Life Style Favourites |A Catch up

Peony and Bluse Suede
Hello, Happy Wednesday!
It feels as if I haven’t posted anything on here for ages, even though its only been a week! I had last week off work, which was so lovely and much needed. It mainly consisted of relaxing, going on a Kayaking trip and towards the end of the week visiting my family and friends in my hometown for a good catch up as I haven’t seen them all for awhile.
I thought I would do something a little different & do a more chatty post. I personally love reading them, so thought I would share with you my lifestyle favourites.
Kayaking on the river Wye Me, James and five of our friends went kayaking for 2 days down the river Wye, which was a fun, but cold experience. We started in Hoarwithy in Herefordshire, then traveled in our Kayaks to Ross on Wye where we then stayed the night in our tents. When we got to Ross on Wye our campsite was flooded, so the rowing club let us camp on their grounds instead, which we were very thankful for!
The next day, we got back in our Kayaks and traveled from Ross on Wye to our finishing point at Symonds Yat, stopping half way for a pub lunch, which was definitely needed after all our rowing (mainly to give our arms a rest)!
Even though we were meant to be Kayaking, me and my friend Lucy, who had no experience in Kayaks, had to use Canoes as the river was so fast flowing on the 1st day (Wednesday) and the instructor didn’t think it was safe for us to go in Kayaks. This turned out for the better as he said it was harder for us to overturn in a canoe and I didn’t fancy going in as it was absolutely freezing!
I would 100% recommend going down the river Wye, even if its not something you would normally consider, as it was beautiful. On the second day, it was especially nice as it was slightly warmer and we got to see lots of wildlife, lovely scenery & fancy houses overlooking the river.
Another thing that I would like to do is go back and visit Ross on Wye town centre as it was so cute, they also had lots of colorful buildings (seen below) & is definitely somewhere to put on my list of places to visit!

Colourful building in Ross-on-Wye

Getting my spring wardrobe ready – Even though the weather has been terrible (although I have heard its meant to be getting really warm, fingers crossed!) I’ve really enjoyed a spring clean of my wardrobe & sorting through to see what spring/summer clothes I have, hopefully packing away all my winter clothes for good.
I am also going on holiday to Thassos, Greece at the end of May, so it gave me an idea of what bits that I need to buy. everything.  I’m really loving the new pieces in Mango right now, especially this bag. Pay day needs to hurry!
Sex & the City – Now I know I’m extremely late to the party on this one. Since we moved house & didn’t have a television that worked, but had NOW TV, I found I was able to watch the show on my laptop. After a friend from work was talking to me about how much I would enjoy it, I decided to see what the fuss was about. I’m currently on season 1 episode 4, but I just like how easy it is to watch, I think my favourite characters so far are Charlotte & Carrie. Who are yours?
Seeing Family & Friends – Like I said previously, I went home at the weekend to visit family and friends & it was lovely catching up with them. On the Saturday me & my mum pottered around a town near us and discovered a cute coffee shop (shown on my Instagram if you want to have a nosey). We then visited my grandma & looked through lots of old photographs that she has of when she & my grandad were younger, which is one of my favourite things to do. On the Sunday, I met up with my friends at a nearby place that does afternoon tea called Beauvale Priory. This tea room is set beautifully in the countryside, so if you live around the Nottinghamshire area I would check it out. Here we spent the day catching up, eating & watching new born lambs being fed, which was very cute indeed!

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Let me know of your lifestyle favourites in the comments!
Sophie x
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Three products to help get the glow.

Three products that help create a subtle glow.
Three products to help achieve a glow.
As I am sat writing this, it is currently raining and very miserable outside, so instead of waiting around for the sun to make an appearance & give me that sun kissed glow, I have to fake it for now. Like I have mentioned in previous posts, I have skin that is a little more on the oilier side, but prefer my make-up base to be glowy as I find that my skin can look a little dull sometimes.
Here are my three go to products that make my skin look a little healthier;
Vita Liberata Self Tanning Anti Age Serum – £29.00
I first heard about this Anti-Ageing facial tanner from Alessandra Steinherr, who is the beauty director at GLAMOUR Magazine & regularly gives skincare recommendations via her Instagram stories which are very interesting!
One of the reasons that I love this product is that you can choose the depth of colour by either applying it directly to your skin for a deeper tan, or mixing a couple of drops into your moisturizer for a lighter, more natural tan, which I like to do morning and evening.  Even though this product is a little pricier, it does last ages as a little goes a long way.
Another positive is that it doesn’t break me out like other facial tanners I have used, which is always a good thing as my skin can be quite sensitive to tanning products. I’m not sure how much the Anti-Ageing properties work, but I suppose anti-ageing is always a good thing to have included in a skincare product as I’m not getting any younger haha. I would say if you suffer from breakouts but want a facial tanner that’s natural and gives a lovely glow, check this out!
Mac Strobe Cream – ‘Peach Lite’ -£25.00
This is the latest addition to my make-up bag. I used to use the Shimmering Skin perfector in ‘Opal’ by Becca, but after having it many years, I thought it was time to try something new. This does not disappoint! It goes onto the skin as a white cream, but once rubbed in, goes a peachy pearl colour leaving a subtle glow behind. It says on the website that it is a moisturiser, however, I like to use my normal moisturiser first and then apply this to my cheeks/cheekbones & down the centre of my nose to create a glow. I even sometimes go crazy & mix a little in with my foundation, depending on how dull my skin looks, as it really helps make your skin look energized. I am also looking forward to using this on holiday without foundation on top, hopefully making me look nice and healthy!
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish  Soft & Gentle £25.50
This has been something that people have talked about for years and rightly so, it is a beautiful powder highlight! It is a slow-baked, velvety powder that gives a subtle glow to the face. I apply this to the tops of my cheekbones and underneath my eyebrows to give a gentle glow, which can be seen when the light hits you. If you want a really dramatic highlight, then this wouldn’t be for you, but is a beautiful product if you like something a little more natural (and also lasts such a long time!).

 

So there are my top three products which I use to create a bit more of a glow and to make my skin look a bit less tired! Is there anything that you use that I should check out?
Just recently I’ve seen so many high street highlighters that look amazing, so maybe I should have a look at those next time I need a new highlighter. If you have tried any of the more affordable highlighters let me know!
Sophie x

 

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March Favourites.

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I have a few different favourties from the Month of March; but the main highlight has to be moving house. We did this at the end of Feb/beginning of March (when we had all the snow!) & its been amazing for me and James to have our own little space. Worcester is finally starting to feel like my home.
I have done a blog about making our house a home, which I will link below if you want to have a little read, but this move has made my commute to work so much better & now saves me 40 minutes of traveling a day, which is amazing!
Click here to read about our home additions
Beauty favourites;
Bobbi Brown soothing cleansing oil – I got this mid way through March and its quickly become a favourite of mine, I will 100% re-purchase this in the future. I used to use Micellar water to remove my make-up, but my skin was getting a few dry patches, so decided to switch over to this cleansing oil to remove my makeup at night time. It does such a good job at removing my make-up & leaves my skin nice and soft. No dry patches in sight!
Bobbi Brown pot rouge for Lips & Cheeks (Hot Melon) – I feel like there is a little bit of a theme with my love for Bobbi Brown at the moment… I bought this on a whim as I wanted a new blusher for my holiday and during the summer time I always gravitate towards cream products. This blusher has a lovely creamy texture & the colour ‘Hot Melon’ is a perfect peachy colour. I apply this using my real techniques buffing brush as the first time I tried it, I used my fingers and was a little disappointment with the colour pay off, so would recommend using a brush.
Bumble & Bumble Thickening Dryspun finish – This is an all time favourite & need to repurchase this, as the bottle in the picture is actually all gone. I spray this onto my roots after styling my hair into waves, which gives my hair a lift as it is naturally quite fine. What I love about this product is that it instantly makes your hair look a little fuller & gives it a lot of texture, without making your hair feel too sticky ,which is what I found with other products I’ve tried!
Places;
Stratford Upon Avon – On the one sunny Sunday we had in March, me & James decided to take a trip to Stratford upon Avon, as I had never been and James hadn’t visited since he was little. Stratford Upon Avon is only 40 minutes away from us now, so was the perfect Sunday afternoon drive out. I really enjoyed visiting as the town centre and park were so pretty and we had a lovely walk along the river! We also stopped for something to eat in a little cafe (pictured above) called  ‘Bardias’ which is possibly the cutest and prettiest cafe I have ever been in, look at the flowers hanging from the ceiling (perfect for Instagram ;))
Books;
Audrey Hepburn ‘An elegant Spirit’ – This book is one that I have had for awhile but re discovered when I moved house (it is also the one which appears in most of my flat lays haha). The book is all about Audrey Hepburn & her life, written by her son Sean Hepburn. I love this book as I am a massive fan of Audrey Hepburn and as its written by her son it features photographs, recipes that she loved and artwork that hasn’t been seen before. If you like Audrey Hepburn I would recommend looking at this book!
So that is all for my March favourites, I am so excited we are now in April & I’m hoping for some warmer weather soon! Let me know if you had any favourites in March…
Sophie x
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Skincare; Two face masks that work for me.

Two face masks for problem skin
A good skincare routine is something that has become very important to me, especially as I have suffered with problematic skin over the years, which can be very disheartening.
Over the last year or so, I have noticed my skin becoming a lot clearer and luckily now only ever get the odd spot here and there, not a face full of them. Touch wood. I think this is a mixture of getting a little bit older and a good, solid skincare routine that I follow.
There are two face masks that I use weekly, in order to keep my skin in check and help keep my skin looking the best it can…
Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask – Origins £26.50
As you can see from the name and the tube, it is a thick black mask that is designed for oily/acne prone skin to help keep any problem skin at bay. I use this once a week, after I have exfoliated my face (I use the gin zing face scrub, also by origins) and let it sit for a good 20 minutes, sometimes longer. It does dry very quickly however, making it difficult to move your face after a long period of time.
It contains Bamboo Charcoal which apparently draws out the impurities, White china Clay – to absorb environmental toxins and Lecithin – which dissolves the impurities that have just been drawn out.
Once I rinse this off, my face does instantly look softer and any redness looks reduced. Something that this mask doesn’t do, which I’m extremely happy about, is break me out a couple of days later, as that is what I found with other face masks that are designed to ‘draw impurities out’.
Skin Nourish Mask – Bobbi Brown £34.00
After I have rinsed the Clear improvements mask off, I then dry my face and use the Skin nourish mask straight away, to add moisture to my skin. It says that its best for ‘Normal to very dry skin’ & to use it ‘3x a week’. However, as I have more of an oily skin type, I just use it once a week to add extra moisture to my skin to help it look healthy and ‘glowy’.
This mask is enriched with coral grass and Green Algae, which are ‘powerful moisture magnets’, helping to repair the skins natural moisture barrier and reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
I slather a liberal amount onto my face and leave it around 5 minutes to let some of it soak in, I then tissue off  the excess product and rub the rest of whats left into my skin and sleep in it overnight. When I wake up, my skin is so soft and looks a lot fresher and healthier in general.
After using so many different face masks in the past, I find that these two really do work for me and my skin, especially when used together, which is when I see the best results.
Let me know if you have a favourite face mask or a specific routine that you use which work for you and your skin type…
Sophie x
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Sunday Scrubbing; The ultimate pamper.

Two luxury body scrubs

The thing I love most about Sunday’s, is the fact that I have a little more time to focus on myself. There is nothing better than having a nice, long pamper session, to get myself ready for the new week ahead.
More often than not, this involves me taking an extra long shower/bath, applying a face & hair mask and treating my skin to an exfoliating body scrub.
There are so many different body scrubs on the market at the moment, so I am going to share with you my two favourites…IMG_3570IMG_3560
Vitamin E Body Treatment Scrub- Jo Malone London £72.00*
The Vitamin E body scrub is probably the most indulgent scrub I have ever owned, it is so luxurious (just look at the packaging!) and has the most amazing honey-combed scent, it smells good enough to eat…Although I wouldn’t advise this!
It contains organic brown sugar particles which gives it that sweet smell and this is what gently exfoliates the skin as its non-abrasive. It also contains wheat germ & Avocado oil, which leave the skin silky soft and smooth!
I use this once a week, applied on dry skin, before getting in the bath/shower. You can also use this on wet skin, but I find it exfoliates slightly better on dry skin, before getting into the water and watching the product melt away. It really does leave your skin feeling velvety soft to the touch & also makes the whole bathroom smell incredible. Which is a bonus.
I find, due to the oils, I don’t have to moisturise afterwards, as it leaves a slight layer of moisture on the skin, so perfect for the ultimate Sunday night pamper.
IMG_3586Geranium & Walnut Body Scrub – £44.00*
The Geranium & Walnut scrub is something I like to use when I know I am going to be fake-tanning that evening. I find it the perfect prep for my skin as it doesn’t contain oils like the Vitamin E above, so my fake tan glides on easily.
It contains natural crushed walnut shell to gently exfoliate and does an amazing job at buffing away any dry skin to make your skin feel soft & healthy afterwards. I use this scrub whilst in the bath/shower on slightly damp skin as I find it a bit too harsh on dry skin, it just depends how much of a scrub you like!
The Geranium & Walnut Scrub smells completely different to the Vitamin E, but equally as amazing. I find the scent of this scrub very spa like & relaxing due to the crisp geranium, perfect for winding down on Sunday evening…
 I like to alternate between the two scrubs, depending on how I’m feeling. I sometimes use both in a week, depending on what my skin is telling me!
Let me know if you have a Sunday evening ritual, or a body scrub that I should try?

Sophie x

*I work as part of the Estee Lauder Companies, but all opinions/views are 100% my own.

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My Base Products.

A couple of years ago, when I worked as a Beauty consultant in a department store, I would be surrounded with the latest launches of make-up products and the up and coming trends. More often than not I would treat myself to something once pay day had arrived.
Nowadays, I am a little bit more practical when it comes to make-up shopping, as I only have one face & rarely try new base products. I  tend to stick with the ones that I know work for me and my skin…

My base products

Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude
I used to be a lover of the original Double wear as I loved the coverage it gave on my skin. As I got older and didn’t need such a high coverage (I used to have quite a few skin issues),  I found it was a  little too thick, to the point where it felt a little strange to move my face.
These days, I prefer Double wear Nude. It’s a medium coverage, which now suits me better and has the same amazing staying power as the original, but a lot lighter in texture. I find it evens out my skin tone and makes it look fresh and healthy, all whilst providing protection against sun damage (it has SPF30).
The Reparative Skin Tint – La Mer 
This is something I either wear in the summer as it’s very sheer, or mix in with my Double wear nude, to give it a little more glow.
I like to use this on holiday/summer time as it is very lightweight and find it gives just the right amount of coverage to even out my skin tone. It provides me with a fresh glow but without making me look sweaty (never a good look!). This also contains SPF 30, which of course if very important!
MAC Pro long wear Concealer
This is probably my 5th bottle of the stuff! I love it. It provides a medium, matte coverage, which I find perfect for covering spots/redness. I also like to use it under my eyes and even though it’s a full coverage concealer, I find it never looks cakey, even when I top up my make-up on my lunch break. The only thing I dislike about this product is the pump,  I can never get the right amount out and end up wasting a lot of it.
Nude Finishing Illuminating Powder – Bobbi Brown
This is a more recent discovery for me as I never really liked to use a powder to set my make-up as I didn’t like how they made my skin look.
However, I would 100% re purchase this powder ( I have already hit pan!) as it is so subtle and natural looking. It also has a blend of skin brightening botanicals to make the skin look lovely and fresh, which it defiantly does!
English Mint & Ginger Lip Care – Jo Malone London
SO technically, this is cheating as it’s not a makeup base… but it is a great base for my lip products. This is a new lip balm which is enriched with Moringa Butter, rose flower and KuKui seed oil, all which soften and hydrate the lips (& it really does!). Even though its so hydrating, it dries more of a matte finish, so doesn’t feel like you have lots of product on your lips. The Scent is also amazing, which you expect from a Jo Malone product!
Are any of these products your favourites? Or  does anyone have any recommendations that I possibly should try? Let me know 🙂 x

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Home Additions; Making a house a home.

Making my house a home

On the run up to moving, I basically lived on pinterest, whenever I had a spare 5 minutes I would be  searching for home interior inspiration and imagining  how I would like our home to look..
I never realised just how difficult it would be once you had moved in, for your home to actually look like a home, especially as me and James hardly had any furniture (Just lots Candles!). priorities.
As our house is rented, there is only so much that we can do to make it ours. That being said, our Land lady is lovely and left a lovely card (& bottle of wine) telling us to make it feel like our home and to put up as many pictures as we like, which I thought was so sweet!
Below are a few things that I have collected so far which have made our house look a little bit more like home…
Making my house a home
  Plant Pot: Anthropologie
I took a little detour on my way home from training with work, to head into Anthropologie in Bath. I had heard so many great things about the store and as I I don’t have a store near me, I thought I would take advantage…and my god, it took everything in my will power not to buy the entire shop (& the fact I was coming home via the train!).
I loved everything that they had to offer and think its great that they collaborate with local up & coming artists to provide unique items. I especially loved this quirky little plant pot (above) as it adds a bit of fun to our living room, its something a little bit different…I’m not sure if James is a massive fan, but I thoroughly enjoy looking at it!

Etsy prints of Capri, Italy and Spain

Seeing as our living room is quite dark, I wanted to include pieces to make it bright and cheerful, whilst incorporating our colour schemes (dark blues/mustard tones). I found these two prints on Etsy, sold by ‘TheprintArcade’ (£8.50 each!). I ordered both of the prints in A3 and then bought two separate frames from IKEA to Mount them in. Even though the prints were quite cheap, they are really good quality and look even nicer now they are in their frames, I would 100% recommend if you are looking for affordable prints. I really like the Vintage feel to them and that they represent two places that we love, Spain and Italy (Capri is on my list of places to visit!). I also like the fact that you wouldn’t be able to find these prints everywhere, as Etsy sells unique items.
IMG_3430I have also added lots of plants to the living room, I think they instantly cheer up a room and give it a bit of life (Lets see how long I keep them alive for, I’m not the best plant Mum!).
The little gnome that’s hanging on the side of the plant pot, was a gift from my Mum for my birthday as I have a little bit of a thing for gnomes at the moment…not sure why or how this came about, but I think he’s great. I also received a big garden Gnome for Christmas, but he’s yet to go outside, as I think its too cold for him at the minute.. he’s currently sat in our conservatory haha.
We still have things that we want to change/add, but so far we have made good progress and I am very happy with our new home. Has any one else recently moved? Is there anything that you have added or want to add to make your house feel more homely? Please leave your links in the comments 🙂

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