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Sunday 26 July 2015

Elemis British Botanicals Face & Body Experience

Hello My Lovelies, 

I hope you are all doing well and have all had a glorious weekend! I thought today I would share with you an exclusive offer by one of my favourite skincare brands. After being introduced to Elemis last year and having the opportunity to try out various releases from their product line I have to say that they have grown to be a brand that trust and really enjoy using. They always use such incredible ingredients that seem to react well in my skincare routine and Elemis never disappoint when it comes to their products and new releases. I was really excited when a surprise package arrived on my doorstep and I knew I had to share it with you all. 

Elemis have launched a 6-piece British Botanical Face & Body Experience that launches exclusively on QVC today (26th July) at midnight, for one day only! The collection comes in a beautiful exclusive tote bag designed by illustrator Amanda Ross, with designs from plant cuttings that reflect the formulations of the British Botanical range. By harnessing the power of British ingredients, resplendent with unforgettable fragrances and moisturising plant actives, you will find your skin naturally hydrated, comforted and soothed. 

What British Botanicals Face & Body Experience would it be if there were actually no British Botanical products within this set?! These are two fabulous products that I have tried previously and I am planning on posting a full review of these in the future. The British Botanicals Shower Cream is a beautiful and ultra nourishing shower cream blended with carefully selected British grown botanicals, organic oats and essential oils of Lavender, Chamomile, Geranium and Palmarosa. The British Botanicals Body Cream is a newer product to the range and is a skin softening, aromatic body cream that harnesses a powerhouse of ingredients frown in the idyllic British countryside, expertly blended with skin conditions Milk Proteins and omega rich Echium oil, to deeply hydrate and nourish the skin. 

The Elemis Pro Radiance Cream Cleanser is a beautiful anti-ageing cream facial cleanser that helps defend against daily pollutants whilst gently dissolving makeup and grime, revealing a radiantly youthful looking complexion. I haven't been using this product too long so I can't bring you a full review as yet, however, so far I am really enjoying it, especially when my skin is in need of some attentions and much needed radiance (as the name suggests). The formulation includes plant extracts, skin-protecting Moringa Seed Peptide and Great Burdock to balance, protect and brighten the skin. It has a very light delightful fragrance of Sweet Brazilian Orange, Ylang Ylang and Patchouli which adds a special little something when using this product. 

This is a product I have used previously and I absolutely adore it. Just like in the name, the Soothing Apricot Toner has extracts of fragrant Apricot which soothe and harmonise that leave your skin feeling extremely fresh and radiant in appearance - I absolutely adore skincare products that you can see working. Elemis state that it is ideally suited to extra sensitive, delicate and hormonal skin, so this sounds perfect for that time of the month when mother nature calls. This alcohol-free toner is so gentle it can also be applied to cotton pads and can be used as a soothing eye treatment. Ever since incorporating the Apricot Toner within my skincare routine I have really noticed a difference, especially with the overall appearance of my skin. According to Elemis it helps maintain the PH levels in your skin by not using harsh detergents or alcohol ingredients which strip the skin of overproducing oil which causes the breakouts and imperfections...instead the formulation has extracts of Apricot, Quillaja Wood and Sweet Betty Flower that have a soothing effect which feels so soothing and refreshing on the skin. 

The Papaya Enzyme Peel is a product I have tried previously and really enjoyed. Admittedly it is one I have not given a lot of attention lately but never-the-less is an incredible product. You can exfoliate and purify tired, lacklustre skin with this non-abrasive formulation that leaves skin feeling soft, revitalised and radiant. The natural exfoliating fruit enzyme action of Papaya and Pineapple smooth, brighten and clarify the completion. This unique, non-granular exfoliating cream contains nourishing Milk Protein, Anti-Oxidant-rich Vitamin E and Marine algae to moisturise, repair and protect the skin. 

According to Elemis, the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is a revolutionary Anti-Aging cream that uses the Marine extract Padina Pavonica to transform the complexion in just over 2 weeks. This has been a product that I have always heard such amazing reviews about so I am excited to finally give it a try for myself. Recent trials prove that the appearance in wrinkle depth was reduced by up to 78% and that hydration was increased by up to 45%. Skin firmness and elasticity are dramatically increase, whilst pro diving superior free radical protection. Sounds pretty incredible right?!

I really hope you enjoyed taking a peek inside this fabulous exclusive set by Elemis. Overall, I am completely impressed by the product variation and the fact that it will all cost under £55 for a retail value of over £180 - just amazing! If you are looking at trying out Elemis for the first time or are looking to expand your collection I would highly recommend you try and snatch one of these sets up as soon as you can before they sell out. Like always lovelies, if you have any questions, requests or if you just want a chat you can contact me via my social media or leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you all and I make sure to ready every single comment...they really make my day! 

You can check out the Elemis British Botanicals Face & Body Experience over on the QVC website.

What are your thoughts on the Elemis British Botanicals Face & Body Experience? What are your favourite Elemis products? 

*PR Sample

Saturday 25 July 2015

Glossybox | Vive Le France for July 2015

Bonjour my loves!

I hope you have all had a wonderful week and a great start to the weekend. I thought today I would share with you the latest Limited Edition Glossybox that is available to purchase this month. As the name suggests, this months box is inspired by all things French and features a tour de force of favourite French finds that contain ingredients that really work. The first thing I noticed when unboxing this months box was in-fact the packaging - I mean it is pretty hard to miss it! Fashions 'it' artist of the moment, Jamie Lee Reardin put her imaginative eye and skilled hand to work illustrating July's limed edition Glossybox. She has put pencil to paper for the likes of Chanel, Givenchy and Christian Dior and has sketched famous faces such as Cara Delevingne and Anna Wintour. 

Glossybox Exclusive Travel Pouch | RRP £3.99

The first product you notice once you untie the ribbon is this super chic and pretty travel pouch that features the same exclusive illustration artwork by Jamie Lee Reardin. This zip-lock pouch is the perfect for travel and storing your makeup on the go everyday. I really like how it is made from a plastic type material which makes cleaning extremely quick and easy. The travel pouch itself is one of the five products featured in this months box and I really do love it.

Lollipops Lip Balm Delicieuse | RRP £4.15 (Full Size)

The first product featured in this months Glossybox is a Lollipops Lip Balm Delicieuse. This is the only full size product in this months box, minus the makeup pouch of course, and so far I really do like it. My lips have been quite dry lately so trialling a new lip balm was just what I needed, plus it has a super sweet and delicious Vanilla scent. This rich and creamy balm immediately soothes and softens with antioxidants and vitamin E, as well as protecting the lips from UV damage. The formulation is colourless which means you could also apply this over your favourite lipstick throughout the day - especially if you are nourishing a more matte lip shade. The packaging and very cute and I think the £4.15 price tag is not that bad at all. 

Noxidoxi Enhancing Serum Base | Deluxe Sample

Firstly, this is a completely new brand for me and I have to say that I really like the name 'Noxidoxi', it just rolls of the tongue - don't you think?! From Bordeaux-born brand Noxidoxi, this has a CRC6 moisturising complex, which hydrates the skins surface as well as the deeper layers, while a cocktail of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories protect the skin. As a serum product you would use this underneath your moisturiser and in some instances this would work as a great primer type product as it is said to tighten your pores!

Teoxane Cosmecuticals Perfect Skin Refiner | Deluxe Sample

This is yet again another new brand to me, however, like I have mentioned in many of my subscription box posts that is one of the great things about beauty boxes - they offer you the opportunity to try brands and products you might not have typically gone for at first glance or heard of before. With hylauronic acid to plump and hydrate skin, 10% glycol acid to help resurface the skin and calming ingredients to reduce irritation this cream sounds like it offers everything you would possibly need. Over time it is said to soothe the skins surface, decrease and refine pore size and reduce pigmentation spots. Glossybox recommend starting to use this product every other night (you'll feel a mild tingling at first) as it is quite a potent treatment. Whilst it works its magic throughout the night make sure you wear a high SPF during the day! I think this is one of the most intriguing products in the box, however, the £70 full size price tag does scare me slightly haha! 

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Light Cream | Deluxe Sample

Finally, a brand I do recognise! Vichy has always been a brand I have admired from a far but never really tried out fully myself. Enriched with Vichy Thermal Spa Water and Hyluronic Acid, Aqualia Thermal Light provides continuous hydration, for up to 48 hours intense comfort and protection against daily aggressions. Light in texture makes it perfect for combination skin and it helps reinforce the skins natural moisture balance barrier, leaving you with healthy and soft-feeling beautiful skin. It has an almost gel like consistency, very much similar to my favourite Givenchy Hydra Sparkling Moisturising cream which makes it lovely to apply before makeup! I mean, doesn't this sound wonderful?! I am so excited to give this product a try and you never know, this may become a new staple for me! 

I hope you all enjoyed taking a peek inside this months Glossybox! Overall, I was impressed with this months box, however, for a limited edition box I thought there would have been a few more wow products!  Even thought that is the case I am still looking forward to trailing all of this fabulous new skincare products. The only negative I could possible see some people facing with this box is the fact it only housed skincare products and 3 out of 4 of those were for the face. However, saying that, the box was themed around achieving a healthy looking complexion so in reality you are going to receive what you have been promised. If you would like to see any in-depth reviews of the products mentioned above then please let me know. Like always lovelies, if you have any questions, requests or if you just want a chat you can contact me via my social media or leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you all and I make sure to ready every single comment...they really make my day! 

What did you think of this months Glossybox? Do you like the limited edition packaging illustrated by Jamie Lee Reardin?

Lots of Love
*PR Sample

Saturday 18 July 2015

Alpro Soya Simply Mild | Recipes

Hello My Lovelies, 

I hope you are all doing well and are having a fabulous weekend so far! Not so long ago I was contacted by Alpro to give their Alpro Soya Simply Mild a try. I have collaborated with Alpro previously and it was so much fun so I jumped at the chance once again. You can see my #AlproTops post here. Even though I struggle (yes I admit it) to keep on top of a continuous fitness routine I am slowly getting there, especially with the help of great healthy alternatives like Alpro Soya Simply Mild. 

Alpro Simply Mild has all the goodness of plant-based high quality soya with a milder, milky taste. The great thing about Alpro Soya Simply Mild is it's versatility because you can use it for pretty much anything depending on how you personally like to use it in recipes etc. It is perfect for your morning cereal, daily cup of coffee or tea, smoothies and baking. Eating more plant based foods can help to improve the nutritional quality of our diet. Made from the whole bean, Alpro soya products are naturally low in saturated fat, a source of plant protein and have added calcium, vitamin D and B vitamins – a healthy choice everyone can enjoy. As well as milk, cream and yogurt alternatives, soya is incredibly versatile, fitting into a plant based diet in any number of ways – soya bean curd (tofu) can be used in place of meat or fish; young green soya beans, or edamame, are delicious in salads or toasted as snacks, and fermented bean products such as soya sauce and miso can deliver delicious savoury flavour to recipes. I decided to put two drink recipes together and share them with you all. I decided to create a super delicious healthy fruit smoothie and also an iced chocolate coffee. I did add some spray cream and sprinkles for good measure but feel free to leave these out if you'd like to keep them that tad bit healthier. 

Peach Banana Smoothie 

Firstly, I decided to whip up a healthy smoothie and before grabbing my usual summer fruit concoction of Strawberries and Raspberries I decided to go for something slightly different. I absolutely love peaches and I do not use them enough in recipes so I decided to use some fresh Saturn Peaches, Bananas and of course the Alpro Soya Simply Mild. I recently purchased a Nutribullet so that was my culinary tool of choice - simple, effective and incredible quick! As the Saturn Peaches are quite small the recipe called for around 3, I simply peeled and chopped them up before adding them to the Nutribullet. I then added 1 medium sized Banana and then filled the cup around half of the way with the Alpro Soya Simply Mild. I added a handful of ice and blended everything together to my desired consistency. I then added everything to a Mason esque type jar, added some spray cream, sprinkles and a funky straw and there you have it. This Peach Banana Smoothie is a super simple and quick recipe that is always extremely satisfying. 

Iced Chocolate Coffee 

After trying a fruit smoothie I decided I wanted to give an iced coffee a try. Now, if you know me personally then you will know that I don't really like super strong coffee (what kind of Italian am I?! haha), however, I absolutely love hot chocolate. I decided to combine the two and create an iced chocolate coffee. I brewed up my favourite Candbury Hot Chocolate and  Kenco Millicano coffee (a good heaping teaspoon of each) I then added this to my Nutribullet with a sweetener and filled the cup until it was around 3/4 full with the Alpro Soya Simply Mild. Once blended to my desired frothy consistency I added it to another Mason esque type Jar with a handful of ice. I finished with spray cream, sprinkles and a funky straw again to complete this delicious drink off. I was actually extremely surprised with this recipe as I loved it so much more than what I thought I was going to - it had the perfect proportions of coffee to chocolate and the Alpro Soya Simply Mild added a lovely creamy taste. Summer will be calling for lots of Iced Chocolate Coffees! 

Overall, I was completely impressed with the Alpro Soya Simply Mild and I am so looking forward to incorporating it into my diet more. In the first picture you will see I included some Country Crisp with Strawberries which I love having for breakfast in the morning with a yogurt and from now on I will be using the Alpro Soya Simply Mild as an alternative - it really is delicious. 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 decide to give any of these recipes a try of add your own twist to them please let me know as I would love to see them and even give them a try myself! 

Lots of Love
*Contains PR Samples

Sunday 5 July 2015

Cult Beauty Haul ft. Anastasia Beverly Hills & More

Hello My Lovelies, 

I hope you are all doing well and you have all had a fabulous and super sunny weekend! Today I thought I would share with you a cheeky little haul I put together a few weeks ago on Cult Beauty. I haven't posted a haul in quite a while as I usually post all of my new beauty treats over on my Instagram (@SophiaMeola) but I thought it would be nice to share something different today, especially as this is my first ever order with Cult Beauty. Cult Beauty was founded by a team of British and American beauty junkies with a thirst for transparency and products that deliver. They pooled their resources to create a site that embodies a cult wish list of products, features and uncluttered design, complete with celebrity and insider beauty secrets. Cult Beauty are one of a very few selection of online stores that offer brands that are not so readily available in the UK, for example, Anastasia Beverly Hills! This haul occurred after #bbloggers chat a few week ago (hence why I caved haha) and I decided to pick up a selection of products I had been lusting after for such a long time. A few of the items I was going to hold out for as a trip to the USA is quite possibly on the cards this year (if not next year for sure), however, I just couldn't hold myself any longer and I felt like I needed these beautiful products in my life pronto. 

Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen...Sophia finally owns the coveted Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palette! On my last trip to the USA on 2013 I had just missed out on the Contour Kit and was completely devastated. At this point Anastasia Beverly Hills was a completely new brand to me but I have grown to love it even more throughout the years. I had contemplated ordering it from a selection of US websites, however, I would always worry about import taxes and if the palette would get damaged on the way (I've had palettes break from UK packaging). When I received an email that this little beauty had come back in stock on the Cult Beauty website you probably had never seen me move so fast. These palettes of six sculpting and highlighting powders have been causing a cyberspace furore. The palettes themselves consist of both matte and sateen textures and are perfect for emphasising your natural assets from your cheekbones, jawline, nose etc. I am extremely excited that I now have this beautiful product in my makeup collection and I am so looking forward to playing around with it and creating an array of different makeup looks. 

After adding the original powder Contour Kit into my basket I was extremely temped (and caved) to also include the Anastasia Beverly Hill Contour Cream Kit. I have been loving experimenting with creamier makeup products at the moment and like the Contour Kit is has grown to become a really loved product throughout the beauty community. The kit consists of extremely buttery and beautifully buildable textured cream shades that are perfect for sculpting your favourite features. As you can see, the shades practically mimic the powder variations so would work amazingly layered together. 

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz was a re-purchase for me and I am so glad I decided to pick another one up (looking back I should have picked up a few to keep as a backup). I don't know what it is but this product is just amazing and Soft Brown is the perfect shade for me. The little spoolie on one side is unlike any other spoolie I have used before...I have kept my empty Brow Wiz simply to use the spoolie on an everyday basis! You can see me using it in my recent GRWM YouTube video here. I was first introduced to Brow Wiz on my latest trip to the USA in 2013 and it is a product I will definitely be re-purchasing from now on. I never used to be that fussed about my eyebrows, however, the beauty community has totally changed me and for the better haha. I just can't leave the house without doing my eyebrows now, sad I know but if I do I feel quite naked?! Anyone else like that too? Everyone and their dog knows how much I adore my Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Hazel but in terms of a more luxurious brand, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz is simply amazing. 

After picking up the above palettes it was only natural I went to have a browse through the famous brow products! The first product I decided to pick up was the Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade in Soft Brown. The DipBrow Pomade is an easy-to-use, long-lasting answer to eyebrow perfection. The tinted, creamy formula is waterproof, smudge proof and ideal for creating defines, natural-looking brows. Like the Contour Kits this had also been a product I had been lusting after for the longest time. At the time this product released they didn't stock my shade (Soft Brown) so I had no idea which other shade would look best for me, I can be so indecisive when it comes to shades for my browns, foundation, concealer etc...anyone else like that?! I know they launched a selection of new shades maybe a year or so ago (maybe longer) so I knew I would be able to pick up my perfect shade, however, it has taken me this long to finally pick this beautiful product up. Never-the-less, I am excited to try this out and to get my eyebrows on fleek haha! 

The final brow product I picked up, which could potentially also double up as a great eyeliner brush is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Large Synthetic Duo Brow Brush in #12. After picking up the DipBrow Pomade it didn't take too much convincing to decide that I needed a brush to use with it. I was a little unsure on which brush to actually go for as there are a few in the collection, however, whilst purchasing the DipBrow Pomade they suggested that #12 would be my shopaholic instincts just went for it. With this particular brush you can create and enhance your natural brow shape and I really like how it is double-ended with a spoolie brush to groom before applying product. 

Concealer is a beauty junkies saviour, I mean you can conceal imperfections, primer your eyelids and highlight with one fabulous little product. I have to admit this was an impulse purchase and looking back maybe it wasn't necessary as I picked up the Contour Cream Kit which has light concealer esque shades...but heyyy what can a beauty obsessed girl gonna do haha. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Concealer in 1.0 is a full coverage creamy cover up that blurs imperfections, disguises dark circles and adds definition to the face. Initial thoughts, I am obsessed with this concealer and I am so glad I added it to my basket. You need the tiniest amount of product as a little goes such a long way. 

Can we just take a moment to appreciate how adorable this beauty blender is?! I think I am actually obsessed! An original Beauty Blender is £16, so did I really have to spend £6 extra for this beautiful jewelled stand?! No YES! Like most of the products in this post, I had been lusting after a Beauty Blender for the longest time. A huge selection of YouTubers, beauty bloggers and people I know personally use them and I thought it was about time I finally picked one up and tried it out for myself.  Every hardworking Beauty Blender is deserving of its own bejewelled throne, the ultimate resting place for your favourite make up applicator, this sparkling stand is multi-functional and is not just there for the sole purpose of looking also allows the sponge to dry thoroughly, whilst also ensuring it is always accessible and noticeable. The Beauty Blender has an innovative elliptical shape that is perfect for contouring the face, applying foundation and much more. I think it will working perfectly paired with the Contour Kits above and the Beauty Blender is an expert at applying liquid, cream or powder (yes powder) formulations. 

The Oskia Renaissance Cleaning Gel has been a skincare treat I have been lusting after for a while now. I am in no where means a professional when it comes to skincare and I can put my hands up and say I have not yet found a routine that I am completely satisfied with. I am really enjoying playing around with a selection of different skincare products to find the perfect routine for my skin type. With a potent blend of high-tech natural ingredients including a broad range of vitamins and essential skin nutrients, Oskia's Renaissance Cleansing Gel is the original gel cleanser of its ilk; it helps to strengthen and revitalise skin whilst eliminating every last speck of residual everyday grime. Lactobacillus (Pumpkin Enzyme) purges pores and dissolves the bonds that bind dead cells to skin’s surface; Vitamin A Palmitate helps improve the appearance of sun damaged, dry and mature skin by gently resurfacing and promoting elasticity; Vitamins C and E are known for their restorative properties and work to fortify and protect against free radical and environmental attack; Starflower Oil (a potent source of Omega 6), Magnesium and Vitamins B2 and C promote firmness while Oskia’s signature MSM (the most bio-available form of Sulphur) detoxifies, soothes and reduces inflammation. I mean this product sounds pretty perfect right?! I have used this a few times now and every time I have been complete impressed. I will make sure to follow up with a full review soon. 

The Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm was another skincare treat that I had been lusting after for the longest time. This Cleansing Balm makes for a relaxing and soothing skin ritual; melting away make up to leave skin ‘squeakily’ clean but ethereally soft. The formulation consists of wild sea fennel and vitamin E to rebalance, purify and reduce the appearance of pores, and extracts of jasmine and rose to restore radiance to dull, dehydrated and more mature skin types. This is the perfect evening (also morning skincare routine) pamper product that is offers the perfect way to take the day off, this indulgent balm also doubles as a therapeutic treatment mask when applied to clean skin before bathing. I have used this product a few times now (my Mum also) and so far we are both equally impressed. After, first usage you feel and see an instance change in you skin and I am looking forward to see what else it offers my skin. I will make sure to follow up with a full review soon. 

Overall, I am over the moon with the above selection of products and I am so glad I went out on a whim and spontaneously placed this order with Cult Beauty. I am enjoying every single product and I can't wait to share full reviews with you. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see in particular. If you would like to check out any of the product mentioned in this post you can stop by the Cult Beauty website. 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 is on your current beauty wish list? Would you give any of these products a try?

Lots of Love
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