Saturday, 12 July 2014

My 'Growth and Evolution' exhibition at Hestercombe House, Somerset.

My Summer holidays this year have been fairly eventful so far. I've sat in St. George's Chapel in Windsor, sat amongst The Sovereign and the rest of the Royal bunch at The Most Noble Order of the Royal Garter service (whilst sporting a hat with a mind of its own,) and drunk myself to a red wine-induced oblivion at my boyfriend's pub in Combe Florey. It's been unpredictable and wonderful to say the very least. 

However, one of my more planned events has been a significant highlight. The week before Glastonbury, I was dropped off by a frantic, late-for-work Hugo (in a Mercedes with frighteningly screaming brakes) at my childhood happy place - Hestercombe House. My A2 end-of-year Photography exhibition was held there as a result of having a super-organised Photography teacher who was really keen to have our work showcased and our progress acknowledged. Unfortunately, upon arrival,  I was actually over an hour early for the opening, so I found myself a secluded area near the car park, behind some trees, where I sat chain-smoking for about forty minutes until my friends Matt, Mey and Belle arrived. 

Despite being the first there, we only headed inside once the other guests started piling in. There were several catering staff members handing out glasses of wine and we all felt slightly uneasy and awkward, not really understanding where we were meant to go. It was a seriously humid day, my one glass of red wine apparently going straight to my head. Once we'd ascertained what was happening, the four of us took our time to appreciate each and every piece, I've never before seen Matthew Haines looking quite so pensive. My series of six photographs were placed on the first board on the left, in the initial exhibition room. I was shocked and surprised to notice that there wasn't an abundance of monochrome images. I was secretly chuffed, as it was only at exhibition that I truly realised I'd made some good decisions regarding my editing and framing. 

My parents and my model, Hannah, showed up shortly after we'd all given the showing a good and proper run for it's money, and so, we waited outside in the rose garden for them, deciding that we would definitely return at some stage over the Summer, the girls both agreeing to model a photo-shoot in the gardens. Infact, my penchant for photographing beautiful flowers kickstarted that day at Hestercombe and looks set to continue going by the current state of my Instagram... 

Hestercombe House
The rose garden

The rose garden

My series of six images, relating t the theme: Growth and Evolution. 

Friday, 4 July 2014

Glastonbury Festival 2014

After a monumental level of stress, under-the-radar entry methods and the ultimate style abandon/fashion-block whilst packing, this year I attended my first ever festival. Going to Glastonbury before dabbling in other British music festivals was potentially the biggest shock of my entire life, and so, I am currently lying in bed with a temperature of 39.C.

Being a Glastonbury 'virgin,' I was fairly bewildered whilst finding things to shove into my enormous bag beforehand at home, as the weather forecast was - naturally - pointing to miserable rain and a thunderstorm on the Friday - which did actually happen - causing Rudimental's set to be cut short. Common sense screamed light layering-pieces incase of cold, a hefty raincoat, (which was naturally hideous in shades of mouldy turquoise and a radioactive cobalt blue) and my trusty pink Hunter Wellington Boots. I spent most of my time at Glastonbury Festival in attire that made me look like the lovechild of two rainbows on acid, but I had an incredible time nevertheless. 

The photograph above depicts my bizarre Glastonbury wardrobe, (damp rucksack sounds more accurate,) which was full of vibrant colours, patterned silk structured-trousers, bold textures such as mesh and faux fur coats and ultra-femenine accessories such a faux-pink-rose flower crown, a large embellished 'rope' necklace from Topshop and a copious quantity of silver body and face glitter to mask my Glastonbury induced ugliness. I took my usual 'on-the-run' makeup kit with me, which included the Benefit 'They're real!' mascara, my MAC Studio Fix Fluid, a brown Chanel eyebrow pencil and a lip balm in 'Amber and Black Plum,' which I was sent by Alice and Eliza a while ago. 

As I took my IPhone 5S with me, I was able to capture a couple of my favourite moments, such as overlooking the surreal view from Stone Circle, snapping Lana del Rey during her stunning set and making memories with friends. (See below.) I was a ball of energy whilst I was there, so I saw several acts every single day. Some of my favourites included Paolo Nutini, Dolly Parton, Kasabian, Imagine Dragons, Foster the People, Fatboy Slim and Annie Mac. I would recommend the festival to anyone, as there is definitely something there for everyone. There's music, loads of interesting comedy/circus acts and thousands of amazing people all looking for a fun time. Yes it rained, yes the toilets left alot to be desired and yes I didn't have a shower for four days (*shudder*) but everyone is in the same boat and the ticket is fantastic value for money and the nitty gritty side to Glastonbury adds to the ambiance of the event if anything. If you've always wanted to go but have been worried about it not being your 'thing,' my advice is go for it!


An example of my Glastonbury style, taken by Aron Fuller in the BBC Introducing Stage whilst My Nu Leng were playing. 

Monday, 2 June 2014

Lisa Vanderpump's Home. (As seen on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.)

As a visual person, I can take inspiration from not only things that I see in my real life, but also from things that I see on the television, online and in print. Earlier on, I tuned into 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,' for the second time ever and  - without understanding the goings on between the scary women - I was swept away by the beauty of Lisa Vanderpump's outstanding home. 

I found her vision for interior design so brilliant that I needed to save some stills. Here they are...

Sunday, 25 May 2014

What I found in my Spring/Summer 2014 Melody Maison 'Goodie Box.'

Earlier this week, I was very fortunate to receive an enormous delivery package from a furniture/home decoration brand called Melody Maison. Melody Maison is a company that I have blogged about in the past, as around this time last year, I ordered their 'Pays Blanc' dressing table, which is absolutely beautiful. They supply Parisian/Vintage style furniture and home accessory items, which are reasonably priced in comparison to other suppliers, in my opinion. 

Included in my Spring/Summer 2014 press goodie box, were the following items. (I have included prices and links to the items on their website.) 

2.)  White 'Home Sweet Home' Metal Jug£11.95

3.) Two Tier Cake Stand Jewellery Display: £8.95

4.) White Wooden Post Rack£5.95 

All of the products I received (depicted above) seem to be very durable and are of good quality, given their fairly low prices. They would make wonderful house warming presents for friends and family, or just as a treat to oneself. The delivery of my Press 'Goodie Box,' was considerably faster than the delivery of my dressing table, which took almost a month, whereas my box only took two days. I will definitely be ordering from Melody Maison in the future, to buy a few more items of furniture form their Pays Blanc range, which I have found to be exquisite. 

Thankyou very much to everyone at Melody Maison for considering me for this opportunity. I'm very pleased with what I was sent.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

New: Silver Pointed Shoes.

If I posted every individual item I bought on here, this would be the dullest blog in the Universe. As much as I enjoy watching hauls on Youtube and checking out other Bloggers' styles on Instagram and so on, I don't get much out of reading essays about how - for example - a 'Topshop flippy dress is the most flattering thing like ever.' However, I couldn't resist with these shoes. I would be lying if I said I wasn't bragging, as I got the very last pair in stock, one of the many benefits of having size seven feet. (Flippers.)

Recently, I've become deeply infatuated with pointed pumps of all descriptions, as - having somewhat larger feet - they can look bigger than they actually are in rounded-toe shoes/boots. I also love the classicality that a pointed court can bring to an ensemble. In the spirit of trying new things and incorporating interesting new styles into my attire, I have been experimenting with colour a bit more lately, which has encouraged an overall mixed reception from my closest friends and confidantes. I recall Hugo on his 21st birthday asking me: 'What the *@!* are you wearing?' when sporting a gorgeous red Zara jacket and a vintage Missoni dress - not so charming! Despite the trickle of negative reactions from the clueless, I'm positive that the stunning silver colour of these pumps is perfect for mixing it up and will look great paired with cigarette pants or midi skirts all year round. Luckily I'm not one to mind what others think! 

Not that I'm already thinking about it loads... (Okay, I'm lying. I am.) I think these will be my 'go-to' pair whilst I am in Paris this Summer with Hugo for our one year anniversary, as the heel is fairly small and they're not so pointed that my feet are squashed into mini-misile-esque shapes, the last thing anyone needs whilst galavanting around Paris. In fact, I will probably take all four of the items in the photograph below (A 'powder' blue fur stole, real suede grey pointed boots, silver pumps from Asos and a Roger & Gallet rose scented soap), which were all purchased at different stages of the past month to get me through the final stages of college. I am very excited to do my OOTDs whilst I am in Paris, as I'm sure we will both be taking hundreds of pretty photographs whilst we're there, so I will have no excuse to be lazy and neglect my blog afterwards!

I hope you like them, I'm obsessed!

A 'powder' blue fur stole, real suede grey pointed boots, silver pumps from Asos and a Roger & Gallet rose scented soap. 

Goodbye Richard Huish.

Richard Huish Sixth Form has been an interesting experience for me. I can't knock the staff or teaching, as both exceeded my expectations having gone to a fairly decent boarding school beforehand. However, it's not a place I am going to 'miss' as such. I certainly won't be walking through that entrance ever again after I've finished my exams, but - then again- why on Earth would I need to?

 Richard Huish has been a stepping stone. Granted, they have some extremely questionable systems such as their MTG system, a way that apparently predicts students the entirely wrong grades. (I was predicted Bs/Cs and achieved As in my AS levels.) The compulsory completion of EPQ - a personal project where you are given a random teacher who you don't know or have classes with to monitor your progress - is another unusual one. I suppose they think it's useful for us to 'mix it up' a bit. They were clearly attempting at humour by giving me a sports teacher. Now that's definitely not somebody I'm ever likely to bump into...

To mark the end of what has been a slightly rocky upper sixth year, one of my friends, Anna, decided to have a bit of a 'champagne and strawberries' get-together at her house, which was gorgeous. It transpired that there were only three of us, which possibly worked better than having a big gaggle of girls, as it meant that: a.) We could talk about past events the three of us have been present at that wouldn't have been remotely relevant, amusing or interesting to anybody else. And b.) There was more  rosé champagne for each of us, which was pretty genius. (Also resulting in some bizarre and untoward non-jokes about Gandih's buttocks.) 


I don't quite know how or why, but we were persuaded to go out into town by Anna's Mum, with no money on us and a limited supply of cigarettes. I must have been slightly drunk as I 'fake-tanned' my arms in the full knowledge that I was going to be throwing a cardigan on before leaving the house. (Yes, I wore a cardigan to go clubbing, very lame.) It ended up being a bit of a non-event so we left 'Fever and Boutique' after about twenty minutes,  having had our picture taken (see below) on my iphone, by a girl who had a face like a smacked arse and - like us - probably didn't really want to be there.. She quite literally rolled her eyes. Anna and Holly went home shortly afterwards and I went for a drink with my boyfriend, who randomly emerged from nowhere into Taunton in a T-shirt... Spectacular!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Parisian Chic at an Asda price.

George at Asda, have just launched an all new and exciting Home range, featuring classic styles, modern minimalism and bright, summery hues. I was asked to post about the collection, so after exploring each page through and through, I consequently came up with a fun idea for a blog edit: Parisian Chic at an Asda price. 

As a lover of French style, both fashion-wise and otherwise, this was a fairly breezy task. There are alot of ultra-femenine pieces and French-inspired home decorations. Below are my favourite seven picks which, together, could definitely transform a room, from a dull space to a Parisian boudoir. 

1.) George Home Eiffel Tower Lamp: £20.00

This lamp is quintessentially French, due to it being shaped like the Eiffel Tower. It's white, which achieves a more sophisticated and neutral overall impression, yet the shape keeps it fun. J'adore. 

2.) Natural Perfume Cushion - 40x50cm: £9.00

The first cushion in my 'favourite finds' is this sweet beige-coloured fabric cushion with a dark brown edge. The italic font adds an touch of French authenticity and the collection of words altogether look lovely. I can imagine this cushion on a large pin-striped armchair in the corner of either a living room or a bedroom. 

A contemporary twist on a traditional tea light holder, this pretty ASDA birdcage tea light stand would look elegantly suitable on any mantelpiece, hanging down as a floating ornament or as a table centrepiece.

I've noticed that ASDA's range of cushions and throws are excellently priced and are good value for money. Cushions are such a great way to subtly accessorise a room without drastic alteration, and at this price, you can change it up every couple of months if you want to!  This round pleated cushion combines traditional style with tasteful colour, in a neutral cream, this pleated cushion has a smooth finish and is complete with cute button detail at the centre.

This shimmering mirror is the ideal finishing touch to to your home. Its contemporary pewter finish will compliment and brighten up any room. The dimensions of 56 x 66cm make it a comfortable size, without being overbearing an awkward to position. 

6.) Marple Dressing Table £495.00

This dressing table has been crafted from solid wood and then hand painted in a lavish neutral Ivory colour. It's complete with a large tilting mirror, perfect for applying your makeup in, and a sumptuous upholstered stool. For added luxury, the unit has several spacious drawers for extra storage for your beauty necessities. 

This luxurious duvet cover set features a stunning sateen stripe in two pale, off-white shades. It would look wonderful in adding a  touch of luxury to any bedroom. Other than its dreamy aesthetic, this duvet cover and pillowcase is made from Egyptian cotton with a superior 300 thread count.  Machine washable for easy cleaning, what more could you ask for? 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Secret do'r Cheek Color Duo

Secret do'r Cheek Color Duo consist of two highlighter shades: a light shimmery champagne colour  and a very finely milled light beige. The colours are rather unusual and look very light on skin swatches, but once blended, they create a beautiful, luminous glow. The powder formula has a soft, easy to blend, creamy texture and as you can probably tell on the last photo, it is super pigmented. 

I was a bit worried that the Secret d'or Duo might be too cool toned for my skin tone as I could only see the colour via the Asos clip picture, but it looks lovely and natural. It would definitely look amazing on pale beauties! If I want more shimmer, I use the left side of the product and to achieve a more subtle effect, I go for the right side. For the perfect amount of glow, I use both shades together. 

Overall, I am in love with the packaging and the formula of the cheek colour. I can imagine the darker blusher and bronzer shades being super pigmented too and I will probably expand my Paul & Joe collection in the future. I ordered this Cheek Color Refill from with free delivery.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Benefit: 'Bronze of Champions kit' review

'Get your "goddess" on with this total bronze kit for eyes, lips and cheeks. Filled with sexy bestsellers, this TAN-talising box of beauty has all you need to get out there and glow for glory.'

 Much like my jewellery collection, my makeup collection is refined and not overly sizeable. I see no reason in buying cheap drugstore products in the knowledge that they will never be used. So instead, I stick to my favourite high-end items and do not venture into the disastrous rainbow realm of dodgy lipsticks and glittery blushes. 

However, recently, I have been searching for a new bronzer to add to my collection. In my search for a 'not-too orange' bronzer, I discovered this beautiful box on Asos. (I receive £100 worth of vouchers a month for some work that I am currently doing, meaning that I am able to experiment with new things, knowing that I have lost nothing if I don't get along with the products particularly brilliantly.) This is one of three kits brought out by Benefit last year, with travel sized miniatures to create a variation of different looks. These include the 'Primping with the stars' kit, the 'Do the bright thing' kit and the 'Bronze of Champions' kit. Other than the highly reputable 'Hoola' bronzer, I wanted to test out the 'Watts Up' highlighter and the 'Bikini-tini' cream eyeshadow that came in my set. In all, the set includes:

  • Creaseless Cream Shadow in Bikini-tini (3.2g)
  • Longwear Powder Shadow in Thanks a Latte (1.2g)
  • Hoola Bronzer (3g)
  • Watt's Up! Highlighter (2.5g)
  • They're Real Mascara (3g)
  • Hoola Lipgloss (6.5ml)

  • The box arrived three days after purchase. I recommend buying it off Asos if you're interested in it, as Asos are always fantastic in delivering in good time and keeping your order in excellent condition. The makeup has been presented beautifully, with the bronzer and the powder eyeshadow loose and the rest in the American-Retro, ultra stylised packaging one would expect from the fun and flirty Benefit. Below is a black and white photograph of the kit which I posted on my Instagram (SOPHIAALEXANDRASTANCER) upon its arrival. 

    At £26.50 for everything, each item would technically cost £4.41 each, which - when considering the amount of product attainable from each tube or pot - is actually a great bargain! I have used this set three times now to create a glowing look paired with my Studio Fix fluid by MAC and my Chanel eyebrow pencil. Having carefully followed the instruction manual provided, it is also worth noting that the box has an integrated, sizeable mirror which is really helpful if you're on the go. 

    I'm really pleased with my 'Bronze of Champions' set and I recommend it to anyone looking inject a touch of Summer into their makeup routine.

    My Instagram photo

    The back of the box

    The box opened up

    Wednesday, 19 March 2014

    Spring Shades.

    I recently threw together a rather zany 'Spring Shades' for the style supermarket that is Shopcade, targeting a younger fashion audience than myself looking for some fairly whacky styles. I tend to opt for a more classic approach. Call me boring, but a monochrome dogtooth print or neon yellow frames aren't exactly my cup of tea, so to speak. 

    As we've been encountering some surprising Spring sunshine recently, I've been looking to replace my Rayban Wayfarers, softly embellished Vivienne Westwood tortoiseshell shades and the overbearing black Topshop accumulation with something slightly more fun this year. Here are my personal picks for Spring 2014. 

    *All of the below are currently in stock and available to buy from Miu Miu, Whistles and D&G at House of Fraser online.*

    Miu Miu



     Ralph Lauren




     Tom Ford