I went to sleep in London and woke up in LA + Giveaway!

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 14.41.18We were treated with a lovely mild Christmas and an easy start to the year. However, over the last few weeks, the temperatures have plummeted, leaving my fingers numb and my thoughts on the far away summer holidays I have planned.

To keep in good spirits, I’ve been wandering around with braids in my hair and bright nails, trying to not let the cold weather get on top of me. I know this season is lovely to many – but I love the summer the most and I hate being cold (my house is a constant, balmy 28 degrees…!). I’ve also been sporting something else usually only likely to be seen in the summer months…a tan.

I’ve been lucky enough to be sent some new products from Madame LA LA and have been testing them over the last few weeks. I have tried the Madame LA LA Tan in Light (£30) and also the Madame LA LA West Coast Face Tan (£25). The range is a “’dynamic do-all’ face and body tan, infused with a Hollywood must have Coco Water”.

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About the brand

Madame LA LA is an exclusive self-tanning skincare brand and celebrity favourite inspired by LA, Malibu beach, the Hollywood lifestyle, wellbeing, slimming and of course, the anti-ageing rule! A combination of Coco Water and hydrating skincare benefits Aloe, Green Tea and Vitamin E infused into a beachy coconut fragrance work to tan, detox, smooth and slim whilst emulating a quintessential ‘LA tan’ with style.”

I’ve got to say, I’m super impressed!

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The body tan comes in a mousse form, which goes on smoothly and is easily blended in (after the necessary exfoliation beforehand). There is no stickiness and I was able to get dressed fairly quickly afterwards. The tan developed overnight (or over 10 hours) and I woke up with a nicely bronzed body (which I had to cover up with jeans and a jumper due to, you know, the UK in general, but at least I know I was tan!).

I was a little frightened by the face tan. It comes out of the bottle in a more liquid / lotion form and it was HELLA DARK. I put it on bit by bit and found I had nothing to worry about. The lotion blended nicely and the colour dissipated into a nice natural glow.

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I’ve used it around three times since receiving the products and have only had to reapply once a week to keep that level of colour constant. It stays put and doesn’t come off in streaks – rather fading gently, which is a massive plus.

My boyfriend knows when I’m wearing fake tan. Not from how I look, but he’ll look at me quizzically and say: “You smell like biscuits”. Not so with Madame LA LA! It’s a subtle, pleasant smell and not biscuity at all (thank god!).

The only thing I’d mention is that the bottle states you ‘can’ use a mitt.

ABSOLUTELY USE A MITT.

I didn’t on my first go and walked about with brown palms for days (proof of the staying power, though!). Rookie error on my part, but perhaps this should be expressively stated on the package!

I’ll be happily using this over the next few months, leading up to summer. That is, if we have one. However, if the British skies let us down (again), at least no one will know I’ve not been away.

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Giveaway

Want to get your hands on this collection? Simply like or leave a short comment on this post. For an extra chance to win, follow me on Twitter (make sure you message me to let me know that’s why you’ve followed!). I thought this would be a great way to get to know some of you better too.

The winner will be announced on Friday 18th March and the products will be sent straight to you!

 

*Review || Simplee Aloe

Aloe Vera has been the ‘in’ health thing for a while.

The use of Aloe Vera dates back to ancient Egypt, when people drank it for its powerful healing benefits. It contains over 200 active components, including Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E, as well as calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, folic acid and niacin – pretty bloody healthy!

In the past, my mum spent a lot of money on an aloe-based drink you take in shots. No wonder you have to neck it like that – it was absolutely heinous. Since then, I’ve stayed well clear.

However, I got the chance to try some drinks from Simplee Aloe this week and I was pleasantly surprised!

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Simplee Aloe is a delicious new drink that’s packed with all the goodness of Aloe (but doesn’t taste gross!)

It is never from concentrate, contains no artificial flavours or preservatives and only uses naturally occurring ingredients.

I drank the Mango and Apple one in the morning. It was a really pleasant taste! However, I preferred the Grape and Lemon one – that was a lovely refresher in the afternoon at my desk.

Designed for busy, active people wanting to be healthy, the grab-and-go bottles are easy to drink on the move, at home  or at the office! Simplee Aloe is the perfect summer drink for anyone wanting to stay fresh and hydrated.

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I also asked my other half how he liked it. He went: “Oh. Urghh. It’s not exactly very thick is it?”.

No, I said, but it’s supposed to be refreshing, not thick like a smoothie. “Oh then,” he said, “I do like it after all. Very refreshing. Can I have the other one?”.

Pick a bottle up at your supermarket to try it, or follow them on Twitter here –  you won’t regret it!

*If we live until we’re 80, we have 4160 Tuesdays.

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 09.57.23“Hello. We’re a microperfumery. We like to create perfume that reminds people of happy times and interesting places.  We handmake our fragrances in London, in batches of 50-200 bottles, using methods that were popular from the 1880s to the 1970s. If our scents remind you of your long lost favourites, that’s probably why.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 10.11.13That’s how Perfumers 4160 Tuesdays introduce themselves and it’s perfect. Founded by Acton-based Perfumer Sarah McCartney, 4160 Tuesdays is a British-born, indie and intriguing brand.

I’ve never known anything like it. With names like ‘Sunshine and Pancakes’, ‘Tart’s Knicker Drawer’ and ‘London 1969’, the bottles evoke imagery and sweet memories  even before actually smelling them. And sure enough, they smell divine.

I was so pleased to be able to try so many of Sarah’s different fragrances. The scents were samples from sets such as’The Best of British’, ‘The City Collection’ and ‘Love and Life Stories’.

I cannot possibly pick a favourite, so here are my top three:

  • What I Did On My Holidays4160_tuesdays_what_i_did_on_my_holidays_eau_de_parfum_spray_50ml_1
    • “The scent of the seashore, suntan lotion, exploring small rock pools, sticks of mint rock, candy floss and ice cream – our childhood beach holidays.”
  • Sex Goddess
    • “Gorgeous – bursting with flowers, fruit, musk and sweet softens with a touch of oak moss.”
  • Pillow Talk
    • “The scent of shared secrets. Perfume for when you decide to tell each other everything (almost). It has fresh enthusiastic top notes of yuzu fruit and orange blossom, with woods, white flowers and spices later on.”

I want to share them with family and friends, whilst at the same time selfishly keeping them all to myself because they are all so delightful.

If you’re worried about animal testing, check out their ways and means. You can buy the scents online here, and in specialist fragrance shops in the UK, Europe and America.

Sarah McCartney by Julian Love
Sarah McCartney by Julian Love

 

*Review || iWhite Tooth Whitening Kit

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 16.17.25I was recently contacted by iWhite to try out its five day Teeth Whitening Kit, which claims to lighten teeth by up to seven shades for a brighter, healthier smile.

It’s fairly straightforward. There is no need to clean or boil mouthpieces, mess with syringes or brushes, measure gel or use special toothpastes or rinses. The individually packaged single use whitening trays are one size fits all and designed for optimal convenience and hygiene. This at home treatment should be worn 20 minutes a day during five consecutive days for an “amazingly brighter smile that is up to 7 shades whiter”.

Overall, I wasn’t blown away by this product – but I suppose it’s a lot to expect from a product that doesn’t use bleach. I’ve got fairly bright teeth anyway, so I wonder if this would work better on someone who had more staining?

Here are my pros and cons for this product:

  • Good 
    – Easy to use, no mess
    – Comfortable silicone trays
    – Quick and easy, only 20 minutes for treatment
    – No sensitivity at all – a massive plus!
    – Fairly pleasant taste (a big plus compared to some of the disgusting bleach ones out there!)
  • Not so good
    – No ‘instant’ difference
    – No huge noticeable difference over five consecutive days either – does the lack of bleach affect this?
    – Expensive for the amount of trays received

There’s nothing wrong with this product, per say – but I don’t think it gave the results it guaranteed. In all honesty, it did feel like I was just sitting my teeth in whitening toothpaste for 20 minutes. I wouldn’t waste your money – go to the dentist to get the Essex-esque smile you crave – sorry iWhite!

What’s the best teeth whitening product you’ve ever used?

John Frieda Beach Blonde Detangling Conditioner || LOVE

I am extremely disloyal to conditioner brands, always have been.Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 20.32.44

I’m always very open to trying something new but there are a few things I stick to because I know they work best for me. Garnier Cleansing Wipes to remove my make up for example, or NARS Sheer Glow Foundation. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

For love nor money, I can’t stick to a conditioner. Every time I need to replace one I scour the aisles for the next best thing. I’ve tried all the hype brands for my hair – Aussie, Bed Head, Kerátase. Remember when Horse Shampoo was a thing? Yeah.

There’s always something a bit off. I’ve got very fine hair, but a lot of it. Since I cut five inches off in the Summer, it’s already in a much better condition. However, conditioners often leave my hair dry as a bone or on the flip side, greasy as heeeell. Either stuck to my head or flying all over the place with static. There’s no in-between. The closest I’ve got to a good conditioner that really works for me is Herbal Essence’s Fresh Balance (luv u babes).

BUT I’VE FOUND SOMETHING. John Frieda Beach Blonde Smooth Seas Detangling Conditioner.

I picked a mini travel bottle of this up at Gatwick when we went to Amsterdam. There wasn’t much choice and I didn’t care anyway (I mean, we were going to Amsterdam!). However, I used it once on holiday and used it until it ran out when I got home. I don’t even care to admit that I used a cotton bud to get the last bit out.

I have never really liked ‘blonde’ shampoos, often finding they make my hair dry – but not this one. Aside from its namesake detangling properties, it gives my hair a sheen, and I don’t have to wash my hair for a couple of days whereas usually my hair would get very greasy (seriously – I could keep Batiste in the stock market single-handedly). My hair never usually holds on to scent either, but this conditioner smells fresh, like mint but not quite – and clings to my hair steadfastly. I LOVE it.

Everyone needs a change now and then – but I don’t mind settling down with John Frieda for a while!

£5.99 full size, or £1.99 for the travel size. Buy it now instore or online.