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Sunday 27 March 2016

Remington Shine Therapy Dryer Review & Giveaway

Hello My Lovelies,

Happy Easter! I hope you are all doing well and are having a wonderful Easter weekend so far. I have had a lovely day with my family and I have enjoyed forgetting about the diet for a little while and actually enjoy some sweet treats haha. Now, it is no secret here on my blog that I have a huge obsession with hairdryers and I am constantly on the hunt to find the perfect one that can work well enough with my hair. I have said it before and I will say it thing we can never have enough of in the Meola household are hairdryers. My Mum and I both have really long, thick and naturally wavy / curly hair so we always need a fabulous hairdryer on hand to tame our locks. In the past, I have reviewed the Panasonic Nanoe, GHD Aura and also the Toni & Guy Compact AC Power Dryer - if you would like to read my thoughts on those I have linked my previous posts. So, when Remington got in contact with me to see whether I would be interested in giving their new Shine Therapy Dryer* a try I literally jumped at the chance...and my hair is absolutely loving it! So, after incorporating the Shine Therapy Dryer into my hair care routine for a good month now I thought it was about time I share my thoughts with you all. Also, giving that it is Easter and I have been feeling extra chirpy I thought I would finally reveal a special little giveaway I have been working on with Remington for one of my lovely readers - stay tuned to the end of the post to find out more!

Remington is a brand that has been grasping the beauty communities interest with their fabulous product portfolio. Damp, rainy weather (which is quite prone here in the UK) causes hair to misbehave and as a result our locks can look limp and lifeless. With Remington's latest launch, you don't need to dread the April showers as the Shine Therapy works to add shine and create head-turning, sleek and professional results! They actually sponsored the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards last year so it was great to see some of the tools in action and meet some of the team on the night. The last styling tool I had the opportunity to try from their product wardrobe was their Curl Revolution and I don't think I had ever tried anything like it before. If you would like to see a review of this also then please let me know - I think you'll love it!

Like I mentioned in my previous post, washing, drying and styling my hair leaves me feeling physically and emotionally drained. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my hair when it is freshly washed and styled but boy is it a process. Like I mentioned above, I have quite long and thick hair which means I need a hair tool that I feel confident in using...especially If I am in a hurry and I need a full-proof tool. The Remington Shine Therapy Dryer has been designed to deliver beautifully glossy, frizz-free shine with every blow dry. The dryer itself uses an innovative ionic technology with its state-of-the-art generator, which emits 90% more ions for incredible, long-lasting frizz-free results. As you style and use the dryer, hot air travels through the grille and releases more ions than a standard dryer - pretty fabulous right?! The grille is also removable which makes cleaning and maintaining the dryer incredibly easy.

The Remington Shine Therapy Dryer also features two speed settings and three heat setting so you can create a bespoke experience when drying and styling your is all about your hair type or preferences. The dryer itself also packs a punch with 2300 watt's power with a speedy airflow of 85km to deliver fast drying results with total ease and no damage. I usually dry my hair on the maximum speed purely because I know it's going to speed up the drying process and I was so impressed with it. I usually dry my hair without any attachments, however, if you are a fan of these then Remington have you covered...there are two featured in this kit. The first attachment is the concentrator nozzle which helps you focus the powerful air flow to deliver accurate styling. The second nozzle is the diffuser and this is designed for naturally wavy / curly hair, however, it also helps you create volume, which is fabulous. Does anyone else find it hard using a diffuser?! I swear even after working in a salon we have this love, hate relationship...I always end up knocking myself out with it haha. Not only that but the dryer also has a handy dandy cool shot feature. I love using a blast of cold air on my hair after styling as it helps keep your style in place but it also closes all of the hair follicles which reduced frizz and enhances shine.

Overall, I have really been enjoying incorporating the Remington Shine Therapy Dryer into my hair care routine and I haven't been reaching for anything else. Also, can we take a moment to appreciate how cute it is?! The design is so aesthetically pleasing with the white and pearly mint almost reminds me of something Elsa from Frozen would use! Coming in at £26.99* I think this is a complete bargain and I would recommend it to anyone. I have undergone a hair routine transformation recently and I have been incorporating a wide range of new products so if this is something you would like to see then please let me know.

The Giveaway & Rules

Now, on to the fabulous giveaway! This is my first giveaway of 2016 and I am over the moon about collaborating with Remington and being able to offer one of my lovely readers this prize. Remington have put together a care package consisting of the Shine Therapy Dryer, a Remington hairbrush and also a super cute Cath Kidston Umbrella.

1. You must be following my blog through Bloglovin' to qualify
2. This giveaway will run from 27th March 2016 until 17th April 2016
3. I am using Rafflecopter for this giveaway so please follow the instruction on the widget to enter. The more you enter the better the chance of you winning this giveaway
4. Open to UK residents only (so sorry to my international readers)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my latest review. 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!

Good Luck and Lots of Love,

*PR Sample

Saturday 26 March 2016

Batiste Stylist Range | XXL Volume, Heat & Shine

Hello My Lovelies,

I hope you are all doing well and are having a fabulous Easter weekend so far! I thought today I would share with you two of my current hair styling product obsessions, both by one of my favourite high-street brands Batiste! This post has been a long time coming and honestly I have no idea why I have never spoken about Batiste on my blog before as their dry shampoo is one of my holy grail products that I use on a daily basis. I think I have tried pretty much every single variation that Batiste offer, however, the two that I constantly repurchase are the XXL Volume and the Heavenly Volume...can you tell I love adding some umph to my locks?!

As you will know, Batiste are known for their hero dry shampoo products, however, they have now decided to step up their game and introduce a new stylist range to their product wardrobe which consists of 6 products. The new line-up consists of a Frizz Tamer, XXL Plumping Powder, Hairspray, Texturizing Spray, Heat & Shine Spray* and XXL Volume Spray*. The new stylist range is all about instant results for quick and easy styling transformations. I was recently sent two products from the new line to try out and it has made me fall head over heels in love with Batiste all over again. Each product in the line comes in under £5, are great quality, are long-lasting and actually, do what they say on the bottle.

First up we have the XXL Volume Spray* which I believe is a new and improved formulation of their previous XXL Volume Dry Shampoo, which was one of my ultimate favourites. You can literally take your hair to new heights with this instant backcomb spray! If you are looking for sky-high styles then this is the perfect product for you. The new formulation is infused with Keratin to help strengthen and Inca Inchi Oil to nourish, so you can style away knowing your big do will stay healthy too. This product definitely has a lighter feel to it in comparison to the previous XXL Volume Spray which is a fabulous touch. I love using this product on freshly washed hair (when my hair is so clean that it clings to my face and it won't behave haha) and also on second-day and sometimes third-day hair too (shhh) - it helps add the perfect amount of volume without making your hair feel crunchy, powdery or like you need to wash it all over again. I have super long and thick hair so finding a product like this that helps add volume is rare - I absolutely love this one!

The second product I had the opportunity to try was the Heat & Shine Spray* - a fabulous new product to the range. You can keep your locks looking hot without the heat damage with this clever 2-in-1 heat protectant and shine spray. According to Batiste this spray can protect your hair up to 230°c and can shielf your hair from pretty much every styling tool out there. This multi-functional hair hero is specially developed for dry (not damp) hair, so you can heat style and add a sleek mirror shine finish in no time at all. Once your hair is styled you can re-use the spray to add some more shine, however, I would suggest using this sparingly and only mist mid-length downwards to avoid creating greasy roots. When it comes to my hair I am not super extravagant on a daily basis, honestly, I get physically and emotionally drained when I have to wash and style my hair, it is always a task haha...but I do love freshly washed and styled hair. Previously, I very rarely (if ever) used a heat protectant, however, since I was introduced to the new Heat & Shine Spray I have been using it non-stop. I have undergone a hair routine transformation and I have incorporated a wide range of new products so if this is something you would like to see then please let me know.

Overall, I have been left extremely impressed with the new Stylist range and I can't wait to give a few other products from the line-up a try - the Hairspray and Texturizing Spray are calling my name. Also, Boots currently have an offer running on Batiste (there is always some kind of offer on) - they are currently offering 3-for-2 on all haircare products so if you are looking at giving one of the new products a try or if you are looking to stock up on your favourites then this would be the perfect time.

Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my latest review. 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 new Batiste Stylist range? Which of the 6 new products would you try?

Lots of Love

*PR Sample

Friday 25 March 2016

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara

Hello My Lovelies,

I hope you are all having an amazing start to the long weekend, I can't believe Easter is only a few days away now! Is it just me or does this year seem to be flying by already?! I mean we are almost in April! I thought today I would write up something I have been rather excited about sharing with you all. I have collaborated with Harrods a few time in the past and honestly it is always a pleasure. Harrods is one of my all time favourite department stores and you literally have everything you could possibly want under one roof. Plus, I love how you can earn points on absolutely everything that you purchase in-store, it makes everything seem that little bit more justifiable, especially when the points convert into money!

"Beauty to me is in the unexpected - it's what surprises you" - Marc Jacobs 

In 2013, fashion designer Marc Jacobs brought his signature rule-breaking creativity to make-up with the launch of Marc Jacobs Beauty. And now, the long-anticipated UK launch has landed exclusively at Harrods. You can now shop the must-have range of chic shades, luxurious textures and targeted formulas from the Marc Jacobs Beauty wardrobe. According to Marc Jacobs himself, a lot of his shade names are references to movies, heroes, lines and other iconic things that amuse him. The packaging of every product is seductive, inviting and makes you want to pick it up and touch it - to indulge in all of the colours and textures. There has been so much hype in the beauty industry regarding this stunning beauty line and I am extremely excited that it is now available here in the UK.

If you are looking for the perfect excuse to splurge in the Harrods beauty halls then look no further...this Marc Jacobs beauty will definitely have you swooning! Firstly, I think we all need to take a moment to appreciate this gorgeous PR packaging and of course, the actual packaging of the Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara* itself. When this package initially landed on my doorstep I honestly didn't know what to expect...once I opened the parcel I literally sat there in shock just staring at the box. I kept opening and closing it like a big kid making the video replay over and over again...honestly, I was in some kind of trance haha! The video inside the box is definitely one I would recommend you watch because it explains how the mascara came to life. The #VelvetNoir mascara is inspired by Marc Jacobs's first beauty memory, of his mother carefully shaving fibres from a velvet ribbon to create her own couture faux lashes. Now that classic beauty secret of velvet-effect lashes is yours in a blink!

After trying out this mascara for a good few weeks now I don't think there is one thing I dislike, it has  definitely ticked all of the right boxes for me. You can experience more volume and that false lash effect with this glorious Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara*. The lash-maximising, curvy brush places the most volume at the hard-to-reach centre lash line, and the defining tip styles lashes for major drama. The ultra-concentrated black pigment delivers the greatest visual impact, and the Flash Volume Complex(TM) creates instant, smudge-free length and volume in three strokes or less. The packaging has also been designed in a beautiful aesthetically pleasing way. It has a hexagon feel to it which you would think would be quite uncomfortable to hold, however, it actually makes your grip so much easier. I absolutely adore the luxuriously sleek black packaging, however, it is prone to finger marks so beware haha.


Coming in at £20* it is definitely on the higher-end of the makeup price spectrum, however, I feel like it is worth every penny. In fact, there are some Chanel, Dior, Estee Lauder, Giorgio Armani etc. mascaras that are more expensive so it's not completely breaking the bank in terms of luxury makeup brands. Overall, it is such a stunning mascara and I adore the story behind its creation...definitely a must have beauty treat I would recommend to anyone. 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 about the new Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara? Would you give it a try?

Lots of Love

*PR Sample

Saturday 19 March 2016

Slimming World Update #1 | How I Lost 1 Stone

Hello My Lovelies,

I hope you are all doing well and are having a wonderful weekend so far. I have had a super productive day - I woke up extremely early and went to the gym (shock horror haha) and I've been blogging, snap vlogging and taking photographs all afternoon. Last week I added a poll on Twitter to see what you would like to see next on my blog and the 'Something Personal' option won...which brings me on to today post. After much deliberation I thought today was the day I shared something a little more personal with you all. There are literally so many things going on in my life that I could write about but honestly the one major change in my life this year has got to be my fitness and weight loss journey. I never thought I'd feel comfortable talking about my journey on my blog but here I am typing away haha. As cliche as it sound's, I set myself a 'New Year, New Me' resolution around fitness and I have been working on it ever since I joined Slimming World on 4th January 2016. I have been daily vlogging over on snapchat and I take you along to weigh-in nights, the gym and much more, so if you'd like to take a peek you can find me at @SophiaMeola*Disclaimer Alert* This post is me placing my cards on the table, being a little vulnerable and sharing my experiences with you. Dieting is not for everyone and honestly, I never thought I would become so consumed by it all but here I am today talking about my journey. It is not my intention to offend anyone with this post, it is all about sharing and creating stepping stones for my own personal journey. I have also had some messages and tweets come through asking for a post like this and I thought it would be a great avenue for the lifestyle portion of my blog. Always remember that we are all unique, beautiful and should never change for anyone other than ourselves.

I guess we'll start off with a little background. All my life I've never felt the need to diet because I genuinely didn't care for it. When I was younger I used to be so sporty, partaking in Karate, gymnastics, dance and swimming lessons. It must have been half way through middle school that I slowly started to fizzle out of these activities as school was getting more intense and I also wanted a social life in between it all. When I was younger I could literally eat anything and I wouldn't gain weight...but I guess that one of the joys of being young and super active. I think I never completely accepted the fact that I couldn't eat anything and everything now I'm 23 and expect to stay a certain weight haha...unfortunately I am not that lucky! I think my main drawback was the fact (and still is the fact) that I have a major sweet tooth and I could honestly eat cake and chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner...I mean you all know how obsessed I am with Red Velvet cake haha.

I guess I could ramble on but January of this year is when I finally decided to make a change. The first step was joining a slimming club and I decided on Slimming World. I had heard some great reviews, my Mum used Slimming World around 10 years ago and successfully lost weight, there is a great selection of recipes and my group is just around the corner from me which makes it super convenient. Christmas and New Year passed and it was time for my first Slimming World session. All the New Year starters were grouped together and we were fully briefed in about the program, the syn system, hex allowances (which was so much to take in haha) and then came the dreaded first weigh-in! Now, we haven't had weight scales in the house for years so the last time I had an idea about how much I weighed was when I last visited the doctors and I honestly couldn't even remember. After you get weighed you then decide on the target that you would like to achieve on the target was 1st 9.5lbs away and I had no idea how I was going to manage to achieve it as I was so skeptical of how the diet would work for me. I always knew that going into something like this I never had a great deal to loose (and I am constantly reminded of this every week at group) but I think that all comes down to the fact that we all have our own insecurities and little things we want to change. I remember looking at a pictures of myself at my works Christmas party and the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards back in November and basically ripping into myself. I think for me it was all about making a few changes, toning my body and just feeling more confident in myself...actually feeling comfortable walking on the beach in a bikini and overall feeling more healthy.

So, the first week on the Slimming World plan was a definite wake-up call! I stuck to the plan religiously, on some days I wouldn't have any of my syn allowance and I strictly stuck to drinking water...until I realised you could have sugar-free Sprite haha. So, my first weigh-in fastly approached and I remember standing in the queue thinking there was no way I could have lost anything...I mean, I stuffed myself on meat, pasta, eggs, fruit and so on as there are no limits to your free food portions. There were a lot of carbs involved! Then I received the biggest shock, I had lost 2.5lbs! It restored faith in the plan and it definitely motivated me to work harder and see what else I could achieve. My weight loss has been slow and steady which is exactly what I wanted to do. At this time I was also taking part in a weekly personal training group boot camp, however, I had around 3 sessions left so I decided to join my local Fitness First. I have been religiously attending the gym for around 6 weeks now taking part in LBT and Spinning classes on Tuesday evenings and my own freestyle on Thursdays. Slimming World has been designed for you to lose weight without exercise but in order for me to tone my body, I knew I had to incorporate something else into my new lifestyle change.

My 10 Week Progress

Week 1: -2.5lbs
Week 2: -1lb
Week 3: -1lb
Week 4: -2.5lbs
Week 5: +0.5lbs
Week 6: -3lbs
Week 7: Maintained
Week 8: -2lbs
Week 9: -1lb
Week 10: -1.5lbs

I think overall this has been a complete lifestyle change for me. I mean, I went to the gym this morning...I never thought I would actually be able to say I went to the gym on a Saturday! That is a huge deal for me. I work long hours so my weekends are the two days where I can be lazy and not feel completely guilty about it...although, I have found I haven't been as productive lately so I have decided to make a change to that also! I still have my treats throughout the week and I have learnt to balance everything so I am maintaining this steady loss. However, the real work starts when I hit my target and making sure I stay put! It has been so easy incorporating Slimming World into my daily life and it is great to actually see the results. I have also enjoyed having my Mum there every step of the way on this journey also as we decided to join together. So it is great having someone around to motivate you and remind you of how well you are doing. However, it has also had it's difficulties. I have the biggest cravings for all of my favourite treats and sometimes the most random of foods that I never ate random! However, it has definitely been a challenge making sure this whole journey doesn't consume me. Some days I am so consumed by it all that it ruins my day and this is something I need to work on because it is not a competition, this is my own personal journey and I am doing it for myself! I mean, losing 1 Stone in 10 weeks is a huge deal for me and I pinch myself all the time because I can't believe I have managed to achieve that! It is an emotional rollercoaster at times but I am glad I decided to take this leap! Always remember to strive for progression and not perfection...the best way to get things done is to simply begin!

A Few Top Tips

1. Drink plenty of water: Everything you read about water intake is true and upping your intake is going to help you shed the pounds, make you feel better in yourself and clear up your skin. I like having fancy and fun tumblers on my desk and around me so it reminds me to keep a flow of liquids in my diet.

2. Don't become consumed by the diet: Always remember you are on this journey for yourself, it is not a competition and you can treat yourself every now and again!

3. Let go of the guilt: Don't be afraid to treat yourself every now and again. Monday nights are usually my major cheat evening as it's straight after weigh-in but honestly, having a treat on a Friday evening is not going to ruin your progress that week...just remember to be moderate and learn how your body works.

4. Go to group: Attending the group sessions is a great way to keep on track and motivated. Everyone in group is there for the same reason as you and are a great support system. It is also a great place to share tips, tricks and advice.

If you have managed to stick around until the end then thank you so much for reading about my journey! I could have kept typing but I knew I had to stop at places to ensure I wasn't rambling on haha. I am thinking about adding a few more installments and creating a series so please let me know if this is something you would like to see on my blog. I also have a tonne of recipes that I can't wait to share with you all - one of which is a super deliciously overnight oats dish! 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

Sunday 13 March 2016

Lush Easter Haul | 2016

Hello My Lovelies,

I hope you are all doing well and are having a wonderful weekend so far! Like I mentioned in my previous post I am making a conscious decision to get back into my blogging routine and share my beauty, fashion and lifestyle ramblings with you all. I have a tonne of exciting content that I cannot wait to share with you all and hopefully you'll enjoy it too. I took to Twitter this morning to see what you wanted to see go live on the blog today and my Easter Lush Haul won! I do love a good ol' Lush haul and I am a sucker for all of the limited edition collections that are released seasonally throughout the year.

So, after taking a browse through my archives it looks like my last Lush haul was posted back in 2013?! Well, that seriously seems like a lifetime ago now! I did film a Lush haul back in October over on my YouTube channel if you wanted to take a peek at that - I am still new to the whole YouTube scene so please be nice and don't make fun of my 'not so great' descriptions of the products and the fact I called everything a bath bomb haha. We've all got to start from somewhere though right?! Here is a link to my YouTube channel.

A few weeks ago I was invited down to my local Lush store to see the new Easter collection first hand before it launched in store. I have been to a few Lush events and they are some of my favourites to attend, purely because I have a serious obsession with Lush and I love a good ol' pampering bath. We received an introduction to all of the Easter releases and we also got to see them in action. I picked up a few of the items that caught my eye and I really hope you enjoy them too! Everything featured in this post was purchased by myself at the event, however, Lush did give me a gorgeous goodie bag. I was thinking of talking through these over on Snapchat (SophiaMeola) maybe? Let me know if you would prefer a blog post, snap vlog or Instagram post :)

So, first up we have the Which Came First? bath bomb which is a re-release and back after much demand. This was one of my favourites when they launched it originally a few years ago so I am so pleased to see it back this year. This is a sweet and citrusy bath bomb shaped like an Easter egg which is packed full of uplifting and refreshing Grapefruit oil, sweet and comforting Vanilla with Lemon oil also. Coming in at £6.95 this is slightly on the pricey side, however, you are definitely getting your money's worth with this particular bath bomb. You can crack open the generously-sized pink egg to coax out a chick bath bomb on the inside! So, you can enjoy three (or more if you break down the pieces) egg-cellent baths. You can, of course, use the bath bomb in one go also, the water will be infused with deliciously sweet fuchsia hues.

The second bath bomb I have to share with you is the Fluffy Egg which is also a re-release and one of my absolute favourites. Fluffy Egg is a super adorable pink Easter egg shaped bath bomb finished off with some sweet candy floral accents. If you are a fan of Snow Fairy and the Creamy Candy Bubble Bar then you will absolutely fall in love with this one. It has a wonderful sweet candy-floss and bubblegum scent which leaves the bath water a girly pink shade. This super girly bath bomb comes in at £2.95 and is definitely one I would re-purchase over and over again.

The next bath bomb I have to share with you is Humpty Dumpty and honestly this one kind of freaks me out a little bit! Never-the-less I really do like the overall concept of this bath bomb and Lush have even launched a gift set call the Good Egg which features a wide selection of this year's collection and looks like Humpty Dumpty on a wall. This bath bomb has notes of bergamot and Brazilian orange oil which combined smell just like caramel - super yummy! Just like Which Came First? you can crack the outter shell to reveal a hidden alter-eggo (Lush are loving their puns this year haha) in the form of a fried egg! This bath bomb also comes in at £6.95 which yet again is slightly on the pricey side, however, you are definitely getting your money;s worth with this particular bath bomb. Yet again you can enjoy three (or more if you break down the pieces) baths from this particular bath bomb and it is definitely one to check out as it is a completely new release.

Next up we have this glorious golden bath bomb melt which is called Good as Gold. I love how there is almost an Easter fairytale theme going on this year with Humpty Dumpty and now the golden egg. I don't think I have ever tried a bath bomb melt before so I cam definitely looking forward to giving this one a try - even though I know this is going to leave my bath in a right state haha. I absolutely love glitter but boy does it go everywhere. This golden egg has a yummy toffee scent and is packed full of Fair Trade Colombian cocoa butter and has moisturising olive oil, bergamot and orange oil which together create a delicious chocolate scent - just like Mr Wonka's Chcolate Factory! Good as Gold comes in at £3.95 and is definitely a fun one to give a try - it doesn't leave bubbles in the water but it creates this almost liquid gold feel to the water.

I think I have saved my favourite for last and one that I was extremely excited to see part of the collection this year which is the Bunch of Carrots re-usable bubble bars. At the event we did a 'treasure hunt' type task where we all had to find a product that was wrapped up in the new Easter knot-wrap and the bunch of Carrots is the one I found wrapped up in my parcel. This is a re-release with a twist - originally this was only a single orange carrot, then Lush release a bunch of orange carrots and this year they have had another makeover. Dig up the dirt on refreshing tropical bathing with this adorable trio of carrots. You can hold one or even the whole bunch under running water to send bubbly clouds of buchu, lemon and grapefruit oils scurrying across your bath. This years distinctive bright colours make it an attractive addition to anyone's Easter basket and bathtime routine. The bunch of Carrots come in at £6.25 but like I mentioned above you are going to receive countless baths from  this product depending on how long you run it under running water for. Bubble bars are some of my favourite products from Lush and I am super excited to see this one in action.

There we have it, my 2016 Lush Easter Haul which is packed full of yummy scents, unique designs and creative themes! I would definitely recommend you check out this year's collection, there is something fun for everyone and who else loves limited edition collections like I do?! The collection is available now in store and online. I really hope you enjoyed exploring some of the new products from the new collection and I seriously cannot wait for my Lush pampering this evening - Sunday pamper sessions are the best! 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 this year's Easter collection? Will you be giving anything a try?

Lots of Love

Saturday 12 March 2016

Welcome to the Benefit POREfessional Family: Matte Rescue & Instant Wipeout Masks

Hello My Lovelies,

I hope you are all doing really well and you have had a great week! It is safe to say that the past week has been a crazy one for me and honestly I still feel completely drained. Life in general has been quite hectic lately but I am making a conscious effort to make more time for my blog and making sure I have more 'me' time. My blog has grown to be such a huge part of my life and I love it so much, so I went back and read through my 2016 blogging resolutions and motivated myself to get back into my blogging mode. I have lots of wonderful things to share with you and honestly I am so excited!

As you can probably tell by the title of this post, Benefit Cosmetics have recently launched some exciting new editions to their POREfessional family...with even more exciting launches to come throughout 2016! Benefit has always been a brand that has stood out to me and I have absolutely loved their overall ethos and product range for as long as I can remember...they literally can do no wrong! It is no secret that Benefit's POREfessional range is a best-selling line and rightly so they keep wowing their fans with even more POREfessional, why not as a few more to the mix?! Benefit have well and truly done it again with these brand new releases, POREfessional Matte Rescue and POREfessional Instant Wipeout Mask...the two new secret weapons to defeat pores and shine!

Firstly, we have the brand new POREfessional Matte Rescue Invisible-finish Mattifying Gel. Matte Rescue is a lightweight, water-based gel primer that is said to overpower shine and absorb excess surface oil, leaving a natural-looking matte and refreshed finish to the skin. The formulation is also blended with diamond powder (so fancy!) which is known for it's soft-focus pore-blurring properties which instantly helps minimise the look of pores. At first glance you could say it has a similar feel to the original POREfessional, however, they have completely different formulations and Benefit actually recommend you use them together for the ultimate POREfessional finish. Apply a thin layer of Matte Rescue all over freshly cleansed skin and then pat the POREfessional primer on top. I prefer applying Matte Rescue all over my face, as the formulation is gel based it helps keep my skin moisturised, whereas I prefer applying POREfessional around my t-zone to area correct. Pores, shine and fine lines are less visible and makeup glides on to the skin like a dream!

The one thing I found slightly baffling about this product was the fact that the gel itself is blue. Yes, you read that correctly! However, even though the formulation has this distinctive colouring it does not change the appearance of your's like a magic blue gel that vanishes when it comes to contact with skin! So far I have really been enjoying this product and honestly, I absolutely adore the entire POREfessional range. I have been reaching for this and my trusty Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation* on a daily basis and I simply love it! It is the perfect everyday base which I have found perfect for those long days in the office! Matte Rescue is priced at £21.50* which I think it great considering how much product you are receiving, plus, it is coming in slightly cheaper than the original POREfessional!

The second brand new launch I have to share with you today is the POREfessional Instant Wipeout Masks. When these landed on my doorstep I was honestly hooked from the moment I saw them, these masks are like nothing I have seen before and this is a brand new initiative for Benefit. This superhero-strength, dual-sided face mask cleans out and smoothes out the look of pores around your nose, forehead and chin. The specially textured fabric woven from cottony fibers help exfoliate and remove pore impurities, whilst the mushroom extract helps to clarify pores. I would say that I suffer with an oily t-zone and, unfortunately, I do have some pesky black heads which are stubborn to remove on my nose (I'm only human...cries!) so these little beauties are the perfect solution to help and keep on hand in my beauty stash. If this is something you suffer with too then I would definitely recommend them!

Benefit are known for their unique packaging and they have come full force with this one. The Instant Wipeout Masks come in little sachets with a 'press' button on them and when you press it, the product itself drenches the mask. You then simply peel the packaging open and out pops a little mask ready to use. These fabulous masks are priced at £24.50* and you receive 8 sachets per box. When you break it down it is just over £3.00 per mask which is slightly on the pricey side, however, I don't mind splurging every now and again on skincare products I know are actually going to make a difference in my skincare routine...or on anything Benefit for that matter - I am a true Benefan!

Both of these brand new product are available to purchase in store and online now! I would definitely recommend stopping by your local counter to pick up some samples if you can and give them a try for yourself, especially if you are a little wary of purchasing the full size straight off the bat before seeing them in action. Overall, I am extremely impressed with both the Matte Rescue and Instant Wipeout Masks and I feel they are both going to hold a firm place in my skincare and beauty routine. I also think that these are going to be fabulous products for the Summer time with the warmer weather slowly approaching. If you would like to find out more about the new POREfessional line you can do so by visiting the Benefit website or by visiting a local counter - the Benebabes are always on hand to help!

I hope you all enjoyed this post and finding out a little more about Benefits newest releases! 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 are your thoughts on the POREfessional Matte Rescue and Instant Wipeout Masks? Will you be giving them a try?

Lots of Love

*PR Sample

Thursday 3 March 2016

Mothers Day Gift Guide with Debenhams

Hello My Lovelies,

I hope you are all doing well and are having a wonderful week so far! I thought today I would share with you a Mothers Day Gift Guide in collaboration with Debenhams. I posted a Mothers Day Gift Guide a few years ago and I am not quite sure why I never posted one last year?! I love putting gift guides together and I want to do them more often moving forward - buying gifts for all the special people in my life just brings me so much joy! Plus, I seem to receiving a great response from you all and that motivates me to create even more gift guides haha.

It only seems like yesterday that I was posting my 2016 Valentines Day Gift Guide and now it's almost Mothers Day! For this years Mothers Day Gift Guide I have teamed up with Debenhams to bring you a few of my favourite pieces from their online gift ideas section and I couldn't wait to share them with you all. Debenhams are always one of my go-to shopping destinations because there is literally everything you could possibly need under one roof (or online of course!), I just LOVe their Beauty Card and collecting my helps justify those cheeky little splurges haha.

Debenhams White Wash Wood Family Drame | £10.00*

The cute and sentimental gift! The first item I wanted to share with you was this gorgeous white wash wooden photo frame from the Debenhams home department. I think this would make such a sentimental gift and coming in at £10.00 is a complete bargain. I can't wait to place a special family photo inside this frame and present it to my Mum on Mothers Day! I just adore the shabby chic wooden design and the quote on the front is super adorable.

Clarins Skincare Selection 

If you are looking for something more pampering to gift to your Mother then I would definitely recommend something from Clarins as they are overall such an incredible brand. The three products featured in this post are all about making you feel good, pampered and relaxed. Firstly we have the Clarins Body Lift Cellulite Control | £38.00* which is an outstanding body care product developed to fight early and stubborn cellulite. The revolutionary body-contouring cream is a unique combination of active ingredients, feels incredible on the skin and has a delightful scent. The second product is the Clarins Exfoliating Body Scrub for Smooth Skin | £30.00* which feels wonderful when applied - perfect for post gym pamper sessions! The Bamboo Powders in the formulation leaves the skin silky-soft smooth to the touch and glowing with radiance. The final product is the Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel | £21.00* which is a product I have featured on my blog before. Clarins describe this product as a true cleansing sensation! The triple-texture cleansing gel transforms into an oil that melts away every last trace of excess oil and impurities - including the heaviest of makeup. Water activates the gel into a silky milk that rinses your skin squeaky clean. 

Clarins have a huge selection of products ranging from makeup to skincare so if these particular products don't sound like something you would want to try or gift to someone else, then don't forget to check out their selection on the Debenhams website

What would a gift guide be without a little bling?! Debenhams have a huge selection of beautiful jewellery pieces for all occasions. These gorgeous earrings are designed by Eric Van Peterson and are a beautiful sterling silver feather design with set cubic zirconia. These dainty earrings would accompany any outfit and are such a classic design. If you know that your Mum would love a beautiful piece of jewellery (that doesn't break the bank) then Debenhams have a great selection. 

RJR.John Rocha Designer Silver Cutout Lily Scented Votive Candle | £22.00*

If you have read my blog for the very beginning then you will know I have an obsession with candles...where did I get this obsession from might you ask? My Mother, of course haha! When my eyes caught this candle I instantly fell in love! This is a scented candle from the Debenhams designer RJR.John Rocha and is a gorgeous festive lily scent. The silver votive with floral cutout design is simply stunning and would look absolutely gorgeous out on display...this is definitely a unique design and I love to rose gold accents on the packaging!

I hope you all enjoyed my Mothers Day gift Guide in collaboration with Debenhams. If you are still thinking of that special gift I hope you found some inspiration in this post. Everything featured is easily accessible in-store or online, just make sure you give yourself enough time for delivery. If you have any other gift ideas pretty please share them in the comments below as I would love to hear them!

I am actually in London all weekend at a few events and of course, celebrating Mothers Day with my family. If you would like to see what I get up to this weekend make sure you are following me on Snapchat (@SophiaMeola) I will definitely try to snap vlog as much as I can! 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.

I hope you all have a wonderful Mothers Day!

Lots of Love

*PR Sample
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