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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Viktor & Rolf BONBON Couture

Hello My Lovelies,

I hope you are all doing well and you are having a wonderful weekend so far. I thought today I would  share with you one of the newest fragrances to my collection and one that I have absolutely been loving. Now, I have been a Viktor & Rolf fan for as long as I can remember and a few years ago when my blog was pretty much starting out I was invited to my local Debenhams store for the Exclusive Original BONBON launch. Since then I have always felt a strong connection to the fragrance and fast forward two years Viktor & Rolf have created a sister fragrance that is equally as beautiful.

On 14th September 2016 Viktor & Rolf launched their brand new fragrance BONBON Couture which is a much more intensive, luxurious and stronger scent than the original. Both scents are equally as beautiful and incredibly sweet but I'd have to say that if you're looking for one to wear throughout the Autumn and Winter time, then BONBON Couture is for you. The fragrance opens with a juicy combination of mandarin, neroli oil and peach before transcending into a heart of orange blossom and sambac jasmine, sweetened by a potent caramel note. The base is defined by a woody accord of sandalwood and patchouli, with vanilla and blonde tobacco. It smells absolutely incredible and has great staying power throughout the day!

Now, I know they say to never judge a book by it's cover but honestly it is just so hard when the fragrance itself is so beautiful and detailed. I am a sucker for beautiful packaging and this one gets top marks from me every time. The bottle itself continues the original BONBON 'sweetie' design and it just screams luxury and couture vibes. There is definitely weight to this bottle which confirms the quality and there is no doubt that this will look beautiful out on display.

Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to read this perfume review - I would love to hear your thoughts on BONBON Couture. I have been reaching for this scent on a daily basis and I couldn't wait to share it with you all. Like always lovelies, if you have any questions, requests or if you just want a chat you can contact me on my social media or leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you all and i make sure to read every single comment…they really make my day!

The fragrance itself is available at Selfridges.com and comes in three different sizes; 30ml at £57, 50ml at £79* and 90ml at £109.

Lots of Love

*PR Sample

Sunday, 18 September 2016

A Festival Lookbook ft. SOLETRADER

Hello My Lovelies,

I hope you are all doing well and are enjoying your weekend so far. I thought today I would bring you the second instalment to my South West Four Festival Series in collaboration with SOLETRADER. If you haven't done so already you can read the first post hereIn preparation for the festival SOLETRADER sent me the ultimate survival package which consisted of some beauty goodies (you can see these over on my Instagram @SophiaMeola), a few pairs of shoes and also a snazzy waterproof poncho. So, I thought today I would share with you the outfit I wore on the actual day of the festival and also a few other outfit ideas that could work for future festivals or for any occasion you see fit.

Please note, even though I am a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger I am still pretty new to outfit posts but they are definitely something I want to post more - at the moment all outfit posts go straight to my Instagram (@SophiaMeola). A huge thank you to my lovely friend Priya who came with me to the festival and helped take some photos and also Papa Meola who helped take some outfit shots too!

Outfit #1: This is the outfit I decided to wear on the day of the festival and the main focus were these gorgeous Adidas Superstars* in a crisp white with snake print. I am a huge Superstar fan and also have the Original Foundation Supestars with the gold tongue detailing and will know doubt purchase more in the future - Adidas are killing it in the shoe department. I paired these with one of my favourite aline button detailed skirts, a basic grey knot crop and mauve bomber all from Missguided. For accessories I used my Barbour Bronson Backpack* (which is no longer available to purchase *cries*), New Look Choker and my GoodieRush Reflective Sunglasses*. These are currently on pre-order but if you are interested in a pair you can contact them directly. 

Outfit #2: This is pretty much the same outfit as #1, however, I had a top change on the day and switched to this Floral Bardot number from Missguided. I have loved pairing cropped tops with skirts this summer and I think this is the perfect look for any festival - given it's not pouring it down with rain!

Outfit #3: This outfit definitely has more of a comfortable and casual vibes to it. The main focal point to this outfit was the wellies and we all know that your not prepared for a festival unless you have a pair of wellies on hand. These super girly navy, pink and white polka dot wellies* are from Joules and they are incredible comfortable. I paired these with my favourite Topshop Joni Jeans, another basic white knot crop and my mauve bomber from Missguided. For accessories I have on one of my favourite chokers from Pretty Little Thing and a pair of Vans Sunglasses* in a Tortoise Shell Wayfarer style. 

Outfit #4: This is another comfortable outfit but still stylish none the less. I decided to whip out my cobalt blue Barbour Waterproof Poncho* - if this doesn't keep you dry during a festival then I don't know what will! These waterproof ponchos are great for camping and travelling, they are incredibly lightweight and fold away into it's own little storage bag - perfect for on the go! Also, you can't really go missing in a crowd when you're wearing this super bright and fun shade! Alongside the waterproof poncho I opted to wear my beloved Topshop Joni Jeans once again then underneath the poncho I have another basic black knot crop on - I have them in pretty much every colour and I absolutely love them! For shoes I wore these Sole Toucan Glitter Sandals* and my Pretty Little Thing choker. 

I hope you all enjoyed this festival lookbook inspired post - I would love to hear your thoughts about the outfits and if you would like to see more outfit posts on my blog. If you are looking for a pair of shoes for any occasion then I would highly recommend you check out SOLETRADER - they stock a wide range of different brands and styles. Like always lovelies, if you have any questions, requests or if you just want a chat you can contact me on my social media or leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you all and i make sure to read every single comment…they really make my day!

Which outfit is your favourite? What shoes are currently on your wish list? 

Lots of Love

*A huge thank you to SOLETRADER for collaborating with me on this post


Saturday, 17 September 2016

Cosmopolitan Influencer Awards 2016

Hello My Lovelies, 

I hope you are all doing well and you have had a wonderful weekend so far. I thought today I would post something a little more personal. When 2016 came around I set myself a range of different New Year resolutions and you can read all about my 2015 reflection and 2016 blogging goals here. Every year I always set myself a goal to widen my writing and I want to be able to post more lifestyle content. So, I thought today I would post about something a little more personal and about something that recently hit the blogging community, again...the 2016 Cosmopolitan Influencer Awards, previously also know as the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards.

I think I can vouch for a lot of people within this community when I say that I honestly thought the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards were not going to happen this year, due to the fact that the usual timings were  a little off for announcements but also because Cosmopolitan kept hush hush about it all this year - literally leaving us all on the edge of our seats! Thinking they were not going to happen I took my mind away from the awards and started planning out some exciting blogging projects for the rest of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. Then out of no where...POOF! Cosmopolitan surprised us and launched this year's awards. Things are a little different this year as the awards are now called 'The Cosmopolitan Influencer Awards' but there are a lot more ways to get involved, whether you are a blogger, vlogger, Instagrammer or Snapchatter  - yay!

When I noticed the awards had launched I kept it to myself for a few days, purely because I really wanted to think long and hard before putting myself forward for the awards again this year. I lack so much confidence in myself that I didn't know whether I was even worthy. I have been incredibly blessed during the past few years and have been shortlisted for 2013 (Best New Beauty Blog), 2014 (Best Established Beauty Blog & Best Social Media Blog), 2015 (Best for Beauty & Best Use of Photography) and I actually won highly commended for my photography last year! To this day I still can't believe it actually happened. Last year was the first time I had placed in one of my categories and honestly, it was the best feeling and I was not expecting it at all. You can read my full post on the night here. I still feel totally blessed that I was even shortlisted and was able to experience going to the awards and meeting so many incredible people within this industry. Every year I always walk away feeling so incredibly motivated and determined to work even harder on my blog - it has grown into such a huge part of my life and I can't imagine it not being part of my life now. I always wonder what I would be doing right now if I never started my blog haha! Blogging has helped me in so many ways and some of which I have not even shared with my readers before...and it has been a creative outlet for myself to express my love for all things beauty, fashion, lifestyle and everything else in-between without the fear of being judged. I started my blog during my first year at University and I still can't believe how far we have grown since then...I always remember that Rome was not built in a day so being able to grow personally alongside my blog has been such an emotional and unforgettable journey. It has opened my eyes, inspired me to be a better person and I have met so many incredible friends within this community!

I can imagine that there will be a few posts like this popping up within the bloggerssphere but I wanted to add my two cents also. I know it may seem like a complete longshot and there are so many amazing bloggers, vloggers, Instagrammers and Snapchatters out there so I don't expect to be shortlisted again...but I would kick myself if I didn't try...at least one last time, it is worth a shot right?! If you have followed my blogging journey so far and you enjoy stopping by my blog and taking some time out to read, interact on social and everything else in-between then I would love you forever if you would consider nominating my blog under 'Best Beauty Influencer' in this year's awards or if there is any other category you think I would fit under then fire away haha. To nominate you can click the  link HERE and it should direct you step by step on what you need to do - it literally takes 2 minutes! If you do nominate me then THANK YOU so much for taking the time to do so. Please let me know in the comments or by Tweeting, Instagramming or Facebooking me as I would like to thank everyone individually and send you a great big cyber hug! It would literally mean the world to me.

Finally, I want to say a huge Good Luck to everyone who is taking part in this year's awards too! Being a blogger myself I understand how much hard work and dedication goes into writing and creating a blog plus everything else in-between so I really wish everyone the best luck - I really hope we all make it! Us bloggers have to stick together, right! #BloggerPower

Lots of Love

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Clearer Looking Skin With Garnier Pure Active

Hello My Lovelies,

I hope you are all doing well and are having a wonderful weekend so far. It feels great to be back in my blogging routine and thank you so much for all the positive responses to yesterday post which you can see here. I thought today I would talk to you about a skincare range that I have been testing out recently that I have really enjoyed using. I have mentioned a few times on my blog how my skin has been a real issues for me in the past so I am still on the hunt for my ultimate skincare routine and product line up.

We've all been there; that sudden spot panic accompanied by tenderness and an irritating tingle beneath the skin that flares up when a spot is prepared to break through. You can bet it's also just before a big life event, night out, or somewhere you'll be photographed - yup sounds about right! However, instead of getting ahead of the issues only 7% of women are using a cleanser specifically designed to help fight spots and blemishes on a daily basis, instead they're resorting to harsh 'quick fixers' once a spot has already put in an appearance. Spots can take up to three weeks to appear on the surface of your skin. So, if you are prone to surprise breakouts it's important to follow a daily skincare routine. This is something I have found out recently and it's something I will definitely consider in my skincare routine moving forward.

Now, I have been using Garnier products on and off for as long as I can remember and one product in particular is their Micellar water which I have probably gone through 30+ bottles since it launched. For 25 years, Garnier has developed its knowledge of different skin problems and as a leading brand in the skincare industry, Garnier uses its expertise to find efficient solutions to improve your skin quality day after day. Spots, blackheads and all kind of imperfections can play on both your skin and your mood and the more they vanish, the more they'll vanish from your mind! Growing up (and occasionally now too) my skin was one of my biggest insecurities so trust me when I say that I've been there and when my skin looks and feels it's best it's almost as if I am a completely new person because I have some added confidence back. It's a virtuous circle that takes the right routine and the right tools. So, Garnier has created Pure Active which consists of 4 different ranges to answer each particular and individual skincare need. There is Pure Active which is the range I will be reviewing today, Pure Active Intense, Pure Active Fruit Energy and Pure Active Wasabi Powder. Their only mission is to provide you with efficient and affordable product solutions, smart services and everyday skin care tips so you can really see the changes that you want.

The Pure Active range is designed for combination to oily skin prone to imperfections, with a range of effective everyday solutions and regimes to help you make and see a difference. Each product is carefully formulated with ingredients such as Salicylic Acid, Zinc and Eucalyptus extract with each designed to help target the look of oily skin, blemishes, blocked pores and shine with a drying action.

Step 1 - Pure Active Micellar Cleansing Water (£4.99*). I am a huge fan of Micellar Cleansing Water and like I mentioned earlier I have gone through countless bottles of the original version. They are an easy way to remove makeup, cleanse and purify the skin, eye area and lips in one step without rinsing. I like to apply a generous amount to two cotton pads and then hold them on my eyes for a good 20 seconds to help breakdown any stubborn mascara and then I swipe away at my face, eyes and lips to remove all trace of makeup. For £4.99 you are receiving a generous 400ml bottle that should see you to around 200 uses.

Step 2 - The Multi-Tasking Pure Active 3-in-1 (£3.79*). Garnier designed this 3-in-1 product to ensure you give your skin the attention it deserves. This multi-tasking products can be used as a wash, scrub and mask which works to mattify the skin, unclog pores, reduce marks and perfect skin tone. As a Wash you can use this product everyday on wet skin to help intensely cleanse and purify the skin, remove excess sebum and protect against the appearance of spots. As a Scrub you can use this when needed paying special attention to your forehead, chin and nose to help remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. Finally, as a Mask you can use 1-2 times a week to help even skin tone and mattify. Apply to dry skin and leave to work it's magic for 3 or so minutes before washing off.

Step 3 - Pure Active Matte Control Moisturiser (£6.99*). Finally, step 3 is a matte control moisturise with new innovative care which has been formulated for skin that is prone to shine or blemishes. The combination of Airlicium derives from natural ultra-absorbing mineral silice and purifying Salicylic Acid delivers 8 hours of protection from shine, while reducing the appearance of blemishes, pores, uneven skin and texture. I love the texture of this product an after application it almost feels like i've applied a thin layer of primer to my skin - some mornings I feel like I can solely use this before foundation and it has really helps my combination t-zone.

Overall, I have really enjoyed using this range and it has been so easy to incorporate into my morning and evening routine. When first starting the routine give your skin around a week to adjust to the new products before you start seeing results because essentially even though we would love to see instant results you won't start seeing them until a week or so after. I will definitely be repurchasing the range once I have finished and it is great to see products that actually work that are so affordable - £15 and I can use the whole line! Sometimes it's not always about the amount of products you have in your routine or even how fancy they are - for me, sometimes less is more and if thats what it takes to see results then i'll stick to it.

Thank you so much for stopping by tonights post. Like always lovelies, if you have any questions, requests or if you just want a chat you can contact me on my social media or leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you all and i make sure to read every single comment…they really make my day!

What do you think of the Garnier Pure Active range? Would you give it a try?
Join the conversation with @GarnierUK using #PureActive, #MyLoveForMicellar and #MeTimeMoment

Lots of Love

*PR Sample
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