Monday, 22 December 2014

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

Clinique 1

Clinique 2

Clinque is most definitely a brand I want to try more of, but never know what to choose (conundrum, really) so when I won this lipstick on one of their Twitter giveaways, I was thrilled! The idea of an 'Almost Lipstick' was quite interesting, after reading a few reviews, and hearing all the wonderful things said about it; I was so excited for it to arrive. Decked in traditional Clinique packaging with flowers in full bloom, this made an impression from the very start. It's a very slim lipstick, which I personally like a lot with the oh-so Clinique silver lid and a grey body to the product - so far, I was liking it. I am a bit of a sucker for lovely packaging, but then again, if the product isn't up to scratch, then I steer clear away from it. This Almost Lipstick in Black Honey is definitely one to check out. I wasn't sure what to expect texture wise, or colour wise for that matter, as it claims to look different on everyone, and be a suitable match to you skin tone (which is a brilliant thing, as the same product can look different on everyone). It's almost balm like in the way it goes on, a soft, moisturising slick of colour that is 'my lips but so much better in a dark, Wintery kinda way' - as if you'd just been biting your lips, and all the colour had flooded to the skin. That's the kind of colour it is, on me, at least. My lips are quite pigmented already, so a little slick of something a bit dark, but sheer is a wonderful addition to my lipstick wardrobe.

I think the colour in the bullet looks quite terrifying for those who don't like a strong lip, but I can assure you, a simple slick of colour on the lips, or even a swatch on your hand will really alleviate those feelings. I think it's the fact that it's sheer and moisturising, that appeals to me the most, as although I do adore a deep, dark matte lip - you sometimes feel like a change, and for something subtle, but with a hint of blackberry about it, this is a winner. When first applied, I was ready for perhaps a little drag on the lips, but this just floated across the skin, leaving my lips feeling soft and supple. Not only that, but it fades evenly, and doesn't dry out the skin on my lips; which I think during Winter, is a main concern of lipstick wearers. Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey is £17.50 and can be found here, which is a perhaps a tad expensive for a lipstick/lipbalm, but I think a treat is always in order, especially this time of year. And for those who don't like a lipstick to be too heavy, matte or drying, then this is something you should definitely look at. 

Clinique 3

Clinique 4

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Those last few Christmas purchases: Lindt Chocolate

Christmas Lindt 4

Christmas Lindt 3

Four days to go, the shops are closing... one important question. Do you have enough chocolate? The answer is no, because, in my opinion, you can never have too much chocolate. Stocking fillers, table presents, and even main presents themselves; Chocolate is the failsafe present, as mostly everyone likes it. But most chocolate is too everyday, too.. something you'd buy for yourself. But Lindt. Lindt is what most people assume to be special occasion chocolate (to be honest, i'd eat those chocolate bears every week if I could) and it does have that glitz and glamour about it, doesn't it? The chocolate bunny is for Easter, but for Christmas, it's gotta be the bear. Either big or small, the Lindt Chocolate Bear * (500g*, on sale £11.24, here or 50g*, on sale £2, here) this is a welcome addition to any present giving, whether popped into a few stockings, or wrapped up to give to someone special. I think chocolate is a brilliant way to give someone something special, as for most people, it's a luxury that everyone should have this time of year, so why not enjoy?

Christmas Lindt 1

Christmas Lindt 2

Chocolate is a wonderful present, but so is keeping it for yourself. Best kinda present, in my opinion. Why not treat yourself to a Mini Chocolate Santa * (On sale £2, here) whilst wrapping presents (something I will be doing later, as I haven't started.. and the panic will have me diving for these little guys) or pop a few into someones stocking. I think there is something universally wonderful and comforting about chocolate at Christmas time, as well as pulling a few oranges out of a stocking... y'know, just to get those five a day in-between eating everything chocolate related. Another little gift, you can put in someones stocking if it's big enough...(mine certainly is) is Lindt's Bear & Hearts * (£5.49, here) which I think may turn out to be one of this little sets that partners may gift to each other, as there's a bear and melting Lindor hearts... what's not to love about that? I think it just implies a certain about of affection. Could be the hearts, could be the bear - maybe it's just me and thinking Christmas is a very romantic time of year? Who knows? 

For me, Chocolate truffles are a very elegant way to give someone chocolate, as let's face it, they sound fancy, and they have that delicious melting texture...yum. So they're a fabulous way to give someone a present without looking like you just went 'that'll do' - I think a truffle is luxurious and thoughtful, so for that someone who has been a standout for you all year, treat them to a box of Lindor Milk & White Chocolate Truffles * (On sale £4, here) or Lindt Hello Christmas Party Mix * (On sale £3.74, here) - or even take them as a little treat to the host/hostess if you're attending a Christmas party, along with a bottle of something bubbly. I just love Christmas. Everyone brings chocolate and wine with them. Festive Spirit all around!

Christmas Lindt 5

Christmas Lindt 6

I don't think there's anything better than baking something chocolatey for Christmas, but I haven't had time to do anything this year, so I'll definitely be whipping up the Lindt Chocolate Mousse * (£2.99, here) and the Lindt Chocolate Lava Cake * (£5.99, here) for dessert, as although Christmas pudding usually rules the roost, I always feel like a change could be needed. These will be on standby *cough* for me *cough* incase anyone feels like a change...I'm not a fan of Christmas puddings myself, so this will be a little treat of those of us who feel like another, but much needed kick of chocolate. 'Tis the season, after all. For me, Christmas is all about family and friends, and enjoying food with them is one of my favourite things to do - making life easier by not having to make a pudding from scratch, or having a chat over some chocolates is totally allowed this time of year, especially for those who only have a few days off over the festive period. I think it's all about spoiling yourself, as well as others. Take some time for yourself, and remember, although it's always a very merry time of year, there are those who would appreciate a little chat and a chocolate - because it's the season for sharing; food, as well as thoughts and emotions. Happy Holidays to all my fabulous readers, and that includes you. Hugs and kisses for you. Remember, there are still a few days left for Christmas shopping, and all the products mentioned above are available in supermarkets, so if you don't have time to order online, and don't mind braving the shops, go for it. I hope you find everything you're looking for xx

Christmas Lindt 7

Christmas Lindt 8

Discovering a New Brand: Le Couvent Des Minimes




I am so excited, I can hardly control myself. Seriously. So excited. You know when you find a new brand and just love everything? Yeah, that kind of excited. Le Couvent Des Minimes is like the little sister of L'Occitane, and who doesn't love L'Occitane (but kinda wish it was a bit cheaper)? Well, this is French goodness at a more reasonable price, kind of an introduction to French skincare before taking that leap in the gorgeousness that is L'Occitane. But let's talk about LCDM. First, let me say it's available at the beauty bloggers mothership, Boots and can be found here. Yay. Secondly, it's all gorgeous. Gorgeous I tell you. I was very kindly sent the Cologne of the Cloisters * (£19, here), the Hikers Foot Healer Cream * (£4.75, here) and the Gardeners Hand Healer Cream * (£4.75, here) and just wow. The Cologne is fresh and uplifting, and the creams are basically all that is saving my hands and feet from being horrible lumps of dry, flaking skin (totally blame the horrible weather here). So let's get onto talking about them (always my favourite part).




The first spritz of this and I just felt like Spring had arrived, despite the fact that I was sitting in my dressing gown, huddled up with a cup of tea. It's just so fresh and 'Ooh the roses are out and the sun is shining' - yes, it's making me long for warmer weather, but who are we kidding, it's Britain. It ain't gonna happen for a good few months now, so i'm content with this little beauty. It has one of those old fashioned 'I look good sat on your vanity table/I look like I've come from a vintage French Pharmacy' labels that I adore, a kind of hand made Victorian esc look that is totally up my street. That's something I've picked up about the range, the packaging has that 'days gone by' look about it, whilst still being fresh and desirable. One of the best things about the Cologne, aside from everything mentioned above, is that when it arrives and you take it out of the box, it has a screw top lid, which isn't the best for a perfume, but with it comes a little spray top that you twist on, and bam! sprayable perfume on the go! That was one of the additions that really impressed me, as they clearly took some time to look as the aesthetic aspects, as well as practicality. I for one, cannot get enough of this perfume, as I am getting so obsessed with the smell of roses - but for those who aren't a massive fan of the flower, I've also got my eyes on the Cologne of the Morning (£19, here) which sounds like citrus heaven to me (orange, lemon, basil and cedar). 

There are numerous notes to pick up from the fragrance, and when you reapply, I find that you pick out different scents. At the start, I was just getting Rose and a hint of something else; after much sniffing and pondering, I realised it was ginger with a very subtle hit of blackcurrant (my mum picked out the blackcurrant - she's amazing at identifying scents). As I wore it day after day (love it that much) I started to recognise a few more scents, as others would comment on it, and I realised (after a cheeky trip to a flower shop) that it was Peony. All of these combined just make it seem so fresh to wear, when usually this time of year is for heavy perfumes. 


There are hand creams, but then there are thick hand creams, that sink in and leave your hands feeling nourished and cared for. This cream is the latter. I was quite surprised at the consistency, because it came out quite a bit thicker than expected, but the formula quickly put all my issues to rest, as this moisturised the dry bits and just nourished the skin, which has taken a bit of a battering with working in retail, and it being Winter (oh so cold). The first scent I got was Shea, and I looooove Shea as it just lets me know, almost subconsciously that some serious moisturising is about to happen (must be all of those years of using The Body Shop's Shea Body Butter). The cream just kinda enveloped the skin and a layer of nourishment, leaving me feeling so happy because the skin on my hands looked happy and healthy - it's a total win from me. The packaging has that amazing vintage feel to it, and with a squeeze tube, you can use as little or as much as you want. For £4.75, this is a total steal. Got any Boots points leftover or fancy a wonder product for under £5? Get this. You really will not regret it. (Let me know if you do get it, so we can gush about it).

And then last, but certainly not least, is the Hikers Foot Healer. This is a thinner, runnier texture than the hand cream, but packs no less punch. I prefer a thinner cream on my feet; it'll sink in quicker, so you can slather some on, and minutes later you can go - seriously, who wants to wait for 10 minutes for their foot moisturiser to sink in? I did actually take a picture of the product with my foot in the picture...I'm not necessarily weird about my feet... but it felt weird, y'know? Maybe one day. Perhaps summertime when it's acceptable to pry feet out of wooly socks and display then? Anyway, just because they are hidden behind thick socks doesn't mean you need to forget about them (I kinda did...poor feet). If you haven't got a lot of time to spend on massaging cream into your feet, I'd recommend applying this before you go to sleep, as with our faces, our skin absorbs moisture and all this good oils etc at night, so why not add a kick of moisture to your feet? This is a total must for me, so much so, I've stepped away (hehe) from my Soap & Glory foot cream, and have been using this numerous times a week. It's another must have from me. 

I am so impressed with LCDM, and I totally recommend them to everyone. I for one, cannot wait to get my hands on the Gardeners Hand Exfoliating Cleanser (£9.50, here), Botanical Recipe of the Morning Moisturiser (£7, here) and that glorious sounding Cologne of the Morning (mentioned above). Then again, I just want it all. All of it, I tell you. If you have tried any of their products/have any suggestions, please let me know. I am totally obsessed by them. 



Thursday, 18 December 2014

Weekly Empties; December 11th - 18th featuring Soap & Glory, Maybelline, La Roche-posay and Sanctuary Spa.

November Empties 1

Just a little update on the products that I've used up, and promptly repurchased - Effaclar and Eraser Eye, i'm looking at you. They're just two products I cannot be without, and although I've tried numerous different concealers, noting seems to compare to Maybelline's Eraser Eye; it's glorious, and everyone should own it. I'm ridiculously pale, and the shade light works very well for me, so for all your other pale beauties out there who are trying to hide their dark circles, this is a step in the right direction. Same can be said for you not-so-pale beautiful people, as they do have two other shades, if I remember correctly. It's totally worth a try, and trust me, mine lasted for absolute ages, so it won't disappoint as the amount of product you get, as well as the sponge applicator on top, is for me, second to none. Another repurchase is La Roche-posay's Effaclar Duo + a spot fighting treatment I use day and night, and it just works for me. I literally cannot go without it, and have even got the boyfriend using it, so you know I rate it. We both have oily/combination/blemish prone skin, so I know if something works for me, it's worth a try to put some on his skin and see what he thinks. I'll do a little post on his skincare at some point, as that's always an interesting read (or maybe that's just me and my nosy self).

Two products I didn't repurchase was Soap & Glory's Orangeasm and Sanctuary Spa Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser, and it wasn't due to them being inadequate, or me not liking them - I'm simply trying to decide my favourite S&G products, by working my way around them all (I'm a good third of the way through now) and my Ren Hot Cloth Cleanser has become my cleanser of choice lately, so it's replaced the Sanctuary Spa one, but mainly because I bought a Ren gift set. Trying it out for a good few weeks and then preparing a blog post is how I roll with skincare products, so keep an eye out in the start of the New Year, to see some skincare focused posts. All four products are wonderful, and I can't recommend them enough. I think it's always very melancholy when products run of ...product, but there's always that excitement about trying something else. Ahh, the life of a beauty blogger, right? What empties have you had recently? Anything you'd definitely repurchase?  

November Empties 2

November Empties 3

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

H&M Home Winter Wishlist

H&M wishlist

Copper obsession. That's basically all this wish list is about. Copper, stars and marble. Oooh, and stripes. Gotta have something a bit different in there. First thing first H&M Home, is the place of dreams and I want to live there but let's carry on with what I'm loving the look of; that Large wire basket (£12.99) is amazingly gorgeous and something I feel like I need in my life, as well as the Large copper tray, which is something of coppery metal dreams. Teamed with some rustic wood, or even something white and sleek... it's an expensive look for an inexpensive price (£14.99), I especially think it would look so chic with this Ceramic marble esc Chopping board (£9.99) on top of a star filled Cotton Tablecloth (£15.99). To complete the gorgeous, star filled, rustic but chic look, these Star Shaped Tealights  (£2.99) which I think I have to buy for myself, because I adore anything star shaped... I think it's my favourite shape of all. Have some plants that need a little makeover? Don't throw them out, this Metal Plant pot (£7.99) is proven to glam up any dreary looking plant and just to add in a little colour to the mix... as generally you can't go wrong with metallic and marble, but colour and stripes you say? This coloured Pattern stripe box (£7.99) is just that wonderful pop of colour that is always needed, just to brighten things up a bit. What are you fancying from H&M this Winter? Everything? Me too. 


Monday, 15 December 2014

W7 Cosmetics for Christmas

W7 Collection 1

W7 Collection 2

I was quite excited when this parcel arrived, W7 had sent me a few select products for Christmas, and as I hadn't tried anything from them for years I jumped at the offer. First impression; oooh colour and sparkle. Always a winner in my book. It's that time of the year, so what's Christmas without sparkle? Everything is pigmented really well, so much so, I was pleasantly surprised at how much pow! the Blusher Duo* packed - as look at that pinky red! (fifth from left) However, the swatch next to it (sixth left and before the lipstick) I thought was quite disappointing, but it really showed its true potential when applied to the cheekbones. Silly me. It was a highlighter that I wrote off until I used it as a highlight on the tops of my cheekbones. It's £4.95 and can be viewed on W7's website here

Next up is their Kiss Lipsticks Matt* in Sugar Lips (£4.95, here), and wow it's pink. I mean like seriously pink. Now, if you read this blog, you'll know that pink lipstick scares me. A deep pink is less scary that a light one, for me. Weird, huh? So this one took a bit of pep talk before wearing, and to be honest, I don't think I rocked the first wear... because it scared me so much. I actually took it off and went for a nude lip. For a beauty blogger, pale pink lipsticks really do scare me. I'm a bit of a coward like that - I'll wear it in my room, but not outside. So I think this lipstick needs a bit of guts for me to wear, but otherwise it applies really well and lasts for... well, it lasted for as long as I wore it, which was about half an hour, before I had to go outside. I'll update you on the length of wear... when I have enough guts to wear it for longer. Shame really, because it felt really lovely on. 

The product I was most excited about was perhaps the one you'd most expect - an eyeshadow palette. It's the Toasted Palette and although I couldn't find it on the website, it's £5.95 and a really coppery/metallic/brown palette, which I always love. I always think they look so gorgeous on every eye colour, and can be a subtle wash of colour, or blended to be smoky and fabulous - totally depending on your mood and where you're going. The first swatch on the left was a bit disappointing, as it looked gorgeous in the pan, but the other three certainly didn't disappoint. This for me, is a subtle wash of colour kinda palette and perfect for daytime, or even a soft look during the nighttime. A metallic bronze/copper smoky eye is totally my kinda look, so I think i'll be rocking this look from now on. Are there any W7 Cosmetics that you have your eye on? 

W7 Collection 3

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Sally Hansen Salon Manicure in 'Kook a Mango'

Just a quick little nail polish rave post today, and it's featuring the amazing Sally Hansen Salon Manicure in Kook a Mango, which is such a gorgeous colour and fantastic formula - it's totally opened my eyes to the pigmentation and reliability of Sally Hansen polishes. They retail for £6.99 (here) and on a 3 for 2, these bad boys are littering my basket. God I miss having disposable income and it being 3 for 2. Good times. But back to this little beauty, it lasts so long without chipping and for me, that is godly - I hate nail polishes that chip after the first day or two - talk about a waste of time. This applies with a thick brush and after two coats, it's totally opaque and glossy, basically, everything you could ever want from a polish, teamed with a quick drying formula. An orange red that's so similar to Holiday by Chanel but stands on its own as a super colour, and brilliant formula. If you ever feel like trying out some new polishes, and have yet to try Sally Hansen, then do it. I'ce recently purchased a glitter from them, and it's love at first sight again. Another formula to look out for from them, is their gel polishes, which is meant to be the business. Keep your eyes peeled as I delve a bit more into the world of Sally Hansen.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask Review

Body Shop Seaweed Mask 1

Body Shop Seaweed Mask 2

I haven't blogged about a Body Shop product in a while, and these pictures were sitting on my hard drive, calling out to me. So I whipped out the face mask and gave it another whirl, just to refresh my memory before writing about it and my immediate reaction was 'ooh seaweed bits' and 'this is brilliant for oily/combination skin'. It's a thick, clay like mask, which I love as you can slather on a thin layer and let the clay/seaweed do its thing, whilst enjoying the smell, which has seaside written all over it. Nothing like the smell of seaweed whilst you're in the bath to make you miss Summer holiday trips to the coast. This mask does apply to the skin quite thickly, so I do it in sections, otherwise I end up using too much product... and I'm not a massive fan of wasting good quality clay/seaweed goodness. 

I apply this to cleansed skin (I double cleanse with an oil and then a hot cloth cleanser) and then leave for ten minutes, whilst either soaking in the bath or going about my business (blogging, shaping my nails etc) and then take it off by rinsing a muslin cloth under warm water, and laying that on my face for 20 seconds or so to loosen the mask, before taking it off as gently as possible. Once its all off, I splash my face two or three times with warm water, before rinsing everything off with two or three splashes of cold water, just to close my pores. Then I go about my nightly skincare routine, and bam! you're sorted for the night, with skin that's going to be clarified and feeling fresh. Whilst the mask is on, it's totally normal to get that tingly feeling, but if it feels like it's burning, take it off immediately. Thats's the same with any product you use. If it hurts, take it off as quickly as humanly possible. If you have sensitive skin, this may not be the product for you, as it's quite strong with its Bladderwrack Seaweed and clay - I totally recommend trying it on a small area of your skin before applying to your entire face. Better safe than sorry, right? Anyway, back to the product. I'd forgotten how much I really, really like it. It's got that wonderful seaweed, fresh smell to it, and it leaves my skin feeling smooth and soft, ready to absorb all of my oils and serums, which I think is a perfect base for your evening skincare. It says to use once or twice a week, and I'd definitely suggest that for those who have a lot of oil on their skin, as it aids with oil control as well as refining pores, which for me is brilliant as the pore/oil situation on my nose is terrible. 

It can also be used just on only the t-zone, if you find yourself with an oily/combination nose, chin and forehead but sensitive skin on your cheeks. I think it's all about finding what works for you, and using it all over does the job for me, but I think I'll be using this on my t-zone as well, just as a pick me up, trying to get rid of all the excess oil, and all that. I might even use this on my boyfriends skin, as he's prone to blemishes and oily skin. Watch this space for a selfie with two terrifying looking people, complete with green faces and an unimpressed look from him. The Body Shop's Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask is £13, and available here from their website. 

Body Shop Seaweed Mask 3

Monday, 1 December 2014

Bourjois' 'Desk to Dancefloor' Competition Winnings

Bourjois Prize 1

I love retweeting things on Twitter. Articles, pictures, competitions - you name it, and I was so incredibly lucky that one of my retweets was one of the winning ones from Bourjois' 'Desk to Dancefloor' Competition. It totally made me day, and I couldn't believe that I'd won such gorgeous products so close to Christmas - this is totally sorting me out for my Christmas Party next week. The first thing that struck me as soon as I opened the parcel was 'Wow, that's a lot of glitter' and it really is. It's completely gorgeous, and a perfect festive addition, as you can never have too much sparkle. It's from Topshop and it can still be purchased here, so no need to fret if you instantly fell in love but didn't think it was available. It is. Hooray! Sadly, yours won't be accompanied by some Bourjois goodies, but mine was, so let's talk about these little beauties. 

Rouge Edition Velvet in Ole Flamingo! is a colour I already own, but it's so gorgeous, having two isn't that greedy, right? It's a pop of such raspberry pink, making it a perfect addition to live up a look when a classic red just won't do. Then we have three products I do have (yay) and let's start with the one that most excites me. The Smoky Stories Quad Eyeshadow Palette in Upside brown, which is gorgeous looking and I can tell it's going to me my look for the night of my Christmas party next week. A smoky brown quad has always excited me, but this is just the thing of dreams. Look out for a party look coming up on the blog soon, this will surely feature in it. Then we have the 1 Seconde Volume Mascara in Ultra Black, which looks gorgeous because hello, the brush looks epic. Sadly, it's not waterproof, but I will nonetheless, have a good ol' play with it. Last, but not least, is the Delice de Poudre or their Golden Bronzing Powder, which looks like a shimmering brick of golden goodness, undoubtedly going to be used to define my décolletage whilst I'm rocking my night away in a strapless, navy chiffon creation. All in all, I am impressed and very excited. Keep an eye out for more on these beauties, and a party look I'll be wearing for my Christmas Party. 

Bourjois Prize 2

Giving the gift of French Skincare

Christmas Gift French Ski 1

I know there are numerous gift guides out there, and whilst they're all amazing (who else has a wish list as long as their arm?), I wanted to do something a little different on OKK today, and instead, pick some French Skincare favourites, just in case anyone wanted to do a little beauty hamper for a mum/sibling/relative/friend who deserves some fabulous things from across the pond, this Christmas. Most of these purchases were made in Paris, but that doesn't mean that you have to leg it all the way over there, you can simply browse some fabulous sites that make ordering some top notch skincare, super easy. My favourite is Escentual (here), who are not only quick at delivering, but are offering some majorly lovely money off codes right now. You can also browse on FeelUnique (here), Space.NK. (here), Cult Beauty (here), Boots (here) and good ol' Marks & Spencer (here) for all your French skincare needs - don't be afraid to shop around for the best deals, as although it's Christmas, saving a little bit is always what we want, right? 

My picks are what I use, basically on a daily basis, and will readily admit to loving - so if you know someone who has oily skin, why not introduce them to La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Duo + and Serozinc, which not only help to soothe my skin, but also reduce blemishes and combat redness. What's not to love, right? Remaining with the oily skin type, there's also Bioderma Sebium, which is regular Bioderma, but especially for oily/combination skin, and is what I reach for basically every night. 

Moving on from skin types is Caudalie's Beauty Elixir, a cult product loved by the beauty community and myself alike; spritzing this over you skin, when wearing makeup or not, is very refreshing - like you've been given a new lease of life, despite the fact that you've been on your feet all day, and your foundation is looking a bit worse for wear. Another spray that I use to set my makeup, as well as tone the skin is Vichy's Eau Thermale, which is perfect even for the most sensitive skin type - can be used over makeup, or on bare skin, it's a do-it-all kinda product, and I love those types of things. Makes life so easy. Next up are four moisturising products, and I love them all so much, I simply had to put them into this little gift guide; first of all is Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse, another product that seems to do it all. A dry oil that can be applied to facial skin, your hair, your body and my personal favourite way of using it - scattering a few drops into a warm bath, to moisturise and soften the skin as you soak - this is a must have for me, and something anyone would love, regardless of gender. Plus, it smells amazing. Total win-win. A fellow Nuxe product, is Reve de Miel, a lip balm I cannot say enough good things about. It's a little pot of gold, skincare wise, as when you get those horribly chapped lips that no thing or person can solve, this is where you go. Smother it on the lips and watch it heal and moisturise. Another must have

The last two products are two moisturisers I seem to carry about with me whenever I go away for a few days, as not only are they easy and simple to use, but are brilliant at what they do, despite what's happening. La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast, which I hold in very high regard, as it's the only thing that seems to heal the skin on my face. Anyone remember that time a horrible eye cream gave me a massive blister under my eye? Well, this little beauty sorted it right out, and healed me in no time. Wonder product. Last, but not least, is Embryolisse's Lait-Crème Concentré, which I talked about yesterday in this post, and I loooove. It feels so luxurious and moisturising, an essential for dry skin types, and even an essential for oily skin, as long as you don't use too much and overload the skin. 

I hope you enjoyed this little post, as who wouldn't love a little basket full of lovely products? I think it shows not only some serious thought, but gives them the opportunity to try something that they may not have picked up for themselves, and I think that's what Christmas is wonderful for :)

Christmas Gift French Ski 2

Boots Haul featuring L'oreal, Botanics and Revlon

Boots Haul 1 

Boots Haul 2 

Who doesn't love a good Boots haul, right? I certainly do, and I know a looooot of bloggers, and beauty worshippers that do too, so let's just get right to it! Say hello to some of my newest purchases; L'Oreal's La Palette Nude in Rose (£14.99, here) and Lumi Magique Concealer (£8.49, here), Revlon's Bold Laquer by Grow Luscious Mascara (£9.99, here) and last but not least, Botanics Organic Rosewater toning Spritz (£4.99, here). All four were somewhat well thought out purchases, but I have to say, some are far more impressive than others. Take this fabulous palette for example. Look at it. Just look. It's gorgeous. A fabulous range of rose inspired colours, with a bit of shimmery glitter thrown in for good measure. This is basically what I'm reaching for each morning, when getting ready for work, as you can do something really subtle and clean, or deep and smoky - to be honest, both options are gorgeous and so easy to achieve with colours that blend really well. It's a very subtle palette, something you can happily wear in the day without fearing that your eye makeup looks 'too much'. This is a total thumbs up from me, and I can't wait to post a full review for you.

Boots Haul 3 

Boots Haul 4 

Boots Haul 5 

Below, we have another offering from L'Oreal, and it's their Lumi Magique Concealer, which I'm not going to lie... I don't really like all that much. I much prefer my Collection Illuminating Touch Concealer, as I think it just does so much more for me. This L'Oreal one illuminates, yes, but does little to cover my under eye bags, or prevent my mascara from smudging - it just doesn't do much for me compared to my old favourite, which I definitely think I'll be going back to. It might just be my oily/combination skin and my dark circles, but I don't think this even conceals anything well - for me, it's an illuminator, nothing more. Which is sad, because some big bloggers have raved about it - I think it just shows that not everything suits everyone, and you should definitely swatch/try before buying. 

My newest mascara addition is Revlon's Bold Laquer by Grow Luscious, which I really do like, as it's quite a dry formula, which I prefer, as I find it holds the curl more for me. Waterproof is the only thing that goes on my lashes and holds them upright in any way, shape or form - normal doesn't work for me, which is why all those amazing mascara's from Benefit etc do me no good, and are passed on to friends who have much better lashes than me. But back to this mascara. It's got a huge brush, which I love, as I just feel it packs on the product and holds the curl (which is painstakingly produced by my beloved Shu Uemura eyelash curler) - which is basically all I want in a mascara. Another thumbs up from me!

Lastly, we have a refreshing little spritz from Botanics, their Organic Rosewater Toning water, which I use in my double toning sequence, as the second spritz (after my Serozinc) and you wipe it away with a cotton pad, leaving the skin refreshed, ready for all the lotions and potions you use. For £4.99, I think it's a soothing and soft addition to my skincare routine, and I think anything with Rose in it, is always a benefit to the skin, as it soothes redness and skin inflammations. I'll be talking more about it, as well as the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist* (here), because I'm developing a massive Rose obsession. It just smells so good! What's a girl to do? I'll be posting in depth reviews about a few of these products, but not the Lumi Magique Concealer... unless you want me to compare it to the Collection Illuminating Concealer, which in my eyes, is so much better. Let me know if you fancy reading that review, and if there are any little hauls you made yourselves; what did you get? Anything that's really excited you?

Boots Haul 6 

Boots Haul 7 

Boots Haul 8 

Boots Haul 9

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré

Embryolisse 1

Say it with me, ahhhh Embryolisse. It's that French brand that I hadn't heard of, before it was mentioned in a Pixiwoo video, and suddenly it was everywhere. However, it wasn't something that I picked up until I went to Paris in June, and I'll admit, it was an impulse - tossed into my basket when trying to barge my way through the hoards of people in City Pharma. I didn't give it that much thought when I bought it - hence why it's the smaller tube, and I regret that now. I wish, really wish that I'd purchased the bigger tube. But lessons learnt, yes?

They say Lait-Crème Concentré (£13, here) can be used to remove makeup, as well as a primer... I haven't used it for those things, as I have numerous products that need to be used up, and too small a tube of this to waste, but I do that know that Amy from srslylou (here) did a post covering all the different ways she used it, so definitely go check that out. I however, just used it as a good ol' moisturiser, and although I had been told that it'd be 'too much' or 'too greasy' for my skin, which is oily/combination, I can see why their concerns were justified. This is an amazing moisturiser, and for dry skin, I suggest you try it if you're in the market for a new product, but for oily/combination skin, I think you should try it, bearing in mind that it will cause shine and may not be suitable. All moisturisers tend to make my skin shine through makeup, which of course, I tend to notice more than others - what other people may think of as 'healthy' and 'natural' just looks greasy and horrible to me - even though I do set my foundation with powder.

This is creamy and hydrating enough to only apply a thin layer to the skin before leaving it to sink in, and then boom, my skin is looking good for the rest of the day. No dry patches or clinging foundation, just a shiny t-zone, but there's not much I can do about that. It keeps my makeup looking healthy and for me, that's what it's all about when I'm in work or out with friends. I want to look alive and fresh for as long as possible. With a freshly cleansed face, and after applying my numerous creams in the morning, on this goes (only a pea sized amount) buffed into the skin before leaving it to sink in for a minute or two. I think it needs that setting time before my makeup goes on, otherwise it doesn't look right for me - and I like to cover the bags under my eyes, not just move product around on my skin. My main tips for using this fabulous product is use it sparingly, as you can always add on more if you need it and leave it settle into the skin before applying makeup on top, or better yet, use a primer in-between for increased staying power if you suffer from oily skin like myself. 

Embryolisse 2

Friday, 28 November 2014

My Instagram Month of November.

My Instagram Month - Nov

November is coming to a close... I cannot believe it's almost December, and with December comes Christmas. With Christmas comes crazy retail times, and those are always fun. Some people have that wonderful Christmas spirit... others, just don't. Misery, thy name is horrid retail shopper who shouts at Sales Assistants because they don't have the size onesie that they want. It's happened to me, so yeah, it happens. You also have those lovely people, who make you say, and say Merry Christmas with the most wonderful smile that you can't help but wish, I mean really wish, that have they have a lovely Christmas as well. But let's talk about November.

It's been a good month. Rather long, but still lovely. The days are getting darker and colder, but I am remaining optimistic in the sense that we are all one day closer, each day, to it getting warmer again. It's hard to see, but we're getting there. I feel like I've really gotten into my groove, blogging wise, this month - my photography has been going well, and even though I've become a bit annoyed with some bloggers (its been over my twitter), I think it's the case of removing anything irritating or negative from my life, and instead, focus on all the good things.

A few Instagram accounts that I've been loving this month belong to; vinnie_the_dachshund (here) who is basically the most adorable sausage dog that I have ever seen... I mean, look at his little coats! Next up is tescoliving (here) and there are about three regrams to prove that I've seriously been loving their cosy, homely photographs - it's given me a case of serious heart shaped eyes on more than one occasion. I've also been making a few trips to TKMaxx and Homesense (have you seen those huuuge bears?) as well as to Cardiff to see my other half, who I'll call... Mr Okk for the purpose of blogging, unless he wants to acquaint himself with my lovely readers (we'll have to see about that). November has also been home to a month of firsts; my first red cup from Starbucks, my first Christmas Ornament, my first dive into Jurlique skincare and my first copy of Net a Porter magazine, which I am quite in love with. It's been a month of present buying and endlessly scrolling through tumblr, posting things to my account that really say something to me... or something that makes me chuckle. Either one. You can check out my account, ohkalukalay (here), what're your accounts? And who/what have you been loving this month?

How's your November been, now that the month is coming to a close? Preparing for your monthly favourites?

My Instagram Month - Nov 1

Maybelline Colour Drama Velvet Lip Pencils

Maybelline Colour Drama 1

Maybelline Colour Drama 2
From top to bottom: Berry Much, Minimalist, In love with Pink, Nude Perfection, Fab Orange and Light it up.

These are a big thing. Like NARS dupe, big. That's what the word on the street is... or, the word on blogs anyway, that's basically the same thing, right? There's something so creamy and long lasting about these, and dare I say it, compared to my NARS velvet pencils these glide onto the lips, whereas the NARS do tend to somewhat pull at the lips. The price difference is also a factor in whether or not to try these out, as they come in at less than a fiver at £4.99 (here), so 2 for £10, or 3 for 2 is where you want to grab these, preferably 3 for 2, because that;s always amazing. God bless Boots and Superdrug for those deals. The formulas are divine. Creamy and long-lasting, non dragging on the lip when applied and the pigmentation is insane. From the image above, I think you can tell which pencil I bought first... and used a lot of. That would be Nude Perfection, which is, much like its name suggests, perfection. It's that gorgeous nude that you can wear with anything; you can layer over a nude lipliner to extend its staying power, or just slick it on - either way, it's basically my go to for a done-up face without looking too done-up, y'know?

Then we have the brights. Say hello (looking at the image below) to Light it Up, a fab bright glossy red that lights up your face, giving you a classic look with a twist. Then we have Fab Orange which I adore layered over Bourjois' Peach Club - the staying power is insane, seven hours without touching up and eating in between (that's gonna need a post all on its own) - it's such a bright orange, a colour I'd usually steer away from, but adventure is out there, and it's this lipstick. Skipping Nude Perfection, next up is In love with Pink, which may be the pinkest lipstick I own... and the one I find the scariest to wear, because me and pink... it's never really been a thing. Pink frightens me, because I don't think it looks good on me, but this colour is coercing me, slowly. It's a slightly blueish pink, which I think teamed with black liner and lots of lashes looks gorgeous. In addition, we have Minimalist, a soft, nude pink - more just bitten lips than Nude Perfection, and although it's a cute colour, my lips are a bit too dark for it, so I think it looks a bit strange on me. I think I definitely need more of a play around with it. And lastly, is Berry Much, perhaps the pencil I was most excited about, because berry in Winter is always a yes for me. It's a blackberry stained kinda berry, that looks so gorgeous pressed lightly onto the lips as a stain, or slicked on for a full pow! of colour.

All in all, these are fabulous, and definitely worth a swatch if you're thinking of investing in a NARS pencil, but aren't sure what to expect. Fab Orange is totally a Red Square dupe, whilst Red Essential (a colour I'm yet to purchase but have swatched) is so Cruella from NARS, and I loooove my Cruella pencil. That'll be a dupe post, ready and waiting for when I purchase Red Essential. Have you spotted any of these on the high street? What's your take on them? Do you think they're NARS dupes? 

Maybelline Colour Drama 3
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