Monday, 23 January 2017

THE Nude Lipliner - Charlotte Tilbury Lip cheat in Pillow Talk

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk 2
Why is it whenever someone mentions 'Pillowtalk' I immediately go between singing a few words from the Zayn song, and rushing to see if they pull out this glorious lip pencil from Charlotte Tilbury.. is that weird? Sure, pillow talk is meant to be the secretive, sometimes laden talk between couples as they lay side by side in bed, and perhaps this Charlotte Tilbury number is meant to reflect the plumpness of lips that can happen after multiple kisses? I suppose I can theorise all day about where names come from, and their inspiration, but just know this: this stuff lasts. I was scrubbing it off my arm in the swatch, so you can only imagine how long it lasts whilst on the lips.

Pillow Talk is one of those shades that's super close to the natural lip colour, so it can be used to over exaggerate the lip line, to create added fullness, or balance out uneven lips. One side of my lips is rounder than the other, so when I do wear lipstick, I do like to try and balance it out, but it's not always possible. Deep reds and bright colours tend to draw attention to an overdrawn lipline, but it's not such a big thing anymore. I'll say this, Kylie Jenner really brought lipliner back into the forefront of social culture, but it's been something that our mothers and grandmothers did for many years before. Lip lining never went away. Much like contouring, these beauty tricks come in waves, crashing back over us as 'new trend' when makeup artists and drag queens have been using them for years.
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk
It's a pinky-nude, more brown than another one of my favourite lipliners, Rimmel's Eastend Snob, and a bit more long lasting. Lip Cheat's are waterproof, paraben free and last for up to six hours with minimal drying and discomfort. The lip cheat's formula tends to glide more than most lipliners, as a lot tend to be so dry that they drag across the lip, and Pillow Talk just doesn't do that.

As Charlotte says herself, these Lip Cheats will help you 'cheat your way to the perfect lip', and if you've seen her tutorials, then you'll know that Pillow Talk is one of her go-to's for most nude lip looks, or when she just wants to enhance the shape of the mouth. It's £16, and I bought it from my local John Lewis. Trust me, you want to go and try this out, if not for the formula and delightful packaging, then go for the response that this makeup gets from older women. In my Cardiff store, a lady exclaimed that she loved the look of everything, especially the packaging of the Beach Stick Blushers, which reminded her of a Pan Stick so much, that she was determined to buy it. I love that it brought back so memory and fondness; that's what makeup should be about. Enhancing the good and concealing the bad.
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk 1

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk swatch
Pillow Talk is one for all ages, and all skin tones. Trust me, you need to check it out. Get the Charlotte Tilbury staple from John Lewis, Selfridges or Charlotte Tilbury herself (here).

Next on my Charlotte Tilbury wish list: Pillow Talk Matte lipstick and The Complete Natural Glowing Look which features a selection of products.


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Celebrating Australia Day with Jurlique

Jurlique skincare flatlay 8

Not just the land of kangaroos, spiders bigger than my face and Vegemite, Australia is home to one of my favourite skincare brands of the past few years: Jurlique. If you've scrolled through here a few times then you'll know that I'm just a little bit obsessed with Jurlique. Their products are divine. The scents, formulas and results are all something I can only associate with Jurlique.

Jurlique skincare flatlay 7

Skincare favourites include: Skin Balancing Face Oil, Antioxident Face Oil, Rosewater Balancing Mist and Antioxident Face Serum. 

To top it all off, Jurlique are celebrating Australia Day right in the heart of London, in their flagship store (which looks so beautiful and instagrammable). An event based solely around their natural based skincare, there will be demonstrations about how to get the best glow from a facial, as well as complimentary Express Treatments in their very own Nature's Spa. It sounds like a divine night, and with some of my favourite scents like rose and citrus, the event will be a relaxing, informative night where fans can learn about how to get the best from their skin. Trust me, if there's something that Jurlique knows all about, it's skincare.


I'll include the link to buy tickets to their event, which is of course redeemable against any purchase made in their store on that evening. The tickets are £5, and for what will be a delightful evening, surrounded by natural ingredients from the Adelaide Hills, this is something that should not be missed. Pop over here to buy tickets to the event on Thursday the 26th of January.

Featured products include: Rosewater Balancing Mist Intense, Aromatherapy Mist - Revitalising and Balancing, Rose Love Balm, Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Face Oil.

Jurlique skincare side

Monday, 2 January 2017

My not-so new resolutions


Hiiiiiii.... yes, I still exist. I swear I do tweet and Instagram, but blogging, actually blogging has evaded me for a long time. I just.... didn't really want to do it. Of course I still love blogging. I love the photography aspects of it, the setting up of products so that they look their best and doing my best to capture it. I love the writing, as I've always loved writing. But it was the feeling of being small in the blogging world, which never usually bothers me, combined with a new bout of anxiety and panic attacks. I've never had a feeling like it. 

The instant sweating sensation.. the feeling of someone standing on my chest, shortness of breath, dizziness... it drains all the colour from my face and makes me so light headed that I usually have to lean against something until I'm okay again. My living situation really brought it out, and made me feel totally worthless as a person. I questioned myself, my job and whether I was strong enough to live away from home, by myself. It was ugly and I haven't felt so low about myself for a long, long time.

But with age, comes some perspective, and spending time away with my family has really shown me that I can handle this. I can be strong, happy and not be afraid to talk about things. Of course my boyfriend has played a big role in helping me get better from where I was. It's easy to lie to people, flash a smile and laugh - 'nothing's wrong, why would you ask?'. It's a lot harder to keep lying to people that know you better than you know yourself. 

My parents were quite upset, and that's not really something I see a lot. My dad said it the best, I think. 'You don't do your blogging anymore, and you loved that, why are you letting those horrible people (he said something worse, but let's be PG for the sake of this) affect you, and bring you down?'. He was right. Why was I letting it affect me so much? A terrible situation for me, is not where near as bad as other people, so why not be stronger and overcome it? I suppose that's what this is. A post that breaks the proverbial ice and allows me to sink back into the blog that I loved so so much. 

I hope you're still reading this, and I hope that you know how much I love and appreciate you for getting to this point with me. I aspire to be better, both mentally and physically. I want to be stronger, so that I can help myself and others when times are bad. 

This is my resolution, to be stronger both for myself and for those that cannot be. We must all help each others against those that pull us down, degrade us and tell us we're not good enough. We must fight back against those that intimidate and disrespect us. We must fight to have better mental health, as what's better than being happy with both body and soul? 


Sunday, 6 November 2016

Jurlique Aromatherapy Mists

Jurlique Aromatherapy Mists

Jurlique Aromatherapy Mists 2

It's been a vey stressful few months for me. I turned 25 (quarter of a century...eek!), got a new job, moved into rented accommodation, met loads of new people and am still dealing with a horrid housemate who makes me want to shut myself into my room and hibernate (there will be more on him on here, because if I don't write it, I don't feel like you'll understand how upsetting the situation is). But anyway! Stress is the enemy of my skin and my digestive system. It leaves me with blemishes and a constant state of nausea - two things that I hate more than anything. It's led me to eating out a lot more, which is not only hitting me where it hurts (in the bank account) but it's also affecting my skin, my weight and my confidence. My happiness only really exists in work (yes really), when I'm with my boyfriend or when I'm out with new friends. It's something I'm working on... but it's a marathon, not a sprint. It's gonna take some time.

So, in the aim of reducing my stress levels, I've been turning to yoga and aromatherapy, with the hope that a relaxed body and mind will allow me to sleep better, and therefore alleviate the stress. Jurlique's Aromatherapy Blends are spritzes that can be misted over the face and body, bedding and linens, and even sprayed into diffusers to infuse the whole house with calming ingredients. With their wonderful infusions of essential oils and natural products, Jurlique really have created a range that is perfect for stressful days as they'll certainly turn them in stress free nights - believe me, I've tried. I'm the type of person who carries anxiety in her stomach. It affects my eating habits, how I feel and how I act - so if you feel the same, then I suggest scents such as lavender, rose and citrus to help calm your senses. 

The Jurlique Revitalising Blend* (£17, here) first hits you with a scent of lemon, and as a massive citrus fan, I knew this would be right up my street. It's calming, but energising. The lavender is lulling, whereby the orange and bergamot are soft, almost hug like. It feels like you're being enveloped into a cuddle by one of your favourite people. It calms you, but also leaves you feeling content - which for me, is a rather big struggle at the moment. 

The Balancing Blend * (£17, here) is a smell that reminds me of walking through fresh Summer gardens when the sun is dipping below the trees. I love scents that can evoke memories, and this is definitely one. Basil, Clary Sage and lavender remind me of my mother's garden, whereas Rosewood reminds me of the nodding blooms in my neighbours garden, with fuzzy little bumble bees mulling in the warm air. Lazy Summer evenings for me, are some of the most relaxing and pleasant, so being reminded of that just reminds me of home, and that is always a wonderful thing. 

The final Aromatherapy Blend, is Jurlique's Calming Blend* (£17, here), one that seeks to unwind you and prepare you for sleep. I, for one find it best when sprayed onto bedding. It gives off that gentle scent of freshly washed sheets, and that's one of the best feelings. Freshly cleansed and showered, with fresh sheets is a match delightfully made - one that I always make sure happens when I'm feeling a little bit low, or overcome with life. 

The glass bottles are 50ml each, and once again, Jurlique really has created some products that really benefit me. Their skincare suits my oily/combination skin, their natural ingredients don't inflame my skin, and their comforting scents really aid in making this tough transition into something relatively manageable. I think if I hadn't been able to deal with everything, I would have had to have moved home, back with my parents. It may seem a bit silly, but just having something warm and comforting, something that can make me remember better times, really helps, as I'm very sentimental. Having a scent that reminds me of home alleviates that pang of homesickness and uncertainty in my heart. 

Jurlique Aromatherapy Mists 1

Jurlique Aromatherapy Mists 3

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Changing times: A rambly life update

Mid Month Favourites 8

So, it's been a while since I've done one of these, but I think now is the best time. October sees me in a new city, with a new job, in a new house and with new people. I suppose the only constant is my boyfriend, who I now happen to live in the same city with. It's been an adjustment. I'm not going to say that it's all been wonderful and sugar-coated, because it hasn't. It's one of the hardest things I've ever done.

University was different - yes I knew no one, but I went with an inexperienced mindset and grew; this is one of the benefits of multicultural universities - the influences you receive are nothing like you'd ever think. It was a great time, but it was nothing like now.

Now i'm an 'adult'. The very word seems ridiculous as I still feel like I'm 16 and I need my mum to encourage me through life. I've always been a little bit independent, but a homebody at the same time. When I was 16 I had friends who were wonderful, but I lost my way a bit (for reasons that are a bit difficult to talk about) and it seems by the time I found myself again, it was too late, as everyone was spreading themselves across the country for university. So, seemingly friendless, I left and did my own thing. Awkward and naive, two brilliant (eye roll) traits when put together. I was too trusting and changeable, which led me to being taken advantage of by friends and people who are definitely not friends. I always put it down, when I look back, as a learning experience. I learnt from it and grew as a person, my skin metaphorically thickening. University was a series of events that I wish I hadn't gone through, whilst also being glad they happened as they helped to shape me as a person. 

Burgeoning friendships that turned into one of the best friendships of my life, that only went on to end once I stopped putting the effort in. Funny how that happens... when I stopped texting, Facebooking and sending letters... the entire friendship stopped. Eventual unfriending happened on Facebook, and I was distraught to find this out one day. No words, no note. Just 'Send a friend request to..'. Five years of friendship over and not an invite to a wedding that we had always talked about over vodka mixers in her small kitchen in third year of Uni. They weren't engaged then, but I always knew it would happen. The end of that friendship mirrored the end of my previous relationship somewhat. That relationship - it was simultaneously wonderful and horrific. It's not something I'd change fully... but there are times that I wonder.... what would have happened if I had just said no after we broke up, and the option of getting back together had presented itself. I said no a year later... a year wasted in my opinion... what would have happened if I said no the first time?

These are the things I tend to think about when I analyse my life, and where I am. It's happened quite a lot in the past three months, as that was roughly when I moved, started a new job and bid farewell to my parents as they started their travel around Europe. That was around the time that I last cried. take it from me, I used to cry at least once a month... usually around my period, because ..emotions. Trust me, there have been ample opportunities to break down in tears. I'm actually a little bit proud that I haven't done it in work or in my rented accommodation. The last time I actually cried, was when I read a letter that my dad wrote to me the day before my new job was going to start. Technically I cried when I left my parents house, and I cried when I read the letter...but both happened within about two hours of each other, so I'm counting them as one emotional moment overall. I know I lived away when I was in Uni, but moving away this time was different. It felt like it was the end, and yet the start as well. No more working in retail and coasting through life, month to month. This was entirely different, and I had to be an 'adult' and actually take care of myself. It's terrifying and elating all at once.

The first few weeks I felt really alone. With my best friends an hour away, my parents in Europe and one horrible housemate making me feel like I never wanted to leave my room, the only solace I had was in my boyfriend. I always thought that I could rely on him, but I never wanted to be a burden, because he had his own problems and cares to worry about, so I'd lie and tell him I was fine.

I'd lie a lot and say that all was good, fine and okay... I'd keep repeating them in the hope that they'd be real and that I would be okay/good/fine. I kept smiling and being positive, but there comes a point when not talking about anything or lying constantly about how I felt was making me unwell. I was tired, anxious and in pain. The pain in my shoulder and arm were getting worse, my anxiety was really starting to cripple me and I was so tired that all I wanted to do was sleep. Coffee and food became a brilliant staple to rely on, and I suppose from the outside it made me look normal. Oh, she's eating... she's fine. Oh, she just wants another coffee, she's good! I wasn't. And I didn't really talk about it.

My boyfriend knows now. My friends know now. My parents ...kinda know. I never want to worry them, or have them be upset about how I am. What they don't know, won't affect them.

My anxiety and my not willing to talk to anyone about how I felt gave me headaches, severe stomach cramps and basically made me feel like I was only half a person. I can look back and say, oh it wasn't that bad when someone asks me, but that's just me doing the whole I'm 'fine/good/okay' thing again. I  wasn't okay, fine or good... but I never talked about it, not even with the people that love me, and that I love the most. But that just really stems from be not being a person that talks about anything. I'm much more of a listener than a talker. I suppose that's why I felt like I had to come back to blogging. It's an outlet for my creativity and my feelings, so when I don't want to talk, I can just write. So I expect that Bex Howells will be so much more than makeup and skincare; I want it to be relatable and personal.


Monday, 17 October 2016

Saying goodbye to the old...

BritBeautyBlogger Precious Petals Box 12

As I've grown in age, I like to think that my wisdom has grown with it. It's like Rachel from Friends once said, when she was trying to get through her ex-fiance's wedding, she wanted to get through the evening with a bit of grace and dignity - I feel that those are two aspects that I try and get through life with. I don't really feel all that graceful or dignified, but this is coming from a very clumsy person... so that is still something that I'm working on. Wisdom, like dignity and grace, is something that I really hope develops with age, kinda like a fine wine.

Something that I am also hoping to develop, is this blog. It's got a new name, and I will be tweaking it so that there's a new look as well, but say hi to 'bexhowells' and goodbye to 'ohkalukalay'. I feel that I've grown up a lot since I turned 25, so this blog will be reflecting that. Reflecting life with all of it's happiness and struggles, but also back to basics with beauty and skincare - two of the things that inspired me to start blogging in the first place. Plus a little bit of lifestyle and interiors thrown in, as who doesn't love a bit of a nose around someone's house? I certainly do. But in my case, it'll just be my room... as you know, or may not know, I'm living the shared rented accommodation life. More on that at a later time however. Just keep an eye out for lots of new wonderful things happening on here at the end of the month.

Talk to you soon, my loves.

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Sunday, 10 July 2016

Skincare products I keep reaching for.

Products I keep reaching for 1

Products I keep reaching for 2

Sooooo, it's been a while, but that's not going to stop me from carrying on from where I left off, and what's better than a good skincare post to get back into blogging? Skincare is something I've stubbled with for years and years, and only recently my skin seems to be agreeing to the products I'm using - so I'm keeping with those and sharing the love on here, for you lovelies. There's also a little tiny makeup product thrown in... but that's just because it's super lovely and it's been suiting my almost blemish free skin lately.


Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser is an oily, buttery cleanser that is really well suited for my skin, which is really combination. I find that the natural oils within the cleanser suit the dry and oily parts of my skin, which helps in balancing out my face. The cleanser has little nodules of texture in the balm, which smush onto the skin when applied and rubbed in, which I think not only exfoliates the skin but also helps to refine the texture without being too abrasive. 


Jurlique's Precious Rose Hand Cream* is one of my all time favourites, and sits on the windowsill next to my bed, making it easy to grab and apply before I fall asleep. I apply a generous amount before sleep so my hands are nourished and taken care of by morning - as who doesn't want soft, supple hands? Another product that I love, and is a holiday staple (because of it's size and moisturising properties) is Nourish's Argan Skin Renew Moisturiser which is a light but really hydrating cream that sinks delectably into the skin and leaves my face feeling plump and moisturised, without feeling oily or weighed down. 

Products I keep reaching for 3Products I keep reaching for 1

Products I keep reaching for 6


A new favourite of mine is the Estée Lauder Revitalising Supreme Global Anti-Aging Mask Boost which boosts radiance and moisture intake. I apply this before a moisture mask... and my skin is soooo so glowy the next day. My moisture mask is slurped up by my skin, and this product from EL is definitely the cause. It's applied over a clean face and neck, left for five minutes and then removed with cotton wool. It's not washed off, and I think that's very important. It'll have a full review all on it's own, but for now, just know that I'm a big, big fan. 


A shout out to Mitchum Advanced Control 48 Hour Deodorant because if you're a bit of a Sweaty Betty like myself, then you cannot underestimate the importance of a good roll on deodorant. It's an essential for me, and you can bet that I have one in my room, bathroom and weekend bag. You can never have too many of these beauties! Lastly, it's another Estée Lauder favourite (duhhh, I'm obsessed) and it's their Double Wear Light Foundation which is a light coverage, that packs some glow and some staying power. The tube makes it pretty darn easy to use, and I find that only a pea sized amount is perfect for covering the majority of sins on my skin. Cannot recommend enough if you're looking for a light foundation that's going to make your skin look like skin. 

Products I keep reaching for 7

Products I keep reaching for 4
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