Friday, 30 January 2015

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Body Butter// Review

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Body Butter
The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Body Butter
The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Body Butter

Do you want to smell like a caramel dream? I do! The Body Shop have brought out a Wild Argan Oil range. I know, I was completely blown away too! Over the past few years argan oil has been a word that has cropped up repeatedly in skin and hair care as it has so many benefits.

Argon oil contains fatty acids and Vitamin E which make it highly moisturising and perfect to use as a moisturiser. The Body Shop's Wild Argan Oil range has a vast amount of products but I chose the body butter in an attempt to rehydrate my skin during the winter. I must admit, I have an issue with body butters. I love them but I always forget I have them after a few uses. I have an abundance of lotions which I really need to throw away but this moisturiser will be having a different ending (fingers crossed).

I've actually been using this for almost two months! That is an achievement in itself. The reason why this has been so successful is because it smells so yummy that I look forward to putting it on. I'd say it smells exotic and a little like caramel. Another reason why it has been so successful is perhaps because I have placed it in a more memorable place in the bathroom so I can use it straight after a bath.

The butter itself looks beautiful, so much so that I didn't want to dig my fingers in but I did and it was well worth it. It appears quite thick but once massaged into the skin, it sinks in rapidly and doesn't feel wet or greasy which is perfect as another thing I hate is waiting for creams to dry . Especially if I just want to stick my pyjamas on. My skin feels incredibly soft after using it and I just want to smell my arms constantly. Trust me, you really need to smell this it's other worldly. I feel like a goddess wearing this and it makes me feel amazing after a relaxing bath. The tub I got looked quite small but I'm blown away at how much a little goes a long way. I even believe that it will last me another month or two even with regular usage. I'll definitely be looking into the other products in the range. This tub cost me nothing as it was my birthday in December so I used my free birthday gift on my Body Shop card. How amazing are their cards? I always manage to make savings that never make sense to me so I'd definitely recommend getting one. The gift was worth £5 which I still can't believe as I would have been willing to pay more. I'm smitten with this product. A definite 10/10.

Have you tried the Wild Argan Oil range yet? 


Monday, 26 January 2015

The Beauty Scenario Tag

Barry M red nail polish

The lovely Jasmina from Pure Beauty invited me to take part in the beauty scenario tag. I must admit I am a little late posting this so I apologise! I love reading other people's tags so here goes!

You have to get rid of all your foundations and only keep one high end and one drugstore,which do you keep?

Oh no, I actually felt my heart skip thinking about that. I don't own too many high end foundations as I love MAC Studio Fix and tend to stick with it. For a drugstore foundation I would keep my Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation as it is less heavy duty for a good or should I say decent skin day. I sometimes mix this with Maxfactor Face Infinity so I going to technically count that as one! I know, that was a little sneaky but I love all three.

You go for an interview and the lady interviewing you has lipstick on her teeth. Do you approach the subject or ignore it completely? 

I definitely wouldn't say anything as I wouldn't want to embarrass them especially as it is an interview and I don't know them. Plus it wouldn't bother me so I would just hope they went to the toilets after my interview.

Your not feeling yourself and you need a pick me up lipstick, which do you go for?

I would go for the same as Jasmina did. MAC Lady Danger. I just love it, it always makes me feel good as it has a bright happy feel to it!

You go back in time for a day to your teenage years, how would you do your hair or makeup differently?

Oh gosh, first I would step away from the straighteners. The 90's definitely weren't the best for hair care. I would probably have put more effort into matching my foundation to my skin tone eek, and laid off the blue eyeshadow. Thank god there aren't too many photos floating about!

You ask your hairdresser for a shoulder length pixie lott hair cut but they hear wrong and a pixie cut, what do you do? A) Smile, Say thank you, Leave and call your mum and cry hysterically B)Cry in the chair and things get awkward C)Complain to the manager and demand a refund. None of the above.

I would definitely cry. To be honest I've had some pretty scissor happy hair dressers in my time but a pixie cut would definitely be extreme. I usually don't have the guts to say anything if I hate a hair cut but if I was given a pixie cut I think I probably would say something ... unless it looked amazing.

 Your friend surprises you with a 4 day city break and you have one hour to pack, which 'Do It All' palette do you pack in your makeup bag? 

Aww I'd love that! I'm going to imagine she is taking me to Paris or somewhere hip. My sleek contouring palette would definitely come in handy! It contains a bronzer, highlighter and a blusher which saves room in my makeup bag meaning more room for shopping. The palette does a lovely job at contouring meaning I'd be on form for my fabulous trip. A girl can dream...

 Your house has been robbed, dont worry everyone is safe, But your beauty stash has been raided. Whats the product you really hope is safe?

I'd say my NAKED palettes. They're quite expensive and I use them everyday. Please nobody steal them!! I'd be lost without them!

 Your friend borrows makeup and returns it in an awful condition. Do you: A) Pretend you havent noticed B) Ask them to re-purchase it C) Secretly do it back to their makeup

I would pretend I hadn't noticed or make a joke about it to see if they apologised. If we're talking powders and eyeshadows smashed up I would be really disappointed but apart from that I would be ok after a 5 minute internal cry. My friends are quite considerate about makeup so fingers crossed that never happens!

Thanks Jasmina for the questions. I hope you enjoyed reading this and now it is my turn to tag some lovely bloggers. Check them out, they have fab blogs!

1. Lucy 

Friday, 23 January 2015

Twitter Problems


Breaking news! Ok, not so breaking but it is a big step for me. I've decided to make a twitter account for my blog. I have no idea how to use it and I'm completely daunted by it. I feel like my parents when you try to discuss how wifi works with them. I seem to be behind in the times with twitter so I'm hoping some of you lovely people will help me out. If you have any tips I'd really appreciate them. Also if you leave your links, I'll follow you as I am currently alone in the twitter world and need some friendly faces to pop up on my feed.

If you would like to follow me, you can find me  @sophslilsecrets 

I hope I've done that right. Don't worry I'll allow you to laugh at me, who would have thought a # and an @ could confuse me...

Hope to see you on the dark side!


Old Hollywood: MAC Russian Red Review

Mac Russian Red lipstick
Mac Russian Red lipstick
Mac Russian Red lipstick

I'm a huge fan of old hollywood glamour. It was all about gorgeous hair, red lips and tonnes of confidence. The key part of that look is the red lipstick and another one has been added to my collection. I believe that everyone should have at least one red lipstick that they love. There is always a red shade that will suit you! I remember the first time I wore a red lipstick, I was terrified that everyone would look at me but then my confidence grew in wearing it. I actually think my confidence grew because I was wearing it. I'm now never without a red shade in my bag.

Let me introduce you to my new best buddy. MAC Russian Red.

Russian Red is a cool toned lipstick but don't be fooled when people say that you must wear certain shades depending on whether your skin is cool or warm. I have cool undertones to my skin but I also wear colours that are said to suit warm tones. It is just guidance so don't let that stop you finding your perfect lipstick.

I find Russian Red quite a deep, classic red which makes it very old Hollywood. It's matte finish makes this lipstick look beautifully sophisticated and is surprisingly long lasting. I haven't felt that my lips have dried out wearing this which makes me love this even more as I find it hit and miss with some shades. Russian red is such a classic shade that it can be worn for a night out or even if you're just popping to the shops. What's wrong with adding a bit of glamour to your food shop? Russian Red retails at £15.50, although it can be expensive MAC lipstick are always worth the money, plus they last for ages.

Im going to have to reevaluate my top five lipsticks post as this definitely joins Lady Danger up there at the top. If you would like to read my Lady Danger review click here. I can definitely see this being another staple in my makeup bag.

What's your favourite lipstick?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Skincare Saviour: Liz Earle Skincare Routine And Review

Liz Earle Skincare Range
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish
Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator
Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Mask
Liz Earle Sponges

Hello lovelies! Those of you who have read my previous skincare posts will know I have been struggling with some reoccurring blemishes. I often end up drifting from skincare brand to skincare brand looking for the one. I have realised that none of these brands are going to help me completely as I think these blemishes have been caused by hormones after I gave birth to my little boy so it was just wishful thinking putting my complete faith into a product. Now what I look for is something gentle on my skin as I have overloaded it with too many harsh chemicals. I want something that will make my other skin look healthy and bright. I can't remember the quote but Lisa Eldridge recently discussed how she likes to think of the skin around blemishes as beautiful and healthy so that is what I now aim to do. Now to get that beautiful skin, I of course needed a beautiful skincare routine too. 

Enter Liz Earle. When I met my boyfriend he, and everyone he knew were obsessed with Liz Earle. In fact, they still are and that is dedication in my eyes as I can't stick with the same routine for over a month. After my recent revelation I decided that I'd give it a try. There have been various bottles of Liz Earle floating around my bathroom and I have actually used the remainder of them up. I'm now down to a sample sized Cleanse and Polish (panic mode sets in). 

Cleanse and Polish

Now this is a best seller in skincare and there is a reason why. Cleanse and Polish is suitable for all skin types which is perfect as I have trouble determining exactly what my skin type is. Plus it means that I can share it with my boyfriend instead of spending double (every little helps right). I find Cleanse and Polish extremely gentle on my skin. It comes with a face cloth which adds to the gentleness as it "polishes" off your makeup and dead skin. If you wear makeup the cloths become quite grubby looking but they need washing regularly anyways. This step alone leaves my skin glowing and it feels really moisturised afterwards. I think it may be something to do with the cocoa butter and eucalyptus which are the two ingredients that seem to pop up in Liz Earle skincare. The prices differ on this depending on the size you choose. For a 50ml tube it costs £9.75.

Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator

I have only recently added this one to my Liz Earle skincare routine but it definitely compliments Cleanse and Polish. It states that this is not suitable for sensitive skin but I'm unsure why as I find this the most gentle exfoliator that I have tried. Perhaps I've been using the equivalent of sandpaper in the beauty world?! It is refreshing not to have irritated skin from an exfoliator so I welcome this with open arms. I use this every few days just freshen my skin up and I haven't had any issues. I actually found that using this allowed topical treatments to get to work better which gives this product extra brownie points. After using, I'm again left with fabulously glowing skin which is amazingly super moisturised. Again the prices differ depending on the size, the 70ml retails at £15.75.

Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Mask

I've used this on and off for a while but mainly with other brands and it was a mediocre product. After choosing Liz Earle for other aspects of skincare, I thought that I would bring this back into my routine and I've found that it works so much better! This deep cleansing mask is designed for oily skin but there are other treatments you can find depending on your skin type. For example I bought my boyfriend a Liz Earle hydrating treatment and he loved it. With the mask comes two sponges to remove it after use. The mask itself is quite liquid like if that makes sense although it quickly dries into a clay mask. I found that sticking to the required 15 minutes was better than leaving it on longer. Who knew that abiding by the rules got you anywhere?  After using the sponges to remove the product my face feels squeaky clean and I actually noticed less oiliness especially on my forehead for the next few days. The 75ml retails at £15.75.

I'm making a pact of staying with gentle skincare. These products make my skin feel happy therefore they make me happy. The products are so complimentary to each other, I'm desperate to try her toner and moisturiser next. 

Have you tried any Liz Earle products? 

You May Also Like:
Magnitone Barefaced Facial Cleansing Brush Review
Garnier Micellar Water Review
Lloyds Pharmacy's New Range Skin Effect


Friday, 16 January 2015

Ikea: 5 Home Decor Accessories For Under £10

Ikea home decor ideas
Ikea home decor ideas makeup brush holder
home decor ideas Ikea fake flowers
Ikea home decor ideas coffee table decor
Ikea home decor ideas. Dressing table decor
Ikea home decor ideas. Silver tray

Ikea seems to be the perfect place to go whether you need that white table for taking blog photos or for pretty accessories to decorate said table. Although Ikea can be overwhelming in size, once you've got your barings it is easy to find some beautiful accessories to decorate your home. I'd like to share with you five things under £10 which will brighten up your home, your office or your student flat.

1.Ikea SKURAR plant pot (£1.90)
Now we've all seen this beauty knocking about. Due to some genius realising you don't have to just use this for a plant pot many are now using this as a makeup brush holder. I already have a makeup brush pot so I use this for my hair brushes, hair scissors and clips. It means that I can have them at hand when I'm blow drying my hair. This pot sits pride of place on my dressing table so I have easy access to it. I think this would look beautiful with a plant in but I'm not great at keeping greenery alive which is why I opt for faux flowers. This leads me nicely to my next buy.

2.Fake Flowers (£2.50)
Flowers are the perfect accessory to brighten up a home. The fact that these are fake makes them even better. Don't get me wrong, I love real flowers but they can be expensive to decorate rooms with if you have to keep buying them. Plus you don't have to water them or invite your neighbour in to tend them whilst you're on holiday! I originally was searching for pink peonies (channelling my inner Blair Waldorf) but I couldn't find any. Ikea had a range of flowers but I was chuffed when I spotted some pink roses. The stems are particularly long on the roses so I trimmed them to size and hey presto, I had 2 lovely roses ready to pop into a vase.

3. Milk Bottles (£1.00)
I remember looking at these in Brighton and reeling at the price. If only I knew in school that those free milk bottles at lunch time would be so expensive in the future, I may have cherished them a little more. When browsing for a home for my beautiful roses, I came across some milk bottles tucked in a corner. You'll never guess how much they were, Ok I know I put this is the subtitle but for added affect, they were £1 each. £1!!! Straight in my basket, or should I say my recyclable Ikea bag that I keep to having to buy because I forget the million others I have at home. These milk bottles would look gorgeous on their own or with flowers in. You could even spray paint them to suit your decor. I love how versatile something so simple can be. Now my flowers have a lovely home and they cheer me up every time I see them. 

4. Silver Tray (£8)
I've been spending too long dreaming of a Pinterest worthy home. A silver tray on your coffee table seems to be the in thing to do so why not? When I bought this tray it was shiny and brand new but silly me let my candles melt and tarnish the tray. I actually like the way it looks now. I decorate it with variations of candles and books depending on how I feel. A tray is perfect to contain any organised clutter to make your home feel more homely. Just browse Pinterest for coffee table inspo and you'll be sold.

Candles are always a quick way of sprucing up your home. I love these floral candles in particular. The small floral candle came in a pack of three for £3.00, the larger floral candle came in a pack of two for £4.00.  I have candles everywhere, different heights and sizes can change up an area completely. I know a lot of people who go to Ikea for candles as you can get a lot for your money. They're simple yet effective, its win win. I've even reused the floral dish that they come in as a plant pot for my cactus.

For under £10 these are simple ways to enhance your home especially if it's small as these accessories don't take up too much room. No wonder Ikea is always swarming with people, there's so many bargains to be had!

What's your favourite Ikea buy? 


Thursday, 15 January 2015

Real Techniques Blush Brush & Expert Face Brush Review

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush And Blush Brush
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush And Blush Brush
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush And Blush Brush

Hello lovelies! Real Techniques has become one of the most talked about brands for makeup brushes in the blogosphere and there is a reason why. Sam and Nic Chapman have brought us high quality brushes with the not so high quality prices meaning that they are affordable for people like me. A while back I bought my first Real Techniques brush which was their stippling brush. After hearing a million and one things about this magical brush and how it was great for creating an air brushed finish, I just had to have one and I loved it. I had been meaning to try out their other brushes but I already had MAC ones that I used so I was holding out.

One lovely day I strolled into Boots, I noticed that there was an offer on with Real Techniques brushes and it was two for £10. These two brushes usually retail at £9.99. There were only a few brushes left so I grabbed them and ran to the till as I knew I was their rightful owner. I chose the Expert Face Brush and the Blush Brush. Since then I've never looked back. 

Presentation: The brushes themselves came in a gorgeous pink shade and a golden orange which I adore. I know that other ones come in a beautiful purple shade too. It's a nice change from the generic black handles as it brightens up my makeup bag. The only issue is that the handles are quite bulky but it certainly doesn't affect the results.


The Expert Face Brush 

I've been having particularly bad skin days lately so I put down my stippling brush and tried the Expert Face Brush to see if I could get some more coverage. The fibres are amazingly soft on my skin. Although the fibres are soft, this brush is a little more sturdy to apply foundation with and it works really well. It can be used with both liquid and cream foundations and I found that blending was on point. The Expert Face Brush allowed me to build up coverage without my foundation without it caking in areas. I have fallen in love with this brush, if you're looking for a new makeup brush for your base I would definitely recommend this.

Blush Brush

Again the fibres on this brush are incredibly soft on the skin which means it doesn't irritate or disrupt my makeup. I use this to contour my face and it is perfect for blending it all in. Even on days when I've added a little too much powder this managed to correct that which is amazing. The shape of the fibres makes blending a dream as the brush glides and buffs easily. This has made contouring so much easier as it has taken away the added pressure of blending. This can also be used for blush alone, it's such a handy brush to have.

I'm completely obsessed with these brushes. I look back to my days in school applying my makeup with my fingers in horror. I'm surprised to say I actually prefer these over my MAC brushes, I actually feel guilty for saying that but it's true. The results I've achieved with these brushes plus the price is definitely a winner. I noticed that Real Techiniques have brought out a bold metals collection which looks absolutely beautiful. As they are twice the price I'll be sticking to the ones I've got for now but it's nice to know one day I can add some more to my collection. 

Have you tried any Real Techniques brushes? 


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Lush Lush Lush! A Huge Christmas Bathbomb Haul

Lush Elves workshop bathbomb girft set
Lush Drummers Drumming
Lush Dashing Santa
Lush christmas penguin bubble bar and butter bear
Lush Luxury Lush Pud
Lush Karma Bubble Bar
Lush golden wonder

I was so lucky this Christmas to receive an abundance of Lush products. They always cheer me up and make bath time a lot more fun which makes them the perfect present for me. Plus my little boy loves to choose which one I have and I let him drop it in which is sweet. I was going to do individual reviews but as I've been super busy the past few weeks I haven't had a chance so here is a mish mash of Lush products that I received.

Some of these products came in the elves workshop gift set which was amazing. I've been looking for a way to store my bath bombs so this tin came in extra handy for storage. In the gift set was Drummers Drumming, Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar, Golden Wonder and Butter Bear. I also got Dashing Santa, Luxury Lush Pud and Karma Bubble Bar. I definitely wasn't expecting so many things and I truly appreciate the thought.

I was so excited to see Drummers Drumming in there as I had spotted it a while back and it looked so cute with it's little bells attached. I held on as long as I could to use this as it just looked so pretty with it's yellow and pink drum. I must admit I wasn't very good at making a tune with it but I still was pretty entertained by it. This was a bubble bar so it was a teensy bit sad watching it melt away but my it lasted two baths worth (I like a lot of bubbles so it may last longer). The bath smelled gorgeous although it was a quite messy when I left it on the side of the bath. At least it was a pink mess.

It wouldn't be christmas without a Dashing Santa. He smelled citrus like and I found it very invigorating. Who would have thought the little guy could smell so good? The water turned a watered down red with tiny gold flakes shining through. This was perfect for the holiday season as I found it really uplifting.

Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar I know I've said this about all of these but how cute is he?! I think that is part of the reason why so many of us are addicted to Lush as the products are so pretty. This little penguin had a citrus scent aswell. I find those scents so energising so it was perfect after a long day to wake myself up. The water turned a lovely blue colour and he provided plenty of bubbles to make it an enjoyable bath. 

I actually haven't tried Butter Bear yet. I've heard that he makes your bath water nice and moisturising as he is full of cocoa butter so I can't wait to try him as my skin could do with some added moisture at the moment.

I was desperate to try Luxury Lush Pud as I was excited to see all the different colours. I was a little unsure about the smell at first as it was quite strong but once in the water it soon turned into one of my favourite scents. The water itself turned a mix of pink orange and blue so much so that I tried to wipe my hand on a white towel and left a pink hand print. Don't worry my body didn't turn multicoloured or anything, I actually found this one really fun to use. 

Karma Bubble Bar smells amazing. I'm saving this one until last as it has a really addictive scent. I keep sniffing the bag to remind myself how lovely it is. This is another orange scented bath product which I'm starting to really like at the moment. This is a bubble bar which I've only recently been acquainted with so I'm really excited to try it.

Golden Wonder. Wow. This just looks so beautiful. This is a bath bomb but due to it's size I think I'll definitely get more than one bath out of this. I've heard your bath looks mermaid like due to the colour the water turns combined with all the gold so I think this may be a very special bath. 

Too many bath products not enough time! I've never had so many nice baths before! I can't wait for next Christmas to purchase some more of these and hopefully they will have some new ones to try too.

Have you tried any of these? What's your favourite Lush product?


Saturday, 3 January 2015

Homemade Body Scrub Tutorial

Homemade body scrub

I regularly struggle with itchy legs after shaving. Why is shaving such a pain? The dark nights and cold weather have given me a slight advantage as I can draw out shaving slightly longer by hiding behind trousers and tights. Although I'm safe for now, it won't be long before the warmer weather is creeping in so I needed a solution fast. I read a while back that exfoliating can help when shaving so I decided to make my own in shower/bath body scrub. I know it is easy to pick up an exfoliator from a shop but there is something about making my own that excites me. The fact that I have control over what I put in it is another thing that I like so I am going to share with you my homemade body scrub.

(I'm sorry about the photo quality, I've been having trouble with natural lighting as I'm sure a lot of you will have experienced.)

Ingredients: Honey,Brown Sugar, Olive Oil

Honey is great when it comes to skincare as it is soothing and moisturising. It can be used for acne due to its antibacterial properties plus it helps to open pores. 

Brown Sugar is great for exfoliating whether it is on you lips all the way to your toes which is why I'm using this as my scrub.

Olive Oil can be used for dry skin as it is very moisturising so all three together should give us a lovely moisturising scrub to leave behind incredibly soft skin.

This is such a simple recipe and it will take only five minutes. You'll need 2 cups of brown sugar, 1/2 a cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of honey. Add all your ingredients to a bowl and stir stir stir. Keep stirring until all your ingredients have combined together to form a golden concoction. Scoop your masterpiece into a jar or container and you are set to go.

Hop into your bath or shower and make sure your skin is wet. All you have to do is massage this into your skin and then wash it off. You don't have to just use it on you legs like I mentioned, this can be used all over your body.

A word of warning, this tastes delicious so make sure you don't try and eat it before you get washed.

Let me know what you think! Have you made any homemade beauty products that you'd like to share?