29 May 2016

Something different but oh so important to me
It's annoying how life works out sometimes. Everything seems to hit at once and it's so overwhelming that sometimes you feel like you can't quite breathe. I've felt that way for quite some time now.
My parents always taught me that bad things happen in sets of three - I don't know if this is superstition or what, but I believed it: the big bad things hit in threes. But I never realised three awful things would happen all at once, or it seemed that way at least. To be honest with you, it actually felt like it was more than just three things, but I refuse to lose faith as it was only three big things and the little things were just the everyday. Regardless, I felt as if every time I was standing on my own two feet, another blow knocked me on the back of my knees and I collapsed back down onto the floor, feeling the wind being blown out of my lungs.
It really and truly sucks that life can hit like that. But I'll tell you, it does get better. I know that it seems like such a cliché and that everyone says it, but I'm trying to hold on to that regardless of how used up it is. I find that phrases like this one - the ones that are exhausted - are usually true; there's a reason people say it so much. It will get better. Unfortunately, when these things knock your legs away, you feel like you can't get back up and you feel like it won't get better. And it's okay to feel that way. It's okay to wallow in your pain and lay on the floor for a bit without trying to stand up again but you cannot let it eat you up. At some point, you have to try to stand. If I've learned anything over the last eight months or so - it's that. No matter how much it hurts, you can't let it consume you.
So, from a girl that's been knocked over more than three times recently, here is my advice. (I would like to say that these were situations that could not be fixed by me so if you can't fix what hurts right now, here's my advice for you, but, if you can fix it, I don't necessarily suggest following these steps)

1. Keep going.
Routine is important no matter what is going on. You're allowed to lose your routine for one or two days but you certainly need to get back into it. Allow yourself to get lost in the routine, in the every day. At times you won't quite cope - again that's okay. But the routine allows you to forget every now and then and you'll learn to treasure those moments for what they are: an escape. Escaping the problem, if it's one you cannot fix yourself, is key because it'll allow you to rest. Don't ever forget that you're allowed to enjoy yourself; you're allowed to have fun. You will feel guilty but that's normal, just remember that you're happiness is just as important and that it will usually help. Your happiness will help you, those around you and will help keep you a little bit sane when nothing else seems normal.

2. Take time for the sadness
This step was my hardest one to follow. Allow yourself to be sad. If you suppress your feelings and don't talk, it'll only eat you from the inside out. I'm still dealing with this part of it because I didn't talk, and that made it so much worse for me. No matter how big the problem is, or how much it impacts everyone, expressing your feelings is so important. It will allow you to cope. Let yourself cry in the shower, talk to a friend that you trust and allow yourself to break down utterly and completely if that's what you need to and how you feel. Nobody will judge you and there will always be somebody that is more than happy to listen. The majority of your friends and family would rather you told them than not. Believe me. But don't let this time be all day or all night (this links back to step one). So when you need to, take time for the sadness and let yourself feel every last bit of it, but give it a bit of a time limit so it doesn't become everything. Limit yourself to the shower, the journal entry, the chat, the thing you want to do to let you feel. It's easier said than done and seems virtually impossible but it links back to step 1. You have to make time for the happiness and the sadness but try not to suppress either of these moods.

3. Food
When you are emotionally struggling, it's hard to keep eating whether it's anxiety, sadness, stress, anything. It's important that you stay healthy. It'll benefit you and also the people around you; if you don't want to do it for you, do it for your family and friends. They may be equally stressed or upset by the situation so you won't be helping them if they're worried about your health. It's hard but make sure you do it.

4. Believe.
In time, things will work their way out. I'm a really big believer in "que sera sera" (what will be, will be). Some things are well and truly awful and we will always wish they don't happen but you can't fix or change certain things, so you just have to believe that they will work out the way they're meant to. This doesn't mean that they work out how you want them to but I've found that trying to believe that it happens because it's meant to, helps get me through. I think that everything some how strangely benefits us despite the pain, whether it shapes you as a person, helps your relationships with people now or in the future, or causes your path of life to shift slightly and help you find the right footing in the long term. Short term: it may suck. Long term: everything teaches you something even if it's painful.

It may sound a little condescending and I'm sorry if it does. But this is almost a message to past me. I feel that if someone had said all this to me eight months ago, I would have dealt with things a little better. But unfortunately I can't go back in time so I'm happy if only one person reads this and benefits from it.

Que sera sera
Remember that you're important and you'll get through this
Kay xo

22 May 2016

My Go-To Concealers
There are so many concealers on this planet sometimes it's hard to choose but I do feel like I've finally got my top concealers sussed. These have all become staples in my make up collection. Some are more of a new discovery while some have been my holy grails since I discovered them.

Collection Lasting Perfection concealers in 01 Fair and 02 Medium
These concealers have been raved about for so long in the UK and I know why. They're highly pigmented and only cost £4.19 which is ridiculously cheap for how great they are. I will admit that their range of shades are not great and I have to mix the fair and medium shades together but it's worth the minor effort. A lot of people like these for under eyes but, for me, they work best at concealing dark patches, spots, redness and the like (I find them too drying for my under eyes). I honestly turn to these every time I need to conceal something entirely. I find the lightest shade (fair) is yellow toned and works well with my complexion but I find the medium shade quite peachy and pink toned in comparison.

Maybelline Dream Lumi Concealer in 01 Ivory
I love this to brighten my under eyes up, it's not hugely great at concealing compared to some other concealers but it is great at getting rid of darkness. I find it makes a big difference in detracting from my under eyes and helping eliminate redness before I use another concealer for coverage. There's not a huge amount to say about this concealer - I think you have to give it a go for yourself - but it is my go-to concealer on days where I'm just running to the shops and want to look a little better.

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Bisque
I love love love this corrector! It helps to even out the under eyes and correct dark circles. It isn't intended to conceal totally but I find it makes a huge difference, as on the few occasions I have forgotten to use it, I find that my concealer doesn't do quite the same job as it does with the corrector. I highly recommend Bobbi Brown products all the time because I've not been disappointed by a single product that I've tried but, out of all of the products, I think that this corrector and the following concealer are my holy grails.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in Sand (concealer and Pale Yellow (powder)
This concealer is definitely the only one that makes me feel like I don't look like a ghost of a zombie after a bad night's sleep. I do have a little trouble with it creasing but I experience that with every concealer and I think I always will so I'm not overly fussed about that personally. The creamy texture allows it to apply easily and stay put for the day while the powder sets it perfectly. I cannot recommend this enough. As usual with Bobbi Brown, there are variety of shades and I found that the make up artists matched me to perfection and I use the shade even when I'm tan as it acts as more of a brightening one. If you feel you struggle with dark under eyes, this paired with the corrector may just be a life changer. They are a little pricey but well worth the money and I find - even though I use them every day - they last for over a year. (You can tell how much I love it from how manky it is and I do apologise but we're keeping it real on this blog)

Concealers come in all kinds from high coverage to brightening and so on and so forth and it's so important to get colour matched because it will make a difference in terms of how well that concealer will then work for you. It sounds mad to have so many concealers but I find that these ones work really well for me at the moment and I use them for different purposes.

Kay xo

P.S. sorry the posts have been few and far between and thank you for sticking with me. Sometimes life decides that things aren't going to go your way and that's okay so, at this point in time, posts may be bi-weekly or weekly depending on how life happens. It's normal to be carried away and I do apologise for being MIA. If you are wanting some updates here and there, check out my Instagram @okaykayblog. I will also be writing a different blog post soon about difficulties and how life rolls sometimes, so be sure to keep updated if you're interested.

08 May 2016

My Skincare Routine
I'm a big believer in looking after your skin. I know so many people that have flawless skin and don't do anything to help it and I am certainly jealous of them. But it's taken me time to get to know my skin and I know I have to look after mine. Not all of the following products will work for you like they do for me. It has taken a lot of failed products for me to figure out what benefits my skin in which way and what fails miserably for me.

I wash my face religiously every morning and evening. In the mornings, I use the dermalogica's daily microfoliant which is a really unusual face wash. It comes out in powder form and then you mix it with the water and use it as a regular face wash. The benefit of this is that you can add more or less water depending on how harsh a scrub you want. I find the scrub reduces the redness in my skin especially on patches where I previously have had spots.
Following the face scrub, I use Clinque's Clarifying Lotion dry combination skin. I put a bit of this on a cotton pad and then proceed to rub is all over my face except for my eye area. I find this helps target dry patches and helps get rid of spots. I'll be honest and say I'm not entirely sure what this is supposed to do, but that's what it seems to do for me. 
Before my skin dries out, I apply my dermalogica clear start Daytime Treatment which helps prevent and clear breakouts (as it says on the bottle).
After this I use the Garnier Moisturise Soft+ Daily Light Moisturiser for normal to dry skin on my dry patches or places that need a little extra moisture like my under eyes and around my nose. On the rest of my skin I apply the dermalogica barrier repair cream which I find reduces redness and works quite well as a primer for make up too - it makes my skin so super soft!

Now this step totally depends on whether or not I'm wearing make up, if I am I'll remove it but if not I skip straight to washing my face. To remain the main bulk of my make up I use the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (I know they've recently brought out a whole load more but this is just the original, pink one). I don't use this to remove my eye make up as I don't find it hugely effective but if I'm wearing a bold and heavy eye look, I'll use it initially. To remove my eye make up I use my favourite remover by Bobbi Brown. It is a little pricey but I usually buy it in the sales and it is honestly the best eye make up remover I've ever tried and I'm on my second bottle. It also lasts well for the price.
Following this, I wash my face with the Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser and make it a thorough wash using my Clarisonic face brush by Homedics. The Charcoal Cleanser is an ice cleanser so it does grow cold as you wash so don't leave it on the skin too long.
After that I use the clarifying lotion as previously mentioned, then I apply The Body Shop's Blemish Fade Night Lotion and the dermalogica clear start Overnight Treatment which both help prevent, clear and treat breakouts. For overnight moisture I apply the Garnier moisturiser over the entirety of my face.
Some nights I treat myself to a face mask. My favourite is this Green Tea Sheet Mask by masque bar which I find helps to minimise dark spots on the skin and refreshes my skin too.

As you can tell, my main skin problems are breakouts and dark, red patches and it's taken me a long time to find products which work effectively to tackle these issues and it does seem a bit repetitive. I do change my routine every now and then if a new problem arises but this has definitely been a fixed routine for me for the last few months. It probably also seems like I'm sponsored by dermalogica but I'm definitely not, their skincare just works so well for me and it can be a little pricey but it's well worth it when they work so well.
Spending money on skincare can seem painful when some small products can be up to £30 but, in my opinion, you have the same skin for life and you need to look after something as important as that.
Skincare is important but your skin definitely reacts to what you eat so sometimes I have to tackle it from the inside out first. Always keep in mind if you have a breakout that it may be your diet while sometimes changes in your skin can depend on the weather so your skin and how you care for it will change from time to time and that is normal.

I hope you find your ideal equilibrium 
Kay xo