Sunday, 29 April 2012

Review: Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Intense Black from Maybelline

Wow, that's a mouthful!

I've been wanting a gel liner since watching various fashion vlogs, and after seeing a ginormous poster advertising Maybelline's it finally gave me the push to buy one!
The thing is, there's just so much expectation for this product. On the Maybelline website,  the eyeliner claims to last up to 24 hours, be smudge and water resistant, and carries a whole other level of expectation due to it being 'catwalk-inspired'.

The box contains a ..... pot of gel liner, and a professional liner brush. Instantly I was drawn to the packaging, as it towered above the rest of the Maybelline products on the stand.

I love the little frosted glass pot, it adds to the professionalism and looks really modern and sophisticated. The brush is what amazed me the most! It looks like a brush that you would buy separately, as i've always found that brushes that come with eyeshadow palettes or blushes aren't the best ones to use to apply the product, so I was amazed that it's actually a decent brush.
It's really strange, because the gel is so soft that you literally need to just touch the tip of the brush. The texture is a lot creamier than I thought it would be, so I needed to wipe off the tip on the side of the gorgeous pot and make it all messy so I wasn't left with too much gel.

I drew this line by using just one little dip of the brush into the gel. As you can see, it's not as defined or strong as a liquid or a pencil, but unlike a liquid it's really easy to build up a strong line of colour with expert precision. I've found that the brush makes it so easy to get the liner as close to the lash line as possible, as sometimes I end up with a stupid looking gap between my liner and my lashes! It is advised to build up the colour by using small strokes from the inner to the outer corner of the eye. You can also thicken out the line as you work your way to the outer corner and wing out to create an intense-looking effect. However, my eye-shape restricts me to a thin line :(
The gel, along with the incredibly precise and professional liner brush, has the ability and versatality to create a whole range of looks from just varying in thickness and angle and intensity of colour. I can definitely understand why it is cat-walk inspired, and wouldn't be surprised if it get's into the makeup bags of celebrities and makeup artists alike.

As for it lasting 24 hours, I can safely say it delivers in that aspect. It's taken me two facial wipes and a facial cleanser, and I still have hints of a line. Arguably, it could be a little too hard to take off, but it makes such a difference to your eyes that I don't mind that it doesn't budge for well over 24 hours.

 I didn't use it to line the bottom of my eyes, as I prefer the pencil but I love the way the brush enables you to create a thicker line without too much hassle.
I would advise that you wipe the brush clean after every use, as i've found that the gel dries really quickly and makes the brush really stiff and sharp on your eyelid :(

Overall, a well recommended eyeliner that I will definitely be using again. And for only £7.99, it's an absolute steal! You can purchase Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner 24H in Intense Black and Brown at your nearest Maybelline concession stand.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Review: Benefit's 'Watt's Up!' Highlighter

In my opinion, using a highlighter is an essential part of makeup application. They're discreet and understated, but accentuate and essentially highlight your best features in the dimmest of lights.

I've only got two highlighters that I use on a regular basis, as I've found them so perfect that I haven't felt the need to purchase anymore. One being the 'Orgasm' illuminator from NARS, and the second being High Beam from Benefit (And as you can see from my post here, that i'm absolutely in love with it!). Both being prominently pink (although Orgasm has peachy undertones), I was curiously to try out what Benefit describes as a highlighter with a 'delicate champagne glow'.

What you notice first of all is the obscure shape of the highlighter. Unlike other Benefit highlighters, Watt's Up! comes as a stick which is designed for easy application with one hand whether you're applying your makeup for the day or topping up on the go. There's no nail polish style brushes, no dipping and wiping off the excess liquid, just a simple double ended stick. It's a designed to resemble a lightbulb (hence the name 'Watt's Up!') with one side concealing the highlighter and a transparent plastic cap revealing the 'soft glow blender'.

To use the highlighter, simply twist the black base and out it comes! As you can see, it's quite a warm colour which is perfect for spring and summer. It has a slight shimmer, and a luxurious creamy texture that looks incredible.

Here is a swatch of the highlighter un-blended. I thought it would be too dark for my skin tone, but the smooth applicator allowed me to glide the highlighter on without making it too thick, therefore leaving a subtle glow.

The sponge at the other end of the applicator is excellent. It's rounded so you can blend upwards and outwards with precision without essentially wiping it across your face.

Apply by drawing two lines resembling a C around the eye, beginning just by your eyebrow and down onto your cheekbones and blend. You can also apply to wherever the light naturally hits your face. It can be worn alone or on top of makeup. I personally love to team it with Benefits Cha-Cha Tint (review coming soon!) or any peach or coral blush, and finish with a light setting powder (I definitely mean light, having it too matte or applying too much will take away the gorgeous shine!)
It's quite steep at £24.50, but I think the outcome is worth the money. But if you're not too sure, pop into your nearest Benefit and ask them if you can try it out.

This highlighter looks great and is so easy-to-use, and is now a permanent fixture in my handbag for whenever I fancy a touch-up!

You can purchase 'Watts Up' by Benefit on their website or at your nearest Benefit boutique or concession stand.

April Obsession - Studs and Spikes!

Hello all!
If you've been following my blog you would know that I recently went on holiday to Turkey (pictures will be uploaded soon!), and was completely taken back by the over-eagerness and desperation of the sales assistants in their shops, so much so that I couldn't bring myself to go into any shops and have a good browse. Therefore, practically as soon as I touched down on British soil I was out undergoing some much anticipated retail therapy, and I noticed there was only one thing that was catching my eye.

This season, studs are everywhere. On rings, collars of shirts, shoulders of jackets, dotted on ballet slippers. Directly contrasting to the ever-popular pastel trend, a few studs are essential in adding an edgy twist to any outfit. Here are my purchases:

VECTRA3 Studded Slippers - £28, Topshop. Image courtesy of

 These could not be more perfect if they tried. Slippers are in right now, and the studs toughen up the soft material (polyurathene, apparently?). They also come in a nude with gold studs, which goes back to a new take on feminine pastels. So comfortable and versatile, these will be my go-to shoes from now on.

Printed shirt with studded collar - £29.99, Zara. Image courtesy of

This shirt is part of Zara's newest collection, and I have to say it's the cutest shirt i've ever purchased. The owl print keeps the shirt feminine whilst the high collar and gold studs add a straight-edge, making it a perfect accompaniment to a blazer or pair of high-waisted shorts. I wore it today with a pair of black skinny jeans and a blazer, and it reminded me of the style of Caroline Flack. Absolutely gorgeous and such a bargain price! 
But it's not just the clothing that's had the studded treatment: 

1. Black studded bra top - £28, Miss Selfridge
2. Spike end slides - £7.99, Topshop
3. Studded Peter Pan collar - £30, Topshop
Images courtesy of Miss Selfridge and Topshop

I love the embellishments, they really liven up something as simple as a black bra-top. I especially love the hair slides in the gorgeous candy colours. However, when you wear studs just be careful about how far you go with it, keep it simple and avoid studded black collars - you'll look like you're either wearing a dog collar or part of a bondage outfit! 

If you want the studded look without the price-tag, DIY studding is easy. You can buy packets of studs from most textile and sewing shops, and use them to line denim jackets or jean pockets - get creative with it!


Friday, 13 April 2012

Inside my suitcase - Skincare & Makeup!

Hello everyone! I apologise for the lack of posting, i've been really trying to relax this past couple of weeks, and suddenly realised that I do infact have work to be doing so I have been getting on with that. However, I wanted to do a post about my skincare and makeup that i'll be taking with me to Turkey on Monday.  I love seeing what's inside peoples makeup bags, their skincare routines etc., it's a great way to discover new products or learn new ways of applying particular products, so I thought i'd do one :) Here's a picture of the skincare i'll be taking with me:

Clockwise from top
 (1) MAC Fix +. Not only is it a finishing mist, but it's also a skin refresher that absorbs into the skin really quickly. Far more effective then splashing water on your face, in my opinion!
(2) It's Potent! Eye Cream from Benefit. A hydrating and brightening skin cream that reduces the appearance of eye bags. Perfect for a 4am drive to Gatwick on 3 hours sleep!
(3) Simple Purifying Cleansing Lotion. A light, creamy cleanser bursting with vitamins.
(4) Enzymion facial moisturiser. My all-time favourite moisturiser. Read why here.
(5) Moisture Prep Toning Lotion from Lush. A refreshing toner that includes extracts of Aloe leaf and vitamin E acetate to ensure total moisture and soft and supple skin. A full review coming soon!

Clockwise from top
(1) Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 from MAC. A light matte foundation that promises even coverage without looking too orange or cakey. The SPF 15 is essential in protecting your skin from the dangers of the sun's rays. It's also oil-free which is always a bonus!
(2) Cherry Carmex Lip Balm. Includes an SPF 15 sunscreen so it protects you from sunburn and replaces moisture lost during sun exposure. Spells super sweet and is world-famous as the ultimate moisturising lip balm.
(3) Posie Tint Lip & Cheek Stain from Benefit. A poppy-pink stain that gives you an all-day colour so you don't have to worry about lipgloss or lipstick.
(4) Sugarbomb Blusher from Benefit. A blush that has four complimentary shades of peach, soft plum, pink and rose. I swirl my brush around all four and sweep across my face, then just use two complimentary shades on my cheeks. It is essential for a warm glow if you don't really tan, like me!
(5) 'Linger' Brow Pencil from MAC. I'm taking this for the evenings, as i've just had my eyebrows tinted so I don't need to apply during the day. An easy-to-use defining pen that allows you to shape perfect brows.
(6) Mineralize Skinfinish Natural from MAC. A silky matte power that I use to set my foundation. Really light and i'll definitely be using this throughout the day, and accompany it with my liquid foundation in the evenings.
(7) Khol & Contour Eyeliner Pencil from Bourjois Paris. This goes with me everywhere. Unfortunately it isn't waterproof, which means I won't be using it throughout the day. But for a more natural look, jet black eyeliner isn't really beach appropriate. Will certainly be used for nights out though!
(8) Big Beautiful Eyes eye palette from Benefit. A small eye contouring kit that features a concealer and three shadows. I use the alabaster pink base shadow for during the day, and will layer it with the cocoa brown shadow for a natural look that isn't too try-hard.
(9) Diorshow Black Out waterproof mascara from Dior. Get gorgeously thick and glamorous looking lashes in seconds. Layering is easy for the evening, but one thin coat is perfect for long lashes at the beach.

I forgot to include my primer (featured here) but this is generally what i'll be taking with me. I can't say i'll go out with a full face of makeup everyday, but the advantages of lip and cheek stains and waterproof mascara is that it's so beach appropriate.

Hope you've enjoyed, and i'll be sure to upload some holiday snaps when I get back on the 23rd!


Sunday, 8 April 2012

My Week In Pictures (1)

Clockwise from top left:
(1) Passing my first University exam. Shorthand is one of the hardest things i've ever had to learn, and the fact that I passed has definitely made my week!
(2) Turning my desk into a dressing table. As my do most of my work on my laptop whilst sat on my bed, the desk wasn't being used. So I went to Argos and bought a gorgeous new mirror, and turned it into a huge dressing table!
(3) Bingo! Spent a lot of time playing this this week. With my work friends, my mum and Jason. Although I only won £15 (You don't want to know how much I spent!) it's a really fun night out.
(4) Becoming part of the Graduate Fashion Week blogging team. A really great opportunity! Still a bit unsure about what the role actually involves, but exciting all the same. 
(5) Messy Easter cakes. I haven't made rice crispy cakes in so long, and they're so cheap and simple to make! The only thing better than the end result is licking the spoon afterwards :) 
(6) Bella. I thought i'd add a picture of my gorgeous dog who sadly died last Monday. It goes without saying really. But as you can see, she was the most adorable puppy ever.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Review: Fix & Perfect Pro Primer from Rimmel London

For anyone who knows me well, they will tell you that regardless of my student status I don't skimp on the finer things that I enjoy, such as makeup and Topshop clothing! However, ever since running out of my Benefit Porefessional primer, i've been on the hunt for a less expensive alternative, as I wanted to know if there was such a primer that would exceed my high expectations without the price tag.

I don't really know what attracted me to Rimmel London's Fix & Perfect Primer. Maybe it was that it only cost £6, or that it was the only bright one bottle on a shelf of liquid foundation bottles. Either way, I bought it!

The foundation promises to pro-long foundation, as well as 5-in-1 results, all in a small 30ml bottle. Seems a bit much, doesn't it?

This primer had a creamier consistency, and blended really easily into my skin. You only need the small amount pictured to cover your face, which means the 30ml bottle is definitely enough to last a long time! As critical as I was about the promises it makes, this really is a great foundation. Although it doesn't say that it's suitable for a particular skin type, it's great for oily skin as it gives just the right amount of moisture to the face. The skin is smooth, and looks brighter and healthier. It feels like your putting a protective layer between your skin and your foundation, and makes it stick so there's no need to touch up throughout the day!

As much as I am a lover of all things Benefit, I definitely prefer this primer to Porefessional. It's only a fraction of the price, and this feels like it's actually helping my skin, as oppose to just putting another layer of makeup onto it before the foundation. I do love them both, but this is going to be my go-to foundation from now on!

You can purchase the Fix & Perfect Pro Primer from your local Rimmel counter (Boots and Superdrug are definite sellers of Rimmel London!), or online here.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Review: Topshop Magic Liner

I know i'm not the only one who struggles applying their liquid eyeliner. I try and try, and still managed to end up with a shaky line that starts in the middle of my eyelid. So you could understand my excitement when I came across 'Magic Liner' in Topshop. It's basically a felt-tip style pen with a thin nib to perfect those cat eye flicks. I tend to use Magic Ink eyeliner from Benefit, which is amazing in its own right, but it's the dipping the brush into the pot part that I thought was unnecessary.  With the Magic Liner you just shake the pen and the liner flows freely onto the brush, much like a pen would.

Magic Liner is just one of the many gorgeous products from Sisters of The New Moon, a limited edition makeup collection from Topshop. It features dazzling metallic nail colours and bright coral and pink lipsticks, designed to give you a futuristic high-fashion look.

I love the packaging of the entire range in general. It's a shiny silver and has a gypsy fortune teller feel to it. As you can see the tip is super thin for precision and enables you to layer it on to create a thicker line if needed - with eye-liner it's better to go slowly and layer it so you don't smudge it and create even thickness on both eyes!

This was a simple sweep of the pen along my hand. The slightly thicker part of the line was when I pressed it a little harder, so in order to create a cat eye flick you need to make sure you don't put too much pressure on the pen and relax your hand. It's vital that you use your arm as an 'anchor'. Rest your elbow on something flat and sturdy to stable your hand, once you begin to shake that's it!

I think the idea behind this is genius. However, in order to prevent the tip from going dry it instructs to store it tip facing down or on it's side, so remember that when you're throwing it into your bag. This liner is perfect for subtle flicks, or thick, dramatic eyes. You can also use the tip to create more intricate liner designs, or even use it on your nails for nail art? This really is a great eye liner. Well done, Topshop!

Magic Liner is sold at your nearest Topshop for just £8.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Sophie Says has it's own Facebook page!

Good morning everyone,

Hope you're all enjoying a lazy Sunday! I will be for the next 45 minutes until I need to crawl out of bed and get ready for a long day at work.

I just thought i'd do a quick post letting you all know that Sophie Says now has its own official Facebook page! I thought it would be nice to have a place where I can put all my newest posts and updates all in one place, so you all can be updated as you scroll through your newsfeeds :)

So feel free to like the page, and if you enjoy reading a post or have any suggestions or requests for posts please comment either on here or on the Facebook page.

Here it is, Sophie Says' official Facebook page :)

Hope you all have a good day x