Friday, 27 February 2015

My Instagram Month - February.

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February may be the shortest month, but it's certainly not been dull. I've been trying out new things, re-reading old blog posts, writing new ones and pouting that I cannot continue with writing more blog posts, as my right arm is in a splint, due to being in a car accident, a few days ago (see this picture here). It's very difficult to type with my left hand, which is why this is taking so long to write out but you know what's more difficult than typing with my left hand? Brushing my teeth, showering and eating. Eating risotto with my left hand, last night, was a nightmare. Pesky little grains. But other than that, I've been trying to be positive this month. There was a week of pug-sitting (two of them, so it's double the mischievousness), my first Valentine's Day with my boyfriend, and just general adoring  of Pinterest and blogs. It's also been a rather Lush centric month or so, as I seem to have become obsessed with their products. I did a collective Lush post here, so everyone can see how much I love them. Not only that, I'll be off to their Cardiff store for an event on Monday, should my arm/back/neck being okay enough to go - but it's also the day I go back to work, so we shall have to see. I'll probably update via my Twitter (@ohkalukalay), should there be anything going on.

What has your February been like? You can keep up to date with my Instagram, here.

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Saturday, 21 February 2015

A collective Lush Cosmetics Haircare post

New Lush Cosmetics 1

My newest purchases from Lush, featuring some amazing haircare, as well as some seasonal bath products and a bath bomb made for dry skin. Read about it here

Lush HM1

The only hair mask that, for me, soothes my irritated scalp and gives a spicy kick of moisture back into my hair. Read about it here

Lush HB1

A hair moisturiser that needs no introduction, but I'm going to give it a small one, anyway. This will last ages, and your hair will love it. Read it here

Lush Hair Products 2

My first adventure into Lush haircare, and how my hair was reacting to the change from silicon products to all natural goodness. Read about it here

Lush Bag 1

Rediscovering Lush at their event in Cardiff, and the goodie bag that reignited my forgotten love for them and their products. Read about it here

Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Palette

Urban Decay Basics 2 3

Urban Decay Basics 2 1

My first Urban Decay palette. I know, bad blogger. The Naked palettes did appeal to me, but a part of me knew that my mum would probably have a few choice words to say if she knew that I'd spent £40 on one eyeshadow palette; but who's to say that I won't get one in the future? I thought that Naked 2 Basics palette would be a really good introduction to the world of UD eyeshadow, as I'm already a huge massive fan of their lipsticks and eyeliners. This, is a complete nude/smokey eye look that can be worn subtle or vamped up, and is basically all you need in one palette. Six buttery soft shadows that can create any look - whether suitable for the day, or smoked up for the evening. I, myself am a huge fan of the nude smokey eye - using the three lightest colours to build up a gentle intensity (skimp, stark and frisk) with maybe a little 'undone' smudged on the lash line - it's basically a collection of slightly warm, neutral shadows that I was obsessed with for weeks when it first arrived. Then I dropped the palette, and undone smashed, so now whenever I use it, I keep a cotton pad over the 'undone' shadow, just so that it isn't further damaged - because I will cry should it actually all fall out.

This matte palette usually costs around £23 (here), but I bought it from Cohorted for £15, when they had their deal on - and now that I know about the quality, I would totally spend £23 on it. I think it's great to read about the palette, and see one in real life for all of five minutes, but when I want to invest in an item of makeup that's over £20, I want to know if I'm going to like it. I can assure those of you who have the same issues as me, this palette is totally worth it. Shadows that last all day, don't crease and pack some serious pigmentation pay off, as well as being so easy to blend, no matter what eyeshadow brushes or fingers, you use. In comparison to the Naked Basics original palette, these shadows are somewhat warmer, more neutral and softer in choice of colour, as they're no black, just a kind of charcoal grey, which I love, as it's nowhere near as harsh as black, but still gives some colour intensity. One of my favourite colours is 'frisk', shortly followed by 'primal', as not only do they blend together seamlessly for an intense, but not too dark look, but they apply so well. 

Skimp - a soft, almost bone esc colour, the perfect base for a soft, subtle eye, can be used all over the eyelid, as well as taken up to the brow bone. 
Stark - a darker neutral, a sort of sandy beige, perfect for building intensity in the crease of the eye and along the lash line.
Frisk - one of my favourites, can be worn alone or blended into the crease. A soft grey/beige that can be used on any skin tone for a subtle colour, or to build a smokey look.
Cover - a soft beige/brown, very neutral and a very essential colour for a brown/bronze smokey eye - this colour I one I reach for over and over again.
Primal - your almost typical dark brown, but this has a slight grey warmth to it that makes it fantastic for the crease, as well as using on the lash line. 
Undone - a soft charcoal grey/black, which is a more subtle offering than black, but still packed full of intensity. 

For me, the Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Palette is a perfect matte offering; a subtle, but buildable palette that for me, was instrumental in introducing me to the world of Urban Decay and their eyeshadows - and I will admit, I am a convert. Just watch this space. I may be offering up a Naked palette soon. Imagine me with 10+ shadows to lust over. Are you a fan of Urban Decay? Do you own any of their infamous palettes? 

Urban Decay Basics 2 2

From left; Undone, Primal, Cover, Frisk, Stark and Skimp.
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Friday, 20 February 2015

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Frutti Petutie

SH Pink 1 SH Pink 2

Say hello to the nail polish I'll be wearing as soon as spring hits, and it starts to get warmer. Saying that, didn't it snow last March..? Anyway, doesn't this colour just scream 'take my to the sunshine?' It looks like something that'll be happily sat in my suitcase when I go on holiday in a few months. Just look at it. A gorgeous hot pink that I imagine will look gorgeous with pale or tanned skin, let alone any skin tone - I do love that about a good nail polish - the colours don't discriminate. Holla. This is a Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polish, so I knew from that start that the formula would be super shiny, long lasting and pack a serious punch of colour; and I was right. The brush is quite big, which I love, as it can cover the nail in two even strokes, and with only two coats needed (you could really get away with one if you were in a rush), not even necessarily a top coat, as it's soooo shiny, and I always find that these polishes last so well on my nails. But if I'm in the mood for a top coat, I always turn to my Seche Vite as it just gives it that extra staying power, which I think is needed if you have a super busy few days ahead of you.

It dries relatively quickly, probably quicker that I remember Sally Hansen polishes drying, but that's never a bad thing in my book. It has a fab applicator, and the top feels really comfortable in the hand when you're applying it as I hate it when there are those really awkward to hold handles that just slide out of your fingers - and boom, nail polish everywhere. Just looking at this colour makes me so excited for the up and coming months, as warmer weather means more vibrant, Summer esc nail polishes, and I for one, cannot wait to see what people are wearing on their nails. These Sally Hansen polishes are £6.99 each (here), which are less than the Essie polishes, but perhaps a few pounds more expensive than their counterparts from Maybelline (the Superstay Strong at £4.49) - however, the shine and quality of the polish, is something that I think is totally worth the treat. Since they brought a little Sally Hansen stand into my local Boots, I cannot resist buying a polish now and again, as the colours are just so gorgeous. I did a bit of reading, and some bloggers have said that the colour is even reminiscent of Dior's Lucky nail polish, which is just as bright, but without the eye watering price tag. Do you have any Sally Hansen polishes? Any colours I should keep an eye out for? 

SH Pink 3 SH Pink 4

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Nude/Pink Lip pencils; Rimmel 'Eastend Snob' and Maybelline 'Sweet Pink'.

Nude lip pencils 1 Nude lip pencils 2

In the search for a pinky-nude lipliner, I stumbled across these two. Both from the high street, so inexpensive and if you've got Boots points saved up from buying lunch, or just general purhcases, then either of these two can be paid for with 399 on your card. Yepp, they're under £4 - so they're a bit of a steal if you're in the market for a pinky/nude lip liner; plus I always think Maybelline and Rimmel are winners in terms of formula and colour choice. Rimmel's Eastend Snob (£3.99, here) has become something of a cult product amongst bloggers in search of that pinky/nude lip, which is undoubtedly inspired by the Kylie Jenner nude lip from last year. It's such an easy colour to wear, and can be worn with basically any type of makeup - the beauty of a nude/neutral lip colour. Rimmel's offering is in a twist up tube, which is very handy, as unlike the Maybelline lipliner, you don't have to sharpen it - and I know that some people hate to sharpen anything, as it can be very annoying and wasteful in terms of product. It's a soft formula that glides on my lips with very minimal dragging, and a very impressive lasting time. However, I do think that it can be slightly drying on the mouth, so if you've got dry lips already, you may want to exfoliate them, then apply a hydrating lip balm at least ten minutes before applying this liner. I do however think this is a rather perfect colour if you wanted to slightly overdraw the shape of your lips, as it's not too harsh, or dark; I do tend to overdraw my top lip, ever so slightly when wearing this liner, as I think it works so nicely, as well as it's ability to blend and create a soft, believable lip line. 

Maybelline's Sweet Pink (£3.99, here) is a softer, lighter pink when worn on the lips - more of a rose shade, whereas Eastend Snob is only a little bit off my actual lip colours, this gives a more rose esc look to the lips, and when combined with a dusky rose blush, it looks gorgeous. It does need to be sharpened, but that doesn't bother me - after all, my Nars matte velvet lip pencil needs to be sharpened, and that was almost five times more expensive. This glides across the lips and gives the most gorgeous, subtle pink lip - perfect for any occasion, and with any eye look. It lasts for a good three/four hours before a small touch up is needed around the centre of the mouth, as that's where lipstick/liner fades first for me. I know that these don't look as impressive or gilded as other, more expensive liners, but they certainly do their job, and for the price, I think they're wonderful value. The pigmentation on both as well as how long they last, is really wonderful and I cannot recommend them enough, for someone that fancies the look of a nude/pink lip, and wants to get the look without spending too much. For me though, high street makeup is a brilliant way to gain a wider knowledge of formula and product lasting time, before maybe indulging in higher end products. A higher price tag doesn't necessarily mean a better product, but the same could be said of the high street; because it's a bargain price, doesn't make it a bargain. What lip liners have you been coveting lately? 

Nude lip pencils 3

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

New Lush Haircare and Skincare Purchases

New Lush Cosmetics 1 New Lush Cosmetics  2

Yes, I'm afraid it is another little Lush post. I have recently become so obsessed with them (much like when I was 15 and thought Lush was the bee's knees - which it still totally is, fyi) because not only are they ethical, but they're natural - and my skin loves that. Gone are the days when I buy hair products that are full of silicon and horrible nasties - instead, it's Lush all the way. It feels fuller, bouncy and just lovely - I think my newest shampoo purchase has something to do with that. I love Juicy (£5.50, here) is a fruity dream, filled with glorious naturalness including Papaya, Pineapple, Lemon and Kiwi - all of which sounds delightfully tropical, and makes it smell delicious - like a fruity cocktail on a sun warmed beach. It's just yum, and I love it. It's not really something I'd recommend for dry hair, but for those who have greasy hair, that gets oily reaaaally quickly, this is for you. This bottle is currently sitting next to Rehab and Veganese in my shower, a shampoo and conditioner team that really works, making it my go-to for haircare at the moment. 

Next up is skincare, and who doesn't love a good bath product? I wanted something soothing and soft for my dry skin, which plays up especially in the cold weather - so Butterball (£2.50, here) was what I ended up with, as the Butterbears weren't in store anymore. It has a lovely, soothing mixture of cocoa butter and ylang ylang, which makes the water not only lovely and moisturising, but gives off an almost aromatheraputic scent. It was such a relaxing bath, especially when combined with candles and a cheeky face mask. It fizzes nicely in the bath, and leaves such a lovely film of oil on the skin, which I massage into the skin once I'm out of the bath - then I pat myself dry, and my doesn't feel nearly as dry and tight as it would without any bath oil, or anything in the water. It's a lovely treat, and who doesn't love a good bath bomb? Next up in the bath department, is the Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar (£3.25), which sadly you cannot get on the website, but it gave off a lovely lavender esc aroma, and turned the water a lovely shade of lilac, making it gorgeous to relax in - as who doesn't love coloured water? It just plays with my imagination and makes me wonder if there's a part of the world out there, with just the right environmental conditions for the water to be purple... oh well, I live in hope. It was part of their Valentine's Day selection, as perhaps one of the most talked about products, as hey, it's a unicorn horn. 

Have you purchased any Lush products recently? Got your eye on anything, or got any recommendations for me? 

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New Lush Cosmetics  5

Thursday, 12 February 2015

February; the life update and three lists of five things.

alentines Day Female 6

It's just a few days shy of Valentine's Day, and although I'm really not a Valentine's Day person, I'm actually quite looking for to it. Not for the presents or flowers, but because our plan is to stay in, watch Netflix and chill out. It may not be everyone's ideal way of spending the 'most romantic day of the year' together, but I'm looking forward to it. He's excited about it, and that's making me excited. Our first Valentine's Day together, a few days before our seven month anniversary. It's a nice feeling, to have someone to share it with, even though last year I was totally happy spending the day in work, and then at home watching a movie with my parents. I suppose it is what you make of it. I remember I used to get slightly down around this time of year. It's cold, and I didn't have a Valentine. Now that I have one... yeah, it's totally not that big of a deal. Even if I didn't have one, I'd be doing exactly what I wanted to - basically, watching Neflix and eating yummy food. 

Although my under eye circles are still just as dark, my skin is looking rather glowy and nice, which is a big plus for me right now. I'm trying to tame my dry skin patches without making my skin too oily, and that's a task. I'm using a combination of two oils, from Sanctuary Spa and Balance Me, as well as three serums: Estee Lauder, Nourish and Jurlique. Don't be afraid to mix stuff together, to layer, as long as they're not too heavy for your skin. I've also been thinking about my upcoming holiday in Marmaris (Turkey) in May. What skincare/makeup/clothes I'm going to take is a bit of a mind boggler at the moment, so at the time, I'm either going to be very organised, or they're be some stressed tweeting going on. Also, I just want to add that I've been thinking a lot about myself recently. I'm irrational and emotional, but I'm also logical and thoughtful. It may seem really odd 'How can you be those four things?' but yeah, I really am. I'm also, happy. I've reconnected to some really wonderful friends of mine - two of them that I was mad at (in a childish way) and y'know what occurred to me? Life is too short, and I'd regret not talking to them, in a few years or so. I was also bought flowers, for the first time in my life, by my boyfriend. They weren't ostentatious or exotic, but I think they just made me realise that he is exactly what I want. He's wonderful, and don't let anyone tell you that Tinder isn't a good place to look for a relationship. Even if it doesn't last, he's still one of the best people I've ever met. 

Five things that have been rocking my month so far. #1 Pretty Little Liars. Watching Netflix has become a new obsession of mine, and I'm almost three seasons in although I only started last week. Obsessed, I tell you. #2 Soaking in my bathtub, without a care in the world. There's something so relaxing about bath oil, bath salts (maybe a bath bomb) and a moisture mask - it's a pamper, but the lazy girl edition. Perfect for after a long day. Throw in a few lit candles, and it's basically a spa (I wish!). #3 Nude, but not quite lipsticks i.e. Bourjois and their fab Rouge Edition lipsticks that don't move for most of the day. I applied one at 8:45 one morning, and it didn't move until I took it off later that night. A minimal touchup was needed around the centre of my lips. But wow. And Peach Club is my colour of choice right now. #4 Water. Dull, yes, I know. But hydration is our friend, so we should all make the effort to drink more water. #5 Face oils and serums. Cold weather and drying air conditioning = patchy, flaky skin, so for me, I slather on my oil and serums at night, because I need all the help I can get. 

Five things that have just caught my attention. The Pitch Perfect 2 trailer which seems so hysterical, I cannot wait to see it! Since hearing it on the radio, Shaggy's 'Wasn't me' (here) has been in my head for days and I am obsessed with it (may have downloaded it from iTunes...). Benefit's Roller Lash Mascara seems to have taken over everyone, but i'm quite unimpressed with it. Didn't hold the curl in my lashes, even after tests - eyelash curler vs none - and both results were quite depressing. Huzzah if it works for you, but I'll be sticking to my Revlon Grow Luscious. Beauty and the Chic has written a really good post about the Roller Lash mascara, and it's basically my views entirely. Amy from the amazing Srslylou does wonderful posts about songs that have inspired her that month, and this month is just as glorious. See the post here. And last but not least, is the fact that Liz Earle has finally made her way onto the Boots website. Yay! Cleanse & Polish and Boots points? Heck yeah. 

Five products that I have my eye on so far this month. Clinique's Take the day off Balm Cleanser (here), Nip & Fab's Glycolic Fix Exfoliating pads (here), Embryolisse's Lait Creme Concentre (here), Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner (here) and Dior's Diorskin Star foundation (here).

Monday, 9 February 2015

Lush R&B Hair Moisturiser

Lush HB1

It seems that I'm all about the Lush haircare these days, but who doesn't love a good Lush product? A very good (male) friend of mine even told me that he'd made a New Year's resolution to start taking better care of himself, so he took himself to Lush and bought an entire skincare routine, complete with face mask for use twice weekly. I was pretty darn chuffed with what he said, as I think people taking better care of their skin, regardless of gender, is something we should all shout about. Saying goodbye to dry/oily/combination skin, and saying hello to a cleanser, toner and moisturiser that suits them and their needs. Huzzah! But let's get back to this hair product. I have a dry scalp, greasy roots and dry ends. It's a conundrum, I tell you. I use a clarifying shampoo to be clean my roots, but it leaves my scalp feeling dry - and I don't want anything too heavy, otherwise my roots get greasy twice as quickly - which is a massive thumbs down from me. That's where this hair moisturiser comes in. Lush's R&B Hair Moisturiser (£11.50, here) is my go to for solving the issue of dry scalp and dry roots, without making my hair too greasy or horrible.

Sometimes after I wash my hair, I get a horribly dry scalp, that itches, so I like to dip my fingers into the pot, and coat them with the thinnest covering, before rubbing my hands together, and then massaging that into my scalp. I do that on wet hair, then leave to dry as normal, which is either natural, or with a hair dryer (and a heating protecting product on my hair). It feels buttery soft and full of natural goodness, but doesn't weigh my hair down or making it greasy faster than usual. There's a loooong list of loveliness in this pot, and these are only a few of them; Avocado oil, Oat milk, Extra Virgin Coconut oil, Jojoba oil, Olive oil, Orange flower, Jasmine and Bay oil. Basically, a lot of oils, and they do my hair good. I love this massaged onto the ends of my hair as well, as not only does it give them a boost of moisture, but it smells divine. My hair is pretty thin, but according to some research, it works well on thick, wavy hair, as well as afro hair - but once again, you only need to use the smallest amount, as it's so rich and wonderful. I've had my 100ml pot for a good few months now, and have only made a small dent in the product, which I think is wonderful value - as trust me, it's going to last you a while. And because it's Lush, you know that it's ethical, as well as natural. Give it a sample when you're in store next, hopefully, if you're in the market for a hair moisturiser, you'll give this one a go. It's a winner. 

Lush HB2

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Nip & Fab Deep Cleansing Fix

Nip & Fab Deep Cleanse 1

There's something I really, really love about this product. Maybe it's the fact that it's a massive 300ml pot, or perhaps it's the fact that it's on offer at the moment for £5.30 (here) or maybe it's because it's not only a cleanser. Oh no. Nip & Fab's Deep Cleansing Fix is a cleansing cream, but also a hydrating mask, that can be used for a 10 minute stint, overnight for some major hydration, or on blemishes, to make them appear less angry and sore. It basically does it all, and it's become one of my absolute go-to products for cleansing, as well as hydration since I ran out of my Una Brennan Rose Moisture Mask. I use this as well as my REN Hot Cloth Cleanser, and I find that the mixture of the two really suits my skin. The Nip & Fab Cleansing Fix is thick and creamy, really easy to use and leaves the skin feeling so smooth and soft. I apply a dollop, and massage it into the skin, making sure I pay a good amount of attention to my t-zone and chin, as that is where I get the most blemishes and blocked pores. It just leaves my skin feeling and looking bright and clean - I think it's the smell of Eucalyptus and Tea Tree which makes me fresh and ready for my morning/night skincare routine. As a cleanser, for me, it's a brilliant product, and I recommend it solely for that.

But that's not all it does. Not long after I started using it, about a day or so, I had a spot on my chin, and after reading the side of the packaging, I decided to dab a little of the product onto my blemish, just to see what would happen. Not only had it decreased in size the next morning, it seemed less red and angry, which I thought was a wonderful start to my day. If you only used it as a spot treatment, I don't think you'd ever run out of product, so, there's another reason why this is a must have. As for a moisture mask, this product actually does it all. I cleanse with it, remove it with a flannel, apply a clay mask, take that off after 10 minutes with a flannel, and then apply this for an additional 10 minutes, before removing that with a flannel. I swear, it leaves my skin feeling smooth and plump - ready for all the toning and moisturising that follows. It's a product that I'll be decanting and taking with me on holiday, as not only does a little go a long, looooong way, but it's multipurpose - and less room for makeup/skincare means more room for clothes/shoes - and it's all about priorities, right?

Full price, this retails at £7.95, which at under a £10, for a product that does so many things, is an utter bargain in my opinion, and I definitely will purchase again, should this pot ever run out... it is really massive though, I'll give it a few months. Have you tried any products from Nip & Fab? What do you think of their Deep Cleansing Fix? Is it something you'd consider using? I for one cannot wait to get my hands on the Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Pads (£8.66, here) as they're meant to be life changing (in terms of skin loveliness).

NIp & Fab Deep Cleanse 1 Nip and Fab 3
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