Find us on Google+ sophielouisew_: February 2014

Thursday, 27 February 2014

The OOTD | Pleather Me Up

Top Zara | Cardigan Primark | Necklace Primark | Trousers H&M | Boots Forever 21 | Watch Michael Kors

life becomes a better place when you own a pair of pleather trousers - fact. they're such a wardrobe staple for me now, and i would've owned some a lot sooner than this if it hadn't been such a pain to find a pair that fit. granted, these are still a bit baggy from the knees down, but i was fighting a losing battle in the pleather trouser hunt and when i find something that actually fits me round the waist, i will compromise elsewhere. 

i know this is a little dull for a Spring outfit, but it's the perfect transitional look if you're ready to ditch the coat and leave it at home. i picked this chunky cardi up in the primark sale, so even if it only lasts me this year, i'll definitely get my wear out of it for just £5.

if you've styled any 'waiting for spring' looks, then i'd love to see!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Lifestyle Post | My Workout Routine & Wishlist

today's post is a little different, but the type of post i've really found myself drawn to recently. in an attempt to tone up for the summer, this year i've left my workout-phobe self behind and i've surprisingly become that person that looks forward to a work out - crazy, right?

a few weeks back, i posted this picture to instagram of my progress so far, and in about six weeks i've lost half a stone. now i didn't start working out with any intention of losing weight, it was purely to tone up, and i will keep at it until my body is in the shape i want it to be, but i know some people reading this will potentially be looking for ways to lose weight, so the workouts i've been doing will still help. i've focused my workouts to target the areas of my body i want to work on which are my thighs and my stomach. i know some of you will say 'but you're already thin' and 'you should be happy with the way you are', but by working on my problem areas, i'll end up a lot happier with my body. i also want to say that i haven't achieved this purely from working out, i've completely revamped my diet and am eating a lot better and cleaner than i used to. i use My Fitness Pal to keep track of what i'm eating and how much exercise i'm doing, and this is by far the best site i've come across, plus they also have an app so you can keep track of things on the go, too. from putting in all my stats when i signed up, it set my goal at 1,200 a day and when i mentioned this on Twitter a lot of you seemed pretty shocked at this and thought it was very little, but please bare in mind that i am super petite and i am still eating three meals a day and having snacks. on a typical day i will have yoghurt and granola for breakfast, a banana mid morning, for lunch it's usually crackers and philadelphia, a bagel, pasta salad or a regular salad with a packet of crisps (pom bears are a personal fave!) and dinner can really vary but i've been loving sweet potatoes, stir fry, rice, pasta, spring rolls, salads with warm chicken and anything that's filling yet still healthy. i still have naughty snacks every now and then, but 99% of the time i stick to my 1,200 calories. 

on an average day i burn off about 100-150 calories, and i always make sure i include any walking i do on My Fitness Pal as being a student a walk into town can be a good 30 minutes there and back which burns around 80 calories. in terms of my workouts, i initially started out on the Wii Fit as before this i will admit i never did any exercise, so i eased myself in gently with yoga, muscle workouts and a few more aerobic based exercises. then i discovered Blogilates and it's safe to say that this is what really made me enjoy my workouts. each month there is a workout calender which you can follow for just an hours exercise a day and each workout on the Blogilates channel is targetting a specific area of the body, and this is how i started coming across more and more workouts which suited me and my problem areas. another great place for workout inspiration and routines is Pinterest and my fitness inspiration board is always growing. this is where i came across the Drop Ten Workout. initially it's to help drop 10lb in two weeks, but there's no way it would be appropriate for me to lose that much weight so i do this every other day as it has some cardio aspects to it and hits other areas of my body that i don't usually focus on. 

on the days that i don't do the drop ten workout, i've actually made up my own 30 minute workout which focuses completely on abs and thighs, so as i know these are problem areas for others, i thought i'd share it with you, and i've added a link to an example of each exercise:

Run on the spot for the duration of one song
30 reps of hot potato on each leg (don't let the leg touch the ground)
30 crunches
50 squats
50 rear raisers (keep fingers on the floor for the whole duration)
30 reps leg raise on each leg (don't let the leg touch the ground)
Run on the spot for the duration of one song
30 double leg raises (don't let the legs touch the ground)
20 crunches

so that's pretty much my workout routine done, you just need to stick at it and be motivated. the best motivation i've found is new gym clothes (of course there had to be something shopping related) and working out to your favourite music. i'll admit that 99% of the time i work out to one direction songs - they're catchy, upbeat and have a good, steady tempo for working out. just keep at it and you will notice a difference eventually. naughty days are okay, or not working out for one day due to other commitments isn't going to be a huge set back, as long as you get back at it the next day. i haven't cut out any of my favourite foods, i'm just more aware of how much i'm eating and have swapped the majority of things for light or low fat versions and i only drink water, there's been no dramatic changes in my lifestyle.

so to finish off a slightly heavier post than usual, i've thrown in my current wishlist of workout equipment, and if any of you have spied some pretty workout wear then send it my way! i know this post won't have been of interest to all of you, but i hope it helps at least one person feel better about themselves!

Pilates Core Set £23 | Blogilates Resistance Bands $16.95 | Blogilates Yoga Mat $25 | Forever 21 Yoga Leggings £16.75 | Asda Reversible Activewear Bralet £5 | Forever 21 Double Strap Sports Bra £8.75 | Nike Flyknit Air Max £180

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Top Three Thursdays | Spring Lip Colours

An Image of MAC Amplified Lipstick in Vegas Volt, Barry M Lip Paint in 151 Sunset and Benefit Lipstick in My Treat

An Image of MAC Amplified Lipstick in Vegas Volt, Barry M Lip Paint in 151 Sunset and Benefit Lipstick in My Treat

An Image of MAC Amplified Lipstick in Vegas Volt, Barry M Lip Paint in 151 Sunset and Benefit Lipstick in My Treat

An Image of Swatches of MAC Amplified Lipstick in Vegas Volt, Barry M Lip Paint in 151 Sunset and Benefit Lipstick in My Treat
L-R | Barry M in Sunset | MAC Vegas Volt | Benefit My Treat

today is my last top three thursday post, and i thought i'd share my top three spring lip shades now that winter is slowly on its way out and i've picked one red, one orange and one pink toned shade.

if you're after a spring red, then Barry M Lip Paint in 151 Sunset needs to be added to your collection. this is a gorgeous light red shade with subtle orangey hues in a matte finish and looks so much more vibrant on the lips for the upcoming season than a true red, or one with more burgundy undertones. it's also super affordable at just £4.49 and is just as long-lasting on the lips as any of its high end counterparts! if you want to add some more spring shades to your collection and not break the bank, then i suggest you pop to your local Barry M stand.

if an orange/coral colour is more your thing then the infamous MAC Vegas Volt is the one for you. with its amplified finish it's moisturising on the lips whilst still being super pigmented and long-lasting. the formula is very creamy, and i know it's slightly more on the pricey end at £14, but if you're just going to have a couple of MAC lippies in your collection then this needs to be one of them. it's a lovely warm orange that isn't too bright for spring, but makes such a nice change from darker winter shades.

last up is Benefit's My Treat at  which is a beautiful fuchsia pink with blue undertones and a colour i never thought suited me, but i am determined to get back into pink lips. again, it has warm hues of colour in to make it great for that winter transition but isn't a bright summery shade. this isn't as pigmented as the other two and adds more of a hint of colour than a bold, matte lip which i know is more up some of your streets. very glossy and moisturising, but not too much so that it doesn't stick around on your lips. unfortunately this has since been discontinued, but their new lipstick line in the shade Juicy Details looks really similar for £15.

i'd love to know your spring and summer lip colour suggestions as i find it hard to move away from my trusty winter shades at this time of year.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Vlog Post | A London Day Out

An Image of Colombia Road Flower Market

An Image of Colombia Road Flower Market

An Image of Harrods Window Display

An Image Of Harrods Beauty Hall

An Image of Harrods

An Image of Colombia Road Flower Market

i've been a little bit brave today, and tried my hand at vlogging (it's better quality if you click through to watch on youtube here). i headed up to London on sunday for a belated day out for my mums birthday and thought i would take you along with me as we had a few bits planned. we started with breakfast at Bill's in Covent Garden, then walked back to Tottenham Court Road for a spot of shopping. we then headed back to Colombia Road Flower Market (a dream if you're a floral obsessive like i am) before macarons and tea at L'Aduree in Harrods. we then squeezed in a little more shopping before refuelling with dinner at Zizzi's! it was such a long, but lovely day and was nice to do some different bits and pieces for a change rather than just shopping all day long. i do, of course, have a haul of what i picked up coming in the next few weeks, but there's a couple of sneak peeks if you watch the vlog! 

Monday, 17 February 2014

The Video Post | TMI Tag

so last week i was tagged my one of my best friends Ellie to do the TMI tag, and i thought it would be a great way for you guys to get to know me a bit better, so here it is! don't forget to watch this on youtube rather than here for a better quality!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Top Three Thursdays | Drugstore Brow Products

An image of MUA Pro Brow Kit

An image of L'Oreal Super Liner Brow Artist in Blonde

An image of L'Oreal Super Liner Brow Artist in Blonde

An Image of Soap & Glory Brow Archery Brow Tint & Precision Shaping Pencil in Love is Blonde

An Image of Soap & Glory Brow Archery Brow Tint & Precision Shaping Pencil in Love is Blonde

An Image of Soap & Glory Brow Archery Brow Tint & Precision Shaping Pencil in Love is Blonde

An Image of Soap & Glory Brow Archery Brow Tint & Precision Shaping Pencil in Love is Blonde

An Image of Soap & Glory Brow Archery Brow Tint & Precision Shaping Pencil in Love is Blonde

Top to Bottom | Soap & Glory Brush and Pencil | L'Oreal Super Liner Brow Artist | MUA Pro Brow Kit in Light, Medium & Dark

so this is my penultimate top three thursdays post, and this time i'm focusing on drugstore brow products. up until about 18 months ago, i completely neglected my brows when it came to filling them in, and when i first started i instantly went for products which were made for brunette hair (obviously, i'm brunette!), but looking back now they were much too dark for me, so i thought i'd share the three drugstore products and colours i've found that work for me.

first up is the cheapest of the bunch with the MUA Pro Brow Kit for £3.50 and this is the first brow product i started using. initially i went straight in with the darkest shade in the palette which is clearly far too dark for a natural look, so i've found that a mix of this shade and the top right shade is the perfect combo for brunette brows. this is super good value for money as you get three shades which you can combine to create the perfect shade, and then a setting gel to help keep everything in place. i do find that the little brush is a tad too thick for your outer brows so a thinner brush works better for that, but the tweezers are pretty good considering they're thrown in too. this also comes with a pretty decent sized mirror (perfect for travelling), and the staying power is pretty good for the price, especially for such a bargain price. this would be great for brow beginners or anyone who is after something on a budget. this is also a fairly decent dupe of the Benefit Brow Zings.

next up is the L'Oreal Super Liner Brow Artist which comes in at £5.49. this comes in three shades - blonde, brunette and dark brunette - but again, i found the brunette shades were just too dark and bold for me so i have this in the shade blonde, and this is the product i use the most often so will be what you see i most of my pictures. as you can see, this is a dual-ended pencil with the colour on one end and a setting wax on the other which makes sure your brows stay put all day long! it also comes with this little brush on the lid which is perfect for sculpting your brows into the perfect shape before filling them in, and as you can see from the pictures this is very well loved! 

finally is my latest brow addition which is the Soap & Glory Brow Archery Tint and Pencil. this is the most expensive product at £10, but definitely worth it. again, i have this in the shade for blondes! this is another dual ended pencil and has the tiny, little brush at one and to add tint and shape to your brows, and then the pencil the other end to keep the tint in place and add colour and definition. i thought the brush end might have a tendency to dry out quickly especially as i do my brows after my foundation, but it's still as good as new and the colour pay-off is still fab! the pencil end is also a wind-up, so there's no faffing around with having to keep it sharpened all the time. the one downside is that it doesn't come with a brush/comb to help shape your brows before application which i think it could for the price, but i'm sure you all have a spare one lying around somewhere!

if anyone of you have recommendations on other brow products that you think i need to try, then please let me know! 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Review | Lush Mask of Magnaminty

An image of Lush Mask of Magnaminity

An image of Lush Mask of Magnaminity

An image of Lush Mask of Magnaminity

i fall in to the category of girls that has only really used lush for bath bomb supplies and had overlooked the rest of their bits and bobs in the past, but since getting fed up with skin break-outs lately and doing some internet scouring, i decided to give some of their skincare bits a whirl. i've already shared my thoughts on their Grease Lightning Spot Treatment (still doing the job, incase you were wondering), and today is the turn of the Mask of Magnaminty.

this is a deep cleansing clay mask which promises to help fight breakouts - sounds good, right? i've used this weekly for a month now and the simple question to has it helped completely prevent breakouts is no. but has it stopped them being quite so frequent and vicious? yes. combined with the Grease Lightning treatment and my regular skincare routine, i have noticed a slight reduction in my breakouts and they are definitely not as nasty or noticeable as before. sorry to be a bit gross, but this really stops my spots getting to that pussy stage - they stay calm and controlled and not at all irritating. i'll be honest in saying that i need to up my skincare regime in general, so i can't expect this to be a world wonder and completely clear my skin up by itself - i need to help myself out when it comes to that - but it's certainly helping. 

Mask of Magnaminty isn't a fresh mask, so you don't need to keep it in your fridge and it's more for use as and when you need it. it has a gorgeous pepperminty smell from the peppermint oil which is used to stimulate the skin and keep it looking bright. marigold oil and kaolin help to keep the skin feeling nourished and the honey in the mask gives it antibacterial properties. to get the mask off after application, you almost rub it in with warm water before washing away as the evening primrose seeds and aduki beans act as exfoliators for the skin, too! and the mask isn't just made for your face, it can be used for any spot-prone areas and is actually called a face and back pack rather than a face mask, so you get the jist.

if you're after something to help combat breakouts and is also completely natural, then Mask of Magnaminty is for you. i picked up the 125g tub for £5.25 and i reckon i'll get about 10-12 applications out of this - very worth the money if you ask me! 

if you have any other spot busting treatments then please let me know - i've heard a lot about the body shop tea tree range, so i think that's next on my list.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Review | L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer

you know the 'blogger made me buy it' tag? this is one of those products that i bought from blogger hype and all the reviews i'd seen around on it, and this little beauty is the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer. 

i've never actually tried a primer before that wasn't a clear silicone-based gel, but how pretty is this pearly-white colour of this formula? this is great for creating a really luminous base for your foundation, and i find it works best with a sheer, lighter coverage foundation so that it still shows through a little. not only does this work fab as a primer (my foundation sticks around those extra couple of hours which makes all the difference), but it's super versatile and makes for a super subtle and brightening highlight aswell once blended in over the top of foundation. i also can't wait for spring and summer to roll around as this would make a great base for a light makeup look when it's too warm to slap on the foundation, so i'm hoping my skin will clear up over the next few months so i can brave having just this on my face for a really bright, dewy look.

for a drugstore primer in a bottle that is fairly smaller than the others on the market, £9.99 might be a little bit pricey for this, but it is well worth it for such a versatile product. the pump disperses just the right amount for even coverage for your whole face, but unfortunately the top doesn't screw off so i'm hoping that doesn't mean i waste too much product because i can't get it out. 

which other drugstore primers are you guys loving? i'd love to know!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Top Three Thursdays | High End Highlighters

L-R | Hourglass Dim Light, Incandescent Light & Radiant Light | Too Faced Candlelight Glow Duo & Individual Swatches | MAC Soft & Gentle

firstly, i'd like to apologise for the poopy quality of todays pictures, the lighting anywhere in my house at uni is horrendous and i completely forgot to take pictures whilst i was home last weekend with decent light. also i'm sorry if high end isn't your thing, but i'm going to throw in a couple of drugstore dupes for you, too!

making another appearance is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette(*), which i suppose is technically cheating as it has three shades in it itself, but Incandescent Light (the middle shade) is the one i find myself reaching for the most. i like that this more of a matte highlighter and isn't full of shimmer and glitter particles, making it perfect if you're going for a 'no-makeup' makeup look. it's a gorgeous peachy nude shade which is different from the usual creamy and pink-toned highlighters you'll find. if you want a little more info on this, i do have a full review on the palette here. maybe a little pricey at £56 from Space NK, and £38 for an individual colour (i was lucky enough to receive this for christmas), but a fab drugstore dupe for Incandescent Light is the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Pearl Powder in Rose Radieux for a snip of the price at £8.99 from Boots and you can see my review on that little beauty here.

next up is a little beauty which is doing it's blogger rounds lately and that's the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle which is my all-time favourite highlighter. it's a really pretty bronzey, rose-gold shade with little glitter particles which gives a gorgeous sun-kissed look. i've loved this through the winter as its not quite so luminous on the skin and has more of a subtle look. this is fairly pigmented, but don't be put off by how it looks in the pan because you just need the tiniest little amount. i've had this since october and used it most days and this has barely gone down at all so i can see this lasting me for a long time which is also a bonus as this is the cheapest of the bunch at £22 from MAC.

finally is a gorgeous highlighting duo in the form of the Too Faced Candlelight Glow and you can see from the pictures that this has been well-loved since i bought it back in september. for a duo, you technically get three shades as you can wear either the cream or pink or combine them together for a gorgeous pearly shade. the pink looks fab matched with a deep pink blush in the winter for a really natural, warm-looking glow, and i love the creamy toned side for highlighting under my brow bones. this is quite pigmented for a highlight so just the tiniest dusting is needed, especially with it being packed full of little shimmery particles. this is £25 from Boots, and is just too pretty and girly to pass up on, right? if you are after something that's much kinder the the bank account, then the MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighter is a great dupe of the pink-toned side and is just £3. 

i'm a little bit of a highlighter fanatic, i think i have a problem with resisting all the pretty sparkles so i'd love to know your recommendations!