Sweet As A Strawberry

Despite the sun's last minute appearance, it's nearing the end of the summer holidays. People will be coming back from their holidays, waving goodbye to most things Olympic and trotting back to school or university. This summer has been a rather patriotic one, from the Jubilee, London hosting the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics to the usual Wimbledon fun, and the nation has got to celebrate all things British.

Whether it be the Union Jack, cups of tea or strawberries and cream, this summer has been one of celebrating and embracing all those British stereotypes- even the 19th century top hat and monocle combination made an appearance in the Olympic opening ceremony!

In a last grasp attempt to relive this summer before I carry my many boxes full of stuff down to the University of Sussex and up the massive hill on which I will be living (hurrah!), I tried out this bit of nail art in correspondence to the great Wimbledon stereotype- strawberries and cream. But without the cream.


Creampuff Lippy

As a self-confessed lipgloss/lipstick addict, I couldn't help stumbling across these beauties in the Collection [2000] (what do I call them now?!) stand. Although I promised myself not to buy any more as I have more than plenty at home, these lovely little Creampuff 'glosses magically appeared in my hand and I trotted off to the till.


Luscious Lemon Cake

To say a big 'thank-you' to my driving instructor for primarily putting up with my whinging for almost a year,  and secondly sending me on my way to passing my test last Thursday (better late than never), I made her this lovely lemon cake. In some ways, yes it was cruel to make my mum's favourite cake and have it lingering around the house when she was slimming, but oh well!


'Just Bitten' Lipstain

With every brand under the cosmetic sun bringing out their own range of lip stains, I thought it was time to try some out.

Scouring the aisles of Boots, I found these lip stains by Revlon as part of their 'Just Bitten' range, and initially bought 'Frenzy'- a gorgeous, rich dark pink colour.



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Sophie / Pretty and Polished xx 


FashionistA Palette

I'm not a big wearer of eyeshadows, but on my recent girly trip to Birmingham I wanted to try some out. The colour you wear on your eyes can make an outfit; whether you're colour-coordinating or clashing it can make a big difference to your look. On a rare occasion when I do decide to wear eyeshadow, it's normally neutral browns for daytime wear or whites to try and boost my tired-looking eyes, and half way through the day the eyeshadow always seems to have disintegrated on my eyelid (I've never figured out how that happens).


Fresh Fruit and Cream Sponge Cake

I initially made this cake for my brother's birthday. Trotting down to my local fruit market, I picked up a range of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in hope that I could try and make a birthday cake 'healthy'. It's made with a light sponge, allowing for a slightly heavier layer of whipped cream and heaps of fresh fruit, making it. Doubtless to say, as soon as the family came round it vanished- my brother (birthday boy) didn't even get to have any and I had to make yet another cake to make up for it. Tsshh.


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Thanks for all your support!

Sophie / Pretty And Polished

All For A Quid

It's that time of the year again- it's August, raining, and I'm going to the fabulous Reading Festival tomorrow (yay!). It's pretty much inevitable that there'll be cider involved, it'll pour with rain, and I'll be caked in mud, so I thought that as well as bringing a pack-a-mac and giving the wellies their first outing since winter, I'd try something new on my nails. With all the things listed, it's probably not worth doing my nails and making them look pretty with nail polish- the end result probably being chips galore. I can't stand it when my nail varnish chips- it's one of by biggest bug-bears- and there's no way I'm going to stand re-doing them whilst listening to Kasabian, so I bought these cute nail foils from Primark.


Estee Lauder Sensuous Rouge

I've been on a quest lately to find a lipstick that is not only nourishing and glossy to apply, but that also stays on my lips without spreading to the edges within ten minutes. It's a tough challenge, especially when you're limited to a high street budget, so I searched a bit further and found these lovelies in the Estee Lauder section. They are part of the Pure Color Sensuous Rouge range which was released last year - I have shades 14 Curvaceous Coral and 10 Orchid surrender.

Left: Orchid Surrender, Right: Curvaceous Coral


Avon Glimmersticks

My little box of Avon goodies arrived a couple of days ago, containing my Suede Effect nail varnish and these two sparkly little delights. As I've mentioned before, my day and night look normally consists of just black liquid eyeliner but I'm trying to change that to add a bit more glitz to my look when I'm going out. I'm off on a girly spa weekend with my best mate in Birmingham on Saturday as a birthday treat and to celebrate A-Level results, so got these Avon Glimmerstick Diamonds eyeliners to try out when we hit the town.


Carrot Cake

I first made this cake for Father's Day earlier this year as a quick present for my Dad. It's a Lorraine Pascale recipe which I have adapted; after watching her TV programme (featuring a lot of chocolate, always a sign of a great show) and falling in love with the beautiful cakes she made, I really wanted to try one of her recipes. It is originally a recipe for a 3-tier cake, but I took off a third from each ingredient to make 2 layers, which I think is more than enough. This cake doesn't need any butter, being replaced with vegetable oil which along with the carrot gives a wonderful moist texture. The orange and lemon in the cake and icing give a really fresh citrus tang to it, and makes what is normally considered quite a heavy cake, very light and refreshing. This cake disappeared very quickly, and like the honey cake I ended up making another one!


ColorTrend Crush

Recently I've been getting a lot of products from Avon; since they've revamped their image and improved the quality of their products they've been at the core of my make-up regime. Their make-up and nail products are very reasonably priced- probably under priced for the quality you get- and with university less than 4 weeks away now, these Avon goodies are almost a must-have for those wanting to beauty-budget.


Eye Sparkle

My make-up routine always consists of flicked liquid eyeliner, whether I'm just popping to the shops or going on a night out. I love the way it instantly makes your eyes stand out (especially when I'm wearing glasses), but have become a bit bored of the same look. Looking through my make-up draw, I found this glittery bottle of 2True Eyeliner Dazzlers in black that I'd never used, and seeing as I was going out with some friends that night, thought I'd try it out to cure my 'same-old-make-up' boredom.


Pure and Natural

Being in the sun for a week and then coming back to England to find some miraculously nice weather has not done the best of favours for my skin. Any change in weather, be it glorious sunshine or the cold winter months, dries my skin out, particularly my legs, hands and face. Not really having invested in a top class hand cream or body lotion before, I turned to a gift set of Nivea lotions I was given last Christmas, and have been using Nivea Pure and Natural body lotion and hand cream for almost the past two weeks.


Pretty in Pink

As someone who normally wears red or coral coloured lipsticks, I decided to go for change and try a pink lipstick. I've always been wary of pink looking too trashy or OTT, so when I found the Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in a colour that was bold, the perfect tone and still sophisticated, I desperately wanted to love it and expected myself to adopt it as my new favourite.


Honey Cake

I have recently caught the baking-bug again (yay!) and stumbled across this recipe for a honey cake. I'd never tried one before, and neither had my family, so decided to surprise them seeing as the cake is so simple and speedy to make and less ingredients than usual are needed. Obviously unsure of what to expect, this cake turned out so well and I had to make another one 2 days later as it had all, ahem, mysteriously disappeared. It's really light, chewy and not as sweet as I was expecting it to be with all that sugar and honey, but it's quite a shallow cake- probably for the best else it'd be too sickly- so don't panic if you think yours doesn't rise much. Yes, it's calorific (nearly 300cal per serving) and very high in sugars, but it's such a gooey, indulgent cake it's not worth resisting!


Wild Thing

I *finally* bought a nail art pen recently, and with a girly holiday to Malia looming, I thought I needed a set of snazzy nails to jet off with so put it to good use. I've never been massively convinced by animal print nails, but attempted this gradient zebra print design just to try something new. I actually ended up loving it, maybe because the gradient effect of the blues underneath meant that I could tell myself it didn't look as tacky as it possibly could, but either way it's a really cool, vibrant design, making your nails dramatically stand out without being too over-the-top. Here's the how-to...


Primark Lashes

As a massive fan of false lashes, I’m always on the look out for cheaper and/ or new options. I normally go for the Eyelure natural looking lashes but being struck with an even tighter student budget I thought I’d search the market for a cheaper option.

Now I’m a bit of a make-up snob, so when I first heard Primark would be supplying their own range of cosmetics I turned my nose up, assuming it’d be absolutely rubbish, but was pleasantly surprised by their false lash range.


New Blog!

Hi all and welcome to my new blog! Here I will review tried-and-tested beauty products, as well as new ones on the market, to try and find the ones which really do tick all the boxes. We all see tons of adverts each day claiming that 'this lipstick will last hours on end without being smudged' or that 'this mascara will make your lashes look 100x longer'. But how can you tell which brand to buy? And how can you always be sure that it does do what it claims to? Hopefully, this is where my blog comes in handy as I love to share the products that I believe work, but at the same time, warn against those that fall onto the 'same rubbish as last time' heap.

As a proud owner of many (too many) nail varnishes, I will give step-by-step guides to different manicures. I love being creative when it comes to my nails, changing the pattern or design on them as often as I can to create a different look- I am a great believer in the idea that your nails can be your greatest accessory and can update an outfit instantly. So whether it be technical nail art, fun but simple designs or gushing over the latest collections, this blog will guide you to create your perfect nails without having to go to a salon or having to buy all the professional equipment; cocktail sticks and sticky tape are great for DIY manicures.

Enjoy reading!
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