I'm Gone As the Day is Fading | Outfit

a girl with ombre hair wearing a burgundy ruched dress with a gold heart pendant and a black cardigan
Necklace: Forever 21
Cardigan: H&M
Dress: H&M
Boots: New Look

The weeks seem to be dragging past ever-so-slowly as we get closer to the Christmas break at university. I have what feels like a hundred deadlines, tests and reports to do (read: five), and have yet to make a dent in anything, so I'm willing away my time. 
I'm also ridiculously behind with my Christmas shopping, which is quite unlike me; I love buying presents for people, and usually dedicate an absurd amount of time (and money!) doing so every year, so I don't quite know what's going on right now, but it feels slightly odd. Maybe buying one of the Christmas jumpers I've had my eye on for a while is what I need...although generally it doesn't feel like Christmas to me until I've got my decorations up, so maybe that's what's missing.

This dress is, hands-down, one of my favourite purchases from the year (despite only buying it in September) - I'm all about oxblood/burgundy/crimson tones for the season, and although this dress is slightly shorter than I'd really like it to be, I can forgive it for being so versatile.
The cardigan was a bargain at £3.99 - it's since sold out in the black online (although they do have it in other colours), but there are still quite a few floating around stores, so it might be worth taking a look.


Am I the only one struggling to get into Christmas shopping mode, this year? What generally gets you into the Christmas spirit?
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You Wear Your Best Apology | Outfit

girl with ombre hair wearing a striped baggy jumper sweater from new look and black skinny jeans and brown boots - francesca from francescasophia.co.uk
Jumper: AX Paris
(via New Look)
Jeans: Primark
Boots: New Look
Necklace: Forever 21

I am currently in that strange, semi-hyper, overtired state that you only find yourself experiencing when you've had somewhere short of three hours' sleep; today was an important assignment hand-in, and I stayed up til well past 4am attempting to cut down 1,000 much-needed words so I could meet my word limit (I don't think I've ever finished an essay and not gone over the word limit), but, thankfully, it's finally over and done with. 

This jumper is my ultimate creature comfort; it's huge, warm, and divinely slouchy, perfect for days where I'm feeling a bit 'meh', and don't want to make too much of an effort. I fell in love with it in a New Look around this time last year.
Is it just me, or does anyone else miss old Primark denim? Their skinny jeans lately have seriously failed to impress me, the slightly odd cotton-y material is nothing like denim, but thankfully, this £8 pair of black skinnies I picked up a couple of years ago has lasted me pretty well, so I don't have to worry about finding a replacement just yet. 

I'm off to London tomorrow with my housemate for the annual VIP Pedestrian Shopping Day, where they close the whole of Oxford & Regent Street to traffic and make it strictly foot-traffic only, so I'm pretty excited to finally get some Christmas shopping in!
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#MotelXmas | Event

the floripa logo written out in lightbulbs behind a bar stocked with hundreds of glass bottles christmas cards that say merry christmas on an oak table next to a motel catalogue close up of pink christmas cards that say merry christmas! in white
I've never tried to hide the fact that I'm a huge fan of Motel; in fact, they were one of the first brands I ever went to, in search of party dresses, as soon as I deemed myself old enough to need one (or two, or five...), and they're still a staple in my wardrobe, even now - although their collections have expanded far beyond pretty dresses since then.
With this in mind, when the annual invite to the Motel Rocks Christmas party, hosted this year in the gorgeous Floripa, arrived in my inbox a couple of weeks ago, I knew it was an event I'd have to haul myself back to my hometown for, with my favourite pair of heels in tow.
lots of eylure false lashes in their packaging on a wooden tablea run poster of lee stafford doing a model's hair with a lee stafford logo
Lots of brands were present at the event, from one of my favourite beauty companies, MyFace Cosmetics, Lee Stafford and his team were there to style bloggers' locks (I opted not to terrify any of them with my frazzled Ombré!), and a lovely girl from Eylure was applying some of their bestselling lashes.
eylure naturalities false eyelashes in their packaging, being held by francesca sophia
As some of you might have spotted over on Motel's Instagram, I decided to brave my first ever pair of falsies, and opted for this 'super full' natural pair (Eylure Naturalities #100, £5.25 from Superdrug), and fell in love with them - although I'm not sure I could do quite as good a job at applying them - I'm definitely in the market for some to expand my non-existent collection!
selection of motel rock's new collection on mannequins and clothing rails at their christmas event
a bardot off the shoulder sequined dress by Motel Rocks on a mannequin at the MotelRocks christmas event
My favourite part of the evening was, quite obviously, gawking at all the gorgeous items on offer in the coming weeks at Motel; gorgeous textures ranging from velvet, to embroidered baroque, to head-to-toe sequins littered the selection on the rails, and even one or two studded items graced the collection, all of which scream 'party season'!
the bustier neckline of a velvet navy dress by motelrocks, on the hanger shot of a sequined playsuit by motelrocks on a hanger in front of some of their rangea selection of sequined and velvet clothing on a motelrocks rail
The best part of the collection, aside from the luxe textures, however, would, for me, have to be the gorgeous necklines on offer; sweetheart dresses, off-the-shoulder crop tops, and playsuits with some seriously impressive bodices built-in, what's not to love?
blogger and vlogger jessica from coppergardenx coppergarden blogger and vlogger amy from amyvalentinex amy valentine amyvalentine
Left: Jessica from Copper-Garden Right: Amy from AmyValentinex
motel photobooth pictures with jessica from coppergarden, amy from amyvalentine, stacey from staceycraig, kirsti from silentsweetheart, and francesca from francescasophia
I was lucky enough to meet a few lovely ladies on the way to the event, and spent the night sipping on one to many cocktails in their company (name-drop: Jessica, Amy, Stacey & Kirsti, to name a few)...and even went away with a gorgeous little Christmas present from Motel; a pretty impressive start to the Christmas season, I'd say!
motel's lookbook for the 2012-2013 season an inside shot of the motel lookbook for a/w 12-13
a hot pink helium balloon with the word 'motel' printed on the side with their logo a neon pink light with 'motel' from motelrocks lit up
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Alpha-H Liquid Gold | Beauty Review

liquid gold by alpha-h as reviewed by francescasophia
I'm a complete sucker for blogger hype; pair a couple of good reviews with a product that promises to do its job overnight, and I'm pretty much sold.
Alpha-H's Liquid Gold claims to use glycolic acid and liquorice extract to smooth and brighten the skin, when used on alternate evenings, just before bed; it's intended to improve the look of scarring and dull skin tones, as well as tightening pores and potentially aiding acne-prone skin.
alpha-h liquid gold packaging
Liquid Gold's a very simple product to use; apply it, with a cotton pad, after cleansing, every other night before bed. No moisturiser, no fancy acne treatments, no serums...just Liquid Gold. It felt like quite an odd concept, to me, if I'm honest, but I went along with it for three weeks.
The results? Well, that's where the disappointment sets in...there weren't really any. My skin was a bit drier than normal, which was a bit of a pain, but aside from that, I can't say I really noticed anything at all. I'd probably set myself up for disappointment, honestly, as I'd been expecting a miraculous overnight transformation, but I was just left feeling deflated. Maybe my skin's too sensitive to deal with the acid in the formula. Perhaps my skin's too dry to be able to deal with such a decrease in night time moisturiser - but either way, Liquid Gold's going straight to the bottom of my beauty bag, condemned to live amongst the variety of products which I never quite learned to love.

Would I recommend it? Meh, not really.
 Alpha-H Liquid Gold is available for £31.50 (100ml) from Beautybay.
Have you tried Liquid Gold? Did you love it, hate it...or was it just a bit 'meh'? Which hyped-up products did you just not get on with, if any?
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