Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Pick Of The Summer Sales

It's one of those points in the year when nothing can stop all of us shopping addicts from well, doing just that, shopping. With discounts flying around left, right and centre, the summer sales is something I look forward to but at the same time dread - all of the sake of my bank balance... but you know, if there's no getting away from it then we might as well just embrace it, right?

I've rounded up a few bits that are my picks of this years sale, that I am more than tempted in picking up myself and thought maybe you would be too... 

First up, is this gorgeous midi navy dress. My graduation is coming up and I can't even explain how difficult it has been to find a dress. There are so many things to contend with - the awkward colour of the sash, the all black gown that'll cover up the dress all alongside wearing the right hight of shoes and not being terrified of tripping over at that all important moment up on the stage. It's a blooming nightmare and with 2 weeks to go I've had to make a bulk ASOS order to try on a tonne of options and hopefully find the one. This Y.A.S Feline Navy Dress from ASOS is gorgeous and although I don't know if it'll be the one I go for, it was too great not to add to the order. 

Topshop have got some incredible shoes in their sale at amazing prices that I just can't quite get over. These FLOW Cleated Silver Sandals are beautiful and although not something I'd usually buy and completely not in my black only shoe rule, but they are incredible and I can't help but have fallen in love with them. Black sandals are a necessity and with a little bit of height, these HYPNOTIC Cleated Sandals are just something else and for £15, why wouldn't you want to add them to your shoe collection? These would go with just about anything and they look super comfy and that's always a bonus in my books. 

It's the summer and sunglasses are always a necessity. I'm currently sitting at home, post-Glastonbury looking out at the sun and thinking about how I just couldn't have gotten away with not having a pair with me, even if it did hurt a lot when they were resting on my head and someone smacked them into my scalp. But you know, it's gotta be done right? I've always been one for buying super cheap sunglasses as I always would break or lose them, but when these sunglasses came into my life, that all changed. Buying a pair of high end sunglasses is all about the investment. They will last you so much longer, look so much better and feel so much more comfortable on. I've fallen in love with the Chopard SCH 110S Sunglasses from SCLO. They're not my usual style, I usually go for wayfarers but after finding a different style pair in my room from god knows how long ago, that's all changed and I've realised that other styles do suit me... These are super glam, and I'm eyeing them up to finish off my graduation outfit as a bit of a treat and well done gift to me. If I can't for graduation, then when can I? Plus I've kept my other high end sunnies in tact, so I know that I'll be able to manage it with these too. 

I'm usually an all black everything kinda gal, but with the sun coming out I've felt like changing things up a bit. This Textile Federation Orchids Playsuit from Urban Outfitters is stunning. I'm obsessed with the pattern and want to buy all the pieces from the range as it really is that gorgeous. Plus you know, the fit of the playsuit is perfect for the summer. 

I've not worn earrings in god knows how long. They used to always irritate my ears but after the ear piercing stand at the Very.co.uk event recently, it's got me back to thinking about wearing some again and at the bargain price of £3, these Arrow Stud Earrings from Urban Outfitters are more than tempting. 

I love love love the Urban Outfitters home section and when sale time comes around I always find myself having a browse. It's usually well overpriced and the sale makes things so much better and easier to justify. I've fallen in love with this gorgeous Vegan Leather Water Bottle, it would be perfect for a festival!

Last but not least, probably the most sparkly and glam thing on this list and is something SO different to what I'd usually go for and if I knew where I'd wear it, I would have snapped it up already. The Topshop Striped Sequin Shift Dress is beautiful but obviously not one of those dresses that you could get away with wearing on a day to day basis... but I really would want to find an excuse. The colours are gorgeous and who doesn't love sequins? 

Summer sales are one of the best in the year and I never fail to be more than tempted, but for now after my massive spend on the hunt for the perfect Graduation dress I think any more spending will have to wait until after I've had the chance to return the rest of them. 

What are your favourite summer sale stores? 

Lorna x

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

An Ode To The Urban Decay Naked Palettes

The Urban Decay Naked Palettes... I've always put off writing a post about my love for these as it seems everyone knows about them already and I just wondered if there was any point, but the time has come and I just couldn't hold my love and feelings in any more and I just NEED to tell you about my all time favourite eye shadow palettes. Yep, I'm saying big things but these are incredible and I ALWAYS go back to them. 

These are the most wearable palettes I've honestly ever come across and you can always tell that when another brand brings out another nude-y brown palette that their just trying to compare with these beauties, hence why there are so many dupes around. These palettes are so sought after that everyone wants to be like them, and honestly, I can totally see why. Not only are the shades amazing - there's always a shade or palette that everyone will like better, but that's the beauty of it, they can still try out the other shades and get away with them because they are incredible for just about anyone. But the pigmentation, lasting power and blend-ability is all something I've just not fallen for like I have with these. Of course some of it is total hype. I've turned into one of those, and I NEED to collect them all. I guess it happened after I got Naked 2, and then needed Naked 3 and by the time the ads came out for Naked Smoky, well to say the least I was a little bit excited and was virtually ripping at the screen to pull it out. I need it to complete the collection and I just know it will be as incredible as the other three. 

These shadows can be worn day to night. A natural nude, maybe mostly matte with a subtle shimmer for work in the day and then smoked up with some of the darker and more smokey shades in the evening. It looks great with any outfit as it's nude and brown so you need not worry about that. Great with glasses - especially the beauties from optical express, or without. Like I said before, these palettes work well for everyone and I can't express that enough. 

I honestly have nothing bad to say about these. I mean maybe I have a few grievances about the packaging, but trust me, it's not worth mentioning as what's inside is REALLY what counts here and it makes up for all of those mistakes and more. I feel like I'm writing a post about someone I love, but trust me here, these meet up and are really that close. 

Have you tried the Urban Decay Naked Palettes? 

Lorna x

Monday, 22 June 2015

Skincare Essentials for Dry Skin

I was talking about how to cover up dry skin and the perfect bases to use yesterday, so it only felt fitting to discuss the skincare essentials you need in your life to help you along the way, because you know there's only so much that good makeup can do to help you out. 

The Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer* is perfect for adding a bit of hydration to your skin while using a toner. The spritz bottle is so easy to use, you literally just spritz and go. It's so refreshing and it also works amazingly to refresh your makeup if you're finding your dry skin is getting a bit too much. My tip for this though would definitely be to pop it in the fridge, it's incredible in the warmer weather and with the muggy heat lately this has been a god send. 

I've become obsessed with the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum* ever since I first tried it. It's incredible for hydrating your skin pre-moisturiser and I've not found anything to work quite like it. Plus, the bottle is just gorgeous and I love having this on my dressing table. 

Another great product that works similarly to the Vichy Serum is the Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster*. I got my hands on this after heading to one of their stores for a face mapping and to discuss ways to keep the skin hydrated. They looked at my skin and told me about what would work specifically for my skin and what my problem areas were. They were spot on and recommended this beauty alongside a tonne of other products, but do you know what their top tip was? To drink more water. I know this is the reason I have dry/dehydrated skin but I'm just so forgetful when it comes to drink water. Its not that I don't like it, more often than not it's my drink of choice but I'm just blooming forgetful. They kindly gave me a Soda Stream Source Machine* to help me with that and suggested putting fruit in the glass of water to add a little bit of flavour to it and making it not feel so 'water like' - this is genius and I know the novelty of making the water in the machine will get me drinking it more. I'll make sure the glass is constantly attached to my hand and I'll be left with no choice. If you're not sure about your skin type though, I couldn't recommend popping into a Dermalogica store or heading to a counter and asking to be face mapped. With a little help from their nifty machines, they were spot on with my skin and I'm sure they will be with yours too. 

I think something we can all agree that we may forget to use is an eye cream and this too is so important to helping your skin stay hydrated. Your eye area is so delicate and you really want to make sure it stays hydrated to make sure you prevent problems there in the future. The Dermalogica Intensive Eye Repair* is perfect for this and it is just that, intensive. 

For moisturiser, I've fallen in love with the new addition to the Liz Earle range and I'm talking the Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser with Natural Neroli*. This is an updated version of the Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser with a much nicer scent. Don't worry though, it's not overpowering as it's the kind of scent that you would associate with a Liz Earle product that we already know works amazingly. This products is so hydrating and it feels great on the skin. 

If that all doesn't help completely and your perhaps a bit short of time, then a moisture mask is always perfect for a quick fix and the Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque* is a great addition to my ever growing moisture mask collection. Much like with moist moisture masks, you can dab this off after a while or you can leave on over night for a more intensive treatment. I usually find I do the latter and use moisture masks as a more intense and hydrating moisturiser but I just find that that's what works best for my skin. 

These products help me so much alongside my skincare routine and alongside the addition of water, it's all been helping me enormously. 

What are your dry skin saviours? 

Lorna x

Sunday, 21 June 2015

A Hydrating Base for Dry Skin

Girls with dry skin, you'll know how I'm feeling. It can be so difficult to find a perfect base that often it just looks better to go without, right? Sometimes whatever I put on my skin can just make it look worse than I've ever seen before. I usually can't bare it so I have to take it off. Not great if your in a rush... So I narrowed down the bits that make sure this don't happen, alongside a great skincare routine. 

My go-to product to make any base look 100x better is always the Illamasqua Hydra Veil Primer*. This product is a god send if you have dry skin as trust me, it makes you look and feel like you don't. And bonus, it makes your makeup last a whole lot longer too! 

For the base, I've got a couple that are perfect for even when your skin really is at its driest. The Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint SPF 15* and the Manuka Doctor CC Cream SPF 20* are both super hydrating while giving you a bit of coverage from the sun. Good ol' SPF and all that. These are perfect for day to day use, though the Liz Earle one is a bit better if your looking for a slight bit more coverage. 

On top of that base though, I will always use a good concealer and the most hydrating I've come across is the Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Concealer*. This stuff is so moisturising and easy to blend, its gorgeous! 

Powder can be something that you might want to steer clear of if you've got dry skin, but it really does help to set all of your makeup in place so you really don't want to miss out on that longevity. The Claudia Louch Mineral Loose Powder* is so silky you can't even tell that you're wearing it. It sets your base in place and gives a gorgeous finish. 

These products are my got-to for when I need a bit of help in the dry skin department and just help to cover it all up. You'd never know! 

What are your go-to base products? 

Lorna x

Friday, 19 June 2015

Festival Beauty Essentials

5 days. In a massive field lacking in washing facilities. Lots of music. Lots of fun. What do you take with you? Yep, that's right. That's the question I've been asking too - what do you take to a festival? 

I couldn't think of a better time to write this post. I'm heading to Glastonbury Festival next week for fun, probs not sun, and lots and lots of music. I'm so so excited, don't get me wrong! But the whole I've never camped before thing is looming over me like those rainy clouds will most likely be doing in a few days. I'm probably imagining the worst, but I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. At least I'll be prepared right? I've been reading up A LOT on what to expect, what I should take to a festival, festival checklists and everything under the sun Glastonbury related. Like I said, I want to be prepared right? Six Out Of Ten posted an article based around why festivals aren't for them, and you know what, I've started wondering the same. They mentioned about Pryers Solicitors looking into how dangerous festivals can actually be, but I guess that's just a risk I'm going to have to take. I love a good ol' day festival but that's a completely different kettle of fish. You get to enjoy the day, the music, the food and of course the drink but still have the luxury of going back home at the end of it all to your comfy bed and a nice hot shower. What's not to love about that? But you know, on the weekend festival front, I'll have to get back to you that. I'm torn, I just can't decide whether I'm going to love it or not. I guess we'll just have to see. 

The one thing that's keeping me going however is deciding what to take. Packing for a festival is SO fun and you get so many opportunities to wear different things and use different beauty products that you wouldn't usually be giving a go. And as you can see from the picture above, things are looking a whole lot brighter than I'd usually opt for. 

When it comes to beauty for festivals, you may as well try out that bright eye shadow or nail polish you've been wanting to give ago but always wondered if it would be too much. Trust me, it won't be. It's a festival and there will always be someone dressed a whole lot more crazily than you are. Just give it a go! 

Obviously there's some necessities that we should probably get out of the way and the biggest one and probably the most essential is of course dry shampoo. My favourite at the minute is the amazing John Frieda Luxurious Volume Refresh Dry Shampoo. Honestly, this thing is incredible and is the best dry shampoo I've ever tried. It gives you that refreshed look, you feel a whole lot fresher and the best bit? It doesn't weigh your hair down one bit. None of that white sprayed hair look. You genuinely can't even tell you've used it and I often find myself loving unwashed hair that little bit more. I'm a serial hair washer but this has been holding my hand through training my hair pre-Glastonbury and all I can say is I can see it being my bestie for a long long time. I love this so much that this is the second, in like a month, and I used to never use dry shampoo. I just didn't get it, but this is game changing and you need to try it! 

Other essentials include: face wipes, anti-bacterial hand gel (I've got the Carex Hand Gel Sensitive), deodorant - your favourite but in a smaller size, body spray (the So...? one's are great for festivals, super cheap and they do the job really well. I'll be taking the So...? Paris Body Spray* scent with me), and sun cream (I've got the Balance Me Natural Protection Moisturiser in SPF 25* for face and the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Protective Sun Lotion in SPF 30 for body because it works a treat and smells incredible!). For perfume, I love the Travalo* as it allows me to take my favourite Liz Earle scent but without the hassle of taking the whole bottle - genius!

When you're thinking about beauty I guess you've got to think about space savers and multi use products, products with an easy application and those that really are going to last you all day and night because who's really got time to head back to their tent for a makeup touch up? I don't want to miss my bands so I know I won't be! Touch up on the go it is for me... 

To make my eyeshadow last all day I've got the NARS Smudgeproof Eye Shadow Base* and trust me, it really does make your shadow last! We definitely don't want any creases mid-day. For shadow, I would have loved to have taken my go-to Urban Decay Naked Palettes, but you know, space is a massive issue so the NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Kalahari* is the perfect alternative. Beautiful cocoa brown taupe-y shades that will give me a gorgeous smokey eye that works for both day and night. Eye shadow sticks also work amazingly for this. Easy application, they last for ages and they don't take up much space. My favourites are the Bourjois Colourband Eyeshadow Sticks in Rose Fauviste* and Beige Minimal* and the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Golden Quartz* and Amber Haze*. Highlight and blush helps to brighten up your face and trust me, you'll be needing it after a few days lacking in sleep and washing... The NARS Multiple in Orgasm* and Copacabana* are perfect for this. You can use them as blush and highlights but you can also use them as eye shadows too. For lips, bright is always best and it can make you look a million dollars, even if your not feeling it. Bold lips always make it look like you've made more effort and that's how you want to feel when perhaps your not feeling the best in other ways. Though saying that, you want to make it last as long as you can as you won't be wanting to re-apply every 5 seconds so long lasting lipsticks are a necessity. The NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella* is perfect for this, they are great for easy application and lasting a whole lot longer than other lippies I've tried! I picked this up for a friend a while ago and I was so excited to get my hands on one myself as it was a little bit more than difficult handing it over. However, if you're looking for something a little more on the purple side, and a little more budget friendly that you maybe don't mind misplacing then the KIKO Smart Lip Pencil in 710 Rouge Noir is perfect. It's bold, it lasts ages and its a total bargain. 

The fun bits though that I just had to mention, aren't potentially essentials  but you know, it's a festival and when else will you get to pop on a tonne of glitter and colour your hair of the rainbow? The Models Own Festival Collection is a necessity that you need to check out if you're heading to a muddy field this summer. It's got everything you could need. My favourite out of the bunch though? The Models Own Festival Collection Coloured Hairsprays in Neon Violet, Neon Orange, Neon Pink and Neon Blue*. These are incredible. They are so easy to apply and you instantly get brightly coloured hair! I've only given it a quick test but I was stunned to see how easy and pigmented it was. A quick spritz and your on your way to having my little pony hair but without it being permanent! For nails, the brighter the better and of course Models Own released some beauties into this collection, that is what their known for right? The Models Own Festival Collection nail polishes in Blue Skies, Green Fields and Colour Explosion* are perfect. We're talking the brightest of the brights and the glitter-iest of the glitters, love! Onto something maybe you wouldn't use everyday but we're talking face paints and they've added a few into the Festival Collection that you can't over look due to their amazing pigmentation. I'm talking the Models Own Festival Collection face paints in neon yellow, neon orange, neon pink, silver and gold* and these beauties are incredible. The pigmentation is something so special and that's totally what your after if you're wanting your paints to be neon, and boy these definitely are. But the ones from this range I fell so deeply in love with was the gold and silvers. These are beautiful. Again with incredible pigmentation but also the glitter/metallic finish is just gorgeous. I can't want to crack all of these out! Excited doesn't quite come close... 

Onto glitter and I didn't want to go too crazy with this but I fell in love with the Topshop Glitter Pot in Periwrinkle and I just had to get it. It's gorgeous! Perfect for those that don't want to shove a tonne of coloured glitter on their face but can still have a more subtle effect with this pearl effect glitter. Of course I had to pick up the Topshop Facial Glue alongside it as like I mentioned before, longevity is key and we want it to last all day, all night and into the early hours of the morning.  

I'm so excited to give all of this ago and put it to the real test when I get into those muddy fields. I mean, I'm not saying I'm going to take ALL of this along with me, space wouldn't really let me have that opportunity but you know, I'm going to give it a good try and I'll let you know in my Glastonbury Vlog on my YouTube channel what makes the cut. It'll be an interesting one for sure... 

What beauty essentials do you always take with you to a festival? 

Lorna x

Eating in London: The Trading House

I'm always up for trying new places in London, especially when they're newly open. It's exciting heading into somewhere that hasn't been open for long and seeing what it's all about and so when The Trading House* invited me along to try out their extensive food and drinks menus I happily obliged. We headed to Bank station and we were told we'd be picked up... Little did we know that was by an amazing horse and carriage and we'd get to see the area Bellini in hand. It was incredible and we felt like celebrities with so many people taking snaps of our ride!

On arrival at The Trading House we were sat at the bar for a cocktail or two, I went for the Blueberry and Passionfruit Martini to curb my passionfruit martini obsession, and it really didn't disappoint and my friend Michaela went for a gin and tonic from their incredible list. She went for The Botanist gin infused with Orange Zest and Mint with the Fever Tree tonic as recommended by the bar tender and it was great. We sat chatting at the bar and listening to the live music and just taking in the whole atmosphere, it's super fun and the place looks amazing. 

After our drinks we headed to our table, and I got a Raspberry Amaretto Sour cocktail while we decided what food we wanted and Michaela finished her G&T. For starters we got the Salt and Pepper Onion Petals (as pictured first) and the Home Made Houmous board with crudités.  Both were amazing but the Salt and Pepper Onion Petals won, they were incredible. The right amount of crispy deep fried goodness but still packed a punch with flavour. I'd go back just for these!

We then got one of their deli boards and went for the olives (Michaela loves them, me not so much - I wish I did though!), four bean salad, poached salmon fillet and the camembert. A bit of an odd mix but it was so yummy as we picked all of the things we loved. You need to try the four bean salad, I loved it!

For mains I was totally torn, there was so many that we both could have gone for. After a while deciding and sipping on ANOTHER cocktail, I went for the Pineapple and Coconut Mojito where as Michaela went for the Peach Melba Bellini, both incredible, we finally decided what we wanted to order for our mains. I went for the Pan Fried Sea Bass Fillets with Spinach, Tomato and Piri Piri dressing while Michaela went back to her northern roots with the Lamb Hot Pot Pie. We added a few sides and went for the Cheesy Chips (these were amazing and the cheese was layered throughout instead of being plonked on top, yum!) and the sugar snap peas which were actually my favourite thing of the whole meal, so so delicious. 

As if we weren't already full and satisfied enough, we had to try their deserts and Michaela went for the Warm Chocolate Fudge Cake while I chose the Strawberry and Marshmallow Kebab as I just had to see what it would be like! They both tasted incredible and we'd totally have them again. 

We both had the most incredible evening and spent so much longer there than we have done anywhere else. It's the perfect place to start your night with cocktails and dinner before moving onto somewhere else. Michaela is thinking of taking her family there for post-graduation dinner and drinks and I can totally see why, I'm definitely thinking of it too! 

Lorna x

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Fashion and Beauty Summer Wishlist

I've been finding every excuse to order things online lately... My shopping addition has come back again in full swing and I just can't find a way to stop it, so what the hell, I might as well embrace it right? I'm putting it down to Glastonbury next week and all of the last minute shopping you could probably imagine (and a whole lot of returns to boot too!) but you know, just because I've been doing more shopping than normal, it doesn't make me want to shop any less! In fact it has the adverse effect and makes me want to shop more. Does anyone else find that? I can go for months and months without needing to buy much but then once I do, I want to buy it all. So these are the bits I'm eyeing up at the minute and I just can't quite get them out of my head...

First up are the two dresses. The Kaleidoscope Floral Print Silk Dress by Topshop Boutique, totally out of my budget but it's the most beautiful thing and I need it in my life. I've got a thing for dungaree style things ever since I picked up these black dungarees from Topshop, obsessed doesn't quite cover it and so I've been eyeing up all of the denim dungaree style dresses on the market recently and this Petite Denim Pinafore Dress from Topshop is exactly what I'm looking for. I love the idea of layering pretty pieces underneath to change the look of the outfit. So many uses out of dungaree style things and that's completely why I love them! 

This Cream Lace Long Sleeve Shirt from River Island is just gorgeous. I could totally see this being layered underneath the Topshop Denim dress and just worn on its own. The detail is beautiful! 

I've fallen in love with blue toned mirrored sunglasses, they are incredible and I've got a little bit of a story that goes along with these LIVNOW Sunglasses by Quay via. Topshop. I saw them when I was in the Topshop on Oxford Street while I was killing a little bit of time before a meeting and fell in love but at £25 and after the amount of money I'd been spending lately alongside Glastonbury coming up I wasn't quite sure if I could justify it but I knew I was coming back later in the day so decided to let fate decide, and if they were still there, I'd buy them. So after my meeting, I headed back to Topshop and ALL I could think about was the glasses. I get a little crazy over things like this. I was meant to be hunting for a graduation dress, but the glasses had taken over my mind. I needed them. But they weren't there, they were gone. MY HEART BROKE. And I needed them even more. So I browsed the internet and found them online on the Topshop site so decided I'd have to buy them on there... but I wanted them right away. I literally couldn't wait for them. But like I'd said before, if they weren't there when I got back then surely it was fate and I didn't need them, right? Wrong. I did need them. But I went on the hunt for a graduation dress anyway but I just wasn't in the right frame of mind (and every dress I tried on just wasn't right), so eventually I just decided to go home. I decided to have one last look for the sunglasses before I left and they were sitting there. So I grabbed them, tried them on and stupidly decided I wasn't sure if I liked them anymore, so I left them. Now, I'm completely thinking that I should have got them as they've still been on my mind since. I just want a gorgeous pair of sunnies with a blue mirror detailing, is that so much to ask?! 

Onto the makeup, and as I mentioned I'm heading to Glastonbury next week and I cannot wait. I've picked up this Glitter Pot in Periwinkle from Topshop and the Facial Glue to keep it stuck on but now I've been thinking about this shade. The Topshop Glitter Pot in Flash is just gorgeous and I'm thinking I may have to take a trip back to pick one up. 

Onto Lipsticks and of course they're from NARS. Does my obsession with them ever stop? I don't think so! I'm eyeing up the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils in Cruella and Train Bleu. Both gorgeous statement lip shades and these too would be perfect for Glasto as I've heard what great quality they are. Super pretty! Last but not least is a brush from NARS and I'm talking the NARS #44 Precision Contour Brush, it looks amazing and perfect for those detailed eye looks I can't quite seem to nail down because I've not got the right brushes. This would be the perfect addition to my brush collection and I think I may just have to bite the bullet and pick one up. NARS brushes are great quality so I know I won't be disappointed. 

I don't think there's anything in this list I can't see myself not getting. I need them all! I do however always make sure to check out Fashion Beans for any discount codes. I'm a discount code fiend and it always helps me to justify the spending, every little helps right? That's my justification anyway. 

What are you eyeing up at the minute? 

Lorna x

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Game Changing Fragrance

I've always been a Marc Jacobs Daisy Fragrance kinda gal with its sickly sweet scent and although I do still love that, this Liz Earle perfume entered my life and it changed everything about fragrance for me. 

The Liz Earle Botanical Essence No.15 perfume* is incredible. With fresh and spicy notes of pink pepper, cinnamon and bergamot complemented with damask rose, cypriol, indian sandalwood alongside tonic bean and bourbon vanilla. I'm terrible when it comes to describing scent, but this is the perfect mix of sweet and spice. As you can tell from my usual love of the MJ Daisy I usually opt for something on the sweeter side and always used to steer clear from anything with a spice scent but this changed that and now I'm obsessed. I always get compliments when I wear this fragrance and everyone always wants to know what it is. They're always shocked to find out it's Liz Earle as it's not really a brand you think of going to for fragrance. I love the brand as a whole, their skincare is incredible and I'm probably one of their biggest advocates for that reason.

If you've not tried anything from the Liz Earle skincare range, then what are you waiting for? And don't forget to pick up this fragrance while you're there. It's unlike anything I've ever tried before and you need to add it into your fragrance wardrobe stat!

Lorna x

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Degustabox May 2015

You might be able to guess from my recent re-jig of my content that alongside being a total beauty obsessive, I'm also a total foodie too. It's always been my dream to post recipes and that sort of thing, so one day I'd expect to do that but for now, while I'm living in a student house of 6 (and as you can imagine, it's totally not Pinterest worthy and I just wouldn't fancy putting pictures up of it), my foodie posts will have to stay to eating out... That was until I heard about Degustabox, a subscription service, much like Glossybox, Birchbox & My Little Box, but for food. How awesome is that? 

I was sent the Degustabox May 2015* one last month and I've given it a little while to see how I got on with it and gather my thoughts and I think it's genius. The difficulty with subscription boxes is the lack of knowing what you're going to get and whether you'll like it and I think with beauty boxes it can be a little harder to pass something onto someone else if you don't want it but with this, everyone has different tastes and so there's bound to be someone in your household that will like what's in the box. This box was a perfect example, I kept some of the bits and passed others on to my housemates and family. 

Now you're probably wondering what's in the box and if you couldn't already guess from the snap above, I'm going to talk you through it! 

There were a few marinades in the box; the Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ sauce, this looks incredible and so authentic. I passed this onto my parents as I could totally see them smothering this on a rack of ribs or over some chicken wings. Alongside this there was the Schwartz Grill Mates Marinade in a Bag in Honey and Soy and this is such a nifty idea. Pop your ingredient (meat, fish or vegetables) into the bag and bake - easy, simple and so tasty! 

I am such a fan of balsamic vinegar  I use it so much so I was super happy to see one from Sarsons in the box. It tastes great and I love drizzling it onto salads or mixed into a marinade. I've seen the Maggi So Stir Fry packets advertised so it was nice to see those in there. It's always good to have the opportunity to try something you've heard about right? These were chicken flavoured though so were passed onto my parents alongside the Slim Pasta Lasagne who I know will enjoy them! 

My mum is a total ginger beer lover so I was really excited to see a Fentimans one in there. Great brand and such a nice addition! The Fuel 10K protibrik protein biscuits were passed onto my brother as that's not my kind of thing and I know he takes protein. 

Last up, a few more of the bits I kept for myself and I'm talking the Green Coco Coco Juice and Banana (I'm not usually a banana fan but surprisingly liked this), the Daelmans Stroopwaffles (waffle biscuits with a caramel filling that you can warm up over the top of your cuppa - genius!) and my favourite of the bunch - the 9Bar Fruity snack bars (these are coated in chocolate and surprisingly kept me full for so long!). 

I love the idea of this box, it's perfect for if there's a few of you in your house with different tastes or if you live with family or friends. I loved passing the bits onto my friends and family as they were so excited about trying new things and that's part of the fun of it all I think. Caring is sharing and all that right? 

What's your favourite subscription box service? 

Lorna x

Monday, 15 June 2015

Eating In London: Rocket Holborn

Rocket* is the perfect pre-night out dinner and drinks spot. If you're after a buzzing bar/restaurant with great atmosphere and food/drinks then you need not look any further. 

I was really excited to be invited down as soon as I heard there was Pizza on the menu. Hello Pizza obsessive! And on that, I just assumed it was a pizza joint... but I was so wrong. On arrival, I shortly realised that this was more than just your usual pizza restaurant. It's a gorgeous place, perfect for catching up with an old friend as I did, for date night, or like I mentioned before for your pre-night out festivities. Families stay at home for this one. 

We started off with a couple of cocktails as I'd heard good things, and you know, it was a Friday. We went for an Amaretto Sours and a Strawberry Daiquiri, both were great and I know I'll be wanting to go back for more soon! Onto the best bit though, the food. For starters we went for the Fried Spicy Baby Squid and the Crab Cakes. Both were amazing but the Crab Cakes were the star of the evening. These were INCREDIBLE. You need to try them if you go! They were served on top of a mango, chilli and coriander salsa and were unlike anything I'd ever had. I could have eaten plates and plates of them and I'm completely salivating just thinking about them. 

For mains I had to go for a pizza, you know, to curb the obsession and all that, and so I opted for the Chorizo, Halloumi and Butterfly King Prawn Pizza with mozzarella, spring onion and chilli's - minus the chorizo and I added roasted tomatoes instead. Really great pizza and I loved the idea of helium and prawns, yum! Danielle went for the Harissa Lamb, Courgette and Sweet Potato skewers with cous cous and loved it. Course I couldn't try it, but she'd definitely recommend! 

As if we weren't stuffed enough already, we went onto desert as we'd been eyeing up a couple from earlier in the night and we just couldn't turn them down. Danielle went for the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Salted Caramel Ice Cream and said it was amazing, though a little too sweet for me which was why I went for the Key Lime Pie and honestly, this was game changing. I'm not much of a desert person, but this was incredible. 

I couldn't recommend Rocket in Holborn enough - great food, great service, great ambiance! No complaints at all. 

Can I just have a couple more plates of those crab cakes and key lime pie though please? Thanks... 

Lorna x


I for one am probably the worst when it comes to what I'm talking about today. Talking about intimate things sometimes even with a Doctor is a total no go area for me which I know is probably one of the worst things, such a bad idea and something I know I totally need to put behind me, which is why I decided to work on this post with Vagisil, as I just know there will be a few of you in my position too! 

Vagisil spoke to 2,000 women and nearly half said they were embarrassed to talk about the subject. Hands up who's with them? I certainly am! This is something we all need to address and that's why Vagisil have started their #ENDEMBARRASSMENT campaign to help us ladies a little bit along the way to feeling more confident about our bodies. 

I guess it's one of those situations where we just have to think, well we're all the same, we all have the same issues and with the whole doctor sitch, well they've definitely seen it all before and won't be thinking about it half as much as you will be. So just take a deep breath, and just do it. It'll be worse in the long run if you don't. 

Vagisil has so many bad connotations, I guess it's one of those product that everyone hears about just for that reason and I for one will put my hands up and say that's what I thought too. But their survey revealed that more than half of the women they asked used intimate health products like their own for personal hygiene and not just for the specific issues we relate these products with. So actually it's not quite as daunting as we thought in the first place right? We need to stop thinking about these things with these negative connotations as it can really affect people. 

Let's do what Vagisil are suggesting and #ENDEMBARRASMENT, who's with me?

Lorna x

*Post sponsored by Vagisil

The Repurchase: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

It's rare I repurchase something as I'm a serial product user and am always trying something out, so it really takes something amazing for me to not be able to be without it. Enter the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly and I've been obsessed ever since. It's perfect for my pale skin as it's actually pale enough for a colour match. I thought maybe I wouldn't get any use out of it now I've caught the sun a little as it's slightly too light to use all over but it's perfect as I can finally achieve the whole highlighted look using a concealer lighter under the eyes. Perfect! 

The texture is super creamy, unlike anything I've tried before and it blends perfectly into my dry skin something that many concealers don't do. It doesn't leave my skin looking cake-y but gives a high coverage, covering everything I want it to. 

It's incredible and I totally see why everyone loves it and hypes it up. If you haven't tried it yet, you need to and I bet you'll end up not being able to live without it like me! 

What product do you alway end up repurchasing? 

Lorna x

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Black Boots With An Edge

I am such a black boot enthusiast. I can't remember a time I didn't own at least a few pairs. They go with everything and there are so many different shapes and styles that you just can't go wrong and will always find a pair right for you. I remember there was a time when I would only wear black boots, but then trainers came into my life and everything changed but that doesn't mean I don't love a good black boot still, because I blooming well do. 

These boots I'm talking about are from a love at first sight situation, I saw them and instantly knew I needed them. The Next Perspex Heel Ankle Boots* are a perfect boot to add to your collection for all year round. I love them because of the perspex heel and it adds a little bit of interest to something so classic, that everyone knows and loves. 

I'm obsessed! 

What are your ideal black boots? 

Lorna x

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Happy 3rd Birthday Studs and Dreams

3 years! Wow. I can't quite believe it. 

This little space on the internet of mine has become a little bit more than just that... a little space on the internet. It means more than you can imagine and I feel as though if one day I woke up and it was gone and I couldn't blog anymore it'd be like losing an arm or a leg. I love it that much and its a part of me. 

The world of blogging and YouTube now has changed so much since I started and it's got a whole lot of different connotations and feelings associated to it than when I decided to start, but I want to let you know that my feelings towards it haven't changed since I started. I do it because I want to, not because I might be sent XYZ product, or get to go to XYZ, that's just a bonus and I'm not going to lie and say it isn't nice. I love writing and taking pictures of things I love and this has been my outlet for that and I can't explain how happy I am that I bit the bullet and started this. It's given me so many opportunities and has changed my entire outlook on life and I'm so grateful for that. 

I thought I wanted to be a Photographer or Artist before I started Studs and Dreams but this has given me the opportunity to see something I loved - digital, social media, writing etc. - in another light and I'm excited for the places it will continue to take me and give me the opportunity to experience. But overall, I just bloody love writing about the things I love... mostly beauty and food at the minute... and it makes me so happy that some of you seem to enjoy reading it too. Who'd have thought anyone would have ever stumbled across this site after I started it? I surely didn't. 

Like I mentioned before, blogging has changed so much and although it's incredible that it now has so much more importance, relevance and is respected a whole lot more, it just means that people are jumping on the bandwagon for the wrong reasons and I just want to let you know that it's okay to be writing about the things you love just because you love doing it. And you know, it's likely you'll go a whole lot further as you'll keep going too. 

I'm not saying it's been an easy ride to this point. I haven't loved every day, I haven't always blogged regularly and I always take breaks from it, but I'm not a full time blogger and this isn't my job, so that's okay and I make sure not to pressure myself about it because at the end of the day, I do this solely for fun. It's my hobby, a time consuming one maybe, but it incorporates all of the things I love and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Perseverance is key, and I'll carry to persevere and write and upload to Studs and Dreams until it doesn't become fun anymore. And don't worry, I can't see that happening any time soon... I wouldn't describe it like an arm or a leg for no reason you know. You don't just wake up one day and decide you don't like having your arm there anymore do you? Well this is the same thing and I'm going to keep writing and loving doing this. 

Thank you so much for the past 3 years and I'm so excited about what the future holds. 

Lorna x

Friday, 12 June 2015

Eating in London: National Vegetarian Week at Zaika

I love a good Indian. I used to hate any sort of spice but since I got into it, I've been in love. I was invited down to try out Zaika of Kensington* during National Vegetarian Week and I just couldn't turn it down. I don't eat meat so this was perfect alongside my love of great Indian food and so excitement was probably putting it lightly. 

The restaurant is beautiful. So luxurious making eating and drinking there a total experience and I loved it. We started with some poppadoms alongside a tomato chutney and a beetroot chutney. You can't have an Indian without these right? They were great and the chutney flavours made a nice change from the usual lime pickle and mango chutney and tasted incredible. 

The first course was Papdi Chaat - spiced chickpeas, wheat crisps, yoghurt, blueberries and tamarind chutney, Broccoli - tandoor cooked spice crusted broccoli and Aloo Tikki - potato cake with coriander, served with tamarind chutney. This was incredible and can be seen in the first picture. It looks beautiful and tasted even better. I always worry that although I like a bit of spice, it might be too hot for me but this wasn't the case at all, not for any of the courses and it was heaven. Served with a Sauvignon Blanc, Marloborough, New Zealand White Wine, my favourite of the evening and it really did match the dish perfectly. 

Next up was Mix Sprout & Potato Sheek - mixed sprouts and potato skewers served with mint and dry-ginger chutney, Paneer - Grilled Paneer with pickeled marinade served with a Cannonball Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California White Wine. This was incredible. The Paneer was the best I've ever tasted and it's got me completely sold and totally obsessed. I could eat this dish again and again. 

Onto the main and we had the Palak Paneer - Paneer with onion-tomato masala, cumin and garlic tempered pureed spinach, Aloo Gobi - Baby potatos and cauliflower tossed with onion, tomato and chaat masala served with Dal Makhni - slow cooked black lentils, Zaffrani Pulao and Truffle Naan and a glass of Malbec, Humberto Canoloe Estate Patagonia, Argentina Red Wine. These were all served in gorgeous copper pots and all tasted incredible. I love trying a bit of everything and so I think that's one of the reasons I fell in love with this meal. 

For desert we had Mango Kulfi and a Chocolate Brownie served with a Tokaji Late Harvest Ferment Desert Wine. This was a lovely way to finish off the meal and we were so full. 

This honestly was one of the most incredible meals I've had in a long time. It tops off all of my favourite Indian restaurants (as mentioned here) and I couldn't recommend it enough. You won't miss the meat or seafood, trust me! 

Lorna x