Tuesday, 28 February 2012

February Obsession: Skater dresses!

Hi all :)

Hope your Monday wasn't too depressing, but it's now Tuesday which means ..... three days until the weekend begins!

I've wanted to do this post for a long time, but wanted enough images to be able to balance out what i'm writing. I don't know about you, but trying to squeeze my body into a tight bodycon or mini-skirt is near enough impossible and it is frustrating when it seems that everywhere you look you're faced with people wearing lacy leotards over the top of what looks like a bra and pants. I cannot do that. I was born with big hips and I am a natural hourglass shape, so i'm so thrilled that i've found a style of dress that's so flattering for my type of figure.

Skater dresses are gorgeously simple, structured up top teamed with (usually) pleated a-line style bottom, divided by a chic skinny belt that cinches in at the waist. One of the perks of being an hourglass shape I have found, is that we do actually have skinny waists but they are just unseen due to the more shapely parts of our bodies.

So here are my selection of skater dresses:

I bought this at a concession in New Look for £19.99, and it is by far my favourite dress. I love the contrasting colours and the mesh on the top is on-trend for this season. The black waistband is quite tight meaning that the pleated bottom kicks right out, skimming just over my hips.

First of all, I want to apologise for how horrible I look in this picture. This was taken at my older sisters graduation and I kept laughing when people were asking me to pose (I'm not the most comfortable person infront of the camera!). This gorgeous skater dress is amazing purely because it's leopard print. It was purchased from boohoo.com for approx £20 (This exact design isn't on the site anymore, but there are similar ones at the same price!) This print proved popular at LFW earlier this month, and having the print on a skater dress is great if you're not confident enough to sport something a bit more quirky like leopard print leggings. I teamed it with a black blazer and flats so it wasn't too dressy. The thick material of skater dresses are great for the winter months, and it also prevents the chance of your dress flying up in high winds!

Photograph taken from boohoo.com

This is the latest addition to my skater dress collection. I wanted to purchase this after seeing a number of people around my university wearing dresses similar to these, along with leather jackets and flats. I love the mocha colour, it's a simple garment that is so versitile. It can be worn both during the day, in the evening or whether you're going out at night! And at a bargain price of £15 at boohoo.com, i'm definitely going to be purchasing more (This particular dress comes in 15 different colours!).

I'm really happy that i've found a style of dress that is both flattering and slimming. It hides my unwanted curves and really draws attention to the waist, distracting attention away from areas of your body you aren't as comfortable with.

Boohoo.com is definitely the best site to use, however New Look have a few pretty designs. Happy shopping! 

Saturday, 25 February 2012



Just thought i'd explain my absence from here, as I did say previously that I would post every other day. I've recently became quite ill and was sent home to Southampton from University and have tried to give myself some time away from the computer (Facebook, twitter.. anything really) as I sort of wanted to detox and just have a relax. I do have quite a few things to post to bear with me :) My next post should be either Monday or Tuesday, as I unfortunately have to go back to University life on Monday for an all day assessment :(

Hope everyone's having a great weekend


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

February Obsession: Temporary Secretary!

Oh, how I needed this today!
Nothing can cheer me up more than walking into my flat and seeing a package for me on the kitchen table. Especially knowing that it won't be my external hard-drive (Imagine my disappoint when I ripped open the packaging only to reveal an instruction booklet and a bright red portable drive, and not my gorgeous jewellery!).

Last week, after about a month of scrolling through the cutest collection of jewellery I have possibly ever seen on Temporary Secretary, I caved and went a bit crazy on products.

Temporary Secretary is a website selling kitsch and handmade jewellery. I heard about it through other random blogs and never realised that I had actually been following the Temporary Secretary blog for a while and silly me didn't piece the two together. It's becoming increasingly popular in the press, appearing in magazines such as Look and Fabulous and they have even collaborated with Hero & Cape to create a t-shirt for their newest collection.

The thing is about this site, is that there is just too much I want. So when I saw that they offered either a £10 for 5 item lucky dip (Worth £25!) or a £20 for 12 item lucky dip (Worth £50+), realistically I had to get the £20 one - Who can resist a saving of £30?
The items are a mixture of all the jewellery they offer, but you have the option of choosing not to include earrings in your lucky dip if you do not have pierced ears.

So here's my lucky dip package:

 Because it came in a cardboard box covered in 'Fragile' tape, I expected the contents to just fall out onto my bed. However, in typical Temporary Secretary fashion the package was as neat and pretty as the website itself. I had tweeted about how much I wanted a typewriter ring in my package, as it had been my favourite item on the site, and Temporary Secretary herself quickly tweeted me back saying she'd ensure that the ring was included :) I let her choose the number on the ring (You have to have some surprises!), so I thought it was a really great touch to add a handwritten card in with the package.
Here's what I had inside:

 It's almost as if they know me personally! I love wearing rings and if you've looked at my October Obsession post you'd know that I love animal rings. I also really like leopard print (I'm wearing a leopard print jumper as we speak!) and the pink cocktail ring matches my new nails perfectly! She also delivered on the typewriter ring, and the choice of the number 3 was perfect! I need a bit of luck these days :)
This bracelet is so sweet! It features a diamante studded donut and iced bun, and comes with a safety chain which is always a bonus. The earrings are a good choice as well, they're subtle and elegant. Now I just need to shrink my flesh tunnel down so I can actually fit them in my ears!

The items I am most surprised about are the necklaces. On the site they retail at up to £10 each, so I can't believe how much of a saving I made! My personal favourite has to be the Alice in Wonderland necklace, it reminds me a lot of Gwen Stefani's harajuku dolls.

They're all generally well made (One of the necklace chains came apart due to a loose clasp that I need to clamp together tighter) and excellent value.

It's no wonder that Temporary Secretary is so popular, the entire process made me feel my business was extremely important and that all my needs were met. I'll definitely be purchasing some birthday presents and goodies for myself from there again, without a doubt!

Oh yeah, here's a picture of the ring i'm wearing today:


Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sparkly Barbie-esque tips + Uni update!

Hello all!
I've realised I haven't posted in a few days and it's been a target of mine to post at least once every two to three days. However, i've recently had a lot of university assignments to prepare for (With one being assessed tomorrow in front of a group and two lecturers, scary!) I've also worked over the weekend and went to a press launch of 'How do you solve a problem like Maria' winner Connie Fisher's new show 'Wonderful Town' at the Mayflower Theatre.

I do promise I will have some posts up by next week, as I have a package from Temporary Secretary to look forward to when I get back to Bournemouth tomorrow, and a couple of makeup and face mask reviews!

For now, I wanted to show you my latest nail polish choice:

I've gone for sparkly Barbie-esque pink! I realise that the tips look absolutely huge and even though they've always been this size they look really big! But I love them! They have flecks of pink glitter underneath the acrylic and look gorgeous when they catch the light. It hurt quite a bit when she was putting on the acrylic because she had to file down the layers on the tips so that the pink sparkly acrylic was even.. it felt like my fingers were on fire :(

I'm stuck at what to do with them next time .. I might leave them plain so I can go to London and get my nails done at Wah nails!

Hope you've all had a great weekend, and keep those page views coming .. Sophie Says is well on it's way to 3,000 views :)


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

DIY: Tinted Lip Balm!

After reading an article in Company magazine by craft guru Jazz Domino Holly about making your own lip balms and butters, I just had to try it out myself. I love the idea that you can create a lip product that is completely customised to your taste, with a little bit of professional lip product thrown in by using a bit of lipstick.
This is a really easy and fun way of turning your old lipsticks into gorgeous lip balm.

So here's what you need:

  • Vaseline
  • An essential oil of your choice
  • An old lipstick
  • A small pot or container for storage
  • A microwavable dish 
I decided that I wanted to use my Nude Pink (Shade 206) lipstick from Rimmel, partly because I didn't like the finish on my lips but loved the colour, but mostly because it was the least expensive lipstick I own (Cost approx. £3!) and I didn't particularly want to hack into any of my Dior Addict shades.

So, here's how I made my own tinted lip balm:

1) Scoop up some Vaseline using a tablespoon and put it into the microwavable dish. You might want another spoon or cocktail stick at the ready for this, as it's pretty tricky to get off of the spoon!

2) Cut off an inch of the lipstick and blend it into the Vaseline using the back of the spoon. This is the amount that was given in the magazine, but to be honest I think it's far too much. Yes it does produce a gorgeous colour but it said use at least an inch, and realistically if the lipstick is old it's not going to have over an inch left? The lipstick i'd used i'd only worn once or twice, and I could barely salvage an inch. So really, just use as much as you can!

(This picture is really poor quality and the colour looks really coral, but it's actually a combination of coral and pink!)

3) Mix in one or two drops of your chosen essential oil in with the mix. Don't use any more because essential oils have a really strong scent. I chose lavender because it's really soothing, and I could do with any attempt to relax!

4) Put in the microwave on the highest setting for 30 seconds. Stir (make sure you have your second spoon or cocktail stick at the ready!) and then microwave again at 30 second intervals until the mixture has liquified - not boiled. I found that I needed about another two minutes in total to liquify the mixture, but it depends on your oven (I used an 800w), and even then the mixture wasn't completely liquid but I didn't want to risk it starting to boil.

5. Pour the mixture into your small container and leave it in the freezer for 20 minutes. Voila! You've made your very own tinted lip balm! Here's how mine turned out:

Because it wasn't entirely liquified when I poured it in, it didn't set smoothly but i'm really happy with it! As soon as you open the lid they're a subtle hint of lavender that's instantly relaxing, and the colour definitely looks better as a balm than it did as a lipstick! The one I chose had a slight shine so it's got quite a glossy look to it.

As you can see the colour isn't too overwhelming, but will add a hint of peachy pink to your lips. The Vaseline is hydrating and moisturising, and the lavender really comforts chapped lips.

Overall, this was an absolute success. I had so much fun mashing up my lipstick and blending everything together, and it's just so simple!
 If you're a fan of glitter, you can add a few sprinkles of edible glitter into the mix. Or if you're a chocaholic like me, try adding a few chocolate drops and a drizzle of honey instead of the oil?
I can't wait to start experimenting with different oils, colours and flavours.

Let me know what you think.. have you tried it? What ingredients would you use?

Monday, 13 February 2012

Review: 'I love...Juiced up blackcurrent' bubble bath & shower creme!

I love... Cosmetics are a budget brand of fruit fragranced products that range from bubble bath to scented candles.
Since their creation in 2008, I love...  are internationally renowned for their delicious scents and bright colours that aim to "generate a pure feel good factor and a sense of pure happiness".
That is precisely why I was so excited to try their newest addition: Limited Edition I love...juiced up blackcurrant bubble bath & shower creme.

Not only does it contain one of my favourite scents, it's also my favourite colour which is an added bonus:

I cannot get enough of this packaging. The bottle is a gorgeous shape, and the transparency shows off a luxurious purple colour. It's simple, concise and I love the description!

As I have said before, I love... products are reasonably inexpensive and this limited edition bottle is no exception. You can buy 500ml for only £2.05 - What a bargain!

What I think is great about this product is that it is both a bubble bath and shower creme, so there's even more value for money! As i've had a pretty hectic schedule lately, I decided to try it out as a shower creme. I found that I only needed a small amount, and lathered up extremely easily when using a shower puff. Literally as soon as I opened the bottle I was hit with a sweet smelling scent of blackcurrent's (Which is as close to fruit as i've been for a long time due to my student shopping budget!) and got out of the shower smelling like a Rowntree's Fruit Pastille!

If you're like me and a sucker for something with a strong scent, this is definitely for you. It's excellent value for the amount .. my mouths watering just thinking about it! A must buy for anyone who wants their day brightened as soon as they step into the shower - and it looks great on your bathroom shelf!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Sophie Says.. now has it's own URL!

Yaaaay! 'Sophie-elaine.blogspot.com' is no more .. it's now sophie-says.com, how exciting!
 I wanted my own domain to eliminate the '.blogspot.com' (Not that i'm not grateful to blogger!), and it got a tad confusing that my site name didn't match my URL.
Luckily my blogspot URL still redirects to my new account so I don't have to worry about losing any viewers.

I'm so excited to continue this blog now it has it's own custom domain.

Thanks everyone for reading my posts :)

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Banish the bacteria - The perfect cosmetic organiser for all your essentials!

Ever since I read a post from Holly Arabella highlighting the amount of bacteria that can be lurking in  your make-up bag, i've been searching for suitable compact storage for my essential products. As I am constantly shifting between Southampton and Bournemouth i've got into a habit of keeping all my makeup in various bags and just taking them out when I need them. So after an extensive search I managed to find a brand of cosmetic organisers that don't break the bank.

They're called Glam and are found on Amazon, and they sell a range of cosmetic organisers in all different shapes and sizes. The organisers are made of clear acrylic resulting in easy location of products if you happen to purchase one of their 'four drawer' chests.

So here's the one that I bought:

As you can see it came very simply and clearly packaged, and I recieved it three days after it was ordered. It's the perfect size for storing all your essentials. It features:
  • 12 small compartments for lipsticks
  • Two taller compartments for taller products such as mascaras or brushes
  • A large front compartment to hold powders or blushes
  • A narrow compartment for extra storage.
As the organiser (And the entire Glam range) is made from clear acrylic it can match any decor and is easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth (No more bacteria on my brushes!). It measures 21.5 x 13.5cm, so it fits on my desk taking up hardly any space. Here it is with my products inside:

It easily fits all my essentials in it, and more! As you can see i've combined my lipstick compartments with my liquid eyeliner and lip stains etc, as I don't have a lot of lipsticks. They are also tiered so I can easily see all of the products. The back compartment holds my blush and foundation perfectly, with the two narrow compartments fitting my makeup brushes and mascaras in without any problems.
This is the perfect addition to any make-up lovers bedroom or bathroom, and it will probably reduce the amount of time I spent putting on my make-up as everything is clearly laid out right infront of me!

I'll definately be investing in larger units from Glam for the rest of my products, and i'm looking into finding a nice nail polish display rack also. The Glam Cosmetic Organiser retails at £13.50 and can be purchased here. Make sure you check out the rest of the organisers too, they have corner organisers and smaller organisers just for your makeup brushes.

I am so happy with this purchase, and I know you will be too!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


You would not believe how happy this makes me! Not only am I doing something I love, people are actually looking at it and reading what I have to say. As soon as I hit 2,000 views I wrote about it on my facebook and twitter .. but didn't think to write it on here? Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to check out my blog, and all six of my followers :P This blog has been my project since I started uni, and to be honest I don't know what I would have done without it. It has given me a taste of what I would like to do in the future, and i'm proud to say that even though I am a journalist I definately prefer spending my time in a dressing room rather than a newsroom. I love to shop. I love beauty, fashion and makeup, and enjoy writing about it. It may not be the hard-hitting journalism they want us to write, but it's what I enjoy.

This blog is always going to be a work in progress, and I just hope the page views continue to rise and people enjoy reading what I have to say.

Thank you x

Monday, 6 February 2012

Coming Soon: China Glaze "Colours From The Capitol" Hunger Games Collection

I think I have died and gone to heaven. The Hunger Names is not only being made into a movie - it's being made into nail polish.

Nail Polish professionals China Glaze have teamed up with Liongate to create an exclusive collection of nail polishes inspired by the Capitol - The first and most lavish of the 12 districts in the nation of Panem, in The Hunger Games.

China Glaze has been providing salon standard nail polishes and nailcare products for over 13 years, and are renowned for their exclusive limited edition collections, and this one is no exception.

Here's what the press release has to say:
"In keeping with the powerful themes and messages of the story, the collection of nail polish will be inspired exclusively by one of the book’s distinct settings- the Capitol of the nation of Panem. Awash in lavish fashion, food, and entertainment, Capitol citizens enjoy extreme cosmetics and body modifications, bold wigs, and outlandish costumes."

So..here are the colours:

*Image - chinaglaze.com*

 For those who have read the books.. aren't they the most perfectly suited shades to reflect Capitol fashion? 
And for those who haven't .. Why haven't you read the books?!
I cannot wait to get my hands on this entire collection. Electrify reminds me of the colour of Katniss' dress in the opening ceremony of The Hunger Games, with Stone Cold and Dress Me Up remind me of the understated beauty of District 12's key characters such as Katniss, Prim, Peeta and Gale. These are gorgeously subtle colours that are so versatile.

Luxe And Lush will be a fun shade to try, as it's a clear polish that's painted over a nail and leaves flakes of glitter. 
My only criticism is that they shouldn't have stopped there! It would have been great to see perhaps a shade representing each district, or just general colours inspired by the entire book series, not just the Capitol.

As you've probably guessed I am counting down the days until March 23rd when The Hunger Games hits UK theatres, with the "Colours From The Capitol" collection being released a few weeks beforehand on March 1st .. that should keep me going for a while!

Friday, 3 February 2012

February Obsession: Chiffon Shirts!

I noticed I haven't done a fashion post in a while, as well as an 'obsession' post, so I thought today would be appropriate after I spent far too much money buying chiffon shirts! 
A question often asked to people that are interested in fashion is "Where do you find your inspiration?", and I came to realise that my inspiration is found by people watching. This may come across creepy to some people, and I do admit that sometimes I get odd looks as it looks like i'm simply staring at someone, but i'm actually just admiring and trying to work out how their style could apply to mine. 

On the bus to university last week I saw a girl who wore a smart tailored blazer with a beige chiffon pussybow blouse, and since then i've noticed nothing but chiffon shirts and dresses in practically every shop I go in. I finally caved and bought these: 

(1) Black safari shirt - £14.99
(2) Village print sleeveless chiffon shirt - £16.99
Both New Look

*Images from newlook.com* 

I also bought a long sleeved cream shirt for £11.99 from H&M, but haven't managed to find a picture on the website. I love the double breast pockets on the safari shirt but it's the village print shirt that I can't get enough of! Not only does it feature a cute kitsch print, it also ties in well with this seasons pretty pastel trend. I wore it this evening with a contrasting black blazer, leggings and brown boots. They're definitely worth the money, and currently New Look are running a 20% off sale for students!
Here are some others that will shortly be making their way into my wardrobe:

(1) Bird Wire Top - £19.99, Miso for Republic
(2) Chiffon Shirt Dress - £24.99, New Look
(3) Motel Laurel Tarten Chiffon Shirt - £28.50, Motel Rocks
(4) Slit Back Chiffon Shirt - £36, Topshop 

Either worn bravely unbuttoned with a bandeau top underneath, or layered on top of a strap-top or vest if you're like me and don't like showing too much skin. If it features a drop hem it can be worn dressed down with leggings and boots, or dressed up with a high-waisted skirt or shorts and heels. I especially love the tarten print - I certainly haven't seen that before! 

These are perfect wardrobe staples for the spring time, just make sure you layer up in this cold weather, the floaty material will not keep the heat in!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Review: New Montagne Jeunesse 'Very Berry' Face Mask

I had a few hours spare this morning, so I thought i'd have a mini pampering session before leaving for uni. I chose Montagne Jeunesse's new face mask because they're a well known face mask brand, and it was only £1 in Asda! 

Montague Jeunesse is an all-natural face care brand that pride themselves on being eco-friendly and against animal testing. They use lots of juicy fruits in their masks and have such a colourful selection for all skin types. 

I chose their newest mask, 'Very Berry', which includes the juices of blueberries and cranberries which are packed full on antioxidents. It also includes soothing Aloe and Peach Kernel oil which deeply cleanses the skin.

I love the colourful and fun packaging, and instead of plain numbered instructions there are simple images that show the four easy steps in applying the mask.

At the bottom of the packet it says: "We're vegetarian and animals are our friends - that's why we don't bash bunnies or add bits of animals!"

I think that natural beauty products are vital, and everyone should be concerned of the welfare of animals and whether they end up either in or testing our beauty products!

When I began applying the product, I realised that it's actually one of Montagne Jeunesse's face mask creams, as oppose to a mask. They're designed to be slightly thicker to target dry skin and deeply cleanse and soothe. Because of it's thickness it was very difficult to squeeze out of the pouch, so I ended up scooping it out with my finger and applying it. There was certainly a large amount, so in the end it was slapped onto my face! It smelt absolutely gorgeous, and my skin felt instantly refreshed even before i'd finished applying it. 

After fifteen minutes I attempted to wash it off, but because of it's thick consistency it was really difficult. I ended up scrubbing my face which left it really red, so after using a damp flannel I looked in the mirror to find my skin looked really healthy, clean and cleansed.

Even though it was difficult to wash off, i'm definately using the product again. Unlike other face masks it didn't leave my skin feeling tight and restricted. 

You can purchase 'Very Berry' on their website here and it retails at £1.09 online, although if you go to your local Asda quick it's only £1 as it's a new product. It is also on offer on their website as 4 face masks for the price of 3, and there's free delivery if you spend over £7.50. I'm definitely going to have a browse - I really like the look of their self heating masks and scrubs, and it also has a 'Skin Guru' feature on their site that determines your skin type and recommends what masks would be right for your type. 

I can't wait until my next mask!