Collection Velvet Kiss Lip Cream

Collection Cosmetics are a  beauty brand, established in 1987, with British heritage. The brand is well known for being one of the high street’s best Fast Moving Consumer Goods forerunners in beauty. Fashion focused and leading  the market at an affordable price, Collection Cosmetics is a must for those interested in beauty. As a multiple award winning brand the range ‘is made up of a core range of essential ‘canvas’ products and trend-led ranges for a more dramatic seasonally-inspired look.’

Although Collection Cosmetics don’t advertise themselves as a vegan brand, you may be interested to know that they do not test on, or instruct any third party to test finished products on animals.

At only £2.99 per lip cream, the Velvet Kiss Collection offers a well-matched alternative to the more expensive products on the market . Though a lip cream rather than a lipstick, this collection does well to rival the choices from NARS, MAC and Too Faced. Granted, at just six shades the range of colours to choose from is less varied than some of the larger brands but with shades ranging from nude to a classic deep red, the collection has something to offer to all.

Overall I really enjoyed trying out these lip creams. Although matte on the first application, the creams are moisturising on the lip. Upon application you’re also greeted with a sweet scent that takes me back to my childhood weekends eating sweets such as Parma Violets. Unexpectedly, the formula feels different between the shades. The red (Rosie) goes onto the lip easily with its thicker consistency, without streaking whereas the orange shade (Mango) seems slightly thinner and requires a couple of layers before the pigment pulls through.

swatches

This week I’ve been religiously applying the Caramel (nude) shade. I’ve searched for many months to find the perfect nude. For some, finding the right nude can be a simple task but for myself, and I would include others with black skin, the hunt can be a difficult one. Many nudes are too cold and make the skin look dull or grey but this shade is warm enough to be applied liberally,without the worry of being left looking ill. This will most definitely stay as my go to, every day shade. On the contrary, Cotton Candy is a physical symbol of my journey into finding a nude lip product. The base colour is cool, almost a blue, and so will never compliment my skin tone. On lighter skin I’m sure this shade would compliment an every day makeup look but unfortunately for myself this is a shade I will never get any use out of.

The other shade I am undecided about is Mango. Though I believe this is a versatile colour that I would wear throughout the warmer months I don’t feel that this fits within the collection. The nude, pink, berries and red all sit extremely well together. The colours compliment each other well and can be found in collections from any other brand. The Mango shade is the rebel of the pack. On its own it makes sense, a bright alternative to the usual safe shades, but as a group it feels mismatched, as though it doesn’t belong.

Having tested the products for a few weeks now I would offer a glowing recommendation of the collection. This isn’t a long wear lip cream and so you will need to apply it a couple of times throughout the day on order to keep the colour bright but don’t let that deter you.  The Mango shade is a personal gripe of mine that doesn’t take away from the beauty of the collection. At £2.99 per lip cream you can purchase the whole collection for under £18 for which you’d receive little change after purchasing one of the higher end lip products.

If I could only purchase one it’d be the fantastic nude (Caramel). If I had a choice of two I’d include the classic red (Rosie) every time. And if I could only have three I’d refuse to answer because I just can’t choose between the two beautiful berry shades (Mulberry and Blackberry)!

All shades can be found at Boots and Superdrug. More information about Collection Cosmetics can be found on their website.

Autumn / Winter Lookbook

The new season not only brings us shorter days and darker evenings, it also brings a new sense of style and opportunity to express yourself in a completely different way to only a few months before. The cold snap calls for layers, warm accessories and boots to keep the feet warm but needing to be sensible doesn’t mean that your wardrobe needs to be dull and boring. This post is a pictoral lookbook of how I would pair some of those items with my everyday outfits. Enjoy.
Coat: Warehouse / Fedora: (similar) Marks and Spencer / Polo Neck: TopShop / Jeans: New Look / Boots: New Look
Coat (similar): Neon Rose / Fedora (similar): New Look / Jumper: Oasis (ASOS) / Jeans: New Look / Boots: Primark
Coat (similar): Neon Rose / Fedora (similar): New Look / Jumper: Oasis (ASOS) / Jeans: New Look / Boots: Primark
Polo Neck: New Look / Poncho (similar): New Look / Jeans: Miss Selfridge / Boots (similar): Marks & Spencer
Polo Neck: New Look / Poncho (similar): New Look / Jeans: Miss Selfridge / Boots (similar): Marks & Spencer

GlossyBox UK – November 2016

I’m really happy with November’s GlossyBox, especially after last month’s slightly disappointing box. Feel free to check out last month’s video to understand why but for this post, let’s focus on this month’s positives!
This month’s box is themed around preparing for the party season, with gifts to help with the run up to the Christmas parties and work events. In this month’s box I received five products and one sweet treat from Raffaello, which lasted for about five seconds after this photograph was taken. It tasted like a coconut, white chocolate, Ferrero Rocher. After some googling to find out where I could buy more, I discovered that they are actually made by the same company and can be found at a variety of stores.
Now, onto the contents of the box…
 
Wilkinson Sword – Quattro for Women Raspberry Rain Disposable Razors
Everybody needs a razor. And in a world full of choices why not have one that’s raspberry scented? Well, Wilkson Sword have the razor for you. To be honest, I think that this is a step too far and completely unnecessary but the Wilkinson Sword itself really is a great product. Offering a slick shave and smooth finish I have nothing negative to say about this item.
De Bruyere Beaute – Jumbo Eye Pencil in Bubble 07
This Jumbo Eye Pencil offers a creamy lightweight shade of eye shadow in a very usable formula. Although the shade is titled ‘khaki’ I would say that it is more of a shimmery grey shade with a brown undertone. Never the less the eye crayon is a great colour to be used on any skin tone.I chose to add a lighter basecoat to really make the colour pop. Long lasting, this product stayed on the eyelid throughout the day but was removed easily enough with my usual evening skincare routine.
Ruby Professional – Large Tapered Blending Brush
This Blending Brush from Ruby Professional is sure to be a great addition to my makeup brush collection. Although slightly lighter in weight than I would usually choose the brush itself offers a lovely soft head which effortlessly blends the De Bruyere Jumbo Pencil around the crease of the eye.
Nanogen – Root Boosting Hair Thickening Spray
This keratin filled spray promises to lift each root and thicken each strand. This is certainly something that I’ll try on my hair. Although I have plenty of it, the strands themselves are actually quite fine. I’ll be able to give a more detailed review once the formula has had a chance to make a difference.
111Skin – Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask
Saving the ‘best’ product until last,we come to the 111 Skin Facial Treatment Mask. This product retails at a somewhat steep £20 and offers one mask, to be worn for 20 minutes. ‘Filled with arbutin to brighten the skin, silk amino acids to condition and centella asiatica to stimulate collagen production’ this product really does make a difference to the skin. I left my mask on for a little over 20 minutes (to squeeze every pound out of my use) and could see a visual brightening to the skin almost instantly. Although £20 is quite an amount for a single use face mask, with almost instant results I completely understand the associated cost. Will I purchase this again? Possibly. Though I doubt I will be abiding by the three times a week recommendation I would be sure to use this mask again as a treat ahead of a special night out, or even after a long week in the office.
Thank you GlossyBox for such a great box this month!

GLOSSYBOX UK – October 2016

I love the excited feeling I always get when I receive the month’s Glossybox. Opening the black postage box and finding the baby pink box inside makes the moment feel like a special day, where a gift has been delivered after being carefully selected just for you. Of course, the Glossybox isn’t exactly unique to me, but the moment still remains special. This month’s box was the usual pink box which when opened greets you with pink tissue paper and a beautifully tied black bow.

I was always the child who opened their Christmas present slowly, being sure to not rip the paper and this habit extends to the Glossybox. No amount of excitement could lead me to purposefully rip the beautiful packaging! Once inside I get the first glance of the products inside.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I always spend the days before my box arrives searching YouTube for the month’s UK unboxings. Surprisingly this doesn’t spoil the surprise.

This month’s box was guest edited by Estee Lalonde, a well know beauty and lifestyle blogger and vlogger. The pieces inside every box were approved by her. Estee even left her very own mark with an unknown bottle of sweet smelling shampoo for all to use. The only way to find out which brand this shampoo belongs to is to visit her blog for the grand reveal.

In all honesty, this month I wasn’t as overjoyed with the contents as I usually am. This may have been my fault. I only decided to resubscribe to Glossybox in the third week of the month. From what I received compared to what others received in their boxes I can only assume that as the main stock runs out the ‘best’ products are switched out for other gifts. Having reviewed my initial disappointment I now understand that this should have been obvious to me as I subscribed! I’m now back on the monthly plan, and eagerly awaiting my freshly delivered (fantastically packed) box of goodies this month.

Mulberry Bayswater – What’s in My Bag

The What’s in my Bag video… it’s a classic. I’ve watched what some would call one too many over the last couple of years but I do enjoy them. I suppose that it’s the nosy nature within me. I love to know what other people are up to, what they carry with them, and the reasons why. I think that there’s a bit of that curiosity inside us all.It just so happens that I satisfy this through mediums such as handbag videos on YouTube.

To be honest with you, I never thought that I would focus my blog on the usual Handbag, Unboxing or Make Up Tutorial type posts. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching them but the long term goal for my platforms is to tailor them toward young professionals looking for a realistic insight into the working world. I’ll be looking to focus my content here soon but for my first real post I wanted to do something fun, that you would find engaging whilst you’re getting to know me. And that’s how this post and video came about. Having a nosy is just so fun, isn’t it?

I did contemplate emptying out the ‘true’ contents of my handbag before perfectly placing in a variety of blogger worthy contenders but then, where’s the fun in that? So what you see, apart from the multitude of malting hair and unidentifiable crumbs at the bottom, is really what was in my bag on that day. Granted, the photos below are somewhat staged, but trust me, you don’t want to see the bomb site that fell out of my bag when I’d emptied it! My bag is glamorous for about the first five minutes after leaving the house but after that it’s as normal as the next person’s.

So there she is, my Mulberry Bayswater. Chocolate brown with brass hardware. This handbag is just over six years old and is currently my absolute favourite. I find that I have to force myself away from it in order to mix up my standard black and white outfit combo as I automatically reach for this bag on most occasions: both work and play.

 


The Handbag: A Mulberry Bayswater. I had a look on a number of websites to find this bag in the deep chocolate brown that I bought mine in but my search wasn’t too successful. As Mulberry’s own website doesn’t have this colour on it I would presume that this colour has been discontinued. I hope that the colour will be back in stock soon, especially with us moving into Autumn/Winter as it’s such a versatile colour to work with and it looks especially good when the leather has softened. I purposefully don;t want to review the Bayswater in this post (although please let me know if this would be of interest) but I would highly recommend this bag. When you first make the purchase the bag feels well structured and stiff but the more you wear it, the more that it softens and gives a more relaxed finish.

The Purse: I’ve had great use out of the DKNY Saffiano Leather purse. The black colour makes it a perfect partner for most handbags and also means that I don’t feel too guilty throwing it into my handbag without much thought. I bought it three or so years ago from John Lewis and apart from a slight discolouration in the DKNY metal logo you really can’t tell how long I’ve had it for.



The Phone: Oh, the iPhone 5s. I don’t really need to say anything about this phone as most would have come across it before. I chose not to upgrade to the iPhone 6 as I’m a true ‘if it ain’t broke why change it’ kind of girl. Three years and it still works but I do notice the difference in the quality of my pictures and videos when I compare them to my friend’s iPhone 6/6s. I am contemplating moving on up to the iPhone 7 so watch this space.

The Card Wallet: I love the Little Brown Bag from Bloomingdales. It not only holds my many loyalty cards so that I don’t stretch out my purse but it also reminds me of my travels to the USA and my week in New York with the Mother.

The Perfume: Lancome’s La Vie est Belle. My favourite perfume of all time. It’s been my signature fragrance for the last few years. Enough that people now recognise me by my scent. With notes of blackcurrant,pear and orange blossom it’s quite a fruity scent but remains sophisticated enough to not be sickly sweet.

The Glasses: I really need to start wearing my glasses so my eyes can take a break from contact lenses but I just cant bring myself to make the switch. I tend to feel like my outfits becomes more frumpy when I wear them so that’s probably why I steer clear. If you have any tips on how to style up glasses then please let me know.

The Powder: Bobbi Brown is my go to make up designer. Whenever I walk into a department store such as John Lewis I emigrate straight to Bobbi Brown and usually only venture away when they don’t have exactly what I’m looking for. Bobbi Brown was the first high end make up that I was treated to when I reached sixteen and so my loyalty is many years old now.

The Brush: The softest, most luxurious brush I own- the YSL Powder Brush. It does exactly what you’d expect and so I don’t think I need to elaborate here but I will emphasise just how soft and luxurious it is (did I say that already?!)

The Nail Varnish: Temple Spa call their nail varnish’s a Nail Treat and they really are. Rich in vitamin E and calcium, they provide a smooth even coat while treating your nails to a spa experience. And best of all- they last on my nails for at least 4 days without chipping which makes them the best nail varnish I own.

The Tangle Teaser: Another product that does what it says on the tin. Easy to carry with you and tangle the mane on the go. Bright enough to find in the bottom of the black hole that sometimes becomes of my handbag.

The Compact Mirror: A cute little number from Primark that I’ve surprisingly managed to keep in my bag for well over a year without smashing!

And there you have it, the contents of my handbag. I hope you enjoyed the opportunity to have a sneaky insight into what I carry around with me.

 

What items can’t you leave the house without?

Welcome to Naomi Sophia


Hello and thanks for stopping by!

 

My name is Naomi Sophia and this blog is something that I have been thinking about starting for a couple of years now. I’ve finally done it and it feels great! I know that there are a lot of blogs out there, and corresponding YouTube channels already but I enjoy them so much that I wanted to be a part of the action.

The idea for this blog is to concentrate on the usual fun posts, such as fashion and beauty, but I would also like to focus on posting material that would be useful to young professionals. The kind of posts that I wish I had found before I entered the somewhat daunting working world. Having finished university and worked for a few years now, I feel that I am well placed to talk about my own experiences and journey along with some of you too.

That’s all for now- a brief introduction to what this blog will be about. I hope you choose to stay for the adventure.

Come and see me at YouTube, Twitter and Instagram (naomisophia_) too!