoiding the eye area in future. But mostly I’m just looking forward to washing my brushes again!

Sophie xoxo

Sunday Swaps – One

beauty, concealer, makeup

Do you ever get stuck in a makeup rut? I know I do. So much choice and yet I go for the same look with the same products most days. So I’ve made a decision to change at least one product every week. That means swapping them out of my makeup bag and into my muji storage. I’m hoping this will minimise unnecessary wastage. And so I’m bringing you along with me every Sunday. With that being said I’ll be entitling these blog posts ‘Sunday Swaps’ *I know, I know I am a genius!*

Week One –

This week I’m going to be switching up my concealer. I’ve brought back my Benefit Erase Paste to combat the dreaded dark circles and on top of that I plan to layer the Seventeen Stay Time Concealer. So as these two make their way into the makeup bag I’m saying goodbye to the infamous Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. In my opinion this concealer is somewhat overhyped, there I’ve said it, don’t hate me, I just don’t get the fuss. Yes it is affordable and gives decent coverage but it really is just a bog standard concealer…

So there you have it, my first Sunday Swap. Pretty simple, feel free to join me on this makeup movement if you too are currently faced with a makeup Groundhog Day!

Sophie xoxo

Maybelline Master Sculpt

beauty, contour, makeup

You know how it goes…saw the advert, had to buy it! I didn’t need another contour product at all but curiosity won out!

Straight away I can tell you that this is by no means my favourite drugstore contour set, I’d reach for the Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit over this first. The fallout is pretty bad, one stroke of the brush and there’s powder everywhere! Also I think the highlight shade is more suited to a lighter skin tone but does work if applied with a very light hand on tanned skin.

I do however like the convenience of the Maybelline Master Sculpt, you get your contour and highlight together and when you open it up there is a half decent brush and good quality mirror. So if I needed to pack light I would reach for this. Also the colour pay off of the contour shade is lovely, not too orange but not too ashy either. At £6.99 I think it is fair to say that you’re paying for packaging with the Master Sculpt but then it does do what it says on the tin. With singer Mollie King as the face of this product it’s bound to attract a bit of a following and it’s definitely worth a look if you’re a contouring novice. My advice, swatch in store and see if the fallout is something you can look past.

Sophie xoxo

The £1 MAC Soar Dupe

beauty, lipliner, makeup

An impulsive trip to my local Poundland resulted in one of the best makeup finds I’ve had in a long time! Since Kylie Jenner gave MAC lip pencils Soar, Stripdown and Whirl a serious amount of publicity they have become somewhat of a phenomenon. I won’t lie, I followed suit and made sure they were all in my collection and I absolutely adore each one!

At first glance the makeup selection at Poundland is average at best, not very well stocked but always worth a quick once over. I originally had my eyes on a bronzer but decided that I definitely don’t need to add another one to my collection any time soon *like this century*!! I scanned the tub of lip pencils and impulsively picked up the standard neutral/rosy pink I always go for and didn’t think much more of it. That is until I swatched it on the back of my hand on the way home and realised I may have just stumbled upon a complete gem!!

The Make Up Gallery Pout It Out Lip Liner in Rose looks to be a slightly deeper colour than Soar but on the lips the two are identical. To double check this I applied Rose to my bottom lip and Soar to the top, if I hadn’t of known I could not have told the two apart. Unfortunately I couldn’t for the life of me take a decent picture of this!! The best thing about this post is that whilst writing it I discovered Poundland is online and you can stock up on this liner from the comfort of your living room, basically I’m now going to buy every other shade on offer!

Obviously there is a big difference in terms of quality. The MAC liner is smooth and applies like a dream, it has a softer finish meaning you are left with a much less harsh finish. In comparison the Poundland pencil is hard and requires a stronger hand to create the same colour pay off. But let’s be real, the price difference speaks for itself. If you’re a fan of Soar or even just a rosy pink lip GET IT GET IT GET IT! How could anyone resist a £1 MAC dupe?! I know I certainly couldn’t and I am beyond happy I didn’t!

Sophie xoxo