Thursday, 27 October 2016

Fake Lash 101

I never used to be a massive lash lover, but as i've got older I can't go on a night out without a pair of my trusty Ardell Demi Wispies and i've branched out and tried a few other lash brands which I like. One of those is Kiss Eyelashes, readily available in Boots, the lashes are super affordable and easy to use. I love how invisible, thin and flexible the lash bands are and how fluttery the lashes themselves look. Some pairs of lashes, like the Haute Couture set even come with an easy-angle applicator, perfect for lash newbies. Kiss also have a set of individual lashes which are so handy to have in your collection, for adding to existing lashes, or layering on top, or for a more unique look. My fave Kiss lashes are the True Volume RitzyHaute Couture Trio LashesHaute Couture Chic Twinpack and the Look So Natural Vamp lashes as they're all so easy to use, and don't look overly fake whilst still adding lots of length and volume. Perfect for me! I love lashes, so I thought I would share some of my top lash tips;

1) Measure the lash against your lash line before you use the glue. This can help unnecessary messing about! I find that I have to trim most pairs of lashes down to make them look more natural. I find trimming also makes them so so much easier to apply. Always make sure to trim from the outer edge otherwise if you trim from the inner corner you'll have longer bits of lash poking you in the eye!
2) Find a glue for you. I think quite often finding the right glue for you and your lashes is an important step that people don't appreciate. For years I wondered why fake lashes made my eyes so irritated, then I put 2 and 2 together and realised that eyelash glue has latex in, and I have a latex allergy. Great work Sophie. Some people also have a preference between clear and black lash glues too, so dabble around to find what works well for you.
3) Take your time when applying. I have made the mistake many a time of applying the glue to the strip lash, shoving it straight on my eyes and wondering why it hasn't worked and is sliding down my face. It's best to apply the glue to the lash, wait around a minute until the glue has gone tacky (you can test this on the back of your hand), and then slowly apply onto your lashes, using tweezers if necessary to move them about.
4) Bend the band. Sometimes it can be hard to apply lashes straight from their packaging as they may feel a little rigid. So pre glue, wrap one around your little finger or a pencil for a few moments to loosen things up a little. I find the Kiss lashes are perfect for this as the bands are so flexible, they easily hug your lash line with no effort!
5) Use the right mirror. I find that applying fake lashes when you're looking ahead into a mirror attached to a wall, really, really hard. I much prefer a desk vanity mirror, that I can angle so that I am looking down when I apply my lashes. I find this means I apply them as close to my natural lash line as possible, making the lashes look seamless.
6) A coat of mascara. I also think it is important to give your lashes a quick curl and coat of mascara pre lash application, so yhat your fake lashes have something to blend into and hang onto. And once those bad boys are on, feel free to give your lashes another quick once over with some mascara if you fancy. 

So there are a few of my top Lash tips, what fake lash tips do you have?

Sophie xx

*PR Sample.


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Everdine Review

If you follow me on social media (if you don't, @sophieroseheart now) you'll have seen that since the end of May i've been on a weight loss quest and since joining Slimming World, i've been well on the way to getting to where I want to be. Hurrah. However I've got into a little rut now that i'm edging close to my target and I seem to find I eat the same sort of things. I also find the hardest part of being on plan, is when I am in a  rush or feeling a bit bleh and lazy. A solution I thought I would give a go is Everdine as Everdine is great for those who don’t have time to cook but still want to enjoy healthy and delicious meals. Their subscription boxes are packed with tasty, wholesome meals to offer the perfect solution. Skilled chefs Matt and Viresh work together to design and cook gourmet dishes like Open Ravioli of Wild Mushroom & Tarragon, Quinoa Crusted Fish & Chips, Roasted Cauliflower & Barley Risotto and Warm Pea & Asparagus Orzo Salad. Both come from Michelin-star backgrounds. Matt previously worked at Paul Kitching in Edinburgh and L’Epusiette in Marseille, while Viresh worked at Hélène Darroze at the Connaught in Mayfair, London, for three and a half years. So the guys certainly know what they're doing and that is reflected in the extensive range of meals that you can choose from and the delicious food combinations.
Using the service is really simple, after choosing a plan size, you simply choose the meals you fancy from a range of meat and vegetarian options, or choose to receive the chefs’ weekly recommendations. I decided to opt for the meat plan, but due to complex allergies I could easily select to replace meals with chicken in for any other meal, and actually chose to receive two of some dishes. The chefs carefully cook each meal by hand, before freezing them to lock in all the nutrients abundant in the high-quality ingredients that are used. This removes the need for artificial preservatives. The meals come really well packaged and are insulated with natural sheep’s wool and delivered by experienced couriers. My boxes arrived in perfectly frozen condition by noon. Most Everdine meals are suitable for microwave-heating in only around 10 minutes, ensuring you can spend your precious time on better things. However be prepared for some that can only be cooked in the oven, as these take around 40mins, and sometimes do require a little longer than that. Everdine subscription boxes are currently available on a fortnightly basis, in sizes of either 8 or 12 meals per delivery. Subscriptions can be paused or cancelled, and the delivery schedule and meals edited at any time. 

Now, when I first heard the idea behind this service, I basically had an image of your bog standard ready meal. However these are so much more than that. They taste so fresh, homemade and nutritious. I did find that a few of my dishes had a bit of excess water in them, due to the nature of freezing, defrosting and cooking, but not enough to totally put me off. I tried the Pulled Beef Ragu, Black Bean Chilli Burrito, Spaghetti, Open Ravioli of Wild Mushroom & Tarragon, Mushroom Spaghetti Carbonara, Lamb Kofta with Roast Onion Bulgur Wheat, Harissa & King Prawn Tabbouleh. My favourites were definitely the Black Bean Chilli Burrito (as photographed) and the carbonara. 

If you want to receive £30 off of your first order then make sure to use the code IN1SOPHIEROSE 

Sophie xx

*In collaboration with Everdine.


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Trek Tuesday, Days 3-5; Niagara Falls, Cleveland and Louisville

After our first night in camp, where we all slept like babies, we packed up all our stuff and got in the van and drove to Niagara Falls. The drive there was lovely as we drove alongside Seneca Lake and through some lovely classic looking American towns. We got to the falls around lunch time, so we had a quick picnic, whilst gawking at some Amish people also picnicking, before getting our first glimpse of the falls. From the American side the view is not the best, so I recommend that if you can, you cross over Rainbow Bridge and venture over to the Canadian side. However, before we did that we boarded the Maid of the Mist which was included in our trip, and had a great time. It is something you have to do if you go to the falls, as you get up close and personal with the falls and absolutely drenched. The ginormous bright blue ponchos and constant spray made it hilarious, and even though it was so wet that I was scared to get my phone or camera out, it was amazing to get that close to them and see them up close for real! After the boat tour we got the lift up to the viewing platform which had pretty great views, before crossing over to Canada. The views from the Canadian side were just incredible, and we even saw a rainbow over the falls which was really special! We stayed in Canada for a few hours, before crossing back over to the USA. It's free to leave the US, however to get back in you have to pay a quarter or something, and also get interrogated by border control. Which was TERRIFYING. The man was so deadpan and scary, but we had a right laugh afterwards. Also we walked SO SO much, clocking up just under 20,000 steps! We also went back in the evening for the night show and fireworks which were pretty special.
On day 4 we set off at 9am (our fave time to depart camp) and headed to Lake Erie, one of the great lakes, where we arrived at our destination, the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland Ohio. The cost of this stop wasn't included in the trip, but was around $23. I'm not sure if it was totally up my street, but it was definitely interesting. Whilst we were there we also saw the Blue Angels fly overhead a few times (The US version of the Red Arrows) which was cool. This evening at camp was fun as it was the first night of many that we made SMORES. 

On day 5 we set off from camp at 8am as we had a long-ish (6ish hour) drive ahead of us to Louisville, Kentucky. On the way out of Ohio we drove through the Ohio State college campus which was pretty fun, and stopped off at the Ohio State Stadium, which has a capacity of 116,00, like WHAT EVEN. We played a game of 'spot the Nike running shorts' a trend amongst current US college kids it would appear. We then arrived in Louisville where we stopped off at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and we even got a mini bat for free at the end of the tour. Worth it. It was really interesting, even though I don't really know a thing about Baseball. 

So thats day 3-5, keep an eye out for next Tuesdays post where I'll share what we got up to on days 6-9 in Nashville and Memphis!

Sophie xx


Saturday, 22 October 2016

Bel &The Dragon Afternoon Tea, Windsor

 Afternoon Tea is just such a quintessentially British activity and it is definitely a favourite of mine. Finger sandwiches, tea (although mint/fruit for me, I'm a bad Brit and hate tea), warm scones with clotted cream and jam, cakes, and the odd side of Champagne. What isn't there to love about it? I recently tried out the afternoon tea at the Bel & Dragon in Windsor. The historic restaurant and tea room has been serving food and drink since the 11th Century and is just a stone's throw away from the gates of Windsor Castle and situated just a hop across the footbridge from Eton. It really is in the loveliest of spots. And in fact direct descendants of the 7th Duchess of Bedord and George Cadbury (creator of Drinking Chocolate) are involved in the business, which aspires to bring you the very best English Afternoon Tea. The 7th Duchess of Bedford,1840, is the Creator of Afternoon Tea. The tradition of afternoon tea is said to have been started by Duchess Anna Maria in the 1840's as she felt that it was a long time between lunch & dinner and that taking tea, delicate sandwiches, cakes and biscuits at 5 o’clock helped to bridge the gap…and tbh I couldn't agree more. What a genius. 

The Bel & The Dragon Afternoon Tea menu remains faithful to the classic combination of finger sandwiches, scones served warm, and sweet pastries. They use ingredients that are locally sourced, skilfully prepared and served fresh each day. You can take Afternoon Tea at the Bel & The Dragon Monday to Friday between 2:30pm – 5pm.
The day that we decided to test out this afternoon tea was actually my mums birthday, so after we had been handed the menus and had a peruse, we decided to go all out and order the Champagne Afternoon Tea, which is priced at £46 for 2 people, which is very good value. The Traditional Afternoon Tea is priced at £26 for 2 people, and the Sipsmith London Cup Afternoon Tea at £36 for 2 people. All their Afternoon Teas are fairly priced and include a selection of hand-cut sandwiches (traditional cucumber, Scottish smoked salmon & farmhouse egg & local cress), freshly baked scones with Jersey clotted cream & homemade strawberry jam, freshly baked carrot cake & chocolate brownie. And of course a pot of loose leaf tea. You can choose from a wide selection of teas, including ; East Indian Afternoon Blend, English Breakfast or Earl Grey, Rose of the Orient, Green Tea, Pai Mu Tan White Tea, Lemongrass & Ginger or Fresh Mint, Chamomile, Forest Berries and Rooibos. I went for the fresh mint tea, and my mum went for the forest berries. Neither of us are traditional tea drinkers but we like the odd herbal tea, and of course, we love Champagne. Our lovely afternoon tea came with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé, perfect. 

We loved the afternoon tea, the sandwiches tasted fresh, the scones were HUGE and done just how I love them, slightly crunchy on the outside and nice and warm and fluffy inside. Because of my nut allergy I didn't try the carrot cake, but my mum assures me it was delicious, and so was the brownie! The tea room is set at the front of the restaurant and is nice and airy. The decor wasn't super decadent but it was lovely and warm and homely, which is what I prefer for an afternoon tea setting as it makes it feel more relaxed and cosy, which is just what we need at this time of year!

All in all we had a lovely afternoon tea at the Bel & The Dragon in Windsor, and it was a lovely way to spend my mums birthday. If you're in the area, definitely make sure to pop in, whether it's just for just a simple Cream Tea for £6pp, or going all out for the Traditional, Sipsmith Or Champagne options. If you're local to Berkshire there are a few of the Bel & The Dragon's dotted about, including Reading, Churt, Cookham, Godalming, Kingsclere, Odiham and Windsor.

Sophie xx

*I was invited along for a review, all opinions are my own.


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

An Autumnal Wishlist

Since returning from the USA on the first weekend of October, it really has hit me that Autumn is upon us, and gone are my strappy tops and in are the chunky knits, scarves and boots. So I thought it was fitting to put together a little A/W wishlist of pieces that i'm lusting after to complete my Autumn/Winter wardrobe.

Ankle boot season is finally upon us (hurrah), I love how ankle boots look with jeans, skirts, dresses and for dressy and casual events. They are just so versatile! I don't think you can go wrong with a classic black ankle boot, with a chunky heel, and Kurt Geiger do some really lush ones. I find the best place for a great selection of ankle boots is House of Fraser as they have so many fab brands. I am also loving the embroidered trend, and there are some stunning embroidered dresses currently on the high street. I particularly love this one from Miss Selfridge 

Party season is also practically upon us, and thus so is the glitz, glam, lace and velvet, and nothing makes me more happy. I love finding nice dressy tops that I can wear over the festive season and feel more put together. I really like this Miss Selfridge Pink shell lace insert top, this dark blue velvet bardot top, and this lovely burgundy velvet lace cami. I love Accessorize bags and this A/W they have so many super glitzy clutches that I need, including this beauty! And you know what, it's COLD now, and I love scarves, and this one is just the ticket for me, neutral but jazzy!

What pieces are you loving this Autumn?

Sophie xxx

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