Style | The Perfect LBD

You know those items of clothing you try on and instantly fall in love? Well this dress from NA-KD fashion is definitely one of those items. If you follow my snapchat (@kayljcouture), you may have seen my recent NA-KD fashion haul where I showed some items I was kindly sent by the brand, including this dress. The haul went down really well and I had so many people taking screenshots of the items and a few tweets telling me how much they loved this dress in-particular. With this being said, I thought it was only right to do a full blog post so you can all see it in a bit more detail.

Let's face it, you can't go wrong with a LBD, can you? Every girl needs one in their wardrobe as they suit everyone and the colour black is also really flattering! A great colour to wear if you've been over-indulging recently like I have. Oops. I particularly love this one from NA-KD fashion as the the cut-in neckline and midi length are both really flattering. It also has a lovely thick fabric so it almost sucks you in and hides and lumps or bumps, despite its fitted style. 

As well as the above, what I love most about this dress is that it's so different to anything else I've seen. I absolutely love the mesh detail and how it's a little bit risqué but also really classy at the same time. This is the kind of dress I'd wear to a fancy dinner party or for date night with my boyfriend. I also have to comment on the fit as it fits like a glove and seems to be very well made and designed. I got the size Small for reference and it fits on both the top and bottom half perfectly which is something I often struggle with (big booty problems).

As the dress is midi length, I wanted to keep footwear fairly simple so there wasn't too much going on below the knee (that sounds bizarre but you know what I mean!) so I paired it with some simple strappy heels and my personalised black clutch bag. As the dress has a lot of detail with the mesh panelling, I wanted to keep it pretty simple with the accessories. However, halfway through the shoot, I also decided the dress would look really pretty paired with my new Tory Burch handbag, hence the photo with that one too! I'm so in love with it.

Are you a fan of this dress? Have you ever bought anything from NA-KD fashion? You can check their website out here for lots more lovely pieces!

How I Like To Spend My Down Time & Relax At Home

I have to say, I'm a total home girl. I'm not one for being away from home for long periods of time and I always feel at my most comfortable in familiar surroundings and surrounded by my favourite things. Don't get me wrong, I love travelling and going on nice holidays but I'm certainly not the type of person who could travel for months and be away from my home comforts for long periods of time - it's just not me. With this being said, when Christy & COTTON USA contacted me to see if I'd like to take part in their 'Feels Like Home' campaign, I immediately said yes. 

They asked me 'imagine you had a day to spend in the comfort of your own home doing whatever you most enjoy as a blogger - how would you spend this time?' and it really got me thinking about all the things I love to do in the comfort of my own home. For me personally, having some down time at home is all about pampering myself and doing things that help me feel refreshed, relaxed and good about myself. With that being said, here's seven things that make me feel at home ...

Drinking cups of tea; One of my biggest home comforts would definitely be cups of tea - I'm obsessed and could drink them all day long. I find something so comforting about a hot cup of tea and if I'm stressed or upset about something, a good old cuppa usually makes me feel ten times better. 

Eating good food; Similar to my love of tea, I love spending my free time at home trying out new recipes or making some of my favourite foods. I'm a total foodie and always look forward to tea time when my boyfriend and I can chill together, eat good food and watch our favourite TV shows. It's definitely my favourite time of the day!!

Taking long baths; There's nothing more relaxing than a pamper in a hot bubble bath so whenever I have some time to myself, it's always at the top of my to-do list. I love to light some candles, pop one of my favourite bath bombs in and have some clean and fluffy towels at the ready for drying myself. I was kindly sent the Christy Supreme Hygro towels which are super soft and fluffy as they're made using cotton from COTTON USA. I think it's so important to have nice fluffy towels in the bathroom and I'm always willing to spend that bit more on good quality ones.

Wearing comfy clothes; If I could live in loungewear or my pyjamas, I probably would. I love nothing more than spending a day chilling out in my most comfortable clothes with no makeup on and my hair shoved up on top of my head. Sometimes it's nice to not have to make an effort and be completely au natural.

Candles & Fresh Flowers; Whenever I'm surrounded by candles and fresh flowers, I feel ten times more relaxed. That's why you'll rarely find my flat without either of those things. I absolutely love lighting candles and go through them so quickly as I have them burning all day long. I love how they make my flat smell too - my favourite scent is clean laundry. I just find that scent really comforting and homely.

Reading a magazine; I have Women's Health on a monthly subscription so when it arrives, that's my time to make my cup of tea, sit down in my comfiest and get lost in the magazine. I love getting tips on health and wellbeing from Women's Health and I always feel so inspired after reading it.

Having a pamper; I guess this goes without saying as all us girls love to have a pamper when we've got a bit of free time. Whether it's a face mask, a hair mask, a coat of fake tan or painting my nails - I always feel so much better about myself after a good pamper session. 

So there we have it, the things that make me feel at home. I hope you enjoyed reading and I'd love to know your favourite things to do at home when you've got some down time so do let me know in the comments below!

Sponsored post - all opinions are my own. Christy Supreme Hygro® towels carry the COTTON USA International trademark for quality U.S cotton-rich products.

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look In A Palette Review & Swatches

Charlotte Tilbury would have to be up there as one of the most luxe beauty brands on the market and I for one get very excited when I hear about a new product launch. Not only do her products look absolutely beautiful, they're also amazing quality and I've not been disappointed with anything I've tried so far.

With this being said, I was very excited to hear about her latest launch - the Instant Look in a palette, also described as 'the five minute face on the go'. I love palettes in general but palettes that contain virtually a whole makeup look in one handy little compact are so convenient and perfect for someone like me who is usually always rushing around and needs something I can quickly grab in the morning or use on the go. I'm always on trains and have had to master the art of applying my makeup on them so something like this is perfect for those days when I'm travelling.

As you can see from the images, this new palette contains seven products that will help to give your eyes, complexion and cheeks a radiant glow! Charlotte describe this palette as an 'all-in-one beauty palette that every woman needs in her beauty kit for day to evening makeup!' and I'd have to agree - the neutral colours make this palette ideal for all occasions, day or night. Here's a little overview of the shades included and where they're supposed to be used.

1. Eye Brighten - This is what I'd describe as a pinky beige shade and this is to be used all over the lid to brighten and colour correct as well as priming the lid for the other shadows and an all-day application. It has a lovely creamy texture and is totally matte.

2. Eye Enhance - A beautiful champagne shade with a slight shimmer to add another dimension to the eye look. This is my favourite kind of shade to wear on my eyes as I think it compliments blue eyes really well and is also great to brighten the inner corner. Again, the texture is very creamy and the shimmer is lovely and metallic without being OTT or glittery. This shade can be built up to be more intense if you wanted an evening look.

3. Eye Smoke - The darkest of the three eyeshadow shades, this is designed to define the eyes and add some depth to the crease. It's a beautiful soft brown shade that would suit all skin tones. I love how pigmented this one is - you only need the lightest dab of product to get great colour pay off. It's also a matte shade which I personally love as I don't really like to use anything shimmery on the crease.

4. Face Bronzer - I've heard so much about Charlotte's film star bronze & glow palette but I've never got round to trying it so when I found out this palette has the same formula, I was very excited. This bronzer is fab for contouring the face as the colour is very natural. It isn't too Orange but also isn't too ashy like some contour products can be - it's the perfect in-between shade. I've also been using it as an all over face bronzer to warm up my complexion and it works a treat.

5. Cheek Swish - I'm not a massive fan of wearing blush as I have quite a round face and feel blush emphasises that even more but I may have been converted by this one. It's a really pretty Coral shade and adds a nice natural looking radiance to the skin rather than really rosy cheeks which is the look I'm not keen on. Charlotte says this is to be applied to the apple of the cheek and blended out but I tend to apply is just below my cheekbones instead.

6. Cheek Pop - This shade is designed to be added to the apples of the cheeks to add a 'natural lit-from-within glow' and although it's a lovely pretty pink shade, it's not very me. As I said, I'm not into wearing blush on the apples of my cheeks as it seems to make my face look more round. However, it is a beautiful shade so if you love Pink blush, I'm sure you'll love it.

7. Face Highlighter - I do love me a good highlighter and this one is beautiful. It's a gorgeous candlelit shade and adds a subtle but beautiful radiance to the skin. The powder is so fine so it adds a lovely glow to the skin and blends in with bronzer and blush seamlessly.

Overall I'd say this is a great palette as it's really handy, great for travelling and all of the shades are really neutral and perfect for everyday use. I love how the shades have been numbered too so you know exactly which order to use them in. I know it might be quite self explanatory but for people who aren't all that knowledgeable on makeup and need a bit more help with application, this is perfect. It retails for £49 which seems fairly reasonable when you compare it to the price of Charlotte's other products. You can get it online here or from counters nationwide.

Do you like the look of this palette?!

Following A Healthy Lifestyle - AVEENO Inside & Oat Challenge Results

Hey guys! So if you read my blog regularly, you'll know that I was recently sent a box full of amazing healthy foods and skincare products from the brand AVEENO who challenged me to take on their Inside & Oat challenge for one week. The challenge they set me involved eating healthily, adding some daily exercise to my routine and using their products to nourish my skin. You can read more about it in my first post here but the aim of the challenge is to nourish my skin from both the inside and out to see what a week of changes can make.

Since giving the challenge a try, it's time to report back with how I found it and the differences I felt from making some changes. If you follow me on social, you'll probably know I'm already quite into leading a healthy lifestyle and do believe balance is key. I try to be good throughout the week and allow myself a few naughty treats on the weekends. I find that's the best way for me to stay on track during the week - knowing I won't feel guilty when I indulge at the weekend. With this being said, the prospect of following a healthy diet didn't phase me in the slightest - I welcomed it with open arms and couldn't wait to try out some of the recipes from the meal plan AVEENO sent with my hamper of goodies.

Now although eating healthily for one week isn't going to make any major changes in terms of weight loss or a glowing complexion, I can definitely say that it makes me feel ten times better about myself and the biggest change for me is the psychological one - that great feeling of knowing I'm looking after my body can't be beaten. I always feel really sluggish if I eat lots of bad food so eating good food definitely gives me lots more energy. As I said, changes to my skin from only a week of healthy eating are unlikely but I can see how my skin would hugely benefit if I were to continue nourishing my body with home cooked food and some amazing ingredients. I've popped some photos in this post of the Butternut Curry I made from the meal plan which was created by Natasha Corrett from Honestly Healthy. This was definitely one of my favourite recipes - it was so tasty and I didn't miss the meat element one bit. It was actually quite refreshing to have a meat free meal and this is something I'll definitely be making again. It didn't even taste healthy as it was so full of flavour.

As well as following the heathy eating plan, I also added four of AVEENO's fabulous skincare products to my daily routine. I'd always heard such amazing things about the brand but never tried their products out so I'm really pleased this challenge has introduced me to them.  I have to be honest, I'm pretty terrible when it comes to moisturising my body - it often feels like a chore so I don't really bother, unless I'm on holiday when I slather on moisturiser like it's going out of fashion. However, I know moisturising my body should be just as important as moisturising my face so this challenge has given me the kick I needed to start moisturising my body on a daily basis and I've actually really enjoyed it. I followed the tips from Dr Shefali's skincare plan, especially the one about not having too many hot showers - who knew it could remove the natural oils from our skin?

The four products I've been using are the Aveeno Body Wash,  Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion, Aveeno Moisturisng Creamy Oil and the Aveeno Hand Cream all of which are from AVEENO's daily moisturising rangeAll of the products contain oats (hence the challenge being named Inside & Oat) which have an array of skin benefits. They increase skin hydration, soothe, protect, cleanse and buffer whilst also being really gentle on sensitive skin.

I've been loving every single one of the products as they're all so gentle but also so effective.  I love that none of them have strong fragrances which can sometimes irritate and disrupt the PH balance of the skin but they still have a really lovely fresh scent. I also feel like I'm doing my skin good by using them as they all contain naturally active ingredients which have been specially formulated to gently cleanse and moisturise dry, sensitive and irritated skin. My skin does get quite sensitive and can often react to new skincare products but I've had no issues whatsoever with these ones - they just make my skin feel silky smooth and radiant. What's even better is that they're all so affordable and are really accessible on the high street.

As I said, I love all of the products but my favourite of the four would have to be the Moisturising creamy oil as it blends into the skin effortlessly making the process of moisturising my whole body so quick and easy. It combines the benefits of an oil with the convenience of a cream and I really love that as it feels so much more hydrating that a normal body lotion but still has a lovely lightweight texture that sinks into the skin in a matter of seconds.

Overall I'd say I definitely felt the benefits of taking on this challenge and it's something I'll definitely be continuing with. I'll be referring back to the recipes in the meal plan whenever I want to eat something I know is really good for me and I'll of course continue to use the skincare products too. Daily exercise might not be totally realistic for me but I definitely feel better about myself after doing it so whenever I get chance, I'll be trying to squeeze in a little home workout.

I'd love to hear some of your tips for leading a healthy lifestyle so let me know in the comments section below!

Sponsored post - however, all opinions are my own.*

Monthly Favourites | April

I feel like I haven’t done a monthly favourites post in way too long so I thought it was about time I got back on it and started sharing my favourite products of the past month with you all again. I’m not too sure why these posts haven’t been that consistent over the past few months – I think it’s a mixture of not loving enough new products for a full blog post or the fact I always remember to do them way too late. Last month, I thought ‘oh, I need to do a March favourites’ only to realise we were half way through April. Times flies by doesn’t it? I still can’t believe it’s already May but at least we’re finally getting some nicer weather. Roll on tanned glowy skin!! Anyway, back to the purpose of this post before I go off on a tangent. Here are the products I’ve been loving lately.

YSL Touche Eclat blur primer; This product has been in my makeup collection for months and months now and until recently, I’ve never really used it. That’s what happens when you have makeup coming out of your ears – things get forgotten about and then when you finally try them, you think ‘why have I not been using this until now’. Anyway, this is one of those products. Other than looking absolutely stunning (the glitter running through it is too pretty), this is also one of the best primers I’ve ever used as it makes my skin feels silky smooth and perfectly prepped for makeup. It does have a silicone feel to it so if that’s not your thing, maybe stay away from this one but for me, I love it and my makeup always goes on much nicer when I use it.

Bourjois ‘Rose qui puet’Sweet Kiss gloss; I’m a big fan of wearing lip gloss over lipstick or even on its own and this Bourjois one has been my go-to for the past couple of months. I find lip gloss can be very hit and miss – I hate those that are really thick and gloopy as they feel heavy on my lips and my hair sticks to them with every movement. No a good look. However, Bourjois have got it just right with their sweet kiss lip glosses – they’re super glossy, very lightweight on the lips and none sticky. Yay! The shade I’ve been using is called ‘Rose qui puet’ and as you can imagine, it’s a pretty soft rose shade and provides a light wash of colour so it can be worn on its own or over a lipstick which I love. I’ve actually already been through a full tube of this in another shade so that just shows how much I love this lip gloss!

NYX Liquid ‘Soft Spoken’ Suedecream lipstick; I was recently introduced to the NYX counter in the Manchester city centre Boots store and it’s safe to say, I was in my element. I’ve always been interested in trying NYX lip products so I headed straight to the lips section to have a browse. The liquid suede lipsticks instantly caught my eye and I obviously had to buy a couple to try. One of the shades I picked up is ‘Soft Spoken’ which is a described as a mauve nude. It definitely has mauve tones but nude isn’t a word I’d associate with it as it’s just slightly darker than my natural lip colour which makes it the perfect every day shade. I’m not usually into matte lipsticks but this doesn’t feel drying on the lips at all and it has the most amazing staying power. I even had to buy one for my little sister as she loves it and kept pinching it!

Too Faced Sweet Peach palette; I was going to do a full review on this palette but apparently it sold out pretty much straight away! Egh, how annoying?! All I’ll say is they definitely need to release more as it’s such a beautiful palette and especially perfect for people with blue and green eyes as the peach shades are really complimentary. I’m a big fan of all Too Faced products but their eye shadows especially are always so lovely and this palette is no different – they’re all really wearable shades (with the exception of the baby extremely pigmented, buttery soft to the touch and blend beautifully.

Davines OI oil; As someone with chemically dyed blonde hair, it does have a tendency to get quite dry so hair oil is an essential part of my hair care routine. For years, I was completely loyal to Moroccan Oil and I never thought I’d love a hair oil as much. However, the Davines OI oil has become a strong competitor. I find this to be lighter than the Moroccan Oil – it has a slightly thinner consistency which I like as my hair isn’t very thick so I have to be careful not to overload it with product. The oil in it is called roucou oil and I’ve never heard of that before but apparently it’s good stuff, let’s just say that. This oil also promises to smooth, detangle and fight frizz which it absolutely does – my hair always looks amazing after I use this oil! Plus, it smells good, bonus.

Becca Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector; I’ve done a full blog post about this product here so I won’t ramble on about it too much but I’m still absolutely loving it so thought I’d give it another little mention in this post. I bought it after hearing so many rave reviews about it and because it’s created by Jaclyn Hill whose makeup always looks flawless. The colour is a beautiful champagne gold as the name Champagne pop would suggest but it also has a peach tone and hint of pink running through it making it quite iridescent. It also has the most insane pigmentation – I only need a tiny amount on my brush for a super glowy complexion. Total highlighter goals!!

Jo Malone Nashi Blossom cologneOh my gosh, I am so excited about this new Jo Malone fragrance it’s actually ridiculous. Obsessed is an understatement. Although I’ve not had it for long, as soon as I got my nostrils around it, (ew, that’s sounds gross – you know what I mean) it just had to go into my favourites. I’m a huge fan of Jo Malone fragrances – in my opinion, they’re the best in the business and I love their chic looking packaging. So as you can imagine, when this beautiful limited edition Nashi Blossom scent with polka dot bottle with lime green lid turned up at my door, I was more than a little bit excited. The scent didn’t disappoint either. If you like fresh and fruity scents – you’re going to love this. It just screams Summer to me and I know it’s going to be my go-to scent for the next few months.

Schwarzkopf LIVE COLOR XXL toner mousse; If you’re a blonde like me, I’m sure you’ll know the struggle when it comes to fading colour and brassy tones. Honestly, sometimes I think it would be so much easier to just go dark as maintaining blonde can be a right pain in the bum! However, I may have found a solution to help me keep my colour fresh and banish those awful brassy tones between salon appointments. You may have seen my little face on your TV screens recently as I feature in the Schwartzkopf LIVE Lookbook with four other bloggers. I still get excited every time I see it. With this being said, I’ve got quite the supply of their products at home, one of them being this toner mousse. I don’t know why it took me so long to try this as it’s amazing and really does brighten up my colour. It looks just like a normal hair mousse but you apply it all over damp hair after shampooing and leave it on for 10 minutes before washing off. I left mine on for a little bit longer than that and was worried it would turn grey but it just lifted the blonde and made them look more white and ashy which is how I like it. I’d really recommend all you blondies give this one a go!!

Have you tried any of these products?!
© Couture Girl

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