Sunday, 8 April 2018

Reading Material: How To Find Time To Read & The Books I've Read Recently


I actually really never thought I'd get back into reading regularly but it's something I'm so glad I've found time for and would encourage everyone to do the same. In this digital age it is so important to take time away from the screen and the only time I find that I step away from a screen is when I'm reading.  

If you're like I was and didn't really think I had time for it, give it a go. Find the time in your day and make a routine of it. This is key. Perhaps that's in the morning when you're having your breakfast, try reading a book instead of turning on your TV. Maybe it's when your on your way to work, try reading instead of listening to music. Or on your lunch break - take time away from your desk and have a little read. Maybe before you go to bed? This is when I read every day. Go to bed 20 mins earlier or so and take that time to get your nose in the latest novel. Just take some time, whenever you can, and add that into your routine. I haven't looked back since... 

For me, I find it helps with so many things. It helps to calm me down after a busy day and take my mind off of daily stresses. These books transport me to another world, and I adore that part of my day as it really helps me to relax - and because of when I read, get ready for sleep. 

Okay, okay. So I've persuaded you to find the time and pick up your next book - but what should you read? 

Below I've listed a few books I've finished recently (and one I'm still reading!) to get you started... 

Final Girls by Riley Sager

If you're into crime shows or murder mystery's - this is a must read. A total page turner and if I remember right, I read this pretty quickly as I just had to know what happened. 

Blurb below: 

FIRST THERE WERE THREE
The media calls them the Final Girls – Quincy, Sam, Lisa – the infamous group that no one wants to be part of. The sole survivors of three separate killing sprees, they are linked by their shared trauma.
THEN THERE WERE TWO
But when Lisa dies in mysterious circumstances and Sam shows up unannounced on her doorstep, Quincy must admit that she doesn’t really know anything about the other Final Girls. Can she trust them? Or...
CAN THERE ONLY EVER BE ONE?
All Quincy knows is one thing: she is next.

Available here.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I adored this book, and the fact that it's being talked about everywhere at the moment, shows that I am not the only one. It was heart wrenching but so incredible, and you see familiarities to her world from the beginning. 

Blurb below: 


Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.
One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.
Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

Available here


What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty


If you've read or seen Big Little Lies and liked it, this is by the same author so I would 100% recommend it. I actually gave this a go about a year ago but didn't get very far, I gave it another go recently so I'd say persevere with it and once you get into it, it's an easy read. 

Blurb below: 

Alice can't remember the last ten years of her life. She doesn't recognise her children, her husband, herself . . .
Alice is twenty-nine. She adores sleep, chocolate, and her ramshackle new house. She's newly engaged to the wonderful Nick and is pregnant with her first baby.
There's just one problem. All of that was ten years ago . . .
Alice has slipped in a step-aerobics class, hit her head and lost a decade. Now she's a grown-up, bossy mother of three in the middle of a nasty divorce and her beloved sister Elisabeth isn't speaking to her. This is her life but not as she knows it.
Clearly Alice has made some terrible mistakes. Just how much can happen in a decade?
Can she ever get back to the woman she used to be?

Available here.


How To Stop Time by Matt Haig

This is actually the book I'm reading at the moment but I am enjoying it so much, I just had to include it. This book takes you through time, but through a really interesting storyline. I won't say any spoilers so I'd just recommend reading the blurb below and seeing what you think. But I'm about half way and so far, so good.

Blurb below:

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life. 
Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover - working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he'd never witnessed them first-hand. He can try to tame the past that is fast catching up with him. The only thing Tom must not do is fall in love.

Available here.

Hot Mess by Lucy Vine


This was probably the book I read the furthest of time ago, but I loved it so much it has stuck out in my memory and is a must mention for this book. An easy read, this chick lit is relatable to the T. It's a hilarious coming-of-age story that I'm sure you will relate to.

Blurb below:

Hot Mess [n.] - someone attractive, who is often in disarray.
Have you ever shown up to Sunday brunch still smelling of Saturday night?
Chosen bed, Netflix and pizza over human contact?
Stayed in your mould-ridden flat because it's cheap?
Meet your spirit animal, Ellie Knight.
Her life isn't turning out exactly as she planned.
She hates her job, her friends are coupling up and settling down, and her flatmates are just plain weird.
Some people might say she's a hot mess but who really has their sh*t together anyway?

Available here

I Heart Forever by Lindsey Kelk 

I have been reading Lindsey Kelk's 'I Heart' series for years. This is the latest book in the series, so if you haven't read the rest, make a b-line and head to the first in the series, I Heart New York. If you are looking for a super girly, easy-to-read number that makes you giggle, give this series a go. 

Blurb below: 

The day her husband Alex picks up a backpack and goes travelling, Angela Clark promises to stay out of trouble and keep both Louboutins on the ground. So when her best friend’s boyfriend confides in her, it can’t hurt to help him pick out a ring at Tiffany’s surely? And when her fashion magazine announces major changes, being terminally late and winking at your new boss in the lift isn’t that bad, is it? Then suddenly there’s another big secret Angela’s got to keep – and the man she loves is still thousands of miles away. As the wedding of the year looms, and Manhattan switches on its Christmas lights, Angela is going to need her friends by her side as her old life looks set to change forever.


Available here

Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living by Linnea Dunne 


If you are looking for something a little different from your standard novel, I couldn't recommend this book enough. It's a lifestyle book that takes you through the Swedish lifestyle, Lagom and I found it incredibly inspiring. It's comfortable, it's cosy and I adored it as a pre-bedtime read. 

Blurb below:

Step aside Hygge. Lagom is the new Scandi lifestyle trend taking the world by storm. This delightfully illustrated book gives you the lowdown on this transformative approach to life and examines how the lagom ethos has helped boost Sweden to the No.10 ranking in 2017's World Happiness Report.
Lagom (pronounced 'lah-gom') has no equivalent in the English language but is loosely translated as 'not too little, not too much, just right'. It is widely believed that the word comes from the Viking term 'laget om', for when a mug of mead was passed around a circle and there was just enough for everyone to get a sip. But while the anecdote may hit the nail on the head, the true etymology of the word points to an old form of the word 'lag', which means 'law'. 
Far from restrictive, lagom is a liberating concept, praising the idea that anything more than 'just enough' is a waste of time. Crucially it also comes with a selflessness and core belief of responsibility and common good.

Available here

When do you fit reading into your day and what have you been reading lately? Let me know! 

Lorna x
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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Scent-scational Candles


My name is Lorna and I'm addicted to candles. 

As I'm writing this, my living room is covered with them - and I'm not talking about the beautifully placed ones I've got out that I'm currently burning. I have a cupboard full - for safe keeping, to replenish the one's I'm currently burning and just because (that's enough justification right?) and they are all over the floor to help me narrow down my choices for this post. It was a toughie. 

If like me, you're a candle addict or are just looking to add a new one into your home, read on for the current favourites in my stash... 


To burn everyday 


My go-to fragrance every day is always something fresh and clean. I like my home smelling as clean as possible and the Liz Earle Eucalyptus and Rosemary Candle, £36 is perfect for that. It's fresh, it's clean, it's calming but uplifting at the same time and for that reason it's my choice for an every day home fragrance favourite. I have burnt through one of these before so I'm savouring this one in my stash but having it out has made me realise, I need to start burning this baby. If you have room in your bathroom for a candle, choose this one too as it's perfect for that. I also adore the signature Liz Earle blue packaging - crikey, that brand can literally do no wrong in my eyes. Always incredible. 

To burn in the evening


If you are looking for a candle to relax with in the evening, the Aurelia Skincare Peacefulness Candle, £55 is perfect for this. If you've had a stressful day, are feeling anxious, this candle is perfect to help clear your mind and calm yourself down. Notes include top notes of lavender and lemongrass, rose geranium, neroli and ylang ylang in the heart and clove and cedar wood at the base. I adore the simple ceramic jar - one definitely to keep after the natural candle has burnt down. Super luxurious and when you purchase this you get a beautiful candle snuffer too. Bonus!


To burn before you to to sleep


The This Works Deep Sleep Heavenly Candle, £25 is my go-to for when I'm reading before bed. I've used the Deep Sleep range from This Works for a while now and that gorgeous scent instantly signifies to my brain that it's time to go to sleep. I use the pillow mists and the candles regularly, and am already eyeing up other products in the range - the bath soak and shower gel has got my name written ALL over it. With notes of lavender and chamomile, it's perfect to help you drift off to sleep every night... Zzzzzz..... 


To burn because you love your fragrance so damn much 


Matching your home fragrance to your actual fragrance isn't something I ever thought I would do, but I fell hook, line and sinker for the Jo Malone English Oak and Redcurrant fragrance so much that I had to get the matching candle too. The Jo Malone English Oak and Redcurrant Home Candle, £45 is stunning from the inside out. I adore the Jo Malone packaging and the quality of the burn is second to none - and for that reason Jo Malone Candles are always saved for a special occasion in my house. Though, I'm kind of getting to that realisation of when is actually a special occasion - just burn that candle girl! With notes of redcurrant, mandarin, rose, white musk and roasted oak. It's Autumn in a candle for me, though I would 100% burn this all year round. 



To burn with a cup of tea


Cup of tea in hand, TV on or book in hand (whatever you fancy), candle burning - is there anything greater?  The Orla Kiely Earl Grey Candle, £25 is the perfect candle just for this moment (or you know, all the time) as it is exactly what it says on the tin. Earl Grey scented. If like me, you're not an Earl Grey Tea drinker, don't let that deter you as this seriously smells incredible. It's fresh and fruity and instantly calms me down as it makes me think of that moment, just as your about to take a sip of your tea. Notes of bergamot, clary sage and orange peeled are entwined with a smokey black tea to create this gorgeous fragrance. I may just have to burn this as we speak... It's that great. 

To burn when you've got your friends round


I am all about burning candles 24/7 and the Mini Moderns Pavilion Candle in Gin Fizz, £24 is the perfect one for when you're hosting. If the prosecco (or gin!) is flowing, crack this candle out for a party-friendly mood booster. It's fresh, it's fruity and with notes of lemon, juniper berry and fresh geranium it's the perfect scent to suit your evening with a drink or two in hand. 

To burn when you need a mood boost


If I am looking for a scent for a specific mood, Neom is always the brand I go to. I've burnt many of their candles before so can definitely vouch for the quality. The Neom Feel Refreshed Candle, £30 is perfect for a mood boost. This is actually one of my favourite scents to burn in the kitchen as the notes included are most definitely kitchen friendly. Notes include lemon and fresh basil for the ultimate mind and body pick-me-up. 

What are your favourite candles right now? 

Lorna x
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Sunday, 1 April 2018

Cream Cleansers For Every Budget


Cream cleansers are a staple in my skincare routine. In fact, I always have several on the go and I finish them up so regularly (hence that some of my favourites from this post aren't actually pictured, if I still did empties, they would all 100% be included). 

My skin is dry/dehydrated and sometimes on the sensitive side and each of these have been perfect for it, though I have recommended each of these to people of all skin types and they have been great too. 

Just as a heads up, I usually use the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, £4.99 to take off all of my makeup first and then I go in with one of these, though they are super effective at removing makeup too - so use this post however it would naturally fit into your routine. 

Whatever your budget, whatever your skin type, you need to give one of these a go... 

If you're on a budget


The Sanctuary Spa Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser, £10 is actually one that came into my life very recently. I have loved Sanctuary Spa products for years but hadn't really dipped my toe into their pool of skincare products. As the most budget friendly product of the post, this one definitely doesn't disappoint. A gentle cleanser using beeswax, cocoa butter, coconut and jojoba oil and soothing camomile - and it comes with a handy muslin cloth to buff everything away. 

The mid-range & one to try first


The Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, £16 (for the starter pack) was the product that got me obsessed with this type of cleanser. In fact, if you go back to 2012 (when I first started this blog!) this cleanser was actually my second ever review (head here to see it) and it has featured on here regularly since. 

It's a beautiful gentle cleanser that removes dirt and makeup, hydrates the skin subtly and leaves skin feeling clean but not stripped. The starter pack comes with a 100ml pump bottle of the cleanser and two muslin cloths. This is always the set I pick up as their cloths are my all-time-favourite. In fact, I have just ran out if yet another bottle of this hence why it isn't pictured. I think a trip to Boots may just been in order as writing about this, makes me miss it. If you buy any of these, buy this one first - it'll change your cleansing life. 

A little more luxurious & the one for sensitive skin


Again, this is a cleanser that has featured in my skincare routine for a long time. My skin can be on the sensitive side and although I generally find all of these to be fine for that, this is the one I go to if I'm having a sensitive flare up. The Pai Skincare Camellia and Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, £28 works in the same way as the previous cleansers mentioned but I find if my skin is feeling sensitive then this helps to calm it down. It's gentle but still cleanses my skin as needed, and it's perfect for removing makeup too. I always like to make sure I've got a back up of this, just in case (you never know when your skin is going to need it!) 

The most luxurious & the one filled with BioOrganic ingredients


I remember the first time I tried this. I had always heard incredible things about Aurelia Skincare but had feared spending the money and being disappointed, but if anything I was blown away and completely understood the expenditure. The Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser, £42 has been one of my favourites since I first tried it. It is incredibly luxurious, from the pretty packaging (which gets me every time) to the way the product feels on the skin. It works similarly to the other products in the feature as it's applied and buffed away by one of their gorgeous muslin cloths - but this one really makes my skin glow. Although it is formulated for sensitive skin, I usually opt for the Pai cleanser as it;s a little more gentle, but if my skin needs a pick-me-up this is the one I go for. 

Aurelia is all about using BioIngredients sourced from around the word and ensure to only use the ingredients necessary to get the results meaning they are free from all of the nasties including sulphates, parabens, mineral oils and MI to name a few. They don't contain live bacteria or work on the skin’s surface micro biome as they believe there's a better way. I just adore their ethos and branding, it really makes you feel as though you're doing good for your skin. I just need to get my hands on their deluxe size, because I adore pump. Definitely on the shopping list... 


Have you tried any cream cleansers? Let me know your favourites!

Lorna x
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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Soak Stars: The Ultimate Bathing Blend



Bath time has always been a favourite of mine. In fact, growing up I generally used to always opt for a bath over a shower any day. It's that time in the day when you have to have a bit of 'me time' and I adore that. 

I am a bath product hoarder and forever love trying something new (if you have any bathing favourites, please holla - I'm always looking for the next best thing to try!) and to create the ultimate bath, I love to mix a few bits together for the ultimate relaxation. 

Generally this can change up depending on what I've got on the go at the time, but in general there are three phases that are always involved - and I like the bath water as hot as I can get it. 

Read on to find out what makes the perfect bathing blend in my books... 


Bubble Bath or Bath Milk 


Okay, sometimes I actually use both depending on how extravagant I'm feeling but as a general rule it's usually one or the other. I LOVE getting into a bath full of bubbles - there's just something that makes a bath that bit better, but if I'm looking for something more soothing a bath milk is usually what I go for. 

For bubbles, at the moment I'm using the Sanctuary Spa Luxury Bath Float, £12. This uses the classic Sanctuary scent that I adore and creates a huge amount of bubbles - the packaging update with the gorgeous rose gold top is a massive thumbs up in my books too as it looks great on the side of my tub. 

On the bath milk side of the spectrum, my current favourite is the Crabtree & Evelyn 
Goat Milk & Oat Soothing Body Milk, £28. This feels so luxurious and anything that has soothing in the name makes me want to try it. From the scent, to the texture of the product and even to the gorgeously simple packaging (in a gorgeous muted blue - one of my favourite shades at the moment), everything about it just emphasises relaxation to me. 


Bath Salts


Now I don't add these in every time I have a bath, but when I feel like I need a little extra I'll sprinkle a few in. I adore the Westlab Super Salt Himalayan Bathing Salts, £7.99 at the moment. I use one of the others from their Super Salt range too, but I'm saving that one for another post - so keep your eyes peeled for that soon. The Super Salt Himalayan Bathing Salts from Westlab work to cleanse the body. They detoxify, rebalance and revitalise the body and mind and leave the skin feeling radiant. I adore using these if I'm looking for something a little more restorative. 


Bath Oil or Bath Bomb


Now again, sometimes I'll use both of these together but for the two products I'm talking about today, generally I would keep them apart as it could end up a little too OTT on the hydration front. Bath Oils are a staple in my bathroom beauty collection  - in fact I could talk to you about them all day, but for this post I'm talking my current favourite the Aromatherapy Associates Revive Evening Bath and Shower Oil, £49. In fact, I adore ALL of their bath and shower oils, but this is the one I've currently got on the go. It is incredibly hydrating on the skin and the scent relaxes me like no other. The Revive Evening scent is my favourite if I've had a long day at work and I need a little pick-me-up in the evening, but not so much that I won't be able to get to sleep as it works to relax you at the same time. 

On the bath bomb front, another bath time staple in my eyes (most likely from my Lush obsession when I was younger - I mean, did you even have a bath if you didn't use a Lush bath bomb and instagram it?!). If I'm using a bath bomb I usually opt for the Lush Butter Ball Bath Ballistic, £2.95. I'm currently using the Christmas version, the Lush Butter Bear Bath Ballistic as I still have a little stash from the January sales but they essentially are the same minus the shape. These bath bombs not only smell incredible, but they soothe and hydrate the skin. The bath bomb is filled with small cocoa butter pieces that once melted leave your skin with a soft to the touch, buttery film that smells incredible. No body cream needed after using this! Not one I opt for all the time, but a great one to have in your stash. Plus - who doesn't LOVE putting a bath bomb in the bath? Not me!


I have so many other products I use, but this at the moment is my favourite bathing concoction. A mixture of these goodies and you'll be ready to drift away next time you're in the tub.

1,2,3, relax... 

Lorna x
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Sunday, 25 March 2018

Introducing These Hair Hydrators From Maui Moisture



When you've got to go and grab the products out of the shower before writing a post, you know you're onto a winner. This Maui Moisture range arrived on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago and I just knew I would be into them. 

Created by the same people as OGX (you'll already know my love of them if you've been here before), Maui Moisture was inspired by handpicked ingredients from islands like Maui. Whereas most shampoo & conditioner ranges start with a chemically treated water, Maui Moisture uses a unique blend of aloe vera juice and pure coconut water. 

The Maui Moisture Revive & Hydrate range is right up my street. I'm all about keeping my hair hydrated because I love the texture of my hair when it's soft and this range does just that. The Maui Moisture Revive & Hydrate Shea Butter Shampoo and Shea Butter Conditioner, £8.99 each are the perfect duo for when your hair needs a hydration boost. Shea Butter is whipped into this range with rich coconut oil and macadamia oil to leave hair nourished and softened for a healthy look. 

If you need an extra boost, the Maui Moisture Revive & Hydrate Shea Butter Hair Mask, £8.99 is a total treat. I love popping this on my hair when I'm in the bath for an extra boost. 

I adore the packaging of this range - the pink of this is so stunning and I happily have it on show in my shower. I'm obsessed and I'm already eyeing up the other ranges from the brand. 

Lorna x
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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

The Makeup Repeaters



Like I mentioned in this post, I try a lot of beauty products. So if I go back and use a product more than once, or even regularly, you know it's good. 

In this post I'm rounding up all of the makeup essentials that make an appearance in my beauty routine on the reg. 

Read on to find out which ones made the cut... 

By Terry Terrybly Densilliss Concealer


The By Terry Terribly Densilliss Concealer, £44 is the best concealer I have ever tried. I'm not one to wear foundation every day as I find it too heavy on my skin, but this dotted over the places I needed and blended out works a dream. It's creamy and blends in with my skin perfectly leaving a light but perfected looking base. I adore this and cannot imagine not having it in my life. My every day base. 

Beautyblender


I never used to fully understand the hype of a beautyblender, £18 (including their incredible blenderbleanser solid for cleaning your blenders and brushes) until very recently. I was always using it dry so naturally always preferred a buffing brush, but since I have given it a go wet, it has changed my life. Run it under the tap for a minute before you use it until it expands and use to blend in your base. I use mine with the By Terry concealer and the results are flawless. 

By Terry Terrybly Densillis Compact 


I have been using the By Terry Terribly Densillis Compact, £66 for a long ol' while now as I just haven't tried anything else that compares. After my concealer, I swirl a kabuki brush into this and brush across my skin. It gives a slight tint of colour which evens out any redness and keeps my concealer in place. It makes my skin feel so soft which makes it the perfect addition to your barely there makeup look. Great for no makeup makeup but also incredible if you're putting together something a bit more powerful. A great all-rounder. 

Clarins Bronzing and Brush Compact


Every year Clarins brings out one of these beautiful compacts so unfortunately it's not available to purchase at the moment, but with summer round the corner this is definitely one to keep an eye out for. It is a stunning compact featuring shades to bronze the skin and add a pop of colour to the cheeks. They are designed to look beautiful with a tan, but not to worry if you're fair like me, they give you an incredible sun glow look. I have used the past two years compacts so much and cannot wait to see what they release this year. Bring on the sun! 


By Terry Compact Expert Dual Powder in Apricot Glow


OMG is all I have to say about this one. This powder is just incredible. I use this shade in the beautiful By Terry Compact Expert Dual Powder, £38 as a blush/highlight as it just gives my skin life. It's subtle, but can be built up for more impact and is an essential in my every day beauty routine. I often layer this with other products but if I don't use it, I definitely notice the difference. One to stock up on and a great skin saver if you've got a hangover. 


Illamasqua Beyond Wow Powder in OMG 


If you are looking for a powerful highlight, you need this in your life. The Illamasqua Beyond Wow Powder in OMG, £34 seriously gives you that Instagram highlight. A little of this goes a long way, but build it up for more of an impact. I haven't found a highlighter that delivers quite like this one does - can you tell I'm obsessed? 

Glossier Boy Brow


Hello Glossier! Everything I have tried from the range has blown me away as it is all just so 'me'. The Glossier Boy Brow, £14 is my every day eyebrow product. It's a quick brow fix that thickens, fills in and grooms the look of the brow. It doesn't flake and it stays in place all day long. I like my brows to look undone, and this is the perfect product for that. 

Urbay Decay Naked Heat Palette


This is literally me in an eyeshadow palette. I am obsessed with warm tones around the eyes and this eyeshadow palette features just that. The Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette, £39.50 features 12 gorgeous mattes and shimmers in a mixture of warm tones, burnt oranges and deep reds which look great on all skin tones. I have used Urban Decay Naked palettes for as long as I remember, I mean I'm sure if you scrolled back through the years you'd see several appearances from them all - they're really that good, but this one has to be my favourite of the lot. They blend in perfectly, and give me the perfect pop of colour in the eye area that I have grown to love. I'm all about simple makeup at the moment, but this gives it a very slight edge and I love that. 

Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara 


Now this is more of an honorary mention as it's the newest product in my collection, but even though I wasn't sure at first, I keep going back to the Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara, £21.50. This mascara seriously makes an impact. A little goes a long way, so apply lightly but if you want long, voluminous lashes you should definitely give this one a go. It's quite wet so can be easy to make a bit of a mess but if you apply with a light hand, you'll reap all of the benefits. Persevere with this one, it's really worth it. 


Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara


Now I know, it feels like it's kind of cheating to have two mascara's in this post, but I couldn't not mention both of them. The Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara, £22 has been my go-to mascara for the past 8 months. Since the first time I tried it, I have been hooked. This is a little easier to apply than the Benefit one which is why I am currently using them on rotation, but gives just as good impact. If you're looking for voluminous lashes, you need to give this one a go - plus the packaging is beautiful! 


Laura Geller Lipstick in Lavender

I am obsessed with a nude, creamy lip at the moment. Essentially a 'your lips but better' shade that is very low maintenance. I'm super busy in the day so like to make sure if I forget to top up my lipstick, that's okay. This lipstick is creamy and is essentially my perfect lip shade at the moment. I have tried to find a link for this but I can't seem to find one  - I think perhaps it may have been in a gift set but take a look at the other Laura Geller lipsticks as if this one is anything to go by, I'm sure it won't disappoint. 

Glossier Birthday Balm Dot Com 


I actually never thought this lip balm would be my cup of tea. I usually steer clear of anything too sweet and the idea of glitter on the lips (unless I'm at a festival) was a massive no no. But after giving the Glossier Birthday Balm Dot Com, £10 beauty a go, I have done a complete 180 and changed my mind. This lip balm is gorgeous. If you're looking to add a little something something to the lips without adding a pop of colour, this is perfect. If I'm choosing not to wear lipstick, then this will be my go-to. It hydrates the lips, smells incredible and gives my look life. It's also great when worn on top of a lip tint like my favourite at the moment, the Benefit Lollitint, £25.50. 


What products always make a return in your makeup bag? Let me know! 

Lorna x
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Sunday, 18 March 2018

What To Buy When Your Boyfriend Is Growing A Beard



So your boyfriend's growing a beard? Mine too. 

You either love it, or you hate it (I blooming love Joe's) but the ever growing question he keeps asking me is what products should he be using on it and how the heck does he keep it tame? 

That's where this post comes in, read on for the deets... 

Keeping it clean


First things first, you gotta keep that beard clean. I got him the Brisk Unfragranced Beard Shampoo, £4.99. I chose the unfragranced scent mostly because the other one from the range had tea tree in and I'm allergic, but thought too much scent here could be not pleasant. This shampoo has been created specifically for beards, it's paraben and sulphate free and leaves the hair clean, soft and easy to tame. Plus - it's budget friendly, so you don't have to feel too bad if he doesn't use it, or if he loves it so much he has to repurchase. 


Keeping it knot free and neat


When Joe started growing his beard, this was an essential. We looked and looked for a beard brush but couldn't actually find one anywhere in store (any recommendations, let me know?!) but in the end, ended up using a Tangle Teezer Men's Compact Brush, £12.49 that we already had. It's compact so not too big for the beard and combs through the hair easily. Pick up a pair of hair scissors while you're at it to keep it nice and trimmed back too. 


Keeping it hydrated


I got Joe a couple of options for beard hydration, a balm and an oil. They can both be used together, but this can be a little on the heavy side so one or the other is usually fine. The Brisk Beard Balm, £5.45 is used by rubbing the product between the hands to become more of a liquid texture before applying to the beard. It hydrates (also hydrating the skin underneath!) but also has the added benefit of keeping the beard in place which is why I think it's Joe's current favourite. Another option if you're looking for an oil is the Brisk Citrus Beard Oil, £6.99. I adore the scent of this and it works to make the skin less itchy from the beard. It also dries in quickly which is a bonus in the oil department! 


Keeping your bathroom clean


Now this has to be the biggest bane of my life with what comes alongside the beard. The trimmed hairs EVERYWHERE. If you've been through this, if your boyfriend has a beard then you know what I'm talking about. I'm not quite sure how I found this, but in my opinion it's the greatest invention ever (and Joe, if you're reading this, pleeeeeease use it more ;)!). If you have this problem, you need to buy a beard bib, £2.99. It essentially attaches to your boyfriend and the mirror and catches all the hairs in between - and for £2.99, happy days! 


I got a few budget friendly beard essentials here, but now the beard is here to stay it would be great to get recommendations on what beard products your boyf uses. Let me know! 

Lorna x
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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Finding Blog/Life Balance: Getting your blog back up and running after a blip



You may have noticed that Studs and Dreams has been a bit on and off for the past couple of years, with a few gaps of no content, a little on the larger side than I would perhaps have liked - but I'M BACK BABY, I've got my mojo back and I've got a few tips for how you can get here too. 

I started this blog back in 2012 - just before I started Uni and just under 6 years later my life is completely different. And finding the place for this little space on the internet in my life has been super difficult hence the irregular content. Not for the lack of trying, but life gets blooming busy. I started this blog when I had a lot of time for it but for the past few years I've had a full-time job so finding time to blog, relax and socialise has been blooming tough. 

If you're reading this, then I expect you've got a blog too and are feeling the same... or perhaps are thinking about starting one and are a little daunted about the task at hand. But don't worry gals, WE'VE GOT THIS. 

Read on for a few tips to find your blog/life balance... 

Don't pressure yourself


I got myself into a bit of a pickle back when I was blogging regularly. The norm seemed to be to blog every single day and I tried to keep up with that. I'd find I'd blog in bulk and schedule it all only to find myself without time to keep up with it... and with that I always felt super negatively about getting on my laptop and writing something up. All that pressure does not make for good content. When you force yourself it's easy to feel uninspired, and if you're feeling uninspired writing it then whoever is reading it is bound to feel that way too. 


Take some time away from the blog


When you're ready to come back to it, you'll know. Give yourself time to rest and recuperate away from the internet. A social detox if you will. Trust me, you'll come back with a fresh mind and lots of things you want to talk about. And really don't worry if that isn't just a couple of weeks, if it's a couple of months or longer, that's okay too - I did it, and my blog is still here and waiting for me and I feel more inspired than ever. 


Take a couple of days off work


Now this has been the absolute game-changing factor in me getting my blog mojo back. I know not everyone will have the luxury to be able to do this, but if you work full-time alongside your blog like I do, it's perfect to give yourself some time to relax and solely think about what you're doing. For me, my job is very similar to my blog - I work in Social Media for beauty brands within a PR agency at the moment and I found it tough to feel inspired to come home and continue to think and talk about products. So finding that separation with a bit of time off to get some life admin done and work on my blog has truly inspired me. 


Go to blogging events and talk to other bloggers


With feeling so out of the blogging loop, I didn't really feel comfortable going to blogger events but lately I've forced myself to go out to a couple and I've been chatting to a few lovely girls at work that have inspired me (you know who you are!) and this has inspired me second to none. Chatting to others that are in the same position as you can help more than I can even tell you. If you can't make it to any events in person, get on Twitter and see who's out there, and see how that helps. 


Read through your previous blog posts


Have a look at the content you used to create. I adored looking through my previous posts and it truly made me feel inspired to get everything back up and running. Looking at the amazing experiences I've had, previous favourite products and everything I used to do gave me lots of new ideas and gave me inspiration to get creative again. 


Check out what your favourite bloggers have been writing


Seeing what other people are up to seriously helps to give me a boost to get involved. If you're feeling stuck in a rut, check out the other bloggers in the blogosphere and see how that makes you feel. Don't replicate what they're doing, use it to inspire you to create your own ideas and get your emoji back. Are there any new trends? New tags (do people still do this?!)? New products everyone is talking about? Seeing what else is out there can really make you feel back in the loop and ready to get your blog on. 


Don't say yes to everything


It can get incredibly overwhelming. Saying yes to trying all of the new products, going to all of the events. When you work full-time, it's impossible to do it all so try to be selective about what you agree to to ensure you don't burn out and end up doing nothing. You're hearing this from a girl who has been there time and time again, and trust me, it never works. 


Ease yourself back in with Instagram


If you've taken a bit of time out of the blogging world, it can be hard to jump back in and get back on with all of the channels. I found easing myself back in with updating my Instagram @studsanddreams  the best way to test the waters. Giving this a go again, really helped and it made me miss using my blog as a space to truly write all of my thoughts down. 


Write a blog post like this


It is so therapeutic and it makes you realise everything that has been going wrong with what you're doing. List it all out and perhaps you'll help a couple of people along the way too. 


Finally, you have got this! Don't feel like you have to do anything, as soon as you do everything can go wrong. Take it easy and get ready to get your blog mojo back! 

Lorna x
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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Hydration Station: 5 moisture boosting skincare essentials



During the colder months, during season transitional periods, if you suffer with dry or dehydrated skin or maybe you just haven't been drinking enough water - whatever it is, if your skin needs a bit more hydration in your life, read on for the details of 5 skincare products you should give a go for that skin hydration pick-me-up... 

Sarah Chapman Skinesis Intense Hydration Booster


As a first-step in my skincare routine, I love using the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Intense Hydration Booster, £59. This skincare essential rehydrates and instantly plumps the skin with hyaluronic acid, moisture magnets and soothing rosewater. It is lightweight but still boosts incredibly effectively- and I really have noticed the difference from using this regularly. This is also great if you live in the city as it protects against the environment by defending your skin against airborne bacteria and irritants. Yes this is on the higher price end for a skincare product, but I can 100% say that it's worth it. 

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Hydrating Serum 


If you have sensitive skin, this is the product you should give a go for added hydration. La Roche Posay is the brand I trust completely for when my skin is having a sensitive flare up which is why it regularly pops up in my skincare routine with products across the range. The La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Hydrating Serum, £20 contains no parabens, no preservatives, no fragrance, no lanolin, no colourants and no alcohol - free from all the nasties which is great in my book. This serum sinks in quickly making it a perfect layer in your hydrating skincare routine to add moisture. The whole Hydraphase range is great too if you're looking for more products to add to your regime.

Clarins Hydra-Essential Bi-Phase Serum


In fact, this is actually the Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Bi-Phase Serum, £44 alongside the Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Silky Cream, £36 as they work incredibly together. The Hydra-Essentiel range should be your go-to if your skin is feeling dull and dehydrated. This combo helps to restore the skin's capacity to retain water - and after using this for a while, I can 100% vouch for this. It keeps your skin feeling hydrated, smooth and soft all day long. The only thing I'm not too keen on is the scent, but I can get past that for the effect it has on my skin. A match made in heaven for hydration! 

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask 


An oldie but a goodie, this product has featured in my beauty stash since the beginning of my blog. I've gone through a few tubes of the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, £25 but that's because it's so god damn good. You've probably heard all there is to hear about it, you've probably even tried it but if you haven't - you truly must! This is the finisher to your evening skincare routine. This thick cream is applied to the skin, sort of like a thick moisturiser and is left on all night long. It feels incredibly soft on the skin and the scent is what made me fall in love with it in the first place - super fruity. My skin in the morning is always super hydrated and soft to the touch. One that will stay in my skincare routine for years to come I expect, if it's stuck around for me this long, it's going to stick around for a whole lot longer. 

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre


A staple moisturiser in my collection for years, the Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre, £15 (for the gorgeous Limited Edition version pictured) is incredible for a moisture boost. This is a favourite of mine in my morning skincare routine and has been for years. In fact, I can't even remember when I first started using it - it's been around for that long. It leaves a gorgeous base for me to apply makeup on top and while gently hydrating my skin. No primer needed with this one. 


What are your skin hydration saviours? 

Lorna x
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Thursday, 8 March 2018

The Long Hair Saviour: Saving Knotty Locks On A Budget


Knotty haired girls, this one's for you...

Since working within the beauty world, I have been extremely lucky to get to try beauty products on the reg (and I'm talking budget friendly ranges straight up to super luxury ones that I could only ever dream of purchasing) but there has to be something really special about it, past the sparkly packaging and big claims to get me to keep using that product, because my drawers are full and your girl gets excited about trying something new. 

The product I'm talking about in today's post is something I use ALL the time. In fact, I now can't imagine my beauty routine without it. It slipped into my beauty regime so seamlessly, that I didn't actually realise quite how much I do actually love it. It's only when I hear the excitement in my voice when telling other people about it that I actually realise (I can only apologise if you have been that person, I really do go on... It's so blooming great I can't help myself). 

I was always that person with long hair that is so unmanageable that brushing it would be my least favourite chore. If you feel the same, if you've ever had to get someone else to brush your hair for you, if you've got 'scarf hair' from the freeeeezing cold weather (you know when your hair all clumps at the back of your neck from wearing a scarf all day? Yep, that), or if you just want to speed up your hair routine, you need to read on. 

The Mane 'n Tail Detangler,  £7.99 is just that product. Every time I wash my hair, I use this. If my hair is dry and extra knotty, I use this. In fact, most times I brush my hair I use this. It speeds up the hair brushing process and makes my hair feel super sleek and soft. 

I hadn't actually thought about using a detangler until this one came into my life. I had used one when I was a child, but I didn't actually think about it being something that I would use now. But oh my god, you need to. 

How do you use it? It can be used on either wet or dry hair, though I would say only use it on dry hair if you really need it. Just spritz it a few times through your hair, and if you have really bad parts, I concentrate it on there a little, though don't be too heavy handed as you don't wan't it to weigh your hair down and then just do your hair as normal. 

This product has changed my haircare routine and the fact that it is so good, for this insanely budget friendly price gets me every time. You get 355ml in the bottle which lasts for ages- I've been using mine now for around 6 months, maybe more and it's still going strong. All I need in my life is a mini one for travelling! 

Spritz, brush, blow dry and go! 

Lorna x
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