Thursday, 28 April 2016

Jolen Creme Bleach Review

I have recently been sent  Jolen Creme Bleach* to try out.  This is a product that lightens excess dark hair on your face.  I don't have lots of facial hair but just the odd dark hair around the lip line or chin (no idea where they come from, one minute they are not there and the next yikes!), so this was a product I was interested in trying out.
Jolen Creme Bleach Review

It is really easy to use just wash the area you want to bleach with soap and cold water.  Measure out the appropriate amount of product which is clearly detailed in the instructions.  You then apply to the area you want to bleach and leave for 10-20 minutes depending on whether the hair has bleached enough or not.

I must admit that as the word bleach is in the product name I was really worried it would be quite harsh on my face, but I didn't notice it on at all.  Once you are happy with the colour you just wipe it off with a damp cloth.

I found this product quick and easy to use and pain free, which is always a bonus as in the past I have used a facial epilator which does smart a little bit.

I think this is a useful product if you have a lot of dark facial hair or even for those of you with small amounts.

Jolen Creme Bleach is currently £4.20 for 30ml at boots.

Leighlee

*I was sent this product to review but the opinions are my own

Vita CoCo Coconut Oil Review

I have heard so many good things about coconut oil and it's uses, but have never actually tried it, so I was happy to receive the Vita CoCo Coconut Oil* to try out.  
Vita Coco Coconut Oil Review
Coconut oil is great as it has numerous uses and does not contain any nasties. So far I have used it to cleanse my face which works really well.  I just scoop some of the hardened oil out off the tub and melt it in my hands before applying it to my face.  I then use a cleansing cloth to wipe it off.  It removes a good deal of my makeup and I just need some eye makeup remover to remove the last little bits of my mascara.  At first I thought it might be difficult to use for beauty related things as it's hard in the tub (unless you live in a warm environment where it would melt), but it was incredibly easy to melt in my hands and it's not messy at all.  

It obviously smells of coconut which always reminds me of summer holidays and is much nicer than the strong fragrances of some cleansers.

I also use coconut oil as a lip balm, hair/scalp treatment, moisturiser and cuticle oil.  I love how versatile this product is and of course you can also use this oil for cooking and baking.  For more tips and to claim a free sample check out https://www.swearbyit.com/.

What other uses have you found for Coconut Oil?

Leighlee

*I was sent this product to review but the opinions are my own

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Project Use It Up - Update

Back in November 2015, I started Project Use It Up where I listed 10 products that I wanted to use up as soon as possible.  You can read my post here.  I have to say that I thought I would have finished all the products by now but as some of them have turned into long haul jobs, I thought that I would post an update on how I am getting on.
Project Use It Up - Update
Project Use It Up - 10 Products
Here's the products that I wanted to finish along with an update on where I am at with each one:
  1. Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne 30ml - Finished 8th December 2015.  I love this scent, but I am ready to try others before I repurchase.
  2. MAC Strobe Cream 30ml - there's about half a tube left and this hasn't changed since I started this challenge.  Must try harder.
  3. Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub 25g - a little goes a long way with this product and there is about a 3rd of the product left to use.
  4. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm 30ml - Finished in March 2016.  Nice enough, but doubt I will bother to repurchase.
  5. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream 50ml - There is not much left in the tube, so I will keep using this daily on my lips.  I find this product too thick & greasy to use anywhere else.
  6. Oskia Renaissance Mask 15ml - Finished 10th December 2015.  I did like this mask, but I have loads of others to try out, so won't repurchase.
  7. L'Oreal Color Riche Nail Polish in Sweet Amethyst 5ml - Finished 8th December 2015. I was quite surprised when I finished this one.  The ball bearings actually fell out of the bottle as there was no more polish to scrape out.
  8. Organic Surge Orange Flower Toner 200ml - Finished 20th December 2015.  I liked this product, but did not love it.
  9. Garnier Roll-on Eyes 15ml - I am using this daily at the moment and there is about a 3rd of the product left.  Finished 21st July 2016.  This one took an age to finish.  It was a nice product, but I would not buy it again. 
  10. Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick 08 - I am amazed that I have actually finished a lipstick.  That hardly ever happens.  I finished this in March 2016.  I am sad to see this go as it is one of my favourite lip colours.  A really nice dusky pink that fits all occasions, day and night.
Have you tried this challenge?  Let me know what's on your Project Use It Up List.

Leighlee

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

My American Adventure Part 3 - Los Angeles (Hollywood & Santa Monica)

The final part of my holiday was Hollywood and Santa Monica. We got a late afternoon flight from Las Vegas back to LAX, to maximise our time in Las Vegas.  The flight set off a little late, only because the short haul flights have to land at a specific time at a busy airport like LAX, so they set off late to arrive exactly on time (if that makes sense) and therefore, the flight was quicker because of this which I'm not complaining about.  We had booked the Supershuttle to get from the airport to our hotel in Hollywood as it takes at least 45 minutes, so a taxi would have been expensive.  I think the cost of the Supershuttle was approx. £11 each (booked in advance).  We had to wait about 30 minutes for the minibus and in the end we were the only passengers and boy did our driver complain to us about that (apparently they only get paid per passenger, rather than per trip).   We arrived at our hotel Loews Hollywood in the heart of Hollywood at about 10pm and check in was quick and easy.
We have stayed at Loews Hollywood before and picked it because of its location and the fact that all the tour buses depart from the area. As we did not have a car, this made things so much easier for us to get around.  We were a little worried that we would not be able to afford this hotel, as for the 6 nights we were staying we were being quoted anywhere from £1100 to £1300.  In the end we got a great deal on priceline.com for just over £800 (we did take a bit of a risk as the hotel wasn’t specified when we booked, but we were fairly sure that it was gonna be the hotel that we wanted, or at least in the same area).  We were so relieved when we got the confirmation email that it was Loews Hollywood.

We just booked a standard room this time (the first stay we had found a great deal on a Hollywood Sign view), but we were thrilled to see that we had a great view of the Hollywood Sign, the Griffiths Observatory and Downtown LA.  The rooms are so nice and spacious, the only slight let down was the bathroom, which was not as spacious and did not have a big walk in shower as the Bellagio did.

As it was so late, we just popped out to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theatre to have a quick look around and get our bearings for the next day.

We decided to use the Hop on Hop Off bus tour for our first 3 days as it goes to a lot of different places we wanted to visit and it only cost $79 (about £55) each.

Day 1 – Hop on Hop Off Tour
We went on the Hollywood and Beverly Hills bus (Red Route) first. We passed by Chateau Marmont, Sunset Boulevard & The Viper Room to name just a few sights and decided to get off near Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive.  It was scorching today so it was quite hard work walking up and down Rodeo Drive, but it was so cool to be on such an iconic street that has appeared in so many film and TV shows.  It was early on Sunday morning, so none of the shops were open sadly, but it was pretty quiet so we took loads of photos.  We also saw the iconic Beverly Wilshire Hotel made famous in the movie Pretty Woman, which was at one end of Rodeo Drive.  If we had gone later in the day I would have definitely gone to The Cheesecake Factory in the next street and also to the Paley Centre which is close by as it had a CSI exhibition (sadly it wasn’t open when we were in the area later in the week). 

After Rodeo Drive we stopped off at The Beverly Centre which is a reasonably high end shopping mall.  We were disappointed to find out that the food court was no longer there which meant that we were starving while we were there.  We did some shopping at Sephora & Bath & Body works which made up for the lack of food.  You can check out my B&BW haul here and my Sephora haul here.

Our next stop was The Grove which is a great outdoor shopping place and also a food market.  Here we found the wonderful Honest Beauty store and picked up a few things (check out my haul here).  I also got my hands on the Lorac Pro Palette at Nordstroms.  I wish that we had spent more time here but it was so hot that we wanted to go back to the hotel to rest.  I would definitely recommend going to The Grove if you ever visit LA.

The rest of the day was spent wandering along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, checking out Sephora and Victoria’s Secret at the Hollywood and Highland Shopping Centre near the hotel and eating a wonderful Ice Cream Sundae at Ghirardelli’s across the road.


Day 2
Today we did the downtown loop (Purple Route) on the Hop On Hop Off bus where we saw places such as MacArthur Park which had a lake that was full of massive beach balls.   
We also went back on the Red Route bus and stopped off at LACMA and the La Brea Tar pits.  These were both well worth the trip, the La Brea Tar Pits are so weird, all that tar constantly bubbling to the surface and details of the animals that got caught in the pits.  I think there was a small earth tremor while we were wandering around the pits, but I can’t be sure as no one else reacted to it at all.  I'm not sure what else it could have been though.
Day 3
Still on the Hop on Hop Off Tour Bus (this time the Yellow Route) we made our way down to the beach at Santa Monica.  Again it was another scorching day and we wandered along the iconic Santa Monica Pier.  We tried to walk along to Venice Beach, but it was so hot we gave up and made our way back to Santa Monica to check out the shops and have a great burger at a place I cannot recall the name of.  After spending half a day in Santa Monica, I believe we had a quick pit stop at the Beverly Centre again and then headed back to Hollywood to spend the evening there.  Unfortunately, there were no film premieres at the time we were there (the previous trip we had seen the Bad Grandpa premiere).
The hop on hop off bus tour is well worth doing as it takes you to a lot of the main tourist attractions and you pass loads of minor attractions as well.

Day 4
The next day we had booked the VIP Tour of Universal Studios.  This was easy to get to on the subway as it’s just a few stops away.  The VIP tour starts with a lovely breakfast buffet, so I would advise you to get there early to fill your boots.  We were then introduced to our tour guide and given a rundown of the schedule.  I think there were about 12 of us with our tour guide and there were loads of other different parties with the other guides.  I’m pretty sure we started off with the backstage tour which literally takes you backstage to where loads of filming takes place (The Mindy Project was one).  We got to go on a soundstage for Eva Longoria's new TV show and we were allowed to go on the actual sets which was great (you don’t get to do this if you are not on the VIP tour).  We were also allowed to get off the minibus to wander around some of the outdoor film sets which are used for general backdrops in loads of tv shows and movies.  Sadly we didn’t see any filming on this particular day.  

We also went through the King Kong 3D ride which is amazing.  The Fast & Furious 3D ride had only just opened so we were excited to do this.  I have to say that the concept was great, but it just wasn’t as good as King Kong.  The images were not as sharp.  I still enjoyed it though.  We then went on The Simpsons, before heading for the VIP lunch.  This is another all you can eat buffet which is amazing quality and there is loads of choice.  You won’t go hungry no matter what your dietary requirements are.  

The afternoon was filled up with all the remaining rides including Transformers,  The Mummy, Jurassic Park and Despicable Me.  We also had great seats to a couple of shows.  One of which was Waterworld which is amazing (even though the film is not so good apparently) and the casts interaction with the audience at the start of the show is very funny.

After Waterworld we were then on our own until the park closed, so we went on The Mummy & Transformers again before calling it a very long day.  We left the park, but not before picking up a Giant Donut from the Simpsons area.
We then browsed City Walk and grabbed a slice of pizza and a fro-yo before heading back to the hotel.
Day 5
We had booked a couple of additional tours, A Movie Location tour and City Tour By Night for today.  The Movie Location tour took us around lots of movie locations (does what it says on the tin). Playing clips of the movies that had been filmed in some of the places we went too.  We did find this covered a lot of older movies that we hadn't seen so although it was an interesting tour I wouldn't do it again.  We did get to go inside the Bradbury Building and Union Station which was interesting.  We also went past the hotel which was featured in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts character lived and Richard Gere climbed up the stairs to reach her at the end of the movie.
The Pretty Woman Building
Finally we went on the City Tour By Night.  This was a great experience as there were only about 5 of us on the tour and we went to places we hadn't had a chance to go to before or at least hasn't seen at night.  The highlight was The Griffiths Observatory. We got the opportunity to wander around for 15 minutes and I loved it here.  It was great to take in the views and see LA by night.  I think this tour lasted 4 hours so we did fit in loads.  We also went to a lookout point to view the Hollywood sign as well.

Day 6 
Gutted this was the last day.  We hung around Hollywood for a while and had a bite to eat where I think I had the worst Subway sandwich ever.  It was just piles of fatty meat.  I took one bite and chucked it away it was so bad.  We then decided to head back to Universal Studios to look around City Walk.  We spent a good 3 hours here checking out the shops and heading back to Yogurtland for a fro-yo.  I really loved this place as you got to put whatever you wanted in your bowl, any flavour of fro-yo and any toppings you wanted.  I thought it would cost a fortune but it was really cheap for the amount I put in. I would definitely recommend this place if you get a chance to visit.  

Once done at City Walk we headed back to the hotel to await the shuttle to take us to LAX.  I must admit we got there in plenty of time for our flight, but a couple of Americans both missed their flights as the company obviously hadn't scheduled their pick up for the right times.  I would recommend booking a shuttle to and from the airport as it saves a lot of money, but make sure they schedule your pick up with plenty of time for you to get to the airport in case there are a number of pick ups after you.

The flight was uneventful as I think I dosed off for a lot of it as I don't remember them coming around with the food (who can eat on a plane at midnight).  

I really enjoyed this holiday.  We fit so much in and could still go back and do loads more.  I would definitely recommend LA as a place to visit.  I know many people hate Hollywood, but it is a great base to visit lots of other places.

Hope you have enjoyed reading about my travels.  Part 1 & 2 are here and here if you want to check them out.


Leighlee


Saturday, 9 April 2016

Youth To The People Kale + Green Spinach Vitamins Age Prevention Cleanser Review

I came across the brand Youth To The People when I bought a beauty box from A Beautiful World.   Included in the box was the Kale + Green Spinach Vitamins Age Prevention Cleanser and I really like it.  Now it’s not cheap and I don’t usually spend over £30 for a cleanser, but this Kale + Green Tea cleanser lasts ages as you only need to apply a little bit of product every time you cleanse.  It's £34 (yikes) for 8oz (approx 237ml). 
Youth To The People Kale + Green Spinach Vitamins Age Prevention Cleanser Review

What I like about this cleanser is that it's packed full of antioxidant ingredients like kale, spinach and green tea and it protects you from free radicals and environmental stresses.  Just apply a small amount to your damp face and it creates a slight lather that cleanses the dirt and toxins from your pores.  It has a very light fresh scent and once you rinse it off it does not leave your skin feeling tight and dry.

The Kale + Green Spinach Vitamins Age Prevention Cleanser is made from 100% vegan ingredients, no fragrance, no parabens, no animal testing and no added colour.

The creators of this Californian brand were inspired by their grandma, who created her own skincare line over 30 years ago.  They have taken this inspiration and modernised it to make their own skincare line that applies the benefits of superfoods and science together. 

You can buy it at A Beautiful World

Have your tried any products from Youth To The People?

Leighlee
I bought this product with my own money

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

REN Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift Review

I was thrilled when I won REN Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift through the Thirty Plus twitter chat when they were holding a REN Q&A session.  I have always has dark circles and puffiness under my eyes, so I couldn't wait to try out this product.
REN Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift
It's a gel like serum that instantly lifts and brightens the delicate eye area and visibly diminishes dark circles and puffiness.  You just apply a small amount of the product over the eye contour and eyelid, gently massaging it in until it's all absorbed. It can also be reapplied over moisturiser and makeup throughout the day.

I've used it for a few weeks now and it's a great product to use on a morning to brighten up my eye area. I also reapply it a couple of times throughout the day just for a quick pick me up, as it does make a noticeable difference.

I haven't seen any permanent reduction in my fine lines but I will keep using this product to see if there is any improvement longer term.

I do like this REN product as it just gives that instant lift to the skin around my eyes which I desperately need on a morning after dragging myself reluctantly out of bed.  I think this would be a great addition to my travel bag as well as it will be just the thing to use during a long haul flight.

The ingredients are listed on the REN website here.

REN Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift costs £30 for 15ml.

REN uses 100% plant and mineral derived actives and is free from skin-unfriendly synthetic ingredients, so is a great brand to add to your skincare routine if you want to use natural products.

Leighlee

I won this product but the opinions are my own





Saturday, 2 April 2016

Victoria's Secret Very Sexy Now Eau De Parfum Review

I had a £10 reward card to use at Victoria's Secret, so I popped into the Leeds store to have a browse and see if anything took my fancy.  I love the Victoria's Secret fragrances, so I was spraying a few to test them out when one of the sales assistants let me know about their new fragrance called Very Sexy Now. 
Victoria's Secret Very Sexy Now Eau De Parfum Review

As soon as I sprayed it I knew that I was going to buy it as it smells so summery and reminds me of holidays.  I was told that it contained coconut water, which is why it reminds me of holidays.  It does smell of coconuts, but it's not overpowering. It also contains pink lotus and warm sand accord and overall is a lovely light fragrance that is perfect for a summery day (not that we get too many of those in the UK).  I love the pretty blue packaging which is reminiscent of a lovely beach scene with the perfect blue sky and sea.  There's also a cute pink tassel attached to the bottle.

I knew I wanted to buy it, so I was pretty happy when I found out that it was on special offer today for £10 instead of the usual £16 for the 7ml EDP spray.  I love these small sprays as they are the perfect size to carry around in my bag. Happy days.

Have you tried any of the Victoria's Secret perfumes?

Leighlee
I bought this product with my own money