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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Top Three Thursdays | Foundations for Pale Skin

An image of Liz Earle Signature Foundation in Porcelain, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in Light Vanilla and Gosh Illuminating CC Cream in Porcelain

An image of Liz Earle Signature Foundation in Porcelain, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in Light Vanilla and Gosh Illuminating CC Cream in Porcelain

An image of Liz Earle Signature Foundation in Porcelain, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in Light Vanilla and Gosh Illuminating CC Cream in Porcelain

An image of Liz Earle Signature Foundation in Porcelain, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in Light Vanilla and Gosh Illuminating CC Cream in Porcelain

An image of Liz Earle Signature Foundation in Porcelain Swatch, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in Light Vanilla Swatch and Gosh Illuminating CC Cream in Porcelain Swatch
L-R | Bourjois Healthy Mix in Light Vanilla | Liz Earle Signature Foundation in Porcelain | Gosh Illuminating CC Cream in Porcelain
for the second installment of top three thursdays, i'm sharing my pick of the best foundations i've found for pale skin. now i'm as pasty as pasty can be, and even in the summer i don't pick up that much of a tan so i really struggle finding foundations to match my skintone, especially in the drugstore, but these are three that are probably my holy grail foundations.

first up is Bourjois Healthy Mix and i use the shade 51 Light Vanilla. as you can see from the swatches, this is the darkest of the three and slightly more pink-toned than my skin, but typically the lightest sort of shade you'll find in the drugstore and Bourjois aren't the only brand who fail at catering for us pale girls. once blended out this does more or less meet my skintone and is what you'll see me wearing in the majority of my photos (this is definitely more of a summer foundation for me), i just love the formula too much to not pick it up. this leaves my skin looking fresh and smooth and doesn't sink into pores. it also covers blemishes really well so i'm not left needing to cake on the concealer afterwards, too. this is more of a medium coverage foundation, but you can really build it up to a high coverage, i just avoid it because that's when it starts to look like it's the worst match in the world for me.  this retails at £9.99, but an offer on Bourjois more often than not so you can probably pick it up a little bit cheaper.

now my all-time favourite foundation that i have ever tried is the Liz Earle Signature Foundation in Porcelain(*) and it is the best colour match i have ever come across.unfortunately i'm nearly out of mine (sob!), but alas, the top screws off easily so i can literally scrape out every last drop so it's still going to last me a good two or three weeks - i do like a foundation where i can use every last drop. this is definitely a high coverage foundation, but doesn't feel at all heavy and cakey on the skin and is super creamy. this honestly leaves my face looking flawless with absolutely no need for concealer, even on those under eye dark circles, i can't rave about it enough. it is a little more on the pricey side at £21, but for a foundation that lasts on the skin all day and applies like a dream, it is 100% worth it and i will definitely be repurchasing as soon as i have a spare £20 floating around. 

finally, if you're after a foundation for light coverage then the GOSH Illuminating CC Cream in Porcelain is the one for you. obviously as a CC cream, this is made for colour correcting and is a primer, foundation, moisturiser and SPF all in one. this is great for a 'no makeup' makeup look and really leaves you with an even base to apply the rest of your makeup. unlike the other two, there is still a need for a little dab of concealer here or there, but this is better if you're after something that's a lot lighter and easier on the skin. it still has the staying power, so add this to the list of benefits of a CC cream and you've got the perfect all round product. this one is £8.99 but again, you can normally pick it up on 3 for 2's and all the other lovely offers that Boots and Superdrug like to entice/bankrupt spoil us with!

if any of you have other foundations which are great for pale skin then please let me know as i am always on the look out for something new to try! 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Video Post | Sweater Weather Tag

hello! something a little different has gone up on my channel, and instead of sharing endless hauls with you, i've decided to do a tag so you can get to know me a little more, especially as i seem to have gained a fair few followers this month. so with that, i present you the Sweater Weather tag! watch this through youtube rather than my blog for HD! 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Review Post | Lush Grease Lightning Spot Treatment

a couple of months back, you will have read about me ranting and raving about the Origins Super Spot Remover in this post here. unfortunately since that post, it's just completely stopped working for me; i don't know if my skin got too used to it, but it just wasn't helping to budge my spots and blemishes, so i started the hunt for its replacement. the one product that came up a lot was Grease Lightning from Lush, so last weekend i dropped into one of the London stores and instantly picked this up and i love it already.

not to be too gruesome, but for the last couple of weeks i've had a few stubborn spots which were refusing to leave camp from my face, no matter what i tried. they stayed red and raised and just were not shrinking at all, and i was getting downright fed up. until i picked this up on the saturday, used it that evening, and my spots were half the size by the next morning - hallelujah! this is a clear gel treatment which dries clear on the skin, and the tea tree and witch hazel properties are what help to reduce the appearance of spots, which this definitely does. this really flattened them down, took away all the redness and just generally stopped them taking over my face. my only criticism is the amount of product that comes out in just one pump - it's far too much, and more than i need for a few blemishes, so i tend to unscrew the lid and take off how much product i need from the pump tube.

this is also a complete bargain compared to it's Origins counterpart, and for a much better product. this 45g bottle was £5.95 which is around three times the size of Origins, yet over half the cost of £14. i also love that this is a much more natural product as the Origins has that sort of scent that smells as if it's instantly killing your skin and has a slight burning sensation on application, whereas i'm much happier using a product with more natural ingredients and have the staff in Lush be able to explain to me what each and every one of them does. i completely recommend this over Origins if you have troubles with stubborn spots!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Top Three Thursdays | Mascaras

An image of Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express Mascara, Benefit They're Real Mascara and No 7 Stay Perfect Mascara

An image of Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express Mascara, Benefit They're Real Mascara and No 7 Stay Perfect Mascara

An image of Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express Mascara, Benefit They're Real Mascara and No 7 Stay Perfect Mascara
L-R | Maybelline | Benefit | No 7

today marks the start of a new feature on 'sophielouisew_' - top three thursdays! every thursday, i will be sharing my top three's of something or other with you guys and i have both beauty and fashion posts planned, so i promise it won't get too samey. i'm kicking it off with mascaras, and these are my three holy grail items. they're the mascaras that have a firm place in my everyday makeup bag and haven't been demoted to the endless stash of neglected products. 

first up is Maybelline's The Rocket Volum' Express (£7.99) which is the first mascara i fell in love with and is my most repurchased. it has a chubby little plastic wand with plenty of little bristles to build up volume. this is the perfect everyday mascara and with a couple of coats i'm good to go. the narrower end of the wand is also good at catching the little lashes on your inner corner. it doesn't crumble or run and end up down my face throughout the day and just gives a lovely natural lash for an everyday look.

next is Benefit They're Real (£19.50), easily the most expensive mascara i've ever bought, but also the best mascara i have ever tried. again, another plastic wand, and the little bobble on the end is perfectly designed for catching even the tiniest lashes. this gives me wow lashes in just one coat with amazing length and volume. i have fairly short, stubby lashes and this is the only mascara which gives me the falsh lash look without being too overpowering. like the Maybelline, it doesn't budge at all throughout the day and i disagree with any review that says this is hard to budge at the end of the day - i get the majority off with a wipe and anything left behind after that comes off with a micellar solution with absolutely no angry rubbing.

up last is the No 7 Stay Perfect Long Lasting Volume (£12.95) which is my go-to mascara for a 'no makeup' makeup look. super natural looking lashes that don't look overly made up. this definitely adds volume more than length, and i love how diddy the little plastic wand is because you don't end up getting mascara all over the show; it's perfect for precise application and the fact it's so narrow also means this is fab for not missing those little lashes in your inner corner. this does dry really quickly, so you have to work with it fairly fast, and it's not really made for applying a second coat. maybe a little pricey for a drugstore mascara, but i know you girls are fab at saving up your Boots points, so definitely give this a whirl. it is fairly stubborn to remove though, so maybe not great for sensitive eyes, but at least you know it's not going to budge anywhere throughout the day.

so there's my top three mascaras! if you have any recommendations of others you think i would like based on these, then please drop me a comment below!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Food Review | My Old Dutch, Kensington

An image of My Old Dutch Pancake Restaurant in Kensington, London

An image of My Old Dutch Pancake Restaurant in Kensington, London

An image of My Old Dutch Pancake Restaurant in Kensington, London

An image of My Old Dutch Pancake Restaurant in Kensington, London

An image of My Old Dutch Pancake Restaurant in Kensington, London

An image of My Old Dutch Pancake Restaurant in Kensington, London

i have a slightly different post to share with you today, but i need to let you all know about this lovely little restaurant i visited in London this weekend. my dad took us to My Old Dutch in Kensington which is a quaint little pancake restaurant. yes, that's right - a restaurant that solely serves pancakes!

i was a little sceptical at first, and the idea of savoury pancakes has never appealed to me; i'm a total lemon and sugar kind of girl. obviously, drinks were ordered first and i went for the ultimate berry smoothie in an attempt to have something healthy before stuffing myself with pancakes, which was raspberry, strawberry, apple, banana and pineapple and super yummy. they also had a mouthwatering milkshake menu and i really wanted to try the maryland cookie one, but milkshakes weren't made for girls trying to be healthy. the service was a little slow, but it was bang on lunchtime, and we finally ordered. now the pancakes coming out were honestly ginormous and bigger than anything i'd seen, so i did go for a kids one especially as i was going to have another for dessert. i picked the 'make your own' pancake and went for chicken, bacon, mushrooms, peppers and cheese, and there were never ending choices of topping and combinations! it was absolutely delicious, and better than i was expecting for a savoury pancake, i just wish it had a little sauce of some kind with it as it can get a little dry halfway through! then for dessert i went for the classic of nutella and strawberries which is to die for, although they were a little stingy on the strawberry front. i completely forgot to take a picture of this because i was so excited to eat it!

before we left, i took a few pictures because it was absolutely full of beautiful tulips. i couldn't get many good ones because it's such a little place and it was full up by the time we left, but it was such a cute little place and was lovely to go and eat somewhere a bit different for a change.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Haul Post | Homeware

welcome to the third and final part of haul week, and this time i've stocked up on some pretty new homeware pieces!
if you missed part one which was a fashion haul, then you can watch that by clicking here, and to catch up on part two which was a beauty haul, then click here!
i actually went to London yesterday and now have enough for another haul, but instead of boring you all to death with four hauls in a row, i'll save it for a couple of weeks time!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Haul Post | Beauty

hello, girls! welcome to the second part of Haul Week and today is the beauty haul. if you missed the first part which was fashion & accessories haul video then you can watch that by clicking here, but i'm going to jump straight into the haul with the last couple of bits i picked up with the debenhams beauty giftcard i got back in october for my 21st.

An image of Benefit They're Real Mascara

An image of Benefit They're Real Mascara

An image of Benefit They're Real Mascara

An image of a MAC Eyeshadow Quad in Sable, Woodwinked, Satin Taupe and All That Glitters

An image of a MAC Eyeshadow Quad in Sable, Woodwinked, Satin Taupe and All That Glitters
L-R | All That Glitters | Sable | Satin Taupe | Woodwinked
i'll start with the last two bits i bought with the debenhams beauty giftcard i got back in October, and the bits i picked up were the Benefit They're Real mascara and my very first MAC quad. i won't go into too much detail about the MAC quad as i posted a full review of it here, but the colours are All That Glitters, Sable, Satin Taupe and Woodwinked. it is a lovely palette, but i don't think it has anything on the pigmentation of my Naked 2. but onto the mascara, which has firmly made it's way into my top 3 mascaras of all time (post coming soon!). i love the little bobble?! on the end of the brush which makes it super easy to catch the lashes right in your inner corner and all the hype surrounding this is true. super long lasting, and i will say that i totally disagree with when people say this is really hard to get off - the majority comes up with a makeup wipe and the rest comes off when i cleanse. this mascara is definitely worth it's price tag.

An image of a Real Techniques Shading Brush

An image of a Real Techniques Shading Brush

the next bit i've picked up is the Real Techniques Shading Brush. to apply my eyeshadow i normally use the Liz Early eye brush, but i wanted something which was a bit smaller and more compact for when i'm applying shadow to either my inner corner or crease, and this is fitting the bill! i own the majority of the RT brushes now, so it just made sense to go for a brand that i know and love.

An image of L'Oreal Lumi Magique Pearl Powder Highlighter in Rose Radieux

An image of L'Oreal Lumi Magique Pearl Powder Highlighter in Rose Radieux

heading back to the drugstore, i picked up the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Pearl Powder in Rose Radieux which i have reviewed in full here. don't be deceived by the gorgeous shimmer on this because it disappears as soon as you've used the first layer of this product which is a real shame as it just leaves you with a regular, matte powder which is still fab for highlighting, i just wish the shimmer ran all the way through. 

An image of NARS Nail Polish in Back Room

An image of Calvin Klein Euphoria Perfume

and the final bits i have to show you are some pieces i was lucky enough to win in a little competition over on Twitter from the lovely Dave Lackie. the first thing is the NARS Nail Polish in Back Room which has been on my nails since and is actually pretty chip resistant. it's just a pure black polish, something i was surprisingly lacking in my collection. i also got this Cle De Peau Beaute Satin Eye Colour in the colour 121 which is a really pretty muddy bronze shade. i'd never heard of this brand before, but they're a Japanese brand and you can find their site here. the final piece was this miniature Calvin Klein Euphoria perfume which is perfect for my handbag! 

so that's everything for my beauty haul! the final part of haul week will be a homeware video which will be up on my channel on Sunday! 

what have you been buying lately? i'd love links to any hauls!

Monday, 13 January 2014

The Haul Post | Fashion & Accessories

happy monday gang, and welcome to what is now officially Haul Week on 'sophielouisew_'!

i had far too much stuff to do one huge collective haul, so i've split it into three separate hauls which will be going up throughout the week! today is a fashion & accessories haul video (which i will insert down below), thursday will be a beauty haul just in a regular blogpost, and i have another video to go live on sunday which is a homeware haul! i can't think of much else to say, as everything is explained at the beginning of the video... don't forget to watch this at 720dp and on youtube (rather than through the embedded video) for a higher quality.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Fashion Post | Debenhams Winter Style Challenge

hello, girls! hope you've all had a good weekend!

just a quick little post today to show my entry for the Debenhams Winter Style Challenge. i used to take part in a lot of challenges like this when i first started blogging, so i thought i would give it another whirl after i came across this one earlier! unfortunately the closing date is tomorrow so you'll have to be quick to get your entries in, and i've been beavering away at mine all evening!

the challenge is to style two different outfits, both with a dream budget of £250 - one day time look and an ultimate party look, and these two looks are definitely my perfect style and the sort of outfits i would wear myself, so i'm gonna jump in with my day time look!

so this is my daytime look, and i've based it on how i would spent my typical weekend day - shopping with friends and then dinner with some well deserved cocktails afterwards - so the outfit needed to be transitional from day to night. rather than going for a staying cosy inside look, i've gone for how to stay cosy when you're outside! i started around a wardrobe staple, and went for these Principles Slim n Trim Leggings (£25) which actually have elasticated panels at the waist, so there's no fear of over-eating! i've then thrown this super snuggly Phase Eight Cleo Cable Jumper (£65) over the top to keep the chill out, plus the over-sized, draped cut will flatter any body shape! toes will be kept warm in these Red Herring Black Buckled Boots (£22.50), and the mid heel makes them comfy for a day on your feet. for ultimate warmth and colour coordination, the Jonathan Saunders Herringbone Coat (£79.50) is perfect, and the ombre effect is bang on trend, especially paired with this Parfois Grey Snowflake Clutch (£14.99) with the cut-out detailing - it's the perfect size for a days essentials, but not too big to take along to cocktails. i've kept accessories simple with just rings (i think the jumper is quite a statement, and necklaces can be a pain if you're trying lots of clothes on whilst out shopping!), and i've chosen this Jasper Conran Statement Curved Ring (£4.00) to go with the Red Herring Stacking Rings (£8) in varying shades of silver and gun metal. the look is finished off with Clarins Rouge Eclat Lipstick in Chocolate Rose (£18.50) for the perfect all-day nude lip. 
Outfit Total | £237.49

my ultimate party look is all based around this gorgeous Black Faux Leather Panel Jumpsuit from Diamond by Julien Macdonald (£60), which i wish had been around for New Years as i would've snapped this beauty up! the faux leather panels almost act as a slimming gimmick, and the sheer panels add a little bit of sultriness. a jumpsuit is comfortable, yet uber stylish for my ultimate party look and is so versatile from a night out with friends to a big family party. footwear wise, i've gone for these Miss KG 'Eva' Heeled Sandals (£85) because every girls needs some designer shoes in her life! i love how these are similar Zara sandals which set off the strappy sandal trend, but are a little more edgy with thicker straps and a more angled look. i've added this Parfois Transparent Clutch (£24.99) with the leopard print to add a pop of colour without it being too OTT, and i love the transparent casing! i've gone for silver accessories to match the shoes hardware, and it's all about stacking. i've picked two bracelets being the Pyramid Stretch Bracelet from Butterfly by Matthew Williamson (£4.80) and this Silver Popcorn Effect Bracelet by Jon Richard (£10) and then three rings; two are again by Jon Richard and are the Sterling Silver Narrow Band (£12) and the Sterling Silver Hearts Band (£15) from the Simply Silver collection, and a final one from Simply Dinny which is the Takenoko Sterling Silver Ring (£30). i think stacking jewellery up really draws attention to the accessories, especially when lots of silver bits are all piled on top of one another. 
i ran out of budget for make-up for this one, but i'd team it with a bold smoky eye, classic red lip and a creamy highlighter.
Outfit Total | £241.79

so yes, that's my entry! i love styling and putting outfits together, and would love to know if you like or would wear the looks i've put together.

Friday, 10 January 2014

The Beauty Review | Make Up For Ever Instant Brush Cleanser

An image of Make Up For Ever Instant Brush Cleanser

An image of Real Techniques Makeup Brushes

An image of Make Up Forever Instant Brush Cleanser

hello, girls! 

i have a new beauty review today, this time on the Make Up Forever Instant Brush Cleanser. i picked this up when from Sephora back when i went to Barcelona last September, but i always forget that i have it and neglect it almost as much as i do when it comes to cleaning my makeup brushes, so i thought that whilst lots of us are adding 'clean my makeup brushes more often' to our list of beauty resolutions, it was about time i reviewed this. 

i think i picked this little 50ml bottle up for around 13, simply because i only had hand luggage allowance to get it back to the UK, but you'll get plenty of uses out of it. i don't use this as a daily cleaner a) because i'm too lazy to clean my brushes everyday and b) because i don't want to run out of it anytime soon, but this is perfect for a fortnightly wash. i would still suggest a deep clean with warm water every month or so, just to clean all the bristles right in the centre of the brush.

i'll admit real laziness here, and say that in the before and after pictures above, i hadn't washed my brushes at all in at least a month (don't judge, i know you're guilty of this too, girls!). the process is real quick and easy, just pump a couple of sprays onto a cotton pad and swirl your brush around until its clean, and use more than one cotton pad if necessary and keep on swirling until your cotton pad stays clean. this is more of a mist than a liquid spray, and if anything is a little oily, but it leaves my brushes feeling fresh and conditioned after use, and you don't need to be rinsing away any residue. your brushes are also immediately dry, so there's no waiting around from them to dry out before you can use them again. 

i think you'll agree from the before and after pictures that this works a treat on all types of product - the first brush i use for powder highlighter, the second for liquid foundation, the third for powder/mousse bronzer and the final two with powder eyeshadows - and gets rid of 99% of the traces of makeup. i do find that this does work better on brushes where the bristles are more dense and tightly packed together, as this doesn't do as good a job with my Real Techniques Powder Brush or Liz Earle Blush Brush. 

overall, i love the Make Up For Ever Instant Brush Cleanser and promise never to neglect it again. and before you all think you can't get your hands on it because I picked it up in Sephora, i've actually found a UK stockist! you can pick up a 150ml bottle for £19.95 including shipping from Guru Makeup Emporium here, or they actually have a store in London if you can get there. it looks like they've updated the packaging or possibly changed the formula since i picked mine up, but i am sure it works just the same, if not better, especially coming from Make Up Forever.