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Saturday 28 February 2015

Current Favourite 'Pick Me Up' Products

Hello My Lovelies, 

I hope you are all doing well and are having a great weekend so far. It is safe to say I have had a very memorable end to my week and if you want to find out why you can take a peek through my Instagram (@SophiaMeola). I am currently lounging in my super comfortable pyjamas embarking on a super wild Saturday evening in when it suddenly dawned on me that I had a new post to share with you all. I haven't been feeling 100% the past week, I think there is some type of cold bug going around and it was inevitable that I was going to catch it. At the end of the day we are only human and when you are feeling unwell you should just embrace the imperfections that come along with it but I had to go to work so I had to look 'decent' without the worry of frightening anyone off. I did power through, however, I did reach for a few of my favourite 'Pick Me Up' products to lend a hand. 

I don't know about you but when I am feeling a little worse for wear the first thing I notice is how yucky my skin feels. The first think I like to do when my skin needs a pick me up is use a more luxurious facial wash. I have absolutely been loving this one by Merumaya recently and I have been using it with their specially designed cleansing brush. The Merumaya Luxury Facial Wash* is unlike anything I have used before in my skincare routine. The formulation contains especially chosen gentle surfactants which are complemented with AC.NET to address blemishes, Pomegranate enzymes which give a mild exfoliation, Rhodiola Rosea extract which assists in un-clogging your skin, finally Mangosteen and Baobab extract which provide antioxidant protection. How amazing does this facial wash sounds and all for £14.50 - a total bargain skincare salvation! I think you could use the facial wash as it is but I have to say that using it alongside their Manual Cleansing Brush* just adds to the whole pampering routine. The brush itself encourages gentle exfoliation and effective cleansing which I feel is a great alternative to using your hands. 

After cleansing the skin I like to apply a serum before I go into the remanding parts of my skincare routine. The Skin Perfecting Serum* by Resultime is such a phenomenal product and one of the reasons I love it so much is not only down to it's incredible formulation but the fact that it smells like fresh oranges! This is a multi-action serum that soothes, tightens pores and evens out skin tone combining Vitamin C and Vectorised Micro-Collagen for flawless skin. It's light gel-cream texture quickly melts into the skin and illuminates the complexion. Not only is it pharaben-free, but this multifunctional product has an energising fresh fragrance (Yummy oranges for your daily does of Vitamin C) and is suitable for all ages and skin types. If you would like to see a full review of this gem then please let me know. 

After working on my skin I give my under eye area a little TLC. I have been using this powerful duo ever since I received Benefit PUFF OFF* and I have noticed a huge difference. If you would like to see a full review of PUFF OFF you can do so by clicking here but in a nutshell this spectacular product has been designed to instantly smooth out fine lines and de-puff with the added bonus of soothing the under-eye area. The formulation consists of peptide blends which help reduce the look of puffiness and also light-diffusing particles which help smooth away the appearance of fine lines and in my opinion the look of dark circles. This product alone simply works wonders on my under eye area, however, paired with my new love; Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer they are a dream team that create the illusion of flawless skin and a healthy complexion with no dark circles in sight. I have my good friend Daniela to thank for bringing the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer into my life as she kindly gifted it to me for Christmas and I have loved it ever since! 

Finally, after getting nitty and gritty with all of the products in the evenings there was nothing I loved more than unwinding and relaxing with a few candles and calming scents. I was sent these glorious Mini Votives* and Reed Diffusers* from House of Fraser and I had to share them with you all. Do not be fooled by their size because they can fill a room with glorious scents in next to no time and they look beautiful on display. Both sets come with three different scents which are all unique and uplifting. Iris & Veltiver; This is a classic feminine floriental with a heart of iris, rose and jasmine which are highlighted by top notes of bergamot and pink pepper. A sensual base of moss, vetiver and sweet amber completes the fragrance. Plum & Black Amber; This is a heavenly fruity rich plum laced with sensual black amber and dark musk accords - very much like Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone. Fig Leaf & Cassis; This is a green leafy fig accord with fruity cassis and red currants. A base of white cedar and a hint of creamy coconut adds depth which also calms. Scents definitely have the ability to change the way you feel and alter your emotions, for example, when you smell a freshly baked chocolate cake how does it make you feel? Pretty good right?! :D

I hope you all enjoyed this 'Pick Me Up' post and perhaps discovered some new products to try. I do feel so much better and I have these selection of products and also a few tips to thank. If you are in need of a pick me up or are feeling a little stressed try and relax, spark up some scents, drink some yummy tea, exercise lightly and listen to some of your favourite music - you'll be back to feeling yourself in no time! 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. 

What are you current favourite 'Pick Me Up' products?

Lots of Love
*Contains PR Samples

Sunday 22 February 2015

Collective MAC Lipstick Haul

Hello My Lovelies, 

I hope you are all doing well and have had a fabulous weekend! I have pretty much had your typical lazy Sunday although I must admit it has been very productive. I thought today I would finally bring you a Collective Mac Lipstick Haul. I say collective because I have accumulated these particular lipsticks over a few months, I got a few for my birthday in November and a few over Christmas so a right little mixture. I think lipsticks must be one of my favourite pieces of makeup and I just love the way it can change the way you look and feel. Before I started my blog I was never that adventurous when it came to my lipstick, I never used to think bright lipstick suited me and I think I just didn't feel confident in it. I cannot believe what a few years of blogging and being in the beauty community has done to me - now I can't get enough of the stuff. I have accumulated a lovely collection over the past few years so if you would like to seen an updated collection then please let me know. To see my previous collection post you can click here

There is something about MAC lipsticks that I just cannot resist. I still remember the day I picked up my first ever MAC lipstick and how hard it was the narrow it down to one shade that would be perfect for during the day and for the evenings. Creme Cup has been on of my holy grail MAC lipsticks and if you are just starting out your collection I would highly recommend it - it is the most perfect pinky nude that can be played up or down for a more subtle or sultry look. 

Lets start off with Shy Girl; this is a gorgeous creamy natural coral beige, however, I definitely feel it is more on the warmer side and has some pink undertones. The Creamsheen finish is one of my favourites (Creme Cup has the same formulation) and it has almost a shimmery reflective finish without it being too overpowering. According to the MUA's at MAC, Shy Girl is one of MAC's top settling shades and I can definitely see why - it is the perfect shade for everyday but also for the evenings paired with a dramatic eye. Next we have HoneyLove which was my most recent addition over Christmas. I was introduced to this shade whilst on the hunt for MAC Velvet Teddy (like everyone was because of Kylie Jenner) which has been incredibly hard to get hold of. After speaking with a MUA on counter she mentioned that HoneyLove would be the closest shade to it and would probably compliment my skin tone a lot better. HoneyLove is warm tones medium beige that has a matte yet super creamy formula and packs a punch with it's gorgeous pigmentation. This is yet again another shade that would suite every skin tone and would accompany many different makeup looks. 

Pink Plaid is such beautiful peony pink shade and reminds me ever so slightly of MAC Creme Cup minus the formulation. Just like HoneyLove this also has a creamy matte finish and super impressive opacity which I absolutely love. My obsession with Matte lipsticks really escalated during the end of 2014 and this one reminds me of something Barbie would wear! Next we have Nouvelle Vogue. I first set sights on this shade whilst at Duty Free back in October - as soon as I swatches it on my hand I just knew I had to make it mine. I set my heart on this shade only to be told that it was sold out and it was limited edition so the chances of me finding on would be pretty slim to none as the collection had been around for a good few weeks. After I came back from my vacation I decided to go on a bit of a hunt (who else does that when they get obsessed with a piece of makeup?) and I managed to find it at my local counter! What are the odds?! It is no secret that pink lip shades are my favourite and Nouvelle Vouge is a beautiful soft blue tones pink. This also has a matte and finish but like the other two shades above it has a creamy and opaque finish. I just love it! 

I think Lady Danger is one of those cult MAC lipsticks that everyone loves. If you want something in-between MAC Red and Morange then this is the shade for you. This is a beautiful bright coral red shade that has warm undertones and a creamy matte finish. I decided to jump on the bandwagon with this shade and now I know why everyone adores it. I think I will be getting a lot of use out of this during the summer, however, I definitely feel it is one of those bright yet versatile shades that would look incredible on anyone and for any occasion. Finally, we have MAC Rebel and you can see that this shade has been well and truly loved (I could't wait and used it before I took a photo - slap on the wrist haha)! It took me a while to take the plunge and go for the cult classic Rebel, however, I am so glad I did because it has become one of my ultimate favourites. I first wore this shade on Christmas day and I got tones of lovely compliments on Instagram (@SophiaMeola) when I posted a picture of myself with it one. Rebel is a mid-tonal plum shade with a satin finish which is quite matte, however, it is still extremely shiny and less drying on the lips. I absolutely love the formulation and also the way it leaves my lips with a light stain when it starts to wear off. It can be quite a scary lipstick but believe me when I say that once you have tried it you will be completely hooked! 

I hope you all enjoyed this Collective MAC Lipstick Haul. As you can see on this particular occasion I added a few different shades to my collection ranging from nudes, pinks, reds and purples (I never thought I would own a purple lipstick). Each lipstick is extremely beautiful and have different finishes when applied to the lips. If you would like to see full reviews on the lipsticks then please let me know - I have a few MAC lipstick reviews already on my blog and I will link them below for you. 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. 

What is your favourite MAC lipstick? Which shade will you be picking up from you wish list next?

MAC Candy Yum Yum - Review Here
MAC Show Orchid - Review Here
MAC Speak Louder - Review Here

Lots of Love

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

Hello My Lovelies, 

I hope you are all doing well and are having a glorious week so far. I thought today I would bring you another one of Benefit's latest releases and it is an addition to their mascara collection. Benefit have been going full speed with incredible releases already during 2015 and we are not even through February yet. Benefit has always been a brand that has stood out to me and I have loved their overall ethos and product range for as long as I can naturally it is always exciting when they launch something new. I was very fortunate to receive a gorgeous Benefit Goodie Box introducing the new Roller Lash Mascara and now I cannot wait to share it with you all. 

The Roller Lash Mascara is one of Benefits newest releases for 2015 and I think it is set to be an ultimate favourite alongside They're Real which has become a cult product. Benefits mantra for this nifty mascara is "Hook 'n' Roll" which is very appropriate as this eye-opening mascara literally hooks and rolls with the specially designed brush to grab, separate, lift and curl lashes...all whilst the specially designed formula sets them in place for 12+ hours - curl power right?! If that wasn't enough the formulation also contains Provitamin B5 and Serin, which are both known for their lash-conditioning benefits - so your eyelashes are going to look amazing with the added benefit of being treated in the process by these great ingredients. 

Roller Lash is the latest edition to Benefits Mascara collection alongside BADgal Lash and the UK's No. 1 Best Selling Mascara They're Real which has been a holy grail favourite of mine for years now and I have gone through countless tubes of it - so it was exciting to see if Roller Lash could live up to it's sibling product. At first glance it has a super fun name and great packaging, even for a sample (I mean look at the rose gold detailing) - however wait until you feast your eyes on the real deal. I love how the design is inspired by retro rollers and the mascara itself is like a "roller for eyelashes" - to me Benefit has always had that shabby chic vibe and it is really represented through this product. Just like most of Benefits products this mascara has been in development for a few years which simply shows how much hard work went into the creation, planning and launch of this new product - just like every single Benefit product. Over 97% of everyone who tested it said it visibly lifted lashes, 87% said it gave long lasting curl and 94% said eyes looked more awake - so far I would have to agree with those statistics. 

Being a deluxe sample I have only tried the mascara a few times now so I will no doubt do a follow up review. When Roller Lash launches I am thinking of picking up the full sized version so I can do a three part review with the entire Benefit mascara line so we can see all of them in action - let me know what you think? When I first tried it I was literally blown away. With one coat alone you are left with very soft fluttery looking lashes, however, I personally prefer to layer my mascara on a few times and adding the extra coat gave me the best results. Now, I am a lash curling kinda girl and I swear by my beloved eyelash curlers to help boost my mascara - what really took me by surprise what the fact that I didn't need to curl my eyelashes at all with Roller Lash. The product itself states you don't need to and I tried it thinking I would probably have to go back in with my curlers but I didn't need to! The patent-pending hook design and position of the brush really did catch, lift and curl my lashes. My lashes are an average length (wish they were longer haha), however, one of my eyes lashes are slightly longer than the other - it's not really noticeable to the eye but I can totally tell the difference (I don't think  anyone has perfectly symmetrical eyes) but Roller Lash really helped to even them out and make them look perfectly fluttery and volumous - what more could you ask for?!

Overall, I am really impressed with Benefits newest mascara release Roller Lash and I cannot wait to see what else Benefit has in line for us this year. I think Roller Lash and PUFF OFF are going to be the next wonder duo and make our eyes look super incredible - what do you think? Roller Lash is not due to launch in stores until the end of February early March, however, if you can't wait that long then you are in luck! Benefit have teamed up with ELLE Magazine to offer you a free sample of Roller Lash when you purchase this months issue - free mascara and a great read make the perfect combination. 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. 

What are your thoughts on Roller Lash so far? Will you be picking it up when it launches or trying out the sample in Elle Magazine?

Lots of Love
*PR Sample

Friday 13 February 2015

Last Minute Valentines Day Gift Guide | For Her

Help My Lovelies, 

I hope you are all doing well and have had a fabulous week - yay for the weekend and Valentines Day! I was recently challenged by House of Fraser to put together a little last minute Valentines Day Gift Guide and these are the goodies I decided to include. If you are popping out tomorrow morning frantically thinking about gift ideas then this is the post for you. I decided to opt for a mixture of items with different price ranges so there might be a last minute idea for everyone. Everything I have included could be gifted individually or even added to a little Valentine goodie hamper - the decision is yours! 

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream 30ml EDT | £39.00*I think perfume is always a good idea and a girl can never have too many. This latest release by Marc Jacob 'Daisy Dream' is a light and airy, daisy dream that has floral and fruity tones. The fragrance captivates with delicate top notes of blackberry, fresh grapefruit and succulent pear. The heart imparts a rich, feminine jasmine, notes of lychee and blue wisteria with a dreamy dry down of white woods, musks and coconut water - delicious! The beautiful packaging adds to the overall feel of the fragrance and I think Marc Jacobs has outdone himself with this one; from the baby blue liquid and the daisy exterior - it is simply beautiful and would look lovely on display. The great thing about perfumes is that they are easily purchasable online or in store so this is perfect if you are in a hurry and need to pick up something quick. Tiffany & Co Jewellery;Tiffany & Co will forever and always have a special place in my heart and I think specially picking out something from them and opening that delightful turquoise box on Valentines Day morning will leave a lasting impression. The great thing about Jewellery is that it will last a life time if taken care of properly and I can vouch that all of my pieces still look impeccably perfect. You have such a wide variety to choose from online and in store with each item having a different price so there is something for everyone. Victorias Secret Bombshell Lingerie Set | Bra £55.00 Underwear £16.50When I think of sexy lingerie I instantly think of Victorias Secret! It is not the most affordable lingerie around but oh my goodness it is totally worth it. There is nothing more glorious than throwing on some stunning Victorias Secret lingerie and feeling empowered like a Victorias Secret Angel (a girl can dream right?!). Opening that beautiful pink striped box on Valentines day will sure to leave a lasting impression. 

Primark Deluxe Candles | £2.00; These candles have previewed on my blog many times and I am always impressed every time. For £2 I think you simply can;t go wrong and for Valentines day these would make a lovely addition to a goodie hamper or even used to set the mood and for decoration. This Sweet Berry and Patchouli scent is delightful and lets face it the red packaging just screams Valentines Day! Selection of Makeup | £15.50+; Undecided on what to get for your makeup addict partner?! A selection of their favourite makeup favourites would go down a real treat. Nothing says attention to detail than a partner knowing exactly what makeup you like and use - getting your foundation shade right deserves brownie points! The great thing about makeup is that you have the biggest selection from drugstore to high end with a range of different prices available pretty much everywhere. Bouquet of Roses | £10+; I think we've all see that picture on Instagram and Pinterest of a girl holding a humongous 100 roses bouquet - every girls dream right?! A gorgeous bouquet or a single red rose is such a classic and beautiful gift idea and especially if they are a surprise. Some might say flowers are the easy option but lets face it they are super romantic and these days there are so many beautiful designs to choose from there is something for everyone. Chocolate Gift Set | £6.25; Just like the roses another classic but also thoughtful route is chocolate. The great thing about chocolate is that there is something for everyone. Thanks to the master chocolatiers at Thorntons there is something for every chocolate lover, including delicious milk, white and dark chocolates, pralines and truffles, plus their delicious fudge and unique toffee selection. Plus, you also have the option to customise your chocolate. 

I hope you all enjoyed my Last Minute Valentines Day Gift Guide and if you are still thinking of a last minute gift it has really helped you out. Everything featured in this post is easily accessible in-store if you need to quickly pop out and purchase something or even add something extra to a gift. I am not saying you have to buy each other gifts on Valentines day but if you need a few ideas this post is here to help. I would absolutely love to receive any of these for Valentines day or any time of the year. If you have any last minute gift ideas please share them in the comments below! 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. 

Lots of Love

Sunday 8 February 2015

Glo & Ray Brand Overview

Hello My Lovelies, 

I hope you are all doing well and are having a lovely weekend so far. I just absolutely love being introduced to new makeup brands and discovering an array of fabulous new products. During the festive season I was given the opportunity to review one of the Glo & Ray lipstick gift sets (review here) and I was pleasantly surprised with the brand and the actual products themselves - plus I had a great response from you all. A few weeks ago I was given another opportunity to try a few more of their products and here I am today giving you a little brand overview of some of the goodies I tried. I have done a few brand overview type posts and you all seem to really enjoy them so let's throw another one into the mix. Also, I feel the below products would help create the perfect Valentines makeup look, so let me know if you'd like me to create a mini tutorial or Valentine look for you!

Glo & Ray made its debut in September 2012 in London and their intention was to present professional and carefree cosmetics for women worldwide. The name Glo & Ray derived from 'Glo', a gentle luminance; and 'Ray', a vibrant beam of light. 

At first glance I have to say the packaging and products themselves are absolutely gorgeous and quite expensive looking for such a reasonable price. Each product has been made with this high-quality matte black material that feels comfortable and looks extremely chic. The one think I would have to say about having matte black packaging is that it is like a magnet when it comes to dirt and other makeup, however, even thought that is the case I still love it and I feel the products would look lovely displayed on a vanity.

The Mariposa Eyeshadow Quad in Golden Dunes combines vibrant pops of colours with delicate neutrals and offers the perfect mix to illuminate eyes with multiple effects. As you can see from the swatch each shade is absolutely gorgeous and offers a glorious shimmering effect. At first glance I have to say I absolutely adore this palette - the shades are just so me and I feel I could create a tone of different makeup looks with them. To the touch the eyeshadows feel quite stiff and not at all buttery like some eyeshadows I have tried, however, even thought that is the case they still glide onto the eyes like an absolute dream. Natural mineral particles create a silly texture which is both long-lasting and smudge-proof which help you achieve flawless radiance with perfect pigmentation - I also think you could wet these eyeshadows for an even more intense effect. I also think we have some great MAC eyeshadow dupes here, from the top it looks like you could have alternative shades for MAC Gesso, Mulch, Knight Divine and Woodwinked. I do love a good dupe product! 

I never knew how beautiful an eyeliner could be until I saw Golden Age. When I swatched it for the first time I was blown away by how pigmented and true to colour it was. The Sky Breaker collection offers an extraordinarily soft and smooth formulation that achieves the perfect definition with just a single stroke. Available in a variety of bold and bright shades, with a selection of matte, metallic shimmer and sparkling pearl finishes, the range features unique ultra-adhesion formula technology to deliver a rich and intense shade, alongside a waterproof formula for a long lasting, smudge-free effect. I think this eyeliner would look gorgeous applied in the waterline, used for winged liner or even as a base for the Golden Dunes eyeshadow quad above. Plus, I think £5.50 is such a great price for such an incredible product like this. 

I have religiously stuck to my Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Hazel for as long as I can remember, however, I am also partial to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown. I am really fussy when it comes to my brows, however, I have to say this shade is pretty spot on for me. The silky soft texture glides onto the brows so effortlessly and enables you to achieve a really natural soft look. Two things I think Glo & Ray could improve on with this product is the design and shade range. I do love a brow pencil that has a spoolie attached to groom brows before applying the product, however it does change the overall quality of the formulation. Also at the moment on the website there are only two shades in the collection and I feel this may be a problem if you are on the hunt for a super dark shade or something a lot light than Terra Brown. 

The Lumincent formulation includes Micro-Chine particles that aid with seamlessly minimising pores and imperfections which leave the skin glowing even after mattifying. The powder itself is super light weight and really did blur away imperfections, however it reminded me of the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder which you can pick up for around £3.99. Yet again the colour range is not amazing as there is only two to choose from, however, this light shade is perfect if you want to contour and brighten up the area around your eyes. I have been using it to set my under eye concealer and it has really helped keep it in place with the added bonus of brightening the area. I love the classic compact style and the size and shape makes it perfect to throw in your bag on the go for touch ups throughout the day. 

In the past I haven't had much luck when it comes to CC Creams as they can be quite drying on the skin - I have a Chanel CC Cream, however, I find I really need to make sure my skin is moisturised before use. This innovative CC Luminous Base Foundation offers a velvety smooth touch with a long-wear finish - the only down side is the shade is too light for me. The formulation features Micro-Shine particles which help disguise pores and naturally brighten your skin tone, alongside an innovative 'Water in Smoothie Gel Emulsion System' ensuring the smallest amount will instantly transform your skin, covering any imperfections or blemishes to leave your with a flawless radiant complexion. The formulation did not have any distinctive scent which makes me believe it would be suitable for even sensitive skin. I found it really helped illuminate redness and even out my completion. 

The Creamy Shimmer Lip Colours were the first product I tried back in December after being introduced to the brand. I have to say the lipsticks are my favourite products and quite frankly a girl can never have too many! The Light Colour Fitness Complex alongside Micro-Shine Particles provide a dazzling effect for irresistibly fuller looking lips which I find amazing and actually does work. Valentine is this beautiful vibrant pink shade that would look lovely paired with a variety of different makeup looks, plus this would make the perfect shade to wear for Valentines Day if you are after a sultry bright lip. I feel this could even be an upcoming dupe for MAC Viva Glam Miley - will have to see when it is finally released!

This was the first time I tried out the Creamy Matte Lip Colour range by Glo & Ray and I have to say even though they are matte they still have a similar finish to the Shimmer line. These are also enriched with a unique blend of Light Colour Fitness Complex, however, feature a new Hydro Wrapping System which softens and moisturise your lips whilst adding a pop of colour - hence why it has a similar finish to Valentine. Venus is a perfect nude shade that could be paired with a variety of different makeup looks and has a warm undertone so it would look lovely on any skin tone. I even think you could mix a bit of Valentine and Venus together to create the perfect pinky nude shade - who else loves mixing lipsticks?!

Overall, I am so glad I had the opportunity to venture out and try some more products from the Glo & Ray collection and I have to say I was really impressed. The quality of the packaging and product themselves are impeccable and the prices are extremely reasonable for such high quality. However, I have to say the colour range on a few of the products could be improved, although this could be something they are already working on. I think all of the above product could be used together to create the perfect Valentines look (I mean the lipstick is already for it haha) or even to add to your makeup collection to enhance your daily makeup bag and give something new a try. I hope you all enjoyed this post and diving into some new products. I would love to know what you think and which product stood out the most for you. 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
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