latest on the blog

3 Must-Have Cruelty Free Products

Jun 10, 2019

Hello! I’m Sophie from soph.creates a lifestyle blog a few clicks down from here. Today, Asia has let me come and talk to you about some of my favourite cruelty free brands that you just need in your life. Last summer, I got super stuck into researching and changing my skincare and beauty routine to include as many sustainable and cruelty free brands and products that I could, without skimping on quality, because me feeling beautiful shouldn’t come at the price of my furry friends. So let’s get stuck into my top 3 favourite products.

 While on the sustainability kick, my boyfriend and I decided to ditch the plastics and opt for bar soaps instead. We headed to our local LUSH and spent an age finding our perfect scents. His first choice, Outback Mate, is the best smelling soap I have ever smelled and I am incredibly jealous that he found it before I could get to it. It smells so fresh and light and, in true LUSH fashion, is 100% cruelty free and vegan.

 On my quest to find the perfect foundation and concealer for my darker complexion, I stumbled upon Glossier. I ordered their perfecting skin tint and concealer after watching loads of raving YouTube reviews and oh my days, where they all right about Glossier producing A+ products. The foundation doesn’t feel heavy on my face and the concealer is perfect for covering up small blemishes that might sneak their way under my skin.

 My girl, Kylie, did not let me down on the launch of Kylie Lip Kits back in 2015. I was skeptical on the price but upon learning that she was going into the industry with cruelty free cosmetics in mind, I was happy to dish out a little extra to protect the animals. The other upside of the price tag is that the quality of the lip kits are great and my absolute go-to lip colour when I’m in a rush. My personal favourite is the shade Vixen, which I have bought time and time again because of how much I love it.
This list may be short but when I’m in a rush this is the absolute base of my skincare routine. On top of the soaps from LUSH, I also use their toner and moisturisers for the rest of my routine! Glossier also does fabulous cream blushes, and Kylie has my go-to highlighter. I think it’s safe to say that I am pretty brand loyal to these 3 places and as long as they continue to be sustainable, cruelty free, and top quality - then I’m happy to keep dishing out for them. For us as consumers, it’s so important to put our money where our values are and shop with brands who are making changes for good.

Thanks again to Asia for having me on her blog! If you like what you read here, you can find me on my blog at soph.creates, on Instagram and Twitter, and if you’re a video person then you can peep my videos on YouTube too!

 Until next time, Soph.

Small Changes

Jun 8, 2019

There have been so many times throughout my life where I have come up with an idea and never pursued it. I have made plans and mapped out things extensively only to not follow through. This has been a never-ending cycle all throughout my adult life. I try things and decide they are not for me or that I am just not good at it. This cycle is called fear and self doubt my friends. And I told myself that I would no longer be a victim to either of those things. 

 I am someone who is good at many things so it has always been hard for me to narrow down what I have wanted to do for a career. The older I get the more I realize that I do not have to commit to just one thing for the rest of my life, however, I do need to follow through and finish the many projects I decide to pursue. At 31 years old I am doing just that, finally! 

 Just to give you guys a little insight into my journey: I went to college and received a criminal justice degree that I have literally never put to use. After school, I decided I wanted to be a makeup artist. And I did just that. I have done photo shoots, fashion shows, and even a little editorial work. I did paid shoots, unpaid, makeup for friends and after a while I found myself rolling my eyes every time some one asked me to do their makeup. If you ever need an indicator that something is not for you that is definitely it! 

 After my stint as a makeup artist I created a blog and decided I wanted to be a writer reminiscent of Carrie Bradshaw from sex and the city, because who didn't wanna be Carrie Bradshaw right? Only problem was I never wrote anything. I hardly posted on my blog and pretty soon that aspiration fell to the way side as well. Then life happened. I got a good corporate job, got into a relationship that I thought would be my last (boy was I so wrong, but that’s a blog post for another day) and was just coasting through life pushing my dreams/passions as far down as I could. I think deep down I felt like I could not achieve the things I wanted to because I just wasn’t good enough. I figured I had a good job and a good life so this enough for me. 

 It was not enough, I found myself in a toxic relationship at 28. I was working a job that I didn’t necessarily hate but definitely did not enjoy going to everyday, mostly because the hours I worked did not allow me any time for me and it was in a field I just had absolutely no interest in. I just felt empty. I was not feeding myself creatively and it was wearing down on me something heavy. I really just felt lost and ashamed that this was my life. I would wake up everyday and just feel like “this aint it.”

 At 29 I left that relationship and I decided that something had to give, I had to do something! And I did. I sat with myself for a long time and thought about what it was that I wanted to do with my life and slowly but surely I started to make small changes. I knew I could not financially afford to leave my job so I started applying for other positions at my company that would allow me time to at least work on my dreams during my off time. I started writing and blogging consistently. People started telling me that they actually enjoyed my content, which blew my mind. These small changes made me realize, “oh shit, Asia you could really do this, like forreal”. I can live a life that I have always wanted to. I can pursue a career outside of what I am already doing, I am not stuck and that I can be good at whatever it is I decide to do. I have been writing for other publications and have even started my own online thrift store, as sustainable fashion is another passion of mine. And I feel good about all of it. 

 I say all this to say if you are feeling stuck at any point in your life, know that is it temporary and that you alone have the power to pull yourself out. I know that a lot of the time our circumstances in life can make us feel like there is no way out but that simply is not true. You always have a choice. Make the choice that feeds your soul and makes you happy, even if that means you have to be uncomfortable for a little while. Even if it means your friends and family may look at you a little crazy like “WTF is she doing???” You have to do what is best for you, if you are not good and happy within yourself, you will be no good to anybody else in your life and I have learned that over time. 

Those small changes I made have led me into a life that I wake up everyday to and say “ Damn Asia you did that” lol! And that is what I want for anybody out there who is reading this. So make those small changes, do a little work each day that relates to your goals and passions, and eventually you will take on those big risks that will change your life.

My Trip to Punta Cana

May 28, 2019

At the beginning of this month my best friend and I got a chance to visit Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. What a beautiful country! We got to visit the countryside where people work and live off the land. We visited a beautiful Catholic Church, cigar making factories and local traditional Dominican Houses. Every time I visit a new country (this is only the third one for me) I am always amazed at the difference between our way of life. It really helps to put in perspective your own life and what you hope to get out of it. Or maybe that’s just me... I tend to get real introspective during my travels, lol! But anyway, here are a few shots of our trip. I wish I took more pictures but I was honestly too busy soaking in the culture.

The Country Side

Catholic Church

Coco Bongo

Traditional Dominican House

Hoyo Azul

Thanks for reading!

Current Skincare Favorites

Apr 22, 2019

You guys know I love sharing my skincare finds with you and I have a few new products I wanted to share! Although I have been using some of these things for months now ( had to give it time to see if my skin really loves it) they are new to the blog lol. 

First up we have the amazing Aztec clay mask which is a favorite among the beauty community right now and rightfully so. When I first used this mask, I was not impressed but I was convinced by a friend to keep on using it and so glad that I did! Whatever your skin type, try it out, mix it with ACV and let it work. I swear it gives my skin the deep clean it needs after a lazy night of just using a makeup wipe to wash my face. 

Next, we have the two oils that my skin will live and die by from here on out...Rosehip oil and Jojoba oil. While I don't think the brand is very important, it is worth noting that these particular brands have other oils mixed in (no mineral oil, glycerin or petroleum) but my skin still loves it. Anybody experiencing dry skin and/or texture issues, I would encourage you to try a combination of these two!

Lastly,  I stumbled upon this Borghese Eye Cream in Marshall's and gave it a try and while I do not think it does anything for under eye circles, I can say it reduces puffiness and moisturizes my under eye area like nobody's business. I will give you guys more of an update once I have used it for a little longer. Feel free to purchase any of the items by clicking the links below and tell me how they work for you!

Current Obsession: Men's Cologne?

Mar 23, 2019

I wanted to make a quick post on how much I love this Versace Dreamer Cologne. I was introduced to it by my friend Kristen (hey girl, hey) and am so surprised by how much I love it and reach for it on a daily. It is the perfect masculine scent to accompany the few floral/sweet perfumes that I have in my collection.  I also wear it on its own and just love how it smells on my skin. So girls, if you see this on your boyfriends nightstand, do yourself a favor and spray it on. If you enjoy lavender notes mixed with tobacco and a little floral, you will love this scent. 

versace cologne

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Sustainable Fashion Only: Secondhand Gold Watches

Mar 13, 2019

So I have a new obsession and it is searching my local thrift stores and vintage shops for cute dainty gold watches. I love a gold watch and when I find a small one that fits my wrist just right, I am in heaven honestly! You guys should know by now, I love secondhand shopping, I love thrifting not only for clothes and jewelry but for household items also. It really is a great way to recycle and save our environment as it has been reported that used clothing accounts for 21 BILLION POUNDS of waste in landfills in the U.S. That is crazy! So for me to feel like I am doing my small part, I try to buy secondhand clothing before I purchase fast fashion or shop at regular retail stores.

Watches are a great item to get from thrift stores because they are usually under $10 and just need a new watch battery to get going. I have even found great vintage watches that still work (pictured below) for $5 a piece! Watches are a great accessory to jazz up any outfit and I get so many compliments on my assortment of gold watches. They have quickly become a staple item for me in any outfit. If you are not checking out the jewelry counter at your local thrift, trust you are missing out!

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