Just Charlie G

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.

I treated myself to some new perfume with my birthday money recently. I was very good and instead of purchasing another variant of my beloved Angel,  I opted for something completely new. Viktor & Rolf Bonbon.

Viktor & Rolf BonBonI gave myself a spritz of this when I was in a store, and was so impressed to find I could still smell it hours later, and it was beautiful. Then when my very fussy husband commented on how nice I smelled, many hours later, it was a done deal and I headed back into town to buy myself a 30ml bottle.

The bottle itself is beautiful bow, I presume designed to look like a perfectly wrapped bonbon.

Viktor & Rolf BonBonThe heart of this fragrance is caramel, and so you can be sure this scent is extremely sweet. But it’s also warm. What I really get on application though is fruity. It’s light, sweet and bright, and as it dries down you get the beautiful caramel as well as warm sandalwood.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a candy scent for tweens, this is of course sweet, but it’s mature too, I’d say suitable for all ages. Perhaps its the warmth.

It lasts for hours and hours on my skin, overnight even, and draws compliments despite not being overpowering.

It’s just perfect.

The only downside is the price, 30ml is £50, but it’s so exquisite, and long wearing, it’s worth every penny.

Carrying on with my recent Urban Decay purchase reviews, today I’m blogging about the Urban Decay Naked Skin One & Done Hybrid Complexion Perfector (£25).

Urban Decay One & Done

Urban Decay One & DoneI’m not sure how I’d describe this base product, so lets start off with the official description:

“The best of both worlds, this hybrid complexion cream combines the benefits of a sheer foundation with the coverage of a tinted moisturizer – and our high-tech, weightless formula feels amazing on your skin. One &Done provides all-day wear and covers a wide range of skin tones. But the best part is how it transforms the look of your skin! Light-diffusing spheres immediately help make flaws seem to disappear. Over time, pores appear smaller and skin appears firmer and more radiant”

So it seems to be a BB cream, light coverage, some skincare benefits and some optical blurring.

One & Done is available in six shades, and given their sheerness, these are workable for various skintones. The packaging is a plastic pump-tube that holds 40ml of product but I have to say it doesn’t seem that much when I compare it to my other foundation bottles! Time will tell when I see how long it lasts I guess!

Urban Decay One & DoneThe texture is extremely light, and as you might imagine, sheer, but thanks to whatever witchcraft Urban Decay have used when making this, the coverage on my skin is pretty great. I need concealer on any blemishes and shadows, but otherwise it’s great coverage. For most skins, you can probably skip moisturiser as this is a moisturiser in itself, however for my dry skin, I still need my moisturiser.

Urban Decay One & DoneUrban Decay One & Done

Urban Decay One & DoneAnother aspect of this products witchcraftery is the colour, whilst appearing a little orange hued on my arm swatch, it is nothing of the sort when on my face. The colour is perfect.

I feel like I’m always going on about my skin, but for reference and in case it helps anyone, my skin is very prone to dryness as well as acne, and in addition, I seem to get large cystic spots from lots of products, especially silicones and very rich moisturisers, but this has not caused me any blemishes, and nor does it stick in my dry patches when I apply it.

There aren’t many skin types I would imagine this isn’t suitable for, except perhaps those who require or desire a heavier coverage. If however your skin is plagued with occasional blemishes, don’t just skip this, you might be surprised at the coverage. It is perfect for anyone who wants a light coverage for summer (did I mention SPF20?) or  indeed all year round.

Just to finish up, here’s me wearing it.

Urban Decay One & Done

A definite recommend from me. I am wearing shade Light, and I wear 3.5 in the Naked Skin foundation. If you already wear the foundation, there is a guide on the website (In the product description for One & Done) which will tell you which shade would be best for you.

I purchased mine from the Urban Decay counter at Debenhams, where it cost me £25 for 40mls.

 

Benefit Dandelion Shy Beam is the answer to my prayers. Out of all the new things I’ve tried lately, this is my favourite. Basically, Shy Beam is a liquid highlighter. A matte liquid highlighter. It sounds crazy but bear with me.Benefit Shy Beam

Firstly the packaging. It’s so pretty, a little glass screw top  bottle with a brush, much like Benetint, or in fact, a nail polish. The colour scheme is really pretty too.

Benefit Shy BeamBenefit Shy Beam If you’re looking for a product that will add light and radiance to your face, without adding shimmer or worse, glitter, to your face, then look no further. This unassuming nude liquid will answer your prayers. Even if you’re as pale as I am (Mac NW15 if that helps).

Benefit Shy Beam You apply the liquid, as with any other highlighter, where you want to brighten. I must apologise for the following pics, I’m fresh out of the shower with a towel on my head and nothing by my base makeup on.

Benefit Shy Beam Next, this is where I apply the Shy Beam.

Benefit Shy Beam

And here it is blended out.

Benefit Shy Beam To make it easier to see the difference, here’s a side by side comparison. Hopefully you can see that the central parts of my face, under my eyes, nose, between the eyebrows and chin are just brighter.Benefit Shy BeamI moan a lot about my skin, and lots of base products don’t work too well for me, settling into pores, or showing up dry patches I didn’t even know were there, but his blends quickly and easily. It’s absolutely foolproof. I’ve blended out with brushes and fingertips and both work well, I find fingertips melt this into the skin seamlessly quickly and easily.

Just so you can see the full effect (and I can share a photo where I don’t have a towel on my head), this is the finished effect, with my hair dried and the rest of my make up on.

Benefit Shy BeamThe lightness it adds to your face is subtle, but that’s the point. Don’t get me wrong, I love a beautiful shimmery highlight as much as the next person (and in fact I sometimes add that as well), but for brightening up the face this works an absolute treat.

I would imagine, the darker your skintone the more dramatic the effect but I will say that this is quite buildable, or it can be really sheered out, so it will cover a good range of skin tones. Make it as dramatic as you like!

I bought my Benefit Dandelion Shy Beam from my local Benefit Counter where it retails at £19.50.

I told you I had lots more Urban Decay coming up and today I’m blogging about the Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Highlighter in Fireball as well as the single eyeshadow in Fireball.

When I saw these new Urban Decay Highlighters, I actually wanted to get Aura, the pink-ish one, but when I hit up my local Debenhams, it was out of stock, as well as Sin. The only shade they had left, and they had plenty, was Fireball. I took one look at the orange pan and decided to skip it, but something called me back to swatch it and turns out, it was my favourite, I can’t understand why that wasn’t sold out too, its beautiful!

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter Fireball

The Afterglow Highlighters are I think from this Summer’s collection and retail at £19 each. Sin and Aura seem to be out of stock everywhere, but I can confirm that Fireball is still in stock online at Debenhams.

Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Highlighter is unbelievably finely milled, blends like a dream, wears for the promised 8 hours and all three shades are designed to suit all skin tones.

Fireball is a beautiful orangey peach shade, shot through with pink microshimmer, and at a glance it’s not for the feint hearted!

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter FireballUrban Decay Afterglow Highlighter FireballUrban Decay Afterglow Highlighter Fireball Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter FireballDon’t be put off though, it’s both subtle and beautiful when on the cheeks. I did think that it might stand alone as a blusher, but it’s too pale and sheer for my tastes. It’s a gorgeous highlight though and I just can’t understand why this one hasn’t sold out too! Buy it now!

Because I loved this so much, when I found out there was an eyeshadow version, also called Fireball, I had to pick that up too!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Fireball The eyeshadow version of Fireball is from last summer’s collection, but seems to still be widely available from several Urban Decay stockists (£14).

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Fireball The eyeshadow is virtually the same, only richer, more pigmented. It’s a gorgeous coral/orange shade shot through with pink and just perfect for Summer! I also love that you can pop the pan out to go into your Build Your Own Palettes, if you have one.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Fireball

Urban Decay eyeshadows rarely under-perform and this is no exception, this wears all day, doesn’t crease, and has the impact you’d hope for, it’s full of pigment.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Fireball  I’ve had quite a few Urban Decay palettes, but this is my first single shadow, it hasn’t disappointed.

I’m so in love with Fireball, both in it’s highlight and eyeshadow forms, and it’s definitely going to be my go to colour for Summer 2016.

I’m going to try and stagger my UD posts but coming soon are some of the new Vice Lipsticks, the One & Done Complexion Perfector as well as an eyeliner I picked up.

What do you think, could you be tempted to pick up Fireball this Summer?

 

I used to swear by Estee Lauder Double Wear concealer in the tube and it was all I would use. It covered my blemishes with ease and stayed put all day long. Somewhere along the line I stopped buying it, I think when I ran out, I was a bit strapped for cash and bought something cheaper, but I also had a High Cover Concealer (also Estee Lauder) concealer so I have been using both a cheaper concealer and the High Cover Concealer, but I recently got alarming close to running out. I remembered how much I used to love my tube of Double Wear Concealer and opted to purchase it again. The full product name is Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF 10.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Flawless Wear Concealer

First of all, at £22, this is definitely an investment. Whether you’re willing to pay that much is going to depend very much on how much you value your concealer. For me, with my spots and redness, I just have to have a high coverage, portable, quality concealer.

It’s had a repackage since my last purchase, the tube used to be square, and is now round, and I’m not sure if the formula has changed. I don’t think it has, I think it’s not quite as I remember it. The applicator is the original doe foot style though.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Flawless Wear Concealer It is more liquid, than I remember it seems to have a little more slip. I was a bit concerned that it might not work for me.Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Flawless Wear Concealer

What I loved about the old product was it wasn’t really thick, but it was thick enough to cover spots with ease, while blending really well.  I get quite a lot of cystic spots, the shiny ones with no head and covering them is a nightmare, I wasn’t sure this was going to work.

It’s available in 9 shades and I have Light which is perfect for me. Turns out it’s even better than I remember. I don’t usually wear concealer under my eyes, unless its a dash of Touche Eclat, I find they all settle in my fine lines, and look horrible, so I just skip it.

This stuff blends beautifully under eyes, it’s really impressive and the liquid formula means that it feels really light too. Couple of dabs with the applicator, and a quick pat and I’m done. It doesn’t settle in my lines AT all and it brightens my whole face. Very good!

As for spots, its brilliant! I just dab it on, then blend out with my finger in a light patting motion. I need to use very little, it doesn’t oxidise and I find I only need to touch up on the very worst spots, otherwise, it’s still there when I cleanse at the end of the day.  I also don’t find that it sticks in any dry patches, which is another problem I have with creamier formulas.

This is an ideal formula for my ageing, spot prone skin, with more than a hint of dryness. Highly recommend the investment. I apply it in the morning and then just carry it round all day, not that i really need to use it again, its just a safety net!

Available from Estee Lauder online, but I bought mine from Debenhams in store.