Starting off: Skincare

So its week one of The Starting Off Project :) I'm so excited to share with you some of the products I love to use. I still experiment quite a lot with my skincare routine and have tried a lot of products over the last few years ranging from drugstore to high end.
As this project is help to newbies and young teens looking to start using beauty and make up products, I have tried to show you some of the products I love that aren't to expensive. hopefully as you experiment with different products you will start to see what suits your skin and can then start to try out the more high end products.

So first things first. I'm not a fan of face wipes. Sorry to any lovers of them, but I just find they irritate my skin and in order to get any eye make up off you have to really scrub, which just isn't great for your delicate eye area. 

At the end of a long day, there is no better feeling than taking off your face of make up and letting your skin breath. The product I absolutely love and rarely stray away from is the Johnsons daily Essentials Nourishing Cream Wash 


As you can see I lather this up on my face and then rinse. When I'm wearing a lot of eye make up I use a bit more once my face is clear. Be careful not to rub your eyes to much, I tend to sweep my finger down over my top lashes and then gently do the same under my eye. I was a little wary at first because the product is advertised for dry skin and my skin isn't dry, however I was so pleasantly surprised by how great this is for removing make up and that it hasnt ever made me break out, that I have repurchased this again and again. I just love it!

Next is a product that is really down to personal preference, I like to use it just to make sure that all products are removed from my skin. It's the Caudalie Cleansing Water. However it is more on the pricey side, so you could always experiment with more affordable products first. With cleansers I apply a small amount to a cotton pad and sweep it over my skin.


I've never really had acne, but my skin does go through stages. When I was a teenager and going through puberty, I did get the odd spot but used to pick them and make them 10x worse. Now I do try to not pick at my face. Which I fail at miserably most of the time (we all know how difficult it is to resist) but I have found a product range that really helps to clear them up quicker than leaving them.





The Freederm range is really great. When my skin decides to have a break out I do the following:


  • Apply the fast track spot treatment to any spots I have. I dab it on and then leave to dry.
  • Then I use 1 pump of the overnight clearing serum and apply this to my problem areas, usually my chin, forehead and cheeks.
  • finally I use the moisturiser and apply this all over my face, except for around my eyes 
When my skin is clear instead of the above I just apply moisturiser. The one I've been loving at the moment is the Ayuuri Natural Sandlewood Face Cream its super hydrating and after using it for a few months, I havnt had any breakouts which I do tend to get with a lot of moisturisers.









Finally I apply an eye cream. This is something I think is very important. Through lots of research I discovered that applying moisturiser to your under eye area can actually create puffiness. So with that said, when applying your moisturiser, try to avoid the eye area. the eye cream I've been using for a while now is from revitol. Again it is quite a pricey product, but I'ts something personally I am happy to spend more money on. It also last for ages. You can pick a more affordable eye cream when your just starting out, and again once you know what suits you, you can invest in a high end product if you wish.  




As you can see from the above, I apply my eye cream on the dark circles and above my eyelid. I find if I apply it to my eyelid it can slip into my eye, which isn't cool ha. Try not to rub your under eye and to gently pat it into your skin. I'm very heavy handed so I use my ring finger to ensure I'm as gentle as possible.

And there you have my skin care routine, the products I love using and how I apply them.

I hope this post has been useful and may have introduced you to some new products for you to try. There are lots of other bloggers taking part in this project so be sure check them out. you can join in the conversation on twitter using hashtag #theSOproject.

Be sure to check back next Tuesday at 6 pm (GMT) for another starting off post on concealer.

Have you tried any of these  products?

Let me know in the comments below :)

Thanks for reading 

Lots of love

Sophie

xxx
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Im a designer bag, what are you?

Hello beauties,

While browsing the Next blog I came across the #BagItUp post, anybody who knows me, knows I'm a real sucker for handbags. My boyfriend is always telling me off for wanting to go buy yet another bag to add to my collection. so this post was right up my street.

I always remember as a teen, going and buying my weekly Shout magazine and I loved doing the filter chart that would ask questions and dependent on your answer you would get a different end result (i.e which man matches you, what career will best suit you) I hope you get the jist? I'm terrible at explaining things, without the ability to use my hands haha. So thats what Next have done, however, its to find out the best hand bag for you. you can go take the quiz here. So I read the questions and followed my answers to see which bag best suited me. I came out with 'The Designer' which is definitly what I wish for, not however what I can afford :) haha, but to be honest the look of the designer bag on the quiz, is typical of the kind of bag I would usually go for.

So I thought, why not put an outfit together with a handbag I like from the Next Website. This bag is Just soooo me, I'm in love with the monochrome trend. as you may of seen from my recent nail pic on Instagram. Ill be honest with you, I rarely buy a bag for its practicality's, usually if I like the look of it, I just HAVE to have it :)


Mono Colourblock Zip Tote - I just LOVE this bag, so much I'm getting it as soon as payday comes around haha. I love that its big enough to hold the mounds of junk I carry around with me, as well as the fact its BEAUTIFUL!

Skinny Jeans - Being 5"10' makes buying jeans really difficult, that's one of the reasons I love next, they have a dedicated tall section. I think a pair of plain skinny jeans are a wardrobe must have.

Long Sleeved Lace Top - This lace top is gorgeous. I'ts one of those pieces you could wear all year round. it goes great with jeans, but in summer you could tuck it into some jean shorts. 

Slipper Platform Shoes - When this style of shoe first came out I absolutely hated them, but they've grown on me. A LOT. I think the platform is very on trend but without having to walk in 6 inchers. Also, with me being very tall I like to wear a smaller heel. and then there's the comfort aspect. you could shop for hours in these babies :)

Mono Square Pendant Necklace - Keeping with the monochrome theme, I picked out this lovely pendant necklace, which would go with pretty much everything.

Mono Expander Bracelet - Finally, I couldn't help throwing this expandable monochrome bracelet in the mix too. its one of those pieces that you could wear with anything. real value for money!

There's my finished outfit. Its something id wear on a shopping trip or to a lunch date, something like that.

What do you think? would you wear this? whats your favorite piece?

Let me know in the comments below :)

Lots of love 

Sophie 

xxx

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Anxiety, panic attacks and depression - My story part 2 - What ifs

 If you missed it you can see my first post here 
... After being diagnosed, it was a weight of my shoulders. I knew what was wrong with me. but if you’ve ever suffered with panic/anxiety you’d know that it’s really hard to believe that the sensations your feeling are thought provoked and that there is nothing actually wrong with you. during my doctor’s appointment my sister pushed to get me fast tracked onto a CBT program as we had a holiday coming up, and there was NO way I was going to fly in my state. My closest friends and family helped me to get it into my head that I could overcome this. Without them I don’t know where I’d be now. I found after just a few days on Citalopram that my mood was even lower, so I stopped taking them and soldiered through until I had my first CBT session. My therapist discussed with me what I had been feeling and explained how completely typical these symptoms were for a sufferer of panic attacks. I went on my holiday and despite crippling anxiety at the airport I had a great time. I went back to work the week after and continued with my CBT on a weekly basis.

Fast forward a few months...


Things got a lot easier to deal with, don’t get me wrong I had my days where I literally didn’t want to get out of bed and thought my life wasn’t worth living. But luckily I had a good support network to help me through those days. I sometimes debated suicide, but the thought of what that would do to my family was enough to stop me, and ultimately I knew that I had to fight this. As the weeks went on, my therapist seemed to be repeating the same things over and over again. In my experience the first stage of CBT is more behavioural. In my case, I had quite a lot of behaviours I wasn’t aware of. Like carrying water with me (just in case), not drinking caffeine (just in case) or not over eating (just in case). You might have noticed a pattern here. I was using certain things to help my anxiety but in actual fact they were prolonging it. At this point I was stepped up and this was where my new therapist came in. on my first session she said. What causes your anxiety? My answer was that I really didn’t know. We went through where I would get anxious; in a queue, in meetings, sat with friends, basically anywhere and everywhere. What she explained to me next was the start of me seeing the light. She said "have you ever thought that your anxiety might be caused by anxiety" this was something I had never contemplated. But it really was a turning point...

Do you ever get what if thoughts? this was something I did all the time, my mind would go round and round constantly accessing situations and there safety. below I've draw a little picture which my therapist drew for me. 
You can see that the thought process of somebody not suffering from anxiety would be I'm going from A to B. For me I knew my end goal was B but before that I would think about every possible scenario. the branches represent every what if thought. I'm not sure if this is the same for every anxiety suffer, but for me I could really relate to this. This explains why for many anxiety sufferers, its impossible to concentrate on anything other than the what ifs. This can make you forget to do the most mundane things or make it very difficult to concentrate on the simplest of things.

So for any of you suffering with anxiety, I want to set you little task, something that really helped me to start overcoming my anxiety :)

From now start evaluating your thoughts, every time you have a what if thought (what if I'm late, what if they don't like me, what if I get hurt) I want you to ask your self, is there any evidence to support this thought? (do I KNOW I'm going to be late? do I KNOW they don't like me? do I KNOW I'm going to get hurt?) ask yourself what IS? 

Every time you acknowledge a what if thought, say to your self its a what if and try to move on from that thought, I know this is a lot easier said than done, but I've done it, and trust me it will get easier. I PROMISE. Just keep with it. If you have any questions or just want to talk privately, please feel free to email me at eskaybeauty@gmail.com 

Worry time 
another great way to start unloading those horrible thought is to allow your self worry time. Set aside a time of the day that you can stick to everyday. Carry with you a little notebook or use your phone. Every time you have a worrying thought, write it down in you book. I used to have 6 o'clock as my worry time. it should be a 10-30 minute break, where you can avoid distractions. Don't have it too close to bed time, and try to stick to your allotted time. Go through your list of worry's. For each, ask yourself, was this worth worrying over? does it have any relevance now? can i solve the worry. here's and example:

What if i die
I might get sick
My heart feels funny
What if i lost my job
My car tax is up soon

Once gone through:

What if i die - I cannot change this, not worth worrying about

I might get sick - Not worth worrying about
My heart feels funny - I'm still here now
What if i lost my job - I would deal with it if I had to, I could speak to my boss to get some peace of mind
My car tax is up soon - find out when its up, get things ready to go and get new disc

These are some of the things that really helped me start to take control of my anxiety, let me know if you try these out and let me know how you get on. 

To be continued...

like I said I'm here to help, feel free to email me!

If your reading this and your a sufferer of anxiety  panic or depression but don't feel like you can, then please just do. I know exactly what it feels like, you feel like nobody can possibly know what it feels like or nobody understands what your going through. But believe me I do. there is no shame in asking for help. 1 in 3 people suffer with a mental health disorder, and together we can help each other.

Until next time..

lots of love

Sophie
xxx

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Im part of #theSOproject!!!


I recently found out about an amazing new series set up by beauty blogger, Stephanie from Steph's Inside Voice named 'The Starting Out Project'. Steph decided to start this series to reach out to make-up and beauty newbies, young teens or anyone else looking for beauty and make up related tips. There are around 120 bloggers, myself included who have signed up to take part in this project. We will be uploading weekly posts, with a different subject each week featuring different beauty related products and tools.

I'm really excited about being a part of this project and cant wait to get started. I wish there had been this sort of thing around when I was first starting out with make up. we all start somewhere and this is a great opportunity for everyone to share tips and discuss all things beauty :) what could be better!!

The project will run over 10 weeks. The topics will be as follows..

Week 1 - Skincare
Week 2 - Concealer 
Week 3 - Foundation
Week 4 - Bronzer
Week 5 - Blusher
Week 6 - Mascara
Week 7 - Eyeliner
Week 8 - Eyeshadow
Week 9 - Lips
Week 10 - Make Up Tools

The posts will go live at 6pm (UK time) every Tuesday. Be sure to follow my blog and everyone else who's involved (you can find everyone's links on Steph's post). You can also join in the conversation on twitter using the hashtag #theSOproject

If your also involved please tweet me, or leave me a comment and let me know so I can follow you to see your posts too.

See you Tuesday :) 


Sophie 

xxx

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Autumn/Fall inspired nail tutorial





Sadly Summer is coming to an end. even though to be honest im quite looking forward to Autumn; the rusty coloured leaves, the musky weather in the mornings, and of course, the lack of wasps!! Its still a shame to say goodbye to the minimal good weather we have had in the summer. so with that said here is a tutorial on autumn/fall inspired nails. I hope you enjoy. Please tweet pics if you have a go :)








I started with 2 coats of this Orly polish in the colour Ruby

















Next I used a nail art pen and swept it across my nails, from the top corner diagonally. Except for my thumb and ring finger where I went from bottom to top.









Using a gold nail varnish I made sure any excess was removed from the brush and dabbed the very tip at the end of my green lines.





Using an orange nail art pen, I gently dabbed the brush to create petal like shapes around the gold. (this doesn't need to be perfect)










I did the same as above with a yellow nail art pen









next I went over the yellow with orange again very finely, followed by red in the center.






Using a darker green and the same method as drawing the petals, I created the look of leaves on the stem.


To finish the look off completely I used Avon 24k gold strength polish because the slight gold shimmer brought all the colours together.


Here's the finished look, teamed with some dark lipstick (I'm wearing Avon - divine wine) and your favorite scarf your set for autumn/fall in style :)

Here is the nails in natural light

Hope you liked this post, please comment and let me know what you think.

Are you excited for fall? if so which nail polish is your favorite?

Thanks for reading :)




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Trip to Newquay, Cornwall

Hi lovelies,

The week before last I went on a very last minute Holiday to Newquay in Cornwall, if you’re not from the UK, it can otherwise be known as the long point at the bottom of the UK :)
I live in the midland so it was a long 4 hour drive to get there, but what’s great about stay-cations is you can take as much junk, that you probably won’t end up using, without the worry of weight restrictions. I thought I’d show you some of the pretty places we visited as well as throwing in some pictures of me and my Lovely little dog fudge :)
A lovely bay we found in Newquay

The Biomes at the Eden Project
Having a little sing song haha

My gorgeous little niece, shes just learnt the art of sniffing :)




Fudge's first trip to the beach
He was dithering here, such a mommy's boy lol






I nearly killed myself climbing all over the rocks
One of many huge insects at the Eden Project
Isn't this sculpture amazing?

We had such a lovely time, there were a lot of things i could get pictures of like the spa area and pool, as well as the zip wire we went on. its the longest and fastest in the UK, OMG i was petrified but it was so much fun :) 



Where have you been on your hols this year?



Have you ever been to Newquay?

Let me know in the comments below.

Lots of Love



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Nautical inspired nails - Stripes and hearts


Hi lovelies 

I don't think I've mentioned how much of an obsessive compulsive nail polish purchaser I am, but let me tell you I have some serious issues! haha
whilst browsing Pinterest I came across this nail look and thought it was so cute and summery, with the nautical colours and hearts I just loved it. here's what I used to create it:

  1. I started with OPI start to finish as my base coat, I applied 2 coats as i'm not a massive fan and compared to other base coats I find it doesn't really help with discoloration caused by wearing nail polish all the time.
  2. Second I applied Essie - Geranium to all my nails bar the ring finger 
  3. I then applied Me Me Me - Innocent to my ring finger and waiting about 10 minutes for it to dry
QUICK TIP - when you want to create a nail look that requires attention to detail i find using an old small make up brush or even picking one up from Tesco on the cheap works great. use an acetone free nail varnish remover to clean them for next time :)

     4.  Using my old make up brush and geranium I drew 3 lines horizontally on my ring finger
     5.  Then using my blue nail art pen I drew the shape of a heart and filled in
     6.  finally I used OPI start to finish again as a top coat



















And there we go, really quick and simple but I loved the pic so thought I would recreate for you :)

What nail polish are you loving at the moment? 

Lots of love 

Sophie xxx




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OOTN - Highstreet Finds


On Saturday I went for a yummy meal at Miller and Carter (THE best steakhouse I've ever been to). If you’re from the UK you’ll know the weather has been up and down recently, but the temperature has finally dropped again now. Keeping with the summer theme I wore this gorgeous dress from H&M with my go to jeans from Newlook. I’m a tall girl so if, like me, you struggle with jeans Newlook has a reasonable range of tall jeans. 



 




















For accessories I wore my Michael Kors watch, my Pandora bracelet (which I rarely take off) and this gorgeous necklace which I found at a car boot for £1 BARGAIN!! My bag is from Newlook and I love it when you’re off out but don’t want to cart around your big bag with half your life in HAHA. I’m a bigger girl with curves, so I like using a belt to accentuate my waist, this teal one was perfect to bring the outfit together and finally my shoes from Newlook have a small wedged heal with different coloured flowers.

I love the shoulder cut out trend at the moment! What trends are your liking?

Lots of love

Sophie xxx

P.S whilst taking the photos, our dog fudge got jealous and just had to get in there... he totally stole the shot HA










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Anxiety, Panic attacks and depression - My story part 1

This isn't something I wanted to bring to my blog so soon after starting out, but I watched Onna's latest YouTube video (check her out if you haven’t already. She’s lovely) and have been inspired to share my story in the hope I can help at least 1 person. Mental health has been such a massive part of my life over the past few years that I couldn't possibly talk about everything in one post, so it can be a little series over the next few months. I have loads of great information to share in assisting you to overcome this (which believe me you can). ill still continue with beauty related posts as usual.

Where it all started..
Looking back I think I've always been a little anxious; At a young age I used to get really worried if my mom wasn't back when she said she’d be and would think that something awful had happened to her and can remember crying at night, not wanting to go to sleep in case I didn't wake up, but it was never a massive issue. Then in late 2006, at 14, I was attacked by a group of girls which changed my life. I believe this was the trigger to my future mental health issues. I would refuse to go in busy towns and hated buses, but it didn't really control my life. That was until winter 2010. I was going to sleep one night and I remember thinking, I feel a bit 'funny', my breath felt shallow and I was very aware of my heart beat. I got really freaked out, my heart was pounding in my chest, I couldn't breath and honestly thought I was dying. My boyfriend was in horror and didn't know what to do with me so I went and woke my mom and said I needed an ambulance. She managed to calm me down, and I managed to get off to sleep fine and carry on with life as normal, until it happened again, then again. I would say “I just feel funny” I really didn't have a cue what was happening to me. That was until I broke down to my sister and she thought I was having panic attacks, something she had suffered with in her early twenties (my sisters are both in there late 30s, I’m the baby) over the coming months I started to associate certain situations with panic and would avoid them, gradually this started to become a lot of situations. But I was adamant I was fine it would go away. Until April 2012 when I had my first panic attack at work. This was breaking point for me, I honestly thought I was dying or going crazy. I was sent home from work and my sister drove over and took me straight to the doctor. After checking me over she diagnosed me with panic disorder, I was signed of work for 4 weeks and put on anti-depressants. My initial thought was WHAT? HOW? I just couldn't believe something like this was happening to me, I was young, what did I really have to worry about? 

To be continued...

do you suffer or know someone who suffers from a mental health disorder?

Let me know in the comments.

if your struggling and would like to talk to somebody, please email me eskaybeauty@gmail.com. i will not judge you and am here to help :)

lots of love xx

Part 2 here



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How to keep your feet looking and smelling fresh


sexy feet, how to make feet smell nice,
About a month or so ago I popped into The Body Shop and couldn't resist the tester display shelf, after a long day of shopping  the peppermint cooling foot spray was literally calling my name. Now I know feet aren't the nicest thing to talk about, but let’s face it, we have to look after the very things that carry us around day in day out. I’m sure all you ladies know how for the love of fashion we really mistreat our feet with these pretty sandals and shoes that provide no comfort or support.

This product is honestly a godsend for summer, over the past month I've been using this stuff like there’s no tomorrow, it’s amazing. Simply spray it all over your feet before you put your shoes or sandals on and they feel refreshed for hours and every now and then you’ll get a lush waft of peppermint. I've also been using this to freshen up shoes and trainers and it works a treat.

The Body Shop had a buy one get one half price offer when I bought this so I decided to get the peppermint cooling foot lotion too. Although I’m not as in love with this as the spray, it is a good product, for when you’re having a good pamper session. I have a ‘me’ night most Sundays, which mainly consists of having a long bath, epilating, face mask, tweezing the brows and all that jazz, the peppermint lotion is perfect for freshly exfoliated feet. I lather it all over and pop on some socks overnight. When you wake up in the morning and take them off you've got soft peppermint feet J perfect.

Have you tried the foot cooling range at The Body Shop? What did you think?

Let me know in the comments below.


Sophie x 
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