Just Charlie G

Trigger Warnings: Child Suicide, Depression, Mental Health

Today is the day my child planned to kill herself. At the time of writing it is only 9.11am here in the UK. There’s plenty of time.

At the grand old age of 12, my daughter has already racked up and lengthy and substantial record of mental health issues, including overdoses, of which this is simply the most recent.

Although we are open to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), we have absolutely no strategies in place to guide us through this day. I’ve been shouting into the abyss for years now, begging any agency to help us. But, here we are.

I might feel up to doing a big ranty post sometime, but this isn’t it.

This is the post where I say how much strain living like this puts upon me, and the rest of the family. The strain is unimaginable. The distress is is tangible, like you could reach out and touch it. The air is thick with worry.

This is the post where I say, although I try to carry out life as “normal”, smiling, carrying out my usual day to day activities, smiling and coping, under the surface is a layer of tension that never lets up. Ever.

This is the post where I say I love you my child. Through all the stress, the strain, the rage, the anger, the distress, my life would be poorer without you in it. My world would be desolate.

This is the post where I say, you have SO MUCH to offer, so much potential. The world is ready for the taking. You are worthy, you are special. Live and show the world what you’re made of.

This is the post where I beg you, please, please don’t die. Ride it out, stay with us. We need you.

03. 09. 2017

Gosh, long time no post, I’m so disappointed with myself! Thought I’d do a little update!

Honestly though, it’s been the Summer holidays and with my kids, that’s hard work, but I’ve also been really busy setting up a new venture with my friend Stacy, it’s a support/social group for parent carers here in Exeter, and it’s really snowballed. I won’t go on about it but if you are interested you can find our Facebook page here.

In other news I’ve got so many things to blog about and I’m really hoping to get a couple of posts up this week. I’ll leave a little taster here but there’s lots more to come….

See you really soon!

urban decay liquid moondust rechargedHaving fallen in love with Urban Decay’s Afterglow Highlighter and Fireball Eyeshadow and their beautiful peachy duochromey pinky goodness it was only a matter of time before I added the Urban Decay Liquid Moondust Cream Eyeshadow in Recharged. The saddest thing is that whatever the light I stood in, my camera point blank refused to pick up how stunning the pink flash is.urban decay liquid moondust recharged

The eyeshadow comes with a tiny little brush inside the tube and the formula, is a cream. The sparkle is super fine and the final effect is more metallic on this shade than it is glitter, which works out well for me.

urban decay liquid moondust recharged urban decay liquid moondust recharged

I’ve read mixed reviews on the application of these but for me the application has been a breeze. I’ve worn them two ways, the first on it’s own as an eyeliner (stunning!) and secondly over eyeshadow (shown in the following picutres). For an eyeliner look, I found I just need to go over it twice and any patchy bits disappear. To wear over more traditional eyeshadow I’ve used the tiny brush to dab it where I want it and quickly pat it in with a finger. Applying more to get the desired effect. I haven’t tried it as an eyeshadow by itself, simply  because that isn’t how I’d want to wear this but the effects are stunning.

I’m no makeup artist and definitely no photographer and I really don’t do this justice, but regardless I absolutely love it.

urban decay liquid moondust recharged urban decay liquid moondust recharged

I am definitely up for trying some more of these. Even if the only place I go these days is the school run!

I got mine from urbandecay.co.uk where it cost me £15.50.

DHC are, as I’ve probably mentioned, a relatively new brand to me. So far there hasn’t been a product I’ve tried that I haven’t liked so it was a real treat to receive the DHC Revitalizing Moisture Strips to try out!DHC Revitalizing Moisture StripsEach packet contains 6 pouches, with each pouch containing two moisturising strips.DHC Revitalizing Moisture StripsAs the name suggests, the strips are designed to firm, moisturise under the eye area. Created with mulberry, peony and alpha-arbutin to brighten, aloe to refresh, soy to firm and amino acids and olive leaf extract to hydrate, these are a real treat for tired eyes. They are so simple to use, just cleanse as usual, remove the strips from backing and apply under the eyes. You can either leave on for 20-30 minutes or overnight.DHC Revitalizing Moisture Strips

I’ll be honest, I didn’t read the instructions properly and I’ve only left them on for half an hour each time, but I often thought how great it’d be to use them overnight so I will definitely wear my last ones overnight…

I found that after use the skin was plumper and therefore fine lines were less obvious, and the skin was so soft and smooth. A really impressive result, I’ve done mine at night when I’m lying in bed reading, so next time I’ll just leave them on for maximum impact.

I would recommend these absolutely when you’re having a pampering session, or when you’ve not had enough sleep or just before a special occasion. A real treat for your eyes. For a six applications, the price is £8.75 making them incredibly affordable too. There’s nothing to lose!

Head over to www.dhcuk.co.uk for further information and to purchase.

*Product received free of charge for review purposes

Gosh, long time no blog! Things have really been getting in the way of blogging lately, life, illness, half term holidays, migraines… the works, but I had to get myself together because I’ve got some amazing products to get reviewed and today I’m starting with the Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray!

Urban Decay All Nighter (

I have some issues with some foundations that I find tend to slide off my face, its confusing when you think I don’t have oily skin, in fact my skin is really quite dry, but there we have it, some foundations just seem to slide away over the course of the day. Otherwise, with some of my foundations (yes I usually have several on the go, at the moment it’s five!), they last pretty well, but not into the evening. Not a huge issue for a homebody like me, but still, I do prefer to have my make up looking nice when I go out, rather than as though it’s slid off my nose and chin! I’m also of an age where products tend to slide into my fine lines and creases so I was keen to see if this worked to help avoid that as well. Other sprays I’ve tried in the past have left me feeling like I’ve hair sprayed my face, or worse, broken me out, so that’s another thing I was looking out for.

Urban Decay All Nighter

Urban Decay’s All Nighter is a Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray designed to give your makeup  staying power for up to 16 hours. It’s suitable for all skin types, free from oil and parabens, but even more impressive is the claim that it will lower the temperature of your makeup to keep it in place, even if you are hot.

Urban Decay All Nighter

The bottle it’s self is a pump spray and seems to deliver just the right amount of product. I apply several pumps all over my face when I’ve finished applying my make up and I can confirm it doesn’t feel sticky or tight, nor does it leave any marks in my foundation or powder.

In terms of longevity, I’ve noticed this extends the wear time of all of my make up quite considerably.  A foundation like the Urban Decay All Nighter Full Coverage Longwear Liquid Foundation, lasted a really long time on me anyway, but for those that aren’t intended to be long wear, or didn’t last well on my skin, this is fantastic. It’s not just foundation though, this makes ALL of my make up last, from my base, through to my blusher and eyeshadow, even my brows. I couldn’t be happier. The other thing which I’m not sure is cited as a benefit but I seem to have noticed, is that it seems to finish my make up off, so sometimes when I apply my makeup, it can take half an hour or so before it settles and looks more natural, this seems to do that job immediately, locking everything in place. I can also happily confirm that it doesn’t cause me any blemishes either.

I don’t wear this every day, just when I’ve put an extra effort into my face, or if I’m out and about, but when I do use this, I’ve now dispensed with powder altogether. I’ve never really liked using powder anyway, but with this, I just don’t need it.

I can’t recommend Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray enough, it’s perfect for special occasions, but also ideal if you struggle to keep your makeup on throughout the day. If you are someone who finds their foundation disappears by lunchtime, this is definitely the product for you.

The final thing I wanted to mention is that this is a 30ml Bottle which is £10 and I think is going to last me a while, but there’s also a 118ml bottle available at £23.50 which will definitely be my next purchase!

For more information or to purchase your very own beauty lifesaver, head over to  http://www.urbandecay.co.uk/ and get shopping!

*Product received free of charge for review purposes

We love Childs Farm in our house. With two kids that suffer eczema, one of them quite badly, it’s really important that products we use on them don’t aggravate their skin. It’s been great to try out a few more products from the range. This time the Childs Farm 50+ SPF Sun Cream and After Sun Lotion.

Childs Farm 50 SPF Sun CreamChilds Farm are a Hampshire based company who specialise in natural “free-from” ingredients and essential oils to create toiletries that are gentle and beautifully scented, suitable for the hair and skin of even the most sensitive of children. All of their problems are extensively tested to make sure they are suitable for everyone, even those with sensitive and eczema prone skin.

My kids both have a little tube of the sun screen in their school bags. With an SPF of 67 this cream acts as a barrier, using titanium dioxide, protecting skin from UVA and UVB rays. It’s not only protecting their skin but hydrates too, and both of the girls have found there’s been no adverse reaction to their skin when using it which is fantastic, particularly as we’ve had some issues with sun screens in the past. It is quite thick, but my tip is to rub it between your hands first, it spreads more easily and sinks in leaving little to no greasy residue.

The After Sun Lotion contains soothing aloe vera, and moisturising shea and cocoa butters. It moisturises beautifully and I can’t tell you how gorgeous it smells, all of the coconut! It’s so soothing and moisturising, I could be tempted to use this every day on my own skin, not just my kids after the sun!

I’d recommend these products to anyone, but particularly children who have sensitive or eczema prone skin. They have caused Chloe no reaction whatsoever and she does suffer really quite badly.

The Childs Farm SPF Sun Cream is £10.99 for 100ml and the Childs Farm After Sun Lotion is £4.99 for 100ml.

Purchase yours from Boots and Waitrose stores or online from http://www.childsfarm.com/

*Products received free of charge for review purposes

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


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.