Just Charlie G

I know I’m cutting it fine, but did you know this last week has been Sun Care Awareness week? I think by now, most of us are aware of the damage the sun can do to the skin, but also in terms of our health and premature ageing. Thankfully Insitut Esthederm have got us covered with their sun care range, designed to protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays, while letting you build a long-lasting tan and with anti ageing at the forefront of their products.

The range is pretty extensive, including everything from products to prepare your skin for the sun, such as the Osmoclean range,  through to Moderate Sun formulas and up to No Sun formulas (total sun blocks)  and everything between.

OSMO Pure Cleansing Foam

SUN CARE OIL STRONG SUN

Also available are skin and body care items such as the Micellar After Sun Shower Gel, designed to remove sunscreens, sand, salt and chlorine from your skin whilst offering a moisturising formula.GeleeDeDoucheMicellaireYou’ll also find ranges for sun intolerance and sensitive skin, as well as a range of formulas including lotions and oils. Seriously, the selection is so huge, it’d be impossible to cover them all here, but whatever you need this Summer you’re sure to find something that suits you on offer from Insitut Esthederm.

Do head over to the website, to check out the range and find your nearest stockist.

Gosh, do you remember when micellar waters first reached the UK? Bioderma was absolutely the one to have but it was hard to find for a while. Now of course lots of brands offer micellar water cleansers but for many the original and best will always be Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Cleansing Water. I reviewed it back in 2011 and it’s been a staple on and off ever since. Strangely though I never really looked further into Bioderma products. I’m certainly aware that French Pharmaceutical skin care lines are known to be the best out there and given the enduring popularity of Bioderma Sensibio H20 Cleansing Water, I know that Bioderma are top of the game. With that in mind it’s been a treat to try out Bioderma Sensibio Mild Cleansing Foaming Gel and Hydrabio H20 Micelle Solution.BiodermaStarting with the Hydrabio H20 Micelle Solution.  This alcohol free cleansing water is designed for those of us with sensitive skin and/or dehydration (that’ll be me then). To use, you simply soak a cotton pad with the solution and wipe away impurities and dirt, twice a day. Active ingredients treat congestion and your skin is left comfortable, clean, smooth and hydrated. And I really like it. Although it’s perfectly suitable for removing make up, I wear so much make up I have trust issues, so my preferred way of using this is to remove my makeup with it, then follow up with a face wash. I’m not sure it’s necessary but that’s what I like. Worth also mentioning that if you have sensitive eye (mine are occasionally), this won’t irritate them, it’s incredibly gentle.

Which leads me neatly on to the Bioderma Sensibio Mild Cleansing Foaming Gel. I have been following up the Micelle Solution with this Foaming Gel, and again I’m not sure it’s totally necessary to use both. There have been times where I’ve been really too tired to double cleanse and have just used this, and I have found this removes every last trace of make up with ease. I know there is a school of thought that foaming products aren’t great for the skin, but seriously, I suffer with dryness often when I use the wrong products and I’ve not had a hint of a problem with this cleanser. I’m always going to have skin that leans on the dry side, but I’ve not noticed additional effects. After use, over quite an extended period (two months approx), my skin was left smooth, clean and calm.  A great product and in fact I’ve bought a bottle for Chloe after she tried mine out. She’s ten but starting to get blackheads and spots on her nose, but also suffers with eczema, this has been working a treat for her and as she gets a bit older I will look further into Bioderma products for her delicate skin.

I would recommend both of these products to anyone, but in particular if you suffer dryness and or sensitive skin, these products work really well to leave your skin feeling clean but without that tight dry feeling you can sometimes get after cleansing.

Bioderma Sensibio Mild Cleansing Foaming Gel is £10.50 for 200ml and the Hydrabio H20 Micelle Solution is £5.10 for 100ml or £10.80 for 250ml.

You can find more information on all Bioderma Products on their website  and I do really like Escentual as a stockist but you can also find Bioderma products at Feel Unique and Boots.

*Products received free of charge for review purposes

 

My poor old brows. They’ve never been much to write home about. There’s a saying that your brows should be sisters, not twins, but mine aren’t even in the same family! One is arched, one is angled. One is higher, one is lower, one starts closer to my nose and the other just won’t grow in there at all. Add into that they are sparse on the outer ends, sparse on the inner edges and super long in the middle, and you’re looking at a set of brows that look pretty “meh” without makeup. Long before Cara Delevigne’s awesome brows hit the catwalks I was filling mine in out of necessity and as such, I’ve been searching for my perfect products ever since. Even though my hair is pretty light these days I still want my brows pretty dark and so how could I resist the Benefit Bigger Bolder Brows Set?Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsContaining four products that promise bigger bolder brows, my first decision was which shade to get. Having consulted the oracle (aka Google Image Search), I decided to opt for shade 3 which of the three available is Medium, also available is Light and Deep.

Inside the attractive box is an equally attractive tin housing your new products.Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsBenefit Bigger Bolder Brows

It’s a really attractive kit, and although the packaging seems a bit excessive, it’s certainly desirable and would make a very attractive gift. You’ll also find a handy user guide included in the box which is helpful, especially if you are new to brow makeup, or this kind of makeup.Benefit Bigger Bolder Brows

First up you have two shaping stencils as well as holder they slot into to use. There are two arched brow shapes and two straight brow shapes.Benefit Bigger Bolder Brows Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsSo the idea is you choose your shape, slot it into the holder and then hold up underneath your brow to get the bottom line of your brow shape in place with the product. I have mixed feelings on these. The arched brow shape suits me very well and helps me to get each brow equal shapes, however, its quite tricky to get each brow aligned with each other, both in distance from your nose and at the same height, with some practice this works pretty well. On the downside though, the stencils are not held firmly in the holder so thats not useful, they slide around a bit, but also, using them without the holder they seem a bit bulky. I think I’d find it easier to use if they were about half as high and I could hold firmly in place with one hand while drawing the line with the other. They are certainly better than the traditional stencils that you hold over your whole brow and fill in.

Next up is the Ka-Brow in Shade 3.Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsI’m afraid I’m not in love with this product at all. It is creamy and it is pigmented, but first of all its the wrong shade for me. I should have got the darker shade, this is too light and too warm. Secondly the product itself is quite creamy, but its not quite creamy enough for my tastes. it also seems to go on a bit grainy. I don’t get a perfectly smooth line with it… I get little specks, tiny,but I can see them and I don’t like it. Finally, the brush, it’s really great and applies really exact lines where you want them, but I’ve found after a few uses it’s splayed out a bit and I’ve never had this happen with a brow brush and product ever before. It’s not an awful product and I dare say if I’d have bought the right shade, I’d have been less picky about the other things, but I spent quite a lot of money on this kit and I’m here to review it so there we go! On the plus side I will use it up and once applied it lasts well.

Next is the Ready, Set, Brow!

Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsReady, Set, Brow! is a 24 hour shaping and setting gel. So once you’ve filled your brow in you comb through with this clear gel. The brush is great, and they do hold my brows in shape but I don’t think it’s remarkably different from the cheap clear mascara I usually use.

Finally is the High Brow Pencil, which is a matte highlighter for under your brow.Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsThis is my fourth High Brow pencil. I’ve been using this product for years and while it’s had a revamp in terms of packaging, it’s still the same creamy pink matte highlighter. I apply a line directly under and long the full length of my brow and then lightly blend with my finger or a brush. It just subtly defines and lifts the brow without an obvious highlight. A really great product.

For reference here’s a swatch of the High Brow Pencil and the Shade 3 Ka-Brow!Benefit Bigger Bolder BrowsI have used this photo before but it’s a decent one of the products in use. You can see how warm the colour is on me I think.DHC Perfect Pro Double Protection MascaraI know this is something of a mixed review, but I can’t help feel it’s my own fault and I’d have been much happier with the darker shade. It’s not perfect no, but it’s a great price  at £31.50 for all those Benefit products, all wrapped up in a gorgeous tin that I leave out as it’s far too lovely to tidy away in my drawers! If you were to buy the products separately you’d be looking at nearly £60. I’m not sure if these are smaller sizes but they are very generous and certainly don’t seem like trial sizes so it’s well worth it if you want to try a few things out.

I bought mine from Feel Unique if you fancy giving it a whirl!

 

 

 

First of all, Happy Bank Holiday weekend. I must apologise for the long break between posts. The Easter Holidays, appointments and a set of extraordinarily long nails have hampered my posting of late. As it is, I’ve filed my nails down and they are still too long, this is going to take some editing when I’ve finished! So, today I’m reviewing the DHC Q10 Mask.

DHC Q10 Mask Believe it or not this is my first experience with a sheet mask so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but let me just say it caused both my kids and husband to laugh at me. A lot.

The Q10 mask is a coQ10 firming sheet mask, and for the uninitiated coQ10 stands for Coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is a coenzyme that appears naturally in cells in the body, its an antioxidant and the latest research suggests that applying to the skin means it can help the body fight the damaging effects of free radicals as well as have skin soothing effects.

The sheet mask is enriched with the coQ10 and also include sodium hyaluronate and collagen to help maintain the skins natural moisture as well as create a protective barrier to create a softer, smoother complexion.

DHC Q10 Mask

Using this was a novel experience! After cleansing, you unfold the (very wet) mask and place over your face. I found it a little bit fiddly to get it in the best position to cover most bits of my face but once I’d finished taking photos of myself for this blog post and lay down on the sofa, I was able to get a good coverage and relax (as best I could with my family laughing at me) for 20 minutes.DHC Q10 Mask

Although it felt very wet, it was really comfortable on my skin and it’s got a lovely fresh scent, not too overpowering, just nice. Once your twenty minutes are up, you can press any excess fluid into your skin and follow up with your usual skincare. I found my skin didn’t feel sticky or unpleasant after use and like that you just carry on with the rest of your regime. Words can’t express how lovely my skin felt after this. So soft and smooth, plumped out and lovely. The effects don’t last for ages but as part of your regular routine and as a pick me up, or before special events, this is a great little treat for your skin.

My absolute top tip though is for maximum relaxation and pampering effects, either make sure you are home alone, or lock yourself in the bathroom!

The Q10 mask is £4.50 for one sheet and available from the DHC website.

*product provided free of charge for review purposes.

I’m not too great at taking supplements of any kind but I’ve been taking these new Optibac Probiotics for Every Day MAX for a couple of weeks now.

Optibac Probiotics for every day maxFor Every Day MAX are Optibac’s newest high strength probiotic supplements. With each capsule containing 50 billion high quality live microorganisms  these are sure to kick start your gut  health. Not only is it super strength, but it’s also super quality with the three strains having been comprehensively researched in the laboratory and clinically trialled  on thousands of people who have experienced improved digestion, boosted natural immunity, lower inflammation and moderate reaction to allergies. If you’re interested, the three included strains are L.acidophilus NCFM, B. lactis HN019 and B. lactis BI-04, all of which means nothing to me at all, but I know that people will want to know what they are taking.

We previously tried Optibac for Babies and Children and I was impressed at how easy they were to incorporate in my kid’s daily life, and these have been no different. You just take one capsule with food, daily, preferably breakfast, and for those who can’t swallow tablets you can mix the contents of the capsule with a cold meal or drink. Ideal.

30  capsules is £35.99 and you can find them on OptibacProbiotics.co.uk where you’ll also find a stockist locator if you’d prefer to purchase in a bricks and mortar store.

*product received free of charge for review purposes

Vichy DermablendI used to have more blushers than I knew what to do with, but it seems that my love of blushers has been replaced by my love of foundations. I’ve tried so many amazing foundations in the past, as well as many that just haven’t suited my fussy skin at all, I should really stick with the ones I know work, but I just can’t resist the lure of a new base! And so it’s been a great pleasure to try out two of the Vichy Dermablend Foundations.Vichy Dermablend The two foundations in question are Vichy Dermablend [3D Correction] in shade 15 Opal and Dermablend Corrective Fluid Foundation in shade 05 Porcelain. Having had a look at the website it would seem that Porcelain is the palest of eight shades available in the Corrective Fluid Foundation, while Opal is the palest shade available in the 3D Correction formula.

For reference, here are the shades and textures of each. On the left is the 3D Correction Foundation in Opal and on the Right is the Corrective Fluid Foundation in Porcelain.

At a glance I thought the 3D Correction foundation was a touch too dark, but the right pinkish tone for my cool skin, while I thought the Corrective Fluid foundation was pale enough but maybe a little too yellow but there was a chance they both might work for me when blended out.

Starting off with a review of the Dermablend [3D Correction]. Tis foundation is designed for oily, acne-prone skin with texture flaws. The premise of this foundation is that not only will it camouflage any blemish, but it will also smooth the skin’s surface to minimise the appearance of 3D imperfections and blemishes. As such, the texture of this is on the thicker side (but isn’t too thick at all) and it promises to provide an even, smooth, matte finish for up to 16 hours and includes skincare ingredients such as salicylic acid and eperulin. In addition, they suggest that for this product, all you need is this, no primers, no concealers, just the foundation, meaning if you are blemish prone, you can avoid having to layer with heavy make up.

With my dry, fussy skin, I’ve found that some products really work for me with a buffing brush, but others work better for me with a damp sponge blender and so I applied this with my blender. The results were as near to flawless as I could possibly hope for. The colour match was also pretty much perfect for me. The one thing I didn’t realise was that you could apply this in layers if necessary to cover blemishes, and so I did reach for my concealer, however since learning to add a touch more to a blemish and then gently press it into the skin (either with a finger or I have tiny little sponges which I prefer), I’ve been able to ditch the concealer when wearing this foundation. I absolutely love it and it lasted all day with no issues at all. It is very matte, and although my skin is dry rather than oily, I have found this works very well for me. Big thumbs up.

Vichy Dermablend 3D

Moving onto the Dermablend Corrective Fluid Foundation. If you recall this is the one I thought might be a bit yellow toned for me, but colour wise, while not quite as perfect as Opal, Porcelain is definitely passable.  This foundation promises to be high coverage and long wear for minor to moderate imperfections such as spots, scars, uneven skin tone and dark circles. It’s a lighter, more liquid texture than the 3D foundation  and promises a natural looking finish. In addition it has SPF35. Now I must confess I’ve actually tried this foundation before and didn’t get on with it at all. I found it sat in my pores and just looked awful. However, that was before I discovered my new love of damp blenders. Previously I have buffed this in with a foundation brush, this time I applied with a sponge and the results were much much better. It didn’t sit in my pores at all. The coverage with this one is also good, but I did find that for some of my angrier blemishes I needed a touch of concealer. Wear time on this was slightly less than the other formula, but still good, lasting me all day before it started to wear and shine. The finish is less matte and indeed more natural. I like this one too, but not as much as the 3D, I’d be inclined to reach for this one more as a day wear foundation, with the 3D for special occasions or nights out. I apologise for the following photograph, it doesn’t give a brilliant idea of how it looks, I’ve struggled with how sunny it’s been the last few days, but hopefully it will give you a bit of an idea of the shade and finish.

Vichy Dermablend Corrective Fluid

So in conclusion, I like both of these foundations, but I LOVE the Dermablend [3D Correction] formula the most. I would absolutely recommend them to anyone who suffers, like I do (even at the ripe old age of 42) with blemishes, or anything they want to cover up.

I recommend Escentual.com, where you’ll find the Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation at £12.00 for 30ml (usual price £18) and the Dermablend [3D Correction] Foundation at £14.33 (usual price £21.50).

You can also find further information on all Vichy Dermablend Products on the Dermablend Website.

*Products received free of charge for review purposes

 

 

Hi all,

Just a quick, non-beauty related post today, mostly to say that if you currently follow me and read my blog via Bloglovin, I’m about to ask them to take my blog down and deactivate my account, so please please try and find another blog reader to use! I have today stopped following ALL of the blogs I read via Bloglovin and moved them all over to Feedly. It’s early days for me using this as a blog reader, but so far I’m happy. It’s not as aesthetically pleasing as Bloglovin unfortunately, but unless something changes in the next 24/48 hours (when I plan to remove my blog from Bloglovin) then this move is necessary.

If you read and support blogs and bloggers, or if you are indeed a blogger yourself, I would urge you to do the same thing. Bloglovin have recently made changes that mean that you don’t have to leave their site in order to read posts. They’ve even included commenting as a feature. The problem with this, in basic terms, is that your favourite bloggers no longer get your traffic. By proxy this means their blog receives less views, and even worse, for bloggers who make a living from their blog, Bloglovin are potentially affecting their income.

And there are other issues as well, such as bloggers potentially being penalised by Google for duplicate content, or the moral issue of all our content being used without permission on another site. It’s complicated, but the general feeling is, its not okay.

As time passes you are likely to find several blogs you follow disappearing from Bloglovin, and I urge you to keep following us elsewhere and not to support such a sneaky move by Bloglovin.

It’s not okay, I won’t support it, many bloggers also won’t support it and I urge you do stop using it either for blog reading, or for your blog.

I’m going to leave it 24/48 hours to give you all a chance to read this post, and then I will be requesting my feed be removed from their site and deactivating my account. Unless by some miracle they remove this feature.

I do hope you choose to keep reading, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and as I say, you can add me to other blog reading sites. Please do!

Much love,

Charlie

DHC MascaraWhen the actress of the moment, Emma Watson, proclaims DHC Perfect Pro Double Protection Mascara is her favourite mascara to wear on set, then I’m all ears. If there’s a mascara that won’t smudge, won’t run when my eyes water and stays put all day, then I want to try it out.

DHC Perfect Pro Double Protection MascaraAs you might imagine from this Japanese brand, the packaging is simple, the product looks simple but performance is excellent. I absolutely love the brush, I can’t bear mascaras with big brushes, this one is perfect and allows me to grab every individual lash with ease.

DHC Perfect Pro Double Protection MascaraSo what’s so amazing about this mascara? In essence, it’s a tubing mascara, one coat wraps each lash in a water resistant tube. It does not clump, flake or smudge and nor does it run. You won’t need fancy make up removers, this removes with ease with just warm water. I’ve tried, it comes off easily. Cold water won’t remove it, just warm, so you don’t need to worry about the rain. And most amazingly for me it doesn’t transfer at all to my upper eyelids. I not only have hooded eyes, but in addition they are starting to sag with age. Eye liners and mascaras always seem to transfer on me, but this doesn’t move a single bit. Amazing.

The finish might not be for those who want huge amounts of drama, but I find the finish is perfect for me. Every single lash is coated, black, and elongated, no clumping. I can add length easily by applying one or two coats as normal and then a final coat just to the tips (if needed!). As I’ve previously mentioned my left eyelashes are shorter and straighter than those on my right eye but its very easy to make them look equal with this mascara. I’m absolutely delighted with it.

DHC Perfect Pro Double Protection MascaraIn my personal opinion I much prefer this to the mascara I featured in my last post, with that one, as time goes on I’m more and more disappointed with my purchase. This however, is absolutely brilliant and I would go as far as to say one of the best I’ve ever tried. It’s easy to apply, doesn’t transfer, is easy to remove and gives me separated, natural looking lashes.

You can purchase the DHC Perfect pro Double Protection Mascara here for £15.90.

*product received free of charge for review purposes

I recently decided to treat myself to a new mascara, the one I had just really wasn’t cutting it anymore and after some research, chiefly the MrsGloss&TheGoss Facebook Page, I decided to plump for Benefit Roller Lash. I remember the hype when it was released, but I just haven’t needed a mascara for ages. I also found the price point of £20.50 a little off-putting, but I had a voucher code for Feel Unique and wanted another product so I took the plunge.

Benefit Roller LashThe claims this mascara makes are bold so I was pretty excited to try it out.

Benefit Roller LashSo, the promises…

It’s a roller for lashes. The eye-opening Hook ‘n’ Roll brush grabs, separates, lifts and curls…while the instance curve setting formula holds for 12 hours. 

So that brush, well although I know they are there, the hooks aren’t easy to spot. But what I do like about it is that it isn’t a huge brush, I don’t get on with big mascara brushes, so this one was easy enough to use without stabbing myself in the eye or covering my eyelid in mascara.

Benefit Roller Lash

To describe my lashes, I have one side where my lashes are pretty good. A good length and just behave generally well and on my other eye the lashes are rubbish. In the outer corner they cross over each other and they are shorter and straighter than my other lashes. I try to even them out by curling only the dodgy side, and that works well, and I tend to put a third light coat on those lashes too, concentrating on the tips of my lashes to create a tiny bit of extra length. It works for me, but I should probably just get some lash extensions and stop all the faff at some point! Until then though, on the days when I can be bothered, that’s my routine, so I was hoping that Roller Lash would add some extra curl to that side.

So here it is on my lashes, top only for some reason (I think I forgot my bottom lashes that day!), and then I’ll talk about the pros and cons.

Benefit Roller lash

Pros:

Cons:

So there we have it, it’s a nice mascara, I like it and will definitely use it up. For me it’s a good every day mascara for sure, it’s just quite as impressive as I’d hoped it’d be, and perhaps it’s a victim of the hype. My expectations were perhaps unrealistic, considering this is a perfectly good mascara.

It ticks lots of boxes for me, and I’d definitely recommend it, just with the caveat that people should have realistic expectations. It isn’t the best mascara I’ve ever tried, it is however very good.

Mother’s Day is looming here in the UK and while I think about my lovely Mum lots, and my Mother in Law, I also think of myself. It’s not because I’m selfish, but rather that I’m required to put together a list for my husband of things I might like from the kids. I had some info through the other day from Institut Esthederm and I’ve got to say, a pamper package of their products sounds right up my street right now. Life is stressful and one thing I could really do with is a good pamper session.

Institut Esthederm products utilise Cellular Water, a key ingredient which optimises the cells’ energy environment and boosts activity. I’m not sure what that means really but I’m hazarding a guess that it basically means it optimises cell turnover which slows down as you age. Well since the ageing stick seems to have given me an almighty whack over the last year, I’m all for optimised energy environments!

If you, or your Mum are looking for a beautiful pamper package for Mother’s Day, give these products a whirl, I’m putting them on my list and crossing my fingers!

Eye Contour Lift Patches (10 x 3ml – £53). Ideal for those who are suffering with jet lag or stress, these promise to eradicate the effects of tiredness, revitalise the skin and plump and tone the eye area. Sign me up!

Intensive AHA Peel 12%, Concentrated Serum (30ml – £59.00). Restores Radiance, encourages the elimination of dead cells and refines the skins surface. Perfect for dull or oily skin.

Intensive Hyaluronic Mask (75ml – £31.00).This mask smooths the skin and rehydrates. By now, there can’t be many beauty lovers who aren’t aware of the benefits of hyaluronic acid, but just in case, hyaluronic acid is a molecule that is naturally present in the skin and it is the skin’s water reserve. This mask rehydrates both the surface of the skin as well as the deeper layers.Find Institut Esthederm at Feel Unique and Look Fantastic.