Friday, 30 January 2015

Valentine's Day Gift Guide: What to get that special Lady

Valentines Day Female 1 alentines Day Female 3 

This is part 2 of my gift guide (part 1 can be found here), and it's perhaps the more fun of the two. as it's for the ladies (holla) and I'm a lady. I just wanted to do a little sweet collection of items that I think covers all the basis for items for Valentine's Day. We're going to cover books, lipstick, eyeshadow, perfume, bath products and skincare but that doesn't mean you can't look at the lady you want to buy something for, and think outside the box. Thinking outside the box is awesome. Remember something she once said that she really liked? Or that she wanted but she couldn't afford it? Well, if you have the option to buy it, then why not? Unless it's something ridiculous like a boat, or a holiday...even though I would appreciate either of those ;) Just kidding, I get sea sick. 

For books, I chose one of my favourite poetry books, and it's Shakespeare's Sonnets and a Lovers Complaint (£11.99, here), which I think is always a romantic book to give, but seeing as I bought it for myself, it was a romantic gift to myself, from myself. I think it's always important to give a gift that's more than just makeup or socks, if they have an interest in books or films but that's just me, as I love a good book. I don't want to tell anyone what to buy, but I'm all about digging for hints and ideas, and then having a good long think, before making any decisions. You may know immediately what to get for the female in your life, and that's awesome, or you may not, and that's okay too. But just please don't leave it until the day before or the day, where you're running into Boots/Debenhams/Tesco in order to get everything that you want. Bad move. You're going to get stressed, and maybe not even get what you want. If in doubt, use the internet. The Internet and it's shopping, is your friend. 

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Makeup, I think, if she has an interest in it, is always a wonderful present, as not only does it show a great deal of thought, but that you pay attention. Perhaps to something that she'd said, or even from the links she might have sent to you - but four products that I love, two eyeshadow palettes and two lipsticks are rather wonderful presents, assuming the lipsticks are the colours that she want. Enter Clinique's Long Last Matte Lipsticks in Matte Petal (the pink one) and Matte Mandarin (the reddy, orange one) (£17.50, here) which are moisturising and matte, two of my favourite things about a lipstick, because dry and matte is a huuuge no-no for me - it's just so uncomfortable to wear on the lips. 

Then we have the first of two eyeshadow palettes; Urban Decay's Naked Basics 2 (£23, here) and L'oreal's La Palette Nude Rose (£14.99, here), both of which are gorgeous, subtle palettes, but are able to be built up for a more intense colour payoff, which I think is the best of both worlds. Whilst I think £15 is a bit expensive for a high street eyeshadow palette, the colour pay off is something you'd expect for a high end product, much like the UD palette, which at just over £20 is a brilliant offering from them, and perfect as an introduction to High End makeup, or just as an additional 'basics' palette for that special lady. 

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For skincare, I thought of two products that are basically essentials for me. A good refreshing mist from Jurlique, their Rosewater Hydrating Mist (£17, here) and some Lush bath products, such as A French Kiss (£4.25, here) which is a perfect mix of lavender and relaxing coconut oil, which is amazing to just send you into that pre-sleep phase, before drifting off to sleep. I think any selection from Lush is a winner, as not only does it show thought and consideration, but Lush are very ethical and natural in their product choices, so it's a win all around. And lastly, such as Rain from Library of Fragrance (£15, here), which is such an unusual scent and one of my favourite perfumes for that hit of freshness, that instantly perks you up. I did a review on it here, as well as another offering from them called Grass, which is just as gorgeous, in my opinion. But unusual perfumes aren't necessarily the way to go, because if you know that they love a certain brand of type of scent, then that should be the way forward. Don't be afraid to ask one of the assistants in Boots, Debenhams or the Perufme Shop, as i'm sure they have a great deal of knowledge. I also think that closer to the date, numerous bloggers will be posting gift guides with various perfumes in them, so I also think those are wonderful to look at.

As for me, for Valentine's Day, I'd like nothing more than some bubble bath (here) and maybe a body oil (here) because my skin is super dry in this weather. And maybe, for a little something extra, a little product from my Boots wish list. I'm not really one to expect flowers or anything extravagant, so I think a night in, takeaway and Netflix is more up my street. How will you be spending your Valentine's Day? Do you have a gift in mind that you'd like? 

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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Pinterest Collage #1 January - What I've been loving

Pinterest Collage 1

January has been a long cold month, but I've been basking in the glow of Pinterest, and I'm totally obsessed with it, as I'm sure you all know. It's been a month of wishing and wanting, and those five favourite pins of mine, sum up basically what January has been all about for me. #1 lusting and dreaming over having my own place, and the amazing decor it would have (see the pin here); just generally feeling like I'm ready to have my own place... but also feeling incredibly sad, because I don't have the right job, or the funds to allow it to happen. #2 is short hair and how amazing it looks on everyone. Ahhh the lob, or the long bob to you and me. It's look beautiful on so many people, and I'm loving how everyday people, not only high fashion are embracing this look (see the pin here). Now if only I could pull of her exact hair colour - oh, I can dream. 

#3 is some serious style lusting, and it's all about that flawy skirt, with a gorgeous belt and a top tucked into it. There's something so simple yet incredibly stylish about it, and I've not been able to get this look out of my head for the entire month (see the pin here). Plus, teaming it with some fabulous shoes, it's a look that needs to be replicated. #4 is an incredibly fierce makeup look, and has totally inspired me to start wearing more false lashes, as the look it gives is just glorious (see the pin here) and the glowing skin is another must have, as it just completes the glamorous look so well. #5 last, but not least, is this amazing braided pesto bread, and now say it with me 'yuuuuuuuum'. I know, right? (see the pin here) doesn't it look like something you'd make for a dinner party, and then eat entirely by yourself whilst watching Netflix? Maybe that's just me then...

What have you been lusting over this month? Anything I should be adoring, too? 

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist and Citrus Hand cream

Jurlique Present 1 Jurlique Present 2

I've discovered two of my favourite products throughout the brand, Jurlique; which are the Rosewater Balancing Mist * and the Citrus Hand Cream *, both of which are so fabulous, I don't know how I did anything without them. Recently, I've been trying out lots of different types of skincare, and over the past few months, I've discovered what works for my skin at different times of the month, and what doesn't - I've also found out what scents I love the most, and those are definitely of the natural, 'Ohmygosh that smells amazing' kind of products. Rose and Lemon are two scents that have been floating my boat recently, and these two products from Jurlique, summarise that really well, as they both give that glorious hit of perfume that only comes from their natural sources, and I love that. The Rosewater Balancing Mist (£17 for the full size, here) is the hydrating product that I go to whenever my skin needs a hit of moisture (which thanks to the cold weather, and central heating, happens 2-3 times a day) and due to it's natural products, I know that it's just going to boost the moisture levels in my skin, without anything bad affecting my face, which can be quite sensitive during the colder months of the year.

Now, lemon is basically one of my favourite scents ever. Whenever I'd slice one to put in my tea, or to squeeze into guacamole, I'd just stand there for a good five minutes, inhaling the amazing scent, and rubbing the zest all over my hands and wrists, because then the scent would follow me around all day. So, when this Citrus Hand Cream (£17, here) arrived, I was literally so excited, I had to open it straight away and use it on my dry hands, and omg the scent of lemon is so gorgeous and pungent, I swear I was in heaven. It's not too heavy on the skin, so it sinks in right away, and this is something I use throughout the day, and before I go to sleep, as the scent of citrus just lulls me off to sleep so well. With Jurlique, the scent of rose and lemon, have just become almost an essential part of my skincare routine, and I cannot wait to blog about it with you, as it just makes looking after your skin so effortless - and because it's Jurlique, who I trust with the sensitive/oily/combination skin on my face. A few more products I'm lusting after are the Purely Age-Defying Nourishing Cleansing Oil (£30, here), Essense of Rose Roller-On fragrance Oil (£17, here), Lemon Body Oil (£21.50, here) and their Clarifying Deep Cleansing Gel (£20, here) as they all sound so divine. Are you adoring anything from Jurlique? What products are you dying to try? 

Jurlique Present 3 Jurlique Present 4

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Instagram update at the end of January.

Instagram Update OKK 1

I love Instagram. I reaaaaally, really do. I included a 'What I'm loving on Instagram' post earlier this month (here) with some fabulous accounts that I always look to for inspiration and just for a general nose into their lives. It's one of my favourite social media platforms, because although Twitter is quick and always moving, Instagram is a brilliant documentation of your life - and scrolling back through my 1000+ images, I remember things; feelings and memories that I had forgotten about, and I think that's wonderful. I love 'gramming pictures of makeup and skincare, but also regramming images of homeware and quotes, makeup and fashion - for me, my page is all about inspiration and what I'm adoring at that moment in time. I hope whenever someone looks at it, they'll see what I felt at the time I posted something - whether it was excitement over a new product, me fawning over something beautiful or just loving an image so much, I just had to have it on my page. My Instagram isn't perfect or full of images that are meticulously planned out - they're just of me and what I want to show my followers. Some images happen to be really gorgeous to look at, some are not, but it's mine, and I love it that way. My page, ohkalukalay, can be found here (shameless plug) and don't be afraid to tweet me, or comment your names so I can follow you, as I always love finding new feeds to follow. Are you as Instagram obsessed as me?


Monday, 26 January 2015

Library of Fragrance, Grass and Rain Cologne Sprays


These were purchased after a little mooch around Boots whilst waiting for my boyfriend to finish work. My first reaction was 'Omg Library of Fragrance' and then a twenty minute session of trying out each and every fragrance led me to two bottles, Rain and Grass. The perfumes are actually on offer for 2 for £25 or £15 individually, but it was a very difficult decision to pin down two, let alone one - so two needed to be purchased. Grass (£15, here) is that freshly cut, 'oh it's just rained and it's divine' kinda smell. Freshly cut grass, or even grass after Summer rain is one of my favourite smells, so this was one of the bottles that first caught my interest. It's something I spritz on when I need a pick me up, as that's generally what it's for: not being a perfume (it's a cologne), but just something to lift you up when you need a hit of fragrance. I love the idea of these fragrances, as they're such unusual scents - and I have to give a shout out to Thunder Storm and Gin & Tonic as they were define contenders for coming home with me (but those are going to be a future purchase).

Rain (£15, here) is another that just jumped out at me because, ohmygod the scent of rain is one of my favourites. It has that clean, fresh smell that just makes you feel so...alive and lovely, if you know what I mean. But what I really do love, is Grass and Rain combined, layered over each other and it's so good. It's Summer and the way grass smells just when it's stopped raining, ugh, divine. Fresh and crisp, as if it's those long, lazy Summer days - you can bet that these two will be packed into my Holiday Suitcase - because I want to smell like amazingness on the beach, and have everyone be jealous. These bottles are small, so easy to chuck in your handbag for a spritz on the go, perfect for a quick freshen up and to be honest, whenever I spray them, it instantly gives a little bounce to my step.  I'm a huge fan, and can honestly not wait to add more to my collection. Do you own any LoF fragrances? Are there any that have caught your eye? 


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Valentine's Day Gift Guide: What to get that special man in your life.

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Ahhhh Valentine's Day. That time of year again. After Christmas and New Years, but before Pancake day and Easter... probably just another day to sell a ridiculous amount of chocolate, but who am I to complain? I've never really been that keen on Valentine's Day... perhaps because I've never had flowers or anything that made me think it was a special day, but I'm trying to be less negative, as after all, it obviously makes people happy, and I like it when everyone's happy. This year I actually have a boyfriend, who although isn't that into Valentine's Day, much like myself, isn't opposed to the idea of it - so I thought, why not make some effort and give him something to show him how much he means to me? Then that brought on a panic about what to get him. Like Christmas all over again. But when House of Fraser challenged me to create a Gift Guide for Male, I though, hey, this would be brilliant practice. 

It took some serious thought as to what to put in this Gift Guide, as everyone's different, so who am I to tell or suggest what should be purchased? Instead, I went down the road of hobbies, interests and likes. Sport was one of the first things that popped into my head, and I suppose the brilliant thing about sport, is that it is so diverse. Football, Rugby, Tennis, Motorsport - the list is endless, and that is where I'll start first. My boyfriend is a huuuuuuge massive Motorsport fan, so I immediately went to my collection of films and selected two that he knows and loves: Senna and Rush. But it doesn't stop at films, there are documentaries, artwork, shows all dedicated to it - and I know this is much the same as any sport - there is definitely a huge selection of items dedicated to it, so my first suggestion would be, what are his interests? Rugby, you say? Well, how about tickets to a game for the both of you? Or if you're totally not into it, then tickets for him and one person of his choosing? How about a new bit of kit for him to wear whilst watching them? The possibilities are endless, all you need to do is make a little list (I do love a good list) and go from there. 

If he has a huge interest in reading, then why not ask him which books he fancies reading? Or if he has an interest in Geography or History, then why not get a book dedicated to that? He may love photography or travelling; it's all about finding out what he likes, and going from there. I could say, as the partner of a beauty/lifestyle/fashion blogger he should have some skincare etc, but if that's not his thing (or he's quite content with stealing yours) then hobbies/interests are where it's at. 

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If he's a collector of ties, or cufflinks for example, then why not indulge him in something unusual? These Penguin Interlink Cufflinks * (I think the exact ones have sold out, but you can view the fab range here) are right up my boyfriends street, as he's a huge fan of cufflinks, and with the interchangeable outsides, they can be customised based on mood, or outfit colour choices. Got a blue dress and want him to match it? Well, these cufflinks have you sorted. As for ties, my dad is always a fan of a whimsical tie (pretty sure he has one with Bugs Bunny on it) but that's totally a personal preference. If you think he could do with a tie that makes you smile every time you see it, then go for it. That's the thing I love about presents: they're personal to you, as well as who you're giving it to. From accessories and interests, you could always try and play it safe with a fragrance - i.e purchase one that you know he wears and loves, or be bold and buy something he likes the smell of (drag him into Boots/Superdrug/perfume shop and see what he likes the scent of, if you peruse the perfume section with him - or just lie and say you want something for your brother/dad/uncle/family member and get him to help you choose).

Lastly, a failsafe I always find, is that if they have a certain beverage they enjoy, then a bottle of that is never a wrong decision. He may be a tea/coffee fanatic or a wine/beer/spirit kinda guy, so a selection of tea/coffee or a bottle of his favourite spirit, I think, shows not only that you pay attention, but that after a long day in work, or on the weekend, he deserves to have something that he enjoys (which is totally the same for us girls. Give me a glass of Cider and a Cinnamon bun to de-stress me, any day). I think the main reason people panic at the thought of buying their partner presents, is that fear of getting it wrong but these days, I don't see any harm in asking, or having him/her make a few suggestions - as after all, if they don't let you know, all you can do is guess, and no one has the right to make you feel bad for that. Are you buying any Valentine's Day presents this year? If so, have you got any idea yet? 

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Saturday, 24 January 2015

Posterista - posters from you Social Media accounts

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Good day my lovelies, this is more of a lifestyle post today, or maybe it can be considered beauty because it's got some serious product pictures/selfies within it? Hmm. Anyway, let's talk about this fab poster. I've always looooved the idea of gathering images from my social media, like my Instagram, and making them into one massive poster - so even if you don't always scroll down your feed to re-look at the memories you've taken pictures of, this poster is the ideal way of keeping those pictures you love the most, out and about for everyone to see. Posterista offered me free 30x40cm poster*, and I was basically overjoyed! Not only did I have a good fiddle on the website, choosing which pictures I want from my Instagram, and where they should go - but re-looking at all the pictures I've taken over the years (1110 images) - it does give me a wonderful sense of perspective; where I've been, and where I'm going. I must have spent a good hour or so, just flicking through the pictures, deciding which ones I wanted and what kind of theme the poster should have. I basically went with pictures that made me happy. Travel, pugs, sausage dogs, food, makeup, fashion, skincare, my boyfriend and my face - this poster has it all, and I really do love it. It's resting on my Ikea bed frame, next to my noticeboard, and it just looks right. All my life, I've always been one to have lots of images in my room, postcards stuck to walls and furniture, posters and pages ripped out of magazines - all to make the room 'mine' and not looking like it belonged to anyone else, i.e my brother. 

The same kinda thing applied when I went to University - the walls were covered (but in that orderly, lined kinda way) and I loved it. It looked like mine, whenever I moved. So, if you fancy a little bit of you, in poster form (because that's basically what my Instagram is) then I think Posterista is for you; the lovely people from Posterista even gave me a code for my followers, which is 'Ohkalukalay20' for 20% off your unframed poster. I just purchased a frame from Ikea and put it in - simple as that. You can use pictures from Instagram, Facebook and 500px - but to be honest, I'm all about Instagram, because everything is perfectly filtered already. Have you ever thought about collating your favourite images into a poster?

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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Blog Sale Purchases featuring Lipstick Queen and Makeup Forever

Blog Sale purchases 2 Blog Sale purchases 1

Say hello to two of my newest makeup additions, and they're (cheekily) from a blog sale, so there's no huuuge payout. Plus, they're totally gorgeous. Win, win for me. I bought them from Suzy at Suzyheartsbeauty and her blog sale, which is still going on here. I do love a good blog sale, and I knew as soon as I saw the blush/lipstick, I had to have them. I've never tried anything for either brand, so I like to think that this was a good little dip into their products without paying out the full price, for something I may or may not like.  From Lipstick Queen, it's a lipstick from their Liptropolis Range (£40, for a set of three here) called Soho and it's a gorgeous, gorgeous pink-red. I am a huuuge fan of red lipstick, whether it leans more pink, blue or orange, I just love a good lipstick. The formula with this one was something that I was very surprised with as it has 'avocado oil, jojoba seed oil and shea butter' to soften the lips and protect the skin - which I think, when combined with a huge punch of colour, is a pretty amazing lipstick. When worn, it applied like a sleek dream; didn't drag on the lips, and gave two/three hours before a slight touch-up was needed, but I'd been drinking and chatting, so it was of course going to be time to check the lipstick when I went the the toilets to primp and make sure everything was still looking good. 

The blush, was something I was veeeery excited about. Makeup Forever. It may be coming to Debenhams soon, but I wanted to beat them to the punch, and get myself something I know I'd love. A good ol' cream blush. From Stila to Bourjois, cream blushes are my go to and this just seemed like a natural progression. The colour is divine. Makeup Forever HD Blush in 215 Flamingo Pink (£?, here) is just the pop of colour I need to keep me going until Spring comes. It's bright and peppy, a coral pink that packs such a punch, you've gotta use it softly on the cheeks and build it up, otherwise it can look a bit silly. The HD idea is brilliant, and it makes me want to invest in the HD foundation when Debenhams starts to stock it (I cannot wait) as well as other products, as the quality and pigmentation is amazing. I'm so excited about these two products, and if they continue to impress as much as they are now, they'll be getting their own reviews - so watch this space. Do you have any MUFE or Lipstick Queen products that I need to know about? Anyone else ridiculously excited about MUFE coming to the UK? 

Blog Sale purchases 3 Blog Sale purchases 4 Blog Sale purchases 5

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Lush H'Suan Wen Hua Hair Mask

Lush HM1

It's only within the past year or so that I've rediscovered Lush, and I'm so thankful that I have! Ethical, natural and damn awesome? I'm sold! H'Suan Wen Hua is hair moisturiser designed to 'nourish, strengthen and restore' your hair - basically, bringing it back to life and making it look revived, which I think we all need now and again (especially with the cold weather/hairdryers etc). The list of natural ingredients read like a whose who of moisturising products, including avocado, free range eggs, banana, olive oil, rosemary and cinnamon - which not only help it to smell amazing in my opinion (some people don't care for the scent, which has a good bit of spice to it) but to infuse your locks with the care it so desperately needs. For me, it smells like olive oil, cinnamon and rosemary - some of my favourite scents, but I have read some reviews on the Lush website concerning this product, and it is certainly not for everyone.

So far, I've used this three times on my hair, and even though I have greasy hair, my scalp does get quite dry - so I massage this into my hair once every two weeks or so, just to give it that care and attention it so needs at this time of year. It feels quite thin on your fingers, but packs quite a punch when applied to the hair; you can only get three/four/five uses out of a pot, maybe less if you've got a lot of hair, but at £9.75 a pot (here), I think, for what it does to your hair (when used once every two weeks) is well worth it. I use H'Suan Wen Hua when I feel like my hair and scalp need a bit of loving care and apply it to dry hair, massaging a handful in at a time, so it covers the entirety of my hair - focusing on the scalp and ends (if you have a dry scalp and ends like me). I then leave it, anywhere from 20-40 minutes, depending on what kind of moisture hit I'd like - plus, it tingles on the scalp, which I love. It does have a strong scent, so maybe some won't be able to stick it for more than 20 minutes at a time, but I can quite happily sit, hair mask on, with my laptop and read blogposts until it's time to rinse it out, then apply shampoo/conditioner as normal (I'm using Lush's Rehab/I Love Juicy as shampoo, and Veganese as a conditioner). So, it's a bit of an all around Lush love fest, hair wise - plus I have some rather lovely looking Lush bath products coming up soon on here.

I love this mask as I think it just gives me hair a nice bouncy, shiny appearance and since I wash my hair every other day, this product doesn't make my hair anymore greasy, in case you fellow greasy-hair-sufferers were wondering. Have you tried H'Suan Wen Hua or any other Lush haircare products? Any that you would recommend? 

Lush HM2 Lush HM3

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo + Review

This may have passed into one of those 'read about it, bought it, use it and no one talks about it anymore' kind of product because that's what I do. I read about it, bought it, use it and don't really mention it unless someone talks about blemish prone skin, or my boyfriend moans about his skin - to which I break out all my wonder products, which leave him looking glowy and healthy the next day. But let's talk about this. It's passed out of the 'new' products (thanks to the La Roche-Posay 3 Step Anti-Blemish System) but it is still regarded as something quite cult, which is what it should be. I use Effaclar Duo + every morning and night, and my skin really does suffer without it. I don't really see a great deal of difference between the old Effaclar Duo and the Effaclar Duo +, as they both work wonders on my skin, so I wouldn't say either was better - they're just equally as good in my opinion.

Effaclar Duo + retails at £15.50 here (Boots) or on offer at Escentual for £13.15, but regardless of price, I would buy this. It's definitely worth stocking up when Escentual has a 1/3 off French Skincare, or Boots has 3 for 2 on skincare so I don't run out and panic over how my skin will cope without it. I even gave one to my boyfriend to use, with perhaps the subconscious desire to constantly have one near me when I visit, incase I forget mine. This is a firm favourite in my morning and night skincare routine (after my eye cream but before all my oils and serums) and is the main product I use to fight blemishes, and control the amount of oil that my skin produces. For me, the texture is quite silky but quite thin, so a little bit goes a long way on the face. I usually squeeze out a line, no longer than top third of my index finger, then rub it together with my other fingers, before applying to my skin, avoiding the under eye area as that would be a disaster waiting to happen otherwise (read blisters and eczema - had both and it was painful). Then I follow it with moisturising products, such as my Balance Me Rose Otto Facial Oil or my Trilogy Rosehip Facial Oil, but making sure that the product has been absorbed into the skin before applying an oil, which for me usually takes a minute or so. This product always makes me skin feel really smooth and lovely, but if you only take one thing from this post, it would be to moisturise afterwards, with a moisturiser suitable for your skin type - as even though this isn't necessarily drying on oily/combination skin, I think adding some moisture back into the skin, especially with an oil, would definitely help to improve the texture and look. Oils on oily skin you say? Madness! You'd think that, but it's really not. Numerous bloggers have written about it, and I think I will in the upcoming weeks - but please don't shy away from a lightweight, natural oil just because you think it'll add to the oil on your face (in a bad way); it won't. 

I've been using this product for goodness knows how long, probably a year or so, maybe longer. I've repurchased it numerous times, and cannot imagine my skincare without it. It helps to 'control shine, unclog pores and refine the texture of the skin' which I definitely agree with, as it's undoubtedly helped my skin get into its best shape in a long time. My skin, whilst oily/combination, is also sensitive, and it doesn't irritate, so if you're worried about anything like that, I'd read a good combination of reviews, just incase any bloggers or customers have reported back about reactions - but everything I've heard has been positive. Do you use Effaclar Duo + by La Roche-posay? Is it a staple in your routine? Or is it something you've considered? 


Monday, 19 January 2015

Neom Organics Sicilian Lemon and Fresh Basil Bath Oil

Neom Organics1

Neom Organics2 

I am in love with this product. No need to skirt around, and leave you an entire paragraph to find out my opinion - nope, no need. I just love it. Everytime I open the bottle, the scent just envelops me, and makes me feel so fresh, like I'm in an Italian Garden, with the hot sun warming all the fruit trees and herb gardens. It's just so divine and lemon (being one of my favourite scents) combined with the gorgeous aroma of Basil, leaves the skin feeling not only thoroughly moisturised and soft, but smelling like a Summer walk through the aforementioned fruit/herb garden. I just love it. 

There's something so welcoming about the fragrance, so warm and comforting; maybe it's the fact that it reminds me slightly of food, which is probably why it makes me feel wonderful and happy whenever I pop a few drops of the sunshine esc coloured oil into my bath. I mean, it's just glorious. Whenever I open it, the whole room is flooded with the smell of fresh herbs and fruit - it even lingers and fills my house with such a delicious scent - it makes me want to have a bath everyday, and smother my skin with the fragrance of Lemon and Basil. Now, perhaps the only unappealing issue with this product is the price. Full price, this retails at £30 for 100ml, but lucky me, I spotted it in Tkmaxx for a rather cheeky £12, and it's pretty much one of the best Christmas presents I've received this year (yes, I do source and buy my own Christmas presents). Apparently, not only can three or four drops be applied to bath water, but you can rub this divine oil into the skin, wait 40 minutes or so, and then shower, leaving you, not only with the simply amazing scent, but soft, supple skin - which is always a bit of an issue with me, as I'm always the one that looks red and blotchy after coming out of the shower. Now, I'm not sure if you can still buy this online anymore, so pop into a Tkmaxx near you to see if you can spot a bargain. One thing that has come from this introduction to Neom, is that wow, it's high quality and beautifully packaged, with a beautifully shaped glass bottle (you can bet I'm going to keep that after it runs out) so I cannot wait to try more from Neom, so watch this space. Have you tried anything from Neom? Anything I should keep an eye out for?

Neom Organics3 

Neom Organics4

SEO and Keywords; two posts that really helped me.

SEO Tips post 1

When bloggers first started talking about SEO and keywords, I had no idea what any of it meant. None at all. It was just a bunch of nonsense to me. But enter these two posts from Cat, and suddenly it all doesn't seem so dark and nonsensical. I read her SEO post for beginners earlier, and wow, it just kinda clicked. I love it when that happens. It's as if the light shines on you, and all is clear. The same happened when I read about keywords, which before, made a bit of sense... but seemed like a great deal of hassle, generally. Now, I actually see the benefits and how it could improve blog views/website views/company views and I think that's brilliant. Cat has a wonderful blog full of tips that I actually understand (in the sense that when someone explains technology, they need to explain slowly, and then i'll get it) not just full of long words and sentences that make no sense. Her simply amazing post about keywords can be found here, and I thoroughly suggest you give it a read; if not for developing your blog, then for your general knowledge skills, as people mentioned SEO etc on Twitter months ago - I had no clue. 

Cat also has numerous posts on SEO, Social Media as well as some good ol' lifestyle posts (some of my favourites), so go and give her blog a good look at. If you're anything like me, it'll really help you to understand the complicated word of technology. 

SEO keywords post 1

First Impressions of Nourish Skincare



Just a quick little post about some first impressions featuring this darling little skincare kit from Nourish Skincare, which I won in a Twitter giveaway from the lovely and amazing Helen at ThelovecatsInc. How chuffed was I? ...In case you didn't know, A LOT! I love getting to try out new products, and these were no exception as I had read about Nourish on Helen's blog, and they looked so wonderful. So I was very happy to welcome the Argan Beauty Collection into my home. It has Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh in it, which to be honest, is pretty damn cool, and very festive, regardless of the fact that it's January, and bloody freezing. There are three products in the set; Argan Skin Rescue, Argan Skin Renew and Golden Glow Illuminating Face Shimmer. They all sound rather exciting, especially the Argan Skin Rescue, as we could all use a bit of that time time of year, with the central heating on, and the cold outside.

The collection is described as 'A luxurious collection of shimmering gol,d rejuvenating frankincense and revitalising myrrh, with omega-rich organic Moroccan Argan Oil, and a stellar array of ultra-moisturising and radiance-boosting bioactives, to enhance your natural beauty' which I think sounds pretty fabulous. Over the next few weeks, I'll be trying these out and seeing how my skin reacts to them but I'm rather liking everything so far. The Argan Skin Renew (moisturiser) feels silky and moisturising, whilst the Argan Skin Rescue (oil) feels luxurious and smells divinely natural, as well as the Illuminating Face Shimmer, which you apply after moisturiser, but before foundation (I believe, gotta test that out fully) and gives the most amazing glow (totally going to be coming on holiday with me). My skin does tend to lose its glow this time of year, but I'm working very hard with my skincare to try and keep the blood circulating using my facial massager; which not only helps to drain fluids from the face, but gives the skin the most radiant glow. So hopefully, combined with these Nourish products, then I'll be all aglow. Have you tried anything from Nourish? Anything I should be on the lookout for in the future? Let me know. 





YSL 'Dare to be' Set

YSL set1 

YSL set2 

This was perhaps one of the fanciest Christmas presents I think I've ever had, because y'know, it's YSL. And not only that, it's makeup and perfume combined, which I think is always a winner. If I recall correctly, this set was only £37/39 or so, which I think is pretty fabulous, as I've never had makeup so fancy (aside from the Kiss & Blush, also by YSL) and I was basically bouncing in my seat as I opened this. I don't doubt that High Street makeup doesn't do the job just as well as High End brands, but the packaging. Oh, the packaging. It's gold and embossed with the signature 'YSL' which just makes it all the more swoon worthy. This set called 'Dare to be' is said to be a 'collection of beauty must-haves, inspired by the sensual sent of Opium'. Now, I've always known that Opium itself, is a heavy scent and not everyone likes it, which is totally understandable. But for me, it reminds me of when I was young, and the kind of perfume that my Aunt used to wear. I used to watch her put on her makeup and perfume, and I remember thinking 'I can't wait until I'm old enough to be able to do stuff like that'. She wasn't an overtly glamorous lady, but there was always something so natural but polished about her - and when I was spritzing this perfume, I swear it took me right back to when I was young, sitting on my Aunt's bed, and watching her get ready for the day. I think that's the powerful thing about perfume and scent, it can unlock so many memories that you weren't aware that you still had. I really do miss my Aunt, as she died when I was in my early teens - I still think, to this day, that there are so many things that I would tell her and she'd listen, like she always did. Without a doubt, she's one of my favourite people, ever.

But enough of the emotional memories, let's talk about the set. Opium is a heavy fragrance, full of Oriental notes and is said to 'be embodied by an overdose of rare and precious ingredients, to take extreme femininity to the limits of indecency' - which sounds rather saucy, in my opinion. I'm all for a fragrance that makes you feel good (I reviewed two Esteé Lauder fragrances, both from the Sensuous line here; they make you smell and feel, divine.) and I think it's down to the notes of Bergamot, Patchouli and Jasmine that envelop your senses that take you, perhaps not to the very extreme of femininity, but to a rather lovely place. I suppose perfume influences mood, and vice versa, so I can imagine that if the mood calls for it, this perfume could be worn to give you that extra kick of confidence. In case you wanted to take over the world, or... y'know, take yourself to the limits of indecency. Whatever floats your boat, really. A line that I really do like is 'Her perfume, a disconcertingly bewitching new Oriental' which sounds quite exotic and interesting. It's a note that I can pick up in the perfume, as there's an underlying hint of spice that I really love about the perfume. I would definitely recommend testing this out in store before buying, as although I love it on me, and on some other people, my mum hates it on herself - it's all about what you think it smells like on yourself. So, go give it a cheeky spritz, walk around for an hour or so, and then check once it has mellowed. The 30ml Eau de Toilette is £41.50 (here).

YSL set3 \

YSL set4 

Ugh, just look at that packaging. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but wow. Just wow. Gold is just so right when done well, isn't it? The lipstick, a Rouge Pur Couture Mini No.1, is said to be 'YSL's most iconic shade of lipstick for sublime, satin-finish lips' and the colour is just as it says, iconic. It's that red. I suppose it's the red I always think of when I think YSL. A pure, not too blue, not too pink, not too orange, red - the perfect red. It glides on, and I mean it glides. It doesn't catch on dry skin or drag the lip at all. It slides on and applies like a dream. Due to its satin-finish, it doesn't last as long on the lip as a matte, but to be honest, I would happily whip out this lipstick to retouch, because I'd want to show everyone how beautiful the packaging is. It's so beautiful. The little mini is perfect to pop in your handbag for touchups on the go, or perched nicely on your dressing table. It has that classic look that will never go out of style, much like YSL itself. I'm almost 100% sure that the shade is 01 - Le Rouge, and can be viewed on the YSL website here, they're also available via Boots, but their colour selection is very confusing, compared to the YSL website. The full size lipsticks retail at £25.

The nail polish was perhaps one of the products that I was most excited about. La Laque Couture in No.6 Rouge Dada (£18.50, here), is gorgeous. A deep red, pink burgundy colour that looks so divine on fingernails and toes. I'll have to write back on the length of wear, as I think it deserves its own review (for being so damn fabulous) so watch this space for a full writeup. But I do really, really like it. Plus, the packaging and the brush is a winner - but it all depends on the formula. If the formula is a dud, then not enough pretty packaging in the world can save it. What do you think of this 'Dare to be' set? Did any of you get if for Christmas? It's still being sold as a Boots exclusive, and can be purchased here for £25, which is a total bargain I think. Have any of these products caught your eye? 

YSL set6 

YSL set5 

YSL set7
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