Just Charlie G

Just a little heads up if you’re contemplating taking the plunge and trying out the Foreo Luna Play. I’ve tried several of the Foreo Cleansing Devices and have loved them all, but currently am using my Foreo Play most of all. If you’re interested in a full review, you can find mine here. I think mine is reaching the end of it’s lifespan now so I’m really pleased to have a new one, the Luna Pay Save the Sea Special Edition.

Foreo Play  Firstly, for the price of the Foreo Play (£29) you also get two 15ml cleansers included free of charge. The Day Cleanser and the Night Cleanser. The Cleansers are designed to work in perfect harmony with your Foreo Device.

So it’s a good bargain, but in addition 100% of Net proceeds will go towards the protection of ocean animals as Foreo have partnered with GreenWave and Sea Life Trust. The campaign supports initiatives such as the rehabilitation of endangered sea life and the creation of ocean farms to foster wildlife habitats.

You’re getting a great deal and doing some good too!

Head over to https://www.foreo.com/savethesea where you’ll also find the Save the Sea edition of the Luna Mini 2!

*Product received free of charge for review purposes.

mamhead-07-chloe-20160424-850So at the end of May, Chloe was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. While it was no surprise to many who know her, it was still something of a shock to the system to have it there in black and white. The assessment reports were upsetting and really hammered things home.

We always strongly suspected Chloe had Autism, problems at home meant we really needed some assistance and diagnosis seemed logical. With a confirmed diagnosis we hoped we would be able to access services and interventions that were not available to us with out the label.

Oh how wrong we were. In Exeter, the Autism team is diagnosis only. They do make some recommendations on their reports, but they don’t actually offer any support and so we found ourselves saying thank you and walking off out into the rest of our lives with our daughter having this diagnosed condition and no support.

Can you imagine rocking up to A&E screaming in pain, them doing an x-ray and finding you have a broken leg and sending you off into the world to find a way to fix it yourself? No of course not, so why was this the case with our daughters autism? What’s worse is that we’re not alone, its a story you’ll hear repeated up and down the country with all sorts of neurological conditions.

Our kids are being failed. It’s been proven that the earlier a child is diagnosed and they can get interventions, the better, as the brain develops there is much more ability to change, learning new behaviours is easier.

You know me, not one to take things lying down I’ve spent months trying to find out what we can do. Camhs tried to close our case, “autism isn’t a mental health issue”. It’s been a dark time with lots of tears and stress from me…”how can they do this?!”, “where do I turn?” and while we still don’t know our way in some areas, I’ve managed to access help and support in others, through research and sheer determination borne of my absolute fury.

Lola starts attending Devon Young Carers this week, so she can have something of her own and meet other youngsters in similar situations. I hope it will be valuable for her.

Chloe’s sensory and dental issue continue to be a problem. The specialist dental service have now done a referral to the Occupational Therapy team in Exeter after seeing my desperation. I think the wait, as always, is lengthy, but I’m hoping some of those sensory issues will be looked at.  If the dental service hadn’t done this, I would have done the referral myself.

We have had a “Resource Allocation Assessment” and budget has been approved for Chloe to have an enabler for a few hours a fortnight as well attend groups and activities for kids like her, run by trained professionals. Again, if this isn’t done for you by a professional involved in your child’s life, do it yourself.

In addition the Communications and Interactions Team are going into Chloe’s school to observe and make recommendations. I hope this will help the school really get a handle on Chloe and provide advice for helping her through her school life.

Speech and Languages went into school to assess Chloe and while there’s no further need for their involvement they’ve been incredibly supportive, going above and beyond and giving the school advice and helping get the message home, just because she seems okay at school, doesn’t mean she is okay at school. Again, I did this referral myself.

As for Camhs, well they grudgingly agreed to do three sessions of exposure work with Chloe. They didn’t do that, they have done three family therapy sessions instead, the first with just Graham and I, the second with Lola, Graham and I and the final one will be one hour with Chloe. So they have offered one hour of support to Chloe. They have made it clear they don’t want to help any further. As other things have fallen into place however, it feels like Camhs are less important. I would argue though, that Chloe’s mental health is affected by her Autism and they have a duty of care to help…but its the only battle I cant be bothered to fight.

Finally feels like we’re getting somewhere, I say this tentatively though because we’ve learned the hard way not to be optimistic.

My advice to any parent in a similar situation is this:

Don’t accept what you are told. Don’t settle. Don’t stop fighting. When it feels like you can’t fight any more, keep going. Don’t let people pass the buck. Make people accountable, demand that if they won’t help, they will help you find someone that will. Demand a Team Around the Child Meeting (TAC) and get everyone there, hold them all accountable.

And while all this is going on, and you’re trying to negotiate the system while living with a child who has additional needs, try your hardest to make time for yourself, you need all your strength. Take up a hobby, see friends, read books for fun whatever it is you need to wind down, do it. And find support groups, online or otherwise, find people who know what it’s like, who have either been there, or are going through it themselves, you’ll find other parents a wealth of knowledge about what’s out there and your rights. If you are local to me, Exeter, drop me a line, I can point you in the direction of groups I use or know of.

Just keep fighting.

It’s been about six blog posts since I last blogged about an Urban Decay product, I think that’s been a big enough break and I’m back today with another little review. The Urban Deecay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil in Walk of Shame.

urban Decay Walk of Shame urban Decay Walk of ShameIt’s well known I think that white eyeliners, worn on the waterline can open up the eye, brightening and giving the illusion of bigger eyes. Having tried white liners in the past though, this look isn’t for me, white liner is just too bright, too stark. So nude pencils are much better for me. I’ve tried a few in the past, if I recall correctly I had a Chanel one, and perhaps something similar from Benefit. I don’t know where they went or what happened to them!

I treated myself to the Urban Decay pencil based on the fact that I’ve rarely, if ever had a dud product from the brand.

Walk of Shame Waterliner Eye Pencil is a matte creamy nude shade that promises to last all day.

Urban Decay Walk of Shameurban Decay Walk of Shame On me it nearly does a full a day. I get a good eight hours of wear where it looks perfect and then it starts to fade. At 10pm at night when I cleanse, it may not look perfect anymore but it’s still there doing it’s job.

urban Decay Walk of ShameAs for the effect, it’s considerably more flattering than a white waterline pencil, well on me at least and it’s really effective, the more eye makeup you have on, the more effective it is at opening up the eyes, unlike in my photo, I’m just wearing mascara.

A great buy and definitely recommend for anyone looking for pencil of this sort. I think I’ll probably end up adding a couple of the colours too, black and maybe navy, just because the longevity is so impressive!

I purchased mine from Debenhams, for £15.50.

 

Bagsy BeautyI really like Bagsy. A cruelty free, British Brand with great products and beautiful packaging. I mean, what’s not to love? I’ve blogged about Bagsy products before, and today I’m reviewing a few more products.

One of the things I really love is the packaging. Each item has different exterior packaging, it makes the range both beautiful and distinctive. The products inside are always simple and clean looking, it’s a winning combination and should appeal to those who are drawn to pretty things and those who like classic simplicity.

Starting off with the Wow Lips Full Colour Chubby Stick in Ready to Wear (£12)

bagsy Wow lipsWow Lips are chubby lip gloss pencils in opaque shades, full of nourishing ingredients. Ready to Wear is a gorgeous red toned chestnut shade, very popular right now and very easy to wear. I have another one of these, Killer Heels, and I wear it often, this will be too I’m sure. Although they are a gloss pencil, they are quite light on the gloss and don’t feel at all sticky on the lips.

Next is the Lip Cocoon in Raspberry (£7.00).

bagsy lip cocoonHands down my favourite product. Raspberry Lip Cocoon is a tinted lip balm. I am literally living in this right now. I love tinted balms anyway, despite being drawn like a magpie to lipsticks, I actually don’t wear them a huge amount, preferring something more subtle for daily wear and this totally fits the bill. Its a beautiful tint, really comfortable to wear and moisturising and it has a beautiful fruity scent. It’s gorgeous,

Finally we have Beautiful Eyes in the aptly named, Take The Plunge shade (£14.00).

bagsy beautiful eyesI’ve only worn this a couple of times, it’s not really my colour, but don’t let that put you off, the colour is beautiful, a glorious lightly metallic blue shade that works like a charm as an eyeliner and that’s despite it’s chubby point, I can get a great line with this. It’s not (only) a liner though, this pencil blends like a dream meaning it’s great for a wash of colour. It wears incredibly well too, bearing in mind I have quite hooded eyelids, with a primer this is still in place when I remove my make up at the end of the day, it doesn’t budge! Without a primer, it still lasts all day but I have a tiny amount of transfer to my upper lid, and I do mean tiny. If bright blue isn’t your shade, there are several more shades to choose from.

Swatches, Lip Cocoon in Raspberry, Wow Lips in Ready to Wear and Beautiful Eyes in Take The Plunge

bagsy swatches

If you haven’t checked out Bagsy Beauty yet, then please do, I really recommend!

*Products received free of charge for review purposes

 

Eucerin Hyaluron Filler ConcentrateEucerin Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate is the first Hyaluron product I’ve tried that I really can rave about. I know a few years ago hyaluronic acid was the must have ingredient, products were launched and bloggers waxed lyrical about it’s magical properties. The ageing process depletes hyaluronic acid, and as a result the skin’s connective tissue dips and forms wrinkles and fine lines. Hyaluronic Acid retains moisture and therefore helps fight against this ageing process. I tried several hyaluronic acid products, none made any difference to my skin at all and a couple broke me out incredibly badly, so I dismissed the ingredient as hype, not for me, and forgot about it.

I can’t explain what prompted me to try Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate but it ended up in my basket and here we are, several months on, and I’m ready to review.

For £31 (£23.25 at Boots currently) you get 6 5ml vials of product.

Eucerin Hyaluron Filler ConcentrateI have no idea why the product isn’t in one single 30ml bottle, it makes no sense particularly since the vials aren’t single use, but it’s not a complaint, I like the vials, they are cute to use. Apparently one vial contains a weeks worth of product, using it twice a day. I think that’s a conservative estimate, mine has lasted longer than six weeks and I frequently use slightly too much product. I wouldn’t be surprised if this lasted more like six months.  To use, you just shake the bottle and apply all over your face, neck and chest if required! As I say, a small amount goes a very long way.

Honestly, this stuff is amazing. First and foremost, no break outs, hooray! On application it is absorbed really quickly leaving your skin so smooth and soft its amazing. I usually finish with moisturiser, but not always, even though I love my moisturiser it just doesn’t leave my skin as smooth as this stuff does so occasionally I skip my moisturiser. Not only is this stuff really hydrating on my dry skin but it makes for an amazing make up base. I do usually follow with moisturiser though, like a good girl!

I believe this has eliminated my dry patches, its added a touch of glow to my skin and everything seems a bit plumper and less patchy and wrinkly in general. Genuinely impressive stuff. Suits my fussy 40–something year old skin very well and finally I’ve been able to see why hyaluronic acid has been so lauded.

Huge recommend!

 

 

I was a bit worried that I’d left this review a bit late but the sun is still shining here in Devon and there’s still a very definite need for sunscreen for me and the kids!

I’ve blogged about lots of Badger products before but for some reason it escaped my notice that they did sunscreens.

I received three for review purposes.

Badger Sunscreen The three I received are the Tangerine and Vanilla Kids Sunscreen, the Chamomile and Calendula Baby Sunscreen as well as Unscented Sunscreen. As they are all SPF 30, we’ve made use of all of them over the Summer, especially while we were on holiday in Cornwall.

As you would expect, all of these Badger Sunscreens are organic and natural. I think these are all basically the same, with the child and baby versions having the addition of essential oils. They offer broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB using Zinc Oxide and they are water and sweat resistant for at least 40 minutes. Thanks to sunflower oil, beeswax, seabuckthorn and vitamin E, these are beautifully moisturising. It’s also worth mentioning that the tubes are made from recyclable plastic.

The unscented sunscreen, doesn’t have any scent added to it but it does have a very subtle scent of beeswax. The Baby sunscreen, has the addition of Chamomile and calendula which is a very delicate scent, but the kids sunscreen with tangerine and vanilla is to die for. It smells absolutely sublime!

The downside of these beautiful natural sunscreens is that they are a little harder to rub in than some of the more modern formulas today, not impossible though and they don’t feel uncomfortable on the skin, as I recall sunscreens from my childhood being. Its a worthwhile trade off in my opinion, especially for the glorious tangerine and vanilla!

These Badger sunscreens have served us well this Summer and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone looking for something more natural to protect themselves and their families from the sun.

They retail at £14.99 each and are available from Graftons Beauty.

*products received free of charge for review purposes.

In case I haven’t made it clear, I really rate Elemental Herbology products. Every single product I’ve tried has been fantastic. To cleanse I’ve been using their Vital Cleanse Facial Cleanser, and I’ve been very happy with it, but I was down to my last inch or so of product (in reality this will last me a considerable amount of time, a little goes a long way), but I had started to ponder whether I would replace like for like or whether I would opt to try something new. Fate stepped in and made the decision for me when bottle of Elemental Herbology Harmonising Cleanse Facial Cleansing Oil dropped through my letter box.

Elemental Herbology Harmonising CleanseI do love a cleansing oil but a few I have tried have caused me to break out so I approached this one with caution.

Harmonising Cleanse is designed for normal skin, or for balancing the T-zone. I was slightly concerned it might not be ideal for my dry skin.

The exterior packaging is the usual beautifully understated design that Elemental Herbology do so well and contained within is a pump bottle of beautiful golden oil.

Elemental Herbology Harmonising Cleanse The oil itself is full of goodness. There is 5 Alpha Avocuta which is derived from Avocado and helps to inhibit oil secretion while Vitamin C helps reduce pigmentation and brightens the skin. Also included is Raspberry Seed which is rich in Omega 3 and 6, this helps reduce redness while Camellia Flower nourishes and softens, the addition of Grapefruit and Geranium Oils have an astringent effect. Finally there is Argan Oil rich in Vitamin E while Jojoba Oil helps balance sebum production. The last oil is Sweet Almond to nourish and soothe.

To use, you simply massage onto dry skin (I use three/four pumps each cleanse), add a touch of water which turns the oil milky, then rinse clean. I personally use a hot damp face cloth. Firstly this dissolves all my make up, even my impossible to budge mascara, with ease. You need so little to cleanse your face I have found the bottle has barely gone down, yet it does such a thorough job, it’s remarkable. It leaves my skin incredibly soft and incredibly clean, and despite my fears it does not leave my skin dry at all, in fact it feels perfectly balanced, or harmonised if you will.

When I rinse my skin there is no oily residue left on my skin at all, and it this that means I have remained break out free. In the past, some oils I have used have left a film on my skin leading to spots and congestion. Not so with this beautiful oil, it just leaves my skin feeling perfect.

I am on antibiotics at the moment because of my spots, it is as though everything I put on it breaks me out, but no so with this, in fact not so with any of the Elemental Herbology products I’ve tried, so it looks like I’ve found a brand I can really get on with.

Sadly for me, it’s not a cheap brand, this cleaser is £29 for 100ml but I must emphasise how little you use. I am fortunate in that I received this as a sample for review purposes, but when this and the Vital Cleanse are all used up, I won’t hesitate to purchase with my own money.

I would recommend anyone take a look at the Elemental Herbology website, the products are among the best I’ve tried.

*Product received free of charge for review purposes but all views are my own.

 

My bleached hair needs considerable more care and attention since I’ve gone blonder. I use a lot of serums and oils on my hair to smooth away the frizzies. I had frizzy hair before bleach, but it is worse now. It’s also dryer. Luckily, through having a great hairdresser and taking good care of my hair, it doesn’t seem to be terribly damaged.

I’m always looking for great products to help my hair stay as strong as possible and keep the frizzies at a minimum.

Step forward, Color Wow Kale Cocktail – Bionic Tonic.

Color Wow Kale CocktailOkay, so this is a sort of leave in conditioner/treatment. The Kale Cocktail is for strengthening weak hair, prone to breakage.  There are two others in the range, Coconut Cocktail for dry hair and Carb Cocktail for fine or limp hair. If you have more than one of these problems, you can use more than one of these, so long as you use Kale first as this is absorbed into the hair shaft.

To use, shake the bottle really well, and then apply a coin sized amount of product to damp hair and comb through. Then style your hair as normal. The results you will see are improved when you apply heat to your hair.

Kale is sulphur rich  and helps reinforce the hair, and the cocktail is full of Amino Acids and B vitamins.

This smooths and detangles my hair leaving it much smoother and feeling amazing. One thing I can’t stand is the feel of product in my hair and this doesn’t leave any trace of product in my hair, just the sense that it is “better”.

The bottle is £22 for 200ml, it’s a substantial amount of product considering how little you use each wash. This bottle is going to last for a long time. As it’s proven so effective on my hair I’m using it every wash and its barely gone down. That’s what I’d call value for money.

It’s not a total miracle for me, it doesn’t give me perfect silky locks. However, it has made such an impact on how my hair feels strength wise. It has also made a big impact on the frizz. With results like that it is now part of my routine and I will definitely get more in future, in fact, I might treat myself to a bottle of the Coconut Cocktail because I’m so confident in the product (and in fact the brand) that I think the two together could be miraculous for my hair!

I’ve tried several Color Wow products now and they are all great, if you are looking for a starting product to introduce you to the brand, definitely pick up one of these.

Head over to Color Wow to pick up one of these Bionic Tonics and while you are there check out the Root Cover Up powders too!

*Product received free of charge for review purposes

Not too long ago I bought the Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde mascara and liked it a lot, I think it was my first Bourjois mascara actually so I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to try another, The Bourjois Volume Clubbing Mascara. This time give a Limited Edition Tropical Festival Makeover.

Bourjois Volume ClubbingNow this is really my kind of mascara. It’s not only blacker than black, but it separates each lash really well, adding definition without clumping, and joy of joys, its got a perfectly respectable brush size. If there’s one thing I can’t stand,  its a massive brush on a mascara. This one is just perfect.

Bourjois Volume Clubbing

This mascara ticks all my boxes. It’s affordable at £7.99 (currently on offer at £5.99 with Boots), but it does not budge. It doesn’t smudge, smear or flake at all during wear, and it doesn’t even wash off easily using my normal cleansers. This requires either a specific eye makeup remover, or at least an oil based cleanser, then it removes easily enough.

I love the look it gives as well, it’s somewhere between perfect day wear mascara and full on lashes, and I’d happily wear it every day, and I do!

www.boots.com

Just a quick post from me really but this Bourjois Tropical Festival Volume Clubbing Mascara gets a very definite thumbs up from me!

*Product received free of charge for review purposes.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick New Shinies!!!! Today I’ve got a few of the new Urban Decay Vice Lipsticks to blog about  but before I start I just need to apologise for the radio silence. Life here just got really crazy and I haven’t had any time for blogging at all! This has meant that this blog post is much later than planned sadly and the Vice Lipstick collection actually launched last month! I’m so sorry!

Anyway, the Vice Lipstick collection is huge news. The collection contains 100 lipsticks in six finishes. Mega Matte, Comfort Matte, Cream, Metallized, Sheer and Sheer Shimmer. This is has got to be the biggest lipstick collection ever hasn’t it? And there is most definitely something for everyone. At £15 each, these feel like absolute luxury thanks to the metallic cases that close with a really good click.

I’ve got five shades to share with you today, from left to right is Big Bang, 714, Backtalk, Firebird and Pandemonium.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick

Swatches in the same order:

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick I adore Urban Decay lipsticks and these don’t disappoint! I’ll go through each shade now.

Starting with Big Bang.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Big Bang

Big bang is a metallized finish. And it really does look metallic, what this actually is is glitter though, lots and lots of glitter and as your lipstick wears away, you’ll be left with very sparkly lips indeed. Its a bit much for the school run but the colour is absolutely beautiful and the effect is gorgeous, especially for someone much younger than me! Despite the huge amounts of glitter in this shade, it feels smooth and not at all gritty.

Next is 714.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick 714

714 is a Mega Matte finish. The colour is glorious, and incredibly bright red that is extremely comfortable to wear. It applies easily and wears for quite literally hours and hours. Just gorgeous and very striking.

Next we have Backtalk.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Backtalk Backtalk is a Comfort Matte finish in a mauvey nude shade. The finish is satin-y and applies beautifully! So creamy and smooth and a beautiful everyday shade. Despite being a nude shade, its a little bit different, perhaps because of it’s matte finish. Very comfortable and wearable.

Next is Firebird.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick FirebirdWhat a colour! Firebird is a vivid fuchsia, with blue tones and a very subtle pearl effect. Officially the pearl is fuchsia, but I definitely see something purpley/blue in there and its gorgeous. Wears really well (like all of these), applies like a dream, looks gorgeous, what’s not to love?!

Finally is Pandemonium.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick PandemoniumPandemonium is a red toned purple in a Mega Matte finish. While I absolutely love this shade, it was the most tricky to work with and a bit patchy to apply, I had to go over my lips several times and I still didn’t feel it was fully opaque all over. However I was happy with the finished result and I would still happily wear, I just think its a worth mentioning as compared to 714 (also a Mega Matte finish) this is much drier. Beautiful shade though!

So that’s a quick look at just a few of the Vice Lipsticks, there are of course 95 more shades to finish and I’ve managed to create a wishlist of about 6 must-haves with another 20 would-like-to-haves!

I think at £15 a pop I could get one a month easily! Beautiful lipsticks and just so exciting for lipstick and Urban Decay fans. Do be sure to head to your local counter or have a browse of the range online here, the colour range will blow your mind!

If you’ve already purchased any of these, let me know which shades you got so I can check them out!

*Products received free of charge for review purposes.