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Wednesday 30 July 2014

GHD Aura Hairdryer

Hello My Lovelies, 

I hope you are all doing well and are having a fabulous week so far! It is safe to say I have had a memorable day, a lot happened this morning and it will definitely be a day I never forget! Today I thought I would bring it back to hair, haircare and hairstyling as I haven't written one in a while and I think they are always great to read. One thing we can never have enough of in the Meola household are hairdryers...myself and my Mum have really long, thick and naturally wavy / curly hair so we always need a good hairdryer on hand at home. When I was contacted by GHD about giving the new Aura a try I was so excited because I am always on the hunt to find the perfect hairdryer haha. 

GHD have just launched a brand spanking new hairdryer on the market and I introduce to you the Aura. GHD are a brand I have used for many years and I always have a beloved pair of straightens on hand. The Aura is a ground-breaking drying and styling tool, set to revolutionise the way you dry your hair. Developed by styling experts and scientists, GHD Aura is the first tool to offer exceptional styling benefits whilst it dries, making it easier than ever to achieve salon results in the comfort of your own home. In a nutshell I think this hairdryer is incredible and has worked amazingly with my hair. If you want to find out more about this little beauty then stick around and check out below :)

I had never given a GHD hairdryer a try before so I was really excited to see how it would work with my hair. The Aura professional hairdryer is a powerful tool with two breakthrough innovations in technology, offering a truly new drying and styling experience that promises 'luxurious volume and a smooth, shiny finish'. The pack comes with a variety of features and accessories that can be seen in the list below. 

The Features: 

- Aura Hairdryer
- 1400W-1600W
- 4 Metre Long Cord
- External Power Supply
- Removable Mesh Filter
- Cold, Medium and Maximum Heat Settings
- Medium and Maximum Speed Settings
- Cool Shot Button 
- Quieter Motor
- Concentrator Nozzle with Cool-Wall ™ Technology 
- Laminair™ Technology
- Advanced Ioniser 

Combined with all of these features the Aura performs to professional level and makes drying and styling so much easier. I have long thick hair so finding a dryer that manages to dry my hair in minimal time without causing damage is quite difficult. The first thing I noticed when drying my hair was how light it was in comparison to others I have used in the past. After doing some research and look at the specifications the Aura seems so much lighter than usual due to the fact their is an external power supply (which reminds me of my laptop charger) attached to the 4 metre long cord, something I have never seen before. The cord itself is so much longer in comparison to other hairdryers I have used in the past which makes drying so much easier. The one thing I wish it would have had is a twistable cord so I could dry my hair from even more angles without getting achy wrists and so on. As the cord is super long I don't receive any pain in my wrists, however, I think have a twistable cord would have been a perfect little feature to add on. 

Like with any hairdryer the Aura has 3 heat settings - a cool, medium heat and maximum heat setting.  The heat setting I use on my hairdryers usually varies depending on the weather and how long I have let my hair sit in my towel or air dry slightly. Even though I have a lot of hair my hair doesn't seem to retain a lot of water when I wash it so drying time really varies...usually a good 10-15 minutes and my hair is dry. There are also two speed settings - medium and maximum speed. If it's late and I still need to dry my hair I would usually use medium speed setting so it doesn't create as much noise, however, with the Aura it doesn't create as much noise as a regular hairdryer so I could use the faster setting and the house wouldn't be disturbed. According to GHD the Aura is 60% quieter than the average hairdryer. 

The hairdryer offers features different to hairdryers and can differentiate itself due to it's Laminair™ technology, which essentially means the air stream is non-turbulent and concentrated giving you exceptional styling precision and control. There is nothing I hate more than when I am blow drying my hair and I have to keep going back to sections that have altered and ruined by the excessive air from the hairdryer itself. I do work in a hair salon and have done for quite some time (my first saturday job that I started at 14 which I love dearly) so I have learnt over the years to control a hairdryer when styling, however, I am only human and sometimes it is nice for the tool to do more of the work for you haha. I always seem to get a full on arm workout when drying my hair haha. An additional unique feature is the Cool-Wall ™technology, which creates a ring of cool air around the hot air just like an Aura. This means you can use the hairdryer quite close to your roots for extra volume without the dear of being scalded by the heat and hot nozzle...the Cool-Wall ™ features allow the hairdryer and nozzle to remain cool. 

The last two features are the cool shot button and the advanced ioniser. I was always taught that giving your hair a cool shot after drying really helps to set the hair, create shine and also allow fly-aways to stay in place. The Aura also has an advanced ioniser which removes static electricity and reduced frizz and fly aways. I know this will probably sound so sad but for years before I started working in a salon I had no idea what an ioniser did haha. Now I use it all the time to prevent any frizz or fly aways. I don't really struggle with frizz or fly aways as my hair is in good condition, however, it is always good to take precautions and use a blast of it to set everything in place. 

Overall, I am really impressed with the new Aura hairdryer and it does everything I would want a hairdryer to do and more. The features are fabulous, I love how it is a lot quieter and lighter than other hairdryers and it has cut my drying time which is always a plus. I would definitely recommend this hairdryer to anyone and I am planning on telling everyone about it at the salon when I am next in work haha. The £145 price tag could be quite pricey to some, however, GHD have a long life span on their products and it comes with a 1 year manufactures guarantee which is always great. 

I hope you all enjoyed this post! I would love to know your thoughts on the new Aura hairdryer. Would you give it a try? What has been your most trusted hair tool? 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!

Lots of Love

*PR Sample

Sunday 27 July 2014

NEOM Tranquillity & Inspiration Candles

Hello My Lovelies, 

I hope you are all doing well and have had an amazing weekend so far. I know it's Sunday (Boo!) which means the weekend is almost over and another week is on the horizon. I have mentioned in previous posts that I love to have a lovely pamper session on Sundays to prepare myself for the upcoming I think everyone feels so much better after having a little pamper session. 

It is not secret that I have a complete obsession with candles, I have every type of brand you could possibly think of and I always love posting about my favourites. This post has been a long time coming as I actually received these gorgeous travel Neom candles as a gift from my friend India from The Jewel Beauty as part of our Chsitmas goodie boxes last year. They came in a cute box all wrapped up and once opened the gorgeous aromas of the candles filled the air. Since receiving these little beauties Neom have recently gone through a complete re-brand so these may look slightly different to what you might find on the website today. I was planning on saving them for my new rooms once our property developments have completed but I couldn't wait any longer...considering I have waiting since Christmas I thought I had done pretty well haha. 

When India included the candles in our Christmas goodie boxes I was so excited to finally be able to give the brand a try. I had always seen them prop up throughout the blogging community and was always so intrigued to give them a try myself. I think it always came down to the fact that I couldn't narrow down which scents I wanted to try as the selection is wonderful...India knows me pretty well so chose out some incredible scents. 

A little information on the brand themselves, Neom offer a wide range of home treatments such as candles, reed diffusers, washes, lotions and oils...a wonderful selection right?! Neom products to me always seem so classic and I love how everything is organic combined with having glorious holistic properties due to the high essential oil content in the scents. As a brand they strongly oppose using harsh ingredients and want to be able to offer a beautiful collection of 100% natural fragrances for mind and body, that are free from artificial ingredients, all with therapeutic benefits. Every scent is designed to make you feel good and that is something I completely love about the products they offer. 

Tranquillity Candle

Neom spent two years expertly twisting together hundreds of oils to find a blend that would help induce the perfects night sleep. When opening the gift package one of the first scents that I noticed was the sweet scent of Lavender which I absolutely love. If you know me personally then you know how much I love my sleep so this candle is perfect to light for a few hours just before bed to create the perfect tranquil aroma to help you dose off. The Tranquillity candle uses the sweet scent of English Lavender coupled with sweet basil and pretty Jasmine to create the perfect blend to relax your senses. The fact that there are large amounts of the purest essential oils in each candles, allows them to work to change your mood as they fill the air with natural goodness. Additionally, how lovely are the names of the scents?! Don't get me wrong I am sold on a product on the way it works but I do get sucked in my the sweet names and fun packaging...guilty as charged haha. 

Inspiration Candle 

The name and the scent coupled together create the perfect boost that really does inspire you. Sadly, I don't think Neom offer this candle anymore after there recent re-brand, however, it is still one I know I am going to love. I noticed that there 'Real Luxury' scent had similar main ingredients so this could be an alternative option to try. Whereas Tranquillity is a more evening appropriate scent with the sweet Lavender that will drift you off, Inspiration is more of an uplifting day time scent and uses a light and pretty scent that will make you feel inspired, confident and motivated. Violet is paired with Chamomile and Cedarwood to create a beautiful sophisticated floral scent. When I noticed that chamomile was one of the main ingredients I knew I was going to love it straight away. Chamomile is a scent that holds many memories for me and the fact I am always drinking chamomile tea. Inspiration used a mixture of Violet, Chamomile and Cedarwood which gives the candle a sultry, woody-based luxurious scent which is wonderful. 

Overall, I am so impressed with these Neom candles and I am looking forward to burning them even more in the coming future. As a blogger who is obsessed with packaging, I think I would have loved the travel candles to come with little boxes...for storage reasons so the candles remain clean and fresh whilst I haven't been using them. Never-the-less, I love the fact I can even have these candle out on display in my room and they fill the air with a gorgeous aroma. Now I have had the opportunity to give some Neom product a try I think this could be the start of a beautiful friendship haha.  Also, like with all of my other candles, once the candles are finished I think I will keep the containers and glam them up for my new rooms as cute beauty storage!

I hope you enjoyed today's relaxation inspired candle post. I would love to know what your thoughts are on the candles and which scents are your favourite from the Neom website? If you would like to take a peek through the Neom website you can so so by clicking here. Also, another huge thank you to India for gifting them to me! 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!

Lots of Love

Saturday 26 July 2014

Love Me Beauty Box | July 2014

Hello My Lovelies,

I hope you are all doing well and are having a fabulous weekend so far. My week has definitely been one to remember. Monday I started a brand new job and the 45-60 minute car journey travelling to the office and back home has been something I have had to adapt body clock is everywhere at the moment but it is all totally worth it as it is a job I am really enjoying.

It is that time of the month again when I bring you the brand new Love Me Beauty box. This is my third subscription box by Love Me Beauty and I am always so impressed with everything. If you are unsure who Love Me Beauty are, they are a monthly subscription box prices at only £10 per box and every month they contain five products from various beauty and lifestyle brands which can be seen on their website here. Each month, you will receive an email to let you know that the boutique is open and that is when the fun begins. You can head straight over and choose between he beauty box menus available. Each menu will have 1 to 2 star products and 3 travel sized samples. You have the option to sign up for 1 month, 3 months, 9 months or even 12 months and you can cancel your subscription at any time or even skip a month with no charge if nothing in that months box takes your fancy.

There were three menus to choose from this month and I decided to go for menu 3. I have literally gone down the menus from my first box trying menu 1, my second box trying menu 2 and now menu 3 for my third box. This was unintentional I swear haha. Like every single month I am always so torn between the menus but i opted to try this box and I cannot wait to use the products.

Ofra Pressed Eyeshadow in Gold Rush | RRP £8.80

Ofra is a brand I haven't heard much about previously, however, after seeing thus gorgeous eyeshadow I have a hunch that they offer some lovely products. Also, when I first read Ofra it instantly made me think of Oprah! Gold Rush is a gorgeous true metallic goldy coppery shade which to me has elements of a rose gold undertone...I am obsessed with rose gold so I will love using this product. The shadows featured in this months boxes are shades from Ofra's 'Diamonds are Forever' palette collection and they all have a vibrant shimmery colour that makes your eyes sparkle like diamonds.  

So Susan Dual Brow Powder | RRP £11.95

So Susan is another brand I haven't heard much about but I guess the whole reason of subscription boxes are to try out something new. I got a brow product in last months box but I do not mind receiving another as I love filling my brows in...for me I think they really help frame my eyes. You can create perfectly defined brows with this smudge proof dual shaded compact and I love there is two shades to choose from so you can mix them together and create the perfect brow shade. What I found really interesting was the fact the formulation has Aloe Extract and Carrot Seed Oil to nourish the sensitive skin around your eyes, it sounds so nice! 

So Susan Flutter Mascara in Carbon Black | RRP £14.95

Another So Susan product to give a try and it's a fabulous little mascara. I personally love layering up my mascaras to create really full and long false lash effect lashes. This is a new mascara to the So Susan line and is formulated with hyaluronic spheres to help achieve dark and curvy lashes. According to So Susan the long brush with extra stiff bristles helps to separate lashes while enabling you to achieve voluminous, multi-dimensional lashes in just one coat. I love the outer packaging and in some lights it looks almost rose now my obsession with rose gold is rather strong haha. I was extremely excited to give this mascara a try, however, after taking photos of the product I closed the tube and it exploded everywhere and unfortunately the wand is now clogged up. It was such a shock and for £14.95 you would not expect that to happen but at least I still have the above brow powder to give a try. 

Ofra Eyeliner in Black | RRP £7.60

Another Ofra product to give a try this month and this time it is another eyeliner...I also received on in last months box. This is a water resistant pencil with a synthetic beeswax base so it will glide on smoothly and could even be smudged to create the perfect smokey eye. You could say it is a little repetitive receiving another eyeliner but for me personally i used eyeliner on a daily basis so I go through it like no bodies business haha. 

Lashem Lash Enhancing Serum (2ml Sample) | RRP £40.00

Lash enhancing serums have been something I have wanted to try for absolutely ages but have never got round to doing so. One of my favourite you tubers Shaaanxo uses them in her makeup tutorials and I have always been so intrigued because her lashes literally look incredible! This was the only sample product in this months box but I fell it is a good amount to use for a few weeks to see whether I like it or not, fingers crossed it does what it claims...I would love longer and fuller lashes! 

The Teashed Skinny Tea (20 bags) | RRP £3.50

The Teashed is another brand I haven't heard much of but I was so excited to try out some new tea...I do love my tea! I received some tea bags in my first ever Love Me Beauty box so it was nice to try out a different brand. I couldn't believe my eyes when this months box contained 20 tea bags...I personally think that is so generous, plus for £3.50 you are getting a real bargain. I have already been browsing the website for new flavours to try. I was so torn on which flavour to try but I decided on the 'Skinny Tea' as I am on a bit of a health fix at the moment and trying to stick to it. According to The Teashed. the Skinny Tea is a delicious green tea, which is renowned for boosting the metabolism. The whole leaves  used inside the silly pyramid bags, give you a rich rounded flavour and they do not have that bitter after taste like many green teas, which are made from the dust of tea leaves. 

So, this are the goodies included in this months subscription box, what do you think? The value this month was amazing value for money as the contents totalled to over £60 which is a great deal considering the subscription box is only £10. I also love how this months box consisted of five full sized products and only one sample...I mean I love try out sample products but when a box consists of purely mini samples and sachets you are not really getting value for money. The only downside is my clogged up So Susan mascara but c'est la vie! Yet again, I already can't wait for next months box to be released! If you like the look of this months box you can still get gold of one for yourself to try here.

I hope you all enjoyed looking into this months Love Me Beauty box! 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!

If you like my blog pretty please vote 'Sophia Meola' - 'Best Established Beauty Blog' & 'Best Social Media Blog' in the 2014 #CosmoBlogAwards! 

Lots of Love
*PR Sample

Monday 21 July 2014

Elemis Total Glow Bronzing Duo

Hello My Lovelies,

I hope you are all doing well and had an amazing Monday. Something I love to use in the summer time regardless and even more so after a vacation to pro-long my tan are gradual tanners or moisturisers with a subtle amount of gradual tanner in the formulation. The Elemis Total Glow Collection features two gradual tanning products - a body moisturiser and moisturising face cream. I have been using them in conjunction together after a shower and I am absolutely loving them. When I have colour and a natural looking tan to my face I personally feel I look so much more alive and these have been working a treat lately. 

After being introduced to Elemis last year and have the opportunity to try out a range of their products I have to say they are a brand I love to use and really trust as they always use incredible ingredients that seem to react well to my skincare. Elemis never seem to disappoint when it comes to their products and new releases so I was really excited to give the new Total Glow Bronzing products a try. Also, I don't know what it is but I can develop a slight obsession to packaging of products...if it looks pretty then chances are I am sold even more (so sad I know). If you are an avid reader of my blog they you will understand my obsession with anything Rose Gold. As soon as I saw the packaging of the new Total Glow Bronzing products I literally squealed with excitement...I love how the white chic packaging and the rose gold accents look together. 

I found the Total Glow Body Lotion so easy to apply after a shower in the evenings. This luxurious, gradual tan body lotion instantly moisturises the skin whilst subtly creating a natural glow to the skin. As I already had a tan I wasn't looking for the product to enhance it further I just wanted to moisturiser to pro-long my tan which is exactly what it has been doing. I am off away on vacation in a few weeks so I am not looking to use instant tans in the mean time...just something than I can stop using a few days before I go. 

The Total Glow Body Lotion is specially formulated with anti-oxidant rich Green Tea for a more even skin tone and Red Algae Extract to help ensure long-lasting hydration. Enriched with exquisite Abyssinian and Elderberry Seed Oils to nourish and condition, skin is left feeling super soft and velvety to the touch with a beautiful golden glow. 

I really love how Elemis have launched the Total Glow Bronzing as a duo. I know you can get moisturisers that can be applied to the body and face but personally I feel they don't really work on me or they break me out. This luxurious, gradual tanning day cream instantly moisturises the skin and enhances your complexion. Just like the body lotion the moisturiser is specially formulated with anti-oxidant rich Green Tea and Ginger Water for a more even skin tone, whilst Evodia Fruit Extract improves luminosity. Enriched with nourishing Rice Bran Oil, skin is left feeling soft and velvety with a beautiful golden glow that creates the perfect makeup base.

I have loved nothing more than to incorporate the Total Glow Bronzing duo into my evening routine. They are so light weight, quick and easy to apply to the skin and the end result is a gorgeous natural bronze glow...nothing oomph loompa or orange esk at all. Additionally, there is none of that fake tan smell so you can totally get away with enhancing a natural glow without getting caught haha.

I hope you all enjoyed this post, I would love to know what your thoughts are on the Total Glow Bronzing duo. What are your favourite gradual tanning products to give a try? 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!

Lots of Love
*PR Sample

Friday 18 July 2014

Afternoon Tea For Two

Hello My Lovelies, 

I hope you are all doing well? I have had an amazing few weeks and you see can why by taking a little read through this post. I have literally just got back from a surprise afternoon tea and champagne sitting this afternoon with my Mum. We have been talking about going for afternoon tea for the longest time and she finally booked it a few weeks ago and surprised me today. She couldn't have picked a better day to be honest as the weather is absolutely gorgeous today. I thought I would post about it all today, I am planning a graduation post but it's not quite finished yet...hope you enjoy! 

We had our afternoon tea and champagne at the Bedford Swan Hotel which is an 18th century historic spa hotel which was transformed following a multi-million pound refurbishment, which is full of character and history. The Bedford Swan Hotel also has an AA rosette award winning River Room Restaurant and terrace area where you can sit back, relax and take in the spectacular views of Bedford's beautiful embankment and River Ouse. 

There are three different afternoon teas to choose from with all of them having the same traditional afternoon tea aspects, however with some additional items. The overall traditional afternoon tea comes with a selection of finger sandwiches, warm homemade scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream and also a chef selection of cakes. You then have the option to upgrade a level where you receive an additional glass of Pigalle Brut sparkling wine and then finally you can upgrade another level where you can receive an additional glass of Prosecco or Mercier Brut Champagne. 

Selection of Finger Sandwiches 

As you can see from the selection of finger sandwiches we had a lovely selection to choose from and also two mini quiches which were equally as delicious. The mini quiches were the classic Lorraine with cheese and ham with an additional quiche with salmon. The sandwiches were very light and the fillings were extremely scrummy. We had the following fillings - 

1. Ham and whole grain mustard
2. Cucumber and cheese
3. Egg Mayonnaise 
4. Salmon
5. Chicken and Tarragon  

Chefs Selection of Cakes

The chefs selection of cakes were a real treat and our eyes literally lit up as soon as we saw the platter arrive (a slightly wonky platter at that haha). The platter consisted of warm homemade scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream with a selection of cakes a pastries from chocolate pots, lemon posset (which were a fabulous palette cleanser), macaroons, fruit cake, some brioche and some fancy shaped swans which the swan hotel are renowned for...even Mary Berry would be impressed! 


We had a lovely selection of teas to choose from the menu. They had the usual traditional and classic options and also some yummy loose teas. Also if you didn't quite fancy tea you had the option to swap it for a cappuccino, coffee, latte or so on. However, our intention was to enjoy a classic afternoon tea so we decided to opt for classic breakfast tea which we though would also accompany the selection of cakes nicely as they were very rich. 

In conclusion, from the moment we sat down the service was superb and the atmosphere was very welcoming and relaxing leaving you to enjoy your stay, chat and eat without feeling rushed or interrupted. I must say I was extremely impressed with everything and I would definitely visit the Swan Hotel again for afternoon tea. We had a selection of interesting finger sandwiches, cakes, tea and champagne and were spoilt in portion sizes as we had to take the remainder of our cakes home...look how they wrapped them up looking like a swan (so cute!). 

Afternoon tea was such a lovely and thoughtful surprise from my Mum ( I do love out days out) and I would love to make it a tradition or even take the whole family next time, Dad was working so it would be nice for Dad to come along next time. Now I have had the experience I would love to do some research and venture out and try afternoon tea in some other areas, however, I do love the fact we have such a lovely hotel and spa on our doorstep that offers us the services. 

I hope you all enjoyed this post, I have really been loving talking a little more lifestyle lately, however, don't fret I will be back to posting some beauty related posts soon, I have a whole box of goodies waiting to be tried, tested and reviewed for 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!

Lots of Love
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