Monday, 30 May 2016

The Glow Getter: The Body Shop Instaglow CC Cream

I am all about the radiance. I always want radiance. I can never have enough radiance... and I don't ever get quite enough radiance. But I just want that beautiful glow, okay? 

After watching Saturday nights 'The Graham Norton Show' with the incredibly beautiful Kate Beckinsale on the sofa, I found myself asking, how the hell do I get myself looking like I've got, even a smidgen of the radiance and inner glow that she seems to have? SHE LOOKED INSANE. Jaw dropping-ly insane in fact. I needed a little something, and I've found something that can help us get on our way (even if just a little). Now I can't guarantee that we'll all look as incredible as she does at her age, but I've got a little thing that can help us right now and it's blooming worth it. 

The new The Body Shop Instaglow CC Creams*, £14 are one of the latest releases from the store and as soon as I heard about them I just had to give them a go. Available in three shades (bright glow for light skin, peachy glow for light to medium skin and warm glow for dark skin) these skin reviving products are a new favourite of mine when I feel my skin needs that little extra something something. A CC cream is perfect for applying before your usual base products to correct the imperfections on your skin and these do a little bit of just that. They illuminate and add a touch of glow to your skin. 

Although each of the products are targeted at different skin tones, they could actually be used on all as they are quite subtle if applied before your usual base products. They individually can illuminate, counteract dullness and can add a beautiful bronzed glow. They can be however a little on the heavy side though and I found them a little difficult to work into the skin but once you get there it's worth it - though I would say that I'd save this for the days I really need it instead of every day use. I find my skin doesn't like it when I try and use too many products on it so I don't let myself do that too often as I like it to breathe when it can, but when I do use it - I really am a fan.

If you're looking for something to add some glow into your makeup routine, then you've found it. Whether you want to slather it all over or use it on specific areas of the face, this really is a must try. 

What are your go-to glow getter makeup products?

Lorna x

Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Multi-tasker: Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Pure-Castile Soap

Could one product really have that many uses? Could you really use the same product to wash your face and your dishes? Well yes, the Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Pure-Castile Soap*, £5.50 is for just that. Now I have to admit, I haven't tested it on all 18 recommended uses, but I just had to write about this incredible multi-tasker anyway. 

If you're like me, then you'll probably have heard about this infamous product in the blogosphere for washing your makeup brushes - and I have to admit that's why I got my hands on it. It's budget friendly and I always thought that if it really was as good as everyone said it was then I needed to get my hands on it. 

This is perfect for washing my brushes with. The liquid soap is great for giving my brushes a deep cleanse and gets all of the dirt and grime out with ease. It also leaves them smelling beautiful with the super relaxing lavender scent. Though if you're not a lavender fan there are plenty of other scents including Almond, Rose and Peppermint to name a few. 

But what was it that got me completely hooked? I was planning on writing this blog post about my new favourite budget makeup brush cleanser but after a little bit of googling and research I realised that it was so much more than that. This soap really can do it all and is the perfect back up to have in the house just in case you run out of your other usual products. 

The product uses: 

Face cleanser (use 2-3 drops on wet hands and then apply to the skin)

Shower gel (use 1 small squirt and apply to a wash cloth or straight onto your wet skin)

Shampoo (either use 1/2 tbsp in your hand and work into your wet hair or dilute 1/2 tbsp into half a cup of water and work that into your wet hair)

Bath soak (around 2 tbsp works best, it doesn't bubble but because of the lavender scent it is perfect for this and is so relaxing)

Shaving (they recommend around 10 drops for the face, 3 drops for the underarms and 1/2 tsp for your legs)

Toothpaste (now I haven't tried this, and I'm not too sure that I will as I've read that it very much does taste like soap but it has been formulated so that you can use it for this purpose, and so if you do fancy giving it a go then 1 drop on a toothbrush is supposed to be enough)

Foot bath (again, another favourite of mine. If I need to relax or if I've had a long day of walking then this is my go-to because of the relaxing lavender scent. 1 1/2 tsp works perfectly for this, though put more/less in if that works for you)

Clearing congestion (add 1 tbsp in a bowl of steamy hot water and breath in the mist with a towel over your head. I can imagine the peppermint scent would be perfect for this)

Washing the dishes (Dilute 1:10 with water or use directly onto the washing brush/sponge)

Laundry (1/3-1/2 cup of a large load though if you are used to using fabric conditioner make sure to ad 1/2 cup of vinegar too)

Mopping (1/2 cup of soap)

All purpose cleaning spray (add 1/2 cup into the water in a spray bottle)

Windows (1 tbsp soap in a water spray bottle. Make sure to follow this with pure club soda or half vinegar/water)

Toilet (Dilute 1:4 with water in a bottle. Empty the toilet, squirt the toilet bowl and then add baking soda onto the brush and scrub then let it sit for a while before filling with water again and flushing)

Fruit and vegetable rinse (a dash of the soap in a bowl of water is enough for this, though I often find water to be enough on its own) 

Dog washing (This 100% is down to the size of the dog but just apply it bit by bit until you've got as much as you need)

Plant spray for bugs
(1 tbsp in water)

I mean, this for me is just honestly mind blowing. How one product can do it all is just incredible. I keep this stashed away for all possible inevitabilities and make sure to add a small one into my bag when I'm heading away. You never know when you might need this soap, it's good for just about anything... 

What do you use your Dr. Bronner's liquid soap for? 

Lorna x

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Relaxing in: Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel & Spa

I love living in London. It's actually one of, if not the best decision I ever made. It's incredible but there's nothing quite like getting out of the city for the weekend and so thats what I did when I headed down to the Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel & Spa* for a weekend of nothing but relaxation. 

Based in Camberley, near Farnborough in Surrey, this spa is the perfect getaway from London as it's not too far - but far enough for you to feel like you're 'away'. I headed over there on the train with my boyfriend and it was super easy and not too far at all. A few snacks for the journey and a window seat to see the view turn from 'city' to 'countryside' is just the perfect way to start the weekend. 

The hotel is just what you imagine (and hope) that it'll be like. The exterior is just beautiful and on a nice day with lovely weather I can imagine it's just perfect for sitting outside with a drink. Check in was easy, and the room was just incredible. One of the best bits about staying in a hotel is that moment when you put the key card in the door and open it up to see your room for the first time. It's just so exciting. Our room overlooked the grounds outside the front of the hotel and with the lovely weather it was just beautiful. 

All guests have access to the spa - and with its swimming pool, poolside loungers, sauna and steam room we headed there very quickly to relax. There's also a gym too which looked lovely but I have to admit that we didn't use it (and opted for the sauna a little more instead). The spa didn't have any robes left and the receptionist told us she'd bring us some shortly as they were on their way but I just wanted to flag that this didn't happen. We went out to ask again mid way through, but again she said they didn't have any at the moment. I was a little disappointed if I'm honest, but as there was little we could do we just got on with it... On a Saturday afternoon - the pool was filled with children (which was as expected as it's a family friendly hotel) so I must admit it was a little less relaxing than hoped, but we got past that and enjoyed the swimming and sauna and steam room anyway minus the robes. 

We then headed back to the room to get ready for dinner (and have a bottle of champagne - because why not?). I tried having a bath, but the water just wasn't hot enough - so that's one thing I'd flag but I'm sure this wouldn't be an issue all the time. I opted for a luke warm shower instead, but it was refreshing after our swim so I didn't mind too much. 

The restaurant was beautiful and just as we'd hoped. We sat down, ordered our wine and our super attentive waiters sorted us right out with our drinks and some incredibly tasty bread. Try the brown bread and the tomato bread - it's so good we went back for some more later in the meal. 

We both ended up going for the soup - and I'm so glad we did. The soup was poured into the bowl around the arancini at the table and and oh my was it delicious. If a soup is done well, it's usually my favourite part of the meal and honestly it blew me a way. Whatever soup they have on the menu when you go - you must must must try it. 

Joe ended up going for the beef with polenta and I went for the fish with samphire. Both tasted delicious and as a big samphire fan I just couldn't get enough. 

Dessert was another highlight. I mean, just look at the beauty that was on our plates? They almost looked too good to eat... But we very much did and they were incredible. We went for the lemon tart and the chocolate dessert and oh boy, they were delicious.

A delicious meal and incredible service, would highly recommend!

After dinner, we went through to the bar for a drink before taking it up to our rooms. The bed was incredibly comfy and with the black out curtains I slept perfectly. It was one of those 'I don't want to get out of bed moments' in the morning, but knowing we had breakfast and our spa treatments waiting, I just about managed it. 

Breakfast was a buffet, not as tasty as the evening meal but still great with the usual english breakfast choices, toast, pastries, fruit, cereal and meat/cheeses with all of the usual drinks. Really recommend the potato scones on offer!

After breakfast, we went back up to the room to pack and check out of our room before we headed over to the spa for our treatments. Sadly saying goodbye to our oh so beautiful room we headed to the spa in the building next door (making sure to bring the robes from our room with us as we didn't want to be without them this time...). We both opted for a 30 minute back massage and it was great. Super relaxing and a nice way to start the day! We then went through to the relaxation room to relax and rehydrate before heading down. It was super chilled in there with a few magazines to keep you occupied. One thing worth noting was that I'm not sure how often it was cleaned as I noticed a bacon sandwich that someone had left in one of the chairs next to us but after we'd sat down a little further away with a drink, we just ignored it and it was all fine. 

Back down to the swimming pool and sauna and we were so happy to see how empty it was. It felt so much more like a spa as the people that were there were there to relax. I'd really recommend going for an early Sunday morning treatment and then heading down afterwards. After a quick swim and a go in the sauna and steam room we took to the poolside loungers to read some magazines and just switch off. I just can't tell you how incredible this was. It's so hard to do when you're in London and so this very much was one of the highlights. 

Before leaving and sadly heading home, we decided to treat ourselves just once more with an Afternoon Tea - which too was just delicious. As I don't eat meat, they were more than happy to swap out the meat sandwiches for me with meat-free alternatives. I was super excited to see that instead of adding one of the ones that was already included, they went a step further to make something else to ensure all of my sandwiches were different. The scones were absolutely to die for and one of the best bits about my trip (I feel like I've said and thought that about many things however - there's just a lot to love okay?). With the clotted cream and jam, I just couldn't get enough. With the small chocolate eclairs, lemon and basil tarts, coffee and pistachio macarons and more, we were just blown away. It was the perfect end to the trip and I'd highly recommend (even if it is just for the delicious scones...). 

I'd really recommend heading to Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel & Spa for a weekend away. It's perfect to getaway or just for a special treat. I highly recommend!

Lorna x

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Introducing: Morphy Richards ATOMiST vapour iron

I know, I know... An iron? It's a little different from the usual beauty/food/lifestyle/whatever-you-want-to-call-it but trust me - it's worth me taking a dip into the world of the household appliance!

I love a gadget, if there's something new and a little bit fancy looking then I want to try it - if it does something I've not heard about, then I want to try it even more and that's very much what happened when it came to the Morphy Richards ATOMiST vapour iron*. 

If you knew me, you'd know that I've never been one for ironing. In fact, I remember a recent conversation with my Mum and subsequently the same with my Nan pretty soon after about the fact that I didn't iron, well, anything. My theory was always along the lines of 'if you can't sort it out with straighteners, then just don't bother at all'... Which I admit now was completely stupid. It takes no time at all to iron your clothes and the time it does take is so worth it as it really does make all the difference. I can't quite believe I'm admitting, on my little space of the internet, that I would straighten the edges of my clothes and just hope that it would sort it right out (which generally it  did). But with many similar situations, I need to be blown away by something to make me change my routine, and I can very much say that this has done just that. 

I'm a fully fledged iron-er and I'm not looking back. But you're probably wondering what makes this iron so much more special than the rest? 

Well, that's what I'm here to help with... The ATOMiST vapour iron uses vapour mist technology instead of the steam that you're probably used to with the iron your using right now. At first I didn't really know what this meant, other than the fact that the iron has a water spray attached and you don't need something separate but I was a little wrong - and it's just so much more than that. The vapour mist is super fine (meaning that it uses 80% less water) and it goes deep into the fibres of your clothes to make sure that its easier to remove the creases - and that's what got me.  The mixture of the ease of removing creases and the fact that it uses a thermoglass soleplate that doesn't snag on clothes. It's so blooming easy to get the creases out and it saves me so much time in comparison to before. 

As you can see from the pictures, it looks incredible - and I have to admit it's the most beautiful looking iron I've ever seen. The see through thermoglass, the clever way it works, the lights when you turn it on... All of the small things add up to make this iron just incredible. I'm hooked and I have to say I'm just not sure I'd ever be able to go back. 

Now if you ever need to know where I am - I'll be here, using my cool new iron. I mean, who'd have thought an iron would ever deserve the title of cool - well this one does... 

Lorna x

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Beauty Subscription Box: Glossybox April 2016

Now I know what you're probably thinking... My last post was a Glossybox post as well. I know, I know and usually I would never do this - but it arrived through at my doorstep the other day - and I had to tell you about it right away. This is a bloody good box and you need to get your hands on it. 

I'm talking the April Glossybox* and crikey, just look at it. The brands are incredible - and the products, they're ALL something that I'd use. 

First up, is the Next Make Me Beautiful Lip Chubby. I've been dying to try something from the Next beauty range since not being able to make the launch a while ago and so I have to admit I gave a little squeal when I spied this in the box. This is a lip crayon and as usual, it makes for such easy application. The shade is a gorgeous cherry red with pink undertones and it is just a perfect everyday bold lip. I love a bold red - and this creamy lipstick will make a great addition to my collection. 

The Leighton Denny Expert Nails Miracle Mist has to be the product that I'm the most excited to try. I'm terrible at painting my nails - I just can never wait for them to dry - and although I've not yet tried this yet (though it's gone straight onto my dressing table for the next time I paint my nails). Glossybox says this miracle spray makes your nails touch dry in seconds - and I can't tell you how much I need it in my life. Watch this space... 

I'm on such a brow hype at the moment. I've gone from what was a very minimal collection - to something that's on the verge of getting out of hand. I have to try them all right out though? Justification at its best. The Studio 10 Brow Lift Perfecting Liner is the latest to be added to my collection from this months Glossybox and I'm blooming excited about it. I love Studio 10 - they're brushes are great - so to find out that they actually do makeup too, well I was very excited. On first impressions, the double ended brow liner is going to be a goodn'. One thing that always gets me is when the colour of a brow product is too warm toned - I just don't want to come out looking like my brows are a bit orange - and this definitely doesn't do that. The shade is super ashy which I love and the product itself is blendable but make sure to keep it sharpened for a defined finish. On the other end there's a brightening matte highlighter which makes a nice change from all of the shimmery ones out there. 

I'm always looking out for whitening toothpastes and so although I haven't heard of swiss smile before, the product definitely makes up for it. The swiss smile Whitening Toothpaste is going to be added into my daily teeth brushing routine (if that's what you call it?) and I can't wait. I always judge toothpaste on it's packaging and this looks like it'll do something so fingers crossed it does... 

Last but not least is The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil. Now I have to admit I'm not much of a facial oil kind of gal, but I've heard so much about the Oils of Life range from The Body Shop so I just have to give it a go. This sample size is super adorable - and perfect for travelling. 

So thats it and I can't blooming believe it. 4 full size products and an adorable mini. Damn Glossybox, you've done good this month. Hats off to the brands team indeed... 

Lorna x

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Beauty Subscription Box: Glossybox March 2016

So this post comes a little bit late... I've been having a bit of a mare with my post lately - in the way that errr, it's a bit difficult to get my hands on it but finally my March Glossybox* is here and I have to admit I was pretty excited. 

Not only does this feel like a bit of a throwback (and bring back a tonne of memories) but it's a pretty great box too. 

I wouldn't usually start with my favourite product - but I feel like I just have to. The Luxie Rose Gold Large Angled Face Brush 504 is just beautiful. I use this for contouring and I have to admit I've fallen a little bit in love. It's super soft, picks up the product well and blends flawlessly. Plus it's super pretty too! 

I'm a bit of a skincare junkie, so I always love giving new bits a go. I remember using Olay back in the day when I didn't really know much about beauty, but it did a good job so no complaints. The Olay Regenerist Luminous Skin Tone Perfecting Cream was included in this months box and it seems pretty nice. It's one of those do-it-all creams where it's supposed to hydrate, exfoliate and smooth the skin to leave a nice glow and I can't vouch that it does as the sample is super tiny - but I gave it a go and it seems lovely - I'll be saving the rest to take away on an overnight trip as the size is just so handy!

I've never heard of this brand before but the Hey Honey Good Morning Honey Silk Facial Serum was included. I love the name and I'm always excited by anything that says it'll help to wake my skin up and leave it glowing. Again, I've only just given it a try but so far so good. 

A bargain highlighter in the form of the Collection Speedy Highlighter was included and I'm always blown away by what Collection come out with. Their products are super affordable - this one is only £3.99 - and it works like a dream. It's a cream highlighter that blends seamlessly into the skin and with so much product - it lasts for ages. You must give this a go if you haven't. 

I've been thinking about picking up some mini shampoo and conditioners for when I go away - but now thanks to Glossybox I don't have to. The -417 Catharsis Vitamin Mineral Shampoo and Conditioner were included this month and if the cute metallic packaging doesn't get you, then the product will. I haven't tried these because I want to save them - but one of my besties, Lucy from Glossybox herself wrote the little note on the product card - so I very much believe her and just know that they are blooming great. 

I know you can't get your hands on this box, but word on the street is that the April box is going to be better... Watch this space. 

Lorna x

Sunday, 3 April 2016

10 Skincare Products You Need To Try

I'm a skincare junkie, I'm always trying out new bits and I've been so excited about the following products that I just had to include them in a bit of a round up...

If you've got sensitive and dry skin, you have to give this cleanser a go. Imagine a creamy, silky and rich and refreshing cream swishing across your face and you've got this. This cleanser is a favourite for in the morning as it's uber refreshing, but gets rid of 'the night'. It also takes your makeup off really well. I love!

I love exfoliating my skin. I usually swear by The Body Shop Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub, and I very much still do but this scrub from Spa Find is a great alternative - and you know me, I love having other beauty products to play with. This scrub gets right in there, getting rid of the dead skin cells and leaving your skin super soft. The packaging is beautiful and it's my boyfriends new favourite - and if that doesn't sway you, then I don't know what will. 

If you're skin is more on the oilier side or if you want to clarify your skin really well before going out then this budget favourite from Sanctuary Spa is a brilliant option. This face wash helps to open up the pores and the charcoal within it helps to draw out the impurities. It has similar benefits to using a charcoal mask so i'd recommend giving this a go if you love the benefits of those. 

I'm not usually that big of a fan of a facial oil, but there's just something about this one that keeps me coming back for more. It hydrates and brightens the skin using the coconut oil and I'm completely down with that. It's paraben free so no worries of the nasties and the bottle is small too so no worries about storing it or travelling with it. 

With the warmer weather on the horizon (I'm praying, okay) and the summer holidays nearly in sight, SPF is very much on my mind. I'm becoming a bit of a fiend, so please do let me know your favourites. I need to try them all. I always recommend using a different face and body SPF (unless of course it says that it can be used for both and that works for you). I find that facial skin can be a whole lot more sensitive than body skin, and so I always look for a facial SPF that will work with that. My current favourite is this new release from Aveda as it really doesn't irritate my skin. It's super light which is a big thumbs up from me. If you're using this daily, just apply it as the last step of your skincare routine and before applying makeup but if your using it as a sun block then I'd recommend reapplying every two hours (and don't worry about not having much room, this is super small so will fit in your bag perfectly). 

If you're after an anti-ageing cream that still hydrates then this is your guy. It comes in the most beautiful pink packaging (and if you can, I'd recommend picking up the rest of the DHC Beauty Lift Range. It adds hydration while working to smooth, firm and lift your skin). 

This is a bit of a do-it all toner. It gently exfoliates and retextures the skin surface and eventually reveals a more energised and blemish free skin. Just swipe over the skin using a cotton pad and you're ready to carry on with your skincare routine. This exfolating toner is very much worth giving a go. I'm quite the fan. 

I am a massive cleansing balm fan and this one very much doesn't disappoint. It's the perfect mix of hydrating buttery goodness that you use to remove your makeup and all of the dirt and grime that your skin picks up throughout the day. This is an anti-ageing cleanser that refreshes and works to counteract any environmental damage. I can't get enough. 

Another from the brand Spa Find. This moisturiser works to hydrate while giving SPF 15 protection to the skin. This day cream works to anti-age, while help heal and restoring any sensitive properties your skin may have. If you're looking for an anti-ageing and sensitive day cream then you must give this a go. 

Another day cream worth looking into for the same reason is this one. If you're a fan of the rose scent then you will love this. It's a light, hydrating day cream filled with ingredients to improve skin firmness and leave skin healthy-looking. 

What skincare products are you loving at the moment? 

Lorna x