Monday 29 December 2014

Essentials for Students & Bloggers

I'm a Student and a Blogger and so a post on the essentials for both could work quite well. I had thought about writing separate posts but when it came down to it the essentials were basically the same. So whether you're a blogger or a student, both maybe or even thinking of being either then post is definitely for you. 

First up, I'm talking gadgets and for me an iPhone is a total essential. Not only for day to day essentials like the Maps app to find your way around, well, anywhere, this baby holds so many things you could need. Yep, I'm talking apps

Photo editing comes for any Instagram addict both blogger and student alike. Now we've had Instagram for a little while the filters and ways of editing just don't quite cut it anymore and that's where these apps come in. Whitagram is great if you have a portrait or landscape you don't want to be cropped. It adds in a background that fits the Instagram square and you're ready to go. After using this app, I love adding in a pretty boarder on the A Beautiful Mess app, so pretty and totally adds to the interest of the image! Great for adding text too. For editing my favourite is Afterlight, it does cost a little fee but if you're after a free one then I've heard VSCO is a great alternative. Afterlight has all of the photo editing bits you could need and I love it. Sometimes I want to jazz up my image a little further and a light leak is straight where I go to and PicFx is the best for this. 

Organisation is key whether you're a blogger or a student. There's so many things to get done, deadlines, places you have to be that you need to make sure it's all in one place so that you're not as forgetful as I am. The Calendar app is AMAZING. I used to use a filofax and I loved having something written down but often forget to check it once I had written in it and therefore the object of it was kind of defeated. Enter the iPhone Calendar app and my life changed. It automatically syncs to my Macbook Pro and is always on my iPhone and well that's constantly attatched to me so I'll never forget what I'm doing. Plus it notifies you when you need to leave, bonus! Trello is another great app that I love to use for To-Do lists. You can get it on your Macbook too! 

Another app worth a MASSIVE mention is for all you students out there and it's RefMe. Typing out all of those references for essays can be a total nightmare and that's where this app comes in. Scan the barcode with your phone or search the what you want the reference for and the app writes out the reference for you. It's not always 100% correct but you get the gist of it and just add in the extra bits. Saves so much time and I've been obsessed ever since I came across it. 

So as you can tell, I'm a massive iPhone lover and with that then soon came my Macbook Pro. I honestly cannot tell you how much I love this. I was always one of those people that thought why waste your money on one when you can get a laptop so much cheaper, but I succumbed to the hype and bought one in May with my money from my 21st birthday and I've been in love ever since. It still confuses me a little from day to day but I love it so much and I'd never look back. I just love how everything syncs from iPhone to Macbook. It's so useful! Obviously though, when comes a computer,  then comes the dreaded thing of not having enough space for all of your photos, videos and music etc. An external hard drive is a godsend for this and I honestly cannot recommend enough that anyone with a computer or laptop get one. I've actually got two... Pictured you can see the Samsung M3 Slimline 1 terabyte USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive*. SO MUCH SPACE. I find that where I'm putting up videos on my YouTube every week, my Macbook gets full so quickly and I really don't like the thought of deleting all of my hard work and so that's where the hard drive comes in and I blooming love it. 

Alongside these gadgets, I would totally recommend picking up some insurance to go alongside them. I remember when I first got my Macbook I was terrified of anything happening to it. I literally treated it like a baby. I didn't want anyone to touch it as I was so scared of it dropping or breaking but it was the most expensive thing I've ever bought or owned so I guess it was only expected. Insurance2Go* is a great choice, all of the prices etc. are on their site and I've gone with them for my new iPhone 6. Its always a worry that something will be stolen or broken and so getting insurance just makes me feel so much more at ease as it feels like totally something less to worry about. I couldn't recommend it anymore. 

A great notebook is essential though as obviously you can't always have EVERYTHING digital and I fell in love with this Christian Lacroix* one that Bourjois sent me for Christmas. How cute is it? Almost too pretty to write in, but a perfect one to pop in your bag for on the go notes. I also just had to give a mention to these Emoji stickers my bestie, Gemma from BeautySpotter. got me for Christmas. HOW AMAZING ARE THEY? Need I say anymore? Emoji Stickers... That is all. 

So these are a few of my essentials and I hope it's helped a little. I would love to know what yours are though as I'm forever looking out for more. 

Lorna x

Sponsored Video: Nivea Sun

I know what you're thinking. It's a little early to be talking about protecting your skin against the sun, right? Wrong. We should always be thinking about this as it's such an important topic which is why I jumped at the chance to work on this post with Nivea*. 

Introducing Nivea's 'Take Care Out There'...

I try and highlight the importance of sun protection as much as I can. I'm super pale and after years of thinking I don't need a high factor or sometimes any sun cream, I've realised what's going wrong and am forever trying to look after my skin as much as I can. 

Nivea Sun are working with the American artist, Thomas Leveritt, to raise awareness for the importance of protecting your skin from the sun and have produced a ground-breaking film that uses a UB camera to demonstrate the effectiveness of suncream. As you can see from the video above, it really does make a difference and this film put it all into perspective that bit more. Perhaps sometimes we need something to get going again and I think this really has done that for me. 

I remember trying out a similar machine at a blogging event to see the type of skin that I had. You can see it all, all of those dry patches, the sun damage, everything. It's a little scary but it makes you realise what you're doing wrong and what you need to do to help it and that's where a little bit of beauty loving comes in and in this case Nivea Sun Cream is your best friend. 

I've actually been using their sun creams for as long as I can remember. We always had a bottle or two... or three, when we went on family holidays and I always remember it being there now I think about it. At first, you almost forget about it as it's just an assumption it'll be there. It's trustworthy and I can assure you I would not still be using it today for holidays if I didn't think so. We all know about my beauty obsession so I can only imagine all of the different ones I've tried. 

So whether you're protecting yourself from the rays here in England, whether you're living somewhere a little hotter or perhaps you're jetting off somewhere exciting. Don't forget to pack yourself some sun protection. It's so important and the damage goes far beyond the initial sunburn. You don't want to be regretting it later in life. 

I hope this made you think a little like it made me. Stay protected all year round, trust me. 

Lorna x

*Sponsored by Nivea but all views are my own

Sunday 28 December 2014

Lengthen Those Lashes: Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara

This is one of my absolute favourite products of the year. I'm becoming quite the Bourjois obsessed and I'll put it partly down to this insanely good mascara. Can you tell the way this post is heading yet? 

Pictured is the Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara in Black* and the Bourjois 1 Seconde Mascara in Ultra Black*, both as good as each other in my opinion. I alternate between the two depending on what's closer to hand. This mascara lengthens and volumizes my eye lashes like I've not seen before. i was using a much more expensive Bobbi Brown Mascara for a long time before I got my hands on this one and nothing I tried compared in the slightest... That was until this one came along and my mind was blown. I don't often post such rave reviews on my blog, but Bourjois hit the nail on the head with this one and I just needed to express that. It's amazing and the best mascara I've tried. I feel like that's all I can really say on the matter, it's just that good and you just NEED to try it. Emphasising the need here.

Have you tried the Bourjois Volume 1 Second Mascara yet? 

Lorna x

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Keep It Healthy: Dry/Dehydrated Skin

Following on from my previous post in this series, Keep It Healthy: Nails but this time I'm talking dry and dehydrated skin, something I personally suffer with... and at this time of year, I thought it was worth a mention for us all! 

First things first, I'll give a mention to the water bottle just sitting at the bottom of the picture next to all of the beautiful skincare goodness. Drinking plenty of water will help your dry and dehydrated skin. It's something I'm terrible at and by terrible I really mean it. There's only so much skincare products can do if you're not looking after your skin well enough from the inside. 

Now onto the good bit, the skincare... A great moisturiser is essential if you find your skin to be dehydrated or dry and my favourites are the A-Derma Nutrialba Rich Nourishing Cream*, the Liz Earle Moisturiser for Dry/Sensitive Skin* and the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre. I've probably mentioned all of these countless times before but I really can't express how great they all are at keeping my skin super hydrated and moisturised! 

A serum or/and oil is a great step to add in if you feel like the moisturiser doesn't do enough. I will usually use either/or which probably isn't the right way to go about it but I just find my skin gets irritated if I use too many products. Jurlique are doing all the right things on the skincare front at the moment and my serum and oil picks are from them n the form of the Jurlique Moisture Plus Daily Moisture Balancing Serum* and the Jurlique Skin Balancing Facial Oil*. Both great products and keeping your skin hydrated and well worth a try. 

Lastly I'm talking a product I feel like I'm constantly mentioning, but it's amazing and fits into virtually every post... So why wouldn't I give it a mention each time. That way, you'll all know it's worth picking up. Like really worth picking up. I'm talking the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, a mask you pop on before you go to bed, sometimes I use this instead of a moisturiser and you go to sleep with it on and you wake up and your skin feels super soft and really hydrated. Plus, it smells amazing. Bonus!

So there we have it, a few of my top skincare picks for dry and dehydrated skin. 

What are your dry skincare faves? 

Lorna x

Monday 22 December 2014

Video: NYE Beauty Essentials & Tips

With Christmas just around the corner, I'm already thinking about the next holiday and the next chance I'll have to dress up all fancy. I'm not one for dressing up on Christmas Day so New Year's Eve is my chance to crack out the glitter and slap on a bold red lip and not feel like I've gone too far... I mean there is a limit, but when glitters involved, I'm going to have to deny it. 

What are your plans for NYE and what will you be wearing? 

Lorna x

Sunday 21 December 2014

Glitter Nail Polish Lovin'

It's that time of year when we'll put up with the hassles of glitter as it's just so god damn pretty. Who cares that it gets everywhere and that you'll be finding it stuck to everything for months to come? Who cares that it takes YEARS to remove from your nails? It's pretty and that's all that matters when you're getting your glitter fix, right? 

With Christmas just round the corner and New Years not long after, I thought I'd pull together a few of my glitter polish faves and give you a bit of a round up on them. 

As you can tell, I really appreciate the things Topshop do for the glitter community with 3 of the 5 glitters coming from them. I wouldn't usually do this but I'm going to start with my favourite, one I've mentioned many a time before, New Years circa 2012 to be precise, and it's Topshop's beautiful blue glitter, 3D. Just look at it in all its beauty. I remember being totally mesmerised by this polish when I first saw it and it still has the same effect on me to this day. I'll go through all of the hours of glitter nail polish removal for this one! 

After falling in love with Topshop 3D, I just had to pick up some more glitters right? That's where Topshop Adrenalin (the pink glitter) and Topshop Beacon (the green glitter) came in. I've probably used the green glitter just the once but the pink... Another favourite for sure. Just look at the holographic glitter particles twinkling in the light. Obsessed with this glitter doesn't cover it... 

Next up is another beauty from Urban Outfitters of all places, they do great neon's here if you're after that sort of thing too! This glitter though is the Urban Outfitters nail polish in Glittersticks and it's the beautiful silver glitter. Again with holographic glitter bits, this polish is just dreamy and I love using it on an accent nail with a coloured mani! Saves time on glitter polish removal and it still looks as pretty!

Last up is the newest polish to my collection, the others are basically veterans. It's in the form of Bourjois 1 Seconde Polish in 45 Glitterizer*. The other silver glitter in my picks today and a little less flashy than the others. This is a topcoat glitter so pop this over the top of a coloured mani to add an extra dimension. So pretty!

Go on, tempt me with your favourite glitter polishes... Perhaps it's about time I found a few new favourites. It is that time of year though right? 

Lorna x

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Five Beauty Favourites: Gemma

The next instalment of my Five Beauty Favourites Series and this time, I'm talking my boss (it feels weird saying that) and one of my closest friends also, Gemma from BeautySpotter. 

One of the loveliest ladies I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and it's even more exciting that I get to work with her as well. Plus, she has the best puppy in the world (you've seen him ALL over my instagram). I've mentioned BeautySpotter. all over the shot and I honestly can't tell you how much I love working for the amazing app. Alongside what we work on on the app, Gemma and I both write the BeautySpotter. blog together so if you haven't had enough of me over here, check out the blog to see what we're getting up to and for some AMAZING beauty news. We've actually just launched a new DIY channel and it's so exciting so we can now upload all of our selfies and tag all the products. An endless stream of beauty images for all of us beauty addicts... What's not to love? 

So of course I had to get my fellow beauty obsessive, Gemma, to pick out her top five beauty products as I've been meaning to have a root around in her stash for a while.

I actually have one of these in my stash and I'm not quite sure where I got my hands on it and also why I haven't given it a go yet... 

G: I don't use a lot of product on my hair but I swear by this styling foam! It's so light and airy you'd barely know it's there.  It gives my hair just enough guided movement while protecting against the heat from my tongs. Perfect!

I am actually a massive fan of these also, the Chubby Stick Intense I've got is one of my all time favourites!

G: I carry two shades of the Chubby Stick in my handbag at all times. One a sophisticated, muted raspberry (10 Bountiful Blush) and the other a gorgeously girly pink (14 Curvy Candy).  I just love the creamy light texture of these little gems - adding moisture as they go for a super luscious lip.

The packaging of this one has got me hook, line and sinker... Now for a quick sniff of it and I'm sure I'll be in love!

G: Some people wear different fragrances to suit their mood, time of day or engagement but I'm wedded to this scent - or as my husband calls it - "my smell"!  I only ever buy it in the travel spray format as I love the twist-and-spray bottle (it's like a giant lipstick) and it's robust enough to hold it's own in the clutter of my handbag!

I feel like I'm forever picking up a pair of these and subsequently losing them. These are such a staple I forget I even use them sometimes!

G: Simple yet effective - exfoliating is the basis for all beauty!  I use it in the shower daily, followed by a spritz of cold water and a generous helping of body cream to stay smooth and dry skin free!

Oh my, this product just looks insane doesn't it? The Charlotte Tilbury products are one of those 'proud to take out of your handbag' brands as they're just so beautiful. I'm to try, but Gemma's just oh so convincing

G: I must admit half of my love affair with this product comes from the gorgeous rose gold palette(!) but inside I'm in love all over again by this highlighting, sculpting duo - perfect for an easy, effortless contour. 

A few new products to try and of course a few new products added to my wishlist. 

Have you tried and loved any of these products too? 

Lorna x

Monday 15 December 2014

Video: What's In My Makeup Bag?

I love makeup, in fact I love all things beauty and as you can tell from the quantity of the products I post on here I have quite the collection... So I thought it was about time we got down and dirty and I showed you the products that I am actually using all time and what better than in the form of a 'What's In My Makeup Bag?' video. 

I love all of the products I mention here and I honestly can't see them leaving my makeup bag any time soon.

What are your favourite products in your makeup bag? 

Lorna x

Sunday 14 December 2014

High End Christmas Beauty Wishlist

Now I haven't done one of these for quite some time. A wish list used to be a regular feature back in the day on Studs and Dreams but I have so much to tell you about that I do have that I don't quite find the time to let you know what I'm lusting after, but I thought what better time than any to revive it than Christmas when there are so many amazing beauty gifts. 

Ever since I got my hands on my first Jo Malone Candle for my Birthday last year, I've just been so interested in them ever since. I'd need to go in store and have a good sniff of all the scents to see my favourites (something I try and steer clear of as I just know I'd get obsessed and need it all) but for now, I've taken a look at the gift sets and oh boy, the packaging is just to die for and since I don't know what scents I'm into, this Cologne Collection would be perfect. Yes please. Although, anything else Jo Malone would do also... 

A gift set that I've heard so much about but never had the chance to try is the Aromatherapy Associates Minature Bath and Shower Oil Collection. I actually have a mini in my stash to try out... but I can't help but lusting after the beautiful packaging and the super cute bottles all lined up in a row. 

The NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette is probably on every girls wish list... I've become quite (a massive) NARS fan so know I'd just love this. Look at the beautiful packaging and all of those shades. Dreamy right? 

This Laura Mercier Gift Set please. Is anyone else with me? The Laura Mercier Body and Bath Luxe Quartet is just that, luxe. I've got my eye on the Almond Coconut Milk Scent as that just sounds amazing although I haven't had a sniff. I've always wanted to give the honey bath a go (mainly for the  honey swirler thing that comes with it, it just seems so satisfying) and I just know the other bits would be amazing. The perfect pamper bath! 

As you know I'm a massive NARS fan so having two NARS gift sets in this gift guide shouldn't come as a surprise. I've tried and loved their NARS Audacious Lipsticks but have never tried the infamous Lip Pencils and this NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret gift set would be the perfect one to let me give them a go. I definitely don't need any more lipsticks in my life, but what lipstick addict wouldn't want more? 

I'm always on the look out for new products to help me relax and sleep better and I've heard so much about the products from This Works that it's only natural to add something to this list. The This Works Miracle Cracker is so cute and I need it in my life this Christmas. 

I've wanted to try the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray for so long. I love the cheaper Charles Worthington alternative but the things I hear about this one make me what it so much. I'm always looking for a little texture and volume in my hair and if this can work with that then I of course want it. It's just the price tag that puts me off. But it is Christmas... Right? 

There are so many beauty products that I could add to this list but for today I'll just leave you with that. 

Go on, tempt me a little more. What high end beauty bits are you wishing for this year? 

Lorna x

Thursday 11 December 2014

Video: Christmas Gift Guide

So you saw my Christmas gift guides over here... See what I thought was worth chatting about and I added in a few extras you won't have seen yet!

Lorna x


Wednesday 10 December 2014

Sponsored Video: JOOP! Homme Xtreme Xmas

I'm getting quite into my fragrances lately, there's just something about it around Christmas and Birthday's that just really gets me into it. Perhaps I'm just hoping for an endless selection of scents to choose from although I can imagine I'd end up going back to the same ones each time anyway like I do now. Creature of comfort really! 

Though I may not be able to add this one to my collection, perhaps the JOOP! Homme Extreme* would be the perfect gift for someone this christmas? I hate to say it but if I'm unsure on what to buy a man then a new aftershave is always the way to go. It's a super safe option right? I haven't posted on what to get men this christmas, I missed out a male gift guide as well, I don't really feel I'm that gifted in that area and plus, the men around me are SO hard to buy for, but maybe that's just men in general. 

On to the actual fragrance and this one is an oriental and spicy scent based on a blend of untamed spices and luxurious wood. A gift for all the men in your life? Perhaps this would be a good one for your boyfriend/partner. The best bit about this fragrance though? The competition that goes with it... JOOP! are running a competition on their Facebook page from the 3rd December - 23rd December to win JOOP! fragrances and an Xtreme weekend for 2 (for legal UK residents only). Sounds exciting, doesn't it?! 

Head over to their Facebook page to enter. It's really simple, just post on the select posts about the giveaway, tag your partner and answer the question that they ask! It's that easy. 

Lorna x

*Sponsored by JOOP!

New In: Bourjois Christmas

If there's one brand that I can whole heartedly say I've fallen in love with this year then thats Bourjois. You've probably noticed it cropping up in a few (or a lot) of posts lately and that's because I genuinely want to put across the amazing product they're coming out with. You just all need to know all about them! 

I've got a few new releases from them in my beauty stash and I'm so impressed I thought it was worth it's own god damn post. 

I'm going to start with my favourite and the Bourjois Mega Eye Liner Pen in Ultra Black*, the product I put down my new found love (and ability) of the cat eye flick. It makes it do-able and anything that can do that is a god send, and this is definitely that. Another eye product love and it's the Bourjois Volume 1 Second Mascara in Ultra Black*, another favourite of mine and one that took far over from my high end love of the Bobbi Brown Lash Glamour Lengthening Mascara. It's cheaper and better - bonus!

Onto the eye shadows and the new release of the Bourjois Smoky Stories Eye Shadow Quads* is perfect. I love a smoky eye all year round, but as soon as it gets a little colder I up the ante and add a little extra glitter in. These quads make a smoky eye and easy eye and you've got everything you need for the look in the one palette. Plus, the shades are to die for. Love!

Another eye edition and this time it's a cream shadow and they've released a couple new shades into their Bourjois 24HR Colour Edition Cream Eye Shadow Collection. The shades are 07 Flocon d'or*, a beautiful frosty golden beige, perfect for the inner corner highlight, and 08 Marron Givre*, a velvety dusky brown and oh my gosh are these beautiful to apply. I can't say I've tested out the 24hrs, I mean who does wear makeup for that long but they do last amazingly well when I do wear them. 

Nails and the Bourjois 1 Second Gel Effect Polishes are some of my favourites. The bigger brush makes the application so much easier and the finish is gorgeous. They've released a few new shades in the form of 44 Grey To Meet You*, 45 Glitterizer* and 11 Rouge To Meet You*. 

Now we're talking lips and the amazing Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Liquid Lipsticks have released a couple new shades. I love these for their pigmentation and lasting power and oh boy, these aren't any different. They've released 09 Happy Nude Year* along with 01 Personne Ne Rouge*! A beautiful nude and the Christmas red you've been looking for...  

How dreamy are all of these products? All totally on point for Christmas 2014... and just a heads up, if you fancy picking some of these up for yourself or as a gift for Christmas, Superdrug have got it on 3 for 2 at the minute and you'll get your hands on a 1 Second Nail Polish while you're at it for free too. Amazing!

What are your favourite Bourjois products? 

Lorna x

Sunday 7 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: Over £20

Christmas gift guide time again and this time we're talking all of the luxury items! Ooh la la! 
First up (and basically throughout), I've got the items for all of the ladies and all of the beauty lovers out there! 
How perfect is this Pixi Ultimate Beauty Kit 2nd Edition*? When I first set eyes on this I couldn't wait to show you all. It literally has everything. The most perfect palette, well ever. A mixture of 40 eye shadows, 6 highlighters and 6 cheek powders. A dream in a palette right? If you know someone who's looking to expand their makeup collection or just someone that bloody well loves it, then this is for them. Or you, perhaps you should get one too. If we're talking palettes though, I can't not mention the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. A favourite of mine since the day it came into my life and I couldn't imagine not having it. It should be on every Christmas Gift Guide as everyone should own one... Now someone just pick me up the others please, no really, pretty please? 
If you know a nail obsessive then instead of picking them up a few polishes, why not go that step further and help them get that bit closer to getting salon gel nails at home! The SensatioNail Deluxe Starter Kit* is well, just that, deluxe. It's so great and I can only imagine the smile I'd have seeing that sitting under my Christmas tree! 

Any skincare addicts out there? Perhaps this try me kit from Dermalogica* is more up your street. Featuring all of Favourites in mini form so you can give them all a good go and give your skin a treat in the process! 

Something for the hair lovers and obviously GHD is the go-to brand on that front. With their newly released curling tongs I honestly wouldn't look any further. Every girl needs a pair of GHD's in her life and who's to say these curling tongs aren't the one? I've got the GHD Curve classic with the BEAUTIFUL Rose Gold Packaging*. It's just perfect isn't it? And if I'm going on my experience with my GHD Straighteners they will last SO long. 

Something I had never heard of before, but that sounds so cool, and what better time than Christmas to try something new. The Click and Curl set* is a new nifty way to curl your hair and I'd love to see this sitting under the tree waiting for me... 

For my over LUSH Gift Set, I'm chatting about the LUSH Festive Funtimes Set* and one of the gift sets in my guides that I'd strongly recommend for the younger ones amongst us. It includes all of their 'Fun' and I can only imagine the excitement of the kids using it (and me too) for a Christmas bath. Woo!

A fragrance is always an amazing gift all year round. What woman wouldn't want a new luxe perfume to add to her collection? I've been lusting after the Pacco Rabanne Lady Million scent* for so long so when I saw it in this beautiful gift set on Fragrance Direct, I just had to get my hands on it. Beautiful and so luxe, need I say more?

Something a little different and I thought it was definitely worth a mention and I'm talking a Facial and more specifically one from Jurlique at the Agua Spa in London* although anyone would do. Who wouldn't be excited to pick up a spa treatment under the Christmas Tree? Something a little different but so exciting!

Last but not least, I'm talking about my picks from the mothership, Space NK. I love candles, there's just something about them at Christmas that makes them so much more special and I've totally fallen in love with this offering. The Space NK Shimmering Spice candle* is just the perfect mix of a beautiful candle, amazing packaging and a gorgeous scent. It's burning as we speak... I just couldn't resist. Finally I'm talking the Best of Space NK Christmas Crackers*. Beauty Christmas Crackers. Need I say more? Inside you'll find treats from Laura Mercier, Caudalie and more and I cannot wait to give these a pull on Christmas Day. These of course, I am saving. 

What's your fave picks from my gift guides?

Lorna x

Friday 5 December 2014

Five Beauty Favourites: Michaela

Next up on my Five Beauty Favourites (read Dina's post here!) is another one of my besties and subsequently one of my housemates too, Michaela. Time for a rummage around her beauty faves and maybe we'll pick up a few new ones too...

The Body Shop Body Butter in Shea

I have an obsession with this stuff and I put it right down to Michaela. I would have never picked it up when I worked there if it wasn't for her and the obsession just hasn't subsided since. But that's not what we want to know, we want to know why she loves it and why she got me obsessed. 

M: 'So so so amazing. It moisturisers so well and smells beautiful. I always use this (unless I run out, which I often do) after a shower. I mainly use it on my legs and particularly find it a god-send in the summer and on holiday for making my legs look all nice and smooth.'

Olay Essentials Beauty Fluid: Sensitive Day Fluid

I remember my mum using this back in the day and one holiday when I got really irritated to a tonne of products, we used this and it sorted me right out! And this one's down to Michaela's mum as well... Any one else's mum's out there used to use this? 

M: 'My mum used to buy this for me when I was a kid and I haven't stopped using it since. I naturally have very dry and quite sensitive skin on my face, so a good moisturiser is essential for me. I normally use it after washing my face in the morning, before I put makeup on, and then after I wash my face before going to bed. I've tried and tested a few other brands throughout the years, but I always come back to this. It's not greasy or heavy like some other moisturisers are, and it soaks in really quickly and easily.'

Nivea Lip Balm

I think I've probably owned about a million of these in my time but funnily enough I can never actually remember using them or what they were like.

M: 'Chapped lips are a big thing for me all year round, but especially during the winter. I haven't really tried many other brands to be fair, but it moisturises well and smells nice too.'

Rimmel Lip Lock

Rimmel's version of Lipcote and actually I've not heard of it or used it before! 

M: 'I've used this since I was about 17 and think it's great. I've had mixed reactions from friends I've recommended it to, but personally I always use it when I'm wearing lipstick and have found that it really does help make your lipstick last longer. I think the key is to make sure you follow the instructions properly - so blot your lipstick before you apply and only apply one light coat.' 

LUSH H'SUAN WEN HUA Hair Treatment

I always forget about using a hair mask, but with my newly ombre'd hair, I really need to get back on that bandwagon and perhaps this is the one I should be going for... 

M: 'My sister recommended this to me as we both found that a combination of winter,  regularly dying and regualrly curling/straightening/blow-drying our hair had left it pretty dry and damaged. I've used it 3 times in the past week and I'm already noticing my hair is a lot softer. The smell when it's in the tub is quite strong/ not overly lovely in my opinion - however the smell once you've used it, washed your hair and let it dry is - amazing! The cinnamon in it makes your hair smell like Christmas! A friend who works at Lush also recommended using it for a week before dying your hair (which is what I'm currently in preparation for) as it not only helps get your hair in good condition, but apparently it also helps you get an even colour coverage.'

Some amazing products, I REALLY need to get my hands on that hair mask... 

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? 

Lorna x

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: Under £20

It's that time of year where we've got that task of picking out gifts for our loved ones to suit our budgets. Today I'm showing my pick of the bunch, all under £20! 

First up, I'm talking Chocolate. I mean, who doesn't like chocolate? (I know one person, and you know who you are... but it's weird). I'm not a chocoholic, I'm not obsessed with it, but I do like a little bit every now and again. Enter in the Advent Calendars and its Christmas and Chocolate smushed together, what's not to love? Like I said, I'm not a regular chocolate lover so I wouldn't eat an advent calendar in the conventional 'one a day' way and that's okay. Why not pick up one of these Lindt Advent calendars* pictured, they're super cute and they taste amazing!

For hair, I've got my eyes firmly on this cute gift set, the So...? Salon Secrets Mini Dry Shampoo* set. Super cute and super affordable, plus there really great products! Another great one is this eyeshadow palette for the bright coloured lovers amongst us, it's the Superdry Pop Eyes Palette* and it's so cute! Who knew Superdry did makeup? I certainly didn't! 

If I'm ever not sure what to get someone, Lush is ALWAYS my go-to store. They do the nicest gift sets! For my under £20 gift, I went for the Poptastic Set*. It includes the Cinders Bath Bomb and the Shoot For The Stars Bath Bomb, a definite one for all of the bath lovers out there and I'm hoping to find this sitting under the tree waiting for me... 

Pixi is a brand I've loved for a while. I remember being obsessed with their pink tinker bell polish and  it's been a brand on my radar ever since although recently they slipped my mind until I got my hands on these babies. The Pixi Shea Butter Lip Trio* is great for basically any lady out there. These are such useable products, and can work well on anyone as they're super sheer. Can you tell I'm a fan? If you know anyone that loves glitter then the Pixi Fairy Dust Favourites Stack* will be right up their street. Imagine a beautiful nude/brown smokey eye with a whole lotta sparkle. This is it. This is what you need. 

I've recently become obsessed with the brand Cheeky, more so for their salon treatments, but once I found out they had their own range of beauty products, I was on it as quick as you can say Christmas... (Good theory, right?) This set of 3 of their Body products in their Rough To Buff set* is a goodn' for well, anyone. It includes a Body Buff, Shower Jelly and Body Balm, and, how cute is the packaging?!

I absolutely love some of the Bleach sets that have been coming out and I got my hands on the Bleach London Phone Case set with Stuffed Nit Key Ring*, so comical...

Last but not least, I thought I'd give a quick mention to something that came through my mail box very recently and that's A service that lets you print your Instagram images onto wrapping paper*. Perfect for any Instagram obsessives out there, or perhaps you want to make some of your own custom Christmas wrapping paper. It's so cool! 

So that's it, all of the bargainous gift sets I've managed to get my hands on, but if in doubt, there's always ALL of the amazing beauty gift sets around. Just check Boots or Lush and you'll find what you're looking for!

What's on your Christmas list? 

Lorna x