NEW HAIR | Outfit

blogger francesca sophia wearing a light pink skater dress with a butterfly pattern in darker pinks
Earrings: Accessorize; Necklace: Forever 21; Bracelet: Tipawan Flowers; Dress: H&M.

As you can probably tell from the post title, I'm a little bit excited about my newly-dyed hair. I've been on the fence about lightening my hair colour for at least three years, but I finally made a snap-decision to buy the bleach and dye required to achieve caramel-coloured locks last weekend, and after a few unfortunate mishaps (including having to run to Boots with a borrowed beanie hat from my housemate to cover my peroxide roots!), I've finally achieved a shade I'm happy with - just in time for summer!

I'm actually thinking of throwing together a post on how I went from near-black (see this post for  comparison) to a much lighter shade at home, so that should be up in the next couple of weeks (once my university deadlines are all a distant memory)! 

Are there any drastic changes in your look you're on the fence about?
Do you ever get the urge to lighten your look up for summer?

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo | Review

la roche-posay effaclar duo in its tube, sitting on an IKEA duvet
My local Boots has been seriously impressive, lately; whilst I normally struggle to find the beauty brands I know and love whilst I'm at university, the Canterbury store has really started to branch out, and, a couple of weeks ago, I almost had to do a double-take when I spotted a fairly large selection of the La Roche-Posay range in-store.

La Roche-Posay is a brand I generally associate with French pharmacies, and whilst I always spend an age pouring over the selection every time I go to Paris, they're not a brand I've ever had much experience with; naturally, I saw the stand popping up in my local Boots as a sign, and splurged on 'Effaclar Duo' almost immediately.

Effaclar Due is a light, gel to serum formula, designed for smoothing over your face twice daily, under moisturiser, or as a primer for make up, to unclog and purify pores, whilst reducing imperfections.

As La Roche-Posay is a brand which targets those of us with sensitive skin, I set my usual concerns about purifying treatments aside whilst testing it out, and, unfortunately, didn't receive the best results; although it did significantly reduce the look of imperfections, it also seriously dried my skin out, leaving me a bit sore and red after just under a week's use.
Being my usual stubborn self, however, I was desperate to get some use out of Effaclar Duo, and have since been using it as a sort of treatment gel; that is, placing it on selective areas which are a little red or inflamed just before bed, and honestly, it's working wonders for my skin. Whilst my complexion's still not as flawless as I'd like, using Effaclar Duo on any nasty inflamed areas before bed leaves them significantly reduced by the morning, and being so selective in where I use it means my skin never has a chance to dry out.

Would I recommend it? Yes, definitely! If you have sensitive skin, I'd suggest using it once a day, at first, just to see how your skin reacts. If it dries you out, try using it as a selective treatment, it really does work wonders.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo retails for £13 and can be found at some larger Boots stores, or Boots online.

Waiting on the Gold Rush | Outfit

blogger francesca sophia wearing a black lace vest top, a multi coloured alice mccall skirt, black tights, and brown boots
Necklace: Forever 21
Shoestring Vest (underneath): New Look
Lace Vest: H&M
Skirt: Alice McCall for Topshop

Phew! The past couple of weeks at university have been intense; three assignments in a fortnight, househunting (I still have nowhere to live for my third year, ugh), and a couple of extra careers and employability talks a week have totally taken it out of me, I am so ready for the end of term to hurry up and get here! 

I don't think I really mentioned it on here, but these are probably the first photos I've posted since I dyed my hair! The ombre's gone, and although I'm really loving the change, it's much too dark for my liking, so I'm sure I'll be switching it up again soon...I'm actually considering bleaching it at home and going over it with a much lighter colour, but who knows if I'll ever pluck up the courage.

It was an uncharacteristically sunny morning in Canterbury, today, so I dug out my most spring-friendly skirt, in a classic case of wishful thinking, and pretended not to feel the inevitable chill that snuck in to the air mid-afternoon. Still, the morning sun put me in a pretty good mood, and has me seriously looking forward to some slightly brighter weather.

Did you manage to get a glimpse of the warmer weather, today? What are you most looking forward to in Spring?
Oh, and has anyone bleached their hair with an at-home kit? Which are the best brands?
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