Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Things to do in Leeds - Ice Cube Leeds Jan/Feb 2016

Ice Cube Leeds is back for 2016.  This pop up complex can be found in Millennium Square in Leeds City Centre and is open until Sunday 21st February 2016.  You can find the following attractions:

Ice Cube Leeds 2016
* Outdoor real ice rink with accessible skating for all abilities

* Nursery rink for children aged 8 and under
* Capital FM Snowslide
* North Pole Starflyer
* Dolomites Café by Casa Mia

I tried out the ice skating and had a thoroughly great time.  Sadly I don't glide along the ice like a professional, but I did stay on my feet which was a major achievement and I managed to lap my sister a few times as she struggled to find her balance.  It's a great form of exercise as well and I have swapped one of my weekend gym sessions for an ice skating session which makes my exercise routine a bit more interesting.  
Ice Cube Leeds 2016
The very attractive ice skates
Ice skating sessions last an hour and cost £8.50 for adults and £6.50 for children under 12 (this includes skate hire).  There are also various concessions available.  Skating sessions start from 10:30am on a weekend and during school holidays and from 1pm through the week.  You can find further details on the Ice Cube Website.

Have you been taking part in any winter sports?

I have not been paid for this post.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

L'Occitane Freebie Jan 2016

I just thought I would do a quick post to let you know about a great L'Occitane freebie that is on offer at the moment.  If you sign up using this link (this is not a referral link) you  can get this great freebie.
L'Occitane Freebie Jan 2016
The set includes:

  • Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream 8ml
  • Shea Butter Hand Cream £10ml
  • Limited Edition Tin
You can collect this free instore or online with any other purchase.

I thought this was a lovely little gift set.  I don't find that the ladies at the counter try and hard sell you any other products, although they do mention that you can get £10 off a £40 spend but they don't push this.

Offer lasts until 14th February 2016 or until stocks last.


Saturday, 23 January 2016

It's All About The Lips- My Favourite Lip Products

I am not blessed with lush, full lips, so I tend not to wear really dark shades on my lips.  They also get quite dry, so I am yet to brave a matte lip.  That being said, I do love lipsticks and glosses so here are some of my favourite lip products.
It's All About The Lips- My Favourite Lip Products
To keep my dry lips in tip top condition, I love using Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream overnight as it guarantees that my lips look and feel moisturised every morning.  Right now it's £11.95 for 50ml at Fragrance Direct. 

If my lips are feeling particularly, dry then I use Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub.  It's pretty much sugar and tastes really sweet (not sure if you are supposed to lick it off your lips, but it tastes so nice).  It's £5.50 for 25g.

I don't use lip pencils every day, but when I do I reach for Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk.  It's a neutral pinky colour that is a shade darker than my natural lip colour and it's creamy consistency makes it easy to apply and it lasts a good amount of time on my lips.  It's £16 for 1.2g.

If I am wearing lipstick, then my favourites are Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in shade number 08, which is a dark pink neutral shade which is great for daytime (It's £5.49 in Superdrug at the moment). I also like Chantecaille Tinted Lip Sunscreen in Sardinia, as it's a subtle sheer wash of colour and feels moisturising on my lips. It's expensive though at £32. 

More often that not I wear lipgloss and my favourites are L'Oreal Glam Shine Liquid Lip Colour in Mercury Crystal which is a lovely shiny dark pink shade which is perfect when I go out.  I can't find this particular shade available to buy, but Fragrance Direct sell other shades for £2.49.  

I love lip oils and my favourites are YSL Volupte Tint-In-Oil in Peach Me Love. This is a lovely subtle coral colour that keeps my lips feeling soft and looking good. It's £23.50.  For a cheaper alternative I like Sephora Oil Infusion in the shade Iced Coffee.  This is $14.

Finally, for lip balms that I can carry around in my bag I like to use Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 (£9.50 for 15ml) and Nuxe Reve de Miel (£9.50 for 15ml) as both are very moisturising and nourishing.

What are your favourite lip products?  If you are interested I also posted about my favourite eye products (It's All About The Eyes) here.

I bought these with my own money.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

My Empties

I was checking out my empties the other day and was really pleased with the amount of products I have used up in the last couple of months.  These are the last empties for 2015.  I have tried really hard not to buy unnecessary products and I'm on a spending ban in January (see my 2016 challenges here).  I just have so many products to use up I really have no need for any more but it's so hard to resist especially when there are great offers on.  

Anyway here's what have used up and what I think of them.
Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir - This is the only Jo Malone fragrance that I own and it was a really nice, strong fragrance that lasted for hours on my skin. I would like to try other Jo Malone fragrances, so I won't repurchase this one for a while.
Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh - I love all Marc Jacobs Daisy fragrances and Eau So Fresh is the perfect spring/summer fragrance.  It's so subtle and light. I have loads of perfumes in my stash so I won't be repurchasing this one until I have whittled down my stash to a more manageable level.
Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Sleep Lavender Vanilla Bath Soak and Lavender Chamomile Body Wash and Foam Bath.   I bought these on a previous trip to Florida, as I always like to do one big shop at Bath and Body Works.  It's one of my favourite shops over there.  I didn't think there was anything special about the Bath Soak so I wouldn't repurchase, but I did like the Body Wash (I didn't use it is a bath foam) and would repurchase that again as it did smell nice and gave a nice lather.
I received Champneys Oriental Opulence shower Cream in a gift set and whilst it was nice and I would be happy enough to receive it as a gift, I would not go out of my way to repurchase it.
I get through a ton of hand cream at work and L'Occitane are one of my favourites.  These Cherry Blossom ones smelled lovely.  I'm not sure if I would repurchase as they are quite expensive, but I would if there was a deal on.
I love, love, love the Bath & Body Works PocketBac Anti-Bacterial Hand Gels and this Fresh Sparkling Snow Fragrance was very nice.  I will stock up on them next time I am in the US as they were 5 for $6 and they are so handy to keep in my bag.
The Body Shop Satsuma Hand Cleanse Gel.  I love these hand sanitisers, they smell so lovely.  I always have one in my bag and one in the car.  I would definitely repurchase again.  I get them from the Body Shop Outlet 4 for £6.
Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter is lovely and thick so it's perfect for winter.
I received this Rituals Rice Scrub Organic Rice Milk & Cherry Blossom Calming Body Scrub in a beauty box and I thought it was pretty good.  I will definitely be checking out some more products from Rituals.

Maple Holistics Argan Shampoo* and Silk 18 Conditioner*.  I wrote a review here.  I do like these products they worked really well. I would repurchase them again if I could order them from the website to deliver to the UK, if it was a reasonable price for delivery.  At the moment you can get them on Amazon but the costs are quite high.

Palmer's Coconut Oil Formula Strong Roots.  This soothes itchy scalps, so I may buy it again if I feel the need.
Phyto Phytolisse Perfect Smoothing Shampoo - This is ok, but nothing special, so I don't think I will bother to repurchase, although I think I have some more in my stash anyway.
On the other hand, I really liked Phyto Phytolisse Express Smoothing Mask, which left my hair less frizzy.
I got a couple of samples of The Body Deli Living Hair Shampoo & Conditioner from A Beautiful World Sampler Box.  They only lasted 1 wash on my thick curly hair, so I can't really make a decision on whether I would buy them again based on 1 go.
Umberto Giannini Overnight Beauty Moisture Balm was a great product for a lazy person like me, as you apply it and keep it on overnight and it does not have to be rinsed out the next day.  I applied it to my dry ends and it did make them less frizzy.
Organic Surge Orange Flower Toner.  I won this from a giveaway on Beauty Balms blog I think and it's a nice, fresh toner.
L'Occitane Angelica Cleansing Gel.  This is a great cleanser that cleans your skin without leaving it feeling tight and dry. 
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist.  This is a mini and I used this on the flight to and from LA.  I found it really nice to spritz my face throughout the trip and it didn't feel as dehydrated as normal.  I would definitely repurchase this again.  I do love face sprays. I don't know if they really do anything long term, but I just find them nice to spray on my face when I'm travelling or it's really hot weather.
Scaramouche & Fandango Face Scrub.  This is another beauty box acquisition that works really well and is not harsh on your face.
I love Origins face masks and this Clear Improvement charcoal mask is great for cleaning out my pores.
Darphin Intensive Skin-Hydrating Serum.  This sample wasn't really big enough to form an opinion about how good it works.
Oskia Renaissance Mask.  Im not sure where I got this from I think probably one of the GWP Goody bags from Harvey Nichols.  This was a lovely mask to use when you are having a relaxing bath.  I thought my skin looked and felt better after using this 1-2 times a week.  I wouldn't repurchase it straight away as it is expensive and I have got  a lot of masks to use up but I would use it again if I got the opportunity.
Lancome Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector.  This was a sample size so I didn't really see any change to my skin in the time I used it, as I wasn't using it for long enough.

So that's my final empties from 2015. In 2015 I posted 3 empties posts. Looking back I'm pleased with the amount of products I've used, but it has barely made a dent in my stash.  I plan to keep on trying to use my stash as much as possible rather than buy new products (at least until I go on holiday) , but I can't promise anything as there's so many nice products out there.

I bought these with my own money unless *.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Its All About The Eyes - My Favourite Eye Products

I am all about the eyes right now when I apply my makeup, so I thought I would let you know about some eye products that I really like at the moment. These are my go to products for an easy to apply casual look.
Its All About The Eyes - My Favourite Eye Products
Eye Primer - Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (£16 for 10ml)
Eye primer is a must for me as I have oily eyelids and I find that when I use Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion even cream shadows stay put and do not crease.
 Max Factor Excess Shimmer Copper
Cream Shadow - Max Factor Excess Shimmer (£7.99 for 7g)
This product is so easy to apply with my finger rather than messing around with a brush and I find that a sweep over the eyelids is sufficient for a easy, but great look through the day and night.  I have the shades Copper and Bronze.
Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick in Brunette
Eyebrow Pencil - Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick (£16.50 for 0.2g)
My eyebrows are not of the Cara Delevigne variety.  Mine are the opposite of full and thick, they are sparse and faint, so an eyebrow pencil is a must to fill them in.  The Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick has a very smooth, creamy consistency so is easy to apply and it stays in place without smudging.  There is a brush at the end of the pencil to tidy up your brows which is handy.  Mine is in the shade Brunette.  I bought this as part of a Sephora haul that I posted about here.
Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara
Mascara - Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara (this is currently £5.99 in Boots).
This is my new favourite mascara (and I must have about 20 in my stash).  I am so glad that I picked this up in LA.  It promises false lashes and I really think that it delivers.  I cannot apply false lashes to save my life, so this mascara is a great alternative.  It definitely lengthens my lashes and it doesn’t clump or flake or leave smudges on my eyelids.  I bought this as part of a drug store haul from LA which I posted about here.
Charlotte Tilbury Rock N Kohl Iconic Liquid Eye Pencil in Barbarella Brown
Eye Pencil - Charlotte Tilbury Rock N Kohl Iconic Liquid Eye Pencil (£19 for 1.2g)
This dark brown pencil has a creamy consistency that glides across my lid and does not drag.  It stays in place and makes eye liner easy to apply.  The shade is Barbarella Brown.

So that's my eye routine, none of the products are overly expensive and are available on the highstreet.  They are all easy to use and give great results. Considering I have hooded, oily eyelids, I love the fact that these products don't smudge and disappear throughout the day.

What are your favourite eye products?

I bought these with my own money.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Maple Holistics Vitamin C Anti Aging Serum Review

I posted back in October about some Maple Holistics Products I had been sent to try out here.   I also got the opportunity to try out Maple Holistics Vitamin C Anti Aging Serum which I have been using for awhile now.
Maple Holistics Vitamin C Anti Aging Serum
Maple Holistics Vitamin C Anti Aging Serum is easy to use.  The product has a pipette that dispenses just the right amount of product for your face and neck. It sinks in really quickly and does not leave a greasy residue on the skin.  It also has a very light barely there fragrance.  I use this morning and night and apply a moisturiser on top.

This is what Maple Holistics has to say about the product:
Vitamin C Facial Serum is an anti-aging premium which takes the traditional concept of topically applying Vitamin C and provides a boost of therapeutic ingredients to maximize effectiveness and sustainability. The superior anti-aging benefits of the serum can help correct the fallacies of aging skin to result in a toned, youthful and healthy face.

I did really like this serum.  For those of you in the US it costs $11.77 for 30ml.  Some of their products are also on Amazon but the prices are higher.

I included some info on the company in my previous post so I won't repeat it here but if you want to read more about them please check out my previous post here.


*I received this product free but my review is completely my own and I was not paid for this post.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Christmas Sales Haul - Lush & M&S

I was really good this year and didn't go mad in the Christmas sales for a change. Here is a quick post on my purchases.

Roger & Gallet Gingembre Rouge Fragrance Set.  I have been wanting this set for a while, so it was great that it was included in the M&S sale.  The set includes - Perfume 30ml & Body Lotion 50ml. Reduced from £17 to £8.50.
Roger & Gallet Gingembre Rouge Fragrance Set
Savanna Escape Sunset Bliss Fragranced Diffuser 100ml.  Reduced from £12.50 to £6.25. 
Savanna Escape Sunset Bliss Fragranced Diffuser
Rush Salon Flex & Form Flexible Hold Hairspray 250ml.  Reduced from £6 to £3. I haven't tried this brand before, so I picked the hairspray up as I have never really found a hairspray that I want to stick with.  I'm always on the lookout for a really good one.
Savanna Escape Sunset Bliss Fragranced Diffuser
Lush Christmas Bathtime Favourites Box Set £19.98.  I picked this set up as it has 10 bathbombs in it which are my favourite lush products and I love to try as many as I can.
 Lush Christmas Bathtime Favourites Box Set
Lush 6 Golden Wonder Bath Bombs £11.88 and 2 Star Dust Bath Bombs £2.96, Golden Wonder Bath Bombs are my absolute faves.
Golden Wonder and Star Dust Bath Bombs
Lush Butterbear Tin with 6 Bath Bombs £7.48.  You can't go wrong with Butterbear Bath Bombs.
Lush Butterbear Tin
2 Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gels 615g £12.76.  This is my favourite Shower Gel, I wish it was around all year.
Snow Fairy Shower Gel

It definitely wasn't a big shop as I want to be able to use everything this year , rather than add it to my stash.  I'm not sure it was worth the hassle of buying from the Lush website, as it crashed all day and it took me until 12.45am to finally put through my order, but I just couldn't be bothered to queue outside Lush in the morning.  I really wish they would open their shops at a decent time on Boxing day like most of the other shops.

Did you anything good in the Christmas Sales?

I bought these with my own money.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Superdrug Optimum PhytoDeluxe Indulgent Day Cream & Comforting Night Cream Review

I have been using Superdrug Optimum PhytoDeluxe Indulgent Day Cream* & Comforting Night Cream* for a few weeks now.    This has been specifically formulated for women aged 40+. I love the fact that although these skincare products are marketed to the 40+ market, it doesn't use the typical 'Anti-Aging' message to sell it. I do like to take care of my skin and for as long as I can remember I have used skincare products.  I think my skin definitely has benefited from looking after it as I do like to think that I don't look my age (not that it would matter if I did).
Superdrug Optimum PhytoDeluxe Indulgent Day Cream & Comforting Night Cream Review
Since using Superdrug Optimum PhytoDeluxe Indulgent Day Cream & Comforting Night Cream I have found that my skin is well moisturised.  I don't have any dry areas on my face either which can happen when I use  some other moisturisers. They are both easy to apply, just one pump is sufficient for one application on the face and neck. It absorbs into my skin really quickly and does not leave behind a greasy residue, which some creams especially night creams do.  It has a very light fragrance which is barely noticeable.   The day cream is also SPF15 which is really important, even with the rubbish British weather.

Both products carry the Cruelty Free International stamp which is great.
Superdrug Optimum PhytoDeluxe Indulgent Day Cream & Comforting Night Cream

Now comes the science bit.

PhytoDeluxe combines the luxury of precious Platinum Matrix-EM - a mixture of platinum particles with a potent terapeptide.  This ingredient has been clinically proven to boost the synthesis of collagen I and II in the skin. It also contains Black Diamond Truffle which is rich in amino acids and helps to tone the skin and improve its moisture balance.  These ingredients are included in some high end skincare products priced at over £200, so it's great to see them in a high street brand.

Superdrug Optimum PhytoDeluxe Indulgent Day Cream & Comforting Night Cream normally retail for £14.99 each, but are currently on offer for half price. I really like that Superdrug are offering quality products with high end ingredients, at high street prices.

Overall I really like these products.  They work well on my skin, come in nice packaging and are affordable.


*I received these products free but my review is completely my own and I was not paid for this post.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

My Challenges for 2016

I like to set myself some challenges at the start of every year and I am going to list my 2016 challenges in this post.  If you want to find out how I did on my challenges for 2015 you can find out here.  This is what I want to achieve in 2016:
  1. Spending ban from 4th January to 31st March 2016.  I have spent so much on makeup and toiletries in December 2015, in order to take advantage of all the great offers that are around at this time of year.  I am going to have a complete spending ban from the start of the year for 3 months.
  2. Nano Keratin Treatment - I have finally found a hairdresser that I like, so I will be definitely be booking this for early 2016.
  3. Pay off credit card - I want to get my credit card balance to 0 this year.
  4. Books - I want to finish 10 books that I already own this year.
  5. DVDs - I want to watch 25 DVDs that I already own and decide whether to keep them or give them away.
  6. Weight - I would like to lose 1 stone this year.  Once I achieve this I will set myself another target.
  7. Wear a dress to work - I always wear trousers to work, so I want to wear at least one dress this year.
  8. I am not much of a cook, but I want to try out 10 new recipes this year.
  9. I want to declutter 100 items from my home this year and either sell them, give them away or throw them out.
  10. I eat a lot of junk food so I want to give up fizzy drinks & chocolate for at least 30 days each this year.
What are your challenges for 2016?


Friday, 1 January 2016

An Update On My Challenges for 2015

I set myself some challenges back in 2015 and I just wanted to post an update on how I did with my challenges.
  1. Top of the list is to lose weight - FAILED.  This was my biggest failure of the year and if I'm honest I didn't even try and I am probably slightly heavier than I was at the start of last year.  This is going to be my main challenge for 2016.
  2. I want to have 3 no spend months this year.  The no spends are on unnecessary items such as makeup, toiletries, clothes, shoes, accessories and jewellery.  It does not include food, drink, petrol or going out - COMPLETED.
  3. I want to use up 10 makeup items.  I find that makeup is the hardest thing to use up, so I will pick 10 items to fully use up. This is like the Project 10 Pan Challenge that appeared on You Tube a few years ago - COMPLETED
  4. Go for a proper bra fitting.  This may not seem like much of a challenge, but I have never had a bra fitting, so I think I really should this year and find out if I am wearing the correct size bra.  COMPLETED
  5. I want to improve the look of my teeth and I think I will start by trying to get them whiter.  I am going to try a few toothpastes and whitening strips to see if they make any difference and then if not I think I will look at having them professionally whitened - FAILED.  I have tried a few whitening toothpastes, but nothing as made any difference.
  6. I have got to do something with my hair this year, as it just seems to be getting frizzier.  I am going to look into Brazilian Blowdrys and other straightening treatments and see what looks like the best option. FAILED but I have now found a hairdresser that I like, so I will be booking something in for 2016.
  7. I want to learn how to ski.  I have only been to an indoor ski slope once and I was not a natural talent by any means, but I see little kids swooping down the slope and I think if they can do it so can I, so I am going to give it another go this year.  I also want to have another go at Ice Skating as I walked past the Ice Rink outside the Natural History Museum in London a month ago and I really wanted to give it a go, but I didn't have the time. FAILED on the skiing as I didn't get around to booking any lessons, but I did go ice skating 3 times.  Sadly I was more Bambi than Torvill & Dean.
  8. Have false eyelashes put on professionally, because I have always wanted to try that out. FAILED I did try out some false lashes at home, but I am not very good at putting them on.
  9. Improve the condition of my nails as they are in really bad condition at the moment so they definitely need some TLC. I did have some success with this as my nails did grow after using some products, but they are now looking pretty short again, so I will have to spend some more time on them in 2016.
  10. Find a hairdresser that I really like and go more regularly -  COMPLETED I have now found a hairdresser that I like, so will go more regularly in 2016.
So I completed 5 and failed 5 which is not great, but at least I did complete some.  I have posted my 2016 challenges here.  What are your challenges and goals for 2016?


Beauty Advent Calendars 21 - 24

Happy New Year everyone.

Admittedly this is a bit delayed as Christmas is over, but better late then never I hope.  I haven't been too well over the Christmas break so all my good intentions around the blog fell by the wayside, but I just wanted to show you what I received in my advent calendars in the last week before Christmas.

Here's days 21 - 24 of my Advent Calendars (see what else was in the calendars here, here and here).

In the Clarins Advent Calendar I received (clockwise from top):
  • Hand and Nail Treatment Cream - 8ml
  • HydraQuench Cream - 5ml
  • Beauty Flash Balm - 5ml
  • Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm - 15ml
 Clarins Advent Calendar

In the Kerastase Advent Calendar I received:
  • Cristalliste Bain Cristal Luminous Perfecting Shampoo - 30ml
  • Elixir Ultime Solid Serum - 18ml
  • Cristalliste Lait Cristal Luminous Perfecting Conditioner - 20ml
  • Elixir Ultime Rich Shampoo - 30ml
Kerastase Advent Calendar

Finally, this is what I received in the M&S Advent Calendar:
  • Pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner - 100ml
  • REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial - 15ml
  • Stila Lip Glaze Sugar Plum - 1.5ml
  • Morgan Taylor Nail Polish Pretty Woman - 15ml
M&S Advent Calendar

I must admit I love Beauty Advent Calendars and it's been great to try out some new ones this year.   So the big question is what did I think of them and would I buy them next year.  

I think Charlotte Tilbury was a great Advent Calendar, it was expensive, but it's a great opportunity to try a number of different products without paying for a full size one so I'm really glad I got it.  I'm not sure if I would buy it again next year as it's so expensive unless there were a number of new products included that I don't already own.

Clarins was a bit of a disappointment to be honest.  They were really small samples for the most part, so although I do like Clarins products and it's great to try them all out and I will use them all, it just felt kind of a let down.  I think £60 is a lot of money for this calendar and it wasn't great value.  So this would not be one I would purchase again next year.

Kerastase Advent Calendar was reduced when I bought it (£37.60 instead of £80).  If it had been full price I don't think I would have bothered.  It's great to be able to try out a number of their products, but most of the samples are going to last me one or 2 washes.  I may purchase it again if it's reduced, but definitely not full price.

M&S is my favourite out of them all.  It was a fab price and I felt like I got so many decent sized products.  I really looked forward to opening it each day.  I would definitely purchase this again next year as it has fantastic products at a great price.

Which was your favourite Advent Calendar?


I bought these with my own money.