Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks

Kat Von D Double Dare and Exorcism lipstick 2

Kat Von D Double Dare and Exorcism lipstick 4

Liquid Lipsticks are a thing, and I'm literally so thankful. Applying a liquid lipstick that dries to matte and lasts for five hours with minimal need to touchup is basically everything I've ever wanted in a lipstick, and Kat Von D has answered. I don't know how she does it. Everything she creates is turned into a cult product. Her Shade & Light Contour Palette is being raved about, and her Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks are giving Stila and Anastasia Beverly Hills a run for their money. Sadly, all three of their liquid lipsticks only seem to be available in the US, which leaves us in the UK crying into our Bourjois Velvet Matte Liquid Lipsticks because most of us will never know what they're like. Unless we have a relative making a trip to America, or we make a massive Sephora purchase... or Sephora open in the UK. To be honest, all three of those options are appealing to me, but pleaaaaase open a Sephora in the UK. Pretty please? The British public need to know about how good these are. 

With an applicator that isn't too big, or too small (it's juuuuuust right) for the lips; it applies and blends like a dream, and with such intense pigmentation you need to be precise with application, because when the formula dries, it's not going anywhere for a long time. Double Dare is a soft peach pink, described as 'Cocoa Blush', which I think is a fantastic way of describing the shade. It's one that caught my eye on the Sephora website and I quickly added it to the small list of things I asked my parents to pick up for me when they went to Las Vegas, last year. My mum said the Sephora's were dream like, and a place where I could easily lose a day or so. Sounds like a perfect holiday to me. But back to the shade. It's a perfect everyday colour, a little bit more peach than my lip colour, making it a subtle shade for the day, and even for the night. Combined with cat eye liner, in black or navy blue, this lipstick is a handbag essential, one that I always reach for when I'm having an indecisive lipstick moment before I start work. 

Exorcism, described as a 'Ripe Blackberry' shade is just so beautiful that I don't want to keep it just for the Winter months. It looks gorgeous on the lips, and the swatch is so stunning - I want to wear it with lots of bronzer and mascara, but for that I need to be a bit more tanned (hurry up Summer!). Spring is a very in-between season, and that's really irritating for me, lipstick choice wise, as do I slide into the whole blush pink spectrum with the occasional red thrown in, before breaking out some corals as the weather heats up. I don't want to abandon the shades that see me through the colder months, i.e. Diva by Mac and Rimmel's Kate Moss 107 Lipstick, but I will admit that I'm finding it difficult with the throng of pastel shades out there. Sometimes I want to slick on a dark berry colour, dress all in black and go for a walk whilst listening to Lana Del Ray, but with the sun shining (occasionally) I feel like I should go for something a bit brighter. I'm at an impasse with dark lipsticks, and therefore one half of this amazing duo. Double Dare is a perfect shade, as is Exorcism, but I'm afraid to put it away in my makeup storage and simply pass over it, for the coral shades I haven't really used since last Autumn. Maybe I'll hope for a cold, cloudy day so that I can wear such a shade and not feel like I should be preparing myself for the onset of warm weather by prepping my feet for sandals. 

The formulation and length of wear is fantastic, as both shades last through meals and bottles of water without need for touching up, and I really hope that I'll have the guts to wear Exorcism as often as I do with Double Dare. Know this; I'll be posting it on Twitter when I do, so keep an eye out over there (@ohkalukalay). These Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks sell for $20 on the Sephora website. Have you tried any products from the Kat Von D range? 

Kat Von D Double Dare and Exorcism lipstick 3

Kat Von D Double Dare and Exorcism lipstick swatch

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Nars Deep Throat Blush with Swatch.

Nars Deep Throat Blush 4

Nars Deep Throat Blush 1

Nars Deep Throat Blush 2

Ahhhh Nars. I barely post about it, and then you get two posts less than a week apart - I'm obsessed, I tell you! I think Nars is a good brand to be obsessed with, not from my purse standpoint, but from the fact that all the packaging is on point, and the formulations are brilliant, packing some serious punch with all the colour you'll need. I've been sticking to my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion as it's just so darn light and glowy, and Deep Throat, whilst not as light (I think i was a bit heavy handed with my first application) is just as luminous - perfect for wear at any time of the year.  It's described as a peachy pink - but more peach than pink, and with a golden shimmer in it, making it a product that combines two of my favourite things, blush and highlighter; but this isn't as harsh or garish as you'd expect a blush-highlight to be. It's really subtle, and allowing that you use the right brush to apply, the powder is very buildable. I used a densely packed Real Techniques brush, and that was the wrong move, as I had to blend it out again, with a softer brush. It was like 'wow blusher' as opposed to 'oooh blusher'. 

It's such a stunning shade. The actual blush is a matte peach with the addition of the shimmer, which I'm not going to lie, is making this dreary day a lot happier than I thought it would be. I love it when makeup products have the ability to brighten my day, and who better than Nars to do it? Yes I do think £23 for a blush is pretty steep, but the pigmentation, packaging and lasting power speaks for itself; all encased in a case that's meant to be shock absorbing, which would minimise breakages and those horrible moments when you realise that such beauty has been shattered into pieces. Those moments just break my heart. I remember my mum shattering one of the pans in my Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 palette, and I almost cried.. because it was just so beautiful (*ugly crying face*). 

I'm a really big fan of this blush, mainly because I love the fact that Nars like to push boundaries with their shade names. Deep Throat is not exception to that rule. Through my research I've discovered that it's been hailed as Orgasm without the pink, and having swatched Orgasm the last time I was at a Nars counter (some time ago that may have been), I totally agree with it. These two blushes tend to be the most 'cult' offerings from Nars and their blush range, and although I haven't really seen that many Nars centric posts on my timeline within the past few months, I still know that it's one of the most revered brands by bloggers, whether they own none, one or twenty products. Nars has that certain je ne sais quoi about it, and I cannot wait to add more to my collection, so I can try and figure out what that appeal is. 

Nars Deep Throat Blush 3

Nars Deep Throat Blush 5

Nars Deep Throat Blush swatch

Monday, 28 March 2016

Asos Black Tassel Circle Clutch

Asos Black circle clutch bag 1

Asos Black circle clutch bag 3

Posting about accessories, or fashion in general, isn't something that I usually do on here because you know, beauty and lifestyle is more me, but do you ever have something that you just need to post about? Say hello to my newest bag from Asos, and it has this wonderful metal circle on it... plus a tassel. A circle and a tassel! What kind of madness is that? The Circle was the thing that drew me in, the size was what kept me looking and I think it was the tassel that sold me! I'm never really one to post a lot of fashion, but I love nosing at what fellow bloggers are buying and Asos is forever a place of lust for me, so why not combine the two and showcase a little handheld love? I've recently become really addicted to Asos, and my 'Saved Items' list is shockingly long, but I suppose that's the wonderful thing about Asos, there are so many new products being released and updated with, that there is something for everyone.

£18 well spent, in my opinion, with ample room for all of my must haves when I'm out and about. I'm thinking of using it when I have coffee dates, or lunch dates with friends. I usually favour a shoulder strap, but I really do like the idea of taking a clutch bag with me. I think it looks so sophisticated, especially teamed with black over the knee boots and a beige trench coat. I'm very simple when it comes to style; I like things to look clean and fresh, without a lot of fuss except maybe a necklace or a flashy pair of earrings. This is the perfect accompaniment to any capsule wardrobe, or just for a wardrobe update. This can easily carry a tablet as well, as a fashionable way to blog on the go- or just keep up to date with social media; it's a wonderful way to carry all your essentials, whilst looking damn good. You can find this Black Tassel Circle Clutch Bag on Asos. 

Asos Black circle clutch bag 2

Friday, 25 March 2016

If I created my own Beauty Box.

If I made my own Beauty Box

If I made my own Beauty Box 2

Beauty boxes are everywhere these days. Brands do them, websites do them, and some amazing bloggers even do them: they're a recent development in the past few years, sprouting some wonderful boxes like those from Birchbox and Glossybox. I used to be a subscriber to Glossybox for a few years, and to be honest... I never really used much from them. I'd oooh and ahhh over the goodies inside for a few days, and then put them away - it was obviously £12 a month well spent. But the market has changed since then. Cohorted are making more luxury boxes, whilst Jane from British Beauty Blog has set the blogging world alight with her own personally curated boxes. 

Beauty Boxes are big business now, as brands know that getting a product into a well known box is a fantastic way of managing future business. Makeup/Beauty lovers and bloggers alike, are huge influencers in the market now, so getting a good box, and getting out there for people to see, is a very important way for brand growth. That lead me to a little pondering of my own. If I had a beauty box, what would I have in it? Obviously I would want to make it as amazing as I could. I'd want well known brand, as well as those that aren't as well known. A mixture of beauty, skincare and haircare... so all the bases are covered, and you know what? I think I've put together a pretty dam good one. In my imaginary Beauty Box, that I'd call something like 'Oh! Kosmetic Kraze' or something playful with the 'OKK' of my blog name in there somewhere. I think it's so much fun to imagine what everything would look like, what products would be in there... so spewing of products, how about I start talking about my choices? 

If I made my own Beauty Box 3

If I made my own Beauty Box 4

From the Luxe brand, it would be a go-to of mine and it's Too Faced's Milk Chocolate Soliel Bronzer, which is completely matte, devoid of glitter/shimmer and perfect for adding warmth to a complexion. This comes in a range of shades, so this would be suitable for all skin colours (I totally recommend it, it's such a fantastic product). The packaging is really divine, it reminds me of a little biscuit, but when you open it up, theres a subtle scent of chocolate and being a chocolate lover, this is never a terrible thing. For the Eyes, my selection would be an eyeshadow cream from Kiko Milano, as not only do they not budge after they've set and last all day long, even on oily eyelids, the creamy formula is so easy to blend, plus the pigmentation is craaaaazy good. The packaging is super sturdy, and with a wide range of colours and finishes available, this would be a brilliant addition to the collection of any makeup lover. For the Cheeks, this baked marble blush* from New CID Cosmetics is amazing, with colour payoff that is rival to really expensive brands and packaging that's really sturdy - plus a massive mirror, what's there not to love? This is perfect when swirled onto the apples of the cheeks, and one of the things that I love most about baked marble blushes is that no one is the same, as the mix of colours allows for each blush to be totally unique. 

For the Skin, one of my new favourite products is the Iconic Youth Serum* from MeruMaya, and it is literally one of the best serums I have ever tried. My skin actually misses this when I don't apply it, and it's giving all my other serums a run for their money, because this has been constantly on my face since it landed on my doorstep. It's one of those products that I'll be repurchasing again and again, as it's so gentle and moisturising on my skin, without making it greasy or overwhelmed. This is a product that everyone needs to try, as I cannot recommend this enough. It has a very hygienic pump which can dispense as much or as little product as you need, although I don't see anyone needing more than a pea sized amount, which makes it last longer as well. For the Hair, why not stick to a certified goodie? Yep, it's the Original Tangle Teezer, which is for use on dry or wet hair, smoothes tangles and frizz, and is generally just a wonderful item to throw in your handbag for on the go smoothing and taming (which my hair needs quite often). Plus, the colours are so fun and customisable, what's there not to love? 

Lastly, some of my new favourite brushes, and they're from CrownBrush, which come in an array of shades, although I think my favourites are the lilac ones in the photographs. How pretty are purple brushes?! My favourite from the range are the Pro Powder brush*, Tapered blush brush* and I've got some serious love for all the eyeshadow brushes, because they blend cream and powder shadows like a dreaaaam. I think a brush from them would convert a lot of people to their brand, away from overpriced brush brands (whom shall remain nameless in this post). Affordable and yet so luxurious, these brushes combine the best of both - a definite addition to my imaginary box. 

What do you think about dreaming up your own Beauty Box? What would you have in yours? I'd love to know! You can even do a post and tweet me a link :)

If I made my own Beauty Box 5

If I made my own Beauty Box 6

Thursday, 24 March 2016

My Under £10 Handcare essential: Lush Salted Coconut Hand Scrub

Lush Salted Coconut Hand Scrub 1

I love a good hand scrub, and I'm a massive Lush fan, so when I spotted this pot sitting quite happily in the Cardiff Store, I knew that it had to be mine. At the last Lush event that I attended, one of the lovely assistants there gave me a wonderful hand massage, and used this glorious scrub on one of my hands, just so I could tell the difference. And what a difference it made! The skin on one hand was soft, glowy and really just better... whilst the other hand looked dull and a bit sad, so I knew that I needed the scrub in my life... mainly just to make my hands happy, of course! Plus the smell of coconut is one of my favourite things ever, so believe me, it wasn't only a treat for my hands... but a general treat for me. 

Hand scrubs can be a bit annoying, as hey, you can't really use your hands for a few minutes, but it's actually so relaxing to wet your hands, dollop the scrub between your fingers and gently start scrubbing away, before leaving for a few minutes (that's when the coconut oil real starts to do its magic) and then rinsing off, leaving soft, radiant hands that are too good to just sit there. So I usually say 'Ooooh feel how soft my hands are' and then once everyone has agreed with me, I generally move on to better things... like probably tweeting my love for it. That's an exciting time of the day for me. But what is there not to love? It's got finely ground sea salt, coconut oil, argan oil and fresh lemon.. and those are pretty much all products that I love, so why not have them combined to make one amazingly moisturising product? At £7.95 for 130g, this pot is proving to be not only a staple hand product for me, but one the lasts for quite a long time as well. I took a massive handful when I used it the first time, and I've learnt from that mistake... you really don't need that much. It's plenty powerful with just a sensible dollop, and I love the feel of it between my fingers, scrubbing away all the dead skin particles. It feels like you're scrubbing the day away, leaving your skin and hands feeling refreshed and ready for some hand cream. You don't necessarily need a hand cream, but if you're anything like me, you live with a hand cream almost permanently attached to you. I follow this scrub with a fresh Lemon hand Cream from Jurlique, as I have yet to try any from Lush. I suppose that will be my next stop. Are there any hand creams that you cannot be without? 

Lush Salted Coconut Hand Scrub 2

Lush Salted Coconut Hand Scrub 3

Lush Salted Coconut Hand Scrub 4


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Nars Lip Pencils in Cruella and Rikugien

Nars Deep Throat Blush and Lip Pencils

Nars Deep Throat Blush and Lip Pencils  2

I don't confess to being obsessed with Nars, because I'm not, not really. I only own about a handful of products from them, and whilst they're good, really good... I always tend to forget about Nars. That is, until recently. Whilst perusing Asos, I was happily scrolling through the Beauty section, and alas, there it was: Deep Throat Blusher, and I'm not going to lie, I fell a bit in love. Some hasty searching was done. Swatches, formulas, packaging... they were all considered before the blusher happened to jump into my basket, and made its way to me within the next few days. Heavenly is a way to describe that blush... but I'm not here to talk about that. I'm here to talk about lip products. I bet you're saying 'When do you never not talk about lip products?' which is true, because I am obsessed and own far too many. But these are different. One is matte, one is satin. One blue-red, one a pink nude. However, they are equally as beautiful when swatched, and when worn. 

Cruella is the much talked about blue-red from the Nars collection, not as bright as Dragon Girl, a more wine esc, burgundy red that even has a slightly raspberry undertone in some light, looks so damn good on the lips. This Velvet Matte lip pencil is a favourite of big bloggers like Anna from Vivianna does makeup, and I agree that it is fantastic on the lips, and lasts for such a long time. But with most matte lip products, this can't be worn ontop of dry or flaky lips, because it'll draw attention to them right away. If you've got dry lips, prone to flaking, then stepping towards Rikugien is the right choice - a glossy satin that looks so gorgeous, a perfect pinky nude to apply on the go. This shade isn't something that I've heard a lot of bloggers talk about... or anyone really (have I been living under a rock?), so once I discovered it, I was determined to give it a shout out (if it was any good). Luckily, this is a wonderfully soft, Vitamin E enriched lip product, perfect for giving a thin wash of colour without being too sticky or weighing the lips down. It looks gorgeous teamed with a rose pink blush, for a really soft romantic look - which is so easy to create and looks effortlessly chic for any occasion. 

These two Lip Pencils can be purchased separately through Net a Porter, here for Cruella and here for Rikugien, at £18 and £20 respectively. They are a little expensive, but the quality of the packaging and formulas speak loudly, and at a good three hours wear before a touch up is really needed, I'm really quite impressed by these two lip pencils. I think I'll be needing more Nars in my life, anything I need? 

Nars Deep Throat Blush and Lip Pencils 3

Monday, 21 March 2016

My Muji Storage Drawers

Muji Storage 1

Yes, I'm a blogger cliche. But you know what? I don't care. I love being cliched sometimes. I love Instagramming pictures of my coffee and when my shoes look good on a nice floor, and I love how my fancy makeup looks so perfect and Pinnterest worthy in these acrylic drawers from Muji. The only sad thing is that I didn't buy more, and I really really should have, but I didn't want to carry them around London when I was there the other week. I guess I'll just have to plan another trip. Oh well. 

On my last morning in London, I wandered over to Muji, as the hotel we stayed in, the St. Giles, was literally around the corner from Oxford Street. So whilst my boyfriend was getting ready for the day, I popped over and had a nose around and my my - it was nothing like I'd ever been in before. It was like Ikea, but much smaller and just as organised. Everything was displayed perfectly and I literally didn't want to touch anything, because it was all so pristine. But I did. Sorry about that, Muji. I did manage to find my way over to the stationary section and I must have stood there for a good 15 minutes, just gawking over all the storage possibilities, before leaving with a two drawer wide acrylic box (£14.95, here). I could see it clearly in my mind - it would look glorious housing all the makeup packaging that was far too beautiful to keep hiding away in drawers. There would finally be a place on my chest of drawers that would be home to Charlotte Tilbury, Tom Ford, Estée Lauder and Nars. Four extremely beautiful brands that deserve to be gazed upon from my bed, and by those passing by my room (basically my boyfriend and mum). 

I love how sleek they look, how easy the drawers are to remove, how hard wearing they are and just how damn stunning they look. I just feel an immense sense of pride whenever I look at them (could possibly be combined with the makeup inside, but whatevs) and I just think, 'what's so wrong with having anything cliched in your life, as long as you enjoy it?'. The answer is really, that there's nothing wrong with it at all. So you'll bet that I'll be putting on some cute shoes, finding a cute floor and a coffee cup with my name on it, and loving life. Because why the devil not? 
   Muji Storage 2


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Clinique Lip Pop + Primer Lipsticks

Clinique Lip Pop lipstick in Nude, Cherry and Melon 3

Clinique Lip Pop lipstick in Nude, Cherry and Melon 2

Me, lipstick obsessed? Never! Well, okay, maybe just a little bit... OKAY, you've got me, I am obsessed and I have far too many. But will that stop me from buying more? Hahahahaha no. I love switching brands, formulas and colours too much to stop buying lipsticks, and these three from Clinique are no different. I love the idea of a 'Lip Pop' lipstick, a 'pop' of colour, a lipstick you can 'pop' on... the possibilities are endless; but what I love the best about them is their ease of wear. They are silky smooth, long wearing and have a fantastic selection of shades... the three above being my favourite choices. There's the 'Nude Pop' for the nude lip lover, 'Melon Pop' for the coral pink Summer worshipper in us and 'Cherry Pop' for the lively, yet classic look that I adore wearing. These three shades apply in exactly the same way, with a non-dragging formula, that just seem to slick onto the lips in the creamiest of ways. Almost as if you're applying a really, really creamy colour onto your lips, one that you expect to smudge almost immediately - but with these shades, they just stay put. Even 'Cherry Pop' which is one of the brightest shades in the collection stays where it's supposed to. 

These three are some wonderful go-to shades and formulas, because I know that they're going to last really well, and even when they do fade, it's not going to be horrific - they wear evenly, and don't clump or look heavy when the formula is reapplied over the top. That happens to me with some lipsticks, and it just looks so heavy and fake... but not with these. I think its down to the creaminess of the texture, which allows it to be blended so easily. Cherry Pop is a really crisp looking blue red, and I'm a huge huge fan of shades like that, as not only do they generally tend to suit everyone, but they make teeth look brighter and healthier, and who doesn't love that? Melon Pop is a very cute shade, really fresh and a softer coral than anything I've really seen before. It applies a little bit darker on my lips because of the pigmentation, but I sometimes blend foundation/concealer over my lips to not only make the lipstick last longer (if possible haha) but to reveal the true colour (as swatched below). Nude Pop is such an everyday pink nude, really subtle and perfect for slicking on without even looking in the mirror. It's a shade that's been a permanent attachment to my handbag for the last few weeks, and it's such an effortless look to pull off. All of these shades can be worn straight from the bullet for maximum impact with a slight glossiness to them, or can be patted down after application to make them appear more matte. I personally wear them both ways, because they're equally as beautiful.

Clinique Lip Pop lipstick in Nude, Cherry and Melon 1

I've always been a Clinique fan, ever since my mum gave me one of those cute little travel sets that you in get airports and on ferries; it had a simple three step skincare routine, along with a little lipstick and lo'- I think a long term love affair was started. Since then, I always loved looking at Clinique, but was forever intimidated by the girls on the counters, who knew so much and looked so professional with their perfect makeup. To this day, I still find some to be quite intimidating, but know that I know somewhat about makeup/skincare/beauty, I find that they're more than willing to chat and share their favourite products, and routines - I think that they love the idea of people sharing their passions, and who wouldn't love that? I remember swatching 'Cherry Pop' in a Boots in Cardiff, whilst chatting to an assistant, and then there was a major swatch fest going on, where I must have left with an armful of makeup swatches. Don't you just love it when that happens? I left with the lipstick, after gushing originally over the packaging, (and then falling for the colour and formula) thinking that 'Hey, they love makeup just like I do', so from then on, talking to anyone on a counter has been more of a conversation, than a battle, or me just shaking my head and saying that I don't need any help. 

The main thing that I take from Clinique is their formulas, and these Lip Pop and Primers are no different. I think they're one of the first, that I'm aware of, that have included a primer in their lipstick, thereby taking away the fussiness and condensing it all down into one easy application. These lipsticks are £16 each, and can be found here. I've got my eye on a few other shades as well, like Poppy, Sweet, Sugar and Papaya. Which ones have you got your eye on? 

Clinique Lip Pop lipstick in Nude, Cherry and Melon 4

Clinique Lip Pop lipstick in Nude, Cherry and Melon swatch

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Amazing Cosmetics Concealer in Fair.

Amazing Cosmetics concealer 1

This is one of those concealers that I've seen a lot of, and not at the same time. I've not seen that many bloggers review it, or even talk about it, but I know that makeup artists use it, so why the blogger blackout? I've yet to really read any posts on it, from the thousand or so blogger on my Twitter timeline, or on my Instagram timeline, and I want to change that, because this concealer is so so good. If you suffer from dark circles, like I do, then this is something that you're going to need to look at. An extremely full coverage concealer than not only conceals dark circles, but evens skin tone without making me look plastic (although having an amazingly even skin tone is what I really, really want). I use this on my under eyes, on any blemishes and down the centre of my face, in the so called 'triangle of light' where you apply concealed to conceal, lift and brighten the face. Mostly, I'm really concerned with concealing, because my under eyes are one of my biggest insecurities, and dark circles are a big issue for me. If someone says 'oh you look tired' then I immediately feel like shit, because despite the fact that I'm well rested and got a glowing face of makeup on, I'm still classed as exhausted by the state of my under eyes.

My under eyes are something that I try and keep as hydrated as possible, because dry under eyes mean creasing concealer, whilst applying too much eye cream under makeup means smudging. It's almost a lose-lose situation, but with this Amazing Cosmetics Concealer, I feel that I finally have the opportunity to look... you know, alive and well, not as if I haven't slept for three days. I chose the palest shade, which is Fair, but they do a really wide variety of shades, with more being developed all the time. So currently, the brand are at 20 shades, but why stop there? I think until they make concealer for women with really dark skin then the market for concealer won't be truly complete. Obviously Mac, Iman Makeup and higher end brands like Dior and Nars do dark shades of concealer, but I never really see any in the drugstore, or in any shops on the high street that sell a bit of makeup (I live in a town where the nearest John Lewis and Mac is an hour away, and there isn't even a Space NK in Wales) - so I think that Amazing Cosmetics, with the range of products being stocked in Marks & Spencer, can truly have a hold on the market. 

Amazing Cosmetics concealer swatch 1

Amazing Cosmetics concealer swatch 2

But let's get back to this shade, and the formula. It's thick, really thick, but so easy to blend, so I was really surprised. I apply it with my fingers, and then use a damp beauty blender to blend out the edges (I swear that the Real Techniques Beauty Blender is on of the best purchases ever). It's thick, so it conceals where you need it but you can also pin-point conceal with it, which not only makes it more diverse, but it can just be that one concealer that you can use for everything. After doing some research, I realised where I'd seen this product, and it was on the gorgeous Rosie Huntington-Whitely's Snapchat, as she's always posting little mini snaps of what products she's using - so if this is supermodel recommended, then you know I'm going to be a fan. 

In the images above, you can see it swatch on, then semi blended, and then below, you can see the fully blended shot (this was just blended with my fingers, not my beauty blender), so you can see that covering of uneven skin tone, such as veins etc. It's a really wonderful addition to my makeup bag, that I've used almost daily since I bought it from M&S, and please don't be turned off by the formula - it's thick and packed full of pigment, so you know that it's going to conceal anything you'd like concealed. For me, blemishes don't stand a chance, and dark circles are significantly reduced in appearance. It's £29.50 for a 15ml tube, which is a bit expensive, but for me, this is going to be something that I'll be repurchasing again and again, because it's perfect. 

Amazing Cosmetics concealer swatch 3

Amazing Cosmetics concealer 2

Monday, 14 March 2016

Estée Lauder Makeup and Skincare Haul with First Impressions.

Estée Lauder Haul 1

If you read my blog quite frequently, then you know that I looove some Estée Lauder. Skincare, makeup, fragrance... EL is just perfection for me, as I'm yet to come across a product that I don't really like (and to be honest, I hope that never happens). The skincare is glorious, and I've almost finished my second lot of Advanced Night Repair, which is basically everything good in one little bottle. It's quite rich, so I use it every other night, but when I do, my skin practically slurps it up! Who knew that my skin was that thirsty for ANR? But anyway, back to my haul! I'll give you a little backstory to this before I go delving into products: I'd had a long day and work, and a customer said something horrible to me, that basically shattered my confidence, made me really self conscious and practically made sure that I'd never wear a blue tight fitting dress to work again. Can you guess what it is? She asked if I was pregnant. To say I was shocked, was a bit of an understatement. I just laughed it off at the time, as she explained that a ruffle on my dress made her think that I was hiding a baby bump... but after she'd gone (she literally ran away from me, in shame probably) I felt so self conscious. I kept pulling my dress down, crossing my arms in front of me... I almost went to put my coat on to work, because I was so conscious of how I looked. I'll admit, I do have curves. I used to think that the dress showed them off nicely, as I've always had customers and my colleagues say lovely things.. but this one lady... she's shattered my confidence. Isn't it strange how one person can change how you perceive yourself?

The next day, still a bit upset, I strolled into Debenhams with the aim of looking at the lipsticks from Estée Lauder, as I don't own any... but typical me, I had a good nose through all of the offerings, and that was when I spotted a few items that I hadn't seen before. First of all, hello matte red lipstick! I am a huge fan of matte red lips, so this was something that had to come home with me. It's from their Pure Colour Envy Matte selection and this red was just perfect. You can never have too many reds, right? It's my favourite kinda red as well, a blue red that makes teeth look whiter and suits my pale skin. Decisive Poppy is such a classic shade, that's actually really creamy for a matte. Very impressed so far, but will be sure to do a full review, with full swatches. I will say this though, the packaging is so luxe. It feels so heavy in the hand, and snaps to a close with a really satisfying click. I just love the sound that it makes.

The next area I went to were the concealers, as I'd never had one from EL, and the look of their Double Wear concealer was very appealing. Sadly they didn't have any shades suitable enough for my ridiculously pale skin, but oh well, that took me onto better things, i.e. Double Wear Brush on Glow BB, which is basically a highlighter and concealer in one: think of Estée Lauder's version of YSL's Touche Eclat. The packaging is luxury and gorgeous, I feel really fancy when applying it (I love that feeling) but I'm not going to speak too soon on this one, as I like to test them out for a good week or so before giving out any opinions. Although, from swatching, it looks glowy and with a good amount of coverage. So I'm really looking forward to using this in the upcoming days. 

Estée Lauder Makeup haul 5

Estée Lauder Primer

Estée Lauder Makeup eye cream

Estée Lauder bb highlighter

Eyeshadow was another one that I was on the lookout for, as you can never have too many of them either, right? I'd seen single eyeshadows from them before on the EL counters, and yes they'd been pretty, but my eye had never been caught by them. Until this beauty. Enter Pure Colour Envy Eyeshadow Palette in Defiant Nude, a palette that is so stunning, I can't really find the words. A nude matte champagne shade for a base, then a little more golden colour for adding some definition, then enter the first defining colour - a soft sandstone colour that's simply made for going in the crease of an eye, then we have the bronze shade; a shade that is so packed with pigment it just knocks you in the face and makes you want to apply it all over it - so stunning. Lastly, and the final matte, it's a deep dark chocolate brown, glorious for smoking out a simple neutral eye. Basically, I fell in love with these shades and managed to grab the last one. I'm so so glad that I did, because I feel a palette this stunning needs to be raved about and from what I've seen so far, I think I'll be doing just that. 

My last pick was one from the skincare front, and to match my love for ANR, I decided to pick up their Advanced Night Repair Eye, which is basically a cooling, nourishing gel for the under eyes and eyelids. Once again, I'm not going to say much, because skincare needs to be tested thoroughly, but I like it so far. I'm quite excited to have the matching serum and eye cream, but I'm going to say this: I expect a lot, because I hold the serum in very high regard. Very high

One little thing that I didn't realise, was that there's a free gift with purchase. God, I love it when that happens. An Illuminating Perfecting Primer (ha, I bet you thought I was forgetting about that one) which I have yet to put on my face, but on my hand it felt divine! As well as a makeup bag, full of travel sized goodies that you can bet are going into my 'Travel Skincare' section, there's also a mini of the eye cream/eye gel - so I'll be able to take it away with me as well. Don't you just love it when that happens? Haha. Plus, my Instagram has the shot of the free gift with purchase, so definitely head over to lust over them! Believe me, you'll be getting some serious heart eyes! Btw, I just loooove love love Estée Lauder, and this was in no way paid for by them. I paid for all of these with my own money, and I'm going to really, really enjoy them. 

Estée Lauder eyeshadow palette

Estée Lauder Haul 4


Sunday, 13 March 2016

Transitional pink/nude lip products.

Nude lipstick 1

Nude lipstick 2

I love a good nude lipstick. They're so easy to apply, with most not even needing a mirror (or maybe that's just me) and these four are a selection of my favourites, ranging from Clinique to Primark, because good colours and formulas come at all prices, and in locations you wouldn't usually think of looking in. Today, Clinique's Lip Pop in Nude is the most expensive, costing £16, whilst L'Oreal is £6.99, the Maybelline crayon is £4.99, and the lipliner from Primark is only £1. The range with nude lip products is so varied, that there's simply so many to choose and love; I think the nude lip look came back in full force with Kylie Jenner's influence, but since then, it's taken on a direction of it's own. With almost every cosmetic company doing a nude lip product of some kind, I think we're all quite spoilt for choice. I think a good nude can be worn at any time of year, and these are four of my recent favourites. 

The formula from Clinique's Lip Pop is creamy, moisturising but long wear, a trio that don't always correspond very well, but the brand has mastered it very well with this mixture. This is a lipstick I can slick on, without a mirror, blend out with my fingertips, and go. It's that easy! Plus the packaging is wonderful, making it so easy to identify which shade you want if you're in a rush, or just rooting around in your handbag for the perfect lipstick (I do this too often). L'Oreal's Erotique shade is just gorgeous, a more 'my lip colour but better shade' than almost any other lip product that I've found, so it's perfect for dressing down or dressing up. It's totally the type of shade that you can wear for any occasion, with a buttery soft application and a good three/four hour wear time before any touchups are needed, this lipstick is a must have! 

Maybelline started a mad rush for these lip products when they brought them up, with numerous bloggers hailing them as Nars dupes, which I think is always a fabulous thing for their publicity - plus this shade of Nude Perfection is held up as a dupe for Mac's Velvet Teddy. I adore this formula from Maybelline. It's so easy to apply, but this has a brown undertone to it, making it a really 'now' lip colour, before we even really realised it. KJ would so wear this, if she wasn't obsessed with her own lip products (and who can blame her for that?) but for me, this shade is it! Better than Minimalist from the same range, it's such a perfect texture of a creamy, almost matte finish - this lipstick cannot have enough good things said about it. Primark are really stepping their makeup game up, and I think this is their nude shade, and it applies slightly less pink than you'd imagine from the packaging... it's a wonderful base to a lipstick, or simply worn on it's own, it can totally stand up to lip products that are far more expensive than it. I apply it in the morning for work, and three hours later, it's still there, holding strong and giving bigger brands a run for their money. 

What are your go-to lipsticks for transitioning seasons? 

Nude lipstick swatches 1
From Left: Maybelline Colour Drama Lipstick in Nude Perfection, Primark Lip Liner, L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Erotique and Clinique Lip Pop in Nude. 


Friday, 11 March 2016

March: My Instagram catchup, tips and favourite accounts.

ohkalukalay Instagram 1

ohkalukalay Instagram 2

I knooooooow, it's been ages since I last posted an Instagram catchup, so I thought today, why not switch it up and show all you lovelies what's been going on. I think the first thing that catches your eyes... PUGS. I looooove pugs. My cousin has two, and they are just the best. Squishy faces, mischievous personalities and whilst one just wants to cuddle all day, the other wants to play... so if you're feeling snuggly or playful, there's a pug for you! The fawn pug is Brian, and the glossy black pug is Bertie... they're such darlings, but don't let their big eyes deceive you, they are little monkey's and know exactly what they're doing. Ugh, they're such cute little puddings. 

Another thing that you may have noticed via my Instagram, is that I went to London the other week. How was it, you ask? It was fantastic! Harry Potter Studio's is everything I ever dreamed of, and London is a place that I've only been once or twice in my life, so actually being there, walking around and being able to photograph it, I'm sure I'll remember the experience for a long time. My boyfriend (Lloyd) and I spent hours just walking around, and being deceptively flat, London had me walking miles and miles, just looking at its architecture and beauty. One beauty that I did find, was Charlotte Tilbury's Store... and it was a dream. Everything was perfect in there. Glass, mirrors, ornate little boxes for keeping cotton buds in, roses... it was all just beautiful. It's an art deco dream, and somewhere all beauty lovers should make the pilgrimage to - you'll not regret it. Whilst in London, I took the customary Liberty London flower shots, because they were just so wonderfully cheery (I'm a blogger cliche, I know). 

Since coming back from London, I've been trying to up my blogging game, and I tried to do so for Mother's Day, where I featured homeware from Amara Living, and numerous delicious cakes, such as the Victoria Sponge pictured above. It was so so so delicious, and it's something I'll share on the blog soon, as you should all experience the yumminess of it. You won't regret it. (you'll also not regret following me on Instagram ;) just sayin')

Good lighting is always a plus, but using the Instagram filters wisely is a brilliant way to add vibrancy. I recommend upping the brightness, sharpness and fiddling with the highlight/shadows to achieve the look you want. 

Photograph what you love, and what you'd love to see come up on your feed. Make the food look extra delicious, the doggies extra adorable and the makeup extra lust-worthy. For food, the lighting is key, so I only tend to take shots of food in the daylight, as artificial light can make everything seem very yellow. You can do a birds eye shot, or one simply from where you're sitting like I did, just make sure that you get a bit of everything in. In this shot, the pasta, polenta fries, my drink, my boyfriends calzone and even pizza cutter are featured, so don't be afraid to take a few shots and experiment before everyone tucks into all the yum food, and all thoughts of photographs are forgotten. For pets, they generally tend to get themselves into the cutest positions (awe, the darlings) but once again, lighting is key. Bertie, the little rascal, has a gorgeous glossy black coat, and this is a nightmare to edit when he's alongside his brother, the fawn shaded Brian, but then it's all about playing up the contrast, but still getting the details. You can still see Bertie's expression in this shot, as well as Brian, without either of them looking too washed out, or too dark. For makeup, I say experiment until you find a style that suits you, but I'm forever changing styles. Playing with compositions and colours, as well as props is really important. I'm obsessed with fresh flowers and petals at the moment, so you can bet that they'll be featured on the blog a lot, very soon.

If you're stuck for content like I sometimes am, I add a quote or a even a photograph from another Instagram/tumblr account, or even from Pinterest. I might even take a few pictures one day, and then spread them out over the week if I know that I'm not doing anything exciting. Remember this, pretty shoes on a pretty floor always makes for a good shot (totally obsessed with 'from where I I stand' photographs). I think one of my most important, is hashtagging. I try and include #bbloggers #fbloggers and #lbloggers in my posts, as well as #instalike, #instagood and #instagram, but you can also add as many as you want, depending on whats in the photograph, like #makeup #mac #lipstick or #pug #puppy #instapug. 

Accounts that I'm coveting right now. 
Kate from Kate La Vie, the most Instagrammable house, cat and adventures. Helen from thelovecatsinc is one of my favourite bloggers, and her Instagram is a reflection of her blog: clean, sleek and perfect for gazing at. Rebecca from rougepout_beauty is a haven from makeup lovers, with everyday makeup selections and products that you just want to steal for your own makeup bag. Sarah from temporary-secretary is a bright, colourful page full of makeup, yummy food and a dog that is so damn fluffy I just want to cuddle her all day. 

ohkalukalay Instagram 3

ohkalukalay Instagram 4

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