Friday, 8 August 2014

University: House Sharing

As some of you may know, I'm currently studying Photography (or BA (Hons) Photographic Arts) at University. I'm just going into my third year - hello Dissertation! - and the aftermath of the big bad and exciting world is beckoning... 

For my first year, I lived in the University Halls which honestly I'd recommend to anyone first going to Uni. You meet all your friends and you have so much fun and I know I wouldn't have had such a great time if I wasn't there. Plus, the student bar is just around the corner... For my second year I've been living in a house with 5 others and we are so so lucky with the place we found. It's big and spacious and only a short bus ride from Uni. We love it so much that we're staying on for our third year. Halls and living with people is very different. There's almost a 'bubble' around your time in halls... I mean there was a cleaner to clean the kitchen and drinking and having fun was our main priority. But when it comes to a house, there's more to think about and so I thought I'd share a few of my tips for when it comes to living with a bunch of people in a rented house. Of course, this is only what I have found to be right. Maybe you will find communal food works for you, but for me, this is what I'd say... 


If I'm honest, this is my main pet peeve. I don't always get why it's the hardest thing to clean up after yourself but such is life and that doesn't always happen. It was a struggle in our first year of the house, but now we've set up a cleaning rota. Nothing too complicated, we're in pairs and each pair does a big clean each week. It seems to be working... For now. Tips for this to come soon! 


Internet is super important, I mean where would we all be without it nowadays? Make sure you get a good deal as it's something you'll miss if you don't get the right one. 

We had it quite lucky for this one with the previous tenants of the house leaving us a Friends and Family discount deal for our Internet and TV. But there's one thing I've noticed is that all contracts are usually 12 months long and of course, most student house contracts last for only 9 months like the Uni Term. We have ours for 12 months, which is why I'm still in lovely London this summer and am so thankful for that but I fully understand that this is different for the majority of contracts over the rest of the country. 

BT* have an amazing 9 month broadband deal, perfect for students with tenancy's like this! They have  3 options to choose from at great prices already and not only that but you'll be saving yourself the extra cost of the 3 months on 12 month contracts. 

If it's Broadband your after then BT have a deal that'll save you £96 instead of the standard price for unlimited broadband and weekend calls. It's a 9 month contract for £16 a month and £15.99 a month for line rental. For BT Infinity, there are two options, the first which saves £138 and you'll get BT Infinity's 1 Extra broadband with a 40GB download limit and unlimited weekend calls for £14 a month and £15.99 a month for line rental. Or you could save £222 with BT Unlimited Infinity 1 broadband with unlimited weekend calls for £19 a month plus £15.99 for line rental. Not bad, right? 

Now you don't get TV with these deals, but there's always Freeview, like I have in my room anyway, which is just as good. Or if you can manage without like I did in my first year, iPlayer and 4oD will be a god send! And if your internet's that good, well then why would you need a TV?!  You also get free BT Sport online as well as Unlimited access to BT Wi-Fi and the BT SmartTalk app, no complaints there. 

Whether you have a 9 month contract or not, like I said, all I can say is make sure you get a good internet provider as it really is so important. 

Communal Space/Time for Yourself

When looking for a house, make sure there is some sort of communal area within it. You won't want to hang out in a tiny kitchen with no where to sit down and so one of your rooms will end up the place to hang out, meaning it'll be harder for you to get some time to yourself. You might not always want to be around everyone, and I can totally relate to that. I love having fun with everyone but I find me-time really important and your room is the space that you'll get that! Make sure you do give yourself that time and make your room the kind of place you'd want that time. A clean and tidy space gives a clean and tidy mind, or something like that right? 

Paying Bills

Another tough one, and we probably don't do it the easiest way but it's how we do it. I deal with the internet, another deals with the rent and so on... and we just transfer the money as and when we need to. Things like Electric, Gas and Water can be in part payments online and so we all sort that out individually. We did talk about getting a group bank account but we trust each other to be able to pay and not splurge their student loan and still be able to afford the rent. Maybe it's something to think about if your not so sure? 

Food/The Kitchen

Buy your own food, have your own pans, plates etc. Obviously this isn't easy if you have a tiny kitchen etc. but with 6 of us in our house it's the only way. You don't want to have bought yourself that treat of a packet of biscuits to then find them all gone when you go to have one... It's easier and then you're not chasing after people to constantly do the washing up so you can have something to eat your dinner with. Plus, no one has time to have dinner all together. It's very rare we're all in the house at dinner time. 

Be Considerate and Share With People Like You

I feel like this is quite obvious but definitely worth saying. Choose the right kind of people to live with. If you don't like going out and staying up drinking then find like-minded people, if you do enjoy partying then the same goes for that... You'll find you won't be as annoyed with many of their habits, you won't be listening to the loud music from the confines of your room, you'll be out there with them or vice versa. Make sure you check with everyone before you have someone over, it's not like they can stop you, it's just nice to ask. 

I think that's probably it when it comes to communal living. Everything else you'll come across by yourself but most importantly, have fun and enjoy living away from home and with your friends. You'll have some great memories in your house!

What tips would you give for students in a house? 

Lorna x

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Thursday, 31 July 2014

NARS x Schon Magazine: Dual Intensity Eye Shadow Shoot

When I was invited down to photograph the backstage goings on at the NARS and Schon Magazine shoot to show you guys, as you can imagine, I was so excited. I mean NARS wanted me? I couldn't believe it but something came up and I couldn't make it but the lovely photographer, Jamike Latif, offered to take them for me and I thought the content would be so amazing that I just couldn't turn it down. 

The shoot was for their new Dual Intensity Shadows that I recently posted about, and that post went down so well that I thought you'd all love to see the shadows in action. Not just by me, but by an amazing makeup artist that actually knew what she was doing. Anna Priadka was the lady that created some of the amazing looks and I got the chance to interview her and ask her a few burning questions. But first things first, the looks... I've selected a couple of my favourites to show you and let you know the products needed to get there. 

Products used: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, Radiant Creamy Concealer, Phoebe Dual Intensity Eyeshdow, Mata Hari Blush, Orgasm Blush, Jungle Red Lipstick, Heatwave Lipstick, Hollywoodland Larger Than Life Lip-gloss

Products used: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, Radiant Creamy Concealer, Desdemona Dual Intensity Eyeshadow, Subra Dual Intensity Eyeshadow, Dione Dual Intensity Eyeshadow, Via Veneto Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eye Liner, Torrid Blush, Albatross Highlighter, Train Bleu Velvet Matte Pencil

My NARS wish list is now the length of my arm. What about yours? I can only imagine it'll get longer with this interview with NARS Lead Stylist and the MUA of this shoot, Anna Priadka. 

Tell me a bit about yourself and how you came to working with NARS on this shoot:

I have been working as a makeup artist for around 8 years now and have worked for some of the biggest brands, however I always had a passion for NARS. When the position of Lead Stylist came to me, I was thrilled. I had always admired the work of Franċois Nars and adored the brands image and identity. NARS has never followed suit- but always been provocative and audacious which is what I love.
The new Dual Intensity eye shadows are the perfect eye shadows for a beauty shoot. They can be used in so many different ways with real impact that they were the obvious choice when we were deciding what we would use for our next shoot and Schon magazine was the ideal platform. They share the same luxury and uniqueness as NARS showcasing dynamic and diverse array of talent.

What was your inspiration behind each of the looks?
My main inspiration comes from my love with the late 70’s early 80’s, and the infamous club, Studio 54.
Also, iconic fashion photographers such as Chris Von Wagenheim and Helmut Newton as well as iconic supermodel Jerry Hall. Their work always exuded glamour and decadence; you could really see it within their styling and makeup - which is the mood I wanted to create using the strong pigments within the Dual Intensity eyeshadows.

What products did you use and how to create each of the looks?
The main focus was around the eyes and the Dual Intensity eyeshadows, which can be used either wet or dry. For some of the looks I wanted the pigments to appear very intense so I would use the shadows wet for a more high impact finish. I used blush strongly for most looks, using it up through the brow to the temples to give a glamorous, decadent edge.

How would you make these looks more wearable for day wear?
Use the shadows dry and use a blending brush such as the #42 to buff it softly over the lid. The pigments are very rich so using it this way will make it a lot more wearable.
Also use a slightly more natural shade such as Europa from the range- a lovely soft peach pink which isn’t too metallic, for everyday use.

What are your top products to use on a shoot and why?
Skin is the most important element- especially on a beauty shoot. I love to create dimension on the skin and a flawless, perfected finish, so my top products would have to be highlighter powder and concealer.
The NARS original loose powders are perfect for this- even when reapplied over the course of the shoot- they still make the skin look airbrushed and with what I call a ‘Hollywood’ effect.
The Radiant Creamy concealers are another perfect product to create an airbrushed look. I love to use a lighter shade for a brightening finish under the eyes.
I finish with Copacabana illuminator and multiple layered under and over foundation on the highpoints such as cheekbones to catch the flash and give luminosity to the skin.

What are your favourite shades from the new NARS Dual Intensity shadow range?
I adore burgundy and purple tones- I wear a lot of these colours myself so it would be Callisto, Desdemona and Subra

Amazing advice and I am so excited to get to use on some more dramatic looks with my collection. I'm so excited to be sharing this with you and I just want to say that this post isn't sponsored, I'm not being paid to write any of this, I just loved seeing the photos and I thought you would too. NARS has quickly become one of my current favourite brands and although I only have these Dual Intensity Eye Shadows in my collection it doesn't mean I don't want more... I've got my eye on the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, the rest of the Dual Intensity collection... and the rest! 

The final photos will be released tomorrow on Schon Magazine, so head on over there then. Trust me, you won't want to miss out. 

What kind of look would you create with these shadows? 

Lorna x


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Monday, 7 July 2014

New In: NARS Dual-Intensity Eye Shadow

When I got the invite through to go to the NARS EYEconic Pop-Up in Space NK on Broadwick Street, I was like a giddy child. NARS has always been on my wish list but for one reason or another it hasn't ever made it into my collection. I had read a little about the new NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow's and getting to see them in person and give them all a good go with the help of a NARS makeup artist made me go week at the knees. They are all just so beautiful and giving them all a good ol' swatch made them all swiftly head on over to my wish list instantly. Can you tell I had a good time yet?

As I've said many a time before, I usually prefer a matte shadow or one with a subtle shimmer. Anything too much I used to steer totally clear from, but lately, I don't know what has happened but for me, glitter and crazy shimmer is in and I need it all. Any hint of glitter and I'm head over heels... Give me all the glitter, please!

I have 6 of the new NARS Dual Intensity shadows in my collection, all of which are stunning shades that I know I will get so much use out of. I also got my hands on their new Wet/Dry eyeshadow brush #49* that works so well with these shadows as they are specially designed to work with either a wet or dry application. Apply with a dry brush for a slightly more sheer sweep of colour, although it can still be layered to pack a bit more of a punch but for full intensity add a little water into the mix and your eyelids will be filled with a high impact and opaque colour and the best bit is that they're still super blendable!

Top: Dry    Bottom: Wet
L-R: Giove*, Dione*, Sycorax*, Callisto*, Europa*, Subra*

They're utterly stunning aren't they? I would usually wait to give a product a go before I photograph them, but this time I just couldn't. I needed to rip them open and give them a good go! My favourite looks at the minute are either Callisto across the lid on its own with it in the inner corner of the eye and under the waterline. Super glittery and super pretty! I also have tried Callisto across the lid with Giove blended into the outer corners and crease and Sycorax blended in to make the eye a little deeper, this is a super pretty smokey eye and I cannot wait to give it a go again. With these shadows there are so many options and it makes them so much more usable. Great for the day with a subtle shimmer and even better for the night for a glittery smokey eye! Perfect! 

I love these shadows and I really want to pick up some more of them! They're available to buy in Space NK at the minute but if you don't have one near you then you'll have to wait until the 1st of August to give them a go when they are available nationwide. 

love them all but Callisto is my definite favourite. What shades have you got your eye on? 

Lorna x


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Sunday, 6 July 2014

Video: June Favourites

I'm back with another video and this time I'm talking June Favourites... There are some firm favourites that I often talk about and also some new products and goodies in there including the exciting new app BeautySpotter.!

What have been your favourites this month?

Lorna x


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Friday, 4 July 2014

Summer Nails: Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Greenberry

Now we all know the hype around the Barry M Gelly Nail Paints and I just had to post about it to reiterate how great they actually are. The one I'm talking about today is the one polish that I just can't stop myself from using all the time, despite my enormous and ever-growing collection. A super bright and super shiny turquoise that suits my skin tone perfectly. I love Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Greenberry, can you tell? These polishes are super affordable for the quality and if you don't have any in your collection, then honestly, you need to get down to the shops and pick some up! My collection is growing, but I'm an addict, we all know that! Plus this mani looks amazing with a glitter accent too... Topshop 3D is my fave!

What's your current favourite Nail Polish colour for summer? 

Lorna x


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Thursday, 3 July 2014

Ilumi: Healthy and Easy Ready Meals

I love cooking and try to cook everything from scratch where I can but honestly it's not always possible and so when Ilumi asked me whether I would like to try out any of their ready meals* I happily obliged as I'm always happy to try something new, and I knew they'd be perfect for those days I don't have time to cook or perhaps those days I just can't be bothered. I have been trying to make an effort to eat more healthily lately, it hasn't been going that well but these have definitely helped it. 

All you have to do is pop it in the microwave or heat it up in a pan and it's done! Some of them advise that you have pasta or rice with it where as some are a meal as a whole. Callum has been loving them as they're so quick to make but the only thing I would say is that portions can be a little on the small side so sometimes I would definitely recommend making something on the side. I often make some fresh vegetables to go with it as I hate not having any fresh vegetables or salad with my dinner, it feels so strange! I was so surprised to see how tasty they were, usually I find ready meals to be a little on the bland side but these definitely were not! You can see all of the ingredients on the front with none of those nasties unlike other ready meals, which means you can feel a little better about not cooking it from scratch. Obviously I wouldn't eat these every day, but as I said before they are great for those days you don't feel like cooking a meal but they will still be equally as tasty! 

They have some amazing dishes to choose from, I received a selection of both the meat and fish/vegetarian as I don't eat meat but do eat fish but Callum does eat meat and it's safe to say that all of the meat ones went first! I've still got a few left to try and I honestly cannot wait to give them a go! 

What ones take your fancy?

Lorna x

*PR Samples, Reviews 100% honest as always!

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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Graduate Fashion Week With Bourjois: Makeup Rundown

I was jumping for joy when Bourjois told me they wanted to take me to Graduate Fashion Week to learn everything about their makeup and how it is used for a fashion show and with the head makeup artist Lan Nguyen there to give us all of the tips and tricks of the trade... Well, I just couldn't wait. 

Firstly I want to say that the team behind Bourjois is honestly so lovely! It's so nice to see such a well known brand have such a lovely and down to earth team behind it. When I got there, I met the two other bloggers Jade and Em, the super lovely girls that I had the pleasure of spending the day with and we were then taken backstage to where the magic (makeup, of course...) happens! We sat down and chatted with uber talented head makeup artist Lan Nguyen and got to quiz her on all things beauty and Bourjois! So many tips, but the main one I picked up was don't worry about what the products are meant to be used for, use them for whatever you want! I'm talking eyeshadows as a highlighter or blush and blush as lipstick! Through doing this you'll get more use out of your products so they won't go to waste and of course it'll save you money in the long run and it looked amazing!

We got the chance to watch the University of East London Graduate Fashion Week show and I was super excited. I have had the opportunity to go to Fashion Week in the past but unfortunately things got in the way and in the end I couldn't so actually, this was my first proper fashion show! And boy, it definitely didn't disappoint. I love fashion and of course beauty and with the chance to see what goes on beauty wise backstage it made me think about the look as a whole a lot differently! For the UEL GFW show it was nude makeup all round and it looked amazing. Some of the collections we're quite jazzy and some we're very neutral and so it worked really well to compliment the looks so there wasn't too much going on and complimented all of the different pieces which I thought was really interesting to see. I was surprised to see so many pieces that I would actually wear myself and of course the show made me want to get my nude makeup down... 

After the amazing show with some super proud parents in the audience (I was sat next to some and they were going crazy, it was super nice to see and also kept me very amused during the show! I definitely heard Bella and Beautiful shouted rather a lot!) we headed backstage again to see more of what was going down makeup-wise for the shows coming up later. Smokey eyes we're a massive one and was really interesting to see how it was applied with the matte black and with eyeshadows as a highlight! 

Green equally played a big part with the focus being under the eye... I need to try this out! Plus, how gorgeous are these models?! If I could steal their faces and change them for my own then I definitely would, but for now, the makeup will just have to do.... 

On to the subtle gold and this MAC pigment was swept across the lids for subtle, yet beautiful yellow gold look. Super simple, yet super effective! 

I honestly had the best day and I am so so thankful to Bourjois for letting me come along with them! They gave me an amazing goody bag to take home of which I have been testing out so will update you with a haul and first impressions some time soon! 

What was your favourite look? 

Lorna x


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