Monday 30 November 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: Stocking Fillers Under £10

Christmas is definitely one of my favourite times of year. It's so festive, everyone's so happy - what's not to love! The best bit though? Some of the incredible gifts that some of my favourite brands come out with, there's nothing quite like it any other time of year - so as you can imagine, I get very excited. So yet again, I've narrowed down the best of the best gifts (mostly beauty, so beauty lovers, stay tuned!) of this year, 2015, and I just had to show you them. 

First up in my Christmas Gift Guide series, I'm talking stockings. The budget friendly bits but that for sure doesn't mean that they're budget at all - they're blooming great which is why I just had to give them a mention... And I'd love to see them in my stocking too. 

I think this is the year I've fallen in love with nifty packaging. Christmas crackers, tree ornaments and baubles - whatever it is, if the packaging is dressed up - then I LOVE it. I fell in love with the Space NK christmas crackers last year, and this year I've branched out a little bit and fallen in love with a few more...

Ted Baker have the cracker front nailed. Filled with a nail polish and mini fragrance and covered with the most beautiful packaging. I'd recommend the Ted Baker Polish & Sparkle Christmas Cracker in Lyla* for it's floral scent and soft gold polish and the Ted Baker Polish & Sparkle Christmas Cracker in  Ella* for it's orange blossom and jasmine scent and bold red polish - I love! For fake tan fans, the St. Tropez Instant Cracker* is most definitely the one. It's all about the packaging and for such a bargain price, who doesn't blooming love a mini. Hand cream is always a safe bet gift but when it comes to Roger & Gallett I think just about anyone would be happy. It's one of my favourite hand cream brands and if you're stuck for something to buy then the Roger & Gallett Fleur d'Osmanthus Hand & Nail Cream Cracker* is incredible as is the Roger & Gallett Creme Sublime Bois D'Orange Hand & Nail Cream Cracker*. 

For the makeup lovers in your life, then the Too Faced Deluxe Better Than Sex Mascara Ornament* is perfect. It's such a hyped product and the adorable packaging just makes it that bit more exciting. If they're more of a fake lash kinda gal, then the ever hyped Ardell Demi Wispies Lashes* are the one. Eco Tools are some of my favourite budget brushes and the Eco Tools Mini Holiday Essentials Set* blows my mind. £5.99 is such a great value for this, just stop. Onto some nail polishes, and the Sainsbury's Boutique Nail Colour Set* and the Mavala Bauble in Magic Snow (a beautiful silver glitter) are ideal. If you're looking for a budget set or a beautiful polish with beautiful packaging then these are picking up. 

The Body Shop also has a great range of makeup products from their Christmas range. The packaging is a cute geometric design and with a hint of festivity in black and gold. The Body Shop Colour Crush Festive Nail Colours* are stunning - I'm talking metallics, glitters and deep shades and The Body Shop Colour Crush Festive Lipsticks* are lovely, there's a nude and a coral to choose from which makes a nice change from the usual bold festive shades. 

I will always recommend The Body Shop. If you've been reading my blog for a while then you'll pretty much know about my obsession and how it stemmed from me working there a couple of years or so ago. The Body Shop Frosted Plum Lip Balm* is super cute and super festive, as is The Body Shop Frosted Plum Candle*. This scent smells incredible and the candles are super amazing for the price - I can never get enough. The Body Shop Cranberry Shimmer Mist* is so festive, smells incredible and shimmer - you can never have too much shimmer at christmas time and last but not least on The Body Shop front I just had to give a mention to the Bear Sponge* - it's cute and ideal for any young ones. Something else for the young ones or those who love a super cute design and Superdrug has some great buys. My favourites are definitely the Sweet Snuggles Candle* and the Sweet Snuggles Fox and Owl Hand Warmers*.

If you're looking for something a little more luxe, then my go-to will always be Aromatherapy Associates and for this stocking filler gift guide the Aromatherapy Associates The Star* is perfect. It's a small bath and shower oil and it is so dreamy. I'm obsessed with these products and I just know everyone else would be also - who doesn't love a pamper bath or shower? To go with this, or something else to help with a pamper, the Bee Good Award Winners Set* is filled with a cleanser and lip balm and it's a dreamy combo and perfect for that pamper session. Something else along these lines, I'd recommend the Mandara Spa Sensual Soap Trio* as the packaging is just beautiful... The Mandara Spa Indulgent Bath Rocks Cracker* is also beautiful - and like I said before, I've got a thing for crackers ya know.  

Last but not least though... Chocolate! My go-to is always Lindt and their Christmas range* this year is like no other. The cute chocolate bears, Santa's and reindeers - I just can't get enough. 

What is on your Christmas stocking wishlist this year? 

Lorna x

Sunday 15 November 2015

Eating in London: Vital Ingredients

Eating healthy at lunch time while you're at work can be a difficult thing. With so many tempting lunch eateries to chose from (well, where I work anyway) it's almost an inevitability that I'll opt for something I'm craving and not something I should be going for thats a whole lot more nutritious. So when Vital Ingredients* contacted me asking if I'd like them to bring me and a colleague lunch one day, how could I turn it down? I had spied the stores when wondering around London but had never actually been in - and I'm always up for trying something new, that's a whole lot more healthy. 

The idea of it is super dreamy, you get to create your own salad adding in whatever you want to make it your own - and super delicious. I went for baby spinach, artichoke hearts, prawns, edamame, spicy avocado, broccoli, mixed peppers with a chilli and lime dressing and my colleague Lucy went for baby spinach, bacon, chicken, avocado, sesame noodles, cucumber, mozzarella with a balsamic dressing. Both were absolutely incredible, but I suppose that's expected as you're putting in everything that you like. 

Honestly though, I was blown away with my salad. I actually went as far as saying it was the best I'd ever had. It was super filling and unbelievably tasty. Can I eat it again please? 

If you're not a salad fan however, there's a range of other healthy options on the menu - there's so many I want to try so I just now need to find the nearest one to me... 

Lorna x

Friday 13 November 2015

Falling In Love With Jo Loves

Well the name is pretty apt. I can see why Jo 'loves'. 

Introducing Jo Loves, the latest range from the one and only Jo Malone MBE. Featuring a range of incredible and luxe scents, it's well worth a look because I have well and truly fallen in love.

I've got a bespoke Jo Loves Shot Candle*... One of the most exciting and luxurious things I own. I made this in the Jo Loves studio with Jo Malone herself and she coins it a piece of art, and I can truly see why. You get to choose the scents yourself. I went for Charcoaled Lemons as my base and Mango as my shot. It smells incredible and burns beautifully. I'm obsessed and instead of saving it as a special occasion candle as I always do (which always leaves me NEVER using it), I'm burning this baby and I just can't get enough. It's incredible, and it's an incredible experience. 

When I was there in the Jo Loves Studio to make my candle, I of course had a good sniff of the fragrances and one truly stood out to me. I rarely fall in love with new fragrances but the Jo Loves Pomelo fragrance* got me hook, line and sinker. With citrus notes this fragrance is really refreshing and I love applying it in the morning. 

I'm obsessed with the brand and I just need to take another trip down to the studio to try everything else out. I'm converted, I wasn't sure it would be as good as the Jo Malone brand but it well and truly is. 

Lorna x

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Beauty Products To Help You Relax & Sleep

I go through phases with not being able to sleep. I mean it's not usually an issue, but when it is, it really is. There's just nothing worse. I've narrowed down a few beauty product favourites that'll help you relax and sleep and trust me, they really do... 

There's nothing better than having a relaxing bath, and for me that really does it. The SenSpa Sleep Therapy Bath Soak* is a great budget friendly bath product that is uber relaxing. I was really struggling to sleep a while back and when I went to the SenSpa itself I used this before I went to sleep and honestly, it worked wonders - it's a bargain too!

A little more luxe, and completely worth it are of course the Aromatherapy Associate Bath Oils. These are what dreams are made of. The Aromatherapy Associate Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil and the Aromatherapy Associate De-Stress Mind Bath & Shower Oil are my favourites. The scent of these will make everything smell incredible. A tiny amount goes a long way and it really does the job. It's a once in a while kind of treat and it's great to use if you are really struggling. 

Again, along the lines of the Aromatherapy Associate luxe oils is the Neom Tranquility Bath & Shower Oil*. I've also got this in mini form which I love taking when I go home for a proper pamper. This is great for travelling and perfect again if you really are struggling to sleep as this comes from the Scent To Sleep range. 

After I get out of my relaxing bath, I carry on with the idea of using things with a relaxing scent and I love the SenSpa Relaxing Body Butter*. It's hydrating and still has that super relaxing scent and so won't distract me from my end goal. A pamper is perfect, but just make sure it doesn't wake you up. 

Another two additions from this Neom range are the Neom Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist* and the Neom Intense Night Repair Body Oil*. I swear by these. They smell incredible and they relax me instantly. I need to get myself a full size of the Pillow Mist because I honestly just can't be without it. It works wonders! 

In a similar vain, the Origins Peace Of Mind is incredible to help you relax. It's perfect for if you have anxiety or stress as you apply a pump to your pulse points and breathe in the scent. It's tingly and works a treat. 

I love using relaxing products... and as I'm writing this at 18:50 on a Saturday evening I cannot tell you how much I'm craving a pamper evening. I don't have a bath where I currently live so that kind of pamper will have to be saved for when I visit my parents - and I blooming make use of it when I do. 

What products help you to sleep when you're struggling? 

Lorna x

Monday 9 November 2015

Skincare Pamper Routine Additions

I love giving my skin a good pamper and I think that this is always a great opportunity to try out new products... and so, as a beauty blogger, I feel that it must only be my duty to have these sessions a little more often than the average gal (any excuse, right?).

I'm always using a face mask and I love the ones from Caudalie. They have been created to target different problem areas and so you can use them in unison to combat multiple issues. The Caudalie Moisturising Mask* is incredible for hydrating the skin, the Caudalie Purifying Mask* is great for combatting any breakouts and the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask is a great all rounder. These work wonders and the packaging is oh, so beautiful. 

Onto hydration, and something I take very seriously. I love using different moisturisers, serums and oils to combat my sometimes dry skin and so I've built up quite the collection. Vichy have some great products, the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Cream* is incredible. I've been a fan of the serum for quite some time but this thick cream is super hydrating and perfect for the evening (they also have a lighter version that works incredibly for the morning too). The Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep* is a really interesting one too. This is a gel/cream night moisturiser that works to recreate the restorative effects of sleep on your skin. This is incredible for those who struggle to sleep. 

For oils, the Alpha-H Age Delay Facial Oil* is a great addition into the skincare routine. This is a restorative treatment for the evening for acne scarred skin. Although this isn't targeted at my skin type, I think it works wonders to combat any signs of ageing and works to reduce the effects of any hormonal breakouts which very much is necessary. The Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Oil* is great for sensitive skin as it will still hydrate - the best bit though? It smells incredible. 

Finally, the Texoane Perfect Skin Refiner from a recent Glossybox is a great addition as well. This product has been raved and raved about as it works to rapidly improve the quality of your skin. 

What products have you been adding into your pamper routine lately? 

Lorna x

Sunday 8 November 2015

Morning Skincare Favourites

In the morning, I want something super refreshing for my skincare to wake me up... and make me look awake. 

I start my morning skincare routine using either the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish in Jasmine and Omanthus* or the Vichy Purete Thermale Refreshing Gel Cleanser*. These are both super refreshing and give the skin a great clean. The Liz Earle Cleanser is super hydrating while the Vichy Cleanser leaves you with that squeaky feeling. 

I then use my usual toner and go onto using the Liz Earle Eye Bright to make sure my eyes feel and look awake. This product is at holy grail status for me, it honestly is so incredible and works wonders. I also love using it if my allergies are getting the better of me. 

For moisturiser The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturiser* is my go-to. It's so refreshing and is a total dupe for the Origins VitaZing Moisturiser but just at a far cheaper price point - bonus. It's a gel/cream texture and feels incredible against the skin. My makeup applies well on top of this as it sinks in quickly. 

Finally, for eyes this product is a total game changer. The Alpha-H Absolute Eye Cream with SPF 15* is a super hydrating eye cream that works to hydrate, refresh and protect your delicate under eye area. 

What skincare products do you use in the morning?

Lorna x

Friday 6 November 2015

Hair Products Worth Mentioning

I'm really getting into using hair products at the minute. As I mentioned in my Hair Care Routine, I'm usually pretty lazy when it comes to hair but as of late I've been incorporating a few new products into my routine, like the ones I've been using to hydrate my coloured hair and a few of these. 

To hydrate my hair, I've been using the Lee Stafford Night Repair Serum*, Lee Stafford Nourishing Miracle Mist*, Philip Kingsley Elasticizer and the Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment. I don't use them all together, that would just weigh my hair down but I alternate between a range of these hydrating products and they really seem to be working. The Night Repair Serum is incredible if you wash your hair in your morning as you leave it on overnight to work its magic - and it really does. The Elasticizer is a great pre-wash treatment. I love using this as I can pop it on before I do my pamper and leave it to work its magic. The other two are great for using when I'm about to blow dry as they are that great final step into getting the hydration back into my hair. 

For styling, I'd really recommend using the got2b All Star 10-in-1 styling treatment* as it does a bit of everything. I'm talking adding shine, volume, strength and much more. It's a goodn' and a great all rounder. If you need extra volume though, the GHD Style Total Volume Foam* is great for this. Just pop a bit into your hair before blow drying and you'll notice the difference. 

Finally, since getting into not washing my hair daily I've become quite the dry shampoo fiend. The Richard Ward +1 Dry Shampoo* is a great one and really does work. It's super high end but for a budget price, you need to try this. 

What hair products have you been loving lately? 

Lorna x

Wednesday 4 November 2015

5 Hairsprays Reviewed

Hairsprays are something I probably neglect too much - but it's one of those things that really do make a difference. I'm not loyal to any one hairspray and am always trying something new out, but I thought these few were worth mentioning. 

I love GHD. Their straighteners are something I've used for years and years and this hairspray is no different. It holds the hair and gives the hair a lovely look to it for that final finish - no need to worry about your hair looking crispy here. 

This hairspray is a bit of a strange one, and by that I don't mean it isn't good because it really is but the whole 'fast dry' part of it is a little confusing. In the same range, theres a quick dry spray to speed up the drying of your hair... and so the name of this one sounds like it'll do the same. I assume it means that the hairspray itself dries quickly, and that it really does. Again it doesn't leave your hair looking or feeling crispy which is a winner in my book. 

This is my go-to hairspray for when I want my hair to properly stay in place. If I'm looking for big volume and for that to stay - this is my go-to. 

I always seem to have one of these in my beauty stash somewhere. Tresemme is super affordable and I feel like everyone uses it. It does what it says on the tin, and for an incredible price. 

This is my go-to mini hairspray for travelling. Not only is it a great mini, it's a great hairspray too. It holds my hair in place without leaving it feeling crispy. 

Lorna x

Monday 2 November 2015

Concealers Worth Mentioning

I'm on such a concealer hype at the minute as you can probably tell from my Budget Concealer Palette post recently and so I thought it was worth doing a round up on the rest, because there's some blooming great ones out there. 

I've spoke about how incredible this concealer is for such a long time... and it really is. It does what it says on the tin - it's a super creamy concealer and of course its radiant. It blends in so easily and doesn't crease when set with a powder. I can't say anything bad about this. 

This is the concealer that turned me away a little from wearing foundation. So much so in fact that I can't remember the last time I wore the stuff. I wear this in place of it, it covers up any areas of imperfection and when used alongside the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer for under my eyes and a bit of powder, my skin looks virtually flawless without looking as though I've got too much makeup on. 

I just couldn't not mention this cult favourite in a concealer round up, could I? This concealer is super budget friendly and will still likely be one of the best concealers you've ever tried. It blends well, gives great coverage... There's not really much more you could ask for from a concealer. 

This concealer is super high coverage, it's great for covering anything that you find to be a real problem. It's buildable so if you really need that high coverage, this is your one. It lasts well and blends nicely. 

This concealer is great if you struggle to get your concealer to last. It comes with a powder to use to set the concealer and it really does just that. This stuff won't budge. 

This concealer is unbelievably creamy. It works incredibly well against my dry skin and it feels super luxe when using it... But I mean, it is Charlotte Tilbury after all. What else would you expect? A concealer that I'd love to be able to just save for special occasions but I just can't get enough of it so I use it all the time. 

What concealers are you loving right now? 

Lorna x

Sunday 1 November 2015

5 Blushers Reviewed

I go through phases with blush, I remember when I never used to use it... but then I fell in love with the Inika Mineral Blush and everything changed. I just can't get enough of that hint of a rosy glow on my cheeks. 

I'm blooming obsessed with NARS. I just can't get enough. I wrote about my love for the NARS Dual Intensity Blush range previously and I just wanted to mention the beauty that is Frenzy over again. This range is perfect if you like a bit of shimmer in your blush - and the best bit? You get two shades in one. Frenzy is the perfect blush and highlight combo and although the shades may look like they'd work better during spring/summer, I think they can work all year round... and you know what? I'll be using it all year round for sure. It works incredibly well with my pale skin and you can achieve either a subtle wash of colour or something a bit more intense as it can be used both wet or dry. 

If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know what a fan of The Body Shop I am. I'm always excited to see what they've got coming out and the Honey Bronze range is something that everyone talks about - and rightly so. This is named a highlighting dome, but I use it to add a bit of colour while highlighting also. It's a beautiful pink shade and is a super creamy product that applies really nicely. It blends well and smells incredible. 

This blush is perfect if you love a subtle wash of colour, because it really is just that. It's a cream/gel texture and comes out of a pump and applies nicely. Blend it quickly as it dries well. 

As I mentioned previously I am a massive fan of Inika and their blushers and this one is no exception. The packaging is a little different but the product is fairly similar. This is in a pink shade and comes in a mineral powder and takes a little blending as you'd expect from a loose powder. It applies beautifully and I love it! 

I've loved and used Barry M for as long as I can remember. It was the first beauty brand I ever really got into and it's been there ever since.... and I can't see it going anywhere either. I was sceptical about this blusher in the stick format at first but it provides a beautiful glow to my cheeks like nothing else I've tried. I like layering it over the Inika blush I mentioned at the beginning of the post - the one that got me into blush - as it gives a different dimension and texture to my makeup look. It's a massive bargain too. 

What blushers are you loving at the moment? 

Lorna x