Fairytale Fantasy

Monday, 31 August 2015

black & gold lining

I'm not a make up artist. That's pretty apparent, but sometimes I feel like I talk about makeup so much that I give people the sense that I know what I'm doing. I don't. I wish I could successfully recreate the looks I see on Instagram by the MUA's (make up artists), a clan of perfectly plucked and polished goddesses you and I can only dream of belonging to. But I can't. Simply put, I don't have any training, nor the level of artistic skill these women pride themselves in. However what I can boast about is my persistent strive for self-improvement, and developing my skills. I constantly practicing different techniques as I endeavor towards the formidable beauty-guru status. I'm always trying new looks, but you guys never see them. That's because, through comparing myself to MUA's, I fear my makeup to look shoddy and at times, dismal. I can't tell you how many times I've shouted at the mirror, make up brush and eye shadow palettes (yes, starting arguments with inanimate objects could be considered crazy, what are you implying?) in times of frustration. But I always go back and pick up the brush and look back at the mirror and say lets try and fix this. I know I'm better than I was yesterday, and that I'll be better tomorrow. Every mistake I've made is a lesson; a mistake I'm unlikely to make again. I've decided to start sharing some of the looks I try out. I intend to be able to track my own growth, whilst also providing inspiration to any soul who stumbles upon the corner of the internet I have the audacity to call my own.
I created this particular look by using NYX's Studio Liquid Liner in Extreme Gold and L'Oreal Paris' Super Liner. I kept the face supremely natural, wearing only a dab of foundation and a smidgen of concealer to ensure the liner was the focus point of the face. It's not perfect, but for a first attempt, I'll give myself a gold star for effort.

Soph x

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Family Trip to the Seaside Vlog

Last week, my family and I ventured South to visit Grandma. The journey was about four hours long, but it was well worth it to spend time with loved ones. I vlogged so much that despite my attempts at editing I ended up with 3 vlogs. If you missed them during the week, I've popped all three below. Enjoy family fun and our seaside shenanigans!
Soph x

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Beauty Wishlist

My current beauty wishlist has a clear eye focus. Clearly I've spent too much time on Pinterest and Tumblr staring at MUA's perfectly groomed brows and effortlessly blended smokey shadows. Hopefully once I get my mits on these products you'll mistake me for one of them!
The products I'm currently saving for (left to right):

Urban Decay Naked Smokey Palette £38

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer £22 Chantilly

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Duality £17 Camille/Sand

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade £15

I'd love to know what's currently on your wishlist! Let me know in the comments below.

Soph x

Monday, 24 August 2015

A Televisual Marathon

Welcome to my world. I may blog about beauty, fashion and lifestyle but what distinguishes me among my friends is my obsession with TV. When I'm not in lectures, the library or the gym there's a very high chance I'm in bed, marathonning my new favourite show. This isn't exactly anything new, when I was younger I spent all my Christmas and birthday money on box sets of my favourite shows. However, with the likes of Netflix and Sky Go readily available, I can watch something completely new within seconds of discovering it.
For today's post, I thought I'd share some of my favourite shows; and why they're perfect for your binge watching purposes.
For those of you seeking a laugh or two, I have so many recommendations. I've watched all six seasons of Community four times since March. I'm willing to admit that this is becoming an issue. The show is so cleverly written and borrows from various genres and pop culture, meaning it never gets old. #sixseasonsandamovie.  For fans of slightly more subtle comedy, check out The US Office. The original UK version was great, but for once the adaptation for American audiences managed to reach a whole new level of hysterical. Fellow Brits will love Gavin and Stacey and the Vicar of Dibley. Gavin and Stacey is a modern classic created by the now infamous James Corden and Ruth Jones. Its the most honest and relatable comedy there is.
The Vicar of Dibley may be over, but you'll find constant reruns if you look. We follow Dawn French as she arrives in the village of Dibley as the new, shock horror, female vicar. Other shows guaranteed to have you laughing are Modern Family (you'll be floored by Phil's one-liners), New Girl (relatable to all women everywhere), the Mindy Project (Mindy Kaling is a hysterical goddess), the Big Bang Theory (scientists can be funny, who knew?) and Friends (which, despite constant reruns, never seems to get old).
To those searching for something that will keep them engaged with twists that will shock you, I present to you Pretty Little Liars. This show is so addictive you'll find yourself trapped in a labyrinth of secrets, lies and disguises. I watched all 131 episodes in 4 weeks. But beware- this show is likely to give you serious trust issues.
If you're a fan of period drama, the latest adaptation of Poldark is wonderful. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Cornish coast, the series follows the noble and brooding Poldark. Its sole fault is the increased public adoration of Aiden Turner. Back off ladies, he's mine. Another period drama of note is the Musketeers. Starring some of the most ruggedly handsome men in Britain, this show provides a fresh perspective on the classic tale. Oh, and the gowns are incredible.
Some dramas are made for the shock and revelations first-time viewers experience. Broadchurch was an absolute phenomenon here in the UK. Its essentially a series long investigation to find the killer after a young boy is found dead on the Cornwall coast. Trying to guess who the killer is will driver you bonkers. Everyone seems so guilty. The Fall is an atmospheric show starring Gillian Anderson as a detective investigating a serial killer. Both her and Jamie Dornan's performances are incredibly powerful. Smart, sexy and suspenseful. If somewhat creepy is your thing, check out Luther. We follow John Luther aka the formidable Idris Elba. Luther has a good heart and 'interesting' methods in delivering justice. Each case is terrifying, sickening and smashing TV.
If escapism is what you seek, Game of Thrones will transport you to the world of Westeros. Whilst this show may have dragons and giants, its the compelling drama of the battling families that will make you care who sits upon the Iron Throne. Fact: you will get invested. Fact: you will be devastated when your favourite characters are harmed. Fact: these attacks will feel like a personal attack on your soul. To those seeking something a little more fairytale, Once Upon a Time is what you seek. The premise behind this show is fantastic, and Disney's backing makes the retelling of these stories magical. It's got all your favourite fairytale characters, along with the most beautiful princesses and dashing princes you'll ever see. Captain Hook wears leather and guyliner: and it TOTALLY works.
I don't think I've ever cried as much as I did during the last episode of Merlin. This adaption of Authurian legend sees Arthur, Merlin and the gang start off in their early 20s. The show is a beautiful BBC blend of drama, magic, humour and action. Five seasons was not enough.
In the realm of sci-fi we have the still-going-strong Doctor Who. With over fifty years of episodes to wade through, this is likely to keep you busy for some time. My favourite seasons are 4 and 5, with the hysterical Catherine Tate and stubborn Scotswoman Karen Gillan. Potentially the only show able to get away with a flying wasp the size of car and vampires that are actually fish that are actually aliens. Gold.

The final and most recent programme I'd suggest catching up on is channel 4's Humans. The show is about a group of 'synths' (intelligent, human looking robots) who have been given consciousness by their creator. The drama is incredibly written, acted and perfectly executed.
Rather worryingly, this isn't a comprehensive list of my favourite shows. There are many more. But for now at least, this should be enough to keep you going for some time. Let me know you're favourite shows in the comments below,

Soph x

Thursday, 20 August 2015

My 'Before I'm 30' Bucket List

When I turned 21 earlier in the year, I was utterly terrified. To me, 21 still sounds really old. Like the age of an adult, and I definitely do not feel smart enough to be an adult. I've only got one more year of uni, after which I'm likely to become a corporate drone working terrible hours for terrible pay before giving half of it to the taxman then going home to eat a microwave meal in my shabby apartment easily mistaken for a matchbox. I paint quite the picture. What I mean to say is that life seems to be passing awfully quick. It's only 9 years until I'm 30, the age in my head where I feel everything should be fairly settled in terms of career and family. There are several things in my life I've always wanted to do, and the fact that the big 'three oh' is approaching at a rapid rate has made me realise I only have a finite amount of time to do these things.
So I've made a list (a bucket list if you will) of the things I'd like to do, learn, experience and achieve by the time I'm 30. Some are going to be far harder than others to achieve, either physically or financially, but I fully intend to give them my best shot.
Here is the list as it currently stands:

  • Do the splits
  • Weigh less than 11 stone
  • Go on a hot air balloon
  • Stand on the top of the empire state building
  • Sky dive
  • Watch the sunrise
  • Give blood
  • Travel first class
  • Publish a novel
  • Ride a horse
  • See the northern lights
  • Fly in a helicopter
  • Run a marathon
  • Visit my aunt and uncle in Canada
  • Learn how to roller skate- without causing serious bodily harm
  • Learn piano
  • Take an aerial silks class
  • Live in London
  • Go zorbing
  • Volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary
  • Go stargazing
  • Kick depression in the butt

My intention is to leave my list here and edit it when I have completed or added aspects. Do you have a bucket list like this? What's on yours? Let me know in the comments below.
Soph x

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Reading My Old Diaries

This was so painful to film. Whilst completing a mass clean out of my room, I found a few of my childhood diaries. Naturally I had to share them with the internet...
Enjoy, Soph x

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Puppy Play

My BFF Ellie has the cutest puppy (okay, she's two now but she'll always be a puppy to me). This week we took Nellie- yes, together they are Ellie and Nellie, I have brought this up- to the park for some fun in the sun. I feel like I've been a bad blogger recently, so I took along my camera and got some cute pics of the pupster. As you can see from the above photo, I'm still  figuring out all the settings. It's hard work teaching myself photography from scratch, but I can't wait to master manual mode! Hope everyone's having a wonderful (and sunny) weekend.
Soph x

Thursday, 13 August 2015

British Citizenship Test

To be granted citizenship or the right to settle in the UK, applicants must complete a 'Life in the UK' test. The multiple-choice quiz asks questions about British traditions and customs and requires applicants to score at least 75% to pass. I heard that this test was so hard that many Britons themselves were unable to pass it, so naturally I had to give it a try. I hope you enjoy my pain...
Top Tip: Make sure you watch until the very end...!
Soph x

Saturday, 8 August 2015

My Weight Loss Story

For as long as I can remember, my size has been an issue for me. I've always been on the larger side, right from my chubby childhood days. I went on my first diet when I was thirteen, where I lost 7 pounds in a week from eating only lettuce leaves. The next week I gained 9 pounds. And there-in lies the problem. Every two months or so, I would have a breakdown about my size and declare that I was going on a diet. Each time, I would only stick to it for two weeks maximum before I cried into my comfort chocolate bars. 
Pounds creeping on: Age 10, March '10 & August '13
And so this continued until last September. Over that past summer I had eaten my feelings with anything I could get my hands on. I was the heaviest I had ever been. I had a reality check when I was looking through photo's from my summer and I realised just how massive I had grown.
Summer '14, Summer '14 and Summer '09
This is the photo that scared me
When I moved back to university in September, I had a fierce determination unlike any I had had before. I moved into new halls with new people I quickly became friends with. When I went shopping, I only brought fruit, vegetables, salad, rice (wholewheat), grains and chicken. I avoided the chocolate/ice cream isles completely as they were my main weaknesses. A typical dinner for me would be chicken and veg, chicken and rice or veg and rice. I wasn't monitoring my food intake with apps or food diaries like I had tried before, instead avoiding unhealthy items completely. The one cheat I allowed myself were Starbucks frapps and coffee, which were crucial to my functioning at uni. 

I didn't think of this as a diet, instead it was a change in lifestyle. This was cemented by my decision to join the university gym. Now I should point out here that I absolutely despise exercise of any kind and whilst I've been a member of gyms before, I rarely went more than once a fortnight if I were on my game. Initially, the idea of joining the university gym was terrifying. I find the environment so intimidating, with these skinny-blonde gym bunnies spawning from everywhere like minions in a video game. Instead, I had a look at the class timetable. My membership included free access to classes and so I built up the confidence to try a few, in the knowledge that I wasn't wasting any money if I didn't like it. Some classes I absolutely didn't get on with, mainly Zumba where I felt like a headless chicken with legs of lead. But some I actually found myself enjoying. By the time classes started, I was going to pilates, yoga, body conditioning and spinning every week. I actually ended up going to the gym 8 times a week. 

I KNOW. Don't worry, I wasn't over-doing it. For every spinning class I did, I did two yoga or pilates classes. I didn't want to set a precedent I wouldn't be able to maintain. My flat mates all had memberships too, so I often ended up going to classes with Liz, Megan or Schenelle, meaning we had a flat-wide support system in operation. 

I didn't have any scales at uni, which actually was a blessing. I wasn't focusing on how much weight I was losing, just in making sure I kept up with my new lifestyle. The first time I weighed myself was October 9th, when I went home for my brother's birthday. I knew I had lost weight, as my mother had exclaimed so the second she saw me. I figured I'd lost a few pounds, and I was totally happy with that. Instead, I realised I had lost well over a stone. I was shocked and proud, but concerned. I never thought I would be able to keep it off. But I did. 

I maintained my level of exercise until mid-way through November. You may know that I entered NaNoWriMo, a writing competition in November where you attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I had been entering since my early teens and whilst I never managed to complete it, I still loved participating. November also became insanely busy with university work, as I had several assignments to submit. I only went to the gym once or twice a week, but I managed to keep my food intake about the same, with the exception of more Starbucks to get me through the twelve hour stints I was pulling in the library. Not to blow my own trumpet, but I kind of aced the semester. Despite how busy I was, I managed to pass my modules with two firsts and a 2:1. I also wrote the first 50,000 words of my novel, completing NaNoWriMo for the first time. Upon reflection, I think my change in mindset relating to my health and fitness crossed over to my academic progress. I was even more determined to do well than I had been before. And I refused to give up with NaNo, no matter how hard it was. I was so proud and happy that I felt content with the fact I probably hadn't lost any weight during this period. But I was wrong. When I weighed myself on New Years Eve, I realised that I had lost two and a half stone since September. I was utterly elated. 
A brief moment of fun during the deadline week slog
Christmas is a hard time for everyone, with an abundance of delicious food and the comfort of the cosy sofa and magical films. I found that I couldn't eat anywhere near as much as I used to, as I had grown used to my more healthy sized portions at uni. On Boxing Day I grew ill with a virus, and I didn't really eat much the next week. When I recovered, I ate as healthily as I could. 
From my uni trip to Malta in Jan '15
This is something I continued throughout the next semester. I didn't go to the gym any-where near as much, as I was spending every day in the library from the get-go. I still managed to keep loosing weight as I controlled my food intake. This carried on until June when I began my summer. 
March '15
At Ascot in June '15 and a photo from my blog taken June '15
Being at home is diffucult as I have no access to gym facilities. I'm also not doing the food shopping, so there are lots of treat-like items around. I've relaxed my eating somewhat, but I haven't let myself go crazy. When I weighed myself last week, I worked out that I've lost 57 pounds (4 stone) since the beginning on last September. I'm so overjoyed and proud of my progress. I've learnt a lot in the last year, and whilst its no doubt been challenging, I wouldn't change anything. I'm back at uni in a month, and I'll start up at the gym again. 
At the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in July '15
People ask me what my 'goal weight' is. It's not so much about the weight as it is about how I feel in my own skin. Whilst I am so much happier than I was last year, I still feel like I have a way to go still. I am planning on trying to lose a further stone this coming semester. But even once I lose that weight, I will still try and maintain this lifestyle. I want to keep feeling healthy and happy. 
Let me know if you have any questions about anything I've written here, as I've tried to keep it as short as I could. I'd love to help out if I can!
Soph x

P.S. If you're reading this, I'd just like to give a shoutout to Liz, Megan, Alice and my lovely mumma for their support. Love you girls!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Early Mornings, Hospitals and Retail Therapy

So last week my mother had a hospital appointment in Oxford, requiring us to wake up at 4:30am (*eternal crying*). This is one of my favourite vlogs as you can see our hysteria and sleep deprivation kick in throughout the day. Hope you enjoy it, make sure you're subscribed to fairytale fantasy on youtube to never miss a video!

Soph x

Monday, 3 August 2015

Beauty: Top 10 Under £10

In makeup, as in general life, you get what you pay for. The more expensive products are likely to be higher quality. But there are exceptions to this rule. You don't have to splash out on everything, as a few high street or 'drug store' brands have some of their formulas nailed. Today I'm going to share with you my top 10 products costing less than a tenner (score!).
First off, we have L'Oreal Paris' Super Liner Perfect Slim Intense in Black (on offer for £4.99). The super fine nib on this liner allows you to get the slickest swipe of colour along your lash line, with the ease of using a pen-style liner. Next is Rimmel's Stay Matte Pressed Powder (£3.99). I have the transparent shade, allowing me to set my makeup without adding extra coverage. This product allows you to keep your makeup in place without risking the cakey look. Maybelline's EyeStudio Colour Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Eyeshadow in Pink Gold (£4.99) is an amazing alternative to powder shadows. As much as I love playing around with my palette's, the whole routine just isn't feasible day to day. This eyeshadow can be dabbed on the lids in seconds and you're good to go. Natural Collection's Eye Lines Pencil in Soft Brown (£1.99) is a great product when creating softer makeup looks. The brown is gentler than the harsh black tones of most liners and creates a more natural look. Real Techniques' Miracle Complexion Sponge (£5.99) is one of my favourite discoveries this year. It's the first proper sponge I've ever had, and its an utter steal at under a tenner. I use it to blend my concealer beneath my eyes and the sponge leaves a photoshop finish. Bourjois' Contour Clubbing EyeLiner in Electric Blue (£4.99) is one of those products that's just fun! I feel instantly ready to party when I pop this on my lid. I wore this to an Arabian Nights themed event and I loved the way it looked on my waterline. (Let me know if you would like to see a tutorial with this!). Real Techniques' Expert Face Brush (£9.99) is my go-to brush. I use it to blend, apply foundation, add powder- basically everything face-related. I would be lost without this baby in my makeup bag. L'Oreal Paris' Superstar Mascara (£10.99) is technically 99p over a tenner, but considering how wonderful the product is, I feel its worth mentioning here. The mascara has two wands, one for applying a white thickening primer and the other for adding a lifting black coat. On a day to day basis I wear the black coat alone, and this works wonderfully alone. Rimmel's Exaggerate Lip Liner in East End Snob (£3.99) has been fairly hyped as a Kylie Jenner-esque shade for a slither of a price of the MAC liners. It's a beautiful colour and has a fairly lengthy staying power. Last but definitely not least we have Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair (£4.19). This has a well-deserved cult status in the world of beauty. I use the fair shade for my under eye circles and general highlighting. Combine this concealer with the miracle complexion sponge and dark circles become a distant memory.
And that's it! Hope you liked my list, let me know which budget products you guys love!
Soph x
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