Monday, 25 February 2013

My Perfume Collection

I've always found perfumes extremely difficult to review because I believe that perfume is extremely individual and smells totally different on everyone, but I really wanted to do a general overview of my staple fragrances that I simply cannot live without. I'm a real girly girl, so most of my fragrances are very fruity and feminine. Obviously this isn't my entire collection (I have two glossyboxes full of both full-sized and travel bottles of various fragrances!), but its certainly my most used. I really believe that looking at a persons perfume collection can really tell you a lot about them, so here's mine:

 Clockwise from left:

(1) Chanel Coco Mademoiselle* - From £46 for 35ml
 This will always be my favourite perfume regardless of how many I buy, purely because it was the perfume that made me want to start an actual collection. With hints of floral jasmine, this perfume combines the luxuriousness and sensuality that Chanel incorporates in all of their perfumes, but with a playful and feminine twist, making it perfect for the younger woman. I've always wanted to own Chanel No5, but i've found that it's a little too 'old' for me, making this a perfect alternative for my age and personality.
(2) Florabotanica by Balenciaga* - From £53 for 50ml
 With base notes of amber and accords of mint, carnation and hybrid rose, Florabotanica is a vibrant floral scent that I like to wear on early mornings to wake me up! It may seem quite a strong scent for some, but i've found just two spritzes is enough to last the whole day.

(3) Ghost Enchanted Bloom - From £23.50 for 30ml
Every girl needs a Ghost perfume, and this one has quickly become one of my favourites, closely followed by Ghost Sweetheart. As the name suggests it's extremely floral with top notes of voilet leaf and cranberry, following by scents such caviar peach, musk and freesia that combine to make an extremely romantic scent that I like to wear on informal evenings out. It's one of my least expensive perfumes but the scent definitely holds its own amongst the rest.  

(4) Christina Aguilera - From £29.50 for 50ml
Sometimes you just can't beat an original! The singers debut fragrance has been one of my staple fragrances for years, so much so that whenever I wear it I feel instantly transported to my senior school days, where I felt really mature and grown up to own a perfume in such a gorgeous bottle covered in lace! With top notes of peach and blackcurrent to maintain that feminine feel, mixed with base notes of musk, vanilla and sandlewood - this is a perfect combination of fun and sexy that I love to wear on a day-to-day basis.  

(5) Burberry Body - From £45 for 35ml
This is one of my more recent fragrances, but has quickly become one of my favourites so it will soon need replacing! Effortlessly elegant with an eclectic mixture of vanilla, amber, cashmeran and sandlewood, it's a feminine fragrance with an earthy undertone that oozes elegance and sophistication, like the brand itself. 

(6) Flowerbomb by Viktor and Rolf - From £55 for 50ml
Oh, how I love this perfume! I could literally talk about it all day. I discovered it by simply walking past my flatmates bedroom and having to do a double-take as smelling it actually stopped me in my tracks. It's quite decieving, as it actually smells more like a sweet-shop than a bouquet of flowers. It smells like marshmallows, with a hint of jasmine and freesia (although you can't really smell these very much!). It's probably the sweetest perfume I own, but its extremely playful and can be worn for both day and night - it's currently my most worn our of the entire collection.

(7) Curious by Britney Spears* - From £22.99 for 100ml
It could be argued that i'm a little too old to be wearing this perfume, but this could be because this was one of the first perfumes I bought for myself when I was in my early teens (That, and it's actually described as 'Youthful'). With a mixture of lotus flower, golden anju pear and my all-time favourite vanilla-infused musk, its very vibrant and certainly original. It reflects the big kid in me, so I wear it whenever i'm needing a little reminder that i'm a bit too young to start acting my age! 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Body Shop's Vanilla Duo Body Butter

If anyone has met me in person (Or follows me on instagram: @sophieelaine), they will tell you that I love vanilla more than anything. My room constantly smells of either vanilla ambi-pur or an assortment of vanilla candles. Along with a body spray, body lotion and solid perfume, it just seemed silly not to have a body butter thrown in for good measure!

This vanilla body butter is just one of the four twin-pot moisturisers that have graced the shelves of The Body Shop, providing two types of moisturisers to target certain areas and enable you to moisturise your entire body without having to purchase another product.

One side is a light cream suitable for all-over moisturising in areas that are only in need of light moisturisation, and on the other is a much thicker cream suitable for areas with particularly dry skin such as knees and elbows. Both enriched with the indulgent scent of vanilla, ingredients include cocoa butter and babassu oil. I applied these products after showering, and found that the lighter cream was actually more hydrating than the thicker one. I found the thicker cream really hard to apply, and even harder to sink in and I found myself applying the lighter cream over the top as I felt it was so thick it was just simply sitting on the skin. However, when I have a spare hour I like to apply the thicker cream onto areas such as knees, elbows and feet and just leave it to sink in for a few hours, but this cream is not for those who are in a hurry.

Overall, for £13 this is a product that covers all the bases when it comes to dry skin. Although I found I still needed to use a tiny bit of the lighter cream to ensure total moisturisation, between the two creams I can safely keep my skin hydrated and leave myself smelling like an old-fashioned sweet shop - what more could anyone want?

You can purchase The Body Shop's Body Butter Duo's for £13 each at your local store.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Paul Mitchell Color Care Colour Protect Shampoo & Conditioner

Since taking the plunge and undergoing the harsh transition from red to blonde, ensuring my hair is in good condition and well looked after is of the upmost importance. Therefore, when the lovely people at Paul Mitchell offered to send me a sample of their legendary Colour Care Colour Protect shampoo and conditioner, I couldn't turn it down.

This season, the hair care specialists have opted for an art-deco twenties theme, aiming to keep hair as vibrant as the era of glamorous flappers and as eye-catching as the sharp gentlemen in long coats and fedoras.

Made with a gorgeously gentle formula containing chamomile, rosemary and aloe vera, this daily shampoo conditioner promises a thorough clean and replenishment without stripping or fading the hair colour. This pair also protects hair from sun damage with UV absorbers, which provide a guard for the colour to remain vibrant for longer.
The shampoo and conditioner itself are very thick in consistency and create a reasonable amount of lather with just a touch of water. I can't place the scent exactly, but it reminds me of a hair salon (Sorry if that sounds strange but I hope you understand!)? I've been using this colour for a few weeks now, and friends and family have noticed that my hair seems to have gotten lighter, and my blonde still remains as vibrant as when I first got it coloured.
It leaves my hair feeling slightly heavier, but not to a degree that prevents me from applying any other products, and delivers excellent results in leaving my hair clean, glossy and tangle-free.
I'm extremely pleased with this product as my hair is in excellent condition considering it was coloured almost 6 weeks ago, and the conditioner especially has helped keep my dry ends in check.

Named one of Essential's Best Beauty Buys in 2010 and 2011, its clear that this is a crowd favourite. You can purchase a 300ml bottle of shampoo (size pictured) for £9.95 and the accompanying conditioner for £12.25, but you can choose to buy in bulk in 1 litre bottles for £22.95 and £27.95.
This could be a product that potentially slips under the radar due to the fact that I love my hair smelling amazing after an hour, but the protection against fading cannot be critisised. I definitely recommend this for anyone with newly or frequently coloured hair that needs protecting - my hair looks better than ever!

You can purchase Paul Mitchell Colour Care Colour Protect Shampoo & Conditioner online here or in selected salons.

Monday, 11 February 2013

What's In Your Pocket? Blogger Challenge

I was recently approached by Money Supermarket to be a part of a really great project, that aims to celebrate 'life's little wins'. 'What's in your pocket?' began with hidden cameras capturing people's reactions when they discovered £20 in their dry cleaning pocket. Money Supermarket have taken this one step further and given £20 to a collection of bloggers to experience the thrill of finding money, and share how you've used the money and whether its given you or someone you know that feel-good feeling.

Being a university student and swiftly heading towards third year, sometimes you just need a little break. During my first year I never really went out, I allowed my work-load to consume me and spent my free time couped up in my bedroom on the phone to my friends or parents either moaning or having a breakdown over whether I thought I was good enough. 
Recent events have enabled me to realise that the key to handling stress is to allow yourself time to forget about it all.


  Therefore, with my £20 I put it towards a really great night out with one of my close friends from my course. We both get stressed and worry easily, so it was nice to get out of that environment and enjoy a relaxing night with amazing food and conversation that didn't revolve around our ever-mounting workload. I really liked being able to pay for the majority of the meal (It came to £28, so there was a little left over to pay!), as being students we're not exactly made of money!

Sometimes when you have a long list of to-do's it can be hard to imagine that you would have time to have nights off. But the time you spend worrying could be time spent curing yourself of that worry, as after this evening I found that I was ready to continue with my work after allowing myself to breathe for a little while. 

Overall I really enjoyed this challenge (although it was more of an award!), and encourage everyone to save a little of money every week to give yourself a night off, whether it be to go out for a meal or renting a DVD with a friend - your health and well-being will thank you for it.

If you want to take a look at the original 'What's In Your Pocket?' video, click here.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Sophie Says has twitter!

I've had this blog over a year now, but have only today made an official twitter handle.

I don't know why it's taken me this long, perhaps i'm just a bit afraid that no one will follow it!
I've previously put all my posts on my personal twitter, but the official blog handle will feature everything I post as well as some other beauty bits and bobs.

So, if you're a regular reader and would like to follow Sophie Says, follow the handle below:


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Clinique Chubby Stick Set

I've had my eye on Clinique Chubby Sticks for a long time, but if i'm honest they never really appealed to me enough to take the plunge. Not because they weren't going to achieve spectacular results, but practically straight after the release, handfuls of high-street brands were offering similar versions for a fraction of the price (I'm a student, what do you expect?).

However, when Christmas time rolls around you can get away with splurging a little, which in my case resulted in this gorgeous Clinique Chubby Stick Set*.

The set features five smaller versions of the iconic moisturising lip colour balms in a variety of their best selling shades. As you can see, there seems to be a colour for every occasion, although each box does seem to vary with one or two shades. Each stick weighs in at 1.2g as opposed to the full-sized 3g, and although this seems like a significant amount these sticks are the perfect size for slipping into an evening clutch bag. Designed with a pencil-style applicator, this enables precise application, along with convenience of gliding onto the lip quickly whilst on the move without a mirror. So without further ado, here's the verdict on these highly commended shades:

 Cheeky Cherry
This is a great shade for someone who isn't adventurous enough to wear red lipstick, as it may seem quite light when pictured but it's actually a lot brighter. This is probably the most surprising shade for me, as I didn't think i'd wear something so intense. You don't need to use a lot of product to achieve this level of colour, and due to the glossy finish its suitable for both day and night

 Richer Raisin
This is the most deceiving of the shades, not for the fact that I don't like it, but it's so different from the shade on the outside of the actual stick. I do prefer it because its generally a lot more subtle and lighter so its more suited for my skin tone. The intensity of this colour is quite great in this swatch, but in order to intensify the colour you need to use a great deal of product.

Curvy Candy
 This is probably the safest shade, suitable for both during the day and in the evening paired with a dramatic smokey eye. This would be my go-to shade purely because its so simple.

 Oversized Orange
 This colour is probably the most disappointing, because from the colour it indicates to be on the stick is completely different. It's more of a subtle coral than a bright orange, which is easier to wear but once again, deceiving. This will probably be the colour I wear least, purely because it's not much different to my natural shade and to be honest, it's nothing too special.

Super Strawberry 
 A gorgeously bright pink that isn't too different from 'Chunky Cherry'. When swatching it on my forearm, I was quite disappointed that it didn't really coincide with being named 'Super Strawberry.' Genuinely a gorgeous colour, but once again completely different.

The stick is certainly moisturising, but sometimes I found that it look a while to build up colour due to its consistency. However, once layering on a few shades, I found the overall finish perfect for someone who isn't drawn to wearing lipsticks. The colours are not as intense as I believe they claim to be in advertisements, but for someone who enjoys a hint of colour to compliment an outfit this set is perfect. £30 is an absolute bargain for five shades, with the formula being long-lasting and incredibly moisturising whilst doubling as a lip colour.

The number of Moisturising Chubby Sticks currently stands at 16, meaning that this stick will secure over a quarter of the shades available - a great starter kit for anyone who's itching to jump on the Chubby Stick bandwagon! However, your options are limitless as layering different shades is encouraged to create your own unique colour. Along with this, Clinique have also released a range of more intense shades if you find that these are just not enough for you!

Overall i'm impressed with the quality of the sticks, and am eager to be more adventurous with my colour choices. Be sure to watch this space, i'm sure this isn't the last review you see on these products!

You can purchase the set for £30 at selected retailers including Selfridges, and full-sized Chubby Sticks for £16 each at your local Clinique counter or online here.