Friday, 16 November 2018

Beauty Gift Ideas 2018

It's definitely the perfect time to do a blog post covering Beauty Gift Ideas for 2018.
Christmas is approaching, and afraid to admit but I am nearly finished!
Yes I am very prepared this year, making list ideas since September time, then started buying at the beginning of December - Woman on a Mission!

I thought it would be lovely to share with you my top Beauty Gift Ideas for many of you to consider ready for the christmas season.
Overall, if there is a beauty addict in the family/friend circle, most products you cant go wrong, from experience, we accept and are happy with ANY beauty product.
I love trying new things and its also great to consider trying something that may not even cross your mind to buy.

So let me start off with…

The bag of goodies; Ted Baker Beauty Wash Bag
We all need a pretty, but good quality Beauty Bag that HAS to last through the year.
Most peoples beauty bags are just little free gift we have all recieved with a beauty purchase and we just make do and refresh when we receive the next…
Well I have found that a well made beauty bag stands the test of time and I always go for Ted Baker's Wash Bags.
They have beautiful patterns and designs for many different personalities, and they always look beautiful on your vanity table.

Mainly their designs consist of a hard shell structure on the outside, which prevents the mess building around the makeup bags (were bound to get a splatter of some product through the year) This makes it so much easier to keep clean an fresh.
Inside varies depending on the bag, my latest one was a satin material, which of course needs a soak every now and then but always comes out sparkling clean.
So a good quality Makeup Bag would be a great one for the Beauty Christmas list.

Next on the list is Tropic - 12 Day of Tropic Gift Collection
Always banging on about your skincare routine!
Your skin is the base to all our makeup and will reflect on the finish of ALL your look, even wether your buying the most expensive foundation.
So skincare is key! Which makes the 12 Days of Tropic the perfect Christmas Gift.
The best part of this gift is the COUNTDOWN…
Starting on Christmas Day you open your first window… Just like an advent calendar.
You make you way through the 12 days which leads your up to New Year - the TAH DAHH, you have a full skincare routine ready to start 2019, and trust me, by the end of January I promise you will see and feel a difference! If you don't, Tropic guarantee a 30 day money back.
So what do you have to lose.
Also many people won't always buy every product they need on their first purchase, but this is where you need to have a full routine to see the difference and make that skincare change, so this collection will give you everything in one so you have all you need for your 2019 skin routine.
I cant wait to start mine on Christmas Day - I have no clue whats in my countdown yet, Ill start it with you on the 25th.

If you would like to purchase your 12 Days of Tropic, for yourself or a Christmas gift for someone, please contact me to order to the studio, or order online at, TROPIC WITH SOPHIE

Another great gift is my FAVOURITE Brush brand, ZOEVA Brushes - The Rose Gold Vol.1 Collection would be a huge recommendation.
Quality brushes are something I hugely advise to many of my Makeup Lesson Clients, having the right tools to apply your products with make a big difference to the finish of your makeup.
They have the perfect texture and hairs to blend, shape and fit with all faces and make your application so much easier than dragging hard brushes on the skin and messing up the look with one mistake.
In my kit, I do mainly use Zoeva so I would highly recommend, and by putting this on your Christmas List this is one bulk saving that will last you years!! INVESTMENTS.

How can we not have a Christmas without a new Eyeshadow Palette? 
Urban Decay Naked Cherry, The new baby of the group.
I chose this as the palette to add to your 2018 Christmas list as pinks and pastels are the colours for the 2019 new year trends, so this is the perfect gift to add some colour into someones makeup bag.
Pinks also work amazingly on all eye colours, they make the colour pop better than many other shades.
And who doesn't love the quality and pigment of Urban Decays eyeshadows.

Last but not least I had to put the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter on here.
It is a recent purchase of mine that I ordered at the end of last month but I am honestly in love with the whole product, form the texture, the feel and finish on the skin.
Trust me, by the time January 2019 comes around were all ready to brighten up our lives after the christmas spirit has ended and the perfect way is to add some radiance into our skin, perk up our makeup and add some glow to make us think about spring quicker than ending winter.
If you would like to read my full review on the Flawless Filter, see why it is so different to any other primer, foundation or highlighter.

Let the Christmas Countdown begin :D 

Extra special Beauty Gift idea;
All of these gifts a great overall idea for christmas, but if you want to make your gift more personal, treat your lovely one to a Makeup Voucher with Makeup by Sophie Downing.
You can use these vouchers as a credit towards a service, or a chosen service (i.e. Makeup Lesson) and fully personalise the voucher, with names and a nice message.
I can send these in the post or email them over to you.
They are valid for a full 6 months starting Jan 2019

If you would like to purchase a voucher and make it extra special, please contact me via;


Wednesday, 7 November 2018

REVIEW: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

Flawless Fiter? Isn't that what we all want on our skin 24/7?
Well good old Charlotte has created her skin base/foundation for you all to apply on your morning skin.

Dont get caught up… Your regular skin condition plays a big part in this finished look.
Keeping a good routine with your skincare and your health diet makes the biggest change to your makeup look, but a good beauty product cant hurt in enhancing what we want for our skin.

I've been dubious on the Flawless Filter product for a while, and seeing as I needed to do a Charlotte Tilbury restock for my kit I thought, why not?
I can use it on myself after all (perks of the job). Of course, testing it on myself first is the number one thing I just have to do!
First off I trialled this on fresh cleansed skin - My morning routine of; Cleaning, face massaging, toner, serum and moisturiser (more about this on next Fridays blog)
After leaving my skincare to settle into my skin before applying Flawless Filter. I planned NOT to use a primer…

Charlotte describes this as her Celebrity-Skin-Filter-In-A-Bottle!
The products technology is inspired by red-carpet celebrities technology for a real-life airbrushed look

I applied Flawless Filter with my fingers, all over my face
(I brought the shade light/medium Shade 3 - This time of year, I should probably be using Light, but seeing as I wanted it for my kit i wanted something universal)
The texture of this product layered onto my skin like satin, it is a thicker constancy that I thought, more feeling like dewy foundation, rather than serum.
It felt creamy but hydrating and really easy to work into my skin spreading across my entire face without it feeling drying.
The radiance was instant! It had a beautiful hydrated, dewy sheen to the finish, it a perfect amount of 'glow' to the face, which could be worn with or without foundation on top.

I loved the face that my skin felt so smooth and evened out from the texture of the product feeling like i had a perfect amount of makeup on my skin without it feeling thick.
I honestly would say it gives that 'flawless filter' to the skin, as it does smooth out the complexion though its soft-focus finish - also filling and smoothing out the pores without using a primer underneath.

I would actually say this product is a good 3 in 1 - from Primer, liquid highlighter to a BB tinted moisturiser finish. I think this will be a perfect holiday product too! (Im wishing away winter already!)

Ways that Charlotte recommends using this product…

Is the Flawless Filter on your Christmas List?
Would this be a product for your makeup bags?

Love Sophie x


Wednesday, 31 October 2018

REVIEW: Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

Wow, Ive missed my blogging!
Ive been so busy with Summer weddings that my time has really been taken up, and I haven't really had a day to just blog for you all.
Plus I could really do with knowing what blogs you want to read… (please comment below if you want anything in particular)
I know you all love my Blog Review on Beauty Products, so why not do my comeback with my Autumn Foundation switch up!

When I say 'autumn switch up' I literally mean, my foundations change each season.
My latest Autumn Makeup Bag Revamp is available to download for free, so if you want to learn how to change up your regular products, give it a download and follow the steps.

My Autumn foundation is of course Nars Sheer Glow Foundation
The shade I am using is 'Fiji'
This is a foundation that I have previously used and right now im back finishing the bottle.
Autumn is a time of year where my holiday tan starts to fade, so for one, im looking paler and two its a great season to listen to my skin as it tends to dry up a little, but also give me a lovely breakout.
Season changes can cause breakouts, this is completely normal for women, as our hormones are changing and our bodies/skin is adapting to the weather and time change.
Crazy, but uncontrollable.
So the best way to listen to your skin is to change it up!

I went back to my Nars Sheer Glow, as I did want more coverage with my foundation, to hide any breakouts that I have.
This foundation is great, as it is buildable coverage.
I can get a lovely even coverage using my stippling brush then using my beauty blender to add that extra layer or coverage. I find this is the best way to use this formula.

Another reason I chose this foundation was because it has a natural glow, which is not too dewy and radiant. It gives a light reflecting formula, which works with your skin type rather than it being mixed with highlighter.

The autumn/winter trend is Matte Skin, but right now my skin is wanting moisture to even out my skin type so a fresh glow foundation is perfect for me right now.
Although I have been setting it with my Laura Mercier Translucent Powder to give it a more matte finish but mainly to last me through a long working day.

Although I am setting with powder, I don't find I need to do this because the foundation doesn't stay.
I could easily not use a powder and it will still last a full day, but just keep that more dewy finish.

The texture is beautifully light weight to apply, keeps my skin hydrated and glides smoothly with my application process.
Another great thing about Nars Sheer Glow is that each day you use the foundation it naturally boosts  the skins brightness and texture to achieve that natural even finish in the long run.

I love that Nars targets their ingredients within their foundations;
Sheer Glow's ingredients contain
Glycerin - Holds skins moisture and prevents drying.
Vitamin C - To help even and brighten the skin
Tumeric - A herb extract to help skins radiance and skin tone

Do you change your foundations regularly?
Whats your Autumn Foundation right now?

Love Sophie x


Wednesday, 5 September 2018

REVIEW: By Terry Baume De Rose - Lip Tinted Balm

I honestly think i have a lip obsession!
I can't go anywhere without a stick, gloss, oil or balm - I just cant get enough.
I love my lips to feel hydrated and smooth, otherwise the lip biting decides to come out of me.
Usually when i concentrate or think deeply i tend to slightly bite my lips, which is not good! But many people do this when the winter started to creep in, as our skin goes drier and we get cracked lips - sound familiar?

Of course I have a ton on lip products anyway, due to my makeup job, but I love trying and buying no products for myself also.
I have purchased a lot of lip balms in the past, some that have been amazing and i still re-purchase to this day, and other which just do nothing at all.
One thats been on my list for a while now is the By Terry Baume De Rose.
I listened to a podcast where the interviewed the lady founder of By Terry (she actually invented the Touche Eclat!!)
Anyway, she spoke about her rose infused skincare/makeup range which all contains rose ingredients and of course lots of others, but her Baume De Rose range is a massive hit for By Terry fans.
Obviously i need to get my hands on this right…
Well last week I was in Space NK getting a makeover; ok so I am a makeup artist but I love going for these types of things. 1 because I love seeing how other makeup artists work and 2 i get to discover new products which i may have not chosen myself
So I got the makeover because I own a Space NK loyalty card and for your birthday you get a little sample gift bag with a free makeover with a glass of champagne, so why not!

Unfortunately my makeover didn't include the Baume de Rose, but I wanted to buy it anyway, the original that is, but I saw that they also do 4 other tinted shades in the same formula, and seeing as its coming to autumn winter I swayed against my usual pink toned lip product and went for a warm toffee/caramel colour.

This shade is called 'Toffee Cream', its a beautiful warm orange, red toned lip balm.
Because its a balm the colour is slightly tinted 'infused with long-wear pigments' so it doesn't actually look as dark as the product.
When I use this product I usually line my lips with MAC Soar (which is slightly pink toned) this suits  and enhances my natural lip tone, as I do suit pink undertones better on my lips then I layer the Toffee colour balm on top and I absolutely love it!
Using a lip liner just defines the lip shape a lot better than it would just using the balm with my fingers.

The texture of this balm is slightly sticky on the fingers but glides on the lips feeling quite thick but smooth. It really feels as it conditions the lips and adds a lot of moisture to keep it going throughout the day.
I also find that it does make my lips look plumped and voluptuous more than an ordinary lip balm would do.

The packaging is a lovely rose pink box, with silver detailing, along with the thick glass jar pots, the perfect size to easily apply with your fingers and look pretty in your bags.

Due to the rose ingredients it does help repair and condition the lips as well as  encourage cellular generation (now i know why them look plumped and healthy)
The ingredients contain Rose Flower Essential wax, Pastel oil, Shea Butter and Vitamin E.
The original is a multi-purpose balm which can be used as a nourishing treatment wherever you need it, so it is a must have in may women handbags and beauty drawers.

By Terry Baume De Rose retail online, and in unique retailers at £35.50.
They also stock a full range of other skincare products within 'Baume De Rose'

It sure is my go to right now, and it had to be my product of the week!

Have you tried the By Terry ranges?
Maybe this is the balm for you!

Love Sophie xxx

Thursday, 30 August 2018

REVIEW: NARS Climax Mascara

'Don't stop, keep going, reach your climax with explosive volume' - Nars' all over right?
From their 'Orgasm' range and 'Deepthroat' best sellers they don't hold back when it comes to sexual language.
But its all part of the fun, and gets us all talking; they know exactly what they are doing.

Im a massive Nars fan, and always willing to try their new products, especially their skin/base ranges, they hit the nail on the head every time with these products.
Luckily Glamour Beauty sent me the new NARS Climax mascara to test out as soon as it got released - so cute with the little NARS pouch too!

Right now Benefit Bad Gal Bang has taken over my mascara love since it came out, and ive found nothing like it, it does make my lashes amazing but it does imprint on my under eyes after a few hours if i am using a creamy concealer.
So trying Climax was something I was curious on testing out.

First of all, the brush is quite big. My personal preference for mascara wands are actually comb bristles as I like to add length to my lashes more than thick volume, many people will differ with this.

The brush is like 3 little pearls on top of each other, so it has that curling benefit to the wand.
The bristles are 'ribbed' to coat the lashes with its whipped, lightweight 'moisture complex' formula.
It has extra black pigments, for the darkest of lashes and also a featherlight touch to the finished lashes. It doesn't feel weighty even after 3 layers.
I love the natural, feathery effect that it leaves on your lashes.
I have had compliments on how my lashes have set and partitioned from the mascara to give that fluttery, lightweight look, instead of that thick clumpy finish that we really don't want.

I would say this mascara is more for adding volume, so the best way i have decided to carry on using this is on the base of my top lashes to add volume on the root, then my other mascara to add length to the tips and bottom.

Nars actually recommend their top tip to holding the wand for 5 seconds on the root of your lashes to add extra curl then wiggle up through to the tips.

The Packaging!!! I love it. Sometimes red plastic can give the vision to be a little tacky looking, but I love how it stands out in my makeup bag.
Best of all, this mascara lasts all day on the lashes, no imprints, no fall out just natural, volumised lashes.

This mascara retails at £21, get it from standing stores, department stores and my favourite beauty boutiques 'Space NK'

Who's going for the Climax?
Is this your next mascara buy?

Love Sophie xx


Saturday, 25 August 2018

REVIEW: Too Faced Sweet Peach Oil Gloss

You all know I love a lip oil over a lip gloss, and let me tell you, this is now the collection I will recommend to everyone looking for an oil gloss!
Many of us hate gloss when it comes to that sticky formula, were not all for the hair strands creating lines on our faces on a special occasion right?
But we still want that glossy, hydrated feel. Lip oils are what I recommend!
I couldn't live without my YSL lip oil last summer, using it on top of all my lipsticks, this year Too Faced has not only been a new loved brand of mine but when I received a free sample of the Sweet Peach Oil Gloss when i brought my 'Born this way' foundation, I was amazed at the little product i didn't even know existed!

I've been using this product on its own, when I have no makeup on, and over lipsticks so i've tried every look with this oil gloss, and it's not failed me yet.
I love its smooth, creamy texture (yes creamy! even though it is an oil formula)
It contains the ever popular coconut oil, seed oil, Vitamin E, and real peaches.
These ingredients create the products moisture-rich, creamy, smooth consistency to help the lips stay hydrated.
Best of all; it tastes and smells just like peaches, so its literally good enough to eat!

If you are a Too Faced fan you will already know about the Peach collection of palettes and products.
Too Faced inspiration for this oil gloss came from; wanting 'a gloss that would delight almost all the senses, showcasing the juicy tones of fresh peaches including peachy nudes, pinks and corals while feeling nourishing to the lips and smelling and tasting like fresh peaches!'
Perfect right.

Did you know Too Faced is an all natural, vegan and animal friendly brand so you have no harsh chemicals in any of their products.

The Sweet Peach Oil Glosses come in a range of 8 shade, ranging from peachy pinks, corals and nudes!
They retail at £16

Go grab yourself an oil gloss for your daily makeup look, and thank me later

Love Sophie xx


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

REVIEW: Hourglass Vanish Highlighting Stick

I remember these Hourglass highlighting sticks being released when I was in Australia back in February this year, and of course I did the hand swatching and fell in love with the creamy texture and packaging of the vanish sticks.
At that point, id spent enough on makeup products that I was worried my luggage was already going to be overweight, so I let it pass and convinced myself I didn't need any more highlighters…

4 month later, I still have love hearts in my eyes when I see them in Space NK.
I finally purchased the Vanish Highlighting Stick in shade 'Champagne Flash' - the most popular of shades out of the other 4.
The shade is a lot more universal for pretty much all neutral skin tones, with its warm but bright undertones, and its radiant sparkle on the skin.

The Hourglass sticks come in a triangular tube with the product twisting up from the bottom as you reuse the products.
Because of the triangular shape it makes the stick apply onto the high points of the face in a dimension that sits well on the skin.
They glide on smoothly with its creamy, satin texture which feels weightless on the skin.
Once applied from the stick, I use my fingers to blend in the product to soften and edges when applied.
The best thing about the application is that it works over dewy and matte skin.
I of course tested this highlighter out after setting my skin with loose powder, and it still had the airbrushed finish on the skin, where I was actually expecting it to partition the texture with a cream sitting onto of powder, but it worked beautifully and still looked an even finish.

The product was also long-wearing, and was in no need to touch up throughout the day. It really did keep its natural looking glow, that was visible but wasn't too over the top 'disco ball' like highlighter.
So dont be afraid.
Hourglass also recomend that you can mix multiple shades of the sticks to achieve your desired finish.

Hourglass created these vanish stick using a soft-focus technology, using symmetrical microspheres in the formula which is what helps the product have that smooth, blendable application that are created to give a beautiful 'flash of light' to this skin.

You apply the highlighter sticks to the high points of your face, such as; Brow bone, Cheek Bone, Cupids Bow and Tip/Bridge of the nose and blend with your fingers.
You can also use this under your makeup base by dotting the vanish over the face and working your foundation in over the top.
A great highlighting product which you can use for multiple uses.

These retail at many stores, mine was from Space NK, a beautiful beauty boutique that are spread across the UK and online - they retail at £38.

Have you purchased a Hour Glass Vanish Stick?
Or have you ever tried a creamy highlighter?

Love Sophie 

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

REVIEW: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

The BEST SELLING loose powder of all time!!
Its not a new release, this is literally a classic cult for a while now.

In my kit i've forever used a setting powder used purposely for photography/tv and decided to switch it up and buy this popular product and really put it up to the test.

With the weather we've had recently, its been hot and muggy, and when we need to wear a full face of makeup, setting powder is a must!
The day after I brought this from 'Space NK' I had a great excuse to use this for a party in the early evening where I needed a sweat proof barrier. Did it work? Yes. It felt and looked set all night.

The texture of this powder is of course loose, but is literally the definition of satin in a powder.
As soon as you apply it, it feels so silky on the brush and application to the skin without that cakey feel that some powders can give out.
I needed very minimal amount, literally tap into the lid and swirl with a fluffy face brush and pat onto the whole face or certain areas if you prefer.
Tip - Patting powder onto the skin is better when applying as it holds the makeup in place instead of sweeping the base in a different position which doesn't actually coat the whole area of placement.

The finish of the powder once set on the face looks translucent and flawless, without having that powdery look.
I for one would be most judgemental on the finish, as i actually hate a matte look on my skin, im all for the dewy trend but in the hot weather, some things have to give! Ill just add the extra highlight.
One thing I will explain is that translucent is not white! Its is translucent to light to medium skin tones where it adapts to the skin tone, which doesn't really work for baking or highlighting under the eyes.
So if you were wanting that white setting powder make sure you purchase the 'Invisible Loose Setting Powder'

It also contains a 'Soft Focus Effect' within the powder which helps blur and uneven application and fine lines which is a bonus with powders as the one thing we want to avoid is powder sitting into lines of the skin.
This powder would work for skin with or without makeup, so if you do go makeup minimal, or makeup free you can mattify the skin with the powder, again without looking cakey and dry.

The powder is oil-free and can be purchased with a velour puff at an additional cost.

Have you used Laura Mercier Setting Powder before?
Or is it your current go-to setting powder - always?

Love Sophie


Tuesday, 10 July 2018

REVIEW: Glossier Stretch Concealer

Heard of Glossier?
One must-have brand thats going crazy online right now…

Glossier is a range of beauty products that are just what your looking for; simple, basic but does what it says on the bottle.

I'd been eyeing this brand up for a few months but wanted to buy the best sellers to really see what the raves about.
My glossier purchase contained; Stretch Concealer, Cloud Paint, Balm Dot Com, Silky Jelly Cleanser and Priming Moisturiser.
Such a great variety of products for different areas of the face and skin, which I knew id have a whale of a time trying out.

First impressions…
I love the simple, chic packaging, even how my glossier box was delivered.
With its pink bubble wrapped makeup pouch which can be reused.
Although the clasp broke pretty much straight away, so there was no point in my keeping, which I was guttered about - Im a hoarder at heart!

Lets talk about 'Stretch Concealer'
You may have seen my social post regarding this product being my 'Product Of The Week' on Wednesday.
I have been using this EVERY DAY since I pretty much got it - with makeup and no-makeup on a daily basis.
Let me take you back…
Winter was my lover of coverage, so Nars Creamy Concealer was my go to, as my skin has become more tanned and the weather has got a lot hotter for England, I moved onto YSL Touche Eclat, as this is more light weight, radiant and suits all makeup looks.
Glossier's Stretch Concealer is officially Touche Eclat in a POT!

With a price slash and a different was of applying, this product seriously is a summer must-have

The shades are quite transparent, I have been using 'Light' and it blends in well with my pale and tanned skin without looking like I have white under eyes.
It does have a slight pink undertone although this pigment can really help brighten up those dark under eye circles with its colour correcting contrast, which has definitely swayed me.

The texture is to die for, really creamy but sheer at the same time, making this easy to apply with your ring-finger (no brushes needed), tapping the product in under the eyes until it is fully blended and setting into the skin.
It doesn't crease or look cakey under the eyes in any way.
And really adds a beautiful radiance to the eye area, giving a brightening effect to those sleepy eyes every morning.

Like I said, I have been using this with my normal makeup looks and when im wearing no makeup at all.
Under eye concealer, mascara and lip oil are my daily essentials in this summer heat.
Effortless and easy.

So I would fully recommend trying this product to achieve bright, healthy looking complexion around the eyes.

I shall review more Glossier products in future…

Love Sophie x

Monday, 2 July 2018

REVIEW: Tropic Skincare Brand

Skincare has become a massive interest and hobby within my own lifestyle and working as a Makeup Artist.
I truly believe and have seen proven evidence that getting yourself a skincare regime that suits your needs and skin concerns creates the perfect canvas for flawless makeup.
Reading that may sound obvious, but why do most of us buy high coverage makeup to hide imperfections and search high and low for products to 'turn' our makeup look into a fiction model?
Making changes and learning about your skin can take time, and its a trial and error though life.
Our skin will never be perfect but we can sure make it happen with the right regimes and effort but into caring and looking more closely at what our skin is telling us.

June has been focused on Wellness, I have had guest bloggers from all kinds of self-care backgrounds, from body confidence to our nutrition, it's a topic that will never end but its one that we can enjoy working on throughout our whole lives, not just to look good for everyone to see but to feel good on the inside and help our own mindset into believing we are the best we can be.

Over the past year, natural skincare has been an eye opener to me, it is not something you can just decide to change tomorrow, as their is no such word as 'natural' when it comes to meanings for all people, brands and skincare labs, everyone has a different outlook on 'natural'
But through my natural skincare process I have learnt so much about ingredients, from synthetics, preservatives, oils and herbs.
Its fascinating!!
So a few weeks ago, I met someone who is a sales representative for Tropic Skincare.
Have you heard of it?
Suzie Ma is the founder and creator since 2004, she was on the apprentice a few years back and now has Alan Sugar as part of her business!
Her overall aim was to create skin and body care products in a natural, organic way that also helps the environment.
I first came across this brand within my Powder Beauty Boxes - Monthly Subscription.
I received a miniature product of Tropic's Super Greens Serum, I did review this box HERE.

I remember trying this product out, and excited about the fact that it was bursting with natural superfoods that we don't have to eat for once, and can actually just let the goodness soak into my skin, although the smell was pretty different let say!
This did slightly put me off, but also made me think I had a dodgy sample haha.
Although I can now assure you that every other product from Tropic that I have recently tested has smelt the most amazing scents ive ever applied onto my face.

After my meeting with the Tropic Ambassador, I was lucky enough to get the chance to take away the full starter kit and more products to trial out for a full week.
Sometimes I think i'm mad when I decide to do this, as it can mess with our skin when changing products too often, as they need at least a week to adjust to our skin and bring out / control any skin effects that may happen.

I am going to individually review each product that I have been testing, and explain my routine of when I used this within my routine.
At the beginning of each review I have listed the key ingredients containing within each product.

Smoothing Cleanser - Complexion Purifier 
Eucalyptus and Rosemary oils and Green Tea extract.
I was dubious on this product, as personally i like foaming cleansers as i feel like they clean my skin more than cream cleansers, but after every wash my skin felt completely purified but balanced and hydrated from just one wash, Tropic you may have changed my preferences.

Vitamin Toner - Pore Refining Mist
Rose Water, Aloe Vera and Cucumber juices.
Spraying toner? Im used to using a cotton pad and preparing my skin with a liquid toner, but wow a spray toner is for one - easy! and it feels so refreshing. This could definitely be used as a refresh spray throughout the day as well.

Skin Revive - Nourishing Cream Concentrate 
Australian Kakadu Plum, Hyaluronic Acid, Raspberry Seed Oil
Face creams are the product that I am most picky with. Creams have to work well as a makeup base not only to moisturise the skin.
The natural ingredients in this made the moisturiser sit and sink quickly into the skin and worked its magic right before applying my makeup.
Another bonus is this cream has a SPF 30 rating, and trust me this makes makeup setting harder hone creams contain spf as i usually don't have this in my moisturisers.
The smell was also lovely and fruity and can really smell the raspberry extract.

Eye Refresher - Cooling Gel Roll-on 
An eye cream before your make up can really be a pain for your concealer to sit on top of which is why I use eye cream at night.
This eye gel worked great with my makeup. With it being like water gel, my skin soaked this up quickly whilst also leaving the eye area cool and refreshed.
Great for the mornings when you get puffy eyes, after a hot nights sleep, or bad hay-fever in my concern.

Night Repair - Cell Renewal Cream Concentrate 
Murumuru Butter, Babassu, Andiroba, Oat Oil, Blue Chamomile, Ylang Ylang and Lavender
Always have separate day cream to night creams! They work so differently, and you skin needs different benefits whilst you sleep compared to the day where our skin needs to be sun produced and fighting daily pollution.
This night cream is a great soothing lotion for the skin, calming ingredients after a crazy day and very hydrating to treat the skin through the night.

Eye Revive - Age-defying Cream Concentrate
Echium Flower, Bird of Paradise Extract, Tomato Seed, Marula Oils - Vitamin C and B3 Technology
The eye cream for night time! This is much more creamier than the day time eye roll on.
This eye cream spreads so far that you only need a tiny bit. Its not too thick that it sits on the skin it really sinks into the eye area thanks to the light ingredients and vitamins to feed the skin and treat the eye area through the night.

Face Smooth - Brightening Polish
Almond Oil, Acai, Elderberry and Bamboo Silica
Some people now avoid gritty face exfoliants due to the harsh gains against the skin. But I personally do like my exfoliants a little rough as at the end of the day, its a polish for a reason.
This polish is grainy but soft on the skin thanks to the pure ingredients which prevents the formula damaging the skin.
It really brightens up the complexion and leaves the skin silky soft, feeling as if the skin has had a thorough cleanse which is great to use every other day.

Supergreens - Nutrient Boost Serum
Chlorophyll, Kale, Maca Root, Marula, Kendi Oils, Green Coffee and Tamanu Oils
Heres the product that I first discovered Tropic, Their Supergreens serum is one strong smelling magic treatment!
All the ingredients we should be eating that tastes erm, grim! Can now easily be put into our skin.
This serum does feel thicker than others available on the hughstreet but I can feel it totally feed the skin fast and beneficial to all skin types.
It can be quite a heavy formula to use every day, especially on oily skin, but 3x a week is ideal to feed your skin all the goodness in one application.

Good Skin Day - Reserfacing Serum 
Lime Pearl, Glycolic Acids, Willow Bark BHA, Papaya Enzymes, AHA Fruit Complexes and Hyaluronic Acid
I loveeee a good skin acid formulation as you all know. Skin acids are great to reach the deeper layers of the skin and is something we should incorporate into our daily routine.
If you have never used skin acids before, do start off light, maybe every other day if your skin is sensitive but once you get into a routine you won't be able to live without it.
Your skin feels deeply purified and renewed every day, leaving you with a fresh skin base with every application.
This products smells beautiful, with all the fruit complexes in and its citrus notes.

Organic Elixir - Age Defying Facial Oil
Moringa, Plum Seed Kernel, Kiwi Seed, Pomegranate, Organic Rosehip Seed Oil
One of my favourites in the skin collection, I literally wanted this on my skin every day.
The hydration and smoothness of this oil really replenishes the skin and keeps your skin feeling plumped and hydrated.
This oil contains ingredients to help with ageing and renewing cells.
The smell reminded me of a cherry bakewell! aha

Sun Drops - Gradual Tanning Facial Serum 
Aloe Vera, Coconut Water, Passionfruit Extract, Plant Allo-melanin
I was slightly dreading this product, just at the fact that I had just got back from a week in the sun, and i already had a good tan that I didnt want this to bite me on the bum
I used this by mixing 3 drops into the night revieve moisturiser and blended all over my face and down the neck.
The next morning I lovedddd the colour of my face, I didnt need foundation.
There was NO tanning smell, and it didnt leave my face looking patchy at all, even when the product was wearing off day by day.
One that I would buy for my face in future as this wouldn't cause breakouts like other face tanners due too this containing natural ingredients.

Day Routine (2nd photo)
Smoothing Cleanser
Vitamin Toner
Good Skin Day
Skin Revive
Eye Refresher

Night Routine (3rd photo)
Smoothing Cleanser
Vitamin Toner
*Alternative - Supergreens or Organic Elixir*
Night Repair
Eye Revive

Sun Drops were mixed with Night Repair on 2 nights of the week.
Face Smooth was used after the Cleanser at night, 2 time of the week.

All of these ingredients are definitely ones that i would look for in future products and for sure a brand that I would buy and recommend to people.

Love Sophie xx


Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Nutritionist - Q&A

Its the final post for SDiaries Wellness Month, and I hope you've all enjoyed finding out many options into how to create more wellness into your life, not just on the outside, but focusing more on our body and mind!
Its amazing what little changes this can do to our daily mindset and motivation for the day.

To finish off the month I have the final part to our Nutritionists Q&As that delve deeper into what we want to do know, prior, during and after menopause.
These questions really do relate to us all, and it sure is a topic we should all be prepared for.
Its our wellness after all…

Is there a one-stop diet plan for menopause? 
No, there isn’t. Every woman has her own unique hormonal journey plus there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration when looking at hormones. For example a history of stress, or trauma, the impact of certain medications such as the contraceptive pill and antibiotics, and general life style such as alcohol consumption and nutrition all impact the transition to menopause.  

Should I take other peoples advice when it comes to menopause tips?
Yes and no. Take specialist advice but not one from friends etc. because hormonal imbalance is different for each of us and it needs to be treated in that way too. For example a woman maybe suffering with hot flushes and dryness, one person may recommend that she eats lots of green vegetables but for the woman who is dry eating lots of green vegetables is likely to dry her out even more, so she needs to eat them in moderation.  

When should I start incorporating the nutrition guidance into my life?
Before or during menopause? Before! Why before you hit menopause, I’d say in your late 20’s and 30’s. Hormonal imbalance can happen at any age and if its left to its own devices things will get out of control. It can impact fertility and later on perimenopause and menopause and beyond.  Not only that our hormones isn’t just about our fertility status it also tells us about our health and wellness. 

What sugar cravings can I swap into my diet when cutting down on sugar? 
Its so interesting, sugar cravings particularly around the time of period is presumed to be normal but its not, and also during menopause, what it shows is that there is your blood sugar is not balanced, and over time it will lead to hormonal imbalance. So the best thing to do is to eat often, try eating every 3-4 hours throughout your cycle (28 days), increases your protein intake particularly around breakfast, try not to skip meals and increase your vegetables. You may want to pay attention to your gut health too. 

Should I be doing certain gym classes or exercise during menopause? 
The changing hormones for women is a time of internal stress so most women may feel tired and lacking motivation to hit the gym but there are great benefits to be had. I’d recommend trying a short 10-15 HITT exercise class either at home of at the gym. Women also need to increase their muscle density because this helps with weight management; also it helps to protect bones and impact sexual desire. We also need a bit of impact too for bone health so you could try skipping for 10-15 minutes. Getting hot and sweaty is great for the peri menopause or menopausal woman. 

Menopause has made me gain excess belly fat, are their any exercises to shift this?
There are several reasons why you may have gained weight around the middle. One is due to having high levels of oestrogen. The worse thing is that when we are stressed, cortisol converts testosterone to oestrogen which means we have an excessive amount of oestrogen floating around our bodies. Its all about balancing progesterone and oestrogen. Too much oestrgen equals belly fat... But in answer to your question, you will benefit increasing your muscle density. Doing exercises such as squats, lunges and press ups that target the whole body and not just the abdominals as you’ll burn fat quicker. 

I recently heard cutting down on meat could help through the menopause, is this correct?
It really depends on you. There isn’t a one size that suits all approach. Some women thrive on being a vegan or eating less meat and others don’t. I think it’s great to listen to your body, as “she” often knows best but something women struggle eating meat because a lack of digestive enzymes and stomach acid. One’s we improve digestion clients find they can tolerate eating meat and symptoms decrease considerably. 

Should I be eating smaller and more regular when going through menopause?
I don’t believe in restricting foods but if each of your meals are nutrient dense then you don’t need to worry about portions sizes, you’ll feel nourished with every mouthful and therefore satisfied.  

Soy is said to help with oestrogen levels, should this be something to swap or add to my diet? 
No not at all. There is compelling research which suggest that eating can actually be harmful for women because the soy products we have in the UK is heavily proceed and therefore harmful. I personally don’t recommend it to my clients, but instead, I’d say if you are low in oestrogen, then try and eat more phypnoestrogens, which are plant based foods that mimic oestrogen in the body. 

Is it a good idea to keep track of changes through the menopause, to help me change/adapt what my body is telling me?
It’s a good idea to keep on track of your hormones throughout your life’s journey and not just the menopause. Our hormones start to change around age 35 however, when I was 35 menopauses was the last thing on my agenda. But I think if women start to understand the role of each hormone and when in the cycle one is dominate than the other then we’ll now when things start to change. Why wait until things are so out of control and its hard to make sense of what’s happening. I take my morning body temperature every morning and I have done for the past three years. It tells me where what phase I am in my cycle and also about my thyroid health, its empowering to know what’s happening on the inside and I can keep on track and adjust my nutrition, supplements etc. accordingly. That way I’m in control of my hormones and no them controlling me. I think that’s empowering! 

How interesting and helpful were those answers!
Fitness, Health and Suppliments are so interesting when it comes to our wellness, and just eating clean and balanced makes such a difference on how we feel.
BUT we are all different and all our bodies react differently to foods and regimes, so don't copy others just because it works for them.
Trial and error with your own health, its amazing how interesting and exciting this topic becomes when you find whats right for you!

Thankyou so much for tuning in to Wellness Month here on SDiaries.
I know this has helped quite a lot of you from the response i have had, and its great to know that you are all focussing on yourself more and doing things to make you happy.
I love sharing overall wellness with you all, as its not only about how we look.
Although confidence with makeup and skin has a massive effect on how we feel on a daily basis, but don't let it pressure you.
Do whats right for you.
I have had a special Wellness Month offer for my original 'Temptress' Makeup Lesson.
HALF PRICE until the end of June.

So if you are interested in doing a 1-1 makeup lesson, which is personalised to your skin and features I can help you enhance your skill and look by teaching you what it right for your face only.
You will take away a full FaceChart and Product List after the lesson.

If you would like to get this offer, please contact me before the 30th June to claim this current price, it can then be redeemed within 3 Months!

Love Sophie xx


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Wellness Month - Nutritionist

Last but not least to our amazing wellness month!
Pamela from 'Smarter Change' is here to help with the final step of feeling good on the inside when it comes to hitting our later years and things we can dp to help us in the long run.
Food and supplements are something we just read about and believe in all the myths that they will do to our bodies.
From burning fat with Grapefruit to building muscle with protein shakes, but only our bodies can prove these work for us…

Pamela is here to stop believing in what we hear is true, and read more about what our body is telling us it wants. Theres a massive difference!
She's here to make menopause easy and influence us on what changes or adaptions that we can do to make this process in our lives a lot easier…

According to the British Menopause Society (BMS), three-quarters of women say the menopause cause them to change their lives, and half say that it has had a negative impact on their lives. Almost half said they suffered from hot flushes and nearly half said they suffered from night sweats. 

Hot flushes and night sweats are one of the biggest menopausal challenges faced by all women. Not only can they be uncomfortable and horribly debilitating, they are also so very public. There’s absolutely no way you can deny you’re having them when your make-up is sliding off your face, your cheeks are glowing a rather fetching shade of beetroot and your clothes are drenched and sticking embarrassingly to your skin. They disturb your sleep, they disrupt your life and they simply have to go! 
So if you’re currently doing battle with your menopausal symptoms, you’re no doubt feeling desperate to find the ‘cure’ and have turned to many places in your quest but with no luck. 
Never fear- here are my tried-and-tested tricks that will help you to reduce your hot flushes or even eliminate them altogether. 

Clean up your diet

As the old saying goes, we are what we eat. And never is it truer than during the years of the menopause. If we continue to fill our bodies with rubbish, we will carry on feeling utterly rubbish and watch our symptoms grow worse by the day. 
But don’t think that I’m recommending freaky fad diets where you exclude major food groups- I’m talking about returning to a better way of eating where you nourish your body and soul by making healthy food choices. Opt for the real food options, ditch the processed rubbish (especially sugar) and start to read your food labels (you’ll be astonished at what they put into our food!) 
It’s also really important that you work to keep your blood sugar stable by avoiding caffeine as much as possible, avoiding sugar, eating regularly and including protein with every meal so that your hormones can rebalance effectively. 
And lastly, become more mindful of how your food affects the way in which you feel. Check in with your body and see how feel around 2-3 hours after eating. 

Avoid xenoestrogens 

Xenoestrogens are nasty manmade chemicals which act as endocrine disruptors in the human body. They mimic your natural oestrogens and disrupt your natural hormonal balance, triggering a whole host of nasty and uncomfortable symptoms like those hot flushes. 
The problem is, they’re nothing something that is straightforward to avoid. In this modern age, xenoestrogens can be found absolutely everywhere, from plastic bottles, food storage containers, baby bottles, cosmetics, chemicals for the home, pesticides, paper products and many more. Having said that, there are a few steps you can take to vastly reduce your intake. These include:

·      Eating organic as much as possible and buying hormone-free meat and dairy.

·      Don’t use plastic water bottles- invest in a funky stainless steel or glass one instead.

·      Don’t use plastic food wrap or microwave your food in plastic. Go for glass or ceramics instead.

·      Use natural beauty products (or make your own!)

Use chemical-free eco-friendly household cleaners and unbleached paper products.
Detox your liver 

When oestrogen has done its job in your body, it heads to your liver to be broken down and finally eliminated. If your liver isn’t working optimally, you’ll start getting a back up (much like when the pipes are blocked at home!) and all that excess oestrogen will just hang around, making your hot fluches and night sweats worse.  We can help get rid of this excess by doing the following: 

     Use supplements such as DIM (Diindolylmethane). This is a phytochemical produced during the digestion of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower and has a powerful detoxifying effect on the liver. 
     Eat broccoli sprouts which naturally help flush out those hormones

As you can see, there’s no need to struggle on against your hot flushes. Make it a priority to target your diet, avoid xenoestrogens and detox your liver and you can greatly reduce or even eliminate your hot flushes and really start to feel human again. 

Simple changes? I think so!
See Wellness Months final Q&A with Pamela on Thursday, answering more in-depth questions that you all have.

Love Sophie x

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