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

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

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. 


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

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

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

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

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