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